AN IRON ROD PUT INTO The Lord PROTECTORS Hand, To break all Antichristian Powers in pieces.

OR, A Discourse, which tends to a Spirituall War with all Sects and Self-opinions, which are the Churches enemies: wil bring Englands everlasting happiness, and joyn all other Lands into the body of Christs Church, to serve God with with one consent, Zeph. 3.9.

All which was discovered to John Sanders of Harburn, neer Brimingham: By true Apparitions, Revelati­ons, and many several Visions, as the second Book sheweth.

Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a Potters vessel, Psal. 2.9. Rev. 2.27.

The Lords voice cryeth unto the City, and the man of wise­dome shall see my name: hear the rod, and who hath ap­pointed it, Micah. 6.9.

LONDON, Printed for the Author, and are to be sold at the Angel in Cornhil, 1655.

The Table of the Second Book.

THis Second Book of John Saunders sheweth a true re­lation how and where he was called at noon-time of the day, on the 11. day of June 1643. by a true and a ter­rible apparition; and further how the Lord revealed his secret intent, and confirmed it to him by true signs, and shewed him the greatest remarkable revolutions, turn­ings, chances, and changes, as have been ever since be­tween King and Parliament, which he then declared be­fore many: And what way the Church shal be re-buil­ded, to bring all Lands into one Christian Body, and U­nion of Eaith.

Surely saith the Lord, then will I turne to the people a pure language, that they may call upon the name of the Lord, and serve him with one consent, Zephany 3.9.

And a true Relation of what horrible afflictions God suffered him to be sundry and many times cast into by Satan and his instruments, because he did at first neglect the message of the Lord of Hosts, conterning King and Parliament, Church and State.

Dear Christian Reader,

IN this Second Book of John Sanders, here is shewn a true Relation of the manner how God called me to this work in as wonderful a way as he did Paul, at noon-time of the day, by an open apparition, on the 11. day of June 1643.

Page 37

As I was employed in a Faire with my Master, Mr. Ro­bert Bloomer, it pleased my heavenly Master and Father in Christ, to cause me to see the Apparition then at that immediate time: But God knowing that I was inclined by nature to be hard of beliefe, like Thomas, who would not believe unles he felt and saw both; or like the men of our late dayes, which will not believe but that Appari­tions, Revelations, and true Visions are now ceased, it pleased God to convert me from that erroneous unbelie­ving [Page]mind, in as wonderful a manner as he did Paul at noon-time of the day, and caused me to feele his indig­nation, as the reading of this Book wil tel you in what manner; and at noon again four dayes after, how the Lords holy Angel was sent to comfort my comfortlesse condition by secret and strange Revelation, and on the morrow at night after, and on the next morning, being Friday, the 17. day, to confirm me by trial, and terrible Visions, and strange temptations, and then to comfort me with his holy Angel, & to give me a command to goe to King and Parliament, as it were to be a Herauld of Armes, or heavenly Embassador from the King of Kings.

And to tel first the King what would befal him unless such things were agreed on as this Book sheweth; and then to go to the Parliament to shew what they must do, or else the like and worse judgment would befal them at last, unless they would do as Zacheus did when Christ called him: Yet the Kings Son, and a remnant of them; must and would agree at last; for upon their agreement is the greatest meanes under God to call the Jewes, and convert the whole world into one union of Faith.

Then I was shewed what misery I was to undergoe if I refused to goe on Gods message, yet must go at last. This book of my troubles sheweth the manner what I have endured.

First, of my going to speak with the King when he was prisoner at Holmby, and in what manner I was prevent­ed from speaking with the King himself, and then what I told Colonel Graves would befal first to the King, and then the Parliament, if such things were not done as this Book speaks of; and what great troubles befel me after by Satans malicious working against me, by my wife and her kindred and some of my own, and many wicked men besides, and of Gods great miraculous deli­verance and mercy to me. p. 44, 46, 47, 48

Secondly, of my putting out of a little Book about the time that the Levellers rose against the Parliament, called A Description of the Ten Commandements concerning this late [Page]War, laying open the misery of the Church, by reason of covetous and new fangled Teachers were crept into it for want of true Church-government: And then what troubles befel me again, and how some of her friends ur­ged her to be divorced from me, and of their persecuting of me. p. 54, 55

Thirdly, the Bill of Divorcement put in print in this Book, given her six yeares since after this manner, which she and they were the causers of. p. 58

Fourthly, the manner how God compelled me to fore­tel Worcester fight, and the manner and time of it, and how the King would be overthrown if he fought, and e­minent witness produced that heard me speak it. p. 62.

Fifthly, the humble petition of Iohn Sanders to the Lord Protector, of his often comming to London since to speak with the Parliament, to tel that Parliament that they could not stand, and to shew them what was the cause. Colonel Barkstead can witnesse it that God com­pelled me to tel him, and what would be the cause. p. 53

Sixthly, of my comming out of Ireland neer 6. weeks before the little Parliaments dissolution, and to tel some of them that Gods decree was so gone out against them, that they would be dissolved about the shortest day in the yeare: Witness Colonel Barkestead, which is now the Lieutenant of the Tower. And then of my going into our Country, of my being compelled by God to prefi­gure & declare in Brimingham what was then doing that day in London, 88. miles from London, & then of my being thrown into prison. p. 64

Seventhly, of my being compelled by the dictates of Gods spirit to speak and write many times, and make many journeys since to the present power, and the last Parliament, to tel them what hath and wil befal them, unlesse they wil deny themselves and seek God. p. 65

Eightly, of several Visions as I have had this yeare concerning the Church being rebuilded suddenly, and the Lord Protectors Councel and King Charles his agree­ing: [Page]And how God revealed the plot of the Countrys-rising to me, and caused me to carry a Letter to the Tower of it, and to deliver it before the rising was. p. 66, 67

Woe is me if I declare not faithfully that which the Lord declareth to me, either to King or Parliament:

Gourteous Reader, some Errours have escaped the presse, yet but one worth observation. In page 38. line 32. for Mon­day, read Wednesday.

The Table of the First Book.

FIrst, here is shewed in this Book to your Highness, and all others that please to hear or read it, a Petition to move you with all expedition to goe about the work of God to finde out true Religion, for the beautifying of Gods Church, and then to build it up. Page 1.

Secondly; the manner and time how Davids Tabernacle fell, as well from the Christian Gentiles which were in Gospel­covenant, as it did from the 12. Tribes of Israel in Reho­boams time under the Law, and how there was never no true Religion in one body since they parted. p. 2.

Thirdly, a short description of the Protestants ruinating in this land by this late war. p. 5.

Fourthly, the true manner described how Davids fallen Ta­bernacle should be begun to be raised as in the dayes of old, A­mos 9, proved by Law and Gospel-rule to be the true Channel for the Church to run in first in this land; and no other way then this can be proved, which wil bring the whole world to one union of faith, to serve God with one consent, Zeph. 3.9. p. 6.

Fifthly, what a wilderness & infectious, poysoned, and scat­tered condition the Church and people of God are in for want of a Church-government, according to Patriarchal, Propheti­cal, Apostolical, and Discipled orders, the true manner of which is laid down in this Book. p. 13.

Sixthly, true comparative signes, first by the Stars, second­ly by the Moon, that Christs true Religion is ready to breake forth into beautifulness more then ever it was in. p. 15.

Seventhly, a godly direction and admonition for his High­ness the Lord Protector, to take the like care for the chusing of a High Priest to be Head in chief for Christs Church, as A­brahams eldest servant did for a wife for Isaac, the figure of Christ, Gen. 24. This wil be the beginning of a fifth Monarchy under Christ.

Eightly, the manner of the High Priests receiving of the number of 12. Apostolical Bishops to be Head Fathers of the 12. spiritual Tribes of Israel, which are now scattered abroad, Jam. 1. by the holy order of laying on of hands, and of his and their receiving the number of 70. under them, to make a body above the ordinary Ministers of Christs Church, p. 22.

Ninthly, the true manner how to prove them whether their calling and election be of God or not, by going to a spiritual war, which is a contending for the faith, or casting rods and lots with all Sects and self-opinions, which are the Churches e­nemies, Num. 17.18. Matth. 27.55. Joh. 19.23. Iude. p. 25.

Tenthly, the manner of the Whore of Babels fal, and all false forms in one day in this land to be a patterned example for the whole world to follow; and for the calling of the Jewes, Turks, Pagans, and Infidels to the true faith, p. 27.

Eleventhly, it sheweth the glorious time of the new Jerusa­lems situated government, and of the Churches glory. p. 31

Twelfthly, it sheweth how that King Charles the Second-is appointed by God to be his chief King under Christ over the whole world; and the Lord Protector, if he will be obedient to the word of the Lord, to be the second under him, as Abra­hams faithful servant to be chief Ruler for the King; for by their agreement the Jews and Turks are to be called. p. 36.

And all that assist them, and are faithful in their places, that are now in power, and wil be obedient willingly now they see Gods truth and righteous peace ready to break forth, to yield to God and his true anointed King, if they lose a Cap­taines place, Major, Colonel, or General, which now is held by troublesome fear, then it wil be no more loss to them then the­attaining to a Knight, Lord, Judge, Earle, Duke, or Deputy, King or Prince, by this peaceable agreement, til the end of all things come to dissolution over this Land and many more for them to be Governours.

As I am commanded of God to threaten those that have gotten into other mens possessions, contrary to godliness or good consciences, and so prove themselves by it to be enemies in that to Gods glorious Gospel, and the Primitive Churches practice; so I am commanded of God to threaten all with the danger of their own ruine, and the displeasure of God, that will not forbear plot­ting and mutyning, and so hurt the Kings agreement. Doe you think it is possible to stand in a strong wind, and throw chaff against the wind, and it not fly back upon you? Do you think it is possible to doe Gods work before his time be? It is but the Devils policie to cause you so to think. God is neer, arising to deliver his people, and to restore his Church: Therefore wait patiently till the time be, for the day is neer a dawning.

TO HIS HIGHNESSE the Lord PROTECTOR.

MAy it please your Highness to vouchsafe the reading of this little Book, which God caused me your servant in the Lord Iohn Sanders, to indite unto you; who hath come oftentimes on purpose to speake with you, being compelled by the power of the holy Ghost, (which enableth me to foretel things) to shew you what Gods wil is toward you, if you will believe and obey the Lord.

O my Lord, wo is me if I be either fearful or negligent to give you and all others warning, since God hath called me, and shewed me a sword of Justice which proceedeth out of his mouth, which he is now arising to draw forth, not onely against you and your power, but against all the chiefe gover­nours of the world, unlesse speedily you and they deny your own wayes and imbrace Gods wayes: Those that so doe, it shal go wel with them.

My Lord, I shal in these first lines forbeare making use of any other mens labours, study, or Scripture phrases, lest you should rather think it to be brain knowledge then the dictates of Gods Spirit.

I conceive your Highness believeth that where God appears by visions, and Christ takes up the roome, the holy Ghost carrieth them on by a real true power. they wil be so gui­ded, and shewed Gods waies and wil, according to their gift and talent, to write or speak the mind of God without ei­ther study or natural parts, when God pleaseth.

The Scriptures are given of God to be as a touchstone for them that feare God and obey his wil, to try the spirits whe­ther [Page 2]they be of God, therefore let them be your Judge; but have especial care of wresting them: endeavour to let them arest you in this life, and you shal have rest in the life to come: Truly, my Lord, if such like counsel, which natural men wil not own, but count foolishness, doe not guide you, you wil not only stumble in points of Religion, as many doe to fall from heavenly things, but you wil fall from the high place that Gods providence hath raised you to. Which by yeelding obedience to God and his King Jesus Christ, and him whom he wil set upon his holy mountain, you may stand firm; otherwaies it wil be very slippery.

O for the Lords sake, who hath set you up to be a prote­ctor of the people, endeavour to build your self a sure foun­dation: Imbrace this truth, take good heed to hold fast the good old waies of Gods worship: but you must first finde it, for it hath been a long time lost: take heed therefore of ei­ther despising, or not believing and obeying the spirit of Gods prophesie.

My Lord, I have had stil a great feare of you, but it pro­ceedeth from the love of God in Christ which bindeth me to fear, love honour and obey all that God doth ordain or per­mit to be Rulers or governours over us.

When natural men are lifted up high, and seem to obtain much credit in the world, then they may be lower, and far­ther from the waies of God then before, the God of this world having blinded their eyes, to keepe them hoodwinkt from the glorious light of the gospel of peace, which offers peace to all.

Behold I speak not these things against you or your po­wer, for I wish you all prosperity and health, and a setled peace in righteousnesse and true holiness; but God hath sent me to shew you your danger by plots, and which way to take to appease his wrath.

The manner of Davids faln Tabernacle, how it fell, as well from the gentile Christians, as the naturall Jews.

My Lord, the means to bring us to a true setled and esta­blished peace, is first to seek Gods kingdome, and the righte­ousness thereof, and all things else needful shall be added [Page 3]thereunto; as when England formerly did flourish, both in Church and State, and was preserved more then any other Nation from plots, conspiracies, inbred-enemies, and forraign foes, as namely, the Spanish invasion, the Pow­der plot, and many more, which for brevity sake must be omited.

'Tis true, there was a time that we were in Covenant with God, the temporal state or Magistrate was a wall to the Church and Ministry, yet the Church in that time was not without spots, or State without corrup­tions.

The Church was never a pure Church, free from blemi­shes, since the Primitive, Apostolical, and Discipled flo­rishing time; Job. 38.7. when the morning Stars sang together un­der the light, glory, and peace, which was obtained by the mercy and love of God in Christ, that immaculate Lamb, and his twelve Apostles, Meaning the Church was but one body serving God with one con­sent. which were to be Ru­lers or Judges of the twelve spiritual tribes of Israel: then as Jacob and his twelve sons were the first chief natural heads, so Christ and his twelve Apostles were the last chief spiritual Fathers or Brethren that laid the foun­dation under Christ, to bring all nations under the Gospel-Covenants, the which as many as believe and are obedient to, they are Abrahams Sons by faith, and Citizens of the new Ierusalem, whose builder and foun­der is God.

The old Ierusalem then flourished, when Davids na­tural Son Soloman was King over the twelve Tribes of Israel, when he had built the Temple and dedicated it to the Lord by prayer, and religious feasting, he was in Covenant with God. Those were peaceable, plentiful and golden days for Church and state.

