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A Door of Hope: OR, A CALL and DECLARATION for the gathering together of the firſt ripe Fruits unto the STANDARD of our Lord, KING JESUS.

WE muſt begin with this Song, Great and marvellous are thy Works, Lord God Almighty, juſt and true are thy wayes thou King of Saints, Rev. 15. And if he will breath in us the Life and Wiſdom of his own holy Spi­rit, we will call to minde and Rehearſe the Righteous Acts of the Lord, who has been doing by mean and deſpicable Inſtruments, a great and good work, full of wonder and aſtoniſhment, of late years in theſe utmoſt Iſles of the world, (according to the Propheſies of the Scriptures) in order to the introducing the beſt Intereſt, which is the deſire of all Nations, namely the Exaltation of the Throne and Kingdom of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt among us. And this beginning of Reformation, and the honeſt Par­ty engaged in this Quarrel, (however by far the leſs number) God did abundantly own, and witneſs too from heaven, by opening his Salvation, and making bare his own Arm, againſt the late King, who was juſtly cut off as a Murtherer, (ſee Decl. of Parl. 11. Feb. 1647.) Tyrant, and Traytor, inſomuch that Germany was not without a witneſs (that Learned and Judicious Author of Clavis Apocalyptica) to the Righteouſneſſe of that Sentence, who concludes by vertue of that clear Text, Rev. 16. 5, 7. Lord, thou art Righteous, becauſe thou haſt Judged thus, P 100.

Novertheleſs, God hath now taken away all our bancks, and permitted this old Ene­my, to come in upon us as a flood, Iſa. 59. 19. And now C. S. the Son of that Mur­therer is Proclaimed King of England, whoſe Throne of Iniquity is built on the Blood of precious Saints, and Martyrs, and on the Blood of all our Brethren in the late Wars: In whom is continued from Nimrod their firſt Head and Original, the ſucceſſion of the ſame curſed Seed, and Serpentine Off-ſpring, which by a continued Series runs through the Veins of the Aſſyrian, Perſian, Grecian, and Roman Monarchies. So that now this common Enemy (the ſeed of Ham) is riſen up in the ſpirit of that Murtherer Cain, in the ſpirit of Eſau, Pharoah, Amaleck, Nebuchadnezzar, Haman; in the ſpirit of Herod, and of the old Heathen Romane Perſecutors, ſuch as Diocleſian, (againſt whom the Blood of the butcher'd and martyr'd Saints cryed under the fifth Seal) at the beginning of whoſe ten years moſt cruel ſavage Perſecution, (as M. Mede hath obſerved) within thirty dayes about 17000. are reported to have been butcher'd: In Egypt alone (how ſmall a part of the Empire of Rome?) there were butcher'd 144000. men; and all the world almoſt was ſtained with the precious blood of the Martyrs; in the ſpirit of the monſtrous, cruell, unparallel'd Beaſt, Rev. 13. who hath all the curſed properties of a2 Leopard for fierceneſs, the feet of a Bear, to catch and hold, and the mouth of a Lion to tear and devour; in the ſpirit of that Scarlet filthy Whore, Rev. 17. the Mother of Harlots, (the Whoriſh Churches) who is drunk with the blood of Saints, and in her is found the blood of Prophets and Martyrs, and all that has been ſlain on the Earth; we ſay they are now Riſen up in this ſpirit, againſt the Lord, againſt his Chriſt, and People. This is the ſpirit that put to death our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, and that murthered all the Martyrs.

But when we ſeriouſly weigh with our ſelves the great and good deſigns God hath in this ſtrange Providence, whereat moſt are confounded; to puniſh and ſpue out of his mouth a Lukewarm People, who had not a thorough ſpirit for the Work; to try the Faith and Patience of his own People as pure Gold, to conform them to their Head, to Redeem and Separate them from all the reſt by choice diſtinguiſhing Characters, as Gold from more impure Mettal, as Gideons three hundred from the thouſands, to this great Work of following the Lamb: To fulfil the Word of God, and the Prophecies of theſe laſt dayes, among which thoſe three in that bleſſed Book of the Revelations, [chap. 11. 10 11, 12, 13. chap. 18, 7, 8. & chap. 17. 17. ] are not the leaſt. And to get himſelf a great Name, which will be more glorious by much then that of Egypt, Jer. 23. 7, 8. For as he raiſed up Pharoah, ſo hath he them, to ſhew his Power in them, and that his Name may be declared throughout all the Earth, Rom. 9 17. They are brought as Foxes into the Snare, and as Birds into the Net. We ſay when we conſider theſe things, we are ſo far from being dejected, that we cannot reſtrain from ſinging and praiſe, knowing that this will make much for Gods Honour, our good, and this Works advantage, and they ſhall not be able to touch one hair of our head; nay, we were very much confirmed in our hopes of the ſudden appearance of this Work, by the coming in of their poor wretched King, at whom (as the Daughter of Zion did at that great boaſting Aſſyrian) we laugh, and have them in deriſion.

And when we conſider the great opinions of this year, the wonderfull effects it is like to produce, the ſweet harmony and agreement of the Prophecies, the viſibility of thoſe things therein foretold to fall in the time of the Witneſſes death, the great likelihood of the Witneſſes Reſurrection, the great New Covenant-Promiſe of the ſpirit made to this Work, the wonderfull undeniable ſigns of the times, and how miraculouſly we have been cut out, and preſerved for this Work, of which we ſhall ſpeak in a brief Treatiſe by it ſelf: And alſo having our hearts broken with the Love of Chriſt, and boiling over, and having taſted through choice diſtinguiſhing grace, the Preciouſneſs, Power and Love of a ſoul-endearing Jeſus; we are mightily awakend and ſtirred up, and that Fire that has been hid under our Aſhes will break out into Flames, and that Fountain of the Rivers of Living Waters into Streams, as the bubbling Springs that ſearcheth the ground, and finding entrance guſheth out. Our Lives, and every thing elſe that is dear unto us upon a worldly account, we deſpiſe as a mean thing in compariſon of the glory of that Name, which is to us as precious Oyntment, and we lay all down at the feet of our Lord Jeſus, reſolving if we periſh to periſh there.

And firſt, we deſire to lay our ſelves in the duſt, to have ſoul-abaſing thoughts of our ſelves, (for ſuch is the nature and fruits both of the Grace and teachings of Chriſt) and freely to admire what we have freely received, that his preſerving Grace has kept us from the defilements, ſoul-deſtroying Iniquities, and heart-entraping ſnares of theſe perillous times, the cheats and deluſions of Satan, ſin, the world, and an evil heart; that we have not worſhipped the Beaſt, Rev. 13. 8. defiled our Garments, and gone a whoring after ſtrange Intereſts; of which we may ſay as Solomon of the ſtrange woman, Many ſtrong3 men have been ſlain by her, Prov. 7. 26. And we may encourage the perſevering Remnant, in the words of Moſes, Your eyes have ſeen what the Lord did becauſe of Baal-Peor; for all the men that followed Baal-Peor, the Lord thy God hath deſtroyed them from among you: but ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God, are alive every one of you this day, Deut. 4. 3, 3. Here is the faith and patience of the Saints.

And indeed, we cannot but admire the grace of God, and to his praiſe we would ſpeak it; that we were preſerved from the wicked Apoſtacy of O. C. againſt which we ſpared not to contend to the loſs of our Liberties, and to the hazard of our Lives: the which we cannot but look on, as the door and inlet to all this that is now come up­on us, Pſal. 81. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. And all thoſe unfaithful ſervants that complyed with him, and his Intereſt, and continued in a ſinful perſeverance, as highly guilty of betraying the Righteous Intereſt, and Cauſe of Chriſt, and the Liberties of all the Saints; of ſin againſt God, and the work of their Generation: whereby they have made themſelves unmeet for any place of Power and Truſt, and others muſt take their Crown; neither will they any more finde acceptance with the Lord, or his People, but upon unfeigned Repentance, which they may beſt teſtifie, by making themſelves nothing, that Chriſt may be all, and ſerving him in the loweſt and meaneſt capacity. For thoſe that Chriſt will delight to honour in this work, are Virgins, Rev. 14. who never were eſpouſed or marryed to a worldly, or defiling Intereſt: and except our names be found in thoſe bleſſed, diſtinguiſhing Characters, as in the Kings muſter Roll, we ſhall never follow the Lamb with another ſpirit, as Joſbua and Caleb did. We con­clude with David, inſtead of thy Fathers, ſhall be thy Children (a ſecond Generation) whom thou mayeſt make Princes in all the Earth, Pſal. 45. 16.

