THE MEMORY OF That Faithful Servant of the Lord Thomas Carleton, Reviv'd.


  • Of several of his VVritings in the en­suing Volume as a Testimony of his Zeal for promoting the blessed Truth and Establishing of Friends therein.
  • Also some TESTIMONIES Concerning his Faithfulness and Perse­verance in the Way of the Lord, unto the Finishing of his Course here with joy, which was the 18th day of the Ninth Month, 1684.

The Memory of the just is blessed, Prov. 10.7.

The Righteous shall be had in Everlasting Remembrance, Psal. 112.9.

Printed in the Year, 1694.

The Testimony of Thomas Traf­ford, concerning his Friend and Brother, in the Truth, Thomas Carleton.

THere is a Testimony in my Heart at this time, to bear for dear Thomas Carleton, Notwithstanding it is long since he was Removed from us, as to the out­ward, yet his Memorial lives with me, and in the Revivings of it; can do no less then say something of the Experience & Knowledg I had of him.

My first acquaintance with him was by the Spirit of Truth in a Meeting, for as soon as I saw his Face, as he was coming into the Meeting, I felt my heart united, or knit to him, as Jonathan's was to David; and it was sealed to me, That he had a Testimony to bear [Page]for the Lord's Truth, in the Assem­blies of his People, which was Con­firmed to me that Meeting: For after some time sitting in the Meet­ing, there came an Exercise upon his Spirit, and he stood up in great Fear and Dread, which was his usual man­ner when he was so Exercised under the powerfull Word of Life; not being a Man forward in entring up­on that service, but rather backward, until necessitated thereunto by the constraining Power of God.

And while he was delivering his Testimony, I had dear unity with him, and my Soul was refreshed by his Ministry, although he was but short, and my love reached so to him, that I could not be satisfied untill I went to see him at his Lodging; after which time we grew into a more near acquaintance one with another, both inwardly and outwardly, so that we became near and dear one unto another, and thereby came to have a [Page]true sense and knowledge of one a­nothers Mind [...] and Spirits; and truly my heart and spirit is broken at this time, in the remembrance of that sweet and brotherly love, that conti­nued between us to the last; for he was a true Yoke-fellow in the Labour of the Gospel, for the good and wel-fare of the Church; and I must needs say, I have found the want of him (with some others who were true sensible Members in the Body or Church of Christ,) whom the Lord hath been pleased to remove from us, and take to himself, which I must be content with, resting in the Faith that he can and will raise up others in his time to supply their places.

And although this my Friend and Brother, was a Man attended with many Infirmities of Body, which dis­abled him from Travelling much a­broad, yet I can say he was seldom, if ever, without a Concern, Care, or Exercise upon his Spirit, that all [Page]things might be well in the Church, and that those who were Convinced of the Truth, might live answerable to what they did profess, and was many a time Constrained to bear Testimony in a holy Zeal against such as were dry Formilist Pro­fessors of it, and did not come up into a Living Experimental Exercise of the power of Truth, and such who walked loose in their Conversa­tions; as will appear by the fol­lowing Epistles that he Writ; and God who tempers the Body as he Sees meet, had indued him with a large and clear understanding, both in Divine Spiritual things, and also Natural Parts, beyond many; which did very much adorn him, and so much the more, in that he did not think so of himself, but would appear as simple as any, which be­spoke him to be one of Christs Fol­lowers, who had Learned to be Meek and Lowly in heart.

I Write what I know, and it is not to attribute any thing to Man, but to acknowledge the great Work of God, in and for Man, who as Vessels in his Hand he hath honour­ed; therefore we who have been made partakers of their Work and Service, can do no less. And indeed all his Parts and Gifts were Sancti­fied unto him, for he was a Man of of a sweet temper, mild in Contro­verting things, and could govern his Spirit with gravity, either with such as did oppose Truth and contend a­gainst it, or at other times in Church Discipline, or with unru­ly Spirits, that he might have to do with.

Oh the Remembrance of him, makes the loss of him more to be Lamented! But having this answer returned & sealed unto me, that our loss is his gain therefore am Content­ed in the will of the Lord; and not­withstanding his Parts did exceed ma­ny, [Page]yet he was ready to prefer others before himself, which was an Orna­ment to him, and did very much become his Holy Profession, he was a Man that Loved the Truth, and all such that lived in it, and he was of a tender Spirit, desiring nothing more then the Unity of the Brethren, and to hear of the Pro­sperity of Truth, and Peace in the Church.

So that I have cause to believe he is one of that Number to whom it is said, Blessed are the Dead which Die in the Lord, from henceforth, y [...] said the Spirit that they may rest from [...]e [...] Labours, and their Works do follow them.

Thomas Trafford▪

THE TESTIMONY OF GEORGE ROOKE Concerning Thomas Carleton.

THis I have to say concern­ing this our dear Friend, and Brother in the Truth, that is removed from us by Death, (ac­cording to God's appointment for all [Page]Men once to Die) he was a Man that was tender of Gods glory in his Day, and laboured for the pro­motion of his Truth; into the ser­vice of which the Lord was pleased to Call him when he was but young in years, and made known unto him the riches of the Mistery which had been hid from Ages past, even Christ Revealed within the sure Hope of Eternal Glory; by which he was preserved both sure and stedfast in his Testimony-bearing for God, where­ever the Lord was pleased to Order him; whether it was in a Prison-house, or at Liberty, he was not un­willing to submit to his Will, even to do and suffer, whereby he might honour and glorifie his Maker in his day and generation.

And he had not long been Con­vinced of the blessed Truth, till Lewis West the Priest of the Parish where [Page]he lived, began to persecute him, be­cause for Conscience-sake he could not pay Tythes, and cast him into Prison at Carlisle in Cumberland, for at Little-Salkeld in that County, was the place of his abode then, though some years after his Enlarge­ment, he removed himself and family into this Nation of Ire­land.

But mark, he being put in Prison was kept Prisoner several years, by reason of the hard-hearted cruelty, of the Priest that sought for his Goods more then for the good of his Soul as plainly appears by those his unchristian-like Actions; even like those of old that would cry Peace, Peace while People put into their Mouths, but when for Conscience-sake they could not do it, then those false Teachers prepar'd War against them; and thus he that is born af­ter [Page]the flesh, persecutes him that is born after the spirit from one Gene­ration to another: But after this his so long Imprisonment, it pleased God to make way for his delive­rance out of those Bonds, by the Death of the said Priest his persecu­ter, who on a journey, broke his Legg, whereof he Died, without ever Returning home, but his Wise fulfilling her Husband's Cruelty, would not condescend to his En­largement which was in her power to do, but constrained him to go to London being above Two hundred Miles, which he Travelled on Foot, and so obtained his full Liberty by a Habias Corpus, the Lord having en­dued him with Christian patience all this time, to undergo what he permit­ted his persecutor to Inflict upon him.

And after this it was some time my lot to travel with him in the ser­vice [Page]of Truth, in whose Company I had great satisfaction, for he did not only Preach in Word & Doctrine, but in Life and Conversation also, and so was A rightly qualifi'd Minister of the Gospel; and was a serviceable Mem­ber in the Church of Christ, both for the Propagating of Truth, and a Support to Friends where he Lived and Travelled; the Lord having endued him with a good Understand­ing, which did so sanctifie his Natu­ral acquirements, that he was there­by qualified to answer his Call into the Ministry, which he delivered in Meekness, according to his De­portment in his Conversation, which which was Mild & Courteous, little in his own Eye, or in outward shew or appearance; Yet would not turn his back off an Enemy to Truth, in Truth's defence; and he was qualfi'd for Truth's service in his open and plain Testimony, which was both sweet and [Page]lively to the Comforting the Faithful, stirring up the Careless, and reaching the Witness in those who were unac­quainted with the Way of Righteous­ness.

For indeed his Labour in the Work of the Gospel was refreshing to the honest-hearted, who as a faithful Steward over the manifold Grace's of God (a measure of which was committed to his Charge) did [...]ruly Labour in the Service thereof, not by constraint but willingly, not for filthy Lucre, but with a ready Mind; neither as being Lord over God's Heretage, but being an En­sample unto the Flock; for which I doubt not, he hath his Reward at the Hand of the great Shepheard, even a Crown of Glory that fadeth not away.

And now I shall speak a little of his manner of Life towards his lat­ter End, for as he had been an Inno­cent carriag'd Man, and a lover of Truth and Righteousness from a Child, so it pleased God to preserve him all along even to his Lifes end; although attended many times with great Weakness of Body, by reason of some Distempers occasioned part­ly by the aforesaid Imprisonment, which he underwent for his Testi­mony's sake, which God had given him to bear against the Anti-christian Ministry of the Age; Yet that saying was fulfilled in him, as in the Apostles time, although the Out­ward Man perished, and grew weaker and weaker, the Inward Man was re­newed day by day; for these light af­flictions which last but for a moment, work in us a far more Exceeding and Eternal weight of Glory; while we look not at those things that are seen, [Page]but at the things that are not seen, for the things that are seen are Tem­poral, but the things that are not seen are Eternal: So we need not fear any of these things that we may suffer for a good Cause; if the De­vil be permitted to cast some into Prison, and we may have Tribulati­on for a time, yet the promise is to those that are Faithful unto Death, they shall receive a Crown of Life; So although many be the Tryals and Exercises of the Righteous, yet the Lord in his own appointed time, can and will deliver out of them all; and although for a time the Back be given to the smiter, yet the Rod of the Wicked shall not always be upon the Backs of the Righteous, but God will Rescue them out of their hands, that they shall not be a prey to them any longer.

But too few Consider when Righ­teous and Good Men are taken away, [Page]that it's God's Pleasure and Good­ness to them, to take them from the Evil to come, as he hath done our dear Friend of whom I am writing▪ And though he be removed from us, yet the remembrance of his inno­cent Life, doth remain with us, and although it be our loss, yet it is his gain.

In that Eternal Joy & Rest
Where his Soul's for ever blest.

And when he was upon his Death-bead, he was sweetly preser­ved in a sense of that Life that flowed from the Fountain of pure Refresh­ment, which made him to utter ma­ny savoury Expressions, even to the Edifying of those that stood by him: some of which that could be remem­bred are here inserted: For when I with some other Friends went to see him, we had a Meeting at his [Page]House at Ballany Carrick in the County of Wicklow, on the first day of the Week, before he departed this Life, being the 16th day of the Ninth Month 1684. where he sat up in the Meeting all the time, and we had a Heavenly season, and the Lord's refreshing Presence was with us, which he having a sense of, did often express his great Joy and Satisfaction therein, and in the enjoyment of Friends company; and said he could wish (if it were the Will of God) that he might be taken away when we were there; So I with some other Friends stay'd all Night, and lodged in the Chamber where he lay, and he was very quiet, and patiently bore his Affliction.

The next Morning one of his ser­vants coming to him, ask'd him how he did, his answer was to her, naming her by her Name; thou [Page]hast had much trouble in attending of me, but now the time is short that I have to stay; for he was not unsensible that the time of his Disso­lution drew near; his servant being reached with his words, began to weep, he said I know there will be Mourning for me, but (blessed be God) it is not as those that have no hope; for he knew that hope which was grounded upon the Foundation of the Prophets and Apostles Jesus Christ being the Chief Corner-stone, the same that all the Faithful did bear Witness too in former Ages:

And so that day was chiefly spent in preparing for the time of his Change, in setting his House in Or­der, and setling his outward Con­cerns; and when he came to Sign his Will, his Hand shoke by reason of weakness of Body; He looking up with a chearful Countenance, said, O, is it so! that I who have written [Page]so much, can scarce now write my Name, well, it must be so, and the Will of the Lord be done, I am con­tent; and thus was his precious time spent, in giving and resigning himself up unto the Will of the Lord, saying, come Lord Jesus receive my Spirit: And so about the sixth hour at Night, as he was in a slumber fell into a Fit or Trance, Jonathan Nichol­son, his Brother in Law being with him in Bed, heard him say as he fell into a fit, Farewell, Farewel, Farewell, three times, as if he had been wait­ing for the time of his change, but in about half an hour he again re­vived, and came to his perfect senses as before: Three of his Children being brought to him, he called to them by their Names, saying, dear Babes, I am glad to see you, ex­pressing it with much joy and glad­ness, advising them to live in the fear of God, and to be good Chil­dren, [Page]and to keep amongst Friends; and said I have not much Gold and Silver to leave you, but I hope the blessing of the Lord will attend you; and so Kissing and Embracing them he took leave of them; his dear Wife coming to him weeping, he said to her, Weep not, thy care and tenderness hath been much over me; and often seemed to lament and pitty his dear Wife, that had been a true Help-meet unto him from the time of their first coming together unto that day, in his Exercises and Weakness, which were not a few.