The new Ierusalem wil never be in her excellency of glorious beauty; til God hath joyned the two sticks in­to one, Ephraim and Iudah: Ezek. 37.16, 17, 18, 19. I mean the natural seed and spiritual seed under the seamlesse garment of one govern­ment under Davids spiritual Son, the second Solomon, then wil that time appear that Christ wil restore the Kingdom [Page 4]of Israel to be under one government, and one body for the Church and State, which never hath been since Iu­dah and Israel parted in Rehoboams and Ieroboams time; for as Solomon and his Son Rehoboam were the onely chiefe Cause or instruments of their parting, one by Ido­latry, and the other by slighting or despising the coun­sel of the Ancient; and following the counsel of young men, who were puft up with pride and covetousnesse, like the men of our late days, and so caused the Kings government to be rent in pieces by Gods Prophet, 1 Kings 11.30, 31, 32. signi­fying the greatest part of the House of Iacob to revolt from the house of David, which are not reconciled to this day.

Just in the same manner fared it with the Christian Gentiles which Christ & his twelve Apostles first planted in the true Apostolical Catholick order: in one body un­der one head who had a seamless garment of pure govern­ment, which in process of time was in a flourishing condi­tion in one body of spiritual government: in those prospe­rous days of peace & true Religion, most men gave them­selves wholly to build and beautifie Gods house, being charitable minded in hospitality and Christian duty: in those days men did shine by godly pious, conversation without flattery or dissembling hypocrisie, shewing themselves, as Solomon saith, Aples of Gold pictured with studs of Silver.

But while many slept in security, Satan sowed tares, which for want of being weeded out of the Church in due time, caused corruption to creep in by degrees; and at last to break out into idolatry, strife, and heresie, then the Christian vail of Religious duties was rent in twain, as Christ signified at his death: by the renting of the vail of the temple, it is to be understood of the renting and destruction of the Christian Temples by devision, as wel as the Jewish ceremonial Law, of which for brevity sake many proofs for confirmation must be omitted; but this I give you to understand that Davids Tabernacle was raised, as wel to the Christians Gospel covenant as to the [Page 5]Jewes and natural Israelites under the Law, and likewise so it fell: you may question me, saying, how can you prove that. I answer, When the Catholike Church first passed by divisions, and grosse errors, into jars and o­pen wars, and to part from one real body which was planted to be over twelve spiritual Tribes under one head in Christs Church, Abraham being their Father by true Faith, they being all spiritual brethren in Christ; then began they to kil, plot, persecute, and revile one against another, pretending for Religion, but contrary to Christs covenant, or the Apostles doctrine.

And so to this day we continue reviling, and hating one another, and they calling us Hereticks that are Pro­testants, and we calling them grosse Idolatrous wor­shipers, yet neither of us without great errors, and so we continue resting Christs Gospel-truth in unrighteous­nesse, by making corrupt Laws, on purpose to persecute and destroy one another by Satans malice, contrary to Christ and his Apostles rule, or the true Primitive Chur­ches practice.

A short description of the ruinating of the Protestant Religion in this Land.

THe onely cause of the controversies between King and Parliament, was first pretended to raise up the Protestants against the Papists: some of the Protestants which were ticed to begin these late wars, but contrary to Christs command and Gospel-rule, or the Apostles doctrine, to erect Christs Church by unnatural bloody war, therefore God suffered the Spirit of division to a­rise among themselves, and to leave the Papists standing, and like unnatural brethren they have ruinated them­selves. I mean the Protestant Church and all her go­vernments, and the High-Priest, and all that Apostolical, Discipled houshold cast out for their corruption, when it was grown to a ripe head, much like unto Ely, as a judgement from the Lord, 1 Sam. 4.

All this came to passe by being carried on by the pre­tence of a religious reformation, but God suffered the instruments of his wrath to pluck the Protestant Church government to pieces, when it was so old that it could stand no longer. The chief workmen that did begin it wear covetous and new fangled Teachers, whose Religi­on hath long time hanged on the deceiving hinges of strange opinions.

These things have been so far from plucking the Church of Rome down, that they have given many great causes for it to stand firmer then it did before; and to cause many to cleave to their Church. The Church of Rome as she now standeth will fall, but that must be done by love and a spiritual war as followeth.

And as the late several chosen Parliaments were Axes and Sawes to hew down and part a sunder corrupted go­vernments. So God hath ordained and put your High­nesse chief now in power to build up and joyne both for Church and State, all things in better order then they were before this many hundered years: therefore take the founders and builders of the first Jewish and Chri­stian Churches for your example

The way to raise up Davids fallen Tabernacle, If fire have burned hou­ses, and good food hath sur­feited mens bodies, for want of being carefully used: shall we never use fire or food more, for the former abuse of them? Truly, my Lord, it is a fit compari­son for these things.as in the dayes of old, Amos 9.

HAving now declared the renting and dividing of Christs seamlesse garment, my task is now to shew your Highnesse how to raise up the Churchs ruines, and build it up as in the days of old, therefore take the foun­ders of the Jewish and Christian Churces for your exam­ple.

First my Lord, you must set up a Patriarchal, and Apostolical true reformed Episcopal order; twelve Pa­triarchs under the Law, twelve Apostles under the Gospel; the twelve Founders-, Bishops and Rulers of the Church, under one Spiritual head Christ Jesus.

As Abraham and Sarah are called the Father and Mo­ther of all the Faithful, so Christ in God is called the Father, the true Church, the Mother, called the City or new Jerusalem that is to be sent down from heaven, Rev. 21.10. which City or new Jerusalem Saint Iohn saw to have twelve gates, and at the gates twelve Angels, that is, Bishops, Rev. 3. to the Angels of the seven Churches of Asia, that is, the Bishops of the seven Churches, and the names written therein of the twelve Tribes of Israel, whose glory God caused to shine like pretious stones, Rev. 21.11, 12, 14.

And the wall of the City had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the Lambs, twelve Apostles, which twelve Apostles were twelve Bishops, as appears Acts 1.20. let another take his Bishoprick, Psal. 69.25. and Psal. 109.8. there was such a necessity of twelve in chiefe, that Christs Ministry could not be carried on af­ter Iudas his fall without that number, Act. 1.25. Isai. 63.11, 16.

Abraham in a typical way, signifies God the Father, Isaac is the figure of Christ, Rebeccah is the espoused Church of Christ, Iacob is a representation of the Holy Ghost, the which holy Ghost, or Iacob must beget twelve Patriarchs or twelve Apostles, which were the Foun­ders, Bishops and Fathers under God in Christ, of the old Ierusalem, Iewish and Christian, and must be of the new Ierusalem which is to come.

So likewise, when Ioshuah was about to enter Canaan the Lord caused him to chuse twelve men out of every several Tribe a man to bear twelve stones before the Ark, thorough Iordan, and to take them where the Priests feet stood firm, which stones they were to set up for 12 pillars in Gilgal; and he set up twelve more in the midst of Ior­dan in the place where the Priests feet stood that bare the Ark of Gods covenant, Ioshua 4. which 12 pillars being set up in natural Canaan for a memorial of the dividing of Iordan; and being carried on the shoulders of 12 seve­ral men, out of every Tribe a man under the Law, as [Page 8]soon as they came to enter natural Canaan.

Signifieth the twelve chief pillars of Christs Church, which are to be the head Founders of the new Ierusalem, Rev. 21.14. which must and will be set up when we are at the entrance of a spiritual Canaans peace. All Scrip­tures are written for our instruction, and they speak of things past, onely to tell us what should be done now as figures and types of things to come.

But happily it may be objected against what I have said, that there were 13 Patriarchs and 13 Apostles: 'Tis true Iacob and his 12 sons were 13, and a little before his death he received Iosephs sons by laying on of hands, to be as his sons in his and Iosephs place, to make for his 12 Tribes, 13 heads, fathers; of which Iudah was chiefe, in that he brought forth Christ. So likewise Christ first chose 12 to be head spiritual fathers of the 12 spiritual Tribes, to make them one body under him the head, Acts 1.

After Christs death, resurrection, and ascension, be­fore the holy Ghost was come downe to give them the fulnesse of their power and gifts, the number was made 12. Acts 1. after Judas fall: but after the holy Ghost was come down to carry them on in their work, when they began to be persecuted and scattered, it pleased God to convert Paul, even their greatest persecutor and furiousest enemy, and to make them 13 Apostles, Peter being the head in Christs Church, and by his command to feed his Lambs and sheep thrice; to whom Christ committed the keys of Davids Tabernacle, or heaven, to bind or loose things either in heaven or earth, he being head the body were 12. Besides, here in England, following that example at one time, as Chronicles shew, there were 24 Bishops under two high Priests or Archbishops.

Your Highnesse must likewise remember that besides this Apostolical order, you must set up a Discipled order of 70. both which Orders I shal prove first under the law, secondly under the Gospel.

Your Highnesse ought to remember the Law which [Page 9]gave to Moses, to instruct you what to do, to be as it were a School Master, who when he found the government for Church affairs too heavy for him, he grieving and ma­king his complaint to God the Lord, to ease him of his burden; God commanded him in Numb. 11. v. 16. to ga­ther seventy men of the Elders of Israel, and to bring them unto the Tabernacle of the Congregation to make a body under him and Aaron the High Priest, to be hel­pers of Church government, which as soon as they were elected & set round about the Tabernacle, the Lord took the spirit from Moses and gave it to the seventy Elders, and they did all prophesie, and did not cease, Num. 11.25. Thus you see God ordained the seventy Elders, even the compleat number when they were in the wildernesse, that were of Iacobs houshold when they went into Egypt to make a body, above the ordinary Priests for Church af­fairs, he wanted not Judges or Officers for State af­fairs, or Marshal discipline; he took his Father in Law Iethro's counsel for that, Exod. 18.

Secondly under the Gospel, Christ our Saviour the onely begotten Son of his Father, when the fulnesse of time was come, which God long before had determined, when he said, The seed of the Woman should break the Ser­pents head, which is to be understood Jesus Christ should be born of a pure Virgin, which should be set up as an Ensigne for the people and Nations, to lead the chiefe Officers of his Army in his life time, he gave no other weapons to the head Leaders and general Governours of his Army to carry on their warfare against all his enemies but the sharp sword of the spirit which proceedeth out of his mouth, to slay the enemies of him and his E­lect.

Christ first chose twelve, Mark 3. and he named some of them Bonerges, by interpretation sons of thunder, then Christ ordained seventy other, Luke 10.1, 2, 3. and sent them out when the harvest was ripe, two and two toge­ther into every City or place which way soever he him­selfe would come, and he gave them power to carry on [Page 10]their work: sending them forth as Lambs among Wolves, and the seventy returned again with joy; saying, Lord, even the Devils are subdued to us thorow thy name: and Jesus said unto them, that he saw Satan like light­ning fall down from heaven: behold, saith Christ, I give unto you power to tread on Serpents and Scorpi­ons, and all the powers of the enemy, nothing shal hurt you; neverthelesse in this rejoyce not, but rather rejoyce that your names are written in heaven; the same hour re­joyced Jesus in the spirit, and said, I confess unto thee, Fa­ther, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and learned, and hast revealed them to Fabes, even so father, because it pleaseth thee, Luk. 10.17, 18, &c.

Truely my Lord, we must all believe that these very Scriptures are written for our instruction; there is none that believeth that God is God, and his Word is Truth, that dare object or say; but that these Scriptures are sent from God to us for no other end, but to direct us to do the same, which they speak of, that hath been done here to fore in former ages, for they are patterns, examples and lines for us in this last age, to erect, build up, and walk by, and although God hath hidden these things from the wise and learned of this time as it pleased him so to doe in former ages, as Christ saith Luke 10.21. and to reveale it to mean men, which are but like babes and sucklings, yet let none that bears the name of a Christian disdain, neglect, or despise these things for the meanes of the person of him whom God speaks this now but let all that will own the name of Christians rejoyce, in the spirit as Christ their head Captain did in the spirit, giving all praise and glory to him, assuring themselves that the meaner persons, they are that God doth it by, the greater work of God is shewed therein, and with all expedition to set about the work, for by this example were our Primitive Christians to chuse their seventy In­terpreters. For when it pleased God to have the holy Scriptures translated, or interpreted for the good of all that believe, he did it by such a number of seventy, which [Page 11]were all guided by the holy Ghost, as it had been one man, and they were as it were conduit pipes to convey the water of life into all Countries, Nations, & Tongue [...], for the comfort of Gods Elect through out the World. Thus you see there is no contradiction with God, he is at the beginning and ending all one in his Church; for as God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are all one in Trinity, so is the true Apostolical and Discipled Church whom Christ promised the holy Ghost should be with to the end of the world, Iohn 14.16. Iohn 17.21. And every member of the body have their proper gifts for offices and places for the building up, ruling and gathering of the Saints under Christ their head, 1 Cor. 12. Eph. 4.11, 12, As Paul saith, God hath ordained in the Church several Officers; as first, Apostles: secondly, Prophets: third­ly, Teachers; then they that do miracles: after, the gifts of healing, helpers of governments, diversity of tongues; but, saith he, are all Apostles? are all Prophets? are all Teachers? are all doers of Miracles? have all gifts of Healing? doe all speak with Tongues? doe all interpret? 1 Cor. 12.28, 29, 30.

These Scriptures sheweth us very plainly, Proved that none of the new Elect, or Gathered Churches are not true Churches. that all our new elect and gathered Churches are out of the ways of God at this very time, as far, I may say, as the East is from the West; yet I wil not judge any: But there may be many true members that belong unto Christ among them; but thus by the power of God I wil assure you, that none of the new Sects as cal themselves Churches, are true Churches, because they have neither true heads or body above them, according to other Law or Gospel rule, but every one strives to be a Teacher, by resting the Scriptures to their own corrupt finister by-paths, and so lose themselves, and lead many more into woods, wil­dernesses, and desarts of strange opinions; and so it wil be worse and worse stil daily, more every day then other, Eph. 4.11, 12, 13. til the mercy of God cause us to have an Apostolical and Discipled body under a head for the gathering of the Saints together for the work of the Ministery, and for the [Page 12]dification of the body of Christ, this wil be the way to make all the members of Christs Church meet in the uni­ty of true faith, as followeth if you can believe.

That the seventy Elders that God caused Moses to chuse had several prophetical gifts when they were chosen and brought to Gods Tabernacle, at that immediate time.

Or if your Highnesse can believe that Christs Apo­stles and Disciples had several prophetical gifts for the making of a compleat body for Christs Church: and the seventy interpreters of the Scriptures were guided by the holy Ghost: Then I intreat you for the Lords sake who hath sent me as a Herald to you, to cause you to chuse such a number as you see Law and Gospel rule holdeth out a just proofe for; which being chosen, and elected as by the power of Gods holy word and spirit guiding me to direct you as, hereafter followeth.

