[Page] [Page] THE QUAKERS CATCHISM, OR, THE Quakers questioned, THEIR QUESTIONS Answered, AND BOTH PUBLISHED, For the Sake of those of them that have not yet sinned unto Death; And of those ungrounded Novices that are most in danger of their Seduction.


LONDON, Printed by A. M. for Thomas Underhill at the Anchor and Bible in Pauls Churchyard, and Francis Tyton at the Three Daggers in Fleetstreet. 1655.



I Suppose thou wilt marvell that I trouble my self with so wilde a Generation as the People called Quakers are; or that I trouble thee with a few hasty lines which I wrote on such an Occasion; I'le truly tell thee the cause of both: 1. They sent me five severall Papers, one of them containing the Queries which I answer, and others of them almost nothing but abundle of filthy railing words, [Thou Serpent, thou Liar, thou deceiver, thou childe of the devil, thou cursed hypocrite, thou dumb dogge] with much more of the like. They chose out one day, when it pleased God to confine me to my Chamber by sicknesse, to come into our Assembly, and after Morning Sermon to fall a que­stioning the Preacher, my assistant; and because he avoided publike disputing with them at that season, as not taking it for a profitable spending of the Lords day, they call him the hireling that flieth, it seems referring to Joh. 10. 12. [Page] and so confessing themselves to be the Wolves. I finde that they do so challenge, and brag, and triumph, if we say no­thing to them, and that too many simple people expect that we should answer them, that (after an unprofitable verball discourse with an unreasonable railing fellow) I resolved to send them this brief answer to their Questions: And be­cause they abhorre Syllogismes and disputings, I was fain to deale further with them in their own questioning way: I had before offered to come and answer all their Queries in their Assembly, if they would consent that I might do it without disturbance; But instead of permitting that, they denied it, and sent me a Letter of Reviling, calling me ever and over Serpent and Hypocrite, and the like Names, and commanding me in the Name of the most High God to an­swer their Questions in writing, that they might print them with their reply; so that if I say nothing they will insult; If I write to them they will print it: Being therefore so far called to speak, I chose rather to print my own Papers, how mean soever, then let them do it.

Two Objestions I foresee will be raised against me; One is, that the Persons are so contemptible and the errours so grosse, that it's a needlesse work to strive against them; To which I say, Let sad experience witnesse, whether it be needlesse; when they so much multiply, and so many where they come are presently infected. The salvation of the poorest Christi­an is so far from being contemptible, that it is worth much more then our greatest diligence. 2. It will be said, it is but the Churches of the Separatists and Anabaptists that are em­ptied by these Seducers; and it's best even let them alone to keep their own Flocks, and secure their Churches, or if they fall off it may shew others the tendency of their waies, and so pervent their turning aside; To which I answer: 1. Though the stream of Apostates be such as first were Anabaptists or [Page] Separatists, yet here and there one of the young unsetled sort do fall into that stream that were not before of them, but per­haps inclining to them, and so do some few that had no Re­ligiousness. 2. I had farre rather that men continued Sepa­ratists and Anabaptists, then turned Quakers or plain A­postates; And therefore would do all that I can to hinder such an emptying of their Churches as tendeth to the more certain filling of Hell; It's better to stop them in a condition where we may have some hope of their salvation, then to let them run into certaine perdition; I did therefore take it to be my duty when these poor neighbours who had before been A­nabaptists, Separatists, and some Seekers, had turned Qua­kers, to offer them a verbal answer to all their vain Questi­ons, that I might have had so much opportunity to undeceive them; When they refused that, and said, they would not be drawn into a Serpents snare, I thought best to send them my Answer in writting, committing it to some of their Neighbours, that they might desire leave to reade it in their Assembly; And when I heard that they would not grant that neither (for all their insulting adjuring of us to answer them) but talkt of Printing something against me, I chose rather to tell the world of these Passages between us, then leave them to their reports; especially hearing how they en­crease in London and other parts, and that the ignorant have need of some plain Information to prevent their Apo­stacy and perdition in this temptation.

R. B.

TO THE Separatists and Anabaptists IN England.

THough Gods minde be most plainly reveal­ed to us in his written Word, yet are his Providences also teaching, and it is the duty of his Servants to reade and study them, especially the Poenall withdrawing or withholding of his grace, and giving men up to be­leeve lies, and to vile affections, to a reprobate sence, and to an abominable conversation, these are such dis­coveries of the sore displeasure of the Most High, as should make even the beholders to fear, and all that stand but near to this heavy judgement to fly away from it, as the Israelites did at the cries of the Rebel­lious followers of Corah, Num. 16. lest the earth should have swallowed them up also: I am not of their minde that make light of the strange Providences in our mili­tary affairs and changes of State, though I think every carnal admirer of them doth not understand them: But it's a matter of very sad consideration, that many of vhose same men that seem so much to magnifie these, do no more observe, understand, and lay to heart the more remarkable Providence of our heavy spirituall judge­ments! [Page] The overlooking of these Providences makes many fear lest it be but their own interest which they study in the other, and lest by reading themselves and their own Names where they should reade God, they turn this light into darknesse or seduction, and by sur­fetting on this Feast do contract those diseases that are like to be their bane; What is Gods Word for but to make himself and our duty known to us? And so he doth very much by his Works, where we may see his Nature, and something of his Approbation or dislike, especially as they are read by the help of the Word. Certainly God is known by the judgement which he executeth: (specially when) the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands, Psa. 9. 16. The hand of God is apparently gone out against your waies of Separation and Anabaptism: It is your duty to observe it: You may see you do but prepare too many for a further progresse, Seekers, Ranters, Familists, and now Qua­kers, and too many professed Infidels, do spring up from among you, as if this were your Journeys end, and the perfection of your Revolt. And it is your Churches and those that lean toward you that present­ly receive the Doctrines of the deceiver, and are the stream in which some others with them are carried away. You may see you cannot hold your followers when you have them; Your work is blasted, You la­bour in vain, nay, worse then in vain; You do but pre­pare men for flat Heresie and Apostacy; I have heard yet from the severall parts of the Land, but of very few that have drunk in this venome of the Ranters or Quakers, but such as have first been of your opinions, and gone out at that door; The rest are but here and there a young person that was not noted for any great [Page] matter of Religiousnesse, or only liked it and inclined to your waies; And if any others be seduced, the evil ariseth from among you, and from your Graduats do they receive their taint, as yours do from the Papists and the great Deceiver. Is it your Ministry or ours that they bend their force against? Is it not part of their present businesse to do your work, and cry down In­fant-Baptism? One of the Queres which they here put to me is [What expresse Scripture I have for Infant Baptism? which I must shew without consequences or else confesse my self a false Prophet:] And another ten­deth to prove us no true Churches: The Quakers then are Separatists and Antipaedobaptists, though more: I speak not this to reproach you, but to minde you of the tendency of all your endeavours, that you may seriou­sly as before the Lord consider, whether he do not wit­nesse from Heaven against you and your waies, by gi­ving up your followers to such abominations as since the daies of the Nicolaitans and the rest of the Gnosticks, the Sun hath not seen, at least so openly and commonly owned. Have you well considered into what your So­cieties were resolved in Germany and other parts? And do you well consider what fruits they here bring forth, and now likely they are to be shortly quite corrupted, if a speedy stop be not made? and what it is that you have done to the Church of God, and how much it is beholden to you for the prosperity of truth and piety. Is it like to be Gods way which so ordinarily leadeth to end endeth in such desperate evils? I make not this my first or chief argument against you, but it's a con­siderable second, and should make wise men at least sus­picious of such a course: Nor would I thus argue from the Apostacy of a few, or upon some unusuall accident; [Page] but when such hath been the Fate of the stream of your party, from the very first rising of them in the world to this day, I think it not inconsiderable. Nor would I thus argue from any temporall judgement or oppressi­on by a persecuting Enemy; for I know that is no such signe of Gods displeasure: But if I suspect whether those persons are in a way pleasing to God, whom I see him so usually deliver up to Satan, I hope I may be excused. Certainly Gods Churches are the places of his Blessing and his Delight: And certainly such spiri­tuall plagues as our eyes now behold, are as evident Notes of Gods heavy displeasure as men can expect to see on earth. And we have the more reason yet to be suspicious that this is Gods disowning of your way, and Testimony from heaven against it, in that he fol­lowed the first Hereticks, the Simonians and their fol­lowers, with the same kinde of judgements, and by such fearful desertions, did then witnesse his detestation of those that withdraw from the Unity of his Church.

And it is very remarkable, that it is a pretence of our Impurity and of a greater purity with you, that is plead­ed by those that first turn over to you, and that this height of all impieties should be the usuall issue of a way pretended so exact and clean: Doubtlesse it is none of Gods minde by this to discourage any from Purity and true Reformation, but to shew his Detestation of that spirituall pride which makes men have too high thoughts of themselves, and too much to contemn o­thers, and to desire to be further separated from them then God in the Day of grace doth allow of; Where the Tares (of ungodly men) are such as cannot be pul­led up and cast out of the Church, without danger of pulling up and casting out some of the Wheat, even the [Page] weakest true Believers with them, there God would; have us let both grow together till the time of harvest But these proud men will stand at a further distance, and will dislike Gods gracious cealings with sinners, and their eye is evil because he is good; and they will not grow in the same Field (or Church) where such Tares do grow, but will transplant themselves and remove from the field because God will not pluck up the Tares, (especially if any Ministerial neglect of Discipline be conjoyned as too commonly it is:) and in stead of bla­ming their own pride, and misunderstanding of Gods merciful dealings with sinners, they lay the blame on the corruption of the Church, and call it A Field of Tares and not of Wheat: In one word, it is most evi­dent that spiritual Pride doth turn most men from us to you, and that this is the very sinne that undoes such a multitude of Professors of Religiousness, and which hath let in all Gods Judgements upon us, and the sinne which he is now witnessing against from Heaven. As none more like to Christ then the humble that are mean in their own eyes and compassionate to others; so none are more like to the devil then the proud, that think highly of themselves and contemptuously of others; And the better the thing is that they are proud of, the worse is their pride in this respect, that it is the setting up of Gods pretious mercies against him, and the build­ing of Satans house with Christs materials: The Pha­risees Liturgy is of too frequent use in the Separated Congregations [I thank thee O God that I am not as other men are, &c. nor even as this Publicane.] He that maketh us to differ from other men, and expecteth thanks for his differencing grace, doth yet abhorre a proud ostentaiton of it, and a diminutive esteem of his [Page] smallest mercies unto others, and all proud desires that they should be thrust below us further then he hath ap­pointed: It is the good of sinners, and the honour of God that is the end of discipline, and not that we might personally be extolled and judged of above what is meet.

I beseech you take this plain Admonition in good part from a Desirer of your Recovery and Salvation.

Richard Baxter,

An Answer to a young unsetled Friend, who before inclining strongly to Ana­baptistry, at last fell in with the Quakers, and desired my thoughts of them and their waies, which seemed to him agreeable to the Scriptures.

