Volume 5, The Works of George Fox, Doctrinal Books II, Continued
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THE BEGINNING OF TITHES IN THE LAW, AND ENDING OF TITHES IN THE GOSPEL.
The Law and the Commandment of the Lord concerning payment of tithes, to whom, and how they were to be disposed to the Levitical priesthood in the Old Testament, and how Christ has come to end that priesthood, law, and commandment, by which he took the tithes and offerings.
—By G. F.
All the tithes of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruits of the trees, are the Lord's, they are holy unto the Lord.
‘Behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites, from among the children of Israel, to you they are given as a gift from the Lord, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation: therefore, you and your sons with thee shall keep your priest's office, for everything of the altar; and within the veil you shall serve: I have given your priest's office unto you, as a service of gift; and I have given to thee, the charge of the heave-offerings, and you shall keep the charge of the altar and the sanctuary, and you shall keep the charge of the tabernacle for the congregation, and for all the services of the tabernacle. Num 18:6-8, 'and the Levites shall be mine, I am the Lord.’ Num 3:45.
But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity, this shall be a statute forever among your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance, (namely, the Levites.)
And the Lord said unto Moses, ‘thus speak unto the Levites, when you take of the children of Israel's tithes, which I have given you from them for your inheritance, when you shall offer an heave-offering of it for the Lord, even a tenth part of the tithe.’
‘And thus you also shall offer an heave-offering unto the Lord, of all your tithes which you receive of the children of Israel, and you shall give thereof the Lord's heave-offering to Aaron the priest.’ Num 18:21-32.
‘The place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall he seek, and there shall you come, and there shall you bring your offerings and sacrifices, and your tithes and heave-offerings of your hands.’
‘And there you shall eat before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice in all that you put your hands unto, you and your households, wherein the Lord your God has blessed thee. For you are not as yet come to the rest, —But when you go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the Lord your God gives you to inherit, and he gives you rest from all your enemies round about you, so that you dwell in safety.—Then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there, there shall you bring your offerings, sacrifices, tithes, and your heave-offerings of your hands, unto the Lord.—And you shall rejoice before the Lord, you and your sons, and your daughters, and your men-servants and maid-servants, and Levi that is within your gates; forasmuch as he has no part nor inheritance with you his brethren. The Lord is his inheritance according as the Lord promised him; for the Lord separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to stand before the Lord, to minister unto him, and to bless in his name.’ Deu 12:7-12, 10:8-9
‘And you may not eat within your gates the tithes of your corn, or of the wine, or of the oil, or of the firstling of your herd, or of your flock. But you shall eat them before the Lord your God, in the place which the Lord your God shall choose, you and your son, and your daughter, and your man-servant, and your maid-servant, and the Levite that is within your gates, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, in all you put your hands unto.’ Deut 12:17,12.
‘And take heed to yourself that you forsake not the Levite. And you must eat flesh within your gates, or what you desire: only the holy things which you has, and your vows, you shall take, and go unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose, observe and hear all these words which I command thee.’
And in Deut 14, ‘You shall truly tithe all the increase of your seed year by year, and you shall eat it before the Lord your God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of your corn, of your wine, of your oil, and the firstlings of your herds, and of your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always.—And if the way be too long for thee, so that you are not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the Lord your God shall choose, and set his name there; when the Lord your God has blessed thee. Then you shall turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose.—And you shall bestow that money for whatsoever your soul desires after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever your soul desires; and you shall eat it before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. And the Levite that is within your gates, you shall not forsake him, for he has no part nor inheritance with thee.—At the end of three years you shall bring forth all the tithe of your increase, the same year you shall lay it up within your gates.—And the Levite, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within your gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied, that the Lord your God may bless thee, in all the works of your hands which you do.’ Deut 14:22, to the end.
And also, in Deut 26 ‘When you have made an end of tithing all, the tithes of the increase, the third year, which is the year of tithing, and has given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within your gates and be filled. Then you shall say before the Lord your God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of my house, and also given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to your commandments, which you have commanded me,’ ... Here you may see the laws and the commandments of God concerning tithes, and who they were to. Deut 26:12-13.
And in 2 Chron 31:11, how the chambers for the tithes, were in the house of the Lord, which was the place the Lord had chosen according to Moses.
And in Mal 3, it was called a robbing of God and the whole nation, when they did not bring in their tithes into the storehouse, that there might be meat in his house, so it was a wronging of Levi, the stranger, the widow, the fatherless, from their right, for the tithes of the land were the Lord's, and for Levi, the widow, stranger, and fatherless, and so if they did not bring them in, they robbed God in his tithes and offerings, and walked contrary to the law and command of God, therefore, says he, you are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed me, even this whole nation.
And the apostle said, ‘cursed is everyone that continues not in all things which is written in the book of the law to do them.’ Gal 3:10, Deut 27:26. ‘But no man is justified by the works of the law in the sight of God, for the just shall live by faith; for as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse.’ Gal 3:11.
And Christ has redeemed us from under the curse of the law, so they are not under that curse who do not pay tithes now. And the apostle said, ‘that no man is justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Christ Jesus, even as we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law:’ and the apostle said, ‘by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified in the sight of God:’ therefore you are not justified by the law of tithes and offerings, nor outward circumcision in the sight of God. Gal 2:16.
And Christ cried, ‘woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, you pay tithe of mint, anise, and cumin, and have omitted the weighty matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith, these things you ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone.’ Mat 23:23, Luke 11:42.
And in Gen 14:20, ‘when Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought forth bread and wine, he was the priest of the most high God, and he blessed Abraham, and Abraham gave him the tenths of all that he had taken in the spoil,’ as also you may see in Heb 7:4.
Now did ever Abraham pay tithes to Melchizedek after this time? Or did he ever pay Melchizedek tithes before of his own yearly increase, except now from the spoil of the war?
And did ever any of the kings or judges pay the tenths of their spoil of the wars afterwards?
‘And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, if God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on; so I come again to my father's house in peace, then shall the Lord be my God: and this stone which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house, and of all that you shall give me, I will surely give the tenth unto thee.’
Now where did ever Jacob pay tithes, or the children of Israel in Egypt? Not until they came out of Egypt and received his law, for this was only Jacob's condition and free vow, not a command from God, as you may see in Gen 28:20-22.
And in Heb 7, ‘when Abraham returned from the slaughter of the kings, Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, met him and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave the tenths of all the spoils, so this was not of the increase of his personal estate, neither did other kings or judges, (as I said before), follow this example, to give the tenth of their spoils that they had gotten in war. Neither did Abraham lay this as a command of God, upon his own family to pay tithes, either of their personal estates, or of the wars to Melchizedek afterwards. Neither do we read that Jacob, or his children, did pay tithes, until after they came out of Egypt, as before it is said, by the law of God: but the apostle said, as I may so say, ‘Levi, also, who received tithes, paid tithes in Abraham, for he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedek met him who received the tithes: and as for Melchizedek, his descent is not counted from them;’ so here the apostle goes to cut off Levi who received tithes, and his priesthood, and place it upon Levi, as paying tithes, (in Abraham.) For the apostle said, ‘verily those who were of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is of their brethren, though they came out of the loins of Abraham,’ so here is the law and commandment to take tithes of their brethren, and not of them that was not their brethren.
And the apostle said, ‘if perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, for under it the people received the law, what further need was there that another priest should arise, (namely, Christ), after the order of Melchizedek, and not after the order of Aaron,' who had a law and a commandment to take tithes. For the apostle said, 'the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law, for there is a disannulling of the commandment going before, and so the priesthood changed, and the law changed by which he was made, and the commandment disannulled that gave him his tithes; for it is evident, that our Lord Jesus Christ sprang out of Judah, of which tribe, Moses speaks nothing concerning the priesthood, and Christ is made a priest, not after the order of Aaron: and yet it is far more evident, for that after the similitude of Melchizedek, there arises another priest, (namely, Christ), who is made not after the law of a carnal commandment, (as the other priests were that took tithes), but after the power of an endless life, for this law of the carnal commandment, commanded all these carnal things, tithes, offerings, to be given to Levi's priesthood: and therefore the apostle said, ‘the law is changed by which the priesthood was made, and the priesthood is changed: and the apostle said, ‘there is a disannulling the commandment going before, for the weakness and un-profit thereof;’ so here the apostle notes both the weakness and un-profit of that law of tithes. Moreover, he said, ‘the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did, (namely, Christ), by the which we draw nigh unto God, now Christ our high priest was made with an oath, but the priesthood under the law was made without an oath,’ and so Christ performs God's oath and fulfils it, and so ends oaths and swearing, and forbids them.
