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A WARNING TO ENGLAND,
AND ALL THAT PROFESS THEMSELVES CHRISTIANS;
Who have the Form, but deny the Power of Godliness, that they Sin no more,
lest a worse thing come to them.—By G. F.
As ye have received Christ Jesus, the Lord, so walk in him. Colos. ii. 6.
And now, all you that do not walk as you have the apostles for examples, and do walk as Christ walked, as in 1 John ii. 6. If the Lord God Almighty, who is the Creator of all, and the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom all things were made, should deal with you, as you deal with him, who spend his creatures upon your lusts, and devour them, and consume them immoderately : I say if the Lord God, that created all and gives the increase of all, and upholds all by his word and power, (for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof,) I say, if the Lord God should restrain the earth from increasing, and all other creatures which give your food, for three or four years, what a condition would you be in, that destroy them so upon your lusts? If the Lord God should bring a famine; and stop (I say) the earth from yielding its increase to you, that so destroy and consume his creatures upon your ungodly devouring lusts ; wasting so much vainly, which would nourish so many both in clothes and diet, as are ready to famish, and starve for want? have not you seen how the Lord God hath brought the sword among you ? And are not you as proud and as vain, without his fear as you were, though so many have been consumed by sword ? then did not he bring the plague, and sweep away many thousands thereby, and scattered you out of your city of London ? and then after did not he bring the fire, to the astonishment of many? And what if the Lord should hinder the earth from increasing, how could you but say it were just with the Lord so to do, and to bring a famine upon you, seeing that you do not repent, and amend your lives, and fear and serve him that made you ? and all these good outward creatures he has given to you, and daily gives in his mercy, that you might serve and fear him, and not to consume them upon your own lusts, and has given you rain and fruitful seasons ; now what if the Lord should restrain his hand in those things from you, that do so devour them and consume them, and waste them upon your lusts, could you say any otherwise, but the Lord is just in so doing ? seeing that you amend not your lives, ways, words, and doings; and are such that feast and are feeding yourselves without all fear, as you may see in Jude xii. and so are the clouds without water, and trees without fruit. So, if God should send you clouds without water in them, and your trees without fruit; remember the fig-tree that Christ cursed, that did not bear fruit and think upon yourselves, and you are all as trees: but see what fruits of righteousness, of Godliness, of virtue, and of holiness you bear to God; for, without holiness none shall see God:' and therefore take heed of promising yourselves liberty, whilst yourselves are servants of uncleanness and corruptions, as in 2 Peter. ii. And when you destroy, consume and devour God's good creatures upon your lusts, do you think of God? do not you feed without any fear of God? and do not many live after that sort, as they did that said, • let us eat and drink, for to morrow we shall die ? as in 1 Cor. xv. 42. And doth not the apostle say, • That every creature of God is good, and nothing ought to be resused, if it be received with thanksgivings; for God hath created them to be received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer ?? And now, when you destroy the creatures upon your lusts, with gluttony, greediness, and drunkenness, you are not in a capacity then of praying or giving thanks, but of cursing, swearing, damning, and murdering, and all other evils you are subject to run into, and then often bring misery, and many evils upon yourselves and families.
1 Tim. iv. Now, .Every creature of God is good, [mark,] and nothing ought to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving ;' for God created them to be received with thanksgiving. And the thanksgiving must be given to him that created them; and therefore you ought to receive no creature but with thanksgiving to the Creator, and you ought to give him thanks that created all to his glory, and if you do not, you are of them that feed without all fear of God, your and their Creator. And they that take the creatures in God's fear with thanksgiving, will not destroy them, nor consume them upon their own lusts, and they are sensible of the goodness of the creatures, and of the goodness of God that gave them. And they that feed without the fear, and are the clouds without water, and the trees without fruit, and devour, consume, destroy, and waste the creatures of God upon their own lusts, destroy their bodies and souls, their own families, wives and children, and bring themselves to rags and beggary.
And such are not sensible of the goodness of the creatures, nor the goodness of the Creator; and from such God had no true thanks, but his name is blasphemed by such daily: and though many may say, that
we say grace before meat and after;' but you should live in grace, and not turn from the grace of God into wantonness, and walk despitefully against the spirit of grace; for the true giving of thanks to God, is with the spirit of grace and supplication.' Zach. xii. 10, and Jude xiv.
