THE Woman-Preacher OF SAMARIA; A Better Preacher, and more Sufficiently Qualified to Preach than any of the Men-Preachers of the Man-made-Ministry in these Three NATIONS.

Quia non cognovi literaturam, introibo in potentias Do­mini,

Psal 71. v. 15.

(So the Ancient Latine, and so the Septuagint, in some Copies, and so the Hebrew it self, being rightly Transla­ted) In English thus. Because I know not Letters I will enter into the Powers of the Lord.

By George Keith.

Printed in the Year 1674.

THE Woman-Preacher OF SAMARIA.

COme hither all you Men-Preachers, of a Man-made-Mi­nistry, in the three Nations; whether Conformists, or Nonconformists unto the present way of the Ministry, and Worship in these Nations Established by an Humane Law, who cry out against Womens Preaching, and Speaking, and say, Women ought not to Preach, There should not be Women Preachers, They should keep them to the Affairs within the House, and not meddle with our holy Function. Behold, a Woman-Preach­er! the Woman of Samaria (Iohn 4.) who may be an Example unto you all; and the best of you, and most Learned and Quali­fied of you all, have need to learn of her how to Preach. This Wo­man of Samaria may be your School-Mistress to teach you to Preach; and it were good for you to learn of her, who though being dead, yet speaketh unto you. Verily, she is a witness for God, unto the true way of Ministry, and Preaching, against you all, and against all your false and invented ways. Oh for shame let alone your cry­ing out against Women-Preachers; while you are short, exceed­ingly short of this Woman-Preacher of Samaria: and, first of all, learn the true silence, and to have that mouth in you stopped, which God hath never opened; that the true mouth which is of his opening, you may come to witness, or else for ever to be silent: that him you may know to open your Mouths, who hath the Key of David, who shutteth, and no man openeth; and openeth, and no man shutteth.

The Woman then left her Water-pot, and went her way into the [Page 2] City, and saith unto the Men, Come, See a Man which told me all things that ever I did, Is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the City, and came unto him, &c. Iohn 4.28, 29, 30.

Here she Preached Christ in few words, but very effectually, and with good success. Come, See a Man that told me all things that ever I did, is not this the Christ? These were her words, few and short, but very material, and Pertinent; and very powerful and effectual, as appeared by the good success her words had upon the men of the City: for it is said, Then (to wit, after her speaking to them) they went out of the City, and came unto him: and v. 39. it is said, And many of the Samaritans of that City believed on him, for the saying of the Woman, which testified, he told me all things that ever I did: but v. 41. it is said, and many more believed, because of his own Word.

But, How came this Woman to be a Preacher of Christ? First, Who taught her? Secondly, Who called her? Verily she was not taught by Men, nor by Men was she called, but by Christ. She had not been learned at the University, neither got she her Ordination, either by the laying on of hands, of a Bishop, or com­pany of Men, called a Presbytery: yea we find no hands that Christ laid upon her in the outward, but spoke unto her, and talk­ed with her, and she with him. So then she was taught of Christ himself, that he was the Messiah, or the Christ. She had heard of the Messiah that was to come, but she knew not that he was come, or who he was: yea for some time, though he was speaking unto her, she did not know him to be the Christ; but when he said unto her, I that speak unto thee am he, then she be­lieved, and went her way into the City, and Preached him unto the men of the City.

So first of all, she was taught Christ, by Christ himself; she was taught immediately, and being thus taught, she believed on him, and then she went and Preached him. This is an excellent Pattern, and Example unto all true Ministers, and Preachers of Christ▪ First to be taught by himself, before they go Preach him unto others. Secondly to believe on him; and having both heard himself, and from his own word, and testimony, believed on him, [Page 3] then to Preach him unto others. And this same Method Paul fol­lowed; who, of a Persecutor of Christ, became a Preacher of him. First, he was taught Christ, by Christ himself, and that inwardly Christ was revealed in him; When it pleased God, said he, to reveal his Son in me, that I should Preach him to the Gen­tiles. And Secondly, he was a believer in him, as he said him­self, We having received the same Spirit of Faith, we believe, there­fore we speak; and, said David, I believe, therefore have I spoken. And what sort of Faith was this? Was it onely an Historical Faith, which Hypocrites, and ungodly Men have, whereof Paul and David spake? Nay surely, it was the true, saving, renewing, and sanctifying Faith, and according unto this, none ought to preach, who have not a measure of true and saving Faith, and who are not truly in some measure Sanctified and renewed, and by being Sanctified and renewed through Faith by the operation of the Ho­ly Spirit, are fitted and prepared for the work of the Ministry.

