AGE OF REASON,
PUBLISHED BY D. I. EATON;
A Calvinistic Preacher,
AT YEOVIL, IN SOMERSETSHIRE;
AND LATE OF EMANUEL COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE,
THOMAS PAINE AND OTHERS
2 Epistle of Peter, ii. 1, 2. "There shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction: and many shall follow their pernicious ways, by whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of."
The truth of the apostleís words is verified by the blasphemous books that are published against the authenticity of the Bible. In Thomas Paineís "Age of Reason," I shall point out his folly, and the darkness of his understanding concerning the Scriptures, knowing that his former publications hurt many weak minds, and have made many become atheists; because his reasoning is so artful, and wickedly contrived to make a mock of the Scriptures, and which men, by carelessly reading, may not discern his folly; and therefore they are carried away with his pernicious doctrines. I have heard much talk of his books, and the injury they have done to many; but I never read any of them, before the trial of Eaton, for publishing the third part of Thomas Paineís Age of Reason, which was brought to me. In reading it over at first I clearly saw the artful working of the book; but did not at the first reading discern his folly; but, on perusing it over with serious attention, I soon saw from whence his reasoning came, which he calls a divine gift, given him of God; but his reason, which he boasts of, came from the
same source as St. Paul speaks of,"That in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, which is the influence of the devil:" and this influence was over Paineís mind, that in seeing he could not see, nor in hearing could he understand, in what manner Satan worketh upon the minds and hearts of men, to bring them to depart from the faith of the Scriptures: and as Paine says there is no devil, he judged that the influence upon his mind was a gift of reason, given to him from God.
I shall begin first to show his folly, and how dark was his understanding, in what he says on Isaiah, chap. liii.
Paine says,"Isaiah employs the whole of this chapter in lamenting the sufferings of some deceased person, of whom he speaks very pathetically. It is a monody on the death of a friend; and which Isaiah, in deploring the hard fate and loss of his friend, mentions nothing of him but what the human lot of man is subject to."
To his folly I answer, and prove that Paine had no wisdom given him from the Lord: for the ways of the Lord were unknown to him; and his judgment on this chapter must confound those that rely upon his wisdom.
I shall first take him upon his own grounds. He says, "Isaiah was lamenting the death of his friend." But how doth he make this agree with the following words of Isaiah: "He is despised and rejected of men; and we hid as it were our faces from him; HE was despised, and we esteemed him not."
If Isaiah had been speaking of a friend, that had been put to death, he would not have joined himself with those that despised him; but he says, "we esteemed him not;" as though all joined together in rejecting the person he is speaking of, and saith, "all we like sheep are gone astray; we
have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all." Now let us look at the beginning of the chapter. Isaiah begins with these words:"Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?" Had this been a friend of Isaiah, as Paine has set forth, there would have been no cause to inquire who had believed the report; because a man being put to death, in the manner described in this chapter, in the days of Isaiah, must have been publicly known to them all; and there wanted no revelation from the Lord to confirm the death of a mere man; but it wanted the arm of the Lord to reveal who was to die for the transgression of man, and by whose stripes we were to be healed. When we come to the second verse, we find Isaiah was speaking of a person to come; as it says, "HE shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground;" which meaneth, poor ground; and so we find, that our Saviour was born of poor parents. And the prophet adds,"HE hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him; HE is despised and rejected of men:" as there were no riches, greatness or grandeur for them to desire, when he became flesh to dwell with men; therefore the Lord spoke by the mouth of his prophet what would be the language of menís hearts, when the prophecies of that chapter were fulfilled: and before it sprang forth the Lord warned of it; for HE well knew how the devil would work in the hearts of the sons of men against his ANOINTED when HE became flesh to dwell on the earth. And now let us come to the birth of Christ; when HE was born in Bethlehem, the arm of the Lord was revealed to the shepherds, who were keeping their flocks by night, as the angels of the Lord appeared to them. Luke ii. 10. But who believed their report?
The arm of the Lord was revealed to Simeon, as it was revealed to him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lordís Christ. But who believed his report? This was despised and rejected by the Jews; as they did not understand the meaning of this chapter, and many others that prophesied of our Saviourís first coming, to suffer for the transgression of man. They only looked to the prophecies, that speak of his coming in the clouds of heaven, and all the saints with him, to claim the kingdoms, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him, and to bring in everlasting righteousness. Now as their eye was to his coming in power at the last, they did not observe the first, that HE must first come to suffer; and therefore HE was despised and rejected of them; as they saw no greatness for them to desire him.
But Paine says, "If Jesus Christ was the person the church represents him to be, that which would exclusively apply to him, must be something that could not apply to any other person; something beyond the line of nature; something beyond the lot of mortal man; and there are no such expressions in Isaiah liii. nor any other chapter in the Old Testament."
This shews the absurdity of his reasoning, the darkness of his understanding, that he had not discernment enough to see that this chapter speaks of something more than belongs to mortal man.
Can we be healed by the stripes of a mere man? or the chastisement of our peace be upon man? Can man make himself an offering for the sins of others, by laying down his life for them? Can a man so blindly discern what he reads, that the prophecy in this chapter can allude to any mortal man, to bear the sins of many, and make intercession for the transgressors? For this is the prophecy
of the chapter, that the person spoken of, men were to be healed by in the end; and which we must look to the Gospel, to discern what likeness there was in Jesus Christ, to compare with the chapter.
I have already mentioned, how the arm of the Lord was revealed at his birth, to the angels, and to Simeon; again, at his baptism, when the voice came from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased;" and in many other instances. The arm of the Lord was revealed to the disciples of Jesus Christ; but who believed their report? Were they not mocked and despised? And when the Jews could not deny the miracles HE wrought, yet they maliciously said they were wrought by the devil; so that HE was despised and rejected of men. I need not to enumerate all the wondrous miracles our Saviour wrought, as they may be seen in the Gospel; such as could not be wrought by a mere man. Now let us come to his death. HE told his disciples, the time drew near that HE should be offered up; and therefore made no resistance, when the time came; neither did HE plead in his own defence; but suffered himself to be led like a lamb to the slaughter, and with two thieves was put to death. Here HE was numbered with the transgressors; so that the likeness of the words of Isaiah we may see through the Gospel, how they were fulfilled by Jesus Christ; and by his resurrection we may see the truth of the Psalms, that his body did not see corruption.
And now to shew how the language of men was foretold by Isaiah, I shall come to the words of the apostles, in Acts ii., when Peter was preaching to the Jews, concerning our Saviour, whom they had crucified, that HE was the Holy One of God, spoken of by David and the prophets, saying, "Let all the house of Israel know assuredly,
that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ;" now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter, and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Then Peter said unto them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins. Then they gladly received his word and were baptized; and the same day there was added unto them above three thousand souls."
Now let divine light appear, and true spiritual reasoning, and then we shall see that the language of menís hearts was foretold by the prophet Isaiah. Peterís preaching would not have pricked them to the heart, to inquire what they should do, and to be baptized in the name of Jesus, and believed in him, if the language of their hearts had not been according to the words of Isaiah, to say, "Surely HE hath borne our grief, and carried our sorrows; HE was wounded for our transgression; HE was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and by his stripes we are healed." This must have been the language of their hearts, or they would never have been convinced by the apostle; but they acknowledged, that like sheep they had gone astray, turning every one to his own way. This was their belief, when they were converted: and the pleasure of the Lord prospered through the Gospel, to bring men to a knowledge of God, by Jesus Christ; as many dark and heathen nations were then brought in to be Christians; and the Gentiles, who were carried away by dumb idols, worshipping the works of menís hands, standing afar off from the true and living God, were then brought nigh, by the blood of Christ, to believe in the prophets from the Gospel: so that the likeness of this chapter was fulfilled, by the miracles our Saviour wrought, by
the faith established in the Gospel, seeing all the works that were wrought through him, and his resurrection from the dead, appearing unto them in his own body, as our Saviour had told them before; and so in like manner HE ascended into glory in the presence of his disciples. But I ask, how this could have been done by mortal man, as it is recorded in the Gospel? Neither is it possible for any man upon earth to prove that the liii. chap. of Isaiah contains no more than what might be accomplished by any man. Can a mere man make intercession for the transgressions of man? or can man justify men, by bearing their iniquities?
Here I have shewn the folly of Paineís judgment on the liii. of Isaiah: and in like manner is his judgment concerning the New Testament, which he says, "He holds to be fabulous, and have shewn to be false." This assertion is like the former: unbelief is no proof, which I am a living witness of; for there are many that have said of me, that there was no such woman; the writings were inventions of men, published in my name; and they would not believe there was any such woman to write them herself; and so strong hath been this unbelief in some, that they have said, unless they could see me they would not believe there was such a woman upon earth, to write the books that I have published; but they believed it was done by menís inventions in my name. This shews that unbelief is sure to err, and how men are blinded against the truth; and shews the folly that is in mankind, how ready they are to believe things impossible, but how hard to believe the things that are possible. But it is a thing impossible for men to have invented my writings, to have published them in my name, without being detected; because men would have proved there was no such woman, and they would soon have been put to shame and confusion. Now perfectly so I say
of the Gospel: had it been an invention of the disciples, and there had been no such person as Jesus Christ, they would soon have been detected and put to confusion. Could they have gone out and publicly preached to the world, and set forth the miracles our Saviour wrought, that he healed the sick, halt, maimed, deaf, dumb, blind, paralytic, lunatic, demoniac; that they saw him give sight to one that was born blind; life to one that had lain four days corrupting in the grave; fed so many thousands with a few loaves and fishes, walked upon the seas, and by his single word stilled the raging of the winds and waves? could they have said HE was unjustly accused, wrongfully condemned, by the priests, by the rulers, and by the great men of the nation, and that HE was crucified under Pontius Pilate the governor? could a few fishermen, who were in no power, dare to go out and assert such things publicly? If there had been no truth in them, would they not soon have been confounded? could they have preached this doctrine of Jesus, in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Galilee, and all the regions round about, if there had been no truth in their assertions? would they not soon have been detected for impostors and liars? and how could they have stood before the rulers and judges of the day to be examined concerning their faith? and how could they have justified themselves before great men, without proofs of what they asserted? and there was no enemy that could come forward against them, to prove their assertions were false, though they condemned the faith of the disciples for believing that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and by whose power the miracles were wrought. The Jews could not deny the miracles, but ignorantly and wickedly placed them to the devil, which raised the persecution against the disciples; for, had the Jews believed that they were wrought by
the power of God, they would have believed that HE was the Son of God.
