A True and Faithful ACCOMPT OF The most material Passages of a Dispute betwixt some Students of Divini­ty (so called) of the University of Aber­dene, and the People called Qnakers; held in Aberdene in Scotland, in Alexander Harper his Close (or Yard) before some hundreds of Witnesses, upon the fourteenth day of the second Month called April, 1675. There being

Opponents
  • Iohn Lesly, Mast. of Art.
  • Alexander Shirreff. Mast. of Art.
  • Paul Gellie. Mast. of Art.

And Defendants upon the Quakers part.

Robert Barclay. and George Keith.

Praeses for moderating the meeting, chosen by them, Andrew Thomsone Advocate: and by the Quakers, Alexa [...]der Skein, som­time a Magistrate of the City.

Published for preventing misreports, by Alexander Skein, Iohn Skein, Alexan­der Harper, Thomas, M [...]rser, and Io [...] C [...]wie.

To which is added, Robert Barclay's offer to the Preachers of Aberdene, renewed and re inforced.

Act. 4. 27 For of a truth, against thy holy child Iesus, whom thou hast ano [...]nted; both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the People of Israel were gathered together.

London Printed, in the Year, 1675.

The Epistle.

Friendly Readers.

FOrasmuch as our oppo­sers threatned they would Print an accompt of the debate, and boasted of a victory, we thought it our concern­ment for the Truths sake, and to undeceive these that may be abused by such reports, to give this true and faithful accompt of what past: which we are confident all the impartial and attentive Auditors, will affirm to be a true accompt; neither is there any one Argument omitted that we can remember of, or any thing added. There were many things spoken extrinsick from the matter; and somtimes confusedly two or three of our opposers speaking often at once, and also some others [Page 4] that were not concerned, as parti­cularly, one Brown the Bishops Chap­lain, who though he refused to Sub­scribe the Articles, and so was ex­cluded from speaking, did often most impertinently interupt, and intrude himself. But these being only tran­scient; and no Arguments insisted on; we have not inserted them, stud­dying to keep to the matter: and we do faithfully declare that we have herein dealt impartially according to our memory, as we hope such se­rious Auditors as may read this will acknowledge. So leaving you to the perusal hereof, we rest,

Your Souls well-wishers,
  • Alexander Skein.
  • Iohn Skein.
  • Thomas Mercer.
  • Iohn Cowie.
In the first place t …

R. B. His Offer to Jo. Menzies Pro­fessor of Divinity (so called) George Meldrum, Minister at Aberdeen, and William Mitchel Catechist, at foot of Dee.

