A Shield of the Truth, OR The Truth of God cleared from SCANDALS AND REPROACHES Cast upon it By scandalous and reproachfull tongues, which the Devil in all ages did make use of, whereby he blas­phemed the truth of God, striving to present it odiousHeb. Io. 33. Psal. 102. 6. 1. Cor. 3. 13. Rev. 9. Rev. 12. in the eyes and ears of all people, that so he might up­hold his own kingdom: but the day hath made him mani­fest, & the Lord is come, & is coming to make war with him, and bind hm, and cast him into the bottomeless pit and all who bears his Image, and under his dominion is.

Written from the Spirit of the Lord, by one who suffers amongst theGen. [...]1. [...] little flock of Christ who go under the name of Quakers, so called by the stock of Ishmael, who is known to the world by the name of Iames Parnel.

It is written, they shall put you out of the Synagogues, yea the time cometh that whosoever killeth you, shall think he doth God service. Ioh. 16. 2. And those things will they do, because they have not known the Fa­ther, nor me, for if they had known him they would not have cruci­fied the Lord of glory.

1 Cor. 2. 8.

But fear not little flock, for it is your Fathers good pleasure to give you the kingdome, and the time cometh that all your enemies shall be Luk 12. [...]1 Isa. 51. 7. [...]. your footstoole, the promise is to the faithfull & obedient whose kingdome is not of this world,

John 18. 36.

London, Printed for Giles Calvert, and are to be sold at his shop at the black Spread Eagle at the West end of Pauls, 1655.

To the READER.

REader, to thee whosoever thou art, I shall clear my consci­ence, and to all people, to the light of God in all your con­sciences I speak, which is one in all in the behalf of a depisedJer. 32. 37, 38, 39, 40. 1. Pet. 2. 25. Rev. 14. 4. 5. 1. Cor. 15. 49. people with men, yet not with God, who are scattered abroad, in severall Countries, yet one in the Lord, whom the Lord hath chosen out of the generation of the Children of this world out of all sects, forms, and opinions, into the light of life to bear his Image, and so to bear his Crosse, and because they have not the same Image, with the children of this world, but are chosen out from amongst them, their fellowship, their kindred,2 Cor. 6. 14. 1 Pet. 4. 8. 2 Cor. 4. 4. Bzek. 2. 2. and acquaintance, and breeding, manners, customs, fashions, words, wayes and worship, for light can have no fellowship with darknesse, and so the Devil who goeth about like a roar­ing Lion seeking whom he may devour, who is the god of the World, who ruleth in the children of disobedience, hath stirred up all who bear his image. who under his dominion is, to perse­cute slander, revile, and reproach all who bears the Image ofRev. 13. 14. 15. God, who testifies against him and all who bears his image, so as he hath done in all ages, from the beginning, so it is now, that he may uphold his Image and his kingdome, so the beast is making warre with the lambe, and now is the warre begun, but the lambe shall get the victory, praises, praises to our God for ever; and so for the truths sake, and the good of all tenderRev. 19. consciences, I shall clear my conscience, in the clearing of the truth from the scandalls, false accusations and reports, which is cast upon it by the Priest and people who bear the image of the beast, least any who are unsettled, and ungrounded in the2 Pet. 2. 14. truth, should by giving ear to those false reports, and scandals and accusations, turne from the light, and so lose their convince­ment, and get up into hardnesse of heart, and lose their part in the promised land; for there is a company of Priests, in all parts of the Nation where the truth comes, who are the Devils great­est agents, who are dayly plotting and inventing, and seeking e­very way, to blot the Image of God out of the Nation, by [Page] writings, by prinlings, by petitioning to Rulers and Magi­strates, with all the false aspersions and scandals, they can get together to present the truth of God odious to all people and like­wise in their pulpits do the same, as it was in the time of ChristMatth. 16. 21. Chap. 29. Acts 4. Acts 5. Isa. 33. 22. Rom. 8▪ 31. 32. to 37. Isa. 54. 18.▪ and his Apostles, but we have but one Ruler and Governer to petition to, and to rely upon, from whom we have our Image, even God over all, who knoweth the hearts of all, who is our witness, and our justification, then who art thou that condemnest or layes any thing to the charge of Gods Elect, but he hath pro­mised, no weapon formed against him, shall prosper, for his work he will cary on by his own unlimited power in despite of the beast and his image.

And so Reader I charge thee and all people in the presence of the Lord before whom thou must come to judgment, to take heed of speaking avill of that you know not, lest you speak evil of Gods Elect, for it is a feareful thing to enter into the hands of the living God, for if those be cursed that doth not receive the [...]eb. 10. 31. 32. Matth. 25. 41. 42. 43. Messengers of Jesus Christ, how much more them that reviles them, and persecutes them, he that hath an ear to hear let him hear, for in as much as thou dost it to one of his, thou dost to him.

J. P.

A Shield of Truth, OR The Truth of God cleared from Roports and false Accusa­tions, &c.

1. COncerning the name Quakers, by which the world scornfully calls us.

As for the Quaking and Trembling caused by the unre­sistable power of the Lord, I own, which the holy men of God witnessed before us in all ages, Isaac the seed of the promise trembled, Moses the Servant of God quaked, andGen. 27. 33. Heb. 12. 21. Ier. 23. 9. Hab. 3. 16. Dan. 10. 7. Acts. 9. 6. Psal. 22. 14. Job 4. 14. Ezek. 12. 18. Prov. 19. 29. Prov. 3. 33. 34. trembled, Jeremias the Prophet of the Lord, his bones shooke, Habakkuk, his belly trembled, and lips quive­red when Daniel heard the voice, he fell down and trem­bled, and David the King were as if his bones were out of joynt, and the rest of the holy men of God quaked and trembled, and so it was no new thing but that which was from the beginning, which all the holy men of God witnessed, though new to the World, who live in dark­nesse: and for this cause are we scornfully called Quakers, [Page 2] but the scorners God will judge, and the righteous God will blesse, who work out their salvation with fear and trembling.Phil. 2. 12.

2. We are accused, to be the false Prophets, and false teachers, and deceivers that are foretold of in the Scrip­tures, to come in the last times, but saith Jesus Christ, you may know them by their fruites, and so we desire to be judged according to our fruits.

Jesus Christ said, beware of false prophets, that appearMatth. 7, 15, 16. 17, 18. to you in sheeps cloathing, but inwardly ravening wolves, you shall know them by their fruits, do men gather grapes of thornes, and figges of thistles, a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, nor a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit, pride is a fruit of the corrupt tree, now see wheher we or your teachers be guilty of this, who go in double cuffs and boot-hose tops, with great store of points & ribands, which are of no use but for the satisfying of the proud mind, & al­so following the new fashions & inventions of the world, they and their wives and children, decking and adorning themselves according to their proud mindes, to make the creature seem something in its own eyes, and in the eyes,1 Pet. 3. 3. of others, and those are the outward signes of pride, which lodgeth in their hearts, and they are called of men Masters, and have the chiefest places in the assembies, uppermost rooms at feasts, and love greetings in the markets, suchMat. 23. 5. 67. Christ declared against. See whether these be outward signes of pride, yea or nay, but you will say that one may have as proud a heart in plain Apparell, I Answer, but where pride is, it will vent forth its self, either lesse or more, according to the outward ability of the creature, but it showes it selfe the most in apparell; but the light of God makes manifest the heart where lies the root.

Covetousnesse is a fruit of the corrupt tree, see whether your Teachers be covetous yea or nay, who have some fifty, some sixty, some an hundred or two hundred pounds in the year, more or less, as they can get it, and some have mo­ny for smoake passing up the chimnies, and for piggs, geese, eggs and chickens, and many other such like things, which are too tedious to reckon, but your herelings will [Page 3] reckon them, when they come to take them, to seek for their gain from their Quarter, and this gain they make of the letter which was spoken forth freely by the trueIsa. 56. 11. Prophets & Apostles of God, where there is the great­est benifices there will they be, so are like the false prophets which Ezekiel declared against who seek for the fleece and regard not the flock, now see whether your teachers be covetous or we, who have left our countries, our lands and livings, and possessions, and have forsaken all and have not where to lay our heads, but as the Lord provides for us, neither covets any mans silver nor gold, gifts, or rewards, for freely we have received, freely we give, for we come not to seek yours, but you, God is our witnesse, and ourActs 20. 33. 2 Cor. 12. 14▪ justification, then who art thou that condemnest?

Drunkenesse is a fruit of the corrupt tree, now see whe­ther we or your teachers be guilty of this, he that hath an eye to see let him see.

