By W. Penn.

The Second Edition.

Printed in the Year, 1698.



IT was the Wise Counsel of an An­cient and Great Prelate, of the Kingdom of Ireland, at a late Visit I made him there, to discourage Contro­versie, and endeavour to abate Strife among Christians: For, said he, Hea­ven is a Quiet Place; there are no Quarrels there, and Religion is a Holy and Peaceable Thing, and Excites to Piety and Charity, and not to Genealogies, Strife and De­bates. But the Bishop of Cork seems to be of another Mind, that could not pass by so Inoffensive a Pa­per as that Stiled Gospel-Truths (given him by me in a Private Way, at a Friendly Visit upon his own De­sire) [Page] without his Publick Animad­versions; and those Exprest not with so much Justice and Charity as might have been expected from him to his Dis­senting Neighbours.

I am, I confess, very sorry my Christian Visits to the Bishop have met with no Better Returns than Contro­versie: But because that's his, and not my fault, it shall be my Satis­faction.

I did indeed, Perceiving him Con­versant in our Writings, and his Cha­racter to be Moderation, casually Pre­sent him with one of those Papers; but as the Nature of it is Far from Pro­vocation, so my design in it was purely to Improve his Temper, and not to Excite his Contradiction. Nor was it Writ for an Exact and Compleat Ac­count of our Belief, but Occasional­ly, to prevent the Prejudices that the [Page] Attempts of a Course and Scurrilous Pen at Dublin, just before, might provoke in some against us, as to the Points touched upon in the Gospel-Truths. And though we have been so Unhappy as to be therein Mistaken by the Bishop, yet it's some Comfort to Us that our Christian Declaration hath had quite another Reception with the Generality of those to whose Hands it has come: And I heartily wish That hath not been the most prevailing Mo­tive to his Undertaking. However, since he has been pleased to fault it both with Shortness and Error, which we thought Healing, at least Inoffen­sive, I esteem my self Answerable for it, and shall, with God's Assistance, De­fend it against the Force of his Excep­tions, and I hope with Clearness and Temper: For, though I may be plain, as he may expect, I desire to be neither Rude nor Bitter.

[Page] I ask, Reader, but the Common Justice due to all Authors, especially in Controverted Points of Religion, to wit, Attention and Impartiality; and then judge whether our Pacifick Paper deserved so Sharp a Censure, and the Manner of its being given him, so Publick a Return: Though I hope the Consequence will be Good. To Almighty God I leave the Success, and am in all Christian Obligation,

Thy Assured Friend, W. Penn.

GOSPEL-TRUTHS Held and briefly Declared by the People called QUAKERS, for Satisfaction of Moderate Enquirers.


IF thou hadst rather we should be in the Right than in the Wrong, and if thou thinkest it but a Reasonable Thing that we should be Heard before we are Condemned, and that our Belief ought to be taken from our own Mouths, and not at theirs that have prejudg­ed our Cause; then we intreat thee to Read and Weigh the following Brief Account of those Things that are chiefly Received and Professed among us, the People called Quakers, accor­ding to the Testimony of the Scriptures of Truth, and the Illumination of the Holy Ghost, which are the Double and Agreeing Record of True Religion. Published to Inform the Moderate Enquirer, and Reclaim the Prejudic'd to a bet­ter Temper, which GOD grant, to his Glory, and their Peace.

[Page 2] I. It is our Belief; that GOD Is, and that He is a Rewarder of all them that fear Him, with Eternal Rewards of Happiness; and that those that fear him not, shall be turned into Hell. Heb. 11. 6. Rev. 22. 12. Rom. 2. 5, 6, 7, 8. Psal. 9. 17.

II. That there are Three that bear Re­cord in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, and these Three are really One. 1. John 5. 7.

III. That the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt among Men, and was and is the only Begotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth: His Beloved Son in whom he is well pleased, and whom we are to hear in all things; who tasted Death for every Man, and Dyed for Sin, that we might Die to Sin, and by his Power and Spirit be raised up to New­ness of Life here, and to Glory hereafter. John 1. 14. Matth. 3. 17. Heb. 2. 9.

IV. That as we are only Justified from the Guilt of Sin by Christ the Propitiation, and not by Works of Righteousness that we have done, so there is an absolute Necessity that we receive and obey, to unfeigned Re­pentance and Amendment of Life, the holy Light and Spirit of Jesus Christ, in order to obtain that Remission and Justification from Sin: Since no Man can be Justified by [Page 3] Christ, who walks not after the Spirit but af­ter the Flesh; for whom he Sanctifies, them [...]e also Justifies: And if we walk in the Light as he is Light, his precious Blood [...]leanseth us from all Sin; as well from the Pollution as Guilt of Sin, Rom. 3. 22. to 26. Chap. 8. 1, 2, 3, 4. 1 John 5. 7.

V. That Christ is die Great Light of the World, that lighteth every Man that cometh into the World, and is full of Grace and Truth, and giveth to all Light for Light, and Grace for Grace; and by his Light and Grace he Inwardly Appears to Man, and teaches such as will be taught by him, That Denying Ungodliness and Worldly Lusts, they should live Soberly Righteously, and Godly, in this present World. John 8. 12. Chap. 1. 9, [...]14. Tit. 2. 11, 12.

VI. That this Principle of Light and Grace, which is GOD's Gift, through Christ, to Man, is that which shews us our Sins, Reproves us for them, and would Lead all all out of them that obey it, to serve GOD, in Fear and Love, all their Days. And they that turn not at the Reproofs thereof, and will not Repent, and Live, and Walk according to it, shall die in their Sins, and where Christ is gone, they shall never come, who is Undefiled, and separated from [Page 4] Sinners. Ephes. 5. 13. John 16. 7. Prov. 1. 20. to 24. John 8. 24.

VII. This is that Principle by which GOD prepares the Heart to worship him aright; and all the Duties of Religion, as Praying, Praising and Preaching, ought to be performed through the sanctifying Pow­er and Assistance of It; other Worship be­ing but Formal, and Will-Worship, with which we cannot, in Conscience, joyn, nor can we maintain or uphold It. Rom. 8. 26. 1 Pet. 4. 10, 11.

VIII. Worship in this Gospel-Day is In­ward and Spiritual; For GOD is a Spirit, as Christ teacheth and he will Now be worship­ed in Spirit and Truth, being most suitable to his Divine Nature: wherefore we wait in our Assemblies to feel GOD's Spirit to open and move upon our Hearts, before we dare offer Sacrifice to the LORD, or Preach to others the way of his Kingdom, That we may Preach in Power as well as Words, and as GOD Promised, and Christ Ordained, Without Money, and without Price. John 4. 23, 24. 1 Thess. 1. 5. Isa. 55. 1. Rev. 22. 17. Matt. 10. 8.

IX. This also leads us to deny all the vain Customs and Fashions of the World, to avoid Excess in all things, that our Mode­ration [Page 5] may be seen of all Men, because the LORD is at hand, to see and judge us, ac­cording to our Deeds. Tit. 2. 12. Rom. 12. [...]. Philip. 4. 5. Eccl. 12. 14. Mat. 16. 27. Rom. 2. 6. Rev. 20. 12.

X. We believe the Necessity of the One Baptism of Christ, as well as of his One [...]upper, which he promiseth to Eat with those that open the Door of their Hearts to him, being the Baptism and Supper signi­fied by the Outward Signs; which tho' we disuse, we judge not those that consci­entiously practise them. Mat. 3. 11. Ephes. 4. 1. 1. Pet. 3. 21, 22. John 6. Rev. 3. 20.

XI. We Honour Government: For we be­lieve it is an Ordinance of GOD, and that we ought in all things to submit, by Doing or Suffering: But esteem it a great Blessing where the Administration is a Terror to Evil Doers, and a Praise to them that Do Well. Rom. 13. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

This hath all a long been the General Stream and Tendency both of our Ministry and Wri­tings, as our Books will make appear, notwith­standing what Ill-minded and Prejudic'd Per­sons may have strained to Mis-represent Us and our Christian Profession.

  • William Penn.
  • Thomas Story.
  • Anthony Sharp.
  • George Rooke.

THE TESTIMONY OF THE BISHOP OF CORK As to a Paper Intituled, GOSPEL [...]TRUTHS, held, &c. by the PEOPLE called QUAKERS: And Delivered to Him by an eminent Member of them.


I Am such a Reader as in your Paper you desire. I have read and soberly weighed the account you give of those things, which you say are chiefly Received and Profes­sed amongst you. And I will exercise so much Moderation and Charity as to lay a great weight on that word [chiefly] hoping these are not the Only Things, or All that you Believe: I should have been heartily [Page 7] glad to have found that you had been in the Truth, as I am well assured I my self am; But as I professed, when the Paper was given Me, That if I took it, you must ex­pect I should bear my Testimony touching It or against It; So I now must tell you, I think my self bound in Conscience to perform what I then professed; and that upon more Reasons than I will now trouble the World with. You must not be offended if I say, You have such a way of Writing and Speak­ing, that it is very hard in many matters of Religion to know what you mean. But, as far as I understand you, I will candidly acknowledge what Truths you have suffi­ciently or tolerably exprest; I will shew you, with meekness, how far your Faith, if this be your Faith, comes short of being suf­ficient or Christian; and I will sincerely tell you, what I apprehend to be the cause of your Delusion, and how dangerous a condition I really fear, nay believe, you to be in.

And first; The only Articles, in which you have exprest a sufficient Christian Be­lief, are your IV. which is touching Justi­fication; and your last touching Govern­ment and your Submission thereto. I wish you may always stick to this Belief and Practice: And I heartily rejoyce to find [Page 8] you acknowledging the Necessity of Christ as a Propitiation, in order to Remission of Sins, and Justifying You, as Sinners, from Guilt. 'Tis the first time I have heard of it amongst you.

As to all the rest of your Articles, I mean those which I understand, I must tell you, the declaration of your Faith comes so short, of what is required from People to denominate them Christians, that except, under each Article you believe more than you have declar'd, you cannot be accoun­ted Christians. For first; in those Articles of Faith, which you have thought fit to mention, you have set down only some little Ends, I had almost called them Snaps, of the Article: And Secondly; many more whole Articles, of the true Christian Faith, and which are of no less import, you have intirely omitted, waved or suppressed.

You acknowledge in your I. Article, there is a God, and you own his Providence as to the other Life. But that He made Heaven and Earth, that He is the Almigh­ty, and at present by his Sovereign Pow­er, most wisely and holily, Governs, Or­ders, and Sustains all (by his Mercies as well as Judgments, even in this World, not [Page 9] [...]aving Himself without witness) you say not [...] word. Creation in the beginning and Pro­vidence as to this World at present, are not here acknowledged by You. We hope you believe both.

Your II. Article is wholly true; for it is express Scripture, 1 John V. 7. But it is onely what the Apostle there had occasion to say, and what was to his purpose touch­ing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; far from being the sum of what the Holy Scripture, teaches of them; and therefore i [...] not a sufficient Confession of Faith on that head.

In your III. Article you acknowledge in­deed the Son of God to have been made Flesh, but neither Conceived by the Holy Ghost, nor Born of the Virgin Mary: So that it does not appear, by this your Confession, but that He was at first an ordinary corrupt sin­ful Person: Nay you own Him not so much as Jesus or the Christ; (the great Saviour, who delivereth from the wrath which is to come; or the Great Prophet, Priest, Lord and King of his Church:) You acknowledged him indeed to have dyed for Sin, but (not to mention the Articles inferible from, and relating to, the Cir­cumstances of his death) You have not [Page 10] one word of His Resurrection from the Dead or of His Ascension into Heaven: which i [...] may be proved some of you have expresly denyed, saying, He is not ascended into Heaven, He is in us. Nor again, of H [...] sitting now at the right hand of the Majesty o [...] high. And so you seem not to own any thing of His Mediation, Intercession, or Ap­pearing now in Heaven for us. Nor further have you said a word of his coming again to Judgment, or the End of the World. Thus indeed You have here neither own'd the Creation nor Dissolution of the World; so that it does not appear, by this Account of your Faith, whether you do not judge it Eternal, and so otherwise Infinite. Yet again; Not a word of One Church, which it may be feared you strike out of your Be­lief, because you are resolved never more to return into the Unity of the Church, but to make and maintain a Schism or Party for ever. Nor further have you a word of the Resurrection of the Body, which divers of you have been known to deny, and others of you only say. It may be so. And Lastly, Tho' you acknowledge Everlasting Re­wards for them that fear GOD, yet no­thing of the Everlasting Punishment of Wicked Men: You mention Hell indeed (in a very [Page 11] unnatural place, viz. in your first Article of [...]he Being of GOD) but whether you mean thereby the Grave, as most commonly in [...]cripture is meant; or a place of Tempo­ral Punishment after this Life, as some have [...]one; or a State of total Destruction and An­nihilation, as many now a days do, no one knows.

Upon the whole; As to the Sum of the Christian Faith, which you have been pleas­ed to set down, there is not any one Article of our common Twelve, that you have own'd intirely; and Eight at least, if not more of them, that you have here totally suppressed or waved. And how influential to a holy Life, those which you have waved are, and therefore how necessary to Salvation, I must require and conjure you, on your own Eternal Account, to consider. I will only mind you of two passages out of the Scriptures of Truth: 1 Cor XV. 16, 17. If the Dead rise not (that is, if there be no Resurrection of the Flesh) then is not Christ Raised. And if Christ is not raised, your Faith is vain, you are yet in your Sins, Hence it appears All other points of Faith are in vain, if this be not true. The other is Rom. X. 9. If thou shalt confess with thy Mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy [Page 12] Heart that GOD hath raised Him from the Dead, thou shalt be saved. This Article a­lone is of such force and influence on Mens [...]Hearts, that if believed as it should be, such belief will save Men. But both Christ's Resurrection and Our own, are by You in this Paper, left out of your Faith. I judge You not, but judge Your selves, lest you be condemned of the LORD.

Your V, VI, and VII. Articles treat of what you call The Light of Christ within Man: This You have never been able yet, that I could find, to make out what You mean by. For You will not allow it to be either the Natural Rational Faculty, or common innate Notions, or Natural Con­science, or Conscience Illuminated, by the Preaching of the Gospel and the Operation of the Holy Ghost thereby: Till You can make us understand your meaning, or in­deed till You understand it Your Selves, (that is, till you are less confused in this, the very Fundamental Principle or Rule of what you profess) You must not think of Declaring (or Publishing) an Account of your Faith: See you understand it first. There are some Men who have a Faculty to speak things seemingly profound, but in the End neither themselves nor others can make any [Page 13] distinct sense of what they have said. This we usually call Banter; And I must acknow­ledge, as far as I can see, your Discourse of his Light within, is perfectly such. Take notice We in our Preaching require People to look within, as much as You do: We strictly charge all to walk according to the Convictions, and Light they have received. We daily appeal unto Conscience; but then we teach, that Conscience (opened by the Holy Spirit, under the Ministry of the Word, Acts XVI. 14.) does and must take in its Light from Holy Scripture. The Com­mandment of the Lord is pure inlightning the Eyes, Ps. XIX. 8. [viz. of the Mind, Ephes. I. 18.] Thy Word is a Lamp to my Feet, and a Light to my Path. Ps. CXIX, 105. To the Law and to the Testimony; If they [even Men in their Consciences] speak not according to this Word, it is because there is NO LIGHT in them. Isai. VIII. 20. Now these things are intelligi­ble. This Rule is fixt and certain, nothing of which can be said of Your Light within.

In Your VIII Article You tell us, Worship under the Gospel is Inward and Spiritual. If You mean hereby, that all Outward and Bodily Worship ought to be accompanied with an Inward and Spiritual Worship, it is what we daily Preach and Practice, and [Page 14] even in private press. But if, as it would seem, You mean all the Worship GOD now requires, is from the Inward Man, or from the Spirit, this is abominably false: For Our Bodies are GOD's handy-work▪ and Christ's Purchase, as well as Our Souls; on which reason, GOD by His Apostle commands, Glorifie [...]OD in Your Body and in Your Spirit, [ [...]] which (in the Plural Number that is, both which) are GOD's. Not to tell You, that You your selve now a days perform somewhat of Bodily Worship. And indeed, if there be not a worship of the Body, as well as of the Spi­rit, there can be no Publick Worship. This Article therefore must also be mended, to make it Christian.

In your IX Article, You tell us of you [...] Denying all the vain Customs and Fashions of the World, as also Excess in all things. I know no sort of Christians who teach other­wise; I wish I could say I knew none (even of your selves) that practice other­wise. It is one part of the Catechism We teach our Children, to renounce all these. But there are many Innocent and laudable Customs which You call vain. Would it not almost make a Mans Stomach turn to hear one forbear, in point of Conscience, [Page 15] [...]ying [You] to a single Person, because it [...] improper; and at the same time, while [...]e is speaking to his Superiour, because Thou doest; sounds a little rudely, to soften the Thou, and say Thee doest, which is commonly Your Peoples Practice, and much more improper. Will You ever be able to prove, the Primitive Christians [...]sed a Dialect or Dress different from others of their Nation and Qualities, and placed Religion in it? Does not Christ re­quire Saluting even those who salute not us? And no doubt his, and his Apostles Saluta­tions, were in the common form. In a word, There is more Vanity in Singularity and Affectation, than in moderate following a common innocent Phrase, Garb, or Cu­stome.

