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SOME RETURNS TO A LETTER Which came from a General Meeting of Officers of the Army of England, Scotland, and Ireland, ſitting at Jame's Weſtminſter.

ALSO A blaſt from the Lord, OR A VVARNING TO ENGLAND, By way of Exhortation to take heed, and not run upon their own deſtruction; which will be ſpeedily, without true repentance.

By a Lover of the Truth, and a Priſoner for declaring Truth abroad BEN: NICHOLSON.

London, Printed for Giles Calvert, and are to be ſold at the Black-ſpread-Eagle, near the Weſt end of Pauls. 1653.

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Some Returns to a Letter which came from the General Meeting of Officers of the Army of England, Ireland, and Scotland, ſitting at Jame's Weſtminſter.

Dear Friends,

1. WHereas you ſay, that, By ſeeking the Lord and humbling your ſelves before him, he hath convinced you of your ſlothfulneſs in his Service, and that your hearts have been looking after the things of this world, and your own privat Affairs more then the things of Jeſus Chriſt and his peo­ple.

Then conſider, that God which giveth light to diſcover them groſs darkneſſes in the which you have lived in, doth likewiſe require a departing from thoſe evils, and a walking up to what he hath made manifeſt in you: For, they that con­feſs their ſins and forſake them, ſhall find mercy; but if you again hide your ſins, you ſhall not goe unpuniſhed.

2. That, A ſlothfull ſpirit hath overtaken you, and you grew weary of the work of the Lord, and were ready to ſay with Baruch, that the Lord had added grief to your ſorrow, that you fainted in your ſighings, and found no reſt. Jer. 45 3.

Then take heed and ſeek no longer great things for your ſelves; for the determination of the Lord is to bring evil up­on2 all fleſh ſpeedily, and to pull down whatſoever it hath built, and to pluck up whatſoever it hath planted, and to eſtabliſh truth and righteouſneſs in the earth by his ſpirit.

3. That, Thoſe who feared the Lord both in Army and elſe­where, have not in this time of peace ſo improved their Intereſt, (or rather imployed their talent) to the edifying each other, as did the Churches in the primitive times, boldly witneſſed forth the truth in all places where they went, Acts 9.27, to 32. then had the Churches reſt, &c.

Then be carefull for the time to come, that like the ſloth­full ſervant, you hide not your Talent in the earth (leſt the Lord take it wholly from you) but improve it only to his uſe, that he may eſtabliſh peace amongſt you, that you may walk in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the ho­ly Ghoſt, that you be not cut off with the unprofitable ſer­vant, &c.

4. That, The people of this Nation are ſubject to grie­vous oppreſſions, through the obſtruction of Juſtice, and that the Lord might ſay to you, What could I have done more, &c. as he ſaid to his Vineyard, Iſa. 5. And he looked for grapes, judgement and righteouſneſs, but behold wild grapes, oppreſſi­on and crying, &c.

Therefore beware that iniquity be no longer lived in, nor oppreſſion upheld by you, nor any thing that may cauſe a cry or complaining of iniquity, oppreſſion, or unrighteouſ­neſs among you; but bring forth the true grapes, judgement and righteouſneſs, leſt the Lord take away the hedg which he hath ſet about you, and let you be eaten up (as all they that have brought forth wild grapes are) and troden down, laid waſte, and not digged, but there come up briars and thorns, and he command the clouds that they rain no rain upon you, as Iſa. 5.5, 6, 7. verſes.

5. That, Through the corruptions of many in places of Au­thority, ſome good men have been made to ſuffer for conſcience ſake, and many bad men have taken encouragement to act in their licentious principles, and prophane practiſes, by reaſon whereof wickedneſs doth very much abound amongſt us.

Then let it be a warning to all you who ſee theſe things in3 others, that you live not in them your ſelves, leſt now you ſhall judge your ſelves afterwards; and take heed that the corruptions which you ſpeak againſt in others, be not upheld by you, that good men ſuffer not under you; that by your injuſtice none take encouragement in any licentious princi­ples, or prophane practiſes and wickedneſs abound amongſt us as now it doth, being rather countenanced then truth to ſpeak openly and reprove it, &c. Therefore like men of truth, fearing God, and hating covetouſneſs, be what you ſeem, that in all things righteouſneſs may be acted by you according to the will of God, who made man only to ſerve him, &c. that as it is written, Our Iudges may be reſtored as at the firſt. Iſa. 1.26. to end. That our Officers may be peace, and our exactors righteouſneſs. Iſa. 60.17, 18, &c. That Kings and Queens (all in Authority) may be nurſing fathers and nur­ſing mothers of truth and Godlyneſs, that all oppreſſion may be taken off from the poor, and all cruelties ceaſe, and that crying may be no more heard in the land, nor complainings in the ſtreets. Iſa 46.33. Pſal. 144.14.

