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And therefore, it is good for everyone to see with the pure eye, and hear with the pure ear, so that they may perceive and understand with the pure heart what Christ did and does do, and what he is able to do in all necessities, and to take heed of Herod’s and the fair-sayer’s leaven, which are not the doers, but resist Christ, who does not only say, but does the will of his Father, and so do all them that follow him. Mark.7:13-21, Matt.16:6-12.
And again, ‘Christ saw two ships standing by the lake, but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets: and he entered into one of the ships which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
‘And Simon answered and said unto him, Master, we have toiled all night, and have taken nothing; nevertheless at your word I will let down the net.’
‘And when they had let down the net, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes, and their net brake; and they beckoned unto their partners which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them; and they came and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink: and when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’s knees, saying, depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.’ ‘For Peter was astonished, and all those who were with him at the draught of fishes which they had taken; and so was also James and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon: and Jesus said unto Simon, fear not, from henceforth you shall catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed Jesus.’
Now here all you seamen, and fishermen, and others, may see that you may toil night to catch outward fish with the nets, and take nothing. And you that call yourselves fishers of men, you may toil all the night and catch not a man in God’s net to him, except it is with the power of Christ; and therefore know his voice, and obey it, and follow him, by whom all things were made. He who does not gather with me scatters. Lk.11:23, Mat 12:30 (To gather with him, is by his direction)
And so there is not a sparrow that falls to the ground, nor a fish in a fisherman’s net, but by the will of the Father. And therefore, all you fishermen and others are to stand in the will of God, who gives the increase, and fills the nets and the ships; and therefore let him have the praise and follow him. And here you may see the fishermen, and seamen; James and John and Peter and Andrew, were fishermen, and seamen, and partners together in ships, and preachers of Christ Jesus, and caught a multitude of outward fish, and a multitude of men, which they fished out of the great sea of the world, by the command and power of Christ. Lk.5:2-11, Matt.8:18.
‘And after Christ was risen, he showed himself again to his disciples at the sea of Tiberius; on this wise he showed himself, there were together Simon Peter, and Thomas, called Didimus, and Nathaniel of Canaan in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.’
‘Simon Peter said unto them, I am going a fishing, and they said unto him, we will also go with you. They went forth and entered into a ship immediately, and that night they caught nothing; but when the morning had come, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said unto them, children, have you any food? And they answered him, no; and he said unto them, cast the net on the right side of the ship and there you shall find, and therefore they cast. Now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore, the disciple whom Jesus loved, said unto Peter, it is the Lord.
Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he wrapped his fisherman’s coat around him, (for he was naked), and jumped into the sea, and the other disciples followed in a little ship, (for they were not far from land, but as it were one hundred yards), dragging the net with fishes. As soon then as they had come to the land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread; and Jesus said unto them, bring of the fish which you have now caught, and Simon Peter went up and drew the net to the land, full of great fishes. And Jesus said unto them, come and dine, … And Jesus then comes and takes bread, and gives them, and fish likewise, … And this was now the third time that Jesus showed himself after he was risen from the dead.’ Jn.21:2-14.
And now, all you fishermen, and seamen, and others, consider what kind of disciples and ministers the Lord Jesus Christ chose; and you may see that Peter and the rest, though they had been disciples of Christ Jesus for some years, and such that Christ has sent forth to preach before he was crucified, and after that he was risen, Christ appeared the third time unto them; and Peter had his fisherman’s coat, and the disciples who were fishermen, and seamen, they were partners together in a ship.
And now, was Peter’s fisherman’s coat, do you think, to preach the gospel in, and to meet Christ in, and to dine with him in? I say, “yes, it was as good as any of the canonical [the Pope’s fine robes] garments.” And consider, you fishermen, and seamen, and others, how all these disciples had been fishing all the night, but had caught nothing. But when the morning had come, and they saw Jesus, after he was risen, at his command they cast in the net, and drew it full of fish to the shore. So it is by the will of God and Christ what everyone catches, who made all things, and upholds all things by his word and power, and fills all, and knows what all have need of; for as Christ said, ‘a sparrow shall not fall to the ground without the will of the Father;’ so a fish cannot be caught in the net without his will.
And likewise, you fishermen, and seamen, and others, may see, that Jesus, by whom all things were made, had provided these fishermen and seamen, who were his disciples, a fire, and fish upon it, and bread upon the land, when they had been fishing in the sea. And therefore, you may see, how that Christ who upholds all things, and has all power given unto him, provides for his disciples, and seamen, and fishermen; for he gave them both fish in the sea, and fish [and bread,] upon the land, whom he sent forth, and gave commission to preach, and said, ‘freely you have received, freely give.’