To shew your Highnesse and all the world by the pow­er of God, which he is able to perfect, and make good in my weaknesse. For as we read, Mal. 4. that Elias will come before the latter day, to turne the hearts of Fathers and Children one toward another; and to end contro­versies in Families, Nations, and Kingdoms, lest he should smite the whole earth with cursing; that as where ha­tred, warre, devision, and heresies have most and last a­bounded, there grace, love, peace, and concord may first begin to abound, here for a true exampled pattern for all other Nations to follow us: for Christ saith the first shall be last, and the last shal be first.

There is no fearful or doubtful question, to be ob­jected against this earth, and way which here is laid down the ground from antiquity of other ages, how God hath sent the holy Ghost into such an equal rising number heretofore to carry on his work by; but that he will do the like now if we would deny our own corrupt ways, and embrace his waies, which are all grace, vertue and humility; for God is Alpha and Omega, at the beginning and ending of his workes, all one and the same, and his wayes of mercy are past finding out.

The Apostles say, that these days would not come un­lesse there were first a departure of the Faith, by many falling into grosse erronious heresies, blasphemies and apostasies, there were never more then now: therefore we may well assure our selves by natural reason, that this is the very last age of the world, and should be the best: but nature is more abused now then ever it was in our forefathers days; so that this time shewed forth it selfe to be the worst, and the very dregs of all o­ther ages, that ever have been.

For, behold, both natural pride, and spiritual pride, abound in every high degree; natural drunkennesse and spiritual, not onely by excesse of drinking, which is a very great reigning sin in this land, but also Sects and selfe opinions, which makes many thousands stagger without drinking of either wine or strong drink, so that they are drunken and bereaved of all true spiritual sen­ses; and many others are blind by ignorance, their knowledge being so weak and shallow in points of Reli­gion, that they know not their right hand from their left; and although they have been brought up as it were in the Schooles of Moses and the Prophets in Abrahams bosome, by going to Church, hearing Sermons, and reading, or hearing the Scriptures, yet they are prophane and covetous, both people and Priests like one another, so that it grieveth the holy Spirit of our God to see his people destroyed for want of knowledge.

In the late Bishops time in some places we were gui­ded by a sort of Shepherds, Of the late Bi­shops time. which although they were knowing enough for learning, and charitable enough to the poor in temporals, yet they were prophane by star­ving their flocks.

But now we are troubled in most places, with a cove­tous sort of Teachers, I had like to said in all places be­ing ignorant themselves; they do not onely starve their flocks for want of saving and sound knowledge, but also for lucre sake, they drive and carry them into by and separate paths of errors and heresies, so being like peo­ple, [Page 14]like Priests, God hath punished our sins together, and yet our putrified sins being not healed, are like to break out into another red sea of blood, if God prevent not.

Now the Church being thus brought into the wilder­nesse weeping in her widows-like mournful Condition, as one that hath lost her husband, Luke 10. Rev. 9. and the Elders being all cast out of the City, so that she hath no guide for her children which are left alone among fiery serpent-like Teachers, and Scorpions and beastly poysoned opinions, and the Ark and Temple of God is razed and taken by the uncircumcised of heart; and we are a murmuring rebellious people, worse then the Israelites were, for our God hath brought us thorow a red sea of civil Wars, to an entrance of a spiritual Canaans peace.

And if our rebellion against God doe not prolong our misery, I fully believe we are neer the very entrance of a glorious time for the Church to break forth into her brightnesse, and to shine in a more glorious manner then ever she did since Adams fal: For the time is near at hand when all oppressors and dissembling hypocrites which do not speedily leave their evil ways shal be rooted out of power. And those that have served God, following the good old way, shal shine as the stars do in the firmament, both in Church and State, and to enjoy a true, religious, [...]tled peace according to righteousnesse and true holi­nesse, so that the civil Magistrate may be a wal to the Church and Ministery. Four Monarchs being broken down, there wil be another set up, even a Kingly pow­er under the Scepter of Jesus Christ.

Believe not those Dreamers, Mockers, Makers of Sects whose study is all to write or speak great swelling words against dignities, and the powers which are ordained of God, nay even against the Lords day or Christian Sab­bath, and the sacred ordinances of Gods Law and Christs command, even the ten Commands which God writ with his own finger in stone, never to be washed out or aboli­shed, having a double memento for the keeping of the Sabbath and Lords day, as wel to the Christian Gentiles [Page 15]as the Jews, for take away the Lords day, even the day which is set apart onely for his worship: if the candle­stick be removed away from us, the light of Gods true worship wil immediately follow, Luke 10. But as Christ saith, he saw Satan fal as lightning from heaven, and transforming himselfe into a glorious Angel of light, to carry on many with their new lights and false visions and new fangled doctrine, to deceive if it were possible the very Elect, but that is an impossible thing.

More I would have spoken of the Christian Sabbath, and of these strange opinions, to shew every poor soule the subtile wiles of Satan, and the means at large how to escape him, in this time of spiritual blindnesse and proud knowledge, which darkens mens mindes, and divides their judgements, by grosse thick darknesse which if we have not lost our spiritual feeling, we might feele it at none time, under the Gospels glorious light; which makes many other doat away their pretious time:

First a sign of the Stars.

ALL which wickednesse and Apostasies are but signs of a glorious time at hand, nay even at our very doores. For as when the Stars are under thick mists or clouds, that night is very dark, and the darkest part of all that night is immediately before the break of day; even so when the Churches Stars, the Ministers are clou­ded with the foggy mists and errors of factious Teachers which are clouds without water, as Jude speaks. Even then is the Church in her dark mournful condition; which darknesse will appear most of all when the day of her deliverance draweth neer.

Secondly, of the Moon.

AND as when the Moon is neer her change, the night imediately before is the darkest night of all that [Page 16]quarter, so the sad dark mournful condition of our Moon, the Church, gives us hope that she is neer her change, and that the Son of righteousnesse is ready to a­rise with healing under his wings, and that the morning tide is neer a turning; the day of a true religious peace is neer a dawning, and ready to break forth into a glori­ous light; thus you see the Churches greatest extremities is always Gods chiefest opportunities.

All which darknesse, confusions and mischiefs have arisen for want of these aforesaid apostolical and dis­cipled orders. For as Natures reason hath told you, that your Army could not stand without general field Offi­cers, above Captains of Companies, according to Marshal discipline: even so ordinary Ministers of parishes can­not stand without Heads: as Bishops, Deanes, and other Church-Officers according to Scripture discipline.

If fire have burned houses, and good dyet hath furfei­ted many mens bodies for want of being carefull and moderately used; shal we therefore never use fire or food more? Truely my Lord, this is a fit comparison concer­ning these things.

There is now a beginning of a fifth Monarchy or Kingly power; The begin­ning of the fifth Monar­chy. Your Highnesse is the first man God hath raised to be the man to erect it, and to be a Protector of the people in State, and to take the like care for the Church as David did for building up of the true worship of God, and as Davids desire was to be a door-keeper in Gods house, after he had destroyed the Churches enemies in the time of the Law. So God hath appointed you to keep the doore to let none but the true Ministers of Christ proved by Law and Gospel rule, to enter into that ho­ly office which have their calling and election from God and man and approved, able in gifts and sound knowledge fitting for the dispensation of the O­racles of God.

Your Highnesse ought to take the first Solomons desire of God, as an example to frame your heart, and to keep you from the desire of riches, honour, or the life of [Page 17]your enemies; but onely beg of God for an enlarge­ment of heart, for the guiding of such a people as is committed to your charge, and then all other things that God seeth is needful for you, will be added with­out wearisome care, as both Peace, Safety, Plenty, and Wisedome.

And to hasten speedily to set forward the finding out the true way for Gods worship to beautifie his house. Now you see God hath given you more power and liber­ty to doe such a work then ever any King had since Eng­land first was a Kingdome; although you cannot chuse but heare and know how many curse you as Shimei did David, yet you ought to think as David did when Shi­mei cursed him: Surely this cursing and plotting against me is suffered by Gods ordination or permission, because speedi­ly you doe not set about the great Work of God, and follow Christ the second Solomon by patience and meek­nesse, praying for your greatest enemies, and willingly and readily open a door of peace and truth to your grea­test enemies that you have fought against; if you can perswade your selfe the battels were for God, then the execution of vengeance should be left to him.

The way to chuse a High Priest.

YOur Highnesse ought first to chuse a good Pilot or High Priest for the Church; a good, learned, ortho­thodox Divine, such a one who hath alwayes heretofore given himselfe to charity and hospitality, apt to teach, a man of sound judgment and grave knowledge.

O for the Lords sake, and for the good of the Church and people, and your own safety in this life, and for your soules safety hereafter, imitate Abrahams chief Ru­ler, and eldest Servant; for God calls you to come to him, and to take a hallowed oath, as Abrahams servant did, being charged by his Master not to take a wife of a strange linage, of the Canaanitish seed, a­mongst whom he dwelt, but to goe to Aram, to fetch [Page 18]one out of Nahor, his own ancient Family.

Even the like charge lieth upon you from your hea­venly Master, for to chuse a Bride for his Sons Church of the Ancient, True, Christian Religion, even a man of selfe-denial, that will leave all like Rebeccha, Genes. 24.

Such a one to be a High Priest God the Father will take delight in: He that will assoone as he is called to Christs work, and that he is sent for to be the onely chiefe Head under Christ in his Church, and to be his chief espoused, as Rebeccha was to Isaac, who as soone as she saw Isaac in the Field at eventide, alighted off her Camel and went on foot to meet Isaac her Bridegroom, which went outto meditate in the field toward evening, who meeting Rebeccha, he brought her into his Mother Sarahs Tent after she was dead.

Even so will it be with us; though the old Prote­stant Church be in a dead condition, yet let us assure our selves that Christ is neer a coming to meet the pray­ers of his Saints. Now it is eventide with them; yet mans extremity is Gods opportunity, for Christ will meet such a one as is humble and lowly minded & meek, and he will bring him to be a High Priest after Melchise­dechs Order, in the Protestants place or Tent: And God will chuse an Apostolical and discipled number to be added to him, they being chosen and set apart for that end by him. Even such as will be willing to doe as Za­cheus did, who when he was climbed up in a Syccamore tree to see Christ, as soone as he was called by Christ to come down, for he would that day dine in his house with him, yea rather in his heart, and told him further, That salvation was come into his house both for himselfe and his Family.

So now the whole Land is soule-sick to see most men, which are climbed up so high, and all in a pretending way at the first to see Christ, but nothing intending any such matter, but to make themselves great in the world, and so set themselves against God and his glorious Gos­pel, [Page 19]which calls them to come down, as Christ did Za­cheus, to be charitable to the poor, and restore to every one their right, and then Christ will dine in their hearts, and the holy spirit of union will cast out the spirit of division, and bring salvation to their several Families, and joyn them together in one united minde, with one accord to carry on the great weighty affaires both for Church and State, to begin the work in a perfect way, and so goe on to more perfection:

Your Highness cannot chuse but see what great things the Lord hath done for you, by preserving your person in many and sundry great Battels of war, and since, ma­ny several dangerous plots which have been lately found out, which for brevities sake I must omit to name; all which plots and dangers shew you God is angry with you to see his house lie waste still, and no one is setting about the work of God.

You may well assure your selfe that God is sorely dis­pleased, that many are planting and setling themselves in great Estates, and making themselves great by this slaughterous wars, and so cast Gods work behind their backs. Now his House and Worship hath been pluckt down and brought to ruine by several Sects and evil members, which have some of them been of the Army, and the rest the Army have favoured, I meane all Here­ticks, seditious and blasphemous persons, in this fiery time of trial, or consuming of the true worship and zeal of Gods good old wayes of worship, which did shine in a flourishing condition.

And now you see God hath preserved your Highnesse, as he spake by the Prophet Zechariah 3.2. concerning Jo­shua the High Priest: The Lord will rebuke Satan, and chuse Ierusalem to reprove him. But saith the Lord, Is not this a brand pluckt out of the fire? And thus you see the Lord many times brings his beloved children very neare the very gates of Hell, or in great danger of fal­ling.

And now you may see God hath pluckt your High­ness [Page 20]from among those brands, and brought you to the Kings Throne, to be chiefe Ruler over all, as Abrahams eldest servant was. The first thing you ought to have done, that would have been most pleasing to God, and best and surest for your selfe, was to have found out the true worship of God, and to have been as faithful in chu­sing a spiritual Head for the Church, the woman, as St. Iohn saw to be cloathed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet, having a crown of 12. Stars on her head, Revel. 12.1. being meant Christ, or one in his stead, twelve Apostolical governours called a crown of twelve Stars: that is, Bishops of his Church, being cloathed with the Son of Gods bright garment of pure government: Ha­ving the Moon under her feet; that is, all changeable governments which change like the Moon.

Take one imitation of Abrahams servant, who refu­sed the eating of bread to feed his hungry appetite after his long journey, till he had shewed his faithfulness, and knew Rebeccha and her friends mind, Gen. 24. So take heed of feeding your selves with worldly dignitie, till you have found out a Head, and an espoused company to make a body for Christs Church.

Take your example from Moses, who after he was Gods chiefe servant, although he was brought up in Pharaohs Court by Pharaohs daughter, when he came to yeares of understanding, he refused to be called the son of Pharaohs daughter: O therefore take heed of those Courtly offers after you understand the wayes of God, as either to de­fraud or detaine any man from his Right, or keep the Church and people of God either in bondage or a wil­dernesse condition.

O therefore for the Lords sake delay no more time, by building your own houses, but set about the house of the Lord, which is called a house of prayer for all peo­ple.

For the neglect of that, God shewed you a sign of his anger, when you were in that great danger of being kild in Hide Park on S. Michaels day, if you can beleive the [Page 21]word of God to be true, That God commanded Moses to put off his natural shooes when God called him from being a natural shepherd to be the chiefe Leader of his people, Exod. 3.5. and likewise the same he command­ed to Joshua. Josh. 5. The shooes signifie the natural affection of a mans heart and minde, when he is called to the holy work of the Lord. We read that for a very small offence the Lord met Moses, and would have killed him in the way, Exod. 4.24.

And as the Angel of the Lord stood with his sword drawn before Ioshua to cause him to unloose the natural shooes from his feet; if the Lord hide it not from you, and so leave you off to hardnesse of heart and spiritual blindness, you may well see that the Lord is not pleased, by the many dangers you have been near. All those plots and dangers should be as warning pieces to set you for­ward to goe about the work of the Lord, or as goads to stir you up to it. I intreat the Lord, and oftentimes doe pray that God will be pleased to open the spiritu­al eyes of your soul, and clear up your understanding, that you may goe about the great work of the Lord with all expedition.

