«PHILADELPHIA: Printed for the Author. 1737 This is an annotated text of All Slave-Keepers That keep the Innocent in Bondage, Apostates, published by ...»
To these high Professors, I say, these Heavenly Messengers were sent by their [page 218] Heavenly Father, to bear their Testimony, in and for the pure TRUTH, against all Error, Superstition, Hypocrisy, Idolatry and Formality; which I say they were full of, I wish they were not so now, as well as in this and other Parts of America; these clean Vessels bear a faithful Testimony, and for this Holy Faith that was once, is now and ever will be revealed in the Saints, from Faith to Faith, growing from small Stature to full Strength, filled full, yea full with the pure TRUTH, then empty of all Error to be sure, for I do know, Eternal Thanks to TRUTH, that there is a way laid out, cast up, fenced in and eternally well secured and most, yea most Gloriously and beautifully adorned, and the sweetly refreshing Streams of the River of Life for Drink, and the Tree of Life for Food, which bears twelve manner, or all manner of good Fruit, and yields her or its Fruit every Month at all times and Seasons, to them that are prepared, and their Vessels clean enough to receive it, and the very Leaves of this lovely Tree, are for the healing of the People and purging of them from all Sin; that they may have a proper right [page 219] to partake of the Fruit daily, without Money or Price, all free as was the Hebrews Manna, but far more exceeding as Heaven is higher than the Earth, that was for a time, this for eternity. Oh!
Holy Pleasure indeed, to eat of such Food, and drink of such Drink, and travel in such a way, and with such Heavenly Companions and Travellers, this Blessed way, although it may seem strait an narrow to the true Travellers in the entrance, yet in the Progress, and middle very wide easy and delightful, but in and toward the end Glorious in Holiness indeed; here the way-faring Man may and can Walk and not Err, though a Fool, yea though a Fool the way as well as the Guide, which is one, is so safe secure, powerful, Holy and perfect.
But what will the Serpent, and all his Ministers & Messengers in Babylon say to this Doctrine, who sometimes exalts Christ in Words as high as Heaven, saying, That he is an Almighty and most merciful Saviour, able and willing to save us to the utmost from all Sin in this Life, and then presently tumble him down again lower than Hell, and exalt Satan and his Doctrine, in his Throne, and depage 220] clare with one accord for a Necessity of Sin, and continuing in Sin, Term of Life, and no avoiding of it by any Power received from God, his Spirit or from the Messiab, or any Grace from him proceeding, by us received, or any other means whatsoever, although it be Reading or Praying, or Singing of Songs or Psalms at home, or coming to our Ware House of or on Sundays, where we set forth our Ware to Sale, by the Hour, to them that bid most, whether they hear our excellent Sermons, or fine Songs, or curious fine excellent Prayers in the Pulpit, or at our best Customers own Houses when we go to Visit them for our Bellies, or their being Baptized, Sprinkled, Dipped or Plunged in pure clean Water, by or with our impure, unclean, filthy Hands, or receive the Holy Sacrament as we call it, altho’ we have no Scripture for it in the least, or though they go Mourning all their Life’s-time Day and Night, in true Contrition and in never so sincere a penitential frame of mind at home or abroad, in Fields or Woods, and desart and lonesome Places (as many has done) with Fasting, Praying and Weeping before the Lord, that he would be pleased to pass by and forgive them [page 221] their Transgressions and Sins, and give them, I say, and give them strength to resist and withstand their grand Enemy, and then they would serve in sincerity and in TRUTH all the Days of their lives after, and the Lord have been found by such, and answered them to the Joy of their Souls, according to his Blessed Promise of old to such, That their Sins he would Blot out as a thick Cloud, and their Sins he would remember no more; notwithstanding these things, or a thousand times more, and all that can be said, thought of, Satan, there is no freedom from Sin in this Life there in none that doeth good, and finneth not; so such make use of Scripture to uphold their Master-kingdom, as all Sin is, so here is the very same Temptation where with the Serpent tempted Eve, you shall be as Gods, if you do break God’s command, you shall not die, but be as Gods; these say you must sin, there’s no Possibility of being free from it on this side the Grave, and no Repentance there, and yet promise that People Heaven, here is Confusion enough, to be seen by him that has Eyes; and thus is Satan transformed into the likeness of an Angel of Light, by his Ministers, Servants and Children, and [page 222] exalted in his Throne above all that is called God, and showing himself that he is God, chief Ruler there, in the Heart, as to be sure he is so long as Men live in Sin, for that is his Prerogative and ever will be, for these Men will readily allow and confess, that the purest, most Holy, or unholy, Religious Performances and Service in Worship, and Ordinances are sinful, as I have heard it myself from the Pulpit declared (when I was a very constant hearer of them) O Lord forgive us the Sins of our Holy Things, say they; What greater contradiction can be? For that which is Holy is free from Sin, as that which is sinful or full of Sin (as their Performances are) is free from Holiness. Sure these Men have no Faith or else it is a false and sinful Faith, such as Cain’s, Satan’s, and all the false Prophets was, which is a murthering, killing, but not a saving Faith, which is much, yea much worse than no Faith at all, and is more offensive to God and good Men, because more mischievous in the World, especially amongst those called Christians.