In your X Article you believe (you say) a Spiritual Baptism, and a Spiritual Supper and Communion; but acknowledge you Dis­use the Outwards Signs, by us commonly called Sacraments: Now did not Christ command Water-Baptism? Go ye and Bap­tise all Nations, Matth. XXVIII. 19, 20. The Baptism here commanded was Water-Baptism: For Baptising with the Spirit was GOD's work, not the Apostles; and tho the Baptism of the Spirit commonly ac­companied [Page 16] Baptism with Water, yet not al­ways, as in the Case of Simon Magus, and many others. Yet, did not Christ promise to be with them (Preaching to all Nations and Baptising) to the End of the World Further, Did not the Apostles in Obedienc [...] to Christs Command, both constantly prac­tice, and also require, Water-Baptism to all Initiated Christians? Can any Man forbi [...] Water, that these should not be Baptised which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we▪ And he [Peter] commanded they should b [...] Baptised: Acts X. 47, 48. Then as to the Outward use of Bread and Wine for the Lord's Supper, can any Command be more Express than This do in Remembrance of Me▪ Four times repeated in the New (which you call the better) Testament. To which St. Paul adds, It is a shewing forth the Lord [...] Death until He come, 1 Cor. XI. 26. Now if Christ and his Apostles have commanded this, who hath Authorised you to disuse it? Remember what St. Paul tells the Co­rinthians, he received from the Lord that which on this Subject he delivered to them, 1 Cor. XI. 23. And 'tis a severe Passage in another Epistle of his, Gal. I. 8. If we, or an Angel from Heaven, preach any other Gos­pel unto you, than that which we have preach­ed [Page 17] unto you, let him be accursed. That which lays aside so much of the Old Gos­pel, and sets up a New and Variable Rule o [...] Faith, (we know not what Light with­in) is Another and New Gospel.

To draw towards a Conclusion: I have written this short Paper in much and true Compassion to you; It had been far easier to me to have said more, than thus to have confined my self: I look upon many of you as an harmless well-meaning Peo­ple, but under strong Delusions.

This your Deluded State proceeds from your making what you call The Light with­in you (which is in many Cases nothing but your own Presumptive Perswasion or Fan­cy) a Rule of Faith and Practice, Co-ordi­nate, if not Superiour and Antecedent to the Holy Scriptures: These words in your Pa­per [Which are the Double and Agreeing Re­cord of True Religion] intimate at least thus much, That you will not believe what Scripture saith, except the Light within you dictate the same, and so make a Double Record. Now my Friends, do not flatter your selves, GOD is not mocked; you must Answer at the Dreadful Day of Judg­ment, amongst other Points, to such as these; and therefore Examine your Consciences be­fore-hand.

[Page 18] 1. Is it not your main End and Study, by pretended Mortifications, and Renouncing the World, (while there are no sort of Men▪ alive that more eagerly pursue it, nor have more effectual, wily, and secret ways o [...] getting Wealth than your selves) Is it no; I say, your main Aim and End to make your selves a Party considerable, and such, t [...] which, for Reasons of State, peculiar Pri­viledges must be Indulged?

2. Are not, to this purpose, many of your Distinctive Characters, such as you Different Garb (for it is plain not a few o [...] your Peoples [...]loaths, as to materials, are more costly than many of ours) your way of speaking, yea, even your Looks and Gestu­res, assumed rather to make your selves re­markable, and at first sight known from o­ther People, than out of any Perswasion, Sense of Duty, or Conscience of Obliga­tion.

3. What reasonable or tolerable Warrant can you plead for waving, suppressing, at least, not confessing, much the greater part of the Christian Faith, and Rejecting all Out­ward Positive Parts of Worship (especially Baptism and the Lords Supper) which have such plain and Repeated Evidences in Ho­ly Scripture. Your Light within, (or Sense [Page 19] and Perswasion which you say you have, and are sure is from Christ) forasmuch as, in the present Cases, it dictateth against Ho­ly Scripture can never be proved even to your selves, much less to others, to be from Christ: But must rather in all reason, be resolved to be one of the Heights or Depths of Satan, transforming himself into an Angel of Light. And for any Persons to yeild to such Conduct (besides or against Holy Scripture) is plainly to abandon themselves to the Delusions of the Devil.

In a word therefore, I again require you, as you will answer all your Secret Arts and high Pretensions at Christ's Tribunal, that you either Embrace and Profess the intire Christian Faith, in the Points wherein I have shewn you to be defective; and that you receive the Christian Seals or Badges, Baptism and the Lord's-Supper; or else that you desist to lay claim to the Name of Chri­stians.

It is not for me to Judge you, but again I say unto you, (truly from GOD, as His Minister) Judge your selves. This is the Case. If Men who take away even from the Faith once deliver'd to the Saints, at least Two Thirds, besides many main Points of the other Third; who Equal their own Pre­sumptuous [Page 20] Conceits to the Divine Oracles, and Revelations; who use and disuse at pleasure, what parts of GOD's Instituted Worship they think fit, even the very Badges of Christia­nity, (I will not here Interpose your Mak­ing Gain your Godliness) but if the afore­said Men are in a Way of Perdition, what can you conclude of your selves? In the Name of GOD Repent and Return: And from my Soul I pray, That GOD will please to give you Repentance.



I Have given the Bishop's Exceptions toge­ther at Large, as he did our Paper, and shall now Consider their Validity.

He is pleased to say at the beginning of his first Paragraph, he is such a Reader as in our Paper [...]we desire: Words that gave me great hopes, of not only fair, but friendly dealing; and I heartily wish it had been so: But since it seems to me the Reverse of his Promise, he must not take it ill from me, if I stop a while, and shew him a little to himself, and how much he is mistaken in his own Temper, as well as in our Prin­ciples. For tho' he begins with the Names of Moderation, Charity and Meekness, that's all: He quickly Loses sight of them, and forgets them, with himself, almost all the way. And unless my Taste be Extream­ly [Page 22] Depraved, there is little Relish of those Vertues in his Management, or a tolerable Temper shewn towards us, respecting ei­ther our Belief, or Practice. We desire such a Reader indeed as had rather we were in the Right, than in the Wrong; One that did not Prejudge our Case, and would give us (and not our Enemies) the wor­ding of our own Belief; While the Bishop but too plainly shews, he would not have us in the Right, Even where he dares not say (however freely he suggests it) that we are in the Wrong. Which appears,

First, by his Unnecessary Exceptions to such Truths, as we have Declared in our Paper (and he cannot deny) as imperfectly Exprest, because we have not said all that might be said, to Branch them out, or Il­lustrate them; tho' enough to be understood by such as are not Captious.

Secondly, by Suppositions Incongruous, and that can have no other Service than to Ex­pose us, and that in a very ill Manner.

Thirdly, by rendring us to Deny, what we don't Express in our Paper: Tho' indeed we Believe it.

Fourthly, in not taking due notice of what is Implied, as well as Exprest. Which had been but Just.

[Page 23] Fifthly, in making the worst of what is not concurrent with his Belief, and not the best where we believe the same thing.

Sixthly, by Grosly Misrendering our Pre­tences to Strict Living.

Lastly, by Condemning us upon Rumour. All which, is more than leaning to that side, that had rather we were in the Wrong, than in the Right; and Consequently not such a Reader as we desired. That this is so, let it but be observed, how he Unchristians us in his third Paragraph; tho' Immediately in a Contradiction, what he just before Acknow­ledges in his second. Nor will he allow us to be so much as Deists in his fourth, or at most but very Imperfect ones, because, we have not said all of God, that may be ascribed to him. In his sixth, he supposes us Capable of believing that Christ Came of Corrupt and Sinful Flesh, because we say no more in that Place, of the Manner of his In­carnation than the Evangelist doth, John 1. 14. Also, that we are Defective, at best, Ambiguous, about Eternal Rewards and Pu­nishments. He makes us, in his seventh Pa­ragraph, to Deny the Resurrection of the Dead, at large, and without Distinction, tho' we there Acknowledge a Future State, which implies it; and have not said one [Page 24] word against it; but upon all Occasions, in Print, or otherwise, have Exprest our Belief of that Branch of Christian Doctrine, according to Scripture. In his Tenth, he de­rides our Plain (though Proper) Language, of Thou to a single Person, though it is what he himself gives to God in his Prayers. In his Fourteenth, and Fifteenth, he is pleased to slight and render our Stricter Living, a Trick to promote a Party, and that our Garb, Looks and Gestures, are more to make our­selves Remarkable, than out of any Perswasion of Duty, or Conscience: As bad a Construc­tion, as he could make. In his Sixteenth, he tells us, the Light within us, that we say, we have from Christ, is rather one of the Highths or Depths of Satan Transformed, and that we are Abandoned to his Delusions. So that We and most of our Principles too, are stark Naught with the Bishop. In his Eighteenth, and last Paragraph, he sug­gests, We take away two Thirds of the Chri­stian Faith, besides many Points of the other Third; and equal our Presumptuous Conceits, to the Divine Oracles, and Revelations, and use, and dis-use at pleasure, what part of God's Instituted Worship, we think fit; Even the very Badges of Christianity. I will not, says the Bishop, interpose (yet suggests it) your [Page 25] making Gain your Godliness; but if the Afore­said Men, are in a way to Perdition, what can you Conclude of your selves? In the Name of God Repent and Return: Thus the Bishop, upon a whole People, without any other Provocation, than has been Exprest.

I hope, after this, He will not Expect, (I am sure he ought not) that any Body should think him such a Reader, as we de­sired for our Gospel-Truths, and which he promised us to be; or that he has treated us with the Moderation, Charity, and Meekness, he made us hope for; since none of our Ad­versaries have used us much worse, in so little a Compass. I heartily wish him a bet­ter sight of himself, as well as of us, that he may be less mistaken in both another time; for I have a Respect for him, and de­sire not to be upon these Terms with him, any Longer, than he thinks fit to make it necessary.

The rest of his first Paragraph is only a Strain of Fair and Pastoral Promises, forgot­ten by him, and not to be remembred any more, at this time, by me; and therefore shall proceed to his Second. Only ob­serve this one thing to my Reader, and the Bishop too, that he is pleased to place Moderation and Charity to our Account, [Page 26] because he does not take us by out wor [...] Chiefly to mean Only, or All in reference to the things, by us believed: Which, unde [...] favour, he could not do in Justice;. an [...] therefore he needs not bring us in Debt [...] for that, which is our Due, since no Bod [...] ever took Chiefly, for Only, any more tha [...] an Eldest, for an Only Son, or an Arch, fo [...] an Only Bishop. Nor does Chiefly imply Al [...] any more than Only; for whether It re­gards things Humane, or Divine, It im­ports the Best Part of any thing, but n [...] All: The most valuable, that which deserve [...] and commands our Regard and Estee [...] in the first place. And I leave it with m [...] Reader, whether Believing in God, an [...] Christ, and the Holy Spirit; and Be­lieving the Scriptures, and the Necessity of Holiness, and Divine Worship, and finally of Eternal Rewards and Punishments, are no [...] Points of Faith, Chiefly to be Received, and Professed by Christians? And if they are such, the Bishop must have been, Super-finely Critical, upon our word Chiefly, as well as that he might have been a better Husband of his Moderation, and Charity, and have kept them for an Occasion where they might have been more needed, and Consequently better bestowed.

[Page 27] His Second Paragraph allows us to have [...]iciently Exprest our Christian Belief in [...]o Articles, but with this Censure, that [...]leven, we are only Clear in these Two, [...] Justification by Christ, And Submission to [...] Civil Government, wishing we may always [...]to this Belief, and Practice; and adds, I [...]tily Rejoyce to find you acknowledge the [...]essity of Christ, as a Propitiation, in order to the Remission of Sins, and Justifying you, as Sinners, from Guilt. 'Tis the first time I have heard of it among you.

If so: It is the Bishops Fault, and seems to me, next to Impossible; since before that Paper was given him, he was pleased to Acknowledge he had read several of our Books; particularly, my Rise and Progress of the People called Quakers, taking it out of his Pocket at that time; also Robert Bar­clay's Apology, which States, and Vindi­cates our Principles at large, in which the two Doctrines afore-mentioned, are very Clearly Declared, and Maintained; notwith­standing he seems to make this look like a New Discovery. But however, I am pleas­ed, that the Bishop is so, at two of the Gospel-Truths: I am of Opinion if he had well considered the Force and Comprehen­siveness of our Belief concerning Christ, [Page 28] that pleases him so well, he might hav [...] saved himself the Trouble of what he h [...] published to the World upon the rest [...] them: For, whoever believes in Christ, [...] a Propitiation, in order to Remission of Si [...] and Justification of Sinners from the Guilt [...] Sin, can hardly disbelieve any Fundament [...] Article of the Christian Religion; since, [...] very such Person, must Necessarily belie [...] in God, because it is with Him alone M [...] is to be Justified. To be sure he must b [...] ­lieve in Christ, for that is the very Pro [...] ­sition. He must also believe in the H [...] Ghost, because, He is the Author, of [...] Conviction, Repentance, and Belief. He mu [...] believe Heaven, and Hell, Rewards, a [...] Punishment, and Consequently the Resurr [...] ­tion of the Just, and Unjust: For, wh [...] should he be Concerned about being free [...] from the Guilt of his Sin, if he were una [...] ­countable in another World? So that Ac­knowledging the Necessity of Christ, as Propitiation, in order to the Remission ( [...] Sin, comprehends the main Doctrine ( [...] Christian Religion; and as so many Line [...] drawn from the Circumference to the Cen­ter, they all meet and center in Christ: An [...] indeed it is as the Navel of Christianity, an [...] Characteristick of that Religion.

[Page 29] [...] would intreat Him again, to reflect well [...] his own Acknowledgment, and Com­ [...]endation of our Belief, concerning the End [...] Benefit of Christ, to Mankind; and he [...] not think us so deficient; much less, un­ [...] such strong and dangerous Delusions, as he [...] been pleased to represent us.

His Third Paragraph will not suffer us [...] be Christians, notwithstanding what [...] have said of our Belief in Christ, in our Paper called Gospel-Truths. In one sence I shall easily agree with him, for I think nothing makes any Man a True Chri­stian, but Regeneration, the Power of the Son of God Revealed in the Soul, Converting [...] to God: For the Devils Believe, and Tremble, too, and yet are Devils still; they Believe what is True, but they do not Truly Believe in him that is True: They know and as­sent to the Propositions of Truth, or Articles of Faith, and knew Him to be Christ too, when He came of old, and called him by His Name, but this did not make True Christians Then of them: Nor yet does an Assent Now to all the Truths of the Gospel, Truly Qualifie Men Christians, unless they feel the Power of them, upon their Hearts. And I would have my Reader reflect well upon rhis Great [...]nd Essential Truth, tho' he were as Big [Page 30] as a Bishop: For a new Creature is the B [...] ­siness; an Orthodox Life, the Cross of Chri [...] which is the Narrow way of Self-denial [...] I must say, That whoever declares, he be­lieves in Christ as his Sacrifice and Sanctif [...] which is to save both from the Guilt [...] Pollution of Sin, is a Professor of Christian [...] and may reasonably be allowed to be [...] Christian at large. And that what we ha [...] declared, in our Third, Fourth, Fifth, a [...] Sixth Gospel-Truth, comprehends the Be [...] before-mentioned, my Just and Sober R [...] ­der may satisfie himself in the peru [...] thereof

His Fourth Paragraph faults our first Ar­ticle, as he is pleased to call it, with gre [...] Shortness and Imperfection concerning our Be­lief of God; for tho' he says we own his Pr [...] ­vidence as to the other Life, yet we say n [...] ­thing, as to the Creation of this present Work▪ and Providence over it: But with the Bishop leave, He that believes in God, believes [...] all that's necessary to the Supreme Being 'Tis what he, and all Christians, take fo [...] granted, and allow, as often as they hea [...] any one say, He believes in God. For no [...] to believe Him Omnipotent, Omnissie [...]t, and Omnipresent, is not to believe him to be [...] God, being inseparable from the Divine [...] [Page 31] Nature. I must appeal to the Bishop, whe­ [...]er a small Grain of Charity would not have excused us from his Reflection upon this Head. We have said more then Moses [...]d to Pharaoh: For besides that, I am, is [...]o more then, He is; We have added that He is, the Rewarder of all Men, according to [...]heir Works. We gave the Text, as it is, [...]nd the very Text seems exprest for a Decla­ [...]tion of Faith in God, viz. He, that will come to God, must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder, of them that seek Him. [...]he Text does not Enumerate and require [...]he belief of all the Divine Attributes, and Properties that are in God, but the bare [...]elief of his Being, and what He is to Man­kind that fear him. And whatever the Bi­shop says, this is enough for a Man to come to God, tho' not enough, it seems, to come [...]o the Bishop in the Quality of a Believer: He must help the Holy Ghost to speak Pro­perly, or we, that speak after him, must be deficient in our Expressions, if not our Be­lief. But when any one affirms, that Man was created by God, is he Short, Fallaci­ous, or Equivocal because he does not say how God made Man, or what he made him? [...]is not his Body, Soul, and Spirit, his Will, Understanding, Memory, and Affections com­prized, [Page 32] and meant, under that word Man? Besides, could the Bishop think that while we owned God's greater Providence, his les­ser could be disbelieved by us? He that has the alone Power of Rewarding Men, in the other World, according to their Works in this, must certainly be the Sovereign of Both; and his Providence, in Justice, is to be so understood. And as it is most certain that we believe of God, all that the Holy Scriptures declare of him, and whatsoever is proper to that Great and Glorious Being so, had we not thought it unnecessary to be more particular, from the Common Notion all Men have of the Deity, the Bishop could have had no room left for the Exercise of his Charity.

In his fifth Paragraph he Blames us of being Defective in our Confession of the Holy Trinity: Tho' we give it in the very Terms of the Holy Ghost, 1 John 15. 7. If this is not a sufficient Text to prove the Trinity, that Antiquity Urges, and also Mo­dern Writers of the Church of England to prove it, I know not where to find one, in the Scripture.

It is Generally believed the Apostle John gave this Declaration to the first Christians, to prevent their being deluded by Cerinthius. [Page 33] How come the Bishop then to render it but [...] by passage, and otherwise intended by the Apostle, than for an Article of Faith about the Trinity? Is there a plainer, or a fuller any where in the Writings of the New Testa­ment? Three and yet One, is the Doctrine of the Trinity: And no other Apostle has gone so far, or been so Express: Insomuch that the Text has been doubted, and ren­der'd Apocryphal by such as do not believe the Common Doctrine of the Trinity; and Foisted in to serve the turn of Trinitarians: So plain it has been thought to their pur­pose, even by the Anti-Trinitarians. How then is the Text defective with the Bishop? But he says the Apostle writ it upon occasion: Doubtless he did so. But what other Oc­casion, I pray, than that of the Holy Trini­ty? He adds, and it was to the Apostles pur­pose, touching the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: But what purpose could the Apostle have, but that of Declaring the Trinity, and yet Unity? What other Use does be make of it? The Bishop must be very hard put to it, certainly, to shift off, and lessen our Con­fession in this Point, and Rather then fail, render the Text it self short; which, with submission, I think is a bold Attempt in one of his Station, if he Believes the Thirty Nine Articles.

