The Moderate ENQUIRER RESOLVED. In a plain description of several Obje­ctions which are summed up together, and treated upon by way of Confe­rence, concerning the contemned People commonly called QUAKERS, who are the Royal Seed of God, and whose inno­cency is here cleared in the Answers to the many Objections that are frequently produced by their Opposers. Which may be profitable for all to read that have any thing against them; and useful for all such as desire to know the certainty of those things which are most commonly reported of them.

Written in the behalf of the brethren, in vindication of the Truth, by VV. C.

The way of the wicked is as darkness, they know not at what they stumble,

Prov. 4 19.

The simple believeth every word; but the prudent man looketh well to his going,

Prov. 14. 15.

London, Printed for Thomas Simmons, at the Bull and Mouth, near Aldersgate, 1658

TO THE READER

My Friend,

For as much as many of these People have t [...]ken in hand to set forth large declarations of those things which are most surely believed among them, (even as they have received them from the Lord) it seemed good to me also (having had perfect knowledge of the things herein contained) to publish them to the view of many people, accordingly as they were laid before me in the light of truth, that all such as are inquisitive to understand the certainty of those things which are usually re­ported of these People, might be further infor­med, satisfied, and resolved.

Moreover Reader, if certain strange things have been brought to thy ears concerning these People, and that thou art desirous to know the truth of them, as the Athenians were to know what Paul's new Doctrine meaned, then this small Booke is very suitable for thee, and if thou looke it over with patience, moderation, and sobriety, I shall account thee more noble [Page] in that particular then they that should reject it, and account it not worthy of reading, as they have [...]one others of the writings of the [...]e People, who have written most excellent things according to the wisdom given unto them, in which writings there are many things hard to be understood, which ev l men terms error and blasphemy; but be thou wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

THE Moderate Enquirer RESOLVED.

Enquirer.

I Hear great rumors and reports of a People called [...]uakers, which should be risen up in these last dayes; Canst thou tell me what a People they are? When they arose? By whom they were raised? And to what end?

Resolver.

I do believe thee, that great Rumors and Reports thou hearest of them, but know this, that the generality of the Reports which are reported of them, are mixed with untruths; Therefore have pati­ence a little, and by the Lords assistance I shall endeavour rightly to inform thee, & (so far as I am allowed of God) sha [...]l also seek fully to resolve thee concerning them; but thy first demand cannot in a few words be answered but afterwards it may more fully; yet in a word or two I say, They are a People that fears God above all the Families of the Earth, and that do [Page 2] worship him in his ovvn vvay, viz. in spirit and in truth; they do also love God above all, and their neighbour as themselves, & [...].

They were raised up (from death to life) about eight or nine years ago, and since the year (52) they have much multiplied and encreased, for the blessing of the Lord hath been (and to this day doth rest) upon them, and by him (who causeth them to multiply) were they raised up, for this ve­ry end and purpose, to praise and magnifie his Name in the earth (who is God over all, blessed for ever) & to publish his living Truth abroad, that his salvation might be known unto the ends of the earth, & there­fore hath he manifested his eternal power in them, by which the world shall be over­turned.

Enq.

Tho [...] speakest strange things o [...] them, which if I knew that thou spake the truth, I would become one of them, for unto such a peo­ple I desire to be united.

Res.

Thou novv seemest to vvonder, but if a third part of the dealings of the Lord vvith them, vvere declared in thy hearing, then thou vvoulst stand astonished to hear▪ vvhat the Lord hath done for them; but peradventure thou art one of them that cannot believe it though men should de­clare it unto thee; and vvhereas thou [...]ais [...], [...] [Page 3] If thou knew that I spoke the truth, thou wouldst become one of them, for unto such a people thou desirest to be united, &c. But consider, it is not an easie matter to be­come one of them in truth, & to be united to them in the spirit, yet it is an easie mat­ter to come among them, and to conform unto them; but before thou become one of them, & united to them, thou must be tur­ned from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God, and then thou wilt be­come as they are, and where they are, thou wilt be also, & then thou wilt come to re­ceive the desire of thy soul, as they have done.

Enq.

Thou thy self give [...] a good report of them, [...]ut I hear otherwi [...]e abroad in the world, where one speaks well of them, there is a hun­dred that cryes out against them and their er­rors, and blasphemies, and d [...]mnable doctrines.

Re [...]f.

My testimony is true which I give of them, for I am one that hath perfect un­derstanding of the dealings of the Lord with them, and am very frequent amo [...]g them, and far be it from me to extend be­yond the truth in any particular, or [...]o fall from my testimony, which I could [...]eal with my blood ( [...]f thereunto called.) And what if thou hear thousands in the world con­trouling of them, exclaiming out agains [...] [Page 4] them, esteeming them not fit to live upon the earth; this may the more confirm thee that they are of God; for if they were of the world, the world would love them; and if they spake of the world, the world would hear them; but because the Lord hath chosen them out of the world, there­fore doth it hate them, and cry out against their doctrines and opinions, and doth sup­pose them to be erronious, blasphemous, & damnable; but their censuring & supposing of them to be so, doth not make them so; for the Jews supposed Christ to be a blas­phemer, but he was not; the same genera­tion supposed the Apostles to be movers of sedition, & pestilent fellows, but they were not; and at that time they were by more condemned then owned, as many exam­ples might be produced, but I believe thou thy self art not ignorant of this.

Enq.

No, no, but I onely tell thee what I hear of this People, I my self do not say that they are such, but I would gladly be informed of the truth of the things reported of them, for it is a good sign to me that all men speak e­vil of them, it is so much the more apparent that they are of God, for his people was always hated of the world.

Res.

This is but words springing forth of [...]heir persecutors, and back-biters will not [Page 5] say the same to their face, when they are present to answer for themselves, and for the Truth. But tell me, couldst thou with M [...]ses, rather s [...]ffer affliction with such a people, (to wit) Imprisonment, spoiling of thy Goods, loss of thy good name and re­putation, and be bitten with the Priests mouths, to be deprived of thy liberty & e­state, & to be seperated from thy wife and children, kindreds and relations; wouldst thou suffer this for the truth's sake as these people are ready to do when they are thereunto called? Would not this cross fall on thee heavy, this way prove to thee strait, and this gate narrow? Wouldst thou not rather chuse to enjoy the pleasures of sin, the delights and vanities of the world, the pleasures and renown thereof, & while that thou livest in the same, thou maist en­quire after the certainty of the reports which are reported of those that are re­deemed from those things in which thou livest, and confess the truth of that which they possess, and thou thy self be out of it.

Enq.

That is true; but I hope we need not be so severe and strict, & so wil [...]ul as to leav [...] our wives, and children, and callings; for dost [...] not know, that he that doth not provide for his Family, is worse then an Infidel?

Res.

Thou canst not be too strict and [Page 6] severe in godliness, but thou waist be too wilful, peevish, and perverse in wickedness, & too faithless in trusting God to provide for those that he hath given thee, & in that particular thou maist be as an Infidel thy self, or as one of the Gentiles which seek­eth after things pertaining to this life, say­ing. What shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or wherewithall shall we be cloath­ed? but by taking of thought, they cannot add one cubit unto their stature: Now if thou come to the light wherewith Jesus Christ hath enlightned thee, it will bring thee to the faith of Gods elect, by which the ust doth live, and then thou wilt come to provide things honest in the sight of all men, & to be diligent in the creation, ser­ving the Lord in thy place & calling where­in thou art to abide, and not voluntarily to leave thy wife & children without pro­viding for thy Family that which is honest, decent, and fitting, otherwise thou wilt be condemned by the light in thy conscience, which is a swift witness against all wilful­ness, peevishness, and perversness, both in Jew and Gentile.

Enq.

Well, these things doth pertain to one [...] own particular, ( [...]hich indeed are good in thems [...]ves) but I woul [...] be further informed [...]oncern [...]g these people (called quakers) in ge­neral: [Page 7] I would have thee tell me how they came to have that name, and who gave it them?

Res.

To speak of things which concerns ones own particular, is commonly the most beneficial; but it is the property of fools to be busie in other mens matters, but let us come to thy question, how they came to have that name, the which I intend to de­clare unto thee if the Lord will.

