A CLOVD OF VVITNESSES: With whom I also appear to bear Testimony, That Christ Jesus is the Word of God, and not the Bible which is called the Scriptures.

For which Word the Prophets, Apostles, and Servants of the Lord, obeying, and bearing their Testimony there­unto, have suffered by all Generations of men, cruel Mockings, Stripes, Bonds and Imprisonments, by the Egytians, Philistians, Ba­bylonians, Caldeans, Idolaters, Back-sliders, Roman Papists, and in generall, the Heathen, that know not Christ Je­sus to be the Word of the Lord.

For we are as Strangers before thee, and Sojourners, as were all our Fathers, our dayes of the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding on the earth; they wandered about in sheep-skins, and goat-skins, they wandered in deserts, and upon mountains, and being destitute, lay in dens and caves of the earth, and obtained a good report through faith, 1 Chron. 29.15. Heb. 11.37, 38, 39.

Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before Judgment-seats? Iam. 2.6. and the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over you, & they that are great exercise authority upon you, Mat. 20.25

He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my Name before the Gentiles and Kings, and the Children of Israel, and I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my Names sake: Be of good cou­rage Paul, for thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome: and certain of the Jews banded toge­ther, more then fourty men, and bound themselves with an oath, and lay in wait for him, saying, that they would neither eat nor drink, till they had killed Paul, Acts 9.15, 16, & 23.11, 12. & 21.

Written by him, who is known by the Name of Henry Clark.

LONDON, Printed for Giles Calvert, and are to be sold at his shop, at the Black spread-Eagle, neer the VVest end of Pauls, 1656.

A CLOVD OF VVITNESSES, With whom I also appear to bear Tistimony, That Christ Jesus is the Word of God, and not the Bi­ble, which is called the Scrip­tures, &c.

WHen Christ said to the Jews, Search the Scripture, John 5. & 39.46, 47. he did not say, that they are the Word of the Lord, as it is written in a Chapter, and a Verse: but told them, That they think in them, that testifie of him, to have E­ternall life: but life was not in them to be had, but in the Son,1 John 5.12. John 12.36. for he that hath the Son, hath lift: and unto him they would not come that they might have eternall life, who is the light and life of men, which light they would not own nor believe in: Nor did they believe Mo­ses Writings, which Christ called the Scriptures, and bad them search, for said he, Had ye beleeved Moses, ye would have beleeved me, for he wrote of me; but said Christ, If ye beleeve not his writings, how shall ye beleeve my words? Now here it is plainly seen, that, that part of the Scripture which Christ bad the Jews to search, he called them, Moses Writings;Acts 7.42. Mat. 22.35.40 and the other part (as Stephen was bearing his Testimony of Jesus Christ, and against the Temple made with hands) he called it the Book of the Prophets: he did not say, hear­ken [Page 2] unto the Word of the Lord, as the Priests of England do, that preach for hire, as it is written in a Chapter and a Verse, but said, As it is written in the Book of the Prophets: And when the Lawyer ask­ed Christ which was the greatest Commandment in the Law, when Christ had told him, he said, On these two Commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. And likewise after his resurrection, and being present with his Apostles, he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was with you, that all things must be ful­filled which were written (he did not say,Luke 24.44. in the Word of God) in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning me. So it is said likewise of Paul, that to the Jews which came to his lodging, he expounded and testified the Kingdom of God, and per­swaded them concerning Jesus, both out of the Law of Moses, and out of the Prophets: so that it doth plainly appear, that those Scri­ptures which were then written, were called by Christ and his A­postles, Moses VVritings, Moses Law, and the Book of the Prophets, the Prophets, and the Psalms, (and not the Word of the Lord) all which testifie of Christ. So likewise those that are written since them are called a Declaration; Luke 1.1. &c. as Luke said, Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order d Declaration of those things which are most surely beleeved amongst us, which from the beginning were eye wit­nesses and Ministers of the VVord: it seemed good to me also, having a perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus: And Luke he writes in order his Declaration of Iohn, his birth and parentage, and of his going out to preach and baptize; and likewise of the birth and discent of Christ, and of his Parents, and of the manner of his going out to preach, and the calling of his dlsciples, and sending them out to preach likewise; and of his works and miracles, travells, doctrine, sufferings, death and resurrection. And Matthew, and Mark, they wrote their Declaration of what they were eye witnesses of. And Iohn he writ his Testimony of Jesus,Iohn 20.30. & chap. 21.24, 25. what he was, and said, and did, and also of his death and resurrection, which Testimony was but a part of what he saw and knew; for said he, Many other signes Iesus did in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this Book; and there were many other things which Iesus did, which if they should be be written every one, I suppose that even the world it self could not contain the Books that should be written: and this Disciple which testifieth of these things,Acts 1.8.9, i0. Acts 2. chap. Acts 9. chap. and wrote these things, we know that his testimony is true. And so likewise the Acts, they are a declaration of Christs giving power after his Ascension to the Apostles, and sen­ding them to bear witness of him in Ierusalem, and in all Iudea, Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth; and of their preaching and turning many to the righteousness of the faith in [Page 3] Christ Jesus: And the Acts likewise declares of Pauls conversion, and his going out to preach the Gospel among the Gentiles, and to turn them from darkness to light,Acts 26.18. Acts 12. chap. Acts 17. chap. 2 Pet. 3.1. ver. and from the power of Satan unto God, who is Light, and in him is no darkness at all: And so likewise they declare of his, and the Apostles travells, and their sufferings, by the Romanes and unbeleeving Iews, and the baser sort of people: and so Paul and the other Apostles writ severall Epistles to the Churches, as they saw them in their severall conditions, and some to particular persons, as to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, and to the twelve Tribes scattered abroad.

And Peter in his second Epistle speaks of the Scripture, and said,2 Pet. 1.20, 21. 1 Cor. 2.4.14. Heb. 3.5. & 8.5 Exod. 17.4. & 34.27. & 40.33. Isa. 8.1. Jer. 30.1, 2. & 36.1, 2, 3, 4. That no prophesie of the Scripture is of any private interpretation, but the holy men of God spake them forth as they were moved by the holy Ghost; so that the prophecies written came not of old, by mans own will, nor by the will of man, but by the Holy Ghost in the holy men of God, who were moved by the same to speak them forth; so that all speaking and wri­ting, and all interpretations of the things of God, that comes not from the movings and power of the Holy Ghost, comes from mans own will, and not from the will and power of God: Moses, who was faithfull in the house of God, did all things according to the pat­tern shewed him, and writ not in his own wil, but in the wil of God. And so Isaiah wrote at the Commands of the Lord: And Jeremiah wrote not, but at the Command of the Lord, who said unto him, VVrite all the words in a Roll of a Book that I have spoken unto thee (against Israel, and against Juda, and against all the nations) from the dayes of Josia, even unto this day. And Jeremiah called Baruch, and Baruch wrote all the words which the Lord had spoken unto Jeremi­ah, from the mouth of Jeremiah, Baruch wrote them. Here it is plainly seen, that the Scriptures at the first was not given forth by mans will, or by private interpretation, but they were given forth by in the will of God, by the holy men of God, as they were moved to speak them forth by the Spirit of God; but since the first giving of them forth, they have been translated by private interpretors, into the many Languages, and the many Languages have severall Co­pies of their private interpretations, with some words added to, and some words left out: But the same Spirit of God that gave them forth, knows its own that it gave forth by the holy men of God,1 Cor. 2.10.12. 2 Pet. 3.1 Mic. 3.11. and disowns the other words that are not of, and from it self, for no man knoweth the things of God, save the Spirit of God; so that it plain­ly appears, that the Scriptures was never called the Word of God, neither by Christ, nor his Apostles, but they were called by them, Moses VVritings, Moses Law, The Book of the Prophets, The Prophets, and, The Psalms; A Declaration, Testimony, and Epistles: But the blinde Guides, the priests of England, that preach for tithes, hire, [Page 4] gifts and rewards, they do teach the people, and say, Hearken to the VVord of the Lord; as it is written in a Chapter and a Verse.

The VVord of the Lord was before all time; but the Bible, which men call the Scriptures, was not before all time; for Moses, after the Creation many generations, did begin to write the first part of it, who was the first Writer,John 1.1, 2.3, 4. & 10.14. John 4.24. John 10.28. 2 Cor. 3.6. which was in time, and the rest were writ­ten in order of time, as the holy men of God were moved by the Spirit of God to write, and give them forth to be written; therefore the Bible, which is called the Scriptures, is not the VVord of God, but is that which testifies of the VVord of God, Christ Jesus: God is a spirit, is the Bible, which is called the Scripture, God? a spirit? Nay, for the Word is God: The letter kills, is that Christ? the spi­rit that giveth life? Nay, then the Letter is not the VVord of God, for Christ is the Word, and this Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us, and he is the Light and Life of men, and by him the world was made.

First, Before the Bible, which is called the Scripture, was writ, the Word was;John 1. i. Heb. 13.8. Rev. 22.13. 1 John 1.1, 2. Isa. 41.4. Rev. 19. i3. Isa. 7.14. Matt. 1.23. Heb. 2.16. John 8 56.58. Gen. 15.1, 2. Prov. 18.10, 1 Sam. 3.21. Matt. 11.27. John [...]0.30. & 14.6.9, 10. Dute. 8.15. Gen. 49.10. Psal. 119.160, 162. verses. Isa. 42. Jer. 23. Ezek. 34. Dan. 2.45. Mic. 4, 5, chap. for in the beginning was the VVord, and the VVord was with God, Christ Jesus, the same yesterday, to day and for ever; said he, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last: It is he that calleth the generations from the beginning, who said, I the Lord am the first, and with the last I am the same, and John said, His Name is called the VVord of God: And they shall call his Name Emanuel, (which is, by interpretation) God with us; who took upon him the Seed of Abraham, and was before Abraham was; Abraham, said Christ, rejoyced to see my day; he saw it, and was glad: The Word of the Lord came to Abraham in a Vision, saying, Fear not, Abraham, I am thy Sheild, and thy exceeding great Reward: The Name of the Lord is a strong Tower, the Righteous run unto it, and are safe: And the Lord appeared again in Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by his VVord: Christ said, No man knows the Father, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him: and said Christ, I am the VVay, the Truth and the life; No man cometh to the Father but by me; he that hath seen me, hath seen the Father; I and my Father am one; I am in the Father, and the Father in me: And Moses said, The Lord thy God will raise up a Prophet in the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me, unto him shall you hearken: And Jacob said, The Scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a Law-giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be: and David said, Thy Word, O Lord, is true from the beginning; I rejoyce, said he, at thy VVord, as one that findeth great spoile: and the same Word of the Lord did all the prophets see, and hear, and bear witness to, and no o­ther, and the Scriptures were written to bear Testimony of this Word to after Generations that should come, and likewise of the [Page 5] righteous judgments of God which came upon them that opposed the same; which Examples were written for our learning, upon whom the ends of the world is come, unto whom the Scripture is gi­ven by inspiration of the Spirit, that the Man of God may be per­fect thorowly, furnished unto every good work, which is profitable for Doctrine, for Reproofe, for correction, and for instruction in Righteousness.