Envy is a fruit of the corrupt tree, now see whether your teachers be guilty of this, who sue men at the law for their own estates, and earthly things and trifles, thoughMatth. 5. 4. they be of their own flock, or we who sue no man at the Law, but are sued by them, because we cannot main­tain them, in their pride and idlenesse, by the sweat of our browes, contrary to the Scripture, which saith he that will not work, let him not eat, and if they did administer to us2 Thes. 3. 10. spirituall things they would reap our carnal; now see if these be not the ravening wolves in sheeps cloathing, for so long as we put into their mouths they cryed peace, peace,Mich. 3. 5▪ and told us we were Christians when we were heathens, and knew not God, so sewed pillowes under out arme­holes; and appeared to us in sheeps cloathing, but now that we are reduced into the flock of Christ, by Christ, our eyes are opened, and now we see that we profited no­thing by them, but were deceived by them, so we cannotEzek. 13. 18▪ 19. put into their mouthes nor maintain them any longer in their deceipts, but testifie against them, and so they sue us at the Law, and hale us before Magistrates, and takes tre­ble damage, and appears ravening wolves, and would de­stroy us and our families, and would live upon our estates [Page 4] by compulsion, and an outward Law, and some of us they cause to be put in prison, and call us hereticks, deluders, and deceivers, false prophets, and yet could live on our estates, and covet our silver, and gold, and estates, and by law and Justices Warrants straines upon them, and so seeks ours, and would destroy us, like the false prophets which Hosea de­claredHos. 6. 9. against, who as a company of robbers wait for a man, so the company of Priests murders in the way by con­sent, and also the false teachers which Peter foretold of,2. Pet. 23. who through covetousnesse, with feigned words make mer­chandize of the people, or we who are made merchandize of, though we take none of their stoln wares, and make merchandize of none, God is our witness, and so if these be not the false teachers which Paul foretold of to come in the last times, covetous, ▪proud, boasters, blasphemers, dis­obedient, unthankfull, unholy, without naturall affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traytors, heady, high-minded, lo­vers of pleasures more then lovers of God, having a form of godlinesse, but denying the power thereof, from such turn away, for of this sort are they that creep into houses, who lead silly women captive, full of sin and corruption, & divers lusts, ever learning, and never come to the know­ledge of the truth: now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do they withstand the truth, men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith, 2. Tim. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Now see if your Teachers be not lovers of their own selves, who seek for the fleece, and regard not the flock, but feed with the fat, and cloath with the wool, and live by the sweat of others browes, living at ease, devouring the crea­tion, and spending it upon their lusts, they and their wivesEzek. 34. and Children, nourishing their hearts as in a day of slaugh­ter, and of changeable minds, according to the governmentJam. 5. 5. of man, that they may save & shelter themselves under the power and will of man, as the false prophets did, by which they stood and were upheld, and the same that pray­ed for the King and Realm, and the same prayes now for the Lord Protector and the State of England. Now see [Page 5] whether these be false Prophets, or we▪ who have forsa­ken our outward livings, and estates, and countries, and acquaintance, and comes into strange countries, and lightMat. 10. 16. 17. among dogs, and wolves, and heathens, as Christ saith, he sends us forth as sheep among wolves, which are of the Priests flock, and suffers our bodies to be stock'd and ston'd, reproached, reviled, imprisoned, and shamefully intreated, and loves not our lives unto death for Christs sake, he is our witnesse and onely Protector, in whose power we stand and are upheld, contrary to the will of man, and see whether we or your Teachers be covetous as it is before proved, and proud as it is before proved, and see if they be not boasters, who boast that they are the Ministers of Christ, and sent of God, when as they are come but from Oxford and Cambridge, approved by the will of man, and boasts ofActs 8. 20. gifts, and sels them for money, when the Scripture saith the gift of God is not to be bought with money: And they boast they are the mediate meanes ordained by God, when as they are ordained by their parents or some other, and their meanes are imediate, and the Apostles imediate,Gal. 1. 16. John 14. 6. and the way is but one saith Christ; he that hath an ear to hear let him hear: and see if they be not Blasphemers, who say they are the Ministers of Christ, and some of them drunkards, some proud, some covetous, and are evil exam­ples to all that follows them contraty to Christ, or his A­postles,Phil. 3. 17. 1 Tim. 2. 2. who said walk as you have us for examples, and here they abide not in the doctrine of Christ, and so hath not God, as in 2 John 9. and this is blasphemy, to say they are the mouth of the Lord, but are the mouth of the De­vil, teaching lyes and blasphemies, telling the people that are of their flock, they are Christians and of the flock of Christ, when as they are all manner of unrighteous persons, who live without God in the World, and tels them their children are the flock of Christ when they are sprink­led on the face with a little water, when as they grow up in all manner of ungodlinesse, without the fear of God, or the knowledge of God, and they are heathen that know [Page 6] not God; and this is blasphemy to say Christ is the head ofJer. 10. 15. Col. 1. 11. Ver. 24. heathens, for he is the head of his flock, and they tell peo­ple that a house of Lime and Stone is the Church, when as the Church is the body of Christ, and this is blasphemy, now see whether we or your teachers be more like decei­vers, lyars, and blasphemers, and let every ones life preach him forth, and judge him, and see if they be not lovers of pleasures, more than lovers of God, who delight in Musick, in bowling, in carding, and diceing, and hawking, and hunting, and all manner of pleasures and delights, nowPhil. 1. 18. Rom. 8. 5. see whether they or we be like Apostles, who never used any such thing, but all their delight was in the work of Christ, but they that are of the flesh mind the things of the flesh, and they that are of the spirit the things of the spirit: Now see if they have not a form of godlinesse, but deny the power and life which the Apostles lived in, there­fore from such turn away, and if you finde that our lives be contrary to what we profess, from us turn away also, but of this sort are they who creep into houses, and leads silly people captive; now see if they doe not creep into steeple-houses, and say thats the place and no where else, and leads silly people captive, laden with sinnes, and divers lusts, ever learning, and never come to the knowledge of the truth: some learns thirty, some sity, some sixty yeares, and above, and still full of sin, and as dark and blind, and ignorant of the things of God as ever, and they will teach you shall never be made free from sinne, so long as [...] are upon the earth; and here they set up their rest in the De­vils kingdom: And if you doe alledge we creep into houses, I answer, the Apostle witnessed the same where he sayd IActs 20. 20. have taught you publikely from house to house, and our meetings are publike to any who will come amongst us,Acts 16. 13. Mat. 18. 20. sometimes in no house but in the fields or commons as the Apostles witnessed, and we finde the Lord amongst us be­ing gathered in his Name according to his promise, now see by their fruits if your teachers be not the deceivers which are foretold of in the Scriptures, who as Jannes and Jam­bres [Page 7] withstood Moses, so doe they withstand the truth by all the wayes they can, as it is before proved; for Jannes and Jambres were the Magitians of Aegypt, that imitatedEx. 7. 11. 12 Moses, so those University men by their Magick Arts, in­ventions and imaginations, and studying old Authors hath gotten the form of the Prophets, Christ, and his Apostles words to trade with, but denies the life and power, and so are Traytors to Christ who are men of corrupt minds and reprobates concerning the faith, but they shall proceed no further for their folly shall be made manifest to all men; now he that desires to see may see, and let all who are wise hearted judge.

But if you do alledge they have been long, and have reign­ed long, and we are now come up, and it is a new way, and we come to breed divisions and dis [...]ention?

I answer, the more is their shame, and by that the more they are seen to be those that run, and the Lord never sent them, therefore they profit not the people at all, who haveJer. 23. 31. reigned so long, and wrought no better reformation in the land, but it flows as much in iniquity and all manner of ungodlinesse as ever, and the people that are taught by them as ignorant and as dark to the things of God as ever, and here they would keep them by an outvvard power but the day hath made them manifest, and the Scripture fulfil­led,1 Cor. 3. 13. 1 John 2. 20. which the Apostle spoke of, who said it was the last times then, and since they have continued, you may know them by their frnits, they profess Christ in words, but in life deny him, and the mystery of iniquity hath reigned a long time, and there hath been a time of cruel darknesse, and allTitus 1. 16. Rev. 13. 34 ver. 12. the World hath wondered after, and worshipped the beast and his Image and he hath reigned, and by him the false Prophet hath reigned, which hath deceived the Nations, but now light is risen out of darkness and shines forth now in these latter daies in the sons and daughters of men, ac­cordingRev. 16. 30. Joel 2. 28, 29 to the promise of God, whereby the wiles of Sa­than are made manifest to the glory of God, and now is the separation, the Sheep from the Gorts, the Wheat from [Page 8] the tares, and Christ is come to set at varience father against son, and son against father, and wife against the man, and the man against the wife, and to turn the world upsideMat. 10. 35. downe; and this is the cause why the world rages, and this is the condemnation of the world, light is come into theActs 17. 6. world, and they love darknesse rather than light, because their deeds are evil, and so to those who are in darkness it is new, but we witness it is no new way, but the same whichJ [...]hn 3. 19. was▪ is, and is to be for ever, and the same signs follow, but the adulterous generation cannot see it, but they that be­lieve shall see and be healed, and though the beast and false prophet, and those that bear the mark of the beast, doth now make war with the Lamb and the Saints for to uphold their kingdome; yet the Lamb the King of the Saints shall over­come, and to him the Nations shall bow, and the beast and false prophet, and all that bear the mark of the beast into the lake for them prepared of old shall goe; and for thisPhil. 2. 10. Rev. 19. 20. Is. 30. 33. end we are come out of our countries, and outward habita­tions and possessions to preach to every conscience the eter­nal truth as it is in Jesus the everlasting Gospel, as we have received it freely, freely we give, and as we preach the Go­spel we live of the Gospel, and this is our end and no other end, God is our witness.

We are accused to deny the Scripture, which is false; for we witnesse the life thereof and by the same doe we witnesse the Scriptures to be truth and serviceable in its place, and was written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world is come, and to us it is given to know, but to the world in parables; and he that would goe about to unfold1 Cor. 10. 11. Luke 8. 10▪ the parables to the dark mindes, by the serpentine wit and imagination, he must be kept out of the Scripture, and he who takes the Scriptures and makes a trade of them, pro­fessing to interpret them, and so gets a living by them which was spoken forth freely he is a deceiver and must be shut out of the Scripture; and who reads or takes the Scri­pture to talk or discourse of, and is ignorant of the life, must be kept out of the Scripture; for all those runs in with [Page 9] their serpentine wit and imaginations, wresting them for their own ends, adding and diminishing to their own de­struction, and so he must be shut out of the Scripture; for hence arises all these sects and opinions in the world, run­ning into the Scripture, with their wit, imaginations, and dark mindes, one imagining one way and another another way, and one of this opinion and another of that opini­on; but opinions is no assurance but are fallible, and every one out of the way because they want the life which is the mystery; and this is the difference between all sects and opi­nions and the infallible truth; and so they come not in by the door, but are climbing up another way, and so are shut out of the kingdom; but the same which gave them forth the same can open them, and to it they are no mystery norJoh. 10. 1. parable, nor needs any meaning; for they are of no private interpretation, nor came not in the old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, neither can the will of men open them,2 Pet. 1. 20. 21. but the same which spake them forth, the same can open them, and spake them forth freely, so let him that hath a dreame tell a dreame; and he that hath my word let him speak my word faithfully: What is the chaffe to the wheat, saith the Lord? so he that hath the letter let him speak the letter, and he that hath the life let him speak the life; what is the husk to kernel, and what should swine doe withJer. 23. 28. Joh. 1. 1. pearles, whose life is in husks and there they feed? he that can receive let him; the same which gave it forth, the same can open it: and he who saith the Letter is the Word is a deceiver and erres, not knowing the Scripture; for the Scripture saith, that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word of the Lord came to theJer. 1. 1. Jer. 2. 1. Jer. 1. 4. 8. Ezek. 1. 3. John 1. 14▪ Rev. 19. 13. Heb. 4. 12. 13 Prophets, and they spake from the Word of the Lord, and the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst the Apostles, and they saw the glory thereof as the glory of the onely begotten Sonne of the Father full of grace and truth, and the Word is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword; and the Word is immortal, and this the Apostles [Page 11] in whom the word dwelt bare witnesse of, and hath left it upon record, and we witnesse the same, the word is, the same which was, is, and is to be for ever, and who putteth the letter, for the word is blind, and putteth the shadow for the substance, and must be shut out of the Scripture, and he who saith the letter is the light is in darknesse, and erres not knowing the Scripture, which declareth of the light which John came to bear witness of, who was not the light, but testified of the light, which was the true light, which in­lightneth every one that cometh into the world, he was inJohn. 1. 6. 7. 8 9. 10. 11. 12. the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not, nor knows him not, and he came unto his own, and his own received him not, but as many as received him, to them he gives power to become the sons of God, and this we witness, and by the same light doe we discerne and testifie against him to be in darkness and blindness, and is a deceiver, who putteth the letter for the light, and so draws peoples mindes off from the light within them to the letter without them seeking the living amongst the dead,Joh. 5. 39. 40. thinking to find life in the letter without them, as the Pha­risees did, and will not come unto Christ, that they might have life, and also that must be shut out of the Scripture, as the Pharisees were, and he also saith the letter is the rule andLuk. 1. 73. 19. 15. Joh. 16. 13. Rom. 8. 14. guide of the people of God, is without, feeding upon the husk, and is ignorant of the true light which was before the Letter was, which all the children of God were and are guided by, and spoke and speaks the letter from which was before the letter was, and with this the letter witnesseth and who is guided by this cannot walk contrary to the let­ter nor deny it, but they know how to use it in its place, andJoh. 7. 15. see in what condition it was spoken, and it witnesseth with them both in words and actions, and they that have this, have [...] the mystery within, though they cannot read the letter without, nor ever learned, as it was with Christ, which confounded the Scribes and Pharisees, andMat 11. 25. Mat. 13. 11 they who are never so learned without, and can read and understand all tongues and languages without, and doth [Page 11] not read the Scripture within, only feed upon the husk, and are ignorant of the life which is the mystery which is hid from the wise and prudent, and revealed unto the igno­rant,Job. 7. 48, 49 as it was from the Scribes and Pharisees, and high Priests, and was revealed to those whom they counted ig­norant and cursed, and knew not the Law, and they who take the Letter to be their rule, cannot walk according to it, because they are ignorant of the light, which opens and leads into the life which they who spake them forth lived in, but drunkards, and swearers, and proud and wanton, [...] and covetous lustful envious ones, and all manner of unrighteous persons will take the letter to talk of, and say it is their rule and guide, but are out of the life thereof, and so by it are condemned, and those are the swine that are feeding upon the husk without, and have gotten the form,Luk. 15. 15. 16. but are out of the life and power, and put the shadow for the substance, and so lives in darknesse, and knows not whither he goeth, but they that read with the single eye may understand, for the Scripture is within, and was read within before it was read without. Now silence all the study and wisdom of man.

