« FöregåendeFortsätt »
27 not understand ; because thou sayest, it was not by death that all were fulfilled. Call to thy remembrance what were the events put in his hands; in 1796 the Bishop's death, one; in 1797, the events which took place in Italy, two; England seeking for peace, but in vain, tree; the harvest of that year, 1797, four; the large sums of money that would be demanded at the end of that year, five; the harvest of 1799, six; and the harvest of the year 1800, seven. These events were fulfilled before **
** fell back, Thus thou hast discerned how the seven debts were paid, that were debts of trust, to know the truth of the words. But now observe what followetb:
“ As to thee, thou dost not know;
Thou art a stranger there:
Will he deny me here?"
“Here men must discern in what manner I spoke of *******, if he denied me, in my visitation to thee, and gave no credit that it was from the Lord: then I said all the goods I would surely leave, and cleave to another house ; because the gold, that is a reward, I said was still my own; which meaneth, that honour and reward should not rest upon him in the end, if he denied me in thee; but as the grave paid the first, so should the grave pay the last. So if men discern the type and shadow, and how the grave is twice mentioned, and the gold to he still my own; they might judge he would fall in death, after he began to deny me in thee.
Now observe what is said further :
“ So wonder now and stand amaz'd,
Ye fools and slow of heart;
But I shall take her part.
For all her friends she surely left,
To follow my command ;
She'th chosen the better part.”. " Here let men ponder deeply what thou hast went through, to follow on to know the Lord ; and how thou regardedst not thy own honour, but determined to follow on to be clear in judging, before thou wouldest condemn; that thou mayest err on the safest side. Let men trace the different conduct between ******* and thee.
“And now come to the following words, in
page 23 :
“ But when the stars together come,
And they do all agree;
Why I have stumbled thee."
“ For I now tell thee, I have stumbled thee, and stumbled all, concerning ** **; for ye have not discerned in what manner I placed him without conditions, that by him the writings should go out in the world ; and how I spoke of him on conditions, that he might discern his fall. But now I ask thee how a heart like thine could ever have went on with him, if thou hadst clearly discerned the end? And deeper things will be yet discerned, why it was my wisdom to stumble thee.
“ Here I have shewn thee how he was placed two ways; and two ways his past conduct hath been. And I will shew thee why I have placed it two ways; because the heart of the man was known anto me, that as a faithful shepherd, that cared for his sheep, he would act with wisdom and pru. dence, to search out the truth. And know what I said to Peter—“Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou ME, more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, feed my lambs. He saith to him again, the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou
29 ME? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knows est that I love thee. He saith unto him, feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he said unto him the third time, lovest thou ME?and he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, feed my sheep.” From these words I shall answer thee. I that knew all things, knew *** ****'s heart; that, like the command I gave to Peter, to feed my lambs, and feed my sheep, was a law written upon his heart, and therefore, as a faithful shepherd, that taketh care of his sheep, to guard them against the wolf, if he knew them in danger; so I knew that the heart and mind of him was to act faithfully, to search out both ways. whether thou wast in danger of the wolf; which meaneth, to be in danger of Satan's arts; or, whether thou wast a sheep of mine, visited by my Spirit, that he should feed and take care of; and therefore I told thee he would go on faithfully, while he stood alone ; because that I who know all things, knew he would act as a faithful shepherd at the first; that my command would be obeyed by him ; but I well knew the malice of men and devils, with what rage and fury they would break out against him, when thy writings went out in the world, and therefore I gave thee the prophecies the other way; as I knew he would fall from his own first stedfastness, when assaulted by men and deyils. Now call to thy remembrance what the people told ****: that ******* wrote the books, and thou signedst thy name to them. Know they said he was the Prophet: call to thy remembrance what were thy thoughts : didst thou not say in thy heart, that thou wast not sorry to see him fall back, as men had placed thy writings to him ; then dost thou marvel in thy heart, that I should leave the man to Satan's temptations, and the persecution of others, to confound the wisdom of men at first, and prove their judgment wrong, that placed thy writings, to him? For, as ye are with men, I must act after the manner of men, for I well knew it was impossible for thec to abide in Exeter and have thy writings proved there, if ******* had stood stedfast with thee; because men and devils would have risen in fury against thee, and against the man; for as they began, they would have wert on, to say he had written from his own invention what he was ashamed to put his own name to; and therefore desire thee to give thine. So that, one way or other, both would be condemned. Call to thy remembrance what they said of *****; what they approved of, in thy writings, the said was written by him. And this the world would have affirmed, had I permitted any man to take the writings from thy mouth, after I ordered thee not to write the communications thyself; and therefore I told thee I should gain two handmaids to write for thee ; and this thou knowest was in 1795. And now let them discern in what manner I worked a way to have strangers come forward, that had no knowledge of thee, or thy writings that had been carried on so many years, and published to the world, before ever they had heard thy name. This was my wisdom, to baffle the wisdom of men ; for I have shewn thee plainly, from the wisdom of a few, what the wisdom of thousands would be : and, as books are printed now against thee, Satan would have ad every advantage to work in men to publish books against him and thee, if he hail stood stedfast, to go on; and therefore I permitted his fall from any faith in thy mission.
“ And now call to thy remembrance what have been thy pondering thoughts of thy observations in the world, how strongly do 'men rule with arbitrary power over the minds of one the other, 31 so that ye dare not say your souls are your own, that by your own masters ye can stand or fall; because the fear of men, and the dread of men, make many fall from their own stedfastness: man's inhumanity to man makes countless ages mouro.
“ This is thy discernment and pondering ; then marvel not in thy heart that I should permit . ******* to fall oft, when I saw by what arbi: trary power that men began with over him: but know I told thee, if he repented and acknowledged the truths, that were put in his hands, I should make his standing more secure than it was before he fell. For I have already shewn thee how his standing could not be secure, to go on and stand according to his. calling at first; but, in his unbelief, he hath acted like the unbelieving world, as I told thee before by the Bible, that they were doing the very things that he did by thy writings. Are they not parting the Bible, to take away one part, that it may not be understood ? Thou last heard in what manner the Arians are parting the Bible: and was this to be done by all in like manner, to take away one part; men would have no clear knowledge of the Scriptures, to compare them together, or shew the truth one part with the other. This could not be done by man; if all joined alike, then there could be no witnesses of the Scriptures, to prove the contents; and the knowledge would be concealed from public view, as the truth of thy writings was concealed by him. So both together stand in one likeness.
“ Now call to thy remeinbrance what books thou hast heard of, and what books have been brought to thy view, that are printed against the Seriptures, against my Gospel : much worse than ever was printed against thee. And now I ask mankind how these blasphemous writers,