THE Law and Light WITHIN, The most sure Rule or Light, which shew­eth the right use and end of the Scripture, MANIFESTED In opposition to several false Principles inserted in a Book Intituled Scripture Light the most sure Light, by Wil­liam Bridge, the Great Pastor and Reverend Father, so accounted, of the Church at Yarmouth in NORFOLK.

Confuted by George Whitehead.

HAving lately viewed part of William Bridge his Book a­foresaid, who hath long been esteemed an Eminent Teacher among many of the Professors, and them cal­led Independents in England, and having in his Book found many false principles and sinful Doctrines, con­trary to the Scriptures of Truth, it was upon me in the fear of the Lord to lay open some of his Principles, that the Ignorant may be instructed, and the Professors of Yarmouth and els-where may not trust in delusion nor in deluders, but cease from man whose breath is in his nostrils, and no longer esteem of any above what they are, but turn to the Spirit of the Lord as it appears in them, which Spirit searcheth all things, and leadeth them into all truth who are willing to be guided by it, whereby they may try all things, both Spirits, Doctrines and fruits, and hold fast that which is good, which Spirit they that hate it and resist the mo­vings of it when it moves against their ungodlinesse and errours, it will be a witnesse against them unto condemnation, and they shall remain in darknesse, and have their portion in darknesse; So let the Professors and People of all sorts consider these things in the fear of God.

First I shall lay down one particular for a truth which Wil. Bridge [Page 2] hath inserted in his book in p. 12. but it is against himself & such as he is, where he saith,

Pr. That a knowing learned man it may be can utter more of the Scri­pture then he feels, but a good man feels more then he can utter.

Answ. This is a Testimony against himself and his Brethren the Priests, who are learned men, who utter many things not in the true feeling which the good man is in; so they are not the good men, for they walk contrary to that which should bring them in­to the feeling of truth in the inward parts; & I shall here prove that William Bridge is out of the true feeling when he utters such Do­ctrines as he hath done contrary to the truth.

Pr. From 2 Pet. 1.19. We have also a more sure word of prophecy where­unto ye do well to take heed, W. Bridge saith the Apostle doth here pre­fer the written word before a revelation from heaven, now if he do prefer it before a Divine Revelation, then it is not to give place to the dawning of some special Light and Revela [...]ion in the heart, p. 4.

Answ. In this he hath both perverted the Scripture & affirmed that which is fals, for the Apostles preferred Divine Revelation be­fore the writings, as having the things of God revealed in them, before they spoke them forth or wrot of them, and Peter saith, The prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the holy Ghost, 2 Pet. [...].2 [...]. so that they first had the prophesies of Scripture revealed in them by the holy Ghost before they were written, and that word which the Apostle directs to was the word of prophecy which was before the words were written, nigh in the heart, and gave place to the dawning of a spe­cial Light and Revelation in their hearts, for it led them to the dawning of the day and the arising of the day-star in their hearts which was Christ, for whose Revelation they hoped through the word or spirit of prophecy in them, and such did not deny the gi­ving place to the dawning of the special Light and Revelation in the heart, as W. Bridge in his blindness hath done, see Mat. 11.27. 1 Pet. 1.13. 2 Pet. [...].19.

Pr. He saith p. 9. Ile tell you sayes the Apostle what ye shall do whilest ye are in the dark, even take heed to the word written.

Ans. That's false, the Apostle sayes no such words, neither saies he the word is written but living, and they were to take heed to the word of prophecy which they had as a Light that shined in a dark place, until the day-star arose in their hearts; now they that are in the dark do not understand the Scriptures, then how should they take heed to that they know not? but [Page 3] the light in the heart which shineth in darknesse, before it shine out of darknesse it gives the true understanding; Again William Bridge is exceeding dark in counting the word of prophesie the writing or Scriptures of the Prophets, for the Apostles words or writings which testifies of Christ as he is come are as sure as the Prophets writings (or more) so that if he had intended the more sure word to be the Scriptures without, he would rather have said ye have a more sure word of the Apostles to take heed unto; and again, the Scriptures doth not shine to them that are in dark­nesse, because they understand them not, but the light shineth in darknesse though the darknesse comprehends it not, and the least measure of the light of Christ being waited in by any one, it prophesies of a greater manifestation of light, and leads them that believe in it to the Revelation of Christ, the power and glory of the Father, so that this light in them is more sure to them then a voice or vision which another hath heard or seen which they have not, a manifestation of which light or spirit is given to every man to profit withal, John 1.4, 5.9. 2 Cor. 4 6

Pr. In page 7. he saith, A good man may live and dwell in a place or Town where no means of grace are, in a poor dark ignorant corner of the World.