For the Lord swore, and will not repent, you are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, namely, Christ, by so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament than the Old Testament, because Christ continues ever, he has an unchangeable priesthood, and the Levites' priesthood is changed, and their law and command: so the apostle did not intend here that people should hold up Aaron's priesthood and tithes, but he shows a change of the law by which the priesthood was made, and a change of the priesthood, and a disannulling the command, and setting up Christ and his priesthood that is unchangeable; and showing the un profit, and the weakness of the law, and the commandment, and the first priesthood, and how it made nothing perfect; but the gospel brought people to Christ the better hope, which purified them as he is pure, through which they drew near to God.
Now all the tithes by the law of God and his commandment, the children of Israel were to pay to the Levites, and the Levites were to offer up the tenths of the heave-offerings to the Lord. But Christ Jesus, it is said of him, ‘lo I come to do your will O God, to take away the first, [mark,] that I may establish the second, by the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all, once for all their offerings.’ So he has ended all the offerings, by offering up his own body, namely, the offering of tithes, and all other offerings; and these offerers the priests; and so he has taken away the first priesthood, his law, and command, and his tithes, he has taken away his altar, and temple, his tabernacle, his sanctuary, and all his offices and services; and all the Levitical priests, offices and services, for the first priesthood had his tithes for his service at the tabernacle, altar, sanctuary, and keeping the charge of all holy things: but all these things Christ has taken away, and has taken away his priesthood, and so has taken away his tithes, his maintenance, and taken away his offices and offerings, and his charge, and he has discharged him, and so has changed his law, and disannulled his commandment, and so all is fallen to the ground, for God will have no pleasure in these offerings which were offered by the law; but Christ is come, as in the volume of the book it is written of him, ‘to do the will of God, he takes away the first, that he may establish the second; first priesthood, first covenant, with all his tithes and offerings.’
For Christ, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, forever sat down at the right hand of God, so this one sacrifice has ended both sacrifices and sacrificers.
And also the tithes, their sacrifices, offerings, and maintenance in the time of the law, which made none perfect, ‘for by one offering of Christ he has perfected forever them that are sanctified,’ [mark, forever.] Heb. 10.
And the Levites or priests, who took the tithes for the services, these stood daily offering, oftentimes, the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but Christ, after he had offered up one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, who by this offering ended the first priest and his daily sacrifices. Heb 9:19. And Moses sprinkled the book and the people with blood: but how much more shall the blood of Christ, through the eternal spirit, offer up himself without spot to God, purge your consciences from dead works, to serve the living God. So Christ is the Mediator of the New Testament, and redeems from under the transgression of the first, and ends it, and sprinkles the consciences and the hearts of his people with his blood, and ends the blood of the sacrifices which was offered and shed, which the people were sprinkled withal. And the Levites had the tenths for their service; but Christ's blood which was shed, is the blood of the New Testament, which ends the blood of bulls and goats, and the Old Testament, which were sprinkled with their blood, and with which blood of Jesus the hearts and consciences of people are sprinkled from their dead works, to serve the living God. And the apostle said, ‘the first covenant had ordinances of divine services, and a worldly sanctuary made with hands;’ and he said, ‘while the first tabernacle was standing, the holiest of all was not yet made manifest; but Christ being come, is an high priest of good things, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building of Aaron's and Levi's law, first covenant, first testament, with their carnal ordinances, worldly sanctuary, tithes, heave-offerings, nor outward temple at Jerusalem, where they brought their tithes unto. So this worldly sanctuary, worldly temple, carnal ordinances, and the outward city Jerusalem, where they brought their tithes unto, and the priest that had the tithes for their service, and had no other inheritance in the land; all this Christ came to end, who is not of this building that was made with hands, nor after the order of Aaron, but of a more perfect tabernacle. And so the first covenant grows old and decays, and is ready to vanish away: and so he is the Mediator of the New Testament, and so he ends the old with the covenant, and their carnal ordinances and sanctuary, their altar, and the priests of Levi and Aaron, and their order, and all their tithes which was their maintenance. So tithes are not their maintenance now from God; for the law by which they were made, is taken away; so their office and service is taken away, for which tithes was given them; for the tribe of Levi, which had no portion in the land by the law and command of God, but the tithes for his service. Now the law, and service, and priesthood, and tithes, and offerings, and covenant, and order, and sanctuary, and tabernacle and testimony being taken away, and command that gave them the tithes and offerings, they may labor and buy a portion of land, for there is no tithes for them; and the apostle said, ‘he that will not work, must not eat.’
Now in the time of the law, and command of God for tithes, Levi the priest was not to eat it at all, nor to put it in his own particular barn, but the people were to carry it up to Jerusalem, which was the place the Lord did choose, and there the high priest was to offer up his heave-offerings of it, his tenth, and the Levite must not eat all the tithes himself, but the widows, fatherless, strangers, and the persons that gave it him, as you may see in Deu 12:18.
For they were not to eat it within their gates, but they were to eat at the place where the Lord did choose, and rejoice before the Lord, their sons and daughters, and maid-servants, and men-servants, and the strangers, and the fatherless, and widow, that is within your gates shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied, that the Lord your God may bless thee, so all these must eat of the tithes with Levi, (which had no part nor inheritance with the children of Israel), but as I said before, Christ has ended and changed the Levitical priesthood, and his law that commanded tithes, and the high priest's heave-offering of them, by the offering up of himself once for all, he has ended both the offerings and priest's services, so Levi has no law to take tithes and wages, seeing he has no service for them; blessed be God who has sent his son, which is over the household of God, the household of faith, and of the Jews in spirit, as Moses was over the household of the outward Jews, with their tithes and offerings, and carnal ordinances, and outward temples, which all are put down by Christ, who remains a priest forever, not after the order of Aaron, but after the order of Melchizedek.
And they were blessed that brought their tithes to the place which God had chosen, and did eat them there with Levi, and the sons, and daughters, men-servants, maid-servants, strangers, fatherless, and widows, as in Deu 14.
And they were cursed that did not, for those who did not, robbed God and the whole nation, as in Mal 3, as it is said before.
And the apostle said, ‘cursed is everyone that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them;’ so you who take tithes, pretending the law and a command in scripture, and do not carry them to Jerusalem; and if it had been too far for you to carry it there, to turn into money; the place which the Lord God had chosen, which was the place of offering, where the high priest must have his heave-offering out of them, and the widows, strangers, fatherless, sons, and daughters, men-servants, and maid-servants, and them that gave them, all might eat and praise the Lord together. Now if you have not continued in all these things written in the book of the law, and done them according to the law; if you have not, cursed is everyone that continues not in all things which is written in the book of the law to do them. But those who are of faith, are blessed with faithful Abraham, not as Levi, that paid tithes in Abraham, which after had a law, for the apostle cuts off the outward circumcision in Abraham, and so the law of tithes to Levi in Abraham, for the promise that Abraham should be heir of the world, was not to Abraham and his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith, and faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness, when he was in uncircumcision, and not in circumcision. Here the apostle cuts off, not only the Levitical priesthood and his law, but the circumcision and his law.’ Rom 4.
And the apostle said, ‘for as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse.’ Gal 3:16. But Christ has redeemed us from under the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; that the blessings of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the spirit through faith.
All these outward things, tithes, offerings, and other shadows in the first covenant, held up by carnal ordinances, imposed on the Jews until the time of reformation by Christ; so their law is called a schoolmaster, and it served until the seed came; and a child differs nothing from a servant, but is under tutors and governors, until the time appointed of the Father; [mark,] then they were not always to be there in that state; even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world; now these outward things, the apostle calls them, Gal 4, the world's elements; but when the fullness of their time was come, God sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons; and because you are sons [mark,] God has sent forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father, therefore you are no more a servant but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ; so all that witness this, witness the time of his Father's appointing, and the fullness of his time is come, and the time of reformation; and they are redeemed out of bondage from under the world's elements, and they are redeemed from under the law, priest, tithes, and offerings, by him that is made under the law, and so from under the curse, by him that became a curse for us, and can say, ‘Christ is the end of the law for righteousness sake, to everyone that believes.’
So all the faithful walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham,* which he had before he was circumcised; for the promise that he should be heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith;and here the apostle cuts off the law of circumcision, and also the law by which the priest Levi was made, and received his tithes and offerings, and so the justification is in the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law that held up circumcision, nor the law by which the Levitical priesthood was made, and all his services, tithes, and maintenances for the priest and his services and maintenance, tithes and law, is put down and changed by Christ, who remains a priest forever; who had a better sacrifice than all those in the first covenant. Christ is entered by his own blood into the holy place, that is not made with hands, as the Levites' chief priest did, which were but figures of the true, but Christ the substance, is entered into heaven itself, having obtained eternal redemption for us, and now to appear in the presence of God for us, therefore he is able to save them to the utmost, that come unto God by him; seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them; for such an high priest became us believers and true christians, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and is made higher than the heavens; so we need not daily those high priests that were made by the law, who offered up sacrifices for their own sins, and then for the people, who had tithes for their wages and maintenance; for Christ offered up himself once for all, and ended all outward offering; the law made high priests, who have infirmities, but the word of an oath which was since the law, makes the Son, who is consecrated and perfected forevermore. Heb 7:25-28. Now of things which were spoken, this is the sum; we have such a high priest, (namely, Christ), who has ended Aaron's priesthood, and his tithes, law, and offerings, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens. And is a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle which the Lord has pitched, and not man. And so has obtained a more excellent ministry than that of Moses and Levi, by how much more also he is the Mediator of a better covenant than the first, which is established upon better promises, glory to God forever.
