A TESTIMONY TO THE Truth of God, As held by the People, called, QUAKERS: BEING A short Vindication of them, from the Abuses and Misrepresentations, often put upon them by Envious Apostates, and Mercenary Adversaries.

Psal. 56 5.

Every day they wrest my words. All their Thoughts are against me for Evil.

The Second Impression.

London, Printed and Sold by T. Sowle, in White-Hart-Court, in Gracious-Street, 1699.

READER,

OCcasion having been given us which we never sought, we continue to improve it to the further Explanation and Defence of our so much abused Profession; that, if possible, People may see, at least the more Sober and Candid, that we are not at that distance from Truth, nor so Heterodox in our Principles, as we have been, by too many, either rashly or interestedly Represented: But that indeed we hold the Great Truths of Christianity, accord­ing to the Holy Scriptures, and that the Realities of Religion are the Mark we press after, and to dis­abuse and awaken People from their false Hopes and carnal Securities, [Page] under which they are too apt to In­dulge themselves, to their Irrepara­ble Loss; That by our setting Chri­stian Doctrine in a true Light, and reviving and pressing the Ne­cessity of a better Practice, They may see the Obligation they are under to redeem their precious Time they have lost, by a more careful Employ­ment of that which remains, to a bet­ter purpose. In this short Vindica­tion of our mistaken Principles, the Ingenuous Reader may easily discern how Ill we have been treated, and what Hardships we have laboured un­der, through the Prejudice of some, and the Unreasonable Credulity of others, and that we are a People in Earnest for Heaven, and in that Way our Blessed Lord hath trod for Us to Glory.

A TESTIMONY TO THE Truth of God, As held by the People, called, QUAKERS, &c.

BY the Observation we are led to make from Fra. Bugg's late Book, upon the Bishop of Norwich's gi­ving him his Recommendatory Letter to the Clergy, &c. in his Diocess, to Re­lieve, by a Collection, the Necessities of that Beggerly Apostate; a Copy of which Letter the said F. B. hath Pub­lished in his said Book.

And also by the Observation we have made on the malicious Attempts of the Snake in the Grass, in his First, Second, and Third Editions, which is a disingenu­ous and unjust Collection from F. Bugg, and some other Deserters of things, for [Page 6] the most part, long since answered; as also lately by the Book Entituled, An Antidote, &c. (Though because his Second and Third Edition have some Additions to his first, and that being new vamped, for a better Market, he may expect a Melius inquirendum after a while: Yet should we follow the Exam­ple of this Rattle-Snake, against the Church, of which he pretends to be a Member (but at present a suspended one) we might, in Retaliation, not only ex­ceed the Cobler of Gloucester, but the Scotch Eloquence, and that Master-Piece, the Ground of the Contempt of the Clergy.

And Lastly, By the Observation we have made on the Relation subscribed by some of the Norfolk-Clergy, dated, Octob. the 12th. 1698. We cannot forbear thinking, that as their Confederacy is deep, so it aims at nothing less than the Ruine of us, and our Posterity, by ren­dring us Blasphemers, and Enemies to the Government, and to be treated as such.

The Norfolk-Relation from the Cler­gy aforesaid, charges the said People with Blasphemy: First, Against God. Se­condly, [Page 7] Against Jesus Christ. Thirdly, Against the Holy Scriptures, with Contempt of Civil Magistracy, and the Ordinances which Jesus Christ Instituted, viz, Baptism by Water, and the Lord's Supper by Bread and Wine. And Lastly, That the Light within, as taught by us, leaves us without any certain Rule, and exposes us to the Blas­phemies aforesaid, with many others. Now, because this Charge refers to Doctrine, rather than Fact, or particular Persons, we think our selves concerned to say something in Vindication of our Professi­on, and to wipe off the Dirt thereby in­tended to be cast upon us, in giving our Reader a plain Account of our Principles, from the Perversions of our Enemies.

But to manifest how Uncharitably and Unjustly the said Clergy-Men have Re­flected upon the People called Quakers, with respect to the said Charge, we are contented the Reader goes no further than their own Printed Relation, dated Nov. 12. 1698. not doubting but by that ve­ry Relation, and the Letters therewith Printed, he will meet with intire Satis­faction, with respect to the Reasonable­ness [Page 8] and Justness of the Quakers Proceed­ings in that Affair, and how ready they were to come to the Test, and to bring the pretended Charge upon the Stage, and to Purge themselves from the Guilt of the same: Provided they might be accommodated with what the Common Law allows Malefactors, viz. a Copy of their Indictment, but this could not be obtained. And tho' the said Clergy have thought fit to Print the Charge in Ge­neral, without any Proof, we think our selves obliged to Vindicate our Profession, by freely declaring (as now we do, with­out any Mental Reservation) our sincere Belief of the very things they most un­justly Charge us with denying.

I. Concerning GOD.

BEcause we declare, that God is a God nigh at Hand, and that he is, according to his Promise, become the Teacher of his People by his Spirit, in these latter Days; and that True Believers are the Temples for him to Walk and Dwell in, as the Apostle Teacheth; and Experien­cing [Page 9] something of the Accomplishment of this Great and Glorious Truth a­mongst us, and having therefore pressed People earnestly to the Knowledge and Injoyment thereof, as the Blessing and Glory of the latter Days; We have been Ignorantly, or Maliciously Represented and Treated as Hereticks and Blasphe­mers, as if we owned no God in Heaven above the Stars, and confined the Holy One of Israel to our Beings: Whereas we believe him to be the Eternal, Incom­prehensible, Almighty, All wise, and Omnipresent God, Creator and Uphold­er of all things, and that he fills Hea­ven and Earth, and the Heaven of Hea­vens cannot contain him; yet he saith by the Prophet Isaiah, To that Man will I have regard that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and which trembles at my word. So that for professing that which is the very Marrow of the Christian Religion, viz. Emanuel, God with us, we are represent­ed Blasphemers against that God; with whom we leave our innocent and suffer­ing Cause. Isaiah 7. 14. 40. 28. 48. 17. 66. 1, 2. 2 Cor. 6. 16. Rev. 21. 3.

