Truth shut out of doors: BEING A BRIEF DISCOVERY Of The partial and unjust proceedings OF Some formal professors, Members of a Church at Rumney in Kent, AGAINST JOHN DAY, The Publisher hereof.

Isai. 5. 7.

—And he looked for judgement, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

Isai. 59. 14. 15.

And judgement is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil, maketh himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgement.

London, Printed for Giles Calvert, at the black Spread-Eagle at the west-end of Pauls. 1653.

[Page] To the impartial Readers, who have not the faith of our L [...] Christ, the Lord of glory, [...] of persons.

IT may seem strange to many hearts, that such an illiterate man as I am in Tongues of the Learned, should encoun­ter with so many who have the learned one to say for them. And truely I should have born it, if the Truth were much regarded by them, were it against my person onely, though it wound my reputation and livelyhood; but they smite me, and take away my veil from me, and veil, me with reproach and lying Pam­phlets, onely to render me odious through my native County. If they had been my professed enemies, I should have born it; but being seeming friends, yet proved not onely enemies, but wolves to me in sheeps clothing: therefore what sentence soever mans judge­ment pass on me, it shall not hinder me from declaring the truth of the proceedings which were between us: truth maketh not shamed; [Page] it is stronger then Wine, Kings, or Women: therefore Christian reader, I beseech thee be not troubled, but read and judge imparti­ally, and then thou shalt find it is the Lords do­ing, and that he is shaking not the earth onely, but the heaven also, that that which cannot be shaken may remaine. What if the Lord came to send fire on the earth, and hath already kindled it? he came not to send peace, but a sword of the spirit, to cause division, that the word of God might be fulfilled; five in one house, three against two, and two against three: and it is the Lords doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes: seeing therefore that by the mouth of babes and sucklings he will perfect his prai­ses, I shall indeavour to give you a perfect veiw of my charging them with partiality, and their unjust proceedings against me, and leave the success to God. My Brethren that hated me, cast me out, saying, Let God be glo­rified: but he hath appeared to my joy and comfort, and I hope they will be ashamed: al­though they have judged me born in sin, and must not teach them, yet my integrity shall carry me forth, until the Lord raise me from among the pots, with such a beauty or honour as it pleaseth him.

Truth shut out of doors, &c.

I Having had sad experience, for these seven yeers and more, of the tyranny which those that bear rule do execute upon their poor brethren in Congregations of professed Saints as not onely tything of mint, an­nise, and cummin▪ neglecting the weighty matters of mercy and judgement, and non-respect of persons: contrary­wise, they have laid heavie burthens upon others▪ which they them­selves would not willingly bear; taking all advantage against those they affect not, to take them by the throat, and will be paid the uttermost farthing though they owe them nothing but love: which on the sufferers part, hath passed by many of their infirmities: yet still they make them offenders for a word, or hearing any they af­fect not, and such-like trifles; straining at gnats▪ and beholding of motes in others, and are so far from beholding the beam in their own, that they swallow a Camel of the Scribes and Pharisees hy­pocrisie; outwardly appearing to men to be righteous, when with­in they are full of all iniquity and filthiness. And finding Parti­ality to be the root of all other branches in Congregations, I have laboured with my best strength to fight against it: And in walk­ing with a people in Rumney and Lidd, and thereabouts, finding it predominate in many of them in several particulars, I informed them of it: but they slighted and envied me yet the more.

And first of all, a poor woman of the Congregation being sick, desired me that intercession might be made to God for her. Which being done, and publikely known in the Church, I lodging in the house, beholding the sick not visited by them, and sometimes in want of both spiritual and temporal relief. I discharged my duty in encouraging her in the faith of Jesus, and such-like, as I had op­portunity: [Page 2] and she being desirous, I prayed with and for her: but they came not at her: had not two or three of the National Church (Samaritane-like) relieved her, she would have had little comfort or company; for none of the brethren came to visit her: which was the first cause of my charging them with Partiality, in slighting the poor, and honouring and visiting the rich often, as James saith, despising the poor. After reproving them, a worthy Deacon, which can neither read nor preach, sent her a little por­tion; but came not at her himself, because he had so many sheep of his own, that did hinder him from visiting Christ's. And not onely he, but generally they all neglected visiting of Christ in his poor member. But if a rich man's head doth but ake; O what haste they make to visit him. And this is the first particular I charged them with.

