MR. BROTHERSí BOOK,
Published in September, 1806.
OBSERVATIONS ON HIS FORMER WRITINGS;
A LETTER SENT TO MR. HUNTINGTON
With Remarks on the Calvinist and Roman Catholic Doctrines, etc., etc.
AND THE UNBELIEF OF THE JEWS
AT THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM.
"O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in ME is
"Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy, break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord till he come and rain righteousness upon you."
Oct. 17, 1806.
FROM the title of this book, and from the Scriptures of Truth, we may discern who is the ME, and the I, that is spoken of by the prophets; as I have observed from the prophet Hosea; so we may observe from the prophet Isaiah, chap. xlii. "I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praises to graven images. Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praises from the ends of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voices, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rocks sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare his praises in the islands. The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself; now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. I will make waste mountains and hillsand I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in a path that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them."
Now here, from the words of the prophet, we must discern that he is speaking to the people in the language of the Lord, as though the Lord was speaking to them himself. No man can suppose the prophet meant, that he could destroy and devour at once; therefore he speaks of the Lordís refraining himself for a while; and then to destroy and devour at once, all that were his enemies, and make waste mountains and hills, till all the earth should praise his name.
But through Mr. Brothersí writings, instead of saying, the Lord is coming to fulfil the words of the prophets, which he hath pointed out, he alludes the following chapters and Psalms to himself: Isaiah ii., ix., lii., lx.; Daniel vii.; Micah iv.; Revelations v., xi., xii., xiv.; Ezekiel xxxiv.; Psalms ii., xxii., xlv., lxxii., lxxxix. These chapters and Psalms, in which the Lord expressly speaks of himself, what he will do in the latter days, saying, I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord, I will seek that which was lost; and which is spoken throughout, what the Lord said he would do in the end; but as Mr. Brothers said all this meant himself, he began to bring on his own fall; for as wrong as he placed the chapters, he placed every date, when they would be fulfilled; and that is the way that all his dates failed, to prove he had placed the one as wrong as the other; and by so doing he deceived himself; for it was not the Lord deceived him; and so I was ordered to lay before him how wrongly he had placed the Scriptures to himself, and in what manner he had deceived others, by his being deceived by an evil spirit. For no more than his prophecies took place, of his being revealed in the manner he mentioned, no more did the Scriptures that he had pointed out allude to him; and therefore it was not the Lord who had deceived him, but he had deceived himself, and would bring shame and sorrow upon himself in the end, if he did not repent. I pointed out the whole in a letter, from his books, wherein he had acted wrong, and sent it to Mr. Finlayson, for Mr. Brothers, which was returned back again in a cover; so my reproof was despised and rejected by them both, though I pointed out in the clearest manner, wherein he had sinned, in his saying the Lord had deceived him, in things the Lord had never spoken; and I also pointed out the Scriptures wherein he had erred in placing them to himself. Now as he refused to take a private reproof, and treated the whole with scorn and contempt, going on as before, as may be seen from a book published by him in September, wherein are these words in the 20th page:
"Godís permitting my confinement under those false charges, for publishing what he ordered, what was impossible for me to resist, and what did no harm to any individual under heaven, is not repellent to the Hebrew restoration, nor to any thing else he intends, that is connected with it, for assisting them. The time is his own, and the means are always in his power. But that he has often varied from his promised time is a melancholy fact; to ME it is a source of grief; the Scripture verifies many such, and they cannot be denied."
When this book was brought to my hands, that he still persevered to charge God foolishly and wrongfully, and was supported by those friends who had despised the reproof that was given in private, I was then ordered to reprove him in public print from the Scriptures, to prove his assertion false, in saying the Scriptures verify that the Lord often varies from his promised times. And now I shall come to the Scriptures. If we look to the prophets, who were called only to prophesy, without having the power of working miracles given them, as was the case with Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and all the following prophets, who were only called to prophesy, no man can say the Lord deceived them; but it was menís own judgment that deceived them, as the prophecies were given on conditions, with threatenings and promises, as the people obeyed or disobeyed; and prophecies of threatenings could be of no use to mankind, if they were put immediately in execution, without giving the people space to repent. Therefore in the threatenings being prolonged, as was said in the case of Ezekiel, the time was prolonged, and the visions failed; therefore they said he had prophesied for a great while to come, a time they judged to be afar off; because it did not come as they expected, without considering that the Lord had warned them to give them space for repentance. And this hath been the way of the Lord by his threatenings to his prophets; for judgments are not always hastily executed; and when the Lord sees that some begin to fear the threatenings, then in mercy he prolongs the judgments; and for the sake of the righteous, for a while the sinners are spared, as the Lord said to Abraham, that he would save Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of ten righteous, after he had threatened destruction, if ten righteous had been found there. The same we may see in the case of Nineveh; when they repented the judgments were prolonged. So when the Lord threatens because of sin, his judgments are prolonged, if men repent; therefore, in these prophets, we may discern in what manner the judgments came on; and for what reasons many were deferred for a while, that they were not hastily put in execution; and yet, if we read the prophets through, we shall discern the threatenings were put in execution after they had been deferred for a while; and many of the prophecies that were given to these prophets stand for the end and for all nations.Therefore men could not be clear in judging all their prophecies, and though they prophesied of the Birth of Christ, and of his Death, for the transgression of man, and of his coming again in the clouds of heaven to destroy the works of the devil, and bring in his Kingdom of Peace; yet it was not in the power of man to understand the meaning of the whole, or in what manner the prophecies would be fulfilled, or at what time they would be fulfilled; for the prophets themselves did not know. And though Isaiah prophesied of our Saviour in the ix. chapter, "That unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace; of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end;" but at what time, or in what manner this would be fulfilled, was not understood by the prophet; and yet it is fulfilled in part, that unto us a Child was born, and suffered for the transgression of man, which was the Son of God; and the Son that should come hereafter to have the government upon his shoulders, and to be the Prince of Peace when he cometh according to the words of the prophet, in the xxv. chapter to destroy in his mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations, he will swallow up death in victory, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces, and the rebuke of his people shall be taken away from off all the earth; for the Lord hath spoken it: and it shall be said in that day, "Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is the Lord, we have waited for him; we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." Then will be fulfilled the ii. chap. of Isaiah, and the iv. chap. of Micah, which are said to be in the last days"He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off: they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn War any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine, and under his fig-tree; for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts hath spoken it:" and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day, "and the Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion, from henceforth even for ever." Then will be fulfilled the words of the prophet Daniel, in the vii. chapter, and his Vision will then be fulfilled, that he beheld till the beast was slain; and then he saw in the vision one like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him; and his kingdom is that which shall not be destroyed; and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heavens shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; but then all dominions shall serve and obey him who cometh with the clouds of heaven. Now if we compare these words with the words of our Saviour, in the Gospel, after enumerating the sorrows that should first come upon the earth, and menís hearts failing them for fear, looking after these things which are coming on the earth; then shall the powers of the heavens be shaken, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory; but when these things begin to come to pass, our Saviour telleth us to lift up our heads, that our redemption draweth nigh, that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand; then will the words of our Saviour be fulfilled, and the prince of this world be cast out; and the Lord will draw all men unto him, and the prince of this world will be judged. "When the Spirit of Truth is come, he will guide you into all truths; and he will glorify God; and he will shew you things to come: he shall glorify ME, and shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." Thus our Saviour assures us that the Spirit of Truth must first come, to testify of him; because the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in his name, HE shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance. Thus our Saviour spoke of the Spirit, concerning himself, to testify of HIS coming in might, majesty, and glory; and when we consider the words of our Saviour, John xviii. 37, when Pilate said, "Art thou a King? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a King: to this end was I born; and for this cause came I into the world." Then it is plain that our Saviour came into the world to have the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of the living God, as it was prophesied of by Daniel; and that he should destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil, and bring in the redemption of man, according to his promises. But these scriptures of the prophets being placed in this manner, the Jews had no knowledge in what manner the Lord would fulfil them: they did not believe that HE must first come to bear the transgression of man, or to be bruised for our iniquities, that the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are to be healed; this prophecy the Jews never expected to be fulfilled; neither do they believe the other prophets, that they shall look on him whom they have pierced; and therefore they fulfil the prophecies through unbelief, judging that the Son of God could not be wounded for the transgression of man, that they should first see their King meek and lowly riding upon an ass. This the Jews did not believe; and therefore they stand out in unbelief to this day; and yet they are expecting the fulfilment of the other prophecies, to see the Lord come in might, majesty, and power, to be the Prince of Peace, as is said by Isaiah; and to fulfil the prophecies of Daniel. Thus the Jews believe one part of the prophecies, and not the other; and perfectly so stand men now under the Gospel; therefore we cannot condemn the prophecies that stand on record, to say they are not true, because the wisdom of men will not believe them true; but if we search the Scriptures, we shall find they are joined together, and one part is fulfilled of the prophecies of our Saviour, though they are not believed by thousands, any more than they are by the Jews; which can be proved by the Arians and other different sects of religion; but their unbelief, or want of judgment, doth not prove the prophets were false; and yet we may observe from Jeremiah, that he himself drew a wrong judgment; for when the Lord threatened judgments for the rebellion of the house of Israel, but promised blessings if they repented, the prophet looked to the one, but not to the other; therefore, he said, Ah, Lord God, surely thou hast greatly deceived this people, and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace, whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul. Now this was the wrong judgment in the prophet, but not in the words of the Lord; for if men begin to read the prophecies of Jeremiah, from the i. chap. to the ivth, where Jeremiah thus complains, they will find that it was on conditions the promise stood; and if they read through Jeremiah, they will find the words of the Lord were fulfilled concerning Jerusalem; but many of his prophecies stood FOR THE END; therefore they could not be fulfilled in his days. And here we may see, from the judgment of the prophet, that he drew a wrong and hasty judgment of his own; but that does not prove the words of the Lord were wrong. Now the same observation we may draw from the Words of the Lord in the beginning to Jeremiah, in the i. chapter, where the Lord said, "Be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them; for behold I have made thee a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and a brazen wall against the whole land, and against the kings of Judah; and they shall fight against thee, but shall not prevail against thee, for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee." Now if we read through Jeremiah, we shall find the truth of every word, for they did fight against him, and they cast him into a dungeon; yet the Lord was with him to deliver him, and he worked in the heart of the king to have him delivered out of the dungeon, and the Lord delivered him to the end, though they fought against him, as the Lord said they would do: but the Lord delivered him out of their hands; they had no power to destroy the prophet, and yet, we may see, in the midst of distress, how apt we are to sink in despair, and speak unadvisedly with our lips. This was the case with Jeremiah, in the xx. chapter; when he was put in the stocks, and abused by the son of the priest, Jeremiah said in the bitterness of his soul, "O Lord thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived; thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed; I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me." Here Jeremiah had expected, from the words of the Lord, that they should not prevail against him, and that they would have no power to hurt him at all. So it was from his wrong discernment of the words that caused Jeremiah to complain, when they fought against him, as the Lord said; he discerned one part, but not the other; the promises that the Lord would deliver him were strong upon his mind; but that they would fight against him, for the Lord to deliver him; he did not consider, that if he was in no trouble, or no derision, and no one fighting against him, then the Lord would have had nothing to deliver him from; and thus we may observe, from the wrong judgment of the prophets, how they sometimes spoke unadvisedly, as in the case of Moses: he expected the Lord would have delivered the children of Israel as soon as he came to Pharaoh; and therefore he complained too hastily, that the Lord had not delivered them; and this was the wrong judgment of men, placing the ways of the Lord to their own ways and wisdom; but the Lord fulfilleth his words according to his own ways and wisdom, and so he delivered the children of Israel according to his promises, that never failed; and the same we may see by Jeremiah, in all that they fought against him, it was not in their power to prevail against him; for the Lord delivered him out of all their power in the end, according to his words and promises: and though they wished to put him to death, they had not power to accomplish their design; because the Lord was with him to deliver him. And thus we may discern from the prophet Jeremiah, how he drew a wrong judgment, when his spirits were overcome by the persecution of his enemies, when they were fighting against him: but see how the Lord delivered him, and brought destruction upon his enemies, who fought against him, and mocked him. So let them read the prophecies through, and they will see that the words of the Lord were perfectly fulfilled in the end; therefore, no man can prove from these prophets, that the LORD varied from his words or promises: and we know from the Gospel, that our Saviour said he came not to destroy the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfil them: till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law till all be fulfilled: and on his words we are to depend; but all the words of the prophets it was never said that they should be fulfilled, till it came to the LAST DAYS, that the Lord cometh in the clouds of heaven; to make the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdoms of the living God, according to the words of Daniel and the other prophets. So here we may discern, from these prophets, that were only called to prophesy, no man can say the Lord varied from his words, or prove that the words of the prophets will never be fulfilled; which is out of the power of man to do, as the Jews are a standing proverb before us: and if we look to the Gospel, and look around us in every nation, and look to the many false doctrines that have of late years increased in this nation, and the many false prophets, and false Christs that have lately risen, and if we discern from the Spirit of Truth that hath visited, to shew us things to come; before they sprang forth, or any of the things appeared, they were all foretold, what is now before us in this nation, and the surrounding nations: and if we discern all these things, we may discern the Scriptures, as our Saviour said, like the green leaves shooting forth, to shew us all the end is near, and like flowers in the bud beginning to open, so we may see the whole opening to our view. And here I shall leave the prophets, who were only called to prophesy, that no man can prove the Lord deceived them; and our Saviourís promise is, that they shall not be deceived; for all should be fulfilled.