Now, by these two qualifications of a true and right Preacher of Christ, let us try the Ministers and Ministry of those called Preach­ers in these Nations; both Conformists, and Non-Conformists, Both of them affirm, and hold it as their Principle, That true and saving Faith is not necessary unto a Mans being a Preacher: It's true they say, if he be a true Believer, and godly Man, he will be the better Preacher, but a true and Lawful Preacher he is, and ought to be followed, and heard, and maintained, though he be not in the least a godly Man, or true Believer, if he be a Scholar, and can Preach in a Form of Sound words, if he have Latine, Greek, and a little Hebrew and Logick, and such like Natural Arts and Sciences, it is enough to qualifie him to be a Preacher; and this Principle Iames Durham, a great Presbyterian, expresly holds in his Book, called, An Exposition upon the Revelation, in his di­gression concerning the Ministry, and I my self have had sundry debates, with both Conformists, and Non-Conformists so called, touching this same thing; both affirming that true Faith and Pi­ety was not needful to a Mans being a Preacher, but that Letter Learning was needful; so that he could not be a Preacher without Letters, but he could be a Preacher without Faith and Piety. Oh [Page 4] abominable Doctrine! And this same Rule both follow, in their trying of mens qualifications unto the Ministry; they try what knowledge they have in strange Languages, and Arts and Scien­ces Natural, and what they can say upon pla [...]es of Scripture, but never one word they question them concerning the work of God in their hearts, or concerning their Faith and Piety. But alas! how can they try them concerning the work of Grace in their Hearts, seeing they acknowledge th [...] have not a discerning them­selves, whereby to know them surely and infallibly; yea, they affirm there is no such discerning in these dayes, as whereby men can be known to be truly gracious. And doth not sad Experience shew it, that the generality of those Preachers have not true Faith and Piety, their Lives and Conversations are so gross and Carnal? Yea, do not many of themselves see it, and have they not com­plained of it? And yet doth not this Principle of theirs, That wicked Men may be Preachers, and ought to be Received, lay a Foundation for a wicked [...]? And [...] [...] being laid with their own Hands, will not wicked Men come in thick and throng? And will not th [...]se [...] [...] to have all like themselves? If they can have a wicked Man▪ will not the wicked prefer him to another that but seems to be a godly, and may, or may not be, and thus in process of time the whole Ministry will consist of ungodly men, the wicked being still preferred by the wicked; and carrying it by most Votes, as among them called Pres­byterians, or by the Authority of the Bishop, as among the Epis­copal. Oh! for shame never say, that you are for a godly Mi­nistry, while you both lay such a Foundation for the ungodly.

And Secondly, as both sorts hold that true Faith and Piety is not necessary to a Mans being a Preacher, so they hold that imme­diate revelation, and to be immediately taught by Christ himself, is not necessary, either to his being, or better being, yea, they whol­ly exclude it, and affirm that all immediate Revelation and Teach­ing by Christ himself, so as to teach Men the Truths of the Gos­pel, is ceased since the Apostles dayes, and is no more to be expect­ed while the World lasts; so Iames Durham, concerning Prophe­cying in his afore said Book, and in the first Page of that Book, he [Page 5] saith, God hath spoke his last words to his Church, by Iohn, in the Revelation; and so the Church nor any in the Church is not to hear any word from God, or Christ himself; nay, he hath spo­ken his last words sixteen hundred Years ago. Oh gross blindness and darkness! Is the Lord wholly absent from his Church? Or if he be present with her, and in her, doth he never speak himself? Hath he lost the power of his Speech, or his willingness to speak, that he hath been so long silent? Surely, nay, as it is written, Our God will speak, and not keep silence, he is not so unkind, nor hard-hearted, as those Men would make him, so as not to speak himself. And as concerning the immediate Teachings of Christ, who is such a Stranger unto them, and their Principles, who know not that they deny them, and are Enemies unto them, and that one of the main things of Controversie betwixt them and us lyeth here; they say, the immediate Teachings of Christ are all ceased, since the Apostles dayes; We say, not, and we are Witnesses of the contrary in our Experience, who witness the New Covenant ful­filled, they shall be all taught of the Lord, that is, immediately, else what doth the new excel the old, and first Covenant in? For under the old they were taught of the Lord mediately, as by Moses and the Prophets; but under the new, they are taught of God himself, who dwelleth in them, and walketh in them, and is their Teacher, Shepheard, and Husband.

And now, How can these Men be taught of the Lord himself, or immediately to Preach Christ, who deny the thing it self? How can we have Charity unto them to believe they are so taught, while they deny that any are so taught in those days? And then what is their Preaching of him? it is but by hearsay, and report; they are all short of this Woman, She both heard Christ himself, and saw himself, which none of them, (as they confess,) have ever done: they say they have never seen him, nor heard him, nor spoken with him, and yet they preach; whereas she both heard him, and saw him before she Preached him; and thus did John, and the A­postles Preach him: That which was in the beginning, which we have seen with our eyes, and heard with our ears, and our hands have handled of that Word of Life we declare unto you; for the Life was [Page 6] manifested, and we have seen it, and delare it unto you, that you may have fellowship with us, &c.

Now which of the two ways of Preaching are the best; to Preach only from a hearsay by others, or from a fight, and hear­ing of Christ himself? Surely this was the best, and therefore this Woman is a better Preacher, than all your University men, and Doctors, amd Batchelors: she learned more of Christ from him­self, in that small time, (perhaps not one hours length) than your Doctors, and University men have yet learned, for all their many years Studying▪ labouring, Reading, and Hearing: As Christ, upbraided the Jews, that they had neither heard his Fathers Voice, nor seen his shape; so it may be said of them; yea, they say it themselves, they have neither heard him, nor seen him. Alas for such Teachers! What should men hear them for? they can tell us no more of him, but as they have heard it from men, or read it in the Seripture; and all their knowledge is fron the Scripture, and all have the Scripture as well as they, and so without them, by the Scripture, may know as much of Christ as they, and save both their pains, and their Money.

And as concerning this Woman, it is manifest, that as she heard him, and saw him outwardly, so she both heard him, and saw him inwardly, and was taught by his spirit in her heart; for had she not been inwardly taught, and heard inwardly, she could not have believed on him, which she did: neither had the outward hearing and seeing made her blessed; for many heard and saw him outward­ly, and yet were not blessed: But, said Christ to his Disciples, Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and blessed are your ears, for they hear; this was inwardly, they both heard and saw inwardly, and this made them blessed, whereas others heard and saw outwardly, and therefore were not blessed, as the Disciples, and this Woman was. Yea that she was taught inwardly, and that more largely, and fully, than by what she heard outwardly it doth manifestly appear from her words, in that she said, He hath told me all things that ever I did: now this could not be outwardly, for he told her but some things outwardly, as concerning her Husbands that were dead, and how the man she had, was not her Husband; and certainly, in so small [Page 7] a time as they had together, words outwardly could not have told her the half, yea, not the hundred part of all that ever she did; she was therefore inwardly taught by him, and told all these things. Christ Jesus the Word, the Life, the Light in her heart told her, as he well could, even in a moment▪ or the twinkling of an Eye bring all things before her, and tell her all things in her whole Life; and certainly this was it that made her to believe him, to be not onely a Prophet, but more than a Prophet, even the true Mes­siah, or Christ. He who hath told me all that ever I did, this must be Christ, this cannot but be more than any of the Prophets, who told me some things, but no Prophet could tell me all but Christ onely, who is the true God, and knoweth all things, and search­eth all my my inward parts and thoughts.

