(Come and coming out of the Wildernesse, Babylon, and the dark Night of the Apostacy of Antichrist into their own Land, which is Sion the Mountain of Holinesse, there to Worship the Lord in Spirit and Truth) against the several Sects and sorts of people, called Independants, Separatists or Brownists, Baptists, Fift Monarchy-men, Seekers, and High No­tionists of all sorts, who by the True Light are found and discovered to be out of the same.

Written by J. C. According to the measure of Wis­dom given unto him from God, who is the giver of every good gift.

LONDON, Printed for Thomas Simmons at the Bull and Mouth near Aldersgate, 1659.

WHen the Jewes outward Returned from the Capti­vity of Babylon, which was the true figure of the Saints coming out of the long and dark night of Apostacy, from the Doctrine and Life of the Apostles in the Primitive Times, which was the Captivity of the spiritual Seed, so great and many were their Enemies who endeavour­ed to cause their Work (in repairing the desolate and ruined places of Jerusalem) to cease, that those who were imployed in that Work, with one hand wrought, and with the other held the Weapon; even so is it and must it be now at the Re­turn of the spiritual Seed, not only within, by exercising Faith and Prayer upon and to him that is able to save to the uttermost, and in his strength wrestling against the Dragon and his Angels, Principalities, Powers, and Spiritual Wicked­nesses in High Places, and sundry temptations, so quenching by the Armour of Light all the fiery Darts of the wicked one; but also without, both by holding forth the Word of their testimony, and sealing it with their bloud and sufferings for the conviction and conversion of sinners, so fitting stones for Gods spiritual building, and also by stopping the mouths of gain-sayers, who shall not be able to resist the Spirit by which they speak; So standing in the gap and quitting them­selves like Spiritual-men against the Beast and false Prophet, and all the Armies of the Aliens.

Hear now therefore all ye that are called Independants, Se­paratists, or Brownists, Baptists, Fift Monarchy-men, Seekers, high Notionists of all sorts, the Apologie or Defence that I in the wisdom and strength of my God (for without him I can do nothing) do make against you, and for the true Church called Quakers, against whom and whose standing Profession ye variously have prejudice and do contend.

And First for you called Independants, ye assume a great Name, but ye are not found in the Independant nature, and so are not the true Church; for although ye professe your selves as to the visible Administration of Church-power, not to have dependance upon other Congregations or Churches [Page 4] as an inferiour on a superiour; yet are there many things ap­parently seen amongst you which do un-Church you and re­move your Candlestick far off; for the true golden Candle­sticks among whom Christ the Son of God walketh, do hold up and hold forth the true light that it may shine before men; but ye (as do the common multitude) reject it, sleight it, and Dispute against it as invalid and insufficient to lead in the way everlasting; and so ye would have it kept under the bushel, yea, quite extinguished in the hearts of men, and would have the Scriptures or Writings to be a light to it, and not it an enlightener and opener of them, whereby ye stumble at the Scriptures themselves, and cannot discern of the times and seasons, or of the Saints several states and conditions to God-ward, who because they sometime witnessed a war and striving against the body of sin, therefore say you, they must alway while they live carry it about them, as though the Saints fought as those that beat the Air, or as though their labour were in vain in the Lord: Oh! foolish people and unwise, when will ye come to the true Teacher in your selves, that ye may believe and know the Promise made unto the seed, That there shall be no more a pricking Bryar unto the House of Israel, nor a grieving Thorn of all that are round about them that despise them; and they shall know that I am the Lord: Also that their Ene­mies which they have seen to day, they shall see them again no more for ever: And that ye may see their interest in Christs Prayer (whom the Father heard alwayes, because he did alwayes the things that pleased him) who said, Neither Pray I; for these alone (to wit, for the Apostles and Saints then in the world, that they might be sanctified through the Truth) but for them also who shall believe in me through their words, that they all may be one, &c. I in them and thou in me, that hey may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me. Mark, This was a state of Saints Perfection in this world, that worldly Spirits might be con­vinced thereby; but ye being in the unbelief, are (even as the multitude) alwayes hanging upon the lips of men, whose tongues are not touched (as the Prophets was) with a Coal from Gods Altar, who witnessed his sin purged, and so are ever learning, and never come to the true knowledge; for [Page 5] the Pastors and Teachers of your Congregations have not yet witnessed the Ʋrim of the Sanctuary, I mean the true spiritual Gift, by believing and waiting on the true light which shineth in their dark hearts, that should give them power from on high to minister in, but are either men learned with the lear­ning of this world, or such who through strength of Brain, and often reading of the Letter of the Scriptures, can com­pose a Form of Words and deliver it unto you after a Priestly manner; so that ye (as still unsatisfied) heap to your selves National Priests also for Teachers, sometimes hearing the one, and sometimes the other; Yea, some of your Pastors (so cal­led) are National Priests also: Oh! (Friends,) it might shame you and make you blush for shame (if ye could rightly consider) to call your selves the Churches of Christ, and In­dependants, and be thus so dependant on mans Teachings; Yea, joyning with the National Priests about the way of sen­ding out a Ministrie, and bearing the Beasts very Mark in your Foreheads while ye are so called; owning your Baptism in your Infancie to be true, though ministred to a blank, and by those who sprang from a Popish stock, and sprinkling your own Infants now from a false apprehension of the Promise made to you and your seed after the flesh, so calling that the seed; whereas the true Churches of Christ knew no such seed, nor owned any, but that which sprang out of Christs womb in the Regeneration, who is a quickning Spirit: So Christ the Corner-stone and Head of the Church, even the true and universal Light is come to fight against you with the sword of his mouth, and to testifie to your faces, That though ye call your selves Jewes, yet ye are not, but do lye: Yea, your Conversation in the world most plainly sheweth that your spot is not the spot of his Children; for we see you so mingled and interwoven in the Pride, Covetousness, Policie and Folly of the world, that we could not by any holy walking know you, or cull you out as the clean from the unclean, or as Sheep from the midst of the Goats, if we did not now and then hear some of you called Independants; Lord, how emptie a thing it is to have a Name to live and to be dead? Wherefore come to him who is the Resurrection and the life, which life is the light of men, and becometh the light of life to all that believe and wait in [Page 6] it, that they may bring forth fruit unto God, and so be­come living stones built up a spiritual House; for this is the Church of the First-born, whose Names are writ­ten in Heaven: For what is it for people to cry, The Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, The Church of Christ, the Church of Christ, and to be polluted and unclean both in Worship and Practice, or to call themselves the Children of Abraham, and not to do the Works of Abraham, for he for­sook the Idolatry of his Fathers House, and in obedience to the Lords call, came into a Land that he shewed him; so com­ming to the Cross to his own will, he also saw Christs day and was glad, and walked before the Lord and was upright, but ye do neither of these, as being still in the abominations of the Whore, who have made the Nations drunk, as kicking a­gainst the prick, the True Light and Reprover for sin and evil, and living in the Detestable Waies, Customs and Fashions of the World; so the Sun-shine of the Light in this the day of the Lords Power hath put and is putting out your Candle in ob­scuritie, & hath removed your Candlestick because ye repented not; for he hath raised up a People at last in this Nation wherein he hath placed his Name that it might not fall in the streets; who as they are faithful to the first Principle of God in them, to wit the Light, shall out-live, out-shine and eat out the Heart and Soul of all Professors and professions in the World that are found in the Idolatry, Pride and Vanity thereof, though under great and fair pretences of Christian Religion, which stands not in high words, but in loving Mer­cy, doing Justice, and walking humbly with the Lord God; so every way and in every thing keeping themselves unspot­ted of the World, yea hating even the garment spotted with the flesh.

So that neither can ye Brownists or Separatists in this the Lords day, escape his Righteous Judgement and censure, though ye seem to stand at a greater distance from false Wor­ship then the Independents do, but being weighed in the equal ballance are found too light to be accounted by us for the True Church of Christ; yet I Know that because it is said in the Scripture, come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch no unclean thing and I will receive you, &c. ye are [Page 7] very confident of your standing, for ye say, ye are separated from the National Antichristian Worship, abhorring their Idol Tem­ples, and will not hear any of their Baals Priests, or break any Bread with them, &c. But consider impa [...]lly whether ye touch no unclean thing, yea whether ye came not from them with their grand abomination in your bosoms, which ye have ever since fostered and practised, and that with (a seeming) no little zeal, I mean the Sprinkling or Baptizing of your Infants, upon the account of their being the Seed of the Covenant as they are your Children, who say, ye are believers, a most be­wiching Sorcerie this is, and an exceeding betrayer of the Pure Life of God, and that which bears death in the very face of it, and if ye are true to your own Principles, ye must needs be soon un-churched hereby, and brought back to Babylon do what you can, for your Children being hereby made Visible Members of your Body, they must needs be accounted Bre­thren as they grow up in years amongst you, though Regene­ration be not witnessed by them (for by your own Approba­tion and Act ye received them in before they knew their very right Hand from their left) and so they must have all the pri­veledges of Brethren, though not discerning the Lords Body, or able to separate between the Precious and the Vile, or not savouring the things of the Spirit of God as the Natural man doth not, whereby a confused medly and mixt multitude must needs appear, yea and the tares soon overspread, and over­grow, and overtop the Wheat if there be any; and so that which ye counted the Churches of Christ, plainly be come, and be seen to be by those in the Light, but the Field which is the World; is not this to mock God, and to throw down with one hand what ye would set up with the other? Come to the Light of Christ in your Consciences which makes manifest all things, and let True Judgement proceed; But alas ye are as great Enemies to that Pure Principle of God, which should reprove you for all deceitful and confused actings, and give you a right discerning, and purge you from all sin, as any o­ther whatsoever, and are so rivited on the letter without, that ye will not endure to hear of the True Light within, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the World, without which no mans heart could be searched, or ever any man converted [Page 8] to God. For I would know of you Separatists, how any of you at first came to be troubled for sin, or to have any good desires begotten in you towards the Lord or his Truth, which ye de­sired to know and w [...] willing to suffer for? was not this done by the Spirit of the Lord which moved and stirred in you? and whence came this convincing and illuminating Spirit? came it from above the clouds, or pierced it into you from without? or was the thing alwayes within you, striving and strugling at several times, though ye took little notice of it before ye be­gan to be humbled by it? can any man (even while unregene­rate) flee any more from Gods presence and Spirit, that his hand should not find him out, then after Regeneration? or could David have done so before conversion more then after­wards? can the wicked hide themselves that the Lord should not see them any more then the godly? I believe ye will all answer Nay; and if so, is the Spirit of the Lord God (who filleth all pla­ces and things with its presence,) out of a wicked man, or at a greater distance (as to place) from him then from a Righteous Man, though in the manner of its operation in them I know it is different, judging and repro­ving the one, and comforting and encouraging the other; So then the Spirit or Life being in and nigh every one, the true light must needs be in every one, for the life is the light of men, and so whatever good thing is wrought in mans heart, doth not come from without him, or from far, but from the word within the mouth and heart, and so ariseth from within himself; for saith wisdom, a good man shall be satisfied from himself; and so did Christ promise, Whosoever, saith he, drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst, but it shall be a Well of waters springing up in him to Eternal Life; and so did Isaiah Prophesie, As the Earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the Garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the Nations; Oh! the sweet springings and bud­dings of the pure Life of God in mans heart, after a night and winter of sorrow and darkness, and silent waiting upon that of God in him; surely by this means and no other shall Righteousness towards man, and praise and glory to the [Page 9] Lord God who is worthy, and alone worthy, spring up in the sight of others.

And oh! ye Separatists, so called, how can it be expected that ye should Minister to each other in your Assemblies by the living Power of the Spirit of truth (which is the Holy An­nointing, and the onely Exerciser of the Saints in all their administrations) any more than others do, but that ye should be as dead, dry and formal as they in such exercises, when as ye will not turn to the light which is the true Teacher, and in the humility and penitency of your spirits wait in si­lence for the Comforters presence; are ye not now compre­hended and discerned by (those who walk in the light as he is in the light) to be dry, dead and unsavoury, and hating re­proof and your Reprover, who now calls for more living fruit in this his day of light and truth than in the times of more ignorance? And are ye not proud and covetous, and set down at ease in the wayes and customs of men, as respe­cting persons, &c. as if there were no more cross to be taken up, when the greatest is yet behind? For the light shining in your dark hearts, as it ariseth, will cross your own wills and wisdom exceedingly, and reject your vain confidence of your being the onely true Church, and so ye will appear na­ked and bare, as those that have been but in a dream, that ye were come out of Babylon, when as the Whore and Beasts mark is discerned in your foreheads, & other of her trumpery among you; Wherefore I exhort you in Gods love and fear to come unto the light within, which brings out of death and deadness and all transgression, and out of all the wayes of confusion, and that abominable practise of Infant Bap­tism which is a chief ground thereof; and be not deceived, God is not mocked, for such as ye sow ye shall reap, and if ye will still sow to the flesh as ye have a long time done, ye shall reap cor [...]uption, vanity and sorrow; but if ye will sow to the Spirit, and lay your ground work there, ye shall from thence certainly reap life Everlasting.