And you may well assure your selfe, that if the bur­den was too heavy for Moses, who had his counsel at Gods own mouth, who had likewise Aaron the High Priest, and other Priests to assist him; yet it made him to cry out to be eased of the Lord, or slain. There­fore let the example of the Jewish and Christian Chur­ches lead you as a pattern or line. Chuse first a High Priest, then 12. and gather 70.

The manner of the High Priests receiving the number of 12. for to be Apostolical Bishops, by the holy order of laying on of Hands, and then 70. proved from Jacob, Moses, and the Apostles [...]octrine.

YOur Highnesse having according to Gods command and Scripture rule to be your guide, chosen a High Priest for the head of Christs Church, as Aaron and Peter were; and then by the High Priests advice [...]o ordaine twelve Apostolical Bishops, as several heads under him, for to be over the twelve spiritual Tribes of Israel or Christs Church; the High Priest should not receive them to be his spiritual Sons without the laying on of hands: this holy order and confirmation of laying on of hands I shal prove to you by example from Jacob, Gen. 48.14. who when he was about to die, and to receive Manasse [...] and Ephraim into the number of his twelve Sons, to make them thirteen Head Fathers of the twelve natural Tribes of Israel, Manasseh and Ephraim being called the two halfe Tribes; at Jacobs receiving of them at the hands of their Father Ioseph to make them as his sons to bear their part of his name for the time to come through­out all generations; he did not do it without laying on of hands and, receiving them without that holy or­der to confirm them by his blessing.

Ioseph at his bringing them to old Iacob his Father, whose eyes were dim, his ful intention was, that old Is­rael should have laid his right hand on the eldest, and his left on the youngest; but he would not do so al­though his natural eyes were dim, yet God gave him the spiritual eyes of the soul to discern that the youngest son should come to be greater then his brother; although, saith Iacob, I know Manassch shal be great, yet his youn­ger brother shal be greater then he, for his seed shal be ful of Nations; and he set the youngers name before the elders. Although it much displeased Ioseph, who sought meanes to prevent his Father for doing thus; yet Iacob [Page 23]knowing the decree of God, would not alter it, Gen. 48. from the tenth verse to the end of the Chapter.

A little before Iacobs death he called all his sons toge­ther to blesse them, and to shew what would befal every one of them in the latter days: and how Iudab should be the heads in that out of his linage Christ was to come, and all people should be gathered to him.

In these prophetical signes Iacob is a representation of the holy Ghost, and likewise for the manner and number of his family. Of Moses lay­ing on of hands. Moses he followed this example of Iacobs laying on of hands, Scriptures make no mention of it, but a little about the time of his death, Deut. 34.9. This Text of Scripture saith that Ioshuah the son of Nun which was the succeeder of Moses, was full of the spirit of wis­dom; for Moses had put his hands upon him, and he and Israel did as the Lord had commanded Moses.

In the Apostles and Disciples time at the Gospels first plantation, as it is written for our instruction in several places of the Acts of the Apostles, how that by their lay­ing on of hands many received the gift of the holy Ghost. Paul at one time laid his hands on twelve several men, and they all received the gift of the holy Ghost and Pro­phesied: and furthermore Paul exhorteth his son Timothy whom he had begotten. Saith he, Despise not the gifts that is in thee, which was given thee by prophesie, by the lay­ing on of hands by the Presbytery Elders, 1 Tim. 4.14. All these Scriptures were written for our instruction and learning, there is none that believeth in God and his word that dare or wil object against it: thus you see here is proved in Christs Church an example of twelve Apo­stolical Bishops under a High Priest, otherwise called an Archbishop, and a Discipled number of seventy, to make a compleat body besides, and the order of receiving of them in their several places and degrees into that holy office of the Ministerial Function and body of Christs Church according to those holy orders which have been alwayes practised by the ancient Fathers of both Jewish and Christian Churches, in all former ages.

One Objection answered by Scripture ground and ar­gument.

Object. But happily many in our days may be apt to raise Objections against this truth, that is so manifest­ly proved here by Gods holy Writ, saying, that Apo­stles and Elders are all one; therefore, say they, there need be no other order but a number of Elders according to the Presbytery, which order is mentioned in the Scrip­tures. To answer these [...]bjections and make them fall to the ground. Look in the fifteenth Chapter of the Acts, and the first, second, and third verses; when there was a great diffention and disputation about Circumcision by Paul and Barnabas against them: at last they ordained that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the Apostles and Elders of the Church. The word Apostles in all places of Scrip­ture standeth before the word Elders: Paul was one of the twelve Apostles, 1 Cor. 2.28, 29. Eph 4. Barnabas, Stephen, Timothy, and the others in their several places were of the company of the Elders of the Church, Acts. 20.17. Multitudes of Texts and Scriptures might be raised to confirme this truth, to shew that there was first an Apostolical number as chiefe, twelve: and then Secondly, a discipled number of se­venty according to order then in those dayes: and that order would have continued till this very time, had not corruptions and divisions cast them out of the Church.

But this I can by the power of God assure your High­nesse and all others that desire to know; that we shall never enjoy perfect peace nor true Religion till that time be, that there be ordained for the Church such an Apo­stolical and discipled number; the which being done by God and mans appointment, having their commission signed and sealed by God and man, and being entred in­to a hallowed Covenant at the Ark or Tabernacle of Gods testimony, meant the Church, being received and ordained every one according to order to make a com­pleat body: by joynt order their chiefe reverent father in God ought not to receive them into this holy office [Page 25]without the laying on of hands: the which being done, and they joyned together as one man for the work of the Lord, for the ruling and gathering of the Saints, and buil­ding up of true Religion, being thus elected and cho­seu.

The true way to prove them by going to spiritual war with all Sects which are the true Churches enemies.

YOur Highnesse and many more may question me, or demand, saying, How shal wee know whether thy calling and election be of God, and sure and firm, and not of mens traditions, or superstitious consecrating?

'Tis answered thus.

It wil be known by this manner of trial that follow­eth, whether or not that they be the onely men God hath appointed to beautifie his Church, and to raise up Davids fallen Tabernacle here first in this land, and to be a pattern & example for all other lands to follow them.

Your Highnesse and they must [...] [...]lame open spiritu­al war against all Sects that hold [...] of Church fellowship, that call themselves Religions: and they may be all comprehended under four heads, as namely these, 1. Presbyterians. 2. Independents. 3. The Ana­baptists must be calld. And last of all the Church of Rome that is in these dominions, must be call'd to this spiritual war, to bring them to the Touchstone of Gods word.

All these aforenamed Churches so called, or any o­ther whatever, ought to have both leave and command from and by your Highness, to come to disputation, to­gether with them of the late and new ordained Electi­on, which is the Apostolical and discipled Body under a spiritual Head: Then as Iude saith, there will bee earnest contending among all these several elect for the faith once delivered to the Saints: every sect, such a cer­tain number as equalizeth the fore named being chosen and ordained according as best pleaseth their several judgements or opinions.

When this Herald or Trumpet is sounded which God wil cause his holy Angels to stir up the hearts of men to do it in his good time, Matth. 24.30. to gather his elect from the four winds, to see the true way to joyne them­selves to the true Ministerial head and body of Christs Church, Eph. 4. in one united faith.

For when these several elections are gathered toge­ther, there wil be casting of lots among these spi­ritual souldiers that are called to this spiritual war­fare to see which can gaine Christs seamlesse garment of government, which so oftentimes hath been parted and rent to pieces, and dipt in Christians blood formerly.

And there wil be likewise a casting of rods also toge­ther one with another; the Egyptians rod that would keep the Church in bondage, or the covetous idolatrous time servers, or the divided new fangled people, or the Church of Rome. All these their several rods may turne like Serpents, or bud many Scriptures each of them; But Aarons rod, or the true Priesthoods iron rod wil de­vour up the rest of [...] [...]ods, and break their power to pie­ces like a potters [...], all that are Antichristian, or Ty­rannical, or seducing.

Yet they may at the first bud many Scripture phrases, like the true Priesthood in the fight of the ignorant, but they wil soon discover themselves when they come to the touchstone of trial, by division to bring themselves to confusion, and so silence themselves.

But the true Priesthood which hath his foundation from Antiquity, that is, entered into a hallowed Cove­nant with God, and joyned together in a compleat body under a head, shal then shew forth themselves to be the true Prophetical and Apostolical Discipled Church, in a most manifest way they wil then appear before al people by their several gifts and places; being all guided by the spirit of Union; for their rod wil not onely devour the other Serpent-like rods, but also it wil blossom, and the spirit of Daniel wil appear in their lot to defend the woman, Christs espoused Church, which otherwise if she [Page 27]were not known by this kinde of trial and spiritual war, they would judge her to be a Whore stil, and say shee were as full of fornication as other-idolatrous Churches have been in other Kings reigns before: But now shee wil prove her selfe to be a pure Virgin: and that day the iniquity of Jacob wil be removed out of this land, Zach. 3. and the Whore of Babel shal fal, and all false formes, shal sink in the Sea like a Mil-stone, never to rise again: then wil that Scripture be fulfilled, Revel. 12.1. The Woman wil appear cloathed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet, and that's meant all changable Church-Govern­ments, and she wil have a Crown of twelve Stars on her head; which is to be understood the new Jerusalems Church, cloathed with Christs righteousnesse, and the twelve Stars are the twelve Patriarchs, or Apostolical Rulers, Rev. 21.11, 12, 13, 14. And Christs promise then wil be fulfilled to his twelve Apostles, when he was with them on the Earth, that they should be head in chief o­ver the twelve Tribes of Israel; and the fulnesse of the Gentiles brought in, and the Jewes called, then the kingdom wil be at this immediate time restored again to Israel, and all the kingdoms of the earth wil be under the glorious government of Jesus Christ; and the foure beasts, and the four and twenty Elders wil cast downe their Crowns before the Lamb that sitteth on the throne praising God, Rev. 4.

By the four Beasts we may understand the four Mo­narchies, or head ruling powers that have been already broken to pieces, and brought to their former beginnings of nothing againe, when their corruptions were growne ripe.

By the 24. Elders are to be understood 12. natural Patriarchal Judges under the Law for Temporals, under a natural Head, a King; and 12. Apostolical Spiritual Bishops over the Church, under their spiritual Father, the Head of the Church, the Judges of late years have turned judgment for the poore widow and fatherlesse into wormwood and gall, Hos. 10.3, 4, 7. Amos 6.12.

Though the temporal Father of the State be now cut off and cast out for the corruption and bribing par­tiality of the Judges, and the Judges held in at this pre­sent, but not without great corruption; and God hath so severely dealt with the spiritual Father, and all his Houshold, to cut off the Head, and cast out the body; but look what Peter saith, 1 Pet. 4.17. But the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: If it first begin at us, what shall be the end of them that obey not the Gospel of God? Wherefore let them that suffer now accor­ding to the will of God, commit their soules unto him in all well doing as unto a faithful Creator.

Look what Ieremiah saith, Chap. 23. v. 3, 4. Though it hath befel so with our Church of late yeares, and al­though God hath suffered his people to be thus scattered, Yet they shall be brought again to their folds, and he will set up Shepherds over them, which shall feed them, and they shall dread no more nor be afraid, neither shall any of them be lacking, saith the Lord. Behold, saith the Lord, the dayes shal come that I wil raise unto David a righteous branch, and a King shal reign and prosper, and execute judgement and justice in the earth, Jer. 23.5. And Dan. 2.44. That God wil restore to us Shepherds for the Church, and an A­postolical discipled order above them under a High Priest.

Even so his promise is to restore to us a true stock of Judges under a temporal Head, their true borne King? In his dayes Judah shal bee saved, and Israel shal dwel safely. Zeph. 3.9. In those dayes, surely saith the Lord, I wil turne to the people a pure language, that they may call upon the name of the Lord, and serve him with one consent. And all powers wil be broken to pieces, and the Heathen shal be smitten by that sharp sword which proceedeth out of the mouth of God. And he (according to his promise) will rule the Heathen with an iron rod; for he it is that treadeth the winepresse of the fierconesse of the wrath of God, Psal. 2.9. Rev. 2.27. Rev. 19.15. Then wil that time be that the swords shal be broken into plow-shares, and the spears in­to [Page 29]pruning-hooks, and Nations shal have no more cause to lift themselves up one against another in warlike man­ner.

Wherefore I intreat your Highnesse, and your wisest Counsel, for the Lords sake, that you wil make no de­lay, but speedily with all expedition chuse such a num­ber by election and holy ordination, that is, laid down a perfect rule from the Scriptures, and a command from God, and try them by spiritual war against all Sects and self-opinions, and they wil bring the Church out of her wildernesse and widowhood-condition, not onely of all danger of being brought into danger again, but also through these red seas of bloody wars which have been maintaned under the pretence of Religion, but contra­ry to Christs command or Gospel-rule. Likewise they wil cause these feigned Rivers of Iordan to be dried up, that all the Israel of God may come unto one united spiritual Canaans peace, within the Harbour or Suburbs of the new Ierusalem, to make us all Citizens of that place which Saint Iohn saw in his Vision to have twelve gates, and at the gates twelve Angels with the names written on them of the twelve Tribes of Israel, and the Lamb, and his twelve Apostles, which are the chiefe Founders and Builders of this glorious situated govern­ment.

Wee must understand, that as the judgments of God first began at his own house in this Land; so God wil have his house restored and built up again, to be as it were a pattern for the King and Lord Protector to frame and set up their State-government by. For a [...] there is to be appointed by God twelve Apostolical Bishops un­der a Head spiritual Father, to be the Leaders of the Church so far as their power can wel be able to rule; so likewise it is convenient to have 12. temporal Judges in chief, under one Father, the King, so far as their pow­er is wel able to extend in every division; which being thus done according to order, righteousnesse, and true holinesse, every Kingdome wil then become the King­dome [Page 30]of our Lord and of his Christ, Rev. 11.15, 16, 17.

So then the King being as Abraham or Moses, in chief under God the Father, Exod. 4.16. he must be as Moses was to Aaron, as it were a God to the High Priest, or Arch-Bishop. The High Priest or Arch-Bishop representing Isaac and Rebec­ca by a Melchisedech-order of Christ, must be as it were a chiefe Prophet to the King, as Aaron was to Moses: And the twelve chief temporal Judges, and the twelve Head spiritual Bishops, which make the number of 24. El­ders, must cast themselves down, with all their govern­ment both for Church and State, to give all praises to God the Father and his Son Christ Jesus, for judgment given to the great Whore; and the other 70. discipled El­ders wil doe their office as God wil appoint them to, and carry them on by the power of the Holy Ghost. And the High Priest shal then weare no more polluted garments, but God wil cause him to have change of ray­ment, and a fair Diadem or a Micre on his head as Aaron had.

