(Exerpt from Jane Leade).
[ A Philadelphian Suffereth Long. ]
THE first Victory of the True Philadelphian Hero may be said to consist properly in Suppressing the Irascible Emotions of the Soul: or in stopping the Mouth of that Roaring Lyon, which watches all the Travellers to the City of Brotherly Love, how he may surprise and devour them. For the two Great Boanerges; the most Beloved Brothers had like to have fallen into the Jaws of this Lyon: and the most masculine Champion of Christ, and most Zealous of all his Disciples was Bit by him, and had much ado to escape with his Life. Wherefore having these Examples set before him, he is exceeding Cautious to Guard himself against this Wild and Furious Beast. And he strives to imitate the Long Suffering and Patience of the Deity towards Evil Doers. He studies to Conquer his Adversaries with Love, and to bring them over to him by Kind Offices, or by Presents, as Jacob did his Brother Esau. He is not for calling down Fire from Heaven upon them, or Anathematizing them; but for heaping Coals of Love upon their Heads. He is not for Prosecuting Hereticks or Recusants with the Faggot, or with the Sword: but is for Suffering the Tares to grow with the Wheat, till the Day of the Harvest: when every ones Work shall be purg’d by Fire.
[ A Philadelphian is Kind. ]
AS Courtesie and Kindness is a Moral Virtue, so in Him it becomes a Christian Grace. Wherefore he cannot be Austere, or Starch’d up to any little Formalities. His Religion makes him not Sour, or uneasie to others; but renders him more Sweet, Affable, and Easie, if there be but the least Opportunity for him hereby of doing a Kind or Generous Office to Any. And though he uses himself much to Solitude and Retirements, with his Blessed Master and Pattern; yet whenever he appears in the World, he affects not a Singularity, or to be taken Notice of, but freely converses with it, and Accommodates himself to the Manners of it, so far as Innocently he can. Thus the True Philadelphian is the most Obliging Person of the whole World; not only Inoffensive in his Carriage, but even Pleasant and nobly exercis’d in the most Advantageous Parts of Human Conversation, as well as the most Delectable. And as different as the Address of a Master of the Ceremonies to a strange Minister, is from that of one Brother to another most intimately Endear’d to him; so is that of this Philadelphian, when he converses with Any, from that Outward, Formal, and Ceremonial Way which is Practised by the World. In short, none better (if so well) understands all the Solid Delights of Conversation, and the permanent Pleasures of a True and Masculine Friendship; not Confin’d, but Extended to the very utmost Capacity of his Sphere.
[ A Philadelphian Envieth not. ]
WHEN he has thus slain the Lyon and the Bear, he next proceeds to cut off the head of that most cunning twisting Serpent of Envy, that would insinuate himself even into Paradise. And it is much more easie to vanquish, subdue, and harmonize the fierce Wrathful, and the rough unmannerly Properties of a Disorder’d Soul, than to eradicate this more secret and lurking Evil, which lies gnawing on the very Vitals of Religion, in many great and specious Professors. But the true Philadelphian is one perfectly Content with that State or Lot, in which he stands, through the Wisdom, Justice and Goodness of God. He thinks not much at any Advantages or Privileges which another doth enjoy: but rather Congratulates them. He is certain that the Master whom he serves, if he be Faithful, will not fail to prefer him; and therefore he is not at all Solicitous after any Preferments, Honours, or Riches, which this World can give, or in the least envies those who possess them. And much less doth he repine at any Favours confer’d by his Master, upon any of his Fellow-Servants: but is pleas’d thereat. And will not presume to bind up His Majesty to Act thus or thus, and to confer his Favours and Graces upon none but those that are of this or that Body, or Society, that he likes best. No: he dares not do so: he prefers others before himself; thinking himself unworthy of the very least Grace, or Gift of His Holy Spirit bestowed upon him. For ...
[A Philadelphian Vaunteth not Himself. ]
HE will take no Glory or Honour to himself; but will ascribe all to the Supreme Majesty, which he serves, the Sole Fountain of Honour, and the Origin of whatever is Glorious, or Praise-worthy. He is free therefore from all Ostentation: and being Inconsiderable in his own Eyes, he cannot be Over-forward, Temerarious, or Precipitate in any Design, but will wait always for the Call and Command of his Master: that so he may not Dishonour, instead of Honouring Him. And this also teaches him to weigh his Words in the Balance of the Holy Sanctuary, and not to speak Rashly for God.