II. Concerning Jesus Christ.

BEcause we believe, that the Word which was made Flesh, and dwelt amongst 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 ought to hear in all things; who tasted Death for every Man, and Died for Sin, that we might Die to Sin; is the Great Light of the World, and full of Grace and Truth, and that he lighteth every Man that com­eth into the World, and giveth them Grace for Grace, and Light for Light, and that no Man can know God and Christ (whom to know is Life Eternal) and themselves in order to true Convicti­on and Conversion, without Receiving and Obeying this Holy Light, and being taught by the Divine Grace; and that without it, no Remission, no Justification, no Salvation (as the Scripture plentifully testifies) can be obtained. And because we therefore press the Necessity of Peoples receiving the Inward and Spiritual Ap­pearance [Page 11] of this Divine Word, in order to a Right and beneficial Application of whatsoever he did for Man, with respect to his Life, Miracles, Death, Sufferings, Resurrection, Ascension, and Mediation; our Adversaries would have us to deny any Christ without us. First, As to his Di­vinity, because they make us to confine him too within us. Secondly, As to his Humanity, or Manhood, because as he was the Son of Abraham, David, and Mary, according to the Flesh, he can't be in us, and therefore we are Hereticks and Blasphemers: Whereas we believe him, according to Scripture, to be the Son of Abraham, David, and Mary after the Flesh, and also God over all, blessed for ever. So that he that is within us, is also with­out us, even the same that laid down his precious Life for us, rise again from the Dead, and ever liveth to make Inter­cession for us, being the Blessed and a­lone Mediator betwixt God and Man, and him by whom God will finally Judge the World, both Quick and Dead: All which we as sincerely and stedfastly be­lieve, as any other Society of People, [Page 12] whatever may be Ignorantly, or Mali­ciously Insinuated to the contrary, ei­ther by our declared Enemies, or mista­ken Neighbours. Deut. 15. 18. Mi [...]. 5. 2. John 1. 1, 2, 3. Rev. 22. 16.

III. Concerning the Holy Scriptures.

BEcause we Assert the Holy Spirit to be the first great and general Rule and Guide of true Christians, as that by which God is Worshipped, Sin Detected, Conscience Convicted, Duty Manifested, Scripture Unfolded and Ex­plained, and consequently the Rule for Understanding the Scriptures themselves (since by It they were at first given forth) from hence our Adversaries are pleased to make us Blasphemers of the Ho­ly Scriptures, undervaluing their Autho­rity, preferring our own Books before them, with more to that purpose: Whereas we, in Truth and Sincerity, be­lieve them to be of Divine Authority, gi­ven by the Inspiration of God, thro' Ho­ly Men; they speaking or writing them as they were moved by the Holy Ghost: [Page 13] That they are a Declaration of those things most surely believed by the Pri­mitive Christians, and that as they con­tain the Mind and Will of God, and are his Commands to us; so they, in that respect, are his Declaratory Words; and therefore are Obligatory on us, and are Profitable for Doctrine, Reproof, Correcti­on, and Instruction in Righteousness, that the Man of God may be perfect, and through­ly furnished to every good Work.

Nay, after all, so Unjust is the Charge, and so Remote from our Belief concern­ing the Holy Scriptures, that we both Love, Honour and Prefer them before all Books in the World; ever choosing to express our Belief of the Christian Faith and Doctrine, in the Terms there­of, and rejecting all Principles or Do­ctrines whatsoever, that are Repugnant thereunto.

Nevertheless we are well persuaded, that notwithstanding there is such an Excellency in the Holy Scriptures, as we have above declared, yet the unstable and unlearned in Christ's School too often Wrest them to their own Destruction. [Page 14] And upon our Re [...]r Carnal Constructions of the [...] made Un­dervaluers of [...] But certain it is, That as the Lord hath been pleased to give us the Experience of the fulfilling of them in Measure, so it is altogether contrary to our Faith and Practice, to put any manner of Slight or Contempt upon them, much more of being guilty, of what maliciously is suggested against us; since no Society of Profest Christi­ans in the World, can have a more Re­verend and Honourable Esteem for them than we have, John 4. 24. and 16. 8. Rom. 1. 19. Luke 1. 1, 2. Tim. 3. 16, 17. 2 Pet. 3. 16.

IV. Concerning Magistracy.

BEcause we have not actively compli­ed with divers Statutes, which have been made to force an Uniformity to what we had no Faith in, but the Testimony of our Conscience against; and because for Conscience sake, we could not give those Marks of Honour and Respect, which were and are the [Page 15] usual Practice of those that seek Honour one of another, and not that Honour which comes from God only (but Mea­sure and Weigh Honour and Respect in a false Ballance, and deceitful Measure, on which neither Magistrate, Ruler, nor People can depend) We say, because we could not, for Conscience sake, give Flat­tering Titles, &c. We have been ren­der'd as Despisers and Contemners of Magistracy: Whereas our Principles, of­ten repeated upon the many Revolutions that have happened, do evidently mani­fest the contrary, as well as our Peaceable Behaviour from the beginning, under all the various Forms of Government, hath been an undeniable Plea in our Fa­vour, when those that also have Professed the same Principles of Non-Resistance, and Passive-Obedience, have Quitted their Prin­ciples, and yet Quarrel with us upon a Supposition that we will, in time, write af­ter their Copy; which, as nothing is more contrary to our Principles, Faith and Doctrine, so nothing can be more con­trary to our constant Practice.

For we not only really believe Magi­stracy [Page 16] to be an Ordinance of God, but esteem it an Extraordinary Blessing, where it is a Praise to them that do well, and a Terror to Evil-doers: Which that it may be so in this our Native Land, is the fervent Desire of our Souls, that the Bles­sing and Peace of God may be continued thereupon, Job 32. 21. John 5. 44. Acts 5. 29. 1 Pet. 2. 13, 14.