And ſeeing that upon all theſe conſiderations forenamed, you are ſtrongly convinced that it is a duty very much in­combent upon your ſpirits to awaken your ſelves, and by all lawfull means endeavour the procuring of theſe things fol­lowing, and ſurely to prevent the forenamed grievances.

Then be carefull, if you be convinced, to obey the Lord in all things you are convinced of, and take heed of ſmothering any thing the Lord hath made known unto you, for that is a ſtrangling of the righteous one Jeſus Chriſt, which is forbid­den Act. 15.20. but be valiant for the Lord, and execute true judgement and righteouſneſs every one in your place, and let mercy be over all your works, that mercy may be ſhown upon you, I am. 2.11. to end: and take heed of judging for men, but ſtand up for the Lord, and judge for him, that he may eſtabliſh truth, peace, and righteouſneſs amongſt you.

The ſecond Conviction as to duty.

1. You ſay, that, For the many inconveniences apparently ariſing from the long continuance of the ſame perſons in Supream4 Authority, that there may be ſucceſſive Parliaments, conſiſting of men faithfull to the Intereſt of the Commonwealth, men of truth, fearing God, hating covetouſneſs.

Then it will follow, that no untrue man, no wicked nor covetous perſons can have any right in the election or choice of, or being in any place of authority; for thoſe only are fit to rule for the Lord, that are ruled by the Lord in all things, which power is ordained of God, and is to be honoured; and he that reſiſts ſhall receive to himſelf damnation.

2. That, The Laws may be regulated, that all things whatſoever is good in them may be maintained, and whatſoever is really burthen ſome may be taken away, &c.

Then whilſt there is any Law made or upheld by the wiſ­dom and policy of man, or whilſt there remaineth any evil principl'd, or covetous perſon in any place of authority, it cannot be but burthens, vexations, and grievances will be up­held; for he that cannot rule his own houſe well, (or rather is not ruled by the Lord) and all his paſſions ſubdued, can never be fit to rule for the Lord.

3. That, Liberty and protection may be given by a Law to all the truely Godly, though of different iudgements, to worſhip God peaceably, without impoſing upon, or moleſting one another; but no encouragement be given to ſuch as are Popiſh or prophane in the exerciſe of their ſuperſtitious forms, and licentious practi­ſes.

Know that the worſhip of God is ſpiritual: for, he is a ſpirit, and will be worſhipped in ſpirit and truth. And where there is a Government by the ſpirit of God living and ruling in thoſe that Govern, there will be unity with the wor­ſhippers and Governors in that one ſpirit where they both live; and there will need no outward Law to protect the worſhippers from being perſecuted by the Governors for none ever hated their own fleſh, and ſurely the ſpirit of the Lord ruling in the Rulers, cannot hate or perſecute the ſpiri­tual worſhippers; neither was it ever known to perſecute a­ny, but overcame all things with goodneſs; nor ſince the coming of Jeſus Chriſt in the fleſh, it was never read nor known that any of the Saints or ſervants of God did impoſe5 any corporal puniſhment in any manner upon any one, but by exhortation, reproof, and correction, with ſpiritual wea­pons beating down all the ſtrong holds of ſin, and bringing into ſubjection every evil thought and imagination of the carnal heart. 2 Cor. 10.4, 5. which ſtands up in oppoſition a­gainſt the truth of God, which is the ſire the Scripture ſpea­keth of which ſhall burn up all the old earth and heavens (the carnal parts of man) it is that love that ſhall overcome all things, and place it ſelf only: But we look for new heavens and earth, wherein ſhall dwell righteouſneſs. 2 Pet. 3.10, 11, 12, 13. ver. Behold therefore what manner of perſons ought we to be in all godlyneſs and holyneſs of converſation of life?

4. That, The Goſpel of Ieſus Chriſt (you ſay) may be di­ſpenced to all the people in this Land, and that all thoſe that la­bour faithfully in that work, may receive all due countenance and encouragement.

