« 前へ次へ »
John speaks of him as he is a Son, and that he hath suffered death, and redeemed his people.
And fo John calls him the First and the Last, as he was a Son, and suffered death, but is now alive for evermore, Amen.
Yet all but one God, even the man Christ Jesus, who is that Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, he who was dead, and is alive, and behold he is alive for evermore.
And no other God hath the keys of hell and of death, but Christ only, which he hath purchased by his own blood; his blood being no less than the blood of God, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, as aforesaid.
CH A P. VII.
N verse 19 of this chapter, John is commanded to write the things which he
had seen, and the things which are, and the things which hall be hereafter. To whom he was to write, it was to the seven churches of Asia, and in verse 20, which is the last verse of this chapter, he interprets what the seven stars, which he saw in Christ's right hand is, and what the seven golden candlesticks are, therefore I shall say no more of it here.
And as for what John did write to the seven churches of Asia, it is set down in the two chapters following ; those two chapters treating only upon the seven churches of Asia, and the chief things in those two chapters I have interpreted already, and the chief things which are of most concernment in the first chapter I have also interpreted; therefore I shall go to the fourth chapter ; but I suppose it will be necessary to the reader for me to shew what a resemblance and likeness there is between the seven churches now in Europe, in these our days, and the seven churches of Afa.
And how the angels of the seven churches, which are the ministers or speakers, do agree with the seven angels of the seven churches of Asia. I have spoken something of them in the Interpretation of the Eleventh of the Revelation, but I shall speak a little more of them here, because it is something necessary to inform the reader.
Therefore mind the distinction between the one and the other.
We read that the feven churches of Asia had seven several names, as may be read, and according to their good practice, or their bad, they were either reprooved or commended, as I have shewed before.
So likewise the ministers of the seven churches of Europe, may be call'd seven angels, for the ministry of every church, let it be one or more, it is called but one angel.
And every one of these seven churches hath a several ministry, therefore diftinguished by these several names, as followeth. 1. Papift. 2. Episcopacy. 3. Presbytery. 4. Independent. 5.
Baptist, 6. Ranter. 7. Quaker. Now the ministry of these seven churches of Europe, tho' they be angels, yet they are but anti-angels, in opposition to the seven true angels.
Neither are the seven churches themselves true churches, but anti-churches, in opposition to the seven true churches in Asia.
5. And the reason why these churches are not true churches, is, because they
have no true ministry; and the cause why they have no true ministry, is, they have no commission from God to preach the everlasting gospel, as the angels of the seven churches of Asia had.
For there can be no true church without a true minister ; for a true minister having a commission from God, maketh a true church.
But those that receive their commission from man, which is not sent of God, is no true minister, neither is his church any true church...!
And as for those who take upon them to be ministers of the gospel, without a commission either from God, or from man;" when I say man, I mean from the king, or head magistrate, who gives commissions to men to be preachers.
I say that these men who take upon them the ministry by reading the letter of the scriptures, or by any natural learning, wit, or light within, or gift whatfoever, without a commission from God.
I say, they are worse than those who have their commission from the trate, as the Baptist, Ranter, and Quaker ; these three have no commission to preach the everlasting gospel, neither from God nor from man.
Yet they are ministers of those three churches, and so called angels ; so that there are seven angels of the seven churches of Europe, as there were of Asia.
That is to say, the angel of the church of the Papift, the angel of the church of Episcopacy, the angel of the church of Presbytery, the angel of the church of Independents, the angel of the church of Baptists, the angel of the church of Ranters, and the angel of the church of Quakers. These feven churches having all of them a ministry differing one from the other in point of practice and discipline; but in point of doctrine they all agree.
For as to that, they are all ignorant of the true God, therefore cannot preach true doctrine, they having no commission from God, as aforesaid.
Likewise the angels of the seven churches of Alia, they did all of them differ one from the other in point of practice and discipline, but did all agree in point of doctrine.
They having the knowledge of the true God. And why did they know the true God? Because they had a true ministry to preach unto them. And why was their ministry true any more than these now a days?
