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without power to save the Soul of him that hath them, if they be alone: Neither are they, as so, any sign of a mans state to be happy, being only a dispensation of God to some, of whose improvement or non-improvement they must when a little love more is over, give an account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

303. This shewed me too, that gifts being alone, were dangerous, not in themselves, but because of those evils that attend them that have them, to wit, pride, desire of vain glory, self-conceit, &c. all which were easily blown up at the applause, and commendation of every unadvised Christian, to the endangering of a poor Creature to fall into the condemnation of the Devil.

304. I saw therefore that he that hath Gifts, had need be let into a sight of the nature of them, to wit, that they come short of making of him to be in a truly saved condition, lest he rest in them, and so fall short of the grace of God.

305. He hath also cause to walk humbly with God, and be little in his own Eyes, and to remember withall, that his Gifts are not his own, but the Churches, and that by them he is made a Servant to the Church, and he must also give at last an account of his Stewardship unto the Lord Jesus, and to give a good account, will be a blessed thing!

306. Let all men therefore prize a little with the fear of the Lord, (Gifts indeed are desirable) but yet great Grace and small Gifts are better then great Gifts and no Grace. It doth not say, the Lord gives Gifts and Glory, but the Lord gives Grace and Glory! and blessed is such an one; to whom the Lord gives Grace, true Grace, for that is a certain forerunner of Glory.

307. But when Satan perceived that his thus tempting and assaulting of me would not answer his design; to wit, to overthrow my Ministry, and make it ineffectual as to the ends thereof: then he tryed another way, which was, to stir up the minds of the ignorant, and malicious, to load me with slanders and reproaches; now therefore I may say, That what the Devil could devise, and his instruments invent, was whirled up and down the Country against me, thinking, as I said, that by that means they should make my Ministry to be abandoned.

308. It began therefore to be rumored up and down among the People, that I was a Witch, a Jesuit, a High-wayman, and the like.

309. To all which, I shall only say, God knows that I am innocent. But as for mine accusers, let them provide themselves to meet me before the Tribunal of the Son of God, there to answer for all these things (with all the rest of their Iniquities) unless God shall give them Repentance for them, for the which I pray with all my heart.

310. But that which was reported with the boldest confidence, was, that I had my Misses, my Whores, my Bastards, yea, two Wives at once, and the like. Now these slanders (with the other) I glory in, because but slanders, foolish, or knavish lies, and falshoods cast upon me by the Devil and his Seed, and should I not be dealt with thus wickedly by the World, I should want one sign of a Saint and Child of God.

Blessed

are you (said the Lord Jesus) when man shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil of you falsly for my sake, rejoyce and be exceeding glad, for great is your Reward in Heaven; for so persecuted they the Prophets which were before you, Mat. 5. II.

311. These things therefore upon mine own account trouble me not, no, though they were twenty times more than they are. I have a good Conscience, and whereas they speak evil of me, as an evil doer, they shall be shamed that falsly accuse my good Conversation in Christ.

312. So then, what shall I say to those that have thus bespattered me? Shall I threaten them? Shall I chide them? Shall I flatter them? Shall I entreat them to hold their Tongues no, not I, were it not for that these things make them ripe for damnation that are the Authors and Abettors, I would say unto them; Report it! because 'twill increase my Glory.

313. Therefore I bind these lies and slanders to me as an ornament, it belongs to my Christian Profession, to be vilified, slandered, reproached, and reviled; and since all this is nothing else, as my God and my Conscience do bear me witness: I rejoyce in reproaches for Christs sake.

314. I also calling all these fools, or knaves that have thus made it any thing of their business to affirm any of the things

aforenamed of me, namely, that I have been naught with other Women, or the like. When they have used to the utmost of their endeavours, and made the fullest enquiry that they can to prove against me truly, that there is any Woman in Heaven, or Earth, or Hell, that can say, that I have at any time, in any place, by day or night, so much as attempted to be naught with them, and speak I thus, to beg mine Enemies into a good esteem of me: No, not I: I will in this beg belief of no man : believe, or disbelieve me in this, all is a case to me.

315. My Foes have mist their mark in this their shooting at me. I am not the man, I wish that they themselves be guiltless, if all the Fornicators and Adulterers in England were hang'd by the Neck till they be dead, John Bunyan, the object of their Envy, would be still alive and well. I know not whether there be such a thing as a Woman breathing under the Copes of the whole Heaven, but by their Apparel, their Children, or by common Fame, except my Wife.

