The Coalheaver's Comment Zion's Traveller.
William Huntington, S.S.
(Minister Of The Gospel At Providence Chapel, Little Titchfield Street, and The City Chapel.)
"There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand." Proverbs xix. 21.
Printed by T. BENSLEY, Bolt Court, Fleet Street.
Published by E. HUNTINGTON, Bookseller, No. 55, High Street, Bloomsbury.
Sold also at Providence and the City Chapel, Grub Street; at Jireh Chapel, Lewes, Sussex; at the Rev. Mr. Brook's Chapel, Brighton; by J. Cuthbert, Battle, Sussex; J. Troup, Welwyn, 'Hefts; Thomas Barston, Market Place, Grantham, Lincolnshire; S. Fades, 58, High Street, Ramsgate; George Calladine, Leicester; and J. Jameson, Penrith, Cumberland.
The first wonder in this book of wonders is its title; it is "Zion's Traveller;" a name which defy the author, yea and all the learned under the sun, to explain or fix. I know what Zion means, but who or what is Zion's traveller? No one, abstractedly considered, either in heaven or earth, much less this author or his book, for this is but an evil travail at bell. But this traveller of - Zion is not the book alone, but the author also; for, at the conclusion of his preface, he entreats the men of his confederacy to pray for Zion's traveller; and their prayers are much needed, for he has travailed with mischief all his days. The scriptures inform us, that our Lord travailed, Isaiah 11; Paul travailed, Gal. iv. 19; the church travails, Isaiah lxvi. 8; all regenerate souls travail; and all prolific matrons in the household of faith travail: and when all this travail devolves upon this hypocrite, then he may fix the title upon himself and his book, but not till then.
Page the first. 'In my early days I had many displays of divine providence towards me; the first was from a very vicious goat, who used to trample me under foot and horn me until it was feared he would kill me. Playing also with the shell of a sea crab near a river, I fell in.'
Had the old ram goat dispatched this traveller, his charity would have prevented, though not covered, a multitude of sins; and especially the worst of all his crimes, I mean that of arrogating to himself the office of the ministry, and a acting the stage-player in Zion.
In page 18 our traveller falls out of window and lays for dead; in the same page he falls again into the water; but still he bears about in the body, for after this he gets into many imminent dangers by mad bulls running through the streets, all of which our traveller escapes, and the scene is closed with a passage out of the burial service of the established church, "in the midst of life we are in death."
In page 19 our traveller informs us of the ill effects these wonderful deliverances had upon him, for he says,
'Yet man, like the wild ass's colt, runs snuffng up the air, and neither judgments nor mercies have the least effect; while he lies in his natural state, lulled asleep in the arms of the devil, his heart is as hard as the nether millstone. Though the proud pharisee boasts of superior strength and excellency, and as they say that man is like a sheet of clean paper, you may keep it clean or blot it if you will, Adam-like, they cover themselves with their fig-leaf dress to hide from the all-seeing eye of the divine Majesty, while their hearts are full of rottenness and dead men's bones.'
My answer to this is, that if this account of the pharisees be true, we shall not have one of this sect left in all the world by the beginning of July next. The heart is the fountain from which all the blood receives its heat to warm and animate the whole frame; and, when all the pharisees' hearts come to be, filled with rottenness and dead men's bones, I should, was I a gentleman of the faculty, inform them that they were inoculated with mortality, and advice them to set their houses in order; for they could not survive twenty four hours. Add to this, there is no part of man's body more free from bones than the heart; we are not born men of bone in that part, much less do we come into the world with our hearts filled with dead men's bones; such bones must therefore be put in, which must be a very painful operation.
In page 20 our traveller goes on ship-board, bound for Newfoundland; he is made watchman of the deck and cook to the ship's company, and is sadly beaten for not getting the victuals in time; he is beaten with ropes, and for which cruel treatment he resolves to leave the ship when opportunity should offer. Page the 21st he arrives at St. John's harbour in Newfoundland, where all the crew by turns obtain leave to go on shore, except Zion's traveller, upon which a scuffle ensues, the Commander arms himself with the end of a rope, and our traveller takes a handspike; but the hemp being too hard for the iron, the traveller quits the scene of action and runs ashore on a stage which reached from the wharf to the vessel; and the whole of this part of the narrative is closed, verbatim, in the following words.
'I was forced at last to retreat, and run ashore on the stage which was from our ship to the wharf where we lay at. I was now involved in a fresh scene; without any money but one shilling, no friends, and in a strange place, where the inhabitants are forced to make all they can in the summer season to support them in the winter. I was ready to make a vow, as poor Jacob did, when far from home; " If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and wilt give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on; then shall the Lord be my God." Thus vain man would be wise, though born like the wild ass's colt.'
This account furnishes us with continual stripes, which are by no means joyous; he is obliged at last both to fight and to flee; he bewails his hard fate, being far from home, in a strange land, and only one shilling in the world; and though he was but a fugitive or a vagabond in the earth, yet he vows that God should be his God, if he would but keep him in this way; in this he is not like me, for I should have longed for the wings of a dove to escape; however he corrects himself for this his rash vow, and allows it to be nothing but feigned wisdom ingrafted upon the colt of a wild ass. Nothing in the scribble of these men chases my mind so much as the unsavoury and irreverent liberty they take with that tremendous name - God, which my soul loves, reveres, and adores; but who or what he means by it I know not, but I suppose the same as Homer, for he uses it in the same way as he does his Jove and Juno, by bringing it into the company of ignorance, baseness, and lies.
In page 23 our traveller is condoling his correspondent, who, as he affirms, has been long disciplined, not with the yoke of transgressions, nor with that of legal bondage, nor with temptations, nor with persecutions, nor with rods, scourges or rebukes, but with a more charming severity; take it in his own words.
'You have been disciplined for some time under the sun beams of eternal love, to endear your captain to you,'
Answer. This is like breaking a man's heart with an eider down quilt, or knocking him at head with a pillow. Our traveller knows no difference between bounty and drill, nor can he distinguish between discipline and sucking the breasts; and the devil himself is no better than an idiot, to furnish and send forth such an automaton figure as this.
In page 23 our traveller is at St. John's, in Newfoundland, destitute of any known friend, and with but one shilling in his pocket.
But he says, 'Providence directed me to a house to get refreshment with my little moiety.'
This moiety meaning one half, it appears to me that there were two shillings on board, but one half falling to the crew our traveller took the other.
In this place the traveller found a countrywoman who was very kind to him; here he falls sick, and is well attended both with doctor and nurse, upon which he recovers. This part of the narrative agreeing with my sickness at Danbury in Essex, brings me to conclude that, as the heathen god Vulcan was hammered out of the scripture account of Tubal-cain, so the traveller of Zion was beaten out of the Bank of Faith; of this there are evident traces. Our traveller having recovered, he tells us his next attempt was another voyage.
'I sought to get a chip for the West Indies, but in, vain. "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, and his heart proclaimeth foolishness."'
Answer "The legs of the lame are not equal, so is a parable in the mouth of fools." I believe Solomon was dead two thousand years before Columbus was born, and I believe he was the first discoverer of the West Indies, therefore the wise man in that proverb could never mean our traveller's intended voyage; but our traveller has another limp with his legs in this conclusion, for he only sought to get a ship, and this, by the scripture, is the heart proclaiming foolishness.
In page 24 the captain entreats our adventurer to return home with him, but could not prevail, and yet he owns that he himself was not worth seeking after; he embarks on board another ship, suffers much for want of provision, reaches his native home, and is cordially received by his parents. Our traveller is satisfied with his business, all means are used to continue him so, but, as he says, something must happen between Jacob and Esau to drive him from thence; he again embarks for the midland sea with fish, the vessel returns in a shattered condition, and receives damage in every part; he again sets sail for England, arrives, in London, and continues in it. At this place he drops the narrative of wonders, mentions a few present circumstances, chiefly what people in the country say to our traveller about his not staying at home with his own flock; to which he replies, that wherever a Goliath is to be slain, the seed of David must come to sling the stone, and to strike the head of pride in all such. In page 27 we have an account of a peculiar way in which the Lord gives rest to our traveller and his correspondent.
The enemy set, hard at me for this purpose, last night, with a strong army of doubts and fears: he took the advantage when the beloved of my soul was hid, and poured in like a fury as he is, until all appeared as if it must fall before him. There was such weakness on my side, that I could not make any resistance, but to beseech my captain to appear, and put the whole army to flight. The cry increased in my heart, but the vigilance of the enemy increased also, until Jesus peeped through the lattice, Song ii. 9; when he spake, that awful enemy of all righteousness withdrew, and I went to rest; "So he giveth his beloved sleep."
Answer. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, and by the fruit of the lips are we to know the speakers, for the good and evil treasure both flow from that source. All this conflict is set forth in general terms, which mean every thing but establish nothing; he mentions a subtle enemy, but was it his old antagonist the goat, or his former captain, or a thief in the night? this he keeps to himself. He tells us that this enemy brought an army of doubts and fears; but what were the causes that awakened these, what they sprang from, and what were the objects of these fears, whether the fear of death, the fear of wrath, the fear of man, or the fear of devils, we know not. He says that this army was brought when the beloved of his soul was hid. Does he, by this appellation, mean my God and Saviour? I tell him to his head that he never knew him, he never saw him, he never felt him, he never enjoyed him; my blessed Lord never takes up his abode in a heart so vile, nor in a mind so wicked; in a judgment so confused, in an understanding so dark, nor in a will so obstinate; nor will he ever flow with his refreshing streams from such polluted lips, nor from a mouth so foul. When this army came, he says it appeared as if it (in the neuter gender) was to fall before him; he seems to be in no fear of himself falling, but something in him, which he calls it, by which I suppose he means faith: to which I answer, he is in no danger from that quarter, the devil is not divided against himself. All false faith is the devil's own work; he is the sole author of all presumptuous confidence, all false hopes, and of all dissembled love; every unwarrantable and arrogant claim upon the Almighty comes from that fountain of evil; and this furniture Satan will not destroy; the destruction of this work belongs to other hands. Satan plants corrupt trees, but God plucks them up; Satan builds, but it is God that throws down; Satan sows these tares, but God's angels are sent to bind and burn them; false confidence is the masterpiece of satanic deception, but it is God that roots it out of the tabernacle, Job. xviii. 14. Zion's traveller says, that in this sham fight
'There was such weakness on my side, that I could not make any resistance.'
But what this weakness is, and were it lay, whether in his arms, in his loins, or in his hands, we know not; this he keeps to himself; but this we may safely conclude, that it doth not lay in his head. Next he informs us of his prayer, and the object of it.
'I could not make any resistance, but to beseech my captain to appear, and put the whole army to flight. The cry increased in my heart, but the vigilance of the enemy increased also, until Jesus peeped through the lattice, Song ii. 9.'