But what hath he against us and our Profession may the B [...]p­tists say, who have not onely renounced ou [...] Infant Baptisme as a gross deceit, but have practised in direct oppo [...]ition there­to by being dipped or baptized in water, and so profess Faith [Page 10] and Baptism as the Apostles & Saints did before the Apostacy?

The Spirit of the Lord hath enough against your Faith, for some of you are for Free Will, which ye say is a power placed in you, whereby ye are able to stand or fall to your own Master of your own accord, by taking heed to what the Scriptures outwardly declare, some part whereof you call the Gospel, and own no other, so that one of ye once de­clared, He knew no other Spirit now than the Scriptures; as if the Spirit that moved the holy men of God to speak forth the Scriptures, when it had so moved them, had done its work, and so quite forsaken the Earth; when as the greatest glory of the Church, and purest life of the Saints is to be brought forth in these last times, as the Prophesies of the Scriptures do plentifully fore-shew, which cannot be brought to pass but by the Spirit of the living God, which Spirit or Life is but one in all and in all ages, which is a spirit of Judg­ment and burning, whose pure Judgements and Holy burn­ings are felt in this day of the Lords winnowing by those, who every one in their own measure and order do silently, sincerely and humbly wait for the same; for although we say that every ones condemnation is just for loving his evil deeds, and hating the light that shines in his heart, yet no man is a­ble in his own will, distinct from this light, to adde one cu­bit unto his stature, that is, to make one step in saving know­ledge or obedience, but is to believe in the light, and wait therein, so tarrying the Lords leasure, till he arise in him up to the prey, leading captivity c [...]ptive, and bri [...]ging forth Judgement unto victory; and if this seems a strange or foolish Language unto you, know that it is because ye are in your own wills, in distinction from the light, which is Gods faithful witness within you, which faithful witness is Christ the Power of God unto Salvation unto every one that believeth, & this is the Gospel or glad tidings indeed, that man is not left to himself to work out his own Salvation, but that the God of all grace hath left in him a seed (which) as a con­firmation thereof was plentifully manifested in his Son made of a woman in due time, in which he believing that it should break the serpents head, and do all his works in him and for him; so that ye Free-willers (so called) stumbling at this stum­bling-stone, [Page 11] and setting up the Scriptures (which are but a wholsom Declaration of this seed and corner-stone) in its place; I do Declare against you and all such, that ye are Ido­laters, and so out of the true Faith of Gods Elect, and there­fore not the true Church of Christ, but the synagogue of Sa­tan. Wherefore I exhort you to come out of your own wills and carnal wisdom, which begets you in your Congre­gations into many vain janglings, rents and disputings; and to wait in silence upon the Reprover in you for sin (which alone is able to give you victory over sin) that your mouths may be for ever stopped for pleading against the true light, which is the true Prophet, that ye perish not in the gain-say­ing of Kore, who also stood up against the Lords Prophet. O­thers deny indeed mans power, will and ability to do good, and so deny you, as out of the Faith; but how (since they are become such disputers against, and denyers of the true light that lightneth every man) they should themselves be in the true Faith, or find power and ability to bring forth any good and acceptable fruit unto God, I cannot behold; for which way should ye feel his living Power to enable you thereunto, or which way should the Spirit of the Lord come? Do you look for him by way of local motion, and so to enter from without to within you, can such a thought be without setting the phansie on work, and so making an Image of the Godhead within your selves; but if ye will not be accounted I­dolaters, then must you needs come to the light within, which must reveal unto you the Image of the Invisible God in the still silence, and that which can reveal the Fathers Glory, must most certainly discover sin and evil which vails the same (while undiscovered and unjudged down and destroyed) from the mind of man; but this also ye Baptized Persons (that say ye deny mans Free Will) cannot believe, for ye think and say, though sin do remain in you (as it must as long as ye live here) yet ye have an Advocate with the Father, and so are justified by Christs Merits and Righteousness, the which for any one to deny, ye account a denial of Free Grace, yea and of Christ himself; So ye think ye may behold the Fa­thers Presence even while sin is standing. Alas, alas Friends, ye are much deceived (as are the common multitude) herein; [Page 12] for in this day of Christ (the true light) another kind of Free Grace, and another manner of Saviour is discovered and re­vealed, than hath been formerly imagined; for know ye, that Gods Free Grace is his Free Gift in giving his Son a light in­to the world, whereby as men come to see, confess and for­sake all evil in thought, word and deed, Justification, Reconci­liation and Peace with the Lord God they may come to witnesse, and no otherwise; for whosoever hath at any time seen his pure shape with a spiritual eye, can­not im [...]gine or desire to have these any other way, his pure eyes beholding no Iniquity in any one without reproof where ever he finds it, neither can his all-seeing eye but see it where ever it is, and this is also the Saviour that we believe in and Preach, and no other, to wit a Christ to be known within, manifested in our [...]esh to destroy the works of the Devil, so saving us from the wrath to come, for he was not at all sent to justifie or save his Peo­ple in their sins but from their sins, so is judgement laid to the line and equity to the plummet; look how far judgement hath passed upon the transgressour in any one, so far is mer­cy witnessed by the transgressour and no farther, and it is equity that it should be so, yet is it most free grace, in that the Lord God Almighty freely saves in this righteous way, by his own Almighty Arm, but so as that the creature may re­member and take notice, that if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the wicked and ungodly appear? neither would this (Doctrine oh ye Baptists) seem a hard saying unto you, if ye were not double-minded, loving the Lords Salvation and your sins also, to wit, pride, covetousness deceit, self-seeking, respecting of Persons, having mens Persons in ad­miration for advantage sake, and such like; for if your eye were single to the Lord alone, ye would desire no peace at his hands, but in the way of all righteousness fulfilled in your selves, yea even to the silencing every idle and needless word, and the removing of every vain & Aiery thought in you, as knowing that holiness becomes his house for ever; but while ye cannot bear these true and faithful sayings, know ye that ye are alinated in your minds by wicked works which ye are in love with, what ever ye shall professe to the contrary, and so are also out of the faith which gives victory over the world, and all sin.

And as for your being baptized with water, which is but an outward sign (at the most) of your being dead and buried and risen with Christ, know ye that the thing signified must be wit­nessed, before the sign can be truely applyed, which cannot be till ye come to the true faith, and so out of the pollutions of the world, for otherwise ye set a seal to a blank, as well as those who sprinkle infants; neither is Baptism with water Christs proper Baptism, but was begun by John who came but to prepare the way of the Lord Christ, who was to baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire, who was to increase in this his proper work, and John to decrease in his work; Now I grant that Johns Baptism was not suddenly left off, but decreased by degrees as the Saints came to eye and witness perfection, so as to behold and hold forth Gods purity and righteousness without a sign; so that it was practiced by the Apostles and Saints after Christs departure, and that sometimes by way of command, there being (for the present) a good use [...]hereof, yet Paul expresly declareth (who was a Minister to the G [...]ntil [...]s) that he was not sent to baptize but to Pr [...]ach glad tid [...]gs, nei­ther was that Commission of Christ to the Apostles in Mat. 28. a Commission to baptize with water, as I shall eviden [...]ly de­monstrate; for thus are the words truely to be read ou [...] of the Greek; Therefore ys going forth or forward, Disciple all Nations, dipping or baptizing them into the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, teaching them to keep all things wha [...]soever I have commanded you, and behold I am with you al [...] the dayes, even to the finishing of the age; Hear we see, they were to proceed in their work (having first waited for power to do it) which was to enter people into the School of Ch [...]ist and then to baptize them into the Name of the God-head; Now the Name of the Lord is his strength and power, whereby he is known wonderful in the hearts of his people, so, is the Name of the Lord a strong Tower; Now into this name no­thing could bring them, but the same power from on high which the Apostles and Saints (that had first waited for the same in themselves) received, which power was the Baptism of the Spirit, whose effect was like unto fire, filling them with a holy jealousie, and burning up the drosse, and bring­ing them into unitie with the Father and the Son in the [Page 14] Spirit, sō filling their hearts with joy and gladness, and put­ting words into their mouths, and utterance to declare the wondrous Works of God several wayes, according to its vari­ous workings in them, and sometimes even shaking the earth­ly Tabernacle, maki [...]g them to appear unto the blinde world like drunken men, this Baptism which was truely Christs own, was (and is altogether necessary in the Church of Christ, without wh [...]ch the work of the Lord in his day could not, nor cannot go on, and therefore was it an Essential part of their Commission, which they most carefully and faithfully re­garded; so that when Persons believed (being also I deny not then baptized with water) they prayed and laid their hands on them, which was an outward sign of the blessing, and they received the holy Spirit; now if any one shall say how could the Apostles, who were but men, baptize with the Spirit? I answer, no otherwise then they could at first beget faith and repentance in those so baptized; it was the Lords work but they ministerially did it, that is, they having felt the power in themselves, the raised life in them Ministred to the life that lay low in others, and so brought it up; therefore that the Lord might shew he was not tied up to time or manner in the bestowing of his gift, while Peter spake those words to Cornelius and the rest, the holy Spirit fell on them that heard the word, so that this was the Baptism here meant by Christ, which was so Essential to the conversion of the world, and building up of the Saints, in so much that Paul joyns it with faith as a necessary companion, saying there is One Lord, one Faith, and one Baptisme; for by one Spirit are the Saints baptized into one body, Christ the baptizer being the head; who moreover told the Apostles that he would be with them all the dayes (that is of their Ministry) even to the finishing of the age; mark, there was an age or certain space of time wherein the truth of the Gospel should grow, and the Bap­tism of the Spirit or the comforters presence be witnessed through Christs Power accompanying their Ministry; and then should the Mystery of iniquity in false Apostles get such a head, by stealing and bringing in false Doctrines, Traditions and inventions, that it should (God so permitting it) over­top the life, and so the true Ministry should cease, and his living presence not be felt and enjoyed as before; which [Page 15] most certainly came to passe, as we see (whose eyes the Lord hath opened) in the many hundred years Apostacy and reign of Antichrist; now if Christ meant that He would be alway with them to the end of the world, as its falsely rendred in English Bibles, how could his words be true, since we see by experience that the Glory of God which shined in his Temple in the Apostles dayes, departed over the threshold, the Church went into the wilderness, the Seed of God was captivated by the Whore of Babylon, and the man-Child (Christ in his strength) taken up to God and his Throne; wherefore in the second restauration of the spiritual Temple and re-edifying of the holy City new Jerusalem, people must first come to the true faith, by believing in Christ (the true light) and witness repentance from all false worships and and dead works of the world, as those that are wearie of Babylons captivity, and that set their faces towards Sion in truth; and so must wait with the Lords people in silence and humility for the Fathers promise, which is the Comforter, even the Spirit of truth, which in his due time baptizeth such with fire, and so by degrees leads them into all truth, and out of all sins and errour, and so the Church cometh out of the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved, that is, staying her mind upon the light within, and being content with her portion, be it much or little, be it judgement or mercy, be it in a day of blackness or gloominess, or in a day wherein it is neither dark nor light, or in the evening time, wherein it shall be light, as saith the Prophet, or in the sun-shine of the day it self; so not despising the day of small things, or over­lifted up with great things, neither must they all this while, set upon or practice any outward thing in the worship of God, in their own wils, or by imitation of others, or meerly from a pre­cept without, but onely as Christ the light shall lay that pre­cept upon them; for if they do, they are will-worshippers, and so Idolaters; for as the Son of God was once personally present in a body of flesh, commanding the Apostles to teach the People (at the first raising of the Gospel Church) to ob­serve all things whatsover he had before commanded them, and said unto them, while so present with them, which the Comforter afterwards brought to their remembrance; so in [Page 16] the re [...]toring thereof the second time, none are to observe any thing, or teach any thing to be observed, but what Christ (manifested in their bodies of flesh) doth command them, for saith he, I go away (to wit as to his Personal body) and the world shall see me no more, but ye shall see me, that is, in their own bodies manifested. Now by this (oh all ye Baptists may ye try your selves) and present practice of water Baptism, and all other Administrations and performances in your Congregations; have ye witnessed this true faith, or are ye yet disputing against it? have ye repented of all dead works, or are ye still wallowing in the pollutions of the world? have ye waited or do ye wait in silence for the Fathers Promise, or do ye set your selves on work in a formal Preach­ing, and dead praying, and hanging on the lips of such Preachers and Pray-ers? Do ye (or others) keep an out­ward Sabbath (whether on the seventh or first day) from mens Precepts or a Mosaical Rule, or from a Command of life within? Do ye Baptize and are Baptized, and break Bread from a particular Command in your selves, or because the Saints formerly so practised? Do ye exercise the power of the Keyes from the true spiritual discerning judgement and power, or because the Churches before the Apostacy did so bind and loose? Ye must know that there hath been a wide step between the Apostles and our dayes, and that the gather­ing of the Church at first out of Egypt, and the bringing it out of Babylon, are two several things, and are not brought to pass after one and the self-same manner, as to the outward administration of things; Also consider that Johns Revela­tion was a Prophesie of what things came and must come to pass after the Apostles, and not a Relation of what was done in their dayes; so that in the coming out of mystical Babylon, the Lambs followers wait on him for the opening of that mystical Book, as that which concerns their present con­dition. Now when the Angel came down from Hea­ven, and lightned the earth with his Glory, whereby the everlasting Gospel came to be Preach [...]d, saying, Fear God and give G ory to him, for the hour of his Judgement is come; and come out o [...] Babylon my p [...]ople, and partake not of her sins lest ye re­ceive of her plagues: Then as people came out of her by the [Page 17] guidance of the light, the Temple of God, or his holy Habi­tation in the Spirit was opened in Heaven; they had a sight in themselves into what state they should be brought, even to have a habitation in God, and he in them; but then was this Temple filled with smoak from the Glory of God and from his power, that none was able to enter thereinto till the seven Plagues of the seven Angels were fulfilled; none could fully behold and enjoy the Glory of the Lord till all his Plagues and Judgements were executed upon the Transgressor and transgression within; which being finished, an enterance was ministred into the New Jerusalem that came down from God, whose light was clear as Chrystal, and wherein John saw no Temple, that is, he saw no outward Constitution of a Church visible, by those two signs of Water-baptism, and Laying on of Hands, which were called the first Beginnings, or Principles in the Hebrews, or breaking of Corporal Bread: but the Lord God Almighty & the Lamb were the Temple of it; that is, whosoe­ver hath a dwelling place in God who is perfectly pure & holy, is (in this day) to be accounted a Member of this holy City, which also had no need of the Sun to shine by day, nor the Moon by night, nor the light of a Candle, all created helps and shadows were uselesse there, for the Lord God alone and the Lamb are the light thereof; so that by this Scripture alone are all you Baptists for ever silenced for pleading for a necessity of Baptism, or laying on of Hands, or breaking of Bread, or Mens Teachings, or Scripture-light, without the true light opening them; because after the coming out of Babylon there is to be no visible Temple, so as to say lo here, or loe there, which is by a shadow or sign; nor no need of any such thing to distinguish the Saints from the World, or lead them up to God, for they shall see his face even by his immediate light, and his Name shall be in their Foreheads, even by his pure Image of Inno­cency and Righteousnesse which shall most plainly appear to the view of the World; and so by these two things shall the Glory of the second Temple be greater than the Glory of the former.