The above facts being proved by the testimony of the disciples, and so many joining with them, that the Gospel was established in different nations, against all the opposition of the Jews, proves it to be the work of God, which neither Paineís writings, nor all his adherents can ever overthrow: if they will not believe it, they cannot prove it fabulous.
Paine says,"There is no history written at the time Jesus Christ is said to have lived, that speaks of the existence of such a person, even as a man."
But this assertion, like his others, is false; for ancient historians have written concerning our Saviour, and Josephus, in his history of the Jews, before the destruction of Jerusalem, mentions both our Saviour and John the Baptist. In the fourth chapter, Josephus, speaking of the intestine broils of the Jews, under the reign of Caesar, says, "About this period there arose to notice one Jesus, a man of consummate wisdom, if indeed he may be deemed a man. He was eminently celebrated for his power of working miracles; and those who were curious, and desirous to learn the truth, flocked to him in abundance. He was followed by immense numbers of people, Jews as well as Gentiles. This was that Christ, whom the princes and great men of our nation accused. He was delivered up to the Cross by Pontius Pilate; notwithstanding which, those who originally adhered to him never forsook him. On the third day after his crucifixion he was seen alive: he wrought a great number of marvellous acts: and there remain, even to this day, a sect of people who bear the name of Christians, who acknowledge this Christ for their head."
Josephus, in mentioning the disasters that befell
Herod, says,"It was at this time the prevailing opinion, among the Jews, that the above disaster was a proof of the vengeance of heaven against Herod and his army, on account of John, surnamed the Baptist, whom this tetrarch had caused to be inhumanly murdered. Now the Baptist had not been guilty of any crime: his custom was to exhort the Jews to the love and practice of every virtue."
Here Josephus mentions both Jesus Christ and John the Baptist, before the destruction of Jerusalem; but the evidence of ten thousand witnesses would not be sufficient for a man like Paine, whose wisdom was to direct the hand of the Almighty, in a way that could not be of any use to mankind to instruct them, in wisdom, knowledge, or understanding; for he says,"Had the news of salvation by Jesus Christ been inscribed on the face of the sun and the moon, in characters that all nations would have understood, the whole earth had known it in twenty-four hours, and all nations would have believed it."
Here is the folly of the man, to have directions given as no one could read; because the strength and power of the sun, in all its brightness and sparkling lustre, is too great for us to look into, to read inscriptions, let them be put ever so plain. But suppose, for his argumentís sake, that it could be written, and could be read by all nations, to be understood and been believed; what knowledge would they draw from it,reading the words, Salvation by Jesus Christ, without any information being given them, what was the meaning of Salvation; or how it came by him; or what they were to do, to obtain this salvation? It is like a directing post, that is placed, we will suppose, in Devonshire, with directions for the London road; and suppose a man sets out upon the road, from the first direction, and there were no further
directions given on the road, how would he find his way to London? as there are so many different roads, how would he know which road to take to bring him to London, if no further directions were given on the road, only the one he set out by? Now perfectly so I say by the Gospel; if we had no further directions than what Paine saith should be written in the sun, and in the moon, of salvation by Jesus Christ, we should have no more knowledge how to obtain that salvation, than a man would know how to find the way to London by the first direction, if he had no further directions given. And how could man know what was the love of God in Christ Jesus, to bring that salvation to him? Neither would he have any knowledge from such directions, what was his state in the beginning, for what ends he was created, or how he fell from that perfection he was created in, to be renewed by Jesus Christ; neither would he know what salvation meant. If nothing more was revealed, the minds of men would only be bewildered, to know the meaning of the word salvation.
And now I shall come to another observation of Paineís. He says"The word of God is the creation we behold; and this word of God revealeth to man all that is necessary for man to know of his Creator."
How blind and absurd is such reasoning! what can he suppose God created man for? to be like the beasts that perish? to sink into nothing? Then he might say, man wants no more knowledge of his Creator, than the beasts of the field do; but if God created man for nobler ends, superior to them, for his honour and glory; and designed him for a future state; that we have a soul to be saved, when the body is no more; then it is the wisdom and goodness of God to give a further revelation to man, what is his righteous will concerning us,
than what can be seen in the Creation; and which the Scriptures furnish us with; how the Lord, in all ages of the world, hath made himself known to mankind, what HE created us for, and what heaven of happiness the Lord hath prepared for them that love and serve himthe joys of heaven, the glories of a future state, and the reward to those that love and fear God, to draw our hearts unto himthat he is a present help in the time of troublethat the sorrows of this life will not always last, but that there is a world of joy, prepared for the righteous, that will last for ever: for in heaven there is fulness of joy, and at Godís right hand there are pleasures for evermore. There is comfort and consolation to be found throughout the Scriptures, for every Christian reader, to support them through all the troubles and trials of this life; so that we may find joy in the midst of sorrow, in reading the Scriptures, that Paine hath despised; and we find a revelation, to give us light and understanding of the just decrees of the Lord, concerning us, that we could never find out by looking at the Creation, if we had no further revelation given us. But were I to inquire of a man like Paine, why the Lord created man in the beginning, and never revealed his will concerning him, what wisdom, as a God, what love, as a Creator of the universe, or what regard for the souls that are created, can a man like him point out?
But one observation Paine made, which I shall not omit noticing. Though he denies all prophecies being given, yet he says"There is none but a God can inspire a fore-knowledge of things, and afterwards fulfil them."
Here I answer, that the fulfilment of our Saviourís words, in Luke xxi., was a clear prophecy; for HE foretold the Jews what destruction should come upon them; for HE said, they should fall
by the edge of the sword, and should be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem should be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. If there wanted any proof of the truth of the Gospel, the Jews, to this present day, are a clear standard to confirm it. Here is a prophecy, which must be allowed to be foretold by the knowledge of God, and fulfilled by his power. There is a singular remark, which Josephus mentions, in the destruction of Jerusalem, made by Titus; he saith"Had we not been aided by the immediate interposition of heaven, it would have been impossible that we should ever have possessed ourselves of these fortresses: in a word, it was God who fought for us, and aided us against the Jews; for a deed hath been accomplished, which the hands of men, nor force of engines, could never have effected."
Therefore, as clear as the day-light, or the brightness of the sun, the Jews stand a proof of the Gospel, which carnal reasoning, that is darkened by the wiles of the devil, cannot look into or understand. But this our Saviour foretold, in his Gospel, what would be the infidelity of man, at his second coming; for he saith, "As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
In the days of Noah they were so full of infidelity, and unbelief of any revelation being given from the Lord, that they mocked the warning that was given to Noah, till the deluge came and swept them away: and this infidelity is fast increasing, by the deists and atheists; for, as I have already observed, from the prophet Isaiah, the Lord revealed to the prophet what would be the minds and hearts of men, when our Saviour came to give up his life for the transgression of man; so, in like manner, our Saviour foretold what would be the minds and hearts of men in
the latter days, at his second coming; how infidelity would so fast increase, that except the days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; and I am truly convinced of the truth of the words, that were it to go on, till the expiration of the six thousand years, men would become like the antediluvian world, to be destroyed as they were: but as our Saviour said the days should be shortened, we now see, while there is some faith remaining on the earth; we see the likeness of the parables appear, that some are like the wise virgins, waiting for the Bridegroom; and like the wise servants, waiting for the coming of their Lord; which our Saviour said should enter into the joy of their Lord, at his coming: and for their sakes the days should be shortened. Now we see both classes of people plainly before us, as our Saviour foretold; with the signs before uswars and tumults, distresses and perplexities of nations, which our Saviour said should be prior to his coming, in power and great glory, to bring in the redemption of man; so that the people of both denominations, and the signs of the times, stand in one likeness with the Gospel; and therefore I may say, as our Saviour said, ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the skies, and of the earth, but how is it that ye cannot discern these times? I am sorry to find there are too many of this description of people, that can discern the works of creation, but deny the word of truth contained in the Scriptures.
For Paine says, "Middleton believes in his Creator; but instead of reposing his faith on books, by whatever names they may be called, whether Old Testaments, or New, he fixes the Creation as the great original standard, by which every other thing called the word or work of God is to be tried."
Now, from his observation, let the Scriptures be tried by the standard he fixed. It is said, "In the beginning the Lord created the heavens
and the earth: and God said, Let there be light; and there was light; and God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth; and it was so: and God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; HE made the stars also: and God set them in the firmament of the heavens, to give light upon the earth: and God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
Now, whether the Bible be allowed to be the word of God, or not; the truth of the above cannot be denied, as we see it in the work of God: the sun to give light by day, and the moon by night, and the lesser lights in the stars; and man, we see, is created with understanding very different from the beasts that perish; and the Lord hath given man wisdom to arm himself with weapons of defence, to have power over the beasts, that are made in strength stronger than man; yet wisdom is given to man to defend himself, to have dominion over them. Thus far the truth can be proved from the SCRIPTURES, which I call the WORD of GOD; and they will bear to be tried by the CREATION, which is the WORK of GOD. I shall begin with the light in the firmament, to compare with man; for if man was created superior to the beasts, with wisdom and understanding, he must have a light given him from God; as there is light in the firmament, so there must be light given to man; and as the light of the stars, to give light in darkness, so in
like manner the Lord hath revealed a light to man, to come to a knowledge of God; therefore the heavens are a standard to men, whereby the works of creation can be proved, and his words be proved. Man I shall compare to the dawning of the day, before the sun ariseth in its splendour, to shew from whence the light proceeded; perfectly so we see from the Creation, that the Lord created man with light and knowledge, superior to all that was made upon the earth; for as the rising of the sun is after the dawn of the morning, so hath the Lord arisen upon man, to give knowledge and understanding to him, by the revelation of his Spirit. Let us trace further the state of man: the Lord gave him a tongue and voice, and understanding. This we see in the works of God, which I shall compare with the word of God: the Lord communed with man; the Lord gave a command to man; and HE placed him in the garden of Eden, in a state of happiness; but when by temptations man fell, by disobeying the command the Lord had given him; then the bright sunshine of his happiness was fled from him, and darkness overtook him. But as there is a light before the rising of the sun, so there is some light left after the setting of the sun; and perfectly so we find, from the word of God, was the state of man after his fall; for though the Lord reproved him for his disobedience, and cast him out of the garden of Eden; yet HE left some light for man, by the promise made in the Fall; so that he was not left without hope: and we find, from the word of God, the Lord accepted Abelís offering, and did not forget the works of his hands; but when men increased, they grew hardened in sin, and provoked the Lord to anger against them, which is said in the word of God, and which I shall compare to the works of God in creation; for, as the stars are placed for lights
to man, in the firmament, for signs, and for seasons, for days, and for years; so the Lord gave a light to Noah, by the visitation of his Spirit: HE made him as a star to give light to man, what was the will of God; and what judgments the Lord would bring upon them, if they went on to provoke him to angerthat the Lord would destroy man whom he had created: and, for a sign, he ordered Noah to build the ark, for days and years that should roll on, before the Lord put his threatenings in execution. So that HE made him as a star, to shine amongst a dark benighted people, that were hardened by sin: to Noah it was like the dawn of the morning; because he believed in his word; but to them like a light that shined in darkness; they did not discern from whence the light came, till thick darkness overtook them by the deluge; and then the truth of the words was like the rising sun to Noah, to prove the light revealed to him was from the Lord.