We therefore freely, of a ready minde, and with a moſt chearful heart (accounting it an honour too great for us, poor worms, who are the meaneſt of men, the greateſt of ſinners, and the leaſt of Saints, to gird on a Sword for Chriſt.) Give up our Lives and Eſtates unto our Lord King Jeſus, and to his People, to become Souldiers in the Lambs Army, abhorring Mercenary Principles, and Intereſts. And for this works ſake we deſire not to love our lives unto the death, neither will we ever (if we may ſpeak ſo great a word with reverence in the fear of God) ſheath our Swords again, untill Mount Zion become the joy of the whole Earth, a Mountain of holineſs and a habitation of juſtice, untill Rome be in Aſhes, and Babylon become a hiſſing and a curſe, the border of wickedneſs, and the People againſt whom the Lord hath indignation for ever, there being left unto her neither Name, nor Remnant, Son, nor Nephew. For that we are not pur­poſed, when the Lord ſhall have driven forth our Enemies here, in theſe Nations, and when we ſhall in a holy Triumph, have led our Captivity Captive, to ſit down under our Vines and Figg-trees, but to go on to France, Spain, Germany, and Rome, to de­ſtroy the Beaſt and Whore, to burn her fleſh with Fire, to throw her down with vio­lence as a Milſtone into the Sea, that ſhe may be found no more at all, Rev. 18. 21. Jer. 51. 35. to bring not onely theſe, but all the Nations to the ſubjection of Chriſt, that the Kingdome may be the Lords, and to perfect the deliverance of all the Saints, the Remnant of the Waldenſes, and all the Children of the Free-woman, who are yet groaning and crying under the Tyranny and Perſecutions of Antichriſt, and to avenge the blood of all the Martyrs, which we earneſtly remember, and which is an eſpecial motive unto us, the cry of which is very loud in our ears, and much more in the ears of God, unto whom vengeance belangeth And this is much more then a National Quar­rel, that which is the Teſt now, being the Intereſt of Chriſt the blood of the Butcher'd, Murder'd, Martyr'd, and Maſſacred Saints, the intereſt of the good People, the Li­berties4 of all men, and the undoing of all the ſinful oppreſſions and yoaks of the whole Creation.

The Controverſie now therefore lies between Zion and Babylon, Chriſt and Anti­chriſt; and therefore we aſſert, That it is lawfull for the true ſpiritual Seed, the legi­timate Heirs of the promiſes and the World, Rom. 4. 13. To RISE ƲP againſt the carnal, ſerpentine, accurſed ſeed, who are the deſtroyers of the Earth, Rev. 11. 18. To poſſeſs the GATE of their Enemies, to binde their Kings in Chains, and their Nobles in Fetters of Iron. And we being called of God, and cut out without hands, or humane contrivement, in whom is ſhewn forth his Power; RISE UP on Gods behalf (free from the guilt of the breach of Oaths and Covenants upon our Conſciences) to conflict with this prophane perſecuting Spirit of the Dragon, and the Worſhippers of the Beaſt that dwell on the Earth. And we Call all that have a life to lay down for their King and Saviour, to come forth againſt them with the Sword, and execute upon them the Judgements written. Are you a poor deſpiſed Remnant? why, God has for­med you for himſelf: As Chriſt was a tender Plant, and a Root out of dry ground; ſo may his Kingdom ariſe out of a poor, obſcure, illitterate, and (ſuch as the world calls) Fana­tick People. And out of them ſhall come forth the Corner, the Nail, and the Battel-bow; we look for a righteous ſpiritual Magiſtracy out of the new ſharp threſhing Inſtrument.

And to the end we may not lay a ſtumbling-block to ſhut out any (for this good and wholeſome Principle of Chriſts Government is ſo large, that it involves every honeſt Intereſt, and this bottom can onely ſecure our Cauſe as we could prove, but that we write not in an argumentary way) who are againſt the ſame abominations and enormities that we are, own at leaſt the negative part of our Cauſe, and in the main are ſubſtan­tially and really for the ſame good things with us: we alſo declare, that whoſo hath a heart to appear for God, for his Chriſt, for Reformation, Juſtice, and Righteouſneſs, for the Cauſe of Truth, and for the good People of theſe Nations, under ſo much re­proach and ſufferings, whoſe Lives, Eſtates, Liberties, and Poſterities are ready to be made a Prey by the cruelleſt and worſt of men (who in the Properties of their natures are beaſts) againſt Popery, Prelacy, Common-prayer, Organs, Superſtitions, falſe, pro­phane forms of Worſhip, Idolatrous, Ceremonial, Typical, Antichriſtian ſhadows and vanities, ſuch as is Sirplices, Lawn Sleeves, Hoods, Tippets, and ſuch whoriſh traſh and Trinkery, Altars, Bowing, Kneeling, and Worſhipping a piece of Wood and Bread, and a Wax Candle (a filthy baſe Idol) for the true God; againſt Idola­trous Pictures and Images (the ſeeds of Superſtition and Ignorance) we ſay, whoſo hath a heart to riſe up for God againſt the Pope, his Biſhops, and Hierarchy, and againſt theſe Cavaliers, whoſe wickedneſs it is not fit to name, who have already polluted the Land as venemous and unclean Creatures; here is a call and opportunity for them.

And becauſe we do not lay down things in the common road, but go a ſtep above de­praved reaſon, and common underſtanding, in repreſenting things under the notion of the Kingdom of Chriſt, ſome may be ready ſimply and ignorantly, and others wil­fully, to miſtake, and miſapprehend us; ſome to malicious ends, not knowing what we mean by the Kingdom of Chriſt, as if ſome ſtrange thing contrary to the ſound hope of the Goſpel, and Doctrine of the true Primitive Church, and not in Scripture and rea­ſon, were intended, as that Chriſt ſhould immediately appear to head an Army. We ſhall therefore throw that ſtone out of your way by Declaring, that by the Kingdom of Chriſt, or that part of it under the Kingdome of the Stone, which reſpects the Govern­ment of a well ordered Common-wealth, we mean, That we ſhould have the beſt of men, of ſound Principles, of known integrity, haters of Bribes and Covetouſneſs, lo­vers5 of Mercy and Juſtice, that without Fees, and tedious vexatious delayes, ſhould give you Juſtice, for our Magiſtrates and Governours: that we might have the word of God for our rule, and that judgement might proceed in all caſes according to that wholeſome Law, which not onely God himſelf, the great Law-giver, but experience, and ſound reaſon doth approve the moſt excellent, Deut. 4. 6, 7, 8. That diſtributive juſtice might be equally adminiſtred between man and man, without reſpect to poor or rich, free or bond; for a Magiſtrate ought to know no man upon the Bench, but reſpect Juſtice, Truth, and Mercy: That judgement and righteouſneſs might flow down our ſtreets as mighty ſtreams: That violence and oppreſſion might be heard no more in our Land: That the widows heart might ſing for joy, and the mournful complaints of widows and fatherleſs might be turned into ſongs, and their tears into joy: that all abuſes and op­preſſions in the caſes of Creditors and Debtors might be duly reformed, with reſpect to Juſtice and Mercy: That a conſtant incorrupted courſe of Juſtice might freely run down to all: that theft might not be puniſhed with death; but that reſtitution be made ac­cording to the Law, and the Malefactor ſold, or made to work out his redemption in ſome houſe of Correction, which in few years would make us fewer Thieves then a thou­ſand Gallowſes; but that man-ſtealers be puniſhed with death: That all the poor of the Land might be ſet to work, and we might have no beggars: That a due regulation be made with reſpect to the Natives, in the Manufacture and Trade of the Common­wealth: That there be no tranſporting of Leather unwrought, Fullers Earth, or other Commodities that may ſpoil the Manufacture of the Land, and impoveriſh the poor Tradeſman: That Timber be preſerved and increaſed: And whatſoever can be named of a common or publick good, we mean by the Kingdome of Chriſt, in the Go­vernment of the Common-wealth, and every good thing will be the fruit of it, the which we cannot have without it, no more then men ſow Fetches and reap Wheat. And then alſo will our Land yield her increaſe, and our fruits will not be blaſted, or hurt by wet or dry ſeaſons, Pſal. 67. 6.