Oh ! Oh ! that ever such as these should be accounted of as Chief and only persons ordained, called, prepared, fitted and qualified, and sent forth to be the Teachers of the People, and to be [page 223] had in great Honour and exceeding high esteem for their Words sake, which yet is altogether Sinful, or full of Sin, and all Son is of their Father the Devil, and his Work they do for their Bellies sake, which is their God, and for corrupt self, which is Satan or Serpent, in Hebrew Abaddon, but in the Greek Tongue Apollyon, in English Devil and Best with seven Heads, ten Horns, and ten Crowns, a little false heathenish Learning to amuse the Populace, but stands very tottering like Crowns on the small spickiting tops of the Horns of Beast, in great danger and likely to fall being misplaced a little; true Holy Spirit Learning hath and will before some are aware shake many Thousands of them very easily; the Holy Spirit right well knew what he did, and said, when he alluded to a Beast with many Heads, Horns and Crowns, when he intended to present and set forth Anti-Christ, clearly to our view. For Friends, all you that are Ministers of Anti-Christ, whether in Pulpits or Galleries, you that are of the Royal Off-spring, of the King of the Locusts, and are creeping out of the Bottomless Pit a little, to see what Mischief you can do to Mankind, & Service [page 224] for your King Lucifer, who was (and is now to you) as the Son of the Morning, and to see what good you can get for your God, your Bellies.
Friends, for so I may and will call you still, but then it is in the same sense and meaning, that TRUTH spake to Judas when he was about to Kill or Murther him, or betray him into their Hands that should do it; and Friends you are in the same Spirit that our Elder Brethren, Cain, Judas and the Bostoneers, and others were that came before them, as is mentioned already, for you are slaying and betraying the pure TRUTH, either willfully or ignorantly or both, for ends base enough, however tho’ it is so in this cause, I find Freedom to appeal to you and your earthly Learning and carnal Wisdom for I know no other with you, yet in this case you may be capable to Answer.
Q. Did you ever see or hear of any thing in the whole World more preposterous than this Beast, which is metaphorically pointed to by the Holy Ghost, which is infinite in Power and Wisdom.
For my part I never did in all my Travels, and little reading, Conversation nor any thing like it, except it be you [page 225] yourselves which comes the most near it of any or all visibles, for aught I know, if not exceed;
for Friends, for you to pretend to attain the knowledge of Divine Wisdom by Humane Learning, or Heavenly things by Earthly Acquirements, or to be Citizens in New-Jerusalem, when you are Fellow Commoners in Babylon; or to attain to the True Light, or the Light of TRUTH when you are in and delight in the Deeds of Darkness, buried therein; or to pretend of self-denial, and to teach it to others, when you live in gratifying of the Flesh, and cursed self, in all things, the Lust of the Eye, and Pride of Life, and whatever in this vain World is; you pretend to be of the Church of God, when you are Members in full Unity and Communion in the Church of Satan, and have a Prebend there, which is Sin, which he allows in full Freedom to all his Members as much as their Hearts Lust can desire, without any contradiction or restraint, denial or controul in the least; you pretend to be Subjects of Christ, and yet are sworn Servants and Friends of Anti-Christ; you in Words call God Father, and pretend to be his Children and Servants, Heirs of his Kingdom, [page 226] but you have no Lot or Inheritance there, for he, the Holy-one knows, and so does his dear Children, that you are of your Father the Devil, and his Work you do, so are of his sinful Kingdom, which is full of Sin, and Torment its Reward, so his own dear choice Children, so I acknowledge you have a right title to call him Satan, meaning Father, and he is so and you acknowledge your descent, by confessing you cannot cease from Sin (having Eyes full of Adultery) for indeed none of his Children can, nor ever will cease from it, while in his Government they willingly keep, they love it too well, and their Father also. Oh! sorrowful, to love the Father of all mischief and the Author of all the Misery and Torment that is brought upon poor dear Mankind both here and hereafter, for whom my Soul mourns.