[ A Philadelphian is not puffed up. ]
FOR he avoids all manner of Ostentation and Impertinence; this is a certain sign that there must be in him somewhat Substantial, and that he is not a Vessel fill’d with Wind. He is neither Elevated with any Applause, nor Dejected with Obloquy or Contempt. He is contracted within a very little Compass, and is not blown up as a Bladder, either with the Vanities and Pomps of the World, or with any Spiritual Attainments, fancied or real. But the more he receives, Natural or Supernatural, he is still the more Humble, more Passive, and more Resign’d to the Divine Will.
[ A Philadelphian doth not behave himself Unseemly.]
HE takes care to do nothing that is Judecorous: but is a most strict Observer of the Eternal Law of Order. Which Law is the Rule of all Virtue: and therefore tho’ he be not Solicitous about the Niceties or Punctilio’s of Ceremony, yet having this Law written in his Heart, all his Actions thence proceeding must needs be Regular, Orderly, and Decent. There will hence be seen a Decorum in all his Conversation, that is not Superficial, but Essential; that is not Counterfeited, but Natural; that is not Transient, but Permanent; as deriv’d from that Root which abides Ever, and fails not. There is an inexpressible Beauty in his Behaviour both to the Children of Men, and to the Children of God; that is insensibly convey’d from the Supreme and Infinite Beauty. And this he calls the Reflection of the Light of God’s Countenance upon his Soul.
[ A Philadelphian seeks not his Own. ]
THERE is nothing more contradicts the Beautiful Law of Order, than a narrow Contracted Spirit, which is Always Seeking its Own, and not that which is for the Good of the Whole. Wherefore a True Philadelphian is the most Publick Spirited Person that can be describ’d. He seeks not his own Private Interest in the Publick: but tramples the former under his Feet, even with the utmost Disdain, so he may but promote the latter. And he doth not only lay hold on every Opportunity, that is presented to him, for the Exercise of this Publick, Merciful, and Beneficent Spirit: but even sedulously watches for, and catches after Opportunities, after the Example of his Blessed MASTER, continually going about doing Good.
[ A Philadelphian is not easily Provoked. ]
IT is not otherwise to be Expected but that a Person of a Publick Spirit, whose Study it is to do Good to Others, and to Advance the Honour and Interest of his Great and Glorious MASTER, will meet with many Affronts, Misrepresentations, and Provocations from the Unthinking or Ungrateful Part of Mankind. But a True Philadelphian will not be hereat in the least Provoked or Irritated. He lives above the Censure of the World, as being the Spectacle of God and of all his Holy Angels, and of all the Great and Good Men, now made perfect, who have ever lived upon the Face of the Earth, and been the Benefactors of Human Kind. Wherefore looking steadfastly upon such as these, he matters not either the good or bad Report of the Present Age; but is Resolv’d to break through All, that he may be Serviceable to it, and to Posterity. he will not be provok’d to lay down a Good and Noble Design, whatever Clamours may be raised against him: and will hazard both his Reputation and Fortune a Thousand Times over in this Life, rather then not to Do what he knows to be for the Honour of his GOD, and the Benefit of his Neighbour; and more specially if for that of a Kingdom. In short, he is so great a Master of himself, by the Grace and Spirit of Christ, that should all Mankind set themselves against him, they could not be able to cast him even into one Paroxysm.
[ A Philadelphian thinketh no Evil. ]
CANDOUR is the most Peculiar Philadelphian Characteristick: by which He is distinguished, Visibly and Eminently, from all the Parties, Sects, and External Denominations of Religion whatever. He is ever willing to take things in the Best Sense: and when two Opposite Constructions may be put upon the same Matter, he constantly remembers the Council of that Good Natur’d Philosopher, who charg’d his Pupil never to take up a Vessel by the Left Handle, when he could hold it by the Right. So the True Philadelphian considering how All Things have Two Handles, and how the very same Person is made both an Hero and a Monster, according as the painter is pleas’d to draw him; will suspend his Assent, till he can be Fully Ascertain’d, and will incline still to the more Favourable Part. For ...
[ A Philadelphian Rejoyceth not in Iniquity. ]
HE sets not up for a Critick upon the Failures of Others: nor would Establish to himself the Reputation of a Wit upon the Weaknesses or Mistakes of Any. It is the Common Vice of the World to take a Pleasure in discoursing of the Folly or Knavery of others, (without which Topicks perhaps Nine Parts in Ten of Ordinary Conversation would be Nothing:) And to Censure these is taken up as the most Easie Method to be thought a Man of Sense, or a Man of Probity. But the true Philadelphian Genius is quite otherwise: it minds not the impertinent or insignificant Buzzings of a Fly, or the ridiculous Gestures of a Monkey: it finds no delight in calling over the Political Fetches of a Cunning Fox, the Hypocrisie and Treachery of a Crocodile, or the Rapacity and Unmercifulness of a Wolf; nor is diverted in raking into Dung and Ordure. The Philadelphian Spirit is far too Noble for any such Employment as this: and therefore, living above the Genius of this World, converses much with the Blessed Inhabitants of the Superiour Worlds; who think no Evil of one another; neither rejoyce in Iniquity, or the Failings of any of their Fellow Creatures; but rejoyce in the Truth, and in the Conformity of Things Below with Things Above, or with the Heavenly Patterns. By whom being Instructed ...
