« PreviousContinue »
the power, God had removed with the true worshippers; but the outward court (wherein was the appearance of fome kind of a form of a church, miniftry, and ordinances) thofe had got, and were found worshipping in it, in the midst of all this great wickednefs and abomination of fpirit.
3. Because the Jews (who were the type) while they were in captivity in Babylon, could not fing the fongs of Sion, nor had the worship of the outward Jerufalem there.
And can the spiritual Jews fing the fpiritual fongs of fpiritual Sion, in Mystery-Babylon? No; there they are but witneffes to that life and power which the true church enjoyed and flourished with, in her built eftate.
Queft. 2. Whether this is not an infallible mark, and moft certain demonstration of the false church, her fitting upon many waters; which waters are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues? Did not the Spirit of the Lord thus mark her out to John, Rev. xvii. 15. Did the true church ever fit upon many waters? Was not the church a gathering out of the nations into the power and life which the nations perfecuted? But the false church fits over the nations with a form of godlinefs, but without the true power thereof. Then if this be a mark that God hath fet upon her, let every one wait to read it aright, that he may know thereby which is fhe, and praise the name of the Lord for difcovering her to him.
Queft. 3. Whether this falfe church be not rightly called Babylon, even an heap of confufion (in a mystery) as to God's eye, though to man's eye her appearance may be orderly and decent? And whether fhe be not justly termed, by the Spirit of the Lord, the great whore, both for largenefs in bulk, and for the greatness of her fornications, having whored from the bed of the hufband, and entered into the bed of a ftranger; and having taught and compelled others to acknowledge and worship in her forms which, thus held forth and maintained by her, are not only without, but also againft, the true power?
Quest. 4. Whether antichrift be not entered into, and become the head of, this falfe church? And whether he doth not fit there ruling in it, even as Chrift was head of the true, and fat ruling in the true? And whether antichrift doth not keep his hold of this church, and poffefs his feat in it, for many ages and generations, even from the time he got in after the days of the apostles, till the very coming of Chrift in his power and brightness? 2 Theff. ii.
Queft. 5. Whether the great plagues, woes, terrible thunders, and cups of God's indignation, spoken of in the book of the Revelations, are not to be poured, in their feveral orders and degrees, upon this falfe church, and upon antichrift, her beloved head and king, even till the be ftripped naked, made defolate, and her flesh burnt with fire, and her head bruifed and deftroyed by Chrift, the true head and king of the true church?
Queft. 6. Whether the people of God, fuch as feel fomewhat of the power, and bow to the Lord in Spirit and truth in fome measure; yet K 2
thefe, if they mind not his call out of this Babylon, and come not fully out of her, but abide in any part of her, obferving any of her ways or worships, till the time of God's controverfy with her, and judging of her, whe ther they also shall not partake of her plagues? Rev. xviii. 4.
Quest. 7. Whether all people have not great reafon to fear before the Lord, and to look to their ways and worships, left they be found in any thing therein which is not of him, but contrary to him, and fo bring upon their fouls and bodies that wrath and fore judgment from God, which they are not able to bear? Rev. xiv. 9, 10, 11.
Queft. 8. Whether it was not the great love and mercy of God to warn the churches of these things in the book of the Revelations? And whether he can be fafe in these respects, who either doth not understand, or not obferve, the warnings given by the Spirit of the Lord therein? How often is it therein faid, He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit of God faith to the churches. It is also faid, Blessed is he that readeth, and they that bear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. He then that readeth not, that hath not an ear to hear the words of this prophecy, how can he keep what is written therein? How can he beware and avoid the feeming beauty and glory of the false church, or fuffer with the faithful witneffes of God in their tefti mony against her? And if he do not thus, but is entangled by the falfe church with her golden cup of fornications (Rev. xvii.. 4.) he mifleth of the bleffing; and ah! what is he to meet with instead thereof! My heart hath often melted within me, and my bowels rolled at the confideration and deep fense which the Lord hath given me of these things; and this I fay therein, to those that defire life and peace from God, Oh! wait on him for the eye which fees in his light, for the ear which hears his voice, and for the heart which understands the words and meffages of his Spirit, that ye may feel his feel his gathering, guidance, and prefervation out of that, to which his wrath is for ever, and against which his wrath is to be made more manifeft, and poured out more fully and abundantly than ever it yet was. For the Lord will empty his love and his life into Sion, and empty the very dregs and thick mixtures of the cups of his indignation into the very heart and bowels of Babylon; and her fickness, mifery, woe, death, and deftruction will be exceeding dreadful and unutterable. Therefore wait on the Lord in fear and fingleness of fpirit, crying and mourning unto him to discover to you the extent and limits of this falfe church, this falfe building, this building in a form and outward order, without the life and power of the Spirit, and then fly as fast out of her, and from her (and as far) as the Spirit of the Lord leads, even till ye come to the holy building, which is of him, and the heavenly places which are prepared there by him, for every one of his (according to their growth and ftature in his Son) that ye may fit down in him.
Some QUERIES to PROFESSORS, who speak of high Attainments and Experiences in Religion, and yet do not witness, nor can acknowledge, the Truth, as the LORD hath now revealed it (and done great things by it in the Spirits of his People), but look upon it as a poor, mean, and low thing.