316. And in this I admire the Wisdom of God, that he made me shie of Women from my first Conversion until now. Those know, and can also bear me witness, with whom I have been most intimately concerned, that it is a rare thing to see me carry it pleasant towards a Woman; the common Salutation of Women I abhor, 'tis odious to me in whomsoever I see it. Their Company alone I cannot away with. I seldom so much as touch a Womans Hand, for I think these things are not so becoming me. When I have seen good men Salute those Women that they have visited, or that have visited them, I have at times made my objection against it, and when they have answered that it was but a piece of Civility, I have told them it is not a comely sight: some indeed have urged the holy kiss, but then I have asked why they made baulks, why they did salute the most handsom, and let the ill favoured go? thus how laudable so ever such things have been in the Eyes of others, they have been unseemly in my sight.

317. And now for a wind up in this matter, I calling not only Men, but Angels to prove me guilty of having carnally to do with any Woman save my Wife nor am I afraid to do it a second time, knowing that it cannot offend the Lord in such a case, call God for a Record upon my Soul that in these things I am innocent. Not that I have been thus kept because

of any goodness in me, more than in any other, but God has been merciful to me and has kept me, to whom I pray that he will keep me still, not only from this but from every evil way and work, and preserve me to his Heavenly Kingdom. Amen.

318. Now as Sathan laboured by reproaches and slanders to make me vile among my Country-men, that, if possible, my Preaching might be made of none effect, so there was added hereto a long and tedious Imprisonment, that thereby I might be frighted from my Service for Christ, and the World terrified, and made afraid to hear me Preach, of which I shall in the next/ place give you a brief account.

A brief Account of the Authors Imprisonment.

319. Having made Profession of the Glorious Gospel of

Christ a long time, and Preached the same about five years; I was apprehended at a Meeting of good People in the Countrey, (among whom, had they let me alone, I should have preached that day, but they took me away from amongst them) and had me before a Justice; who, after I had offered security for my appearing at the next Sessions, yet committed me, because my Sureties would not consent to be bound that I should Preach no more to the People.

320. At the Sessions after, I was indicted for an Upholder and Maintainer of Unlawful Assemblies and Conventicles, and for not Conforming to the National Worship of the Church of England; and after some Conference there with the Justices, they taking my plain dealing with them for a Confession, as they termed it, of the Indictment, did Sentence me to perpetual banishment, because I refused to Conform. So being again delivered up to the Goalers hands, I was had home to Prison, and there have lain now compleat twelve years, waiting to see what God will suffer these men to do with me.

321. In which condition I have continued with much content through Grace, but have met with many turnings and

goings upon my Heart, both from the Lord, Satan, and my own Corruptions; by all which (glory be to Jesus Christ) I have also received, among many things, much Conviction, Instruction, and Understanding, of which at large I shall not here discourse; onely, give you in a hint or two, a word that may stir up the Godly to bless God, and to pray for me; and also to take encouragement, should the case be their own, Not to fear what man can do unto them.

322. I never had in all my life so great an in-let into the Word of God as now them Scriptures that I saw nothing in before, are made in this place and state to shine upon me; Jesus Christ also was never more real and apparent than now; here I have seen him and felt him indeed : O that word, We have not preached unto you cunningly devised Fables, 2 Pet. 1. 16. and that, God raised Christ from the Dead; and gave him Glory, that your Faith and Hope might be in God, I Pet. 1. 2. were blessed words unto me in this my imprisoned Condition.

323. These three or four Scriptures also have been great refreshment, in this condition, to me! John 14. 1, 2, 3, 4. John 16. 33. Col. 3. 3, 4. Heb. 12. 22, 23, 24. So that sometimes, when I have been in the savour of them, I have been able to laugh at destruction, and to fear neither the Horse nor his Rider. I have had sweet sights of the forgiveness of my Sins in this place, and of my being with Jesus in another World: O the Mount Sion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the innumerable Company of Angels, and God the Judge of all, and the Spirits of Just men made perfect, and Jesus, have been sweet unto me in this place: I have seen that here, that I am perswaded I shall never, while in this World be able to express; I have seen a truth in that Scripture, Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now you see him not yet believing, ye rejoyce with joy unspeakable, and full of Glory. 1 Pet. 1. 8.

324. I never knew what it was for God to stand by me at all turns, and at every offer of Satan to afflict me, &c. as I have found him since I came in hither; for look how fears have presented themselves, so have supports and encouragements; yea, when I have started, even as it were, at nothing else but my shadow, yet God, as being very tender of me, hath not suffered me to be molested, but would with one Scripture or another strengthen me against all; insomuch that I have often

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