The Lying Prophet Examined.
We expect when Christ, the great head of the church, raises up a prophet under the New Testament dispensation, to have,
First, Some account of his call, faith, conversion, regeneration, and commission to his office. None are to speak in Christ's name except they believe; and the Spirit is promised to all that believe: and we are to try the spirits whether they be of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world. By this rule the true apostles tried the false ones, and found them liars.
2. We expect the power of God, more or less, to be manifested ill a prophet that. Christ sends; be must be endued with power from on high: but Mr. Brothers gives us no account of any power put forth in him, nor are his writings either weighty or powerful; nor does any power through his instrumentality work in the hearts of any of God's children; nor is he made manifest in the conscience of them who believe and know the truth. We do not want to know the speech of them that are puffed up, but the power.
3. We do not expect a New Testament prophet to assume to himself any secular titles; there are to be no rabbies in Christ's church; "Be not ye called Rabbi:" there are to be no masters but one, which is Christ; no lords over God's heritage: he that will be great is to be servant of all: no prince and prophet over the church but Jesus Christ, the prince of peace.
4. It is no sign of a true prophet to arrogate all knowledge to himself, as if all wisdom was to die with him; for all the Lord's children shall be taught of God: "They shall all know me, saith the Lord, from the least to the greatest of them:" to them it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God; and when God's judgments are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants of the world, the Christian world, will learn righteousness as well as Mr. Brothers: his arrogating all the knowledge of the times to himself is no mark of a true prophet, but of a false One: it is not for him to know the time when the kingdom shall be restored to Israel. The apostles put this question to Christ, whose answer is, "It is not for you to know the times, or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power," Acts i. 7.
5. A prophet of God is to speak as the oracles of God do; he is to say no other things than Moses and the prophets, Christ and his apostles, have said should come to pass. "To the law [Moses] and to the testimony [of Jesus]; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
6. When men pretend to fix the day, the hour, the times, or years, which God has put in his own power, they are to be suspected. "Of the times and seasons," saith Paul, "ye have no need that I write unto you," Why? "We see not our signs; there is no more any prophet, neither is there among us any that knoweth how long," Psalm lxxiv. 9.
7. It is expected that the predictions or prophecies of a true prophet of God come to pass; for none of God's words shall fall to the ground, or pass away unaccomplished. "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him."
By the above rules any simple believer may warrantably try any person that pretends to the sacred office of a prophet, and he will find, I doubt not, that Mr. Brothers is deficient by every one of them.
His account of the age of the world will never gain much credit with those who know the scriptures and the power of God: the best of chronologers are known to differ in their calculations; and as to his pretended revelation from God of the exact age of the world, few will believe, unless it is the simple, who believe every word. The times and seasons the Father keeps in his own power; yet the general hints given in the scriptures seem to me to run counter to the age of the world as fixed by Mr. Brothers:
The world was made in six days, and on the seventh God rested. That seventh day was appointed a day of rest to the Jews, and every seventh year likewise was to be a sabbath of rest for the land; and every seven times seven were to be counted also, and the fiftieth year was to be a time of general rest, in which the trumpet was to sound, and the bondservant was to go free. All these were general hints of future things: yea, Paul tells us, that the sabbath is a shadow of things to come; which by him is called a rest that remains for the people of God; and they that believe have an earnest of it in this life, and shall enter into the rest promised, and rest from their works, as God did from his. This sabbath is pointed out to be the shadow of a thousand years; for the holy and blessed people, who have a part in the first resurrection, shall live and reign with Christ a thousand years in the new heaven and new earth, wherein dwelled righteousness; that is, in which dwelled righteous persons, or persons possessing righteousness. We are twice told in the scriptures that a thousand years with the Lord is as one day, and one day as a thousand years; and hence it appears that the seventh millennium is the substance of the sabbath, and of this the sabbath is a shadow; in which the saints will reign with Christ, and rest from their works as God did from his: this was prefigured by the seventh year, when the land of Canaan had rest; for this new earth will not be cultivated; and it was typified by the fiftieth year, when the jubilee trumpet sounded: for at the beginning of this term, whenever it comes, the Lord will descend with the arehangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first: and when this angel sounds his trumpet, the mystery of God will be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets, Rev. x. 7. Thus in the beginning of the seventh day, which with the Lord is a thousand years, and at the seventh sound of the seventh trumpet, the Walls of Jericho will fall, and its inhabitants be no more; and then there will be an universal shout among the true Israelites, crying Grace, grace, to the new and heavenly Jerusalem! but the day, the hour, the time, or year, when this sabbath of rest will commence, we know not; for though the mystery is declared to God's servants the prophets, yet not the exact date when: "For of that day and hour knoweth no man: no, not the angels of heaven; but my Father only." Hence it appears that none of the above general hints agree with Mr. Brothers's age of the world: there is much to be done before the seventh millennium takes place: much less doth he know the time that God hath fixed for the restoration of the Jews. The scriptures signify that many great things are to be accomplished before their return to their own land, and their return will be some considerable time before the end of all things.
1. We have reason to fear that much of the ground which the Protestants have gained of the Papists, will be regained by them; I Mean, where it is by law established: for we read of the outer court not being measured, because it is given unto the Gentiles, Rev. xi. 2. This court is said to be without the temple: the temple, according to Paul, are those worshippers whose bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost; and the outer court are external and formal worshippers, of every denomination, who are not inspired, who do not worship God in the Spirit, whose bodies are not God's temple; which outer court is given to the Gentiles, as the outer court of the temple was, which is called the court of the Gentiles: the Gentiles are the Romans: to these Roman Gentiles, when pagan, Christ was delivered, and by them put to death; and to the Roman Gentiles, now papal, this outer court is given: which work is the work that is now carrying on both in England and Ireland: and it goes on apace; and this is obvious to every discerning Christian, and is discerned by every illuminated person that I know in this metropolis with whom I have conversed about these things, not me excepted.
2. The scriptures inform Us that the witnesses of Christ, the ministers. of the gospel, are to be slain, silenced, or killed in a civil sense, after this outer court is taken by the Gentiles; and their dead bodies are to lie in the streets of the great three years and a half: this will be the day of the great slaughter when the towers fall; a day when the city of Zion will be low in a low place; and when the whore of Babylon shall sit as a queen and boast that she shall see no more sorrow nor widowhood: but the joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment; "Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine, and she shall be utterly burnt with fire; for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her." And this gaining the outer court seems to be the business that will be going on under the sound of the sixth trumpet, which in all probability is the present time; but of this we cannot be certain.
3. The man of sin is to continue forty and two months, that is, a thousand two hundred and sixty prophetic days or years, from the time that he was revealed the son of perdition; but whether from the time of the emperor's leaving Rome and going to Ravenna, or from the year 606, when Phocas proclaimed the pope of Rome universal bishop, we know not: if it is to be dated from the latter, his reign may have near seventy years yet to run before it be expired: "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man."
4. We may expect that the slaughter of the witnesses will be a little before the expiration of antichrist's reign, who are to send gifts one to another on the occasion of their death, which is to last but three years and a half; at the expiration of which term the Spirit of God re-enters them, and they ascend up into an heavenly state of mind, and appear again as a cloud of witnesses for Christ, to the utter confusion of all the offspring of Jezebel, who will be alarmed, and struck with a panic at their unexpected appearance in such an exalted state.
5. At which time the ten toes on the feet of Daniel's image, or the ten kings which have been of one mind with the beast, that is, of one religion with him; who have given their power to him; who have committed fornication with the whore of Babylon, and who have caused all the nations, which they rule and govern, to drink of the wine of her fornication; will have their hearts turned to hate the whore, to eat her flesh, and to burn her with fire; for God hath put it into their hearts to fulfil his will, Rev. xvii. 16, 17.
6. The angel that is to proclaim that Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and another who is to come forth with the everlasting gospel, which is to be preached to every nation under heaven, are both to begin their work before the restoration of the Jews to their own land. The man of sin hath long been a stumbling-block to the Jews and a let to the fullness of the Gentiles; and the Turks or Mahometans, are now in possession of the holy land, and both will and must be removed before the Jews will ever return to Palestine: the Turks are not only in possession of the land of Canaan, but of Egypt also, which lies in the way to it; and these must and will be removed out of the way, when God smites the river Nile in her seven streams, and makes men to go over dry-shod.
7. The Jews will be converted to the faith of Christ before ever they return to their own country. The Gentiles, at the first promulgation of the gospel, sat down at the feet of Jewish preachers, and received the gospel from Christ through the instrumentality of them; for mercy came to us through the infidelity of the Jewish nation; and through the instrumentality and mercy of the Gentile saints shall salvation be conveyed to the Jews: and so it is written; "As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes; but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief; even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy." And to this agree the words of Christ, which are spoken to the Gentile church concerning the Jewish synagogue, "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan (which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie), behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee."
According to the scriptures there are six vials of wrath to be poured out upon the pope's dominions, under the sounding of the sixth trumpet; which trumpet is, in all probability, now sounding, and the first vial perhaps is now pouring out; and all the rest, like Job's messengers, will quickly follow one another: but it is to be feared that the man of sin will regain all that he hath yet lost before his ruin; and that he will set up his religion as the established religion, even in Great Britain, before he comes to his end: for "He shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him," Dan. xi. 45. We may conclude from hence that it is not the first vial, nor the second, nor the third, that will destroy, the whore of Babylon, though they will lead on to it, It is the fourth angel's vial that eclipses the pope's glory, and the fifth that destroys his seat. The fourth angel poured out his vial on the sun, and the fifth on the seat of the beast, Rev. xvi. 8-10.
According to what has been observed, the sixth trumpet must sound out, six vials must be all poured forth; the seat of the beast must be destroyed by ten kings, which shall hate the whore, and burn her with fire, Rev. xvii. 16. The Turks must be removed, and Mahometanism destroyed, Rev. xvi. 12; the everlasting gospel must be preached and spread, Rev. xiv. 6; kings must come to the brightness of Lion's rising, Isai. lx. 3, and minister to the church of God, Isa. lx. 10; the kingdoms of this world must become the kingdoms of Christ, and with the fullness of the Gentiles the Jews will come in, and a nation of them be born at once. All these things will be done, which is too much to be done by the year 1798, before the Jews will return, or be restored to their own land; in which return or restoration Mr. Brothers will have no more hand than I shall. I shall now consider a few of Mr. Brothers's prophecies: and first be informs us, in the fifth page of his first book,
Quote. The restoration of the Jews will commence with the destruction of war, to favour their return and build the city; when all nations will rejoice with them, and once more receive from Jerusalem the commands of the living God.