I Have perused your Request, and am glad that you are not so confirmed in your misery, but that you will yet ask advice of your Friend; I pray God you be so ingeni­ous and happy as to take it: It is a very sad thing to me and should be so much more to you, to think that after so much pains as you have taken in duty, and so much zeal as you have professed for God, you should yet be so unac­quainted with the will and Word of God, and Christ should have so little interest in your heart, as that such horrid un­christian doctrines and practices should be so easily enter­tained by you, and so far approved of: I marvell why you took it for so great a work of grace to convert you from [Page] prophanesse, and now will take it for a greater work to convert you to it again, or to much worse? Was it not the same Ordinances that you despised before Conversion, which you now much more desp [...]se? Was it not the same Mini­sters that thou you scorn'd whom ye now reproach with far greater bitternesse (if you do as those whom you pleade for do?) Is it not the same Christians whom you then derided, and now revile at, and condemn as Children of the devil: O miserable man! Is all your hearing and praying come to this? Dare you meet the Messengers of Christ in the face, and tell them they are Liars and deceivers? Dare you cast out the holy worship of Christ as false worship, and seek to draw people into the contempt of it? Dare you damn those Churches and millions of Saints that Christ hath bought with his precious bloud? Dare you seek to draw men to hate their Teachers whom Christ hath set over them, and to hate his people as if they were the Children of the Devil, and to hate his worship and holy waies? Alas that ever a man in his wits should look upon such abominations as amiable, and much more that any man should be so mad as to do this under the Name and profession of a Christian! That you can ima­gine that the furious opposition to the whole Army of Christ, his Officers, Church and Ordinances, can yet be a work that Christ accepteth: That you should no better know Christs work from Satans, nor know that it is the Dragon whose warfare these men do manage? I must needs professe that it is a very grievous thing in mine eyes, that after all our pains with mens souls, and after the rejoycings which we had in their seeming conversion, and zealous lives, we should yet see so much ignorance, levity, and giddinesse of profes­sors, as that they are ready to entertain the most horrid abo­minations! That the devil can no sooner bait his hook, but they greedily catch at it, and swallow it without chewing; [Page] yea, nothing seems too grosse for them, but so it seems Novel­ty all goes down. I am afraid if they go a little further, they will beleeve him that shall say, The Devil is God, and to be worshiped and obeyed. Shall I freely tell you whence all this comes? Even from h [...]llish pride of heart: You see it not (it's like) in your self or in them, but I shall endeavour to make you see it both in your selves and them. For your selves you confesse to me that you have long thought that Infant-Baptism was an errour, and that now you think the Quakers are in the right; and yet you neither did once reade any one of those Books which we have written to prove Infant-Baptism to be a duty, nor did once scriously and impar­tially lay open your doubts to your Teacher, nor ask his ad­vice, as if you were even then too good to enquire, and would venture your soul to save you a little labour, yet are you now confident that you are in the right, and he and all of his minde are in the wrong. You know you are a young man, and have had little opportunity to be acquainted with the Word of God, in comparison of what your Teacher hath had: If you presume that you are so much more beloved of God then he, that God will reveal that to you without seek­ing and study, which upon the greatest diligence he will not reveal to him; what can this conceit proveed from but pride? God commandeth study and meditating day and night in his Laws; Your Teacher hath spent twenty, if not an hundred hours in such Meditation where you have spent one: He hath spent twenty if not an hundred hours in prai­er to God for his spirit of Truth and Grace, where you have spent one: His prayers are as earnest as yours: His life is much more holy and heavenly then yours; His Office is to teach, and therefore God is as it were more engaged to be his Teacher, and to make known his Truth to him th [...]n to you; Is it not then apparent pride for you to be confident [Page] that you are so much wiser then he, and that you are so much more lovely in Gods eyes, that he will admit you more in to the knowledge of his Mysteries, then those that have better used his own appointed means to know them? and for you, in ignorance to run about with the Shell on your head, exclaim­ing to the world of the ignorance of your late Teachers? I say not that you do so; But the Quakers whom you approve of do so, and much more.

I pray you tell me, Did you ever study well what Paul meant. [...] Tim. 3. 5. where he requireth that he that is Or­dained should [not be a Novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the Condemnation of the devil;] The Word translated a Novice signifieth a New Plant, a late Convert, or new or young Christian; You see here that such are in most danger of being lifted up with pride, and why so? but because 1. They have not yet knowledge enough to acquaint them with their ignorance and great weaknes­ses. 2. Nor have they yet grown to a just degree of humi­lity and other establishing preserving graces; You see also that to fall into Pride, is to fall into the condemnation of the devil. You know sure that it is no wrong to you to say that you are but a Novice or raw Christian, for it is but a few years since you came out of utter ignorance and carnality; and therefore that you have reason to be very watchfull a­gainst this sin, yea, by the evidence that you give in against your selves, you might see that you are too farre ensnared in it already.

And for the Quakers, you are blinde if you see not their horrible Pride; You'le perhaps think it strange that Pride should be the very Master-sinne in them that go in so poor a garb, and cry out against Pride so zealously as they do; and go up and down the world, as if they were sent from Heaven to perswade men to wear no Lace, or Cuffs, or Points, [Page] and that down so many Ministers for being called Masters. But alas do you not know that Pride of inward qualifications commonly called spiritual Pride, is the most killing and abo­minable! the better the thing is that you are proud of, the worse is your Pride. O what a brave thing doth it seem in these mens eyes, that they should seem to be possessed with such an ex­cellent spirit as can trample upon worldly glory, and can boisterously contemn all that are not of their sect, and that can despise Dignities, and be equall with the greatest: yea, that only they should have this admirable spirit, and all o­others are the Children of the Devil, and under their feet: Though other men should never so much sl [...]eght them, yet do they wonderfully please themselves with these high thoughts of themselves; For Pride is first an overvaluing of a mans self, and thinking of himself above what is meet, and then a desire that others should do so by him too.

If yet you see not the pride of these men, I will shew it you in these four particular Evidences, and that so plainly, that if you know the difference between the language of heaven and of hell, you may easily perceive the devil speaking by their mouths. 1. They affirm themselves to be perfect with­out sin (yea, some of them say they are Christ and God.) And is it possible that any man in this life, that is not mad with spiritual pride, can indeed believe that he hath no sin? what? that he transgresseth no Law? That he doth love God in the highest degree that he is bound to do? That he never hath a thought or word that is sinful, nor sinfully loseth one minute of his time? Yea, and this when in the eyes and ears of the wisest, they foam out their own shame, as the raging Sea doth cast out the dirt. The devil himself hath either lesse pride or lesse ignorance, then to think himself to be perfect without sin; If they have no sin, what need they pray, For­give us our sins, or what further need have they of the bloud [Page] of Christ or his Intercession to procure them any further for­giveness? If you can see no pride in this, I fear you are blind­ed with them to destruction.

2. And is it not apparent pride in them to set up them­selves so far above all the people of God on earth? yea, to vilifie the most holy and eminent Servants of God, and con­demn all the Churches in the world, as if heaven were made for them alone (if it were so well, that all of them did be­leeve a heaven besides that within them, which I suppose is but a sorry heaven.

3. And yet more unmatchable pride and impious Infide­lity is it, to damn all the Church and people of God for this 1600 years at least. Indeed God had never a people on earth of these mens way: But (to let passe the Scripture ages which condemn them) tell me, Had Christ any Church since the A­postles daies till now, or not? If he had not, then he was no head of the Church, and so no Christ: For there is no head without a body: If he had a Church tell us, where it was, and when? Do you not know (if you know any thing of the state of the Church for 1600 Years) that Christ had no Church on earth of the Quakers minde, and that all his Ministers have been such as they condemn, and have been cal­led by as honourable Titles as they are now? And is not that man either an Infidel and enemy to Christ, or stark mad with pride, that can believe that Christ had no Church till now, and that all the Ministers of the Gospel for 1600 years were the Ministers of the devil (as they say of us that tread in their steps) and that all the Christians of that 1600 Years are damned (at now they dare denounce against those that succeed them,) and that God made the world, and Christ di­ed for it, with a purpose to save none but a few Quakers that the world never knew till a few Years agoe; or at least a few Hereticks that were their Predecessors of old.

[Page] 4. And I should suppose that their proud, scornful, rail­ing language should put it out of doubt what spirit they are of, to any that are acquainted with the language of Christs Spirit, and of Satan, and are able to judge of spirits by the most palpable effects, and to know darknesse from light.

But you say, It is Scripture-Language which they speak: I answer, the greater is their presumptuous sin in making so ill a use of Scripture-Language, as to serve Satan by it, and use it to reviling; What if Christ call Judas a devil? Is it therefore lawfull to call Perer so, or any faithfull Servants of Christ? But I perceive you think they justly condemn us, be­cause we are called Masters of men, contrary to Matth. 23. Alas that a Christian should be so ignorant, as not to know that even calling Master and Lord too, is commonly allowed of in Scripture, and that it is not the Title but 1. The proud affecting of the Title. 2. And the Lording it over mens faith as Masters of that (as if others must be of their minde right or wrong) which Christ there condemneth; Even as in the same place he forbiddeth being called Fathers, in the very same sense, when yet it is frequently allowed in a better sense. But for the fuller answering of these scruples of yours, and the rest about Tithes, and such like: I send you herewith, an Answer to the Questions of some Quakers near us in the Parish of Bromsgrove, and refer you to my Defence of the Worcester shire Petition Printed some Years agoe.

To your Question, What I think of these men? I will tell you what I think and am past all doubt of.

There are in England a Company of young raw Profes­sors that have more zeal then knowledge; And there are a companie of carnal hypocrites that place all their Religion in holding certain Opinions, and using certain externall wor­ship, and siding with a Religious partie. It is no hard mat­ter to misleade all these if they be not better guided by others [Page] then by themselves: While they have due regard to the Judgements of their Teachers that know more then them­selves, and so live in a learning way till they have attained to better understanding, they may escape Deceivers; But if they are once brought to be wise enough in their own eyes, and to despise their Teachers, then they are like a man that hath lost his way in a dark night, or that hath lost his Guide in an unknown Wildernesse, or like a Dog that hath lost his Ma­ster, and therefore will be ready to follow any body that first whistleth to him. The Papists and the devil know this well enough, and therefore their first endeavour is to unsettle these people, by taking them off all dependance on their guides, and that must be by bringing the Ministers into contempt with them; For if they could once accomplish this fully, and se­parate the people from their Pastors, and so assault the people alone, or with weak, and unlearned Teachers only, they might then easily bear down all before them; and one Popish Friar or Jesuite would non-plus five hundred of our most famous Sectmasters; They remember yet that it was the disgracing of the Popish Clergy, partly by their own notorious ignorance and vitiousness, and partly by our perswading men that the Pope is Antichrist, which was the main advantage which the Reformers had for the ruining of the Papall King­dom; And therefore they would, partly in Policy, and part­ly in Revenge, attempt the destruction of our Churches by the same means. These Papists seeing the temper of our fore­said unsetled Professors do creep in among them, and use their utmost skill to unsettle them more, and bring them into dislike of their Teachers, without which they have no hope of suc­ceeding; Their first waies are by reproaching the setled go­vernment of the Church, and by drawing men to separation and Anabaptism; and then perswading them that these are glorious Truths of God, which their former Teachers are un­able [Page] to receive, and that they are but a blinde, self-seeking, proud sort of men that would enthrall all men to their judge­ments, when they are in utter darkness themselves: When they have gotten them but thus farre once, to despise their guides, then do they proceed further with them, and perswade them that they that were blinde in the points of Baptism and Church-order, are so in other things as well as that, and that this light which they have seen already, is but a spark, and that these being daies of glorious discoveries, there are yet more and greater matters to be revealed. Hereupon they put a handsome dresse upon many of the grossest points of Popery, and recommend these as the new and rare discoveries. But this they do not in the Name and garb of Papists, but (as the Popish Jew at New-castle) they turn Anabaptists, and then rise a step higher, and leade others after them; so that the silly people shall never know that it is Papists that are their Leaders; yea, they will cry out of the Pope, and call all that differs from them Antichristian purposly to divert suspicions, and blinde mens eyes. Thus these Papists have begotten this present Sect of Quakers; first pretending to strange Revela­tions, Visions and Trances, such as are commonly mentioned in the lives of their Saints in the Legends: And so you have here and there a Papist lurking to be the chief Speaker among them, and these have fashioned many others to their turns, to supplie their rooms, who yet know not their own Fathers.