Secondly, they making me an offender for a word speaking, in calling one fool, and another knave, for belying of me; which charge of theirs I proved false: but they questioned them not for belying me, but publikely admonished me, and I gave all satisfa­ction in confessing my fault. Although I reproved their evil, yet they partially passed by others belying of me. Several weeks after, I informed them again of their neglect, and told them they were partial, because they did not as well reprove them for wronging of me, as openly reprove me for mis-placing a word in reproving their untruth. Judge me, O my friend, impartially. At which time being not able to clear themselves from partiality, they were silent. Then Satan appeared in an old man, like one of Susanna's accu­sing Elders, with a lye of inveterate envie, as followeth; which was this, That he should ask the fore-mentioned woman if I were not a comfort to her; and she answered, No, but in calling her devil when she was sick. He affirming this, I absolutely denyed it to be true, that I called her so when she was sick; but I denyed not but I had called her devil before, in reproving Satan in her often: and she hath and will again bear me record, that it was in love, and not in hatred. He thus accusing me, I desired some of the Con­gregation speedily to enquire of the woman the truth concerning it: and two Members going that way by chance, met with an Elder there, and desired him to ask the truth of it in their hearing: and [Page 3] they heard her tell him that she never said so to him. For all this, the Elder bearing a prejudice against me, willingly smothering his lye, brought it not to the Congregation. I being acquainted with it by one of those that heard her tell the business, yet remained si­lent many weeks: and knowing it to be their duty to endeavour to finde out the truth of the matter, or his to declare it, and not to let his brother lie under sin; but he partially willingly neglected the matter, as did the rest of them: at last, being weary of their partial Babylonish carriage, I plainly told them they were partial concerning me, in not clearing me, and admonishing my accusers, when especially one of the chief Elders knew of it many weeks be­fore. And when the matter was declared by me, after my charging them, and proving him a lyer, they reproved him for wronging me; but they would not confess themselves in a fault being partial, and so far from acknowledging their own, that they took his part that was chiefest guilty, he being a rich man outwardly in worldly goods or an Elder & Maior Governor of Rumney the yeer before, could not forget to bear rule in the Church the yeer after; nor by any means would they hinder him, but bear him out in excusing him in his evils: as first, when I proved them partially negligent, in not bringing my guilty accuser to acknowledgement of the wrong he did me, he answered, he had not been with the Congregation ma­ny weeks before: which I proved false to his face, before them all; yet they did not blame him for that neglect, but they, to please him and their proud flesh, would deal with me contrary to the Law of God and man; and onely they that I accused were my Judges, and many of them would not proceed to cast me out for charging them with partiality: but the Bishop whom I charged replied he would lay down his office, and act no more in it with them, and further, that they should cast me or him out. So, to satisfie his minde, some have took upon them the whole power into their hands, and would not be satisfied, unless I would acknowledge my self to be faulty in charging them with Partiality. To whom I replied, I would never be sorry for speaking the truth, seeing I had evidently made it appear to many of the said Congregation: and those whom I chiefly accused being judges in their own cause, I did be­seech them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that they would [Page 4] admit my trial of charging them to the judgement of some other Congregation▪ and that I might not be judged and condemned by those persons onely which I justly accused; but beseeched them that they would be pleased to grant me the favour that I might chuse two or three of some other Congregation, and they to chuse whom they pleased, although it were the heads of those I accused. But this reasonable request of mine would not be granted, but they replied they would make use of their power themselves, and deal with me, and not give way to the judgement of others: which power, whence they had it, from heaven or hell, I know not well; but I leave it to the judgement of others. I beseech you, Christi­an friends, consider whether ever there were such a thing heard of, that a man must be judged and condemned by those whom he just­ly accused. Was it ever heard in the Church of the Saints in the Primitive times? And if this be Canonical Scripture Church­order, root out the Covenant of Separation▪ and expound me old Jesus the son of Sirach's Apocrypha, in his 13 Chap. as follow­eth: If a rich man fall into an errour, he hath many helpers; he speaketh proud words, and yet men justifie him: but if a poor man go wrong, he is punished; yoa, though he speak wisely, yet'can it have no place. When the rich man speaketh, every man holdeth his tongue: and look what he saith, they praise it unto the clouds: but if the poor man speak, they says what fellow is this? and if he do amiss, they shall destroy him. Riches are good unto him that hath no sin in his conscience, and pover­ty is a wicked thing in the mouth of the ungodly. Seeing by sad experience toward my self and others, I can discover their partial dealings, to parallel or really fulfil these Scriptures to be a true pro­phecie concerning themselves and many others in these times, as well as formerly, therefore I desire to be excused for quoting them, for because when the said Bishop or Elder whom I chiefly accused, declared he would lay down his office in case they cast me not out; they telling him he spake rashly, and that he must be humbled for it, but after I informed them of it, and charged them with wilful partiality in the act; they not before reproved him: and there, in the audience of the people, he said he would never be sorry for his wilful rash speeches; which thing was smothered by them, and he [Page 5] justified. Which when I saw they walked not uprightly, and they hated reproof from me, and became persecuting enemies to me for telling of them the truth; so perceiveing their intent to root me out, though they could bring nothing for matter of fact against my person; but their wills their laws to proceed against me; be­ing void of hopes, after a long time forbearing this unjust carriage, and knowing their speedy intentions, I took an occasion to dis­charge my conscience, to shew them in an Excercise▪ how the poor Saints of Christ were crucified as well as others by false brethren: But the foresaid Bishop, with his Lordly words, would have si­lenced me, to whom I replyed, My message was the minde and will of God, and I would declare it. Which when he saw, he strived to cause the people to withdraw, but they stood not in so much in awe of him: but when he saw they followed him not, he stood to hear what fell to his lot; but patience from murmuring he had not: But when I had ended, some objections he had got; which before the people I answered: But when he could say no more, he complained of me before them all, for not doffing my hat▪ I told him the reason was▪ my hands were both full, with a Lock▪ Key, and Pot▪ and therefore desired to be excused for than Satis­faction being given, the Lord opened the mouth of a worthy Gen­telman, though one of the world, to reprove the folly or madness of the Elder or Prophet. The next first day following, the Pastor of the said Congregation was exceeding earnest, beyond the truth, in rendering me odious unto the people there present; and could prove nothing for matter of fact against me: but I did acknow­ledge unto them that I was subject to many infirmities▪ and for what they could desire in matter of satisfaction according to the Scripture, I would lay my selfe down at their feet: and I did de­mand often, beseeching them to name any thing they had against me for matter of fact, and I would acknowledge my selfe before them all; but they proved nothing but that only which I freely acknowledged, and gave them all satisfaction in namely▪ jesting, which is my natural infirmity: but this would not satisfie; but the Pastor would proceed to deal with me for charging them with partiality; but an Elder whose tender conscience being more un­seared, would not consent unto it, nor very few of those that I had▪ [Page 6] charged: but he being resolved to proceed, as I perceived, I took my leave of him, saying, I would obey God in my conscience, ra­ther then man; and so I came away. So the week following they appointed to meet privately at the Pastors house, pretending a full Church-meeting, when most of the people were gone that day be­fore they appointed; onely some halfe a score, or not so many, were at this consultation: and having some private advantage, as they supposed, against me, sent to me to meet them there, but made me not acquainted with it, untill I came to the place where they ap­pointed to deale with me: which was as followeth; That I should tell a member in case the said Elder should not bring the fore­mentioned business to light, concerning my accuser which he knew had falsely accused me, I would kindle a fire among them: Which words, as they judged carnally, made a mountain, and they would know whether I would be humbled for them: I answered, I should never, my intention being real for the glory of God. But they were so far from demanding a reason of me, that the Pastor replyed to the rest of the Soliciters, We have heard, what need we any further witness? So they put their names to fignifie their mindes one to another; and some few of that small company would not consent unto it, but withdrew: so eleven or twelve at the most passed vote upon me, whereas there was above threescore persons at that time members of that Congregation; yet these few took all the power in their own hands; and the Pastor, to please them, as shall be proved, gave them the next first day such an after­noons drinking, as pleased their Herodias daughter-like hearts: But I shall leave this, and hasten to reply an answer to their Libel­lous letters throughout.

