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out of the gifts and ministries of the Spirit. There are no fruits of the Spirit in the church at present, but fruits of Sodom and Gomorrah; because there are no manifestations and ministries of the Spirit; no ploughing, nor harrowing, nor thrashing, nor treading out of the corn. The hedge of fearful discipline must be made up around the vineyard, and the wild beasts of the field, and of the wood, driven forth and kept out of it; and the tower of heavenly communion, and the winepress of lowly suffering in the flesh, contrition of heart, and the responsible faithful husbandmen, having authority, and holding the power of the sword for Jesus, must all reappear, (and they are all reappearing, in the midst of us ;) ere there will be any yielding of the fruits in their seasons into the garner of God. These rulers of Sodom and Gomorrah please themselves with saying that they possess the fruits of the Spirit, and so set light by the manifestations and ministries of the Spirit. Their fruit is gall and wormwood, heresy and schism, pride and covetousness, bondage and oppression, trampling of the blood of Christ under foot, and doing despite to the Spirit of grace. Fruits indeed of hell, and ready to be gathered by the hand of the angel of destruction; as it is written, “ And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great wine-press of the wrath of God. And the wine-press was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the wine-press even unio the horse-bridles, by the thousand and six hundred furlongs” (Rev. xiv. 17—20). That is, the vintage of this time in these churches, which are vaunting themselves of their fruits of the Spirit, so much as to despise the manifestations and ministrations by which alone the fruits of the Spirit can be produced, " Howl for the shepherds.'
The fruits of the Spirit—which are peace, joy, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, in one word, faith, hope, and charity-will reappear wherever the manifestations and ministries of the Spirit are present amongst the people, and looked up to as the husbandry of God; and as they appear in their loveliness, as the woman puts on the clothing of the sun, and casts the moon under her feet, and crowns herself with the stars of heaven, there will arise from the false church, clothed with power terrestrial, all manner of hatred and persecution, and conflict on every side, even as we do already prove. Until it shall become manifest to every right-hearted man, on which side Christ is the leader, and on which the devil; and being
space of a
convinced every one who hath any life of God in him, will come forth out of Babylon, who shall be rifled of her treasures, and spoiled of her jewels, and the prophecy of Maher-shalal-hashbaz (Isai. viii.) shall be accomplished. So also the prophecy of Shear-jashub (Isai. vii). For this is the returning of the remnant unto the mighty God. The ransomed of the Lord come forth from all the lands of their captivity, and return unto Zion with songs of joy upon their head. And thus in making baste to the spoil, he hasteneth the prey. Out of the spoils of Babylon shall the temple of the Lord be built ; out of the riches of the Egyptians the tabernacle of testimony be reared up. The forests of Lebanon shall be stripped bare, and her choicest cedars be planted in the house, and flourish all in the courts of our God. This work of pulling down the walls of Babylon, in order to build the walls of Jerusalem, is begun. Every stone must be quickened before it can be used, and then laid in his place by the great Master-builder, which is Christ. This work is now proceeding around me, and let all the saints of God rejoice in it; for great is the work which the Lord God is doing in the midst of us.
By Babylon I mean the whole system of doctrine and discipline and customs, actually existing and practically governing Christians in this and every land upon the earth. For it is of very small consequence in the sight of God, whether the ambition and pride, and envy and covetousness, and other forms of the natural man be administered by a Pope and his cardinals, by a Lord Chancellor and his bishops, by a General Assembly and her presbyteries, by Dissenting ministers and their congregations. So that they do with a common consent, and with a rival zeal imprison the truth of God under empty. forms and lifeless traditions, and constitute a worship in fear and bondage, in order to ingratiate themselves with God, and keep on good terms with him, and comfort their souls in their works and experiences, they are alike hateful and abominable in his sight, their new moons and their appointed feasts, yea, and their solemn meetings, their vain oblations, and their abominable incense, smoking from the grave's mouth of the corrupting flesh : but the incense should ascend from the living members of the risen Christ, broken and bruised, and consumed upon the altar of the passive flesh, kindled by the fire of the Holy Ghost, sent down from heaven, which is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts. He who doth not discern that the people around him are in Babylonish captivity, and that their service is the service of fear and bondage, not of love and freedom, and that the ministry is a ministry of the flesh, and not of the Spirit, and the whole an edification of the natural man, and not of the body of Christ, let him be assured that he himself is bound hand and foot in the captivity
VOL. VI.-NO, .
himself, and is blinded by the twilight and midnight wherein he hath dwelt so long. The bondage is fear, ignorance of the liberty we have in Christ: the worship is of Moloch, not of God, because it springeth from dread, and not from love, to conciliate God, and not to glorify God and Christ for the reconciliation which they have wrought for all men; and the ministry, instead of being the word of that reconciliation, is every thing and any thing from radical politics, up to transcendental metaphysics, any thing which may please and profit, may clothe and beautify, may exalt and deity, the natural man, the corpse, the stinking dead body of the natural man, which our Nazarite in glory may not touch with any of his members. But his ambassadors and representatives, his ministers in all the churches, have betaken themselves to be the high priests of the natural man, of the body of sin and death, which he took and hanged on a tree. What booteth it whether this be done after the fashion of the Vatican, of Lambeth, or of the General Assembly? Every city of Judah hath its own idol, and worshippeth after his own fashion; for there is no Judge in Israel, and every one doeth what is right in his own eyes.