Ans. This is false Doctrine, for the Grace of God which brings salvation hath appeared unto all men, Titus 2.11. and this grace is not without some means of it as it doth convince of sin, and teacheth to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and it appears with the means of it as to convince of sin and to teach righte­ousnesse, as thousands do and shall witnesse, and they who will not be taught by it, with it they shall be left without excuse.

Pr. In page 7. he saith, David thirsted after Ordinances, saying, my soul thirsteth after thee O God to see thy Power and thy Glory, Ps. 63.1, 2.

Ans. David in thirsting after God and his power and glory, thirsted after that which is beyond all carnal or visible Ordinan­ces, and shall remain when all such your Ordinances shall fail and have an end; but now see how plainly William Bridge hath in this contradicted himself, for if the Scripture be preferred before Re­velation from Heaven, and be not to give place to such a Revela­tion in the heart as he hath affirmed, then what needed David have thirsted to see the Power and Glory of God, for that is re­vealed in the hearts of believers, Eph. 3.20.

Pr. In page 9. and 10. A very good man may be much in the dark, (temptation time is a dark time) yet this Scripture light he hath alwayes by him, to the law and to the Testimony.

[Page 4] Ans. A very good man is born of God and walketh in the light, and though he be tempted entereth not into the temptation, for the wicked one toucheth him not, as John said, and that is the most sure light to him which keepeth him out of temptations, which light was before the Scriptures were, and the Law is light, and the te­stimony is the Spirit of prophesie which was in the Saints before they wrote the Scriptures, which are not the light but testifie of it.

Pr. page 7. Joseph when Mary was first with child, he did not know what to do in the case till the Angel of the Lord appeared to him.

Ans. Which flatly contradicts his former words, for then the Angel of the Lord and what he revealed to Joseph was more sure to him then the Scriptures of the Prophets, for they did but fore­tell of Christ, but the Angel convinced Joseph concerning Christ, that he must not put away his wife as he would have done, as by the Scripture, touching fornication which she was not guilty of, as the Angel convinced him, Mat. 1.19. so that Revelation was more sure then the Scripture.

Pr. page 10. Wicked men have the light of the Scripture as a blind man hath the Sun, the Sun is in the firmament over the head of the blind man, yet it is not light to him.

Ans. Here again William Bridge hath contradicted himself, for then the Scripture is not the most sure light to the wicked, because the wicked are as far from understanding the Scripture, as the blinde man is from seeing the light of the Sun, by this mans words, and yet he bids them that are wicked in the dark take heed to the word written, which is no better then to bid a blind man fol­low the light of the Sun, but that is the most sure light which shin­eth in the hearts, and opens the blinde mans eyes, and brings to Divine Revelation, which the Scripture without doth not, but te­stifies of the light and of Revelations, which the light of Christ brings to.

Pr. page 12. The Scripture light is the most excellent safe and sure light, it is the light of lights; there are many false lights in the world.

Ans. God is the light of lights, the Father of lights, James 1.17. and not the Scripture, for it is the writing not the light, and if God be the Fountain of lights, from whence did these false l [...]ghts come? surely William Bridge hath spoken here much out of the feeling, for that which is false is not the Light, though de­ceit may transform like the light, but no deceit is really light.

Pr. page 12. In looking in the Scripture, this great looking-glass, ye see the truth▪ that are therein contained concerning God and Christ, there [Page 5] is God seen especially, and Christ seen, there also you see your selves and your own dirty face, this is that manifesting light under Christ.