And now I shall come to the prophets that Mr. Brothers
hath placed a likeness to himself, which are Moses and Elijah.
Now when the Lord came to Moses in Mount Horeb, and appeared in the bush, which seemed burning with fire, but was not consumed: in this marvellous manner, with signs and wonders, the Lord first appeared unto Moses, when he commanded him to go to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring forth the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. As the Lord appeared in signs and wonders to Moses, in what manner he should deliver the children of Israel, by working of miracles before them, as he shewed him from the rod becoming a serpent, and by putting his hand in his bosom that became as a leper; and afterwards commanding him to put his hand the second time in his bosom, which was turned again like his other flesh. Here the Lord began to shew Moses the Shadow of Miracles, before he sent him to Pharaoh, that he might have assurance of faith to go unto him, and to know that the Lord had spoken to him. And when Moses came to Pharaoh and he refused to let the children of Israel go, saying, "Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice, to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go." Then the Lord went on to work the miracles that he had spoken before, that he would work by the hands of Moses and Aaron. And when Pharaoh asked for a miracle, know, Aaron took the rod as he was commanded and cast it before Pharaoh, and it became a serpent; and when the magicians, by their enchantment, cast down their rods to become serpents, the rod of Aaron swallowed up their rods. Again, the Lord commanded Moses to go unto Pharaoh and smite the waters of the river, that it should be turned into blood; and the waters were turned into blood, and the fishes died, and the rivers stank. Again, the Lord told them to go unto Pharaoh, and they should bring forth frogs; and the frogs came according to the words, and went into their houses. Again, the Lord commanded them to smite the dust of the land, and it should become lice over all Egypt, and it became lice throughout all Egypt. And the enchantment of Pharaohís magicians ceased; they could not bring the lice, as the others had done, therefore the magicians said unto Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God;" but Pharaohís heart was hardened. Then the Lord told them to go unto Pharaoh, and the Lord would send swarms of flies upon him and his servants. And the Lord fulfilled his words, that there came swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and all the land of Egypt was corrupted by reason of the flies. Now all the things that the Lord spoke unto Moses and Aaron, that he would do in the land of Egypt, he fulfilled in every word; he did not deceive them in one thing; but the Lord gave them power to wound, when Pharaohís heart was hardened, and power to heal, when Pharaoh repented, and promised to let Israel go; but when he refused, and went from his word, the Lord threatened with other plagues, and sent them: he threatened the murrain in the land of Egypt, and upon the cattle; and the murrain came, and all the cattle of Egypt died; but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one. So the Lord sent upon Egypt the sore boils, the pestilence, and the hail mingled with fire, to smite the herbs of the field, and the locusts, and slew all the first born of Egypt. So if we discern through Moses, there was not one thing that the Lord told Moses and Aaron, he would do by their hands, that he deceived them in; for when they came before Pharaoh with these threatened judgments, what the Lord would do if he were hardened, every one of these threatened judgments took place in the days and hours according to the words the Lord had spoken; he did not deceive them in point of times, and vary from his words, to say he would perform it another time; but the Lord performed it at his promised time. And the same we may see of Elijah, when the Lord had promised to work miracles by his hand, to confound the prophets of Baal by building the Altars and laying the Bullocks thereon with wood, but to put no fire under, and Elijah said he would do the same, and they should call upon the name of their gods, and Elijah said he would call upon the name of the Lord his God; and the God that answered by fire should be God: to which the people all agreed, and Baalís prophets cried unto their god till the time of the evening sacrifice; but no fire came to consume the wood or to dress the meat; but when Elijah called upon the Lord God of Heaven, in whom he trusted, then the fire fell from the Lord and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones, and dried up the water that was in the trenches. So here we see, when the Lord called his prophets to work miracles, to convince the people who was the God that they should serve, he did not deceive the prophets, but fulfilled the miracles he proposed, by them; and the same we may see again by the prophet Elijah, when he answered the messengers that were sent after him by the king of Samaria, because Elijah reproved him for sending to Baal-zebub the god of Ekron to enquire of his recovery; and Elijah said, because he had done it he should surely die; for which reason the king sent after him captains of fifties, to bring Elijah before him; but Elijah called fire from heaven to consume them. So if we discern through these prophets, whose calling was to work miracles, to convince those that worshipped strange gods, their miracles never failed; because the Lord proved by them that HE was the God of the whole earth, in whose hands was all power to save or to destroy; but the gods in whom they trusted were gods of no power. And now let us come to the Gospel. At the birth of Christ signs and wonders were seen by the wise men of the East; for the angels of the Lord came unto them, as they were watching their flocks by night, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and said, Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people; for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. From the appearance of angels, and a multitude of the heavenly host praising God in the highest, saying, on earth peace, good will towards men, we must know that this was the Prince of Peace who was born for Salvation and Redemption, to bring in peace to mankind; and as touching of miracles, they are through the Gospel, that our Saviour never failed of working the miracles he proposed; and the power that he gave to his disciples, of working miracles after him, did not fail; so that the Lord never failed in his promises through the records of the Bible; where he promised the working of miracles he always fulfilled his word, by giving the power; neither did he fail in point of times. And no man can take this upon himself to say he is a likeness of Moses, Elijah, or a representative of CHRIST, before he can perform all the miracles that they wrought, to prove the truth of what he asserts. Moses had the power of working miracles given him, to shew the power of a God to Pharaoh, whom Pharaoh said he did not know, neither would he obey. Therefore the Lord worked miracles by the hand of Moses, that he might know it was a God in power had ordered him to obey; and by Elijah the Lord worked miracles, to shew them plainly they had forsaken the God that had all Power in his hand, to worship Baal that had none; and so, by the working of miracles, the Lord proved himself to these people, that HE alone was the God in power whom they ought to worship and obey; and the same we may discern in Daniel: it was to convince the heathen kings that the Lord worked miracles to save the Jews in the fiery furnace, and Daniel from the den of lions; but when we come to the Gospel, we must discern, from the miracles our Saviour wrought, it was to convince mankind that HE was the Son of God, prophesied of by all the prophets, that he should be born for our salvation, and be wounded for manís transgression, to come again in might, majesty, and glory, and bring in our redemption; and it is to him they must look from the ends of the earth, if they wish to be saved.
So here I have proved, from the Scriptures, how false are Mr. Brotherís assertions, that he hath published to the world, to say that the Lord varies from his promised time, and that the Scriptures verify it, which is out of his power to prove; because I have brought forward the Scriptures, to lay before them who now join with him in casting the blame upon the Lord, as it is shocking to hear that some of his believers do to this day; for which reason I was ordered to bring forward the Scriptures, and prove the falseness of his assertion, that all might know it was not the Lord that had deceived him, but a wrong spirit, when he began to lift himself up, that he was more than man, and placed Scriptures to himself that did not belong to man. But here men may begin to marvel, how any man could believe in him at first, hearing in what manner he had placed the Scriptures to himself; they may marvel, as I did when I read his books through. After his being freed from prison I marvelled at his believers; yet, at the same time, I saw many of his prophecies, that he foretold in 1791, and 1792, concerning the war, and many things that happened abroad came perfectly true; and I was truly convinced that he had some visitations from the Lord, or he could not have foretold the things he did; and it was from the truth that followed his words in the beginning which caused many to believe in him, thinking the other things that he had predicted might be fulfilled the same; and though the believers in him, whom I have been acquainted with, have all acknowledged that there were many things he placed to himself which appeared a stumbling-block to them, where he placed himself in many parts of the Scriptures. This they allowed seemed hard to be believed; yet, as he had been visited by the Lord, in the truths that had taken place, they feared to take in question the ways and decrees of the Lord; and as the Lord had made use of instruments to work by man in ages back, as with Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and other prophets, they could not be assured that the Lord would not make use of an instrument in man again, to convince the Jews, and bring in their restoration. So they looked on him as an instrument which the Lord might choose to work by; and the mysteries they could not understand they left to time, thinking the Lord would clear every mystery to them in the end, as they looked to a higher power than Brothers to fulfil his words; for they did not believe the man in himself could any more work the miracles he proposed, than they believed he could have foretold the events of the war and other things, that so soon took place, without a visitation from the Lord, any more than another man; and therefore they judged, as the Lord had warned him concerning the war, HE might give him power, as he did to Moses, to be a means of awakening the Jews; and thus his believers, in the beginning, were drawn in from the truth that followed concerning the war, and left to time the things they did not understand; though they said that many things in his writings stumbled them; but they were afraid of drawing too hasty a judgment. This just reasoning of his believers made them appear to me as prudent and conscientious men, fearing to exercise themselves in things too high for them; therefore they prudently left it to time to unveil the mysteries they did not understand; and I own myself, if I had read his books in the beginning, when the truths appeared, before I had seen what he wrote afterwards, I should have believed as they did; but when I saw the whole together, I marvelled greatly that a man like him should be visited by the Lord at all, before the following Communication was given me, wherein the wisdom of the Lord was made manifest.