Because the angels or ministers of the seven churches of Asia, received their authority and commission to preach from heaven, which was from Christ himself, after he was ascended, as you may read in the Acts, and as I have largely open’d in the Interpretation of the Eleventh chapter of the Revelation.
But the seven angels or ministry of the seven churches of Europe, take up their ministry by tradition, imitating the true ministry as aforesaid.
Therefore but anti-angels, seeming to be true, but are not ; neither will that ministry which taketh it up by tradition, having no commission from God, receive that blessed reward as the angels of the seven churches of Asia shall, but altogether to the contrary.
For when they shall say, Lord, we have preached in thy name, and prayed in tby name, and cast out devils, and have done many wondrous things in thy name ;
Christ will say, Depart from me ye workers of iniquity, I know you nos; for Christ will not know those which he doth not send.
For it is a dangerous thing for a man to take upon him to be a minister of Christ, when as he sent him not; but this hath been the practice and custom of men fo to do these thirteen hundred and fifty years.
And this traditional ministry of the seven-churches of Europe, are the seven anti-angels which were to sound after the ten persecutions, whereof six of them have founded already, and the seventh doth now found ; the Quakers ministry being the seventh and last anti-angel that will found till time be no more.
Their ministry seeming to carry the most pure fhew of righteousness of life, but the worst and most cursed of all the feven churches in Europe, in point of doctrine,
For their ministry doth deny both the Father and the Son to be a person in the form of a man without them ; for they have got God and Christ all within them, so that they mind no person of Christ without them.
As I have open'd more large in the Interpretation of the eleventh chapter of the Revelation, and in the Quakers neck broken, where I have shewn that they are led and guided by the spirit of Anti-christ more in point of doctrine, than any other of the six churches aforesaid.
And the Quakers ministry being the seventh and last anti-angel that will sound in opposition, or by way of imitating the seven angels of Asia; for there must be seven anti-angels, as well as seven true.
That is, there was a ministry that had a commission from Christ, to preach unto the seven churches of Asia, and that was a true ministry; there is also a ministry of the feven churches of Europe, which have no commission from Chrift to preach, therefore not true.
Yet called seven angels, by the Revelation of John, in chap. x. ver. 7. where he faith, But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he mall begin to sound, the mystery of God jould be finished, as he bath declared to bis servants the prophets.
I would have the reader to understand, that John did not mean when the seventh angel of the church of Asia founded, that then the mystery of God should be finish'd; for the seven angels of Asia founded many
years ago, and yet the mystery of God was not finished then.
But his meaning was when the seven anti-angels founded, who have no commission to preach, then the mystery of God thould be finished, as he had declared by his prophets.
Now I would have the reader to understand, that preaching is called, by the Revelation of John, a founding : And doth not the ministry of the seven churches of Europe lift up their voices, as with a trumpet ?
As if they were true ministers of Christ, when as they do but imitate the true angels founding ; for the ministry of all the seven churches of Europe are false, because they have no commission from Christ to be preachers, as aforesaid.
Yet the ministry of every church is called an angel, but they are but antiangels, as aforesaid,
But fome may fay unto me, if the ministers and speakers of the seven churches of Europe be all false for want of a commission from God, What what will be come of all the people who are congregated and joyned to their several ministries?
To this I answer ; That there is a remnant of the elect feed in every one of these seven churches of Europe that will be saved, because the election of God standeth sure ; but this I must tell you, that there is no man or woman that is congregrated or joined to any of these seven churches, that can have the affurance of eternal life abiding in them, while they live in this world.
For how is it possible that the sheep should know their eternal happiness, when as the shepherds do not know their own salvation, no not one of them?
Therefore according to my revelation and faith, I cannot see by the rule of scriptures, that any of the ministers or speakers of the seven churches of Europe now a-days, that can be saved, though some of their members may.
This may, and will be thought an hard saying of me, but I cannot help it ; neither do I speak it out of any ill will to ministers or speakers, but could rather be found a liar in this point.