Secondly, As Christ is the VVord of God, John 8. i2. John John 3.19, 20. Eph. 5. i3. John 16.9, 10, 11.12. 2 Pet. i.19. so he is the Light of the VVorld, yea, the true Light, that inlightneth every one that cometh into the world: VVhosoever followeth him shall not walk in Darkness, but shall have the Light of life; and to as many as receive him, and beleeve on his Name, to them he gives power to become the Sons of God; but these whose Understanding is darkned, even such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death; the Light shineth in the darkness, but the darkness comprehendeth it not; but al things that are reproved, are made ma­nifest by the Light; the Light makes sin manifest in the understan­ding, and convinceth of sin, and condemns sin in the conscience: but those that walk in darkness hate the Light, and will not bring their deeds to it, because they are evill, and the Light reproves them, and to such the Light is their condemnation.

Therefore take heed to this Light, which shineth in a dark place, untill the day dawn, and the Day-star arise in your hearts; while you have the Light, beleeve in the Light,John 12.36. 1 Thess. 5.7. that ye may be­come the children of the Light, and the children of the Day, who bear witness to the Light. Iohn, a man sent of God to bear witness of the Light, who said, that was the true Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world: And David, he bare witness, and said, The Lord is my light and my lamp, he will inlighten my darkness, he is my sal­vation and the strength of my life: and again said he,Psal. 72. i. 2 Sam. 22.39. John 1.1.5. Isa. 49.6. & 60.19, 20. Luke 2.31, 32. John 1.10, 11, & 17 verses. Thy VVord is a Lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my pathes. And John said, God is Light, and in him is no darkness at all. And Isaiah said, The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting Light, and thy God thy glory. Christ is given for a Light to the Gentiles, and for salvation to the ends of the earth; to which Simeon bore witness, and said, Mine eyes have seen thy salva­tion, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to light­en the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel: which Light was in the beginning, and is come to his own, and his own received him not: he is in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knows him not, by whom Grace and Truth is come, CHRIT JESUS.

Thirdly: Seeing that Christ is the Light of the world, Isa. 55.3. John 5.25. and the VVord of God, which is to be hearkned unto and obeyed: therefore unto him hearken and hear, that your souls may live, For they that hear the voice of the Son of God, they shall live: the word is nigh thee, [Page 6] in thy heart and in thy mouth, Dute. 13.14. Eccles. 2.14. Prov. 4.23. Coll. 1.27. Rom. 12.5. 1 Cor. 8.6. John 17.23. Rom. 10.6, 7, 8. Coll. 1.26, 27. 1 Tim. 3.16. John 15.18.25. 1 Pet. 2.7. Matt. 21.42. Jer. 20.9. 2 Sam. 23.2, 3. 1 Cor. 10.4. Matt. 17.5. Heb. 3.15. Matt. 11.29. Isa. 40.31. Matt. 24.23, 24 26. Mark 13.2i, 22, 23. Luke 17.21, 22, 23. that thou mayest do it: therefore keep thy minde in from wandering abroad, for the wise mans eye is in his head; Christ is the head of every man, hearken and attend to his word, keep thy heart with all dilligence, for out of it are the issues of life; he that hath the Son hath life, Christ in you the hope of glory; he is one in all; except ye be Reprobates you may know this: For we being many, are all one in Christ Iesus, who said, I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and Paul said, the righteousness which is of faith, spea­keth on this wise, Say not in thy heart who shall ascend into heaven, that is to bring Ch [...]ist down from a love; or who shall descend into the deep, that is to bring up Christ again from the dead: but saith it, The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that is the word of Faith which we preach; without controversie, great is the mystery of godliness, which hath been hid from ages aad generations, but is now made manifest unto his Saints, which is, God manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of Angels, preached unto the Gentiles, rejected by the world, but received in­to glory. And Ieremiah said, His word was in my heart, as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. And David said, The spirit of the Lord speak by me, and his word was in my tongue; the Rock of Israel speak to me; and that Rock is Christ; he that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the spirit saith, (God is a spirit) who saith, this is my beloved Son, hear ye him in all things, Cease from man, whose breath is in his Nostrils, and hearken to the VVord of the Lord, which is nigh thee, in thy heart and in thy mouth: Christ Jesus saith, Come learn of me, heare, that your souls may live: to day if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, but be swift to hear, and slow to speak: stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, for they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength: and do not hearken any longer to the blinde guides, the priests, which cries, Lo here, hearken to the Word of the Lord saith one, as it is written in the chapter and the verse: Lo here, saith another, hearken to the Word of the Lord, as it is written in this chapter and this verse: See here saith one, it is written, this chapter and this verse: See there, saith another, as it is written in this chapter and this verse. But they are false prophets, rise up to seduce, if it were possible, the very Elect: but saith Christ, go not forth, beleeve them not, the kingdom of heaven is within you, the Law is written in the heart, according to the Covenant of God, Moses, David, Jeremiah, and Paul, and said, the Word of the Lord is in the heart and in the mouth,Iude 11 verse. Numb. 22.38. & 24.17, 18, 19. Mic. 3.11. and yet the priests of the Nations are not ashamed to say, It is written in a chapter and a verse: and although the priests of this Nation run greedily after the error of Balaam, for honour and rewards, yet they are more blinde than Balaam, and have not got by all their study and learning, so much of the knowledge of the [Page 7] Word, as he, who said to Balaak (after the Lord had turned him from going to curse Israel) the word that God putteth into my mouth, that shall I speak: O ye priests that preach for hire, and di­vine for money, and are by men called, and say your selves, you are ministers and preachers of the Word of God. Are you not a­shamed to see that Balaam had more knowledge of the Word then you have be ashamed, and blush, and stop your mouths, and be silent before the Lord God, and utter no more of your own words before him, and repent of your lying and blasphemy, for Christ, who is the Word of God, is but one, and is not divi­ded into chapters and verses, which are many, therefore do not deceive the people any longer, by the divination of your own brains, for the Lord God will make the diviners mad, and con­found the wisdome of the wise, and bring to nought the under­standing of the prudent.

Fourthly, The Scriptures, which is visible, is a visible writing; but the Word of the Lord is invisibly written in the heart,Jer. 23.29. Heb. 13.29. and is like a Fire, yea, Our God is a consuming Fire; and who amongst us shall dwell with the devouring Fire? Who amongst us shall dwell with everlasting Burnings? Who may abide the day of his coming? For behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an O­ven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall be as the stuble, and the day that cometh shall burn them up,Isa. 33.14. Mal. 3 & 4. chap. Nahum. 1.5.6. so that it shal leave them neither root nor branch: The mountains quake at him, the hills melt, the earth is burnt at his presence, yea, the world, & all that dwell therein; who can stand before his indignation, and who can abide the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, saith the Lord of Hosts; who shall stand when he appeareth, for he is like a Refiners fire, and like Fullers Sope; and he shall sit as a Refiner, and a Purifier of silver, and he shall purifie the Sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an Offering in righ­teousness, [but do not think that I take the priests of England to be the Sons of Levi] for the Lord God, who is coming to judgement, will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulte­rers, and against the false swearers, and against those that defraud the servant of his wages, and oppress the widow and the fatherless, and those that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts. Christ is come to set fire on the earth,Luke 12.49. Mic. 1.3, 4. v [...]. and its al­ready kindled, and the Mountains shall be moulton under him, and the Valleys shall be cleft as wax before the fire, and as the waters that are poured down a steep place; and what will become of you enemies of God, that walk in darkness and hate the Light, and will not hearken to, and obey the Word of the Lord: Our Lord Jesus Christ is revealed from heaven with his mighty An­gels,2 Thess. 1.7, 8, 9 Rom. 2.16. [Page 8] in flames of fire, to render vengeance upon them that know not God, and obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the secrets of all mens hearts by Christ Jesus, accor­ding to the Gospel; for we are sure that the judgments of God are according to Truth, Christ is Truth.

Prov. 23.21. 1 Cor. 6.9, 10. Heb: 13.4.Wo unto the bloudy City, that is full of Lies and Robbery, from which the prey departeth not. Wo unto you Drunkards of England, awake, weep and howle, for the Drunkard shall come to poverty, and never inherit the Kingdom of God. Wo unto you Whoremongers and Adulterers, for the Lord God will you judge.

Wo unto you that swear and steal, for the Curse of God is en­tered into the house of the thief,Zach. 5.3, 4. Isa. 33.14. Matt. 24.51. Mat. 19.23, 24. Prov. 16.18. and into the house of the swearer, and every one that sweareth shall be cut off, and every one that Stealeth shall be cut off, and never inherit the Kingdom of God. Wo unto you hypocrites, for fearful­ness hath surprised you, and hell is your portion, where is weep­ing and gnashing. Wo unto you rich men, weep and howle, for the misery that is coming upon you; It is hard for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of heaven. Wo unto you proud and wic­ked ones, God resisteth the proud, and beholdeth them afar off: Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall; you wicked ones shall be as stuble before the fire. Wo unto you murderers,Habb. 1.13. 1 John 3.12. that have murdered the innocent and slain the just, because their works are good and acceptable with God, and yours evill, the voice of the blood of the righteous cryeth, and the cry thereof is heard from under the earth unto the Lord a­gainst you, and all the blood that hath been shed from the day of righteous Abel unto this day, shalbe required of this generation.

O ye Priests of England, who are called Ministers, but are the Idol-shepherds thereof, for as Israel brake off their Ear-rings from their wives, their Sons, and their daughters, and made them a Calfe,Read the 17 & 18. chapter of Judges. and worshipped it, so have the people of England with their Gold, Silver, Tithes, Gifts and Rewards, made you, who they call Ministers, their Idols, and have set you up in the highest seats in their high places, which they call their Church, which is like Micah, the man of Mount Ephraims house of gods, which was made by the Founders and the Gravers: so in the Steeplehouses in England are set up (by the Gravers, the Foun­ders and the Painters) Pictures and Images of men, women and children, and severall sorts of other creatures; and upon them the people look sometimes, and up to the Priests other times, and to the priests they hearken, and not to God, for he is not in all their thoughts; and they say of the priests, these are our Teachers, these [Page 9] are our leaders which will lead us to heaven; just as the children of Israel said of their golden Calf, These are thy Gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the Land of Aegypt: So Micah, the Idolater, when he had got a Levite to be his priest, which he hired for ten shekles of silver by the yeer, and a sute of Apparel, and his Victuals, for which the Levite became his priest; then said Micah, Now know I that the Lord will do me good. So the peo­ple of England think, while they have priests that preaches for hire, they think it will go wel with them; but the time came that Micah's Gods and his priests was carried away from him. Ah sot­tish people! why have you forsaken Christ, the true shepherd and Bishop of your souls, who is the way to the Father, and no man cometh to the Father but by him? wherefore do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfies not,Isa. 55.2. to follow those blinde guides who lead the blinde, and both will fall into the ditch, for of them you are e­ver learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Wo unto the Idol-shepherds that leaveth the Flock, the sword shall be upon his Arm, and upon his right Eye; his Arm shall be clean dried up,Zach. [...].17 and his right Eye shall be utterly dark­ned: Read your portion you Idol-shepherds of England, who say the Scripture is the Word of the Lord,John 1.1.1 [...]. which testifieth contrary to your saying, that Christ Jesus is the Word, and the Word is God, which is as a fire.

