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should stop the earth from increasing,' for the Lord hath given you corn, wine and oil, silver and gold, wool and flax, which you consume and destroy upon your lusts, the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, so that you should not have so much corn as to feed you, and as much flax and wool as to cover your shame,' think you, would it not be just with the Lord so to do? let the witness of God in your consciences, and your daily practice, and the scriptures answer and testify against you.
For truly, when I was in Lancaster prison, I looked out of the bars of the window in the tower, and saw the angel of the Lord God, with his drawn glistering sword, shaking it over this nation, to execute God's vengeance, and the court was all as a flaming fire; and this I saw before the beginning of the Dutch war, before the plague, and before the fire: and now I say again, if God Almighty, that created all for his glory, and gives the increase of all, (for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof,) and, whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, you should do it to the praise and glory of God: and now, if you do not, but consume the creatures of God upon your own lusts, and with gluttony and drunkenness waste and destroy them, and live wantonly, wickedly, and in pleasures on the earth, which is a mark that such are dead from God and Christ whilst they live: now, I say, if God Almighty the Creator, should stop the earth from increasing with cattle and other creatures, and bring a famine upon you, how could any but say, the Lord is just in so doing? for, look over Christendom, and see what voluptuousness, drunkenness, excess, rioting, debauchery, oaths, cursing and swearing, that makes the land to mourn! do you think there was the like in Sodom and Gomorrah, whom God set forth as examples of his wrath, and such as suffered the vengeance of eternal fire, who followed strange flesh? therefore, dread all ye that defile yourselves, and follow after strange flesh; see Jude. Though you may think ye sit as queens, and glorify yourselves in your pleasures, and may say in your hearts, ye shall see no sorrow; but alas! woe and torment will follow: and therefore, before it be too late, repent, and consider these things.
And remember Esau, that profane person, who for a morsel of meat sold his birthright, and afterwards he would have inherited the blessing, but he was rejected; for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it with tears: and therefore, while ye have time, repent; for, know ye not, that all that forget God, and do wickedly, he will turn into hell? and therefore forsake your wickedness.
And do not you read, that the Lord Jesus will shew himself from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, rendering vengeance unto them that do not know God, and which obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, [mark,] that do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus
Christ; people may talk of it, but not obey it; who shall be punished with everlasting perdition from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.' Mark this sentence, and take it to heart, as in 2 Thes. i. 7, 8. And see the sad sentence upon the wicked, in Matt. xxiv. 51. and xxv. 41.
And was it not in all ages the sins of the people, and their committing evil and wickedness in the sight of the Lord, that brought the wrath, and the plagues, and the sword, and the famine upon them, as you may read from Moses, in the time of the law, to the days of Christ and after Christ? and is it not the same that brings it upon them called christians now, that make a profession of the new testament, as the Jews did of the old, and live not according to it? oh England! consider these things; oh Christendom, (so called,) consider these things; and walk honestly, as becomes the gospel, and not in gluttony and drunkenness, in chambering and wantonness, neither in strife nor envy, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and take no thought for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Rom. xiii. 13.
But unto them that are contentious, and disobey the truth, though they may talk of it, shall be indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish will be upon the soul of every man that doth evil:' and therefore take heed, lest (after the hardness of your hearts, and your impenitency,) you heap unto yourselves wrath against the day of wrath, and of the Revelation of the just judgment of God:' take heed of this, you that deny Revelation; you will find that you will feel it in the end, if you amend not. Rom. ii.
And therefore, take heed of disobedience, and rebelling against the Lord's good spirit, as in Neh. ix. For unto them who are disobedient, Christ is a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence; and therefore it is not the professing, but the obedient and believing, to whom he is elect and precious.
'For behold, saith the Lord, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be as stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, and shall leave them neither root nor branch.' Mal. iv.
Therefore consider, all ye that are proud, and do wickedly; do ye think this day will not come upon you ere you be aware, and neither leave you root nor branch? what good will all your profession do you, if ye do wickedly, and are proud, when ye are found but as chaff and stubble consumed by fire? therefore take these things to heart in your private chambers, and see whether you be not as stubble or chaff: 'but upon them that fear the name of the Lord, shall the Son of righteousness arise, with healing in his wings; and they shall grow up as calves in the stall. And therefore, my desire is, that you may all repent, and amend
your lives and doings, and turn to the Lord, from all your evil ways, words, lives and conversations, and fear him, which to do, is to depart from evil, that the wrath of God and the Lamb may not come upon you; for I desire the good of all your souls, and the eternal welfare of all people.
And the apostle saith in 1 Cor. x. 'neither let us (to wit, the christians,) commit fornication, as some of them (to wit, the Jews,) did, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.'
'Neither be ye idolaters, (to wit, the christians,) as some of them were (to wit, the Jews,) as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.'
Now, all these things came upon them, (to wit, the Jews,) for example, and they were written to admonish us, that christians should not follow them.
And the prophet saith, Hab. ii. 15. Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunk also, that thou mayest look on his nakedness; thou art filled with shame for glory drink thou also, and let thy nakedness be uncovered; the cup of the Lord's right hand shall be turned unto thee.' Now consider this, ye that profess yourselves christians, and live not the life of christianity, whether ye be not found in these practises that the scriptures declare against.