And that our brethren and friends may want no motive to incite them to ſuch an honourable work, of ſo great concernment, to common and publick good; let us lay to heart the loud crying abominations, and wickedneſs that every where abounds in the Land, the open profaneneſs that rages in our ſtreets, their helliſh blaſphemy, drink­ing healths to the confuſion of Zion, and her King (daring the moſt high to his face) and if he be her King, let him come and ſave her, their perſecuting rage, which hath extended to perſons in their Families and Callings, to others in their Meetings to wor­ſhip God, and others to the extream perils of their Lives, ſuch is the iniquity of this day, and the implacable, biting, ſerpentine enmity, and rage of this Enemy, who is ſo both in Principle and Intereſt: we ſee what Intereſt it is that flouriſhes, what Sun it is that ſhines by its influence and effects in foſtering and giving life to curſed Popiſh and deſtru­ctive Intereſts; we ſee the cluſters of their Vine, the fruits of their Government in all the Land; how hath the greateſt ſins, Swearing, Drunkenneſs, Sabbath-breaking, Whoredome, Pride, Laciviouſneſs, Stage-playes, Blaſphemy, Popery, Suſterſtition, Idolatry been propagated and countenanced ſince their coming in, as a new life given to the ſlain Serpent. Do we not alſo conſider the Diametrical oppoſition they ſtand in to King Jeſus; that the K. is a profeſt Enemy, a Rebel and Traytor to Chriſt. And if the ſenſe of the ſaid ſufferings and reproach of the precious Name of our dear Lord, and the conſiderations of the right he has by the Oath, Covenant, and Decree of the Fa­ther, and the Purchaſe of his own Heart Blood, to the Kingdom, the expiring date of Worldly Powers, this price that is put into our hands to obtain all the good things we6 have already, or ſhall declare for, the ſufferings and Impriſonment of our Friends, will not provoke and awaken us, yet ſurely the ſenſe of our own dangers will touch us: ſhall we ſit ſtill, and have our throats cut, or dye like Fools, as Abner did? Or ſhall we qui­etly give up our Necks to the Yoke, and ſuffer the Common Prayer, Organs, &c. to be impoſed on us? Is Iſrael a home-born Slave, that we ſhould bore the ears of our ſouls and bodies to their Poſts? What can we expect from them, if we will not take their wicked Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, the which we cannot do though we ſhould dye; becauſe they are againſt both the Prieſtly and Kingly Offices of our Lord Jeſus? Are not theſe already preſſed and enforced in the Countreys? And are not ſome already in Priſon? For every Malignant according to his temper and pleaſure may make uſe of his power or ſtrength againſt us, under the notion of Fanaticks. Doth not the Enemy come in as a Flood, and Popery as an Inundation of mighty Waters? Who ſees not that it is coming in amain, and is like to over-run the whole? What can we expect when the Queen comes in, who is ſaid to hate an Engliſh Proteſtant ſo, that ſhe cannot endure the ſight of them.

But there is ſad ſymptoms of ſomething worſe then all this, and great ground is there to fear, (and ſo wiſe men judge) that the old curſed Popiſh Party (whoſe numerouſneſs in England portends no good to us) hath already laid the deſign of a Butchery and Maſſacre of the honeſt Party in this Nation and Ireland, who love the Lord Jeſus Chriſt. The which they will aſſuredly put in execution, their other Contrivements failing. For this grand deſign twiſts in the Intereſts of the Pope, the King of Spain, the German Empire, as well as thoſe Serpents and Vipers that are in our own Bowels, who will ſuck out our very heart blood, if ſome Remedy be not ſought. The Grand Conſpiracy (which we con­ceive thoſe two remarkable Scriptures doth diſcover, Rev. 12. 17. Pſal. 83) now on foot amongſt the Popiſh Parties in Europe, againſt a poor deſpiſed Remnant in England, ought to awaken every man from the ſleep of ſecurity. For no doubt, the Devill and the Pope hath at this day a great Deſign upon England. And we are very much per­ſwaded, that there is now on foot amongſt the Popiſh Parties and Jeſuits a very great and bloody Deſign, to bring in Popery in England, to take the Goſpel from us, to root out the Name and Intereſt of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, and all the gathered Churches in the Land: And Epiſcopacy and Common Prayer is but the door to ſometing worſe. And it ſeems to us a thing very rational, that this curſed deſign of the Papiſts is already formed in England, hath life, moves ſtrongly, and is even ſtruggling for the Birth in the Womb of the Miſtery of Iniquity; if we weigh but in the balance of Reaſon, the In­tereſt that they have in the Court, the great number of Popiſh Lords in the Houſe, ſome of whom have ſuckt in more of the Venom of the Serpent beyond the Seas, that their Sting is the Poyſon of Dragons, and the cruel Venom of Aſps, to poiſon and deſtroy the precious deſpiſed Intereſt of our Lord; the multitudes of Papiſts about the City of Weſt­minſter, even of the bloody Iriſh Rebels, who cut the throats of the Proteſtants there, (many thouſands of innocent ſouls) and are now ſaid to be many thouſands. If withall we conſider the high favour thoſe Iriſh Lords, who were chief Actors in the Rebel lion and Maſſacre, are in at Court; the enliſting of the Papiſts and old Cavaliers, whereby they are put into a capacity to act the greateſt Villany, the Popiſh Queens coming over; the putting of Papiſts and old exaſperated Malignants into all places of Power and Command; which are as ſo many ſymptoms of a generall and bloody Maſ­ſacre: for it is evident, that their deſign is not ſo much againſt Perſons as Intereſts, nei­ther will the blood of a few particular Perſons, ſuch as the Kings Judges, ſatiate their cruel, inraged, blood thirſty mindes, which is ſet on fire by Hell; but they thirſt for the7 Blood of us all, that they might drink Blood as the Deſert doth Rain: And their De­ſign (which hath a deeper Original then Rome) is to give ſo great and effectuall a Blow to the Intereſt of Chriſt, and the People of God in England, that it may never Revive again, which makes them prepare ſo great a Sacrifice, and drive all to one head, that they make a ſhort and thorow work of it. And now will not this mighty confluence of the Papiſts and Popiſh Intereſts to England, as all the Rivers to the Sea, awaken us? How can we promiſe our ſelves any ſecurity whileſt we ſee the moſt implacable, vene­mous, Serpentine Enemies, as Vipers creeping into our Bowels, who cannot merit grea­ter fame and praiſe from holy Church, (as they call it) then by ſpilling the blood of Pro­teſtants. We ſee what multitudes of the cruel bloody Spaniards, under the pretext of Attendants on the Prince and Ambaſſadour of Spain, is not onely come into our Land, but advantageouſly placed in the heart of the City of London. And what unwelcome gueſts to England, the old Queen, Prince Robert, the German Ambaſſadour will bring, may eaſily be imagined. Certainly the Popiſh Parties have ſome great deſign upon England. We fear the Poiſon and deadly Sting is in this Tail of the Dragon; and alſo the coming in of theſe forreign Princes and Ambaſſadors at this time, and with ſuch Triumphs as ſome Ages paſt have been ſtrangers to, we can look at as no leſs, then the fulfilling of that moſt wonderful Prophecy, Rev. 11. 10. We know the Papiſts Princi­ple; No faith is to be kept with Hereticks: Let us remember France and Ireland, and not forget Piedmont, whoſe wounds bleed yet freſh in our memories. They are making our Throats bare to the Knives of their Butchers; and they know well, and we ſhall feel, if we ſhould longer ſit ſtill, what advantage an armed united Intereſt has of a na­ked diſperſed one. And were there no more to be ſaid then that the Law of Nature and Nations hath ordained to fly to means of preſervation in threatning and emergent dan­gers, we are highly concerned at this time to take up Armes.