And whereas you do allege what Christ said to the Pharisees in Luke 11:42, which said, ‘woe be unto you Pharisees, for you tithe mint and rue, and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God, these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone; to which I say, these things were before Christ was offered up, and the tenths of tenths was a heave-offering, and Christ told them go offer to the priest for their cleansing, for he did not come to break the law, but to fulfill every jot and tittle of it; but when Christ was offered up once for all the offerings, then the high priests’ offerings and Levi's tithe of mint and rue, ... was ended. Those who preached the gospel, said the Levitical priesthood was changed, and the law was changed, by which he was made, and the command was disannulled that gave him his tithes for his services and offerings; and Christ was preached, and set up the unchangeable pries. So Christ the Priest by offering up himself, has ended the first priesthood and his offerings. Then Christ said to his apostles, ministers, and messengers, ‘freely you have received, freely give,’ so people may keep their tithe of mint, and their rue, and other herbs and things to themselves, for Christ has taken away the law that gave them. The apostle was to go without bag or scrip; therefore, they were not to take people's mints and herbs, as the Levitical priesthood did by the law. Christ has changed this law and Levi, and put down his office; therefore, Levi has no power to take them of people, and therefore, people may keep them to themselves for where there is no law there is no transgression for not paying of them .Christ remains an unchangeable Priest forever, who by the offering up himself, has ended all their offerings, and all people must come to God by him, who is consecrated a new and living way. Heb 10:9-10,20.
So Christ has ended old Levi's priesthood, with his old wages, his old tithes and offerings, his old altars, his old temple, his old carnal ordinances, his old offerings, his old washings, the old tabernacle made with hands, and his old testament, which is sprinkled with the blood of bulls and goats, his old covenant, the old worldly sanctuary, and the old shadows and sacrifices. Christ, I say, has ended all these things by the one offering and sacrificing of himself once for all, and is set down at the right hand of God above them all, and over them all. No one comes to God but through him, and by him; and Christ has appeared to put away sin, by the sacrificing of himself. After Christ had offered one sacrifice for sins, he forever sat down at the right hand of God. So he has ended the Levitical priesthood that offered up for their own sins, and then for the sins of the people; so Christ I say has ended their work and their service; so likewise he has ended the tithes which was for their wages. And everyone's faith is to stand in Christ the author of it, and to live by it, and walk by it, if they are justified, and come into the inheritance with faithful Abraham.
And after Christ was risen, he said unto his disciples, Luke 24, ‘while I was yet with you, I told you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me;’ so the law and the prophets are fulfilled in Christ, and he is the end of them; who is the first and the last, the beginning and the ending, the amen.
The 1st day of the 7th month, 1676.
‘And behold I have given the children of Levi, all the tenths in Israel, for an inheritance for their service, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. So the eleven tribes had the land by lot, as in Joshua, 13,14.
So the law served, and the priests did their service about the tabernacle, until Christ came and was offered up.
For when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, and made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that they might receive the adoption of sons, which many witness at this day.
And so Christ has ended the Levitical priesthood, and his service, and has taken away the first priesthood, that he may establish the second, who is made higher than the heavens, who has not entered into the worldly sanctuary or tabernacle, but into the holy place by his own blood.
And so Christ Jesus the heavenly priest, has discharged Levi of his services at the altar, tabernacle, and temple, and of his outward ark, and of all his offerings and sacrifices, and his heave-offerings of his tithes, which he was to shake to and fro, east, west, north, and south, which was a type of Christ's offering up himself, once for all their offerings.
And so Christ having discharged him of his offices, and taken away his temple, altar, tabernacle, sanctuary, blood of bulls and goats, and tithes, the priest's wages and portion for his service, and his offerings which he was to feed upon, which had no lot nor inheritance in the land.
Now he may take himself a plantation, or buy himself land, for Christ has taken away his offerings and his law, and the command that gave him his tithes, for he must expect no more tithes.
So now God has no work for him at outward tabernacles, nor to offer outward sacrifices; for he has no law nor power from God to take wages, namely, tithes, for any such services.
For Christ has offered up himself once for all their offerings, and is a priest, not after the order of Aaron, but after the order of Melchizedek.
So Levi was to have no portion but the tenths of Israel.
Now Christ has ended this Levitical priesthood and his tenths, for his service, which he served in it by the law, until the seed Christ came, which in the fullness of time, that God sent forth his Son which was the time of reformation out of those things, and a time to take away the first, to establish the second, the everlasting priest, and the everlasting covenant.
And he took away the circumcision in the flesh, and he established the circumcision in the spirit.
And so if Levi should plead for the tenths of Israel now, he is an usurper of authority, for he has no law nor command from God, for so doing.
And Christ has died for all, and enlightened all men; that all might believe in the light, and become children of the light.
And his gospel of salvation is preached unto all men, and to every creature under heaven; and the grace of God has appeared to all men, which is the true christian's teacher.
And so all the believers in the light, are the children of the light, and are grafted into Christ that died for them, and eats the flesh and drinks the blood of the heavenly man, and so feeds upon Christ Jesus their sacrifice.
And so all the circumcised in heart, men and women, feed upon the sacrifice; and are the royal priesthood, offering up spiritual sacrifices.
And God has made us (namely, the true church), kings and priests; and has redeemed us from the earth, so to reign over the devil and the earth, and so to offer up spiritual sacrifices.
And these priests that God has made, offers up no earthly sacrifices, therefore, they will not have earthly tithes, for they see the Levitical priesthood taken away, that took them, which was the first.
And they do see Christ, the second established, a priest forever, made higher than the heavens, who is over all from everlasting to everlasting, the first and last.
How all Nations are blessed in the Seed Christ Jesus, that bruises the Head of the Serpent and his Seed that brought the Curse; and something further, how all men and women in Adam, in the Transgression, their Spirits are dark, and how Christ the Spiritual Man enlightens their Spirits (their Candles), and how that no meat that goes into the belly defiles the man; and how Christ is the Purger of the Soul, Conscience, and Heart, and Mind, of all those evil things that have gotten into man and woman by Transgression, who bruises the Head of the Serpent, and makes all things clean to man, and brings him to the blessed state as he was in at the beginning.—By G. F.
Now this was the promise of God to Abraham, of whom Christ came according to the flesh.
So the promise was not to seeds, as many, but unto one seed, which is Christ; which seed bruises the head of the serpent.
And so all people and nations must be in this seed, as they have been in the seed of the serpent, which brought the curse, woe, and misery, and darkness upon mankind, if they have the blessing and promise.
For as the apostle said, ‘everyone who has received Christ, which was the seed, they must walk in him.’
For Abraham had obeyed God, first in forsaking his father's house and native country, ways, religions, and worships of idolatry. He obeyed God in that, in offering up his only son, and in many other things as God commanded him, as you may see in Genesis.
And God said unto him, ‘walk before me, and be you perfect:’ and so must all nations of people, forsake all their native country, religions, and ways which they have made, and idolatries, and come into the seed before they can be perfect: for the cry is among them, and has been, there is no perfection here on this side the grave.
But I say no, the perfection is in the seed, which brought Abraham to obey, which the promise is to, in which all nations are blessed, in whom the perfection is.
And so all nations must walk in this seed before God, if they will be perfect and blessed; which seed bruises the head of the devil, who made man and woman imperfect.
In which seed all know their election before the world began, and their foundation.
And this is the seed which all the prophets gave testimony of, and the apostle preached it. (Christ Jesus.)
And now if all the world and Christendom have all the words given forth from the seed in Abraham, the prophets, and David, and all the apostles, but do not have the seed, they only have the sheep's clothing, the outside, the wool, and are feeding upon the words.
But Christ said, ‘except you eat my flesh, and drink my blood, you have no life in you because the wool is only the outside and clothing of the sheep; it is not flesh and blood.
And therefore, Christ said, ‘except you eat my flesh, and drink my blood, you have no life in you;’ and his flesh and blood is not wool, the outside, the sheep's clothing.