We are accused to deny the Baptism.

The Baptism we own which is the Baptism of Christ, with the Holy Ghost and with fire, but we deny all other, for there is but one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God, and Father of all, and they who would have one BaptismMat. 3. 11. Ephes. 4. 5, 6. outward, and another inward, would have two Baptisms, when the Scripture saith the Baptism is but one, and who­soever hath the Baptism outward, are the same they were before, but the Baptism of Christ makes a new creature, and this I witnesse, for I received water upon my face, as my Parents told me, which they called Baptism, but I grew upRom. 6. 3. an heathen, as all other children▪ doe, and no new creature, though my parents were counted believers amongst the world and their Priests, but now I witnesse the Baptism of1 Cor. 12. 13 2 Cor. 5. 17. Christ by one spirit into one body, and now I witnesse a [Page 12] new creature, old things are past away and all things be­come new: And now I see the other to be formal imitati­on, and the invention of man, and so a meer delusion, andMat. 15. 4. all are heathens and no Christians, who cannot witness this Baptism, who can witnesse this denies all other; for the Scripture saith, the Baptism is but one, and who can wit­nesse this are believers, but who cannot witnesse this are no belivers; and so it is that water or no water, availeth no­thing but a new creature; for all by nature are the children of wrath, and except they be born again they cannot enter; and as for the Baptism of Water which the Apostles used, it being a command of Christ for its time, the power went along with it, and the Disciples received the Holy Ghost when they were baptised, but none can witnesse this, who sets their selves of acting or imitating the Apostles, and so takes it up by imitation, and their ground is the letter, and are not guided to it by the same spirit which guided the A­postles, and so they are the same after water as before, and so now water or no water availeth any thing, but a new creature; for water was but for its time, though many in darknesse have now gotten the form, and are groping in it for life, but wants the life and power, and so from such turn away.

We are accused to deny the Supper of the Lord.

The Supper of the Lord we own, which is the body andJoh. 6. 54. 55. 56. 57. Acts 4. 32. 1 Cor. 10. 16. blood of Christ, which the Saints feed upon, and this is e­ternal food and life, and here they all feed upon one, and are of one heart and minde; and here is pure and eternal union and communion, and this is not carnal but spiritual; for Saints are spiritual, and their communion is spiritual and eternal; and this we witnesse, who are of one heart and one minde, who are in the new Covenant, and herein we discerne the Lords body, and here all drunkards are shut out, and all lyars, adulterers, proud, covetous, lustful, and1 Cor. 6. 9. 10 envious ones, and all backbiters, revilers, extortioners, and all deceitful and unrighteous persons are shut out of the [Page 13] new Covenant, and are without feeding upon the husk and shadow, which is carnall, for the bread which the world breaks is carnall and naturall, and only feeds the outward carnall body, and goeth into the belly, and so passeth out into the dunghill, and so likewise the cup which they drink, and so the communion and fellow­ship of the world passeth away, but this is no nou­rishment to the soul, but still the soul lies in death, and here is no communion, but naturall, outward and car­nall, of severall minds and hearts, full of filthinesse and uncleannesse, which is the table of Devils, eating and drinking their own damnation, not discerning the Lords body, which is spirituall, which the natural1. Cor. 10. 2 [...]. 1. Cor. 11. 29. 1. Cor. [...]. 14. man discerns not: And here stands the worlds com­munion and fellowship, which is carnall; and crosse but their carnall wills, and it is turned into envy, and for earthly trifles they will go to Law, and cozen and cheat, and defraud one another for earthly trifles, and like people like Priest; but if they lie in wait for re­venge of one another, then they will not take their Sacrament, as they call it: And here the Devill hath as great hold, for he that envies is a murderer; and1. Ioh. [...]. 15. here is the difference betwixt the worlds communion▪ and the Saints communion; life and death; for to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life: and here they are without feeding upon the huskRom. 8. 6. & shadow without, and would destroy the life and sub­stance, where it appears, both Priest, people and Ru­lers, and so have a form of godliness, and denies the life and power, from such turn away; for it is a mere delu­sion2. Tim. 3. [...]. to take the shadow for the substance.

We are accused to deny all prayer.

The prayers of the wicked we deny, and God denies, for it is abominable, for Cain the wickedPro. 15. 8. Gen. 4. 34. 5▪ one, who was out of the commands of God, who was the first birth, hee offered up a sacrifice of the earth, but GOD had no respect to it, but Abel the second birth, who was the righteous, his sacrifice [Page 14] God had respect to, so the prayers of the faithfull and1. Pet. 3. 12 Iam. 5. 16. Pro. [...]58. 29 righteous, God doth accept, & they availe & what comes from his own, which is the second birth, his ownExo. 40. 12. 13. Luk. 1. 3. Haba. 1. 13. Matth. 12. 34. Job 14. 4. Gen. 3. 15. 2. Sam. 2. 22. pure, & what comes from it is pure, & God who is pure, doth receive that which is pure, but he receivrs nothing which is polluted or unclean, for he is of purer eyes then to behold iniquity; for his sacrifice must be without spot or blemish, and that which comes from an uncleane heaet is sported and defiled, and uncleane, for nothing that is pure can come forth of an unclean vessell; but who can witnesse the second birth, and that the seed of the woman hath bruised the serpents head, which is the first promise, and faith which pu­refieth the heart, then that which comes out is pure, proceeding from a pure single heart, and this prayer God receives, and he hath respect to it, and this we own and witnesse, and this comes from the second birth, which is pure, for the first birth is unclean and out of the command of God in the fall, in the wrath, in the peevishnesse, and preversnesse, and froward­nesse, Cain like, and the seed of the serpent is first in every one, and rules the head, but the promise is the seed of the woman shull bruise the serpents head, so you who are not come to this are still in the fall, and are not come to the first promise; so all your self-act­ing and imitating, thinking to merit with your pray­ers and praises, singings, and duties, and worships, and traditions, which are all in vaine, and you are sacrificing to an unknown God, a sacrifice of the earthJoh. 4. 22. from the first nature, which God hath no respect to▪ and the flaming sword is set against that, to keep from the tree of life, for both drunkards, and swearers, liers, proud, coveteous, and all manner of unrighte­ous1. Sam. 15. 22. Isa. 1. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17 persons are offering up sacrifices, and are in their formall worships and duties, thinking that is suffici­ent to pacifie for our sins, and yet doth not repent▪ but saith the Lord, bring no more vain oblations, a­way [Page 15] with your new Moons and Sabbaths, they are a­bomination,Pro. 22. [...]6. Jer. 2 [...]. 12. 13. Matth. 6. 21. Rom. 8. 26. and my soule loaths them, when you spread forth your hands I will hide mine eyes from you, yea when you make many prayers, I will not har­ken, your hands are full of blood, wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes, cease to evil, learn to do well, so it is the heart that the Lord requireth, and where your treasure is, there will your heart be also, and saith the Apostle, we know not how to pray as we ought, but as the spirit maketh intercession with sighs and groans, and this is more acceptable to God from an honest single heart, then the long prayer of the Pharisees.

We are accused to be destructive to the Ministry.

The true Ministry of Christ we own and witnesse, and the Ministers and Messengers of Christ, we own and witness, but those who have gotten the letter and forme to trade with which was spoken forth freely and denies the life and power, those we deny, their Mini­stry, and all those who go to get humane learning, and are certain years as it were serving a prentiship pre­tending to study Divinity, and when their time is ex­pired, they go amongst ignorant blind people, and gets a certain place, and a certain wage, and so sells that which they have studied and gotten into the brain, and those which receives it, gets it into the brain, and so they live upon dust, which is the serpents meat, feeding upon the tree of knowledge both Priest and people,Mich. 3. 10. death feeding death, and with the notion begets into the notion, and feeding the carnal minde with the car­nal letter, and this is the cause why drunkards, swearers, liers, proud, covetous, envious, wrathfull and conten­tious ones, and all unrighteous persons hath gotten the letter to talke of, or discourse of, though in the Alehouse or tipling house, but this Ministry works no [Page 16] reformation, onely hath the forme, and leads into the forme, and denies the life and power which is neither to be bought nor sold for money, so from such we turn away who come by the will of man, and approved by the will of man, and are upheld by the will of man, and not by the Will of God, and their call and mi­nistry wee deny, which is mediate, and formal imi­tation and the invention of man, and so a meer delu­sion, and this is the cause why the land so overflowes with iniquity, and all manner of ungodlinesse and noJer. 23. 29. 30. 31. 32. better reformation wrought amongst them, their mi­nistry is so dark, and dead and cold, and yet the land full of teachers, and yet the people lost for want of teaching, and so they spend their monies for that which is not bread, and their labour for that which profitethIsa. 35. 2. not.