And if we look abroad (which is wonderful to ponder, that the whole ſtate of the Chriſtian Intereſt ſhould be conformed to England) upon the face of things in all Europe, we can ſee nothing but the ruine and deſtruction of the Proteſtant Cauſe and Reformed Intereſt both in France, Savoy, Bohemia, Poland, &c. And it is very obſervable that every where the Popiſh Intereſt gets ground, and the deſign of the univerſal Peace, is even now perfecting, and the top-ſtone is laying, and things of late have wrought ſtrangely (but providentially) in order thereunto, in the death of the late King of Swe­den, and Prince of Tranſilvania, as alſo in the coming in of Stuart into England, which can in humane probability produce nothing but bloody perſecutions of the Refor­med Churches. But this conſideration, that God turns a wheel within this wheel, and that the Churches of Chriſt, and poor deſpiſed People of God in other Nations, are but by this diſpenſation brought into a ſtate of conformity to, and ſympathy with the death of the Witneſſes in England, is a ſupporting one.

And now to ſuffer all theſe things, and loſe our Birth rights, and to entail Perſecu­tion, Slavery, Popery, and Idolatry, to our Poſterities for ever, which will leave our names for a curſe and ſtink to them, is grievous; but to ſuffer them from the Cavaliers, an old beaten Enemy, and that without ſtriking a blow, or bleeding in the Field for that which is much better then our Lives (for as a Romane could ſay, There is no neceſ­ſity that I ſhould live, but there is a neceſſity that Rome ſhould be relieved) is the Aggra­vation. For how did this old Enemy come in? did he beat us in the Field? did he win it with his Sword? is our Cauſe loſt? or is our God dead? no! how then? why, by lies (of which the Devil is father, and ſo (through divine permiſſion) of their con­queſt) by helliſh plots and contrivement, clad in the robes of our dead cauſe, as Jacob8 in Eſaus Garments. Well then, it is but an old conquered Enemy; he has been beat­en in the Field times often: of whom now ſhall we be afraid? of a broken ſerpent? of a ſpiritleſs Enemy?

We have not onely, conſidering what we have ſaid, a ſufficiend primary, original, ſpecial cauſe and call from the Covenant of God, Propheſies of the Scriptures, and time of the end; for an offenſive war, to take the Kingdom, and bring theſe Nations into ſubjection to the right Scepter of Jeſus Chriſt; but we are neceſſitated from ſecon­dary, providential, aggravating cauſes, to be defenſive on behalf of Gods Name, liber­ties of Saints, common-ſafety, and preſervation of our Families, Wives, Children, Lives, Liberties, and Eſtates. And whoſo loveth God, his Countrey or his own Rights which Chriſt purchaſed for him by his Blood, and cannot ſell his Body, Soul, and Con­ſcience, to the Devil, to wicked men and their luſts, to commit ſin with greedineſs, and run with them to the ſame exceſs of all manner of filthineſs and wickedneſs, muſt now take up the Sword againſt this beaſtly crue, as the laſt remedy God has left us; for ſuch is the unparallel'd iniquity of this day (we hope the Devil is playing his laſt game in England) that a man that hath but ſobriety in his looks, can ſcarcely paſs without the brand of Fanatick.

And theſe men themſelves have ſet us free from the Bonds of Subjection; for we have no benefit by the Government of this bloody Family, neither are we comprehend­ed within the Verge of their Protection: Wherefore they cannot juſtly challenge any Obedience from us by the Law of Nature or Nations: For a man is not bound to pay him Subjection who ſeeks his Deſtruction.

But although, The Children are brought to the Birth, there is no ſtrength to bring forth; the hour is now come, and we are travelling in pain to be delivered, for the Name of our God, the Noble and Precious Intereſt of his Chriſt, and the Deliverance of his Saints and People; and O how are we ſtraitned till it be done! We have been with much fear and trembling in this work, and much wreſtling have we had with the Lord: for ſo far as he has revealed our ſelves unto us, we had rather ſuffer all things, not onely to the loſs of our Names, and Eſtates, but even our very Lives, for his ſake, who ſince we believed is made precious to us, then diſhonour his great and holy Name; and our ſouls are ſweetly quieted in the Lord, and abundantly ſatisfied in the time; and certainly if we be deceived, God has deceived us. And now the Love of Chriſt has conſtrained us to ap­peare in the face of the greateſt perills and dangers, none of which move us ſo we may finiſh our courſe with joy, and ſerve our Generation in the Work which God hath com­mitted to us, according to his will. And we profeſs we have nothing but the naked Arm of the Lord to truſt in; and if we periſh, we'l periſh in believing his promiſes, in ſer­ving and promoting his Cauſe, in contending for this Noble Truth of the Kingdom of his dear Son. And this is our joy, that our God has bound himſelf by his promiſes (in his fear we ſpeak it, and with Reverence) to appear for his People: And if God ſhould not appear for the poor Remnant of Jacob, but ſuffer them for whom his precious blood was ſhed to fall before Papiſts, and Cavaliers, and prophane, drunken, damning, ſwear­ing Idolatrous, Adulterous, wicked and ungodly men; and ſhould ſuffer the Cauſe of the Papiſts, of the bloody Family of the Stuarts, of the old bloody, Popiſh, wicked Gentry of the Nation, of the drunken, dumb, Popiſh, ſcandalous Clergy, to get the up­per hand of his own Cauſe, and ſhould ſuffer all our Reformation to be loſt, then what would become of his great Name? It was becauſe he could not bring them into the good Land (will the Enemy ſay) that he has deſtroyed them in the Wilderneſs: What will become of his promiſe to Abraham, Iſaac, and Jacob, and their Seed? How will the New Cove­nant9 ſealed with the Blood of Chriſt, and the Oath that he ſware unto David in his ho­lineſs, be verified.

Now therefore, to come to the matter of our Declaration, that we may lay the Ground-work of ſo great a Building, and ſtir up and provoke our Brethren in all the Countries, as alſo in the City of London, to ſhare with us in this honour, and be parta­kers in this work, and now to prepare themſelves, and in all points to be ready, in order to a general rendeſvouzing on Mount Zions bottom. We Declare,