And first, they judged me a superfluous branch, and rotten member; but wherefore, I know not, except it be for discovering their rotten Principles, and corrupt dealing and carriage to their poor brethren that believe not implicitely with them: yet they say, Not onely for my evil carriage, and charging them with partiality; yet proveth nothing as to the particular case of my charging them; which I shall leave to impartial judgments, and not only call hea­ven and earth to witness, and my own conscience and theirs, but several witnesses which are yet members of the Congregation, to [Page 7] justifie the truth of my writing, and their partiallity towards me, before the sentence of non-communion with me: I shall pass by their censure of rendering me odious in pride and ambition, though they ought to have bin silent, seeing I did satisfie them with con­fession and replyed to their mentioned particulars: as first, that I have falsely accused the Church; secondly, that I apprehended a Brother in a fault through forgetfulness, not only through neglect, but through an evil intent: They say, I did not minde that Bro­ther of his forgetfulness, but say I straitly charged another that he should not minde him of it, and did declare to the same Brother that I would set a fire among them; the which they say hath ap­peared, by causing a division. Thirdly, They say, I have often disturbed the Church on the first day, and many dayes, and thereby caused much division; so that when I begun to dispute, they could enjoy no more teaching among them that day, and many days, and thereby caused much division among them, to the making a rent in the Church; and but a few in the Church, save those persons that side with me, are worthy of any better terms from me then Devils, or Calves, or Alexanders. Fourthly, They say I justifie my selfe in a lye: and when two Elders came to ad­monish me, I should say they came to intrap me; and by that time they should speak twenty words, I should tell them that they had told a hundred lyes: and also they say I am both in ex­ercise and in common discourse, and in reasoning about the things of God, exceedingly given to jeering and mocking: And this is the whole sum of their charging me: which things I briefly re­ply unto.

