go and

your hearts be troubled : ye believe in God, beliere also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; (a mansion is a dwelling, or abiding-place) if it were not so, I would have told you : I go to prepare a place for you. And if I

prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also,” John xiv. 1, 2, 3. The Psalmist saith, " Those that be planted in the house of the Lord, shall flourish in tbe courts of our God: they shall bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing," Psal. xcii. 13, 14. And again, “ Holiness becomes thine house, O Lord, for ever,” Psal. xciii. 5. Isaiah also said by way of prophecy, “ It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it,” Isa. ji. 2. Is not that a great house? Now, is not this mountain, Christ, who is over his house in the New Testament and New Covenant? And to this mountain and house all the chil. dren of the New Testament and New Covenant flow in these latter days, so that it is come to pass, which was prophesied of by Isaiah: for he said, “Many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths : for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into plow-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks : nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, conie ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord,” ver. 3, 4, 5. Here ye may see, they that come to the mountain of the house of God, and to God's teaching, they must walk in the light of the Lord; yea, the house of Jacob. Jacob signifies a supplanter : he supplanted profane Esau, who is hated, and Jacob is loved. Now these two births must be known within : and they that walk in the light of the Lord, and come to Christ, the mountain of the house of the Lord, established above all mountains and hills, they break their swords into plow-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: and in Christ, this mountain and house of the Lord, there are no spears, nor swords to hurt one another withal. And Christ, the Son of God, is over his house and great family, the children of the light, them that believe in it, and walk in it, who are the children of the day of Christ, and are of his holy and royal priesthood, that offer up spiritual sacrifice to God by him. All such

are of Christ's (the spiritual man's, house, who are born of God, and led by his Spirit; they are of the Lord of lords, and King of kings' house and family, which he is over; and are of the household of the holy, divine, pure, and precious faith, which Christ is the author and finisher of. And they that be of the Son's house, they are pure, righteous, and holy, and can do nothing against the truth, but for it, in their words, lives, and conversations; and so are a chosen generation, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that they should shew forth the praise of him, who hath called them out of darkness into his marvellous light. And these are Christ's lively stones, that build up a spiritual house, which he (Christ, the spiritual man, the Kiug of kings, and Lord of lords) is over.

G. F. London, the Tenth month, 1688.

Sometime after this, my body continuing weak, I went down with my son Mead to his house in Essex, where I staid some weeks. In which time I writ many things relating to the service of truth, of which some were printed soon after, others were spread abroad in manuscript. And amongst other things, there were a few lines to this purpose :

. That while men are contending for thrones here below, Christ is on his throne, and all his holy angels are about him ; who is the beginning and the ending, the first and last, over all. And that the Lord will make way and rooms for himself, and for them that are born of his Spirit, where are heavenly Jerusalem's children, to come home to the free mother.

A few words also I writ concerning the world's team and the emptiness of their teaching. Which weru t

Doth not all that, which is called Christenstro talking of Christ's, and of the apostlen. Es words, and the letter of the scripturetheir priests minister the letter, with those thereupon, to them for money. thougi. were freely given forth from God an phets and apostles? Yet the apeät Killeth; but the Spirit giveth lisi.' ministers of the New Testame letter, but of the Spirit: and th.. of the Spirit do reap life eter their time about old autho. and of the outward lette:

For talking of victuals and clothes, doth not clothe the ·body, nor feed it, except they have victuals to eat, and clothes to put on.

No more are their souls and spirits fed and clothed, except they have the bread and water of life from heaven to feed them, and the righteousness of Christ to clothe them. So only talking of outward things and spiritual things, and not having them, they may starve both their bodies and their souls. Therefore quench not the Spirit of God, which will lead to be diligent in all things.'

With this I writ another short paper, shewing the hurt that they did, and the danger they run into, who turned people from the inward manifestation of Christ in the heart :

[ocr errors]

"The Jews were commanded by the law of God, “ Not to remove the outward land mark," Deut. xix. 14. And they that did so, or that caused the blind to wander, were cursed in the Old Covenant, Deut. xxvii. 17. In the New Covenant the apostle saith, “Let him be accursed, that preacheth any other gospel than that which he had preached,” Gal. i. 8. Now the gospel that he preached, was “ The power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth,” Rom. i. 16. And the gospel that was preached to Abraham was, That in his seed all nations, and all the families ef the earth should be blessed. And in order to bring men to this blessed state, God poureth out of his Spirit upon all flesh, and Christ doth enlighten every one that cometh into the world; and the grace of God, which bringeth salvation, hath appeared unto all

men, and teacheth the Christians, the true believers in Christ; and God doth write his law in the true Christians' hearts, and putteth it in their minds, that they may all know the Lord, from the greatest to the least; and he giveth his word in their hearts to obey and do, and the anointing within them, so that they need not any man to teach them, but as the anointing doth teach them. Now all such as turn people from the light, spirit, grace, word, and anointing within, remove them from their heavenly land-mark of their eternal inheritance, and make them blind, and cause the blind to wander from the living way to their eternal house in the heavens, and from new and heavenly Jerusalem. So they are cursed, that cause the blind to wander out of their way, and to remove them from their heavenly land-mark.'

