A Third Message to the Philadelphian Society
"The Messenger of An Universal Peace:
A Third Message to the Philadelphian Society"
T H E
M E S S E N G E R
An Universal Peace:
A Third Message
T O T H E
By J. Lead.
John. xiv. 27.
My P E A C E I give unto You.
London, Printed for the Booksellers of London and Westminster, 1698
T O T H E
R E A D E R.
THE Wisdom of God and his good Providence have been working most deeply & admirably in all the Ages of the World to this present time for the Restitution of Man and his lapsed Creation: to bring forth in the latter days thereof the compleat and perfect Redemption from the Curse of Sin, and that Thraldom and Vanity, the effect thereof, to which the Creature has been thus long subject; the whole Creation groaning and travailing in pain till Now: yet in good hope of being one day delivered from the Bondage of Corruption into the Glorious Liberty of the Sons of God; and waiting in Patience for the Manifestation of them. These secret Springs and Workings have been little observed indeed by the Eye of the World; but as they draw near to the accomplishment and product of their great End; as they come nearer to their Centre, those Wheels of Providence and the Divine Wisdom move more strongly and vigorously, and also more discernibly to the Children and Sons of Wisdom; for the bringing forth the Finishing Wonders, and the Last Glorious Scenes and manifestation of the great Redemption obtained and wrought out for us by our Lord Jesus: which is yet but little understood or comprehended of what vast Extent and Force it is. All that is expected by the Generality of Christians, is to be preserved and assisted by the Grace of God in this miserable Life, so as to gain the upper hand of our Sins and Corruptions; to maintain a continued War against them, and be always getting ground; and at last to lay down our sinful Heads in the Dust, transferring all our Glorious Expectations to another World: but little dreaming that the great Conquerour of Death and Hell, and Treader upon the Serpent and all the Powers and Principalities of the dark World would make an open shew of it even in This. That he will not be content to suffer them always to Reign, even in this lower World, but by degrees, and in his own determinate time, chase them out, and bind them up, and triumph over them in the sight of all men: after that the time allotted to the Beast, the Dragon and Antichrist shall be fulfilled. That the mighty Power and Vertue of his All-sufficient Sacrifice and Death shall at last totally expel the Venom, and pluck up the very Root of Sin out of his Members; after that all the Mystical Seals of the Book of the Lamb shall be opened; and the Wisdom and Love of God shall be poured forth as a Deluge upon the Earth; and the Holy Spirit so long banisht from the Christian World ( the greatest Sign and Instance of its woful Apostasy) shall again Return as at first, in a new and Second Pentecost; and go on and encrease for the full completion of the Prophecies relating to the Glorious and Triumphant State of the Church here on Earth. That hereby he shall empower and inable many of his Servants as the younger Sons of the Resurrection to follow Him their Head; and as the Great Enoch and Elijah had done before, to shew the World the Possibility thereof; to break through the bounds of this Mortal Principle, and with Him triumph over Mortality and Death, returning it that Sarcasm of the Apostle in its full extent, O Death where is thy Sting? O Grave where is thy Victory? These are they who shall stand as Saviours upon Mount Sion, as the Prophet Obadiah has foreseen and foretold us, Vers.21. They shall stand as Saviours, subordinate to their Mighty One, being thus Saved, and hitherto Redeem’d by Him; and from him receiving Power, and becoming highly Instrumental to help others to break through and follow them. O thrice Blessed and Happy are they that are Partakers of this First Resurrection! that shall be so near, and Intimately united with Christ, so filled with him, and so made One with Him, as to co-operate under Him, (more truly himself working in them ) for the Restoration of their Brethren. To whom having given Himself, he will deny Nothing; but will in a Wonderful and Mysterious manner Write his own Name upon them, and make them Partakers even of his own Glory, according to his gracious Condescension and Intent, to all his true Members at their full Perfection and Consummation, declared and offered to his Father in his Prayer before his suffering. John 17.21. &c. That they all may be One, as thou Father art in me, and I in Thee, that they also may be One in Us; that the World may believe that thou hast sent me. And the Glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be One even as We are One. I in them and Thou in me, that they may be made Perfect in One, and that the World may know that Thou hast sent me, and hast Loved them as thou has Loved me. This Prayer of our Lord was First for his immediate Disciples, and secondly for all his Members: accordingly His Disciples were after his Ascension, taken into such a Degree of this Union, and had the Name and Power of God so Engraven upon them, as to act all Wonders in the Power of Omnipotency in the Holy Spirit. Whereby the World might know that Jesus whom they preached was sent of God. So likewise at this day upon the Return of the Triumphant Kingdom of Christ will this be done in a far greater measure in the Calling, Sealing and Impowering a New Disciplehood that shall bear up unitedly the Banner of Love with the Inscription of the Royal Name: Even the Great Ensign the Standard of God, which they shall bear in the sight of all Nations, in such Majesty, Might and Glory, and accompanied with such Renewed Powers and Amazing Wonders of the Holy Ghost, with such Invincible force and Prevalence of Truth in the Demonstration of the Spirit, and in the sweet and meek Light of the Divine Wisdom, breaking forth in its Lustre and Beauty, and piercing into all the Secrets and Mysteries both of Temporary and Eternal Nature; as shall effectually convince the World not only of the Truth, but of the vast and boundless Efficacy of the Redemption wrought out by the true Son of God and Man, the Lord Jesus. So that his Gospel shall now be not only Publish’d, but received and submitted to by all Nations, Tongues and Languages: so as that at the Name of Jesus every Knee shall bow; the Heathen being now actually given Him by God for an Inheritance, and the uttermost Parts of the Earth for a Possession; confessing Him to be Christ; and Lord; and God, Blessed for ever.
For this the Trumpets are gone forth, and are going forth, and will continue to do so, waxing louder and louder; for the Rousing and Awakening the Sleepy World; and especially the Luke-warm, degenerate, and Formal Christendom: that a Refreshment and Revival may be of the almost expiring Life of Jesus in it; and principally of the more Inward and Spiritual Rest thereof, which is benumb’d and frozen Part even to Death in the Hearts of its Professors. The Holy Spirit of God is now Returning and has sent forth his Witnesses, though at first as Infants, stammering forth in Weakness the first and lower degrees of its Manifestation, and Approach. Thro’ whom it now Calls: and it will not give over calling and crying, till it shall make those that have any sense of Good, and of the Love of God even asham’d of their coldness and backwardness to meet it; and till it have excited in ‘em, and melted ‘em into a holy Regret and Grief for the unkind and rough treatment; with which at first many of the Servants of God, through Prejudice and Zeal for pre-conceived and establish’d Opinions, will receive it. It will proceed in all the mildness, forbearance, gentleness, kindness and condescension of Love, as the true Spirit of Jesus, returning good for evil, love for hatred, obligation for despite. Even till by forbearing and suffering at the Hands of its Opposers, yet still loving, doing good and still meekly pressing them notwithstanding to yield themselves to the Will of God, at last the Heart of Flint may dissolve, and the rough Esau be brought to weep upon the Neck of Jacob and Joseph be acknowledg’d and own’d by his cruel Brethren. For this is the wonderful Day of the Manifestation of Love; it is the Ministration of the Love of God: wherein its mighty power and prevalency above the Wrath and Justice shall be displaid; in the more effectual Conversion and subduing the Hearts of Men; and the Triumphs of Mercy against Judgment in behalf of all, even the greatest Sinners that will submit themselves, and make use of the vast Advantages and Tenders that will be made them. Yet even Love tho’ in its Day of Procession unto Victory it Predominate and go foremost, yet Justice and Judgment must attend and follow it: for here the Jealousie of God is most concern’d to resent and avenge the Contempt and Injury of the Obstinate and Rebellious to his greatest Love and Goodness. He will now Offer his Spirit Freely to all, even in an extraordinary manner, without Distinction of Sex, Age, or Person, even upon the Hand-maids and Servants; yea, out of the Mouths of Babes and Sucklings shall his Praise be sounded forth. Every degree of Injury against the Holy Ghost, the Dove of God, or Spirit of Love has a peculiar Evil in it: because this is the greatest offer of God, and consequently the obstinate rejecting it, after its full Evidence shall be given, most dangerous and fatal. But Love always preceding, and doing all that is possible beforehand, will abundantly clear the Floor, taking to its self all the good Grain, all that either were good, or could possibly be made so; at least at that Time and Offer. And so Love according to its own Nature, will proceed bearing and overlooking the evil: tho’ afterward upon the Approach of Attendant Justice, it must pass the Fire, and suffer loss, according to its degree of malignity; and this whether in single Persons or United Bodies.