As first, for my false accusing of the Church, they should have done well to have mentioned wherefore or in what I accused the Church, and not to require me to be humbled for I know not what.

And as for the Second particular, you here discover your selves plainly, that you are partial, because you judge me before the time, and excuse him with forgetfulness; which is more then you know, and I through an evil intent: alas poor hearts, you are fitter to be Lawyers then impartial Judges in Churches: but I would have you know, that my conscience is clear in that matter, for not [Page 8] minding him of that you say he forgot: it is strange he should forget the weightiest matters of the Church, and remember very trifles: but being an Elder, he ought to have more care of his charge then fo. A bad excuse▪ some say is better then none. And for my tel­ling him of it▪ if you knew what you wrote, it lay on their parts that heard him made acquainted with it; on yours to enquire after it, you being not ignorant of the business, and not for me to be troubled to bring my own cause before you: not should I now, if the truth suffered not as well as my person by you. For my straitly charging another▪ you speak false; but I told him the Elder did know my accuser had belyed me: and in case he did not bring it to light, I should kindle fire among them: but their carnal hearts discerned not what fire I meant: but had there been evil in it, and I had charged him; was not he more to blame to keep it so many months, and the last day that I was at the meeting not to speak of it, when I demanded several times before his face▪ and above for­ty more, which will justifie that I demanded often of them all, he being present what they had against me? yet not mentioned by him, but privately consulted together that evening: but had they done justly▪ they should have dealt with him for hiding it from them, and not to send Libells up and down the Country of me. If it be as you say it hath appeared; if it be the fire that Christ came to send, it is that I did indeavour to set, to the burning the hay and stubble partial works among them.