Answer. Not one prayer in all the Bible is addressed to the Lord in this character; no real child of God upon earth, when overwhelmed with soul distress, ever approached with such unfeeling freedom, such unsanctified similarity, nor with dictating to him in allegorical terms, to put a whole army, of nobody knows what, to flight,
In answer to this cry, ..
..'Jesus peeped through the lattice.'
Our traveller is wrong in this, he mistakes the person, it was not Jesus of Nazareth, but the ghost of Bar-jesus the sorcerer, Acts xiii. 6; for they are wizards that peep and mutter, Isa. viii. 19.
The church in the Song never ascribes peeping to her Lord, but flourishing; he flourishes, shewing himself through the lattice. Here is a great difference between Zion and Zion's traveller; he shews himself to the church flourishing, but he only peeps at our traveller; he had no sight of the Lord, and yet he knew that the Lord peeped upon him. If we peep, we intend to see others, but not to be seen ourselves; when we are discovered all peeping is vain, and so is the whole of this travail of ungodliness, for it is circulating confusion, rebellion and lies, in the name of the living God. After all this the traveller of Zion
'Went to rest' ..
..and then this text is brought in to confirm it; "So he giveth his beloved sleep."
So in this way beloved sleep comes. If this is the only way that sleep is obtained, I would sooner, like Jacob, keep sheep by night till sleep departed from mine eyes, than I would obtain it as our traveller does, by a fight with an army of fears, commanded by Satan.
It is truly laughable to hear the accounts, or to read the wonders, of impostors and hypocrites, when the devil lets them to pretend to a work of grace, or to counterfeit the experience of God's children. I know a young woman, lately called, who in her first love asked an old professor, who is quite unacquainted with the power of godliness, if she had ever felt such joys as she then did? She replied, Yes, my joys were so strong that I fell into fits; her joys brought on the convulsions of the devil. A man, of the fame cast in profession, told a friend of mine that he could relate as many providences of God as appear in my Bank of Faith; and so he may for aught I know, for God's providence provides for all. She desired him to instance in one; he replied he was going to some place near to Newmarket, and he found himself very hungry, and putting his hand into his pocket he found an apple; my friend laughed, thinking that there might be no miracle in this, but that he himself might have put it there. So our traveller, from the Proverbs of Solomon, intimates that the way of a fool, that is right in his own eyes, is a voyage to the West Indies; seeking a ship for this purpose, is the heart proclaiming foolishness. And he may just. as well tell us that men do not whip their children with twigs of birch, but with the rays of the sun, as to tell us that God disciplines his children with the sunbeams of eternal love; Read Job xxxvi. 8-10; that the hearts of pharisees are filled with dead men's bones; and a war with Satan, and an army of doubts and fears, procure beloved sleep. Not one of these things comes from faith, nor do they go to faith; they go from impostors to hypocrites, and from presumption to presumption; for such deceivableness of unrighteousness never works effectually but in them that perish. Wo be to such travellers, and wo to them that bid them God speed, for such partake of all their crimes.
If the traveller and the coalheaver do not tread in the same steps, in many instances they speak the same things; I fell sick in Essex and found a nurse, he falls sick in Newfoundland and found the like; and as I had in my youth a violent love-fit, I have been looking for this also, and in the 28th page have found it. I gave up all for lost at Sunbury, so does he in Covent Garden.
In page 32 our traveller turns voyager again, he embarks on board a frigate for India; in his voyage he fears many perils from sickness on board, stormy weather, and the expectations of actions with the enemy, all of which he confirms by a passage of holy writ; "All things are full of labour, man cannot utter it." Our traveller can make no distinction between persons and things; Solomon is speaking of winds and their circuit, of the seas, and the courses of rivers, which is by no means applicable to sailors' fears either of forms or actions.
In page 33 he reaches the Cape of Good Hope, and then informs us that he had often wondered at the Lord's supreme goodness, when he viewed the forms, sickness, and imminent perils he has been delivered from; upon which he acknowledges the truth of scripture, and this passage in particular, "He is the rock, his work is perfect," &c. The perfect work of our Rock is delivering our traveller from storms, sickness, and other perils, but we are not told what; then how perfect must they be who went through the sea with Moses, and they also who sailed with Jonah; but the work of this Rock was finished without us, and must be perfected in us; the first of these our traveller never saw, and the latter he never felt.
In page 34 Zion's traveller is in a form again, thunder and winds are upon him; in this form the helm of the vessel was useless, for the wind blew in all directions. Such a wind never blew before, for it must come in thirty-two directions; and if it blew from extremity to centre and from centre to extremity, it had sixty-four currents. In this form he informs us how he proceeded.
'Under great fear, I made a solemn vow in prayer, if the Lord would save the ship, I would for the future serve him and live to his glory.'
This prayer was for the salvation of the ship, which shewed great regard and concern for the owner of the vessel. Paul prayed for himself and crew, because the answer is, "God hath given thee all that sail with thee;" and this Paul tells them, that not an hair shall fall from the head of any of them, there shall not be the loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship; this it seems was lost, and therefore we may conclude that it was not in Paul's prayer; in this our traveller excels.
In the 37th page Zion's traveller sails for England, he meets with bad weather in the British Channel, but lands safe; shortly after he goes to Brighton in Sussex, where he has a very singular dream.
'It was as follows: I thought I passed through a street in which was a large iron grating, such as are over sewers; I looked down through it, and saw an awful figure carrying dead bodies, and flinging them in a heap of the same, from which smoke appeared to burst forth. A thought struck me this was the devil, who was taking all such characters as me for his prey. I stood trembling with fear and terror, but cried much that I might not come to this wretched place.'
Our traveller had no need to be terrified with this dream, Satan's chief prey is the souls of men; besides, he is too busy in furnishing his servants for the ministry, to spend his time in the mean employ of an Undertaker; the gleanings of the vintage are left to the men who are occupied in black work.
Page 40, our traveller returns to London; he makes an attempt to enter Covent Garden playhouse, but was repulsed and driven back by conscience, as I once was when going to steal turnip tops; he enters into business, and ends his trade and cash by a lawsuit, in which he is greatly injured, insomuch that he obtains chambers for study in the Fleet prison.
In page 45 our traveller has a dream of the day of judgment: he sees a glorious person fitting on a throne, and obtains one of the very seats which was so much coveted by the wife and sons of Zebedee; namely, at the right hand of the Judge. After this our traveller embarks for Ireland, returns and takes a wife in England, returns to Ireland, and opens a shop in the coach-making line; this at first succeeds, and then declines; to repair this loss he sets up post-work with chaise and horses, but gets but little business at it, no, not enough to procure corn for his horses; the bad effect of which you have in page 50 in his own words, thus..
.."I went into the stable one morning, and found they had eat nearly through a thick deal manger, with hunger."
Answer. It could be no less than a miracle that they did not eat the stable. It is also no less than a mystery how a man so deeply convicted, as he pretends he was at this time, and in such unparalleled soul distress, had no more sense of feeling, as a soul quickened has a tender heart. In my troubles, I have wept when I have seen the labour and toil of barge horses, towing on the banks of the Thames; when I have seen streams of matter run from the wounds in their shoulders, being pressed by the collar in drawing; believing that the sins of men were the procuring cause of all their sufferings. I have heard more than once of the sufferings of the artillery horses, lying at straw-yard, in Sussex; I have also heard it declared, that these creatures have been clotted with filth almost up to their eyes, in working their mouths through the dung, to get at the heath that lay at the bottom, and that great numbers were actually starved to death; but never heard of their having once attempted to eat, either doors or posts, gates or bars. And I think I may say, without fear of contradiction, that a thousand horses would stand and perish, before any one of that number would offer to satisfy his hunger upon a deal plank. I am now come to the conversion of Zion's traveller.
Page 56. 'I awoke in the morning, about break of day, and found all my usual horror, and the guilt of all my sins staring me in the face, the mercies and providences which had attended me, and my ingratitude for them. The justice of God seemed stern to have satisfaction. I thought the pains of hell had got hold on me, for I had rejected all that was good. It came as if a voice had spoke it distinctly, again, "Come let us reason together." I answered, ' I cannot: I am guilty, and I fear it is all over with me now.' The word came again, "Though thy sins be as scarlet, they shall he white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." With these words there flowed into my soul such a soft sympathizing frame, as caused me to spring out of bed, and fall on my knees, with such energy of prayer as I had never felt before, and such promises passing through my soul, declared by the great herald of salvation, as melted me down in tears before him. I had then such a sight of the Saviour as I cannot find words to describe; but it was so much, that it caused me to spring up from my knees, and cry out, ' It is thy precious blood I have been trampling under feet, my sins have all been against thee. Oh, thou wilt be just in damning of me.' But, in place of this, such life, light, love, peace, and joy, flowed in as I shall never be able to speak of in this life. My burden was all gone, the mountains were removed, and I sound my beloved in the valley, and lay at his feet, wondering with amazement at his love to me. His precious blood was applied, and my bleeding conscience cleansed and healed. I remained in unutterable joy for some time. I had only one request to make, and that was that I might now die, lest I should sin against him any more. I sat down next day and wrote my wife a letter, informing her what the Lord had done for me, which astonished her, (she has often spoke about the loss of that letter since with regret, from the greatness she found in it; and indeed I do not wonder at it for it was wrote under the sweet savour of what I was feeling.) I could not now bear to think of returning back to my business, into that labyrinth of distress which I had been in. I went forward to take shipping for England; and wrote another letter to my wife, to settle every thing as well as possible, and come over to me. I expected she would have enough left to put us into some little way of business: this turned out the reverse, we had no more than a few pounds, when all expenses of coming over were paid; for I had lost much by my attachment to government, and no possibility of regaining it. Nor in my present state was I fit to have any dealings with the world; nor should I to this moment, had I remained in this state, for the world and all things in it sat very light with me. I sailed accordingly for England, and arrived after a short passage, thirsting to hear the gospel preached. I went from place to place in London: but, alas! all I heard only brought my soul into legal bondage, though I did not know then how this was. But when they have spoke of free grace, the next sentence set the hearers to work. I went to hear those ministers whom I heard when before in London; but I found them as great strangers to what my soul went through, since I last law them, as our missionaries and their converts are.'
Answer. The whole of this glorious work was performed by the Saviour of mankind, in Mr. Paly's garden at Sunbury in Middlesex; and to the bell of my remembrance it was accomplished five and thirty years ago last November. About five or fix years since it was translated to Waterford in Ireland, and appears in print now in London. Had there been no Bank of Faith, no Kingdom of Heaven taken by Prayer, and other works of mine extant, Zion had gone without her traveller; those two books are the origin of this wonderful performance; it is William Huntington mutilated; and he is so altered for the worse as not to be known from an Irishman; and his present garb is more like that of a journeyman painter, than of a gentleman coalheaver. My Bank of Faith has constantly furnished him with all the materials for his providential deliverances, and out of my Kingdom of Heaven taken by Prayer he has taken his whole conversion; I William Huntington claim the experience, As for the duel with the old goat, his voyages to sea, the wind blowing in thirty-two currents at once, disciplining souls with the beams of love, law�fuits, and the Fleet prison, obtaining beloved sleep by a war with the devil, and horses eating deal boards, these, to give the devil his due, are all his own.