And so after he had taken his leave of those about him, he fell into another fit, and in less then half an hour was taken away with little or no pain, be­ing the 18th Day of the aforesaid ninth Month 1684.

This is to be noted, that he often in his Life time, when in great pain and affliction by reason of the Di­stemper of his Body, did desire the Lord to mitigate his pain upon his Death-bed, and not take him away in those Tortering fits; which the Lord in great Mercy did Answer; for he did say that he was not Sick, and felt little pain, but a great weak­ness and decay of outward strength; yet still was well Preserved in a sweet Frame of Spirit, to the great Satisfaction and Comfort of those that were with him at his last End.

Thus they are blessed that Die in the Lord, from henceforth they rest from their Labours, and their Works follow them; where the voice of the oppressor is no more heard, the Wicked cease from [Page]Troubling, and the weary are at Rest.

George Rooke.


DEar Thomas Carleton, was a True, and Sound, Meek, and Faithful Friend, that Loved the Blessed Truth, and Faith­ful [Page]Brethren, and was so much in the self denial, and a Lover of the Bre­thren, that he Preferr'd them before himself.

And having the marks of a True Desciple, was a good Example, and left a good Savour behind him; and I am satisfied he is at Rest.

Anthony Sharp.
The Captives COMPLAI …

The Captives COMPLAINT, OR THE Prisoners PLEA;

  • Against the Burthensom and Contentious Title of TYTHES.
  • With a True Relation of the Prisoners Spiritual Progress, and Travel towards the New and Heavenly Jerusalem.
  • Together, with the sad and grievous Sufferings he sustained by a Persecuting and Covetous High Priest, in Cumberland, for his Gospel Testimony against Tythes,
  • Here is also laid down several Grounds, and Rea­sons against the Propriety & Payment of Tythes in this Evangelical Day, and Dispensation.
  • As also several Papers and Queries sent to the Priest, which to this Day remains Unanswered.
All which is now referred to the view, judgment and understanding of every Conscientious impartial Reader, of what Profession soever; wherein the Prisoner doth recommend himself, his Sufferings, and the empty, groundless Cause thereof, to every Mans Conscience in the sight of God, as was the Practice of the Apostles and Saints of old in the primitive Times. 2 Cor. 4.2.

Re-printed in the Year, 1604

The Captives Complaint, or the Prisoners Plea, &c.

FOrasmuch as it hath pleased the in­comprehensible wise God (who made Heaven and Earth, and all that is therein) to create Man, and set him apart for his own Service, Worship and Glory, as the most competent Creature, whereby to advance his glorious, dreadful Name over all his Creatures upon the Earth, over whom He gave Man dominion; and for the better Ruling and Governing His Creatures, and Worshipping and Glo­rifying Himself, (the Author and Creator of all) He hath indued Man with Reason and Understanding, and infused into him a Principle of his own Life, and stamped, or set His own Image in him, thereby to beau­tifie His creature Man, giving him domini­on, power, and liberty, over all that He had made, both the Fruits of the Earth, and every Creature moving thereon; the [Page 4]Fishes of the Sea, and the Fowls of the Air, and every Creature moving therein; save only of the Tree of Knowledg of Good and Evil, he was not to Eat: Now the Serpent being more subtil, then all the Beasts of the field did insinuate it self into the affections of the Woman, and having got room in the weaker Vessel, did induce both the Man and the Woman through feigned smooth words, (and not by direct opposition, mark that) into disobedience to the Lord God of Heaven and Earth, whose Image they then lost, by the Ser­pents Transformation; who raised the dis­contented, aspiring, self-seeking Principle, that desired to be equal with God, which they soon received, and obeyed; thereby losing the happy, blessed, and good estate in which he was placed, and thereby fell into the knowledg of Evil, and naked mi­serable estate with God, being Transfor­med into the image of the Serpent, was captivated in the Curse, and so came to be driven out of the Garden of Eden, (in which he was placed) and to be fenced out from the Tree of Life, and from the Presence of the Lord in that State for ever.

And because the Serpent had done this, the Lord cursed it above all Cattel, and e­very Beast of the Field, and put enmity between its seed and the Seed of the Wo­man, saying, The Womans Seed shall break its Head, and it should Bruise his Heel; so the Enmity being placed between the Seeds, the warfare was begun, which ever since hath continued through the Genera­tions of Mankind; and hence the stri­ving between the Twins in the Womb comes to be known; and the Elected and Reprobated Seed is known; and the Seed of the Bond woman, and the Seed of the Free-woman is known; and the Flesh­ly Birth persecuting that which is born of the Spirit is known; and the Promise of the Lord to the Seed of the Woman is known and fulfilled in those that witness the Second Adam, the Lord from Heaven to be come; and the Seed of the Covenant is known to such, in which all the Nations of the Earth is blessed; and blessed and happy are they that are apprehended, and over­comes in this Seed, for they shall again come to eat of the Tree of Life, that is in the midst of the Paradise of God, and [Page 6]their names shall be written in the Book of the Life of the Lamb, from henceforth and for ever.

It being my aim and intent at this time to present unto publick view, and to the mani­fested Light, and Judgment of all pious and sober Men, not only my discent, state and condition from my Childhood, but rather my estate and condition in Spirit, in all the gentle leadings, drawing, and carryings on of my Soul, by the Lord, from the day of the dis­pensation of the tender Mercy and Love of God, (by his light dispensed and made known in me) unto this present day of my Sufferings for his Name and Gospel; and also to give a Relation of the ground and cause of my S [...]fferings, the Person by whom and the manner how, with a breviate of my Testimony, and Judgment in the matters of this Treatise, in as much brevity as possible, whereby to clear my Conscience (and an­swer the witness in others) in the sight of God.

AS for my discent (to speak after the manner of Men) I sprang of mean (though honest) Parents according to the [Page 7]Flesh, my Father being a Husbandman in the County of Cumberland, I (according to his pleasure) was educated sometimes at School, sometime with Herding, and tending of Sheep, or Cattel, sometime with the Plow, Cart or Threshing Instrument, or o­ther lawfull Labours, according to the man­ner of that part of the County in which I lived; yet such was the love and tender mer­cy of the Lord, (who always had respect unto the meek and lowly in heart, and dwells with the the contrite and humble in Spirit, and shews kindness and mercy to them of low degree) that he was pleased to visit me with his everlasting Love, which often presented unto me my state and manner of Life, and by the same Love and Light he made known unto me, that his Way and Worship was a purer, holier Way, and cleaner Life, then yet I had attained unto, and withall gave me to see the evils, and miserable effects of that state and condition in which I lived according to the Fashions, Customs, Ways and Worships of the formal World, which secret drawings I felt time after time as a small still Voice inwardly calling for Righteousness, and Ho­liness of Life, and as it were, saying, This is [Page 8]the Way, walk in it, Read your own States, for thus I was induced to seek after the Lord, and to make further enq [...]iry into the Way of God; (out of which I perceived my self) and then not knowing where the Lord was to be found, nor that it was he that stirred, and drew by his Love in me; I gave my self to Reading and searching of the Scrip­tures, which was then Preached (by the Man made Ministers, and also generally believed by the People they taught) to be the Word of God, and the alon [...] way to the Kingdom, and to the knowledge of God, his Way, and Worship; and believing their Do­ctrines, I did with much diligence and zeal press after the knowledge of the Scriptures, giving up my self to Hear Sermons, learn Catechisms, and the like, after the manner and general Practise Taught by the then Preachers, sometime more Strickt then the rest, whose comliness seemed to Tran­scend the precedent Generation of Priests, and their way of Worship; yet it pleased the Lord not only inwardly to break my rest in spirit, but also outwardly to afflict me with Bodily afflictions, for I was afflict­ed from my youth up, and from my Child­hood [Page 9]the rod of Correction was upon me inwardly and outwardly; inwardly known to my self alone, and outwardly apparent to most, or all that knew me after the flesh; some concluding I was in a Consumption, some in one Disease, some in another; and then by the advice and will of my Father (ac­cording to the flesh) I sought to (and proved) many Doctors and Physitians, for the resto­ration of the health of my Body; but they (like the Priests) were all Physitians of no value, for none did remove the cause, nor take away the effect, which still remained with me and upon me, as a motive spur, or whip, to drive me forward to get an interest in the Lord, who through the riches of his Love did spiritually apply my Bodily af­flictions for the Health and Salvation of my Soul, inwardly drawing my affections and desires after Him, still presenting to my view, and raising in my unerstanding a way more Holy, and Pure, and more agreeable to his Will, then the way I was in, drawing me from one degree of Grace to another, and from one Dispensation to another, according to his good Pleasure and W [...]ll; then I began to affect those (that [Page 10]separated from the formal Worships, and pub [...]ick People) who s [...]emed to be a Peo­ple of more reformed lives, and judgments, and of more circumspect Conversations, and chused rather to settle and joyn with those called Independants, who at that day were beautiful and glorious to that glimmering Twilight estate that I was in, they being then pretty tender and low; I often ad­judged my self inferiour, unworthy, and un­deserving the Fellowship and Society of such a People; yet still I pressed forward desiring to attain unto that state which was before me, (which by the eye of Faith I saw) and to apprehend that for which I was appre­hended in the Love of God; yet was I often tossed in my self, like restless waves in a troubled Sea; not feeling peace nor sta­bility with the Lord, I often besought the Lord in secret, in the brokenness, and contri­tion of spirit, to clear my understanding and judgment, and make me to know his own Living Way, Truth and People; Sects and Opinions then abounding, one saying, this is the way, an [...]t [...]er saying that is the way; one saying, lo, Christ is in this, or here; another saying He is in that, or there; thus [Page 11]every Denomination and Judgment constru­ing, wresting, and interpreting the Scrip­tures to their sundry Tenents, and forcing meanings from them to answer their Prin­ciples, and to maintain every of their in­terpretations as authentick Truths; in all which I was as one without Foundation, tos­sed with every of their windy Doctrines; i [...] st [...]ll rested with me, Man was created for Gods glory; I being ever and anon judged and condemned in my self for Sin and Dis­obedience, for the Law was come, by which is the knowledge of Sin; and the Commandment being come, Sin revived, and I died, and having as it were wrought Death in me by that which was good, then S [...]n by the Commandment became exceed­ing Sinful, and then was I driven to seek for Peace night and day, early and late, in publick and private Fastings, or Feastings, or Family Devotions, whatsoever running from one House to another, and from one Town to another, from one Assembly and Worship to another, even as it were from Sea to Sea, seeking the Word of the Lord, as Amos said, Amos 8.12. in all their Sabboths, Lectures, Humiliations or Thank givings, [Page 12]diligently observing every Ordinance (so called) in which the Minister said God was to be found, and all to obtain Peace with my Maker, but it, as it were, fled from me, and was not to be found amongst them; and and then this cry was great in me, O, that I knew the Truth! Oh, that I knew the True and Living Way to the Kingdom of God! O, that I could feel that Testimony of Spirit which they so much spoke of, bearing witness with my Spirit, that I was in the Sonship! though I felt and knew, I was in the way ac­cording to their Judgment, and had the sig­nal tokens of a Christian, as they produced from that spiritual progress and operation the Saints and Servants of God went through in Ages past, which was as Way-marks, set up by Patriarchs, the Prophets and Chil­dren of Israel in their Travel to Canaan, and by the Apostles, and Servants of our Lord Jesus Christ in their Spiritual Travel to the Heavenly Canaan, through the Regeneration and New Birth.