THE ANSWER OF THE SPIRIT.
"I shall answer thee from thy pondering thoughts, in reading over the books of Brothers, wherein thou marvellest at the believers. And now I bid thee look to the Jews, and tell ME where they place these Scriptures either to God or man; for if thou discernest the Scriptures that he hath pointed out, thou must discern, in many it speaks of a man being on the earth, as thou wilt discern from the Branch growing out of the Root of Jesse to have the Spirit of the Lord upon him; and the same from the Psalms, it must be a man upon earth, or his hands and feet could not be pierced. So if thou marvellest at the believersí believing this to be a man where all these chapters allude, then thou mayest marvel at the Jews who believed not my Gospel, when they saw all my miracles, but believed these Scriptures would be fulfilled by a mere man empowered from on high. But now come to the Calvinists, and search the Bible, as thou hast Brothersí books, and thou wilt find the Scriptures as strongly to contradict their doctrine, as thou hast his books; therefore I have told thee, the end of all things is at hand, and to open the blind eyes, and unstop the deaf ears, I visited a man in the beginning, whose heart was known to ME to place the Scriptures to himself, that exalted him above mankind. But now I ask thee, where is the difference between him and them? Is not their belief alike to read of the Elect, and say that meaneth themselves; to read of the Reprobate, and point it out to their neighbours? are not all conditions left out of the question, as Brothers left out his? doth he not say it was a covenant made with David concerning him, and he is the man to claim it? and do not the Calvinists say, it was my decrees, before the foundation of the world was made, to elect them as members for honour and glory? and do they not say with Brothers, these elect mean myself, without conditions of saying my Elect are everywhere, they that fear God and work righteousness shall be saved, and he that seeks ME shall find ME, and whosoever cometh unto ME I will in no wise cast them out, and if the sinner turn from the evil of his ways I have said I shall turn unto them and pardon their iniquities and love them freely; but if the righteous man forsaketh his righteousness and committeth sin, his righteousness shall be forgotten? Therefore my Elect stand on conditions, but no more discerned by the Calvinists, that I shall elect all my saints together, and all them that love my name I shall elect as my people, is no more understood by them, than Brothers hath understood the Scriptures that he hath pointed out, to say it was a covenant made to him, that stands on the records of the Scriptures, and therefore it must be fulfilled to him, notwithstanding all his murmuring, and all his writing against his Creator. Thou seest he stands self-confident to the end, that he is the restorer of the Jews, that his election stands on the record of the Scriptures; and in like manner is the election of the Calvinists; therefore I told thee thou must place them both together, and I commanded thee to search the Scriptures; and thou marvellest in thy heart as much at the belief of the Calvinists, when thou seest on what conditions all stand, as thou hast marvelled at Brothers. And know how I placed them together in the Scriptures: Both prophet and priest were profane, and profane they will find in the end are thousands that boast themselves of being elected; thousands will find themselves as much disappointed of being my Elect, as Brothers hath found himself disappointed in being the chosen vessel to be honoured above his brethren, and above mankind; therefore his doctrine is no more erroneous than the other; and know I told thee in the beginning to place the Romans, the Arians, and the Calvinists with him; and thy heart is known to ME, no more to believe the one than the other; but as they have been customs so long established, it does not appear so marvellous in thy eyes concerning the Calvinists, the Arians, and the Romans, as it doth concerning Brothers; but I tell thee, as a looking-glass for all to shew the folly that is in mankind, I visited Brothers in the beginning, concerning the wars; for the heart of the man was known to ME, in what manner Satan would swell his pride, as his heart was inclining thereto. Perfectly so are the Calvinists; as soon as they feel a check of conscience, being convinced of the error of their ways, they go on like Brothers, boasting of their calling, and of their election, upon a sandy foundation, as he went on to boast of his great character in the Scriptures; and so from the Scriptures they boast of theirs; and this error is gone through your land; and to shew them their own folly the books of Brothers are brought forward, which I have bid thee to compare together. But they will find Brothers to be the perfect Jonah, which every one will see in the end; for as true as the wars followed his predictions, so true will all men find every chapter that he hath brought forward, I am hastening on to fulfil; but as his dates failed, when he placed these Scriptures to himself, so they will find him to fail of being the character he hath said; and yet like Jonahís warning to Nineveh, is his warning to mankind, that all these chapters he hath mentioned I am hastening to fulfil, till the Second Psalm be fulfilled, as I told thee in the beginning: and then My kingdom of righteousness and peace will be established, when the uttermost parts of the earth are in my possession; that meaneth, all hearts to be mine, and death and hell swallowed up in victory. And now discern from the earthquakes abroad, and the falling of the mountain, and all the wars and tumults that are going on, and see how my Gospel is fulfilling, and the Revelation; all is hastening on, as I told thee in the beginning, to bring the earth to the knowledge of the Lord: and then will wars and tumults cease; for know I told thee, the first woe was for man, and after that comes the woe for the devil. And now discern how the woes for man are hastening on, and how I told thee of my going from nation to nation, as thou wentest from field to field. So if thou discern thy writings, what I told thee of the nations abroad, and what I have told thee of this nation; all must discern how my threatenings were more severe abroad than at home, before I had tried this nation, and made it clear. And now discern in what manner the substance is going on to follow the shadow of what I told thee of the two monarchs that started out on a sudden; and now discern from the shadow that is past, and what ye hear of the substance to follow; then ye may discern in what manner I have spoken of the nations abroad, to keep off the stroke from this nation, before I have tried them to the utmost. And in this manner I shall go on to fulfil my words in the nations abroad; but as this nation hath been warned, and hath been invited, and sees the stroke abroad, I tell thee, when it cometh upon this land it will come suddenly, as I have told thee, in a way and manner not expected; therefore no man can draw a judgment to tell them when or in what manner I shall bring the stroke upon this nation. But this I tell thee of Brothers, the Scriptures that he hath brought forward in his prophecies I am going on to fulfil, and shall not cease till they are all fulfilled; but not in the manner he described; and all will find he is the prophet Jonah; but a greater than Jonah will come to fulfil the Scriptures that he hath pointed out to be hastening on.
"And now I shall answer thy thoughts, saying, will not the world say, thou hast applied the Scriptures to thyself, as being the woman mentioned in the Revelation? Here thou sayest the three different classes stand in a likeness, and in one likeness the three are condemned by the world, as applying the Scriptures to themselves, and all alike have the anger of the world kindled against them, and all three have been written against; so thy inquiry is, where is the difference of the likeness in the three? But now I shall tell thee where the difference lieth in the three; and let them discern thy mission, and thy calling, in what manner the Scriptures are applied, that I have brought forward by thee; and then they will see there is no likeness at all; because I tell thee concerning the Revelation, it is not thyself as a woman that hath presumed to say thou hast power given thee to heal the fall of the woman, but a Scripture explained to thee, (Rev. xii.*) thus from that chapter the Sun of Righteousness must first arise with healing in his wings, to heal the fall of the woman, before the Redemption of Man can take place; and that promise was made in the beginning to bruise the head of her adversary, that betrayed her; therefore the Scriptures are not pointed out to thee as a mere mortal, only alluding to thyself; but as a Scripture truth that must take place and be fulfilled, and the fall of the woman must be healed, before your Redemption can ever take place. So if they discern deeply how the chapter stands for the end, to bring in the kingdom of God, and the Power of his Christ, they must discern these Scriptures are only the fulfilment of my Gospel. When I come to bring in the Redemption of Man, I must first redeem the woman, that stands under the condemnation of the fall; and her adversary must be cut off. So these Scriptures are not applied to thee only, as they have applied the Scriptures to themselves; but a scripture I have said I am coming to fulfil, to redeem you from the fall, according to the promise I made in my Gospel, which I am now coming to fulfil, and make the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of the living God. Now I shall come to the other chapter, that they say thou hast placed to thyself, from the marriage of the Lamb; but know what I told thee of the marriage of the Lamb, that its only true meaning is to unite all nations unto ME, that will accept my offered mercies, as marriage unites a man and woman together. This I have told thee is the Marriage of the Lamb; and this union must take place, before my Kingdom of Peace is established, or the kingdoms of this world can become the kingdoms of the living God: and these are the words I said in my Gospel, If I was lifted up, I would draw all men unto ME, and the prince of this world should be cast out; and these words I spoke of the END, what I should do when I came in might, majesty, and glory, to bring in the Redemption of Man; and then cometh the Kingdom of your God. Now discern what is said by the prophet IsaiahThy Maker is thine Husband, the Lord of Hosts is his name, and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall he be called. Then now I ask them,how they will prove this chapter to be fulfilled, or their Maker to be called the Husband, before the people become the wife? for by that
* The original Book showed 1 Cor. xiv., xx.
name the Church must stand as the Bride and as the wife, when I come to be the God of the whole Earth, that all my children are taught of ME: and great shall be the peace upon the earth, when I am as a Husband over all. So let no one say thou hast placed Scriptures to thyself in a likeness of the others that place the Scriptures to themselves; because the Scriptures that I have pointed out to thee are Scriptures that must be fulfilled, before your Redemption can take place; and what I told thee in the beginning I am coming in the Spirit to accomplish, to have the heathens for mine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for my possession."
From this Communication I see the wisdom of God in his visitation to such a man as Mr. Brothers, for to shew the Calvinists their perfect likeness, how they place all to mean themselves; and like him they will be deceived in the end. And now I shall shew what the Calvinist doctrine is from Mr. Cooperís Books, who preaches that doctrine. He says, "I believe that none will be saved but the Elect of God, whom he hath chosen out of mankind, from the foundation of the world, for whom alone Christ died, and who are predestinated to be conformed to Christís image, in this world, and also in that which is to come."