And then the Church wil begin to flourish in a glori­ous manner, This fifth and last elect 70. wil by Gods assistance beautifie the fifth Monar­chy. and God wil carry on this last 70. under the High Priest and the 12. Apostolical Bishops, which are to be heads of the 12. spiritual Tribes of Israel, Gods holy spirit guiding these, and going along with them, they wil build up the truth Church better and firmer then ever it was before, advancing the true worship of God above all. Zach. 3.

And they wil give example for the Judges and State-officers to follow them in like manner; for the spirit of Daniel wil be among them, standing in the Lot: the dark letters and the hidden mysteries which are to be re­vealed to man, God by these wil unseal, and God wil esteem of them as his dearest Jewels.

These wil be guided by the Holy Ghost to doe as So­lomon exhorteth, to purge the tin and the drosse from the go Iden and filver governments.

The two famous Universities and Schooles of learning [Page 31]shal be made pure fountains by these, from whence the sincere milk of Gods word shal flow for the nourishment both of Church and State, to feed the flock and people of God as the breasts of Sarah and Rebecca did nourish Isaac and Iacob.

Then shal all houses of hospi­tality and religious store houses be setled & established according as is intended to their right end again, the store houses to be rightly erected without either I­dolatry or Superstition, for an ac­count of the Tithes and other things to be brought in thither, that their may be provision for Gods house, for all necessary u­ses that belong thereunto, accor­ding to the word of God, that being their guide; and all parish Churches, and Places that are or have been appointed for Gods worship, as neede requireth to be desently restored to their Priestine adornments, to make them the beauty of holinesse, as Gods word requireth, without superstition or idolatry, as Paul saith, Let all things be done decently and in order, and the Ministery for every de­gree rightly to be restored, and they to have their charge and or­ders from the Apostolical Bishop and Discipled Elders of their se­veral limitted Diocesses in all de­grees as belong to the Ministerial office to be as careful of their chargeover every Parish according to [Page 32] Ʋrim and Thummim, soundnesse of Doctrine and integrity of life, and to be as careful over all sorts of people that belong to their congregated charge, in all need­ful degrees, as great rich mens Shepherds must be over their folded or pastured Sheep, which were onely kept and appointed for that end, if any of their flock be lost by the Shepherds negli­gence, as earthly Masters wil look for the price of the sheep at their hand as is hired and kept for that end.

Zeph. 3.9. Saith the Lord, surely I will turne to the people a pure Language, that they may call upon the name of the Lord, and serve him with one consent.
Lord hasten this time.
In this time of the kingdom of glorious grace, there shall no man need to ask the wayes of God of Lay men, but we shal all be taught of God, and fed with the sin­cere milk of Gods word, which floweth from the mouth of Gods messengers, the true Ministers. Every neighbour and pri­vate man to follow his temporal calling, living in unity, ami­ty, and true Christi­an brotherly love; saying one to ano­ther, where sin and envy hath heretofore abounded, so now true love & grace shal much more abound, serving God with one consent, saying one to another, Come let us go up to the house of the God of Jacob, to learn of his true Shep­herds and Ministers, We may wel con­clude & believe this to be the time that the whole earth wil be filled with the knowledge and glo­ry of the Lord, as the waters covereth the Sea.
Yea much more must the Minister, Shepherd, or Watch­man give an account both to God and them, as God hath set over them of their charge, for if any be lost for want of their care, their blood God wil require at their hands, Ezek. 33.

The same charge lieth upon me or any other that hath a message to declare from God to your Highnesse, con­cerning the seeing of a sword or a judgement, or an al­teration of the times; we must not fear to declare the mind of God, for the displeasure of either King or Po­tentate; if we doe, whensoever it be, they die in their sins or ignorance for want of having warning by the seer, that God revealeth it to; they shal die. and their blood shal be required at his hand.

For by this which I am to declare to your Highnesse, I am appointed of God to assure you, and the whole Council of State, that although other powers of the late several choices for Church and State have not sought [Page 33]Gods ways but their own; yet those that God wil per­fect his work by, he wil have them to deny all to fol­low Christ: although the other selfeseeking powers took not Solomons counsel, who exhorted them to take away the evil counsel from before the King, and the Kings Throne should be established according to righte­ousnesse, but they wilfully and unadvisedly took away the King instead of his evil Counsel to establish them­selves by it in great places; these natural warriers did it unadvisedly by spiritual blindnesse, yet the thing could not be omitted because it was long before so de­termined of God.

These spiritual warriers will restore his son again to the royal Throne, to be supream, in more Dignity and Majesty then ever his Father enjoyed it, to be established in and by peace, if God harden not the Churches ene­mies to their own destruction, as he did Pharaoh and his host; neverthelesse whatever the malice of Satan and wrath of wicked men do endeavor themselves against the ways of God: yet it wil be at last for their greater ruine that withstand the wil of God: the more violently they withstand it, the more God wil be glorified by their de­struction, which wil come upon them like a suddain whirlewind, when God ariseth to deliver his Church: Fhr God and his chosen as he will doe his work by, he wil cause them to restore every thing in the right or­der, both in Church and State, which hath been dis­placed and disjoynted this many hundred yeares; and so he wil preserve it til the end of all things come to dis­solution; because God hath the hearts of all Kingly Potentates in his hand, to dispose of them as pleaseth him, either for the establishment of a Nation in peace, or the remove of them by war.

I must needs be bold to speak and declare my consci­ence in the presence of God, and the like to all the world:

Concerning King Charles his Life and Death, that for ought I could ever see or heare upon ground or proofe, [Page 34]waving afide envious or slanderous aspersions cast upon him, that are now plainly seen were cast upon him, to carry the design of his enemies on against him in a vio­lent way, as things were laid to Davids charge that he never knew of: If Christ were so wronged by false witnesse, and put to to death, and his Apostles, Martyrs and Saints, and the holy men of God in all ages, let no man judge the worse of him for his untimely death; for there is a righteous Judge that knoweth all, therefore let every man begin to judge his own heart, and there he shal find himself to be in a great high rebellion against God, and guilty of high Treason. The meanest crea­ture as God made for our necessity and servile service, in their nature doth condemn us in the things they were created, for so they remain stil.

I cal God to record, I speak nothing in his behalfe, no not a word more then I would for any man else, for God caused me to fortel his overthrow, and I have had great losse and trouble by some that were of his Army; yet I have been long assured, and caused to write and speak how that he was the Lords anointed King, and that his conscience being firm to maintain the ancient Rights of the Protestant Church, was the cause of his death. Furthermore I am forced to foretel how that his Posterity and Heire wil come to enjoy the Crown: And this I am caused and compelled to speak, as I have heretofore foretold by the power of God, of the great­est remarkable changes and chances as have fel out be­tween King and Parliament, neer this 12. yeares past, which is all come to passe since but onely the manner of Church-government, and the Kings Son being restored to his Fathers Throne, and in what manner, if any man wil needs ask me what ground I have for it, I must needs tel him, it is the witnesse of Jesus, which is the spirit of Prophesie, which hath carried me on in this man­ner. Not that I can fortel any of these things by any power of my own, or by any natural Art; but when it pleases God to compel me, then I cannot forbeare to goe.

As for King Charles his life, they could speak no o­ther of him when he reigned in peace, but that he was a loving godly peaceable Prince, sticking close to the fun­damental point of the Protestant Religion.

I butsaid many he was almost turned Papist; but they that cast that aspersion upon him first, soone after, when they had made many beleeve that, then they said the Common-prayer and the Protestant Religion was all I­dolatrous Popery, and so they esteemed Charity a while after. I judge noue that were the instruments of the Kings death, I with great fervency of spirit pray that his bloed may not cry to Heaven for vengeance like Abels, but like our Saviours; for they that were the instru­ments, did not know what they did, God hiding it from their eyes by their spiritual blindnesse, as the Jews that put Christ their heavenly King to death.

I fully believe that this City of London wil be a se­cond new Jerusalem, ordained by God to reigne over the Gentiles. I speak not this by any prophetical com­mand of God, but by permission and several natural rea­sons as cause me so to think.

You know Paul was a great man in discernment of the wayes of God by Visions, yet he spake many things by permission more then onely Gods immediate command at all times to him; but this by the power of God, and his holy spirit that I hope dwelleth in me, and I trust wil alwayes guide me in all my wayes by his holy spi­rit in the way of truth, both in speaking, writing, walk­ing and talking, I wil shew you.

As our Saviour Christ was envyed by the Pharisees, and put to death by their Counsels, but not against the ordination of God, by those hard hearted Jewes; yet Christ prayed for them, and his death was a destruction to their Religion, even of those wilful blinded Jewes, that put their King Christ to death by the Souldiers who guarded them to doe it.

Even so wil it prove in the end with those Pharisalcal Presbyterians, that first put to death their High Priest, [Page 36]raised up some of the Army, which caused the King to be put to death; also they gave the first onset by their preaching and covetous lives, to raise Sectaries and He­rifies to be the instruments to doe it, it could not be o­mitted, it was both permitted and long so before deter­mined that he should be cut off by an Army and a flood of-Heresies, Dan. 11. Hos. 10.3, 4, 7.

The King he imitated Christ and Steven, in praying for his enemies, and to be a meek man and a godly Christian Prince, standing firm for the Protestant Cove­nant.

But by the Bishops death, which none but the Presby­terian Priests were the cause of, that every one of them thinking to reign as Bishops by it, some of them gave the first onset to set others against the King: But the death of the King and the Arch-bishop, which all Secta­ries thought to have reigned in a living condition by it, and knew they could notwithout it; yet his death and the Bishops wil prove to be the death of al Sects and Herefies, and the chiefest meanes under God to convert the Jewes, Pagans and Turks to Christs truth.

The Lord guide me with this holy Spirit

I Shal assure you in truth, eleven year agoe, I being an Apprentice to an Iron-Monger, it happened by the powerful providence of God, as I was at a Fare on the longest day of the year, called Saint Barnabies day, as I was helping my Master to keep the Fare at Newport-pan­nel in Buckinghamshire, I being in perfect health, and bu­sily exercised about my Masters imploiments with him at the stall.

About 12. of the clock as I was weighing out of ware, and many people at the stal, I was struck of a suddain with amazement; the power of God caused me to look before me, and there was standing before me the shape of a Woman, cloathed in blew, like an old fashioned cloak and safeguard,

The Woman cloathed in blew raiment signified the Protestant Church. Aaron the High Priest his colours were blew for the Ephod, Exod. 28.28, 31, 37.

the liknesse of her face was black as an O­ven,

Her blacknesse of face signified that she began then to be overwhelmed with darknesse, lamentations, & mists of Heresies, as Jude calls them, Clouds without water.

she strook her hands over her face.

Her striking of her hands over her face in a mourn­ful condition, signified the lamentable condition which she then was fallen into, when the High Priest and the Apostolical, and Discipled Elders were cast out of the City, and there was no true government then, either in Church or State, when Kingly power was spurned against, and so fearfully despised & weak­ned, so that the Judges and civil Magistrates could not be a wal to the true Orthodox Ministry, then many old heresies which had been long ago buried began to be new digd up, new fangled opinions be­gan to be found out by Sa­tans malicious temptati­ons.

I took as little notice of it as I could, but was following my Ma­sters occasion of trading, being a waighing of nailes I was struck fick at heart of a suddain, and was forced to look on the strong appe­parission [Page 38]which was like a Woman, and looked sted­fastly on her, who strook her hands again over her face in a wailing condition as a [...]man that had lost her h [...] and, or children, or some great friend, and so she vanished away.

I was very heart and sto­mach sick, of a suddain be­ing forced to leave the stal I told my Master I was not wel, I went to his Inne, and being very sick, I vomitted blood: after a little time being something better, I went to my Master againe, and staid by him all day, but not without much paine, this was on the Satterday, and was I sick and heavy at heart, and all parts of my body many days after, but I praise God I slept very wel every night, but could not tel what ailed me, my stomach was gone, I could not eat any thing at all, nor drink any thing; but what was soure like vinegar.

I told my Master at night of the strange apparission and vision, and of my sicknesse, but he believed me not, so we went that night to Eubourne in Bedfordshire; on Mon­day I was not able to goe on foot, but rod on my Ma­sters hackney horse most of the way to Hampsteed in Hart­fordshire. On Teusday we went to Watford fifteen miles off London, but very sick and weak I was every day, yet slept wel every night. On Monday we returned home­ward; I riding with much pain on horseback, I besought the Lord with a fervent mind, to be merciful to me, he heard my prayers, and as we were riding about a mile and an halfe off Redburne; the Lord made my heart to think, and my tongue to speak, and tel my Master, that if he would goe by Redburn, it being neer a mile out of [Page 39]his way, I might ride home in a Waggon; he asked me how I could tel, or with whom; I told him with my Father; for I told him my Father had two Waggons then in Redburn, it being at mid time of the day; and how that my Father was there and one Brother, and his man. I had no natural reason to say so, for I could not tel they were in those Countries, but onely the Lord had revealed it to me, who reveales his secrets to them that fear him, Psal. 25. & 34 his holy Angels pitch [...]s their tents about them.

My Master was unwilling to go that way, but with much intreating did, and we found them in Redburn ac­cording as the Lord had caused me to speak. My Ma­ster overwent me that day, and left me to ride in my Fathers Waggon.

On Thursday night, we came to Tosseter, fifty miles from London, Coventrie rode; my Fathers Inne was at the Sarasens head; but my Master appointed if I was not able to ride home, I should be carried to his Inne, which was the fign of the Peele.

As soon as I came thither, I defired to goe to bed, presently with in an hour after, my Fathers Brother and many more came to see me, and asked me how I did, I told them I praised God I was better then I was before, and many such words.

I told them of the strange Vision in the Fair at Newport-pannel, but they beleeved me not, and the manner of it oftentimes; and how the Lords Revelation to me made me know where to meet them, which was against na­tures reason: My brother offered me to watch with me all night; no said I, brother goe to your bed, and take your rest, for I praise God I am better then I have beene ever since I saw the Vision. So they left me.

There was no Guests in the house that night, and I did lodge in an upper roome, a good distance from the people in the house; and I had been hot and cold on a sudden, my cloaths being light and thin on my bed, and I was dangerous sick, neer unto death of a sudden, [Page 40]not thinking I could possibly live while morning: it be­ing the dead time of the night, I could get none to come to me by knocking or calling. The Lord put it into my mind of a sudden that I should live to see an end of these troublesome times, and how God had ordained me to be an instrument to the bringing it to passe: Lord said I to my selfe, how can can this be, seeing I am thus weak, not like to live til morning? My heart began to sink, so that I could scarce speak. Within a little space the Lord strengthened me wonderfully, and put it into my heart to hang my cloaths about me, and goe out of my bed to other beds in the next chamber, and fetch cloaths: I being not able to stand, crept on my hands and knees, and fetcht the cloaths of two other beds, and with the help of Gods holy Angel laid them on my bed, and went to bed again.