After that the Lord had visited them in his everlasting love, and convinced them of his eternal truth, then did he manifest his eternal power in them, which made the strong man to bow himself, and the keepers of the house to tremble; by the operation of which power the bodies of some of these people came to be shaken, (like as David's was) and this being appa­rent unto many spectators, who despised and wondred at the workings of the pow­er of the Lord; these despisers and won­derers, (who were also scorners) did from hence give these people this Name, so that thou may take notice, that it was the ge­neration of scorners that gave them it.

Enq.

Now I understand it, but thou hints David, as though he had been a quaker; 'tis true, fearfulness & trembling came u [...]on him, but was there any other of the holy men of God that quaked? if so, why then do the people think it so strange now?

Res.
[Page 8]

The work of the Lord was eve [...] strange to the world; for when David qu [...] ­ked, trembled, and roared, all they tha [...] saw him, laught him to scorn, so that h [...] was a reproach of men, and despised of th [...] people, and his words do the scoffers and scorners o [...] this generation read and sing and reproacheth and despiseth them tha [...] tremble & quake at the Word of the Lord as he did. There were other of the holy men of God that were quakers; as for ex­ample. Mo [...]es he was one that did fear and quake; and the Prophet Haba kuk, his lips quivered, his belly shook, and rottennes [...] entred into his bones; and that was strange to the men of his generation, like as Da­vid's quakings and roarings was strange and wonderful in his dayes; and several more examples might be instanced, by which the ignorance of this generation might more fully be understood and ma­nifested. Some of which hath not been a­fraid to call the power of God (which hath made thes [...] people to quake and tremble) Wi [...]chcraft, and to say that it was of the Devil; but they were such as spoke evil of Dignities, and did erre, not knowing the Scripture, (which speaketh of quakers) nor the power of God, which causeth th [...] fleshly man to quake, and the keepers o [...] [Page 9] the house to tremble, the which these peo­ple do witness?

Enq.

But as touching their Worship, or the manner of it, what is it? Read they sing they, or pray they in their Meetings? Or deny they singing and praying, as is reported of them?

Res.

Their manner of Worship doth differ very much from the world and they that are of the world can neither take plea­sure nor delight in it; for when they come together, they wait upon the Lord in his light, it may be sometimes two or three hours in silence, and sometime it hapneth that in less space then one hour some of them may be moved to speak more or less to the edifying of the rest in the mos [...] ho­ly Faith; but their Worship consisteth not in words but in spirit and in truth; and in the light of truth they read their own con­ditions, which light doth open unto them the misteries of the kingdom. And for sing­ing and praying, they do them both with the spirit and with understanding, but the formal singing and praying of the world, which is not in the spirit, nor with under­standing, this they do deny, for they see that God is not honored by it; and that which dishonore [...]h God, they disown; but that which honoreth and exalteth him a­lone, to that their souls are united and dearly they do it own.

Enq.
[Page 10]

But this doth seem very strange [...] me, that they should sit some hours together silence, had they not better read, pray, an [...] sing, that they might thereby get the motion [...] the spirit, by exercising of themselves in s [...] ­cred devotion?

Res.

It seemeth not strange unto the [...] alone, but unto thousands more, who can [...] not apprehend that which they are mad [...] partakers of in silent meetings, in th [...] vvhich they vvitness the workings of th [...] povver of God, vvhich raiseth the life tha [...] is immortal in them, upon vvhich the [...] feed, and by which they come to be nou­rished up unto eternal life; so that the mo­tions of the pure Spirit of life they fee [...] daily, which is not obtained by bodily ex­ercise, (vvhich profiteth little) neither by self-performances, vvhich availeth not, but by waiting in the light of life, there are the motions of the Spirit of the Lord known, and there is the sacred devotion, which is acceptable unto the Lord; and that devotion vvhich is out of the light, is not sacred [...] but imperfect, and unholy.

Enq.

Thou speakest so promis [...]uously when thou speakest of the light of life, that I do not comprehend thee, wilt thou therefore t [...]ll me if it be the same light of which these peo­ple speak so much, and shew me what that [Page 11] [...]ight is? and where that I may find a measure [...]of it, for I would willingly comprehend it?

Res.

If my words be obscure and pro­miscuous to thee when I speak of the light of life, it is because thy understanding is dark, for my words are words of plainness and of truth; yet nevertheless I shall en­deavour to speak to thy capacity and un­derstanding, that I be not as a Barbarian to thee, that so our reasoning together might not be in vain; neither would I wil­lingly multiply words to no purpose, which doth not tend to edification, for there is e­nough of that abroad in the world; where­fore let us come to the thing it self, viz. To the light of which I spake, vvhich is the self-same of which these people speak; and that of vvhich they speak, is the same that Iohn the Baptist bore witness of, and the same of which the Prophets (by whom God spake unto our Fathers) prophesied and foretold; and he who is the light of the vvorld, acknovvledged it vvhen he vvas come into the vvorld, vvhose Name vvas Immannel, vvhich by interpretation is, God vvith us, & they that desire to see the pre­sence of the Lord to be vvith them, they must come to the light vvhich cometh from him vvhose Name is called Immanuel, and they that believe and vvalk in his light, shal [Page 12] come to have the light of life, a measure o [...] which thou hast in thy conscience, which shews thee thy sin & transgression, which separates from God; and if thou turn thy mind to it, thou wilt find it a swift witnes [...] against thy lusts, and earthly desires, and vile affections, and against all manner o [...] evil whatsoever. But this I would have thee to know, that it is in vain for thee to go about to comprehend it, for it shineth in darkness, & reproveth the works of dark­ness, but the darkness doth nor compre­hend it.

Enq.

Is there not great contention, and much dispute betwixt these People, and busie-minded men about the light, which (I suppose) is te­dious and weari [...]om to this people, is it not?

Res.

Yea, for they meet with many of these busieminded men that seek to intrude into the knowledge of high things, who by their sensual wisdom seek to comprehend this incomprehensible Light, and the more they strive, the more they puzzle them­selves, and although they be puzled & con­founded in themselves, yet they wil not cease from propounding frivolous questi­ons about the light, many of which have been fully answered according to the folly of these unruly and vain talkers, lest that they should be wise in their own conceit; [Page 13] but the truth is, these people vvill many times avoid the questions and geneologies of these unreasonable men, because they see them to be unprofitable and vain, and that doth very much torment them.

Enq.

Why are they not given to disputing? for if the truth be on their sides, they might thorow disputing overcome their opposers, and instruct them that wilfully oppose themselves, and so do much good thereby, might they not?

Res.

There is so much disputing in the World, vvhich is altogether unprofitable, that it is a mercy that they are no more inclined to it; for what good can there be brought forth by it, seeing that by the ge­nerality of Disputers the holy Scripture is not a little wrested & perverted, the Name of God too much dishonored, and many precious hearts disturbed, grieved, and wea­ried by the tedious disputing which is a­mong men, and by reason of it much strife and contention is brought forth, in which these people have no pleasure nor content­ment; for they have not so learned Christ, neither do they seek by way of disputing to overcome their opposors, (whom they with meekness do instruct when they wil­fully oppose themselves) but to that of God in the consciences of their opposers, they seek to be made manifest, that by that [Page 14] they might be overcome, which will con­vince them of the Truch which these peo­ple hath on their sides, & by turning peo­ple to that of God in them, they do much good; for as men come to be brought to that, they come to be brought off from disputing, to the life of that which Dispu­ters dispute upon.

Enq.

It is very true, the Scriptures are much wrested by Disputers; but (pray thee) tell me what do these p [...]ople hold of the holy Scripture [...]? it is reported they do deny them, is that true?

Res.

No, they do not deny them, but doth read & peruse them above all books, and they do affirm, that they are able to make a man wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus; and that they which were given by inspiration of God, are profitable for Doctrines, for Reproof, for Correction, for Instruction in Righte­ousness, &c: they also hold them to be a true Declaration of those things which were most surely believed among the Saints of old, who were eye-witnesses, and some of them Ministers of the Word of God, of which the holy Scriptures do testifie. And further they say, that the holy Scrip­ture was written for their learning, that they through patience and comfort of the Scripture, should have hope; this with much [Page 15] more, they affirm of the Scripture, the life of which they witness manifested in them.