AS in this late Rencountre it was specially provided, that it shall be abstract from the Challenge made to you, and so no fulfilling of it; so now this being past, of which you have here presented to you a good and faithful ac­count, which we hope being seriously weighed by your more mature Judg­ments, may allay any hasty joy that might have proceeded from the windy Triumphs the Students might have pos­sessed you with a belief they had ob­tained, who at every turn to the nau­seating of the more serious and impar­tial Auditors, were proclaiming them­selves Victors, we think you more con­cerned; and indeed we are the more desirous to meet and debate it with your selves; for either this is all ye have to say, which ye have put in their mouths, [Page 55] or ye have more to say; if this be all, then indeed it may be your wisdom not to accept this offer; but if ye have more, we shall be willing to hear it, and endeavour to answer it; and as your appearing your selves would be more satisfactory to the people, and is most desired by them as well as us; so divers inconveniencies that hath in this, or may fall in the like would be avoided; for first, it being in your publike houses, there would be less occasion of tumult, because the house is capable to hold di­vers thousands. Secondly, as it is pro­bable ye would not so readily be put to a stand as they, if it should happen ye were: we are hopeful ye would not by raising a laughter and clamour amongst the people, and crying out three or four at once, seek to cover it, or boast of Victory, and cry out your Argument is pungent before we have time allow­ed us to answer it. Thirdly, you en­gaging we are hopeful to procure dis­creet, Learned, and persons every way considerable to be Judges consultative upon our part, though not professing our way, to help to moderate and keep [Page 56] good order. Fourthly, it is probable; that by the solemnity of such an action and the influence of your presence, as well as other persons of condition being there, might secure us from the hazard of clods, and stones; for I do truly assure you, I conceive my self more able to answer the most pungent of your Argu­ment, than defending my self from the stones and blows of your unreasonable and brutish Church-Members. It is by some of your people objected to us (whether it come from you or not I will not affirm) that it is below you to engage with us; but as this is altogether unsutable to Christian Ministers, whose Mr. disdained not daily to debate, and an­swer the Questions of such as opposed themselves unto him, and taught his Disciples to leave the ninety and nine, and go seek after the odd one. Next it is most unreasonable, for since ye take liberty to speak against us in your Pul­pits, and particularly to designe us, yea & sometimes to speak untruths of us. I desire then to know whether it be agree­able to the Rules of Christianity, or e­ven of common honesty, to take liber­ty [Page 97] to speak ill of men behind their backs, abuse their Principles and Repu­tations, and yet say it is below them to prove these Charges to the mens own faces. Secondly, it is objected, that it is against the Laws to call the faith e­stablished by Law into question; but may not the same be said against Pro­testants in those Nations where Po­pery and Mahomitism are established by Law; yea, is not this the very pretence and put off which the Papists both in Germany and France gave the Primi­tive Protestants, when they desired pub­like conferences with them? And was not both the Emperor Charles the Fifth, and his Brother Ferdinando sorely checkt by divers Bishops of Rome for granting these Conferences? and the Queen-Mother of France openly reproved and cried out against by Cardinal Turnon and other Clergy-men, sor giving way to that of Poysy, as suffering the univer­sal faith of the Church to be called in quest on, which had been established by many Laws, & for afar longer time than the Profession we oppose. It seems ye defend your selves chiefly by Popish [Page 58] Weapone, as will anon further appear: in order whereunto I shall speak a word or two to Iohn Menzies, and so make an end. The greatest and frequentest Argument that both thy Scholars and o­thers make against us, is, that we have no certain evidence by which we can make known that we are led by the Spirit that Hereticks and others cannot pretend to. Now if this may be ad­mitted as relevant or strong against us, I desire thou wouldst be pleased to shew me how thou canst extricate thy self out of the same difficulty, when urged by the Jesuit Dempster, that the Scripture which thou assigned as the ground of the Protestant Religion is an evidence for you, seeing all Hereticks also pre­tend to it? Let me see what difficulties occur in our Case as to the Spirit, which likewise occurs not the same very way in yours, as to the Scripture. For (besides that we have as good ground to lay claim to the Scriptures as your selves, and are ready, and I hope able to prove our Principles from them as well as your selves. If ye say men may be deceived by a seducing Spirit, What [Page 59] then? will it therefore follow that the Spirit of God will deceive any, or that men ought not to be guided by it, more than because many men have been and are deceived by a misunderstanding and wrong use of the Scripture, that there­fore the Scripture doth deceive people, or ought not to be the Rule? If it be said divers men pretending to the Spi­rit contradict one another, doth not the same recur as to the Scriptures? What greater contradictions can there be than there is betwixt certain Churches both acknowledging the Scriptures to be the Rule? Hast thou forgotten (Iohn) how thou and thy Elder Brother Andr. Cant, who both affirmed the Scripture to be the only certain Rule, & yet oftentimes be­fore the same Auditory in the same Pul­pit did from the very same ver. of Scrip­ture, Ps 93. 5. Holiness becometh thy house O Lord, for over, draw different and con­tradictory Doctrines, Uses and Appli­cations? If that then will not infer ac­cording to you the Scriptures to be an uncertain Rule; neither will the other as to the Spirit. If it be said that the same man pretending to be guided by [Page 60] the Spirit, hath been of different Judg­ments, doth not the same also recur as to the Scriptures? Or need we go fur­ther, Iohn, than thy self to prove this, who hath all along acknowledged the Scripture to be the Rule, and yet some­time judged the Congregational way to be preferable to the Presbyterian, & then the Presbyterian better then Indepen­dent, and now the Episcopal preferable to both? Or tell me, Iohn, honestly, did the Scripture deceive thee when thou preached upon that Text, Why mournest thou for Saul? If thou say thou only here misunderstood the place, and mis­applied it; yet is the Scripture for-all that true and certain; may not the same be said, if one pretending the Spirit to be the Rule, should fall in the like error that the Spirit were not to be blamed, or thence termed uncertain: but the man that mistook the voice thereof, or took his own imaginations instead of it, as thou didst thy misapprehensions for the sense of that Scripture. If thou canst extricate thy self out of these diffi­culties, so as to satisfie me, or any o­ther rational and indifferent person, I [Page 61] may seriously say to thee according to the Proverb, Eris mihi magnus Apollo. And really thou mayst not be without hopes of making a Prosel [...]te. But if it appear to all judicious and unprejudicate persons that Iohn Menzies's Arguments against the Quakers are no other than the Jesuits against him; and whatever way he can defend himself against the Jesuites, so the Quakers can do against him, and impugn and straiten him the same way, so that his Argument is like the Vipers brood, that destroys him that brings it forth. I say, if this appear, what may candid persons judge of Iohn Menzies honesty that has asserted in Print, that Quakerism is Popery un­der a disguise; and the Papists and Qua­kers are one.