Now I shall shew what the likeness of Christís image is: when we say we are predestinated to be conformed to this image, we must consider what his image was. When Satan came to tempt our Saviour, HE disputed with the devil, and confounded him, rejecting all the honours that Satan offered him, if HE would fall down and worship him; but Jesus answered, "Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Here our Saviour bids defiance to Satanís temptation, and his power, telling him the Lord alone is to be worshipped. Then our Saviour goes on to exhort the people that they were blessed who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled: and blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy: and he exhorted them to seek the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things should be added unto them. Our Saviour further exhorts them to askand it shall be given; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. These are the exhortations our Saviour gave to the people; and then he goes on to cast out devils, wherever he found them in the people; if they came unto him, Jesus cast out the unclean spirits from them that were possessed with them: and our Saviour said, the Prince of this world should be cast out, if he was lifted up: and the prince of this world should be judged when the Spirit of Truth came to guide us into all truths, and to teach us things to come: and our Saviour said HE came to do the will of his Father; and he honoured the Father. Then how can man say he is predestinated to be in the image or likeness of Christ, to be conformed to the will of God, without honouring our Creator, acknowledging his wisdom in the beginning, and his justice in the ending; that if Christ was lifted up for the transgression of man, the prince of this world should be cast out; and our Saviour would draw all men to him that would be conformed to his image and likeness? For this was his predestination for the endthat all men should worship the Lord; and this was the doctrine our Saviour taught us, and to pray that the kingdom of the Lord might come, and his will be done on earth, as it is in heaven: and our Saviour promised us that he will take out of his kingdom all that offend and do wickedly, when he comes to bring in our redemption, and make the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdoms of the living God. This was the Gospel Christ taught us; and this was the Gospel the Apostles preached in his likeness, saying, Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world; repent ye therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you, whom the heavens must receive until the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouths of all his holy prophets since the world began: and our Saviour suffered for the FIRST, that he might establish the LAST, to destroy the works of the devil and make the law honourable in the end. But as some may not understand the words, what is meant by the FIRST I must lead them to the Fall. He bore the transgression of man, according to the promise, and had his heel bruised, that he might establish the fulfilment of the promise that was made to the woman, of bruising the Serpentís head, Adam was the first whom the Lord called to after the fall, and when he was reproved for eating the forbidden fruit, his answer was, "The woman thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat;" and this blame our Saviour bore, and suffered for the transgression of man, and had his heel bruised, according to the promise. But the SECOND promise was to the woman, that when the Lord enquired what she had done, her answer was, The Serpent beguiled me and I did eat. And it was from her words that the curse was pronounced on that old serpent called the devil; and which is also said by the Apostle: Our Saviour suffered, that through death he might destroy him which hath the power of death, that is the devil. But as men do not look to the FIRST, they are all stumbled at the LAST, and do not discern what they are predestinated for in the END, which is to have the same mind in them that was in Christ Jesusthat the name of the Lord may run and be glorified, and the evil power that is at enmity against God may be destroyed: and for this cause was the Son of God made manifest, that he might destroy the works of the devil, which St. John telleth us of in the Revelationthe Saints will rejoice and be glad to see Satan, the deceiver of the world, cast out, and the accuser of our Brethren cast down; and then cometh the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ; and he will reign with his saints a thousand years. And this is what those that bear the image of Christ, and have the same mind in them that is in Christ Jesus, are predestinated for in the end, to be conformed to his mind and will.
Now I shall come to another observation of Mr. Cooperís. He reproves a minister for calling upon his hearers to believe that Christ died for them, and that he is their Saviour; and he further adds in his reproof, "Surely it cannot be the duty of any man to believe a lie! which many who hear the Gospel must do, if they believe that Christ died for them; for I am sure you do not believe the unscriptural doctrine of universal Redemption!"
Now from the Scriptures I shall answer him: Universal Redemption is held out to all returning sinners, that believe in Christ, and trust in him for Salvation. St. Peter saith, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him; for so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light unto the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth; after this I will return again, and will build the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build up again the ruins thereof, and will set it up, that the residue of men may seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, who call upon my name, saith the Lord, who doth all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world, and those the Apostles called Noble, that received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether these things were as the Apostles had told them. And the Apostle Paul observes to the Romans, As by the offences of ONE, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of ONE the FREE GIFT came to all men to justification of life. For as by ONE MANíS disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of ONE shall many be made righteous: that as sin hath reigned unto death; even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by JESUS CHRIST our LORD; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him; for whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be savedfor of him, and through him, and to him, are all things. For, as it is written, as I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to ME, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more; but judge thus rather that no man put a stumbling-block, or an occasion to fall, in his brotherís way, but let us follow after the things which make for our peace, and things wherewith one may edify another; so that ye come behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. But where is the man who can prove that it is not putting a stumbling-block in the way of mankind, to tell them Christ never died for them if they turn unto him, and that it is but the elect only who will be saved? But what saith the Apostle: Who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? or who hath first given counsel to him? This is impossible for any man to answer, that he hath been the Lordís counsellor, or that he hath known the mind of the Lord; therefore let not men be judges of his will, but follow after the things that he hath taught them, which makes for their peace. The Scriptures teach us to invite ALL; but if they refuse to come, the fault is their own.
And now I shall come to another observation of Mr. Cooperís, as his books contain many letters respecting ministers, which he has published. In one of his letters he reproves a minister for calling upon his hearers to endeavour after faith, and pray that they might be converted; and adds, "my dear friend, you have no warrant for such kind of exhortation in the word of God."
Now here, from his words, we may see the Scriptures are entirely denied by this man; because our Saviour bids them to ask, that they might receive; and seek, and they should find; and he tells the people to pray to the Lord of the harvest; and he saith, Come unto ME, all ye that are heavy laden, and I will give you rest; for My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. So we may discern through the Gospel, that promises are held out to all returning sinners; and our Saviour invited all to turn unto him: and whosoever asked of him any favours in the days of the flesh, he granted the petitions to all, as they did not ask in vain; for our Saviour said, he came to seek and to save that which was lost; and this was the doctrine our Saviour taught his disciples to preach; and the Apostle saith, The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to the knowledge of the truth, and be saved; and our Saviour said, whosoever came unto him, he would in no wise cast them out; and he blamed the people for not coming unto him, that they might have life. So all may discern, from the Scriptures, how they are denied by the Calvinists; and how they deny the truth that the Scriptures contain: so that every one that reads Cooperís books and the Bible must know that his doctrine is false; and there are some things in his books so very contrary to the Scriptures, and to the Mercies of God, that I shall not bring forward, as they are too bad even to mention: for they are full of the most deadly poison to every serious mind; all which I can prove from the Scriptures, and that he hath no warrant for such doctrine as he hath published. And as this is false doctrine gone out in the world, wresting the Scriptures, and denying the truth they contain, I do not marvel that the Scriptures are denied, that they ever will be fulfilled; for as men deny one part of the Scriptures, I do not marvel if they deny the other part, and the words of the Apostle, who saith, There remaineth a rest for the people of God, who are looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearance of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquities: and gave himself a ransom for ALL, to be testified in due time: and we know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time: he who now letteth will let until he be taken out of the way; then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the brightness of his coming: then will death be swallowed up in victory: and thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. St. John saith, We do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world; and to them that look for him shall HE appear the second time without sin unto salvation. So that we shall not all sleep, but we shall be all changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Now from the Scriptures that I have brought forward, and ten times the number I could mention, we may see from the Gospel of Christ the promises he made of our redemption, and to cast out the prince of this World, and how the disciples that were chosen by him confirmed the same doctrine, in faith and belief, unto all their hearers; and who say the Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved. This is the doctrine of Christ, and his Apostles, who were conformed to his IMAGE in FAITH and BELIEF, that he was the God of Truth and would fulfil the Gospel, according to his own Words, and would fulfil the words of the prophets, as he said in the 5th Chap. of St. Matthew. Then how can any man say he is predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ, and deny the doctrine our Saviour taught, and his disciples, who were conformed to his image in their preaching and doctrine, and who were strong in faith to believe his words? And from the Gospel we are taught that it is for refusing the love of God in Christ Jesus, and making ourselves reprobates by sin, that we shall be cut off with the reprobate, the devil, for rejecting the mercies that are held out in the Gospel; but the ELECT is MAN; therefore we are commanded to strive to make our calling and election sure, that we may be the elect in the end; for all stands on conditions: if the sinners return from the evil of their ways, the promise of the Lord stands on record, that he will turn unto them, and have mercy on them, and love them freely; but if the righteous man turneth from his righteousness, and committeth sin, then his righteousness is forgotten. So manís election stands on conditions to the end, which we may discern from our Saviourís words, and the parables he brought in of the servantsí waiting for the coming of their Lord: and blessed is that servant who, when his Lord cometh he shall find so doing; but our Saviour calls him an evil servant who says, my Lord delayeth his coming.
So here I shall leave the readers to judge for themselves from the Scriptures and the doctrine of the Calvinists, whose errors I was ordered to point out to mankind. After reading Mr. Cooperís book I was ordered to go and hear Mr. Huntington myself, that I might condemn no one unheard; as I was informed he preached the doctrine of Election; but I was ordered to be clear in judging before I condemned; therefore I went to hear him, as will be seen by the following letter, which I was ordered to send to reprove him. And as soon as the letter was sent away, I had a sign set before me, if he returned the letter back again, as Mr. Brothersí friend returned the letter of reproof that was sent to him, then I was ordered to make the letter public. The following day the letter was returned in a cover, and I was ordered to put it in print.
REV. SIR, Oct. 8, 1806.