1. That we will not have one ſtone of Babylon for a Corner, or for a Foundation, Jer. 51. 26. We will not have any thing to do with the Antichriſtian Magiſtracy, Miniſtry, Tythes, &c. which are none of our Lords appointments, but the cheats and counter­ſeits of the man of ſin and myſtery of iniquity. We will not make any league, or joyn any affinity with them, Rev. 14. 9, 10, 11. But we Declare for, and exhort unto a final and ſtrict ſeparation from the National Parochial Church, Worſhip, Miniſtry, way, and Idolatrous high places, as none of Chriſts but Antichriſts, as falſe and Babyloniſh, Rev. 18. 4. And we cannot but look upon the National Miniſtry, even in its greateſt reformation and purity, in the time of the late O. C. and his Tryers, as Antichriſtian, and that which ought to be diſowned and ſeparated from by all the true Churches of Je­ſus Chriſt, in their Foundation Call, ſtanding in the Pariſh Aſſemblies and Maintainance. And we contend for a righteous Magiſtracy, that may be a terrour to evil doors and a praiſe to them that do well, and for a true Goſpel Miniſtery with their Maintainance: And we own and declare our Lord Jeſus Chriſt (unto whom and whoſe Laws we will alone ſubmit, as unto him who is the Fountain and Original of all juſt and lawful Power) to be the Supreame Head and Law giver of theſe Nations, the alone LEGISLATOR, who has right to make and give Laws for the governing of the Common-wealth, and who is King of Saints and Nations, whoſe royal Laws and Precepts muſt be ſubmitted unto in Church and State, and Tyranny, Monarchy, and Antichriſtianiſme deſtroyed and rooted up in both; his Laws and Statutes contained in the Holy Scriptures, and remaining in force ſince his death, to be the Law by which theſe Nations ſhall be go­verned and judged; and his Saints (without reſpect had to any particular from or judge­ment) on whom ſhall reſt the ſpirit of councel and wiſdome, ſhall be the Adminiſtrators thereof, or ſhall have the executive Power. So ſhall we have Magiſtrates like Job, that will be eyes to the blinde, and feet to the lame, and Fathers to the poor, that will break the jaws of the wicked, and pluck the ſpoil out of his teeth, Job 29. And we ſhall be the bleſ­ſed of the Lord, whoſe habitations ſhall be full of the bleſſings of heaven and earth, and full of Peace on the foundation of Truth, and we ſhall be the happieſt people in the world, having the beſt Laws and the beſt Governours, Deut. 4 6, 7, 8.

And as Babylon will be deſtroyed, and the falſe Antichriſtian Church will be no more; ſo the true Church and Spouſe of Chriſt will be brought out of the wilderneſs, from all her diſperſions, darkneſs, and confuſions, and will be purged and purified from all her corruptions both in matter and form; and from the riſe of the Witneſſes, the preaching of the everlaſting Goſpel, the begining of the down-fall of Antichriſt, and the ſet­ting up the Kingdome of Chriſt, the Churches of Chriſt, and ſincere profeſſours of the Goſpel, with the addition of new converts, will begin to appear with the Lamb on Mount-Zion, in all the Primitive Glory and Purity of the New Teſtament-Churches for Matter, Doctrine, and Order. But ſo far as the Churches are in Babylon, and by ſin­ful compliance with Antichriſtian worſhip, and the evils and Apoſtacy of the times, have not kept, but defiled their Garments; and ſo far as they have left their firſt Love, own­ed and ſtood by them that held the Doctrine of Balaam, ſuffered that woman Jezebel10 to teach and ſeduce, had a name to live and are dead, have not kept the word of Chriſts patience, and have been luke-warm, and loſt their favour, their Candleſtick ſhall be removed; and the true mortified, quickened, ſpiritual Members, that are in the flower of their virginity, or have kept their ſimplicity, will be gathered as the precious from the vile, and with all the poor ſcattered ſtones and duſt of Zion, the living ſpiritual ſtones, be built up the ſecond time, the great New Teſtament-Temple, when alſo our Lord will appear in his Glory, Pſal. 102. 13, 14, 16. For God we are perſwaded has a great Controverſie with the Churches, who ought to be the ground and pillar of Truth, for their corruption and Apoſtacy, and becauſe they have not received and contended for the great New Covenant-Truth of the Kingdome of our Lord Jeſus.

2. That all Civill Liberty, and Rights of men, (which with every mans Propertie we aſſert) ſhall riſe alone upon the Foundation, and grow upon the Root of the Viſible Kingdom of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, which we hope, and greatly deſire, may from hence­forth take place among us according to the Prophecies of the Scriptures, and become a great Mountain filling the whole Earth.

3. That the chief of the Spoil which ſhall be taken in Battell, and all the Eſtates which ſhall be forfeited through Treaſon and Rebellion, ſhall be brought into one com­mon Treaſury, according to the Word of the Lord, Their Gain ſhall be conſecrate to the Lord, and their Subſtance to the Lord of the whole Earth, Micah 4. 13. That it may not feed the Fowls of Prey, or enrich and corrupt particular perſons as of late, but carry on the Work of God with the Army of the Lamb, in which every Souldier ſhall be ſuffici­ently provided for, by a certain honourable conſtant Revenue, iſſuing out of the ſaid Treaſury, according to his Place, Degree, Services, and Family.

And for accompliſhing and attaining theſe great and weighty ends, we Declare alſo for the Razing, Deſtroying, and perpetuall Rooting out of the whole Conſtitutions and Foundations of the Antichriſtian Laws and Government of theſe Nations; for the Remo­ving of Taxes, Tythes, Exciſe, and Cuſtomes alſo, ſo far as Oppreſſive and unlawfull; ſlaviſh tenures of Land, Oppreſſions of Landlords, Monarthy and Lordſhip as well in Church as State; ſo alſo in Cities, Societies, and Families, wherein the Rights of younger Brethren will be vindicated according to Law, (the nature whereof is Juſtice, Mercy, and Equity, wherein is no footing for ſuch ſictions as this wicked Law teacheth to diſtinguiſh between Courts of Juſtice and Equity) and the Nimrod ſpirit and Mono­polies of elder Brethren (unto whom as Kings in the Family, the younger Brethren are Slaves and Subjects, which is one grand branch of Tyranny, and Intereſt of Monarchy) pulled down, whoſe Intereſt nevertheleſs, by right of Primogeniture, is aſſerted accord­ing to the Kings Law, to wit, two-fold: For the ballance of Lands muſt be adaequate to the Government of the Commonwealth.

And as our great deſire is to take off all yoaks and oppreſſions both of a civil and ſpi­ritual nature from the necks of the poor people; ſo ſhall we endeavour to caſt the wing of protection over them, their Perſons, Families, and Intereſts, to preſerve them from Free-quarter, Plunder, and all other injuries, and violences whatſoever, being reſolved firſt to offer up our own proper Eſtates for our neceſſary maintainance. For it ſhall be our great and indefatigable care to preſerve an excellent and ſtrict Diſcipline in our Army, that not the leaſt wrong of how ſmall value ſoever may be done, alwayes re­ſpecting Propriety; ſo that all perſons (other then ſuch as ſhall oppoſe and rebell againſt this righteous Intereſt) may expect the fruition thereof in their peaceable demeanours of themſelves, in their lawful occaſions, and Family concerns.

And it is not the leaſt thing to be looked at, that hereby the Goſpel will have free11 acceſs (which ſeems to be one of the firſt fruits of the Saints rendeſvouze, Revel. 14. 6, 7.) and poor ſinners will be converted unto Chriſt, and be enlightened with the glo­rious light of his ſalvation. And indeed that great and general converſion both of Jews and Gentiles, which the Prophecies ſpeaks of, Iſa. 60. 5, will be one of the greateſt bleſſings (the ſoul-bleſſing) that the Kingdom of Chriſt will bring with it, under which both ſin and Satan will receive ſo fatall a blow, that his Kingdom will be deſtroyed; the which doth commend the Excellency and Nature of this bleſſed Kingdom, above the barren, and ſoul-deſtroying Intereſts of Antichriſt, Rev. 18. 13. under whoſe Govern­ment poor ignorant ſouls are hardened and loſt. And it has been for ſome years paſt a rare thing to hear of the reall Converſion of one ſoul through the Miniſtry of the Natio­nal Pariſh Miniſters, ſo dead, dry, dark, and barren has their Miniſtry been, ſo much have they deſiled their Garments, ſtumbled, hardened, and offended ſinners, kept out the Truth of the Kingdom from their Churches and Aſſemblies, ſo loſing abundance of the Power and Riches of the Goſpel, (which nevertheleſs by the mouths of Babes and Suck­lings has been conveyed to poor vile ſinners, ſo effectual has it been unto Converſion) ſo little has the Goſpel been powerfully and effectually preached by them, whoſe hired Labours can never countervail the many Families they have wickedly deſtroyed for Tythes: But the Remnant of Jacob ſhall be as a dew from the Lord, when Magiſtrates and Soldiers ſhall preach the Goſpel, and teach the people knowledge, as well as thoſe appointed unto the Word and Doctrine; for this Cheat of the Whore of Rome, and Innovation of Antichriſt, Monopolizing the Work of the Miniſtry, (to make a Trade of the Goſ­pel, and Slaves and Souls of men) into their own hands, limiting and appropriating it unto Perſons in Eccleſiaſticall Offices, ſhall be taken away.