So they may have all the words of Christ, and the prophets and apostles, and yet feed upon the dust like the serpent, have the sheep's clothing, but have no life in them; except they eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his blood, who came down from heaven.
So Christ is not the writings, but the thing which the writings testifies of, nor flesh and blood is not wool nor clothing.
Now all people are dark, as they are in Adam in the transgression, and dead from that image, righteousness, and holiness, that he was made in.
And David said, ‘the Lord had enlightened his candle,’ and the spirit of man is called, ‘the candle of the Lord;’ and while man is in his natural state, he knows not the things of God, though the natural man with his natural spirit, may know the things in themselves that be natural, but he cannot know the things of God, until the Lord enlightens his candle.
For as natural men and women in the night cannot see what is in their houses, without a candle which they light at a natural fire, which gives light to the natural eye; so man's spirit is lit by God and Christ's divine light and fire, by which they see with the heavenly eye what is in their house and inward parts.
For all the household of Adam in the transgression are dark, both in their minds, spirit, and soul.
And those who follow their own spirits, see nothing; now every man that comes into the world, being enlightened by Christ, which is called the light of the world; and the light that enlightens every man, and man's mind, soul and spirit, being turned to this light, this divine light of the spiritual and heavenly man, enlightens his spirit, his candle. Then with this divine, heavenly light, which has enlightened his spirit, mind, and soul, he finds the pearl in his own field, and then he keeps close to the Lord, and in his counsel, and goes and sells all that he has gathered with his own spirit in the darkness, and in Adam in the fall, that he may purchase this field, and the pearl in it; and the candle being lit, he sees the leaven which has lain within him, to leaven him up into the new living lump; and he sees the seed of the kingdom within.
For the parable of the woman that lost the piece of silver, after she had lit her candle by Christ's divine light, her mind, spirit and soul, being turned to the divine light of Christ, she swept her own house with God's besom, his power, and threw out the rubbish which was come in by transgression; and so with this divine light found the divine silver, or treasure, in her own house.
So the natural man with his natural spirit, knows the things of the natural man, and knows not the things of God; but his spirit being enlightened, which is the candle of the Lord, with this divine light, it gives him the knowledge of the divine and heavenly things, and of his kingdom, and the world that has no end.
So here is no more saying, ‘lo here, or lo there is the kingdom, as those do who hate his light; for those who hate the divine light of Christ, hate that which should light their candle, their spirit.’
And therefore, as it is said, ‘how often is the candle of the wicked put out,’ for when they turn from the light, and disobey the truth, as Adam, and the Jews, and those called christians, they follow their own spirits, their candle being put out, and see nothing; but one cries, lo here, and another cries, lo there, in the dark; and one says, lo here is Christ the way; and another cries, there is the way; but all in the dark.
But none see Christ, or see the way, or see the word, but whose minds, and spirits, and souls are turned to the divine light of Christ, which enlightens their spirits, their candle, and then they see Christ the way, the truth, and the life, and the light gives them the knowledge that shines in their hearts, that has enlightened their spirits.
Now disobedience, and loving the darkness rather than the light, puts out this candle, and so the candle of the wicked is often put out.
But those who love the light which enlightens their souls, minds, and spirits, it gives them the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus; so that they come to see Christ, who is the mystery, and follow him, and be his disciples.
Now in the days of Christ there was a Pharisee bid him to dinner, Mat 15 and Mark 7, and the Pharisee wondered at Christ's disciples eating with unwashed hands.
But Christ said, ‘you fools, did not he that made that which is without, make that which is within also; therefore, give alms of all those things which you have.’ Luke 11:40-41, ‘for behold all things are clean unto you.’
And in Mark 7:18-20, Christ spoke unto the people this parable, ‘there is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are those who defile the man.’
And again, Christ said unto his disciples, ‘what are you without understanding also? do you not know, that whatsoever thing from without, enters into a man, it cannot defile him.’
‘But that which comes out of the man, that defiles the man, for from within, even out of the hearts of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, backbiting, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile the man,’ which are the evil things, the sins which Christ purges.
And John the Baptist said, ‘I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but Christ that comes after me, is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose, [or bear,] he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire, whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his flour, and gather his wheat into his garner, and burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.’
So Christ is the purger of the heart, mind, soul, spirit, and conscience, and the body inwardly; for Christ is mightier than John, in his conception, birth, and power, and miracles.
The purging eliminates all foods that goes into the mouth, and so into the stomach, and so into the draught: and so whatsoever goes into the mouth, does not defile the man, for he who is holy and pure, made that without, and made that within; and all that he made was good and blessed.
Who may abide the day of his coming, and ‘who shall stand when he appears, for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers’ soap, and he shall sit as a refiner, and purify of the sons of Levi, and purge [mark, purge,] them as gold and silver, that they may offer an offering in righteousness.’ Mal 3 3.
In Heb 9:14, ‘Christ with his blood purge your consciences from dead works to serve the living God;’ so he is the purger of the heart and conscience with his blood.
In Heb 1:3, ‘when Christ by himself had purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of God;’ so it is Christ that purges away our sins, which are within.
So Christ is the purger of the conscience and heart, soul and spirit, with his blood, and purges away our sins.
And so those who look at Christ, will not plead for a purgatory to purge them after death, nor plead for a body of sin and death to the grave.
And Christ is the purges of the branches that is grafted into him, ‘that they may bring forth more fruit.’
Now there is that which purges all foods, through which the creature is not defiled by them; so that the creature is not defiled by foods, for he boldly purges them.
Now what comes out of a man, defiles him, as is before mentioned, and all these evil things have come into man by the fall and transgression because the evil was not in him in the beginning before the fall, when God made him in his image. Therefore evil came into man and woman by transgression, which has defiled them.
And now to have all these evil things purged out of man, which got into him by transgression, which has defiled his heart, his soul, his mind, his conscience, and his spirit; what purges this out of him, is the blood of Christ, who by his blood and fiery baptism has purged out our sins, and sanctifies us.
So those who are without understanding, Pharisee-like, do not know what purges all foods; and also do not know Christ. They are without the understanding of him, who purges with his blood, the mind, heart, soul, spirit, and conscience - all with his blood, through which they come to serve the living God.
And all those who plead for a purgatory when they are dead, to purge them; and those who plead for a body of death and sin to the grave, and forbid foods, as if they should defile them, which goes into the stomach, and so into the draught, the purger that purges all foods, they are as blind as the Jews, chief priests, and Pharisees, and are as ignorant of him that purges the conscience, namely, Christ Jesus, the seed in whom all nations are blessed, and therein sanctified and reconciled to God, all things in heaven, and all things in the earth, and receives his blessing and promise in the seed, and sees all things are blessed and clean to them, as they were in the beginning, by Christ Jesus.
The 7th month, 1676
All people in Christendom, and elsewhere, consider in your lifetime the parable of Christ, concerning the rich man, and Lazarus the beggar.
For Christ said, ‘there was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day.’
‘And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who lay at his gates, (namely, at the rich man's), full of sores; and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table, (namely, the poor man Lazarus), moreover, the dogs came and licked the sores of the poor man.’
‘And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom.’
‘The rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom: and the rich man cried, and said, father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, (namely, the beggar), that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue, (namely, the rich man's), for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said to the rich man, son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and had your pleasure; and likewise Lazarus the beggar, the evil things, but now he is comforted, and you are tormented.’
And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, (between, Abraham and the beggar, and the rich man in hell), so that they who would pass from here to you cannot, neither can they pass to us, that would come from there,’ (namely, the rich man that has lived in pleasures upon the earth.)
‘Then he said, (he being the rich man in hell), I beg of you, therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house, for I have five brethren, that he may testify unto them, for fear that they also come into this place of torment.’
‘And Abraham said unto the rich man in hell, they have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them,’ (that is, while they are upon the earth.)
And the rich man in hell said, ‘my father Abraham, but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent; and Abraham said unto him, if they do not hear Moses, nor the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one come from the dead.’ Luke 16:19-31.
Nor now those who will not hear Christ and his gospel; and if they will not hear Christ and his gospel, they will not hear one that comes from the dead. So the christians in profession without possession, are like the Jews that would not hear Moses and the prophets, nor one who has come from the dead.
But the Jews sought to put Lazarus to death, (whom Christ had raised from the dead), because by reason of Lazarus, many people had turned to Christ, and believed on him, that Christ had raised him from the dead. They were as mad against Christ and his miracles, as they are now against his light, which is his life in the word.
Now all you great and rich men upon the earth, that fare sumptuously every day, of whatever sort, Jews, Heathens, Turks, or Christians, consider the parable of Christ on the rich man, who did not have compassion on poor Lazarus; and the rich man's kindred nor himself regarded not the law, nor the prophets, neither would they regard one if he came from the dead, to tell them of the misery that this rich man was in, when he was in hell.
