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Again, he often went to the feast of the Jews, and to a wedding, to shew forth the power of his Father, in turning water into wive; but we never find that ever he was drunk, or eat a bit of flesh at any of their feasts, or weddings. The passover was his own feast, and did belong to the fulfilling of the law of the Father in his flesh, even for a disobedient people, which the Lord, by Moses, brought out of Egypt from their pesh pots, into the wilderness, to purify their bodies with angels food, called manna, which they ground in mills, or beat in mortars, to make in cakes: Bnt they, losing their grossness, grew lean and hungry, and murmured, and rebelled against the Loril, lusting after the flesh-pots of Egypt. Their desires being much and strong, the Lord granted them flesh, even as he granted them a king, and his wrath and plague came with it, as you may see in Numb. xi. 33. and Psal. Ixxvii. 31. While the flesh was yet between their teeth, before it was chewed, even then the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with an exceeding great plague. Thus, you see, what miserable creatures we are, being bred up with flesh and blood, onions and garlick, all under Mars, whom God hath made governor all over that humour that lusteth after flesh and blood, which is made strong in us, by feeding of it, as I myself may speak by experience. For, if God had commanded me to forbear flesh before I had knowledge of this my discourse, although he had sent an angel, or a man working miracles, I doubt I should have judged all to be of the devil, for the lust I had after the sweetness of flesh; even as the rich men, in these our days, will deny the Scripture, wherein Christ commanded the rich man in the gospel, to sell his goods, and give to the poor. But they will say, it reached no farther, than that one rich man should; for, say they, it we should believe this Scripture extended to us, we should make the poor richer than ourselves. So it seems by this, that they had rather deny this Scripture, and many more that speak to this purpose, even Christ and all, rather than to part from their riches; this would have been my condition in ignorance.

Therefore let not the rich men mistake me, and think that I would have them sell their goods, before God hath enlightened their understandings, and let them see the danger of keeping it, for then they would play the hypocrites, and do as bad to themselves, as if they had kept it, although good to others. This would be the condition of every one that shall forbcar Hesh, or beer, as in relation to God, because it is a sin against the body, or bodies and souls of men: Except any man think he sins against God in eating, to him it is sin, because he is weak and doubteth: So he ought 10 forbear, because of his scruple; as you shall see in Ruin. xiv. 8. I Cor. viii. 10. For if any man sce thee, which hath knowledge, sit at table in the idul's temple, shall not the conscience of bim which is weak, be imboldened to eat those things which are sacrificed to idols? You may observe from this, that he that walketh by another man's light, before he is fully convinced in himself, if he buildeth on sand, he will fall in the tempest, because he hath lost his tender light of his scruple, which Paul endeavoured to strengthen in every one of his brethren, let them be of what opinion they would in matter of conscience. It is very plain ia Rom. xiv. and very fuw in these days believeth it; for we all cry out against many opinions, yet every one would have his own opinion justified. We may as well cry out and condemn every one his neighbour, because they differ in physiognomy, and so condemn the work of God without us, as well as within us; but this is rebellion against our Maker: for the Scripture commandeth us not to judge one another in matter of conscience towards God, but for the sin against our brethren and neighbours. We ought to know the tree by its fruits. So that any man or men in countries, towns, or cities, that shall defraud their brethren, and shall advance themselves in pride by oppression and tyranny, imitating Sodom and Gomorrah in all manner of abominations ; if any see this imitated in England, it is high time for us, or them that do so, to become imitators of Chris: and the prophets ; first, in order of the prophets that came before Christ, who were ordered by their practice to shew Israel their transgressions, in drinking water by measure, and in making bread; for Ezekiel took of wheat, barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and fishes, and put them in a vessel, and made bread thereof; and, instead of butter and spice, he was to take cow's dung instead of men's dung, to prepare his bread withi, and he was to have his portion by weight, Ezek. iv. 9. Thus, the prophet was to shew them their error in matter of food; and for cloathing, you may see in Isa. xx, who was a praphet of God, ordered not only to wear sackcloth, but to go naked, and without shoes three years. If these Scriptures are written for our learning, imitation, and practice, then we are to judge which are the prophets of God, by this practice in Scripture; and if so, where shall we find prophets of God? But some will say, we are to follow Christ and the apostles, in the New Testament; and, if you will have it so, then we must exactly see what orders they had in their commission, that we know them from birelings. We find in the commission, that they were to go and preach without money, or scrips, or shoes on their feet, but to be shod with sandals, Mark vi. 8. So we may doubt whether we shall tind any apostles too, if we shall judge by Christ's commission; but, if you will not own these Scriptures, neither let us try them that mark out the false apostles and teachers, namely John s. where he saith, the bireling is not his shepherd; and Mat. vii, where he saith, ye shall know them by their fruits, inwardly they are ravening wolves. Many more Scriptures to this purpose there are ; but, if you have a mind to your hireling still, you will believe no Scripture that is against him, neither is there any for him ; so that all true practical part of Scriptures must be laid aside; only talk of it and dispute of it a little, and pick out of it a few places to preach out of, and to write, to get some money to uphold their pride and honour in this world, to please the old man in the flesh. Surely if John the Baptist should come forth again, and call himself leveller, and take such food as the wilderness yielded, and such cloathing, and preach up bis former doctrine, “ He that hath two coats should give away one of them, and he that hath food should do likewise;' how scornfully would our proud gentlemen and gallants look on him, that hath gotten three or jour coats with great gold and silver buttons, and half a score dainty dishes at his table, besides bis gallant house, and his furniture therein; VOL. VI.