[Page 34] The next and sixth Paragraph, relating to our third Gospel-Truth, is large, and consists of divers Branches, and therefore I shall Consider them distinctly and apart. In the third Article, You acknowledge indeed the Son of God to have been made Flesh, but neither Conceived by the Holy Ghost, nor Born of the Virgin Mary: So that it does not appear, by this your Confession, but that he was at first an [...] Ordinary, Corrupt and Sinful Person. I think it is hardly to be supposed that we could intend so Gross a thing, or that it is infer­rible from the Manner of Expressing of our­selves, in Reference to Christ's Manifestation in the Flesh. Where Enough is said, to Com­prehend the Rest, all is Meant, though all be not Exprest: We call him the Beloved Son of God, the only Begotten of the Father: Pray what is that short of being Conceived by the Holy Ghost? To be sure, it is very far from a Corrupt and Sinful Person, a Sup­position as remote from what we said, as from what the Bishop promised, viz. Cha­rity. He that Confesses the Word was made Flesh, Confesses Him made Flesh by God, and therefore made Holy Flesh: For God never made any Corrupt or Sinful Flesh. If the place is read, as some do, viz. the Word took Flesh, the Flesh must be Holy, for he [Page 35] would not take, or dwell in Sinful Flesh.

And had the Bishop well remembred what he Acknowledged, upon our Believing Christ to be a Propitiation for Sin, not many lines before, he could never have Suggested so unreasonable, as well as uncharitable a conceit, since Sinful Flesh, or a Corrupt Per­son could never be any part of a Sacrifice for Sin: So that in Commending that part of our Belief, he has sufficiently secured us against this part of his Insinuation. But the Bishop proceeds to Aggravate our Short­ness in Expression to a Severe Imputation, viz. that we own him not so much as Jesus or the Christ.

This must be a great oversight of the Bi­shop, not to say worse, when the very Fourth Head about Justification by Christ, of which he declares himself so well satisfied, Thrice confesses him to be Christ, viz. in the First, Third and Fourth Lines. Again, we call him Christ in the First Line of the Fifth Gospel Truth; likewise in the First and Fourth Lines of the Sixth we call him Christ: We do the same in the First and Fifth Lines of the Eighth, and in the First Line of our Tenth Gospel-Truth: How the Bishop came to miss in so Palpable a Point of Fact, in the Compass of one half side of a Sheet [Page 36] of Paper, I cannot Imagine, and am un­willing to Censure. Nor would I willingly think the Bishop so Trifling, as Well as Disingenious, as to Excuse himself herein, because we do not call the Word that took Flesh by the Name of Christ in that place, since the Bishop Repeats it from us, out of our aforesaid Fourth Head, about Justifica­tion by Christ, where we call him by the Name of Christ, as may be seen in the Se­cond and foregoing Paragraph of his Re­flexions. Besides, we have not Confessed his Name less than Nine times in that Pa­per. But if the Bishop could yet insist upon the word Christ not being in our Third Head, I say the Thing is there, though the Word be not. For what is Christ but the Word made Flesh, and who is the Word made Flesh but Jesus Christ? Again, who is the Beloved Son of God but Christ, and who else but Christ is the Beloved Son of God, and Only Begotten of the Father, full of Grace and full of Truth: For these High and Distinguishing Characters are to be found in That very Head of Doctrine, where the Bishop will not have us to acknowledge him to be Christ. So that unless a Corrupt and Sinful Person can be full of Grace and Truth, I wonder how the Bishop came to [Page 37] suppose a thing in our Name, so very Gross. But he proceeds in the same Paragraph. You acknowledge indeed he died for Sin, but you have not one Word of his Resurrection from the Dead, or of his Ascention into Heaven, which it may he proved some of you have expresly de­nied, saying, he is not ascended into Heaven, he is in us: With more to this Effect. I should be sorry to tax the Bishop here of Absurdity and Uncharitableness; but who can help it? For if Christ be not Risen, He is still in his Grave; He is no more. How then do we assert him to be a Propi­tiation, and the Light and Life of his Peo­ple? See Gospel Truth 3, 4, 5, and 6. Can that which is Dead Sanctifie and Justifie Believers? Can the Dead give us Grace and the Holy Spirit? Or have we not said so of Christ, that he is the Giver thereof? And if we have said so, must not the Bishop be Extreamly beside the business? His Uncharitabliness is as ob­vious, I will not say his Untruth; but I must pray him to Reflect a little better up­on what he has writ; for unless he would make us to mean the Grave, when we say that Wicked Men shall never come where Christ is gone, Gospel Truth 6, he must al­low that we acknowledge Christ to be in [Page 38] Heaven, and Consequently Ascended. What shall I say to his Story of some of our Friends, whom he makes to affirm that Christ is not ascended into Heaven, he is in us? Can it touch us, or should he have said it, and not have proved it? Is that fair and candid? Is it Charitable, Supposing it were true, which does not appear? Or is it Just to Insinuate it upon the People as Dubious? But let it be never so true, it can­not Conclude the People, if not the Act of the People, The Church of England has Doctors of very different Sentements; would the Bishop think it fair the Common Belief of the Church should thereby be con­cluded? It is true, and a great and Com­fortable Truth, that Christ is in us, accor­ding to 2 Cor. 13. 5. Gal. 2. 16. Col. 1. 26. 27. but not Confined to Man: He is not so there, as that he is no where else, and least of all that he is not in Heaven. For the Apostle tells us, Eph. 4. 10. that He Ascend­ed far above all Heavens, that he might fill all things; then he is in Man certainly. So that our asserting that Doctrine of the In­dwelling of Christ in Man, does not make void his being elsewhere because he is every where: Tho' in Heaven most Gloriously, without doubt, being there Glorified with [Page 39] the Glory that he had with the Father before [...]he World began. And they that Thus be­lieve in Christ cannot deny his being at God's Right Hand, which signifies, accor­ding to Scripture, Philip. 2, 9, 10, 11. the Highest Exaltation: Nor yet to be their Me­diator, for that is inseparable from his being their Propitiation. So that tho we did not dwell upon Points, but were Concise in our Expressions, yet whatever is Implied or is Im­plicable from any Assertion, Justice, as well as Charity always grants; and so wound the Bishop have done, had they been Up­permost in his Mind when his Pen ran so fast against us. I must own it was not writ for Criticks, but for such Readers as the Bishop says he was, or should have been, to wit, who Exercise Moderation, and Cha­rity; more of which, I hope he thinks as well as I, will do him no harm.

But it disturbs the Bishops that we have said nothing of Christ's coming to Judgment, nor of the end of the World, whether it be Dissolvable or Eternal. For the first, it is implied in our making all Men Accountable to God, for their Deeds done in the World. For the Other, it was not under our Con­sideration, being not objected to us. But they that say as much of Christian Doctrine [Page 40] as we have done in those Eleven Heads of our Paper, did never yet, that I have heard, believe the Eternity of this World, Heb. 1. 10, 11, 12.

Yet again says the Bishop, Not a word of one Church, which it may be feard you strike out of your Belief, because you are resolved never more to return into the Unity of the Church, but to make and maintain a Schism or Party for ever.

These are very harsh Constructions, be­sides that they beg the Question, and in my Opinion would have past better from a Person whose Office was less concerned in Charity than That of a Bishop: But why, pray, must Interest and Obstinacy Rule our Dissent? What's to be got by it? Profit and Preferment go the Bishops way, I will not say he goes Theirs. But why not Conscience, tho' it were mistaken, since we have been all along of the Loosing side? which is not usually espoused by the Men of Interest; nor are Men ordinarily Obstinate against their Interest. Let us at least be Honest Men and allowed to mean well though we were mistaken. But what Church, of the many Churches in Europe is the Bishops One Church, to which he would have us [Page 41] return? He has not told us. Methinks [...] that censures our Shortness so much, [...]ould not have been deficient himself in so material a Point. So that if we are out of the way, we must be so still for all the Bi­shop; since we are yet to seek what Church [...]e Err from, or should repair to. But I [...]ill suppose he means his Own, by which he excludes the Lutheran and Calvinist; the Presbyterian, Independant and Baptist, as well as the People called Quakers, from being of his One Church; to say nothing of the Ro­man Catholick or Greek Churches. But un­le [...]ss the One Church, as he phrases it; by which I understand him to Intend the true One, may be of two minds, it will be dif­ficult for him to recommend his own above the rest, because that is not only broken in Sentiments, but Practice too, and which the Bishop knows is no longer a Secret. I might mention the Differences warmly ma­naged between the Doctors of it, about Grace and Free-will; one taking the Calvi­nist, the other the Arminian way; as they also do about the Doctrine of Satisfaction and Justification. Likewise the late Con­troversie between two Famous Men of the Church, about the Trinity, who are followed in their differing Sentiments by great Num­bers [Page 42] of the Learned of the Bishops One Church: And for that Reason (if no other) I cannot be so well satisfied of his exact Correspondence with all the Articles of that Church himself. And I hope I am not beside the business, when I say it would very well have become the Bishop to have told us what it is he would have us believe, when he found so much fault with what that Paper says we do believe. It would be too long, and perhaps he might think [...] besides the business, at least the brevity th [...] Case requires, to give him the reasons o [...] our Separation and Dissent or Disagreemen [...]. with the Church. I put these Words toge­ther, because some were never Members of it, and so they could not properly be said to separate from it, but true it is, we may all b [...] said to Dissent or Disagree; and I would think the Bishop should not be much to seek for the Reasons of it. And yet where we are vulgarly apprehended to differ most, we dissent least, I mean in Doctrine, which is the reason so many have upon occasion said, as indeed did the Bishop at the Visit I made him: viz. Why we believe the same, 'tis what we Preach as well as you. For except it be the wording of some of the Articles of Faith in School Terms, there are very few of them [Page 43] [...]ofest by the Church of England, to which [...]e do not heartily Assent. And this I have [...]prest for my self, and in behalf of my [...]iends in my Key, and Primitive Christia­nity revived. But of this and the more ma­terial Reasons of our distance from the [...]hurch, I may have occasion to express my [...] at the Closure of this Vindication.

But the Bishop proceeds in his Sixth Pa­ragraph: Nor have yon a word of the Resur­rection of the Body, which divers of you have [...]en known to deny, and others of you only say [...] may be so. I shall consider this Immedia­t [...]ly upon the next Paragraph, where he [...]eats upon the same Subject, and apply my [...] to his conclusion of this: Lastly, Tho' [...] acknowledge everlasting Rewards for them that fear God, yet nothing of the everlasting [...]unishment of wicked Men. I think we do, [...]nd that the Bishop aggravates his disinge­ [...]uity to us upon this Head: For the Words of the Paper are these, It is our Belief that [...]od is, and that he is a Rewarder of all them that fear him, with Eternal Rewards of Hap­piness; and that those that fear him not, shall be turned into Hell. The Scriptures are, Heb. [...]1. 6. Rev. 22. 12. Rom. 2. 5, 6, 7, 8. Psalm [...]. 17. Now tho' Eternal is not joyned to Hell, yet Justice as well as Candor would [Page 44] have understood it so, and to mean the Hel [...] of the damned, the Punishment of Evil Doer [...] after this Life, according to, the Ancient Common Belief. But the Bishop that sel­dom fails to make the Worst of every thin [...] for us, Thus comments upon our Word [...]You mention Hell indeed, but whether y [...] mean thereby the Grave, as most commonly in Scripture is meant, or a Place of Temporal Pu­nishment after this Life, as some have don [...] or a State of total Destruction and Annihilation as many now adays do, no One knows. B [...] with the Bishops leave, what if we mea [...] None of These, may we not be in the righ [...] for all that? For what if none of these an [...] the Ancient, Common and Scripture Belie [...] what will the Bishop do then? Since On [...] would think that one of them is the Bishop [...] Hell, because he gives Us and his Reade [...] no more Room for our meaning, or any other Belief of a Hell. And either one of these is an Article of his Belief, or else he keeps the true Hell to himself, and was not so just as to include that in the Question with the rest, lest he should be thereby guil­ty of supposing us capable of meaning the True One is our Gospel-Truths, viz. The Worm that never dies, the Fire that never goes out, where is weeping and gnashing of Teeth for ever: [Page 45] [...]e 2 Thessalonians 1. 9. Jude 6, 7. And [...]hich, I think, is none of the Three the Bi­shop mentions. However, he abundantly [...]ws his Inclination to represent us rather [...]rong than Right, in our Belief: For if the [...]riptures by us cited are consulted, they [...]ainly shew we never meant the Grave, and [...]at they Equally Referr to the Future, State [...] the Souls of Men; viz. That all shall re­ [...]ive the Recompence of their Works, and the [...]ewards of their Deeds, according to the [...]ature and Quality of them. And if the Re­ [...]ards of the Righteous are Eternal, then so [...]ust those of the Wicked be, or both must [...] Temporary: For the Holy Ghost makes [...] Difference as to the Duration of the one [...]ore than of the other. One Grain of a Truly Christian Temper, had saved the Bi­shop, and he me, the Trouble of this as [...]ell as of other Reflections.

I am now come to his Seventh Paragraph, [...]he first part of which is a heavy Complaint of our Shortness and Deficiency in Expressing of our Belief. We, it seems, are too General in some Points, and Wave Others; he is pleased to say Eight of Twelve, but Instances only in that of the Resurrection; tho' he conjures us at the same time, upon our Eter­nal [Page 46] Account, to consider what he say▪ Now if being General and keeping to th [...] terms of Scripture be a Fault, we are lik [...] to be more vile with the Bishop: For thank be to God, That, only is our Creed, and wi [...] good reason too, since it is fit That shou [...] only conclude and be the Creed of Chri­stians, which the Holy Ghost could only Propose and Require us to believe. For [...] the Comment is made the Creed instead the Text, From that time we believe not God but in Man. I heartily wish none [...] been wise above what is written, and th [...] Generals had Concluded Christians: Th [...] Charity had been better Maintained, an [...] Piety Promoted: Whereas Strains or R [...] ­fines upon the Text, have thrown us int [...] those Labarinths of Controversie, that th [...] Zeal which should have been Imployed t [...] suppress Sin in all its Branches, has too G [...] ­nerally been used to Fire one Party upo [...] Another, till Practice, which is Religion in­deed, was blown up by the Generallity. S [...] much for our Shortness or Wavering, as the Bishop calls it.

I shall now attend his only necessary Poin [...] of Eight, that he thought fit to mention which, he says we either suppress or wave [Page 47] viz. The Resurrection of the Dead: I confess I did not think that any Body would have been so uncharitable to us, after our Ac­knowledging the Future State of the Just and Unjust, since that implies it, and every Me­dium to it. However I will attend what [...]he Bishop urges for Proof of what we don't [...]eny, but always must the Slander of doing so. I will (says he) only mind you of two Pas­sages out of the Scriptures of Truth, 1 Cor. 15. 16, 17. If the Deadrise not, your Faith is vain, you are yet in your Sins. Hence it appears (says the Bishop) all other Points of Faith are in vain, if this be not true. And so say I, as well as the Bishop, and shall always say as he says, while he says no more than the Text says: For who can think that al­lows himself to think, that we should not believe an Immortality, who have exposed our selves, and suffered so much that we may obtain an happy One. But the Question is not whether Dead Rise, but with What Bo­dies: For if the Dead rise not, then may we say with the Apostle, Verse 19. in the same Chapter, We are of all Men most mise­rable. So that the Resurrection of the Dead is out of all Dispute with us: But with What Body, will I believe, be One, till the Dead Rise.

[Page 48] Here it is we are Cautious, and tread Soft­ly; Remembring what the Apostle says to the Curious and Inquisitive upon this Head, Ver. 35, 36, 37, 38. But some Man will say, How are the Dead Raised up, And with what Bodies do they come? Thou Fool, thou sowest not that Body which shall be but bare Grain. —But God giveth it a Body as it had Plea­sed him, and to every Seed his own Body. Here is the Ground of our Caution, which the Bishop is pleased to call Suppressing, and others denying of the Resurrection. We have indeed been Negative to the Gros [...] Conceits of People concerning the Rising of this Carnal Body, we carry about us which better agrees with the Alcoran of Mahomet, than the Gospel of Christ. But that there is a Resurrection of the Just and Unjust to Rewards and Punishments, we have ever believed. And indeed we cannot but wonder that any should be displeased with us for being Pleased with that which God i [...] pleased to give us. Bodies we shall have, but not the same says the Apostle, and so Be­lieves the Quaker; but God giveth every one a Body as pleaseth him, and that Pleaseth us, whoever it displeaseth: For we had ra­ther be called Fools Ten times by the Bishop, than Once by the Apostle, which we think [Page 49] we think we should deserve, if we should [...]are to stretch the Text, or presume to de­ [...]ine the Secret.

The other Scripture urged by the Bishop, [...]n defence of what we never opposed, is Rom. 10. 9. If thou shalt confess with thy Mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine Heart, that God hath raised him from the Dead, thou shalt be saved. He adds, Those who believe this as they should do, shall be saved. But that we have left out both Christ's Resur­rection, and our Own in our Faith. In the [...]irst part of his Note, I agree with him, that [...]ll who Rightly believe the Text, will be saved: For that must be by the Illumination and Working of the Saving Power of Christ in the Heart, that he can so believe. But that we have left out Christ's Resurrection and our Own, is a mistake already obser­ved, because they are both plainly Implied; one in our Belief of Christ's being a Propi­tiation for Sin, and the Light, Life and Strength of his People, and in giving us his Grace and Holy Spirit, which that which is Dead cannot do: And our own Resurrection is sufficiently secured in our declared Belief of Rewards and Punishments; tho' the Mode of it be not Exprest: Nor was there any rea­son [Page 50] for saying more upon that Head with respect to the Occasion of our Papers being Published.

