A WORD OF REPROOF TO THE Teachers of the VVorld.

VVhich may be of use for the tryal of t [...]eir wayes, and standing, that all who are willing to be undeceived may come to an un­derstanding to know what sort of men in this Nation they are who serves not the Lord Jesus Christ but their own bellies, who in words professe God and the SCRIPTURES, but in life deny both.

With an invitation and warning to them and all people to turn from iniquity, and serve the living God, whose service is not known, but in the light; neither is any service or worship accepted by him, but as it is a­cted in obedience to his measure which is light, and hath lighted every one that cometh into the WORLD.

Howl ye shepherds, and cry, and wallow your selves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock; for the dayes of your slaughter, and of your dispersion are accomplished, and ye shall fall like a pleasant ves­sel, Jer. 25. 34.

Written by a friend to all people, and a lover of the light, and the wayes thereof, whose outward name is STEPHEN CRISP.

LONDON, Printed for Thomas Simmons at the Bull and Mouth neer Aldersgate, 1658.

THis is written to go abroad amongst the Parish Teachers and their Flocks, and is serviceable for them to consider of; for the Lord God of heaven and earth is arising in his mighty power to plead the case of the poor and needy, and to deliver the Lambs from the teeth of the Wolves and the Lyons who catch for the prey, and to make a separation in the flocks of the Idol Shepherds, and behold his voyce is uttered from Zion, and his word goeth forth from his holy habitation, who dwels in the light, and in it is his voyce heard, which shakes the earth, and makes its inhabitants to tremble.

Therefore all people feare the Lord, and mind that of him that reproves sin & evill in the secret of your hearts which is the grace which hath appeared unto all of you; but hath not yet taught all of you to deny ungodlinesse and worldly lusts; but in the lusts of ignorance do re­main, looking at a man without you to be your Teacher, and so knows not the Lord to be your Teacher: And for your sakes who are simple, in whom there is any honest desires, is this given forth, that you may see your Teach­ers tryed by their own rule, and found too light and too narrow: Therefore all be warned for time to come, and in the fear of the Lord will you come to know the begin­ning of that wisdome which comprehends all those heaps of Teachers which feeds the itching ears.

S. C.

A word of REPROOF TO THE Teachers of the World.

THIS word is unto you, oh ye Priests, in vain is all your coverings: For the light of our God is risen, and hath discovered you; and his power hath rent, and is rending your coverings, and his contro­versie is proclaimed against you; and he hath brought forth his little Army, which is little in your eyes, but is a mighty host in the power of his Spirit, upon whom he is fulfilling his promise; that one shall chase an hundred, and ten shall put a thousand to flight: And as our fore-fathers did, so do we (in this day of our God) by faith turn to flight the armies of the aliens, and stop the mouths of Lyons, and obtain promises, &c. and you your selves are witnesses in your practices; who are not able to stand, but flee when ever the life of God ariseth in any to speak to you, though in never so contemptible an instrument in your eyes, and so have many hundreds of you been put to flight without sword or spear; and then you run from your God and from your worship to the house of your Armory, where you are fitted with the weapons of the Beasts warfare (as whips, stocks, prisons, and such like) in whose Army you are found fighting against the Lamb and his Army; by whom you shall be overcome, and your carkas­ses cast into the open field. And now is your works of dark­nesse and great swelling words of vanity brought to the light, and there tryed and judged, which is our rule to try and judge withal: And seeing you say the Scripture is your rule whereby things ought to be tryed and judged; you and your works shall be tryed by the Scriptures also, that so you may be condemned by both.

[Page 2] First, ye say ye are Minsters of Christ! Nay, but ye are his Ministers whom ye serve and obey, and whose work ye do; now sin is the work of the Devill, and to destroy it in the flesh was Christ made manifest in flesh: and you that de­ny the destruction of sin in this life, you deny it in flesh; for he that departeth this life, goeth out of the flesh, and leaveth it, and so you deny the work of Christ, whose Ministers you say you are; and he is no servant nor Minister of Christ, who denies his work. Now read and consider, sin and the man of it is against Christ; and the Ministers of him who is against Christ, always strives to keep up, and to uphold that which Christ and his Ministers strives to destroy and throw down, which is sin in the flesh; and so here it is plain that you who strive to uphold sin, uphold Anti-christ, whose Ministers ye are.

Again, Christ said to his Ministers, Goe yee forth, &c. But where is your going forth? when some of you have purcha­sed to your selves places, and some have gained by flattery, and some do hold by force & tyranny a certain place, circuit, or quarter from whence ye seek your gain, and there are not ashamed to sue by title, as Rector, Incumbent, or Lecturer of such a place. Oh horrible! that ever such should say they were Ministers of Christ: Yea, and some of you can boast and glory in your shame, saying in your Declarations, you have been there in such a place some 20. some 30. some 40, years. Was ever such a thing heard of concerning any of the Ministers of Christ? were not they approved in their Ministry by tryals, by travellings, by hardships and dangers both by Sea and Land, in want, in heavinesse, &c. But you have chosen the pleasures of sin, and to live at ease in the flesh; but destruction and misery shall overtake you in a day when you are not aware, who will not be warned.

