THE Christian-Quaker, AND HIS DIVINE TESTIMONY VINDICATED BY Scripture, Reason and Authorities; AGAINST The Injurious Attempts, that have been lately made by several Adversaries, with Manifest Design to render HIM Odiously Inconsistent with CHRISTIANITY and Civil Society.

In II. Parts. The FIRST more General, by William Penn. The SECOND more Particular, by George Whitehead.

Veritas fatigari potest, vinci non potest, Ether. & Beat. lib. 1.
Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the Cause of his People; Behold I have taken out of thy Hand the Cup of Trembling, even the Dregs of the Cup of my Fury, thou shalt no more drink it again: But I will put it into the Hand of them that Afflict thee, Isaiah 51. 22, 23.

Printed in the Year 1674.

TO THE Noble Bereans Of THIS AGE.

WHen our dear Lord Jesus Christ, the Blessed Author of the Christian-Religion, first sent forth his Di­sciples, to proclaim the Happy Approach of the Heavenly Kingdom, among several o­ther Things that he gave them in Charge, it pleas'd him to make this One of their Instru­ctions; Into whatsoever City or Town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is Worthy; fore-seeing the ill Use Unworthy Persons would make of that Message, and with what Unweariedness the implacable Pharisee and subtil Scribe would endeavour to Pervert the Right Way of the Lord, and thereby pre­judice the Simple against the Reception of that Excellent Testimony.

This being our Case, who above every Tribe of Men are most Maliciously Repre­sented, Bitterly Envied, and Furiously Op­pugn'd by many of the Scribes and Pharisees [Page] of our Time, for as Impious Wretches as Those of that, reputed our Blessed Savi­our and his Constant Followers, it becometh us in a Condition so desperate, to provide our selves with some Worthy Readers, Men that dare trust their Reason above Reports, and be Impartial in an Age as byass'd as this we live in; whose Determinations shall not wait upon the Sentence of Ignorance nor Interest, but a Sincere and Punctual Examen of the Matter.

And since there are None recorded in Sacred Writ, on whom the Holy Ghost con­ferr'd so Honourable a Character, as the Be­reans of that Age (for that they both sear­ched after Truth impartially, and when they found it, imbraced it readily) for which they were entituled Noble) Therefore it is that to you, the Progeny of that Worthy Stock, and Noble Bereans of our Age, We, the so much Calumniated Abettors of the Cause of Truth, choose to dedicate this Defence of our Holy Profession from the Injurious Practices of a fort of Men, who not unlike to the Jews of Thessalonica, that, Envying the Prosperity of the Gospel among your Ancestors, made it their Business to stir up the Multitude against the Zealous Pro­moters [Page] of it. And no Matter what it be, provided they can but Obtain their End of fixing an Odium upon the Quakers: They do not only boldly condemn what they esteem Worst in us (how deservedly we will not now say) but slyly insinuate what is Best, to be Criminal.

The Sobriety of our Lives, they call a Cheat for Custom; and our Incessant Preachings and Holy Living, a Decoy to Advance our Party: if we say Nothing to them when they interrogate us, 'tis Sul­lenness or Inability; if we say Something to them, it is Impertinency or Equivocation: We must not believe as we do believe, but as they would have us believe, which they are sure to make obnoxious enough, that they may the more securely bait us for it; Nor must our Writings mean what we say we mean by them, but what they will have them to mean, lest they should want Proofs for their Charges: It was our very Case that put David upon that sad Complaint, Eve­ry day they Wrest my Words, all their Thoughts are against me for Evil; But to David's God we commit our Slander'd Cause, and to you the Bereans of our Age.

[Page] Degenerate not from the Example of your Progenitors; if you do, you are no longer True Bereans, and to such only we inscribe this Work; if you do not, we may assure our selves of the Justice of a Fair Enqui [...]y and an Equal Judgment.

The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ augment your Desire after Truth, give you clearer Discerning of the Truth, and enable you both more readily to re­ceive, and with greater Resolution to main­tain the Truth. We are

Your greatly Traduc'd, but truly Christian Friends,
  • William Penn,
  • George Whitehead.

THE PREFACE.

THe Insatiable Thirst of Men after Religious or Civil Empire, has filled almost every Age with Contest: But for Pure Religion scarcely has any one contended.

To mention the Disorders within the first Six Read Euseb. Evag. Socr. Ruffin. Coun. Trent. Simps. Full. Perr. Bak. Dan. Trus. Daval. Clark. Morl. Milt. &c. hundred Years from Christ (who have been by far worse succeeded) were to write the Ecclesi­astical History; But such as are not ignorant in it, must needs know, that Religion so early, became a Cloak for Dominion, and Truth a Pretence for Revenge.

What better has happen'd since, Modern Stories tell us. Certainly the Separation of most Parties from former Institutions, however rightly begun, have basely degenerated into Self-Promotion, and when there, to the Exercise of that Power over Consciences, which, when it was their own Case [...]o suffer from others, they esteem'd most Cruel.

I well know, that there is something in Man, that prompts to Religion, and such as stands not in the Tra­ditions of Men, nor any meer Formality: But Man, that he may not wholy lose the Honour of a share, or be reputed sloathful; with an unwarrantable Activity so adulterates, and by an Intermixture of his own Conceptions with those Divine Dictates, and purer Discoveries, so sophisticates, that they [Page] last become more his own Workmanship then the Truth's. And so fond is he of this Child of his Brain, that like some ancient Tyrants, he will rather cut his way to the Throne by a Violence upon all other Con­sciences, then not put an Earthly Crown upon its Head.

They that know not the Truth of this, have scarcely look'd back to their Great-Grand-Father's time. Two Centuries have not past as yet, sinceSee Book of Mar. Luth. contr. Ecc. Bold and Honorable Attempts were made against that Apostate Church of Rome, which prov'd so Suc­cessful,Zuing. Calv. as to win many Kingdoms from her Tyran­ny: Beza &c. God certainly blest the Endeavours of those Consciencious Persons, who spent their Estate, Time and Blood in that truly Holy, but Passive War.

But this hath been the Misery, that they being intercepted by Death, their Successors, who acted not in the same Simplicity, and upon like Convictions as they did, began to think it no small Testimony of their regard to their martyr'd Ancestors, to invest what they call'd their Religion with Worldly Majesty, and then make use of the temporal Sword to esta­blish it, with their own Additio [...]s, as the mostHayl. of Re­form. true, certain and infallible Way; Employing that Force, those Mulcts and cruel Penalties to extort Con­formity, or else perish who dissented: which rendred Rome's Actions so detestable to the very Martyrs, and indeed without which they had not been Martyrs.

The Work was now to promote Religion by Power, who had so lately overcome It by Suffering. Leagues, stately Embassyes, great Conventions, raising of Armies, War with one, and Peace with another took up the Minds of most, how to defend the Stateliness [Page] and Pompous Grandure of their Religion, though they by so doing, gave Testimony, they had lost much of the true Sence of that very Religion they pre­tended to advance.

'Twas now that some appear'd dissatisfied with such Proceedings, decry'd that Superstition and For­mality Cambd. Life of Q. E. which had been unadvisedly detain'd by the English Church as Decent; for the Invention of thatRush. Hist. Collect. Church, the Protestants themselves stil'd Antichristian. They believed mens Lives were much corrupted, and laid the fault upon the Pride, Avarice, Voluptu­ousness and Ignorance of the Clergy; they stript them­selves of most Superfluities, and seem'd to pro­mote a streighter Way, then what was then gene­rally professed; these they called Puritans.

But such sowr Resentments had both the Powers Cambd. and Prelates of their Procedure, that Laws were en­acted, and executed to Blood, as well to hinder Religi­on from being more refined, as they had for pre­serving it from being again more gross. Surely, this look'd more like Care for Power, Faction and Interest, then Religi [...]. For without doubt, the Plea of those Puritans was thus far unanswerable by their Adversaries. By this time almost all Peo­ple were taken with their Complaints, especially those, who seem'd more Religiously inclin'd, which at last had so leavened the Gentry, as well as the Commonalty, that when that memorable Parliament was chosen, and for their Sitting, call'd afterwards, The Long-Parliament, the Sream clearly run on the Puritanical-side.

The Church of England disdaining their preten­ded [Page] Reformation, and as resolved to abate in nothing of Her Splendor, Wealth and Preser­ment, in e [...]ther Civil or Ecclesiastical Matters, makes Head against th [...]se supposed Disturbers of the Peace of both Church and State: And as the blind Wrath of Heathens taught the Papists, and the Papists the Protestants; so the Protestants by their Coercive Power for Religion, taught the Puritans to be re­solute and fierce in the Defence of their Separation. The Complaints of the one, meeting with strong Denials from the other, they came to Big Words, and from thence to Heavy Blows. Such Feud, suchHist: Wars of Engl. Hatred, such War, Spoil and lamentable Slaughter, as for many Ages had not been known, were the most deplorable Effects of that Contest for Reli­gion. By this time Victory turning to the Purita­nical Party, now degenerated into harsh Presbytery; they who before did fasten Anti-Christianism upon the Church of England, for offering to act Coercively towards them, in what concern'd Consciencious Separation, become themselves the most Narrow in Re­ligion, and Vigorous in imposing upon the sharpest Penal­ties (known to those times) what they Synodically agreed to be Scripture-Faith, Worship and Discipline; forgetting or denying to leave that Liberty of Ex­amination to others, they had so earnestly con­tended for against the Prelates of the English Church. So partial is Self, so blind is Interest.

But neither doth our Story end here; for these Men forgetting their Primitive Tenderness, and that lowly Spirit, which justly charged the English Clergy with some Degeneracy, as had that done the Romish, were quickly Reminded by the timely and honest Zeal of those they call Independants and Anabap­tists: [Page] who having a clearer Sight of things, as I believe, and more Regard for Reformation, at once charg'd them with neglect, and endeavour'd to push things a Step further. They lowdly exclaim'd against the Loosness of their Parishes, and their too free Administration of the Sacraments to mixt and unquali­fied Persons; They decry'd the Absoluteness of their Church-Monarchy, with the Necessity of Humane Learn­ing to Ministerial Qualification: And lastly, with great Earnestness they disclaim'd against the Imposition of any Faith or Worship, or punishing with Corporal Pe­nalties, such as dissented for the sake of Conscience. One would have thought, these Men had set the last bounds to the Spirit of Superstition and Re­venge, and that having seen the Rock on which their Predecessors split, they should have learnt Safe­ty by their Destruction, and Construed those foregoing Calamities Land-marks for their preservation, as was an­ciently said — ‘— aliena pericula cautum. that is, having beheld so many fair Adventures for Reformation (begun certainly from an inward sense of the corrupt, and Un-Christ-like State of things) to issue in Fulness, Pride, Superstition, and base Coertion upon Conscience, they should have liv'd in an holy Subjection, and awful Regard to that holy Spirit of Truth, that had given them some farther Illumination, which would have taught the Denial of those Worldly Lusts, that Covetous­ness and Revenge whetted their desires after, and have preserved them in the Way of Meekness, Patience, Long-suffering and Holiness, without which none shall ever see God. But alas! as Reformation from Popery and Prelacy was soon over-run by Party-Asperity, and Self-Promotion; so truly these Men [Page] made as little Conscience to employ the old Wea­pon of external Force to advance themselves, and depress others, as had those that went before them.

'Tis true, the Presbyterian, who shewed them the Way, as had the Protestant him, and the Pa­pist the Protestant, being so considerable in Num­ber, and these Peoples Maxime so narrow (viz.) Out of a Church, out of the Faith; Not Dipt, not Chri­stian'd: That too great Division might not perish the whole Affair, of continuing the Government in its present Channel of incredible Advantage un­to them, they much against their Will, admitted the Presbyterian into a share with them, especially of Parochial Churches, as they are called, and did not wholy exclude the more Moderate of them, a part in the Administration of the Civil Go­vernment.

Thus then (though with regret, and no small Jealousie) being tollerably well agreed, like as he that from a poor Priest to a Pope, was wont to be remembred of his Original, by a Net (because se­veral of the Apostles were Fishermen) which he commanded to be brought to his Table, when Pope, cried, Take it away, Take it away, the Fish is caught; So they having caught the Great Two­Headed Fish of Civil and Ecclesiastical Power, and upon one a Crown, upon the other a Miter, Lao­dicea-like, Full, Rich, and wanting nothing, and willing to forget their small Original; their Fa­thers House, those Heavenly Convictions, and their hum­ble frame of Spirit, their early Sense in some good mea­sure had reduct them to; O! Into what Falsness, Cru­elty, Covetousness, and Folly did they not precipi­tate [Page] themselves! To violate Faith with Men, and break the most Solemn Covenants that any Age have ever made with GOD himself, to sayl to Security through Blood, and establish their Church in Per­secution; not un-like the Ottoman Emperors, that never think their Imperial Crowns better settled, then in the Murther of their Brethren. But a­bove the rest, to decry Tyranny and Persecution, and yet to be the Authors of both [...]s if they could not have used their Power without abusing it, is un­worthy the Name of true Men. I will believe succeeding times may have out-done them in De­bauchery; but I can never think (unless better in­form'd) that any Age hath so much as equal'd them in a Treacherous Hypocrisie: though (that I may be just) several among them were not wanting to express their utter Abhorrence of such Procedure, which hath thus far aggravated the others Apo­stasie, that they were worse treated then such that were reputed their Publick Enemies; as if not to be Treacherous, had been to be Dis-affected: con­cerning which I refer the Reader to the first and se­cond Narratives, printed in the Year 1659.

Certainly, it was now time, that God should arise, and that his Enemies should be manifest; who, under the Splendidst Shew of Reformation, that almost any Age for 1400. Years could parallel, had Cru­cified the Holy Life of Religion, stifling the Spiritua­lity thereof by reform'd Formality, empty Shews, and meer tinckling Cymbals of Sin-pleasing Doctrines: And their Primitive Tenderness being worn off by Time and Preferment, none grew more Superstitious and Persecuting then those who once seem'd most averse from it (I charitably forbear the mention [Page] of particular Persons) In short, Pride, Self-Seek­ing, and Self-Establishment, in Glory, Wealth, and Worldly Prosperity having undermin'd the Worthy Ho­nesty, that was at first stirring in the Hearts of some of them: Behold a Glorious, but Empty Trunk of Pro­fession! as lofty as the Jews themselves, pretending to be Children of Abraham, and Heirs of the Pro­mise, yet Servants to Sin; Christians by Imputati­on, but not by Qualification; saved in Christ, though lost, through Sin, in Themselves; pray by the Spirit, yet their Duties unholy Things. Behold Babylon in one of her best Trims!

But it was at this time, serious Reader, when Reli­gion was so much talk'd of, and so little practis'd, that it pleased the Eternal Wise God, who is un­searchable in his Goings, to appear, and manifest the Knowledge of Himself, by a Way contempti­ble to the World (as indeed, when did he otherwise) shewing himself first to Shepherds, and Men of mean Rank, whose, outward Abilities were as incapable to gain Applause from Men, as their Meanness to invite them: Men, Plain and Simple, who desired of long time above Worldly Treasure, they might be acquainted with the true & unchangable Way of God. All the Religion they were taught of Men, or the strength of Me­mory could collect from Books, joyn'd with their own Simplicity and Zeal, was not able to over­come the Enemies of their Souls, for whose Re­demption God appear'd, and they often groan'd in secret; being truly willing to undergo any cross, that might but help them to this Knowledge, af­ter which they had daily thirsted more then for appointed Food.

Thus, that no Flesh might glory in his Presence, [Page] did the Almighty God, according to his many Pre­cious Promises, break in upon the Spirits of a poor despised People, by his terrible Power, which caused the old Foundations to shake, and begat holy Terror and Dread, because of the Glory of his Majesty, who had reveal'd Himself. Judgment overtook for Sin, and Righteousness was laid to the Plummet, and a true Scale was erected, wherein all the Profession in the World was lighter then the Chaff, which is blown away of the Tempest. This Day of Judgment for Sin, and Con­sumption upon all the pleasant Pictures of Religion, that Tradition, Education, or Imagination had drawn in the Minds of Men, they were constrain'd to De­clare, and the very Utterings thereof were astoni­shing, both to Professors and Prophane; For being Witnesses of a nearer thing, then an Out-side Reli­gion, however refin'd, in which the whole World was adulterated from God, and that the Time of the Kindling of the Indignation of the Lord God Al­mighty was come, because of Iniquity and Unrigh­teousness that cover'd the Earth, as the Waters cover the Sea (which made the Controversie Essential; Not to consist about exterior Order, Church-Go­vernment, or meer Articles of Faith; But that In­ward Principle of Righteousness, which reduceth the Soul to the Heavenly Order, and that Faith which overcomes the World.) Therefore in the Name of the Lord, and by the alone Arm of the Almighty, did several of these poor Men go forth into Towns, Citties, and Countries, proclaiming the Day of the Controversie of God with Men, by the pleadings of his Holy Light, Power, or Spirit in their Hearts and Consciences, decrying all Notions of Christ above Possession; calling the lofty Cedars to bow, and the sturdy Oakes to bend before the Heavenly Appea­rance [Page] of the Lord, by his Light within: that all Knowledge of God, not gotten through inward Judg­ment, and Experience of the Operation of his saving Hand, was accurst of God: And that as the Earth of Wickedness in Mens Hearts should be consum'd by the Refiners Fire, so the Heavens of lofty Knowledge should by the fiery heat thereof, be wrapt up as a scrole, that a new Heaven and a new Earth, in which dwelleth (not IMPU [...]ATIVE, but) Real, Inherent, & Everlasting Righ [...]ousness, might be known to be created by the Word of God, nigh in the Heart.

I say, these Men alarming the Nation with the Sound of this harsh and terrible Trumpet, who had taken so long a Nap in Pleasure, Ease, and Fleshly Religion, caused very strange, and differing Ap­prehensions.

Some prickt to the very Heart, cryed out, What shall we do to he saved? whilst the Wolf and the Fox lay in wait to intercept the blessed Work of the Lord, by several wayes of Cunning and Cruelty. The Priests (who were degenerated as well as the People, basely Teaching for Hire, and Divining for Money: The best accounted of them making Bar­gains, how much a Year to preach the Gospel, as they call it, and so is it to this Day) like Foxes seeing their Kennel found out, into which they had so long hid their Prey, and fearing that the Turning Men to the Light in the Conscience, and their so resolutely Testifying, That no Man could be at Peace with God who went condemn'd thereof; and that all Knowledge of the things of God, which hath not been received through the holy Subjection of the Crea­ture to God's Heavenly Appearance Within him (for [Page] whatever may be known of God, is manifested within, saith the Apostle) was above the true Teacher and the Sufferings of the Cross of Christ: They posted to the Magistrates, Saul-like, with whole Packets of Lyes, Slanders and Invectives, on purpose to beget a Wolf fish Nature in them, to put a stop to the Progress of this blessed Manifestation of the Eternal Light of Righteousness; but the Exercise of a Merciless Power. Some few would not be pre­vailed upon; but the Generality, seeing their World­ly Honour, and which to some of them was dearer, their beloved Easie Religion was struck at, Root and Branch, they, as an Arm'd Man, furiously employ'd their Strength to the Relief of the Priests, and Subver­sion of these poor Men: Some were Imprison'd, others Whipt, several Bruised, not a few Murther'd, and many Robb'd and Spoil'd of their Goods.

And that the Priests might shew themselves; some of them thinking it to long to wait the Ma­gistrates Leisure, turn'd their own Pay-Masters upon Heads, Shoulders, and other Limbs of Men, and Women, not distinguishing in either Sex, or Age.

The Cry of these Innocent People came up to the then Supream Authority, but Relief could not be had. One Book came out upon another, conju­ring the Magistrates to employ their Power, to the utter Extirpation of these Seducers, & commanded the People that they should not so much as have any common Intercourse with them, but avoid them as the Pest, and fly them as Witches & Sorcerers: It were to irksom to tell the moity of their Stratagems. O the Mercys of these Men were Cruelties! But yet farther, many things were writ by us in Vindi­cation [Page] o [...] our Innocency. Some that sought for the Redemption of Israel, and the Right Way of God, believ'd; here & there a Simeon, a Centurion, a Priest, a Lawyer, a Physitian, a Customer, & Fisherman, and a­bundance of Handecrafts, for the Poor receiv'd the Go­spel. But Alas! Neither our Apologies, nor grievous Sufferings, were enough to allay that swelling spirit of Cruelty; nor in the least affect the minds of Priests or Rulers with the Deploredness of our Condition, so as to redress all these grievious Sufferings: per­haps, somtimes a little shew of Favour there might be, but usually attended with a more terrible Storm. They at last (I mean the Magistrates) by the detestable Suggestions of the Priests, not having any Law in force, by which they could just [...]fie the Rigor of their Carriage towards us, enacted first, that no Man should Travel on the Sabboth-Day, there­by to punish us as Criminals, for going to our As­semblies to Worship the living God; and next, that such Persons as should be found above so many Miles from their own Homes, not being able to give a good account of themselves, should be whipt as Vagabonds; by which Laws, they miserably opprest our Friends, ma­ny Men of considerable Estates, being worse us'd then very Vagabonds. Thus covering the one over with Devotion, for the Day of rest, and the other, with prudent care, for the Good of the Common-Wealth.

Nor was this all; but as if they would out-do the Ages of cruel Popery and degenerated Prelacy, they received both the Oath of Queen Mary, made against such Protestants as came to decry the Idolatrys and Superstitions of the Romish Worship in the time of their Service, thereby to justifie themselves in the Exercise of Cruelty and Revenge upon us, for [Page] bea [...]ing our faithful Testimony against their Formal and Hypocritical Preachments; and that Oa [...]h of Abro­gat [...]on of Popery, that by the Advantage they took of our not Swearing at all, they might the better fasten upon us the Character of Papists, as Men Jesuited to that Interest, with plain Design to ren­der us odious, and cover their own Cruelty; Well may I say OUT-DONE, when pretended re­formed Protestants, endeavour the Security of their Religion by the enaction of those Laws, which were made by Inhuman Papists, against such as in good measure we can say, were truly reformed Protestants; thereby condemning that in the Papists, which they vigorously acted themselves: and basely sought to entrap us by a colourable Oath, wickedly fore­cast, because they knew we could not Swear at all, to punish us for not swearing against the Papists. This was their Cloak they had to cover their Malice, but it is grown to short, scanty, and out of date. The Bruises, Blood-shed, grievous Beatings and tedious Im­prisonments which followed this procedure, are now seen with detestation of almost the very mul­titude it self, and after Generations shall have it in utter abhorrance.

O what did not the Blood-thirsty Spirit in its Day? These were the great pretending Presby­terians, Independents and Anabaptists, Fighting, Knoc­king, Kicking, Robbing, Imprisoning and Murthering an Innocen [...] People, whose whole Business was to Deny the daw [...]g Doctrines of the Times, and to Direct People to a certain Holy Principle in themselves, unto which being Obedient, they should experience Sin con­quer'd, and Peace with God; preferring this above all [Page] the Traditions of Men, or utmost Power of Human Ministry.

But, as many of us saw in the Eternal Light, that such Obstinacy in both Priests and Rulers, to the Heavenly Truth, would provoke the Just God, to overturn them forever (which though we did once and again tell them by Writings, and by Word of Mouth, they slighted our plain-Dealing, turning it upon us, that we should vanish in a little while) So within very few Years God wrought the wonderfull Revolution; and those who had been In­flictersThe King's Return. of Heavy Punishments upon us, became the Objects of their greatest Dis-pleasure, whose Power and Estates they had so long usurp'd: I can call it no otherwise, for not the Country, but Self was wickedly advanc'd thereby.

Behold the Justice of the Almighty, such as refused us our Liberty, after their Solemn Oathes to God and Men, for the Preservation of Liberties, Civil and Religious, became destitute of their Own; and who spoil'd us, were spoil'd by Others, and we just now under their Fee [...], came upon Equal Terms with Our Adversaries: At what time, though both They and We, used our Endeavours to prevent Coertion upon Conscience, yet whether they prevailed or no, some were in Hopes, that the Edge of their Spi­rits, by this Change of Affairs, had been so doubl'd, as never more to cut, or wound a People that had never wrong'd them; and that their Retirement would have been rather employ'd in hearty Sor­row,See Annab. Decl. for their Abuse of Government, in their Unjust Severity, towards us as well as others, then [Page] a Continuance of the same Enmity. But thus far such fail'd in hopes, their Displeasure against us surviving their Power to inflict it; for though it is true, that in time of Persecution, they would inquire out of their By-Holes, of our Well-fare (for who had so long reigned shew'd they were most un­fit for Suffering) and like People upon City-Walls or from other conven [...]ent standings, would dili­gently observe the State of things, and by their Observation, or Inquiry, carefully acquaint them­selves with the Success (for our Overthrow had been the End of them) and as one of themselves said, We were the Bulworks that receiv'd the Shot) Yet, so un­abated hath their implacable Malice been; at the King's first coming in they thought to do great Matters by letting the Powers know they were no Abettors of the Quakers; which indeed stood us in great stead, least we might have been taken for those Tumultuous, Blood-thirsty, Covenant­breaking, Government-destroying Anabaptists: and that they might prove to the World, we were not of them. No sooner those Storms of Persecution have been over, but like forgetful Mariners, they have faln to their Old Work of bitter Envying: Either some one of their Church leaves them; or the Quakers are prosperous in their Labours; or any thing else that is next for a Cover, to palliate their Emulous Spirit in all its base Detractions from us, and the blessed Truth.

Which truly when I have beheld it, Grief has overwhelm'd my Soul, and a Pitty for their sakes has risen in my Heart, that all those Tryals, which rightly understood and improv'd, would have turned to great Advantage, should be as water spil'd on the Ground.

[Page]Many Instances we have had, of this, since their Descending the Throne of Power; Particularly in the Years 1668, 1669. which time; there being some respit, from any violent Persecution of men, upon the account of Conscience. What preaching was almost in every Meeting against the Danger­ous Errors of the Quakers, as they pleas'd to traduce them, and how were they slander'd upon Several Stationers Stalls? we could scarcely walk the Street, but our Ears must be disturb'd, with the Cryes of the Antidote against Quakerisme; the Synopsis of Qua­kerisme; the Damnable Heresie of the Quakers, with the like virulent Expressions, bestow'd upon us in their Title-Pages, to be-speak their Sale more easie, with Persons Inquisitive or prejudic'd.

Nay, whilst they commended the King's In­dulgence to their own Parties, and publickly ren­der'd him their Acknowledgment of his Clemen­cy, they sedulous endeavour'd my Imprisonment, in particular, and did not stick, both to character me the most wretched and enormious of Men, for a Book, they (I may in a manner say) extorted from me, and at that time too, when both my Body was straightly imprison'd, and my Life greatly indanger'd; and as the Completement of their Wickedness, they maintain'd the Justness of my Confinement.

But to pass over this, and observe the Conse­quence of succeeding Troubles; The former Acts receiving New Life, from one more sharp and Cruel, what could we hope, but that this Act exe­cuted, were enough to make these Professors forever out of Love with Persecution, who are yet too warm Abettors of it.

[Page]For, though their Vain Boasts of Standing, quickly vanisht at the Rattling of a few Musquets, and that God, by his Almighty, Invisible Power upheld us, through all those Hardships, of Bruises Blood-shed, broken Limbs, tedious Imprisonments, and Great Spoi [...]ing of our Goods (enough to melt the Hearts of Infidels) And I cannot say, but then they would Nicodemus-like give us their Night-Encou­ragements; some Blessing God that we were set to blunt the Edge of Persecution, and so be as a Bul­wark for them) yet so quickly did their Kindness coole, upon a Relaxation of such Procedure against us, that their Tenderness seem'd to Dye with the Hard­ness of our Persecutors; For no sooner were we out of Prison, but instead of Congratulations, we were Saluted, or Affronted rather, with an Imposture from Lincoln, and a Lye from Dover; the Former stampt by R. James, the Latter by T. Hobbs, both Anabap­tists, as they are commonly call'd, to their own In­famy, and the great Disgrace of their Profession.

These Beginnings, Reader, were followed by the pressing Endeavours of Our Dissenters in ge­neral, whether by Preaching, Disputing, Writing or other more secret Traducings, both in Cities and Country, but more especially in London: where the greatness of our Sufferings from the Powers, seems out-done by the Malicious Practices of Dissenters. Nay, so Restless are they in their Attempts against us, that they will Disturb themselves rather, then let us be Quiet; and care not whom they molest, if the poor Quakers may but be render'd Odious; witness among others a Libel, call'd The Spirit of the Quakers Tryed; A Letter, subscrib'd J. G. and a Dialogue, T. H. (the two Last of the same Fraternity with those before mention'd.)

[Page]Behold, what Use these Men make of Tolle­ration! with which since Authority hath oblieg'd them, their Gratitude, or their P [...]licy has turn'd the torrent of their virulent Hammer against us; whom they daily wreak under their ungodly Hate, as if they were resolv'd to interrupt the King's Indulgence, with their Persecution: and by a kind of Revenge upon us for our Liberty, suffer it to be a time of Calm with none but themselves. But, what makes the Matter worse, some Emulous Spirits among them wisht, as I heard, for an other Storm, that the Quakers might but be shipwrackt by it. O strange Impiety! that Men should lay our Prosperity so to Heart, as therefore to wish our Ruin; and rather, then not effect it, run the Bold Hazard of their Own: Unless they resolve to keep their Old Haunt of Creeping into Garrats, Cheese-loifts, Coale-holes, and such like Mice-walkes, and using more Equivoca­tion to hide a Meeting, then a Romish Priest hath been wont to do, to conceal his Function.

Well may we take up a Lamentation for these things, that Men should so fearfully rend Religion from Charity, and Faith from the good Works of Pati­ence, Mercy, and Universal Love, as if to Quarrel about Religion were to be Religious, and to call Names, and Jeer a Mark of Zeal and Witt.

To Conclude, and sum up what I have said; This hath been the Misery of almost every Refor­mation, that its Authors have Degenerated from their first Sense (which plac'd Religion in a clean Conscience, not in a full Head: in Walking with God, more then in Talking of Him) to Self-Promo­tion, and Persecution of all Dissenters from their Establishment: and the Cause of it is briefly this; [Page] a [...] from that He [...]venly Illumination in them­selves, setting up their Own Contrivance, before they had pull'd down all Contrivances of Men; and their Co­vetousness, to advance their own Inventions; and Im­patience, to see them not assented to, [...]ave promoted Crue [...]ty, and with this very Cup have the Nations been Drunk, as well Refin'd, as more Gross Professors of Religion. That God therefore fir [...]t Appeared to, and Impower'd, and Sent forth Plain Men, to de­clare the Plain Truth, to turn Men from that Dark­ness, which cover'd their Hearts, notwithstanding their splendid Profession, to the Light that hath shined therein uncomprehended, which obeyed, was sufficient to Sal­vation; that they were first Slandered, then Perse­cuted, and that by most Sorts: But their Persecu­tion not always continuing from the Powers, they have been, and now are diligently followed by their old Adversaries, the Separatists, with their Cryes of Heresie, Error, Blasphemy, and the like, if possible, to make them a Burden upon Earth, witness their many printed Books and Impostures, parti­cularly, The Spirit of the Quakers Tryed, The Letter, The Dialogue betwixt a Christian and a Quaker, Qu kerism no Christianity, and The Controversie Ended; unto all which from Beginning to End, so far as concerns CHRIST, THE TRUE LIGHT, ENLIGHTNING ALL MEN, THAT EVER CAME, AND DO, OR SHALL COME INTO THE WORLD, WITH A SAVING LIGHT; & WHAT IS THE GENERAL RULE OF FAITH TO CHRISTIANS, I here present the World with our plain & full Defence, having throughly considerd them, with what other Objections, I thought to carry any weight against Us: Which being our Funda­mental Principle, if prov'd, the common Notion of [Page] Satisfaction for Sins past, present, and to come, Justifica­tion in the strictest Sense, without inherent Righteous­ness; their fearful Tale of Predestination, and their P [...]eas against Perfection will tumbleto the Ground.

And I earnestly beseech the Reader in the Love of God, not to believe every wandring Book or Story that is out against us, but hear us before he passeth Judgement against us, and then let his Conscience tell, if We are not the True Apostolical Christians, promo­ting the Interest of the Pure Spiritual Apostolical Religi­on. For, what we believe and assert, we Witness; We don't Steal, nor Robb our Neighbours, God has brought it to us, beyond all Imitation: Our Religion He has made our Own through his internal Operations; And a­gainst Convictions there is no standing, as well as with­out them there can be no solid Knowledge: the want of which makes the World miserable, & renders us unknown.

Having thus Historically introduc'd my present Discourse; and my Witness is with God, the Right­teous Judge of all, not out of ill-Will to any, but in perfect Love to all, that the very Truth of things may be brought to Light, in order to a more clear Understanding of that Controversie, which is now on foot betwixt the so much despised Quakers and their Adver­saries. For this let all know, I Write not for Con­troversie, but truly for Conscience sake, that not empty Conquest, but sound Conviction may be the End of all my Labours for the Lord my God, who is over and above every Name, worthy of Eternal Praises and Dominion. I shall conclude, with these Earnest Desires in uprightness of Soul to God; that Truth, Righteousness and Peace may prevail to the more plain Detection of Error, and utter Con­fusion of all Envy and Prejudice.

THE CONTENTS OF THE First Part.

  • CHAP. I. The Occasion of the Discourse. The unhan [...]some Deal­ing of T. Hicks, with respect to the Invented Weak [...]ess [...] charges upon the Quakers, as the strength of their Cause. Pag. 1.
  • CHAP. II. The Gross Lyes Tho. Hicks tells in the Name of, or fastens upon the Quakers. Such Proceeding, full of Envy, Folly, and Ungodliness. pag. 4.
  • CHAP. III. That he does not only make us impertinent and Lye; But he mannages the Whole prophanely. That he who is an Anabap­tist, has forgot the Scorn once cast upon his own Perswasion. Men are not to be mockt out of their Religion. pag. 7.
  • CHAP. IV. That a Right-Relish of the Manner of the Dialogue is a sufficient Antidote against the Matter of it. His Questions stated. His feigned Answer. A True Answer to the First. What is Salvation? To be saved from Sin and Wrath; not Wrath without Sin. pag. 10.
  • CHAP. V. The second Question stated. Particularly what is meant by Light. It is more then an Act; It is a Principle that dis­covers the Sate of Man. pag. 12.
  • CHAP. VI. That the Light Within manifests Sin; yea, all Sin. That Apostacy, or Sin in any, is no Argument against the Light, but rather for it. That the Additional Services of the Jews show No Imperfection in the Light, but the People, whose Minds were abroad. If Insufficiency against the Light should be admitted of, because of Reb [...]llion and Wickedness in Men, the same would be objected against the Scriptures, which overthrows our Adversary's Assortion concer­ning their Sufficiency. pag. 13.
  • CHAP. VII. Another Objection against the Light's Sufficiency to manifest what ought to be done, though it were able to discover what should be avoided. It is answered. The Light's not telling [...] [Page] all it knows, or man may know in time to come, is no Argument to prove, it knows not all things. Men know more then they do, let them first obey what they know, and then what is convenient will be further Reveal'd. It is proved from the Reason of Contraries; because it show [...] what ought not to be done: From Scripture at large, that [...] instruct what to do; and that there is Vertue in it to the Salvation of all that Believe and Obey it. That there is no [...]ssential Difference between the Seed, Light, Word, Spirit, Life; Truth, Power, Vnctio [...], Bread, Water, Flesh and Blood; only so denominated from the various Manif [...]stations, Operatio [...]s, and Effects of one and the same Divine Principle. pag. 17.
  • CHAP. VIII. An Objection against the Light's [...] Be­ing to Christ's Coming. It is proved to have been known to be a saving Light from Adam's Day, through the Holy Patriar [...]s and [...]rophets time down to Ch [...]ist's, from the Scriptures of Truth. pag. 25.
  • CHAP. IX. Another Objection, that though the Jews had it, it will not f [...]llow that the Gentiles were so illuminated. It is An­swered by several Scriptures. In this Chapter quoted to prove, that they were not exempted; but had a measure of Light, some Divine Seed sown in their Hearts, some Talent given, and that it was suf­ficient. T. Hicks's Challenge to give an Instance of one that by the Light within was reprov'd for not believing that Jesus was the Christ, is answered. Such as believed in the Light, and walkt up to it, did receive Christ when he came. The high Pretenders were they who to Scriptures Opposed, and Crucifi [...]d him. The Light from Scrip­ture concluded Universal and Saving. pag. 31.
  • CHAP. X. That the Gentiles Believed in one God. That he en­lightned all Men with a saving Light. That Men ought to live pi­ously. That the Soul is immortal. That there is an Eternal Re­compence. The Whole call'd Gentile-Divinity. The first Point proved by sixteen Testimonies. pag. 41.
  • CHAP. XI. The second Fundamental of Gentile-Divinity, viz. That God hath Imprinted the Knowledge of Himself on the Mind of all Mankind, Proved from twelve pregnant T [...]stimonies, as well of whole Societies, as particular Persons. Compared with Scripture. pag. 52.
  • CHAP. XII. That this was not only the Doctrine and Faith of the Gentiles; but the very primitive Doctors or Fathers both so held, and so exprest themselves: Eight Testimonies produced for Proof thereof. pag. 60.
  • CHAP. XIII. The Third Part of Gentile-Divinity, viz. That they were Men of Vertuous Lives, and taught the Indispensibleness thereof to Life Eternal. Prov'd by Numerous Instanc [...]s. pag. 66.
  • [Page]CHAP. XIV. That the last Point of Gentile-Divinity, to wit, Immortality and Eternal Rewards, is also very clearly and positive­ly held forth by the ancient Heathens: Six Testimonies from them, to prove it. Socrates's Great Faith in particular; and the lofty Strain of the Pythagoreans. pag. 76.
  • CHAP. XV. That the Heathens had a Sight of the Coming of Christ: That, and not Swearing, proves the Sufficien [...]y of the Light. pag. 80.
  • CHAP. XVI. It is granted that the Jew, and much more the Christian, hath the Advan [...]age of the Gentile; yet that the Gentile had enough to Salvation. pag. 84.
  • CHAP. XVII. A great Objection stated; Answered. The Light both Law and Gospel; not in the same Discovery, but in it self. A Way to reconcile the seeming Difference about it; The Light still defended. pag. 86.
  • CHAP. XVIII. The second Part of the Objection, that Christ was not anciently called the Light; Answered. And the Contrary proved from Scripture and Reason. pag. 91.
  • CHAP. XIX. The third Part of the Objection: If Christ was en­joyed under the Law, as he was; If the Light be Christ, why was he typified? is proved of no Force. The Type and Anti-type in some respect may be at one and the same Time; This is proved by plenty of Scripture. Our Adversaries Opposition and Cavil weak and in­successful. pag. 94.
  • CHAP. XX. The fourth Part of the Objection stated and consi­dered. Christ's Death and Sufferings confossed to, and respected; They were Beneficial. The Light of Christ within is the efficient Cause to Salvation. pag. 99.
  • CHAP. XXI. A Confession in particular to Christ's Redemption, Remission, Justification and Salvation. pag. 104.
  • CHAP. XXII. That Christ is the Light; or, the Light is Christ, proved from Scripture, and so concluded; notwitstanding two Ob­jections, which are fully answer'd. pag. 114.
  • CHAP. XXIII. The Universality of the Light proved by Rea­son. pag. 120.
  • CHAP. XXIV. The Sufficiency of the Light proved by Rea­son. pag. 122.
  • [Page]CHAP. XXV. The Question, Who He, or They are that obey the Light, &c? consider'd and answered; being a Character of [...] true Quaker. pag. 124.
  • CHAP. XXVI. The Discourse hithero summed up and conclu­ded with an Exhortation to all Professors of Religion, especially our Opp [...]sers. pag. 128.
APPENDIX.
  • Of the Rule of Faith and Life. pag. 135.
  • Of the Judge of Controversie. pag. 155.
  • Th [...] Conclusion. pag. 160.

THE CONTENTS OF THE Second Part, Entituled, The CHRISTIAN-QUAKER, and his Divine Testimony Vindicated: Which consists of several Treatises.

The Contents of the First Treatise.
  • To the Unprejudie [...]d Reader, an Epistle, from pag. 3. to pag. 9. Some of the Doctrines and Contradictions of T. Hicks, declared at a Discourse between him and some of the Quakers (so [...]) in Aldermanbury, London, the 20th of the 3d Moneth, 1672. p. 10, 11.
  • Christ's Light Within asserted, as it is Divine (and therefore a suffici­ent Rule of Life unto Salvation to all that truly obey it) and vindica­ted from Tho. Hicks's dark Exceptions, fallacious and Impious Ar­guments (consisting of manifest Ignorance, Confusion and Ranterism) which are here inserted, as they were exhibited in a Paper, afterwards owned and signed by him, from p. 13. to p. 23.
  • Section 1. (In Answer to his Dialogue) The Light within proved Di­vine and Saving, &c. p. 24.
  • §. 2. The Life, which is the Light of Men, not a Creature or meer Ef­fect, &c. p. 27.
  • §. 3. The Baptist's Quarrel grounded on his Mistakes about the Light, and our Testimony of it, p. 29.
  • §. 4. Christ guideth to Salvation by his Inward Light; and the Bap­tist Confounded in his Opposing it, p. 31.
  • §. 5. The Dipper proved a Blind Guid [...], and in gross Confusion, in un­dervaluing the Light Within, p. 32.
  • §. 6. His Ignorance of the Divine Principle, p. 34.
  • §. 7. His Madness and Self-Contradiction about the Light, p. 35.
  • §. 8. Christ, as the Rock of Ages; and the Intent of his Coming in the Flesh not known to the Baptists, while they Oppose his Light Within, p. 37.
  • §. 9. The Dipper plunged in a Labyri [...]th of Self-Contradictions; and the Light within proved a Rule above the Scriptures, p. 39.
  • [Page]Sect. 10. The Subject, Understanding and Obeying the Light Within, unknown to the Cavilling Baptist, pag. 41.
  • §. 11. Concerning the Soul of Man, as under divers Considerations and States; and G. Fox's words so considered; with Eight Queries added, from pag. 43. to pag. 47.
  • §. 12. The Neck of the Baptist's Cause broken by his own Concession to the Light Within, in which Christ and his Testimonies are effectu­ally received, p. 47.
  • §. 13. The Baptist's impious Forgery upon the Quakers, about the Scrip­tures, which are in reallity owned and used by them, p. 49.
  • §. 14. His impious Abuse about Revelation, Light Within, Scriptures, &c. from p. 50. to p. 56.
  • §. 15. His partial Relation against John Story, p. 59.
  • §. 16. The Baptist's Dispargement of the Light within, contrary to his own Pretence, p. 61, 62, 63, 64.
  • §. 17. His Slander about the Person, Offices, Sufferings and Blood of Christ, and continued Abuse of the Light Within, p. 65, 66, 67, 68.
  • §. 18. The Baptist's Quarrel against S. Crisp removed p. 69, 70, 71, 72.
  • §. 19. The End of Christ's Coming, Example and Suffering more truly owned by the Quaker then the Dipper, p. 73.
  • §. 20. The Baptist's Ignorance and Cavil about Redemption, and the spi­ritual Discoveries of Christ and his Seed, p. 74, 75, 76.
  • §. 21. The Baptist's imperfect Work against Perfection, p. 77, 78, 79, 80.
  • §. 22. Thomas Hicks's groundless Calumny and malicious Railing a­gainst George Whitehead, p. 81, 82, 83, 84.
  • §. 23. The Baptist's Abuse against G. W. about a Meeting with them at Devonshire-House, London, p. 85, 86.
  • The Contents of the Second Treatise [entituled, LIGHT SPRUNG UP in the Despised Quaker, &c.] are inserted next after the Title, before page 87.
  • The Contents of the Third Treatise [entituled, THE ANGRY ANABAPTIST proved Babylonish] follow after the Title, before pag. 121.
  • The Contents of a Bill of Excommunication exhibited by the Baptists at Chichester; together with a brief Answer thereunto, from pag. 159. to pag. 166.
  • Some Confessions concerning the Baptized Churches, made by their own Messengers in their Bewailing Epistle from Tiverton, from p. 167. to p. 170.
The Fourth Treatise [THE PRESBYTER's ANTIDOTE TRY­ED] in Answer to Stephen Scandret.
  • The Contents:
  • Chap. I. A comprehensive Account concerning the Rule, the Light and Scripture, explaining both Our Sense of the Terms, and Stephen Scan­drets: Together with the Assembly's Confession about the Scriptures, from p. 173, to p. 180.
  • [Page]Stephen Scandret's Sense about the Points in Controversie examined, p. 181, 182, 183, 184, 185.
  • Chap. II. About JUSTIFICATION and IMPUTATION, from p. 185. to p. 209.
  • Chap. III. About Christ's Justifying Righteousness, the best Robe; the Necessity of its Inherence (or being inwardly enjoyed) not to invali­date, but to fulfil the blessed Intents and Ends of his Suffering, in Reply to S. S. from p. 210. to p. 224.
  • Chap. IV. Of SATISFACTION; some serious Considerations, farther opening the Doctrine and Sense of our Opposers, from p. 225. to p. 238.
  • An Appendix, wherein the Controversie is summ'd up and resolv'd part­ly by way of Question and Answer, with a plain Intimation of my Sense thereof, as relating to the second, third and fourth Chapters be­fore, fromp. 239 to p. 249.
  • The Difference between our Opposer's Gospel and OUR's, briefly sta­ted, p. 250, 251.
  • Chap. V. Concerning ELECTION and REPROBATION, from p. 252. to p. 290.
  • The Contents thereof follow.
  • A brief Introduction, with the Assembly's Opinion, and Stephen Scan­dret's uncertain Proposition for it, p. 253.
  • Section 1. His Abuse of divers Scriptures in his State of the Case sor a Personal Election answer'd; the Way of Goa's Choosiag resolv'd, p. 255.
  • §. 2. The Weakness of his two first Arguments touching Gods Decree and Promises, p. 257.
  • §. 3. His gross Ignorance of those Names written in the Lamb's Book Arg. 3. His Impertinency and ignorant Allegation, and Misunder­standing of divers Scriptures, concerning God's Choice and Ordination; and the Cause of men's Destruction opened, against Arg. 4. Persons being chosen, proves not their Eternal Election, as Persons, p. 260.
  • §. 4. Concerning Jacob and Esau; Christ's Sheep, those that come, [...]ome drawn and given unto him of the Father, Arg. 5 & 6. p. 262.
  • §. 5. Election explained; God's Loving Jacob and hating Esau; their Posterities concerned therein; and how far the two Births were figured in Jacob and Esau, p. 265.
  • §. 6. Our Opposer's blasphemously placing a partial Resolution upon God (as creating Persons with Intention to leave them to Destruction) con­trary to his universal Call and Tend rs of Salvation, p. 268.
  • §. 7. The Unchangeableness of God's Election, in what State; and our Opposer's Ignorance and Error concerning God's Purpose, p. 269.
  • §. 8. My Unanswered Objection of setting Life and Death before men, and Warning them of Destruction, p. 271.
  • §. 9. The Cause of God's Hardening Pharaoh, Judas and others, not grounded upon meer Will and Pleasure, but for their Rebellion, p. 272.
  • §. 10. Touching the Fall of particular Angels and Men; the Ten­dence of God's Long-suffering towards the Wicked; and my Opposer's Confession to Truth, to the utter Overthrow of his Opinion, p. 273.
  • §. 11. Presbyters Mockery in their Warnings, and setting Life and [Page] Death, Conditional Promises and Threats before People, contrary to their Partial Opinion of an Eternal Personal Election and Reproba­tion, png. 275.
  • Sect. 12. The sad Consequence of their Accusing God with decreeing to deny Saving Grace to particular Persons, yea, to the greater part of Mankind, shewing, that Divine Justice it self hath not so decreed, pag. 277.
  • §. 13. Grace differing from Debt: The Reason why God finds Fault with Men: The Question, Who hath resisted his Will? resolved, p. 278.
  • §. 14. Their urging all to forsake Sin, contradictory to their Opinion, and not in true Faith: Their flattering many with fair Pretences, contrary to their own Intentions: The poor Encouragement and cold Comfort, that their Doctrine of a Personal Reprobation yields to the greatest part of Mankind, p. 279.
  • §. 15. The Wise God, the Just Judge, is the Ordainer of the Punish­ment, not of the Fact; nor the Author of Sin, or their Wickedness who persecuted Christ, p. 281.
  • §. 16. Hypocritical Priests, making and strengthening Hypocrites by deceitfully daubing them up in their Sins, and flattering them with a [YOU ARE NOT FALLEN FROM GRACE] while they are guilty of gross VVickedness, p. 283.
  • §. 17. Concerning God's Covenant with David and his Seed, and the Mystery typified in him, p. 284.
  • To all which is added a Short Postscript concerning the WILL of God in its Manifestation; 1st, as Unresistible; 2dly, as Resistible, p. 286, 287, 288, 289.
  • Chap. VI. VVhether PERFECTION, that is, a State freed from all Sin, be attainable in this Life? from p. 290. to p. 312.
  • The Fifth Treatise, about the RESURRECTION, beginning at pag. 315. to the end of the Book. The RESURRECTION owned by us, and Scripturally asserted, with the Future and distinct Beings of Men & Angels; and the Eternal Advantage, Glory & Felicity of the Righteous or Saints after Dissolution: The Scriptures spiritual Tefti­mony thereof, being owned and vindicated by us, in Opposition to our OPPOSER's CARNAL THOUGHTS about the Resurrection and future State, particularly in Answer to Tho. Hicks, W. Burnet and Thomas Danson.
  • Unto which is annexed Thomas Vincent's Illustrations about the Re­surrection, as partly an Explication of the Sense of the rest of our Opposers therein.
  • Finally, Some Passages of Hen. Moor's, for the SPIRITUALITY of the Resurrection-Bodies, viz. the Body of Christ, and the Bodies of Saints.
  • The Intent of all this Fifth Treatise being both to remove Groundless Objections, Unnecessary Questions and Fruitless Disputes about this Weighty and Mysterious Point of the Resurrection.

THE CHRISTIAN-QUAKER And his DIVINE TESTIMONY VINDICATED, &c. Viz. The Universality & Sufficiency of Christ's LIGHT WITHIN, through all Ages to Eternal SALVATION: fully Stated and Defended.

CHAP. I.

The Occasion of the Discourse. The Unhandsome Dealing of our Ad­versary, with Respect to the Invented Weakness he chargeth upon the Quakers, as the Strength of their Cause.

THere is a Book lately come to my Hands, intituled, A Dialogue between a Christian and a Quaker; which with several others lately publisht against us, hath given Occasion for this general Undertaking.

I was very curious to peruse that Discourse, which should make a Difference between them, having in my diligent Search after Religion, ever desired to understand and pro­fess That, which upon true Convictions, I had Reason to believe was the most Christian: But as upon Impartial View I found the Weakness of that Book more favourable to us, then the Uncharitableness of the Title-Page, which seem'd to dis interest a Quaker in Christianity; so most unexpect­edly I found my Name, among others, often us'd, and as often undeservedly abus'd by the Author. I was not wil­ling that any else should answer for my Faults, if any there [Page 2] were; and if Innocent, I esteem'd my self both sufficient and oblig'd to my own Relief, which will not be hard to do: and the Reason is, because so little Reason, and so much Railing, have been by him imploy'd against me, as if he intended to scold rather then confute me; and to let the World know, how much better skill'd He is in Scurrility then Argument.

This I confess, drew me first into any Willingness of considering his Discourse at large: Not, that the Truth was not first in mine Eye; but because I know the Person most concern'd with him, to be both able and resolv'd to reply, I thought my Endeavors (at least for this time) might have been very well excused.

But so many Out-cries coming upon the Neck of another, if possible, to expel us the World, I found my self press'd in Spirit, to buckle my Mind to this Enterprise, notwith­standing that my late Concernment with some other Adver­saries had left the Wearisomness of a Combat upon my Spi­rit, and the Hopes I had of being spared, by the ingenuous Acknowledgment of our Enemies, from the like Necessity of further Controversie.

But as it fell out with the People of Syracuse, that several very Bad Tyrants were succeded by Worse; so truly it hath done with us: The Confutation of one Adversary, redoub­ling Envy, Prejudice, and almost every evil Quality in the next; as if to be overcome were more intollerable to them, then to find the TRUTH by it, would be Acceptable. Oh Lamentable Use that these Men make of our Love and Pains! But we have some Cause to think, that failing of that Reason, which is necessary to prop so infirm a Cause, they would, if possible, supply the Want of it with the LAST WORD, which at Billings Gate, I hear, goeth a Great Way to Advantage, and turn the Scale in all Disputes.

And truly, if the Temper of this Adversary be but con­sider'd, with what Help he himself has given us to do it; For my part, I should stand amaz'd that any Sober, Civil or Christian Man, could refrain passing severe Sentence against him, as one that writeth of Religion, out of all Sence of either Religion, or good Manners; and that only took Occasion, thereby to prove eminently to all Impartial Men, he really has neither.

But to let that pass, I leave the Book to speak, for or against it self: I shall only premise, that though I [Page 3] have particularly observ'd the Manner of his Dialogue, as an apt Introduction, and that my Discourse has been occasion'd by this and several late Attempts made against the Truth; Yet my Answer, to avoid their Accusation of Personal Heat, is not Immediate, Direct, or Particular to any one. The Matter of our Judgment, both with respect to the Light, and Rule (comprehensive of all) I have positively stated, and so defended by Plain Scripture, Sound Reason, and Universal Consent of former Ages: and what Force any Books, Argument, or Objections (pre­sent with me) whether from our Adversaries, especially T. Hick's, or my own Remembrance, I shall by the way Faithfully, and I hope, Effectually consider: To the end I may avoid the great Vanity, of Bragging of a Victory ob­tain'd against a Man of Straw, and Enemy of my own making, As T. Hicks hath done. and that Detestable Sin, and Dis-ingenuous Practice, of charging those Lyes, and that weakness upon my Antagonist he ne­ver thought, nor could be guilty of.

In short, what I have against the Book in general, and for the Truth and My self in particular, I shall in their pro­per Places produce; And now descend so to do, with what convenient Brevity I can.

First then, he has taken a very Unfair Way of Opposing our Principles (if we may yet call them ours) since instead of collecting what truly are so, and those most forceable Arguments We have been wont to offer in their Defence, out of our own Writings (which in Honesty and Justice he ought to have done) he presents the World with a Dialogue between a Christian and a Quaker, which we may truly say, are both of his own making, at once abusing both himself and that People; For neither has he truly represented the Quaker, nor much more honest is his Character of a Christian: And whilst he doth most partially render, his own Opinions to be those of a true Christian, rather then a true Christians to be his, he brings in the poor despised Quaker, saying any thing that may be most Ridiculous, Weak and Impertinent to the Matter; which Way of Confutation is so far from being truly Manly, much less Christian, that the Wisest Man may be so dis­guised into the Greatest Fool, and Truth it self seem van­quisht by the weakest Forces of her Enemies. It was by Wayes not less Injurious, though more Ingenious, that the esteem'd best Heathen of his time, was by some of his Emulating Contemporaries brought into utter Disgrace, [Page 4] with that only People, which once most of all deservedly admired him; as they who will take the pains to read the Comical Abuses of Anytus and Aristophanes, upon Socrates may easily inform themselves: Whose Life being Blameless, and Vertue unparallel'd in his Day, did by his strict Precepts, and Example, so influence the People into a dis-like of those Comedians, and their loose Adherents, that till the frothy Spi­rit of the Multitude became reviv'd, by their ridiculous Representations of that worthy Man in a Play, it was im­possible for them to work his Ruin.

Methinks, this Man's Dialect savours of the same Spirit, though its Grossness tells us, It hath not the same Wit. Let me never have so infirm a Cause to manage, and grant me but Leave to make my Adversaries Answers, and I will never fear the Consequence of such Encounters. But, who will yield to this, that doth not first resolve to be Overcome? Let T. Hicks but permit me that Liberty against his Water-Baptism in Defence of Childrens, and I will warrant him a Rebel to the Church of England. But doth he do as he would be done by? If this be the Ne plus ultra, or Upshot of our Adversaries Strength, to feign Weak­ness for Us, that he may appear Some Body, I think, we need say no more, but leave it with every unprejudic'd Con­science to guess at the Meaning of such base Designes. Certainly, We have not been justly dealt with, nor our Cause weigh'd in the Equal Scale of Righteousness; and indeed, this Imperfection is most of all incident to that Way of Writing.

CHAP. II.

The Gross Lyes Tho. Hicks tells in the Name of, or fastens upon the Quakers. Such proceeding, full of Envy, Folly, and Un­godliness.

NExt, he has as well made us to Belye Our selves, and Principles, as to appear Impertinent; a thing so fouly Uncharitable, indeed very wicked, as me-thinks, every Sober and impartial Mind may have just occasion to be scandaliz'd at his whole Enterprise. What! not only make us to answer in his own Language, but Lye [Page 5] in it, and that against our very Principles and Consciences too; This is an Aggravation, at once, of his own Enmity, and the Imbecillity of his Cause.

For can any believe, that knows us well, that when we are ask'd, as he fictiously doth in his Dialogue, Do you be­lieve the Scriptures to be true sayings of God? We should answerPag. 66. him thus; So far as they agree to the Light in me. For, though it be thus far true, viz. that the true Light with­in is the same in kind with that which shined in the Hearts of the Holy Pen-Men, and therefore may rightly be said, to agree both in it self, and in the several Testimonies of Divers Ages; and consequently it may truly be allow'd to judge of what are the sayings of God, from what are those of Wicked Men, &c. Yet has he disingenuously ob­truded those Words by Way of Answer upon us, which he cannot find so laid down by any of us, much less all the Quakers.

Again, in another place of his abusive Catechism, he thus Queries.

Q. Then may I not conclude, that the Reason why you so free­ly Pag. 72. Rail against, and Reproach your Opposers, is only to Secure your Credit with your own Proselytes? which he thus makes the Quaker to answer.

A. I cannot deny, but that there may be something of that in it. O Impudent Forgery! Whether this Invention be­comes a Man that has the least honest pretence to Christ's Pure Religion, or one who would be thought as Serious as an Anabaptist-Preacher ought to be, judge all you that read us? I cannot believe, but Many who go under that Name, have more Tenderness and Conscience, then to abet this kind of Proceed against us. In short, It was an unchari­table Spirit ask'd the Question, and from that became a Lying one to answer it. Our Witness is with God, as to our Innocency in this very matter. But he proceeds.

Q Will you be so Liberal of your Revilings, whether your Adver­sary Pag. 73. gives occasion or not? he answers for us.

A. It concerns us to render them as Ridiculous as we can, and to make our Friends believe they do nothing but contradict them­selves.

Again to the same Unrighteous Purpose,

Q. But doth not this signifie a very Dishonest and Malicious Mind in you? He makes us return.

[Page 6]A. We care not what you think, provided our Friends think not so.

And to conclude his Slanders of this kind, hear him once more.

Q. Doth not W. P. in his Book against the Author of the Spirit of the Quakers tryed, manifest great Displeasure against the Man for concealing his Name; Suggesting, that if he knew it, then probably they [...] have something, to detect him? &c.

I shall omit in this place making mine own Defence; but be pleas'd Curteous Reader, to observe the Man's Answer, which he would have the World to believe was ours.

A. Whatsoever thou or others may think of our Writings, we will give it out, that we have both answer'd and consuted our Adver­saries, and our Friends will believe what we say in this matter, which is enough to us. O Lyes, Madness, and Folly.

Certainly Reader, By this time thou canst not but with me believe, I had Reason enough to make this General Exception against the Dialogue, as neither becoming what I am so tender as to think, our bitter Adversary upon more serious Consi­derations might esteem a Right Christian; nor yet that Character of a Quaker, which the more Sober Sort of Men, carry in their Minds concerning us: and in the fear of Almighty God, we do appeal to the Consciences of all People, that shall ever read us, whether we have been treated by this Man in his Dialogue and Catechism with that Spirit of Meekness, Righ­teousness and Truth, which is, or ought to be the Rule and Guide of Christian-Men in their undertakings, more espe­cially in and about the very weighty matters of Religion. Indeed, we need no other Apology in this case, then the Folly of his Answers; For all the World will think, we had least need of seeking the Good-Will of our Friends which we had already, and rather conclude it our interest, to care after, and not to slight what others say or believe concerning us. 'Tis true, I perceive our Adversary is a great Slighter of Conscience, and that Light of Truth which should be the Instructer thereof, and therefore no wonder if we find so little of it in his Dialogue: but however, he sets lit­tle by it, preferring his most defective Head-Conceits before the holy certain DICTATES of the Heavenly Light in the Con­sciences of Men, as his Unconscionable Dealing with us sufficiently testifies; yet is it our Desire to act suitably to [Page 7] that in our selves, and to seek the Approbation of it alone in others, rather then by a disingenuous way of Writing, obtrude our own Fictions for Christian-Faith, much less meer Im­pertinencies and very Lyes, for the only and best Answers of our Adversaries.

CHAP. III.

That he does not only make us Impertinent, and Lye; But he mannages the Whole prophanely. That he who is an Anabaptist, has forgot the Scorn once cast upon his own Perswasion. Men are not to be mockt out of their Religion.

BUt, He has not only made us to say what he pleas'd, Impertinently and untruly, but he has done it, with a manifest shew of Prophaneness, by a Light, Taunting and Inapplicable Use of those Expressions, which in a way of Seriousness and Simplicity, may have been sometimes uttered by honest and Re­ligious People. Such are these, that he makes us to give, in Answer to his Questions, which we refuse not to render a distinct account of, to any Sober Man at any time, viz. Pag. 2. Thou runnest into many Words and carnal Distinctions, and wouldst have thy fleshly Wisdom satisfied, but I tell thee, that Dust is the Serpents Food. To his Answer against the Sufficiency of the Light, he makes the Quaker Reply, I see thou art a Poor Dark Creature, as by thy talking is manifest, yea 'tis manifest in Pag. 13, the Light. To the like Purpose; Thou art a wicked Creature, Blackness of Darkness is reserv'd for thee; Thou art a Serpent, and 14, the Curse of God is eternally upon thee. Again, Thou manifests 15, thy Darkness, and that thou art still in the Imagination. Again,20, Thou lookst for Words, but thy Flesh must be silenc'd. Again,25, We witness it; Poor Creature, Thou runst to the Letter, what dost thou witness in thy self? Again, I command thy Flesh to be 44, Silent; I bear Witness against thee. At other times, in An­swer45, to such like Questions, Yea, Verily. Alas for thee, These 49, are thy own Dark Imaginations. Now thou runst to Meanings, 54, 66, We deny Meanings. Thou manifests a Perverse Spirit. We are 76. dead to Distinctions. We deny Dispositions, Thou suggests thy own Imagination.

These, Impartial Reader, with more of the like tendency, he is pleas'd to set down as our Strongest Answers to his [Page 8] Questions, several of them such, as have receiv'd, and yet may, very Rational and Satisfactory Returns from many of us: However, if any such kind of Answers have been gi­ven to the Unseasonable Queries of Airy and Entrapping Per­sons, neither is it more Ridiculous, then Christ's Immovable Silence to Inquisitive Herod was judged of old; Nor did he Manfully, to assault our Weakest Part, if such he thought it.

But least of all is he excusable, that one who is reputed an Anabaptist; the very next in Religion, that seems expos'd to the Scoffs of Libertines, should take so much pains, not only to render a Sober People Ridiculous (though it will return upon himself) but with the common Taunts of Prophanenists, to venture to give their Serious Language in a Jeer: An Em­ployment, that had much better become a Comedian, then a Christian, and the Entertainment of Loose, then Reli­gious Persons. Certainly Reader, We must be at a very great Loss for Religion before we could embrace it from such a hand; supposing us to be as meer Heathens, as he would have others to think us: For, how can we believe him, to have any Sincerity to God, who so far seems to have forgotten the Reproach, which his own Separation from others hath been attended with, as to make that of ours, a Subject for his Mockage and Scorn. Let him call to mind some of the Infamous Playes of those Comical Wits, Sylvester, Shackspeer, Johnson, &c. with too many of our own dayes, wherein the Preciseness and Singularity of Pu­ritans and others, are abusively represented, and expos'd to the Life, for the Entertainment of Vain, and Irreligious Persons. If this then be a Crime in an unconcern'd Wit, can it be excusable in a Christian, for such he would have us think him to be? No certainly; but will be a great Ag­gravation of his Account in the Day of the Lord, unless it be wip'd out by unfeigned Repentance, as well as that it must needs deter all Persons, that are in earnest about the weighty Life of the true Religion, from countenan­cing his ungodly Attempts against us. And me-thinks, it is no small discovery of the exceeding Vanity of his Mind, that instead of putting away Foolish Jesting, he should entertain base Mockage and Derision, and that about Re­ligion it self. What? Is he grown so hardy, that he can handle Holy Things without Fear; and make bold with tender Conscience, so far as to abuse it self? Is Singula­rity become so offensive in a Quaker, as an Anabaptist must [Page 9] show his little Wit in Deriding it: But certainly, Reader, it can be no small Advantage, that both his Bitterness and Lightness, give us against a Man of his high Pretences to Religion. However, our Conquest here will be our Patience, Innocence, and Truth; Not that I will believe, he thinks I want Words (to whom, he more then once makes the having of them Criminal) and all that read him may see, he hath furnisht me with Matter GROSS enough: But I de­light not to spend my time upon Invectives, did I, perhaps I might bestow a Tragick Comedy upon a Railing Anabaptist, in return of that Ridiculons Dialogue, he disingenuously would fasten on an unconcerned Quaker: But my God forbid, that I should Sport about Religion; or make so much as any Man's pretended Religious Dissent, a Theam for my Railery or Abuse; for I think it an ill way to Laugh men out of their Profession, as well as I can never esteem that any sincere one, which men are Jeer'd into: and as Conviction is the most Serious Ground, on which to receive Faith; so, to detract, or deal disin­genuously with any man, may harden, but can never Proselyte; and this is our very Case, with respect to T. H. Yet I would have him know, That our so much reproached Light Within, he so little concerns the Govern­ment of his Life withal, incites us not to an Eye for an Eye; but teacheth us that Forbearance and Forgiveness, which we have some Reason to believe, his Principles are wholly Strangers to; else, what can mean his greedy En­deavours, To pluck out others Eyes, that never yet assaulted so much as one of his, either by Word or Writing. Well may we take up the Complaint of God's Prophet of old, We Jer. 20. 7. are had in Derision daily, and almost every one Mocketh us. But let the Carnal Christian-Mockers, have a Care; for though their Cruel Mockings be our Portion in this Life, yet also, for a Recompence, shall their Bonds be made Strong, and a Consumption from the Lord of Hosts is determined against them, that persist therein.

Having now rendered with all convenient Brevity my just Exceptions against the manner of the Dialogue, and spirit of the Man in general; I shall proceed to of­fer something against the distinct Doctrines of it, in my particular Vindication of the Truth, viz. The Universa­lity and Sufficiency of the Light Within, and Demonstration of the General Rule of Faith.

CHAP. IV.

That a Right Relish of the Manner of the Dialogue is a sufficient Antidote against the Matter of it. His Questions stated. His Feigned An­swer. A True Answer to the First. What is Salvation. To be sa­ved from Sin and Wrath; not Wrath without Sin.

WHat I have already said, being duly weighed, may be an apt Introduction to what follows; For he that relishes the Unsavouriness and Rancour of His Spirit in the Mannagement of his preten­ded Christian-Dialogue, surely can have but little Appe­tite to feed upon, a Dish cook't up with such Poysonous Sauce. Enmity and Truth were never Companions; and where there appears so great a share of the one, as hath been truly ob­served, we may, I hope, without Offence conclude, there can be but very little, if any, of the other. However, let us see, with Reason and Sobriety, whether the Matter of his Dialogue be more commendable, then the Manner of it, writ with so much Railing and Immoderation. For Reader, this know, I writ not for Conquest, but for Con­science sake: and what I can grant, I shall; and what I must oppose, I hope, to do it with Truth and Meekness; being only desirous to approve my self to God, who will Reward all men according to their Works; and to that Measure of Divine Light in every Conscience, with which I shall begin, and which, as the Lord God shall ena­ble me, I will endeavour to maintain against the An­gry and Undervaluing Reflections of its Adversaries.

To overlook then many unnecessary Queries, that are set down, either to Abuse us, to fill up Corners, or make the Dialogue glide the better, no wayes true in themselves, and wholly impertinent to the Matter, I receive and prosecute the Main Questions, which he propounds, thus:Pag. 2.

  • 1. What is that SALVATION, which the Light leads to?
  • 2. What is this LIGHT that leads to It? and
  • 3. Who this HE, or THEY are, that Obey this Light, and in Obeing attain Salvation?

[Page 11]Sober Questions, I grant, and as necessary to be known; but I am willing first to set down the Answer he makes the Quaker to return, before I give mine own, that the Sober Reader may judge, how different the Reason of a True Quaker is from T. Hicks's Phantastical one.

[...] Thou runnest into many Words and Carnal Distinctions, and wouldst have thy Fleshly Wisdom satisfied; but I tell thee, that Dust is the Serpent's Food.

Is this to act the Christian, or the Scoffer towards the Qua­ker? 'Tis not to be doubted but T. H. knows better, and that he hath not herein done to us as he would be done by; For all his Pretences to Christianity, he is thus far Debtor to, and Criminal by the LIGHT he vilifieth: But the Truth is, he therefore maketh his Quaker to render him no better Reason, whatever he knew, because indeed it was inconsistent with his Design that he should. But I will see if I can supply that voluntary Defect, in Rebuk to his Disingenuous Pra­ctice, on the behalf of the poor Abused Quaker. I answer:

I. By SALVATION we understand, as by Scripture is de­liver'd to us, A being saved from Sin here, and the Wages of it, which is Wrath to come: Whereby we are taught utterly to renounce and reject the common Acceptation of it, as the full and compleat Force of the Word, viz. barely to be saved from Punishment hereafter: In which Security, through a vain Expectance of Salvation, whilst not really & actually sav'd from the Power of Sin and the Captivation of Lusts, through the invisible Power of Christ, Thousands dye; and T. Hicks is one of those that not only is inthroal'd himself, but ear­nestly contends for that Beggarly Faith and Religion, to be the most Christian, which is so unable to deliver both himself and others that believe in it. In short, We call Salvation, Christ's making an End of Sin, Destroying the Works of the Divel, Finishing of Transgression, Binding the Strong Man, and Spoyling of his Goods in the Hearts and Consciences of Men and Women; and bringing in his Everlasting Righteousness into the Soul, whereby to Cleanse, Wash, Regenerate, Renew and Refresh the Soul; in one Scripture-Phrase, to Save his People from their SINS.

These are the Times of Refreshment, and this is the Day of Restitution; and thus is HE King, to Reign; Prophet, to give Vision; and High Priest, to Anoint with the Holy Unction, that leadeth into all Truth; whose Lips alone preserve Knowledge; and therefore is it the Unchangeable Gospel-Rule to Believers: And those who are thus freed or saved here from the Power, Nature and Defilement of Sin, are the alone Persons, that are or shall be here­after [Page 12] saved from Eternal Wrath and Vengeance, the heavy Recom­penee of Sin. All this we understand by that Word Salvation; and in this center the Great & Glorious Prophecies and Per­formances of Christ.

CHAP. V.

The Second Question stated: Particularly what is meant by Light. It is a Principle that discovers the State of Man, and leads to Bles­sedness.

THE second Question runs thus: What is that LIGHT which leadeth to Salvation? and if he pleaseth to give me leave, I will add to this Question, How doth It Lead to Salvation?

By Light I understand not the frequent Metaphorical Use of the Word; as when Christ said, [...] the Lights of the World; or as the Apostle Speaks, Now are you Light in the Lord; nei­ther the meer Spirit or Reason of Man; but, that Glorious Sun of Righteousness, and Heavenly Luminary of the Intellectual or Invisible World, represented of all Outward Resemblances, most exactly by the Great Sun of this Sensible and Visible World, that as his natural Light ariseth upon all, and gives Light to all, about the Affairs of this Life; so that Divine Light arises upon all, and gives Light to all, that will receive it, about the Concerns of the other Life: Such a Light I mean by That Light which inlightneth every man coming into the World, and that leadeth those that obey it to Eter­nal Salvation; The Scripture sayes no less, John 1. In the Word-God was Life, and that (very) Life was the Light of Men, that inlightneth every man, &c. But to demonstrate it the most obviously that I can, to the lowest Capacities, I shall evi­dence the Nature and Virtue of this Light by the Holy Effects of it, which is the HOW, or the WHICH WAY it leadeth to Salvation: This is so necessary in order to explicate the o­ther, that as the Tree is known by his Fruits, so the True Savi­our, by his Salvation. If then I can make it appear, that the Light, as obey'd in all its Discoveries and Requirings, is suf­ficient to Salvation, the Debate wil end, and T. Hicks must yield to the Efficacy of the Light within.

I shall then by the Properties of the Light, prove it Saving: In order to which I shall begin with the first Step towards Salvation, namely, A Sight of the Cause of Damnation; and from whom this most necessary Beginning must be taken, viz. The Light within; which I thus prove by Scripture.

CHAP VI.

That the Light Within manifests Sin; yea, all Sin. That Apostacy, or Sin in any, is no Argument against the Light, but rather for it. That the Additional Services of the Jews show No Imper­fection in the Light, but the People, whose Minds were abroad. If Insufficiency against the Light should be admitted of, because of Rebellion and Wickedness in M [...]n, the same would be objected against the Scriptures, which overthrows our Adversary's Assertion concer­ning their Sufficiency.

THE Light with which Christ inlightens all Men, manifests Sin, as these Words import; for e­very one that doth Evil hateth the Light, nei­ther cometh to the Light, lest his Deeds should be Re­proved: Implying, That if they would have brought their Deeds to the Light, the Light would have detected them, and tryed them. To which the Apostle Paul bears express Testimo­ny, in his Epistle to the Ephesians, That whatsoever is Reproveable is made Manifest by the Light; where the U­niversality of the Apostle's Assertion shows, that no­thing that is Reproveable, is, or can be excluded from the Search or Knowledge of this Light; which takes in as well Thoughts, as Words and Deeds. So that nothing being Reproveable, which the Light doth not first Manifest: How obvious is it to every Understanding, that if our Adversary believeth all Men to have committed Sin, and so, as that they know it (which is Reproveable) the Light must needs have been, and be in all Men, in order to such Manifestation and Conviction. It is as much as if the Apostle had said,That is the Cause. Sin is that which Damns all Men; now it could not Damn, if it were not Reproveable; and it could never be Reproveable, if the Light did not Manifest and Condemn it as such. So that our Adversaries affirming the Light not to be Sufficient to Discern all Sin, is a flat Re­pugnancy,Pag. 8, 9. and a down-right giving of the Lye to the Apo­stle; For says the Apostle, All things that are Reproveable, are made Manifest by the Light. But sayes Tho. Hicks, All things that are Reproveable, are not made Manifest by the Light. Sober Reader, dwell here a while, and after a little paws tell me, Who deals most Unworthily with the Apostle and the Holy Scriptures of Truth, T. Hicks or the Quakers?

Obj. But T. Hicks objects, with some others, If there be that Light in all Men, how comes it, that all Men are not Convicted of their Disobedience and Duty, as the Heathens of old, and many Infidels at this day? Did the Light in Saul reprove him for Per­secuting the Church?

I Answer, That this no way impugnes the Light, although it greatly aggravates their Evil that so Rebell'd against it. But that there were Heathens, who became a Law unto themselves, through that Light they had, by which they did the things contained in the Law, and were preferred far before the Circumcision that kept not the Law: The Apostle Paul him­self is very express in that known Passage to the Romans. Rom. 2. Nor are other Histories silent, but loud in their acknow­ledgment of very Divine Attainments, which by this Light several Famous Gentiles arrived at; and for their Belief of One Eternal Being, his Communication of Divine Light to Men, and of an Immortality, with their Strickt Con­formity thereto, are left upon Record. by Credible Histo­rians; and their Praises not a little added to by after Ages, even of those called Christians too. Such are Re­puted, Pythagoras, Timeus, Solon, Bias, Chilon, Anaxago­ras, Socrates, Plato, Antisthenes, Xenocrates, Zeno, Antipater, Seneca, Epictetus, and others.

But what if Jews and Gentiles at any time did Apostatize, and particularly? What if Saul persecuted the Church of God, putting Disobedience for Duty, Murder for Service? Will it follow, that the Light was Insufficient? By no means; but rather that Saul was Rebellious, Stiff-neck­ed, Resisting the Holy Ghost; as did his Fathers, so did he; and thus much the Words themselves show; for he kickt against the Pricks. Then it seems there were Pricks; And where were they, if not in his Consci­ence? And what were they, if not the Light of Christ within him, which Manifests Evil, and Reproves the Deeds thereof: otherwise called that Son of God, that to the Galatians he said, It had pleased God to reveal in him? though Paul knew him not, nor his Voice of a long time; his Eye being darkened, and Ear stopt by the God of this World, who had crept into the Outward Forms of Re­ligion, [Page 15] then, as now, and in that employ'd many Emissaries to decry that Pure, Heavenly and Invisible Life of Truth and Righteousness, which was then, and is now begotten in the Hearts of many, to the ending of the Idolatries of the Gentiles, and Formality and Outward Services of both Jews and Carnal Christians.

And I affirm in the Name of God, and with the Reason of a Man, That it is most preposterously absurd, for any to charge the Rebellion of Men, to be Insufficiency in the Light: For if men are Wicked, not because they will not be better; but because they neither see nor know, nor are able to do better; How Heavy, how Black, and how Blasphe­mous a Charecter doth the Consequence of these Mens O­pinion fasten upon the Righteous God of Heaven and Earth; since it supposes him, Not to have given either In­wardly or Outwardly unto Men Means sufficient to do that which he requires from them; and for the not doing of which, they are to be sentenced to Eternal Misery. But I confess, How deep soever this may stick with Impartial Spirits, I almost despair of entering our Adversaries, whose Souls are pinch'd up within the narrow Compass of a most Detestable Kind of Predestination, making the Eternal God, as Partial as themselves, like some Ancients, That be­cause they could not Resemble God, they would make such Gods as might Resemble them.

I say, what else can be the tendency of this kind of Doctrine against the Sufficiency of the Light Within, then that the Gift of God is not Perfect, or able, because Men don't Obey it: and that the Talent God has given to all, is therefore Insufficient for the End for which it was given, because Man hides it in a Napkin?

Again, Let them tell me, Would it be a good Ar­gument, that if the same Corn should be sown in a Fer­tile and Barren Soile, that growing in one, and not in the other, the Fault should be in the Seed, and not rather in the Ground?

Who knows not, how Tradition and Custom have eaten out much of Conviction, blinded the World, and that it is through Lusts and Pleasures become stupified, as to the Invisible Things of God. Alas! there had ne­ver been so much Need of many Exteriour Dispensati­ons and Appearances in reference to Religion, so much preferred by the Professors of this Day, had not Mens [Page 16] Minds been departed from the Inward Light and Life of Righteousness; so that they being abroad, God was pleased to meet them there with some External Manifestations, yet so, as to turn them home again to their first Love, to that Light and Life, which was given of God, as the Way to Eternal Salvation: Nor could any of those cleanse, as concerning the Conscience; wherefore God still, by his Servants and Prophets, admonished and warned the People of Old, To Put Away the Evil of their Doings, and to Wash themselves, and to Cleanse themselves; for that all their Exactness in Outward Services, was otherwise but as the Cutting off a Dog's Neck, a Sacrifice equally pleasing: wherefore the Abrogation of all Outward Dispensa­tions, and Reducing Man to his first State of Inward Light and Righteousness, is called in Scripture, The Times of Refreshment, and of the Restitution of all things.

In short, Though there have been External Ob­servations, and Ordinances in the World, by God's ap­pointment; either to prevent the Jews from the Outward splendid Worship of the Idolatrous Gentiles, that he might re­tain a Peculiar Soveraignity over them; or to show forth unto them a more Hidden and Invisible Glory; this remains sure forever, That Light there was, and that the Ancients saw their Sins by it, and that there could be no Acceptance with God, but as they walk'd up to it, and were taught to put away the Evil of their Doings by it; suitable to that Notable Passage, The Path of the Just is a shining Light, that shines clearer and clearer unto the Perfect Day. What was this Day, but com­pleat Salvation? Can there be any Imperfection or Dark­ness in the Day? Surely no: What if their Light was not so large? Was it not therefore Saving? Yes surely. But as where much is given, much is required; so where little is given, but little is required. If the Light was not so Gloriously manifested before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Flesh, less was then required at that time, then since; yet it follows not, that there was Two Lights, or that the Light was not Saving before the Visible Appearance of Christ, to as many as lived in an Holy Conformity to it.

And if it be agreed, that Blindness in Men can be no Argument against the Light of the Sun; neither is the Light Insufficient, because the People of any Nation remain Blind through their Vain Customs: Nay, should any such Doctrine be admitted, what would become of our Adversary's Opi­nion, [Page 17] That the Light of Scripture is Sufficient of it self to give Men the Knowledge of God? For if those People, who have the Scriptures, do not so Know, Believe and Obey God, as T. Hicks says, they ought to do; will it not follow upon his Principles, that the Defect is not in such, as if they were Ignorant and Rebellious, but in the Scriptures? Cer­tainly the Consequence will hold as well against the Scrip­tures, as the Light: If then such wrong the Scriptures, who so dispute, Let T. Hicks, I intreat him, endeavour to Right the Light, and not longer maintain a Position, that being admitted, would equally overturn his Notion of the Scrip­tures, without Belief of the Light Within.

CHAP. VII.

Another Objection against the Lights Sufficiency to manifest what ought to be done, though it were able to discover what should be avoided. It is answerd. The Lights not telling man all it knows, or man may know in time to come, is no Argument to prove it knows not all things. Men know more then they do, let them first Obey what they know, and then what is convenient will be further Reveal'd. It is proved from the Reason of Contraries; because it shows what ought not to be done: From Scripture at large, that it does instruct what to do; And that there is Vertue in it to the Salvation of all that Believe and Obey it. That there is no Essential Difference between the Seed, Light, Word, Spirit, Life, Truth, Power, Unction, Bread, Water, Flesh and Blood; onely so denominated from the various Manifestations, Operations, and Effects of one and the same Divine Principle.

BUt there is a Second Objection; That there seems to be a manifest Insufficiency in the Light: For, though several things are Revealed by it, yet several necessary matters are not, nor cannot; So that though it should manifest all that is Reproveable, yet cannot it Dis­cover all that is Necessary to be either Believed or Done.