And finally, We moſt earneſtly deſire, and call all that love our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, and wait for his Kingdom, to offer themſelves willingly with us in this Work, that as in that Renowned Hiſtory, Judges 5. 9 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 23. Out of Ephraim there may be a Root of us againſt Amaleek, after thee Benjamin among thy People; out of Machir ſhall come down Governours, and out of Zebulun they that handle the Pen of the Writer: The Princes of Iſſachar with Deborah and Barak on foot in the Valley. And if Reuben will continue in his diviſions, and abide among the Sheepfolds to hear the bleatings of the Flocks; Gilead abide beyond Jordan, Dan remain in Ships, and Aſher continue on the Sea-ſhore, and abide in his breaches; yet Zebulun and Napthali will be a People that will jeopard their lives unto the death in the high places of the field; and Meroz ſhall be accurſed, becauſe they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord againſt the mighty.And our heart being towards you that among all the People offer your ſelves willingly to the Work, we beſeech you ſet all things in order prepare your ſelves, and let the Rich help the Poor, that with one mouth we may all ſay, Thine are we David, and on thy ſide thou ſon of Jeſſe; Peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee, 1 Chron. 12. 18. And if any of the old Army which God hath laid aſide, whoſe hearts he hath touched, do quit their Intereſts, and come to us on this alone laſting Foundation, they ſhall be willingly received.

We have but one word more, and that is unto young Converts, who (together with thoſe who have ſeparated from Antichriſt, in his pureſt Forms and Dreſſes, and have been kept through rich Grace from the defilements of the Times, and the late Apoſtacy) are like to be the choiceſt inſtruments in this Work. Precious honeſt heart, let neither thy ſins, paſt miſcarriages, want of faith, nor any other imperfection diſcourage thee from flying unto Chriſts Standard but as thou art with thy ſoul all broken in pieces, throw thy ſelf down at the feet of our Lord Jeſus, and come dye for him, who ſpared not his own precious heart-blood for thee, and thy life, he ſaith and all things pertaining thereunto ſhall be given thee.

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Some choice Teachings and Hints of a poor deſpiſed Remnant, from that great Prophecy of the VVITNESSES, Rev. II. Humbly ſubmitted to Saints Conſideration.

IN this three Years and half (of which Elijahs Time of the three years and ſix months was a very great type) of the Witneſſes death, God has been dealing with us, as he did with that his worthy ſervant: we have never been without the Bread of the Promiſes, and the Waters of Spiritual comfort; and this Prophecy, ſince we had the Light of it, has been as a Fountatin to us, for new ſtrength, to corroborate us, to con­firme us, and in the Promiſe of the ſpirit of Life, we have had a ſalve for every ſore, and ſtrength againſt every Temptation. So that altho our Brooks are dryed, and Ravens gone, (publick Ordinances and worldly helps) yet have we ſtill a handfull of meal, and a little oyl, with the Widow of Zareptah, (an inviſible Fountain, a living ſtore) which will laſt us till the Rain comes.

We cannot but take notice of the ſoul-melting goodneſſe of our God, that he has given us this valley of Achor for a door of Hope; that he has ſhewed us a right way in the Wilderneſs, inſomuch that we can ſay of many choice Teachings and ſignall Hints, which through free Grace we have been made partakers of, under which we have cauſe to be mightily humbled, this was the Spirit of God, and this was the place of Loves. Of all which in particular, if the Spirit bring them to our Remembrance, as alſo of the manifold Grace of God, we truſt we ſhall talk at the Rendezvouz on Mount Zion, among the Virgins to his Praiſe. And now we cannot but admire the wonderful Providences of God; that he has called us into our ſecret Chambers, Iſa. 26. 20. wherein he hath brought us to a ſtate of near conformity and reſemblance to himſelf, and the firſt-fruits of the Pri­mitive Saints, who (when the Shepheard was ſmitten and lay in the Grave, and the cloud was ſo black, that of all the thouſands that were wont to hear him and follow him, were left but 120 Names, as the fruits of all his Preaching and Miracles) were privately toge­ther in an Upper Room for fear of the Jews, waiting for the great New Teſtament-Pro­miſe. And ſurely now God has ſome great thing for his People that he calls them ſo near unto himſelf.

Now we ſhall ſhew our Opinion of theſe things, and with ſubmiſſion give our judge­ment of the preſent ſtate of Affairs. In the doing whereof we ſhall omit many things, and but name the reſt.

  • 1. That the two Witneſſes are that precious, ſelect, ſeparated Remnant of Chriſt in the Churches, who in every Age and Generation, are witneſſing too, and to the death contending for the great truth of their Age, ver. 3, 4.
  • 2. That theſe two Witneſſes are at this day ſlain, and lie dead. Proved,

1. From the great probability there is, and ground we have to judge from what thoſe worthy and famous men, German Author and Tillinghaſt, and other Authors of no ſmall authority have writ; That the 1290 dayes, Dan. 12. 11. which of neceſſity muſt be hea­ded (according to the Character of the Viſion) with that remarkable Act of Julian, A. D. 366. And the 42. moneths (or the Dominion of the Power of darkneſſe and of the night, which is not meaſured by dayes according to the motion of the Sun, as the Wit­neſſes13 Prophecy is, but by moneths, after the motion of the Moon which ruleth the night, ſo Mede) of the Beaſts Tyranny and Perſecution, (which is headed by his riſe, A. D. 396. for thirty years muſt paſs between the heads of theſe two Numbers, becauſe they expire at one and the ſame time, ſo Tilling.) Rev. 13. 5. (in which it is obſervable that the utmoſt continuance of the Beaſt is not meaſured out, but onely the time of his Commiſſion unto blood, limited) ended with that remarkable year, 1656. according to their computions of the myſticall Numbers.

But ſome will diſlike this opinion, and diſallow theſe heads of account, (the which nevertheleſs if we let go, we ſhall be quite loſt in our Enquiry) becauſe the time then muſt be expired, and yet the fruit doth not appear. And how (ſay they) will you bring the myſticall Numbers and their computations to a harmony and agreement?

To ſuch we thus anſwer,

That the time, times, and an half, Dan. 12. 7. which are not the whole time of the Viſion, (for that is particularly expreſſed afterward) but are laid down as a Mark and Character of the end of wonders, are not to be reckoned for a part of the 1290. dayes, ver. 11. but are a time diſtinct, and to be added thereunto.

That the three dayes and an half of the Witneſſes lying dead, Rev. 11. 9. are not to be taken for any part of the forty two moneths, ver. 2. or the 1260. dayes, ver. 3. for they are to Propheſie ſo long, but we muſt put a difference, becauſe the Scriptures doth ſo, between their Propheſying time, and the time of their lying dead. But the three years and an half are to be added into the thouſand, two hundred, and threeſcore, to compleat the time of the whole Captivity.

