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JOSEPH SALMON,

( 1647 )


A reproduction of the Title Page of the Original Manuscript, first printed in 1647.


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A N T I - C H R I S T
in Man:


O R

A discovery of the Great WHORE
that sits upon many Waters,

Wherein  is   declared  what  that
Whore
or inward Mystery is;  together

with the destruction thereof, by
the powerful appearing of Christ in us.


By  JOSEPH   SALMON,
a Member of the A R M Y.


Rev. 18. 2.   And he cryed mightily with a strong voice with a strong voice saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and a cage of every unclean and hatefull bird.
 
Ver. 20.      Rejoyce over her, thou heaven, and yee holy Apostles. and Prophets, for God hath avenged you on her.


L  O  N  D  O  N
Printed for Giles Calvert, and are to be
sold at the Sign of the Black spread
Eagle at the west end of Pauls.

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To  all  those  who  desire  to  be
acquainted with the Mystery of Godliness,
and especially to those my beloved
friends and Brethren in the Lord,
with whom I have formerly
walked in outward formal
Communion, both in
City and Country.

Wood-cut MY dear friends, whose I am in the bowels of unfained love; considering with my self, that there is nothing more requisite {required} to be known, than these two mysteries, the mystery of godliness, and the mystery of iniquity; and likewise pondering how much all flesh is opposite {opposed} to the discovery of these two mysteries; I have presumed to dictate my thoughts unto you in this small Treatise, wherein I have briefly and informally discovered unto you, what the Lord hath manifested unto me of the spirit of Antichrist, that is in all of us.  It may be that I may be supposed, by many of you, in this little volume, to endeavour the subversion and overturn of that form and discipline that you, for the present, walk in; but I assure you from the truth of my heart, that I intend no such thing;  but shall rather encourage any of you to continue in that dispensation, where the Lord doth manifest himself to you in the same:  only this know, dear friends, that the Lord hath his movings towards his people, to some he shewes {shows} himself more clearly;  to some more obscurely; to some he makes the flesh of Christ comfortable and joyful, that is, the discovery of himself in fleshly dispensations;  to others he crucifies his own flesh (as I may so say) that is, {he} dies, departs, goes away in the flesh, or fleshly forms and dispensations; and this is my condition for the present.  I were {would be} a wretch if I should deny the {prior or earlier} appearances of God to me in that way you now, for the present, stand in;  but now it hath pleased God to move out of these things to me; I now see, that all the knowledge of Christ that they could set out to me, was but a knowledge of him after the flesh; in a word, I see that Christ hath crucified himself to me, in all these things in which before I enjoyed his fleshly presence; insomuch that I now wait with the Disciples, where Jesus hath appointed me, even at the gates of wisdom's house, and at the posts of wisdom's doors, for the return of the Spirit.  For I believe this departed Jesus will come again, but it shall be in Spirit, not in flesh; and will make himself to be that substance to me really, which I catched at {grasped at eagerly} in the shadow, typically;  and this, through mercy, I do in some measure enjoy, and though in much imperfection, yet so sweetly, that henceforth I desire to know Christ after the flesh no longer.

    Now as concerning this Treatise itself, I desire you to look upon it as coming from a Child in the understanding of the divine things of God, and if you suppose your selves to have come to more maturity in divinity than my self, and that you think that you can speak in more glory than I have done, I hope you will be so much the more engaged to pass a charitable censure upon the stammerings of my Infancy:  If any of you shall, notwithstanding, testify any rigedness of spirit against me in this particular, herein I joy and rejoyce, that the Lord in his time will bring you to live so in the light of that Sun, as that you shall see all your now present light, to be darkness, and your form to be flesh, and then you will not be bitter against any poor Saint, that desires to enjoy God in a more high dispensation than your selves; in the meantime, I desire your prayers to the Lord for me, and I shall for ever commit you into his hands, who I hope ere long will die to you in all these outward things, as he hath to me, and by his rising and second coming in you, that you shall see him to be the spiritual water, bread, and wine, without and beyond these types, and shadows; which is the daily prayer of him who still professeth himself to be your brother, by that one Baptism of that one spirit into that one body, and forever remain yours until death

   Joseph Salmon.

 

 

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A N T I - C H R I S T
in Man:

The discovery of the great
W H O R E that sits upon many waters.

wood-cut THere hath been much controversy about the finding out of this great Whore; that spirit of Antichrist, which God shall judge, and whom Christ shall destroy, by the breath of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming:  and in this eager pursuit of her, to find her out in her scarlet colours, riding upon the Beast, some men have attained to glimmerings, some to a more perfect discovery of her;  some there are that affirm this great Whore to be the Pope;  some the Presbyter, some the Episcopacy; now these men have seen the Whore but in a fleshly discovery, they take the fruit for the tree, the stream for the fountain;  in a word, they have seen her outside, but not her inside; they know her in the History, but not in the Mistery; for upon her Fore-head is written, MISTERY, BABILON, THE GREAT, &c. Rev. 17.5.

   Know therefore O man, whomsoever thou art! that judgest the whore by these carnal conceptions of her, that thou art far deceived by her, in her fleshly appearances to thee:

   Thus while the sons of men seek to behold this Strumpet in her proper sphere and center, they deceive themselves, by looking too fleshly and carnally upon her:  know first then O man! that this great whore is in thee, whil'st thou seekest to behold her without thee, whil'st thou beholdest her in other men, she is in the mean time acting in a Mystery in thee:  while thou despisest the appearance of her in other men, she hath by guile caught thee, and by her Mysterious workings insnared thee; and hath stolen thy heart from God and goodness; she imbraceth thee in her arms; she kisseth thee with her mouth; she deceiveth thee by her flatteries, whilest thou thinkest thou hast nothing to do with her;  she is in thy bosom whilest thou thinketh she is far distant from thee; and this is done in a mystery and thou seest it not.

   Now then looking upon this Whore spiritually, not carnally;  in us, and not out of us;  in the Mystery, and not in the history:  once more let us make inquisition after her, and endeavour to find her out in all her subtil and close corners.  For thy better attaining to the discovery of her, consider:

Firstly,  what this great Whore is.

Secondly,  how she works, and what pretences she deludes the soul by.

Thirdly,  how a soul comes to attain a sight of her.

Fourthly, and lastly,  how and when, she shall be destroyed:  and thus we may attain to a sight of Babylon, with her Rise, and her down-fall.

First, What is the Whore ?

   This Whore, this Babylon, this Antichrist, is thy fleshly wisdom; that spiritual Serpent that thou art deceived by, & committest fornication with all, is the wisdom of the flesh, the carnal Policy of the creature. 

   This was that Antichrist that appeared in, and to our first Parents, and that which they harlotryed with, from the Lord:God.    He created Adam blind and naked, to this end, that Adam might not see, but God for him;  nor Adam might not know, but what God knew in him, and for him;  and so this Adam, though blind and naked, yet cloathed with such divine Robes, as were altogether inconsistant to fleshly Adam; so here was God All,  the Creature Nothing.

   But now comes the Serpent, which is, the subtilest beast in man's worldy heart; namely, Self, and Flesh; and that dispenses its wisdom into the heart of the Creatures, and that bids them eat, for then their eyes should be opened, and they should be as Gods, knowing good and evil.  Now man desiring (by the report of fleshly-wisdom) to have his eyes opened, and to be as God, and to be no more a subject, but a King;  no longer governed, but a governour;  runs away from God, departs from his first Lover; and commits adultery with his own fleshly wisdom:  And as Adam, in the History; so all in the Mystery, commit daily fornication with the Whore, our fleshly wisdom by eating of the forbidden Tree; for this forbidden Tree, is in us, and we taste of it continually; and hourly suffer death for the same.

   This Garden of Eden, in the Mystery, O man! is in thee; in whom God hath placed the manifestation of him self, & hath brought forth the buddings of his glory;  and any of these thou mayest Eat; but there is a Tree in the midst of this Garden, of which thou mayest not eat;  which is thy heart, O man! this must be reserved wholly to the Lord;  this God calls for, Prov. 23.26.  my son, give me thy heart:  that is, thou must ascribe nothing to thy self; but give over all man in to my hands, and willing to be no more than I will be in thee; and to know no more than I shall know for thee; this is, that forbidden Tree that God would not have us eat of:  but whole man, with his wisdom, Reason, Judgement, Affections, Will and Understanding, must be given to the Lord: but now comes this Serpent, our subtil fleshly wisdom, in us; and that thinks much to let God be all, do all and have the glory of all:  but it would faine {gladly} see with its own eyes, and be a God unto its self; so it forsakes all the rest of the Trees, which God hath given it to eat of; namely, the manifestation of God in the soul; and takes of its own fruit, & eats of that feast that flesh hath provided; and so forsakes the fountain, and runs to the broken Cisternes; Jer. 2.13. and thus our eyes come to be opened; and we see no longer light, in God's light; but with the eye of Self and reason, saying to a stock, thou art my Father, and to a stone, thou hast brought me forth; Jer, 2.27. that is, attributing nothing to God, but all to fleshly wisdom, with which we have Adulterated and Harlotrized from the Lord.

   Thus O man! thou seest what that great Whore is, and where she lyeth even in the in-most closets of thy soul.  Now that thou mayest be farther convinced, that this wisdom of the flesh, is the Antichrist, the great Whore: do but first consider the Names, and secondly the Nature of her.

   First, her Names in Scripture are diverse, at first, she is called Anti-Christ, which is as much as to say, against Christ:   Now man as a creature is not against Christ;  but the wisdom of the flesh in man, this is against Christ, and so,consequently is the great Whore, or Antichrist.

   Secondly, She is called Babylon, in the Scripture, Rev. 17.5. Rev. 18.2 which is as much as to say, confusion;   now all confusion that is wrought either in Pope, Presbyter, or any other particular State, is by the wisdom of the flesh;   therefore this is that great Babylon.

   Thirdly, She is called that wicked one, Matt. 13.19,38. 1John. 2.13,14.  1John. 3.12. 1John. 5.18.  Now all the actual wickedness that proceeds from the sons of men flows from that original within, even the wisdom of the flesh;  therefore the wisdom of the flesh, is that great wicked one, which is to be destroyed.

   Fourthly, She is called the Mother of Harlots and abominations of the earth, Rev. 17.5.  Now what is the Mother of Harlots, surely this cannot be either the Pope, or any other particular state; for if the Pope be the Mother of Harlots, then I demand who, or what is the Mother of his Harlotry? Then what, or who, is the Mother of Harlots? Why she is in us all in a mystery; it is the wisdom of the flesh in man, which is the Mother of all the abomination which is committed against the Lord.