Query I. AVE ye known the great and terrible day of the Lord, wherein he arifeth to shake terribly the earth? And have ye known that shaken down in you which must be shaken down and removed as a cottage, before the everlasting kingdom can be established in you?
Query 2. Do ye know the living, powerful, eternal word, which is quick and piercing, fharper than any two-edged fword, dividing between thought and thought, grace and grace (as I may fo fpeak), light and light, life and life, fpirit and fpirit, power and power? &c. Have ye known it an hammer, a fire, an axe laid to the root of the corrupt tree? And do ye know the corrupt tree (root, branches, leaves, and fruit) fo cut down by it as to cumber the ground no more?
Query 3. Do ye know the paradife of God, and the tree of life there? Do ye indeed feed thereon? Have you passed through the flaming fword to the tree of life? And is the flaming fword (which once fenced from life, . and the power thereof) fet now to fence up the way to the tree of knowledge, that ye may feed no more thereon, and die, but feed only on that which is life, and gives life, and fo live for ever?
Query 4. Have ye witneffed the effects of the great and terrible day of the Lord in your fpirits? Is antichrift deftroyed, the whore burnt, flesh confumed, man ceased from, both within and without? Is the loftiness of man bowed down in you, the mighty removed out of his feat, and the meek, holy, humble feed raised up to rule in righteousness in your hearts? Is every high tower battered down, and every fenced wall laid flat? Are all your imaginations, and conceivings, and fleshly apprehendings upon fcriptures, yea, every pleasant picture and image of the things in heaven (formed in your minds) brought to an end, and the pure living truth of the Father waited for, received from him, and lived in? Yea, is the Lord alone exalted in your fpirits, and all other dominion, authority, rule, and lordship put under ?
Query 3. Do ye know the mountain of the Lord's house, and the Lord's house built and established by his own Holy Spirit and power upon his own
holy mountain? And do ye worship the Lord alone therein? Do ye come up to the New Jerufalem, to offer your facrifices there, according to the inftitution of the gofpel? And do ye worship the Lord there, on his own day, which he hath fpiritually made? And do ye bear no burden, kindle no fire, do no work on that his day? Do ye never warm yourselves at any fire, or by any fparks of your own kindling? Or are ye yet worshipping upon fome of the many mountains and hills which the Lord hath not formed nor established; but have been formed and fet up by man in the night of darkness, before the everlasting light of the day brake forth?
Query 6. Do ye know the wilderness through which the paffage is from Egypt to Canaan? And have ye faithfully travelled in the leadings of God's Spirit there-through? And are ye entered into the pure reft thereof? Are ye not under the law, but under grace; not under the enemy's power, but under the Spirit's power, out of the other's reach, fo that the wicked-one cannot touch you? Have ye gone through the exercises and trials of the wilderness? Have yé fed on the manna dropt down from heaven upon your spirits therein? Have ye drunk of the water of the rock? Have ye feen the ferpent lifted up, and felt the healing thereby? Have ye witnessed the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, to be your defence and leader? And have ye now at length received the kingdom of life, and fit under the shadow of it, drinking water out of your own ciftern, and eating under your own vine and fig-tree the fruits of the good land, after the fhaking of that which was to be fhaken; now being come to, and ens joying the kingdom which cannot be fhaken? Have ye really felt these things, or have ye been in the dreams and imaginings about them?
Query 7. Do ye walk in the light of the Lord, as the fpiritual houfe of Jacob is to do? Have ye received the Spirit? Do ye live in the Spirit? Are ye truly united, fo as to become one fpirit with the Lord? Are all the walls of partition broken down? And is there nothing now between you, but of two ye are made one in that which uniteth?
If it be thus with you, then hold forth the right-hand of fellowship to those whom the Lord hath brought hither; and know and acknowledge that whereby the Lord hath wrought it in them. But if ye be not really in the thing itself, but only in the apprehenfions and conceivings about it, ye can never fo be witneffes concerning these things, nor concerning the truth whereby God works these things: and ye will find there is a great gulf between you and us, which ye cannot poffibly pafs over, till ye meet with our principle and guide, and faithfully travel with him in the footfteps of the flock, that ye may come to the fhepherd's tents (even the tents which the fhepherd pitcheth, and which no man can pitch) and may know the true tabernacle, fanctuary, and temple, whereof he is the minifter.
SPOJ quí si mama
FIRST and PURE STATE,
Its Declining STATE, in its Declined STATE, and in its RECOVERY.
WAY OF SALVATION in the COVENANT of LIFE opened,
Some STUMBLING-BLOCKS Removed out of the Way of the
Likewife fome QUERIES concerning the NEW COVENANT.
An EXHORTATION to all People; but more especially to such as are Defolate and Diftreffed.
By one who teftifieth what he hath seen, and heard, and tasted, and handled of the Word, and Life Eternal,
Whereunto is added,
A Visit of tender and upright Love to fuch as retain a Sincerity towards the
Alfo, A brief Account of the Ground of Certainty and Satisfaction, which it hath pleafed the LORD to establish in my Heart, concerning Religion, and the Things of his Kingdom.
And a QUESTION anfwered, about the Way of knowing the Motions, Doctrines, and Teachings of CHRIST's Spirit.
With somewhat relating to the GOSPEL-REST, or SABBATH.
And fome QUERIES to fuch as complain of Want of Power to become the LORD's, and ferve him.