That the time, times and half of the womans flight into the Wilderneſs, Rev. 12 14. is no part of the 1260. years v. 6. For the holy Ghoſt hath put a manifeſt diſtinction For 1. Between theſe two flights of the woman into the Wilderneſſe, there is a great War, wherein the Dragons Cauſe ſuffers much detriment, v. 7. 8, 9. 2. There is a wonderfull Triumph among the Saints, the woman begins to put off her mourning weeds, and to come out of the Wilderneſs, and the Witneſſes begin to lay their Sack­cloth aſide, ſuppoſing now all the Winter Storms to be gone, and a glorious ſpring of Salvation to be come, v. 10, 11, 12. But 3. the black Cloud of the Witneſſes ſlaugh­ter, over-ſpreads the beautiful face of all their hopes, and that ſun-ſhine ſummer day is turned into blackneſſe, threatening no leſſe then a ſtorm of blood, v. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. 4. The different phraſe or manner of ſpeaking notes a great change in the Viſion; in the firſt ſtation in the Wilderneſſe, during the 1260. dayes, they (to wit the Witneſſes) feed her there, v. 6. i. e. ſhe hath more ſenſible helps, as Elijah had from his Ravens, and Brook, the beginning of his three years and an half, (in which he was a Type of this 12. of the Rev.) But in her ſecond ſtation, during the time, times and half, (the ſame with the three years and a half of the Witneſſes death) ſhe is nouriſhed, i. e. but juſt kept alive as Elijah was afterwards when the Famine grew ſore, with the widow of Za­reptab, and after that again in the wilderneſs: It will be a time of great dearth and bar­renneſs; a cold winter ſeaſon with Grace, a time of Autumn with publick Ordinances and holy Duties; yet a Principle of Grace will be kept alive, and that's all, v. 14.

And without this diſtinction in the times, we ſhall confound and deſtroy the Harmony of the Myſticall Numbers, and make ſuch a jar, that it will be hard to reconcile things.

This Seal was never opened until of late, being reſerved for this very time, Dan. 12. 4. It is a Door into the inner moſt Cloſet of the myſticall Numbers; a Key to unlock the great Treaſures of the time.

And indeed we have ſometimes thought, that ſome great myſtery was in this number:14 For 1. It is the ending-time, Dan. 12. 7. the great Character which Chriſt himſelf lays down of the end of Wonders. 2. God hath in all thoſe three famous Prophecies made it a diſtinct Period. 3. It is moſt famous for the dealth of the Witneſſes, and other wonderful things. It is a time of all other times remarkable, wherein the leaſt time is allowed the greateſt things: a time of the greateſt ſufferings and dangers, yet without Blood.

Now let us make a plain Application, by adding this number of years unto the 1290. and 1260. dayes, which ended (according to the beſt Judgement we can make) with 1656. and it brings us to this very year 1660. In which if the Work begin, what thoſe holy men have writ will be verified.

2. From the Viſibility of thoſe very things, the Prophecies foretold ſhould occurre within the three years and a half of the Witneſſes lying dead. Thus alſo Tilling haſt, Know l. Times, pag. 90, 91, 92. We ſhall inſtance in a few things, which are as plain ſigns of the time of the end, as Herods Reigning in Judah was that the Meſſias was come, or as thoſe that went before the deſtruction of Jeruſalem by the Romans.

1. In the time of the Witneſſes death, in the place or Nation where their dead Bodies lye, there ſhall be a People that ſhall favour the Witneſſes, and withal be ſo potent as to awe the Beaſt, and keep him from open perſecution, that he ſhall not be able to come to blood, neither at the beginning, nor at the end of the three years and a half; who yet ſetting themſelves (to uſe M. Tilling haſts very words) upon a worldly Intereſt as their higheſt aim, ſhall neither openly declare for the Witneſſes Cauſe, nor againſt the Beaſt, ver. 9.

2. This people who are a moderate civil kinde of People, pretending to Reformation in matters of State, will have a Principal hand in the Government of that Nation for the moſt part of the three years and a half, until about the laſt half year as it ſeemeth to us. At what time not being able longer to ſecure their own Cauſe through the deficiency of their bottom, they unwillingly give way unto another Party in the next verſe, whom they had once Conquered, and now long kept out.

And this Party is called the dwellers on the Earth, v. 10. A Character that deſcribes them to the life, and what their very nature is; They are the old carnall, Cavalier, Popiſh Party, who as the Earth is the groſſeſt part of all the Elements, ſo are they of all others, that ever had a hand in the Government during all that Reformation that had been made through the Witneſſes Propheſying. And theſe ſhall come in upon the Witneſſes and their Cauſe as a Flood, to over-flow all our Reformation again with Popery, Prelacy, and Superſtition, as the Prophet Iſaiah hath it Chap. 59 19. Our Banks that we had by means of that Commonwealth Party, being all broken down, through the impetuous Violence and Potency of the waves of that party, whoſe threatnings, great boaſts, and Blaſphemies are like the raging of the ſea, but come to very little: For it ſeems to us, that the Cava­liers from their firſt coming in, have but about ſix moneths time.

So that in the Nation where the Witneſſes lye dead there will be towards the very end of the three years and a half a very great and aſtoniſhing change in the Government of that Nation, and a ſtrange returning, and bringing of things about to the old Center, where yet they will ſtand but few moneths.

3. In this time there will be laid and driven on the deſign of a General and Univerſall Peace, and juſt about the very end of it, will it be accompliſhed; ſo that when they ſhall think the day is their own, the blackeſt ſtorm, and greateſt woe will ſuddenly come upon them, 1 Theſſ. 5. 3. And one of the main ends of the coming in of this Party, is to effect this thing, and bring that Nation to a Conformity and Agreement with the15 reſt which otherwayes would ſtand out, by reaſon of the ſeed of Reformation which the Witneſſes had ſown in it. There is three Prophecies poynt at this thing, and are now fulfilled very wonderfully upon us, this of Rev. 11. 10, and chap. 18. 7, 8, with ch. 17. 17. which is the plaineſt of all.

4. There ſhall be among the Dwellers on the Earth a wonderful Triumph over the dead and ſur­preſſed Witneſſes, ſuppoſing them and their Cauſe to be now dead and ſunck for ever, and themſelves ſo faſt and ſecure, that they ſhall not be moved for ever, ver. 10. Nevertheleſs, it ſeems to us they ſhall not effect, or accompliſh any great or weighty matters; but the greateſt part of their little time, will be ſpent in Rejoycing, Feaſting, taking pleaſure, making merry, and ſending gifts one to another for their ſuppoſed new and great Victory, and that until the fatall day come upon them.

5. Towards the end of this time (which the Lord hath every where ſet a mark upon, as that which ſhall period the Sufferings and Captivity of the Gentile Churches) ſome bloody and cruell deſign will be laid by the Dragon againſt the Remnant of the Womans Seed, who appear for Chriſt and the Truth, in the time their Brethren the Witneſſes lye dead, either of a Maſſacre, Baniſhment, or fiery Perſecuti­on, Pſal. 83. which juſt upon the point of the three years and a halfs expiring, he will attempt to put in execution, Rev. 12. 17. but ſhall never accompliſh it, chap. 14. 1.

Theſe ſigns moſt of them are alſo in M. Till. Knowl. of Times, whoſe Method we have in part followed.

Now ſome for want of light in theſe Prophecies may think, that in theſe things there is a great like­neſs of the Witneſſes Slaughter; and that they do not (as indeed they do, as will be found of him who diligently ſearcheth) immediately go before their Riſe, but is rather the ſlaughter of them, or ſomething in order to it. But that cannot be for this Reaſon, becauſe then muſt we come to perſecution, and their death would be a corporall Death; for it is not the Beaſts clemency or mildneſs, but want of time that cuts him ſhort in this point. But that their death will not be a corporall death, but civill and ſpirituall we could prove by many ſound and unanſwerable Reaſons. And that we are not to expect any more perſecu­tion unto blood, or ſuffering for Goſpel Truths after the Witneſſes death, is as plain. The preſent di­ſtreſs being rather a Nationall Quarrel then any thing elſe.

And now unto theſe things that are tranſacted on the Stage, let us adde theſe two.

1. That theſe things are of great uſe unto the people of God that have kept their Garments in any meaſure. For by theſe Trialls God is taking the Precious from the Vile, blowing the chaffe from the wheat, raiſing up a new Generation, and making of them a new ſharp threſhing Inſtrument with teeth, and ſeparating ſome for his own ſervice by the marks of Non-conformity; all which look very like that Prophecy, Rev. 14. 3, 4. Chriſt is gathering his firſt ripe Fruits, redeeming a precious Remnant from the Earth, and ſevering them from among all men, that they may follow him with another ſpirit, as Joſhua and Caleb did, and not come ſhort of their work through temptations of Honour, Profit, and worldly Vanities, as ſome have done to their ſhame.