But who can witnesse an immediate call by God, from their outward callings and countries, lands, live­ings and possessions, into several cōuntreys, to preachMark 16. 25. Amos 3. 7. 8. Amos 7. 14. 15 Gal. 1. 11, 12. 1. Cor. 1. 17, 18. 19, &c. Cap. 2. [...]. Pet. 1. 21. Acts 2. 4 &c. the free Gospel as they have received it, by the imme­diate inspiration of the spirit, and speaks it, and speaks it forth as they are moved by the Holy Ghost, and as the spirit gives them utterance, freely as they have re­ceived it freely, by which ministry many are convinced, & as they abide in it are converted, as many in the Nation can witnesse to the honour and glory of God, who are now new creatures, and this call we own and witnesse, and this ministry we own and witnesse, which is im­mediate, and stands in the Will of God, and such co­vets no mans silver nor gold, neither could be hired to a certain place, but travels from place to place, and hath no certain dwelling place, and such are the trueActs 20. 3 [...]. 1. Thes. 9. 6. as in Acts. Ministers of Jesus Christ, who makes the Gospel free and without charge, and this we own and witnesse, and for the testimony of this true ministry some of us are imprisoned, some stoned, some stocked, whipped and shamefully entreated▪ as vagabonds and deluders, and [Page 17] wanderers, and raisers of sedition, and pestilent fel­lowes, and esteemed not worthy to live in the Nation, both by Priest and people, and rulers who are out of the commands of God, and are vagabonds and fugi­tives from God, who go in the way of Cain to envy and murder the innocent, and because we declare a­gainstActs 24. 5. 6. Acts 22. 22. Witness the town of Cam­brige the well head, all who comes not in by the door, but seeks to clime up another way by their study, inventions, and serpentine wisdome, and knowledge, and so are theivs and robbers, and those are they which are now so set up and extold in England, with great augmentations▪ and benifices, by the arme and will of flesh, now heads of England, and such Ministers, and their ministry we deny, for the hand of the Lord is against them, butIoh. 10. [...] this which we own is no new call, nor no new ministry, but the same which was with the Prophets & Apostles and all who God sent witnessed, and here is the diffe­rence of the Ministers of the world and the ministers of Christ the one comes by the will of man, the other by the will of God▪ and the one is upheld by the will of man, the other by the will of God contrary to the will of man, and the one of the letter, and the other of the spirit, and the one hath the forme and shadovv, and the other the life and substance, and the effects and fruits of their ministry makes them manifest, but from2. Tim. 3. 5▪ such turn avvay, vvho have the forme, but not the life and power, for they are meere deceivers, and witches, bewitch people from the truth, holding forth the sha­dow instead of substance, and what is the shadow to the substance, or what is the chaffe to the wheat, he that hath an ear to hear, let him hear and understand▪

We are accused to deny all Magistracy and government.

I answer, this is false, for we own it in the place,1. Ioh. 3. 4, for whilest there is transgression, there must be a law, and while the Devil hath power over man, there will be transgression, so the law was added, be­cause of transgression, and the Divil was theGal. 3. 29. cause of it, so there must be a law without to keep those who are without the fear of God in subjection▪ else they would destroy one another, and Cain would destroy Abel, for this is the Devils worke, and so for1. Pet. 2. 14. this end was the law given forth to curbe evil doers, and to preserve and encourage them that do well, and it was according to that in the conscience, just, holy, and good, according to the will of God, and serviceable in its place, and true Government, ac­cording to the law of God, is serviceable in its place,Rom. 7. 12. and all Magistrates who fear God, and hate covete­ousnesse, and are guided by the light of God in the conscience, and executes the law in its place, without partiality and respect of persons, and such are ser­viceable in their place, and this we owne, and ho­nour and are subject to for conscience sake, but theRom. 4. 15 Rom. 8. 1▪ Gal. 5. 23. Rom. 8. 8. 2. Sam. 23. 3. Pro. 28. 15. 16. Pro. 25. 18. Pro. 29. 10 Isa. 14. 15. Iam. 2. 9. righteous are from under the outward law, for they are a law unto themselves, neither is there need of a­ny law amongst them who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit, for against such there is no law, but he that walks after the flesh cannot please God, neither know how to rule, nor govern, who cannot witnesse his own will, subjected by the law of God in the heart, but is guided by his own will, and stands in his own will, and such winks at deceit, and rules with partiality and respect of persons, and so trans­gresseth the law of God, which respects no mans per­son, and also gives forth lawes in his own wills, which takes hold of the righteous, persecutes the righteous▪ [Page 19] and countenances and encourages the heathen, whoHos. 4. 18. know not God, so Cain slayes Abel within them, and they suffer Cain to slay Abel without them, and the wicked and ungodly hath more liberty in the Nation then the righteous, and so the land abounds with ini­quity, oppression and trechery, because such corrupt Magistrates wink at deceits for carnal ends, and up­holds iniquity, and oppression; and treads truth under foot, and this is the cause why the lands so abounds with all manner of ungodlinesse, and deceit, falsehood, tyranny, oppression, and perscution, and yet full of Ma­gistrates, and officers, and corrupt Magistrates puts cor­rupt Magistrates in office, and so they bear with, and winks at one another, and feeds and nourishes up de­ceit amongst them, unlesse they crosse one anothers will, and then they are as much in deceit on the other side, seeking and preventing the law for revenge, and such as these upholds these corrupt Ministers, and false prophets which the Nation swarms of, and they can have a law to maintain their deceipt, and uphold themEst. 3. Dan. 1, 3. Isa. 23. Isa. 5. 27. 10. Psal. 82. 1. 3. in oppression, and so the beast upholds the false pro­phet, and they combine together against the simple; and so the law is made a staulking horse to deceive the simple, and they will pervert and wrest the law out of its place, and act contrary to their own law against the righteous, and such Magistrates, and such govern­ment, we honour, but denies, and testifies against it, as the Prophets of God alwayes did, for by such Ma­gistrates and government did the righteous ever suffer, and for the same testimony of a pure conscience, I have and do suffer, by such corrupt Magistrates, and hun­dreds more in the nation who are redeemed out ofZeph. 3. 3. Hof. 4. 18. transgression, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit, and Haman who stood in his corrupt will would have destroyed Mordecai, because he crossed his will, and could not bow to him, and also Pharaoh and Ne­bucadonezer, and Herod who headed John who stood [Page 20] in their own wills, but the hands of the Lord they didMar. 6. 17, &c. E [...]t. 3. 8. not escape, and so corrupt Magistrates say we deny all magistracy and government, as Haman did, but Christ comes to fulfill and end all outward lawes and govern­ment of man, and he himselfe reigned, for as truth and righteousnesse growes the law is fulfilled and pass­eth away, and the lion and the lambe lye down toge­ther, and this is the cause why corrupt Magistrates beat down the truth as much as they can, and so to uphold themselves, but God will deliver his own, and Phara­oh will he plague and confound, but such Magistrates as are guided by the light of God in the conscience, and rules and governs by it, vvithout partiality, or respect of persons, in singlenesse of heart, discharging theirRom. 13. 3, 4. consciences before the Lord, and executing the Lavv in its place, and such Magistrates, and such government vve ovvn and honour in our hearts, for such are a ter­rour to evil doers, and for the praise and encourage­ment of those that do vvell, and such bears not the svvord in vain, but stands in the Will of God, vvhich is a crosse to their ovvn vvills and rules, for God and not for themselves, and this government is of God, and not of man, nor after the vvill of man, neither takes hold of any tender conscience, nor oppresses it, but stands in the place vvhere it is set; and some such Magistrates there hath been in the Northern parts of this Nation, vvho vvitnesse the Lavv of God set up in their hearts, and feared God and hated covetousnesse, and testified against those vvho did not; and so corrupt Magistrates sought to put them out, so let all vvho are single hearted judge vvho are destructive to true Ma­gistracy and government.

[Page 21]We are accused to be destructive to all Superiority and Ho­nour, Breeding and Manners, because we cannot put off our hats, nor follow the fashions of the world, nor respect any persons, but speakes the plain word thou to any one▪ Rich or Poor.

In the beginning when God made Man, he made him to beGen. 1. 26, 27 28. Lord over all creatures, but not Man to be Lord over Man: Yet he was to be servant to God, and when he had disobeyed the command of God, God spoke to Adam, and Adam spoke to him, and God thoued Adam, and Adam thoued him, and here was the plain language betwixt God and Adam. And when God appeared to Moses in the Bush, God thoued Moses, and Moses thoued him; and this was the plain language which ever passed betwixt God and his people in allEx. 4. 10, 11, 12, 13. Acts 9. 5, 6. Ages: and thou that disdains to be thoued, would exalt thy self above God, who thou's God in thy formal prayers, and scornes to take it thy self; therefore thou must come down as Lucifer did: but it is Lucifer in thee that is exalted, who must not be honoured, but must be cast down into the pit, and it is he who is head in man who would be honoured, and would be superiour, and would be above God, and cals this Manners2 Thes. 2. 4. and Breeding to bow to him and honour him, and he hath vented wayes whereby he is honoured and exalted and wor­shipped, and he calls this Manners and Breeding, and who can honour him the most, and exalt him the highest, those he saith is the best bred, and of the best breeding, and those he calls Noblemen and Gentlemen, and the other he cals Yeomen and Common people, and Inferiours, though they all honour him, but they observe it not so much as the other; but their minds is more set upon the earth and earthly things, to get wealth & riches, and those he calls provident carefull people; but he that seeks preferment in the world, and would be exalted and set up▪ seeks to get his breeding in as excellent manner as he can, that so he may get in favour with Lucifer that sits in the Courts and high Palaces; and so long as he pleases Lucifer heObad. 3. 4. will set him up, but both he and Lucifer must be cast down into the pit together: and here is the ground of the worlds Superiority, Nobility, Gentility, Honour, Breeding and Man­ners; [Page 22] and here they Lord over one another by their corrupt wills, and here is the ground of all Tyranny and Oppression; Rackings and Taxings, and Wars and Imprisonments, and En­vyJam. 4. 1. 2. 3. and Murder, and the Persecutions of the Righteous▪ all a­rises from proud Lucifer, the Lust in man, who would be ho­noured; and all this is in the Fall and under the Curse; but Mordechai could not bow to him in Hamon, and therefore he sought to destroy him, and informed the King against him, and all the Jews in the Nation, and said they were a scattered peo­ple, and their Laws were diverse from all people, neither did they observe the Law of the King: Then he set up a pair of Gallows for Mordechai, but Hamon was hanged on his ownEast. 6. 1. 2. Gallows, and was cast down to nothing, and Mordechai is exalted in his stead: So there is a time that Mordechai despised and Hamon exalted; and there is a time that Hamon is cast down, and Mordechai exalted; and there is a time that Esau Gen. 25. 3. Exod. 11. 9. reigns over Jacob, and there is a time that the elder serves the younger; and there is a time that Pharoah rules and oppresses the Israelites, but there is a time of Israels deliverance, and Pharoah drowned in the sea: So there is a time that Anti­christ sits in the temple of God as God, and saith he is God, and Christ lyeth low in the Manger; but there is a time that2 Thes. 2. 4. Rev. 19. he must be cast down into the pit, and Christ alone exalted. He that can receive it let him; but in all Ages the children of God could not bow to Lucifer nor his Image; and this wasDan. 3. the cause why Shadrach, Mesech, and Ahednego was cast into the fiery Furnace; and this was the cause why Daniel was cast into the Lyons den, but by the hand of his God, whom he a­loneDan. 16. worshipped and honoured, he was delivered and exalted, and his Adversaries cast down in his place; and this was the cause why the Prophets were alwaies persecuted and impri­soned, and the Apostles, who came to turn the world upsideActs 7. 6. down; and this is the cause now why the Ministers & Messen­gers of Jesus Christ are imprisoned, stoned, stocked, whipped, and shamefully intreated, whom the Lord is pleased imme­diately to call from their outward callings, and countries, and2 Cor. 5. 16. 17. sends them abroad into several Countries to preach his name, no more after the Flesh but after the Spirit; and who▪ knows [Page 23] him, must know him no more after the Flesh, but after the Spirit; and those come to turn the world upside down, being crucified to the world, and the world to them; and these can­notGal. 6. 14. honour Lucifer, nor bow to Lucifer, nor worship his I­mage, though there was a time when they did, but that which was done in Egypt, when they knew not God, but now Lucifer and his Image is cast down, and Christ alone exalted, and the pure and perfect Law is witnessed, which respects no mans person, but God alone honoured and exalted, and this we wit­nesse; for amongst us there are no Superiours after the Flesh, but Christ is the head, and amongst those who was redeemedCol. 1. 18. out of the world, there were no Superiours but onely Christ the Head, and all the rest fellow servants; and he that would be the greatest should be the least, & he that respects personsMat. 20. 25. 26. 27. commits sin, and the Angel would not suffer John to bow to him, but said he was his fellow servant; and this we witnesse, who are redeemed out of the kingdome of the Devil▪ from a­mongst the children of this world into the kingdome of the Son, who are crucified to the world, and the world to us, by the spiritual Crosse of Christ, in which we joy and glory, a­mongst whom there is no partiality, nor respect of persons,1 Cor. 12. 12. 13. Acts 4. 32. Rom. 6. 4. 5. but all in union in one, though ten thousand; and here God alone is King, and he alone is honoured, exalted, and worship­ed, no more after the flesh but after the spirit; for we have no other God in whom our hearts delight; and here proud Luci­fer and his Image is cast out, and here all his honors is thrown down, and his breeding and manners, and fashions and cu­stomes, and words and wayes, and worships which are after the Flesh and not after the Spirit, whereby he sets up himself, and causeth his Image to be worshipped; and this is the cause why rages in his kingdome, wheresoever we come, and saith we are destructive to all Superiority and Magistracy, and Ministry, and Honour, Breeding, and Manners, and turns the world upside down; for he knows where Christ comes heRev. 19. comes to take his kingdome from him, and cast him down into the pit, and there he must be tormented quick, and all who bears his image or his mark; and these are some of his marks, which he calls Nobility, Gentility, honour, breeding, manners and civility.