I Answer, this is but a peece of the former Objection already considered; I perceive the Pinch lies here; that because Men do not Do what they should, or don't Know all that may be Necessary to be known, therefore the Light is Insufficient. The first will be answer'd by what I have already said; the [Page 18] Reason being the same for the Sufficiency of the Light, a­gainst such as charge it with Defect, because they do not do what they should, as against those who so impeach it, because they do those things which they should not. As for not knowing all that is to be known, I deny it utterly, For things are necessary in reference to their proper times; That may be requisit to mor­row which is not to day. It is fit for Children to learn to read, yet it is most necessary, that they should begin to spell first. If a School-Master should be charg'd with Insufficieney, be­cause he tells not little Children, all that he knows, as soon as he initiates them in the first Principles of Learning, he would think himself unreasonably dealt with. What must we then conclude, but that the Master may be very capable, were his Scholar so? that if the Scholar observe and obey his Master, he will increase in his Learning, that the Defect of the Scholar should not be laid upon his Master; that to tell or amuse him about things unsuitable to his present Capacity, were the ready Way to overcharge and wholy Spoile him: And Con­sequently that the Tutor, not telling his Pupil, all that is fit to be known, at once, implyes no Defect in, or Ignorance of those things in the Tutor; which to apply Scripturally, in short thus: If you do my Will, you shall know (more) of my Doctrine; I have John 12. 16. yet many things to say, but you are not able to bear them now. In short, If for a Man to say that the Light of the Gospel (for so T. Hicks thinks Pauls was) to be charg'd with Insufficien­cy, because it discover'd not to every Believer, all those in­effable things, revealed to the Apostle, would be both False and Antichristian; to what an Extremity doth Tho. Hicks's Zeal lead him in his passionate Endeavours against the blessed Light of the Son of God as he is the Inlightner of Mankind, who charges it with Insufficiency, because it Reveals not to every Pag. 14. Individual, in every Age, what HE shall ever know it self, or shall be known in future times. The Light then is not Insuf­ficient, though it tell not all at one time, which may be a Duty to the End of the World; especially in extraor­dinary Cases, whilst it informs me, or any Man, of Daily Duty. Yea, the Light is Sufficient in Point of Discovery, whilst it shews unto any Person something more, then they do, and which they ought to perform. If T. Hicks will say, and can prove, that he is come to the Upshot of the Light's Teachings, that he has Learnt whatever it is possible for the Light of Christ to Teach him, and yet is able to make ap­pear, that there is some thing further wanting, he will [Page 19] prove himself not only above Men, but God also, who is the Fountain of all Light; that searcheth the Hearts, and tryeth the Reins of Men by the Inshinings of his manifesting Light, and which, as obey'd, leads to God, who is the Fulness of all Light and Life: But indeed, this Light is the Savour of Death (the Wages of Sin) to all that Rebel against it, and the Savour of Life to those only, who are Obedient to it; For, Such shall not walk in Darkness, but have the Light of Life. But, whilst he pleads against a Sin-less State, and shows so Sin-full an One in his Scribles, let him cover his Face for Shame, for all his Attempts against the Lights Sufficiency; for in that State he shall never know the Life and Vertue of the Light.

To conclude, If the Light be allowed to Manifest all things that are Reproveable, then by the just Reason of Contra­ries, should it be Sufficient to Discover all things that are Approve­able, with respect to Man's Faith, Salvation and Duty. If the Light tells it is Evil, not to Believe in God, it follows, that to Believe in God, is according to that Light Within. And if it Reproves T. Hicks for being Passionate, it conse­quently Teacheth him, that he ought to be Patient: If the Light Condemns Theft, it necessarily Instructeth to Honesty: If it Reprove me for doing my own Will, it implies I ought to do his Will to whom I ow all: and if it Reproves for Sin, it In­structeth to Holiness, without which none shall see God. In short, If it Manifest Reproveable Things to be such, at the same time It Condemns them, and Teacheth Things quite Contrary; The Unfruitful Works of Darkness are judg'd by the Light, that the Holy Fruits of the Light may appear: [...]e Ephes. 5. 8. were Darkness, but now are ye Light in the Lord; and The Job 32. 8. Reproof of Instruction is the Way of Life. He that comes out of the Reproved Darkness, walks in the Approved Light; and who so answers the Holy Reproof, unto Such is Sealed up THE INSTRUCTION OF THE WAY OF LIFE. And this brings me to the third Property of the Light, with respect to Men; and that is, It doth not only Manifest and Condemn Sin, and discover and incline to Purity; but as adhered to (or rather that Principle which is this Light) it is able, in Point of Power and Efficacy to Redeem from Sin, and Lead to a State of Highest Felicity. I am the Light of the World, (said Jesus himself) he that follows me shall not walk in Dark­ness, John 8. 12. but shall have the Light of Life. In which it is very evident, that, The same Light, which Manifests Darkness, Re­deems [Page 20] from it, unto a State of Light and Life: that is to say, Those who confidently believe in Christ, as he manifests himself a Light, to condemn Sin in every mans Flesh (whom he hath therefore illuminated) and obediently follow the Holy Requirings, and yield to the Heaven­ly Discoveries of that Blessed Appearance, relinquishing the Pleasures of Sin, which last but for a season, and ta­king up the daily Cross; such shall most assuredly find that Divine Principle, which in reference to the Dark State of Men, and that Discerning and Conviction it brings, is rightly denominated Light, to have also Power and Efficacy, to Save from that which it manifests and condemns, and to bring unto that Glory, which it gives a true Revelation of: For, that same Word of God, who is called the true Light that inlighteneth all Mankind, is also the Life, Power, Wis­dom and Righteousness of the Father, in whom are hid all the Treasures of Wisdom, and unto whom all Power both in Heaven and in Earth are committed, who is Heir of all things: who al­so said, While ye have the Light (for their Day of Visi­tationJoh. 12. 36, 46. was almost over) or, as some Translations more truly have it, While you have a little Light IN YOU, believe, or walk in it.) believe in the Light, that ye may be Children of th [...] Light: Again, I am come a Light into the World, that whosoever believes in me should not abide in Darkness: So that a Sincere Faith in, and Obedience to the Light of Christ, as it shines in the Heart, whereby to give the Living and Experimental Knowledge of the Glory of God unto the Creature, is the Way to be Redeemed from Darkness, and to be made a Child of Light; or that there is Power and Vertue Sufficient in the Light, to Ransom the Souls of such as diligently adhere to it, from under the Power of Darkness. For as the true Knowledge of God is Life Eternal, so, whatever may be known of God is manifested with­in, Rom. 1. which Manifestation cannot properly be without the Light, whose peculiar Property it is to Discover, Reveal or Mani­fest the Mind and Will of God to Mankind; as saith the Apo­stle, For whatsoever doth make Manifest is Light. In him was Ephes. 5. Life, and that Life was the Light of all Men: But not thereforeJohn 1. the Life of all Men, Spiritually and Unitedly considered; That was the peculiar Priviledge of those who Believ'd in it, and walkt up to it. There is a great Difference, not in the Principle, but in its Appearance to Man, as Life, and Light. Such as believe in it; IT, What? the [Page 21] Word-God, who is that true Light, as he appears to Dis­cover or Illuminate the Heart and Conscience, do real­ly know and enjoy a new Nature, Spirit and Life; And in that Sense it may be said, As the Life became the Light, so the Light became the Life again. Who so follows me shall not walk in Darkness, but have the Light of Life. Not, that there is a Difference, or so much as a Descent in Kind from Life to Light; only in Operation with respect to Man: For as it is the very Life of the Word, in the Word, it is the Light of Men: and so much it is, let them reject the Vertue of it, if they will. But as it is received, and believed in, It begets Life, Motion, Heat, and every Divine Qualification, suitable to the State of the New Birth. And thus the Life of the Word, which is in common the Light, becomes the Life of every such Par­ticular, by communicating to, or ingenerating Life in the Soul; so that no more he lives, but Christ (the Word­God, whom he hath now put on, and who is become his very Life, as well as Light) that dwelleth in him.

Let not Men then in their Dark Imaginations, with their Rob'd Knowledge from the Letter of the Scriptures themselves, contend against the Sufficiency of what they obey not; neither have seriously tryed the Power, Vertue, and Efficacy of it, which brings Salvation to as many as are turned to it, and abide in it.

And indeed, so express are the Scriptures in Defence of the Sufficiency, and Necessity of the Light to Sal­vation, that it seems to have been the great Intendment of our Lord Jesus Christ in delegating his Disciples, to preach his Everlasting Gospel, viz. That they might open the Eyes of People, and turn them from Darkness to the Light, and from the Power of Satan unto God, that they might receive Remission of Sins, and an Inheritance among them that are Sanctified through Faith, that is in Me; who, ME: that am both the Light of the World, and the Power of God unto Salvation. Now certainly, the Eyes that were then blind, were not the Natural, but Spiritual Eyes of Men (and such must the Darkness and Light be also) blinded by the God of this World, who raigned in the Hearts of the Children of Disobedience: No Wonder then if the Light was not comprehended of the Darkness, and that blind People did not see the Light;John 1. 5. but it plainly proves, That Light there was, though not seen. Now the Work of the Powerful Ministry of the Apostles [Page 22] was, To open the Blind or Dark Eye, which the God of the World had blinded, and then to turn them from that Darkness, to the Light; the Darkness was within, so must the Light have been; since the Illumination was there necessary, where the Darkness had been predominant; Consequently, The Way to be Translated from Satan's Power to God, to have Remission of Sins, and an Inheritance with them that are Sanctified, is, to be turned from the Darkness in the Heart, unto the Marvelous Light (that had long shined uncomprehended) to wit, the GOSPEL, which is called both the Light and Power of God.

The same Apostle in his Epistle to the Romans, is more express concerning the holy Nature and Efficacy of theRom. 13. 12, 13, 14. Light to Salvation, when he thus exhorts them; The Night is far spent, the Day is at hand; Let us therefore cast off the Works of Darkness, and put on the Armour of Light: Let us walk honestly as in the Day, not in Rioting and Drunkenness, not in Chambring and Wantonness, not in Strife and Envy; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the Flesh, to fulfill the Lusts thereof. From whence I shall briefly remark three Things, greatly to our Purpose, and the Truths Defence in this Matter.

1. That there is an absolute Opposition, betwixt Light and Darkness; as Darkness can only Vail the Light, from the Understandings of Men; So Light only can Discover and Dispel that Darkness. Or thus, That the Light Manifests and Condemns 2 Cor. 6. 14. the Works of Darkness; for, what Communion hath Light with Darkness.

2. That in the Light there is ARMOUR, which being put on, is able to Conquer the Darkness, and Secure the Soul, from the evil of it; otherwise it would be very strange, that the Apostle should exhort the People to put it on.

3. That putting on the Armour of the Light, and put­ting on the Lord Jesus Christ (the Light of the World) are Synonimous, or one and the same thing; for it is for one and the same End, as may be observed from the Words, Let us put on the Armour of Light, and walk Honestly, as in the Day, not in Rioting and Drunkenness, not in Chambring and Wantonness, not in Strife and Envying.

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the Flesh, to fulfil the Lusts thereof.

I hope then, Neither will it be disallow'd, that Christ [Page 23] is that Light, with which Men are Inlightned (but more of that anon) nor is that Light, Men are exhorted to O­bey, a Naked and Insufficient, but a Searching, Expelling, Pow­erful and Arming Light, against Darkness, and all its Un­fruitful Works, and consequently SAVING.

Thus the Beloved Disciple testifies very emphatically, in his first Epistle, where he gives us a Relation of the A­postolical Mission: This then is the Message which we have 1 John 1. 5, 6, 7. heard of him, and declare unto you; That God is Light, and in him is no Darkness at all; if we say, we have Fellowship with him, and walk in Darkness, we Lye, and do not the Truth; But if we walk in the Light, as he is in the Light, we have Fellowship one with another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ his Son clean­seth us from all Sin.

Here is a brief Stating of the whole Great Case of Sal­vation: (1.) What God is; Light. (2.) Who can have no Fellowship with him; such as walk in Darkness (that is Sin.) (3.) Who have Fellowship with him; such as walk in the Light, as he is Light. (4.) the Reason why, is given; be­cause such as walk in the Light, are there sure experimentally to feel the Vertue of Christ's Blood, to cleanse them from all Un­rightcousness; Where observe, that the Light's leading out of Darkness, that is, Unrighteousness, is the same with the Blood of Jesus Christ cleansing from all Sin; Sin and Darkness, and to be cleansed from the one, and to be translated from the other, is equivalent; otherwise, a Man might be delivered from Darkness, and walk in the Light, and not be cleansed from Sin, which is that Darkness; a thing Absurd and Impossible: In short, they go together.

By this 'tis evident, that the Light being walkt in, doth directly lead to God, and Fellowship with him, who is the Saving Light and Health of all Nations; and consequent­ly, that the Light leads to Eternal Salvation.

Many are the Denominations that are given in Scripture to one and the same Being, or Condition; Christ is called, The Word, the Light, the Saviour, Emanuel, a Rock, a Door, a Vine, a Shepherd, &c. A State of Sin is sometimes called, Dark­ness, Death, Disobedience, Barrenness, Rebellion, Stiff-necked­ness, Eating of Sowr Grapes; And Wicked Men, Bryars, Thorns, Thistles, Tares, Dead Trees, Wolves, Goats, &c. On the contrary, a State of Conversion, is sometimes expres­sed, by such words, as, Purged, Refined, Washed, Cleansed, [Page 24] Sanctified, Justified, Led by the Spirit, Baptized by one Spirit into one Body, Regenerated, Redeemed, Saved, Bought with a Price, &c. And Persons so qualified, The Children of God, Children of Light, Heirs of Glory, Lambs, Sheep, Wheat; And that by which they become or continue thus, Light, Spirit, Fire, Sword, Hammer, Power, Grace, Seed, Truth, Way, Life, Blood, Water, Bread, Word, Unction, that leadeth into all Truth; All which respectively, is but one and the same in Nature: That is, Sin or a Sinful State is so variously denomi­nated from the divers Operations and Discoveries of the Nature of it in Wicked Men. The like may be said of the several Ver­tues in Good and Holy Men, and so of that one Divine Prin­ciple, which so qualifies and preserves them; For as the Primi­tive Saints felt the Operation of the One Holy Principle, so they denominated it: to men in Darkness, they call'd it Light; to such as believed and obeyed, It became a Leader; and those who witnessed their Sins conquer'd, their Lusts cut down, their Hearts broken, and their Souls Washed, Redeemed and daily Nourished, they called that Divine Principle, a Sword, Fire, Hammer, Water, Flesh, Blood, and Bread, and Seed of Life. In short, The same Heavenly Principle became Light, Wisdom, Power, Counsel, Redemption, Sanctification, and Eternal Salvation unto those who believed in it: So that the Variety of Expressions in the Scriptures, must not be ta­ken for so many distinct things in kind, no; nor sometimes in Operation. And indeed, notwithstanding that Light, T. Hicks would have lodg'd in the bare Scriptures, exclusive of the Spirit, all the Men of the World met together, would be confounded, to give a true Account of the Matter therein contained, if they were not Living Experimental Witnes­ses; For as he is not an Evidence sufficient in Laws Humane, that was not an Eye or Ear Witness; neither are they E­vidences for God and Christ, who are not Eye and Ear Witnes­ses of the Light, Spirit, Grace and Word of God in the Heart. And I boldly affirm, the Scriptures speak no more for such, as are not Inheritors of that Blessed Condition, they declare of in some Measure or other, then any Deed of Gift would do for a Person no wayes Nam'd or Interested therein. It is time then for T. Hicks and his Partners to look about them, lest the Midnight-Cry overtake them, and their Professing Lamp be found without Oyl: For I must needs tell him, in the Belo­ved Disciple's Language, He that saith, he is in the Light; and [...] his Brother, is in the Darkness even until now. And in my [Page 25] own Language, That I take that to be their State, who shew so much Envious Displeasure against an Harmless People, and those in par­ticular, that never yet Offended, much less Justly provokt them. But would they bring their Thoughts, Words and Deeds to the Light in their own Consciences, and let true Judg­ment pass upon them, and patiently undergo the Heavenly Chastisements for their Disobedience to, and Vilifying of the Light, they would come to witness a turning from the Darkness to the Light, and continuing therein, as that Ho­ly Way, in which the Ransomed of the Lord alwayes did, do, and shall walk through all Generations, they would know the Injoyment of Eternal Peace: Yea, such is the Excellency of Christ, the true Light, that as He was First, so shall He be the Last, when all Outward Performances, Wri­tings, Worships, yea, the whole World shall be at an End; the Use and Excellency of the Light will remain forever; as saith John the Divine, And they shall see his Face, and his Rev. 22. 4. 5. Name shall be written in their Fore-Heads, and there shall be no Night there, and they need no Candle, neither Light of the Sun, for the LORD GOD GIVETH THEM LIGHT, and they shall Reign forever and ever, Amen.

CHAP. VIII.

An Objection against the Light's Antecedent Being to Christ's Coming. It is prov'd to have been known to be a Saving Light from Adam's day, through the Holy Patriarchs and Prophets time down to Christ's, from the Scriptures of Truth.

HAving then plainly prov'd from Scripture (1.) That Gal. 4. 16. the Light is Saving, since the time of Christ; be­ginningTit. 2. with its first Appearance, as Manifesting John 14. 6. Sin. (2.) Condemning of It. (3.) Redeeming from It, as John 1. 1, 2, 3, 4, 9. obeyed. And that the same Principle which is called Light,1 Cor. 15. 45, 47, & 1. 24. is the Seed, Grace, Truth, Word, Spirit, Power, Unction, Water, Way, Life, Flesh and Blood; and therefore not a Di­stinct Being from that, which T. Hicks himself, if he will1 Joh. 2. 27. & 5. 6, 7, 8. own plain Scripture, must confess doth Save; I call it the LIGHT OF SALVATION, OR THAT LEADSJohn 6. 51, 52, 53. TO SALVATION.

But there remain yet several Objections to be Answer­ed, which done, we shall immediately proceed to give [Page 26] Judgment upon the Question, Who, or What this Light is, with respect to all our Adversaries Cavils.

Obj. Though you have thus far evinc'd the Uni­versality of a Saving Light from the Scriptures, since Christ's Life, Death, Resurrection and Ascension; yet that which is the Pinch of the Controversie will be this, Where was this before Light? Had any this Saving Light (they had a Light) before it came in that Eminent Manner above One Thousand Six Hundred Years since; It is generally believ'd, that Christ's then coming benefitted the World with it, in case the World universally hath such a Saving Light?

To which I shall give my Answer, both from Scripture, History and Reason.

The first Scripture I shall quote, is in the first of Gene­sis; So God created Man in his own Image, in the Image of God Gen. 1. 27. created he him. From whence I draw this Argument, That if Man was made in God's Image, then because, God is Light, Adam must necessarily have had of the Divine Light in him, and have been the Image of that Light, so long as he walkt and re­main'd in It: Since no man walks in the Light, but he be­comes the Child of Light. And as the Apostle Paul ex­presseth it, of such as were converted to that Light they had once erred from; Ye were Darkness, but now are ye Light in the Lord; That is, Through Obedience to the Light of the Lord. For any man then to say, Adam had not Light, were to suppose his Innocent State to be that of Darkness, and instead of, and being God's Image, who is, and ever was, and alwayes will be Light, he would have been wholy igno­rant of him, in whose Image he is said to have been created.

II. This Moses directed the Children of Israel to, when he in God's stead, recommended and earnestly pressed the keeping of the Commandment, and Word in the Heart; as we read in Deuteronomy. For this Commandment which I Command Deut. 30. 11. 12, 13, 14, 15. thee this day, is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off: It is not in Heaven, that thou shouldst say, Who shall go up for us to Heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it and do it? Neither is It beyond the Sea, that thou shouldst say, Who shall go over the Sea for [Page 27] us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it and do it? But the Word is very nigh unto thee, in thy Mouth, and in thy Heart, that thou mayst do it. See, I have set before thee this day, Life and Good, and Death and Evil.

From whence I cannot but observe these Three Things,

  • 1. That the Commandment, and the Word, are so called by way of Excellency and Preheminence, to all written Command­ments or Words.
  • 2. That this Commandment or Word is Nigh, even in the Heart of Man it self: none need plead Distance or Ignorance.
  • 3. That the Setting Life and Good, Death and Evil was and could only be in the Light within, since without the Light, how could they have Seen it Set before them: And that it was in their Hearts, the Lord so set those States before them, the Verse immediately follows that wherein the Word is by Moses ar­gumentatively prov'd, as well as affirm'd to be in the Heart of Man. Now I hope, it shall not be injuriously done of me; and I know who will bear me out, if I say, This Commandment is that which David spoke of, when he said, The Commandment of the Lord is pure Inlightning the Eyes; and this Holy Word, the same with that Word, which he said, was a Lamp unto his Feet, and a Light unto his Path, and not an other Word, then what Paul call'd the Word of Faith, which he preach't, by which the Just live; con­sequently a Saving Commandment, Word or Light it was, and is to such as Believe and Obey it.

III. The next Scripture I will urge shall be this: For thou 2 Sam. 22. 29. art my Lamp O Lord, for the Lord will Lighten my Darkness. Now if God was the Light and Lamp of that Day, to such as regarded the Light, cerainly then they had a Light and such an one as was Saving too; unless we should Blasphemously Deny, God to be either a Light, or a Saving One, who is most certainly both.

IV. Wicked Men were not without Light to Condemn them, as Good Men ever had Light to Preserve them: They are of those that Rebel against the Light, they know not the Job 24. 13. Wayes thereof, nor abide in the Paths thereof, said Job. In which Passage it is very obvious, that Wicked Men have Light, other­wise it would have been utterly Impossible for them, to have Rebell'd against it; Nay, against THE LIGHT, im­plying, that it is the same Light in Nature, with that, which [Page 28] Righteous Men are guided by, answerable to another Empha­tical Passage in the same Book of Job, Is there any Number Job 25. 3. of his Army, and UPON WHOM DOTH NOT HIS LIGHT ARISE? Certainly, this Universality strongly pleads on the behalf of our Belief of the Light; And if our Adversary would but venture to let it come close to his Conscience, I cannot be so Uncharitable as to think he should not make some Acknowledgment to its Universality, antecedent to the Coming of Christ. I omit to say much of its Effica­ciousness at that time (though one would think that Light alwayes gives to Discern a Good Way from a Bad one) re­ferring it to another place: Only I shall observe, how that Job expresly tells us, and that when he was in his deep Troubles of Spirit: O that I were as in Months past, in the Job 29. 3. Dayes when God preserved me, when his Candle shined upon my Head, and when by his Light I walked through Darkness; where it is most apparent, that Job attributes his Salvation from the Darkness (which stands both for Sin and Affliction) unto the Light, wherewith God had Inlightned him. And certainly, It had been utterly Impossible for those weighty things, that are deliver'd in that Book of Job, as well from others, as from Job, to have been known, had not they been Inlight­ned, and received very great Discoveries from that Light and Candle of the Lord in their Hearts; For in all the whole Book I find not one Verse expresly cited out of any other Writings, but what purely proceeded from Immediate Impulse, and Inspiration of the Almighty, which sayes the same Book, gives Men Understanding.

V. To this Doctrine David was no Stranger, who so very often commemorates the Light, and the Divine Ex­cellencies of it; some few places I shall mention of those many that I might offer.

The Lord is my Light and my Salvation, whom shall I fear? the Psal. 27. 1. Lord is the Strength of my Life, of whom shall I be afraid?

This weighty Passage of the Prophet is a lively Testimony to the True Light, wherein David confessed what John call'd his Evangelical Message, viz. That God is Light. Next, that not only God is Light, but which doubtless was most of all to his Comfort, HIS LIGHT; The Lord is MY Light, and MY Salvation: As much as if he had said, Because the Lord is become my Light, I have known him to be my Salvation, or him by whom my Salvation hath [Page 29] been wrought. In short thus, That God is My Salvation, as he is My Light; or, as I have Obey'd the Lord My Light, I have witnessed Salvation. O! that such Professors of Religion, in whom there is any Moderation, would but be pleas'd to weigh, What was David's Light; What his Salvation; and Who must needs have been his Rule at that time of the World, of which he further speaks:

God is the Lord, who hath shewed us Light. Thy Word is a Lamp Psal. 118. 27 119. 105, 102. unto my Feet, and a Light unto my Pathes. I have not departed from thy Judgments, for thou hast taught me. This made him far Wiser then his Teachers in the hidden Life and My­stery of things, whereby David had long seen beyond all Types and Shaddows of the good Things to come, to the very Substance it self, from whence came his excellent Prophecies: agreeing with that passage, The Path of the Prov. 4. 18. Just is as the shining Light, that shines more and more unto the per­fect Day, said the wise Man. This strongly implies, that David, and not he alone, but the Just of all Ages, were attended with the Discoveries and Leadings of a Divine Light; which as obey'd, did make Just, and alwayes lead in the Way of Salvation: unless the Just Way was not the Saving Way; and if it was, certainly it is still: for it is the Lord himself, whom in Samuel's History, he is recorded also to have called a Lamp, as he here doth the Word, which Moses said, was nigh in the Heart, that Men should obey it and do it. This was the Word of Reconciliation in every Generation, whose Holy Water washed their Consciences from Sin, who heard, andobey'd it.

Again, that this Light was not confin'd to David, or such Good Men, take these two Passages.

T. Hicks. Psal. 50. 19, 20, 21. Thou givest thy Mouth to Evil, and thy Tongue frameth De­ceit; Thou sittest and speakest against thy Brother, thou Slanderest thine own Mothers Son: These things hast thou done, and I kept Silence, thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thy self, but I WILL REPROVE THEE, AND SET THEM IN ORDER BEFORE THINE EYES (saith the Lord) Again, His Lightnings in­lightned Psal. 94. 4. the World, the Earth saw, and trembled. In which two places it will appear upon impartial Consideration, that God hath inlightned the World, and that as Light (Difco­vering the Works and Workers of Darkness) he doth reprove the Inhabitants of the World, set their Sins in order before them, and cause such Guilty ones to Tremble at his so appearing, which [Page 30] is expresly confirmed in that notable passage of the Prophet, For Lo! He that treadeth the Mountains, and cleareth the Wind, Amos 4. 13. that makes the Morning Darkness, and treadeth upon the High Places of the Earth, and DECLARES UNTO MAN, WHAT HIS THOUGHTS ARE, THE LORD, THE GOD OF HOSTS IS HIS NAME.

This the Psalmist was well acquainted with himself, when he uttered these Words, Whither shall I go from thy Spirit, or Psal. 139. 7. whither shall I flee from thy Presence? which plainly shows to us, that the Spirit of the Lord, and his Presence was every­where, and that as Light, discovering Darkness with respect to Mankind: For the Question was not, whether God by his Spirit was not every-where, for that our Adversaries grant, or he could not be God? But whether it was possible for David to withdraw himself into any place, where his Mind could not be sensible of the Eternal Spirit and Immediate Presence of God (who is Light it self) either as a Reprover, Exhorter, or Informer; as the foregoing Words intimate? O Lord thou hast searched me, and known me,Thou understandest my Vers. 1, 2, 3. Thoughts afar offThou art acquainted with all my Wayes. Which however God might know them, it stands firm, that David could never have known God so as to see and behold them, but from that Light and Spirit of which he sayes in the 7th vers. following (which I have already cited) Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? In short, it must needs be evident, to all un­prejudic'd Readers, that David had this Light within, or Spi­rit of God present with him, as a Reprover, Informer, or Com­forter, since it was impossible for him to be any-where with­out it. Which may prove to us, that however he lived above a thousand years before the Apostle Paul, he very well knew the meaning of that Doctrine he preach'd to the Athenians, God is not far away, or at a Distance from every one Acts. 20. of you. Which truly known and experimentally witnessed, not only as a Reprover, but by an humble and holy recepti­on of him into the Heart, as King and Lord, is the Glory of the Evangelical Dispensation, where God dwells in his People as an Holy Temple, and Tabernacles with them. This is the bles­sed2 Cor. 6. 16. Emmanuel-state God with, and God in Men.

I might here to sub-joyn the Account we have of the great Illumination of Daniel, and the Gentiles clear Ac­knowledgment of the same, which they could never have done, with that Seriousness and Conviction, but from some glimps of the same Divine Light; but that I [Page 31] shall pass over with several Passages of other of the lesser Prophets; and conclude this Scripture Proof of the Gift of the Light and Spirit, antecedent to Christ's coming in the Flesh; and from Stephen's Testimony, Howbeit the Most High dwelleth not in Temples made with hands, as saith the Prophet: Heaven is my Throne, and Earth is my Footstool, what House will Acts 7. 48. 49. 50, 51. you build me, saith the Lord? or what is the Place of my Rest? Hath not my hands made all these things; Ye Stiff-necked and Un­circumcised in Hearts and Ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost, as your Fathers did so do ye.

And lest it should be objected, that it was only in Stephen then, and the holy Prophets of Old, that both they and their Fore-Fathers resisted the Holy Spirit, Remember Reader, that weighty Passage in Nehemiah, Thou gavest also thy Neh. 9. 20. Good Spirit to Instruct them, and withheldst not thy Manna from their Mouth; by which it is most evident, that the Light of God's Spirit, or the Spirit of God, was given as well to the Rebellious as Obedient; that it might as well condemn for Sin, as lead into all Righteousness; And since we are to suppose God's Spirit, and the Light thereof, to be sufficient to Salvation, (for God's Gifts are perfect in themselves, and are given to accom­plish their Ends perfectly) from that Sin and Iniquity which the contrary Spirit draws into, we may without any offence, I hope, conclude, that during those many Ages before the Coming of Christ in the Flesh he did Illuminate Mankind with a sufficient measure of his Divine Light and Spirit.

CHAP. IX.

Another Objection, that though the Jews had it, it will not follow that the Gentiles were so Illuminated. It is Answerd by several Scriptures. In this Chapter quoted to prove, that they were not exempted; But had a measure of Light, some Divine Seed sown in their Hearts, some Talent given, and that it was Sufficient. T. Hicks's Challenge to give an Instance of one that by the Light within was Reproved for not believing that Jesus was the Christ, is Answer'd. Such as believed in the Light, and walkt up to it, did receive Christ when he came. The high Pretenders were they who to Scriptures Opposed, and Crucified him. The Light from Scripture concluded Universal and Saving.

Obj.BUt here I expect this Objection, having run our Adversaries unavoidably to it: Very well, Taking it for granted that what you [Page 32] have said in reference to a Saving Light or Spirit, universally bestow'd upon the Jews, THAT WERE A DISTINCT PEOPLE from the rest of the World, under very many peculiar Rights; yet cannot we think it good Arguing, to infer the Gifts of God's Light and Spirit to the Gentiles, that make far the greatest part thereof; from these Scriptures, that only seem to prove it the Priviledg of the Jews.

To which I Answer, That I conceive I have urg'd those Scriptures already, that afford a plain Conviction, and E­vincement of the Truth of that general Inference; but because I am desirous from my very Soul, in perfect Love to theirs, that shall read this Discourse, of removing what Objection I am able to fore-see it may meet with, after it shall have past my hand, I will endeavour to make appear, first from SCRIPTURE, and next from the Best Account we have of the DOCTRINES and LIVES of HEA­THENS, and lastly from REASON; That God's Love in the Illumination of his Spirit or Gift of a Measure of his Divine and Saving Light was Universal; or that Mankind was (and con­sequently is) antecedently to Christ's Coming in the Flesh, en­lightned with such a Measure of Light, as was Saving in it self: And to all such, as received the Light, and obeyed it, in the Love of it. In order to this, I shall briefly insist on a few Scriptures, some of which have been already quoted, though not so directly to this Matter.

I. My Spirit shall not alwayes strive with Man. Here ob­serve,Genes. 6. 3. That no one Nation was interested more then ano­ther, but Man stands for the whole Adam, or Mankind; from whence I do very truly Conclude, that Mankind was not desti­tute of the Spirit, or Light of the Almighty, though it might be known in no higher Degree, then that of a Convincer and Reprover of Sin: yet it follows not, But if man had yielded to the Striving of it, doubtless he had been thereby redeemed from that Spirit of Iniquity, that was the ground of his grievous Resist­ance, which I call Salvation from sin.

II. They are of those that Rebel against the Light, they know Job 24. 9. 13. not the Wayes thereof, nor abide in the Path thereof. Here is no mention made of the Jews, in this Chapter, nor in many [Page 33] foregoing or following it, if at all in the whole Book. For Job is here giving the Character of wicked Men in general, that is, not with respect to any.Neither is it our Construction only, but the Judgment of Men fam'd in the World, for their Ex­actness in the Original Text, or Letter of the Scripture. They interpret it, to be the Light of the Divine Wisdom, the Fountain of Light, yea, God himself: That Rebelling against the Light, is against God. [...], the Light of Israel; alluding to the Psalmist, The Lord is my Light and my Salvation. Nay, to the Light mentioned by the Apostle Paul, Ye, who were sometimes Dark­ness, are now Light in the Lo [...]d. And that very Light, which is said to have sprung up to them that sate in Darkness, which is the Light of Truth (and by our Adversaries, allow'd to be the Evangelical; and spoke of Christ's Manifestation) Also, that the Wayes of Light, are Light, leading to the Light it self, which Wicked Men turn from, and spurn at. That this is the Light, which there is none, but it rises upon, whereby to give them true sight of themselves. See Munsterus, Vatablus, Clarius, Ca­stellio on the 17th Verse, but espe­cially Drusius and Codurcus, who say, All Men partake of that Light, and that it is sufficient to Manifest and Drive away the Darkness of Er­ror; and that it is the Light of Life; Nay, Codurcus calls it, an Evange­lical Principle, & seems to explain his Mind by a Quotation of the Evangelist's words, John 19. That was the True Light, that inlightneth all Mankind coming into the World. Chap. 25. 3. Munster. Vatabl. Clar. Castel. Drus. & Codurc. Crit. in 24, 25. Chap. Ver. 13, & 3. [...], P. 3283. to 3308. particular Nation; so that we may well infer, neither did he understand, the Light whereof he spoke, should be limited (as to its Illumi­nation) or any particular People. In short, I argue thus; If such as pluck the Fatherless from the Breast, and take a Pledge of the Poor, as (the Context relates) are those that Rebel against the Light, and walk not in its Way; then because that Vice was never limited to the Jews, but other Nati­ons work'd that Wicked­ness as well as they, it will plainly follow, that the Light, against which such Offenders Rebell'd, also was not limited to the Jews, but extended to the Gentiles also; unless it should be said, That what was Rebellion and Wick­edness in the Jews, was not so in the Gentiles. But be­cause, Sin was, and is Sin, all the World over; Light was, and is Light, all the World over, whether Men bring their Deeds to it or not.

III. But again let us hear the same Book speak, Is there any Number of his Armies? and upon whom doth not his Light Arise?

This Question carries in it a strong Affirmative of the Universality of God's [Page 30] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] Light, as much as to say, Who is there among all the Sons and Daughters of Men, that can say, I am not Enlightned by Him? If then none can, it must needs follow, That all are Enlightned, as well Gentiles as Jews.

IV. Thus much these two Notable Parables teach us of the Sower, and the Lord that gave his Servants Talents. They who believe Scripture, must acknowledge them to repre­sent God's Dealings with Mankind, in reference to Gift, Duty and Reward. Observe the first Parable.

The same Day went Jesus out of the House, and sate by the Sea Mat. 13. 1, to 10. side; And great Multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a Ship, and sate, and the whole Multitude stood on the Shore. And he spoke many things unto them in Parables, saying, Behold, A SOWER WENT FORTH TO SOW, and when he sowed, some Seeds fell by the Way side, and the Fowls came, and devour'd them up; Some fell upon Stony places, where they had not much Earth, and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no Deepness on Earth, and when the Sun was up, they were scorched, and because they had not Root, they wither'd away; and some fell among Thorns, and the Thorns sprung up and choack'd them; But other fell in Good Ground, and brought forth Fruit; some an Hundred-fold, some Sixty-fold, some Thirty-fold. Who has Ears to hear, let him hear.

It is granted by all that I know of, that the Seeds-Man is God; the Scripture saith, the Seed is the Word of the Kingdom, Vers. 19. which must needs be the Spiritual Word nigh in the Heart, suitable to the Heavenly Kingdom Christ said, was within, other-wise call'd Light, that is said to be sown for the Righteous; or the Grace, that appeares unto all-Men, and brings Salvation to them that are taught by it: And lastly, common Sense tells us, that the several Grounds comprehend Mankind; for they must either include the Bad with the Good, or the Good only must be benefited: But the very Scripture expresly distinguisheth betwixt the Good and Bad Ground, yet affirms the one to have been sown with the Seed as well as the other; Therefore Gods Gift is Universal, however Men by Wicked Works may have render'd their Hearts Stony, Thorny, or otherwise de­fective and uncapable of bringing forth Fruit.

The other Parable is also very weighty, and much to our purpose: For the Kingdom of Heaven is as a Man travelling Mat. 25. 14; to 34. into a far Country, who called his own Servants, and delivered unto them his Goods; and unto one he gave Five Talents, to ano­ther [Page 35] Two, and to another One, to every Man according to his several ability, and straight-way took his Journey. Then he that had received Five Talents, went and traded with the same, and made them other Five Talents; and likewise he, that had received Two, he also gained other Two; But he that had re­ceived One, went and digged in the Earth, and hid his Lord's Money. After a long time, the Lord of those Servants cometh and Reckoneth with them: And so he that had received Five Talents came and brought other Five Talents, saying, Lord, Thou deliveredst unto me Five Talents, Behold, I have gained besides them Five Talents more. His Lord said unto him; Well done thou Good and Faithful Servant, thou hast been faith­ful over a few things, I will make thee Ruler over many things, Enter thou into the Joy of thy Lord. He also that received Two Talents, came and said, Lord, Thou deliveredst unto me Two Talents, Behold, I have gain'd Two other Talents besides them, His Lord said unto him; Well done Good and Faithful Servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee Ruler over many things, Enter thou into the Joy of thy Lord. Then he which had received One Talent, came and said, Lord, I knew thee, that thou art an hard Man, Reaping where thou hast not sown, and Gathering where thou hast not strawed; and I was afraid, and went and hid thy Talent in the Earth: Lo, there thou hast that which is thine. His Lord answer'd, and said unto him, Thou Wicked and Slothful Servant, thou knewest that I Reap where I sowed not, and Gather where I have not strawed, Thou oughtest therefore to have put my Money to the Exchangers, and then at my Coming I should have received mine Own with Usury: Take therefore the Talent from him, and give it unto him which has Ten Talents; For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have Abundance, but from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he hath: And cast ye the Unprofitable Servant into utter Darkness, there shall be Weeping, and Gna­shing of Teeth, when the Son of Man shall come in his Glory, and all the Holy Angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the Throne of his Glory, and before Him shall be gather'd all Nations, and He shall separate them one from another, as a Shepherd divideth his Sheep from the Goats, and He shall set the Sheep on his Right Hand, but the Goats on the Left.

Serious Reader, I have the rather repeated the Scripture at large, because of that great Strength it carries, me­thinks, to the Conviction, at least Confusion of that Nar­row [Page 36] Spirit, which confines the infinite Goodness of God, and renders him, whilst he is an Universal Creator, but a particular Benefactor, shutting up his Gifts within the straight com­pass of a FEW; representing him thereby, as partial, as some Parents, who they know not for what, beside their own unequal Wills, do frequently bestow their Favour (indeed the whole of their Affection) upon an Elected Dareling, to the manifest, though cause­less Neglect of the rest. But to speak the Truth of the matter, the Over-fondness some bear to their own Opinions, joyn'd with the Envy raised towards those who conform not to them, has so emptied them of all natural Affection, that looking up­on God in that condition they dare to think him as unnatural as them­selves; For my part, I have not a great while believ'd, but that it rather rise from an Unwillingness in some, that Dissenters from them should be saved (thereby endeavouring a Compliance upon Necessity) then that God had not been pro­pitious unto all his Creatures. For who sees not, who can or will see, that God is this Soveraign Lord, that he made Mankind to be his Servants, that these Three are representative of the whole, and to the End they might not be Unprofitable Ones, that he gave them Talents to improve against his Return, that is, against the Day of Recompence; for which they are accountable, that who improve their Talents may be rewarded, and they who make no improvement of their Talents, may be punisht with Eternal Separation from the Presence of God, and all his Holy Angels.

I will conclude with these Five Observations:

  • 1. That God (though it be his Soveraign Prerogative, what he will give) has given a Talent out of his Celestial Treasury unto every Man and Woman.
  • 2. That this Talent is in it self Sufficient; but as the best Corn, so this Talent, put up into a Napkin, must needs be Unpro­fitable; yet, that the Fault is in the Party Neglecting or Hiding of it, not in it self.
  • 3. That those who improve not their Talent, are most apt to charge God with Reaping where he Sows not, as do those Profes­sors we have to do with; who make God to require an Account of all, and yet deny, in order to rendring up this Account with Joy, that he has given all a Talent Sufficient thereunto.
  • 4. That the Eternal Estate of Men and Women, as Sheep and Goats, purely depends upon their Improving, or not Improving of that Heavenly Talent wherewith God has indu'd them.

Lastly, Neither is there any Shelter for these Parsimonious Men, or their Hide-bound Faith, under the Inequality of the [Page 37] Number of the Talents; for it is not, how many Talents are given, but what Improvement is made of what is given: Wherefore greater is his Reward, who makes one Talent Three, then his who of Ten, advances but to Fifteen; since the one makes but Half, whilst the other makes Treble Im­provement. Blessed therefore are you all, and will you assuredly be in the Day of the Lord's Recompence, who disregarding the Va­nities, Pleasures, Cares and Fleshly Religions of the World, dili­gently mind your own Talent, and are in the Pure Wisdom and Holy Counsel of the Lord, making your daily Improvement of the same, laying up Treasure in the High and Heavenly Place, that is Durable and Everlasting.

V. This reasonable Truth is yet further manifest, from the weighty Words of our Lord Jesus Christ; For every one that John 3. 20. doth Evil hateth the Light, neither comes to the Light, lest his Deeds should be reproved: To which I would add that of the Apostle, Whatsoever is reproved is made manifest by the Light. CertainlyEphes. 5. 13. then, unless Men will be so Unjust to God, as to think (con­trary to Scripture and Reason) He should let Millions of Men, and Scores of Generations live in Sin, without a Light to shew it them, or a Law to limit them; it must be yielded, that they had Light and Law in their Hearts and Consciences, by which they were Convicted of Sin; and such, as obey'd it, led to work Righteousness, since their Refusing to bring their Deeds to the Light, was not an Act of Ignorance, but Design; because they knew their Deeds would be Condemn'd, and they for them; which loudly asserts, that they both had a Light, and knew they had it, though they Rebell'd against it. And if I should grant, that whatever was reproveable, was not made ma­nifest unto them; yet this will no wayes hinder the Capacity of the Light to do it. 'Tis evident, That some things which the Gen­tiles did, were reprov'd, therefore they had the Light: And if they had it not in all the Extent of its Revelation, the Light was no more to be blamed, then that Guide, whose Passengers therefore could not arrive at their Journey's End, because they never would begin, at least proceed. Had the Hea­thens been Faithful to what they had of God in themselves, and not been blinded by the Vain Idolatries and Superstitious Tra­ditions of their Fathers, they had more fully known and learn'd the Mind and Will of their Creator; which some of those Gen­tiles notwithstanding did, as will yet further appear.

[Page 38]VI. Thus the Apostle Paul teaches us to believe, in that remarkable Passage of his in the first Chapter to the Ro­mans: For I am not Asham'd of the Gospel of Christ: For it is Rom. 1. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 28. the, Power of God unto Salvation, to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the Righteous­ness of God reveal'd from Heaven against all Ungodliness and Un­righteousness of Men, who hold the Truth in Unrighteousness. Be­cause that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them. For the Invisible Things of Him from the Creation of the World are clearly seen, being un­derstood by the Things that are made, even his Eternal Power and God-head, so that they are without Excuse; because that when they knew God, they Glorified him not as God, neither were Thank­ful; but became Vain in their Imaginations, and their Foolish Hearts were Darken'd. And even as they did not like to Retain God in their Knowledge, God gave them over to a Reprobate Mind, to do those things which are not Convenient.

These Notable Lines of that Great Apostle, give an apparent Overthrow to all Objections against, either the Universality or Sufficiency of the Light within; which will be further manifest, if the Reader be but pleas'd to observe these few Particulars. (1.) That in the Gospel of Christ is the Righteousness of God revealed, and that from Faith to Faith. (2.) That this Faith the Just have ever lived by, for he quotes a Time past, as it is written, which Writing was about 700. Years before he wrot that Epistle. (3.) That many had de­generated from the Righteousness of God, to wit, the Gentiles, into Ungodliness, against which the Wrath of God was re­vealed from Heaven. (4.) That they however, once knew the Truth. (5.) That they came to the Knowledge of this Truth from the Manifestation of God (who is Light) within; since what might be known of God was manifested in them, because God had shewed it unto them. (6.) That the Cause of their after Darkness, was their Rebelling against that Manifestation or Light, not Glorifying the God that shewed it to them, when they both saw it, and knew him so to do. Consequently, that God had given them Light Sufficient, both to know and obey him. And since they liked not to retain God in their Knowledge, the Deficiency was theirs, and not the Light's. (7.) If therefore their foolish Hearts were darkned, that is, by Disobedi­ence, it follows, that therefore that Darkness came by Sin into their Hearts, they had Light in their Hearts, or a Light [Page 39] within. 8) Lastly, If the Wrath was therefore revealed, because the hold the Truth in Unrighteousness, and when they knew God by that Manifestation of Light within, they glo­rified him not as God, but became vain in their Imaginations, and their foolish Hearts darkned; Then certainly, had they kept to that Principle, call'd the Truth, and the Manifesta­tion of God within, and preserv'd their Faith in God, as he had reveal'd himself to them; So glorifying him as God, and de­lighting to retain him in their knowledge; Not Wrath, but Mercy [...]nd Peace had been revealed from Heaven, as saith the same Apostle in his following Chapter, to them, who by pa­tient Chap. 2. 8. continuance in well doing, seek for Glory and Honour and Im­mortality, ETERNAL LIFE.

In short; This we may safely conclude, that the Righ­teousness [...] (in the Gospel of Christ, of which Paul was not ashamed) from Faith to Faith, by which Faith, he [...] the Just Ancients lived, or were accepted, is One in N [...]ture, though not in Degree with that TRUTH the Gentiles Apstatized from, and therefore lived without Faith, Righteous­ness or God in the World; for which the Wrath was re­veal [...]d; which had they lived up unto, glorifying God, as God, [...]ccording to the Manifestation of himself in their Hearts and Consciences, they would have had, not the Revelation of Wrath, but of the Righteousness of Faith, by which the Just in all Ages have liv'd [...]cceptably with God: For without Faith can no Man please God, in any Age; as without Holiness (that flows from true Faith) to Man shall ever see the Lord.

VII. And Lastly, I do earnestly intreat the Unpreju­dic'd Reader, to observe these two notable Passages, which with my Consideration of them, shall conclude the Scrip­ture-Proofs I have urg'd for the Universality of the Light, and Spirit of God, antecedent to Christ's Appearance in the Flesh.

Then Peter opened his Mouth, and said, Of a Truth, I perceive that God is no Respecter of Persons, but in every Nation, He that feareth him, and worketh Righteousness is accepted with him. For not the Hearers of the Law are Just before God, but the DoersRom. 2. 13, 14, 15, 16. of the Law shall be justified: For when the Gentiles which have not the Law, do by Nature the things contained in the Law, these having not the Law, are a Law unto themselves, which shew the Works of the Law written in their Hearts, their Consciences also bearing Witness, and their Thoughts the mean while Accusing or Excusing one another, in the Day [Page 40] when God shall judge the Secrets of Men by Jesus Ch [...]ist, ac­cording to my Gospel.

These Scriptures are a severe Check to our Adversaries undervaluing Apprehension of the blessed Light of God, and that will appear in several particulars.

1. God is no Respecter of Persons in any Nation; from whence I honestly conclude, that all Persons and Nations were inlightned, as well Gentiles as Jews.

2. That here are Men (not of the Circumcision made with hands) who fear God, work Righteousness, and are Doers of the Law, not from any outward Obligation ( [...]or they had none) but the inward Work of the Law writ upon [...] Hearts; which is a Demonstration, that they had not only [...] Light as a Reprover, but as a Teacher and Leader, whereby th [...]y came to fear God, and work Righteousness, which is else-where said to beEccles. 12, 13, 14. the Sum of the Matter, and whole Duty of Man: [...] then no [...] that fears God, works Righteousness, and keeps the [...] Law of God, as the Scriptures testifie some Gentiles to h [...]ve done, can be said to do so, and yet worship false Gods, or not ri [...]ht­ly Worship the true one, be void of the true Light, the most part of T. Hicks his 9th page, where he objects the [...] Ignorance of the true God, against the Sufficiency of the Light with­in, and a Challenge to us to produce one Instance amon [...] the ma­ny Thousands of Mankind that from the Light within, hath been reproved for not believing Jesus to be Christ, [...] as the smoak; For though perhaps he thinks, he may have done a great deal, in making that bold Demand of [...], yet I shall briefly tell him, that such as lived up most sincerely to the Light in their own Consciences, acknowledged most rea­dily, that glorious Appearance of Light in [...]hat Body then in the World. They were the great Pretenders to Scriptures, that would not come to Christ, the Traditional, Literal and Ordi­nance-Men that Rejected and Crucified him; and that had not both, Cornelius and the Centurion, with many others, been up­right Livers to the Light within, neither [...] Peter been so received by the one, nor Christ so follow'd by the other. But that measure of the Divine Light, which they had thitherto obey'd, as the more sure Word of Prophecy, lead them naturally, unto the Rising of the Day-Star, which, though a more glorious mani­festation, yet not of another Light, Life, or Spirit, then had ever been; for there are not two Lights, Lifes, Natures or Spirits in God, he is ONE for ever in himself, and his Light one in kind, how ever variously he may have declar'd himself [Page 41] or manifested it at sundry times of the World; His Truth is one, his Way is one, and his Rest one forever. But last of all, that which greatly joyes, is this, that the Narrowness of some Mens Spirits in this World, will not be found able to exclude vertuous Gentiles from their Reward in the other: But maugre all the Heat, Petulancy, Conceitedness, and Fleshly Boasting of Carnal Christians; such as fear God, and Work Righteousness, and are Doers of the Law, we are assured, shall be accepted with, and justified of God, in the Day that he will judge the Secrets of all men by Jesus Christ, according to Paul's Gospel; and if any man bring another, let It be accurst; Amen.

I have here on purpose overlookt many very pregnant Instances both in the Old and New Testament (so call'd) for Brevities sake, in which the Righteousness of the Gentiles hath in several Cases more evidently appeared, then that of some of the Jews, and which undeniably testifies to the Suffi­ciency of that Light, they had, both to manifest that which was Good, from that which was Evil, and give an Ability to such as Gen. 20. 4. & 21. 22. truly minded its Illumination, whereby they were enabled to do the one, and to reject the other. Such were Abimelech, Cyrus, Darius, 2 Chron 36. 23. Ezra 1. 2, 3, 4, 5, 13. & 6. 3, 12. the Ruler that came to Christ, and many others, which I shall omit to mention more particularly; the chief Bent of my Mind being, to demonstrate the Truth of my Assertion,Dan. 6. 26, 27. from their own Writings.

CHAP. X.

That the Gentiles Believed in One God. That He inlightned All Men with a Saving Light. That Men ought to live Piously. That the Soul is Immortal. That there is an Eternal Recompence. The Whole call'd Gentile-Divinity. The First Point prov'd by Sixteen Testi­monies.

HAving prov'd briefly, but truly from the Scrip­tures, that the Gentiles in general, were Illumi­nated with a Divine Light; I shall now make it my Business, to evidence the Truth thereof by most unde­niable, particular Instances, out of their own Writings. And because I am willing, my Defence of both, the Light within, and Those of them, who obey'd it, should turn to the clearest and best Account, I will endeavour to resolve the Whole [Page 42] into as plain a Method, as the Matter, and their Way of delivering it will allow me.

First then, from their own Authorities, I am taught to af­firm, that the Gentiles Believed in One, Holy, Infinite and Eternal God.

Secondly, That they did therefore so believe, because God had imprinted the Knowledge of himself in their Hearts; or in our Lan­guage, that he had Illuminated all Mankind with a Divine Light which, as conversed with, and obey'd, would lead to Eternal Happiness.

Thirdly, That they held, and practised high Sanctity of Life.

Fourthly, That they affirmed an Immortality of Souls, and E­ternal Rewards of Felicity, or Misery, according to Man's Obe­dience to, or Rebellion against the Eternal God his Creator: which Excellent Principles, true and clear, being the Result of their Discourse, on those Subjects, do worthily deserve, in my esteem, the Style of DIVINITY, which shall be the Deno­mination, I hope, I may without Offence bestow upon them in this Discourse.

That the Gentiles did acknowledge and believe, There was but One Supream God, that made all things, who is Infinite, Al­mighty, Omni-present, Holy and Good forever: I shall produce some of those many Authorities that aver the same; and accommodate it to such Scripture, as the Truth of them, as well as Practice of very Ancient Fathers will bear me out in.

I. ORPHEUS, as Old, as more then One Thousand Two Hundred Years before Christ, thus expresseth his Be­liefClem. Alex. Strom. L. 5. of God: His Hand rea­ches He stretched-out his Hand over the Sea, Isa. 23. 11. — Sing Praises unto the Lord, to Him that Rideth upon the Heavens of Heavens, Psal. 68. 33. — For the Lord your God, he is God in Heaven above, and in the Earth beneath, Josh. 2. 11. Rev. 22. 13. to the End of the Sea, his Right-hand is everywhere, and the Earth is under his Feet. He is only One, begot of himself, and of Him alone are all things begot; and God is the First and the Last.

Hereby not only telling us, there was a God, but attri­buting that Almighty Power and Omni-presence, which show, he meant no Statuary Deity, but the God that made the Heavens and the Earth.

[Page 43]II. HESIOD, Of God is God of the Living, and not of the Dead, Mat. 22. 32. — Now unto the King Eternal, Immor­tal, Invisible, the Only Wise God, be Honour and Glory forever and ever, Amen, 1 Tim. 1. 17. 1 Tim. 6. 16. — Thy Throne, O God, is for­ever and ever, Psal. 45. 6. Clem. Alex. Strom. L. 5. all, which do not Dye, thou art King and Lord; none can Contend with Thee concerning Thy Power.

This Emphatically proves God to have been but One, and Omni-potent in their Belief.

III. THALES, a very Ancient Greek Phylosopher, tellsClem. Alex. Strom. L. 5. us; ‘That there is but One Thou art Glorious in Holiness, Exod. 15. 4. — God had Glory before the World began, John 17. 5. — The Lord Searcheth the Heart, and Tryeth the Reins, Psalm. 7. 9. — And tell unto Man his Thoughts, Amos 4. 13 — God is from Everlasting to Everlasting, God, Psalm. 90. 2. — With­out Beginning of Days, or End of Life, Heb. 7. 3. God, that he is Glorious forever and ever: And he openly con­fesseth, That he is called [...], HE WHO KNOWS HEARTS.’

Thales being demanded what God was, That (saith he) which has NEITHER BE­GINNING NOR END.’

Another asking, If a Man might do Ill, and conceal it from God?

How, (saith he) WHEN A MAN THAT THINKS IT, CANNOT.’

‘Men ought to believe, saithDeLeg. 2. Cicero, in his Name, that God sees all things.

IV. SIBYLLA, ‘ThereI alone am God, and besides Me there is not another. There is none other but One God, 1 Cor. 8. 5. Clem. Alex. Strom. L. 5. is One God, who alone is Infinite and without Begin­ning. —’

Again, Who can see No Man has seen God at any time, 1 John 4. 12. — Heaven is my Throne, Acts 7. 49. — The Lord's Throne is in Heaven, Psalm. 11. 4. And hear thou in Heaven, thy Dwelling-Place, 1 King. 8. 30. with Fleshly Eyes the Hea­venly, True and Immortal God, whose Seat is in the Highest of Heaven?

This Sibyll is Aged above Two Thousand Years. The Question implies her Faith; that God was a Spirit, as Christ himself also testifies.

[Page 44]V. PYTHAGORAS, a Modest, but Diligent andJamblich. Retired Man, in his Search after Heavenly things, saith, That it is Man's Duty to believe Thou must believe that God is; and that he is a Rewarder of them that fear him, Hebr. 11. 6. — For thine is the King­dom, 1 Chron. 29. 11. Mat. 6. 13. — Thou art Lord of Hea­ven and Earth, Acts 17. 24 — And the Government shall be upon his Shoulders, Isa. 9. 6 — Again, God is Light, and in him is no Darkness at all, John 1. 5 — I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, John 14. 6 — God is all, above all, and in all, Ephes. 4. 6. of the Divinity, that it is, and that it is in such a manner, as to Mankind, that it over­looks them, and neglects them not; for we have need of such a Government, as we ought not in any thing to Con­tradict; such is that, which proceeds from the Divinity: For the Divinity is such, that to it doth of Right belong the Do­minion of all. Again, God resembleth LIGHT and TRUTH. In another place, God himself inhabits the Lowest, and Highest, and the Middlemost; there is no Being nor Place without God. Just. Mart.

‘God is One; HE IS NOT (as some conceive) OUT OF THE WORLD, but entire within himself,A God nigh at hand, Acts 17. 27. Jer, 23. 23 — One God, who is above all, through all, and in all, Ephes. 4. 6 — God is Light; and upon whom hath not his Light arisen? 1 John 1. 5. Job 25. 3 — One God and Father of all, 1 Cor. 8. 6 — Now to the King Eternal, Im­mortal, Invisible, the Only Wise God be Glory, &c. 1 Tim. 1. 17. as in a Compleat Circle, sur­veying all Generations. HE IS THE SALT OF ALL AGES, the Agent of his own Powers, and Works; the Principle of all things; One Heavenly Luminary or Light, and Father of all things; Only Wise, Invisible, yet In­telligible.

Which very Pathetical Account of the Divine Being, so correspondent with Scripture (yet he a Stranger to it) I mean the Words only; for the Matter in this Point, he weightily hits, deserves very Serious Consideration and Acknowledgment, from all, especially those who would not Narrow God's Mercies to their own Time or Party.

[Page 45]VI. To the same purpose speaks HERACLITUS, that sensibly Afflicted Philosopher, for the World's Impieties and I­dolatrics, whose very Sorrowful, yet sound & smart Expres­sions, show they came from a Mind deeply touch'd: In one of his Epistles to Hermodorus, his Friend, he thus seemeth after a while to address himself to Eutycles, and the rest of his Enemies, that Impeacht him for being an Enemy to their Stony Gods: ‘Thus I shall be condemned of Im­piety by the Impious. What thinkest thou? Shall I seem Impious to them for Dissenting from their Gods? If Blind Men were to Judge ofThe Heaven of Heavens cannot contain Thee. 1 Kings 8. 27. 2 Chron. 6. 18 — What House will ye build me? Acts 7. 49 — God dwells in the Light, 1 Tim. 6. 16 — To whom will ye liken God? what Likeness will ye compare unto Him? Isa. 40. 18, 25 — God is a Spirit, John 4. 24. Sight, they would say that Blindness were Sight: But O ye Ig­norant Men, teach us first, what God is, that when ye declare us to be Impious, you may be be­lieved. Where is God? shut up in Temples? O Pious Men! (he speaks Ironically, or by Contraries) WHO PLACE GOD IN THE DARK. You Ignorant People! KNOW YOU NOT THAT GOD IS NOT MADE WITH HANDS?’

This is a most Clear, and Ample Testimony against their Idols, mixt with a Religious Derision; yet qualified by a kind of Lamentation: Surely Heraclitus believed in God, yea, and that he was Light too, and such a one as shouldClem. Alex. Strom. L. 2. never set; by whom he else-where says, He had over­come the Enemies of his Soul.

VII. ANAXAGORAS, esteemed Noble by Birth,Lact. Fals. Rel. 1. 5. but more Noble for his Knowledge and Vertue, who was Master to Socrates, taught thus concerning God; That Cic. de Nat. Deor. 1. God is an Infi­nite But to us there is but One God, the Father of all, of whom are all things, 1 Cor. 8. 6. WhereAugust. cir. Del. 8. wast thou when I laid the Foundations of the Earth? read on, Job 38. 4 — And the Earth was without Form: read the Chapter, in which is declared, God's Making and beautifying Heaven and Earth, and all Living Creatures therein, Gen. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. and so to the end. — Thou Lord madest the Heavens and the Earth, and all that in them is, Acts 4. 24. Selfmoving Mind; that this Divine, Infinite Mind is the Effi­cient Cause of all things; every thing beingmade according to its [Page 46] Species, by the Divine Mind; who, when all things were confusedly mingled together, CAME AND REDUCED THEM TO ORDER.’

Which doubtless is so true, that Anaxagoras had no small Share of true Light, to give this Account, of both God and the Creation: And indeed, his Memory was Celebrated by the Greeks, for having very much impro­ved that Discovery, they had concerning God and Im­mortality.

VIII. SOCRATES, that Good Heathen (if withoutPlat. phaed. Offence, to the Professors of Christianity, I may say it) not on­ly confesseth to ONE God, but I am of Opinion, they will think he gives good Reason why he doth so. He first layes down, That the Mind, which they frequently call God by, is the Disposer and Cause of all things.

Or in other words of his thus, ‘GodTo these Nota­ble Arguments ur­ged for the Proof of a Divine Super-intel­ligent Being, and his Creation and Provi­dence, may well a­gree those Patheti­cal Expressions of Job, the Psalmist, and several Prophets, E­vangelists and Apo­stles; concerning, God's Creating the World, and upholding it to this day, his lay­ing the Foundations thereof; his Provi­dence over the Lil­lies and the Spar­rows; his bringing forth Fruits in due season; his Lights by Day, and by Night; that the Di­sciples should take no Thought what they shall Eat, and Drink, or put on; That there is a Spirit in Man, and the In­spiration of the Al­mighty gives Under­standing; and lastly, Can any hide himself in secret Places, and I not see him, saith the Lord, Jer. 23. 24 — No; If I take the Wings of the Mor­ning and flee to the ut­termost Part of the Earth, thou art there, Psal. 139. 9. — And by me Kings Raign, and Princes Decree Justice, saith God, Prov. 8. 15 — And is every-where, Josh. 2. 11 — And orders all, Wisd. 11. 20. & 12. 15 — There is but One God, and none else besides him. Eph. 4. 6 — In the begin­ning God Created the Heaven and Earth, Gen. 1. 1, 2, 3 — In him we Live, Move, and have our Being, Acts 17. 21 — Thus he Sees and Hears all, and is Every-where, Psal. 34. 9, 10, 11. is ONE, [...], PERFECT in Him-self, giving the Being and Well-being of every Creature.

And this he giveth his Reasons for:Xen. me­mor. 1. ‘That GOD, Not CHANCE, made the World and all Creatures, is Demonstrable, from the Reasonable Disposition of their Parts, as well for Use as Defence, from their Care to preserve themselves, and continue their Species; that he particularly regards Man, in his Body from the Excellent Upright Form thereof, from the Gift of Speech; from Allowance [...], in his Soul, from the Excellen­cy thereof above others, both for Divi­nations, and Praedicting Dangers; that he regards Particulars, from his Care of the whole Species; that he will Re­ward such as Please him, and Punish such as Displease him, from his Power to do it, AND FROM THE BE­LIEF HE HATH IMPRINTED IN A MAN, THAT HE WILL DO IT; professed by the most Wise [Page 47] and Civilized Cities and Ages. THAT HE AT ONCE SEETH ALL THINGS, from the Instances of his Eye, which at once over-runs many Miles; and of the Mind, which at once considereth things done in the most distant Places. Id. eod. That God knoweth all things, whether they be SAID, DONE, or SECRETLY DESI­RED. Id. 4. That God takes Care of all Creatures is demonstrable from the Benefits he gives them, of Light, Water and Fire, Seasonable Production of Fruits of the Earth; That he hath particular Care of Man, from the Nou­rishment of all Plants and Creatures for Man's Service, from their Subjection to Man, though they Exceeded him never so much in Strength; from the Variety of Man's Sense, accommo­dated to the Variety of Objects, for Necessity, Use and Pleasure; from Reason, whereby he discoursed, through Reminiscence, from sensible Objects from Speech, whereby he communicates all that he knows, gives Laws and governs States. That God, notwithstand­ing he is Invisible, hath a Being from the Instances of his Ministers invisible also, as Thunder and Wind; AND FROM THE SOUL OF MAN, WHICH HATH SOMETHING WITH, OR PARTAKES OF THE DIVINE NATURE, in Governing those that cannot see it. Finally, THAT HE IS SUCH, AND SO GREAT, AS THAT HE AT ONCE SEES ALL, HEARS ALL, IS EVERY-WHERE, AND ORDERS ALL.

So that here is both Socrates his Faith in God, and his Reasons for it; drawn from the outward Creation, and the inward Divine Sence, that from the Divine Instinct, or Nature, he receiv'd, in which he lived, and for which he willingly dy'd, as afterwards may be related.

[Page 48]IX. TIMAEUS Locrus, in his Work of Nature, thus Argumentatively expresseth himself in; ‘One Principle of all, is Unbegotten; forIn the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, & the Word was God, all things were made by him, &c. John 1. 1, 2, 3, 4 if it was Begotten, then were it no more that Principle, but that of which it were Be­gotten would be the Principle.

Suitable to this saith CLEMENS ALEXANDRI­NUS,Clem. Alex. TIMAEUS affirms, namely, Hear, O Strom. L. 5. 2 King. 19. 19. — Mark 12. 32. — 1 Tim. 2. 5. Israel, the Lord thy God is One, and him only shalt thou Serve.

Thus did he endeavour to Refute the Gentiles, and prove the Scriptures out of their own Writings. But again, That God is, and that he is a Spirit, De Anim. and that he is the AUTHOR Mund. God is a Spirit, John 4. 24. — God said, Let there be Light, and there was Light, Gen 1. 3 — He is the Father of Lights, Jam. 1. 17. of all Light.Which how Sober and True it is, let the Scriptures here inserted te­stifie.

X. ANTISTHENES, one of Socrates's School, ex­pressing himself, as it were,Clem. Alex. Strom. L. 5 That thou mayst know, that there is none like Me in all the Earth, saith God, Exod. 9. 14. & 8. 10. — Who in Heaven can be Compared unto the Lord? who among the Sons of the Mighty can be Likened unto the Lord? Psal. 89. 6. by way of Paraphrase that Prophetick Saying; Whom have ye likened me unto, saith the Lord? thus speaks, He is like none, because no Man can know him from a Likeness or Image.

By which we may perceive he did not believe him to be an Image, who could not be known by an Image, nor any thing that could be seen with Carnal Eyes: a Step beyond the Romanists, that teach the Knowledge of, as they darkly Fancy, by Images.

XI. PLATO, also Schollar to Socrates, and whom the Greeks for his Heavenly Contemplation, and Pious Life, surnam'd, Divine, gives us his Faith of God in these words, God is FIRST, ETER­NAL, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First & the Last, Rev. 22. 13. Thou art the Ever­lasting God, Isa. 40 — The Way of the Lord is Per­fect, Psal. 80, 30. He is a Rock; his Work is Perfect; for all his Ways are Judgment; A God of Truth, and with­out Iniquity, Just & Right is he, Deutr. 23. 4 — For I am the Lord, Isa. 45. 5 — I Change not, Mal. 3. 6. INEFFABLE PER­FECT IN HIMSELF; that [Page 49] is, needing none, and ever Perfect; that is, absolute in all Times; and eve­ry way perfect; that is, absolute in eve­ry part, Divinity, Essence, Truth, Har­mony, Good: Neither do we so name these, to distinguish one from the other, but rather by them all to understand one. He is said to be GOOD, because he bestows his Benefits upon all, according to their se­veral Capacities, and so is the Cause of all Good; FAIR, because he is in Essence, both More, Better and Equal; TRUTH, because he is the Principle of all Truth, as the Sun is of all Light.

‘Moreover, God not having many Parts, can neither be locally mov'd, nor alter'd by Qualities; For if he be alter'd, it must be done by himself, or some other; if by some other, that Other must be of greater Power then he; if by Him­self, it must be either to Better, or to Worse; both which are Absurd.

From all these it Follows, That God is Incorporeal; and by all which it is evident, how True, and how Reaso­nable, and how Firm a Belief Plato had, of One Eternal Being and Father of all.

XII. And Lyricus MELANIPPIDES, praying saith:Clem. Alex. Hear me, O Father, thou Wonder of Strom. L. 5. Exod. 1. 15, 11. — Psalm. 136. 4, 5, 6. Men, who alwayes Covernest the Living Soul.

This plainly preaches to us their Belief of One Eternal God.

XIII. PARMENEDES Magnus, as saith Plato inClem. Alex. Sophista writes concerning God, onStrom. L. 5. Thy Throne is e­stablisht of Old, thou art from Everlasting, Psal. 93. 2. — Jehovah is Everlasting, Isa. 26. 4. this wise, He is not Begotten, neither is he lyable to any Death; like a Chain, whose Links are Whole & Round, and alwayes Firm, and Void of a Beginning.’

What was this, but the Eternal God, by whom all things were made, the First and the Last.

[Page 50]XIV. ZENO, a Grave and Wise Philosopher, who insti­tuted the Way of the Stoicks, but not of Vertue; both the Cy­nicks and Stoicks, mostly teaching such Doctrine as tended to good Life, may well be said to have been the Followers of So­crates, the ExcellentMan of his time, only they a little differ­ed themselves by some particular Severities too Voluntary, which the Mild, Serious and Unaffected Piety of Socrates gave them no Encouragement to, though none of them trod in a more Self-denying Path, then History tells us, he walkt in. This Zeno and his Disciples, were Vigorous [...]sserters of One Infinite and Eternal God, as by their Doctrines may appear.

Zeno tells us, That God is an Immortal Being, Rational, Laert. Perfect or Intellectual in Now to the King Eternal, Im­mortal, Invisible, the Only Wise God, be Honour and Glory for­ever, 1 Tim. 1. 17. — The Rich and Poor meet together, the Lord is the Maker of them all, Pro. 22. 2. Come now let us Reason toge­ther, saith the Lord, Isa. 1. 18. — Be ye Holy, for I the Lord your God am Holy, Levit. 11. 44. — One God and Father of all, of whom are all things, Ephes. 4. 6. 1 Cor. 8. 16. — Who is a God likeAristot. de Xen. unto thee? Exod. 15. 4. — The Almighty is Excellent in Power, Job 37. 23. — And his Kingdom rules over all Psal. 103. 19. Beatitude, void of all Evil, provident over the World, and things in the World; Not of Humane Form, MA­KER OF ALL, AS IT WERE, FATHER OF ALL. Again, God, and the Power of God, is such, as that it governs, but is not governed: It go­verneth all things; so that if there were any thing more Excellent, He could not possibly be God.

This was Zeno's Faith of God, which I cannot be­lieve, that Tho. Hicks himself has so far abandon'd all Reason, as to censure for False, or Idolatrous, that he Taught It as well as Thought It. Let us hear some of his Followers,

XV. CHRYSIPPUS, also avers, as his Belief of aLaert. de Ira Dei c. 10. God, that the World was made by him; consequently he believed there was one: ‘For ifLord, thou art God, which hast made Heaven and Earth, and all that in them is, Acts 4. 24. God that made the World, Psal. 90. 2. — All Nations are unto God, but as a Drop to the Bucket, and the Dust to the Ballance. Isa. 40. 11, 15. (saith he) there be any thing which can procr [...]ate such Beings [Page 51] as Man indued with Reason is un­able to produce, that (doubtless) must needs be Stronger, and Greater, and Wiser then Man; but a Man cannot make the Celestial things, therefore that which made them transcended Man, in Art, Coun­sel, Prudence and Power; And what can that be but GOD?’

Thus far Chrysippus, the Stoick, in reference to God. But again,

XVI. ANTIPATER, a Famous, Serious and Accute Stoick, in his Discourse of God and the World, declaresPlut. himself to us after this manner:Plat. phaed. God is a Spirit, John Antip. de Mund. l. 7. 4. 24. — In whom are hid all the Treasures of Wisdom & Knowledg, Col. 2..8 — Of the Incor­ruptible God, Rom. 1. 23. The Lord is Good to all, and his tender Mer­cies are over all his Works, Psal. 85. 9. — God is not far away from every one of us, Acts 17. 27. ‘We understand by that which we call God, A SPIRIT, full of INTELLIGENCE or WIS­DOM, a Living Nature, or DI­VINE SUBSTANCE, Blessed and INCORRUPTIBLE, do­ing good to Mankind, PRESENT THROUGH THE WHOLE WORLD; receiving several De­nominations from the DIVERSI­TY OF HIS APPEARAN­CES, and the various Operations and Effects of his Divine Power shewn therein.

Which kind of Evangelical Definition may very rightly induce us to believe him, to have been at least of those who knew God; but we hope, not of those, who when they knew him, Glorified him not as God.

Indeed, what we have hitherto produc'd of them all, may worthily be accounted DIVINITY; and not the worse for being Gentiles, since God is also therein to be Admired; so Forceable, so True, and so Conspicuous are their As­sertions, and their Reasons for them; that who will yet be­lieve, there was not a Measure of the Eternal Fulness of all Di­vine Light shining in the Hearts of these Heathens, to give them the Knowledge of the Glory of the Only True and Invisible God; must not think it strange, if upon their own Principle of Incredulity, after all their Protestations for, and Professions [Page 52] of the Christian-Religion, any should believe them to be very Mahometans or Infidels; and that they are over-cast with the darkest Clouds of Envy and Uncharitableness: For my part, I am of the mind, that many Thousands of Christi­ans, at least so reputed (I mean not of the Rabble neither) believe not God so clearly, nor are able to give better Rea­sons for what they do believe of him, then these exhibited in this first part of the Gentile-Divinity.

Thus much concerning God, with respect to Himself, his Creation and Providence.

CHAP. XI.

The Second Fundamental of Gentile. Divinity, viz. That God hath Imprinted the Knowledge of Himself on the Mind of all Mankind. Proved from Twelve Pregnant Testimonies, as well of whole Societies, as particular Persons. Compared with Scripture.

IT will be now requisit, that I give an Account of their Belief in God, with respect to that Discovery he is pleased to give of himself unto Mankind, how, and where; which amounts to what is laid down in my Second Assertion. viz. That God Imprinteth the Knowledge of Him­self in the Mind of Mankind; or, that God's Way of Manifesting Himself to Mankind, is by Enlightning the Soul with his own Di­vine Light, which Obey'd, leads to Blessedness.

That this was their Doctrine, and the Ground of the Knowledge they had of God, be pleased to weigh these their following very plain, yet very weighty Expressions.

I. ‘The Mind, saith PYTHA­GORASTim. de De Anim. Mund. The Pure in heart shall see God, Mat. 5. 8. — He dwelleth in Immortality; no Mortal Eye can ap­proach or behold him, 1 Tim. 1. 16. One Thing have I desired of Thee, O Lord, to behold the Beauty of the Lord, Psalm. 27. 4 — The Things of God knows no Man, but the Spirit of God; but God hath Re­veal'd them to us by his Spirit 1 Cor. 2. 10, 11. & 1. 13. — Is Christ divided? 1 Cor. 1. 13 — And I heard a great Voice saying, THE TA­BERNACLE OF GOD IS WITH MEN. He that Overcometh shall Inherit all things: I will be his God, and he shall be my Son, Revel. 21. 3, 7. and his Disciples, onely seeth the ETERNAL GOD, the Ruler and Father of all things. — What greater Pleasure then to be­hold the Serene Aspect of God? — What things are agreable to God,Jambl. cannot be known UNLESS A MAN HEAR GOD HIMSELF. They mutually exhorted one another, not [Page 53] to Divide asunder the Jamblich. GOD THAT WAS IN THEM; for that it ought to be their Care, to Preserve their Union with God, and one with another. — Again, saithDe Anim. Mund. Timaeus, one of the Exactest of that School; The most Excellent Thing the Soul is Awaken'd to, is her Guide, or Good Cenius (that is, a Measure of the Divine Light and Spirit) but if she be Rebellious to it, it will prove her Dae­mon, or Tormentor. But having over­come these things, saith Pythagoras, (to wit, Evils) thou shalt know [...], the Co-habitation or Dwelling together of the IMMORTAL GOD AND MORTAL MEN; whose Work is Life; the Work of God is Immorta­lity, Eternal Life.

Thus far the Pythagoreans, and certainly far enough to prove the Assertion; for next to Hearing and Seeing God himself, his Dwelling in, and Tabernacling with Men, what is there of greater Spiritual Intimacy or Union? O the Folly and great Uncharitableness of those Professors! that exclude both such Men, and such Knowledge the Kingdom of God, because it is not deliver'd in absolute Scripture-Phraise, whilst it imports much of the very Substance of them, as to Divine Vision, Union with God, and Eternal Life. But to go on.

II. HIERON, that Ancient Philosopher, intituled the Universal Light shining in the Conscience, which wit­nessed, by its Reproof, against Evil; and if obey'd, led to Immortality, ‘A DO­MESTICKIn the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, John 1. 1. — The Word is nigh thee, in thy Heart and in thy Mouth, Rom. 10. 8. I dwell in the High and Holy Place, with him also that is of a Contrite and Humble Spirit, Isa. 57. 15. — Ye are the Temples of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you, 1 Cor. 2 16. — Whatever may be known of God is manifested within, for God shews it unto them, Rom. 1. 19. GOD, or GOD WITH­IN the Hearts and Souls of Men.

‘The Eternal Mind is God, MANIFE­STING HIM­SELF IN EVE­RY [Page 54] PARTICU­LAR OF US. God is that which in Mortal Men gives them to Know aright concerning God.

Certainly these Gentiles had an high Veneration for that Light which manifested Darkness, who made it their Rule, their Guide, their Domestick God; they set him not at a Di­stance without them; but believed in him as God, the WORD; speaking to them in their own Consciences. In which respect the Minor Poets notably express'd themselves.

III. BYAS, Prince of his Country Pireen, being in­vadedValer. Max. 7. 2. by Enemies, and several of the Inhabitants put to flight, with their greatest Wealth; and He being asked, Why he also carried not his Choisest Goods with him, he answered, I do carry MYLay up Treasure in Heaven, where neither Moth nor Rust can Cor­rupt, nor Thief break through and Steal, Mat. 6. 20. — This Treasure hath God put into Earth­en Vessels, 2 Cor. 4. 7. — Fear not, for the Lord thy God it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, Deut. 31. 6. — In all their Afflictions he was Afflict­ed, Isa. 63. 9 —. The Lord is a present Help in the time of Trouble, Psal. 46. 1. GOODS with me. HE BORE THEM (saith Valerius Maxi­mus) IN HIS BREAST, not to be seen by the Eye, but pri­zed by the Soul, inclosed in the nar­row Dwelling of the Mind, not to be Demolisht by Mortal Hands; WHICH IS ALWAYS PRESENT WITH THOSE WHO STAY, and NEVER DESER­TETH OR FORSA­KETH THOSE THAT FLEE.’

Certainly then, they thought this Divine Principle the greatest Treasure, the surest Companion, the best Comforter and on­ly Sanctuary of the Soul in greatest Extremities, induing it with Piety and Patience, and as what gave that Contentment, which was able to wade through the deepest Calamities.

IV. SOPHOCLES is also of that Number, that* Oedip. Tyr. bears Testimony to Divine Illu­mination.Shall not the Uncir­cumcision that is by Na­ture, if it fulfil the Law, judge thee, who by the [...]etter and Cir­cumcision dost trans­gress the Law. For he is not a Jew that is one Outward, im­plying such as keep the Law is one In­ward, Rom. 2. 27, 28. — And the Word of God (nigh in the Heart) shall abide forever, Isa. 40. 8. God grant (saith he) that I may alwayes be so happy, as [Page 55] to observe that Venerable Sanctity in my Words and Deeds, which is commanded by these NOBLE LAWS (speak­ing of the Laws written in Men's Consciences) which were made in Heaven; GOD IS THEIR FA­THER, NOT MORTAL NA­TURE, neither shall they ever be Forgotten or ABROGATED: for there is in them a Great God, that never waxeth Old.’

‘This is (saith he again) with re­spect to Man's Conscience, a Divine, a Sacred Good, God the Overseer.

Certainly in themselves, very Seraphick Epithites, fraited with strong Faith of a God, and that Way of Inward Dis­covery, he is pleased to make of himself to Mankind. ForClem. Alex. Strom. L. 5. it was he that said, ‘Truly there is but One Onely God, who made the Heavens and the Earth.’

V. It is frequently said of SOCRATES, He had the Plutarch. de Gen. Socr. Guide of his Life Within him (which, it was told his Father Sophroniscus, should be of more Worth to him then 500. Ma­sters) he call'd it, His Good Angel orThere is a Spirit in Man, but the Inspira­tion of the Al­mighty giveth Understanding. Job 32 8. 2 Tim. 2. 22, 25. — For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, are the Chil­dren of God, Rom. 8. 14. Spirit: that it suggested to his Mind, what was Good & Vertuous, inclin'd & dispos'd him to a Strict and Pious Life; that it furnisht him with Divine Knowledge, and very often impuls'd or MOVED HIM TO PREACH (THOUGH IN THE STEETS) TO THE PEOPLE; sometimes, in a way of Severe Reproof; at other times, to Information; and other­wise, gently to diswade them from Intempe­rance, Vanity of Life, particularly, from seeing of Playes, and to exhort them to Repentance, Reformation, and Self-Denyal, in hopes of Im­mortality.

VI. PLATOIn phaed. is not wanting to bring in his Vote, for further Confirmation of our Assertion, on the Behalf of the Gentiles: The Light and Spirit of God, saith he, are [Page 56] as WINGS TO THE God is Light 1 John 1. 5. — In thy Light [...] we see Light, Psalm. 36. 10 — God is not far from every one of us; for in him we live, move and have our [...]e­ing; for we are also his Off­sping, as certain of your own Poets have said, Acts 17. 27, 28. One of whom was Arabus, whom the Apostle quotes as speaking Truth, and imployes it against them, to prove a True God, and to introduce his Gospel; which if it shewed their Apostacy, it also implies, that there had been Heathens, rightly apprehending of God; else surely, the Apostle would never have cited the Po­ets Saying, for a Confirmation of his own Doctrine. SOUL, or as that which rai­seth up the Soul into a Sensible Communion with God above the World, which the Mind of Man is prone to slug or be­mire it self withal.And addsEnead. 1. cap. 1. PLOTIN, a Fa­mous Platonist, God is the very Root or Life of the Soul.Again, Man hath a Divine Principle in him, which ma­keth the true and good Man. And the Platonists in ge­neral, held Three Princi­ples to be in Man; the first, they called, [...], Mind, Intellect, Spirit, or Divine Light. The Second, [...], the Soul of Man. The Third they called, [...], the Soul's Image, which, say they, is her vital Energy upon the Body, and the Fe­minine Faculty of the Soul.

By all which it is evident (though I could more abun­dantly prove from their many Writings) that they be­liev'd and held Divine Illumination and Inspiration, and that such a Principle resided in Man, even the Eternal [...], or Mind; which is to say in proper English, God Him­self, by which alone the Soul could become, what it ought to be to God.