The contents of my letter may surprise you; but I know, if you are a man fearing God, as you profess to be, it will try you, and put you upon a deep enquiry, whether you are reproved with a just reproof, as coming from the Lord, or not; as my letter is a letter of reproof to you, not from myself; neither was it out of any curiosity of my own that I attended your chapel, September 28th, and October 5th, 1806. It was by a command from the Spirit that visits me, whom I have experienced to be the Spirit of Truth, for more than thirty years, and whose directions I have followed; and by the Spirit I was commanded to go to your chapel the days I have mentioned. And now you may begin to enquire, what are the reproofs; or what am I ordered to reprove you for; and what fault I found in your doctrine? To this I answer: as to the doctrine that I heard the first Sunday, from a Mr. Brooks, I could by no means blame, as he preached a Christianís experience, which I myself know the truth of by experience, for more than forty years; and as to your sermon, the beginning of it was a Christianís experience, and the truth of the Gospel; and you began with inviting all to come, and pointed out in what manner the Lord assisted by his Spirit those that did come unto him; for as the dews upon the tender herbs to refresh them, so doth the Spirit of the Lord descend upon those that come unto him for their salvation, and trust in him to be their strength and support through every temptation: and these things I myself am a living witness of the truth, by the experience I have had of the power and goodness of the Lord, to refresh my drooping heart in the time of temptations; and in my weakness he hath been my strength, as the dews refresh the earth. Thus far of your doctrine, the Bible and the Christian will bear you witness; then now you may enquire, for what are you blamed? I answer, for two things: the one for preaching the doctrine of Election and Reprobation; and the other, for making a merchandise of your chapel, which I am ordered to lay before you, and then see if you can justify your conscience before God and man in either. The first I shall lay before you is your making a merchandise of the people that come to your chapel, which I must beg you will bear with me, while I lay the particulars before you, and for what you are blamed; as he that is of the Gospel the Scriptures tell us should live of the Gospel; and for you to be supported for preaching and having the people to pay for their seats, so far you are justified by the laws of God and man; but now I shall tell you where you have gone beyond them both, which I am informed is your constant practice: and two Sundays following I have found it by experience. When we came to your chapel we were informed, no one could have a place to sit in your chapel without buying tickets, as the small space allowed for charity was always filled, and held but few; I had no desire to occupy the place designed for the poor, and therefore did not attempt going into the meeting, either myself or friends, without purchasing tickets; but judge my surprise, instead of my being accommodated with a seat, as I expected, we could find a place scarcely to stand, and no place to sit. My friend then complained to the person who took the money, that there was no room in the chapel; we had then liberty to go upstairs; we went up into the first gallery; but no place could we find there; we then proceeded to the second, and found it the same. For a considerable time, being weary with standing when we had paid for a seat, and finding there was one ready to take the money, but no one ready, as in other places of worship, to put us into a seat, I felt an anger arise in my heart, to think in a place of worship, prepared for the honour of God, that the people should act more unjustly than people of the world acted in any place of public amusement, or any worldly concerns; because in all these places, people will not take your money if they cannot accommodate you with a seat; but finding you made a place of worship to receive peopleís money so unjustly, when there was no place for them to sit, and I saw many standing as well as ourselves; as I was meditating of the laws of men, and fearing of a wrong spirit in myself, for feeling anger, I was answered.This was one of the reasons why I was sent there; because you give advantage to men and devils to plead against you, that you made a merchandise of the people; and that you should not make the house of God a house of merchandise, and make the laws of God more unjust than the laws of man; therefore my anger was kindled by the Spirit of the Lord; and this I was ordered to lay before you, and go again the following Sunday, that I might be clear in judging before the things were laid to your charge. The following Sunday we found it the same; the people standing at the door with their hands full of tickets selling them to the people; and many of them we found in our situation were obliged to stand, and some on the stairs, or any place where they could; and it was from the civility of the people who had seats, who give up their places sometimes for others to sit down, that they might not stand all the time. Now from this conduct of yours, suffering tickets to be sold, when they knew all the seats were filled, that no seats were left vacant, you impose on the people to take their money, and plainly prove your preaching was for filthy lucre, and for gain; and this is making a merchandise of the people, to take their money for seats, when you had no seats at liberty for them, which the laws of man, in any worldly concern, will not allow; and will you dishonour the Gospel, and the Lord whom you profess to serve, to make his laws more unjust than the laws of man, and give the adversaries of religion room to plead the injustice there is in the professors of religion? Since this I have been informed you make a practice of issuing out a great many more tickets than you have room in your chapel to accommodate persons; so if they were profited by your preaching, they must leave the place for want of room, as you do not keep a regular order in your meeting; but whether these reports are true or not, of your making it a common practice I must leave; I only speak from my own knowledge, and what I was eye witness to myself; and you cannot think in conscience, that it is the duty of a minister to justify himself to act under the laws of God with unjust principles, that are not allowed by the laws of men; and therefore you are to judge for yourself, whether you think you are acting with the laws of God in so doing. But do not misunderstand me, that I mean to blame you, or that you are blamed to have the people pay for their seats; you are only blamed, to receive peopleís money without providing them seats; and this is one of the charges that I was commanded to lay before you, wherein you are reproved.
And now Sir, I shall come to the Election and Reprobation. In your sermon you went on consistent with the Gospel of Christ, to invite all men to come unto him; in this you are commended; but then you went from the first part of your sermon, and spoke of the two mountains in Zechariah, that you said were election and reprobation. Now as these two mountains were both alike, mountains of brass, I wish to know, how you will prove the one to be election and the other reprobation? for this is the error in your doctrine that I am to lay before you, and observe to you, from the words of the minister I heard in your chapel, the Sunday before. He said, in the time of a Christianís distresswhen their prayers were not answered to their comfort, and they were filled with doubts and fears, Satan was ready to fill them up with hard thoughts against the Lord, that they might judge him a hard master. Now from this observation of the ministerís, saying that Satan was ready to sink them in despair, telling them it was in vain to pray unto the Lord, for HE would not regard their prayers, and this is the very doctrine that you are preaching from election and reprobation, that if they are not elected, all their prayers are in vain, therefore you are making the heart of the righteous sad; and strengthening the hands of evil doers, by preaching election and reprobation, without explaining the meaning, if you understand the meaning. That when the Lord laid the foundation of the earth, and said, let us make Man in our own likeness, he created Man for his own elect; and now the Lord saith, My delight shall be with the sons of men; but Satan and the fallen angels were reprobated from the Lord for their rebellion in heaven; but know what the Lord saith concerning man throughout the Scripturesthey stand on conditions, as Man was created at first; and know what Moses said to the children of Israel, by the command of the LordI set before you good and evil, life and death, choose which you will; and our Saviour said in his Gospel, his servants ye are to whom ye yield yourselves to Obey. Therefore if men choose to follow the devil, as their Master, then with him they must go; but if they forsake sin, and look unto the Lord from the ends of the earth, the promise is, they shall be saved; for our Saviour said, HE came to seek and to save that which was lost; and whosoever came unto HIM he would in no wise cast them out. But from the doctrine I have heard of men, concerning election, they say the elect number was a people chosen of God from the foundation of the world, whom the Lord had elected as his own; then they never could be lost; and they must be the righteous, whom our Saviour said HE came not to call, and the whole that need not a physician; but our Saviour came to call sinners to repentance, and to heal the sick who saw a necessity of the merits of Christ, to heal their infirmities and cleanse them from sin, as a physician cleanseth the body from the infirmities of nature. So the believers in Christ see the necessity of relying on him, for strength and protection, to cleanse them from all sin; for HE is the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the World; and St. John telleth us, the blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin, if we come unto HIM; and our Saviour telleth us, whosoever come unto him, HE will in no wise cast them out; and if we read the Gospel through, we shall find our Saviourís invitation was for all to turn unto him; and his promises were for all that did turn to him; and these were his elect throughout the world; but the erroneous doctrine that men preach of election and reprobation, saying, the Lord ordained before the foundation of the world that one part should be saved and the other lost, in this manner they cast all the blame upon their Creator, and make the Lord the author of evil, telling the people, if they were not elected from the foundation of the world, they cannot be saved do what they will, because the Lord had designed them for destruction before they were born. As the preachers of that doctrine bring forward Scriptures they do not understand the meaning of, nor for what types and shadows many things stand is unknown to man, as it was in the case of Jacob and Esau,* who were the sons of Isaac, in whom the Lord said all the families of the earth should be blessed, but Esau was before Jacob, and Satan fell before man was created, and this is a mystery, men do not understand the meaning of Esau and Jacob, and therefore they wound the hearts of
* Esau was a type of evil, Jacob was a type of good.
Christians, by bringing forward Scriptures they do not know the meaning of, and distress the minds of good people, thinking if they are not elected, all their prayers and petitions are in vain; if they seek the Lord HE will not be found of them; and this doctrine hath wounded the hearts of many good people, till Satan hath hurried them on to despair; and I have known them to put an end to their existence that have been men of religious characters, and I heard of a lady who had been so much wounded by that doctrine, thinking she was not one of the elect, that she was almost lost in despair, and when a minister was reasoning with her, that whosoever came unto Christ, HE would in no wise cast them out, that the Lord never said to the seeking seed of Jacob, seek ye my face in vain; and whosoever turn unto ME, I will turn unto them, saith the Lord. While he was pleading with these arguments, the promises of God to all returning sinners, she took up a wine glass that stood on the table, and said, Oh! sir, I am as sure to be damned as this glass is to be broken, and then threw it with violence on the floor, which to the astonishment of both, the glass remained whole, which the minister took up, rebuking her presumption, that greatly changed the fears of her mind. So we may see in many instances that I can bring forward, how this doctrine hath thrown many good-minded people into despair, who longed to have an interest in the merits of Christ, that they might be saved; but, fearing they are not elected, think it in vain to seek the Lord, that HE will not be found of them, unless they were elected from the foundation of the world. As men do not explain to them the meaning of election and reprobation, that all those that love and fear God, and trust in the merits of Christ for Salvation, they are his elect; but those that follow on to be led by all the vices of the reprobate, which from the creation was the devil, who was reprobated for his rebellion in heaven, before man was created; so if men go on to be led away by all his temptations and vices, and are in their hearts at enmity against God; then they themselves join with the reprobate, who is at enmity against God; and with him they must expect to go. But this men do not explain, and therefore they charge God foolishly, and lead men into errors, which I have seen through my lifeworthy religious people cast down and sinking in despair, while on the other hand I have been eye-witness to many men who have boasted of their election, that they knew they were elected from the foundation of the world, while they have lived in all manner of open and wilful sins, as enemies to God, by wicked works; and when reproved for drunkenness, swearing, and all manner of vices, I heard a man say myself, who was reproved for the sins I have mentioned, he answered it was not him that swore; it was sin that dwelled in him swore; neither was it him that got drunk; but it was sin that dwelled in him tempted him to give his mind to drinking; so it was sin and not him; but the Lord would lay nothing to the charge of his elect; and he was sure of going to heaven. The same excuse another made for stealing, after being found out, to the astonishment of many, as he had boasted so much of his election, he said the devil would tempt Godís people, and therefore the sin was not his to be led by it, neither would it be laid to his charge, as he knew he was one of Godís elect. So here we see, from this doctrine, how it gives Satan an advantage over men to fill up one part with presumption, while the other he tempts to sink in despair, as the preachers of this doctrine do not understand all the mysteries of election and reprobation, or know how to explain it to their hearers; and therefore they cast every blame