   This is that Anti-christ;  this is Babylon; here is the wicked one; this is the Matron of all iniquity; out of the womb of fleshly wisdom proceeds all that actual transgression that is committed against the Lord:  All outward appearances of sins, are but the Bastards of the Whore, the children of this strange Woman, and the Brats of this great Adulteress; and happy, yea, thrice blessed shall that man be called, who shall take and dash these children of the Whore against the stones: This man is Christ, who shall come in power and great glory in a Christian, and destroy, and dash in pieces the conceptions, bringings forth, and appearances of fleshly wisdom in us:  as we shall show more at large hereafter.

   Thus we have endeavoured to discover the Whore what she is by her Names given her in Scripture;  whereby thou mayest understand, that the Whore doth not consist of any outward State or fleshly appearances to thee: but upon her Fore-head; which is her most open and palpable workings, there is written Mystery.

   2.  That this great Whore may yet more fully appear to be the wisdom of the flesh in thee, do but consider the nature of the Whore in brief, and so we shall have done with the first query, Namely, What the Whore is?

   Now the Nature of this whore is two-fold: 1. Opposing; 2. Exalting; both which you may find attributed to Anti-christ, or the Whore:   in that 2Thes. 2.4. she opposeth Christ or God; and therefore called Anti-christ:  Now see O man! whether this Whore be not thy fleshly wisdom:  look into thy soul, and behold and see, how opposite thy fleshly wisdom is to any thing that is good or goodness:  what means those often resisting of the Spirit in thee, O man?  Seest thou not how the whore deceives thee?  What conception, bringing forth, or appearance of God is there in thee, but the wisdom of the flesh, seeks to devour it, by violent attempts & oppositions, therefore the text saith Rev. 17. 6. That the whore was drunk with the blood of the Saints; and Martyrs of Jesus:  How hath this mystical whore, the wisdom of the flesh, martyred the appearances of Christ in thee, so that indeed she is drunk with the blood of many a sanctified motion of the Spirit in thee?  The wisdom of the flesh is that mystical Saul, that hunts after the blood of David; which is, the tender appearance of God in the soul;  this it is that crucifieth the Lamb afresh, and puts him to open shame; and all this is done by that bloody whore that harboureth in thy bosom. 

    The wisdom of the flesh is that bond-slave, that always resents wisdom's children and the children of the free Woman, which are the the bringings forth of Jesus in thee:  In a word, this is that great Red Dragon, spoken of in Rev. 12. 3-4. who stands before the Woman, which is a Christian, under the pangs of the new birth, ready to be delivered of the blessed child, Jesus, in whose heart, God is begetting himself in his own form and Image:  this I say, is that dragon, even the wisdom of the flesh, which is ready to devour the sweet Babe, even Jesus, with his form and feature in the soul, and endeavours to make it an obhortive.

   This is that mystical Herod, that seeks the ruin of the appearance of God in our flesh:  and as you see what the opposing nature of the Whore is, who for her bloody opposition against the manifestation of God in his people, shall have blood to drink, when she shall be found worthy.

   3.  We now proceed to the other qualification of the Nature of this whore; which is a High, Proud, Lofty, aspiring Nature; being manifested by two things:

1.  In that she will get into God's Temple,   2Thes. 2.4.  
2.  In that she will therein exalt herself above all that is called God, and she will be a god to herself:  Behold O man! (as it were in a glass) the true Viseognime {Physiognomy} and perfect Portraiture of thy fleshly wisdom. 

   First then, consider, that thy heart is the Temple of God, where this great Whore sits; therefore mind the Apostle 1Cor. 3.16.  Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God; as also Chap. 6. 19.  Now, thou being this Temple of God, thy fleshly wisdom is that Antichrist, that Whore, that sits in thine heart; thou art the Beast that this Whore rides upon, Rev. 17. 3.  for the Psalmist saith, Psal. 49. 12. that Man being in honour, abideth not; but is like the beast that perisheth.   Here mayest thou see, O man! the pride of the wisdom of the flesh, that no place will serve her but God's Temple: the heart of man, that God hath set apart for the praise of his glory, doth this Whore make her Beast, by bringing it to be subject to her dominion; this Temple of God, to be that den of thievery, which God hath made for his own honour and divinity.

   Secondly, the exalting Nature of the whore is seen, not only by her climbing up into God's Temple, and so becomes that Lucifer, that fell down to hell: but also by her behaviour in god's Temple; She exalts her self above all that is called God;  She sits as God in God's Temple, in a place where She hath no right to Rule and govern:

   Behold here, O Christian! another proper Emblem of the wisdom of the flesh in thee:  How doth this Whore, this Mystical Babylon, exalt her self above every appearance of God in thee, in so much as her Tail draws the third part of the Stars of Heaven, and casts them down to the Earth, which is in me?  That Reason, Will, Affections, and Judgement, which are as the civil powers & lights of the soul, all these are drawn after this beast:  so that indeed, She now is the Lady of the Kingdoms, Isa. 47. 5,7.   nay {Not only that but also}, ver. 8. I am, and there is non else besides me:  this wisdom of the flesh is that which will not allow the Child Jesus any room in the Inn of thy heart: but thrusts him into the Manger: which is, under the meanest thoughts, poorest respects, and lowest love of thy soul:  but in the mean time, this whore her self takes the largest rooms, and highest chambers; that is, She is most supreame in thy affections; with the greatest love, honour, and respect that may be: thus doth this whore, the wisdom of the flesh, exalt her self as God; yea, and that in God's Temple; where She hath no right to rule and govern; for the Apostle tells us that we are not our own; but are bought with a Price; that is, we are to own no Lord but he that hath bought us:  to render no obedience or servitude to any, but to that God who in our flesh hath Redeemed us; according to the Commandment, Thou shalt have none other gods but me; But Self, flesh, and creature will be God in God's Kingdom; which causeth God to take up a complaint against his people of old; Have I been a barren wilderness unto thee, or a Land of darkness;  wherefore then say my people, we are Lords, we are Lords? and we will come no more after thee?

   Now the creature running astray from the Lord, commits fornication with the great Whore, the wisdom of the flesh, attributing all Power, Glory, Salvation and happiness, to Selfish wisdom:  and therefore Babylon saith on this wise, Isa. 14. 13.  I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the Stars of God. which is, when the wisdom of the flesh is exalted above the highest sphere of divine light in the soul: nay {Not only that but also}, ver 14I will be like the most High.

   Behold O man! the aspiring, exalting nature of thy carnal wisdom:  The wisdom of the Serpent would needs have Adam to be as God; and to see by his own eyes, and to walk by his own light; which Serpent is nothing in the Mystery but the wisdom of the flesh, carrying the soul above that centre that God hath seated it in; causing thee to walk by her blaze, and not in God's light to see light; to hate, scorn, and put a mean estimation upon any motion of God or goodness; always thinking thy way the best, and thy counsel the safest; and thus doth this Whore, thy fleshly wisdom, exalt her self above all that is called God in thee; and sits as God in thy soul, which is God's Temple.  So much for answer to the first question; namely, what the great whore is?

   Now thou, having attained some spiritual discovery of this whore, both by her Names and Nature, it remains, that we proceed in answer to the second question:  which is, Namely:

Secondly,  How this Whore works, and
what pretences she deludes the soul by ?

   Now therefore, know O man! that this whore works in a mysteryupon her Fore-head is written Mystery, Rev. 17. 5.

  When Antichrist, or thy fleshly wisdom is most apparent in any sinful action, yet in that appearance, She is very Mystical:  So that indeed, upon her most open workings in the heart, there is written Mystery:

   It is the property of a Strumpet to pretend what she doth not intend to her Lovers:  behold a Character of the Mother of Harlots, thy fleshly wisdom, She is very subtil of heart; Prov.7.  She always pretends, what she never intends:  So that here, all is well in the History, but mere deceit and delusion in the Mystery:  this whore, She will present a glorious show, but there is nothing but wickedness and Harlotry intended:

   This is that Spiritual Judas, that will Betray thee with his salutations:  you shall find this whore in a  religious Dress many times, that hereby she may deceive the heart of the simple:  Observe how the Harlot in Prov. 7. beguiled the young Man; She caught him, and kissed him; Ver. 13. and with an impudent face, said unto him; I have peace Offerings with me; this day I have paid my vows:  this whore in the Mystery, is thy fleshly wisdom; and thou art this simple young Man; who art deluded by her.  Behold therefore, O man! the impudency, and boldness of this spiritual Whore; She is not ashamed to show her Fore-head to thee:  But here is a Mystery all this while, that thou seest not.

   Now therefore know, Oh Christian! that this whore appears to thee in all thy spiritual Performances & Sacrifices to the Lord:   if thou dost but observe, thou shalt see her appear in Prayer, in Humiliation, in Fasting; nay {Not only that but also}, in all outward Ordinances; thou shalt see thy fleshly wisdom in all these things, stealing thy heart from the Lord, by attributing something to form, flesh, and creature:  so that we are apt oft-times to bless our selves in our spiritual performances, and sing a Requiem to our selves in our fleshly forms; so that hereby, all our duties are but the Sacrifices of the Whore, the vows of our fleshly wisdom, which She appeared in, to delude us:

   Now, woe and alas for us! that ever we should be deceived by this whore, in those things wherein we think is the least appearance of her;  but here is plainly seen her mystical apparition:

   This whore meets thee, O man! in all thy religious performances, and there doth She attribute all the goodness of all that is done, to her self, and thou also givest consent to it, and to commit Fornication with her:  hence it is that the woman is said, Rev. 17. to have a Golden Cup in her hand, full of abominations, & filthiness of her fornications; a golden Pot, but a bitter potion.

   This Serpent, our fleshly wisdom, appears to us with her speckled Skin, but within her, there is deadly Poison:  Beware then of this whore, in all her glorious appearances and golden manifestations, for all this is but to insnare thy heart with her treachery:  the wisdom of the flesh will meet thee many times arrayed in Purple, and Scarlet, coloured, and deck'd with gold, which in the Mystery, are nothing else but shows of glory to thee:  She will meet thee in good performances, & there she will salute thee, and tell thee that thy good duties have prevailed with God for thee:  and She will tell thee, because thou art under such an outward form and carnal dispensation, that therefore thou art better than other Christians, which enjoy God in a more spiritual making out of himself:  thus She will endeavour to make thee drink of her Fornication, by proposing her golden Cup to thee:  and thus poor seduced man commits folly with himself, or his own wisdom, in all outward worship whatsoever; he forsakes God, in praying, fasting, mourning, and all outward forms, and is carried away more with the decency, order and trimness of the whore, in an outward dispensation, than the Power and Life of Godliness, that God requires in a Christian:  and so much shall suffice for the setting forth of the first delusive pretence of the Whore, which is to array her self in her glory, the better to effect her design upon the poor creature. 

