« 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, ministry, and ordinances) those had got, and were found worshipping in it, in the midst of all this great wickedness and abomination of spirit.
3. Because the Jews (who were the type) while they were in captivity in Babylon, could not sing the songs of Sion, nor had the worship of the outward Jerusalem there.
And can the spiritual Jews fing the spiritual fongs of spiritual Sion, in Mystery-Babylon? No; there they are but witnesses to that life and power which the true church enjoyed and flourished with, in her built estate.
Quest. 2. Whether this is not an infallible mark, and most 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 persecuted? 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 set upon her, let every one wait to read it aright, that he may know thereby which is she, and praise the name of the Lord for discovering her to him.
Queft. 3. Whether this false church be not rightly called Babylon, even an heap of confusion (in a mystery) as to God's eye, though to man's eye her appearance may be orderly and decent ? And whether she be not justly termed, by the Spirit of the Lord, the great whore, both for largeness in bulk, and for the greatness of her fornications, having whored from the bed of the husband, and entered into the bed of a stranger; 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 against, the true power?
Quejt. 4. Whether antichrift be not entered into, and become the head of, this false church? And whether he doth not fit there ruling in it, even as Christ was head of the true, and fat ruling in the true? And whether antichrist doth not keep his hold of this church, and poffefs his seat 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 Christ in his power and brightness ? 2 Thell. q. Quest
. 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 several orders and degrees, upon this false church, and upon antichrist
, her beloved head and king, even till ihe be stripped naked, made desolate, and her fesh burnt with fire, and her head bruifed and de stroyed by Christ, the true head and king of the true church?
Queft. 6. Whether the people of God, such as feel somewhat of the power, and bow to the Lord in Spirit and truth in some measure; yet K 2
these, if they mind not his call out of this Babylon, and come not fully out of her, but abide in any part of her, observing any of her ways or worships, till the time of God's controversy 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 reason 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 so 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 safe in these respects, who either doth not understand, or not observe, the warnings given by the Spirit of the Lord therein? How often is it therein said, He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit of God saith to the churches. It is also said, Blessed is. be that readeth, and they that bear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein : for the time is at band. 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 seeming beauty and glory of the false church, or suffer with the faithful witnesses of God in their tefti, mony against her? And if he do not thus, but is entangled by the false church with her golden cup of fornications (Rev. xvii.. 4.). he misleth of the blessing; and ah? what is he to meet with instead thereof! My heart hath often melted within me, and my bowels rolled at the consideration and deep sense which the Lord hath given me of these things; and this I say therein, to those that desire 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 messages of his Spirit, that ye may, feel his gathering, guidance, and preservation out of that, to which his wrath is for ever, and against which his wrath is to be made more manifest, 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 destruction will be exceeding dreadful and unutterable. Therefore wait on the Lord in fear and singleness of spirit, crying and mourning unto him to discover to you the extent and limits of this false church, this false 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 At
tainments 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 1. AVE ye known the great and terrible day of the Lord,
wherein he ariseth 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, sharper than any two-edged sword, dividing between thought and thought, grace and grace (as I may fo speak), light and light, life and life, spirit and spirit, 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) so cut down by it as to cumber the ground no more?
Query 3. Do ye know the paradise of God, and the tree of life there? Do
ye indeed feed thereon ? Have you passed through the flaming sword to the tree of life? And is the faming sword (which once fenced from life, · and the power thereof) set 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 so live for ever ?.
Query 4. Have ye witnessed the effects of the great and terrible day of the Lord in your spirits ? Is antichrift destroyed, the whore burnt, flesh consumed, man ceased from, both within and without? Is the loftiness of man bowed down in you, the mighty removed out of his seat, 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 Aeshly apprehendings upon scrip tures, 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 spirits, and all other dominion, authority, rule, and lord: ship 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 Jerusalem, to offer your sacrifices there, according to the institution of the gospel? And do ye worship the Lord there, on his own day, which he hath spiritually made ? And do ye bear no burden, kindle ño fire, do no work on that his day? Do ye never warm yourselves at any fire, or by any sparks 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 set 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 passage 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 rest 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, so 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 spitits therein ? Have ye drunk of the water of the rock ? Have ye seen the serpent lifted up, and felt the healing thereby ? Have ye witnesed 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 cistern, and eating under your own vine and fig-tree the fruits of the good land, after the shaking of that which was to be shaken; now being come to, and enjoying the kingdom which cannot be shaken ? Have ye really felt these things, or have ye been in the dreams and imaginings about them?
Query 9. Do ye walk in the light of the Lord, as the spiritual house of Jacob is to do? Have ye received the Spirit? Do ye live in the Spirit ? Are ye truly united, so as to become one spirit 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 apprehensions and conceivings about it, ye can never fo be witnesses 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 possibly pass over, till ye 'meet with our principle and guide, and faithfully travel with him in the foot steps of the fock, that ye may come to the shepherd's tents (even the tents which the shepherd pitcheth, and which no man can pitchi) and may know the true tabernacle, sanctuary, and temple, whereof he is the minifter:
First and Pure STATE,
Its Declining State, in its Declined STATE,
and in its Recovery.
WAY of SALVATION in the Covenant of Lipe opened,
Some STUMBLING-BLOCK's Removed out of the Way of the
SIMPE-HEARTED. Likewise fome Queries concerning the New Covenant,
An EXHORTATION to all People's but more especially to such as
are Desolate and Distressed.
By one who testifieth what he hath seen, and heard, and tasted, and handled
of the Word, and Life Eternal, ISAAC PENING TO N.
Whereunto is added, A Visit of tender and upright Love to such as retain a Sincerity towards the
LORD. Also, A brief Account of the Ground of Certainty and Satisfaction, which it hath
pleased the LORD to establish in my Heart, concerning Religion, and the Things
of his Kingdom. And a QUESTION answered, about the Way of knowing the Motions, Doctrines,
and Teachings of Christ's Spirito, With somewhat relating to the Gospel-REST, or SABBATH. And fome QUERIES to such as complain of Want of Power to become the LORD'S,
and serve him.