Fifthly, The Word of the Lord is like a Hammer, that break­eth the Rocks in pieces, and the Rocks are thrown down by it.Jer. 23.29 Nah. 1.6. Jer. 10.10.1 [...] Hearken all you who have made your faces harder then a Rock, and refuse to return to the Lord that made you, and have made your hearts as an Adamant-stone, lest ye should hear the Law from the pure Law-giver, Christ Jesus, by him shall ye be bro­ken to pieces, as with a Rod of Iron, and dashed in pieces like a potters vessel: The Lord, the true God, the living God, and an everlasting King, at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the Nations shall not abide his indignation; he hath made the earth by his power, he established the world by his wisdome, and stret­ched out the heaven by his understanding; he saith of the porti­on of Iacob, thou art my battel Ax, and the weapons of war:Lament. 3.24. Psal. 16.5. & 119.57. Matt. 22.43, 44 45. Jer. 51.15 19, 20, 21, 22, 23. And David said, The Lord is my portion, and the lot of mine inheri­tance; and again he said, Thou art my portion, O Lord. Christ is Lord, and David called him so; The Lord said unto my Lord; and this Lord is Iacobs portion, whom the Lord said, By thee will I break in pieces the Nations, and with thee will I destroy King­domes; and with thee wil I break in pieces the Horse and his Ri­der, [Page 10] and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his Ri­der; with thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee wil I break in pieces young man and old; and with thee wil I break in pieces the young man and the maid. Hearken you priests of England, who are called Ministers, and say the Scrip­ture is the Word of God, but the Word of the Lord is invisible, and cannot be seen with your carnall eyes, and by it wil the Lord break in pieces the Shepherd and his Flock,Ezek. 34.8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. and he will gather his Flock from your mouthes, and it shall become no longer a prey unto you, and he will feed his sheep upon the mountains of Israel, and lead them to the stil waters; and he will likewise break in pieces the husbandman, and his yoke of Oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces, saith the Lord, the Captains and Ru­lers:Matt. 10 34. Luke 12.51, 52, 53. and said Christ, Think not that I am come to send peace on the earth, I am not come to send peace, but a sword, to make division, for from henceforth there shall be five in one house, divided, three against two, and two against three; the Father shall be divided against the Son, and the Son against the Father; the Daughter against the Mother, and the Mother against the Daughter: the Mother-in-Law against the Daughter-in-Law, and where the Word of the Lord comes,Heb. 4.13. Psal. 139.1, 2, 3, 4. it seperates and divides asunder. Paul said, that the Word of God is quick and powerfull, and sharper then any two-edged-sword, piercing, even to the di­viding asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow; and it is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, and this David witnessed, and said, O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me, thou understandest my thoughts afar off, and art acquainted with all my wayes.

Sixthly, The VVord of the Lord is very pure, said David, therefore thy servant loveth it:Psal. 119.140. Isa. 40.8, &c. 1 Pet. 1.23. John 15.3. & 17, 17. 1 Thess. 5.23. Isa. 9.6. 1 John 1.7. Eph. 5.25, 26, 27. 1 Pet. 1.2. Christ Jesus is the same yesterday, to day and for ever: And Isaiah said, The VVord of our God shall stand for ever. And Peter said, Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abi­deth for ever: the word of the Lord, which is pure, makes clean: said Christ, Ye are clean through the word. And Paul said, the very God of peace sanctifice you wholly: Christ Jesus is the mighty God, the prince of peace, who said, Father, sanctifie them through thy VVord, thy VVord is Truth: Christ is Truth, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin: He loved the Church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctifie and cleanse it with the washing of water by the VVord, that he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy, and without blemish; holy as he is holy▪ in all manner of conversation; [Page 11] and so the Saints of Christ are, by the sprinckling of the blood of Iesus Christ, made clean from al filthiness, and from all Idols, saith the Lord, wil I cleanse you; by the which Will we are sanctified,Ezek. 36.25. Heb. 10.14. Heb. 2.11. 1 Cor. 6.11. through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all; For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified, for he that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified, are all one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, which brethren do beleeve that they need not go into Purgatory to be cleansed from their sins after death, for they know that they are already translated from death to life, Rom. 6.18. and have the witness in themselves, that although they were filthy, John 15.3. yet now they know that they are washed, sanctified, and justified in the Name of the Lord Iesus Christ, and by the spirit of our God; and being made free from sin, by the Law of the spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, are become the servants of Righteousness: Seeing, said Peter, ye have purified your souls in obeying the Truth through the Spirit, unto unfeign­ed love of the Brethren, 1 Pet. 1.22. Mat 5.8. see that ye love one another fervently with a pure heart; the pure in heart they are blessed, and shall see God, but no unclean thing shall inherit the kingdom of God; for without are Dogs, and Sorcerers, and Whoremongers, and Murderers, and Idola­ters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie; and out of the king­dome you are,1 Cor. 6.9, i0. Rev. 22.15. and such are you who say you shall never be free from sin in this life; For as the tree falls, so it shall lye, whether it fall to the North, or to the South: Therefore cleanse your hands you sinners, and purifie your hearts, you double minded, and come to Christ, that you may be made clean through the Word, and have life.

Seventhly: The Scripture, which is visible,John 1.2, 3. Exod. 20.11. Heb. 1.2.3. Coll. 16.17. Jer. 10.12. Psal. 33.6. made not the world, but by the Word of God the Heavens, and the Earth, and all things therein were made; For said Iohn, In the beginning was the VVord, and the VVord was with God; all things were made by him, and nothing was made without him that was made; for it was the Spirit of God that moved upon the face of the waters; and Jeremiah said, That God hath made the earth by his power, he established the world by his wisdome; Christ is the Power of God, and the Wis­dome of God: And David said, By the VVord of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the hosts of them by the breath of his Mouth: And Paul said,Heb. 11.3. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the VVord of God, so that the things which are seen, were not made of the things which do appear; For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions; or principallities, or powers, all things were created by him, and for him.

Eightly: And as all things were made by the Word of God, which Word was before any Letter of the Scripture was written; so by the same Word of his Power are all things upheld; For in him we live and move and have our being, Acts 17.24, 26, 28. Heb. 1.3. 2 Pet. 3.5, 6, 7. said Peter▪ For of this thing they are willingly ignorant of that by the VVord of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water, and in the water; whe [...]eby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perish­ed; but the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same VVord are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement, and per­dition of ungodly men; under which ungodly men, the Prophets and Apostles, and Servants of the Lord, ever in all generations, suffered cruel mockings, bonds, and imprisonments, and death for obeying the Commands of the Lord, and bearing their Testi­mony of Christ Jesus the Son of God, and the Word of God, and likewise for crying out against the sins and abominations which was committed in those dayes, both by Kings, Rule [...]s, Judges, Priests, Prophets and people and as the sins and abominations was then, so it is now in these dayes acted by the like generation of Heathens that rage,Psal. 2.2. Iohn 16.2. Rev. 2.10. and people that imagine vain things; the Kings and the Rulers fit and take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed, and in so doing they think they do God good service, and for their so doing are accounted good Christians by their own generation, both of Priests and people; but they are no christians that do such things, for if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, and the old man with his deeds is put off, and the New man put on, Christ Iesus, and of him they learn who is meek and lowly, and to be holy in all manner of conversation, and to love the brethren, and to entertain strangers, and those Rulers that so learn, are a terrour to the evil doers, and a protection to them that do wel, for he that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God, for those that were ordained of God, and ruled in the fear of God, did not im­prison the Servants of God, and his prophets, but received them, and protected them: But those Rulers and people, who without the fear of God were, and ruled in their own wills, they whipt and stockt,Luke 23.10, 11. and put in prisons and dungeons, and chains, and mur­dered, despised, and mocked the messengers of the Lord, untill the wrath of God arose against them, and there was no remedy; as you may see hereafter appear.

Abraham he put none of the Servants of the Lord in Prison; for as he said in his Tent doore in the heate of the daye, in the plains of Mamro, where the Lord appeared unto him, and he lift up his eyes, and looked, and do t [...]e men stood by him; and when he saw them he ran from the Tent-doore and met them, [Page 13] and said, My Lord, if I have found favour in thy sight, pass not, I pray thee from thy servant; and Abraham said, Let a little water I pray you be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest your selves under the Tree, and I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort your hearts, Read Gen. 18. chap. and after that you shall pass on, for therefore are you come to your Servant; and Abraham hastened into the Tent, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meale, kneed it, and make Cakes upon the hearth; and Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetch a Calfe, tender and good; and gave it to a young man, and be hasted to dress it; and Abraham took butter and milk, and the Calfe which was dressed, and set it before them, and he stood by them under the Tree, and they did eat, and the men rose up from thence, and looked towards Sodome, and Abraham went with them to bring them in their way.

And just Lot he put none in prison:Gen. 19. chap. For there came to Sodome at even two Angels, and Lot sate in the Gate of Sodome, and Lot seeing them rose up and met them; and he said, Behold, now my Lords turn in I pray you into your Servants house, and tarry all night and wash your feet, & ye shal rise up early, & go on your wayes; & he pressed upon them greatly, and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house, and he made them a feast, and did break unleavened bread, and they did eat.

Moses put none of the Servants nor prophets of the Lord in pri­son,Numb. ii.24. to the 30. for when the young man ran and told him that Eldad and Medad do prophesie in the camp, and would have had Moses to forbid them, and Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would to God that all the Lords people were Prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them; and Moses and the Elders of Israel went into the Camp, but did not forbid them.

David he put none of the Lords prophets in prison;2 Sam. 12. chap. for Nathan the prophet came, and declared unto him the parable of the Ewe-lamb, he straightway confessed his sin, and owned his con­demnation upon himself, by his own words, out of his own mouth; neither do I finde that Solomon put any in prison.

Ioshua he put none of the Lords servants in prison; nor Gideon, Iosh. 5.13, i4, i5. Judg. 6.8. i1, 12, 13.25, &c. he neither put the Angel, nor the prophet of the Lord in prison, but he threw down the Altar of Baal, and cut down the Grove that was by it.

Neither did Hezekiah, nor Iehosaphat, 2 Kings 19. 2 Chron. 19. nor Iosiah put any of the prophets of the Lord in prison, neither did any of these Kings and Rulers afore mentioned, make any law, statute, or ordi­nance, or send forth any Proclamation to their Judges, Justices, Sheriffs, or other Officers, to take the Prophets and Servants of the Lord, as they wandered up and down in sheep-skins and goat-skins from place to place, in the work and service of the [Page 14] Lord, and to put them in prison, or to whip them, and to send them away with Passes like Vagabonds; And Abraham, Lot, Mo­ses, Ioshua, Gideon, David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Iehosaphat, and Io­siah were all Rulers that feared God, and were not of them that misused the Prophets, nor despised the Word, nor mocked the Messengers of the Lord.