   2.  The design of Anti-christ, or thy fleshly wisdom, is always to bring thee out of love with God:  O! it is death to the whore, when she seeth that thou desirest to be constant to thy Husband, Jesus, who hath espoused thee to himself:  and therefore, She is still labouring to bring thee out of love with Christ, and God:

   And this She labours to effect, by causing thee to think that God doth not love thee; that so hereby, She might estrange thy heart from the Lord.

   It is the work of this Serpent, to raise in our hearts hard thoughts of God:  all poor afflicted souls, whoever you are, that grieve under the pangs of an accusing conscience:  harken, behold and consider! how the wisdom of the flesh deludes you, by causing you to look upon God in the glass of flesh and creature; and so hereby, to apprehend him to be what he is not:

   Poor soul, thou tellest me there is no mercy in a Christ for thee;  and prithee {pray thee} why so?   Oh,  Alas! God loves me not; he is offended at me, and displeased with me:  I have been so vile a sinner against him.

   Now all this while, the poor soul doth but look upon God according to the dictates of the selfish wisdom; and so it apprehends God to be like it self:  Thou thoughtest (saith God) that I had been altogether such a one as thy self Psal. 50.21Because we are angry with God many times, therefore we are apt to think that God is froward {willfully contrary} with us, {like us,} whereas, God is love, saith the Apostle; Eph. 2. 4. and therefore God tells us, that his thoughts are not our thoughts, nor our ways, his ways; Isa. 55.8.

   The wisdom of the flesh endeavours to put out and extinguish the light of God in a Christian, whereby the soul might see God to be purely Love and mercy, and will propose its own glass to the creature, which renders God to be what he is not, to man's apprehension:

   So that when the soul would fain be refreshed with the comfortable aspect of God's presence, then comes fleshly wisdom & tells the soul it must not behold God according to his Love, but according to its own Iniquity; and so, hereby, dasheth the soul upon the rock of desperation; in so much that the poor creature now concludes that God is angry with him, and resolved not to show him mercy. 

   Now when the Whore hath thus estranged the heart from the Lord, by perswading the soul that either God is not able or willing to help it in its misery:  then She propounds her own way to the creature; She will perswade the creature never to go to God again but rather, with the Prodigal, to go and feed upon the Husks; as namely, upon Prayer, Fasting, or some outward and carnal Ordinances:  and here the soul, estranged from the substance, commits Adultery with the Whore, in subsisting on the Shadow; forsaking the fountain, running to the broken Cisterns; and so commits a great evil against the Lord:  and thus poor naked man runs from God, as from an enemy behind the trees of his own creating; and before he will be beholding to God for a clothing, he will cover himself with the Figleaves of his own fleshly wisdom, and so commits Adultery with the Mother of Harlots:  and now thou seest another delusive pretence of the whore, by raising hard thoughts of God in thee, by bringing thee out of love with the Lord, thy Husband; that so She might the better steal thy heart from God and Rob him of his due and propriety.

   3.  This Mother of Harlots, thy fleshly wisdom, will propose her self to be all to thee, that so She may draw thy affections after her; She will tell thee that she can supply all thy wants and relieve all thy necessities, and therefore thou needest not to be beholden to God for any thing; She will tell thee with Adam, that She can give thee the knowledge of good & evil; and she can open thy eyes, & She it is that gives thee any thing; therefore the text saith, Prov. 9.13. A foolish Woman is Clamorous, She is simple and knows nothing:  this foolish Woman is thy fleshly wisdom, O man! for the Apostle saith, The wisdom of the flesh is foolishness with the Lord: which although it be foolish, simple and knows nothing, yet She is very clamorous; that is, her voice must chiefly be harkened unto; if the still, small voice of the spirit utter it self in thy Soul, how doth the clamour of thy foolish fleshly wisdom, as it were, out-cry and drown the utterings of God in thee; therefore the Text saith ver. 14. that She sits in the door of her house, and the highest Places of the City, to call Passengers who go right in their way; who so is simple let him turn in hither, and as for him that wants understanding, She saith, Stolen waters are sweet, & bread eaten in secret is pleasant.

   Alas! poor self seduced man that reads this History, and seest not that thou thyself art the very person intended; know therefore that thou art this passenger, who whilest thou art travelling right on thy way to seek after Christ, art deluded by the clamour of this strange Woman; whilest thou art seeking after wisdom, She bids thee turn in hither; she hath wisdom and knowledge for thee; although indeed she is simple and knows nothing:  Oh Sirs! how wise would self be, when it is nothing but folly in the abstract.

  And thus O man! thou art invited to Babylon's banquet, & runnest after the stolen waters of the Whore, thy fleshly wisdom; which stolen waters, in the Mystery, are nothing else but the depriving of God of his due in all his works in the soul; when God brings forth his wisdom and divine light in the soul, then flesh and Self will tell thee that all proceeds from them, and so steal God's propriety from him; and thus Man runs from God and is estranged from the Lord, and eats his bread secretly with the harlot.

   And this (in my apprehension) is a third delusive pretence of the whore, so to show her self to the creature as if all fulness were treasured in her; in whom indeed is nothing but vacancy and emptiness:  thus doth this whore draw us from the Lord, our lover, who hath ever been constant to us, and that in the very height of our inconstancy to him.

   It is the design of God in us, to bring us to live upon his fulness, and to feed upon those divine dainties which he will carve out to us:  and what soul is it, that in the time of his constancy to the Lord ever wanted any thing? nay {Not only that but also}, what spiritual refreshments and incomes of divine glory have our souls tasted of, while we have kept in our Father's house?

   But when once Jeshurun waxeth fat, and kicked, Deut. 32. 15. when once we, prodigal like, forsake our Father, and think that there is enough in Self and creature to subsist upon:  when once we begin to loathe the Heavenly Manna, Christ Jesus, and to esteem more of the Flesh-pots, Garlic and Onions of Egypt, the raw and rank discovery of this Whore of bondage in us; when we prefer the husks of Swinish Self and wisdom, before the dainties of our Father's Table; truly we shall at last come to know the want of divine joy and comfort:

   Know therefore, O Man! that in all thy wanderings from the Lord, thy full fountain, to Self, thy broken cistern, thou in the mean time, art drawn by the whore, thy fleshly wisdom, to yield to her wickedness; by her flattering lips She forceth thee, Prov. 7. 21. and thou goest after her as a silly Ox to the slaughter till a Dart strikes through thy Liver, which dart is one of the fiery darts which the Apostle speaks of;  even the woundings of conscience, the gnawings of the Worm in thee:  And this is that spiritual death, which thou has brought upon thy self, by committing Adultery with the whore, thy fleshly wisdom, who hath stolen thy heart from the Lord, by attributing all fullness to her self in thee;  and now She leaves thee, as not being able to help thee in thy woe, distress, and misery:  and so much shall suffice for the discovery of a third delusive pretence of the whore; whereby She deceiveth the heart of the simple man.

  4.   This Whore, the wisdom of the flesh, is very changeable in her appearances; it is the policy of a Harlot to suit her self to the humor and fancy of her Lovers; that so thereby She may still retain and keep them in her favour:

   Even so it is with the spiritual Whore, the Mother of Harlots, thy fleshly wisdom; which will still be moving and changing her self in her appearances to thee, that so her design may be carried on the more  subtily; therefore the Text saith Prov. 5. 6. Lest thou shouldest ponder the paths of life, her ways are moveable, thou can not know them:  Behold here, as in a Glass, the Nature of this whorish Woman, the wisdom of the flesh! how moveable is She in all the puttings forth of her self to man; if thy heart leads thee to all manner of Palpable prophanness, this whore will encourage thee to this course of life; and She will tell thee that there is time enough yet to be sorry for thy misdeeds; and if through the motions of goodness, thou beginnest to Ponder of thy Wickedness, and therefore art resolved to mend thy wicked courses, and to be more Morally Virtuous for the time to come:  this Whore will move with thee hither also; She will lead thee forth to the presence of many a good Moral action, as to extend Alms, to feed the Hungry, to Clothe the Naked, to Visit the Sick, and to leave off thy old vices thou hast formerly lived in; all this She will be well contented with:  She will be willing with Saul, to kill part of the spoil, some open vices and Palpable prophanness;  but Agag and the fattest of the Cattle, the chief lusts of thy heart, She will work yet under; that in the Mystery must be spared:  thus the Whore will conform her self to man; nay {Not only that but also}, if thou art brought by higher light, to see that Godliness doth not consist only in refraining from some open Vices, and embracing their contrary Virtues, but there must be Religion, as well as Morality looked after:  and therefore now thou art resolved to take upon thee some outward Profession of Christianity.

   This whore will change her appearances to thee here also;  She will come forth to meet thee with her Peace Offering and her Vows;  She will move with thee to Fasting, Prayer, and Humiliation, provided that all this while, thou attribute the glory of all to her self;  She will move as high as any outward Ordinance with thee;  and all this is lest {for fear that} thou shouldest ponder the Path of life:

   Lest thou shouldest question this whore in her Wanton gesture and gaudy Attire, She will behave her self more Religiously, and Adorn her self more demurely; that so hereby She may the more cunningly draw thy affections after her: and thus poor seduced Man is Mystically mis-led, by the flatteries of this whoreish Woman:  and in the mean time he thinks he serves God:  & this is a 4th pretence of the Mother of Harlots, to move and change in all her appearances to thee, that so by her conformity to thee in every respect, She may yet keep thy affections entire to her self.

   5.   It is the property of this strange Woman, thy fleshly wisdom, to render Christ to be at a distance from thee, in all her fornications with thee:

   If Man in all his adulteries from the Lord, did but seriously consider & really understand, that his first lover, Christ Jesus, is in him and seeth him in all his strayings from him and how he eats his bread secretly with the wisdom of the flesh; surely he would be ashamed of his folly, and would not dare thus to commit Harlotry in the sight of his spiritual lover, and this the wisdom of the flesh knows right-well:  and therefore labours might and maine {with greatest possible strength or force} to render Christ at a distance from the creature;  that so the soul might not be afraid to commit fornication with her.