But here is the difference between the former and this Ministration of the Spirit: that then it descended at Once upon the Apostles in full maturity, strength and power; but being since lost in the Church through the Apostasy, and decay of pure and Primitive Christianity; it is to be Revived again in the Church after another manner, in the new chosen Disciplehood: who shall be enabled to Recover it again by an orderly Process backwards by the way in which it declined; and through the Ordinary Assistance of it, rise by the degrees of true Regeneration to the Extraordinary, so that the Holy Ghost shall be form’d in ‘em; not as a transient Gust, but as a Birth of Power fixt and Innate in them; daily rising and growing in ‘em to a more full and perfect Stature; and multiplying it self in them and others in all its various Gifts and Manifestations, with many unheard of and surprising Wonders.
Now blessed be God our Father, and the Lord Christ our Redeemer, who has given his Church at this day to see and experience the Beginnings of these things: and to feel the Holy Powers of his Spirit returning again, and in some degrees of its Extraordinary Operation exerting it self in a few select Members. Who notwithstanding all the opposition and contempt of others, have born their Testimony, and cannot but still bear it. Some Accounts hereof have been published to the World; and there is yet much more behind to be declared, as it shall be able to receive it, and as God shall open its way. He has done much already by the Hand of this Eminent Instrument, the Author of this and the Foregoing Messages, and other sublime and Spiritual Treatises and in this has sent forth a Gracious inviting Call, and earnest Excitement to all the Churches, both of this Nation, and others, to Return from whence they have fallen; even to the Spirit and Truth of his Worship, and from the Form of Christian Piety to the inward Life and Power thereof: setting forth his Gracious intention, and his great Love, and the future greater Manifestation of it in the Now opening Ministration of Love; that they may prepare themselves to meet their Lord and be fill’d with the Blessings of it; laying aside their Heats and Divisions which proceed only from a furious Zeal, and inordinate concern for the Outward Shell and Husk of Religion, and freely Uniting and Embracing each other in the unity of Peace and Charity which is the true Philadelphian Character and State.
And for this Moderation and temper of the divided Brethren, particularly of this Nation, towards each other, a peculiar Argument may be drawn from the Manner of Gods address and call to ‘em in this Message. Where tho’ the divided Parties themselves (at least too many among them) will scarce afford each other a part of their Charity, or allow them to be Churches of God; but brand each other Mutually with the odious Names of Hereticks, Schismaticks, Enthusiasts; or meer Formalities, Anti-Christian and Idolatrous: we find God here Graciously overlooking the faults and flaws of their particular Foundations and Constitution, and tho; he reminds ’em all of their Insufficiency and declension from the Spirit of Religion yet owns them all freely as his Church and People. Giving herein a Pattern of the divine Goodness and Condescension to all; that whom he disdains not to Embrace in the Arms of his Love, we should not any way exclude from our Charity and Christian Affection.
The Repeated Calls of God at this time are loud and earnest: the Cause to be engaged in Noble and Glorious. Yet with its Proportionable Hazards and Difficulties. The Philadelphian Crown most weighty, and worthy of the highest Adventures and Achievements in the Hero’s of Divine Faith and Love; and for further Encouragement to all, the first Difficulties are past and conquer’d; the Gulph is broke through; the Philadelphian Door is already opened, and a Passage made for Participation of the Powers of the World to come. The Young and Infant Dove Now flutters her Wing, sweetly inviting as yet in a soft still Voice and breath of Love: as it were calling for Assistance, to the help of the Lord against the Mighty: Now is it that the Spirit and Bride say Come; and those that hear it Repeat that Call, and say Come. And whosoever will may come, and drink of this New Springing Fountain; of the Waters of Life freely; O who will lend their Hand, who will break through the Clouds and Mist, and pay their first Homage and early Attendance; to meet and bring Her in, to partake of her first Smiles and Favours; her first and Tenderest Love? Who is Emulous through a holy Zeal and Ambition to be nearest the Heart, and lie in the Bosom of Divine Love? To such as shall reach this happy Station, the highest Honours in the Triumphant Kingdom do of Right belong; even the Supreme and Royal Unction, both to the Sacredotal, Prophetical, and Kingly Dignity. ‘Tis not to be expected that the Holy Spirit now Returning again to the Church, after the breaking open the Seals, and the time of Antichrist expiring, should be tied up to, or take up any of the many Forms of Man’s Invention; being now to open, though by degrees, a new and more perfect Dispensation. Here then will be the great Difficulty. Every Party being deeply Prejudiced for their own Establishment, will thereby be too apt, as the Jews did at our Saviour’s first Coming; to set up their own Law as if it were perfect, and needed no further Completion, against the Spirit of God coming to fulfil it. And many being well settled and provided for in their present State, will have a shrewd Temptation from thence to endeavour the Continuance of it, and not to hearken to the Call of God to a more full and Thorough Reformation. And it will be very hard for the first Adventurers herein to Stem the Tide and Current of the Popular Vogue and Cry against them, to be defam’d and condemn’d by the Generality; and even by Good Men, though not able to discern what They do; and to come in earnest to deny and forsake all for Christ. Yet such Hero’s there will be, who shall break through all, and generously bear their Testimony: who shall in spight of all Temporal Regards openly Profess and own the Dispensation of the Spirit in its Infancy. To such the Call is now gone forth; and chiefly to those that are the Head Shepherds and Pastors of the Flock of Christ, as most capable, and also most concern’d to look out for and discern the Day of their Visitation. That they may behold with Joy that the Fields are already White unto the Harvest; and may themselves, being Anointed by the true Spirit of God, be sent forth as Angel-Reapers: and Experience a more full and Blessed Effect of their Ministry and Labours. Happy they who shall be Early engaged in this Vintage of God, these shall enjoy all the high and peculiar Prerogatives of the First-Born: and in this great Opportunity shall with St. Paul work out for themselves a Crown of Innumerable Converts; which are to be as the Subjects of their future Kingdom; their Joy and Glory for ever. To these in an especial manner belongs that Prophecy, Dan. 12.3. They that be Wise [ or Teachers] shall shine as the Brightness of the Firmament, and They that Turn many to Righteousness as the Stars for ever and ever. So let the true labourers in Thy Harvest; go forth, O God, even the Messengers of Thy Kingdom; and let Truth and Judgment go before Them unto Victory. so let Thy Kingdom come: and let Thy Will be done; even here upon Earth, as it is in Heaven: Amen.
H A L L E L U J A H.