upon the creator of the universe, as though the Lord had decreed and ordained that men should be wicked and sin against him. And now I ask you, how these ministers will appear in the awful day of judgment, to clear the honour and justice of a God, when their hearers stand before them, and say they taught them to believe the Lord would not accept them, if they sought him, HE would not be found of them, because the Lord had reprobated them from the foundation of the world, and had told them they must be lost; for the love of Christ never was to shed his blood for them; so if they come unto him for mercy HE would show them none? Now I ask you how these ministers can answer for themselves to plead the honour and justice of a God, in condemning these men, when he had told them it was in vain to repent? He cannot justify himself to say he had pointed out the mercies and love of God to all that would turn unto him, and lay the blame to sinners, as Stephen did, when he said ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do ye, who have received the law by the disposition of angels and have not kept it? Here the Apostle laid the sin to their charge for resisting the Spirit of Grace and the Spirit of God; and the same we may see by the prophet IsaiahWhat could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it? wherefore when I looked that it should have brought forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes: but the promises of God are by the prophetsif men would turn unto HIM, HE would turn unto them; and if their sins were as scarlet, the Lord would make them white as snow, if they were willing and obedient; but if they refused and rebelled, they should be destroyed; and this is the doctrine the Lord taught his prophets, and the doctrine of the Gospel, whereby the Lord will be clear when he judgeth, and just when he condemneth. But can you say, you can thus justify the Lord before your hearers in the day of judgment, if you tell them these promises were only made for the elect? Then if they were only made for the elect you must allow the elect are not sure; because this stands on conditions of their being destroyed; but I know the doctrine of election, and a book of Mr. Cooperís fell lately into my hands, where he affirms that the elect of the Lord are sure to go to heaven, because they were elected from the foundation of the world; and the others are sure to go to hell, however they may try by prayers and petitions to seek the Lord; it is all in vain; their decrees are fixed for destruction! Now can you justify this doctrine, to say a man can stand in the day of judgment with a just and merciful God, whose mercies are over all his works, and who so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son to die for the transgressions of man, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to the knowledge of the truth, and be saved? When we trace the Scriptures through and see the love of God for man, and look to the love of a crucified Saviour, who gave up his life for us, that by his stripes we all might be healed, we may say with the prophet Isaiah,What could the Lord have done for his vineyard that he hath not done? and with the apostle Stephen it is man resists the Holy Ghost, and the influence of the Spirit of the Lord, by following the vices and temptations of the devil; and all men will find the Lord to be clear from the blood of all men, and reward every man according to his works in the awful day of judgment; but no minister can say, he can justify God and himself before his hearers, if he tells them the Lord hath decreed their destruction; if they seek him he will not be found of them. This is acting like the servant, whom our Saviour condemned for hiding his lordís money, saying, I knew thou wast an austere man, reaping where thou hast not sown, gathering where thou hast not strewn; and therefore I hid thy money. And perfectly so do many preachers of election hide the mercies of God from man, telling them the Lord is like an austere master, instead of being a merciful God; that if they turn unto him, HE will not have mercy on them. But we must know from the Gospel, how that servant was condemnedBut here I must come to a conclusion, as the purport of my letter is for you to answer for yourself, how you will justify the Lord to confound the sinners in the day of judgment, and say you are clear from the blood of all men, when they will rise in judgment against you, and say you cast their blame on your Maker, while, on the other hand, I believe, in the day of judgment there will be thousands and tens of thousands who have boasted of their being elected as children of the kingdom to be cast out, as our Saviour said, while other fearful Christians will come from the East and from the West, and sit down in the Kingdom of Heaven. I know every word of St. Paul, and every Scripture that men build their faith upon, concerning election and reprobation; but these Scriptures they do not understand; and the Apostle saw but through a glass darkly; saw but in part, and prophesied but in part; but when that which is perfect should come, then that which was imperfect should be done away; and was not the Spirit of truth to come from the Father as our Saviour said to lead us into all truths, and reveal the hidden mysteries that men do not understand, I am clearly convinced men would soon get into the greatest errors, and split against that Rock they ought to build upon. Now if you judge this reproof is not consistent with the justice of the Lord, then I must desire you will reprove, by clearing yourself, that you can justify yourself from the Scriptures in every thing I have laid to your charge, and I shall be happy to receive your answer, directed for J. Southcott, c/o William Sharp, Esq. No. 50, Titchfield Street, Mary-le-bone.
Whether you hear, or whether you forbear, I am clear, by obeying the command given to me, to send you this letter.
I remain, Rev. Sir, your well-wisher,
(From) J. SOUTHCOTT.
This is the doctrine Mr. Huntington was reproved for, preaching of which he can never justify himself in; but he thought he was justified in treating the reproof with scorn and contempt, without discerning the falsehood of the Calvinist doctrine, and the injury it does to mankind; and how much they dishonour the Lord thereby, in wresting the Scriptures which through blindness they do not see; and yet, at the same time they profess to see with open eyes into the wrong manner Mr. Brothers had placed the Scriptures to himself; but they do not discern that in the like manner they place the Scriptures in their saying the elect means themselves, and were predestinated before the foundation of the world; as Mr. Brothers says he is predestinated to be the restorer of the Jews from the covenant made to David. So if men discern them both, and weigh them together, they may clearly see the wisdom of the Lord in his visitation to a man like Brothers, to shew them how wrong they place the Scriptures, from his likeness: and the same we may discern from the Romans how wrong they have placed the Scriptures from our Saviourís words, when he said unto his disciples, Whom say ye that I am? Peter answered thou art the Christ the Son of the living God. Jesus answered, and said unto him, Blessed art thou Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven: I say unto thee thou art Peter, upon this Rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Now let us consider what that Rock was: it was not Peter, as a man, more than another; but the revelation he had from the Lord. When that our Saviour said flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but the SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD, and this is the Rock the church of Christ must stand upon, which is a revelation from the Spirit of God: and this is the church that must stand in the END, to have a knowledge of God, as Peter had, that the gates of hell cannot prevail against. Now I shall come to a further observation from our Saviourís words to his Disciples when he breathed on them; and said unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whosoever sins ye remit they are remitted unto them, and whosoever sins ye retain they are retained.*
And here are the very Scriptures that the Romans have pointed out, which they place to themselves, as their priests and Pope have placed themselves in the disciplesí room; and by placing these scriptures to themselves, they say it is in their power to forgive sins; and it is on these words they have built their church, without considering they were spoken to the disciples who were with our Saviour in the days of the flesh, and he then gave them power in HIS NAME to cast out devils, to heal the sick, to shew his wondrous working by them, to convince the unbelieving world that he was the Son of God! and who could give power to his disciples to work miracles in his name as he had done before; and this power he gave to his disciples to teach in his name; and to heal in his name those that had FAITH to believe in them: but here is the error of the Romans, who have turned the meaning of the words, to judge they were meant to all that should come after the disciples; not considering the very same power must be given to them as was given to the Lordís disciplesto heal the sick, to cast out devils, and to do wondrous works in his name, but all this men do not discern, nor how the Romans place these Scriptures to themselves, and who take upon them the name of the disciples, to be able to forgive sins, without having any power to prove they were authorized by the Lord as the disciples had; and yet from these words they go on to deceive the people who are also so blind, as not to discern what power was given to the Lordís disciples, and how our Saviour sent them out in his Name to do the wondrous works, that he had shewn them before: and all this our Saviour did to establish his Gospel, by his disciples whom he had chosen: and yet, if we discern the preaching of the apostles they do not tell their hearers to trust in them for salvation, because they told them there was no other name given under Heaven whereby a sinner can be saved, but in, and through Jesus Christ: and it was to him ONLY, and not to themselves, they taught their hearers all to look to; and if we discern their preaching throughout, we shall not find any where, that they taught men to look unto them for salvation, but taught them all to look unto a crucified Saviour; but here it was that the Romans began to build their church, pretending to have power to forgive sins, which they took from the words that our Saviour said to his disciples, and to them only, "whose sins ye remit they shall be remitted," without considering, when our Saviour cured the man that was sick of the palsy, he said, "thy sins be forgiven thee;" and when the Scribes murmured at these his words, Jesus answered, Whether is it easier to say thy sins be forgiven thee, or to say, Arise and walk, that ye may know the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins; and from these words of our Saviourís saying, "Thy sins are forgiven thee," when He healed him; plainly shews he had the same meaning to his disciples, when he told them to heal the sick and cast out Devils, as he had when he told them, whose sins ye remit they shall be remitted. So if our Saviourís words had both one and the same meaning, when he said thy sins are forgiven thee, as when he said, Arise and walk. And we may clearly discern his meaning was the same to his disciples, when he said, he gave them power to heal the sick and cast out devils, as when he said, whose sins ye remit they shall be remitted. So no man can place himself to be in any likeness with the disciples of forgiving sins, without having their power of working miracles at the same time; since these two, were joined together from our Saviourís words when he worked the miracle of healing the sick. But here we may discern how men turn the Scriptures a different way, to place them to themselves, pretending to make it appear clear to mankind that do not discern in what manner the Scriptures are wrote, and who do not understand the true meaning thereof. Now this we may discern from the Roman Catholics, how they have turned the Scriptures in a way they were never
* Explanation of the Bible, p. 509.
meant, to place their leaders in the likeness of the disciples, when there is no likeness of the disciples in them. So we may clearly see from the Romans and the Calvinists; how both have placed the promises held out in the Scriptures to themselves. Now as these false doctrines are so established in the world, and so many thousands are led away by them, what have we more to marvel at, that the Lord should visit a man in these latter days, that should ascribe all the greatness and the promises to himself, as the others have done? as all alike have taken them from the Scriptures. But no more than Brothers hath got the power he boasted of, no more have the Romans any power to forgive sins. And no more than Brothers is the man in the Scriptures that he said alluded to himself; no more are the Romans a likeness of the disciples and the apostles, that they have placed to themselves; and this error they must be convinced of, if ever they wish to see the Kingdom of God established in righteousness and peace: for every man must give unto the Lord the Glory and Honour due unto his name: and be looking to God and not to man, if they wish to enjoy the Peaceable Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. But as so many false doctrines are rooted and grounded amongst mankind, it is impossible for one man to convince another; therefore the work must be of GOD to reveal his will clearly unto man; and explain the mysteries that men have been stumbled at in the Scriptures. And it can be only by a revelation from the Spirit of God that the crooked paths must be made straight before us, to bring all to the knowledge of the Lord: that we may all know him from the greatest to the least, and need no man to teach his neighbour. But I am sorry to say the world is now filled with false teachers.
My next observation will be on the ARIANS, who have no Scriptures to support their doctrine with but by an inconsistent belief of their own; as they deny the Divinity of Christ, and of his being the Son of God; yet, they pretend to say he was a good man and that his disciples were good men also. This I have heard allowed by the Arians, while they at the same time affirm he was not the Son of God, but the Son of Man; and that the testimony in the Scriptures of the birth of Christ is false: this is their erroneous belief.
And here I shall come to reason. Could his disciples be good men if they bore testimony of what was not true? but if they bore testimony of the truth, they must allow our Saviour was the Son of God. I need not go to the Birth of Christ, and the testimony the wise men bore, of the Angels appearing to them; but I shall go to the testimony which the disciples bore in the third chapter of St. Matthew, where it is written: When Jesus went out of the water, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon him; and lo a voice from heaven saying: This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.