  Therefore it is the Language of the whore, Prov.7. 19. The good-man is not at home, he is gone into a far country;  and behold the Language of this Mystical Strumpet, the wisdom of the flesh!  She will perswade thee that thou mayest take a little liberty to sin, that thou mayest exalt Self a little, in religious performances; for God seeth thee not, he is in Heaven, and not in thy heart:  and thus, Man being deluded by the flatteries of this Whore, becomes that Fool who hath said in his heart there is no God; that so he might Magnifiy, Deify, and Worship Self in God's stead:

   Self and flesh will not own the Manifestation of God in the Soul:  when the Lord lets forth the beams of his glory into the heart of man, and doth, as it were, draw up the soul to a higher Centre, by giving it some taste of the Powers of the World to come, it is the work of thy fleshly wisdom to extinguish this divine light in the soul and, as it were, to corrupt the Stomach, and put the Mouth out of taste; that so it might not relish or digest those divine dainties:

   And not withstanding those open appearances of Christ in thee, yet, the wisdom of the flesh will tell thee, that the good man, Christ Jesus, is gone abroad; he is at a distance from thee:  This Whore will be contented that thou shouldest know any thing but Christ Jesus and him Crucified in thee; She is willing that thou shouldest know Christ Naturally, but not spiritually; Christ in the History, but not in the Mystery; Christ for thee, but not Christ in thee:  it is possible for a man to know very much of the flesh of Christ, to be acquainted with the History of Godliness, to live under carnal Ordinances and fleshly dispensations, to talk and dispute upon high Principles, to be higher in the understanding of the Scriptures than others, by the Head and shoulders with Saul;  and yet for all this, he may in all these things commit Adultery with the whore;  all these things may be to him no more than the Sacrifices and Vows of this spiritual Whore, the wisdom of the flesh:  he is not the true Professor, therefore, that can Read, Hear, Fast and Pray, and Worship God in an outward dispensation; but those are the true  Circumcision that Worship God in the Spirit, and rejoyce in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh:

   He is not a Christian indeed, that doth by the power of nature, believe what is Naturally and Historically reported of Christ in the Scripture, but he that by the power of the spirit, believes all this History to be verified in him in the Mystery:  for there is a History, and a Mystery of Christ;  the History is Christ for us, the Mystery is Christ in us, Col. 1.27.

  Now the Power of Nature which is implanted in man, is sufficient for the giving credit to whatsoever Christ is, or hath been for us, but not what Christ is in us;  this must be by a power equal with that which raised up Jesus from the dead, Eph. 1, 20.

   Thy fleshly wisdom will be contented thou shouldest be acquainted with what Christ hath done for Thee, but She will not endure to let Thee see him in Thee:

   First, She is willing to let Thee understand that Christ hath been made flesh for Thee, but not that the word is made flesh in Thee; that is, that this God hath by his own power begotten himself, and brought forth himself in his own likeness in Thee; that thou art this virgin that is over-shadowed with power from on High and hast the immortal seed of God in Thee; which Immortal Seed by its own power, brings forth its own self in thy soul, by the puttings forth of the motions of the spirit in thee: this thy fleshly wisdom will not let Thee behold.  The wisdom of the flesh is that Serpent, Rev. 12. 15. that casts out his flood after the Woman, or a Christian, in whom Christ is, by the power of the Spirit, born and brought forth; this flood in the Mystery is nothing in me but the over-flowing of the wisdom of the flesh, the inundations of sinful Self and creature, that flow into the heart of man; this Spiritual Serpent, hereby endevouring to drown and destroy, both Christ and a Christian at once, as it were, both the Passive Mother, and the Active Babe on a sudden:  such an enemy is the wisdom of the flesh to Christ in us:

   This flood of iniquity, these over-flowings of the wisdom of the flesh in us, is that great River Euphrates, that must be dried up, that way may be made for the King of the East, Christ Jesus, to ruinate great Babel in man's heart:  and thus you see briefly, how the wisdom of the flesh is an enemy to Christ born in us.

   2.   She cannot endure to let us see the dying of this Christ in us; although we are the very Persons that Crucifieth the Lamb afresh, and put him to open shame; yet She will perswade us otherwise:  and thus poor self-seduced man, Crucifies his Saviour every day afresh; and yet is so deluded by him-self, that he seeth it not:

   Consider then O man, that thou art this Spiritual Jerusalem, where Christ is slain; thou art that Judge, that condemnest Christ in the motions of his Spirit; & lettest Barabbas, or thy base lusts, go uncontrolled:  all the faculties of thy soul, and the powers of the inner-man, mis-led by the wisdom of the flesh are, as it were, the voice of the People, Crucify him, Crucify him:  thy sins are those spears that Pierce Christ in spirit, in thee:  and thus O man! thou art the daily Cross of thy Saviour:  and how happy shouldest thou be if thou did'st discern all this; that so thou mightest look upon him whom thou now piercest and mourn for thy iniquity:  but the design of this whore, thy fleshly wisdom, is to darken thy eye from beholding this:  She will rather tell thee, that the good man is not at home; Christ is not in thee in his Sufferings:

   And thus poor man, mis-led by the Whore, becomes that deceitful Pilate that washeth his hands of the blood of this innocent Spirit, whom it hath dispitefully Crucified.

   But Secondly, Christ may be said to die in a Christian another way; which also this whore cannot endure we should see and behold; and that is, when Christ dies in flesh to us, and in us; for some times Christ lives in fleshly appearances of him self in a Christian.  Some Christians, the highest discovery of Christ that they have attained unto, is fleshly forms and fleshly Ordinances; & thus many a Christian enjoys Christ as really and as comfortably, as the Disciples did the Natural flesh of Christ.  Now Christ, he would needs die, depart, go away from his Disciples in the flesh, that so he might come in a higher, and more glorious dispensation to them; even so, oft-times Christ doth likewise die in a Christian to all outward and fleshly dispensations:  and this death the wisdom of the flesh cannot endure that the soul should discern how often doth God go out of all low appearances to a Christian?  Insomuch that a poor Christian many times, can find no Christ in his forms, no comfort in ordinances, no joy in duties and performances; but with Mary, stands weeping at the Sepulchre, or those dead dispensations where Christ is buried; and can see no appearance of Jesus, in them; but all this while it seeks the living amongst the dead:  & thus Christ dies in a Christian to all fleshly appearances, many times:  And truly, look what sorrow fell upon the spirits of the poor disciples, for the departure of their Lord (in the flesh) from them; the like sorrow and grief, falls upon that Christian, from whom Christ is departed in all outward dispensations:

   Christ compares the present estate and condition of the disciples, to a Woman in Travail  Joh. 16. 21, 22.  and ye now therefore have sorrow, saith Christ:   Behold O Christian, the lively Image of our condition! when Christ crucifies his own flesh to us, in all those outward dispensations, wherein formerly we have enjoyed God.

   Happily, heretofore we have seen much of God in our outward formal fellowships one with another, in fleshly Ordinances; as Baptism of water, and breaking of bread; but now happily Christ is crucified in all these things to us; and we find nothing but dead flesh there; nothing that can administer any spiritual comfort in any of these things; we see nothing but form & bare Flesh, bare Water, bare Bread, and Wine; in so much that we now confess, that our highest attainments of the knowledge of Christ, hath been but a knowledge after the flesh; now here lies Christ crucified to all these things, & the soul dead to its wonted {accustomed} discoveries:  

   Now the design of thy Fleshly wisdom, is to darken this death of Christ in Thee; She cannot endure that the Soul should move out of its fleshly discoveries; for She loves the outward order, and fleshly decency of all these things; and therefore she'll tell Thee, that Christ must be found here, or no where; and thus keep the Soul in bondage to her self; in so much, that the poor creature goes again and again to his outward worship, and yet finds no living Christ there; nor is possessed with any more comfort in them, then proceeds from the power of the flesh.   Whereas indeed, the Soul should be willing to wait in this dead condition for the return of the Spirit; to lie empty and bare at the gate of mercy, out of all those formal dispensations, from whence Christ is departed; waiting for the Comforter:  and therefore my counsel is, to all those who see Christ dead to all such carnal and fleshly dispensations in them:  Christian, wait upon the Lord and thou shalt renew thy strength:  Christ must have his time to lie in the grave, hidden from thee in all his appearances to thee; but this know, he will see thee again, in a more Spiritual discovery of him self; it is but a while, and he that shall come, will come, and will not tarry; and will take thee up into himself, above these Types and Figures; he will be thy Water, and Bread and Wine to thee; he will bring thee to the enjoyment of the Substance, and thou shalt no more live upon the Shadow; thou shalt live upon the kernel, and not always be cracking upon the shell; For if we be dead with Christ, we shall also live together with him; but be sure in the meantime, that thou beware of the Whore, lest she, by her appearances to thee in all outward Worships, make Thee believe that Christ is living in all those things wherein he is dead and buried.  And thus in brief, you see that this Strumpet, the wisdom of the flesh, is an enemy to the discovery of Christ in us.  And now me-thinks, by this time we may see who is the great Anti-Christ that John speaks of, in his first Epist. 4{th}.Chap. ver. 3. That every spirit that believes not, or denies Christ come in the flesh, is Anti-Christ:  and what is it now, that denies Christ come in the flesh?  If thou would'st know Christian, what this Anti-christ is, and where She lies; thou needest not go far to discover it; thou needest not go to Rome, Canterbury, or Westminster; but thou mayest find that Anti-christ in Thee, denying Jesus to be come in thy flesh:

   Oh, all ye that would fain {gladly} show your selves professed enemies to this Antichrist, that man of sin; who seeks to destroy Roote and Branch, all those in whom you conceive there are the appearances of him; Return, Return O man! into thy own Bosom; and there behold him lying secretly, in thy own soul; there is the Antichrist, that denies every manifestation of God in thy flesh; this is the Whore that Thou daily committ'st Fornication with all; this is the Babylon, whose Down-fall will be joyous to the Saints; this is the Heretick and the Schismatique; this it is that makes Rents and divisions amongst us:  and therefore we ought, everyone of us, to desire God to subdue the wisdom of the flesh in us; and to wait upon the Lord until he comes to show us the Judgement of the Spiritual Whore, this Antichrist in us:  and not so much desire the down-fall of either Pope, Presbyter, or Independent, or any other State whatsoever; but to desire the ruin of this Mystical Babylon; which is the Mother of all our Harlotry from the Lord:  And so much shall suffice for Answer to the Second question, which is, Namely, how the Whore works, and what Pretences She deludes the soul by?

   We proceed now in order to a third question, Namely,

Thirdly, How the Soul comes to attain to a sight of her ?

In which, we shall first propose the way that God doth usually take to discover this Whore to a Christian. 