Enq.

All this is good; but is there any man now that hath the same Spirit the [...]postles had? Or is the same light, life, and power now to be enjoyed, which the Saints in former ages witnessed?

Res.

I tell thee, whosoever hath not the same spirit by which the Apostles were gui­ded and lead, they are none of his whom the Apostles served and owned to be their Lord and Law-giver, Jesus Christ, who is the same to day, yesterday, and for ever; & they that are his, of his Fold, and of his Priesthood, they have unity in his light, in which the Apostles had fellowship, & they are lead and guided by the same spirit that revealed things (which had been hid from all ages and generations) unto the Apostles and Saints, and they are preserved in that power which gave the Saints victo­ry over the world, and they live in the life of immortality, which was made manifest in the Saints of old; so that the same light, life, spirit, and power, is now made mani­fest among the Saints, and to the truth of this these people can set their seals, who are made partakers of the same according to their measure.

Enq.

Have they then revelations now by [Page 16] the same Spirit? Or is there any miracles wrought among them by the same power?

Res.

Yea, they have revelations by the same spirit which revealed the my [...]teries of God in former ages to the Saints; for if they had not revelations, how should they come to the knowledg of the Father, whom none knows but by the revelation of the Son? and by the mighty power of God, miracles hath been wrought amongst them, and miraculous things hath been brought to pass in a mystery, which is hid from all vulterous eyes living; and they are privy to these things who are witnesses of the power of God, which hath wrought them; but from scoffers & scorners, dispisers and wonderers, these things are concealed.

Enq.

But such would have a sign, that they might believe, and be convert [...]d also, would they not?

Res.

Yea, but none must be given them but that of Ionah, for they are of the adul­terous generation that seeketh one, saying, Shew us a sign, or work us a miracle, that we may believe that your God is the living God, and that he hath sent you, &c. Now they that will not believe and be convert­ed without a sign, would no more believe & be converted if one were shewed them, then they would have been perswaded to [Page 17] have repented by one that had been raised up from the dead, when they rejected Mo­ses and the Prophets, Luke 16. 31.

Enq.

But thou spake of miracles being wrought among these people; do they all work miracles? Is the gift of prophesie given to all? Or have they diversity of gifts?

Res.

They do not all work Miracles, neither do they all prophesie, for they have differences of administrations, but the same Lord; & diversities of operations, but the same God, who hath given to one by the Spirit, the Word of Wisdom; to another the Word of Knowledge, by the same Spi­rit; to another discerning of Spirits; so that they have received diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

Enq.

Have not every one of them received [...] according to their ability, and are they not in several states and conditi [...]ns?

Res.

Yea, some of them have received one talent, some two, some five, and they boast not of that which they have, because they have received it from him who is the giver of every good and perfect gift; their conditions are also divers, for there are fa­thers, young men, and babes, among them; and some there are who do not yet witness the birth brought forth, which is begotten by the immortal Word of life; no [...]v he that [Page 18] is the strongest among men, will bear with the weakest; and he that is the greatest a­mong them, will become servant to the least; and when one among them is overta­ken with a fault, they that are spiritual, doth restore such an one with the Spirit of meekness; for sometimes they that are weak among them, doth that which the witness of God in them alloweth not, & to the wit­ness they consent, wch convinceth them of the evil (that they do through weakness) which their soul hates; and a law in their members they find, which warreth against the law of their mind, by which they are somtimes brought into captivity to the law of sin, so that they cry out as Paul did in his warfare, O wretched man that I am, &c. yet herein they find comfort, that with their minds they serve the law of God, though with their flesh (in which no good thing dwelleth) the law of sin; these are such as are not yet come through the law, nor to the end of the warfare, but finds daily the flesh lusting against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.

Enq.

Well, is not that a good condition? Did ever any Saint come further in this life? Or are any of these people made free from the law of sin by any other law?

Res.

The time of the warfare must be [Page 19] known and passed through by as many as comes to be made free through him who is the end of the Law for righteousness sake; and he that is faithful to the Lord in the light which brings to the warfare, the same will bring him through the warfare, yea, to the Law of the spirit of life (by which some of the people are made free from the law of sin and death) in Christ Jesus; and this the Saints witnessed, in whom the righteousness of the Law was fulfilled, through which they are come un­to him who is the end of the Law, and the Prophets, by whom they are made free from the Law, that being dead wherein they were held, and they become dead to it, by the body of Christ, which was made a curse for them, to redeem them from the curse of the Law; so that they are now no more under the Law, but under Grace:

Enq.

But what, do they expect to be per­fect, or free from sin in this life? What ground have they for this in Scripture? Was such a state ever commanded or witnessed by any of whom the Scripture doth speak?

Res.

That which is perfect, is manifested in them, and by that they wait to be per­fected; for perfection is that which they earnestly press after, and have hope to at­tain unto the fulness of it, for they do be­lieve [Page 20] that God would not command and require that of men, which could not pos­sibly be attained; for he that said, Be ye perfect, (as your heavenly Father which is in heaven, is perfect) he hath perfected for ever, them that are sanctified; and among such as were sanctified and perfected for e­ver, did Paul preach wisdom; & their per­fection he wished, who had not then attai­ned to it, but were pressing after it, as ma­ny of these people are now, who expecteth to be made free from sin, as the Saints were, Rom. 6. 18. and by the blood of Jesus they hope to be cleansed from all sin, that being throughly sanctified and cleansed with the washing of water through the Word, they might be presented to him a glorious peo­ple, not having spot or wrinkle, nor any such thing, but that they might be holy & perfected for ever; but this seems incredi­ble unto many who are not yet come to the godly sorrow for sin, which worketh repentance; but these people (whose eyes the Lord hath opened) do see a possibility in the thing, & they are not without faith, but that they shall obtain it, and therefore go they on unto it, and will proceed, if the Lord permit, who hath manifested that in them which is perfect, by which he will [Page 21] bring them (and hath brought some of them) to the perfection of purity, and to the beauty of holiness, where Halelujah is sung unto the Most High.

Enq.

The Scripture (I suppose) is much wrested about that point, is it not?

Res.

Yea, very much: For they that are against it, heapeth up all the Scripture­places that possibly they can, of the Saints failings, of their expressions spoken in the time of their warfare; and places of Scrip­ture they produce, which was spoken of men in their unconverted estate; and these Scriptures they wrest & pervert, and doth add their meanings and conceivings unto them, & therefore it is that thousands hath so much to say against that point, which they will as earnestly plead against, as any other particular thing that is in dispute a­mong men at this day.

Enq.

What such men are they, that do wrest the Scripture, and differs so much in their in­ [...]rpretati [...]ns, which these People cryes so much against?

Res.

They are such as are unstable, and unlearned, who errs, not knowing the Spi­rit, nor the guidings and leadings thereof, but are truce-breakers, and incontinent, who seek to subvert whole Countries by their delusions, which people are led into [Page 22] by giving heed unto their false interpreta­tions which they give of the holy Scripture, which is of no private interpretation, and they are such as gain-say the truth, being p [...]oud and presumptuous, doting about questions aud strife of words, unruly and vain talkers, such as teach things which they ought not, for filthy lucre sake; these & such like, do these people cry out against, for each of them do wrest and pervert the Scripture to their own ends, seeking there­by to confirm their erronious opinions, which are contrary to Scripture, and con­trary to Truth; so that these people have good reason to testifie against them, being that the Name of God is so much dishonored by them, and the holy Scripture s [...] [...]taordinarily wrested among them, by the different interpretations thereof.

Enq.

How d [...] these people understand th [...] Scripture? Is there not strife and contenton a [...]mong them about the meaning of it?

Res.

By the same spirit (by which the [...] were guided that spoke forth the Scripture do these People understand it, every one o [...] them according to their measures; and th [...] light in which they walk, doth give the [...] [...]he same understanding in the holy Scrip [...]ure, which they had that spake forth [...] [...]cripture, although many among them [...] [Page 23] [...]rt of so large a measure as the Authors the holy Scripture had; yet that under­ [...]ding which God hath given them by holy Spirit, is the same which holy men God had, (in its measure) so that they far from striving and contending about meaning thereof among themselves, for [...] which the light opens to one, is not [...]tradicted by them that are in the light, [...] therefore they are at peace among [...]selves, and in unity one with another.

