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The world by wisdom know not God, neither do they know his ways, or his decrees; for his footsteps have been hid in the great deep, and his paths. past man's finding out. And, as the professors of religion have brought forward the Scriptures, affirming that they are already fulfilled, which strengthens the Atheists in their unbelief, who. clearly discern they are not fulfilled; by these errors thousands are "stumbled, as some do not believe there is a God to reveal his will to man; others believe there is a God, and that the Scriptures contain his written word, and yet they deny the fulfilment thereof; others say they are already fulfilled, that all was finished when our Saviour expired on the cross, and deny any further revelation to be given; and it is to convince mankind of these errors, that the controversy of the Spirit is held out to man,
But, as a professor of religion hath advised me to contend only for that faith, which was once delivered to the saints, I answer, that is the
faith I was brought up in, and relied upon. The love of God, which was in Christ Jesus, was deeply impressed upon my mind and heart, to trust in him for my Salvation; but when visited by the Spirit of Truth, according to our Saviour's words in his Gospel
, that he said should come to guide us into all truths, and to teach us things to come, which is the Comforter spoken of, to come in the end to call all things to our remembrance, that was delivered to the saints, and to warn of the fulfilment of the Scriptures, that the time was drawing near when the Lord would fulfil his Gospel, and what was delivered by the holy men of old, both from the prophets and the apostles ; and being warned that the time was hastening on for the Lord to fulfil their words, this opened a greater light to me, to contend for the faith delivered to the saints, than I had before; because, at first, I saw no further than iny own salvation, before the revelation of the Spirit of the Lord came to reveal his will concerning our redemption, to fulfil the promises delivered to the saints. Now I shall come to the Scriptures, that shew what we are to contend for.
2 Epistle of Peter iii. 2.-"That ye be mindfulof the words, which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour.” The same exhortation is given by Judem"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you, of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you and exhort you, that ye should earnestly contend for the faith, which was once delivered unto the saints." Now I shall come to what was delivered to the saints, spoken by the holy prophets-that our Saviour was prophesied of as the MESSIAH, that was to come first to suffer for the transgression of man; and, if we trace the prophets through, and the Psalms, we shall find they agree together, concerning our Saviour's first coming, to be dese pised and rejected of men; and likewise of his second coming, in power and great glory, to be the prince of peace, to have the heathens for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession, when he cometh according to the words of the prophets.
Daniel vii.--Zechariah xii.-" They shall look upon me whom they have pierced." --xiv. “ And the Lord my God shall come and all the saints with thee." These scriptures, and what was pointed out in my last Book, shew us what is the faith, that we are now earnestly to contend for, that was delivered to the saints by the holy prophets, and what our Saviour in his gospel taught us to be looking for—that he should come again. Therefore he warned them to watch for his coming," For in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh. Blessed is that servant whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so doing.”
Luke xii. “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning, and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord when he will return." xxi. Chapter.-“They shall sce the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." In this chapter we are warned what his coming is for—to bring in the redemption of man, and what are the signs prior to his coming, of the distresses and perplexities of nations; and, that men might know when the end was near, our Saviour said the Spirit of Truth should come to guide us into all truths, and shew us things to come. Now, as our Saviour coinmanded us to be like men waiting for the Lord, and said they were blessed whom the Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching for him; this sheweth us, in the end, what we are earnestly to contend for, when the Lord hath warna ed by his Spirit, that his coming draweth near. The apostle Paul, in his exhortation to the Hebrews, warned them to be looking for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; and saith— “ Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin unto salvation." 2. Thessalonians i.-" The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know tot God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe."
The same exhortation is given by St. Peter "To be looking for and hastening to the coming of the day of God.” This we may find through the apostles; then if we compare, together the words of the Prophets and our Saviour's sayings in his Gospel ; then we may see how the three agree together in one likeness, what we are exhorted earnestly to contend for in the end, to awaken mankind to the fulfilment of the scriptures.
Now the time is drawing near, that the Revelation will be fulfilled, that the old serpent, which is the devil and satan, shall be bound for a thousand years, and cast into the bottomless pit, and shut
up, and a seal set upon him, that he shall deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years are fulfilled.
But, from the different opinions of men, that are now writing concerning the Fall, the following inquiry was made of me:-Did the Lord give Satan a permitted power to enter into the serpent, when he tempted Eve with the forbidden fruit?
THE ANSWER OF THE SPIRIT. “I shall answer thee concerning the Serpent, and my permission to the Devil to use his arts to tempt and try the man. Had I given him no permission to try, but kept him by a restraining power, that he could never tempt mankind, what of his reign could I shew upon the earth? or how could I prove his guilt and cruelty, what his having power would do? Therefore a permitted power was given to him, and to his own inventions he was left; and therefore I have told thee, it was in the serpent that he worked by arts to betray; and as that was his beginning, when I sent Moses unto Pharaoh to free the children of Israel from his power, I shewed Moses, by turning his rod into a serpent, what likeness was in Pharaoh of a hardened heart and cruelty, at enmity against God; in the likeness of the devil, was the man I sent Moses unto; and, when he saw the likeness, he feared and fled from before the serpent. But then I took his fears from him, and ordered him to take it up by the tail, when it became a rod in his hand : and so the head was destroyed; and that head I destroyed in Pharaoh. But now let men discern, when Moses shewed the likeness before him, to turn the rod into a serpent, Pharaoh's magicians used arts by their enchantment, and their rods became serpents in like manner. But this power was not done by man; for, I now tell thee, of their own selves, as men, they had no more power to turn their rod into a serpent, or the form and likeness thereof, than Moses, as a man, had power to turn his; but know, it was I as a God shewed their enchantment to Moses, what were their arts, and what was their working, through the subtlety and art of the devil, who worked with them in all these enchantments, till I by power destroyed the whole; for their enchantment was worked by the devil; and by him I have told thee all witchcrafts are worked. Now, from this, let men discern how Satan had power, by his arts, to make a rod become a serpent; therefore let no man marvel at his arts in the beginning, that he