The state of the Controversie in the first place then both upon our part and yours is in Thesis and not in hypothesi, that is not whether or not we be truly ruled by the Spirit, or can give an evidence of it, more than whether ye be truly led by the Scriptures, or can give any evidence that ye are; but whether we do well in saying the Spirit is the principal Rule of [Page 62] Faith; for though divers Sects now, t [...] wit, Lutherans, Calvinists, Episcopalians▪ Presbyterians, Independents, Anabaptists [...] Antinomians, Arminians, &c. do all quar­rel one another, each laying claim to be led by the Scripture, & denying it of the [...] other; yet do they all agree in this, tha [...] the Scripture is the only Rule, will i [...] therefore follow that the Scripture is no [...] the Rule or certain, because none o [...] these can give a certain evidence convin­cing their respective opposers, that they are led by it? So on the other hand, [...] though such as affirm the Spirit to be the [...] principal Rule, cannot give any evi­dence to convince their Opposers, that [...] they are led by it; it will not follow that it is not the Rule, or that they err in [...] affirming it so to be.

A Postscript.

AS the Apostle Paul said concerning the Spirit of God, that there are diversity of operations, but one Spirit, and one body of Christ, which is his Church; so I may say concerning Antichrist, and his spirit and body. The body of Anti­christ is but one, having many members; and the spirit of Antichrist is but one in the root, though in different operations, & appearances. And what is this body of Antichrist, but all these (whether Papists or others, though pretending to Reforma­tion, under what soever designation, as E­piscopal, Presbyterian, Independent, Anabap­tist, or any else) who oppose the Spirit of Christ in his spiritual appearances and operations in the body of Christ, which is his Church. A manifest instance of the truth of this, I my self of late have been an ear and eye witness of. For not many months ago I'had occasi­on at London, both to see with my eyes, [Page 64] and hear with my ears, how the people called Anabaptists, some of their chief Teachers, opposed, denied, slighted, and (by all means their earthly and devilish wisdom could invent) laboured to make of none effect the inward evidence of the Spirit of God in his people, alledg­ing openly in the faces of thousands, That whoever [...]ould not give an evidence to their Adversaries, that they were inspi­red with the Spirit of God such as no hereticks could pretend to, were no Christians but deceivers. So these A­nabaptists lately argued against us at London in an open Assembly. And so now since in my own native Country within these few days, I have seen the same Spirit to appear in men professedly very much differing from Anabaptists, and slighting them as a sort of Here­ticks, yet one with them in the ground; and in this particular work and service also, to carry on the great designe of An­tichrist. These are some Masters of Arts, Students of Divinity, as they call themselves, in the University of Aber­dene, who openly in the hearing of di­vers hundreds of people, some whereof [Page 65] were sober and judicious, did oppose the inward evidence of the Spirit of God in his people, as not being a sufficient evidence unto them, unless they could give an evidence of it unto others, even their very Adversaries, that they were in­spired; and so if we the people called Quakers could not give an evidence of this unto these our opposes, we were but deceivers. After it had been shewn them, that Papists & Jesuits used the same Ar­gument against all the Protestants, that indeed did more militat against them, out of the Papists Quiver, than out of these our Adversaries Quiver against us. I pro­duced the Testimony of the Scripture, as the best and most convincing outward evidence that could be given, as a wit­ness to the Doctrine and Principle of Immediate Revelation and Inspiration of the Spirit of God, owned by us, as being in all men in some measure, and consequently in us. This is, I say, not the the best and most principal evidence, nor the greatest, that we have unto out selves, or unto one another, who are ga­thered into the same Faith, Spirit, and Power, for that is the immediate evi­dence [Page 66] of the Spirit in our hearts, which witnesseth both to our selves and to one another, that we are the Children of God; but it is (I mean the Scripture) the greatest outward and visible evi­dence, that can be given unto our Ad­versaries, who in words own the Scrip­tures, as their only Rule, and chiefest e­vidences. And in doing so, I fol­lowed the example of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who while he reasoned against the Jews, who profes­sed to own the Scriptures, but denied him; he brought a testimony for him­self out of the Scriptures, which they in words owned as their Rule; Search (said he) or ye search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and these are they, which testifie of me. Now though Christ his own immediate Testimony should have been received as greater than any of his Servants, such as Moses, and the Prophets were, yet he used this, as an Argument against them, as bring­ing them to their own Rule; and said he, had ye believed Moses, ye would have be­lieved me, for Moses wrote of me. And he said again, I have a greater testomony than [Page 67] that of Iohn: and yet Iohn was the grea­test of all the Prophets. So in like man­ner we say, We have a greater testimo­ny to Christ Jesus by his Spirit, and Power revealed in us, than the testimony of Moses and the Prophets, even than Ioh [...], who was the greatest. But when we produce the Testimony of Moses & the Prophets and Apostles as an evidence to the truth of what we affirm, I say it should be received by our Adversaries who own the Scriptures as their chief and only Rule. For either they should receive it, or not receive it; if they should receive it then they are faulty, who in the late Dispute at Aberdene did refuse to receive the evidence of the Scriptures, as from us, only because we say we have a greater, to wit, that of the Spirit within us, although we own the Scripture as the greatest visible and outward evidence that we can give to our Adversaries. If they should not re­ceive the Scripture-evidence and testi­mony as from us, because we say we have a greater, to wit, that of Christ himself immediately in us by his Spirit, then they must needs also say, for the [Page 68] same reason, that the Jews ought not to receive the testimony of the Scriptures as an evidence for Christ, because he said he had a greater; and certainly he had a greater, though they would not receive it, nor could not, as they stood in their prejudice and malice, werewith they were filled against him, who did not receive him.