A Third Message
WHEREAS there have been Two Messages already given forth to the Philadelphian Society, there has been a mighty Strong enkindling from the Seven Spirits before the Throne of God and the Lamb for the sending forth a Third; giving no rest, but Echoing Night and Day till the Angel-Heralds shall go forth as Embassadors from the Prince of all Kings both of the Upper and Nether Worlds; which are known and Nominated in the Eternal Counsel and Wisdom of the Father; being Seven bright Morning Stars, that shall go before Seven Shepherds that raised shall be in Conjunction with them, Personating the great and mighty Kingly Shepherd Christ the Lord, by his giving them a Commission, Power and Authority to sound a new Alarm for the Gathering in and making up a true Philadelphian Fold; which are yet scatter’d throughout all nations to the utmost ends of the Earth.
Love, Good-will, Grace, and Peace from the God and Father of the whole Creation, and from him that is the first begotten of the new Creation; and from the Comforter that does reveal and open the great Mystery and Love of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Eternal Wisdom, to the Seven Churches in England: and generally to the Seven Churches throughout the World disperst, as first, the Ancient Church of the Jews, that was, and is not, and is to be. 2. The Roman Church. 3. The Greek. 4. The Ethiopian. 5. The Lutheran. 6. The French-Reformed, or Calvinistical. 7. The Ancient Church of the Valleys. An Invitation to you all from the great Head-Shepherd, is, to fly out of the confusion of Babylon, and to come under the orderly and peaceable Government of the Sion Kingdom: where no Strife nor Contention is known, but where Truth and Righteousness, and Love, are the only Ruling Law. Then this was cryed in the inward Heavens of the mind, Be no longer silent, nor slack to go forth to declare and make known what further relates to the Call of these Churches. For this is the Great and Notable Day, as belonging to this Age, wherein the great and mighty Angel of the Covenant hath in verity said, that he will not suffer his Flocks that are to make up the Philadelphian Church to lie slumbering in their Formalities any longer. And therefore he has commissionated his Seven Angels to go forth to blow their Horns, to awaken such as have a Name to live, & yet are deaf & dead, because the life had not been freely accepted & entertain’d by them: but the Love of the Eternal Father does so strongly and vehemently burn in the Heart of the beloved Son, as therefrom to cast forth the living sparkling Powers, conveyable through the Holy Ghost, to enlighten and Inspire where the Cloud of darkness and deadness had overspread. For Love-Violence shall overtake to bring the backsliding Churches into their own Native Country and Land. And by a terrible and outstretched Arm this gathering will be: according to the wise method, way and manner of the great Alpha and Omega’s proceedings: as he hath given forth the Description unto the inseeing mind, by way of figurative Representation according to what is here declared.
The pure heavenly Element opening, gave the sight of the high Emanuel King, encompassed with Myriads of Angels, that were said to be the Virgin-Church of the first-born Fruits, that make up the beginning of the New Creation. The beholding of which was so amazing, that it put a stop and suspension to all of the mortal part. But there was an hovering and overshadowing presence that gave strength both to see and hear what the design of this great Visitation and Love-Emanation was, which was related and referred to this whole visible Creation. After this discovery, it was moved to enquire what this great Appearance did signifie, and it was Answer’d, that according to this Pattern in the Heavens, such a Jerusalem was to be prepared here upon the Earth. Then it was queried further in the Spirit of the mind, by what way and means shall such a Redemption be wrought out here in this lower World. Then was it opened to be, that as there was a Flood of Water that drowned the Old World, wherein was all the Abomination and Venom of Sin, whereby the Creator was burdened and wearied: So also he is at this day, for the oppression and cries of the Groaning Creation: and therefore as it has been decreed, so now it is pronounced that a New thing God is about to do, which is by opening (in another manner) the Windows of Heaven, and breaking up the Deeps below, that so the Waters of Life from thence might flow, for the covering and drowning the Earthly part in Man, fulfilling that Prophecy hereby, The Glorious Lord shall be a place of broad Waters, which shall rise as the Waters of the Sanctuary, till to that height as to be an overwhelming. This was said to be a Baptizing River, wherein the healing Virture should be for the Cure of all that had been infected by the Poison and Venom of the Serpent.
All this is to be the forerunner to make way for that New Creation World prophesied of, which is to be expected and hoped for. Some Footsteps whereof are already taken, in order to its Entrance: for the Spirit of Prophecy has in some declared that from the Year 1697 to 1700, a good Progress will be made; and from thence it will proceed and increase till it comes to the Seventh Thousand Years Sabbath, answering to the Seventh Day of Rest from the Creation. In the compass of this time, great and wonderful Revolutions will be; and are already begun by the Spirits breaking forth. Which as yet is but the Light of one Day; but this one shall multiply, till it come to be as a Light of Seven Days: and then our Sun of Glory shall no more set, nor the Spirit withdraw its self, as it has done since the Apostles Days; for in that Age it was only as a sudden Shower, in comparison of the Remainders that are to be poured forth in the latter Age. Wherein the New Modelled World, over which Christ shall Reign as a mighty Monarch, shall be made manifest. But it may be queried, what method or way shall be taken for the bringing these Prophecies to pass, there being so little yet appearing in Order hereunto, the Babylonish Confusion still Reigning, and such Divisions among the nominated Churches by their taking up the Spiritual Weapons of War, and piercing and wounding each other? The which Grievances have been spread, and lamented by such as are quickened into the Birth of Love. Upon which Answer was given from the Throne-Seat of Love, that these rendings and dividings were taken such knowledge of , and had so pierced the heart of him who is to be Heir and Restorer of all Nations, that he would now raise up Messengers and Pastors, whom he would make as Vials to pour in his all-Saving and Healing Name: And as the former Ministration went forth in the Washing of Regeneration, by John the Baptist, who was a Type in his Day; So now again the Spirit of John the Evangelist is to rise and be the Forerunner of the Ministration of the Love, and to make ready the Philadelphia Bride, whose adorning and covering will be by the Flaming Sun of Love; by waiting in the Kingdom of Love for her Bridegroom in his Glorified Person to her to appear. Now then give ear and hearken to the Spirit’s Voice, from the Mighty King and Shepherd that stands charged with all the Flocks that are to make the Virgin-Body: to you this Message is sent, who Pastors are of the Churches of this Nation, what Nomination or Title soever ye bear, be it known to you, that your Commission is to go forth first to Baptize with the Water of Life, not according to the deadness of the Letter, but by the Internal conveyance of the Life-quickening Power, that may give Sin its deaths wound; and this in Order to a higher degree of Baptism, which is from the Glassy Sea (wherein is the Holy Fire mingled, and co-operating with the Water) which is the Ministry of the Holy Ghost, which requires a true Examination of those that are called hereunto, whereby it may be known that they have the Right Mission.
For the Confirmation of this there was shewn to me a Descending Angel, coming down from the Glassy Sea, with a Pair of Golden Balances in his Hand, uttering this Voice, All must be tryed and weighed, who through these Baptisms are to pass; that they be as live Coals or Burning Sapphires: such as appeared in the one Scale; and were to answer to a Golden Weight in the other. For it was cryed by the Angel, Thus it is absolutely necessary that those Fire-Stones that are to be gathered to make up the Virgin-Bride, must be found answerable to their Glorified Head. According to this Rule therefore measures are to be taken for degrees and growths in Stature, till they come up to this full Weight. Then was there a Roll shown me in the Hand of the same Angel, the Writing whereof shined like Gold, giving the Characters and Rules whereby it might be known who are of the true Philadelphian Church, that they might be distinguished from those that should take up that Name and Title for a Covering. Who are to be tried by what was there exprest.