Thoſe who are faithfull labourers in the Goſpel of Chriſt, dare truſt Chriſt for maintenance, though they be ſent out without bag or ſcrip, ſhoes or two coats, Luk. 22.35. For God that clothes the lillies of the field, and feeds the ravens when they cry unto him, will not let thoſe that truſt in him want any good thing. Mat. 6.26. For he cares for all thoſe which caſt their care upon him, and if he ſpared not his only Son Ieſus Chriſt, but delivered him up to death for us, will he not with him freely give us all things richly to enjoy. Rom. 8.32. And all the Scriptures beareth witneſs with theſe things, and I am ſure that thoſe who are the Miniſters of Jeſus Chriſt, have faith to believe that their Maſter will provide for them in all things, and ſo takes care for nothing but how to ad­vance the Goſpel of Jeſus Chriſt, wholly doing his will, and can tell how to abaſe, and how to abound, Phil. 4.12, 13. and are content with impriſonment as wel as liberty, with wants as well as fullneſs, and in all things ſhew themſelves approved as the Miniſters of God, and Meſſengers of the everlaſting Cove­nant. 2 Cor. 6.4. to 10. As there is many now adays, and not a few tryed, ever praiſed be the Lord for it.

Further you ſay, What the Lord ſhall ſet upon your ſpirits by way of Conviction, either as to ſin or duty, if you communi­cate6 the ſame to us, we ſhall take the ſame as a ſigne of your ac­ceptance of this our brotherly freedom towards you. But whe­ther you mean to all, or to the Souldiery onely, I know not.

I as one who have obtained mercy from the love of God living in me, and love all men without reſpect of perſons, ſee the Lord ſtepping towards Sion, and he will ſpeedily be in his Temple, and I ſee the walls of Babylon falling, and they will ſpeedily be all thrown down (at which the Inhabitants of the earth ſhall mourn, but the Saints ſhall be exceeding glad and rejoyce. But to the words as convicted as to ſin or duty, you mean what ſin is to be puniſhed, and how, and what du­ty is to be uſed, and how.) I anſwer,

And guides my light forth, or ſets it upon the top of the Candleſtick, that if the Lord will, all that read may ſee white from black, light from darkneſs, love from cruelty, and ſaith thus,

All ſin is to be puniſhed with fire, for Tophet is prepared of old for high and low; the pile thereof is fire and much wood, the breath of the Lord like a river of brimſtone doth kindle it. Iſa. 30.33. and the man of ſin, or all ſin in man, ſhall Jeſus Chriſt deſtroy with the breath of his mouth, and the brightneſs of his coming (as experience doth plainly declare) when God doth manifeſt himſelf to the creature, then is the time of Chriſts coming, and the time of the deſtruction of ſin in eve­ry man; yea he is that happy one that ſhall daſh in pieces all the brats of Babylon, every ſin is a brat of Babylon; and eve­ry Saint of God is a living ſtone, with the which Jeſus Chriſt ſhall daſh in pieces all the children of Babylon, and thoſe li­ving ſtones ere long ſhall be ſo common in every ſtreet, that a brat of Babylon ſhall not look out, but by them be daſht in pieces. Thus the ſtream of righteouſneſs ſhall run down our ſtreets like mighty rivers, and cleanſe every corner from fil­thineſs, and the glorious Lord God ſhall be unto his people a place of broad rivers and ſtreams, wherein ſhall go no gal­ly with oars, nor gallant ſhip ſhall paſs there; thus ſhall the preſence of the mighty God of Iacob cauſe the earth to fly away, and the mountains to remove out of their place: all7 the earthly powers and buildings of men, the great men and Rulers of the earth are the mountains which ſhall be remo­ved, and the pillars that ſhall be ſhaken, and all carnal actings of man is the earth that ſhall fly away when God appears, as he hath already begun, whoſe appearance is as the mor­ning, and there need no