V. Concerning Baptism.

BEcause we do not find in any place in the four Evangelists, that Jesus Christ Instituted Baptism by Water, to come in the room of Circumcision, or to be the Baptism proper to His Kingdom, which stands in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost; we are therefore render'd as Contemners of Christ's Bap­tism: Whereas the Baptism of Jesus Christ, of which he was Lord and Ad­ministrator, according to the nature of his Office and Kingdom, is even by John the Baptist declared to be that of Fire (not Water) and of the Holy Ghost, of which Water-Baptism was but the Fore­runner, [Page 17] and is by them that now Practice it, called but the Outward and Visible Sign of the Inward and Spiritual Grace; and therefore not the Grace it self; which Grace, as the Apostle saith, is sufficient for us, and which we Believe, Profess, and Experience to be come by Jesus Christ, who is the Substance of all Signs and Shadows to true Believers; he be­ing no more a Jew or Christian that is one outwardly, by the cutting or washing of the Flesh. But he is a Jew and Christian who is one inward­ly, and Circumcision and Baptism is of the Heart, in the Spirit, and not in the Letter, whose Praise is therefore not of Men, but of God: And this Baptism Christ Preferred and Recommended at his Farewel to his Disciples: in Reve­rence and Duty to whom, to say nothing of the abuse of Water-Baptism, we de­cline the use thereof, Mark 1. 8. Luke 3. 16. John 1. 17. Acts 1. 5. Rom. 14. 17. Rom. 2. 28, 29. 1 Cor. 1. 17. 2 Cor. 12. 9.

VI. Concerning Breaking Bread, &c.

BEcause we also disuse the Outward Ceremony of Breaking Bread, and Drinking Wine, which is commonly called the Lord's Supper, we are there­fore render'd Deniers and Contemners of the Lord's-Supper; whereas the In­ward and Spiritual Grace thereby signi­fied, viz. that Bread which came down from Heaven, which Christ prefers to the Bread the Fathers eat in the Wilder­ness (which did not keep them from Death) and that Cup which he pro­mised to drink a-new with his Disciples in his Father's Kingdom, we not only Believe, but Reverently Partake of, to our unspeakable Comfort, which is rightly and truly the Communion of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who said, Except you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his Blood, you have no Life in you, John 6. 53, 63. For 'tis the Spirit that quickens, the Flesh profits nothing: It was also his Promise to all those that would open at his Knocks, [Page 19] viz. That he would come in, and Sup with them; which Inward and Spiritual Coming, we have both known and testified to; feeling the blessed Effects thereof in our Souls, and knowing the outward Breaking of Bread and Drink­ing of Wine in the way commonly Practised, is no more than it is decla­red to be, viz. An Outward and Visible Sign: Why then should any contend about it, and render us Unchristian, for disusing what themselves allow to be but an Outward and Visible Sign? And that none can reasonably believe to be an Essential Part of Religion, as is the Bread from Heaven; of which the Outward is, at best, but a Signi­fication: But the Wine that Christ pro­mised to Drink with his Disciples a­new, is such an Essential, that without it none have, nor can have Eternal Life, Mat. 26. 29. Mark 14. 25. John 6. 41, 50, 51, 58, 63. Rev. 3. 20.

VII. Concerning the Light of Christ.

BEcause we Assert the Sufficiency of the Light within, it being the Light of Christ, viz. That if Men live up to the Teaching thereof, in all manner of Faithfulness and Obedience, they shall not abide in Darkness, but have the Light of Life and Salvation, and the Blood of Christ shall cleanse them from all Sin: Our Adversaries from thence con­ceive, that we undervalue the Rule of Holy Scriptures, and all outward Means, as having no need thereof, since we have such a Means and Rule within us, and that this leaves us without any certain Rule, and exposeth us to many Blasphe­mies, &c. Whereas the Light within (or Christ by his Light inwardly Teaching) was never taught by us in Opposition to, or Contempt of any out­ward Means that God, in his Wisdom and Providence, affords us for our Edi­fication and Comfort, no more than did that blessed Apostle, who said, You need not that any Man teach you, but as the [Page 21] same Anointing teacheth you all things, and is Truth, and is no Lye, John 12. 46. 1 John 1. 6, 7. 1 John 1. 2, 27.

VIII. Concerning the Father, the Word, and the Spirit.

BEcause we have been very cautious in expressing our Faith concerning that great Mystery, especially in such School Terms, and Philosophical Di­stinctions as are Unscriptural, if not Unsound, (the tendency whereof hath been to raise Frivolous Controversies and Animosities amongst Men) we have by those that desire to lessen our Christian Reputation, been represented as Deniers of the Trinity at large: Whereas we ever believed, and as con­stantly maintained the Truth of that blessed (Holy Scripture) Three, that bear Record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, and that these Three are One; the which, we both sincerely and reverently believe, accord­ing to 1 John 5. 7. And this is suffici­ent [Page 22] for us to believe and know, and hath a Tendency to Edification and Ho­liness, when the contrary centers only in Imaginations, and Strife, and Perse­cution, where it runs high, and to Par­ties, as may be Read in Bloody Cha­racters in the Ecclesiastical Histories.

IX. Concerning Works.

BEcause we make Evangelical Obedi­ence a Condition to Salvation, and Works by the Spirit wrought in us, to be an Evidence of Faith, and Holiness of Life, to be both Necessary and Reward­able; it hath been Insinuated against us, as if we hoped to be saved by our own Works, and so make them the Meri­torious Cause of our Salvation, and con­sequently Popish.

Whereas we know, that it is not by Works of Righteousness that we can do, but by his own free Grace is he pleased to accept of us through Faith in, and Obedience to his Blessed Son the Lord Jesus Christ, Heb. 5. 9. and 12. 14.

X. Of Christ's being our Example.

BEcause in some Cases we have said, the Lord Jesus was our great Ex­ample, and that his Obedience to his Father doth not excuse ours; but as by keeping his Commandments, he abode in his Father's Love, so must we follow his Example of Obedience, to abide in his Love: Some have been so ignorant (or that which is worse) as to venture to say for us, or in our Name, that we believe our Lord Jesus Christ was in all things, but an Example.