In this likeness I shall prove the Scriptures standing in the likeness of the firmament: the Lord hath given a light to his prophets in every age, by revealing his will to them, which was but like the dawn of the morning, before the Lord arose, like the bright sunshine, to fulfil them: and when they were for promised blessings, it was like the sun arising in its splendour, which men discerned, when the truth appeared; but if light be given, by a revelation of threatened judgments, placed for days, months, or for years, and men refused to come to the light, or listen to the voice of the prophets to whom the light was given; then clouds and thick darkness overtook them, like the setting of the sun in a storm; so that in the perfect manner we see things stand, in the creation of the firmament above, we may see the likeness through the Scriptures of the word of God, given to man in every age. In this manner we may
trace the Scriptures through, by the light that was given to the prophets, from the promises and threatenings, as men obeyed or disobeyed; and these different changes we may see in the firmamentthe heavens filled with clouds and thick darkness, storms and tempests, thunder and lightning; as though the whirlwind of the Lord was sent forth with fury, and man and beasts have been hurt thereby. This we have seen, on the one hand; while, on the other, we often see the weather mild, with sunshine and moderate rains, to bring forth the fruits of the earth, which are sent for blessings to men. So that in one likeness his word and works stand together, to shew his goodness and his power; and did men seriously contemplate them both together, and how different man was created from the beasts that perish, to have a spiritual sense and knowledge of God revealed to him, they would discern him in his word and works.
But as Paine allows no revelation to be given from God, only the natural sense given us from the Creation; in this opinion he makes no difference between man and the dumb animals; because in them we see sense and understanding given to every one after their kind. If we look to the birds of the air, we see a natural sense and understanding given to them, how to build their nests to secure their young; and a natural reason given to them, how to hatch their young, and afterwards how to feed them. And the same natural sense we may see in the bees, what understanding is given to them to gather honey from every herb and flower, to make the honey-comb in the summer to provide for themselves in the winter; and we may see, from the curious manner the honey-combs are laid, what sense is given to them. So that after their kind we see natural sense is given to every animal upon the earth.
If we look to dogs, what sagacity may we see in them! and not only their affections to their young, but a faithfulness to their masters, that in many instances can scarcely be equalled. So that we may trace the animal creation acting with sense after their kind, for their own preservation and necessity. Even the very ants, that are so small an insect, will provide their meat in the summer to lay it up for the winter; which is a moral lesson to mankind. I might fill a volume in bringing forward all the sense we see in the brute creation; how they all act after their kind, by the natural instinct placed in them; but they go no further than the natural sense given them; but to man there is given wisdom and understanding, temporal and spiritual, which the Lord has revealed to man by his Spirit, that he may contemplate on the divine word and works of God; not only in creation, but preservation, salvation, and redemption; which carries his mind and heart beyond this earth below, to adore and reverence his Creator: and from this he is taught to believe that there is a future state of everlasting happiness for all those that love and fear God. But this discernment is not in all men; for there is as much difference in mankind, as there is between the dove and the serpent, between the lamb and the tiger. Let us look to those that are good men, and discern what noble spirits, what feeling hearts, what love, they shew to God and their fellow creaturesmercy, pity, and compassion, to make others happy, as well as themselves, which may be traced amongst mankind, were all their virtues to be enumerated and placed together; while, on the other hand, we see in bad men every evil, like the serpent for its sting, like the tiger for ferocity: witness the inhuman murders, acts of ingratitude, malice, and savage cruelty, we have seen in mankind towards their
fellow creatures. If we deeply contemplate how great is the difference between good men and bad men; the one acting with every tender feeling, the other with every cruelty and hardness of heart; so that the difference is as great as light from darkness; how can this be accounted for, by looking only at the works of God, without we look to the revealed word of God, in which we see from the beginning that God created man after his likeness? but how soon did the subtlety of the devil, by working in the serpent, draw away the heart of man in the beginning from his Creator! and how strong did the temptations of the devil work upon Cain to murder his innocent brother! The fall of man sheweth plainly there was an evil power that tempted man to disobedience against his Creator. Thus we learn, from the word of God, how the evil came at first; and as we trace the Scriptures through, we may clearly discern, how these different spirits were seen in mankind: for, as our Saviour said in his Gospel, "His servants ye are to whom ye yield yourselves to obey: no servant can serve two masters." So that we are taught, from the word of God, that some are desirous to be influenced by the Spirit of the Lord, to be guided and guarded by him, to know his will and obey it, having a desire for the honour and glory of God, and a love to their fellow-creatures, by doing good one to the other; and this we are taught, from the Scriptures, is acting in some likeness of our Creator, which proceeds from the Spirit of God working with the spirits of men, to them that serve God; but, on the other hand, those that resist the good, and give themselves up to all the wiles of the devil, to practise every evil word and work, they grow hardened in sin, and act in every cruelty, like the master they are influenced by, and to whom they yield themselves to obey;
so that the difference we see in mankind is easy to be accounted for by the written word of God, which is impossible to be accounted for any other way; as there is so much difference in mankind, of good and evil, which proves that there are two invisible powers to work upon the hearts of men.
In this mankind stand as living witnesses of the truth of the Scriptures, that there is a devil, which Paine denies; but he need not to have brought forward either Middleton or Cicero, deists like himself, to confirm his judgment being right, because they agree with him in denying any revelation from the Lord being given to men; that the Creation alone is all that is necessary for man to know.
To his words I answer, it is all that such men have a desire to know; and this can be proved from the Scriptures, as well as from Cicero, Middleton, or Paine. Pharaoh had no desire to know God, any further than the Creation: it was his own greatness, and his own cruelty, to shew his power over the children of Israel, first in murdering them, that they should not increase, next in his oppression over them, that he wanted to indulge himself in; and therefore, like these writers, he despised the revelation from the Lord, or any warning being sent to him, to free the children of Israel from his oppression and cruelty; and therefore Pharaoh said, "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." And such characters as Pharaoh we may find throughout the Scriptures, which Paine calls the wise men in every age, who looked to the Creation alone; for that was all that was necessary for man to know.
And now I shall shew what these wise men did, that despised any revelation from the Lord being given to the prophets, but trusted to their own
wisdom, and followed the imagination of their own hearts. They made gods of gold and silver to worship; they made images of wood and stone to worship; they sacrificed unto devils, and not unto God; they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils; and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and their daughters. All these abominable crimes were committed by men who despised the knowledge of God, or any revelation given to his prophets. These men had the visible creation in their view; but what did they learn or practise from it? and what did their wisdom bring them to, but like Paine and his companions, who try to bring this present age to their belief, to reject the Scriptures, as being the word of God? In like manner those heathen nations influenced the minds of the children of Israel to follow after them in their idolatrous worship and abominable practices; for we find that Jeroboam ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves, which he had made;Ahaz burnt his children in the fire, after the abomination of the heathen, whom the Lord had cast out. So, if we want to see what deists and atheists are, we need not go to Cicero, or to Middleton, to confirm the opinion of Paine; because we find, that such men have existed throughout the former generations, who believed no power or wisdom superior to their own, and have used their authority to bring others to their standard; which we find by Nebuchadnezzar. In Daniel, iii. chapter, we may see what was the pride of Nebuchadnezzar, who wanted to impress upon the minds of the people an elevated sense of his greatness, as Paine says his motive has been to give man an elevated sense of his own character; and, in like manner, we may see in the days of Darius, vi. chapter: but what followed them? They brought on their own
destruction, and kindled the wrath of God and man against them; and the power of God was made manifest. So there is no elevated state, that man can set up in himself, but the Lord by his power can overthrow, and prove that there is a God who dwelleth in the heavens above and amongst the inhabitants of the earth below; and by his prophets he hath made his will known, and his power known. Now these deists, who boast of their wisdom and reason that they say God hath given them, do not discern that their own characters and likeness are placed before them in the Scriptures, which they despise. I have brought forward these men, to shew the folly in those deists, who say, that beholding the Creation is all the knowledge necessary to know of God. What knowledge was there in these men in viewing the Creation? I am sorry to see in this present age, that there are so many in mind and heart hardened in sin to mock the Scriptures and the prophets of the Lord, like those before mentioned, who now join in the same principles of infidelity, as Paine hath set forth in his book.
I was deeply struck with a paragraph in the newspaper, dated May 31st, 1812, under the title of a Picture of the Times, in which it says, "It is dreadful to find in a country like this, which possesses every natural advantage, and which seems apparently calculated for the happiness of the human race, that so much misery should be found; the more so when it is considered that that misery, overwhelming as it is, falls to the unavoidable lot of the great majority of the people. The sudden and most exorbitant advance in the price of every necessary of life, may well confound our understanding, and strike us with dismay; because, under this calamitous state of things, we know not which way to turn, or how to act." In this manner the writer hath set forth all the distress and misery that is now felt in the land.
In the same paper we see the following account: "Tuesday, Daniel Isaac Eaton stood in the pillory, between twelve and one oíclock, agreeably to his sentence, for publishing the Third Part of Paineís Age of Reason. Instead of pelting, as is usual in similar cases, every individual appeared more eager than another to cheer and encourage the unfortunate sufferer. At intervals he addressed the multitude, who huzzahed him, as if they had been complimenting a candidate at a popular election."
Now compare these two paragraphs together: the Picture of the Times, complaining of the burden, and the scarcity that is in the land; and then view the conduct of the public, in caressing a man for doing all in his power to suppress the word of God; then what blessings have we any right to expect from God, to relieve our burdens, when we see the Scriptures despised, and men so encouraged to write against the word of God? Have we not room to fear, that these crying sins will bring down the just judgments of God, to increase the burden and the distresses upon our nation? Therefore we have to fear the judgments, that are begun, will hasten on heavier upon us, if men do not repent of the evil of their ways. They complain of their burden; but not of their sins. Let them look to the Scriptures, which they have despised, and they will find, in all ages, that these sins in mocking and disregarding the word of God, sent to them by the prophets of old, brought down the judgments of the Lord upon them; and now in these days we see the same stand together; the Scriptures publicly mocked, and the heavy burden and affliction now complained of: how clearly do men see the rod, but do not fear him that hath appointed it, to have these evils turned away, which they allow they have now to fear! After enumerating the
burdens upon the land, they say, "Dare we lift up our eyes to behold the coming prospect? Then we meet the height of our calamity. Evils infinitely greater still stare us in the face, and horribly advance with rapid step."