2. When the Soul seeth her, How and in what manner it apprehends her?

   First for the way that a Soul comes to attain a sight of her by:  If then, thou would'st know the way how a Christian comes to a spiritual sight of Flesh and Self, know that God must deal with Thee as he did with John, Rev. 17. When God would show John the Judgement of the great Whore, and give him a discovery of the whore, he takes him ver. 3. and carrieth him away in the spirit, into the Wilderness; and then saith John, I saw a Woman, &c.

   First then know, that thou canst never behold Self aright, till God take thee up, or carry thee away in the spirit; the spiritual man, saith the Apostle, seeth all things; discovers all things; and Judgeth all things: so much as the Lord spiritualizeth a Christian, so much he sees into himself, and discerns and beholds this Mystical whore, the wisdom of the flesh, in himself:  and now he judgeth and esteems of her as that whore, that Adultress, with whom he hath (in all his ways and Worships) adulterated from the Lord:

   Therefore the Apostle saith, that the spirit searcheth all things, 1Cor. 2.10.  So long as the soul lieth under the veil of the flesh, so long Self is undiscovered to him; for while the creature lies wrapt up in the Mantle of nature, it is in a spiritual slumber or sleep; and lies as one passive, under the workings of the wisdom of the flesh; rock'd asleep in the cradle of fleshly security:  But now when God speaks by the small and still voice, yet a powerful utterance of the Spirit in a Christian, Come up hither; when God takes a Soul up beyond Self and creature; insomuch that now the creature sees all is but vanity, below Christ:  now I say, the creature comes to some discovery of himself; but never before.

   That man that will view the breadth and length of a City at once, must not always be walking about in the streets; but he must essay {attempt or try} to get up to the top of some mountain that lies above it; and so the City shall be discovered to him, with its breadth and length:  even so it is with the spiritual Babel, which is in thee Oh man! even the wisdom of the flesh:  thou must be taken above it ere {before} thou canst truly and really discover it.

   2  Thou must be carried away in the spirit; carried quite away from all Power, Policy, Strength, Motion and Action of the creature:

   3  The place whither thou must be carried, which is into a Wilderness, that is, into a lost condition, to sin and Self:  never doth the soul attain to a real sight of the flesh, till the Lord by his Spirit doth (as it were) loose the soul from itself:  when the creature comes to be at a loss {alone} in it self in all its fleshly performances; not knowing where to have recourse; but sees that his narrow fleshly heart, is so wide a wilderness, that he is lost in the many turnings and windings thereof:  now the creature comes to behold his Spiritual Adulterys; now he sees into what a lost condition he is fallen; & how the whore all this while, in all his duties, worships, forms and disciplines, hath stolen his heart from the Lord, his first lover and tender Husband:  Paul was carried away by the spirit into this Wilderness, Phil. 3. ver. 7, 8, 9.  he professeth ver. 7. That what things were gain to him, he counted loss for Christ; yea doubtless, saith he ver. 8. and I count all things but loss, for the excellency of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,  do count them but dung:  that I may win Christ:  Paul never knew himself, nor creature excellency aright, till God showed him the excellency of the knowledge of Christ; and when he comes to see the worth of Christ, then he sees himself in a wilderness; and in this wilderness, or lost condition, he spies the vanity of all that was flesh below Christ; so that now when God carries away a soul in the spirit, and loses it, as it were, to itself; and lets loose the beams of his own glory upon it, ravisheth the heart with his own beauty, catcheth him up, as it were, into the third Heavens, and showeth such divine excellency as it never yet apprehended; the soul by the clear aspect of this beatifical {blissful} vision of God, begins now to see the vanity and deformity of it self, and is (as it were) in as great amazement of spirit, as the man doubtless was, who was borne blind from the womb, and yet now comes to see the Sun; or as one that hath been shut up in a dark Dungeon, and now comes to walk in the light:  even thus it is with poor man in the highest glory and excellency of the flesh.  When God sends forth the beams of that Sun of righteousness upon poor Man, how dark he beholds himself to be, as he stands in relation to all fleshly excellency, when God shows him the worth, value and excellency of himself in Christ; what loss, dung, and dross doth a Christian esteem those things to be, though formerly never so glorious and excellent; and therefore Paul now no longer desires to be found in his own excellency, or in himself, but saith he ver.9. That I may be found in him, not having my own righteousness which is by the Law; but that which is by the faith of the Son of God: The sight of Christ's excellency, it doth so fully discover Self and flesh to the Christian, as that now he loathes the scarlet colour, the glorious attire of the Whore, even all its golden performances, her guilded vows and sacrifices.

   O all ye poor souls! who are apt to place your glory in any thing below Christ; and to hang your righteousness upon your Prayers, Fastings, Mournings, or any outward Ordinances;  alas, how far are you mistaken! who when the Lord comes to carry you away in the Spirit, to see all your glory in Christ, your righteousness in him, you will then see the odiousness of every thing below Christ, which thou hast wandered after; thou wilt then desire that God might find thee in this Wilderness, quite out of Self, that there may not be any hoof of the Beast in thee; but that thou may'st wholly be incorporated into Christ, in whom thou now seest thy glory to consist:  And thus you see, what the way is, that God useth to discover Self, or this Whore, the wisdom of the flesh, to the soul.

   Secondly, Let us consider how and in what manner the Soul beholds this Whore.

   A poor creature whom the Lord hath carried away, or taken up into the Spirit, that now lives & walks in the Spirit, he sees and beholds himself, not as he was wont {accustomed} to do formerly; happily thou wast wont to see a glory and excellency in things that were below God; but now, on the contrary, how loathsome is every thing that comes short of the divine excellency of Christ:  happily, heretofore, thou hast seen some worth in thy prayers, and in thy tears, some esteemableness in thy duties and performances, some glory in thine own righteousness; but now thou seest all these things, which before were counted gain, to be but loss unto thee; thou beholdest all thy own righteousness to be but as a Mentrous cloth, and as a filthy rag:  happily, heretofore, thou boastest of thy pedigree with Paul, of the Tribe of Benjamin, and of the stock of Israel; that thou art descended from such a reformed Church, from such visible dispensations, so that as touching all legal worships, outward forms and Ordinances, thou may'st be nominated a Pharisee; but now thou seest the lowness of these fleshly things, wherein thou hast formerly boasted;  now thou rejoycest that thou hast attained to the knowledge of that Christ which is the end or substance of all these fleshly things unto thee; so that now thou hast no confidence in the flesh any longer; but art become one of the true circumcision that worships God in the Spirit and rejoyceth in Christ Jesus:  in a word, this spiritualized Christian seeth all below Christ to be but the garment of this spiritual Strumpet, that she useth to appear in to deceive him;  he now sees the Whore and her various pretences, and how she hath formerly deceived him in her several dresses; he sees her not only in her gaudy attire, but in the height of her modesty, even in her religious garment; so that now he seeth how the wisdom of the flesh makes use of all outward Worship, Forms and Ordinances, to deceive the heart of the simple.

   Finally this Spiritual Man, hath the same discovery of his whorish wisdom, as John had, Rev. 17 from the 3, to the 7 ver.

   1John he saw the Woman sitting upon a scarlet coloured Beast; truly when God carries thee away in the Spirit, thou wilt behold thy Self to be the Beast, that this Mystical whore, the wisdom of the flesh, doth thus vassallize man {hold in subjection, enslave} in his fallen condition from God; as it were, as Satan's Pack-horse to act all his designs of wickedness.

   This Beast had seven heads and ten horns; these seven heads and ten horns, are seven Mountains and ten Kings the Scripture saith; which in me, are nothing but those powers of man which God hath indued him withall; {such} as Reason, Will, Affection, Understanding and the like; and all these ver. 13. do with one consent give and ascribe their power to the Beast, or poor beastialized man; and this Beast man, employs all these with their powers to make war against the Lamb, Christ Jesus, ver, 14. & so here is a discovery of poor mis-led Man, fighting the battel of the Whore, his fleshly wisdom:  all this doth the Christian apprehend in himself, when the Lord carries him away in the Spirit of his glory.

   2John saw the Woman, vers. 4. arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, decked with Gold Pearles and precious Stones:  Truly Christian, when the Lord takes away this false glassie eye of the flesh from thee, and endues thee with Spiritual eye-sight from himself, thou shalt see this whore, thy fleshly wisdom in all this her glory and excellency in Thee; for all these Golden Pearles and precious Stones, & Scarlet colours, are but the trimmings of the whore, that She usually puts on and cloathes her self with all, when She comes out to meet the Sons of men; that so hereby, She might, with the more facility, dazzle the eyes, infatuate and bewitch the senses of her Spiritual lovers:  but now when God takes up a Soul into Spirit, then flesh is, as it were, unclothed to the creature; and now the Soul looks not at her glorious shows, which formerly hath bewitched his heart; but he sees and knows that under that Golden habit, there walks this subtil Harlot; under this Speckled Skin, there is a Venomous Viperous Serpentine Carkcas {carcass}:  the man whom God hath Spiritualized, when the wisdom of the flesh appears in him in her glory, clad with excellency, and adorned with all her beautiful Robes; yet all this while he sees her Naked and bare:  the spirit teacheth him to look inwardly, and not altogether outwardly:  and this is such a Mystery that the poor carnal heart cannot discern, because he looks fleshly and carnally; and hath not yet received this Spiritual eye-sight from above.

   3.  But then, John saw the Woman having a golden Cup in her hand, full of abominations and filthyness of her Fornications:

   Now that Soul which God wraps up in that spirit of glory, he beholds this whore in him;  and sees how She hath deluded him by her golden Cup, to taste of the wine of her Fornications; for this Golden Cup in the whore's hand, is (in the Mystery of it) the Guilded pretences,and Golden appearances of the wisdom of the flesh; in which pretences there is contained the wickedness of her abomination, and filthyness of her fornication.

   A man catched up, and carried by the spirit, to walk in the light of Christ and to live in the purity of God, sees him-self (as it were) now awakened out of the drunken sleep of the Whore; newly Risen out of the defiled Bed of the flesh; from the spiritual Vomits, Swinish abominations, and Beastly uncleanness that he before wallowed in.