But those that do in these dayes imprison, mock, and misuse the Prophets and Ministers of God, (and despise his word which they declare and obey) are no Christians; neither were they Christians that did so in former Generations; for the first King or Ruler that I read of,Gen. 39 & 40. chap. who had got an invented Prison, was Pharoah King of Aegypt, and Ioseph being falsly accused by his filthy un­clean Mistris, was put into the Aegyptian Kings Prison, among the Kings Prisoners by his Master Pottiphar, the Captain of Pha­roahs Guard, and Pharoah being offended with his Butler and Baker, in his wrath put them in Prison; and he that was offended and did this in his rage, was no Christian, but a dark Aegyptian King without the fear of God.

And the uncircumcised Philistines had not the fear of God, that plowed with Sampsons Heifer, and caught Sampson, and put him in prison,Judg. 26.21. and bound him with Fetters of Brass, these Philistines that did this, were no Christians.

And Ahab, as King Pharoah and the Philistines had got Pri­sons,1 King. 22.27. Coll. 3.5. so had he got a Prison, and said of Micaiah the Prophet of the Lord, Take this fellow into the Prison, and feed him with bread of affliction, and with water of affliction, untill I come in peace: And Ahab was an Idolater, and no Christian.

And Asa fel off from the Lord, and relyed on the King of Assy­ria, 2 Chron. 16. chap Psal. 3.1. I [...]a. 31.1. for the which he was reproved by Hanani the Seer; then was Asa wrath with the Seer, and put him in the prison-house, for he was in a rage with him because of this thing: and Asa oppressed some of the people the same time. Was Asa, that oppressed the people, and that fel off from the Lord, and went down to Aegypt and Assyria for help, a Christian, yea, or nay?

And Zedekiah did that which was evill in the sight of the Lord God,2 Chron. 36.12. &c. Ier. 37. & 38. chap. and when Ieremiah came to him, and speak to him from the mouth of the Lord, he humbled not himself, but consulted with his Princes, and at their request Jeremiah was by them put in a Dungeon, where they let him down with cords, and he stuck fast in the m [...]re, and Zedekiah and his Princes that did this to the Lords Prophet, and despised his word, and transgressed ve­ry much after all the Abominations of the Heathen, were no Christians.

And Herod the Tetrarch, that Fox and Murderer, he put Iohn Baptist in prison; and Herod the King stretched forth his hand to vex certain of the Church,Matt. i4.3. Acts 12.1, 2, 3, 4, 21, 22, 23. and he killed Iames the Brother of John, and when he saw it pleased the Jews, he caught Peter the Apostle of Christ, likewise, and put him in prison; and these two Herods was neither of them Christians that did this, I am sure.

And the Romanes, when they saw that Paul had in the Name of Jesus commanded the Spirit of Divination to go out of the Damsel, which did likewise the same hour,Read Acts. [...]6 chap. and that thereby the hope of their gains was gone, then they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the Market-place to the Magistrates, and brought them to the Governours, saying, These men, being Jews do exceedingly trouble our City, and teach Ordinances which are not lawfull for us to receive, neither to observe, being Ro­mans; and all the people rose up against them, and the Gover­nours rent off their clothes, and commanded that they should be beaten with Rods, and when they had beaten them sore, they cast them in Prison, and commanded the Jaylor to keep them safely, who having received such a commandment, cast them in­to the inner-prison, and made their feet fast in the Stocks. These Romans, Magistrates, Governours, and People were no Christians, that used the Apostles and Servants of Christ so.

And all these Heathen Rulers, Kings, Magistrates, and People, who without the fear of God were, and bore their Swords in vain, were no Christians, were not contented with putting the Prophets, Apostles, Ministers, and Servants of the Most High God in Prison,Dan. 3. i, 2.8.13 14, 15. but they invented in their rage and cruelty further punishments, and death unto them: For Joseph, he was not only put in Prison, but he was bound in Prison, and he was brought before Pharoah hastily out of the Dungeon. Read Dan. the 6. chap. And they were Philistines that put Sampsons eyes out, and bound him with Fetters of Brass; and they were Idolaters, and such as transgressed very much, after all the abominations of the Heathen, and mocked the Messengers of God, and misused his Prophets, and despised his Word, that fed Mica­jah with bread and water of affliction, and let Jeremiah with cords down into the Dungeon to stick fast in the mire. And they were Babylonians and Caldeans, that invented the Fiery Fornace, and put Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah into it, for refusing to fall down and worship the Golden Image that Nebuchadnezar had set up; Then Nebuchadnezar, the Princes, the Governours, and the Cap­tains, the Judges, the Councellors, the Treasurers, the Sheriffs, and all the Rulers of the Provinces, were all at making the Proclamation, and the Caldeans they accused the three Jews, Shadrack, Meshek, and A­bednigo, [Page 16] and the King in his rage and fury commanded them to be brought before him, and he was full of fiery, the form of his Visage was changed, and he commanded the most mighty men of his Army to binde them, and cast them into the fiery burning Fornace: and by the same generation of men was Daniel cast into the Lyons Den, for pray­ing and giving thanks unto God: And these Babylonians and Cal­deans were no Christians.

And they were Libertines, Syrenians, and Alexandreans, and men of Cylitia, and of Asia, that suborned men, and stirred up the people,Acts 6, 7. chap. the Elders, and the Scribes, and caught Stephen, and brought him before the Councel, and when they heard the things which he speak, they gnashed on him with their teeth, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the City, and stoned him to death: And they were Jews, and Gentiles together, which stoned Paul, and drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.Acts 14. chap. And they were Herods and Romans that cut off Iohn Baptists head, and killed James the brother of John with the Sword, and put Paul and Silas in the Stocks, and whipt them be­fore they were put in, and such, with the Jews, chief Priests, and Scribes, crucified Christ the Son of God. And they were the bloo­dy Papists that set up stakes in Queen Maries dayes, and tyed the Martyrs to them, and set Faggots and sire to them, and burnt them.

And as the Servants of the Lord (in whom was the righteous Seed) suffered death,Gen. 21.9. Gal. 4.29. 2 Pet. 3.3. Iude 18. Prov. 17.5. Heb. 11.36. Mark 15.29, 30, 31. Luke 23. ii. bonds, stripes, stoning and imprisonment, with other tortures, in all ages, by wicked and ungodly men, so likewise did they who were born after the spirit, suffer cruel mock­ings, and scoffiings, by thole who are born after the flesh, who walk after their own ungodly lusts, and such are persecutors, fol­lowing the example of Ishmael, the Son of Hagar the Aegyptian, whom Sarah, the Free-Woman, saw mocking Isaac, in whom was the Righteous Seed; and they are Sons of Hagar who walk after their own ungodly lusts now, that are seen mocking the Servants of the Lord in these dayes, them in whom the Righte­ous Seed is in, begotten by the immortall Word, and born of the Free-Woman, but whoso mocketh the poor, despiseth his Maker, who blesseth the poor in Spirit; you scoffers and mockers, you may Read your Portion in the first of the Proverbs, from the twenty second verse to the latter end.

All these, who thus suffered, were no Vagabonds, but were faithfull diligent messengers, and painful Labourers in the Lords Vineyard, which was large, and his Harvest great, in which they wandered about, labouring and reaping down his harvest, and gathering the Wheat into the Garners, wandering about in sheep-skins, [Page 17] and goat-skins, from city to city, and from one countrey into another. Elijah he wandered about where ever the Lord com­manded him, and did the Lords messages; see how he travelled about, who was an inhabitant at Gilead, and at the command of the Lord he went to Samaria to Ahab, to tell him there should be neither dew nor rain, and then at the command of the Lord he turned Eastward, to hide himself by the River Cherith over a­gainst Jordan, and from thence to Zarephath, which is in Zidon, where the Widow sustained him for a certain time; and after ma­ny dayes, he in the third yeer went to Samaria to Ahab, and from thence to Beersheba, which is in Judah, 1 Kings 18, & 19. chap. and from thence he went a dayes journey into the Wilderness, and lay undet the Juniper Tree, and from thence he rose up, and travelled forty dayes and forty nights unto Horeb, the mount of God, and there he entred into a Cave, and lodged there, and the Lord went by, and a migh­ty strong winde rent the mountains, and break the rocks, and af­terwatd came an Earthquake, and after the Earthquake came fire, & after the fire, came a still soft Voice, and Elijah heard it, and the Lord said to him, Go, return by the Wilderness to Damascus, and when thou comest there, Anoint Hazell King over Assyria, And Iehu, Son of Nimshi shalt thou Anoint King over Israel, 1 King. 19. chap and Elisha, the Son of Shaphat shalt thou Anoint to be Prophet in thy room. So he departed thence, and found Elisha Plowing wirh twelve yoke of Oxen before him; and Elijah went towards him and cast his Mantle upon him, and he left the Oxen, and ran af­ter him. And the Lord sent Elijah again to meet Ahah King of Is­rael, which is in Samaria, for the Lord said, Lo, he is in the Vineyard of Naboth; and Elijah went and did his Message to Ahab, 1 King. 21.20 21. as the Lord commanded; and after the Lord sent him to meet the Messengers of Ahazia, King of Samaria, as they were going to Baal Zebub the God of Ebron, and to them he delivered his mes­sage that the Lord commanded, and he went to the top of a moun­tain and sate there; and the messengers returned to the King and told him all that Elijah said of him; and the King said, What manner of man was he that met you and told you these words? and they said, He was an hairy man, girded about his loins with a leathern girdle; then said the King, It is Elijah the Tishbite: and the King sent a Captain and fiftie men to fetch him, but the Captain and his fiftie men were devoured by fire, and the King sent a Captain and other fiftie men, who were devoured by fire also: And he sent a third Captain and fiftie men, and the third Captain fell on his knees before Elijah, and intreated him that the life of him and his fiftie men might be precious in his sight,2 King. i chap. & 2 chap. and then the Lord said unto Elijah, Go down with him to the [Page 18] King, and be not afraid of his presence; and Elijah went down with him and delivered his Message. And Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal to Bethel, and from Bethel to Jericho, and from thence to Iordan, and they two stood there, and Elijah took his cloak and wrapt it together, and smote the Waters, and they were divided hither and thither, and they two went over on dry dry land; and when they were passed over, as they went walking and talking, behold there appeared a Chariot of fire, and Horses of fire, and did separate them two, and Elijah went up with a Whirl­winde into Heaven. And Elijah that travelled thus up and down, to and fro, was no Vagabond, nor Idle, Disorderly person. And Elisha took up the cloak of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the Waters of Iordan, and went over, and went to Iericho, and tar­ried there; and the men of the city told him the Waters were nought, and he cast Salt into the Spring of Waters, and said, Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these Waters, death shall no more come thereof, nor barrenness to the ground; and he went from thence to Bethel, and from thence to Mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria: And on a time Elisha came to Shunem, and there was a woman of great estimation, constrai­ned him to eat bread, and she said to her husband, behold, now I know that this is an holy man of God, (that passeth by us con­tinually) and he went to Mount Carmel, and the womans childe being dead, she went to him and told him, and he came into the house where the child lay dead, and by him, through faith, the child was raised to life: And afterward Elisha returned to Gigal, and Elisha was in Samaria, when Naaman came to him to be cured of his leprosie, and he sent him word, to go wash seven times in Iordan and thy flesh shall come again, and thou shalt be clean. And after that Elisha went with the children of the Prophets to Iordan: And after he went into Dothan, where the King of Assyria sent Horses and Chariots, and a mighty Host, and compassed the City, but the Lord smote them with blindness, and Elisha led them to Samaria, where they were taken. And Elisha that travelled thus continually in the work of the Lord, was no Vagabond, nor Idle, Disorderly person. And Isaiah that walked three yeers naked and barefoot, for a sign of what should come upon Aegypt and E­thiopia, Isa. 20. chap. was no Vagabond, nor Idle, Disorderly person. And Iere­miah, who was stayed in the Gate of Benjamin, as he was going from Ierusalem into the Land of Benjamin, yet he was no Vaga­bond nor Fugitive, Jer. 37. chap. nor idle, disorderly person. Nor Ionah the He­brew, who at the Command of the Lord, went out of his own coun­trey to Nineveh, to preach yet forty dayes, and Nineveh shall be over­thrown. Neither was Ezekiel, nor any other of the Prophets (who [Page 19] obeyed the command of the Lord, in declaring his Messages, and crying out against the filthy Abominations that was committed, both by Kings, Princes, Rulers, Iudges, Priests, and People) any vagabonds, or idle, disorderly persons. Neither was John the Baptist, Mat. 3.1. Luke 3.2. who went into the wilderness of Judea, into all the countrey a­bout Jordan, Preaching the Baptism of Repentance for the Remission of Sins, he was no vagabond, nor idle, disorderly person. And Christ Jesus the Son of God, who went from Galilee to Jordan, to be bap­tized of John, and was afterward led by the Spirit into the wilder­ness; and leaving Nazareth he came to Capernaum, which is upon the Sea coasts, to dwel there, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet Isajah: From that time Iesus began to preach and he walked by the Sea of Galilee, and he went all about Galilee tea­ching in their Synagogues, and great multitudes of people followed him from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Ierusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan, and he went up into a Mountain and taught them, and when he was come down from the Mount, he entered into Capernaum, and went into Peters house: and afterwards he went into a ship, and over the sea, into the Countrey of the Gadarenes, and when the whole city that went out to meet him, Matt. 8.34. and when they saw him they besought him to depart out of their coasts, and he entred into a ship, and passed over into his own countrey, and he went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their Synagogues, and preaching, and healing every sickness and every disease, and he called the twelve disciples, and sent them forth with power against unclean spirits; and they went forth by two and two; and when he had made an end of commanding the twelve, he departed thence to teach and preach in their Cities; and he went to Samaria, and when there was a Feast of the Iews, he went up to Jerusalem, and he went unto the Mount of Olives, and into the de­sart, and into many other places, not a few, and when he had finished his travells, at last he went with his disciples over the Brook Chedron, where was a garden, into which he and his disciples entred, Iohn 18 chap: where he and his disciples had often resorted, and there it was that Iudas betray­ed him. And the Son of God, that travelled thus from city to city, and from countrey to countrey, and from one village to another, and had no where to lay his head; for he had left his natural pa­rents with whom he might have had an outward habitation, and a certain Dwelling place; but said Christ, Lo it is written in the volume of thy Book, I come to do thy will O God; therefore he left his naturall Parents, to do the will of his heavenly Father: who had anointed him to preach good tydings to the meek, Isa. 61 chap. to binde up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captive, and the opening the prison doores to them that are bound, to proclaim the acceptable yeer of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God, and to comfort all that [Page 20] mourn, and to open the eyes of the blinde, to unstop the deaf ears, to make the lame walk, and to raise the dead, and cast out Devils, and to destroy the works of the Devill: And the Son of God that went thus about, continually doing good, at the will of his father, and had no certain dwelling-place, nor no where to lay his head, he was no Vagabond, nor Idol-disorderly per­son.

