Page images

thing; for without this charity, and without this belief, neither the preaching of men, or the written word of God, will avail any thing to to those that do not believe ; but where charity is, my Bible is believed; then if my Bible be believed, charity hopeth it will be fulfilled. So the faith of charity can never fail, though prophecies may fail ; as some prophecies are made on conditions ; and my Bible stands on conditions. So the prophecies failed to Eli, of establishing him and his house for ever; yet that prophecy only failed when he failed to give honour to my name. Jonah's prophecies failed when Nineveh repented : so if men repent of their evil, I the Lord cease to punish, though I have severely threatened. But know, O man, though I fail in the execution, by the repentance of men, that they are deferred for a season, and fail for a time; yet, when men are hardened, they do not fail for ever. The prophecies of the disciples failed to their judgment, and were not executed so soon as they expected; yet iny word is sure and standeth for ever ; and the fulfilment will be accomplished, and nothing shall fail in the end ; for know it is written, not one jot nor tittle of the prophets shall fall to the ground. So he that hath charity to believe all these things, may hope to the end for the fulfilment of the whole; but he that hath not this charity, if he preach with the tongues of men and of angels, if he hath the greatest knowledge, or the greatest understanding in the Bible, and would give his body to be burnt for the sake of the Gospel, as the martyrs did, yet if he hath not charity to believe the fulfilment of the Gospel, his charity would fail in the end, and be of no use to himself or mankind : for now charity is come to be proved, now charity is come to be tried ; but how few amongst the sons of men can prove they have charity towards God or man ! how few believe my Bible will be fulfilled ! and how few hope for it! and yet they will say they have charity ; but let them answer,


what charity ; when I demand their belief from my Bible, do they not rely upon their own preaching, as though they had the tongues of men and angels to know all things, to understand all things, and appear zealous for my Gospel, zealous for iny ho- . nour, and zealous for my glory, while they have no faith, no charity to believe my Gospel will ever be fulfilled ? This is proved by the zealous part of mankind, forgetting the words of the apostle, whom so many profess to rely upon; and through misunderstanding the words of the apostle rely upon their election ; but where is their election without charity? and where is their charity without faith? and where is their faith without believing in a fulfilment ? For know the apostle tells them they know but in part, they prophesied but in part ; but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is imperfect shall be done away; then let men know, froni the apostle's words, you are to look for a more perfect knowledge from God, and a clearer understanding than was given to them; though they were inspired by the Holy Ghost, yet they said, that which was perfect they looked for to come, and that which was imperfect to be done away. Now answer, ye worldly wise men, was the imperfection in God? or was the imperfection in man? Thou answerest, no man will dare to say, the imperfection was in God; then I answer, the imperfection must be in man; and if imperfection was in man after being visited by my Spirit, after being filled with the power of the Holy Ghost, yet man in this state complained of imperfections, what perfection can man boast of, that hath no visitation from the Spirit of the Lord, and relieth upon his own wisdom? Is this the perfection the apostle told them that was to come from man? then they must say imperfection was in their MAKER : And I now tell thee, imperfection men have made in their MAKER; and judge theirselves wiser than their CREATOR. But I know the thoughts of thy heart : thou sayest, this men will deny, and say, they have not made themselves wiser than their Creator ; then let them answer me from the apostle's words, what perfection of knowledge there was to come, that they themselves had not obtained, and from whom that perfection was to come? Let this be answered by the learned, and I shall answer thee again; for I told thee in the beginning, and I now tell thee again, if they had believed my words, they would have believed thy words ; but if they believe not my words, they would not believe thine. But thou sayest in thy heart, there are thousands that will affirm, that they believe my words and my Gospel; yet they will not believe in my visitation to thee; but I now answer, thou canst not bring one that will say he doth believe every word in my Bible that it is perfectly true, and will be fulfilled as it is written, by the wisdom of God, and not the wisdom of man, that will say thy visitation is from the devil; or that will deny but a visitation like thine must come to some one, to bring the greater perfection of knowledge to man. Where is the man, amongst all the disputers, or all that hare written against thee, that acknowledges he believes the fulllment of the Bible? I tell thee, thou canst not bring one ; therefore I tell them, with all their boasting, charity is wanting, that is the bond of perfection. And now come to Chap. xiv-Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts; but rather that ye may prophesy. Now let mankind answer, why the apostle exhorted them to desire spiritual gifts, if spiritual gifts were not to be obtained ? But he telleth them, rather that they may prophesy to the edification of men, and exhortation and comfort. Now it all things had been given for the edification of men, by the apostles, that they wanted no further prophecies to be edified and comforted by, then they must condemn the advice and doctrine of the apostle, who left on record that they should desire to prophesy for the edifying



of the church; but what church does the apostle mean? I tell you all, the church of God; and thus he instructs the people, that prophecies might come to others as well as to him. Now answer ME, O vain men, why he exhorts his brethren to covet to prophesy, and forbid not, if no prophecies were necessary more than he had received himself ? then he would not have given this direction tomen to desire prophecies that they might know the will of God unto the end. Now mark Hebrews i.- Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation ? Now let men answer what is meant by the ministering spirits, that are to be sent forth to administer to the heirs of salvation ; will ye say these ministering spirits are in men, that are now preachers of the Gospel ? then ye must say the Spirit of God is in them; or how can they administer the knowledge of God to the heirs of salvation, if they theirselves are not first made the ministering spirits of God? But if they are ministering spirits sent from the Lord, ye must come to the apostle's words—Quench not the spirit; despise not prophecies; prove all things, hold fast that which is good, that ye may be blameless unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not let men answer, from the words of the apostle, how 'men can 'prove the coming of their Lord is mentioned to be made known, without the revelation of his Spirit, given by prophecies ; or how will they prove, they believe in the apostle, or rely upon his words, when they despise the very thing he told them not to despise, but to desire, that they might be warned of the coming of their Lord ; that they might be prepared for the coming of their Lord ; and that they might be looking for the coming of their Lord? This is a doctrine enforced by the apostle, whom so many thousands profess to believe ; but now they see the fulfilment of his words, they fall off from a true belief that his words will ever be fulfil

led; but how fatal will be their end, if they find they have built on the sandy foundation of election, as they have built on the apostle's words ! how can they build on a prophet they do not believe? Here is the folly of mankind, not discerning what they read, nor give themselves the trouble, to search and weigh the Scriptures of truth. How are the saints to judge the world, or how are the saints to judge angels, without the spirit of prophecy being given for them to come as ministering spirits ? Now let all the learned men appear, all the wise men, and professors of religion, and tell me, how the saints would now judge the earth, if they were called together to judge them. But here thou sayest in thy heart, thou canst not see how man can judge the world, or how the saints can judge the heart of man, or how they can be any judges of angels. How weak is thy judgment ! thou hast no discernment from what I have said before! I do not say that man shall judge the heart of man ; for the heart of man knoweth no man; and a man's own heart may deceive him ; therefore man will not be called to judge the world as to the hearts or lives of men ; but I have already told thee, from the Jews, how the saints will judge the world—from the conduct of men in all ages, that there never was any knowledge in man. Trace back your Bible, from all the prophets, and all the holy men of old, and then

you will deeply discern that there was no knowledge in man; Adam had no knowledge of the promise that was made him, or in what manner it stood; the world of old had no knowledge of the flood, though they were warned by Noah, and saw him building the Ark; for had they had knowledge, they would have repented; Moses had no knowledge of the way I should deliver the children of Israel, though I had appeared to him in the bush, and promised to deliver them ; but he expected a present deliverance, and therefore complained I had not delivered them at all : This must be observed

« PreviousContinue »