Now you who are called christians, and others, that fare sumptuously every day, who are the rich men, do you regard the poor Lazaruses? Do you regard the life and practice of the law and prophets? Do you regard the life of christianity, and the life and practice as Christ and the apostles command?
But, have you not slighted God's messengers and prophets, and servants, sons, and daughters, and hand-maids, that have been moved of the Lord God to warn you in your lifetime, of the torment and misery of hell fire that this hard-hearted rich man fell into when he was dead.
And such as have exhorted you who are alive, and would have turned you to the Lord, you have imprisoned, persecuted and banished; and do you not think that your end will be like this rich man's, when he died, who went into hell fire? And poor Lazarus, whom did not have compassion on, went into heaven.
And do you not think, that all these poor Lazaruses, whom you have persecuted, and do persecute, that when they die, they will not be carried into Abraham's bosom? When you are tormented in hell, will you not cry like this rich man in hell, to Abraham to send one of his poor Lazaruses to dip the tip of his finger in water, to cool your tongues, which are scorched with the flames of hell fire?
But then consider what Abraham's answer will be to you, you who have received the good things in your lifetime, and had your pleasure, and the poor Lazaruses the evil things.
But Abraham tells you, though he calls you sons, ‘there is a great gulf between you and him; and he cannot come to you, neither can you come to him.’
And Abraham will say unto you, ‘remember, how in your lifetime you fared sumptuously every day, and received the good things, and likewise the poor Lazaruses the evil things from you, who had no comfort among you.’
But now the poor Lazaruses are comforted in Abraham's bosom, after they are dead, and after you are dead, you are tormented in hell fire, for all your purple coats, and gorgeous apparel, and your faring sumptuously every day.
And therefore, all you hard-hearted rich men, be warned, and mind the law and the prophets, and Christ and the apostles, and walk as they commanded. Mind the poor Lazaruses, and not only talk about the poor, if you will escape hell fire. You must mind this in your lifetime, or else when you are dead you must go to hell fire, and there be tormented, as the rich man was when he was dead, and could not come out to Abraham, nor Abraham to him.
And do you not think that the rich man was a jolly fellow, while he was upon the earth, with his dogs and his sumptuous fare, and apparel of purple and fine linen.
Now this parable Christ spoke to the covetous Pharisees, which justified themselves, and derided Christ.
And therefore, consider, all you rich men that are called christians, and others that eat sumptuously every day, and are clothed in purple and fine linen, that deride the life that is in Christ, which lights every man that comes into the world. Do you regard the poor Lazaruses, the poor beggars that lie in your gates full of sores?
And do you consider where you must go when you die? Do you think upon this rich man where he is; and where poor Lazarus is? You, who have received the good things in your lifetime, remember now while you are alive, and do not eat and drink without the fear of God, to make yourselves want- for fear that you are lifted up, and regard not the poor, and look loftily and disdainfully upon your fellow creatures that are in misery, for fear that the time comes that you come into torment with the rich man, when the poor are comforted in Abraham's bosom.
For you hear what Christ said in his parable, and what Abraham said: Abraham tells the rich man that is tormented in hell, that ‘there is a great gulf fixed between the rich man in hell, and Lazarus and Abraham. So that they who would pass from Abraham to the rich man in hell cannot, neither can they from hell pass unto Abraham, that would come from there.’
So this does manifest, that when the wicked die they go to hell; so there is no purgatory, nor middle place, as some imagine; and they in hell cannot pass to Abraham, nor Abraham to them, so there is no prayers that will get them out of hell fire.
And therefore, consider you this, that fare sumptuously every day, and are clothed in your purple and fine linen, and regard not the poor, for fear that the day of your visitation passes over your heads, and you continue in your wickedness and die in your sins; for the wicked must be turned into hell, and all that forget God.
For this rich man in hell cried unto Abraham to have mercy upon him, and for him to send poor Lazarus that he might dip the tip of his finger in water to cool his tongue; for he was tormented in the flame in hell fire.
Now Abraham could show him no mercy, that was in hell fire, nor Lazarus, they could not comfort this rich man with as much water as they could take up on the tip of their finger; so there was no comfort to be shown to him.
And though Abraham called him son, this was a parable to the Jews, who professed themselves children of Abraham, and did not do the works of Abraham.
So this parable may stand to them that profess themselves christians, and do not the works of christianity.
And when they are in hell, what good will all their riches, and their sumptuous fare, and their fine linen and purple do them? When they live without mercy and compassion in their lifetime, and without the fear of God, and go to hell fire, and be in torment when they die.
And therefore, for them to see the poor despised beggar Lazarus in happiness in Abraham's bosom, and a great gulf fixed between them in hell, and the poor that be in Abraham's bosom, that Abraham and the beggar cannot pass to them in hell, neither can they pass to them in heaven.
And therefore, what does all your pleasures and sumptuous fare and apparel avail you, whose dogs have more compassion upon the poor than you in your lifetime.
Abraham tells you the reason, how that there is a great gulf fixed between you and them, as before said; and therefore remember this in your lifetime, and be warned, and repent, and while you have time prize it. This is the day of your visitation, who live in pleasures and fullness, and wantonness, despising the poor, and persecuting the just and innocent; and comforting yourselves with your pleasures, and things of this world; and nourishing your hearts, as in a day of slaughter, and living wantonly upon the earth.
And live neither according to the law of Moses, nor the prophets,nor according to the gospel of Christ Jesus; though they all tell you what misery will be your end, yet you will not hear them, nor obey them.
And therefore, if you will not hear neither the gospel, the law, nor the prophets, then hear what the rich man in hell said to you in his torment, as in Luke 16.
For neither Abraham nor Lazarus could help him, nor comfort him, nor show him any mercy, who had showed no mercy in his lifetime.
So you may see plainly by Christ's own words, here is no purgatory or middle place; but when the wicked die they go to hell, and the just are carried into Abraham's bosom with the angels.
And when this rich man could get no hope of any comfort in hell from Abraham and Lazarus, he was so tormented, that he desired Abraham that he would send to his father's house; for he had five brethren, that they might testify unto them, for fear that they should come into that place of torment, namely, hell.
And Abraham told the rich man in hell, ‘that they had Moses and the prophets, let them hear them.
So now you have Christ to hear, and his apostles, and if you do not hear Christ's voice that speaks from heaven, and follow him who is the way to God, the truth and the life.
Then consider and see if your way is not the rich man's to hell, to his place of torment; but is it not your principle to say, that there is no hearing Christ's voice while you are alive here upon the earth?
Oh! therefore be warned, and be serious, and consider your latter end, and now you have time prize it, for fear that you say, you had time, when it is past.
For if you do not prize your time while you are upon the earth, Christ tells you, you must go to hell. No, though you call Christ Lord, and say you have preached in the streets, yet if you are found workers of iniquity; though you may have preached Christ's death and resurrection, and prophesied in his name, yet, if you are found workers of iniquity, Christ will say unto you, ‘depart from me, I know you not; go you cursed into everlasting punishment, prepared for the devil and his angels.’
And though you may say as many prayers, as the babbling Pharisees three times a day, and call Christ Lord, and do not the things which he commands, he tells you, ‘you shall not enter into the kingdom of God.’
For Christ tells you, it is those that ‘do the will of his Father, which is in heaven, that enter into the kingdom of God.’
And therefore, do not vex, nor quench, nor grieve the spirit of God, which is given unto you, to instruct you to shun the ways of sin and evil, and pleasures, which lead to hell.
And do not hate the light which Christ has enlightened you withal, that shines in your dark hearts, which would give you the knowledge of your lost state, and of your sins, and of Christ that saves you from your sins.
And do not walk despitefully against the spirit of grace, nor turn it into wantonness; which grace of God that brings salvation, has appeared unto all men, to teach them, and to bring them salvation.
And if you do hate the light, and quench his spirit, and walk despitefully against the spirit of grace, and turn it into wantonness, God and Christ will be clear of you, when you are condemned to hell fire, and in it roar.
For, what could God do more for you, who sent his Son to die for you, and sent his grace, which has appeared to all men to teach them, and bring their and your salvation; and poured out of his spirit upon all flesh; and his Son has enlightened every man that comes into the world; and he bids them ‘believe in the light, that they may become children of the light.’
And sent his apostles and disciples into all nations, to preach the gospel unto every creature freely, as they had received it freely; and yet you do hate his light, and quench his spirit, and resist it, and turn his grace into wantonness, and not obey his gospel but persecute his free messengers of it, and so do not the thing which God and Christ commands; but live in pleasure and wantonness, and despise the poor, and persecute the just; how can you expect any other end, but this rich man's in hell?
And acknowledge that God and Christ were just and merciful all your lifetime to you, before he gave you up to your heart's lusts, which you walked after, who resisted his grace and spirit, and his servants and messengers, that admonished you, within and without.