In this very performance, he cuts at those who steal the word every one from his neighbour; this he has done to prevent suspicion, but his thievery appears almost in every page; and he has not only stolen the words of my mouth, but, the circumstances of my life, the kind providences of my God, and the manifestation of Christ to my heart; and these divine things match no better with one of a feared conscience, a mind hardened in pride, and a brow of brass, than the counterfeited rays of an angel match with the devil, 2 Cor. xi. 14; the black ground stains all. Milton calls Satan 'Archangel ruined,' and Zion's traveller is a wolf in the coalheaver's skin, for he certainly has flayed the poor doctor alive; and yet he is so ungrateful as to ridicule me in public print; whereas, had it not been for me he would have been stark naked, and had no covering in the cold. But his ungrateful returns shall be relented, for I will recover my wine and my oil, my wool and my flax, so that he shall not strut about in his long robes at my expense, but, like David's ambassadors, he shall be shorn to the rump, though I know it will never be said of him as it was of them, that the men were greatly ashamed, for he has no shame in him.
Let every sensible firmer get light, knowledge, and instruction, wherever he can find them; and let every good man claim divine truth for himself, let it appear where it may; for Paul and Apollos, with all their stock, are his; "Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ," to and for all the feed, and all the heirs of promise have one and the same title, and every one has equal right.
But let every one that pretends to a reverence of the established church obey her voice, and keep their hands from picking and stealing, and their tongues from evil speaking, lying and slandering; for what under heaven can appear worse than good men's confession of faith ingrafted upon presumptuous impostors, words of love from a malicious mind, oily expressions from a callous heart, and scraps of truth from lying lips and a deceitful tongue. But there are some things which these men can neither steal nor counterfeit, so as to escape detection; God makes his ministers manifest in the consciences of his saints, and these bear witness to their call, commission, and usefulness; "When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me," Job xxix. 11. But an undoubted evidence in the souls of God's saints, or a witness void of all doubts and suspicions in the children of God, is what this traveller never yet obtained; all real believers suspect him, not one of these can justify him. Some, no doubt, who bear the same image, are at a certainty about him, but then "We dare not make ourselves of the number," says Paul, "or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise," Cor. x. 12. All these comparers and measurers do not make use of the apostles of Christ, nor the testimony of Christ preached by them, but it is all done by themselves, and among themselves; and these were not wise, but fools.
Christ's servants and household are in each other's hearts to live and die together; but our traveller has no part or lot in this matter; he has no dwelling place in the judgment, conscience, affections, or prayers, of God's family.
Such as Zion's traveller may take the confessions and experiences of God's servants in the letter, and apply them to themselves, but the Holy Spirit they cannot take; the enmity peculiar to the serpent's seed still remains in them, and their souls boil in malice against all that love and fear God; this is manifest enough, especially in his invectives against Mr. Jenkins, Mr. Brook, Mr. Burgess, Mr. Lock, and many others, the contents of which were such as never flowed from the springs of Zion, but from the common sewer of inbred corruption: he is settled on his lees, his taste is in him, his scent is not changed, and this stinking favour will never procure him that honour and esteem which he labours so hard to obtain.
Labourers in the Lord's vineyard, who are furnished with God's Spirit, and kept by his power, are established out of the reach of scandal; no reproach that envy can cast upon their reputation, no false charge of heresy against such will ever gain ground, or be credited among the household of faith; for God has promised, "Them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed," 1 Sam. ii. Such shall be honoured and esteemed, let men do what they can.
There are certain impulses and cooling streams, refreshing dews, living coals, illuminating rays, and softening unctions, which the good Spirit sends from the heart of Zion's ambassadors to the sons of peace, which hypocrites even under the truth cannot receive, and which the sons of death cannot communicate; these things men cannot steal. One character which the Holy Ghost gives to Christ's family, and which cuts off our traveller, is, that they are children that will not lie, so he was their Saviour,' Isaiah 8.
In his presence he tells us, page 12, that he does not with to come into a line of things made ready to his hand.
Answer. He never has striven to preach in any one dark corner of the earth, where Christ was not named; but in a line of things made ready to his hand he has always laboured, from the first day of his preaching until now, and to very little purpose; and this is, and can be, testified unto by all that know him. He tells us, page 17, that he was brought up to the established church of England; but I have the fullest persuasion that he was bred, born, and brought up, a Catholic, and that he is even one of the dregs of that church; for no protestant, whether of the high church or a dissenter, can equivocate, dissemble, pilfer and lie, with such effrontery as he does, unless he had been trained to it from his cradle. And now I shall shew my reader that the Coalheaver and Zion's traveller speak the same things, though we never walked in the same steps.
I kept up private and family prayer with my wife, says the Coalheaver. Kingdom of Heaven, page 100.
I kept up family prayer twice a day, to which I used to make my apprentice and servant girl come, says Zion's traveller. Page 46.
And immediately the devil was let loose upon me, and violently tempted me to blaspheme and curse the Almighty, says the Coalheaver. Kingdom of Heaven, page 106.
And Satan tempting hard, that I should curse God for ever making me, says Zion's traveller. Page 51.
I immediately prayed with such energy, eloquence, fluency, boldness, and familiarity, as quite astonished me, says the Coalheaver. Kingdom of Heaven. Page 199.
I fell on my knees with such energy of prayer as I had never felt before, says Zion's traveller. Page 56.
The blessed Spirit of God poured the sweet promises into my heart, from all parts of the scriptures, in a powerful manner, says the Coal-heaver. Kingdom of Heaven. Page 199.
And such promises passed through my foul, declared by the great herald of salvation, says Zion's traveller. Page 56.
Behold Jesus Christ appeared to me in a most glorious and conspicuous manner, says the Coal-heaver. Kingdom of Heaven.
I had then such a sight of the Saviour, as I cannot find words to describe, says our Traveller. Page 56.
Light, life, joy, love and peace, are eternal blessings, says the Coalheaver. Living Testimonies, Vol. I. Page 181. Again, When faith and hope, righteousness and peace, godly sorrow and real repentance, overwhelming love and soul-transporting joy, flowed in and ran out. Every Divine Law. Page 121.
Life, light, love, peace, and joy, flowed in as I shall never be able to speak of, says our Traveller. Page 57.
Oh send me to hell! I did not know till now that I had been sinning against thy wounds and blood, says the Coalheaver. Kingdom of Heaven.
It is thy precious blood I have been trampling under feet, my sins have all been against thee. Oh, thou wilt be just in damning of me, says Zion's traveller. Page 56.
I kneeled down, and begged of my Saviour to let me die: I earnestly entreated him to take me to himself, lest I should be left to sin again, says the Coalheaver. Kingdom of Heaven.
I had only one request to make, and that was that I might now die, lest I should sin against him any more, says Zion's traveller. Page 57.
Almost every circumstance in my narrative he has taken. Was I in love? so was he. Did fresh faces drive that object from my heart? this was the cafe with him. I fled to liquor to drown the sorrows of my mind; he does the same. I mention a surprising instance of my remaining sober, notwithstanding my determination to the contrary; this was also the case with him. I mention a letter written to one Butler under peculiar sensations, and of my wish for a sight of it, having taken no copy; in page 57, he writes such an one to his wife, the loss of which was much regretted.
Mr. Brook, and some others, who have read this author, have informed me, that the whole course of his publications, and the experience, matter, and manner, were taken from my scribblings; and he might have gone on at this for aught I oared, if he had not meddled with me, having no doubt but his end will be according so his works. He tells us, many are converted to the Lord under him; he rebukes, reproves, instructs, and cries out against the errors and hypocrisy of other professors. He should begin with himself: Thou hypocrite, says our Lord, first cast out thy own beam, and then attempt the mote: for, let him preach where he may in the dark places of the earth, or even to a congregation of hypocrites, I defy him to find any, among all these, in a more perilous state than himself. He has belied the Saviour, in feigning a sight of him, Jerem. v. 12; and he has belied the Holy Spirit, by feigning his operations and publishing falsehood in his name; and I know of no sins more heinous than these.
He has sent me several letters, not one of which was ever read by me; nor did I ever read one of his books; nor intended it, till now being compelled to it by his continually writing against me.
He has got a dear brother, a fellow-labourer, of the name of White, one of my Lady's men, who has sent me, I believe, not less than twenty letters within these two years, and sometimes a packet, some things in copy, some in print; and the contents were so wretched, and his arrogance ran so high, as to style himself an Apostle, not of man, nor by man. He once came to me at Cranbrook, desiring me to preach for him, which I refuted, and gave him his answer at the door. I have long expected this apostle to be among the pensioners in Moorfields, and it should seem that he has almost finished his course already; for he has told them at Tunbridge Wells, from his pulpit, after about ten minutes labour, "I have nothing to say to you, I am quite shut up; and what I have said I know nothing about; I do shrink I must give it up;' and then lest the Wells: nor has he, as report goes, preached there since. This man, I am informed, is a chosen vessel of the Rev. Dr. H. s, who sent him from the service of a gentleman at Bath to Lady Huntingdon's college, and he is no less than a scandal to both.
Zion's traveller, also, is an utter stranger to me; I never to my knowledge saw him but once; it was some years ago that he came into my vestry, in the evening, and asked me to preach for him at Whittlesea, in the Isle of Ely, when I went into those parts; and I thought he had been a country minister. But soon after this I found that he lived in London, and preached in Dudley Court, St. Peter Street, &e. these being places where the Saviour was not so much as named, that he might not, as he tells us in his preface, go into a line of things made ready to his hand.
But I think the whole contents of his book, as well as his labour, is another man's line of things. We learn from the scriptures that Satan is at times transformed, and Paul says that his ministers are transformed also; but such transformations differ widely from what is real. I have at times thought, that Satan never discharged such insolent expressions since his fall, as he did to the Son of God when he told him that the kingdoms of this world, and the glory of them, were delivered to him, and to whom he would he gave them; this was going a great way, claiming a right to the world, and to a disposal of it at his pleasure. But I never read that Satan, bold and false as he is, ever made any pretensions to the grace and mercy of God; nor ever to have counterfeited any testimony of the savour or approbation of the Almighty: in this we have more modesty in the father of lies than there is in Zion's traveller, who is his son; so that he is a disgrace even to the devil himself.
Quotation. And I considered with myself what I should do in this case. Is I did not work, I could not with conscience receive my wages and, if I received no pay, my wife and child must suffer for want of bread. As for myself, I regarded not food; nor do I believe I should have felt the want of it, had I starved to death, says the Coalheaver. Kingdom of Heaven.
Nor in my present state was I fit to have any dealings with the world; nor should I to this moment, had I remained in this state, for the world, and all things in it, sat very light with me, says Zion's traveller. Page 57.