But being as I said before, often deeply humbled before the Lord, and tendred and broken in my Spirit, distressed in my Soul, afflicted in my Body, day and night [Page 13]panting and breathing after the Lord, as the Hart panteth after the water Brooks, be­ing many times deprived of my natural rest and sustenance, mine eyes preventing the night Watches, as David said, watering my Bed with my Tears, being almost overwhel­med in the Floods, multitudes of Afflictions compassing me about, Wars and Commoti­ons on every side, Famine and Pestilence, and Earthquakes, fearful Sights, and great Signs appearing from Heaven, these were the be­ginning of Sorrows, and Days of great Tribu­lation; then did the sign of the coming of the Son of Man appear in the Clouds of Heaven, with Power and great Glory, whose appear­ance was as the Lightning, that appeared from the East, and shined unto the West; by which it pleased the Father to manifest the way of Life, and to reveal his Son in me, and by his Light that gives the Knowledge of the glory of God in the Face of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor. 4.6. He was pleased to give me a glimpse of that heavenly Land, and of the Way to the Kingdom of God, which I saw to be in and through the Light of Christ Jesus, which Lighteth every Man that com­eth into the World, as it was then Preached [Page 14]and testified by the Servants of the Lord, a measure of which I felt in my self, which told me all that ever I did, secretly con­demning every work in me, with every word and action that was against, or contrary to the mind and will of the Father, and also justifying every good word and work that was according to his Will; Thus the Lord having opened my understanding, and given me in measure a feeling of himself, I was for­ced to conclude (as the woman of Samaria did) that this was the Christ, this was the Way, this was the Truth, as by daily expe­rience I found by the operation of the Light in my own heart, compared with the Testi­mony that the Saints and Servants of God had given in Ages past, and thus in the mouths of two or three Witnesses this Testi­mony was established and confirmed in me, but how to receive and give obedience I knew not, the Enemy often raising Doubts and Fears in me, often disswading me from em­bracing the Light, with much questioning whether it were the Truth yea or nay: Then as soon as the Seed, the Man-child appeared, the Dragon appeared also ready to Devour the Man-child; then the Read-Sea was as [Page 15]it were, before, and Pharoh and his Host be­hind, and fear fell on every side; then ap­peared Father against Son, and Son against Father, one Nation against another, and still the greatest Enemies were in mine own House; and then was I in great distress; then was the Dayes of great Tribulation, perceiving the Way strait and narrow, being to forsake Father or Mother, House or Lands, Friends and Relations, and all old ac­quaintances, and cast down all Crowns, Dig­nities, Wisdom, Riches, or what other Enjoy­ments whatsoever, and deny my self; and become a Fool, and a Reproach, a Scorn, a By-word, and a Hissing to the Men of the World, and take up the Cross daily, and follow the Lord through great Tribulation, through the Red-Sea, through the Wilder­ness, yea, even through Death it self; then was I ready to faint, and to say with them, This was a hard saying, who can bear it; then the Dragon cast out Floods after the Manchild, but God prepared a place in the Wilderness, and the Child was preserved; then was the warfare great between the Flesh and the Spirit, the Law in my Mem­bers waring against the Law in my Mind; [Page 16]doing that which I allowed not, and leaving undone that which I allowed; with my mind I served the Law of God, but with my Flesh the Law of Sin; the Spirit in­deed was willing to Drink that bitter Cup, but the Flesh was weak; then when I would have done good, Evil being present, prevented me; then I became as one de­stitude of all succour, comfort and support, not knowing whither to fly, or how to escape from the dreadfull wrath of God that was then impending over me if I disobeyed; then was I forced in the fulness of time, not on­ly to stand still and see the Salvation of God, but also to resign my self into his Blessed Will and sweetly to Drink that bitter Cup that was given me to D [...]i [...]k, allowing that the Will of the Lord, and not my will should be done, being willing to undergo any thing, so the Lord be glorified, and my Soul might rest in Peace, being that for which I had long travelled in spirit, having been often as it were at the P [...]ts brink, and as it were at the mouth of the Furnace, having Drunk deep of the Cup of Judgment, and of Indignation, and of the Wrath of the Lord for Sin, and for Iniquity, often travel­ling [Page 17]as with my Hands upon my loyns pai­ned, and crying outin my Soul, as a Woman in Travel, that longeth for the appointed hour of her Deliverance, often in that state blessing the Lord for the Ministration of con­demnation, which at that Day was glorious to me, often doubting, and fearing in my self least the Lord should cease striving with me, and have left me, and given me up to a re­probate Mind, and to heardness of Heart, be­ing often ready to Dispair of obtaining the promised Land, that was before me, consi­dering the many lets, impediments, obstru­ctions, hazards, dangers, which like Moun­tains of opposition appeared as high as the top of Carmel. And thus being assaulted by the Enemy, reasoning in my self, I was at a point what to do; to turn back to Egypt, the Land of Darkness, or House of Bondage again, I durst not, knowing the Light in me, the Pil­ler of fire that appeared for my Guide, and Lead [...]r; led me Canaan ward, and knowing the Terrors and Judgments of the Lord, that had not only passed upon me, but was still im­pending over me for sin & disobedience, be­cause I offered not up freely, nor sacrificed freely, nor did not for sake all freely, but like [Page 18] Ananias and Saphira, (though I had parted with much yet) would have kept a part back; and if the Lord had cut me off, as they were, I must have justified the justice of the Lord in my Soul and Conscience which daily wit­nessed against me, as it were sealing and con­firming this Testimony to me, and in me, that I should never find Peace nor Reconsilia­tion with the Lord, untill I gave obedience to the Light, and came into society with the Children of Light, (viz. the People by the World called Quakers) and came to the Worship that stood in Spirit, contrary to all the Wayes, Worships and Services of the World, set up in the wills and limitations of Men, which I saw to be only Formal and Traditional, and no less then Idolatry, as they then stood in the Will-Worship, being prescribed, and set forth at the Wills and Plea­sures of Men, and established by the then present Powers, Government and Authority; as by the Independant Church Faith, the Pres­byterian Directory, the Episcopals Common-Prayer Book, and such like, may more fully Testifie, none being to question, or object a­gainst any thing that was, or is believed by their several Churches and Assemblies, or [Page 19]prescribed in their Rules or Canons, Directo­ries, or Service-Books (though never so much dissatisfied in Conscience) without un­dergoing the Censures, or Abjudications of their particular Societies, and Churches, so called: But they that are come to the Light and Liberty of the Sons of God, and to live and walk in the Spirit, and by the Spirit they know the Anointing which abideth in them, which is truth, and no lye, which Teacheth them in all things to follow the Lamb only, whithersoever he goes, and the leadings of his Spirit, and not the formal trash and tradi­tional precepts of Men; and so they are cea­sed from Man, and his teachings, knowing the Lord is come to Teach his People himself; whereof I being perswaded in my own heart, and this Testimony aforesaid standing in me, (viz.) that I should never know Peace with God in my Soul, untill I obeyed and followed the Light (which I daily felt striving in me, and with me in my Meditations and Commu­nications with my own Heart, secretly con­demning me for my disobedience and works of darkness) I was (in the fulness of time) con­strained to yeild, and resign my self into the Will and Lap of the Lord, as Esther did, [Page 20]either to Live or Perish; resolving as I said before, freely to drink that Cup, which had so long appeared bitter, but was then made sweet and wholsom, as the Waters of Jericho, being seasoned with that power that makes every bitter thing sweet, and hard things easie; then was the Arm of the Lord made bare, and stretched forth for my deliverance, and his strength was perfected in weakness, being brought into subjection, and made willing to bear his Cross, then his Yoke was made easie, and his Burden be­came Light; then he that sat in Darkness saw great Light, and he that dwelt in the Land of the shaddow of Death, upon him did the Light shine; in that Day did he cause the Deaf to hear, the Blind to see out of obscurity, the Lame to walk, the Dumb to speak, and the Tongue of the stammerer to speak plain­ly; even then when mine Ears hearkned to the Word that was near, in the mouth and heart, the righteousness of Faith which the Apostle Preached, Rom. 108. Even then when I cast away my Jewels, Ornaments, Images, &c. Menstruous cloaths, Isa. 30.21, 22. and my own Righteousness, Faith, and best Performances, which was but as fil­thy [Page 21]rags, in comparison of the excellency of that Glory revealed in and through the Son of righteousness which arose with healing in his Wings, then did he give rain unto his Seed, even the former and the latter in his Season, and upon every Mountain and Hill made he Rivers and Streams to run; then was the light of the Moon as the light of the Sun, and the light of the Sun was sevenfold, even in that Day when he bound up the breach of his Servant, and healed the stroke of his wounded; he opened the Prison doors also, and set the Captive at liberty, and let the Oppressed go free; then he made the Lame to leap as an Heart, and the tongue of the Dumb to sing for joy; the crooked paths did he make straight, and the rough ways plain and smooth; he brought down the mighty from their Seats, and exalted them of low degree; then he filled the Hungry with good things, and the Rich he sent empty a­way; then did joy spring forth as the Morn­ning, and gladness did arise as the Sun, even then when Peace did run down like a River, and Salvation as a mighty Stream; then was the time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, even then when the Bridegroom [Page 22]came out of his Chamber, and the Bride out of her Closet; then was the Marriage Sup­per of the Lamb at hand; then was the Day of joy and gladness, when sorrow and sigh­ing fled away; then was the Day of mine e­spousing, when my Maker became my Hus­band, Hosea 2.19, 20, 23. and the Bride­groom and Bishop of my Soul; when I was betrothed unto the Lord, then was the Mar­riage in Cana of Galilee known, John 2. which was the only Marriage Christ and his Disciples were called to, where all the Water in the Vessels was turned into Wine, which maketh glad the heart of Man, and com­forteth the Living, Psal. 104.15. Eccles. 10.19. such did Israel of old Drink in the Land of Promise, Deut. 32.14. here was the first, and beginning of Miracles that Jesus wrought, shewing forth his Glory; it was here also he Healed the Rulers Son which was ready to Die, his second Miracle wrought in Galilee, John 4.50, 54. here also was his first ap­pearance to his Disciples after he was risen from the Grave, Matt., 17. here also was his first appearance, and working of Wonders in me, and to me, which when I saw I believed, as his Disciples and the [Page 23] Galileans did, John 2.11. and 4.45. then he whipped out the Buyers and Sellers out of the Temple, and overthrew the Tables of the Money-changers; then I knew the Ta­bernacle of the Lord, was with Men, and that he was come to Teach his People Himself, and great was the Peace of His Children, as Isaiah said, chap. 54.13. then did I witness the Covenant changed, the Law changed, the Priesthood changed, the Offerings, Oblations, Sacrifices and Ordinances changed, the Ser­vice and the Worship changed, and all the Shadows, Types, and Figures abolished, which was but a Shadow of good Things to come, Hebr. 10.1. and the Tabernacle and Sanctu­ary changed, Heb. 10.20. and the Vail removed, and the New and Living Way to be Revealed (which he hath prepared for us) through the Vail, that is to say his Flesh; for even to this Day, while Moses, and the Old-Testament and the Law is read, the same Vail remains over, and untaken away, 2 Cor. 3.14, 15. as is evident, and clearly seen to he the very State and Condition of the Mi­nisters and People of England, to whom the Way of Life (of Regeneration of Light, of Righteousness, of Peace, of having [Page 24]their Hearts sprinkled from an evil Con­science, and of witnessing Redemption and Remission of sins) is hid, and to them the covering is not yet taken away; for the Vail is over their Hearts, and what they see and know of God is but by the seeing or hearing of the outward Eye or Ear, as Job said, chap. 42.5. knowing nothing but what they know Naturally, in a literal historical, notional, ex­ternal Sense, and in these Things they foyl and corrupt themselves, never owning or obeying the Light that leads out of Dark­ness, and Discovers all the works thereof, which makes all things manifest, and gives the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (which till then is Vailed) through which we draw nigh unto God, and makes bold to enter into the in­ner Sanctuary, even the holy Place, being pu­rified through his Blood, having our Consci­ences purged from dead works, Hebr. 9.14. which is not yet made manifest, where the Tabernacle is standing, Hebr. 9.8. neither do they know the Power which through his death hath rent the Vail; but we that are come to believe in the Light, and to witness the New Covenant which God pro­mised [Page 25]to his People, Jer. 31.31.23, &c. Rom. 11.27. Hebr. 8.8.10, &c. Hebr. 10.16, 17. they whose Hearts are turned to the Lord know the Vail taken away, accord­to his promise, 2 Cor, 3.16, 17, 18. and we all with open face behold the glory of the Lord, and are changed into the same Image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord; now the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty. Now being born of the same Seed, and not another, and regenerated by the same Life and Power, and because we have the same Spirit of Faith which the Apostles and Servants of the Lord had, as it is written, 2 Cor. 4.13. Psalm 116.10. I believed, therefore have I spoken, we also have Believed, and therefore speak; now we have this Treasure in earthen Vessels, that the Excellency of the Power may be of God, and not of us, 2 Cor. 4.7. and having this hope and trust we use great boldness and plainness of speech, and are not ashamed of that worthy Name, by which we have been called, nor of the glorious Gospel of Christ, for it is the Power of God unto all those that Believe; and this Mystery (viz. Christ in us the hope of Glory, Col. 1.26, 27) hid [Page 26]from Ages and Generations) hath he open­ed and revealed in us, blessed, honored and glorified by the sweet and precious Name and Love of our God for ever, that hath opened the mysteries of his Kingdom, and hath re­vealed them unto Babes, Sucklings, and to the little and lowly in Spirit, and yet hath hid them from the Wise and Prudent of the Earth, this is the Lords doing, and is mar­vellous in our Eyes, blessed, yea everlastingly blessed be his holy Living, eternal Name, Love, Life and Power, who alone is wor­thy of all Glory, Rule, and Dominion for evermore.