[Page 24]But true Nobility we own, the seed of God is noble where­soever it is born up, and who can witnesse to the head of the Serpent bruised, and the seed of God born up to reign and rule, there is true Nobility, there is true Gentility, no more after the flesh but after the spirit: and this is to be honour­ed: for honour is due to this both in Magistrate or Minister, Fisherman or Ploughman, Heardsman or Shepheard, whereso­ever it rules without respect of person, & here fear to whomRom. 13. 7. sear, honour to whom honour; and this is no more after the Flesh but after the Spirit: And here all the true Prophets of God were Noblemen and Gentlemen, sprung of the noble seed, though of the Nobles and great ones of the earth they were disdained and reproached, because according to the1▪ Kings▪ 19. 19. Amos 7. 24, 15. Deut. 32. 3. Deut. 37. 5. world they were of low degree, some of them Ploughmen, some Heardsmen, some Shepheards, and therefore they per­secuted them and destroyed them, yet they were gentle and bore all. Christ was noble, sprung of the noble seed, though of the Great ones and Nobles of the earth he was disdained, reproached and scorned to be the King of the Jews, because according to the world he was of low degree, and supposed to be a Carpenters sonne, so they spit upon him and disdai­ned him, and crucified him, yet he was gentle and bore all. The Apostles were noble, sprung of the noble seed, thoughMat. 13. 55, 56, 57. of the Nobles and Great ones of the world they were despi­sed, and disdained, and reproached▪ because according to the world they were of low degree, some of them Fishermen and the like, and came to turn the world upside down, so they were dispersed, persecuted, and killed, yet they were gentle and bore all: But those were all noble sprung of the noble seed, and so is all now who are of the same seed: and those were all gentle, sprung of the gentle seed, and those have the na­ture but not the name, and to those belong the true honour, not after the Flesh but after the Spirit: for they denyed theActs 7. c. honour of the world, and therefore Christ said, I receive not honour from men: and said to his Apostles, Be ye not called Ma­sters, Mat. 23. 8, 9, 10, 11. wither call any Master upon earth: and though the Princes of this world exercise dominion one over an ther, yet it shall not be so amongst you, but be that would be the greatest amongst you, [Page 25] let him be your servant: and said he, How can ye beleeve which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God onely; and here the true honour is no more after theJoh. 5. 44. Flesh but after the Spirit; and here you who are giving and receiving outside earthly honour, you are in the unbelief, out of the doctrine of Christ, cringing, and bowing, and honour­ing, and exalting the Devil, and worshipping the Beast and his Image, which all the world wonders after and worships, Rev. 13.

And as for Manners and Breeding, Curtesie and Civility,Mat. 7. 12. Ezek 8. 16. Learn to doe as you would have all to do unto you, and speak e­very one truth to his neighbour: And let no corrupt communica­tion proceed out of your mouth▪ but such as is good for the use of edifying; for evil communication corrupts good manners; but let your yea be yea, and nay be nay; for whatsoever is more is evill: and breed▪ your children so, and here is good Manners and Breeding, Curtesie and Civility; and who are of the rightMat. 5. 37. noble seed hath this Manners & this Breeding, but the Nobles and Great ones of the earth want this Manners & this Breed­ing, and both Priest and People of all sorts, according to the world: And here is the ground of all true Nobility, Gentili­ty, Majesty▪ Honour, Breeding, Manners, Curtesie, and Civi­lity, no more after the Flesh but after the Spirit; for the na­tural man minds natural things, and the spiritual man spiritual things, but the natural man receives not the things of God: and this we own and witness, and the time is coming and nowRom. 8. 5. is, that before this seed every knee shall bow, & every tongue confess, and the Kings and Nobles of the earth shall be boundPhil. 2. 9▪ 10 11. Psal. 149. 8. in Chains and Fetters of Iron: and here is also the ground of the Nobility, Gentility, Superiority, Honour, Breeding, and Manners of the world, which is after the Flesh but not after the Spirit, sprung from proud Lucifer, the Lust that reigns in man, & are not yea and nay, but cals it manners to say nay, and take it, or doe it: and so they have the name, but not the nature, and so are Bastards and no Sons, who are not sprung from the noble gentle seed: and to those Honour is not due, neither can we bow unto them: for if we should, we should set the Devil in the room of God, and give unto him that [Page 26] which is due to God, which when we were blindness throughRev. 13. c. Rev. 149. 10. ignorance we did, & so worship the Beast & his Image, which all the world worships and wonders after; for they that are proud and lofty, which is the Image of the Devil, for the Devil is the father of Pride, and in gay attire, those the world worships and wonders after, and extols and exalts into high places: but since the Lord hath opened our eyes, this we cannot doe, but testifies against it wheresoever we comeRev. 18. 6. both in words and actions, and so we are destructive to the worlds Superiority, Nobility, Gentility, Honour, Breeding and Manners, which is after the Flesh, and not after the Spirit, therefore the Devil hates us in the Nobles and Great ones of the world, but we give unto Cesar the things that are Cesars, and unto God that which is Gods, but we cannot give untoMat. 22. 21. Cesar that which is Gods, but fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour is due: He that hath an ear to hear let him hear, and understand: For, saith the Lord, if I be a Master where is my fear? If I be a Father where is my honour? Mal. 1. 6.

And now somthing concerning the partiality that is among the children of this world in their Breeding and Manners.

First concerning the word thou or thee, which all those which are their Priests and Teachers knows, that thou is the proper word to one particular person, and is so all along the Scri­ptures throughout to any one, without respect of persons; yea to God himself; and the word you is the proper word to more than one, but not to one; and so it is all along the Scriptures throughout. As for example, at all times when the Apostles spake to Christ they used the word thou or thee unto him, and when he spoke to more than one of them, he used the word you or ye: but if he spoke but to one, he used the word thou, or thee, as in Mat. 16. 14, 15, 16, 17. verses: And also Paul thoued King Agrippa and King Agrippa thoued him, as in Act. 26. 27, 28 verses, and so all along the Scripture; and so it is plain, that now it is an invention of proud Lucifer in man to exalt himself, as it will plainly appear; for amongst the Great and Rich ones of the earth, they will either thou or you one ano­ther if they be equal in degree, as they call it; but if a man of low degree in the earth come to speak to any of them, then [Page 27] he must you the Rich man, but the Rich man will thou him: Nay you shall finde it so betwixt Priest and People: If a poor Labouring man come before one that you call a Minister, though he be one of his hearers, & one who helps to maintain him according to his ability, yet he must you the Priest, and the Priest thou him; and here the heathen Lord over one anotherMath. 20. 25 Prov. 22. 7. 1 Cor. 9. 19. by their corrupt wills; but this is contrary to the Apostles and Ministers of Christ, who made themselves servants to all, and yet those will call themselves the Ministers of Christ; and the word Minister signifies a servant, and they are masters, and so they have gotten the Name but not the Nature, and so are Bastards and no Heires, who are not sprung from the gentle seed, and yet they are hired as servants of men, and yet bears rule by their means as masters over those that maintains them:Jer. 5. 30. 31. so that he that hath an eye to see let him see the deceits of the professed Ministers of England.