VII. ‘CLEANTHES, the Stoick, alloweth not Mankind to be govern'd of right by the Dictates of their own Nature, which barely renders them Men, but by that Divine, Infinite and Eternal Nature, which is God, uni­versally defus'd or sown through the whole Race of Man, as the most sure and infallible Guide and Rule. To live (saith he) according to this Knowledge and Direction, is truly to live according to Vertue; not doing any thingFor the Lord God is a Sun & a Shield: the Lord will give Grace and Glory: no good Thing will he with­hold from them that trust in him, and walk uprightly, Psal. 84. 11, 12. — For God hath shewed it unto them, Rom. 1. 19. that is forbidden. The Vertue and Happiness of a Man depends upon the close Correspondence of his Mind, with the Divine Will of him, who go­verneth the Universe.

[Page 57]Again, saith the same Cle­anthes, THE KNOW­LEDGE OF GOD IS IMPRINTED UPON THE MINDS OF MEN.

VIII. MENANDER, signifying God to be Good,Clem. Alex. saith, Every Man hath a good Daemon as soon as he is born, Strom. L. 5. an Holy Instructor in govern­ing A Manifestation of the Spi­rit is given unto every one to profit withal, 1 Cor. 12. 7. — One God, and Father of all, who is above all, and through all. — The Lord is Good unto all, Psal. 145. 9. of the Life; as that I may confess him to be an Evil Daemon, who hurts the Life of a Good Man.Then subjoyns he, ‘That a Good God is in all, that God is perfectly Good, and that he is Good in all. Again, on another Occasion saith he, God, who is alwayes near, sees this; for God is not a God afar off.’

IX. PHILO, though a Jew born, yet a very SeriousLeg. Alleg. and Refin'd Philosopher, gives us his Judgment in this Par­ticularL. 1. very positively, and to purpose: How should the Soul of Man (saith he) know God, IF HE DID NOT INSPIRE HER, AND TAKE HOLD OF HER BY HIS DIVINE POWER? The Things of God know­eth no Man save the Spirit of God, 1 Cor. 2. 11. — I will put my Law in their Minds and write them in their In­ward parts; I will be their God, and they shall be my People, Heb. 8. 10, 11.

Again, ‘That the Divine Reason we have from God, is an Infallible Law, not a Mor­tal Rule given, by this or that Mortal; NO LIFELESS PRECEPTS WRITTEN IN PAPERS, OR UPON PILLARS, BUT IM­MORTAL, being ingraven by the Eternal Nature IN THE MINDS OF MEN.’

This is an undeniable Testimony to the Law written in the Heart, as a more Excellent Dispensation, then that which is written in Paper, or engraved on Pillars, But further,

X. Nor is PLUTARCH wanting to the Proof of this Assertion, on the behalf of the Gentiles Divinity, who thus [Page 58] delivers himself, speaking of the Principle of God in the Conscience: ‘It is a Law (saith he) not written in Tables Plut. Dion. Prus. or Books, but dwelling in the Because whatever may be known of God is manifest within; for God hath shew­ed it unto them: but because they liked not to retain God in their Knowledge, God gave them up to vile Affections, Rom. 2. 19, 26, 28. Mind, ALWAYS AS A LIVING RULE, which never permits the Soul to be de­stitute of an interiour Cuide. Again, ‘To debase this An­cient Faith of Mankind, and Natural Belief, which is plan­ted in all Reasonable Souls, is to Overthrow the Strong and Everlasting Foundation of Vertue.

Doubtless very Peremptory, Zealous and Sensible, doth Plutarch show himself on the behalf of an Internal, Divine Principle.

XI. But be pleased to hear what * EPICTETUSDis. lib. 1. cap. 14. says in this Matter, whose Vertue was admirable in its time, and whose Memory is preserv'd in great Respect among many, who would think themselves much wrong'd, if they should not be accounted Christians. When you have shut your Gates (saith he) and made it all Dark Within; that is to say, are retired to yourO Lord, thou hast searched me, thou understandest my Thoughts afar off. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit, Psal. 139. 1, 2, 7. own Dwelling, as alone, do not say that you are alone, for you are not alone, but GOD IS WITHIN: What need then is there of outward Light, to discover what is done, or to light to good Actions, who have God or that Ge­nius, or Divine Principle for your Light, as the following words do further import.’

But above all the Gentiles that have been mention'd, I mean in Point of plain and Positive Expression (for I will prefer the Life of none before that Self-denying Martyr So­crates) let us hear with great Attention, what kind of Lecture SENEC A will read us upon the Subject handled; truly something very weighty.

XII. ‘The Multitude (saith SENECA) is the worst Argument; Let us inquire what is best to be done, not what most usually is done, and that may settle us in the Possession of Everlasting Happiness; not what is allotted by the Vulgar, the worst Interpreters of Truth; [Page 59] I have (saith he) a clearer and more certain Light, by which I may judge the Truth fromWe have a more Sure Word of Prophesie, 2 Pet. 19. — The Lord hath shew­edun to thee, O Man, what is Good, and what he doth require of thee, Micah 6. 8. — In him we Live, Move, and have our Being, Acts 17. 28. — Such as Men Sow, such shall they Reap, Gal. 6. 7. — That was the true Light, which Inlight­neth all Mankind, John 1. 9. Falshood, that which apper­tains to the Felicity of the Soul, the Eternal Mind will direct to; that was the Light doubtless Seneca meant — Senec. Epist. 41. Again, It is a foolish thing for thee to wish what by thee cannot be obtained. God is near thee, and HE IS IN THEE. The Holy Spirit SITS OR RESIDES WITHIN US; the Observer of our Good and Evil Actions; as he is dealt with by us, HE DEALS WITH US — But yet further, we have this great Gift, saith Sene [...], De Benef. c. 17. That Vertue (meaning the Principle, or God) hath sent her Light before into the Minds of all; for even they that follow her not, SEE HER.’ Where observe, Reader, how he con­fesseth to the Universality of the Light; yet lays the Fault of Rebellion against it, not (as T. Hicks doth) upon the Light, but such as refuse to follow it; implying their volun­tary Rejection of its Heavenly Discoveries. — [...] [...] Again, ‘Wonderest thou that Men goBehold, the Tabernacle of God is with Men, Rev 21. 3. — He that d [...]clareth [...] Man his Thoughts, the Lord, the God of Hosts is hi [...] Name. Amos 4. 13. — W [...]ite ye have the Light walk in the Light, that you may be the Children of the Light. God is Light, John 12. 26. 1 John 1. 5. to God? God comes UNTO Men; nay, which is more near, he cometh INTO MAN; and he makes the Heart of every good Man his Habitation. —’ Yet again hear him; [...]pist 8. ‘No­thing is closed from God, he is within our Souls, and he Cometh INTO THE MIDST OF OUR THOUGHTS. — And lastly,Epist. 31. Every Man (saith he) has God indued with that, which if he forsake it not, HE SHALL ARISE LIKE GOD.’

How much more weighty, O Sober and Impartial Reader, are these inward Doctrines of the Vertuous Gentiles, then the Ve­hement Clamours, and Uncharitable Exclamations of Emp­ty Christians against them. Men, that seem as if they were a [...]raid of nothing more, then inherent Holiness, though [Page 60] of Christ's working; reputing it a kind of Undervalue of his Blood, to feel the Only (I mean the Inward) Benefit of it: accounting us the greatest Hereticks, for assenting to the greatest Truth; to wit, The Sufficiency of his Universal Light in the Hearts of Men to Salvation; challenging us to prove it by Scripture, or any Credible History; objecting the Hea­thens Ignorance and Idolatry against the Truth of its Discoveries and Efficacy of its Power. If we had not desended the Light's Sufficiency from these Authorities, then our Assertion had been declared infirm; with no small Shew of Triumph and In­sult; and now we have made good our Ground against their Objections, the next News I expect to hear from such as are Perverse among them, will be our Heathening, [...]r turning Heathens. But as all they could do, would not make us Christians, if Heathens; so neither can their Prejudice (being True-Spirited Christians) render us in their Sense Heathens with Sober and Impartial Persons.

CHAP. XII.

That this was not only the Doctrine and Faith of the Gentiles, but the very Primitive Doctors or Fathers, both so held and so exprest them­selves. Eight Testimonies produced for Proof thereof.

BUt as I have hitherto made evidently appear, both that the Gentiles Believed in One God, and had a very clear Apprehension of the Light, or Divine Principle placed in Man, from whom all Heavenly Knowledge was to be de­rived; and that this Divine Light, or Spirit, or Principle was by them asserted to be the most certain Guide, and infallible Rule of Faith and Practice: And further, that the Scriptures pro­duced abundantly verifie their Doctrines, as that due Comparison of them will evidence; so to the End these angry Men I have to do with, should not count it a Prophaning of holy Writ; or think that I am the only Man, that ever had that favourable Apprehension of these Gentile-Doctrines; I am willing to instance some of the most Primitive and Approved Fathers of the Christian-Church. And by a short view of what they believed in reference to the present Sub­ject, with their way of phraising such Belief, we may the more clearly perceive, how far those Gentiles are by them [Page 61] Reprehensible, either with respect to their Soundness in Judgement, or Expression; that if it be possible, we may remove all Pretence for Objection against the Universality and Sufficiency of this Blessed Light.

I. JUSTINUS MARTYR, whom* If Angry Tho. Hicks will please to inform himself of the Reasons that induced Justin to turn Christian, he will find the Light Within acknow­ledged to be the Efficient Cause thereof; for it was the Principle of God in his Conscience that continually plea­ded the Christians Cause within him, and who at last overcoming. Ju­stin Believes in Christ, and Dyes for him too. Now what Disgrace is this to the Light Within? Liv'd after Christ Ann. 123. 1543. years since. I therefore chuse to begin with, because from a Learned Philosopher, becoming an Honest Christian, and Constant Martyr (from whence he was sirnamed, Martyr) he could the better tell us the Diffe­rence of the Change: But so far was he from reputing the Principle of God with­in Men Hetrodox, or Inconsistent with the Purity of the Christian Religion, that with no small Earnestness, he therefore pleads against all Coercive Power upon Conscience, and the Pompous Worship of the Heathens, in their Temples (as his Apologies will inform us) because saith he, ‘GOD HATH BUILT TOApolog. HIMSELF A NATURAL TEM­PLE IN THE CONSCIENCES OF MEN, as the Place wherein he would be Worshipped; and that there Men ought to look for his Appearance, and Reverence and Worship him’; or to that purpose.

II. To this doth CLEMENS ALEXANDRINUS,Liv'd after Christ 190. that Earnest Contender against the Apostate Gentiles, plain­ly assent, who often, but more particularly in these few Places following, recommends to us the Light, or Word Within. ‘It is the Voice of Truth (saith he) that Light will shine out of Darkness. Therefore doth it shine in the hid­den Admon. ad Gent. Part of Mankind, that is, in the Heart; and the Rayes of Knowledge break forth, making manifest, and shining upon the inward Man, which is hidden. — Christ's Intimates and Coheirs, are the Disciples of the Light,

He further expresseth himself in another Place; Man cannot be void of Divine Knowledge, who Naturally, or as Strom. L. 5. he comes into the World, partaketh of Divine Inspiration; as [Page 62] being of a more Pure Essence, or Nature, then any o­ther Animals.’

And as assenting to the Doctrine of some Ancient Phi­losophers and other Heathen Authors (for against the Gentiles of his time, I suppose, he may make use of no less then about Two Hundred and Fifty) he doth very frequently attest, the Truth of the Doctrine of the Divine Light in Man, as Man's Concomitant, to all good Works; as one Passage eminently proves. ‘I earnestly exhort thee, because I would have thee saved, and that would Christ also, who Clem. Alex. in Admon. ad Gent. offers thee Life in one Word: But thou mayst say, What is it? IT IS THE WORD OF TRUTH, THE INCOR­RUPTIBLE WORD, WHICH REGENERATES MANKIND, AND LEADS HIM AGAIN TO TRUTH; the Spur that pricketh on to Salvation, who expel­leth the Destruction, chaseth away Death, and hath BUILT A TEMPLE IN MANKIND, THAT IT MAY PLACE GOD IN MAN.’

I know not any of the Ancients more profoundly read in the Doctrines of the Gentiles, then this Clemens Alexan­drinus; and who to prove the Verity of the Christian-Reli­gion against them, doth numerously cite, and insert the Writings of the more Venerable Heathens, and with the ve­ry Books of their Admired Ancestors, doth he accutely ar­gue the Unreasonableness of their Opposition to Christiani­ty, the very top of Vertue, and Perfection of Goodness; as did Christ, to prove himself the True Messiah, urge the Scrip­tures to those (pretended) great Believers in them, as an Aggravation of their Incredulity.

III. TERTULLIAN, then whom there was not any I ever read more sharp against the Dissolute Gentiles of hisLiv'd Ann. 195. time (as his most quaint Apology for the Christians, and in it his severe Charge against their Enemies doth particu­larly assure us) thinks it to be neither Heresie nor Heathenism, as it is commonly understood, to believe and assert, That a Life, subject to the Holy Guidings of the Universal Light in the Conscience, is a kind of Natural Christianity, or, to be Naturally a Christian.

And though in his Apology he stabs, with the sharpest Points of Wit, Reason and Truth, the Cause of Degenerated Philosophy, or rather those that were unmeritedly called Phi­losophers; [Page 63] yet he lays it still on the side of their great Aposta­cy from that Noble Principle, which worthily Renowned their Predecessors; the Being of whose Stock, and Assuming whose Titles alone, they Vainly esteem'd Warrant enough, for their so great Pretensions to Real Science; not unlike the Pharisees of the Jews, as hath already been observed.

IV. ORIGEN, who I may say was twice a Christian; Liv'd about Ann. 203. first, by Education, and next, by Choyce; a strong Defen­der of Christianity, as his notable Books against Celsus and others, do abundantly witness; treating of that Divine Light, with which God has illuminated Mankind, as his Universal Endowment, calls it, AN IMMUTABLE LAW, WHICH WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, IS ENGRAVEN UP­ON THE HEART, AND GRAFTED INTO THE SOUL OF MAN.

V. LACTANTIUS, Scholar to Arnobius, who writLiv'd about Ann. 315. smartly against the Apostate Gentiles, esteemed a good and acute Man, thus delivers himself about the Matter in hand:De Cult. Ver. THE LAW OF GOD (saith he) is made known un­to us, WHOSE LIGHT, like the STARS TO THE MARINER in the Night Season, clearly discovers to us THE PATH OF WISDOM: That Law is Pure and Unspotted Reason (not inconsonant with, nor unintel­ligible by Nature) DEFUSED THROUGH ALL THE WORLD; in it self UNCHANGEABLE and ETERNAL; which, that it may deter Man from Vice, doth faithfully by its INJUNCTIONS and PROHIBITIONS, DECLARE UNTO MAN HISLib. de Ira cap. 2. DUTY. — Again, The Way to ascend up to the House of Truth, IS TO BEHOLD WITHIN US, THAT THERE IS ONE MOST HIGH GOD, who made, and governs all things; that Christ is God's Ambassadour and Builder, sent unto Men, and as they re­ceive him INTO THEIR HEARTS, HE BUILD­ETH A DIVINE AND IMMORTAL TEM­PLE IN THEM.

VI. But let us deliberately read, what the so muchLiv'd about Ann. 325. admired ATHANASIUS says to the Gentiles, who did fre­quently [Page 64] cast out that (Vulgar) Objection to the Christians; How know you that yours is the Right Way?

‘The Way, whereby to attain to the Knowledge of God, IS WITHIN US, which is proved from Moses; Athanas. cont. Gent. who saith, THE WORD OF GOD IS WITHIN THY HEART; and from this Saying of Christ, THE FAITH AND KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU. If then, says Athanasius, the KINGDGM OF GOD BE WITHIN US, likewise are we able to under­stand the WORD or VOICE OF THE FATHER.’

Which Solid, Ancient and Great Truth, could not but highly aggravate the Blame of such, as were Infidel to it; because it was but the Doctrine of their Fam'd Philosophers more clearly and Scripturally exprest; as it doth abundant­ly testifie to us, upon which Ground it was, the Primitive Christians believed, and practised their Religion. Not Tra­dition, however Holy; but Sound Internal Conviction and Re­velation; from no Words Without, BUT THE ETER­NAL WORD OF GOD IN THE HEART; the great Discoverer of the Will and Way of God to Men: He that knows this Word or Divine Principle to raign in his Heart, knoweth the Kingdom of God come there, and his Will done, even the Sanctification of the Soul.

VII. CHRYSOSTOME also, is not wanting to a­scribeLiv'd about Ann. 3 80. some Honour to this Holy Light, we contend for; who not only confesseth the Light mention'd in the first of John, to be Christ, the Word-God, who inlightneth all Man­kind coming into the World, but also avers it to be of a Sa­ving Nature unto all who believe in it, and follow it; where­fore, saith he, Let none blame the Light they are not Saved, but their own Rebellion, who refuse to be saved by it. This he very solemnly calls, ‘A TEACHER OR INSTRUC­TOR, DWELLING IN MAN's NATURE, or that no Man is without a Teacher, to Instruct, Inspire, Help and As­sist him in what leads to Eternal Life’

I will conclude these Christian Testimonies with a Passage out of AUGUSTINE, not unsuitable to the Business in hand.

VIII. AUGUSTINE, in his Discourse on John, hasLiv'd about Ann. 393. this very notable Passage, viz. ‘THAT GOD IS PROPERLY KING OF MINDS OR SOULS, be­cause [Page 65] when he is receiv'd in, he governeth by his Divine Power and Spirit in the Heart; therefore is not his King­dom after the Manner of this, World, BUT WITHIN; and much to this purpose.’

Again he Distinguisheth upon the Word REASON; There is a Superior and Inferior Reason, saith he, the Infe­rior is a meer Rational Creature, or that Understanding which distinguisheth a Man from a Beast; but the Supe­rior Reason is a LIGHT, or, as it were, a POWER in Mankind, DICTATING, REVEALING and IN­JOYNING DIVINE, ETERNAL and INTIRE­LY GOOD THINGS, as for Example, when it shall say, This is Sin, thou oughtest no to commit, but AVOID it; Why? Because it offends God.

Thus far of Primitive Christian-Divinity, from about 132. years after Christ, to about 400. years after Christ; by way of Confirmation, of that Part of the Gentile-Di­vinity, which might with least Credit be imbraced; for to cite never so many Primitive Christian Authors, to prove a God, Holy Life, and the Immortality of the Soul, the other Points of Gentile-Divinity would look like Labour in vain, since none that believes them to have been Christians, ought to doubt of their holding these very things, which in a great mea­sure character'd them such; but that which is (though it should not be) the Wonder, is, to quote them in the Language of the so much, yet so undeservedly decri'd and abu­sed Quakers, viz. That not only the best Gentiles, but most approved Christians of the Primitive Times, Confess to a Di­vine Light, Principle, Word or Spirit in Man, whose Inspiration gives infallible Understanding, and as Man is guided by it, he shall be Recovered out of that Mire, Sin has stuck him in, and it will Free him from the Snares of Pleasures, Inlighten his Eyes, In­spire his Soul, and Lead him gently by the hand in the Way of E­ternal Righteousness; whose Reward from God will be Immor­tality and Eternal Life.

CHAP. XII.

The Third Part of the Gentile-Divinity, viz. That they were Men of Vertuous Lives, and taught the Indispensibleness thereof to Life Eternal. Prov'd by Numerous Instances.

IT may be now time, that I dispatch the other two Parts of the Gentile-Divinity, which I shall endea­vour with all convenient Brevity.

There are many Instances of their Pious Doctrine, and singular Examples of their Vertue; I will instance in a few, to convince, if I can, such as scarcely believe any Good of them, (and the rather (I fear) that they may not charge the Bad upon the Light) that their Doctrines and Practice, with respect to Good Living, were, and are very Commenda­ble and Approveable of all Good Christians.

I. PITTACUS Mitilenaeus, one of the Seven WiseLiv'd about the Year of the World, 3313. be­fore Christ, about 630. years which is 2330. years since. Men of Greece, as they were called, his Apophthegms were these:

‘What thou tak'st Ill in thy Neigh­bonr,Thou therefore which teachest an­other, teachest thou not thy self? Rom. 2. 21. Love thy Neighbour as thy self, I am the Lord, Levit. 19. 18. Finally Bre­thren, whatsoever things are True, whatsoever things are Honest, Just, Pure, Lovely, and of Good Report, think on these things, Phil. 4. 8. DO NOT THY SELF. — Re­proach not the Unhappy; for the Hand of GOD is on them. — Restore what is committed to thy Trust. — BearStob. 28. with thy Neighbour. — LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR. — Reproach notThat's more then Tho. Hicks seems to do. thy Friend, though he recede from thee a little. — Acquire Honesty; Seek Obsequiousness; Love Discipline, Temperance, Prudence, TRUTH, FAITH, Experience, Dexterity, Society, Diligence, Oeconomy and PIETY.’

II. CHILON, another of them, he was so Just in allLiv'd at the same time. his Actions, that in his old Age he professed, He never had done any thing contrary to the Conscience of an Upright Man, Laert. only that of one thing he was doubtful; Having given [Page 67] Sentence against his Friend, according to Law, he ad­vised his Friend to Appeal from him (his Judge) so to preserve both his Friend and the Law. Agellius relates itLib. 1. c. 3. thus; When his Lise drew towards an End, ready to be seized by Death, he spoke thus to his Friends about him: My Words and Actions in this Long Term of Years have been (almost all) such, as I need not Repent of, which perhaps you also know; TRULY, EVEN AT THIS TIME I AM CERTAIN, I NEVER COMMIT­TED ANY THING, THE REMEMBRANCE WHEREOF BEGETS ANY TROUBLE IN ME, unless this one thing only, which, whether it were done a­miss or not, I am uncertain: I sate with two others, as Judge upon the Life of my Friend; the Law was such, as the Per­son must of necessity be condemned, so that either my Friend must lose his Life, or some Deceit be used towards the Law; revolving many things in my Mind, for a Relief of a Con­dition so desperate, I conceived, that which I put in Pra­ctice, to be of all other the most easie to be born: Si­lently I Condemned him, and perswaded these others who judg­ed to Absolve him: Thus preserved (in so great a Business) the Duty both of a Judge and Friend; but from the Act I receive thisReader, this Refle­ction was not with­out Light, nor this Man void of a very Tender Conscience. Trouble,The Gentiles, who had not a Law, became a Law unto them­selves, doing the Things con­tained in the Law; their Con­sciences bearing Witness, and their Thoughts the mean while Accusing or Excusing, Rom. 2. 14, 15. that I fear it is not free from Perfidiousness and Guilt; in the same Business, at the same time, and in a pub­lique Affair, to PER­SIVADE OTHERS, CONTRARY TO WHAT WAS IN MY OWN JUDGEMENT BEST.

Of his Apophtegms, or Sayings, these few are delive­red to us by Laertius. He said, Providence of Future Things collected by Reason, is To Depart from Iniquity is a good Understanding, Job 28. 28. the Vertue of a Man. Being demanded, wherein the Learned differ from the Un­learned? And the Hypocrites Hope shall Perish, Job 8. 13. he answered, In a Good Hope. What is hard?Why do you not rather take Wrong? 1 Cor. 6. 7. To conceal Secrets, to dispose of Leisure well, and be able to bear an INJURY; therefore said Chilon to his Brother, [Page 68] I CAN BEAR INJURIES, THOU CANST NOT; nor Tho. Hicks, I am sure, sor he is Angry where he sustains none; HIS WATER HAS NOT WASHT HIM SO CLEAN, AS THE LIGHT DID CHILON.

III. The Precepts of the Seven Sophists of Greece, in general; THALES, SOLON, PERIANDER, CLEO­BULUS, CHILON, BIAS, and PITTACUS (called seven Wise Men) collected by Sosiades, about 2300. years old.

FOLLOW GOD; Obey the Law; WORSHIP Stob. 28. GOD; Reverence thy Parents, Suffer for Justice; Know thy self; Consider MortalReader, these weighty Say­ings are very Scripture it self, and that as well of the New, as Old Testament (so called) especially where Christ saith, SWEAR NOT AT ALL: though spoke about 700 years before he came into the World. things; Respect Hospitali­ty; Command thy self; Ho­nour Providence; USE NOT SWEARING; Speak well of that which is Good;As Tho. Hicks, John Bunion, J. Grigg, and other Rail­ing [...]epara­tists do the Quakers. Dis­parage none; Praise Vertue; Do what is Just; Abstain from Evil; Instruct thy Children; Fear Deceit; Be a Lover of Wisdom; Judge according to Equity; Curb thy Which T. Hicks can't do, neither to his Wife, & Family at home, nor his Friends, much less o­ther People abroad Tongue; Examine without Corruption; Do that whereof thou shalt not Repent; When thou hast sin'd, be Penitent; Confine thy Eye; Perfect quickly; Pursue what is profitable; Be in Childhood Modest, in Youth Temperate, in Manhood Just, and in old Age Pru­dent; THAT THOU MAYST DYE UNTROU­BLED.

Thus far the Wise Men, which were therefore so call'd, because of their Extraordinary Vertue, and truly deserved the Name of Christian, and Vertuous, more abundantly then they, who have it.

IV. PYTHAGORAS very truly tells us, The Dis­course Stob. Serm. 80. of that Philosopher is Vain, by which no Passion of a Man is Healed. What serves the much Preaching of T. H. J. G. and J. B. then, who have not yet Cured them­selves?

‘All which is determin'd to be done, should aim at, and Jamblich. tend to the Acknowledgment of the Deity.

Endeavour not to Conceal thy Faults with Words, but to Amend them by Reproof.

[Page 69] ‘This is the Principle, (saith Pythagoras) and the whole Life of Men consists in this, THAT THEY Let us hear the Conclusion of the whole Matter: Fear God, and keep his Commandments; for this is the whole Duty of Man, Eccles. 12. 13. FOLLOW GOD, and this is the Ground of Right Philosophy.

Purity is acquir'd by Ex­piations, and by Refrain­ingPure Religion and Undefiled is, to keep himself Unspotted from the World, Jam. 1. 27. from Murder and A­dultery, and ALL POL­LUTION.

‘We ought either to be Silent, or to speak things that are better then Silence. In this sense I fear, we may say, that Thomas Hicks has no Light in him.

Temperance is the Strength of the Soul; for it is the Light of the Soul, clear from Passion.

‘It is better to Dye, then to cloud the Soul by INTEM­PERANCE.

[...]ythagoras returns not Re­proaches Who when he was Reviled, Reviled not again, 1 Pet. 2. 23. for Reproaches. Tho. Hicks and John Bunion Re­proach, when they are not Reproached. Behold the Diffe­rence betwixt an Heathen, and two Scolding Christians, but therefore no True Christians.

V. ANAXAGORAS held, ‘That CONTEM­PLATION Laert. OF GOD was the End of Li [...]e, and that Liberty, which proceeds from such Heavenly Meditation

To one who blam'd him for neglecting his Country;

WRONG ME NOT (said he) MY GREATEST CARE IS MY COUNTRY; pointing to Heaven.’

Suidas saith,

‘That he was cast into Prison by the Atheni­ans, for Introducing a New Opinion concerning God, and Banisht the City,’

though Pericles undertook to plead his Cause. Josephus saith,

‘That the Athenians believing the Sun to be God, which he affirm'd to be without Sense and Knowledge, he was by the Votes of a Few of them condemn'd to Death.

However thus they writ upon his Grave, as Englisht by T. Stanley.

Here lies, who through the truest Pathes did pass O'th World Celestial, ANAXAGORAS.’

Which was an high Testimony to his Good Life, and their Belief of his arriving at Immortality

[Page 70]VI. SOCRATES, Right Philosophy is the Way toPlat. Phaed. True Happiness; the Offices where­ofThe Fear of the Lord is the Begin­ning of Wisdom, Psalm. 111. 10. are two, To Contemplate God, and to Abstract the Soul from Corporeal Sense.

‘To do Good is the best Course ofHe that will deny himself, let him take up his Cross, and follow me, Luk. 9. 23. Xen. Mem. 3. p. 780. Life.’

Vertue is the Beauty, Vice the Defor­mity Clem. Alex. Strom. L. 5. of the Soul.

‘Nobility is a good Temper of SoulStob. 218. Reader, These sen­tentious Expressions to have every one of them a Scripture, would be tedious and superfluous; for they are almost Word for Word Scripture it self, as who knoweth Scrip­ture may plainly see. and Body.’

The Best Way of Worshipping God is to Xen. Mem. 4. p. 803. Do what he Commands. An hard Say­ing to Professors.

Our Prayers should be for BlessingsId. Mem. 1. 722. 4. 804. in general; for God knows best what is good for Us. GOD CONSI­DERS INTEGRITY, NOT MUNIFICENCE. This judg­eth Formal Christians, with their Exte­rior Worship.

‘The Office of a Wise Man is, to discern what is Good Id. Mem. 3. and Honest, and to shun that which is Dishonest.

‘They who know what they oughtSo saith Christ, Mat. 7. 2. 62. 7. Ibid. to do, and do it not, are not Wise and Temperate, but Fools and stupid.

‘Of all things which Man can call his,Apolog. Libanius saith, Socrates considered the SOUL to be Chief; and that HE ONLY IS TRULYThe Pure in Heart shall see God, Mat. 5. 8. HAPPY WHO PURIFI­ETH THAT FROM VICE.’

He taught every where, That a Just Man and a Happy Clem. Alex. Str. 2. 417. Man were all one.

He said, ‘He wondred at those who carve Images ofLaert. Stone, that they take such Care to make Stones resemble Men, whilst they neglect, and suffer themselves to resemble Stones. He meant, they had Stony Hearts, as the Prophet expres­seth it.

Being demanded, who live without Perturbation? he an­swer'd,Stob. 46. ‘THEY WHO AREThe Fruit of the Spirit is Peace, Gal. 5. 22. Acts 24. 16. CONSCIOUS TO THEM­SELVES OF NO EVIL THING.’

[Page 71]Being demanded, whom he thought Richest? he answer'd, Stob. 40. ‘HE WHO IS CONTEN­TEDBut Godliness, with Content, is great Gain, 1 Tim. 6. 6. WITH LEAST; for Content is the Riches of Na­ture.’

Being demanded, what CONTINENCE is? he an­swer'd,Stob. 48. ‘GOVERNMENT OF CORPORAL PLEASURES.’

‘Good Men must let the World see, THATStob. 114. THEIR MANNERSThis answers T. Hicks's Challenge about the Light's showing that State, if Christ had not said so. ARE MORE FIRM THEN AN OATH.’ Then there is a State of Integri­ty above Swearing, that by the Light Socrates had, he preferred before Swearing, as I may again observe. But to proceed, let us hear the Charge of his Enemies, and his Defence.

Melitus, Son of Melitus, a Pythian, accused Socra­tes, Son of Sophroniscus, an Alopecian: Socrates viola­teth the Law, not believing the Acities which this City be­lieveth; BUT INTRODUCING ANOTHER GOD. HE VIOLATES THE LAW LIKE­WISE IN CORRUPTING YOUTH; THE PUNISHMENT, DEATH.

The Charge is the same to this day; Good Men are made Offenders for a Word.

Soon after Anytus (who caused that Bill to be prefer­redLiban. Ap: p. 644. by Melitus, in that Socrates industriously assay'd his Over­throw, and the Rest of his Comical Associates; for theyNothing they could do was able to draw him out of his Endea­vours to detect the loose Co­medians, that sought therefore his Ruin. were Comedians) sent privately to him, desiring him to forbear the mention of his Trade; and assuring him, that he would thereupon withdraw his Action. But Socrates return'd him An­swer, THAT HE WOULD NEVER FORBEAR SPEAKING TRUTH SO LONG AS HE LI­VED; That he would alwayes use the same Speeches concerning him; That this Accusation was not of Force enough, to make him refrain from speaking those things, which he thought himself before oblieg'd to say. Again observe his Resolution.

‘It is likely, God in his Love to me, hath ordain'd, that I should Dye in the most convenient Age, and by the Gentlest Means; for, if I dye by Sentence, I am allowed the Benefit of the most easie kind of Death; I shall give my [Page 72] Friends the least Trouble: Further, If, when I give an Account of my Actions towards God and Men, the Judges think fit to condemn me, I will rather chuse to Dye, then to beg of them a Life worse then Death.

‘Yet that I dye unjustly, it will not trouble1 Pet. 3. 14. me, it is not a Reproach to me, but to those who condemned me; I am much satisfied with the Example of Palamedes, who suffered Death in the like manner; He is much more commended, then Ulysses the Procurer of his Death: I know, both future and past Times will wit­ness, I NEVER HURT OR INJUR'D ANY, but on the contrary have Advantag'd all that conversed with me to my utmost Ability, communicating what Good I could gratis, and not for Gain.

‘I think it most Unbeseeming a Philosopher to Sell his Advice, and extreamly contrary to my Practice; sor ever since by God's Command, I first enter'd into The word Philo­sophy hath been other­wise appro­priated since those days, as ma­ny other words have been; for it then sig­nified a Love of Wisdom given by Pythagoras, which Wis­dom was the Way of Holy Li­ving, not Vain and Untoward Contests a­bout Inpra­cticable Things. Philoso­phy, I was never known to take any thing, but keep my Exercises in publick, for every one to hear that will; I neither Lock the Door when I Teach, nor go abroad to the Multitude, and exact Money of the Hearers, as some heretosore have done, and some in our times yet do.’

Was not Socrates then beyond the Priests of our Day, I mean as well some Creeping Non- Conformists, as any other, who make a Trade of it, and indeed it is their best. The Righteousness of this Heathen condemns their Mercena­ry Practice, who pretend to be Christian-Ministers; and gi­veth Proof of an higher State, then they have yet at­tained.

VII. ANTISTHENES, Institutor of the Cynicks, Laert. & Suid. in vit. Antish. as they were called, and Scholar to Socrates, taught, ‘That Vertue was the truest Nobility, Ye are an Holy Nation, a Royal Priesthood, 1 Pet. 2. 9. — And you shall be Kings, and Raign, &c. Rev. 1. 6. — Blessed are they who hear the Word of God, and keep it, Luke 11. 28. — Where is the Wise? where is the Scribe? where is the Disputer of this World? 1 Cor. 1. 20. that PIETY WAS A­LONE NEEDFULL TO LASTING HAP­PINESS. — That true Ver­tue stood not in Saying, but Do­ing that which was Good. — Not in much Learning, or many Words, but upright Actions. In short, that the Principle of Vertue is sufficient to what Wis­dom [Page 73] is needful, and that all other things ought to have reference thereto. That PIETY ISPut on the Brest - Plate of Righte­ousness, Eph. 6 14. THE BEST ARMOUR, and Ver­tuous Persons are alwayes Friends. That Vertue is an Armour, none can either pierce, or take from Good Men. He prefers a Just Man before his Neighbour, and good Women's Souls the same Priviledge to Vertue, with Men's. He accoun­ted Pleasures one of the greatest Mischiefs in the World; and being ask'd, what LEARNING was best? he answer'd, That which Unlearns Men Evil; for those, saith he, who Stob. would Live forever, mustThe Just shall live by Faith, Hab. 24. — Without Holiness no man shall see the Lord, Heb. 12. 14. have a Care that their Lives be Holy and Just in this World.’

IX. From DIOGENES, his constant Scholar and Friend, take this one very true and notable Saying. Of Spiritual Exercitation Laertius makes him speak to this purpose, in his Account of his Doctrine: That where Men's Souls are deeply and frequently employ'd in that Spiri­tual Retirement, and waiting for Di­vine They that wait up­on the Lord shall re­new their Strength, Isa. 40. 31. — The Se­crets of the Lord are with them that fear him, Psal. 25. 14. Strength; and are often exerci­sed in Meditation upon the Eternal Mind; HOLY REVELATIONS OR ILLUMI­NATIONS WILL OC­CUR, WHICH ENLIGH­TEN THE SOUL, AND ENABLE IT, THE BETTER TO LIVE, AND ACT VERTUOUSLY.’

X. ‘Nay, so greatly were the Piety and Wisdom ofValer. Max. 2. 10. XENOCRATES reverenc'd at Athens, about FourCic. pro Bal. Laert. Hundred Years besore Swear not at all, was spo­kenMat. 5. 34. by our Lord Jesus, that the Judges of that Place would not offer to put Xenocrates upon his Oath in an high Matter of Evidence, in case he would have Sworn; because they thought it an Affront to his Inte­grity, that his bare Word should not be prefer'd before all the Oaths of other Men; Dispensing, says Valerius Maximus, with that to him, they would not have Excused in one another. Which is no small Proof, that the LIGHT among the [Page 74] Heathens, impeacht Oaths in Evidence of Imperfection, as being but only Supplemental, or in the Place of Remedies, against want of Honesty; and obviously esteem'd it an higher, and more noble State, to arrive at the Integrity, which needs not the extraordinary and a frighting Obligation of an Oath, where meer Fear of the Curse, intail'd upon Perju­ry, and not an innate Faithfulness, most commonly extorts true Evidence; which is a sufficient Answer to T. H. how, and by what LIGHT we could have aim'd at that Perfection, or have known that Doctrine, had not the Scrip­tures been.

XI. ‘The Chief Good therefore, said ZENO, is to Cic. de Fin. 2. square our Lives according to the Knowledge given Rom. 2. 14, 15. us from the Eternal Being, when the Soul, entring into the Path of Vertue, walketh by the Steps and Guidance of right Reason, and followeth God.’ Which brings to my Remembrance these Stoical Maxims deliver'd by Laertius, Cicero, Quintilian, &c. and colle­cted by T. S. for us; charg'd upon Zeno, and his Disci­ples: some of which I had formerly an Occasion to menti­on in another Discourse. They are these:

‘A Wise Man is void of Passion.’ (Remember T. H. Laert. and J. B. unless you will renounce Patience, because an Heathen preferrs it) — ‘A Wise Man is Sincere. — A WiseIbid. Man is Divine; for he hath GodStob. with himself: but a Wicked Man The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom, Job 28. 28. is an Atheist — The Wicked are contrary to the Good; God, heLaert. The Rulers take Coun­sel together against the Lord, Psal. 2. 2. is Good, so against God. — AStob. Wise Man is Religious, he is Humble, He only is a Priest.The Wisdom which is from above, is first Pure, then Peaceable, Jam. 3. 17. He only is a Prophet.He Loves Laert. and Honours his Parents. — A Wise Man only is Free. — A Wise Man is void of Sin.

Upon which I query, whether this amounts not to as much as what the Scriptures teach, and these here inserted tell you; That the Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom, and to depart from Iniquity a Good Understanding?

But further, to the same Purpose; ‘A Wise ManId. is Innocent. — A Wise Man is Free; WickedPsal. 111. 9, 10. Men are Slaves. — Again, A Wise Man isCic. Parad. [Page 75] only Perfect; for he wanteth no Vertue; a WickedStob. Man is Imperfect, for he hath no Vertue.’

Whereby it is evident, that the Wisdom they meant was Vertue, in Opposition to Vice, which they esteemed Folly, as doth the Scripture frequently; as much as to say, those who are thus Good, are only Wise.

Again, A Wise Man never Lyeth. — A Wise Man is Id. Peaceable, Meek, Modest, Diligent, Vertuous, Constant, and only is Incitable to Vertue; Fools are not.’

Where it is obvious, that by Fools they meant Wicked and Indocible People, who are Stiff-necked, Rebelling against God, not delighting to retain God in their Know­ledge.

XII. PLATO thus, To be like God, is to be HO­LY,Theatr. cap. 3. 10. JUST and WISE,Be ye Holy, for I the Lord your God am Ho­ly, Levit. 11. 44, 45. which is the End of Man's being born, and should be of his studying Philosophy; that Vertue and Honesty are all one; as saith Clemens Alexandrinus out of him.’

This, Reader, was the Doctrine; this the Study; and which is best of all, this was the Practice of many of the Ver­tuous Heathens; who became a Law unto themselves, bounding their Appetites, whether Corporal or Mental, within the approved Limits of an Inward Holy Guide, like Careful Mariners, steering the Course of their Lives by the Direction of that Heavenly Star, which in the Gentile-Night rise in their Consciences, to guide them unto a Blessed Immortality; which will be the Last Point of their Divinity, and then we close this Discourse with respect to them.

CHAP. XIV.

That the Last Point of Gentile-Divinity, to wit, Immortality and Eternal Rewards, is also very clearly and positively held forth by the Ancient Heathens. Six Testimonies from them, to prove it. Socrates's Great Faith in particular; and the Lofty Strain of the Pythagoreans.

THat the Gentiles believed there was an IMMOR­TALITY, and that all Men should hereafter be Ac­countable for the Deeds done in the Body (a Point, but obscurely lay'd down, among the Jews themselves) be plea­sed to take these few insuing Authorities, as a Proof of what is asserted.

I. PYTHAGORAS, and the Pythagoreans, that they all held the Immortality of the Soul. Consider his and their Doctrine in the Point.

First, he said, That the Soul is Immortal. Plut. plac. 4. 7.

‘Next, That the Soul is Incorruptible, it never Dyeth; Stob. Phys. for when it goes out of the Body, it goes into Rev. 20. 12, 13, 14. Chap. 21. 7, 8. the other World, THE PURE TO GOD, THE IMPURE BOUND BY FURIES IN INDISSOL­VABLE CHAINS.’

Here IMMORTALITY and REWARDS are asserted.

‘But when a Man, who has lived Justly, dyeth, hisPlat. phaed. Soul ASCENDETH TO THE2 Cor. 5 8. PURE AETHER (or Heaven) and lives in the Happy Aevum (or Everlasting Age) with the Blessed.

II. Ad Amph. HERACLITUS, ‘If my Body be over-press'd, it must descend to the destinate Place; Nevertheless, MY SOUL SHALL NOT DESCEND, BUT BEING A THING IMMORTAL, SHALL FLY UP ON HIGH TO HEA­VEN.’

[Page 77]III. EURIPIDES, a grave Tragedian, whose WorkClem. Alex. Strom. l. 3. was to undo what Wanton Comedians had done to undo the People, speaks thus: Who know­eth, 2 Cor. 5. 8. Philip. 1. 21. whether to Dye be not to Live, and to Live to Dye.

Surely he said so not out of any Distrust of Immortality, but in Belief of it, and that Reward which would attend Good Men.

IV. SOCRATES, ‘The Body being Compounded,Plat. Phaed. is Dissolved by Death; The SOUL be­ingEccles. 12. 7. Simple, PASSETH INTO ANO­THER LIFE INCAPABLE OF CORRUP­TION.

‘THE SOUL OF THE GOOD AFTERIdem. DEATH ARE IN AThe Sheep on the Right Hand, and the Go [...]tes on the Lest, Mat. 25. 31, 32, 33. HAPPY ESTATE, UNI­TED TO GOD IN A BLESSED IN ACCESSI­BLE PLACE; THE BAD IN CONVENIENT PLACES SUF­FER CONDIGN PUNISHMENT.’

This puts the Case, of the Sufficiency of the Light, to dis­cover Immortality to the very Heathen, out of all doubt, and not only so, but Rewards too; since we have them, here, believing, THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL BE SA­VED, AND THE WICKED DAMNED. This made Socrates so chearful at his Death, something of which I think fit here to insert.

‘Truly, did I not believe, I should go to the Just God, and to Men better then any Living, I were inex­cusable1 Cor. 15. 28, 29, 30, 31. [...]or contemning Death; BUT I AM SURE TO GO TO GOD, A VERY GOOD MASTER, and hope to meet with Good Men; AND AM OF GOOD COURAGE, hoping that SOMETHING OF MAN SUBSISTS AF­TER DEATH; AND THAT IT IS THEN MUCH BETTER WITH THE GOOD THEN WITH THE BAD.

‘When he had made an end of Speaking, CRITO (one of his Followers) ask'd him, what Directions he would leave concerning his Sons, and other Affairs, and if they could do any thing that might be acceptable to [Page 78] him? I desire no more (saith he) then what I have of­ten told you, If you take Care of Your selves, whatsoever you do, will be acceptable to me and mine, though you promise no­thing; if you Neglect Your selves and VERTUE, you can do nothing acceptable to us, THOUGH YOU PROMISE NEVER SO MUCH. That, answer'd CRITO, we shall observe; But how wilt thou be Buried? As you think good (saith he) IF YOU CAN CATCH ME, and that I give you not the slip. Then with a Smile applying himself unto us, I cannot perswade CRITO (saith he) that I am any thing more then the Carkase you will anon behold; and therefore he takes this Care [...]or my En­terment: It seems, that what even now I told him, that as soon as I have taken the Poyson, I SHALL GO TO THE JOYES OF THE BLESSED, hath been to little purpose; He was my Bail, bound to the Judges [...]or my Appearance, you must now be SURETIES to him, that Observe Socrates his Distinction betwixt be­ing Dead & Departed. I am DEPARTED; Let him not say, THAT SO­CRATES IS CARRIED TO THE CRAVE, OR LAID UNDER GROUND; for know, dear CRITO, such a Mistake WERE A WRONG TO MY SOUL; be not dejected, Tell the World, MY BODY ONLY IS BURIED, and that after what manner thou pleasest. Yet (saith SOCRATES) I may pray to God, and will, That my Pas­sage Acts 7. 60. hence may be Happy, which I beseech him to grant; and in the same instant drank it off easily, with­out any Disturbance.’

‘This (saith Plato) was the End of the Best, the Wisest, and most Just Men. A Story, which Cicero professeth he never read without Tears.’

This ends Socrates upon the present Subject; and Happy Man was he, to make so happy an End, as to Dye for the only true God: he had great Reason to believe (maugre the Envious Uncharitableness of T. H.) that he would Re­ward him, when it shall be said to many Bawling pretended Christians, Depart from me; I know you not: for as Men Sow, so shall they Reap in the Day of God.

I need not to tell the World, that Plato, and other Heathens, have written accurately upon that Subject, when it is so Notorious: Wherefore to close up my Testimonies upon this Head, and whole Discourse of Gentile-Divinity, [Page 79] I will present the Reader with two short Passages, one of the Pythagoreans; the other from Virgil, thus tran [...]lated toH. Mor. Des. Phil. Cab. c. 3. my hand (only a little varied) by an Ingenious Author.

V. Donec long a Dies perfecto temporis Orbe Concretam exemit Labem, purum (que) reliquit Aethereum Sensum, at (que) aur ai simplicis ignem.

In English thus:
Till that long Day at last be come about
Revel.
That wasted has all Filth and Foul Desire,
And leaves the Soul CELESTIAL THROUGHOUT,
Bathing her Senses in pure liquid Fire.

To which agrees that Golden Distick of the Pythagoreans, as it hath been called.

VI. [...] Rev. 22. 5. [...]

To this purpose:
Who after Death once reach the Heavenly Plain,
BECOME LIKE GOD, and never Dye again.

The Greek has it, as Immortal Gods. Which Hierocles interprets thus: Herein shall Good Men resemble the Deity, that they shall be Immortal, like God himself.

Thus Reader, have I given thee a very true Account of the Gentile-Divinity, what was the Faith, what the Practice, and what the Prophecy and Hope of many Gentiles through this Light Within, each of which had numerous Fol­lowers.

Observe, They began where Jews and Christians begin, that is, WITH GOD; and they end with what they confess to be theirs, namely, a State of Immortality, in which every one is Rewarded according to their Works: Only they are thus far to be Commended before either of them, (if we consider many of our Times) That they were more Certain, Plain and True in their Acknowledgment of a Divine Light, Law, or Principle in Man, which obey'd, supply'd then with dayly Wisdom and Strength, and fi­nally led to God: And also were more Just to their Faith, [Page 80] by a Life excelling theirs in Vertue and Self-Denyal. And certainly, in that Great and Terrible Day, when God will judge the Secrets of Men by Jesus Christ, according to Paul's Gospel, will such Pious Gentiles, who knowing God, they Glorified him as God, and Conscientiously did the Things contain'd in his Law, be finally Acquitted and Rewarded.

CHAP. XV.

That the Heathens had a Sight of the Coming of Christ. That, and not Swearing prove the Sufficiency of the Light.

OVer and above what I promised, being rather wil­ling to Err on that End, if yet it be Erring; I shall briefly observe two things greatly importing our Defence of the Light, and the Satisfaction of our Adver­saries, if it be true that they query to be satisfied.

1. That the Testimony of Socrates and Xenocrates about Swearing sufficiently prove to us, that by the Light they had, they saw a State above Swearing, or a Righteousness ex­celling that of the Legal Jews, which manifestly corre­sponds with what Christ said; who above Four Hundred Years after them taught, as what Purely became the Evangelical Righteousness, SWEAR NOT AT ALL.

2. That though their Light did not tell them the ex­press Names Christ should be called by, yet they Fore-saw and Prophesied of his Coming, and how he should come of a Virgin, and what both he was, and the Work he came to do; which the Names given of the HOLY GHOST did strictly import or signifie. Neither is it the knowing so many Let­ters, Syllables, or Words that gives true Knowledge, or Sal­vation, but the Experiencing him to be that which he is, and wherefore he is so denominated: for to that End came He into the World. Christ signifies Anointed; with respect to that peculiar Manifestation. Jesus a Saviour, for he should save his People from their Sins. Emanuel, which is to say, God [Page 81] with us, &c. that in this Sense he was Prophetically held forth by the [...] through that Measure of Light they had: Hear Plato and Virgil.

Marcil. Ficinus, who writ the Life of that Great Gentile, tells us among many other things, that, ‘Being very seriously askt by some that visited him, as the last thing they had a Mind to be informed about, HOW LONG MEN SHOULD ATTEND TO HIS WRITINGS? Of which he seem'd so cheery, Living and Dying in the Belief of what he recommended to the World, He solemnly answer'd; TILL THAT MORE HOLY AND DIVINE PERSON SHALL APPEAR TO VISIT THE WORLD, WHOM ALL MEN OUGHT TO FOLLOW.’ At once, both believing such a one to appear, and then forbidding all to prefer that lesser Discovery he had given the World, through the Improve­ment of his Talent of Light, to that greater Manifestati­on, which that Divine Person would bring with him into the World; as if he had said: Mine may help you with respect to that Knowledge which is your Duty in this Ge­neration, and so direct to him that afterwards shall come; but I am not He, neither do I believe this the most excellent Dis­covery that can be made: but as the lesser Light may point to the greater, and is at last swallow'd up of it; so can I only point at him, and when he is come, all I have done must yield to him: for I declare, that all ought to follow him; for, in fol­lowing him, they will obtain Eternal Blessedness.

Let us now see what Virgil will add to this Matter, asSee Const. Orat. in Eus. translated in Eusebius.

Jam nova Progenies Coelo demittitur alto. Isa. 2. 2, 3, 4, 5.

Now is from Heaven high
Descend'd a new Progeny.

And in his Bucolicks:

Sicelides Musae paulo majora canamus.

Ye Muses, with a lofty Wing,
Let us of higher Matters sing.

And what be they?

[Page 82] Ultima Cumaei venit jam Carminis aetas.

Who lives this Age, will clearly see,
Cumea's Vers's accomplisht be.

This Cumea (so called of her City) was a Sibyl, who liv'd about 600. Years before Christ, and prophesied of him.

Virgil writ these Verses about Forty Years before Christ was born. I query if the Jews themselves had so posi­tive a Sence of the Messiah's Coming. But to proceed.

Magnus ab integro seclorum nascitur Ordo:
Isa. 7. vers. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25.
Jam redit & Virgo, redeunt Saturnia Regna.
Th' Integrity of Times shall now renew again,
A VIRGIN also shall bring back old Saturn's Raign.

This is a direct Prophecy of the Marvellous Concepti­on, that he should be born of a Virgin, and the Good that would redound to the World thereby, as he further addeth.

Tu modo nascenti Puero, quo ferrea primum
Desinet, ac toto surget Gens aurea Mundo,
Cast a fave Lucina —
Hoc duce, si qua manent sceleris vestigia nostri,
Irrita perpetua solvent formidine terras.

The Birth of that most happy CHILD, by whom The Iron Age shall end, and Golden come, Chap. 9, & 10. Chast Lucina favour —

HE SHALL THE POWERS OF WICKED­NESS
1 John 4. 5, 6.
DESTROY,
AND FREE THE WORLD FROM FEAR AND ALL ANNOY.
Yet again:
Ipsae lacte domum referent distenta Capellae
Chap. 11. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.
Ubera: nec magnos metuent armenta Leones.

The Goates shall bring their Udders Milk-fill'd home, And th' gentle Flocks great Lyons shall not shun.

Yet further:
Ipsa tibi blandos fundent cunabula flores,
Occidet & Serpens, & fallax herba veneni
Occidet: Assyrium vulgo nascetur amomum.
[Page 83]Thy Cradle fairest Flowers shall send forth still,
Jer. 23.
Which shall have Power, THE POYSONOUS HEARBS TO KILL,
The SERPENT HE SHALL TO DESTRUC­TION BRING,
Assyrian Amomum shall each where spring.

Hinc ubi jam firmata virum te fecerit aetas.

When thou shalt attain at length
To Years of Manhood and firm Strength.

Now let any tell me, if this be not a most Pathetical Account of the Vertue and Power of Christ, and the very End of his coming into the World, as by a Comparison of it with Scriptures in the Margent will plainly appear.

Et durae quer [...]us sudabunt roscida mella.

From the hard Oak there shall
Sweet Hony sweat forth and fall.
To Conclude,
Cedet & ipse mari vector; nec nautica pinus
Mutabit merces: omnis feret omnia tellus.
Non rastros patietur humus, non vinea falcem,
Nec varios discet mentiri lana colores.
Sponte sua sandix pascentes vestiet agnos.
O mihi tam longe maneat pars ultima vitae,
Spiritus & quantum sat erit, tua dicere facta!
The Sea shall then be quiet, no Ship shall range
Abroad her Wares with others to exchange;
Then every Land shall every thing produce,
And then to plow the Earth they shall not use:
Vines by the Hook shall not be rectify'd,
Nor Wool with divers Colours shall be dy'd;
Fair Fleeces voluntary shall proceed,
And clothe the Lambs while they do gently feed.
O might my Dayes be lengthned, so that I
Might sing of thy great Deeds before I dye!

Thus, to say no more, though much more might be said, of this kind, have Heathens by the LIGHT, we have been hitherto defending, not only fore-told Christ's Appea­rance, [Page 84] but the very Work, for which he did come, and from whence he received those peculiar Names of Christ, Jesus, Emanuel, the Restorer of Breaches, Redeemer, Saviour, &c. So that I hope, our Adversaries will either disprove these Writings, or confess that the Light God gave to the Gentiles, they receiving it, was sufficient, and that by it they had some of them a Sight of Christ, with respect to the great Performance, for which he was so named.

I have omitted any mention of those Sibylls, so much believed in by Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Clemens A­lexandrinus, and abundance of the Ancients, for David Bloudell's sake, an accurate French-Man, who indeavours to prove the Books that go under their Name, to be an Imposture writ since Christ, by some affected to [...]hristianity, to promote it with the Gentiles; and therefore no true Pro­phecyes of his Coming; though he grants, Sibylls there were of old, and Excellent Things they wrote, but that they were burnt in the Capitol of Rome several Hundred Years before Christ came in the Flesh, and scattered Remnants onely extant, yet among them enough will be afforded, as Vir­gil from the Cumean already mention'd, whereby to prove the great Fore-sight some of the Gentiles had of Christ's be­ing Conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of a Virgin, and finally, Coming in the Flesh for the Salvation of the World: And which is more then any before Virgil had done; the Time when? namely, WITHIN THAT AGE, which was the Reign of Augustus Caesar, in the beginning of which Virgil wrote, and about the End of which Christ was Born.

CHAP. XVI.

It is granted that the Jew, and much more the Christian hath the Ad­vantage of the Gentile. Yet that the Gentile had enough Sal­vation.

BUt that I'may provide against both Ignorance and Malice: Let none unworthily infer from hence, that I prefer the State of Gentilism before the State of Christianity; No, nor yet so much, as that I intend to e­qual it to that of the Jews, to whom pertained the Adoption, [Page 85] Glory, Covenant, and the giving of the Law, whose were the Fathers, and of whom Christ himself came after the Flesh, who is God (the only God) over all, Blessed forever, Amen.

For this let all know, that far greater were the Privi­ledges that both Jew and Christian were blessed with, then those of the Ancient Gentiles. God gave the Jews what the Gentiles had, but he was not pleas'd to endow the Gentiles, with all that he freely bestowed upon the Jews: Yet that he gave them what was sufficient to Godliness is altogether as certain; For the Difference lay not in the Root of the Matter, but only in some Extraordinary Helps, and several visible Ser­vices, Figurative of a further Glory.

The Word nigh in the Heart (of which Moses testified) was not the only Priviledge of the Jew, but of the Gen­tile also. The Spirit of God strove as well against the Gentile as the Jewish Man; And God himself declaredIsa. 1. 12, 13, 14, 15. their New Moons, Solemn Assemblies, Sabbaths, &c. to be an Abomi­nation; and bid them, cleanse themselves, and put away the Evil Ezek. 18. 31, 32. of their Doings; and that they would make them a new Heart, and a new Spirit: intimating, that though he did attend their Childhood with many Helps that were wanting to other Nations, yet he required Fear, Purity and Righteousness, as the most essential thing of all other; which, because it was required of the Gentiles as well as Jews, and that ma­ny Gentiles believed so, and accordingly lived, unto which, declaring they were inclined by that Spirit, which (Job sayes) is in Man, and that Inspiration of the Almighty which gives Understanding; I cannot in Justice but conclude, they wanted not the Ground-work any more then did the Jews. So that the Sum of what I have been urging is but this; and thus much it is, That though God was more Beneficent to the Jew (especially to the Christian) then the Gentile; and consequently that as the Jew had those Assistances the Gen­tile had not, so the Christian-Dispensation is the Perfection of the Divine Light, Life and Immortality, more weakly seen, both by Jew and Gentile; Yet also, That God did communi­cate to the Gentiles such a Measure of his Divine Light and Spi­rit, as diligently adhered to, and faithfully sollowed, was suffi­cient to their Salvation, from Sin here, and confequently from Wrath to come: And that they themselves did so Believe, Teach, Live and Dye, in perfect Hope and full Assurance of Eternal Re­compence, in a State of Immortality. And though I will not be so strict in my Opinion of the best Gentiles, as to deny [Page 86] there might be some Self-Mixtures from Temper, Educati­on, or otherwise; yet I will also boldly affirm, that as the Light they had was sufficient in it self to their Salvation (of which their Life and Doctrine are a notable Demon­stration) so they had some of them a glimmering Prospect and bold Belief of as high a State of Purity, Glory and Im­mortality, as Man's Nature is well capable of attaining to. Let thus much suffice (whether T. Hicks be pleased, or not pleased) in Defence of the Universality and Sufficiency of the LIGHT, at least with respect to the Gentiles Divinity; and a round Answer to the Clamours of our many Adver­saries against the Light's Sufficiency to discover Sin, and convert from it.

CHAP. XVII.

A great Objection stated; Answered. The Light both Law and Gos­pel, not in the same Discovery; but in it self. A Way to recon­cile the seeming Difference about it. The Light still defended.

BUt because I am yet to expect Doubters about the Light, who rather strive how to oppose it by their Notions, then believe and obey it. I will sup­pose that some may (as indeed doth T. Hicks, J. G. and almost all who have writ against us) yet object:

Certainly this Light Within can be at most but the Objection. Law in the Conscience, answering to the First Covenant; For here is scarce any mention made of Christ in this long Discourse; and if this Light were Christ, as is af­firmed by you Quakers, then how comes it, that he was not so called of Old by the Jews and Greeks? and why typified out to come, when he was come before, and whilst typified? And further, In what Sense can he be understood to bear our Iniquities, and Men and Women to be saved by his Blood, if this Light be the Saviour, Mes­siah, Christ, &c. as you believe, and endeavour to maintain now in the World?

[Page 87]This Objection, I suppose, the Reader will allow to be the most weighty made against our Principle, and that I have dealt more fairly by our Adversaries (especially by that Un­just and Malicious Man T. Hicks) then they have dealt with us in his abusive and impertinent Dialogue; since I have here laid down the Strength of their Objection, and the whole Scope and Intendment of his 8, 9, 10, 11, & 12. pages against the Light. To all which I thus answer, in the Fear of God & Spirit of Moderation. The Objection consists mainly of these Four Parts; The First, relating to the Light's being but the Law, not the Gospel. The Second, to the Light's never be­ing called Christ by Jews or Greeks. The Third, to Christ's being typified, and yet in Being at the same time. The Fourth, to Christ's Blood, the Bearing our Sins, and which way this could be appropriated to the Light, and not do Injury to the Holy Man­hood.

First then, I shall answer to that Part of the Obje­ction which concerns the Light's being but, or no more then the Law.

I do thus far agree, That the Light is the Law; but that it is not therefore in any sense the Gospel, I also deny, yet not in that Capacity wherein it is the Law; for as in that state it cannot justifie, so it would be to say, it is the Law, and it is not the Law. I say then, that the Light may be both, in reference to a two-fold Manifestation.

Where there is no Law there is no Transgression. It might as well have been said (since they themselves confess it to be the Law) That where there is no Light, there is no Transgression; and the rather, because whatever is reproved, or Sinful, is made manifest by the Light; therefore, since all have transgrest, all have Light, and ever had: In this State then it is a Law, which justifies none; for whoever is in that which is reproveable, is under Condemnation from the Law, or the Reproving Act of the Light. But again, Such as by unfeigned Repentance come to turn unto the Light, they are herein justified in a two-fold Sense (and I so speak for the sake of the Simple, beguiled by a wrong Apprehensi­on of the Word) First, In that God acquits for his Name's sake, who is Merciful, Pardoning Iniquity, Trans­gression and Sin, all that Repent with Unfeigned Repentance. Secondly, In that he accepts upon the Renewal and Conti­ [...]uance of the Creature's humble and sincere Obedience. [Page 88] Neither are such properly come to the compleat Sonship; they are but on their Journey, they must give good Proof of their Fidelity, Diligence and Loyalty to God, as Servants, before there be a Receiving of them into that ex­cellent State of Sorship which never goes out of the Fa­ther's House [...]. This is clearly distinguisht, and weightily exprest by the Apostle Paul to the Galatians, The Heir, sayes he, whilst [...] Age, differs not from a Ser­vant, but is under Tutors until the time [...]pointed of the Father; even so we, when we were Children were in Bo [...]dage, under the E­lements of the World: therefore the Seed came, that by Faith in it the Adoption of Sons might be known. This is the Perfection of the Brightness of the Light, which is all along still the same in It self, though not the same to the Creature. The outward Sun is the Cause of the early Dawnings, and is at that very time in it self the same Glorious Body of Light, as when in the Meridian; but if Men either through Natural Weakness, or the many Fogs and Mists of Tradition, Education, Ignorance or Prejudice suffer an Eclipse, they must not blame the Light, but them­selves. He that follows the Light, which was ever the Just Man's Path, shall meet with Blessedness at the End of his Travels; But such as let the World of Wickedness get between, are over-taken with Night. Abraham saw Christ's Day; What Day? The Dispensation of Son­ship, as Heir of all things, the Day of perfect Restitu­tion; which he could never have done, had he not had Light, by which to have seen it. So several of those Holy Ancients obtain'd a Degree above many, and arriv'd at a Growth, yea, the Benefit and Enjoyment of a Dis­pensation, that was not general, through the Weakness of the Age: Such really saw beyond the Offerings, Types, Figures and Shaddows, to a State more Inward, Spiritual and Substantial, by taking good heed to the Heavenly Light. And this was the End of all External Administrations, to drive the Creature in, & point out unto it some more hidden Mystery that Man's Wandering from God had caus'd him to neglect; yet still was Christ, the Word. God, a saving Light in that State. And the Light of the Law was as a School­Master, that led such as diligently obeyed it, to that more excellent Discovery of the same Light, which is now called the Gospel, or Glad-tidings, as certainly it was and is, after so Black and Cold a Season, as hath tediously over­cast [Page 89] the Heavens, to have that Sun of Righteousness ap­pear in that Body, prepared and anointed for that Purpose, in a transcendent Manner to all former Manifestations of Himself. Thus it was that such as had liv'd up most faithfully to the Law of God, or Light of that Dispensation, gladly received Christ, believed in him, became his Followers, and the Companions of his Sufferings; so that he, who was the Light of the Law, is also the Light of the Gospel, though not in one and the same Degree of Discovery, as the Light is not one in Condemning and Justifying, though it be one in it self; nor in the Degree and Growth of little Children, young Men and Fathers, yet one Pure, Eternal, Unalterable Light of Life and Righteousness in it self. If therefore it doth the Office of the Law in any, to be sure such one is yet under a State of Condemnation for Evil, and he is not yet come to know the fulfilling of the Law, as becometh every Follower of Christ, yea, every one that would come to Christ. Christ indeed fulfils the Law for us; but how? The Light in us, as we are subject to it, and led by it, administers an Holy Power, by which we are enabled to do that which is Good and Acceptable in the Sight of the Lord; and so obeying the Light, we fulfil the Law: Thus he works his Works in us and for us. And so far was Christ from Dis-ingaging his Followers from an indispensible Necessity of keeping the Law, as outwardly ingraven on Stones, that he set them a far harder Task, by how much it is more easie to restrain from Acting then Thinking. Thou shalt not Commit Adultery, saith that Dispensation of Moses; Whosoever looks on a Woman, to lust after her, hath committed Adultery al­ready with her in his Heart, saith that more Excellent Dispen­sation Mat. 5. 27. 28. of Christ. Certainly then those Men, who fancy themselves upon the easie Terms of being excluded the Fulfilling of the Law, or Performing good Works, as a Condition to Justification, must basely abuse themselves, and dangerously adventure the Well-being of their own Souls. In short, He was the True Light, who said, He that looks upon a Woman to lust after her, has committed Adul­tery with her already in his Heart: But so was he also that said of old by Moses, Thou shalt not commit Adultery; Therefore should we conclude two Lights, and not rather two several Manifestations, or gradual Discoveries of the self-same Eternal Light?

[Page 90]To conclude, The Law (as I may say) is the Gospel begun, and the Gospel is the Law finished; He that would be justified must first be condemned, and who would be healed, must first be wounded: The Law is as the Sword, the Gospel as Balm; The one Duty, the other Love. And that which alone is needful to attain unto the highest Discovery, is, to be humbly subject, and constantly obedient to the lowest Appearance of it: The faithful Servant becomes a Son by Adoption. Wouldst thou know the Word a Reconciler, thou must first witness it an Hammer, Sword, Fire, &c. The Way to arrive at Evangelical Righteousness, is first to perform the Righteousness of the Law: By Law, I mean not that of Ceremonies, or the External Order of the Jews; but that Moral & Eternal Law, which is said to have come by Mo­ses, and is accomplisht by Christ. And there is great Hopes, that who Conscientiously keeps the Beginning, will com­pass the End. Such as have Conquer'd bad Doing, if they be faithful in what they have received of God's Light and Spirit it will inable them against bad Saying, till at last they overcome evil Thinking too; and witness that Scripture fulfilled; Judgment (the Law) is brought forth into Victory (the Gos­pel) He that follows me (the Light of the World that in­lightens all Men coming into the World) shall not abide in Darkness, but shall have the Light of Life. I make not this Distinction of Law and Gospel to distinguish in Kind, but Degree, and for the sake of the Weak ac­customed to it. And if the Son make you free, then are you free indeed: For as it is a Condemner it may be called the Light that brings Death, in that it slays by the Brightness of it's coming into the Conscience, the transgressing Nature; like unto that Expression the Day of the Lord is a Day of Darkness, because of the Judgments and Terrors of the Lord for Sin; But to the Obedient it is the Light of Life.

Thus is Christ as the Word-God, and Light of the World through every Dispensation, ONE in himself, though to Mankind he has variously appeared, not by Differing Lights, but Manifestations only, of one and the same Eter­nal Light of Life and Righteousness.

CHAP. XVIII.

The Second Part of the Objection, that Christ was not anciently called the Light; Answered. And the Contrary proved from Scripture and Reason.

TO the Second Part of the Objection, If the Light in every Man were Christ, how comes it that the Jews and Greeks never called it so? I answer, We do not say, that the Light in every Man is Christ, but of Christ; He is that Fulness from whence all receive a Measure of Divine Light and Knowledge; but not that every Individual has the whole or compleat Christ in him; such an Absurdity never fell from us, nor our Do­ctrine, though the Malice of our Adversaries hath char­ged it upon both. But as the External Sun darts its Light upon the Organ of the Eye of the Body, by which it conveyes true Discerning to act, how, in and about Vi­sibles; so doth the Internal Sun of Righteousness shine up­on the Eye of the Soul, giving it the Knowledge of those invisible Things, which properly relate to the Nature of the Soul; So that we are the less oblieged to give a Rea­son, why others called not the Light in Man, Christ, since we renounce all Share in such Belief our selves: Which is Answer enough to T. H's dis-ingenuous Inference, that because G. W. affirmed, the Light, with which Mankind was inlightned, was God, therefore sayes T. H. Every Man his whole God in him, or to that Purpose, p. 5, 6. Yet thus far I will tell those Men, that Christ was called Light, be­fore ever he was in the World, though not before he was Christ. I will give him for a Light to lighten the Gentiles, &c. Now if any will say, that this Light was not Christ, let them tell us so in plain words: But if it will be al­lowed, then T. Hicks had best ask, why the Prophet by the Holy Ghost should call Christ, Light, even as soon, if not before he was called Christ; and why in that very State, in which he was called Christ, he should be called Light. Cer­tain it is then, that by Him, the Light, we are to under­stand Christ, which is one and the same thing, as if he had said, I will give Christ for a Light to enlighten the Gen­tiles; [Page 92] or, who is the Christ, is the Light; or, the Light is Christ: So that it will follow, that the Gentiles were in­lightened by Christ, which is the Whole of what we understand by our Assertion, as to the Light in Man.

Again, John expresly calls that Light with which e­very Man is inlightned, the Word; and the Word is said to have taken Flesh: If then he that took Flesh was Christ, and consequently that Body, Christ's Body only, as none, I think, will dare deny, but Muggleton, and his Credulous Followers, it will follow, That Christ, who took, or appeared in that prepared Body, is the Light, with which every Man is inlightned.

Further, Christ himself sayes, I am the Light of the World; which is as much as if he had said, I have inlight­ned the World: therefore the Light, which shines in the Hearts of Mankind is Christ, though, not every particular Il­lumination the entire Christ; for so there would be as ma­ny Christs, which were Absurd and Blasphemous.

But Lastly the Apostle himself calls him Christ before his Coming in the Flesh; or that Christ was Christ before his Appearance in that Body at Jerusalem, which clears that Point in Controversie: for the Stress of T. Hicks's Objection, as to this Particular, lies here, Christ, as Christ, was not before he took Flesh; therefore though I should grant (might he say, and he doth say as much) that as the Word-God all are inlightened by him, yet, sayes he, not as he is Christ before that visible Appearance: One would think he were a very Socinian by his Arguing; not that I write so in Slight, Abuse or Reflection; but if Christ was not before, then the Manhood, that was taken in time, must be the Christ; and what should materially hinder their Conjunction I know not? But I would fain know his Reason for it, if it be Lawful to expect what I fear he has not to give; however, if he darest, he would give you his Interest in lieu of a Reason for his so holding, but that I shall do for him, and with Impartial Minds it will be a Reason against him. The Dilemma in short is this, If he denies Christ to have been Christ before that Co­ming, he thwarts as plain a Text as the Scriptures have; and if he should allow of it, his whole Fabrick (now a Fortifi­cation, he thinks) would fall like a rotten House about his Ears. Well, but I will tell him, and all concern'd, for his base Opposition, That since Christ, as the Word-God, [Page 93] hath illuminated all Men antecedent to his Coming in the Flesh, as confesses T.H. J.G. J.F. and many more of them, & that the Apostle says, that the Word was Christ, or Christ was before he came in the Flesh; for Christ was in the Wil­derness a Rock to Israel, unless Christ and the Word are two distinct Beings, or that there be two distinct Christs: Christ was that Light, with which Mankind was illuminated, or that Light, Mankind was inlightned with, was the very Christ, and consequently, the Light has been called both ex­presly and implicitly Christ before that visible Appearance at Je­rusalem. Nor is the Allegation of that Scripture perti­nent to the Matter in hand (viz.) Which none of the Princes of this World knew, &c. brought by T. H. for that was spoken in reference to the Wisdom which had been hid, and not the meer Manhood of Christ; But suppose it had deeply concern'd it, we have this to say, that such as rejected, much more those that crucified him in his out­ward Appearance, had first despised and slain him with­in, They were of those who Rebel against the Light, and Love not the Wayes thereof. And I affirm against all Opposers, that it was by that Sight the Light within gave to Sime­on, Peter, Nathanael, and all others, who believed in him, that they Confessed him, and Suffered for him; such as had not so Out-sinned their Day, Defiled their Conscience, Clouded their Understandings, and Hardned their Hearts, as others by Wicked Works had done; but through the Light of the Lord, had in good measure kept their Con­sciences void of Offence, they received and imbraced him. The Light knew its own; The Lesser led to the Greater, and the Greater Light as naturally attracted the Lesser, as we may see Fire do every day. To con­clude this Particular, let me add, that they were not the Princes of this World that put him outwardly to Death; for it came by the Envious Accusations and most Invete­rate Suggestions of the Jews (a Broken Conquered People) to Pilate, but Governour of a Province; therefore, since I believe what the Apostle saith to be true, I have rather Reason to infer, that it was meant of Christ Mystically, then of that Visible Body. However it be, that part of our Adversaries Objection about the Light's not being call'd Christ, antecedent to his Coming in the Flesh, can be of no Weight to the Matter under Debate, since we have so evidently made the Contrary appear.

CHAP. XIX.

The Third Part of the Objection; If Christ was enjoyed under the Law, as he was, if the Light be Christ; why was he Typified? Is proved of no Force. The Type and Anti-type in some Respects may be at one and the same time; this is proved by [...] of Scrip­ture. Our Adversaries Oppostion and Cavil Weak and Insuccessful.

THe Third Part of the Objection, and what seems at first sight to carry something of moment against us, is this; If the Light Within be Christ, and the Jews and Gentiles had it from the beginning of the World, how can Christ be said to be typified out, as not come, and Prophe­sied of to come, when by your own Principle he has been alwayes come? I answer, This part of the Objection is in some respect built upon the same Mistake as was the second, namely, that the Light within is intirely Christ; concerning which I have plainly and truly exprest my self before; I will therefore faithfully state the Question for them thus: Well, but still you say, Christ inlightned Jews and Gentiles be­fore that visible Coming; if so, then was he come by your own Principle, whilst his very Coming was typified out, and Prophesi­ed of: Doth not this seem a Contradiction? But to this I say, that the supposed Contradiction ariseth from the Mistake of the Dispensations; for it takes for granted, that there was no Difference in the Degree of Illumination before, and at the Coming of Christ after that visible Manner in­to the World, which all must needs confess: For as I would be understood, when I call the Light before, and af­ter Christ's Coming in the Flesh, Light, to mean but one and the self-same Light in Nature; So let none apprehend, that we make not a Difference by the Acknowledgment of a more eminent Manifestation of the same Light. What follows then? Why thus much most clearly, That under the Enjoyment of the Lesser Manifestation of Light, suited to the then Childish State of the Jews, God was pleased to allure them after an Expectation of, at least a Belief in higher things, by Types and Prophecyes of that far more Excellent and Exceeding Glorious Dispensation of the Light and Love of God in after Ages. The End of God's gi­ving the Israelites that outward Prophet and Leader Moses [Page 95] was, to bring to the Inward, which though they through Carnality and Weakness were not then sensible of him, so as to stay their Minds upon him, yet Moses prophesied of him; and all the External Dealings have been with respect to bring to the Seed within, which is able to bruise the Serpent's Head, and did so in some measure through all Ages. So that in good Reason and Truth may we assert, Christ the Light, was the Rock that follow'd Israel in the Wilderness (who is the Rock of Ages, and Founda­tion of all Generations, who ever enlightned all Mankind, the same yesterday, to day, and forever) yet a greater Mani­festation of that Divine Light might be typically preacht forth un­der the Enjoyment of the Lesser: And that we herein are not without the Suffrage of the Scriptures to our Defence, I would fain know of T. Hicks, or who else that is concer­ned against us, If notwithstanding all those outward Wash­ings of those Times, God did not frequently press the very Substance it self, namely, a Clean Heart and a New Spi­rit; accounting all short thereof but as the Cutting off a Dog's Neck? And whether Christ himself did not with his own Hands give the Bread and the Wine to his Disciples, and yet bid them do it till he came? Whence it is easie to ob­serve, that unless Tho. Hicks, and the rest of those Con­tenders, say with the Papists, The Bread and Wine are ve­ry Christ (and so make Christ giving Christ, thereby destroying the Nature of a Sacrament; and instead of do­ing it till he come, that he should come when-ever they do receive it (which Ignorance I will not suppose him or them guilty of) I say, unless then that they were of one Mind with the Romanists in the Matter of the Supper, it must be granted to us, that Christ present gave them a Figure of Christ to come; therefore to figure out Christ to come, destroyes not Christ's being come; especially with our most neces­sary Distinction of the lesser Manifestation from the grea­ter, which nevertheless divides not the Light, but that re­mains in it self one Pure, Eternal Being of Light, and Sun of Righteousness through every Dispensation.

This, that Passage I have already observed from the Apostle Paul, in Answer to the second part of the Objecti­on plainly clears to us; For if Christ typified out was their Rock, or the Rock of that Age, even when the Brazen Serpent the Type was in being, I cannot see, but the Type and the Thing typified might be at one and the same time; [Page 96] not as to Degree, but Nature; for so I would be under­stood.

Before I conclude take this notable Saying of Christ to the Jews, and what may be collected from it to our Purpose; BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS I AM — ABRA­HAM Joh. 8. 56, 57, 58. SAW MY DAY, AND REJOY­CED — which affords us briefly thus much: That though he was not so visibly come, yet it was the very same HE that came about One Thousand Six Hundred Years ago, who was with the Fathers of Old; and that Abraham, Helv. Chron. who lived One Thousand Nine Hundred Years be­fore that outward Appearance, saw him, and his Day. If this be not the Import of the Place, I know none; For the Jews not believing him to be the Messiah, thought it high Presumption sor him to compare with Abraham; Art thou Greater then our Father Abraham, who is dead, and the Prophets are dead? Whom makest thou thy self? said that Unbelieving People; Unto which he answered (that he might prove himself to be the true Messiah, the Christ of God) ABRAHAM SAW MY DAY, and rejoyced: They still harping upon that Visible Body, not Thirty Three Years old, replyed, Thou art not yet Fifty, and hast thou seen Abraham? Taking that to be the Messiah, the Christ of God, and Saviour of the World he meant, which they saw with their Carnal Eyes. To which he rejoyn'd with a Verily, verily I say unto you, before Abraham was I am; then took they up Stones to cast at him, &c. By all which it is most clear, that unless our Adversaries will deny him that so spoak (which yet T. Hicks's Anti-scriptural Opinion doth imply) to be Christ, who singled and distinguisht himself, as the Messiah, the Christ of God, and Saviour of the World from that Visible Body, not Fifty Years old indeed; both Christ that then spoak must needs have been long before Abraham's Time; and that such Holy Ancients were not without a Sight and Prospect of him, and the Day of his Glorious Appearance, or that most Signal Manifestation of himself in that Body prepared for that Great and Holy Purpose; witness the exceeding Clear and Heavenly Pro­phecyes, that were as so many Fore-runners, or Introdu­cers of the Evangelical State.

And this is unquestionably confirm'd unto us by that known and very weighty Expression of the Apostle Paul to the Romans: Whose are the Fathers, and of whom as concerning Rom. 5. 9. [Page 97] the Flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever, Amen. Since here both Christ is distinguisht from the Body he took and made one with that God, who is over all, blessed for ever, Amen; As much as to say, of whose Flesh Christ took, therefore Christ was before he took it; or his taking it did not constitute him Christ, which Christ is God; And if God (which cannot be said of meer Flesh or any Corporal Lineage) then must he have been from all Everlasting.

To conclude, As Abraham Outward and Natural was the great Father of the Jews Outward and Natural, whose Seed God promis'd to bless with Earthly Blessings as Canaan, &c. & that they were figurative of the one Seed Christ, and such as he should beget unto a lively Hope through the Power of his Spiritual Resurrection, it will consequently follow, that this Seed must be Inward and Spiritual; since one outward thing cannot be the proper Figure or Representation of an other: Nor is it the Way of holy Scripture so to teach us; The Outward Lamb shows forth the Inward Lamb; The Jew Outward, the Jew Inward. As God attended the one with many singular outward Mercies (to say no more) above other Nations; So the Jew in Spirit doth he benefit above all other People

I have these two short Arguments to prove, what I be­lieve and assert as to the Spirituallity of the True Seed; and a clearer Overthrow it is to the Opinion of our Adver­saries to the True Christ. First, Every thing begets its like; What is simply Natural produces not a Spiritual Being; Material Things bring not forth Things that are Immaterial. Now because the Nature, or Image, begot­ten in the Hearts of True Believers, is Spiritual, it will follow, that the Seed which so begets, and brings forth that Birth, must be the same in Nature with that which is begotten, therefore Spiritual; then Christ's Body, or, what he had from the Virgin, strictly considered as such, was not the Seed.

Secondly, it is clear from hence; The Serpent is a Spirit: Now nothing can bruise the Head of the Serpent, but something that is also Internal and Spiritual, as the Serpent is; But if that Body of Christ were the Seed, then could he not bruise the Serpent's Head in all, because the Body of Christ is not so much as in any one, and conse­quently the Seed of the Promise is an Holy and Spiritual Principle of Light, Life, and Power, that being receiv'd [Page 98] into the Heart bruiseth the Serpents Head: And because the Seed, which cannot be that Body, is Christ, as testify the Scriptures, the Seed is one, and that Seed Christ, and Christ God over all, blessed forever, we do conclude, andGal. 3. 16. that most truly, that Christ was, and is the Divine Word of Light and Life, that was in the beginning with God, and was, and is God over all, blessed for ever.

And this may yet more evidently appear, let it but be seriously weigh'd, that before ever that visible Appearance, the Seed bruised in good measure the Serpent's Head in the Holy Men and Women of all Generations, otherwise they had not been Holy, but Serpentine and Wicked; And if the Seed, was before, and that Seed be Christ; because there is but One Christ, as well as but One only Seed, it doth clearly follow, that Christ was Christ before that Outward Ap­pearance; and consequently, it could but be a more Ex­cellent and free Manifestation of his Truth, Righteousness, Salvation, Wisdom, Power, Glory and Dominion, as indeed it was.