And so the Quakers among us are [The ignorant, proud, giddie sort of Professors, first made Separatists or Anabap­tists, and perhaps more (for the most part of them) and then drawn futher by Popish subtlety, and now headed with some secret dissembling Friars, and by them, and by the devil, en­raged against the Ministers of Christ, and set upon the pro­pagating of the substance of Popery.

If You ask me, how I know that it is Papists who thus se­duce [Page] them? I answer, 1. Because they do the Papists work, and maintain their cause, as far as yet they dare venture to bring it forth; I could tell you of abundance of Popery that the Quakers and Behmenists maintain; As that the Pope is not Antichrist (which is at least to their advantage whether Popery or not) and the disgracing and secret under­mining the sufficiency of the Scripture, the decrying of the Ministry, the unchurching of our Churches, the slieghting of Justification by Imputed Righteousnesse, and drawing men to the admiration of their inherent righteousnesse, and of their works, the crying up the light within us, and the sufficiency of common revelation, the setting up the strength of mans free-will, the asserting the necessity of a Judge of Controversie above Scripture (which they are content should be the Spirit of Revelations a while, till they can boldlier exchange that for the Pope) the extolling of Monasticall Community and Virginity, and alienation from worldly em­ploiments, the doctrine of Perfection without sinne in this life, with many more of the like nature: All this the Pa­pists have taught the Quakers. If You say, They might learn it without them; I would ask you whether in all these great Points you think the Papists are righter then the Re­formed Churches? If you say they be, speak out, and confess your self a Papist; If You say they be not, then who think you should reveal all this Poperie to the Quakers; Not the Spirit of God, for he is not the Authour of Poperie or any falshood; If it were the devil, then it seems that Poperie and the Qua­kers Faith is hatched by the Prince of darknesse; And whe­ther it were Frias or Devils, or both, that make Quakers, it's not worth the while to dispute, as long as we know that it is Poperie that they hold, and the devil befriendeth it.

Perhaps You will say, That they hold many certain Truths, they cry down Pride and Drunkennesse, and worldlinesse, and [Page] cry up Mortification, and Charitie, and Humilitie. I answer. And do not we do so as well as they? These are Points where we are agreed with the Papists: Do You think that God would extraordinarily send these men to preach down the very same sinnes which are commonly preacht down alrea­die, better then they can do it, by those men whom they re­proach? All that is good among them, is only that which is as common among us, and I hope a little better maintained and managed; And all that wherein they differ from us is their Popish and heretical errours.

2. But to give you further satisfaction, it is known by certain proof, that it is the Papists that do seduce and head them: Many of themselves have confest such things, and their present industrie among us is well known (which that they may proceed in with lesse impediment, they are the Zeal­ous Defendors of Universall Toleration, or Libertie for Pro­pagating soul-poysoning Doctrines, for all the torments of the Inquisition in other Countreys.) Have you not seen a Sheet of Paper Published by M. Prin, Containing an Oath of a Citizen of Bristol taken before the Magistrates of that Citie? I will transcribe You the Deposstion lest You have not seen it.

The Information of George Cowlishaw of the City of Bristol Ironmonger, taken the 22. Day of Januarie. 1654.

WHo informeth on his Oath, that in the Moneth of September last, this Informant had some Discourse in Bristol with one M. Coppinger; an Irish man, formerly a Schoolfellow of his, that came [Page] thither purposely for his passage into Ireland, who told this Informant, that he had lived in Rome and Italy eight or nine years, and had taken upon him the Order of a Friar of the Franciscan Company; And he told this Informant, that he had been at London lately for some Moneths, and whilest he was there, he had been at all the Churches and Meetings, Publike and Private that he could hear of, and that none came so near him as the Quakers: And being at a Meeting of the Quakers he here met with two of his Acquaintance in Rome (the which two Persons were of the same Franciscan Order and Company) that were now become chief Speakers among the Quakers, and he himself had spoken among the Quakers in London about thirty times, and was well approved of amongst them. And this Informant fur­ther saith, that the said M. Coppinger asked him, What kinde of Opinions in Religion there were in Bristol? And this Informant told him there were severall Opi­nions and judgements, and not naming any Opinions of the Quakers, the said M. Coppinger asked him, whether there had been any Quakers in Bristol? And the said Informant answered him, No; Whereupon the said M. Coppinger told him the said Informant two or three times, that if he did love his Religion and his soul, he should not hear them, whereupon this Informant told him, that he thought none of them would come to Bri­stol, who expresly replied, that if this Informant would give him 5 pound he would make it 500 pounds if some Quakers did not come to Bristol within three weeks or a moneth then following. And on the morrow following the said Coppinger departed from this City for Ireland his native place, and about 18 daies after, there came to this City two Persons that bare the name of Quakers.

[Page] This is a true Copy of the Original Information taken upon Oath Jan. 22. last at Bristol, before the Town-Clerk and Magistrates of the City.

IF you further ask me, Why the Papists are so diligent in these kinde of works? I answer, Their Tyranicall Faction and Schism is maintained by works of darknesse and unconscio­nable deceits; And they know in such works as these they are not like to lose their labour, they have so many severall ends which they hope to attain; Some they may bring directly to Po­pery it self, Some they bring to a great part of Popery before they know where they are; All of them they procure to do their work in disgracing the Ministry, and many of them in disparaging the Scripture: At lest they know when men are loosened from all for­mer grounds, they are readier to receive a new Impression; Also by this meanes they think to make the multitudes of Sects, and the madnesse of them to be a shame to our Religion; And by this Ar­gument they turn many others to their side: They use from hence to assault our common ungrounded Protestants, and say, You may see now what it is to depart from the Unity of the Romane Catho­like Church (for so they will needs call their trancendant schism.) And when they talk among their own followers in France, Italy, and other Countreys, they mightily frem hence confirm them in their errours, and do so aggravate the Hiresiies and Sects among us which themselves have cherished, that they make the world abroad believe that the Protestants or Reformers in England are almost all run­ning stark mad, and even given over to the devil to possess and move and shake their bodies, and that we are broken into so many shreds and pieces, that we are almost So many men so many mindes, and have now no face of a Church among us, especially ha­ving the advantage of the suffrages of some few over-angry Di­vines among our selves, who (on another ground) comply with the Separatists, affirming that we have no true Churches, where there is not the Episcopal preheminence; You see then what game the Pa­pists play in their fomenting of their Sects, and what use they make of them at home and abroad.

[Page] To conclude, I entreat you to consider well of the sense of these passages in the holy Scriptures, Eph 4. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. where you may see that Christs Officers or Ministers are setled by him in his Church for the edification, unity, and (at last) the perfecting of the body, and the preserving of the poor people from the snares of such Seducers [that we henceforth be no more Children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every winde of Do­ctrine by the sleight of men, and cunning craftinesse, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.] Young unsetled Novices and proud self-conceited Professors and Opinionists are like a bundle of fea­thers tost up and down, and carried that way as the winde of tem­ptation driveth them.

1 Cor. 11. 18, 19. [When ye come together in the Church, I here that there be divisions among you, and I partly beleeve it; For there must be also Heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you:] I pray you mark here what Gods end is in permitting these Divisions and He­resies among us? They are the winde that must sift us and shew us which was the wheat and which the chaff. This triall is to prove you and all of us, and see whether we are light or solid, approved and sound in the faith, or hypocrites; If this triall turn you quite over to the division of Separation and Anabaptism, and to the He­resie of the Quakers, we shall know that you were before a proud, giddy, unsetled Novice, not approved of God nor sound at the heart. And it's an exellent work of God, thus to prepare for the great Iudgement, and make such an open discovery of superficial, proud, unsanctified men; For as it's said 1 Joh. 2. 19. [They went out from us but they were not of us; for if they had been of us they would no doubt have continued with us, but they went out that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.] The Lord open your eyes, and humble your heart, and acquaint you with your great darknesse and imperfections, and with the sufficiency of holy Scriptures, and the necessity of his Order and Ministry, and the need that you have of those Guides whom you despise, and the obedience and submission that you owe them, and the excellency of the Churches Unity, and the mischief of all divisions and heresies, and recover you from their snares.

Your true Friend, RICHARD BAXTER,


Miserable Creatures,

BEfore the last I wrote to you, I had received three severall Papers, with the Names of three severall Persons of you inscribed, viz. One Iane Hicks, one Thomas Chaundler, and Ed­ward Neway. These I have yet to shew, though the spirit that possesseth you did since prevail with you to call me false Lyar and Serpent in Folio, but for tel­ling you that I had received them from you: Forsooth, be­cause I named not the woman before, and because Neway wrote not: But might not I receive them as from them, and having their Names and only theirs inscribed for all that? Since that time I have received two more, One subscribed by Richard Farnworth and Thomas Goodier, and another without any subscribed Name. I shewed Tho. Goodier that with his Name, and asked him whether he owned it, who told me, he neither read it nor mine which it replied to, and yet so farre belived those that bad, that he owned his Name at it. Having received in your first Letters, almost nothing but some Sheets of [Thou Serpent, Viper, thou Childe of the Devil, thou Son of perdition, thou dumb dog, thou false hireling, thou false Liar Deceiver, greedy dog, thou ravening Wolf, thou cursed hy­pocrite,] [Page 2] with much more of the like; I returned you no Reply, as confessing my self not so well skilled in that language and learning as you are; And for the dunghil-heaps of false accusations annexed, I passe them by, as being well known to be impudent slanders; Such as my [upholding acoursed, Pre­latical Government, false worship, &c.] for which you dare say [the vengance of the Lord is against me,] while you in­stance only one word of a Paper of mine, wherein I moved that men be restrained [from preaching against the Essentials or Foundamentals of Christianity,] which one of you tels me is a restraining men from [speaking any more in Christs name] and a persecuting Christs Ministers:] we may see what Chri­stianity and Christs Ministers are in your account, who take it for such damnable enmity to Christ, for a man to be restrained from Preaching that there is no Christ, or from reproaching him: I doe not think if I had desired that men should be re­strained from calling you damnable Hereticks, or the Bastards of the Papists, that you would have been so froward as to have said that herein I was your Enemy; Nor do I think you would have taken it for any dangerous restraint to the Liberty of their Consciences; But Christ will deal justly with you though you deal unjustly with him and his.