And Christ Jesus sent forth Labourers into his Fathers Vine­yard, to gather in the harvest, and his Disciples and Apostles which he sent forth, they denyed themselves, took up the Cross, and forsook Father, Mother, Wife and Children, Brothers, Sisters, Houses and Lands, and all that they had for their certain outward beings for their bodies, to follow Christ Jesus, who had no where to lay his head, and to go whethersoever he sent them, to preach the Kingdome of heaven, and they went out by two and two, from City to City, preaching the Kingdome of heaven, and healing the sick, and after his ascension he gave them power to bear wit­ness of him in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the utmost part of the earth,Acts 1.8. and they went abroad, see their travels therein, and the witness that they bore at Jerusalem and other places; and Paul after his conversion, went into Arabia, and returned again into Damascus, and after three years he went to Ierusalem, where he stayed fifteen days, and afterwards went in­to the Regions of Assyria, and Cylicia, then had the Churches peace throughout all Judea, Galilee and Samaria, and were ede­fied, and walked in the fear of God, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost were multiplied; and Peter passed thorowout all quarters, and went to Lydda and Joppa, by the Sea-side, and from thence to Cesaria; and at the stoning of Stephen there arose persecution, so that they that were scattered abroad, travelled as far as Phenice and Antioch, and Cyprus, preaching to none but the Jews; and Barnabas was sent from Jerusalem to Antioch, and he went to Tarsus to seek Saul, and he found him, and brought him to Antioch, (where the Disciples were first called Christians, none are Christians but Christs Disciples) where they were se­parated for the work whereunto the Holy Ghost had called them; so they being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Selen­cia, and from thence they sayled to Cyprus, and when they were at Salamis, they preached the VVord of God to the Jews in the Sy­nagogues, and they went thorow the Ile unto Paphos, and from thence they came to Perga in Pamphilia, and Iohn departed from them to Ierusalem, but when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, Acts 13. i5. and entered into the Synagogue on the Sabbath-Day, and sate down, and after the reading of the Law, [Page 21] and the Prophets, the Rulers of the Synagogue sent to them, saying, Ye men and Brethren, if ye have any Word of Exhortation for the People, say on; Then Paul stood up and beckned with his hand, and spoke: And the next Sabbath day, the whole City almost came together to hear the word of God; but the Jewes were filled with envy, and speak against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming; then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the Word of God should have been first spo­ken to you; but seeing ye put it from you, and judge your selves unworthy of everlasting life, loe, we turn to the Gentiles; and the Word of the Lord was published thorowout all the Region: But the Jews stirred up the honourable and devout women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts, but they shooke off the dust off their feet against them, and came to Iconium, and by reason of the persecution that rose against them after their long staying there, and speaking boldly in the Lord, and testify­ing unto the Word of his Grace, they fled unto Listra, and Der­be, Cities of Lycaonia, and unto the Region that lyeth round a­bout, and went down to Attalia, and thence to Antioch, and passed through Phenice, and Samaria, to Ierusalem, and then were sent back again to Antioch, where Paul and Barnabas continued teach­ing and preaching the Word of the Lord; and after Paul and Barnabas parted, and Paul took Silas, and departed, and went thorow Syria and Cylicia confirming the Churches, and afterward they went thorow Phrygia, and the Region of Galatia, and after to Mysia, and passing from Mysta, came down to Troas, and loo­sing from Troas, they went a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis, and from thence to Philippi, which is the chief City of that part of Macedonia, where they abode certain dayes, and there they were whipt and put in prison, and their feet made fast in the stocks, and the Keeper of the Prison was convin­ced, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and when they were let out of Prison, they went into the house of Ly­dea, and when they had seen the Brethren, they comforted them, and departed; and when they had passed thorow Amphipelis, and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, and Paul, as his manner was, went into the Synagogue of the Jews three Sabbath-dayes, and reasoned with them out of the Scriptures, &c. And from thence by night they went to Beria, where Silas and Timotheus stayed, but Paul went to Athens, and departed from Athens and came to Co­rinth, where he found a certain Iew, named Aquila, with his wife, Priscilla, who were Tent-makers, and Paul abode with them [Page 22] and wrought, he being of the same Craft, and he reasoned with the Iews in the Synagogues every Sabbath-day, perswading the Iews and the Greeks; and when Silas and Timothy were come to him from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in spirit, and testified to the Iews, that Iesus was Christ: but they opposed and blasphemed, and then Paul shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your bloud be upon your own heads, I am clean, from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles; and from Corinth he sayled thence with Aquil­la and Priscilla into Syria, and he came to Ephesus, and he sayled from Ephesus, and landed at Cesaria, and so went down to Antioch, and after he had spent some time there, he went over all the countrey of Galatia, and Phrygia, and so thorow the countrey to visit the Churches, and strengthen the Brethren, till he came to Ierusalem, where of the Brethren he was received gladly, and ha­ving purified himself, he entred into the Temple, to signifie the accomplishment of the dayes of purification; and when the Iews of Asia saw him there, they stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, and set all Ierusalem in an uproar, and so he was sent to prison into the Castle, and brought before the chief cap­tain, and after brought before a councel of the High Priest Anna­nias, with Pharisees and Sadduces, and after he was brought be­fore Festus, & after that before King Agrippa and then was shipped away and sent to Rome, to appear before Cesar, and at Rome he dwelt two yeers in his own hired house,Acts 28.30, 31. and received all that came to him, preaching the Kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding of him, & he was injournying often in perills of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by his own countrey-men, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the City, in perils in the Wilderness,2 Cor. 11.24, 25 26, 27. in perils in the Sea, in perils amongst false brethren, in weariness and painfulness in watching often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness; and all these who had forsaken all, and travelled thus from city to city, and from countrey to countrey, labouring in the Vineyard and Gospel of our Lord Iesus Christ, were brethren, and fellow-labourers, and city-sons of the new Jerusalem, and were no Vagabonds, nor Idle; Disorderly persons; but bad the same persons of the Prophets and Apostles, or any of them been here on earth at this day, and should have wandered about here in England, from city to city, through towns and villages, they would have been counted va­gabonds, and idle, disorderly persons, by this generation that is now living, who would have laid hold on them, and hailed them before magistrates, which would have sent them to prisons, stocks, Bridewel, and whipt them, as some of the magistrates in England [Page 23] have done unto those people which are in scorn called quakers, by the sons of Hagar the Aegyptian; but those people that are called quakers, and travel about from city to city, and thus persecuted,Matt. 10.5. &c. Matth. 28.19. Mark 6.7.10. & 12. Luke 10.3. &c. Luke 24.19. are such as have denied themselves, and forsaken all, as the A­postles and Disciples of Christ did, and have taken up the same Cross, and have received of the same power, and are called and sent forth by the same Jesus Christ to Declare the message of God, that he is Light, and in him is no Darkness at all; and Declare the same Gospel, and bear testimony of the same Jesus Christ that the Prophets and Apostles did, and labour in the same Vineyard, and gather in of the same Wheat into the Garners, and by the same power do they cry out against the Priests and false Prophets, and false Worshippers, and the Abominations that are commit­ted now, as ever was; and for this, and for no other, have they suffered, and do suffer all things by unreasonable men, for fol­lowing the Captain of their salvation, and running the Race that he hath set before them, looking at Christ Jesus the Author and Finisher of their faith, and do rejoice that they are counted wor­thy to suffer for his Names sake; and were not that the Truth and Power of the Holy Ghost which they have received, by which they are carried forth with boldness to declare the truth, through much sufferings, travels and labours in the Lords Vineyard, they should not be thus persecuted as they are; for as it was in the dayes of Christ and his Apostles, (then the chief Priests and Pha­risees came to the Officers, whom they had sent to take Christ,John [...].45. &c. Acts 28.22. and said, why have you not brought him? the Officers answered, Ne­ver man speak like this man; then said the Pharisees, Are ye also de­ceived? have any of the Rulers or the Pharisees beleeved on him, but this people that are accursed, who knoweth not the Law? And like­wise the chief of the Jews said to Paul, VVe know that this Sect is every where spoken against) so it is now here in England, all Sects and sorts speak against this one poor, low, despised thing, which is the Truth, which is owned, and received, and obeyed by those People, which are in scorn called quakers, which is without con­troversie that great mystery of godliness that is hid from the wise and prudent of the World from all Generations, and is now at the Fathers pleasure revealed unto Babes and Sucklings; For both Aepiscopal, the Presbyters, the Independants, the Baptists, Seekers, Ranters, Papish, Professor and prophane Priests, and People (and Rulers some) Gog and Magog, all joyne together hand in hand against the Lord, and against his Anointed, unto whom he hath committed the Word of Reconciliation, and sent abroad into the Ministry, who are by this generation imprisoned, whipped, stock­ed, stoned, beaten, mocked, scoffed, scorned, derided, envied, [Page 24] and hated by all Sorts and Sects here in England, which sits a [...] ease, and are in Peace, eating and drinking, and making them­selves merry, sporting themselves in the day time, heaping up Riches, clothing themselves in costly Apparel and soft Raiment, living wantonly upon the earth, forgetting the rock from whence they are hewn, and so treasuring up unto themselves wrath a­gainst the Day of Wrath and Revelation of the Judgement of God, which is to be revealed against all ungodliness and unrigh­teousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.

