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ness, but (by their unmortified lives) deny the power thereof, make not the true, but false church: which though she intitle herself the lamb's bride, or church of Christ, she is that mystery or mysterious Babylon, fitly called by the Holy Ghost, the mother of harlots, and all abominations ;' because degenerated from christian chas. tity and purity, into all the enormities of heathen Babylon: a sumptuous city of old time, much noted for the seat of the kings of Babylon, and at that time the place in the world of greatest pride and luxury. As she was then, so mystical Babylon is now, the great enemy of God's people.
Sect. 7. True it is, “ they that are born of the flesh, hate and persecute them that are born of the spirit, who are the circumcision in heart. It seems they cannot own, nor worship God after her inventions, methods and prescriptions, nor receive for doctrine her vain traditions, any more than they can comply with her corrupt fashions and customs in their conversation. The case being thus, from an apostate she becomes a persecutor. It is not enough that she herself declines from ancient purity, others must do so too. She will give them no rest, that will not partake with her in that degeneracy, or receive her mark. Are any wiser than she, than mother church? No, no : nor can any make war with the beast she rides upon, those worldly powers that protect her, and vow her maintenance against the cries of her dissenters. Apostacy and superstition are ever proud and impatient of dissent; all must conform or perish." Therefore the slain witnesses, and blood of the souls under the altar, are found within the walls of this mystical Babylon, this great city of false christians, and are charged upon her by the Holy Ghost, in the revelation. Nor is it strange that she should slay the servants, who first crucified the Lord: but strange and barbarous too, that she should kill her husband, and murder her Saviour, titles she seems so fond of, and that have been so profitable to her ; and that she would recommend herself by, though with. out all justice. But her children are reduced so entirely under the dominion of darkness, by means of their continued disobedience to the manifestation of the divine light in their souls, that they forget what man once was, or they should now be; and know not true and pure christianity when they meet it, yet pride themselves to profess it. Their measures are so carnal and false about salvation, they call good evil, and evil good; they make a devil a christian, and a saint a devil. So that though the unrighteous latitude of their lives be matter of lamentation, as to themselves it is of destruction ; yet that common apprehension, that they may be children of God while in a state of disobedience to his holy commandments; and disciples of Jesus, though they revolt from his cross; and members of his true church, which is without spot or wrinkle, notwithstanding their lives are full of spots and wrinkles; is, of all other deceptions upon themselves, the most pernicious to their eternal condition. For they are at peace in sin, and under a security in their transgression. Their vain hope silences their convictions, and over-lays all tender motions to repentance : so that their mistake about their duty to God, is as mischievous as their rebellion against him.
! Rev. xvii. 5.
m Gal. iy. 29.
* Rev. vi. 9.
Thus they walk on precipices, and flatter themselves, till the grave swallows them up, and the judgment of the great God breaks the lethargy, and undeceives their poor wretched souls with the anguish of the wicked, as the reward of their work.
Sect. 8. This has been, is, and will be the doom of all worldly christians : an end so dreadful, that if there were nothing of duty to God, or obligation to men, being a man, and one acquainted with the terrors of the Lord in the way and work of my own salvation, compassion alone were sufficient to excite me to this dissuasive against the world's superstitions and lusts, and to invite the professors of christianity to the knowledge and obedience of the daily cross of Christ, as the alone way, left by him, and appointed us to blessedness : that they who now do but usurp the name, may have the thing ; and by the power of the cross (to which they are now dead, instead of being dead to the world by it) may be made partakers of the resurrection that is in Christ Jesus, unto newness of life. For they that are truly in Christ, that is redeemed by and interested in him, are new creatures. They have received a new will, such as does the will of God, not their own. They pray in truth, and do not mock God, when they say, “thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” They have new affections, such as are set on things above, and make Christ their eternal treasure. New faith such as overi comes snares and temptations of the world's spirit in themselves, or as it appears through others : and lastly, new works, not of superstitious contrivance, or of human invention, but the pure fruits of the spirit of Christ working in them, as love, joy, peace, meekness, longsuffering, temperance, brotherly-kindness, faith, patience, gentleness and goodness, against which there is no law ;? and they that have not this spirit of Christ, and walk not in it, the apostle Paul has told us, are none of his; but the wrath of God, and condemnation of the law, will lie upon them. For if “ there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit,” which is Paul's doctrine ; they that walk not according to that Holy Spirit, by his doctrine, are not in Christ : that is, have no interest in him, nor just claim to salvation by him: and consequently there is condemnation to such.