Enq.

It is reported of them, that they go in­ [...]any Churches to disturb them, and that [...] speak before the Minister have ended, and [...]ieth themselves unruly in the time of his [...]ed Devotion, is this true?

[...].

'Tis true, some of them have gone in­ [...]any Congregations (as Lambs among [...]lves) in obedience to the motions of the [...]er of the Lord, and in the Assembly [...] have spoken that which was revealed [...]hem while they stood by, and he that [...]ld have holden his peace (who had first [...]en) left his matter in hand, and cryed [...] Constable, or an Officer to take him [...]y that begun to speak his Revelation; [...] the unruly speaker (that should have [...]en his peace, and kept the people in or­ [...] beginning to be so [...]urious and angry [...]st the other, this occasioned great dis­order [Page 24] in the Congregation, which [...] have been prevented if the spirit of the Speaker had been subject to the spirit him that had the Revelation, then m [...] the thing have been done decently an [...] order, according to the rule of the [...] [...]stle, I Cor. 14, 30, 32, 40. And as touc [...] carrying of themselves unreverently, [...] is said of them because they do not their hat in the time of their Prayer, join with them in their unholy devoti [...] which they are not free unto, neither [...] they bid them God speed, because [...] know that they are out of the Doctrin [...] Christ [...] offering unacceptable sacrifice [...] which act these people will not be pa [...]kers; but for any of them to go purpo [...] with an intent to disturb any Congre [...] on, I believe such a thing hath never en [...] into their thoughts; for commonly [...] they have gone upon service for the [...] to such places, it hath been in the cross [...] their own wills, whose lives have bee [...] great danger in them houses called C [...]ches, and much of their blood have [...] spilt, many bruises they have gotten, most shamefully have they been intrea [...] & handled in them places called Churc [...] by those that have resorted unto them, this hundreds will witness and testifie, [...] [Page 25] [...] been eye-witnesses of it.

[...]nq.

It is a strange thing that they will not from such places then; had they not better [...]ill and quiet, and molest none, then so to [...]ard their lives, or at least to take other op­ [...]unities then when People are at Church?

[...]es.

The thing is strange in the eyes of [...], that they should (so as it were) ha­ [...] their lives among unreasonable men, seeketh to do them mischief; but that [...]er of the Lord by which they are mo­ [...]o go to such places, doth oftentimes [...]culously preserve them, and into his [...] they commit their life, who hath gi­ [...]t them, the which they could freely [...]own for the truth's sake, if ther [...]unto were called. Now if they should mo­ [...]ny in their own wils, by speaking their words to them, they had better be still [...]iet, then to do so; but if the Lord move [...] to speak to any, or to go to any place, had better obey him, then bear his [...]em [...]nts for disobedience; & if the par­ [...]oken unto, be one that cannot bear [...]d Doctrine, then will they be offended [...]olested by him that speaketh, like as [...]ziah (Amos 7. 12, 13.) was molested Amos, and therefore would he have [...]im to to have fled into another Land, [...]ot to have prophesied at Bethel, be­cause [Page 26] it was the Kings Chappel, and Court, as now several there are, [...] would not have these people to come their Churches, because the congrega [...]on is disturbed by them, like as the Ki [...] Court & Chappel was disturbed by mos, and the Synagogues of the Jews Christ and the Apostles, and many [...] perswade them to the contrary; but [...] perswasions of such they do no more gard, then Amos regarded the persw [...]ons of Amaziah.

Enq.

What go they to Churches then, cause Amos went to the Kings Chap [...] and because Christ and the Apostles wen [...] the S [...]nagogues as their manner was?

Res.

O no; if they had no other grou [...] then were they but wilful imitators, [...] like unto the false Prophets who run w [...] the Lord had not sent them; but these [...] are moved by the same power ( [...] moved Amos to go the Kings Chap [...] by the same power (I say) are they mo [...] to go to steeple-houses, & other place bear testimony unto the same truth [...] Amos held forth; & the same power [...] moved the Apostles to go into the Sy [...] gogues of the Jews; the same doth m [...] these people now to go into the meet [...] places of the Jews and Gentiles, the [...] [Page 27] declare the powerful truth of God to them that have the form, but not the power, shewing unto them how they may come to find that which hath been lost, viz▪ the life and power of truth.

Enq.

Wel, but do they not know that t [...]ere are acts in force against Disturbers of Minis [...] ­ [...]rs put forth by our honourable Magistrates, who wil not suffer godly Ministers to be di­ [...]turbed?

Res.

Yea, they know it well, and do find [...]t, but rather then they will disobey the Lord, they wil chuse to suffer by such acts as Shad [...]ach, M [...]shach, and Abednego did, [...]ho disregarded the decree of Nebu­ [...]hadnezzer, and would not worship the Golden Imagé which he had set up; and [...]hey who act by the vertue of these acts, [...]o say, they have a Law by which they [...]ught to suffer; like as the Jews did con­ [...]erning that Law which they had; by which they said Christ ought to die, &c. [...]ut shew me out of the Scripture, where [...]ver any honourable Magistrates (or any [...]hat ruled for God) made Acts to pro­ [...]ect godly Ministers, by the vertue of wch [...]he men that spoke unto them was to be [...]ast into prison; if they did it in their [...]eeting-place; had not godly Ministers [...]lwayes Spiritual weapons to defend [Page 28] them withal; and was not Peter & Barn [...]bas, Paul and S [...]las, godly Ministers, wh [...] suffered by the acts of the Magistrate [...] that upheld the chief Priests? and wer [...] they Honourable Magistrates, or godl [...] Ministers, who resisted these godly men whipt them, and cast them into prison & is it not to be feared that many wh [...] are call'd honourable Magistrates do pro [...] tect such Ministers as are persecutors an [...] oppressors of the servants of the Lord who lie in holes & dungeons, by vertue o [...] the acts which are made by impruden [...] Magistrates to protect ungodly Ministers by whom the nations are deceived; tru [...] ly godly Ministers are ashamed of such & the power by which they are upheld [...]

Enq.

Do these people contemn Author [...] then; as is commonly r [...]por [...]ed of them, [...] are they Subject to the higher power, like [...] the Apostle commandeth us to be?

Res.

That authority wch [...] is of God, an [...] from him they do not contemn, neithe [...] are they disobedient, but subject to him that rules in this authority for God, if h [...] exalt righteousness in the earth, and be [...] terror to evil doers, and a praise to the [...] that do wel, such a Magistrate they hono [...] in the Lord; & to the higher power the [...]i [...] soul es are subject, in which the Magistrat [Page 29] rules, who is Gods Minister; & of this pow­er unto which their souls are subject, they are not afraid, neither are they subject because of wrath only, but also for con­science sake; for this they know, that who­soever resisteth the power, resisteth the Ordinance of God, and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

Enq.

But they do not honour Magistrates with their Hat and Knee, as they ought to be honoured, and that offends Magistrates, that receives honour of one another.

Res.

'Tis true; they do not bow before them so, as most men do, neither have they freedom thereunto; for the honor that pertains to a Magistrate consisteth not in such trifling things which are of no weight. And I believe thou cannot pro­duce one Scripture out of the whole Bi­ble, that wil prove that Magistrates ought to be honoured with Hat & Knee, that is but a meer complement, & vanity, a foo­lish fashion of the world which wil pass a­way; & the non-performance of that doth but offend such Magistrates as receives ho­nour one of another, & how can such be­ [...]ieve (saith Christ, mark) if they be not yet come to believe; who dare say that [...]hey are Gods Ministers, or that they rule [...]or God? & these people wil rather offend [Page 30] them that believe not, then that of God in their consciences, which learneth them to seek that honour which cometh from God only, before which humility doth go.

Enq.

But hark; It is not only said of them that they contemn authority and are not sub­ject to Magistrates (to which thou hast an­swered) but also that they are against Gospel [...] Ministery; & are great railers against Mini­st [...]rys; and their maintenance; Is that true?

Res.