Whereas we confess him to be so much more than an Example, that we believe him to be our most acceptable Sacrifice to God his Father, who for his Sake will look upon fallen Man that hath justly merited the Wrath of God, upon his Return by Repentance, Faith and Obedience, as if he had never sinned at all, 1 John 2. 12. Rom. 3. 26. and 10. 9, 10. Heb. 5. 9.

XI. Concerning Freedom from Sin.

BEcause we have urged the Necessity of a perfect Freedom from Sin, and a thorough Sanctification in Body, Soul and Spirit, whilst on this side the Grave, by the Operation of the Ho­ly and Perfect Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to the Testimony of Holy Scripture, we are made so Pre­sumptious, as to assert the fulness of all Perfection and Happiness to be attain­able in this Life: Whereas we are not only sensible of those humane Infirmi­ties that attend us, whilst clogged with Flesh and Blood; but know that here we can only know in part, and see in part: The Perfection of Wisdom, Glory and Happiness, be­ing reserved for another, and better World, John 8. 24, 25. Heb. 13. 20, 21. Heb. 6.

XII. Concerning Worship to God.

BEcause we say with the Apostle, that Men ought to Pray, Preach, Sing, &c. with the Spirit, and that without the Preparation and Assi­stance of it, no Man can Rightly Wor­ship God. (all Worship without it be­ing Formal, and Carnal) From hence Ignorance or Envy suggests against us, that if God will not compel us by his Spi­rit, he must go without his Worship: Whereas nothing can be more absurd, since without it no Man can truly call Jesus Lord: Besides, it is our Duty to wait upon him who hath promised, not to compel, but fill them with Renew­ings of Strength, that so wait upon him, by which they are made capable to Worship him acceptably, be it in Pray­er, Preaching, or Praising of God: And how warrantable our Practice herein is from Holy Scripture, see Psal. 25. 5. 37. 7. 27. 14. 130. 5, 6. Hosea, 12. 6.

XIII. Of God and Christ's being in Man.

BEcause we say as doth the Holy Scriptures, that God is Light, and that Christ is Light, and that God is in Christ, and that Christ by his Light, lighteth every Man that cometh into the World, and dwelleth in them, and with them that obey him, in his Inward and Spiritual Manifestations: People have been told by our Adversaries, that we believe every Man has whole God, and whole Christ in him, and consequently so many Gods, and Christs, as Men: Whereas we assert nothing herein, but in the Language of the Holy Ghost in the Scriptures of Truth; and Mean, no more by it, than that as God is in Christ, so Christ by his Spirit and Light, dwell­eth in the Hearts of his People, to com­fort and consolate them, as he doth in wicked Men, to reprove and condemn them, as well as to call, enlighten and instruct them; that out of that state of [Page 27] Condemnation they may come, and by believing in him, may Experience their Hearts cured of the Maladies Sin hath brought upon them, in order to com­pleat Salvation from Sin here, and from Wrath to come hereafter, 2 Cor. 5. 9. 1 Joh. 1. 5.

XIV. Of Christ's coming both in Flesh and Spirit.

BEcause the Tendency (generally speaking) of our Ministry is to press People to the Inward and Spiritual Appearance of Christ, by his Spirit and Grace in their Hearts, to give them a true Sight and Sence of and Sorrow for Sin, to amendment of Life, and Pra­ctice of Holiness: And because we have often opposed that Doctrine of being actually Justified by the Merits of Christ, whilst actual Sinners against God, by liv­ing in the Pollutions of this wicked World: We are by our Adversaries ren­der'd such, as either deny, or undervalue the coming of Christ without us, and the [Page 28] Force and Efficacy of his Death and Suf­ferings, as a Propitiation for the Sins of the whole World.

Whereas we do, and hope we ever shall (as we always did) confess to the Glory of God the Father, and the Ho­nour of his dear and beloved Son, that he, to wit, Jesus Christ, took our Na­ture upon him, was like us in all things, Sin excepted: That he was born of the Virgin Mary, went about amongst Men do­ing Good, and working many Miracles: That he was betrayed by Judas into the Hands of the chief Priests, &c. That he suffered Death under Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governour, being Crucified between two Thieves, and was buried in the Sepul­chre of Joseph of Arimathea: Rose again the third day from the Dead, and ascended into Heaven, and sits at God's Right Hand, in the Power and Majesty of his Fa­ther; and that by him God the Father will one day judge the whole World, both of Quick and Dead, according to their Works.

But because we so believe, must we not believe that Christ said, He that dwelleth with you shall be in you? John 14. [Page 29] I in them, and they in me, &c. Chap. 17. When it pleased God to reveal his Son in me, Gal. 1. The Mystery hid from Ages, is Christ in the Gentiles the hope of Glory, Col. 1. Unless Christ be in you, you are Reprobates, 2 Cor. 13. Or must we be industriously represented Deniers of Christ's Coming in the Flesh, and the Holy Ends of it, in all the Parts and Branches of his Doing and Suffering, because we believe and press the Necessity of Receiving and Obeying his Inward and Spiritual Ap­pearance and Manifestation of himself, through his Light, Grace and Spirit in the Hearts and Consciences of Men and Women, to Reprove, Convict, Convert and Change them? This we esteem hard and unrighteous Measure; nor would our warm and sharp Adversaries be so dealt with by others: But to do as they would be done to, is too often no part of their Practice.

Yet we are very ready to declare to the whole World, that we cannot think Men and Women can be saved by their belief of the One without the Sense and Experience of the Other; and that is what we oppose, [Page 30] and not his Blessed Manifestation in the Flesh. We say that he then overcame our Common Enemy, foiled him in the open Field, and in our Nature triumph­ed over him that had overcome and tri­umphed over it in our Fore-Father A­dam, and his Posterity: And that as tru­ly as Christ overcame him in our Nature, in his own Person, so, by his Divine Grace being received and obeyed by us, he overcomes Satan in us: That is, he detects the Enemy by his Light in the Conscience, and enables the Creature to resist him, and all his Fiery Darts; and finally, so to Fight the Good Fight of Faith, as to overcome him, and lay hold on Eternal Life.