This is the record John the Baptist bore; saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him; and I saw and bare record that this is the Son of God. Again, we find in the 17th Chapter, Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them up into an high mountain, and was transfigured before them, and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light: and there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him; and behold a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the clouds, which said: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.I need not enumerate all the miracles that the disciples bore testimony of, which our Saviour wrought, to prove he was the Son of God. I shall only remind the readers of a few particulars, viz., our Saviour foretelling the manner of his death to his disciples, and telling them how he should rise again on the third day, of the truth of which the disciples bore testimony; that he first appeared to the women early in the morning; after that, he appeared to his disciples as they were going to Emmaus; and he likewise appeared to them in Galilee, where the Eleven disciples were met, and when they saw him they worshipped him; but some doubted, and Jesus came and spoke unto them: saying, "All power is given unto me, in heaven and in earth; go ye therefore and teach all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, saying: Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." And we find from the apostles, that he appeared to them at different times; and, as Thomas doubted, Jesus said unto him, reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; be not faithless but believing, so he shewed them his hands and side, to convince the doubts of his disciples. And many signs did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, shewing himself at different times for forty days, before he was taken up in a cloud to heaven, in the presence of his disciples; and they also said he had been seen of five hundred brethren at once. Now if all these testimonies which the disciples gave of our Lord, and all the miracles that he wrought, and which they bore record of; if these things were true, no man endowed with reason can dispute our Saviourís being the Son of God, according to the testimony he bore of himself, to fulfil the words of the prophets that had prophesied of him before he went through all his office, of death, and sufferings according to the predictions of the prophets, who long before had prophesied of the Son of God, who was to be born of the Virgin and take manís nature upon him, and to be wounded for our transgressions. So he fulfilled the words of the prophets, and which were afterwards confirmed by the disciples. Now when we weigh the whole together, we must believe the whole to be true, and acknowledge he was the Messiah spoken of, the Holy One of Israel, the Son of God, the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world; which cannot be done by any mere man, for all these must be allowed on the one hand, or they must deny the whole on the other, as the Jews do; or they must do violence to their own understanding, to believe a good man would bear a false testimony of himself, or that good men would bear such testimonies of him if they were false, when they had no worldly interest in what they said, but only to seal the truth with their blood: yet, this erroneous doctrine of the Arians is believed by thousands, and is established in this land! while other doctrines are established entirely to deny the Lord that bought them; and some account of their doctrine was sent to me, that I was shocked to hear their blasphemy against the Gospel, with words that I should tremble to repeat: yet, all these men, with their different doctrines, go on and draw in others to join them. But where is the man that can convince them? Then as they cannot be convinced by man, THE LORD MUST TAKE THE CAUSE INTO HIS OWN HAND, to open the blind eyes, and unstop the deaf ears, and make all the crooked paths straight before them. And it is from a visitation of the Spirit of the Lord that the Scriptures assure us we must be brought to the knowledge of God in the end. But those who deny the visitation of Godís Spirit and deny that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, proclaim to the world that they are the scoffers mentioned by Peter, who shall say, where is the promise of his coming? Unbelief is but as bars and bolts to keep the knowledge of God from us; and this fatal standard we may see from the Jews, how they filled one the other with unbelief, when the perfect truth stood before them, as we may see in the
DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM
after our Saviour had warned them of their destruction; and how they would be entrenched round by their enemies on every side, and would be destroyed for their unbelief: yet, we find they went on still hardened and self-confident, and persecuted the disciples, after they had put the Lord of Life and Glory to death! yet, still they went on in unbelief, mocked every warning until destruction came upon them, as we may find in the book of Josephus, the account he gave of the signs and warnings previous to their destruction and their approaching ruin, which was instanced by the following singular examples.
A Comet, which bore the resemblance of a sword, hung over the city of Jerusalem for the space of a whole year.
A short time before the revolt, a most remarkable and extraordinary light was seen about the altar. This spectacle, which continued for about half an hour, gave a light equal to that of the day, and happened on the eighth of the month Xanthicus, at the ninth hour of the night, preceding the celebration of the feast of the Passover.
At the time of the festival above mentioned another singular prodigy occurred. As the proper persons were leading a Cow to the altar to be sacrificed, she was delivered of a Lamb in the midst of the temple.
The eastern gate of the interior of the temple was composed of solid brass, and this gate was of such an immense weight, that it was the labour of twenty men to make it fast every night. It was secured with iron bolts and bars, which were let down to a large threshold, consisting of one entire stone. About the fifth hour of the night this gate opened without any human assistance.
On the twenty-first day of the month Artemisius, not long after the festival was ended, a vision of an extraordinary kind made its appearance, before the setting of the sun; chariots and armed men were seen in the air in various parts of the country passing round the city among the clouds.
About four years before the commencement of the war, and while the city appeared to be in the most perfect peace and abounded in plenty, there came to the feast of tabernacles, which was annually celebrated to the honour of God, a simple country-man, named Jesus, who was the Son of Ananus, and who without any previous intimation exclaimed in the following manner: "A voice from the East; a voice from the West; a voice from the four quarters of the World; a voice to Jerusalem, and a voice to the Temple: a voice to men and women newly married, and a voice to the nation at large." In this manner did he continue his exclamations night and day, in various places, through all the streets of the city, though he was persecuted and punished in a most cruel manner, yet he continued to proceed in this manner for the space of seven years and five months; nor did his voice or strength appear to fail him, till his predictions were verified by the siege of Jerusalem. When this event had taken place, he went for the last time to the wall and exclaimed in a more powerful voice than usual, "Woe, woe to this city; this temple, and this people, and concluded his lamentations by saying: woe, woe be to myself." He had no sooner spoken these words than in the midst of his predictions he was destroyed by a stone thrown from an engine.
Josephus adds, "From what has been above recited it will be evident to mankind in general, that our destruction arises from our misconduct; our ruin is certainly to be attributed to ourselves, when we refuse to take warning after being pre-admonished of future events."
From these warnings to Jerusalem I was answered in the following manner:
THE ANSWER OF THE SPIRIT.
"Know the parable* I gave thee before, and what I compared the Jews to; and know from the parable how often the warning was given, and how often it was slighted before sudden destruction came upon them; and this I compared to the Jews, as well as the people of this age. Now the Jews had the warning first given from ME, that the city should be destroyed, in the perfect manner it was destroyed, encompassed round by their enemies, till their destruction came, as I foretold them; and their city laid level with the ground. But these predictions were slighted by them, and mocked and despised. Again the warning was given them by a man to whom they had given My Name; and his predictions went on according to the words I had spoken before; and I was put to death after giving the FIRST warning; and the man for giving the last.
"Now here were the warnings slighted by them, as I told thee before, till the destruction came upon them, according to the parable that I had brought forward concerning them. And now mark the stubbornness, and unbelief of the Jews,seeing the sword hang over their heads to shew them plainly the predictions were true; yet neither words, nor visions altered the self-confidence of their minds; they went on as before. And though they had heard from My apostles, that I was the Lamb slain to take away the sin of the world; that the blood of bullocks would not do; and though so marvellous a thing had happened as the Cow bringing forth a Lamb, when she was led for the sacrifice, to shew them plainly it was the Lamb that had been slain for the transgression of man, they must trust in for their salvation; yet these things worked no change in the minds of the Jews; they neither discerned what was said by their prophets, nor what I said unto them in the days of the flesh; neither did they regard what was said by John the Baptist, or what was said by my disciples. Neither words, nor signs, had any effect upon them; they went on in blindness as before; and though the light shone at the altar, and the Lamb in so marvellous a manner had appeared; yet, they never discerned from whence that likeness burst: but know what I have told thee before:
In the altar I was seen at first,
And in the altar must the glory burst.**
"And now mark from what I have said concerning the altar to thee here before. And now discern how the glory did burst, by the light; yet, all was as light shining in darkness to them; they neither discerned, nor understood from whence it came; and though the gates were thrown open, in so marvellous and powerful a manner; yet they never discerned from what hand or in what manner this came to fulfil the Psalms. "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; that the King of Glory may come in." Now I shall answer thee from this Psalm: had they opened the gates to ME, and the doors of their hearts had been opened, as the doors of the sanctuary were; then, I should have come mighty in battle to deliver them, and have destroyed their enemies. But as their hearts were bolted against me, the doors were opened for their destruction, to shew them all, the enemy would come in, and destroy the whole, that it should no longer be kept shut by Me for their vain oblations, and sacrifice; but it should be thrown open for their enemies. And this was the fatal omen to them, which they had neither sense nor understanding to discern. And though they saw the visions
*See Mr. Foleyís Book called "What
Manner of Communications are these?" p. 89, published at the close of
**See page 9, First Book of Prophecies.
appear to warn them all their dangers were nigh, and were warned by the voices;* yet all these things did not awaken them to look on him whom they had crucified. And seeing the appearance of the spirits in the air, as it were of chariots coming upon them to warn them of their destruction, yet still they were hardened till it came upon them.
"So here let men discern deeply what Parable I ordered thee to bring forward to compare with the Jews. And now come to the Gentiles, and know I compared the PARABLE to both; so from the Jews, let the Gentiles take warning; (as it is a custom amongst you to call those under the Gospel to be of the Gentiles, without knowing from what stock ye all proceed.) But as the warning was given to the Jews, by singular signs, and words, before the destruction came upon them; so I told them in the END warnings should be given from the Spirit of Truth, that proceeds from the FATHER, to warn you all of the END; to bring all things to your remembrance; and that the God of Truth should lead you into all truths. This was my warning of the END. But know, I told them it would be mocked; that men of the world would not receive them, because the Spirit is not discerned. And therefore I told them from the PARABLES that my second coming would be to many; to the wicked servants, and the foolish virgins; as the destruction of Jerusalem would be to the Jews. This, I told them while I was with them. And now the end draweth near, I have warned them again, to fulfil the words I said in my Gospel. And according to the words I said to the Jews of their destruction, as they were warned again, before it took place. And yet discern how the warning was despised and slighted by them, and with what self-confidence and their boasting of religion they went on till they brought on their own fatal destruction; only left to remain as a scattered people, having no city to call their own: standing as a people, to be as a warning, and a caution to all; that from their fall, others may learn to stand: and from their folly others may learn to grow wise. But if men now go on with the same self-confidence the Jews did, like the Jews they will find their destruction in the end. If the natural branches were cut off, let the wild olive now take care; and let them know, my Gospel is as plain of my visiting again in the Spirit, as all the words of the Prophets were to the Jews. And equally blind with the Jews, the professors of the Gospel are now come. Therefore, let believers take care they are not struck with the blindness of others, and led away by the wisdom of men, that have no more wisdom than the Jews had; who, after so many predictions had been given them, and so many warnings as they had; they blinded their eyes against the whole; and puffed themselves up with their own confidence, their own wisdom, and understanding. But perfectly like them is this present AGE, therefore my caution is to the believers, that they may deeply weigh the whole together; that the wise may not fall back with the foolish.