Magistracy, and Ministery, they al­low & approve of, the one I have shewed thee before, the other I come unto, and that is Ministry; First, I shall shew thee what Ministers and Ministry they own, and what maintenance they allovv of, that Ministers may have; Secondly, vvhat Ministers and Ministery they disovvn, & what maintenance they do not approve of.

First, Such as are indued with povve [...] and wisdom from on high, and called to the work of the Ministry immediately, ha­ving received gifts from him that is as­cended far above all Heavens, who for [...]merly gave some Apostles, some Prophets▪ some pastors, & teachers, for the perfect [...]ing of the Saints, for the work of the M [...] ­nistry &c. And such as he now calleth & [Page 31] chuseth, who abide in his doctrine, & giv­eth that freely, which they have received freely: Such these people do own & their Ministry; but railing against any they do deny, and Ministers that are so called and qualified as before-mentioned, they do esteem very highly for their works sake, & alloweth them food & raiment, and all things that are convenient; & herewith are these Ministers contented, even with that which they have of free gift from those unto whom they minister Spiritual things, & so in love, peace and unity they live together, & thus it is with these peo­ple & the ministers whom they do own.

Secondly, the Ministers that they dis­own are such as runs when the Lord hath not sent them; and do feed with the fat, and cloath with the wool, & make a prey upon the people; such▪ as are called of men Master, & stands praying in the Syna­gogues, teaching for doctrines the tradi­tions of men; who keep people ever learn­ing & never able to come to the know­ledge of the truth, who are out of the life of that which they preach to others, by whom the holy Scr [...]ptures are wrested and traded [...] who are cove [...]ous, [...]pro [...]d, hea [...]y and high m [...]ded, having a [...]orm of godl [...]ness [...] the power [Page 32] thereof, such they disown to be Ministers of Christ, who preach for hire, and divine for money, the love of which constrain­eth them to teach the people, and they that wil not give them money, or put in­to their mouthes, they prepare war a­gainst them, and compel them by suit of law, and thus they rob their mintenance from poor people, whose goods they will take away by force, from such as hath no­thing of them nor from them; now al such greedy unreasonable pretended Ministers & their robbed maintenance, these people do deny & disown, neither can they pay them wages, nor in no wise uphold them [...]

Enq.

Well, but have they not such in their parishes, to whom the law of the land alloweth tythe; whether do they pay them, or suffer the penalty of the law, & the cruelty of such men?

Res.

O, alas, The covetous hirelings they are so spread over the Nation, that scarce either city or parish are free of them, and truly volums might be filed of the suffer­ings of these harmless people, which they undergo, & have undergone in that par­ticular, through the cruelty & merciless­ness of that unreasonable generation of greedy perverse priests, (whose blessings are cursed, & whose seed is corrupted) for truly they have even made havock of the [Page 33] people, who for conscience sake cannot pay tythe, & therefore have their goods been pitifuly spoiled; as hath been pretty largely published to the shame & confu­sion of these merciless & cruel men; but a book of remembrance is writ, and their actions are upon record.

Enq.

But are these people so simple that they will not go to Law with those that wrong them; what is not the Law open? and the Ma­gistrates will do justice; will they not?

Res.

If thou observed Christs words wel, thou would not cal them simple, for not going to Law with their adversaries; for did he not say, if any man wil sue thee at the Law and take away thy Coat, let him have thy Cloak also? now they that walk in his light who spoke these words, they abide in his doctrine, & when their adversary hath sued them & recovered treble damage, & taketh away twice the worth of that which he recovered, they resist not, but bears it patiently, knowing this that there is one that wil plead their cause, to vvhom vengeance belongs and he will repay.

And although that the law be open, yet they are not free to go to it; For what said Paul to the [...]orinthians, did he not tell them that there was utterly a fault [Page 34] among them, because they did go to law one with another; why (saith he) do you not rather take wrong? why do you not rather suffer your selves to be defrauded? so that here thou may see it doth not be­come Saints to go to Law, and that espe­cially before them that are out of the truth; for such Magistrates will connive at the sufferings of the oppressed, & not reprove the oppressors, who ought by magistrates to be rebuked: But there are some prudent understanding men that are much wearied, with being so daily incumbred with the beggerly suits of these covetous priests, against these harm­less, innocent people: And some of the Magistrates are backvvard enough in do­ing Justice, and too forward in fulfilling the desires of unjust men, vvho deals un­justly wtih these people, & this is not un­knovvn to some in authority, whose bovvels are sometime moved with com­passion to behold the many greivances and annoyances vvhich are daily renew­ed upon these that fear the Lord.

Enq.

I suppose that Saints in former ages have suffered much by the untoward ge­neration have they not?

Res.

Yea, yea, a cloud of vvitnesses might be produced of the sufferings of the [Page 35] Saints, some of which had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, of bonds and imprisonments, some of them were sto­ned, others sawn assunder, others slain with the sword, &c. & he that was a pre­cious Saint, & a sufferer by the untoward generation, he testified, and said, that through many tribulations we must en­ter into the kingdom of God; & further he said, that they that will live godly in Christ Jesus, must suffer persecution.

Enq.

But these whom thou mentionest were comforted in the midest of their tribula­tions and sufferings; are these people so?

Res.

Yea, they also are comforted in their tribulations, that they are able to comfort them which are in trouble, by the comfort wherewith they themselves are comforted of God; for as the suffer­ings of Christ abound in them, so their consolation also aboundeth by Christ, of which all the opposers and adversaries in the world cannot deprive them of; they may be bereaved of their goods, & separa­ted from their friends and brethren, & be debarred of their liberty & freedom by the power of their adversary; but his power extendeth not so far, as to deprive them of their peace in him which is their life, and of the comfort and consolation [Page 36] which they receive from him; and that they prefer above the whole world.

Enq.

and how comes it that so many of them are cast into priso [...], and some whipped, and others banished from some places; Is it for misdemeanour, or for the truths sake?

Res.

Thus it is, many of them have been mov'd of the Lord to go to Steeple-houses (wch are call'd churches) & to speak unto the priest & people, that which the Lord was pleased to lay upon them to declare, it may be somtime before the priest had done, and somtime after; so some in au­thority being then present, have forth­with sent them to prison, for disturbing the congregation, as they said, & it may be have caused them to be whip'd, &c. & for this very particular hundreds have been put in prison; several others have been cast into prison, because they could not pay Tythe to the hireling Priests; o­thers because they could not swear; o­thers because they have not put off their Hats before Magistrates; others for going to visit their friends that hath been in prison, others for riding above five miles upon a first day to a meeting; others for speaking a few words in a street, or a mar­ket to people, whom they have exhorted to fear the Lord; others for speaking to [Page 37] [...]ome upon the high way; & for such like [...]hings as these, are the most part of them [...] if not all) cast into prison; and some of [...]hem have been fined for standing cover­ [...]d before the Judge, and hath laid above a [...]ear (or years) in prison for non-paiment of the fine, and some of them after they [...]ave [...]uffered imprisonment a certain time have been banished, and sent away like [...]agabonds; & more favour is shewed unto [...]alefactors by many in authority then is [...]fforded them; and all this do they pati­ently suffer for righteousness sake.

Enq.

It seems by thy relation of them they suffer much wrong, do they not petition unto the powers of the earth for relief, and make [...]heir redress unto them in such causes?

Res.

They cry unto them for Justice, but to petition unto them as unto Gods, they cannot in the least do it: although many petitions have been put up against them; but that doth not molest nor troub­ble them whose trust and confidence is in the Lord, by whom they do expect to be delivered, & not by the arm of flesh; their manifold greivances are not hid from the Lord, who will arise and plead their cause, and rebuke those that afflict them, and se­verely punish those that do oppress them.

Enq.

But in the mean time do they not seek [Page 38] to avenge themselves of their adversaries, seei [...]g they are now become a great body?

Res.

O no, they have no such thoughts, for they have referred their cause wholly to the Lord, to whom vengeance belong­eth, and he will repay, of whom they have learned to love their enemies, to bless, those that curse them, to do good to those that hate them, to pray for those which despitefully use them, and persecute them; and they are so far from avenging them­selves that if one smite them on the one cheek they will turn the other: And they look not upon the number of themselves to be any thing, in reference to their re­demption, out of their hands, who exer­cise Lordship over them, For they know that by one, the Lord is able to chase a thausand, and by two to put ten thou­sand to [...]light,

Enq,

Yea, that is true, yet nevertheless wil they not carry weapons, for their own defence, and for the defence of their Country?