Now this I say with freedom and bold­ness of Spirit to all those whether Pa­pists, Anabaptists, Prelatical or Presby­terian Professors, who with one mouth require of us an evidence that we are infpired, or have a measure of the In­spiration of the Spirit of God and Christ in us; I offer unto all of you the Scriptures for an evidence of this truth, viz. that the Quakers so called have a measure of the Inspiration of the Spirit of God and Christ in them; for accor­ding to the Scriptures testimony, Christ the true Light enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world; and his il­lumination is his inspiration; I profess sincerely in Gods fear, that the Scriptures Testimony is to meas full and plain, and convincing to prove this Truth, viz. that [Page 69] an Illumination, Manifestation, and In­spiration of the Spirit of God is given to every man, is in every man; as to prove this truth, that Christ, who ac­cording to the flesh, was born of the Virgin Mary, was the promised Mes­siah; now if we can prove from Scrip­ture that all men have in them a mea­sure of this Divine Illumination and Inspiration by the Spirit of Christ, we have gained our point, which is, that we have also a measure of the same in us; for ALL MEN doth comprehend us called Quakers, as well as other men: I see not what our Adversaries can with any colour object against this evidence from Scripture, but this, that they will deny that the Scripture bears testimony to this Universal Illumination or Inspira­tion of the Spirit of God in men. But this brings the matter of the debate from be­ing personal to be doctrinal, & so puts us upon equal terms at least, with all our Adversaries, especially Prelatical, Ana­baptistist, and Presbyterian, & Indepen­dent opposers whatsoever, who say, the Scriptures are their chief and only Rule. [Page 70] And though our Adversaries say, the Scripture doth not testifie to that u­niversal Inspiration of the Spirit of Christ in men, that moveth us not more then when the Jews denied that the Scriptures bore testimony to him, that was born of the Virgin Mary to be the Christ. We are able by the help of God to prove from Scripture the truth of this Doctrine of Divine Illumi­nation and Inspiration in all men, and consequently in the Quakers as much as they, or any professing Chri­stianity upon earth, can prove any Prin­ciple or Doctrine of their Faith. Se­condly, we are able, and do offer by the Grace of God against all our Oppo­sers whatsoever, to prove from the Scriptures Testimony, that this univer­sal Inspiration and Illumination of Christ by his Spirit in men is a sufficient evidence of Truth, and Rule of Faith and Life in all men, and conse­quently in us called Quakers. Third­ly, that this Divine Inspiration and Illumination, where it is not wil­fully resisted and rejected, but regarded and attended, is a greater evidence [Page 71] than the Scripture is, and witnessed by the Scriptures. Fourthly, and yet the Scripture is the greatest visible and out­ward evidence that either we or they can give of their Rule.

I shall conclude with a reasonable de­mand to these Young men, Masters of Arts, their Masters and Teachers, which is this, Whether they own these Asser­tions, Affirmations and Arguments of their Scholars in the late Dispute, as fol­loweth, viz That whatever is of God is God, that the Scriptures according to the Quakers is fallacious, and can beguil us, that the Baptism with the Holy Ghost is ceased, and the rest of their Discourse inserted in this foregoing Treatise. If yea, Let them declare so much to the people, who are greatly stumbled at these their expressions, even divers of their own Church; if nay, then let them publickly reprove and disown those words, otherwise not only we, but many others will say, ye have both [...]aught and allowed them so to affirm.