And as for the Third particular, my disturbing of them on the first day, it is false, except you mean in objecting, when things appear to me to be false that you teach: and that you injoyed no more teaching that day and many dayes, it is a very lye; except you were free to dispute as well as I. But indeed you would faine have people believe as you say▪ and no more, and none to question what you preach, as your Canons you ordered maintain; and this is one; That no Brother should object till your whole days-work were ended, or most people gone. If I made a division, or did cause a rent▪ it were better for people to be broken to pieces, then esta­blished upon your carnal legal Principles: But how or for what I caused a rent▪ you write not. It is well you grant that some of those which side not with me are worthy of better terms from me: [Page 9] but there are two lyes in your three terms; for Calves I called Alexander not, nor Alexanders in the plural number; but onely the Smith, one of the inditers or writers of that letter, I called Alexander because he did me much evil: nor called I any Devils so often as my most intimate friends; and that never but in love, when they rea­soned fleshly or carnally from the spirit of Satan.

For the Fourth particular, for my justifying my self in a lye and for the Elders admonishing me privately for charging them with partiality, which I publickly proved: for their disorderly admo­nishing me in private; I told them it was disorderly▪ and they came to intrap me: which thing appeared by that odious untruth, that they spake but twenty words; they spake above halfe an hour▪ and were not silent: and spake above five hundred words, and at least twenty false; and that was all I charged them with: But they hear with their harvest-ears too soon: but when the great harvest is come, I fear they will be sound some of them to be A­postles in shew, but proved lyers: in the mean time I leave them to God.

And for this Last, I shall acknowledge that some times and in some cases, I cannot but with the Saints of old closely check them for their carnal reason: but for Exercising and reasoning about the things of God, they do me wrong, and are more exceedingly given to judge me and others▪ and dote more upon our motes, then behold the beams in their own eyes: although I must confess I am too guilty of it, yet I shall intreat them to bear with me a lit­tle for this time; and further, I shall intreat them to leave subscrib­ing their names that appoint them not; neither give consent as they have done in their Letter: as for instance the last Elder mention­ed in the Letter▪ never subscribed to it; but on the contrary▪ told several friends they did it contrary to hi▪ will; and also if he could see his name in the Letter he would blot it out. These things an I prove by several witnesses of the Church to their faces. Now judg, I beseech you, all that fear God▪ whether this be just▪ to subscribe▪ mens names against me throughout the Country that consent not unto it. Also▪ in the second place they subscribed the Elders name which I proved chiefly guilty: and I suppose he would not disco­ver his folly so much, as to subscribe his own name; seeing it was to please his wilful and unjust minde, they cast me out.

To the Pastor of the said Congregation.

Most learned Apollo,

I Beseech you not to despise the instruction of a poor Trades-man, but in love and self-denial examine your heart, and receive counsel from an inferiour. I have been informed of your late danger you were in in Smithfield, or there­about; which I am sorry for: but your call you had to it, is best known to God and your self. You were a great Idol to many hearts before, and since I fear you are more. That which I have to say unto you, is this: I advise you to have a special care you be not listed high in your minde, and so become an Idol to your self. I am the more jealous of you, because the more you are looked upon, the more you are tempted to look upon your self. Examine your heart, and answer me these sew Queries at your leasure.

As first, Whether those several score pounds gathered for you by the foresaid Elder and another, were not a great cause of your doing that you did to please him.

Secondly, Whether you did not object against and oppose my doctrine, rather for fear your own would not be so much exalted as formerly it hath been, then any just ground you could bring from Scripture, seeing you confess'd the truth of it in dispute.