Seeing these dangers and evils together, is it not time for the ministers to awake, as men out of sleep, and for the priests to mourn between the porch and the altar? Will not these sins of the people provoke the Lord to anger? What must the hearts of the people be, that could so publicly shew themselves to be at enmity against the word of God? This proves how fast iniquity is abounding, infidelity is increasing, and the truth of the Gospel fulfilling; therefore it is time for those that fear the Lord to take the advice of the prophet: Malachi iii. 16.Joel ii. 17.David, in the Second Psalm.
If we wish to prevent the blow that we see advancing with rapid strides, let us learn of the people of Nineveh, lest they rise up in judgment against us. The Lord threatened the people of Nineveh by the prophet Jonah, and they repented, and cried mightily unto God, and said, "Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?" And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way, and God repented of the evil that he had said that he would do unto them, and he did it not. NINEVEH repented, from the warning being given to them; but we have had warning long given to us, and now we see the threatened dangers begin to appear; yet still the warning is mocked and despised; but I fear that infidelity and unbelief will bring down the judgments of God upon the land.
For I clearly see that the wretched manner the Calvinists bring forward the Scriptures strengthens infidelity; as many have told me, that from
the Calvinistic doctrine, they could not believe the Scriptures, to judge there was a God to be the author of all evil, as represented by them; and which doctrine is most shamefully set forth in a book written against me, by S. Lane, a Calvinist preacher.
In the title page of his book, he compares me to Jezebel, in the Book of Kings; but I answer, there is no likeness, that he can prove between me and her. Jezebel was no prophetess, but a despiser of the prophets of the Lord, and caused them to be put to death, even at the time when she saw the famine in the land, which the Lord had threatened by his prophets, for the crimes of Ahab, in worshipping Baal, forsaking the Lord, and rejecting the word of God, sent by his prophets. The wondrous works of God, which he wrought by the prophet Elijah, in sending fire from heaven, did not convince Jezebel; but she wanted him to be put to death; she also hired false witnesses, sons of Belial, to stone Naboth to death, to gain his vineyard. In like manner Lane hath proved himself to have acted as Jezebel did, by taking the false witnesses of others to join with himself, in condemning me and the Spirit that visits me; and he hath clearly shewn that he is a despiser of prophecies; and is as much enraged against me, for being visited by the Lord, to give the warning, as Jezebel was. Therefore let him see who stands most in the likeness of Jezebel. I leave the readers to judge for themselves.
Lane hath brought forward the false assertions, published by Hann in 1809, and Vincent, which I have already refuted in my former publications: Seventh part Explanations of the Bible, Controversy with the Worldly Wise, parts first and second. The forgeries and lies, concerning Mary
Bateman, are contradicted in a book, entitled, The Picture of the World.
These false inventions of others Lane hath again set forth to the public, with his own additions of falsehood and abuse, which he has very liberally bestowed upon me: but let him not say "he hath contented himself with the naked sword of truth, a bag, a sling, and a few smooth stones gathered out of the brook," when I can prove it is the sword of malice and false inventions, gathered out of books, and his own falsehoods added to the others, that he has come forward with, perverting the Scriptures to dishonour God thereby.
After boldly asserting my visitation to be from the devil, he casts the blame upon the Lord. In the 2nd and 3rd pages of his book he saith, "Jehovah told Ahab that he would be a lying spirit in his mouth, that he might go forth and deceive the people; or he would suffer a lying spirit to enter his heart, in order to fulfil his (Godís) eternal purpose and unalterable decrees. (See 1 Kings, xxii. 22.) So the Lord has suffered the devil to enter into, and take full possession of Joannaís heart, in order to fulfil his own purpose and eternal decree, in her final destruction, who will in the end glorify God in her final damnation."
Here is the judgment of a man who pretends to plead for the honour and justice of God; but I would wish to inquire of such men, what an earthly judge would say, if a prisoner were brought to the bar, and the counsellor should begin to plead in like manner, to cast the whole blame on the judge for deceiving the prisoner, saying, this man hath done the deed which the judge decreed he should, by giving an artful villain power to go in his name to betray the man, to fulfil the decrees the judge had made before in his final destruction; and now he would have the honour of passing the sentence of death upon him. Would not the judge condemn
the counsellor for pleading thus? If not, the jury must condemn the judge, and acquit the prisoner at the bar.
In the likeness of this parable, Lane hath brought forward the Scriptures, to make the Lord an unjust judge, and deny the Gospel he professes to believe. Our Saviour saith in Matthew vii."Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you; for every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth. What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" I may say with St. Paul, "By the grace of God, I am what I am; and his grace, which was bestowed upon me, was not in vain. I know in whom I have believed, and my cause is in the hand of a just and righteous judge."
But in the case of Ahab we must discern what he was. I shall place the parable another way to an earthly judge, having a criminal brought before him, that had often broke the laws, often been reproved by the judge, who shewed mercy to him, while he threatened him that the severity of the law should come upon him, if he did not forsake the evil of his ways; so if the judgeís forbearance with him, in shewing him mercy, did but harden the criminal the more, to go on breaking the laws, then the judge would be justified in passing sentence upon him, and he must acknowledge he was justly condemned.
And this was the likeness in the case of Ahab, who broke all the laws of God, worshipped idols, and did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger, than all the kings of Israel that were before him; and the Lord sent Elijah the prophet
to reprove him; and the Lord sent the famine which he threatened, to shew Ahab that the power was in the God of heaven, and not in Baal, that he worshipped.
Thus did the Lord try Ahab different ways; yet his heart was hardened against the prophets of the Lord; and he called them his enemies, because they were sent to reprove him. But when he was going up to Ramoth-Gilead to battle, Ahab had no desire to have Micaiah called; it was Jehoshaphatís desire to have an inquiry made of Micaiah, as a prophet of the Lord; but Ahab said he hated him: for he prophesied no good concerning him, but evil. Therefore the Lord permitted Micaiah to answer Ahab, at first, after the manner of the other prophets; but when Ahab adjured Micaiah to speak the truth in the name of the Lord; then he told Ahab how the prophets were deceived, and what would befall him, if he went to battle. But of what use was it to Ahab? he did not regard the words of the prophet; but ordered him to be taken and put into prison, and to be fed with bread of affliction and water of affliction, until he returned again in peace. And Micaiah said, "If thou return at all in peace, the Lord hath not spoken by me." It was but mockery in Ahab to adjure the prophet to tell him the truth in the name of the Lord, and when he had told him the words of the Lord concerning him, then to put him in prison. In this he mocked both God and man; therefore it was for the sake of Jehoshaphat, who first made the inquiry, to have Micaiah brought forward, and reproved Ahab for despising the prophetit was for his sake the truth was told to Ahab, what the end would be to him, that Jehoshaphat might see why Ahab was deceived, as his heart was after the false prophets of Baal; and the Lord shewed Jehoshaphat the truth, by the message he sent to Ahab by
Micaiah; and Jehoshaphat was preserved in the battle, but Ahab was slain.
Now let men discern the difference between these two kings: Jehoshaphat relied upon the prophets of the Lord; but Ahab did not. We find in 2 Chronicles, xx. chap., when the enemies in great multitudes were coming against Jehoshaphat, he sent to inquire of the Lord; and the Lord answered him by his prophet, that he should not be afraid, nor dismayed, by reason of the great multitudes; for the battle was the Lordís: and Jehoshaphat believed in the words, and said unto them, "Hear me, O Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem, believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper." The chapter telleth the great deliverance the Lord worked for them that day, to cause the enemy to destroy one another, and preserved those that trusted in him.
This I have explained for the sake of the readers, who may be stumbled at these texts of Scripture, in the way and manner that Lane hath brought them forward, without discerning, in the case of Ahab and Pharaoh, how they first hardened their hearts against the Lord: for Pharaoh said, "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." Ahabís heart was the same: therefore the Lord gave them up to their own deceivings. And this we may find throughout the Scriptures: where men refused to believe his word, they felt his power; but concerning those that believed in the Lord, the tenor of the whole Scriptures runs thus: "Turn unto me, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord: come and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool:If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land; but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured."
On these conditions the Scriptures stand: but the decrees of the Lord from the foundation of the world, which the Calvinists place to Election and Reprobation, in every age, is what they do not understand. They do not understand what were the decrees of the Lord in the beginning; and how the promise was made in the Fall; or for what ends Christ was said to be the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world"That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him." Ephesians i. 10, 14. "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of PromiseWhich is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." Here stands the election of being chosen from the foundation of the world: the decrees of the Lord were fixed, that whatever arts Satan used to work in man, to rebel against God, to be at enmity against his Creator, while Satanís power remains to tempt men to sin; yet the decrees of the Lord were fixed in the beginning to cut off his power, and bring in the redemption of man; which may be seen from the promise made in the Fall, and the Tree of Life being preserved for man.
This is the meaning of ELECTION and REPROBATION, when the Lord comes to elect man to what he created him for at firstto make him in his own image at the last; and to cast out the adversary, who was reprobated from the beginning; being at enmity against God, he worketh in men to be the same, by tempting them to sin against him: but our Saviour said he came to seek and to save that which was lost; and by the Fall man was lost: our Saviour came to take away the sin of the world: and he said that the prince of this world should be
cast out. Then will the election of man be completed, and the words of the apostle be fulfilled, "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and on earth, even in him."
1 Timothy ii. 4, 5, 6, 7. "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth: for there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle. I speak the truth in Christ and lie not."
Here stands the election before the foundation of the world, that Paul was preaching of, to bring in the redemption of man, when the due time was come. The first fruits of the Spirit were given to the apostles, to have some knowledge of what the end should be; and those that were chosen and stood faithful were like the elect, to be saved; but we may discern how many fell back, that followed for a while; but it is those that endure to the end who will be saved; and they may be called the elect of God, when they are fully redeemed by his dying blood. Then will the words of the apostle be fulfilled: Romans viii. "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Godís elect? It is God that justifieth: who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, to make intercession for us." Now, when this intercession is made for all, that the redemption of man hath taken place, then it is God that justifieth: who is he that condemneth, if Christ gave himself a ransom for all, to die for the transgression of man, pitying his weakness and knowing his adversary? Who shall condemn when his adversary is cast out? for then we shall be made one with Christ, and Christ with us; to walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit: for then will men live in him, and he in them.