Answer. I object to three things in this quotation: the
First is, that there will be war after the restoration of the Jews; for the remains of the unconverted nations of the Turks will wage war with the Jews in the land of Israel: the whole thirty-ninth chapter of Ezekiel is an account of this war: which army is to fall upon the mountains of Israel, verse "And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set On fire and burn the weapons, both shields and bucklers, the bows and the arrows, arid the hand-staves and the spears, and they shall burn them with tire seven years; so that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests: for they shall burn the weapons with fire, and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them:" verses 9, 10. But who have robbed them? Why the Turks, who are now in possession of their country: and God says, "It shall come to pass in that day that I will give unto Gog a place of graves in Israel, and seven months shall the house of Israel be burying them," verses 11, 12. And no doubt but Christian princes, who will further their return to their own land, will assist them in this war. But when is this war to commence? I answer, after the Jews' conversion: for so it is written; "Neither will I hide my face any more from them; for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God," verse29. Thus there will be war in the land of Israel after the Jews' conversion, and after their return to their own land.
2. I object to Mr. Brothers's account of the Jews rebuilding the city of Jerusalem at their return; for when Israel went first into the holy land God gave great and goodly cities which they builded not, and houses full of all good things which they filled not, and wells digged which they digged not; vineyards and olive trees which they planted not, Deut. vi. 10, 11. The city of Jerusalem was standing when they first entered Canaan, though they did not possess it till the days of David; and Jerusalem is still standing, and is still a city, encompassed with a strong Wall, not less than two miles in circumference; and as God lifted up his hand at first to give them the land of Canaan after they came out of Egypt, so it will be when they are restored: for as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up, after the manner of Egypt, Isai. x. 26.
3. Instead of all nations receiving the commands of God from the Jews, when restored to Jerusalem, it is plain that the Jews themselves will receive the gospel of Christ at the hands of Gentile ministers; for Christ declares that the Jews shall worship before the feet of the Gentiles, and shall know that Christ hath loved the Gentile church, Rev. iii. 9. Not one of these three things are true, nor is the next quotation true.
Quote. And they shall look to me that was pierced; and shall mourn, like him that mourns for his only son; and shall be in bitterness, like him that is in bitterness for his firstborn. This verse will be fulfilled by the Jews after their return.
Answer. The Spirit of supplication made intercession with groaning for the children of Israel, when they were in Egypt, and God heard their groanings, and came down and delivered them: and the Spirit of life was poured upon them when they were like a valley of dry bones in Babylon, before their return to Canaan, Ezek. xxxvii. 14; and so the Spirit will be poured upon them again, and they will be converted to the faith and worship with the Gentile believers, before their return to Canaan: the Spirit will shew them marvellous things before their restoration "According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew him marvellous things."
Quote. The last dispersion of the Jews, and their being trod under foot of all nations, to the time of their return in the latter days, is two thousand three hundred years.
Answer. This mystery is known to none but God. The disciples asked this secret of the Saviour, after his resurrection, saying, "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times and the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power." Hence it is plain that this secret time is not to be known by man. Secondly, it is a time and season that God has concealed, and put in his own power; and therefore, before Mr. Brothers can fix it, he must prove that he is God: or else he must appear to be, what I am sure he is, namely, a false prophet.
Quote. Days are mentioned by the angel instead of years, to conceal the meaning of the prophecy till the proper time, and the appointed person for it to be revealed to: the present is the time that was then intended; I am the appointed person for it to be revealed to, and the prophet commanded to make it known.
Answer. In this quotation we learn three things:
First, That days are put for years, to conceal the meaning of the prophecy.
2. That the time there specified is the present time: and,
3. That Mr. Brothers is the person for it to be revealed to, and the prophet appointed to make it known. All of which are false.
First, Days are not put for years to conceal the meaning of it from any body; for Moses teacheth us to distinguish prophetic days from common days; and tells us that there are weeks of days and weeks of years; and teacheth us the difference between the seventh day, which is the sabbath of rest for Israel, Exod. xx. 9, 10, and the seventh year, which is the sabbatical year, or year of rest for the land, Lev. xxv. 4; so that this mystery is not concealed for the sake of Mr. Brothers: for there are few, if any, writers of note, which have been in the Christian church, which have not taken notice of it: and indeed the former accomplishment of prophecies has made it manifest to all that have any discernment, that Daniel's weeks could never be true of weeks of days, but of weeks of years. Hence it appears that Mr. Brothers. is not the first man that hath been in this secret.
2. Nor does the present time appear to be the time of cleansing the sanctuary, nor are there any signs of it; nor does Mr. Brothers know what he means by it. The second temple is destroyed, nor is a third temple, literally speaking, ever promised, and therefore never to lie expected on a scriptural ground: nor will there be any more temple worship in a literal sense: the temple was a type of the body of Christ, and, when the Jews destroyed the temple of his body, he rent the veil of the second temple in twain, and consecrated a new and living way into the holy of holies, eternal in the heavens, through the veil of his flesh; and ever since he dwells not in temples made with hands, but looks to, and dwells with, them that are of a contrite spirit, and that tremble at his word; whose bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost: as God hath said, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them."
3. Nor does the time of the Jews' return to their own land appear to be revealed even to Daniel himself. It is true, the angel asks Christ, "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?" And the Saviour "held up his right hand and left hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, that it shall be a time, times, and a half," Dan. xii. 6, 7. Which date doth not appear to take rise till the church's flight into the wilderness, at, or just before, the rise of antichrist, when this date is brought in again. "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might flee into tie wilderness, into her place; where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." The church's flight here seems to be taken at the appearance of a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, Rev. xii. 3; which must be at the time of the Roman empire being divided into ten kingdoms, with the pope at the head of them, and the time, times, and a half, are explained to be a thousand two hundred and sixty prophetic days or years, in which she is to be fed in the wilderness, Rev. xii. 6.
Nor will the Jews be converted or restored while the church is in her wilderness state, but after her deliverance out of it; for the Jews will not be converted until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in, of whose fullness there are no signs as yet; nor does the time of the Jews' return to their own land appear to have been made known even to Daniel himself. He inquires of the Saviour, it is true, and says, 0 my Lord, when shall be the end of these things? and he gets his answer; Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end, Dan. xii. 8, 9. The words are closed, and therefore hid; and sealed, and therefore must remain a secret till the time of the end, when the accomplishment of them will unseal them: nor have they ever been disclosed or unsealed to any, much less to Mr. Brothers.
Quote. "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch," meaning myself, "shall grow out of his roots."
Answer. If this rod and branch is Mr. Brothers, we are all in the dark: but we know that Christ is intended. He is called a plant of renown, and likewise God's servant the branch, who is to be called Jehovah our righteousness. Christ is likewise called a tender branch of the high cedar, Or one of the royal family of David: which branch is to be set on a high mountain and an eminent; which means that God will set his King upon the holy hill of Zion; and under it shall dwell all fowls of every wing, Ezek. xvii. 22, 23: which is expressive of his universal reign, and is spoken in allusion to the king of Babylon, called a tree whose height reached to heaven, and his sight to all the earth, whose leaves were fair and fruit much; which tree was to be transplanted from Babylon to the Medes and Persians, then to the Grecians, and after that to the Romans, and then and there to be destroyed; and to be succeeded by this rod out of the stem of Jesse, who shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. God had overturned the Babylonish empire in Ezekiel's days, and said, "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, till he come whose right it is, and I will give it him;" that is, he would overturn the Persian, Grecian, and Roman, until the time appointed for Christ to have dominion, whose right it is as God and Creator, and whose right it is as Map and Mediator, by the Father's gift; and hence it is said, "I will give it him." Now let us see if this rod can be applied to Mr. Brothers.
1. This rod is to come out of the stem of Jesse. Mr. Brothers can produce no genealogy to prove that he is a descendant from him; and as for his revelations, we do not believe them.
2. The Spirit, with all his gifts and grace, is to rest upon this rod; which it never did upon any man but the man Christ Jesus, who was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows; for the Father giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him, as he does to others.
3. He is not to judge after the sight of his eyes, nor reprove after the hearing of his ears, as all men do; which spews him to be the searcher of hearts and the trier of reins, and is expressive of his omniscience as God.
4. "But with righteousness shall he judge the. poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall be slay the wicked. Here we have four things that he shall do: he shall judge and justify the poor in spirit; and, in behalf of the meek, he shall reprove the oppressors and persecutors of his people, and that with equity; that is, he shall bring them in guilty by their own conscience, and leave their guilt and his reproofs to work there. "He shall smite the earth with the rod of his strength," meaning his gospel, called the rod of his by which he rules, and which will be preached over the whole earth: "and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked:" by the breath of his mouth is meant the Spirit of his mouth, the voice of Christ by his ministers, in the gospel, called the dispensation of the Spirit: and slaying the wicked with it, is making it the savour of death unto death to them that believe not. This Person, called a rod from the stem of Jesse, is called Jehovah: "For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters cover the sea;" that is, when he comes to make manifest the savour of his name in every place.
5. "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek, and his rest shall be glorious." Here he is set forth as a standard or ensign, in whose death the banner of God's eternal love is displayed; to it the rebellious Gentiles are to seek and to repair, in order to obtain pardon and favour with God: for Christ hath received gifts for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among them. "And his rest shall be glorious:" he says to the weary and heavy laden, "Come unto me, and I will give you rest;" rest from the burden of sin, from the yoke of the law, and from the drudgery of Satan; and at last a glorious rest in heaven, where the weary are for ever at rest.
Now to whom does the apostle apply this root of Jesse? why to Christ, and none else. "And again Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in him shall the Gentiles trust," Rom. xv. 12. But this king of the Gentiles cannot be Mr. Brothers, because he cannot be a proper object of trust, being nothing but a man; for God hath cursed them that trust in man, and make flesh their arm, and in their heart depart from God. This King of the Gentiles is King of Zion, and blessed are all they that put their trust in him. Hence it is plain that, instead of the Spirit of the Lord resting upon Mr. Brothers, it is the spirit of Satan the father of lies: he is no prophet of God, nor servant of Christ; if he was, he would seek his master's honour, not his own; for Christ will not give his glory to another, nor his praise to graven images. But Mr. Brothers confesses,
Quote. I shall be called a false prophet, and every body will say I am arrogating to myself the place of Christ; for the English, as well as other European nations professing Christianity, have always supposed that the rod out of the stem of Jesse, alluded to in this chapter, meant the Lord Jesus Christ: indeed it does not, but a man composed of flesh and blood, like one of themselves, &c.
