« 前へ次へ »
in the Interpretation of the eleventh of the Revelation, and to repeat one thing twice over would be needless; and as for the chief heads contained in chapters xxi. xxii. I have opened them in the said Interpretation of the eleventh of the Revelation. So that I shall interpret a little what is meant by those words of John's Revelation, in chap. xxii. and verses 18, 19. and so conclude this epistle.
C HA P. LXXXI.
HESE words of John have been an occasion of many persecuting, and
ignorant men and women's spirits, to perfecute and rail against the purest truth that ever was declared, and against the true messengers whom God hath chosen and sent; whom he hath endued with the spirit of revelation, and interpretation of scriptures, more than all the men in the world besides, in that when things have been declared, and scriptures interpreted beyond the common sense that learned men have declared and interpreted, they have said with great anger and zeal, that we have either added to the word of God, or else we have diminished from it. Therefore to satisfy the reader, I shall open how a man may be faid to add unto the prophesy of this book of John's Revelation, and how he may be said to diminish, or take away the words of this prophesy of this book.
The words of John are these, verse 18. For I teftify unto every man that beareth the words of the prophesy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. Verse 19. And if any man mall take away from the words of the book of this prophesy, God mall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
I would have the reader to mind, and he may know whether a man doth add unto this book, or take from it; for, this is to be minded, that whoever doth undertake to be a minister of Christ without a commission from him, or shall undertake to give the interpretation of the scriptures, without having the gift of interpretation ; which gift he cannot have except he have a commission from God, or from him that did receive it from God. For how is it possible that any man should give true interpretations of the scriptures, and of that book of the Revelation of Saint John, and yet not know the true God, nor the right devil?
Therefore it is for certain, that all non-commissionated ministers and speakers whatsoever in all these seven churches in Europe, I say, it is they only that do add unto this book, and they only that do take from it. They may be said to add to it, because they give this, and that sense upon the words of this prophecy, even what their imaginations doth dictate unto them, they being uncertain in themselves that what they say to be true.
So that whoever doth take upon him to be a minister of the gospel, and to interpret the scriptures without a commission from God, or that knowledge aforesaid, I say such men as those may be said to add unto the words of the prophecy of this book of the Revelation ; and not only so, but to the whole book of the scriptures. For all men that do undertake to be ministers and preachers of Christ without a commission from him, they not being sent by him, these men only are those that do add unto the pro
phecy of this book ; that is, they add their own vain thoughts and conceivngs of their own imaginations unto the truths of God. So that instead of the true meaning of the scriptures, the people have nothing else but the preachers thoughts and conceivings of the scriptures, and so are altogether unsatisfied in their spirits ; and these are those men that do add unto the prophesy of this book of the Revelation, and to the book of the scriptures. So in like manner will God add unto him, or them, the plagues that are written in this book.
Now what these plagues are, they are spoken of in this book. The plagues that shall be added unto them, are spiritual ; that is to say, spiritual darkness upon the mind here, and the fear of the second death ; so that the foul of man shall possess the second death, which shall burn as a lake of fire and brimstone in utter darkness, where is weeping and gnashing of teeth to eternity. These are those fpiritual plagues that God will add to all those men that go to be preachers of his gospel, and were not sent by him ; for they only do add unto the prophesy of this book. So that the readey may fee, what a dangerous thing it is for a man to take upon him to prophesy, preach, or teach as a messenger of Christ, without a commiffion from him. For whoever doth so, he doth add his own vain thoughts and imaginations in the scriptures of those heavenly secrets, myfteries, and visions declared by holy men, who were inspired by the holy Ghost, or the revelation of faith, to write those things aforesaid ; yet men by their own imaginations, by the gift of learning, and by the natural wisdom of reason, will undertake to interpret fcriptures, and to be preachers to others, without a commission from God, and without any true knowledge of God. And so these men do come to add other interpretations of their own conceivings unto the scriptures, which is contrary to the mind of that spirit that writ them, and so they become capable to receive of those plagues that are written in this book, as aforesaid.
C H A P. LXXXII.
LSO I would have the reader to know, that the same men that do add their conceivings unto this book, the fame fort of men do take
from the words of this book of this prophesy. They may be said to take away from it, in that they will noc fuffer any true interpreter to expound the meaning of the words of the prophecy of that book of the Revelation, or any other scriptures ; only this, fome men's minds are acted out one way, and some another; fome men so they may be suffered to speak thir own phantasies upon the scriptures, so as to please themselves and their hearers; that is, they care not how much they add to this book, not minding to take any thing from it. It is not their principles to take any thing from the scriptures, but their delight is altogether to add their vain conceptions, conceiving the meaning thus, and thus.
But he that taketh away from this book, is such a one that will not suffer the true interpretation of the scriptures, nor of this book of the Revelation; because the true interpretaiton of the scriptures overthroweth all the principles of religion in the world. So that if truth should be suffered to have freedom in the world, then all the old principles of religion that have been received in the world so many
hundred years by the Pope and others, they would quite fall to the ground. So that there is a necessity that there should be a number of men to add unto this book, and a number of men to take away from it. For true revelation always had some to add to it, and some to take from it: so that he that taketh from it, God will take his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. The meaning is this, that as they would not suffer any true interpretation of the scriptures to abide in the world, but would take it quite away, both the interpretation, and the interpreter also: So in like manner God will take his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city; so that he shall have no part in that glory and everlasting life which is written of in this book of the Revelation. That is, he thought by taking away from the words of this book; that is, by his persecuting the true intepretation of it, that he did God good service, even as he did that added to it; for he that adds unto it, as aforesaid, doth think he doth God good service ; so in like manner he that taketh from it, as aforesaid, that perfectes true revelation and true interpretation, he doth think he doth God good fervice in so doing; and so he thinks to have a part in the book of life, and to be one the of the members of the holy city, and to have a right to that glory and happiness that is written in this book; when, alas, alas! he is one of them that hath taken from the prophecy of this book, by persecuting the true interpretation of it, so that God hath taken away that part he thought he had in the book of life, and that confidence he had in being a member of the holy city, and of the glory hereafter.
I say all these things will God take away from those men, that do take away from the words of the prophecy of this book of the scriptures, and more especie ally this book of the Revelation of saint John. this is the true meaning of the spirit in adding and taking away from this book of John's Revelation.
Oh where is there a man hardly to be found, but he is guilty of one of these two, either to add, or to take away from this mysterios book of the Revelation John; so the reader may fee, what the spirit doth mean by adding and taking away, and who they are that do this; for this is to be considered that no man can interpret the scriptures but he that is chosen and sunt of God, as Moses and Aaron, Peter and Paul, and us the Witnesses of the Spirit.
Also none can interpret the scriptures truly, but those that have the fame spirit as those had that spake the scriptures; that spirit can trace the steps of God Almighty in those three paths which God hath walked in; those three paths are God's three commissions, or three records on earth ; to wit, water, blood, and spirit; so that no commissionated man of God can be said either to add to, or diminish from the word of God, for he is chosen of God to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom unto his chosen ones, which mysteries are hidden in that letter. So that the messengers of God shall be punished of God if they will not go forth to declare the mysteries of the kingdom; but on the contrary, if men go
and are not fent of God, they are punished of God for going before they were sent; and in going before they are sent, they do add and take away from the scriptures, and from this book of the revelation ; for they being not chofen, nor sent of God, they do not know the true meaning of the scriptures: so they not