3. As concerning her Call, (as was said) she had it not from Men, and indeed we read not of any outward Call she had from Christ; but certainly he who taught her inwardly, called her also inwardly, by his Holy Spirit; yea, so powerful was her in­ward Call, and the motion of the Spirit of Christ within her, that it caused her to make hast, she tarried not to carry home her wa­ter pot, for it is said expresly, she left here water-pot, and went in­to the City, and said unto the Men, Come, see a Man, &c. But as for their Call, it is wholly from Men, and by Men; for as they deny all immediate Teaching, so they deny immediate Calling unto the Ministry; yea, their Principle that immediate Revela­tion is ceased, and that the Scripture is the onely Rule, obligeth them to deny all immediate Calling, as well as immediate Teach­ing. Behold then how she hath this third qualification of a true Preacher which they want; she was called immediately by the Spirit of Christ in her heart; she ran not unsent, it appears the Lord sent her, and was with her by his Spirit, by the good effect her Testimony had; for, as it is said, many of the Samaritans of that City believed on him, &c. And this was through her Preaching. They did not despise her because she was a Woman, they did not say unto her (as many now say) thou art a Woman, thou should not Preach; neither did they say unto her, thou art but Ignorant and unlearned, as Men commonly say now unto our Friends whom God [Page 8] hath taught, by his Holy Spirit, though they have not the Tongues, nor the Natural Arts, and University Learning; Why do ye Preach who are unlearned, and have not been at the University? I say, these Men, they neither upbraided her with her being a woman, nor secondly, with her being unlearned; nor thirdly, that she wanted her Call, and was idle, or medled with a business that did not con­cern her; they did not say unto her, Go home to your wheel, and your Spinning, and such like words, as men commodly now say to Women Friends, whom the Lord hath taught and Called by his Spi­rit to testifie of him, as he did this Woman of Samaria. Nor fourth­ly, did they upbraid her with the place, as men commonly also now do, who wonder, and gaze, and mock, and scorn, if they see or hear any speak any thing of Christ in the streets; O, say they, this is not the Church, go to Church, if ye would Preach, this is not a fit place to Preach in. These Men of the City did not so unto this Woman, though she came unto them, and spake unto them, where she first found them, which might be in the streets or any where else.

4. Also, this Woman, no doubt very unexpectedly, and far from any design she had before had unto this work, became a Preacher, little knew she, or little did she think, before she met with Christ, and heard him, that she should preach him, nay verily, she knew nothing of it at all, nor had she any such design before hand; far contrary unto these Preachers of the Man-made-Ministry, who have designed it long before hand, and it was a design of their Pa­rents and Relations even from their Child-hood: Yea, this was the End, and final moving cause, of their being sent first to the Gram­mar-School, and then to the University; a design they should be Preachers: Quod est ultimum in Executione, est primum in intentio­ne: i. e. what is last in Execution is first in intention, so it was first of all intended. A Father hath three Sons, one of them he thinks may be fit to be made a Lawyer, another to be a Doctor of Physick, a third (and that commonly the greatest Dunce or Dolt of the three, finding him not so fit for other things) he resolves he will have him a Minister, or Preacher, that it may be a Living to him; and so away be send [...] them all to the Grammar School, and from that to the University; and thus one becomes a Preacher only by [Page 9] that which is Natural and Artificial, as the other two becomes the Lawyer and Physitian, here is nothing of God or Christ seen more in the one than in the other: Is it not so generally among them? They are become Preachers by a design or contrivance of their Pa­rents, or themselves. As soon as they become but so old, as to have so much Natural wit as to see they must make some shift how to Live, and looking about the many Trades, they readily see it is the far easiest of many, or most Trades to be a Preacher, to get money, for it is little labour in respect of many other labours, and much gain, and also brings Honour, for if he had been of never so mean a degree, and of the most abject and mean Parents in all the Countrey, yet to become a Preacher, maketh him to be estee­med a Gentleman, and be called Sir; and perhaps, to be advan­ced to be a Bishop, and then he will be called, my Lord. But how many either of one sort or another of them, whether Episcopal or Presbiterian, are to be found, who have been called from some other Calling or Occupation they were in before, to leave it, and go to Preach Christ, as this Woman was called from her Water Pot im­mediately to go Preach him, in a City of Samaria, called Sychar? And yet thus were the true Servants of the Lord called, who were Mechanick Men, and Tradesmen, both Prophets, and Apostles; Elisha was called from the Plough, Amos from the Heard, who was an Herd-man, and a gather of Sycomore Fruit; and the Apostles, many, or most of them from their Fish-Nets, who were Fishers; Matthew from the Receipt of Custom, who was a Publican, and Luke was a Physitian, and Paul a Tent-maker: and so most part of all whom God ever sent to Preach had their Employments before, and not one ever became a Preacher by an Humane design or inten­tion before hand in order unto a Living, and to get money as they do: and so this is a fourth difference betwixt this Woman-Preach­er of Samaria and them, wherein she excelleth them. Her Preach­ing was not any Humane design, either of her, or any Man, or men else, but it was wholly Divine, it was of the Lord alone, he de­signed it, and not Man; whereas their preaching commonly and generally is a Humane design, and contrivance from first to last, to get money, and Worldly Honour and preferment with much ease and idleness.