The first was the bearing the Dying-Mark or Crucifixion to the Degenerated Birth: in a most deep sense, deploring its Lapse and Apostasy from its original pure state, Renouncing the Earthly born Life and worldly Principle, quite sinking away by Abnegation and Annihilation herefrom being thus Buried with Christ in Death, we are taught to lie in the Passive Grave in Silence, till the Lord the Quickening Spirit shall descend to become a Life quickening Birth, whereby a new Creaturely Formation is brought forth, according to the Nature of the Divine Humanity of Christ: which will gradually spring and grow in every such one, till they come to be as full grown Trees of Life to replenish the New Earth and Heavens.
For the further proving and tryal of this renewed State, it will be known by the Effects and Fruits that will accompany it. There will be a Renewing and finding of that which was lost in the First Paradise, answerable to every part of the Lapse and depravation. For as the first Adam by finding Himself, that is by Introducing the selfish Properties through the Serpent’s subtilty, lost God out of himself; so that he became naked, and impotent, being uncloathed of the Garment of Purity, Power and Dominion, and turn’d from the Angelical to a Terrestrial Form; all his Off-spring became the deplorable Image of it: so there is no way for the Recovery of this, and to find God again, but by Undoing all this and through the Death to this outward Principle by the Power of the Creating Word, he drawing himself as a living draught upon all that gives a new Birth from the Dead, being Restored again to all the same Supercelestial Dignifications by the God-man. Now Christ being the First Fruits of a New Generation, does multiply himself through the Virgin-Wisdom: that the Degrees of God may be therein fulfilled. Running parallel with the first Adam that was planted in Paradise; who had his Virgin in himself, and should have brought forth a God-like Off-spring; but that he turned his Eye from the Divine Essential Virgin within himself to speculate the Outward Creation, and so his desire being captivated therein, he fell into a slumber, losing thereby the Supercelestial Element and his true Virgin; so that God saw it necessary to give him a Terrestrial help. Thro’ which all low mortal Births have sprung forth, which a Death ( at least) Mystical must pass upon, till the Second Adam, which is the Lord from Heaven in a new Principle of Light and Life, shall put forth as a Paradisiacal Plant again by a renewed Virgin-Generation: that shall be out of all danger of being deflowered. Because it is secured as being now no more twain, but one Spirit with God and the Lamb: so fast tied in this Matrimonial Union, as that no subtlety or wiles of the Serpent and all his Hierarchy shall ever nullifie or make void. For the Paradisiacal Property which was in Locality, no place for it is found: but the Inward and Mystical rising from another Fund or Ground shall remain Inviolable; as arched about with flaming Seraphims for a glorious defense. Wherein Inclosed is the Second Adam with his Virgin Spouse, the Eternal Wisdom, who without any molestation shall bring forth the children of the New Creation: so multiplying and replenishing the New Earth and Heavens, Gen. 1.28, Rev. 21.1. To these new modelled and God-formed Creatures, the lost and disappeared Angelical Image, with Soveraignty and dominion shall be Restored again. Then that saying tho from an Apostatized Angel will be made good a better way: that they shall be as Gods knowing good and evil. Looking into and understanding the Root in which the evil Property was manifested, without breaking the Harmony, or permitting it to go out of its Order; but reigning over all the dark Regions and Worlds, in a God-like Supremacy.
This is set forth in the first place to all Pastors and People here in England, that as in a Glass you may come to see the most Glorious Restitution, which is designed by the Alpha and Omega: whereby he will bring forth himself in his Bridal Church, that shall be all comely without Spot or Blemish as the White Stone upon which shall be written, The Lord our Righteousness, or Jehovah Shammah dwelleth here, as in his own glorious City, compact and made up of Philadephian Inhabitants.
Now it may be queried, Whether such a Philadelphian State may be expected, or be in any measure begun in this Age?
In Answer hereunto; the Sower is already gone forth, that hath cast into the Earth such Living Sparks of Light, in order to that great Harvest that must bring forth these Golden Sheaves that shall be offered upon the Flaming Altar: where nothing can suffer loss but the Straw and Chaff hanging about them. It will be said perhaps, what appearance is there of any such thing, because so much of the Thorny Ground is every where upon the face of the Earth spread, that should seem to choke and stifle this Grain? Too deplorably true it is, but the Day is come, and still breaking, for the Spirit of Judgment and Burning to pass through, for Refining and Purging the Inward Floor in Man, and Nature; as that fiery Leaven that shall be the Transmuting Stone to the gross Metal, changing it into the Ophir Gold, according to that Scripture, A Man shall be as the Gold of Ophir. But the beginning of this will be very small, weak and despiseable, threatened with many tempestuous Storms, to stagger the First puttings forth of this New Plantation; according to that Prophecy of the Psalmist, There shall be an handful of corn in the Earth; upon the top of the Mountains. The Fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the City shall flourish like the Grass of the Earth. Psalm. 72.16. So that out of this Stem and Root of Jesse shall a mighty Increase be, till a City there be all compact of Precious Stones, that shall send forth their sparkling Radiancy, recovering the lost Virgin-Purity, and flourishing in the Rosie-Sharon-Beauty, mingled with the Lilly White and Brightness. For so it becometh the Bride of the Lamb to appear in this Transparency. This is what in general is represented in the clear Mirror of Wisdom’s Glass, that such a new sown Crop will come forth, and even in this latter day appear.
But methinks it is cryed in my Ear; shew it us more particularly after what Model this must be, whereby we may yet better know the Character of this true Philadephian State, that no counterfeit or deceiveable Spirit may cloath themselves with the Name without the Essential Body of it.
Now then to give forth the unquestionable Signs and Description, we must define their Nativity and Birth, which is no less than from the Godhead it self, bringing them forth through the Womb of Eternal Virgin Nature, conceived within the human Form and Vehicle; and so gradually in all Internal Spiritual Members it comes to be quickened to a Spiritual Body, within the Outward Body: which is as the Husk that covers and hides it from the gross and vulgar Eye; and not only so, but in many for sometime it is unknown to themselves, by reason of the Predominancy of the degenerated outward Birth, till the Supersensual begins to arise stronger and more powerful than the outward, and so proceed conquering and subduing it, and working out the gross Elementary Part, till it come to a perfect Annihilation. It will be then asked, if that be that mark of a perfect Philadelphian, who can hope or believe to arrive thereto? It is so strait that few there are that can pass thro’ it. But let it not be counted Impossible; because Christ the Lord will be both the Way and the Door of Entrance: who would never have propounded and excited to it, but that he well knew where the Power of sufficiency did rest, for the accomplishment of it by Incorporating himself within them after a high and spiritual manner; and then this pure and perfect thing growing up, will make it all easie and natural, to live, move and act in Deiformity.
Now hereby all are to seek whether their Birth be from Above, even from the God of Love. For the true Philadelphian State consisteth altogether of such an Essential Birth of Love, as no place is found for Enmity, Envyings, Malice, Hatred, evil Surmizings, Jealousie, Fear & Unbelief. These all be the Fruits of the Evil Tree that must wither and dye out of Natures property. Now opposite to this Will-Tree, when it shall be rooted up, then place is found for the Tree of Life and Love to grow and flourish out of the new refined Earth: which is laden with all precious Fruits as the Golden Apples of Love, whose drops do distill so sweetly, as to melt and dissolve all remainders of those bitter fruits which from Death’s tree did spring. Now from hence it may be expected that out of the new Paradisiacal Mould, the choice and precious Minerals from the deep Mines will be broken up: So that what lay under a dark Face of covering in Natures ground, by the bright lustre of the Love Firestones, shall be brought to light. From whence shall Spring that true Charity and Love that thinketh no evil, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth the best, and is not easily provoked, or offended at any thing that thwarts or crosses it. It lives above all Mutations proceeding from temporary things, so as you cannot put it out of this even and divine Temperature of mind.