G. K.
THESES THEOLOGICAE, …

THESES THEOLOGICAE, OR, Some solid POSITIONS OF SOUND DIVINITY asserted.

Unto the Clergy of what sort som­ever, unto whose hands these may come; but more particularly un­to the Doctors, Professors, and Stu­dents of Divinity in the Universities and Schools of Great Britain, whether Pre­latical, Presbyterian, or any other: ROBERT BARCLAY, a Servant of the Lord God, and one of these (who in derision are cal­led Quakers) wisheth un feigned repentance unto the acknowledgment of the truth.

Friends,

UNto you these following Propo­sitions are offered, in which, they being read a [...]d considered in the fear of the Lord, you may perceive [Page 2] that simple and naked Truth, which man by his wisdom has rendred so ob­scure and mysterious, that the world is even but the ned with the great and voluminous Tractates which are made about it, and by the [...]ain jan­gling and Commentaries, by which it is rendred a hundred-fold more dark and intricate, than of it self it is; which great Learning so ac­counted of (to wit) your School-di­vinity (which taketh up almost a mans whole life-time to learn) brings not a whit nearer to God, neither makes any man less wicked, or more righteous than he was; therefore hath God laid aside the wise and Learned, and the Disputers of this world, and hath chosen a few de­spicable and unlearned Instruments (as to Letter-learning) as he did Fisher-men of old, to publish his pure and naked Truth, and to free it of these mists and fogs, wherewith th [...] [Page 3] Clergy hath clouded it, that the people might admire and maintain them; and among many others, whom God hath chosen to make known these things (seeing I also have received in measure Grace to be a dispenser of the same Gospel) it seemed good unto me, according to my duty, to of­fer unto you these Propositions, which (though they be short, yet) are weigh­ty, comprehending much, and de­claring what the true ground of knowledge is, even of that know­ledge, which leads to life Eternal, which is here witnessed of, and the testimony thereof left unto the light of Christ in all your Consciences.

Farewel
R. B.

THESIS I.

SEing the height of all happiness is placed in the true knowledge of God (This is life eternal to know the true God, and Iesus Christ whom thou hast sent, John 17. 3) the true and right under­standing of this foundation and ground of knowledge is that, which is most ne­cessary to be known and believed in the first place.

II. Seeing no man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son revea­leth him, Mat. 11. 27. and seeing the reve­lation of the Son is in, and by the Spirit; therefore the Testimony of the Spirit is that alone by which the true knowledge of God hath been, is, and can be only re­vealed, who as by the moving of his own Spirit converted the Chaos of this world, into that wonderful order wherein it was in the beginning, and created man a li­ving Soul to rule and govern it, so by the revelation of the same Spirit, he hath made manifest himself all along unto the Sons of men, both Patriarchs, Prophets and Apostles, which revelations of God [Page 5] by the Spirit, whether by outward voi­ces and appea [...]ances, dreams or inward objective manifestations in the heart, was of old the formal object of their faith, and remaineth yet so to be, since the object of the Saints faith is the same in all Ages, though set forth under divers administrations: moreover these divine inward revelations, which we make ab­solutely necessary for the building up true faith; neither do nor can ever con­tradict the outward Testimony of the Scriptures, or right and sound reason; yet from hence it will not follow that the divine revelations are to be subjected to the examination, either of the out­ward Testimony of the Scriptures, or of the natural reason of man, as to a more noble, or cetain rule and touchstone; for this divine revelation and inward il­lumination is that which is evident and clear of it self, forcing by its own evi­dence and clearness the well-disposed understanding to assent, irresistably mo­ving the same thereunto, even as the common Principles of natural Truths, move and incline the mind to a natural assent.