borrowed lights there; this is new Ieruſalem that the lamb ſhall be the glory of, and there ſhall be no need of any outward Law to direct to walk; but the inward Law of righteouſneſs which the Lord will place and write in the tables of every mans heart, and the Lord alone ſhall be the teacher and ſole ruler of his people, for I am God Almighty ſaith the Lord, all in all, all over all, and will preſently diſpoſe of all things to his own praiſe and glory, he will cauſe to walk uprightly to ſpeak righteouſly, to deſpiſe the gain of oppreſſion, and to ſhake all hands from taking bribes, and all ears from hearing bloud, and all eyes from ſeeing evil, then ſhall we need no Scribe nor Receiver, nor counter of the Towers; none to write our accuſations one a­gainſt another, nor to receive money for the ſame, neither will there need any taking account of men, or numbring of Armies (the Towers or ſtrengths of Nations;) but we ſhall dwell ſafe up on high, even in the munition of rocks, in the Lord God Almighty, our bread ſhall be given us, and our waters ſhall be ſure, and we ſhall ſee the King in his beauty, and we ſhall dwell in the Land which we have ſeen afar off, (Jeſus Chriſt the ſpiritual Land) and Ieruſalem (ſpiritual Ieruſalem) ſhall be a quiet habitation that ſhall not be taken down, nor one of the ſtakes (never a Saint of God) ſhall e­ver be removed, neither ſhall any of the cords thereof be broken, for the Lord will be there; the Judge, Law giver and King, he will plead for us, and ſave us from the hands of all that hate us. Iſa. 33.21, 22. and we ſhall need no ſteering in the filthy waters of the light of natural or carnal man, by the Powers of the earth the rotten Gallies, nor with the hu­mane learning and policy the ſore crackt Oars (and will pre­ſently be broken) to carry us over the poluted, above the carnal, and through the corrupt ways of faln man; nor need we any fighting to defend us from them; but the Lord will8 only ſave all that truſt in him, his name is a ſtrong Tower, the righteous ſhall fly thither and be ſafe, this is the ſtrong Tower which the Lord God hath ordained for his people, ſalvation is the walls and bulwarks thereof, eternal ſafety and happineſs is in the Lord Jeſus; and though fear lay hold upon the wicked, yet the Godly ſhall neither fear nor be a­fraid: Thus the righteous ſhall be as bold as Lyons, but the wicked ſhall fly when none purſues, as may be inſtanced by many (though nameleſs) who runs to the powers of the earth to help them, and climbs up to the tops of the ragged rocks to ſave themſelves, yea and cals to the mountains to fall on them, and to the hils to cover them; but they all cannot ſave them from the preſence of the Lord, for the breath of the Lord, and the brightneſs of his appearance in his Saints, ſhall conſume all the whole body of Antichriſt, whereof they are members (the Town-Clarks of England which ſhall ceaſe ere long) for behold the great day of the Lord is near at hand, and will conſume every evil doer, there­fore come out of your Idol worſhip, and be ye ſeparate from your iniquities (out of the Coaſts of Babylon, leſt ye periſh with the evil doers, and know that the carnal man hath no right (though he take power to himſelf, Cain-like) to judge the Saints; neither is it ſitting that a Lyon ſhould judge a Bear, nor a natural man a natural man, for God is Judge of the whole earth, and a natural man knows not the things of God, nor can he do any good thing; neither is it any reaſon that a Wolf ſhould judge a Lamb, every natural man is a Wolf, and every ſpiritual man a lamb, as it is writen, The ſpiritual man can be judged of none, but he himſelf judgeth all things, and the Saints ſhall judge the world, and the Kingdoms of the world ſhall be given to the Saints of the moſt high, and they ſhall reign and rule in righteouſneſs for ever, &c:

Ob. But may ſome ſay that is after death.

Anſ. It is true: for whilſt men live in ſin and iniquity, they can­not deal righteouſly, nor do juſtly; for he that committeth ſin, is the ſervant of ſin, and no man can ſerve two Maſters, &c. And untill the corruption of the natural man be taken9 away, and incorruption placed in the ſtead, and the vile bo­dies be changed, no good thing can be brought forth, for an evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit (the which every natural man is) man being in honour conſidered, if not be­come like the beaſts that periſh, every man in his firſt nature is a beaſt, and what reaſon is there that a beaſt ſhould judge of any thing; and for the Saints of God, they cannot ſmite any but by love; for as they have put on Chriſt, ſo walk they in him, as patterns and examples, ſervants to all; the which none can do whilſt they are alive in (or unto) ſin, for they are dead unto Chriſt, and untill Chriſt live in them they can do no good thing. John5.5. to end. and this is the re­ſurection the Scripture ſpeaketh on, and the Saints are made partakers of, and all they who have part therein, the ſecond death hath no power over; this is the true reſurrection of the inviſible or ſpiritual body of Jeſus Chriſt, in this Taber­nacle or viſible body; but it is a great myſterie, for we ſhall not all die, but we ſhall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, &c. but none knows theſe things, but thoſe who are taken into the being of them, and lives in them. (I deſire from the very bottom of my heart) you were all ſo changed &c. Again, the Scriptures holdeth forth (and the Saints knows a day of judgement within, and the King­dom of heaven to be within, which are ſo hard to be under­ſtood, that they who are unlearned or) undiſciplined cannot underſtand, but wreſt to their own deſtruction, as in 2 Pet. 3.16. likewiſe ſaith St. Paul, Reckon your ſelves dead unto ſin, but alive unto righteouſneſs. As Rom. 6. cap. And whilſt we were dead in treſpaſſes and ſins, hath he quickned us toge­ther with him. And again he ſaid, I was alive without the Law, but when the Commandment came (the Law written in his heart) ſin revived and he died (to ſin;) he was alive in ſin, untill the righteous Law which came forth of Sion, met with him, and for ſin condemned ſin in the fleſh, but made him alive to the Law of righteouſneſs, that Law is quick and powerfull, wherever it meeteth with any, it kils ſin in them, but giveth life in God: and how can they which are dead unto ſin, live any longer therein? Rom. 6.2. They who have10 paſſed from death unto life, can teſtifie this reſurrection (and none elſe) for they know that they are tranſlated from death unto life, becauſe they love the brethren, and they know they know they love them indeed, becauſe they love God and keep his Commandments, for the Spirit of life in Chriſt Jeſus li­ving in them frees them from the Law of ſin and death, and thus the ſame power that raiſed up Jeſus Chriſt from the dead, quickens their mortal bodies, and this is the reſurrection, that whoſoever liveth in, and believeth, ſhall never die more. (This will dazel ſome of your eyes, &c.) as ſaith the Scripture: The carnal man cannot diſcern the things of God, becauſe they are ſpiritually diſcerned. Thus in plainneſs the Scriptures beareth witneſs with me, and offer in figures, as that of La­zarus and of the grains of corn caſt into the earth, and of the prodigal Son, &c. and before ever any can know perfect­y that they are found, they muſt know themſelves loſt; and dead before they can know themſelves alive. This my ſon was dead, but is now alive, &c. but none knows the things of God, but the ſpirit of God. Oh that you all taſted with me, that you might feell how good the Lord is: For to be carnally minded is death, but to be ſpiritually minded is life and peace, and except a man be born again of water and of the ſpirit, he cannot enter in no wiſe into the Kingdom of heaven, which is within in the power and demonſtration of the Holy Ghoſt. Dear friends, the time is come that many that were dead have heard the voice of the Son of God, and are made alive; and the time is ſtill going on, that all that are in the graves ſhall hear and come forth, ſome to life, and ſome to death: Sin ſhall ariſe and be condemned; but Chriſt which lay dead (the ſeed) ſhal live every natural man is a grave where Jeſus Chriſt lyeth dead, a new Sepulchre where never dead came but he: So Chriſt called the Scribes and Phariſes painted Sepulchres, whited Tombes, and graves that men goe over and cannot tell: filthineſs did bear all ſway in them, and ſmothered the good ſeed, yet their out­ſides were ſo fair, that none knew it but the ſpirit.

Nor doth any Naturall man know, that he is a Grave, and11 that Chriſt lyeth dead in him: yet know that the ſeed is ſown in all grounds, and that the Light is come into all the world, though it he did in the earth, and darkneſs cover the Waters; (the light is put under a Buſhell, &c.) Lord open your eyes, and conſider what good will it doe you to believe in a Chriſt come to take away the ſinns of the world, and yet you live in ſin; for know aſſuredly that he came not to take away part of our ſins, and leave the other untaken away, here you count the blood of the Covenant an unholy thing, wherewith you were ſanctified, Heb. 10.29. for I am ſure he perfecteth for ever all that come unto him; and the blood of Chriſt cleanſeth from all ſinn, and he will ſave to the ut­moſt them that believe in him; therefore where ſin is lived in, there is but a dead faith and a falſe light, which is the Egyptian Seas, that muſt be dryed up: Falſe light put forth, and dead faith made alive before the true faith, true light, and clear Chriſtall waters, flow into the ſoul to purifie, en­lightennd cleanſe it of all corruption, for faith purifies the hear, and true light guideth into the paths of righteouſneſs, and true Righteouſneſs will like mighty ſtreams runn down our ſtreets, (all hath gates and goings) and cleanſ them from all filthineſs, &c.