And having this Testimony, and for this Testimonies sake, and for our love and faith­fulness thereunto, we suffer, and are brought into bonds by the chief Priests and Rulers of this Generation; for as it was in the Apostles dayes, so it is now, They that will live Godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution; and as Christ said, In the World you shall have tribula­tion, but in me you shall have Peace; and if you love Me the world will hate you; and even so persecuted they the Prophets that went be­fore us: this persecuting spirit (getting a place and room in the Woman, as I said before) [Page 27]broke forth in Cain, the third Person in the Earth, and he slew Abel his only Brother, and here the Enmity between the Seeds appear­ed (which I mentioned in the beginning) and this envious Persecuting spirit hath had a place and descent through all the Generations of Man-kind to this very Day, as the Scriptures are full, how they that served and feared the Lord did suffer Persecutions, Afflicti­ons, Tribulations, Reproaches, spoiling of Goods, Buffettings, Imprisonments, yea, even to the Death, and all for following the Lord in the Regeneration, and for serving and obeying Him in heart and spirit, and for departing and separating themselves from the Ways, Worships, Customs, Traditions, and beggerly rudiments of the World; and as they persecuted the Prophets and A­postles of Christ that went before us, even so do they persecute us, and yet they will pro­fess they know God, but their Works deny Him; for I was no sooner turned from Dark­ness to Light; nor from Satans Power to God; nor from sin to righteousness; nor from the lusts and pleasures of the Flesh to serve the Living God; nor no sooner come to deny my self, and take up the Cross of [Page 28]Christ, and follow him, through Tribulati­ons, Reproachings, Revilings, Mockings, Fastings, Temptings, or what other Suffer­ings soever, or through Death it self unto Life; yea, no sooner I say was I given up to follow him, but persecution arose for the Gos­pel sake, notwithstanding my long Travel and Pilgrimage in the Wilderness, (neither considering the Faintings, the Hungrings, the Thirstings, the Jeopardies, Perils, the many desperate Dangers, the dark Disconsolate days, the long and wearisom Nights my poor Soul sustained, with many a sigh and heavy groan; with many a dolefull lamentation, with much brokenness of Heart, and contriti­on of Spirit when Rivers as it were run down from mine Eyes, when my Heart failed me for fear in the day of my spiritual pro­gress, from Egyt to Canaan) I say never considering the afflictions I bad gone through the enmity in Gods enemies without arose against me, to repoach, revile, and persecute me, and (as I said before, having withdrawn and separated my self from them, with their Way and Worship) I was hated, envied and threatned by them, but especially by one of Englands chief Priests, named Lewis West, [Page 29]a Man whose Life and Gonversation doth more fully declare him to all that knows him; part whereof I may set down in this following Treatise, and shall leave it to the view, judgment and consideration of all sober juditious Men, that knows any thing of the Way and Worship of God; but especially to those my Neighbours and Country-men that hath known both him and me according to the flesh; (though he be a Man in esteem, honour and repute amongst Men, and the Children of this World, and hath at­tained to his several Titles and degrees of Honour and Preferment, being reckoned one of their chief and learnedst orthodox Divines; being (as his Wife once said to me) contemning me as [...]udatious, and for my puerility and illiteratness, far inferior to argue, or dispute matters of Conscience with him) brought up at his Book and School from his Child-hood; and I being but a Child, as she said, and indeed sprung of mean Parentage and low Degree, according to the flesh; and in my minority Educated a little at School but the most part about Husbandry, Tilling, or Hearding, or the like, bring an inferiour weak Child in comparison of Thousands; [Page 30]but what I now am is by the Grace and sweet Love of God, for which I have cause to bless and magnifie his Name for ever) and let such I say as hath known both him and me, and not only such, but all that have any feeling or sense of the Way and Work of God judge of us, and between us, in every thing, either before or hereafter inserted or recited; being for my own part, (according to the principle of Light and Truth I pro­fess) willing to recommend my self to every Mans Conscience in the sight of God, and also to give a reason to any Man that shall in Truth and Soberness, demand a reason of me of the Faith and Hope that is in me (ac­cording to the manifestation of the Grace of God received.)

Now I say, the said L. W. was no sooner setled in his place, and I set to follow the Lord, but he began to menace and threaten me, together with other Professors, to bring us under Conformity; and by and by shewed his austerity, by which he made many Professors (and others inclining to Re­formation) bow and conform, who came in by degrees, and yielded Conformity at one time or other, in one thing or other, [Page 31]which strengthened his Lordly spirit in se­verity, (who should have been Minister and Servant to all) thereupon perswading him­self, that a little more rigor, a little more se­verity, one twist more i'th rod, one cord more i'th whip would subject all his Parishio­ners, and make them Conform; sometimes he would have drawn me with soft words, pretending great kindness to me, or any of my Mothers Children, &c. for our Parents sake, the smalness wherof may appear by and by; for he having no occasion at all a­gainst me, save touching the Law of my God, (being that which was matter of Conscience and weight to me) yet it seems occasion must be had, and small ones must be taken where great ones are not; and therefore he took it against me, because for Conscience sake, I could not pay him Tythes.

A thing never challenged nor paid (for ought I know) by any Gospel Minister, nor any other under a Gospel Dispensation, what ever any Man may pretend; so he that flattereth, and smootheth deceitfully, crying Peace, Peace to the Wicked, because I cannot now run with them to their excess, nor cannot return to their vomi [...] again, but [Page 32]especially because I could not put into his mouth, as Micah said, Mic. 3.5. he now forthwith prepares open War against me; and thus he begins for my first years denyal of Tythes to him, he presents me to the Jury, at a Temporal Court, held at his own House in the manner of little Salkeld by the Dean and Chapter (so called) of Carlile, he himself being one of the Lords of the Court; so being called by the Jury, I told them that for Conscience sake I could pay him none, often saying to them that that Court had nothing to do to determine matters of that nature, the Ecclesiastical Courts being provided for that purpose, unto whom such things more properly belonged, yet the Ju­rors slighted me and said I was a fool, it was better for me to have them determined there, &c. So being willing to do the Priest a pleasure, they proceeded to cast it for him, and gave a Precept against me of One pound one shilling, or there abouts, for which the Prebends Bailiffs took a Cow from me wo [...]h Three pound three shillings, or upwards, I having but one other; the Priest called me to him, required me to pay him, I said no, I could pay him none; then he beckned [Page 33]to one of his Fellows another Prebend, be­ing then present, to reason and expostulate with me, endeavouring to perswade me to pay him, and in our dispute he pleaded the Civil Law; a third Priest standing by, by way of Interlocution, Promptingly said to the Ear of the other, Jure Divino, Sir, Jure Divino, to whom I answered, either of you prove Tythes Jure Divino, here before all this People, and I will pay them, which thing they stayed not to do; for immediately the aforesaid L. W. taking one of them by the arm, drew them away, and they all three went to an Alehouse, leaving me to the Court, with whom I reasoned a while, clearing my Conscience, (which I valued more worth then a Cow) and then left them: The Jury meeting at other times, I still warned them not to meddle with it, being it apper­tained to another Court; nevertheless they proceeded as above; but mark what befel about the very time the Jury delivered in their Verdict, the Fore-man had a Barn burned by a sudden hand from the Lord, as was believed, amounting to a considerable dammage; which thing I often pondered in my spirit, though few looked on it o­therwise [Page 34]then a common accident. This being done, from that time forward he pro­ceeded to take my Tythes in kind, as they fell due, &c. his Collectors taking Hay and Corn at their pleasure, sometime going in at the wrong end of the Dale, contrary to the order of Tything, so taking the best of the Grain; other sometimes taking three or four Stooks, or a Cart load together off at one end; and if I carried away any un­tythed, they were sure to please themselves in the next Dale of mine where they came: Thus they continued, not shaming to bear and dr [...]g away by force what they could ap­prehend; [mark] even as the Priests (viz. Eli's Sons) and their Servants did in Israel of old, who were Sons of Belial, and with their flesh-hooks dragged out of the Pan, Pot, or Caldron either boyled or raw; and if any denied to give them, they took it a­way by force, read 1 Sam. 2. from verse 12 to 17. but mark their end, for the Lord was grieved with them, and said, he would cut them off that there should not be an old Man left in El's house, and verse the 35, 36. I will raise up a Priest saith the Lord, that shall do according to all that is in mine heart; and [Page 35]it shall come to pass that every one that is left in thine house (speaking to Eli) shall come crouching to him for pieces of Silver, and mor­sels of Bread: Mark the end of these Priests (Sons of Belial) who served themselves with the fat, and kept Servants as vile as them­selves, who violently pulled and reaved a­way by force from the People, even as the tything polluted Priests and their Servants doth now in our days; are they not pulling, rending and reaving throughout this Nation of England, so barbarously and inhumanely, that they have made their name to sti [...]k, and they are become contemptible and base be­fore all People, read Mal. 2. to verse 9 and will not their end be like those Sons of Belial: and also what becomes of the Posterity of many of the Priests that are gone? are they not already in many p [...]ces crouching for pieces of silver, and morsels of bread, yea, even to such as their Fathers persecuted? search and see if it be not so. But to pro­ceed; this not answering his desire and end, more mischief resting in his heart against me, he cited me to the Bishops Court but for what I know little, save that he himself said, for all manner of Tythes since he be­came [Page 36]Incumbent in that place, (notwith­standing what was done as aforesaid) his Libel I never got, they commonly being Scrools of Lyes; so the Court proceeded to Excomunication, whereupon he procu­red a Writ, called Excommunicate Capiendo, and thereby cast me into Prison about the latter end of the seventh Month 1663. where I have continued these four years, during all which time he never did so much as give me a visit in my Prison-house, nor never laboured to convince me, or regain me either by ex­hortation, information or instruction, &c. as is provided and enjoyed in the Articles to be enquired of in their Visitation; read Arti­cle the 10th, concerning Ministers duty to Popish Recusants, and other Sectaries; nay, he would never so much as allow me a fair sober Discourse to reason the case or matter in difference; but when I have met with him, (having sometime gone to his house) is soon as ever my judgment differed from his, or that I either opposed, or questioned any thing he said, or held out, forth-with he broke in­to passion and fury, sometime buffetting me with his fist, (as he hath often done both to his own hearers and others) other [Page 37]times calling me rogue and rascal, with such like vilifying tearms, in great fury Threatening he would humble me, &c.

But still all this not answering his ambiti­ous spirit, and covetous ends, he yet devi­seth more mischief, and presently he casts a­bout to compass my little parcel of Land, (as Ahab did Naboth's) yea, worse then Ahab, for he never profered me the rate in money, 1 Kings 21.1, 2. &c. I read Ahab being sad and dejected because of Naboth's answer, Jezebel his Wife could soon cure that malady saying to Ahab, what, art not thou King? Arise and be merry, and Ile give thee the Vine­yard; so he soon devised a way to kill and take possession, &c.