When your Praters were here, I desired to know the fur­ther ground of all these heavy accusations; that must prove me a childe of the devil, a greedy dumb dog, a Son of perdi­tion, with all the rest. And I could have no proof of all but this; That I was called Master, That I stood in a high place to preach, and that I studied, and that I preached by an hour­glasse, and so would limit the Spirit if I had it; and that I took money, for Tythes: False doctrine and worship I was charged with in general, but not one word of instance in any particu­lar that I can remember: To these charges I shall give you some account anon.

When I had received your 24 Queries, I sent you my An­swer, that if you would but subscribe your consent that I should come to your meeting, and answer them all by word of mouth without disturbance, and you would receive what was made plain to your selves to be the Truth; I was willing to come [Page 3] over to that end: This motion you detest and reject with a Sheet of further Revilings in the same-language as the first were: I hope you will not take it ill if I reply not in that grin­ning or barking Rhetorick; For if I be a dumb dog, you can­not expect that I should equal you in snarling, or barking, or howling.

But have you not bewraied your deceitfulnesse in refusing to consent that I should come and answer your Questions? Do not you shew by this, that you are children of the Darkenesse, and the Works of darknesse you are carrying on? When you hate the Light because your Deeds are Evil? Why would you send me Queries which you would not give me leave to answer by Speech? What was it that you feared?

But in stead of this, you [charge and command me in the Name of the most high God to answer them in writing] that you may [publish them with your Reply if need be.] But when I desired to see the Commission by which you claim this Authority, you shew me none, but tell me, It is invisible. And may not all the world command me on these terms as well as you? In stead of admitting me to answer in your Con­gregation, some of you came over (taking a time when the Lord had shut me up by sicknesse, and could not go to the publique meeting) to make a disturbance in our Assembly, Mar. 25. and to try your Rhetorick on the mindes of People in this place: whereupon it pleased the Magistrate to binde one of you to the good behaviour, for the publique Disturb­ance, and railing at the Magistrate: And upon this you send another paper with an outcry against us as persecutors: when you might know, that I was not concerned in the businesse; and when indeed no man did so much as once ask my advice in it. But as for them that did it, I dare no more accuse them of persecution, then I dare accuse them for persecution who shall burn a Thief in the hand. Alas, what impatient soules are you, to cry out so much of persecution, when many a poor-scold is duck in the Gumble-stool for words more incomparably sweet and Lamb-like then yours?

I shall now come to say somewhat to your Papers; and first give you a word of my reason, why I may not answer them [Page 4] so punctually in order, and word by word, as you command me to do: 1. Because I dare not be guilty of losing so much precious time: 2. Because I have much more profitable work to do, though you accuse me for Idlenesse, because I do not dig or thresh: when yet your Praters when they were here, did nei­ther dig nor thresh any more then I: nor do I hear that they do elsewhere, as they follow their seducing imployment. 3. Because you have heapt up non-sence, vain repetitions and confusions, so as to answer you accordingly would be of small use to any, and would but prove me to be like your selves. Many more Reasons I overpasse. There is not a scold in all the Countrey, but may as honestly and reasonably com­mand me in the Name of God to come and scold with them in the Market-place, as you may Command me thus to answer your scurrilous scolding Papers. Yet you shall have no Cause to complain that I have overpassed any thing that's worthy to be regarded.

YOur first Query is, [What's the first Principle of the pure Religion?] To which I answer, 1. [That God is] and next [that he is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek him] Heb. 11. 6. 2. Do you ask this as Learners? No that you re­nounce. Or as Teachers? Why then do you not shew your Commission to teach? And why do you not plainly Teach, but ask Questions? Or do you ask it for matter to feed your prating and slandring?

Your second Query is [Whether they are a Church of Christ that beat and persecute them that witnesse forth the Truth in his Name? &c.] Answ. Doubtlesse it's possible for a true Church to be guilty of injuries. But you have as little cause to put this Question, as the Turk hath. What would you answer if a Iew or a Turk, or a Witch, should put this Question? [Is it a true Church that persecuteth them that witnesse the truth] Surely it's nothing to you, who witnesse abominable falshoods and dreames. 2. But I'll tell you what do. When you come home, go to some of your Gossips, the Friers or other Papists, and ask them this Question: Whether it be a true Church [Page 5] which set up the Spanish Irquisition? and Caused the French Massacre? and hath by flames and sword drawn out the bloud of so many hundred thousand true Christians? Ask them, Whether the Butcheries of the Waldenses, and the Irish mur­ders were done by a true Church? It may be they will give you a most satisfactory Answer then I can, because you will sooner hear them.

Your third Question is about Infant-Baptism. Of that I have already written a whole Book, which in modesty you should peruse, before you call to me for more. Have you soberly read what I have there wrote already? If not, to what purpose should I write more to you of the same subject.

Only to your Query, I will adde this Query to your Foun­ders the Anabaptists: Whether by this time they do not feel Gods plagues upon their party? And whether God do not visibly testifie against them from Heaven, in giving up their di­sciples to all kinde of abominations? And whether the Plague of Pharaoh be not on those hearts, and of the blinded Sodo­mites on their eyes, that in all this can see no reason at least to be very suspicious of their way? and whether they are yet re­solved to wink on to destruction, or to stay till all turn Qua­kers, Ranters or infidels? And how much England yet feels it self beholden to Separation and Anabaptistry? And whe­ther it be not the Seperated and Anapaptists Churches that are emptied by the Quakers?

Your fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eight and ninth Que­ries are all about Tythes: The substance of which I had an­swered long ago to some of your leading Bretheren, in a Book called, The Worcestershier Petition Defended; to which Book I referre you, to spare the labour of speaking one thing twice; and modestly should have taught you to take notice of that which I have done already, before you call for the same things again. Only let me now adde these Queries also to you.

Qu. 1. Whether have you read any of those Books that are written long ago, to prove that Tythes are still of Divine Right? If you have not, were it not well beseeming a tender [Page 6] Conscience to hear all that can be said, before men adventure to rail against that which they do not understand.

Qu. 2. Whether there be not sufficient Scripture to warrant a man to Dedicate part of his Lands to God, for the service of his Church, and promoting of his Worship? Yea, Whether they did not in the Primitive times, so Dedicate all? selling it, and laying down the Price at the Apostles feet.

Qu 3. Is it not lawfull to take and use that which is so Dedi­cated? And if the Apostles and first Church Officers might take all, May not we take the Tenths, when they are thus De­voted?

Qu. 4. If our Ancestours, many an Age ago have given the Tenths to the Church for the Ministry, are not those sa­crilegious Church-robbers that should now take them away, having nothing to do with them? And do not you counsel men to the sin of Iudas or of Ananias and Sephira?

Qu. 5. If one that bears the bag prove a Iudas and Thief, or one Nicolas a Deacon should lead a Sect of Nicolaitans, your Predecessours, Whether are all the Apostles therefore Thieves, or all the Churches and Pastors greedy dogs, for ta­king much more then the Tenths, even mens whole Estates that gave them to that use?

Qu. 6. Whether I, or other Ministers do ask the people so much for preaching as the Quakers receive themselves? Do not you receive meat and drink, to sustain your lives? But we ask not meat and drink of any, nor any thing else, that is theirs: The Tythes is none of theirs, nor ever was, nor their fathers before them; but they bought or took Leases of their Lands, with the Condition of paying the Tenths as none of their own. We ask them not for a peny, but only to divide between theirs and ours, and give us our own.

Qu. 7. If it be not a wrong to the people more then to the Ministers to have the standing Church-maintenance taken away, Why then do people petition so hard for Augmentations where Means is wanting? Or else do worse.

Qu. 8. If the Supream Rulers of the Commonwealth may lay an Excise or Tax on the Nation, and pay Souldiers with [Page 7] one part of it, what forbids but that they may pay Ministers of the Gospel with the other part? And if they may lay a Tax for them, Why may they not fix a setled Maintenance in Tenths for them, much more, why may they not let them possesse that which is theirs already by their fore-fathers gift?

Qu. 9. Where doth any Scripture forbid paying or taking Tythes? I have shewed you in my other Book, where it commandeth allowing sufficient Maintenance? Shew where it condemneth the Tenth part any more then the ninth, or the eleventh, or twelfth?

Qu. 10. When God hath commanded a sufficient maintenance in general, and left it to humane prudence to judge what is sufficient (before they give it;) If then a man shall say [Where doth the Scripture require the Tenths? and you are no true Ministers who take the Tenths;] Is not this as wise as to say, [Though Christ and his Apostles did wear clothes, yet shew where any of them preacht in doublet, or breeches, or stock­ings, or else you are false Prophets for wearing these;] Is not this as wise arguing as the other, and to the same purpose?

And where you ask us so oft whether the Apostles took the Tenths, I tell you again, they took more, that is, men sold all and laid down the money at their feet. It's true that then the poor also were maintained out of it; And if you will shew a Commission to examine us, we will give you an account how far we maintain the poor out of our meer tenth part. In the mean time it's unreasonable, that you demand, that we should so maintain them as to suffer no beggars; For if all that a Mini­ster hath will not maintain twenty poor people if he give it them all, how should he then maintain a hundred with it?

Your 10th Qu. is, [Whether Christ enlighteneth every one that cometh into the world?] To which I answer, Yea, he doth so; All that come into the world of nature, he enlighteneth with the light of Nature (so called because that it is a know­ledge gotten by the Book of the Creatures and natural means, without supernatural Revelation though it be of grace also as it is freely given after a forfeiture;) And all that come into the world of grace he enlighteneth with the light of superna­tural Revelation.

[Page 8] Having said as much to this Query as you require, I will gratis adde something that I may please you by supererroga­tion: I lately saw another Paper of your Queries which you have disperst in other places, which speaks almost only of This Inward Light; In which I perceived 1. That you falsly intimate that we deny the necessity of an inward light, when as we maintain that the external light of the Word alone is not sufficient without the inward light of the Spirit. 2. You there intimate to us a supposed sufficiency of the inward light that every man in the world hath. Concerning which I shall say more anon, and now only demand of you. 1. Whether you mean it is sufficient to leave men without excuse, (That we maintain as well as you) or is every mans light sufficient to his salvation? If so Q. 2. Was it sufficient before Christ preached the Gospel and sent his Apostles? Or is it now suf­ficient to all that never heard the Gospel; If so, Is not the Gospel a vain and needlesse thing? or are you Christians that dare so affirm? Q. 3. If the world have sufficient light, what need they your teaching, or discourse, or conviction? Q. 4. If all have sufficient light within them, what need there any converting grace? Q. 5. Then why did Christ send Paul to open mens eyes, and to turn them from darknesse to light, if they had sufficient light before, Act. 26. 18. Q 6. I pray you do not disdain to tell me when you have rub'd your eyes, if all men have sufficient light within them, Why you got up into the Judgement seat, and pronounced me so oft to be in darknesse, and to be void of the light, and to have none of the Spirit. If all have it, why may not I have it?