But I being commissionated of God, and finding the prophets and apostles of old to speak fo much against those, who take upon them to be messengers, ministers, ambassadors, and preachers of the everlasting gospel, without a commission form Christ, they are more guilty of spiritual high treason than any other men'; fo according to the faith of the prophets and apostles, and my faith, I cannot see how any counterfeit ministers of what church foever, should be saved in the day of account,
For if it be such a dangerous thing to be a false prophet, or a false Christ, why should it not be as dangerous a thing to be a false minister, to go before he is fent? And let ministers take this by the way, and though the civil
uphold and maintain them, yet when they die, God will not uphold them in it. Neither will their consciences justify them in it; but you must lay down your lives under the fear of eternal death, because you went to preach the gospel, and was not sent of Christ.
Likewise you see that false Christs, and false prophets have been punished in all ages, by the civil magistrates and the priests together.
- And so they served the true Christ, and the true prophets ; all of them were persecuted as false.
But it is feldom known that a minister was persecuted as he is a minister, not by the magistrate, but for some other misdemeanor, or for speaking evil of the civil power, but not for his preaching without a commission from God.
Therefore his punishment will be no less than eternal damnation. ; I speak this not only to the ministry of the nation, but to the ministry of all the seven churches now in Europe ; for they do all of them preach without a commission from God, and run into the ministry before they were sent, which will be counted by the Lord Jesus but a work of iniquity.
And what will be the wages of such a work but eternal damnation? I know I shal offend the ministers and speakers of all the seven Churches aforesaid, but feeing they be all false, they may bear the better with me, and with one another; for they will have wages all alike.
For as I laid before, according to the faith of the prophets and apoftles, recorded in the scriptures, and according to the faith which I have in the scriptures, there will be no salvation found for none of the ministers and speakers of the seven churches aforesaid ; except any of them be persuaded in their own minds to lay it down before they die, and so come to the knowledge of the true God.
For this I do affirm, that no man so long as he doth exercise the office of a minister without a commission from God, he cannot be in the state of salvation ; then of necessity he must be in the state of condemnation. And this will be the condition of all the ministers and speakers of the seven churches aforesaid.
And the Quakers ministry being the seventh and last anti-angel that will sound, until the end of the world.
And when the voice of this angel did begin to sound, the mystery of God is finished, as he hath declared by his fervants the prophets.
That is, the declaration of the mystery of God is, and will be finished in the days of the voice of the seventh angel.
Which voice is the ministers of the Quakers, as I have opened in the Interpretation of the eleventh of the Revelation, therefore I shall say no more of those seven churches now; that being the purest angel of all the seven in respect of righteousness of life, though the worst of all in point of doctrine.
And the Quakers ministry doth deceive more than any of the other fix; for they are so angel and God-like, that if it were possible would deceive the very elect.
For every one that hath but one eye, that is the eye of reason, may see that all the other churches, hath fuch a deal of corruption, superstition, unjustness, idolatry, and many other wickednesses, which reason itself doth judge cannot be the way of God. And that is the very cause that when people have been unsatisfied in the way of worship in the other churches, they have declined from them, and have turned Quakers, they being more pure in life ; for pureness of life giveth more peace to the mind of man than wickedness doth.
For every action hath a reward in itself, whether it be good or bad; for he that doth suffer persecution for his conscience, is more to be justified: than he which persecuted for conscience fake.
Yet nevertheless the reward of eternal life, it belongeth only unto the act of faith in the true God, which the Quakers ministery doth not teach, notwithstanding their purity of life, &c.
CH A P. VIII.
W I have opened fomething what is meant by the seven churches, and ,
the agels founding; in the next place I shall come to open or interpret some chief sayings in the fourth chapter of John's Revelation.::
In the first verse of this chapter, John looked, and bebold, a door was opened in beaven, and the first voice which be beard, was as it were of a trumpet talking with him, which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee the things which must be bereafter. I would have the feed of faith to mind the interpretation of this chapter, and