Answer. It is very strange that, as Christ is emphatically called the truth, and promises that the Spirit shall lead his people into all truth, all the European nations professing Christianity should be led to err in this great matter. The prophet informs us that this rod out of the stem of Jesse shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked, as hath been observed. Now who doth the Spirit of God apply this to? Why he applies it that to Jesus Christ. "Let no man deceive you, for the day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son or perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; for the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he that now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way, [namely, the Roman emperors, who let,] and then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming," 2 Thess, ii. In the first verse of this chapter we have an account of Christ; in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh verses, we have an account of the rise of antichrist; and, in the language of the prophet Isaiah, he is to be destroyed by the Rod of Jesse; the heresy of antichrist is to be consumed by the brightness of the Saviour's coming, and himself destroyed by the spirit of his mouth. And to this agrees Daniel: "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool; his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire: a fiery stream issued and came forth from before him, thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then, because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame. Hence it appears plain that the Holy Ghost, Isaiah, Paul, and Daniel, agree in the person meant by the Rod out of the stem of Jesse: Isaiah says, "He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked." Paul says, that antichrist shall be consumed with the spirit of the Lord's mouth, and be destroyed with the brightness of his coming. And Daniel represents him as casting all temporal thrones down to the ground, and reigning as the Ancient of Days over all the earth: he represents him as coming on a fiery throne to burn the whore of Babylon, with books open, giving judgment in behalf of his martyrs, and judging those in wrath who have destroyed his people, with ten thousand times ten thousand ministering unto him, and standing before him: which is the Gentiles fullness, and the converted Jews: and he sees him destroy antichrist, take his mystical body, and give it to the burning flame. And thus the inspired penmen, under a divine influence, are all unanimous in the person meant by the Rod out of the stem of Jesse; but not one ever dreamed of Mr. Brothers destroying the earth with the spirit of his mouth. But Mr. Brothers says,
Quote. That the Rod out of the stem of Jesse is a man, composed of flesh and blood, like one of ourselves.
Answer. And who denies that Christ is flesh and blood like unto ourselves, touching his manhood? when the scripture says that as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself took part of the same and it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, whom the prophet calls a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; who himself bare our sins in his own body on the tree; by whose stripes, saith the prophet, we are healed. On account of whose incarnation the prophet calls him Emmanuel, God with us, or God in human nature; for Paul says, "In him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;" that is, all the perfections of Deity dwell in his human body: and in no other sense can he be called a rod out of the stein of Jesse but with respect to his human nature; for he was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, and was put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. Hence it appears plain by the scriptures of truth, and I think it my duty as a licensed minister of Christ, a servant of his Church, a loyal subject to my King, and a lover of my Country, to tell Mr. Brothers that he is a deceiver, a false prophet, and a liar in the name of God; and the times that he hath axed for the Jews' return will make him manifest, as well as this my testimony. Mr. Brothers woes on:
Quote. The married wife means Jerusalem at a former time, when rich and full of inhabitants; the desolate wife means Jerusalem at present: although she is a heap of rubbish and levelled with the ground, the Jews will return in such great multitudes, that, when rebuilt, her extent and lumber of people will be far greater than at any former period. This is the true meaning of the prophecy, and not the Gentiles' deliverance, as is placed at the head of the chapter in the Bible.
Answer. The whole of this quotation is false; the whole current of scripture contradicts it; yea, the prophet himself contradicts it: "Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear:" but the Jewish church had not been barren to Christ, but had borne a great number of spiritual children, and therefore could never be said not to bear; nor could she be said not to travail with child, when she had brought forth the Saviour himself, and all the firstfruits professing Christianity were Jews: and therefore to be barren and not to bear, and not to travail with child, can never he true of her; for they seem to me to have been almost all that were brought forth to God for upwards of fifteen hundred years: for God says, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth." But that the Gentiles had been barren and not borne is plain, for they were left without God, and having no hope in the world, and therefore could not bring forth children to whom they never knew. And this barren woman is explained by the prophet himself to be the Gentiles: "For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left, and and seed shall inherit the Gentiles," Isai. liv.
3. The above is a promise made to the Jewish church and Jewish preachers, of their success the Gentiles; and the prophet explains it under another simile: "Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers, [which are expressive of barrenness;] yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city; until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest." Here the prophet tells us that thorns and briers shall come up on the holy land, and the fruitful field of the Jews shall be turned into a forest, and the wilderness of the Gentiles shall be turned into a fruitful field, when the Spirit of God shall be poured forth from on high. The Saviour calls the Jews a fig tree, and that he came three years seeking fruit thereon and found none; and says, "Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?" which at last he did, and then he made the barren tree of the Gentiles fruitful, as the prophet explains it: "I have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and made the dry tree to flourish: I the Lord have done it." This, Paul calls breaking off the natural olive branches of the Jews, that the wild olive branches of the Gentiles might be grafted in; which is explained by the Saviour himself: "The kingdom shall be taken from you," which must leave them barren, "and be given to a people that shall bring forth the fruit thereof," which must make them fruitful. Mr. Brothers's. explanation and application of this text is as false as God is true, and confirms his character as a false prophet.
Quote. "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock; and dust shall be the serpent's meat: they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord." This last verse is an allusion to the peace and great happiness that will be in the land of Israel. " Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad, all ye that love her; rejoice with joy, all ye that mourn for her."
Answer. If this assertion be true, then the King of kings hath been almost eighteen hundred years without a royal city, and without a capital; but this is not true: the apostles were called a city set on an hill that could not be hid: Zion, God says, is my people, and Zion is the city of our solemnities; a city sought out, saith the prophet, not forsaken; and every soul that fears and loves God is no more a stranger nor a foreigner, but a fellow-citizen of the saints, and of the household of God: and why? because, saith the apostle of every believer, " Ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven; and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect." The saints here are said to have come to the heavenly Jerusalem, not to heaven; for, if so, the apostle could not have written to them: nor yet to Jerusalem literally, for that city was just ready to be laid in ruinous heaps: but the church is meant by the heavenly Jerusalem, and the saints were then come to it: therefore this prophecy of Mr. Brothers, and his application of the text, is false, which once more confirms his character as a false prophet.
Quote. The new heavens and the earth mean an entire regeneration of man through the power and knowledge from the Spirit of God.
Answer. This is another false construction put upon the text. Peter tells us that "We, according to his promise, look for a new heaven and a new earth;" which he, as a regenerated man, if this had been the sense, could not have looked for. Nor are unregenerated men ever called heaven; and therefore the regeneration of them cannot, with any propriety, be called a new heaven. Furthermore, that part of man which is called earth is the body, which is of the earth, earthy; but regeneration by the Spirit of God passeth not on the body, but on the soul of man, which is of an heavenly origin; for God breathed it into man's nostrils, and man became a living soul. The new heaven and the new earth are literally to. be. understood: the elements are to melt, and the heavens to pass away with a great noise; the earth and all her works are to be burnt up: which doth not mean regenerate men, for they will not be burnt any more than Lot was in Sodom: and after the melting of the elements, and burning the earth, saith Peter, "We, according to his promise, look for a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness:" which will never be the case while this world is standing, let there be as many regenerated men in it as may be; for there ever will be sin in it. as well as righteousness, and more of the former than of the latter. Mr. Brothers's sense of this text is not true: but he proceeds to tell us that,
Quote. The kingdom of heaven, in the two most essential commands for them to obey, which are war and swearing, remember that. form of praying called the Lord's prayer, which says, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven:" there is no war in heaven.
To which I answer, the Saviour says he came not to send peace upon earth, but a sword and a fire; and what will I do if it be already kindled? From henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three, and a man's foes shall be them of his own household: the children shall rise up against their parents, and the parents against their children, and shall cause them to be put to death: yea, and ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars; nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: yea, and antichrist shall make war against the saints, and shall overcome them, and they shall fall by the sword, by captivity, and by spoil, many days; but when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, then, but not till then, shall swords be beaten into ploughshares and spears into pruning-hooks; neither shall they learn war any more. This assertion of Mr. Brothers is not true, but is repugnant to the plain word of God.
Quote. "And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David: he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord," meaning Christ, "will be their God, and my servant David," meaning his descendant, "a Prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it."
Answer. This text is perverted and falsely construed: the person there speaking is not Christ, but God the Father; and the person spoken of under the name of David, and in the character of a shepherd, is Jesus Christ, and not another descendant prince from David's line, as Mr. Brothers supposes; for none but Christ can do the work of this shepherd, who is to seek the lost, bring again that which was driven away, bind up the broken, and strengthen the sick, Ezek. xxxiv. 16. Christ applies all this to himself: "The whole need not the physician, but them that are sick:" for the Lord hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to preach good tidings to the meek, and to set at liberty them that are bruised. Christ is this shepherd, and no other, who is to feed his flock like a shepherd, to gather the lambs with his arms, and gently to lead those that are with young. With this office the Saviour alone is invested: "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep; and I know my sheep, and am known of mine." And this I know, that Christ will never suffer a rival nor a co-partner in this office; for he declares, " I have other sheep which are not of this fold, and them I must bring; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd and this one good shepherd is called David. "And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, my servant David he shall feed them." Christ is here called David, because David was a type of him, and because the humanity of the Saviour descended from David; on which account Christ calls himself the root and offspring of David; for Christ was the fruit of his loins according to the flesh, Acts ii. 30. Nor will the Jews ever have any other king or prince over them but Jesus Christ. "For the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall he no end." The Jews have never had either king, prince, or any ensigns of royalty, since their rejection of Jesus, nor will they ever have any sovereign over them till they submit to him, nor any beside him. Hence it is plain that there is no room for Mr. Brothers in this double office of a shepherd and king, which must be kept, entire; and none but a presumptuous impostor would ever lay any claim to it.