Now from this deep grounded Birth of Love that Faith will also put forth, and work in such a Conquering degree, as will subdue all that in a lapsed degeneracy hath had its Dominion, throughout all of man’s old Creation: by and through which another Kingdom will break forth, consisting of Wisdom, Purity, Potency and Might. So that the nakedness of the first Adam (in us) in its shame will be thus cloathed upon; recovering its Dominion by the Reign of the Second Adam the Lord from Heaven, descending into Nature again, to act, and perform, what to his own Resurrection-Life does, through his chosen Vessels, belong. Which consisteth in such a high Unity of Faith, as that whatever shall be willed and decreed by this Spirit here below, shall be established in the Heavens: For this is that Golden Key that will open for the Philadelphian Flock, that Gate that shall enter them into the Lebanon Glory. where they shall have power to bind and to loose, to open and shut. Here the Prerogative-Royal will be given to do all miraculous Wonders, as Christ himself did, who said, Greater Works than these shall ye do. So that the lost Apostalical Gifts will return and flow again as from their own Fountain; the possibility here will be to have power over Death and Mortality, recovering languishing Nature, and having the Understanding opened to comprehend the pure Language of Nature; and to reduce out of all Confusion of Tongues to one pure and Angelical Speech. ‘Tis not to be numbered or expressed what may be done by this Faith that does operate from the Birth of Love.
Now hearken and hear, all ye from the highest degrees and Dignity, whether of Order Temporal or Ecclesiastical, descending from the greatest to the least, whether Jew or Gentile, Bond or Free. To you this Message is sent through and by the Embassadour of Love, who has received the Vial of Golden Oyl of Love to pour forth, that if possible it may heal what the Scorpion Spirit has gone forth to wound every where, by rending from this Love-Principle; and opening the wrathful and Satanical Kingdom, which the Philadelphian Kingdom of the Love shall be able to shut up.
O what greater Motives can we present to gain upon the dark unbelieving and averse Spirit stirring in this present Generation, than these great Immunities that are intailed upon the true Philadephian Worthies, the Virgin-Church of the First-born: that is to be made the New Jerusalem-City; bright and glorious not only within but also without, compact and made up of Oriental Stones, and adorned to be the Bride of God and the Lamb, out of which will spring that Kingly Birth that shall the Everlasting Reign set up in Majesty, Power and Dominion, in the midst of his Philadelphian Flock.
Now a Cry from the Heavens does go forth; who shall be those Angels of all the several Churches of this Nation, that shall go out as Trumpets for the Awakening the Sleepy Laodiceans that in a Lukewarm temper do yet remain to come out of their Traditions and Formalities, Confusions and Divisions, into the Unity of the Philadelphian Love. Who among the true enlightened wise and serious minded, would not be Ambitious of this high Honour, to be Principal Shepherds, having the Golden Crook of Love to hook and gather into the Fold of the Great Shepherd; where a Feeding shall be upon the Lebanon Fruits that will Spirit Life and Power every day renew? O England, England, know the Day of thy Visitation, for a wonderful Morning-Light is springing. Therefore open the Windows of thy Mind and let it in, for then it will usher in the Lord of Glory: who hath said, Behold I come to Reign in Love’s Kingdom. So let all who this Message shall hear, cry with one Heart, Let thy Kingdom thus come in Peace and Amity.
But now the Alpha and Omega does send forth a second Cry to the seven more general and remote Churches, to you also the Fountain deep of God’s Love does Flow. The Angels of the Love are commissionated and flying towards you, declaring that there is a Pool whereunto you are invited to enter in, for healing all of the Sick and lapsed Nature.
Now to you first of the Roman Church, who plead your Antiquity and Succession from the Apostolical Fountain: Cautioned and counselled you are to try whether your Title hereunto by your Practice and Conformity thereto can be made good. For know there is a Fiery Law gone forth out of the Mouth of the Great Apostle of our Profession Christ Jesus: yea a Spirit of Burning and Judgment, to try both your Ways, Works & Worships. So that whatever is found Light that cannot Balance the Golden Grain, and whatever is superfluous and drossy, you must expect will be devoured by the fervent heat of God’s Love Jealousie. Therefore a Call is to you that ye may recover your first and Primitive State. And therefore it appertains Principally to him who has taken the Chair of Ruling Power over this Church, as the Representative Head, to examine and prove whether he has the true Mission: which only can be known by the Power and Spirit of Jesus in Him. In whose Hand is the Golden Key to open the Kingdom of Love, Unity, and Peace: For the Gathering in of the Philadelphian Flock. Thus he may become a true Shepherd and Overseer of such as may make up the Virgin-Church. Let it be known to you from the Alpha and Omega, that Titles, and Words, and Forms, will not pass through the Fiery Judgment: therefore Return, Return; and strengthen that which is ready to dye; of the more inward and Spiritual Life among you; and Recover your first Love, that you may bear the Right Mark and Character of the Philadelphian-Bride. This receive as a true Message and Call from Him that is All in All.
Now to you of the Lutheran Church, and the rest of the Reformed Churches, the Word of Wisdom and Counsel is, that ye do not think it sufficient that ye have in some degree broke thro the night of Darkness and Ignorance in the Beginnings of a Reformation. For ye are not to stint and bind up your selves here to the first Dawning of the Day, because the true Oily Lamp will burn brighter and brighter, till it comes to that Unity of Love and Charity, that admits of no Rupture or Division, and till all that harsh and severe Fire of the Elias Ministration, (wherein your first Reformation went forth to prepare the way for a greater and higher to come after it,) shall be swallowed up in the following Dispensation of the Love. Therefore now it behooveth you, and chiefly the head Shepherds that stand charged with the Flocks of Christ, to cast your Eye back upon the Purity, Love and Zeal of the Infancy, or first goings forth of your Churches: and to compare and try your Lamps hereby whether they have advanced in Light, and in the Power of Practical Holiness; or whether they have not rather declined and burnt dimmer: and how far what opened in Spirit and Life, is sunk in Deadness and Formality. Therefore each one of you are to turn inward, and there call to your Well of Salvation to Spring and make as a fruitful Lebanon, that the King of Love and Peace may walk among you, and Seal you with the Philadelphian Seal; which is the Flaming Heart of Love and Unity: slight not, nor reject this Message that comes from Him that dwelleth in Love’s Burning Bush. Whither he invites you, all of the Reformed Churches Universally to come, and Drink of the Inspiring Cup, the Wine of which makes you Ministers of the Spirit, to go forth as Ambassadors of Reconciliation, which will be your Crown, Joy, and Glory. Thus you are now Summon’d both Pastors and People of all Churches to examine and prove in your Selves, whether you bear the Right Character of the Church, and Spouse of Christ, for the Princely Bridegroom is now expecting such a high degree of Reformation in such an Uniformity as shall transcend all Literal and Dead Forms that will not bear the Touch of the Divine and Burning Stone of Love. Therefore as you desire and long for his second Appearance, and Kingdom spreading in its Power and Glory here upon Earth, be watching in the Inward Court of a pure and perfect Heart and Mind, listening to hear the Voice of your Kingly Shepherd calling you forth to make up one entire Fold; where he may go in and out among you, leading you to living Fountains and fresh Pastures, that no more Drought or Famine may be known: the Essential Word springing from the Root-Essence of your own Souls, whereby in the Ministration of the Holy Ghost, you may be Seal’d and Sign’d by the Alpha and Omega, to whom all the Churches are to be joyned as one; Crowned with the Everlasting Diadem, for Praise, Renown, and Glory to him, who was, is, and is to come, Amen.
