Page images

a con

To this I answer, whatever my writings may be, they have not screened me from controversy ; for if men discern my first letter to him, I said, " troversy had begun, as men had written against me;" and from the many books of controversy that are gone out, it proves his words to be entirely false, to say I was sheltered from controversy. But if my long letters were full of nonsense, then men of sense could soon confute them; yet this was never done by man; for let all the books appear, that have been written against me, and all the letters of controversy that men have written, they are so contrary to the Scriptures, that it is the Bible I have on my side, with the truths that have followed my prophecies, which screen me from the inveterate malice of my enemies, who make the wise to appear as angels of light, by a false gloss they put over the whole, with a pretence to say they are the friends of the Lord, while they hate me for wishing for the honour and glory of God, to see his name run and be glorified, by the works of his hand; and the author of ÈVIL, that is at enmity against God, to be destroyed. This is what I am hated for ; but when the truth is pointed out, by long letters, or publications, agreeing with the Scriptures, my enemies are put to shame and confusion, seeing their arts are discovered, that it is by the carnal mind, which is at enmity against God, that their malice is kindled, which they cannot deny; but as to any artful insolence and craftiness, such things never were in me; for the plain truth, in a clear and upright manner, is laid before the public, by the directions of the Spirit, that hath directed me to act with inore just and upright dealings, than all my enemies can boast of; for it is out of the power of all my enemies to prove they have acted with so just and upright a spirit as I have acted, and have been led by. So it is the truth, that is like a two-edged sword, that blunts the edge of the weapons of all my enemies, so that they cannot

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

come forward with justice, equity, or truth; to condemn me; therefore they come forward with abusive language, to expose themselves, and bring the shame upon their own heads.—Now I shall come to another observation. He says

You would fain make men believe, that Christ hath left the great work of Man's Redemption for you 10 make complete, by the part you should take in the destruction of Satan's kingdom on the earth; that for you, God punishes the nations, and sends a blessing or 4 curse on men, as your words are believed or disbelieved; that the fruits of the earth are withheld on your account ; and the burdens of men increased; and that, as they increase your sorrows, God will increase theirs, and burn up the land for your sake ; which you state in your prophecies, March 1802, page 9, 10, were communicated to you, by the Spirit of God. Surely the devil is come down with great power.

To this charge I answer, from the creation of man, and the fall of the woman : in Gen. ii. 16. 17. 18. 21. it is written, The Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat : but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone : I will make him a help meet for him. So the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam : and he took one of his ribs : and made the woman. When this was done to complete his happiness, Satan began to seek his ruin, and to frustrate the designs of the Most High. He went with subtlety and lies to the woman, whom the Lord had created a helpmate for the man, saying, he was not good złone; so Satan's arts began with her; thinking thereby that the wisdom of the Lord should be defeated; and, in chap. iii. he goes to the woman, tempting her to eat the forbidden fruit. When the voman expostulated with him, that God had for

bidden it, and said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, least ye die ; the serpent's answer was ready, to deceive her and betray her; for he said unto the woman, “ Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know, that in the day ye eat thereof, then shall your eyes be opened, and ye shall be as Gods, knowing good from evil. In this he took advantage

of her weakness; not knowing the fatal effects that - would follow, she did eat of the fruit, and gave to

Adam, who soon perceived the fatal effects of what they had done ; for when they heard the voice of the Lord God, walking in the garden, they hid themselves from the presence of the Lord : and the Lord called unto Adam, Where art thou? He said, I heard thy voice in tbe garden, and was afraid ; because I was naked, and I hid myself. This brought Adam to a confession of what he had done. When the Lord enquired who told him he was naked : Hast thou eaten of the free that I commanded thee not? The man answered, The woman that thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. The Lord said unto the woman, What hast thou done ? and the woman said, The“serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. Now from this chapter we must all discern, how the weakness of the woman, for listening to the serpent, and disobeying the command of the Lord, brought on the FALL; but will you say, or will any man say, it was the power of the woman, or the weakness of the woman, had at all to do in the destruction of man? Did Eve go on to tempt Cain to kill Abel ? All men must answer, no: it was Satan's power, and Satan's malice, that went on with fury against the sons of men. Had Satan's power then ceased, when the Lord pronounced the curse upon him, then those evils which he hath tempted men to commit, which are recorded through the Scriptures, must have ceased likewise ; for if we discein in the following chapter, she had still a confidence in the Lord, and trus:ed in him

[ocr errors]

for protection ; and when she conceived and bare Cain, she said, I have begotten a man from the Lord. By these words we may plainly discern, she still hoped to live in the favour of the Lord, though she was cast out of the garden of Eden, through disobed ence; nevertheless, it appeareth from her words, she had an humble confidence in the Lord, that though he punished her for her transgression, yet he would not for ever forsake her. So we may plainly discern, it was neither the desire of the woman to continue in evil, nor her power that brought it on; because it was Satan who first deceived and betrayed her, and then worked envy in Cain to murder his brother, and bring the curse upon the ground ; and so he hath gone on in all ages, like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Thus, it was Satan's power, and not ihe woman's, that brought destruction upon man. Now the same observation as is made from the Fall, that by the woman's disobedience, through the arts of Satan, she brought her posterity under his power, to hold the LORD 10 his WORD, thai they should be dead to the KNOWLEDGE of God, and to the happiness they possessed ; so in like manner stands the redemption- I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy Head. Then here the PROMISE stands as much for the woman to plead, for the Lord to fulfil HS PROMISE of bruising the Serpent's Head, when the enmity was placed in her heart against him, as there was room for Satan to plead and hold God to his word, to have death pronounced upon them.--But as I have observed, that Do power was in the woman to bring on the evil of herself, so I say there is no power in the woman to bring on the GOOD, or to bruise the Serpent's head; that power must be in the LORD to accomplish it: for the woman has no power of herself to help herself; but if true obedience to the command of the LORD te of no use to intercede for that PROMISE, for the


HONOUR of God, to confound the devil; then dis. obedience, by eating the forbidden fruit, could never be placed to be of such weighty consequence, as to bring on the Fall of Man. So if the one appear arvellous to mankind, why obedience should be required of the woman, before the LORD fulfils his promise, to bruise the Serpent's head, and bring in our Redemption; it must appear equally marvel lous, that her disobedience should bring on man's desi ruction. Now let us come further to the observations, froin the Scriptures, concerning obedience and disobedience. Satan's power went on strongly to work in man, till the whole race was corrupt before the Lord, save Noah, who was the only just man upon earth, and he walked with God; and the Lord commanded Noah to build the ark; and, by his obedience, he and his sons were preserved, while the disobedient world were swept away. But were they preserved by Noah's power, or Noah's wisdom? all must answer, No: it was the WISDOM of God, to direct them in a way that the Lord meant to preserve them, if he obeyed the Lord's command. But had Noah been disobedient, like the world, then, like the world, he must have been swept away. So that we may see how, from the obedience of a man, the posterity was saved, not to be totally destroyed; now the same we may see in Abraham: if perfect obedience hath no weight with the Lord, to shew from ii that he designed a blessing to mankind, then they may enquire of what use it was for the Lord to try Abraham, in offering up his son, when he did not design that Isaac should be slain ; and yet the Lord tried Abraham, to see if he would obey the command; and when the LORD had proved him, that he would obey, and ibat his hand was upon his son, the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, to stay his hand; and then mark the words of the Lord that followed: Now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine

« PreviousContinue »