But let me tell you further in your ear, that we that you so frantickly bawl against, have read Bellarmine and other Pa­pists so oft, that we cannot be ignorant who are your Teach­ers, though your selves are ignorant; We know how ear­nestly the Jesuites would perswade us that there is a light in every mans conscience, which if he improve and husband well, God is bound to give such additions as shall make it become saving, and that by the good use of natural light men may certainly get supernatural; and that it is in mens own power, what light soever they have to improve it to salvation.

[Page 9] Your 11th Query is, [Whether we have seen Gods face?] Ans. Whether these be Learning, or Teaching, or quarrelling, or doting Questions, I leave to your consideration: but what Call you had to propound them to such Serpents, Dogs, and Children of the devil, as you call us, I know not: But howe­ver I'le answer you truly. 1. By the eye of reason I have seen that there is a God, and that he is infinite, incomprehensible, most great and most good, &c. 2. The same I have seen more cleerly by the eyes of faith. 3. But I never saw God by the eye of flesh, for none can so see God and live, Nor hath any man seen God at any time, saving the only begotten Son who is in the bosome of his Father, he hath declared him. 4. Nor have I seen him in glory intuitively, or as the glorified in heaven do. If you say you have seen more, I shall not be very forward to beleeve you, till I see better fruits of it. I also therefore de­mand of you, Whether he that hath seen God do not abhor himself (as Iob did) in dust and ashes? and whether the true knowledge of God do not ever abase the soul, and make a man very mean in his own eyes? And then is it likely that ever those men had the true knowledge of God, who make it their businesse to exalt themselves as having the Spirit, and beign perfect without sin, and to revile and bedung other men with their reproaches, as being all the Children of the devil, and of darknesse, that be not of their strain, and rave not as they do? The Pharisee that thanked God he was not as other men, nor as the Publicane, spoke humbly and modest­ly in comparison of you, and yet was he counted a proud self-justifier: If ever you come to the least saving sight of God, it will mightily change the proud strain of your spirits, and make you abhor the thoughts of your present evil waies.

Your 12. Query is. [Whether we have the same infallible Spi­rit as the holy men of God had that spoke forth the Scriptures?] Ans. Why must you know this? Are all Dogs and Serpents with you that have not that Infallible Spirit? But we hear the croakings of your Papist guides in that word [Infallible;] that's the: pillar of their Kingdom, and the master-point of their New Religion, That their Church is infallible; For de­nying which, Knot the Jesuite against Chillingworth, and a late [...]otable gawdy Orator S. W. against Dr Hammond, and others [Page 10] of them, would fain perswade us that we subvert Christiani­ty, and are little better then Infidels, because we are not In­fallible: But I will answer you and your Masters together in a word. 1. The Prophets and Apostles had infallible Inspira­tions of new matters of divine verity, not before revealed, because they were to be Gods penmen and Messengers of such New Revelations, I have none such that I know of. 2. The Prophets and Apostles were guided infallibly in the manner as well as the matter, so that every word that they wrote to the Churches was infallibly true; I have no such Infallibi­lity, nor your Grandfather the Pope neither: He may erre while he pretendeth to the greatest Infallibility in deciding Controversies. 3. What man soever he be in the world that beleeves any Truth, he doth infallibly believe it; For he that is in the right is not deceived so far, and he that is not mista­ken is so farre infallible, which is no more then non fallitur. 4. But if by [Infallibility] you should mean the clearnesse and subjective Certainty, as distinct from the objective and the bare truth of our conceptions, then I say, that's another thing then Infallibility, and not to be so called, and of that Certainty men have different degrees: All true Christians are certain of their Fundamentals, yet sometime with some doubt­ing, so that they may finde cause to say with the Apostles, Lord, Increase our Faith; or, We beleeve, help thou our unbelief; But in lesser controverted Points which Salvation dependeth not on, the best man on earth may erre, much more be uncer­tain; So that in a word, Every Church in sensu composite, while a Church is infallible in the essentials of Christianity; and so is every true Christian: And also they know infallibly every other truth that indeed they know; because Truth is Truth whether they know it or not, and when they do know it they are not deceived; But in many things we all erre, be­cause we know but in part, and so farre are deceived.

Well, I say still, Fair fall the honest humble Christian that will confesse with Paul that we know but in part; For I shall never like pretenders to un-erring Infallibility more; I know but two such pretenders, and they are both the most abomi­nable deceivers and deceived, One is the Pope and his Cler­gy, and who more erroneous? The other is your selves, even [Page 11] distracted with errour. The Pope venteth abundance of fals­hoods in doctrine, and corruptions in discipline and worship, and with all these errors in his hands, protesteth he is infalli­ble. The Quakers (all that yet have wrote to me or spoke to me) pour out the greatest abundance of most impudent Lies, and spue their filthy railings in the faces of almost all they come near, so that I know not whether ever the Sun saw a more hardened, shamelesse, abominable Generation then they (with their brethren the Ranters) are; and yet with all this filth upon their lips, they confidently professe that they are infallible and without sin; You may well excuse us that we be not hasty in beleeving you till we see more reason for it.

Your 13th Qu. is, [What is Hels month that the wicked go in at, &c.] I answer. 1. You are liker to know ere long then I; If a miracle of grace save you not, you'le be better able to answer this Query then yet your unbelief will give you leave. 2. It sufficeth me to know that Hell is a state of endlesse mi­sery, where such as you shall everlastingly bear the effects of Gods wrath and justice with the devils and his Angels that now seduce you, if timely recovery prevent it not.

Your 14th Qu. is, [Whether the Bible be the Word of God? and Matthew, Mark, Luke and John be the Gospel, and whether there were any Gospel before them, and whether they be the light?] To which I answer, 1. Only Jesus Christ is the co-essentiall, co-eternal Word of the Father, being one with the Father. 2. But the holy Scriptures are the temporal expressed Word, that is, the signs of Gods minde to man, so that Christ and the Scriptures are nor called the Word in the same sense, no more then is the Word of a mans minde, and the word of his mouth or pen. This signifying word was preached before it was writ­ten, and then was the Gospel, but it was written after it was so preached at first, that it might be a standing Rule, and might be kept intire and sure to the Church to the worlds end; For the bare memories of men would not have kept them for us with such certainty as they have been kept in Scripture and de­livered unto us, This Word therefore is the light, but not as Christ is the light, or as the Spirit is the light, for there are many lights that must concurre to give us light. It is a wise [Page 12] Question of him that shall ask, Whether the light by which a man sees be the visive faculty of his eyes, or the light of a Candle, or the light in the air, or the Sun? Why it may be all these, There must be 1. A Sun. 2. A light from that Sun in the air. 3. An inward light in the eyes. 4. And that outward received by the inward, before you can see; So God in Christ is the Sun, Mans Reason is the Eye, The Gospel or Word of God is the external Light flowing to us from the Sun, The Spirit closeth these two together, even the Gospel and our Reason, and by its powerful work in that closure, breedeth a special illumination in the soul which the Word alone could not produce.

I shall adde some Queries to you. 1. Do you beleeve the Scriptures to be true or not? If you do, then you must be­leeve what they say of themselves; But they call themselves the Word of God, Mar. 7. 13. Rom. 10. 8. 2 Cor. 2. 17. & 4. 2. 1 Thes. 4. 15. 1 Pet. 1. 25. And often they are called the Laws of God, his Testimonies, his Statutes, his Precepts, his Promises, Gospel, Covenants, &c. All Scripture is written by divine Inspi­ration, 2 Tim. 3. 16. The word of Prophecy is a sure Word, 2 Pet. 1. 19.

2. Will you give us leave to smell the Pope in your en­deavours to disgrace the Scriptures, though your own Noses be stopt? For we have been used to deal with him at this wea­pon, and know that this is the main point of his New Re­ligion,

Your 15th Qu. is, [Whether we own Revelations or no?] Ans. I own all divine Revelations, and disown all diabolicall ones, so farre as I know them. I own all those blessed Revela­tions contained in the holy Scriptures; for they were infal­libly sealed by multitudes of uncontrolled miracles and a spi­rit of holinesse; I believe that the Scriptures or Laws of Christ being finished and sealed, we must hold these till the coming of Christ, 1 Tim. 6. 13, 14. and that Christ will be with the Preachers of this same doctrine to the end of the world, Mat. 28. 20, 21. and that these are able to make men wise to salvation without any more additions, and therefore no more is to be expected. But yet I beleeve 1. That God hath not [Page 13] tied himself from revealing particular matters in subservierty to Scripture extraordinarily, as divers murders have been re­vealed, and the like matters of fact. 2. And I beleeve that all true Christians have the illuminating, sanctifying Spirit of Christ to help them to know all the meaning of the Scripture which is of flat necessity to salvation, and more, according to their several measures of the Spirit with other helps.

Your 16. Qu. is about Singing Davids Psalms;] To which I say, Till you have considered what is already written on that Question by Mr Cotton and Mr Foard, I know not why I should adde any more: If all Scripture be written for our use and learning, why may not we speak to God in the words of Davids Psalms as well as any other Scripture? Tell me if you can? And further, Qu. 2. They being used by the Church till the Apostles times, where do you finde that they did ever forbid or abolish that use? Qu. 3. Whether is it more lawful for us to speak Gods praises in the words of holy Scri­pture, and particularly of Davids Psalms, or for you to rake together all the threatnings and sharp reproofs in Scripture, to serve your turn to rail and slander me with?

Your 17. Qu. is, [What's the soul of man which the Mini­sters of the Gospel are to watch for as they that must give an ac­count to God, and what is it that captivates the soul, and what death is it that hath passed over all, &c. and what is the Serpents head that must be bruised.]

Ans. Seeing I am fallen under your Catechizing, I will readily obey. 1. The soul is that spiritual substance which cau­seth by its lower power, your life, growth, and nourishment, by its next power your feeling, and by its highest power (proper to man of all inferiour Creatures) your Reasoning, Intellective knowledge and rationall willing and affections; which together with the Body constituteth the whole man, Supposing that you look not for a Definition, because you so abhorre Logick, I think this in brief may serve your turns. 2. The whole man is oft called the soul in Scripture, because the soul is the most noble part of him. 3. I pray mark the Text that you alledge, Heb. 13. 17. Obey them that rule over you, for they watch for your souls as those that must give account that [Page 14] they may do it with joy and not with grief, for that is unprofitable for you:] Because you have put this Text into my hand, I will mix my Answer with these few Queries to you; (For I suppose you expect no great exactnesse of order from me.) Qu. 1. Whether many words in Scripture translated [Ma­sters [...] &c.) be not of as low and humble an impor­tance as [Rulers?] And therefore seeing God calleth Mini­sters the Rulers of the Church, are they not so far Masters as the word Master signifieth a Guide or Teacher? And why else are they oft called Teachers? Qu. 2. If God bid the peo­ple obey them as Rulers, and the Quakers perswade them to abhorre and reject them as dogs, Serpents, and Sons of perdi­tion, which is to be obeyed, God or the Quakers? and whe­ther is it the Spirit of God or of the devil and Antichrist that the Quakers speak by? Qu. 3. Is it the Ministers or the Qua­kers that watch for the good of souls, and have the rule over them? Q. 4. If the present Pastors of the Churches be not true Ministers, speak out and tell us who are, and where we shall finde them, and where they have been from Christs time till now? Or whether Christ hath been so carelesse of his Church, and so unfaithfull of his promise, as to leave his Church without Pastors from the Apostles daies till now; And to leave all the world without true Pastors even till now, except the Congregations of the Quakers in England? Q 5. Ac­cording to this Text, whether will it be to the peoples profit or disprofit to despise and discourage their teachers and guides, and make them do their office with sighing and grief? and will they have in the end a better bargain of it to hearken to their Rulers or to the despisers of them? Consider well of these things.