Hear also O ye Greeks, and come Afar, even from the East, and from the North: And give Ear, O thou Ethiopia, that wast heretofore, and art still beloved of the Lord thy God. O Ethiopia make haste and prepare thy Chariots: for there is an Alarm gone forth from the Heavens. Fly ye apace, rest not, but obey this Call that goeth forth from your Angel, standing before the Throne of the mighty Priestly King, and inviting you to hasten away, and behold the Glory of Solomon’s Rising Day, that is now approaching upon the Earth. Let therefore the Princes of Saba and Sheba bring their Gifts. O come ye from the South, the Voice saith: and let Offerings of Myrrh, of Incense, and of Gold, be presented to this Great King of Peace who is to Rule all Nations with Righteousness and with a Spirit of Love Meekness, & to confound those that delight in War; by turning their Swords into Sickles. For the South Wind shall blow a sweet Gale: and the Boisterous Euroclydon shall be appeased in its Furious Might, so that the Ark of Faith may ride safe upon the Waters, without danger of a Wrack: and the Prince, who has set up his Throne in the sides of the North, being there by the Michael-Art confin’d shall not be able to unbind the North Wind any more: or to teach the Nations to destroy one another.
Behold the Angel of Grecia is gone out, not to Fight, but to proclaim Peace: and to summon in his Captives from the Land of the Aliens and Barbarians. Awaken, O ye Grecians, and sleep not: Awake also, O ye Ethiopians, and let not Slumber longer seem upon you. For the Night of the Apostasy is now drawing to an End, and the Day is at Hand, which all your Fore-fathers who received the Faith did expect to see, and do yet press after, that it may appear to you their Off-spring. Wherefore remember your first Works, and look back to the Days of Old; before ye forgot your Espousals, and the Love of your Youth. Remember, saith the Spirit, what was Anciently said to the Churches in Thee: and let every one that hath an Ear, hear also what the Spirit still saith to the Churches, Behold, I come Quickly, as a Thief in the Night: Watch therefore, and do thy first Works. Therefore let all the Churches in Asia listen, wait, and return to the Lord their Mighty Redeemer, who hath wounded them for their Transgressions; but will turn again unto them, and heal them for his Names Sake.
And as for thee, O little Flock of the Valleys, who hast not been afraid to bear a testimony for thy God, neither hast deny’d the Word of the Patience of thy Jesus: he calleth now unto thee, and saith, Lo! I stand at the Door, and will reward all thy Works, and what thou hast suffer’d for My Names sake. Wherefore Arise and Shine all ye who have lain in the Dust: for though ye have been cast out among the Pots, yet an Angel Messenger is descending, that he may give unto you the Golden Wings of the Dove. Be strong then, knowing that your Salvation is nigh, if ye Believe.
Now an Invitation and Call is from the God of Abraham to you, who are his Offspring, tho scatter’d and dispersed into all Nations, as Branches that have been for a time Broken off from your true Root. Return, Return O Back sliding Israel, and see how many Generations are now passed over, wherein you, have not known the Day of your Visitation. But let not another Age of Time pass over you, before you Own and Confess the Great and Mighty saving Name Jesus. Whom thou you have denyed in his first Appearance in Flesh, yet his Grace to you does so super-abound with all Bowels of Compassion, whereby Forgiveness of your Unbelief may work you to a kind Repentance and Remorse. Therefore charged ye be not to neglect your time any longer, but to come out of your dead Ceremonies, Traditions and Types: and understand what lies under the Vail of these Shadows, that Christ the Substance of all may be revealed in you, and that you may understand and know the many Prophecies that are to have their Fulfilling for your Restoration. Such as Ezek. 36.24 &c. For I will take you from among the Heathen, and gather you out of all Countries, and bring you into your own Land. Then will I sprinkle clean Water upon you, &c. A new Heart also will I give you, &c. And I will put my Spirit within you, &c. But yet Verse 37. I will for this be enquired of by the House of Israel, to do it for them. So that you see your Call and Duty. Which is to cease from laying such a stress upon your Literal Law, and to make no longer an Idol of it; for that Ministration, though Great and Glorious in its time, must give way to a higher: which is the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ, (who can only make you Free) as it is engraven upon your Hearts. This is the true Circumcision of the Spirit which takes away the Blindness of your Minds: O that the true Guiding Star Christ, may now arise within you, to prepare you for his Second Coming in his Kingdom, in Great Power and Glory. Who only waits till you be brought in to the Belief and Love of Him as your King and Saviour. And now sends from his Throne a Mighty Angel to sound forth his Trumpet unto you, O House of Israel; and to all the Tribes near and afar off, every where: that you may hear the Voice of your True Shepherd, calling you to be joyned among the rest of these Churches mention’d, and to make up one Fold with them. What does the Voice Cry, but Awake, Awake, O slumbering Seed of Jacob, and make no Lingering nor Delay; for hereby you do retard not only your own Joy and Felicity in the Peaceable Kingdom, that is now in Expectation, but also that of the whole Body besides belonging to Christ the Head. Therefore in the Love and Bowels of God the Eternal Father, and with the Open Arms of that Jesus, whom you and your Fore-fathers have Ignorantly Despised and Rejected, you are Intreated and Besought to receive and entertain this Love-Message of Reconciliation: so referring you to the true Oracle of the Spirit and Tabernacle of God, opening within you, as that Living Testimony, that Rends away all Vails that are before it; Even so, let all Knees bow, confess, and own Him, who is made Manifest for the Salvation of all Nations.
There is another Cry also goes forth to you of the Turkish Monarchy. How long, how long will you lye in your Dark Security, rejecting that Light of Christ, which was once made Manifest in the Flesh, and is Now again to be Reveal’d in Spirit, as Forerunning his Glorious Appearance. Behold to you also, is the Golden Crook of Love held out, yea to all people, Nations, and Languages; even of the Heathens that have not known God. All which have Now their Call to come from the utmost Parts of the Earth, to the Brightness of this Day Break; for the Gospel of Everlasting Peace and Good Will does Greet you all: And though to many it has not come to the Outward Ear, yet the original Book may open within you. For the Age of Time is come about, wherein the whole Earth shall be filled with the Knowledge of the Lord, by the Inundation of the Spirit, as the Living Waters that shall cover the Dead and dark Earth of Man’s depraved Nature. Which through the Baptism of Fire and Water, must come to be renew’d. For the Amen Saith, Behold I come to make all things New: even so, let all these Churches Acquiesce with one Voice, to the Yea and Amen.
There is yet a louder Cry and Trumpet Sound from out of the Throne of God, and the Lamb to the Kingly Monarchs that here upon this lower Earth do Reign. More Principally to him who sits at the Helm of Government in this Nation. Consider O King, by what a wonderful Hand you have been brought in, and planted here: and recollect for what End the Key of the Government of these Nations has been intrusted into Your Hands. And for what Special Work you may be design’d by Providence. And as a Signal Appearance of God, has been manifested for your Preservation, and for the maintaining still to you the scepter, that it could not be pluck’d away. What is now requir’d of You, but to sway it, as another David in Righteousness and Truth, by judging the Poor of the People, by saving the Children of the Needy, and breaking in pieces the Oppressors. Which may, as after the end of his Wars, introduce the true Solomon’s Reign in Tranquility; whereby all the present Divisions may be brought into a Blessed Harmony and Unity. Whereunto you have already made some Advance, and bent your Force to a Reconciliation of the divided Parties among Protestants, by opening a Door of true Christian and Native Liberty; whereby the Thrones of Princes are Establish’d in the Hearts of their Subjects. And let the other Monarchs of the Earth, and Soveraign Princes, that have not yet reach’d to such a Free and Disinterested Spirit, but stand more bound up to their own Sentiments, and such a particular mode of Worship, learn from such a Precedent how to Establish themselves, under the Throne of the most High God and King. Go on in this great Latitude Universality of Love, under the great and Mighty Shepherd Christ Jesus, to bring in all the scatter’d and divided Flocks into one Fold to feed upon that Pasture that putteth forth only the sweet scented Flowers of Love.