Thirdly, Whether you did not sin against the light of your conscience, in passing sentence against me to please others; because when you were demanded by a faithful brother whether you did it not with abundance of passion? you replyed, with tears, that you did; and that you should not have proceeded against me so soon, if at all, but others provoked you to do it before you went to London.

Of this I was informed by faithful members of the Church.

The Lord open your heart: for it is not impossible for you, as well as Ephra­im, to have here and there gray hairs, and see it not. So farewel.

Let all Christian friends that shall read this Treatise, consider this following discourse.

When Israel of old went out of his Maker, God, to live upon objects of his own self-righteousness, he sacrificed unto Baal, and burnt Incense unto graven Images; but when he was a childe, the Lord loved him; and because Ephraim made many altars to sin, altars were unto him to sin: and that was the reason the Lord accepted them not, but remembred their iniquities, and visited their sins with their return into Egypt. The reason why is render­ed▪ Hos. 8. the last verse: For Israel hath forgot his Maker, and hath built temples, and multiplied fenced cities: but I (faith [Page] the [...] send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the [...] thereof. Now I consider Israel of old to be a real Type of the professed Church of God outwardly; and as they were not all Israel that were of Israel then; so (as the Apostle saith) they are not now, but those that are circumcised in heart, and love mercy, and do justly, and walk humbly with God, and not with Ephraim build temples, or Judah multiply fenced cities of their own righteousness; nor with the last mentioned seed of theirs in Matth. 23. from vers. 27. to 31. where the wo is pronounced to men outwardly appearing righteous, but inwardly are full of vio­lence; and build the Tombs of the Prophets Religion, and garnish the Sepulchres of the righteous, and say▪ If they had lived in those days, they would not have done that which their consciences were witnesses to themselves they did. These later are the fleshly formal Israel now, as well as then: but the spiritual Israel is the fore-men­tioned ones: And the Lord is kindling a fire, as I conceive, with the sword of the Spirit to divide the mixt multitude, that be the pro­ [...]essed Israel, that those that be approved may be made manifest. If I mistake not in the understanding God hath given me, the Lord is not a shaking the earth onely, but the heavens also, that that which cannot be shaken may remain; I mean, the Churches of the professed Saints, which are with Peter building tabernacles of contentedness in their mindes with that light or knowledge they have already, or glory which they see of Christ; which causeth many to differ▪ because there is a longing in some to be clothed up­on with their house which is from heaven▪ more then others. And because of the Tye of Conformity which is in Churches to impli­cite lights, the Lord may justly break them to pieces: for I con­ceive that by the kingdom spoken of by our Saviour to be divided against it self▪ is not meant onely an earthly kingdom but may have reference to the visible Church, or children of the kingdom of Christ; and that fulfilled spoken by the Spirit, If ye bite and de­vour one another▪ ye shall be devoured one of another. And I suppose the Lord doth set the pure Israel free: he will destroy speedily, or ere long, the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent, that those that the Son hath made free, may be free indeed, and the Lord that is the Spirit may [Page] give them the perfect law of liberty which he [...] the oppressed members, and letting the captive free, [...] laine a long time under the bondage of their Brethrend yoak [...] Spirit of Christ is now calling them to take his Yoak only, [...] is eafie and light: and be weary in their minde of their old capti [...] ­ty; and joyfully embrace the rest and peace he giveth them: yea, I say, he is breaking Congregations to pieces; calling his out from among then, commanding them to touch no unclean thing of mens traditions, or Pharisaical self-righteousness, having nothing to do any more with Idols: and I, saith Christ, will reign you, and will be a Father to you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. The Lord Jesus Christ is now a destroying of Churches meerly formal, and will gather the spiritual to himself [...] having therefore the aforesaid Promises, let us cleanse our selves from all filthiness of fleshly self-righteousness, and spiritual wick­edness in high places of the flesh, and perfect holiness in the self denial▪fear and real love of God; so shall we rejoyce in the Lord alwayes and again, I say rejoyce.


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