These people that are called Quakers, and that are thus used by this generation, have not been found begging at mens doors, neither have they been chargeable, or eaten any mans bread for nought, neither transgressed any Law of Equity, which is holy, righteous, just and good, therefore they are no Vagabonds, Fugi­tives, nor Disorderly, Idle persons.

But they are the Vagabonds who are gone out from the pre­sence of God, (who is Light, and in him is no darkness at all) and are fallen into the Transgression, and are in envie and murder; these are in Cains nature, who are wrath, and their countenances falne, their Offering is not of God accepted, but their sin lieth at their doore; these are drove into the earth, and have their habitation in the earth, and hide themselves from the face of God, whom they see not, nor his voice hear, for in the earth they live, and have no habitation with God, for out from his presence they are gone; such are the Vagabonds and the Fugitives in the earth, from which they are accursed, and it shall not henceforth yeeld unto them its strength; Esau was prophane, and hunting abroad and was a Reprobate, whose mind is turned from the Light, Christ Jesus, is reprobated from God, and in him has no dwelling: Esau was a cunning Hunter, and lived in the fields, and despised his birth-right; and all those whose mindes are abroad seeking after honour, and following after pleasures, living idlely upon the earth, are cunning Hunters, whose mindes are reprobated from Christ Jesus, dwelling in the fields, despising their birth-right, these are Goats (and not Sheep) clothed with rough gar­ments, the first born, friends of the world, enemies to God, pro­phane, fierce, envious, rash, haters of good, persecutors of the righteous seed, fornicators, as Esau was, and hated of God, and could finde no place for repentance, these who are gone from the presence of God, and turned from the Light, which they hate, because their deeds are evill, and it reproves them; and although they have great habitations in the earth, and have compassed much of the earth into themselves, and dwel therein, (and have no habitation with God) yet they are the Vagabonds, the Fugi­tives, [Page 25] the Reprobates, and the disorderly, idle persons, which th [...] sword is to be laid upon, and the Law is for, for they serve not the Lord but their own bellies; these are seen and known by the chil­dren of Light, which Light is the condemnation of all those who walk contrary to it, and hate it. So likewise you may see here as followeth, who the unruly and disorderly persons be. There came to the city of Sodome two Angels at the even, and Lot sate in the Gate of Sodome, and seeing them, he rose up to meet them, and he pressed upon them greatly, and they entred into his house, and he said, Tarry all night and wash your feet, and he did bake unleave­ned bread, and made them a Feast, and they did eat, and he said,Gen. 19. cha [...]. Ye shall rise early and go on your wayes: but before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodome, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, and they called unto Lot, and said unto him, VVhere are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us; and they said unto Lot, VVe will deale worse with thee then with them; and they pres­sed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the Door. Now unto you all, Judges, Mayors of Cities, Justices, Sheriffs, and Constables, I appeal to that of God in all your con­sciences, which bears me witness, who was the unruly and disor­derly persons, who was the cause of this rising and tumult making in the city of Sodome? was just Lot and the two Angels, or the So­domites? (Isay the Sodomites) But would not you have done unto the two Angels, as many of you have done unto those people cal­led quakers, that when two of them have been come to a city, and have been entertained into a friends house, and there have peace­ably set together in the worship of God, and when the people of the city have known of it, have (just like the Sodomites) both old and young, have gathered together and beset the house round and pressed upon the doore, and broke the Windows, and made a great tumult, and have abased the people that have been as peaceable as Lot and the two Angels, but they have been charged with making the Tumult, and counted Disorderly, and sent to Prison, and there kept, and the Disorderly and the Unruly set free.

And again, when Paul and Silas were come to Thessalonica, and preached that Christ had suffered, and risen again from the dead, and that this Jesus, said Paul, whom I preach unto you, is Christ; and the devout Greeks, a great multitude, and of the chief Wo­man, not a few, beleeved and consorted with Paul and Silas; but the Iews which beleeved not, moved with envie, took unto them certain lewde fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city in an uproar, and assaulted the house of Iason, [Page 26] and sought to bring them out to the people,Read Acts 17. chap. to the 10. verse. and when they found them not, they drew Iason, and certain of the brethren, whom Ia­son had received into his house, unto the Rulers of the City, cry­ing, These that have turned the world upside down, are come hither also, and these all do contrary to the Decree of Cesar, saying there is a­nother King, one Jesus. Now seeing the thing is so plain here before you, that it was the unbeleeving Iews, and the certain lewd fel­lows of the baser sort that set all the City in an uproar, I wil ask this question, VVhether the unbelieving Iews, with the certain lewde fellows of the baser sort, ought not to have given security to the Magi­strates, and to have answered for setting the City in an uproar, yea, or nay? And whether Jason and his brethren, who were peaceable in hi [...] house together, ought not to have been set at liberty without giving se­curity, yea, or nay? Secondly, VVhetheer that were not a piece of injustice done by the Rulers, who took security of Jason, and the others with him, and let the others, that made the uproare, go unpunished, yea, or nay.

And again, VVhen Paul was come to Ierusalem, and had purified himself, he went into the temple, to signifie the accomplishment of the days of purification, and when the Jews which were of Asia, saw Paul in the Temple, they stirred up all the people, and laid hands on Paul, crying out, Men of Israel help, this is the man that teacheth all men every where, against the People, and against the Law, and this place, &c. And all the City was moved, and the people ran together, and they took Paul and drew him out of the Temple, and shut the doors, and as they went about to kill him, tyding was brought to the chief Captain of the Band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproare. I now appeal to all men e­very where, who was it that set Jerusalem in an uproare? was it Paul, that stood in the Temple, or was it the Jews of Asia, who stirred up the people? I say it was the Jews of Asia that stirred up the people and made the uproare, and not Paul: Then ought not the Jews of Asia to have been bound with Chains for making the uproare, and to have been examined by scourging, and sent to Prison for going about to kill Paul, yea or nay? and ought not Paul the Apostle of Iesus Christ to have been protected and set at liberty, that he might have gone on in the work of the Ministry, yea or nay?

So likewise the people called quakers, who at the Command of the Lord have gone, one or two at the most, into some high place which is commonly called the Church, without multitude or tu­mult, and there have stood peaceably, and as they have been mo­ved of the Lord so have spoke to the people, more or less, as utte­ [...]ance had been given them, some has not spoken before all has been done, but straightway the people of the City or the Town, who have been gathered together in the high place that day, have [Page 27] by the priests means, rise all up in a tumultuous manner, and have set the city or town in an uproar, just like the Jews of Asia, beating and hawling the man or woman that has come in and spoke, and straightway had them before the Mayor or Justice, who have sent the innocent to Prison, Bridewel, Stocks, or whipt and sent them away with Passes, and they that have been the e­vill doers by making the Tumult, have been set free; and just as Paul was commanded to be bound with chains, and to be exami­ned by scourging, and kept in prison, and sent from place to place till he came to Rome: So have the people called quakers been sent to prison by some of the Mayors and Justices in England, and there they have had Fetters of Iron hung upon their Legs, and kept close Prisoners, their friends not suffered to come at them, and have laine there from Sizes to Sizes, and from Sessions to Sessions, before they have been set at liberty.