A while after, being something warm in my bed, the Lords Angel gave me warning that I must undergoe the strongest temptation that night as any man had endured; yet the Lord would uphold me in it. Dear friends, it was no dream nor fancy; for I was awake, and had my perfect memory.

A little while after there was as it had been a book o­pened in my conscience, I cannot forget the remembrance of the letters stil; and there was laid to my open view and memory all the sins that ever I had offended God ei­ther by omission or commission; and the Lord assured my conscience they were forgiven assuring me that they were buried in the Sea of Christs blood.

That was no sooner past, and another Book opened, but there came into my mind a remembrance of al my deal­ing between man and man, and there was found no ac­cusation against me, but onely for 4 d. which had been neer six years past. For the first journey that ever my Master sent me out with iron ware, he sent me three dayes journey from his house to a place called Chessom in Buckinghamshire, and before I came home againe, I lost 1 s. of my account, and having cast it up at Warwick, [Page 41]the last night of my journey, and then I fearing to tel my Master of it, kept halfe a peck of oats from my hor­ses, thinking to get the shilling that way at several times; so after with my with my Master, I losing 8 d. and wronging the dumb creatures of their al­lowance, my conscience being troubled at it, did so no more.

And when I was at the point of death, God suffered two ugly Devils, in shape like Blackmoors to accuse me before him; so that I was forced to look out of the bed, and they stood between my bed and the window at my left hand: I was in a terrible fright, they standing neer my bed-side a little after midnight. The Lord gave me a strong spirit to resist the Fiends by prayer, which made them fly from my bed-side. And Gods holy Angel com­forted me exceedingly, and so left me for a little time.

Anon after there appeared another Devil, who was transformed into a glorious shape, whose adornments shone like gold, as it had been a great Emperor, King, or Monarch, with a Crown on his head, who would have perswaded me to have denied that Christian Faith as I was trained up in, and renounce the Baptism as I had received in my infancy, and I should bee in as great estimation for the time to come as any in the world.

I endeavoured to pray against those perswading temp­tations, but my own heart would have deceived me one time, I could scarce keep my mind close to God; and being mighty hot by sweating, and faint by sicknesse, my soule desired to keep close to God. My heart was brought very weak, I was brought so feeble-minded, I thinking all hope past but I must yield; at last I said, a­void Satan.

At these words, and many more such like, the trans­formed Fiend vanished away; and the Angel appeared at my right hand as I lay in my bed, and strengthened me with exceeding inward comfort, and so left me a­gaine.

The black Fiends appeared a second time, and being resisted by prayer, they fled. And there was another like a General, or great Commander, in gay apparel, in several colours, as red, black, green, yellow, in a bunch, perswading me as the former did; but the Lords power was strong in me to resist him by prayer, which made them fly from my bed-side; then began it to be a little morning-light. I prayed all night, looking every mi­nute when the Lord would fetch away my soule from my body, but I desired much of the Lord to live to see my Father and brothers, and to make a Will to dispose of some little money, and some cattel; some to the poor, some to my brothers, some to friends, according to my Talent as I had.

When the day began to dawn in my chamber, there was the shape of a Ladder, reared from the chamber-floor to the window; the top of the Ladder was above the window, the two ugly black Fiends and the transform­ed Devil appeared again neer my bed-side in violent way to feare and tempt me. I prayed to God for defence and succour; the transformed Devil, shining like an Angel of Light, ran up to the top of the Ladder above the window, there I was tempted again; the two black Fiends ran up after, and stood one above another on the Ladder, calling to me twice, and saying, Come, wil you come? The Lord strengthened my heart to prayer; the transformed Fiend vanished away from the top of the Ladder: The ugly black Fiends, after they had turned feet to feet, the ones head was up towards the top of the Ladder, the others hung downward, and thus they hung their soles of their feet together on the Ladder. I thought all this while on Jacobs Ladder. Lord, thought I to my selfe, this is such a Ladder as Jacob saw in his Vision, Gen. 28.12:

At the end of these terrible fights of the fearful Visi­on, I brake forth, uttering these very words, saying, O my Saviour, thou that wast tempted and hadst no sinne, [...] able to succour me a poor finful creatore; in the [Page 43]name of the whole Godhead avoid Satan. The one fel one way, the other another way, the Fiends parting a­sunder; and I praise God I had no more temptation all the rest of the time of my sickness.

And the Angel of the Lord came and comforted me, and told me when I was restored to health I must go on Gods message to the King, and tel him he must agree with the Parliament, and condiscend to them by agree­ment, and forgive them that which had been past, as a loving Father, although it were against him in that way as he was in and his Army: if he did refuse to doe it speedily, and for to work Reformation both in Church and State, if this were neglected, the Kings Army would come to nothing but destruction, and hee would be destroyed and cut off, but yet his Son would come at last to reign.

Then I was to tel the Parliament, in withstanding the King they must not doe it to make themselves great, but perform their vow, for the setting up of Gods truth in the true purity for Church-government; and for Tem­poral and State Affaires, it must be to maintaine true Judgment in all degrees for the Magistrate according to truth.

If this in the beginning were not their ayme, and in the end in the end their actions, God would blast all their proceedings, by one power displacing and dissol­ving another, til at last their heresie and injustice and division would bring them to confusion.

And the Angel then gave me direction how the King and Parliament must make their agreement at last, and what form and manner the Church must and would be established and governed. And how that God had or­dained tha I must be one of the three, and my Talent was to shew first the Church-government.

And after, in my ficknesse the Angel revealed to mee againe, how that all Countries would rise in a triumph­ing manner, with all sorts of Musick, and so come up to London with great joy, to establish the King, and over­throw [Page 44]all the enemies of Christ and his Gospel, and cast them out of power, and then all sword-powers would begin here to cease, and as a pattern other Nations should follow.

I should have spoken of the manner of the sicknesse, and more of Gods great goodnesse to me; but for brevi­ty-sake I end with praises to God

The reason why God suffered the two two black Fiends to accuse me for the groat as I wronged my Masters horses of their allowance, gave me warning after for ever wronging my fellow servants more, if it should lie in my power after.

As much it signified and breatned to any that either are, have been past, or shal be for time to come, put in power above men, to be Rulers either in Church or State, if they wrong, de­fraud or smite with the fists of iniquity, Matth. 24.

They that doe so, without repentance to God, and restorati­on to man, like Zacheus, God and their own conscience will finde them out, and Satan wil bring bils of indictment in this life or after: For we have all one Maste- in Heaven.

Satans transforming himselfe into a glorious shape, and perswading me to renounce my infant-baptism, and the feign­ed apparition of Jacobs Ladder, signified all Sects and self­opinions, that are tempted by Satan to renounce their infant­baptism, to go after the feigned River of Jordan, perswading others to follow their steps up Jacobs Ladder, which is not the true way to Heaven: Therefore, as Christ saith, Neitherbe­leeve nor follow them, Matth. 24.

A short description of some of my great Troubles.

AFter the first Apparitions, Revelations, Temptati­ons and Visions that the Lord bad made knowne unto me his unworthy servant, many of his secret deter­mined intents which suddenly were to befal the King and Parliament both, Church and State, and a meanes how it might have been prevented, and a true peace set­led, if they would but have denied their own corrupt wayes, to have imbraced Gods wayes.

And further, when the word of the Lord came first un­to me by his holy Angel, to cause me to goe on Gods message, first to the King, and then to the Parliament, to declare God [...] mind unto both parties, as I have shew­ed before, and what great troubles I must undergoe by crosses, imprisonment, violence from my nearest friends, losse of goods, if I refused to goe at first, to displease them: yet after many troubles I must goe at last.

When God had restored me to health and strength of body again after my sicknesse, through my friends per­swasion I left Gods message undone, and cast his will behind my back; but many times I should talk of it to many of my friends and others, telling them in what manner God had appeared to me, and what a charge was laid upon me from God to presse me on to discharge my conscience, I oftentimes speaking of it with griefe; but they most of them would be stil perswading me that it was a temptation of Satan and his delusions, and would bee arguing much with mee, that in these dayes God did not appeare by either apparitions, visions, or revela­tions, saying those things were now ceased.

Thus their perswasion wrought upon mee by Satans temptation to let Gods work alone for the space of above three years. In this time I had some great troubles: The first of them was when I thought I should have been mar­ried to a Neighbours daughter as lived neere my Masters dwelling, one of a good portion and parentage. Shee was my first love, being made sure one to another by strong promises in the way of contract between our selves: it was broke by false pretended friends, and so parted. I looked upon it no other way then this, I was assured that God did cause my proceedings in the world to be crost, because I had not been obedient to what I was commanded of Gods holy Angel, and confirmed by sure signes.

Within the compasse of a year after I was married to another rich mans daughter of my own trade, being set up to follow the calling of an Ironmonger at Hales Owen, [Page 46]five miles from Brimingham, lived peaceably with my Wife, kept neer 60. Nailors at work to make iron ware. I kept great trading, and many horses to send ware up unto other Countries, for to serve whole sale to many Chapmen.

In this time I had many troubles and losses, which if I should lay them down in particular what I had before I was forced by God to goe on his message, and those as I have endured since, in the manner as they have befel me, and Gods mercy to me in delivering and preserving me from one time to another, in no ordinary way, but in a miraculous way, the like was scarce ever heard of by any; if I should put them in a Book, it would be lar­ger then could be read in the lengest day in the year, and yet all true and good reading, to shew the wrongs as I have endured by my neerest friends, and she that was my Wife, with some of her friends, and many more, which before I went on Gods message shewed great love to­wards me; but when I went on purpose to the King, when Colonel Graves was his Keeper at Holmby, they were all great friends, but after, profest enemies against me by Satans malice, to wrong me in the highest degrees that ever was heard of by any man in such nature since the world began, not onely once or twice, but several times in several yeares; yet I praise God I can speak it with a good conscience, in the sight of God and man, that there is none of my greatest enemies can say upon truth, neither wil they I believe, that I in all my troubles as I have undergone, I ever wronged man, woman or child willingly, not so much as to use any extremity against any of my greatest enemies, but stil committing all to God, and praying for my greatest e­nemies, which are sure fignes and strong testimonies to all that know me, that I have been all this while guided, preserved, and carried on by a miraculous providence of Gods holy spirit.

First, when I went to speak with the King, Colonel Graves was his Keeper at Holmby: I being compelled by [Page 47]God to leave all and goe to foretel King Charles what would suddenly befal him if such things were not done as the Lord had shewed me concerning his agreeing with the Parliament to erect and set up the true Religion of Jesus Christ in the good old way, and that the Ma­gistracy should be as a wall to the true Ministry.

I having these things in my breast to declare to the Kings own person by word of mouth, I comming very neer to the Kings Majesty, being at bowles that day at Boulten Court, two miles from Northampton, with many Noblemen and Gentlemen to attend him, I was fearful and bashful to be so bold as to speak my selfe to such a person as a King, I being ready to speak several times, but being possest with slavish fear, I called Colonel Graves aside, he being my neighbour-countryman, and of great acquaintance with his kindred and family, I told him what my occasion was to speak with his Majesty, and what it did concerne, who walked a great while with me: I declaring Gods m [...]ssage to him concerning the King and Parliament, hoping that he would have been an instrument to have brought me before the King, being it was so that the King was his prisoner, he told me he durst not let me speak to the King, for he feared I would speak those things to the King as would be displeasing to some there, and so he should be blamed, and I might be troubled because notice was taken of my calling him aside.

He said to me, Countryman, Countryman, trouble not your selfe with the these things, but goe home and fol­low your calling, for there are many which are crack­brain'd comming with such stories to the Parliament, and I belieeve this is a temptation of Satans working upon you.

Sir, said I to Colonel Graves, you shal find it no such matter; for if there be not this speedy agreement be­tween King and Parliament upon these con [...]tions, that the Protestant Church may be truly and rightly reform­ed, so that the King, Judges, and Civil Magistracy may [Page 48]be reformed according to righteousnesse and true holi­nesse, that they may be as a defending wall to the true Orthodox Ministry, according to that direction as God declareth to you by me now, and more fully he would if you would beleeve what he speaks now by me. The King wil be taken away in a pretence to doe him good; but many intend to destroy him.

When I had declared Gods message to Colonel Graves, I was eased of my burden. I went home thinking to follow my Trade again close suddenly, not thinking these things should be any hinderance at all to me. But God was angry with me, because I having lost such an opportunity in speaking to the King by slavish feare, but must needs declare it to him that prevented me.

After they had taken away the King from Holmby, I went to speak with General Fairfax concerning the King and Parliaments agreement, and Church-government, but was prevented.

God suffered Satan to raise my Wife and most of her kindred to be violent against me, my Wife being there at that time, according to her and their desire, she be­ing great with child, neer her time of deliverance, after they had gotten a great part of my best goods and stock to their house, using much desperate cruelty against me. The very remembrance of it grieves my heart to speak or think of it stil. Before the time as God caused me to goe to the King, my Wife and I lived as peaceably as any man and his Wife did in our Country, and as much true love was shewed to her by me; but for her part, she fel off to be my bitterest enemy, for want of being guid­ed by the true love and fear of God.

When they had forbid me to come to the house; yet patiently I endured, hoping to have overcome all my enemies by love, I came oftentimes to see my Wife, I was many times in great danger of being kild among them: Their Neighbours did lament my sad conditi­on, and wil witness the same, I seeking no Law nor Ju­stice against them.

When the very time of my Wifes deliverance was come, she forced me from her with bitter swearing and cursing, forbidding me ever comming neere her more, being set on by her Mother. So at that time I left her with a heavy heart, praying for her, and telling her that I would pray to the Lord earnestly that he in mer­cy would preserve both she and the child from death; but yet to cause her not to be released of her tormenting paine, til she was glad to send speedily for me to be a comfort to her, and to confesse the wrong which they had done me.

The Lord heard my humble prayers; for she was neer three dayes in travail, and could not be delivered, til I was at last with all haste sent for. When I came to her, she lovingly embraced me with bitter teares, laying great blame upon her Mother and the rest of them that were my enemies, desiring me speedily to goe to prayer for her, and so I did, and she was immediately deliver­ed of a daughter, and we were all friends againe; and she was forced to confesse the great wrong they had done against me before many women that were their Neigh­bours.