I am now come to the Bishop's Eighth Paragraph, which Comprehends his Excep­tions to Three of our Gospel-Truths, viz. the 5th, 6th, and 7th, which wholly relate to the Doctrine of the Light of Christ within Man. And I am truly sorry to find the Bi­shop at so great a loss, as that Paragrap [...] shews him, about so Excellent and Evident Principle, and which so very much concern him, and indeed All Men to know. And that my Reader may lnform himself through­ly in this Matter, I must desire him to look back and read those Three Gospel-Truths and compare them with the Bishop's Eighth Paragraph, and he will make himself much a better Judge of the Vallidity of the Bi­shop's Answer and my Reply, and which [...] us two keeps closest to the Doctrine and Language of the holy Scriptures, that h [...] in the same Paragraph seems so much to Respect.

His first Exception in this Paragraph i [...] at our Incapacity: For he says we have ne­ver been able yet, that he could find, to make [Page 51] out what we mean by the Light of Christ with­in. Perhaps the Bishop has never sought, or has sought amiss; which as great and learned Men as himself have done before [...]ow, and so mist what they have sought [...]or: And then it cannot be a wonder, that he has not found out what we mean by the Light of Christ in Man. But that a Bishop [...]hould represent this an unintelligible doc­trine, after reading so distinct and plain an account of it in R. B's Apology, not to men­tion divers other Books; and which is of [...]reater Authority, the Scriptures of Truth, [...]s no ordinary Surprise to me. Has the Bishop forgot the first of John, and the 4th, [...]th, and 16th, Verses, where speaking of [...]he Word-God, he says in him was Life, and the Life was the Light of Men.

This is that Light of Christ the Quakers Assert, and desire to turn the Minds of all People too. For all must have it, if it be the Light of all, as the Text plainly tells us it is. The Ninth Verse is yet more express, viz. That was the True Light which lighteth Every Man that cometh into the World; then which, nothing can be more Express to our purpose. And that the Bishop should feel no share in this Glorious Light of Men, ren­ders [Page 52] him very unfit, methinks, for an Over [...]seer of them.

I know some read this Text otherwise, a [...] indeed he did to me in Cork, viz. That wa [...] the true Light, That Coming into the World lighteth all Men; referring the word Coming to Christ, and not to Man. But all th [...] Versions I ever met with, and I have see [...] more than twenty, render the verse as it [...] in our English Translations: And all C [...] ­ticks and Commentators, except the follow­ers of Socinus, Read and Render it as [...]word do. And while we have so much Company and so great Authority, I think we nee [...] not be solliscitous about the success of thi [...] point. But besides that the foregoing veri [...] tells us, that the Divine Life of the Word God, is the Light of Men, which shews all Mankind have it in them (for it is the Light of their Minds, and not of their Bo­dies) it is impossible that Interpretation should be true in a strict Sense: For the Coming of Christ in that Blessed manifesta­tion was to the Jews only: He says it him­self, he was not sent but to the lost Sheep of the House of Israel, Matth. 13. 24. Again, he came unto his own, and his own received him not John 1. 11. And within that narrow [Page 53] [...]ompass he could not be said to be the Light of all Mankind that had, did and [...]hould come into the World, for so both the [...]th and 9th Verse plainly import, viz. The Light of Mankind, without restriction to This or That Manifestation of God to Men.

But the Bishop is still at a loss what to [...]ake of this Light, and what we would be [...]t; for, says he, You will not allow it to be [...]ither the natural Rational Faculty, or common [...]nnate Notions, or natural Conscience, or Con­science Illuminated, by the preaching of the Gospel, and the Operation of the Holy Ghost [...]hereby. We say, we would have it to be what the Scriptures say it to be, viz. The Light of Christ, the Son of God, who cal­led himself, John 8. 12. the Light of the World; and if so, then Every Mans Light; the Light of every Mind and Understanding, and consequently the Light of Christ within, too hard it seems for the Bishop to compre­hend, and yet so very easie, to the meanest Capacity that observes the Discoveries and Convictions of it in their own Hearts.

But since it is, as he rightly terms it, a Fundamental with us, we will follow the Bi­shop, in his Inquiries a little further. We say first then, It is not the Natural Rational Faculty of Man; for then It would be Man, [Page 54] or a part of his Composition, meerly as Man: But that It is not, but a Manifestation in the Soul of Man, of Christ, the Word-God, the Light of the World, the Second Adam, the Lord from Heaven, the Quickning Spirit; who was full of Grace and Truth, and of whom Man hath received, Grace for Grace: To wit, a Tallent, a Proportion suited to his Want and Capacity, to Convince and Con­vert him, to Renew and Restore him fro [...] his great Lapse unto God, his blessed Ma­ker, again. In short, our Natural Rationa [...] Faculty is our Sight, but not our Light [...] That, by which we descern and judge wha [...] the Divine Light shews us, viz. Good from Evil, and Error from Truth. But as the Ey [...] of the Body is the Sensible Faculty of see­ing External Objects, through the Discove­ry that an External Light (as the Sun in the Firmament) makes to the Eye, but is not That Light it self; so does the Rational Faculty of the Soul see Spiritual or Imma­terial Objects, through the Illumination of the Light of Christ within, but is by no means That Light it self, any more than the Eye is the Sun, or John the Baptist was our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that was but Servant and Fore-runner of his blessed Manifestation in the Flesh.

[Page 55] As for the Bishop's Innate Notions, and Natural Conscience, if by them he means Impressions, or Principles wich are born And come with us into the World, viz. the Law of God in the Heart of Man; I must tell him, first, that this is not the Language of the Law and Testimony he referrs us to in the same Paragraph: And next, that as the Work is not the Workman, so They are not properly the Light of Christ, but the blessed Fruit and Effect of the Light of Christ, the Word-God in Man, which shines in the Heart, and gives him the Knowledge of God, and of his Duty to Him. So that the Innate Notions, or Inward Knowledge we have of God, is from This true Light that lighteth every Man, coming into the World, but is not that Light it self. Just so the Bi­shop's Natural Conscience, must only mean a Capacity that Man has by Nature; that is, in his Creation, of making Judgment of himself, his Duty, and Actions, according to the Judgment of God manifested to him by the Light of Christ within. Not that such a Capacity is That Light; but that It sees or understands by the Inshining of the Divine Light, the things that belong to Man's Duty and Peace.

[Page 56] Nor is it Conscience, Illuminated, by the preaching of the Gospel, and the Operation of the Holy Ghost thereon, which is the last of the Bishop's Constructions; but That very Principle of Life & Light, which Illuminates the Conscience, and was the very Spring and Force of the Apostolical Ministry, and of the Conviction and Conversion of their Hea­rers, and which Opened their Hearts to re­ceive the Gospel when preach'd unto them. In short, this Excellent Principle is in Man, but not of Man, but of God. The Nature of it is to Discover Sin, Reprove for It, and Lead out of It, all such as Love and Obey the Convictions thereof. It is a Principle of Divine Life that Quickens the Obedient Heart to Newness of Life: It Raises, the Mind above the World to God, and searches out and reveals the Deep things of God to the humble and waiting Soul. And be it known to the Bishop, and all that with him profess Ignorance about what we mean by the Light of Christ within Man, This is It, I have been treating of; and I have writ, I bless Al­mighty God, My own Experience, the Taste and Relish I have had of Its Excellency and Sufficiency in the Course of far the greater and best part of my Life.

[Page 57] But the Bishop must excuse me if I say, I [...]annot but take it very Ill at his hands, to [...]orbid us in his following Words, to pretend [...]o give an Account of what we Believe, unless [...]e can make him understand our meaning: And, [...]ecause he does not penetrate our Sense, to [...]all our way of Wording that blessed Prin­ [...]iple of the Light of Christ in Man, a Per­ [...]ect Banter. This to me is one of the seve­ [...]est Persecutions, because Spiritual things, [...]re only to be Spiritually discerned and un­ [...]erstood. I would fain know how a Rege­ [...]erate Man can possibly make a Carnal Man understand the New Birth? It is cer­ [...]ainly the Gift of God to understand Divine Truths, as well as Rightly to Believe. So that supposing our Assertion of the Nature, Power, and Excellency of the Light of Christ in Man to be true, not to have leave to say so, unless we could make every Man rightly take our Sence and Meaning, whether he be Spiritually Discerning, or not, looks Antichristian as well as Unreasonable. We speak Wisdom, says the Apostle, among them that are perfect, 1 Cor. 7. 6. It seems others understand him not, must He therefore not have wrote of the things of God? The very Preach­ing of the Gospel was Foolishness to the [Page 58] Wiselings of Jews and Greeks; they could make neither Head nor Tail of It, by Their way of Judging of Truth: Must not the Gospel therefore be preach'd? When the A­postle Paul preach'd to the Athenians, some of the Men of the Gown, the Philosophers of that Time, Opposed and Despised him, saying, What will this Babbler say? But had they known what he meant, we cannot think they would have said so to Him. Wa [...] the Aposlte then, or the Athenians in faul [...] that they did not understand Him? Or was it Bantering as well as Babbling, because he did not make them understand his mea­ning; which is only the Work of the Holy Ghost to do? Who was it, I pray, tha [...] said The World by Wisdom knew not God? And can we suppose any thing else blinded the Scribes and Pharisees and the High-Priest of the Jews, from discerning the Messiah when He came? For they wanted not Aca­demical Learning, if that could have en­lightned them; nor yet the Scriptures, but they Resisted the Holy Ghost their only True Interpreter, and so stumbled and fell. Let the Bishop also have a Care.

In the Second Chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians, he will find that the A­ [...]ostle [Page 59] spake the Wisdom of God in a, My­ [...]tery, which the Prinees of this World knew [...]ot, with all their Wisdom: For the things [...]f God, fays the Apostle, knoweth no Man, but the Spirit of God; by which those Chri­stians, knew those things that were freely given to them of God. Which thing also we speak, says He, not in the Words which Mans Wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teachetb, comparing Spiritual things with Spi­ritual. But the Natural Man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him: Neither can he know them, because they are Spiritually discerned. Now, according to the Bishops treatment of us, the Apostle ought not to have writ of Faith and Salvation, unless he could have made all that read his Writings understand his Meaning. And it must be a perfect Ban­ter, to talk of speaking Wisdom in a Myste­ry, and not in the Terms that Man's Wis­dom teacheth.

But the Lord Jesus Christ was of another Mind, when he said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, because thou hast hid these things (the Truths of the King­dom) from the Wise and Prudent, and Re­veal'd them unto Babes; Even so Father, for [Page 60] so it seem'd Good in thy sight. It is hence beyond all Dispute that God hideth the Mysteries of His Kingdom from the Wisdom of Man, when Simplicity and Sincerity fail not to Reach and Understand them. Here it was that poor Nicodemus was absolutely at a loss for Christ's meaning, when Christ said, Unless a Man be born again, he can in no wise enter the Kingdom of God, John 3. In­somuch as he asked Christ, upon his Dis­course of the New Birth, How can these things be? At which Christ seems to admire, in a sort of Reproof upon Nicodemus, Art thou a Master of Israel, and knowest not these things? As much as to say, Art thou, a Man of thy Station in the Church of God, Ignorant of the Way to Heaven? Whoever reads that notable Interview between Christ and Nicodemus, will find that Christ resolves the Matter into Two Births, That which is Born of the Flesh, and That which is Born of the Spirit, and these are Contrary: And there­fore no wonder if they differ in their Un­derstanding of the Holy Scriptures, being a Declaration of the Faith and Experience, as well as Doctrine and Practice of the Ser­vants of God that were Enlightned and Born of the Holy Ghost. Nor is this all; for they that are Born of the Flesh, Persecute [Page 61] them that are Born after the Spirit: So that when they can no longer commit Vio­lence upon their Persons and Estates, they will Persecute them with their Tongues and Pens: They are Hereticks, Blasphemers, Il­literate and Ignorant, yet Presumptuous; Enemies to Caesar, and Disobedient to Go­vernment, if they will not give God's due unto Man, viz. Conscience. And if they choose to deliver themselves in Scripture Stile, and speak earnestly of the Necessity of the Work of the Spirit of God, in order to an Experimental and Saving Knowledge of the Truth, declared in Holy Scripture; and that Christ's Ministers are made by the Holy Ghost, and not by Humane Learning; and that the Worship which is acceptable to God, must be in the Spirit and in the Truth; that is, with Clean Hearts and Right Spirits, Kindl'd and Inflam'd with the Holy Spirit of God; They must be called Enthusiasts, Unintelligible, Men of Cant and Banter. And here I leave the Bishop, upon this Paragraph, desiring him to Consider, whether his Knowledge of God the Fa­ther, and Jesus Christ, whom rightly to know is Life Eternal, John 17, be by the Reve­lation of the Son of God in his own Soul, since Christ himself Teacheth and Affirmeth, [Page 62] that no Man knows the Father but the Son, and He to whom, the Son Reveals Him: I should be glad to see the Bishop's Evidence for this Knowledge. For in the Conclusion of this Paragraph; he turns us to the Scrip­tures, who in the beginning of it, makes us Unintelligible and Banterers in Religion, for Expressing Ours in the Terms of It; which may well merit the Bishop's Serious Reflexion.

His Ninth Paragraph refers to our Eighth Article, as he calls it of which he cites these Eight Words only. Worship under the Gospel is Inward and Spiritual; upon which, he says, If you mean, that Outward Worship ought to be accompanied with Inward and Spiritual Worship, 'tis what we Preach, Press and Prac­tice; but if (as it would seem) you mean that all the Worship, God now requires, is from the Inward Man, or from the Spirit, this is abominably false; for our Bodies are God's Handy-work, and God by the Apostle com­mands, Glorifie God in your Body, and in your Spirit, which are God's. Not to tell you, that you your selves, now a-days, perform somewhat of Bodily Worship, Indeed we do, and Ever did, and Ever shall, I hope, while we have Bodies to Worship God in. We are so [Page 63] [...]ar from denying the Body what share is [...]ue to it, that with the Apostle, 1 Cor. 6. [...]9. we say, What, know ye not that your Bo­ [...]ies is the Temple of the Holy Ghost, which is [...]n you, which ye have of God, and you are not [...]our own? Of which I would have the Bi­ [...]hop well Consider: For, if our very Bo­dies are under the Influence of the Holy Ghost, how much more reasonable is it to believe, that It dwells in our Souls, and that our Hearts must be Prepared, and Ani­mated by the Holy Spirit, in all our Devo­ [...]ion towards God. But two things I must Remark to the Bishop, First, That we did not give him the least Occasion to suspect we deny'd Bodily Worship, as appears by the Gospel-Truth now in question: For 'tis plain there, by these words, Worship in this Day is Inward and Spiritual, That we only di­stinguish'd between Gospel Worship, and the Ceremonial, and Pompous Worship of the Law; and that by Spiritual Woship, we under­stand Praying, Praising, and Preaching by the Preparation and Sanctification of the Spi­rit of God; which the Bishop does not, and, I hope, dares not. Deny: Yet Unkindly, and I think Unjustly brings in His, as it would seem, to make us by an Uncharitable Innuendo look to his Reader, as if we denied [Page 64] Bodily Worship. And yet, to avoid so hard a Chapter, as Maintaining this Aspersion would prove to the Bishop, he is forced to confess that now a-days we perform some-what of Bodily Worship; as if we did not perform any formerly, and but a little now: Which shews not that Candor, that his Character ows us, and but too plainly tells every Im­partial Reader, how muck more mind he has that we should be in the Wrong than in the Right. I must Confess we have le [...] Pomp and Gaudiness in our Worship, as wel [...] as in our Cloaths, than is the Custom o [...] some other Churches, and think it our Hap­piness that we are freed from such an Un­profitable as well as Unsuitable Incumbe­rance. Whatever It be, 'tis such as we be­lieve God by his Holy Spirit hath led us in­to: And tho' it be not so Entertaining to those who are Govern'd more by their out­ward Senses than their Souls, yet, I hope it will be allowed us to be Grave, Solemn and Fervent.

The other Remark I make upon the Bi­shop's Exceptions is this, That the Spiritual Worship he there allows of, seems to be but the Worship of Man's Spirit, and not of the Spirit of God, working upon the Spirit of [Page 65] Man. I would not Imitate him, lest I [...]ould be Uncharitable too: For if my [...]eader can make more of it, he has my [...]onsent; but that seems to me to be the [...]ishop's Interpretation upon Christ's words [...]ted by us on this Occasion, viz. God will [...] worshipped in Spirit and in Truth: Tho' [...]ere is a Truth in that also, yet this nor [...]eing so peculiar to the Gospel Dispensa­ [...]on, could not be the Extent of Christ's [...]ords, whose Drift certainly was, to draw Mens Minds to a more Inward and Spiri­ [...]ual Worship: Not only to have less Cere­ [...]ony than was Practis'd among the Jews, [...]ut to feel more of the Power and Spirit of God in our Adoration and Praises, than be­ [...]ong'd to the Former Dispensation; and, with which, I heartily wish the Bishop a [...]etter Acquaintance. Upon the whole Mat­ [...]er, I am apt to think my Reader believes with me, he might as well have spared his Pains upon us, about the first Part of this Gospel-Truth, as he is Silent of the latter, viz. That we may Preach in Power, as well as Words, and as God Promised, and Christ Or­dained, without Money / and without Price.