Hagg. i. 6. Ye have sown much, and bring in little, ye eat, but ye are not satisfied; ye drink, and are not filled; ye clothe you, but you are not warm; and he that earneth wages, putteth it into a broken bag.'
Now, is not this the condition of many called christians, that drink, and are never filled; and eat, and are not satisfied; and earn, but waste their wages?
And in Amos iii. 15. and iv. 1. 'I will smite, saith the Lord, the winterhouse, and the summerhouse, and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall be consumed, saith the Lord, hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountains of Samaria, which oppress the poor, and destroy the needy; and they say unto their masters, bring and let us drink.' &c.
Now, consider this, ye that are found in such practises, and see what judgment the Lord brought against such.
And in Hos. iv. 18. there you may see how Ephraim's drunkenness stunk; their drunkenness stinketh, (saith the prophet,) they have committed whoredom.
And does not the nominal christians' drunkenness stink, think
gether with other their uncleanness?
And in Prov. xx. it is said, 'wine is a mocker, and strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.'
So mark, ye unwise christians, that are found in this raging with this strong drink; and do ye think that ye are wise, that are deceived with wine the mocker?
And in Prov. iv. 14, to 18. Enter not into the way of the wicked, and walk not in the way of evil men, and avoid it, and go not by it, but turn from it, and pass by; for they cannot sleep except they do evil; and they cause some to fall; for they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.' Were not these things judged by the law of God? and are they not judged by the gospel? and do not you think that the Lord will make such to drink the wine of giddiness? as in Psal. Ix. 3, &c.
And in Psal. lxxx. 5. Thou hast fed them with the bread of tears, and gave them tears to drink in a great measure.' And do And do ye think that ye christians, that feed yourselves without the fear of God, and consume his good creatures upon your lusts, must not be fed with the bread of tears, and have tears to drink from the hand of the Lord.
And in Isa lvi. 12. 'Come ye,' say they, to wit, the shepherds or the watchmen, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to-morrow, shall be as this day, and much more abundant.' And were not these reproved by the prophets? and are not such reproved now by the gospel?
And in Isa. xxvii. 7, 8. For all their tables are full of filthy vomitings.? Now, look into your houses of drunkenness, ye called christians, and see what filthiness is there; and by such doings ye devour the creation, and cause the drink of the thirsty to fail, which would do them good, which you destroy, and do yourselves hurt withal.
And the prophet Isaiah saith, but they have erred because of wine, and are out of the way by strong drink: the priests and the prophets also have erred by strong drink; they are swallowed up with wine, they are gone astray through strong drink; they fail in vision, they stumble in judgment.'
Come, try yourselves by these scriptures, ye that call yourselves christians, and ye priests and prophets; and see whether by strong drink ye have not stumbled in judgment, and erred in vision, and are some of you swallowed up with wine?
And does not the prophet cry against the pride and the drunkenness of Ephraim? and do not many now, that are called christians, take a pleasure and pride in making others drunk? and were not such threatened with judgments, and cried against them? and are not such to be warned now, as then?
And now take heed lest this come upon you as is spoken of in Isa. xxiv.
'the earth shall be clean emptied, and utterly spoiled, the Lord hath spoken it; because the inhabitants of the earth have transgressed his laws, and changed his ordinances, and broken his everlasting covenant; therefore the curse devours the earth, and the habitations thereof; then? the wine faileth, and all that were of a merry heart do mourn; the mirth of tabrets ceaseth; the voice of them that rejoice endeth; the joy of the harp ceaseth; the earth lamenteth and fadeth away; the world is feeble and decayed; the proud people of the earth are weakened; they shall not drink wine with mirth; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it; the city of vanity is broken down; every house is shut up, that no man cometh into it; there is a cry for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened: the mirth of the worid is gone away: surely this shall be in the midst of the earth among the people, as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the grapes when the vintage is ended.'
Now, consider these things, ye that profess yourselves christians, and are the transgressors of the gospel, and the commands and law of Jesus, as the Jews did, the law of God and his ordinances under the old covenant: do ye think this curse and judgments will not come upon you, that are found in these practises?
And in Isa. 5. Woe unto them that rise up early to follow drunkenness, and to them that continue until night, till wine doth inflame them; and the harp, viol, timbrel and pipe, and wine are in their feasts, but they regard not the work of the Lord, nor consider they the works of his hands therefore, does not the Lord say, 'he will lay his vineyard waste, and it shall bring forth briars and thorns.'
And therefore take heed, ye christians, so called, that practise such things, lest your vineyard be laid waste also.
And woe unto them,' says the prophet, that are mighty to drink wine, and to them that are strong to pour in strong drink; which justify the wicked for a reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him; and call evil good, and good evil. Therefore, as the flaming fire devours the stubble, and as the chaff is consumed of the flame, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their bud shall rise up like dust, because they have cast off the law of the Lord of hosts, and contemned the word of the holy one of Israel: therefore is the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched out his hand upon them,' &c.
And now consider ye this that profess yourselves christians, and are found in these practises; have not ye cast away the command and law of Jesus Christ, and contemned his instructions, who says, 'be ye holy, as I am holy; without which none shall see the Lord' and ye ought to walk as Christ walked ; and will not he render vengeance in flames of fire against all such as obey not the gospel, and walk not as becomes the gospel?