And this is the Dispensation of Grace, which we declare has appeared to all, more or less; teaching those that will receive it, to deny ungodliness and worldly lust, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present World; looking for (which none else can justly do) the blessed Hope, and glorious Appearing of the Great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, &c. Tit. 2. 11, 12, 13. And as from the Teachings, [Page 31] Experience, and Motion of this Grace, we minister to others, so the very drift of our Ministry is to turn Peoples Minds to this Grace in themselves, that they may all come to do, even the good and acceptable Will of God, and work out their Salvation with fear and trembling, and make their High and Heavenly Calling and Election sure; which none else can do, whatever be their Profession, Church and Character: For such as Men sow they must reap; and his Servants we are, whom we obey.

Regeneration we must know, or we cannot be Children of God, and Heirs of Eternal Glory: And to be Born a­gain, an other Spirit and Principle must prevail, to leaven, season, and govern us, [than either the Spirit of the World, or our own depraved Spirits] and this can be no other Spirit than that which dwelt in Christ, for unless that dwell in us, we can be none of his, Rom. 8. 9. And this Spirit begins in Conviction, and ends in Conversion and Perseverance: And the one follows the other; Con­version being the Consequence of Con­viction [Page 32] obey'd, and Perseverance a natu­ral Fruit of Conversion, and of being Born of God: For such Sin not, be­cause the Seed of God abides in them, 1 John 3. 7, 8, 9. but through Faithful­ness, continue to the end, and obtain the Promise, even Everlasting Life.

But we do acknowledge that Christ, through his Holy Doing and Suffering, (for being a Son he learned Obedience) has obtained Mercy of God his Father for Mankind; and that his Obedience has an Influence to our Salvation, in all the Parts and Branches of it; since there­by he became a Conqueror, and led Cap­tivity Captive, and obtained Gifts for Men, with divers Great Promises, that thereby we might be partakers of the Divine Nature, having (first) escaped the Cor­ruption that is in the World through Lust: In short, we do Believe and Confess that the Active and Passive Obedience of Christ Jesus affects our Salvation throughout, as well from the Power and Pollution of Sin, as from the Guilt; He being a Conqueror as well as a Sacrifice, and both, through Suffering: Yet they that [Page 33] reject his Divine Gift, so obtained, and which he has given to them, by which to see their Sin, and the sinfulness of it, and to repent and turn away from it, and do so no more; and not wait upon God for daily strength to resist the Fiery Darts of the Enemy, and to be Comforted thro' the Obedience of Faith in and to this Di­vine Grace of the Son of God; such do not please God, nor truly are in a state of true Christianity and Salvation. Wo­man, saith Christ, to the Samaritan, at the Well, hadst thou known the Gift of God, and who it is that speaketh to thee, &c. People know not Christ, and God, whom to know is Life Eternal, John 17. because they are Ignorant of the Gift of God, John 4. 10. viz. a measure of the Spi­rit of God that is given to every one to profit with, 1 Cor. 12. 7. which reveals Christ and God to the Soul. Flesh and Blood cannot do it; Oxford and Cam­bridge cannot do it; Tongues and Philo­sophy cannot do it: For they that by wisdom knew not God, had these things for their Wisdom. They were strong, deep and accurate in them; [Page 34] but alas, they were clouded, shut up, and set farther off from the Inward and Sav­ing Knowledge of God, because they sought for it in them, and thought to find God there. But the Key of David is another thing, which shuts and no Man opens; and opens, and no Man shuts: And this Key have all they that receive the Gift of God into their Hearts, which opens to them, the Knowledge of God and themselves, and gives them quite another Sight, Taste, and Judgment of things, than their meer Education or Traditional Knowledge afforded them.

This is the beginning of the New Crea­tion of God, and thus it is we come to be New Creatures: And we are bound to declare there is no other way, besides this, by which People can come into Christ, or to be true Christians, or receive the Advantage that came by the Death and Sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore we say, and upon good Au­thorities, even that of our own Experience, and that of the Scriptures of Truth, Christ will prove no Saving Sacrifice for them that refuse him for their Example. [Page 35] They that reject the Gift, deny the Giver, instead of denying themselves daily for the Giver's sake. O that People were wise, that they would consider their lat­ter End, and the things that make for the Peace thereof! Why should they pe­rish in a vain hope of Life, while Death Reigns? Of living with God, who live not to him, nor walk with him? Awake thou that sleepeth in thy Sin, or, at best, in thy Self-righteousness, and Christ shall give thee Life! For he is the Lord from Heaven, the quickning Spirit, that quickens us by his Spirit, if we do not resist it, and quench it by our Disobedi­ence; but receive, love and obey it, in all the Holy Leadings and Teachings of it, Rom. 14. 15. To which Holy Spirit we commend the Reader, that he may the better see where he is, and also come to the true Belief and Advantage of the Doings and Sufferings of our Dear and Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who saves from the Power and Pollution, as well as Guilt of Sin, all those that hear his knocks, and opens the Door of their Hearts to him, that he may [Page 36] come in and work a real and thorough Reformation in, and for them: And so the Benefit, Virtue, and Efficacy of his Doings and Sufferings without us, will come to be livingly applied and felt, and fellowship with Christ in his Death and Sufferings known, according to the Do­ctrine of the Apostle; which, those that live in that which made him suffer, know not, though they profess to be sa­ved by his Death and Sufferings. Much more might be said as to this matter; but to conclude this Subject, we wonder not that we should be mistaken, mis­construed and mis-represented, in what we believe in order to Salvation, since our Betters have been so treated in the Pri­mitive Times; nor indeed is it only a­bout Doctrines or Principles, for our Pra­ctice in Worship and Discipline have had the same Success: But this is what we earnestly desire, that however bold Peo­ple are pleased to make with us, they would not deceive themselves in the great things of their own Salvation: That while they would seem to own all to Christ, they are not found disowned of [Page 37] Christ in the last Day. Read the 7th of Matthew; it is he that hears Christ, the great Word of God, and does what he enjoyns, what he commands, and by his Blessed Example, recommends, that is a Wise Builder, that has founded his House well, and built with good Materials, and whose House will stand the last shake and Judgment. For which cause we are often plain, close and earnest with People to consider, that Christ came not to save them in, but from their Sins; and that they that think to dis­charge and release themselves of his Yoke and Burden, his Cross and Example (and secure themselves, by Complementing Christ with his having done all for them, while he has wrought little or nothing in them, nor they parted with any thing for the love of him) will finally awake in a dreadful surprise, at the sound of the last Trumpet, and that irrevokable Sen­tence: Depart from me, ye workers of Ini­quity, I know you not. Which terrible End, may all timely avoid, by hearken­ing to Wisdom's Voice, and turning at her Reproof, that she may lead them in [Page 38] the Ways of Righteousness, and in the midst of the Paths of Judgment, that their Souls may come to inherit Sub­stance; even durable Riches and Righte­ousness in the Kingdom of the Father, World without end.