Res.

The weapons of their warfare are not carnal but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down Imaginations, and every high thought that exalteth it self against the Kingdom of God, and only such wea­pons carry they, and he that put them into [Page 39] [...]eir hands is mighty enough to preserve [...]em and their Country, with whose ar­ [...]ur they are always armed, having their [...]nes girt about with truth, having on the [...]est-plate of righteousness, and the sheild [...] faith, wherewith they are able to quench [...] the fiery darts of the wicked; they [...]ve also the helmet of Salvation and the [...]ord of the Spirit, which is the word o [...] [...]od; thus are they armed against their ene­ [...]es that seek to bereave them of their [...]ace with God, whom they only with­ [...]nd, but violence to no man will they do, [...]at is contrary to the doctrine of their [...]rd to whom they do commend them­ [...]ves.

Enq.

I suppose by this declaration of them [...]at they are a peaceable people: But what [...] they in life and conversation, for by their [...]its we must judge of them?

Res.

My report or declaration of them [...] true, and the truth I speak & lie not, for [...] have known them from a child (or [...]ce that I was a babe in Christ) & my [...]ucation in the Lord hath been among [...]em, and for the space of several years I [...]ave been daily conversant with them; [...]d in all this time, I have found their life [...]d conversation, to be good, honest, and [...]reproveable; do but ask any conscien­tious [Page 40] man fearing God, that know [...] these people, and thou shalt find that [...] testimony of them will not contra [...] mine, yea many of their opposers will [...] knowledge, that for their life & conver [...]tion they have nothing to accuse them [...]

Enq.

But it is said they are rude [...] speech, and useth the word Thee, and [...] particular persons; is not that an unman [...]ly and absurd thing in them?

Res.

No, it is the language of the [...] Scripture; and to use thou, and thee, [...] a particular person, is proper, and [...] unmannerly nor absurd: for when [...] Lord spake to Adam, and Adam to hi [...] they used that language; when [...] spake to Pharoah, & Pharoah to him, th [...] used that language; when Paul spake to [...] [...]grippa, and Agrippa to him, they used [...] language, and it was not unmannerly, [...] absurd with them, neither do we read [...] it was then accounted rudeness of spee [...] And although that this seems so stran [...] to the men of this generation, yet it is [...] proper phrase of the Scripture, and [...] language of all them of whom we read [...] the Scripture.

Enq.

I have not observed that so [...] before; but now in their buying and selli [...] how do they do? are they of as many [...] [Page 41] [...] other men; or keep they to yea or nay in [...]eir communication?

Res.

To yea and nay, they keep, knowing [...] whatsoever is more cometh of evil, [...] when they have a commodity to sell, [...]ey set a reasonable price of it, and do not [...]act upon the people; and when that [...]ey buy a commodity, they proffer a rea­ [...]nable Price for it, for the which they [...]ppose the party may well afford it, and [...]at which they judge to be the value of [...]e thing, and so in few words dispatch­ [...]h; and thus they abide in the Doctrine [...] their Lord, who hath said, Let your yea [...] yea, and your nay be nay, for whatso­ [...]er is more than these, cometh of evil.

Enq.

But men are so accustomed to many [...] in their dealings one with another, that should think men will scarce meddle with [...]em in affairs, if they will abate nothing of [...]e price which they first set on their com­ [...]odity, for that is most usuall among [...]n?

Res.

Tis true, it is usual among men to [...]ter many needless words in their deal­ [...]gs, and to swear many grievous Oathes [...]ecause they will not trust one another; [...]t is not the manner of these People to [...]o so, neither have they freedom thereun­ [...] in the least, whereupon some of their [Page 42] Cu [...]toms have absented from them [...] season, and have made tryal of others▪ [...] they not finding such [...]idelity in others, [...] such just & upright dealings by them, [...] have returned again to this people, & [...] made further proof of them, & have fou [...] their Commodity to be good and substa [...]tial, and well worth that which they ga [...] for it, whereupon they have brought oth [...] Customers with them, & acquainted the [...] with the condition o [...] the People, that the would have so much as they asked, and th [...] they were not given to many words, & [...] to the which [...]he people in process of [...] have well condescended, so that now whe [...] they are known, they are credited, & [...] extraordinarily provoked (by those th [...] know them) to superfluity of words; and [...] they come to use men to that which the [...] have been little accustomed unto, (to [...] to few words in their buying and selling▪

Enq

That is well done of them; yet [...] much against them; for it is said, they [...] not speak to men upon the way, but passe [...] them without saluting of them, neither [...] they doff their hats to any, which gives gre [...] offence to many; wherefore do they carry th [...]m [...]selves so uncivilly?

Res.

When they have occasion to spea [...] to any man, they speak unto him wh [...]the [...] [Page 43] [...] be upon the way, or in the street, or up­ [...]n the Market, or in any other convenient [...]lace; but to salute men in a complement­ [...]ng way, by doffing their hats unto them, [...]nd bowing before them, and giving them [...]attering Titles, (according to the custom [...]nd manner of the world) that they are [...] free to do, and that is a principal thing [...] of the many) which men have against [...]hem; although they honor all men in the [...]ord, without respect of persons, and be­ [...]aveth themselves civilly towards all, yet [...]an doff their hat to none, for that is an [...]ct of as proud and uncivil persons, as lives, [...]ho wil shew humility in that thing, when [...]hey are as proud in their heart as Haman [...]as, and will deride and scorn those that [...]annot for conscience-sake do it; and these [...]re they that are offended when it is not [...]one, and carry themselves uncivilly to [...]ch as doth it not.

Enq.

Well, but it is a fashion which men [...]ve, and a token of civi [...] respect; had they [...]t better please men by conforming unto them [...] this thing of small importance, then to of­ [...]nd them through abstaining from doing of it; [...]r we read that Paul became all to all; unto [...] Iews he became as a Iew, &c.

Res.

The fashions of this World will [...]ass away, but the Word of God endures [Page 44] for [...]ver, by which Word these people [...] redeemed from the World, so that the [...] cannot be conformable to it in its way [...] worships, customs, and fashions; all whi [...] will pass away, and if they should seek [...] please men, then were they not the se [...]vants of Christ, whose servants never [...] such a token of civil respect (as doffing [...] the hat) that we read of in the whole Sc [...]pture; and who dare call them his servan [...] that receive honor of men from their ha [...] and are offended if it be not given the [...] surely they are not like unto him in th [...] thing, for he received not honor from me [...] neither did he seek it, but said unto tho [...] that did, How can ye believe that recei [...] honor one of another, and seek not [...] honor that cometh from God onely?

And although Paul became as a Jew u [...] to the Jews, as without law to them th [...] were without law, yea all things to all me [...] this he did for the Gospels sake, not [...] please men, but that he might by all mea [...] save some, therefore condescended he [...] the simplicity in them, speaking low thin [...] to their capacity and understanding, th [...] so by guile he might catch them, and ga [...] or win them to the truth; but who dare [...] that he became an Idol-worshipper wit [...] Idolaters? If so, how should he hav [...] [Page 45] brought any from that Idolatry to have worshipped the living God? Or who dare say that he became an opposer of Truth with opposers? If so, how should he have gained any of them to the truth; but it was not so with Paul, who shewed him­selfe in all things approved of God, [...]n whose sight he commended himself to e­very mans conscience?

Enq.

I am perswaded that if these People [...]ere admitted to answer for the [...]selves upon [...]ll occasions, many would come to be satisfied [...] things concerning them, wherein they are [...]-inform'd.

Res.