[Page 10]5. She preached Christ freely, as she had freely receiv­ed, so she freely gave; She did not begin to Contract, or Cove­nant, or bargain with them before hand, for monie, or for any Worlds good; she said not unto them, what money or Hire will ye give me, and I will preach Christ unto you? Nay, nay, she was not of such a Mercinary Spirit, she was more Noble; far unlike the preachers of the Man-made-Ministry in these daies, whether Episcopal, or Presbiterian, as well as Popish, where all is done for money, no money, no preaching, as the old proverb is, No penny, No Pater Noster; And was it not so generally among the Presbite­rians, while they had the publick places, and the Law of the Na­tion to stand by them, and for them, who of them all preached without a stipend? Which is in plain English, Wages or Hire; for stipend being a Latine word, signifieth properly Wages or Hire, but they will not have it called Wages or Hire, lest they should seem to be Hirelings; they will take the Hire, they will seek it, yea, exact it, yea, strain and distrain, and poind, and cast into prison for it, and take away a poor mans pot or pan, or platter for it, as was done to some of our Friends in the Presbiterian time, and this to pay those mens stipend, who were called Godly men of the finest sort of the Presbiterians: A strange thing of exacting wages of them, and for­cing them to give them money, who never hired them, nor heard them, and so took none of their Merchandise, and yet thus it was, as they are living at this day, who can witness it done thus unto them, so (as is said) they would take the Hire, and force it, but they will not have it called Hire, but stipend; they must put a Latine face upon it, that it may not appear in it's own deformed and ugly shape, it must be called stipend, and not Hire, whereas the proper English of stipend, is Hire; And now that they are out of their publick places, having gone out through fear, if any of them preach now and then in private places, without a set stipend, that is but in order to pro­pagate, and carry on the Presbiterian design, that they may be set up again, and recover their places, and Hires again. But which of them can say in the sight of God, at this day, they preach freely without an eye to money or outward reward? So that if they got nothing by it yet preach they must: Who of them all can say, Woe [Page 11] unto us if we Preach not the Gospel, for a necessity is laid upon us to Preach; Who of them have got their mouth opened by Him to Preach, who openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth? Has not Man, and the power and dread of Man, oft shut their mouths, and Man, with a little of his forbearance, or wink­ing at them, opened them again? how much of this has been seen these years by past among these called, or accounted the best sort of them? where were they to be found in times of hazard, when the power and dread of man threatned them to suffer imprisonment, or Fining, or the like; so that it was likely they would be apprehen­ded, and haled to prison, to ly there they knew not how long, or have a Fine taken of them. Did they preach then openly and in view? Could their voice be heard in the streets? No surely. But if an Indulgence come, or that the Magistrates wink a little at them, and they observe it, then they will come out of their holes, and creep forth a little into common view or observation. And thus man shutteth them, and man openeth them; for they know not him nor his opening, who openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth. And doth not all this exceedingly bewray and dis­cover them to be of a Covetous, and Mercinary Spirit, Hirelings indeed, who flee from the sheep in a time of hazard, whereas the good Shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep. Surely this Wo­man of Samaria was of a more noble Spirit, who Preached both freely, and boldly.

6. Though she was a Woman, yet she was not afraid to bear Testimony of Christ, she did not call them, to whom she preached into a Cellar, or Vault under the ground, or some private place, but openly, and publickly she preached him to a great company, so many heard and believed because of her saying, and yet no doubt there was a hazard so publickly to confess him, and own him in that day; and though some believed in him, yet others were enemies to him, who were Samaritans.

7. The Manner how she preached Christ, is observable, she preached him from her own experience, as what she found done by him in relation to her own condition. Come, said she, see a man who hath told me all that ever I did, Is not this the Christ? Who, [Page 12] among them all, thus preach him from their own experience? or who preach him as the Psalmist did, who said Come, and I will tell you what God hath done for my Soul? who of them can say, I have met with the Lord, and he hath convinced me of all my sins, and told me all that ever I did, and has set all things before me, and made me hate all my sins, and loath both them and my self because of them, Is not this the Christ? Also it is observable, the pithy and effectu­al way of hear reasoning, by Question, or Interrogation, which implyeth both a strong affirmation, and a clear inference or induction from the premises, leaving it as it were unto themselves to judge, or conclude, Is not this the Christ, who has told me all that ever I did? this cannot be a meer man, this cannot be only a Pro­phet, this must be the Christ, seeing he hath told me all that ever I did. How effectually doth she reason, as she was taught by the Spirit of Christ in her, though she never learned the Art of Lo­gick, yet surely she reasoned most effectually, and saw more into the reason of the thing, than all the University men have done unto this day, by all their artificial Logick. And her Reason, or Argu­ment runs thus. He who telleth a man or woman all that ever they have done, must be Christ: but this man has told all that ever I have done, therefore this is the Christ, or is not this the Christ? The first Proposition is clear unto all men, because it is he only who is God, that knoweth all the doings of a man, so it is he only who can tell them all unto them, and so this He, who hath told me all that ever I did, must be more than any Man, or Prophet, who may know some things, but know not all, He must be Christ, who is God. And as I said before this was inwardly, and not outwardly, he could not tell her outwardly all that ever she did in so short a time, but inwardly he could in a moment; even as the outward light of the Sun in a moment representeth things unto our eye in the outward, and letteth us see in a moment, all at once, as it were a thousand things; and thus she was taught, and thus she reasoned concerning him: And thus also hath the Lord taught us to reason concerning Him. He who hath in wardly conuinced us of our sins, and told us all the sins that ever we did, and brought them to re­membrance before us, when we had forgotten them, or cast them [Page 13] behind our backs, this is the Christ, this Light in us must be the Light of Christ; or this He in us must be the Christ, and not any meer humane, or natural Light, this must be Divine, Spiritual, and saving, yea, the Saviour, the Christ: so she Preached him, and so the Lord hath taught us to Preach him. But so do not these Men of the Man-made-Ministry Preach him; Nay, but the contrary: for, say they, That is not Christ which convinceth every man of his sins, and tells him all that ever he did, it is but a humane prin­ciple, not Divine; it is but Natural, not Spiritual; a natural Light, and so instead of Preaching him thus, as he is in the hearts of People convincing them of sin, and shewing them their sins, they plainly deny him, they confess them without, but deny him within; and so deny his Divinity, and Divine power and Godhead: for if he be God, is he not within? and that both in Believers, and Unbelievers, doth he not by his Spirit convince the world of Sin? Is he not the Light of the world, who lighteth every man that cometh into the world, that all men through him might believe? as Iohn de­clared, Chap. 1. Yea, so contrary are they unto the being of Christ within, that they plainly, and openly deny him, to be really and properly, and immediately, or essentially within his Saints; yea, to say, that he is, they call it Blasphemy: O, say they, he is in us by his Graces, and by his Operations, or Virtue, but not immedi­ately, or essentially: He is in us, say they, immediatione virtutis, but not immediatione suppositi: i. e. he is in us immediately by his Virtue, but not by himself; as the Sun appeareth in us by his Vir­tue or heat: yea, the real in-being of the Spirit of God by him­self, they have generally denyed, and judged some among them­selves who have affirmed it: And yet how clear and full is the Scripture unto this Truth; that Christ is not only in all men by his Light, but also upholdeth all things by his Word and Power, which canot be separated from him; and if he were not every where, he could not be infinite; and as he is in all, so he hath his several ways of operation, and manifestation in all, in Unbelie­vers after one manner, and in Believers in another, according un­to their several capacities, and conditions.