For notwithstanding that this Heavenly Seed was in some measure known, and what was wrought of Inward Deliverance in that Day, was by and through the Power and Vertue of it, as the Minds of People were retired to that Word of God nigh in the Heart to cleanse and redeem; And though particular Persons might arrive at great Attain­ments, even to a Beholding the Day of the Seeds com­pleat Redemption, and Conquest over all it's Oppressors (when what was but in the Condition of a Seed, or New­born Child, should become the only Son, the Wonderfull Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace, of the Increase of whose Government there should be no End, as speaks the Prophet) Yet it is granted, through that good Understanding the Lord has given us in these weighty Things, that the Generallity were but Weak, Dark and Imbondaged, as saith the Apostle, un­der Carnal and Beggarly Elements, not clearly seeing through those outward Services, which, if I may so speak, God held them in hand with, condescending to their Weak­ness, that he might both keep them from gadding after the Pompous Invention, and Idolatrous Worship of other Nations, and point out unto them under their great Car­nality that more Hidden Glory and Spiritual Dispensation, which should-afterwards be revealed, to wit, The Com­pleat [Page 99] Redemption of the Soul, and Raign of the Holy Seed, from the Child born, and the Son given, to the Wonderful Coun­sellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace, of the Increase of whose Government there shall be no End.

So that then we ought, and we do by absolute Force of Truth conclude (1.) That the Seed, which Seed is Christ, was in all Ages with Abraham, with the Israelites, with the Prophets, Therefore he was as well before he came in that prepa­red Body, as then and since. (2.) Yet it is confest, That He was not so clearly revealed, perfectly brought forth, and generally known before his so Coming as then and since, but more darkly fi­gured out by Types and Shaddowy Services; which though they Cleans'd not, Sav'd not, Redeem'd not, yet did show forth a more Hid­den and Spiritual Substance, that was able to Cleanse, Save and Redeem, and did all that received it, and were truly subject to it. (3.) That it therefore is not at all Absurd, that the more Excellent Manifestation of Truth should he Typified and Pro­phesied of, under the Enjoyment of the Lesser, since the Reason of the Thing, and the Testimonies of the Scripture are so express for it, which ends our Answer to this Particular.

CHAP. XX.

The Fourth Part of the Objection stated and considered. Christ's Death and Sufferings confessed to, and respected; they were benefi­cial. The Light of Christ within is the Efficient Cause to Sal­vation.

HAving thus considered the Third Part of this great Objection, I am now come to what chiefly stum­bles People, with respect to the Light within, at least, as I apprehend; and that is this Fourth and Last Particular, viz. But if the Light in every Man be Christ, how doth it bear our Sins, and are our Iniquities laid upon it? and how can we be said to be Justified, Redeemed or Saved by its Blood, since all these things are spoken by the Holy Pen-men of the Man Christ, or Jesus born at Nazareth? Surely you wholy invali­date his Life, Death, Resurrection, Ascension and Mediation by this Belief in the Light.

This I take to be the very Stress of the Matter, col­lected out of the most Forceable Writings of our Adver­saries; [Page 100] To which I Answer, and let him that reads under­stand.

It must be considered in this Last Part of the Objection, how those Questions can be applicable to the Light, and yet be reconciliable with those Scriptures that seem to at­tribute all to his Bodily Sufferings. I hope to make ap­pear, that as we exalt the First, so we dare not by any means to slight the Last.

The Light, or rather He that is Light in Man (for I have alwayes desired so to be understood: Light being a Meta­phor or word taken from the outward Day, and chiefly so term'd, because of Man's Darkness, which is thereby dis­covered) hath been as a Lamb slain since the Foundation of the World; that is, the World had not been long created, before the good Order of it, and every thing therein, being envied by the Fallen Angels, that Spirit of Iniquity betrayed Man of his Innocency; and Sin by Disobedience prevailing, the Light or Principle of Life, under whose Holy Leadings Man was placed, became Re­sisted, Grieved, and as it were Slain (which word Slain is also Metaphorical) that is to say, the Innocent Pure Life was as Wounded unto Death through Man's Disobedi­ence and Lamb-like Image, in which Adam was created, by him through Rebellion lost: Thus that Holy Princi­ple, which God placed in the Heart of Adam, in which was true Light, Life and Power, bore the Sin, was prest under it, as a Cart under Sheaves, grieved exceed­ingly, and as it were quencht with Iniquity. This hath been the Condition of that Precious and Elect Seed, Spirit, Light, Life, Truth (or whatever Name equivalent any may please to give it) ever since that first Rebelli­on, to this very Day: And as in Wicked Men God's Ho­ly Light and Spirit, or that Principle which is so called, hath been deeply Wounded, yea, as one Slain; so in Good Men, that have had a Sence of the World's Abominati­on, hath it also born many Burdens and Weights; for the Light and Life is One in All. And those who have been reformed by it, and joyned to it, have been as One Spirit, and have not been without their Share of their Lord's heavy Sufferings, from the Ungodly World, which was as well a filling up of Christ's Sufferings that were before his Outward Coming, as what to this Generation are behind.

[Page 101]And as at any time Disobedient Men have harkened to the still Voice of the WORD (that Messenger of God) in their Hearts, to be affected and convinced by it, as it brings Reproof for Sin, which is but a Fatherly Chastize­ment; [...]o upon true Brokenness of Soul, and Contrition of Spirit, that very same Principle and Word of Life in Man, has mediated and attoned, and God has been propitious, lifting up the Light of his Countenance, and replenishing such humble [...] with Divine Consolations. So that still the same Christ, Word-God, who has enlightned all Men, by Sin is grieved, bearing the Iniquities of such as so sin, and re­ject his Benefits: but as any hear his Knocks and let him in, he first Wounds, and then Heals; afterwards he attones, mediates, and re-instates in the holy Image. Behold this is the State of Restitution! And this in some Measure was witnessed by the Holy Patriarchs, Prophets and Servants of God in old time, to whom Christ was substantially the same Saviour, and Seed bruising the Serpent's Head, that he is now to us, what Difference s [...]ever there may be in Point o [...] Ma­nifestation.

But notwithstanding the same Light and Life, with that which afterwards clothed it it self with that outward Body, did in measure inwardly appear for the Salvation of the Souls of Men; yet, as have often said, never did that Li [...] [...]eminently put [...]orth it self for that End, as in that [...] and prepared Body; so that what he then suf­fered and did in that transcendent Manisestation, may by way of Eminency assume the whole Work unto it self, that he ever did before, or might do afterwards. For doubtless that very Light, Life and Power, which dwelt in that Flesh [...]y Tabernacle, eminently was the Convin­cer, Condemner, Saviour and Redeemer; yet not only as confined to that Body, but as revealed in the Hearts of Men, as he was in Paul, who not consulting with Flesh and Blood against the Lord of Glory willingly receive him in, to bind the strong Man, spoil his Goods, and cast him out, that He might Reign. And that the Divine Life, Light, Spirit, Nature of Principle, which resided in that Body was the efficient Cause of Salvation, observe the Title that is given from the great Work he was to do, namely, To save his People from their Sins; there is not one Word of Wrath, but consequentially: Therefore, since that Sin is in the Heart and Conscience of Mankind, no­thing [Page 102] but a Divine Light, Spirit or Power can reach Im­maculation into those inward Parts; and consequently that must be the Redeemer and Saviour. But indeed, those who have a Mind to Naturalize that strange Figure into the Language of the Holy Truth; I mean, to understand that to be saved, is to be saved from Wrath, and not from Sin (whose assured Wages is Wrath) may have some Interest, though no Reason for their implacable Enmity against an Inherent Holiness.

But I farther confess, that his Righteous Life, with re­spect to its Appearance in that Body, was grieved by Sin, & that the Weight of the Iniquity of the whole World, with the Concernment of its Eternal Well-being, lay hard upon him, nor was his Manhood Insensible of it: Under the Load of this did He travel, he alone trode the Wine-Press; that is, All others were then Insensible of that Eternal Wrath, which would be the Portion of Impenitent Persons, as well as that it was his great Care, and deep Travel, that the Holy, yet Oppressed Seed might arise over the Pres­sures of Iniquity in the Hearts of Men, to bruise the Ser­pent's Head in all; And as outwardly he gave his out­ward Life for the World, so he might inwardly shed a­broad in their Souls the Blood of God, that is, The Holy Purifying Life and Virtue, which is in him as the Word-God, and as which, he is the Life of the World.

This was it which gave that visible Part the Under­standing it had, which fitted it for so great an Embassy, by whose Power alone it Fasted, Prayed, Preacht, Cast-out Devils, Wrought Miracles, Lived that most Unblemisht Life, Patiently Suffered Death, was Raised for an Holy Confirmation, maugre all the Military Opposition of the Jews; and this it was which accompanied the Ministry of his Follow­ers, rendring it Efficacious to Conviction and Conver­sion: So that the Invisible, Spiritual and Divine Life, Principle or Nature, was the Root and Fountain of all which is sometimes asscribed in Scripture to the Body, by that Common Figure, or Way of Speaking amongst Men, the Thing containing, which was the Body for the Thing contained, which was the Eternal Power, Wisdom, Life, &c. Not that we would irreverently rob the Holy Body of what­soever Acknowledgement is justly due, nor yet separate that God joyned; though I confess with holy Fear, I dare not attribute to an External prepared Being, which is the [Page 103] Natural, Proper and Only Work of the Divine Light and Life to operate and effect: But certainly, if some Men in Scripture are intituled Saviours because of the Con­tribution of their Tryals, Travels and Labours towards the Salvation of Man-kind, of much more Right is that Honour ascribable to him who had the Spirit without Mea­sure; For I do freely acknowledge it to have been in some sense a Co-worker and Partner with the Divine Life in many of its Tryals, Weights, Sufferings and Travels for Man-kind: Yet as it was the Divine Power in them that made them serviceable in that great Work, so was it the Divine Power in him which made that what it was, and therefore ought we chiefly to appropriate the Salvation to Christ, as the Word­God, and to the Holy Manhood not any otherwise then In­strumentally, or by the same Divine Power in and through it; I mean, as it was a Chosen Instrument or Vessel, in and by which God declared the Blessed Glad-Tidings of Love, and his Message of Reconciliation to the World, in which he gave the most Heavenly Example of Purity, and through whose whole Life, Doctrine and Death did shine forth the clearest Evi­dences of Truth, Goodness, Mercy, Patience, deep Travel for the World, Self-Denyal, Holiness and Triumphant Matyrdom. No Wonder then, if he be called a Saviour, who not only came on an Embassy of Salvation, and when come, did draw many after him, who were struck with the Authority of his Sayings, when he allow'd for a time to have their Eyes and Hearts upon him, as in that State present with them; But afterwards, he let his Disciples know, of how much Benefit it would be to them, that he should leave them; How? Forever: In all Capacities? No; but as with respect to his outward Appearance, that being scattered in that Day to their own Measure of Light, Pon er and Life, they might know him NO MORE AFTER THE FLESH, but witness him come into their Hearts a Comforter, who could not leave his true-hearted Disciples comfortless. He that is with you shall be in you. Joh. 14. 17.

To be brief, that I may yet again express our reverent Sense of Christ's Manifestation, so far as relates to that Holy Thing that should be born of Mary; take these few particulars in my next Chapter.

CHAP. XXI.

A Confession in particular to Christ's Redemption, Remission, Justification and Salvation.

I. WE do confess, that though the Eternal Power, Life and Light which inhabi­ted that Holy Person, which was born at Nazareth, was & is chiefly & eminently the Saviour (for thereHos. 13. 4. is no Saviour besides me saith God yet that it was Instrumen­tally a Saviour, as prepared and chose [...] o [...] the Work which Christ had then to do i [...] it, which was actually to the Salva­tion of some, and intentionally of the whole World then, and in Ages to come; suitable to that Scripture, Lo, in the Volumn of the Book it is written, I come to do thy Will (O God) Hebr. 10. a Body hast thou prepared me, &c.

II. That as there was a Necessity that one should dye for the People, so whoever then or since believed in Him, had and have a Seal or Confirmation of the Remission of their Sins in his Blood, and that Blood, alluding to the Cu­stom or the Jewish Sacrifices, shall be an utter Blotting out of for­mer iniquates, carrying them as into a Land of Forgetfulness. This grand Assurance of Remission (from the Wrath due upon the Score or former Offences) do all receive in the Ratify­ing Blood of Christ, who Repenting of their Sins, believe and obey the Holy Light with which he hath Illuminated them. For Paul's being turned from Darkness to the Light in his Heart, was one with his believing in the Son of God revealed in his Heart.

III. This more glorious Appearance ended that less glorious Service of the Jews; the Figures being complea­ted, the Shadows they fell. He in that Body preacht, and lived beyond those Beggarly Elements; He drew Religi­on more Inward, even into the Secret of the Heart, and made it to consist in an higher State o [...] Righteousness, called Evangelical, and at once became both the Auth [...]ro [...] Heavenly Dispensation, and therein an Example to all, as well Jews and Gentiles; sealing such a Common and General Religion to both with his Blood, as would forever end the Diffe­rence [Page 105] and slay the Enmity, that they might be all one in Christ. Thus did he end the Jews External Services, and overturn the Gentiles Idolatries by his one most pure and Spiritual Of­fering and Worship.

IV. It plainly preaches thus much to us, That as Him, whose Body the Jews outwardly slew, we by Wicked Works have crucified in the Streets of Sodom and Egypt, spiritually so called, our polluted Hearts and Consciences. So, unless we come to know the Benefit of the Inward Life, answering to, and expressed by that Outward Life he gave for the World, it will avail little; For so it is, and very Marvelous in our Eyes, that the Life of the Crucified can only save those who may well be reputed the Crucifiers. O Mystery! And because those that did not actually slay him Outwardly, have slain him Inwardly, therefore must every such one really know that Life Inwardly raised & shed abroad for Sanctification and Redemption. O how great was his Love! Truly larger then Man's Cruelty; who whilst he dyed by Wicked Men, he would Dye for them; and when dead, they could not hinder him from Rising to do them good, who had done their worst for his Destruction, thereby shewing Mercy to those, who shewed they had no Mercy for themselves. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! how often would I have gathered thee, and thou wouldest not, &c?

V. That Expression of his is greatly worth our Notice, I lay down my Life for the World. All he did was for the Good of the World, and particularly the Laying down of his Life, that he might both express his Love and our Du­ty. Had he not desired Man's Salvation, and for that pur­pose prepared a Body, in which to visit him, and by his dai­ly Labours among Men to further their Eternal Happi­ness the Jew had never been able to put him to Death: But being come, and when come, so hardly used, herein did he recommend his great Love to us, that besides the In­ward Weights of Sin he bore with his deep Concernment for Man's Eternal Well-being, he chearfully offered up his Bo­dily Life, to recommend and ratifie his Love for the Re­mission of Sin, and give us an Holy Example to follow his Steps. But these Words will bear another Sease too, asJohn 6. 51, 52. 53, 54, 62, 63. do those he spoak to the Jews, Unless ye eat my Flesh, and drink my Blood, you have no Life in you: Where we may [Page 106] plainly see, that as the Jews vainly and carnally fancyed, he meant his Outward Body only, to which they opposed the Impossibility of the thing; so Christ declares their Mi­stake of his Meaning to his Disciples, in these few, but deep Words, The Flesh profiteth nothing: it is the Spirit that quickeneth. So that the Words are true, and weighty in both Senses.

VI. And we further acknowledge, that in that Holy Body the Divine Principle of Light and Life did discover the Depth of Satan's Darkness, encounter Hell, Death and the Grave, every Temptation it was possible for the Ser­pent, with all his Power, and Subtilty to beset him with (in which Sense he was made like unto us in all things, Sin excepted, that he might be sensible of our Infirmities) the Divine Life travelled and supported under all, administring Strength to the outward Man, that it might answer the End of its Appointment, & in the End utterly defeated, and for­ever overcame the Power of the Tempter, bruising the Ser­pents Head in general, as Prince of Darkness, and God of the World, and in a plain Combat giving him that Foyl, which in good measure shook his Foundation, divided his King­dom, chased away his Lying Oracles, and proved a very Fa­tal Blow to his whole Empire: Which holy Conquest obtained by Sweat of Blood, and deep'st Agonies with Holy Patience, may not unfitly be compared to that of some Worldly Prince maintaining a Righteous Cause a­gainst an Usurper of his Territories, whom he puts to rout in open Fields; by which I understand the General Conquest; yet many Towns, and Cities and Cittadels remaining strongly guarnison'd (by which I understand, particular Men and Wo­men enslaved by Sin) they are not thereby overcome, though the Approach be easier to them, and they be truly more endanger'd then before.

The One Seed, who is Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever, having given that Proof of his Everlasting Arm, that it has brought a general Salvation by a plain Overthrow of the God of this World, the Enemy of his Glory, and thereby weakened his Power in himself (which is the sin­gle Battel fought in Garments rould in Blood, between the two Seeds, Spirits, Natures and Powers; God and Mammon; Christ and Belial) had many Towns, Cities and Cittadels to vanquish, who lay strongly guarnison'd by this God of the [Page 107] World; which Places, as I said, represent the Souls of particular Men and Women inbondaged by him. So that though their Hearts were, or are more accessible by that ge­neral Victory over the very Spirit of Darkness it self, and Light may be more clear d and broken up; yet unless those particular Places or Persons are besieged and taken, their Goods spoiled, and Houses sackt of all the strange Gods, & so redeemed from under the Yoak of that Pharaonian Task-Master, reclaimed, renew­ed, sanctified & naturalized by way of an Holy Subjection to him, who is Lord from Heaven, the Right Heir of all things, to receive his Mark, and bear his Image; Those Places or Persons must needs have yet been, and be Subjects of the Prince of Dark­ness, the God of this World, who reigns and rules in the Hearts of the Children of Disobedience.

To conclude; We, though this General Victory was obtained, and holy Priviledges therewith, and that the Holy Body was not Instrumentally without a Share thereof; yet that both the efficient or chiefest Cause was the Di­vine Light and Life, that so clearly discriminated and deep­ly wounded this Mystery of Iniquity, and that none can be thereby benefited, but as they come to experience that Holy Seed of Life, and Mighty Arm of Power revealed to effect the same Salvation in each Particular Conscience, which none can fail of, who receive it first as a Light, that manifesteth and reproveth every Evil Way, and continues to walk up to all its holy Leadings.

VII. But there is yet a further Benefit that accrueth by the Blood of Christ, viz. That Christ is a Propitiation and Redemption to such as have Faith in it; For though I still place the Stres [...] of particular Benefit upon the Light, Life, & Spirit revealed, witnessed in every Particular; yet in that general Appearance there was a general Benefit justly to be attribu­ted unto the Blood of that very Body of Christ, to wit, that it did propitiate: For however it might draw Stupendious Judgments upon the Heads of those who were Authors of that dismal Tragedy, and dyed Impenitent; yet doubtless it thus far turned to very great Account, in that it was a most precious Offering in the Sight of the Lord, and drew God's Love the more eminently unto Mankind, at least such as should believe in his Name, as his solemn Prayer to his Father at his leaving the World, given us by his beloved Disciple, doth plainly witness.

[Page 108]For how can it otherwise be, but that it should ren­der God most propitious to all such, as believe in Christ the Light of the World, when it was but a letti [...]g of his only begotten Son's Sufferings turn to their account, that should ever believe in him. Yet doubtless greatly did it influence to some singular Tenderness, and peculiar l [...]e­gard unto all such, who should believe in his Name a­mong other of his weighty Performances, for the sake of that last and greatest of all his External Acts, the re­sisting unto Blood for the Spiritual Good of the World, thereby offering up his Li [...]e upon the Cross through the Power of the Eternal Spirit, that Remission of Sin, God's Bounty to the World, might be preacht in his Name, and in his very Blood too, as that, which was the most ratifying of all his Bodily Sufferings. And indeed, there­fore might it seem meet to the Holy Ghost, that Redemp­tion, Propitiation and Remission should be declared, and held forth in the Blood of Christ unto all, that have right Faith therein, as saith the Apostle to the Romans; Whom GodRom. 3. 25.hath set forth to be a Propitiation through Faith in his Blood: andEphes, 1. 7. to the Ephesians; In whom we have Redemption through his Blood, the Forgiveness of Sins, &c. because it implies a firm Belief, that Christ was come in the Flesh, and that none could then have him as their Propitiation or Re­demption, who withstood the Acknowledgement of, and Belief in his Vi [...]ible Appearance, which John tells us, some denyed and withstood. 2. That he came in order to the Remission, Redemption and Salvation of the World. 3. That his so Dying was both an evident Token of his Love, and strong Argument of Confirmation of his Mes­sage and Work. 4. That it might the better end the Jews Services, by an Allusion to the Way of their Tempora­ry and Shadowy Sacrifices, as the whole Epistle to the He­brews showeth. 5. And that by bringing (through the holy Light in the Partic [...]lar) i [...]to the Acknowledgment of, and Belief in the Blood, which was ratifying of that whole Ap­pearance, Men might be brought unto the knowing Christ after a more Inward and Spiritual Manner, suitable to Christ's own Words, It is the Spirit that quickens; andHebr. 9. 14. the Apostle avers, that the Lord from Heaven is that quickning Spirit; by which Eternal Spirit he offered up himself without Spot. Nor can any reasonably suppose, that when Christ so spoak to his Disciples explanatorily [Page 109] of what he had obscurely and in Parables said to the Jews, that he meant not something more hidden and Divine then what they and the Jews saw; Yet that which hindred those Jews from the Knowledge or Benefit thereof, was their Stumbling at him without a Confession, unto whom they co [...]ld never come into the Beholding or Experiencing of his Divine Life in them.

To conclude, That Body was the Divine Lifes, a Body hast thou prepared me; therefore all that was done by that Body towards the Redemption of Man-kind, was eminently the Divine Lifes; yet because many times Actions are denomi­nated from, or appropriated to the Instrument as the next Cause, though not the Efficient, or most Eminent Cause; therefore the Scripture speaks forth (as indeed is the Pro­priety of both the Hebrew and Greek Tongues (Parabol cal­ly, Hyberbolically, Metaphorically) the inward Substance and hidden Life of things, by things more Exteriour and Ob­vious to the Sense, to the End that such Mysteries might be the better accommodated to Vulgar Capacities. Con­sider what I say with this Qualification, that ultimately and chiefly, not wholy and exclusively the Divine Life in that Body was the Redeemer: For the Sufferings of that Holy Body of Jesus had an engaging and procuring Vir­tue in th [...]m, though the Divine Life was that Fountain, from whence originally it came. And as the Life decla­red and preached forth it self through that Holy Body; so who did then come to the Benefit procured by the Divine Life, could only do it through an Hearty Confession to it, as appearing in that Body; and that from a Sence first begotten by a Measure of the same in themselves.

This is the main Import of those Places: Whom God Rom. 3, 25. hath set forth to be a Propitiation, and in whom we have Re­demption through Faith in his Blood. For who is this H E, whom God hath set forth, and in whom is Redemption? Certainly the same H E, that was before Abraham, the Rock of the Fathers, that cryed, Lo, I come to do thy Will (O God) a Body hast thou prepared me: which was long be­foreHebr. 10. 5, 7. the Body was conceived and born. But may some say, How is it then his Blood? Why, just as the Body is his Body.

Those who had Faith in that Blood believed his Visible Appearance, inasmuch as they acknowledged that great Seal and Ratification of it, to wit, the Shedding of the [Page 110] Blood of His Body, who came to save the World, and who alone is the Propitiation, Redemption and Salvation of all who had right Faith in that Appearance and Mes­sage so confirmed, and therefore so often exprest by it, as inclusive of all his whole Life and Sufferings beside. And this is my Reason for it, that it was impossible for any Man in that Day to confess to, and believe in that Divine Light and Life, which appeared in that prepared Body, but from the Inward Dis­coveries and Operations of that Light, with which Christ the Word-God who took Flesh, had enlightened him.

However, though the Apostles might then so express themselves, thereby to assert and recommend unto the Faith of all that most Heavenly Manifestation, and the great Love of Christ therein, as the Visitation of the Heaven­ly Life through that prepared Body, and the deep Sufferings of both for the World, being True and Spiritual Witnes­ses thereof; yet it was never intended, that any should barely rest in that, but press after the Knowledge of Christ by Faith in something farther, and beyond that Body, in which he appeared, not excluding our Belief in that too: They who knew Christ after the Flesh, were to press af­ter some more Spiritual Discovery of Him; and who al­most doted on his outward Manifestation, it was expedi­ent, that they should be weaned from it, to the End his more interiour, and indeed beneficial Revelation of him­felf might be witnessed.

Faith in his Blood was requisite, that they might con­fess him, whose Body and Blood it was to be Christ, who is God over all, blessed for ever; The great Que­stion with the Jews, Whether God was truly manifested in that Body of Flesh which they saw? So that the Stress lyes in Confessing to the Divinity come in the Flesh; other­wise they would have rejected not only the most signal Suffering of the whole Manifestation; but consequently that It self. To conclude, we confess, HE who then appeared, was and is the Propitiation, &c. and in Him was Redemption obtained by all those, who had such true Faith in his Blood: But still it is to be understood, that there must be a Witnessing of a measure of the same Light, Spirit and Power to appear for Redemption in each parti­cular.

VIII. That Justification came by Faith in his Blood, is [Page 111] clear in a Sense; for by the Law could no Flesh be justi­fied: That is, the Law being added because of Trans­gression, certainly the Transgressor could not be justified, whilst such, by that Law which condemned him for being such. Which puts me upon Distinguishing betwixt Justification, as it is sometimes taken, viz. for Remission, Pardon or For­giveness of Sin past upon Repentance; and that Justification, which implies an Acceptance with, and an Access to God, as a Keeper of the Law of the Spirit of Life, which is to be made In­herently Just.

In the first Sense, Since all have sinned, no Man can be justified by the Law he has transgress'd: Therefore that great Favour and Mercy of Remission, Pardon and For­giveness was only then generally preacht in the Name of Jesus, that such as believed in his Message should obtain. Thus by the Works of the Law shall no Flesh be justified; because, all the Righteousness Man is capable of, ca [...]ot make Satisfaction for any Unrighteousness he has commit­ted; since what he daily doth is but what he daily ows. But still such as keep the Law, are justified: for that a Man should be condemned both for Transgressing & Keep­ing the Law too, would be very hard. What shall we say then, but that Justification in the first Sense, since Adam's Day to this, hath been God's Free Love upon Repentance; and above all, that by Christ's visible Appearance, and in his Name was Remission, Pardon, or Forgiveness preacht or held forth to the whole World, upon their believing there­in, more eminently, then ever,

But in the last Sense, No Man can be justified, but as he is made Just, and is found actually Doing of the Will of God; That justifies, that is it gives Acceptance with, and Ac­cess to God: In this Sense it was, that the Apostle said, Such as are the DOERS of the Law shall be justified; and not from the Guilt of what they formerly did against it, by then keeping it; for that is the free Love of God alone, upon the Repentance of the Creature, (which hath been in all former Ages, but never so eminently held forth to the World, as by the Coming of Jesus Christ in the Flesh.)

So that thus far we can approach the Honester Sort of Professors of Religion, or rather, we never were at a Di­stance from them, viz. That Men may be reconciled, and in a Sense justified, while Sin may not be totally destroy­ed: [Page 112] That is, God upon their Repenting of past Sins, whilst not then clearly purged from the Ground of Evil, may, and we be­lieve, doth remit, pardon or forgive former Offences, and is thus far reconciled; that is, h [...] ceaseth to be Wrath, or at a Distance from them, as whilst they went on in a State of Disobedience to the Light. Yet forever we affirm, that no Man or Wo­man can be [...]ade a Child of God, but as the New Birth, Re­generat [...], and the i [...]vine and Heavenly Image comes to be witnessed through the putting off the Old Man and his Deeds, and being baptized by the Holy Ghost and Fire into the one Holy Body, of which Christ, the [...]maculate Lamb of God, is Head and Lord. So that all those who apply to themselves, or others the [...]romises due to this State, unto that before-mentioned, heal themselves or other deceitfuly; and God will judge for those things. So let all People co [...]sider with Sobriety and Moderation, i [...] the thi [...]gs we a [...]ert are not most agreeable with Scripture, and that Light of Truth, which is in their own Consciences, unto which we most of all desire to be made mani [...]est.

IX. Nor is this all the Good, the Life and Sufferings of that Blessed Manhood brought unto the World; For, ha­ving been enabled so effectually to perform the Will of God Living, an [...] so patiently suffered the Will of Wicked Men Dying, therein freely offering up his [...]ost Innocent Life for the World; He certain­ly obtained exceeat [...]g great and pretious Gifts, which, as every Man comes to believe in the [...]ight, wherewith Christ [...] hath enlightned him, and to be lead by it, he shall assu­redly f [...]el a particular Benefit to him accruing from that general one procured by him, who so laid down his Life for the World.

In short, As we cannot but acknowledge him a Saviour in That very Manifestation, or Coming in that prepared Bo­ [...]y, who appeared so extraordinarily to visit the World with h [...]s marvelous Light and Truth, to turn their Minds from Error and Darkness, and actually converted and reclai­med many, and endued his Followers with his own Heavenly Light, Life and Power, whereby to supply his exteriour Ab­sence with a most lively, piercing, and effectual Ministry for the compleating the rest from Generation to Generati­on; so must we needs attribute this chiefly to the Divine Light, Life and Power, that through the Manhood. of both Lord and Servants, put forth and revealed It self to the Salvation of the World.

[Page 113]Nor are we yet, as hath been often hinted (to speak strict­ly) to asscribe the particular Salvation of every Man's Soul, to the Appearance of that same Light in Nature, in either Lord or Servant, albeit many were reacht into their very Hearts and Consciences at that time, and great and migh­ty things were generally procured, and Christ in that Ma­nifestation became the Author of Salvation unto many; but rather, as he is the Light of Men Individually, both then did, and now doth appear in the Hearts and Consciences of Men, unto the awakening of whom, and turning their Minds from that Darkness of Tradition, Formality and Sin, which had and doth overcast the Soul, unto that blessed Light in the particular, that thereby (as to them) suffer'd, and doth yet suffer so great and tedious an Ecclips; [...]say, this is the Effici­ent of Salvation, and all other Exteriour Visitations, Ministries or Assistants, though from the same Light, are in respect of the Light in every single Man or Woman but Instrume [...]al: In this Sense then Man is only a Saviour Instrumen [...]ly, but Christ both, whether with reference to his own Bodi­ly Appearance, or in the Ministry of his Servants, he is the most excellent Instrument; and the only Efficient Cause of Salvation, as revealed and obeyed in the Consciences of Men. So that it is not the Question, Whether do the Quakers deny any Benefit to redound by Christ s Bodily Sufferings [...] but Whether the Professors allow and acknowledge the Main of the Work to the Divine Life and Light?

In short, He was the General Saviour in that eminent Ap­pearance at Jerusalem, in which he did so many great and good things for Mankind; & a Particular Saviour, as we find him in our Hearts an holy Light shewing Sin, reproving for, and converting from it into the Holy Nature of the Light, to be Flesh of his Flesh, and Bone of his Bone.

Thus have I declared, according to my Understanding grounded on Experience, and that Illumination God has gi­ven me, in Moderation, the very Truth, Weight and Tendency of the Outward Coming of Christ, and his deep Sufferings by and for the World; And also the Nature of his Inward Coming into the Souls of Men to expel the Darkness that lodgeth there; In both which respects, I confess him to be the Saviour of the World in general, and the Saviour of each Man in particular: But that the Benefit accruing to Men from Him as the general Saviour, is known and received only, where he is witnessed a particular Saviour, and that I will abide by; For Christ in [Page 114] Man, becoming the Hope of Glory, and Man's being changed into the same Image, from Glory to Glory, even as by the Spi­rit 2 Cor. 3. 18. of the Lord, is the Salvation and Perfection of every True Christian.

CHAP. XXII.

That Christ is the Light, or the Light is Christ. proved from Scrip­ture, and so concluded; notwithstanding two Objections, which are fully answered.

THat which remains to compleat our Scriptural Dis­course of the Light, is to pronounce it that which H. H. J. Faldo, Tho. Hicks, and a Multitude of other Barkers at it, despise to call it, and don't a little under­value both us and It because we do; I mean CHRIST: Not that the Manifestation of Light in every Conscience is the Intire Christ, but that Christ, the Word-God, is that Light of Righteousness, which inlightens all Men; for which the Scrip­ture is most express in that so well known (but little belie­ved) Passage delivered to us by that beloved [...]isciple, who best knew what his Lord was, and stood in no need of any of their Information, how to denominate, or right­ly character him; although they and others implicitely accuse him of Weakness, Obscurity, nay Error, if not Blas­phemy too; who make it all this (and if it were possible more) in a poor Quaker, for only Believing on pure Gonvi­ction, this one weighty Passage, THAT WAS THE TRUE LIGHT WHICH INLIGHTENSJoh. 1. 9. ALL MANKIND COMING INTO THE WORLD.

I have so throughly handled this Matter in a late Book, intituled the Spirit of Truth Vindicated, that I need the less to enlarge at this time, to which I refer the Reader for Satisfaction concerning some Objections raised against the place. However, I will briefly consider it here that our Believing Christ to be an Universal and Sufficient Light, and that to be Christ, may stand in the View of the World, upon so good Foundation, as the Testimony of that Divine and well-beloved Apostle.

Two things are commonly urg'd against our Under­standing, [Page 115] of the first Nine Verses of John, as they re­spect the Light.

1. Some say, that the Light here spoken of, is not a Su­per natural, and consequently no Saving Light, but the Light of common Reason; Others call it of Nature, decay'd by the Fall, and what Conviction ariseth thence is only the Imperfect Remains of that Natural Light, which these Men, who thus speak, grant all to have, as well before as after Christ's coming in the Flesh.

2. Others say, that this is indeed an Universal and Saving Light, but they restrain it to that Visible Appearance, and make the ALL to be, all those that will believe; and the World to be that New Spiritual World Christ came to create by Saving Know­ledge, which Believers come into.

I will briefly answer both, and therein as well all the pretended Anti-Socinians (viz) J. Owen, R. Baxter, T. Danson, J. Clapham, J. Bunnion, S. Eaton, J. Grig, T. Imner. T. Hicks, and abundance more who hold the former; as those who are reputed Socinians, who hold the latter.

It is agreed by the First, in the beginning of this Chap­ter, that Christ's Eternal Divinity is declared by the E­vangelist, since some of them, and particularly J. Owen tells us out of Eusebius, that it was written on that very Occasion; one Cerinthus then denying any such thing.

This Word which was with God, and was and is God: Joh. 1. 1, 2, 3, 4, 9. This God, the same Person tells us in his first Epistle, is Light; By Him all things were made, among the rest Mankind. He then tells us that This Word had Life, and from thence descends to inform us, what the Word was with respect to Man; In Him, the Word was Life, and the Life the Light of Men; as such, He was that True Light, and not John, who only came to bear Witness of that True Light, which inlightens all Mankind coming into the World.

That this Light is Divine, and no otherwise Natural, then as it is Christ's Nature, or Natural to the Word, I shall thus prove.

Man is here supposed to be before he was inlightened, therefore what ever was proper, and connatural to Man, as Man, he had before he was inlightened, that is, he had a reasonable Soul, indued with intelligent Faculties, and that clothed with a Body, fitted with sensible Organs; The Latter dif­fer'd him from Inanimate, the Former from Irrational Crea­tures. [Page 116] But still the Light, with which this Soul is en­lightened, in reference to God, and things appertaining to its Eternal Well being, belongs not to Man, as Man: Sure­ly then, this Light must be superadded, that is, over and above Man's Composition, as a meer Understanding Crea­ture; and consequently, it must descend from above, and in this Sense be Supernatural. Thus the Word crea­ted all things, and among them made Man, enlightened Man with a Supernatural Light.

That this Light was not only over and above Man's Nature, but is also of a Divine and Saving, One in it self, [...] prove from its being the Life of the Word; for if the Life of the Word be the Light of Men, here is no such thing as descending to an Effect, to prove the Light Divine, a that the Life should bring forth a Light, and therefore this Light is Di­vine, because the Life of the Word that Product it is so: I say, without going to an Effect for a Proof of the Light's Divinity, I thus Undeniably prove it from the Life it self. for that very Divine LIFE is the LIGHT, not that it cre­ateth or brings forth a Light, as a Cause doth an Effect, but is that very Light it self; so that unless they will make that Life Natural (I mean as they do) Created (though very im­properly; for a Divine Life is Natural to Christ) they can­not conclude the Light which is not the Product, but that very same Life it felf, to be a meer Natural Light.

If then the very LIFE of the Word, be the LIGHT of Men, unless the LIFE of the Word be NATU­RAL, the LIGHT of Men must be SUPERNA­TURAL, DIVINE and INFINITE, as it becomes the LIFE of the WORD (which is GOD) to be.

And this roundly checks the dull Ignorance, or base Ma­lice See Dial. pag. 3. 4. of Tho. Hicks, who either could not, or would not under­stand G. Whitehead, when he said The Light must needs be Di­vine, because the Life from whence it came is so, and the Effect is alwayes of the same Nature with the Cause, in any other sense’ then this, That because, saith Tho. Hicks, God is the Cause of Beasts & Trees, by G. W's Argument, therefore they are God; For sayes he, G. W. asserts, that such as is the Cause such must the Effect be: Which strange Construction of G. W's Words, bewrayes either great Stupidity or Disingenuity. I would ask that very Angry Man; Is there no Effect of Power, besides that of Nature? Did the Father of T. Hicks [Page 117] get a B [...]ast or a Man when he begat him? Surely, unless he has a­bandon [...]d all Understanding, methinks, [...]e that makes in his Book [...]o notable a [...]istinction betwixt Reason & Railing, by using so little of the one, and so much of the other, should put one betwixt a Natural and Potential Effect; I mean such an Effect as proceeds from Nature, and one that comes from meer Power: The Divine Life can naturally produce nothing that is not as Divine as it self; b [...]t its Power hath made all that is not o [...] itself, as well Inanimate as Animate Beings. B [...]t enough of this at this time, and till this be proved not enough by those that are bet [...], as willing then pro­ving it so.

The Life of the Word being then the Light of Men, and that without any Diss [...]nt, and consequently [...]; I have no need to prove it SAVING, till that [...]able Man has singled out Saving from [...]ivine which is not so ab­surd, but for all his great Skill in Divinity, he may venture at, and in my Judgment, such an Enterprise shall be suf­ficient to renown the Light, and ba [...] him in the thoughts o [...] all that forbid not Understanding in their Religion, without any further Apology. However, let me briefly say, that It being a Measure of the Tru [...] Light, by way o [...] Excellen­cy, [...]ar transcending John ( [...]or as such is he preferr [...]d, who is the Inlighte [...]er) and that it was through John all should believe i [...] him; and lastly, that to these who re­ceived him as the Universal Enlightener, or True Light, He gave Power to become the Sons of God, it [...] [...] follow, that the Light is Saving: and indeed I have with multiplied Arguments and Testimonies [...] made appear from Scripture and Story the Universality and Sufficiency of that Divine Light. Such then that say, it is decayed, because they are themselves, me­thinks, resemble those at Sea, who, being under Sail, fancy the Shoar moves. The Fault is in the Eye, blinded by the God of the World, and not in that blessed Light, which shines unprofitably upon the Blind (through their own Blindness got by Disobedience) Let them by unfeigned Re­pentance be unscaled, and the Sun will give good Proof of its Light; Darkness ought not to charge the Light, but it s [...]f that it sees not. Tho. Hicks confesseth All are inlightened, but denyes the Sufficiency thereof: yet refuses to be ruled by it: Let him first obey it, before he despiseth it, and prove himself above it, before he throws it so far below a Christian: He may [Page 118] be allowed then to blame the Light as Impotent, when he can live Uncondemned of it, or Experience can tell us its Insufficiency to Well-Living: Tis vain to undervalue That which chargeth both with Duty omitted, and Sin committed. Happy Man were he, if leaving Prejudice, he obeyed the Light within, it would not teach him to write Lyes, Slan­ders and Forgeries, nor to call Men Knave, much less to threaten them with Blows whom he scurrilously named so. But Our Religion is to Bear and His to Abuse.

However, this stands sure, that the Life of the Word is the Light of Men, and consequently Divine; and (to say nothing of the Absurdity of their Phraises) there I will leave this first Sort of Men, and their fruitless Opposition.

To the Second Interpretation given, destructive of that Scope we testifie the Light to have, I return thus much.

That because the Light of Men was the Life of the Word, which Word was God, by whom all things were crea­ted, and that all Men are mentioned in that place con­troverted, which presupposeth no further Qualification in order to have this Light, then being born one of that all Men into this World; I conclude, that it is not only a most False, but Injurious Notion, to assert the Commence­ment or being o [...] that Light, to be from the Coming of Christ in the Flesh.

Besides, since this relates to the whole Man, which Word begins with Adam, and ends with the last of Man's Race, I cannot conceive how that Exposition can be valid; for then John would have been before Christ, instead ofSee Origen, Chrysostom, Greg Erasm Drus. Zeger. Cam. Grot. B. Sand. Dr. Ham. Christ's being before Abraham; whereas, therefore is John de­nyed to be that Light, because that true Light by Way of Excel­lency was the Enlightener of all Men, yea, of John himself, and therefore call [...]d that true Light, that is, the Fountain of all Light, Light it self, from whom all derives, but he derives from none.

And to say nothing at this time of the miserable Estate those of Mankind must labour under antecedently to Christ's Coming in the Flesh, let it be considered, that these first Nine Verses in John, relate not in the least to his Fleshly Appearance, from whence those Men would date both his Original, and Man's Illumination, but are a continued Se­ries of the highest Proofs of a Divinity, that we might as well know what He was before He came, as when He did come; and the one was an Introduction to the other. Nei­ther [Page 119] is it fair for these Men to a [...]egorize Christ out of his Divini­ty, and yet deny us any Allegory to prove it. If they deny Mea­nings elsewhere, let them do so here; It unbecomes Men that have their Wits, to rack them, to prop meer Fancy.

Further let me add, that as He who then came into theJohn [...]. World, was the same that created that World, into which he came, and therefore Previous, or before such Coming [...]o neither can it hold that the World, into wa [...]ch M [...] comes, is the New Creation, since it is not said, who be­lieve, which is usually joyned to things of that impor­tance (believe and be saved, &c.) Nor can such as don't be­lieve, be totally excluded from being lighted, [...] the Wicked could not Rebell against it, if they had [...]; [...] [...] Evil Actions be Reproved without it: So that all such [...] is forreign, both from Scripture, Reason, and indeed Pro­bability also.

We shall conclude then, that Christ, the Word-God, is the Light of the World, that all are inlightened by Him, the Eter­nal Sun of Righteousness; therefore the Light of Men is Christ: For to Him, that is, Christ, or True Light, John testified, who gives Wicked Men to see their Unrighteousness, and who leads Good Men on in the Way of Holiness, which, persevered in, brings unquestionably to Eternal Happiness: and without which all Im­putation of general Acts of Righteousness by another, will a­vail nothing in the great and terrible Day of God's In­quest: when J. Faldo, J. Bunion, J. Grig, and that ma­litious T. Hicks, with the rest of their Omnious Frater­nity in Notion, shall be judged, not by the Deeds any other hath done for them (wholy without them) but according to the Deeds done in their own Mortal Bodies.

This Subject I shall conclude, with a few Reasons for the Universality and Sufficiency of the Light within, that we may not only be seen to have Scripture, and o­ther Authorities, but Reason, which is more universal, of our side too.

CHAP XXIII

The Universality of the Light proved by Reason.

THat there is an Universal Light, the Universality of all Ages have plentifully restified unto. There is nothing more constant now that can plead either such Antiquity, or general Consent: Not a Nation in the World ever knew an Age, in which it was destitute of such a Discovery of Internal Light, as gave to [...] Evil from Good, That Virtue was ever most commendable, and Vics above all things pernicious and damnable; This is matter of Fact, which I have already proved, and the most Barbarous of Nations now inhabited, are a clear Demonstration of what I say: conclude therefore, that since both Wic­ked and Good in all Ages have acknowledged to Well and ill Doing, and that this depends upon the Discove­ry of that Divine Light which manifests every Reprovea­ble Action; that none of Mankind are exempted from this Illumination.

But again, it is highly consistent with the Goodness of God, and Order of his Creation; since it seems unreaso­nable, that Men should have the Benefit of a Natural Sun which shines on the Just and Unjust, by which to di­rect their Steps, and securely transact all corporal Affairs; and yet their Souls be le [...]t destitute of a Spiritual Luminary; or Sun of Righteousness, when unto the Salvation of a sin­gle Soul, Christ counts the World of no value. The Soul then hath Eves as well as the Body; and as Men may see, if they please, when the Sun is in the outward Firmament, unless they on Purpose close their Eyes, so may all rational Souls see, if they will, by their Eye of Reason, that Spiritual Sun, which gives as true Discerning and Direction to the Mind, how to think and desire as the Natural Sun doth the Body, how to act and walk aright.

Were not this true, here would be a falling into a mi­serable Charging of God with Neglect to his Creatures; For since it is to be supposed that God made nothing but with a Design it should acknowledge a Creator, after its respe­ctive Nature; and that Man's Duty was peculiar, namely [Page 121] Divine Homage and Worship, exprest generally by a [...] correspond [...]nt to that Being which made him, it is just that we believe God hath indued Mankind with something that is Divine, in order to it; since oth [...], [...] [...] be destitute of what only co [...]ld enable him to [...] that Duty, without which he co [...]ld not, please nor acknow­ledge God. If then all Mankind ought to Worship, Fear, and Reverence God, Certainly all mankind have an Ability from God so to do, or else perfect impossibilities are expect­ed; because (otherwise) a most impotent Creature: But it can never stand certainly with the Rectitude or Righte­ousness of the Eternal God to expect that from Man, he never gave him Power to do; or the Improvement of a Ta­lent he never had. In short, if we ought to think that God is to be reverenc'd and worship'd, we must agree that he has [...] Mankind with a Divine Light and Knowledge in order to that End, or say with the Man in Matthew, God is as hard Master, an Austere Lord, he reaps where he never sowed, But I am almost of the Mind, that the Principles and Pre­ [...]dice of some encline them rather to think hardly of God, then favourably of the Light. How ill doth it become th [...]se to object an Impossibility of the Light's bearing their [...] [...], who are daily wounding it with their Rebellions?

But they object, Some deny they have it, and others by their [...] Lives shew they are void of it. To which I say, It is not impossible for a Life of Worldly Care, or Pleasures & [...] ­right Debauchery, to darken and quite blind that Eye which only sees the Light of Truth (and being kept single, preserves the Body full of Light) but this makes no A [...] ­eration in the Light; if through Repentance and Contrition the Scales fall off, the Light refuses not it self to the Eye that can and will see it; the Light remains unaltered, 'tis Man that changes. Would the Running Mad of some Men be a good Argument to prove Mankind irrational? neither is it any Demonstration against the Universality of the Light within, because some have by the Stupifyings of Sin rendred themselves I [...]sensible of it.

Nor doth Ill-living disprove the Light, enough improve Disobedience to it; Is it good [...] that [...] Wic­ked Man will not receive good Advice, therefore he never was well advised? And what better Reason can it be to say, Men disobey the Light, therefore they never had it; whilst that proves they had it, at least as a Condemner? A Man may be said to be enlightened, when he knows and does [Page 122] not his Duty; but rather I confess, when he becomes embet­tered by such Illumination: In the first Sense, All are illumi­nated, in the last, only such as having the Light, joyn to it, and obey it; for they will find their Understandings illuminated to that Degree, which the Disobedience of others shuts them up from. In short, All have Light to Reprove, unless they have quite put out their Eyes; but such only have it beneficially, as their Teacher and Director who receive it (as well as have it) in the Love of it.

Since then the Consent of Mankind, the Goodness and Justice of God, & Reason of the thing it self plead so strong­ly for the Universality of this Light, I need say the less, and shall descend to consider its Sufficiency.

CHAP. XXIV.

The Sufficiency of the Light proved by Reason.

BEcause as well the Sufficiency as Universality of the Light, is struck at by our Adversaries, it shall not, I hope, seem amiss, if I say something briefly to it, though much of what I have said in the former is refer­rable to this.

That the Universal Light is also Sufficient, is a Belief so Reasonable & Necessary, that the Opposite Opinion must needs impeach God of Want of Rectitude. All grant, that God has made Man Rational, capable of a measurable Know­ledge of his Creator, which his bare Capacity will never give him, unless God please to make some Discovery of himself suitable to that Created Capacity in the Creature: Certainly then, since God desires not that the Creature should receive a wrong Impression of him, and yet he re­quires Universal due Fear and Reverence, he must needs have given some Certain and Sufficient Discovery, in or­der to it, by those Lively Manifestations, and most Sensible Touches of the Light to and upon the Soul, which cannot but be true, clear, and if minded, efficacious; For that God should require Men to serve him, and not give them what is sufficient, is worse then not to give at all, since Man's not Obeying such Discoveries, is not so great an Aggravation of his Ne­glect, as the Imperfection of them is, either of his Insuffi­ciency, or Unwillingness that made them to do otherwise. What [Page 123] is this but to say, God expects Homage from Men as their Soveraign Lord, and that they live uprightly in the World, yet he has given them no Ability, in order to do it? He pronounces such Miserable who conform themselves not to an Ho­ly Life, but gives no Power to avoid the Curse? In short, though Reason tell us, he made none purposely to Destroy them, but rather that he might be glorified in their Sal­vation, which he is also said to invite Men to; yet that he designs nothing less, by leaving any, or all Mankind under the Fa [...]ntings of an Impossible Success. But, as such Dismal Consequences belong not to the Truth (what ever share such kind of Calvinistical Predestinarians may have there­in) so we are well assured, that the Light of which we speak, has ever been Sufficient to the End for which it has been given in every Age, both to Manifest Evil, Condemn for it, and Redeem by the Holy Inclinings and Operation of its Power, those who are the Diligent Disciples of it; For it seems most Unreasonable, that the Spirit of Darkness should be sufficient, to draw into, and Destroy by Sin, and yet the Spirit of Light not be sufficient to Redeem and Save from it. Since therefore we cannot admit of any Insufficiency in the Light within, but we must suppose, that whilst God would be rightly worshipt, he has too darkly discovered the Way how to do it aright; that bis Gift is Impotent, that Man is required to do what he has no Power to perform; and that, whilst God requires Man to serve him, he hath not so much as shown him what way he ought to do it; All which Consequences are most Unworthy of God: We rather chuse to sit down contented with this Belief, that God, who made Man, and has given him a Soul Capable of Knowing and Serving his Maker, hath also endued him with Divine Know­ledge, by a SUPERADDED LIGHT AND POWER, and enabled him thereby, to live subser­vient to that Knowledge; That God's Gift is perfect and sufficient for that Work; and that such as are led by it, must needs be led to God, unto which, that Divine Light naturally tends, and attracts, as that from whom it came: which is certainly a State of blessed Immortality.

In short, accept these few Arguments Comprehensive of these two Chapters, and indeed most of what goes before.

  • 1. God requires no Man to do any thing, he has nog given him first to Know, and the [...] Power to Do. But God re­quires [Page 124] every Man to fear him, and work Righteousness; Conse­quently, He has given every Man both a Discovery of his Will, and Power to do it.
  • 2. No Man ought to worship the true God Ignorantly: But every Man is commanded to worship God; therefore, He is to do it Knowingly.
  • 3. No Man can know God, but He must [...]over it to him, and that cannot be without Light; therefore, every Man has Light.
  • 4. This Light must be Sufficient, or God's Gifts are Imperfect, and answer not the end for which they were given; But God's Gifts are perfect, and can perform what they are designed to; therefore, since the Light is his Gift, it must be Sufficient.

The Sum is this;

Every Man ought to Fear, Worship and Obey God. No Man can do it a [...]ight, that knows him not. No Man can know him, but by the Discovery he makes of himself. No Discovery can be made without Light: Nor this Light give that Discovery if imperfect [...]r Insuffecient in Nature; There­fore, all have a Sufficient Light to this great End and Purpose, viz. To Fear, Worship and Obey God.

CHAP. XXV.

The [...], Who He, or They are that obey the Light, &c? Considered and Answered; being a Character of a true Quak r.

AS I took Occasion to begin this Discourse from the late Dialogue, so shall I end so much of it as im­mediately concerns the Light with my Answer toDial. pag. 2. the third Query made by T. Hicks, W [...]o this He, or They are that obey this Light, and in obeying attain S [...]lvation'

If I should take his Question as personally directed, I mean, what Man or Men they be, I should decline to answer; for the Controversy is not now of Person but Prin­ciples. I rather take this to be his Meaning, What are the Qualifications of those that obey this Light? Not what are their Names; but what kind or manner of People are they? In short, what is it to obey the Light?

[Page 125]I think I have so fully exprest my self already in this Matter, that with an [...] Adversary I might be sa­ved the Pains of any further considering it; But that no­thing may be thought to be [...] as Unanswerable, which is so easy to be answered, I tell him and all Men, and that not without some Knowledge experimental of what I say, That such [...] the Light, who [...] all that it manifests to be Evil, and inclines to perform all that it requires to be done; For Example: When the Light shows that it is Inconsistent with a Man fearing God, [...]. [...]. to be [...], [...], Proud, Covetous, Backbiting, En­vious, [...]. 5. Wrathful, Unmerciful, Revengeful, Prophane, Drunk­en, Rom. [...]. Voluptuo [...], [...], which with such like are called in Scripture, the Fruits of the Flesh, and Works of Darkness; and Persons so qualified, the Children of Wrath, such as delight not to retain God in their Knowledge, &c. I say, when the Light discovers these things to be Inconsistent with a Man fearing God, He, who truly Obeyes the Light, denyes and for­sakes them, however Cress it be to Flesh and Blood, and let it cost him never so dear: Though Relations do both threaten and entreat, the World m [...]ck, and he be sure to become the Song of the Drunckard, and a De [...]ision to his Ancient Companions, No, he dare not conform himself any more to the Fashi­ons of the World which pass away, and that draw out the MindJam. 5. 6. into vain and unprofitable Delights, by which the [...] in 1 John 2. 15. 16. him had been [...]; neither to gratifie the Lust of the Eye, the Lust of the Flesh, and the Pride of Life, which are not of the1. Pet. 1. 18. Nature of his Father, who has begotten better Desires in him: He rejects the Conversation he once had in the World, and in the Eye of its Children seems a Man Forlorn and Distracted; he takes up the Cross, desp [...]ses the Shame, and willingly drinks o [...] the Cup of bitter Mockings, and yields to be baptized with the Baptism of deep Tryals Christ Je­sus, his Lord, [...] of, and was baptized with.

He is as well taught to deny the Religions, as Cares and Pleasures of the World. Such as prosess Religion from what they have either been taught by others, or read and gathered with their Carnal Minds in the Scriptures, in­truding into the Practices of either Prophets or Apostles as to External and Shadowy things, not being led thereto by the same Power they had, he can have no Fellowship with; He counts all such Faith and Worship Imagination made of Men, or a meer lifeless Imitation; He prefers one [Page 126] Sight begotten from a Sence of God's Work in the Heart beyond the longest Prayers in that State; He leaves them all, walks as a Man alone, fearing to offer God a Sacrifice that is not of His own Preparing; He charges all other Faiths and Worships with Insufficiency and meer creaturely Power, which are not held and performed from an holy Convi­ction and Preparation by the Angel of God, the Light of his Presence in the Heart and Conscience; therefore goes he forth in the Strength of his God against the Merchants of Babylon, Woes and Plagues are Rightly in his Mouth against those Buyers and Sellers of the Souls of Men: He is Jealous for the Name of the Lord; And therefore dares not speak Peace unto them, neither can be put into their Mouths, but testi­fies against all such Wayes; Freely he received, freely he gives.

Thus is this Man Unravel'd, Unreligion'd, Unbottom'd as to his former State, wherein he was Religious upon Letter, Form, Mens Traditions, Education, and his own Imagination; He is as a Man quite undone, that he may be made what he should be. Thus is he convinced of Sin and of Righ­teousness too; and the Joy he once had when he girded himself and went whether he would, is now turned into Sor­row, and his Rejoycing, into Ho [...]ling: He has beheld God in the Light, and abhors himself in Dust and Ashes; Sin, that was pleasant once in the Mouth, he finds bitter in the Belly, and that which the World esteems worthy their Care he flies as a Man would do a Bear robbed of her Whelps; Sin is become exceeding Sinful to him, insomuch that he cries out, who shall deliver him? He labours greatly, and is very hea­vy loaden: He is not willing to fly in the Winter, but is re­solved to stand the Tryal; For this Man not only brings his former Deeds to the Light, and there suffers Judgment to pass upon them, but patiently takes part in that Judgment, who was so great an Accessory to them. Nor doth his Obedi­ence conclude with the Sentence given against past Sins, and himself that committed them; but most patiently endures the Hand of the Lord till his Indignation be overpast, and till that which condemned Sin (the Fruit) hath destroyed the very Root of it, which hath taken so deep hold in his Heart, and the same Spirit of Judgment that condemned Sin, be brought forth into perfect Victory over the very Nature and Power of Sin. This Judgment is found in the Light, therefore do the Sons of the Night reject the Knowledge of its Wayes, and the Chil­dren of the Day joy greatly in its Appearance.

[Page 127]But neither is this all that makes up that Good Man, who obeys the Light; For a compleat Son of Light, is one that has conquer'd and expel'd the Darkness? 'Tis true, he was once Darkness, but now Light in the Lord, be­causeEphes. 5. he hath been turned from Darkness to the Light, and1 Joh. 1. 5, 6. from Satan's Power unto God, who is Light it self, and with him is his Fellowship continually.

This is the Man who in the Way of the Light hath met with the Inward Cleansing; for having been purged by the Spirit of Judgment, and the Spirit of Burning (other­wise called the severe Reproofs, Stroaks and Terrors of the Light in the Conscience he has ever a Watch set up in his Heart; A Thought must not pass which has not the Watch-Word, but at every Appearance he cries, Stand, if a Friend, and owned o [...] the Light (who is the great Lea­der (given of God for that Purpose) then he lets It pass; otherwise, he brings It to the Commander of the Con­science, who is to sit in Judgment upon It. Thus is Christ the Light, King, Judge and Lawgiver; And by this he grows strong, & increaseth with the Increases of God: Yet he often reads the Scriptures, and that with much Delight, greatly admiring the exceeding Love of God to former Ages, which he himself witnesseth to be true in this; and many things are opened to his Refreshment. So is the Light the Just Man's Path, that in every Age still shined brighter and brigh­ter, in which the cleansing Blood of Jesus Christ is felt to cleanse from all Sin; Thus doth he bridle his Thoughts,Jam. 3. 1, 2, 3. so that his Words and Actions offend not. Above all, he is often retired to the Lord, loves Fellowship with him, waits for dayly Bread, not in his own Words, Strivings or Will, but emty of Thoughts, or the Peace or Comfort that is drawn or imagined from thence, he silently waits to feel the Heavenly Substance brought into his Soul, by the Immediate Hand of the Lord, for it is not fetching in this Thought, or remembring the other Passage in Scripture, or calling to Mind what has been formerly known, but every Immediate Word that proceeds from out of the Mouth of God, that can satisfie him. In short, He that obeyes the Light, is thereby taught to deny Ungodliness and Worldly Lusts, and to be Sober Righteous, Patient, Humble, Meek, Upright, Merciful, Forbearing, Forgiving, Peaceable, Gentle, Self-denying, Constant, Faithful and Holy, because the Lord his God is Holy.

[Page 128]Thus have I given a brief Account as well what HE is not, as what HE is that is Obedient to the Light within, which is Christ's Appearance in the Heart, whose Holy Blood is felt to Cleanse, Attone and Save all those who believe and abide therein.

CHAP. VI.

The Discourse hithertoo [...] up, and concluded with an Exhortati­on to all Professors of Religion, esp [...]cially our Opposers.

I Will sum up the whole of this Discourse into these few Heads.

I. That Salvation is to be saved from Sin first, and Wrath consequentially; He shall save them from their Sins.

II. That Christ, the Word-God, has enlightened all Man­kind, not only a [...]ter his Coming in the Flesh, but before: And that the Light has ever been Sufficient as well as Uni­versal to lead to God all such as have obeyed it, as by its Pro­perties and Effects is demonstrated.

III. That the Difference betwixt the Time of the Law and that of the Gospel, as generally distinguisht, was in Manifestation not in Nature. God might be as much more propitiou [...] and bou [...]ti ui to the last Ages (be it, that they were better able [...] receive such extraordinary Discoveries, or that it wa [...] the alone good Pleasure of his Soveraign Will) as he was to the former Ages, yet that he gave them a Suffi­ciency of the same Divine Light to conduct them through the World to Eternal Blessedness.

IV. That Jews and Creeks, Heathens and Christians agree in this.

V. That still the Preheminence is given to Christ's Ma­nifestation in Flesh, both generally and particularly, that being both the Fulness of Time, and Fulness of Discovery, which put an end to the Types and Figures and Car [...]al Co [...] ­mandements, by shewing forth an Abrogation and Consu [...]tion of them all, in the Substance it self: In which State they are [Page 129] not needed; but in Comparison thereof, they are (though once they were as Calenders, for weak People to read some mystically Glory by) but Beggarly Elements.

VI. That not only in that Flesh did the Eternal Light preach forth it self the End of these Things, by Revealing & becoming the Author of a more plain and perfect Way (though less easie to Flesh and Blood) placing the Stress of all upon an Eva [...]gelical Righteousness, whereof he became the first Mi­ [...]er, and our most Holy Example) but he also appear'd in that publick Body (so peculiarly prepared) a General Saviour, by his Life, Doctrine, Miracles, Death of the Cross & Re­surrection; in and by all which he obtained a Name above e­very Name.

VII. That nevertheless not to the Body, but holy Light of Life therein, is chiefly to be asscribed the Salvation; and to the Body however excellent, but Instrumentally: for that it was the Eternal Light and Life, which gave the Weight to all the Actions and Sufferings of the Body.

VIII. That the Benefit then procured is not witnessed by any, but as they come to believe in Christ the Light, as he doth appear in the Heart and Conscience, to save from Sin, destroy the Works of the Devil, finish Transgression, and bring in of his Ever­lasting Righteousness: Wherefore to fancy one's self intituled to a State of Salvation, whilst in Rebellion against the Light within (which is Christ's inward Knocking and Appearance) must needs be a Delusion most pernicious, and destructive to the Souls of men.

IX. That upon the whole it is determin'd and concluded, that Christ is that Light which shineth in the Conscience.

X. That the Light is prov'd by Reason both Universal and Sufficient; The first from the Consent of Mankind, the Good­ness and Rectitude of God; the second from both Experience, and that it were inconsistent with God, to give a Light to his Creature insufficient for the Work for which he gave it.

Thus in short have I given the Heads and Results of most of the Matter contained in the whole Discourse upon the Light; and I intreat our Adversaries, they would seriously [Page 130] weigh the Whole, before they either reject it, or endeavour to reply to it: But let them be advised to try the Virtue of the Light, before they sentence it to have none; And in the Love of God be once prevail'd upon to consider, if something in them doth not really Condemn them, amongst other things for these brisk Attempts against it.

Oh! Why should Men covet to Know so far beyond what they do faithfully Practise? Let them first out-live the Just and Holy Re­quirings of the. LIGHT, before they put these Barbarous Affronts upon it, of a WIL IN THE WISP, A DARK LANT­HORN-LIGHT,T. Jenner. T. Tayler. J. Faldo. T. Hicks. H. Grigg. &c. NATURAL, INSUFFICIENT, I­GNIS FATUUS, THE QUAKERS IDOL, and abundance of such like Frothy, Prophane, and indeed Blasphe­mous Epithetes, which they wickedly bestow upon IT, as if they were Its P [...]per Names; when the Scriptures they would oppose to it, plainly tell them, that the whole Work of the Apostolical Ministry was, To turn People from Darkness to the Light, from the Power of Sathan unto God, that they might have Remission of Sins: As much as to say, Such as are turned to the Light, are turn'd to God, who is Light; and those who abide there, both have Remission of the Punishment, and Purgation from the Defilement of Sin.

And whatever any may think of us, we both believe, as­sert, and will maintain against Men and Divels, that God is LIGHT; and that out of the Light, or void of his Divine Illumi­nation, no man can Know him, and consequently not Worship him, unless they should worship an Unknown God: That such as receive this Illumination, and rebel not against it; but improve this Hea­venly Talent, they have Fellowship with the Pure Eternal God, and experience the Blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse the [...] from all Un­righteousness.

If any think to arrive at Glory another Way, and will not be admonisht, let them proceed; we speak what we know, and can but declare what we have felt of the Work of God in our Hearts. The Scriptures we highly value: But we believe not the things we often quote thence, to be true, Only because there, but for that we are Witnesses of the same Opera­tion, and bring in our experimental Testimonies to confirm the Truth of theirs: and such truly honour the Scriptures; all others are at best but empty Scribes, and Pharisaical Babblers.

So with God I leave my Labour in this Particular, desi­ring, that his Heavenly Light may yet more abundantly arise [Page 131] upon the Dark Hearts of Mankind and awaken them to Re­pentance, that since IT hath so long shined in Darkness uncomprehended, till even Darkness it self is grown so im­pudent as to interpret its Inability, to see the Insufficiency of the Light, he would be pleased to cause it to shine out of Dark­ness, that IT might plead the Excellency of ITS own Divine Nature in the Consciences of Men and Women, against the daily Scornes and base Detractions, that even great Professors of Christianity stick not to fling upon It; so ill are they principl'd, and so un-Christianly employ'd, which proves to me, how little they are Profess [...]rs of the True, Pure and Undefiled Religion, what ever Place their cunning Devices may have given them in the Hearts of Weak and Simple People. My Soul pittyeth their Opposition, and feareth the Consequence of such Re­sistance; and desires they may see the very Vanity of their En­deavours against the Light, Repent of them, and be Converted, that God may yet Heal them: which sincere Desire is my Return for all their Hard Speeches and Ungodly Sayings against us in general, and my self in particular.

W. Penn.

AN APPENDIX To the First Part; being a Discourse OF THE GENERAL RULE OF Faith and Life, AND Judge of Controversie. Greatly importing all those who desire to take Right Measures of Faith; and to Deter­mine (at least to themselves) the numerous Controvers [...]es now on foot in the World.

By the same Author.

For in Christ Jesus, neither Circumcision availeth any thing, nor Uncircumcision, but a NEW Creature: And as many as walk according to THIS Rule, Peace be on them, and Mercy, and upon the whole Israel of God, Gal. 6. 16.
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God — The Things of God knoweth no Man save the Spirit of God — He that is Spi­ritual judgeth all things, 1 Cor. 2. 10, 11, 15.
But ye have an Unction from the Holy One; and ye know all things,1 John 2. 20.

Printed in the Year 1673.

OF THE GENERAL RULE OF Faith and Life.

SInce there be so many Faiths in the World, and per­plext Controversies about them; and that it great­ly behoveth every man (if to Contend for, then first) to Know the True Faith that overcometh the World, It may not be unnecessary to say something of the General Rule of Faith and Life, and Judge of Controversie, at this time. And indeed I am prest to it from this weighty Consideration, that Men perish for Want of it, and can no more arrive at Truth without it, then the distressed Mariner can gain his Port who sailes without either Star or Compass.

I shall begin with an Explanation of the Terms, Rule, and Faith, of which we shall first treat, that we may as well ex­press what we intend by the one, as what we mean by the other, which will be a proper Introduction to the whole Discourse.

By General Rule, &c. we understand, that Constant Measure or Standard by which Men have been in all Ages enabled to Judge of the Truth or Error of Doctrines, and the Good or Evil of Thoughts, Words and Actions.

By Faith we understand an Assent of the Mind in such manner to the Discoveries made of God thereto, as to resign up to God, and have Dependence upon him, as the Great Creator and Saviour of his People, which is inseparable from good Works.

That Men in all Ages have had a Belief of God, and some Knowledge of him (though not upon equal Discovery) must be granted from that account that all Story gives us of Man­kind in matters of Religion; several have fully performed this: Ofold, Justin Martyr, Clemens Alexandrinus, Augustine, and others; of later times, Du Plessy, Grotius, Amiraldus, L. Herbert, with many more: And indeed the reliques we have of the most ancient Historians and Authors, are a Demonstration in the [Page 136] Point. Now the Scripture tells us, that no Man knows the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son reveals him: AndMat. 11. 27. as none knows the things of Man, save the Spirit of Man; so the 1 Cor. 2. 11. things of God knows no Man, but the Spirit of God. Hence we may safely conclude, that the Creating Word that was with God, and was God, in whom was Life, and that Life the Light of Men; who is the Quickning Spirit, was He, by whom God in all Ages must have been revealed; consequently, that Light or Spirit hath been the General Rule of mens Knowledge, Faith and Obedi­ence, with respect to God. And thus much Pythagoras (that liv'd about Six Hundred Years before those Words were spoak or writ) laid down for a Maxim, viz. That no man can know what is agreeable to God, except a man hear God himself, that is, within; for that was his Doctrine: To which the Apostle and Prophet thus agree; 1. In that whatever makes manifest is Light. 2. That Ephes. 5. 13. whatever might be known of God was manifest within; for God (whoRom. 1. 19. is Light, 1 Joh. 1. 5.) had shewn it unto them: And God hath Mic. 5. 8. shewn unto thee, O Man, what is good and acceptable, &c. which could not be without his Light shining in Man's Conscience; Therefore the Light of God in the Conscience must needs have been the general Rule, &c. It was by this Law, that Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Melchisedeck, Abimeleeh, Job, Jethro, &c. walked and were accepted, as saith Irenaeus & Tertullian, They were Just Jren. l. 2. c. 30. Tertul. con. Jud. p. 184. by the Law written in their Hearts; then was it their Rule to and in that just State.

Obj. It seems then you deny the Scripture to be the General Rule, &c.

Answ. How can they be the General Rule, that have notQuakerism a new nickname for old Christi­anity, p. 54. 55. been General? That which was both before, and since they were in being, must needs be more general then they: But that was this Light in the Conscience, the Law and Guide of those Patriarchs (for the Scriptures began long after in Moses) consequently that must be the general Rule, &c.

Obj. But granting that the Light within were so before Scripture was extant, yet since the Writing of holy Scripture, the Scripture, and not the Light, hath been the general Rule.

Answ. That cannot be, unless Palestina or Canaan, a little Province of Asia, was the whole World; and the Jews, a par­ticular People, all Mankind: For at what time the Writings were among the Jews, other Nations were only left to the Law and Light within; This the Apostle confirmeth in that Pas­sage, [Page 137] For the Gentiles, which have not the Law (that is, the out­ward Law, or Law written) do by Nature the things conteined in the Law, which sheweth the Work of the Law written in their Rom. 2. 14, 15. Hearts. And the Gentiles themselves called it, the immutable Law, the everlasting Foundation of Vertue; no liveless Precepts, but immortal; a sacred Good, God the Overseer; the living Rule, the Root of the Soul; that which makes the Good Man. Thus Thales, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Plotin, Hieron, Philo, Plutarch, as cited: And saith Sophocles, God grant that I may alwaies observe that vener [...]ble Sanctity in my Words and Deeds which these noble Precepts (writ [...] Mans Heart) requ [...]re; God is their Father: neither shall they ever be abrogated; for there is in them a GREAT GOD that never waxeth Old. More reverent Epithetes then John Faldo and T. Hicks can afford, as their Books too openly witness; yet would go for Christian-men, though manifestly short of Heathens.

Thus is it evident that the Scripture was not the general Rule, a [...]ter it was given forth.

Obj. But hath it not been since; and is it not now the general Rule, &c?

Answ. There hath been since, and is now the same Im­pediment; for before Christ's coming in the Flesh, and since, where the Scriptures never reach d, there hath been the same Light: And though Nations (through not glorifying God as God, when they have known him) have bin so given up to all manner of Impieties, as that their Understandings have been greatly vail'd; yet did not the Light within so wholely loose its Ru­ling Exercise among them, as that they lived without any Sence of such thing; Therefore still the Scriptures have not been, neither are the General Rule, no not so much as of any Age; since in no Age can it be prov'd, that the whole World was furnished with them: But had they been so for some one or two Ages, as they never were; yet the granting it will not reach our Question, where the Word General, implieth the Nature of the Thing it self, respecting Mankind from the Beginning to this Day, and so to the End.

Obj. But is not the Scripture the Rule, &c. of our Day?

Answ. If The Rule, then the General Rule; for whatsoever is The Rule of Faith and Life, excludeth all other from being General, they being but particular in respect of it self; There­fore not The Rule of Faith and Life.

But besides their not being Cenetal, I have several Reasons to offer, why they cannot be The Rule of Faith and Life, &c.

1. If now the Rule, then ever the Rule: But they were not ever the Rule; and therefore they cannot now Justin Martyr saith, ‘That all are Chri­stians who live with Christ, as Abraham and Elias; and amongst the Greeks, as S [...]crates, H [...]raclitus, &c.’See Scult [...]tus on him, [...]ho also saith, That some at this day are of his Judgment, who have taught that Melchizedec [...], Abimel [...]ch, Ruth, Ra­chab, the Queen of Sheba, Hiram of Tyre, Naaman t [...]e Syrian, and the City o [...] Nini­ve, are in the Catalogue of Christians. Eusebius Pamph. in his Ecclesiastical History, saith, That Abraham and the an­cient Fathers were Christians: And de­fines a Christian to be, one that by the Knowledge and Doctrine of Christ [...]xcels in Moderation of Mind, in Righteousness and Continency of Life, and Strength of Vertue & Godliness towards one only God; see Scultetus on him. Clemens Alexandrinus saith, The Law of Nature and of Discipline is one. And Moses seems, to call the Lord the Cove­nant: For he had said before, the Cove­nant was not to be sought in Scripture; for that is the Covenant, which God, the Cause of all, setteth, whence his Name in Greek is derived. And in the Preaching of Peter, thou mayest find the Lord called the Word or Reason, and the Law. See his 1 Book Strom at the end. And before pag. 353. he saith, The Law and the Go­spel is the Operation of one [...]ord who is the Vertue & Wisdom of God: And the Fear which the Law had bred, is mereiful to Salvation: And the Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of VVisdom. That she (that is, VVisdom) that administreth Provi­dence, is Mistress and Good; and the Power of both procureth Salvation: the one Chastizing as Mistre's, the other being bountiful, as a Benefactor; for on must pass from Darkness to Life; and applying his Ear to wisdom, first be a Servant, then a faith­ful Minister, and so as [...]nd into the Number of Sons, and be brought into the elect Adopti­on of Sons. That the Law works to make them immortal, that chuse to Live temperate­ly and justly. And Again, Evil men do not understand the Law; but they that se [...]k the Lord, do understand in every good thing. And the whole first Book of the Stromat [...] is especi [...]ly to prove the Antiquity of the one true Religion, or Philosophy, a [...] he calls it. be the Rule. That they were not e­ver the Rule is granted; But that they are not therefore now the Rule may be by some denyed, which I shall prove. If the Faith of God's People in all Ages be of one Na­ture, then the Rule but of one Na­ture: But clear it is, Heb. 11. The Faith has been but of one Nature; Consequently, the Rule but of one Nature. In short, If the holy An­cients had Faith before they had and wrote Scr [...]pture, they had a Rule before they had or wrote Scripture; for where Faith is, there is a Rule for that Faith; And if the Faith be of one Nature, the Rule is of one Na­ture: And since the Faith is In­ward, Spiritual, begotten of the Im­mortal Word, in which is Life, and that the Light of men; and that this Word, Life and Light was the Rule, then no more Book, Writing or ingraving on visible and perish­able Matter can be the Rule now.

Again; Such as the Faith is, such must the Rule be: But the Faith is as before, Inward and Spirual; there­fore the Rule must be Inward and spiritual, which no meer Book can be.

[Page 139]2. If the Scriptures were the Rule, they must have always been a perfect Rule, ever since they were a Rule: But this is impossible, since they were many hundred years in writing and are now imperfect also, as to Number; How then the per­fect Rule?

That they were not the Perfect Rule before they were written must be granted; and that they were many hundred Years awriting, must also be allowed; and that they are imperfect now, as to Number, I prove.

First, Enoch's Prophecy is mentioned by Jude, but not ex­tant in the Bible; the Books of the Wars of the Lord, Numb. 21. 14. The Book of Jasher, Josh. 10. 13. 2 Sam. 1. 18. The Book of Nathan, 2 Chron. 9. 29. The Book of Shemaiah, 2 Chron. 12. 15. The Book of Jehu; The Epistle of Paul to the Laodi­ceans, Collos. 4. 16. and several others, mentioned in the Scriptures, not now extant: And lastly Luke sayes, That many took in hand to relate from Eye-Witnesses the things most surely be­lieved, &c.

Now 'tis taken for granted that John wrote many Years after Luke; Some think Luke wrote before Mark: However, Matthew and Mark were not many; and to this day we see no more then those four in our Bibles, and therefore many such Writings lost; and if lost, then the Scriptures not perfect; and if imperfect, how can they be the Rule of Faith, since the Rule of Faith must be perfect?

3. My third Reason is this; The Scriptures, however use­ful to Edification and Comfort, seem not in their own Na­ture and Frame to have been compil'd and delivered, as the Rule and intire Body of Faith; but rather upon particular Occasions and Emergencies. The Doctrines are scattered throughout the Scriptures, insomuch that those Societies who have given forth verbal Confessions of their Faith, have been necessitated to toss them to and fro, search here and search there, to lay down this or the other Principle; and then as like the original Text as their Apprehensions are; whereas, were it as plain and distinct as the Nature of a Rule requires, they needed only to have given their Sub­scription for a Confession. Besides, here they are Proper, there Metaphorical; in one place Literally, in another Mystically to be accepted: Most times Points are to be prov'd by comparing and weighing Places coherent; here to allude aptly and not wrong the Sense is difficult, and requires infallible Discer­ning, notwithstanding the Brawlers of our times against In­fallibility: [Page 140] Now from all this, with abundance more that might be said, plain it is, that the Scriptures are not plain, but to the spiritual man; but, as Peter said of Paul s Writings, in many things hard to be understood; therefore not the Rule, which ought to be plain, proper and intelligible.

4. Again, the Scripture cannot be the Rule of Faith, because it cannot give Faith; for Faith is the Gift of God, which over­comes Ephes. 2. 8. the World: neither of Practice, because it cannot di­stinguish1 John 5. 4. of it self in all Cases what ought to be practised, and what not; it containing as well what ought not to be practi­sed, as what ought.

This was the Case of Christ's Disciples, who had no par­ticular Rule in the old Testament Writings, for the abolish­ing of some part of the old Testament Religion; on the con­trary, they might have pleaded for the Perpetuity of it, be­cause Christ said unto them, Do as they say, that sit in Moses's Chair, more reasonably then many make that a Plea now a­dayes for their invented Worships: What guided them in their declaring void and relinquishing those things? For In­stance; God gave Circumcision as a Sign for ever; And Paul Genesis 17. tells the Galatians, That if they be circumcised, Christ should pro­fit Gal. 5. 1, 2. them nothing: Was not this the Spirit of Truth that leads into all Truth, that they made the Judge and Rule of their Doctrine and Practices? So James and the Assembly of the Apostles, when they said, It seem [...]th good to the Holy Ghost and Acts 15. 28. to us, &c.

5. These very men that say, it is the Rule of Faith and Life, deviate in their Proof from their Assertion; for the Scriptures no where say so of themselves. He that flyes to Meanings and Interpretations; The Question arises not about the Truth of the Text, for that is agreed on on all hands; but the Exposition of it: If then I yield to that Man, do I bow to the Letter of the Text, or to his Interpretation? If the Latter, as manifestly I do, is the Scripture or that Man's Sense of it my Rule? Nay the Person so interpre­ting makes not the Scripture his Rule but his own Appre­hension, whatever he may say to gain Credit to his Con­ceptions in others; then Mine it must needs be, I consent­ing thereto.

6. How shall I be assured that these Scriptures came from God? I am bound to try all things: If all things, then Them amongst the rest. I would fain know what I must try them with? with the Scriptures? Then the Scriptures [Page 141] must be the Rule of my Examination, and Faith concerning themselves; which is improper: If with the Spirit that gave them forth (that searcheth the deep things of God, a measure of which is given to me to profit withal) Then is it most congruous to call the Spirit, and not the Scriptures the Rule.

7. If the Scriptures are the Rule, they are so either in their Original or Copies: If in their Original, that is not extant, then no Rule in being; for the last of it that was extant, was John's History at Ephesus, not seen these thousand Years: If the Copies must be the Rule, it were to be wished, we knew which were the nighest to the Original, there being above thirty in Number: This is undetermined and for ought we see indeterminable. And that which makes good what I say, are the Variety of Readings among those Copies, a­mounting to several thousands: And if the Copies cannot, how can the Translations be the Rule so differing from the true Sense of the Copies in many things, and one from another? Be­sides, I would fain know of those of our present Age, who thus contend for the Scriptures being the Rule, &c. in Op­position to the Spirit, upon what foot they receive them into this Place and Authority; Is it by Tradition, or Revelation? I mean the Internal Testimony of the Spirit; or the exter­nal Award and Avouchment of Men: If the former, they inavoidably come over to us; for then the Spirit will, and must be both Rule and Judge? If the latter, I ask, how are they assured that they are not miserably abused by Care­lesness or Design; since we see (that using utmost Dili­gence) both Translation, Transscription and Printing, are sub­ject to numerous Mistakes, and those sometimes very ma­terial, against which the Scripture can be no Fence?

But admit there were no Ground for any such Objection, I further demand of our Adversaries, if they are well assured of those men that first collected, embodyed & authenticated them by a Publique Canon, which we read to have been in the Council of Laodicca, 360. Years after Christ (though not as they are now received) during which time they had bin tossed & tumbled; some receiv'd, some rejected, doubt­less many hundred times transscribed; and it is not im­probable that they were also abused: If they miss in their Judgment here, they are gone, till they come to us. I say, how do they know that these men rightly discerned true from sp [...]rious? Either their Judgment was infallible in the [Page 142] Matter, or it was not: [...]f it were, then there was such a thing as Infallibility since the Apostles Dayes, which is a Contra­diction to your selves. But be it so that they were infalli­ble; how came you to be assured they were so? Not by In­spiration; that is dangerous Doctrine with you: Which way was it then? Not by Tradition. Was it by the Scripture? That were to say, that the Scripture tells you that those men that collected it for true, were right in their Judgment: but we are yet to finde any such place, and that is to beg the Question. I cannot see any other Ground, besides your very great Kindness to their Choice, which you call Popery, and believing as the Church believes, in other Folks. But if these men were fallible, as your own Principle makes them, and their own Determinations prove them; what then? doubtless your Condition will be desperate.

Now, certain it is that some of the Scriptures taken in by one Council for Canonical, were rejected by another as A­pocryphal; and that which was left out by the former for Apocryphal, was taken in by the latter for Canonical. Now vi­sible it is that they contradicted each other, and as true that they both erred, respecting the present Belief; for your Canon and Catalogue varies from theirs, and, let me say with­out Offence, from any Catalogue you can produce. Behold the Labyrinth of Incertainties you run your selves into, who go from that heavenly Gift in your selves, by which the holy Scriptures are truly discerned, relished and distinguished from the Inventions and Abuses of Men!

8. Furthermore, If the Scriptures were the Rule of Faith and Life, &c. then because they cannot be the Rule in their Translations, suppose the ancient Copies were exact, it can­not be the Rule to far the greatest part of Mankind, indeed to none but Learned men; which neither answers the Promise relating to Gospel times, that is universal; nor the Necessity of all Mankind for a Rule of Faith and Life.

