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the things revealed in this prophesy. For this book is a most precious jewel which God hath bestowed upon his church in this last age, and it is a great pity that all the servants of God are not better acquainted with it, especially in thefe times, for now in this age is and shall be the very heat of the war, and brunt of the battle betwixt Papists and Protestants, betwixt God and Belial: betwixt the armies of Christ, and the armies of Antichrist. Now this prophesy layeth all open, and plainly telleth us what thall be the issue and fuccess in the day of battle; which side shall have the victory, and which fide shall go down. And therefore very needful it is, that it should be expounded again and again, and all the Lord's people made thoroughly acquainted with it. For in this age wherein we live, this prophesy can ne. . ver be enough opened and beaten upon, that all good Protestants may be arined with it against future times, even as it were with an armour of proof. Saint John plainly telleth the people of his time, even the churches of Asia, that they should be blessed by reading and studying this book, because they should thereby be fore-warned · and fore-armed against many eminent trou.. bles and future dangers. For faith he, "the time is at hand;" that is to say, some

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thould the many emit faith he

things were even then to be fulfilled. For some matters foretold in this book, did begin to be fulfilled, even presently after they were shewed unto John; for the mystery of iniquity did even then begin to work. The church in the apostles time had her conflicts. The ten great persecutions began even then to be raised up. Heresies fhortly after began to spring and sprout. Afterwards by degrees, the great Antichrist did approach toward his cursed feat. And after all this St. John foretelleth how he should take possession of his abominable and most execrable seat and fee of Rome; how he should reign and rule for a time as the inonarch of the world; how he should prevail against the church, and make war against the saints; how he should reign but a fhort time, and afterward conie tumbling down, as fast as ever he rose up, and decrease as fast as ever he encreased, therefore blessed is he (faith St. Johm) that di* ligently readeth and peruseth this book,' that thereby he may foresee all these things, and be armed against them. For as the heathen man faith, Levius lædit quicquid provideris ante, 66 Foreseeing dangers do least hurt.”. Now to apply all this to our times, I fay, they are twice happy that are ftudious and painful in fearching out the true sense and meaning of this prophesy, that thereby they may be strengthened a gainst all the assaults of the Papifts, our professed enemies, and the enemies of God's church, and stand fast to the everlasting truth of God, knowing for a certainty that the sons of Belial shall not long prevail, Rev. ix. 11, The date of their reign is almost out, and the time drawęth on apace, wherein both they and their king Abaddon shall be laid in the dust. But I will now proceed to a new reason, to prove that this book of the Revelation ought not to be concealed, but openly preached and pub'lished to the whole church of God in this age. My reason is taken out of Rev. xxii. 10.Seal not the words of the prophesy of * this book, for the time is at hand.' Here is a direct commandment from God, that this book and doctrine of it may not be sealed up, that is to say, kept close from the knowledge of God's people, but it inust ly always unsealed, that all men may open it, read it, and see what is in it, for it is a borrowed speech taken from fealing of letters. For we all know that love leta ters are sealed, none may open them, or read them, but only those whom it.doth concern; but if they be purposely left unsealed, then any man may read them without danger: So the Lord willeth and commandeth, that this book of the Revelation should of purpose be left unsealed, that all the people of God might read it, ftudy it, and know it. '. If any man doubt whether the metaphor of sealing be thus taken in the scripture, let him read the places that are quoted, and in all those he shall find it taken in this fenfe. Whereby it doth evidently appear, that the mind and meaning of God is, that this book should be pro-claimed and published in all the churches,

Isa. xxix. 11. Dan. xii. 9. Rev. iv. 1-X.4. ..And upon this ground, I hold that every

minister of the gospel standeth bound, as. much as in him lieth, to preach the doctrine of the Revelation to his particular charge and congregation; for every miniiter of the gospel muft shew unto his peo. ple all the counsel of God, and keep back nothing, as Paul testifieth that he did, to the great comfort of his conscience. But the doctrine of the Revelation is a part and parcel of the council and will of God, therefore it must not be concealed or kept back from the knowledge of the people of God. And in these days I think it not on. ly meet and convenient that it should be fo, but in truth absolutely necessary. ;

But now me thinketh I hear some men fay, What, muft this book of the Revelation be preached and made known to the common people? alas, what should they do

with it? It is not for them to meddle with at all: it is not for their diet. I answer, yet not I, but the Holy Ghost, that this book must be made known to all the fervants of God; for St. John calls it the Re. velation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to thew unto all his servants. It is plain therefore, that all the servants of God, both men and women, young and old, rich and poor, must be made acquainted with this book. Moreover, John is commanded by the God of heaven, to set down all the visions which the angel shewed him, and to write them all in a book, and send them to the seven churches of Asia, that is, to people of all forts and conditions; and therefore this book doth not only concern preachers and deep divines, but even all the Lord's people whatsoever: før it doth minister great comfort and strength of faith to all the people of God that live in this age. But here the Papists object, that this book is full of darkness and obfcurity, and therefore not for the common people to meddle with; nay, say they, there are as many myfteries as words in it, and therefore why should men trouble their heads about it. But no wonder though the Papists say so much, for it is the wound of their kingdom, and the battery of their Babylon. As for others both learned and

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