"But thou enquirest, how can that be? To thy thoughts I answer; many have foolishly fallen back because they have drawn a wrong judgment, and stumbled themselves; while others having more wisdom have stood; and happy is the man that endureth to the end. For now I tell thee of the others, who stand out in unbelief like the Jews, like the Jews they will find their destruction, though not in the same manner, yet sudden destruction will come in the end upon thousands, as it did on Jerusalem, when my chariot wheels are near to bring in my Kingdom of Peace to mankind. Then will destruction come upon all those that mock the visitation of my Spirit, as it then came upon the Jews. And like the Jews, the TURKS may fear when the NEW JERUSALEM comes to man. And now mark many of their wordstheir boasting of religion, and saving the Temple, when they were in the midst of dangers; and had mocked all the warnings that were given them. Let their words be copied off, and I shall answer thee again, to shew the perfect likeness of the Jews in their age, and the professed christians in this. But know, I have told thee, there are some minds that are so blind, and so darkened, that nothing will convince them; whatever prophecies, signs, and wonders come before them, they can no more see the hand of God in than a blind man can see the sun in the firmament; and yet, like the Jews, they will go on to boast of their religion. So let no man marvel at this present age, that the same fallen nature, the same different spirits, and the same working of Satan is with the present age, as it was with the past. With those under the Gospel, as it was with the Jews under the law: for they were under the laws of the Lord, whose laws they had broken, and whose prophets they had destroyed. And now those that are under the Gospel, seeing my Gospel plain before them, and what is abroad in every nation as I foretold them, being warned by the visitation of my Spirit, that all these things were at hand; yet all this like the Jews, is mocked and despised."
And now I shall come to their observation of the Temple.A man named Joseph, one of the Jews
* Alluding to voices being heard in the temple, saying, "Let us be gone!" repeated many times distinctly.
who foretold their destruction and had fled to the Romans, and who was looked upon as a prophet amongst them; but when the Romans saw the fatal destruction the Jews were bringing on themselves, by massacring one another within the walls, and starving on account of the famine within the city, Titus began to feel compassion for them, and wished to bring them to reason. Therefore he employed Joseph to speak to the Jews in their own language; which he did, in a most affecting manner, and pointed out to them the former favours they had received of the Lord, and how he would now be their friend if they turned unto him; he also pointed out the danger of their obstinacy and rebellion, but all his words had no weight with them, and yet with confidence they said, "they had no doubt, but the Almighty would protect his OWN HOUSE, as they depended upon him for protection; nor feared they the threatenings of the Romans, which God would never permit to be carried into execution," that the Temple of Jerusalem should be destroyed. This, was their confidence; while at the same time they were provoking the Lord daily by the blackest of crimes,with murders, and cruelty one against another, profaning the Temple with their blood, and making it a den of thieves as our Saviour had told them, and as they rejected the things that would make for their peace, (see Luke xix.) we may clearly discern they were hid from their eyes, and the words of our Saviour were fully verified concerning Jerusalem: for He said the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee, and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another, because thou knowest not the time of thy visitation. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Luke xxi., xxiv. Now from the book of Josephus, the history he gives of the destruction of the Jews and Jerusalem, we find every word perfectly fulfilled in the manner our Saviour foretold; for their enemies did entrench them on every side; they fell by the edge of the sword; they were blind to their own destruction, and they were carried away captive into all nations.
Thus the first of our Saviourís predictions came upon the Jews. It is now necessary for us to look to what follows next, prior to our Saviourís Second Coming: distresses of nations with perplexities; menís hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory; and when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh; then know ye that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Now if we take a serious survey of all that hath happened abroad, and at home, and it was in the time when Jerusalem was destroyed, and clearly consider how all was foretoldleft on record by our Saviour and now warned of again by the visitation of his SPIRIT that the end is at hand: that the Scriptures should be fulfilled; that he would go on to crush them everywhere till the Second Psalm was fulfilled, to have the heathens for his inheritance, and the utter most parts of the earth for his possession, and fulfil the words of the prophets to bring all the earth to know the Lord; for thereto the end should come: now when we consider all this was foretold by the Spirit of prophecy, that we are ordered not to quench or despise; and before they sprang forth, men were warned of them: now, when men weigh the whole together, they must be as blind as the Jews were, if they cannot see the days of their visitation; and discern that the END is at hand, and from what Spirit the warning came. Therefore I may say to the unbelieving world who condemn the blindness and unbelief of the Jews; as our Saviour said to the people when they condemned the woman: he that is without sin, let him cast the first stone: but he that is blinded like the Jews, and cannot see now, when the truth is before them in every land; and Buonaparte conquering like Sennacherib as foretold, who hath the POWER of the beast given him; if they cannot discern this, let them not blame the Jews for being blind when every truth stood before them, and when they saw the words of our Saviour perfectly fulfilled in their destruction. Yet the remaining part of them are still blind, and hardened in unbelief; so if unbelief be an honour to mankind and proves their wisdom and good sense to think that no change will ever take place, or that any visitation is from the Lord; but that prophecies came from the Devil when they see the truth follow; if this be wisdom in man to believe, then we must give wisdom and honour to the Jews for their standing out in unbelief; but if we see it was wrong in them, and do discern their blindness not to know from whence the warning came, that foretold them every truth, what should come upon them for their unbelief; now if we blame them, let us take heed to ourselves that we are not blinded likewise, till destruction come upon us; and let us consider in the end how much greater the destruction is threatened to those that mock the coming of their Lord, when he cometh to take out of his kingdom all that offend and do wickedly; and to establish in righteousness, peace, and happiness, those that are waiting for their Lord to bring in their redemption: for these are the promises that stand on record, and these things I was warned of in the beginning, that the Lord was hastening on to fulfil; and which would begin by wars, and tumults, distresses and perplexities of nations, which would go from nation to nation till the nations were brought low, and began to turn unto the Lord; and then he would save the remnant of his people that turned unto him: and they should beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; that nation should not lift up sword against nation, neither should they learn war any more; for the power of evil should be destroyed, and righteousness and peace established in the earth; and the Lordís delight would be with the remnant of his people, to pour out his Spirit upon all flesh that remained; and the root of evil should be destroyed; these are my prophecies in the beginning, and the Lord is going on the way he foretold to fulfil them. Then now let us take the warning lest we are destroyed, as the Jews were, and not boast of our religion as the Jews boasted of their temple, that the Lord would preserve it for his own honour. To which I was answered from the folly of the Jews, who believing the Lord would save their temple because it was built in honour to him, to their folly I was answered:
THE ANSWER OF THE SPIRIT.
"They did not consider that the Temple of God was not the work of menís hands that was built in honour to his name, without their hearts had been fit temples for the Lord to dwell in. Therefore it is the HEARTS men ought to make the temple of the Lord to be united together; or the temple made with hands was of no use. Therefore they could not suppose, if their understanding had not been darkened, that I should preserve the walls, and the buildings of the temple, that was made with hands, to be kept up in mockery! because I tell thee it is mockery to keep a house in honour to the Lord, if it be not honoured by man, by living according to the laws of the Lord; which was not done by the Jews, either from the law or the Gospel. For as I have already told thee, and I tell thee again, the wheat and the chaff were separated amongst the Jews when I came in the flesh; and as the chaff went on to destroy the wheat, so in the end it was left for stubble, till they began to destroy themselves. But full as wrong as their belief was, to think that their preserving the temple was the whole, and that the Lord would preserve it for his own honour, when there were no men to honour him in it; full as wrong are the notions of thousands in this present age, who call the Church the Bride, when the Spirit of the Lord is denied to visit his church; then I ask them, to what use is the church to be called the Bride since the Spirit is denied? Do men vainly suppose the Spirit and the Bride, alludes to the walls and the building, as the Jews judged the temple of Jerusalem? Here is an erroneous opinion amongst the professors of religion in this age, to rely upon the church as being the Bride, and denying the Spirit that is to accompany it, as it was amongst the Jews to rely upon their temple and building; that it would be preserved for the honour of God without men to honour him in it, and as the folly of the past, so is the present in relying upon their place of worship, without my being worshipped in it by men, who believe my Gospel through and discern the words I left on record, that I should visit them again in the Spirit: and without this faith and belief, they have no more reason to rely on their churches than the Jews had to rely on their temple. And now I ask men; how they will answer, that My churches are honoured by men, who are, like the Jews, blind to all they profess, and refusing every warning as they did? If men discern my Gospel, they must observe my strict command, to be clear in judging before they condemn: and mark deep the words that I said unto them: the Spirit of Truth that the world would not receive should come. And like the Jews they are fulfilling My words, persecuting Me in the Spirit, as the Jews did in the body; and yet like the Jews of old, they are boasting in this persecution that they shall be preserved, as the Jews boasted of their temple.
"So let not men marvel at unbelief; because they will
find it endure to the end in thousands, till I come to separate the wheat
from the tares; and take out of My kingdom all that offend and do wickedly;
then know that offenders will stand until the last, when I come to bring
the change. But then like the people in Jerusalem, whose repentance in many
came too late, they will find their repentance the same, according to the
Parables I spoke in My Gospel:
"But know I come to make all things new,
And change the scenes in every view;
For as the temple then was cast,
Wherein my worship could not last;
As men had all forsook me there
Another way I shall appear
All SATANíS worship to destroy;
When I do come for to enjoy
The sons of men, that love my name;
I then shall put my foes to shame,
And all the city build anew
The shadow deep, bring to your view:
How there my enemies were cast,
That did so strong against me burst.
And mark the drink they gave to me;
That on them it should surely fall:
And in the end, they felt the whole.
And know, the gall on them did turn,
Let all mark deep the end of them,
And then, the ending all may see,
The way the turning it will be.
My temple was destroyed at first,
Because the hearts of men did burst
So strong against me, when I came;
And all their hearts were set on flame,
Until, the temple they destroyíd,
And all their barbarous sins enjoyíd.
But I shall now turn back the whole
For Satanís worship so shall fall;
And then Iíll build it new again,
And pour my Spirit strong on men,
Whose hearts do long to live with me
In time and throí eternity,
Theyíll find my building all anew
Bring every shadow to your view.
The sword at first was placíd for man,
I said the other sword must come,
The power of evil to destroy;
And then ítis man I shall enjoy;
Because their Comforter theyíll see
To come in power mankind to free
That do rely upon my word,
And judge me as a faithful Lord
From first to last; Iíll say no more,
But open wide the temple door
Of every heart, for me to come,
And then my kingdom will be known;
What different scenes there will appear,
Weigh deep the lines Iíve spoken here;
Then from the Jews you all may see,
The way the ending it will be.
Some saved their lives for to remain,
I say, a proverb deep for men;
And so the ages theyíve passíd through,
That all may know my Bibleís true.
And so through ages some will pass,
To prove the truth when at the last."
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Last updated 25th November 2009