therefore this Scripture must be interpreted some other way, or else de nied; and this is our condition, if the Scripture will not serve for our own ends to fulfil selfish desires, to uphold the old man in his fleshly honour, which belongeth to the magistrate only, whom God bath made a mjuister for thy wealth's sake, and doth not at all belong to innocency, nor Christ in the spirit; for there is small sign of the old man's dying or putting off, whilst be smites his fellows for the liberty of his fleshly desires; and this is our condition, that love the world, in whom the love of God cannot be, I John ii. 15, 16. • Love not the world, neither the things of the world: If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him; for all that is in the world, as the lust of the fiesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of lite, is not of the father, but is of the world: These Scriptures have I endeavoured formerly to interpret some other way, by absurdities and consequences; how that, if we should not wear superfluous things, thousands of people would starve for want of trading, and so by consequence bring greater evil upon us : So I, being not willing to lose my pride and worldly pomp, I questioned the truth of the Scriptures, and even God himself, and all for want of some glimpse of spiritual light, which my natural eyes in reason could not discern. Therefore, the most High was pleased to con. vince nie with natural forms, namely, birds of the air, which every day brought me intelligence according to my worldly occasions; for almost three years space I have observed them, for they would foretel me of any danger or cross, or any joy from friends; I mean any danger or dishonour to my person, or loss of cattle, or corn, or any other disade vantage to my advancement in the world ; and this clearly convinced me, that there was a power above mav. Then I considered the wise man's saying, Eccles. x. 20. • Curse not the king, no not in thy thought, neither curse the rich in thy bed.chamber, for the fowls of heaven shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall declare the matter:' Also I considered that God made use of a bird to feed Elias the prophet; by this I saw, that he made use of natural causes to fulfil natu. ral desires, so I came to know God in nature. Moreover, I considered the Scriptures where the Lord speaks against the sooth-sayers, and against astrologers, sorcerers, and wizards; all these I found to be the spirits of darkness, and will reach no further then the old man in the flesh, yet very necessary to be known, that we may avoid the evil there. of. Christ and the prophets knew all these things, or else they would never have spoken against them, but we in the old man have oiten spoken against things that we knew not, out of blind zeal, but not according to knowledge :