XV. Of Scripture, Satisfaction, and Justification.

BEcause we, with many others, have denied that Ridged Satisfaction which some hold, as that God could not Possibly save Men any other way than by Condemning and Punishing his Innocent Son unto Death, with the utmost Ju­stice and Severity; and that his Wrath or Justice is now so fully Satisfied for Sin past, present, and to come, as that he will now Look upon Man holy for Christ's sake, tho' unholy in himself, and as if he was in Christ, tho' not a new Creature. We are made Deniers of Christ's Satis­faction at large.

Whereas we Sincerely Believe our Lord Jesus Christ was that most accept­able [Page 39] Sacrifice to God for the Sin of Man­kind, that whatsoever sin is forgiven, is not forgiven only because of Repentance, but for his sake that dyed, and offered him self through the Eternal Spirit, an Offering once for all.

The Doctrine of Satisfaction and Ju­stification truly understood are placed in so strict an Union, that the one is a neces­sary Consequence of the other, and what we say of them, is what agrees with the suffrage of Scripture, and for the most part in the terms of it; always believing that in Points where there arises any difficul­ty, be it from the Obscurity of Expression, Mistranslation, or the Dust raised by the Heats of Partial Writers, or Nice Criticks it is ever best to keep close to the Text and maintain Charity in the rest. We shall therefore first speak Negatively, what we do not own, (which perhaps hath given occasion to those who have been more ha­sty than wise to judge us defective in our Belief of the Efficacy of the Death and Sufferings of Christ to Justification:) As,

First, We cannot believe that Christ is the Cause, but the Effect of God's Love, [Page 40] according to the Testimony of the Be­loved Disciple John, Chap. 3. God hath so loved the World, that he hath given his only Begotten Son into the World, that who­soever believeth on him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life.

Secondly, We cannot say, God could not have taken another way to have sa­ved Sinners, than by the Death and Suf­ferings of his Son, to satisfie his Justice, or that Christ's Death and Sufferings were a strict and rigid Satisfaction for that Eternal Death and Misery due to Man for Sin and Transgression: For such a Notion were to make God's Mer­cy little concerned in Man's Salvation; and indeed, we are at too great a distance from his Infinite Wisdom and Power, to judge of the Liberty or Necessity of his Actings.

Thirdly, We cannot say Jesus Christ was the greatest Sinner in the World (because he bore our Sins on the Cross, or because he was made Sin for us, who never knew any Sin) an Expression of great Levity and Unsoundness, yet often said by great Preachers and Professors of Re­ligion.

[Page 41] Fourthly, We cannot Believe that Christ's Death and Sufferings so satisfies God, or justifies Men, as that they are thereby accepted of God. They are, in­deed thereby put into a State capable of being accepted of God, and through the Obedience of Faith, and Sanctification of the Spirit, are in a State of Acceptance: For we can never think a Man justified before God, while Self-condemned; or that any Man can be in Christ, who is not a New Creature, or that God looks upon Men otherwise than they are. We think it a State of Presumption, and not of Salvation, to call Jesus, Lord, and not by the Work of the Holy Ghost, Master, and he not Master of our Affections, Sa­viour, and not saved by him from Sin, Redeemer, and yet not redeemed by him from Passion, Pride, Covetousness, Wan­tonness, Vanity, Honours, vain Friendships, and Glory of this World: Which who­ever do, will deceive themselves; for God will not be mocked; such as Men sow, such must they reap. And tho' Christ did Die for us, yet we must, by the Assistance of his Grace, work out our Salvation with [Page 42] Fear and Trembling: As he died for Sin, so we must die to Sin, or we cannot be said to be saved by the Death and Suffer­ings of Christ, or throughly Justified and Accepted with God. But now possitively, what we own, as to Justification comes next.

We do believe, that Jesus Christ was our Holy Sacrifice, and Attonement, and Propitiation; that he bore our Iniquities, and that by his Stripes we were healed of the Wounds Adam gave us in his Fall; and that God is just in forgiving true Penitents, upon the Credit of that Holy Offering Christ made of himself to God for us; and that what he did and suffer'd, satisfied and pleased God, it being for the take of fallen Man that had displeased Him: And that by the Offering up of himself once for all, through the Eternal Spirit, he hath for ever perfected those (in all times) that are sanctified, who walk not after the Flesh, but after the Spirit, Rom. 8. 1. Mark that.