8. She Preached him as One they could both come unto, and [Page 14] see immediately, as she had heard him, and seen him her self, so she had a great desire that they also might see him, Come and see, (said she) she did not thus Preach unto them, it is enough for your Faith, O ye men of Samaria, that others have heard of Christ, and seen him, and from what they have heard and seen, to have reported of him unto you; Oh! Nay, but Come and see, And after this manner did all the true Servants of God, Preach unto Peopole, O tast and see, said David▪ That which we have heard and seen, we declare unto you (saith John in the Name of all his Brethren) that you may have fellowship with us; that ye may hear with us, and see with us, and handle with us, of that Word of Life: But so do not these Men of the Man-made-Ministry; neither Episcopal, Presbyterian, nor Independent, so called; None of them all say or Preach, Come and see Christ him­self, or hear himself; Nay, nay, that is all ceased (say they) Christ is gone into Heaven, and will not come again till the last day, he has left us the Scriptures, and the Sacraments in his room▪ we cannot know him otherwise, but by these visible things, we cannot see himself, nor hear himself, all immediate Revelation is ceased, there is no Vision of God or Christ to be expected in this life nor imme­diate teaching, or hearing of Christ himself O sad, and Com­fortless Doctrine! but this is their Doctrine, nor Christ's. I will rather hear this Woman of Samaria, than hear them, She bids Come and see Christ himself; they say there is no seeing of him, nor hearing of himself, so long as we live upon earth: Oh blind and deaf men, who because they have neither heard him, nor seen him, therefore deny this blessed priviledge! Oh that people should follow after them, and not see these blind men! What great mat­ter can they tell of Christ? what great or excellent thing can they attain by their Preaching, who deny that they can either hear him, or see him while they are upon Earth? But who, in some measure hear him not, nor see him while on Earth, be this told unto you as from the Lord, it will be in vain for you to think to hear him, or see him to your Comfort and Joy hereafter.

9. Again, the Method of this Womans Preaching was not like their School Method, who make a Tale of an hours length, and [Page] [Page] [Page] yet never come to the matter it self; who take a Text from some place of Scripture, and raise from it so many points of Doctrine, which they have studied so long before hand; and must study a day, (and some perhaps two or three days) to preach one hour, and then to deliver off unto the people that dry, dead and barren stuff, that they have scraped and gathered together out of so many old and Worm eaten Authors, which they cannot say is their experience, and have not received it from the Lord. But they are Theeves, and have stolen it, yea perhaps it is an hundred times stolen, having come through so many hands; who have stollen the words of God concerning the conditions, and experiences of the Saints, as the false teachers, and Prophets of old, of whom the Lord said Jer. 23. Behold I am against these Prophets who steal my Words, &c. They shall not profit the People at all. And is not this fulfilled abundant­ly? Where is the profitting of the people? doe they not remain still in their sins and wickedness? And as for these made, and com­posed Sermons; by art and cunning of mans wisdom and Spirit, it is plain deceit, and is expressly so called in Scripture, where the Apostle said, That with feigned words the false Teachers should make merchandize of the People. according unto the Greek properly and truly it is thus: With made, or composed Speeches, or Discourses, they shall make Merchandise of you. And so it is seen at this day: for as they make their Sermons by Art, and take great pains (as they say) to Compose, and Frame them, so they make Merchandise of them, and sell them unto the people for Money; yea, cause peo­ple to give them Money, over, and over again for the same; and thus they they beguile them, and make Merchandise of them also: so did not this Woman; she did not go home and study what she should say, but she spoke what freely rose in her heart, as the Lord taught her; and though her words were but few, yet they are very material and weighty, and came no doubt from the Wis­dom of God revealed in her, for her own wisdome could never have taught her such excellent words, and so excellently to prove that he was the Christ from her own experience. He hath told me all that ever I did, is not this the Christ?