4. I proceed in my Answer to your Qu. That which hath captivated your souls is the devil by sin, The understanding by blindenesse and errour, your hearts by pride and hardnesse, your wils by transporting passions and perversenesse; and so your lives by open wickednesse; Imitating your Leader, and going up and down like raging beasts night and day seeking whom you may deceive and devour: And against all your rage it is our duty to wait patiently, in meeknesse instructing [Page 15] such as oppose themselves, if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth, and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will, 2 Tim. 2. 24, 25, 26.

5. The Death that passed on all is, The Separation of the foul from the body, and of Gods special favour or grace from both, and the guilt of everlasting misery for sin.

6. The Serpents head is the Devils power and policy, when such as you are vanquished by the light, and your folly made known to all, and when the Kingdom of Satan in sin and dark­nesse is overthrown, then his head is bruised, as Christ in his own person gave it the great bruise on earth, in the vanquish­ing of Satans temptations, in the perfect holinesse of his life, in his Miracles, casting out devils, and in his triumphant death and Resurrection, and afterward in the successe of his do­ctrine.

Your 18. Qu. is, [What is the flaming Sword that keeps the Tree of life, and what the Cherubims?] Ans. 2 Tim. 2. 2. [But foolish and unlearned Questions avoid, knowing that they do gen­der strifes, and the Servant of the Lord must not strive.] You in­trude into those things which you have not seen, vainly puft up by your fleshly minde, Col. 2. 18. It shall suffice me to know that the flaming sword is Gods terrible restraint, and the Che­rubims are Angelical Executioners of his will: Wisedom hath two Gates, the Gate of Grace and the Gate of Glory; These things are seen by faith now, and by intuitive intellecti­on in the life to come.

Your 19. Qu. is, [Whether they that stand praying in the Sy­nagogues or Idols Temples, and love greetings in the markets, and bindes heavy burthens on the people, and are called of men Master, be not out of Christs Doctrine?] Ans. Because this is all that you go about to prove me a false Prophet by, I shall say the more to your satisfaction. 1. If our Temples be Christs Temples, do they not blasphemously make Christ an Idoll, that call them Idols Temples. 2. If you are not wilfully blinde, you may perceive that it is not all the external actions men­tioned Mat. 23. that Christ condemneth, but the pride and hypocrisie which the Pharisees manifested in them. Mark first [Page 16] that he bids men even hear the hypocriticall Scribes and Pha­risees, and observe and do what they bid men observe and do, because they sate in Moses chair. It is not therefore all the faults there charged on them that will acquit men from ob­servation of their doctrine. Is this agreeable to your practise who damn men that despise not and reject not Christs most upright and faithful Ministers? Their sin is laid down in the 5ht verse] All their works they do to be seen of men.] Prove this of us if you can? Because they were proud [They loved the uppermost rooms at Feasts, and chief seats in the Synagogues] Prove this by us if you can: I had rather have a lower room at a Feast then a higher, and ordinarily rather none then ei­ther; I use not the chief Seats in Synagogues; I sit in the midst of the Assembly, and so I may conveniently be heard when I am to speak, I care not where I stand. Greetings in the market-place when did I desire? Or to be called Rabbi? But I pray you mark that it is not [using] but [loving the up­permost rooms that Christ condemneth, else no man must sit uppermost, and then we must have none but round Tables or not fit at all: So consequently it is not being called Rabbi or Master that Christ intendeth, but a proud desire of and love to those Titles: As a man may accept of the highest room for Order, that loveth it not in Pride; so may he accept of the Title of Master from those that owe him respect, though he love it not in pride.

Besides I pray you note, that Christ forbiddeth the Name of Master no further then he forbiddeth the Name of [Father] vers 9. [Call no man your Father upon earth;] And yet do you not know how oft the word [Father] is owned in Scri­pture, and children commanded to love and obey their Fathers, and honour them: I know the highest of your Sect do forbid the owning of any such Relations, or Names, as Fathers, Chil­dren, Husband, Wife, Master, Servant, Magistrate, Subject; and they forbid all affections to such Relations, or honour or respect: But if you were not hypocrites, you would plainly speak this out, and then people would better understand you when you tail as Ministers for-being called Masters.

But for the sake of those among you that are not past re­covery, [Page 17] I will tell you that which it seemeth you know not; The Pharisees had their severall Schools, Sects, as the Phi­losohpers had, and every one gloried in his Disciples, and those Disciples in their own Sect-masters; One cried up such a man, and another such a man, insomuch as sometimes the followers of these several Sect-masters would fall together by the ears and kill each other in the Temple, and in the streets, while they contended for their Masters honours; And look what faith the Master was of, the Scholars must all be of his faith; They must take their belief on trust from him; These leading men that were the Masters of their Schools and sects, whom none must contradict, were called by the Jews Rabbi's and Fathers, as the Papists now call their Bishop The Pope, which signifieth A Father, because as children must be wholly ruled by the Fathers, so would the Pharisees have their Disciples to be by them, be the matter right or wrong. Just thus do the Papists require, that the people beleeve as the Church beleeves, that is, the Pope and his Consistory whatever it be, and tell us, that they are infallible, as being guided by the infallible Spirit, and therefore we must believe them by an implicit faith. Now the Lord Jesus meeteth with these Pharisees, and commandeth his disciples; That they call no man on earth Father, or Rabbi, or Master, as the Pharisees were called, that is, To have no such absolute Master of your Religion, or Lord of your faith, because we have all one such Absolute Father which is God, and one such absolute Master which is Christ; This is the very same thing that Paul meant when he chides them for saying, I am of Paul, and I am of Apollo, as if Christ were divided, or Paul had been crucified for them, 1 Cor. 1. 13. And it's the same thing that Peter means, 1 Pet. 5. 1, 2, 3. where he giveth Ministers the honourable Title of Elders and Overseers, and Pastors, and bids them oversee and feed the flock of God; but yet forbids them doing it as Lords over Gods heritage, because the heritage is Gods, and Christ is the chief Shepherd. Paul cals a Bishop the Steward of God, Tit. 1. 7. One that must rule the Church 1 Tim. 1. 4, 5. and 5. 17. and saith, He that desires the Office of a Bishop desires a good work, 1 Tim. 3. 1. But yet he would not have them taken for absolute Masters of Christs [Page 19] School, but as Christs ushers and as Stewards in his House; [Let a man so account of us as the Ministers of Christ, and Stew­ards of the mysteries of God,] 1 Cor. 4. 1. neither more nor lesse.

There are divers words in the Greek tongue which the Go­spel was wrote in, which we translate by one word [Master;] but if our language be more scarce of words then the Greek, it doth not follow that Christs words are all one. The word here used in Matthew is [...], and elsewhere [...] which is as much as the chief Leader of the way or the Sect-master; What if this, be forbidden, is all Mastership therefore forbid­den because this one is? The word [...] is translated [Master] too, and sometime [a Teacher.] I pray you con­sider here your most ignorant and sottish dealing; The Gospel was not written by the Apostles in English but in Greek: Be­cause one word signifieth a Teacher and a Master (such as a Schoolmaster is) and our Translators sometime translate it a Teacher and sometime a Master, you impudently cry out that one of them is not Scripture, and yet yield that the other is; When in the Greek they are the same word, as you may see it used in Eph. 4. 11. Luk. 2. 46. 1 Tim. 2. 7. 2 Tim. 1. 11. Acts 13. 1. 1 Cor. 12. 28. Mat. 10. 24. Luk. 6. 40. Heb. 5. 12. Iam. 3. 1. In all which places the holy Ghost useth the word [...] though we English it sometime Masters, sometime Teachers, and sometime Doctors, yet it is all one word in the language that the Scripture was written in; and therefore Scripture al­loweth one as much as another.

And if you will stick to the English, you may finde the word [Master] used oft enough: And if it be lawfull for an­other man why not for a Minister? Tit. 2. 9. 1 Pet. 2, 18. 1 Tim. 6. 1, 2. Col. 3. 22. and 4. 1. Eph. 6. 5, 9. Though the word [...] signifieth such a Mastership as Ministers of Christ will not own as Ministers, though over their hired Servants they may own it.

It may be you think Paul crossed Christs rule and was a false Prophet because he cals himself [a wise Master-builder] 1 Cor. 3. 10. Or do you think that the holy Ghost did erre when he called Teachers [The Masters of the Assemblies,] Eccl. 12. 11.

[Page 18] That the Spirit is no enemy to Titles of honour, you may see in 1 Pet. 3. 6. where Sarah is commended for obeying A­braham and calling him Lord. And Act. 26. 25. Paul calleth Festus, Most Noble Festus, and calleth Agrippa, King Agrippa, Act. 26. 2, 26, 27. And Rom. 12. 10. We are commanded [In honour to prefer one another,] So that it's one mans duty to give those Titles which another may not ambitiously seek. For my part I will gladly make this agreement with you, I will never wish any man to call me Master, nor be displeased with any that doth not (on that account) if this will satisfie you. But then I confesse I dare not condemn them that use so much ci­vility or respect, because Gods Word is of more esteem with me then your most confident fancies and reproaches.

By this time me thinks I may well take leave to salute you with this Query, Whether that man be not void of the fear of God, and given over to a seared Conscience, that dare go up and down to rail against the most faithfull and painfull Ministers of Christ, whom they are not able to charge with any crime but hu­mane frailties, and that because they are called Masters? and all this upon meer sottish ignorance of the Scripture that so commonly useth and alloweth the Title.

All that I could get to all this from your Prater Tho. Goodier that was here, was but this, [I deny thy Greek and Hebrew if the Scripture be truly translated;] which is but to say, I deny the words of Christ and the Apostles: For [...]e translating, there are many words in the Original Language which have not so many and apt in English to expresse them by? Transla­ting excludeth not the necessity of explicating; And who knows not that one English word hath many significations? There is a Beast called a Wolf, and a Fish called a Wolf, and an eating disease called a Wolf; Are these therefore all one, because they have one Name; So a Sect-master is called a Ma­ster, One that would be the Lord of mens faith is called a Master, and a Teacher of the Church of Christ is called a Master: Doth it follow that all these are forbidden because one is?

Your Prater also made a stirre with me for calling the sa­cred Languages the Originall, because forsooth the Spirit of [Page 20] God is the Original. And is not that a wise man to go cry down the Ministry, that cannot discern the difference between the Original cause and the Original Language.