Quote. The vision of Ezekiel relative to Jerusalem alludes to the grandeur and extent of it when rebuilt by the Jews after their return in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-right: it will be the capital of the world, and from it will go once more to all nations the commands of the living God.
Answer. There is not one truth in all this, for the whole of that vision is spiritually to be understood; and therefore I shall shew,
First, that Jerusalem, as rebuilt by the Jews, is not intended in the text.
2. That the Jews will not return by the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight.
3. That Jerusalem literally will never be the capital of the world: and,
4. That all nations will not receive the commands of the living God from Jerusalem in Judea.
1. Jerusalem signifies the church militant, consisting of all that love and fear God, both Jews and Gentiles: "And for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth; and the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory." "And they shall call them the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord; and thou shalt be called, Sought out, a city not forsaken." Hence it is plain that this city consists of Gentiles as well as Jews, sought out of all nations; and all that are holy by the Spirit, redeemed by Christ, and sought out of the world, compose this city, which, according to the prophet, shall never be forsaken as Jerusalem hath been: and the apostle calls every believer a fellow-citizen of the saints, and of the household of God; and Christ calls his own disciples a city set on a. hill that could not be hid, and says to him that overcometh, "I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out. of heaven from my God; and I will write upon him my new name:" and to this spiritual and mystical sense agrees the prophet Ezekiel, and not to Jerusalem literally, as Mr. Brothers supposes: it was round about eighteen thousand measures; ten times bigger than the whole land of Canaan:- "And the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there," Ezek. xlviii. 35. Hence it appears that Mr. Brothers is mistaken, for Ezekiel's vision does not intend Jerusalem literally, but the church of God spiritually; nor is that city called by the prophet Jerusalem, but Jehovah-shammah, for the Lord is there; that is, it is the city of the Lord's presence: and a large city it must be, when the earth shall be covered with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea, and every one that knows God is a citizen of the saints.
2. The Jews will not return by the year 1798, for the witnesses are not slain or silenced yet; and, they are to lie in silence three years and a half before their civil resurrection; and after this comes the universal joy of the antichristian party; and next the resurrection of the witnesses, Rev. xi. 7-11. Then comes the earthquake, or judgments of God upon antichrist, Rev. xi. 13; and after this the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, Rev. xi. 15. And the next place comes the conversion of the Jews; for blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in, Rom. xi. 25. Thus the gospel must be preached throughout the world, to gather in the fullness of the Gentiles; and blindness will continue with Israel until this fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And to this agrees the prophet; "Therefore will he give them up until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth; then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel." The children of Israel here spoken of are the believing Gentiles, who shall call themselves by the name of Jacob, and subscribe with their hands to the Lord, and surname themselves by the name of Israel, Isai. xliv. 5; "For they are not all Israel which are of Israel." The Israel of God is meant, Gal. vi. 16; such as Nathanael, Israelites indeed, John i. 47. The meaning of the prophet is this; Christ will give the Jews up till the Gentile church, which travaileth, hath brought forth her fullness; and then the remnant of Christ's brethren, the Jews, shall return to the spiritual children of Israel, the Gentile believers. Hence Christ calls Nathanael an Israelite indeed, because, like Jacob, he was a believer: unbelievers, though of Jacob, are only Israelites in name: and they are believers in Christ who are the real Jews, of whom Christ is spiritual king, and no other: "For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly, but he is a Jew who is one inwardly." And to this agrees the Saviour, "I will make them of the synagogue of Satan (which say they are Jews and are not, but do lie), behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that. I have loved thee." The above persons are Jews by name, and Jews by nation; this appears plain by their synagogue worship; but they were not Jews inwardly nor spiritually, for they did not believe in, receive, acknowledge, nor submit to, the King of the Jews, they would not have him to reign over them; on which account he hath left them without a king, and made them the synagogue of Satan; and, instead of all nations receiving the commands of God from them, Christ says they shall come and worship before the feet of the Gentiles, and receive the gospel from them. Hence we may conclude that all nations will not receive the commands of the living God from Jerusalem; but the gospel of the living God will be preached to all nations before it. is preached to the Jews; and all this shall be done before ever they shall see the city Jerusalem: for so saith the Son of God; "And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Thus Jerusalem is to be in the hands and possession of the Gentiles till the times of the Gentiles' universal conversion be fulfilled; or, as Paul says,
Quote. "And I will sow her to me in the earth, and I will have mercy on her that had not obtained mercy," meaning Jerusalem; "and I will say to them which were not my people," meaning the Jews during their dispersion, "Ye are my people; and they shall say, Thou art our God."
Answer. This text is perverted; it could not be said to Jerusalem that she had not obtained mercy, for to Jerusalem was given the law, the covenants, the glorious presence of God, the service of God, and the promises; to Jerusalem were all the prophets sent; of them, according to the flesh, Christ came, and to them he was sent, and all the apostles also, and thousands of them were converted by them; yea, seven thousand at once, even in the darkest age in the days of Elias, did obtain mercy; and indeed they had the experience of God's Mercy among them from age to age; for, "You only," says God, "have I known of all the families of the earth." And therefore it cannot be true Of them that they had not obtained mercy, for they were almost the Only subjects of mercy under the law, and the first monuments of mercy under the gospel. Now to whom does the Spirit of God by the apostle apply the above text? Does he apply it to Jerusalem or to the Jews in their dispersion? No, to neither of them, but to the Gentiles; "Even us whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles: as he saith also in Hosea, I will call them my people which were not my people; and her beloved which was not beloved." This is another false prophecy. Mr. Brothers wrests the scriptures to his own destruction.
Quote. "In that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen," meaning the restoration of his descendant to the government of the children of Israel, "and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and build it as in the days of old."
Answer. This is another false prophecy; David's tabernacle, spoken of in that text, means the synagogue of the Jews, which is so called in allusion to the tabernacle in the wilderness; which tabernacle is now fallen, and a tabernacle of the Gentiles raised up instead of it: as it is written; "Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy stakes. Tor thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles." Here the Jewish tabernacle is stretched out, till the seed of the Gentiles inherit with the believing Jews: at length the Jewish converts died off,' and the Gentile tabernacle was left standing alone, the Jewish tabernacle being entirely fallen; as saith the apostle. "Now, if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more. their fullness?" Rom. xi. 12. Here the prophet's meaning is this: the Jews, which David, literally speaking, once governed, being now fallen down, or fallen off through unbelief; or the Jews to whom Christ, the spiritual David, was first sent, and among whom his kingdom was first erected which since hath been taken away from them and given to a people bringing forth the fruit thereof, Matt. xxi. 43, shall be restored to them again; or the tabernacle of the Jews, now fallen, shall be raised up again, as soon as the Lord Jesus Christ shall return to them: and so the apostle explains it; "God did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name: and after this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down," Acts xv: 14 - 16. The meaning of this is, God takes the Gentiles for his tabernacle, and leaves the Jewish tabernacle, and that falls; after this the Lord returns to them, and builds them up again: but no descendant from David, called Mr. Brothers, is to be found in all this text, nor is any such lying prince or prophet ever intended by the Spirit of God.
Quote. The Turks are descended from Esau, the brother of Jacob; but their emperor, and all his family, are descended from Jonathan, the son of Saul, king of Israel. Told me by revelation.
Answer. There is not one truth in all this; it is a plain contradiction of the word of God; most of them, which are now called Turks, the scripture calls Hagarenes, from Hagar, Psal. lxxxiii. 6; whose son was to be a wild man, his hand was to be against every man, and every man's hand against him; by his sword shall he live, and dwell in the midst of all his brethren, Gen. xvi. 12. A wild, rude, and uncultivated man he still is: and his hand is against all, and all against him, to this day. This appears to be literally fulfilled by the law of nations; for. the Turks are, I believe, in alliance with none. By his sword he has long lived; and amongst his brethren the Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites, and other nations that sprung from Keturah, Abraham's concubine, he has long dwelt; and, if those nations. now exist, he dwells among them still. The Turks are called in scripture Ishmaelites, from Ishmael, the son of Hagar; and they have been called Saracens, because, as some say, they pretended to be the descendants of Sarah, Abraham's wife. Among these were intermixed multitudes of Scythians, and others from Turea, which, according to some, is in the Persian empire.
Nor did the Turkish emperors descend from Jonathan, son of Saul, king of Israel; for the Israelites are not to be reckoned among the nations, Num. xxiii. 9. Besides, the Scythians, and those from Turca, who are now mixed with the Arabs, came from the other side of the river Euphrates; as it is written; "Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates; and the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour and a day, and a month and a year, for to slay the third part of men; and the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand." Thus some of the Turks and Scythians came over the Euphrates, and had their chiefs and commanders with them, when they entered the Grecian Empire; so that every part of Mr. Brothers's pretended revelation is a plain contradiction of the word of God; and, being a false revelation, it came not from the God of truth, but from Satan the father of lies.
Quote. "And I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the Heathen: I will overthrow their chariots, and those. that ride in them; their horses and riders shall come down, every one by the sword of the other." The time alluded to by the prophet, is that which is immediately before the restoration of the Jews, in the latter days of the world; the present is it.
Answer. The whole of this is false.
The present time is not the time for overthrowing the thrones of kingdoms;
Nor yet for the Jews' restoration;
Nor are these days the latter days of the world.
When are these thrones to be cast down? I answer, Not till the gospel be spread all over the whole world; not till Christ takes to himself his great power and reigns, Rev. xi. 17; not till the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, Rev. xi. 15; not till the earth be covered with the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea, Isa. xi. 9; then Christ shall reign from the river Euphrates to the ends of the earth; all that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; then, but not till then, shall the thrones be cast down, and the Ancient of Days shall sit, Dan. vii. 9. And to this Daniel agrees, who represents Christ as a stone cut out of the mountain without hands, which smites the image upon his feet, which feet were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces, Dan. ii. 34.