The Bishop, in his Tenth Paragraph, is pleased to Endeavour to lessen the Authori­ty [Page 66] and Credit of our Ninth Gospel-Truth relating to the vain Fashions and Customs o [...] the World. His words are these. You te [...] us of denying all the vain Customs and Fashion of the World, as also Excess in all things; [...] know no sort of Christians who teach otherwise [...] I wish I knew none (even of your selves) tha [...] practis'd otherwise; it is one part of our C [...]techism we teach our Children. He first Con­curs with our Doctrine, for he says, [...] knows none that Preaches otherwise; and th [...] they do the like in their Catechism. S [...] far then he allows us to be sound. But h [...] wishes he knew none (even of Us) that Prac­tice otherwise. This is a sort of Charge, and being not Prov'd, looks like a Calumny [...] Some perhaps do not walk quite so strictly as becomes them to their Profession; but are they own'd by us therein? Or Indul­ged it self? If not, what are we to Conclude [...] but that the Bishop's Insinuation is to Bal­lance Accounts with us for the failures of his own People? But, pray, are our Ex­cesses equal, or the Numbers, that in Propor­tion do transgress? I would not have him Comfort himself with his Uncharitableness to his honest and friendly Neighbours: As it will not Excuse his less exact Friends, that any of ours live larger, than they pro­fess. [Page 67] so it cannot justly affect our Body, [...]here so few are faulty, when 'tis so well [...]nown that such are sure to meet with due [...]eproof.

But he adds, that There are many Innocent [...]nd Laudable Customs, We call vain: This [...] all in a Heap, and a Reflection by Whole­ [...]ale, I can truly tell him, I know of none: [...]nd if he had been more particular, so would too: Perhaps he thought Generals bes [...] [...] make his Reflection Safe: But if it were [...]y place to be Plaintiff, I could treat the [...]ishop with a large Catalogue of very Of­ [...]ensive Customs, that would concern him [...]o think upon. However, he is pleased to [...]e particular upon us in one of them, which [...]lmost turns his Stomach, he says, to think of, viz. Would it not make a Man's Stomach [...]urn, to hear one forbear, in point of Consci­ence, saying [you] to a single Person, because [...]t is Improper; and at the same time, while [...]e is speaking to his Superiour, because Thou [...]ost sounds a little rudely, to soften the Thou, [...]nd say Thee doest, which is commonly your Peoples practice. It is pity the Bishop could find nothing else to observe from us, that might have better edified us and his Rea­ders: Yet if this be that, among the Lau­dable [Page 68] Customs which we call Vain, which is most Offensive to his Stomach, it shews him to have a very weak one. However, a weak Stomach is better then a weak Head and such an one I should take mine to be if my Instances were no more to the Pur­pose and my Readers Instruction.

But I have somewhat to say to the Bi­shop, before I leave him, upon the Old To­pick of Sincerity, and Charity, in this Re­flection, as I have had in most of the other viz. That he makes the Ground of our Con­scientiousness, about the saying of You to [...] single Person, to be only Propriety of Speech which he (I was going to say) in his Con­science must know is not so: But that the true Reason of it is, first, That It is the Language of the Scriptures of Truth; and next, that the Original of You to a single Person, was Pride and Flattery, being a Plu­ral Honour to a Single Person; given first to Potentates, and then gradually to all Sub­ordinate Ranks of People. In Ancient and Unmixt Tongues, Thou to a Single Person is kept still, as also among the Common People of the present Languages and parti­cularly in that Kingdom where he is a Bishop. I refer him to a Book entituled, No Cross, [Page 69] No Crown, where he will find other Reasons [...]or our Tenderness in that Matter then he [...]lledges, or we have Room for here; tho' [...]he Bishop confines us to Propriety as the [...]nly Reason of our Practice, that he might [...]e better Lash us with the Impropriety of Thee for Thou; which yet he might have [...]pared, since nothing is more common with [...]ll People, than to take the like freedom in [...]peech, in Cases as well as Tenses; not [...]xcepting the Learned themselves. But be [...]t so, we keep Numbers, and intend not [...]lipping of Cases, and that's Our Point, tho' [...]ot the Bishop's, it seems; which it should [...]ave been, would he have been just to us upon the Question. As for the Levity and Scorn, with which he is pleased to treat us upon this Head, I shall only say, it unbe­came him, and Confirms us more than it Exposes us, whatever it does Him.

But I Confess, I am surprized, to find a Man of his Character, and Pretensions, propose so loose a Question as that with which he closes this Paragraph: viz. Will you ever be able to prove, the Primitive Chri­stians used a Dialect or Dress, different from other of their Nation or Quality, and placed Re­ligion in it? Does not Christ require Saluting, [Page 70] those that Salute not us? And no doubt, Ho [...] and His Apostles Salutations were in the Com­mon Form. Doubtless, we are able, most easily and fully: And 'tis admirable to conceive how he could be Ignorant of these Proofs, who ought to be so well read in Scripture and Antiquity. I beseech you there­fore Brethern, says the Apostle, by the Mer­cies of God, that you present your Bodies a Li­ving Sacrifice, Holy, Acceptable unto God which is your Reasonable Service: And [...] not Conformed to this World/ but be [...] Transformed by the Renewing of your Minds, Rom. 12. 1, 2. Again, the Apostle Peter, Chap. 1. 13, 14. Exhorts the Believers, to Gird up the loyns of their Minds, and be Sober, as Obedient Children, not Fashioning them­selves, according to the former Lusts in their Ignorance; which was the Custom of their Countrey. And Chap. 3. 3, 4. Whose Adorn­ing let it not be that of Plaiting the Hair and of Wearing of Gold / or of Putting on of Apparel: But let it be the Hidden Man of the Heart / in that which is not Corrup­tible, even the Ornament of a Meek and Quiet Spirit, which is in the sight of God, of great Price. Thus the Apostolical Counsel to the Churches. But for all this, the Bishop of Cork cannot tell how to think We are [Page 71] [...]ble to prove, that the Primitive Christians [...]iffered in their Dress, from other People of [...]heir Country and Quality. Nor was this [...]nly the Strictness of that Time; for the [...]ame Apostle adds, Verse 4. as an Argument [...] Enforce his Advice; for After this man­ [...]er, says he, in the Old time, the Holy Wo­ [...]en also, who trusted in God, Adorned them­ [...]lves. But can a Man of his Letters, realy [...]e at a Loss for a Proof of the Singularity of Primitive Christians, in Dress, Speech and Behaviour? Or is it to try if we have any [...]o resolve his Question? or taking our Il­ [...]iterature for Granted, that he puts upon [...]s? I beseech him to Converse with Ouze­ [...]ius upon Minutius Faelix, and he will tell him that the first Christians were tax'd, and despised for Ill-bred, in Manners, Unpolish'd in Speech, Unfashionable in Behaviour; in [...]fine, Rustichs and Clowns: As the Chri­stians Irronically return'd their Scorners the [...]stile of Well-bred and Eloquent. This, and much more he cites out of Arnobius, Lactan­tius, Theodoret, &c. And Jerom writing to Celantia and Dometias, Noble Women of that time, sets them a Singular Form of Life from that of the People of their Quality: And Paulinus Bishop of Nola, was so far from pleading for Christians Temporizing [Page 72] with the People of their own Nation, or Quality, according to the Bishop of Cork, that he sharply reproves Sulpitius Severus for It, in a letter to him; as the learned Casaubon in his Discourse of Use and Customs, observes. If the Bishop would look into the Constitutions, that go under the Name of Clemens Romanus, with Tertullian, Gregory Naz. Clemens Alexandrinus, Austin, Gregory the Great, and other Ancients, he would per­ceive the Care and Zeal of those Eminent Men to suppress the Education and Custom [...] of the Gentiles, and to encourage and re­commend the Simplicity and Moderation of the Manners and Behaviour of the first Christians, Which Machiavel in his 2d Book of Disputations takes notice of, and is none of the least proofs to our Point.

And to finish my Authorities, passing by Petrus Belonius, Gratian, Cardan, Luther, &c. I must recommend to the Bishop the History of the Waldenses (an Early People, if not Successive from the Primitive Times) written by one Perrin, more especially con­taining their Faith, Worship and Discipline; and there he may, if he please, observe the Simplicity, Plainess and Distinction of that People from the Customs of the Countries [Page 73] [...]hey lived in, and those that have the name [...]f Reformed ones now.

But he tells us, Christ and his Apostles had [...]alutations; and I tell him, so have We [...]ut he will have it that Christ and his A­ [...]ostles Saluted after the Fashion of the Coun­ [...]ry they were in; which is sooner said then [...]rov'd. For Christ asked the Jews, How [...]an you believe that receive Honour one of ano­ [...]her, and seek not the Honour that cometh from God Only? Now this certainly must be Unlawful to Give or Receive, which hin­ders true Faith. And what was this Ho­ [...]our, but Salutations after the fashion of the Times? As the Text shews, Mat. 23. and for Calling, and being Called of Men Rabbi Christ was so far from Commanding, or Imi­tating them in such things, that He ex­presly forbids it. But the meaning of Christ's [...]aying, Mat. 5. And if ye Salute Your Brethren only, what do ye more then Others? do not even the Publicans so? is this, That in all Acts of Love, Mercy, and Goodness they were to Exceed the Practice of that time: They were to take more notice of, and to look more kindly and friendly upon All Men. But in another sense, He that bid them Salute Enemies as well as Friends, also forbids [Page 74] his Disciples to Salute any Man, or call any Man Rabbi or Master; for that One was their Lord and Master, and they were all Brethren, Mat. 23. 6, 7, 8. and Luke 10. 4. And be­tween such Relations Worldly Honours were of no use, as well as of no value. And did a Primitive Spirit Prevail in those that so much pretend to be the Successors of the A­postles, we should see them more Exempla­ry in Self-denial and Holiness; Encouraging and not Undervaluing and Brow-beating the Serious and Conscientious. But Trees are known by their Fruit; for Grapes are not ga­thered of Thorns, nor Figs of Thistles.

In the mean time, if my Reader please to peruse the Ninth and Tenth Chapters of that Book Entituled, No Cross, No Crown, he will, I hope be satisfied, that we are for Honour, Respect and Civility according to Scripture; tho' Non-conformists to the Empty and Troublesome Ceremonies of the Times, left by us, not of Rudeness, but Conviction; and forbore of Duty and no otherwise of Choice. For, Humanely Speaking, that Contradiction to Custom cannot be Plea­sant to us. I have detained my Reader lon­ger upon this Head than I expected, or per­haps he desired: I shall therefore proceed [Page 75] to the Bishops next Paragraph, which con­tains his Exceptions to our Tenth Gospel-Truth about Baptism and the Supper, and the [...]ast he has to take notice of, the Eleventh, about Government,, being by him already granted in the beginning of his Paper.

He begins thus, In your Xth Article you believe a Spiritual Baptism and a Spiritual Supper and Communion, but acknowledge, you disuse the outward Signs, by us commonly cal­led Sacraments: Now did not Christ command Water-Baptism? Go ye and Baptize all Na­tions, Matth. 28. 19, 20.

He goes on, The Baptism here commanded was Water-Baptism: His reasons are first, that Baptizing with the Spirit was God's work, not the Apostles. 2dly, Primitive Practice, Acts 10. 47, 48. in Cornelius's Case; Who can forbid Water? But this is also gratis dic­tum: For the first Reason is no Reason, since it is not true: And the second seems to me Defective and Short. I am very sen­sible of the Disadvantage I am under, and that I touch a tender Place, and what I say upon this Head, as also anon upon the Sup­per, will be against Wind and Tide with the Generality. But as I hope I shall express [Page 76] my self Reverently as well as Plainly upon this Occasion, so I beseech my Reader, for his Own sake as well as Ours, not to Pre­judge us; as I am sure he will not if he be a Searcher after Truth, and that I chari­tably suppose of him.

I say then The Bishop's first Reason is not true; for God by the Apostles did Bap­tize Believers with the Holy Ghost. It fell-upon them, through the Powerful Preach­ing of the Word: Thus, Acts 10. 44. While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the Word. By which it is evident that Peter, in that Ser­mon, was the Minister of the Spiritual Bap­tism to Cornelius and his Company.

And Peter gives this account to those of the Circumcision at Jerusalem, Acts 11. 15. And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them as on us at the beginning: Then re­membred I the Word of the Lord, how that he said John indeed Baptized with Water, but ye shall be Baptized with the Holy Spirit. So that Peter evidently declares the Gift of the Spirit by the Ministry of the Gospel, to be the Baptism of Christ, or the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Fire, which Christ promised at his Ascension into Heaven.

[Page 77] But the Apostle Paul puts this Matter beyond all Doubt, in his Excellent Account [...]e gives of his Conversion and Commission to King Agrippa, Acts 26. where my Reader will find these words dropping from the Mouth of the Lord Jesus to Saul; Deliver­ing thee from the people, and from the Gen­ [...]iles, to whom now I send thee, to open their Eyes / and to turn them from Darkness to Light / and from the Power of Satan unto GOD / that they may receive Forgiveness of Sins, and an Inheritance among them which are Sanctified through Faith that is in Me, Verse 17, 18. Now if this could be done without the Holy Ghost, let my Reader judge. 'Twas with the Holy Ghost that Peter's Hearers were Prick'd to the Heart, and fitted to re­ceive more of It: And it was by the same Holy Ghost that Paul's Hearers had the Eyes of their Minds opened, to see the Mysteries of God's Kingdom, and by which they were Converted from Darkness to Light, that they might receive the Forgiveness of their Sins, and Inheritance among them which are San­ctified. So that the very End and Benefit of the Apostolical Ministry was Converting, that is, Baptizing them into Christianity; in the Nature, Power and Life of It, by the Holy Ghost.

[Page 78] Now for the Bishop's Second Reason, viz. Practice: I say it is granted that Wa­ter-Baptism having got place among them by John's Ministry, the Fore-runner, it held after Christ's Coming; but that was Ex Gratia, and of Condescention, not of Com­mission? for that properly ceases when his Ministration begins, of which John's was but the Fore-runner. For Moses and the Pro­phets were till John, and John till Christ. And this, John the Water-Baptist tells us, Mat. 3. 11. I indeed Baptize you with Wa­ter unto Repentance, but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, He shall Baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with Fire, see Mark 1. 8. Luke 3. 16. Here's a different Bap­tism and Baptizer, the Servant and the Ma­ster, the Water and the Holy Ghost. One Transcient, the Other Permanent: One the End of the Jewish, and the Other the Be­ginning of the Gospel Dispensation. Where­fore says our Lord Jesus Christ, the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is Greater than John, Matth. 11. 11. Why is not John in Hea­ven? No doubt of it at all, and a Glorious Saint too: But the Least in Christ's Dis­pensation, viz. The Kingdom of God in the Soul, the Work of Christ, the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost and Fire, is Greater than John, [Page 79] as to the Nature of his Administration. See John 3. 30, 31. He must Increase, but I must Decrease. What! John decrease, or his Mini­stration? His Ministration certainly, which he calls Earthly in Comparison of Christ's. So that the Baptist in his Watery Dispensa­tion did but Fore-run Christ, in reference to the Kingdom that he was to set up in Men. He pointed to Christ, and shewed what Christ was to do, viz. to Wash, Fan, and Throughly Purge his Floor; that is, His Peo­ple, and Sanctifie them throughout, by his Spiritual Baptism, according to the Apostle, in Body, Soul and Spirit, 1. Thess 5. 23. So that in short, Practice Properly can be no Institution, where the thing Practic'd has no Commission, which I suppose the Bishop will not think fit to deny: But, says he, It has a Commission, Mat. 28. 19. which is, under favour, bur his say so; and that I think it is no more, I do with all Humility and Submission say, First, I cannot tell how to reconcile it to Good Sense, or Common U­sage in Sacred or Civil Matters, that any thing should be in force by a Commission that is not so much as once named in the Commission. I say, to me it does not ap­pear Congruous any more than Cogent, or ob­liging. And this is the Cause in hand: For [Page 80] there is not a word of Water in the Text al­ledged for Water; nor yet in the Context. And unless there were no other Baptism than that of Water, as there are several, it must at least be allowed to be a Question, what Baptism Christ meant in that Commission, when he sayd. Go ye therefore and Teach all Nations, Baptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

But it may be returned upon me; nor does the Text say it is the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, and so the Bishop is upon equal Terms with me. Grant it, that the word Holy Ghost is not litterally joined to Baptizing, any more than the word Water in that part: But if I am able to shew that the thing is there, and that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost was the Subject of Christ's Dis­course, when he gave that Commission at his Farewell, I presume it will be granted me, that Christ intended a Spiritual, and not a Water Baptism; and that is what I shall do, I hope with much Clearness. First, the Fact, and then my Arguments. Matthew, the Evangelist, large in his History upon other Points, seems short and abrupt in the Context of this Commission, as the Reader may observe. And as it is usual for one Evangelist to explain another, which was the [Page 81] great Wisdom, as well as Goodness of God, that those Christian Memorials might come with less Suspition to the World of any Humane Contrivance; So Luke supplies the shortness of the other Evangelist in his Con­text to this Commission. Luke 24. 45 to 50. particularly the 47, 48, 49. verses. And [...]hat Repentance and Remission of Sins should be Preached in his Name, among all Nations, be­ginning at Jerusalem. And ye are Witnesses of these things. And behold I send the Promise of my Father upon you: But tarry ye in the Ci­ [...]y of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on High. Where, as it is plain that this Evangelist in his Account of Christ's Com­mission, to wit, the Work Christ gave his Disciples to do, Names no Baptizing at all, tho' that which it Implies, in my Sense of the Word, is there, viz. the Promise of the Father, which is the Power from on High They were to tarry at Jerusalem for. So is there not one Word of Water here mentioned, to induce us to think that Christ intend­ed to give it any Place in his Commis­sion. In short, it appears that the Dis­ciples were to be Qualified before they were to go forth as His Witnesses, and that this Qualification is the Promise of the Fa­ther, that he would quickly send them. [Page 82] Now I must desire my Reader to turn to the Acts of this Evangelist, Chap. 1. 4, 5. where he further opens the Manner and matter of Christ's Discourse, and Farewell to his Dis­ciples: And (Christ) being Assembled with them, commanded them, that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but Wait for the Pro­mise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have learnt of me: For John truly Baptized with Water, but ye shall be Baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. It can be, me-thinks, no longer a doubt what Baptism it is that Christ's words, Mat. 28. 19. refers to, since we see not only that Christ distin­guishes betwen John's Baptism and His own, and between Water and Holy Ghost; but also He assigns Water Baptism to John, as his Baptism, and not Christ's, and there­by declares the Holy Ghost to be his own Baptism, and none of John's, and which yet is no more than what John had said be­fore.