And indeed whether L. W's Wife hath not been a deviser and abetter against me, it is questioned by some, but I leave it to the Lord and themselves: and he goes on in Law untill the Sheriff returned I could not be found; (although I was in his Custody, and that the Priest L. W. knew well enough) upon which false return a Writ of Outlawry came forth against me, and then they knew where to find me; for thereupon [Page 38]the Sheriff's Clark gave another Mittimus to the Goaler for me. And untill that time I never had the least notice neither from him, or any one of the Kings Officers (save only that his Wife did once say I laid for contempt, and that her Husband would take another course for his Tythes, &c.) and the Jayler keeping me more strict then my Fel­lows, I required a reason of him, he said he had received another Mittimus for me; I asked him for what cause, he said he knew not but it was at L W's. Suit; I desired a sight of it if he pleased, he said yes, if I would give him thirty pence; I said, it were but reasonable that I knew upon what account I was so dealt with; but no account could I have untill I bought a Coppy thereof of the Sheriffs Clark, yet being (as a Child) very ignorant in matters of Law, (having never been concerned in matters of Law, nor never had occasion at any Court with any person whatsoever, save this with him) I let it go on in singleness of heart, resolving to leave the issue to the Lord, knowing he was all-sufficient, and chusing rather patient­ly to suffer, then to involve my self into such dubious unseen troubles, and vast ex­pences, [Page 39]as of the Law doth produce, espe­cially being so uncapable of things of that nature; and thus it continued in suspence (I still waiting to see the effect) untill about a year after he stirred again, and sought through smooth words subtilly to have enticed some of my Relations, to have given him a Com­position for me, telling them one while Ten pounds, another while Twelve or Sixteen pounds would do it, pretending to shew them all the favour imaginable, if they would do any thing; and when his blandilocutions could not prevail, then he sought to terrifie them with threats, saying, he had a Writ ready, and the Sheriff would come and take possession, and all I had would be Confis­cated to the King, &c. also the People and Neighbours adjacent, with great exclamati­on pressing them to compound; saying it was pitty it should be forfeit, which put them to a point, not knowing what to do, some of them gave me an account once and again with tears, and great grief and vexati­on, I (as often before) desired, and also discharged them not to meddle in it; it was my own, and I knew not that it could go for a better Testimony; I had nothing but [Page 40]what I had received of the Lord, the loss was like to be solely mine; so let him and me alone, for what he could inflict I was to bear, and that he could go no further then the Lord permitted, and what he intended for evil the Lord turned to good, and I hoped to be preserved and provided for; upon which they were disswaded, and would not be induced by him: So by the aforesaid Writ he called a Jury, and by compulsions sum­moned my Brother, and others that farmed my Land, to give an estimate of the Annual value of it, and also what Goods and Chat­tels I was possessed of about two years before (viz. the time when he began that Suit) in­tending to make all Confiscate from that day forward; so the Jurors gave in their Survey at Six pound per annum, &c. in the year 1666 Then after he had done all this, what through the Exclamation of my Relations and Neigh­bors, for the satisfying of them, and what through the advice of others my Friends) I procured a Reversal, resolving to joyn Suit, and try with him; (and never more I did, neither to this day, nor before, in matters of Law proceedings in my own defence) and how the Lord prevented or confounded [Page 41]him in his proceeding I know not, but to this day his expectation hath perished, and it is between three or four years since he begun; and indeed I can truly say, it was freely offered, and not it only, but Liberty and Life also (if it had been required) into the Will of the Lord, feeling and enjoying his Peace and Presence I am satisfied, and can say, it is enough, and in the uprightness of my Heart, I desire I may honour him with life, liberty and substance while this Taber­nacle of clay is undemolished, for he alone is worthy of all Glory and Thanksgiving from me for evermore; For he brings to nought the understanding of the Prudent, and turns the wis­dom of the Wise men backward, and confounds, the Wisest Ahithophels, so that their vain hope perisheth, and their Expectation is cut off.

Now all this he hath wickedly done a­gainst me, and that for no just cause as in the sight of the Lord, nor no cause pretended, save some small Tythes, as Hens, Easter-Reckonings, &c. which was no doubt very inconsiderate in comparison of what he hath done; for I have been much perswaded that when he begun with me, he could no [Page 42]way reckon Five shillings, for his Collectors took in kind that which was most material, as Corn and Hay, as I have before related; and for Wooll, and Lamb, I had none, and for other Goods I had but a few; it may be a Cow or two, but seldom, if ever three, which things could amount to no great value, suppose it were for two or three years; an account whereof I have often required of him, I have also written to him for an account; also my Relations have desired an account of him, but to this day none could I have from him; also I have written to him, that we might fairly and soberly Discourse of the Title of Tythes profering if I were convin­ced that they were Lawfull, to pay them without all that to do, and withall warned him [...]o cease from his wicked proceedings, being persw [...]ded they should not go un­punished by the Lord; a true Transcription whereof hereafter follows, as they were sent him in several Papers, at several times, which I have inserted for the Readers better satis­faction.

LEwis. I am informed there is a design in thy Heart to deprive me of mine [Page 43]inheritance left me by my Father, Is this the fruit of thy Ministry? and in this dost thou do as thou wouldst be don unto? Hath Satan filled thine heart, and rooted Covetousness so deep in thee? Take heed to thy ways, search and see what spirit thou art of, and what spirit it is that suggesteth this in thee: enter into consideration with thy self, and commune with thy own heart, whether thou wouldst be done unto so, yea, or nay; or whether it be thy place to covet thy Neighbours Goods, or Inheritance? me­thinks thou shouldst not be ignorant what be­came of that Woman Jesabel, for coveting Naboth's Vinyard, and what the reward of Covetuousness is, the Scriptures are full; ob­serve the words of the Wise Man, that said, lay not in wait. O wicked Man, against the dwelling of the Righteous, spoil not his resting place; enter not into the Fields of the Fatherless &c. and whatsoever is written, is written for our Learning; thou hast often repeated that Command that saith Covet not thy Neighbours Goods, nor any thing that is thy Neighbours; and is thy heart now going af­ter thy Covetousness? Weigh these things with thy practise; Why shouldst thou de­stroy [Page 44]thy own Soul? thou that holdest Scripture for thy Rule, will it justifie thee in this thing? Or where hast thou any such Rule in it amongst all the Conversations of the Saints? And do not think but thou must be brought before the Tribunal of God, there to give an account of all thy deeds done in thy Body, and there thy person will have no more respect then mine, (though now it may) all thy Pomp, thy Dignity and Riches will stand thee in no stead, neither justifie thee in his sight, who hath said, The wicked shall not go unpunished; thou hast deprived me of my just Liberty already, and if that cannot content or satisfie thee, surely no more will mine Estate; for the more thou obeyest that envious and covetous spi­rit, the more it will draw thee on, untill thy Soul be shut up in the Grave, out of which there is no redemption. So I desire thee, have respect to thy Souls everlasting health, for these, and such like as thou art often found in, are not the fruits of a Gospel Minister, for Christ and his Apostles never taught any such Doctrine; and truly, whilst thou art of this spirit and conversation, thy Ministry will not profit to wards God, nor thou canst never [Page 45]turn many unto Righteousness (its true, thou mayst make some Proselytes, but I think few Converts) it appears thou came not to seek nor gather us but ours, so that thy end is thy own, and therefore accursed; so un­less thou repent thou shalt certainly bear the indignation of the Almighty, for little or nothing hast thou Ministred unto me either in Doctrine or Practice but that which sa­vours of Death, and such Ministration de­serves no maintenance: So I desire thee, as one that respects thy Souls everlasting welfare, and in love thereunto I send this un­to thee, and not in any respect to my own interest, as the Lord whom I serve knoweth, in whose presence I am, but that thou mayst cease to bring so deep guilt and weight upon thy Soul, but rather repent of thy wicked purposes, and seek unto the Lord,, if perad­venture the thoughts of thine heart may be forgiven thee; for according to outward appearance one would think thine Estate were sufficient to satisfie thee, that thou shouldest not reap where thou sowedst not and covet my penny that hast so many pounds; remember the Parable of Nathan to David.

But thou may object and say, there is a rea­son, thou hast a proper right and due unto it; To this I answer, (as I have formerly done) if thou or any of thy Function will appoint the time and place where I, or some other of my Companions in bonds may meet with you, and according to Scripture, sound Do­ctrine, and the Spirit of Truth, convince me or us that such things is just and due, and properly belong to your Ministration, or that Christ and his Apostles did ordain constitute or allow any such Ministry or Maintenance after he had offered himself a perfect Sacri­fice, having thereby abolished all Types, and the Law that made nothing perfect: I say, if thou, or any of you can, or will convince me or us of the lawfulness of paying Tythes, we should neither suffer Imprisonment, loss of Estate or Goods, nor the Execution of a­ny Law to pass upon us for denyal of Tythes, but rather pay them as conscientiously as any one whatsoever: And this were but the place and duty of your Function, and indeed if it were not matter of conscience to me, I could not have suffered such detriment, loss and imprisonment in the patience and con­tent as I have done by thee, and I am yet [Page 47]resolved to suffer more before I offend Gods Witness in my Conscience.

And further I demand of thee what the sum or value is that thou claimest of me, be­ing reckoned up together, for I have been deprived of my just Liberty a full year and upwards, which is a penalty beyond my of­fence, or any pretence of offence that thou hast shewed me; So that I think thou need­ed not a proceeded to have damnified me any further: So seeing thou yet intendest to add weight and oppression to the afflicted and op­pressed, little enough, if thou give me a true account of my supposed transgression, which I expect thou wilt forthwith do by this Bear­er, either in word or writing, without any further deferring; for sure thou hast not gone about to impose all this upon me that thou hast done, and yet intends to do by adding affliction to my bonds, but thou canst and will give a reason in every particular where­fore; which I expect of thee without any further evasion, or otherwise I may conclude thou canst not: So that I say again in tender love to thy Souls eternal Peace, do I desire thee to ponder well these things, [Page 48]and receive the Advice of thy Friend here­in, for I know there is a Witness in thy Conscience that will receive me, from which thou canst not flee, nor hide thy self Day nor Night, to it I appeal; and know thou, that its not that I am weary of Sufferings, or am so married to the World that I cannot part with it; for though the Devil may have power to Dispossess me of an Exter­nal Inheritance, as he hath had power to cast into Prison; yet will I wait upon the Lord, knowing he is able to subdue Satan under his Feet, and thou could have had no power against me if it had not been given thee; so if thou willt not be advised for thy good, do what thou hast power to do, as for me I have so much Faith as to Trust in the God of Jacob, and Patience to endure all these things, knowing the Captain of my Salva­tion was made perfect through Sufferings, who will be Glorified in the Sufferings of his Saints, whom my Soul honours and glo­rifies above all: So be Exhorted and War­ned in time, lest this stand as a Witness a­gainst thee in the Day of the Lord's In­dignation, for this was in my heart from the Lord to warn thee of, so I shall be clear of thy Blood.

By one that desires from my heart the welfare of thee and thine, and to be found in the ex­ercise of love to Ene­mies. Tho. Carleton.

This second I sent to him after I was Outlawed.