I tried now and then if I could bring my sins again to remembrance, and to feel after my troubles and temptations: but God had erased them both from my mind and memory; nor did they ever come back afterwards, and I am persuaded they never will. Thus the sins of Judah were sought for, but they could not be found, for there were none, as the scriptures witness, lays the Coalheaver. Kingdom of Heaven. Page 208.
But the wrath of God, and the weight of my sins that I Was delivered from, neither they nor the devil were ever able to bring back again to this day, nor ever will. So true is the word of the Lord: "In these days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none," says Zion's traveller. Page 59. If ever God had put his fear in this traveller's heart, these lies had never appeared in print.
We have now passed through this great work, and here we see clearly enough what our Lord means by a wolf in sheep's clothing. In page 67 our traveller is in great straits in circumstances, but better days soon appear.
Divine Providence soon brought us some relief. We had a bag of rice and some sugar sent to the house, which, like the widow's cruse of oil and barrel of meal, never failed until the Lord sent rain again; next we had half a slick of potatoes, and another person sent us half-a-guinea. And now the Lord began to cause me to notice his particular providences, and mark the answers to prayer. "They that go down to the sea in. ships, that do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep." Page 68.
In this paragraph we see how dextrous he is in quoting scripture, and how applicable these texts, which he introduces, are to his purpose. Experiencing an empty cupboard and an hungry belly, in London, is going down to the sea in ships; praying and watching for bread, is doing business in great waters; and receiving a present of rice, sugar, and potatoes, this is seeing the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.
Quotation. 'Under this work I had often pictured out to me being cast into prison and bolted with irons. At other seasons with the rope about my neck and going to be hanged.' Page 75.
Answer. "The fear of the wicked," says the wise man, "shall come upon him." Nor should I wonder at all if the apostle, Mr. White, should finish his course in a mad-house, and Zion's traveller take his leave in a halter; he may deceive himself, and others, but God is not mocked. I can see the testimony, of the Coalheaver mutilated in every page, and the scriptures perverted; and, as for his familiarity with the Almighty, and his presumptuous claims upon him, it is no better ,than taking his name in vain; and God will not hold him guiltless that doeth this.
Quotation. 'And at times I have been nearly persuaded that curses did come forth; and being very much addicted formerly to lying, I could scaree think whether it was truth or not.' Page 75.
Answer. In this passage we have some appearance of honesty and of truth but not all the truth; that he ever was addicted to lying no doubt is truth, and in this he appears in character, being his offspring who is the father of lies; but to limit this trade of lying to former days is false, for he never lied so much, and in such matters, and with such a grace, or rather disgrace, as he does now; and no doubt but God in his own time will make this manifest; For he that worketh deceit shall not dwell within his house, and he that telleth lies shall not tarry in his fight, Psalm ci. 7. I am in the same strait, and as much at a loss as the traveller himself, when he says, he shall never be able to describe the views he had of the Lord at his conversion; and I shall never be able to describe the views that I have of this traveller. To me he is the child of wickedness, and the son of a lie; for I think that such an infernal composition of craft, subtlety, and mischief, lies, and deception, never appeared in the ministry in this world, except in Simon Magus; nor do I believe that he could persist in it if he had not a lie in his right hand; I mean a confidence in popish absolution.
What deceives some simple souls is, they cannot think that any man, who has the least fear or reverence of the name of God, can counterfeit; lie, and dissemble, at so awful a rate in professing, praying, and preaching, in the presence of God. A wolf in a sheep's skin can do all this; we are not altogether ignorant of Satan's devices, nor total strangers to the deceitfulness of the human heart; and I doubt not but that the Lord himself, in his own time, will make it manifest that his conversion, call, and commission, furniture, and fortitude, are all from Satan himself, and from no other. Nor is this man deceived, or ignorant of what he does; it appears to me, by his writings, that he does it knowingly and designedly, willingly and wilfully, maliciously, and with full purpose of heart. In page 82 we have an account of a wonderful dream, all about fishing; and it seems he has some success, so that he does not toil all night and take nothing, as some have done; this he construes to be a prelude to future success in the work of the ministry, for so be says.
'My wife awoke; I told her of it, and what I thought it would turn out, and so it has accordingly. I doubt not but many will spurn at this, for all men have not faith. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of man's judgment.' ..
..Then it is a light thing for Jenkins to be judged of him...
..'I have scripture authority for declaring this: The prophet that hath a dream let him tell a dream, Jerem. xxiii. 28. And this hath not been to cause forgetfulness of the Lord's name; for many, through my instrumentality, have been brought to know the Lord, to whom they were utter strangers in times past.' Page 82.
Answer. That any soul under heaven was ever brought to know God by your instrumentality is what I shall never believe, and yet I am not destitute of faith. He must be a true witness that delivereth souls; but a deceitful witness speaketh lies, Prov. xiv. 25. Our traveller is not a true witness, but a false one; his experience, his testimony, his call to the ministry, and his usefulness, is nothing but a lie; he knows nothing of the Lord savingly, and therefore cannot declare him to others; and had he been like Joseph or Daniel, I mean endowed with knowledge and understanding in dreams and visions, he might have seen his father's cloven foot, even in the dream itself. God's fishermen are furnished with nets; "And it shall come pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from En-gedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets," Ezek. xlvii. 10. Again, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind," Matt. iii . 47. The Lord's fishermen, that are employed in catching souls, are furnished with a net. Zion's traveller is not a fisherman that uses the gospel net, he is one that uses the hook and line. The king of Babylon is called an angler, who fished for the wealth of nations, Hab. 15; that he might lade himself with thick clay, Hab. ii. 6. And to this use was the hook put in our Lord's day; when he wanted tribute money for Caesar, Peter is sent to the sea with a hook, to angle for it, Matt. xvii. 27. There is nothing in our traveller's dream that points at a net, or at himself as a fisher of men, but as an angler for a livelihood rather than work; and at this he has had some success.
For a woman who had been a servant to Lord Gage, and had for some time attended Mr. Jenkins's ministry at Lewes, some few years ago married and left her servitude; but previous to her marriage she had some solemn cautions and warnings impressed on her mind, which she related to Mr. Jenkins, and he related them to me, and told me she persisted, notwithstanding her alarming warnings. I replied, it is my opinion that she will find it hard work to get within those bounds again; and I mentioned some instances of this sort, that I had observed in my days, and the warning given to Francis Spira, previous to his signing his recantation, which he broke through, and down he went. Balaam also had the strict prohibition of God himself; "God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people; for they are blessed," Numbers xxii. 12. All that followed afterwards did not countermand these orders, and so the angel tells him; "Behold, I went out to withstand thee, [to be an adversary unto thee,] because thy way is perverse before me," Numbers xxii. 32. After such warnings it is often seen, that the good Spirit of God takes off the restraints of his providence, as he did from the inhabitants of the old world, and then inevitable destruction is sure to follow; "My Spirit shall not always strive with man." This woman, upon her marriage, came and settled in London, and I believe went into the grocery business, and for some time attended me; I do not recollect ever to have spoken to her, though I think I know her face. In process of time this woman found out Zion's traveller, and he settled her at once; she felt his power, and imbibed the fame faith. So it still is, Like people like priest. She soared instantly into the fullest assurance of faith, such faith as it was; in this she is like Ishmael and Isaac, first in the race, but last at the prize; for, "He that believeth shall not make haste," Isaiah xxviii. 16. In the height and heat of her zeal she travelled to Brighton, to spread the fame and circulate the productions of Zion's traveller; she has sent an epistle to Mr. Morris of Lewes, a friend of mine; and, as I had formed my private judgment of her slighting the former warnings given her, I was desirous of knowing, by Mr. Morris, the contents of her epistle, and if there was any thing like the language of faith in it. He said, No, it was a heap of confusion and inconsistencies.
Some professing people from Lewes, who came to town, were taken by this woman to hear our traveller; but some, I find, did not see eye to eye with her, but thought as I do, that he is a man of Satan. She waxed warm with some upon this head, and told them she did not mind Jenkins nor Huntington; she knew he was a man of God, for she had felt the power under him; but, as all faith will be tried, this choice convert began to try hers. She set tradesmen to work to repair the house in which she lived, a work of no trifling expense; she triumphed in the strength of her assurance, and said, she knew that God would pay it; her faith confirmed her in this: but, I have some reason to suspect that her faith was not so strong in exercise when the bills came in, as when she ordered the tradesmen to begin the job. God doth not give the grace of faith to sinners, to nurse their pride, nor to make them vain; it is not sent for us to boast of, much less to banter others with. "Hast thou faith," says Paul, "have it to thyself before God," Rom. xiv. 22; make trial of thy faith before God, prove it at the throne of grace, and see if God will own or acknowledge it, by admitting it in its exercises to ascend unto him; and whether he will permit it to prevail with him; and whether he will honour it by suitable and gracious returns, as answers to prayer, which are infallible proofs of genuine faith, 1 John v. 14. And so saith our Lord, They that pray unto God in secret, shall be rewarded openly, Matt. vi. 6. But, alas! the shop, soon after the repairs were finished, was more effectually changed than the woman herself, for it was converted from grocery to birdcages; and the woman is seldom or ever seen; her boasting not being found a truth, she became both ashamed and confounded, instead of being rewarded openly. All the time money lasted she was in perpetual motion, spreading the fame of her faith; but God rejecting her confidence, Jerem. ii. 36, 37; and her assurance bringing her to beggary, she is where Paul bids women to be, that is, discreet, keepers at home, Titus ii. 5. The woman's name, if I mistake not, is W.... s; she is, I am informed, very bitter against the Coalheaver, but what for I know not; for, if she got no assurance under me, I did her no wrong; but her faith is the same as her father's, it works not by love, but by pride, malice, envy, and hatred, for she said I could not return an answer to Mr. White, who is but a babe; she might have said a child of hell; which shews that her wisdom had so exalted her, that in her eyes I appeared but an idiot; and in this the good woman is right, though wrong in every thing else.
As I am now replying to Zion's traveller upon the footing of great usefulness, in circulating the true knowledge of the Lord among them who were before ignorant of him; and as I have for many years had many particular passages of scripture on my mind, respecting different characters who have opposed themselves to me, and who have abandoned me and my ministry as altogether useless, when compared to some who have shone forth with peculiar light; I shall mention one instance more of the great success of Zion's traveller.
There is a man, his name I know not, who once called at my gate, and I spoke to him at the gate, which was the only time that I ever conversed with him; he had heard that I was ill, and had kindly brought some simple medicine that he thought might be of use to me. Report says, that he was a man of some property, and had for a long time attended me; but at last he found out, by what means I know not, the famous traveller of Zion: The traveller's empty pocket, and this simple man's full one, made an agreeable match, and cemented the union between them. From that time he seldom appeared among us; he travelled with Zion's traveller to various places, and I believe at his own expense. In various places I heard of these two travellers; and I have not the least doubt but the poor man meant well, though the other, like Joseph's brethren, meant ill: the man thought the traveller was an ambassador, but the traveller knew himself to be an impostor.
