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Historical texts  >  Burrough's Epistle To The Reader (5)

The Epistle To The Reader


Edward Burrough

London the 9. Mo. 1658

(Part 5 of 5)

"Them that have had the words but were out of the life, which life now is risen ..."

And this may be fully manifest in season, that the Protestant church, and worship, and ministry, are sprung of the Romish church, as a branch out of her, not contrary to her, nor against her; and all these things is the Lord discovering and laying open, that nations and peoples may come to behold the mother of harlots, that mystery of iniquity, and all her children, and may see the state and turning of times and things, ever since the days of the apostles and true churches; and that all these divers sects, and all these churches, falsely so called, are risen up one out of another, from one seed and womb, and though diverse in appearances, and sundry in practices and professions, yet are they all one in the ground and nature, sprung from the mother of harlots all of them, and are her children. And she hath corrupted the earth with her fornications and whoredoms, and made nations and kingdoms drunk with her cup of idolatry; but the Lord God is risen and will plead with her, and give her double, and the holy prophets and apostles shall rejoice over her: and this is coming to pass, and this I have seen from the Lord, and received it from him, and thus it came upon me to write.

The waters have I seen dried up, the seat of that great whore,
Who hath made all nations drunk, through her enticing power;
And caused the whole earth she hath, her fornication cup to take,
Whereby nations have long time err'd, on whom she long hath sat;
But peoples many are and shall, and multitudes all may,
And nations be converted all, unto another way;

And tongues they are confounded now, and kindreds they must mourn,
And when this all is finished, her whole seat then is torn;
For these all be the great waters, oil whom her seat hath been,
And over whom she governed hath, like as a stately queen;
For ages many by-past gone, she hath her whoredoms play'd,
And kingdoms hath bewitched, which have her power obey'd,
But now her miseries are seen, her witchcrafts are discover'd,

And she no more shall men deceive; for day light is appeared:
And the bed woful I have seen, of torments great prepar'd,
Whereon she must be cast, and plagues must not to her be spared,
But wo to her! the cup of wrath, is fill'd her to receive,
And as to others she hath done, the same she now shall have:
And drink she must of that full cup of God's fierce indignation,
And then shall all her lovers mourn, and make great lamentation,

And I have seen that city great, once populous, rich, and fair,
Laid waste, and all destroyed, and her merchants in despair,
Who through her have gotten gain, themselves for to exalt,
And from afar to traffic come; but now they must lament,
For fire in her is kindled, which must her all consume,
Behold, her smoke ascendeth, day and night, up to heaven.

The antichrist who hath put on, and cover'd with sheep's clothing,
And long rul'd king, on nations, inwardly ravening;
Who hath devour'd God's heritage, and had a kingdom great,
I have seen him made war against, and truth give him defeat.
Behold, the whore! her flesh is burnt, her beauty doth now fall,
She that is all harlots' great mother, whose daughters are whores all,
Behold the city great, who once made nations rich and high,
She's fallen to the ground and burnt, and none more profit her by,

Behold the antichrist once great, his kingdom is subduing,
The Lord alone for ever will rule, his son's kingdom is coming;
And the woman that long hath fled, into that place of mourning,
And rested in the wilderness, she is again returning,
And her seed is again springing, and shall replenish nations,
And the man-child must come to rule, forever through generations;
And when this all is tome to pass, Oh! then rejoice and sing,
Ye prophets and apostles all, and heavenly children,
When God hath you avenged, upon your enemies all,
Then is the day of praises, for saints both great and small.

By a servant of Christ,
EDWARD BURROUGH. London, the Ninth-mo. 1658.

HERE are the principles of priests, and professors, and pastors in the apostacy, who have got up since the days of the apostles, that in this day are risen against the lamb, and against the saints. For since the days of the apostles, the beast hath had power, the false prophet, and mother of harlots, which inwardly ravened From the spirit of God, which have had the sheep's clothing, and by that means have deceived the nations, and got in the kings of the earth, and clothed them with the outside, whereby the kings of the earth, and the beast, and false prophet, dragon, devil, mother of harlots, and the great whore have joined together in one against the saints, overcome them, and cast them into prison, and drunk the blood of the saints, and prophets, and martyrs. But now shall the saints and the lamb have the victory, who kills and slays with the sword, which are the words of his mouth. Agreeably to the apostle's doctrine, 'who wrestle not with flesh and blood.'

Now the beast, false prophet, and mother of harlots, devil, and antichrist, that have drunk the blood of the saints, that have the sheep's clothing, these are the killers with the sword, the slayers with the sword, the imprisoners and persecutors; which was not the work of the true apostles, true ministers, that kept the faith and patience of Jesus. The martyrs, the saints, and the prophets suffered. Now these were in the spirit that gave forth the scriptures, but the others got the scriptures: antichrists, false prophets, mother of harlots, the devil, the beast, and all his names, which killed and slew with the sword; these are inwardly ravening from the spirit of God, the spirit of the lamb, the spirit of the apostle, who killed and slew with the sword, which are the words of his mouth. So all these names, in the whole christendom amongst all that are called christians, are got up amongst them since the days of the apostles, which are gone out of the life, and Faith, and spirit they were in, which they had unity in, which was the bond of peace. These have had the words, but ravened from the life, and so are all on heaps about the words, and giving one another names. So look in whole christendom and see what abundance of names there are, which should be one family; and all these names, horns, and crowns, and building up and throwing down, are all a mark among them that have had the words but were out of the life, which life now is risen, which the Apostles lived in, which they since the days of the apostles have been out of, in many names and heaps, in the apostacy. Now with the life is all this fathomed and comprehended, in which is the unity, which life brings people to know God, and unity with him, and with scriptures, and one with another; and all are one here, if there be ten thousand times ten thousand. And ye who read over this book may read and see things which you never read nor saw printed. Did ever the lambs worry the wolves? And did not the wolves get the sheep's clothing, and raven after the sheep and lambs, that they might get among them! Pride, and wildness, and pleasure have swallowed up people, teachers, and ministers, that if any be sober and still, presently he is Quaker! and thus modesty is eaten up.

Notes and Links

Fifth part of five
Part 1 - Come forth in fair dispute, to contend in the spirit of meekness ...
Part 2 - And thus we became followers of the Lamb whithersoever he goes ...
Part 3 - To all manner of sufferings and reproaches, and hard trials ...
Part 4 - We should agree to have the liberty, freely and soberly to object against the priests ...
Part 5 - Them that have had the words but were out of the life, which life now is risen ...