  4.  Again John saw, ver. 5. what was written upon the Woman's Fore-head:

   Truly, until such time as the Lord takes a soul up into spirit, though the wisdom of the flesh appear openly to him, though She shows her very Fore-head, yet he cannot discern her in her appearances; but now, when God hath caught the Soul into spirit, and carried him away in the spirit, then he sees the whore in her apparitions; he beholds Mystery in the Fore-head or palpable workings of the whore, Mystery in all her specious pretences:  and not-withstanding all her shows of glory, yet he sees, She is indeed & in truth Babylon the great: the great confused Whore, which breeds all that confusion of spirit in a Christian, all that commotion, disturbance, and out-cries that are in the heart of man; all those heavy, sad and disconsolate thoughts that man is possessed with all; all that disorder that many a time is in the soul; every hard thought of God; every dispairing Imagination; all the gnawing of conscience in the Creature:  so that (I say) he now sees her to be that great Babel, or confused Whore, who is the Mother of Harlots, and Abominations of the Earth.

   5.  But then lastly, John saw the Woman drunk with the blood of the Saints, and Martyrs of Jesus:

   Truly, this is the very Physiognomy & Portraiture of the whore, to a Christian that is carried away in the Spirit, he now comes to behold her a drunken blood-thirsty Whore; he now seeth how the whore hath martyred the bringings forth of Christ, slain and crucified that Man Jesus afresh:  he sees how the Whore is drunk with the blood of the Lamb in him:  In a word, the Saint, truly spiritualized, beholds Self and flesh to be the most hateful, detestable, loathsome thing in the world to him:  look how loathsome and injurious a man's vomit is to his stomach, even so loathsome is Self to that Christian from whose stomach God hath fetched up all the corrupt flesh, by bringing the soul to be love-sick of Christ, with the operative Pills of his blessed Spirit:  O how hateful now is the golden Cup & sweet Wine of the whore, to a spiritualized man; in so much that he now loathes and abhors himself in dust and ashes; nay {Not only that but also}, indeed he begins now to wonder at himself, in his own shame and folly; as the Text saith, ver.6. that when John saw the Whore he wondered with great admiration; truly, the same is the condition of every Christian, who by the carryings away of the spirit, comes to a spiritual sight of this whore, the wisdom of the flesh; he now wonders that he should be drawn to commit folly by so filthy a Harlot:  he now wonders that such a bulk of filthyness, such a Mountain of wickedness, and spring of bitterness, should be in him, and he never, till now, able to discern it:  he now wonders that ever the lenity {leniency} and Mercy of God, should so long bear with him in all his Adulteries with this swinish whore:  he now wonders that God at last hath brought him to such a sight and discovery; he admires to see where he is, and where he was:  that God hath brought him from flesh, to live in spirit; from darkness, into his marvellous light;  from the ways of sorrow, to that high way, the Lord Jesus.

   And thus you see, briefly, how, and in what manner, the Soul beholds this Mystical Whore, the wisdom of the flesh:  And so much shall suffice for the third question, Namely, how the creature comes to attain to a sight of her?

  We proceed now, in order to the fourth question, which is, Namely,

Fourthly, When, and how She shall be destroyed ?

   Now in brief, to Answer to this, and so draw to a conclusion of the matter; I thus reply,

   Ans.  If then O man! thou desirest to know how, and when this spiritual Whore shall be destroyed:  It shall be done in the day, and by the coming and appearance of Jesus in Thee; this day is the last day; and this coming, is the second coming of Jesus:

   Now as concerning this last day, know this O man! that it is nothing for thee to read the History of the last day in Scripture, and there to see what shall be done in that day that God will glorifie himself in the Saints, and be admired in all them that believe; that then God will throughly {thoroughly} purge his floor; and the Saints shall be like him, for they shall see him as he is:  Now I say, it is nothing to know this in the History, except {unless} we know it, in the Mystery of it:

   Thou art therefore to expect, Jesus to come to do Judgment in Thee; and the end of the world to be in Thee:  thou art to wait for the return of this Jesus in spirit; which shall come to thee as he did to John, and show Thee the Judgment of the great Whore in Thee; for there is nothing that shall happen or fall out to {come down upon} thee, in relation to the day of Judgment, which shall not be verified in thee, in this life:  though it may be, not in the same manifestative measure or fullness, as it shall be hereafter.

   As first, One sign of this last day is, that there shall be wars, and rumors of wars, Nation shall rise against Nation, & Kingdom against Kingdom:   now here Christian thou mayest behold the last day to be at hand, here is Gog and Magog at battle with the Lamb; what is it that makes all that envy, variance, strife, sedition, emulation in the world, but the second, or spiritual appearance of Jesus in his People;  the coming of Christ in his Saints, is not to bring peace, but a sword amongst us; I confidently say, that this last day, this spiritual appearance of Christ in men and women, is the very original of all these commotions that are amongst us;  insomuch that now here is, the Father hating the appearance of Christ in the Son; and the Son likewise in the Father; the Mother in the Daughter, & the Daughter in the Mother; one Brother sheathing the sword in the bowels of another, because the last Day dawns, and the Star of glory is risen more in one than in another; here is Cain killing Abel, because his sacrifice is accepted of the Lord, and the other is not:  I tell thee Christian, the more the whore will bestir her self; she will not only raise outward but inward war against thee:  which inward insurrection and rebellion, is a symptom, that the day of Judgement is at hand in thee.  John tells us Revel. 17. 14. that the kings of the earth, shall make war against the Lamb; which Kings in the mystery, are but the Kingly governing powers of thy Soul, which are assembled together in thee to this Spiritual battle of Gog and Magog, to gage {challenge to} war against the innocent Lamb, Christ Jesus, in Spirit:  but the Lamb shall over come them, for he is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; all the power and policy of the flesh, shall at last yield their power to Christ, and shall consent to the just Judgement of the whore, thy fleshly wisdom; but till this strong man, the flesh, be cast out by that stronger than he, Christ Jesus, there will be nothing but war and confusion in thee; so that indeed now the Serpent is come down with great rage in thee, knowing that he hath but a short time; the more nigh the coming of Christ is, the more this Serpent spits out his venom; this Anti-christ, this whore will the more earnestly bestir her self, knowing that it is but a short time to her judgement.  St. John tells us Rev. 12. 5. That when the woman had brought forth her man child which was to rule all Nations with a rod of Iron, the woman upon the birth of this man child fled into the wilderness, and when the woman was in the wilderness, then saith John, I saw war in Heaven, Michael and his angels fought against the Dragon, and the Dragon fought & his angels (and what's all this to me?) truly Christian, me thinks this war in Heaven is a sure symptom of the day of Judgement, the end of this world in us, when God hath by his own power brought forth this man, Jesus, in us and hath given him power to rule and reign in this woman, or weak passive Christian:  the Soul presently upon the birth or bringing forth of Jesus in it, is immediately in a wilderness, or lost in it self, and lies as one amazed at this sudden work of the Lord; and in this bewildered condition of the creature, Satan, he wages war upon it, shoots his fiery darts at it, pursues the woman with Herod, and seeks to devour both Christ with the Christian also:  now therefore Christian, know that thy Soul is this Heaven, where this great battle is fought; thou being in a lost bewildered estate, as not knowing which way to escape the woundings of Satan and the fiery darts of the wicked, but standest as a senseless, lifeless mark for thy spiritual enemies to shoot at:  but Michael, thy spiritual Prince, Christ Jesus, he fights for thee against that Dragon, that whore, that anti-christ, that labours to devour thee; so that thou art that poor passive that lies stone still whilest the Serpent stings thee and the Dragon exercises his cruelty upon thee, till at last this Michael, our Prince, Christ Jesus, hath by his own power and strength, cast out and so routed this Dragon, this old Serpent, vers. 9. that now his place is no more found in Heaven or in thy soul; and thus mayest thou see Christ Judging the Whore, this Serpent in thee, insomuch, that now this loud voice is uttered from Heaven, or the Soul of a Saint, as in  vers. 10.  Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ:  whereas before, nothing but the dreadful voice of hell, wrath, anger, fury and judgement; nothing but wars and rumours of wars heard in thy soul:  yet now the day is come, Christ is come to Judgement in us, and hath condemned the whore in us; now the voice of salvation is heard in thee, whereas before thou apprehendest God, as David did, sometimes to have shot the arrows of his wrath at thee, and to have battered thy soul in pieces, by the thundering Cannon of his wrath; yet now thou seest there is a cessation of these tumults in thee, and thou now seest that sweet messenger of God, the eternal Spirit, drawing near towards thee with its white Flag of peace, joy, comfort, and salvation bringing comfort unto thee, by telling thee thy warfare is accomplished, thy iniquity is pardoned, and thou hast received double at the Lord's hands for all thy sins, (and then further) now strength is come also, which is another part of the voice from Heaven, alas how feeble and how weak, faint, and unable was the soul before the spiritual resurrection of it?  For the birth of this Child Jesus in it, is the regeneration, or new birth of a Christian:  the wilderness the woman fled into, is that mortified, dead lost estate of a Christian, the Grave where the Soul is buried to every living action; and the overcoming or conquering of the Dragon, or the spiritual serpent, the wisdom of the flesh, is the resurrection of a Saint, or that spiritual day of Judgement of the whore in us:  Now as Jesus raised up himself by the power of the Father from out of the bowels of the earth, so by the strength and power of this Jesus, who is the resurrection and the life, a Christian rises out of this dead condition; and so her mortal putting on immortality, and corruption putting on incorruption; here is death swallowed up in victory.  The Christian now, as he hath formerly been planted with Christ in the likeness of his death, so likewise now in the likeness of his resurrection:  it bears now no longer the image of the first dead Adam, but is risen in the likeness of Christ, out of earth and flesh, which  formerly he was involved and buried in, and by his rising again, overcomes the Dragon by the blood of the Lamb, kills the great Goliath, the wisdom of the flesh, and this is all by the strength of that Strong man, Christ Jesus, who is entered into his temple, or the heart of man, and silences all these earthly rumours and commotions in him; and so is the second part of the voice from Heaven fulfilled, Now is come not only salvation but strength.