And if any of you shall say, This state and time is not yet come, and therefore the s [...]gns & visible Administrations must be practi­sed.

I Answer, Those that can truly say they do believe in Christ the Light, and have forsaken sin as aforesaid, and are purely moved to be Dipped in Water, &c. to help their weak­ness, or in obedience to the inward Command, let them do it and prosper; but let them not sit down there alwaies, or strive to bring back others thereto that see no need thereof, yea rather that it would be but a hurt and cloud unto them; for although many of the Saints (the Lambs followers) yea perhaps most do not yet witnesse a full entrance into the a­foresaid Condition, yet in all of them the Temple of God is opened by the light of the Lamb, and the Vials are pouring out daily to destroy sin in them that vails the perfect sight of God, and so now their work is to look stedfastly forward till all impediments that hinder their perfect and continual Peace be removed, and not to take up their time by the way, about the Exercise of those things which must not (shortly) appear, or be of any use: Thus are your skirts also discover­ed, and your House left unto you desolate; for ye have not been faithful to that pure Principle of God which (at first) stirred in some of you, and might then move you to be Bap­tized with Water, but are set down in a fleshly rest, not wait­ing for the spiritual Baptism that should have made you dead to the World, and Crucified you with Christ, and also have Exercised you by its pure Gift in all your worshippings and goings forth; so that ye hereby not growing up in that which is living and eternal, are grown more earthly, sensual, dead, carnal and formal than divers years ago when I walked among you; yea even as dead and dry as the Priests themselves, prea­ching in such a method as they; setting up your Desks, and Pulpits, and Clocks, and Hour-glasses to see how the time goes away, and your Members sitting (some of them) in their Pride, and all of them gazing upon an Image in a Desk or Pulpit; yea, and some of you so degenerate from your first Principles, that ye (as do the Independants so called) mingle your selves with the Nation about sending out a Ministry; yea, and some of your Chief Leaders have lately not blushed openly to declare, That you hold it your Duty to stand by, and preserve (so much as in you lies) the publick Ministry of the Nation, whom ye judge ought to have their Liberty: So it seems ye [Page 19] are ready to defend them in offending and afflicting those who in the tenderness of their Consciences, and holy Zeal for the dreadful & pure Name of their God, cannot maintain or feed, but openly oppose the false Prophets, the Ministers of Antichrist, the Emissaries of Satan, and deceivers of thou­sands of Souls, of which sort these publick National Mini­sters are, as denying Christ Jesus the Son of God to be both a King, a Priest, and a Prophet; which thing you Baptists some years ago did earnestly affirm and declare; For take away the Law of man from maintaining them to Usurp upon, Con­strain or Punish others, and they are no more than other men: But tis no wonder that ye so declare your selves, who are so far degenerated and leavened with the Principles and Interests of these Pharisees who say and do not, that ye shew the greatest Opposition to the Saints holy and zealous Practises, as irrigular or out of Rule; But ye have not declared what those Practises particularly are, nor what rule they are out of, whether that of the Old man, or of the New. Lord, what a Church or Spouse of Christ are these pretended Believers Baptized become, who have not a word to plead for him (whom they own to be their Husband) against the Beast, but would submit in silence to any humane Government; nor against the false Prophet, but have a hand to preserve him, accounting those that do (in this day of the Lord) oppose them both, to be irregular, as though they thereby would cast the whole bulk of persecution, and rage, and malice of the multitude upon the Lambs followers, who are called, and chosen, and faithful in their measures of life, and as being themselves afraid what man could and can do unto them: Neither would your Independant. Brethren have us to be Countenanced or Intrusted by the Nation, when as none know aright how to Govern others, but those that are themselves governed by the Lord Jesus, who are anointed to Govern as well as to Preach, for the spirit of true Govern­ment is a pure and majestical Gift of God, not consisting in whorish and pompous state, but in the beauty and Glory of simple Truth and naked Justice, which layes the Rod upon the back of the Transgressor, and smileth upon the wel-doer impartially. And (O Nation) because thou considerest not this, therefore are not thy breaches healed, but rather in­creased [Page 20] unto this day. Oh be ye ashamed to call your s [...]es the Churches of Christ, when ye are so far out of the Life and Practise of the Apostles and Prophets, upon whose foundati­on the former Churches were builded, Jesus Christ himself the true Light being the Head Corner-stone; For Consider whence the word Church is derived, even from a word that sig­nifies to Call out; so that the true Church of Christ is a people called out of the Wayes, Wickednesses, Formalities, Cu­stoms and Fashions of the World, into the pure obedience to, and worshipping of God in the Spirit by his own living Word which is nigh in the heart and mouth, to which Word ye should do very well to take heed, as to a light shining in a dark place, which is your dark hearts, that it may lead you out of all the wayes of sin, death and deceit into the paths of all Righteousnesse, even into such a pure way, wherein no Ra­venous Beast that fights against the witness of God and his li­ving truth can ever come saith the Lord Almighty, and that because of his flaming Sword which turneth every way, to keep the way of the Tree of Life from all such.

But you will object and say, The Light which thou so much speakest of and callest Christ within, as the Enlightner of every man that comes into the World, is no more but a Natural instinct or endow­ment, or Light of Nature, whereby man is able to reflect upon him­self when he hath done good or evil, yea and sometimes restrain from the evil, and do the good as well as commit the evil, whereby his consci­ence accuseth or excuseth him, for Paul saith in his Epistle to the Romans, when the Gentiles which have not the Law, do by Nature the things con­tained in the Law, they having not a Law are a Law unto themselves; and again the uncircumcision which is by Nature keeping the Law shall judge thee who through the Letter and Circumcision art a transgressor of the law.

This one thing may for ever stop the mouths of all such Ob­jectors, if they would but consider that (as in the truth it is) Paul is not here speaking of any thing, but that which justi­fies in the sight of God; for it was not his work to declare to people (being an Apostle of Jesus Christ) any Faith, Peace, Reconciliation or Obedience, but what tended to the justifi­cation of life; therefore he saith before, that he was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the Power of God unto Salvation to e­very one (Jew and Greek) that believeth; and therefore he saith [Page 21] in the thirteenth verse of the second Chapter, that the Hear­ers of the Law are not just before God, but the doers of the Law shall be justified; for when the Gentiles which have not the Law, do by nature the things contained in the Law, these having not an outward written Law are a Law to themselves; whereby they by the Finger of God which wrote the eff [...]ct of it in their hearts, which is the light of Christ that enlightneth every man, are justified in the sight of the living God, or condemn­ed in his sight by the same Finger or Light, so that their con­sciences either excused them unto the justification and salvati­on of their souls, or accused them unto the damnation there­of; so it is most plain, that that Principle whereby they by Nature or Naturally did the will of the Lord, was no other then the light and life of Christ, without whom I believe none of you dare deny any one can be justified.

But moreover because of your hardnesse of belief, Con­sider what ye say, when ye speak of Nature or doing by Nature; the word Nature comes from a word that signifies to be Born; so that whatever a man doth by Nature, he doth by that which was born with him or brought forth with him into the World, as beasts also do in their kind, yea and inani­mate creatures in their kind; so moving and rest are general works of Nature, because every Creature moveth or resteth from a Principle which it had from its birth, but here men are apt to commit idolatry in not minding and seeing whence this birth or nature, and the works thereof proceeds and do sub­sist, for in the Eternal Power and God-head who was in him­self most glorious, before any thing was born or brought forth, or before nature was, doth all things, and nature with all its works, subsist & have their being; so that they are nothing but what he is in them, yet every thing in its degree, measure and order, and so man is in the highest degree of acting, from that abilitie which the Creator, who is the Soul of the World and Life of all things placed in him; Now this being rightly considered, all that which men in a sleighting manner are wont to call instincts of Nature, or natural light or endow­ment, is the very effect of the Life of God himself, stirring and moving that way; so then mankind having an ability in him from his birth to reflect upon himself (as to Godward) when he hath done good or evil (which the beast is not capable of) [Page 22] so as to be accused or tormented, or excused and comforted, this ability (call it what ye will) is from the life of all things, and the Eternal Word of his Power which is the light and life of men, which cannot be separated from mans understand­ing, whereby the Spirit of a man becomes the Candle of the Lord; and so the effect of the Law is written in mans heart by the Finger of God, by Nature, or from his birth, for that word implyeth no more; and in this did the Gentiles differ from the Jews, in that these had a law also outwardly declared (which was added because of the height of transgression against the Law in the heart, till the Seed or life that there placed it should arise to fulfil it) and the other onely the Principle by Nature or the forced ability from their birth without any out­ward engravement or writing, whereupon the Jews boasted over the Gentiles, because to them were outwardly commit­ted the Oracles and Ordinances, &c. Wherefore Paul to stop their mouths, (for the seed was now raised) saith, for when the Gentiles which have not a law, do by Nature, or the Principle pla­ced by God in them from their birth, the things contained in the law, these having not a Law outwardly written, are a law to themselves, that is, have the Pure Principle of God in themselves from their birth, shewing them what to do, and what to abstain from, and so, if the uncircumcision which is by Nature keep the Law, that is, if they which are not from their birth cir­cumcised outwardly, as not being the Seed of Abraham accord­ing to the flesh, do keep the Law by the same pure Principle of God, they shall judge the Jews outward, who having such a a Law and Circumcision do yet transgresse the Righteous principle of God, which sheweth them that inwardly which the law outwardly declareth of, and which Circumcision out­ward holdeth forth; so ye may if ye are not wilful, see your mistake in separating Nature from the God of Nature, and that that which naturally sheweth man what is good and what is evil is the pure principle of God, or the word by which all things were made, which is Christ the light; for saith the A­postle, whatsoever may be known of God is made manifest in them, to wit, by nature or from their birth, for God hath shewen it un­to them which he hath not shewen unto a beast, because of the lower Region he was created in; so that men are not in this [Page 23] sence (by nature) Children of Wrath, but Children of the Day, to wit, as man was at first brought forth into that which shewed him what was good and what was evil, for so he was in the Image of God, but as going from the good and chusing the evil, so acting in self in distinction from the power or pure Principle of God, which inclination is since become natural, or is in him from his birth, and so by nature is a Child of Wrath, as the inclination to evil acts it self forth; and where­as Jude speaketh of some, who in whatsoever things they know naturally as living Creatures void of reason (for so it is in the Greek) in those things they corrupt themselves, that is not in those things which they know onely from the Eternal light manifested in them, which is Gods faithful Witnesse, which none but a Creature that hath reason is capable of, but in things pertaining to the five Senses of Seeing, Feeling, Taste­ing, Smelling and Hearing; for the Sensitive Beast knows by the instinct of Nature or from his birth (which is also the Prin­ciple of his Creator in him, in his kind) that he is to eat and drink to satisfie himself, as feeling when he hath enough meat and drink, to give off and chew the cud, or lie down to sleep, &c. whereas these men (as many do now) feasted and fed without fear inordinately, or drunk inordinately, and so cor­rupted themselves in such things wherein the Beast was more moderate; and this is the Natural man that perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, the light being obstructed by sense and sensuality in him, and in this sense, whatsoever a man doth by nature, or in his own sensual will, distinct from the feeling of the Life and Power of God, all that he doth is rejected and accursed, though the works may be good in them­selves and shewen by the Eternal Light; yet he that is chari­table to the poor, which the light sheweth to be good, if he give his Alms from a wrong ground or to a wrong end, though he cannot witnesse acceptation in his Work with the Lord, yet he shall judge another who is Rich; and yet so cove­tous that he shutteth up his bowels from the Poor and Needy; and so might the Gentiles also condemn the Jews, though themselves sensually performing some good actions were not accepted, because not reconciled to the light in themselves, which shewed the action to be good. But notwithstanding, [Page 24] this is a real and infalible Truth, that it is no other than the pure Principle of God, or his Word in the heart which is the true light, that sheweth man by nature or from his birth, what what is good and evil; which Principle it self was never born or had a beginning, any other-wise than was in manifestation in man, whose Soul came out from the breath of the Almighty (who is out of time) in time.