But now I ask mankind, who say they are the elect of God, can they come before the Lord and say, that all their words and deeds are justified by the Lord? If they say this, they deceive themselves, and the truth is not in them. How can it be said, that the Lord will be clear in judging, and just in condemning, if he justify every evil in a man, because he saith he is elected to be saved; and at the same time condemn an upright man, who relies on the mercies and promises of the Lord, and the love of God which is in CHRIST JESUS, equal with those who say they are elected; and have as great faith in the merits of Christ, in giving his life a ransom for man, trusting in him for their salvation, relying upon the promises of the Lord, that whosoever come unto him that he will in no ways cast them out; that he came to seek and to save that which was lost; that his mercy extends unto all that come unto him in true faith, according to his Gospel? Now I ask mankind, what they make of the Gospel, if they judge believers are to be cast out, because they believe the word of God, that he willeth not the death of him that dieth, but rather hath pleasure in them that repent and turn? Will the Lord condemn a man for a faith like this, and justify the faith of another who denies the mercies and goodness of GOD to all returning sinners? Then the Scriptures must be null and void, by the way men place election. But to understand the Scriptures aright, we must compare spiritual things with spiritual things, and one Scripture with another; then we may understand the meaning of the apostleís words: Romans v. 18. "Therefore as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."So that the free gift is held out to all; but not accepted of by all. Our Saviour said in his Gospel, I come that ye might have life: but they would not come unto him,
that they might have life. The invitation of our Lord, and his mercy to all returning sinners, is held out through the Gospel to all them that believe: then, who is the elect, that are looking to him for salvation? All stands alike of them that believe; but election and reprobation stand for the end; and where we find the ELECTION spoken of in the Scriptures, the REDEMPTION is also spoken of.
The first place I have discerned the ELECT mentioned is in Isaiah xlii. 1, 6. "Behold my Servant whom I uphold, mine Elect in whom my soul delighteth. I have put my Spirit upon him; HE shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light to the Gentiles." Here let men discern who is the Elect, and for what covenant of the people our Saviour gave up his life for the transgression of man; but when that covenant is fulfilled, then will take place the words of the prophet, in the lxv. chap. 17, 18, 19, 22. "For behold, I create new heavens, and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people, and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. And my elect shall long enjoy the works of their hands."
These are the promises to be fulfilled for the ELECT in the end.
From the xlii. chap. we must discern how CHRIST stands as the head of the ELECT being chosen and set apart from eternity by God the Father to the great work of manís redemptionto set judgment in the earth, and the isles to wait for his law; and in the Gospel our Saviour told his disciples, that the great work of the redemption of man would be
accomplished at his coming in power and great glory. Luke xxi.Our Saviour, in speaking of the end, Matthew xxiv. says, "There shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time; no, nor ever shall be: and except those days should be shortened there should no flesh be saved; but for the electís sake those days shall be shortened."
In this chapter our Saviour speaks of his coming to save his elect; and in Luke xviii. our Saviour brought forward the parable of a woman crying to the judge to be avenged of her adversary, which from her importunity, the judge said he would avenge her of her adversary: from this parable our Saviour said, "And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him? Though he bear long with them; I tell you, that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"Now this faith is scarce amongst mankind, to believe that the Lord will avenge us of our adversary, which is the devil, by our petitions, as the judge avenged the woman; and yet, according to the parable, there is that faith in some, to fulfil the Gospel; and these are the elect, that our Saviour said the days should be shortened for: and when he comes in the clouds with power and great glory, then shall he send his angels and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost parts of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. Now these are the ELECT, that our Saviour was speaking of, that would petition to be avenged of their adversary, and that he should gather together in the end; which may be clearly discerned by the parables, which our Saviour spoke of, in Matthew xxv., what he likened the kingdom of heaven tothe wise virgins waiting for the Bridegroom; and in Luke xii."And ye yourselves like unto
men that wait for their Lord, when he will return from the wedding, that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching."
Let men compare the parables, and the elect mentioned in the Gospel, with the words of the apostle Paul. Romans viii. where he speaks of the election, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our bodies.
Concerning the salvation of man, it is held out to all them that believe and obey the Gospel, and trust in the Lord for their salvation, through the merits of Christ. Romans x. 12. "There is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him, for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. For there is no respect of persons with God." (See Romans ii.) Acts x. 34, 35. "Then Peter opened his mouth and said, 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."
These texts of Scripture I have brought together, so that men may understand the meaning of ELECTION, how it stands for the end, when the redemption of man takes place; but the way the Calvinists place election is as fuel to the fire, to strengthen the arguments of deists and atheists, which Paine hath brought forward.
In the preface of his book he saith, "There is a set of preachers tells their congregations, that God predestinated and selected from all eternity a certain number to be saved, and a certain number to be damned eternally. If this were true, the day of judgment is past; their preaching is in vain. Can a bad man be reformed by telling him, that if he is one of those who was decreed to be damned before
he was born, his reformation will do him no good; and if he was decreed to be saved, he will be saved, whether he believes it or not; for this is the result of the doctrine. Such preaching and such preachers do injury to the moral world. They had better be at the plough."And such doctrine as this prejudices men against the belief of the Scriptures; and which must be removed before men will be convinced; and therefore I have shewed the error of such doctrine.
Mr. Cobbett, in his Weekly Register, June 13, 1812, hath called upon the clergy for a confutation of Paineís book; a part of which I shall copy. He saith, "I have not yet heard, that this Third Part of the Age of Reason has yet been answered by any one of this great number of clergy. That I shall hear of it, however, would be a shame to doubt; for, the church will hardly leave her defence in this case, wholly to the attorney-general, the special jury, and the judges." After enumerating the revenues of the church, he adds,"Surely then, we church-people in particular have some reason to expect, that an answer, besides that of the attorney-general, will be given to this work of Paineís; especially after the decision pronounced upon Mr. Eatonís conduct by the public in London. Our clergy will hardly tell us, that the work is a contemptible thing unworthy of their notice; because if they do, we shall remind them that the attorney-general declared the work to contain doctrines of the most pernicious tendency; and that their consequences, if they took root, in the minds of those by whom they were perused, would be dreadful in the extreme. The judge, (lord Ellenborough), who tried the information, was of the same opinion. Therefore, I think, that we have a right to expect, from our clergy, that which will prevent this pernicious plant from taking root. Nay, I think, that every
churchman has a right to call upon the minister of his own parish for an antidote against this deadly poison; and accordingly, I hereby call upon mine, who, though I am absent from him, will, I am sure, not think me out of the pale of his care, especially when he considers that I am, here, in the very focus, as it were, of these dreadful publications. But in making this call upon my pastor, I beg leave to apprise him, that I shall be convinced by nothing short of a confutation arising out of fair reasoning, or clearly established facts."
I approve thus far of Mr. Cobbettís call upon the clergy; as it is the duty of every minister to do all in his power to stop the torrent of this growing evil; but to call them to confute these writers against the Bible, by clearly established facts, is out of the power of man to do, unless he had lived through every age of the world, to be a witness of the prophecies, how they were given to the prophets, and when they were fulfilled; and even then his testimony would not be believed in the minds of those who are so hardened in unbelief, like Paine, who declares "The Old and New Testament to be impositions, fables, and forgeries."
Then how can the clergy convince such men, that are so hardened in unbelief? It is out of their power. If they are convinced, it must be by the wisdom of the Lord, by giving prophecies in the present day, and fulfilling them, to convince them of their unbelief; and even then those that are hardened will not believe, when the truth can be proved before them, which I know by experience. When I was at Stockton-upon-Tees, in December, 1803, and men were disputing that my visitation was not from the Lord, I told them of the events that had taken place, which I had put into the hands of the ministers, from 1796 to the year 1800; three methodist preachers were present, who had the confidence to say, I told them nothing but lies;
and when I assured them I could bring proof, by the friends who copied the letters that were sent to the ministers, and that the fulfilment took place, they said they would neither believe me nor my friends. I then told them what was published in the beginning of 1801 of the three good harvests promised, and which had been fulfilled according to the prediction; but they still persisted in their unbelief, and said they did not believe the book was in print in 1801; but that it was published after the three harvests had taken place, and that I had dated it 1801; and would not be convinced until Mr. Mackay assured them he had the book in his possession in 1801, before the harvest took place; and I told them that my books were entered at Stationersí Hall; therefore there could be no imposition.
Another instance of unbelief, where the truth could be proved before them, was, the fall of Medina, which was foretold and published in 1803, in a book entitled A Word in Season; and this was fulfilled in 1805. When an unbeliever saw it in the book, where it was sold, he said, "Well done, Tozer! you have heard of the fall of Medina, and have got this book published, and want to put it off as a prophecy."
When the late Mr. Roberts pointed it out, they told him, that probably myself and friends had extensive correspondence to give the most early information of events, that they might be made known to the public, and passed off as prophecies, before any others could receive the intelligence; forgetting that this prophecy was published in 1803, and not fulfilled until 1805.
This sheweth the inventions of men: they will believe a thing that is impossible; but things that are possible and plain before them, they will not believe. Now, if unbelief is so blind and hardened, to deny the truth that can be proved before them,
how will such men be but hardened against the Scriptures, to call them inventions and priestcraft, when the living cannot prove they were in the days of the prophets or apostles, to witness the events that then took place?
Now, if men will deny the one that can be proved, how will they but deny the other, that can only be proved by faith, believing the word of God as standing on record, which hath been from one age to the other? Therefore the ministers cannot convince an unbelieving mind, by their faith, any more than the believers in the visitation of the Lord to me can convince the unbelievers, by their faith, without being enabled to prove the truth of the prophecies before them: and therefore it is the wisdom of the Lord to convince mankind of their unbelief by the visitation of his Spirit, that they may know there is a God who reveals his will to man, by the truth that follows his words, and which is out of the power of all the men upon the earth to do, by the faith that they profess, without being able to prove they have a knowledge of a visitation from the Lord.
Now let us observe amidst all the preachers in this place, of different sects and parties of men; yet they have not been able to convince the deists and atheists that so greatly abound in this city: as Mr. Cobbett states, that he supposes, when Eaton stood in the pillory he was surrounded by fifteen thousand people at least, from whom he received every possible mark of compassion and of applause. Now if fifteen thousand people were gathered together in this metropolis, to applaud a man, and caress him that wrote against the Scriptures, how many thousands may we suppose there are in the kingdom of the same mind? When we look to the nation at large, we cannot suppose that every atheist and deist in London were then gathered together in this assembly; no:
for respectable men of the same mind, who live in repute amongst mankind, would not disgrace themselves to be seen in this manner.