   And then Thirdly, The Kingdom of God that's come also, and the power of his Christ.  Our Saviour taught his Disciples whil'st he was in the flesh, and knew him only after the flesh, I say, he taught them to pray, thy Kingdom come; so that the Kingdom of Christ, in that sense, was not yet come to the Disciples; even so it is with every poor Christian that hath attained to no more knowledge, than the flesh of Christ can teach them; that do not know Christ any other ways, than by the beholding of his fleshly substance; as Christians do in all outward and fleshly ordinances; that see no more, nor know no more of Christ, than Bread, Water, and Wine, and outward forms and order can teach them; the Kingdom of God is not come to them yet:  while the Woman was in the Wilderness, the Kingdom of God was not come in her; but when She, by the strength of God was Risen, and had overcome by the blood of the Lamb; then She cryed, now the Kingdom of God is comethe Woman was fed in the wilderness, ver. 6.; in our low and lost estate, God feeds us with milk, because the Kingdom of God, Christ in the measure of the Spirit, is not yet come to enable us to bear stronger meats; in the wilderness, or weak condition of the Saints, God feeds them with manna; but when he brings them into Canaan he then compasseth them about with the flowings of Milk and Honey:  this Canaan is Christ, the true Rest of a Christian, the Kingdom of the Father in the Saints, who draws up the Soul from these low dispensations, by degrees, as it were, till he hath seated it in himself; brings the Soul out of the fleshly knowledge of himself, into spiritual discoveries of his Excellency:  so that now the Soul prays no more in the imbecility of the flesh, thy Kingdom come: seeks no longer in fleshly Forms and Ordinances for the kingdom; for it is already in them, and they live in the enjoyment of it:  Now is come Salvation, and strength and the Kingdom of God, and the power of his  Christ.  The Dragon and his Angels, they fought to establish their Kingdom in the Soul; but the Lamb hath overcome them, and set up his Kingdom in the Christian;  And the Kings of the earth, as namely, the powers of the creature bring all their glory and Honour unto it:  thus you see that the whore shall be destroyed in the last day, at the Second coming of Christ in us; and likewise, I have discovered unto you one Sign of the last day, or the day of Spiritual Judgement; which is, those Combats, Wars and Commotions that are in a Christian:  I will but instance two particulars more, and so shall draw to a conclusion.

   Therefore, Secondly, a second sign or symptom of the last day, is the Desolution of the World; how that the Earth, and all that is therein shall be burnt up; the Sun turned into darkness, the Moon into blood, the Stars shall fall from Heaven: and thus God will shake the Heavens and the Earth; and men's hearts shall fail them for fear; expecting the end of such sorrowful beginnings:  Even thus it is with, and in a Christian, at the approaching of the spirit of Christ in him; the World begins to be dissolved:   the World is said Ecc. 3.11. to be placed in mans heart; which World in mans heart, shall be dissolved by the Fire of the Spirit of Christ:  the Heavens and the Earth are Mystically in man; and the Waters, with their Ebbings and Flowings, are to be seen in the Mystery, in man; here is God dividing the Light from the Darkness, to be seen in man;  the waters below, from the waters above the Firmament: all this is fulfilled Mysteriously in man; in whom God separates himself, who is pure and light, from the darkness and nothingness of the creature:  The Fowls of the Air, and Fishes of the Sea, are Mystically in man; as namely, those flying Phantasies {Fantasies}, and swimming Notions of the creature; in a word, here is every thing bringing forth Fruit after its Kind in man;  And all God's creation, good in its own-kind in this first World, which is in man's heart.

   But now this first World, this first Creation must be dissolved; whatever excellency God hath endued man with all, in this first creation; whatever maturity of Wit and ingenuity, the Lord hath lent man; how high so ever, and how large so ever, the Lord hath Naturalized the creature; yet all this excellency shall vanish away; all this worldly glory, as I so call it, shall be consumed and burnt up: but alas! how hardly is this believed! how impossible is this to carnal man, that all this goodly creation and work of God in his nature, should be annihilated; that Reason, Natural understanding and wisdom; nay {Not only that but also}, Nature it self should be consumed:  but this is the Lord's act, his strange act, his work, and wonderous work, in a Christian:

   Now therefore, consider Christian, that this is but the old World, or first, or lowest manifestation of God in thee; which old world must pass away and be no more:  John tells us that he saw a new Heaven and a new Earth, Rev. 21.1. for the first Heaven and the first Earth was passed away, and there was no more Sea; what's all this?  Truly Christian, in me its thus much, when this day dawns, and this day Star, Christ Jesus ariseth in our hearts; when the morning Sun, even Jesus breaks forth upon us in his Glory, Warmth and Splendor; then begins this world within us to be dissolved; the Heavens and the Earth in us, begins to melt with the fervent heat of this Sun, and fall away to nothing:  and the Lord, instead of these, frames a new Heaven and a new Earth:  So that, all that was Nature and pure Reason, and Ingenuity, is quite dissolved; and a new work wrought in the Soul; that takes up the heart above its former excellency and glory; although that were good in its kind, yet God will please, by the more glorious discoveries of himself, to drown all this former Creation; and to beget all things new in the Creature:  and then not only the Heaven and Earth passed away, but also there was no more Sea.

   This Sea, or these Waters in man, are those great overflowings, and inundations of Nature; the swellings and roarings of proud Self and creature; this deep shall be dried up by the heat of the Sun of Righteousness:  These Waters are the very Throne of the Whore, or the very Seat of the wisdom of the flesh; now when this Sea shall be dried up, then there shall be silence; there shall be a place no longer for this Spiritual Whore found in Heaven, nor yet in the Soul of the Saint.

   Oh, what cause of Joy is here for all the Saints, yea, what eager pantings after the power and Kingdom of Christ, should this beget and operate in us, to consider, that in the day of Christ, the whore shall be destroyed in us, the Sea shall be dried up, and the Heavens and the Earth shall pass away.

   If any man yet shall ask when this last day shall come, and the end of the world shall be accomplished? I answer then with Christ, That this generation shall not pass away, till all these things be fulfilled:  all these things thou must expect to be fulfilled in thee, even in this life, O thou Christian, although, happily, not in the fulness and glory as shall be hereafter.

   Tell me therefore, O thou experienced Saint! whose conscience can testify all these things to be true:  how hath the appearance of Christ in thee, many a time, confounded, as it were, all thy natural vigour and power?  how hath it spoiled Principalities and powers, the might and dominion of all natural excellency?  how hast thou seen thy Self out of thy self, as it were, beyond and above that earth thou has been in formerly; wrapped up with Paul, in the third Heavens, as it were, beholding that Glory that all thy old created light could never discern; living for a time in that peace of God which passeth all understanding!  Nay {Not only that but also}, shall I yet further tell you, at the second coming of Christ in us, our Sun shall be turned into darkness, and our Moon into blood, our Stars shall fall from their Centre;  All that light of reason and nature, all those fleshly meteors, as also fixed Stars, which have appeared at their several seasons in man, which did discover something of God to him; in a word, all the inferiour, with the superiour discernings of God, that the creature hath had formerly, shall be extinguished, and shall appear to him to be but darkness and obscurity.  The Sun or the superlative light, shall be turned into darkness, and the Moon, or the light which guides the more obscure part of man, shall be turned into blood, and confusion; and God will now create a new world in us; old things shall pass away, and all things shall become new in us:  when the Apostle had been treating of the dissolution of the world, in the 2Pet. 3rd chap., he comes to mind {remind} the Saints of the mystery of that history, vers.13. Nevertheless (saith he) we, according to his promise, look for new Heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, although this old foundation and Fabrick shall be dissolved, and Christ, that day of the Lord, shall come even as a thief in the night, and deprive us of all the excellency of our present station, waste, destroy, and burn up all our Gold, Silver, and precious stones, consume all the Glory of our present being, yet says he, here is one comfort, we look for a new Heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness:   God never confounds the old, but he brings a new; the manner of God's new creation is, to new modelize the heart, to new mold the creature, to create a new Christian, as it were, to spiritualize the Christian; in a word, it is to swallow up the soul in himself, to drown, confound and bring to an end all creature glory, in his own incomprehensive excellency.

   So that the Saints are said to be that new Jerusalem that came down from God, deck'd and adorn'd with the Glory of God only, as a Bride adorned for her husband:

   They are called new, because Christ in them hath created a new world; this new Jerusalem had no temple in it of itself, but the Lord God and the Lamb were the temple of it; truly that soul in whom the Lord God hath made this desolation of creature excellency, and hath created all things a new; this new Jerusalem or new Christian, hath no temple but Christ. In typical Jerusalem there was a temple, but Christ prophesied, that there should not be one stone left upon another, that should not be thrown down, Matth. 24.2.   Even so when God creates all things new in a Christian, he will demolish all that was in his stead before he comes to establish his new creation; and he will make himself the temple of a Christian:  what ever the soul sees in outward things, as Forms, Ordinances, Worships and the like, yet Christ will destroy and throw down, and bring to nought these things, and make himself all this and much more to the Christian.  And thus you may see the day of Judgement in a Christian: here you may see Christ sending his Spirit into the worldly heart of man, convincing it of Judgement, because the prince of this world is judged in him.

   I proceed now, to the third discovery of the last day, which is, namely, The destruction of Antichrist, or the downfall of the whore; which doth yet further manifest to us, that this last day is in us; the coming of this day of Jesus, and the appearance of this Star in us, is the last day of the whore in us:   no sooner doth Christ appear, but down falls the Kingdom of the serpent, our fleshly wisdom; and therefore if thou would'st know how this Antichrist shall be destroyed, the Apostle tells us, 2Thes. 2, 8. That the Lord shall consume him with the breath of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming.   This bright coming of Christ in us, shall dispel that darkness & discover that fog that with-holdeth or hinders the revelation of the whore; Christ will then put aside this veil which is before this varlet's {liar's} face, namely, all her specious {deceptively attractive} pretences, and shows of glory.  Christ is that mountain spoken of in the 25th Isa. In whom God shall destroy the veil of the covering that is cast over all people:   but this must be fulfilled, when this mountain, Christ Jesus, shall be established upon the top of the mountains in our souls; or when Christ by his own power hath seated himself in us, above every high thought, and vain imagination:  when the child, Jesus, is given to us, and hath gotten the government upon his shoulders, this is the time of the whore's demolition in us.  I say it is the work of Christ by his coming in a Saint, to discover the Whore to him, to take away that veil of flesh, and those mists of obsurity, which this harlot hath interposed between her self and the soul.  When the day dawns, the darkness vanisheth away; even so, when this day, Christ Jesus, dawns in thy heart, when day breaks, as I may so say, in thy soul then begins the darkness in thy heart to flee away; and now thou comest to be one of the Children of the day.  In a word, now thou canst see, discern, and distinguish; and before, thou couldest not.  Alas sirs! a poor soul that walks in darkness, and sees by no other light but by the blaze of Self, and by the sparks of his own fire, he may be compared to a man that sees by candle light, who cannot discern one colour from another.  Even so it is with all natural men; they are not able to see what is good from evil, or what is light from darkness:  O the palpable blindness of all poor creatures, in whom, this day, Christ does not appear! this is to have eyes and see not, ears and hear not.