Now the golden head of this image was the Babylonian empire, Dan. ii. 38; the silver arms, &c. of this image is the Median and Persian monarchy, called a ram with two horns, Dan. viii. 20; the thighs of brass is the Grecian, and the rough goat the king of Grecia, Dan. viii. 21; the iron legs of the image is the Roman empire, "the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron," Dan, ii. 40; and the ten toes of the image, which consist of iron and clay, are explained to be ten horns on the fourth beast, Dan. vii. 7; which is mentioned again by John. "I saw a beast rise up out of the sea having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns." Thus it appears that the ten toes on the feet of Daniel's image are ten horns on the last and fourth beast, and these horns have ten crowns, which horns are ten kings at the head of ten kingdoms, which are in the Roman empire; and so it is written: "And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings," Rev. xvii. 12.; these kings shall give their power and strength to the beast, Rev. xvii. 13; and when Christ turns their hearts, they will hate the whore of Babylon, eat her flesh, and burn her with fire, for this is God's will, Rev. xvii. 16; and then these kings shall submit their rule and government to Christ; the thrones then shall be cast clown, and the Ancient of Days shall sit, for the whore is burnt with fire; or, as Daniel says, "I beheld till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame." Thus the whole image must be smitten with the stone first, which stone is Christ, and that stone must become a great mountain and fill the whole earth; that is, as Daniel explains it, the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, and which shall break in pieces and consume all their kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever, Dan. ii. 24; but sure I am that the present time bears no resemblance of such a time as this will be.
I have already proved that the time of the Jews' restoration is not yet, by the many great things which shall precede it, all of which must be accomplished agreeably to the sure word of prophecy before the Jews return; and after the fullness of the Gentiles, and the restoration of the Jews; there will be many glorious days of gospel light, love, and peace; and after these glorious days there will be a great filling off again, iniquity will abound, and the love of many will wax cold, and men will get worldly, secure, and are less, buy and sell, plant and build, marry and be given in marriage, as it was in the days of Noah and of Lot; so shall it be when the Son of Man cometh; these will he the latter days of the world, when the judge will stand before the door, and professors will be so few, as to be compared to ten virgins going forth to meet the bridegroom, and half of them fools; and so careless, as while he tarried they all slumbered and slept, till the midnight cry awoke them; then the wise were aroused and prepared for the Lord, and entered into the marriage, and the door of mercy was for ever closed, Matt. xxv. 10. This will be the latter times of the world, and not the present, as this false prophet suggests.
Quote. "Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." The great prophet alluded to in this chapter, is the same that will be revealed to the Jews to order their return to Jerusalem before the expiration of one thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight; he will possess the Spirit of God, and the power of fire, equal to Elijah; he will make known the judgments of' God, that all nations may be benefited, and may endeavour to survive them when they are commanded to be fulfilled
I answer, The person, or great prophet, there spoken of, is applied by the angel Gabriel to John the Baptist, who was Christ's forerunner; for so the angel tells Zacharias, that his wife shall hear a son, and shall call his name John; that he shall be great, and shall go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord, Luke i. 17. And it is plain that the Lord himself confirms what Gabriel had said; for he declares, when his disciples asked him saying, "Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? and Jesus answered, and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come and restore all things; but I say unto you, that Elias is come already, and they knew him not." And again, "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John; and, if ye will receive it, this is Elias which was for to come." Here it is plain that every thing predicted of Elias is already accomplished in and by John the Baptist, so that no room is left for Richard Brothers, either as a prince or prophet of the Jews; for the angel Gabriel, and the Son of God, both declare that the whole of that prophecy is already fulfilled, whose joint testimony serve to chew the truth and faithfulness of God, and the lies and deceptions of Richard Brothers.
Quote. The very loud and unusual kind of thunder that was heard in the beginning of January 1791, was the voice of the angel mentioned in the eighteenth chapter of the Revelation, proclaiming the judgment of God, and the fall of Babylon the Great; it was the loudest that, since man was created, ever was heard, and shook the whole earth every time the angel spoke; it roared through the streets, and made a noise over London like the falling of mountains of stones.
Answer. This is false; the thunder that was heard in England was not the voice of an angel, being only common, not mystical thunder; and common thunder is not the voice of angels, but the voice of God: "God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he which we cannot comprehend." And as for the seven thunders that uttered their voices in Rev. x. 4, whatever was uttered, or meant by them, is not revealed to Mr. Brothers; for when he had heard the voice of the seven thunders John was about to write, but he heard a voice from heaven saying unto him, "Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not."
And as for Mr. Brothers's declaration, that the angel's voice in that thunder over England was the angel's voice of Babylon being fallen, there is not the least hint of its now being fulfilled, either in scripture, or in the appearance of things. The angel having the everlasting gospel to preach to every nation under heaven, doth not appear as yet either in France, Germans, Holland, Savoy, Sardinia, or Spain; nor in any other place yet conquered by the French: and, as for England, Ireland, Scotland, and our settlements in America, it is plain that popery gains ground; which can never be called the fall of Babylon: but rather this voice should be that Babylon is rising, is rising; and rise she shall, and sit as a queen, before her ruin; and then in one hour shall her judgments come: which will never be effected by any carnal means, no not by French victories, but by the Spirit of Christ: and so it is written. "And then shall that wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of Ins coming."
Quote. In addition to all that God had promised and repeated by his angel to make me happy, he was now pleased to give me another proof of his unalterable regard, and convince me by it, that, although he could not in justice to his recorded judgment spare London, yet for my sake he would skew mercy to some, and take care, by sickness and other causes, to remove the persons I desired should be saved to a sufficient distance beyond the limits to be destroyed and sunk.
Answer. If this be true, we are all greatly indebted to Mr. Brothers for our present preservation: but this I know, that all God's people are Preserved in Christ Jesus, and in none else. And, although I will not deny that Abraham interceded or Sodom, being a type of Christ, as the everlasting Father; and Moses for his people, who was a figure of Christ as mediator; and Phineas for the congregation, as an emblem of Christ as high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec; and Samuel interfered, as a type of Christ, as the great prophet; and David for the city of Jerusalem, as being a representative of Christ as King.; and the apostles, as being shadows of him that is the high priest and apostle of our profession; yet now We have no such mediators to stand in the gap, none but Jesus, who hath made peace by the blood of his cross: for so it is written; "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." And hence we may conclude that for no mere man's sake is London spared: as it is written; "Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God, I do not this for your sakes, 0 house of Israel, but for my holy name's sake," Ezek. xxxvi. 22. But what are we to understand by God's holy name sake? Why we are to understand Christ Jesus by it. "Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place that I have prepared; beware of him, and obey his voice; provoke him not, for he will not pardon your transgressions; for my name is in him." According to these scriptures God will not shew mercy to any for the sake of the whole house of Israel; and, if not for the sake of his own elect, it is not likely that he should skew mercy for the sake of Mr. Brothers, who, according to the scriptures of truth, is no more than a deceiver of people, and a false or lying prophet, who presumes to come in the name of God: which is the blackest character out of hell, or under heaven, none excepted: for "the prophet that teacheth lies," says God, "he is the tail," Isai. ix. 15: the filth and scum, the common sewer, the fag end of a nation, and the last creature that ever shall be saved; for into the heavenly city shall nothing enter that loves and makes a lie, Rev. xxii. 14, 15.
Quote. After this I was in a vision, and saw a large river run through London, coloured with human blood. Exceedingly unhappy for all that I saw, and which I knew would soon be fulfilled, I prayed and entreated the Lord God to give me one more instance of his mighty regard, by sparing London and the great multitude in it. I said, I acknowledge, O Lord my God, that the people do very wrong, but it is through compulsion and for want of knowing better. The Lord God was so highly displeased that I should, after all his former kindness, strain his affections, and entreat him to annul his recorded judgment, as to stop me, and, in a voice of great sharpness and anger, say, 'They have my blessed gospel, and will not obey it. The angel that was appointed to give me instruction forsook me in an instant, on hearing this answer, I trembled for my life, and seemed to be another man; for I was afraid of being destroyed with the city. It was three days after this before the Lord God would be reconciled to hear my prayers, and speak to me with his former kindness.
Answer. In this quotation we have four palpable lies, to which I shall reply.
First. I am to prove that this prayer was never heard nor answered; and the reason is, because all prayers are to be put up in the faith of Christ: secondly, that no prayer can prevail unless put up in Christ's name; which is not to he found in the prayer of Mr. Brothers. James tells us that we must pray in faith, or else we get nothing from the Lord: and to believe in one God, without a mediator, is the faith of devils, who believe and tremble. And Christ tells his apostles, that "Whatever you ask of the Father, ask it in my name, and I will do it." And unless the favour be asked in the Mediator's name, who can expect an answer? seeing that Christ is the only way to the Father, and that none can come to the Father but by him; and that whosoever climbeth up any other way is a thief and a robber. And can we expect that sir. Brothers should prevail, who is so bold as to approach without a mediator, and so vain as to expect an answer in his own name? Hence we may warrantably conclude that Mr. Brothers never yet prevailed with God in prayer.
Secondly, I am to prove that God's affections can never be strained; and why? because John says that "God is love:" and we are told that God is of one mind, and none can turn him; that be is without variableness or shadow of turning; and his own declaration of himself is, that "I am God, and change not." Now if God is in his nature love, and without a shadow of turning, who can strain his affections? Noah, Daniel, and Job, could have no success in this business, Ezek. xiv. 14. Jeremiah is bid to lift up neither prayer nor cry upon this head, Jer. vii. 16; and Paul wished himself accursed from Christ for Israel's sake, but they are without Christ to this day. Hence it is plain that none have ever yet strained the affection of God but Mr. Brothers, who I believe to be in the sight of God as great a deceiver and liar as ever Simon Magus was.
Thirdly, I am to prove that no recorded judgment of God can ever be annulled; and the reason is, because what God hath declared in truth, he is bound in faithfulness to make good; and instead of God's word falling to the ground, it is to be settled in heaven, Psalm cxix. 89; and hence it is that the scriptures cannot be broken; that heaven and earth shall pass away, but the Lord's word shall never pass away: the thoughts of his heart and the words of his mouth shall stand fast to a thousand generations; not a tittle of the law is ever to fail, and the message of peace is an everlasting gospel, and the author of both is in_ variable, unchangeable, and immutable; and therefore Mr. Brothers must be the first and only man that ever made God annul a recorded judgment: this the Almighty asks any man to prove against him; "Wilt thou also disannul my judgement? wilt thou condemn me that thou mayest be righteous?" And can we suppose that Mr. Brothers hath thus prevailed by a prayer, without faith in Christ to give it energy, and without the name of a mediator to give it acceptance? and thus condemned God as a mutable being, that he might appear righteous in meriting a grant from God to save London: for so he affirms, that after the prayer put op to annul God's recorded judgment, he was caught up to heaven, and God spake to him, saying, 'All, all: I pardon London and all the people in it, for your sake.'