And now as concerning the putting off of the hat, which is another invention of proud Lucifer, whereby he is honoured and worshipped, and exalted in man; but the Scripture doth not speak of any such fashion used in any Age, but Man hath found out many inventions since the Scripture was recorded; and now it is so, that it is a fashion throughout the Land, whereby one man is exalted above another; for if a poor man come before a rich man, it may be the rich man wil move his hat, that is called curtesie and humility; but the poor man must stand with his hat off before him, and that is called ho­nour and manners, and due respect unto him; but if the rich man doe bid him put it on, it is counted a great curtesie, andProv. 1. 23. Prov. 19. 4. he gets honour to himself there to be counted a courteous man. But this difference or respect of persons was never or­dained by God but by the Devil, whereby he exalts himself in man; but James the Apostle of Jesus Christ witnessed a­gainst it, as in Jam. 2. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. and so on; and said, He that respects persons commits sin; for there is no respect of persons Acts 10. 3. 4. with God: and therefore saith James, Howle ye rich men; and here your professed Ministers abides not in the doctrine of2 Joh. 9. Christ, and so hath not God, but the Devil and his Ministers they are whom they exalt. And now you shall see the par­tiality [Page 28] of the names in this your breeding and manners: First, from a poor man to a rich man it is called honour and due re­spect and manners; from a rich man to a poor man it is call­ed curtesie and humility, but amongst the Rich and Nobles of the earth it is called courtlike breeding, but of those of lower degree it is called country breeding, and amongst the lower sort of the world it is called neighbourhood and civil respect one to another; and so the Devil hath covers for all his de­ceit, and so he is honoured and exalted both in Court and Country, but the highest in the Court, and therefore they have the highest title: But wo unto them that hides their sinne, Isa. 30. 1. and covers with a covering, and not of the spirit of the Lord: But this is the riches of the world, & the devil that makes so ma­ny degrees, as between Dives and Lazarus, and Hamon andLuke 16. 19, 20. Acts 17. 26. Mordechai, for the Lord hath made all the Nations of the earth of one mold and one blood, but we who are redeemed out of his kingdom he cals us clowns and fools, and saith our Religion is built upon such smal and frivolous things, & stum­bles at straws, and leaps over blocks, this saith his wisdom, but it is even death to him to bear these straws, especially where he is the highest exalted; for it puls down all his honour, and therefore doe Rich men and Great ones of the earth, and Rulers, and Priests, and Pharisees, persecute and oppresse us, and draw us before judgement seats, and would root us out ofIam. 2▪ 6. East. 3. the Nation, as Hamon would have done by Mordechai and the scattered Jews, because they cannot bear those straws; but I say whatsoever it is that comes to be forbidden in the Con­science, it becomes a weight and a burden, though it be never so small a thing in the eye of a Pharisee, so set none despiseEzek. 4. 10. the day of small things, but some will call it stubbornness, ob­stinacy, pride, and presumption, but the same nature would have called so in Mordechai, who could not bow to Hamon as the rest did that sate by; and so let every one take heed of speaking evill of that you know not, lest you call good evill and evil good: for the woe is pronounced against such, but2 Pet. 2. 12. Jude 10. they that were after the Flesh, alwaies, in all Ages persecuted them that were after the Spirit; And so it is, not many mighty, nor many noble, nor many wise after the flesh are called, but God [Page 29] hath chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, and the weak to confound those that are mighty, that no flesh should glory in his presence, 1 Cor. 1. 26, 27, 29.

We are accused that we say we are perfect without sin. I answer: Man was perfect without sin before the Fall, or else he could not have been the Image of God; for God is pureGen. 1. 27. Gen. 3. 24. and perfect, and he made man after his own Image, pure and perfect without sin, but when he sinned he defaced his Image, and lost his pure estate, and was drove out of Paradice, and became the Image of the Devil, for sin is the Image of the Devil, and here all sin is in the Fall, and who are in the Fall are in the Devils kingdome, which is impure, and imperfect, and unclean, but God promised the seed of the woman shallGen. 3. 15. Luke 4. 18. Mat. 10. 11. bruise the Serpents head, and Christ the seed sayd he was come to preach deliverance to the captive, and to heale the broken hearted, and to seek that which was lost, and to bring againe that which was driven away, and this was his work, to redeem to man that which man had lost. Now consider what man hath lost, and I shall leave this as Querie with all both Priests and People, who deny perfection from sinne here, whether Christ is but a p [...]rt of Redeemer, or a perfect and full Redee­mer, and which is the place betwixt heaven and earth where man shall be made free or cleansed from sin, if not upon the earth, seeing that no unholy, nor unclean thing can enter the kingdome of God? But who can witnesse this, hath passedRev. 21. 27. 1 Cor. 15. 5. through death, and that hath none who plead for sin, neither can they witnesse Christ come, but for some simple ones sake I shall speake more clearly of this, for it is a great delusion of the Devil, to keep people in sin, to tell them, they shall never be made free from sin so long as they are upon the earth, and brings this Scripture to maintain it, He that saith he hath no sin deceiveth himself, and is a lyar; but he tels them Christ dyed for all, and if they can but lay hold on him by Faith, he will not impute their sins unto them, though they sin daily; for the righteous man sins seven times a day, and all the holy men of God sinned; and so he takes Scripture to maintaine his kingdome, and this he delivers by the mouth of his Mini­sters, which he sends abroad to deceive the Nations, leading [Page 30] people in blindness, ful of sin and corruption, ever learning, and never comes to the knowledge of the Truth, nor never shall doe for them, and here he carries them to an easie de­lightsome way to the Flesh, but the end is death, and so heals them up in their sin with a feigned formed faith which perish­eth;John 8. 13. and here they settle upon the Lees, and set up a rest in the Devils Kingdom, which is sin; and here many are meerly blinded and hardned, and all tenderness of Conscience is done away: But you shall finde that he that sooths you up in this Faith is the greatest enemy of your soules, and whosoever witnesseth Christ their Redeemer, shal witness that he is come to destroy the works of the Devil, which is sin, and to redeem out of the fall, out of sin, and out of the Devils kingdome, which is sin, and all sin is in the Devils kingdome, which is in the fall; but for this end Christ is manifested, to destroy the works of the Devil, and to redeem out of the fall, out of the Devils kingdome into his own kingdom, and no unclean thingRev. 21. 27. Rom. 6. 6. can enter therein, but none can witnesse this Redemption but through the death, and through the Crosse which Paul re­joyced in, by which he was crucified to the world, and the world to him, and had put off the body of sin, and was made free from the Law of sin which once warred against his mind, which once he complained of, which Scripture the unlearned, which are strangers from his conditions, who reads them with the carnal eye, now perverts, and wrests to their own destru­ction;1 Cor. 4. 15. and this we witness, who through the Lamb our Savi­our do reign above the World, Death, Hel▪ and the Devil; but none can witness this whose eye is outward, looking at a Re­deemer a farre off, and still live in sin; but who cannot wit­nesse this Redemption here, must never witnesse it; for, as the tree falls so it lies, and sin is the mark of the Beast, and who lives in sin hath the mark of the Beast, and bears his Image, and it is written that the Beast and false Prophets, and all that1 John. 1. 8. Rom. 3. 23. have his Mark or Image must be cast into the Lake that burn­eth, and must drink of the wine of the wrath of the Almighty powred out without mixture.

But as for that Scripture that saith, If we say we have no sin we deceive our selves, and the truth is not in us: All have sin­ned and fallen from the Lord, and he that hath sin, and saith he [Page 31] hath no sinne, deceiveth himself and is a lyar; but if he confesse and forsake his sin▪ God is faithful and just to forgive him his sin, and to cleanse him from all unrighteousness; and this John wit­nessed,1 John 1. 9. and he that can witness this, is no lyar if he say he is cleansed from all unrighteousness, but witness forth the truth and a perfect Redemption; and the same John sayd, He that is born of God sins not, neither can he sin because his seed remain­eth 1 Joh. 3. chap. in him, and he that sinnes is of the Devil and n [...]ver knew God: By this are the children of God, and the children of the Devil made manifest; this John witnessed, he was no lyar, nei­ther did deceive himself but spoke the truth; and the same John said, God is light, and in him is no darkness at all: If we say we have fellowship with God, and walk in darknesse, we lye, and 1 Joh. 1. 5. 6. 7 doe not the truth; but if we walk in the light we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin: this John witnessed, he was no lyar, neither did deceive himself; and this John sayd, He that hath hope in him purifieth himself 1 John 3. 3. Acts 15. 9. even as he is pure, and faith in God purifieth the heart: Now try your Faith and hope who plead for sin, for sin lodgeth in the heart, and while there is sin the heart is unclean; now here you may see al your faith is vain, & your hope which doth not pu­rifie the heart; and so it is feigned hypocrites faith, & not faith in God, and so perisheth; and who can witness Christ died for them, have passed through death; for none can live with him but those who dye with him; and this is the true Baptism to be baptized into his death by one spirit into one body; and how can they that are dead to sin live any longer therein? and who can witnesse this hath faith in him, which purifieth the heart, and removes mountains, and the pure in heart sees God, and this the Apostles witnessed, & that he was made free from sin, and more than Conqueror, through Faith in Christ Jesus; he was no lyar, and said that Christ was come to redeem unto himself a pure Church, not having spot or wrinkle, and though once they were sinners like the world, but they were washed and cleansed by the blood of the Lord Jesus, and the spirit of1 Cor. 6. 11. Eph. 4. 22. 23. 24. Col. 3. 9. 10. our God, and had put off the Old man, and put on the New which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness; but this you are strangers from who plead for sin, & are such [Page 32] as call your selves a Church and are not, but the synagogue of Sathan, in whom the Prince of darknesse reigns, which ruleth in the children of disobedience; and as for that which blindeRev. 3. 9. Eph. 2. 2. people calls Scripture, who sayes, The righteous man that is, sins seven times a day, there is no such Scripture, for it is false; but though the righteous fall he riseth again by repentance; and this the holy men of God witnessed; and though David through lust disobeyed the Lord, and forgot his God, yet he rose again by repentance and after witnessed that he walked in the midst of his house in the purenesse of his spirit; andPsal. 101. though Peter sinned through weaknesse, yet he rose againe by repentance, and afterward exhorted the Church to be holy as God is holy; but this you cannot witness who plead for sin, and are not yet come to repentance, but denies Christ daily, and are convinced, but doth not repent; but they who dwel1 Pet. 1▪ 15, 16. in the righteousness of Christ sin not; for they that are alive in righteousness are dead to sin; and they that live in sinne are dead to righteousness; but how can they that are dead to sinRom. 6. 18. v. 20. live any longer therein? and this is the Devil which pleads for sin the enemy of the soul; for by sin did he obtain his king­dome, and so his kingdome stands in sin; and your Teachers which tels you, you can never get out of sin, nor be cleansed from sin here, erres, not knowing the Scripture nor the powerMat. 22. 29. of God, but denies the end of Christs coming, and brings a­nother doctrine which they have from their Father the Devil; and so are the deceivers which Paul speakes of, who creep into Steeple-houses, & leads silly people captive, full of sin and cor­ruption,2 Tim. 36. 7. 2 John 10. Ezek. 22. 28▪ Jer. 14. 13. 14. Ezek. 13. 18 ever learning and never come to the knowledge of truth, and so are not to be received, but held as accursed; for they daub you up with untempered mortar, seeing vanity, and divining lyes; who saith, the Lord saith, when he never spoke to them; they have healed the hurt of the people slightly, and have sowed pillows under their armholes, crying peace when there is no peace, because they put into their mouthes, and they are not ashamed, neither doe they blush, therefore they shall fall amongst them that fall, in the day that I visit them saith the Lord: And these are your Teachers that makes you,Isa. 9. 16. habitation in your sin while you are upon the earth, and so [Page 33] your Leaders cause you to erre, but when the day of account comes, wherein the bookes must be opened, and every one judged out of the books according to their works, by him who sits upon the white Throne, and all must be cast into the Lake that burneth but those whose names are written in the book of life, and then you will finde those the utter enemies of your soules, who perswades your hearts in sins, and he that hath no sin will be in the best condition, and here all your feigned, formed faith is unbottomed, and all your Priests found lyars, deceivers, and Anti-christs, in whom the false Prophet rules, which deceives the Nations, who must be cast also intoRev. 19. 20, the Lake that burneth, and there tormented for ever, and all that uphold him.

