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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 13

Section 2 Subsection 34

Buy and Sell



“And (causes) that no one be able to buy or sell, save he that hath the sign, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name —(verse 17).

In commenting upon this, bishop Newton remarks, “If any dissent from the stated and authorized forms, they are condemned and exe?cuted as heretics; and in consequence of that they are no longer suffered ‘to buy or sell;’ they are interdicted from traffic and commerce, and all the benefits of civil society. So Roger Hoveden relates of William the Conqueror, that he was so dutiful to the pope that ‘he would not permit any one in his power to ‘buy or sell’ anything, whom he found disobe?dient to the Apostolic Throne.’ So the canon of the council of Lateran under the pope Alexander III., made against the Waldenses and Al?bigenses, enjoins, upon pain of anathema, that ‘no man presume to en?tertain or cherish them in his house or land, or exercise traffic with them.’ The synod of Tours in France, under the same pope, orders under the like intermination, that ‘no man should presume to receive or assist them, no, not so much as to hold any communion with them in ‘sel?ling or buying,’ that being deprived of the comfort of humanity, they may be compelled to repent of the error of their way.’ Pope Martin V., in his bull set out after the council of Constance, commands in like man?ner, that ‘they permit not the heretics to have houses in their districts, or enter into contracts, or carry on commerce, or enjoy the comforts of hu?manity with Christians.’ ‘In this request,’ as Mede observes, ‘the False Prophet ‘spake as a dragon’.” For the Dragon Diocletian published a like edict, that no one should sell or administer anything to the Christtians, unless they had first burnt incense to the gods, as Bede also rehear-seth in the hymn of Justin Martyr:

Non illis emendi quidquam

Aut vendendi copia:

Nec ipsam haurire aquam

Dabatur licentia,

Antequam thurificarent

Detestandis idolis.

That is, ‘they had not the power of buying or selling anything, nor were they allowed the liberty of drawing water itself, before they had offered incense to detestable idols.’ Popish excommunication’s are therefore, like heathen persecutions; and how large a share the corrupted clergy, and especially the monks of former, and the Jesuits of latter times, have had in framing and enforcing such cruel interdicts, and in reducing all orders and degrees toso servile a state of subjection, no man of the least reading can want to be informed.”

Now, this is all true and satisfactory as far as it goes; but it does not bring out all the truth contained in the prohibition of the text. The Scrip?tural use of the phrase “buy or sell” is not restricted to dealing in dry goods, groceries, and other kinds of secular daily traffic among the people. Spiritual wares are merchandise as well as silks, linen, tea and sugar. The Spirit deals in the choicest kinds of merchandise, which He offers to the public upon the most advantageous terms. His business ad?vertisement is conceived in the most liberal spirit, and runs thus: “Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money: come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” He then proceeds to expostulate with people for wasting their means in buying mere sawdust of dishonest bakers, who sell it to them for bread. “Wherefore,” saith he, “do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satis?fieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye good (bread), and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will cut off to you the covenant of the hidden period (or future age), the sure mercies of David” (Isa. 55:1-3). In this advertisement, the article offered for sale is the truth — the good things covenanted to David; concerning which He saith to men, “Buy the truth and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understand?ing” (Prov. 23:23): that is, buy these four things; but when you have ac?quired them, see that you do not part with them for any consideration.

The truth, then, is the spiritual merchandise to be bought and sold without money or price. The Spirit and His agents, “faithful men who are able to teach others” (2 Tim. 2:2), are the sellers, and those who seek to understand it, are the buyers. The commodities they offer for sale, under the Divine commission contained in Apoc. 22:17, are tried gold, white raiment and eye-salve, with many gifts thrown in to induce pur?chase. The Apocalyptic advertisement is found in ch. 3:18, thus: “I counsel thee,” saith the Spirit and the Bride, “to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.” All this is valu?able merchandise that has been freely offered to them who dwell upon the habitable now occupied by the Dragon, the two Beasts, and the Image of the Sixth Head of the Beast.

I say, it has been liberally offered for sale in these dominions, and extensively purchased; but it is not so now. A rival establishment has been opened, professedly to sell the same goods; but instead of selling “wines on the lees well refined” (Isa. 25:6); that “cheereth Elohim and men” (Judges 9:13); they introduced a poisonous and intoxicating sub?stitute, which stole away the brains of all who purchased it. This noxious compound, which causes ramollissement du cerveau, or softening of the brain, and rottenness of the bones, is Apocalyptically styled, Babylon?ian wine of fornication (ch. 17:2-5). Under the influence of this “im?ported liquor,” they refused the cheering and strengthening, but not in?toxicating, wines of the Spirit; and gave all their custom to the False Prophet, whose “Mouth” speaks from the Seven Hills, and who distin?guishes himself with the skin and horns of a lamb. This principal of the rival establishment, who enriches himself “with all deceivableness,” knowing that his success in business depended upon the continued into?xication and infatuation of his customers, secured for himself, by good words and fair speeches, which deceive the hearts of the simple, an exc?lusive license to sell spiritual merchandise. The original firm, however, protested against the fraud, and would not submit to the exclusion; but continued to sell the true and genuine bread, wine, and precious things, to the few who wished to buy. But, in process of time, the fraudulent traders had so thoroughly established themselves, and so perverted the tastes of the people, “both rich and poor, small and great, free and en?slaved,” that nothing genuine was in demand. Their monopoly was sus?tained by the corrupt governments of the world; by which they were au?thorized to maintain it by any measures they deemed most effectual. They were not slow to avail themselves of this permit. They accordingly decreed, that “no one should buy or sell, save he that had the sign” of their establishment. He alone was “ordained” to sell the merchandise of the Lamb-Horned Prophet; and the worshippers of the Beast, who, by christening, were known as recognized customers, were alone permit?ted to buy of the ordained, or appointed, agents, what they were taught to esteem as “dainty and goodly things” (ch. 18:14). In other words, it was decreed, that no one should preach and administer ordinances un?less licensed or ordained so to do, by the recognized spiritual authority; which saith, “as some claim authority to preach,” or sell dainty and goodly things by auction, “all who ventures to do, either publicly or privately, without authority from the Apostolic Throne, or Bishop of the place, shall be bound with the bond of a perpetual curse.”

Preaching and administering ordinances constitute the Apocalyptic selling of the text. Hence to sell canonically is “to perform every act of sacerdotal function among the people” who buy. No one has power to do this among the rhantized, or “christened” worshippers of the False Prophet ecclesiastical power, save he who is “canonically ordered to dis?pense the word of God and his holy sacraments, within the rails of the thing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, than to believe the gospel of the kingdom and be immersed into that name. “Miserable sinners,” nor any other kind of sinners, can do any?thing else according to the will of Christ. They can only defile and blas?pheme; God does not hear sinners (John 9:31), and their most sanctimonious demonstrations are to Him mere “abominations of the earth” (Apoc. 17:5): but “the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil” (1 Pet. 3:12; Prov. 15:8,9,26,29): and who are greater evil-doers than the clergy of all orders and degrees, who, in the name of the Lord, filch from their customers their hard earnings for that which is not bread, and their labor for that which satisfieth not? No evil can be greater in his sight than to sell lies, and to palm them off upon ignorant buyers as the truth of God. Their dainties and goodliest things exposed for sale in their bazaars, dedicated to Mahuzzim, or Guardian Saints Protectors, which they term churches, and houses of God, are mere trash and trumpery; and the crisis rapidly approaches, when “these mer?chants of the earth shall weep and mourn; for no man buyeth their mer?chandise any more” (Apoc. 18:11).




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