Sect. 9. And the truth is, the religion of the wicked is a lie: “there is no peace, saith the prophet, to the wicked."
Indeed there can be none, they are reproved in their own consciences, and condemned in their own hearts, in all their disobedience. Go where they will, rebukes go with them, and oftentimes terrors too: for it is an offended God that pricks them, and who, by
o Gal. vi. 15.
2 Col. . 1, 2, 3.
a Gal. v. 22, 23.
his light, sets their sins in order before them. Sometimes they strive to appease him, by their corporal framed devotion and worship, but in vain; for true worshipping of God, is doing his will, which they transgress. The rest is a false compliment, like him that said he would
and did not. Sometimes they fly to sports and company, to drown the reprover's voice, and blunt his arrows, to chase away troubled thoughts, and secure themselves out of the reach of the disquieter of their pleasures: but the Almighty first or last is sure to overtake them. There is no flying his final justice, for those that reject the terms of his mercy. Impenitent rebels to his law may then call to the mountains, and run to the caves of the earth for protection, but in vain : his all-searching eye will penetrate their thickest coverings, and strike upalight in that obscurity, which shall terrify their guilty souls; and which they shall never be able to extinguish. Indeed their accuser is with them, they can no more be rid of him, than of themselves; he is in the midst of them, and will stick close to them. That spirit which bears witness with the spirits of the just, will bear witness against theirs. Nay, their own hearts will abundantly come in against them; and, “ If our heart condemn us, says the apostle John, God is greater, and knows all things :" that is, there is no escaping the judgments of God, whose power is infinite, if a man is not able to escape the condemnation of himself. It is at that day, proud and luxurious christians shall learn, that God is no respecter of persons; that all sects and names shall be swallowed up in these two kinds, sheep and goats, just and unjust : and the very righteous must have a trial for it. Which made that holy man cry out, “ If the righteous are scarcely saved, where shall the wicked and ungodly appear ?" If their thoughts, words, and works must stand the test, and come under scrutiny before the impartial judge of heaven and earth, how then should the ungodly be exempted ? No, we are told by him that cannot lie, many shall then even cry, Lord,
• Matt. xxi. 30.
31 John iii. 20.
w 1 Pet. iv. 18.
Lord, set forth their profession, and recount the works that have been done in his name, to make him propi. tious, and yet be rejected with this direful sentence,
Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity, I know you not."
As if he had said, Get you gone, you evil doers; though you have professed me, I will not know you : your vain and evil lives have made you unfit for my holy kingdom ; get you hence, and go to the gods whom you have served ; your beloved lusts, which you have worshipped, and the evil world that you have so much coveted and adored : let them save you now, if they can, from the wrath to come upon you, which is the wages of the deeds you have done. Here is the end of their work that build upon the sand, the breath of the judge will blow it down; and woful will the fall thereof be. Oh, it is now, that the righteous have the better of the wicked! which made an apostate cry in old time, “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like unto his." For the sentence is changed, and the judge smiles : he casts the eye of love upon his own sheep, and invites them with a "come ye blessed of my Father," that through patient continuance in well-doing, have long waited for immortality : you have been the true companions of my tribulations and cross, and with unwearied faithfulness, in obedience to my holy will, valiantly endured to the end, looking to me, the author of your precious faith, for the recompense of reward, that I have promised to them that love me, and faint not: “ O enter ye into the joy of your Lord, and inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
Sect. 10. O Christendom! my soul most fervently prays, that after all thy lofty professions of Christ and his meek and holy religion, thy unsuitable and un-christlike life may not cast thee at that great assize of the world, and lose thee so great salvation at last. Hear me once, I beseech thee. Can Christ be thy Lord, and thou
* Mat, vii. 23.
y Numb. xxüi. 10.
2. Mat. xxv. 34.