Fourthly, I am to prove, that many who have the gospel shall never obey it; it is to be preached to every creature, but some shall never obey the voice of it, notwithstanding that; "Behold, ye despisers, and wonder and perish; for I work a work in your days which you shall in no vise believe, though a man declare it unto you." Thus I have proved that Mr. Brothers's prayer was never heard, that God's love was never strained, that a recorded judgment was never by him annulled, and that many who have the gospel shall not obey it.
Quote. That all men of wisdom and discernment may understand, on reading the Revelation, that there are two cities mentioned in it spiritually under the names of Babylon the Great, I will assist them by clearly marking out the distinction.
Rome, the spiritual Babylon mentioned in the seventeenth chapter, is described in the third verse, to be a way into the wilderness; meaning, by the words into the wilderness, that the city is situated inland.
But London, the spiritual Babylon also, mentioned in the eighteenth chapter, is described by St. John as the greatest sea-port for ships, wealth, and commerce, in the world.
Answer. In this quotation we are informed,
There never were but two cities which went by the name of Babylon; the first is the capital of the Chaldean empire, that was situated on the river Euphrates; which city has long been a den for dragons, and a court for owls, God having swept it with the besom of destruction.
Now as this city was noted for its size, wealth, pride, idolatry, and for its cruelty to God's people, the Jews, in allusion to it, Rome is called Mystery, Babylon the Great, which has been very large, wealthy, proud, idolatrous, and cruel to the saints of God. She is represented as a type and figure of old Babylon, built by Nimrod, a figure of the pope, and a mighty hunter before the Lord. And whenever the gospel comes to shine round about mystical Babylon, it will be discovered to be as old Babylon was, a hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird, and God will destroy it with a double destruction.
This spiritual, or mystical Babylon, is but one city, and not two, and is by no means represented, as Mr. Brothers describes it, to be a way in the wilderness, because it is situated inland, Rev. xvii. 3. The wilderness means the place where John stood to see the city, and not the place where the city stood, which he saw; and so it is written, "And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither, I will spew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabiters of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet-coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns," Rev. xvii. 1-3. Into the wilderness, being a quiet and retired place, John was carried in the Spirit to behold, in the visions of God, the mystical city. The first thing that John saw when he came there, was a woman, which the angel explains to him, saying, "And the woman which thou sawest is that great city," in the singular number, "which reigneth over the kings of the earth." This woman is said to sit upon a scarlet-coloured beast; the scarlet colour is to point out the dress and colour of the pope and his cardinals, Which were scarlet, and likewise the deep stains of righteous blood with which the woman is polluted: for, "in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth," Rev. xviii. 04.
The beast that carries the woman, or that supports this mystical city, is explained by the angel as having seven heads and ten horns. And again, "The beast that thou sawest was, and is not," Rev. xvii. 8; that is, the beast which thou sawest with ten horns was shoved to Daniel, by the iron legs and ten toes, which the stone is to smite, but it is not smitten yet; this beast was shewed to Daniel as having ten horns, and another, an eleventh horn, coming up among the ten, and before which three fell, Dan. vii. 7. 20; but is not come to that state and appearance yet. This beast is the Roman empire, which was in the hand of emperors, but is not so now, being in the hand of the pope; and it was the Roman empire, the religion of which was pagan, but is not so now, being of the popish religion.
This beast is farther described by the angel to John by his ascent and descent; "And shall ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition." The Pope's office as Christ's vicar, and his titles as his holiness and head of the church, his murder of the saints, and his doctrines with which he has influenced the empire, is not of God but of Satan, for it was the Dragon that gave him his power, his seat, and great authority, Rev. xiii. 2; and therefore, as his office is not granted of God, he is represented as ascending out of hell and as going into perdition, which will be the case when Daniels vision of this beast is fulfilled. "I beheld till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame."
Now this before-mentioned woman is further described by the angel thus: "The seven, heads are seven mountains on which the woman sitteth," which woman is that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth. Hence it appears that this beast is the Roman empire, now popish, with the pope at the head of it; in which empire, and under the head of it, the popes have been, or still are, ten horns with crowns on them, or ten crowned kings; which ten kings, under whom, and.. among whom, the empire is divided into ten kingdoms, have or do support this woman, or this city of Rome, in all her former and present grandeur; and hence the beast with his ten horns is said to carry her: and from this city, and from the pope and his cardinals in it, have gone the doctrines of angel worship, of dead men's bones, and of images, into all nations: on which account all nations are said to be made drunk with this whore's fornication. First, the kings of the earth are said to have committed fornication with her; and by embracing her religion, have circulated it and allowed it, in their dominions, till all those kings, and the inhabiters of the earth under them, are both made drunk with the wine of her fornication, Rev. xvii. 2.
Now this woman, or city, is said to sit upon seven mountains, and as being the capital of an empire now divided into ten kingdoms; and all these kings have been, and some of them still are, of the popish religion, on which account this city is represented as reigning over them: "And the woman which thou sawest, is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth."
Hence it appears that there are not two cities which are spiritually called Babylon, as Mr. Brothers supposes, one in the wilderness, being inland, and the other London, being maritime; for there is but one city that is spiritually or mystically called Babylon, or Sodom, and that city is neither to be found in the wilderness, nor on the banks of the Thames; for a city upon seven mountains, which reigns over the kings of the earth, is not to be found in either of those places to answer the description here given: for this woman, or city, sits upon a beast with ten horns, and the beast with his horns are said to carry her, and over these she presides; and these ten horns, as sure as God liveth, shall by and by dismount the whore, and shall carry her, and support her pride and grandeur no longer; for so it is written. "And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire; for God hath put into their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the woman that thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth."
Now here we are at a point; we know that the scriptures cannot be broken, and that all these mysteries, touching mystical Babylon, shall be fulfilled, as God hath declared to his servants the prophets. This beast is the Roman empire, now popish, with the pope at the head of it; the seat that the Dragon gave to this beast, is Rome; this beast has ten horns, all of which have been, and some now are, of one mind with the beast, and have given their power to him; and ten kings in this empire, or on this beast, shall be found, when this time comes, for judgment; for God says, the ten horns which thou sawest on the beast, these shall hate that whore, and burn her with fire. And sure I am, that heaven and earth shall pass away, before these words of Christ, the faithful and true witness, shall ever pass away; nor shall Richard Brothers, and all his advocates, no nor old time itself; ever make the a liar in this my testimony for Jesus Christ, or make my speech nothing worth.
But my reader will object and say, some time ago you said that antichrist shall be destroyed with the spirit of Christ's mouth and be consumed by the brightness of his coming; well, and so saith the scriptures. But now you say, that the whore of Babylon shall be burnt by ten kings in the Roman empire. I have so said, and say not the scriptures the same? Have I not done as I am commanded? Have I not spoken as the oracles of God? But now to reconcile this difficulty, take the following scriptures: Paul says, we are a savour of death unto death, and of life unto life; that is, we are the savour of death unto death in them that perish, and of life unto life in them that are saved.
Now when the slain witnesses are raised, the everlasting gospel is to be preached to every nation under heaven, and among the rest, in Italy also; and those that are God's elect, which will be in the communion of the church of Rome at this time, will hear the gospel and embrace it, and consequently obey God's call to them; which is, "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her Plagues; for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities," Rev. xviii.4, 5. Thus the gospel is preached to them, and it is a savour of life unto life to these. for they hear and obey the call of God, as Lot did in Sodom, and so escape the devouring flame; the others obey not, but, like Lot's sons, despise and ridicule the warning; and to these the gospel is a savour of death unto death. And thus Christ smites the earth with his gospel first, and then calls his own out of danger. The others reject this caution, and therefore he calls forth the ten kings with the sword of war to slay the bodies of those whose souls he hath slain with the sword of the spirit, or with the spirit of his mouth. And to this agrees the prophet; "They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but it is to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger, and in my fury." And thus Babylon is spiritually slain in soul by the sword of Jesus Christ, and their bodies will be literally slain by the sword of war in the hands of ten kings, whom Christ will convert to the faith of his gospel, and employ in this work: for they shall fulfil the will of God, and burn that whore with fire, Rev. xvii. 16, 17. And sure I am, that it is easier for heaven and earth to fail, than for one tittle of these words ever to pass away. And hence I conclude, that Mr. Brothers's two cities, mentioned under the names of Sodom and of Babylon the Great, &c. appear to be no more than one; the other never had any existence but in the whims and fancies of Mr. Brothers; the one of which, he says, is in the wilderness, Rev. xvii. 'but London, the spiritual Babylon also, chap. xviii. is described by John as the greatest sea-port for ships, wealth, and commerce, in the world.' The wilderness is the place where John stood to see the city, Rev. xvii. 3; and the eighteenth chapter gives an account of those that stand at a distance and lament her ruin, Rev. xviii. 17. who, like Abraham on the plains of Mamre, stood to see the smoke of Sodom; to which the allusion seems to be, and on which account Rome is called Sodom, because the same catastrophe is to attend the one as the other; the one hath been, and the other is to he, destroyed by a conflagration. Rome is also called Egypt, because the plagues that are to come upon her, are the same that came upon Egypt, and are compared to them, and for the same crimes, idolatry, cruelty, murder, and oppressing the people of God. Hence the first plague on Egypt brought boils and blains, Exod. ix. 9; and the first vial brings noisome and grievous sores upon the beast, Rev. xvi. 2; the second vial brings on blood, like one of the plagues of Egypt; the third vial turns the rivers and fountains into blood, in allusion to smiting the river Nile, and turning it into blood; the fourth angel brings a great heat, in allusion to the hail and fire of Egypt; the fifth vial brings on darkness, like the dreadful darkness that was in Egypt; and the sixth vial brings frogs, as Moses did on the Egyptians, which filled all their houses. Hence it is plain that Sodom, Babylon, and Egypt, in this book, mean one and the same City.
Quote. The following would have been the condition of England, which the Lord God shewed me in the month of July 1791, had his judgment of desolation on the world been suddenly fulfilled at the appointed time in 1793.
