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The Seven  N A T I O N S  of Canaan,
which Joshua cast out,
prefiguring the Works of J E S U S, casting out the evil Properties
they signify, out of our Souls.
*

 

By Thomas Bromley [1629 - 1691]


1. NATION, are the H I T T I T E S, signifying the Spirits of Fear and Discouragement:   These discourage the Soul continually with false Fears, affrighting and terrifying it from its Work:   Sometimes raising up Infidelity, sometimes false Reasoning, thro’ earthly Wisdom, disputing against Faith and the Power of God;  telling us, that none can come to Perfection;  that none can conquer the Temptations and Assaults of the Devil;  none can overcome Sin, Self, and the Passions and Distempters of the Old Man:    Sometimes they discourage from without;   with the many Rumours of Wars and Calamities, Persecutions and Tribulations:   Arguing from the Opinions of learned Ministers or others, against our Practice, and from the divided contrary Judgments of such, from their Books and Writings; also from the Example of Multitudes, that believe and walk otherwise, and yet hope to be saved.   All this, these discouraging Spirits of Fear, cast before the Soul, to stop its Wheels in going to Perfection:   And this they do from first to last, even till the Work is ended, and Perfection attained.   But the Spirit of Faith, in the Name Jesus, doth at last conquer, and overcome these Hittites.

 

2. Nation are the A M O R I T E S, signifying the bitter fierce-talking and judging Spirits;    judging for this or that, and all from the Root of Bitterness.     These bitter Spirits do much hinder the sweet Lilly of the Valley, from springing up in the Soul, even the soft, meek, gentle Nature of the Lamb, from acting out its Virtue to our selves, or to others, either Friends or Enemies.   These perverse Spirits, rather incite us to require Eye for Eye, &c. and practise Revenge;    they despise forgiving Mercifulness, and in their Fierceness, Rage against Meekness, and the Law of Love and Tender-heartedness, and gentle soft Behaviour.    In a Word, the Spirits of Envy, Enmity, Jealousy, and rash Judging, are Amoritish Spirits, which Joshua, that is Jesus, cometh to cast out.

 

3. Nation are the C A N A A N I T E S, the Merchandizing Spirits, that Traffick in our Minds, Wills, Thoughts, Senses, Imaginations, and Affections;   they fetch in Buyers and Sellers into the Temple of the Soul, and make it run out beyond due Measure, in its trafficking with them:    Sometimes, in things we have nothing to do withal, or over-concerning our selves with a Multiplicity of Cares, about things of a little Moment;   and thereby pollute and defile our Souls by opposing the Lamb’s Law of holy Silence and pure Stillness, and departing from the one thing necessary, into the many, and so from Unity and Harmony, into Multiplicity and Discord.

 

4. Nation are the P E R R I Z I T E S, the Careless, secure Spirits, that open the Door of false Liberty, before the crucifying Work is done, Circumcision past, and Regeneration finished.    These Spirits labour to take us off from our Watchfulness, make us neglect the Cross and be secure; and so let in all manner of evil Spirits, to oppress the Life of the Lamb in us;   that by forsaking the Way of the Cross and continual Circumcision, (while we are Travellers, and not fixed and established in Perfection)   Sin and Self, may get in again, and bear Rule over the Life of Christ rising in us.

 

5. Nation are the H I V I T E S, the talking, notional Spirits, that move us to talk of vain and needless Things:   These awaken vain Thoughts and Imaginations, and fill our Phantasie with empty Romances and Scenes;  and so thro’ our Thoughts and Imaginations, they press in, and bring forth a Multiplicity of Words, and many useless and sinful Discourses and Disputes, which greatly hinder the springing and further growth of the divine Life.    These vain frothy Spirits, come from the Starry Heaven, and their Dominion in us;  they love Reasonings, Talks, and Debates:  they fill us with Notions, and would have us spend our Life and Strength in talking of high and deep Speculations, and in unnecessary Disputes, for and against, about all things; and by this means, hinder us from being exercised in stable Obedience and Watchfulness.   Under these Hivites, come in all the Arts and Sciences of this World;  their Office is nothing else, but to awaken Notions and Speculations in the Phantasie, thereby to trouble, ensnare, and perplex the pure Heavenly Life, rising upon the Soul.

