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E PIs T L E to the RE A DE R.
Had thoughts when I writthe Interpretation of the eleventh of the Revelation, to have written no more books, thinking in myself that there were sufficient mysteries written to have satisfied the spirit of any man, as well as myself, who came to understand the mysteries of the true God, and the right devil, as I myself did. - - And because those heavenly things there treated upon were so strange, neither did I ever find, or read such a kind of language, not in all the ancient fathers writings, and all who have undertaken to interpret the scriptures, and especially this book of the Revelation of saint John. In all my zeal in religion, which was very great, I found no satisfaction neither in their writings, nor in their preaching ; which was an evident sign to me, that those preachers and writers were not sent of God. For certainly if they had, I should have found rest there, and so would many more; but I see all our preachers and teachers of all opinions in religion, they did, and do come short of the glory of God, in that none of them hath, or can declare unto the people neither by writing, nor speaking, what the true God is in his form and nature, nor the right devil his form and nature, not with all their wisdom of reason, and great learning, and study of the scriptures. When as to know God, is life eternal, so that I know now by experience, that there is a great deal of difference between knowledge, and thinking I know ; for true knowledge it gives satisfaction to the spirit of man, and whoever knoweth the true God, must needs know the right devil: And can a man be more satisfied in his mind than he that knows the true God, and the right devil? for by this knowledge the spirit of man hath peace with God. Also he knowing the devil, where he is, and what he is, he is not afraid of him, for the great trouble that lieth almost upon all men and women's spirits, is, they know not God, therefore they do not love God, but fear his anger they do not know. And as for the devil, they fear him to be some spirit flying in the air, even a fićtion of their own brain: the imagination of reason through its ignorance hath created such a devil to itself, that the fear of it hath caused many men and women to loose their wits. When as indeed, and in truth, there is no devil but men and women, neither doth any devil commit fornication, neither temporal nor spiritual with idols, but men and women ; neither doth any devil persecute
and kill the saints or others, but men and women; so that there is no other
devil to be damned to eternity, but men and women.
HAP. I. What is meant by him that is, which was, and which is to come;