Oh yea; but alas such reports are [...]umored abroad of them (by such as say, [...]eport, and we will report it) as is not fit­ [...]ng to be named among Christians; and [...]ese Reports being credited, or regarded [...]y simple people, they become odious and [...]espised among men, and therefore is it [...]at there is so much whooting and hissing [...] them in the streets; but if they might [...] admitted to make their own defence in [...]e presence of prudent and understanding [...]en, having their accusers face to face, to [...]ove their accusations that they have a­ [...]inst them, I believe many would come to [...] better satisfied, the mouths of gain [...] would come to be stopped, and the ig­norance [Page 46] of foolish men would come to be silenced; but that is the policy and subtilty of their grand Adversary (who was a Lyar from the beginning) to make people believe all the horrid lies that can be spoken & in­vented of them, and thereby comes the minds of thousands to be evil affected a­gainst the precious truth, which if the [...] were but rightly informed of the certainty of things reported, they would either b [...] brought to the acknowledgement of th [...] truth, otherwise to lay their hands upo [...] their mouths, and become silent, if the [...] were not evil men, and seducers, and suc [...] thou knowest will grow worse and wors [...]

Enq.

Hath the truth of God been so d [...] ­famed, blasphemed, and reproached in oth [...] generations, as it is now in this age?

Res.

Yea in all ages, when the Lord ap­peared by his power to reveal his precio [...] Truth upon the face of the earth; Sat [...] (who goes to & fro in the earth) hath sti [...] ­red up his instruments to defame, bla [...] ­pheme, and reproach it, by whose blasph [...] ­mies the living Truth hath been much [...] ­faced, and so it is now at this day, by [...] multitude of lyes, false reports, and aspe [...] ­ons which are cast upon it by wicked a [...] ungodly men, who cry out against such [...] formerly have defamed, blasphemed, a [...] reproached the Truth, and they themsel [...] [Page 47] are blasphemers and reproachers, like as the Jews did, who exclaimed against their Fathers for killing the Prophets, & yet they themselves put him to death who was the Prince of Glory, of whom the Prophets prophesied.

Enq.

But I would yet ask something con­cerning these People; Baptize they their chil­dren? Or are they themselves baptized?

Res.

Their children they do not baptize according to the course of the World, for they find no Scripture that speaks of In­fants baptism, nor no example in the Scri­pture for the same; yet they who are in the unity, are baptized by one Spirit, into one Body; and so many of them as were bapti­zed into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death, that they should walk in newness of life; and this is the onely baptism which they do witness.

Enq

But were [...]hey never baptized with E­lementary water?

Res.

Some of them in the time of igno­rance were baptized with outward Water, supposing that it were necessary for salva­ [...]ion, but after they had taken up the Ordi­ [...]ance, they took up their rest also in the [...]ead form, & did apply the Promises whic [...] [...]as due to Believers, although little or no [...]eformation was wrought in them, yet [...]hey were conceited in themselves that it [Page 48] was well with them, until the Lord in his infinite love opened their blind eyes, and then they saw themselves to be poor, na­ked, and miserable, & that that rest which they had taken up, was not the rest which the Lord had prepared for his people; nei­ther was that baptism wherewith they were baptized, the baptism which should save them by the resurrection of Jesus Christ; neither did the Promises pertain unto them, which they had applyed to themselves; and that which gave them to see these things, was the light of Jesus Christ in them, bywhich they were brought afterwards to witness the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and Fire.

Enq.

But are there none of them sent to baptize, that so others being baptized by them, might come to witness, the one baptism also?

Res.

The same command that Christ gave at the first, he is with us to the end of the World; which is, Go teach all Nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, of the Son▪ & of the Holy Ghost; but here is no outward Water mentioned; and the everlasting Gospel they are sent to preach, and they do turn people from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God, and so many as receive their testimony, & believe in the light which they are turned [Page 49] unto, they come to witness the one bap­tism, which is by one spirit, into one bo­dy, although they be never dipped nor sprinkled with outward Water, and hun­dreds of these people are come to witness this, who have never been baptized with outward Water since they believed.

Enq.

Own they the Lords Supper?

Res.

Yea, the Supper of the Lord they own, and at the Table of the Lord (which is richly furnished) they sit and do eat a­bundantly, to the eternal refreshing of their souls.

Enq.

Well, but do they break bread, and drink wine at that Table, like as professed Christians do?

Res.

The Bread that they break is the Body of Christ; and the Cup that they drink, is the Blood of Christ; but many professed Christians who talks of the Lords Table, discerns not his Body, and so eats and drinks their own damnation, yet not­withstanding Christians in Christ breaks one Bread, and drinks of one Cup & they have unity one with another, even as these people do witness with whom Christ doth [...]up, and to the substance they are come, and therefore go they not by Imitation, [...]ike as many do who are called Christians, who yet never came to eat the flesh of [Page 50] Christ, nor to drink his blood, and there­fore have they no life abiding in them.

Enq.

But yet there is something more in which I desire also to be satisfied concerning these People, for many exclaims out against them, for judging and condemning others: Now pray thee tell me, what do they judge in others? any thing besides that which is condemned in themselves?

Res.

Nay, It is that onely, (to wit) de­ceit and unrighteousness, which the judge­ments of the Lord hath passed upon in their own particular; and when they meet with such as pleads for that which is or­dained of old for condemnation, perhaps they may sharply reprove them, if they judge not the deceit in them; then the par­ty reproved being one that cannot stand in the judgement, exclaims out against them as if they were censorious Judges, and horrid blasphemers, when they have judged and reproved nothing but deceit in them, and that which is to be eternally condemned, even the very same that is judged in their own particulars.

Enq.

Well, but duth not Christ say, Iudge not, that you be not judged? And Paul saith, The man that judgeth is inexcusable, whoso­ever he is?

Res.

Yea, those are the words of Christ [Page 51] and Paul; by the way take notice of the following words: did not Christ there speak to the hypocrite that beheld the Mo [...]e that was in his brothers eye; but considered not the beam that was in his own eye: And [...]ake Paul's words also as they are: Thou art inexcusable, O man (saith he) whosoe­ver thou art that judgest; for wherein thou [...]udgest another, [mark wel] thou condem­ [...]nest thy self; for thou that judgest, dost the [...]ame things: There is now the man that is [...]nexcusable, who judgeth another for that which he is guilty of himself; and if thou [...]or any man can tax these people in this, [...]hen say that they are inexcusable who are [...]ound guilty in this thing,

Enq.

There is another thing which men [...]ath against them, which is this, They say [...]hat they will not respect persons, but to a Prince or Lord, or whatsoever that he is, they will say Thee, and Thou to him, and stand with [...]heir Hats on in his presence, as if he were a [...]an of no reputation; Is this true?

Res.

He who is their God (who hath [...]ade of one blood all Nations of men for [...]o dwell upon the face of the earth) he is no respecter of persons, and if they who [...]are his people, should have respect to per­sons, they should commit sin, and would be convinced of the Law as Transgressors; [Page 52] and for them to have respect of persons, that were not good; and as for the proper­ness of Thee and Thou, I have shewed thee before. And vvhy may not they stand vvith their hats on in the presence of the great­est man upon the face of the earth, [...]e [...]ing that they stand daily covered in the pre­sence of their God, vvhose Name is the Lord of Hosts, vvho filleth Heaven and Earth, in vvhom they honor all men, vvith­out the respecting of any ones person, or the greatness and magnificency of any, for vvhat is man but dust? and vvherefore should he be adored by his Fellovv-crea­ture? as if honor pertained to him, vvhich indeed is onely due to his Creator, vvho formed him of the dust, to vvhich he must return, and then his honor shall be laid in the dust vvith him.

Enq

Well, but hear, these people say that they are moved of the Lord to do this, and the other: and that they are sent of God to pub­lish his truth; now if this were true, they should turn many from their wickedness, should they not?

Res.

The truth they must acknowledge, whether they before whom it is acknow­ledged, can bear it or no; the which truth hath been often rejected by such as resist the Holy Ghost, by the which these peo­ [...]le [Page 53] have been often moved to declare un­ [...] the sons of Adam their sin, and to shew [...]hem their transgression, and to exhort [...]em to repentance & amendment of life, [...]nd many have been turned from darkness [...] light, from the power of Satan unto God, by those among them, that were sent [...] publish his Tr [...]th, and to preach his e­ [...]erlasting Gospel unto the Spirits in Pri­ [...]n; yea, thousands are converted, & tur­ [...]ed from iniquity and wickedness, and are [...]rought to serve God in purity and holy­ [...]ess in his own Temple, and therefore they [...]ave not run as uncertainly, (or without [...]ding) neither have they fought as one [...]at beateth the air, for they who are tur­ [...]ed from wickedness, by them are the seal [...] their Apostleship in the Lord.