Now Friends, and all that may read these Lines, consider with ourselves, you especially that has any true regard to or desire after the Knowledge of the Honour of God, sincere desires of attaining to the knowledge of love to his pure TRUTH, or the present and eternal Welfare of your own Souls; I say consider wisely [page 227] and in time; can Satan bring into the World a greater and a more Eternal Cheat than abovementioned, and any thing more likely to establish Atheism in the World, than fallen Angels, Messengers or Ministers all one, who once knew the mind of God, and were highly favoured with the sweet enjoyment of his Holy pure TRUTH, and had a Commission from him to Preach the Sempiternal Gospel of Peace and Purity, and received a part of the Ministry (like Judas) who after all betrayed his Master for thirty Pieces; but our Modern Traytors scorn such a poor Pittance, they will have 30000 or 30 Millions of they can, but I could wish, with many others, that they were all set aside or put out of the way like him, or reclaimed and thoroughly purged if it be possible, which is much to be feared, their enmity is so great to the Truth and its true Ministers as it ever was, because they the true Ministers are under a Necessity to bear a Testimony against them, or else they cannot be true to the trust reposited in them, or committed to them; these fallen Angels the worst of Enemies in any Religious Society, may well be compared to some Usurpers, that had been chief Rulers [page 228] under a King or Kings, and had Commissions from them, but for some notorious Crimes have had their Commissions taken from them, and turned out of their high, profitable and Honourable Office, when they being thus cashiered, to work their revenge, and carry on their design, keeping a form and Copy of their old Commission, prefixing to it a Countersuit or Forged Name, Hand and Seal; with this sham Commission, and the great Interest and Power they had before with the Kings Subjects, as Absalom have gathered a Party, and headed them, and usurped the Government in Discipline, &c. debauched the Kings Wives or Wife, the Spouse, defiled the Temple, True Church, corrupted and destroyed his Posterity, all they could catch by their Deceit Hypocrisy and feigned Humility, under pretence of doing more Justice than the King himself did or had done; and so have set up themselves and their Party for a time, and dethroned the True King, although it tended to the destruction of vast Numbers of the People, that were unhappily led away by them, as in the case of Absalom, Abimeloch, and Haman, and abundance more, that is mentioned in [page 229] Sacred Writ, as well as other History.
Why should any be so very earnestly bent about getting Money? Doth any History mention any one that was ever made good by Riches?
These things are Now, Now, Now, going on in the World in Spiritual Sense, as certain as ever they were acted by the force-mentioned, and by Persons too that makes great appearance of Sanctity in Religious Performances, but it’s Self, whatever their demure appearance may be, and that is Satan, and for Mammon that worst and most mischievous Devil in all the World.
These rich grown, ever poor, over wealthy, ever needy, ever grasping, never satisfied, brimfull yet always empty, ever Labouring, yet always Idle, ever diligent, yet always negligent, ever waking, yet eternally asleep, ever living, panting and breathing after more, more, more, a little more, I say ever living yet eternally Dead, and there let’em lie and stink still, if they will not be awakened. But I had much rather they should.
These great and high Masters of misrule, don’t care to be controuled in their way altho’ they are ever so much out of the way, which is a very great Weakpage 230] ness as well as Wickedness, that Men and Women will have their own way tho’ to their own and others Destruction, but the case is such, they having been so long in Power and Repute, had in Honour, Men of renown in the Congregation, chief Rulers in the House of the Lord, won’t be contradicted, but if any should or dare do so, let his concern be ever so great or burthen weighty, he may expect to be put in the Stocks, in the high Court of Benjamin, with little Benjamin their Brother. Oh! How often have I heard & seen these things done metaphorically, I am loth to say where, but if any one ask me I can tell ’em, there is that that rules in the Church, to be seen and heard of Men, and to show their or its Elocution, display their Eloquence, as in their Preaching so in this, some for Mammon, some for some other ends base and vile enough.