G. F.

I writ also a paper to shew, by instances taken out of the holy scriptures, that many of the holy men and prophets of God, and of the apostles of Christ, were husbandmen and tradesmen : by which people might see, how unlike to them the world's teachers now are :

Righteous Abel was a shepherd, a keeper of sheep, Gen. iv. 2. Noab was an husbandman : and he was a just man, and perfect in his generation, and walked with God, Gen. ix. 20. and vi. 9. Abrahan), the father of the faithful, was an husbandman, and had great flocks of cattle; and just Lot was an husbandman also,' and had great flocks and herds, Gen, xiii. Isaac also was an husbandman, and had great flocks and herds of cattle, and great store of corn, Gen. xxvi. 12, 14 : and the promise was with Isaac; for the Lord said to Abraham, “ In Isaac shall thy seed be called," Gen. xxi. 12. Jacob was an husbandman, and his sons keepers of Rocks of cattle, Gen. Ixvi. 32, 34. and God loved Jacob. Moses kept sheep, Exod. iii. 1. and the Lord spake to him when he was keeping sheep, ver. 4, and sent him to Pharaoh, to bring God's people or sheep out of Egypt. And by the hand and power of the Lord, he and Aaron his brother brought them out of Egypt, a land of anguish, bondage, darkness, and perplexity. And Moses kept the Lord's people, or sheep, forty years in the wilderness; a meek shepherd of God he was, and kept his great flock of sheep; though some of them were scabbed with leprosy of contention and murmuring, and were destroyed in the wilderness.

David (though he afterwards came to be a king) was a keeper of his father's sheep in the wilderness, 1 Sam xvii. 15, 28. And the Lord God called him from the sheepcotes to feed his sheep, the house of Israel, and to defend them from the spiritual wolves, bears, and lions; and he did it to purpose, who was a man after God's own heart.

Elisha was a ploughman, 1 Kings, xix 19. and he was called from the plough, that was outward, to teach God's people, the children of Israel, to plough up the fallow ground of their hearts, that they might bring forth seed and fruits to God, their Creator.

* And the word of the Lord came to Amos, when he was among the herdsmen of Tekoa, Amos i. 1. And Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, said to Amos, “ Prophecy not again any more at Bethel ; for it is the king's chapel, and it is the king's court," chap. vii. 13. Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, “I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son ; but I was an herdsman, and a gatherer of syca

more-fruit : and the Lord took me, and I followed the flock. And the Lord said unto me, Go, prophecy unto my people Israel,” ver. 14, 15. Here ye may see, how the Lord made use of a poor man, and how he called him from following the outward flock, and from gathering of outward fruits, to gather his fruits, and to follow his people or flock, the children of Israel.

• Christ called Peter and Andrew his brother, when they were fishing, and casting their net into the sea (for they were fishers), “and he said unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,” Mat. iv. 18, 19. And likewise Christ called James and John his brother, when they were “in a ship, with Zebedee, their father, mending their nets; and they immediately left the ship, and their father, and followed him," verse 21, 22. And he gave them power (a net that will hold, and not want mending) and made them fishers of men, to fish them out of the great sea, the world of wickedness. And we read, that when Peter, and Thomas, and Nathaniel, and the sons of Zebedee and other disciples, went a fishing together, and that night caught nothing; and in the morning Jesus appeared to them and said, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find : and they did so, and catched so great a multitude, that they were not able to draw them to the shore. And when thereupon one of the other disciples said unto Peter, “ It is the Lord,” Peter hearing that it was the Lord, girded his fisher's coat onto bim, John xxi. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. And this was after Christ was risen. So here ye may see, Peter had not laid away his fisher's coat all this while that he had been preaching before Christ's death, and after he was risen.

6" And Jesus saw Matthew sitting at the receipt of custom, and he said unto him, Follow me : and he arose and followed him," Mat. ix. 9. And Christ employed Matthew to gather his people, that were scattered from God; another manner of treasure than the outward custom of the Romans.

Luke was a phyiscian, whom Christ made a physician, whom Christ made a physician spiritual, wbich was better than outward.

• Paul was a tent-maker; and being one of the same craft with Aquila and Priscella, he abode with them at Corinth, and wrought (for by their occupation they were tent-makers), Acts xviii. 3. And did not Paul, and Priscilla, and Aquila, bring many to their heavenly tents, and to be settled upon Christ, the heavenly rock and foundation ?

· Josephi, the husband of Mary, was a carpenter; and the Jews said of Christ, “ Is not this the carpenter, the son

« VorigeDoorgaan »