So that Comparing both Texts together, Mat. 28. 19. with Acts 1. 4, 5. we may see, if we please, that the Commission in the one, is to be explained by the Qualifications in the other, which was omitted by the first Evangelist. There They are bid to Go, here They are bid to Stay: That is to say, Stay, [Page 83] before you Go, and receive your Qualifica­tion before you go to Qualify, viz. the Pro­mise of the Father; that is, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, which is followed by the Power from On High, verse 8. And indeed, had we not this express force on our side from the Text it self, the Word Therefore in the Commission, (referring plainly to the foregoing Verse, as the Reason of what fol­lows) justifies our sense. For whereas the Bishop has objected against our Assertion, that it must not be a Spiritual Baptism, because that was the work of God, and not of the Apo­stles: It is plain that our Lord takes off the force of his exception, since the Reason why he bid them Go, &c. is because, says he, all Power in Heaven and in Earth is given unto me. Verse 18. As much as if he had said, Go, do all that I have said unto you, and be not Doubting or Fearful / about the perfor­mance of It, for All Power in Heaven and Earth is given unto me that bids you Go, and Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the World, Which need not have been said, as an Encouragement to them, in re­ference to Water Baptism, since that was practised by them, as well as by John's Disciples long before.

Nor is this all; for the very Text, duely [Page 84] considered, will not have It to be Water, since that could Baptize none Into the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and so the Bishop knows the Greek Text runs, [...] for they that are Baptized Into the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, must be baptized with the Bap­tism of the Holy Ghost. Since it is to be­come their Likeness, and bear their Image, which is Holiness. And had not the Apostles understood their Commission as I render it, when they had Baptized with Water, they would certainly have used the Terms that bore the Force of their Commission, viz. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; of which there is not one Instance in all the Scripture.

But that which further shews that Water cannot be understood, to be meant in the Apostolical Commission, is, that one of the Greatest of the Apostles, He that came be­hind (and was added to, by) none of them, denys It, 1 Cor. 1. 17. to be any Part of his Commission; for, says he, Christ sent me not to Baptize but to preach the Gospel: And thanks God for that reason, in the fore­going Verses, that he had Baptized so few: Which to be sure he ought not to have done; but on the Contrary to have been [Page 85] sorry he had Baptized no more, had Water-Baptism been Part of the Apostolical Com­mission, Mat. 28. 19. Again this Eminent Apostle, the Great Grand Father [not to say God-Father] of Gentile Christians, delivered to them for Doctrine, Eph. 4. 5. that there was but One Lord, One Faith, and One Bap­tism. And if so, That must be the Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost, which is Christ's Baptism, and Proper to the Gospel Dispen­sation. Now could any other make a Man a True Christian, or a Child of God then; nor can any be so now without It. That Baptism therefore, without which a Man cannot be a True Jew, or Christian, or of the Circumcision made without hands, that Worship God in the Spirit, and hath no Confi­dence in the Flesh, must needs be the One Baptism; but such is the Baptism of the Holy Ghost: Therefore the Spiritual Baptism is the Apostles One Baptism, Rom. 2. 28, 29. Phil. 3. 3. Again; the One Baptism must be Christ's Baptism, but Christ is the Baptism of the Spirit, therefore That, and not Water Baptism, must be the One Baptism that's in force, according to the Apostle. As John was the Fore-runner of Christ, so was Water, of the Holy Ghost: But that which Fore-runs, in Nature Ceases, and that which [Page 86] succeeds, of course Remains: Therefore the Baptism of the Spirit, is the One Need­ful, and Permanent Baptism.

Yet further; If it be Gospel, That he is not a Jew that is one Outward, nor that Cir­cumcision that is Outward in the Flesh; but that he is a Jew that is one Inward, and that is Circumcision that is of the Heart, in the Spirit, and not in the Letter; whose Praise is not of Men but of God, as Rom. 2. 28, 29. Then unanswerably, He is not a Christian that is one Outward, nor is that Baptism that is of the Flesh: But he is a Christian that is one Inwardly, and that is Baptism that is of the Heart / in the Spirit; whose Praise is not of Men but of God. For indeed in all Ages Men cry him down, as a Slighter of God's Ordinances; but his Praise however is of God, let Men say what they will; and this is the Inward Christians Comfort, in all Undervaluings and Reflexions he meets with from Outside Christians. For it's not to be thought that the Apostle meant or designed to undervalue one Observation, as that of Circumcision, because it is Out­ward, and set up another Outward Obser­vation instead of it, viz. Water-Baptism.

Again, If in Christ Jesus, neither Circumci­sion availeth any thing, nor Uncircumcision, but [Page 87] a New Creature / as saith the same Apo­stle, Gal. 6. 15. Then by the same Rea­son, neither being baptized with Water avail­eth any thing, not being unbaptized with Wa­ter, but a New Creature. I will repeat the Apostles Discourse at large upon this Sub­ject, in the same Chapter, because it is very Instructing, and seems Discissive in this Case; As many, says he, as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh / they constrain you to be Circumcised; only least they should suffer Per­secution for the Cross of Christ. It seems they were Outside People, that laid stress upon Outside things; or something else instead of the Cross of Christ; for they Temporized in this matter, to shun the Shame and Per­secution that then attended the Christians Cross: Which stood partly in laying down of outward Observations; and which they that desire to make a fair shew in the Flesh stand most for. But the Apostle goes on; For (says he) neither they themselves who are Circumcised keep the Law, but desire to have you Circumcised, that they may Glory in your Flesh. They were not exact in the other parts of the Law, it seems, as strict as they seemed to be for this Sacramental Practice, which is the Case of too many now: Yet they prest it, that they might glory and [Page 88] value themselves upon gaining others to be conformable to them, whether to excuse their Compliance with Custom, that they might avoid Persecution, or out of love to Ceremonial Religion.

But says that clear-sighted and plain-dea­ling Apostle, God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, where­by the World is Crucified unto me, and I unto the World. If he rejoyced in nothing but in the Cross of Christ, then in no other Elemen­tary Rite, Service or Ordinance, any more than in Circumcision.

But he proceeds: For in Christ Jesus, nei­ther Circumcision availeth any thing, nor Uncir­cumcision, but a New Creature. That is to say, for according to Christ Jesus, or in the Religion of Christ Jesus, neither Circumcisi­on nor Uncircumcision availeth, but a New Creature, a regenerate Soul; One born again by the Spirit of God: For the Apostle in these excellent Words, not only strikes at Circumcision, but all Outward and Ele­mentary Observations: Neither This, nor That Outward thing availeth in the Christian Religion, or according to Christ Jesus, but a New Creature: He does not say, but Wa­ter Baptism, as some would have it, who tell us that It succeeds Circumcision by Di­vine [Page 89] Institution, by no means: But that which availeth with Christ, and in the Re­l [...]gion of Christ Jesus, is a New Creature, a [...]ew Man, one Changed, Regenerated, or Born gain by the Word and Baptism of the Holy Ghost. And says the Apostle (to confirm [...]hem in this Doctrine of Inward Circumci­ [...]ion, that is of the Heart, in the Spirit; which [...]s the same thing with the Baptism of the Spirit) As many as walk according to this Rule, Peace shall be upon them. So that We the [...]oor despised Quakers, take Comfort in this Apostolical Benediction, and can say to God's Glory, his Peace has been upon Us in our Belief and Confession of this blessed Doc­ [...]rine of the New Creature. It is what we have Aimed at, and has been the great Drift of our Testimony since we were a People; and in order to it have directed all to the Gift of God's Grace in themselves, that by be­lieving in it, and resigning up their Wills and Affections, and whole Man to the Teaching and Conduct of it, they may be leavened and sanctified by it, throughout; by which the State of the New Creature, which is Christianity indeed, will be Expe­rienced, though It was and is a Mystery to the World.

As for the Apostle Peter's Question, Acts [Page 90] 10. 47, 48. Can any Man forbid Water, that These should not be Baptized, which have re­ceived the Holy Ghost as well as We? It Im­ports, with submission, no more than this; That Peter well knowing the Narrowness of his Country Mens Spirits, was Cautious lest his Latitude should Distaste them: For the Gentiles being Unholiness to the Jews, and even Peter himself, without a Vision from God, too narrow Spirited for the Convicti­ons and Devotion of that excellent Centu­rion, Cornelius; It behoved him to ask if any body had any thing to say, Why they might not be baptised as well as the Jews, being Proselites to the Christian Profession. In all which he seems more concerned to save his Own Credit, than to recommend or establish that of Water Baptism: As if he had said, Why should this Custom be for­bid to the Gentiles more than to the Jews? But this will not warrant the Practice in Ge­neral, because Practice is no Institution, and that their appears no Command to make It one. So that asking who can forbid what was not commanded, strengthens his Que­stion instead of weakening it; since what was done of Condescention, could not have been forbid upon Authority. There needed not so much Care or Strickness in the Mat­ter. [Page 91] And indeed, the Apostles themselves seem not to have been so clear about the abolishing of the Jewish Observations, as appears by the want Peter had of a Vision, his own apprehension of the straightness of his Brethren, and their calling him to Ac­count for what he had done, as may be seen in the same Chapter.

But I confess I cannot see why the Bishop should assume the Power of Unchristianing Us, for not practising of that which he him­self practices so unscripturally, and that ac­cording to the Sentiments of a considerable part of Christendom; having not one Text of Scripture to prove that Sprinkling of Wa­ter in the Face, was the Water Baptism, or that Children were the Subjects of Water-Baptism, in the first times. And yet this is all the Baptism the Bishop practices, who seems so severe upon us. I think our for­bearing of Water Baptism from a Belief and Sense of the coming of the Invisible Grace, signified by that Visible Sign, cannot be re­puted such a slight to Water Baptism, as pre­suming to alter the Manner and Substance of its first Institution: For then it was in the River of Jordan, now in a Bason; it was then unto Repentance, now to Children Un­capable of Repentance. But that which per­haps [Page 92] misled the Doctors of the Declining Church first into this Practice, being at the distance of some Hundreds of Years from the Apostolical Times, might be the supposi­tion that Water Baptism came in the place of Circumcision, and that being to Children, so might Water Baptism too. But they for­got (among other things, which even be­fore that time were crept into the Church, without Precept or Evangelical Example) that Repentance was not made a Conditi­on to Circumcision, at it was to Water-Baptism. I would beseech the Bishop to tread softly in this Matter; for if Water Bap­tism should indeed prove a Badge of Chri­stianity, he would be at a loss for one that would pass currant in Scripture. Thus much for this Point.

What I have said upon this Head of Wa­ter Baptism may serve also for what is com­monly called the Lord's Supper, which the Bishop Reproves us for Omitting to Practice: Urging Luke 22. 19. This do in Remembrance of me. And the Apostles words, 1. Cor. 11. 24. 25. It is true indeed Christ said, when he eat it with his Disciples. That they should do it in remembrance of him till he came. And this seems much more of the Nature of a Commission than that cited by the Bishop [Page 93] for Water Baptism: But the Limitation Christ [...]ives to the Practice of it, and a Right and [...]roper Consideration of the Import of his [...]ords, and the Nature of the thing will best [...]ad us to undestand his Mind therein.

1st, This was also a Jewish Practice, as [...]ell as Water Baptism, and so in Nature of [...]o Gospel Institution, but Temporary in its [...]se.

2dly, Christ seems by this to break or [...]pen to them what was so hard for them to [...]ear, to wit, his Departure and Death, by a [...]oken of Memorial till he should come to [...]hem again.

3dly, Christ takes occasion from thence [...]o shew forth to his Disciples the Mystical Supper they should eat, and the Fellowship [...]hey should have with him when he came again.

Now we believe this Coming was Spiri­tual, suitable to that saying of his, I will drink no more of This Fruit of the Vine till I drink it New with you in the Kingdom of my Fa­ther: And some here shall not taste of Death till they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom, Matth. 16. 28. Again, He that dwelleth with you shall be in you, John 14. I in them and they in me, Chap. 17. All which plainly Imports a Spiritual Coming. Also Rev. 3. [Page 94] 20. Behold I stand at the Door and knock, if any Man hear my Voice, and open the Door, I will come into him, and will sup with him and he with me, which was said near Fourty Years after his Ascention. Now since this is acknowledged to be an Outward Sign of an Inward and Invisible Grace, what can Out­ward Bread and Wine more properly Signi­fie and Resemble, than Inward Bread and Wine? And an Outward than an Inward Supper? And if so, the words may reasona­bly be read thus, Eat this Supper of Outward Bread and Wine, till I come into and sup with you, and be your Supper, that am the Bread and Wine from Heaven which Nourishes the Soul unto Eternal Life.

4thly. The Kingdom of God being Spiri­tual and in the Soul, such should be the Or­dinances of that Kingdom. Now Christ tells the Pharisees, Luke 17. 20. The Kingdom of God is within. And the Apostle Paul, Rom. 14. 17. saith, The Kingdom of God is not Meat and Drink / but Righteousness / and Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost: But the outward Supper is Meat and Drink, and therefore not of the Kingdom of God which is not Meat and Drink/ but Righteousness / Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost. And this was made Use of by Christ in the State of [Page 95] Humiliation, before his Death, and the pour­ing forth of the Holy Ghost, to fasten up­on his Disciples that were weak, and of little Faith, the Remembrance of him till they should know him with them and in them by his Spiritual Appearance (as he was the Lord from Heaven, the Quickning Spirit) ac­cording to his Promise. For if the Scripture be consulted, we shall not only find that Christ Reproves the Apostles for their Infide­ [...]ity in him, but after all the Example, Pre­cepts and Miracles they saw by him, and that he had so very lately left them with such Assurances of his Coming to them again; yet when Mary, &c. brought them the Ti­dings of his Resurrection, it is said, Luke 24. 10, 11. Their words seemed to the Disciples as Idle Tales, and they believed them not. Which sufficiently shews the low State they were in, or that at least they needed a Sign or Token, as that of the Supper to Comme­morate Him. But this Reason, which is yet true, does not Credit its Continuation; for when the Spirit was come, or Christ in his Spiritual Appearance, their Eyes were open­ed and they saw then it was the Spirit that Quickens, the Flesh profiteth nothing. John 6. 63.

5thly, Most certainly Christ meant no less, when he Preach'd himself the Bread that [Page 96] came down from Heaven, John 6. 31 to 52, and that they that would have Life Eter­nal, must eat his Flesh and drink his Blood: That is, they must feed upon Spiritual Food: Not the Outward but Inward Supper; the thing signified and Substance it self. For Christ opposes Himself, who is the Bread of God, to the Bread their Fathers eat in the Wilderness who were Dead, which was of an Elementary Nature; therefore it can never be that such Bread as perisheth should be the Bread of the Evangelical Supper, when Christ by Companion undervalues it to the Bread he had to give them.

6thly, Our blessed Lord, Mark 7. 18. taught, That it was not that which went into the Man that defileth the Man, because it went but into his Body, and not into his Heart; and if so, the Argument is undeniable, that it is not that wich goeth into the Man, that is, into his Body, and not into his Heart, that Sanctifieth the Man: But Material Bread and Wine goeth only into the Body, and not into the Heart; therefore they cannot San­ctifie. The Import of Christ's words is plain­ly this, Meats and Drinks neither Defile nor Sanctifie; they neither Benefit nor Harm any one upon a Spiritual Account: Consequently Elementary Bread and Wine cannot be the [Page 97] Evangelical Supper, but a Figure of It, which is ended in Christ the Bread of God, that cometh down from Heaven, John 6. 31, 32, 48, 49, 50. That a Man may eat of and not dye: The Substance of all Shadows; for saith the Apostle, the Body is of Christ; and where that is, our Lord tells us, Luke 13. 37. the Engles are gathered together: Where the Apostles; Wise Men, 1 Cor. 10. 15. seek for the true Supper, which nou­rishes their Souls unto Eternal Life.

7thly, But the Bishop will have this Supper four times repeated in the Scripture of the New Testament, besides that of the Apostle Paul, which must be his mistake—since there is no Command to practice it beyond that very Time, but in Luke 22. 19. If there it self. For tho' his Eating of the Passover is there related, as also in Mark and Luke, It was but once done; and the Command, this do in Remembrance of me, is only Once Re­lated among the Evangelists, as well as it is but Once Commanded. And would we be strict with the Bishop, we need not al­low him that Command to reach further than the present Time in which it was Given; for This Do, or Take Eat, are Equal­ly in the present Tence, for thereby you shew forth my Death. And the following words, [Page 98] viz. I will Drink no more of This Fruit of the Vine, until that Day when I Drink it New with you in my Father's Kingdom, Mat. 26. 29. further explains it. Thus Mark has it, 14. 25. Verily I say unto you, I will Drink no more of the Fruit of the Vine until that Day that I Drink it New in the Kingdom of God. Luke 22. 18. gives it thus, I say unto you, I will not Drink of the Fruit of the Vine till the Kingdom of God shall come. Now it is plain that Christ refers them to the Spiritual Supper, which we Prefer and Practice, and which is the Supper Signified by That of outward Bread and Wine, that was to serve till the Kingdom of God came, and then he would Communicate with them in a way Suitable to the King­dome: which Kingdom, as before said, is not Meat and Drink, but Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost. And as the same Apostle has it, 1 Cor. 4. 20. The King­dom of God is not in Word but in Power; of which Power, and its coming from on High upon the Apostles, Read Acts 1. 6, 7, 8.

