Imágenes de páginas

soon darkened; and, when once they get wise above what is written, God foon makes them fools in religion; “ They have rejected the word of the Lord, and what wisdoin is in them?” Jer. viii. 9. These lack moisture, and therefore wither; “ Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived," 2 Tim. iii. 13. Paul says, “ As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him,” Coloss. ii. 6. And he exhorts us, whereunto we have attained, to walk by the same rule and mind the same thing. When this wonder of wonders first appeared I begun to try his fpirit, whether it was of God; for which purpose I brought what he advanced to the test of scripture and my own experience; and I perceived that what he brought forth was not agreeable either to the scriptures, or what God had taught me, and I believed he was an utter stranger to that power in which the kingdom of God siands. Paul says, “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed," Gal. i. 9 ; and exhorts us not to give heed to see ducing spirits, for by them the minds of many are corrupted from the fimplicity that is in Christ, in the same way as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety. God is the author of peace, but not of such confusion as this man brought forth; he erred, not kniving the power of God; “ Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.” “ If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed.” God has promised his holy Spirit to guide his children into all truth; “The anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any !pan teach you ; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is trutti, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him," 1 John ii. 27. “ The foundation of God ftandeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his.” Paul laid the foundation as a wise master builder, and warns every man to take heed how he buildeth thereupon; “ Now, if any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble.” Here are two sorts of builders, and the materials are very different: one fort the fire will not burn, but refine; the other will be consumed by it. Sharp trials discover many that are not found in the faith.' It is one thing to re. ceive the knowledge of the truth into the natural understanding, in the letter of it; and it is another to receive the love of the truth in the heart;

and, when the fiery trial comes, by which every 'man's work is to be revealed, many fall away, the work is burnt up, and then it is made manifeft of what sort it is. Many seem to run well for a time, and then draw back, and become so degenerate, that there is not a shadow of truth about

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

them; they go from a tolerably found judgment into Arminianism, and fink into the worst of er rors; and it is often seen that such are greater enemies to the vital power of godliness than they who have never made a profeffion; the scribes and pharisees were the worst enemies to Christ. The preaching of the gospel is compared to a net caft into the sea, which gathered of every kind ; the servants did as they were commanded, and gathered together as many as they found, both good and bad, and the house was furnished with guests; but, when the king came, he discovered the man which had not on a wedding garment; while the good feed is sown by the servants of Christ, the enemy fows tares. Paul says, “ But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour: if a man therefore purge himself from these he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work,” 2 Tim. ii. 21.

It was some time after Onefimus came and introduced his wild ferment before the division took place; during which time we had to con. tend earnestly for the faith, and the contention was extremely sharp. Before they separated themselves from us I had two singular dreams, which made a great impression upon my mind; and, thinking them very fignificant, I wrote them

down, waiting and watching the end.—They were as follows: I dreamed that I was travelling in some very rugged roads, full of hills, that were of an amazing height; by the side of the hills there were great numbers of people, fitting upon seats, who seemed very attentive, as if listening to some one speaking: at a little diftance off were a number of people with a great variety of articles to sell, which were all wearing apparel of different kinds; some looked like woollen cloth, and other pieces had the appearance of linen; many of them, as I passed on, asked me to buy: but I found fault with their articles; for, on examining a number of pieces, I could discern a thread of woollen mixed in them all, on which account I refused them. All the pieces that I looked at were woollen, or mixed with it, except one, which was a piece of fine wove' filk : I examined it very minutely, and could discern no woollen in it; I therefore bought this picce, and yet paid nothing for it. I then went on over the hills, through the midst of a great number of people ; and, as the roads were very bad, and many large stones laid in the way, it was with great difficulty I got along : and I had not gone far before I met a woman who much admired my piece of filk, and asked me to let her have a part of it; but I refused, telling her I should want it all for myself, and would therefore part with none. She said to me, It is



a nice piece.' I told her it was, and that amongst them all there was not one like it. She then left me, and I journeyed forward till I got into some very rough and indifferent roads again, and at last came into a very large building, where there was a great number of people, some looking fat and healthy, while others appeared thin and very ill. As I stood in this place a man came up to me, and said I was wanted in a room up stairs; in my way there, it came into my mind that they wanted me to contribute to some one's relief; fo I put my hand into my pocket, and took out thrce pieces of gold; but thought I would part with none till I knew to whom and what for. I then opened the door, and was greatly amazed ; for in the middle of the room was a very large couch, full of men that lay in a very disorderly manner; some were dead, and others looked very ill, apparently at the point of death, with their mouths wide open, gasping for breath ; and the visages of all were frightful to behold. As soon as I entered the room it came into my mind that these men were all professors of religion, who had swerved from their profession, and brought disgrace on the truth, on which account they were so afflicted, and visited with the judgments of God. I saw no one that spake, but heard a voice which talked with me. I inquired how it was that these men all came together; and was answered, that they came to see each other, and

« AnteriorContinuar »