From this we may see how this pernicious doctrine is increasing, like a mighty torrent, amongst mankind. But how is this growing evil to be stopped? Not by the preachersí telling them that all the Scriptures are fulfilled, when these men clearly see they are not fulfilled; therefore they cannot open the eyes of their understanding, by telling them all was finished when Christ died. However, I shall leave the clergy to answer in their way, and I shall answer according to the knowledge and understanding the Lord hath given me, from what I have experienced of the truth of the Scriptures, and what knowledge I have derived from them, whether they believe or not.
A man that is born blind can have no discernment of the seasons; yet he is brought to a knowledge of the weather by what he is instructed and taught by others: that the heat he feels in the summer proceeds from the sun; and the cold in winter from frost; and by his feeling he can prove the truth, and know the change of the seasons. In like manner we are all spiritually blind by nature, before we are influenced by the Spirit of the Lord, and instructed from the Scriptures; to call upon the Lord and he will answer; to seek him, and he will be found of us: but without believing in the Scriptures, and being instructed by them, we can have no more knowledge of the working of the Lord, or his decrees, to understand the meaning of things that are spiritual, any more than a man that is born blind can understand things that are temporal: he may feel the heat in the summer, without having any knowledge of the rising of the sun to bring that heat upon the earth, if he was not taught it by those who can see from what power that heat proceeded; he might feel the severe cold in the winter, without knowing the
cause that produced it. These changes a blind man may feel, without knowing the cause, from whence they proceed, if he be not taught by those that know; perfectly so is the state of mankind, in things that are spiritual: when we feel the love of God shed abroad in our hearts, by the Spirit of the Lord working with our spirits; but how should we know from whence that influence proceeded, without having the Scriptures for our guide, given by men that had knowledge at first from whence they proceeded, by the ways of the Lord being made known to the prophets, and by our Saviourís coming amongst mankind to give a greater light, and gave a promise to fulfil the words of the prophets at his second coming? But for a comfort and consolation to all true believers in his Gospel, he promised the assistance of his Spirit, to strengthen and support those that trusted in him:
Matthew vii. 11. "If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good gifts unto them that ask him?" Chap. xi. 28. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
St. John xiv. 27. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you." Chap. xv. 4. "Abide in me, and I in you; as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me; for without me ye can do nothing." Chap. vi. 40. "This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."
Matthew xxviii. 20. "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
2 Corinthians iii. 17. "Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
Ephesians v. 19. "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, and making melody in your hearts to the Lord." Chap. vi. 12. "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
Colossians i. 27. "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
1 Peter v. 7. "Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith."
1 John iv. 18. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear."
I have proved the truth of these texts of Scripture by experience; that there is joy in believing, and consolation within, which proceedeth from the Lord, that the world can neither give nor take away; and there is love kindled in the heart, by the Spirit of the Lord working with our spirits, which casteth out fear. So that, as a blind man can judge of the weather, in the summer, by his feeling, without sight, so can I judge of the truth of the Gospel, from what I have felt, without being in the days of our Saviour, to see his miracles to confirm the truth; and as the different changes of weather are felt and known, without seeing from whence they come; so are the different changes felt and known, when visited by the Spirit of the Lord. It bringeth joy, peace, and happiness within, and a steadfast faith to rely upon the Lord, and believe all his promises that stand on record, that the gates of hell shall never prevail against us; and this kindleth a love which
casteth out fear: but how soon do we feel the change, when the Lord leaves us to ourselves for a while, like the setting sun that is hid from us! then Satan, as a roaring lion, that is seeking whom he may devour, works doubts and fears in our minds, to blast all our happiness, to chill our love, by his working fears within us, until the Lord returns again to visit us; which proves the truth of our Saviourís saying, "Without me ye can do nothing." And this I know by experience: but where a man hath no faith in the Scriptures, no reliance upon the word of God, he doth not know from whence the effects of evil proceed, or how Satan works upon his mind, to darken his understanding, to harden his heart, that it is frozen, like the weather, against God and all that is good; and they will not know from whence it proceeds, without being brought to believe the Scriptures, and rely upon the word of God; then they will know that every good and perfect gift cometh down from the Father of light, in whom is no variableness, nor the shadow of turning; but every evil word and work, every hardness of heart and unbelief, that is in mankind, is worked on by the devil, who tempted to unbelief in the beginning, and so he will go on to the ending; which we may discern from every age of the world. Where men give themselves up to unbelief, they will do despite to the Spirit of the Lord: and this present age is like the former. When our Saviour wrought the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead, after he had been buried, and they found many believed, seeing so great a miracle wrought before them; then the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus to death; because by reason of him many of the Jews went away and believed on Jesus; perfectly so is this present age; for as the Lord has given a testimony of his coming, by the visitation
of his Spirit, to give prophecies, that they may know it is from the Lord, (for the Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy) and many are become believers, from seeing the truths before them; but we see men, like the chief priests in the days of our Saviour, inventing all manner of falsehoods, that the truth may not be believed; and which I have already proved from the books published against me.
In reading attentively through Laneís publication, I can scarce find a single page but contains gross misrepresentation, and false inventions against me, and the Spirit that visits me; so that in one likeness stand the past ages with the present, which proves to me the truth of the Gospel, that it is no invention of men; and proves the truth of our Saviourís words, that, as they persecuted him, they would persecute those who bore witness of him.
John xv. "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept my sayings, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my nameís sake."
The truth of this I shall prove from the Gospel: St. John xvi. 13. "Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." Here our Saviour plainly told his disciples, that the visitation of his Spirit should come when the prince of this world should be judged. Let men read from the 7th verse to the 12th, and then they may understand at what time the Spirit of Truth, here spoken of, was to be sent, and for what ends, and how he testifieth of our Saviour, that HE not
only died to save those who believed in his Gospel, for their salvation, but, as I have already explained, to bring in the full redemption of man, and take away the sin of the world; and however great the Scriptures are denied, of a visitation from the Lord, and the power of the devil; yet I can prove there are spirits invisible, good and bad, that have visited me, and of both I have a clear knowledge by experience, as I have already stated. But this testimony will not be believed; who will take my word, without I can bring proofs why the Spirit of Truth is come to guide us into all truths, and teach us things to come?
This I shall prove from the prophecies given me, whatever false inventions men may bring forward in my name, to make them appear false. I can prove to the whole world, that there is not a year since 1792, but some of the prophecies have been fulfilled, more or less. I shall begin from the Strange Effects of Faith, 1st Book, page 25, what I was warned of in 1792, was coming upon the whole earth, of wars and tumults, pestilence, and famine, going through the lands, menís hearts failing them for very troubles, because they have not known the visitation of the Lord. Let men weigh these words with what hath happened since upon the nations abroad; but the end is not yet. In 1792 I was warned that war would break out in 1793 which took place; the rebellion in Ireland; the mutiny on the seas; the event of Italy in 1797; the harvest of 1797; the continuation of the war in 1797 when men thought there would be a peace; the harvests of 1799 and 1800, with many other events I was warned of, before they took place, and put them in the hands of ministers, before I published to the world in 1801. When I published to the world I was warned that three good harvests should follow, if men searched into the
writings, which they did, and the three harvests followed as foretold. When peace was proclaimed in 1801, I was answered, that the war was not begun to what it would be; and the distress of Spain was then foretold. Now let them look to the events of Spain, and what was foretold concerning them. When they signed the ratification of the Articles of Peace, April 29th, at Amiens, I was answered, it was what would bring on a war; for as the 1802 was like the 1792, peace and plenty; so would the 1803 be like the 1793 that the war would break out again; and the power of the Beast was given to Buonaparte; and how he would go on to conquer in the nations abroad.
Here I have mentioned a few of the leading events, that I prophesied of before they took place; and I refer the readers to my books for further particulars, and leave them to judge for themselves, whether I am visited by the Spirit of Truth, according to the Gospel. But I shall judge for myself, that it is the Spirit of Truth sent to warn us of what is hastening on, that we may know these are the wars and tumults, that our Saviour said should take place prior to his coming to bring in the redemption of man; but as men say, wars and tumults are common, how are they to know the wars that bring in the end, that they may lift up their heads that their redemption draweth nigh, without the warning being given from the Lord? For this is the meaning of the Two Witnesses in Rev. xi. It is the Witness of the Gospel of what our Saviour spoke of the end; and now we have the Witness of the Truth of his Spirit, to shew men plainly the end is at hand; and these Two Witnesses are slain through unbelief. Let men discern, from Paineís book, how the Gospel is denied, and slain through unbelief; and let them discern from Laneís book, how the visitation of the Lord, and the warning from his
Spirit, are likewise slain through unbelief the same; but to understand the meaning of the Two Witnesses, we must come to the promise made in the Fall. Gen. iii. 15. The prophets and apostles were many, but the witnesses spoken of are but two; the ONE was fulfilled when our Saviour shed his blood for the transgression of man, that they might look unto him from the ends of the earth and be saved; and his coming again in power to cast out the adversary that betrayed the woman, is the OTHER; and these two must be joined together, to bring the olive branch of peace to man; and as the sword turned one way, to have our Saviourís heel bruised, so must the sword turn the other way, to cut off the author of evil, and bring in the Tree of Life for man, which was preserved in the beginning, by the promise made in the Fall.
But an inquiry may be made from these words: "And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that ascended out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them."
To understand this aright men must look to the Gospel, and discern how, through unbelief, our Saviour was slain in the body, and how his Gospel was despised and rejected of men; then they must look to the words of our Saviour, what he spoke of giving warning by his Spirit at the end: and is not this slain through unbelief? The Two Witnesses are as ONE: our Saviourís coming in the body was the first, and the visitation of his Spirit, to warn mankind that the end is at hand, is the last; but being called TWO is because it is two different times, two different warnings, that are given to mankind; and as the malice was at the first, so the malice and rage of hell is at the last; for both alike are trampled under foot by the sons of men, and counted as a dead letter unto them, having no life or power, as being from the Spirit of God, to
be fulfilled; yet they will find all the power mentioned in the chapter is in the Lord. But there is no power in me to fulfil the words that are revealed to me; but let men discern from the past, when I was warned that the Lord would hurt the harvest by the sun, in 1800 HE had power to shut the heavens that the rain did not come in the time I was warned it should not; then let men judge how the heavens will be shut when the Lord brings a total famine upon the land that he has threatened.