10. Her Preaching had this good effect, They came unto him [Page] saw himself, and heard him; and as some believed because of the Wo­mans saying, so it is said, Many more believed because of his own word, and then their Faith had sure footing, and found the right Foundation, to wit, his own word: then they generrally came to hear himself, and so believed, because they heard himself, as they declared themselves; yet she was an occasion unto them by her speaking: But whom hath these of the Man-made-Ministry brought this length, that they are come unto Christ himself, and heard him, and seen him? nay, both Teachers and People cry out gene­rally, this is not to be expected in this Life, all Vision, and Reve­lation is ceased: And no doubt as they came unto him outwardly, and heard him, and saw him outwardly; so they came unto him, and heard, and saw him inwardly, otherwise they could not have believed in him, nor loved him as they did, nor been blessed by him, if they had not seen him, and heard him with another eye than the outward, which many heard him, and saw him him with, who remained Unbelievers, and were not blessed. And so now by these Ten Instances, it is manifest, how this Woman-Preacher of Sa­maria, was a better Preacher than any of the Men-Preachers of the Man-made-Ministry, who called the men of Sychar out of the City unto Iacob's Well to see Christ: now Sychar signifieth Drunken­ness, and doth fitly answer unto the natural, and unconverted state, and now Iacob's Well Typefieth the Spirit of Christ, which is the Well of Living-water in true Believers, and so out of the na­tural state, and Spirit of this World, she called them unto the Spi­rit of Christ, there to come unto him, and to see him.

The 29th of the First Month, 1673.


BUT say, the Men-Preachers of the Man made-Ministry, Women ought not to Preach, because the Apostle expresly saith, But I suffer not a Woman to teach, nor to Vsurp Authority over the Man, but to be in silence. To which I say, first, what if I should understand by the Woman in this place, the flesh, as Ber­nard, an Ancient Father in the Church, (who is of great account both among them called Papists and Protestants) doth understand it; for thus he writeth about five hundred years ago, In sermone de septem Spiritibu [...], Fol. 87. Edit. Paris. Ad Spiritum enim debet fieri Conversio Carnis, ut serviat ipsa, & non serviatur ei, ut dicat Spiritus servo sno, veni, & veniat, fac hoc & faciat illud, sic enim erit uxor nostra, sicut vitis abundans, & salvabitur per geuerationem filiorum▪ qui sunt opera bona, si fuerit ipsa quidem in lateribus domus nostrae i. e. in abscondito, & humili loco, anima vero resideat in medio tan­quam domina, tanquam Pater familias, tanquam Iudex. That is, in English; For the Flesh ought to be Converted unto the Spirit, that she may serve, and not be served; that the Spirit may say un­to his Servant, come, and it cometh; do this, and it doth it; for so our Wife shall be, as a fruitful Vine, and shall be saved by bear­ing of Children, which are good works, if she be indeed in the sides of our House, that is, in a secret, and low place; but let the Soul remain in the midst, as a Mistress, as a Master of the Fami­ly, as a Judge. Behold, how Bernard understandeth by the Wo­man (which Paul suffereth not to teach) our flesh, and Paul speaking of this Woman, that she shall be saved in Child-bearing; Bernard ex­poundeth these Children to be good works, notwithstanding she shall be saved (saith Paul) in Child-bearing, or in bearing of Children, if they continue in Faith and Charity, and Holiness, with Sobriety, 1 Tim. 2.12, 13, 14, 15. And that the Apostle saith, if they continue [Page 18] what is to be understood by these words? Whether outward and Natural Children; or such Children as Bernard expoundeth to be good works? Or is a Woman saved by bearing outward, and Na­tural Children, to wit, Male, or Female Children, or can the Faith and Holiness of these Children save the Woman? I have made use of the Authority of Bernard, in this place, not as if I would have People believe this Exposition simply or mainly be­cause Bernard hath said so; But indeed, because the Men of the Schools, and those called Clergy-Men, lay such weight upon the Authority of the Fathers, who commonly say, We are to receive the Exposition of the Scripture from the Fathers, and (if the Expo­position of a Scripture be called in question) we are to hear, what such an Ancient Father, as Bernard, or Agustine▪ or Ierome saith upon it, and that is to determine the Case, if especially the Scripture it s [...]lf say nothing to the contrary; Let them hear therefore Bernard in the Case▪ and leave off their proud and insolent words against the People called in derision Quakers, as if they understood the Scriptures all contrary to the mind of the Ancient Fathers, (for let this be told them, that not onely in this particular, but in most of all the things of weight, wherein we differ from the present Clergy-men so called, we have the Ancient Fathers more on our side, than they have, as it may be made appear (if God permit) in due season) And also let those weak and illiterate Man made-Ministers, who pretend so much to Learning, and reading (and yet have so little of it) forbear their frothy jearings, and mockings of our Friends as touching the meaning of the Scriptures, lest in so doing they be found mockers of them whom they call their Fa­thers, of whom either mediately or immediately they borrow, or rather steal any thing they have to say, though oft knowing nei­ther what they say, nor whereof they affirm, I have had an oc­casion given me, not long ago by some of these Men to return them this advice: some of them going about to represent it, as a most ridiculous, and inconsistent Exposition to expound, by the Woman (which Paul permitted not to speak) the flesh; for, say they, If the Woman be the flesh, then, who is the fleshes Husband? Now, let them hear Bernard (a Man I am verily perswaded far excelling [Page 19] them both in Piety and Learning) who saith, the flesh is to be sub­ject to the Spirit (or Spiritual part in us) and so she shall be our Wife, a fruitful Vine in the sides of our House: by which flesh, is not to be understood sin, or sinfull Concupiscence, but the animal or in­ferior part of a Man, which is the Creature of God, and is of good use unto them who are Sanctified and renewed. And as concern­ing the Woman mentioned by Paul, in his first Epistle to Timothy, Chap. 2. v. 12, 13, &c. not onely Bernard, as I have shewed, but Augustine (who Lived twelve hundred Years ago, and one of the most Renowned Fathers in the Church in those dayes, and who is of great account at this day both among Papists and Protestants) doth by the woman understand the flesh, and by her Children, he doth understand good works; for thus he writeth, Libro de trinitate. 12. upon the words of the Apostle to Timothy; She shall be saved by bearing of Children: In that Sex of Male and Female (saith he) the Apostle Paul from this may be understood to have figured the My­stery of something more secret; his words in Latine run thus: In isto Sexu Masculi & Faeminae Apostolus Paulus occultioris cujusdam rei fi­gurasse Mysterium, vel hinc intelligi potest.