Now if any should imagine, that by giving money to priests, that they can pray your souls out of purgatory, or middle place, Abraham and Christ tell you no such thing; but tell you, you cannot come to Abraham, nor Abraham unto you, when you are dead, and in hell.
And therefore, be warned in your lifetime, for there is no repentance in the grave, it must be in your lifetime, and before you go to the grave: for, ‘as the tree falls so it lies,’ therefore, consider this while you are alive.
The 7th month, 1676
For all Masters of Ships, and Seamen to read over; and to see whether you are in the true faith that the true Christians and Holy Men of God were in, and if you are not, then turn to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the author and finisher of the Holy, Divine, and Precious Faith; and then by this faith your hearts may be purified, and with your hearts you may believe, and with your mouths you may make confession unto Salvation. Rom 10.
And here you may see how Christ called Fishermen and Seamen to be his disciples, as follows; and how Christ commanded the winds, and they obeyed him; and how that the Lord God holds the winds in his fist, and raises a storm, and makes a calm, so that all are to serve and fear him.
Those who quench the Spirit, and despise Prophesying are not like to prove all things, nor hold fast that which is good.
—By G. F.
‘After that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent, and believe the gospel.’ Mark 1:15.
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, ‘repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Now here all you seamen and fishermen, and all people may see, these four disciples of Christ their call, and what trades they were of, fishermen, and seamen; these and such were more like to follow Jesus then, and now, than the high priests that had the tithes, and such as have great benefices.
But Christ is the same today, as he was yesterday, and so forever; for it was not many, mighty and rich, but the poor that received the gospel.
‘And his disciples came to him and awoke him, saying Lord save us, we perish.’ Mark, in the time of a storm these fishermen came to Christ, and so should all seamen do now. ‘And he said to them, why are you fearful, O you of little faith? then he arose and rebuked the winds, and the sea, and there was a great calm.’
Now all you seamen and fishermen, let your eyes be to Christ, and your faith in him that has all power in heaven and in earth given to him, and he can still the storms, and tempests, and waves of the sea, and make it calm.
For both the winds and the sea do obey Christ, by whom they were made; therefore, fear God, and let your faith stand in him, who is the author and finisher of it.
‘And Jesus began to teach by the sea side, and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and there sat in the sea, (namely, in the ship), and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land,’ as you may see, Mat 13:10-15, Mark 4:1, ‘and he taught them many things by parables,’ ...
Now would not many say, that it was not a consecrated place to teach the word of God in; but I must tell you, Christ consecrates and makes all things and places holy.
And you may see in Acts 2:14-41, how Peter the fisherman, by one sermon that he preached, converted three thousand souls, as you may see from the 14th verse to the 41st, the beginning and end of his sermon.
And now all you seamen and fishermen, consider this call of Christ, who is the same today as yesterday, and so forever to you, if you will hear his voice; for he stands at the door of your hearts and knocks, and if any will hear my voice, said Christ, and open his door, (namely, of his heart, by joining to his grace, light, power, and spirit), ‘I will come in and sup with him, and he with me.’ Rev 3:21. And so the sheep of Christ hear his voice and follow him, John 10:27, for Peter the fisherman said to the Jews, how that in the last days ‘God would pour out his spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters, shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; and on my servants, and on my hand-maids I will pour out in those days of my spirit, and they shall prophesy said the Lord,’ ...
And now if God has poured out of his spirit upon all flesh, and you grieve it, and quench it, and vex it; then how can you prophesy, or have any of God's dreams or visions, or believe, or receive this fisherman's sermon, who was a disciple of Christ?
And again, in Mat 14:22-33, ‘and Jesus constrained his disciples to go into a ship, and to go before him,... But the ship was now in the midst of the sea tossed with waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went unto them walking on the sea; and when the disciples saw him walk on the sea, they were troubled, saying, it is a spirit, and they cried out for fear; but Jesus spoke unto them, saying, be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid: and Peter answered him, and said, Lord, if it be you, bid me come unto thee on the water, and he said, come; and when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water to go to Jesus: but when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me: and immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him, and said unto him, O you of little faith, therefore did you doubt? and when they had come into the ship, the wind ceased: then those who were in the ship, worshipped him, saying, of a truth, you are the Son of God.’
And now here all seamen and others, you may see it is Christ that saves, and stills the boisterous winds and waves, and makes them to cease; and therefore, you are not to doubt, but be steadfast in faith in all storms and tempests, and see and feel Jesus to lay hold upon you, as he did upon Peter, to save you from sinking in time of storms, who stills the waves of the sea, who is the same today, as he was yesterday, and so forever: a rock of your age, and a foundation of your generation, as was of former ages, as you may see, Mat 14:22-33, John 6:17-21.
‘And when Jesus knew it, he said unto them, why reason you because you have not bread? perceive you not, neither understand? have you your hearts yet hardened, having eyes, and see you not? and having ears, and hear you not?’
‘And when the seven (namely, loaves), among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took you up? and they said, seven. And Jesus said unto his disciples, how is it that you do not understand?’
Now consider you seamen, and fishermen, and others, that are not disciples of Christ; for sometimes in your ships you have been in scarcity of bread; and now here was Christ and his disciples who had only one loaf in the ship, and Christ convinced them that they had enough, by his former miracles.
And therefore, those who have Christ, they have enough, they have by whom all things were made, who gives the increase, as you may see by his miracles.
And therefore, it is good for everyone to see with the pure eye, and hear with the pure ear, so that they may perceive and understand with the pure heart what Christ did and does do, and what he is able to do in all necessities, and to take heed of Herod's and the fair-sayer's leaven, which are not the doers, but resist Christ, who does not only say, but does the will of his Father, and so do all them that follow him. Mark 7:13-21, Mat 16:6-12.
And again, ‘Christ saw two ships standing by the lake, but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets: and he entered into one of the ships which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
‘And when they had let down the net, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes, and their net brake; and they beckoned unto their partners which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them; and they came and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink: and when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus's knees, saying, depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.’
‘For Peter was astonished, and all those who were with him at the draught of fishes which they had taken; and so was also James and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon: and Jesus said unto Simon, fear not, from henceforth you shall catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed Jesus.’
Now here all you seamen, and fishermen, and others, may see that you may toil all night to catch outward fish with the nets, and take nothing.
And you that call yourselves fishers of men, you may toil all the night and catch not a man in God's net to him, except it is with the power of Christ; and therefore know his voice, and obey it, and follow him, by whom all things were made.
And therefore, all you fishermen and others, are to stand in the will of God, who gives the increase, and fills the nets and the ships; and therefore let him have the praise and follow him.
And here you may see the fishermen, and seamen; James and John, and Peter and Andrew, were fishermen, and seamen, and partners together in ships, and preachers of Christ Jesus, and caught a multitude of outward fish, and a multitude of men, which they fished out of the great sea of the world, by the command and power of Christ. Luke 5:2-11, Mat 8:18.
‘And after Christ was risen, he showed himself again to his disciples at the sea of Tiberius; on this wise he showed himself, there were together Simon Peter, and Thomas, called Didimus, and Nathaniel of Canaan in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.’
‘Simon Peter said unto them, I am going a fishing, and they said unto him, we will also go with you. They went forth and entered into a ship immediately, and that night they caught nothing; but when the morning had come, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said unto them, children, have you any food? And they answered him, no; and he said unto them, cast the net on the right side of the ship and there you shall find, and therefore they cast. Now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore, the disciple whom Jesus loved, said unto Peter, it is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he wrapped his fisherman's coat around him, (for he was naked), and jumped into the sea, and the other disciples followed in a little ship, (for they were not far from land, but as it were one hundred yards), dragging the net with fishes. As soon then as they had come to the land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread; and Jesus said unto them, bring of the fish which you have now caught, and Simon Peter went up and drew the net to the land, full of great fishes,... And Jesus said unto them, come and dine, ... And Jesus then comes and takes bread, and gives them, and fish likewise, ... And this was now the third time that Jesus showed himself after he was risen from the dead.’ John 21:2-14.
And now, all you fishermen, and seamen, and others, consider what kind of disciples and ministers the Lord Jesus Christ chose; and you may see that Peter and the rest, though they had been disciples of Christ Jesus for some years, and such that Christ has sent forth to preach before he was crucified, and after that he was risen, Christ appeared the third time unto them; and Peter had his fisherman's coat, and the disciples who were fishermen, and seamen, they were partners together in a ship.
And now, was Peter's fisherman's coat, do you think, to preach the gospel in, and to meet Christ in, and to dine with him in? I say, "yes, it was as good as any of the canonical [the Pope's fine robes] garments."