We are accused to deny Christ come in the flesh.

We witness the same Christ which ever was, now manifested in the flesh, and is appeared in the likeness of sinfull flesh toRom. 8. 3. Joh. 1. 14. 2 Cor. 5. 16. condemn sin in the flesh, which is the Word, which became flesh, and dwelt amongst the Apostles, this Christ we witness, no more after the Flesh but after the Spirit; and before we knew him after the Spirit we had no profit by him, but was in1 Cor. 2. 2. Rom. 6. 6, 7. 1 Cor. 12. 13 Gal. 6. 14. Gal. 5. 24. the state of Reprobation, and so is all now who profess him in words, and know nothing of him but by the Letter with­out them, and such deny Christ come in the flesh who plead for sin, who live in sin, and doe not witness him come; but those who are crucified with him doe live with him, and he in them; and none are Christians of the flock of Christ, but who are baptized into his death by one spirit into one body; and he that can witness this is crucified to the world, and the world to him; but who talks of Christ to be their Saviour, and are still alive in the worlds nature, must first witness him a con­demner, for his first appearance is with sword, and breakes the peace, and makes the war, and ends the war, and makes the peace, and this peace endures for ever, and so he is a Condem­nerLuke 11. 21. before he is a Saviour, and he is a peace-breaker, before he is a peace-maker; but who are at peace in their sin, the Ser­pent is head, and the strong man keeps the house, and Christ they doe not witness come in the flesh, but who endures the war shall enjoy this peace, and he that can witness Christ his [Page 34] Saviour can witness this: but silence all flesh before the Lord, and let him that nameth the name of God depart from iniqui­ty: for he that saith he knoweth God, and keepeth not his2 Tim. 2. 19. 1 John 2. 4. Comandements is a lyar: For, saith Christ, why call ye me Lord, and do not things which▪ I say? And none can call Jesus Lord but by the Holy Ghost, so it is plain you know not God who cannot keep his Commands, then how can you believe in him whom you do not know.

We are accused that we judge people.

It is written, the Saints shall judge the world: and for judge­ment 1 Cor. 6. 2. John 9. 39. I am come into the world, saith Christ, that those which see not might see, and that they which see might be made blind: and where Christ rules in his Saints he judges the world, as Paul witnessed, It is no more I but Christ in me, and he is come to re­prove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement: of judgement because the Prince of the air is judged, who rules in [...] Joh. 16. 8. 11. the children of this world, and they cannot bear the righteous judgement of Christ, but kicks against it, and calls him De­vil, and so they kick against the prick, which will the more tor­ment them: and this is the spirit of truth which come intoActs 1. 5. John 14. 17. Joh. 7. 7. Joh. 3. 19. 20. the world, which the world cannot receive because he testifies of it that the deeds thereof are evil, and this is the condem­nation of the world, light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than life because their deeds are evil, and e­very one that doth evil hateth the light, and will not come into the light lest it should reprove them: yet they will say, Christ is meek, love, and lowly: It is so, but not to ungod­linesse: but he is meek to the meek, and lowly to the low­ly, and love to the Seed of God, and his Saints are meek and lowly, and bears all, both scandals, reproaches, persecutions, and imprisonments, but to the Seed of the Serpent Christ is judgment, and wo, and a sword to that which is for the sword, and a condemner to the wicked, and our God is a consuming fire, and terrible to the wicked to consume the proud and haughty in their imaginations: and here Christ is a Lyon, and he is a Lamb, he is a Condemner, and he is a Saviour: he thatRev. 19. 15. Rev. 5. 5. Hos. 5. 14. can receive him let him: the hungry and thirsty he feeds with live food, but the fat he feeds with judgement, and that which [Page 35] would not bear his judgement, must never know his peace, but is for judgement, and cryes out as the Devil did, who said he was come to torment them before the time, but the TeachersMat. 8. 29. Jer. 6. 14. of the world have deceived the people long, crying peace to them, because they put into their mouthes, and healing them up in their sin, with a feigned formed faith which works no▪ reformation, so sewing pillows under their armholes; and here the Devil hath reigned in peace▪ and now Christ is come withEzek. 13. 18. Rev. 12. the sword to break his peace, with plague and judgement, and now he rages, and stands up for his life, in all both Priest and People, and now the Beast makes war with the Lamb, but it is hard for him to kick against the prick, for he must be bound and cast into the pit, and there be tormented quick, and the false Prophet, and all who bears his Image.

We are accused to deny the Church.

I answer, the true Church which is in God we own, and wit­ness1 Thes. 1. 1. through death, but the worlds Church we deny; for the true Church is the Body of Christ, made of tried stones, elect and precious, washed and cleansed by his blood and spirit, that he might present it a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle; but this is not a house of Lime and dead stones, nor the people that meets in it; for all manner of unrighteous persons meets there, which is the synagogue of Sathan, and a Cage of unclean Birds, and like people like Priest; but who comes to be elected into the Church of Christ which is spiri­tual, denies the worlds Church which is carnal, and the worlds Teacher who is carnal, selling the carnal for carnal mony and earth; for Christ himself is the Teacher of his Church, who feeds it with living eternal food freely, and it needs no otherIsa. 54. 13. John 14. 26. Ephes. 4. 4. 1 Cor. 8. 10. Acts 7. Teacher; and this Church we own and witness, but all other Churches we deny; for the Church is but one & the Temple of God we own, which is at new Jerusalem, the City of the living God, but all other Idol-Temples we deny, which is the inyenti­on and imaginations of man, & though God commanded So­lomon to build him a Temple, nevertheless God that made the world dwels not in Temples made with hands; & when Christ the substance came he prophesied against it, & also Stephen was stoned to death when he prophecied against it, & this we wit­nesse [Page 36] whose bodies are the Temples of the Holy Ghost, who are now stoned and persecuted by such as know not the living God, but worship Idols because we speak against their Idols1 Cor. 6. 19. Temple, which God never commanded to be built, but was set up by the imagining Idolizing Papists, and upheld by the blind Protestant so called, and so they cast out the Papists, and uphold their Idols, and so the inchanters Diviners and Sorcerers of England, leads silly people in blindnesse to wor­ship Idols telling them they are the houses and Temples of God, which is a meer delusion.

We are accused to deny the Sabboth.

The Sabboth of the Saints we own, which is not for a day but everlasting, and who dwels in Christ witnesseth this Sab­both, which is the substance, and the shadow without is vani­shed;Heb. 14. 10 for saith Paul let no man condemn you in respect of meats and drinks, or of an holy day, or of New Moons, or of the Saboth dayes, which are but shadows of things to come, and so the world hath the shadow, and the Saints the substance,Col. 2. 16. and you who have the shadow, persecute them who have sub­stance, as the Seribes and Pharisees and high Priests did, who had and upheld the Types and figures of Christ, and persecu­ted them who was the substance, so they that are after the flesh, persecuted them that are after the spirit, but your Sab­both is a shadow of nothing, for the Jews Sabboth in the time of the law, was upon the seventh day, which was the last day of the week, but yours is the first day of the week; for which you have no scripture, and they were not to do their own ways, nor▪ their own pleasure, nor speak their own words upon the Sabboth day, and here you transgresse in theGal. 4. 29. Gen 2. 3. Isa. 58. 13. figure, and walkin your own wayes, and speak your own words, and do your own pleasures, both of that day, and eve­ry day.

We are accused that we justifie our selves, and condemn all other.

I Answer, When we were our selves, without the Spirit of God, and had a form and profession of the Saints condition, which we did not possess, we seeked to justifie our selves in our profession, and earthly wisdom, and to exhalt our selves [Page 37] and be something in the eyes of others; and here we were Pharisees, and yet feigned Publicans, saying we were sinfull, but thought higher of our selves than others, though we were in the same nature, and here our justification was of our selves and not of Christ, and here are all you Pharisees and feigned Publicans, both Priests and Professors, who are in your earth­ly Wisdome, feeding upon the Letter: but as the Light of Christ arise in us, all our earthly wisdom wherein we were ex­alted, became foolishnesse, and self was judged and denyed,1 Cor. 1. 20. 1 Cor. 3. 18. 19. 20. 21. and all that which was of self, both wisdom and righteousness, wherewith we covered over our filthy, lustful, unclean hearts, and so were as painted Sepulchers, and here are all Professors at this day, who are feeding upon the Tree of Knowledge, and as from under the Cross of Christ, but all would not hide from the Light of God, but as it arose it searched through all, andMat▪ 23. 27. layd open all, and all our covers became rotten, and fel from us, and so it will be with all Professors: As the Light of Christ doth arise, and the Book of Conscience is layd open, for no flesh must glory in his presence: But now we have nothing1 Cor. 1. 29. 30. 31. but what we have received of the Father through death, and Christ is made over unto us, Wisdom, Righteousness, Sancti­fication, and Redemption, and though we glory, we glory in the Lord; for we have nothing in our selves to glory of, and the Saints thought it no presumption to call themselves the Sons of God, and said they were of God, and all the whole1 John 3. 7. & 5. 19. world lye in wickednesse, and here the same spirit would have accused them: yet they were no Pharisees, and Christ thought it no robbery to be equal with God, yet he was no Pharisee, though of the Pharisees he was judged a Blasphemer, and as he is, so are we, saith the Saints, yet they were no Pharisees,Rom. 8. 16. 11. Phil. 26. John 10. 3▪ 1 John 4. 17. John 14. 6. and so who are made the Sons of God, it is no self justificati­on to witness it forth, neither those who are made free from sin, to witnesse it forth as the Apostles did, and to witness forth the life and power of truth, and deny them that have gotten the form, notion, or profession, and here Christ is the witness and the justification; for the way is but one, and the truth is but one, and they who dwel in the truth witnesse one with another; for the Light of God owns its own, wheresoever [Page 38] it is; for God cannot deny himself, but they that are not with us, are against us, and out of the truth in the state of condemnation; for all who are out of the truth, are underMat. 12. 13. 1 John 5. 12. the curse in the fall, and this truth we witness, by the Spirit of the living God, through death, the same truth as ever was, and there is that in every conscience, shall bear us witness; yea in the Heathen, and condemne them that hate it, [...]

We are accused to be one with the Ranters.