Her Father did seem to love me all this time, caused my Horse to be put to grasse, and desired rue to stay all night. At evening his eldest son came home, and gave me very bad words, telling me he would turne my horse out of the ground, and taking a riding rod in his hand to drive out my horse, having laid a great club in a private place in a readiness, intending to knock me down privately. I followed him, desiring him not to shew himselfe so uncivil against me as to put my horse out: I having neither staffe nor any other thing in my hand: I being before him when he came to the private place where the great club was hidden, he had like to have beaten my braines out of my head before I was aware of his wicked villany, being in the dark evening time, yet I saw a glimpse of the blow coming toward my head, and stepping close towards him, I put it by my head [Page 50]with my arme; if Gods mercy had not preserved me a thousand to one I had been slaine, I dare say it was his bloudy intent, and many more, such desperate at­tempts I several times escaped.

Thus they abused me, and sold my horses among them, and broke me of my Trade. I then began to seek out to the Justices for a warrant, being thus abused for my patience sake; but before I could bring them before the Justice, they had caused me to be brought into great misery, using my own money as an instrument. They wrought upon my Father by the worst enemies I had, to perswade him I was troubled with distraction; and because my Father hearing I had been with the King at Holmby, and writing and talking strange things, though it were of God, yet understood not, he consented for to cause me to goe to be a while with a Doctor, rather then they should shew violence to cast me into prison by false swearing; and to draw my Father to be willing to that, they made promises that a while after I should have all my goods restored againe. They knew there could be no other mask to cover that vilany as they had lately done against me, but onely to cause many to think I was out of my wits, to make good their cre­dit.

But Brethren, it was so thought of Christ, when he began to put in practice his Fathers businesse, when he chose his twelve Apostles, Mark 3.17.21. and called some of them sons of Thunder, his kindred thought he had been beside himself, intending to lay hands on him: if it were so judged of Christ by natural men, let not his spiritual souldiers be ashamed to be called mad­men, and so all natural men doe all Gods people. But all that ever saw me, let them be enemies or friends, I praise God cannot but say I ever spake sensibly, with so­briety, and very wel in the Scriptures, which made all that heard me admire to heare me speak, and to read those things which I wrote, having no natural learning [Page 51]to attain to it, but the dictates of Gods holy spirit to press me on to it.

And when all this misery, and much more had befel me, I willingly submitted my selfe under this great bur­den of afflictions, to Gods protection, and to be ruled by my Father counsel, although I knew it were against me. But when I came out of that misery, I went to a Justice of the Peace againe for a warrant to bring some of the chiefe actors of my misery before a Justice in Wor­cestershire, on Midsomer day was seven yeares past; and when I had laid open the wrongs to him, it much grie­ved him, and all that heard of it. The Justice promi­sed me that I should have justice, for he had heard that the whole countrey spake wel of me, and cryed out against them for wronging of me.

So I went that day after to see my unnatural Wife, to her Fathers house, and finding none at home but she with her little child, I was glad. She pretended a great deale of love to me when she saw me, by outward signes of weeping, and good words, as she sate by my little child, it lying in a Cradle.

My Wife desired me not to think of any difference that had been past, but to forget is, and to goe as soone as possibly I could to house-keeping again, for she told me that they began to lead her a very disquiet life. Quoth I to her againe, I hope all wil make for the best, to cause your love to cleave to me againe; for said I, you ought to forsake all your friends to live with your lo­ving husband, you know Gods word commands you so to doe.

I desired her never to so much as think any more of any thing that had been past, but now to turn over a new leafe, as though we had been newly married; and so she made great promises to me that she would.

I further asked her how it was possible we should keep house so suddenly againe, seeing they had sold my hor­ses, and broke me of my Trade? She told me her Father would restore to me such things again, for he loved me [Page 52]wel she said, and was sorry for me.

I took the little infant out of the cradle, and sate me down on a stoole at the end of the cradle, and layed my staffe at my feet, for I was fearful of more mischiefe if a­ny of the rest were at home, which made me doe so.

My Wives Mother, and her daughter Katherine being neer the house, and seeing me when I came fromward the Justices, they laid a plot, thinking that I had been for a warrant for them, if they could perswade my wife to take their part, they would fall upon me, and so would take their oath all three when they came before the Justice, that I offered them wrong, and so make their owne matter good, and throw me in prison again.

As soon as they came into the house, they called my Wife from me, and told her privately if she did not help to assist them against me, they should be utterly undone and discredited: So she presently yielded to her Mothers and middlemost Sisters counsel, and came presently from them. I had the child on my knees, and was playing with it: She took up my staffe as lay at my feet, and made as though she would have carried out of the hall into the parlour; she turned back againe suddenly with a great blow, and struck me on the head and studied me, and caught me by the throat, and pluckt me by the haire of the head, and beat my head against the wall; her Sister being a great lusty wench, came running upon me too, and beat me about the head with my own staffe; and thus I lay with the child on my knees, leaning with my back against the wall, my breath being almost gone: yet I praise God I lay quietly til the Lords providence had caused me to passe the child safe off my knees into the cradle without harme, I sitting as the end of the cradle.

I looked up, and saw my Mother in Law comming in upon me too. I by the power of God who preserved me, and in abled me, gave my wife a push on the brest as hard as J. could, and flung her backward. J. leapt up and pluckt the staffe out of her Sisters hand, and gave her but [Page 53]one I bow, which lighted on her arm, and bruised it forely, that the ran away crying, and her Mother. My wife, as soon as she could recover her selfe to get up, ran and took up an axe, and came having it up above her shoul­ders, with the edge towards me, ready to cleave my braines in twain: J strook up my hand quick under the head of the axe by the handle, and put it by my head: all this being done, and J being wounded. My Wife with that one blow J gave her on one of her breasts, ne­ver gave suck more of that breast, which made me very sorny: Her Sisters arme was so bruised, that it was lame above two years after.

The Angel of God that preserved me, caused them to be so wounded; for J dare sweare J struck but onely those two blows; for J had so much patience from God that time, that J was not angry. Her Sister and Mother ran both out of the house; J stayed my wife by the arm, and told her if she had not betrayed me with her Judas-kissing and dissembling weeping, J had not so much cared.

J never struck woman before that time, nor since, nei­ther would I have done it then but in defence of my life. A while after, ah Briget, said J, when thou hast done all against me as can be done, thou wilt be sorry for it, and sorely repent it: For J fully believe, said J, that it is not thee, but the Devils temptation, and thy Mo­thers bad counsel, for lack of serving God; but if thou wilt swear, said J, that thou wilt not come neer them for a great while, and goe along with me from them, J wil freely forgive thee, and never speak of it to any man. I spake thus, but not intending to doe it sudden­ly. She replyed againe, saying that she would never live with me more cursing me in the name of God with many bitter curses.

Then I spake mildly again to her, saying, J pray you fetch some beere, and let us drink together before we part; J said she, if J could finde any Rats-bane to poy­son thee, J would. So I left her, and went to my Fa­thers [Page 54]house, with a heavy heart the Lord knoweth.

So the next time I went to the Constable, with a warrant to bring them, her Mother, eldest Brother John, and Sister Katherine, before the Justice; but before I could have my warrant executed, they lighted on mee first, and her eldest brother that before had like to have kild me, having an Officer ready, arrested me of flat fellony, I being kept as a felonious prisoner. So I sent for my Father: when he came, my Father-in-Law and he took up the matter, and made agreement, with my Fathers perswading me. I presently imitating Christs forgiving his enemies, committed my cause to God, and was perswaded by my Father and Father-in-Law. But I came not neere my wife a great while after, but abode with my own Father: And I began to follow my trade againe. My wife seeing that, she made many friends to come to live with me again, making great moane, and shewing her selfe very penitent. I being perswaded by my Father and many friends more, consented; and we lived together again at a place called Harburn in Stafford­shire, two miles from Brimingham. My losse was above 200 l. besides the misery I endured; and God blessed my trading when I began with a little stock again as I had left, having nothing to set me forward in trading from them, but words of promise. We were all made friends, but since I may curse the day that ever I did trust any such former enemies to be reconciled friends again.

For about the time as the Levellers did rise against the Parliament, I having attained to a good flock of cat­tel, and horses, and trading, more then ever I was in before, my wife and I both living in a quiet condition, all former in juries forgiven by me to her and every one of them.

And the spirit of God caused me to put out a little book concerning the present misery of the times, both for Church and State. My wise and her frends that abased me before, brought greater calamity upon me then I en­dured [Page 55]before: Thus I was abused, and they banded them­selves together against me. My own natural friends for­sook me, God had so ordained it to try me, and punish me; for them that were formerly great pretended frends, became my utter enemies. I looked up stil towards God, his holy spirit stil guiding me with patience to endure it, and assuring me dayly more that the cause of my being thus abused by men and women, was because I had cast Gods message behind my back. I often thinking how God punished Jonah for his neglect, when God called him and sent him to Nineveh.

Many of my best friends that loved me wel, would blame my Father for not taking my part; but God had suffered Satan to blind his eyes from the spirit of true discernment, as all natural men are, so that he did shew mee no favour, but added more affliction to me. Many would say to him, why doe you not seek to have him released out of his misery? If I should doe so, saith he, he would be imprisoned for medling with King and Parliament-affaires; for I had been in prison at Buckingham a little before, by some souldiers who rai­sed thimselves against me by false witnesse, to make a prize of me for my horses and goods, and carried mee from Buckingham to Alisbury to try me for my life, by false Articles as they had forged against me: But when I came to be tryed by a Councel of War, God gave me such an undaunted spirit, that those false witnesses had not power to witnesse against me: So I was set at liber­ty, having losse and hinderance of time.

After these miseries of imprisonment, and many more great troubles: in the mean time of my troubles, my wives friends setcht my best goods a way from my house, and some cattel, after I had forbid them to meddle with any thing: For when they saw they could not take my life away, they thought to make me run my Countrey; but God gave me much patience and courage; for I went to the house, and took four men with me: I de­manded my goods, taking a cart and horses to fetch [Page 56]them in a peaceable manner, if I could have them so: But they denied me my goods, and my wife stood a­gainst me with railing words, and her Mother and one Sifter, the younger daughter did never speak against me: So with much patience I went my way, and looked in their grounds, to see whether I could find any of my cat­tel there: Finding a Cow, and a young Bul that were mine, I took them away, to my house at Harburn in Staffordshire.

The manner that they had taken them from me, ac­cording to the Lawes of God and man, was but a feloni­ous way of robbing me; for they owed me part of my Wives portion, as was due to mee long before that time.

This was on the Wednesday. On the Thursday my wife knew that I would goe to Brimingham-market: her Father being from home, my wives Mother, her eldest Son, and my wife and her sister Katherine, being fearful that I should begin to trouble them, or bind them over by an order from the Justices, to answer at the Assizes be­fore the Judge, for all the wrong they had done mee, they thought they had no other way to take, but to be­gin with me first, and so they did. For my brother-in­law. his name is John Bissel, met me at Brimingham on the Market-day, and arrested me with flat felony, and so suddenly caused me to be thrown into the Dungeon; no Bail would be taken: All did condemn him shame­fully for it, yet wilfully and presumptuously he did it. On the morrow I went to the Justices, the Justice could not perswade him but he would take an oath of Felony against me; yet he could not deny but that the cattel were mine. After the Justice had examined thorowly the Witnesses, he told him hanging was too good for him, and he should dearly answer for it.

Then when his Father came home out of the Coun­try, for his Son did all in his Fathers name, he was almost out of his wits to heare what his Son had done; Fearing he should be undone by it, presently he made to the Ju­stices, [Page 57]and to my Father and me and my friends, to take up the businesse againe, and to keep me from going to prison.

This ensuing Bil of Divorcement was made after she and her kindred had by Satans malice and their cruelty brought me into horrible persecution and misery. I may not now, for brevity-sake, lay down the manner of it; but I hope in God in another Book I may, because al­wayes I hope I shal have all the mercies of God shewed to me stil in remembrance.

Her Father and she coming on a Sabbath day where I was in prison, gave me threatening words, and said they were glad to see me there; and scoffing at me, her Father desired that we were divorced. Wel said I, pray you let it be so. His answer was, he would give forty pound upon the condition to have it so. I have witnesse of it.

At last they gave me good words: My desire was for her to bring my daughter to me, that I might see her: She told me she would not, and gave me very desperate urging words to make a solemn Vow, that if she did not bring my daughter between that time and Wednes­day following, according to the Law of Moses I would write her a bil of divorcement; if I could not get ink, I would write the first Copy of it with my owne blood, if I loft one of the joynts of my little finger on my left hand to do it, that all the rest of my body might mourn for the losse of her that wanted grace to mourn for her selfe. Besides this, I thought that many men might take example to put their wives away by divorcement with­out any true desert: And therefore, because I intended to put the Bil of Divorcement in print, I would go such a hard way, that none dare follow such an example. Furthermore I desired to know by a token if it were of God or no, that if she came not with my child by Wed­nesday, I might neither eat nor sleep with quietnesse til I had disjoynted my selfe of the nail-joynt of my left hand, being the little fingers end. She came not, and that signe was fulfild; yet I did not doe it til above two [Page 58]dayes after Wednesday; and when I had done it, I ha­ving some revelations from God to confirm it, suddenly I had a Revelation and a Vision, that God had appoint­ed it to be done, and that it was lawful for me to take another wife, as Hosea did in a typical way: And it was shewed me by a Vision between four, which was allotted for me, and how that I must speak to one of the foure, and then speak openly of it to others. This is near six yeares paft, and I beleeve the parties are unmarried stil. Let no man judge this to be madnesse, but let them think if it be of God, it cannot be prevented.

The Bill of Divorcement.

KNow this all my honest Christian Neighbors, and all others whom it may concern, That I with much reverence and holy feare do call God to the recording and renewing the con­dition of this Obligation or Bill of Divorcement, which break­eth and violateth the band of Wedlock and Matrimony, and separateth for ever she that was formerly my Wife and me a­sunder.

It is a very weighty matter, therefore it had need to bee understood, and throughly to be proved by the word of God, and the light of a good conscience, which is that glittering sword which standeth drawn to slay every son and daughter of Adam and Eve, that either turneth to the right hand or to the lest, either by hypecrisie or their own sinister ends in such weighty affaires as this.