L. West,

HEar and understand, let thy patience shew forth it self a little to hear, read and receive home this herein inserted directed to thee; how long will it be ere thou cease to add oppression to the oppressed? Where­fore hast thou Outlawed me, when in Pri­son? Hadst thou no way to accomplish thy design, and obtain thy covetous desire and end, but by Treachery and Deceit, and by stealing Law against the Innocent? Oh, how eager hath thy desire been after the dwel­lings of the Righteous, and that without [Page 50]any just cause; for which thou hast often refused to give a reason or shew the cause! Thou knowest on the day of my Commit­ment I asked thee what thou couldst de­mand, before many Witnesses; also I writ to thee for an account, and my Re­lations desired an account of thee, but none yet wouldst, (or rather couldst) thou truly and justly give: Oh! be ashamed, be ashamed, and blush that ever thou should profess a Priests Function, and deal so Trea­cherously as thou hast done: was thy cause so evil, and thy plea so bad, that thou must steal Law to obtain thy greedy desire? Is thy love (so much professed) to my Fa­thers Children at an end? and is envy, wrath, and malice crept in instead thereof? Oh! the Heathen shall condemn thee for this; yea, the Earth shall open her mouth, and the very Beasts of the Field, and Fouls of the Air shall abhor and be astonished to hear and see thy proceedings herein: The Tribe of the Priesthood will be ashamed of thee, and all such Sons of Levi; well did Jacob say, Instruments of Cruelty was in their hands; yea, I may say Cruelty in the highest degree, pride, tyranny and oppression [Page 51]is their way and path; well speak the Pro­phets, that which is now come to pass, yea, seen and felt, Micha 3.5, 11. Ezek. 13.18, 19, 22. and chap. 22.25, 26, &c. Isa. 56.11. Oh, the oppression of the Priest­hood of England, the Earth can scarce bear them; and among them all canst thou pro­duce a president for Covetousness, Cruelty and Oppression? surely thou knowest not what spirit thou art of; but thy fruits will discover thee by and by; if a Man should tell of thy dealings to thy Function (how thou hast beat me with the fist of Wickedness; persecuted with all thy might; sworn, or caused to swear, deceitfully; and how illegal­ly thou hast done, and that for filthy lucre sake, to obtain the gain of oppression) would they tollerate thee, and not be ashamed? Oh, blush to hear of thy corrupt Conversa­tion! thy own hand shall witness against thee, and thine own heart shall condemn thee for these things; thou hast not only dealt Treacherously with me, but with the Kings Officers also, by causing them to re­turn, I could not be found, when thou hadst me in Prison, and they had me in Custody; surely thy Master will deceive thee, and thy [Page 52]nakedness, treachery and deceit is, and will be laid open, and made more publick then thy Proclamation was, that I might either render my Body or be Outlawed, which thing was done in obscurity and deceit; but I must be more publick and plain with thee, it may be to rip up thy skirts, that thy nakedness may appear, thy filth and putri­faction, though as a chief Priest, yet one of the Whores Children; for the light mani­fests thee so to be, and all thy crooked deceit­ful serpentine paths; and by the Children of Light thou art seen, and shalt be made apparent to them that is yet under the yoke of oppression; thy Name shall rot, and the memorial of thy Seed shall stink in thy Ge­nerations to come; a Testimony I have to bear against the workers of Iniquity, and for that end the Lord hath called me forth, and brought me not only to believe, but also to suffer for his Name, which Name I have as a Rock, a Shield, and Helmet of Salvati­on in this day of great Tryal; and in the Strength of the Lord am I resolved to hold forth my Testimony, valuing all with it as dross and dung, and doth believe, that through it I shall undergo all, and be able [Page 53]to make War in Righteousness and by his Power shall tread upon the neck of the Scorpion and Adder, and on the crown of the head of thee, and all the Oppressors of the Lords Seed, who at this day is made ob­jects of your Cruelty; yea by the Power of the Living God we both do, and shall tread you as chaff in the Streets: So take heed how thou proceedest least Gods witness in thy own heart break thy rest; for the first Priest that imprisoned for Tythes in Cumberland, was made a spectacie of his wrath, and he is the same God to day, and can save; so take heed betime least the judg­ments of God fall heavy upon thee, and labour not to incur the wrath and displea­sure of the Almighty upon thy Soul; for thy deceit, violence, spoyling, and perse­cuting is and will be a token of perdition, when my innocent suffering is and will be a token of Salvation, and that in Christ Jesus. So be warned I advise thee once more, and repent and amend speedily, lest the plagues and arrows of the Almighty fall heavy upon thee; for this I am bold to tell thee in the Name of the Lord, that the Lords wrath is kindled against such, which will not cease [Page 54]nor quench till the workers of Iniquity be cut off, that have added affliction to the afflicted, and usurpingly exercised lordship over the Heritage of God; for your treachery, deceit and folly hath and is appearing to all Men, and Gods controversie against you is begun; for your end is destruction, whose God is your gain, and your belly, whose mind is on earthly things; yea, the Stone of your Wall, and the Beam of your Timber, the very materials of Babel's Building shall cry out against the Buil­ders, and the Stone you have rejected is be­come Head; (viz. Christ Jesus the Light) and if thy patience can read it, and apply it, so do, if not, how willt thou bear and answer the Lord when these things fall upon thee.

From a Sufferer for Truth and Righteous­ness.
Tho. Carleton.

These Queries following I propounded to him, occasioned by some Discourse be­tween us, about their Sacrament and Con­formity, which he seemed to charge upon me as the sole cause of my imprisonment; [Page 55]having the like confounded Architectors of Babel, either lost the original cause, else find­ing the weakness and inconsideratness of it, was ashamed, and so let it fall: For I said to him that I never thought Nonconformity to their Church and Sacrament had been the cause, but rather Tythes, as my Mittimus sig­nified; he answered, no, no, it was it, and nothing but it, (meaning Nonconformi­ty.)

L. West,

PErceiving thou blamest me for want of Conformity to the Church Ordinances and Sacraments, as if that were the sole cause of my imprisonment, and thou pretending to be a Minister in the Church, and to the Church, give me a full and positive answer to these following Queries, according to Scripture, sound Doctrine, and the spirit of Truth, that so my judgment may be rightly informed, and if I have been erroneous and schismatical, I am willing to reform when I am thereof convinced.

1. What is the qualification of a Minister of Christ; what is his Gifts and Endow­ments; and how, and from whom are they obtained?

2. How is a Minister of Christ to be cal­led & sent, what is their Ordination; or whe­ther thy Call, Ordination or Ministry be from him; to whom wast thou sent, and to what end; or whether there be not some that run unsent, and never profit the People? accord­ing to Jer. 23.32.

3. What dost thou Minister from in thy self, or what dost thou Minister to in the People, or wherein doth thy gift and ministration con [...]t?

4. What is the Gifts and Parts of a Mini­ster of Christ, what is the gifts and parts of a Minister of Antichrist, or how do they differ one from another?

5. Whether is a Minister to be Servant to, and in the Church, or to exercise lordship over the Church and Heritage, &c. as the manner of the Gentiles is?

6. Whether is covetousness, pride, wrath, malice, envy, swearing, lying, drunkenness, fornication, oppression, robbery, theft, idle and corrupt communication, and such like, of the Spirit of Christ or Antichrist?

7. Whether they that do such things do believe in God, and have Faith in Jesus Christ, or can be either a Minister or Member in his [Page 57]Church and Body, having not obtained Re­mission, Redemption, and Salvation from those things?

8. What is the Church of Christ, or how many Churches is there, whereof doth it consit, whereon doth it stand, where, and by whom is the Foundation thereof laid, and how is it preserved Holy and without Spot, or whether is it subject to corruption and change yea or nay?

9. What are the Ordinances of the Church, what are the Precepts, Rules and Canons therein to be observed; and to whom doth the Rule and Government there­of belong?

10. Whether doth these Ordinances of the Church belong unto all Men, or whether is all Men under the Rule and Government thereof, or what is the qualification of those that have a right therein, and the priviledge of those that are Governed thereby?

11. How many Ordinances are in the Church, when and by whom are they institu­ted, to what end, and for what time?

12. What is Baptism, who is the Baptiser, with what, and to what are Men Babtized?

13. How many Baptisms are there, and how do they differ one from another?

14. How are they Baptized that are Bap­tized into the death of Christ, and are Buried with him in Baptism; or how is the Baptizing with Fire and the Holy Ghost?

15. Whether doth dipping and sprinkling in water (England's present Church Form in Baptism) make one a Member of Christ, or whether is any unclean thing a Member of Christ, yea, or nay?

16. Whether they that were Baptized, (and ingrafted as a Member in the Church) if they perform what was therein promised, (viz) forsake the Devil and all his works, the pomps and vanities of this wicked World, and all the sinful Lusts of the flesh, and be­lieve all the Articles of the Christian Faith and keep Gods holy Will and Command­ments, and walk in the same, whether they must not be excomunicated, and cast out of your Church, and into Prison, and suffer loss both in body and estate, yea, or nay, accord­ing to John 16.2.

17. What was those Ordinances and Traditions that Paul forbad the Collossians to touch, taste, or handle, which (though [Page 59]commanded by Men) was to perish with using, which Ordinances Christ blotted out, and nailed to his Cross, as being against such as he had quickned and raised by his Spirit.

18. What was those Meats and Drinks, those Holy-dayes, New-moons, and Sabboth­dayes, which was but shadows of good things to come: or is not the Churches yet under those Ordinances, Traditions and Shadows, and knows not the Light of the glorious Gos­pel revealed which Christ commanded to be­lieve in?

19. What was the Philosophy, Traditions and Rudiments of the World which had like to have spoiled some, and which those that were dead with Christ were not to be subject to; but if Pope and Turk should have power to set up their Traditions & Rudiments, would you not be subject, and Preach them up for Doctrine?

20. What is the Sacrament of the Lords Supper which thou would have me receive; how is it distributed and received, or what is the qualifications of the worthy Receivers, and if I Eat and Drink the thing signified (viz.) the Body and Blood Spiritually, and so difist from the Sign, must I not be cast [Page 60]out of your Church, and into Pri­son?

21. What is his Body of Christ, and what is the Blood, whether is his Body Spiri­tual or Carnal, or how is the Lords Body to be discerned?

22. Whether is the Body one, or how many Bodies hath He, or how do they Eat and Drink his Blood that Eternal Life abi­deth in?

23. How did they eat the same Spiritual Meat and Drink, the same Spiritual Drink, which were Baptized under Moses; for they drank of that Rock which followed them, and that Rock was Christ?

24. What is the difference between the Cup of the Lord, and the Cup of Devils, and the Table of the Lord, and the Table of Devils?

25. Whether are they worthy Receivers purified from their Sins, and sanctified through His Blood, seeing His Body was broken, and His Blood shed for the remission of sins?

26. Whether they that are yet in their Sins do not eat and drink their own condem­demnation, not discerning the Lords Body?

27. Who is the Head of your Church and Body, (or who is King, Priest and Pro­phet) whether Christ, King, Pope, or Bi­shop; or how many Heads is there?

Send thy Answer to me at my Prison-house in Carlile.

T. C.

Another sent after, about the 4th Month, 1667.

L. W.

I Having all along a desire to be edified in the True Way and Worship of the Living God, and an inclination from my childhood, to follow after that which is good, righteous, and unreprovable in the sight of the Lord, and to keep my Consci­ence undefiled, and my judgment clear and uncorrupted, as the Lord God of Heaven knows, from whom nothing can be hid: and seeing the ground of the Controversie be­tween thee and me is matters of Faith or Worship, and so matters of Conscience to me, and such as I cannot easily renounce, nor dare not turn from, unless my judgment were o­therwise [Page 62]perswaded; I therefore sent some Propositions to thee, to that effect, an answer whereof I expected from thee before this time which thing I thought but requisite, and ve­ry consistant with thy Office and Profession, being that which the Ministers of Christ was always ready to do, being willing to render a reason of their Faith and Hope to any that should demand it; and also to exhort, inform, and instruct in the Doctrine and Principles of Truth, with all meekness, gentleness and long-suffering; which thing if thou refuse to do, let me know upon what grounds, for I have not straitned thee for time, but thou mightest have done it with deliberation; so I desire a sober answer of thee of all and every particular propounded, or else a reason why thou wilt not, and it may suffice for the present.

T. C.

Now having as briefly as possible given a True and Impartial Relation of all the dif­ferences, states and proceedings on both sides that is of most importance and concernment, and the ground and cause of all, as things hath passed and been carried on between us, [Page 63]plainly and honestly, so far as I know, and do remember; I shall leave all, both his and mine, causes and proceedings, with all that hath been done, to the witness of God in all Hearts and Consciences, that gives a true sense and understanding of the nature and property of every word and work; and ac­cordingly let the sober, moderate and un­byassed Reader or Hearer judge of us, and between us, and especially such as have known us both after the flesh, and the Lives and Conversations of us both among them (ziz.) the Parishioners of Addingam, and others in the Towns and Parishes adjacent, amongst whom we have lived, and with whom we have had to do, many of them be­ing privy to the most part of those things, and so may the better bear witness to the Truth or Falshood of them, being (as I have said elsewhere) willing to recommend my self to every Mans Conscience in the sight of God; and as I own and acknowledge the Light for my Leader, Guide and Salvation, so I am willing that all my deeds should be brought to the Light, and that which I do or have done that is not justifiable in the Light let it be condemned by Light, and I ashamed, [Page 64]and this is to do as I would be done unto; also these my Papers that I have sent to him, they are now made publick, and so are no longer his and mine only, but other Mens to judge and consider of.

