« 前へ次へ »
the faints. And the righteousness of saints, is the righteousness of faith; for it is faith that makes the foul pure and white in the blood of the Lamb.
According to that saying, Revel. vii. 13. One of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these who are arayed in white robes ? and in verse 14. And he said to me, these are they who came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
So in chap. vi. 11, where it is said, and white robes were given to every one of them, meaning those who were Nain under the altar, that is, they were Nain for the testimony of Jesus. Therefore said to be under the altar, because Christ is the altar itself.
Many more places of scriptures might be named for this purpose, to prove that the righteousness of faith is those white robes which the saints fouls are cloathed with ; their hearts being purified by faith in the blood of the Lamb.
For faith doth dip its soul in his blood, so that all original and actual sin is washed away, as clean as if there had never been any sin at all. So that the saints, or feed of faith, are cloathed with the white robes of righteousness of faith, it being the righteousness of Christ, he being the author of it, by washing their souls in his own blood, so that they become as white as snow, and this righteousness of the saints, is that white horse, and the first horse that John saw in the vision.
For I would have the reader to understand, that the righteousness of faith is a real fpiritual substance, as the righteousness of the law is; yet none of them both can be seen by the visible eye of sense, not as they be in their essence or feed, but by the effects or fruits they are known ; for effects or fruits doth proceed form an invisible spiritual root or substance, which roots and substances are faith and reason. And there is a righteousness that doth arise from each of these, which hath their several effects, or several fruits ; so that the tree may known by the fruit; that is, the righteousness of the law may be known and distinguished from the righteousness of faith.
Yet the life and spirit of these two trees, are fo fecret and invisible, that they cannot be seen by the eye of sense, as I said before.
Yet they be two real spiritual substances that do bring forth a righteousness according to their natures. That is, the righteousness of the law, and the righteousness of faith.
But it is those souls that are cloathed with the white robe of Christ's righteousness of faith, that have been washed in his blood, and this is that white horse John speaketh of. For this I would have the feed of faith to mind, that the spirit of Revelation in John, doth compare the righteousness of the faints to a white horse.
Also this I would have you to mind, though the faints that are cloathed in white, be thousands, and millions, and innumerable, yet they are called by the revelation of the spirit, but one white horse.
Now whether John did see in the vision the form of a white horse, it is not much material; for if the spirit will call the righteousness of saints a white horse, who shall gainsay it? But however the white robes of the faints who are washed in the blood of the
put to death.
Lamb, are as a white horse, for God their king to ride upon. So that if you understand the interpretation of this white horse, you may the more easily know the meaning of the other three horfes.
Also it is neceffary to know who doth ride or sit upon this white horse ; I declare by revelation from the holy spirit, that he which John saw sit on the white horse, it was no other but Christ himself. It was he that had a bow, and a crown was given unto him: it may be said the crown was given unto him, as he was the Redeemer. For this crown of glory that was given unto him, it was as he was the Redeemer, and not as he was the Creator. And as he was the Redeemer, he fate or rode upon the white horse.
And he went forth conquering, and to conquer. That is, he being the author of the righteousness of faith, as he was the Redeemer, that he made the faints fo pure and white, that they became a white horse for him to fit upon. So that they were able by their faith, in the blood of the Lamb, to suffer tribulation, and death itself.
So that they became more than conquerors; for he that fuffereth persecution for the name of Jesus, he doth conquer more than he that doth persecute and
So likewise Christ that fate upon this white horse, as he was the Redeemer, he went forth conquering and to conquer. That is, he went forth in the power of faith, by which he created all things ; he went forth to redeem the feed of Adam that was fallen under death, and the fear of eternal damnation.
So that death and hell got power over Adam and his feed, so that Christ riding upon the white horse of innocency, or the righteousness of faith, he went forth conquering and to conquer. That is, he went forth to die, to shed his most precious blood, and by his giving himself up unto death, he conquered over sin, death, and hell.