2. That this bleſſed, ſtrong, lively, ſupplicating, wreſtling, pulling, groaning, travelling, praying Spi­rit among the poor dry Bones, the ſcattered deſpiſed Stones and Duſt of Zion, which takes hold of Gods Arm, i. e. Chriſt, Covenant, Oath, Promiſe, Faithfulneſſe, and Word, is a great token, and Symptome of Deliverance, Zech. 10. 1.

Thus much to the ſecond Point.

3. That O. C. kill'd the Witneſſes, and that the place of their lying dead is England.

1. That O. C. kill'd them, proved by two Arguments.

1. This laſt War of the Beaſt againſt the Witneſſes is altogether different from that which hitherto he had waged continually againſt the company of the Saints, Rev. 13. 7.

1. It is not of the ſame kinde: the former was alwayes with ſword, fire and fagot; this a certain kinde of ſpirituall War: in that they dy'd corporally, in this civilly and ſpiritually, (and in the latter ſenſe lies the blackneſſe of the day, as Tillinghaſt well obſerves.) In the former War the Beaſt could never get the Victory in a ſpiritual ſenſe; for they alwayes dy'd Conquerours, and triumphed over him in the midſt of Flames maugre all his rage, which bred in him a certain kinde of torment; but now being more old and cunning, and withall ſuch a Day-ſtar of Reformation being Riſen through the Witneſſes pro­pheſying, as made him that the durſt now appeare in the day, in his old bloody, blaſphemous hue; and finding himſelf alſo much weakned, through the continuall War that now had been all along between him and the Witneſſes, and being juſt upon the expiring of his 42. moneths, or Reign of darkneſſe; and finding that he is not able to come unto blood, he takes unto him weapons of another Nature, which proves more effectuall and advantageous to his Cauſe: For this Quarrel between him and the Witneſſes, being about the Finiſhing-Teſtimony, and the Cauſe of Reformation, he is now enforced, unleſſe he will loſe all, to uſe his utmoſt policy and craft.

2. This War is declared as peculiar unto the laſt time of the Beaſt, and a ſpeciall Note ſet upon it, to diſtinguiſh it from that which had been familiar to him in the times of his 42. moneths.

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3. It is one kinde of War which the Beaſt waged univerſally againſt the Saints; another which in his laſt declining eſtate, he ſhall wage with the Prophets, which had begun now to put off their ſack-cloth, and to end their Propheticall mourning. Anſwerable to this is that of the Woman in the 12. of the Rev. (touched before) where at the end of the 42. moneths, there is a ſhew of coming out of the wil­derneſſe, ver. 10. But this ſad and ſudden, and indeed unexpected news, of the loſſe of the Field, and Witneſſes ſlaughter coming, ſhe is forced ſuddenly to flie to her old place again, her Champions being gone, for three years and an half longer, ver. 13, 14.

4. This laſt War is not univerſally over all the Beaſts Kingdom; but is peculiar to ſome one place or Nation, where the Witneſſes had gained upon him, which in the Text is called the ſtreet of the City, i. e. one ſtreet or dominion of the 10. ver. 8.

5. The event of this War, however the Cauſe may ſeem at firſt to go on his ſide, and he may think the field won, and the day his own, is very lamentable: In his former Wars Power was given him over all Kindreds, Tongues, and Nations, Rev. 1. where he procures to himſelf a ſudden and fatall ruine, and he will never be able to rally, or make head again in that Nation, ſo notably is it levened with the Witneſſe Doctrine.

Moſt of theſe diſtinctions are found in Mede.

Now this laſt War againſt the Witneſſes, and their Death and Slaughter being of another kinde from what was common to the Beaſts Reign; it muſt needs follow, that it be managed by a ſubtill hand, and one that can handle a ſpirituall weapon well, and do it with a notable profeſſion of Religion, and ſeem to differ from the Witneſſes in nothing but time. And certainly, if we depart not from the plain ſenſe and meaning of the Text, we muſt needs conclude, that O. C. was the man; for the whole limits of the Beaſts Kingdom could not parallell him.

2. The main ground of this Quarrel is about the Finiſhing-Teſtimony. By the Finiſhing-Teſtimony we cannot more fitly underſtand any thing, then the great Truth of the Kingdom of Chriſt. Now that which doth enrage the Beaſt, and againſt wich he makes this War, is againſt this precious Truth of the Viſible Kingdom of Chriſt, as it is the Truth of the Generation, and that which the Witneſſes in their Finiſhing-Teſtimony, was going about to cauſe to take place in that Nation. The which nevertheleſſe they ſhall not do; for it is ſaid, When they ſhall be about to finiſh their Teſtimony, (ſo Mede renders the word) the Beaſt ſhall make War against them, and overcome them, and kill them, which Victory of the Beaſt, makes the Witneſſes Cauſe never a whit the worſe.

But O. C. perſecuted no Truth but this Truth of the Kingdom of Chriſt; and he perſecuted not that neither, but as it was the Truth of the Generation, and that which the Witneſſes would immediately have to take place; ſo that they going about to finiſh their Teſtimony, he was neceſſitated to make this lamentable War, unleſs he would have his Government over-tun.

And two things of him are very conſiderable.

1. That about a year and a half before his death, this Prophecy of the Witneſſes ſeemed to trouble him very much; and he was very earneſt with two of us, to know what we thought of the Witneſſes, the which he ſeemed to ſpeak with a convinced guilty minde, and ſome kinde of regret.

2. We have ſometimes thought from the laſt clauſe of the fifth veiſe, And if any man will hurt them, he muſt in this manner be killed, that this Finiſhing-Teſtimony of the Witneſſes, however he ſeemed to have the better, was the death of him; gave him the wound he could never claw off.

But 2. That England is the place, is yet to be proved; for which we ſhall name two Arguments, and leave it.

1. This War and Slaughter muſt be, where a notable Work of Reformation has been on foot, where the pure Doctrine of the Reign of Chriſt is powerfully and effectually preached, where there is a people that are the choiceſt and forwardeſt of all others, and may be ſaid to be the firſt fruits of all the An­tichriſtian World. But if Germany it ſelf, or all Europe can parallell England in this, which is as a Garden of choice Plants, then will we conſider further.

2. It is called in the Text, the Street of the City, that which is the very Stage of Action, or Market place of the world; and whether England has not been ſo for theſe twenty years, even in the account of other Nations, as witneſs what that German writes in his Clavis, p. 100. and Manaſſeh Ben Iſrael the Jew, in his Epiſtle of his Hope of Iſrael, to the Parliament of England, we leave to ſober and judici­ous men to judge.

Thus much to the third Point.

4. And laſtly, In all probability, the great Day of the Witneſſes Riſe, will be in this preſent Year, 1660. AMEN.

FINIS.

About this transcription

TextA door of hope: or, A call and declaration for the gathering together of the first ripe fruits unto the standard of our Lord, King Jesus.
Author[unknown]
Extent Approx. 71 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 9 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
Edition1661
SeriesEarly English books online.
Additional notes

(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A81625)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 167149)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 117:E764[7])

About the source text

Bibliographic informationA door of hope: or, A call and declaration for the gathering together of the first ripe fruits unto the standard of our Lord, King Jesus. Door of hope. 16 p. s.n.,[London :1660]. (Caption title.) (Imprint from Wing.) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
Languageeng
Classification
  • Christian life -- Early works to 1800.

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Publisher
  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
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  • DLPS A81625
  • STC Wing D1908
  • STC Thomason E764_7
  • STC ESTC R207107
  • EEBO-CITATION 99866178
  • PROQUEST 99866178
  • VID 167149
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