And consider, you fishermen, and seamen, and others, how all these disciples had been fishing all the night, but had caught nothing.
But when the morning had come, and they saw Jesus, after he was risen, at his command they cast in the net, and drew it full of fish to the shore. So it is by the will of God and Christ what everyone catches, who made all things, and upholds all things by his word and power, and fills all, and knows what all have need of; for as Christ said, ‘a sparrow shall not fall to the ground without the will of the Father;’ so a fish cannot be caught in the net without his will.
And likewise, you fishermen, and seamen, and others, may see, that Jesus, by whom all things were made, had provided these fishermen and seamen, who were his disciples, a fire, and fish upon it, and bread upon the land, when they had been fishing in the sea.
And therefore, you may see, how that Christ who upholds all things, and has all power given unto him, provides for his disciples, and seamen, and fishermen; for he gave them both fish in the sea, and fish [and bread,] upon the land, whom he sent forth, and gave commission to preach, and said, ‘freely you have received, freely give.’
So here you may all see, how the disciples of Christ were encouraged to trust in him, and that their minds might be carried over all distrust of carnal things and outward victuals.
And now, you fishermen, and seamen, and all others, may see Christ's words fulfilled unto his disciples, who said unto them, ‘follow me, and I will make you fishers of men; for Peter in one draught caught three thousand in God's net; and you may read Peter's two general epistles which he freely gave forth.
Also, you may see John the fisherman, a disciple of Christ, his evangelists, [what the Bible incorrectly calls the gospel of John], his general epistle, and his two epistles, and his Revelation: come, you seamen, and fishermen, and others, and see what you can say for Christ, that is the same today, as yesterday, and so forever; and come, let us see what nets you have, if it be the power of God, that will pluck them out of the sea of wickedness.
If the seamen had taken Paul's counsel, when he said, ‘sirs, I perceive, that this voyage will be for hurt, and much damage; not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives: but neither the centurion, nor the master believed Paul's words; but his words came to pass,’ as you see in Acts 27:10-11. But the Lord preserved Paul, and their lives.
So you may see it is not the seaman's skill, but the Lord's power, which all are to have faith in, and to obey him, by whom they are saved and preserved.
James, [the brother of Jesus, an apostle of Christ, and succeeding Peter as the head of the Church in Jerusalem], in his general epistle to the twelve tribes, said, ‘behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us, and we turn about their whole body: behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, wherever the governor lists; even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things: behold how great a matter a little fire kindles; and the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity,’ ...
Now mark, all you seamen, and all you bridlers of horses, and all others that tame other creatures, see that you can bridle and tame your own tongues, and turn about your tongues in your passion, as soon as you do your horses; and as soon as you do your great ships, when you turn them about: so see that you can so soon turn your tongues when the fierce winds of passion are up; and tame your tongues, for fear that that unruly member defile your whole bodies, and ‘set on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell.’ Jam 3:6. For can you tame serpents, and all kinds of beasts, and of birds, and things in the sea, and not tame your tongue, that unruly member that is full of deadly poison? Bridle it, I say, with God's bridle, (his power.)
‘For the tongue of the just is as choice silver; and the tongue of the wise is health.’ Prov 10:20, 12:18, ‘the tongue of the wise uses knowledge aright; and a wholesome tongue is a tree of life.’ Prov 15:2,4. And, ‘in a virtuous woman's tongue is the law of kindness.’ Prov 31:26.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, who made tents with Priscilla and Aquila, and wrought with his hands, that he might not be chargeable to others, and he did not only maintain himself, but he also helped others with his labor, who had received his gospel, not from man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ, which he preached freely, as he received of Christ freely, after Christ was risen; for Christ had given his command to his twelve disciples before he was crucified, ‘freely as they had received, freely give.’ And now, consider Matthew, who was called from his custom, and Luke, who was a physician, and John the fisherman, and Peter, and the rest who were disciples of Christ; did they not give forth all their evangelists and epistles freely, as they had preached freely?
And did not Paul, the apostle of Christ, who was a tent-maker, who said of the Jews, ‘five times I received forty stripes save one; three times was I beaten with rods; once was I stoned; three times I suffered shipwreck; a night and a day I have been in the deep, in journeying often, in perils of water, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watching often, in hunger and in thirst, in fasts often, in cold and nakedness,’ ... as you may see in 2 Cor 11:24-27.
This, you see, was the condition of Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, who made tents, besides all his imprisonments.
Now did not this apostle preach freely, who said ‘he labored with his hands that he might be an example to others that followed him.’ So you may see that he did not sit down, doing nothing, while drawing a great salary; and did not he give forth all his epistles freely? Did not he give forth his epistle to the Romans, and his two epistles to the Corinthians, and his epistle to the Galatians, and his epistle to the Ephesians, and his epistle to the Philippians, and his epistle to the Colossians, and his two epistles to the Thessalonians freely? Did he not say, ‘I charge you by the Lord, that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren,’ as in 1 Thes 5:27? And Paul's two epistles to Timothy, and one epistle to Titus, and his epistle to Philemon, and his epistle to the Hebrews, and how that God in these last days has spoken to us (the true church), by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world.
Now consider all people, did not all the holy prophets, and all the holy men of God give forth all their books freely, from Adam to Christ, to be read, believed, practiced and fulfilled? Did not all the holy apostles, and all the holy evangelists give forth all their evangelists [called gospels in the Bible], epistles, and revelations freely; to be read, believed, and practiced? Or did they give them forth freely, that men after them should make a trade of them, and to have an annual salary for preaching of them, which they prophesied, and preached freely, and gave forth freely.
The apostle does not say, ‘preach his epistles,’ but ‘read them,’ as in Col 4:16, 1 Thes 5:27. And likewise the Lord said, ‘you shall read my law to all Israel in their hearing.’ Deut 31:11. And Isaiah said, ‘seek you out of the book of the Lord and read,’ ... And Jeremiah sent Baruch to read his book or roll. Jer 36:4-6. So both the old and New Testament were given forth to be read, and believed, and to be obeyed, and fulfilled, as you may see in Ezra 4:18, Nehem 8:3, Jer 29:19, Ephes 3:4-5, Mat 1:22, Luke 4:16, Mark 13:21, 24, 49, John 19:24,28,36,Acts 1:16.
Now is there more money gotten by any one thing, than by preaching of the scriptures, and some old authors with them? Let it be cast up in all nations in Christendom, and see how much their revenues comes to yearly, for those who do not obey Christ's doctrines, who said, ‘freely you have received, freely give;’ nor follow the apostle Paul's example, ‘to keep the gospel without charge.’ And the apostle said, 1 Tim 1:19, where he exhorts Timothy, ‘to hold fast his faith and a good conscience, which some having put away, (concerning faith), they have made shipwreck.’ Now consider this you seamen, and others, when your ships are wrecked what condition you are in, you are fallen to pieces, you are broken, and many times in the sea; so that you have great distress. And when you have made shipwreck of faith and a good conscience, then where are you, but split in the sea of the world, and the waves of the world go over your heads, that you have no victory: and therefore consider what condition all the world is in, that say, they have not victory on this side the grave; and those who must have a purgatory when they are dead: have they not made shipwreck of faith and a good conscience, and are split in the world, the sea? have not faith, nor victory out of it, and over it on this side the grave; when as the apostle said, ‘the holy and precious divine faith, which Christ Jesus is the author and finisher of, it purifies their hearts;’ and by it they are justified, and in it they please God; which faith is their victory, by which they have access to God, over the world and out of its sea.
In Jer 16 there you may see, when the Jews transgressed the law of God, and became worse than their forefathers, how they were then as in a sea: for ‘behold, I will send for many fishers, said the Lord, and they shall fish them; and I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.’
So here you may see, men are called fish, and men are called fishers, and then consider, where is the fish, and where is the sea? Is not the sea the world which lies in transgression, and rebellion against the spirit of God? (and such as make shipwreck of faith and a good conscience), are they not in it? Jer 16:16.
But said the prophet, ‘you are (namely, the Lord), of purer eyes than to behold evil, that cannot look on iniquity: therefore look you upon them that deal treacherously, and hold your tongue when the wicked devours the man, that is more righteous than he, and make men as the fishes of the sea, and as the creeping things that have no rule over them: they take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their nets, and gather them in their drags; therefore, they rejoice and are glad; therefore, they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag, and because by them, their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous,’ ... Here is the wicked men's fishing, and the wicked men's sacrifice, which is not to be followed.
In Jonah 2 there you may see Jonah's prayer, and the steadfastness of his faith, which he had, and prayed to the Lord God out of the fish's belly. Jonah 2 throughout.