So here you may all see, how the disciples of Christ were encouraged to trust in him, and that their minds might be carried over all distrust of carnal things and outward victuals. And now, you fishermen, and seamen, and all others, may see Christ’s words fulfilled unto his disciples, who said unto them, ‘follow me, and I will make you fishers of men; for Peter in one draught caught three thousand in God’s net; and you may read Peter’s two general epistles which he freely gave forth.
Also, you may see John the fisherman, a disciple of Christ, his evangelists, [what the Bible incorrectly calls the gospel of John], his general epistle, and his two epistles, and his Revelation: come, you seamen, and fishermen, and others, and see what you can say for Christ, that is the same today, as yesterday, and so forever; and come, let us see what nets you have, if it be the power of God, that will pluck them out of the sea of wickedness.
If the seamen had taken Paul’s counsel, when he said, ‘sirs, I perceive, that this voyage will be for hurt, and much damage; not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives: but neither the centurion, nor the master believed Paul’s words; but his words came to pass,’ as you see in Acts.27:10-11. But the Lord preserved Paul, and their lives.
So you may see it is not the seaman’s skill, but the Lord’s power, which all are to have faith in, and to obey him, by whom they are saved and preserved. James, [the brother of Jesus, an apostle of Christ, and succeeding Peter as the head of the Church in Jerusalem], in his general epistle to the twelve tribes, said, ‘behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us, and we turn about their whole body: behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, wherever the governor lists; even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things: behold how great a matter a little fire kindles; and the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.’
Now mark, all you seamen, and all you bridlers of horses, and all others that tame other creatures, see that you can bridle and tame your own tongues, and turn about your tongues in your passion, as soon as you do your horses; and as soon as you do your great ships, when you turn them about: so see that you can so soon turn your tongues when the fierce winds of passion are up; and tame your tongues, for fear that that unruly member defile your whole bodies, and ‘set on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell.’ Jms.3:6. For can you tame serpents, and all kinds of beasts, and of birds, and things in the sea, and not tame your tongue, that unruly member that is full of deadly poison? Bridle it, I say, with God’s bridle. (his power)
‘For the tongue of the just is as choice silver; and the tongue of the wise is health.’ Prov.10:20, 12:18, ‘the tongue of the wise uses knowledge aright; and a wholesome tongue is a tree of life.’ Prov. 15:2,4. And, ‘in a virtuous woman’s tongue is the law of kindness.’ Prov. 31:26. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, who made tents with Priscilla and Aquila, and wrought with his hands, that he might not be chargeable to others, and he did not only maintain himself, but he also helped others with his labor, who had received his gospel, not from man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ, which he preached freely, as he received of Christ freely, after Christ was risen; for Christ had given his command to his twelve disciples before he was crucified, ‘freely as they had received, freely give.’ And now, consider Matthew, who was called from his custom, and Luke, who was a physician, and John the fisherman, and Peter, and the rest who were disciples of Christ; did they not give forth all their evangelists and epistles freely, as they had preached freely?
And did not Paul, the apostle of Christ, who was a tent-maker, who said of the Jews, ‘five times I received forty stripes save one; three times was I beaten with rods; once was I stoned; three times I suffered shipwreck; a night and a day I have been in the deep, in journeying often, in perils of water, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watching often, in hunger and in thirst, in fasts often, in cold and nakedness,’ … as you may see in 2Cor.11:24-27.
This, you see, was the condition of Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, who made tents, besides all his imprisonments. Now did not this apostle preach freely, who said ‘he labored with his hands that he might be an example to others that followed him.’ So you may see that he did not sit down, doing nothing, while drawing a great salary; and did not he give forth all his epistles freely? Did not he give forth his epistle to the Romans, and his two epistles to the Corinthians, and his epistle to the Galatians, and his epistle to the Ephesians, and his epistle to the Philippians, and his epistle to the Colossians, and his two epistles to the Thessalonians freely? Did he not say, ‘I charge you by the Lord, that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren,’ as in 1Thess.5:27? And Paul’s two epistles to Timothy, and one epistle to Titus, and his epistle to Philemon, and his epistle to the Hebrews, and how that God in these last days has spoken to us (the true church), by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world.