In my first I desire (as I would often have willingly embraced) that he, or any other of his Function and Profession would give me or us a sober moderate visit or meeting, at their own time and place, allowing us per­son for person, that there we might dispute the differences in Religion between them and us, in a sober moderate spirit, which to us is of great price; and if in the Spirit of meek­ness he or they could convince us, that we are schismatical and erroneous, &c. (as they have frequently affirmed, and preached be­hind our backs) whether in denying of Tythes, or in any other thing whatsoever; I can say it for my self, and believe it for many others, that if in our Consciences we were convinced thereof, we would reform our Judgments, and pay Tythes, and submit in any other thing whatsoever, as really and conscientiously as any People in the Nation, without either suing at Courts, spoyling of [Page 65]goods, excommunications, cominations, imprisonments, or the execution of any Law whatsoever; and if this be not very equal and reasonable, let all sober People judge, and whether it be not the part and place of Men professing that Function, and to be Ministers of Christ, and Overseers in the Church, that Spiritual Men might War and overcome with Spiritual Weapons, and by the Armor of Light, and the Power and Demonstration of the Spirit of Christ Je­sus? that as the said L. W. hath oft Preached, it may be known, to whom the Lord hath given the Urim and the Thum­mim; but these they use but in words on­ly, but instead of dealing so with us, they'l turn us over to a Consistory, Spiritu [...]l or Ecclesiastical Court, (so called) which, as I may truly say is as Carnal and Earthly a corrupt Court at this day, as any in the World I know of, and to the Secular Powers, and Civil Magistrate, &c. and when we are brought before them, and answers to what is Charged against us, pleading mat­ters of Conscience, the Doctrine of Christ or His Apostles, or the priviledge of the Church in a Gospel Dispensation; then [Page 66]they cry hold your peace, we have no thing to do with that, Dispute it with your Ministers, you shall not Preach here, &c. And all we can get of their Ministers is, Rogue and Rascal, Erroneous and Schismatical Fellow, or Audacious Saucy youth, I'll hum­ble you, we'll take a Course with such Re­fractary Fanatick as you are ere long, &c. So having the Sword by their thigh, and the Law by their side, thus are we preyed upon by every one of them; and if any one do plead himself free by their Law, then (as some of them hath said) they know what to do, they have another ba [...]t to catch us with, which they know will hold, and that is, tender us an Oath, and be­cause we will not swear like themselves, then either fine or imprison, or banish, &c. and having got us into Prisons for Tythes, or such things, there they let us lie as dead Men out of mind, never owning nor re­garding us in any thing from year to year, unless to envy and straiten our Liberty, &c. by stirring up and provoking the Goalers against us, who being willing to do the Priests and Magistrates a favour, hath often shown their severity to the hazard of the [Page 67]lives of the Innocent in their Custody, (whom they have called sometime their sheep) and yet preyed upon us, not allow­ing us the Liberty they allowed to Fellons and Murderers, &c. yet still the Lord was with us, and wonderfully preserved us to his praise, when Men rose up against us to have swallowed us up with open mouth, blessed be His Name for evermore.

And also whether it were not requisite that he gave me a true and particular ac­count of every of his demands and claims whatsoever, or of any other difference (if any had been) betwixt us, before he had thus far proceeded to have damnified me, having done what in him lay, to deprive me of all, save only my life, which I have yet for a prey? And also whether it had not been his place and duty, pretending to be a Teacher and Instructer of others [...] a M [...]ni­ster and Pastor, or Elder in the Church, be­ing reputed a Learned Orthodoxical Divine? (and sometime professing himself my spiritu­al Father) but such measure a [...] I have had from him are no spiritual instructions to me I say, if so, whether he ought not to have answered my Queries, and also my other Pa­pers [Page 68]sent to him; (which he never would do to this day) thereby to have informed and cleared my judgment and understanding, being things appertaining to Faith and Reli­gion, and the Profession and Worship of Christianity, and so matters of Conscience to me, let all sober wise Men judge?

Also I shall appeal unto all sober and con­scientious Men and Women, and refer my self to the witness of God, and the illuminated understanding in all, whether ever any of the Holy Men of God did so with any person in the Church, or out of the Church, Believer or Infidel, as he hath done with me, yea, or nay; or whether ever you read of any of the Apostles or Ministers of Christ in Ages past, that denied to give a Reason of their Faith and Hope in Christ Jesus; and to Instruct, Exhort, Inform, Teach, Reprove, Rebuke, &c. as he hath done? or whether you read of any Ministers of Christ that sued at Law for the maintenance of their Bellies, spoyled and Persecuted, Excomuni­cated out of their Church into Prison, sought Mens Liberty, Heritage & Estate, and yet can shew no fair nor just cause, as he hath done, yea, or nay? Whether ever any Mi­nisters [Page 69]of Christ did swear, lye, and beat with the fist of wickedness, as he hath done, yea, or nay? or whether ever any Ministers of Christ, was so inclined to drunkenness, and to frequent Ale-houses, that they needed to be restrained by a Fine, as his wife hath done with him, yea or nay? All which, (with several such like deeds, which I shall now omit) I need not go far to prove, be­ing his own practice doth notoriously evi­dence, and testifie the same, sufficiently known to many that knows both him and me and by what is before related.

Now considering the many Disputes, Contentions, Strifes, suing at Law, spoiling of goods, casting into Prisons, and the great unparalell'd sufferings that have been occa­sioned in this Nation in these late years about Tythes, and the great objections and excla­mations made against us for denying them, (about which I have a share, being deeply concerned and involved therein) together, for the quietness and peace of my spirit, upon which this thing hath long rested, [...]xcites me to cast in my mite, and lay down my reasons and grounds whereupon I have denied them, and suffered for the non-payment thereof? [Page 70]tho weakest and unfitest of many thousands for such a work? yet, according to what I have received, and am perswaded of, I shall lay down in truth and simplicity; and that chiefly for the satisfaction of such as desire to be satisfied, and for the stopping the many objections and maledictions of others made in secret behind my back by some of my Neighbours, especially the people called In­dependants in that part, who most of any hath condemned me for suffering so much for such small trivial matters, as they say, being as it seems a small scruple in their Con­sciences, and such a more as they can easily swallow now; though in the beginning rise and growth of their Religion, their Judg­ment was wholly against Tythes in a Gos­pel day; yea, some of them preaching in great zeal against them, Condemning the Insti­tution of them, saying, They were clear contrary to the maintenance of a Gospel Mini­stry? and yet when they saw that Tythes were like to be the only wages, mainte­nance and reward of their preaching; (be­ing generally established by the Laws and Cannons of England for that end) rather then they would want that sweet morsel, [Page 71]and goodly Garment, and the Fleshly ease that came thereby, and suffer any thing for the denying of the same, they could soon (through their Christian Prudence or Po­licy) cure that Malady; and for the bet­ter digestion of that Diet, make to them­selves a stomach Pill, or two, to Cure that Crudity; and so rather Suppress, Extirpat, Hide or let fall one of their Principles, then either want that delightsome livelyhood, or beloved Benefice, or yet either suffer any thing either in Liberty or Estate for the holding that Principle throughout.

So for the Considerations aforesaid, I shall endeavour to answer the general Objections Principly made against me and my Brethren in this case, and what I hold and believe con­cerning them.

1st Objection, is, Abraham's Returning from Chedarlaomer from Rescuing his Ne­phew Lot, Melchisedeck met him, and bles­sed him, and blessed the Lord in his behalf, and brought forth Bread and Wine and set before him, &c. and to him Abraham gave a Tenth of the spoyls, Gen. 14.18 Heb. 7.4.

Answer, To this I say, I never find it a president or rule for me; suppose he gave a [Page 72]Tenth, it was a voluntary gift, he was nei­ther commanded by God, nor compelled by Man, and if he had not given, I think he had not sinned, and that which he did give was but a Tenth of the Spoils, taken at the Vi­ctory, and so no rule for me, being no Sol­dier at any such Slaughter, and so not par­taker of any such Spoils; so if it be bind­ing to any, (as I think to none) it is to Sol­diers, and not to Plowmen: and what if he in gratification of his Love) in meeting him, and setting Bread and Wine before him) had given him one half of the Spoils, this had been no binding Rule to Posterity.

2d. Objection, is, Jacob's Vow when he went to Padan-aram: If God said he, will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me Bread to eat, and Rai­ment to put on, so that I come again to my Fa­thers House in Peace; then shall the Lord be my God and this stone my Pillow, which I have set for a Pillar▪ shall be Gods House; and of all that thou givest me, I will surely give a Tenth unto thee, Gen. 28.20.

Answer, Here Jacob being gone from his Fathers House; for, its said, he lighted on a certain place (it seems between Beersheba [Page 73]and Haran, I suppose it was either in the Fields, or Desart) on the South side of Luz, Joshua 18.13. however I suppose Jacob was in a desolate disconsolate condition, Gen. 35.3. for, it is said, he took of the stones of the place, and laid them for his Pillow, and lay down to sleep, Gen. 28.11. Now the Lord appeared to him, (in a Vision) as He hath oft done to his Servants in such disconsolate con­ditions which makes His appearance more Glorious saying, I am the Lord God of Abraham, and of Isaac thy Father, the Land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed after thee; and thy seed shall be as the dust of the Earth, and shall spread to the East, West, North and South; and in thy seed shall all the Families of the Earth he blessed: And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places, and will bring thee again into this Land, I will not leave thee untill I have done as I have spoken. And he awaked, and said, surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not; and he was afraid, saying, how dreadfull is this place, it is none other but the House of God, this is the Gate of Heaven, &c. [mark] the Lords appearance in an hour of great distress is very comfortable, and also fearfull; this [Page 74]is true fear indeed, here is fear mixed with love; here Jacob lays hold forth with upon the Love and Promise of the Lord, and said, If the Lord will do so, &c. then shall He be my God, and this stone my pillow, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be Gods House, and of all that he giveth me, I will surely give a Tenth unto him. [mark] I say, Jacob being pos­sessed with fear, and overcome with love, he vows and promises unto the Lord again; this was a voluntary act in Jacob, he obliged himself to the Lord after the Lord had pro­mised to bless him, and he performed his promise; for after twenty years he purged his House of Idols, and built an Altar unto the Lord at Bethel, Gen. 35.6. which he called Elbeth-el, (viz.) The God of Bethel: But who did he give his Tenth unto, or when did he give it, that is yet disputable? but suppose it had been to the Priesthood, (which some hold was annexed to the first-born of Families) what, will that argue for me to do so? Jacob vowed but for himself, not for his posterity after him, and it was voluntary, (being filled with the Lords appearance in a day of distress) Gen. 35.3. and not com­manded by God, neither compelled by Man, [Page 75]and so not binding to any save Jacob alone; only this may be observed, if any one have vowed as Jacob did, let such perform also: also, it was but once in Abraham, and once in Jacob, and that in cases extraordinary; and who, or what is he that can plead for annual payment of Tythes of every of a Mans encrease from these two places; what, suppose I being in distress (as I have often been, and few of Gods Servants are exemp­ted) should vow a vow unto the Lord, that if he will preserve me this one time, or deli­ver me from this great danger, &c. then will I give him one half of all that I enjoy, or have received of him; would this my vow (being performed) be binding to my Chil­dren, and their Children after them from Ge­neration to Generation for ever.

Object, 3. Now in Exodus 23.19. it is said, The first of the First-fruits of the Land thou shalt bring into the House of the Lord thy God. This is the first express command, but here is no certain dividual part expressed, only the first of the First-fruits, Exod. 34.26.

Again, Levit. 23.10. Moses instituting the Feast of First fruits; When ye come [Page 76](saith he) into the Land which I will give you, ye shall bring a sheaf of the First-fruits of your Harvest unto the Priest, and he shall shake it before the Lord, verse 14. This shall be a Law for ever in your Generations.

Again, that which is more express is Levit. 27.30.32, 33. All the Tythe of the Land, both of the seed of the Ground, and of the Trees is the Lords; and every tythe of Bul­lock and Sheep, and all that goeth under the rod, the Tenth shall be holy unto the Lord; this is a more positive command then any before.