At length I was informed that this man had taken a farm in Hertfordshire; there I believe he opened his house for the gospel, and Zion's traveller consecrated it; but in process of time, this same man came back again to his old place, Providence chapel, though not without some reluctance; hoping, as he often said, that there was something good in the traveller of Zion; but at length he sunk in his mind, and it is hard to tell whether into the borders of insanity, or into despair. However, his doors have been long shut, and this poor simple creature has been a seven days man for many months, not daring to appear abroad but on Sunday, lest he should be arrested for debt: and for fix weeks past he has been wholly out of sight, but seems to labour in unutterable distress and misery of soul, and is a real object of pity; but he is very careful not to offend in. mentioning his expenses on Zion's traveller; but has been often heard to say, I have had enough of parson-making, and he adds, None but the devil sent me into Hertfordshire.
Bad as I am represented to be, and vile as my principles are set forth by some great men, I believe in my conscience that there never was one soul that departed this life, that said at the end of his race that I had robbed him, or wronged him; nor have I ever heard of one soul going out of the world, that has said I have either deceived him, or misled him, or been the cause of his destruction; nor do I believe that I ever shall, having obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful, 1Cor. vii. 25. All that have acknowledged me in part, have done the same even to the end, 2Cor. i. 13. Nor have I plundered the testimony of others to adorn myself; I am more satisfied with my own experience, and the gospel that God has taught me, than I am with any I have read, except those recorded in the bible, knowing of whom I have learned them, 2 Tim. iii. 14. Bad as I was in a state of nature, this I am sure of, that I was no wolf in a sheep's skin, for I had not even a shew of religion; my experience, and the gospel that I preach, is my own; God himself, and no other, revealed it unto me: and, having no learning, my style, manner, or method of writing is peculiar to myself, and this men of sense and learning will acknowledge; and God himself knows that even to this day I wonder how I perform it. I believe that I have in one day written as much as would bring out twenty pages, if not twenty-five, in print; and I write it off hand, seldom copying a page over again; and as I write I lay it by, and early the next morning, when all is still, and my head clear, I correct it, and with some little interlining it goes to the press. I have more than once been prompted to write upon a subject only by reading some who have written upon the same, judging, according to my own experience, that they had left it more obscure than they found it; but I defy all my enemies to prove, that I have ever taken one page, or even one line, out of any man's works and set it down for my own; this work belongs to such men as Zion's traveller, and I shall leave him to receive his threatened reward. "Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith, Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord," Jer. xxiii. 30-32. And, as Nathan said unto David, so say I to this traveller of Zion; He is the man. He cases his own tongue; for all the stolen words which drop from him are not delivered from a cloven tongue of fire, nor from the mouth and wisdom which the Holy Spirit gives, but from lying lips and a deceitful tongue. And, as for his dreams, and boasting of his call and commission from God, I have no doubt but they will all appear to be lies; except that one, of finishing his race in a halter. In page 118 he says,
'I went after this into the country, and found the Lord blessed my labours much in W�,'
..by which I believe he means Whittlesea,..
'though I had strong oppositions against me, and many I found would have pulled the line out of my hand, if possible; which at times I would have endeavoured to make fast, but in vain; the Lord shewed me it was made fast before the world was created, and that fishers should stand from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim, i.e. from the N. W. of the Dead Sea to the east, where the sun of righteousness arises. I will, saith the Lord, bring thy feed from the East. And now I will tell you what success the fishers have.'
Answer. Here our traveller will puzzle both the Coalheaver and his reader, unless the reader has more sense than I have, for he certainly speaketh mysteries; and we may call these things the words of the wise and their dark sayings, with a witness. In page 81 our traveller dreams he is on board a ship at sea, where he saw a fishing-line on the deck, and it came into his mind to fish with it. He took it up, and found it was entangled; but not so but he could fish with it. Here we have the first discovery of this fishing-line; with which he went into the country, and found his labours blessed much in W . It receives much blessing from our traveller; for this much blessing strong oppositions are made against him, and many would have pulled this line out of his hand, if possible. Our traveller endeavours to make this line fast, but in vain; then the Lord shewed him, that this line was made fast before the world was created.
1. Let this traveller inform us what this line is which he saw upon the ship's deck, and what it was made of, whether of silk, flax, hemp, or hair; no doubt but it was made of one of these four articles, because he carried it in hand.
2. We wish to know who these thieves were that would have taken this fishing-line out of his hand, and what means they used to do this, whether by pulling at it, or by wrenching his fingers open.
3. And, as he laboured hard to make this line fast, we wish to know what he intended to tie it to.
4. And who that is that he calls the Lord, that shewed him that his fishing-line was made fast before the world was created.
5. Let him tell us how this Lord appeared, and how he shewed him these things, whether in a dream or in open vision, whether on an eminence or in a map; and how that country, that he calls eternity, appeared in his fight when he law it; and what this line was made fast to, for he tells us that this line was made fast before the world was created, and that the Lord shewed him this, and yet this line was carried in his hand, which shews it to be material; and many tried to take it away, which shews that even thieves and robbers could see it. The conclusion of this mystery is more wonderful than all the rest; for so he concludes.
'The Lord shewed me it was made fast before the world was created, and that fishers should stand from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim, that is, from the north-west of the Dead Sea to the east, where the sun of righteousness arises. I will, saith the Lord, bring thy seed from the east.'
Answer. Our traveller now shews us the reason why all the attempts of his enemies, in the Isle of Ely, to steal his line were vain; not only because it was made fast before the world was made, but because of this promise, "And fishers shall stand from En-gedi to En-eglaim." The sure standing of these fishers in the promised land is the cause of our traveller's not falling at Whittlesea; for, if these fishers are to hold fast their net in the land of Canaan, how can our angler loose his line in Cambridgeshire?
Our traveller then proceeds to give us the geography of these places, called En-gedi and En-eglaim.
'That is,from the north-west of the Dead Sea to the east, where the sun of righteousness arises. I will, saith the Lord, bring thy seed from the east.'
Answer. From the north-west part of the lake of Sodom, to the east part of the same, is the place where this man's sun of righteousness arises. This arising is in the present tense; and this arising in the east means, from the northwest to the east part of this lake, Asphaltites, which at most is not more than seventy miles long, and eighteen broad; and the name of this lake is used in scripture to represent hell itself. Take the sense to be as follows:
1. The continual rising of this man's sun of righteousness, which is circumscribed to the lake of Sodom, gave him a sight of the end of his fishing-line, made fast in eternity, when he was at Whittlesea.
2. That this continual fishing on the Dead Sea in Canaan gives him his success among the living in the Isle of Ely. And,
3. That converting souls in Great Britain, which from the Holy Land is three thousand miles north, is bringing God's seed from the east. Upon the whole I find it is easier to write a mystery, than to write a commentary on it. I wish I had Mrs. Willis, his lordship's old housekeeper, with her full assurance of faith, to help me out; I think she would soon be convinced of the need of another assurance betides what she is possessed of; I mean, the full assurance of understanding, to find out the sense and meaning of her father; which if she can do, her fire and she will match well with another company of Zion's travellers, and every one of them full as cunning, subtle, and unsavoury, as they themselves; "The mountain of Zion is desolate, the foxes walk upon it," Lam. v. 18:
In page 118 our traveller is invited to preach at King's Cliff, Northamptonshire; in his journey to this place he loses himself in a wood, and remains in this his lost state near two hours, at which his heart rises in murmuring; he prays to have this subdued, and it is immediately done; his mind is directed to a path that leads into an open country, where there is no road, no house, nor person that appears to our traveller's view. He begs of the Lord again to direct him, and he is soon brought into a road, but whether the right or the wrong, he knows not; this appears to him a strange country,..
'But fishermen, often meet many contrary winds and rough voyages, and at length come into the right latitude for fish; and so did I in the end.'
.. Soon our traveller ascends a hill, sees a person at a distance to whom he calls aloud, and waves his hat, as a signal of distress to a vessel in sight. And who should this man be but the very person at whose house our traveller was to cast his hook, or to use his line! Take it verbatim as it stands.
'He stopped until I came to him, when I asked the way to Cliff. He said, The way you were going is not the way, but, if you keep with me, I am going there. He inquired from whence I came, and how I got loft, and I told him. He said, Perhaps you are the minister who was to come to preach at Cliff? I answered, I am. It is, said he, at my house you are to preach. I could not but admire the good providence of God, that set the man in this place for me; he has told me since, he despised my shabby appearance in his heart, not being dressed equal to the minister who was over them. He began to talk away boldly of the doctrines of grace; but I was enabled to sling a stone, at a venture, which brought down his proud, Philistine-like, despising spirit. I spoke of the work of grace in the heart; which, be said since, left him no religion, and slopped his mouth; nor did he, I believe, speak three words the remainder of our journey. Christ must needs go through Samaria, to, preach to a poor woman, and his servant must be lost in a wood, to meet with this man. And in place of being lost or in the wrong way, infinite wisdom directed every step and proved so to my soul since, for he has given me many, I believe, of the black fish here, who was in a sad deluded state, and many also the word has cut out to their condemnation.' Pages 119 and 120.
Answer. We cannot say, in the language of irony, that our traveller is not one of the lost sheep of the house of Israel, for he was lost for two hours in a wood; nor can we say that his prayers do not succeed, for in answer to his last prayer his mind was directed to a path, that led into an Open country, where he saw no road: The meeting of our traveller and his appointed host is altogether miraculous; and is compared to our Lord and the Samaritan woman meeting at Jacob's well. This man, whoever he was, seems to be a man of some discernment; he sees that our traveller made a shabby appearance, that is, that be was a shabby sheep, or a nominal sheep that had got the scab; and I believe that he is scabbed enough to spoil the cleanest flock that ever went up from the washing, if he could but get in among them. This man began to speak boldly of the doctrines of grace, which are a very honourable and glorious subject to speak upon; and it seems that, like Paul and Barnabas, he waxed bold on these subjects, for he spake boldly, which shewed that the man was not ashamed of these things. This poor man, and his valour for the truth, is compared to the Goliath of Gath, and his defiance of the armies of the living God and he is dealt with accordingly; for our traveller slings a stone at a venture, and fetches him down; however, he does not cut off his head, he only stops his mouth, and strips him of all his religion. All men of our traveller's cast, who never enter by the gate of life, nor by the door of hope, but climb up from other way, are said to be thieves and robbers; and this he confirms, for he has stripped off my skin and covered himself with it, that he may appear in orders; and he has served this poor man in the same way, and stopped his mouth into the bargain; however, this is not my case, for my mouth is open to him; and, though I cannot make him feel what I say, yet I may make others see what he is. He concludes all the wonders of this expedition by acknowledging, that infinite Wisdom directed every step that he took in this way, that this has been proved to his soul sense, and the whole of this is confirmed by the following act of faith, and the matter credited by that act;..