Now consider all people, did not all the holy prophets, and all the holy men of God give forth all their books freely, from Adam to Christ, to be read, believed, practiced and fulfilled? Did not all the holy apostles, and all the holy evangelists give forth all their evangelists [called gospels in the Bible], epistles, and revelations freely; to be read, believed, and practiced? Or did they give them forth freely, that men after them should make a trade of them, and to have an annual salary for preaching of them, which they prophesied, and preached freely, and gave forth freely.
The apostle does not say, ‘preach his epistles,’ but ‘read them,’ as in Col.4:16, 1Thess.5:27. And likewise the Lord said, ‘you shall read my law to all Israel in their hearing.’ Deut.31:11. And Isaiah said, ‘seek you out of the book of the Lord and read,’ … And Jeremiah sent Baruch to read his book or roll. Jer.36:4-6. So both the old and New Testament were given forth to be read, and believed, and to be obeyed, and fulfilled, as you may see in Ezr.4:18, Neh.8:3, Jer.29:19, Eph.3:4-5, Matt.1:22, Lk.4:16, Mk.13:21, 24, 49, Jn.19:24,28,36, Acts.1:16.
Now is there more money gotten by any one thing, than by preaching of the scriptures, and some old authors with them? Let it be cast up in all nations in Christendom, and see how much their revenues comes to yearly, for those who do not obey Christ’s doctrines, who said, ‘freely you have received, freely give;’ nor follow the apostle Paul’s example, ‘to keep the gospel without charge.’ And the apostle said, 1Tim.1:19, where he exhorts Timothy, ‘to hold fast his faith and a good conscience, which some having put away, (concerning faith), they have made shipwreck.’
Now consider this you seamen, and others, when your ships are wrecked what condition you are in, you are fallen to pieces, you are broken, and many times in the sea; so that you have great distress. And when you have made shipwreck of faith and a good conscience, then where are you, but split in the sea of the world, and the waves of the world go over your heads, that you have no victory: and therefore consider what condition all the world is in, that say, they have not victory on this side the grave; and those who must have a purgatory when they are dead: have they not made shipwreck of faith and a good conscience, and are split in the world, the sea? Have not faith, nor victory out of it, and over it on this side the grave; when as the apostle said, ‘the holy and precious divine faith, which Christ Jesus is the author and finisher of, it purifies their hearts;’ and by it they are justified, and in it they please God; which faith is their victory, by which they have access to God, over the world and out of its sea.
In Jer.16 there you may see, when the Jews transgressed the law of God, and became worse than their forefathers, how they were then as in a sea: for ‘behold, I will send for many fishers, said the Lord, and they shall fish them; and I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.’ So here you may see, men are called fish, and men are called fishers, and then consider, where is the fish, and where is the sea? Is not the sea the world which lies in transgression, and rebellion against the spirit of God? (and such as make shipwreck of faith and a good conscience), are they not in it? Jer.16:16.
But said the prophet, ‘you are (namely, the Lord), of purer eyes than to behold evil, that cannot look on iniquity: therefore look you upon them that deal treacherously, and hold your tongue when the wicked devours the man, that is more righteous than he, and make men as the fishes of the sea, and as the creeping things that have no rule over them: they take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their nets, and gather them in their drags; therefore, they rejoice and are glad; therefore, they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag, and because by them, their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous,’ … Here is the wicked men’s fishing, and the wicked men’s sacrifice, which is not to be followed.
In Jonah 2, there you may see Jonah’s prayer, and the steadfastness of his faith, which he had, and prayed to the Lord God out of the fish’s belly. Jonah 2, throughout, you may see the cause of Jonah’s being cast into the sea, how that it was for his disobedience; for when the Lord commanded him to go to Nineveh, to preach repentance to it, he fled away, and went to Joppa, and found a ship, and so paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go from there to Tarshish, from the
presence of the Lord; ‘but the Lord sent out a great wind in the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken: and then the mariners were afraid, and cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah to be cast into the sea; and when they had cast him into the sea, it ceased from raging.’
Now all you mariners, and seamen, and fishermen and others, whose faith stands not in God, and Christ Jesus the author of it, when you have storms and great winds, and tempests in the sea; then do not you say, that some witch or ill-tongued people have bewitched your ship, and raised that wind, or some ill-tongued body has raised this storm and tempest.