[Page 6]III. From these revelations of the Spi­rit of God to the Saints, have proceeded the Scriptures of Truth, which contain, 1. A fai [...]ul historical account of the actings of Gods people in divers Ages, with many singular and remarkable Providences attending them. 2. a Pro­phetical account of several things, where­of some are already past, and some yet to come. 3. A full and ample account of all the chief Principles of the Doctrine of Christ held forth in divers pretious de­clarations, exhortations, and sentences, which by the moving of Gods spirit, were at several times, and upon sundry occasions spoken and written unto some Churches and their Pastors: Neverthe­less, because they are only a declaration of the fountain, and not the fountain it self, therefore they are not to be esteemed the principal ground of all truth and knowledge, nor yet the adequate Pri­mary Rule of faith and manners. Ne­vertheless, as that which giveth a true and faithful testimony of the first foun­dation, they are and may be esteem­ed a secondary Rule, subordinate to the Spirit, from which they have all their excellencie and certainty; for as by the [Page 7] inward Testimony of the Spirit we do a­lone truly know them, so they testifie, that the Spirit is that guide by which the Saints are led into all truth; there­fore according to the Scriptures the Spi­rit is the first and principal Leader; and seeing we do therefore receive and be­lieve the Scriptures, because they pro­ceeded from the Spirit, therefore also the Spirit is more originally and principal­ly the Rule; according to that received Maxime in the Schools, Propter quod u­num quodque est tale, illud ipsum est magi [...] tale. Englished thus:

That for which a thing is such, the thing it self is more such.

IV. All Adam's Posterity (or Man­kind) both Jews and Gentiles, as to the first Adam (or earthly man) is fallen, de­generated, and dead, deprived of the sensation (or feeling) of this inward Testimony, or Seed of God, and is sub­ject unto the power, nature, and Seed of the Serpent, which he sows in mens hearts, while they abide in this natural and corrupted state; from whence it comes that not their words and deeds only, but all their imaginations are evil perpetually in the sight of God, as pro­ceeding [Page 8] from this depraved and wicked Seed. Man therefore as he is in this state can know nothing aright; yea, his thoughts and conceptions concerning God, and things spiritual (until he be disjoyned from this evil Seed, and uni­ted to the Divine Light) are unprofita­ble both to himself and others: Hence are rejected the Socinian and Pelagian Errors in exalting a natural light, as al­so the Papists and most of Protestants, who affirm that man without the true Grace of God may be a true Minister of the Gospel. Nevertheless this Seed is not imputed to Infants, until by transgression they actually joyn them­selves therewith, for they are by Na­ture Children of wrath, who walk ac­cording to the power of the Prince of the Air, Eph. 2.

V. God out of his infinite love, who delighteth not in the death of a sinner, but that all should live and be saved, E­zekiel 18. 32. and 33. 11. hath so loved the world, that he hath given his only Son a light, that whosoever believeth in him should be saved, Iohn 3. 16. who enlighteneth every man that cometh in­to the world. Iohn 1. 9. and maketh [Page 9] manifest all things that are reprovable, Eph. 5. 13. and teacheth all temperance, righteousness, and godliness, and this Light inlightneth the hearts of all in a day in order to Salvation, if not resist­ed; nor is it less universal than the Seed of sin, being the purchase of his death, who tasted death for every man; For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive, 1 Cor. 15. 22.

VI. According to which Principle (or Hypothesis) all the Objections a­gainst the universality of Christs death are easily solved, neither is it needful to recur to the Ministry of Angels, and these other miraculous means which they say God uses to manifest the Do­ctrine and History of Christs Passion un­ [...]o such (who living in these places of the world where the outward Preaching of the Gospel is unknown) have well improved the first and common Grace; for as hence it well follows, that some of the old Philosophers might have been saved; so also may now some (who by Providence are cast into these remote parts of the world, where the know­ledge of the History is wanting) be made partakers of the Divine Mystery, if [Page 10] they receive and resist not that Grace, a manifestation whereof is given to every man to profit withal, 1 Cor. 12. 7. this most certain Doctrine then being recei­ved (to wit) that there is an Evangeli­cal and saving Light and Grace in all, the universality of the Love and Mercy of God towards mankind (both in the death of his beloved Son, the Lord Je­sus Christ, and in the manifestation of the light in the heart) is established and confirmed against all the Objections of such as deny it. Therefore Christ hath tasted death for every man, Heb. 2. 9. not only for all kinds of men, as some vainly talk; but for every man of all kinds, the benefit of whose offering is not only extended to such who have the distinct outward knowledge of his death and suffering, as the same is de­clared in the Scriptures; but even unto those who are necessarily excluded from the benefit of this knowledge by some inevitable accident; which knowledge we willingly confess to be very profita­ble and comfortable, but not absolute­ly needful unto such, from whom God himself hath withheld it, yet they may be made partakers of the mysterie of [Page 11] his death (though ignorant of the Hi­story) if they suffer his Seed and Light (inlightning their hearts) to take place (in which Light communion with the Father and the Son is enjoyed) so as of [...]icked men to become holy, & lovers of [...]hat power, by whose inward and secret touches, they feel themselves turn'd from the evil to the good, and learn to do to others as they would be done by, in which Christ himself, affirms all to be included, as they have then falsly and erroneously taught, who have denied Christ to have died for all men, so nei­ther have they sufficiently taught the truth, who affirming him to have died for all, have added the absolute necessi­ty of the outward knowledge thereof in order to obtain its saving effect: Among whom the Remonstrants of Holland have been chiefly wanting, and many other Assertors of universal Redemption, in that they have not placed the extent of this Salvation, in that Divine a [...]d Evan­gelical Principle of Light and Life, wherewith Christ hath enlightned every man that comes into the world, which is excellently and evidently held forth in these Scriptures, Gen. 6. 3. Deut. 30. [Page 12] 14. Iohn 1. 7, 8, 9. Rom. 10. 8. Tit. 2. 11.