[ A Philadelphian Rejoyceth in the Truth. ]
CALUMNY is the very Nature of the Devil himself, who never rejoyces more than when he finds matter for his Accusations. And its Opposite Virtue is a Ray from the Divine Nature communicated to Blessed Angels, and Blessed Souls. Hereby the true Philadelphian is made most like to the Deity, which is Truth, and thence never rejoyces, but in the Truth, or in the Reflection of his own immaculate Light. Wherefore the Philadelphian Rejoyces not Alone, but with the Best Company: with the Holy Majesty of God, with the whole Court of Heaven, with all Good Men on Earth, and more particularly with Injur’d and Oppressed Innocence, that comes to be Vindicated by the Truth.
[ A Philadelphian concealeth all Things. ]
AS his great Care is to do nothing against Truth, so since the World is very little able to Bear it, he is forc’d to enjoy it by himself, together with this Secret Blessed Society, rather than to prostitute it to such as would trample it under their Feet. Wherefore a true Philadelphian will bear, and keep all things in his Heart, that are not to be Communicated to Any but to the Wise; according to the most express Command and Caution of Christ himself, and his own Practice, with that of his Holy Mother and Apostles, and indeed of all the Prophets, Wisemen, and Scribes of the Kingdom in all Ages. This Gift of Taciturnity, and Holy Silence is most absolutely Requisite for him, as he stands ingag’d in Great Undertakings for the Glory of God. For if the Secrets of Princes ought to be Sacred, then much more, thinks the True Philadelphian, ought the Secrets of HIM By whom Princes Reign. And yet even his Secrets are with them that fear Him. [Margin Note: Psalm 25,14] However this Taciturnity or Reservedness, must not hinder but that he be Bold as a Lyon, to Declare and Promulgate all that he is Commanded by his Supreme LORD: and thus to bear up, and support as it were, under HIM, the Pillars of His Government. For ...
[ A Philadelphian Believeth all Things. ]
ON the Part of God he Believes that He is Faithful and True to perform All his Promises even to the Minutest Tittle of ‘em and that he is no less ready Now to Assist them that Truly Believe in Him, than he was to Assist all the Ancient Worthies, and Great Heroes: who are left as a Cloud of Witnesses, for us to follow their Steps. [Margin note: Heb. 12,1] And on the Part of Man a True Philadelphian will also believe all things, that upon any Probable Motives of Credibility can be produced either for Vindication, or Alleviation.
[ A Philadelphian Hopeth all Things. ]
ON the Part of GOD he Hopes both for an Ordinary, and Extraordinary Appearance of His Majesty. The Ground of this Hope is upon a Rock: and nothing is too Great for it to reach after, in Advancing His Glory. And on the Part of Man, there where the Notoriety of Evil is too Plain, for him to Believe Good, yet he Despairs not, but hopes that even the most Diabolical Sinner may at length Repent, and become a very Great and Glorious Saint; Loving much, because much is Forgiven.
[ A Philadelphian Endureth all Things. ]
THIS Heroical Faith and Hope makes the true Philadelphian to Endure and Suffer all things in his Master’s Cause, and for His Sake. For always expecting Him to come quickly, he will never flinch Back but will keep the Word of his Patience, & will remember to hold that fast which he hath, that no Man take his Crown. Wherefore ...
[ A Philadelphian never Faileth. ]
BUT when all other names of distinction shall fail, and be burnt up, this shall Abide. The Name of a PHILADELPHIAN shall endure for ever: it shall be continued as long as the Sun: and all Nations shall call him the Blessed of the LORD.
These were the Marks that were given to a certain Traveller toward the Heavenly City of PHILADELPHIA, by a strong Angel that descended thence, who having taken out his Heart, left as it were a Flaming Coal in the Room thereof; which Burns incessantly with most Vehement Desires, for the Good of All his Brethren, that is, of All Mankind.
May the Lord give you wisdom to run the race and to sow into his kingdom.
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry
Box 30387, Phoenix AZ 85046
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