Let New England professors see if they are not guilty of this; and whether or not they have not sometimes cast some poor simple people into the sea, on pretense of being witches. So let them and you see who hold such things, and believe such things, if you are not in disobedience to the power, spirit and faith of God, and in the sin of witchcraft yourselves. For you may see, it was the Lord who sent out the wind, and raised that mighty storm in the sea, and not your witches or ill-tongued people, as you vainly imagine, as you may see in Jonah.1:4. For if you were in the true saving faith, which Christ Jesus is the author of, that faith gives you victory over the devil, the head of all your witches, and brings you to have access to God, who makes a storm, and makes a calm.
For, ‘lo, he that formed the mountains, and created the winds, (mark, the winds), and declares unto man what is his thoughts, this is the Lord,’ that created the winds, not your witches. Amos.4:13. ‘It is the Lord, who lays the beams of his chamber in the waters, who makes the clouds his chariots, who walks upon the wings of the winds.’ Psm.104:3.
The Lord commands and raises up the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of it, and not your witches nor ill-tongued people. David said, ‘those who go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep for he commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of it. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths. Their soul is melted because of trouble; they reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits ends. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distresses. He makes the storm a calm, so that the waves of it are still; then are they glad, because they be quiet. So he brings them unto their desired haven. O that men would praise the Lord, for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.’ Psm.107:23-31.
So you may see it is the Lord that commands and raises the winds and the storms, and allays them again, and not the witches, or ill-tongued people; and that brings men to their desired haven, both outward and inward.
Again, David said, ‘He (namely, the Lord), causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he makes lightnings for the rain, he brings the wind out of his treasure.’ Psm.135:7.
Now mark all you seamen, when you have wind that makes a storm in the sea, the Lord has brought it out of his treasure. But the disobedient and rebellious against God’s power, spirit and faith, and enemies to his truth and people say, when a storm or wind is raised in the sea, some witch, or some ill-tongued people have raised it; and these are erred from the true faith as David was in, who said, ‘whatsoever the Lord pleases, that does he, in heaven, and in the earth, and in the sea, and all deep places.’ Psm.135:6.
And ‘God causes the winds to blow, and the waters to flow.’ Psm. 147:18. And David said, ‘fire, and rain, and snow, and waters, and winds fulfill God’s word.’ Psm.148:8. Now if the witches raise the storms and the winds, then the winds and storms must fulfill your witches’ and ill-tongued people’s words; but the storms and the winds fulfill God’s word; and he raises up a storm or a wind, that walks upon the wings of the wind. And your witches cannot come into God’s treasure, to fetch his wind out there, for they are out of his power. No, have not some of your faithless seamen, and you that think so, pretended to buy winds?
Oh! What darkness and ignorance, and a shame to Christianity! You are like to the clouds and winds without rain, and wells without water, and trees without fruit, as you may see in Prov.25:14 and in Jude. Who has gathered the winds in his fist? Who has bound the waters in his garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his Son’s name, if you can tell?’ Prov.30:4. Who with your dark spirit imagines, that the witches can fetch or pluck the wind out of God’s fist. Oh! Abominable! It is much if the Lord does not let his wind fly at you, and raise a storm against you, who are erred from the faith of the holy men of God; for Christ commands the winds and they obey him. Lk.8:25.
Where do you read in all the scriptures, that the witches raised winds, or that any seamen did go to buy winds of them? Let us see the chapter and verse for it; either among the people of God, or among the heathen; and if you cannot, stop your mouths, and of such practices be ashamed, for dishonoring Christianity, who are contrary both to the law and gospel; and turn to the Lord, who walks upon the wings of the wind, and holds the winds in his fist, and can let them fly out in blasts to terrify the wicked; but the just live by the faith in God and Christ, who is the author of it; who makes the storm a calm, and commands the winds, and brings them out of his treasure at his pleasure. The righteous know that the stormy winds obey and fulfill God’s word.
So the righteous can praise the Lord that created the winds, and all things in the heaven and in the earth, and in the sea; and renews man by Christ, into his image, and gives him dominion over all; praise and glory, honor and thanks be unto the Lord, who is over all, from everlasting to everlasting. All the faithful know, that ‘a sparrow shall not fall to the ground without the will of the Father,’ much more a man, who is of greater value than many sparrows.
Therefore do not be faithless, but believe in Christ the light, who commands the winds and storms; by whom all things were made, and are upheld, by his word and power, Heb.1:2-3; ‘the law of your mouth is better unto me than thousands of coins of gold and silver.’ Psm. 119:72.