But some may say, what great hurt or inconvenience can come unto us, though we do not own or believe that which is nigh every man to shew him sin and evil, and which convinceth in his Conscience to be Christ the true light; since we believe Christ to be the true light in himself, and to be tbe Judge, Saviour, Teacher and Comforter of his People, according to the Scriptures.

I Answer, as Paul in another case, much every way; for first, thou shalt never come aright to know what is good and what is evil, what is sin and what is righteousness, but wilt be ready to call good evil, and evil good, and wilt be still in an uncertainty concerning what the good and perfect will of God is, and how then shouldest thou do it? for thy mind be­ing abroad, thou art in the wandring state, and although thou searchest the Scriptures never so narrowly and diligent­ly, yet therein will appear thwartings, and contradictions, & scruples; not through default of the scriptures, but by reason that thou art not staid in that which should reconcile them: Hence have arose (for many years past) those which they call Casuites, who have under-took to Answer Cases of Consci­ence for people from the Scriptures; when as those very Re­solvers being themselves from that which should Resolve all doubts and difficulties, have (like unskil [...]d Physitians) left tender Consciences half quieted, yea, and oftentimes made the scruple and trouble greater than before; and so the lea­ders of the people have (this way) caused them to err. Nei­ther wilt thou so see the odiousnesse of sin as it is in it self, and as thou oughtest to see it; for that which searcheth and pricketh to the heart, makes men cry out, What shall they do? they seeing sin staring them in the face with a dismal Counte­nance, and how it hath separated them from God the foun­tain of all good, they are even at their wits end, and so their stony and stubborn heart comes to be broken, and they are [Page 25] willing to deny their wills, lusts and pleasures for the enjoy­ment of his favour whom they have transgressed against; but men may and do hear the plagues and judgements of God de­clared against sin and sinners in the Scriptures a long time, as God shall wound the hairie scalp of him that goes on in his wickedness, the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all that forget God, how that their worm shall never die nor fire never be quenched, that they shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone which is the second death, and such like, and yet they never be moved at it, but either are apt not to believe it, or to put the day of evil far from them; for all outward Declarations or threatnings without that which rips man open, and set him naked and bare be­fore the Lord, are but as shot that flies over the head, but never toucheth the body, and so do no execution upon the transgressour. So neither can man, if at any time he be woun­ded for sin, be truely healed and comforted, because that which smites must heal, and that onely: Now if any one see his sickness as Ephraim did, and go not to the true Physitian, but go to Egypt, how should he have a true and thorow cure? Now at such a time, one may fetch and gather in all the promises in the Scriptures and endeavour to apply them or have them applied to himself, and strive to believe that they do belong to him, and yet be never a jot the nearer to Peace with the living God; and how many have deceived themselves this way, and like children quieted themselves a while, but afterwards conscience and they have more fallen at odds then before; for the soul being invisible and immor­tal, an outward Declaration or promise cannot satisfie it, be­cause that is received in by the sences of seeing or hearing, the sound and sight whereof vanisheth; but the voice of the Lord in the invisible and immortal and Eternal light and love, makes up all breaches in the soul be they never so wide, ap­plying unto the wounded conscience the blood of sprinkling, and washing and cleansing, and so speaks in Truth and reali­ty better things then that of Abel. Neither after the work of regeneration begun and in measurewitnessed, can any one that believes not in nor stayeth his mind on the invisible immor­tal light within him, be preserved against the snares and sub­tilties [Page 26] that do attend him, and the many Temptations, and sundry tryals, that do befall him, whereby he should en­dure to the end and be saved, for the Light is his Armour, the Word nigh in his heart and mouth is his sword, which are to be with him continually; the light is the leaven of the Kingdom, that works into and preserves in the savoury Life, it is the immortal hand that keeps the Soul fast to it self that it maketh not ship-wrack of Faith and a good Conscience: and though there may be never so many opinions in the World taken up and contended for, with or about the Scri­ptures, or never so many Atheistical opinions contradicting the Scriptures, yet the immortal Eternal light residing and and shining in the heart, being believed and waited in, be­comes the Anchor of the Soul sure and stedfast, reconciles the Scriptures, and makes the Soul to triumph over all Rant­ing and Atheistical spirits, to rejoyce in the hope of the glory of God, and to strive against every thing that may Eclips it; So shut not your eye oh ye Professors, neither cavil against the Universal, saving, necessary light of the Lamb, for though Christ Jesus be light and Life in himself, yet that can avail you nothing unless he be so in you; till which time, all the light and knowledge that is in you from without, is darkness, and then, how great is it?

And now (Oh ye Fift Monarchy-men, as ye are called) must you be searched and tryed by the Ballance of the San­ctuary, to see whether your sword of steel be the right wea­pon which the man of God must use to prepare and make way for Christs Kingdom in the world; that ye are very great opposers of the true light within I know, and must needs be, while ye are in this Principle; that there were four eminent worldly Monarchies or Kingdoms (to wit) the Assyrian, Persian, Macellonian, and Romane, I grant, who had their time to rise and fall, so that the Tyrany of the last of these, which is the worst of these, is drawing nigh to its period; and that in the dayes of these Kings, the God of Heaven hath and will set up a Kingdom that shall never be destroyed, as saith the Prophet Daniel, I know and see; but that this Kingdom shall be Ushered in, by such grosse outward observation, and Bussle, as ye imagine, or that it shall be administred when set [Page 27] up, in such a way and manner as ye think, I utterly deny; for if ye will come to the Scriptures, which ye seem much to adhere to (though in a very literal sence) let us see what they testifie both of the way of setting it up, the nature of the King or Monarch that ruleth, and the manner of his Government; when Christ the Son of God, the first born among many bre­thren, was bringing into the World, before the Tyrany of Antichrist got up, this very Kingdom was approaching, and there was a messenger sent to prepare his way, even John the Baptist, who was a plain man, of plain raiment, and mean fare, crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his pathes straight, which was to be done by re­pentance from sin; for saith he, Repent for the Kingdom of Hea­ven is at hand; Now at that very time was the Romane Empire or Monarchy at a great height, and Tyranized over the sub­dued Jews, and was grosly and heathenishly Idolatrous, and the blind Jews thought Christ their King, when he came would have redeemed them out of that thraldom by some external power, so restoring (as they imagined) the Kingdom to Israel; but alas they were much deceived in those their expectations; for his Kingdom was of another nature, so that John his fore-runner, came onely Preaching Repentance, and bearing witness to him as the true light (that lightneth every man) to be be­lieved in, which should lead thereunto, neither did Christ himself while on the Earth, or any of his Disciples in that time, use any other means, or Preach any other Doctrine in order to this Kingdom, which before some of them should taste of death, he testified they should see it come in power; neither hath Christ two Kingdoms, the one spiritual, and the other Personal, as ye distinguish, for in his Personal ap­pearance he suffered and was despised, but in his spiritual ap­pearance he rejoyceth and triumpheth World without end. Nor was the Reign of Antichrist the ruine and destruction of that his Kingdom which was set up in the Apostles dayes (for he still made good his Title in the hearts of some, one way or other, in the darkest times, as he that had right to Reign) but onely was withdrawn a while that he might the second time come upon the necks of his enemies with the greater force, but it must still be in the same spiritual way, for the King­dom [Page 28] is but one now as before; wherefore doth he now prepare his way as in times past, by calling upon all men to repent & forsake the evil of their ways, by believing in his light within them, which discovers it unto them, that they may feel his living power; and so saith John in his Revelation, That the Lamb makes War with the Beast by the sword which proceedeth out of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips must he slay the wicked, so that all ye who treasure up carnal weapons, which ye say, are to be reserved against a day of slaughter, when ye shall by the Lord (as ye suppose) be bid to strike, are no fit instruments in Gods hand, or in his work, yea ye have no part nor lot in this matter, but are carryed on with a Jehu's zeal, breathing out threatnings, which (if ye stop not your furious course) will end in your destruction; for he that smites with the sword shall perish by it. Consider also what a King or Monarch this is (who is to Reign in righteousness over all) that ye seem to be so zealous for; I give my Testimony with Paul (as I have felt him in my measure) thus concerning him; I charge thee, saith he to Timothy, in the sight of God who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate wit­nessed a good confession, that thou keep this Commandment (which was to fight the good fight of Faith and follow after righteousness, godliness, patience, meekness, love, &c.) without spot unre­bukeable, till the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and onely Potentate, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; who onely hath im­mortalitie, dwelling in the light which no man can ap­proach unto (to wit in his own wisdom) or with his bodily eye, whom no man hath seen, nor can see (to wit with those) to whom be honour and Power everlasting, Amen. Oh that ye sword-men had your eyes opened to behold this King as he is here witnessed, how would you then be ashamed, and amazed at your own folly in gazing upwards, as expect­ing to see him in a bodily shape and with a corporal eye, to Reign on Earth; Here you see Paul witnesseth he shall be shewn in his times, and that as the onely Potentate or Monarch, and yet he saith no man can see him; what a contradiction may this seem to be to your grosse understandings; but it is really so, I averre; for his appearance in the world in his [Page 29] times, must be agreeable to his nature; he onely hath immor­tality, therefore must be seen onely by that which is immor­tal, he dwelleth in the light, and therefore must be beheld onely in the light, and by an eye internally enlightned; So that now stop your mouths for ever, and cease from your carnal interpretations of those Scriptures which speaks of Christs coming to reign on earth; but turn to within, even to his light wherewith every one of you are enlightned, that in that light ye may see him who is invisible, dwelling in the light, whom no man hath nor can see nor ap­proach unto; for assure your selves that the world shall see his bodily Shape and Person no more; but the Saints do and shall see him, for because he liveth they shall live also. And as for the manner of this spiritual Kings Government, it must be spiritually, not by an outward visible shining body, quel­ling and over-awing the enemies of his Kindomg, but by his inward and invisible Power in the hearts of his People, ma­king the people to fall under him, or chaining them up; yea, making all his enemies within and without to go backward and flee before him; and although ye may look upon this as a weak & inconsiderable thing, because it seems not pompous to your carnal eye, yet know that it is of the greatest force that can be imagined; For is not Conscience more to a man than a thousand witnesses? Which if it once condemn, God is greater and knoweth all things, and so the comment of the wicked increaseth; Now that of Christ in the Saints arising in Power, and transforming them into its own Image of Righteousness and true Holiness, his Name is seen in their foreheads by living fruits, which reaching to the witness of God in wicked men, they cannot stand before it; for the wicked cannot stand in Judgement, nor sinners in the Con­gregation of the Righteous, because by the Righteous Prin­ciple of God in themselves they are Judged, which worketh in their guilty Consciences the fear and flashes of Eternal ven­geance, which fierce indignation of the Almighty, that they may avoid, they also are oft times brought to lay hold of e­ternal Life, bringing forth fruits meet for Repentance; and so the work of the Lord prospereth in this his King immortal, his hand, in his Majesty riding prosperously, because of Truth [Page 30] and Meekness and Righteousness, and his right hand teaching him terrible things, and brings to pass greater things hereby than all outward force, fear and violence were able to do. Now the reason why ye savour not such things as these, is be­cause ye (with many other Professours) are out from that which should give you salt in your selves to savour withal, and so being buried in the Letter of the Scriptures, do interpret them according to a mind that is under the ministration of the Letter, and not of the Spirit; So look what truths of God are to be spiritually understood and discerned, ye being out of the light, do literally understand, and so are for an exter­nal or personal appearance of Christ in his Kingdom, even as a fifth visible Monarch in the world, and for a Holy City out­ward, just so long and broad, and every way composed, as that description of it in the Revelation seemeth outwardly to describe; So ye will talk, and be even very zealous for a New Heaven and a New Earth wherein dwelleth Righteous­ness, but what fruit doth the expectation of such things (in your way expected) bring forth in you? Doth it make you diligent to be found of him in Peace, without spot and blame­less, as Peter exhorted the Saints to be, who looked for such things? Or are you in the vanities and folly of the multitude, who are without Hope or God in the world? How proud, rough, rugged, earthly-minded, bitter, dead, dry and unsa­voury do many of you appear? Oh People, it is not a dis­course of, or expectation of great and outward changes or happiness, though for ever to endure, that will bring to the Cross of Christ, and slay the enmity of your minds by wicked works, but it is the knowing the Cross of Christ in your selves, which is his living and quickning Power, felt by wait­ing in his light, that must bring you to take up your own cross and follow him: else while you think to be the men that shall Reign with Christ and Judge the world, ye your selves will be Judged by Christ in this his day, which cometh and is come as a snare upon all the earth. Your good inten­tions towards the executing of Justice and Righteousness in the earth, in opposition to Tyranny and Oppression, I confess is to be owned, but ye take not the right course how to bring it forth; for it is not the shaking a Weapon, or sore threat­ning [Page 31] or the like, at the Beast that will change his nature, but it is the Life that is the light of men which will do it, for that which alone searcheth the heart, can and doth alone turn the same, so that if (as the Lambs true followers) ye knew how to make War in Righteousness with the Whore, Beast & false Prophet, through Faith & Patience ye might & should do good; but if out of a rash and blind zeal ye will steer an in­direct course, no wonder if you arrive not at your desired Harbour; for if ye will needs give blows, ye must expect blows again, because this exasperates the proud and wilful na­ture, whose Element it is even to live in the fire: also an out­ward force to an outward, is like to like; but a spiritual Power against a carnal is altogether different, and what shall alway stand against Gods living Power in Spirit, by whom all things were made, and in which they all subsist, and by which all hearts are bridled? Saul was a stout and valiant Warriour, and higher than the rest by the head and shoulders, and went in and out a notable Chieftain before the People; but when Gods witness accused him, he was as weak as water, yea, fell down upon his face to the ground; So now we keeping close to this, as the Head-stone in the Corner, the Weapon we War withal, though it be managed with much Meekness and Patience (as it ought to be) is far stronger than yours that keeps a greater clattering, for yours hath yet wrought no deliverance in the earth, nor never will; but thousands (Glory be to the Lord God of Power) can witness deliverance from the unjust power, and from Injustice and unrighteousness in thought, word and deed, even by the Armour of light, which is Gods faithful witness within them, and the Government placed upon his shoulders, who by his most powerful and good Spirit will in due time Govern the Nations Righteously upon the earth, and in no other way; Therefore I advise you to put up your Sword of Steel into his Sheath for ever, yea, to break him into a Plow-share; for so he may be of some good use among mankind; and wrestle not so against flesh and blood, as to kill the Creature; which is Gods Workmanship, but come to know the Weapons of the Saints Warfare, which are not carnal but spiritual, yet migh­ty through God to the pulling down all the Strong-holds of [Page 32] sin and sinners both within and without; for saith Paul, They have in readiness to revenge every disobedience, when your obe­dience (speaking to the Saints) is fulfilled; So then, if ye will be accounted of the number of the Saints that follow the Lamb in his Holy War, wait to feel his living Power in your own Particulars, wch may fulfil your obedience towards him: and then shall the same Power (appearing in you) be able to revenge all disobedience in others, be they Magistrates, Priests or People; but if ye live in the disobedience your selves a­gainst Gods faithful witness, which is his true light within you, and come not to the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, which maketh Humble and Meek, slayeth the earthly mind, and brings out of self and all selfish wayes into the true self-denial, which is to Love and give Glory onely to God, and to love ones Neighbour as ones self (which to do aright (the light waited in in truth) will discover) your out-cries against o­thers wickedness and injustice will be but as the espial of a Mote in anothers eye, when as a Beam is still in your own.