VII. As many as resist not this Light, but receive the same in them, is produ­ced a holy, pure, and spiritual birth, bringing forth holiness, righteousness, purity, and all these other blessed fruits which are acceptable to God, by which holy birth (to wit) Jesus Christ formed within us, and working his works in us, as we are sanctified, so are we justified in the sight of God, according to the A­postles words, But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the Name of the Lord Iesus and by the Spirit of our God, 1 Cor. 6. 11. Therefore it is not by our works wrought in our will, nor yet by good works considered as of themselves, but by Christ who is both the gift and the giver, and the cause pro­ducing the effects in us, who as he hath reconciled us while we were enemies, doth also in his wisdom save us and ju­stifie us after this maner, as saith the same Apostle elsewhere, according to his mercy he hath saved us, by the wash­ing, of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, Titus 3. 5.

[Page 13]VIII. In whom this holy and pure birth is fully brought forth, the body of death and sin comes to be crucified and removed, and their hearts united and subjected unto the truth, so as not to o­bey any suggestion or temptation of the evil one, but to be free from actual sin­ [...]ing, and transgressing of the Law of God, and in that respect perfect; yet [...]oth this perfection still admit of a growth, and there remaineth ever in some part a possibility of sinning, where the mind doth not most diligently and watchfully attend unto the Lord.

IX. Although this Gift and inward Grace of God, be sufficient to work out Salvation, yet in those in whom it is re­sisted, it both may and doth become their condemnation: moreover in whom it hath wrought in part, to purifie and sanctifie them in ordr to their further perfection; by disobedience such may fall from it and turn it to wantonness, making shipwrack of Faith, 1 Tim. 1. 19. and after having tasted of the Hea-Heavenly gift, and been made partakers of the Holy Ghost, again fall away, Heb. 6. 4, [Page 14] 5, 6. yet such an increase and stabi [...] ty in the Truth may in this life be a [...]tained, from which there cannot be total Apostacie.

X. As by this Gift, or Light of God [...] all true knowlege in things spiritual [...] received and revealed, so by the sam [...] as it is manifested and received in th [...] heart by the strength and power there of, every true Minister of the Gospel i [...] ordained, prepared, and supplied in th [...] work of the Ministery, and by th [...] leading, moving, and drawing hereof [...] ought every Evangelist and Christia [...] Pastor to be led, and ordered in hi [...] labour and work of the Gospel, bot [...] as to the place where, as to the Per [...]son to whom, and as to the time [...] when he is to Minister: Moreover, wh [...] have this Authority may and ought t [...] Preach the Gospel, though without hu [...] mane Commission or Literature; as on [...] the other hand, who want the Authori­ty of this Divine Gift, however Learn­ed or Authorized by the Commissions o [...] Men and Churches, are to be esteemed [...] but as deceivers, and not true Ministers [...] [Page 15] of the Gospel; also who have received this holy and unspotted Gift, as they have freely received, so are they freely to give, Matth. 10. 8. without hire or bargaining, far less to use it as a Trade to get Money by it: yet if God hath called any from their Imployments or Trades, by which they acquire their livelihood, it may be lawful for such [according to the liberty which they feel given them in the Lord] to receive such Temporals (to wit) what may be needful to them for Meat and Clothing, as are freely given them by those to whom they have communicated spiri­tuals.