It is said, "These two prophets tormented them that dwell on the earth." Now let us look to the Gospel, how the Jews were tormented at our Saviourís sayings; and how they rejoiced at his death, before destruction came upon them; and there is the same hatred, malice, and fury, in men now, as though they were tormented to hear of the visitation of his Spirit in these days, as there was in our Saviourís days. For whatever provokes men to malice, envy, rage, and fury, is as a torment to their minds; or such indignation would not appear; and this indignation is said would arise from the beast, that ascended out of the bottomless pit, to make war against them; which is plainly proved by the malice that is kindled in the hearts of men against the visitation of the Lord; and which proves the truth of the apostleís words:"They crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."
This can only be done in the spirit; for our Saviour died once for all; and it is on account of the visitation of his Spirit that the persecution is so great against me; as I can prove I lived fifty years in the world with an unspotted character; and of good report amongst mankind, before I published to the world of a visitation from the Lord, and many began to believe; then men began the persecution against me, with every lying
invention, that the truth might not be believed. In 1802, it was reported, in Exeter, that I had prophesied that fire would come down from heaven upon the four quarters of the city and destroy it; and this was feared by many that did not believe in my prophecies; which shows how ready they are to believe any lies that are invented, but the truth they will not believe. I published a handbill, offering a reward to any one who would bring forward the author of the report. The latter end of 1803 I went to Leeds, and stayed till April, 1804: my enemies reported, during that time, I had a child, at Leeds, by a married man; I was then in my fifty-third year; and this lying wonder was propagated for truth, and either was believed, or pretended to be believed, by many. Trewman, of Exeter, published in his paper, April, 1809, that I had prophesied the destruction of Bath would take place on Good Friday, and which he said robbed Bath of hundreds of its best visitors. What effect this lying report had on the public I leave; but I can assure him, it had none on those who had any knowledge of me, or my prophecies; as they knew it never came from me. After this came forward, all manner of inventions, both in newspapers and pamphlets, written against me and the Spirit that visits me, and which I have contradicted. To add to the number, in 1811, came forward Hewson Clarke, editor of the Scourge, with gross abuse against my private character, saying, I attended Carpenterís Chapel, called the House of God, dressed in diamonds, and fell in love with the candle-snuffer, a comely youth, and went away with him, &c.
But these false and infamous assertions I shall leave to my friends to answer; as providence hath wisely ordered all things in his directions to me, that I need no assertions of my own to clear
my character from these vile attempts to stamp me with infamy; as I have been placed with friends who are witness to every action of my life, during these last eight years; and from whom I have not been separated; therefore I leave them to answer for my conduct.
The following is from Mrs. Jane Townley. "To Mr. Hewson Clarke, editor of the Scourge, and late a student at Emanuel College, Cambridge.
Sir, July 6, 1812.
In your publication, August, 1811, you have traduced Mrs. Joanna Southcottís character with the most infamous lies; therefore it is a duty incumbent on me to clear her innocence by matter of facts. In April, 1804, Mrs. Southcott came to me in London, and I have never been absent from her a single day since that time, except when she went to Bristol to her brotherís funeral; and then she was accompanied by Mrs. Underwood. They left London, June 21st, 1809, and returned to me on the 1st of July. Neither hath Mrs. Southcott ever gone anywhere, without Mrs. Underwood and some other of her friends being with her; therefore I can clearly affirm to the world, that she never went to hear Mr. Carpenter preach at his meeting, improperly called the House of God; which clearly proves the falsehood of your inventions; neither hath she or her friends any intercourse whatever, with Mr. Carpenter. Therefore you have forfeited the character of a gentleman and a Christian, by asserting wilful lies, to injure an innocent character; for you acknowledged to two gentlemen, that you had no foundation for what you had published; but said, being a prophetess, she was fair game for any one to shoot at. Now to take you upon your own grounds, as neither Mrs. Underwood nor myself are prophetesses, I wish to know what excuse you
will make for injuring our characters; for were there the least foundation for your charges against her, we must stand condemned for sanctioning her in infamy, and deceiving the public; and as I faithfully promised, if I discovered the least deception in Mrs. Southcott, I would announce it to the world; therefore it is not only a duty I owe to Mrs. Southcott, but to myself, my family, and friends, to declare that her conduct has been exemplary, and that she has in every respect invariably acted upon the most strict and upright principles; and as a proof of my assertion, not a single enemy has been able to substantiate one accusation they have brought against her.
"I am witness to the truth of the above statement, having been a constant attendant upon Mrs. Southcott; not only at home, but have always accompanied her, whenever she has gone out; therefore I can prove the charges brought against her, by Mr. Hewson Clarke, to be false and without any foundation whatever.
Now I wish any candid reader to judge from whence these floods of lies are cast out against me; and whether this warning against the Spirit doth not proceed from the bottomless pit, that the spiritual witness may be slain through the unbelief of mankind. But let men discern what is to follow, after the prophecies have lain dead for a while; not appearing to have any life, as coming from the Spirit of God, to be fulfilled; but when the Lord begins to shake the fabric of the earth, then will the fear come upon those who mock. However the Revelation may be understood by men, it is a revelation that revealeth all for the end; like a tree that beareth its fruit in its season, and when we see the leaves appear, we begin to expect the bud to follow to bring the
blossom and the fruit; but the budding of the leaves is first: and the budding leaves have already appeared; and where men have understanding, they may discern the blossom and the fruit that are to follow, from the Revelation, i. chap."I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold I am alive for evermore, and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter." Our Saviour was the first, being the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, by the promise that was made in the Fall; and he became flesh, to dwell amongst men, to die for their transgression; but it is in the Spirit that HE must come in power to conquer death and hell; and when this is finished, the Two Witnesses will be finished; and then the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of the living God. Rev. xi. 14, 15."The second woe is past, and behold the third woe cometh quickly." The second woe is the troubles that will come upon man; when that is past, the third woe cometh quickly upon the devil; then the seventh angel will begin to sound, and the voices will be heard in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ: and HE shall reign for ever and ever. We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art and wast and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned." This we are assured from the Scriptures the Lord will do in the end.
I shall not at present bring forward any more Scriptures to prove my assertions right, of the Two Witnesses: the one being the witness our Saviour bore of himself, when he became flesh and
welt with men; and the other, the witness of his Spirit, that he promised should come in the end to guide us into all truths, and teach us things to come. He that denies these being the two, let him bring forth his arguments, and shew his strong reasons how he will prove the Two Witnesses clear any other way; and he that denieth the visitation of the Lord being given when the end draweth near, let him answer what our Saviour meant by saying, that the Spirit of Truth should be sent; and the meaning of the apostleís words, being ready to be revealed in the last time; and the meaning of the Revelation, as to the seven spirits of God being sent forth into all the earth; what is meant by the books being opened in the end; and what is meant by the seven angels which had the seven trumpets and prepared themselves to sound; and what is meant by the angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come; and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water.
As this everlasting Gospel is to be preached on earth, it is on earth the warning must be given from the Lord. How will men prove it any other way? as it is said in the Revelation that the angels gave the warning, and the Spirit of the Lord is sent out to warn when the time of the end draweth near.
But as many object to the warning being given to a woman, and judge it can only be given to a man; let them answer the meaning of St. Paulís words, "There is neither male, nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus; and if ye be Christís, then are ye Abrahamís seed, and heirs according to the promise."
It is said, that in the beginning God created man in his own image"in the image of God created HE him; male and female created he them;" and our Saviour said in his Gospel, that the woman had wrought a good work on him, that should be preached in the whole world, wheresoever the Gospel was preached. Let those that reprove answer the meaning of our Saviourís words, why he so particularly spoke of the woman, that she had wrought a good work on him. Let those that profess themselves Gospel preachers answer, why they put asunder what the Lord in the beginning, and our Saviour in his Gospel, had joined together: for our Saviour said, "Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Let them answer why our Saviour condescended to be born of a woman, and why HE appeared first to the women, after his resurrection from the dead, and told them to go and tell his brethren that he was risen. Unto whom was the promise made in the Fall? the MAN or the WOMAN? Let this be answered by them that reprove; for if the Scriptures be written for our learning and admonition, we must compare scripture with scripture, and the ending with the beginning. We find that the Lord chose women to prophesy, before our Saviour was born of the woman; then why should men suppose the Lord will not visit a woman by his Spirit, to warn that the end is at hand? The first prophecy was given to Eve; and as the beginning, so they will find the Lord hath warned of the ending. It is written, "The Lord hath chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen; yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things
that are, that no flesh should glory in his presence: but of him are ye in Christ Jesus. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God." It is written, "He taketh the wise in their own craftiness." But how could the wisdom of the world be counted foolishness with God, if all knowledge and understanding was given to man? Then the Scriptures could not be fulfilled, for the wisdom of the wise men to perish, and the understanding of the prudent men to be hid.
But as men say there wants no further revelation to be given, let them answer the words of St. Paul: 1 Corinthians vi."Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world; and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?" St. John xvi. 11."Of judgment because the prince of this world is judged." How are the saints to judge the world? How are the saints to judge angels? How is the prince of this world to be judged?
If all my inquiries can be answered by the wisdom of man; then I will own there wants no revelation from the Spirit of the Lord to reveal these mysteries, which St. Paul said he saw but through a glass darkly: for he saw but in part, and he prophesied but in part; but he looked for that which was perfect to come.
Now if any man judges me in an error, let him come forward and prove his wisdom to be greater and clearer to explain these things, that I have required, than they have already been explained to me, not by the wisdom of man, but by the revelation of the LORD.
But Laneís saying I am led by the devil, without shewing any grounds to prove such an assertion, only his own lying inventions, to make it appear so to those who have never read my
writings, sheweth in him an aggravating spirit, proving from whence it came; and as he hath pointed out the Scriptures, to shew the condemnation pronounced on those that love to make lies, he must discern that he hath written his own; and the readers may clearly discern, that in bringing forward those things, which I have already confuted as not coming from me, he doth not mention any part in my writings that such things are said to take place. This he knew he could not do; but where there was any passage he could turn the meaning of, by putting his own construction upon the words, to make them appear ridiculous, he hath mentioned what books they are to be found in, and added his own meaning to them; as he hath done by the 15th Article of the Church, where he hath added the word "chosen," as he says, "HE (Christ) the Lamb without spot, who by the sacrifice of himself, once made, should take away the sins of the (chosen) world, &c." The word chosen, Lane hath added. In this manner he adds to, and takes from, to make the Scriptures appear to have a different meaning to what they have.