Answer. There is a time for every purpose; and God's purposes, decrees, and appointments, can never be frustrated nor postponed; the appointed time of the church's suffering, of antichrist's reign, of the spread of the gospel, of the Jews' call, and of the judgments of God upon the world, are all fixed by the Almighty, and confirmed by the oath of the faithful and true witness. "And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth, lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven and the things that therein are, and the earth and the things that therein are, and the sea and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer," Rev. x. 5, 6. God is unchangeable in himself; his decrees and appointments are immutable things; the strength of Israel cannot lie; nor will he ever be perjured in his oath. Let God be true, and Mr. Brothers the greatest of liars.
Quote. The thunder that was heard in the evening of the third of August 1793, was the voice of the angel mentioned in the nineteenth chapter of the Revelation standing in the sun.
"And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice," meaning the thunder, "saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together to the supper of the great God."
Answer. There is not one truth in all this: the voice is not the voice of thunder, but the voice of the angel, Rev. xix. 17. Nor can this voice which invites the guests to God's sacrifice be expected to be heard as yet, because of the things which are to precede it; which are the judgment of the great whore, and the ascent of the smoke of her torments, Rev. xix. 9., 3; the glorious reign of Christ, and the marriage of the Lamb, Rev. xix. 6, 7; the call both of the Jews and Gentiles to this marriage, Rev. xix. 9: and when these multitudes are converted, and the hearts of the ten kings turned, or converted to the faith, Christ is then exhibited at the head of an army of his own people, executing vengeance on the unconverted reprobate part of mankind, which he destroys by the sword of his mouth and the sword of war; and the armies of heaven follow him, who hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords, Rev. xix. 14, 15, 16; the former expressive of divine majesty, and the latter of eternal victory. And then appears the angel standing in the sun, inviting the beasts and birds to God's sacrifice, Rev. xix. 17; but not an Angel by nature, but an angel by office is there meant; a gospel minister, such as the seven angels of the seven churches were; and this appears plain by the place where he stands: for Christ is a sun and shield, Psal. lxxxiv. 11, to his people; and the sun of righteousness, who at this time will rise on them that fear God with healing in his beams, Mal. iv. 2, and be their everlasting light, and their sun shall no more go down, Isai. lx. 20, And the angel's standing in the sun shows that popish darkness is now dispelled, and the true light now shines: and that the ministers of the gospel now stand in the Lord's light, and are burning and shining lights in him. But there was no sign of these things in the year 1793, no, nor yet; for although there are great armies mustered in the world at this time, yet they do not appear to be such as have heard the gospel, nor such as are converted from popish delusions to the faith of Christ, who are born from above, and are heirs of heaven, and of the heavenly glory; and therefore they cannot mean these armies, which are called the armies which were in heaven, upon white horses, which shew they are heirs of salvation, Hab. iii. 13; clothed in fine linen, clean and white, which shew that they are righteous persons, and made kings and priests unto God, Rev. xix, 14; nothing of which can agree with the great armies that are now mustered on the continent. All these things are lies forged by Satan, and circulated by Mr. Brothers, who is a child of his, and does his works, John viii. 44, and not the work of God; for against all such liars the heavenly Jerusalem is shut, Rev. xxii. 15.
Quote. The second thunder that gave notice of God's approaching judgment was on Wednesday evening the 7th of August, 1793, as is mentioned in the seventh chapter of the Revelation, and was the voice of the angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God.
Answer. The voice of this angel is not the voice of thunder, proclaiming the approaching judgments of God, but quite the reverse; for he commands the four angels, saying, "Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees," Rev. vii. 3; which cannot be called the voice Of judgment, but of mercy. This angel is Jesus Christ, coining with the seal of the living God, which is the holy Ghost; as saith Paul, "The day you believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise:" and a hundred and forty-four thousand, bearing the names of the Jewish tribes, are said to be sealed; and a multitude of all nations, which could not be numbered, were sealed also, Rev. vii. 4, 9. But sure the year 1793 exhibited nothing of the appearance of Christ in all this glory, much less in sealing such multitudes; nor could it then, nor can it now, be said that he is commanding the destroying angels not to hurt the earth, sea, and trees, Revelation vii. 3; when earthlyminded men, the bishop's see of Rome, and corrupted trees, are much hurt, and killed too, and that by thousands.
Quote. The next and last thunder, if the judgment had not been suspended for my sake, would be on the eleventh of August following, and would be according to the sixteenth chapter of the Revelation, the fourth angel pouring out his vial on the sun.
"And the fourth angel poured out his vial on the sun, and power was given him to scorch men with fire."
Answer. There is no appearance of that angel's vial yet; and when the time is come, that judgment will not be suspended for the sake of all the saints in the world, much less for the sake of Mr. Brothers, who is no prophet of God, but a prophet of Satan; for God's children are not liars: "For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour," Isai. lxiii. 8. But Mr. Brothers belongs to another family, for he writes nothing else but lies, and therefore must be a child of him who has the seniority of all liars, being the father of lies. Nor, does that angel's pouring out his vial on the sun mean scorching the fields and hedges, as this deluded prophet supposes. The sun, in a figurative sense, means the glory of a nation or people: God dwelling between the cherubims in the temple was the glory of the Jewish nation, and when they forsook him for idols they turned their glory into shame; and when the Saviour rent the vail of the temple, and left their house desolate, and withdrew himself and his gospel from them, their sun was turned into darkness before the great and terrible day of the Lord's judgments on Jerusalem by the Romans came, Joel ii. 31; and so Peter applies it to the apostolic days, Acts ii. 20. The sun was the chief deity among the pagan gods, and when Constantine rooted up and destroyed the pagan priesthood and pagan worship, and conquered the heathen princes, it is thus recorded. "And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the kings of the earth, the great men, and the captains, &e. themselves," Rev. vi. 12, 15, 16.
And as to the popish nations, their glory is the pope; he is their Lord God, as they call him, and Christ's vicar, as they tell us; he is the head of their church; from his authority come their bulls, indulgences, absolutions, &c.. and those among them who are canonized for glory, it is he that does it; he is their glory, their boast, as Peter's successor, and 'their light, being infallible, the key-keeper of heaven, and the only interpreter of the scriptures: but there will be a vial of wrath poured out upon this sun; the everlasting light of the gospel will discover the light that is in him to be darkness, Matt. vi. 23, and so enlighten men's minds as to see the man of sin to be the son of perdition; which will eclipse his glory, and bring him into contempt; and the wrath of God proclaimed against him, will work in him, and till him with rage and blasphemy, but will not convert him; and therefore he will scorch others by influencing and inflaming them with that desperate rage and malice that influences him, and will draw them in to assist his declining and almost ruined cause, as the high-priest of the Jews influenced the Pharisees against Christ, but all in vain; for the next vial destroys his capital, which is Rome itself: and and so it is written; "And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with a great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues; and they repented not, to give him glory. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast, and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they blasphemed the God of heaven." Thus we see that men are scorched, and not fields and hedges; and that the heat is the wrath of God; and not the rays of the sun; and it is the pope and his capital that are the subjects of this vial, and not the ground: and that it terminates in the destruction of antichrist, and not in a temporal famine; and it works wrath and blasphemy in the souls of reprobates, and not a hungry belly in all the human race.
Quote. That light I mean, which is often called a certain something, an internal monitor, that applauds man for courting wisdom, for being just, and doing good; but that never fails to reproach him for embracing folly, and doing evil: it is indeed no other than the Spirit of the living God.
Answer. There is no truth in all this; for it is not the true light that is in all men: all the light Of nature never discovered or found out the Almighty; "The world by wisdom knew not God:" the heathens had much natural light, but, notwithstanding that, they were without God, and had no hope in the world, And as to Mr. Brothers's internal monitor, that applauds man for courting wisdom, being just, and doing good, and that never fails to reproach him for embracing folly and doing evil,' it. is the natural conscience, or law of the heathens; for these, saith the apostle, having not the law, are a law unto themselves; their thoughts and conscience accusing or excusing one another: but this conscience, which is allowed to be the law of nature, can never be the Spirit of the living God; for, although the heathens had this law, they were without God, and had no hope in the world: and certain it is that this law of nature has led many to call evil good, and good evil. Paul thought that he ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus; which he did; and others, when they killed God's saints, have thought that they did God service. But Mr. Brothers's 'internal monitor, applauding and reproaching for good and evil,' deceived them all, and therefore could never be that anointing that is true, and is no lie. However, we may learn by this paragraph what it is that has influenced and inspired this prince and prophet of the Jews to his double office, and we see that it hath deceived him as well as Paul and the Jewish Pharisees; for there is nothing but infernal lies through all his book; and therefore the Spirit of truth had no hand in it, and hence we may call Mr. Brothers Barcosziba, the son of a lie.
Quote. Therefore my present poverty is no obstacle to my future elevation, neither is it of much concern to myself; for the time of my being revealed with power from heaven is nigh, when God, to manifest his regard, will give me favour with many, and influence all the people of London to help me.
Answer. If I thought this to be true, I think I should never close my eyes to sleep again through grief at the sight of the inhabitants of so large; a city, and which has so many that love and fear God in it, setting their hands to help an impostor in undertaking a work which he will never perform. Indeed such an universal deception would make one conclude that Simon Magus was risen again, and that Satanic art was once more spewing forth itself in him: it is said that he bewitched the people of Samaria till Philip preached the gospel to them, which caused the unclean spirits and wizards to pass out of the land; and I am sure that the gospel must pass out of London, and the inhabitants of it must be given up to a strong delusion to believe a lie, before Mr. Brothers obtains this universal help: besides, if God sends him about this business in a similar manner to Moses in Egypt, and with an additional power, as he pretends, he will want no more assistance from the citizens of London than Moses did from the natives of Egypt; for, if God be a man's helper, be need not fear, for what can flesh do against him?
Quote. I was an officer in the English navy, and necessarily so, although I did not know it, that the judgment of God on David, king of Israel, might be fulfilled, which was, that the sword should never depart from his house.
Answer. That divine threatening to David doth not necessarily imply that all the descendants of David should enter voluntarily into a military capacity, any more than God's promise of a son to Abraham implied that he should take Hagar: drawing the sword against others is not the meaning of' the text, but that others should draw the sword against him; nor does the word, never, always imply to the world's end: the text might be fulfilled in the death of David; for it is clear that the sword of war was not upon David's house in the days of Solomon; according to God's promise to David: "Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon [that is, peaceable]; and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days." Furthermore, Mr. Brothers informs us that the Jews will return at the destruction of war, when swords are to be beaten into ploughshares, and spears into pruninghooks at which time the sword, of course, must depart from the house of David: and hence it is plain that the sword was not on David's house for many years in the days of Solomon, nor will it in the latter day glory; and therefore Mr, Brothers had no call to go on board a ship to fight with cannon, in order to fulfil a divine threatening which respects a house and a sword.
