« ForrigeFortsæt »
MR. LODOWICK MUGGLETON,
UPON HIS INTERPRETATION OF
THE BOOK OF THE REVELATIONS.
IT was my great good happiness to see
Part of this your unveiled mystery, 'Ere to the censures of the world it went, Or open lay upon the continent:
And in that part, methought I did descry
And cures such griefs, as nothing else could do.
You are the gardner, and your work's the plant, The fruit's the experience of each precious saint, Which is an antidote for to expel
The pois'nous and temptatious snares of hell;
To blow the coals, and not to quench the fire:
Which hath such strength in that close element,
EPISTLE to the READER.
HAD thoughts when I writ the Interpretation of the eleventh of the Revelation, to have written no more
books, thinking in myself that there were sufficient mysteries written to have satisfied the spirit of any man, as well as myself, who came to understand the mysteries of the true God, and the right devil, as I myself did.
And because those heavenly things there treated upon were so strange, neither did I ever find, or read such a kind of language, not in all the ancient fathers writings, and all who have undertaken to interpret the scriptures, and especially this book of the Revelation of St. John.
In all my zeal in religion, which was very great, I found no satisfaction neither in their writings nor in their preaching; which was an evident sign to me, that those preachers and writers were not sent of God.
For certainly if they had, I should have found rest there, and so would many more; but I see all our preachers and teachers of all opinions in religion, they did and do come short of the glory of God, in that none of them hath, or can declare unto the people neither by writing, nor speaking, what the true God is in his form and nature, nor the right devil his form and nature, not with all their wisdom of reason, and great learning, and study of the scriptures.
When as to know God, is life ett rnal, so that I know now by experience, that there is a great deal of difference between knowledge, and thinking I know; for true knowledge it gives satisfaction to the spirit of man, and whoever knoweth the true God, must needs know the right devil: And can a man be more satisfied in his mind than he that knows the true God, and the right devil? for by this knowledge the spirit of man hath peace with God.
Also he knowing the devil, where he is, and what he is, he is not afraid of him, for the great trouble that lieth almost upon all men and women's spirits, is, they know not God, therefore they do not love God, but fear his anger they do not know.
And as for the devil, they fear him to be some spirit fly. ing in the air, even a fiction of their own brain: the imagi nation of reason through its ignorance hath created such a devil to itself, that the fear of it hath caused many men and women to loose their wits. When as indeed, and in truth, there is no devil but men and women, neither doth any devil commit fornication, neither temporal nor spiritual with idols, but men and women; neither doth any devil persecute and kill the saints or others, but men and women; so that there is no other devil to be damned to eternity but men and women.
So that this is to be minded, that all the scriptures as they were spoken by the holy prophets and apostles, they were spoken to men and women; that is to say, saint and devil; for the scriptures were spoken to none but to these two. And these two are men, both saint and devil, and yet all the interpreters of scriptures cannot find what the devil is, nor where he is. And if they were well examined they would hardly find where, and who are saints.
And all this ignorance that lieth upon the spirits of men and women, that produceth the trouble of mind, or that non-satisfaction, it is because the teachers of the people are ignorant, and blind themselves in the knowledge of the true God, and the right devil, and of the true interpretation of the scriptures.
So the mysteries of the kingdom of eternal glory is hid from their eyes, so that they have not satisfaction in themselves, nor the people that hear them; so that whilst they preach to others, they themselves are cast-aways, or as Christ saith, The blind leads the blind, and both fall into the ditch of eternal perdition.
Yet I confess they cannot help it, for it is the instinct of nature for the spirit of reason in man, to go to preach be
fore he be sent; and it is the instinct and nature of the spirit of faith not to be willing to go on God's messages, when he is sent of God.
This I can experience to be truth in myself, for 1 was the unwillingest man in the world to be public, either in temporal things, or in spiritual matters, so that I was forced by a curse from the Lord if I would not go.
But now I see the same curse did God lay upon all prophets and messengers whom he had chose, if they should not obey to go where God would send them: witness Moses, Jeremiah, and divers other prophets, and us the Witnesses of the Spirit.
So that I would have the reader to understand thus much, that where a true minister is, he is sent of God and the doctrine he doth bring, it giveth satisfaction unto him self, and to all those that do truly receive it.
So on the contrary, that minister that is not sent of God, his doctrine doth neither satisfy himself, nor him that receives him; this most people's experience can witness unto. Else, as Samuel said to Saul, What meaneth the lowing of the oxen, and bleating of the sheep in mine ears?
So in like manner, if men were true messengers of Christ, what meaneth the horror and torment of conscience, and the fear of eternal damnation in the souls both of minister and people? this many a minister and hearer of them, can witness unto. And all is because they were not sent of God, for it is counted as great a sin to run before a man is sent of God, as it is not to go when he is sent, which sin is called rebellion, which is as bad as the sin of whitchcraft.
I speak this only that the reader, the seed of faith, may see the difference between those messengers that are not sent of God, and their doctrine, from those that are sent of God, and their doctrine, and see which will satisfy the spirit best for I know some have tasted of both, therefore they can tell best.
For this is to be minded, that every true prophet, or messenger of Christ, can trace the footsteps of God in the
scriptures, for the scriptures are the paths for God's spirit to walk in, and the paths of God are but three paths, to wit, the three records in earth, water, blood, and spirit.
That is to say, the commission of Moses; the commission of Jesus and the apostles; and the commission of the Spirit; these are the three paths which God doth walk through,which every commissionated prophet could find out God in that path he walked in: Thus when God's spirit walked through the law of Moses, that being the path for God's spirit to walk in, the prophets afterwards did find him out in that worship of the law.
So likewise when God's spirit did walk in the path of the gospel, the apostles did find him out in the gospel, and could trace his steps in the paths of the law: So that the apostles found God out in those two paths, aforesaid.
Thirdly, the witnesses of the spirit have found God out in all his three paths, as thus: 1. The prophets kept close to the worship of the law of Moses, and therein they found God. 2. The apostles kept close to the worship of the gospel, and therein they found God. 3. The witnesses of the spirit keep close to the worship of God in spirit and truth; these three records on earth, are the three paths for God to walk in, and whoever doth walk in them shall find him. Only I would have the seed of faith to mind, what advantage one commission hath over another; the commission of the gospel had great advantage of those in the law; in that the apostles knew the path of the law, and the path of the gospel also, so that they had proofs from Moses, and the prophets, that they were chosen to bear witness unto Jesus, and that worship set up by them when as Moses had no books to prove he was chosen of God, but he had the power of miracles to prove he was sent of God, and the prophets after him had his writings, to prove that God had appeared to Moses: so that the prophets could go no farther than Moses, and he that could trace the steps of God until he came to Moses, he was sure to find God there; but if any man went any farther he could never find God at all.