He hath brought forward the Articles of the Church as a condemnation of those church ministers, who believe in the visitation of the Lord to me, as being contrary to their profession; but how will he prove it so? The substance of the articles of the established church are, to believe in the one true and living God; and to preach the true Christian faith of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. And this is our faith and belief, that the promises of God will be fulfilled, and which the church is praying for: the Lordís prayer is often repeated"Thy kingdom come; thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Psalm lxvii. is used in the Church Service"God shall bless us, and all the ends of the world shall fear him:" and
this is my belief in the fulfilment of the Scriptures. In the Litany we make the following petition, "Good Lord deliver us: By thine agony and bloody sweat; by thy cross and passion; by thy precious death and burial; by thy glorious resurrection and ascension; and by the coming of the Holy Ghost. That it may please thee to strengthen such as do stand, and to comfort and help the weak hearted, and to raise up them that fall; and finally to beat down Satan under our feet: We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord."
Another prayer in the Church Service: "O God, whose nature and property is ever to have mercy and to forgive, receive our humble petitions; and though we be tied and bound with the chain of our sins, yet let the pitifulness of thy great mercy loose us, for the honour of Jesus Christ our mediator and advocate. Amen."
Another:"O God, the Creator and Preserver of all mankind, we humbly beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men, that thou wouldest be pleased to make thy ways known unto them, thy saving health unto all nations, &c."
The Collect for the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany:"O God, whose blessed Son was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil, and make us the sons of God, and heirs of eternal life; grant us, we beseech thee, that having this hope, we may purify ourselves, even as he is pure; that when he shall appear again with power and great glory, we may be made like unto him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, he liveth and reigneth ever one God, world without end. Amen."
The Collect for Whitsunday:"God, who at this time, didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by the sending to them the light of thy holy Spirit; grant us by the same Spirit to have a
right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort, &c." Now as we pray for the coming of the Holy Ghost, let us not reject it: we pray that the Lord will finally beat down Satan under our feet, and beseech him to hear us; then let us not reject his mercies in warning us the time is at hand, that our petitions shall be granted: we own that we are tied and bound with the chain of our sins, and pray the Lord to loose us for the honour of Jesus Christ our Mediator and Advocate; and we acknowledge that Christ was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil, and make us sons of God and heirs of eternal life; we acknowledge his coming again with power and great glory; we acknowledge the light of the Holy Spirit being sent to teach the hearts of the faithful; and we pray that by the same Spirit we may have a right judgment in all things; then why should we reject the visitation of his Spirit, to lead us into the right way, that we may be prepared to meet him at his coming, which will be suddenly and unaware, in a day and hour no one knoweth, but we are ordered to watch?
Here I have shewn from the Church prayers, that the visitation of the Lord to me is agreeable to the petitions of the church, that the Lord is now warning us of the fulfilment being at hand; that HE will grant our petitions, to deliver us from evil, that his will may be done in earth, as it is in heaven. But from the manner Lane hath brought forward the Articles of the Church, to condemn the church clergy who believe in the visitation of the Lord, it sheweth plainly that he no more understands what he reads in them, than he understands what he hath read of my writings.
The Articles of the Church cannot mean one thing and the prayers another; so that Laneís discernment and Paineís, I see, are both in one
likeness; neither of them understands what he reads. Paine hath brought forward Acts iii. 22, and denies its being a prophecy of our Saviour."For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you." The following are Paineís words: "This passage is in Deuteronomy xviii. 15. They apply it as a prophecy of Jesus. What imposition! The person spoken of in Deuteronomy, and also in Numbers, where the same person is also spoken of, is Joshua, the minister of Moses, and his immediate successor."
To this I answer, that the prophet mentioned by Moses, whom the Lord would raise up amongst the brethren, is plainly told did not allude to Joshua; which we may see from the last chapter of Deuteronomy. It is there said, "Moses died, and Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses. And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt." This text of Scripture alone confutes Paineís reasoning: Joshua was the minister of Moses, to teach the people to keep the commandments the Lord had given to Moses, but how will any one prove that Joshua stood between God and man, to plead for the people, as Moses did, to make intercession for them? neither was there any prophet that was raised after Moses like unto him, till we come to the Gospel. There we find in our Saviour the substance of what Moses was only a shadow, to be a mediator between God and man. And now I shall return to Joshua: Numbers xxvii. When the Lord told Moses, that he should not enter the Promised Land, and Moses intreated the Lord to
set a man over the congregation, which should go out before them, the Lord said unto Moses, "Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spiritand set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation, and give him a charge in their sight; and thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. At his word shall they go out, and at his word shall they come in." Here Moses told all the congregation, that Joshua was to be their leader, and the Lord would be with him to fulfil the promise made to the children of Israel, in casting out the heathen nations before them, and giving them the Promised Land; therefore Joshua was appointed to be as a leader and minister to teach them. And it is said in chapter xxxii., "None of the men that come up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land, save Caleb and Joshua; for they have wholly followed the Lord." To understand these prophecies aright, we must discern that the ages to come are called, the brethren; the past ages, the fathers; and the fathers died in the wilderness, save those two. When Joshua reproved Achan he called him his son; but when he was speaking to the children of Israel after they had possessed the land, he said, "Now the Lord your God hath given rest unto your brethren, as he promised them; therefore now return ye and get you into your tents, and into the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side Jordan; but take diligent heed to do the commandments, and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you." Here Joshua shewed them that he was their minister and their leader; but did not profess himself to be that prophet which the Lord should raise up unto them amongst their brethren.
Paineís objection to its being a prophecy of our Saviour is, because he says our Saviour was not born, according to the Bible chronologies, till fifteen hundred and fifty-two years after the time of Moses; whereas, he says, it was an immediate successor to Moses. Now let the readers discern, in the xxvii. chapter of Numbers, it was told the children of Israel, that Joshua should succeed Moses, to go out before them to bring them into the Promised Land; and after that the prophecy was given, in Deuteronomy xviii. "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken." But it was not told who that prophet was, that the Lord would raise up like unto Moses; neither was the time specified when it should be accomplished; therefore it made no difference, whether it was fifteen hundred, or two thousand years, before Christ: if he was raised up amongst the Jews, it doth not alter the prophecy; for our Saviour was of the house and lineage of David; and the Lord raised him up amongst their brethren, to fulfil the prophecy: neither was there any prophet that this prophecy could allude to but our Saviour, who came to be the Mediator between God and man.
But here the readers may say, if our Saviour was a prophet like unto Moses, then you make him no more than a prophet.
To this I answer, the one was temporal, the other is spiritual: Moses, as a prophet, was sent to free the children of Israel from the temporal bondage they were under by Pharaoh, and to deliver them out of his hands; but our Saviour came to be our spiritual deliverer, to free us from our spiritual enemy, and in the end to cut off his power, as the power of Pharaoh was cut off. And thus we may discern, from the prophets and the Gospel, how our Saviour is meant spiritually to be
our Deliverer and Redeemer, as Moses was temporally to the children of Israel.
I have already shewn how Jesus Christ came to be the spiritual Deliverer and Redeemer of mankind; but as the deists have no knowledge in what manner the Lord speaks of himself by the mouth of his prophets, or how his decrees are fixed when spoken of things to come, as though they were then to be accomplished, it is useless to enter into argument with them on those prophecies that speak of our Saviour in the Psalms of David, though he prophesied of Christ by the Spirit; therefore this I shall leave, and come to Paineís inquiry, "Whether those miraculous interpositions, so confidently affirmed to us by the primitive fathers, can reasonably be thought to make a part in the grand scheme of the divine administration, or whether it be agreeable that God, who created all things by his will, and can give what turn to them he pleases by the same will, should, for the particular purposes of his government and the services of the church, descend to the low expedient of visions and revelations."
To this I answer, that when we look to the greatness of the Lord, we should look to his goodness also; that his tender mercies are over all his works; and were not the Lord to condescend in small things to teach and instruct us, we could never attain to any knowledge of the divine wisdom and goodness of God, if the Lord did not condescend to lead us on by small things at first; and therefore, from dreams and visions, HE prepared the minds of men to receive the revelation of his Spirit. The way the Lord hath fixed all things in the Creation will teach us wisdom, not to despise small things, when we discern in what manner the Lord hath ordained all things for us, and how all begin by small things at first. For example, the bread we eat, that the Lord hath
given us to support nature, how he hath ordained that by a small grain being thrown into the earth, and seeming to die away; yet it springs up and beareth grain, to bring an increase unto man: in like manner we may see from the fruit, what a small kernel produces, a large tree which beareth fruit. In like manner we may discern every thing in the Creation, that the Lord hath ordained for man; all the great increase proceeds from little things at first: and the Lord hath given wisdom and understanding to man, how to cultivate his ground; how to sow his seed, to prepare for the harvest to bring an increase to mankind; how to prune the trees and vines, that they may bring an increase of fruit to man. Now let us compare temporal things with spiritual: man is both temporal and spiritual; but what is man when he first enters the world? he is without strength, knowledge, or understanding; but as he groweth in natural strength, his mind must be cultivated, and his natural understanding must be improved by instruction.Then how is he to be instructed in spiritual knowledge, if the Lord by his Spirit had never revealed any spiritual knowledge to man, and by signs and wonders, by dreams and visions, and marvellous working shewn to mankind, that there is a visitation from his Spirit? And it is from these things that man is instructed to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit.But as my book is near to a conclusion, I cannot enlarge further upon this subject; I shall only appeal to the conscience of those who join with Paine in his principles against the Scriptures. Suppose the Bible should be the word of God, and that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, what will be the fate of those who not only mock the Scriptures themselves, but are doing all their endeavours to lead others into the same destruction? how will such men stand in the day of judgment, who have acted with such presumption, through unbelief, and blasted the happiness of thousands? But, on the other hand, if any
deceit hath been practised on the Scriptures; yet as they have been handed down from age to age, and men have regarded them, believing that they are the word of God, can their danger be so great, if they are deceived by any imposition of man, as those who act with presumption to deny the Scriptures through unbelief, if they should find them to be the word of God? And now I ask what proofs they have to bring forward, to shew to mankind, that the Scriptures are not the word of God? Can they do this as clearly as I have proved they are, by my own knowledge and experience? For though men condemn the Scriptures, because the wisdom of God doth not appear consistent with their wisdom; yet it is impossible for man to prove the Scriptures, as delivered to the prophets, are not the word of God.
"Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his thoughts in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And HE will make things plain."
That the Lord in mercy condescends to warn of dangers by dreams I am witness of; as by a dream not only my own life was preserved, but the whole family, from the destruction of the flames. If the warning had not been given me in a dream, of the lower part of the house being on fire, and had it remained a quarter of an hour longer, the flames would have been so great that it would have been impossible for any of us to have escaped.
(See the particulars, in page 9."Full Assurance.")
The contents of this book taken from Joanna Southcottís mouth by me, ANN UNDERWOOD, July 17th, 1812.
Witness, JANE TOWNLEY.
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Last updated 25th November 2009