'for he has given me many I believe of the black fish here.'
..I feel my need of Mrs. Willis, Lord Gage's house-keeper, again, and of Mrs. Robinson too, is she could come; for I could prove, if I were disposed, that two wise women are better than ten foolish men: The substance and sense of this mysterious expedition, if I may think with the wise and speak with the vulgar, seems to be as follows; our traveller sets sail from Whittlesea, in the Isle of Ely, and sets his compass, and spreads his canvass for Cliff, in the shire of Northampton. In this voyage our traveller in the city of Zion is lost in a wood; this, he says, seemed a strange country to him, but he adds, that fishermen often meet many contrary winds and rough voyages, and at length come into the right latitude for fish, All which serve to shew us that he still pursued his voyage though lost in a wood. Next he comes into a right latitude for fish; that is, he finds a man in an open country, to whom he calls, and waves his hat; this is falling into the right latitude for fish. To this man he owns he is lost, and has been for some time; the man tells him that he is in the wrong road for Cliff, and that, if our traveller will abide with him, he will lead him there, for he is to preach at his house: this he calls infinite Wisdom directing him in every step. Our traveller then compares his meeting with this man to the Lord's meeting with the woman of Samaria at the well; but the Samaritan woman and the Cliff man did not fare alike; for the woman obtained living water, but the poor man was beaten to the earth with a sling stone, and stripped of all his religion, and struck dumb, which is not giving him the water of life, but leaving him half dead. This is all, and the whole account of the success of this voyage; and the slaughter of this Philistine is thus explained,..
'He has given me many I believe of the black fish here.'
..I am, upon the whole, inclined to think that he speaks allegorically, or in a figurative way, by which some things are mentioned and others meant; the thing mentioned is the slaughter of a Philistine, the thing meant is a shoal of black fish, caught with a hook. Black is seldom or ever used to set off any thing spiritually good. The church owns she was black, but it was with original sin, and being tanned or sun-burnt by the heat of persecution; but our angler's fish are all black, and I believe it; and I am fully persuaded that, if the fish are as black as the devil himself, the fisherman is ten shades darker than they.
In page 120, our traveller informs us, that the Lord's powerful hand was made known towards him, in a certain minister; the name of this minister was May, an academician of the Countess of Huntingdon's. This man delivered a sermon against the traveller of Zion; his text was, "Try the Spirits," &c. This man; it seems, laboured to prove that our traveller is a false prophet, but he was suffered to preach no more, for soon after this he fell sick and died; and our traveller concludes this narrative thus.
'I was sent here to try this man's spirit, and proved it a false one; and death came for him, to prove it more sully, and many more will also, who have called me so, if grace prevent not.'
The death of this man is considered as a judgment upon him, for endeavouring to prove that our traveller is false in his prophetic office; and he wisely improves this alarming circumstance, as a warning or caution to all others, never to ascribe falseness to a person so sacred as Zion's traveller.
Answer. I am almost inclined to take there feathers as an addition to my plume; for if our traveller, whose covering is my skin, and whose whole treasure is my experience, and whose best words are my sayings; I say, if he, thus disguised, commands such respect, and is thus discriminated, what may not the Coalheaver himself expect?
In page 121, our traveller has a storm, the enemy roars, evil reports are spread, under which he owns that he grumbles, and with difficulty bears up: these things, he says, are weighty, when he walks with a stiff neck; but when, through grace, he is enabled to stoop to it, he finds relief. But it is by line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, that this lesson is learned.
Answer. Our traveller has cast a singular light upon that passage of holy writ; pride, and humility, seem to him to be the substance of the text. A storm, attended with Satan's roar, and the circulation of evil reports, these are weighty when he walks with a stiff neck; but when through grace he is enabled to stoop to it, then he finds relief. This stiff neck, and want of submission, is one part of the text; and stooping to it, and finding relief, is the other; his being exercised with pride, is line upon line; and finding relief when humbled, is precept upon precept; feeling pride is here a little, and getting humble is there a little, for so he expressly says. ..
'I had no small storm, during this time, for the devil roared loud; manifold were the evil reports that went out of me, and much difficulty did I find in bearing of it, often grumbling like a bear with a fore head. But this I learned by it, that when I walked with a stiff neck I sound it very weighty; but when, through grace, enabled to stoop to it, I found much relief. But it is by line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, that this lesson is learned; but all Satan strove could not get the word away. The man whose house I preached at, by his own account would have turned me out of doors, if he could; for he thought I was his greatest enemy, he was so cut down, under my preaching, from time to time; and often thought to write to London to me, never to come there any more. This he was also restrained from; and the Lord has since caused him to know of a truth, whose servant I am.'
..I always thought that the prophet was speaking of the holy scriptures, and not of a stiff neck, nor an humble mind, when he wrote those words: "But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, and there a little; that they might go and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken," Isaiah xxviii. I The prophet says, this is the word of the Lord, which differs widely from our traveller's stiff neck and humble mind. These lines and precepts are sent that men might go and fall backward; but our traveller increases in learning, and gets on; and, instead of being broken by there precepts, he gets more whole; and, instead of being ensnared, he gets free; and, instead of being taken as a hypocrite, he gets established as a prophet, for so he concludes;..
'And the Lord hath caused him since to know, of a truth, whose servant I am.'
At Duddington, within two miles of Cliff, a chapel was soon shut against our traveller, and, the shoes on his feet being old, he finds some difficulty in travelling. He returns to Whittlesea, where another favourable circumstance appears, a woman shoes the feet of his body; our traveller shoes the feet of her faith with the gospel of peace; she lays up some trifle for her fire, of a temporal kind; he lays up for her a spiritual treasure; and this branch of service is thus explained:
'Thus the children lay up in store temporals for the parents; and the parents lay up in store spirituals for their children; and the Most High caused all his goodness, both in providence and grace, to pass before me.' Page 122 .
Answer. These last words, and the distinction observed between providence and grace, are most certainly all my own, and are to be found in almost all my writings; and it is most true, that whatever is needful for the soul, as well as for the body, are equally provided by God, and may with propriety be called, The provision of the Almighty, or his Providence. But, in one particular the Traveller and the Coalheaver do not speak the same things, but differ widely. I have always maintained, and insisted, that all grace must be within; that quickening grace, illuminating grace, pardoning grace, justifying grace, sin-subduing grace, and supporting grace, betides a good hope through grace, and the grace of faith and love, must all be in the believer's heart; but our traveller has such a high opinion of my experience and doctrine, that, is he does but pilfer two words in a whole page, he imagines himself to be secure: though as my ape he disfigures me, and as my enemy he betrays himself. None are more dexterous than he at stealing materials, none are bigger fools in putting materials together. All his grace passes before him; this is true, for he never had any grace in him; some words that he speaks may be truth; but the treasure that comes out of his heart, and by which he is to be known, is from the devil himself, and from no other.
Page 123, Zion's traveller returns from his excursion to the great metropolis; a great door, and an effectual, is opened to him at Spital-Fields; many flock from the west end of the town to hear him, who sit under the gospel at Providence Chapel.
Answer. Who these persons are I know not, but if our traveller will secure them all to himself, so that they never come back to me, I will give him a hundred guineas; they may help to adorn his assumed office, but they are a disgrace and a scandal to mine, having no eyes to see through such a traveller as he. And this I firmly believe, that every one that has endeavoured to support our traveller in his ministry, and every one that has or shall bid him God speed, shall share in his evil deeds; the mouth of the Lord has spoken this; and they shall find it no easy matter to bring their shoulders from under this burden; and I believe that some, have felt this weight already. Our traveller next describes some of his audience, and the influence that was upon them.
Page 123. 'Among these was a Mr. S--p, an old member, He said to a friend that sat near him, Bless the Lord, he is in the secret. When I came out he took me by the hand and said, I never knew the meaning of this scripture clearly until now. Unknown, and yet well known, i. e. a stranger in person, but known in the Spirit. I was brought up to spend the evening at Mr. S- g's house, Great Brook Street, where many were assembled. This old gentleman would not suffer any other to speak; but called out, Let the Lord's servant clear it up, he handles it like a workman. Another ancient member, Mr. M--ch, shook hands with me, and left half-a-guinea in my hand; while all, with one accord, agreed they were sure I would soon be in Providence pulpit.'
Answer. If this old member knew not the meaning of so plain a text as that, he is but a novice in Christ's school; and, if our traveller can give no better definition of it, he is a bigger fool than the other...
'Unknown, and yet well known; that is, a stranger in person, but known in the Spirit;'
..this is our traveller's explanation, and this is the old member's wonder. If this be Paul's meaning, one half of it is absolutely false. Paul, in the ministry, was of long standing; and when, or where, has there appeared a more public character than he? And I doubt not but he was personally known to more than a million souls, being so often in some of the most populous cities of the east. The mob at Jerusalem knew him in person; for, when they saw him, they said, This is he, and cried out, Men of Israel, help; which shews that he was not a stranger in person to them, for they knew him by sight. I doubt not but there are more than two hundred thousand souls in this kingdom that know me; and how can I be a stranger in person to these? Paul was personally known to God, Father, Son, and Spirit, to angels, to the world, to the saints, and even to the devils themselves; for this was acknowledged more than once; "Paul I know," says the devil. "but who are ye?" Acts xix. 15. Paul was not a stranger, in person, to any of these; so that our traveller's wisdom, and the old member's wonder, amount to nothing less than an arrant lie. I doubt not but many would like to see our traveller in Providence pulpit; some through ignorance, not being able, like many in the Corinthian church, to distinguish between a spiritual man and an incarnate devil; and others, through an over fondness for novelty, rather than go without a change, would sooner see a wolf in sheep's wool than a sheep in his own fleece; but then even this would not do for a constancy, but only for once and away, for those, who are the most forward to cry such up, would not be the last to cry such down. Time has been that my heart was too open; I was for taking all in, and bringing all on; but those very persons who took an advantage of my open door were the only persons who eventually shut it up. It is now rather too late in the day for Zion s traveller and the Coalheaver to come together; I know more of Satan and his devices now than formerly and this traveller is the express image of him. He has slayed me alive, and covered himself with my skin; and would he take my cabin also? so far from this, that I would not suffer him to sleep in my dog-kennel, expecting no less than that he would burn my house before morning; for a man that can act the stage-player in God's name, and in God's fight, as he has in this book, must be fully qualified and thoroughly furnished for every evil work.
Page 125, our traveller has another door opened to him: the minister of that place calls it a blessing that our traveller came under the roof of his chapel. But this gentleman it seems was ignorant of the singular work appointed for our traveller; and then he proceeds with his accustomed bold, daring, and insolent way of palming himself upon the Lord: take it in his own words.
'The Lord's servant is sent to do a different work from that which most hearers imagine;'
'And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words into thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations, and ever the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down; to build and to plant.'