In short, Justification consists of two parts, or hath a two-fold Consideration, viz. Justification from the Guilt of Sin, [Page 43] and Justification from the Power and Pollution of Sin, and in this sense Justi­fication gives Man a full and clear Ac­ceptance before God. For want of this latter part, it is that so many Souls Reli­giously inclin'd, are often under Doubts, Scruples and Dispondencies, notwith­standing all that their Teachers tell them of the Extent and Efficacy of the first part of Justification. And it is too ge­neral an Unhappiness among the Pro­fessors of Christianity, that they are apt to cloke their own Active and Passive Dis­obedience, with the Active and Passive Obe­dience of Christ. The first part of Justi­fication, we do reverently and humbly Acknowledge is, only for the sake of the Death and Sufferings of Christ; nothing we can do, though by the Operation of the Holy Spirit, being able to cancel Old Debts, or wipe out Old Scores: It is the Power and Efficacy of that Propitiatory Offering, upon Faith and Repentance, that Justifies us from the Sins that are past, and it is the Power of Christ's Spi­rit in our Hearts that purifies and makes us acceptable before God. For till the [Page 44] Heart of Man is turned from Sin, God will never accept of it: He Reproves, Rebukes, and Condems those that enter­tain Sin there, and therefore such cannot be said to be in a Justified State; Con­demnation and Justification being Con­traries: So that they that hold them­selves in a Justified State, by the Active and Passive Obedience of Christ, while they are not Actively and Passively Obe­dient to the Spirit of Christ Jesus, are under a strong and dangerous Delusion, and for crying out against this Sin-pleasing Imagination, not to say Doctrine, we are Staged and Reproached, as Deniers and Despisers of the Death and Sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ. But be it known to such, they add to Christ's Sufferings, and crucifie to themselves afresh the Son of God, and trample the Blood of the Covenant under their Feet, that walk unholily under a Profession of Justifica­tion; for God will not acquit the Guilty, nor justifie the Disobedient and Unfaith­ful. Such deceive themselves, and at the Great and Final Judgment their Sentence will not be, Come ye Blessed, because it [Page 45] cannot be said to them, Well done Good and Faithful, for they cannot be so esteemed that live and die in a Re­proveable and Condemnable State; but, Go ye Cursed, &c.

Wherefore, Oh Reader! Rest not thy self wholly satisfied with what Christ has done for thee in his Blessed Person with­out thee, but press to know his Power and Kingdom within thee, that the strong Man, that has too long kept thy House, may be bound, and his Goods spoiled; his Works destroyed, and Sin ended; ac­cording to 1 John 3. 7. For which end, says that Beloved Disciple, Christ was manifested, that all things may become New; New Heavens, and New Earth, in which Righteousness dwells. Thus thou wilt come to glorifie God in thy Body, and in thy Spirit, which are his; and live to him, and not to thy self. Thy Love, Joy, Worship, and Obedience; thy Life, Conversation, and Practice; thy Study, Mediation, and Devotion, will be Spiritual: For the Father and the Son will make their abode with thee, and Christ will manifest himself to thee; for [Page 46] the Secrets of the Lord are with them that fear him: And an Holy Unction or Anoint­ing have all those, which leads them into all Truth, and they need not the Teach­ings of Men: They are better Taught, being Instructed by the Divine Oracle; no bare Hear-say, or Traditional Christi­ans, but fresh and living Witnesses: Those that have seen with their own Eyes, and heard with their own Ears, and have handled with their own Hands the Word of Life, in the divers Operations of it, to their Souls Salvation. In this they Meet, in this they Preach, and in this they Pray and Praise. Behold the New Covenant fulfilled, the Church and Worship of Christ, the Great Anointed of God, and the Great Anointing of God, in his Holy, High Priesthood and Offices in his Church.

XVI. Concerning the Resurrection.

BEcause from the Authority of Holy Scripture, as well as right Reason, we deny the Resurrection of the same gross and corruptible Body, and are nei­ther [Page 47] over Inquisitive, nor Critical about what Bodies we shall have at the Resur­rection, leaving it to the Lord, to give us such Bodies as he pleases (and with that we are well pleased and satisfied, and wish all others were so too.) From hence we are made not only Deniers of the Resurrection of any Body at all, however Spiritual, or Glorified, but Eter­nal Rewards too.

Whereas, if it were true, as it is no­toriously false, we were, indeed, of all Men most Miserable: But blessed be God, it is so far from being true, that we most stedfastly believe, that as our Lord Jesus Christ was raised from the Dead, by the Power of the Father, and was the first Fruits of the Resurrection; so every Man in his own Order shall arise, they that have done well to the Resurrection of Eternal Life, but they that have done Evil to Everlasting Condemnation.

And because we are a People, whose Education hath not afforded us an Accu­racy of Language, some Passages may perhaps have been mis-express'd, or im­properly worded; as for Instance, One [Page 58] of us hath denied in his Book, the Soul to be Finite, by which he plainly meant Mortal, or Final; to die, or have an end, which Finis signifies, from whence Finite comes, our uncharitable Opposers have concluded, we hold the Soul to be Infinite, and consequently God: Whereas the Words before and after, as well as the Nature of the things, shews plainly, he only meant that it is Eternal, and so not Finite; that is, not Terminable, or that which shall come to an end.

And also, because we have not decla­red our selves about Matters of Faith, in the many and Critical Words that Man's Wisdom teacheth, but in the Words which the Holy Ghost teacheth, we have been esteemed either Ignorant or Equivo­cal and Unsound: Whereas it is really Matter of Conscience to us, to deliver our Belief in such Words as the Holy Spirit in Scripture teacheth; and if we add more for Illustration, it is from an Experience of the Work of the same Spirit in our selves, which seems to us the truest way of Expounding Scripture, in what concerns Saving Knowledge.