AND now to you Judges, Mayors, Justices, Sheriffs and Con­stables, who have done all these things to those innocent harmless people and Servants of the most High God, that are scornfully called quakers, it is in love to your souls that I write thus unto you: And to that of God in every one of your conscien­ces do I appeal, which bears me witness, Whose example have you followed in doing that to them which you have done? have you followed the example of Christ, who came to proclaim liberty to the Captives, and the opening of the prison doors to them that are bound? or did you follow the example of Pharoah King of Aegypt, who kept Israel in bonds, and laid heavy burthens upon them? Have you followed the example of meek Moses, who said, I would to God all the Lords people were Prophets? Or did you not follow the example of Annas the high Priest, Caiaphas, John and Alexander, and as many as were of the Kindred of the High Priests, Ru ers, Elders and Scribes,Read Acts 7. chap. who commanded Peter and Iohn to preach no more in the Name of Jesus? Do you follow the example of Abraham the Father of the Faithful, who received the Messengers of God and gave them meat, and when they rose up he went with them to bring them on their way? Or do you not follow the example of Ahab, who said (of M [...]cah the Prophet of the Lord) Take this fellow and put him in prison, and seed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction? Do you fol­low the example of just Lot, who intreated the angels to go into his house, and made them a feast, and baked for them unleavened bread? Or do you not follow the example of Asa, who was wrath [Page 28] with Hanani the Seer, and in his rage sent him to Prison? Have you followed the example of the widow Woman of Zarepheth, i King. i3. & i7. chap. who had but a handfull of Meale in a Barrel, and a little Oyle in a Cruse for her self and her son in the time of draught, yet at the Word of the Lord, spoken to her by Elijah, she did make for Eli­jah a Cake first, and afterwards for her son and her self, and took the Prophet into her house, and they did eat many dayes, and he did dwell there, and the woman said, I know that thou art a man of God, and that the Word of the Lord is in thy mouth? Or have you followed the example of Ieroboam, who put forth his hand from the altar, and said, Lay hold on him, meaning the prophet of God, that came out of Iudah, by the Word of the Lord, to Be­thel, and cryed out against the altar in Bethel, at the same time that the King stood by the altar, and was offering sacrifice upon it? Or will you follow the example of a Woman that was of great esti­mation in Shunem, 2 King. 6. chap. 1 King. 18.4. & 13 verses. that on a time when Elisha came to Shunem, she constrained him to turn into her house to eat bread, and she said unto her husband, behold I know that this is an holy man of God, (that passeth by us continually) let us make him a little Chamber I pray thee, and let us set him there a bed, and a table, and a stoole, and a candlestick, that he may turn in thither when he cometh to us: and it fell on a day that when he came thither; he lay there? Or will you follow the example of Iezebel, who said of Elijah, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them, by to morrow about this time: and Iezebel slew the prophets of the Lord? Have you followed the example of Ioshua? Or do you follow the example of the uncircumcised Phi­listines who put Sampson in prison, and bound him with fetters of brass? Have you followed the example of Gideon? Or do you follow the example of Zedekiah, who at the request of his princes Jeremiah the prophet of God was put in the dungeon? Have you followed the example of David, a man after Gods own heart, who received the message of God by the prophet Nathan, who said to the King, Thou art the man? Or do you not follow the example of Herod the Tetrarch, who Iohn Baptist told, it is not lawful for thee to have thy Brother Philips wife, he sent him to prison. Have you followed the example of Hezekiah, who said to the Prophet Isajah, Good is the word of the Lord which thou hast spoken? Or do you not follow the example of Herod the King, who when he had killed James with the Sword, and saw it pleased the Jews, he put Peter the Apostle of Christ in prison? and have not some of you put the quakers in prison because you saw it pleased the priests that take tithes, and preach for hire, and divine for money, gifts, and rewards? Do you follow the example of Jehoshaphat? Or have [Page 29] you not followed the example of the Roman Governours and Ma­gistrates, who caused Paul and Silas to be whipt, and put in the Prison, and to be kept safe, with their feet made fast in the Stocks? Is the same minde in you which was in Christ Jesus, who went alwayes about doing good? Or are you not in the same nature that the Babylonians and the Chaldeans were in, who cast Shadrach, Meshek, and Abednigo into the fiery Fornace, and Daniel into the Lyons Den? And seeing that ye have done so much as you have, Is there not the same minde in some of you as was in the bloudy Papists in Queen Maries dayes, to do as they did, if you had but a Law to put that in execution upon those people that are called quakers, as they did by the Martyrs? And seeing that the Philistines put out Sampsons eyes, could not you and the Priests wish that the eyes of those people, called quakers, were put out, that they might neither see to write more, nor to go about the land from City to City, and from one place to another, to cry out against the Priests and false Prophets, and the abominations of the Heathen, for the which they rage against the Truth, and them that do de­clare it.

AND now unto all you both Magistrates and people, who have acted such things as is before written, upon those peo­ple which are called quakers, To that of God in every one of your Consciences, that bears me witness, do appeal; Are you all Chri­stians, as you call your selves, or have you acted like Christians? The Disciples of Christ were called Christians: and they were Christians indeed, who did no such things as ye have done:Acts 11.26. 2 Cor. 5.17. Phil 2.5. 2 Pet. 1.4. For I know, that if any man be in Christ, he is a new Creature: and the same minde is in him as was in Christ Jesus, and (in his measure) he is like Christ, holy, as he is holy, meek and lowly, dwelling in love and peace, doing to all men as he would be done unto him­self: but I know the blasphemy of them, that say they are Jews, and are not; and the blasphemy of those, that say they are Chri­stians, and are not, but are in the same nature that the Sodomites, Egyptians, Philistines, Babylonians, Idolaters, and Heathens were in, and are doing the same works, and committing the same abomi­nations that they committed, and yet you would be accounted Christians, and think with your selves that you are good Chri­stians. But ye are all made manifest and seen (with the Light,Eph. 5.13. Rom. 6.16. and by the Children of the Light) what you are, and what you all have done, and whom you also serve, for his Servants you are whom you obey. Whoso committeth sin, transgresseth also the [Page 30] Law,i John 3.4.8. verses. for sin is the transgression of the Law, which is holy, just, and good, and written in the heart; and he that committeth sin is of the devill, for the Devil sinneth from the beginning; For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the Works of the Devil. Therefore while you have time prize it, and repent of the evill of your doings, and turn to the Lord God, who is gracious, merciful, and longsuffering, and patient in for­bearing, and hearken to the Word which is nigh you, in your heart and in your mouth, and obey his Commandments, Loving the Lord God with all your hearts, with all your souls, and your neigh­bour as your self, doing to all men as you would be done unto: Christ Jesus is the Light of the World, learn of him, who is meek and lowly; He is the way, the truth and the life, and no man cometh to the Father but by him; and whoso followeth him shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life; therefore if you wil be his Disciples, (and Christians) deny your selves, take up the Cross, and follow him, that you may have life, for to as many as receive him, and beleeve on his Name, to them he gives power to become the Sons of God, and the Sons of God are led by the Spirit of God, into all Truth and Righteousness. Therefore let the Spirit of God guide you, to run with cheerfulness the Race that Christ hath set before you, despi­sing the shame, counting it greater Riches to suffer afflictions with the children of God, rather then to injoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Therefore let every one that nameth the Name of JESUS, depart from iniquity, and take not the Name of God in vaine, For the feare of the Lord is the beginning of VVis­dome.

Psal. 2. i0, ii, i2. Exod. 22.21, 22 & chap. 23.6, 7, 8. Dulc. 24.17. 2 Sam. 23.3. Mic. 6.8. 2 Chron. 19.6, 7.Therefore you Judges, Justices, and Rulers all, be ye warned of doing any injustice, and take heed of vexing, oppressing, or perverting the Judgement of the Stranger, or Widow, or Father­less, or perverting the words of the Righteous, For he that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God: And ye that judge, take heed what you do, for ye are not to judge for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in judgement, therefore take heed and do it, for he hath shewed thee, O man, what is good, and what the Lord doth require of thee, even to do justly, and to love mer­cy, and to walk humbly with God: Wherefore, now let the fear of the Lord be upon you, take heed and do it, For there is no iniqui­ty with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts,2 Tim. 1. [...], 1 [...] the Law is not made for a righteous man, but for the law­less, the unruly, and disobedient, for the ungodly, and for sinners, for the unholy and prophane, for murderers, whoremongers, a­dulterers, drunkards, cursers, swearers, lyars, perjured persons, or any other thing that is contrary to the Law,Rom. 12. [...].11. which is h [...]ly, just, [Page 31] pure and good. Therefore let him that ruleth rule with diligence, and be not slothfull in business, but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; for Rulers ought to be a terrour to the evil doers, and a pro­tection to them that do wel,Rom. 13.3, 4, 5. and in so doing he is the Minister of God to them that do good, and to them that do evill shall him fear, and in so doing, he that ruleth, beareth not the Sword in vain, but he that doth contrary hereunto, beareth the Sword in vain, and to an account will the Lord God call him, (for his so ruling and doing unjustly, and for bearing the Sword in vain) who is coming to judge the secrets of all mens hearts, who shall give an account in that day before the Judgement seat of Christ, where all men must appear, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or evill; For the same measure that ye have mete to others, will the Lord mete to you again with justice, for not one sin shall go unpun­ished. Knowing therefore the terrors of the Lord, I perswade you, and he that hath an eye to see, let him see, and an ear to hear, let him hear, and an heart to understand, let him consider, here is set before you the good works, and the evil doers, that Rulers ought to be a terror to, and a protection to them that do wel.

But it maybe you will object, and say, That those men and wo­men that are called quakers (which goes about preaching, are evill doers, viz. sowers of sedition, and preachers of new Doctrine, and such as creep into houses, and lead silly women captive, and that they are a people of uncivill behaviour towards their superiors and bette [...]s, and therefore they are not to be protected, but punished as evill doers.

Answ. That those who have been alwayes persecutors of the righteous, and enemies to the Truth, have in all ages in their rage, counted the Servants of God to be evil doers, sowers of Se­dition, and preachers of new Doctrine; for so Haman he was wrath and full of indignation with Mordecai, because Mordecai did not reverence him, and Haman said likewise;Esth. [...] 5 chap All this (meaning his honour) availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew, sitting in the Kings gate, who would not rise up and bow to him, although it was the Kings Command so to do: And Haman said of the rest of the Iews, that their laws were divers from all people, neither, said he, do they keep the Kings Laws, therefore said Ha­man to the King, It is not for the Kings profit to suffer them, but if it please the King, said Haman, let it be written that they may be destroyed, and I wil pay ten thousand talents into the hands of those that shall have the charge of the business, to bring it into the Kings Treasuries. And so likewise the unbelieving Iews which were of Asia, said of Paul, in his time, Away with such a fellow from the earth, for it is not fit that he should live.Acts 22.22. And the Iews [Page 32] of Thessalonica, who were moved with envie, said unto the Rulers of the City, of Paul and Si [...]as, The [...]e have turned the world up­side-down; and said of Iason, and the Brethren, and Paul, and Si­las, that these all do contrary to the Decrees of Cesar, saying that there is another King, one JESUS. And when Paul was at A­thens, disputing in the Synagogue with the Iews, and in the Mar­ket place dayly with them that met with him: he was counted by the Philosohers, the Epicuranes, and Soicks, that encountred him, a Babler; a speaker of new Doctrines, and one that seemed to be a setter up of strange Gods, because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection:Read Acts 17. chap. Acts 24.1, 2, 3, 4. and likewise Annanias the High Priest, with the Elders, and Turtulus, the Orater said of Paul to Foelex, we have found this man a pestilent Fellow, and a mover of Sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a Ring-leader of the Sect of the Nazarenes. And Mordicai, Paul, Silas, and Jason, with the Brethren, were no evill doers, although they were coun­ted so.