For when they asked Christ, Lord wilt thou at this time Restore the Kingdom again to Israel, and that he told them, 'twas not for them to know the Times or the Seasons which the Father had put in his own Power. He al­so adds, But ye shall receive Power after the [Page 99] Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be Witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem and Ju­dea, and in Samaria, and in the uttermost Parts of the Earth. This Power was the Kingdom of God, for it stands in Power, says the Apostle; but it seems he thought fit to wave their Question, as to a direct Answer, and left it a Secret to be revealed unto them, when the Holy ghost should Come, and the Power from on High should fall upon them: And thus he takes his leave of them, and is Immediately received by a Cloud out of their Sight.

Before I conclude with this Paragraph, I would observe, First, that it was the Pass­over and Custom of the Jews, which properly speaking, we conceive hath no just plea to continue as a Gospel Ordinance or Institution; since it was a Type of Him to come, & there­fore ended, as to Institution by his coming.

Secondly, That the Evangelist John, the Beloved Disciple, that lay in the Bosom of Christ, does not so much as mention It, or Water Baptism, as left by Christ to be con­tinued by his Followers, Concerning the Spirit's Baptism, tho' he uses not the word Baptism, yet he is very full, John 14, 16, 17. Chapters, where he tells them, that he would send them the Comforter the Spirit of [Page 100] Truth, to lead them into all Truth, and that he would dwell with them for ever. I say It seems very Improbable if not Incredible, that what the Bishop stiles the Badges of Christianity in his 17th Paragraph, should be wholly forgotten by so great an Apostle of Christianity.

3dly. And as the Beloved Disciple says nothing of these visible Signs, which the Bi­shop calls the Badges of Christianity, so nei­ther are they made an Article of any of the Ancient Creeds Extant, which certainly does not make for their Credit or Authority: Since had they then been of that Importance they are now by some esteemed, we cannot think they would have been forgot by the Compilers of those Creeds.

4ly. The Apostle Paul, though he re­peats the Tradition he received of the Lord's Supper, that night he was betrayed, does not Injoyn it; but as often as the Corinthi­ans did it, he tells them they should do it in remembrance of Christ: Which is far from commanding it, as it would be for the Bishop, if he should say to his Friend, as often as he comes to Cork he should come and Eat with him, obliges that Per­son to come often to Cork. So that tho' the Apostle bids them, that as often as they did [Page 101] it, they should do it in Remembrance of Christ, yet he does not thereby bid them do it often, if at ail.

5ly. And whereas the Bishop would make it a fresh Revelation to the Apostle, when he says for I have received of the Lord, that which also I delivered unto you, I must dissent from him. I cannot apprehend that means any more than this, that what account he had re­ceived of Christ's Eating the Supper with his Disciples, the Night he was Betrayed, the same also he had Delivered unto them: For what need could there be of an Immediate Reve­lation for so late a Fact, so well Witnessed by the Disciples? But if my Reader will peruse that Part of the Chapter which relates to the Supper, he will find the Stress lies upon Remembring of the Lord, which is indeed our Daily, Indispensible Duty, and he that lives without it, may be said to live without God in the World; of which those Corinthi­ans at that time seemed to Insensible, and as such are severely reproved by the Apo­stle, being Irreverent, Greedy and Drunken, hardly fit for the Sign, and less able to discern the Thing Signified.

6ly. Nor does the Apostle seem to recom­mend this practice, but rather reprehend their Abuse of it; and if my Reader will look back [Page 102] to the foregoing Chapter, from the begin­ning to die 18 Verse, he may find a more Spiritual Supper, and Mystical Bread and Cup hinted at by the Apostle, as well as Mat. 26. 29. Rev. 3. 20. by our Lord Jesus Christ himself: Which is indeed very copi­ously exprest by Luke in the Parable of the Supper, chap. 14. from the 16. to die. 24. Verse, where One that was at Meat with Christ, speaking of the Blessedness of eating of Bread in the Kingdom of God, Christ takes occasion to shew forth the Gospel Supper by a Parable, viz. A Certain Man made a Great Supper, and bid many, but they refused, upon divers pretences, and came not; He sent out a second and third time to invite an inferiour sort of Guests, and they came to the Supper; that is, they received the Gospel, which is the Power of God to Salvation, and the evi­dence, as Well as means of It: Which Christ in the 27th verse further expresses, thus (viz.) and whosoever doth not bear my Cross and follow me cannot be my Disciple. Now the Cross of Christ, the same Apostle also says, is the Power of God, 1 Cor. 1. 18. all which referrs to an Inward and Spiritual Work, and Supper, and that they who re­ceive Christ in Spirit, Sup with him in Spirit, being the partakers of his Spiritual Supper, [Page 103] which Christ promises and prepares for all those that open at his knocks the Door of their Hearts unto him, Rev. 3.

7ly. But besides what I have said, both from Scripture and the Nature of the thing, in Proof of Christ's Spiritual Supper and De­fense of our disuse of the visible Sign, the Bi­shop himself does the same thing in relation to another Ordinance: For our Lord Jesus Christ did as solemnly Command his Disci­ples to wash one anothers Feet, as to eat the Supper. The Passage is large and edifying, and I must recommend it to my Reader to peruse in his Bible, John 13. But that part of it which more strictly concerns this point, between the Bishop and me, I shall repeat here, verse 12, 13, 14, 15. So after he had washed their Feet, and taken his Garments and was set down again; He said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord; and ye say well; for so I am, If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your Feet, ye also ought to wash one anothers Feet: For I have given you an Ex­ample that ye should do as I have done to you. Thus Christ Commanded his Disci­ples, not only by his Authority but Exam­ple. Now does the Bishop and his Friends follow Christ's example and obey this Pre­cept? [Page 104] He and they know they do not. What must I Infer from thence, that the Bi­shop is no Christian? I suppose he would take it very ill from me. Tho' he has treat­ed me and my Friends after that sort. But I will shew him a better example, and suppose he thinks, that if Christian Ministers and Peo­ple, walk Humbly towards God and one with another, they fulfil this Commandment, tho' they disuse the Sign, by which the Lord Jesus exprest and recommended Humility to his Followers: Now that which excuses the Bishop in reference to this Ordinance of Washing of Feet, will also excuse our disuse of the Supper, viz. Our eating of the Spiritual Bread and Wine of the Kingdom; the Thing Signified by the Outward Supper. But it is an Error incident to srail Man, to prefer the Practice of those things that have a Shew of Religion, and have least of Unea­siness, and of the Nature of the Cross of Christ in their Performance. Just thus it is easier to receive the Supper than to be Humble, if not easier than to wash Feet: For one is but a Memorial of Christ, but the other perhaps is a Reproach of present Practice, and to be sure a Command to Mortification and Self-denial, the hardest Lesson in Religion. And who knows but for the Reason it has been [Page 105] dropt so long; since it must be very uneasie for People to continue a Custom, to which their Daily Practice is so visible a Contra­diction: Though I hear the Roman Bishop [...]mocks the Text Once a Year.

8ly. But in Relation to the Supper, we far­ther say, the Practice is varied: Then they Sat, [...]ow one sort Stands, another Walks, a third Kneels, a fourth Lies down upon the Ground, as in the East Countries. The Romans have one Opinion, the Greeks another, and the Lutherans and Calvinists Divide, to great Bit­terness, in their Sentiments about It.

9ly. Again, in those Days they were Disci­ples, such as followed Christ, now all are ad­mitted that profess Christianity, tho' they do not follow him or forsake any thing for his Name sake, or keep any of his Holy Precepts, Matth. 5, 6, 7 Chapters.

10ly. Nor is this all we have to say to Ju­stifie our Disuse of this Practice; It is too much Look'd at, and Relied upon by the Peo­ple: And indeed is become a kind of Prote­stant Extream Unction; for if the Generality of them can but have it administred just be­fore they Die, they are too apt to presume upon it for an acceptance in the other World. And indeed it is very frequent, if not na­tural, for many Men to excuse their Diso­bedience [Page 106] by Sacrifice; and where Ceremo­nies or Shadowy Services are continued, People rest upon their observance of them, and Indulge themselves in the Neglect of the Doctrine of the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. I need not look far, nor yet the Bi­shop for a proof of what I say; we can hard­ly miss, which way soever we throw out Eyes, the more is the pity: And as this is no small Abuse of Primitive Practice, so no small Argument for our disuse of it. For when the Brazen Serpent was over-valued by the Jews, God, that had commanded It, for their benefit, stirred up Hezekiah to De­stroy it.

11ly. Besides, these things are become matter of Gain, and made a Sacerdotal Re­venue, not to say Merchandize; which has also helpt to Scandalize People to Tender Consciences, who think it a Prophanation of Religion to suffer any part of it to be Ex­cised to the People that ought to be Free.

12ly. But passing that by at present, and supposing Water Baptism and the Supper were not Antiquated, but still in Force, Who is there Qualified to Administer them? Who has received a Commission, or the Mind of the Holy Ghost, and Power from on High to perform these things? For if those that [Page 107] hold they are in Force, have no Divine Force or Authority to qualifie them to Ad­minister them, there will be but a Lifeless Imi­tation, instead of an Edifying Reality. Which [...]eads me to what I promised long since, That I would at the Close of this Discourse [...]ay something of the True Ground of our Difference and Dissent.

I say then, that where we are supposed to [...]iffer most, we differ least; and where we [...]re believed to differ least, we most of all differ: Which I explain thus. It's generally thought, that we do not hold the Common Doctrines of Christianity, but have Intro­duced New and Erroneous Ones in lieu there­of: Whereas we plainly and entirely Believe the Truths contained in the Creed that is com­monly called the Apostles; which is very Comprehensive as well as Ancient. But that which hath affected our Minds most, and engaged us in this Separation, was the great Carnality and Emptiness both of Ministers and People, under their Profession of Reli­gion: They having hardly the Form of God­liness, but generally speaking, denying the Power thereof; from whom, the Scripture warns Believers to turn away.

Next Ministers being made such, and preaching, and the People worshipping [Page 108] without the Spirit, confining the Operations of it, to the First or Apostolical Times, as if these did not want them, as much, or that Christ would be less Propitious, where his Gifts were not less needful. I say, an Hu­mane and Lifeless Ministry and Worship, to­gether with the great Wordliness of Profes­sors, have occasioned our Separation; and the Persecution that has commonly followed it, hath abundantly confirmed our Judgment In that Matter. Hence it was we Retired our selves to wait upon God together, ac­cording to the Gift of his Holy Spirit, and as the Apostle Paul exhorted the Athenians Acts 17. We felt after him (with our Souls) if by any means we might find him, and hear what God the Lord would say unto us; who speaks Peace unto his People and his Saints, but let them never turn to folly any more. We could not, I say, tell how to think that such as God had never sent, but run of themselves, and were made Ministers by Humane Lear­ning and Authority, not knowing the Work of the Spirit to their own Regeneration, could possibly Profit or Edifie the People unto their Regeneration: And yet that is the very Work and End of the true Gospel Ministry, for no Man can guide another in the way he never trod.

[Page 109] Besides, we apprehended the Ministry was [...]ery much a Temporal Preferment, and there­ [...]ore few were to be found among them, that [...]d not court the Better Places, I mean those [...]at gave the Greatest Pay; and by those [...]ethods mounted to Worldly Wealth and [...]onour, as the rest of the World did: Turn­ [...]g Alms into Dues and by Law, making [...]ifts Rents; and vexing those extreamly, [...]at for Conscience sake could not uphold [...]em: Which we thought very Foreign to Primitive and an Apostolical Spirit; and [...]ort of a True and Through Reformation. This is not said with any disrespect to their [...]ersons, or yet Calling, simply Considered; for [...]e that desires the Office of a Bishop, certainly [...]esires a good thing; but the Holy Ghost in [...]hose days, had the Making of them; and the [...]ood thing then was their Service, and not [...]evenue or Worldly Dignity. They were then [...]ot only no Lords (one being their Lord) [...]ut they lorded it not over God's Clergy or He­ [...]itage, which was the People in those days, [...]or [...]o the word [...] signifies, tho' it is now [...]scribed only to the Ministry. Then the Ground of Prophesie, or Ministry, was the Revelation of the Spirit, in those ancient Assemblies, as may be read 1 Cor. 14. 29, 30, 31, 32. For all might Prophecy, that is, Preach as the Spirit of [Page 110] God moved upon their Spirit, and gave them utterance, be it to Reproof, Instructi­on, or Consolation: Now Study, Collection and Memory. In those Days they Preach'd their Own Experience of die Work of God upon their Hearts, but most now Preach of the Experiences of Others, recorded in Scrip­tures, but according to their own and o­thers. Humane Apprehensions. To be brief, we Ground our Conviction, Conversion, Mi­nistry, Prayer, and Praise upon the Light and Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, as the Powerful and Effectual Spring of our Reli­gious Performances, and that alone which prepares the Soul, and Enables it to Perform those respective Services and Duties in a Manner Acceptable to God. And that Mi­nistry and Worship which stands not in the Spirit, and is not performed in the Prepara­tion and Inspiration thereof, but according to the Compilings, Traditions and Precepts of Men, we cannot allow to be Primitive and Evangelical, and consequently cannot join in them. And we are satisfied that it is the good Pleasure of God, that all who profess the Name of his Dear, and Only Begotten, and Well-beloved Son, should Acquaint them­selves with the Spirit of His Son in their own Hearts, in its Reproof Instruction, Con­viction, [Page 111] and Consolation, that they may be­come Spiritually Minded, such as mind Spi­ritual Things more than Earthly Ones; and that Daily sow to the Spirit; that is, bring forth the Fruits of the Spirit, and become the Children of God, who are led by the Spirit of God. Now the Fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Long-suffering, Gent­leness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, Temperance: Against such there is no Law. And they that are Christ's have Crucified the Flesh, with the Affections and Lusts thereof. But the Works of the Flesh are manifest which are these, Adultery, Fornication, Uncleanness, Lascivi­ousness, Idolatry, Witchcraft, Hatred, Vari­ance, Emulations, Wrath, Strife, Seditions, Heresies, Envyings, Murder, Drunkenness, Revilings and such like: Of which I told you before, as also in time past, that they which do such things shall not Inherit the Kingdom of God, Rom. 8. 6. 14. Gal. 5. 16. to 24. Chap. 6. 7. 8. And under these Marks, and Di­rections all People may examine themselves, and know their Birth, Family and Inheri­tance, whether they are the off­spring of God, and true Christians, or Children of the Evil One: Those that are born of the Spirit, for whom is reserved an Inheritance With the Saints in Light, or the Seed of [Page 112] Evil Doers, for whom is reserved the Black­ness of Darkness for ever. And truly it seems just with God, that those who love Dark­ness better than Light in this World, should have their Fill of It in the next; from which, God Almighty redeem Thee, Reader, that thou mayst walk in his blessed Light, as he is in the Light, then thou wilt have fellowship with the Children of Light, and the Blood of Jesus Christ (the Great Atonement) shall Cleanse the from All Sin, 1 John 1. 5, 6, 7. yea, from the filthiness both of Flesh and Spi­rit; and being sanctified throughout in Body and Spirit; thou mayst live to serve God in the Newness of his holy Spirit, Rom. 7. 6. and come to be made a New Man; that is an other Man. From a Proud, an Humble Man; from a Passionate, a Patient Man; from a Rough, a Meek Man; and of a Cruel, Co­vetous, Unjust, Lascivious, Intemperate, Vain and Ungodly Man; thou becomest a Merciful, Liberal, Just, Chast, Sober and God­ly Man: And where this Change, this New Birth, or New Creature is not known, Sa­crifices avail nothing, Religion is but Forma­lity and the Peace of God will never be their Recompence of Reward. But they that walk after this blessed unerring Rule of the New Creature, Peace be on them, and [Page 113] Mercy, and upon the Israel of God, Gal. 6. 15, 16. who are the Circumcision made Without Hands, in putting off the Body of the Sins of the Flesh, by the Circumcision of Christ, Col. 3. 11. even that of the Heart, in the Spirit, whole Praise is not of Men but of God, Rom. 2. 29. And who therefore Wor­ship God in the Spirit, and have no Confi­dence in the Flesh, Phil. 3. 3. that is, in fleshly Ordinances, or the observation of Figures and Signs compounded of Outward Elements, which represent Heavenly Things: Wherefore the Apostle Exhorted and Com­manded, Col. 2. 16, 17. Let no Man Judge you in Meat or in Drink or in respect of an Holy Day &c. which are Shadows of things to Come, but the Body is of Christ; that is, Christ is the Substance of all outward repre­sentations, and they that have Christ have the End of all those things: Whom Reader we Labour and Pray, may be better known, received and obeyed by the Professors of his holy Name and Religion. That as he is Gi­ven of God to be our Priest, Prophet and King, we may all Know Feel and Enjoy him such in our selves, and then the Kingdom of God will be come in us, and his will done in our Earth as it is in Heaven: Which God Grant, I most Humbly beseech him.

[Page 114] For the Conclusion of the Bishop's Paper, it is either Repitition, or Reflection; the one needs no Answer, and the other wants a De­fence. However, I will not have it said that I either wave or suppress It, and there­fore without any Reflection I will consider his: Which should have no weight with my Reader but against him.

He says in his 12 Paragraph, He pities us, thinking many of us Harmless and Well­meaning, but under the Power of strong Delu­sions. And in his 13 Paragraph he gives us his sence of the cause thereof, viz. that we make the Light within, a Rule of Faith and Practice, Co-ordinate, if not Superiour and Antecedent to the Holy Scripture. To prove which to be our Sentiment, he cites these words out of our Gospel-Truths, where speaking of the Holy Spirit, and the Scrip­tures, we say, they are the Double and Agreeing Record of true Religion. Now if the Light and Spirit agree with the Scrip­ture, there is no fear of contradicting the Scripture, and so we can have nothing to answer for on account of that Expression, for what agrees with the Scripture, establishes it, instead of Slighting or Superceeding the Authority of it.