I Answer, it is false; for we abhor their principles in ourGal. 5. 17. Jam. 1. [...]7. hearts, and deny any liberty to the flesh, or any light or loos or vain conversation, which they live in, or any thing which is impure or unclean; for our principles are pure and clean, and is at enmity with any thing that is impure or unclean; for purity and impurity, cannot agree together, and it is our de­sires to keep our selves unspotted of the world; for that which is unclean, defiles, and from that we are separated, who are2 Cor. 6. 17. 18. the Sons and Daughters of the living God; but some of them have tasted of the love of God, and grace of God, and have had appearances of God: but by harkning to the voice of the Serpent, and giving way to the lust, have turned with the dog to the vomit, and the grace of God into wantonness,2 Pet. 2. 22. Heb. 6. 6. Rom. 1. 26. casting his pure Law behind their backs, and walking despite­fully against the spirit of grace, and have crucified a fresh, the Lord of Life, and put him to open shame; therefore hath the Lord given them up to their own hearts lusts, and vile af­fections, and their consciences seared as with a hot Iron; for it is writen, It is impossiblo that those who were once enlightened, Heb. 6. 4. 5. and have tasted of the Heavenly Gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted of the good word of God, and the Powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again to Repentance; but they have deceived many with their alluring speeches, and have caused the truth of God to be evil spoken of, by their pernitious lacivious ways: But wo, wo, be to them, for double shall be their reward▪ butMat. 8. 7. Rom 8. 1. God is our witness, we deny and abhor all things which is fil­thy or unclean, and though all the world condemn, it is with­out: For there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Je­sus, [Page 39] who walke not after the flesh, but after the spirit: and it is my tender desire towards all tender consciences that they may take heed of giving any liberty to the flesh, least theyGal. 5. 13. 15. 16. Heb. 1. 13. lose the tenderness of conscience, and harden it by lust and un­cleanness, for nothing but purity will the Lord receive; for he is of purer eye, then to behold iniquity.

We are accused that the ground of our Religion is Popery.

The ground of the Religion made manifest to us, is God himself, for God is the Fountain of all truth, and truth is Re­ligion, and Religion is truth, and this truth we witness, made manifest by God the life of truth, and here is the Religion which we witness forth; and here is the ground witnessedJoh. 16. 13. Jam. 1. 27. forth from the ground: and this Religion is pure, unspotted and springs from the light which is pure, wherein there is no deceit, neither can be; for it discovers all deceit▪ and leads out of it, both within and without; but deceit discovers not deceit, for Satan divided against himself cannot stand; but allMat. 12. 28. sects and opinions ariseth out of darkness, and the end is con­fusion: and so as darkness is opposite to light, and death to life; so is all sects and opinions against the true Religion, and all will side together against the truth, though they be op­posite one to another in judgement. as Pilate and Herod did against Christ, and the Scribes and Pharisees, and High Priests and Saduces, and the rude multude: so it is now, both Papist and Protestant, as they call them, and all other sects and opi­nions,Acts 4. 25, 26. 27. which ariseth out of the fall; for though they differ in judgement, yet they spring from one root▪ and no diffe­rence in life; but the light strikes at the root, which is dark­ness, and lays open the hidden things done in darkness, so darkness cannot endure the light, and this is the condemna­tion of the world, who love darkness rather then light, be­cause their deeds are evil: and this is the cause why our Re­ligion is spoken against, more then any profession besides; all Drunkards, Swearers, Lyars, Whoremongers, Adulterers,Joh. 3. 19. Thieves, Murtherers, proud, covetous, lustful ones, and all unrighteous persons, will speak against it, and call it delusion and heresie, and witchery, and all manner of evil, which the Devil can invent, and those stands up for the Priests, and per­secutes [Page 40] the truth as it was in the time of Christ, and his Apo­stles times, and this wil all Pharisees and Professors do, as they ever did: for they can wink at one another, and bear withM [...]t. 26. Act. 17. 4. one another in deceit, but truth cannot at all bear with de­ceit, because there is perfect enmity, as there was ever in all Ages, and it is no new thing, and here all your Sects and Opinions is shut out of the light and are in darknesse, and so is confusion, both Popery and all other, but the truth is but1 Thes. 5. 5. Acts 4. 32. 2 Cor. 5. 2. one, and who dwels in the truth, dwels in the light, and are the children of the light, and there is no confusion, but all of one heart and one mind: Epistles written in one anothers hearts, and there is that in every conscience which shall wit­nesse it to be the everlasting truth which ever was, is, and is to be for ever, both in them that beleeve, and in them thatJohn 3. 20. perish, though to the condemnation of them that hate it, and this I witness by the infallible spirit of the Lord, which cannot lye.

And now I have discharged my conscience, before all peo­ple, in the behalf of the truth of God, not that I would have any to speak well of it, but from the ground of it, for theGalat. 1. 10. love and the hatred of the unrighteous is all one to me; but for some simple ones sake I have layd open my self, and free­ly discharged my conscience, and I doubt not that my labour is in vain; but whosoever owns the truth of God, must own it through good report and evill report, and must be content2 Cor. 6. 8. Luk. 6. 22. to lose their good name in the World, as both Christ and his Servants did, and the Servant must not be greater than his Lord.

And now a few words to all you Heads and Rulers, and Magistrates, in what degree soever, who have the Power in your own hands, who by your power persecutes and impri­sons the Servants and Messengers of Jesus Christ, as deluders and deceivers, witches and vagabonds, and have no ground for it, but onely by heresay, and the evil thoughts and imma­ginations of your own hearts, and because they cannot please nor satisfie your corrupt proud wils, which is your Law by which you prosecute them, not weighing nor searching the ground of things: You are they in whom the Beast reignes, [Page 41] and his Image you bear, which upholds the false Prophet, and tyranizes over the Nations by his corrupt will, and caus­eth them to bow to, and worship his Image: and you oppressRev. 13. Rev. 14. 9. 10. Mat. 23. 30. 31, &c. and persecute those who cannot. You must drink of the wine of the wrath of the Almighty, powred out without mixture; for in the bloudy generation, you are found, filling up your measure of your Fathers wrath, upon whom must come all the Righteous blood, shed from Righteous Abel, until now, and this I say in the presence of the living God, by the Spirit of the living God, that all you who have had a hand in persecu­ting of them, guilt shall follow you in the conscience, until you come to judgement; and therefore I charge you all by the Lord, to take heed of medling about Religion, or to lay your Law upon any tender conscience; but see that your Law be according to that in the conscience, which is pure and perfect, and meddle with such affaires as you are set about, and rather give Liberty to Religion than take it away, as you own the grace of God you will, and see that you discharge▪ your con­sciences there, lest that while you are persecuting the truth, you neglect that which you are set about; for you will both persecute them your selves, and suffer the bruits to stone them,John 7. 51. and strike, and buffet them, which is all contrary to your own Law; neither when they are brought before you can they have the liberty of the Law, to clear such accusations as is laid against them; but you will hear the Accusers and not the Ac­cused, and this is contrary to the Heathenish Law, and you are more unjust than the very Heathen, who said, doth our Law judge any one before it hear him: and so for shame pro­fess no more love to Christ in his nature, who executes your Law upon his servants, upon such a fallible ground which no Judge ought to doe, by the Law of God, especially about Re­ligion, but to search out the ground of the matter on both sides, before he judge, but this he cannot doe about Religion, except he have the Spirit of the Lord; therefore take heed of meddling about spiritual matters, lest through ignorance you call Christ Belzebub, and persecute him as a Blasphemer, and Deceiver, as many of you have done, which is written in the book of conscience, and there you shal read it to your sorrow.

[Page 42]And all you blind people who persecute, rail, and revile and reproach the truth of God, and have no ground for it but by here-say, and the evill thoughts and imaginations of your own hearts, one imagining one thing and another, thing, as the tumult which gathered together against Paul, one crying one thing, and another, another thing, and the most part knewActs 19. 32. not wherefore they came together, and so it is the same amongst you; but it is good for you to know certainly what you speak against▪ before you speak, lest you speak evill of that you know not, calling good evill and evill good; putting darkness for light, and light for darkness, against whom the wo from the Lord is pronounced, and it is written in the bookJude 10. Isa. 5. 20. Isa. 4. 15. Rom. 2. 5. of Conscience, and there you shall read it with weeping tears, therefore take heed of treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath, and remember you are warned.

And now something to all you tender hearted ones, who are convinced by the light of God in your consciences, which tenders you consciences, for whose sakes I have laide open my self freely, and so I desire that you may mind that Light of God, to which I speak, which is my witness, which hath con­vinced you, that it may be your guide, which will leade you to conversion into the Life to witness with me, against the world, that my labour may not be in vain, and look not out at scan­dals, false accusations or reports, for this is the reward that theHeb. 12. righteous ever received of the world; and Christ our Lord and Captain shewed the example; as it is written, They who wil live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution, and they that depart from iniquitie make themselves a prey, but that which cannot bear those things is not of God, but turn your ear inward to that measure of light in you, which is without guile, that is gentle, that can bear all, as it did, both in the Prophets andJam. 5. 10. Apostles and all the holy men of God; This led them through good report, and evil report, through persecution and through death, and this is the way to life, and who enters must enter this way; and here is the tryall of faith, and the tryall of faith is1 Pet. 1. more precious then gold: so fear not but be willing to give up, and to part with all, though it be never so near and dear, yea though it be thy bosome friend and darling; for he that [Page 43] loveth any thing better then me, is not worthy of me, saith the pre­cious pearl, and he that wil not forsake all and follow me is not worthy of me; Moses thought it greater riches to suffer afflicti­on Mat. 10. 37 Heb. 11. 25. 26. with the people of God, then to enjoy the pleasures of Pharoahs Court for a season: for the pleasures of this world, and the afflictions of this world endures but a time and passeth away, For all things visible passeth away, but the joy of the Righteous en­dures for ever, but if our hopes was onely in this world, we were of all men most miserable; but he that endures to the end shall Rom. 8. 10. 1 Cor. 4. 17. 1 Cor. 15. 11. 2 Vim. 4. 7, 8. have a crown of glory, as Paul witnessed, so fear not little flock but be faithful, valiant, and bold, for it is your fathers will to give you the kingdome, and a hundred fold shal you receive, of what you lose, whether Lands or Livings, Wife or children, or whatsoever it is, the promise is to the faithfull, and your joy and advancement shal be in the destruction of your ene­mies, when the Lord doth make your enemies your foot-stool,Rev. 2. 10. Luk 12. 32. Rev. 19. 1, 2. Mat. 24. 15 but this is witnessed through the War, and he that endures to the end of the War shal witness this, and this in my measure I witness, and out of tender love from my soul, to your souls do I declare it, and desire that you may all endure to witness with me; for Love is Charity, and the Light leads through all, and so I rest in my habitation, known to all who can Read me in Spirit.

J. P.

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