9. That the Scriptures are not the Rule of Faith and Life, is proved from those voluminous Discourses of Cases of Conscience that are extant among us: For had the Scriptures be [...] as sufficient as the Nature of the Rule of Faith and Life requireth, there had been no need of such Tracts; eve­ry man might have read his own Condition laid down in Scripture without those numerous Supplements. Doth not your own Language and Practice prove its Insufficiency to that End, at what time you both exhort to, and go in secret [Page 143] to seek the Mind of the Lord in this or that important Affair? Why do not you turn to Chapter and Verse for Satis­faction, if the Scripture be appointed of God for a Rule? Strange! That what is so common in the Mouths of all sorts, viz. God direct you (that implieth Inspiration and Revela­tion, or immediate Council or Guiding from God) shouldTher's not laid down in Scrip­ture any gene­ral Rule how to answer before Magistrates; & to act in Times of Sufferings. Thus said a Ba­ptist in print, o [...] to that purpose. not be known, much less acknowledged by you in our Wri­tings; but overrun with such scaring Epithetes, as Enthusi­asm, Familism, Fanaticism, Quakerism, &c. In short, there are a * thousand Cases, and not a few occurring almost daily, in which the Scripture cannot be our plain and distinct Rule and Guide; yet has not God left himself without a Witness in every Bo [...]om; for his Grace has appeared unto all Men, teach­ing them that believe in it, to deny Ungodliness and wo [...]ldly Lusts, John 1. 9. and to live sob [...]rly, righ [...]eously and godly in this present evil World. Tit. 2. 11, 12. And Christ Jesus the eternal Word, has for that End en­lightened every Man coming into the World (viz.) to dis­cover, reprove, and instruct [...]or Faith and Life. But it may be, and is objected by some;

Obj. If this Law and Light in the Conscience had been enough, what need had there been of Scripture?

Answ. The same Argument will hold against God, Christ, his Spirit and Grace, all which are sufficient, notwithstand­ing the Use and Benefit of Scripture. The Case was this: Man's Mind being estranged from the Light and Spirit, through its wandrings after visible and perishing things; and in as much as the Light became thereby vailed from him, the Spirit as quenched, and the Law as defac'd, God in peculiar Mercy to the Jews, according to his Covenant with faithful [...]braham, super-added, or repeated (as Ur [...]n termes it) the Law inward, by a Declaration of it outward­ly; that both God might not be without an outward Wit­ness, as well as an inward (they having so much lost the Feeling thereof) And more deeply to strike their Minds, by their Senses (into which their Minds were gone) and to meet them abroad, whether they were roving and wander­ing from the Law and Light within.

As it is great Vanity and Weakness to infer Insuffici­ency to the Light from the Imbecillity and Darkness that are in Men (occasion'd through their Rebellion to the Law and Light within) so from God's superadding Scripture, and other external Assistances to Men in that State: What [Page 144] would such have God, his Light and Spirit appear to, and converse with Peoples outward Senses? That can't be: the one is too Spiritual; the other too Carnal for any such thing. Or are they Insufficient, because they converse with Men through these exteriour things, suited to that imbecil State? Or tell me, if the considerablest part of Script [...]re be any more then the declared Knowledge and Experience o [...] such as were come to a more improved State in the Teachings of that Light and Spirit, which is therefore given forth, that others loytering behind, might be the more prevailed with to follow them, as they had followed the Lord in the Light of his Spirit? Certainly, it can never be, that Scripture should impeach the Light of insufficiency, when it is but the Mind and Teachings of the Light in others, declared or re­corded. Does the Declaration jarr or make weak that from whence it came? Or because of God s (ondescension for a time to Externals, shall they turn the Light and Spirit out of the Office of Rule and Judge by being perpetuated the Rule and Judge? Or is it to lay down instituted Religion (as some ignorantly talk) to press after that which was be [...]ore, and ends those temporary things? The Law outward, as a Rule, was but as Moses till the Son came. The Servant abideth not in the House forever. The written Law held its place but till the inward rise in more Glory and Brightness; o [...] rather, till they became more capable of being turned to it, and living with it? In those Dayes I will write my Law in their Heart, &c. They who say otherwise of Scripture, do pervert and abuse it; for there is nothing more clearly laid down in it, from Beginning to End, then the Rule and Reign of the Spirit. My Kingdom, said Christ, is not of this World. Again, The Kingdom of God is within: I will write my Law in their Hearts, and place my Fear in th [...]ir inward parts. All thy Chil­dren shall be taught of the [...]ord, and in Righteousness shall they be John 18. 36. established. I will pour out my Spirit on all Flesh. The Grace of God Isa. 54. 13. that brings Salvation, hath appeared to all Men, teaching, &c.Joel 2. 28

Obj. But if the [...]aw engraven and delivered to Moses, was a Rule to the Jews; why should not the Law deliverd by Christ, and written by his Apostles, be the Rule to Christians?

Answ. Christ left nothing in writing as the Rule that we hear of; and it is not to be thought he was less faithful in his House then Moses: And doubtless, had he intended the Rule of his Followers to have been a written Rule, he would [Page 145] have left it upon record with all Punctuality, This must be believed, and that done, on Pain of eternal Death. Nor did his Followers write in the Method of a Rule, as the Law was written; nor did they so call or recommend what they writ.

But this leads me to my 8th Reason why the Scriptures cannot be the Rule under the New Covenant, &c. For ad­mitting the Law written by Moses were the Rule (A Rule I grant it was) to the Jew outward; yet Christ the spiritual Leader, of a spirit [...]al Israel writeth his spiritual Law in the Heart, as Moses, the outward Israel's Leader writ the Law upon Tables of Stone. This was God's Promise, the Privi­ledgeJer. 31. 33. and Blessing of the new Covenant, that as the out­ward Jew had an outward Law, for a Directory, the inward Jew should have an inward Law for his Directory: And as the outward Jew had an outward Priest at whose Mouth heMal. 2. 7. ought to seek the Law; so the Jew inward, and Circum­cisionHeb. 7. 24, 25, 26, 27. in Spirit, has an inward and Spiritual High-Priest, whose Lips preserve Knowledge; at whose Mouth he is to receive the Law of Life. And this is his Rule, who is the Ruler of his People Israel, who reigneth in Righteousness,Isa. 9. 6, 7. and of the Increase of whose heavenly Government there shall be no End. The King, Ruler, Judge, Law-giver, High­priest, Law, Rule, Temple, are all Spiritual: so the Scriptures inform us; My Kingdom said Christ, is not of this World. A­gain.Luk. 17. 20, 21. The Kingdom of God is within: I will write my Law in their Hearts, and place my Fear in their inward Parts. They shall Heb. 8. 10. be all taught of me; and in Righteousness shall they be established, Rev. 21. 3. The Tabernacle of God is with Man; He will dwell with them, Joel. 2. 28. I will pour out my Spirit on all Flesh. The Grace hath appeared to Tit. 2. 11, 12. all M [...]n, teaching, &c. A Measure of the Spirit is given to all Men to profit withal. The Inspiration of the Almighty giveth Un­derstanding. Job. 32. 8. Whatsoever may be known of God is manifest within. Rom. 1. 19. walk in the Spirit: If ye walk in the Light, &c. Come let us walk Gal 5. 16. 1 Joh 1 7. in the Light of the Lord. And there needed neither Sun nor Moon Is [...]. 2. 5. to shine; for the Glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb was Rev. 21. 23. the Light thereof. As many as walk according to this Rule, Peace Gal. 6. 15, 16. be on them and the whole Israel of God, &c. What Rule? Not that of the old legal Creation that passed away; but the Rule of the [...], or new Creation as it may be rendred: And as Drusius cites one to have interpreted it; and Grotius [Page 146] also interprets it; which is the Galat. 6. 16. [...] in this Rule; as it is translated Phil. 3. 16. which is spoken of the Measure of Attainment: and Grotius saith, in the Manuscript, Rule is not; so it must be understood, let us walk in the same Attainment; as also in 2 Cor. 10. 13, 15. in which three Places that word is only found: See Erasmus, Vatablus, Zegerus, Cameron. Ja [...]. Capellus and Grotius, on those places, none whereof can be drawn to the Scriptures. Ze­gerus interprets this Place of Gal. 6. 16. thus, They that have [...]ollowed this Form of Life, or Rule of the new Creatur [...], having turned away from the invalid Cer [...]monies of the Law; Peace, &c. Drusius explains it from Chap. 5. 6. The new Creation. i. Faith which worketh by Love. Grotius saith, Rule here is a Way made as to a Rule that is plainly Right; such is that Way of the new Creation, which was foretold Isa. 42. 9. And signifies the State of the new Man, of which Paul Speaks, Col. 3. 10’. Eph. 2. 15. Rom. 6. 4. Way of Life Isaiah spoak of, An High-Way there shall be, and it shall be called the Way of Holi­ness; the Unclean shall not pass over it, and wayfaring Men, though Fools, shall not e [...]r there­in: There shall be no Lyon there, nor ravenous Beast go thereon, but the redee [...]d shall walk there; which Way, Teach [...], Guide, Rule, Light, Spirit, andholy Unction that directs & keep­eth in steady Paths of Truth, is Christ Jesus our Lord.

Obj. But do you not tur [...] the Scriptures off, sor an uncertain & un­ [...]rviceable Writing, and as good as reject and deny them altogether?

Answ. There is a late Author or two, who to depaint us as ugly as their Malice could invent, have rendered them­selves so ridiculous, as so to infer: But it is not my Busi­ness at this time to medle with particular Controversie; that followeth in the second Part, and shall therefore attend to answer the general Objection.

The Scriptures are uncertain upon your Foundation, but not upon ours. Doth our mani [...]esting your Faith con­cerning them to be grounded upon your own Imaginati­ons or human Traditions, make void or render uncertain the Scriptures? By no means; but we would have you come to receive them upon the Spirit's Testimony and Evi­dence that gave them forth: And though we cannot allow them to be the Rule of Faith and Life under the Dispensa­tion of the Gospel, which is Power and Life it self; yet are they to be read, believed and fulfilled under the Gospel. For notwithstanding the Law written upon Stone, was not Paul's Rule, after the Son of God was revealed in him; yet the Son of God taught Paul to fulfil the Righteousness de­clared by that Law: If it were to deny and reject (as some Persons enviously say of us) yea, to vilifie the Scripture, because we cannot allow it to be the Rule, &c. Paul must be said to deny, reject and vilifie the Law written, at what time [Page 147] the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus became his Rule. There is a great Difference in asserting, that the Spirit is the Rule, and casting away & vilifying of Scripture: And indeed it is but an old Fetch of the Devil's, to pretend Honour to the Letter, that he might the more unsuspectedly oppose the bringing in of the Dispensation of the Spirit; which the Letter it self testifies to. They that come to be led of the Spirit, arrive at the End for which Scripture was given forth; the Apostle John did as good as say the same thing, when he told them to whom he wrote, That the Anointing which they had received and abode in them, would lead them i [...]to all Truth; and that they needed not that any man should teach them: To deny this to have been the Saints Teacher, is to deny as plain a Proposition as is in the whole Scripture; and that one Age of Christianity should have one Rule, and another Age another Rule; that, the Spirit; we, but the Letter; is more then any Man can prove: yet did John's so writing invalid the Scripture, or vilifie his own Epistle? Certainly, none will talk so idly. How then doth our lifting up the Light and Spirit of Christ, which fulfils the Scriptures (by bringing such as are led thereby to enjoy the good things therein de­clared) reject and vilifie the Scriptures? Does our living up to them by an higher Rule make us to deny and reprobate them? Erasmus and Grotius think them, then most to be valu­ed, when men are Witnesses of them: see on 2 Pet. 1. 19, 20. I do acknowledge they contain an Account of several heavenly Prophecies, godly Reproofs and Instructions that ought to be obeyed.

Obj If so Then how are they not a Rule of Faith and Life.

Answ. A Rule and the Rule, are not one and the same thing. By the Rule of Faith and Life, I understand, the living, spiritual, immediate, omnipresent, discovering, ordering Spirit of God: And by a Rule, some Instrument, by and through which this great Rule may convey its Direction: Such a subordinate, secondary and d [...]claratory Rule we never said se­veral parts of Scripture were not; yet the Reason of our Obe­dience, is not meerly because they are there written; that were legal; but because they are the eternal Precepts of theBp. Rob. Sand. de Reg [...]. Cons­Proel 4ta. sect. 31. Spirit in Mens Consciences, there repeated and declared. I [...] is the T [...]stimony of the Spirit that is the true Rule for believing and understanding of any or all the Scripture; therefore not the Scripture, but the Spirit of Truth must be the Rule [Page 148] for mens believing, understanding, &c. Thus held the An­cients.

T [...]rtullian saith, Worldly Wisdom the Lord calls Foolishne ss he Tertul. de Pre­script. Heraetic. pag. 204. hath chosen the soolish things of the World to the confounding of Philosophy; for that is the Matter of Worldly Wisdom, a divine Interpreter of the divine Nature and Disposings.

Justin Martyr in Exposit. [...]id. The Interpretation of the Dell. Confut. of Symps. p. 89, 90. Scriptures is to be a commodated to the Will of the Doctrine of the Spirit; and not to human Reasonings.

Hieron saith, The Scriptures (mus [...] be) opened with spiritual Ex­position. Hieron Tom. 4. 70.

Epiphanius saith, Only [...]o the Children of the holy Ghost all the Bp. Jewel, p. 532. Scriptures are plain and cle [...]r.

Nor were the most approved Protestants of any sort (who have been so reputed in Opposition to Popery) of another mind. It is the Substance of the sourth Article exhibitedPo [...]ano. [...]. [...]. [...]. pag. 150 against the Lutherans in the Council of Trent, as an Erroneous Doctrine they held, That to understand the Scripture, neither G [...]oss nor Comment is necessary; but only to have the Spirit of a Sheep of Christ's Pasture.

Erasmus tells us, What Man sets forth by Man's De [...]ice, may be E [...]sinus on 1 [...]. 1. 19. Ib. [...] 1 Cor. 2. received by Man's Wit: But the thing that is set forth by the Inspi­ra [...]ion of the Holy Ghost, requireth an Interpreter inspired with the like Spirit; and without the Inspiration of it the Secrets of God cannot be known.

Luther giveth us his Mind thus, The Scriptures are not to be Luther Tom. 3. fol. 169. understood, but by that very Spirit by which they were writ.

Peter Martyr, that famous Italian Protestant, teacheth us,Peter. Martyr, Com. loc. p. 1. c. 6. The Spirit is the Abettor, by which we must assure our selves for un­derstanding of the Scriptures, that thereby we must discern between Christ's Words, and a Strangers (quoting Christ's Words) My Sheep know my Voice, and several other places of Scriptures.

Again, The Spirit of God rev [...]aleth the Truth in the Scriptures. Ibid. p. 2. c. 18. H. Bullinger Decad. 4. Serm. 8. Men [...]etch the Understanding of Heavenly Things, and Kno [...]ge of the Holy Ghost from NO­WHERE ELSE, but from the same Spirit.

John Bradford answerd to the Arch-Bishop of York thus,Book of Martyr 3 vol. p. 298. We know the Scriptures, as Christ's Sheep, by the same Spirit that wrote and spake them, being thereby assured, &c.

Calvin teacheth thus in his Institutes: It is necessary the Calvin. Instit lib. 1. cap. 8. same Spirit that spake by the Mouth of the Proph [...]ts, should pierce in­to our Hearts, to perswade us, that they faithfully delivered that which was committed to them of God.

[Page 149] Beza saith, That the Way of understanding Prophecies, and re­ferring Beza on 2 Pet. 1. 19. them to the right Scope, must be sought or fetcht from the same Spirit, which dictated them to the Prophets themselves, and more to that purpose.

W. Tindal, call'd the English Apostle by J. Fox, saith, It is Tindal. works, Pag. 319. & 80. impossible to understand in the Scriptures more then a Turk, for a­ny that hath not the Law of God writ in the Heart to sulfil it.

Bp. Jewel thus against Harding, The Spirit of God is bound nei­ther Jewel against Harding, pag. 532, 534. to Sharpness of Wit, nor to Abundance of Learning: Flesh and Blood is not able to understand the Holy Will of God, without SPE­CIAL REVELATION: Without this SPECIAL HELP and PROMPTING OF GOD's SPIRIT, the Scripture is to the Reader, be he never so Wis [...] and well-Learned, as the Vision of a sealed Book.

D. Ames, a great Father of the Independents, saith uponD. Ames against Bell [...]m. l. 1. c. 5. Thes. 32. Bellarmin's word [...]; The Anointing of the Holy Spirit doth teach the Faithful, to understand those things which they received of the Apostles; therefore to understand the Scriptures in those things which are necessary to Salvation, with more to that purpose.

Vatabl [...]s on Job 32. 8. with Drusius, Clarius and others, speak to the same effect.

G. Cr [...]dock, a famous Independent- Preacher, preacht, That G. Cradok di­vin. drops, pag. 217. the Scripture is a Speechless thing without the Spirit.

Ch. Goad, an eminent Separatist's Works, styl'd B. D. ofC. Goad Refr. drops, pag. 12. K. Colledge in Cambridge, and an Independent Pastor, thus ta [...]ght, There is no Knowledge of Christ, nor of the Scripture, but by Revelation.

D. J. Owen, a man of greatest Fame among the present In­dependents, Excrcit. 2, 7, 9. against Quak. saith, The publick, authentick and infallible Interpre­ter of the holy Scripture, is HE who is the AUTHOR of them; from the BREATHING OF WHOSE SPIRIT IT DERIVETH ALL ITS VERITY, PERSPICUITY AND AUTHORITY.

So that we see upon the Judgment of many considerable Persons, the Scripture is no Rule for our believing and un­derstanding of it self; therefore not The Rule of Faith and Practice, co [...]cerning the things therein declared.

I will give a short Instance in Christ's words, about Regene­ration; He taught (and strange it was, no doubt, to wise Ni­codemus) That unl [...]ss a Man be born again, he cannot see the King­dom of God. This is as plain a Proposition as can be laid down, and may be credited Historically; But what is that to any [...]s New Birth, that they are never like to [...] [...]formed of there? Nor can that Scripture be my Rule in that Hea­venly [Page 150] Travail, respecting the many and wonderful Tryals and Exercises, that are to be met with in it; neither can any other Writing whatever: This only is the Office of that Spirit & Word immortal, by which I am anew begotten; Who then is my Rule to inform, order, strengthen and lead through the whole Experience, but the same Spirit? All Doctri­nal Scripture was experienced before written; or they had not been true Witnesses who wrote it.

Now that which was their Rule can only guide us into the same Experiences; nor are they to be known before ex­perienced:John 7. 17. Do my Will, and you shall know more of my Do­ctrine, saith Christ. I read the History of such things; This saves not: Neither can the History be the Rule leading into the Mystery; That belongs only to the Spirit, that search­eth the deep things of God. Consequently the Spirit, and not1 Cor. 2. 10. the Scripture, is the Rule for so believing and living.

Obj. But is not this to make void the Protestants Plea against the Papists, That the Scriptures are the Rule of Faith and Practice?

Answ. No such matter: For the Question was not, Whether the Spirit of Christ or the Scripture was the Rule, But, Whether the Scripture, God's Tradition, or Popish Traditions, were the Rule to measure the Truth of Doctrines and Practices by? We grant, that particular Scriptures, rightly understood, may measure what is agreeable or disagreeable to them; that is, such Doctrines and Practices as are contrary to that part of Scripture more particularly relating to our dayes, are questionable by the Scripture; especially since all Par­ties pretend what they say and do is according to Scripture: Yet this concludes not the Scripture to be the General and Evangelical Rule.

Obj. But if God had not revealed those things that are in Scripture by it to us, [...]ow could they have been known by us?

Answ. They were known by the Light and Spirit of Christ before written (from whence they are call'd Scripture) There­fore it is said, That the Prophets searched diligently what, and what 1 P [...]t. 1. 11. manner of Time the Spirit of Christ, that was in them, did signifie, when it testified before-hand of the Sufferings of Christ. Nor are they ever the more reveal'd to the blind and dark Mind, be­cause there written: The Mysteries of Regeneration are as puzling to Natural Wit and Earthly Wisdom, as before; Therefore well said Epiphanius, Only to the Children of the Holy [Page 151] Ghost all the Holy Scriptures are plain and easie. Mens going to hammer out Principles, without that infallible Guide and Rule, hath been the Cause of that great Confusion that is over Mankind about Religion.

Obj. But how could you have known those Prophecies to be true, for that is not matter of Witnessing, but Fore-telling?

Answ. That is an extraordinary Revelation, not falling within the ordinary Discoveries absolutely necessary to mans Salvation; but to shew his Power & Faithfulness, that he is God, and can and will fore-tell, and bring to pass: But there­fore must there be an Extraordinary Light or Spirit, and not rather an Extraordinary Sight and Se [...]ne from one and the same Light and Spirit in them? Besides, That which gives me to be­lieve and savour it to be from the Spirit, and not by Impo­sture, is my Rule for believing it. Now that the Spirit so doth, Calvin and Beza too, as before cited, assert for me, viz. The same Spirit, that spake by the Mouth of the Prophets, must pierce into our Hearts, to perswade us, that they faithfully de­clared that which was committed to them of God.

Obj. But this Light you speak of could not tell you which way Sin came into the World; That there was an Adam and Eve, that they fell after that manner, & that Sin so entered the World; That Christ was born of a Virgin, suffered Death and rose again; That you ought not to Swear in any case, &c. if the Scriptures had not told you so.

Answ. That is boldly said: But consider well; Moses (sayes the vulgar Opinion) had that Account above Two Thousand Years after the Creation, by Revelation, which we find in Genesis. Now that there could be no Revelati­on without this Divine Light or Spirit, which is the Life of the Eternal, Creating Word, must needs be granted: For the Spirit of God knoweth only the Things of God; and whatever 1 Cor. 2. 10, 11. Ephes. [...]. 13. [...] makes manifest is Light: And that the Spirit and Light are one, though two Names, has been sufficiently evidenced. If then it was this Light of the Eternal Word, that delivered these past things to Moses, and gave that Prospect of future things to the Prophets, as no doubt it was (if Scripture be indubitable) then to say, the Light or Spirit could not do it, is Blasphemous. Again, To argue, because the Light does not reveal every Circumstance of History to each Individual that hath already an Account, that therefore it could not, is ridiculous: Were the History of the Transactions of Christ [Page 152] and his Followers wanting, as before Moses, was that of Adam and his Posterity; and that the Lord saw it needful to acquaint Mankind therewith, no doubt but the Light and Spirit, which revealed the Account of the Creation a­bove Two Thousand Years after to Moses, and fore-told se­veral Hundred Years many of those Transactions of Christ, by the Prophets, would also have supplyed that Want: But inasmuch as an Account is extant, and therefore not needed, 'tis vain to make that Objection.

Again, It does not follow, because every man has a Mea­sure of Light to inform and rule him, that therefore he must needs know all which that Light knows, or is able to reveal to him: I return that Argument thus upon our Adversaries. They say, they have the Spirit of God; Then they know all that the Spirit of God knows, or can reveal to them: If the latter be absurd; then the former. Again, say they, The Light within did not reveal Christ to the Gentiles; that Christ should be born of a Virgin, &c. therefore insufficient: I return upon them thus; The Spirit of God, given to the Children of Israel, Neh. 9. 20. did not acquaint them that Christ should be born of a Virgin, nor much more of his Life and Bodily Transacti­ons; therefore the Spirit of God was insufficient. The like may be concluded against the Spirit in the Prophets: For 'tis ma­nifest from 1 Pet. 1. 10, 11. that the Spirit had not reveal­ed to all the Prophets the Time of Christ's Appearance and Sufferings; was the Spirit therefore an insufficient Rule to them? But that which falls heaviest upon our Adversaries is this, That the Scriptures, by their own Argument, are a most imperfect Account themselves of what was done, not relating the hundredth part of things; therefore as insuffi­cient in not relating what is behind, as they would weakly render the Light or Spirit in not revealing to every Indivi­dual those things already related: Nay, they may as well infer Insufficiency to the Spirit, or the Light within, in that it does not now shew all that shall be to the End of the World, which in their proper Seasons there will be a Necessity to know, as to reflect insufficiency upon it, &c. because it did not fore­tel things now past, to [...]ormer Ages, or needlesly reveal them over again to us in this Age. Neither is History, or can it be the Rule of that Faith and [...]ife we speak of, which are absolutely necessary to Salvation; which is the Faith that not History, but God gives, that works not by History, but Love, & overcomes the Wo [...]ld; which Millions of Historical Be­lievers [Page 153] are overcome by, and wallow in the Spirit and Pra­ctice of; And the Rule must be answerable to the Nature and Workings of the Faith: so in Point of good Life, which is Duty done. Now History, though it inform me of others Actions; yet it does not follow, that it is the Rule of Duty to me. since it may relate Actions not imitable, as in the Case of Adam and Eve in several Respects, and Christ's being born of a Virgin, dying for the Sins of the World, &c. where­fore this cannot be the Rule of Duty: The like may be said of the Jewish Story, that was the particular Concern and Transaction of that People.

Obj. But these things ought to be believed.

Answ. I say so too, where the History has reached, and the Spirit of God hath made a Convict [...]on upon the Con­science; which, sayes D. J. Owen, as before, gives them Authority, Verity and Perspicuity: But where this History has not reached any People, or they dye ignorant of it, they are not responsible for not believing any such Passages, asPrelect. 4. §. 21, 22. saith Bp. Sanderson. 'Tis one thing to say, The Scriptures ought to be read, believed and fulfilled; and another thing to say, They are the Evangelical Rule of Faith and Life: For when I read, believe and witness them fulfilling, I must needs have a Rule to read, understand, believe and witness them fulfilling by; which being the Divine Light and Spirit of Christ, that, and not themselves must be my Rule for so Reading, Understanding, Believing, &c.

And surther, to prove that the Light and Spirit within the Heathens was sufficient to discover these things: 'Tis granted on all hands, that the Sibylls had divine Sights; I mean not those made in their Name by some Professors of Christianity, as is charged on them, to gain Authority upon the Gentiles, against which Blundel writes; But those ac­knowledged, Who prophesied of a Virgin's bringing forth a Son; and that he should destroy the Serpent, and replenish the Earth with Righteousness, as is before cited out of Virgil, who took it out of the Remains of Cumaa's Verses, then among the Romans.

And for the Practical Part of the Objection, viz. How should we have known it had been Unlawful to Swear at all in any Case, if Mat. 5. 34. had not been (which is of most weight in this Case, because matter of Duty, and called particu­larly by some, an Evangelical Precept, being a Step above [Page 154] the Righteousness of the Law outward among the Jews) I have this to say in Solution of my Adversaries Objection, Reprehension of his Ignorance, and for Proof, by his own Argument of the Light's Sufficiency.

There were among the Jews themselves, long before Christ came, an entire People, that would not Swear,Jos [...]phus, Wars of the Iews, l. 2. c. 7. to wit, the Esseni: They keep their Promises (sayes Josephus) and account every Word they [...]peak of more Force then if they had bound it with an Oath: And they shun Oaths worse then Perjury; for they esteem him condemned for a Lyar, who without it is not be­lieved.

Philo writes to the same purpose; and taught himself, that Philo, de spec. leg. & decalog. it was best to abstain from Swearing; that ones Word might be taken instead of an Oath.

And Pythagoras, in his Oration to the Crotonian Senators, ex­hortedLae [...]t. Hermip. & Orig. con [...]. Cels. them thus, Let no man attest God by Oath, though in Courts of Judicature; but use to speak such things that he may be credited without Oath.

The Scythians are said to tell Alexander of themselves, [...]uint. Curtiu [...], ni vit. Al [...]x. Think not that Scythians confirm their Friendship by Oath; They Swear by keeping their Word.

And Clinias, a Greek, and Follower of Pythagoras, ratherH. Grotius on. Mat. 5. 34. chose to suffer the Fine of Three Talents (which make 300 l. English) then to lessen his Veracity by taking an Oath: Which Act was greatly commended of Bafilius, who upbraided the Christians of his time with it; Thereby (after our Adversaries Way of drawing Consequences) pre­ferring the Light of the Gentiles before the Light of the Chri­stians: though indeed the Light was and is alwayes one in it self; but the Christian did not live up so closely to it as the Heathe [...] did, and therefore had a greater Liberty, and walked in a broader Way.

I would now know of our Opposers, if they can yet think the Light that preach'd in the Mount, that Doctrine was one with that Light that shined in the Consciences of those Gentiles, so many Hundred Years before that Sermon was writ or preached; who so plainly believed, practised and taught it; yea, or nay. Per­haps some of them, through the abundance of their Envy, Pride and Passion, will yet stick out, while the more mo­derate may submit to such Evidence, and conclude Igno­rance and Folly to have made all this Opposition against us, and that of a Truth, The Voice which cryed, Prov. 8. 4, 6. Unto you, O men, I call, and my Voice is to the Sons of men; hear, [Page 155] for I will speak Excellent things, was heard by the Gentiles: and that what concerned Doctrine to Holy Living, was not hid from them; I mean, evangelically so, provided Christ's Heavenly Sermon upon the Mount, related by Matthew, may be esteemed such; for their Writings flow with Amens thereunto.

But admitting to our Adversaries, that the Voice was then so low, and the Manifestation of the Light so small, as it discovered not many of those things before-mentioned; could that give any reasonable men Ground to conclude, Therefore the Divine Wisdom or Light was insufficient; or that the Divine Wisdom or Light was not then, and should not in other Ages, become the Rule and Guide of the Children of men, however promised? Yet such false Con­sequences have been the Corner-Stone and Foundation of our Adversaries Building against us; And no reasonable man, I think, will clear it from being a Sandy one.

OF THE Judge of Controversie.

I Shall explain what I mean by the Termes:

A Judge, is one that has not only Power to determine, but Discerning to do it rightly.

Controversie, is a Debate between two Parties about the Truth or Falshood of any Proposition to be determined by that Judge.

From whence I am led to assert, that The Judge of Contro­versie must be Infallible.

And though this may seem strange to some, 'tis neverthe­less true in it self: For if the Judge be fallible, however he by his Authority may determine the Persons controverting into Silence; yet it does not follow, that he has given true Judgment, since he may as wel, nay, rather, determine falsly, then truly: so that Controversie can never be rightly deter­mined by a fallible Judge, therefore no true Judge of Con­troversie. Indeed it is absurd, and a Contradiction in it self to think otherwise; since he that is uncertain can never give a certain Decision; and if not a certain one, then none to the Purpose. Nor ought any Person, no otherwise [Page 156] judged, that is perswaded of the Truth of his Cause, to let fall his Belief upon so fallible a Determination; since he not only moves without Conviction, but against Con­viction; And which is worse, he is not ascertained of the Truth of what he is required to submit to: Therefore of all People they are most condemnable, who keep so great a stir about Religion, and that sometimes use coercive Means to compass their designed Uni [...]ormity, and yet ac­knowledge to us, they are not certain of their own Faith; unless it be those who notwithstanding yield to such uncer­tain Imposers.

Since then the Judge must be infallible, it will be worth our while to consider, where 'this insallible Judge is to be found. There is none Good but God, said God himself, when manifested in the Flesh, that is, originally, or as of himself; so truly there is none infaltible but God, as of himself, yet as the supream Good, is communicated unto man according to measure; so (well sayes Bp. Lati [...]er) is there infallibili­ty,Book Martyr. vol. 3. p. 475. Certainty or Assurance of the Truth of things given to man according to Capacity; otherwise men should be oblieg'd to believe and obey, and that upon Damnation, those things, concerning which there can be no Certainty whether they be true or false.

Immanuel, God with men, as he is their Rule, so their Judge; he is the Law-giver, and therefore the best Irterpre­ter of any Point that may concern his own Law: and men are so far infallible as they are subject to his Voice, Light or Spirit in them, and no farther; for, humanum est errare, Man is Errable. Nor can any thing rescue him out of Error, or preserve him from the Infections of it, but the sound or certain Judgment God, by his Light or Spirit within, as­sists him with.

Obj. But is not the Scripture the Judge of Controversie?

Answ. How can that be, since the Q [...]estion most times arises about the Meaning of Scripture? Is there any place tells us, without all Interpretation, whether the Socinian or Trinitarian be in the Right, in their differing Apprehensi­ons of the Three that bear Record, &c? also the Homousian and Arrian about Christ's Divinity; or the Papists or Protestants about Trans-substantiation? If then things are undefined and undetermined, I mean, expresly in the Scripture; and that the Question arises about the Sense of it, doth the [Page 157] Scripture determine which of those Interpreters hit the Mark? As this is absurd to think, so must it be acknow­ledged, that if Interpretation decide the Matter in Contro­versie, not the Scripture, but the Interpreter is the Judge.

Now this Interpreter must either interpret by his own meer Wisdom or Spirit, called by the Apostle, 1 Cor. 2. II. the Spirit of a Man; who by weighing the Text, con­sulting the Intent of the Writer, comparing places toge­ther, gives the Judgment, which the Scripture cannot do; or, from the Spirit of God, which gives Understanding, as Job 3 [...]. 8. and as the same Apostle saith, searcheth the deep things of God: If the first, then a Fallible; If the last, then an Infal [...]ible Judge.

I would sain know, whether it was the Scripture or the Holy Ghost that presided among the Apostles, when they were come together, Acts 15. when they said, It seemeth good to the [...]oly Chost and to us, &c. If the Holy Ghost, give us a plain Scripture to prove we are to have another Judge now; If not, then we must have the same, and consequent­ly an Infallible Judge.

Obj. 'Tis granted that the Spirit is Infallible: But how shall I know that any man determines a thing by this Spirit, and does not rather obtrude his own Sense upon us, under that specious Pre­tence.

Answ. By the same Spirit; As well said Gualt. Cradock. Gual [...]. Cr [...]. Divine Drops, p. [...]. The Way to know whether the Spirit be in us is its own Evidence; And that is the Way to know it in others too: and the man hat hath the Spirit, may know the Spirit in another; There is, saith be, a kind of Sagacity in the Saints to this Purpose. Which is also true in the Sense of abundance of P [...]otestant Writers; For as they held, That no man could know the Scriptures, but by the same Spirit; so consequently that the same Spirit only could assure him of the Truth of the said I [...]terpretation. And Peter Martyr, as before quoted, tells us, The Holy Ghost is the Arbiter or Judge. Also D. J. Owen s [...]ith, That the Holy Ghost is the Only Authentick Interpreter of the Scripture: I [...] Au­thentick, then Infallible; if Infallible, then the Judge of the Mind of Scripture is both an Only and an [...] Judge. But to wave this; Does not the same Objection lie aga [...]st the Sense of Scripture, since one sayes, this is the Sense, and another that? To know God's Mind, men must come to God's Spirit, else Difficulties of that sort are unsurmountable.

[Page 158]In short; It were greatly to be wisht, that all men would hold themselves unconcerned in disputing about what they have not received an Infallible Dictamen from the Holy Spi­rit upon; since they beat but the Air, and obtain no solid Satisfaction, neither can they: God never prostrates his Secrets to Minds disobedient to what they do already know: Let all practise what they assuredly know to be their Duty, and be sparing in their search after nice and unknown Matters. Weighty and seasonable was and is the Apostle's Saying, Nevertheless, Phil. 3. 16 whereunto we have already attained, let us walk by the same Rule; where he both limits to the present Knowledge communi­cated, and exhorts to live up to that; and if any thing be fur­ther necessary, God in due time will reveal it by his Spirit, that gives to know, discern and judge of the things that are of God.

Obj. But how will this determin the Controversie, and allay the Fury of Debates on foot?

Answ. Nothing like it, if man adhere to it; and if he does not, there is no way left, but the Wrath that is to be reveal'd: But most Perswasions are agreed about the absolute Neces­saries in Religion, from that Witness God has placed in man's Conscience, viz. That God is; That he is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek him; That the Way of God is a Way of Purity, Patience, Meekne ss, &c. without which no man can see the Lord: Nay, they accord in some considerable Matters superadded, as some of them speak, to wit, That God mani­fested himself extraordinarily in the Flesh; that he gave his Life for the World, that such as believe and obey his Grace, receive Remis­sion of Sins and Life Everlasting. Now, I say, since these things men generally submit to, let them live up hereunto; and forbear wanton Scrutinies after Things or Notions that gender to Strife and Contention, and leave not Mankind better, but rather worse then they found them; and the World would be soon rid of Controversie: Holy Living, and not Disputing, would be the Business of Mankind. What more excellent Judgment can be given, then that men quit their Contentions about Notions and Opinions, and betake themselves to the Practice of that which God hath already shewn unto them; as spake both the Prophet Micah 6. 8. and the Apostle Paul, Rom. 1. 19. And if any [Page 159] thing be revealed to one more then another, let the rest judge in the Spirit, or be silent till God manifest more to them, in order to Right Judgment.

'Tis good to try all things; but we must have some­thing to try them by; and what ought that to be, but the Spirit that searcheth, & the Anointing that teaches all things, which is Truth it self. Here Mankind will live in Love, having at least Natural Affections (now lost, by the B [...]rbarity of some of their cruel Religions) and a Judgment o [...] things will be made, not from the Rash, Partial, Short sighted a d Froward Mind of man, but that eternal Light and Spirit that never erred; which, however disgustful to some Pro­testants in this Age, was no False Doctrine in the Account of John Philpot and Bp. Latimer, two great Founders of the Reformation:

The first in his Answer to the Bishop of Chichester, re­provingB. Mart. vol. 3. P 577. his Confidence about true Faith in Christ; saying. These Hereticks take upon them to be sure of all things they stand in. Let him doubt (saith John Philpot) of his Faith that listeth; God give me alwayes to believe that I am sure of true Faith and Favour in Christ.

The second, in his Answer to a Knight, objecting theB. Mart. vol. 3. P. 475. Uncertainty of Man in what he calls Truth, thus recorded by J. Fox; Your Friends deny not, but that certain Truths are communicated to us according to Capacity: But as to my Presump­tion and Arrogancy; either I am certain or uncertain that it is Truth that I preach; if it be Truth, why may not I say so? if I be uncertain, why dare I be so bold as to preach it? And if your Friends be Preachers themselves, after their Sermon, I pray you ask them, Whether they be certain and sure they preach the Truth or no; and send me word what they say, that I may learn to speak after them. If they say they be sure, you know what follows; if they say they be unsure, when shall you be sure, that have so doubtful and unsure Tea­chers.

Let not Protestants for Shame judge us for owning a Do­ctrine, that is confessed to and confirmed by some of the Worthiest of their own Ancestors, viz. That an Infallible Judgment in things necessary to Salvation, is both possible and requisite; and that God communicates it by his Spirit to the Souls of men.

The Conclusion.

TO Conclude; Immanuel (a word suited not only to that Appearance, but whole Dispensation) imports, God nigh to or with men; The Tabernacle of God is with men; he will Rev. 21. 3, 7. dwell in them, and walk in them; they shall be all taught of me, and in Righteousness shall they be established: And thisIsa. 54. 13. admits not of any Book, or literal Rule or Judge to come be­tween that in-dwelling Light, Life and Wisdom of God, and the Soul, as its Rule of Faith and Life.

And because it is the unutterable Goodness of God to Peo­ple in these latter Dayes, as the Sum of Scripture-Prophe­cy, thus to make known himself; we are incessant in our Cries unto them, that they would turn in their Minds (now abroad, and taking up their Rest in the Externals of Reli­gion) that they may hear his Heavenly Voice and Knocks, and let him in, and be taught of him to know and do his Will, that they may come to be experienced and expert in the School of Christ: For never Man spoak and taught, as he livingly speaks and teaches in the Consciences of those who diligent­ly hear him, and are willing to be taught of him the Knowledge of his Wayes: The Priest was Outward, but he is now Inward; the Law Outward, but it is now Inward: And he is no more a Jew that is one outward; nor that Circumcision which is outward in the Flesh; Rom. 11. 28. 29. but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and Circumcision is that of the Heart, in the Spirit, and not in the Letter, whose Praise is not of Men, but of God. Which is so far from lessening the Scriptures of Truth, that unless this be man's Rule and Judge in the read­ing and believing of them, he can never, either understand them, or keep the things therein contain'd aright. And indeed, as before I have expressed, I cannot but say, That Man, whilst unregenerated, setting his Wit and Wisdom to fathom and comprehend the Intention of the Holy Ghost in many of those Writings, hath occasioned that Confusion, Darkness and perplext Controversie, that now so lamentably pesters the World; In which State, for all the External Imitations of the Ancients in some temporary and visible Parts of Worship, I am to tell such from the Spirit of the Lord God of all Truth, they will never be accepted.

[Page 161]The utmost of that literal Knowledge, historical Faith, and outward Religion, is at best but the Old Heavens that are to be wrapped up as a Scroul, the Old Wine and Bottle that belong not to the Kingdom, and Man's holding true Words in an unrege­nerated and unrighteous Nature, where he may cry, Lord, Lord; but shal [...] never enter into the Rest that is Eternal: For under such a Faith and Religion, Envy, Wrath, Malice, Persecution, Pride, Passion, Worldly-Mindedness, &c. may and do live; yea, and are cloaked, as with a secure Cover from the Stroak of God's Spirit; insomuch, as when any are moved of the Lord to decry such fair and hypocritical Shews of Religion, they are reputed Rash and Censorious, and presently a Plea must he made on this wise; Do not we follow the Commands of the Scripture? Did not such and such do so and so? Never regar­ding from what Grounds the Performance springs, whether it be according to the Rule of the NEW or OLD Creature; bu [...] abuse and vilifie us for making such Distinctions, as if the Prayers, Preachings, Singings, outward Baptizings and Sup­pings, &c. of Men in their own Spirits, Strength and Will were required and accepted of God for Evangelical Worship: Thick Darkness and dangerous Presumption! Thus are Men out of the Way concerning both Faith and Practice, and the true Rule and Judge of them: They make the former to lie in an Assent of the Understanding to such Propositions, and in the performing of some visible Parts of Religion in their own Spirits and Wills (which is far from the Immanu­el-State) And the latter to be the Scriptures, which is but an Account of those Things, which others were ruled to and directed in by the Holy Spirit, before they were ever recor­ded or made Scripture; and not another Rule or Judge can so regulate: For as the Faith and Experience, so the Rule and Judge of that Faith and that Experience must be one: God by his Spirit begets Faith; God by his Spirit rules Faith, and governs the Life of his Children; for as many as are Children of God are led by the Spirit of God. The Scrip­ture,Rom [...]. 14, 15. much of it, is but a Declaration of Faith and Ex­perience; therefore not the Rule or Judge: For as Faith and Experience were before Scripture, so the Rule and Judge before Scripture; because, as I said before, there is a Rule and Judge as soon as there is Faith; therefore the Scripture is not that Rule or Judge: And before that Declaration be answered by any, they must come to the Faith, Rule and Judge of which that is a De­claration: [Page 162] So that Faith is yielding up to the Requirings of God's Spirit in us, in full Assurance of the Remission of Sins, through the Son of his Love and Life Everlasting, from whence dai­ly flow Works of Holiness well-pleasing to God, and not a meer Assent of the Understanding to a verbal, though a true Proposition. The Life of a true Christian stands not in Bodyly Exercise; that, sayes the Apostle, profits little: nor in an Imitation of the An­cients in temporary things, which as well the Hypocrite as the Saint can do; But in self-Denyal and walking in the Spirit, to 1 Tim. 4. 8. bring forth the Fruits thereof unto all Godliness, which is the pureCol [...] 20, 21, [...], 23. and spiritual Obedience, resulting from the living spiritual [...] [...] 38 Faith of God's Elect, and the Rule & Judge thereof is their [...] [...] [...] [...], [...] Author or Begetter, even the Spirit of Truth, which alone gives saving Understanding, and searcheth the deep things of God.

O you Professors of Religion, that you would but seriously weigh these things, and examine your selves in God's Sight, who respects none for their fair Out-sides, If this saving Faith be your Faith, and this Heavenly Life be your Life, and if the holy Spirit be your Ruler and Leader; if not, you are but legal, formal, in the Oldness of the Letter, and Runnings in your own Will, which obtains not: in which State, not the Wisdom from above, but that which is from below, of the old Creature, is your Rule; in it you read Scripture, expound it, pray, preach, sing & perform all your Duties: and this is not to walk according to the Rule of the New Creature; but in a le­gal [...] [...] 16. Spirit to make a Gospel-Profession, the End of which, from the Lord, I am to tell you, will be a Bed of Sorrow. There­fore [...] [...] 23. resist not the Light and Spirit within, but turn at the Reproof thereof, that you may come to walk in the Way of Life, daily Life to your Souls, that so you may be quickned and made alive to God, and live to him in that Life, which is hid with Christ in God; that being thus born again, and be­come [...] [...]. renewed in your inner Man, you may perform that pure and spiritual Worship, which is of a sweet Savour with the Lord; so shall he bless you with his Heavenly Blessings, and daily replenish your Souls with the unspeakable Joyes of his glorious Salvation: This I heartily desire, and through all Difficulties incessantly travail for in Body, Soul and Spi­rit, that the al-wise, omnipotent God may be known, served, obeyed, to and by you, to your Comfort, and his Eternal Ho­nour, who alone is worthy to receive it, now and forever,

Amen

William Penn.

Errata for the First Part.

REader, Several Errors have escaped the Press, partly through the Author's frequent Absence, and the Printer's many other Occasions; but the most considerable of them are here noted, and thou art desired hereby to correct them.

Contents — Chap. 9 line 3. dele (,) after Scriptures.

Preface — Page 1. Margent dele Milt. p. 2. l. 1. read at last. p. 5. l. 2 & 3. for Ab. rogation r. Ab [...]uration. l. 25. for the read that: p. 7. l 2: read in their Hopes. l. 14. read that at. page 9. l. 10. for disclaim'd read declam d. line 19. read — faciunt. page 10. line 32. for reduct read reduc'd. page 19. line 8. for but read by. line 31. read too irksom. page 22. line 4. for Hammer read Humor. pag. 24. line 19. begin a Parenthesis at (And my] and conclude it line 30. after [Dominion)

Book — Page 8. line 42. b [...]ot out self. p. 13 l. 38. for paws read pause. p. 17. l. 12. for without read with our. pag. 18. l. 25. read was to be. l. 31 for it self read himself. p. 20. l. 40 for these read those. p. 21. l. 34. for Who, Me? read Who? Me, p. 23 l. 26. for is read are. p 26. l. 7. for this before Light? read this Light before? page 28 l. 10. for at that time read at thi [...] time. p. 30. l. 2. read formeth, createth. l. 39. for here to read hereto. pag 33. l. 2. read not with respect to any. l 4. dele the whole line. l. 9. for of read to. l. 37. for heart he read hear the. p. 39. l 2. for bold read [...]eld. p 40. l 20. read or be void. p. 43. Margent l. 19. for tell read tells. p. 44. l. 37. read bits) pag. 45 l. 7. Marg. read Civ. Dei. 8. p. 47. Marg. read Id. p. 711. for Id. 4. read Id. mem. 4 p 48. line 2. dele in line 22. read on that line 32. read of him. page 50. line 32. read Ido­latrous. That line 33. Thought it, let. Margen: dele Aru [...]t. de Xen. Ma [...]gent for Laert. de read Lactant. de. pag. 51. line. 12. for Accute read Acute. Marg. Plat. Phaed dele. p 53. l. 25. read of the. p. 54. l. 12. for Pireen read Prienc [...]in. 14. and He de [...]e. l. 15. dele He at the end of the line. pag 55. l. 13. for Good re [...]d Go [...]d. p. 56. Marg. for Enca [...]. read Aenead. p. 59. l. 6 & 7. dele p. 61. Marg. l 3. for 1543. 123. read 123. 1543. p. 62 l. 24. for accutely read acutely. p. 65. l. 13 for no read no [...] p. 66. read CHAP XIII. l. 12. dele not. [70. Marg. l. 3. dele o. l. 12. dele ibid. p. 71. Marg. l. 2. for 48. read 84. p. 73. l. 5. read and giveth. p 78. l. 30. read of Men. p. 79. l. 24. dele Prophecy and. l. 35. for then read them p 80. l. 12. for End [...] hand. p. 81. l. 29, 30. for what Virgil will add to read what Eusebius will have Virgli t [...] have added in. p. 82. l. 35. read Occidet serpens. p 83. l. 22. for Iandix read [...]anilix. page 84. [...] 32. read enough to. p. 87. l. 4 read Hicks, then he hath dealt. l. 5. read Dialogue) pag. 91. l. 11. add after (him) so as to be no where else. l. 20. read the Manifestation of Light. p. 92. l 34. for dar [...]st read durst. page 94. l. 15. for Light read [...]llumination. p. 79. l. 6 read not only. p 98. l. 8. read And that. pag. 101. l. 35. read [...] willingly. p. 103. l. 26. for when read whom. p. 106. l. 33. for endanger'd read accessible. l. 4 [...]. for guarnison'd read garrison'd, p. 107. l. 2. for inbondag'd read [...]nbondag'd. l 5. read clear and broken forth. l. 15. read We say, l. 17. for not instru­mentally read instrumentally not. p. 110. l. 30. read Jews, viz. p. 112. l. 23. for suffer'd read suffer. p 115. l. 17 for In [...]ner read Jenner. page 116. l. 11. for Saving, One read saving one. line 16. for Product read produc'd. p. 1 [...]7. l. 11. for better, as read better at. line 25. read true Light. p 119. l 27. dele Omnious. p. 122. l. 37. r. Aggravation. [...]. 126. l. 1 for Si [...] read Sigh. p. 28. read CHAP XXVI. p. 131. l. 4. for Inability, to see the read [...] to see, the. p. 136. l. 26. r. Scriptures. p. 136. l. 34. for were [...]. wa [...]. p. 137. l. 6. for Good read Goad. l. 29 read such a thing. p. 138. l. 27. for more read m [...]er. l. 39. Marge [...]t for on read one. p [...]ge 140 l. 29. for He that flyes read They [...]at flye. p. 148. l [...]. for [...] read per [...]eived. p. 149. l. 24. read in his Works. p. 54. l 34 af [...]er M [...]unt de [...] (,) and put a (,) before was. p. 156. l. 30. r. but as the

THE CHRISTIAN QUAKER AND HIS Divine Testimony VINDICATED, Against the Adversaries of the True LIGHT; BEING THE Second Part, Containing A more particular Answer to the Baptists (and others) Arguments, Exceptions, Errors and Falasies herein specified.

By a Servant and Follower of Jesus Christ through Persecutions and Reproaches, G. Whitehead.

The vile Person will speak Villany, and his Heart will work Ini­quity, to practice Hypocrisie, and to utter Error against the Lord,Isa. 32. 6.

Printed in the Year 1673.

To the Unprejudiced READER.

IF it had not been the Lord who was on our side when Men rose up against us; Now may we (with Israel) say, then they had swallowed us up quick, when their Wrath was kind­led against us.

Had our Separation and Testimony been of Men, or by Man's Will, we ha [...] fallen long since (as many of our Adversaries have falsly prophesied) we had not been sustained through our many Tryals, nor born up above the Floods of Enmity, if the Lord h [...]d not been with us; but he who hath gathered and chosen us to witnes [...] forth his Name and Truth in the Power and Spirit of it, h [...]th preserved and given us Strength to persevere therein, blessed be his Name for ever.

And this I (with my Brethren) must give Testimony of, that as God hath in these last Dayes been pleased to visit us by his Eternal Power, and in his Love and Kindness to open the Eyes of our Understanding, to see his Goodness both to our own particulars, and to Man-kind in General, in extending Saving Grace or Light to all.

So it is by his Power that he hath raised up, and set forth Wit­nesses of the same; the Sence we have of the Love of God, and his Glorious Light revealed, induceth and moveth us, even in the Spirit of the Gospel, to call others out of Darkness, and to di­rect their Minds to the Appearance of the true Light in their Hearts and Consciences (in what degree soever it sheweth it self) which God in his Goodness hath universally afforded for Good to Man­kind, that they might both know him, and their Duty to him: God did stretch forth his Hand, and reach unto us by his Power, for this very end, to gather us unto his divine Light or Shi­ning in our Hearts, that thereby we might receive the Know­ledge of his Glory in the Face of Christ Jesus, as his former Wit­nesses did.

And although we must still confess to the Love and Good-Will of God to Man, in affording Divine Light universally, through­out all Ages; yet Transgression and Darkness hath been such in the Earth, that hath in many Ages much vailed and obscured the [Page 4] Light, that the Knowledge and Manifestation thereof hath be [...] much wanting, even because of Man's Transgr [...]ssion and I [...].

Wherefore Light being now sprung up, an [...] Truth arisen out of Darkness and Obscurity; we must faithfully testifie thereof, a [...]d own the least degrees and lowest Dispensations of divine Light [...] Man, as his Duty to observe, and not to slight, nor despise [...] [...] any; for we know, that as Light hath risen, and shined out of Ob­scurity, and Truth hath risen up out of the Earth, it hath been from a less Appearance and Degree to a greater, [...] [...]rom that Degree of shining in a dark Place, unto the perfect Day: And as all the Promises of God are yea and Amen in Christ; so all his Glorious Dispensations and Promises do center in a Di­vine and Unchangeable Principle of Life and Light, [...] gradually discovered to and in Man: Therefore the [...] Appea­rance or Manifestation in any (while 'tis of the same Principle) cannot be extinguished nor lessened by the greater in others, in that the highest Attainments of Divine Knowledge were alwayes gradually obtained by the Holy Men of God.

Moreover, This we assert, that God that made Man for his own Glory (whose Mcrcies are over all his Works, and who wil­leth not the Death of Sinners, but rather that they should return and live) He hath not only throughout all Ages universally affor­ded an Unchangeable Principle of Divine Light, which he hath placed in man, to direct him his Way out of Darkness and Sin; but also he signally visits him at times with Living Appearances, Motions and Opperations of his Light and Spirit, to his Reproof and Conviction, thereby often warning and calling Man out of Iniquity; as the Spirit of God did strive with the old World that had corrupted us Way before him, and was destroyed by the Flood, for its Flood of Iniquity; and he gave his good Spirit unto the Rebellious Jews, which they grieved and vexed, until he became their Enemy, and fought against them: He by his Light­nings enlightened the World, and the Earth trembled and s [...]ke, and upon whom doth not his Light arise? although they that rebel against the Light know not the Wayes of it, because they abide not in the Pathes thereof: yea, he that causeth his Sun to arise [...]n the Evil and on the Good, and sendeth his Rain on the Just and the Unjust; he hath not left himself without sufficient Witness in the Earth, both inward & outward, as namely, his Divine Immediate Light in man appearing to the Soul, & his Works of Creation which are obvious to the Light, and Universally declaring his Wisdom, Power and Greatness to be inwardly [...], and [...]nderstood, [Page 5] as his Inward Light opens Man's Understanding and the Eyes thereof.

Howbeit Man having transgressed this Divine Principle, and his Mind being alienated from it, and blinded by the God of this World: God having Bowels of Pitty still remaining, he hath been pleased so far to commiserate poor lost Man, as to afford and extend those pretious Promises, as the more eminently to declare, shew forth and renew his Love Light and Power, for man's Recovery out of his Lost and Dark Estate: As that the Seed of the Woman should bruise the Serpents Head; and this did Christ in general (and doth in particular) by the Power of the Father, which can no wayes lessen nor detract from his Light within, nor be any Inconsistency with its directing Men to the same Power of God, for the subduing and bruising Satan under their Feet, which in their own particulars they must experience, whoever attain to De­liverance or Salvation from the Power of Sin and Satan.

As also God hath promised to make a New-Covenant with his People; Its new, not as opposed to the Light within, as implying its waxing old (but new) as that the old Covenant without, (which the Jews broke) was to decay and vanish, this New-Co­venant being a Covenant of Light, Life and Peace, a Covenant whereby he takes away and forgives Sin; This they only have a Part in, who obey the Universal Light of the Son of God within, which no Way differs in Nature from the Covenant it self, nor can it oppose the Ends of it; but is a Light of the same Life and Fulness that is enjoyed in the Covenant or Agreement with God, moving and conducing to the very same End and Agreement as ob [...]ed and waited in; and as the Jews outward had a Rule di­rectory, and Law in the Letter without (though that alone could not give Life) so the Jew inward hath his Rule directory, and Law inward in Spirit which can give Life.

And this New-Covenant is the last Dispensation of God in Christ to Man, wherein his Highest, Spiritual and Saving Know­ledge is to be received, by all that truely obey his Light; and though this be new as to his renewed glorious Discovery herein; yet he who is the Life of this Covenant, and given for a Covenant and Salvation, is the first and the last, the Rock of Ages, whom God hath decreed to anoint or set up upon the Hill of his Holiness, even the Holy Hill of Sion, that he may subdue and rule the Na­tions, and be the Salvation of God to the Ends of the Earth, more abundantly to be manifest in these last Ages, wherein his Church cometh out of the Wilderness, and the Holy City New Jerusalem is discovered from Heaven as a Bride prepared for the Bride­groom, [Page 6] and the Lord God and the Lamb (as promised) is the Light thereof, and the Nations of them that are saved shall walk in the Light of this City, and for this End is the Gospel made known and preached again, after a long Night and Reign of An­ti-Christ, Beast, false Prophet, Dragon and Whore, whose Judgment is revealed, even against all the dark Whorish Spi­rits, and Hypocritical Envieus Agents of Anti-Christ and Satan, who do not only envy, oppose and gain-say the Truth, and undervalue the True Light, as its an Universal Principle in man, but also resist and strive against the Glorious Breaking forth and Discovery thereof in our Dayes; for which the Lord will rebuke them, and he that sits in Heaven hath them in Derision.

And all such Babylonish Builders, and Envious Agents; as divers of these Men, called Anabaptists, or Dippers, now shew themselves to be, whose Malice, Madness and Folly shall be ma­nifest to all Men; why do they rage, and fret, and revile, but because the Light is sprung up, and the Over-spreading Day of God is broken forth, who hath said, as truely as I live, all the Earth shall be filled with the Glory of the Lord, Num. 14. 21. The Stone cut out without Hands, that s [...]ites the Image shall become a great Mountain, and fill the Earth; the God of Heaven is setting up his Kingdom which shall never be destroyed, as is prophesied in Daniel: Yea, Truth is sprung out of the Earth, which strikes at Satan's and Anti-christ's King­dom, and again bruiseth the Serpent's Head, who hath lodged and covered himself under their empty Forms, Shaddows and Live­less Professions (as he did among the persecuting Jews of old) The Lord hath lifted up a Standard against their Hypocrisie and Deceit, who have been covering an Envious Spirit with a Pretence of Christianity; And he is exalting his Gospel-Dispensation, in setting up his Light above their Darkness, his Power above their empty Forms, the Substance above the Shaddow, the Spirit above the Letter, and his Worship in Spirit and Truth above Will-Wor­ship in Hypocrisie.

At this Satan is offended, and his Agents are angry; These our present Opposers vent forth their Confusion, Envy and Strife, though it be against the Stream; they are wearying themselves for very Vanity; the Fire (which they have kindled in their Envy against the Lord's Heritage, wherein they are labouring) shall devour them.

1. These Anabaptists Babylonish Confusion greatly appears about the Light, which is in every Man, as Men whom Enmity hath blinded, and whose Minds are alienated from it into gross [Page 7] Darkness; Though the Controversie between us is not upon the Question, Whether there be a Light, or any Light in every man (for thus far we both agree in the Affirmative) but whe­ther God hath given a Divine or Sufficient Light to every Man, to shew and direct him out of Sin and Evil, to God who is Light, and the Giver of Light for Life and Salva­tion? which we affirm, but these Dippers deny, especially such of them who are particular Electioners or Predestinarians, whose partial Doctrine doth not really place the Cause of Men's Condem­nation upon their Neglect (or Disobedience) of the Light given them; but originally upon God's secret Decree against them, and his with-holding saving Light or Grace from them (as they both falsly and partially imagine) however its confest to be ten­dered to all, in preaching the Gospel without Exception or Re­spect of Persons.

But under what Terms or Names do these our Opposers repre­sent this Light, which they confess is in every Man to prove it Insufficient, either for a Rule or Guide to Salvation. Some­time they call it a Creature, sometime a Natural Light, sometime the Substance of the Law, or first Covenant, which they grant ought to be improved. Sometimes, after a more gross manner, they blasphemously represent it as a Mis-guiding Light, directly opposing the Covenant of Grace, and to be rejected; but how well this agrees with its being a Light given of God to be improved (surely sor a good End) I leave to the Serious Impartial Reader to judge, of which he may see further about in the following Answer to Thomas Hicks.

And as touching these Men's Envy against us called Quakers, as being offended at our present Liberty and Prosperity, H. Grigg endeavours to clear them, in his Epistle (to the Baptists, not Babylonish) by this Passage, viz. I have not the least En­mity nor Hatred in my Heart against the Persons of any of these People called Quakers, nor are we offended or trou­bled at their present Liberty, (as he seems to charge us) though we cannot deny but their Principles and un­sound Doctrines tend to the wounding and grieving of our Souls, because we see daily more and more the dan­gerous and damnable Nature thereof.

Mark, that while hypocritically they pretend to clear and quit themselves from having the least Enmity against our Persons, or Offence at our present Liberty; It appears they would be grati­fied or pleased, if the Powers would do them that Favour, as suppress us, and restrain our Liberty for them, as their bitter [Page 8] Invectives and invet crate Clamours plainly import and intimate their persecuting Spirit and Implac [...]ble Ma [...]ice, as while they are complaining against our Principles & Doctri [...]es as [...]amnable, & [...] us Cheats, Impostors, Romish [...], &c. Th [...]ugh their Charge herein they have never proved against us, nor can they; this doth not only bespeak a Willingness or [...]esire to have our Principles suppresse [...], but our Persons likewise: As also T. Hick's proclaiming to the World, p. 62; that the Quaker's Religion is a meer Cheat calculated to the Service of the Devil; and wickedly infianating against our Sufferings, that the Satis­faction of our Wills and Lusts, the promoting our Carnal Interest, Respect only to something to be enjoyed here, Carnal Advantage, Outward Gains, &c. may be our chief Motive, Inducement and Encouragement to do and suffer as we do, Dialogue p. 75. And he questions, whether we are not really acted by some Romish Emissaries, to in­sinuate covertly many of their own Heresies, to distract, deform and declaim the Protestant Profession, &c. p. 76.

Judge, Candid Reader, whether these malitious and false Insinuations do not savour of a persecu [...]ing Spirit, though they would not be seen to envy our Liberty; yet how do these Inve­ctives tend to stir up Persecution, and to incense the World, and instigate the Rulers against us sor our Suppression? (Their pre­tended Alegations sor them are hereafter answered and refuted) and how absurd they are in these Accusations.

1st, To insinuate that our Sufferings have been either for Car­nal Advantage, Temporal Gains, or to satisfie Lusts; whilst in our resigning up our selves to these many and deep Sufferings, we have often offered up our Lives, and consequently (with them) all our Temporal Enjoyments and Advantages, us many this Day can testifie, together with those many Innocent Person's Lives that have been laid down among us in and by Imprisonments, Ex­ilements and other Sufferings.

2ly, How ill it doth become these Anabaptists to endeavour to make the World believe, that we are either influenced or acted by Romish Emissaries, either to distract, deform or defame the Protestant Profession, which is not only a Popular and deceitful Insinuation against us (as if the Dippers had the chief Care of Protestant Religion, or were the most Catholick therein) but most notoriously false and wicked; and I challenge Thomas Hicks, and all therest of his Fratcrnity to prove it, or else forever to be ashamed thereof. Have they not more cause to look back at home, and reflect upon themselves, since that divers of their [Page 9] Brethren (even some of their Preachers) have turned Papists of late Years, whose Names being so well known, I need not now mention them; but when or where did any Preachers owned among us turn Papists, or were any such Emissaries?

Oh the great Enmity thats in these our Opposers, and their great Disingenuity and Immoderation that appears among them (as will further be manifest to their Shame, and the Lord will certainly rebuke them, and all their feigned Coverings will be too narrow for them, and they shall see and be ashamed of their Envy at his People.

But I must proceed to give the Reader a short view of some of Thomas Hicks Doctrines that past at a Dispute, and in a Paper of his, before his Fictitious and Unchristian Dialogue came forth as some Introduction to my following Answer, which was writ quick­ly after the said Dialogue came forth.

I am a Well-Wisher to all Men, even desiring my Enemies Repentance, G. W.

Some of the Doctrines and Contradictions of Thomas Hicks declared at a Discourse between him and some of the Quakers (so called) in Alderman-Berrey London, the twentieth of the third Month 1672.

  • FIrst, He owned the Baptists above other People.

    That is no Honour to them.

  • 2ly, That he did not own Water Baptism to be necessary (or of Necessity) to Salvation.

    True, but contrary to many of his Brethren.

  • 3ly, That the Quakers err in Fundamentals, denying the Person of Christ, denying the true Christ and Resurrection.

    These are Impudent Slanders.

  • 4. That the Life or Light spoken of, John 1. 4, 9. is not su­pernatural, because it is the Light of the Word as Creator.

    A Blasphemous Inconsistency.

    [This was noted down at the Interim of the Discourse before him, but snacht away by one of his Companions] So that h [...] concluded, the [...]ight in every Man is but Natural, and not sufficient to guide to Salvation.

    False Doctrine, the Light of the Eternal Word is supernatural and sufficient

  • 5ly, That the Life which is in God, which is the Light of Men, John 1. 4. is divine as it is in God, but natural as it is in Man.

    Blasphemy, that Life is Immutable because Divine.

  • 6ly, That the Light that is given in common to Men is not able to apprehend things supernatural.

    A false and inconsistent Doctrine.Contra­diction.

    And yet able to apprehend (and bring Men clearly to see) [Page 11] the Invisible things of God, even the Eternal Power and God­head, Rom. 1. 19, 20.

    A true Concession, but a Contradiction to the former.

  • 7ly, [Evasion] That it is able to discern the Eternal Power and God head, but not the things that are supernatural that are in God.

    A gross Contradiction, the Eternal Power and God­Head are supernatural.

  • 8ly, That it was a Natural Light, a Light of Conscience, and a depraved renewed Nature, by which the Gentiles did those things contained in the Law, Rom. 2. 14.

    Absurd Inconsistencies and Falshoods.

  • 9ly, That the Light in the Heathen, in Philosophers and others was able to apprehend God and his Divine Power, but not those things that are in God.

    A gross Inference; are those things higher then God?

  • 10ly, That it cannot discover the human Nature of Christ, or the Body that he took upon him, nor his Suffering nor Death; And yet it can discover the divine Attributes of God, his Wisdom Contra­diction. Power, Goodness, Love, and direct Men to love him.

    A manifest Contradiction; can it discover the greater, and not the lesser?

  • 11ly, But the Light in the Quakers cannot discover the Per­son of Christ, nor his human Nature, Sufferings, Death, &c.

    Yet it is the Life and Light of Christ.

  • 12ly, That the Quakers deny the Person of Christ, his Offices, Satisfaction, and the Resurrection of the Body, &c.

    Lyes and Slanders forged and brought forth in Envy and Darkness.

  • 13ly, That its their Principle that whosoever believes in that Christ that suffered at Jerusalem, and expects Salvation by him, they are deceived in their Faith, and shall be damned, &c. This he spake of James Nayl [...]r's Love to the Lost, near the Beginning of the Discourse.

    This is an Abuse, the true Christ is but one, and the same yesterday to day and forever.

  • [Page 12]14ly, Also at the Beginning he said, that the Baptists and Presbyterians agree in Fundamentals, and there are good People among Presbyterians; therefore they might joyn against the Quakers, for they err in Fundamentals.

Answ. First we thought that Water-Baptism had been a fundamental Point with the Baptists; and do they and Pres­byterians agree therein? 2. Have not the Baptists, whom Presbyterians call Anabaptists, been accounted Hereticks by the Presbyterians? Why do they now joyn against the Quakers (so called)? 3. Dare he say there are no good People among the Quakers, that he makes good People's being among Presbyterians a Reason of his joyning with them a­gainst us? Is it not easy to see a manifest Dissimulation and feigned Confederacy therein among these our Oppo­sers? If our Opposer saith, we have not inserted his Ex­plications upon his Assertions. Answ. Thats his Work, he hath Liberty to do it himself. [But he hath not done it, nor vindicated these his Assertions in his Pamphlet.]

Christ's Light within asserted, as it is Divine (and therefore a sufficient Rule of Life unto Salvation to all that truely obey it) and vin­dicated from Tho. Hicks his dark Exceptions; fallasious and impious Arguments (consi­sting of manifest Ignorance, Confusion and Ranterism) which are here inserted as they were exhibited in a Paper, afterwards owned and signed by him.

HIs harge against G.W. That George Whitehead affirmed, that there was that Light in every Man, if fol­lowed, that was sufficient to Salvation.

T. Hick's Assertions against this.
  • 1. In Answer to which it is asserted, that the Light in every Man could not understand the Doctrine of Instituted Worship.
  • 2. That the Light in every Man could not understand the Doctrine of Jesus Christ, concerning his coming to save Sinners.
  • 3. The Light in every Man could not bring him to the Under­standing how Sin came into the World.
  • 4. The Light in every Man cannot acquaint him with the Know­ledge of the Doctrine of the Resurrection of the Dead.

Reply, G. Whitehead still affirms, that God hath gratiously afforded that Light to every Man, which he ought to fol­low, and is sufficient to guide him to Salvation.

To his four first Assertions, I query, Is that Life which is the Light of Men, John 1. 4. divine in it self? the Light of Jesus Christ as the Eternal Word? able to ap­prehend and bring Man clearly to see the Invisible things of God, even his Eternal Power and Godhead? (as con­fessed from Rom, 1. 19, 20.) And yet is this Light neither able to understand the Worship that's due to him, the Do­ctrine of Christ Jesus concerning his coming to save Sinners, how Sin came into the World, nor yet to acquaint Man with the Knowledge of the Resurrection? can the Light apprehend or bring men to see God's Eternal Power, and [Page 14] yet neither bring them to understand the Cause of Man's Separation and Death from God, nor his Duty or Restora­tion to God again? How manifestly in consistent and con­tradictory are these? and how plainly doth he charge men's Ignorance (and Defects for want of Obedience) upon the Light within? And then, what is it given for, and what can it do? But these Assertions are grounded upon his taking it for granted, that it is not a Light of Grace, but of Nature, when that Life which is the Light of Men is granted to be divine in its own being, able to discover the Eternal Power and Godhead, then which there is not a higher Power; but how this divine Light should become Natural as a Creature, we are still to enquire, as that which neither T. H. [...]or his Brethren have ever yet proved.

That the Light within every Man could not be a Rule, for it His 1st. Argum. must be a Light of Nature or of Grace; This Light cannot be under­stood the Light of Grace, because the Scripture doth suppose a time when Men are without it: It is said, after those Dayes I will put my Laws in their Hearts, and they shall know me; that must be the Light of Grace.

Answ. Where doth the Scripture say, that the Life of Christ, which was with and in the Father, which is the Light of men, is the Light of Nature, and not a Light of Grace? The man in taking this for granted most filthily begs the Question, and that contrary to his own Concessi­on before; neither doth the Scripture suppose a time where­in Men have no Light of Grace in them, as he insinuates; but a time when they are out of the New-Covenant, and Strangers in their Minds to it, as not being come into that Agreement with God or Union with his Light, which this Covenant doth import. And because the State and Te­nour of it is both the having God's Laws written in his People's Hearts and Minds, their knowing him to be their God, and they to be his People; and its a Covenant of Mercy and Forgiveness of Sins past; It doth not therefore follow, that none of his Law is in them before they come to this Holy Attainment and Blessed Agreement; though his Laws are not so universally written or deeply engraven in their Hearts before, for its now granted by divers of our Opposers, who are of the more moderate.

1. That the pure or holy Law which God placed in [Page 15] man's Hearts before Transgression, was never wholy abli­terated, though much clouded by man's Disobedience.

2. Some of these Anabaptists do confess to a Light in man which reproves for Evil and excites to good, which they say is the Substance of the morral [...]aw, or first Covenant, which enjoyns Man truely to love and worship God, and to love our Neighbours equally with our selves, to do justly, &c. That this the very Heathens or Gentiles have in them. And then I ask, if this Law doth not appertain to the New-Covenant as one principle Law thereof also? and never intended to be destroyed by Christ, but fulfilled and renewed in his Followers, who have Union with it, as ha­ving a more deep impression, and being more fully disco­vered in the Hearts of Men, when become Children of this Covenant then before: Was not Love the fulfilling of the Law? and was not this preached by Christ's Mini­sters? and was not love one to another both the Old and New Commandment; yea, the Old Commandment re­newed and established?

If not a Light of Grace in every Man, then it must be the His 2d. Argum, Light of Nature; but the Light in every Man cannot be suffi­cient to Salvation, Acts 11. 18. When they heard these things they held their Peace and glorifyed God, saying, then hath God also to the Gentiles granted Repentance to Life; then they had it not before.

Answ. His Argument still depends upon his former Fal­lacy, that 'tis not a Light of Grace, but a Light of Nature that is in every Man, as also in putting Repentance for the Light of Grace, he puts the Effect for the Cause, as if no man had saving Grace or a Light thereof before Repentance or Conversion; whereas his Argument doth not at all prove that those Gentiles who received the Word of God, had not a Light of Grace, but only of Nature in them, before Peter preached Jesus Christ to them; but rather the contrary, that it was a Light of Grace, a Light of Jesus Christ and secret Power of God that moved in them, and opened their Hearts, and seriously inclined them to hear the Gospel preached, and which Light in them closed with the lively Testimony thereof, which did concur with the Light to the opening their Understandings, and turning their Minds from Darkness and Sin to the Light shining in their Hearts, and [Page 16] when those of the Circumcision heard how well the Gen­tiles were prepared to receive the Gospel, and the Effect of it, Act. 10. and 11. Chap. They were then convinced of God's Graciousness to those of the Uncircumcision, as well as to themselves, their contending with Peter for going unto, and eating with men uncircumcised was then stopped; when they heard these things they held their Peace, and glorified God, saying; then hath God also to the Gentiles granted Repentance unto Life.

And its evident, that Cornelius and the rest that recei­ved the Word as preached, had a Work of saving Grace in their Hearts before, which prepared them, and begot true desires in them after Life and Salvation.

Also when Barnabas come to Antioch, and had seen the Grace of God, he was glad, and exhorted them all, that with Purpose of Heart they would cleave unto the Lord, Act. 11. 23. So this Light of the Grace of God both to and in them was great Encouragement to him so to exhort them; but if there had been no Saving Grace in their Hearts, what Effect could such Exhortation or Preaching have been of unto them?

If the Light within be sufficient to save Men, then it renders His 3d. Argum. Christs Coming and Suffering needless.

This is a blind Inference, still opposing the Light of Christ within (yea, and all that is of God in Man) as In­sufficient, and so as neither discovering Christ's Coming, nor the Effect of his Suffering; or as i [...] Men might be sa­ved by his Coming and Suffering, without Respect to his Light within, which shews gross Darkness; as if there were not a Concurrence between the Light within, and the End of Christ's Coming and Suffering; and he might as well say, that if the Ingrafted Word which is within be able to save the Soul, then Christ's Coming and Suf­fering was needless; he should rather have sai [...], that Christ's Coming and Suffering without, was because men were turned from his Light within; for if all had walked in his Light within, he had not been persecuted and murthered; but this man's Argument supposeth Christ's Coming and Suffering to be for the Supply of some great Defect or Insufficiency of his Light within;That, Life which is the Light of men is Divine, Unchangea­ble, and In­finite, and therefore pre­ferred before (& is above) all Sufferings which are temporary & finite. as if man had so well improved it, and found it too scanty or Insufficient; [Page 17] and therefore (by this) Christ must suffer and die for his own Light within to supply it; whereas Christ dyed for the Ungodly, for all men that were dead in Sin, who had dis­obeyed and transgressed his Light within; and though there be a Reconciliation by his Death, yet, the being saved is by his Life, whose Life is the Light of men, which for men to be turned to in themselves, and therein to live to God, varies not from the Blessed End of Christs coming and Suffering, while he works in man by his Light and Power within, both in shewing him Sin, & saving him from it, as he believes in the Light, becomes a Child of the Light thereof, as Christ exhorted, and if we walk in the Light (of God) the Blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all Sin.

The Light within cannot be a sufficient Rule, because then there would be no certainty of Truth or Error, of Sin or Duty; for His 4th. Argum. that which one Man maketh Light to Day, the same Man will call Darkness to morrow; one Man calleth one thing a Sin, another calleth it a Duty, by this there will be no such thing as Sin, but only in the Opinions of Men.

Answ. 1. If there can be no Certainty of Truth or Er­ror, Sin or Duty by the Light within; how is he certain that there is any real Light at all in him.

2. His placing such uncertainties and those various and contrary Opinions of men upon the Light within, and ren­dring it an Insufficient Rule, either to distinguish between Truth and Error, Sin or Duty; this is contrary to both Christ's and the Apostles Testimony; as namely, that it is a manifesting Light both of good and Evil, both of those deeds wrought in God, and those that are reproved, Joh. 3. 20, 21. Ephes. 5. 13. wherefore the Light of Christ within is a sufficient Rule.

3. And what Proof is it against the Light, if one man calls it Light to day, and the same call it Darkness to mor­row? or that one man calleth one thing a Sin, another cal­leth it a Duty? doth this therefore prove the Light not a Sufficient Rule? Or doth it prove any more then that there are those that put Darkness for Light and Light for Darkness, and that call Evil good, and good Evil, Isa. 5. 20. or those that call that a Sin which others call a Duty; If it must [...]om hence be argued, therefore that there is no such certain [Page 18] Discovering Light or Rule in man to distinguish these; may it not aswell be argued, that therefore there is no such thing as Truth or Duty to be distinguished from Error and Sin? And doth not this directly lead into Ranterism, and finally into Atheism? let the Serious Reader judge.

If the Light within be a sufficient Rule, then I have a sufficient His 5th. Argum. Rule within me, because you say every Man hath it, and I am bound to obey it: In Obedience to this Rule, I oppose your Errors, and in opposing your Errors one of our Lights cannot be a sufficient Rule, because such a vast difference between us; then one of us hath not a sufficient Rule.

Answ. However he hereby grants the Light in one of us to be a sufficient Rule, pretending that he obeys this Rule, and here he hath found another Rule for a Christian besides the Scriptures, and then they are not the only or sole Rule of Faith and Practice; though its evident he doth not obey the Light within, while he represents it so vari­able and uncertain, and the Opposition and difference be­tween us to arise from Light in both, whereas the Light is but one, and changeth not; that divine Principle of Life which is the Light of men is immutably pure, and cannot err, however the Creature doth; therefore it follows that both of us cannot be led by the Light in such direct Opposition; for its Darkness that opposeth the Light.

After his so grosly and impiously slighting and invalida­ting the Light within, he does not at all tell us what good it can do or understand, nor what good End or Use God hath given it for to Man-kind, nor what shall be the End of them (of what Nation soever) that walk up to the Light within them, nor what Condition or End do the Dictates and Leadings of it tend to; this he has not at all resolved; but (in his Darkness) dealt most corruptly and disinge­nuously against the Light within; but I ask T. H. if the Light within him doth not at some times reprove him for his Passion, Envy and Railing, which ill becomes a Man professing the Patience and Sufferings of Christ?

No Man can have a sufficient Light to guide him to Sal­vation, His 6th. Argum. that hath not the Spirit of God, because no man can understand the things of God, but he that hath the Spirit of God; but all men have not the Spirit of God; therefore all [Page 19] men have not a sufficient Rule to Salvation, because all Men have not the Spirit.

Answ. By this he hath granted the Spirit of God and Light of it to be a sufficient Guide and Rule to Salvation, and to bring man to understand the things of God; but how well this agrees with their Doctrine [That the Scrip­tures are the only Rule of Faith and Practic [...], and not the Spirit nor Light in man, and that the Bible is the means of knowing God] I refer to the understanding Reader to judge of: And what though all men have not the Spirit, either in the Uni­on or Possession of it as their Rule, can no man have it that thus hath it not already? Seeing he concludes, that no man can have a sufficient Light to guide him to Salvation that hath not the Spirit; what, can no man have it? Is it not then to be had? and yet 'tis granted to be the Saint's Rule; whenas that which is the Saint's Rule ought to be every man's Rule, because every man ought to be a Saint; wherefore God hath afforded some divine Light to every man, whereby he may be led out of Darkness, call upon God, obtain Life, receive the Spirit (which he giveth to them that ask) and become Saint; for God is ready to give the Spirit to them that truely ask it, which only man can do by a Light of it.

His Argument, that all men have not the Spirit, is no Proof that every man is not enlightened by Christ; for those are said not to have the Spirit, who live not to God in it, but in Sensuality, Jude 19. and yet such were said to be twice dead, ver. 12. which they could not have been, if they had never been quickened, yet being twice dead, pluckt up by the Roots, they are become sensual having not the Spirit, i. e. in the Knowledge, Rule, Exercise and Union of it; But whether shall I go from thy Spirit? or whether shall I flee from thy Presence, Psa. 139. 7. and upon whom doth not his Light arise, when every man that co­meth into the World is enlightened by Christ.

The Light within cannot be ae sufficient Rule, because it is His 7th Argum made the Character of a wicked Man, to do what is right in his own Eyes, and to walk after his own Imaginations; then that which they do account their Duty, may be their Wickedness, & highest Wickedness, and an Argument of God's severe Curse upon them; its said, he gave them up to strong Delusions to believe a Lye.

[Page 20] Answ. Doth then the wicked man follow the Light with­in him, as his Rule in doing, whats right in his own Evil Eyes, and in walking in his own Imaginations? Or doth God bring such a severe Curse [...]pon any (as the giving up to strong Delusions) for walking after or following the Light within? How horribly blasph [...]mous is it either to sup­pose or imply these things against the Light within, to prove it an Insufficient Rule, as this man argues; placing not only Uncertainties, the various Opinions, Thoughts and Imaginations of wicked men upon the Light within, but their Wickedness, and highest Wickedness (if they own it their Duty) his Argument blasphemously places it up­on the Light within, most blindly confounding wicked men's Imaginations & Wickedness which the Devil is the Author of) with the Light in every man, without distinction, wherein Ranter like, he puts Darkness for Light, and Light for Darkness, which wo is to them that doth, Isa. 5. 20. Whereas they that follow their own vain Imaginations, and are given up to strong delusions to believe a Lye (as T. H. doth) are such as have rebelled against the Light rejected the Truth, have not glorified God as God, nor liked to retain him in their Knowledge, see Job 24. 13. Rom. 1. 21. 28. because they obeyed not the Gospel, no [...] received the Love of the Truth, that they might be saved, God gave them over to strong Delusions, and took Vengeance on them, 2 Thes. 1. 8. and Chap. 2. 10, 11. Therefore God did afford both a sufficient Light, Rule, and tendred the Love of the Truth to them, as he doth to all, else how should they be left without Excuse; seeing it is a Righteous thing with God to recompence and render Vengeanc [...] on them that know him not, for their disobedience? It cannot be con­sistent with his Righteousness in Judgment, to bring Tri­bulation and Anguish upon every Soul that doth Evil, or to judge the Secrets of Men by Christ, according to the Gospel, without ever affording them a Lght of the Gos­pel, or Gospel Nature sufficient to discover Evil, and direct to Good; and how can Indignation and Wrath come upon them that are Contentious, and obey not the Truth, but obey Unrighteousness, if the Truth did never reach to, or enlighten them? or how should their not obeying the Truth, but Unrighteousness, be charged upon them, if the Truth were never afforded them? Therefore by the same [Page 21] Reason that its confest that God wil render to every man ac­cording to his Deeds, & that there is no Respect of Persons with God; it ought to be also confessed or owned, that he doth afford to every man a Light of Truth & Righteousness sufficient for a Rule to escape Sin and Evil, and the Wrath that's due for it, and to direct man unto patient continuance in Well doing, to seek for Glory and Immortality, that he might obtain eternal Life & Glory; see & consider, Rom. 2. throughout, which sufficiently signifies; 1. The Goodness of God to Man; 2. His dispencing of his Grace and Truth to all; 3. How Impartial he is & Righteous in his Judgment a­gainst the disobedient and rebellious, who despise his Good­ness, and thereby bring Wrath upon themselves; 4. The ac­ceptance of the Gentiles, who obeyed that Law or Light gi­ven them, though they had not the Law in the Letter of it.