But ye will say, That Christ Luke 22.36. a little before his suffering, bad the Disciples, That he who had not a Sword should sell his Garment and buy one: which could not be but for some great and necessary use, that the having of it should be pre­ferred before a necessary Garment.

Can ye say in truth of heart, and nothing within you tell you that ye lye, that what Christ (in this Particular) said to the eleven, that he in them spake to all Saints who should come after? As he did when he exhorted them to Watch, saying, What I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch; Or was this Sword that he bid them to buy onely for some special use at the time of his apprehension? Which was to hold forth, that all such fighting with the Sword by the Saints was now to take its farewel in the world: Christ was made under the Law, which both tolerated, and oft times commanded the Jews not onely to defend themselves, but to offend their ene­mies; so an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; and he was not yet offered up which put an end to the Law: also ob­serve his reason for his so speaking; for (saith he) I say unto you, that this which is written must be accomplished in me; And he [Page 33] was reckoned among the transgressours: for the things con­cerning me have an end; intimating hereby that the buying of the Sword was for the very forementioned purpose, and when the things written concerning his sufferings were finish­ed, then the outward Sword must be put up and laid aside, as he bid Peter to do, when he had once smitten with it, least he perished by it. Likewise mark his answer to them, when they said there were two Swords: saith he, It is enough; al­though he seemed to say before, that every one should sell his Garment (that had not a Sword) to buy one: shewing there­by, that this thing was not of Universal use, as ye would un­derstand: therefore when Judas had betrayed him to the multi­tude, and those about him said unto him, Lord shall we smite with the sword? And one of them had smitten and cut off the High Priests servants ear; Christ answered and said, Suffer ye thus far? Shewing, that now the Sword had done his Office: And so he touched his ear & healed him; Thus exercising his Power of love in requiting good for evil, and even making up the breach that the Sword had made in revenge: neither was any sign of a Sword seen in the hands of any of the Apostles and Saints after Christs departure, but they suffered with all Pa­tience through faith in the Power of God, & so must & do the Lambs true followers in this his day of restoring the desolate Places, as John testifies in his Book of Revelation; he that killeth with the Sword, must be killed by the Sword; here is the Patience and Faith of the Saints. And as for divers Scriptures that speak of the Lords overturning again & again, till he come to Reign whose Right it is, and of punishing the stout heart of the Oppressour, and of wasting utterly those Nations that will not serve the Church, and such like: they must be un­derstood of the exercising of Christs Power in Peoples hearts, and also of justly suffering the false and unrighteous powers of the earth to scourge and destroy each other for their ini­quity, till they come to serve and fear the Lord in Truth, which brings into Peace and Unity, for the Devils kingdom is divided against it self, but Jerusalem is a City in Unity with it self; but that the Saints shall and ought to have a hand in these outward desolations, as moved thereto by the Spirit of the Lord, I deny; for, his Kingdom in them stands in righ­teousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, which they are [Page 34] to hold forth visibly before all men, and not their hands to act contrary to their hearts.