And again, the same Augustine writeth thus, Tractatu in Psal▪ 83. Salva ergo erit Mulier quae in typo carnis accipitur, per filiorum gene­rationem, id est, si faciat opera bona. That is, in English, the Wo­man therefore shall be saved, which is taken in the Type of the flesh, by the Generation of Children, that is, if she do good works.

I Answer, secondly, If I should so far condes [...]end, or agree un­to them, as to take the words of Paul, for Women, in the common sense of speech, what will they gain by it? That no Women are to speak in the Church; or that Women in no case are to speak in the Church? if so, why then are they sound so great and palpable transgressors themselves, who not onely permit, but command Women fre­quently to speak in their own Churches, even in their most pub­lick Assemblies. And verily, if the thing were not so publickly and ordinarily practised in this Land. I should almost be ashamed to mention it, the matter it self is so shameful a thing. How is it, I say (to you I speak who are called Ministers of the Kirk of Scot­land) that ye not onely permit, but command, yea, and force [Page 20] Women, and that of the worst sort, to wit, Whores, and Adul­terous Women, and who have committed Fornication again, and again, and that without any real signs of true Repentance, to come in before the Face of the whole Congregation, to speak. And the place wherein they are appointed to stand, is not much unlike to your Pulpits, but that it is larger, that it may hold three or four; and I my self, as many with me, have seen it filled, with as many as it could well hold, and these unhonest Women are commanded to speak publickly in the Church; yea, the Preacher, (after he him­self hath made an end,) calleth them by their particular Names one by one, and bids them speak to the Edification of the Congrega­tion; and so they must all speak one by one, to the Edification of all; and those who are most impudent, and least sensible either of their sin, or their shame, will readily speak most, but in great Hi­pocrisie and deceit, for you your selves know, that a true Penitent is rarely to be found among them. If you say, This is not Preach­ing or Teaching, but only a confessing of their sins, and asking God Mercy, and the like; I answer, Is not confessing their sins, speak­ing, and asking Mercy of God (so that the Congregation may hear) is not this speaking? Now, the Apostle saith, 1 Cor. 14.34. Let your Women keep silence in the Churches, for it is not permitted unto them to speak. So the Apostle useth this general word (to speak) And yet surely confessing of sin, and praying for forgiveness, so that the Congregation may hear, is speaking; yet it is permitted unto these▪ Whorish and Dishonest Women at that time to exhort the People, and warn them to beware of the snares of the Ene­my, and the like words; and this i [...] a sort of Teaching: and I my self have heard some of them, who had learned the knack of it, more than others, spake by way of Exhortation, and Instruction, that she seemed to speak almost as well, and to as good purpose, as the Preacher himself. Now, let all Sober, and Impartial Peo­ple judge in this Case, betwixt those Men, and us; they not one­ly permit, but command dishonest Women, (who have been Whores,) to speak in the Church, whereas we command no Wo­man at all to speak in the Church; but this we say, if God by his Spirit move or command a godly, sober, Religious Woman to [Page 21] speak in the Church, we are not to forbid her, yea, we are to hear her, and we may be both edified, and refreshed by her Testimo­ny, it being the spirit of God which speaketh unto us, in her, and by her. Yea, That the Apostle did not forbid all Women in all cases to to speak, is plain, for in the same Epistle, chap. 11. v. 5. he sheweth, how the Woman is to be covered, that Prayeth, or Prophecyeth, which plainly holdeth forth, that some Women at least, did both Pray, and Prophecy in the Church, in his day, (yea, and ye your selves allow Women to Sing in the Church, which is a sort of speaking, and if they sing publickly in the outward hearing, why may they not pray publickly in the outward hearing, for both is a sort of speaking, seeing in both they utter words.) What sort of Women then is it, whom Paul doth not permit to speak in the Church? in these two places above-mentioned, 1 Cor. 14.34. and 1 Tim. 2.12, 13. &c. taking them for Women in the common litteral sence) Verily, let us but look into the Context, or words going before, in both places, and that will clear it: for they are such women, as need to be taught themselves; even, First, Unlearned Women, Secondly, Tatling Women, that were not yet come to the true si­lence. Thirdly, Unruly, Proud Women, that were not come to the true subjection, all which is implyed in these words, Let the Wo­men learn in silence, with all subjection; for no doubt there were such Women among them of Ephesus (where Timothie then was) who had need of these Instructions: And Fourthly, vain Women, who were given to vain and gaudy Apparel, such as Gold, or Pearls, or costly Array, and were not yet come to be covered with the Spirit of the Lord. Fifthly, Such as Usurped Authority over the Man. Sixthly, Such as were in the Transgression, and deceived as the first Woman was. Seventhly, Such Women as transgress the Law, and not come to be under Grace, as said Paul, They are to be under Obe­dience, as also saith the Law: so read the words going before, and behind, in both places, and you may observe, that a seven fold sort of Women are not permitted by Paul to speak in the Church, and as is said, no doubt there were of all these sorts of Women among them of Corinth, and Ephesus, who were not permitted to speak, who had need of these Instructions, for commonly such particular [Page 22] Instructions are not given, concerning such things, where there is not need, or where none are guilty. But what if Paul had said so concerning all the Women at Corinth, and Ephesus, (where Timothy at this time was when he wrote to him, concerning Women) that he did not permit them to speak, will it therefore follow that no Wo­men are to speak in any Case in the Church? I will put you in mind of one of your School Rules, which is this, a particularibus ad universale non val [...]t consequentia, i. e. from particulars unto uni­versal the consequence is not valid: therefore, though it had not been permitted either unto some or all of these two particular Churches of Corinth, or Ephesus, to speak (because they might at that time, being but young, not have the requisite qualifi­cations) it will not follow, that Universally all Women eve­ry where else ought not to speak; yea, these called Presby­terians may remember, how they have both allowed, and coun­tenanced Women both to Pray, and speak of their Experi­ences▪ in their private Meetings, and yet they cannot deny, but their private Meetings are a Church; for inded a Church, according to the Greek, and Latin word, is nothing else but a Convention, or gathering of the People, whether few, or ma­ny; so that Three, Six, or Twelve, is as really a Church, as 300, 600, or 1200.