He charged me also to be empty of the Spirit because I stu­died, and told me, he did not study, no not in speaking what to say, I the lesse marvell at his non-sence: But I pray God for­give me that I Study no more; Do you think we cannot talk without study as well as you, and I hope a little better; and when the lazy fit overtaketh Ministers, they are ready to preach without study as well as you do: I can bring you a woman fit for the gumblestool, that shall without any study talk it out with the best of you: We do not so despise God, his Word or our hearers, as to speak before we consider what to say. Reade 2 Tim. 2. 15. Psa. 1. 2. 1 Tim. 4. 15. Psal. 119. 15, 23, 48, 78, 97, 99, 148. and see whether it be not our duty to study and medi­tate continually day and night. And whereas you call us to thresh and dig, I professe if God would give me leave, I should take it for a great recreation and refreshment to my body; and should think it incomparably a more easie life then that which I endure; Solomon knew, and I know to my sorrow, that much study is a wearinesse to the flesh; and might I but plough and dig I should yet hope to live in some competent health, who now spend my daies in continuall pain and languishing. But then how shall I fulfill Gods command, 1 Tim. 4. 15. [Meditate on these things; Give thy self wholly to them (mark wholly) that thy profiting may appear to all.] How should I [watch over the Church day and night] Act. 20. 31. yet whereas your Prater fea­red not before God to affirm, that if I had no pay I would not preach: I do here professe before the same God that he is a Liar, and I prove it, because I have long preached already with­out pay, and been glad of Liberty, and I would labour with my hands, as far as my languishing body would bear, to supply my necessities, as Paul did to stop the mouths of your Prede­cessors rather then I would give over preaching the Gospel. Judge therefore whether your Lying Spirit be the Spirit of God or the meet authour of Reformation, or whether indeed you are perfect without sin?

Your 20. Qu. is, [Did ever the Lord of Heaven and Earth, [Page 21] or Jesus Christ bid thee, or any of you, Go, and Preach to a people, or was any of the Apostles or Ministers of Christ made Minister, by the will of man?

Ans. 1. I offered your Prater here to shew him my Comissi­on from God, if he would shew me his, and he told me that it was invisible; and why may not you take the answer that you give? 2. The Lord called his first Apostles by his own voice, and appointed them to call others, and to establish an Order for the succeeding of others in that Office of the Ministry to the end of the world, Matth. 28. 21. and till the Saints be one perfect man, Eph. 4. 11, 14. that they that should ever after be called, might not expect a voice from Heaven to their ears, but might be called in Christs appointed way? And in this way I have been called by Christ. The Signs of his Call are, 1. My comperent qualifications. 2. My thirst after the good of souls and the building of that house of God. 3. The Ordination of authorized Church-Officers. 4. The Call and consent of the people of Christ, over whom he hath set me. 5. And afterwards the successe of my labours. 6. And some daily assistance of the Spirit in those labours. 7. And some Testimony of the Spirit to my conscience of Gods Acceptance. These seven set toge­ther are my evidence of mission, shew you the like if you can.

2. Neither Paul not any true Minister is called by the meer will of man, nor are we the Servants of men; Nor were the Apostles called by men at all, but immediatly by Christ. But all afterwards were to be called by Christ, through the Ord­nation of men. Tit. 1. 5. For this end left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest ordain Elders in every City:] Act 14. 23. [When they had ordained them Elders in every Church, &c.] The gift was given Timothy by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery,] 1 Tim. 4. 14. Paul directeth him whom to make Bishops, 1 Tim. 3. Will not all this suffice you?

Your 21. Qu. is, [Whether had any Ministers of Christan hour-glasse to preach by, or took a Text, and raised Doctrines, Reasons, Uses, Motives, or a carnall Bell to call people together by, prove these things by Scripture, or else be silent, and never professe your selves to be Ministers of Christ more]

Ans. By your patience, I must tell you, that the Conclusion [Page 22] is but your Lordly ignorant command (such as is joyned to many of the other Queries;) Scripture is Gods Laws, and fa sufficient Rule for Doctrines, and worship it self: But was never intended to name to you every circumstance that is law­ull about that worship. Hath Scripture told you at what place you shall meet, or at what hour? I tell you again, you speak with no more wisedom then if you should say thus [Prove that ever man read the Bible with a pair of Spectacles, or that ever Christ or his Apostles used a printed Bible (when printing was invented but a while ago) or that ever they used an English Bible (when they wrote in Greek) or that ever they preached in doublet, breeches, or stockings, or else call your selves Mi­nisters of Christ no more?] And why so? Because you com­mand us, and yet tell us your Commission is invisible. These Circumstances are purposely left by Christ to the determina­tion of humane prudence, as occasions shall require; and therefore he bids us do all things to edification, and decently, and in order, 1 Cor. 14. 26. 4. And therefore sure we must dis­cern what is edifying, decent and orderly; This is plain to them that will see: What, came the Word of God out from you, or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a Prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write are the Commandments of the Lord; But if any be ignorant let him be ignorant, 1 Cor. 14. 36, 37, 38.

But I pray you if an hourglasse be unlawful, tell us whe­ther a Clock be lawful, or a Diall, or a Watch? or whether it be lawful to observe by the Sun how the time passeth? and why one is more unlawful then another?

But your Prater told me, it was a limiting of the Spirit of God; As if I cannot limit my self and not limit the Spirit? Or as if the Spirit excluded Reason and Prudence, and set a mans tongue a going, so that he cannot stop it. Did the Apo­stles stint the Spirit because they appointed their meetings on the Lords Day, and did not stay two or three daies together? why then may not we resolve upon an hour as well as they did on a day, For one is limiting as well as the other. I think if I had your Spirit to liquor my tongue, I should be an­gry at the hourglasse, and preach the people of out the place.

[Page 23] And for a Text: 1. Know you not that Christ himself took a Text, Luk. 4. and applied it? Know you not that it was then the common practice of the Church to reade, expound, and apply the Scriptures, as Ezra did? Know you not that there is Doctrine, Reason, and Use in all the Sermons and Epistles of the Apostles? Know you not that we are commanded rightly to divide the Word of Truth, as workmen that need not be ashamed, and to study thereto, 2 Tim. 2. 15. Ah wretch­ed souls that dare so blindely cavill with the work of God.

For what you say of [a carnall Bell] it is like the rest which I before answered, not fit for the mouth of a reasonable crea­ture to have mentioned. But I must tell you that our Bels are not carnall, if they were, they would scarce sound so well or last so long. If your meaning be, that you would have us ba­ptize our Bels to make them spirituall as your ghostly Fathers of Rome do, we will keep our carnall Bels till we know more reason for that practice.

The 23. Qu. is this, [Whether are not they that bear rule by their means, and seeks for their gain from their quarter, and seeks for the sleece, and makes a prey upon the people, and are hire­lings, be not false Prophets, yea or nay, and whether such be not to be cried out against now as they were then?]

Answ. To this I have sufficiently answered already to your Brethren in my other book. Only let me tell you, 1. It is a most certain thing that God allowed the Priests the Tythes, and much more, when he thus cried out against them, Dare you deny that? If you dare not, confesse then that it was not the meer taking of Tyches that caused God so to rebuke them. Reade but Mal. 2d & the 3d without Spectacles and then judge. It's most evident then that the thing that God condemneth was not taking Tythes, but co­vetous greedy desires after gain, and neglecting the good of souls and the work of God: And are not we as willing to cast such out as you are to reproach them? Whether we seek theirs or them, and whether we are not willing to spend and be spent for the salvation of our people, we must be tried by a more righteous Judge then you.

Your 23. Qu. is, [Whether do you own trembling and quaking [Page 24] which the Scripture witnesseth?] Ans. I own the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisedom, and think him bles­sed that feareth alwaies, and that he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief; But I think that the great Quaking that was in the Army of the Philistines was no vertue or bles­sing to them, nor any sign of God among them, 1 Sam. 14. 15. And I think that Perfect love costeth out fear, and that those shakings and quakings that come not from the humble sence of sin or Judgement, or the like, but in violent motions of the body affectedly, are either Papisticall tricks of deceit, or effects of Phantastical conceit, or the motions of the great deceiver within you. I read of it as one of Gods curses, that [The Lord should give them a trembling heart,] Deut. 28. 65. And I am of opinion that the curse is fallen upon you which is written, Psa. 69. 23. [Let their eyes be darkened that they see not, and make their loins continually to shake.] Gods Kingdom is Righteousnesse, Peace, and Joy in the holy Ghost.

Your 24. and last Qu. is, [Whether do you say you shall be free from the body of sin while you are on the earth, and whether shall any be perfect yea or nay?]

Ans. I beleeve that all true Converts are free from the do­minion of sinne, but not from the remnants of it; And that our grace is of a perfect kinde, as a small Candle is of a perfect kinde of fire, which yet will not enlighten all the Town or House, nor scatter away all the darknesse as the Sun will do; I beleeve also that in the instant of death when we part with the flesh, we part with all the remnants of sinne. And for the Doctrine of personal sinlesse perfection here, I beleeve the de­vil, the greatest sinner bred it; the Pharisee received the fore­tastes and preparatives to it, the Hereticks and Papists first en­tertained and cherished it, Christ detesteth it, and never man that knew himself, or had one spark of true grace and Christian experience, did to this day heartily believe it of him­self. And I think that it is a part of the Papists dung which they have taught you to feed upon. Christs Kingdom is an Hospitall, he hath no Subjects in it but diseased ones. The Fathers Kingdom before had perfect Subjects, and so shall it have again when Christ hath perfected us: For when he hath [Page 25] perfected us by healing all our diseases and subduing all our enemies, even the last Enemy Death (at the Resurrection) then will he give up the Kingdom to the Father. But now, In many things we offend all, Jam. 3. 2. and there is no man on earth that doth good and sinneth not; And if we say we have no sin, we deceive our selves and the truth is not in us, there­fore the truth is not in you Quakers.

I conclude my Answer with this Question to you; If you think you are perfect without sin, whether do you also think that you are already in Heaven or perfect glory? For what can keep the soul from the perfect enjoyment of God, but sinne. And to enjoy God perfectly is to be glorified perfect­ly: But I forgot that your Brethren think Heaven and hell is only within men. Perhaps you look for no more Heaven then you have: And I wonder not at it: For if you did, in the way you are in, you are no more likely ever to finde it then Darknesse is to have communion with light, or Belial with Christ. The Lord give Repentance unto life, to those of you that have not sinned unto death, and shew you ano­ther Heaven before you are out of reach of it, and a further Hell before you are in it. Though I look for no thanks from you for my charitable desires, yet you shall have them whe­ther you will or not.

HAving been at this labour at your command to answer your Queries, may I not in reason expect that you should answer some of mine, which I do but request and not command: But I desire of you that you will not put me by with Gumblestool Rhetorick in stead of Answers, but speak considerately, truly, and to the Point in question. I mean first that you will answer all those Queries which I have before put to you among my Answers to yours, and then that you will answer also these twenty Queries following.

Qu. 1. Are they not the very same Ministers which you rail at, and which all the Drunkards, Swearers, Whoremongers, [Page 26] and sensuall wretches in the Countrey do hate and rail at as well as you? Are you not then on their side and possest with the same Spirit? They despise the Preachers of the Gospel, and would have them down, and so would you, even the very fame men as they would; When they had opportunity they raged against them with Swords, and so do you with filthy tongues: Would not all the covetous, malignant, ungodly Enemies of Piety, have Tythes down as well as you? What think you? I can witnesse it of most of my acquaintance that are such? Moreover, were they not the same sort of Ministers which the late Bishops silenced, suspended, and otherwise troubled, and which you revile at? Is it not then the same Spirit by which you and all these were or are acted? Consider and judge.