Now come we to you called Seekers, to try what ye seek after, stick at, and whether ye seek the Lord in a right way: that it is a pretious thing to seek the Lord and his Way of Righteousness in truth, all the Righteous and upright in heart do experi­mentally know; for seek and ye shall find saith Christ (the true light) to his; and blessed are they that keep his Testi­monies, and seek him with the whole heart; and saith David in another place, Let all those that seek thee, rejoyce and be glad in thee; and it is Prophesied by the Prophet Jeremy, that when the Jews had been in the captivity of Babylon, they should go and seek the Lord their God, asking their way to Sion (from which they had been captivated) with their faces thitherward, saying, Come and let us joyn our selves to the Lord in a perpetual Covenant that shall not be forgotten; Mark, when they were weary of their captivity, they should go and seek, not stand still and enquire onely, but aske with their faces thitherward, say­ing, Come let us joyn to the Lord, &c. actually to set about the work; Therefore saith the Lord by the Prophet, in the 8th vers. of the 50th Chapter, Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the Land of the Chaldeans, &c. which the Prophet Zachary also secondeth, saying, Deliver thy self oh Sion that dwelleth with the Daughter of Babylon; So, here is a lively re­presentation of the Lords bringing his spiritual Seed out of spiritual captivity, after the long night of Apostacy; Babylon or Confusion was the state they were to depart from, Sion or the Mountain of Holiness was the State they were to come to, and in order hereunto, they were to move and set forward, nei­ther was there any station by the way where they were to set down or continue. This I speak for your sakes who for divers years have seemed to turn your backs upon the Whore of Ba­bylon, as seeing and disliking the false doctrines, wayes and worships of Antichrist, whereby you have been deceived and captivated; but (as though the Passage to Sion or Jerusalem was stopped up) ye have sit down by the way, saying, The Church is yet in the Wilderness, where she must abide, till God makes way for her coming forth, which is by raising up his witnesses, who must appear with Miracles and such signs as the Apostles did to confirm their Ministry by, till which time [Page 35] there is no true Gospel Ministry, nor Administration of Bap­tism, or any Ordinances of a visible Church. This seems in­deed to carry a face of truth with it, and hath stumbled ma­ny; but consider first, whether ye are not some of those false prophets which Christ said should come and say, Lo here, and lo there: whether ye are not those that say, Christ is in the Desart, as yet retired as to his visible appearance in the world, whom to go forth after, the Saints must not, but must keep their own Habitations in the light, to which they have been turned; for saith he, As the lightning riseth in the East and shi­neth even unto the West, so shall the coming of the Son of man be; and Luke addeth, in his day; So then here is a plain token of the Day of the Son of man, or the sign of the Son of man in Heaven (to wit, in the true Church visible, at his coming) when he cometh as a Universal light that hath enlightned eve­ry man that cometh into the world, by whose guidance and direction (they believing in it) all may come out of the false wayes and worships and deceits of the Whore of Babylon, or of the whole world, and out of all sin into the way of Truth, Purity, Peace and true Worship, to serve the Lord in Spirit and Truth with one consent: and those (who have believed in this true light themselves) which makes manifest all sin and deceit, and having waited therein, have felt it to be the light of life unto them, quickning their Souls up to God, and Baptizing them with its Holy Fire, so making his living Word to be as fire in their bones, and putting words into their mouths to testifie and declare against the Beast and false prophet, and against the world that their deeds are evil, and to call them to Repentance, by believing in the same light in themselves, which is Christ the true Prophet, Gods faithful witness, and are true and living witnesses for his Name, and such as preach the Everlasting Gospel or glad Tidings, although they speak in no Language but their Mother Tongue, do no outward Mi­racles, as to heal the sick, cleanse the Lepers or the like; nor do at all practise Baptizing with water, laying on of hands, or breaking of bread; And thus I plainly demon­strate it to any that are not wilfully blind. The Jewish state of old was the true figure of the Gospel Church, after the Son of God his being manifested in the flesh, who was the end of all figures and shadows: look then in what manner the [Page 36] Lord brought forth and led the Jew outward then, so doth he bring forth and lead the Jew inward afterwards; Now when the Children of Israel came first out of Aegypt, they were brought out of that house of bondage with a high hand and stretched-out arm, as to the outward: Moses was loath to go, as thinking they would not believe him, therefore the Lord gave him a signe of turning the Rod into a Serpent; which he did also before hard-hearted Pharaoh, upon whom were ten visible Plagues also sent; the Sea was divided, the Aegyptians drowned, the Rock gushed out water, Jericho fell by the blowing of Rams Horns, and the like: in this high manner came they to Canaan; but when they for their iniquity, were led into captivity by the King of Baby­lon, at their coming out the second time, there was no such outward sign shewen, or any such visible work wrought in order to their deliverance; but (as those who had a right to a restauration of that which once they gained by such hardships and mighty works) this was Gods way of proceeding towards them; he raised up Cyrus to make a Proclamation of liberty, and to restore the treasure and vessels of the Temple, which was a lively figure of Christ the spiritual King, Proclaming in the hearts of his People by the true light, which is his word, that they should now leave all false, and wicked, and deceitful wayes of the Whore of Babylon, and bring back the vessels of the spiritual Temple to serve and worship God in his holy mountain Jerusalem, that they be no longer defiled and profaned by Idol wayes and worships; then, upon this Proclamation of Cyrus, those whose hearts were touched, and whose spirits were stirred up, as Zerubbabel, Joshuah and others, stood not still, but set about the work, leading many Jewes to Jerusalem without any more ado (as Nehemiah did also afterwards by the per­mission of Artaxerxes) and when they came thither they went to build the Temple, although the enemies made them cease a while by force, then the Prophets Haggai and Zechariah prophesied (but did no miracle) unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the Name of the Lord God of Israel, Ezra 5. vers. 1. whereupon Zerubbabel, and Joshua arose up and began to build the house of God, for it is said Hag. 1. the Lord stirred [Page 37] up their spirits so to do, and the spirits of all the remnant of the People, for they were in the unbelief before (as ye are) con­cerning the time, saying Hag. 2. ver. 2. the time is not come, the time that the Lords house should be built, then the Lords Word in Haggai was this, to convince them of the con­trary; Is it time for you, oh ye, to dwell in your sieled houses, and this house lay wast; now therefore thus saith the Lord, consider your wayes, &c. And afterwards when the se­cond Temple was built, they were apt to have low thoughts of it; who is left among you saith the same Prophet, that saw this house in the first glory, and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing (mark) as nothing, yet saith he now be strong, oh Zerubbabel, saith the Lord, and be strong oh Joshuah the high Priest, and be strong all ye people of the Land saith the Lord, and work; for I am with you saith the Lord of hosts, according to the word that I covenanted with you, when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you, fear ye not; for thus saith the Lord of hosts, yet once it is a little while, and I will shake the Heavens and the Earth and the Sea, and the dry Land; and I will shake all Nations, and the desire of all Nations shall come, and I will fill this house with Glory saith the Lord of hosts; the silver is mine and the gold is mine saith the Lord of hosts; the Glory of this latter house shall be greater then of the former, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will give peace in this place saith the Lord of hosts; are not these plain words to him that desires to understand, the people were discouraged, because their second Temple was not so Stately and pompous outwardly as the first built by Solomon; yet were they bid to be strong or of a good courage, for the Lord of hosts (strong and mighty) was with them, and the same spirit remained among them, according to his Covenant with them when they came out of Egypt, though there were not miracles and such visible signes shewed amongst them now, as then (for the right of building the second Temple stood in the Covenant, which was still the same to the Seed of Israel outward, he to be their God and they to be to him a People, whereof Cir­cumcision in the flesh was a sign, as the Circumcision of the heart is a signe of the spiritual and everlasting Covenant to [Page 38] the spiritual Seed) saying they should not fear, for he would shortly shake all, and all Nations by his powerful witness, which should make way for Christ to come and fill his second house with his Glory, (for all spiritual riches and treasures are His and in Him) so that the Glory of the latter house should be greater then of the former, to wit, in the invisible Glory (yet visible by fruits of all righteousness) which to bring forth, was the sum and end of all figures, shadowes, miracles, tongues and prophesies; So that they should have peace in God which passeth all Humane understanding and outward rest also when their sufferings were fulfilled. Now consider whether it were not just so, in the first raising up of the Gospel Church in the Apostles dayes, they had the gift of tongues, they did many miracles, &c. for it was meet and needful at the first bringing in of the first born into an unbe­lieving and Heathenish world, that it should be so, as it was at the Jews coming out of Egypt to be a visible Nation and People unto God; but at the coming out of mystical Babylon the Spirit of Life from God entred saith John into the wit­nesses, and they stood upon their feet, and they prophesied, no miracle, or in what Language it was, being mentioned, and the way that the Saints overcame was by the blood of the Covenant; mark, the same Life of Christ which is the blood of the everlasting Covenant which the Apostles and Saints formerly stood in was in them, whereby they got victory every way; also they overcame by the Word of their Testimony, declaring what they had seen and handled of the Word of Life, and by suffering for the same, even unto death, as the Jew outward adventured their lives in the go­ing on with their work, against Sanballat, Tobiah and the other their cruel enemies; neither is this second work of God to be sleighted, or little esteemed; for it is done by the pure power of the Almighty in the Spirit, as the Prophet Zacharie testified say­ing, not by might nor by power, that is, so visibly appea­ring in strange gifts, but by my Spirit saith the Lord of hosts, even that by whom all things were made, and so is very great, and shall bring forth the p [...]rest State of the Church that ever was, as in the description of the new Jerusalem, the Holy City, doth most evidently appear; wherein shall be a new Hea­ven and new Earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, which Peter and [Page 39] the Saints in his dayes waited for and desired to see; where shall be no more sorrow, nor crying, nor pain, nor night; and this is the State after the captivity, not wrought out by outward signes and wonders, but by the Internal light lead­ing out of all that is unclean, into that wherein there is no defilement, which is a glorious and all powerful work, so that the Saints feeling of it, shall, yea and do already say, now is come Salvation and strength, and the Kingdom of our God and the Power of his Christ, for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night; and this purely spiritual way of proceeding, is most suitable to destroy the mystery of iniquity, for here­by spiritual Wisdom is set in opposition, and doth discover spiritual deceit, by which the Nations have been made drunk; yet we deny not, or limit the Power of the Holy One in this his day, to come forth in what gifts he pleaseth, as sometimes he hath done by healing and extraordinary fastings amongst us; but this we say, it is not so much a seal to the Ministry, as the Lords free working how he pleaseth; and how he will please to come forth hereafter, when the Truth shall actual­ly prevail over other Nations that do not professe Christi­anity, we are not much careful, as knowing that whatsoever is needful for the managing of the Lords own Work, himself will freely bestow, whether it be the gift of tongues, miracles or any other. Neither is it necessary that the true Ministry should be the Administratours of baptism with water, laying on of hands, or breaking of bread, at their rising, so con­stituting a Church (called visible) by those outward signs and shadows, nay it is not convenient that they should do so for the reasons forementioned to the Baptists; also, for as much as Antichrist under pretence of setting up of outward false Ad­ministrations, called by him Ordinances, and crying them up, hath betrayed the pure life in Spirit; and seeing others also (as the Baptists themselves) who have professed to Minister those Ordinances in a right manner and to true Subjects thereof, have idolized the same, and become dead, dry and barren therein, ministring out of the life and Power, and in a formality; therefore the Lord, as he hath done (in such cases) leaveth them to such Traytors, Idolaters and formalists, [Page 40] as going out of them, and leading his People (in this his day) in a different manner, even in a pure path of righteousness in the Spirit manifested by its own immediate fruits; and bringing them into that wherein they see no Temple (besides the Lord God and the Lamb) to dwell in, so that ye called Seekers, waiting (as ye say) for a right Administrator of Baptisme, &c. do but from the desart look for the Kingdom to come with an outward observation, when as the Kingdom of God is within you, as it was in the Pharisees, if ye could so see it; for the light is that in which God dwelleth, and by which he dwelleth in man either as a reprover and condemner, or justifier and comforter, and that by which he Reigneth in him as a Judge or Saviour, which is Christ his Son given by him for a Covenant of light to the Gentiles, which Covenant any one taking hold of, is brought into it, and so hath a right to come out of Babylon to Sion, yea, must come out thence least he be found a transgressour against it, for that which sheweth him where he hath been and whither he is to go, will give him strength, he waiting therein, to passe on, till he come to appear before God in Sion which is the beautie of Holiness.

But to what hath been said, ye will object and say, Christ Mark 16 (bidding his Disciples that going forth into all the world they should Preach the Gospel to every Creature, and he that believed and was baptized should be saved, but he that believed not should be damned) said, and these signs shall follow them that believe, in my Name they shall cast out Devils, they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take up Serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them, they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall be well, or recover; So that these are the notes or marks of a true Gospel Ministry, and therefore none may call himself an Apostle or Minister of Christ except he can confirm his Ministry by some of these; or any call them­selves the true Church, unless such signs follow them, or are found amongst them.

Tis true, these things mentioned were signs whereby their Ministry was propagated and confirmed; for without the gift of tongues the Gospel could not have been so readily declared throughout the Nations into which they were to go; nor without the other signs would they so readily have believed that which they had never heard of before, but it doth not [Page 41] therefore follow that every one who went forth in the Ministry had tongues or did cast out Devils, heal the sick, &c. For if any one were then moved by the Spirit of the Lord to Preach but in one Language, even in his Mother tongue, he was as true­ly a Minister of Christ to those to whom he spake as those were that spake to divers Nations; As Apollo, who we read not to have either spake with any new tongue, or ever to do a mira­cle, yet having received Wisdom and Power from on high, he was an eminent Minister of the Gospel, and an instrument by whom the Corinthians believed, as Paul witnessed; neither was alway a miracle wrought by those who might sometimes work such a thing when People were converted, nay rather oftner by Preaching alone, without it; So the three thou­sand were converted by the Preaching of Peter without a miracle done at the time of their being pricked in heart, and gladly receiving his Word; so while Peter another time spake to Cornelius and his Family, the Holy Spirit fell on them, no miracle being wrought; so Paul Preached two whole years in his own hired house, having first declared the Truth to the Jews, some of whom believed the things that were spoken, and others believing not, and this without a miracle; So Lydia's heart was opened by Paul and Timotheus their speak­ing, without a miracle; for ye must know that although such things were signs when the Power was pleased so to operate, yet the living Word being declared by the living Power, was sufficient enough (without any other sign) to prevail, and approve those so speaking to be the Ministers of Christ to whom they spake; so the Corinthians were the seal of Pauls Apostleship, his Gospel coming to them in the Power and de­monstration of the Spirit; so were they his Epistle that com­mended his Ministry, known and read of all men. Know also that though God did then freely come forth in such a way, yet those who sought a sign were an Adulterous generation; for if a man would but believe and keep to the Word nigh in his mouth and heart when declared in him or unto him, he need not look out for any such thing. And as for those signs fol­lowing those who believed, it could not be all those who be­lieved, for most of the believers or members of the true Church spake neither with tongues, or shewed any miracles, as is undeniably evident, neither could those be Essential [Page 42] signs of Faith; for nothing is the proper token of that but works of righteousness alone, as James witnesseth, and none ever denyed; so then these signs following those that believed, were indeed further confirmations that such did believe wherein they appeared, while the Essential tokens thereof remained with them, but if they should be absent (as love which is the fulfilling of the Law) though any one should speak with the tongue of men and Angels, and have Faith so as to remove mountains, it would profit nothing, and so be no sign of his being a believer. And so the false Prophets miracles which John saith he wrought before the Beast can be no sign of his Faith or of a true Ministry, because he is an enemy of all righteousness. But to come more home to this point, I say, that as the Commission was given to the Apostles and Saints to Minister in that age, till the Apostacie, according to the several gifts and operations of the Spirit, and the work they had then to do, which was a great deal in a little time, as going far and near; and as this Commission was declared by Christs personal mouth before his departure, which was ter­minated in them, and fulfilled in that age; so in the second restauration, Christ the light gives a second Commission by his Spirit, to those who have waited in his light, what to Minister with, and how to Minister, according to their work in this his last day; which is first of all to unfold the skirts of the great and mystical Whore, who will acknowledge Christ and the Scriptures in words, but oppose and betray his pure Life; wherefore he commandeth his wi [...]nesses now to fight with her with the sword of his mouth, in the Power of Wis­dom, which is better then outward strength, and so they act and speak as he moveth and enableth them, keeping to their own gift, measure and work, as the Apostles and Saints formerly did to theirs; and not regarding how they acted or spake, so as to be moved or troubled at it, as to question their call to the work of the Ministry; for they know if they receive the witness of man, the witness of God is greater, which witness is his light within them, which plain­ly sheweth them and sealeth in them (though the whole world gain-say it) that they have felt in themselves the Baptism of the spirit and fire (whose effects I before declared) and so [Page 43] the operation of his living Word, which hath brought thousands of others to believe in the same light, and many to feel also the same living Word and spiritual Baptism, which hath shaken the Earthly part within like a cottage; and also the outward body of some, putting words in their mouths to declare his righteousness in the great Assembly, and magnifie his Holy Name in the Congregations of his Saints; this was that greater work that Christ said his Disciples should do then he had done, because he went to his Father, for the Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glo­rified, this is really witnessed among us, the Spirit sealing it in our hearts; so that we witnesing the one Lord, one Faith and one Baptism, we are thereby baptized into the one body, and being many are one bread, and so the true Church that is come and coming out of Babylon, and out of the wilderness, Glory be to the Lord for ever, who hath thus visited and Redeemed his People; for this living Power is the gift it self, tongues, miracles, prophesie, &c. are but the gifts flowing as streams from this fountain; now if the Lord do keep back some streams, and give us more of the fountain in this his day, we are not loosers but gainers by that, and so the more to be owned as the Church of Christ.