I say, these Spirits have their Progeny from the Spirit of this World, and all Labour to bring forth a Talking Notional Religion among Professors, to delude them, and make them think they live well because they talk well.    But they all belong to the Astral Heavens and stand under the Fall; in Natural things as well as Spiritual they are ever filling our Heads with Notions and new Opinions of all sorts.   Thence we too often talk of Dispensations beyond our Attainments, and that sometimes from Visions, Sights, and Reading of the deep Mysteries of divine Things, and so forget and neglect holy Stillness, leading to the perfect Death, and daily Mortification of the ill Habits and Customs of the Old Nature and the World, and pressing into the Humility, Poverty, Innocency, and Simplicity, that should be in us, and would more beautify us in the sight of God, than all other Gifts and Knowledge whatsoever.

 

6. Nation are the J E B U S I T E S, figuring the Spirits of Pride and Elevation.  The Name signifies to trample upon and despise;  they would ever be trampling under Foot the Blood and Merits of Jesus, in the Pride and Might of the Fire;  they slight and despise the Meek and Humble way of the Cross of Christ, elevating themselves above the Heart of Jesus, and the Power of the Love.  They are always Tempting us to Trample upon the Pearl in our selves, and to under value the Pure Virgin of the Eternal Wisdom, and the precious Things of God, and would draw us into Apostacy with themselves, making us to slight the Redeeming Blood of the Lamb, and by puffing us up in Spiritual Pride, make us to think ourselves Perfect, before we are so indeed, and so by degrees, draw us to neglect the Rising Life of Jesus in our selves.

 

7. Nation are the G I R G A S H I T E S. These are the Earthly, Dirty Spirits, that Tempt and draw us to the Earthly Life, and its Vanities;  to bestial Lusts, to Excesses in all things, against the Law of Moderation, Purity, Temperance, &c. 

And all these Spirits Fight in us to their last Breath, even till they are quite destroyed, by the Powerful Resurrection of Jesus in Spirit, in us, and his Ascension in us;  which is our Perfection, in the Life and Nature of the Son of God, who will at last cast them out of the Fallen Humanity, and himself Reign there over them all to Eternity, AMEN, Hallelujah.

 

Dear Reader,    I beseech thee most seriously to consider the following very momentous Truth, and let it be indelibly written on thy Heart, namely — that the SPIRITUAL LIFE, being nothing else but the Working of the Spirit of GOD within us, our SILENCE, of necessity, must be a great part of our Preparation for it, and therefore much speaking, or delight in it, will assuredly prove a most considerable Hindrance of that GOOD, which we can only have from hearing what the Spirit and Voice of GOD speaketh WITHIN US;   for by much Speaking we lose that inward Unction from above which alone can new create our Hearts.   Indeed, my Friend, to speak with the Tongues of Men or Angels on religious Matters, is a much less thing than to know how to stay the Mind upon GOD, and abide within the Closet of our Hearts, observing, loving, adoring, and obeying, his holy Power within us.

O GOD, who madest me for thyself, to shew forth thy Goodness in me, manifest, I humbly beseech thee, such Strength of Hunger and Thirst after the Birth, Life, and Spirit of thy Holy JESUS in my Soul, that all that is within me may be turned from every inward Thought or outward Work, that is not thee, thy holy JESUS, and heavenly Workings in my Soul.— Amen.

End of:  The Seven Nations of Canaan

 

*Note from Pass the WORD:   This was written in the late 1600’s when Thomas Bromley was a part of the Philadelphian Society with Jane Lead.  He died in 1691.  All but the last 2 paragraphs  appeared in a 1744 printing of this work.  The last two paragraphs were found appended to an edited version of this work which was reprinted in 1816 as part of a compilation of excerpts from the works of Jane Lead.

 

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