Therefore it is said in scripture, ob death, I will be thy death, ob grave I will be thy vi&tory! That is, he will get victory over the grave, as he did over death; for he destroyed death ; in that death could not keep him under it for ever, in that he passed throught it. He got victory over the grave, in that the grave could not keep him inclosed in the earth.
So that he went forth conquering and to conquer, never leaving off until he had conquered all his enemies. That is to say, fin, death, devil, hell, the grave; these all were his enemies, and he hath conquered over them all, by his becoming flesh, and by his suffering of death upon the cross, as he was a Redeemer, or as he was God the Son; and these enemies did Christ which sate
upon the white horse, go forth conquering, and to conquer, to redeem the feed of Adam.
And this is the true meaning what is meant by the white horse, and by him that fate thereon, and by his conquering and to conquer.
And the bow which he had, it signified the power he had to shoot and kill those spiritual enemies, which is fin, death, hell, and devil ; which could no ways have been killed, but by giving his life up unto death, and by his passing through death, and quickening into life again, he killed death, sin, hell and the devil ; with this dart of offering up his soul unto death, it being shot through
fin, death, and hell, by the Itrength, or bow of the power of faith in God,
And as for the crown that was given him, it is spoken with relation to the Son-ship of God, as he is a Redeemer. So that the crown of Glory that he hath given him, it is attributed unto him, as he his a Redeemer. For the work of redemption is counted by the redeemed ones, more worthy of a crown of glory, than the work of creation.
So that this crown of glory that is given to Christ that sate upon the white horse, it is in relation to his work of redemption, in that he conquered over all those spiritual enemies as aforesaid. So much for the firit and second verses.
CH A P. XVI.
I . ,
N verse 3. it is said, And when be had opened the second seal I heard the second
red, and power was given to him that fate thereon, to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another; and there was given unto him a great sword.
These four beasts which John saw in the vision, did signify unto him thosewonderful transactions which were, and should be acted here on earth in the state of mortality, in the time of the four monarchies, and signified unto John in the way of vision, by four horses.
Now the second horse that did appear to John in the vision, was a red horse, and power was given to him that Sate thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they mould kill one another.
This monarchical government went fourth upon a red horse, that is, shedding of blood should be the greatest work he that fate thereon should do.
It was called a red horse, because of the much shedding of blood; so that the blood of man is called a red horse, even as the righteousness of faith is called a white horse.
And as the souls of the saints were made white with the blood of the Lamb, so are the se souls made red with sheding of one another's blood.
So that every man's soul became a red horse, and he that fate upon this red horse had power given him to take peace from the earth, and for that purpose there was given unto him a great sword.
Now this great sword it was to kill and in killing one another, peace must needs be taken from the earth
So that this kingly power, though they were many kings, yet they are called but bim that fate upon the red horse.
So likewise, though there were many thousands Nain, and had their blood shed, yet they are all called but a red horse ; so that there is but the horse and his rider ; for king's and magistrates do ride upon the people, in that they command the people to kill one another.
So that people which go to fight to shed one another's blood, may well be called a red horse, for they make their fouls as red as scralet with bloodshed.
And the power of the magistrate doth ride and sit upon this red horse, for he hath a great sword given unto him to command perfcutors to kill one another,
and they must obey and become a red horse, or else they must be killed themselves.
Thus in short I have given you the signification of the red horse, and of him that fits thereon ; for the sword, famine, or pestilence, doth always take peace from the earth : and he that fate upon this red horse was such a power or government, that did kill many men with the sword.
And it is called a great sword, in regard it should prevail and do much execution in that kind, therefore said to go forth upon a red horse; to signify that he should ride upon bloody-minded men that should spare neither man, woman, or child, therefore called a red horse.
CH A P. XVII.
N D in verse 5. And when he had opened the third seal, John heard the third
beast say, Come and see, and he bebeld, and lo, a black horse, and be that fate on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
This black horse which John saw in the vision, it was the spiritual blindness and darkness
upon the minds of men, which makes them to worship false gods, or idols ; they being not so much as enlightned in the law of reason. That is, their minds and understandings had the most ignorant and lowest degree of reafon, which made them to become extream idolatrous ; their minds being so dark, they fall to worship any thing instead of God; even the sun, moon, stars and planets; now these people that do this, are exceeding dark in their minds.