Ans. Here is confusion and false Doctrines added to confusion, for if the wicked have the Scripture but as the blind man hath the Sun, how should they see their dirty faces in the Scriptures, or see the truth, or God or Christ in the Scriptures, when the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain God, 1 Kings 8.27. much less the Scripture, and he that would here divide the Scripture light from Christ, as if the Scripture light were one and Revelation were another, he is blind, for the Light which the Saints have in Scripture is in them, and is the light of Christ, without which the Scriptures cannot be understood, so that is the manifesting light which gives the true understanding of the Scriptures, and the Letter or Writing not the light.

Pr. page 15. Scripture Light is the highest Light, Scripture Dispensa­tion the highest Dispensation, the Dispensation of Visions and Revelations was of a lower rank.

Ans. Herein hath William Bridge both shewen his ignorance and contradicted his brethren the Priests, for many of the Priests do account the Dispensation of the Prophets and Apostles of Christ, which was a dispensation of visions and revelations, far higher then theirs who now have the Scriptures, but do not own revela­tions to be manifest in these dayes, when as no man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him, Mat. 11.27. so William Bridge in his counting visions and revelations of a lower rank then the Scripture, he might as well say that the know­ledge of God and Christ which is revealed, is lower then the let­ter, when as they were in a Scripture dispensation, and had the letter of the Law and Prophets who persecuted Christ, and Paul was there when a persecutor, but when he received the dispensation of God given him by revelation, whereby he was made a Mini­ster, he knew that which was above or beyond the Scriptures, e­ven Christ revealed in him the mystery, and so preached him un­to the Gentiles, and did not sleight divine revelation, nor set the letter above it as William Bridge hath done, Gal. 1. Col. 1.27. 2 Cor. 13.5.

Pr. page 15. If God should now speak unto you by Visions or Visional Revelations, how would you know that this were the voice of God but by the Scripture, and who doth not know that the Devil will speak an hun­dred truths.

Ans. Here his grose ignorance of the voice of God is seen, for [Page 6] God is able to manifest his own voice to them that have not the Scriptures without, as he did before they were written, and the sheep of Christ knows and hears his voice; what doth William Bridge believe that the Sheep of Christ must all go to the Scripture with­out, and try his voice thereby, when the devil can speak Scripture or a hundred truths? then what must try the devils voice, and how then must they try voyces and spirits that cannot read the Scriptures; now all that own the Spirit of Truth which search­eth all things, whereby words voyces and Spirits are to be tryed, they may soon see the Priests ignorance in these things.

Pr. Pag. 18. I am to be so far from desiring God to speak in this way of a vision, as I am bound rather to be backward to it.

Ans. Here William Bridge his desires are contrary to the true Mi­nisters desires, for they went on to Visions and Revelations, and preached what God had revealed by his word in them, but in this he hath manifested himselfe to be like the Priests of old, from whom the vision was departed, and the day was become dark over them that they might not have a Vision, and where there is no vision the People perish, Mica 3. 2 Cor. 12.1.

Pr. Pag. 18. If any have a revelation to try or confirme any Gospel doctrine, 'tis a delusion of Satan.

Ans. Which is quite contrary to the Apostles doctrine, for they taught them that had revelation to try all things and hold fast that which is good. 1 Thes. 5.21. And by the revelation of Christ they witnessed the doctrine of the Gospel confirmed and fulfilled in them, and this is no delusion, so that this Priest might as well have said that the knowledge of God is a delusion, for it comes by revelation and confirmes Gospel doctrine.

Pr. Pag. 27. He saith the Light and Law within us here is Imperfect, the Law of Grace within, & the Light within is not able to convince others.

Ans. Which are both false, for the Law and Light of the Lord is perfect, and by this Light within are many convinc'd of their evil deeds, and reproved for them, and things that are reproved are made manifest by the Light, & who ever speaks to the convincing others it must be from the Light within which is perfect, as every gift of God is perfect, Eph. 5.13. Col. 3.16.

Pr. Though the Law and Light and Spirit within us be a principle of good, yet it is not the Rule of our goodness or Lives.