You may see the cause of Jonah's being cast into the sea, how that it was for his disobedience; for when the Lord commanded him to go to Nineveh, to preach repentance to it, he fled away, and went to Joppa, and found a ship, and so paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go from there to Tarshish, from the presence of the Lord; ‘but the Lord sent out a great wind in the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken: and then the mariners were afraid, and cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah to be cast into the sea; and when they had cast him into the sea, it ceased from raging.’
Now all you mariners, and seamen, and fishermen and others, whose faith stands not in God, and Christ Jesus the author of it, when you have storms and great winds, and tempests in the sea; then do not you say, that some witch or ill-tongued people have bewitched your ship, and raised that wind, or some ill-tongued body has raised this storm and tempest.
Let New England professors see if they are not guilty of this; and whether or not they have not sometimes cast some poor simple people into the sea, on pretence of being witches. So let them and you see who hold such things, and believe such things, if you are not in disobedience to the power, spirit and faith of God, and in the sin of witchcraft yourselves.
For you may see, it was the Lord who sent out the wind, and raised that mighty storm in the sea, and not your witches or ill-tongued people, as you vainly imagine, as you may see in Jonah1:4. For if you were in the true saving faith, which Christ Jesus is the author of, that faith gives you victory over the devil, the head of all your witches, and brings you to have access to God, who makes a storm, and makes a calm.
The Lord commands and raises up the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of it, and not your witches nor ill-tongued people.
David said, ‘those who go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep for he commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of it. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths. Their soul is melted because of trouble;they reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits ends. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distresses. He makes the storm a calm, so that the waves of it are still; then are they glad, because they be quiet. So he brings them unto their desired haven. O that men would praise the Lord, for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.’ Psalm 107:23-31.
So you may see it is the Lord that commands and raises the winds and the storms, and allays them again, and not the witches, or ill-tongued people; and that brings men to their desired haven, both outward and inward.
Now mark all you seamen, when you have wind that makes a storm in the sea, the Lord has brought it out of his treasure. But the disobedient and rebellious against God's power, spirit and faith, and enemies to his truth and people say, when a storm or wind is raised in the sea, some witch, or some ill-tongued people have raised it; and these are erred from the true faith as David was in, who said, ‘whatsoever the Lord pleases, that does he, in heaven, and in the earth, and in the sea, and all deep places.’ Psalm 135:6.
Now if the witches raise the storms and the winds, then the winds and storms must fulfill your witches' and ill-tongued people's words; but the storms and the winds fulfill God's word; and he raises up a storm or a wind, that walks upon the wings of the wind. And your witches cannot come into God's treasure, to fetch his wind out there, for they are out of his power. No, have not some of your faithless seamen, and you that think so, pretended to buy winds? Oh! what darkness and ignorance, and a shame to christianity! You are like to the clouds and winds without rain, and wells without water, and trees without fruit, as you may see in Prov 25:14 and in Jude.
Who has gathered the winds in his fist? Who has bound the waters in his garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his Son's name, if you can tell?’ Prov 30:4. Who with your dark spirit imagines, that the witches can fetch or pluck the wind out of God's fist. Oh! abominable! it is much if the Lord does not let his wind fly at you, and raise a storm against you, who are erred from the faith of the holy men of God; for Christ commands the winds and they obey him. Luke 8:25.
Where do you read in all the scriptures, that the witches raised winds, or that any seamen did go to buy winds of them? Let us see the chapter and verse for it; either among the people of God, or among the heathen; and if you cannot, stop your mouths, and of such practices be ashamed, for dishonoring christianity, who are contrary both to the law and gospel; and turn to the Lord, who walks upon the wings of the wind, and holds the winds in his fist, and can let them fly out in blasts to terrify the wicked; but the just live by the faith in God and Christ, who is the author of it; who makes the storm a calm, and commands the winds, and brings them out of his treasure at his pleasure. The righteous know, that the stormy winds obey and fulfill God's word.
So the righteous can praise the Lord that created the winds, and all things in the heaven and in the earth, and in the sea; and renews man by Christ, into his image, and gives him dominion over all; praise and glory, honor and thanks be unto the Lord, who is over all, from everlasting to everlasting.
All the faithful know, that ‘a sparrow shall not fall to the ground without the will of the Father,’ much more a man, who is of greater value than many sparrows.
Therefore do not be faithless, but believe in Christ the light, who commands the winds and storms; by whom all things were made, and are upheld, by his word and power, Heb 1:2-3; ‘the law of your mouth is better unto me than thousands of coins of gold and silver.’ Psa 119:72.
Swarthmore in Lancashire, the 28th of the 8th month, 1676.
And God will dry up Babylon's sea, and make her springs dry; for God brought them like a sea over the Jews, when they transgressed his law, and went from the Lord their rock and salvation.
And again it is said, ‘the sea shall come upon Babylon, and she shall be covered with the multitude of her waves.’ So when the Medes and Persians came upon Babylon, then the sea came over them, and the Jews had their liberty. Jer 51:42.
So spiritual Babylon is the mother of harlots, she sits upon the waters, which are nations, people, and tongues; but God will dry up her waters which have overflown since the apostles' days, who has persecuted the people of God; and out of her sea has risen the great storms of persecution, and the beast which rose out of the sea, with his storms of persecution. And it is the power of darkness, which keeps the people in spiritual Egypt, Sodom and Babylon, in this sea.
‘But in Christ's peaceable kingdom, and on his holy mountain, the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.’
So he gathers them with his power, spirit and light, and his ensign is not set up for only the Jews or a single nation only, but for all nations in general; ‘who enlightens every man that comes into the world,’ that with his light they may see him and his ensign, Christ the heavenly and spiritual man.
So the gathering of all nations is unto him, by his heavenly light which he enlightens them withal.
‘And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea, and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, in the perfection of it; and men shall go over dry-shod.’ Isa 11:15.
And the Lord will destroy in this mountain, the face of the covering that is cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations, [mark, face of the covering all nations,] not just a nation; that all people may see the salvation of God, with the light which comes from Christ their Savior; and if they do not believe in it, it will be their condemnation.
And this covering must be taken off all people before the knowledge of the Lord covers the earth, as the waters cover the sea.
For the beast had his power from the dragon, and the whore is erred from Christ the truth; and Egypt in the spirit, and the spiritual Egyptians will say, ‘who is God, or his Son the light, that they should obey him?’ (like the old Egyptian.) And Christ was crucified in spiritual Sodom and Egypt.
So here the Jews, scribes, Pharisees, and high priests, who crucified Christ without the gates of Jerusalem, are called spiritual Egypt, and Sodom, who were the greatest professors in the world. But Christ is the ensign set up to the nations, who stills Mystery Babylon's sea. After Babylon has fallen, and the seas have dried up, then the new heaven, and the new earth is seen; for the first heaven and first earth were passed away, and then there was no more sea. So when the first heavens and the first earth are passed away, then the new earth, and the new heavens are seen; and here is seen the holy city, New Jerusalem, prepared as a bride for her husband Christ.
And here is the first and last seen, their husband Christ; and the marriage of the Lamb is come.
So here is abundance of the world, which is called the sea, that shall be converted to Christ Jesus; for the Gentiles are the nations, and the Gentiles shall come to Christ's light; the sea the world; for nations and tongues are waters.
The sea said, wisdom is not in me. Job 28. Now the wisdom that is pure, is from above the sea, and those who fear God receive it.
‘And he shall pass through the sea with afflictions, and shall smite the waves of the sea, and all the deeps of the rivers shall be dried up; and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart away.’
And the Lord said, ‘When I came, was there no man? When I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that I cannot redeem, or have I no power, to deliver? Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea.’ And here the great power of God and Christ is seen. Isa. 50:2. The wicked are compared to a troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt; their waters are foul, Isa 57:20.
‘There is no peace to the wicked, said my God,' Isa 1:57:21; for they are always roaring, and wallowing, and making a noise.
And the cruel people that have no mercy, their voice roars like a sea, as in Jer 6:23. This sea, this merciless cruel people, which is like a roaring sea, was to come over the Jews for disobeying the Lord; and therefore for all people to believe in the light, with which Christ has enlightened you, and walk in the light, that you may see Christ the rock, and build upon him, who is sure against all weathers.
And Christ will bruise the head of the serpent; for the Lord with his sore, and great and strong sword shall punish the leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent, which makes the world (both men and women), crooked.
And he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea, [mark, in the sea,] for his habitation is in the wicked like a roaring sea, and they plead for him and his sin until they go to the grave, and not for Christ that bruises his head; and the Lord that destroys him with his great sword.
But those who plead for Christ, ‘can sing unto the Lord of his vineyard; for the Lord does keep it,’ and will water it every moment, for fear that any hurt it. ‘I will keep it night and day, said the Lord;’ glory to his name forever, who is the keeper of his people, and this we witness who are his vineyard, as in Isaiah 27:2-3.
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