XVII. Concerning Separation, &c.

BEcause we are separated from the publick Communion and Worship, it is too generally concluded, that we deny the Doctrines received by the Church, and consequently introduce a new Reli­gion: Whereas we differ least, where we are thought to differ most: For setting aside some School Terms, we hold the Substance of those Doctrines believed by the Church of England, as to God, Christ, Spirit, Scripture, Repentance, Sanctification, Remission of Sin, Holy Living, and the Re­surrection of the Just and Unjust to Eter­nal Rewards and Punishments. But that wherein we differ most, is about Worship and Conversation, and the Inward Quali­fication of the Soul by the Work of God's Spirit thereon, in Pursuance of these good and generally Received Doctrines. For 'tis the Spirit of God only Convinces and Converts the Soul, and makes those that were Dead in Trespasses and Sins, and in the Lusts, Pleasures, and Fashions of this World, alive to God; that is, Sen­sible [Page 50] of his Mind and Will, and of their Duty to do them; and brings to know God, and his Attributes, by the Power of them upon their own Souls; and leads to Worship God rightly, which is in his Spi­rit, and in Truth, with Hearts Sanctified by the Truth, which is a living and ac­ceptable Worship, and stands in Power, not Formality, nor in the Traditions, and Prescriptions of Men, in Synods and Con­vocations, but in the Holy Spirit. First, in shewing us our real Wants; and then in helping our Infirmities with Sighs and Groans, and sometimes Words, to pray for a suitable supply for which we in our Meetings wait upon God, to quicken and prepare us, that we may worship him Ac­ceptably and Profitably, for they go toge­ther. Now because we are satisfied that all Worship to God, and Exhortations to Men, as Praying, Praising, and Preaching, and every other Religious Duty ought to be Spiritually Performed; and finding so little of it among Professors of Chri­stianity; the Spirit of God having not that Rule and Guidance of them, in their Lives and Worship, as It ought to have; [Page 51] and seeing them too generally satisfied with a Ministry and Worship of Man's making, being not qualified, nor led by God's Spirit thereunto; we cannot find that Comfort and Edification our Souls crave and want under so cold a Mini­stry and Worship. And for this cause, and no presumptious Contempt, or selfish Separation, or worldly Interests are we, and stand we at this day, a separate Peo­ple from the Publick Communion; and in this we can comfortably Appeal and Recommend our selves to God, the great and last Judge of the Acts and Deeds of the Sons of Men.

Lastly.

BEcause at the time of our Friends first appearing in this Age, there were a Sect of People, newly sprang up, and truly called Ranters, that were the Reverss to the Quakers (for they feared and quaked at nothing, but made a mock at Fearing of God, and at Sin, and at Hell) who pretended that Love made Fear needless, and that nothing was Sin, but to them that thought it so; and that [Page 52] none should be Damned at last, whose ex­travagant Practices exactly corresponded with their Evil Principles: From hence, some, ignorantly, and too many malici­ously involved us and ours with them; and many of their Exorbitances were thereby placed to our account, tho' with­out the least Reason, Truth, or Justice.

And because some that were convinced of God's Truth, afterwards dishonoured their Profession, thro' their Unfaithful­ness to it; and that some, out of weakness perhaps, may have improperly worded what they intended to say, the whole Body of our Friends have been made Criminal, and the Religion or Principles we profess, have been condemned, and represented to the World as Heresie and Blasphemy; an Usage so unjust, that doutless, according to Lex Tallionis, our Adversaries would think it intolerable to be so treated by us.

But as we desire not to render Evil for Evil, our Great Bishop having taught us another Lesson, and better Practices, so we desire God Almighty to forgive our Causless Enemies, for his Son's sake, [Page 53] as we most freely and heartily forgive them: Believing some may be zealously affected for their Educational Form of Religion, and as zealous against us for our Separation, and we are the more in­clined to judge so, because many of us were once in the same way, and had such thoughts of those that were gone before us. But it hath pleas'd the Father of Mercies, to do by many of us, as he did by Saul, that Zealous, though Mistaken Persecutor of the sincere Followers of Jesus Christ, Acts 9. 3, 4, 5, 6. For as we heard an unusual Inward but Powerful Voice, so we also had a more inward clear and distinguishing Sight, by the Illumination of that Light which was more than Natural, and shined into our dark and sinful Hearts, 2 Cor. 4. 6, 7. Letting us see them, as they really were in God's sight, which naturally affected us with deep Sorrow, and true Humiliati­on; making us willing to be any thing he would have us be, provided we might have some sense of his Love and Favour towards us. And blessed be his Holy and Excellent Name, we can, without [Page 54] Vanity, say (generally speaking) We were not disobedient to that Heavenly Vision (Acts 26. 19.) we had of Him, our Selves, the World, and that Profession of Religion, where we had our Education, And since by that sight God gave us, we saw he was Pure and Holy, and that without Holiness none ever could, or can see him to their Joy, and that we were unfit to approach his holy Altar; yea, the whole World lay in Wickedness; and that Profession of Re­ligion, where we had our Education, was so far from having the Power of Godliness, that for the most part it want­ed the right Form; from such therefore, we had a Divine Authority, to turn away, 2 Tim. 3. 5. Which we did, not in a vaunting Mind, but with great Sorrow; wanting to know where the Great Shep­herd of the Sheep sed his Flock, Can. 1. 7. For we desired to be not of those that turned aside from the Footsteps of the Flocks of the Companions. Nor was it Affectation to Popularity, Singularity, or Novelty, that induc'd us to a Separation; but a fervent desire to know the Lord, [Page 55] and the Work of his Translating Power upon our Souls, being in earnest for Heaven, tho' for it we lost all our Earth­ly Enjoyments, Heb. 11. 14, 15, 16.

In this solitary and seeking State, it pleased the Lord to meet with us, and gather us into Families, or Religious So­cieties, according to Psalm 58. 6. And tho' it hath been a dear Separation to us, considering it cost us the loss, at least, of all things, and the great Sufferings and Afflictions that have attended us in this despised Way, which Men have call'd Heresie, yet the Lord hath blessed us in it, with the Enjoyment of his Blessed Presence, to our unspeakable Joy and Comfort.

To conclude, as it hath pleased the Lord to bless us, in the way we have hitherto been helpt to walk in, with that great Blessing which ushered in the Birth of our blessed Lord into the World, viz. Glory to God, Peace on Earth, and good Will to Men: So we earnestly desire the same upon all our Neighbours: For though we may not be all of one Mind in some Doctrinal Parts of Religion, we must

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