Ans. Herein William Bridge hath plainly contradicted himself, for he confesseth in pag. 28 that the inward Law and Light discovers those heaps of sin that are in the Soul, and doth not onely incline a man unto [Page 7] what is good, but it inables him thereunto; then I say, that the inward Light both discovering sin, and inclining and inabling man to that which is good, it must be the rule of their Lives, for the Spi­rit of Truth leadeth into all truth, John 1.6.13. which is more then the Scripture will do, though we truly own the Sripture in its place as it testifies of the Truth, and against sin in the generall, yet the Light within must be the more sure Rule, for it shewes un­to particular men their particular sins, and shews unto them wherein they are guilty, and opens their eyes and sheweth them the way to Life which is Christ, who enlightens every man com­ing into the World, and this is more then all outward words or writings.

Pr. In pag. 29, William Bridge saith, If the Law and Light and Spi­rit that is in me be my rule, then I may do any thing without sin, I may whore, be drunk, steal or any thing without sin, but the Law, Light and Spirit may command me to do such things as these.

Ans. Here's heaps of confusion & horrible blasphemy, for before he confessed that the inward Law and Light doth both incline a man to what is good, and inables him to it, and that it is a great help to us in our way to Life, and against this William Bridge in pag. 29 saith, that the Law or Light or Spirit within you is Christ in you, so you may see how horribly he hath blasphemed against Christ, in making him the author or commander of whoredome, drunkenness and stealing, as by his words appeare, when as Christ condemns all unrighteousness, and all that own Christ in them for their guide and rule, they witness that he is come to condemn sin in the flesh, and not to lead them into whoredome and drunkenness, nor any sin, for he purgeth throughly them that receive him, Mat. 1.21. and 3.12. Rom 8.1, 2, [...].

Pr. If the Law and Light and Spirit that is in me be my Rule, then I am my own rule, and so I am God.

Ans. This is false and absurd, and contradicts his own words, for he confessed that the Law or Light or Spirit within is Christ, now then if Christ be my Rule, I am not my own Rule, nor am I God; for he that hath Christ to rule him, is not ruled by himselfe but by Christ in him, whereby he is come to deny himselfe and to follow Christ.

Pr. Pag. 30, He saith, the Scripture is the first ground of our Faith and Hope.

Ans. Then Christ is not your ground nor hope who are out of the Apostles doctrine, for they witnessed that another foundation [Page 8] could no man lay then that which is laid, which is Christ, who was in them their hope, and the Author and Finisher of their faith, 1 Cor. 3. [...]1. Heb. 12.2.

Pr. Pag. 32. Humane Reason is a beam of Divine wisdom, yet if it be not inlightened with a higher Light of the Gospel, it cannot reach unto the things of God.

Ans. Heres both falsehood and absurdity, for a beam of Divine Wisdom is not Humane but Divine, as the Wisdom is from whence it comes, and a beam of Divine Wisdom need not higher light then that Wisdom, by which Wisdom the things of God are reached and known, now he is exceeding blinde who cannot discern Hu­mane reason which is earthly and corruptible, from the Divine Wisdom, which is Incorruptible and eternall.

Pr. Pag. 33. Tis Revelation Light from the Gospel that doth bring to Heaven.

Ans. So now at length he hath granted to the Truth; but in this he hath overthrown all his former doctrine against revelation, wherein he did set the Scripture above Revelation, and would not have Scripture to give place to the dawning of the speciall Light and Revelation in the heart; But now is the Light of the Gospel which is the power of God revealed in His People, which hath dis­covered the blindness and Ignorance of all such blind leaders who are ignorant of the Light and Law of God within, and who are a­gainst the knowledge of God in their preaching against Divine re­velation, concerning which William Bridge hath so largely shewen his grosse darkness and blasphemies; And this may be a warning to all his hearers, & all professors who are not wilfully blind to be awakened and cease from such blind watchmen and pastors, who have long fed themselves and not the flocks, and come to Christ the true Shepherd and Pastor who will feed his flock Himselfe.

This in tender love was I moved to give forth for the simple ones sake that they may be undeceived; and let none at the reading hereof be offended at what I have charged against William Bridge a­foresaid, for I am willing (if the Lord so order me, and give me an oportunity) publickly to prove that he leads the people besides the wayes of God, and teacheth errour in stead of Truth; this I am willing to prove to his face if the Lord so order me, if William Bridge would stand a fair dispute with me publikly, and stand to his own doctrines; many more of whose false doctrines I could mani­fest in his book, which at present I omit


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