ANd as for those people which are called Quakers, that tra­vel throughout England, Ireland, and in Scotland, and other places, and go through Towns and Villages, from City to City, they are faithful, painful labourers in the Lords Vineyard, and are not of that sort which creep into houses, and lead captive sil­ly women, laden with sin, and led aside with divers lusts, but it is the Priests of the nations, that preach for Tithes, Hire, Gifts and Rewards, (and others) that have got not only, (a form) but many forms of godliness, but the Power of Godliness they have not, for those that have the true Power of Godliness they deny and persecute: I say, that (the Steeplehouses which are builded up with Stone, Lime, Brick, Wood, Iron, Lead, and Glass, which are commonly called Churches, and into other houses) the Priests (and others) creep into, and it is they that lead those people cap­tive, who are silly men and women that there meet together, who are laden with sin, viz. Cursing, Swearing, Lying, Envie, Wrath, Malice, Fighting, quarrelling, Mocking, Scoffing, Covetousness, which is Idolatry, Oppressed, Cheating, Cozening, Drunken­ness, Gluttony, Chambering, and Wantonness, Whoredome, A­dultery, Pride and Fornication; and they are led away with divers Lusts, viz. The Lusts of the Flesh, the Lusts of the Eye, and the Pride of Life,1 Iohn. 2.16, 17. mes 1.15. and all the Fashions and Customes in the World, which Lusts, when it conceiveth, bringeth forth Sin, and Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth Death. And these are the peo­ple [Page 33] that are ever learning of the Priests (and others) but are ne­ver able to come to the knowledge of the Truth,2 Tim. 3. chap. Tit. 1.10, 11.16. by such Teach­ers who are discribed by Paul (a Minister of the Word) to be such as are lovers of their own selves, covetous, proud boasters, blas­phemers, (saying they are Ministers of Christ, but are not) tea­ching such things, which they ought not, for filthy lucres sake, subverting whole houses, disobedient to Parents, unthankful, un­holy, unruly, vain-talkers, deceivers, truce-breakers, false-accu­sers, incontinent, without natural affections, fierce despisers of those that are good, traiterous, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more then lovers of God, having a Form of Godliness, but denying the Power thereof: All people from such turn away, for they resist the Truth, and are men of corrupt mindes, Repro­bate concerning the faith, of which you have been long hearing, and ever learning, and yet you are not come to the knowledge of the truth: Therefore while you have time prize it, for those that are turned from such Teachers, and are turned to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, they are come to the Way,Iohn 8.11. Iohn 14 6. John 17.3. Psal. 73.4. Rom. 8 14. 1 John 2.20.27. Tit. 2.11, 12. 1 Pet. 2.3, 4.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. to know God, and Jesus Christ, which is life eternall, For Christ is the VVay, the Truth, and the Life, and no man comes to the Father but by him, it is he that guides them continually and brings them to glory: the children of the Lord are not taught of man, but of the Lord, as many as are the Sons of God, are led by the spirit of God, and the spirit of God leads them into all truth, and the Vnction wherewith they are anointed, teaches them all things, so that they need not to be taught of men, for the Grace of God teaches them to deny all ungodli­ness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly righteously, and holy, in all manner of conversation; and these that are thus taught, are Mem­bers of the true Church, which is built up of living Stones, Christ Jesus being the chief corner Stone; and this is the house of God, not made with hands, but is a Spirituall House, the House of God, where God doth dwel and in it walk:Eph. 2.21, 22. Coll. 1.18.24. 1 Cor. 6.19. 2 Cor. 6.16, 17, 18, i9. 1 Tim. 2.15. Heb. 12.22, 23, 24, 25. This Church is not with­out, but in God the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ; and the Body of Christ is the Church, and is the Ground and Pillar of Truth, and the Members thereof are one Body, and Christ he is the Head of the Body; and they who are Members of this Church, are come to Mount Sion, and to the City of the living God, the Heavenly Ierusalem, and to an in­numerable company of Angels, to the generall Assembly, and to the Church of the First-born, which are written in Heaven; and to God the Iudge of all, and to the Spirits of just men made perfect, and to Iesus the Mediator of the New-Covenant, and to the blood of sprinckling, which speaketh better things then that of Abel. Therefore all people, high and low, rich and poor, bond and free, hearken unto Chr [...]st Jesus, hear ye him that your souls may live; he that hears the [Page 34] voice of the Son of God shall live;1. Thess. 4.3. see that ye refuse not him that speaketh, and hearken to the Word of the Lord, that is nigh you, in your hearts and in your mouths, to it incline your ear; Oh hear that your souls may live: and to day if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, for this is the wil of God, even your sanctification.Exod. 34.6, 7. Mic. 7. chap. 1 Thess. 5.24. Therefore why will ye die, O people of England. Return, return unto the Lord God who is Light, and in him is no darkness at all; for who is a God like our God, merciful, gra­cious, long-suffering, and abundant in Goodness and Truth, par­doning iniquity, transgression and sin, he wil subdue iniquity, and will cast sin into the depth of the sea, and he wil perform the Truth unto Iacob, 2 Tim. 2, 13. 2 Cor. 1.20. Rev. 22.11. and the Mercy to Abraham, which he hath sworn unto our Fathers from the dayes of old: He is a faithful God, and all his Promises are; Yea, and Amen. He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the spirit saith; and he that wil be filthy, let him be filthy stil.

Here followeth some QUERIES to be answer­ed by any of those who are called by men Mini­sters, that preach in the High Places, or any o­ther, that plead for, and uphold them.

Quaery 1. WHether those be Ministers of Christ that makes Bargains with the People of a Parish to have 100 l. a Yeer (more or less) for their preaching, and take Bond of the People for the payment of the same, seeing that Christ said to his Ministers, Freely ye have received, freely give; and Peter said, The Flock of Christ is to be fed willingly, and not for filthy lucre sake, yea or nay? Mat. 8.10. 1 Pet. 5.2.

2. Whether those be Ministers of Christ, that Preach for Hire, and Divine for Mony, yea or nay? Mic. 3.11.

3. Whether those be Ministers of Christ that seek for gain from their quarter, like greedy dogs, which think they can never have enough, yea or nay? Isa. 56.11. Ezek. 22.25.

4. Whether those be Ministers of Christ that feed themselves with the Fat, and clothe themselves with the Wool, and care not for the Flock, but let it become a prey? Read Ezek. 34. chap.

5. Whether those be Ministers of Christ that take Tithes for their preaching, seeing that the Apostle Paul witnessed the Priest­hood changed, and the Law disanulled by which Tithes was paid, yea or nay? Read Heb. 7. chap.

[Page 35]6 Whether those be ministers of Christ that sue men at Law for Tithes, seeing that the Prophet of God cryed out against them that prepared war against those that put not into their mouths, yea or nay? Mic. 3.5.

7 What that Hire is that Christ said the Labourer is worthy of, Luke 10.7, 8. and whether that be not an unrighteous thing of a man, that demands wages of men, and compels them to pay him wages who never set him to work, nor he never wrought for them, yea or nay. Read Luke 10. chap. to the 15 verse.

8 Whether it is the work of the Ministers of Christ, to stay at home to bury the dead, or to go into all nations and preach the Gospel, according to Christs command, yea or nay. Matt. 28.19, Mark 16.15. Luke 9.59, 60.

9. Whether the Prophets or Apostles of Christ used to observe the Statutes of Omri, or to take delight in the works of Ahab, or to walk in their Councels, yea or nay. Mic. 6.16. 1 King. 16. chap.

10. Whether those be ministers of Christ whose god is their belly, whose glory is their shame, who minde earthly things, yea or nay. Phil. 3.19.

11. Whether those be Ministers of Christ that go in the way of Cain, and run greedily after the error of Balaam, for Honour and Rewards, and follow their own pernicious wayes, and through covetousness, with feigned words, make merchandise of souls, yea or nay. Iude 11. 2. Pet. 2. chap. Rev. 18. chap.

12 Whether those be Ministers that puts money to usury, see­ing that the Prophet Ieremiah said, he neither lent on Usury, nor men lent me on Usury, yea or nay. Read Ier. 15.10. Prov. 28.8. Psal. 15.5.

13. Whether those be Ministers of Christ that will sit and eat and drink with the Drunkards, and smite his fellow-servants, yea or nay. Matt. 24.49.

14. Whether those be Ministers of Christ that are called of men Master, and desire to walk in long Robes, and love the up­permost Rooms at feasts, and greetings in the Market place, and have the highest seats in those places which are called churches, and there stand praying, and for a pretence make long prayers, and devour widows houses, yea or nay. Read Matt. 23. chap. Luke 20.46. & 18.10, 11.

15. Whether those be Ministers of Christ which the Lord saith he is against, who steal his Word from their Neighbour, and use their tongues, and say, The Lord saith, when he spake not to them, and run when he sent them not, and come when he called them not, yea or nay. Read Ier. 23. chap.

16. Whether those be Ministers of Christ that preach up out­ward [Page 36] Temples made with hands, and in them uphold an outward bodily worship, which profiteth little, seeing that Paul witnessed a­gainst the same, and Stephen was stoned to death for witnessing a­gainst them likewise; and Jesus Christ said, that God is a spirit, and they true worshippers that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth, yea or nay. Iohn 4.21, 22, 23, 24. Acts 7. chap. 1 Tim. 4.8. 2 Cor. 6.16, 17, 18.

17. That when a company are gathered together (of Drunk­ards, Swearers, Lyars, VVhores, and VVhoremongers, Adulterers, Fornicators, Thieves, Murderers, Scoffers, Scorners, Covetous, Proud Heady, High minded people, Lovers of Pleasures more then lovers of God, Prophane, carnall, earthly minded people, dead in Trespasses and Sins, having their understandings darkned, such as are aliens and strangers from the life and Covenant of Grace) and all these sit toge­ther in the High Place, commonly called the church, and sing, [...] Psal. 6. ver. 2, And heale me Lord, for why, thou knowest my bones do quake for fear. I say, is any of those persons, above mentioned, in that condition that David was in, when he said, I am weak, O Lord heal me, for my bones are vexed; or in that condition that Moses was in, when he said, I exceedingly fear and quake, yea or nay. Heb. 12.21.

18. Whether such persons above mentioned, that sing, All the night long I wash my bed with tears of my complaints, and yet never witnessed that condition that David was in, when he said, All the night I make my bed to swim, I water my couch with tears: I say, do not such persons lye, and turn the Scriptures into a lye, and so blaspheme the Name of God, yea or nay.

19. Whether such persons above mentioned, that makes Songs of the Saints conditions declared of in the Scripture, which was never none of their own, do not they lye, and tu [...]n the Scripture into a lye, and so blaspheme the Name of God, yea or nay.

20. Did Christ Jesus or his Apostles at any time teach such per­sons above mentioned to turn Davids Prayers, the confession of his Sins, his Sorrows, his Afflictons, his [...]ad complaints he made thereof, and the Enemies of the Church, his Exhortations his Pro­phecies, and other Scriptures, into Rime and Meeter, and to sing them as Songs, yea or nay.

2i. Whether those men who are called Ministers, that teach the people so to sing, and those people that do so sing, do not make David to become the Song of Drunkards now in these dayes, as he was in those dayes that he was King, yea or nay.

22. Whether such singing by such persons as is here above ex­pressed, be a Teaching and Admonishing one another in Psalms and Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, yea or nay.

[Page 37]23. Whether such persons above mentioned that so sing, sing with the Spirit, and sing with understanding, and sing with grace in their hearts unto the Lord, yea or nay.

24. Whether the praises of the wicked be not as abominable to the Lord as their prayers, yea or nay.

25. Whether those that thus walk in darkness, and lead the blinde thus out of their way, be not blinde guides, and lie under the curse of God for their so doing, yea or nay. Mat. 23.16. Deut. 28.18.

26. Whether those persons that are called of men Ministers, and Teachers, and profess themselves to be Ministers of the Gos­pel, and yet do such things as is before expressed, be not scanda­lous to Christ and his Ministers, and so fit to be cast out, yea or nay. Ezekiel 34.10.

27. Whether the two Poets Sternhold and Hopkins, with others, who turned the Psalms and other Scriptures into Rhime and Me­ter, did do it by the Spirit of God, or by the wisdom of faln man, seeing that no prophesie of the Scriptures are of any private inter­pretation, yea or nay.

These queries are written and sent forth by me, who am known by the name of Henry Clark.
The End.

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