As for duty, they that worſhip the Lord, muſt worſhip him in Spirit and Truth, for he ſeeketh ſuch to worſhip him, John 4 23, 24. And they that Judge for the Lord muſt judg righteous Judgment; as it is written, He hath ſhewed the O man what is thy duty, and what the Lord requireth of thee, for to doe Juſtice, to love Mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God, Micah 6.8. And this is the whole duty of man, Fear God, and keep his Commandments; all which is, to love God above all, and our Neghbour as our ſelves: This Love is the Tree whereon groweth leaves that will Cure all Nations, and whoſe Pruit will be meat for all People: the Sha­tamits two Armies, Love to God and love to Neighbours, which overcometh all things both within and without; this is the Fre of the Lord that will conſume and bun up the whole World of Sinn and Corruption; this is the deſtru­ction12 of the world that now is, which is reſerved for Fire, untill the deſtruction and day of ungodly men; this exceed­ing great Love of God ſhall overcome and burn up all the Heavens and Earth, which now is all falſe reſts whereon the the World doth center, and they ſhall be ſwallowed up in this Love, which is Heaven it ſelf; He that liveth in Love, liveth in God, God is Love, and the Center of all Joy and Happineſs; whoſoever ſhall abide therein, ſhall have all ha­tred taken away, and all things become new unto him: New Love that ſhall laſt for ever, New God, and all the old Gods of the earth ſhall be famiſhed, the God of this World ſhall be ſerved by him no longer (Money:) New Chriſt, newly riſen from the dead, or newly made manifeſt, which had been often talked on; New Life, and the name written in the book of Life, (Righteous and true holineſs the Lives thereof:) New Heavens and new Earth wherein dwelleth Righteouſneſs, and then ſhall Judgment be eſta­bliſhed in Truth in the Earth; untill which time hee that Judgeth his Brother is a tranſgreſſor of the Law; for they that judge their Brethren of any thing, and are guilty of the ſame, are vain men, and have nothing to doe to judge any, they are inexcuſable: As the Lord liveth that ſearcheth the hearts and tryes the reines, if any Ruler or Judge of this Nation live in any of the ſeven Abominations ſpoken of, Prov. 6.17, 18, 19 ver. Or if any of them be ſet up in their hearts, they can be no fit Judges to judge of Abomination in others; and the Naturall man judging the Saints, is but Eſau warring againſt Jacob; and untill the Lord ſhall throw down all Eſaus forth of places of Authority, there ſhall be no true judging of the Brethren, nor true Judgement ſet up.

But leaſt I ſhould ſeem to you wholly to obſtruct your proceedings, or to ſet difference amongſt you, I ſhall come home to you in particulars:

Then know, that after the Lord brought the Children out of Egypt, they had a great way to paſs before they came into the good Land: which thing was a true, and perfect figure of the ſpirituall Iſraels deliverance from the Egiptian bon­dage13 of ſinn and corruption, and all bondages of ſervices whatſoever; at whoſe deliverance they ſhall finde no leſs troubles in the ſpirit, then the naturall ſeed of Iſrael did in the fleſh (which condition you are now in) and ſhall find the Sea before, the Egyptians behinde and great Mountaines on each hand: The Red ſea of perſecutions before, the Egyp­tian bondage of Sinn and corruption behinde (ready to de­vour you:) and on each hand great Mountains; on the right hand Carnall Worſhips, and on the left hand Carnall Laws, that incloſeth you in that you cannot goe either back­ward or forward, nor to each hand; therefore take heed that like the Iſraelites you doe not murmure againſt the true Moſes, nor tempt God; but know that as their ſtrength were to ſtand ſtill and ſee the ſalvation of the Lord, ſo is yours now, and then he will divide the Sea of perſecution, that you may paſs through, and you ſhall paſs through the Mountains, and leave them behinde you, and the Egyptians will the Lord drown in the Sea, which they thought to have driven you into; but being got over the Red ſea, and all the Egyptians lie drowned on the ſhore, yet but in the wilder­neſs, and great tryals and diſtreſſes is there; and a mixt multitude now begins to luſt for fleſh, and murmuring gets up, and a great ſlaughter from the Lord deſtroyes the migh­tieſt of the murmurers; ſo that where God giveth the hearts deſire, if it be not only uſed ta his Glory, it brings the greater Condemnation. Thus going on to Mount Sinah, and behold there is a Fire upon it, blackneſs and darkneſs, and ſore tempeſts, and fear and much dread overcomes them who look upon it, and thunderings, and loud voices, and great Earthquakes there make the people tremble; (all thoſe things are plain to him that runs the righteous Race, and are all ſeen within, and there the Law of God is written in the heart, and added becauſe of tranſgreſſion; and the guilt of Sin, and puniſhment for the ſame doth appear: now the Law of God being written in the heart, doth judge and con­demn all ſin there, and there the day of Judgement is come, and there is a ſeparation of the precious and vile, Sheep and Goats, good and evill, which good is by God received into14 reſt, and cheriſhed, but the Evill is puniſhed and caſt into torments, as plain example will ſhew in the children of Iſ­raels progreſs, for they that believe not cannot enter into the good land: But dear hearts be carefull of turning back again into AEgypt in your hearts, but go on with courage for all the difficulty; for they that endure to the end ſhall be ſa­ved: Hearken to Moſes the ſervant of the Lord, the mani­feſtations of God within, that which doth convince of ſin and evill, and direct to or in truth; and this true Prophet of the Lord will not only lead you into the Mount, but into the good Land, though now but at the ſide of the Red ſea: but if you will not hear this Moſes, you ſhall be cut off from amongſt the people of God: therefore, dear Friends, as the Lord hath manifeſted himſelf to you, be faithfull, and as yee have put on Chriſt, ſo walk ye in him in faithfulneſſe accord­ing to what ye have received, for the Lord accepts of that which a man hath, and not of that which a man hath not, and he requires no more then he gives; ſo he that is faithfull in little, ſhall be Ruler over much; being faithfull of a little manifeſtations of God, begets a rule over much ſinn and cor­ruptions, though they be never ſo ſtrongly placed in the affe­ctions, therefore take heed of backſliding; for if any ſet their hands to the Plough and look back, they are not fit for the kingdom of Heaven; and know, that it were better for them never to know the wayes of God, then after they know them to return back from them, &c. And whereas you ſay, The Lord hath ſtrongly convinced you of the great evils you lived in, and of the great good you ought to doe which you have omitted: That which doth ſo convince, is the true lght, which being obeyed will lead into all Truths.

