« FöregåendeFortsätt »
and skilful in their arrangement, and withal to those whose eyes are opened, contain not only an open and evident sense, but one which is also hidden; that which is evident, being infinitely inferior in value and importance to that which is concealed; the evident being suited to the natural capacity—the hidden, to that which is obtained through the teaching of the interpreter. * Now I would have you to observe, that it has been one of the principal arts of Father Peter, and one in which no doubt he has had no small help from the arch-enemy of the Master, to take of these fair figures and emblems, whereon to build his great system of deception it and truly, he has arranged them with great art, as you will presently see-only, as I before said, excluding entirely the hidden import of these symbols, and sticking close to the natural one ; thus darkening the promises, and shutting out as it were all future hope, by making men think that they are to have their good things now, and if they cannot obtain them in the present time, that they are shut out from them for ever."
My uncle having said so much, was going on, but I caught him by the sleeve, and besought him to explain somewhat more explicitly what it was that he would wish to say, for I was yet in the dark; he stopped at the first word, and repeated all he had said over again, but I was still in a state of ignorance. “Well,” said he, " then I must change my manner of speaking. Our Lord has promised (to give you a few examples) a long and lasting peace to his household at some future time; but Father Peter has taken these promises in the first instance, to wit, the promises of peace, and honour, and glory, to be enjoyed by this household at some future period, and set them down to the present time, claiming, on the strength of them, obedience to his rule and
and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs : and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar-tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes." 1 Kings iv. 31-33.
*“ But, as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1 Cor. ii. 9.
f Ezekiel xvi.
dominion, and anathematizing those who do not submit to his usurpation. Again, because the Lord has spoken under a figure of his trusty servants, as being his most precious jewels ;* what must he do, but gather to himself all the rich jewels he can lay his hand on, with precious stones, and gold, and silver, and make himself images of such of the servants of the Master as suffered persecution, in the time I have spoken of before, of the breaking in of the enemy, and set them about his premises to be worshipped by his people ;t and again, because our Lord has said, that the addresses of his trusty servants rise up to his throne, like the savour of sweet odours,f what must he do, but build an altar and burn incense before it, with a thousand other impertinences too long for recapitulation, but all of which he is enabled to uphold to his blinded people, by reference to the Master's letters; which, however, I should tell you, he will suffer none of them to hold in their own hands, lest the true light should shine upon them, and they should see things as they are. However, his day is passing away-and yet I almost fear that that which is arising in his placed is but another exhibition of the deadly hatred which the enemy beareth the Master. If they are pulling down Peter from his seat, I fear that they will put no one better in his room; for those who are now rising are for no ruler at all :and whereas the father exhibited false figures of the Lord, and described him altogether different to what he is, so the party which is now coming in affect to doubt whether we have any
*"Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another ; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it: and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” Mal. iii. 16, 17.
+ “Wo unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness." Matt. xxiii. 27.
“And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four-andtwenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them, harps, and golden vials full of colours, which are the prayers of saints." Rev. v. 8.
“Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.” Isaiah xiv. 29
Lord at all; but so it is to be, and we must be patient." With that my uncle opened a leaf of the folding-doors, before which we stood, and thereupon such a light burst upon my eyes, that I could not discern what was before me for some moments : my other senses were also assailed at the same time, for there was a strong odour of incense, and a sort of melancholy song issuing from many voices.
“It is here,” said my uncle, “that Father Peter collects his people, not for instruction, for he gives them none in this place, but for certain forms and ceremonies, which he holds to be absolutely necessary, in order to please and propitiate the Master; the ceremonies, as I before said, being many of them built upon the figurative expressions which are found in the Master's letters, and others being added upon traditions, which the father pretends to have received and preserved from the time when the Master was* with us. But now," he added, “look about you, and tell me what you think.” I did as desired, and was indeed dazzled with all I saw. We were in a superb hall, the roof of which was supported with magnificent pillars, all wrought and carved, and enriched with various ornaments, such as I had never seen the like for their splendour; and there were many statues and figures of men and women set in niches in the wall ; and at the upper end of the hall was the representation of a woman, or rather a queen; and she was clad in a shining garment, and had a crown of twelve stars,t and this figure, as I afterward heard from my uncle, was to represent one whom Father Peter had adopted as his especial patroness. But it signifies little to fill up my volume with all the follies and fancies of this man, trusting as I do to have more interesting subjects for my pen; for when it is once understood that the basis of his system is a false one, and that the king
* “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordi. nances. (Touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using ;) after the commandments and doctrines of 'men? which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.” Col. ii. 20-23.
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars." Rev. xii. 1.
dom of our master is not of this world, that is, of this world according to the present order of things, it cannot be necessary to spend much time in proving that what he has built upon this false basis must be false too; for although man may build that which is nought on a good foundation, I think it would be no easy matter to build that which is stable on a false basis. Nevertheless, as I before said, I was much dazzled with what I saw in that place, for there were singing men in the hall, and persons in flowing robes and beautiful mitres, and veiled vestals ranged in long order behind an iron grate (for these mingle not with the rest), and persons throwing about incense from a smoking censer, and devotees on their knees, with other surprising things, which, had I not been forewarned and forearmed as it were, would assuredly have misled me, as they have done many others : but I had my uncle at hand to warn me, which he failed not to do from the first authority, viz. my Lord's letters. I However he did not seem inclined that
*“ Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world : if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” John xviii. 36.
7"For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest : for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss : but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." I Cor. iii. 9-15.
" Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect to an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which is a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudi. ments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye sub ject to ordinances. (Touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using ;) after the commandments and doctrines of man? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will we should stay long in that place where offences abounded, for he remarked that it would not be pleasing in the sight of the Master that we would do so ;* there. fore he turned back, and went out at the door by which we had come in. Nevertheless he was willing that I should see one more apartment in this range, and to this intent he led me round another passage, and brought me into a second great hall, the walls of which were covered with an inconceivable and indescribable multitude of strange things, some being set on shelves, others being suspended on hooks, and others being set on the ground.
“What is all this?" I said : for the place was obscureand I went groping and stumbling about, though I saw not but that my uncle walked steadily enough, not meeting with any thing which caused him to stumble. “ You shall
. see presently,” said my uncle; and with that he took out a small pocket-lantern, with which he was provided, and having struck a light, he applied it to the candle within the lantern, and so gave me the light which I desired. I
“ Well,” said he, when this was effected,“ do you see better now ? tell me what you behold.”
“ I see much," I replied;" but to be plain with you, sir, not much which I count of any value.”
« Be that as it may,” replied my uncle, " this is Father Peter's treasure-house, where he amasses and ranges in order all things which he would have his people count valuable, and worthy of reverence and honour.”
“Rather say the charnel-house,” I replied, “for I see little else but effigies of death, and old rubbish, and lumber crumbling away, and mixing with the dust."
worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.” Col. ii. 16-23.
*“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divis ions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned ; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” Rom. xvi. 17, 18.
+“Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity: for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes : we stumble at noon-day as in the night ; we are in desolate places as dead men." Isaiah lix. 9, 10.
" Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm cxix. 105.