Wherefore now, moderate Reader, take notice that the ve­ry Ground of our asserting the universal Extent of Saving Grace & sufficient Light to Man-kind, is; 1. The unspeak­able Love and Goodness of God, as in himself, he being Love in the highest. 2. His unwillingness that Man should either live or die in Sin, he having no Pleasure in the Death of Sin­ners, but rather that they should return and live. 3. That he so loved the World, that he sent his Son into the World, that whoso­ever believes in him might not perish, but have Everlasting Life; & in that he sent not his Son into the World to condemn the World, but that the World through him might be saved. These weighty Considerations we have all along respect to in our asserting sufficient Grace or Light to be afforded of God to Mankind.

If the Light within be a sufficient Rule, then no Man ought to repent His 8th. Argum. of his Ignorant worshiping of the true God, or of his worshiping a false God; Nor ought men to repent of their Acts of Cruelty against the Saints, wherin they think they do wel, & act according to their Light; Nor ought the Quakers to repent of their Inhuman Actions of walk­ing naked; for they think in so doing they do well, and act according to their Light; therefore the Light within is not a sufficient Rule.

Answ. Still the man goes on in an absolute Strain of apparent Ranterism, gross Inconsistencies and Blasphemous Inferences against the Light within, while he renders it neither a sufficient Rule to discover Truth or Error in mat­ter of Worship, nor to lead men to repent of Idolatry, Wickedness or Acts of Cruelty against the Saints; but their thinking they do well therein, this he deems accor­ding to their Light; and all this to shew that the Light [Page 22] within which the Quakers preach, is an insufficient Rule; But its then Non-sense in him to account it any Real Light at all by those his Discriptions of it before, which one while renders the Light within so defective, so mutable, and so insignificant, as a meer Nullity, another while no better then Darkness it self, another while, the Author of Sin and Wickedness, as being according to their Light. What horrible Madness and gross Darkness hath the De­vil led these Opposers into?

His accusing the Quakers with Inhuman Actions of walk­ing naked. 1st, As its in general its fals, [...]or its neither a ge­neral Practice among us, nor the constant Practice of any; It was only some few particulars that have had a peculiar Bur­then laid upon them to go naked for a Sign to such Hypocri­tical Professors (as oppose and rebell against the Light with­in, and are covered, but not with the Spirit of the Lord) that God would rent their false Coverings, and discover their Shame and Nakedness, as it is manifest at this Day: So that its evident, that some who have been made such Signs, as before, were therein true Prophers against a Generation of Envious Hyppocrites and Persecutors.

2. His asserting that walking naked is an Inhuman Action; as his Charge is general, its not true that all go­ing naked is Inhuman (but where corruptly intended for some Evil or Inhuman Act or End) for,

  • 1st. Were Adam and Eve Inhuman in their being naked, when they were not ashamed, being Innocent? Gen. 2. 25. for the Shame came after Transgression, from which came the Inhumanity.
  • 2ly. When the Spirit of God was upon Saul, its said, he stript of his Clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel, and lay down naked all that Day, and all that Night; wherefore they say, is Saul also amongst the Prophets, 1 Sam. 19. 23, 24.

It appears then that going naked was not counted such an Inhuman Action among the Prophets; see also how Esaiah was made to be a Sign and a Wonder upon Aegypt and Aethiopiah, Esa. Chap. 20. and so what know you but that the Lord hath made some of his Servants Signs and Wonders against many in Spiritual Aegypt and Bondage? however covered with a Profession and Pretence of being redeemed, as true Jews, Partakers of Gospel and Church Priviledges, of Spiritual Canaan, whilst yet in Spiritual [Page 23] Sodom, Aegypt and Babylon, where both our Lord hath been Spiritually crucified, and the Blood of his Prophets sound.

Here follows T. H. his after-Charge.

1st. And that the whole Religion and Principles of that Peo­ple, called Quakers, wherein they difference themselves from others, is of the Devil, witness my Hand, Thomas Hicks.

This Charge is not only General but also very dark and most disingenuous: For if by [OTHERS] he means ALL OTHERS, he should have specified those Principles where­in we differ from all others, and produced his Proof. But if (by others) he mean only his own Sect, called Anabaptists, then he hath made a very rigid Conclusion against all o­thers differing from them, that their whole Religion and Principles (wherein they differ from Anabaptists) are of the Devil.

2dly. They that deny the Resurrection of that Body that was committed unto Dust overthrows all Religion (he saith)

To which I say, these Baptists that affirm it of the same Carnal Body, after turned to Dust, and yet that it cannot be a New-Created Body, and that the Body which God giveth to every Seed is the same Body (as T. H. in his Dialogue doth, Pag. 58. 59. with others of his Brethren) they affirm they know not what, and that which they can never give a rea­sonable or a convincing Demonstration of (being also con­trary to that Scripture, 1 Cor. 15. 37, 38, 40, 50.) and while they make this their Opinion the Ground of their Religion and future Happiness, their Religion is Carnal, and their Opinion Non-sensical, and their Foundation Sandy, being grounded upon Dust, and they themselves are very Ignorant of the Mystery of the Resurrection, as will further appear hereafter upon the full Disquission of this weighty matter.

THE CHRISTIAN-QUAKER AND HIS Divine Testimony VIDICATED, In a more particular and direct Answer to the Baptist's Dialogue.

Section I. The Light Within proved Divine and Saving, &c.

FIrst, That there is a divine Light in every man, which is of a saving Property in its self; and therefore suffi­cient to guide and direct man to God, and so to Salvation. And for its being a divine Light, I have urged Joh. 1. 4. In him was Life, and the Life was the Light of Men.

Secondly, That this Light is the certain Guide and Rule to true Believers in matters of Faith, Spiritual Worship and Obedience to God [and therefore that which can give a right Understanding of the Holy Scriptures.]

These our Assertions are chiefly quarelled at by T.H. and some of his Brethren, though he very smoothly pretends, not to cavil, but that he may understand the Truth, as de­siring to know.

First, What this Salvation is? 2dly. What this Light is? 3dly. Who they are that do obey this Light, and in obeying attain Salvation? pag. 2.

To which I answer, It both hath appeared, and will appear against thee T. H. that thy Envy and Cavilling hath kept thee from the right Understanding and Knowledge of the Light and Salvation, that thou art now to seek at this [Page 25] time of Day: And yet sayest, that all thou intendest is my Conviction and Recovery, as in thy 10th p. when as yet the Darkness covers thee, and keeps thee from the right un­derstanding of Truth. But if thou hadst obeyed the Light of Christ within thee, thou wouldst have known both its Power and Sufficiency unto Salvation, and that this Sal­vation which it leads to is Christ, who is both Redemption and Salvation to them who follow him in his Light, from Darkness, Sin and Defilement of Conscience (and so consequently from Wrath) which thou art yet highly guilty of, and from which thy Water-Baptism has not washt thee.

T. H. You express your selves with great Varity; some­times you say 'tis Christ, Let the Reader ob­serve this by the Way; thou maystremem­ber, that the Controversie between us, was not, whe­ther the Light as in every man be the Christ or no? but whether it be a di­vine Light of Christ (which I affirm) or but a Crea­ture? (which I deny) this is enough to my Intenti­on. another time its only a Measure of Christ, anon its only of the Divine Essence; this is a very uncertain Sound, p. 3.

Answ. Thou shewest thy self a dull cavilling Baptist; must we be tied up to one Word to express a Principle by, when the Scriptures allow of Varieties for Demonstration to divers Capacities, which doth not alter the Matter? This divine Light in man is exprest in the Scripture with as much Variety of Words as we do.

As its called the Life, the Light, a Gift, Manifesta­tion, Seed, Kingdom of Heaven within, a measure of the Gift of Christ, the Grace of God, &c. yet one and the same spiritual and divine Life or Light.

T. H. Notwithstanding thy most diligent Attendance to the Light in thee, that which thou callst the Light in thee hath in many things mis-guided thee, p. 3.

Answ. Now thou beginnest to be mad again the Light within; that which I call the Light within, is the very same that Christ and his Witnesses did witness to (to wit) In him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men; therefore thou hast blasphemously accounted this a mis­guiding Light.

And in thy 7th. pag. hast plainly contradicted thy self herein, where thou appealest to the Light in me, and grantest it ought to be obeyed: See how thou hast broke the neck of thy corrupt cause; if it were a mis-guiding Light, how [Page 26] dost thou for Proof appeal to it (as Rule) and grantest it ought to be obeyed? ought that which is mis-guiding to be obeyed? But the Light within ought, therefore it will not mis-guide.

T. H. saith, G. W. in his Discourse upon it urged that text Joh. 1. 4. In him was Life and the Life was the Light of men. If the Life (said he) be the divine Essence (my Words were, If that Life be of the divine Being) the Light must be so also.

Answ. This Argument thou didst never answer to pur­pose yet, but cavillest, and draws what Absurdities thou pleasest upon thy own Forgeries, as will further ap­pear, only sillily thou argued against it thus, viz.

T. H. That the Life or Light spoken of, Joh. 1. 4, 9. is not supernatural, because it is the Light of the Word, as a Creator.

Answ. To which was answered, that its false and incon­sistent Doctrine; For the Light of the Eternal Word is supernatural, because the Light of the Eternal Word the Creator. See here the Reason thou rendrest for its not being supernatural, proves it super-natural; for because its of this divine Relation it must be divine. And thou shifts but very sorrily to come off here, when thou tellest me, that the Life and Light commnuicated to every man from that Eternal Word, is not supernatural, Eternal and Divine. But for this, we have only thy Say-so, contrary to what thou hast granted before, to wit, as being the Light of the Eternal Word. Neither could thy other Shift serve thy turn, viz.

T. H. That the Life which is in God, which is the Light of Men, Joh. 1. 4. is divine as it is in God, but natural as it is in man.

Answ. The Conclusion of this is Blasphemy; for that divine Life is Immutable because divine, it did not loose his Divinity by being given to man; for being divine, 'tis no more subject to mutation than God is. Remember here, how thou wast nonplust, and how thou art in a Labo­rinth; and of this thou dost not clear thy self in all thy perverse cavilling against us.

Sect. II. The Life which is the Light of Men, not a Creature, or meer Effect, &c.

WHereas on the Behalf of God's immediate Illumi­nation or Shining in man's Heart; for the Di­vinity thereof, I alledged, that the Cause thereof being divine, this Effect thereof must needs be divine and su­pernatural, as in my Narrative. But instead of taking notice of the Words, his Immediate Illumination or Shining, thou art pleased to quarrel upon the Words, such as is the Cause, such the Effect must be; and thus thou proceedest upon it, viz.

T. H. From this kind of Reasoning we may conclude not on­ly the Light within, but every Creature both Beasts and Trees are God, these being the Effects of Infinite Wisdom; dost thou not tremble at this Consequence, p. 4.

Answ. How causlesly dost thou quarrel? Are both Beasts and Trees Immediate Effects of God's Power? Did he not cause both Plants and Trees to grow out of the Earth? 2ly. Were these Immediate? To be sure I ne­ver affirmed so many Gods as there are Effects of Infinite Wisdom.

But be it remembred, that I never called the divine Life, which is the Light of men, a meer Effect, but ad­mitted of the Word Effect with reference to the Immediate Illumination or Shining of God in the Heart, as being of a divine Nature, because God is the Enlightener and Shi­ner: And thou denying the Light to be of the divine Es­sence, because communicated, I urged this Argument; That if the Life be divine, or of the divine Being, then the Light in man must be divine, because the Life that was in God was that Light; and such as is the Cause, such is the Effect, in some sence holds true, in all the Effects of Infinite Wisdom, true in all Creatures as they were made good; God, the Cause being the chiefest Good, who beheld all that he had made, that it was very good, And God who is Light is the Fountain of Life and Light, [Page 28] whose divine Life or Light it self (which is the Light of men) I never intended to be a meer Effect, strictly taken as an Act of Power or thing made or created; but as the Illumination or Immediate Shining in man, immediately and naturally flowing from God the Fountain of Light, (its Envy makes thee carp and cavil) and was not the Effect of the Law written in the Gentiles Hearts, of the Nature of the Law.

Canst think thou art Ingenuous? Dost think that I do not own Varieties of Effects from the Infinite Wisdom and Power of God, as not only supernatural but natural, both mediate, providential and immediate Effects, as well as Increated, Immediate Products of Life, Light and Vertue, flowing naturally from him? Yet though divine Illumina­tion as manifested in man, be an Immediate Act or Effect; the Light or Life which doth illuminate is greater; for it is the Cause which is more then the Effect, though this Illumination hath a Living Vertue and Resemblance of the Cause in it, and they are inseparable: So that the Life which is the Light of Men, Joh. [...]. 4. being divine, and of the Being of God himself, who is Light, it is not proper to call it, a meer Effect, as a thing made, or a Crea­ture as thou blindly calls it, and would have it; wherein thou dost meerly beg the Question and builds a false Stru­cture thereupon.

Again thou leavest out part of the Controversy between us, whichw as thus. viz.

T. H. The Light in every Man cannot be the divine Essence in God; for God is in Heaven, and his Divine Essence is not communicable, &c.

G. W. What is this but to deny the Omni-presence of God, and to endeavour to confine him [...] is Infinite and not limitable. We ask if the Holy Ghost, or the Eter­nal Spirit be not God? And if this Holy Spirit be not communicable?

This Question in the Narrative T. H. is willing to wave, as that which pinches him, and thus does he reply to the Words before, viz.

T. H. Then it seems that the Lightwithin and the Omni pre­sence of God is one and the same thing. Is this your Champion. a. 4.

[Page 29] Answ. Thou scoffs, but durst not answer. God's Omni­presence divine Light and Spirit are inseparable; God is Light, whose Presence fills Heaven and Earth, and upon whom doth not his Light arise? And in what Coun­try or People does not his Spirit come, if an Infinite Spi­rit? Whether shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whether shall I flee from thy Presence? Psal. 139. 7, 8, 9, 10.

His Infinite Spirit is not tyed up to a few Predestinarian Electioners, who only conceit they are elected, and sa­ving Grace only free for them, though in Vertue and Up­rightness they be far short of many called Heathen, who were a Law to themselves in Truth and Uprightness towards God and man.

Sect. III. The Baptist's Quarrel grounded on his Mistake about the Light, and our Testimony of it.

T. H. THough it be granted, that God is an Infinite, Immu­table and Perfect being; will it therefore follow, that every thing he created and communicated is his own being? What man but a Quaker would dare affirm this?

Answ. Thou wrongst the Quakers (as thou callst them) its none of their Argument, that because God is Infinite, therefore every thing that he creates is so: But because of his Infiniteness and Omni-presence he is near unto all men, even shining in their Hearts.

But it is thy gross Error to take for granted, that his Light in every man is Created; See 2 Cor. 4. 6. God hath shined in our Hearts, and that Christ that enlightens every man that cometh into the World is God, in worshipping of whom we do not worship a Creature, as thou falsly in­sinuates against us, p. 6.

But thou shewest thy self against the Light, as an Agent of the Son of Perdition, who exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God, 2. Thes. 2. 4.

Is not man this Temple of God by right? And hath not this Son of Perdition or Mystery of Iniquity been exal­ted [Page 30] in Apostates above all that's called God? And what was that that was called God and that was worshipped, above which this Son of Perdition exalted himself? Was it not a Manifestation of the divine Life and Light? And what was the Apostles Rule to try and reveal this Son of Perdition by, when he wrought in a Mystery, and as God did sit in the Temple of God, shewing himself to be God? Is it not the Day of Christ that reveals, and so God him­self that makes manifest this man of Sin? And is not God then the Saints Rule to discover this Mystery?

T. H. Let me tell thee that thy Light is very imperfect, for­asmuch as it hath not yet instructed thee by what Name to call it, whether Christ, or only a Measure or Gift of Christ, p. 6.

Answ. Thou hast wronged my Light; sor God is my Light and my Salvation; and Christ is my Life and Light who is perfect; and this Christ we preach, as the Light of the World, that enlightens every man that comes into the World; though we do not say that he is revealedly or mani­festly the Light in every man, or by Way of Union, nor yet that Christ (considered as thou describes him, p. 11.) as to his outward Birth and Person is in any, much less in every man; Yet this hinders not, but that as God, or as with Relation to his divine Life and Light, he is Infinite over all, and through all, and in all; yet to those only revealed and united, who truely obey and follow him in the Measure of his Light which is uni­versally given unto Man-kind.

T. H. The Apostle did needlesly exhort the Corinthians to examine themselves, whether Christ were in them or no (viz. If he were in every man) p. 7.

Answ. Nay, he bad them examine themselves whether they were in the Faith; for saith he, know you not your own selves that Jesus Christ is in you except you be Repro­bates.

And if thy Mind were not reprobated and estranged from his Light in thee, thou mightst know him revealed in thee. But as Christ the annointed is a Mystery, he is hid from thee and many more, though his Light be in thee and others that is sufficient to reveal Christ, and leave you without Excuse, and to condemn you for Iniquity.

Sect. IV. Christ guides to Salvation by his Inward Light, and the Baptist con­founded in his opposing it.

T. H. I Grant that every man is enlightened, has a Light in them; but this doth not prove that this Light in every man is Christ, nor yet sufficient of it self to guide to Salvation; Christ is sufficient; but I say the Light in every man is not sufficient, p. 7.

Answ. First, If Christ hath given to every man a suffi­cient Light to leave them without Excuse (as he hath) then it is sufficient to guide and direct them unto Salva­tion; for if they could justly charge this Light with Insuf­ficiency for this end, this would be an Excuse.

Secondly, That Light which is sufficient to convince of Sin, and lead out of it, is sufficient to guide to Salvation; but such is the Light of Christ in every man.

Thirdly, God offers a good end to man, in giving him Life and Grace, Job 10. and this Grace tends to his Salva­tion, if obeyed; otherwise mans Destruction is of him­self for his Disobedience, and not Designed by the Lord in his giving him Life and Grace.

4thly, Thy denying the Light in every man to be suffi­cient to guide to Salvation, is plainly enough contradicted by thee, in thy confessing Christ to be the Life and Light of men, p. 22. whose Life and Light is sufficient. And for what end is his Light in every man given, if not to di­rect unto Salvation? Thou art not so ingenuous as to re­late, though thou both appealst to it, and grantst it ought to be obeyed; this will stand in Judgment against thee, for thy false Judgment given against it in other Places, as also what thou further acknowledgest, viz.

T. H. There is something within that checks for many Evils, and excites to many good things, and that I ought to shun those Evils, and to do that good, p. 8.

Answ. If thou didst obey this something, or Light with­in (thus acknowledged by thee) in shunning those many Evils thou art checkt for, and performing the good to [Page 32] which it excites thee, thou wouldst both know and speak better of it then thou dost, as that which both moves and leads in the Way to Salvation, which is from Sin here, and from Wrath hereafter, and so unto Christ, who is the Giver of it.

But it is probable thou thinkst thou art an elect Person, and so in thy Presumption slites the Light within, as not only Insufficient of it self to guide unto Salvation, but al­so as a mis-guiding Light: And this Doctrine herein op­poseth thy Maker, and his Universal good to Man-kind; How then thinkest thou, that the Rebellious can be left without Excuse, or God be known to be clear, when he judges?

Sect. V. The Dipper proved a Blind Guide, and in gross Confusion in underva­luing the Light within.

T. H. DId the Light in Saul reprove him for persecuting the Church? Doth not he himself confess that he verily thought he ought to do many things against the Name of Jesus? Yea, doth not Christ tell his Disciples, that some would kill them, and yet think they did God Service? But how could they think so, if this Light in them did reprove for it? p. 8, 9.

Answ. Thou having asserted, that there are some Sins which the Light reproves not, among these thou instancest, namely, persecuting the Church, doing many things a­gainst the Name of Jesus, killing the Disciples, and there­fore concludes it no sufficient Rule.

O! thou blind Guide, how darest thou thus accuse and undervalue the Light of Christ within, contrary to thy many Concessions elsewhere? Is Christ the Life and Light of men? And yet does not his Light reprove Per­secution and Murther? If it reprove not these, what are the Evils it checks for? What rational Man cannot see thy manifest Folly herein, thus to confound Persecutors, evil Thoughts with the Light within, and to conclude the Light within no sufficient Rule, because of some mens Wickedness, who have rebelled against the Light; and therein thou hast put Darkness for Light.

[Page 33]And what were the Pricks that were hard for Saul to kick against? And where was that Holy Ghost which the Per­secutor alwayes resisted, Act. 7?

Their Envious and superstitious Minds, and dark Thoughts were not the Light, but such as clouded and ob­scured the Light in them, yet the Kingdom of Heaven was in those Jews; and so much divine Light in those Heathen as shewed them, that there was a true and unknown God to be worshipped (with sincere Hearts and pure minds) and that in him we live and move and have our Being, had they waited in that Light, and listened to it, they would both truely have known God, his Way and Worship, as some did.

If all things that are reproved, are made manifest by the Light, how dost thou exclude those gross Sins of Per­secution and Murder from being reproved by the Light? And why dost thou argue against it, from mens persecu­ting and murtherous Thoughts, which arise from their En­mity and Rebellion against the Light?

But further I argue against thee on the Behalf of the Light, viz. That its manifesting all things that are re­proved, is in order to guide men out of all reprovable Wayes; which if they be guided out of, they are in their Duty; For where man is not reproveable for any thing, he is in his whole Duty, and so in the right Way.

T. H. Did the Light in the Heathen-Philosophers check them for multiplying their Deityes? and for not believing that Jesus is the Christ? Or did it reprove them for their mani­fold Superstitions? And were they thereby directed to the right Way of worshipping the true God? I demand an Instance among the many Thousands of Man-kind, &c. p. 9.

Answ. That which might be known of God, which was manifest in the Heathen, and which did open the Eyes of many clearly to see the eternal Power and God head, Rom. 1. that was able to direct them into the right Way of worshipping the true God; for the reason why many run into Superstition, and to multiply Gods, was because that when they knew God, they Glorified him not as God, but became vaine in their Imaginations, Rom. 1. which was their Sin, and not any Defect of the Light given them from above; for that Light which gave them the Know­ledge [Page 34] of the true God, was therefore able to direct them into the right Way of worshipping him.

And whereas thou demandest an Instance, among the many Thousands of Man-kind that hath been convinced or reproved for not believing Jesus to be the Christ, by the meer Light within, before any Light of Revelation was brought unto them. p. 9.

Thou still persists in thy dull course of begging the que­stion, while thou takest it for granted, that the Light with­in is but a Creature or natural, and so not any absolute reveal­ing Light: But this I cannot grant thee, while it is re­vealing God and his eternal Power to man, that waits in it; However, thou slites it under thy frequent Phrase, Meer Light within, though it be neither opposed to the Spirit nor Revelation, as thou wouldst have it, while it is Divine and Spiritual.

And that thousands of Man-kind are reproved for not believing in the Son of God, is evident by the Spirit of Truth, reproving the World of Sin, because they be­lieve not in the Son of God, in that they do not believe in his Life or Light within, they do not believe in him, who is the Giver of it, and therefore reproved by the Spirit; and surely many Thousands are comprehended in this World of Unbelievers.

Sect. VI. His Ignorance of the Divine Principle.

T. H. I Grant that the Light in thee may reprove for those Sins the common Light in all Man-kind will not, because thou hast borrowed much Light from the Scriptures, p. 9.

Answ. Its evident thou understands not the Principle of divine Light within, from what thou hast borrowed from the Scriptures, with thy Imaginations perverting them, wherein is thy great Darkness; thou egregiously mistake­est a litteral Notion and Historical Faith, for the divine Light within (which is given to all) which is a pure, In­corruptible and Unchangeable Principle of Life and Truth; immediately given, and shining from Christ the Eternal Word; and not mens acquired Notions from the History [Page 35] of Christ's outward Manifestation in the Flesh.

But in thy gross Ignorance thou exalts such Acquire­ments of men above the Principle of Light within: And so mens Historical Profession of the Scriptures as their on­ly Rule, though they much differ in their meanings therein, which they make their Rule many times above the Scrip­tures, and above the Gift of God; this is a great Error of you, Litteral Professors.

Thou wouldst not be pleased, should I alledge your va­rious Opinions upon the Scriptures, to prove them no suf­ficient Rule, though thus thou art pleased contradictorily to deal with the Light within.

Had the Princes of this World obeyed the Light of Christ within, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory; for it would have given them a Sence and Know­ledge of him; there were those that grieved and vext the Holy Spirit within; would it therefore be a good Argu­ment to say, that his Spirit was no sufficient Rule?

And to what thou sayst of Jesus Christ, as come in the Flesh, a Person prophesied of, born at Bethlehem, p. 11. we never said the Light in every man was Christ under these Considerations, though Christ considered as the [...], enlightens every man Spiritually and Divinely.

Both John the Baptist and John the Evangelist gave a higher Proof and Testimony of Christ, then this you Bap­tists give. When John Baptist said, he is preferred before me, for he was before me; and John the Evangelist saith, In the beginning was the Word, &c. this was Christ.

Sect. VII. His Madness and Self-Contradiction about the Light.

TOuching our obeying the Commands of the living Word in us; for this thou accuseth us with a mental and mystical Reservation, which thou sayst, indeed is no other then a meer mystical Romance, p. 10. For which the Lord re­buk ethy Prophaneness and Irreligious romancing against the Word and Light within.

Also thy Blasphemy is very manifest, in accusing what we said of the Light within, as to the Miracles, Wonders or Works wrought by it, to be no more then what the Apostle [Page 36] spake of the man of Sin, 2 Thes. 2. 9. and also, what may as well prove Mahomet to be the true Christ, as the Light in us, p. 11, 12.

Here again thou actest the Part of a Bedlam against the Light in us, which else-where thou hast confest to be Christ, for that he is the Life and Light of Men; and is not this Christ the Messiah?

They that have believed in his Light within, and so truely made Tryal of it, do know that wrought by it, which never was wrought either by the man of Sin or Mahomet; for to believe in this Light, is the Way to become Chil­dren of it; the Way to see Darkness and the Power of it to vanish, and so to have Sathan overcome by the Power of Christ received in the Light, and this did never the Man of Sin nor Mahomet; therefore thy Instance herein is most Blasphemous.

And if we be accountable for every Dispensation of Light, according to its kind and degree, p. 13. of what kind is this Dispensation of Light thats given in common unto Man­kind, thou hast sufficiently answered to thy own utter O­verthrough in pag. 36. viz.

T. H. Yet all this is no Disparagement to the Light within, to say, that God doth make any thing more known of his Will, than is or can be known by this meer Light within; for 'tis but to say that each degree of Light is serviccable to its End.

Reply. Where now Mark, that the Difference about the Light that is given in common to all (and more peculiarly manifest to some) is not in the Nature and Kind of it, but in Degree, and surely the Degrees of the Light do not alter the Property of it; The divine Light is one and the same Throughout all Ages, both in the time of the Law & Pro­phets, & of Christ coming in the flesh (which was to exalt his mannifestation in Spirit) And now in the fulness of time, shining forth in a more glorious and powerful Manifestation, the same Light hath shined forth more and more, through­out the several dispensations of God, which were all for the Exaltation and bringing forth of the Light in its de­grees and Manifestations of Glory and Power.

But what Account wilt thou give to God, for thy so much undervaluing that Degree of Light that he hath given unto all Mankind, as thou hast done.

[Page 37]One while in judging it a misguiding Light, another while comparing our Tstimony of it to the man of Sin, Mahomet, &c. Another while, it is so dis-esteemed by thee, as not sufficient to discover or reprove Persecution, and killing the Disciples, and yet we must be acountable to God for it. What mean and confused Thoughts thou hast of it, the Impartial Reader may easily judge by the tenor of this thy most contradictory Discourse.

But they who experienced the Increase of Light in them, the Superaddition of divine Revelation, p. 12. the shining of the Light more and more unto the perfect Day.; & their being changed from Glory to Glory, it was through the diligent Improvement of that Degree of Light, that sure Word of Prophesie shining in their hearts; and not by opposing and disparaging of it, as thou hast done in thy Pride and Darkness, which covers thee, who art one that stumbles at the Ingrafted Word through thy Disobedience; In which thou wouldst have us to believe the Light within to be not sufficient to guide unto Salvation; while thou hast not followed it, to experience the good End of its Guidance, as we have done.

Thou pretends to know what it cannot do, but [...]elst us not what it can do, and to what end it will lead if truely obey­ed? Nor what will become of those that improve it, who have not the Scriptures or Historical Relation of Christ, as come in the Flesh; wherein thou art deficient and difin­genuous in all thy Work.

Sect. VIII. Christ as the Rock of Ages, and the Intent of his coming in the Flesh not known to Baptists, while they oppose his Light within.

T. H. JEsus Christ was a Person of whom there were many Prophesies, which should be fulfilled in him, p. 11. If this Light within be the true and only Christ; then why was there so many Sacrifices in the time of the Law tipifying Christ to come, since Moses and the rest of the Children of Israel had a Light in them? If you say, the Light within was not the Messiah, then you deny your Principle; If it were, what Significancy could there be in those Types, respecting Christ to come, p. 12.

[Page 38] Answ. Thou thinkst thou hast caught us in a learned Dilemma here; but what amounts the tenour of it to, but to tell us, either that the true Christ was not in being in Moses and Israels time, or that he was not in them; for if he were, thou questionest what Significancy could there be in those Types.

But here thou art very dark; for though Christ's Ma­nifestation did differ both in degree and manner of Appea­rance; and though, when in the Fulness of time he came to fulfil the Prophesies and Types of him; the Power and Glory of the Father was more fully and eminently and signally manifest in him, then in any before; and the Light more shone forth exemplarily in him; yet it follows not, that the true Christ was not in being in Moses and in the Prophets time; or that his Light was not in some Degree manifested, both before, under, and since the Law.

If the true Christ was in being, and in any degree ma­nifest, his Light needs must; but the true Christ was in being from Everlasting, and in time universally shining and manifest in some degree throughout all the Generations of the Righteous, since the World began, being the Rock of Ages, that spiritual Rock whereof all Israel drank, 1 Cor. 10. 4. who said, before Abraham was I am; this great and most eminent Prophet God promised to raise up unto Israel of their Brethren, which was in a more familiar Ap­pearance, even in the Flesh, though his spiritual Out-goings were before from of old, and he was called the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the Creation of God, Rev. 3. 14. who faith, behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my Voice and open the Door, I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with me, ver. 20. Now I ask, what and where is that Door that he so univer­sally knocks at? And is not this the true Christ that thus knocketh? And was not his Light or Word in Israels Hearts, and his Spirit in the Holy Prophets, by which they fore-saw his Coming in the Flesh, his Sufferings and Glory that should follow?

Now though the pure Light and Glory of the Father was more fully, eminently and signally then ever before manifest, and shining forth in him, as coming in the fulness of time to consummate and end the Types and Shadows of the first Covenant; whereby he gave a more eminent and [Page 39] signal Testimony of God's Universal Love and Power to man; this is no Argument to prove that either the true Christ or his Universal Light was not in being, and in some degree discovered before; for without this no Soul could ever be saved; it was his divine Light that could mi­nister Life unto the Soul, and not Shadows.

Sect. IX. The Dipper plung'd in a Laborinth of self-Contradictions, and the Light within proved a Rule above the Scriptures.

T. H. IT will be our Wisdom, yea our Duty, not only to attend the Light within; but specially to those Revelations of God's Mind and Will in the Holy Scriptures, p. 13.

Answ. In thy granting its part of our Duty to attend to the Light within; thou hast plainly contradicted thy Blasphemy in opposing it in other places as a mis-guiding Light; and comparing it with the Man of Sin, Mahomet, &c. and judging our following its Conduct as a subverting and anihilating the Covenant of Grace, and that this Light doth dire­ctly oppose it, and ought to be rejected, as appears, p. 38.

Is it part of our Duty to attend upon that that subvert­eth and opposeth the Covenant of Grace. O! that thou wouldst consider and see thy Blasphemy, and what a Labo­rinth of Contradictions thou art fallen into; as also in thy Concession of attending to the Light within, thou art de­fective, whilst thou dost not place the special Attention to be upon it, but upon the Scriptures; whereas the Light within is specially to be attended to, as that which both opens the Understanding in the Scriptures, and discovers the several Conditions which they relate to; otherwise men are apt to pervert and mis-apply the Scriptures to their own Destruction, turning the Truth of God into a Lye, as they did who turned their Backs upon the Manifestation of God in them, Rom. 1. 19, 21, 25.

T. H. I conceive enough hath been said to evince, that the Light in every man neither is the true Christ, nor a sufficient Rule to guide us unto Salvation, p. 13.

[Page 40] Answ. While Thou are following thy own Conceptions, thou dost not follow the Guidance of the Light of Christ within, and therefore conceivest amiss of it; for it is a true and perfect Rule, unto which he that loveth & doth truth cometh and bringeth his Deeds that they may be manifest that they are wrought in God, Joh. 3. 21. it is a convincing Rule, that pure and inward Law or Light which converts the Soul; It doth not onely convict man of Sin, but upon Repentance evidenceth unto him Remission: And this doth not the Scriptures without, to men particularly, though they testify of the several Conditions, which the Light guides the Soul through. The Scriptures testifie against all Sin, but do not shew unto men their particular Sins; many read the Scriptures, who over-look the De­ceits of their own Hearts; but if they Eye this Light of the Son of God within, it will manifest unto them their particular Evils, and shew them their Thoughts, Motions and Actions, and the Tendance of each; so do not the Scriptures, they cannot of themselves convince any, as the divine Light can. And this divine Light within disco­vers all the Temptations, and mysterious Workings, and Depths of Satan to that Soul that waits in it, as they are met withall, and as Satan attempts to insnare, that the Soul may shun his Snares and Wiles upon all Occasions and in all Tryals; and this does not the Letter without.

This Light within also, as a perfect and immediate Rule of Faith, directs the Soul in all the Operations of Faith, against all the Innumerable Temptations, and Try­als, and Besetments of the Enemy, and it opens an In­ward Eye of Faith, and is the Immediate Guide to see him who is Invisible through all, but so is not the Scripture: All which being seriously considered, the Light within is the Rule of Faith, and not the Scripture.

But if it be objected, That the Scriptures being the Rule of Faith, is not intended without the Help of the Spirit or divine Light in the Soul.

I answer, This granteth that the Scriptures are not the Rule of Faith alone, therefore that they are not to be taken as the Intire Rule of Faith, they not being effectual without the Spirit, whereas the Spirit is effectual with­out the Scriptutes, and able of it self to lead into all Truth.

[Page 41]The Spirit or Heavenly Unction considered as a higher Degree, Gift or Effusion of divine Life than that degree of Light that is given in common to all, is attained unto only by those that faithfully improve the Life or Light in its less Appearance, which in some degree appears in every man's Conscience.

T. H. I query, whether all the Generations of Christians, since Christ's time until within these very few Years, be not eer­tainly lost and damned, forasmuch as they acknowledged not this Light within as the true Christ, p. 12.

Answ. This shews, thou hast very little Sense of all the Christians, and their Acknowledgments, who thus queriest of them. Did not they acknowledge Christ in them, the Immortal Word of Life and Light in them? And was not Christ both their Life, Light and Salvation? And was not the Apostle Paul sent to turn the Gentiles from Darkness to Light? And did not all the true Ministers preach Christ as God's Covenant, given for a Light and Salvation to the Ends of the Earth? But in thy dark Thoughts, thou seest not the Drift of rheir Testimony; but queriest whether all the Generations of Christians till within these few Years be not certainly lost and damned? And yet thou wouldst be accounted a Christian in this thy Unchristian Work.

Sect. X. The Subject Understanding and Obeying the Light within, unknown to the Cavilling Baptist.

T. H. WHo or what is it that obeyeth this Light, and in Obedience of it is saved? Or if this Light be the Rule, it doth suppose a subject capable of understanding it, and of yielding Obedience to it, p. 4.

Answ. Its placed in the Heart and Conscience of man, that he (with his whole Soul, Mind and Spirit) may un­derstand, and obey it, and come to Life and Salvation in Christ, being guided by his Light in the Conscience.

T. H. What then is the Principle? Either the Light must obey it self, or Darkness must obey it?

Answ. Thy Darkness makes thee talk thus darkly and scribble thus nonsensically, the Spirit of man is to obey every degree of this divine Light given of God, that the whole man may be in Subjection; for which End God hath given man a spiritual Capacity and Power to obey by the Vertue of Grace, that the reasonable Soul in believe­ing in the Light, and obeying it, may find Relief and more Power from God, comfortably to subsist in the Way of Life and Peace with him.

And though it be not a Scripture Phrase to tell of two such Lights in every man, as thou mentions, p. 14. Yet as the Light of the Body is the Eye which seeth the object of Light, and there is a single Eye which causeth the whole Body to be full of Light; So in man hath God placed the Eye of the Understanding and Mind, and a Conscience in the reasonable Soul, which is capable of receiving the divine Light, as both the supream Rule and commanding Light; and they that are translated out of Darkness into it, are become Children of the Light.

And if thou wert come to this Estate, thou needst not question who is the subject of Obedience to the Light, whether the whole Person or only a part, for the whole man ought to be the subject; and where the Eye of the mind is single, the whole Body is full of Light, and no part dark: But for the whole person to be subject to the Light, is in­consistent with thine and thy Brethrens Doctrine for Sin and Imperfection during Life. Why then dost thou now suppose the whole Person to be the Subject, when thou art not real in what thou implyest of the whole Persons be­ing obedient? p. 15, 16.

And thou dost but play the Fool and Caveller, whilst thou art drawing such a Conclusion upon us, as that by our Principle, the Light must obey it self; and in so doing be saved; this is only inferred from a Fiction of thy own Framing, or a Quaker of thy own making, to speak as thou pleasest; for the Light is given for the Benefit of Mankind, that they that truely follow it and throughly obey it, with Subjection of both Soul, Spirit and Body, may know Salvation from Sin here and Wrath her [...]after. [Page 43] And so man (in his spiritual being, both in Soul and Body spiritual) as changed or translated from a State of Mor­tality, may forever enjoy a State of Immortality in Glory hereafter; as they who are led by the Counsel of God shall afterwards be received into Glory; for man as tran­slated into that Celestial Spiritual State, is most capable of the full Enjoyment of Glory with God hereafter.

Sect XI. Concerning the Soul of man, as under divers Considerations and States, and G. Fox's VVords so considered with; [...]ight Queries added.

COncerning the Soul of man, thou vehemently accu­sest us with Fancies, Conceits, Absurdities, Non­sence and Error, p. 16. Thy Instance for this is, viz.

That G. F. mentions in his great Mystery, &c. p. 68. and 100. That the Soul is part of God and of his being, and that it is without beginning, p. 91. and also infinite. p. 29. Whence thy Inference is, viz.

Which is as much as to say the Soul is God — then God sets up a Light in himself, which he himself is to obey, and in so doing he shall be saved, p. 16.

Answ. We cannot expect any impartial or fair Dealing from thee, while Prejudice and Envy do possess thee, who hast both falsly and ignorantly represented G. F. and both curtayled and perverted his Words and the Sence of them. And all these things mentioned by thee, he does not speak of the Soul or Spirit of man, as made or formed in him, though composed of Spiritual Parts, nor use these Expressi­ons, that the Soul or Spirit of the Creature Man, is a part of God without beginning; neither was the Phrase (part of God) originally G. F's but his Opposers, only admitted of by him by Way of Question, as plainly ap­pears, p. 100. with Relation to that which came out from God, that immediate Spirit of Life, which gives Being Life and Subsistance to the Soul, and he doth distinguish between the Soul and Christ the Bishop of it, between the Soul and the Saviour of it, as plainly appears in many places of the said Book, and the Soul could no otherwise [Page 44] be deemed infinite, then as Man is said to be the Image and Glory of God, namely by a Participation thereof; so he speaks of the Soul in a two-fold Sense; as,

  • First, With reference to that which came out from God (which is the Original Life or Soul of every Man's Soul)
  • Secondly, With Respect to man, as being made a living Soul by Vertue of the Spirit of Life proceeding from God.

And so with Relation to the first, he questions; Is not that of God, which comes out from God? Great Mystery, p. 68. But with Relation to the latter, viz. Man, he speaks distinctly of the Soul, as neither God nor Christ; neither doth he confound the Being of man with the Infi­nite Being of his Creator, as is implyed in our Opposers angry Charge; for as every Spiritual Being or Existence is not divine; so the Spirit or Spiritual Parts of Man are not God, though a divine Light and Capacity is pla­ced in them.

And G. F. doth not only speak of the Soul in a two-fold Sense, viz. with Relation to its original Life, and with Relation to man in his Spirituality, but of the Soul of man as in several States; as,

First, Of the Souls being in Death in Transgression, man's Spirit unsanctified; the Soul being come into Death, transgressing the Law, &c. Great Mystery, p. 91.’

Therein he cannot intend the infinite Essence, Being or Life of God or Christ, which is immutable, and unchan­geably pure and holy, though thereby the Soul is upheld in its Being and Immortality, whether in Comfort or Misery.

Secondly, Of the Soul and Spirit of Man as sanctified, living to God in his Life, through a diligent hearkening to the Counsel and Voice of God, and feeling of his Hand, which brings up out of Death, and restores the Soul, that it may live in Christ the Preserver and Over­seer of it, to praise God the Saviour, being one Soul (in that State) as they that are joyned to the Lord are one Spirit.’

As also G. F. adds, viz.

‘Every Man that cometh into the World having a Light from Christ Jesus, the Way out of the Fall, the second Adam; receiving the Light, they receive Redemp­tion [Page 45] and Sanctification, whereby their Spirits, Bodies and Souls are sanctified, Great Mystery, p. 91.’

Note here still, that he plainly distinguisheth between the Soul and him that redeems and sanctifies it; so that the Soul or Spirit of Man, is neither God nor Christ; but as much inferior in Subordination to God and Christ, as the Creature Man is to the Creator, or that which is saved and redeemed to him that saveth and redeemeth.

The sum of what's said amounts to this candid Account about the Soul, viz.

That the Soul and Spirit of Man is not the very Be­ing of God, nor a part of God, though the original Life of the Soul which came out from God is immutable and in­finite; there is a divine and infinite Life in the Soul of Man (which we would have you be sensible of.)

This is the Life of Lives, the Soul of Souls, the Being of Beings; by which the Soul of man is made to subsist in its Being and Immortality, whether in the Kingdom of Glory or Pit of Darkness; although this original or di­vine Life in the Soul stands clear and free from both the Guilt, Torment and Anguish, that comes upon every Soul of Man that does Evil.

Every Soul must appear before the Lord in its own proper Image and Nature, which it hath born, been under, and received while in the Body (having been subject either to the Spirit and Power of God, or to the Spirit and Power of the wicked one) wherein its capable of either being a Vessel of Mercy and Love, or a Vessel to hold Wrath and Anguish, according to what it doth here love and ef­fect, and contract to it self whether Good or Evil.

Therefore as its commanded, Take heed to thy self and keep thy Soul diligently, &c. love the Lord thy God with all thy Soul, &c. and then thou wilt know Christ to be the Salvation of it.

The Scripture speaks variously of the Soul, and as in divers States and Conditions, viz. 1. Of the Soul of God which is Immutable. 2. Of the Soul of Man, and that, 1. Of the Righteous, which really pertake of the divine Nature. 2. Of the Wicked, which pertake of the Na­ture of Enmity: And these differ in their Affections, the one being to Good, and the other to Evil.

Mention is made of the Soul, as under the Power of Sin, Death and the Grave by man's Disobedience and Fall, and [Page 46] of the Soul as quickned, raised up, and delivered or sa­ved by the Power of Christ, the living ingrafted Word.

Sometimes the Soul is mentioned, as including the whole man; sometimes, as distinguished from the Body; sometimes its esteemed as the Life, and sometimes the Spirit or Breath of Life, and an active Soul inspired, and there is a State wherein the Word of the Lord is said to divide asunder betwixt the Soul and Spirit.

Now if you do not own a divine Seed, or unchangeable Principle of Life in the Soul; I query of you.

  • 1st. Do you, or did you ever know your own Souls?
  • 2ly. What the Soul is in it self, and distinct from the Body.
  • 3ly. What and where is that to be known, that is to change the Souls, and so the whole man's Affections from Evil to Good, while man remains in this Life?
  • 4ly. Do you own the Souls Immortality, that it doth not dye with the Body? Do not some of you Baptists hold that the Soul dyeth with the Body and sleeps in the dust of the Earth untill both arise together.
  • 5ly. Whether Man doth not subsist in his spiritual Being and Parts, with a spiritual Capacity and spiritual Sences, having a Sense of perpetual Gain or Loss when his Earthly Tabernacle is put off?
  • 6ly. Whether the Spirit of Man doth not return unto God that gave it, to receive its Judgment and Reward?
  • 7ly. Whether Man must not be born again here of an Immortal and Incorruptible Seed in him, if ever he enter into God's Kingd [...]m, or enjoy Glory hereafter?
  • 8thly, Whether it be not more necessary for you to wait in humilily, to know this immortal Seed in you, and to be born thereof; then to puzzle your Brains, and to busie your Thoughts, either about the Quest [...]on how and with what Body are the Dead raised? Or how your Souls shall be invested hereafter?

If you remain here in the Enmity, slighting and contemning the Light within, or the immortal Principle, or incorruptible Seed within (as T. H. doth scoff and ridi­culously droll at our Testimony for it) you'll be clothed with perpetual shame and Contempt hereafter: God knows how to reserve the Unjust to the Judgement of his great Day to be punished; as both Divels, fallen Angels, and wicked men are reserved.

[Page 47]You need not question in what Bodies or Vessels; for that you shall be vessels fit to hold inevitable Wrath, if here in time you repent not.

But if you repent and return to the Lord God, and love and serve him with all your Souls, it will be well with you hereafter; God will provide well for you; And the Glory wherewith his sanctified Ones shall be invested; And of that House wherewith Righteous Souls shall be cloathed upon, is beyond the reach of humane Capacities Thoughts or Imaginations of men.

And you who are contending and quarrelling about your carnal Bodies, have not had so much as a Vision of the Glory of the Saints hereafter, nor of the Gloriousness and Spirituality of their Body, who are as the Angels of God in Heaven.

Sect. XII. The Neck of the Baptist's Cause broken by his own Concession to the Light within, in which Christ and his Testimonies are effectually received.

T. H. HOw could you call the Light within Christ, if some Scriptures had not mentioned Christ in you, & that he is the Life and Light of Men? Give me an Instance of any Person in the World (that never had Acquaintance of the Scrip­tures) that ever called the Light in every Man by this Name: If none can be produced, then the Scriptures must be your Rule for this, p. 22.

Answ. Thou hast said enough in not only granting the Light within to be Christ, but also in confessing that he is the Life and Light of men, which while he is really so to men, this is sufficient for them, to call him as he is (and appears) to them: Is it not therefore great Ignorance to imply him an insufficient Rule, for men to give Testimony of him while he is a sufficient Rule and Light to them, for their Supply and Life in him?

And what if they cannot call him by all those Names by which he is called in Scripture, while they feel him in Vertue and Power to be really what he is called, according to their Enjoyment of him. Its true, we having the [Page 48] Knowledge of him as our Life and Light; we must needs reverently own and make use of those Testimonies in Scrip­ture which concur with our Knowledge of him, and that to evince the Truth concerning his Light to them that pre­tend a Belief of the Scriptures, while yet they are oppo­sing his Light testified of therein.

As there are those that pretend to believe Moses and the Prophets, and think to have Eternal Life in the Scriptures, while yet they really oppose that Life and Light testified of in them. And such profess the Scriptures to be their Rule, while yet they are perverting them against the Life and Light from whence they came; and this Hypocrisie many of you are guilty of; and therefore with Abraham we refer you to the Scripture Testimony in this Case, which if you believe not while you profess them, you will not believe if one rise from the Dead.

The Scriptures are not our only Rule for our refusing to swear, our not breaking Bread with you, &c. for which thou falsly accusest us of arguing against the Institutions of the Gospel, p 23. for,

  • 1st. We stand for the Reputation of Christianity, and that Love which injures no man, in our res [...]sing to swear, which the Prohibition without us did not bring us to, but the Power of Christ when it begat us into that Love, wherein we know the fulfilling of Christ's Command.
  • 2ly. O [...]r Experience of Christ Jesus the Living Bread which comes down from Heaven, hath shewed us the Use­lesness of your breaking Bread, as being but a Shadow; while we are come to the Substance (to wit) Christ Jesus, the Bread of Life come down from Heaven, which if thou knowest him so come, as that his Flesh and Blood were thy Meat and Drink, thou wouldst not be doting about the Shadow.

We do not grant that Christ is so come and revealed in all men, and yet own some degree of this Light to be in all: Thou hast no Reason to accuse us for Lyars in this matter, as in p. 23. But thy slanderous Tongue and Pen is at Liberty in this and many other things.

Thy Malice also plainly appears, in charging us of de­nying the Person of Christ, whereas we have fully con­fest the Man Christ according to the Scriptures, both with respect to his Sufferings and Glory.

Sect. XIII The Baptist's Impious Forgery upon the Quakers about the Scriptures, which are in Reality owned and used by them.

AFter thou hast erroniously accused that of God in us, as not sufficient to direct, thou proceedst in thy false ficti­tious Dialogue thus, viz.

Chr. Is it ingenuous and honest in you to deny the Scripture to be a Rule to others, and at the same time you make it (though by mis-interpreting it) a Rule to your selves? Are not you ashamed of this Deceit and self-condemned of plain Partiality.

And then he most falsly personates the Quaker.

Qua. Thou mistakest us; for when we make Use of the Scriptures, 'tis only to quiet and stop their Clamors that plead for it as their Rule.

Reply, Who but an Ungodly Man would have brought forth such a lying Forgery as this in the Sight of the Sun, as the Quakers Words, which is not the Speech of any real Quaker so called, but one of thy own making to speak as thou pleasest for thy own wicked ends; and thy Lye upon the Quakers is manifest herein: Is this the Way thou proposest for our Conviction, to make Lyes thy Refuge? Was it not known unto the World, that we have a better and more serious Esteem of the Holy Scriptures then here thou represents, as knowing them to be profitable to the man of God, who is come to know that eminent divine Rule of the Spirit which opens them, and to make use of them in Subjection thereunto.

As also our denying that they are the Rule of Faith is no Proof that we deny them to be any Rule at all, while in Subserviency to, and Proof of the greater, we make use of them as the Spirit of God teacheth, and for the Infor­mation and Conviction of them that have a Belief con­cerning them; for the End still that they may eye that Light and Spirit of Truth which gave them forth, and come to know that Inspiration of the Almighty which gi­veth the Understanding.

As for Deceit, Impudence and presumptuous Conceit, which [Page 50] thou T. H. accusest us of, thou art highly guilty thereof thy self, or else thou couldst never forge such Lyes against us as thou hast done. And we wish thou didst in Reality own the Scriptures, as (feigndly in Words) thou pretend'st: So far are we from strenuously endeavouring to take Peo­ple off of the Scriptures (as falsly thou accusest us) that we desire all might come to know the Righteous Ends for which they were given forth, by that divine Light which opens them.

Much of thy dirty stuff is gathered out of other dirty lying Pamphlets, which have been long since answered.

Sect. XIV. His impious Abuse about Revelation, Light within, Scriptures, &c.

ANd why dost thou quarrel against us for owning Re­velation, or Perfection as attainable? What hast thou against Immediate Revelation? Instead of confuting the thing it self, thou tellst us of some personal Mistakes or Weaknesses of some particulars, as,

  • First, Of one being mistaken by Paul Hobson's speaking through a Trunk [though that was no Quaker who was thus cheated.]
  • 2ly. Of others being mistaken about the Persons to whom they should have declared some Message.
  • 3ly. Of a notorious Falshood being taken for a Revelation.
  • 4ly. Of the Opposition of some professing the Light and Revelation, p. 26, 27. together with several other Stories, and Personal Reflections, which I have very much Cause not to believe.

But suppose many of these Stories were true against pri­vate Persons: Hast thou herein dealt ingenuously, thus no inveigh against Principles, from personal Failings of such as profest them; Is there no such thing as divine Revela­tion, or the Guidance of an Infallible Spirit to be known, because some do err or are mistaken that profess them? Or no such thing as an infallible Light, because some have differed in some particular Cases that have profest it? Wouldst thou thus be dealt by concerning thy Water-Bap­tism, or pretended Gospel-Institutions?

[Page 51]If it should be argued, that because the Dippers are greatly divided among themselves, and that about Prin­ciples and Doctrines; and some of them have been grosly corrupt and debaucht in their Lives, therefore their dip­ping or Water-Baptism is no Institution of Christ: wouldst thou look upon this as a good Argument?

Nay further, Do you not much differ among your selves in several principal matters? As about personal Election and general Redemption, and so about the Death of Christ, whether for all or some, and about Free-Will, the seventh Day Sabbath, and laying on of Hands, and about the manner of administring your pretended Lord's Supper, and about the Immortality of the Soul; as also some af­firming Water-Baptism to be of Necessity to Salvation, others not, with several other things; and yet most of you that thus differ, profess the Scriptures to be your Rule.

If then I should from hence argue, that therefore the Scriptures are not the Rule, because you that profess them to be so are so repugnant one unto another, thou wouldst readily reflect Absurdity upon me, though to the under­mining of thy own Cause. Why dost thou so much slite the Light within, and insinuate against Revelation, or Perfection from personal mistakes, Weaknesses or Failings of some particulars, supposed.

Nay, I may further except against thy Impertinency here­in, who durst not produce one Argument against the Princi­ple upon this Occasion when thou wast desired; for that an occasional Mistake, Slip, or circumstantial Difference is no general Argument to prove a man a false Prophet or Mini­ster never called of God; seeing that,

An Eli and a Samuel might be mistaken, 1 Sam. 1. 13, 14. and Ch. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. and Ch. 16. Verse 6, 7.

A young Prophet seduced by an old, 1 King. 13, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24.

A Paul revoking his Reflection, Acts 23. 5.

A Paul and a Banabas in a Contest, Acts 15. 39.

A Peter withstood by Paul, Gal. 2. 11, 12, 13, 14.

Yet these are no Arguments, that therefore these men were never called of God, nor had divine Revelation to prophesie or preach.

Neither on the other Hand does it argue that they fell short of Perfection or Infallibility, when they came to see into the Depths of Satan, and how any of them have [Page 52] been overtaken; for through that which is perfect they out-grew Imperfections and Weaknesses.

I must yet take notice of what thou speaks of a Revela­tion that came from Paul Hobson, who on Purpose to try them spake through a Trunk, yet could they not distinguish his Voice from the Immediate Voice of God, p. 27.

Reply, Thou hast herein grosly belyed the Quakers, nei­ther were they either thus tryed or cheated; howbeit dost thou think that this adds to the Credit of thy Cause? Was not Paul Hobson an eminent Dipper, or Brother Baptist of yours, who (when he grew weary of a poor shattered whimsical man in his House, who was no Quaker) your Brother Paul did feign a Call as from God through a hollow Trunk to the poor man to get rid of him; as I have also heard the Story credibly related in the County of Durham.

Now was not this a horrible Deceit and Cheat of your Brother Paul to presume such an Invention, as in the Name of God; whether was he the Deceiver or the poor man deceived most to be blamed? Let the ingenuous Reader and thy own Conscience judge.

And so how dully and sorrily thou hast come off, to bring this as an Instance either against the Quakers or Re­velation? How hast thou manifested thy Folly herein? And wouldst thou and thy Brethren be thus dealt by, to be all reflected upon, or disparaged by the Miscarriage of any particular Persons supposed among you, thou wouldst be ill pleased if I should speak in earnest; behold what Deceivers the Baptist Preachers are, seeing Paul Hobson their Brother did so impiously deceive and cheat the poor shattered man. And so what Advantage hath thy en­vious Reflection upon us, been to thee or thy Cause.

Again thou bring'st an Instance against the Light with­in, thus,

T. H. Above all, that eminent Difference may not be omit­ted between J. N. and G. F. at or after J. N's publick Entrance into Bristol, when they called each other the Children of the De­vil, and departed from the Light; A great Party adhered to both in this Opposition of their Lights and Revelations, p. 27.

Answ. First, This is a false Relation, the Words were [Page 53] not so between them, nor was the Opposition at Bristol. 2. Nor was the Opposition from the Light in both. 3. Its true, that J. N. was witnessed against by several for turn­ing aside from the Light at that time; and therefore it is most unjust in thee to cast his Failings upon the Light, or instance it as an Argument against us. 4. J. N. came by the Light to a Sence of his Loss and repented of it; there­fore unjustly imputed either to the Light, to G. F. or us. 5. Seeing there was Opposition between them, it is a most malitious Conclusion of thine, from hence to call us Cheats and Impostors, p. 28. as also in thy 17. pag. thou calls our first fundamental Principle a meer Cheat.

Thus thy wicked Design is not only against the Persons, but against the Principles; whereas our first fundamental Principle is the true Light, against which thou hast thus blasphemed; for which God will rebuke thee, not only as an impertinent but a most malitious Opposer.

And to prove thy Lye, that we endeavour to beget in the minds of men an ill Opinion of the Scriptures, thou dost in­stance my Saying, that which is spoken from the Spirit of Truth in any, is of as great Authority as the Scriptures and greater. p. 28. But leavest out my Explication, viz. as received, and im­mediately proceeding from the Spirit and spoken in the Sence thereof; that is, in the living Demonstration of the Spirit to the Conscience.

This I still testifie is of greater Authority then the meer Letter or Writing, though containing the same Words so spoken as I did then instance and explain thus, viz. As Christ's Words were of greater Authority when he spake, then the Pharisees reading the Letter, &c. But do not you Baptists deem your Preaching of equal Authority with the Scrip­tures, when you say, what you preach is the Word of God, (however intermixt with your own uncertain Meanings.)

In thy 35. pag. to prove thy calling me a Knave, a false and deceitful Man; thou sayst, I give not the least hint of thy Explications of thy Positions; whereas I writ thy Doctrines for thee to give thy own Explications, least thou shouldst say I wronged thee; yet to this Day I must confess, that some of thy Positions were so absurd and incongruous that I could not hear thee give the least rational Explication upon them, as those mentioned upon Joh. 1. 4. viz.

First, Of the Light being natural, because the Light of the Eternal Word.

[Page 54]Secondly, That 'tis divine as in God, but natural as in man; for this thou didst not shew so much as the least Colour of Reason or rational Explication.

And must I be accounted a Knave, guilty of Deceit, a false deceitful Fellow for not writing all thy Impertinencies? And yet thou takest the Liberty to leave out my Explica­tion which was most material to my Position (for the pow­erful Demonstration of the Spirit) while it was set down in Print before thy Eye. Oh! what gross Hyocrisie art thou guilty of, thus to rail and revile such as wish thee no Harm, when thou hast no Occasion given thee; and yet art guilty of that which thou falsly accusest another for.

An other dark Accusation of thine is, of a Servant Maid, that should say the Bible is a good honest thing, but she lik't our Friends Books better, p. 29.

If thou hadst mentioned the Name of this Maid, and proved the Accusation, what is this to the Body of the Quakers? Though I suspect this Accusation not true; but if it were, doth thy inference follow, that our Proselites are thus taught? O abominable Wickedness! Where or when did we ever preach such Doctrine? We utterly de­ny it, and never heard any of our Friends held or owned it; knowing in our Conscience, the eminent and reve­rend Esteem we have of the Scriptures or Bible, as the principle Book extant in the World, though we may not slite but esteem all other Books dictated by the Spirit of Truth in their Places, and for the good ends intended.

Another Accusation is, that Fox and Hubberthorn said, the Scriptures are no standing Rule and that it is dangerous for igno­rant People to read them, p. 29.

Reply, First, As for being the only and standing Rule, they no where call themselves so, but refer us to God and Christ or Spirit within.

2ly, Thou hast wronged and mis-cited their Words in a more general terms then they are; their Words not be­ing 'tis dangerous for ignorant People; but to their Adver­sary they say, The Letter which killeth is dangerous; for thou takest it here to war withal against the Saints, giving out thy carnal Expositions upon it — you read with Danger who make a trade of Scripture — but blessed is he that does read and under­stand, &c.as in the same page and Book cited by thee, Entit. Truth's Defence.

[Page 55]Mark here, they neither slite nor oppose the sincere reading and perusing of the Scriptures: Now seeing thou abuses and mis-renders (as hinted before) such Passages as we find apparent in our Books to correct thee: Its no Wonderment if thou dost abuse divers of our Fri [...]nds in thy Stories upon meer Reports and private Discourses, as thy manifest Deceit in mis-citing our Words, which renders thee very suspitious in many of those Stories. Now let the ingenuous Reader take notice of thy Abuse herein. B [...]t,

3ly, That it is dangerous for some ignorant or unlearn­ed People to read them, is evident, while unstable and prejudiced in their Minds, not regarding the Spirit or Light that gave them forth to learn by, and give them the right Understanding; for 'tis such as are unlearned who wrest them to their own Destruction.

Is not this dangerous for any to pervert them to their own Destruction? Is it therefore just in thee to compare them to Jesuites and Romanists who thus intend? Yet 'tis not dangerous but useful and profitable to read the Scrip­tures in Honesty and Simplicity of mind, having regard to that divine Light and Inspiration of the Almighty that gives the true Understanding of them.

Another Story is of one Holbrow that should say, that the Scriptures were no better to him then an old Almanack.

Answ. This verifies the old Saying, that the Devil will play at a small game rather then stand out. But we utterly deny any such gross Comparison concerning the Scriptures. I am credibly informed of a Ranter that spake these Words above twenty Years ago; what's that to the Quakers? And we have heard of some Ranters that have thus grosly slited the Scriptures, but never any real Quaker. Howbeit thou art not wanting in Envy to brand us with such Calum­nies, how utterly soever the things be disowned & abhorred by us: Some Baptists have turned Ranters, and others have mantained Ranterism, and others of them Poligamie; others again, eminent among them (as namely of their Lead­ers) have turned Papists.

Now wouldst thou take it well, if I should endeavour to render you all odious upon their Account? 'Tis probable when they turned Ranters they had a very mean Esteem of the Scriptures. And if I should take this Course of ar­guing [Page 56] against the whole Body of you Baptists and Dippers; I might make a large Narrative of the gross Wickedness of many that have been eminent among you; but that is not my Way of confuting mens corrupt Principles, though sufficient to spoil the Credit of the guilty, and to render them unmeet Guides to others. Yet far be it from me to asperse all amongst you therewith, believing many called Anabaptists to be far more honest and sincere then thy self, or divers of thy Brethren.

Elizabeth Marshal saith in answer to the Dia­logue, pag. 27.

THat about sixteen Years ago I was pressed in my Spirit to v [...]sil the People called Baptists in Taunton, and at their Meeting which was then in Taunton Castle, I spake amongst them what was given me of God, which the Meeting with At­tention received, and many of them came forth with me lovingly to a neighbouring House, this is true; but that I should ever say or pretend I had a Message from the Lord to deliver only to Thomas Mercer at Taunton, this is utterly false.

And also that Thomas Mercer as an old Acquaintance hath been several times to visit me, this is true; but that I should say to him or any other person, that it was revealed to me that he was come to deny his Principles, this is also a false forged Lye; and I think when I shall speak with Thomas Mercer, he will not abuse me with such a Lye, not did he ever reprehend me for such a Saying; So it is a Lye proceeding from the Father of Lyes, who through his Servants would suggest such things on purpose to render the Truth and those that profess it odious, but the Pit the wicked hath digged for others, they fall into themselves, and the Truth is Clear, and I am Innocent therein, who am yet alive to give this my Testimony under my Hand.

Elizabeth Marshal.

Sect. XV. His partial Relation against John Story.

AGain thou givest a very scanty and partial Relation concerning John Story about the Sufficiency of the Light in every Man, to guide to Salvation without any other Counceller, upon their excepting against the Priest's Book, out of which the Position was read, and refusing to be catechised by thee, &c. p. 30.

As for that Contest between thee and John Story, I have heard a more full and impartial Account then thou givest, and how thou wast sufficiently baffled at it, and proved a false Accuser of the Principle of the Quakers, as leading from Christianity to Heathenism, which could not be sup­posed to relate to those Gentiles that walked up to the Light or Law of God in their Hearts (for that was really pious and therefore Christian) but to the impious idolatrous Part: And though John Story and his Friends might justly except against the Priest's Book, as being an Adversary to us, perverting our Principles and representing them to our dis­advantage; yet John Story never receded from the suffi­ciency of that divine Light of Christ in every man, to guide them to Salvation who believe in it and are obedient to it; not excluding the Counsel of such faithful Minis­ters where they are sent, so to direct and turn mens minds from Darkness to the Light, wherein they still submit to the Light of Christ, as the Ground of their Ministry, and the sufficient chief Rule and Guide, which implies no defect in Christs Light, but on the Creatures Part, whose mind is alienated from the Light; the Insufficiency is not in any degree of the Light it self as a Rule, but they that are turned to it ought solely to depend upon it, in it to know and receive the Light of Life, and Power from Christ against Sin and the Devil.

As for John Story and our Friends refusing to be catechi­zed by thee when thou hadst accused them, they might ve­ry well, while thy catechizing argued want of Proof for thy Charge, and a Willingness to draw out some Occasion from them; therefore they had the Advantage to discover thy foolish Rashness. And thou hast made use of divers [Page 60] other lying Pamphlets to prove thy Falshoods against us in many things, and hast raked up in thy Dialogue Slanders out of our Adversaries Writings, which have been long since answered.

Reader be pleased to view over these two Accounts (touching the Controversy between Tho. Hicks and John Story) that It may be understood how Sillyly Tho. Hicks came off about his false Charge against the Quakers,

Devizes the 21st of the 11th Month, 1672.

THe Occasion and Substance (as I remember) of what past between John Story and T. Hicks at Bromham-bo [...]se was as followeth, viz. A Friend of ours visiting some of her Re­lations that were Baptists in the Vize; some Discourse passed of the Fewness that was converted of late Years; to which Tho. Hicks said, it is not now a time for Conversion; the Friend an­swered, she believed otherwise, for many had been converted within these few Years by the People called Quakers, the Qua­kers, said Hicks, their Conversion is but from Christianism to Heathenism, which the Friend said was not so; but he pretended he would prove it, and came to the Meeting, where John Story layd his false Accusation hard upon him either to prove it or confess his Lye, but he sought many Wayes to evade it — at length Hicks, and an outed Priest that came with him, produced a Book, a Priest's Book (as was conceived) in which as they said was contained many Errors collected out of our Friend's Books. John Story reply­ed to this Purpose, that we shall take no notice of what is printed or mis-represented of our Principles, but we shall claim that Privi­ledge to state our Principles our selves and to present them as we understand them: And in some Discourse about the Light, John Story laid it down as our Principle, that the true Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the World is sufficient for Sal­vation, &c. But Hicks not willing to be beat out of his own Road raised many Intergatories, which some Friends of ours re­proving, said, they (needed not, or) did not come to be catechiz [...]d of him, but pressed him to answer the matter in Controversie, and not permitting their Arguments out of the Book they brought, Hicks and his Company rose up and went away with a Lye in their Mouthes, which was that our Friends did deny their Principles.

Samuel Noyes.

Chippenham the 15th of the 11th. Month 1672.

ITs known here that the matter to be disputed, was Hicks's own Assertion under his Hand, which he promised to p [...]ve, viz. that the Quakers converted from Christianism to Heathe­nism, and John Story to make an Introduction into the Dispute) (after the People understood the matter to be disputed) opened to the People what must be understood by Christianity according to the Saints Testimony, and what by Heathenism according to holy Scrip­ture, as to both their Wayes and Worships, by that Hicks found himself at a loss, and surely felt his own Words his Burthen, and strugled much to avoid the proving his Charge, though given under his own Hand; but Truth bruised his Head and held him fast, God's Power and Wisdom was manifested above the Serpent; then he pulled out a Priest's Book, and read that which he called the Quakers Tenet, which either the Priest had wronged in his Book, or Hicks in reading, or the Printer in printing, viz. that the Light in every man is sufficient without any other Coun­cellor to guide unto Salvation, leaving out the two Words [of Christ] it should have been (the Light of Christ) or that true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the World is sufficient) So our Friends answered they came not there to be catechised by him, but to hear him to prove if he could, that the Quakers converted from Christianism to Heathenism, and said that Book in his hand was a lying Book; so the Weight of Judgment in the Truth came upon him. These are the Heads of the matter, and manner of the Dispute so far as Friends here at present remember. Take this at present, lest John Story's Information come not in time.

  • Thomas Neate,
  • William Dyer.

Sect. XVI. The Baptist's Disparagement of the Light within contrary to his own Pretence.

AFter thou hast pretended no Disparagement to the Light within to say, that God makes any thing more known of his Will, &c. for each degree of Light is ser­viceable to its end, p. 36. wherein though thou hast grant­ed [Page 62] the Difference to be but in the degrees of Light, and not in the kind; yet mark what thou sayst afterwards in thy 38. pag. viz.

T. H. What intollerable Pride and Arogancy have you arrived to? And all this in following (as you pretend) the Conduct of the Light within, improving it to the subverting and anihilating the Covenant of Grace, which is the only Way God hath revealed (since the Fall) for the Salvation of Sinners: Surely then this Light, which instead of directing what you do in a Way of Sub­serviency to the Ends of this Covenant, doth directly oppose it, is in that so far from being a sufficient Rule, that it ought to be rejected.

Answ. Are all these no disparagement to the Light within? let the ingenuous Reader judge. Hast thou not herein manifestly opposed and deny'd what thou sayst be­fore, for the Serviceableness of each degree of Light to its end: But what Service, if the following or Improve­ment of any degree of the Light doth either anihilate or oppose the Covenant of Grace: What dark, mad and blasphemous Work hast thou here made against the Light within, which if it ought to be rejected, what account will be given to God for it; And he, should he give a Light so repugnant to his own Covenant?

Hast thou not told us, that man must be accountable to God for every Dispensation of Light? But now thou sayst it ought to be rejected: And hast thou not told us, that Christ is the Light and Life of men? How easie is it to see thy lamentable and blasphemous Contradiction, which thou art fallen into, as a Judgment upon thee for thy opposing the Light.

But let us understand how thou discribes this Cove­nant of Grace, and way for the Salvation of Sinners, since thou dost not own it to be obtain'd by following of the Light within, but the [...]ight within to be Rejected, where thy Christianity comes to be embraced? We are sure that God hath not planted a Light in man that opposeth the Cove­nant of Grace, nor is the Light of C [...]rist repugnant to [...] Christianity, neither can the least degree opp [...]se the greater. Thou proceeds thus.

T. H. How comes it to pass that Jesus Christ as to the great end of coming into the World, is so much neglected, and the Stress of many men's Hopes laid upon something in themselves? Hence the Hope of the Hypocrite is compared to the Spiders Web, being spun out of their own Bowels? Do you not see this in your selves who are the greatest Admirers of the Light within, p. 38.

Answ. Still thou runs upon thy gross mistake of the Light within, whereby thou falsely reflects upon us for relying on it: for,

First, Our Hope and Dependance upon the least degree of the Light of Christ in us, which is the divine Life of him, as the Eternal Word; this can neither oppose nor neglect the great ends of Christ's coming into the World in the Flesh, any more then John's bearing witness to the Life of the Word, being the Light of men, could oppose the Word becoming or taking Flesh.

2ly, What were those great ends of Christ's so coming into the World, but evidently to shew forth and exalt that divine Light and Salvation in a greater Fulness and Manifestation, which in some degree did before universally shine throughout all Ages; or otherwayes how could Christ be the Rock of Ages, or his Outgoings from of old from everlasting?

And whence in the dayes of his Flesh shewed he Light through his innocent Life, Ministry and Miracles, but from that divine Power and Glory of the Father in him; for God did work them by him?

3ly, After its testified concerning God the Eternal Word, that in him (or in it) was Life, and the Life was the Light of men, Joh. 1. 4. Its said, that the Word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us (or tabernacled in us) and we beheld his Glory, as of the only begotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth, ver. 14. and of his Fulness have all we received Grace for Grace, ver. 16.

Now mark, this discovery of his Glory, Grace and Ful­ness was a divine discovery, being as of the only begotten of the Father, of whom John said, he that cometh af­ter me is preferred before me, for he was before me, verse 15.

The divine Light of the Word was that by which they had this discovery of Christ, which was beyond that of [Page 64] the outward or fleshly Appearance, which might be seen with a visible Eye, but the other only seen by the Eye invisible and Spiritual; So that this coming of Jesus Christ into the World, was so far from lessening or de­stroying his spiritual Light of him as the eternal Word in men, that it was to increase the Knowledge of it, and in order to bring it forth in its Brightness and Glory for the Revelation of the perfect Day of Salvation, And herein he came to render the Appearance and Testimony of his Light within the more valid and effectual, men having er­red and been estranged from it.

Now is it consistent with the Hope of the Hypocrite to obey the measure of the Light of Christ within, in or­der to receive more? Is it not rather consistent with the Hope of the Hypocrite to hope that their Sins are pardoned and they justified by the Righteousness and Obedience of Christ wholely without them, while they are rebelling against, sliting and rejecting his Light within them, and so living in their Sins and Impurity?

And this is thy State and Hope as will further appear; for who have received Power to become the Sons of God, whom the World knoweth not, because it knew not him; they have that Hope and Expectation of being made like unto Christ, through his Appearance, and every man that hath this Hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure, 1 Joh. 3. therefore this Hope which they have in them is both living and effectual, and to be fore it is not placed up­on Darkness, but upon the Light.

For it is the Inlightening of the Eyes of the Understand­ing, whereby a Soul is capable of seeing what is the Hope of his calling, and the Power that wrought in Christ, when God raised him up from the dead: Therefore thou who rejects the Light within, thy Eye is blind, thy Hope is the Hope of the Hypocrite, thou neglects the great ends of Christ's coming into the World, which was not only to condemn Sin in the Flesh, as his Light within effectu­ally doth, but also to shew and increase Light, and to ma­nifest the day of God's Salvation by his divine Power in delivering man from Sin and Wrath.

Sect. XVII His Slander about the Person, Offices, Sufferings and Blood of Christ and continued Abuse of the Light within.

T. H. WHat contemptible Thoughts you have of the Person, Offices and Sufferings of Jesus Christ, that you account his Blood no more than you do the Blood of a common Thief, p. 38.

Answ. 'Tis no new thing for thee to slander us, while by opposing and rejecting the Light within, thou art be­come hardned and seared in Conscience. These are such notorious Slanders that thousands can witness against thee therein.

When did ever any of us express such contemptible Thoughts of Christ, his Offices or Sufferings? If we had never exprest any such thing, how comest thou to judge our Thoughts to be such? And where did ever any of us ex­press such an Account of his Blood that was shed, as no more then that of a common [...]hief? The Lord rebuke thee for this thy abominable Slander, as I doubt not but he will.

T. H. And esteem Justification by that Righteousness which Christ wholy fulfilled in his own Person without us, to be a Do­ctrine of Devils, p. 38.

Answ. Though these are not our Words, we do not own the Doctrine, viz. That men are justified wholy without them, by what Christ fulfilled in his own Person only; for this is not the Language of the Scriptures which thou pretendest to be thy Rule, Christ fulfilled the Righte­ousness of the Law in his Person, but here thou makest no Exception, but that Justification is by that Righteousness which Christ wholy fulfilled in his own Person without us, men will only believe this when they reject the Light within, as thou hast taught them.

But we are not justified by the Righteousness of the Law, nor by any Act of Christ, meerly as done in his Person, but by the Righteousness of Faith in which we are [Page 66] interested in Christ, as we are Partakers of living Faith which are inseparable.

But what is this Justification thou wouldst advance, as wholy wrought without thee? Is it either in Reallity a making men just, or an accepting of them as Just and Righ­teous who are so in Reallity, or is it a reckoning of them so, who are actually sinful?

If the former, then 'tis not wholy wrought without, but the inward Effect of the Blood of Christ in cleansing from Sin is witnessed in order to bring forth this justified State.

If in the latter Sence (as thy Words import) then all must be in a justified State for whom Christ dyed; If their Justification was wholy wrought without them in his Per­son; and then all men must be in a justified State; for Christ dyed for all men; and then what hast thou to do to revile or condemn any as thou hast done? those whom thou se­verely opposest must be in as justified Estate as thou canst think thy self.

But if men receive the Pardon of Sin through true Re­pentance, and Justification through living Faith in the Name of the Son of God, and by his Vertue and Blood, then are not all men justified, nor the Justification of any effect­ed nor fulfilled wholy in his Person without them; for,

First, Men are not in a justified State while their Sins are unremitted. 2. They are not in a justified State while the Wrath of God abides upon them: And mens Sins are unremitted while they impenitently persist in Trans­gression, and the Wrath of God abides upon them who bc­lieve not the Son.

Again we do not affront either the Grace or Wisdom of God in adding what more Light he pleases to any measure that he hath given, while we are witnessing against mens affronting that measure of Light and Grace which he hath already given to Man-kind.

T. H. This Light within directs not our Actions to those Holy and Spiritual Ends which the Scripture does: Alas, whereto do the best of mens Actions naturally tend, p. 37, and 38.

Answ. Here like a dull and dark Opposer still thou endeavourest to confound the Light within with man's cor­rupt Nature; whereas thou hast confest it to be not only such a Light as can discover God, and that he is to be wor­shipped, [Page 67] but also that Christ is the Life and Light of men; and also that it can discover morality, that its serviceable to its end, and that God's Soveraignity over man, and man's Inferiority to God ought to be acknowledged.

And doth not this extend to the same holy and spiritual Ends which the Scriptures direct to? What more holy then God's Soveraignity over man, and man's Subjection to, and Adoration of God? But according to Scripture, is it not an holy and spiritual End truely to [...]ear God, work Righteousness, and do Good? which in every Nation he that doth is accepted: And this the Light teacheth, and Glory, Honour and Peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile; for there is no re­spect of Persons with God, Rom. 2. 10, 11. Besides, 'tis most natural and proper to a spiritual and divine Light to direct to sacred and spiritual Ends.

And if thou didst not vary and waver in thy Confusion from thy Concession to the Divinity of the Life and Light of the eternal Word, which is the Light of men, thou wouldst have spared much of thy Babylonish Work to the contrary, who in thy 39 pag. sayst, that thou opp [...]sest not the Scriptures to the holy Spirit, but to the Light within.

And why dost thou oppose the Scriptures to the Light within? Or imply such a Difference between the Spi­rit and the Light within, while thou hast granted that the Light within is not only serviceable, but ought to be improved, as that which chccks for many Evils, and excites to Good: And does not this agree with the Testi­monies of the Scriptures? And will thy reviling of G. Whitehead, as dealing deceitfully for but asking a sober Que­stion, excuse thee in thy Malice and Confusion? The Question being,

By what Rule shall we be convinced that the Scripture is the Rule, and hath Preheminnece above the Spirit? Apology pag. 48. which instead of answering directly to, thou revilest me, as in pag. 39. not at all telling me by what Rule shall we be so convinced; but asks this Question.

By what Rule shall we be convinced that the Light with­in is the Rule, and hath Preheminence above the Scriptures? pag. 39.

[Page 68] Answ. Every one that doth Truth brings his Deeds unto the Light, which Light within being divine is sufficient to evince it self as supream Rule in the Conscience: And as it is so manifest where it is not withstood, but obeyed, its own Brightness, Vertue and Operation sufficiently dis­covers it self; but where Enmity is lived in, and Dark­ness loved rather than Light, the Excellency of it cannot be known.

Concerning the Rule that the Patriarchs or Holy Men had before the Scriptures, thou tellst us, they were in­structed by Dreams, Visions and Angels, pag. 40. But were these the standing Rule? Had they these Dreams and Vi­sions to instruct them in the sole Course of their Lives, or rather on particular Occasions? Surely these were neither the standing, nor yet their chief Rule: They had a Rule to know the Truth of those Visions; and whether those Angels were good Angels or no; a Rule of divine Light to discover whether they were good Angels or evil Angels transforming themselves into Angels of Light, which no­thing but that which is divine can discover; for the Saints in this Light shall judge Angels.

And Peter, James and John had both a Vision and Voice (when in the Mount) from Heaven; yet Peter himself testifieth, We have also a more sure Word of Prophecy [...]nto ye do well that you take heed, as unto a Light that shineth in a dark Place, until the Day dawn and the Day-Star arise in your Hearts, 2 Pet. 1. 19.

Though the former Vision and Voice were true, yet not so universal and abiding, as this shining Light was. That Vision and Voice was only seen and heard by a few, the other was seen and known by all who attained to the dawning of the Day, and the arising of the Day. Star in their Hearts; for it did shine as in a dark Place for that end. Its evident that this Light or Word so shining was a Light of the same holy Ghost which moved the holy men of God to speak forth Scriptures, ver. 21. and therefore the Apostle prefers it before the Scriptures, as the Cause of their being given forth.

Sect. XVIII. The Baptist's Quarrel against S. Crisp removed.

THou makest a great Pudder against S. C. about know­ing the Beginning and Date of thy Christ, whom to con­fute thou pleadst his Deity, p. 44, 45. having before told us of expecting to be saved by Jesus, as being in a Person without; what Scripture hast thou for this Creed? Is Christ the Object of Faith only as a Person without?

But dost thou believe in thy Conscience, that he could intend any such thing with reference to the Deity of Christ? Why art thou so wilfully quarrelsom? And though the Appearance of Christ in the Flesh, or as man when upon Earth, was within the Compass both of time and date, that is, as to his coming into the World and going out at his Ascension; yet still the same man Christ is in being glorified with the Father, in the same Glory that he had with him before the World began.

But the true saving Knowledge of whom is spiritual and divine, and inwardly received in his own Light and Life within; and saving Faith is in his Name and divine Power as inwardly revealed.

Stephen Crisp's Answer to T. H.