And further, let us once more take notice of the Apostles words, and we shall find, that they do not signifie, an absolute forbid­ding of Women in any case to speak, teach, or Preach in the Church; I permit or suffer not a Woman (said he) to teach in the Church, but if they will learn any thing, let them ask their Hu [...]bands at home; For the better understanding of which, I am to remem­ber you, that even according unto Pauls own words, there was in that day a two-fold manner of speaking in the Church: One by Commandment, another by permission, and this distinction Paul himself useth, writing unto the Corinthians, when he said, as touching some particular things, 1 Cor. 7.6. But I speak this by per­mission (said he) and not of Commandment; also in divers other places, he writeth thus, I say, not the Lord, now this sort of speak­ing was used in the Church, in two particular Cases;

[Page 23]1. In the propounding, or asking of a Question, for there were in the Church, some who asked Questions, and some who Answered, the Unlearned Asked, and the Learned Answered, which is the most proper way of Catechising.

2. This sort of speaking, to wit, by Permission, was used in the Church in matter of Advice, and Counsel, re­lating to the affairs of the Church, where men (according to the Wisdome given them of God) finding the Spirit of the Lord present with them, enlightning them, and direct­ing them, might speak their mind, in Cases, by way of Counsel and Advice, as seeing the Expediency and use of it, for a certain time, though they were not to enjoyn it as a Command. And Paul himself useth this same Distincti­on, destinguishing betwixt things lawful, and things ex­pedient; so that some things may be lawful which are not expedient, and some things may be both lawful and ex­pedient, and yet not commanded of God; and a man (as im­mediately taught by the Spirit of the Lord in his heart) may see, both the lawfulness, and expediency of a thing, and may speak by the spirit of the Lord moving him, in the Church, concerning both the lawfulness and expediency of that thing, and yet he may say, I speak not this by Commandment, as if what he said were a Command­ment unto them; yea the Spirit of the Lord may com­mand and move him to declare unto them, that the thing in hand before them, is not a Command, but an Expedient thing, and fit to be done at that time. Now in these two Ca­ses of speaking by Permission in the Church, as first in that of asking Questions; and, secondly, in that of giving Advice or Cousel simply, by a permission: if they would contend, that Women ought not to speak in the Church, all that they can pretend with any shew, or colour of Reason, at most is, That Women are not to speak in the Church by per­mission: if they speak, they are not to do it by permission, but by commandment, whereas it is permitted unto Men, [Page 24] at times to speak in the Church by permission, when not by commandment: an unlearned man may be permitted to ask a Question in the Church, which is not permitted un­to a Woman, nor is it needful, for she may ask her Husband at home.

But if the Spirit of the Lord Command or move a godly and Spiritually Learned Woman to speak, in this case she is the Lords, more than her Husbands, and she is to speak, yea, though the Husband should forbid her, for she ought rather to obey God than Man. And in Christ Iesus there is neither Male nor Femal [...] but all are one in him ▪ as the Apostle said. So both these Cases are in a matter of Freedom or Permission, not in a matter of Necessity or Command: therefore though Wo­men may not speak by permission, which Men may do, yet they may speak by Command, as when the Lord command­eth or moveth them by his Spirit. And that Women spake in the Church, is most evident, from the second Chapter of Acts, which was a very solemn time, and also a very solemn Convention, for the Scripture saith Expresly, Acts 1.14. that among the Apostles, Mary with other Women were present, and it is said, Acts 2.4. And they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other Tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. So here the Women were filled with the Holy Ghost, and spake, as the Apostles did; for it is said so of them all universally: and it appeareth further, that the wo­men spoke, in this solemn Assembly from the Apology of Peter, which he made in the defence of the womens Prophe­cying or speaking, out of Ioels Prophecy, where it was Pro­phecyed by Ioel, that the Lord would pour out his Spirit up­on all Flesh, both Male and Female Sons and Daughters, Men Servants and Maid-Servants, and they shall Prophecy; and so that Prophecy was eminently fulfilled at that time as at other times afterwards. And also before this time, the Lord made use of women, to witness, speak, or declare, and that unto the eleven Apostles, that Christ was risen from the dead, [Page 25] Luke 24.9, 10. And was not this Convention a Church? And did not the Lord after his Resurrection first of all appear unto a woman, to wit, Mary Magdalene? And did not he command her to speak unto the Apostles, and Instruct them concerning his Resurrection? Go (said he) unto my Brethren, and say unto them, I ascend to my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God. Yea, and not onely the Scripture, but also the Church History telleth us of women, who taught and Instructed Men, as particularly that woman, who con­verted the Nation of the Iberians unto the Christian Faith, as Eusebius relateth.


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