   This sad obscurity of a man that walks not in the light, may fitly be compared to that darkness which might be felt; the soul feels many times what his blindness is, how it deprives him of the beatifical {blessed} vision of God, brings him to wander from the way; Christ Jesus causes him many times to stumble at the stumbling stone; and all this is because the day is not dawned as yet:  but now, when the Sun of righteousness arises in the Soul, why then, here comes light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and now this light guides the soul into the way of peace.  It is said of new Jerusalem, Rev. 21. That it needed not the light of the Sun, or of the Moon, for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb was the light thereof; all which, in me, is thus much; when God comes to create a new Heaven and a new Earth in a Christian, when he comes by the power of that regenerating spirit, to make his Jerusalem a new Jerusalem, in this new estate, he will give her new light to walk by, so that now the Saints shall have no need of the old Sun, or the old Moon; no need of the old light of reason and nature, but here is new light brought forth now in the soul; the new light is Christ, or the Lamb, who by the radiant beams of his splendor, fills the soul with the glory of the Father, and destroys, or extinguishes all other inferiour lights in the soul.  We live in a generation, wherein both Press and Pulpit doth cry down new lights; and truly I cannot much blame them that so do, because as yet, they walk in the light of the old Sun and Moon, and are to be comprehended, under the notion of old Jerusalem.  But tell me now? when the Spirit of Glory hath darkened this Sun, and turned this Moon into blood; quite confounded & brought to nothing the highest sphere of this natural excellency in them; when this old Jerusalem comes to be made new, then you shall hear a new voice, crying up the new light of God manifested in them. O Christian, I tell thee thou art a thrice happy man, whom the Lord hath made the Lamb a light unto thee; this Lamb light is an innocent light, a righteous light, a pure light, a discovering light; it is this light that discovers the hidden and obscure whore, unto thee; it is the light of Christ that uncovers, and strips the whore stark naked before thee, of all her glory and excellency; so that now thou beholdest her out of her purple and scarlet colour, even in her very nakedness and shame:  And thus you see how Christ in his day, in a Christian, does first of all discover the whore to him.

   But Secondly, in this last day or Sun rising of Christ in a Christian, it is the work of Christ to destroy, as well as to discover this whore in us, as it is the property of light to destroy darkness; so it is the property of Christ to destroy antichrist in the day of his appearance:  it will be the work of Christ by his coming in thee, to root out the spirit of antichrist, head and tail, root and branch; insomuch that there shall not be left one hoof of the beast in thee:  when John saw the Angel come down from heaven endued with great power, Rev. 18. 1. Who enlightened the earth with his glory, immediately he heard this voice, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird; all which teacheth me thus much, that when that Angel of the everlasting covenant, Christ Jesus, is by the Father sent down into the hearts of his Saints, who comes by the power of his Spirit, and enlightens the earth or earthly man with his glory:  when the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord; when the glory of this Sun comes to enlighten and beautify our earthly hearts; then is the time of Babylon's downfall; now is the season of the whore's destruction; now is the Saint's time of Halelujah; now rejoice over her thou Heaven, and all the holy Apostles and Prophets, for God hath avenged you on her: ver.20. The Prophet Malachi tells us, chap. 4. That the day comes that shall burn as an Oven; this day is Christ Jesus, who indeed shall so baptize us with the holy Ghost, and Fire, as that he shall consume and burn up, waste, and destroy all the appearances of the Whore, the wisdom of the flesh, and therefore the same prophet tells us, Chap. 3. 3. That he shall sit as a Refiner's fire, and as Fuller's Soap, and he shall purifie the Sons of Levi, that they may offer to the Lord, an offering in righteousness; this day must burn in us; this Jesus must be a refiner's fire to us, before we shall see the downfall of mystical Babylon: the work that Christ hath to do in us, is to destroy mortality, and to clothe us with immortality, to destroy this corruption, and to clothe us with the incorruptible righteousness of himself.

   After the downfall of the whore, Rev. 19. John tells us, vers.8. That there was granted to the Lamb's wife, that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clear and white, &c.   In which I observe, first, the love of Christ to the Soul; Christ did first of all by his blood and passion, purchase the Soul to himself, to the end that she should be a constant Spouse unto him, but she hath adulterized from her husband, committed harlotry from her first lover, and hath taken part with antichrist against him: upon which adultery, the jealousy of the Lord arises in himself, and as jealousy is said to be the rage of a man, so the Lord (as I may say) in the rage of this jealousy, comes, and destroys this antichrist, kills sin in the Christian, sheaths the sword of the spirit in the bowels of this spiritual antichrist, breaks the head of this serpent in us:  but yet notwithstanding, entertains this adulterized creature into his love and favor, does yet once more espouse her to himself by the fresh act and manifestation of love and favor:  you may see an emblem of this love in Hos. 3.1. where God commands the Prophet to go with a message of love, to the woman that had played the harlot with him; Go, yet love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adultress:  though she an adultress, yet I am her friend; though she an harlot, yet I send love greetings towards her:  though she hath been unconstant towards me, yet I will own her to be my wife, my Spouse, my beloved; and therefore the text says, that it was granted to the Lamb's wife, that she should be arrayed in linen, clean & white:  which likewise dictates to me,

   2.  In the Second place, the purity that this day of burning, Christ Jesus in Spirit, works in the heart of his People; he doth not only take from it the garment spotted with the flesh, but likewise, Clothes it with the shining Robe of righteousness; he doth not only empty a soul of its own corruption, but likewise fills it with his glory, beautifies it with his own adornings:  O Fair, beautiful, amiable creature! whose beauty and excellency consists in Christ, that divine centre of brightness and glory:  this will send a Saint to the depth of admiration; behold! what manner of love hath the Father bestowed upon us, that we should be called the Sons of God? that God should thus by the power of the Spirit, consume all this dross and corruption in us; and bring us by that divine light to see our union with the Father, in the Son, and to see the glory of our Adoption in Jesus; and to behold our selves in the flesh of our elder Brother, at the Right-hand of the Father? this is mercy past discerning, and worth admiration!

   Thus will God in the power of his Spirit, Judge this spiritual Whore in us; and ease us of the vassalage, and servitude we were in to our own Selves:  thus shall the brats of this spiritual Babylon, the wisdom of the flesh, be destroyed by that happy man, Christ Jesus.

   God saith, Isa. 13. 12. concerning this destruction of Babylon, That he will make a man more precious than fine Gold, or the Golden wedge of Ophir; this man is Christ, who in the day of his power, and in the confounding of this spiritual Babel in us, shall be made unto us, more precious than the highest creature excellency:  never till now, will the Saints come to value and to prize Christ, till they see what he doth in them.

   Now, how beautiful upon the mountains, are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things; that publisheth Salvation; that saith unto Zion, thy God reigneth? Thy Messenger upon the Mountains is Christ Jesus: who comes Leaping over the mountains, and skipping over the hills of difficulty that lies in the way, and appears in glory to his Spouse or beloved Christian, and declares the message of glad tidings to him; Namely, That his warfare is accomplished, that his iniquity is pardoned; the battel between Gog and Magog and the Lamb is finished; and the Lamb or innocent Spirit, hath overcome all by his power and strength; and now likewise he declares to Zion or the soul of a Saint, that his God reigneth; now is come the Kingdom of our God, & the power of his Christ; therefore Halelujah; for Babylon is fallen, the Whore is destroyed; God hath now put into the hearts of the Kings of the Earth (or powers of earthly man) to hate the whore, and reward her as she hath rewarded them; and therefore again, Halelujah, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth, and the Kingdoms of the whore are become the Kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ.

   All that remains behind, therefore, is but one word of application, which shall be but only my exhortation to all poor souls that are groaning under this burdensome task and Egyptian bondage of the Whore:  doubtless there are many to whom these my poor endeavours may offer themselves, whose portion it is to groan under this spiritual vassalage {servitude}, to labour under this body of death.

   Oh Christian! whatever thy condition be, cast not away thy confidence; but wait upon the Lord, and he shalt renew thy strength; expect the return, or Second coming of Christ in thee; pray daily that Christ's Kingdom may come in thee; that the Lord would establish his own Throne in thy heart; expect the coming of the Messenger of the Covenant into his Temple, or thy heart; even the Lord Christ whom thou seekest:

   Oh! Labour to see that Christ is approaching near thee, though the clouds of sin and wickedness in thee hinder the sight of him; know also, that this spiritual Son, Christ Jesus, will break away the clouds; will dispel the mists of iniquity in thee; and will break out upon thee, in his full warmth and splendor; and will bring thee to walk in the light of his glory.

   It was said of Abraham, that he saw the day of Christ, and was glad; how gladly then should the Saints expect, and spiritually see this day to be at hand in them;  In which they shall be freed from that burthen {burden} which they now undergo. Shall I tell thee yet farther, for thy comfort O Christian! this Jesus that comes, will come, and will not tarry:  The Lord sees thee in thy poor weak condition; he takes notice of those many foils that thy wicked heart gives thee; he hears thy sighings, cries, and groans; he yearns after thee, he makes haste to come unto thee so quickly, as may conduce to the advancement of his glory, and thy Soul's further peace and comfort.

   Thus in brief, I have discovered to you, in some measure, the Mystery of iniquity which works in all of us; the great Whore; the spiritual Babylon, with her Rise, and her Down-fall.

   In which poor Treatise, I desire that those to whom it shall come, would thus understand me; that I do not in any wise seek hereby to set up my own opinion, as Antichrist, above others; but do only declare what I conceive from good Reason, to be the manifestative mind of God unto me:  And in all my Mystical applying of any Scriptures; I would not be thought hereby to endeavour the overturn of the History; but only so much of the History, as I see verified in me, in the Mystery:  I have presumed in my present light, to declare to all men what is of God:  in my weak endeavours, I desire him to make known, by the declarative power of his spirit, what is of Self:  I desire to have a heart to disclaim it, when the Lord shall manifest it unto me; and so I commit my labour to him, from whence only, I expect a reward:  desiring nothing from any man, but a favourable construction {interpretation} of that which I have declared to all men, in the bowels of love and affection.

   For my own part, I am one that waiteth for the Kingdom and power of Christ, to be manifested in me:  I desire to see farther the glorious dawnings of Jesus, and risings of his glory in me; and looking for, and hasting to the coming of the day of Jesus; in which, all old things shall pass away, and all things shall become new and that which I conceive in this condition is the best course for my self to take; I shall likewise fasten the same advice upon all others.

Who is amongst you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth
the voice of his Servant, that walketh in darkness,
and seeth no light, let him trust in the
name of the Lord, and stay
himself upon his God.

Decemb. 12. 1647.

 

Jos. Salmon.


 

Thus ends...
 
ANTICHRIST IN MAN
by Joseph Salmon, 1647
   

Blessings to the Dear Ones who brought
this writing to our attention.

 

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