THomas Hicks, I having seen thy Book called a Dialogue, &c. and finding my Name mentioned in page 44. and 45. have very seriously taken notice of thy manner of Rehersal of my Words, and thy own spoken at that Conference which we once had at Bartholomew-Close, and that I know of, I never saw a Nar­rative of a thing past, given forth with more Falshood and Hypo­crisie then that is, and with a known and witting Purpose to deceive the Reader, and to abuse me; and I am perswaded Tho­mas thou hast in thy self a Knowledge of it; and surely except thou repent, and obtain Forgiveness, it will one Day be heavy to thee.

The Business or matter upon which we treated was, about our holding and believing Christ to be the Light of the World, or that the Light which lighteth the World, and every one that cometh in­to the World, was and is the true Christ, which was then proved by plain Scripture; and whereas I do not intend a Narrative of the [Page 70] Discourse, but only to dis-abuse the Reader, and to make known the Occasion of these Words of mine thou hast mentioned; therefore I shall pass over most of our Discourse, and come to the matter re­lating to Christ. And that thou didst say (as thou mentions in thy Book) that no Spirit nor Principle was capable of Suffering and being Crucified, is true, thou didst say so, but how faise the matter it self is let the Scriptures be judge. Do they not speak in ma­ny places of the Sufferings, Pressures, Vexings, Burdenings, Grievings and Quenchings of the Spirit? and do they not speak of crucifying afresh, killing and slaying the Lamb of God, the Lord of Glory, the [...] One, from the Foundation of the World in the Streets of Sodom and Aegypt, &c? which Sayings cannot have Relation to that Body that hanged upon the Cross, which was not from the Foundation of the World, nor was [...]ot in Sodom, nor never hanged upon a Cross in Egypt, but he whom the Saints called our Lord, and the Lord from Heaven a quickning Spirit was capable of suffering these things, besides those great Sufferings which he suffered in that Body, in which he conversed with men in the Form of a Servant in the [...]arts of Ju­dea and Jerusalem, whom the Jews took and hanged upon a Cross without the Gates of Jerusalem, who I believe dyed for Sinners, and is raised up again by the Power of God, & exalted therein above the Power which caused him to suffer, and sitteth now at the right Hand of God, and maketh [...] for the Saints, and is the Ruler over the true Israel of God, who destroyes his Enemies with the Spirit of his Mouth and the Brightness of his coming: New this Christ of God thus truely considered, I neither said nor thought I knew the Date or Beginning of, as thou dost wickedly suggest; for I know he is without beginning of Dayes or end of Life, and such an high Priest becometh us to have, and blessed are they that believe in him and are faithful to him: and now having answered what thou malitiously wouldst have the Reader believe, which I am perswaded thou thy self dost not believe, viz. That it is my Judg­ment and Belief that Christ hath a Beginning and Date. I shall now declare the Occasion of such Words, when I was about to prove to thee, that this Principle of Light was that [...] of Ages in which the Fathers and Prophets believed, and that it was that Word which came unto the Prophets, and which was known to Abraham to his rejoycing, &c. thou madest me this Answer, That the Names Je­sus and Christ were not proper unto any Spirit, Word or [...] whatsoever, either in Heaven or in Earth, but unto that Body or Person which was born of the Virgin; to which I replyed, I remember John Newman hath written so in his Book, but I had thought you [Page 71] Baptists had not owned him in it, but now I see you do, and thou saidst, yes thou didst; for though thou grantedst, that the Word and Spirit was from the beginning, yet that was not, nor could not pro­perly be called Christ, or Jesus, but that Person that was born of the Virgin, that only was Jesus and Christ; where uppon I [...] then I know the date and beginning of thy Christ; upon which thou criedst out Blasphemy, to which I replyed and asked thee, if thou thoughtst I did not know how long it was [...] he was born as well as thou or another man, &c. and after that did prove to thee by plain Scripture, that the very Assertion was false, to say there was no Jesus nor Christ before, and did mention the Rock of which the Fathers did drink, and which followed the Jews in the Wil­derness, which Rock saith the Apostle, was Christ, not is now become Christ, but was Christ; and the same Apostle saith, that God made all things by Jesus Christ; mark, Thomas, if this be so, then he was before Mary was, or besore he became Flesh, or took that Body made of a Woman; for the Prophet testi­fied, that he that should be born in Bethlehem his Out-goings was from of old. I say the more concerning this, because thou endeavour'st to cast the Socinian Leven (of which thou didst appear that night too full) upon me, as if I looked upon Jesus Christ as a meer Crea­ture, whose beginning and date I knew, when as those Words were only spoken with Detestation of, and in Testimony against thy cor­rupt Socinianism that Night uttered, who also made a great Stir with me for saying, the Eternal Son of God. Thy Foundation is manifest, Thomas, thou canst not hide it this Way; and as con­cerning thy foolish pratling in page 45. that if I knew his begin­ning then he was not God; and if I knew his date, or when he ceased to be, then he is not man; this is not all worth the answering, the pretended Foundation thereof being taken away, and thou left naked in thy Folly and Perverseness, having shewn thy self but as one who makes a Likeness of a man, and sets it up, and then beats it down again, and goes away and boasts of Conquest. But for a Conclusion, I shall ask thee and thy Reader a Question: Sup­pose that a man should affirm to me that all things come by Nature, and that there is no universal Spirit of Life to quicken them; and I should answer thereuppon and say, Then there is no God. I query, were this sufficient Reason to charge me, that I were an A­theist, & that I held there was no God, or ought it not to be taken as detecting the Atheism of the first Assertor; this is my case with thee, which I refer to that of God in all Consciences, and let that judge in and amongst men; and thee I leave to receive the reward of thy work at the hand of God, who is just & will not let the guilty go un­punished.

[Page 72]Whereas thou (T. H.) seemest offended at us for saying, Christ is within (in whom as such we have living Faith) as opposed to their Faith who know not him within, but expect to be saved, as believing in a Person without them, as thy Phrase is, p. 44. It appears this is the manner of thy Expectation and Belief, expecting to be saved by Jesus as a Person without thee, though thou hast no real Knowledge of him as such.

But it is to be minded, how plainly before thou hast con­tradicted thy Faith, as thus declared, where in thy 24th. page upon 2 Corinth. 5. 16. thou dost thus paraphrase, viz. Though I Paul when a Jew, and in my unconverted State only knew Christ after a fleshly manner, to be a King of the Jews, and to deliver only from outward Bondage and Captivity, yet henceforth, from the time of my Conversion I know him so no more; for now I know him according to that design of infinite Grace and Love, which he came to carry on in the World, in being a Savi­our of Sinners from Sin, Death and Hell, which before I knew not. Thus far thou.

Mark, here thy Contradiction is plain, one while be­lieving in, and expecting to be saved by him, as a Person without; another while, from the Time of my Conversi­on, I know him no more after a fleshly manner; for now my Knowledge of him in being a Saviour from Sin, &c. is not after a fleshly manner, but according to the design of infinite Grace and Love: From whence it follows, that he is not now known to be the absolute Saviour from Sin, as a Person without, or as considered after a fleshly manner but after a spiritual, (though he was truely a Saviour in the Dayes of his Flesh, by the Power of the Father, by which the Saving Work alwayes was and is inwardly ef­fected) And indeed his going away or dis-appearing after the Flesh, was, that his Appearance and Knowledge after the Spirit might be the more revealed; and the Disciples might the more know and rely upon the Comforter, even Christ's Spiritual Appearance within.

Sect. XIX. The End of Christ's Coming, Example and Suffering more truely owned by the Quaker then the Dipper.

AGain thy implying by Way of Question, as if we owned that the Word did take Flesh, and that the Flesh was crucified for no other End and Purpose then meer­ly to be an Example, p. 47. is very false against us; for our owning Christ in the Flesh to be a living Example, does not argue that he took Flesh, and was crucified for no other End and Purpose, then meerly to be an Example; for he came into the World, both to bear witness to the Truth, to shew Light, to do the Works the Father sent him to do, to war against the Power of Darkness and Wickedness, to exalt the Divinity, the Power of the Fa­ther, and to glorifie him upon Earth, to pass through and fulfil the first Covenant, and end the Shadows thereof; and to set up the new and the living Way, that the second Covenant or Testament might be established and confir­med; that the Living Ministry thereof might have its free Course, being inforced above and beyond all the for­mer Types, Shadows and Vails under the first Covenant.

And so in offering himself up freely, both to do his Fa­thers Will, and to suffer for Man-kind, he gave himself a Ransom for all to be testified of in due time.

As also he was an eminent Example and Pattern of Innocence and Piety through all, which they that slite his Example, have no Benefit in his Sacrifice, nor are con­cerned in the Ends thereof otherwise then to their own Condemnation; for Christ's Innocency and Righteous­ness, even in the Dayes of his Flesh, as openly manifest, do both judge and condemn all the Hypocritical Profes­sors of Christianity, who refuse following his Example, while they are applying the Ends of his Coming and Suffering.

Sect. XX. The Baptist's Ignorance and Cavil about Redemption and the Spiritual Discoveries of Christ and his Seed.

WHereas thou makest a peice of thy Dialogue, p. 47. run thus viz.

Qua. He (viz. Christ) comes to work Redemption.

Christi. I query, for whom or what did he work this Re­demption.

Qua. There is a Seed to which the Promise of Redemption is, which only wants Redemption: Thus Nayler in his Book, Love to the Lost.

Answ. Thou perverts his Words; for they are not, That this Seed only wants Redemption, but wherein only its seen and received, viz. that in the promised Seed Redemption is only seen and received by Man or the Creature, as he fully after explains.

Chr. Nayler saith, that Christ is the Election, and the Elect Seed; and Fox in his great Mystery, the Seed hath been laden, &c. which Seed is the Hope Christ.

Answ. If God was so prest as a Cart with Sheaves, and his Spirit grieved by mens Sins, is it otherwise with his Seed in them? And it thou wert not willfully blind and hardened, thou wouldst not raise such a Consequence from the Words before perverted by thee, while the Scripture mentions the Seed under a two-sold Consideration.

  • 1st. As to Christ, to whom the Promises originally are, as being Heir of all.
  • 2ly. As to the Children of Promise the Children of the Kingdom, the true Believers, who are truely Israel, and of Abraham's Seed according to the Faith.

Now know that Christ, the promi ed Seed, hath entred into Sufferings and Travel of Soul to bring forth his Seed: as its written, He shall see his Seed, he shall see of the Travel of his Soul, and shall be satisfied

So he came not to redeem or save himself (as absurdly [Page 75] thou infers) but to bring forth and redeem a Seed which shall serve him, and be counted for a Generation.

And the Life of Christ as manifest in mortal Flesh, hath pertaken of the Afflictions of the Upright in all Ages; and the Spirit of God is grieved, the just Principle oppres­sed and offended with mens Iniquities and Transgressions: So Christ considered as a Seed, and in that low Estate is ca­pable of being formed in man, both of being raised up in man by the Power of the Father, of growing up as a ten­der Plant, and as a Root out of dry Ground; and so of re­ceiving Power and Help from him, as indeed every Seed thats sown, and every Plant that takes Root is capable of receiving Vertue and Nourishment according to its kind, or else it cannot be quickned to Life, grow or bring forth Fruit: And such a Growth of the immortal Seed was both in Christ and in his People, which must be owned, if the Seed of the Kingdom within, and the Spiritual Birth or forming of Christ within (or he as a Seed or Plant of Renown) be known and owned, or a Suffering, Crucifying, Dying and Living with Christ be witnessed by man.

For Christ's Suffering, Cross, Death, Resurrection, Life and Dominion are spiritual, known in the true Be­liever, who is of that Seed which Christ took upon him; yea, his spiritual begetting, spiritual forming in man, and spiritual birth is known within; and all for the Redemp­tion and Salvation of man to God, or else he falls short o [...] L [...]e and Glory; and he that brings up the Soul out of the horrible Pit first descends thither.

And though its not true to say, he only comes to redeem, raise up or save himself; yet it may be truely said, he doth arise to scatter his Enemies, and to bring man out of the Pit; and in conquering his Enemies, his own [...] brings Salvation to him, Isa. 63. 5, 9. And thus saith the Lord, in an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of Salvation have I helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a Covenant of the People, to establish the Earth — that thou mayst say to the Priso­ners go forth, and to them that sit in Darkness, shew your selves, Isa. 49. 8, 9. which Promise is of a general Extent.

So mark here, He that redeemeth the Prisoner, and calleth forth them that are in Darkness, he hath his help of God that sent him; we are not to conclude that he helps not others, because he is helped himself: And [Page 76] Christ's Sufferings both inward and outward (for they were two-sold) were for man's Benefit (as is testified in the said Book [Love to the Lost] accused by thee) ‘The Creature is blessed of God for the Seeds Sake, and Redemption from the vain Conversation, as Christ gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all Iniquity, &c.’ So if thou wert thus redeemed, thou needst not enquire for the Subject of Redemption, nor accuse others for owning the Seed of God, both in an oppressed State, and as raised up by the Eternal Power and Glory of the Father; for wor thy is the Lamb that was slain from the Foundation of the World, to receive Power, and Wisdom and Glory and Might, &c.

However T. H. slites our Testimony of the Seed of God within, as in several States; and so the spiritual Resur­rection of Christ in man; his Brother H. G. confesseth thereto in his Book, p. 54. where he saith, Praises and Halelujahs to God for ever, who hath given us that Witness in our selves of which thou speakest, that we can experience the Power of Christ's Spiit risen in us for our Sanctification and Renovation, as well as Christ was raised from the Dead, &c. Thus far H. G.

Is it not here evident, that he hath confest to Christ's arising in man, for man's Restoration? What thinkst T. H. of this? Is this Canting or Gibberish? as his Words are against us, p. 47.

Moreover, as the elect Seed is spoken of in the Scrip­ture, both with respect to Christ the Anointed, and with respect to his Seed and Heritage; so also the Seed is Christ, not only as in himself a [...]ointed with the Oyle of Gladness above his Fellows, but also as in Union and Conjunction with his Church or Members: As the Body is one, and hath many Members, so also is Christ; and so Christ and the Body comprehensively is one; he is the Anointed, and we are anointed in him, and he that hath anointed us is God.

By all which it is understood, that we are Partakers of the Life, Redemption and Priviledge that is in Christ, as we are in him, and grow up in him; so that all our Op­posers Cavils (which render our Principle as only including Christ and God in the Redemption, and not man) do fall to the Ground, as Groundless and Frivilous.

As for his groundless Cavills in his p. 48. The little Un­derstanding [Page 77] he hath either of the Measure of God's Gift, his Seed within, or of Redemption by Christ, the Elect Seed, is very intelligible from the Tenour of his imperti­nent and contradictory Discourse throughout his Pamphlet. By all which we see the Nature of his pretended Christi­anity, and how Un-christian he is in his appar [...]nt Oppo­sitions against the divine Light and Seed within.

Sect. XXI. The Baptist's Imperfect Work against Perfection.

COncerning Persection which we say is attainable in this Life, he attempteth to confute us, though very feebly here, as will appear.

T. H. I perceive you are forced as much as any others to bor­row from the Scriptures, without which you can no more prove any thing, either concerning Christ or Perfection, then a meer Indian, p. 49.

Answ. Touching which it appears, while thou grantst something for Perfection we proved from Scriptures, how consistent with this thy after Work is, against Perfection, will [...]rther be manifest: But while thou concludes, that we can prove no more of Perfection then a meer Indian without the Scriptures.

How agrees this with thy former confessing, that Man was alwayes under an Obligation, that God's Soveraignity over him, and his Inferiority unto God might be acknowledged. Now if this be truely to be acknowledged by Man or Man­kind in general, why are Indians excluded? And if God's Soveraignity over man, and man's Subjection thereto be known, doth not this extend to Perfection? If either the Rule be perfect that thus obligeth man, or if in God's Rule Power or Soveraignity (as over man) be Perfection, which we affirm is able to evince it self, where true Fear and Subjection to God is lived in, or Sincerity and Upright­ness towards him retained: Though to such as thou art, who opposes Sin-less Perfection as attainable in this Life, there is a need especially of producing Scriptures to prove it, while you pretend a Belief of them; for [Page 78] the perfect Light or Gift of God within you do not be­lieve in.

Yet thou hast granted to Perfection, as sincere and upright, p. 50. and is not this Perfection of Sincerity and Upright­ness without Sin? Were it good Doctrine to say, that Persection, as it respects the Sincerity and Uprightness of Saints is sinful?

But that a perfect Freedom from all Sin in this Life is at­tainable, we intend is by the all-sufficient Power of Christ; and no true Christian doth dissent from us herein: Nor doth this cause either Pride or Presumption, as thou falsly in­sinuates; but the contrary Sin-pleasing Doctrine thats for Imperfection and Sin while in this Life.

And while thou confessest a holy Fear, Humility, Watchful­ness and Industrious Endeavours to persevere in a Holy Course to the End, p. 50.

Either thou dost hereby grant Perfection, or a perfect Freedom from all Sin attainable in this Life; or else thou excitest People to be industrious, and endeavour for that which thou believest is not attainable; which is as much faithless Inconsistency as to say, use your industrious Endea­vours to persevere in a holy Course (that is sinless) to the End, but it is not attainable: Were not this a sad and Heartless Way of Preaching, to put People upon Im­possibilities.

Again upon Phil. 3. 15. as many as are perfect, be thus minded. Thou sayst, By Perfection, no more can be under­stood in this Text, then Sincere and Upright, accompanied with an earnest reaching after Perfection, as Paul did, p. 51.

Answ. What ever Perfection with respect to a full Ap­prehension or Knowledge was prest after by Paul, as Phil. 3. 12, 13. yet this his Perfection granted of Sincerity and Uprightness was sinless; it was pure in Nature, wherein he was capable of attaining a perfect Growth in spiritual Understanding: And this is implyed in his pressing after Perfection, while he was perfect, as appears in his own Words.

But if in this Sence sincere and upright Men do earnestly reach after a sinless Perfection, and that Paul did so, then [Page 79] it is attainable, otherwise both Paul and the rest did [...]r­nestly strive after an Impossibility; and this renders both their Praying, Striving and Preaching in valid as yours is, who put on People earnestly to reach after Per [...]ction, and yet tell them it is not attainable.

Upon Mat. 5. [...]. Be ye perfect as your Heavenly Fa­ther is perfect, thou presumest, We intend not that we should be perfectly powerful wise and good as God is.

Answ. 1st. We do not intend that we should be God, but holy, just and good men, renewed after his own Image which is perfect.

2ly. Though not so perfectly powerful and wise as God is, yet while thou withal excludes being good as God is, thou art contradictory in saying, the meaning of the Text is, Be Merciful, as your Heavenly Father is Merciful, that is, Love your Enemies, do good to them that hate you, p. 51. these are not intelligibly consistent, That we must not be good as God is, and yet Merciful as he is, that is, love our Enemies, &c.

I would know if that Soul is not endued with the Good­ness of God, that is endued with his Mercy and Love, so as to do good to enemies: Was it not a plain Cara­cter of being his Children, when they did so love their Enemies, and do good to them that did hate them; See Math. 5. 44, 45.

But this perfect Resemblance of the Heavenly Father, such Sin-pleasers and pleaders (as T. H.) will not admit of in this Life, who is so far from this Love and Goodness towards Enemies, that his Enmity leads him to abuse, bespa [...]ter and defame such of us, who never owed him or his Friends ever any ill-will in the World.

But when doth he expect this divine Resemblance of God, or sinless Perfection to be brought forth? It doth appear in Answer to the Question stated by him thus, viz.

Where wouldst thou be perfectly free from Sin, if not in this Life? His Answer is, in Heaven, p. 50.

Reply, He would be perfectly free from Sin in Heaven, as he pretends, but opposeth Perfection being attainable in this Life, accounting that it causeth much Pride, Pre­sumption, hinders all holy Fear, Humility, Watchfulness and industrious Endeavours to Persons in a holy Course; whereas this all tends to a perfect Life: But sufficiently [Page 80] hath he contradicted this his sinful Doctrine against a per­fect Freedom, where he confesses, p. 24, That Christ came to carry on in the World the Design of insinite Grace and Love, in being a Saviour of S [...]ers from Sin Death and Hell.

Note here, he hath given a deadly Blow to his own Im­perfect lame, and Sinfull Cause; for if Christ came into the World to save Sinners from Sin, and to redeem us from all Iniquity; then to be so saved is attainable in this Life; for Christ is able perfectly to do the Work which he came for, that is, to save from Sin, and to redeem from all Iniquity.

Again T. H. in his Forgery deals very corruptly accor­ding to his [...]onted manner, in stating the Christian and the Quaker thus speaking viz.

Chr. If thou canst prove a perfect Freedom from Sin's Inhe­rency, &c. remember thou must prove it by Scriptures or Instances, Qua. I will prove it by both.

  • First, By Scriptures, Phil. 3. 15. Math. 5. 48.
  • Secondly, By Instances, Many of our Friends do witness it, p. 50, 51.

Reply, Herein most falsly and abusively he hath acted the Quakers, speaking his own Notorious Forgery as Proo [...]. They have no Reason to chuse him for their mouth; for what needed they bring any Instances of themselves for any Proof, when they are left to prove Perfection by Scriptures, or Instances, while the Scriptures plainly prove it.

And let me tell him, it is not our manner of arguing with our Opposers, to tell them, that many of our Friends do witness Perfection, knowing, not only that to be the thing which they seek to reproach us by; but also that to plead the Verity of Principles from the meer Credit of Persons asserting them, to be no prevalent Proof, nor Ef­fect any Conviction, while the Persons themselves are sli­ted and abused.

But our Adversary having thus falsly acted the Quaker as before, as saying, many of our Friends witness Perfection, he declines the Scriptures for it, and falls upon personal reviling; and to express to the World some wrong Expres­sions and Mistakes of Persons. If he rightly state them, which I much question because his many notorious Abuses.

Sect. XXII. Tho. Hicks his groundless Calumny and malitious Railing against G. Whitehead.

NOw we come to his Railing and Sla [...]der against G. Whitehead, viz. That he is guilty of Deceit and Fals­hood in matter of Fact; and that he told him he was a Knave, that is, he was a false deceitful man, p. 53.

Answ. Here I shall take leave to answer for my self; therefore understand, Reader, what he pretends as his Rea­son for this abusive Language to me. I find two things he pretends for it.

  • First, He accuseth me with denying mine Opinions, when charged with them.
  • 2ly, He that shall give a false Relation of what another man asserts, and does it wifully, is false and Deceitful: But th [...]s he accuseth me; and why so? But because I acknowledged Explicatio [...]s to be given to his Propositions, yet gives not the least him what t [...]ose Explications were, p. 53.

Reply, To the first, what I did deny, I still do deny, as none of my Opinions, as stated by T. H. in his accusing the Quakers, That they deny the Person of Christ, his Offices, Sati [...]action and the R [...]surrection of the Body. I do recharge these upon him, as his Lyes and Slanders forged and brought forth in Envy and Darkness, as I did in the Paper and publick Debate between us; and in so doing I do not de­ny any Opinion or Tenent of mine or my Friends: And he dealt most dis-ingenuously in not laying down my own Words to prove that I denyed the Person of Christ, or his Offices, Satisfaction and the Resurrection.

But instead thereof was it either ingenuous or honest to bring my [...]dversary T. D. his Pamphlet, stiled a Sinopsis (which falsly accuseth me with saying, there is no Resur­rection from the Dead) for Proof? Most falsly instancing my Answer to W. Burnet, in which Answer (quite contrary to what I am accused o [...]) I have given a plain Confession [Page 82] to the man Christ, his Offices, Satisfaction and the Resur­rection according to the Scripture, though 'tis probable not in my Opposers Words and Terms; for note that his Charge which I denyed, was not that the Quakers deny the raising again of this very Body of Flesh, &c. but the Resurrection of the body (in this general Phrase.)

Is it therefore ingenuous that I should be thus accused in these general Terms? And when I cannot in Reason or Conscience own T. H's manner of stating things, as my Opi­nions in his own Words, both besides and contrary to what my Words were or are, must I therefore be called a Knave, a deceitufl Fellow, &c? Whereas my Conscience bears me witness, that if he had stated either my Affirmations or Denials in any Case in my own Words, Books or Wri­ting, I would not in the least have disowned or receded from them as mine; but either have stood by them, or upon plain Scripture Evidence to the contrary, should have fallen [...]nder Conviction and Reprehension, according to the nature of the Error or Mistake, if truely detected or proved guilty thereof.

As concerning the Resurrection, I am so far from bauk­ing my Testimony, or receding from what I have and do hold concerning it, that I am intended (if God permit) to speak further thereof, according to the Sence and Un­derstanding given me, and that before I have done with my present Opposers.

But whereas T. H. takes the Liberty to be the Quakers Mouth, and to present them as speaking those impertinen­cies and Falshoods which are meerly his own Forgeries, and [...]ever believed nor intended by them: Let the unpre­judice [...] Rea [...]er judge, whether he be not highly guilty of Falshood and Deceit herein, as in divers things hath been signi [...]ed in this Discourse.

And as for his second Accusation, admitting that I did not write down all his Explications upon his Positions; 'tis no Proof, that the Relation of what I gave was false, as very sillily he accuses me; Neither hath he proved that I have given a false Relation of any one Position of his.

Besides, in some of his Positions, the very Substance of his Reason or Argument, is therewith inserted in my Paper; others of his Positions are so absurd and gross, that he could not make so much as the Colour of a reaso­nable [Page 83] Explication upon them; and therefore I did endea­vour to induce him upon more deliberate Conside rations, to produce what Explications he could for his Doctrines; for which these were my Words, ‘If our Opposer say we have not inserted his Explications upon his Assertions; our Answer is, thats his Work, he hath Liberty to do it himself.’

Now if for this he must revile me in the open Street, calling me Knave, and shaking his Stick at me: If the Baptists will prove men Knaves at this Rate about Princi­ples or Opinions, they will make all Knaves that oppose them, who do not relate all Circumstances of Words, as well as their Assertions, how impertinent soever.

Though I am unwilling to reflect upon all of them for this outragious and uncivil Carriage, and defaming Lan­guage of their Brother Hicks; for his Brother W. Kiffin did somewhat ingenuously shew his Dislike thereof open­ly; yet when he attempted to prove it, adding thereto against me such Language as this, viz. impudent Fellow, audacious Fellow, deceitful Fellow, &c. To excuse him here­in, some of his Companions said, it was his Zeal; but this Cover was too narrow; such hypocritical and false Excuses will not hold up the Credit of T. Hicks and those his Adherents.

And be it reminded, that in divers things he hath both curtail'd and wholy left out my Explications, particularly of that Passage cited by him in his 28. pag. viz. That which is spoken from the Spirit of Truth in any, is of as great Authority as the Scriptures, and greater; here he stops and leaves out, As received and proceeding immediately from that Spirit, and as Christ's Words were of greater Authority when he spoke, then the Pharisees reading the Letter, as before hinted: See here he hath called me a Knave for that which he is more ma­nifestly guilty of; and so is condemned out of his own Mouth, in that which he allows himself in.

And I desire that Tho. Hicks may look at home, and examine his own Conscience, whether he was not in him­self detected for that his Passion and Fury towards me; I would not have him go on wronging his own Consci­ence, nor withstand that Light in him, which in secret would shew him his Infirmity and Evil, in this matter of Passion and calumnious Railing, whereby he will never gain upon the Spirits of any, who are tender and sincere to God.

But instead of repenting thereof, he brings the same Lan­guage [Page 84] over again in his Postscript, after he has had both re­proof and deliberation to have learnt better, but it appears he is disturbed and royl'd in his Spirit, as a man guilty, and therefore shuffles to ease himself, by telling us again thus, viz. I told G. W. he was a Knave, wherefore I did then, and do so still esteem him, &c. really false and dishonest, p. 91.

To which G.W's reply is, the Lord forgive him; howbei [...] I am at defiance of my Adversary's implacable Enmity, and do challenge him and all the World justly to detect me of dishonesty, or of acting against my Conscience, or to the Injury of any one living, knowing my own Peace in the Testimony of a good Conscience towards God and Man; I do really defie the Envy of the Devil and all his Agents.

And T.H. cannot hide his Passion and [...], by his beg­ging the Question, viz. Doth not that Quaker who wrote that Book called the lying Wonder. p. 9. endeavour to fasten these terms of Fool and Knave upon J. G. Whereas his Case was not the same with mine, nor is he positively so charged, for his Bro­ther J. G. attempting to attest the Anabaptist's lying Wonder out of Lincolnshire, upon the meer Credit of his Brother Ralph James (the Fomentor of it) as having been an Elder of a Congregation many Years, from whose Mouth J. G. had the Relation of a great Miracle done by the Prayers of their Church (though contrary to their Faith, who affirm that Miracles are ceased long since) and yet in his Letter to his Elder R. J. to desire a Reason why this great han­dy Work of God hath been so long concealed from Pub­lication, when he himself knew of it some Months before, as also Ben. Morley, as J. G. affirms; to which the Words are added by T. R. thus, viz. Whether J. G. be not as much Fool as Knave by his own handy Work, let his Brethren judge. See here its referred to his Brethren to judge in this Case, which was, 1st, His deposing the ly­ing Wonder under his Hand from the Credit of the For­ger. 2. His pretending to desire a Reason of its being so long concealed, when he himself knew of it some months before; though they have not judged his Folly (at least) in this; but T. H. hath positively called me a Knave, a deceitful Fellow, &c. 1. For not writing all his Explica­tions upon his Doctrines (which are false) 2. For rejecting his Charge against the Quakers (of denying the true Christ and the Resurrection, &c.) as false and slanderous, being we own both according to the Scriptures, Judge candid Reader this mans Shuffling to cover his Envy & malitious Railing.

ct. XXIII. The Baptist's Abuse against G. W. about a Meeting with them at Devonshire House, the 18th of the 7th Month, 1672. and T.H. taking part with a Socinian Pamphlet.

HIs accusing me of so much Partiallity as renders me Guilty of very Great Imperfection, p. 54. about a Relation of what happned betwixt him and me, at a Meeting in Devonshire House, the 18th of the 7th Month, 1672.

This is of little value to me, while I and many others know the contrary: and while he neither proves his Accusation; nor gives either a true or impartial Nar­rative thereof himself.

But his chief pretended Proof against me, is our saying, the Baptists seemed more like Beasts then Men, several at once making a bawling and hideous noyse, &c. The truth whereof many were eye and ear. Witnesses; and he cannot clear them herein: But instead thereof, falsly says, the Quakers manifested as much Rudeness, as the worst of men are wont to do to their Opposers.

But in this also, he hath very grosly belyed the Qua­kers: And he may know in his own Conscience, that he himself was a pattern of Incivility towards us; stirring up his Proselytes into Rudeness by his Passion and ill Lan­guage, as Knave, deceitful fellow, audacious fellow, impudent fellow, &c. whereas he had no such Language, nor Behaviour from me, or my Friends.

Besides, there were many of his Friends, and but very few of mine had notice; Because some of the Baptists pre­tended before, to me, that there should be but a few of their friends, and therefore I acquainted but very few of mine; otherwise, I should have made it more publick, if they had but dealt ingeniously by me, which I must say, they did not herein.

And for him, thus to charge the Quakers with mani­festing as much Rudeness, as the worst sort of men. He doth not so much herein, as ex e pt common Revilers, [Page] Drunkards or Persecutors; so that his slander is the more gross and notorious.

He saith that they called to speak directly to the Question (viz.) Whether this Body of Flesh and Bones shall arise again? To which Whitehead answered, he saith, that this Body of Flesh and Bones, shall not arise again.

Herein again he hath wronged my Answer; sor it was not stated in these words, but in the very words of the Apostle Paul, 1 Cor. 15. 35, 36, 37, 38. as in the Narrative is fully related; for being aware of their carping, caveling, spirit, I kept close to the plain Words of Scripture in my positive answer,

How be it when W. Kiffin, said, That the Seed, that's sown, is this same Body of Flesh and Bones which shall arise, though otherwayes qualified, viz. more glorious, &c. This being upon my Question about the Seed, to which God gives a Body as it pleaseth him: I did deny that the terrestrial Body, or Body of Flesh, Blood and Bones, as dead and buried, is the Seed in­tended by the Apostle, to which God gives a Body, as it pleaseth him; And that the very same Carnal Body, should arise again: I say, it hath not yet been proved to me; nor am I satisfied therein, from any who have obtruded this Question and Controversie upon me. To which I now add, nor am I re­solved by these men; but the Question may be further examined hereafter.

Again, after I am accused for leaving out of the Narra­tive the a [...]oresaid Answer, viz. About this Body of Flesh and Bones, falsely obtruded upon me, the pretended Omission is supposed to be either from a bad Conscience, or a defective Memory, p. 54. wherein my own Conscience doth clear me; and my Innocency concerning the first, and Experience of the latter is better known and judged of in my self then by an envious and salse Accuser, that neither knows my Conscience, nor Capacity.

And yet after thus doubtfully he hath accused me, ei­ther for an evil Conscience or bad Memory, he presently saith, hence I conceive it to be more proper for him to be angry with him­self, for being deceitful, then sor another to tell him that he is so, p. 35. See here what a positive Judge he makes him­self [Page] over my Conscience, when as before he is so doubtful and wavering in his Charge.

For suppose any Omission through defect of Memory; Is this sufficient ground to conclude a man deceitful? Mark the Inconsistency of this mans Work of Envy against me: And I do not only reflect his false ill Language upon him; but also testifie against his Malice and slandering of me, (as he doth divers others) And particularly his Outrage against G. F. most malitiously and falsly reproaching him as a Blasphemer and Deceiver; and for instance tels us, he has been publickly detected, as namely by a Book called, The Spirit of the Quakers tryed, p. 55.

Concerning which I would have the Reader to take notice, that the Book he here cryes up, is a Socinian Book, wherein the Divinity of Christ is denyed; and that G. F. is chiefly opposed sor asserting the Divinity of Christ, and particularly, for his confessing, that Christ was in being, and in Glory with the Father before the World began. See here, from hence it is observable, this Adversary of ours makes little Conscience, whom he takes part with, so he finds them to be Enemies to us.

He now questions whether to attain to Perfection, be the Priviledg of any on this side Death, p. 55. When before he hath op­posed its being attainable here, and put it off till he be in Heaven, p. 50. But now he is uncertain whether Perfecti­on be attained by any on this side Death. He should have appeared thus ingenious at first; and not positively op­posed that which afterwards he questions; But this is accor­ding to the Tenour of his uncertain confused Work.

Lux Exorta Est: OR THE LIGHT SPRUNG UP IN THE Despised Quaker, With Evident Testimony against the Darkness and Prejudice of the Old Anabaptist IN ANSWER To Henry Grigg's Book, stiled, Light from the Sun of Righteousness, (but proved an Effect of Smoke and Darkness, proceeding from the Pit of Enmity and Confusion.) Unnaturally published against his own Natural Sister in Barbadoes, chiefly, because of her own­ing the People of God called Quakers, and their PRINCIPLE, Which is herein further Vindicated; AND His Erronious Doctrines are Examined His Self-Contradictions are Compared His Impertinent Exceptions are Overturned By G. W.

—Neither do the Aged understand Judgment.
Night is come upon you, and the Day is become Dark over you.

Printed in the Year, 1973.

THE CONTENTS.

About
  • 1. The Light within.
  • 2. Justification, &c.
  • 3. The Lord's Supper.
  • 4. Baptism.
  • 5. The Anointed.
  • 6. Jesus and his Body, Man and the Body of Man, &c.
  • 7. The Resurrection.
  • 8. The Light, the Sufferings and Work of Christ.
  • 9. The Baptists Ordinances Shadows, &c.
  • 10. Knowing Christ, and his Coming, Reign, and Deity.
  • 11. Their Erroneous and Groundless Distinction be­tween the Light of God and the Light of Christ.
  • 12. Turning to the Light within.
  • 13. Christ as at the Right hand of Power.
  • 14. Perfection.
  • 15. The Light within distinguished from an Histori­cal Knowledge.
  • 16. The Baptist's unlearned Question.

TO THE READER.

Serious Reader,

THe implacable Enmity of divers Baptist Teachers against us, our present Liberty and Prosperity is very obvious, by their several perverse confused Pamphlets; although the sad Experience and Fruitlesness of Coertion has not been shewn by their Valour: They have Cause rather to be abased and humbled for their timerous obscuring themselves (many of them) in the late stormy times, then now either to boast, or thus come croak­ing out in warm Weather, with Blasphemy and Revilings against the Light of Truth, or us its Children: As also for their many Divisions among themselves, contrary to this Man's pretended Order and Communion of him and his Brethren of their baptized Churches, as in pag. 53. being divided about Prin­ciples and Doctrines; as some of their Leaders and Chieftains preaching up a personal Election; others general Redemp­tion; some for Christ's dying for all; others for his dying but for a few; some for the Jews Seventh-Day Sab­both, others opposing it; some holding the Souls mortality with the Body, others the Immortality: They should have been reconciled among themselves, before they had thus appeared in Print against us called Quakers; for as yet we have no consistent matter from them to deal withall.

Lux Exorta Est: OR THE LIGHT SPRUNG UP IN THE Despised Quaker, With Evident Testimony against the Darkness and Prejudice of the Old Anabaptist

I. Concerning the Light within.

THe Light or Life of the Eternal Word, which is the Light of men, Joh. 1. 4. is spiritual and divine, as is that Word; and therefore able to direct man his Way out of Sin, and to give him Power against it; what Cru­elty and Partiallity doth he therefore (like the partial­minded Electioners) reflect upon God in saying, that this Light or Illumination of the Eternal Word, leaves man like the Priest and Levite in his Blood and Wounds? and yet how ma­nifestly is this contradicted in his granting, That by this Light Mankind may come to understand there is a God, and also their Duty as he is their Creator? Now this their Duty is both truely to love, obey and sear him; as also the man grants, the Light to convince them of Sins, and teach them to do unto all men, as themselves would be done unto; and that if the Hea­thens do follow the Light (they are enlightened withal by the glorious Creator) they would shine forth in the Principles of Morality and just Living, p. 9. Now then it appears that this Light in all men, can both teach them their Duty to God and one another; so then it would teach them both to begodly and just: Then the Question is, whether all that [Page 89] are so taught, and are such, be they called Heathens, or others, be not in Reality Christians? Can a man be godly and not a Christian? Surely if the Heathens do mind and follow so much Light as God has given them, they shall be saved; for is there any more required then what is given? Or doth God condemn Men for not improving more then he gives them? How can they then be inexcusable, or left without Excuse before him?

Observe again, that this Opposer is not only cruel, in leaving men in their Blood and Wounds, though they fol­low so much Light as is given them; but he is greatly con­founded about the Light in all men; one while calling it, The Substance of the Law of the first Covenant, p. 11. another while saith, That Law was a more glorious Ministration, and did convince of Sin more clearly then this Light, p. 10. (where­as the inward Convincement or Conviction does not arise from the Law, meerly as written without; but from the Law or Light as received from God in the Heart) another while he calls it, the Spirit that God has formed in man, Zach. 12. 1. The Candle of the Lord, p. 9. Let the inge­nuous Reader judge how this man is shattered in these his Contradictions, Inconsistencies and Variations, and how plainly he hath broke the Neck of his own Cause in con­fessing that the Lord Jesus, as the eternal Word, enlight­neth all men; for Jesus Christ and his Light as the eter­nal Word, is the divine and highest Light.

II. Concerning Redemption Justification, &c.

HE is very inconsistent in his Saying that, Redemp­tion and Justification have been fully compleated and finisht by our Lord Jesus for [...]s once for all, and that the Debt is paid, and Satisfaction made, p. 14. while yet he grants that Ignorance and Unbelief as Chains and Fetters bind many in Sa­tan's Kingdom, p. 14. for did you ever know of any so ful­ly in a redeemed and justified Estate, while so actually un­der Satan's Chains and Fetters in his Kingdom? Or that any should be thus detained in Prison, so long after the Debt is paid, and Satisfaction made, as he imagines? But in this Notion of Satisfaction, he appears very short and shallow, though it be not a Scripture Phrase, as T. Danson [Page 90] grants, Synops. p. 19. and though it depends but upon some Notions of Law, as Dr. Owen saith, Declar. p. 150. Now that all mens Debt should be so strictly payed, or such a severe Satisfaction made to vindicate Justice by Christ in their Stead (which God never imposed upon the Son of his Love) and that for Sins past, present and to come (as some say) how inconsistent is it? Besides the gross Liberty this gives to Sin; how agrees it with his teaching them to pray, Forgive us our Debts? Math. 6. 12. for what needed that if they be all fo strictly paid in their Stead? Howbeit that Christ in another or more acceptable Sence, was a most satisfactory Offering and Sacrifice for Man-kind, for a sweet smelling Savour to God, Ephes. 5. 2. this we confess and own; and that he tasted Death not only for some, but for every Man, and is a Propitiation for the Sins of the whole World.

And that Men are not justified, nor all their Debt pay­ed in their Stead, while they are actually in Chains in Sa­tan's Kingdom; see this Man's Concession to his own Confutation, touching the Power of true Conversion that is taught by Christ and his Ministers, viz. ‘That a man must repent, that true Repentance is a through Change of the mind, and that it consists in (1) A clear Sight and Sence of Sin (2) Godly Sorrow in the Sence and Burthen of it (3) In utter Abhorrence and forsaking of it: And also — Faith is required and must be wrought with Power in the Hearts of the Penitent, &c. p. 15. 16.’

Mark then, here is some Debt for men to pay through the Help of Christ's Power and Work within; but to go round again, he is sliting that inherent Holiness which is wrought within, and accusing his Sister for not having a deep dependency on that Sacrifice of Christ's Crucified Bo­dy without, p. 14. The Truth on't is, she or they that be­lieve Christ to be risen, and know his Power in their Hearts may think it improper to have their Dependancy on that his Body, as crucified without, but rather on him that lives for ever, as knowing the blessed Effects of his Sacrifice, to wit, the Relief and Redemption which his Flesh and Blood affords.

His saying, The Debt is paid, and yet fearing his Sister's remaining in Prison and Darkness, notwithstanding her Teacher near, p. 14. proves no more against the Light, the inward Teacher, then against Christ's Sufferings: She may as well [Page 91] say, Brother for all thy Dependance upon the crucified Body without thee, I fear thou art yet dead in thy Sins and in gross Darkness, and thou takest not the Course to con­vince me, nor at all to draw my Heart towards thee and thy Brethren, by such sad and wicked Work as thou ma­kest against the Light.

Concerning his Water-Baptism, its not Reasonable in him, either to impose it, or judge us Transgressors in not submitting unto it, p. 18, 27. until he prove his Call, or himself or any of his Brethren commissionated from Hea­ven, as John was, to administer it; for we do not own it to be Christ's Baptism, and till they prove themselves so called, they should let us alone without it, we being con­tent with the one Baptism of the Spirit.

III. Of the Lord's Supper.

THe drinking of the Fruit of the Vine in the Fa­thers Kingdom, and the eating of the Living Bread which comes down from Heaven, Joh. Chap. 6. Luk. 22. 18, 30. Mat. 26. 29. We are come to witness and so to partake of the heavenly Passover, and the Com­munion of the Body and Blood of Christ, which wise men can judge of, 1 Cor. 10. 15, 16. And the Power and Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ we have been Eye Witnesses of; so as we cannot dote about Signs and Shadows, as you carnal Professors do, whose pretended Lords Supper is but Bread and Wine, and no more then a Sign, Type or Shadow, which the clear Light of the Gospel and its Dispensation is beyond; and in it there's no need of those Shadows for a sacred Memorial of Christ's Death; for the supposed Use and End thereof is better supplyed by the divine Light and Spirit of the everlasting Gospel, which hath not only begotten in us a living Memorial and Sence of the Death of Christ, and blessed Effects thereof; but hath also brought us to know the Power of his Resurrection, and our being risen with him; so as we are not only dead with him from the Rudiment of the World, and from touching, tasting and handling those things that perish with the using after the Commands and Doctrines of Men, but also being ri­sen with Christ, we are come to set our Affections on things above.

[Page 92]Where are those his Words written in Scripture, viz. That Bread and Wine remain in full Force until Christ's second coming in Person, p. 19. where doth the Scriptures call his second Appearance, a coming in Person? Which was a coming to Salvation, Hebr. 9. 28. but this man saith, he is not so come the second Time, which doth both conclude that all the primitive Believers or Christians, who so look [...] for his second coming, both fell short of Salvation, and mist and were dis-appointed of their Hope and Expectation, which is a sad Mistake.

His saying, He dare not be wise above what is written, p. 29. contradicts his asserting that which derogates from what's written, viz.

That Christ's second coming to Salvation is in Person, or a per­sonal Coming, whereas (nigh his Departure) he said, I amJoh. 17. 11. and 14. 19. no more in the World, Joh. 17. 11. and yet a little while and the World seeth me no more, but ye see me, Ch. 14. 19. his spiritual Appearance was to be in the World, and he universally to be seen in Judgment.

As for that which Paul received of the Lord, 1 Cor. 11. 23. proves not that he received outward Bread and Wine of the Lord, to deliver to them, till Christ's supposed coming in Person again; but he received of the Lord, not on­ly the Relation how Christ took Bread and the Cup, &c. And so of the Administration of the Sign or Shadow; but the Communication of the Mystery, viz. the Body and Blood of Christ: See 1 Cor. 10.

And this was that Bread and that Cup spoken of 1 Cor. 11. 28. And he further shews what he received, and what he delivered concerning Christ and his comings, 1 Cor. 15. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. 2 Cor. 13. 5. As for the Corinthians, many of them were carnal, and their minds too much in outward Things and Shadows, and some lyable to run into Idolatry: And the Apostle in some things condiscended to them as Weaklings below the spiritual and manly Un­derstandings; wherefore their Practice and Example is not in every thing binding to spiritual men.

IV. Of Baptism.

H.G. FRom Math. 28. 19, 20. The Baptism here spoken of is that of Water, p. 23. to baptize with the holy Spirit, is the alone Work of Jesus Christ; and it never was in the Power of any Apostle or Disciple to do it. p. 24.

Answ. This man contrary to his Pretence, here makes himself wise above what is written, in adding to the Com­mand, That it was the Baptism of Water, which is not men­tioned in the Command; but rather it appears to be a spiritual Baptism, which the Disciples were impoured to administer, in that they were to teach, baptizing them [...], into the Name, &c. which [...] imports the Authority and Power of Christ, and sometimes Christ himself, and sometimes Reverence and Worship; see T. C's Lexicon: The man is very rash in his concluding, that it was never in the Power of any Apostle to baptize with the holy Spirit: I ask him if the true Ministers were not endued with Power from on high, to turn and convert People from Darkness to Light, and from Satan's Power unto God: And if so, what's this short of the Spirit's Baptism, I pray.

His meaning from Paul's not being sent by Christ to bap­tize, but to preach the Gospel, 1 Cor. 1. is, that he gives us to understand, that to baptize was not the alone or chief Bu­siness he was sent to do, p. 27. [alone or chief Business] is his own Addition to Paul's Words; what needed he give them to understand, that to baptize was not his alone Busi­ness, while they knew he was more a Preacher. 'Tis not to be supposed, that the Corinthians should think that Paul was to do nothing else, but baptize or plunge them in Wa­ter; but he himself gives it as the chief Reason why he baptized none but those few mentioned; namely, for Christ (saith he) sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel: So he did not thank God for neglecting part of his Commission, in baptizing so few, but partly to pre­vent their wrong Use thereof, and chiefly because his Com­mission did not extend to Water-Baptism.

And as to his Allegation, to prove that the Word not is not alwayes used as an absolute Negative, p. 27. he [Page 94] cites, Joh. 6. 27. Labour not for the Meat that perisheth, but for the Meat which endureth, &c. If the Occasion of these Words be minded, not will prove an absolute Nega­tive in this Place; Jesus speaking to them that sought af­ter him, because they did eat of the Loaves, ver. 20. and were filled, for which end they ought not to have sought after him.

And admitting his Instance in Adam, that he was not deceived, namely, that he was not first deceived, taking in the Word [first] from the Verse before; this is alto­gether impertinent unto his Purpose, about Paul's not being sent to baptize, there being no such Discovery, that Paul was sent at all to baptize, as there was of Adam's Trans­gression, but the contrary, in that Paul expresly said, Christ fent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel.

V. Of the Anionted

TO his saying the Word Christ signifies one Anointed, accounting it absurd to say, the Spirit or Anointing is Christ, p. 37. I answer, are not the Father, the Spirit and the Word one? Christ as the Son of God is God's anoint­ed: And is it not granted that he was the Son of God by eternal Generation? And fo was (before he took upon him that Body prepared for him) called the Lord's anointed, Psal. 2. 2. which Word Anointed, sometimes relates to his being set up; or exalted as King; yet have I set (or anoin­ted, Hebr.) my King upon Sion, the Hill of my Holiness, ver. 6. As also to his being endued or anointed with Pow­er from on high, which Power is that divine Unction, and in that Christ is called the Power of God, and the Wis­dom of God, 1 Cor. 1. 24 He may as properly be called, the Anointing, as where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty, now the Lord is that Spirit; this Anointing is not an outward Unction, nor outwardly received upon the Flesh or Body; but being a divine Unction of Glory and Power from above, its inwardly and spiritually received by an immortal Seed and Birth born from above, as that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. As for his Term, Humane Nature, and Glorious Unity between the divine and hu­man Nature, p. 36. he talks he knows not what, besides Scripture-Language: the Word human is not applicable [Page 95] to Christ in Glory by the Scriptures, but originally relates to the Earth, and so to the Body of man as coming thence. But Jesus Christ was the Anointed, as he was the Son from the Father's Substance (which he was before he came in the Flesh, or took upon him that Body that was prepared for him) and the Anointed and Saviour by the divine Power given him, when in that Body upon Earth; though more highly exalted or anointed, as ascended far above all Heavens, and exalted in the Fa­ther's Glory; the Anointed and Saviour also, as revealed and formed in the Saints, Gal. 4. 19. the Anointed as set up from Everlasting; the Anointed both in Sufferings and in Glory; the Anointed both as he came in Flesh, and as coming and revealed in the Spirit in his People; and his Name by which Life and Salvation comes, and is given, is his divine Nature and Power, to which his Name re­lates that is above every other Name.

One thing this man H. G. and his Brethren stumble at, and at which his Soul is wounded (as he saith) p. 30. is, that Christ was never seen with an outward (or rather carnal Eye) which H. W. is accused of, sor saying, The Eternal Son of God was never seen with any Carnal Eye; to which I say, they should have been so ingenuous, as to have considered the Intent of these Words, and more can­didly to have construed them thus, Christ as the eternal Word, the Lord from Heaven, the only begotten of the Father in his spiritual Discovery, as the Image of the in­visible God and Brightness of his Glory cannot be seen with a carnal Eye, Flesh and Blood hath not so revealed him; the saving Light of Christ never was nor can be reach­ed with the carnal Eye; he that seeth the Son and believeth on him hath everlasting Life, Joh. 6. 40. and as saith the Son of God, he that seeth me seeth my Father also, Joh. 12. 45. and 14. 9. but none can see the Father with a car­nal Eye, therefore none could ever see the eternal Son with their carnal Eyes in this Sence of seeing, which extends to true Knowing, Joh. 8. 19. and 14. 7. though many did see the Body or Person of Christ in the Dayes of his Flesh, wherein he was crucified and put to Death; the Jews [...]nd Persecutors saw him in that Sence with their outward Eyes, when they did neither truely see nor know him to their Salvation, it being the Spirit that quickneth, and such a Sight of Christ as that of his Body or outward man, no rea­sonable [Page 96] man can be so absurd as to say, it was not obvious to the Bodily Eyes, and as absurd for any to imagine, that any of us should intend otherwise.

Now these Baptists Faith concerning the Son of God, according to their carnal Discourse of him, may be mode­lized into this or the like Argument, viz. If Jesus Christ, the Son of God be also the Son of man glorified on the right Hand of God in Heaven, then he consists of human Body of Flesh and Bones, as some say; or of a body of Flesh, Blood and Bones, as others say.

But he is the Son of man glorified, &c. Ergo he con­sists of a human Body, either of Flesh and Bone, or of Flesh Blood and Bones in Heaven.

Ans. I deny their varied Consequence as inconsequent; for Christ was called the Son of man in a higher Sence then this human, earthly or carnal Sence, which they represent him in, in that he himself said, no man hath ascended up to Heaven, but he that came down from Heaven, even the Son of man which is in Heaven, Joh. 3. 13. and what if you shall see the Son of Man ascend up where he was before; it is the Spirit that quickneth, the Flesh per­fitteth nothing, Joh. 6. 62, 63. who will affim, that as he came down from Heaven, or as he was before in Hea­ven, he so consisted of a carnal human Body, either made up of Flesh and Bone, or of Flesh, Blood and Bone in their gross and carnal Sence; John the Baptist had not such mean Thoughts of Christ, as these carnal Bap­tists have; for John said, he that cometh from above is above all, he that is of the Earth is earthly and speak­eth of the Earth, he that cometh from Heaven is above all, John 3. 31. and the Flesh of the Son of man, which he gave for the Life of the World is that Bread which came down from Heaven, Joh. 6. 50, 51. Except ye eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his Blood ye have no Life in you, ver. 53. Yet that the Name Son of Man was applyed to him as a Sufferer, and as he said, so shall the Son of man be three Dayes and three Nights in the Heart of the Earth, Math. 12. 40. I deny not; but this doth not limit him from being called the Son of Man in a higher State, also each of God's Prophets might be called (as divers were) a Son of Man; but Christ the great Pro­phet, the Son of Man, the Apostle distinguisheth between the first man and the second man thus, The first man is of [Page 97] the Earth earthly (or human) the second man is the Lord from Heaven, 1 Cor. 15. 47. therefore the second man is not human in their Sence, nor consisting of a human or earthly Body as the first man, and Ephes. 4. 9, 10. now that he ascended, what is it, but that he also descended first into the lower Parts of the Earth, he that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all Heavens, that he might fill all things, and Phil. 3. 21, who shall change the Body of our Lowness, that it may be fashoned like unto his glorious Body, &c. Now if it should be read according to these Baptists Sence, it must be, who shall change our vile Bodies, that they may be fashoned like unto his hu­man Body, as if they were not such already, and how dis­proportionable is it to say, Christ consists of a human Bo­dy of flesh, blood and bones in Heaven; but the Saints must have a spiritual glorious Body in the State of Glory hereafter; yet to prevent these mens Scruples concerning our owning the man Christ, or the Son of man in Glory; I tell them seriously that I do confess both to his miraculous Conception by the Power of the holy Spirit overshadow­ing the Virgin Mary, and to his being born of her accor­ding to the Flesh, and so that he took upon him a real Bo­dy (and not a fantastical) and that he was real Man, come of the Seed of Abraham, and that he in the Dayes of his Flesh preached Righteousness, wrought Miracles, was cruci­fied and put to Death by wicked Hands, that he was bu­ried and rose again the third Day according to the Scrip­tures;Mar. 16. 1 [...]. and after he rose, he appeared diversly, or in di­versLuke 24. 36, 4. 8. Forms and Manners he really appeared to many Bre­thren, 1 Corinth. 15. and afterwards ascended into Glo­ry,Joh. 20. 19. 23, 24. being translated according to the Wisdom and Pow­er29 Mat. 28. 9, 10. of the Heavenly Father, and is glorified with the same Glory which he had with the Father before the World began, being ascended far above all Heavens, that he might fill all things, whose Glory is Incom­prehensible, and beyond the Apprehension of Human Capacities.

VI. Of Jesus and his Body; of Man and the Body of Man.

WHereas H. G. cavils at my speaking distinctly of the Body of Jesus, in that Joseph of Arima­thea begg'd the Body of Jesus, and to confute me herein, he instanceth that of the body of Saul, and saith, that the Case is the same, and the body of Moses which the Devil disputed about, p. 39, 40, 41. but in this I cannot see any valid Matter to his purpose, nor wherein he can intend it, unless he believes that the Soul or spiritual Existence of man dyes with the body; and the Devil did appear wi­ser then he, concerning this distinction, in that his dispu­ting about the body of Moses does imply a distinction be­tween Moses (as to his immortal Existence) and the body of Moses; and that he did not confound them as this man doth, who concludes Jesus Christ to consist of a human Body of Flesh and Bone, which the original Being of no man pro­perly consists of, though to prevent Cavils and for [...] sake i'll grant him thus much, that the Name Jesus Christ is indifferently and mutually applyed both to his spiritual being, and to the body he took upon him, and that distinctly in Scripture, although the Names Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Anointed, the Image and Glory of the invisible God, the Word, the Light, the Life, &c. do more emi­nently, and more originally belong to him, as he was before he took that body upon him, which he called this Temple, and it was called the body of Jesus.

Whereas H. G. sayes, What a strange Epitath would this Man write upon a Tomb-stone, he cannot write, here lyes the Body of Thomas or William, &c. but rather thus, here lies the Thomas of Thomas, p. 41.

Reply, This more properly falls upon himself in not ad­mitting that distinction touching Jesus and the body of Je­sns; but their concluding and confining Jesus Christ, as to confist of the meer body of flesh and bone, and that he could not be Jesus Christ the Saviour before he took upon him that body; by which this man cannot write, Here lies the body of Thomas or William, &c. (which implies a belief of an Immortality of the man, as to his Spirituality) but rather, here lies the whole man Thomas or William without [Page 99] admitting of any such Immortality; and yet I will grant him as before, that the Word Man is indifferently applyed to either the spiritual Being or Body of man, as there is an inward man and an outward man, 2 Cor. 4. 16.

And as God created man in his own Image; and yet its said, he formed man of the Dust of the Earth, Gen. 1. 27. and Chap. 2. 7. and its said, That the rich Man dyed and was buried (which was his Body) and in Hell he lift up his Eyes, &c. (which could not be that Part which dyed and was buried, but the immortal part or Soul) Luke 16. 22. 23. yet the Word Man, most properly and originally (as God created Man in his own Image) belongs to his spiritual Existence or Being; for the Earthly Body was not the Image of God.

But farther, let the Reader observe how evidently H. G. has contradicted his foregoing Stuff, for a human Christ consisting of a Body of meer Flesh and Bone, against my distinction (concerning Jesus and his Body that was put to Death and buried, which was also raised) as where he speaks distinctly of Jesus and his Body, p. 33. and confes­seth that Christ came in the Flesh, p. 36. that he hath an outward glorisied Existence — that he hath a body, p. 46, 47. Christ's crucified Body, p. 50. the Body that was prepared for him, p. 79. He did assume our Nature, p. 80. He had the very Form, Shape and Fashion of a Man, p. 81. And what He or Him was this he speaks of? Was it not Christ, the Son of God, the Anointed.

And to his arguing, That if Jesus Christ continues a man for ever, then he hath a Body of Flesh and Bone forever: This doth not follow, but is falsly deduced as before is proved, that Man both did and doth exist when he hath not such a carnal body as he intends; although I do own Christ to be the heavenly and spiritual Man glorified, and (in a more sublime and heavenly Sence) his flesh and bone, of which the Saints are Members, and that the true Christ is not without Blood to communicate, which the Spiritual Com­municants drink of.

H. G. also further adds, Unless it can be proved, that Man can exist and have a Being without Flesh and Bone, which I suppose, all will conclude is impossible, p. 47.’

To which I say, This is not only confuted by what I have said before, but also by himself, where he confes­seth the Coming of the Spirit into his Heart, for the bind­ing [Page 100] of the Strong Man Satan, p. 16. here he hath found out a Man, and that a strong one to, too wit, Satan, whom I suppose he deems not a man made up (or consisting) of flesh and bones, though he be called the strong Man; but the Heavenly and Spiritual Man Christ Jesus is stronger then he.

VII. Of the Resurrection.

AS for his insinuating against us, as denying the Resur­rection of the Dead, or of the Body, p. 41, 42, 43. This Accusation is not only in general Terms, but also it is notoriously false, as may be evinced, not only in many of our Books and Writings, but also by our deep Sufferings for Christ; so that if in this Life we had Hope only, we were of all men most miserable: Its true, there hath been and is a Controversie between us and many of the Baptists, and some others about that, or the like unlearn'd Question, which they have been busie to obtrude upon us, viz. How are the dead raised, and with what Body? Which we have answered, as the Apostle did such, Thou Fool, that which thou sowest is not quickned except it dye, and thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of Wheat, &c. but God giveth it a body as it pleaseth him, and every Seed his own body, or its proper body, 1 Cor. 15. 35, 36, 37, 38. &c.

But to prove the arising of the same Bodies buried in the Graves, he perverts and miscites Phil. 3. 21. thus, He will change our vile bodies, and fashion them like unto his glo­rious* And so he hath dealt with Acts 1. 11. saying, In the same manner, p. 21. instead of In like manner. body; whereas that Phil. 3. 21. is in the singular, vile Body, or rather, he shall change the body of our Low­ness, or our suffering body, that it may be [...]ashoned like unto his glorious body; now the body of their Lowness or Humility, [...] comprehended the whole Suffering Estate of the Church: And I do confess that the Resurrection, Change and Translation or Transfigu­ration (as some renders it) of the Just or Righteous, ex­tends not only to a Resurrection from Sin, Corruption and Weakness, but to an arising out of a Suffering State into Glory: And as God knows how to deliver and raise up the Righteous, out of Temptations, Tryals and Suffe­rings; so he knows how to reserve the Unjust unto Punish­ment, [Page 101] and unto the day of Destruction; for both shall rise to their several Ends and Rewards; yea, the Sea, Death, Hell and the Grave shall deliver up their dead to be judged, &c. and he giveth to every Seed his own proper body, as he pleaseth; and we know, that if our earthly house of this Tabernacle be destroyed, we have a building given of God, that is, a House not made with Hands, but eternal in the Heavens: Flesh and Blood cannot inherit the King­dom of God, 1 Cor. 15. 50. H. G. sayes, By Flesh and Blood the Apostle doth intend Corruption, p. 44. whereas the Apostle spake of them distinctly, viz. flesh and blood can­not inherit the Kingdom of God, neither doth Corruption inherit Incorruption; to say that by flesh and blood he doth intend Corruption is no Answer to their Question, with what body are the Dead raised, &c. Which though reproved as foolish, yet not so foolish as to ask whether Corruption be raised? And more absurd it is to imply, that by flesh and blood he doth not intend Body, but only Corruption.

Again H. G. to prove the rising of the same Bodies cites Job 19. 25. In my Flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for my self, and mine Eyes shall behold, &c. p. 44, 45.

By this his Instance it appears what gross Apprehensions he hath of God, while he thinks to see him with his bodily or carnal Eyes, which no Being nor Thing is visible or ob­vious unto, but what is of an outward or corporeal Sub­stance or formal limitted matter, which an infinite eter­nal Spirit is not? for God who is that Spirit is invisible; therefore Jeb did not speak of his bodily Eyes, but of his spiritual, who afterwards said unto the Lord, I have heard of thee by the hearing of the Ear, but now mine Eye seeth thee, Jo. 42. 5. which cannot be understood of his see­ing him with his bodily Eye; H. G. pretends to know the State or manner of the Saints being in Glory, telling us that all deformity shall be done away, p. 44. and that these vile Bodies shall be fashoned like unto Christ's glorious Body: How then shall they be these very same earthly and nume­rical bodies? many whereof are not only deformed, but greatly defective, both as to Infants and Aged that dye; as also his confessing to 2 Cor. 5. 1, 2. doth appear a Con­tradiction plain enough to himself, if righly considered; its probable this Man has as strange Conceits about the Resurrection, as Tho. Vincent in his Book of the Coming [Page 102] of Christ to Judgment and the Resurrection; but I cannot look upon either him or the Baptists to be such divine Philoso­phers, as either to know or define the manner of the Saints Existance or Beings in Heaven and Glory; but rather that they are Imaginary and Intruders therein, though it would better become them to acquiese with God s Will and Plea­sure concerning such Mysteries as are beyond their Capa­cities; I expect some of them in their busie minds, will give me farther Occasion to speak to this weighty Point of the Resurrection, though it be a matter I never desired to make publick Controversie of, it being beyond human Capacities.

VIII. Of the Word, the Light, the Sufferings of Christ and his Work within.

H.G. THere is a great difference between the Essence & Body of the Sun and its Beams or Rayes: for though the Sun by its Rayes doth give Light to all, yet is not the Essence or Body of the Sun in them; so in like manner, though the Word be the true Light which lighteth every man, yet is he not essentially in their Hearts, p. 48. 49.

Answ. He hath strain'd his Simile too sar, and there­by hath denyed the Omni-presence and Infiniteness of God, whose Presence filleth Heaven and Earth; the Sun and its Rays and Beams are finite and limitable; so and in like manner is not God and his Illuminati­on, and thus to limit and circumscribe God and his Light or Shining to be so, and in like manner as the Sun and its Beams, doth mani [...]est such gross Apprehensions of God, as he did before, in expecting to see him with bodily Eyes: And this relates to the old Heresie of the Anthropomorphites or Monks in the desarts of Aegypt, as also to that of the present Mugletonians, who imagine God to be a personal or bodily Existence circumscribed as to place, denying him to be an infinite Spirit; yet thus far I will admit of his Simile, by a Reason of the contrary, that as the natural created Sun immediately sends forth its Beams or Rayes which are natural, and do influence the Earth with the Vertue of the Sun; so the eternal increated Spi­ [...]itor Word doth shine and shew forth its own immediate, [Page 103] increated divine Light and Vertue in the Hearts and Souls of Man-kind; as the Sun is natural and created, so is its Light or Shining; and as God the eternal Word is increa­ted and super-natural, so is his immediate Shining or Light in the Hearts and Souls of Man-kind; and as a man's Eye is directly set towards the Sun, in the least Beam thereof, shining through any Crevis into any Dungeon Cell or other oscure place, it sees directly to the Sun it self; so the Eye of the Soul being directe dtowards God by the least Appea­rance of his divine and immediate Shining or Illumination, therein it hath a Sight of God, and the Soul thereby comes to seel of his Vertue and Power in waiting upon him.

And for this man to conclude, that this Light of the eter­nal Word cannot teach and reveal unto man the Lord Jesus Christ, p. 50. is to deny Jesus Christ to be the Word, or that true Light that enlightneth every Man, whereas his Illumination directs man immediately to himself as its eyed and minded.

As also he is as narrow, shallow and partial, in conclu­ding the Light will not reveal unto man his Saviour without the Help of the Scriptures p. 50. this is a strange undervaluing of the Light of Christ; what then did the Scriptures proceed from? Was it not the Light? And what shall become of all those Nations and People that have not the Scriptures, if this be true?

It is none of our Assertion, that Christ in his Death and Sufferings, was but only a Pattern or Example of that which must be wrought over again in us; for though we own him to have left an Example, yet he was more then an Example, and he did not only end the Types, but was a Sacrifice and Of­fering for Man-kind, and opened the new and living Way, giving Testimony of God's free Love towards all, and ma­king Way for the enforcing of the new Testament or Co­venant of Life: But yet that either all or any men are cleansed, or justified, or saved meerly by the outward Suf­ferings, Crucifixion, Death or Blood shed of Christ, the Scripture proves not (but by Christ himself, and his Blood, Life, Spirit and Power) nor yet that men are acquitted or saved by their outward Application thereof: And this man to his own Confutation confesseth to the Power of Christ s Spirit being risen in us, for our Sanctification and Renovation, as well as Christ was raised from the dead for our Justification, p. 54. then all is not fully doneby his [Page 104] Death without them, but both the End and Mystery of the Cross, Sufferings and Death of Christ without, [...] be known and fulfilled within, see Philip. 3. 10. although this man seems not willing to hear of Christ's being a Pat­tern or Example of that which must be wrought over again in us, p. 50 yet in Contradiction to this he saith, The Lord Jesus Christ hath wrought Red [...]mption and Salvation for me, and revealed this by his Word and Spirit, and [...] it in me, p. 52. its well that in any Measure he is made to grant to this in­ward Work of Christ.

IX. Further about their Ordinances.

His pleading for their shadowy and carnal Ordinances to continue under this Notion, viz. Under his Sha­dow I have with the Spouse sat down, and his Fruit is and hath been sweet unto my t [...]ste, p. 53. This is a very impertinent Instance, and altogether improper, to reckon Bread, Wine and Water-Baptisin that Shadow of the Souls Beloved, to wit, Christ, that the Spouse sat under, seeing the Lord himsel [...] saith, I will be a Shadow from the Heat, and a Re­fuge from the Storm: And we are so far from believing these his carnal Ordinances to be the direct Shadow of the Souls Beloved in that neer Sence, that we look upon him, he is yet to prove them Appointments, Institutions and Ordinances of Christ, or of Necessity to continue in the Church, notwithstanding his spiritual Coming and Reve­lation, which he hath not, much less that they are spiritual or of a Spiritualness, as he saith, p. 59. and 60. which he hath manifestly contradicted, in granting, They are but the Sign, the Shadow, the Shell, and Christ the Substance p. 53, 54. For my part, I don't look upon either John's Baptism, or the Supper of Christ and his Disciples (at which they had the Passover) to be Institutions and Ordinances originally appointed by Christ, or enjoyned to all that should succeed in the Gospel and true Church; but rather, though they were not directly enjoyned by the Law of Moses, as we say, modo & forma; yet that they did more naturally relate to that former dispensation of Shadows, then to that of the Gospel and new Covenant; and that John's Baptism was rather for a Consummation of the Jews divers Sprinklings [Page 105] and Washings under the Law, comprehending them in or­der to end them, and Christ's eating of the Passover and drinking with his Disciples, Luke 32. to be as a Consum­mation of the Jews Feasts under the Law, viz. that of the Passover and others, according to the Relation given at large concerning the Ecclesiastical Rites of the ancien [...] Hebrews, by T. Goodwin in his Antiquities of the [...]ews, cal­led, Moses and Aaron, p. 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91. and [...], and Christ saying, As often as you do this, is not a [...]om­mand, and This do in Remembrance of me, and [...] the Lord's Death till he come, does limit a time for its Discontinuance; for till he come must either respect his next Coming, or ren­der not only his coming after he was risen, but his spiri­tual Coming and Revelation in his Saints no Comings, which were absurd and Auti-Christian, and there was a time to shew forth his Life as well as his Death.

Hi [...] saying, The Sign and thing signified God hath joyned to­gether, p. 54. is again contradicted by his granting a Per­sonmay find a Shell and have no Kernel in it, p. 54.

To which I add, That God hath so joyned the Sign or Shadow and the Substance together, as so to continue, I deny, or that the Scripture any where so saith; but as for these Baptists Shells, Husks and Shadows they are both dry and empty, and the Lord is departed from them, so as neither Life nor Substance is to be found in them, but a dark Spirit of Enmity and Opposition against the true Power and Life is centered in them; Yea, the same Spi­rit which walketh in dry Places: I wish they were truely sensible of it.

X. Of knowing Christ and his Coming, Reign and Deity.

UPon 2 Cor. 5. 16. Though I have known Christ af­ter the Flesh, yet from henceforth know I him so no more.

H. G's Exposition is, That the Word [know] here, doth hold forth to esteem, regard, allow or to approve by Way of Pre­ference, p. 58.

Now if we read his Exposition herein upon the Text, it runs thus, viz. Though I have known or esteemed, regar­ded or approved Christ after the Flesh by Way of Prefe­rence, [Page 106] yet from henceforth do I esteem regard or approve of him so no more; and then how must I regard and pre­fer him, but after the Spirit and in his spiritual Manifesta­tion, as I know him in me to be my Hope, Life and Stay: But how does this agree with his Discription of Jesus Christ (as the alone Saviour)H. G. As consisting of a human Body of Flesh and Bone (as before) p. 31. and 55. and with his saying that the Spirit or blessed Comforter cannot be the Saviour and Mediator, p. 46. But this he hath also eminently Con­tradicted, in confessing thatH. G. Contrad. The Power of Christ's Spirit risen in us, is for our Sanctification and Renovation, p. 54. To which I add, that the Apostle witnessed that the ingrafted Word is able to save your Souls, or the Word that is grafted in you (as some have it) Jam. 1. 21. and see 1 Pet. 1. 23. and the Spirit is Life, giveth Life, quickneth, sanctifieth, it self maketh Intercession: And if ye through the Spi­rit mortifie the Deeds of the Flesh ye shall live, Rom. 8. Therefore the Word and Spirit (which are one) do save the Obedient.

Whereas H. G. saith, Some of those Cazers and Waiters (viz. that look for Christ's personal Reign) was Paul, Peter and John, yea, all the primitive Saints, though Christ was come in Spirit to them as gloriously, &c. p. 60.

I deny that they were any such Gazers, after Christ's Ascension and glorious spiritual Appearance and Revelati­on in them; he hath herein asperst Paul, Peter and John and all the primitive Saints with gazing for Christ's personal Reign, which he reckons his second Coming to Salvation; wherein he hath not only rendred all the Saints and for­mer Witnesses of Christ to be such uncertain Gazers abroad; but their Hope, Expectation and Faith ineffectual and fruitless as to such a Coming, and they to be disappointed of Salvation; for a personal Coming and Reign of Christ (as this man speaks of) they attained not in their Dayes, nei­ther is it yet, nor are Baptists like to see such a personal Reign, though he has rendred all the primitive Saints Gazers and Waiters for it; whereas Christ said unto his Disciples, Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of Death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his King­dom, Math. 16. 28. or till they have seen the Kingdom of God come with Power, Mark 9. 1.

As for H.G's human personal Christ, consisting (or meerly made up) of Flesh and Bone, finite, weak, subject to Passion as pag. 94. [Page 107] we are, who as such he deems the alone Saviour with his un­scriptural Expressions he puts upon him, as outward Exist­ence, personal Existence, personal Subsistence, human Nature, second Person of the Trinity, &c. p. 46. and 83. and 94. And yet in Contradiction he is made to confess him to be the most high God, p. 80. Jesus of Nazareth truely God, the most high God as is the Father, and of the same Substance and Essence, yet distinguished from the Father, as touching his perso­nal Subsistence, p. 83. I cannot but look upon this Relation to be non-sensical and confusedly intermixt with those un­scriptural Terms, of which let the ingenuous Reader judge, that can distinguish between the Body which Christ took upon him and the divine Being; this Relation of his tends farther to stumble and keep distant both Jews and Others, thus to represent Jesus Christ as a meer Body, consisting of Flesh and Bone, human Nature, finite, weak, &c. and then saying, He is the most high God of the same Essence, &c.

And his rendring him only a Saviour, after this his own imaginary, human or earthly manner, he hath suffici­ently confuted by these Reasons, wherewith he proves Jesus Christ his Deity or Being God (and as such the Sa­viour, orgiveth Power unto others to become the Sons of God.)

  • 1st. From his Name, the mighty God, the true God, the only wise God, God blessed for ever, Isa. 9. 6. 1 Joh. 5. 20. Jude 25. and Rom. 9. 5.
  • 2ly, His making and creating the World, Joh. 1. 1, 3. Col. 2. 16. Heb. 2. 10.
  • 3ly, His upholding and preserving the whole Creation, Heb. 1. 3. Col. 1. 17.
  • 4ly, His knowing all things, Joh. 12. 17. and 2. 24, 25. Psa. 139. and 4. 10. Job 36. 4. and Ch. 38.
  • 5ly, His searching the Heart, Jer. 17. Rev. 2. 23.
  • 6ly, His being the fist and the last, Isa. 44. 6. and 48. 12. Rev. 2. 8. 17.
  • 7ly, His having spiritual Worship or divine Adoration due to him, Mat. 8. 2. and 28. 17. Luke 24. 52. Joh. 8. 38. Heb. 1. 6. Phil. 2. 10.
  • 8ly, His having Power to forgive or pardon Iniquity, Mat. Ch. 9. and Mark 2. 5. Luke 5. 21.
  • 9ly. In that the Saints ought to pray to him, Act. 9. 14. Rom. 10. 9, 10. 1 Cor. 1. 2.
  • [Page 108] 10ly, His having Power to give the Holy Spirit and Saving Graces, Math. 3. 11. Mark. 1. 4. Ephes. 4. 8, 9.
  • 11ly, His being equal with God, Phil. 2. 6, 7. Zach. 13. 7.
  • 12ly, His having Power to lay down his Life and to raise it up again. Joh. 2. 19. and 10. 18.
  • 13ly, His being the Object, Author and Finisher of the true Believers Faith, Joh. 14. 1. and 9. 35. Heb. 12. 2.
  • 14ly, He who can by his own Name, proper Power and Authority, give Power unto others to become the Sons of God, must needs be God himself; but that Christ doth and can do this is evident, Joh. 1. 11, 12. He doth adopt, regenerate or make others the Children of God, by the effectual Working of his blessed Spirit in the Hearts, by which they are interested in all the Priviledges of the Co­venant of Grace, which none can do save God alone, p. 91, 92. Thus far H. G. to his own eminent Confutation and Contradiction, hath assented to Truth in Words; and how Jesus Christ is the Object of Faith, and Giver of Power to men to become the Sons of God; and how he makes them his Children by the effectual Workings of his blessed Spirit in their Hearts, even because he is God Eternal, in that none can do those but God alone, accor­ding to Isa. 43. 10, 11, 12. and 45. 14. and 49. 26. and 63. [...]. Jer. 14. 8. Hos. 13. 4. 1 Tim. 1. 1. and 4. 10. Jude 25. But how doth H. G's Confession and these Scriptures agree with the Discription he gives of Jesus Christ as Saviour, and as the only true Christ, viz. That he consists of a Bo­dy of Flesh and Bone, human Nature, being finite, weak, subject to passion as we are, saith he, p. 94. Let the Rea­der judge how gross and confused he is in these matters, and whether the true Christ and Saviour doth either con­sist of an earthly Nature or finite being, or was subject to Passion as fallen men are?

The Truth of it is, this Man hath confest more to the Deity and divine Power of Christ, and so to save and be­get men to himself, as God alone, more then most of the Baptists that I have met withall before; for one of his Bre­thren, to wit, W. Burnet (a Preacher) saith, That Christ as he was the Word, which was God was not a Saviour, as he was God he could not save Man, in his Book stiled the Capital Principles, p. 35. which denyes the Omnipotency of God; but this Baptist H. G. grants that it is the Power and Spi­rit of God himself, or God alone that doth regenerate and [Page 109] make men his Children; whence it follows that then it was not meerly the outward Body of Jesus that was the Saviour, though he was a Saviour in that Body, but it was by the Divine Power or Holy Spirit of the Father in him.

XI. His Erroneous Distinction about the Light.

BUt whereas H. G. accounts the Light and Knowledge of God as Creator, that was given to the Gentiles, Rom. 1. 19. and Chap. 2. 14, 15. But the Light of the Moon to guide their Paths, and so much inferior to that of a cruci­fied Jesus, as that it leaves them utterly void of the saving Knowledge of the Gospel, and of a crucified Jesus, p. 68, 69. Mark here, how he hath undervalued the Light and Knowledge of the glorious Creator whom before he has in Words exalted above all, in the Work of Regeneration, and Christ as man, but as finite weak, &c. But now alass! with him the Light and Knowledge of the glorious Creator, is but the Light of the Moon in comparison of the Light and Knowledge of Christ as man, though in that Weakness as crucified; how egregiously he is involved in gross Consusion and self-Contradiction in these things; he that runs may read; and no such distinction nor con­trariety between the Light of God and the Light of his Son is owned in Scripture; [...]or I and my Father are one saith Christ; and the Father, Word and holy Spirit are one.

And the same Life which was in him was the Light of Men, Joh. 1. 4. and this Life which in due time was mani­fested, was the same eternal Life which was with the Fa­ther, 1Joh. 1. 1. 2. which Light or Life they that obey a [...]d follow, in its Appearance and Guidance, it brings them to a Fellowship with the Father, and with the Son; and this is not the Light of the Moon, as our Opposer blind­ly and unscripturally terms it: But seeing he saith; this Law or Light is given to guide their Paths, by which the Gen­tiles are taught their Duty to God in Morals. I ask him, whe­ther will this Light guide their Paths, if not in the Way to Salvation? And whether will they go, and to what End, if they obey and follow it? Does not the Apostle for a Proof of a justified State, instance it in the Gentiles, [Page 110] shewing the Effects of the Law written in their Hearts? Rom. 2. 13, 14, 15, 16. And what Nature was that by which those Gentiles did those things contained in the Law; surely it was not the corrupt Nature, for that is inconsistent, the Law being holy, just and good; and though these Gentiles had not the Law in the Letter of it, as many now have not the litteral Discription or histo­tical Relation of Christ's outward Sufferings, must they therefore be damned to Hell? What Cruelty were this, to condemn Nations for want of the Scriptures? But as those Gentiles who had not the Law in the Letter, and yet had and obeyed it in the Spirit, were both therein a Law to themselves, and excused in the Sight of God, in the day when he judgeth the Secrets of Men by Jesus Christ accor­ding to the Gospel, Rom. 2. 16.

So those Gentiles and Peoples who obey the Light and Life of the Son of God in them, though they have not the historical Knowledge and Profession of Christ as he was Man, and suffered Death in the Flesh, &c. Yet they are truely accepted of God, and more real Christians inwardly then many of you, that have the Scriptures, and an histo­rical Faith and Profession of the Man Christ, and of Chri­stianity outwardly; for in all Nations, every one that fears God and worketh Righteousness is accepted of him. De­part from Evil, and do Good, and dwell for evermore. And this the Light of the Son of God implanted in the Hearts of all Nations teacheth; and herein the Grace of God that bringeth Salvation hath appeared unto all Men, Tit. 2. 11. But it is the Error and Mistake of these Men, to put their historical Notions and Profession of the Man Christ, for the Light of Christ in Man, whereas their No­tions and Professions are neither any real Knowledge of the Man Christ, nor the Principle of his Light in Man; for the one is traditional and acquired by Man, and so but dark; the other is the immediate and divine unchangeable Gift of Christ in Man, which indeed is the Light of the Eternal Word, the glorious Creator; but as these men's pretended Light and Knowledge of the man Christ, is what they get out of Scriptures (with their own private Interpretations on them) so they hereby render Christ and his Light, as limitted only to such Places and People as have the Scriptures, opposing his divine Omni-presence and denying him his Right, which is the Heathen for his [Page 111] Inheritance, and the uttermost Parts of the Earth for his Possession, Psa. 2.

Now as for that Morality (as he calls it) which the Law of the first Covenant, and Light implanted in the Hea [...]ts of all Man-kind teacheth, in the true Nature and Inten [...] thereof, it falleth no more short of Christianity then Godliness doth; for this Law and Light teacheth Man to love the Lord God with all his Heart and Soul, &c. and his Neighbour as himself; this do (saith Christ) and thou shalt live, in answer to the Question, what shall I do to inherit Eternal Life? Luke 10. 25, 26, 27, 28. This is the highest Morality or Duty of Man-kind, even this Love to God and one another, which is the fulfilling of the Law: And this is both taught by the Light within, and Power given by the Grace of God to fulfil it, which the Law without in the Letter cannot do: Now if the Jews Way to inherit Eternal Life was (through the Grace or Help of God) to fulfil what was written (as before) then if a Heathen, that hath not this Law outwardly written, should ask the same Question, what shall I do to inherit Eternal Life? He may truely be answered, Obey the Light or Law of thy Maker in thy Heart which tells thee, Thou must love and honour him above all, and do Injury or Wrong to no Man; this do and thou shalt inherit eternal Life; for this End the Grace of God is free for thee.