XI. All true and acceptable worship to God is offered in the inward and im­mediate moving and drawing of his own Spirit, which is neither limited to places, times, or persons; for though we be to worship him always, in that we are to fear before him; yet as to the out­ward signification thereof in Prayers, Praises, or Preachings, we ought not to do it where and when we will, but where and when we are moved thereunto by the secret Inspirations of his Spirit in our [Page 16] hearts, which God heareth and accept­eth of, and is never wanting to move us thereunto, when need is, of which he himself is the alone proper Judge: all other worship then, both Praises, Pray­ers, and Preachings, which man sets a­bout in his own will, and at his own ap­pointment, which he can both begin and end at his pleasure, do or leave undone as himself sees meet, whether they be a prescribed Form, as a Liturgy or Pray­ers conceived extemporarely, by the natural strength and faculty of the mind, they are all but Superstitions, Will-wor­ship, and abominable Idolatry in the sight of God, which are to be denied, rejected, and separated from in this day of his Spiritual arising, however it might have pleased him who winked at the times of ignorance, with a respect to the simplicity and integrity of some, and of his own innocent Seed, which lay as it were buried in the hearts of men, under that mass of Superstition to blow upon the dead and dry bones, and to raise some breathings and answer them, and that until the day should more clear­ly dawn and break forth.

[Page 17]XII. As there is one Lord, and one Faith, so there is one Baptism, Ephes. 4. 5. which is not the putting away the filth of the [...] ▪ but the ans [...]er of a good Co [...]science before God, by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, [...] Peter 3. II. and this Baptism is a [...] [...]nd Spi­ritual thing (to wit) the Baptism of the Spirit and fire, by which we are buried with him, Col. 2. 12. that being washed and purged from our sins we may walk in newness of life, Rom. 6. 4.▪ of which the Baptism of Iohn was a figure, which was Commanded for a time, and not to continue for ever; as to the Baptism of Infants it is a meer humane Tradition, for which neither Precept nor Practice is to be found in all the Scripture.

XIII. The communion of the Body and Blood of Christ is inward and Spiri­tual, which is the participation of his flesh and blood, by which the inward man is daily nourished in the hearts of those in whom Christ dwells, of which things the breaking of bread by Christ with his Disciples was a figure, which they even used in the Church for a time, [Page 18] who had received the substance, for the cause of the weak, even as abstaining from things strangled, and from blood. Acts 15. 20. the washing one anothers [...]. Iohn [...] 14. and the anointing of the [...], Iames 5. 14. all which are commanded wit [...] no less authority & [...] than the former; yet seeing they are but the shadows of better things they cease in such as have obtained the substance.

XIV. Since God hath assumed to himself the Power and Dominion of the Conscience, who alone can rightly in­struct and govern it, therefore it is not lawful for any whatsoever, by vertue of any Authority or Principality they bear in the Government of this World, to force the Consciences of others; and therefore all Killing, Banishing, Fining, Imprisoning, and other such things which men are afflicted with for the a­lone exercise of their Conscience or dif­ference in Worship, or Opinion, pro­ceedeth from the Spirit of Cain, the murtherer, and is contrary to the truth, providing always that no man under the [Page 19] pretence of Conscience prejudice his Neighbour in his life or estate, or do a­ny thing destructive to, or inconsistent with humane Society, in which case the Law is for the transgressor, and Justice is to be administred upon all without re­spect of Persons.

XV. Seeing the chief end of all Religion is to redeem man from the Spirit and vain conversation of this World, and to lead into inward communion with God, before whom if we fear always we are accounted happy, therefore all the vain customs and habits thereof both in word and deed are to be rejected and forsa­ken by those who come to this fear; such as the taking off the Hat to a man, the bowings and cringings of the body, and such other Salutations of that kind, with all the foolish and superstitious formali­ties attending them, all which man has invented in his degenerate state to feed his pride in the vain pomp and glory of this world, as also the unprofitable Plays, frivolous Recreations, Sportings and Gamings which are invented to pass a­way the pretious time, and divert the [Page 20] mind from the witness of God in the heart, and from the living sense of his fear, and from that Evangelical Spirit wherewith Christians ought to be leave­ned, and which led into sobriety, gra­ [...]ity and Godly fear in which as we a­bide, the blessing of the Lord is felt to attend us in these actions which we are necessarily engaged in order to the ta­king care for the sustenance of the out­ward man.

FINIS.

THese Propositions con­taining a short account of the most material Principles of our Faith (espe­cially in those things wherein we differ from others of another Perswasion) being already pub­lished in Latin and Dutch, are now also set forth in our own Language for a more general service; which I with some others of my Brethren do hereby offer to defend, if we may be allow­ed these Publick Places, where we have been so much represent­ed, and shall be willing either at Aberdeen (where the fiercest of our Opposers are judged to be) [Page 22] or elsewhere in this Nation, to be ready before the most publick and judicious Auditories, to p [...]sent our selves with the (help and assistance of God) for that effect, having timous adver­tesement, and being allowed e­qual and reasonable terms.

Rob. Barclay.

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