Answer. Some things here are absolutely false, though others in some senses may be true. That this traveller is a servant of the Lord is false, for he knows nothing of my Lord and Master, nor is this book the voice of him, nor has it the least resemblance of it; nor has the Lord ever put his word in our traveller's mouth, for his words are stolen from me, therefore this also is a lie; and yet I doubt not but that he has his work to do; and that his end will be according to his works is what I firmly believe. His work appears to me to be this; that some of the non-elect, who appear to have some tenderness, fear, and feeling about them, may be hardened and emboldened, until they are enabled to hate, scorn, and deride the just, and then go out into the world with the evident tokens of perdition upon them; that others, who have waited at wisdom's gate for the coming of the law of faith, and have not obtained, but, being weary of waiting, have embraced our traveller's assurance, which is not the faith of God, but the presumption of Satan; and this fulfils the saying of the wise man, "That the soul be without knowledge is not good, and he that hasteneth with his feet sinneth." The first clause of that text the sinner feels; this makes him sick of waiting, and his haste in grasping a false confidence is both his deception and his ruin. In short, to harden and embolden the simple, to fortify and stiffen the arrogant, to confirm the presumptuous, and to terrify and affright the timid with his assumed office, his authority, and with the judgments that he says have fallen upon those who have opposed him; to raise a false rumour of himself in the world, to be a wandering star to the blind, to blow to and fro with various winds of doctrine, to serve as a fan to the Lord's floor, by collecting the chaff from it; these seem to me to be the work and labour of this traveller of Zion. Our traveller having received orders from the Lord, as he says, to root out, to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down; to build and to plant, page 125; the conversation of professors in the present day is contrary to these orders received by our traveller, for they talk of building up; but this he opposes; take it in his own words...
Page 126, 'But the first work of the Lord's servant is to root out; this is laborious work, and must be done with the mattock, that the little hill of Zion, which he raises up, may not have the fear of briers and thorns come thither, but be for the sending forth of oxen and for the treading of lesser cattle, Isaiah vii. 25. And while he is at this grubbing work he often gets the edge taken off by the many coarse stones he meets about the root. Sometimes he gets down to the Philistines to sharpen it, often in this day, and also he has a file for this purpose, I Sam. xiii 21; the Lord whets his soul afresh.'
Answer. Our traveller involves us once more in his profound mysteries; a jumble of things are brought in and huddled together, but nothing explained. He says, the work of the Lord's servant is to root out; this he tells us is laborious work, and must be done with the mattock. That this implement of husbandry is mentioned in scripture is true, and was often used upon hard dry hills where the plough could not work; it was at times used by Israel in his wars with the Philistines; but what our traveller means by it I know not, but this I know, it is not to be found among all the instruments of husbandry mentioned in the New Testament; nor yet in the whole panoply or armoury of spiritual weapons mentioned by the apostle Paul, so that it is peculiar to Zion's traveller; and an awkward, clumsy tool it is, and may well befit the workman that uses it. He next informs us of the use of this mattock; it is..
'That the little hill of Zion, which he raises up, may not have the fear of briers and thorns come thither, but be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle, Isaiah vii. 25.'
I do not find the hill of Zion once mentioned in the whole of that seventh chapter of Isaiah, nor he neither. We have an account of a confederacy between Syria and Ephraim to invade Jerusalem, and set up a tool of their own to be king in it. The Saviour's birth of a virgin is promised to Ahaz, to deliver him from his fears, which is in effect telling him that the royal line of David shall continue till Messiah comes, notwithstanding all the opposition made against it. And the prophet gives Ahaz to understand, that if he does not believe he shall not be established, and, to confirm him, tells him that this confederacy shall not stand, nor come to pass. But, though Ahaz escapes this calamity, another awaits him, namely, the host of the Assyrians, called the bee, and the Egyptian auxiliaries, called the fly; and these are to make their fertile valleys desolate, and take their strong holds, called rocks; and; as these are all idolaters and come for plunder, they were to the house of Israel briers and thorns. The destruction of these is called shaving of them from the beard to the hair of the feet; that is, from the head, who is the king, to the baggage driver; that in these calamities the scattered Israelites should flee to the barren mountains, and, for want of a plough or a spade, they should use the mattock to dig with, in order to obtain their sustenance; and, as here is nothing on these hills but barrenness, there would be no fear of these briers or thorns coming thither; and, moreover, if they could escape to these mountains with a few head of cattle, the fertile valleys should be so pillaged and stripped as that they should have the valleys to stock with the small remnant of oxen, or lesser cattle, bred upon these barren hills. But our traveller calls these hills Mount Zion, and his mattock is to root up the ungodly, the hypocritical, and their covetous practices, that such characters may not be found in Zion. That Sinai is a barren mountain I grant but the elect of God, when God finds them, are more in the valleys than in the mountains; they are in the valley of the shadow of death when he shines upon them, and in the horrible pit and miry clay when he brings them up; it is the poor froth the dust, and the beggar from the dunghill, that the Lord raises up; and, indeed, all must take their seat in the lowest room before our Lord will bid them go up higher. Our traveller concludes, that..
'While he is at this grubbing work, he often gets the edge of his mattock taken off by the many coarse stones he meets about the root. Sometimes he gets down to the Philistines to sharpen it, often in this day; and also he has a file for this purpose.'
But what this mattock is I know not: the root of these briers and thorns, and the coarse stones about the root, are not explained to us; the grindstones among the Philistines, and the file that our traveller uses to sharpen his mattock with, are things too high for me, I cannot attain unto them; nor do I believe that any soul upon earth can, except it be Mrs. Willis.
In page 128 our traveller calls upon a friend; it was on a Monday. He asks the woman of the house where she heard the day before. She answered, at Providence Chapel in the morning, and very comfortably, He then asked, Did you not go there in the evening? She said, No; I went to Surry Chapel, and heard a very comfortable discourse there also. He said, How is it you hear? for I am certain there is as much difference between the two as between the devil and true holiness.
This fits just as easy upon my mind, as the evil spirit did upon Paul and his colleagues, when by the devil they were cried up as servants of the most high God, who shewed the way of salvation, Acts xvi. 17, 1 S . Nor did I know till now that I had done any thing evil enough to be spoken well of by such men as Zion's traveller; I know that he and his brother, the great apostle Mr. White, did some time ago cry me up in both their pulpits: but, by the many letters I have received from them since, I was in hopes that they had long since changed their voices, and stood in doubt concerning me. However I do not desire any such puffers at my auction; is I honour my God, he will honour me; if I work the work of the Lord, my work and workmanship shall speak for me; and if these do not I have nothing else to recommend me; they may cry me down who please: "Let another praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips," Prov. xxvii. 2.
In page 130 our traveller receives a letter from a country squire near Exeter, which was sent with an order for some of his publications, which were to be sent to Exeter and Bristol. This order of the 'squire's proves to be a fiction, which our traveller finds out, as he tells us, by prayer, he having an omniscient friend to ask counsel of, which this 'squire and his accomplices know nothing of. And this account of the 'squire's design is concluded with our traveller's usual confidence, which must unavoidably prove fatal to the 'squire and all concerned with him in the end, for so he concludes;..
'I do believe the author of that letter, and those concerned with him, their end is to be burned.'
In page 131 our traveller is again in perils.
'My furnace was thus continually hot with one and another breaking out against me, as well as the daily exercise of soul for matter to bring forth to my hearers. As for reading authors, this hath been ever kept from me; if I attempted it, I was seized with a darkness, and constrained to lay such by and go to the scriptures, and to Watch what was going on in my own soul.'
Answer. Among all the angels that fell, Satan has in all things the pre-eminence. He was the first that conceived pride in his mind, as Paul tells Timothy; he was the first in rebellion, the first in murder, and has the honour of being styled 'the father of lies,' being the first that ever told one, and in this the greatest opposite to God. Next to the devil, Zion's traveller and the present French emperor are, I do believe, the greatest liars in the world; and the devil has such possession of them as to make it almost impossible that any thing like truth should drop from either of them...
'As for reading authors, this hath been ever kept from me', says our traveller.
..when I can find my own sayings almost in every page of this curious performance.
In page 131 our traveller is in labour again. He has to preach of an evening, but he is under a burden; he prays, but prevails not; however, at last these words burst from the contents of his grief, "May the Lord deliver me if I am to go." When our traveller uttered that petition, the following words came powerfully to the soul of our traveller, and gave him relief; "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you." That night the word was powerfully blessed to William Cant; and since that the Lord has called the wife of that man under the ministry of our traveller, who is now, he says, labouring under a deep law-work.
Answer. I have no such success in my labours, what little I perceive goes on slowly: but our traveller's converts are like the Hebrew women in Egypt, they are so strong and lively that they are delivered before they come upon the stools. For my part, I should esteem a blessing from Balaam above all the blessings of Zion's traveller, for I have no doubt but God will curse all such devilish blessings, as he did in the days of old, Mal. ii. 2; and William Cant will find this to his sorrow in some future period, for the devil has deceived him. The call of Mrs. Cant is more wonderful than that of her husband. She, our traveller says, is called, but where to I know not, nor he neither. She is not called to the fellowship of the Saviour, nor to Mount Zion, nor to the heavenly Jerusalem; not to God the judge of all, nor to the Mediator of the new covenant; but to Mount Sinai; for, though she is called, yet she is not justified; therefore the is not called by grace, but by works; nor is she called to inherit a blessing, but to feel a curse; not called to liberty, but to bondage, for she is under a deep law-work. We see what an excellent workman our traveller is, and what a competent judge he is of a high, holy, and heavenly calling, which leaves souls under the wrath and curse of the law. "If it were possible," says our Lord, "they should deceive the very elect;" but this being impossible, none but the non-elect shall ever be finally deceived by such travellers: and even he himself has been of use to me. My private judgment of the old housekeeper, and some others of the same cast, has been fully confirmed that it was a judgment according to truth. Others in a profession have been made more manifest by their attachment to, and approbation of, our traveller; which serves to convince the wise that their bond of union is the bond of iniquity; and, as the wise man says, their guests are in the depths of hell. Some few, who have hung as a pest at the gates of Zion, have been handed back into their own country, and appear no more at the gates of the righteous. Some also, who have more money than grace, have been eased of that burden; and not a few, who were discontented with plain, simple truth, have been given up to believe a lie, and even to impoverish themselves by supporting the liar; and some few, who were too wise in their own eyes, have found that their own wisdom has perverted them, not being able to distinguish between Christ in an ambassador of peace, and the devil in a sheep's skin. This work, by the just judgment of God, our traveller has been permitted to engage in; and this I firmly believed from the beginning of his travels; and I watched the success that attended him, and was soon convinced that, like the lying spirit in Ahab's prophets, he would both persuade and prevail also, 1 Kings xxii. 22, as he certainly has; and, this business being now nearly finished, he will soon be on his travels again. Our traveller next informs his correspondent, to whom he writes, that the devil is highly incensed at the conversion of William Cant and his wife, and other such miraculous operations; for so he writes.