So they cannot truly give thanks to God, that turn the grace of God into wantonness, and that walk despitefully against the spirit of grace; and therefore 'quench · not the spirit.' 1 Thes. v. 19. And the Lord saith, what hast thou to do to take my name into thy mouth, and hatest to be reformed? and every one that names the name of Jesus, is to depart from iniquity; else, Christ will bid such as do not depart from iniquity, depart from him ;' this is a sad sentence, for the Saviour and Redeemer and Mediator, to bid them • depart from me ye workers of iniquity, for I know you not: so, though you may say grace (as you call it,) with your lips, yet if you feed without fear, and work iniquity, Christ will not own such.
And James saith, 'ye have lived in pleasures on the earth, and in wantonness ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter,' and so forth: were not such to weep and howl?' and therefore do not you think this day will not come upon you, that are found in these things : therefore be you warned in time.
And doth not the apostle command you, Ephes. v. 16, to redeem the time, for the days are evil.' And therefore see how you can redeem your time that is past; for does not the apostle tell you what the fruits of the flesh are, and what the fruits of the spirit ? so see what fruits you bear, and of what sort.
And do not you read in Rom. i. of such that gave themselves up to vile affections, and were filled with unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, full of envy and murder, debate and deceit, taking all things in the evil part, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, doers of wrong, proud boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affections, such as never cease from sin, which men (though they knew the law of God, how that they which commit such things are worthy of death,) not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Rom. i. And therefore consider these things, all you who are found in these practises, and amend, lest God's wrath and judgments break forth suddenly upon you, ere ye be aware. For, do not you know, that “the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God ? be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor idolaters, nor wantons, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor extortioners, nor railers, shall inherit the kingdom of God: therefore ye must forsake all these things, if ye expect to inherit the kingdom of God, as you may see in 1 Cor. iv.
And do not you read of some, that in words professed God, but in their works denied him?' and have not they that professed themselves christians, brought a great dishonour to christianity, yea, among the very Turks and heathen, by their drunkenness, whoredoms, and uncleanness, cozening and cheating, and cursing and swearing, thefts and murders; so that amongst the Turks it has become a by-word, 'what! dost thou think I am a christian ? therefore, oh! that that holy name (whose name is above every name,) by which you are called, that you should walk so unworthy of it, as to cause his holy name to be blasphemed! and knowing there is no salvation by any other name under heaven, but by the name of Jesus, oh! therefore, that every one that names his name, would depart from iniquity, and might walk as he walked : and let your moderation (ye that be called christians,) be known unto all men; for the Lord is at hand, and sees all things, and will render unto every man according to his works: and do not you know, ye must give an account for every idle word? and therefore, ought they not to be gracious, and seasoned with grace?
And whether, therefore, ‘you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.' i Cor. x. 31. Now there is no waster, drunkard, glutton, that can eat and drink to the glory of God; but to the dishonouring God, devouring and destroying his creatures, and consuming them upon their lusts, and feeding themselves without the fear of God: and if all christians did mind this, ' whether they eat or drink, that they do it to the praise and glory of God, there would be no drunkard, no destroyer, no devourer, nor waster of God's creatures found in Christendom.
And likewise, 'whatsoever you do, do it to the praise and glory of God.' [Mark,] 'whatsoever you do:' in this no christian would dishonour God; in this they would always have the Lord before their eyes, and his fear placed in their hearts.
And therefore, whether we live, we should live unto the Lord, and whether we die, we should die unto the Lord: so all that are true christians do live and die unto the Lord; but they that live in pleasures, are dead whilst they live,' as in 1 Tim. V.
And consider ye what the prophet Hosea saith to the professing Jews, that did not live according to the law of God, nor the prophets; and may not the same be said unto you, that profess yourselves christians, but live not according to the gospel ? • Saith the Lord, I gave them corn, wine, and oil, and multitude of silver and gold, &c. And therefore I will return, saith the Lord, and take away my corn in the time thereof; and my wine in the season thereof; and I will recover my wool and my flax, given to cover their shame.'
And therefore, consider this, ye christians, 'what," I say, “if the Lord