To prophesy all this in sackcloth, to eat the book of it, and to be embittered in our bowels with the bitterness of death, and to minister it forth with sighings and breakings of the loins, with agony of heart, and with floods of tears, to walk, the living among the dead, to prophesy to the very many and exceeding dry bones in the valley of vision, and all the while to feel it as the prophet to whom the grievous burden of Babylon was revealed : “Therefore are my loins filled with pain : pangs have taken hold upon me as the pangs of a woman that travaileth : I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it. My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me” (Isai. xxi. 3, 4):this surely is the first work to which the church, awaking out of the sleep of ages, is called. A heavy work and a doleful, yet not without its joys, the joy of hope, the assurance of gathering -a great remnant out of the destruction which is determined, and that a remnant overflowing with righteousness. Thus it is with heavy strokes and frequent bruising that the cherubim are to be beaten out of the pure gold of the truth, to get their form, and be prepared for receiving the glory between their wings, and bearing the government upon their shoulders. And those who will not observe this, the way of the Lord, but think without hammering and forging, to be molten at once by the fire of devotion into form, do not stand in the counsel of the Lord, and may chance to miss the way in the dark, and altogether lose the mark of the prize of their high calling. We are not set to found the church, whose foundations are laid in the twelve apostles of
the Lamb. The apostles whom the Lord will now give will never supersede or renew the labours of these, but be employed along with the other spiritual ministers whom the Lord our God raiseth up, to extricate the life from the miry clay wherein it is sunk, to unbind the grave clothes, to loose him and let him go. I can discern a temptation of this kind arising among those spiritual brethren in the North, who, in coming out from the church, have not been willing to lay themselves under the hammers of Babylon, to be beaten by the hands of her lusty bondsmen into the form which the Lord desireth : but the Lord's ways are divers with divers kingdoms. Scotland hath always been a nation of prophets for conservation of the word, England of apostles for ordering and constituting the church, and it may be that God, in the great restoration which he hath now in hand, may continue it so; giving to the one the honour of being the one wing and the other the other wing of the great eagle, which upbeareth the woman aloft above the reach of her enemies. O Lord, I have waited for thy salvation ; let mine eyes see it, and thy servant shall depart in peace, or abide until thou come, as seemeth to thee meet. Let me keep a door in the house of thy glory, and be found ready and in waiting to receive my Lord, and see thy face in peace : I will be satisfied with thy likeness, when thou appearest, for I shall see thee as thou art.
This work of prophesying in sackcloth ariseth immediately upon our receiving the little open book out of the Angel's hand, who descendeth from heaven to take possession of His inheritance, and to announce the conclusion of the mystery of God, and the opening of the book of the revelation of all which had been hid from ages ;-the going out of the shades of night, the coming in of the light of day; the clothing of the church with the sun, the casting of the moon under her feet. And so hath it proved that along with the knowledge of Christ as the rightful possessor of the earth, and the much preaching of the termination of the mystery of Babylon, hath come in the opening of the book of the purposes which God is now ready to accomplish within the three years and a half. Unto my church, wherein the coming and kingdom of the Lord was most fully declared, God sent his servant (whose mouth, like Zacharias, is now shut; I trust only till the time of the circumcision of the child), and by his mouth did open to us the contents of that little open book which was in the angel's hand. And the church straightway became pregnant with the hope of the man-child, who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron. The Lord had before this opened amongst us the mystery of Emmanuel, the spiritual manifestation in the church of Christ the Lord, according to the measure of his fulness; and also the mystery of the bride amongst the other daughters of Jerusalem, as the same is set forth in the Song.
But we had as yet no other than the symbolical interpretation of the little book in the angel's hand, though we had begun to expect a literal accomplishment of it also, within the brief period of the three years and a half. That chosen servant of the Lord now stumbling upon the dark mountains, while reading the last verses of the prophet Malachi, had his mouth opened amongst us in the spirit of prophecy, and straightway began to prophecy of the witnesses who are to go forth clothed in sackcloth, and from one mystery proceeded onwards to another, until the contents of the little book were discovered; which is the history of the spiritual ministry which the Lord is about to send forth. We were not prepared, and he was not patient, to abide until the coming in of the power, and the purpose of God was frustrated by our common unbelief; but the Lord hath arisen the second time to work his work, which hasteth and will not tarry.
The actings of the church during the three years and a half are set forth by divers symbols, each exhibiting the same mystery under a different aspect; of these, the first is the two witnesses (ch. xi.), which are the apostolical and the prophetical offices: the one, holding of Christ in the spirit; the other, of Christ in the word : Rejoice over her, ye holy apostles and prophets : ” and both together containing the complete testimony of the Father and the Son by the Spirit in the church. To the Father, it appertaineth by the teaching of the prophets to lead unto Jesus (John vi.), and to teach the Son (Matt. xi.); to the Son, the risen Christ, it pertaineth by the ministry of the Spirit through the Apostles, to testify of the Father : the Old Testament is the prophetical, the New Testament is the apostolical witness; the one, the Son as the cleansing Word, the other, the Son as the quickening Spirit; and both together, the completeness of the revealed God: which, being all embodied in the church, and in her word living, shall constitute such a prophecy of the truth of God as the world hath never seen nor heard of; - the Father and the Son coming into the church and therein abiding. Against the profaners of the outward court of the temple and the holy city, against the nations of Babylon which have trodden under foot the church of the living God, shall these separated men arise and testify both in the spirit and in the power of Elias, covered with shame and reproach, hated as the troublers of the earth, and only not destroyed, because they have in them, and before them, that power of God which preventeth their enemies from doing them harm. Their wounded love, their rejected testimony, their words of sealing judgment, shall make every one of them to be like Jesus in the days of his flesh, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. They shall breathe forth the very sorrow of God, the utnost depths of his love shall they utter, and the extremest limit of his patience