I do therefore for several great causes, in the presence of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, which is my Redeemer, Creator, and Preserver, whose powerful providence hath still from time to time preserved me from being swallowed up or destroyed by many great dangers, and several desperate ene­mies, which the Devil hath formerly raised up against me, to bring me to an untimely death, without any just cause offer­ed by me, whereof the said Briget Bissel, daughter of the the late said Richard Bissel, which is now dead, of the Parish of Yardlie, in the County of Worcester, Ironmonger; [Page 59]the which said Briget Bissel, which was the married wife to me the said John Sanders, whose dwelling was at Harburn, in the County of Stafford, Ironmonger, she being a great in­strument to bring me into many borrible persecutions, by Sa­tans malicious invention, and some of her neerest kindreds counsel; for no other end, but for the witness of Jesus, and his testimony, which hath carried me on by his holy Spirit of Prophesie.

Besides, more then this misery which she and they brought upon me, she and they have often urged me to be divorced from her for ever. I doe therefore, according to the Law of God, as he gave to Moses, Deut. 24. and Gods command to me, which caused me to write her this Bill of Divorcement af­ter this manner, and deliver it to her neere six yeares past, and now again it is renewed, desiring that Gods mercy and forgivenesse may be extended to her for the forgiveness of her sins, as well as for my selfe: And that it may please God, I humbly desire upon the bended knees of my body and soule­affections, that the parting and breaking of this temporal wedlock, may cause a spiritual warriage to the Lamb Jesus for us both; and that all profane and wicked persons mouths may be stopt, that shall be apt to speak against this, seeing it is permitted and so appointed by thee. O Lord raise me up speedily by thy mercy and providence again, that so I may be able to take a godly fatherly care for my daughter, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Amen and so be it.

And she is ever to be free from me to be any other mans wife, if it please God and her own conscience: And the like release is to me, if God and my own conscience please; only some chat­tels and goods of mine which are in her keeping, contrary to my minde, at my demands to be at my request when I please, if it be not otherwise agreed upon.

These troubles were true signes to me, and gave mee cause to believe that God had appointed me as hee did Hosea, Hos. 1.2. typically to take a wife of Fornications, because the whole land had committed spiritual whore­dom against the Lord, and as the Prophet of God was to doe by Gods appointment, and to signifie how they had [Page 60]divorced themselves from the Lord by their idolatrous whoredomes, he was to divorce his wife for that as a figne.

Truly Brethren, there is none can say but that the word of God is written as wel for our instruction, as it was to the natural seed of Israel, for we are of Abraharis seed by Faith: And though the Scripture speaks of such things done then, yet there is a signification now of the same things to us.

Our whole Land hath comitted spiritual whoredome against God. First, in this manner, by breaking our ancient Covenant with God, to worship him in new fan­gled manners of their own invention, hating Gods old true way of worship, now there is no King, neither hath been this many dayes in England, neither true Sacrifice, Hosea 3.

Secondly, our whole State being like the Nobility of Israel, which brought no fruits of Reformation to God; but made High Altars to themselves by Covetousnesse; which is idolatry and spiritual whoredome: And our being divided like them, Hosea 10.2, 3.

Thirdly, we may wel say our wars began, because we would have no King to reign over us, for want of the fear of the Lord to guide us.

Fourthly, who can say but they broke Covenant with God by swearing falsly to be true to the King and the Protestant Religion, and to work reformation in Church and State for true judgment: But in stead of being bet­ter, it is worse, for it hath broke out like hem lock or wormwood in the furrowes of the Field, and hath tafted as bitter as gall, Amos 6.12. Hosea 10.4, 7.

And the death of King Charles is typified to be the King of Samaria, whom Hosea prophesied should be cut off as a foame on the factious water which the Devil caft out of his mouth to drown the woman, being meant the Church, in this time of new fangled worship, and here­tical way of new opinions.

If we see H [...]s [...]a's Prophesies to be fulfilled by the late [Page 61]dissolved Parliaments, and to be as true to us as they speak of the natural Israelites; you cannot chuse but believe it to be true in these things.

And why then may not my troubles and crosses, when I was forced by God, and their own violence against me, which could not be done without Gods permission and ordination: Let no man dare, or presume to judge o­therwise, but being done by Gods appointment, it did signifie these things as have befel our Nation between King and Parliament, by being divorced from God to follow their own corrupt wayes.

My Wife came out of such a Linage by her Fathers birth as Hosea was to take his wife of for a further signe, Hos. 1. but I was ignorant of that when I married her; my love was never the lesse to her; yet her Father had al­wayes the relation of all people to be a very honest deal­ing man: But seeing my unhappy predestination was to be thus afflicted by she that was my Wife, I look upon it no other way then this, it was because I did not at the first forsake all these outward things of this life willing­ly to goe on Gods message. I am very sorry that I can­not forbeare writing and laying open to the view of the world the wrong as I have received from her and their hands. Let no man judge the worse of her or them for acting these strange actions, or mee for relating of it; but let them all assure themselves thus as heare of it. The Devil did not onely afflict Job by his wife, and Sa­tans temptation by his friends, when he was in his great calamity; but the like instruments Satan can make use of any, let them be never so honest for natural parts, if God leave them to themselves: But let every one watch and pray, lest they fall into Satans temptations, and praise God for all the enjoyment of his benefits.

If any wil say, as many have done, that there can be no divocement lawful unlesse it be for the act of A­dultery: To give them an answer, look in Malachy 2.16. God hates putting away; but if so be thou must, such ini­quities ought to be hid within ones own garment; there­fore [Page 62]if I doe know such things, I will forbear speaking of them to the world.

The humble Petition of John Sanders to the Lord Protector, Most humbly sheweth,

THat whereas the humble Petitioner have often­times on purpose many sundry and long journeys to speak with your Highnesse, for the space of above 3. yeares and a halfe; but none of these times could I find any opportunity by any of your Souldiers or ser­vants. I have at this time many grievances to ease and unburden my selfe of to your Highnesse, which is the Head in chiefe: I having undergone much wrong by many several men, to the sustaining of great losse both of goods and chattels, and other things: But concerning those things, your humble Petitioner will keep silence at this time, committing all those things to God, who hath kept my life from the rage of my enemies for the time past by his merciful providence, and so I trust he wil for the time to come.

My Lord, the cause of my complaint now at this pre­sent time, after the many and sundry journeys, and many losses and false imprisonments, which false bosome-friends, and false witnesses have brought me to, for no­thing else but the witnesse of Jesus, which hath carried me on by his holy spirit to foretel things to come.

About halfe a year before Worcester fight, which was since you came to be Head Leader in chiefe of the Parli­ament Forces, the Lord compelled me openly to foretel how that King Charles would come with an Army into Worcestershire before Bartholomew-tide from Scotland a­gainst the Parliament; and how that his taking up of Armes to maintaine the Scottish Presbytery Government would be the cause of the overthrow of his Army, if he fought: These things God compelled me openly to de­clare in Brimingham, and at the Lady Graves, and many places more, and how Colonel Graves, the Ladies Son, [Page 36]would come in with him: I was cast into great impri­sonment and misery by Satans malice and wicked men, til the very day of Worcester-fight, and lost all my time, trade, and stock, besides all the misery & false imprison­ment I underwent in several places. Som said I was distra­cted; others said I was guided by the spirit of God; but in the presence of God I speak it, that I never knew my selfe at one time worse then another, but it was the wil of God to carry me on in that manner: No man ever heard me speak at those times like one that had been di­stracted; but if Christ were so esteemed, Mark 3. and Paul, let not me be ashamed of that name by natural men, which are spiritually blind. Many witnesses I could produce, that heard me foretel the manner and time of Worcester-fight. When I was out of prison, the spirit of the Lord caused mee to come fourscore miles to speak with your Highnesse, and to tel you how that the pre­sent standing Parliament could not stand without they entred into a hallowed covenant with God at the Ark of his Testimony, for want of the true worship of Jesus Christ, being found out and set above them, was the cause of Gods overthrowing them for their injustice and division: But when I could not find an opportunity to declare Gods message to your Highnesse, I told Colonel Barkstead these things, and shewed him writings, and told him what way the Church must and would be re­builded.

Being then eased of my burden, I went home into my own Countrey again, and after that into Ireland, coun­ting my selfe unfortunate: I carried iron ware to set up my trade there, and began it in Dublin; but the spirit of the Lord compelled me to come out of Ireland againe, to come up to London about six weeks before the Parlia­ment was dissolved. I could not speak with your High­nesse, the Parliament was newly rose about the Seamen; the spirit of God compelled me to make a Speech in Westminster Hall before abundance of people concerning the Parliaments dissolution about the shortest day in the [Page 64]yeare: And then before I could be eased of my burden, the spirit of God compelled me to goe to Colonel Barkestead, the Lieutenant of the Tower, to tel him Gods decree was so gone out against them for their covetous­nesse, injustice, and division, and to prefigure it by a Vi­sion and a Revelation which I had seen before, concern­ing a white wand, and a bunch of filk colours, which were green, red, yellow, and black, and to tel him the meaning of it, by the appointment of God: These things he cannot chuse but witnesse at this very day.

Then I returned toward Warwickshire again, and te­stified the same in many other places, and at Brimingham several Market dayes, in a strange manner, to the admi­ration of all that saw me, and griefe to my friends and kindred after the flesh, and the greatest griefe and terror of all was to my selfe, because I was compelled by the dictates of Gods holy spirit to do it.

And that very day that the Parliament was dissolved, being Monday morning, I was caused by the spirit of God to goe from Harburn to Brimingham, which is two miles, to my great terrour and griefe, God is a witnesse against me if I lie, and to hire the widow Westwoods son to goe with me to carry my best wearing cloathes for mee; and I was commanded of God to wear old cloaths and old shooes to Brimingham Townes end, and there to put my shooes off my feet, rent some seames of the old gar­ments as I wore, and take a Carpenters Rule in my hand, the young man carrying my best raiment and old shooes before me, I making proclamation by the power of God, and his great Parliament of Heaven, and saying thus.

If you should see Ezekiel measuring the Town with a Rule, or seething a pot, and skimming off the skum, and nothing but water in it, or the holy men of God put off their shooes, or renting their garments, though the thing were commanded of God by them now as it hath formerly been, yet you would think they were mad, as the Jewes thought by Paul, so I know you think by me; [Page 65]but it will be known otherwise: The Carpenters Rule that I had in my hand, was to signifie that Parliaments time of fitting was measured out to fit no longer: Then the seames of some of my old garments being rent, was to signifie their renting and tearing by divisi­on: The putting the old [...]ooes off my feet, I told them signified that they must cast off their old natural sinful affections from their hearts, and factious seditious ways, that their hearts might be made good ground, and they to become members of the true holy Church of God, which is hated by them.

The cause of my speaking of Ezechiels seething pot to be skummed off, I told them was the skum of factious mem­bers of the Parliament-house, that were against Mini­sters and Church-government, were then cast out of pow­er: Yet said I, the flesh and bones are left stil, and we shall not suddenly be eased of Taxes that oppresse the poor; and how that the power would be under one head suddenly, much like the power of a King, but not a King, which meant the Lord Protector.

After all these things were ended, and done by the com­mand of God, by me his most unworthy servant John Saunders. I call God to witnesse I would not have been hired to have done the like for a hundred pound then, nor would not now in a counterfeit way or manner. I never did the like before; some hypocritical people said I counterfeited, and many pharisaical people, that say Prophecying, Visions, and Revelations are ceased, coun­ted me a mad man. I praise God, for those things, either dissembling, counterfeiting, or natural madness, I have been alwayes free from.

Then when these things were ended, I went and put on my better cloathing, and refreshed my body by eating and drinking, I walked in the Towne civilly, in those places where I had made those speeches, desiring many of the honest civil people which I knew, that they should not judge me distracted, or any other thing else, for those words of wonder, or strange postures, which I spake of [Page 66]and did. For I told them I did nothing but what I had a command from God, and was bound in the spirit thus to doe; yet I was no Ranter, or Quaker, or strange O­pinionist, and that you shal know by a good testimony shortly, if you take notice of it what I said, and did at this time, or any other past but more especially this strange manner of that I now did, which you condemn me to be mad for doing: But within few dayes after I was thrown into Warwick Gaole by Satans malice and false witnesse; for brevity-sake at this time I wil forbear describing the manner of it, I pray God forgive the in­struments of that misery, for there I had lamentable mi­sery about 30. dayes, or else suddenly I had come to the Lord Protector and Councel of State; but after I was at liberty, I did come suddenly after, the Lieutenant of the Tower knoweth it wel, and siince the last Sommer I went into Ireland, and wrote Letters unto Colonel Bark­stead, and came to him several times, as the beginning of the Book sheweth.

On New-yeares day in the morning 1654 in my sleep I saw a Vision, I being in London. Me thought I saw a great party of Parliament horse drawed out of London going up Hoiborn, Ʋxbridge Road, and the Trumpets founding a very sad solemn march as they went. I know­ing one of them that was a souldier, I called to him and asked him what was the cause of their going out so spee­dily with such a great party? He told me they did hear the King had a great Army Ʋxbridge road coming toward London, and they went out to meet them and give them battel. I asked him what number the Parliament horse were? He told me 7000. but the other J heard were ma­ny more. Me thoughts I would goe along with them to see them goe out of London, and I was very sorry to think of so many of those gallant men that would be slain, I overtaking the forefront of them; and before they were marched to Hide Park, I saw many men come running with speed fromward Whitehall, with long white poles, and they were measuring the Land back again as [Page 67]was taken away by the late War from the King, the which being done, to me signified peace betweene the Lord Protector and the King: So I awaked with much gladnesse, praising God that he had sent his Angel to shew me these things.

Many more Visious I have had lately to this effect. On the 14. of February 1654. being Wednesday, in the begin­ning of the night before I slept, I being perfectly awake, saw as it were in an apparition, the beginning of a work of new building in London for reformation of Church and State.

A few nights after in February I saw another Vision. I thought my selfe in Warwickshire, at a place called Tan­worth Parish, and I saw as I was walking over a piece of hard poore land, the bravest hopeful green grasse spring­ing, and young corne and hearbs in that barren land, all which gives me great testimonies of the Kings and Lord Protectors agreement, that peace may be established in truth, and grace may abound and grow for the true nou­rishment of the Church.

The first day of March, in ths morning I had another Vision, how that there was a great plot or net lay for the Lord Protector concerning the Kings land. In the Kings ground I saw an apparition of one that told me by an audible voice of it: And I saw an apparition like a great net, to catch the Lord Protector. I was compelled by the dictates of God to write a letter concerning it, and carry it to the Lieutenant of the Tower. The tenth of March the dictates of Gods spirit caused me to write ano­ther letter, and carry it to the Tower, which if they did take notice of, it gave them warning of the rising of men in several Counties suddenly upon it. Plot­ting is not of God, nor never will doe the King or any of his friends good.

FINIS.

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