O that it might be put not only into the Heart of one, but also of all other Kings, Potentates, and States. What a mighty Over-turn would it make, of the Babylonish Strife and Confusion, That is spread over the Earth, if the Great Ones that are Invested with Power, would imploy all their Force and Authority for the Propagation of this Kingdom, which over all the Kingdoms of the Earth, is to Reign. Therefore Consider, and receive it as a Charge and Command, all you who do Reign in Subordination to him; and know that the Prophetical Time is now come, wherein God will Anoint you with the Pouring out of his Holy Spirit upon you, to make you true Kings, Priests and Prophets of the Heavenly Order, that you may become Nursing Fathers, and Nursing Mothers to his Church. By this a hopeful Expectation will be of a full and Thorough Reformation for the bringing in of the New Creation Glory, whereby the Tabernacle of God will descend to rest in great Splendor and Glory upon the Earth. Amen.
Thus I have concluded my Message in all Faithfulness according to the Command given, hoping a Blessed Issue, which is the fullness of all Blessings to come upon all Nations. And in the mean time I stand in my Lot, according to the Council and Decree of Him who will fulfill all Prophecies Past and Present.
The Marks of a True Philadelphian, according to the Description of the Blessed Apostle St. Paul
[ A Philadelphian Suffereth Long. ]
THE first Victory of the True Philadelphian Hero may be said to consist properly in Suppressing the Irascible Emotions of the Soul: or in stopping the Mouth of that Roaring Lyon, which watches all the Travellers to the City of Brotherly Love, how he may surprise and devour them. For the two Great Boanerges; the most Beloved Brothers had like to have fallen into the Jaws of this Lyon: and the most masculine Champion of Christ, and most Zealous of all his Disciples was Bit by him, and had much ado to escape with his Life. Wherefore having these Examples set before him, he is exceeding Cautious to Guard himself against this Wild and Furious Beast. And he strives to imitate the Long Suffering and Patience of the Deity towards Evil Doers. He studies to Conquer his Adversaries with Love, and to bring them over to him by Kind Offices, or by Presents, as Jacob did his Brother Esau. He is not for calling down Fire from Heaven upon them, or Anathematizing them; but for heaping Coals of Love upon their Heads. He is not for Prosecuting Hereticks or Recusants with the Faggot, or with the Sword: but is for Suffering the Tares to grow with the Wheat, till the Day of the Harvest: when every ones Work shall be purg’d by Fire.
[ A Philadelphian is Kind. ]
AS Courtesie and Kindness is a Moral Virtue, so in Him it becomes a Christian Grace. Wherefore he cannot be Austere, or Starch’d up to any little Formalities. His Religion makes him not Sour, or uneasie to others; but renders him more Sweet, Affable, and Easie, if there be but the least Opportunity for him hereby of doing a Kind or Generous Office to Any. And though he uses himself much to Solitude and Retirements, with his Blessed Master and Pattern; yet whenever he appears in the World, he affects not a Singularity, or to be taken Notice of, but freely converses with it, and Accommodates himself to the Manners of it, so far as Innocently he can. Thus the True Philadelphian is the most Obliging Person of the whole World; not only Inoffensive in his Carriage, but even Pleasant and nobly exercis’d in the most Advantageous Parts of Human Conversation, as well as the most Delectable. And as different as the Address of a Master of the Ceremonies to a strange Minister, is from that of one Brother to another most intimately Endear’d to him; so is that of this Philadelphian, when he converses with Any, from that Outward, Formal, and Ceremonial Way which is Practised by the World. In short, none better (if so well) understands all the Solid Delights of Conversation, and the permanent Pleasures of a True and Masculine Friendship; not Confin’d, but Extended to the very utmost Capacity of his Sphere.
[ A Philadelphian Envieth not. ]
WHEN he has thus slain the Lyon and the Bear, he next proceeds to cut off the head of that most cunning twisting Serpent of Envy, that would insinuate himself even into Paradise. And it is much more easie to vanquish, subdue, and harmonize the fierce Wrathful, and the rough unmannerly Properties of a Disorder’d Soul, than to eradicate this more secret and lurking Evil, which lies gnawing on the very Vitals of Religion, in many great and specious Professors. But the true Philadelphian is one perfectly Content with that State or Lot, in which he stands, through the Wisdom, Justice and Goodness of God. He thinks not much at any Advantages or Privileges which another doth enjoy: but rather Congratulates them. He is certain that the Master whom he serves, if he be Faithful, will not fail to prefer him; and therefore he is not at all Solicitous after any Preferments, Honours, or Riches, which this World can give, or in the least envies those who possess them. And much less doth he repine at any Favours confer’d by his Master, upon any of his Fellow-Servants: but is pleas’d thereat. And will not presume to bind up His Majesty to Act thus or thus, and to confer his Favours and Graces upon none but those that are of this or that Body, or Society, that he likes best. No: he dares not do so: he prefers others before himself; thinking himself unworthy of the very least Grace, or Gift of His Holy Spirit bestowed upon him. For ...
[ A Philadelphian Vaunteth not Himself. ]
HE will take no Glory or Honour to himself; but will ascribe all to the Supreme Majesty, which he serves, the Sole Fountain of Honour, and the Origin of whatever is Glorious, or Praise-worthy. He is free therefore from all Ostentation: and being Inconsiderable in his own Eyes, he cannot be Over-forward, Temerarious, or Precipitate in any Design, but will wait always for the Call and Command of his Master: that so he may not Dishonour, instead of Honouring Him. And this also teaches him to weigh his Words in the Balance of the Holy Sanctuary, and not to speak Rashly for God.
[ A Philadelphian is not puffed up. ]
FOR he avoids all manner of Ostentation and Impertinence; this is a certain sign that there must be in him somewhat Substantial, and that he is not a Vessel fill’d with Wind. He is neither Elevated with any Applause, nor Dejected with Obloquy or Contempt. He is contracted within a very little Compass, and is not blown up as a Bladder, either with the Vanities and Pomps of the World, or with any Spiritual Attainments, fancied or real. But the more he receives, Natural or Supernatural, he is still the more Humble, more Passive, and more Resign’d to the Divine Will.
[ A Philadelphian doth not behave himself Unseemly.]
HE takes care to do nothing that is Judecorous: but is a most strict Observer of the Eternal Law of Order. Which Law is the Rule of all Virtue: and therefore tho’ he be not Solicitous about the Niceties or Punctilio’s of Ceremony, yet having this Law written in his Heart, all his Actions thence proceeding must needs be Regular, Orderly, and Decent. There will hence be seen a Decorum in all his Conversation, that is not Superficial, but Essential; that is not Counterfeited, but Natural; that is not Transient, but Permanent; as deriv’d from that Root which abides Ever, and fails not. There is an inexpressible Beauty in his Behaviour both to the Children of Men, and to the Children of God; that is insensibly convey’d from the Supreme and Infinite Beauty. And this he calls the Reflection of the Light of God’s Countenance upon his Soul.