Qu. 2. Whether it be not the same Spirit which moveth in you and in the Papists? When the Papists say, that we are no true Ministers of Christ but deceivers, and teach the Divina­tion of our own brain, and delude souls, and so say you; The Papists say, Our Congregations are no true Churches, who own us as their Pastors, and so say the Quakers; The Papists know that the great thing that must be done before they can feduce the people among us, is first to make them despise and reject their Teachers, and therefore they bend all their wits and endeavours to vilifie them and draw the hearts of the people from them; And so do the Quakers. The Papists main errour lieth in the contempt of the Scriptures; They say, they will not take it for the Word of God but on the autho­rity of the Church, and that it is but part of his word; The Quakers say, It is not the Word of God. The Papists say, It is but a dead Letter, and so do the Quakers: The Papists say, It is not fit to be the Judge of Controversies, and so say the Qua­kers: The Papists preferre the Vulgar Translation before the same words in Hebrew and Greek which the Spirit did indite the Scriptures in and so do the Quakers in English. Could the Papists but get down the Regulating Authority of Scri­pture, they would think they had won the Field; For they will not endure that all Spirits should be tried by the written word, no more will the Quakers. The Papists maintain mans [Page 27] Free-will hath power before conversion to repent and believe, and turn to God, and that it is not only the fruit of the Spirit in the Elect, and so do the Quakers. The Papists tell men of the sufficiency of the common-light that is within them, and so do the Quakers. The Papists say that a man may be per­fect without sin in this life, and may fulfill all Gods Command­ments, and so do the Quakers. The Papists make this their perfection to lie in casting off worldly callings, Emploiments, Relations after the flesh, and propriety, as their Nuns, Monks, and Hermites do; yea, and in casting off their old names, as their Pope doth when he is made Pope: And so do many of the Quakers, and much worse, as I have seen in Papers under their own hands. The Papists place their Righteousnesse in their own works and perfection, while they slieght the im­puted Righteousnesse of Christ, and so do the Quakers. The Papists place this Righteousnesse of their own Pharisaically in externals, and things that have a shew of wisedom, and hu­mility, and neglecting of the body, not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh, as Touch not, taste not, handle not, which all are to perish with the using, Col. 2. 18, 20, 23. so do the Quakers in stead of preaching the Righteousnesse of Christ, call out for a formal Righteousnesse and perfection of our own, consisting in such things as these following, to wit that we wear no Points, nor Cuffs, nor Lace nor any such like, that we preach on the lower places and not (as Ezra did) in a Pulpit; that we use not an hourglasse to discern how the time passeth (whether a Clock or Watch be as dangerous I know not:) That we say [Thou] and not [You] to him we speak to (when the word that Christ used signifieth You as well as Thou: That we call not men Masters or women Mi­stresses, when the Scripture frequently useth and alloweth it, and much more: (though Christ forbid us to have any Sect-Masters or Masters of our Faiths;) In such like as these doth the Quakers Righteousnesse lie, while they are ignorant of Christs Righteousnesse; And just is it with God that they who set up their own righteousnesse against Christs should be given up to that hellish delusion, as to take the most Satani­cal slanders, lies, heresies, and railings, to be their Righteous­nesse: [Page 81] Were it not tedious and not much necessary, I could shew in many more particulars how the Papists and Quakets do so conspire that we may well know whence their doctrines and delusions came.

Qu. 3. Whether there were ever greater Monsters of In­gratitude upon the face of the earth then these are, who set their hearts and tongues against those Ministers of Christ that lay out themselves for the saving of souls, through all the scorns and opposition of all sorts of wicked men, with whom these wretches joyn against them? Yea, and make their very study and labour their crime, when it were much easier for us to preach without study, and that I hope with somewhat more truth, sense, and order then they that so boast of the Spirit.

Qu. 4. Were not those faithful Servants of God that suf­fered Martyrdom under Heathen and Arian Persecutors, just such Ministers as these men do now vilifie; or wherein was the difference? And do not these wretches justifie their mur­derers?

Qu. 5. Are not the Ministers whom these men despise, of the same calling and practice as those were that suffered death in the Flames in Q. Maries daies? Such as Bradford, Hooper, Latimer, Ridly, Cranmer, Saunders, Philpot, and the rest; Were not these called Masters? Did they not preach in Pul­pits, and take Tythes or money for preaching as their due maintenance, and the other things that the Quakers accuse us for? And do not these men justifie the bloudy opposers of them, and condemn Gods Saints afresh?

Qu. 6. Whether ever the earth bore men that did more proudly despise others in comparison of themselves? and whether their language savour of the Spirit of the Lamb of God? Or can he have any taste of that Spirit of Christ in himself that doth not even feel that their proud and railing language is of the devil?

Qu. 7. Was there ever a generation known on the earth, that did more arrogantly step up into the Throne of God, and censure his Servants, whose faces they never saw, and whom they can charge with nothing but being Preachers of [Page 29] the Gospel, and that in a Pulpit, having an hourglasse, taking Tythes, &c. to be Ministers of the devil, sons of perdition, with much of the like. Though Christ hath said, Iudge not that ye be not judged, and who art thou that judgest another mans Servant? To his own Master he stands or fals.

Qu. 8. Was there ever a Generation of men on whom the Image of the devil was more visible then on these? He is the Prince of darknesse, pride and malice; And the depth of Ig­norance and height of pride and malice breaks out so abun­dantly in their carriage and discourse, that all not utterly blinded may see it. It is the work of the devil to be the Ac­cuser of the Brethren; and so it is the very Religion and bu­sinesse of these wretches to accuse Ministers and godly people to be hypocrites, Liars, children of the devil, Serpents, Vipers, with much the like.

Qu. 9 Is it no kin to the blaspheming of the holy Ghost for such wretches, when they have powred out the most horrid lies, slanders, Railings, and false doctrines, to professe solemn­ly that all this is from the Spirit of Christ within them, and make God and his holy Spirit the Author and Patron of all.

Qu. 10. Can that man that hath one spark of grace believe that he hath no sin? Can he have so little knowledge of him­self? And consequently of the need he hath of the Physici­an? Dare you say to Christ, we will not be beholden to thee for thy bloud to wash us any more, or to thy Intercession to pard on us any more? Do you not believe that In many things we offend all, Jam. 3. 2. If we say that we have no sinne we deceive our selves, and the truth is not in us? If we confesse our sinnes, he is faithfull and just to forgive us our sinnes, and to clense us from all unrighteousnesse: If we say that we have not sinned, we make hem a lyar, and his Word is not in us, 1 Joh. 1. 8, 9. 10. Are not all Christs Disciples taught daily to pray [Forgive us our trespasses.] For my part, I am one that is sick and have need of the Physician, and dare not tell God that I will ask him pardon for no more sins, nor be beholden to him for any more. But O what a power hath the deceiver with these wretches, that in the midst of their horrid railing, flandring, [Page 30] and other wickednesse, will stand to it that they have no sin; Just like the Swearer that will swear he never swore an Oath; Or the Drunkard that will swear he was never drunk, when he lieth drunk in the Channell. Solomon saith, There is not a just man upon earth that doth good and sinneth not, Eccles. 7. 20. and these Quakers that Pharisaically and Papistically justifie themselves do give him the Lie.

Qu. 11. Whether those that deny Scripture to be Gods Word as these Quakers do, and deny that there is any such Person as Jesus Christ who suffered at Ierusalem; now glori­fied in heaven in the humane nature, and only call somewhat within themselves by the Name of Christ, I say, whether these are not abominable Infidels, having nothing to do with the name of Christians?

Q. 12. Is it not damnable Hypocrisie in these wretches, to prate so much of Scripture, and call for Scripture, while they thus deny it to be Gods Word?

Qu. 13. Is it not damnable hypocrisie in them to call them­selves Christians, when they are Infidels, and deny the person of Jesus Christ crucified to be in heaven?

Qu. 14. Is not he a Pagan and no Christian that thinks that the light which is in all the Indians, Americans, and other Pa­gans on earth, is sufficient without Scripture?

Qu. 15. Was that light in Paul which perswaded him that he ought to do many things against the name of Jesus, suffi­cient to convert him to the Faith of Jesus? Or did Christ give him needlesly a light from heaven, and by Ananias his doctrine? O [...] had Con [...]lius sufficient light within him before Peter preached to him? Or had all the world sufficient light within them before Christ sent abroad his Apostles to preach the Gospel to them? Or did Christ send them a needlesse light by his Apostles? Have those Persecutors sufficient light within them to cause them to believe in Christ, who think they do God service in killing or reproaching his Ministers and people?

Qu. 16. If all have sufficient light within them, what need you go up and down to teach or perswade them? Is it need­less light that you bring then, or is i [...] hellish darknesse?

[Page 29] Qu. 17. Is it not a most sottish trick of you to go up and down prating and commanding, and yet refuse to shew your Commission from God? And to call Ministers to shew theirs, and refuse to shew your own, but say it is invisi­ble within you: are you so mad as to expect any should belive an invisible and indemonstrable Commssion. And might not we as well tell you ours is invisible (but that in­deeed it is not;) Or should we beleeve every one that prates of a Commission within him or no; If not, why should we belive you more then others that say the like?

Qu. 18. Seeing you cry down our Ministry and Churches, tell us which is the true Ministry and Church, and when yours begun, and where it hath been since Christs abode on earth till now? Speak plainly and let us know whether you are indeed Papists or Pagans?

Qu. 19. Is not that man an Infidell and a Scorner of Christ, that date say, he came into the world and shed his bloud, to gather onely a few raging Quakers in England 1652 years after his Incarnation? If Christ have no Subjects but these he is a poor King; If Christ have been till now without Subjects, he was no King; If without a Body, he was no Head; If without a spouse, he was no Husband; Therefore shew us what Church Christ hath had, or confesse your selves Infidels.

Qu. 20. Did not the Spirit of the Quakers speak in Num. 16. 3. just as you do now against Magistrates and Ministers? And is not God very patient that causeth not the earth to open and swallow you up quick as it did them? Do you un­derstand that the Simonians (or Disciples of Simon Magus) and the Nicolaitans, whose doctrine and deeds Christ hateth, Rev. 2. and other Gnostick Hereticks in the Apostles daies, did deal by them, and the Church then as you do by us now? and that the second Epistle of Peter, the Epistle of Iude, much of 1 Iohn and 2 Iohn were written purposly against them; besides many other Scriptures? And have you well considered those Scriptures, and applied them to your selves.

[Page 30] When you have answered these Questions, I require you to have no more to do with me nor any of this Church. For we renounce you as Hereticks after a first and second Admo­nition, a [...]d will have no fellowship with such self-condemned persons, nor receive you into our houses, or bid you God speed, lest we partake of your wicked deeds, Tit. 3. 10. 2 Ioh. 10, 11.

Richard Baxter.

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