Therefore let the Scripture rule us, that we judge no man's heart, which belongeth to God only in the spirit, but our judgment must be external of every tree according to their fruits; for by their fruits we ought to know them. So to riprove every man his neighbour to his face, leave off backbiting and slandering one another, and making up our laughter in deriding the actions of others, which we cannot do, unless we think ourselves wiser than they. This sad thing have I observe ed in many families, when they have happened in any discourse, it seldom or never ended without backbiting, or deriding one another behind their backs with their tongues, which causeth envy, and sets on fire every man that useth it against his neighbour, according to the Scripture, Jam. iii. and this cometh for want of mortifying the old man in the Aesh, Rom. viii. 13. These and many other helps there are in the Scriptures, if we will believe it, to overcome the flesh; for Christ saith, Mat. vii. 8. “Whosoever asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.' This Scripture seems to reach further than the disciples in some cases; for some that did not believe made use of his name to cast out devils, and it seems the power of God assisted them therein; for they could not do it by the power

of the devil, for then they would not have made use of Christ's name. Again, Christ himself saith, If Satan cast out Satan, his kingdom cannot stand,' Mat. xii. 26. And it is contrary to any reason, that God should cast out God, or the devil cast out the devil. So we find according 10 the whole tenour of Scripture, that God answereth all sorts of people according to that dispensation they are under, if their desires are fervent, whether it be for iheir good, or their hurt, as I have proved sufficiently in my discourse concerning the flesh given to the children of Israel, 1 Sam. viii. 7. where God saith to Samuel, “ Hear the voice of the people in all that they shall say unto thee.' So God condescended to the desires of the people for the hurt of their bodies in granting them a king; but if any out of zeal towards God in the spirit will pray unto him, and yet would uphold the righteousness of God in the flesh; God answering them with such spirits as may dishonour them in this world, by lying or false prophesying, to destroy the honour of the old man in them, that they may be brought forth as tried in the fire, more pure in the spirit of light; but if any shall enquire after God at the mouth of bis prophets, only to uphold The honour and ambition of the old man in this world, God will send them false spirits to preach lyes, on purpose to destroy them; and this will come upon those that are for their own ambitious ends, as you may see in 1 Kings xxii. where the false spirits wait on God for their message, and God sends them forth, and bids them prosper, to please Ahab in his request. Thus we see for the love of this world people are destroyed. Then let us conclude, that it is high time to cast off the old man with his rudiments, with his malice and envy, and entertain light, love, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. That this may be our treasure, leading us up to that throne of grace, full of unspeakable joys, where Christ sittech in the council of his father, with all his angels, entertaining all with fulness of joy, that enter in at this narrow gate, wiping away all tears, and all desires shall cease, and sorrow shall never more come near them; and instead thereof such joy, that neither tongue of men or an. gels can express.

If men and angels do prove silent, then
Why should not I, an inferior man;
Now am I silent, and indite no more,
Pray use no violence then against the poor.


Mortal form, what dost thou mean,

To make such long delay;
Keeping thy soul so poor and lean,

Against the dreadful day?
To which we all must once appear,

To receive our sentence deep;
The sorrowing heart, and terrible fears,

Making our souls to weep.
Two things there are to us propos’d,

Whilst we on earth do dwell;
In chusing one, the other's lost,

Let it be heaven or hell.
Then must our choice be circumspect,

Without a worldly mind :
Lest God one day do us reject,
And we no mercy

If heaven we choose, then hell is lost,

We cannot it embrace;
But to the glory of joy we must,

Swallowed be in endless grace.
If hell we choose, the world is gain'd,

Which is that flesh desires :
Then need we nothing to refrain,

That pride and lust requires.
Such are our lusts and covetousness,

The belly and back to please;
With selling and buying, dissembling and lying,

Yet we cannot live at ease.
But still in discontent abide,

Desiring after more:
Our envy would that all had died,

That loved not the whore.
Her merchants they do howl and weep,

Their traffick none will buy:
They wishing now to sow or reap,

One year before they die.
In Revelation, Chap. nineteen,

In truth there you may read;
Who'tis shall bear the scepter,

When the old whore is dead.
Thus to the wise in their conceit,

As I myself have been :
They now shall know that once they might,

Have left the greatest sin.
O England then repent

For the misery thou art in,
Which have all, by consent,

Liv'd on each others sin.
If pride should banish'd be away,

Then tradesmen out would cry,

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