But let us come to those that are more enlightned, as the people of Israel were by the law of Moses, and those we call Christians, being educated under the discipline of the Old and New Testaments, which are called the Scriptures.
Yet men being in their state of nature, they are very dark in their minds concerning the knowledge of the true God, and the true spiritual worship, which God requires; for the not knowing of God, is the cause of all false worship, which darkness hath, and doth lye almost upon the whole creation.
For was not that a great darkness upon the minds of the people of Israel, that would worship a calf for a God?
And hath not the same darkness descended upon the minds of them that profess themselves to be Christians, besides that pitchy and black darkness that lieth upon the heathen ?
Are not the Pope and Roman Catholicks full of superstition and idolatry, because they know not the true God? Hath not the Episcopacy some superstition and idolatry in it, though not so much as the Roman Catholicks? So the Presbyter and Independent, Baptist, Ranter, and Quaker, they be all superstitious and idolatrous in their worship.
Nay the Quaker that seemeth to have the least idolatry in their worship of any, yet they are idolatrous also, for they meet, preach, and pray to an unknown God, as well as the others afore-mentioned. For they have no other God but the light of Christ, as they call it, and this light of theirs seemeth to be the greatest and purest spiritual light of all, but it is the greatest spiritual darkness of all. For they are more wilfully ignorant of the true God, than any of the rest afore-mentioned.
So that spiritual darkness hath overspread the minds of all professors of religion, as it hath done the Heathen; for none of them know the true God, nor the true spiritual worship which God requireth, as aforesaid.
So that this spiritual blindness and darkness that lieth upon the generality of mens minds, their not knowing the true God, nor his true worship, is that black horse which John saw in the vision.
Also he that sat upon this black horse had a pair of balances in his hand.
He that fat on this black horse was an ignorant power, king or kings, or magistrates, power that was extream ignorant of any true fpiritual knowledge, either of God, or of his worship; but mighty fall of superstition and idolatry ; but had great power to command the dark minded people to worship what he pleased. So that he rode, or sat upon their dark minds, as upon a black horse; for he had such power that he brought them all into a uniformity of worship.
So that things were mighty plentiful, as you may read verse 6. A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny. Only to fignify the , plenty of earthly things; when ignorance being in power, it rides or sits upon the black horse of idolatry. This I think by experience will prove the truth of it as well as scriptures.
Was not that a plentiful time when they baked cakes to the queen of heaven?
Was there not great plenty when the Roman Catholicks did put Christ into worship? When they had brought all people to a uniformity of religion, all things were plenty.
Then men grew exceeding rich, so that particular men had such vast estates, that they could build a church at their own charge, or an hospital, or alms houses, so there was great plenty, there being but one religion, and a uniform government in matter of worship; all peoples minds being dark as to any true spiritual knowledge, so that they became as a black horse for those ignorant popish kings to ride or sit upon: and he that sate upon the black horse, had a pair of balances in his hand, only to signify that equal dealing in temporal matters, seeing there was a uniformity in worship, there should be an equal and just dealing in the temporal; and for that purpose there was a pair of balances in the hand of him that sate upon the black horse; for ignorant reason doth many times deal more justly, than that reason that is more subtle and cunning doth. For in former times, when there was no religion durft appear but the Papist religion and worship, which was, and is still exceeding full of fuperftition and idolatry, there was a great deal more just dealing between man and man in temporal things, and men were more free to trust one another than they are now; so that things were exceeding plentiful and cheap; for a general uniformity in idolatry must needs cause love one to another.
For differing in worship maketh the greatest breach of all, even between the nearest relations, as father and son, mother and daughter, they will all part upon the point of worship, sooner than upon any natural offence whatsoever.
This may be proved by Christ's words, that a man must forsake father and another, house and lands, for his sake, else he is not worthy of bim: this also experience will prove it, that some people will willingly fuffer more for their worship, tho' it be a lie, than for any natural loss whatsoever.