Therefore harden not your hearts againſt the Lord, which hath diſcovered himſelf ſo largely unto you, for he diſcover­eth not ſin to be lived in, nor duty to be neglected; for that light which diſcovereth theſe things being obeyed, giveth ſtrength to forſake ſin, and to perform duty: this is the piller of fire which God lead the children of Iſrael by through the plain of the read ſea, or by the way of the Wil­derneſs of the read ſea, and over the read ſea (or thorough)15 the which their enemies purſuing were a cloud that they could not ſee them; This is the light of God that enlight­neth every one that cometh into the world (without end) but is darkneſs to the carnal heart, and called evil by every natural man; this light doth diſcover ſin and iniquity in the heart. O enter into the ſecrets of your hearts and wait up­on the Lord there for the manifeſtations of his love me­diate and pray there in ſecret, and the Lord which ſeeth in ſecret will reward you openly: by abiding in the houſe, it will appear you are the vertuous woman, (and all will fol­low and ſeek after you) whoſe price is above Rubies, and that you are the bride, the lambs wife, married to him in truth and righteouſneſs, and he will take care for you in all things, and direct you in all ways how to walk; for the woman is to be in ſubjection to her husband, as alſo ſaith the law (of righteouſneſs) but if you gad abroad for councel, you will declare to all you are the harlot whoſe feet abide not in the houſe, whoſe paths go down to death, and all that follow you ſhall taſte thereof. O take heed; for every one ſhal give an account unto God for the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or evil: Therefore O ye heads of the people which judge and rule over them, beware of taking gifts and rewards, they blind the eyes, they will wholly put out the light of God within you: and take no bribes, for as the Lord liveth, for thoſe things hath the Lord caſt down all out of the place of judgement that have acted in them; and be ſure, if you ſtill continute the ſame work, you ſhall have the ſame wages: for if ye judge for hire or rewards, or take gifts or bribes, the Lord will utterly conſume and caſt you ouas he hath done all before you: The children of Iſrael was a perfect figure of this, for the which offences the Lord ſcattered them abroad amongſt the heathen, and they drave them forth of the land (as might be witneſſed in our days.)

Ob. But may ſome ſay, Though the Lord be to be wor­ſhipped in ſpirit and truth, yet he hath left the Civil Govern­ment to man, for man is a reaſonable creature, by the which he ought to Govern at his own diſcreſſion.