Enq.

It is said that they permit women to [...]eak or prophesie among them; Is not that ex­ [...]es [...]y against the Scripture? For did not Paul [...] that he would not permit a woman to speak [...] the Church? And where do they read of any [...]omen in the New-Testament that prophesied?

Res.

For Women to prophesie (upon [...]hom the Spirit of the Lord is poured out) [...] not expresly against the Scripture, but a [...]filling of the Scripture; for the Scripture [...]ith, That is shall come to pass afterward [...]at I (the Lord) will pour out my Spirit [Page 54] upon all flesh, & your sons & your daugh­ters shall prophesie: Now the fulfilling of this, these people do witness, who will no [...] permit a Woman (upon whom the spir [...] of the Lord is not poured out) to speak in the Church; but notwithstanding every Si­ster in Christ upon whom the spirit of the Lord is poured out, (who by that spirit is moved to prophesie) they forbid not; fo [...] the same Paul that did not permit a Wo­man to speak in the Church, he wrote un [...]to the Church that they should not quench the spirit, nor despise Prophesie; neither do we read that he, nor none of his com­pany did forbid Philip's daughters to pro­phesie, [Acts 21. 8, 9.] who were Virgins, and four in number, upon whom the spirit of the Lord was poured out; & who wil say that he would have quenched the spirit in Phoebe, if she had been moved by it to pro­phesie in that Church of which she was a Servant? And the Spirit of the Lord, these people wil not limit in male or female, who are one in Christ.

Enq.

What charity hath these People? will they relieve the fatherless and widow, &c.

Res.

They have that charity which suf­fereth long, which is kind and envieth not; which vaunteth not it self, nor is puffed up; they have that charity which rejoiceth not [Page 55] [...] iniquity, but in the Truth, which bear­ [...]h all things, hopeth all things, endureth [...] things; yea the Charity vvhich they [...]ve vvill never fail; and therefore are [...]ey so charitable to the fatherless and [...]iddows, whom they rel [...]ive within their [...]ates; if they be naked they cloath them, [...] they be hungry they feed them, if they [...] destitute of Lodging, they take them in; [...] discreetly they do it, and with much [...]isdome, lest any should depend upon it, [...]nd live in idleness, and this they do, espe­ [...]ally to them of the houshold of Faith, [...]ho cannot work, nor have not of their [...]wn wherewith to subsist, such they Re­ [...]eve, that so there need be no Beggar in [...]rael.

Enq.

According to the words in thy An­ [...]er to my first Proposition, so I find it that [...] few words my first demand could not be [...]swered, but afterwards it would be more [...]lly; Truly I may say to thee as Agrippa [...]id to Paul, that he almost perswaded him to [...] a Christian, even so thou (by thy sober [...] plain Answers) hast almost perswaded [...] to be one of these people; for verily I have [...] desired to be satisfied in those things [...]herein thou hast kindly resolved me, like a [...]reind that desireth my eternal felicity, and [...] the future I hope not to entertain every [Page 56] unsavory report of them as some do, but [...] to withstand false Reporters, for no [...] have wherewith to answer them.

Res.

I am glad that thou art so well [...]tisfied and resolved, for that was the [...] thing that I aimed at, (excepting the [...] of God, and the clearing of these Peo [...] innocence) from the very beginning; [...] when I wished thee to have patience a [...], then I told thee that by the Lords a [...]stance I should endeavour to inform [...] rightly, and to resolve thee fully so far [...] was allowed of God. And now seeing [...] it is come to this issue, let me persw [...] thee to wait upon the Lord in his [...] light, which novv in some measure do [...] convince thee of his precious Truth, [...] vvhich these people do vvalk; and be [...] too forvvard in contending for them, [...] thou be one vvith them in the life a [...] povver of Truth, and then thou vvilt be [...]able to ansvver their opposers, as I ha [...] been (by the Lords assistance) to ansvv [...] thy objections,

Enq.

For my own particular I find mu [...] more contentment in my self then I did, a [...] am for the present as an empty Vessel ( [...] touching Objections against these people) [...] I know the subtilty of Sa [...]an is great, [...] may yet possess me wi [...]h do [...]bts and fear [...] [...] [Page 57] [...] bring Objections into my mind when thou [...] not with me to answer them, and to [...] me: Therefore I entreat thee to tell me [...] I should do in such a cause.

Res.

Thy chiefest remedy in such a [...], is to stand still in the light which [...]weth thee the subtilty of Satan to be [...]at; and enter not into consultations [...] flesh & blood, for that is the way to [...] in doubts and fears, and the same that [...]teth them in, vvill bring Objections [...] thy minde, and take Exceptions against [...] Truth, and against them that are in it; [...] all these thou must judge dovvn vvith [...] light, and let them be made thy foot­ [...]ol, then vvill that spark of love in thee [...]hich is tovvards the Truth) become a [...]me, vvhich many vvaters vvill not be [...] to quench; and vvhen things ariseth in [...] mind which thou art not clear in, nei­ [...]r can comprehend, cumber not thy [...] vvith them, but dvvel low in the cross [...] thy vvil, & then the aspiring mind (from [...]ich frivolous objections doth arise) [...] come to be kept under the judgement, [...] then a principle of life thou vvi [...]t feel, [...]ich will thresh and hew down thy lusts, [...]rupt desires, and inordinate affections; [...] as these come to be mortified in thee, [...]wilt thou come to be brought into uni­ty [Page 58] with the Lords people, and to lye do [...] with them in their Fathers bosom of lo [...] where (I hope) thou mayest at any [...] find me, in the general Assembly of [...] Ransomed ones of the Lord, where [...] is sung to the Most High witho [...] ceasing.

THE END.

[...]OSTSCRIPT▪ OR, Something Written after.

[...]Ultitudes of Objections may arise out of that mind against the truth, which cannot close with truth (to wit) the carnal mind, in which an irrecon­ [...]ble enmi [...]y lodgeth against the wayes of God, the [...]ship of God, the righteousness of God, and against truth of God, in which these People are established, that nothing can satisfie that unsatiable mind but [...] and destruction, for I know if many Volumes were [...]it (more then are) in explanation, and vindication of [...] truth, yet notwithstanding this busie mind would [...] blemishes upon the truth, through its defaming, scan [...]zing, and reproaching of it, whereby their minds [...] to be blinded in whom death reigns, so that they [...]old no beauty nor comelines [...] in the pure everlasting [...], being surprized with jealousies, doubts, and fears [...]cerning the immutability, the eternal excellency of the [...] truth of God, which to us that believe is exceed­ [...] precious, and beauty, glory, and majesty we behold in [...] which doth as far exceed the words, beauty and glo­ [...] as the light of the sun exceeds the light of one sta [...], [...] all things below to us that are saved, are but as [...]oss and dung in comparison of the eternal living [...]th of God, the excellency of which hath not been [...]own by the Apostates, who have been Apostatized (or [...]anged from that of God in them) since the dayes of [...] Apostacy.

But rejoyce O ye Saints, and be exceeding glad, who [...] come out of that long, dark, and dolesom [...] Night of [...]ostacy (where you were well acquain [...]e [...] with sorrow [Page] and grief) unto the everlasting day of joy and glad [...] where sorrow & sighing is sted away; rejoyce I say [...] joy unspeakable, for the Lord God is your Shepheard▪ [...] you shal not want, [...]ut with the finest of the VVhea [...] [...] shall be [...]ed, in Pastures which are green a [...]d large, [...] your souls may delight themselves in fatness. And [...] this my friends, that the Lord God will wipe away [...] r [...]proach, and sweep away the refuge of lies, [...] which your enemies (who have smitten you with the [...] of wickedness) have with falshood hid themselves, [...] their rod shall not alwayes rest upon your Lot, [...] shall you alwayes be a prey unto them, for the Lord [...] will deliver you out of the hands of those that [...] you, and Kings and Princes he will rebuke for [...] sak [...]s; where [...]ore be of good chear in the Lord, he [...] shall come, will come, and will not tarry.

The End.

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