[ A Philadelphian seeks not his Own. ]
THERE is nothing more contradicts the Beautiful Law of Order, than a narrow Contracted Spirit, which is Always Seeking its Own, and not that which is for the Good of the Whole. Wherefore a True Philadelphian is the most Publick Spirited Person that can be describ’d. He seeks not his own Private Interest in the Publick: but tramples the former under his Feet, even with the utmost Disdain, so he may but promote the latter. And he doth not only lay hold on every Opportunity, that is presented to him, for the Exercise of this Publick, Merciful, and Beneficent Spirit: but even sedulously watches for, and catches after Opportunities, after the Example of his Blessed MASTER, continually going about doing Good.
[ A Philadelphian is not easily Provoked. ]
IT is not otherwise to be Expected but that a Person of a Publick Spirit, whose Study it is to do Good to Others, and to Advance the Honour and Interest of his Great and Glorious MASTER, will meet with many Affronts, Misrepresentations, and Provocations from the Unthinking or Ungrateful Part of Mankind. But a True Philadelphian will not be hereat in the least Provoked or Irritated. He lives above the Censure of the World, as being the Spectacle of God and of all his Holy Angels, and of all the Great and Good Men, now made perfect, who have ever lived upon the Face of the Earth, and been the Benefactors of Human Kind. Wherefore looking steadfastly upon such as these, he matters not either the good or bad Report of the Present Age; but is Resolv’d to break through All, that he may be Serviceable to it, and to Posterity. he will not be provok’d to lay down a Good and Noble Design, whatever Clamours may be raised against him: and will hazard both his Reputation and Fortune a Thousand Times over in this Life, rather then not to Do what he knows to be for the Honour of his GOD, and the Benefit of his Neighbour; and more specially if for that of a Kingdom. In short, he is so great a Master of himself, by the Grace and Spirit of Christ, that should all Mankind set themselves against him, they could not be able to cast him even into one Paroxysm.
[ A Philadelphian thinketh no Evil. ]
CANDOUR is the most Peculiar Philadelphian Characteristick: by which He is distinguished, Visibly and Eminently, from all the Parties, Sects, and External Denominations of Religion whatever. He is ever willing to take things in the Best Sense: and when two Opposite Constructions may be put upon the same Matter, he constantly remembers the Council of that Good Natur’d Philosopher, who charg’d his Pupil never to take up a Vessel by the Left Handle, when he could hold it by the Right. So the True Philadelphian considering how All Things have Two Handles, and how the very same Person is made both an Hero and a Monster, according as the painter is pleas’d to draw him; will suspend his Assent, till he can be Fully Ascertain’d, and will incline still to the more Favourable Part. For ...
[ A Philadelphian Rejoyceth not in Iniquity. ]
HE sets not up for a Critick upon the Failures of Others: nor would Establish to himself the Reputation of a Wit upon the Weaknesses or Mistakes of Any. It is the Common Vice of the World to take a Pleasure in discoursing of the Folly or Knavery of others, (without which Topicks perhaps Nine Parts in Ten of Ordinary Conversation would be Nothing:) And to Censure these is taken up as the most Easie Method to be thought a Man of Sense, or a Man of Probity. But the true Philadelphian Genius is quite otherwise: it minds not the impertinent or insignificant Buzzings of a Fly, or the ridiculous Gestures of a Monkey: it finds no delight in calling over the Political Fetches of a Cunning Fox, the Hypocrisie and Treachery of a Crocodile, or the Rapacity and Unmercifulness of a Wolf; nor is diverted in raking into Dung and Ordure. The Philadelphian Spirit is far too Noble for any such Employment as this: and therefore, living above the Genius of this World, converses much with the Blessed Inhabitants of the Superiour Worlds; who think no Evil of one another; neither rejoyce in Iniquity, or the Failings of any of their Fellow Creatures; but rejoyce in the Truth, and in the Conformity of Things Below with Things Above, or with the Heavenly Patterns. By whom being Instructed ...
[ A Philadelphian Rejoyceth in the Truth. ]
CALUMNY is the very Nature of the Devil himself, who never rejoyces more than when he finds matter for his Accusations. And its Opposite Virtue is a Ray from the Divine Nature communicated to Blessed Angels, and Blessed Souls. Hereby the true Philadelphian is made most like to the Deity, which is Truth, and thence never rejoyces, but in the Truth, or in the Reflection of his own immaculate Light. Wherefore the Philadelphian Rejoyces not Alone, but with the Best Company: with the Holy Majesty of God, with the whole Court of Heaven, with all Good Men on Earth, and more particularly with Injur’d and Oppressed Innocence, that comes to be Vindicated by the Truth.
[ A Philadelphian concealeth all Things. ]
AS his great Care is to do nothing against Truth, so since the World is very little able to Bear it, he is forc’d to enjoy it by himself, together with this Secret Blessed Society, rather than to prostitute it to such as would trample it under their Feet. Wherefore a true Philadelphian will bear, and keep all things in his Heart, that are not to be Communicated to Any but to the Wise; according to the most express Command and Caution of Christ himself, and his own Practice, with that of his Holy Mother and Apostles, and indeed of all the Prophets, Wisemen, and Scribes of the Kingdom in all Ages. This Gift of Taciturnity, and Holy Silence is most absolutely Requisite for him, as he stands ingag’d in Great Undertakings for the Glory of God. For if the Secrets of Princes ought to be Sacred, then much more, thinks the True Philadelphian, ought the Secrets of HIM By whom Princes Reign. And yet even his Secrets are with them that fear Him. [Margin Note: Psalm 25,14] However this Taciturnity or Reservedness, must not hinder but that he be Bold as a Lyon, to Declare and Promulgate all that he is Commanded by his Supreme LORD: and thus to bear up, and support as it were, under HIM, the Pillars of His Government. For ...
[ A Philadelphian Believeth all Things. ]
ON the Part of God he Believes that He is Faithful and True to perform All his Promises even to the Minutest Tittle of ‘em and that he is no less ready Now to Assist them that Truly Believe in Him, than he was to Assist all the Ancient Worthies, and Great Heroes: who are left as a Cloud of Witnesses, for us to follow their Steps. [Margin note: Heb. 12,1] And on the Part of Man a True Philadelphian will also believe all things, that upon any Probable Motives of Credibility can be produced either for Vindication, or Alleviation.
[ A Philadelphian Hopeth all Things. ]
ON the Part of GOD he Hopes both for an Ordinary, and Extraordinary Appearance of His Majesty. The Ground of this Hope is upon a Rock: and nothing is too Great for it to reach after, in Advancing His Glory. And on the Part of Man, there where the Notoriety of Evil is too Plain, for him to Believe Good, yet he Despairs not, but hopes that even the most Diabolical Sinner may at length Repent, and become a very Great and Glorious Saint; Loving much, because much is Forgiven.
[ A Philadelphian Endureth all Things. ]
THIS Heroical Faith and Hope makes the true Philadelphian to Endure and Suffer all things in his Master’s Cause, and for His Sake. For always expecting Him to come quickly, he will never flinch Back but will keep the Word of his Patience, & will remember to hold that fast which he hath, that no Man take his Crown. Wherefore ...
[ A Philadelphian never Faileth. ]
BUT when all other names of distinction shall fail, and be burnt up, this shall Abide. The Name of a PHILADELPHIAN shall endure for ever: it shall be continued as long as the Sun: and all Nations shall call him the Blessed of the LORD.
These were the Marks that were given to a certain Traveller toward the Heavenly City of PHILADELPHIA, by a strong Angel that descended thence, who having taken out his Heart, left as it were a Flaming Coal in the Room thereof; which Burns incessantly with most Vehement Desires, for the Good of All his Brethren, that is, of All Mankind.
F I N I S.
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