And though we used no such words as [Page 115] Co-ordinate, much less Superiour and Antece­dent, which is the Bishop's Gloss to render our most True and In-offensive Expression suspected, and make way to fasten his sup­posed Strong Delusions upon us; I will be very frank with him in this matter, that we Believe the Scripture to be the Declaration of the Mind of the Holy Ghost, and there­fore not Superiour to the Holy Ghost, but Credited, Confirmed, and Expounded by the Holy Ghost; so that without the Illumina­tion of It, the Scripture cannot be under­stood by them that read It. The Grammati­cal and Critical Sense of the Words and Allusions therein may be understood, but the Inside and Spiritual Signification of them, is a Riddle to those that are not Spiritually instructed therein, tho' they were never such Grammarians or Linguists.

Again Christ says, He that loves the Light brings his Deeds to the Light, to see if they are wrought in God, John 3. 21. which was before the New Testament Scripture was in being; and this makes It both Rule and Judge of the Life and Deeds of Men. What says the Bishop to this? Also John 14, 15, 16 Chapters, Christ promises the Spirit to lead them, his People, into all Truth, and this was not the Scripture, but something at [Page 116] least Co-ordinate, if not Superiour and Ante­cedent to the Scripture, which is more than we said before. Also the Apostle Paul tells the Romans, Ch. 8. that as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God; Then the Spirit is to Lead Believers, or they cannot be the Children of God. And that which Leads, Rules, and that which Rules is a Rule to them that follow it. And the same Apostle referr'd the Galathians, Chap. 6. 15, 16. to the Rule of the New Crea­ture to walk by, and that must be the Spi­rit which begets the New Creature, viz. Christ formed in them, of whom he tells them, Chap. 14. 19. He travelled in Birth again. And the Beloved Disciple expresly says to the Christians in his First Epistle, Chap. 2. 20. that they had an Unction from the Holy One, and they knew all things / that is, all things they had to Believe, Know and Pra­ctice. And Verse 27. he adds, But the A­nointing which ye have received abideth in you, and ye need not that any Man teach you, but as the same Anointing teacheth you of All things, and is Truth. If the Bishop will break through all these Scriptures to undervalue the Light and Spirit of Christ (for no other Light or Spirit do we Assert, Recommend People to, or Contend for) that he might [Page 117] render us Guilty of Strong Delusions, I can­not help it, but must be truly sorry for him. But I beseech him to have a care that he does not, like the Jews of old, Undervalue, and indeed Blaspheme against the Holy Light and Spirit of God, and by miscalling the Fruits and Effects of its Power, Strong Delu­sions and Transformations of Satan: For God will not hold such Guiltless in his Great and Terrible Day of Judgment.

And after all, the Best and First Reformers and Martyrs, as well as Fathers, Concur in our Assertion and Testimony. As Zuinglius, Luther, Melanchton, Calvin, Beza, Bucer, Peter Martyr, and Erasmus too. Also our own Excellent Martyrs, viz. Lambert, Ro­gers, Philpot, Bradford, Hooper, Woodman, &c. that the Double and Agreeing Testimony of the Spirit of God within, and the Scripture of Truth without, is the Rule and Judge of Faith, Doctrine and Practice; yea that the Spirit is given to Believers to be the Rule and Judge by which they are to understand the true Sense and Meaning of the Scriptures. Now let the Reader judge who gives the Truest Honour to the Scripture, the Bishop, or the People called Quakers? They say the Scriptures have a Double Record, that is, the Evidence of the Spirit of Truth [Page 118] in the Hearts of Believers, as well as their Own: Or the Bishop, who by his way of Treating us and our Principle, will allow us no other Evidence of their Truth, but Them­selves. For to say the Evidence of the Spi­rit of God, with that of the Scripture, make a Double and agreeing Testimony is with him to undervalue the Scripture, and the Ground, in his Apprehension, of our Strong Delusi­ons. It must be my turn now to pity the Bi­shop, and truly I do it with all my Heart, to see him strain so Sound, as well as In­offensive an Expression, as that which he makes the Reason of our Delusion, that he might have an occasion to lessen our Credit with the Professors of Christianity, and espe­cially Protestants. Can it Dishonour the Scripture to deny the Evidence of the Prin­cipal and Author of the Scripture, to back the Authority of the Scripture? Or doth not he rather lessen the Authority of Scrip­ture, that will not allow us another Evi­dence of the Truth of Scripture than its own, for fear of Co-ordinacy, which was not so much as once intended to be insinuated by us, nor do the words import any such thing; yet it had been no strong, nor any Delusion at all to give the Holy Ghost the Preference. But I shall keep to the Terms [Page 119] of the Paper, whatever the Bishop is pleased to do; knowing that whoever Concludes an Argument in terms not in the Question, nor plainly deduceable from the Premises, is not a fair Dealer in Controversie: In which the Bishop, if he pleases, may rea­sonably enough think himself more than once concerned.

Blessed be God we have known the Power and Efficiency of this Holy Light and Spi­rit of Christ in our selves, and being in good measures Witnesses thereof, we do not only speak by Report, but by Experience. We had the Scriptures in the Days of our Ignorance and Worldly-mindedness, but disregarding the Reproofs and Instruction of the Light of Jesus in our Hearts, we never could come to know the Power of those Truths the Scripture declares of. But when it pleased God, in the Riches of his Love, to cause his blessed Light, that had shined in Darkness, and the Darkness compre­hended it not, to shine out of Darkness, and gives us the Knowledge of himself in the Face (or through the Manifestation) of his Son Jesus Christ, we saw and bewailed our selves, and by an unfeigned Sorrow and Repen­tance, returned as Penitent Prodigals to­wards our Fathers House; and in this Turn, [Page 120] we were brought to die daily to that Love and Satisfaction we once had in the Glo­ry, Pleasures, Honours, Friendships and Diversions of the World, which now became Burdensome, more than ever they were pleas­ing to us.

Hence it was, and from no Sinister Ends, or Self-righteous Conceits, that we became an altered and a distinguished People, in our Behaviour, Garb and Conversation: More Retired, Watchful, Silent and Plain, than for­merly, equally avoiding Luxury and Ava­rice. I say, it was the Work of God's Spi­rit upon our Hearts, who by his Light gave us to see the just difference of things, and to distinguish between that which pleased Him, and that which pleased Him not. And this Holy Pattern he gave us in the Light of his beloved Son, which we design to follow, as did the Holy Ancients; and is a full Answer to the Bishop's Unfriendly Queries upon our distinguishing Behaviour, in his 14th and 15th Paragraph, as if it were not out of Fear towards God, or upon a Conscientious Bottom, but to serve a world­ly Turn? For he asks us Is it not your main Aim, End and Study, by pretended Morti­fications, to make your selves a Party Considera­ble? Again, Are not to this Purpose your dif­ferent [Page 121] Garb, Speech, Looks and Gestures, and to make your selves remarkable, rather than out of a Sense of Duty, or Conscience of Obliga­tion? Which, as it is the worst Construction that the most Irreligious and Prophane could make upon our Behaviour, so I beseech God to forgive the Bishop, and make him sensible how little such Treatment of strict & sober Living advances the Common Cause of Religion, and how much it indulges those that know no Reins or Check to their Ex­cesses in his own Church. But to go no farther than the Bishop and his Clergy, pray who distinguish themselves more by their Garb from other People then they? Tho' I cannot say as much of their Behaviour. So indeed did the Chemerims or black Coats of old, and Those that wore long Robes in our Saviours time, but as I take it, they went not without his Censure, while I think the Bishop will find none in Scrip­ture against our Plainness. But the Bishops Pontifical Robes, do in my Opinion look much more like Singularity and a Sight than ours; for our Garb is like other Mens, only freed of their Superfluity. In short I wish him a better Understanding of the true Grounds of our stricter Con­duct, and Where and Who they are that [Page 122] make a Trade of Religion; that if he has any Shot left against Mercinary Religionists, he may not miss the Mark next time, but may make it his main Aim, End and Study, to Expose Hirelings and Hypocrites in their Proper Colours: And some are of Opinion he need not go far to find too many of them.

It is strange the Bishop should be so un­sensible of the Advantage he gives me by his Queries, and what a wide Door he o­pens to a severe Retaliation; but my desire to be Modest, and to be Silent upon such Advantages, is, I think, to be abundant­ly so.

Howbeit, I must take Notice of one Ex­pression, for it may too seriously affect us not to be observed to him. When he asks, If it be not our main End and Study, by pre­tended Mortifications, to make our selves a Party Considerable? He adds, and such to which, for Reasons of State / Peculiar Pri­viledges must be indulged. If this were not more than Mockery, I should wave my No­tice; but calling the meaning of the Go­vernment in Question about the Liberty of Conscience we enjoy, He must forgive me if I bestow a few Remarks upon that Expres­sion. It seems then our Liberty flows not [Page 123] from the Inclination of the Government to Liberty, less from Compassion, and least of all from Justice and a Christian Principle. Which Motives carry with them a Prospect of the Continuance of Liberty, if not for Liberties sake. But the Bishop believes no such thing, and if he would not have us of his mind, he did weakly to tell us so. Well then, we are all of us to take his Ad­vertisement, that our Liberty hangs but by slender Threads, and a Reason of State, and not of Nature, Right or Christianity; which certainly is not to bespeak this Considerable Party to the advantage of the Government: And for which I think the Bishop a very moderate States-man, and the Govern­ment as little beholding to his Politicks as we are to his Charity. However, we will have a better Opinion of our Superiors Re­gards to Liberty, and conclude that their Inclination equals their Discretion, and that their Judgment as well as Prudence is of that side. Let the Bishop say what he pleases. And tho' he deserves it not at my Hands, I could almost perswade my self to think that he does not begrudge us, and means not so loosly as he writes. But be it as it will, That God that has upheld us by hit free Spirit to this Day, through many and [Page 124] great Afflictions, we firmly believe will suffer nothing to attend us, that shall not in the Conclu­sion work for his Glory and our Good, if we con­tinue stedfast to the End, in the blessed way of Righteousness, wherein he has so often and signally Owned and Preserved us; notwithstan­ding the Violence of Open Enemies, and the Treacherous and Restless Endeavours of False Friends.

His 16th Paragraph multiplies Reflection, as before observed, and Repeats what I have already largely answered; particularly that we own the Christian Faith, which he makes us to Wave, Suppress, or at least not to Confess; and have express'd it even in the Paper, he has faulted so much of Short­ness, and that more fully, in all Points, than in the Creed commonly called the A­thenasian; except that about the Trinity, which seems to me less plain by that Co­pious way taken to explain It.

He also says, We Reject all Outward, Posi­tive Parts of Worship, which we deny: For we own and use Prayer, Preaching and Prais­ing in the Spirit, without which they cannot be Owned or Joined with; for they cannot be so performed to Edification by a true Christian Worshipper; since God, who is a Spirit, will be Worshipped in Spirit, and in [Page 125] Truth, which Christ's Spirit must enable us to perform. And such Worshippers Only God the Father seeks to Worship him: Im­plying he regards not other Worshippers.

But Especially, the Bishop says, we reject Baptism and the Supper. We say we do not Reject but Disuse the Signs, because we felt the Invisible Graces in our Souls they were Signs and Shadows of; and therefore not in Disrespect to the Signs, but in Reverence to the Divine Substance they shew forth, we discontinue their use among us. They ob­tain'd place in the Infancy and Twi-light of the Church; in her more weak and Cere­monious time, directing, as I may say, that Inter-regnum between the Law and Gospel, before the Dispensation of the Holy Ghost had Fully obtained Place and Preheminence in the Church. But of this I have been al­ready very particular.

He grows warm in his 17th Paragraph and Episcopal; for he says, In a word, I again Require you, as you will answer all your Se­cret Arts and Pretensions at Christ's Tribu­nal, that you either Embrace and Profess the Entire Christian Truth, in the Points wherein I have shewn you to be Defective; and that you receive the Christian Seals or Badges, Baptism and the Lord's Supper; or [Page 126] else that you Desist to lay claim to the Name of Christians.

But first I must return the Bishop his Se­cret Arts and Pretensions, In all which he is Greviously Mistaken. For either I do not understand his meaning, or I abhor it. Next, be it known to him, we Wave not, we Suppress not, but heartily Embrace and Profess before the whole World, all Points of Christian Doctrine, according to the mind of the Holy Ghost, as I have amply signified before upon this subject. And where the Bishop takes leave of the Text, he must excuse me if I leave him to keep company with it. We did not Entitle our Paper All Gospel-Truths; but Gospel-Truths, which extended so far as we were Tax'd with Error about those Truths: And yet he must have but a little Charity that will not allow a Believer and Follower of those Truths to be a Christian. Nor indeed has the Bishop given us the Articles of Faith he says we Wave or Suppress, or told us his own, or that One Churches Faith he would have us receive, as I have Complained al­ready. But that the Bishop should forbid us so much as to lay claim to the Name of Chri­stians, unless we will Practice what he calls the Seals or Badges of Christianity (which [Page 127] divers Churches in Christendom think he misuses) is very Uncharitable and Dogma­tical. But besides what I have said at large in our Excuse and Defence in that Matter, he produces not one Scripture that calls them either Seals or Badges. But yet there are other things that are so represented by our blessed Saviour and his Apostles, which he takes no notice of. As Mat. 16. 24. where, they that will he reputed Christ's Dis­ciples must take up his Cross and follow him. Christ's Cross is a Christians Badge and Seal of Discipleship. Again, John 13. 35. He said to his Disciples, By this shall all Men know that ye are my Disciples if ye love one another. Likewise Mat. 25. 34, 35, 36. The Distinguishing Character of the last Day is not Water Baptism and the Outward Supper, but Love, Mercy and Compassion; Bowels and Charity; not being Ashamed or Afraid of Owning and Helping the Lord's Servants in their Afflictions, viz. I was an Hungry and ye gave Me Meat: I was Thirsty and ye gave Me Drink: I was a Stranger and ye took Me in: Naked and ye Cloathed Me: I was Sick and ye visited Me: I was in Pri­son and ye came unto Me. This is the Chri­stian Badge that will be Recognized by our Lord Jesus Christ at the last day: We [Page 128] have his own Word for It. In all which, He is so far from mentioning either of the other Badges that Luke 13. He brings in the Unhappy, that are on his left hand, using this Argument to engage him to receive them into blessedness, viz. We have Eaten and Drank in thy Presence, and thou hast taught in our Streets. A plain Instance they had the use of such Ordinances as the Bi­shop reputes Badges of Christianity; but it is as plain that such Pleas would not do: For behold the Lord Jesus says unto them in the Parable, I know you not, depart from me ye workers of Iniquity! I recommend the perusal of the following Verses to my Rea­der, which confirm my sense of the Text: For He spoke to an outside People that counted themselves the People of God, and were observers of Meats and Drinks, and Divers Washings: And that which was Doctrine and Caution then, is Doctrine and Caution now; for Truth holds the same to the End.

I might add, Holiness for a Characteristick, without which no Man shall ever see the Lord: And that neither Circumcision availeth any thing nor Uncircumcision, but a New Crea­ture, Gal. 6. Also the Fruits of the Spirit, Chap. 5. among which there is not one [Page 129] word about Water- Baptism or the Outward Supper, with many more Passages that are Close and Cogent.

His 18th and last Paragraph tells us, He will not judge us, and yet his whole Paper is but one Continued Judgment of us. But, from God, as he says, and as his Minister he bids us Judge our selves. First, We thank God we are before-hand with the Bishop, having Judged our selves, and that by the Judgment of God upon us, and so have right to Judge others according to that Judgment. Secondly, We have no proof that the Bishop speaks from God to us: Nor can I tell how he should, that does not acknowledge the Inspeaking Word of God in the Soul. Thirdly, For his being God's Minister, he has not shewn us his Commission yet, and I fear it will not be from Heaven when ever he does. But if my Reader will take the pains of perusing this very Paragraph, he will not only see a Judging Spirit, but that the Bishop holds out abusing of us to the last, rendring us as bad as bad can be, viz. That we Subvert the Faith once delivered to the Saints, and equal our Conceits to the Divine Oracles, Using and Disusing what Parts of God's Instituted Wor­ship we please; adding, I will not Interpose [Page 130] your making Gain your Godliness. But as I have already taken ample notice of this Charge, so I shall say no more of his Irre­ligious Slant at our Sincerity than this, That I cannot pretend to tell the Bishop what Tribe of Men in Christendom it is that have long made Gain their Godliness, and the Pretence of it their Worldly Inheri­tance; since he has been so much more Sensibly instructed in this Affair than my self: But one thing I am sure of, that if Gain and not Godliness was our Motive to be the People we are, we mightily Mistook our way when we left the Bishops: For Af­flictions, Spoiles, Prisons, Banishments, yea, and Death it self have attended us since God was pleased to manifest his Truth to us: And if under all those Calamitys that have followed us since we were a People, for the sake of our Unfashionable Profession, the Bishop or any else is so Unnatural, as to envy us the Blessing of God upon our honest Industry, and to render that which is an Effect of God's Goodness, the Rea­son and End of our Religion, God forgive them. I could Enlarge upon this Topick, but time would fail, and the Discourse swell beyond Bounds, as indeed it hath already beyond my Expectation: for which [Page 131] I should Excuse my self to my Reader, but that it was not Simply from the Regard I had to the Bishop's Sheet, since that could not have deserved this Notice from me, but might have been answered as Concisely as that was written, had I only considered his Undertaking and Treatment, and not my Rea­ders Satisfaction, in the better Knowledge of our so much Misrepresented Perswasion: Especially in a Nation, where of late I had occasion so Generally to Travel, and the Bishop's Paper hath been I suppose as Ge­nerally Disperst. I owe it therefore to My Profession, to My Self, and to the Coun­try, to Vindicate the One, and to Express my Christian Regard and Acknowledgment to the Other; having received a more than common Civility from the Inhabitants in General: To whom I wish, as to my own Soul, the Saving Knowledge of the Truth, as it is in Jesus: That Christians Indeed and at Heart They may be, to the Glory of God their Creator, and the Eternal Sal­vatiou of their Souls, through Jesus Christ, the alone Redeemer, and to whom with the Father, by the Holy Ghost, be all Ho­nour and Glory, Thanksgiving and Praise, World without End.


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