'This work makes Satan and his children roar violently, seeing the havoc making in his kingdom; but may the Almighty continue this work, and uphold his servant in the fire!' - Page 132.
Answer. This reproach and scandal cast upon the devil is false, and without foundation; Satan is not divided against himself; nor will he oppose or roar against the labours of our traveller; for I have not a finale doubt but all our traveller's conversions are the devil's own work; his converts the devil's deceived ones, and our traveller himself Satan's own tool. Nor will he, or his work, or his workmanship, make any inroads into Satan's empire, or in any sense either weaken or depopulate it, but rather increase it, promote it, and strengthen it; for impostors in the ministry are Satan's own ambassadors, and hypocrites in religion are Satan's pages; all such support his throne and increase his revenue. Our traveller's prayer is, 'May the Almighty continue this work.' To which I answer, God forbid; for there is too much of this sort of business going on all over the kingdom.
The traveller's work wonderfully prospers in his hands, in the midst of all his enemies and their oppositions; for so he writes.
page 143. 'All their efforts fail in the end, as the Jews' envy and malice did against Paul and Barnabas; and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. So, in the midst of all, the despisers envy in this day, who are to wonder and perish. I have now received a letter from a daughter in the faith, that is brought up out of the horrible pit and miry clay, where she could find no standing for above two years.'
Answer. Who all these many daughters in the faith are, that I have met with, or overtaken in this performance, I know not; but this I will say, that they are a parcel of ungrateful wretches not to spread the fame of their benefactor, without putting him to the expense and labour of sounding his own trumpet. None of our traveller's daughters have done their duty by him with such zeal as Lord Gage's old housekeeper; she, poor soul, travelled as hard as Zion's traveller himself, till both shoes and money failed; he should have had her shod all round at his own expense, rather than let her lie idle, when heralds and trumpeters are so much wanted. Furthermore, there are some things that occur in this performance wholly unaccountable to me; the one is, his conspicuous call and commission to the ministry, which, as he lays, is of the Lord; next, his communion and wonderful familiarity with him, according to his account; next the innumerable promises spoken to him, the miracles wrought in his favour, the repeated deliverances that have attended him, the strong saith that dwells in him, the answers that he gets to his prayers, and even sometimes before he speaks. A man thus called, commissioned, furnished, and sent forth; a man thus owned, honoured, blessed, and favoured; would, no doubt, as Paul did, travel in the fullness of the blessings of the gospel of peace; and, according to the scripture account of such ambassadors, there is a beauty in their feet who bear true tidings; and, when the rams of Nebaioth minister to the church, sinners are said to fly like a cloud, and as doves to their windows, Isaiah Ix. 8. But, instead of this, our traveller has scarce a dove in the cot; nothing left but one poor old hen before mentioned, and even she has brooded and scratched for our traveller, till she has scarcely food or feathers left.
Nor can I account for these things by reason, for we daily see that the fame of a skilful physician flies far and wide by every suffering person who receives any benefit under his hands. And was Zion's only traveller so skilful in midwifery, and so successful as this performance represents him to be, I should conclude that his practice would be so great as to render it, impossible for him to pull off his clothes from week's end to week's end; but, instead of this, we have accounts of wonderful success, but no patients. He tells us of innumerable deliverances among the daughters of Zion,-so that he is indeed Zion's traveller; but, could we see his day-book, we should not find the name of One pregnant woman that has bespoken him. The truth of the matter is, he is not willing to live honestly: he has even stripped the old Coalheaver of what few locks of wool he had, and has clothed himself with them, which is not doing as he would be done by. But there is a power that will distinguish between the wolf and the sheep's skin, and this our traveller will find. He now goes on exalting himself, and there is a providence that follows hard after, debating him; and both contemptible and base will he be, sooner or later, before all his proselytes, except the old housekeeper; for with the same judgment that he judges shall he himself be judged; with the same measure he metes shall it be measured to him; and when he has done with the mote he shall feel the beam. He has for several years sent his epistles to me; but his hands are too rough for the hands of Esau, and his voice will never be taken for the voice of Jacob. He has written to Mr. Brook, not to make him an offender for a word, but for every word. He has loaded Mr. and Mrs. Martin of Downham, in the Isle of Ely, with a packet of scum, filth, froth, and vengeance. He has delivered to Satan Mr. Burgess, who he knows nothing of. He has reprobated Mrs. Thomas Biddle, a very domestic, frugal, motherly, and honourable character. He has vomited up the same dregs upon the venerable Mr. Jenkins, who is, through grace, an honest faithful man, and as honourable a character as any in the land of the living. He has given him orders to cast away his confidence in God, and to relinquish both his profession and his hope; and by what authority? by the authority of Satan and no other; and I believe that our traveller will never be an orphan while the devil has a being. As for this his book, I defy him to prove that is any one scripture truth brought forth, advanced, cleared, established, or defended, in it; or that there is one branch of sound experience, consistent with the operations of God, or that in any sense tallies with the inward teaching of that unction that comes from the Holy One. In every line, arrogance, insolence, lies, and presumption, are conspicuous enough; and in every page I find my own experience and sayings mutilated, disfigured, and distorted, which is redundant; for I was ugly enough before, without his additions to my super-aboundings. I must also retaliate upon some real or pretended friends, by telling them that Satan has no such useful promoters of his cause as those who frequent the courts of Zion. When false prophets start up, what can they do alone, or with notorious sinners? just nothing; they may walk about Zion, go round about her, tell the towers, mark her bulwarks, and confider her palaces, and then hasten away, and that is all. But, when the wisest, in their own eyes, in the Corinthian church, approve, admire, justify, and suffer such fools to preach, and to hear them gladly, seeing they themselves are wise - these, and such as these, are the only promoters of these impostors; what the false apostles conceived, these received and jointly established; and, if it was not for such fools, they must end where they began.
I am weary of pursuing this wriggling serpent; but I must mention one thing more, which is,
This traveller of Zion has triumphed gloriously for many months in the death of a poor distressed woman, who he affirms was given up to madness, and died cursing and swearing, for opposing him.
I ask this traveller to inform me how he came by this knowledge? namely, that this calamity or judgment came upon this poor woman for the ostensible purpose of opposing him. The cause of this woman's calamity, the designs of God in it, and the doom of her soul, are truly known to none but God. Then let this traveller inform me how he came by this knowledge? from God he never had it, for he never heard his voice at any time, nor saw his shape, John v. 37. And be it so that this poor creature, when light-headed with the great force of her disease, as many are in a brain fever, and other sorts of fevers: suppose, I say, that, under such circumstances, she actually did curse and swear! our traveller can no more send her to hell for this than he can send Peter there; he cursed and damned too: the scriptures say that he curled and swore. Peter was in his senses, but this woman was not; Peter denied his Lord, which this woman did not; Peter swore he did not know the Saviour, which was an arrant lie. By all these things Peter's sin was greater, and attended with more aggravating circumstances, than her's was; and yet he was neither Satan's child, nor Satan's prey.
And suppose the worst, that this woman was really out of her mind; the incestuous person in the Corinthian church was delivered up to Satan as well as she; not for damnation, but for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Neither Peter's oaths nor the incestuous person's madness ended in perdition.
Let our traveller relate also the injury that this poor woman sustained; the procuring cause of her distress and misery was our traveller himself. Mr. George Biddle, I am informed, sat under me for some years: I do not know him, nor to my knowledge did I ever see him; but his wife I did know, and I believe that she was an honest, cleanly, industrious woman, and both a good wife and a good mother, and by no means destitute of the fear of God.
Her husband left our chapel, and became a zealous follower of our traveller, which it seems was a grief of mind to her, and she did not go with her husband, but abode among us. She one day came to speak to me, and I liked her conversation much. She complained, and was much grieved, because her husband had such an attachment to our traveller; she said she was sure that he would do him no good, that the traveller was leading her poor husband wrong, and that he was wasting, his substance, and injuring his own family, to support the cause of Zion's traveller; and it was the husband of this poor woman who was principally concerned in building the traveller's chapel, which some say cost Mr. Biddle not less than nine hundred or a thousand pounds. And let our traveller inform us wether this chapel was made sure to Mr. Biddle, to secure him from losing all this property, or whether our traveller did not secure the place to himself. These were the things which this poor woman complained of; these overwhelmed her with grief; her husband seldom at home and in his business, the was deprived of his company; and; as the conceived, deprived in a great measure of his affections, as well as of their property; and the was sure that in religion her husband was led in a way that would do him no good. And it is plain to me that the woman was right, that what the said was the truth, and that she had much-more light than her husband had. Nor have I a single doubt but Mr. Biddle himself now sees as his wife did, or else how comes it to pass that the chapel he built, and all its cost, and Zion's traveller himself, and all his converts, are now deserted and abandoned by him? He suffers all this loss, and is come back to his old place; by all which he has confirmed the confidence and judgment of his wife. And well had it been for him had he acted as Abraham was bid to do at the expulsion of Hagar, "In all that Sarah has said hearken to her voice," he would have had more money and more peace than he now has.
It seems that it was no small mortification to this poor woman to find that all her advice and counsel given to her husband in secret was by him carried to our traveller, which brought the wrath, the resentment, and imprecations of our traveller upon her: and, between her husband and the traveller, the poor creature was terrified with the judgments of God upon herself, thinking she might have done wrong in opposing him in his ministry, and her husband for hearing him; and therefore permitted the traveller to visit her; when he saw her distress, he himself said 'It is a work of grace:' whereas he knows no more of a work of grace than Satan; nor can he describe one grace of the covenant, nor one fruit of the Spirit: if he can, let him, and by God's help I will answer him till his heart is sick. Upon the whole, if this woman perished for opposing our traveller, she perished for a good work, for a spirit of discernment, and for a judgment of truth; and the woman's husband abandoning him shews that he is now of the same judgment with his wife; and the blast of God upon this traveller visibly confirms the judgment of the woman also. None have used more craft and cunning to draw disciples after him than he has; and, instead of succeeding, moles and bats, hypocrites and worldlings, desert him, all except Mrs. Willis and Mrs. Robinson; these will be ever learning. And he is hated and hateful go where he will; not for Christ's sake, for he knows him not; nor for the kingdom of God's sake, for he is ignorant of that; but he is hated for his arrogance, insolence, and lies. Surely if the Almighty has sent him, and he had sought the honour of God, he would never appear so contemptible and base before all sober people as he now does. The hundred pounds from Mr. Stubbs, and all the hundreds from Mr. Biddle towards his chapel, do not appear to be accompanied with God's blessing, but with a visible curse; poor he still is, and poor he will remain. He preaches, he writes, he travels; but God's hand is against him go where he will, for he is notoriously wicked; in profession a hypocrite; in the ministry a wolf in sheep's clothing, witness his disfiguring my conversion and experience, and publishing it as his own; a charge that never was brought against the devil himself