Quote. The government of the Jewish nation will, under the Lord God, be committed to me, that the everlasting covenant from him to David may be manifested in the visible prince and governor of the Jews.
Answer. The prince and governor of the Jewish nation hath been long since pointed out by two infallible prophecies. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The prince, of peace." And again; "And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them, and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me," Jer. XXX. I. This is the prince and governor of Israel, and the government is to be upon his shoulder, and upon no other. And sure I am, that this governor that approaches to God cannot be our prophet, Mr. Brothers, for God will not suffer a liar to tarry in his sight: and as for the covenant that was made with David, and with Christ in David's loins, it stands fast in Jesus; for Christ was made of the seed of David according to the flesh: and so it is written; "Therefore being a prophet and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit upon his throne," Acts ii. 30. Thus the prince and governor of Israel appears to be Christ Jesus; and God's covenant of royalty shalt stand fast with God's Holy One: for he is raised up as a mighty horn of salvation in the house of God's servant David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end: and consequently, there is no room left for the reign of Mr. Brothers.
The notion of the little horn, in Daniel, being the king of Prussia, is a strange conceit, and has no truth in it. However we are not left altogether in the dark about that little horn; for, if we trace the scripture account of it, we shall find it out. "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it, and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns'' Dan. vii, 7. This. beast is the fourth; the Babylonian, begun by Nimrod, was the first; the Median and Persian the second; the Grecian the third; and the Roman the fourth. This beast is the iron legs and ten toes in Daniel's image; and here it has iron teeth and ten horns; and it is diverse from all the other beasts, because it is partly civil and partly ecclesiastical, which shew that it is the antichristian beast. And the next account exhibits the pope at the head of the empire, as presiding over the ten horns: "I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things." The pope is here called a little horn, being at first no more than a common bishop: and before him there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots, so as never to appear in the head of this beast again. This little horn is represented as springing up among the ten horns, that is, when the barbarous nations broke into the empire and set up ten kingdoms in it, this horn sprung tip among them: as it is written; "And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet, but receive power as kings one hour with the beast; these have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast." Here it is intimated to John, that these kings had received no kingdom in John's time, and that they received power one hour with the beast, that is, they received their power at the the same time, or in the same hour, that antichrist received his; and these ten kings have one mind, Shall be of one religion, as all the ten kings have been. and shall give their power and strength unto the beast; that is, they shall be his horns to surport him and fight for him, as they all have done formerly. Now, before this little horn, the pope, Daniel tells us that there were three horns plucked up by the roots; which, according to a learned bishop, were the campagnia of Rome, the exarchate of Ravenna, and the region of Pentapolis, which were destroyed by Pepin and Charlemagne, two kings of France, and given to the pope; and it was and still is, called the patrimony of Saint Peter.
It hath been thought by many that this little horn, in Daniel, was Antiochus Epiphanes; but Mr. Meed has proved that he died 160 years before the birth of Christ, and that he belonged to the third beast, and not the fourth. Whereas this little horn is to continue 1260 years from his open rise to his ruin; yea, Daniel says, he shall continue till the fifth monarchy takes place, that is, till the universal kingdom of Christ is set up; then, but not till then, shall this beast be destroyed; for so it is written, as I shall prove hereafter. This little horn is said to have the eyes of a man, to point him out to be a watchful sagacious creature; and a mouth speaking very great things: to be called head of the church, Christ's vicar, Peter's successor, key-keeper of heaven, to bind and loose, absolve or retain sins, fetch souls out of purgatory, and canonize persons for heaven, to give charges to St. Peter, and even to angels, to admit and receive whom they send thither, are very great things.
Daniel fixes his eyes steadfastly upon this fourth beast, and the little horn, to see what becomes of them; and he informs us, that this beast and horn Continue till the universal kingdom of Christ takes place, who gives judgment against him, and avenges the blood of his saints. "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the ancient of Days did sit; the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld, then, because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld, even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame. I saw in the night visions one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before Him; and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away; and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."
Here Daniel tells us that this beast, and his born, shall continue till Christ comes; and Paul says that the Lord shall consume that wicked one with the brightness of his coming; Daniel tells us that. his body shall be given to the burning flame; and John says, the whore shall be burnt, and the beast shall go into perdition, Rev. xvii. 8. At the destruction of the beast, saith Daniel, the son of man shall receive his dominion that all nations should serve him; and John tells us that at the destruction of Babylon the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, Rev. xi. 13-1.5.
The next description that we have of this little horn is as follows: "Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, and of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell, even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spike very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." Here we are informed that this horn is to make war with the saints, until Christ comes to execute vengeance on the murderers, take to himself the kingdom, spread his gospel throughout the world, and fill the earth with the knowledge of himself, and reign as king of Zion and king of grace, from the river to the ends of the earth. This war with the saints he has carried on at times for many years, and began pretty soon after he was made universal bishop by Phocas: and this war shall continue, and he shall tread the holy city of Mount Zion under foot, till his time of 42 months, or 1260 years, be run out, and then he shall come to his end.
The next account that we have of this little horn is as follows: "Neither shall he regard the the God of his fathers, nor the desire of wiving [as saith Mr. Meed], nor regard any God, for he shall magnify himself above all," Dan. xi. 37. We know. who it is that calls himself the successor of Peter the prince of the apostles; but this horn regards not the God. of those holy fathers. And we are not at a loss to find out who it is that forbids marriage; nor where to find him out that is called our Lord God the pope, and God on earth, &c. Paul applies all this to antichrist: "Now the Spirit. speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience scared with an hot iron, forbidden to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats." All this is fulfilled in the pope; marriage is forbidden the priests, monks, friars, and nuns; and abstaining from meats in Lent, and at numberless other times, without a licence or grant from the pope to the contrary, is manifest enough to all.
The next account Daniel gives, is, that he shall magnify himself above every God, Dan. xi. 36; which Paul describes thus: "For that day shall not come, except there come a filling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God," 2, Thess. ii. 4. Here the apostle intimates that God would have a church, or temple, at Rome, as he bad in Paul's days and in the days of Constantine, in which church, or temple, when it began to decline, the man of sin should sit, and slim himself to be God, above all civil magistrates that are called gods, and above God himself in some things; that is, in sending, as he pretends, the saints to hell for heretics, and canonizing sinners for heaven for the sake of money, which is acting above God himself.
The apostasy of Rome from Christ to antichrist is a fulfilment of Paul's prophecy in his epistle to the Romans; "Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness; otherwise, thou also shalt be cut off," as they now are.
Now, to find out the mystery of iniquity and man of sin, we must take the hints that God gives us, and apply them where we find them applicable. The
First is, He shall make war with the saints, till the Ancient of Days sets up his universal kingdom. This the pope has done, and it has been done by his instigation, which began soon after Phocas proclaimed him universal bishop: and hence it is said, that in Babylon shall be found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth, Rev. xviii. 24.
2. He is to exalt himself above all that are called Gods. We have long since heard of his kicking the crown from the head of emperors, and making them hold his stirrup while he mounted his horse, and of ten kings that have given their strength and power to him.
3. He is to forbid marriage. This is published to the world in the pope's decrees.
4. He is to command to abstain from meats. The red-letter days, in their almanacs, and fasting in Lent, is notorious enough: this nation is still filled with the remains of that rubbish.
5. We know who they are that are beguiled by a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, Col. ii. IS. The worship of angels and saints departed is well known to be enjoined by antichrist.
6. We know who they are that make a shew of wisdom and will-worship and humility, and neglecting of the body, Col. 23. Beating and thumping the craw, whipping themselves, penance, and pilgrimages, are obvious enough. And these are God's marks of antichrist, and we know where to apply them.
7. Is, that no man might buy or sell, except he has the mark of the beast in his hand, or his forehead. All trade, commerce, and dealings, with those that the pope calls heretics, have been prohibited by the decrees of popes and councils, unless they received the marks of the beast in the forehead, that is, to profess popery; or in the hand, that is, to defend it.
Now this beast is to take the outer court, or gain. the outer-court worshippers over to him, Rev. xi. 1, 2; and then he will kill or silence all the Protestant ministers of Christ, Rev. xi. 7; and this will be the time of trouble, such as never was before; and at that time shall Michael stand up, Dan. xii. 1. This will be the hour of temptation that will try the whole world that is called Christian, Rev. iii. 10. And, when he hath gained all the outer-court worshippers that he can, and has slain the witnesses, he will set up his tabernacle in this island, and make his own religion once more the established religion of this country. And this is the work that is now in hand, and it goes on apace, but it will not last long: "He shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him." I much question but there are some thousands of infants now born into the world, who will, in their future hoary heads, either rejoice or lament the destruction of the whore of Babylon; for that man of sin will soon have grey hairs upon him, though he will not know it; and if he continues in his greatness threescore and ten years from this time, I have lost my mark: but of that day, and that hour, knoweth no man.
This man of sin was long hatching. There were many antichrists in the apostles' days, who, by broaching various heresies, were preparing materials for the son of perdition. "The mystery of iniquity doth already work," says Paul. This was antichrist in embryo, or the spirit of antichrist leavening and influencing the minds of heretics and impostors to receive and embrace him whenever he should appear; this was previous to the revelation of him: but Paul says there was a bar in the way. "Only he who now letteth will let until he be taken out of the way, and then shall that wicked be revealed." The Roman emperors, while they kept their seat at Rome, hindered the appearance of the little horn; but when Constantine moved the seat of the empire from Rome to Constantinople, where all the eastern emperors resided afterwards, and the emperors of the west residing chiefly at Milan or Ravenna, Rome became vacant, and then the fourth beast in its antichristian state appeared, and the little horn, the pope, at the head of it; as it is written: "And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the Dragon gave him his power, his seat, and great authority." And now Phocas, who had murdered his master, proclaimed the pope of Rome universal bishop; and this was the revelation of the man of sin. The Dragon, or Satan, gave him his seat, power, and authority; Phocas gave him his title; Pepin and Charlemagne gave him his patrimony; and the world wondered after the beast, and gave him homage: and God will give him his destruction.