16

Anſ. No man is reaſonable but he which hath faith: For, all are unreaſonable men that live upon ſence, (and it is the property of a beaſt to live upon ſence) as all our Judges, Ru­lers, and Town Clarks do now all, judging and preaching for hire, taking gifts and rewards, which is contrary to ſound reaſon becauſe the Lord forbids it, ſurely the potter ſhould have power over the clay to make it, and then to uſe it at his plea­ſure for his own uſe, and not the popleaſe it ſelf: True rea­ſon ought to guide every one. God made man a reaſonable creature, but man being not content with that condition God had placed him in, but acted in his own reaſon, became like the beaſts that periſh; thus pure reaſon was deſtroyed, and corrupt reaſon took place, as it doth this day in every na­tural man. God made Adam innocent, and placed him in a happy condition, and gave him a Commandment that he ſhould not do ſuch and ſuch things, if he did, he ſhould die; but Adam aſpiring to be wiſe in himſelf, diſobeyed the Lord, and followed his own wiſdom, which was againſt all pure reaſon, that he being made by God, ſhould forſake the Commandment of God, and follow his own will and wiſ­dom: for, ſurely God that made man only for his own glo­ry, and made all other things for his uſe and ſervice, ought to have ſerved God in all things, as all things was to ſerve him, and no man ought to rule contrary to the Record of the ſpirit, the Scriptures, which are written for our inſtruction, and as the teſtimony of the word of God within ſhall teach and direct; the which if it had been obeyed, Adam had not faln, nor Cain kill'd his brother Abel, nor Iſhmael ſcoffed Iſaac, nor Eſau hated Jacob, neither had the children of Iſ­rael murmured and tempted God in the wilderneſs, and there faln, but that they lived upon ſence; neither had Saul the King of Iſrael any reaſon to ſave alive Amalekes King, or to ſpare the beſt of the ſheep and oxen which he had com­mand to ſlay; for which diſobedience the Lord rent his Kingdom out of his hands, as be hath done all that diſobey­ed his word, and will do all that ever diſobey him, before which he ever gave warning, and ſtill doth, complaining a­gainſt the Rulers which rule with force and cruelty, and a­gainſt17 oppreſſors, ſaying, Oppreſſours rule over my people, and with force and cruelty do they rule over them, and they that lead them cauſe them to err, &c. Love is the fulfilling of the Law, then ſure it is good reaſon that the Law ſhould be uſed in love; and great reaſon that man ſhould rather live in honour then like a beaſt, as every natural man is; every man being guided and governed by God, and that walks ac­cording to what he commandeth, is in honour; but being guided by his own will is a beaſt; but the beaſt and the falſe Prophet which deceiveth the people with their lying won­ders, ſhall be ſhortly taken and caſt into the lake which but­neth with fire and brimſtone.

Dear hearts, if our faith were ſtedfaſt, our hope firm, and our Love perfect, then ſhould we be eſtabliſhed in everla­ſting peace; for faith is powerfull and ſubdues Kingdoms; hope is upright and will keep ſtedfaſt to the Lord, to walk in holyneſs with boldneſs and love, being lived in, will over­come all things, and eſtabliſh eternal peace, theſe are the Saints heavens wherein they dwell, or the three heavens of reſt, whereof two ſhall ceaſe, but the third ſhall abide for e­ver. Search and examine your ſelves where you are, try whe­ther you be yet in the faith or no; faith purifies the heart from all dead works, hope keeps firm to the Lord in true holyneſs and righteouſneſs, nothing can remove it: per­fect love caſts out all fear, and overcometh all torments; faith is a valliant Champion, hope is an upright judge, and love an everlaſting King of glory that ſhall reigne for ever. If you know the ways of God, happie are ye if you walk in them; for he that followeth righteouſneſs and mercy, fin­deth life, righteouſneſs, and honor. Pro. 21. ver. 21. Thus farewell dear hearts, and the God of peace eſtabliſh you in peace for ever, which is the hearty deſire of him who dearly loves all appearance of truth, though now a priſoner for truths ſake.

Benjamin Nchelſon.
FINIS.

About this transcription

TextSome returns to a letter which came from a general meeting of officers of the Army of England, Scotland, and Ireland, sitting at Jame's Westminster. Also A blast from the Lord, or a vvarning to England, by way of exhortation to take heed, and not run upon their own destruction; which will be speedily, without true repentance. By a lover of the truth, and a prisoner for declaring truth abroad Ben: Nicholson.
AuthorNicholson, Benjamin..
Extent Approx. 40 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 10 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
Edition1653
SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A89679)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 115299)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 106:E689[18])

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Bibliographic informationSome returns to a letter which came from a general meeting of officers of the Army of England, Scotland, and Ireland, sitting at Jame's Westminster. Also A blast from the Lord, or a vvarning to England, by way of exhortation to take heed, and not run upon their own destruction; which will be speedily, without true repentance. By a lover of the truth, and a prisoner for declaring truth abroad Ben: Nicholson. Nicholson, Benjamin.. [2], 17, [1] p. Printed for Giles Calvert, and are to be sold at the Black-spread-Eagle, near the West end of Pauls.,London, :1653.. (Although "A blast from the Lord" (Wing N1104, with separate pagination and register) is called for on the title page, and the imprints seem to be in the same setting, most copies lack it. Thomason dated his copy of each item, though he received them on the same day. ESTC catalogues it separately.) (Annotation on Thomason copy: "March. 12".) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
Languageeng
Classification
  • Detention of persons -- England -- Early works to 1800.
  • Censorship -- England -- Early works to 1800.
  • Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 1649-1660 -- Early works to 1800.

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ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
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  • STC Wing N1106
  • STC Thomason E689_18
  • STC ESTC R203013
  • EEBO-CITATION 99863117
  • PROQUEST 99863117
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