But ye will say, when the Church was brought out of mystical Babylon, John declareth there was an Angel who flow thorow the midst of heaven with an everlasting Gospel to Preach to them that dwell on the Earth, and to all Nations, kindreds, tongues, and People, which (since we see not how that could be without the gift of tongues) sheweth us, that the true Ministry must have the very same visible gifts now, as the Apostles had be­fore they undertake to go forth.

That People were never truely called out of Babylon before the Preaching of this everlasting Gospel, is certainly true, and that it is to be Preached to all sorts of People upon the Earth, is as cer [...]in; but that this Gospel must not be Preach­ed to some till the gift of tongues be given, where by it might be declared to all, is false; for the Wisdom of God teacheth his People in what manner and order he will proceed in the publishing his truth throughout the world, it must begin first, in Sodom and Egypt, where our Lord, (Christ the light and [Page 44] life) hath been crucified; I mean the Anti-christian State, which under pretence of professing Christ, opposeth him; this Beast indeed is many headed, and consists of divers Nations, but they must not all be cut off at once, but by degrees; we know by experience (what ever ye believe) that he hath begun his work in this Isle of the North, wherein we live, and that there have been wayes made somewhat to awaken other Nations also; the pure Language being known, a tongue hath not been wanting to speak to them in; and in this one thing do I behold Gods great Wisdom, that he hath taken the wise in their own craftiness; that whereas the Antichristian Priests have (as the Hebrew and Greek) so especially idolized the Latine or Romane tongue, all over Europe, whereby its become a general Language; hereby a good occasion is given to spread the truth, throughout all these Nations of Christen­dome, so called; also so much hath been the mutu­all commerce betwixt these Antichristian People for many years, as counting each other to be Christians, that in any of these Nations it may be either spoken in their own Language, or by an Interpreter: which last way is not to be despised; for the mighty God brings and will bring to pass great things in these last times by weak beginnings, and none is to despise the Day of small things; yea, the voice hath been hard in Turkie already: and if any of you shall say, But what had they to do to go thither, without the gift of the Tongue? I an­swer, you must ask him that moved them thereto, even by tur­ning in to Gods witness which is his true light within every one of you, and waiting there for Counsel, ye shall know the Lords secrets, and feel his Power to arise, which shall bring you into Unity with their Spirits, who knew their Call, which ye will not then dispute; but in the mean time, him that is ignorant, let him be ignorant; but however know, that your unbelief cannot make the truth of God of none effect. But is it not Prophesied by Isaiah concerning the Church, that he will turn his hand upon her, and p [...]rely purge away her dross, and take away all her tin, and will restore all her Judges as at the first, and her Counsellors as at the beginning, afterwards she shall be called the City of Righteousness, the faithful City: Zion shall be Redeemed [Page 45] with Judgement, and her converts with Righteousness; whereby it appeareth that at the Restauration of the Church the second time (which is a very refining time, and of Re­demption through Judgement and Righteousness which ye talk so much of) the Ministry of the Church shall be as they were at the first gathering of it by the Apostles, and so gifted just as they were.

The endowing of the witnesses at their Resurrection, shall be with the Spirit of life from God entring into them, and so they shall be as at the first; for that is the gift it self, which brings into Unity of Spirit all the Prophets, Apostles and Saints in all ages, and into Unity in Ministry, as declaring one Everlasting Truth for substance, and from one Eternal Root; but in respect of the gifts and operations of that one Spirit or Gift, it may be different at sundry times and seasons, according to the work that is to be done and the various work­ings of the Spirit it self; So God who at sundry times and divers manners spake to the Jews by the Prophets, spake in the last times by his Son, by whom also he speaketh sundry wayes, at sundry times, though not a sundry truth; for the Apostles bare witness to the true light that lightneth every man, and to the Word nigh in the mouth and heart, as Moses also witnessed; and so do we now by the same Spirit: they were for taking up and standing in the Cross, fulfilling of all Righteousness, and for separation from every Idol, and all Idolatrous wayes, and so are we now, and that not only in word, but in deed and in truth: they would not go forth to speak and suffer in their own strength without power from above felt to enable them thereunto, neither dare we the like without the same Power; so then here are now Judges as at the first, the same Spirit of Judgment proceeding (yea, the Lord in his People rather com­ing more near to Judgement) and Counsellours as at the beginning, those that exhort and reprove in the same Autho­rity, whose words the earthly mind is even less able to bear than formerly, for Plagues and Woes unsufferable: and so scorching vials are now pouring forth upon the seat of the Beast and the Whore, and hail-stones fall from Heaven upon the wicked like the weight of a talent; and those who speak in all wisdom to the Saints themselves, are seen, so ministring from the life to the same immortal life, whereby they are built [Page 46] up unto a perfect man; so that neither are they to be denied to be Counsellours as at the beginning, because they do not exhort People to be Baptized with water, &c. for they find not that in their spiritual Commission; yea, see by the in­ternal light, the end of all shadows which must and do flee a­way at the very dawning of this bright day of the coming of the Son of man, which shall never set more; for saith the Lord to the Church, Thy Sun shall no more go down at noon: in­crease it shall, but not decrease; So here now is the true Tryal of the true Church and Ministry, when the sign of the Son of man is seen in Heaven, even himself appearing in his People as a universal light, enlightning every one as the light­ning which shineth from one end of Heaven to the other: as also by the Baptism of Fire and the Holy Spirit, which is felt really amongst us; for as Eliah (in Jezabels time) said (when there was a contest about his being a true Prophet, or whether Baals prophets (who were 450) were such or no) he that an­swereth by fire let him be God; so the Lord answering Eliah by fire (a lively figure of this spiritual Baptism) it licked up the water which was in the ditch and wood, and fleshly offe­ring (a true representation of the consuming outward sha­dows, & the hay, wood and stubble that Paul speaketh of) where­by he alone was known to be the Lords own Prophet, and the other (though many) to be false ones, and so he had domi­nion over them and slew them; So say I now to all Sects and Gatherings and Opinions in the world, where the Lord God Baptizeth with fire, consuming and burning up the dross, fil­ling his People that wait on him, with a Holy Jealousie for his Holy Name, and against all evil in thought, word and deed, where the outward earthly tabernacle (as well as the inward) is shaken, where all shadows are made to vanish, as needless in such a day as this, there is the true Church visible, and the true Prophets and Witnesses who slay all false prophets with the Sword of Christs mouth, laying them by spiritual Judge­ment) under Eternal Condemnation (they repenting not) and so casting them into the lake of fire. And in this sense is that place in Jer. 30. to be understood (which I believe ye (called S [...]ekers) much stick at) where the Prophet fore-telling the Restauration of the Church after the captivity, said, [Page 47] The City should be builded upon her own Heap, and the Palace re­main after the manner thereof, and that their Children should be as a­foretime, and their Congregation be established before the Lord, and their Nobles should be of themselves, and their Governour proceed from the midst of them, &c. to wit, by the building the Church upon the same true Foundation as formerly, even Christ the true light, and bestowing on it the same spiritual gift, which was the Spirit of truth, the Fathers Promise to all true believers; So establishing them upon the Rock of ages, against which the Gates of Hell shall not prevail; out of whom should go forth such Ministers who should be Noble and Valiant for the Truth, Christ himself, the Head of the Church, being their Gover­nour; who from the midst of them ariseth in his strength to scatter all their enemies, and to punish all that oppresse them, as the Lord hath said (he will do) by the same Pro­phet; so that the Palace remains after the manner of the former, as enjoying the substance, though the shadowes and same gifts in all things be not practised by the Saints, or found amongst them; for the Prophet Amos Chap. 9. fore-telling of the raising up of the Tabernacle of Dav [...]d that was fallen down, &c. said, That the Lord would build it as in the dayes of old; Now we find that the Apostle James in Acts 15. ap­plieth this Prophesie to the raising up of the Gentile Church in those dayes; which was truly applied thereunto, because (al­though the Jewish Church of old was very far different, both in matter and manner of Administration, from the Churches of Christ then) yet it was builded as in the dayes of old, be­cause it was established upon the Foundation of Abraham, with whom the Covenant was made both to the carnal and spiri­tual seed, and because the substance was felt and witnessed, which was the same in the Saints in all ages. Wherefore I ex­hort ye all (called Seekers) if ye will find what ye say ye se [...]k af­ter, to come to the light in your own selves, and wait low in it, so shall you find the vail to remove from off your under­standings, whereby the true & faithful witness Christ Jesus will be seen to stand up; and so all impediments & stumbling blocks taken up from the Letter without will be removed, and a right understanding of the Scriptures be given, so as to dis­cern of the times and seasons; but ye must first come to the [Page 48] Cross by owning your Reprover for sin, and deny the pride, pleasures, interests, folly and vanities of this world, so as not the longer ye seek, the worse ye grow (as 'tis too manifest some of you have done) for it is the humble that he will teach, and his secret is with them that fear him, so as to shew them his Covenant (for so have I found it by experience) which Covenant of light being witnessed, ye will easily see your way to Sion, and your Leader thither, not standing still for lack of gifts in others, or wanting an Administrator of external ordinances, but will keep to your own, and find in due time such pure Power to arise, as will administer to you in his own Sanctuary, and make you Minister that to others, which will plainly shew that ye are those who are called & chosen & faith­ful, though ye never speak with any other Tongue than your Mother Tongue, or do any outward Miracle; yet speaking and declaring of all his wonderful works.

Now come I to stand up in defence of the Truth and true Church of the first born, against all you of what sort soever you be, or under what name soever ye go who being out of all those aforenamed Sects, lift your heads on high, snuffing up the wind, and think it too low a condition for you to believe in the true light within you, which secretly reproveth for all sin and evil, and so to wait humbly and silently therein, with the People of God (called Quakers in derision, because they tremble at the Word of the Lord, and are afraid to offend (in the least thing) that of God in them) for so must you much deny your selves, both in wisdom, talking and behaviour amongst men with whom ye converse, which Cross would to them seem a ridiculous and foolish thing in you: Ye will say perhaps ye are above Ordinances or shadows, and can live satisfied of your selves by that which ye know and are taught of God, without joyning to, or walking with any; But con­sider Friends, there is one great Ordinance which ye must never get above, but be in subjection to, if ever ye will have true Peace with the living God, and that is Christ the true light, who shines in every ones heart, either as a Justifier or Condemner, who is the great gift of the Father to the Sons of men, and him whom he hath ordained to save or destroy for ever. Now (whatever men may talk or tattle, or boast [Page 49] of themselves) this is a more certain truth, sealed in me by the Spirit of the Lord God, that whosoever he be that truly believeth in Christ the light, doth whatsoever the light lead­eth unto, and that one special thing which it leads un­to, is to bring the Creature, Soul, Body and Spirit in­to a right frame and order, out of its own will into the Will of its guide, which is the light; so as that man shall not walk at random, speak or do as it pleaseth him, but shall freely and naturally love the Society, and joyn visibly in the bond of Amity with those that believe and walk in the light, knowing a time of silence, as they do, and a bridle for the tongue, so as to keep his mouth as with a bit, and this is to walk in the foot-st [...]ps of the Flock; for in this manner doth the good shepherd put his sheep forth, & go before them in this his day, the states and conditions of all those who have been in spiri­tual captivity, so requiring it; nor is it enough for any of you to say, is God tied up to a Form? For we know this is no form or frame of mans devising, but what the light na­turally and mans condition necessarily calls him into; for if his delight be with the Saints and those that excel in vertue, as Davids was who had a sincere heart, he cannot but come amongst them in love, and if they there wait on the Lord, he to wait with them, if they seek the Lord, he to seek him with them, if they love the Lords Judgements and Reproofs, he to love them also, and if they rejoyce in the Lord, he to rejoyce also; this is to be like minded and affe­ctionate one to another, hereby doth the pure and unfeigned love appear, & the Unity or the Onety in the Spirit is witnessed, here is a Church visible in a sweet and spiritual order, and yet out of any invented or humane form; for although we know and say that mans order is confusion, yet we also know and say that God is a God of order not of confusion; Now what is more comely than for Friends and Brethren in the truth to live together in Unity, and in what way can this Unity be more shewen, than by meeting and assembling toge­ther to wait upon the Lord, to know his Counsel, to feel his Teachings, to speak when he speaketh, to move when he mo­veth, and to rest when he resteth; Is not this Gods way of leading his People to Canaan, yea, and in Canaan, is not this one part of walking in the light of the Lamb, is not this a part [Page 50] of that one heart and one way that the Lord hath promised to lead his People in? is not here a spiritual Harmony, and here­by, doth not the Saints (in a great measure) appear to be a City set on [...] Hill that cannot be hid? Let that of God answer in every one of you, and not your own high concei­vings.

