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would furnifh the fame feaft, bring in my dish among them. them. Or as one that in the fame cause would come in as a third or a fourth witness to testify and confirm the fame thing. And verily through the gracious affiftance of God's Spirit, my fimple purpose and endeavour is to give a lift to the uttermost of my power, to further that which is already happily begun, and to provoke others of greater gifts, to come after with their great lights and lanthorns in their hands, to defcry and difcover whatfoever in this prophefy is not yet fully seen into. I am not ignorant that fome would not have this book meddled withal, nor in any wife to be expounded among the common people, because (fay they) it is fo dark and hard to understand. But let all fuch leave their own opinions, and hearken what the Holy Ghoft faith, Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophefy,' &c. What can be faid more? or more effectually to ftir us up to hear and read, and with all gladnefs to embrace this book, than to tell us, that in fo doing we fhall be bleffed? For the things contained in this book, be no trifles: they be not things only for a fhew to move wonderment, or to delight the curious mind of men, but fuch as indeed do give true bleffednefs unto all thofe that are well

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inftructed in them. What thing is greater, than to be bleffed forevermore? If we be not exceeding dull, yea, even like stocks and stones, it must needs move us and stir us up. For who will wittingly and willingly lose his own bleffednefs, or fuffer it to be taken from him, when as he may have it? If any will object that a man may be bleffed well enough without the knowledge of this book, and that there be books enough in the fcripture, to procure our bleffedness without this. And that thoufands are now in heaven, which never knew what this book meant: I anfwer, that all this doth not take away the neceffary ufe of this book: for the Holy Ghost doth pronounce a bleffing upon the heads of those that read and ftudy this book, not because a man cannot be faved without it: but because of the great comfort which it miniftereth unto us of this age, and hath ministered unto all the churches fince the apoftles times. For it is the prophecy of this age, and the prophecy of all the ages fince Chrift; wherein is fully fhewed what fhall be the eftate and condition of the church in the feveral ages thereof, unto the end of the world. For God according to his admirable wisdom and mercy, hath never from the beginning left his church without a prophecy, for the great

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comfort thereof. For we know that immediately after the fall of our firft parents, God, himself, for the great comfort of his church, did foretell and fore-prophecy long before of that restoration which fhould be made by the Meffiah his Son, according as it came to pafs in the fulness of time.Afterward he did foretel his people of Ifrael, of their great fervitude, and intolerable bondage in Egypt, and alfo of the end and full determination therefore, after four hundred and thirty years, Gen. iii. xv.After all this, he foretold by his fervants the prophets of the captivity in Babylon, and the full expiration thereof at the end of feventy years, Jer. xxv. And yet further, for the comfort and confolation of his people, he fore-told by Daniel and zekiel, of the great afflictions and troubles which his church fhould endure by the perfecu tions of the divided Greek empire; Dan.vii. Ezek.xxxi. (I mean, Alexander's pofterity, efpecially the kings of Egypt, and Syria, which defcended of Ptolomeus and Seleucus, whom the scriptures calleth the kings of the North, and of the South) by the space of 194 years, and of the precife determination thereof at the coming of the Meffiah. Dan. chapters viii. ix. xi. Lo then what care God hath had of his church in all ages before the coming of his Son in the flesh,


fo as to foretel both of the affliction itself, and alfo of the juft period and determination thereof. And fhall we not think that God hath the like care now for his church, which then he had: or hath he ifot as great and provident care for the good of his church fince the promised Meffiah was actually exhibited as before? Yes affuredly, and much more too: for if his care and providence was fo great for his church, be ing in her wardship and minority, then much more now being come to her ripenefs, and full age. If then it was lefs glorious, then much more now, being far more glorious. Therefore now unto us he foretelleth by his fervant John, what shall be the estate of the church unto the end of the world; and therefore, Bleffed is he 'that heareth and readeth this book:' fince it foretelleth of the churches affliction in this age by the whore of Babylon, and of the full end and determination thereof. It fheweth justly and precisely what the church hath fuffered fince the apoftles time in feveral ages, and what it fhall fuffer; and alfo how all the enemies thereof shall shortly be troden under foot. What can be more joyful or comfortable to all the people of God, than to know aforehand that Babylon fhall fall: Rome fhall fall down, Antichrift the great perfecutor of the church fhall be


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utterly confounded and confumed in this world, notwithstanding all plots and policies, crafts and devices to the contrary; notwithstanding all forces and armies, cunningly contrived and raifed up against the church by feminary Priefts, Jefuits, Pope, Cardinal and king of Spain? For all thefe in this age do very bufily beftir them, and ranfack all corners of their wits to repair the ruins of Rome, and to make up the breaches which are made in the walls of Babylon their great city. But alas! all in vain, for it fhall fall: It fhall fall, it fhall as Dagon before the prefence of the ark, do what they can, fpite of their hearts, maugre their beards, it fhall without all hope of recovery: For hath the Lord spoken it, and fhall it not come to pass? or any word of his ever fall to the ground? Sincetherefore the Jefuits and fecular Priests do fo frisk about, and croak in every corner, as greatly fearing the fall of their Babylon, and the drying up of their Euphrates, it ftands us all in hand to be as refolute for Christ, as they are for Antichrift: and as ftudious to uphold the kingdom of God, as they are to uphold the kingdom of the devil. And for this purpose it is very requifite and neceflary, that all the Lord's people fhould be acquainted with this book, and armed against them with

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