XII. Our Doctrine for turning People to the Light within justified.

H. G. NOne of the true Gospel-Preachers did ever teach such a Doctrine as this is which the Quakers preach, namely, bid People turn to the Light within, This is Mat Caffin's old Story a­gainst the Light. p. 63. 64. H. G. Contra. That God who commanded Light to shine out of Darkness hath shined in our Hearts, 2 Cor. 4.

(Concession) Who doth deny that Holy Men did endea­vour to turn Men and Women from Darkness to the Light, to leave their Sins, to turn from all their wicked Abominations, and Unfruitful Works of Darkness to God and Christ? p. 67. What may be known of God is manifest in Men, Rom. 1. pag. 68, 69.

[Page 112] Anim. If God hath shined in our Hearts, and what may be known of God be manifest in Men; must they not turn to his Shining and Illumination? For God is Light, whose inward Light (which we testifie to) is become the main stumbling Block and Rock of Offence to these dark Opposers: And where was the Darkness which holy Men endeavoured to turn others from, was it not within? And the Light shines in Darkness, the Light of God and Christ which their Minds were to be turned unto, it was not an out­ward created or natural Light, but inward and Spiritual, and so rceived; God hath shined in our Hearts, see 2 Cor. 4. 6. his Concession to this overturns him: And if the Quakers do not prove these very bare Words in Scripture, to wit, turn to the Light within; it doth not therefore follow, that they cannot prove the Matter of such a Doctrine, as turn to the Light within; see Deut, 30. 1. 2. (both in Tindal's Trans­lation, and in the Bible in folio, London printed in the Year 1576. Thou shalt turn into thy Heart — and shalt return unto the Lord thy God, &c. As also to the Question, where­with shall a young Man cleanse his Wayes, the Answer and Direction is (saith H. G. pag. 64.) by taking Heed thereto according to thy Word, Psalm. 119. 9. And did not David hide this Word in his Heart, that he might not sin against God.

And both Moses and the Apostle say, the Word is nigh thee in thy Heart, Deut. 30. Rom. 10. And did not Jesus say, There is yet a little Light in you (as some Copies have it) Joh. 12. 35. And while you have the Light, believe in the Light, that you be the Children of the Light, ver. 36. Many other Instances of this Doctrine might be urged

XIII. Of Christ as at the Father's right Hand. &c.

I May not well omit one Passage of H.G. which had like to have been buried in the bulk and heap of his Rub­bish, that is, after he denies the Spirit to be Saviour, though present, to prove the Saviour absent, he saith, He is ascended into Heaven, and hath a real outward Existence at the Father's right Hand, p. 46. an outward glorified Existence in the King­dom, [Page 113] of his Father or Glory above, p. 47 To which I say, The Saviour is not absent from them that are saved; for Christ said, He that is with you shall be in you: His as­cending into Heaven, yea, and far above all Heavens, was not, that he might remain absent from his Church; but rather that being departed from them in his outward Presence or Body, he might be the more present with them, and in them, in the Spirit and Power of the Father.

And Christ being exalted at the Father's right Hand, is no Proof that he is remote, separate or absent from his People and Members, any more, then that the Father's right Hand of Power is absent and remote from them; though we see what gross Apprehensions some Men have of God and Christ; who thus would exclude, limit or circum­scribe them, yea, God and his right Hand of Power only to a Place distant from his People and Children, which doth not only strengthen gross Apprehensions in the Ignorant, to keep them in Ignorance, dark Thoughts and car [...]al Ima­ginations concerning God and his right Hand, as if he were a Body or Person like themselves; but also opposeth his Infiniteness and Omnipresence, and so Christ's Divi­nity; whereas the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain him. We may in a Sence be said to be absent from the Lord, while at home (or Strangers in the Body, in Com­parison of that Enjoyment of him hereafter to be had, which yet proves not him nor his right hand absent (as circumscribed or only far distant) from us; his right hand of Power is where he is; and Christ inseparably with and in the Father, glorified with the Father's own self, even with the same Glory which he had with him before the World began, which Glory is divine, invisible and incomprehen­sible; and therefore human or Earthly Nature is not ca­pable of that divine Glory and Power, wherewith the Son of God was anointed, dignified and exalted at God's right hand: And David said, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their Trust in thee, and thy right hand hath holden me up, Psa. 17. 7. and 18. 35. and 20. 6. and 60. 5. and 63. 8. and 73. 23. So that neither the infinite God, nor his Son, nor his right hand of Strength can be circumscribed, or limitted into a Separation or Remote­ness from the Children of Light, who are saved by the right hand of God, whose Hand and Power is spiritual. And if Saul was struck down and blinded by the Light that [Page 114] shone from Heaven above the Brightness of the Son (which he calls the heavenly Vision in Acts 26. 13, 19. In which Jesus did speak unto him, whose Voice the Men with Saul heard not, Ch. 22. 9. How much further doth Jesus him­self in the Father's Divine Glory transcend this Vision, though glorious? And how far is his own Being, his spi­ritual and glorious Body beyond the reach of these Men's earnal Thoughts and mean Conceptions, as this Man re­presents Christ, at God's right hand in Glory, as con­sisting of Flesh and Bone, human Nature, outward Ex­istence, &c. And so to have appeared to Paul at the time of his Conversion, p. 46. and which John saw in that Visi­on, p. 56. Rev. 1. 13, 14, 15. Whereas Paul and John gives no such account of Christ's Appearances to them, as that it was in a human Body of Flesh and Bone; much less, that he consisted meerly of Flesh and Bone; but the Cause of the Martyr Stephen his seeing Jesus standing on the right hand of God was, his being full of the holy Ghost, Acts 7. 55, 56. And it is in the same holy Ghost, that the truely sanctified and Spiritually minded come to see the Glory of God, and Jesus or the Son o [...] Man at his right hand.

XIV. Of Perfection.

H. G. WE do not believe 'tis possible to attain to such a Degree of Perfection, as to be as pure from Sin as Jesus Christ was, p. 62. I know not what such should call one the Name of the Lord for, &c. p. 63.

H. G. Contra. We can experience the Power of Christ's Spi­rit risen in us for our Sanctification and Renovation, p. 54. He doth adopt, regenerate, make others Children of God, by the Ef­fectual Workings of his blessed Spirit in their Hearts, by which they are interrested into all the Priviledges, Promises and Blessings of the Covenant of Grace, p. 91, 92.

Anim. We believe that the Spirit and Power of Christ working in our Hearts, is able to sanctifie throughout, and his Blood to cleanse from all Sin, and that in Christ who is the Covenant of Grace, all the Promises of God are yea and amen; and that Covenant is both a Covenant of Forgiveness, and therein Sin is taken away, as God hath [Page 115] promised, Jer. 31. I will cleanse them from all their Ini­quity, Jer. 33. 8. Ezek. 36. 25. All things are possible with God; and we can do all things through Christ that strengthneth us, Phil. 4. 13. who commanded, Be ye per­fectMat. 5. 48. as your Heavenly Father is perfect; and its possible through his Power & Aid to keep his Commands otherwise for what End are they given out to his Church and People, and for what End should they pray to take away all Ini­quity? On whom (we believe) he does not impose Im­possibilities; but to such as dwell in the Love of God, his Commands are not grievous but joyous.

XV. The Light within above an Historical Knowledge.

WHereas to undervalue the Light within which all Men have; H. G. affirms, that none can make appear that ever any Heathen, Aethiopian, Moor or Infidel, in any remote Parts that never heard the Scripture, &c. That ever did attain, meerly, by that Light within, to the Knowledge of one Jesus of Nazareth that was crucified without the Gates of Jerusalem, that meerly by the Help and Guidance of that Light within, came to find out so much as the Name or historical Know­ledge of a cruciefid Jesus, p. 70.

Answ. 1. As an historical Knowledge and Profession concerning Christ and his Sufferings in the Flesh cannot save you; so its very uncharitable in you Baptists to con­demn all Nations that have it not, meerly for want of the History or that historical Knowledge. 2. Though you have a historical Faith and Profession of Jesus, as he came and suffered in the Flesh; I deny that this Faith will either save you (for they have as much Faith at Rome) or that you have from thence any real Knowledge of Christ, either as in the Flesh or in the Spirit, either as crucified, as put to Death, or as living and reigning: Its still your Mistake to count your dark Opinions and litteral Notions the Light of the Son of God: Nay, if you have no further Faith and Knowledge of him, then whats meerly historical and litteral. If you have not a spiritual and divine Know­ledge of Christ, as inwardly revealed, you'll dye in your Sin, and perish for lack of Knowledge: And many of those called Heathens who follow the Help and Guidance of the Light of Christ within, shall come from the East and from [Page 116] the West, and from the North, and from the South, nd shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom, as Children of Faith and Heirs of Promise, who have be­lieved God, and obeyed his Light in them, when you and such like litteral Professors shall be utterly rejected, unless you return to Christ's Light within, and believe and wait in it to know Christ's inward and spiritual Appearance and Revelation. 3. In the Gospel preacht to Abraham (in whose Seed all Nations should be blessed) It was fore­seen, that God would justifie the Heathen through Faith; and accordingly, Christ was absolutely promised and given for a Light to the Gentiles, to be God's Salvation to the Ends of the Earth; that he might say to the Prisoners, go forth, and them that are in Darkness, shew yourselves, Isa. 42. and Ch. 49. Now observe, that the Promise of Christ, both for a Light to the Gentiles, and Salvation to the Ends of the Earth, and himself to speak to the Priso­ners to go forth, &c. its absolute, and not restrained or limitted to the spreading of Scripture, nor to any such Condition, as to be a Light and Salvation (or to speak) only to such as get the Bible, and have the Scriptures or an historical Knowledge and Profession of Jesus Christ; but he is given both for a Light to the Heathen, and Salvation to the Ends of the Earth, and so to call forth the Prisoners where the Scriptures are not; he being in himself absolute and perfect, and so able to be whatever he is promised of God; and this Salvation is absolutely placed upon the Son of God, who is given both for a Light, a Leader, God's Covenant and Salvation; and therefore he is to be fol­lowed, obeyed and depended on for Life and Salvation. 4. Moreover, Its possible to have both the Sufferings and Glory of Christ revealed by his Light and Spirit with­out the Scriptures; seeing the Spirit of Christ shewed and testified aforehand unto the Prophets of his Sufferings and of the Glory that should follow, 1 Pet. 1. 11. to be sure, they who first wrote Scripture of these things aforehand, had them first discovered or opened unto them by the Spirit. 5. And when Nebuchadnezer said, Lo, I see four Men loose walking in the midst of the Fire, and they have no Hurt, and the Form of the fourth is like the Son of God, Dan. 3. 25. How came this Heathen to have any such Impression or Si­militude of the Son of God in his Mind, as thus to speak of the Son of God, or of the fourth, as represented to him [Page 117] like the Son of God? And what Scripture could he have for this pray you? Or for Nebuchadnezer and Darius to speak so truly and admirably as they did of the Kingdom and Do­minion of the most high God, Dan. 4. 3. and Chap. 6. 26. Let the narrow-Spirited Litteralists, and partial Predesti­nators (who would place all true Knowledge upon the Let­ter, and confine it within the Compass of a few Professors of Scripture) consider these things. 6. But seeing that Christ dyed for all Men, tasted Death for every Man, and gave himself a Ransom for all; God doth therefore (no doubt) afford a Way for the universal Conveyance of the Vertue and blessed Effects inwardly of his Death and Blood to Man-kind, and that is his divine Light, though many have not the outward Description thereof.

XVI. His unlearned Question.

AS to H. G's Question, p. 70. viz.

I shall only ask this one Question; what things and other Signs were those which Jesus did that are not written, Joh. 20. 30. and Joh. 21. 25. To this I say, Its an easie mat­ter for Intruders to ask unlearned and unnecessary Questi­ons, whereof this is one; of those many other Signs and Things that Jesus did, its said, If they should be written every one, I suppose that even the World it self could not contain the Books, Joh. 20. 25. how then should this Querist be capable to contain them? I suppose he doth not think himself able to contain more then the World it self: If he saith, it is an hiperbolical Expression, then is his Question hiperbolical to be sure. And if we cannot give him Account of all those Signs and things in particular, while we are not sollicitous to know them, nor do we think it needful; is that any valid Plea or Proof against the Suf­ficiency of the Light within or Spirits Teaching? Would such an Argument against the Scriptures being the Rule please him, because they contain not all that was done? God gives us to know what's sufficient and necessary for Life and Salvation by his Light within: But if the Word contain [...], of [...], be taken for, to understand as Mat. 19. 11. to comprehend, Job. 21 25. Then in that Sence there's far more written in the Scriptures already, then either our [Page 118] Opposer or his Brethren can either comprehend or under­stand (and therefore its a busie Intrusion and Cavil in them to query for more) while they oppose the true Light with­in, and will not believe in it, nor depend upon the Imme­diate Teachings of the Spirit of Truth, from whence the holy Scriptures proceeded; but dark they are, and more grosly dark and confused they are like to be, who persist in that gain-saying Spirit of Prejudice and Enmity against the Light of Truth, which I desire the Lord to give them a Sight and Sence of unto Repentance, rather then they should perish in their perverse Gain-sayings.

THE Angry Anabaptist Proved BABYLONISH, IN Answer to Henry Grigg's Pamphlet, stiled, The Baptist not Babylonish. Wherein, Whilst he endeavours to reconcile his Contra­dictions (in his Book Entituled, Light from the Sun, &c.) Charged upon him in a Paper, Entituled, The Babylonish Baptist; He is run into more Contradictions, Absurdities and false Accusations against the People of God, called Quakers, and their Principles.

By G. W.

Ex ore tuo te judicabo.

Printed in the Year, 1673.

The Heads of the following Treatise.

  • I. OF the Light of the Eternal Word in Man, and the Ana­baptist confounded about it.
  • II. The Sufficiency of the Light within to reveal God, Christ, &c.
  • III. The Effect of Christ's Sufferings only known in his Light within.
  • IV. The saving Work of the Spirit.
  • V. How the Light in Man is a Gift, and H. G's Distinction between the Meritorious and Instrumental Cause of Salvation examined.
  • VI. The Lord's Supper in the Type and in the Anti-Type; the Shadow and Substance distinguished.
  • VII. The Anabaptist's Imposition about their Shadowy Baptism.
  • VIII. Their Definition of the true Saviour and his Being.
  • IX. The Hypostatical Union.
  • X. His Charge against the Quakers Principles and Doctrines (of the Light within) proved impure, vile and ignorant; and the Spirituality, Divinity and Sufficiency of the Light within further asserted.
  • XI. His sad and impious Prayer against the Light in all, which Light is proved of the same Nature (or kind) with the Witness in Believers.
  • XII. His groundless Comparison and Distinction (between the Light of God in man, and the Light of Christ or Gospel) fur­ther refuted.
  • XIII. His belying us with denying the Man Christ Jesus, to [...]loak his own Absurdity and Ignorance of Christ and his Being.
  • XIV. That scriptural Distinction between the Eternal Son of God, and the Body prepared for him further maintained, and the Anabaptist's persecuting Spirit, reviling and traducing the Ino­cent reproved.
  • XV. A Warning and Reproof to Hen. Grigg, &c.
  • XVI. The Baptist's nine Questions answered.

THE Angry Anabaptist Proved BABYLONISH, IN Answer to H. G's Pamphlet, stiled, The Baptist not Babylonish.

WHereas H. G. pretends he hath set down my Ani­madversions (upon his Contradictions) in order exactly, after my own Fashion, pag. 1.

I say, this is not true, he hath left out the latter part of five of them which it appears did pinch him. Therefore I shall represent to the Reader his Contradictions with my Animadversions, and the Stress of his Exceptions, where­by he would endeavour to make People believe he hath not contradicted himself, but that we must refer to the Impar­tial Readers to judge of in the Light of Truth.

I. Of the Light of the Eternal Word in Man, and the Anabaptist confounded about it.

HEnry Grigg saith, viz. I utterly deny that this Light which all Men have from the Glorious Creator is a saving Light, pag. 8. of his Book called, Light from the Sun of Righ­teousness.

H. G. [in Contradiction] saith, I really believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, AS the Eternal Word, hath given Light or enlightneth all Men and Women that come into the World, p. 8.

G. W. his Animadversion, The Light or Life of the Eternal Word, which is the Light of Men, Joh. 1. 4. is spiritual and divine, as is that Word, and therefore sa­ving to all that truly obey it.

[Page 122] H. G. replyes, It seems to me as if this Man had lost his Common Reason — because I deny that the Light which is in all Men is a saving Light; and yet say, I really believe all have a Light in them from Christ considered as Creator — This cannot be a Contradiction, unless he can prove there is no Light proceeding from the Eternal Word as Creator, but what is saving, p. 2.

G. W. answereth, Whilst he would insinuate that the Light in every Man is created, or a Creature, he meerly beggs the Question, and still remains in his self-Contra­diction; for he dare not say, That AS the Eternal Word Jesus Christ is a Creature: Neither is his Light that proceedeth from him, as that Word created, any more then that Life which was in him, which Life was the Light of Men; will they say this is either created or natural? As the Eternal Word is divine, so is the Light or imme­diate Shining thereof in Man's Conscience.

H. G. What though it be granted, that the Light which all Men that come into the World are lighted, which flows from the Eternal Word, and so is spiritual; must it needs therefore be a saving Light? Was not the Law given forth on Mount Sinai, a Light of, or come from the Eternal Word, and doth not Paul say, that the Law is spiritual, Rom. 7. 14. and yet a Ministra­tion of Death, 2 Cor. 3. 7. and that killed, and in other places that there was no Justification by it?

G. W. Answer, 1. If it be a spiritual Light in Man, pro­ceeding and flowing from the Eternal Word; it must therefore be the Eternal Word that immediately shineth in Man's Heart (which is not created nor natural) for all have not the Law in the Letter, or as outwardly written; And if this Immediate Light be not of a saveing Property what Light is? And for what end is it given universally to Man-kind? That they may be saved; or onely to condemn them?

2. Christ's enlightning all men as the Eternal Word and that with a spiritual Light flowing from himself, (as the Eternall Word Enlightening) It is not with the Letter which killeth and Cannot give Life but with an Immediate Illumination or Influence of Light from himself which can both kill and make a live; it hath both the Law, or sentence of Death in it to the transgressor, and quickning Vertue and Gospel in it to make alive to God, and mi­nister Life and Justification from God to them that truly obey it.

[Page 123]3. This immed iate Light or Shining from Jesus Christ, as the Eternal Word, is neither the Letter of the Law, nor created, nor yet natural, as Anabaptists use to say; but as the Eternal Word enlightning man, and the Life which was in him being the Light of Men; is therefore a Light and Law which can give Life (which the Law, as in the Letter could not) it being the Life it self that was in the Eternal Word.

H. G. The great Darkness of these Men who cry up Light pag. 3. and Power within; this Wile of Satan, and Cheat of Anti­Christ, p. 31.

H. G. [Contradiction] The Lord Jesus Christ, as the Eternal Word enlightneth all Men; this Light is the Substance of the Law, the Candle of the Lord, it doth convince of Sin, p. 8. If Heathens follow it they would shine in just living; the Work of Faith with Power; I do mantain that Faith is required and must be wrought with Power in the Heart, p. 15, 16.

G. W. Animad. What horrible Blasphemy is it then to term our crying up the Light and Power of Christ with­in the Wile of Satan, and Cheat of Anti-Christ, and how plainly hereby confuted: We have Cause to look upon those Heathens that follow the Light or Gift of God within to be more godly and better Christians then many of these Baptists.

H. G. Rep. Your Lyes and Ignorance — I say, the Darkness of these Men who cry up Light and Power within, is great; and I did say in p. 31. I should make appear this Wile of Satan, and Cheat of Anti-Christ (that is to say) the Evil Doctrine, and Principles of yours — And do I contradict this in affirming there is a Light in all Men, called, the Candle of the Lord, and in owning the Inward Work of Faith with Power upon the Heart, &c. p. 4.

G. W. Answer. Hath he not before evidently made their crying up Light and Power within, the Character of the great Darkness, and this the Wile of Satan, and Cheat of Anti-christ? You that understand Grammer and common Sence, mark the Tenour of his Words, and how he shuf­fles to cover this Blasphemy and Contradiction, to his con­fessing that the Lord Jesus, as the Eternal Word enlight­neth all Men; and this is our Principle, though now he placeth the great Darkness, Wile of Satan, and Cheat of Anti-Christ upon our Doctrine and Principles (without Exception) concerning the Light within; and thus still [Page 124] ensnares himself in his Confusion; as also in one while af­firming that this Light in Man is the Substance of the Law or first Covenant, another while, that it is the formed Spirit in Man, Zach. 12. 1. which is called the Candle of the Lord, as in his 9th pag. of his first Book.

Where note that by seeking to obscure his gross Contra­diction before, he is run into another, viz. One while calling the Light (of the Eternal Word) in every Man, The Substance of the Law of the first Covenant (yea, now the Ministration of Death or Letter that killeth, from 2 Corrinth. 3. 6, 7. cited by him) another while he calls this Light in every man, A Spirit that God hath given or formed in Man; you who can distinguish between the Law (or Letter of it) written in Table of Stone, and the Spirit of Man: Judge, if this Anabaptist be not plainly contradictory to himself herein; for is the Spirit of Man, and the Law writ­ten both one and the same thing? And while the Spi­rit of Man is confest to be the Candle of the Lord, its lighted by his Divine Word or Fire, The Lord hath light­ed my Candle.

II. The Sufficiency of the Light within, to reveal God, Christ, &c.

HEnry Grigg again shuffles and beggs the Question thus, viz.

Do not you say, that this Light which is in every Man that cometh into the World, is God, is Christ, is the Holy Spi­rit or Blessed Comforter, and a Saving Light, and that it will convince a Man of every Sin and Transgression, and lead into all Truth, &c.

Answ. He here questions the things which in his 18th. pag he affirms, The Quakers speak of the Light within, viz. That it is the Divine Essence, the Lord Jesus Christ, the holy Spirit, &c.

But I ask him, where, or in what Book and page do the Quakers speak all this of that Measure or Gift of Light that is in every man (he deals disingenuously in not citing our own Books and Pages for these Words, that we might [Page 125] consider further thereof, seeing the Stress of his Charge lies so much on them, which though we assert it to be a divine Light of God, and Christ, and holy Spirit, which are one, and omni-present, filling Heaven and Earth, over all, and through all, God unlimitted in his Presence, which to man is an Enlightning Presence; yet God and Christ is not revealed in all; for he was in the World, and the World was made by him, and the World knew him not, yet his divine Light or immediate Shining in Man is manifest by measure or Degrees, as man is capable to receive it; the least degree whereof is saving to them that obey it, and tends to direct and draw Man towards God, who is the ab­solute and alone Saviour, and he and his Light in men are inseparable, whose Salvation is manifest by degrees, as his Light or Grace in man's Heart is, which hath taught us to wait and to look for that blessed Hope, and the glori­ous apprearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

The Measure or Manifestation of this Light and Grace, which immediately directs and leads to this Appearance of the great God and our Saviour, must needs therefore be sa­ving: And because God or his Son, in his infinite Fulness and Knowledge, as in himself, cannot be contained in man, in that the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain God; it fol­lows not therefore, that the Measure and Manifestation of his Light in Man is not convincing, sanctifying or saving, whilst it is confest to be a Light or Illumina­tion of Jesus Christ, as the Eternal Word, enlightning all Men and Women.

If the infinite Fulness or Giver of this Light cannot be contained in Man; yet God hath promised to tabernacle with Men; and to dwell in them; it follows not, that a little degree of the Light, Vertue and Knowledge thereof is not saving or sanctifying.

A small Stream can wash, and a little Fire kindle and increase to more, and a little convenient Food nourish and satisfie, and a little Water quench one's Thirst, or a small Seed grow and bring forth great Increase; and so a little Light from Christ can increase and shine more and more till it discover the Glory of God in the Face of Jesus Christ the anointed; these things are truely known in the Mystery through true Obedience to so much Light or Illumination as God hath given man; for he (the [Page 126] Glorious Creator) hath given a Light to all men sufficient to save, or else they could not be left without Excuse; but it would reflect upon him for condemning them for Sin, if he did not afford them a Light sufficient to guide out of Sin unto Salvation. But for our asserting the Light of Christ that is in every Man, to be convincing, sanctifying and saving; H. G. concludes as followeth, p. 5.

III. The Effect of Christ's Sufferings only known in his Light within.

H. G. IN this appears your great Darkness, and herein you are beguiled and cheated by the Devil, to the invalida­ting of the Meritorious Death and Sufferings of our Lord, as if there were no need of his Blood to be poured forth, nor of his Inter­cession, p. 5.

Answ. Can either Christ's Light within, or our following of it, invalidate or make void his Sufferings without? Or deprive us of the End thereof, or of the Vertue of his Blood? When they that crucified, murthered Christ were turned from his Light within? Or can any receive the Be­nefit of Christ's Sufferings and Blood without (or out of) his Light within? Or are the Sufferings and Death of Christ absolutely meritorious for Man's Justification with­out any Dependance upon his Light within? If so, how can any be deprived of Justification for whom Christ dyed? Which was for all Men; but what Proof hath he from Scripture, That the shedding Christ's Blood was the Meritorious Cause of Justification? Seeing it was shed by wicked Hands; and surely, had the Jews and Gentiles obeyed and walked in that holy and just Light that was in them, they had not crucified nor murthered the just One, the Son of God, whose giving up to the Death of the Cross (though of Necessity) yet it was occasioned because of Sin and Death that was come over all, which man must only be convinced and truely sensible of by the Light of Christ within; and its such only as walk in his Light, who come to know the Blood of Christ to cleanse them from all Sin. And there is a certain Congruity and Oneness in being san­ctified, redeemed and saved by his Life, Light, Blood, Power, Arm, Ingrafted Word, Spirit, Fire, Water or by Grace; these do not oppose Christ as Saviour, he be­ing in all the great Workman of God, through whom God [Page 127] hath saved us by the washing of Regeneration and renew­ing of the holy Ghost, Titus 3. 4, 5. These being one in Substance with him, and of himself, as the Spirit, the Wa­ter and the Blood agree in one: And as his offering up himself, being a Propitiation for the Sins of the whole World, pouring out his Soul to Death, and making In­tercession for the Transgressors was by the Eternal Spirit, so the blessed Effects thereof are spiritually and inwardly received by them that obey and walk in the Light of his Spirit; wherein his Life and Vertue of the Blood of the Covenant is received unto Cleansing, Sanctification and Reconciliation with God: The great Sufferings, Burthens and Afflictions of Christ were occasioned by man's Sin, Disobedience, and turning from his Life and Light within; and this brought Darkness and Death over Man-kind; and therefore Christ deeply travelled in the Spirit of Prayer and Intercession, through all his Sufferings, to bring forth his own Life and Light for man's Delive­rance out of Death and Darkness, that he might see his Seed, and the Travel of his Soul, and be satisfied. And this is the Seed that shall serve him throughout all Ages, which shall be counted unto the Lord for a Genera­tion; and this serves him in his Light, and worships him in Spirit; therefore they that oppose this Light of Christ to the End of Christ's Coming, Death, Sufferings, Blood or Intercession, as if his Light in Man did invalidate these; they are darkned and cheated by the Devil, and not these who obey Christ's Light within for Life and Savati­on in him.

IV. The saving Work of the Spirit.

HEnry Grigg observes from John 16. 7. That the Spirit or blessed Comforter cannot be the Saviour, pag. 46.pag. 6.

H. G. Contradiction) Till the Coming of his Spirit and Grace with Power in my Heart for the binding of the strong man Satan, and killing my Corruptions, my Soul was not brought out of the horrible Pit, p. 16. having wrought this glorious Work of Regeneration, p. 17.

G. W. his Animadversion. Then its the Spirit and Pow­er of Christ that effects Salvation through the Work of Re­generation, Tit. 3. 5. which is not meerly by Christ's out­ward [Page 128] Sufferings, though we cannot believe that Satan is bound in this Man, while he is in Satan's Work, blasphe­ming Christ's Light within, and belying us.

H. G. replyes, What sober Christian Man can find any Con­tradiction here against H. G? Is not G. W. the Lyar and false Accuser? I say the Spirit or blessed Comforter cannot be the Savi­our or Mediator, p. 6.

G. W. Answer, The Contradiction is very obvious to say, the Spirit cannot be the Saviour, when it can save the Soul out of the horrible Pit; can it save and not be a Sa­viour? Or can it bind the strong Man, or kill man's Cor­ruptions, and yet not save him? And if the Father, the Word and the holy Spirit be God, cannot God be the Sa­viour? When as Christ's being the Author of Faith, gi­ving Power to others to become the Sons of God, is a Proof of his being God, Light from the Sun, p. 91. And Christ said, The Son can do nothing of himself, &c. The Father that dwelleth in me he doth the Works, Joh. 5. 19. 30. and 8. 28. and 14. 10. And the holy Spirit where re­ceived, also maketh Intercession according to the Will of God, and by this Spirit Christ prayed unto the Father; but to say, the Spirit or blessed Comforter cannot be the Saviour, is also to deny Christ in his spiritual Appearance, to be a Saviour, and so to confine the saving Work to him only, as man, or in the Flesh without (or separate from) us, whereas he said, I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you, John 14. 18. which plainly denotes him to be the Comforter in that Spiritual Appearance, wherein he that was with them promised to be in them, and as revealed in them; his Appearance was another or diverse to his outward Appearance in the Flesh, whereas H. G. saith, Are there not three that bear Record in Heaven? I say yes, and these three are one; and is not Christ (the Saviour) that Word, which is one of the three, which are but one divine Being, Thing or Substance, though revealed under several Considerations and Diversities of Manifestations, and Degrees of Discoveries? yet all one divine Life and Being, as God is the Word, the Life, the Light, and so is Christ; and the holy Spirit is Life to the Righteous, and so is Christ the Way the Truth and the Life: In him was Life, and the Life the Light of Men; the Life affordeth Light to all, and the Light Life [Page 129] to all that obey it, and in it follow Christ, such receive the Light of Life, and come to walk in the Light of the Li­ving, as the Light of Life is received unto Justification and Peace, the holy Spirit is received in that glorious Mini­stration as Comforter, after a State of Desolation and Sorrow of whom Christ said, He shall receive of mine and shew it unto you, Joh. 16. 13.

H. G. Did the true Saviour die on the Cross or not?

Answ. Yes, as concerning the Flesh, but not as con­cerning the Spirit or most noble Principle, by which he was impowred to his Work of Salvation.

H. G. I affirm once again, That neither the Comforter, viz. the holy Spirit, nor the Deity of our Lord Jesus distinct from his Manhood or human Nature, could be the Saviour and Media­tor which dyed on the Cross, &c. pag. 7.

Answ. This is a meer impertinent Shuffle to prove the holy Spirit could not be the Saviour; he now tells us, that neither the holy Spirit, nor the Deity distinct from his hu­man Nature (as he calls it) could be the Saviour that dyed; who of us ever affirmed that his Deity or holy Spirit dyed? But seeing the holy Spirit or Deity dyed not with the Flesh of Christ that was crucified, then the whole Saviour did not dye, but what he calls the human Nature: But if we take his Words according to his Doctrine before, for Proof (that the holy Spirit or Comforter cannot save or be the Saviour) only thus, viz. Neither the Comforter the holy Spirit, nor the Deity of our Lord Jesus distinct from his Man­hood or human Nature could be the Saviour.

This were all one as to tell us, that God cannot be the Saviour, or that God cannot save, if the holy Spirit or Deity be God; he should rather have said, that the Man­hood could not save without the holy Spirit, divine Power or Deity, which alone is sufficient (and only that which is felt and experienced in Man) to effect his Salvation and Deliverance from the Power of Sin and Satan: Ye are my Witnesses saith the Lord, and my Servants whom I have chosen, that ye may know and believe me and un­derstand that I am he, before me there was no God for­med, neither shall there be after me; I even I am the Lord, and beside me there is no Saviour, Isa. 43. 10, 11. There is no God else beside me a Just God and a Saviour, Chap. 45. 21. And we both labour and suffer Reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of [Page 130] all men, specially of those that believe, 1 Tim. 4. 10. And how is God especially known to be the Saviour, but in sa­ing man from Sin, Unrighteousness and all Guile? I will mention the loving Kindness of the Lord, &c. For he said, Surely they are my People, Children that will not lye; so he was their Saviour, Isa. 63. 7, 8. Now consider whe­ther it be not grosly erroneous to suppose the holy Spirit o [...] Deity cannot save, or is so deficient distinct, or in it self, whereas though God was manifest in Flesh, God was in Christ reconciling the World to himself; the Divinity and human (or earthly) Nature were alwayes distinct; and is not God omnipotent? To the only wise God our Saviour be Glory and Majesty, Dominion and Power, now and ever,

Amen.

V. How the Light in Man is a Gift, and H. G's distinction between the Meritorious and instrumental Cause of Salvation examined.

H. G. ARt thou not able to distinguish between the Giver and the Gift, between the Fountain and the Stream, p. 7.

Answ. Yes, I do distinguish between the Giver and the Gift, between the Fountain and the Stream, between the Fulness and the receiving thereof Grace for Grace; bu [...] while the Distinction between God and the Gift of his Spi­rit, or between Christ and his Light within, seems to be no more then between the Fountain and the Stream; how grosly erroneous is it to conclude, either that the Spirit cannot be Saviour, or that the Light of Christ is not saving? For that's all one as to say, that either the Stream is not the same Water with the Fountain, or that the Stream cannot wash because not the Fountain or Fulness; who in his right Wits will believe this?

H. G. But again it appears thou distinguishest not between the meritorious Cause of man's Salvation, and the Instrumental, the killing of the Sacrifice, and the sprinkling of the Blood, &c. p. 7. 8.

Answ. Where doth the Scripture make this Distinction, or say, that the killing of the Sacrifice (which he must mean of Christ) is the meritorious Cause of man's Salva­tion? Such like blind distinctions are fit to darken Know­ledge and blind Peoples Minds; and how gross and un­christian is it to place such a Merit or Worth upon that [Page 131] murtherous Act of killing the Sacrifice if he mean) Christ as his Discourse implies? For though Christ Jesus (by that inherent Holiness, and original Righteousness, and Grace of God in him) offered and gave himself up to suffer, and tasted Death for every Man; yet the crucifying and killing him, according to the Flesh, was an Act of Murthe­rers and Persecutors, who by wicked Hand put him to death; so that the Dignity and Worth was in Christ and on his Part through all his Sufferings, and not in the Act of killing him by wicked Hands, nor on their Parts; how­beit the Sufferings and Death of Christ were of great va­lue with the Father, and his Power did appear through all to the bruising the Serpents Head.

And if it be the Work of the Spirit to sanctifie and re­new us; is not this a saving Work? And doth not this bring us to receive the Attonement, and to enjoy Peace? Who follow and obey this Spirit for a Reconciliation (through the Death of Christ) and being saved by his Life; and so the Work of Christ in saving and redec­ming man from Iniquity, and in making Attonement Peace and Union between God and Man (however these be directly pointed at, made way for by the Suffering and Death of Christ) yet they were inwardly revealed, ef­fected and fulfilled by the Spirit or Life of Christ, where the Word of Reconciliation is received in the Heart.

For Christ's Appearance and Suffering in the Flesh did really and directly point at those spiritual Ends (which are for man's Eternal Advantage) to be fulfilled by his Appea­rance in Spirit.

VI. The Lord's Supper in the Type and in the Anti-Type, the Shadow and Substance distinguished.

H. G. THe Ordinance of the Lord's Supper you call Bread and Wine, p. 19.

H. G. [Contradiction] The Sign, the Shadow (speak­ing of their Ordinances the Substance being Christ, p. 53, 54.

G. W. his Animadversion, Your pretended Lord's Sup­per then is no more then Bread and Wine, the Sign the Shadow, and therefore their Continuation of no Necessity in the true Church, which hath received Christ the Sub­stance [Thus far he cites my Words, and leaves out [Page 132] what follows] The living Bread, who spiritually com­municates his Flesh and Blood, or Fruit of the heavenly Vine without your Shadows; and this is our Lord's Sup­per that we pertake of; and our Baptism is spiritual, 1 Cor. 12, 13. Ephes. 4. 5. and as in 1 Pet. 3. 21. Its said; to the which also the [...] Anti Type, that now saveth us even Baptism agreeth.

His Contradiction before is between his calling their Bread and Wine the Lord's Supper, now remaining in full Force, and yet confessing them to be the Sign, the Shadow, and that the Substance is Christ.

If that you call the Lord's Supper be a Shadow, as of Christ to come, it cannot be that Lord's Supper which re­mains in full Force, where he is come to sup together with them who have received him in, as being the Substance which ends the Shadows; but

H.G. Attempts to reconcile his Contradiction by speak­ing of sitting down under Christ's Shadow, p. 9.

When as its very obvious, that his Sence of Christ's Shad [...] here much differs from his Sence of their preten­ [...]ed Supper, being a Shadow of Christ the Substance as to come, whereas Shadow is metaphorical in the one, real in the other; for were it good Doctrine to say, You must sit down under Christ's Shadow till he come? Or that Christ is not come to his Church, while she sits down under his Shadow; or that your Bread and Wine, as a Sign and Sha­dow of Christ the Substance, is that very Shadow of his that the Church is alwayes to sit down under, while upon Earth: Whereas what he saith of sitting down under his Shadow, is taken out of Canticles 2. 3. As the Apple-Tree among the Trees of the Wood, so is my Beloved among the Sons; I sat down under his Shadow with Delight, and his Fruit was sweet to my Tast: See how plain it is, that the Simile here is take [...] from sitting down under the Shadow of an Ap­ple-Tree, and eating of the Apples. Were it good Sence to say, I must sit down under the Shadow of an Apple-Tree, and eat the Fruit thereof until the Tree come, when both Tree and Fruit are then present? And so is Christ with his Church, when she sits down under his Shadow, and pertakes of his living Fruit, where then there is no Ne­cessity of your outside Shadows. And yet H. G. (in contra­diction to his confessing their Ordinance to be the Shadow) he is still imposing upon his Opposer, That the Practice of [Page 133] it is to be kept up in the same manner as Christ the Night before he [...]e was betrayed instituted, p. 9. But I ask, do you Baptists ob­serve and keep a real Supper in the very same manner that Christ then did with his Disciples? Be plain and ingenu­ous herein; have you the Passover at a real Supper? And have you the Cup both before and after Supper as Christ and his Disciples had, Luke 22. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. And was all this either an Institution of Christ, or of Ne­cessity to continue in the Church? When as what Christ saith of the Passover, to wit, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God, verse 16.

The like he saith of the Cup, I will drink no more of the Fruit of the Vine, until I drink it new with you in the Kingdom of God, Mat. 26. 29. Mark 14. 25. and Luke 22. 16, 18. Doth not this shew as much a discontinuance of he Cup as the Passover? And there's no mention of Christ's taking Wine, or the Cup, after his Resurrection, either to continue, confirm or re-inforce it (as a commemoration of his Death) when he sat at Meat with them, and took Bread and blessed it, and brake, and gave them that their Eyes were opened, and he was known of them in breaking of Bread, after he was [...]isen? Luke 24. 30, 31. Jo [...]. 21. 13. Howbeit H. G. is pleased to cite Acts 2. 42. and Chap. 20. to prove, that the Lord's Supper and the Practice of it is to be kept up in the same manner as Christ did the Night before he was betrayed; I ask again, do you Anabaptists practise it in the same manner? And have we not the more Reason to deny your Practice, if it be not in the same manner as pretended here? Whereas in Acts 2. 42. its said, They continued stedfastly in the Apostles Doctrine and Fellowship, and in breaking of Bread, and in Prayers (wherein is no mention either of the Wine, the Cup, the Supper or Passover) also its then said that all that believed were together, and had all things common, and sould their Possessions and Goods, ver. 44, 45. Now if what they did must be binding to Posterities because practiced; why do not the Baptists imitate those Believers in this of selling their Possessions, &c? But were it not a very preposterous Way of arguing, to conclude a continuance of Commands and Duties from Practices. And in Acts 20. 7. Upon the first day of the Week the Disciples came together to break Bread, and that Paul had broken Bread, ver. 11. (ac­cording [Page 134] to Christ's Practice after he was risen) And in 1 Cor. 11. Paul gives a Recitation both of the Bread and Cup that Christ gave in the Figure to shew the Lord s Death till he did come; as also of the Substance, to wit, the Body and Blood of Christ, which he was a Partaker of in the Mystery; but as the Corrinthians were too carnal, and Envying, and Strife, and Divisions were amongst them, and some lyable to Idolatry, 1 Cor. 3. 1, 3. Chap. 10. 14. and 11. 17, 18, 19. the Apostle said, I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal; so as then they had not the clear Sight of Christ as the Substance, or Mystery of his Body and Blood; and the very Stress, Drift and Scope of the Apostles Testimony was to exalt the Substance and Mystery, and to bring them into a spi­ritual Mind and State; for which see also, 1 Cor. 10. 14, 15, 16, 17. and in 2 Cor. 13. 5. he saith, Examine your selves whether ye be in the Faith, prove your selves; know you not your own selves how that Jesus Christ is in you except ye be Reprobates.

Now Jesus Christ is confessed to be the Substance, when your pretended Lord's Supper is but the Sign, the Shadow or the Figure: If his saying, This is my Body be but a figurative Speech, according to the Martyrs, p. 9. And I require this Man to prove that Gospel-Ordinances are a Shadow, as he hath confessed their Supper to be.

H. G. I would know of this Man, where he reads of any thing called the Lord's Supper, but this which we contend for, pag. 10.

Answ. You are contending but for the Shadow, but there is the Lord's Supper in the Mystery, for saith the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the Creation of God, Behold I stand at the Door and knock, If any man hear my Voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me, Rev. 3. 20. Is not this the Lord's Supper that's above the Shadow? And Christ said, I appointed unto you a Kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me, that ye may eat and drink at my Table in my Kingdom, Luke 22. 29, 30. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the Fruit of the Vine, until that day that I drink it new with you in my Father's Kingdom. Is not this the Lord's Supper in the Mystery or Anti-Type? And I am the Bread of Life, I am the living Bread which came down from Heaven, if any Man eat of this Bread, [Page 135] he shall live for ever, and the Bread that I give is my Flesh that I give for the Life of the World; He that eateth my Flesh, and drinketh my Blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him, Joh. 6. Is not this living Bread from Heaven conf [...]st to be the Substance, and the ontward Bread the Shadow thereof?

H. G. I do affirm, That this is spiritual, (to wit, the Lords Supper) the Baptist, p. 10.

Answ. The Lord's Supper in the Mystery is spiritual, but not your Bread and Wine, unless they be transubstanti­ated which we utterly deny.

H. G. The Ordinance of Water-Baptism was given forth by Christ after his Resurrection, Mat. 28. 20.

Answ. There's no mention of Water but baptizing them [...] into the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and this Baptism was saving, so is not your dipping.

H. G. And this of the Lords Supper Paul received of Christ sometime after his Ascension, 1 Cor. 11. 23.

Answ. 1st. Paul received of Christ the Lords Supper in the Mystery, not in the Shadow, 1 Cor. 10. 15, 16, 17. yet he delivered unto them the Relation how the Lord Je­sus took Bread and the Cup the same Night in which he was betrayed, ver. 23, 24. which he applyed to a spiri­tual End, ver. 28. explained before, Chap. 20. 16. and he delivered the Gospel, as well touching Christ's Resur­rection as his Death, 1 Cor. 15. 3. and for their being bapti­zed into his Death, and raised in the Likeness of his Re­surrection, which was more then a Remembrance of his Death, in (or by) the Shadow, which could not be posi­tively enjoyned by, [as oft as ye do this,]

2. That which the Apostle received of the Lord, was the Gospel, and a Gospel-Discovery of the Substance, which was beyond and above the Shadow.

And his Recitation of the Shadow was directly to point at the Substance, viz. that Bread and that Cup which was the Body and Blood of Christ, and the spiritual Commu­nication thereof; he was a Minister of the Gospel, the Dispensation whereof was not a Dispensation of Shadow, but of Substance.

H. G. The end of this Ordinance doth remain, notwithstan­ing the pourings forth of the Spirit, and therefore the Ordinance [Page 136] must needs remain, which is to confirm our Faith in the true Savi­our, and to keep up our Love to him, p. 21.

G. W. What Faith and Love are these of theirs, which are confirmed by Bread and Wine, and what Idolatry and Diversion from the Spirit doth their Doctrine tend to herein? Surely the holy Spirit can best supply the said End, Gal. 5. 22.

H. G. Rep. This Ordinance tends to increase our Love to him, and our Faith in him; therefore the end remains, unless you can prove Christ is come the second time without Sin unto Salva­tion; do you suppose there is no need of this Ordinance because the Spirit can best supply the said End? p. 11.

Answ. There's no need of the Shadow where the Sub­stance is enjoyed, and whilst thou (Henry) hast confessed your Supper as (its called) to be the Shadow, the Sub­stance being Christ, thou dost but contradictorily begg the Question, calling it a Gospel-Ordinance, the Lords Supper in full Force, the Ordinance, the Ordinance.

2. Thou dost but imagine a Confirmation and Increase of Faith in, and Love to Christ by your Bread and Wine, which they cannot do, true Love and Faith being Fruits of the Spirit (which in that it can best and only supply this End, which idolatrously thou proposest to reap from thy pretended Supper) There can be no Necessity of this thy Shadow for any such End to the Soul; can there be any need of that which cannot supply the Soul, when that which best can do it is manifest? Is there Necessity where there's Plenty, or a full Supply?

3. Whether those Believers in the Apostles dayes who hoped and looked for Christ's appearing the second time without Sin unto Salvation, Heb. 9. 28. did not accor­dingly come to experience his Appearance unto their Salvation?

H. G. Darest thou say the Spirit can best supply those Ends without making use of the means God in his Word doth direct unto?

The Usefulness and Sufficiency of the Spirit in fulfilling of its Work doth not dis-annul Christ's Precepts, p. 12

Answ. 1. I would know where the Word of God hath dictated that your shadowy Supper of Bread and Wine is the means to confirm true Faith in Christ, or increase your Love to him, or else confess thy Error; for the means [Page 137] thou talkst of must have reference to what we were upon before, about your pretended Supper, or else thou art insig­nificant and impertinent in thy discourse.

2. If the Spirit be sufficient to fulfil its Work and Of­fice, which is to bring forth its own Fruit, what Necessity of your Shadow which cannot do it, nor so far help man, as in the leasts supply those Ends the Spirit is given for, much less help the Spirit therein which is al-sufficient?

VII. The Anabaptist's Imposition about their shadowy Baptism.

AGain H. G. is very fierce and rash for thei [...] Water­Baptism (or plunging People in Water) where he saith, Whosoever brings any other Gospel let him be accur­sed, p. [...]:

G. W. Hereby he hath cursed all the People of God and sincere minded, both Protestants and all others in the World, who oppose and come not under the Baptists dip­ping or plunging People in Water. The Lord sorgive him he is very uncharitable herein; for our parts, we cannot believe their Baptism to be either the Baptism of Christ or Gospel, or of Necessity and available to Salvation.

H. G. Rep. Thou hast in this manifested thy Imperfection and false Anti-christian Spirit; hast thou no more Care nor Con­science, that thou goest about thus to belie the Innocent? Have I affir [...]ed that Baptism or plunging Men and Women is Gospel? Have I said, it is of Necessity to Salvation? p. 13.

Answ. 'Tis both dishonest and false in thee to accuse me of an Anti-christian Spirit and belying the Innocent, for stating thy own Words and the Consequence thereof from the very Tenour of thy Discourse; hast thou not accoun­ted your Water-Baptism or dipping Gospel, or at least part of Christ's last Will and Testament, and them accursed that bring any other Gospel? See thy other Book, pages 24, 25, 26. and have not thy Brethren declared it for the Re­mission of Sins, and the only Way of gathering Churches 1. To teach, and then to baptize or dip them? See their Confession of Faith (Article 11.) presented to the King, and subscribed by above 40. of them.

And have not some of thy Brethren affrighted many simple People into Water, to be dipt, formerly by such [Page 138] Language, as, dip or damn; and what hast thou said less, if they be accurst that own it not: Some of thy Brethren have positively affimed it necessary to Salvation on that Scripture, Except a Man be born again of Water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God, falsly deeming that outward Water there spoken of.

H. G. All that are accursed, are only those who bring another Gospel besides that which was given sorth by Christ, as he is King and Mediator of the new Covenant, p. 14.

Answ. And your dipping thou reckons to be given forth by Christ, thy pretended Proof being Mat. 28. 20. as be­fore mentioned, wherefore thy case is against all that own [...], or deny to be dipt; for our parts we will not be dipt by you.

H. G. I doubt not but all sincere-minded Protestants are of my Perswasion touching this matter, though we may differ about the Form and Subjects of Water-Baptism, p. 14.

Answ. Here thou insinuatest and flatters the Protestants, like a temporizer and decliner of your former Testimony, and contrary to thy Brethrens said Confession of Faith, which is wholy against that scriptureless thing of sprinkling Infants, Article 11. (as their Phrase is) and have not divers of thy Brethren deem'd it Anti-christian?

H. G. False it is and a Slander to say, that we make it essen­tial and of absolute Necessity to Salvation, though we believe it essential to Church Communion, p. 14, 15.

Answ. Is it not essential and of Necessity to Salvation, if part of Christ's last Will and Testament, as before thou sayst? And such to be accurst that oppose it, or if the same Baptism of Christ, mentioned, Mat. 28. and Mark 16. which is annexed to believing in order to Salvation: But if not of Necessity to Salvation, then not the Baptism in­to the one Body or Church-Communion; and then its not that one Baptism or Anti-Type which doth save (viz. The Baptism into the Name of the Father, Son and Ho­ly Spirit) for without that Name or Power Men cannot be saved.

VIII. Their Definition of the true Saviour and his Being.

HEnry Grigg denyes the true Saviour to be the Light and Power. I afsirm (saith he) that Jesus Christ is a Man consisting of Flesh and Bones p. 30, 31. human, finite, weak, subject to Passion as we are, 94. p. 33. the true Christ consisting of a Body of Flesh and Bone, p. 31. 34.

H. G. Contrad. John declared plainly that Christ was be­fore him, being from everlasting, before Abraham, the Son of God by Eternal Generation, truly God, David's Lord, p. 35. The Lord Jesus, the Eternal Word, p. 8. The Emanuel, p. 32. Christ the Son of the living God, p. 33.

G.W. [Animed.] Therefore its both unscriptural and absurd to assert, that Jesus Christ consisteth of a human Bo­dy of Flesh and Bone, or is finite (seeing he was before all things, and by him all things consist, Col. 1. 17. and in­consistant both with the Eternal Glory of the Son of God, which he had with the Father before the World began, wherein he is glorified, and his Body Glorious and Spiritual: They should have said, that he took upon him that Body prepared for him, and not that he (Jesus Christ) consisteth or is made up of Flesh and Bones, but at length they are made to grant to the Deity of Christ more than formerly; though to their own Confutation as before: And I further add, Is there not a plain Contradiction between Jesus Christ consisting of Flesh and Bone, human Nature, and that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Eternal Word from Everlast­ing, &c. Besides, after his Resurrection he said, a Spirit hath not Flesh as ye see me have, Luke 24. 39. now for Jesus Christ to have Flesh and Bone, and for him to consist of Flesh and Bone (in his Sence) are two differing things; for to have Flesh and Bones, implies a Distinction between him the Son of God (as to his Being) and the Flesh and Bones which he had, but to consist of Flesh and Bones im­plies he could not have a Being without them, but that he is made up meerly of human Flesh and Bones.

H. G. Doth he not evidently declare to the World, that it is a Contradiction and absurd to assert, that Jesus Christ is God and Man, subsisting in too real distinct Natures — because I said, he is Man, and that the Divinity distinct and apart from the Hu­manity [Page 140] is not the Christ, and yet also said, he is God everlasting and the Son of God by Eternal Generation, p. 16.

Rep. 1. It is remarkable how the Man shuffles, evades and useth a Subterfuge, besides my Objection, which was not at all against Jesus Christ being God and Man (take Man, as Christ is the heavenly, spiritual and glorified Man; being ascended up where he was before) but it was against his affirming that Jesus Christ consisteth of human Flesh and Bone (I distinguishing between consisting and having) seeing Christ was srom Everlasting.

2. And now also to say, he subsists in two Natures (divine and human contradicts his saying, he consists of Flesh and Bones, human Nature; for these do not consist of two Na­tures, the human Nature is not two Natures, both human and divine, as human or earthly Nature cannot be the hea­venly also.

3. If Christ consisteth (or is made up) of human Flesh and Bones, and be the Christ only as so considered; then how is he the Son of God by Eternal Generation, even be­fore (as well as since) he took upon him that Body which was prepared for him, or pertook of that which the Chil­dren had (to wit, Flesh and Blood?) If the Son of God be­fore, was he not then Christ before? Or was he the Son of God when he was not Christ?

IX. The Hypostatical Union.

BUt H. G. instead of clearing himself in this matter he sillily (yet perversly) begs the Question thus, Doth he not deny his human Nature and glorious hypostatical Uni­on? p. 21.

This being consider'd, together with his severe Conclu­sion against us, of horrible Heresies, Delusions and vile Impo­stures, as in p. 17. shews, that he has a design to render us as odious and as obnoxious as he can; for if he can influ­ence the Powers with his own and his Brethrens implacable Enmity, and inveterate Spirit, and possess them, that the Quakers are horrible Hereticks, and vile Imposters, and that they deny the Man Christ Jesus, and the Hypostatical Union; we must be no objects of Mercy, nor fit to live among Men, but Subjects of Ruine & Destruction; we cannot herein but take notice of the persecuting Spirit, implacable and dead­ly [Page 141] Envy that is in some of these Anabaptists, tending to Per­secution in the highest.

But to the Question, Whether I do not deny his human Nature and glorious hyp [...]statical Union?

1 [...]nswer, 1. That if Hypostatical signifie Substantial from [...] Substance; I do confess and own that the Father, the Word and holy Spirit are one Substance, or that the Oneness of Substance is applicable to all the three in Hea­ven; [...]or they are not three Substances.

And that the Son of God is the Brightness of his Fa­ther's Glory, and the express Character of his [...] Substance, Heb. 1. 3. And that therefore the Father and the Son are one Substance.

2. But that either the Son of God doth consist or is made up of human Flesh and Blood, or that these and the divine Nature are one Substance, I deny, as contrary to the Son being the Brightness of his Glory & the express Character (or Image) of his Substance, Heb. 1. 3. for human Nature and divine are not both one; though still the one Hypostacis or Substance is in all the three divine Witnesses in Hea­ven (whose glorious hypostatical Union we never denyed) this is further opened in our Books, viz. The Divinity of Christ, &c. Serious Apollogy, 1. Part, Chap. 3. Howbeit if we cannot own these to be Scripture-Language, viz.

  • 1. That Jesus Christ consisteth of human Flesh and Bone.
  • 2. That the glorious hypostacical Union consists of a human and divine Nature, or that they are hypostatically one; he should bear with us, till he produce us plain Scripture for those Positions and Words.

X. His Charge against the Quakers Principles and Doctrines (of the Light within) proved impure, vile and ignorant; and the Spiritu­ality, Divinity and Sufficiency of the Light within further asserted.

ANd again H. G. is very vile and impure in affirming the Quakers Principles and Doctrines of the Light within to be impure and vile, p. 17. (note that before he accused the Quakers Principle of the Light within, now its the Princi­ples, that is, all our Principles about the Light within he accuseth to be impure and vile) which is also still contra­dictory to his confessing, that Christ as the Eternal Word enlightneth every Man that cometh into the World, or [Page 142] that the Light in every man is the Light of the Eternal Word, or a spiritual Light flowing thence: This he hath granted, and this is one of our Principles and Doctrines, which he hath accused with Impurity and Vileness, as be­fore, which must needs strike the Principle of Light it self (though I would believe he might not intend so badly as his Words import) while we assert it to be what it is as manifest in Man, as,

  • 1. That Christ as the Eternal Word enlightneth every Man, &c.
  • 2. That as the Eternal Word, his Light is spiritual and divine, as the Word it self is, which is the true Light en­lightning every Man.
  • 3. That therefore this Light in Man being sincerely obeyed and followed, it will guide and direct man his Way out of Darkness and Sin to God and Christ the Giver of it, and so to Life and Salvation.
  • 4. That men are not condemned, nor can they be left without Excuse for want of Light sufficient given them; but for their Disobedience and Rebellion against the Light that God hath given them; which therefore is sufficient.
  • 5. By these we do deny their Predestinarian partial Principle, that concludes, That God hath not given a suf­ficient or saving Light or Grace, to every Man; but that he hath refused it to the greater part of Man-kind, as ha­ving from all Eternity particularly designed their Damnation, Destruction or Preterition: This we cannot own, though it be the Doctrine upon which much of these mens oppositi­tion is grounded against God's affording Sufficient Light to every man, the Sufficiency thereof, and our Vindication of it as it is; for which this Opposer, and his Assisters in his work, most blasphemously, and outragiously cry out a­gainst us, in this Language, viz. The great Darkness of these Men who cry up Light and Power within; This Wile of Satan, and Cheat of Anti-christ; the Vileness and Impurity of which Principle, &c. And all this in his pretended Light from the Sun of Righteousness, p. 31. and 48. which he should ra­ther have called, Darkness from the Son of Perdition.

Howbeit H. G. is made to give us a little better Lan­guage concerning the Light within, where he saith, viz.

I acknowle [...]ge the Light which is in all, and do esteem it, and have a Regard to it in its place, and do say, it witnesses for God, [Page 143] and serves for the End and Purpose (when obeyed) for which is was given unto Man, p. 18.

But for what end it serves and is given to Man (if it be neither saving nor sufficient to lead from Sin) he tells us not, nor to what End it can guide men singly following it; what Esteem or Regard soever he pretends he hath to this Light within, it appears he hath made little Tryal or Proof of its Testimony for God by obeying its Directions and Guidance: We may see what Esteem and Regard this Man hath to the Light within, when he counts it great Darkness to cry up the Light and Power within, and this a Wile of Sathan and [...] of Anti-christ.

What horrible Atheistical Stuff is this, thus to cry down the Light and Power of God within? And then deceit­fully to evade and say, it was the Quakers Doctrine and Prin­ciples; that which you Quakers speak of it is abo [...]inable, and to be detested by all good Christians, p. 18.

What's now the Matter, what do the Quakers speak of the Light within that's given to every Man?

H. G. It was never bestowed upon man to be made an Idol of, and set up in the [...] of God.

Answ. The Light of the Eternal Word neither is (nor can be) made an [...]dol; for that which is divine (as is this Light) cannot be too much loved, esteemed, set up or obeyed.

H. G. It is Blasph [...] to say, it is the divine Essence.

Answ. To what place wilt thou limit or confine the di­vine Essence? In him was Life, and the Life was the Light of Men, is this divine, yea or nay? If divine, is it not a Light of the divine Being.

Whereas H. G. to prove the Quakers Doctrine and Principles concerning the Light within impure, and vile abo­minable, and to be [...] by all good Christians, p. 18. He fur­ther adds these Positions by Way of Charge, viz.

  • 1. It is a vile and wicked thing to say, it is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the great Prophet God promised to raise up.
  • 2. It is a vile Error to say, it is the holy Spirit or blessed Com­fortor, for that Christ s [...]ith, the World could not receive.

Answ. H. G. should have been so ingenuous as to have cited the Quakers Books and pages, first to prove these to be their Doctrines and Principles, and that in their own [Page 144] very Words before he had so severely charged their Do­ctrines and Principles about the Light of Christ in every man, which till he doth, I must deny him to be either an impartial or true Stater of our Principles, and state them in our own Words, as, 1st. We confess that Jesus Christ (as the Eternal Word) enlightens every Man with his own divine Light or Life which gradually appears in Man, and shews it self by Measure; but God gave not the Spirit by Measure unto Jesus Christ the great Prophet; therefore we do not call every Appearance of Light the whole Christ: And according to H. G's Definition of Jesus Christ, as con­sisting of human Flesh and Bone, he is not in any Man; but we knowing him after the Spirit, and that he is God over all, he is spiritually in his Saints in Union with them, and known to them, and his Presence is unlimitted; he was in the World, and the World knew him not, whose Pre­sence enlightens Man-kind with an immedia [...]e Light from himself, which is able to reveal Christ himself, as he is only peculiarly revealed in the Saints, who have obeyed his Light.

2. The Gift, Enjoyment and indwelling of the holy Spirit as Comforter is a peculiar and glorious Manifestation of Life, only received by those that obey the Measure of that spiritual and divine Light within, which is freely given of God to all, wherein they tha [...] wait upon God, obtain more Power and Vertue from him, who giveth the holy Spirit to them that truly ask him from a Sence of its Ver­tue and Light within, in which they are only capable of receiving the powrings forth of the holy Spirit, and abun­dant Shedding thereof on them, as those that receive the Measure of his Discovery or Appearance in them: And though the rebellious World doth not receive or accept of this holy Spirit, nor see his Glory as an indwelling Com­forter; yet some enlightning Appearances and Opera­tions thereof, do at times reach the men of the World to their Conviction and Reproof, often striving with Man to perswade him out of his Sins and Iniquities. And if the holy Spirit be God, his Spirit is unlimitable, filling Hea­ven and Earth, &c. Whether shall I go from thy Spirit, or Wisd. 12. 1, 2. whether shall I flee from thy Presence, see Psa. 139. 7, 8, 9. and his Presence is to Man an enlightning Presence, and Thine incorruptible Spirit is in all things, therefore thou chasteneth them measurably, by putting them in remembrance of the things [Page 145] wherein they have offended, that leaving Wickedness they may be­lieve in thee O Lord.

3. H. G. Abominable it is to say, 'twill cleanse from all Sin and eternally save those that obey it, p. 18.

Answ. The Life which is the Light of Men is both clean­sing & saving in the least degree of it, to them that obey it; and it doth not in the least deny Christ to be the Saviour, to say, that his Life or Light in Man is saving, being di­vine, and that by which the obedient come to know and follow Christ, and thereby receive the Light of Life and Power to become the Sons of God, and the Kingdom of God, which Christ said is within you, is compared to a little Leaven, a grain of Mustard-Seed, which therefore hath a seasoning and growing Vertue in it; he said, be­lieve in the Light, that ye may be the Children of the Light; and this Light Men ought to walk in, of which its said, as yet ye have a little Light in you (as some read it) walk while ye have the Light, and in walking in the Light, the Blood of Jesus Christ is received, which clean­seth from all sin.

1. Were it not a vile Error for any to affirm, that that Life which is the Light of Men, is neither Divine nor a Saving Light of Christ or Holy Spirit in any De­gree of it?

2. And art not thou H. G. vile and wickedly erronious, to give out such Language, as, This Wile of Satan and Cheat of Anti-christ, that appears blasphemously to reflect upon the Light and Power within, as before, in calling it a Wile of Satan and Cheat of Anti-christ to cry up Light and Power within: And now to refuse believing in the Light which enlightens every Man that cometh into the World for Life and Salvation, p. 19 though it be the Word which is Christ that so enlightneth every Man.

XI. His sad and impious Prayer against the Light in all, which Light is proved of the same Nature (or kind) with the Witness in Believers.

H. G. GOd forbid, that I should ever own their Principle of Light in all, that doth so clearly tend to the ra­cing pag. 18 out the grand Fundamentals of the Gospel, p. 52.

H. G. [Contrad.] Praises and Hallelujah to God for ever, [Page 146] who hath given us that Witness in our selves of which thou [...]-est, p. 54, 55. which Witness his Sister spake of, was the Light which reproves for Sin, to own and believe in the Light that enlightneth every Man that cometh into the World, p. 8. and 29.

G. W. Animad. See what a sad pass these men are grown to, and what kind of Prayers they offer to God against his own Light and witness within, and how contrary to the Gospel Spirit and Light they are.

H. G. Rep. G. W. belics both me and my Sister in what he saith here; for the Witness she spoke of is not the Light which re­proves for Sin, which is in every one that cometh into the World, though I confess, she bids me believe in the Light that reprov [...]s for Sin, which lighteth every one that cometh into the World, [...] contrary-wise she mentioned the Words of the Apostle John, 1 Joh. 5. 10. He that believeth hath the Witness in himself, p. 19.

To this I answer, Let all moderate and impartial Rea­ders both thy Sister and others judge, whether I have be­lyed thee or her in this Matter: And how quarelsome and peevish thou art; could she intend contrary-wise or another of this Witness of God, then of that Light which enlightneth every one that cometh into the World? Thou shouldst have asked thy Sister, if she doth not own the true Light (that enlightens every Man) and the Witness o [...] Word, which he that believeth hath in himself, to be one and the same? And hast not thou confest, that Christ, AS the Eternal Word enlightens every Man? which he that believeth hath in himself, as having (through the Light given) received Christ the faithful and true Witness (who stands at the door of Man's Heart and knocketh) so as in true Union with him, and Knowledge of him to experience his Indwelling, as he dwelleth in us, and we in him, if we keep his Commandments; and thus the true Believer hath the Witness in himself, which that thou mightst experi­ence, was thy Sister's wholsom Advice to thee, to believe in the Light that reproves for Sin, which enlightens every one that cometh into the World; and so thou mightst in Love and Humility have received the Witness in thy self, which if thou hadst obeyed, thou durst never have prayed so wickedly, as, God forbid that ever I should own their Prin­ciple of the Light in all (contrary to thy pretended Praises and Hallelujah to God for the Witness within) neither co [...]ldst [Page 147] thou have opposed the Witness in the Believer to the Light which reproves for sin (which enlighteth every man) as thou hast done.

H. G. This Witness through Grace I in measure do Experi­ence, not that I believe in that Light which every man that cometh into the World is inlightened with, for Life and Salvation that is insufficient, &c. pag. 19.

Answ. If thou rejectest the Gift or Measure of the Light or Life of Christ within, thou rejectest the saith­full Witness, Christ the Giver, and canst not know him to be thy Saviour, while thou art disobedient to his Light within; and Christ and his Light in man are so insepe­rable, that he who obeys and believes in his Light with­in, he and his Faith must needs have a dependance upon Christ the Enlightner (who is the Object, Author and Finisher of Faith) and so upon God, who is the Foun­tain of Light, who shineth in man's heart, to give the knowledge of his Glory in the Face of his Son; and here­by is the benefit of him as the one Offering, and the ver­tue of his Blood known; that both Sanctifies and makes Perfect.

XII. His Groundless Comparison and Distinction (between the Light of God in Man, and the Light of Christ or Gospel) further Refuted.

ANd whereas in thy other Book from, Rom. 1. 19. and Chap. 2. 14, 15. thou callest the Law or Light of God in men; The Law or Light of the Moon, to Guide their Paths, by which they are taught their duty to God in morrals, but understand nothing of the glorious Mystery of the Gospel, pag. 6 [...].

To this I Answer, 1. Those Gentiles mentioned in Rom. 1. had a Sight and Knowledge of the Invisible things of God even his Eternal Power and God-head ver. 19, 20. was this but the Light of the Moon? and was there no­thing of the Gospel or Mystery of it in this, whereas the very reason of their becoming foolish, vain in their Imaginations, darkned and reprobated in their minds, was that, because that when they knew God they glorified him not as God, ver. 21. they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, ver. 28. Therefore if they had conti­nued in the Light given them, glorified him as God, and retained him in their knowledge, they had been preserved [Page 148] unto Salvation out of that dark reprobate state, and out of those gross evils which they fell into.

2. Those Gentiles mentioned, Rom. 2. 15. were accused or excused according to that Light or Law of God in their hearts, and the secrets of them and all men to be Judged by Jesus Christ according to the Gospel; but could this be, or were it Just, if there were no Law nor Light of Jesus Christ and Gospel given men? are they and their secrets to be judged by a Law or Light which they never had in secret? for my Part, I know none so gross and partial as to affirm it on any serious Thoughts or Consideration.

3. If the Light of God and his Knowledge be but the Light of the Moon, and the Light of Christ the Light of the Sun; how doth he demonstrate this difference between God and Christ, and the Light of each? and wherein the Glory of the one so far exceedeth the other? or can any suppose there is a Light proceeding from Christ as man, that so far excels the Light flowing from him as he is God, or the Eternal Word, as the Light of the Sun doth the Light of the Moon? what Scripture hath H. G. for this distinction? are not God, and Christ, and holy Spi­rit One, and one Eternal Light and Fulness in their own Being, and so the Light immediately shining or flowing thence unto man's Heart and Conscience one Divine Light though manifest by degrees, and in several measures, being still one in kind in man.

And this which H. G. calleth the Law or Light of the Moon is granted to be,

  • 1st, The Light of Jesus Christ as the Eternal Word.
  • 2dly, That which may be known of God, manifest in men.
  • 3dly, That Light which gives the Light and Knowledge of God and his Eternal Power.
  • 4dly, The Law written in the Gentiles hearts, who were a Law to themselves: to which I add, If men truely believe in, and obey the Light of the Eternal Word in them; and retain the sence and Knowledge of God, as therein they receive it, they will find Preservation and Acceptance with God; for is the Improvement of any more then what's given required?

XIII. His belying us with denying the Man Christ Jesus, to cloak his own Absurdity and Ignorance of Christ and his Being.

AGain H. G. To prove thy slanders, 1. That we deny the man Christ Jesus; 2. That we are found daily in the Sight of all Persons, denying that man to be Christ, who was born of the Virgin, &c. pag. 20, 21. Thou judgest us insolent for saying we are falsly accused and guilty of this; If it be ab­surd (as we judge it is) to say Christ doth Consist of a human Body of Flesh and Bone, pag. 21. which is thy own absurdity.

To these I say, Though we never deny'd the man Christ Jesus, nor him to be Christ that was born of the Virgin, (according to the Flesh) yet I must still count it absurd to say, That Christ doth Consist (or is made up) of a hu­man Body of Flesh and Bone, for that, 1. because Christ the Son of God was, and had a Being before he took upon him that Flesh or Body in the Virgin; 2. Because that when he took upon him that Body, and even in the dayes of the Flesh, he was spirit as well as had Flesh. 3. In that he is ascended up where he was before, and far above all Hea­vens, and is glorified with the same Glory that he had with the Father before the World began, 4. He was be­fore all things, and by him all things consist; this is truely our Christ and Saviour.

But If your Christ doth consist of a human or earthly Body of Flesh and Bone, our Christ who consisteth of quick­ning spirit, and heavenly Body (of divine Life and Light, a spiritual and glorious body) is above you and yours; so we must leave you Anabaptists, with your earthly Christ, consisting of a human Body of Flesh and Bone, together with your empty and lifeless Shadows; and your darkness and enmity wherewith its you that are stirring up Smoak and Darkness with prejudice against the Truth, the true Light, and against us for bearing witness thereto.

XIV. That Scriptural Distinction between the eternal Son of God, and the Body Prepared sor him, further maintained, and the Anabaptist Pers [...]cuting spirit Reviling and Trad [...]cing the Innocent, Reproved.

AS touching that distinction of the Christ, and that Body which was prepared for him, which he took up, and dwelt in (as hinted in a book, entitled, Some Principles of the Elect People, &c. p. 116. and 117 which he cites as a proof that the Quakers are found daily denying the man Christ) This can be no denying of the Man Christ, as in that Body, unless either that Body alone was Christ, with­out the Spirit, or the names Christ, the Anointed, or Son of God, did originally, strickly and solely belong to the meer Flesh or Outside, and that the Son of God was not in being before he took upon him that Body, which I know none own but such as deny his Divinity and eternal Generation; sor that Flesh or Body is sometimes called the Body of Jesus, this Temple, the Form of a Servant (which he took upon him) a Body prepared for him; and HE Jesus Christ come in the Flesh, &c. Also in the said Book you are asked, what that is which appeared in the Body? whether that was not the Christ, before it took up the Body, after it took up Body, and ever? p. 117. yet far be it from us to deny Christ being truly Man, because we confess his Divinity, or to deny him in any of his Appearances either in the Flesh or Spirit, for he was truely Christ the Son of God when miraculously conceived and Born of the Virgin Mary; and his Name was also called Immanuel, God with us; now, dare you say, that all these eminent names and Divine Appellations given to him, when in the Flesh, did most properly and originally belong to the Flesh or Body; and not rather to something more Eminent and Divine therein?

Again, if the Quakers were so notorious g [...]ilty of horrible Heresies, Delusions and vil [...] impostures, as this Opposer saith, and that they are found daily in the Sight of all Persons deny­ing the Man Christ Jesus, and appearing to all men to be Ba­bylonish rather then H. G. and other Baptists, pag. 17, 20, 21, 22.

Why then do divers of you Anabaptists and Dippers so fret, rage and turmoyle your selves against the [Page 151] Quakers, if they be so apparently Erronious and Babylo­nish in the Sight of all Persons, what need is there then of your scribling so many Books and Pamphlets against them in this time of Liberty, as if you could not demean your selves quietly, unless you see them under Persecuti­on? for with that you appear most quieted; But still your striving, raging and clamouring against us doth imply you have lost ground, and you cannot inforce such a belief in people against the Quakers as you would; thou­sands have secretly a Witness for us and a better belief of us then that we are such horrible Hereticks, or vile Impostors, as daily in the sight of all deny the Man Christ or are Ravening Wolves, &c. as this old angry Anabaptist would have them believe; who also prays in his Conclusion thus, viz. The Lord deliver Christ's Poor Lambs from being preyed upon and de­voured by ravening Wolves.

There's two things to be Considered in this man's thus praying.

1. How This agrees with the Doctrine of personal electi­on from eternity (as held by some of his Brethren) whe­ther those they all count so unchangeably, and particularly elected, are or can be in any such danger of being de­voured?

2. His great Care over these poor Nations, in praying the Lord to deliver them from Horrible Heresies, and vile Impostures, p. 17. as if the [...]e Anabaptists were so National In their Dipping-Church and Society, or as if they were either devout members of the National Church, or these poor Nations were mostly Anabaptists, or ready to be dipt by them; Is it not easie to see these Men's temporizing Hip­pocritical Insinuations, and all in the height of their Envy to persecute and run down the poor despised Quakers, if it were possible? but the Lord God who hath stood by us in our Tribulations and Sufferings will disappoint their ma­litious Design, and frustrate the Tokens of Lyars; and the Pit which they have digged for us, they shall fall into themselves.

As for H. G. his saying, He never saw yet any distinct solid Answer given by G. W. to any Book which hath come out against them, pag. 2 [...].

I must leave that to God's Witness to judge of, and to those that are free from Prejudice and Partiality against me, which I am sure. H. G. with some of his Brethren are [Page 152] not, who hath little cause to boast of his Answer as any Sol­lid Piece, that so much savours of Envy and Reviling.

XV. A Warning and Reproof to Hen. Grigg, &c.

Hen. Grigg

ITs high time for thee to Repent, Lest in thy old Age thou beest cut off in the Guilt of Enmity and False­hood, who hast turned thy back of the Light of Truth in thee, which through Judgment would have reformed thee, the testimony whereof thou art now turn'd against: Re­pent, Repent, Lest thy dayes and visitations from God be Extinct in utter darkness and thou have thy Reward therein among Hypocrites and such as contentiously resist the Truth.

Thou sayest thou art outwardly decayed, and the time of thy departure is at hand: Light Sun p. 73, 74. And concludest, Now (Reader) if thou hast received any spiritual Benefit from what hath thus occasionally been written, by a poor Worm, Weak­ling and nothing Creature, &c. p. 94, 95. To all which I say, 1st, It is high time for thee to be better Prepared for thy Departure, by a true and unfeigned repentance of all thy Prejudice and hard Speeches against a People fear­ing God and their Principle (which is on the behalf of the true Light in man) 2dly, Thou hast entered into a War troublesome, and Contest against that which will be too strong for thee and thy Assistant, when thou shouldest ra­ther prepare for a Rest. 3dly, What thou hast written sa­vours too much of Flesh and fleshly Conceits (which are a­gainst the Spirit and Light within) to afford spiritual Be­nef [...]t to the Reader. 4thly, [Occasionally written.] What oc­casion to print and publish such a Book, so much reflecting thy natural Sister? Was a private Letter from her such a great Occasion to print both it, and perverse Commenta­ries upon it against her? Didst thou herein do like a natu­ral Brother? or didst thou and thy Brethren think this would be a good Expedient to work a Conviction upon her, In­famously to notifie her to the World, in print for a private Letter, wherein was much wholesom Advice to thee? Oh, shame upon such a Procedure as this of thine against thy Sister! 5thly, [A poor Worm, Weakling and nothing [Page 153] Creature] What is this to shew thy Humility and self-A­basement? thou hadst shown more of that in Silence; a Fool is sometimes counted a prudent Man by keeping silent, who otherwise bewrayes his Folly, in uttering words, as some men shew their Pride and Hypocrisie by endeavouring to appear humble. 6thly, [Nothing Creature] Should another tell thee so in earnest (in shewing the Nothingness of thy Work) thou hast produced; [...]t is probable thou wouldst not take it well: Some, while they discommend themselves, would have others commend them and their Work: But to thee [nothing creature] and thy Brethren (that have assisted and encouraged thee in thy Work against the Light within, and against us who believe in, and confess to it) we may say, Produce your Cause, bring forth your strong Reasons; behold ye are of nothing, and your Works of nought, and Abomination is he that chu [...]eth you, Isa. 41. 21, 24.

Lay aside your Envy, Pride, Hypocrisie, vain Imagina­tions and Conceits; and come down and stoop to this Light within, which at times convinceth and reproves you of your Iniquities, that you may be Reformed, and the Reproofs of Instructions may be the way of Life unto you: Otherwise the Light within will pursue you to your Condemnation.

XVI. The Baptist's nine Questions Answered.

THat the Reader may perceive the man is uncertain, and argues Doubt [...]ulness in his severe Charge before (of horrible Heresies, Delusions, vile Impostures, ravening Wolves, &c.) against the Quakers — note, that at last he puts Questions to us about the same Things whereo [...] he hath accused us, which he needed not have done, had he either been certain, or had any such plain or real Advantage against us, as he hath pretended.

His Questions (to which he desires direct and distinct Answers) are as followeth.

First, Was he the Christ and true Saviour that was born of the Virgin yea or nay?

[Page 154] Answ. Yes, he was the true Christ, the Son of God, both then and before he took on him that Body, or was so born.

2dly, If you say he Was, I query, whether that same Christ be in the Heart of every Man and Woman?

Answ. The same Christ is spiritually in (yea, revealed and dwelling in) the Hearts of true Believers and Saints, and they in him, but not so in every man, though he enligh­tens every Man, and in his Light he is to be revealed and known.

3dly, Whether he that you own to be the Christ, and true Savi­our was put to death, or Crucified on the Cross?

Answ. As concerning the Flesh he was.

4thy, Whether you believe there is any other Christ then what is in the heart of man, yea or nay?

Answ. The true Christ is but one and the same for­ever, though variously manifested, as both in the Flesh and in the Spirit, both In his Flesh or Body Intirely (wherein he came unto his own, the Jews, who received him not) and spiritually in his followers who have recei­ved him; for he said to his Disciples, he that is with you shall be in you; and to his Father, I in them, and thou in me, &c. that the Love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them; but thus not universal­ly In Man, though in some Degree and Sence he appears universally in man.

5thly, If that Body that was nailed to the Cross, was but as a Garment, which the true Christ did wear, or as a House in which he did dwell: why may not any other Man in whose Flesh Christ is manifested, and doth dwell, be called the Christ, as well as Jesus of Nazareth?

Answ. There's not the same Reason for any other man to be Called the Christ.

  • 1st. Because of his divine Pre-existence, both before [Page 155] he took upon him that Body or Flesh, and before man or other things were made, which God created by Jesus Christ.
  • 2dly, Because of his Miraculous Conception, as Con­cerning that Body.
  • 3dly, Because he was anointed with the Oyl of Glad­ness above his Fellows.

Lastly, He that compared that Body or Flesh, which he took upon him to a Garment or House, intended no Detraction from the Honour or Dignity of the true Christ; for his Flesh was called the Vail, his Body, the Body of Jesus, this Temple, the Form of a Servant, and his Saints are his Members.

6thly, If you own the man Christ, why do you affirm it a Contradiction to say, he is God, of the Substance of the Father and yet truly man, made like unto us in all things, sin only ex­cepted? For either he must be meer Man or [...]; or else it cannot be any Contradiction. And if you say, [...] [...] Man, then you seem to side with those Jews that [...] Saviour for Blasphemy, in that being a Man he made [...] [...], Joh. [...]0. 33. and if you say, he is meer God; doth it not then clearly fol­low you deny the man Christ?

Answ. Thou hast herein Queried like a disingenious Shuffler, to obscure thy own self-Contradiction, and to re­proach us; whereas thy Contradiction was not between Jesus Christ's being of the Substance of the Father, and yet truly Man in time, but between his being from everlast­ing the Son of God by eternal generation (or of the substance of the Father) and thy asserting, that Jesus Christ consisteth of human Flesh and Bone, which (to be sure) the Substance of the Father doth not consist of.

But Let H. G. and his Assistants Shuffle off this Con­tradiction if they can. But 'tis no Contradiction to say that the Son of God in his divine being, is God, and that he took upon him the pure being of Man, and a body prepared for him, and is the heavenly Man, the Anointed of God.

7thly, I query, whether you own any other Resurrection then what (you say) you experience within?

Answ. We believe and own a farther Attainment of the Resurrection (which with respect to a future State in Glory may be called another) then what we yet expe­rience, though we have attained to a good Degree and Experience of our rising in and with Christ, who is the Resurrection and the Life, and in him is the Saints ever­lasting Rest and Glory.

8thly, Whether you believe that that body of Flesh and Bone, which is laid in the Grave (respecting the Matter or Substance of it A meer Ta [...]tology; Unless at sometime to say [that Bo­dy of Flesh and Bone] doth no [...] res­pect its own matter and Substance, but some o­ther.) shall by the mighty Power of God be raised from the dead at thelast day?

Answ. As Flesh and Blood shall not inherit the Kingdome of God; so I query, how the same Flesh and Bone [...] [...] [...]lood should inherit the Kingdome of God? or how [...] [...] be the same (Flesh Blood and Bones) after [...] to dust without any new Creation, as some Baptists affirm?

9thly, Whether that man (whosoever he be) doth not deny the Refurrection of the dead, who doth deny the same IT which is sown (and shall rise) mentioned 1 Cor. 5. 38. [...] Intend the same Body (respecting the Matter or Substance of it) which was buried and laid in the Grave? Answer plainly without Equivocation.

Answ. There is an Ambiguity and Fallacy in this Question; for in some Sence a Man may deny that the self same IT which is sown shall rise (as the Apo­stle did, where he answered such Querists as thou art; Thou Fool, thou sowest not that Body that shall be: for which he Instanceth Wheat or other Grain) and