But ye will be ready to say, What difference is there betwixt you and other Sects in this? they meet together (as you do) in an ap­pointed place, and at a set hour, they pray, sit and hear one speak to them, &c. and you do the like.

Doth not right reason (unless any be past reason) tell you, that if Persons meet they must have a Place to meet at or in, and that they must also know the time of their so assembling, why then do you argue against necessity it self? But if the end of your so objecting be to destroy all general Assemblings of the Saints together, then I say you speak not in Gods Wisdom, nor know not the thoughts of his heart; for the Apostle who was in the Wisdom of God, and had received the Spirit of Truth to guide him, saith, Exhort ye one another daily, least any of you be hardned through the deceitfulness of sin; and where­as perhaps ye may think such Meetings are needless, because of this day of the Lord that is risen and arising; the same Apo­stle argues quite contrary, saying, Not forsaking the Assembling of your selves together (as the manner of some is) but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching; Oh! People consider, that the perfect day of the Lord is most ex­ceeding desirable of all the Children of light; therefore the more they espy it, the more they seek after it; Now Exhor­tations or other Declarations that come from the light of life, raiseth the light of life in others, and so brings on the day; for it is like fire begetting fire, or like face answering to face in a glass, not like the dead and dry words of other Assemblies, where there is no waiting in the light (first) to feel the life, but a continual trading and going on in self-strength; but ye cannot nor dare not deny but that we do so wait, and all words spoken out of that are judged by the same: and if any one among us look out after words, and is not as well satisfied without them as with them, if the Lord will have all flesh keep silence before him, that dissatisfaction is Judged also. Besides, if ye were in that which giveth a right discerning, ye [Page 51] would see that words spoken from the life are altogether [...]eed­ful for the conjviction and conversion of the world, [...] di­recting their minds to the true light their guide; and would also see that most words that are spoken are for their sakes, as taking compassion on the multitude, who are wandring like sheep without a shepherd; and the Lord God will have all this so to be for Jerusalems sake, which he will make the praise of the whole earth; therefore shall not his Watch-men keep silence night nor day till her brightness go forth as the light, and her Righteousness as the Lamp that burneth; Wherefore if ye knew what this meaneth, ye would not condemn the guiltless, yea, the faithful for doing their duty, for which they so suffer by the hands of wicked men; but it is no wonder that ye do so, for ye being in a too loose liberty, under pretence of Chri­stian Liberty, despise and shun the Cross as foolishness, which to us is the Power of God.

But perhaps ye will further say, Although words may be useful to the world, as also to build up those who are weak, or that are not come to perfection; yet to those who have attained, they are useless, ac­cording to thy own Doctrine, who hast said before that the Holy City had no need of the Sun, Moon or light of a Candle, &c.

'Tis one thing to hear words that come from the life out of necessity, and another thing to hear them in the Unity; now the Saints who walk in the Lambs immediate light alone, may hear the Bride-grooms voice in others, and have great joy therein, though they are not spoken to their particular con­ditions, or have no need at all of any outward Declaration to build them up; so John his joy was fulfilled, in hearing what Christ preached to others; Therefore the Assembly of all Saints is still needful, both to rejoyce together in the Truth, and to witness the same in the sight of others.

But some of you may say, Though we are not of the number of any of those Sects thou hast mentioned, nor walk with you (yet we do meet together at certain times) and pray and preach; yea, and sing also (and are therefore called the singing People) and professing the Virgin life, as those who live in the highest Region of Light and Truth.

Friends, consider seriously with your selves what you do, least ye deceive your own Souls; for it is not in words, no nor the highest words that can be uttered (nor those in the highest [Page 52] manner) that Gods Kingdom doth consist; therefore examine your selves whether ye are yet come to the first Principle of God in your selves, which is the true light within, that search­eth the heart, judgeth the deceit thereof, makes humble and meek, pulls down pride within and without, roots out the covetousness, denies respect of or from persons, brings to the Cross every way, & into the true silence, before the mouth is o­pened by the Power; for who shall take his Word or Covenant into his mouth, that is not Reformed? Or how can the dead praise the living? Now those marks of Non-reformation by the light, are too visible upon you; Wherefore stop your mouths ye Preaching & Praying lumenaries that are found in the pollutions of the world, that flee the Cross, and love not to come to the light that ye may be Judged; but will be rea­dy to be angry or touchy at such words as these, saying, We are too censorious, or the like; when as they are but the words of truth and soberness, for truth and sobriety consists in plain dealing, which ye all will confess is a Jewel, and yet do not de­sire to be plainly dealt withal; ye are they that cause divisions & rents, professing to be taught of God, & yet stand at a distance from those who by his true Teachings take up the Cross and stand in it; Wherefore sink down I charge you all such, and come to the light, believing and waiting in it with us, and let not the glory of this world, or any other interest, pleasure or lust hinder you from so doing, so shall ye be called the Re­pairers of the breaches, and those that follow Love and Peace aright, which is shewen in nothing more than by ha­ving one heart and one way with Gods People (who ye will not deny many of us to be) to serve him (with them) with one consent; for we know that ye ought to return to us, and that we must not return to you.

And as for you Singers, consider whether ye have not rather cause to mourn and lament, since those things which are the proper causes of sorrow are found in and among you? Will ye be covetous, proud and lofty, self-seeking, dissemble for advantage sake, respect and court persons, and the like, and come before the Lord with a Song? Can such sing the New Song as Redeemed from the earth? Nay, they that live in pleasure are dead while they live, and so are in the grave of sin, in which there is no true remembrance of the [Page 53] Lord God of Life and Power, and far from the undefiled Vir­ginity of the Lambs Wife. Wherefore be not deceived, God is not mocked, for this is but a mockery, and except ye come first to the house of mourning, and bid Adieu to all your lo­vers, and pass under the Rod, ye cannot be brought into the bond of the Covenant of Light, Life and Peace, but your Harps must needs be (ere long) hanged upon the Willowes; For how should ye sing the Song of the Lord in a strange Land?

But I hear some of you retorting, and saying, Thou hast judged all but your selves, as living in sin, and divers lusts and ido­latry, &c. but we see the same things among you, that thou chargest us with and deniest us for; Is not covetousness idolatry, and unmer­cifulness a fruit of unrighteousness? are not some of you also in the pride in your house, and in the fulnesse of bread, when some are pinched? are ye not too partial in looking upon one more than a­nother? doth not anger and emulation and judging one another wrongfully, and rash speaking appear among you? do we not see these things, and why then should ye be accounted more the Church of Christ than any other People; for the Kingdom of God stands not in yea and nay, pulling or not pulling off a hat, saying thou to any one, or wea­ring of apparel, or taking by the hand, but in Righteousnesse and all the fruits thereof, as thou thy self hast said.

If I speak of my self my witness is not true, I judge you not out of that light which judgeth all things, which ye ei­ther call natural and insufficient, or sleight as a little, low and weak thing, and so are out of that which should make all works acceptable to the Lord, and which should discover and destroy all unri [...]ousness; so that ye are not only denied be­cause of your b [...] fruits, but as being out from that which would make you bring forth good fruits, for make the tree good, and the fruit shall be good, saith Christ the light, in whom the tree is made good, as acting from a living Principle, yet that the tree is known by its fruit I grant and affirm and have affirmed against all loose and ranting spirits in the world, who would have no outward action to be a mark or token of the good or evil tree; but the light, Life or Principle must not be seperated from the action, nor the action from it, for if so, all a mans righteousness becomes unrighteousness, as [Page 54] acted from self, in the wrong ground, and his knowledge like a cloud without water. But as for your objecting against our conversation in the world; I say, we judge our selves (first) and espie the beam in our own eye; for being turned to the light which makes manifest, the least thing that ap­peareth in us contrary thereto, is as a beam, which (while standing) clouds and overspreads the pure presence of God; wherefore we are not at rest day or night, till the beam be be plucked out, and so do we espie and reprove the faults of others who either plead for sin as long as they live, or excuse their own iniquity by others failings, and yet think themselves safe. And this I would have none of you be ignorant of, that although we believe perfection to be attainable in this world, yet we are very sensible, that it is not the work of a day, moneth, or year, but that there must be much waiting, many a sigh and groan, a great spiritual combate with the Dragon and his Angels within, a diligent and expert exer­cising of the whole Armour of light, ere such a State be wit­nessed; but this is our comfort, that we are truely turned to that which gives the victory in the end, and so are not faith­less but believe, as also, that the Lambs War is truely begun in us, who fights our battels for us, while we stand still and behold his Salvation; with which Salvation, some are al­ready saved, and others saving; so every one in his own measure and order, so that (in few words) if any or all of those things by you objected should sometime appear in or among some of us, yet know they are not ours, but the evil ones to whom they belong; for when we speak of our selves as Saints, we mind that which is born of God which cannot sin, for that is the Elect Seed, which is for ever joyned to the Lord, and takes his part against the transgressour; and this I will say, not onely for my self, but in the behalf of other brethren and friends (in whose defence I have been moved to make this Apologie) that there is never a one a­mongst us, who are truely and sincerely come to the light, but do love judgement, yea wait for his judgements to be brought to light, and forth to victory, even as the watchman watcheth for the morning; and so far are any such from plead­ing for any one sin in thought word or deed, that it is their [Page 53] meat and drink to do the will of the Father; and like gall and wormwood to the pure thing of God in them, when it is not fulfilled, neither can they be (in the least) content to shrowd themselves under a Profession of truth, so as the more freely to act deceit thereby, but both desire and witness a growth in truth and righteousness, as knowing that not to go forward is to go backward; And as for any that come amongst us, and seem to walk with us, that are otherwise minded and conditioned then I have declared, by the light they are judged, and by the truth denied, and by the fan winnowed, and in themselves condemned; wherefore stumble not at the light and truth because of offences, for that causeth not the offence, but by degrees gathereth all things that do offend out of the Fathers Kingdom, and maketh fearfulness in due time to surprise the Hypocrite; so God is glorified, and his truth vindicated thereby. Thus the foundation of God standeth sure to the Seed, notwithstanding all such ob­jections, and the true Church which is the pillar and ground of truth is appeared in this our day, so that none hath any more just cause to disown it for some faults and failings that may yet be found among us, then the heathen had just cause to deny the Jews outward, to be the Lords people, when they came out of Babylon to build the Temple, because of some things that were not right and comely amongst them, against which Nehemiah contested, and which were also rectified, which was a figure of Christ Jesus the spiritual King, the Rectifier, re­former and perfecter of his People.

And as for some outward gestures and behaviour among men, which ye account as trivial and indifferent things, know that though they are little in themselves, yet as they flow from a pure Principle of God in us, which makes us out­wardly to testifie against the pride and loftiness of man, which is to be brought down in this the day of the Lords exaltation, they are of great and necessary use, and as for taking by the hand, it is a manifestation of equality and unity among friends in the life, and to be done from a pure moving, and not from a tie or custome; but as for yea and nay, whatever is more either in word or work cometh of evil; And so I shall conclude with prayer to the God of all Grace, that as he [Page 56] which hath called us by his Son, is holy, so we may be holy in all manner of conversation more and more, till every thing that offendeth within or without be taken away, that so the new Heavens and new Earth, wherein dwelleth all righteousness, may be enjoyed, wherein love (which the fulfilling thereof) doth plen­tifully flow and not wax cold, that the Lord God may be glorified in us and we in him, and his Name be written in our fore-heads, to the stopping of the mouths of all that op­pose the truth, to him be praise, and glory and everlasting Dominion now and for evermore.


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