Again, Christ said to his Ministers, All power is given unto me, and I am with you: He did not say, all power is given unto me, and I will give it to the Magistrates: and if any come to oppose you or your Doctrine, go to him, he shall defend you; but they had the witnesse in themselves, and the power was with them, and is with them to the end of the world; [Page 3] which stops the mouths of gainsayers; which power is the power of Christ, which the Ministers of Christ have accor­ding to promise; and the power of Anti-christ, the Ministers of Anti-christ have, which is manifest in persecuting, in vi­olence, in tumults, and such like; which power is your de­fence, who say, ye are Ministers of Christ, and are not; but are Ministers of Antichrist, and so proved lyars and condem­ned, and witnessed against, both in the light, and by the Scriptures.

2ly. You say you preach the Gospel.

Nay, that is not the Gospel of Christ you preach, but an­other which he that bringeth is accursed: For, the Gospell of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to them that believe; but what you preach is not so, no not to them that believes it, who preach that they cannot be saved: So if they believe what you declare, they must believe they cannot be saved while in this life: And so it is not the power nor Gospel of Christ which you preach; but the power of darkness to keep all in death out of the faith, which gives victory, and through which the creature comes to know the Gospel, and the power which saves and redeems up to God.

Again, the Gospel is everlasting, and none can preach it but they who have received it; but you whose knowledge stands in carnall Arts and Sciences, and Inventions, which came in time, and must perish in time; your knowledge can­not receive the everlasting Gospel when it is preached unto you, much lesse preach it unto others: and in that knowledg do you corrupt your selves and others, and are like to perish in your corruption together, except ye turn to the light which was before corruption, that it may shew you corruption, and lead you out of corruption, that ye perish not; for to such as are in the perishing way which is corrupt, the Gospel ever­lasting is hid.

Again, that which you preach is not free nor without charge; but the Gospel was so, and is so & as long as the force and violence, and pride, and covetousnesse is found amongst you, which makes that which you preach burthensome and chargeable to the people, cease calling it the Gospel of [Page 4] Christ; for if you do call it so, the light in all consciences condemns you, and the practice of Christs Apostles con­demns you, and the Scripture declares against you, and your condemnation is just, and shall abide for ever.

3ly. You say you preach the Truth.

Nay, that is not the Truth you preach, for it sets none free; for many have abode in your doctrine and worship a long time, some 20. some 40. and some 60. years, and yet are not set free; but you have brought them to believe that they cannot be freed, and so have caused them to erre from the right path, and such may dye in their iniquities; but their blood will be required at your hands who have beguiled and deceived them.

But Christ Jesus the light of the world, who lighteth every man that cometh into the world, that all men through him might beleve. He said, If ye abide in the truth, the truth shall set you free. He is the light, the true light, and the truth that sets free; and you who deny the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, and yet say you preach the truth, you are lyars, and the lake is your portion except you repent.

Again, what you preach you sell, and so are declared a­gainst expresly in Scripture, seeing you say you preach the truth: For what saith it? buy the truth, and sell it not. Read your condemnation all you who make bargains for that which you call truth; and let the light in your own consci­ences judge, whether you doe not deny Scripture, yea or nay.

4ly. You say, he that preacheth the Gospel ought to live of the Gospel.

I answer, He unto whom the Gospel of Christ is commit­ted to preach, none can hinder him of living of it, for it is his life, and he needeth not an outward law to hold up his livelyhood. Neither did any that ever preached the Gospel make use of any such power; but their power they had, and they have alone from Christ Jesus, both from the inward and outward support: Have we not power to eat? have we not power to drink, saith the Apostle, who was a Minister of Christ? but he had not power to make bargains with any [Page 5] people for a certain establishment of a sum of money, and then to seek for an Augmentation besides, as some of you do, and then to sue at law for default of payment; and if it were payd, then to spend it in voluptuosness upon his lust as you do: Some in the lust of drunkennesse and gluttony, and some in pride in satisfying your lusts in cloaths and in building, and some in covetousnesse, making a god of mo­ney: So you have chosen to your selves gods which shall perish with you, and they shall not save you; but your na­kednesse and your shame the light hath discovered, who have refused to be covered by it: and while ye live in pride and gluttony, in envy and covetousness, in strife and conten­tion, this is not to live of the Gospel; but this is the fruit of the corrupt tree which is for the fire.

5ly. You say, the Labourer is worthy of his hire.

Yea, but he must have it of him that sets him to work, and hath profit by his work. Now he that worketh for one man, and would have hire of another, who set him not on work, this is unreasonable; and so is it for a man to exact wages for his work, when none hath profit by his work, as is seen at this day among you Priests, who are out of the reasonable­nesse and good order which most men besides your selves are in this respect.

Therefore be ashamed and amend your ways, and labour with your hands the thing that is good, that you may come to eate of the fruit of your labour, and be satisfied, and be not always like the greedy dumb dogs that can never have enough; For now is the day come which hath declared your work, and you are comprehended and fathomed, and measured with an equall line, and your coverings are too narrow, and the feet of your image is smitten, and the stone is increasing to fill the whole earth; and then shall not your place be found, and the recompence of your labor will be destruction, wo and misery which ye shall receive of the hands of the righteous God, the Judge of Heaven and Earth, who will judge every one of you according to your doing. And then shall all your hard speeches which ye have uttered against the innocent be returned into your own bosomes, and ye shall know that ye [Page 6] were warned, and the light in your consciences shall in that day testifie unto Gods righteousnesse in your destru­ction.

This is given forth from the spirit of Truth, for the mani­festing and rebuking of the spirit of error, and written in obe­dience to the commandement of the Lord in the yeare ac­counted, 1657.

S. C.

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