Again, Numb. 15.20. it is said, Ye shall offer a Cake of the first of your Dough for an Heave-offering; as the Heave-offering of the Barn ye shall lift it up, and give it to the Lord in your Generations.

Again, Moses being the Son of a Levite, Exod. 2.1, 2. Aaron was his Brother, Chap. 4.14. the Lord bid Moses separate Aaron and his Sons for the Priests Office, Exod. 28.1. and appoints him to make them holy Garments, The Ephod and the curious Girdle, &c. and Aaron was to wear the Breast-plate of Judgment upon his Heart, and upon it the names of the Children of Israel; and in [Page 77]the Brest-plate of Judgment, Moses was to put the Urim and the Thummim, which he was to bear upon his Heart when he went in before the Lord, &c. Exod. 28. through­out.

So the Priesthood being setled to Aaron and his Sons, as a Statute, and an Ordinance for ever, throughout their Generations, he was to take unto him his Brethren the Tribe of Levi, the Family of his Father they were to be joyned with him, and to minister unto him, and were to take the Charge of the San­ctuary of the Tabernacle, and of the Altar; only he and his sons was to execute the Priests Office in all things, Numb. 18.2. to verse 7. then all the Heave-offerings, and the holy things that the Children of Israel offered to the Lord, was to be Aarons and his Sons for ever, by a perpetual Covenant of Salt, as in verse 19.

And Aaron and his Sons was to have no Inheritance in the Land, neither any part a­mong the Children of Israel; for the Lord was their part and inheritance for ever, Deut. 18.1, 2. And to the Children of Levi, the Lord gave the Tenth in Israel, for their in­heritance, and for their service in the Ta­bernacle [Page 78]of the Congregation, and they were to have no Inheritance among the Children of Israel, Numb. 18.20, 21, 23, 24. for the Tythe which the Children of Israel offered was to be the Levites Inheri­tance, and out of them they were to ex­tract a Tenth, which they were to offer as an Heave-offering unto the Lord, which was to be given unto Aaron and his Sons, verse, 26.28. only when they were come into the Land of Canaan, Joshua by the appointment of Moses set forth Forty eight Cities, with their Suburbs, which the Children of Israel gave of their Inheritance at the Command of the Lord, Joshua 21.1, 2. &c.

Then again, I read Deut. 14.28, 29. beside the Tythe they were to bring year by year unto the Lord, at the end of every three years they were to bring forth all the Tythe of their Increase, and lay it up within their Gates, and thither should the Levites come (because they had no Inheritance among them) and the Strangers, the Fatherless and the Widows, and should Eat and be filled, that the Lord might bless Israel in all the works of their hands, Deut. 26.12, 13, &c.

Again, Deut. 18.3, 4. They which of­fer Sacrifice, whether Bullock or Sheep, shall give unto the Priests the right shoulder, and the two Cheeks, and the Maw; and the First-fruits of the Corn, the Wine and Oyl, and the first of the Fleece of the sheep, &c.

Then again, Nehemiah when he came he saw the House of God was forsaken, and the Portion of the Levites had not been gi­ven, but every one was fled to his own Land, he reproved the Rulers, and set the Levites in their places, and caused all Judah to bring their Tythe of Corn, and Wine, and Oyl into the Treasuries, &c. and appointed the Wards of the Priests, and of the Levites every one in his Office, Nehem. 13.10, 11, 12, 30, &c.

Also King Hezekiah appointed the Cour­ses of the Priests and Levites by their turns, every Man according to his Office; (hence it is said Zacharias was of the Course of Abia, and executed the Priests Office before God as his turn came, Luk. 1.5.8.) and com­manded the People to bring in part for the Priests and Levites, that they might be Encouraged in the Law of the Lord; So the Children of Israel brought in a­bundance [Page 80]of First-fruits, Corn, Wine, Oyl and Hony, and of the increase of the Field, and the Tythes of Bullocks, Sheep, and of the holy and consecrated things; the Tythe of all things in abundance: yea, so much, as they eat and were satisfied, and there was many heaps laid up in store; and Hezekiah commanded them to build Cham­bers, and in them they laid up all their Tythe and their First-fruits, and their dedicated things, and set Overseers over them, to whome they committed the charg of them, who destributed with fidelity to their Bre­thren great and small by course, 2 Chron. 31.2, 4, 5, 6. to vers. 14. &c. And in Nehemiah 10. they were all sworn, and sealed to fidelity both Priests and Levites, Porters, Singers, Nethinims, and all the Children of Israel to keep the Law, and the Ordinances of it, and to bring in all the First­fruits, the Tythe, and the dedicated things, Corn, Wine and Oyl, &c. into the Cham­bers and Treasures, &c.

Then, Ezekiel setting forth the glory of the Temple, and measuring it with the mea­suring Reed, he shews who shall be admit­ted to the service of the Temple, and who [Page 81]not; he also divided the Land into four Portions, one for the Priests, one for the Levites, one for the House of Israel, and one for the Princes, Ezekiel 44. and chap­ters 45, 46. also he sets forth the Offerings, of the Princes, and their Ordinances, as Meat-offerings, Drink-offerings, Burnt-offerings, Sin-offersings, Trespass-offerings, and Peace-offerings, &c. also the Sacrifices of their New-moons, their Sabbaths and solemn Feasts, &c.

Also Amos coming to cry against the I­dolatry in Jeroboam's time, and against the Princes and Prophets of Bethel, he calls their Princes Kine, they oppressed the Poor and de­stroyed the needy, and multiplyed Transgres­ssion in Gilgal, and said, bring & let us Drink, &c. and yet they would go to Bethel, and bring their Sacrifices in the Morning, and their Tythes after three years; they could offer Thanksgiving, and proclaim Free-Offerings, and this they liked then, (as the Priests of our Age loves Free-offerings, and give ye now) so they might live in their sins, but the Lord swore by his Holiness, he would take them a­way with Thorns, and their Posterity with Fish-hooks, and he gave them cleanness [Page 82]of Teeth, and scarceness of Bread; He with-held the Rain in its season, and he sent Blasting, and Mildew and Pestilence, and Sword amongst them.

Then again, the Prophet Malachi cries out against the Priests, how they dispised the Name of the Lord; they said the Table of the Lord was not to be regarded; and said, it was polluted, and snuffed at it; when as it was they that polluted it, by offering un­clean Bread, the Blind, the Lame, the Torn and the Sick for Sacrifice. Mal. 1, 6, 7, 8. Go offer it to your Princes saith the Lord, and see if they will accept it from you; you have fed your selves, and served your selves, and not the Lord: For who among you, saith he, will shut a door, or kindle a fire on mine Altar for naught, verse 10. Cursed be the Deceiver that hath in his Flock a Male, and sacrificeth a corrupt thing. And chap. 2. O ye Priests (saith Malachi) this Commandment is for you ye have broke the Covenant of Levi, even my Covenant of Life and Peace; ye have been par­tial in the Law; if you will not hear and consi­der to give glory to my Name, I will corrupt your seed, and cast dung upon you faces, and will curse your Blessings, chap. 2.2.4, 5, &c. for [Page 83]the Priests lips should preserve knowledge, and they should seek the Law at his mouth, &c. but ye are gone out of the way, ye have broken Covenant, and caused many to fall, &c. And in chap. 3. he saith, Behold the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his Temple; but who may abide the day of his coming, for he sit­teth to try and fine as silver; yea, he will fine and purifie the Sons of Levi: [mark] it is the Sons of Levi, that they may bring Offerings of Righteousness; and he will come near (them) to Judgment, and will be a swift witness a­gainst the Adulterer, false swearer, and those that keep back the Hirelings wages, that vex the Widow and the Fatherles, and oppress the Poor and Stranger, and fear not me saith the Lord; for from the days of your Fathers (saith he) ye are gone away from mine Ordinances and have not kept them Will a Man rob God, (saith he) yet ye have robbed me in Tyths, and Offerings, ye are cursed with a Curse: Bring all the Tythe into the store-house, that there may be meat in my House, and prove me there­with; and see if I will not open you the win­dows of Heaven, and pour you out a Bles­sing, &c. But your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord; ye have said, [Page 84]It is in vain to serve God; and what profit is there in keeping his Commandments and in walking humbly before him? And therefore ye count the proud happy; and sets up them that work wickedness; and those that tempt God are delivered.

Now the next place which some account as formidable as all the rest is, Luke 11.42. Christs own words, saying: Wo unto you Pha­risees, ye Tythe Mint and Rue, and all manner of Herbs, and neglect and pass over Judgment, and the love of God; these things ye ought to have done, and not to have left the other un­done. These are the main grounds (being under the Law of the first Covenant) upon which the Ordinations, Titles, Claims and Propriety of Tythes do, or ever did arise or spring; and upon which all the Disputes, Acts Decrees, Laws, and Tryals at Law, Differences and Sufferings, of what kind so­ever, do originally arise and descend, by which the reader may observe the rise and in­stitution of Tythes, and the end thereof, and the observation of them from Moses, or the Levitical Law downwards till Christ the end of the Law for Righteousness sake, to all them that believe, Rom. 10.4.

I shall now proceed to give my Rea­sons whereupon I deny the Payment of Tythes.

First, The Reader may take notice of the Institution of Tythes and by whom, Here is Moses the Servant and Prophet of the Lord, who was faithfull in all his House, and was a Witness through Faith of those things which should afterward come to pass, Hebr. 3.3, 4. this was he whom the Lord chused and sent into Egyt for a Prophet, Prince and Delive­rer to the Children of Israel, Exod. 3.10. Acts 7.34, 35. and having brought them to Mount Sinai, the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Tell the Children of Israel, You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I carried you on Eagles Wings, and brought you to me: Now if you will hear my Voice in­deed, and keep my Covenant, then ye shall be my chief Treasure above all People, though all the Earth be mine, and ye shall be to me a Kingdom of Priests, and an holy Nati­on, Then Moses proposed to them what the Lord had said to him: and the People answered unanimously, All that the Lord hath Commanded we will do: and Moses reported their words unto the Lord, Exod. 19.3, 4. [Page 86] &c. So the Lord calling Moses and Aaron only up into the Mount said, I am the Lord thy God that have brought thee out of Egypt &c. Thou shalt have no other Gods be­sides me? and he delivered to them his Pre­cepts and his Law by the dispensation of An­gels, Exod. 20. &c. Also he commanded them not to make unto themselves gods of silver or gold, verse 23. Then he command­ed Moses to make an Altar of Earth or Stone, whereon to offer the burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, &c. And see saith he, that a Tool be not lifted up upon it, verse 24.25. Then he delivered to him the Temporal or Civil Laws, Exod. chap. 21, 22, 23. &c. So Moses wrote all the Laws, and erected them an Altar under the Mount and Twelve pil­lars, according to the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and sent of the Children of Israel; who offered Burnt-offerings, Beaves and Peace-offerings, &c. and with half of the Blood he sprinkled the Altar, and the rest he put in Basins: And he read the Laws, and all the words of the Lord to the People; who said, All that the Lord hath said we will do and be obedient: So Moses sprinkled all the People with the Blood; and said, Be­hold the Blood of the Covenant which the [Page 87]Lord hath made with you touching all these things, Chap. 24. Then the Lord called Moses up into the Mount, saying I will give thee Tables of Stone and a Law, and Com­mandments which I have written, that thou mayst Teach them to the People: And Mo­ses took his Minister Joshua, and went up; and Moses was in the Mount forty Days and forty Nights; and God spake unto Moses to speak unto the Children of Israel that they should offer unto the Lord an offering of Gold, Silver, Brass, Purple, Scarlet, and fine Linnen, Oyl and Spices, and pre­cious Stones, &c. And that they should make the Lord a Sanctuary, that he might dwell amongst them; and that it should be according to the express Pattern shewed to him: and also that he should make an Ark, in which the Testimonies of the Co­venant should be placed; describing the fashion of the Tabernacle, and the Order, Place and Fashion of all the appurtenances thereunto belonging; every thing was to be made, placed and erected according to the express Patern sh [...]wn to him in the Mount, chapters. 25, 26. Mark what I say, Moses having read the Law, and the [Page 88]Book of the Covenant in the audience of the People, they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient, chap. 24.7, 8. Then he took the Blood of the Covenant, having with the one half sprinkled the Altar, with the other half he sprinkled the People, and the Covenant was confirmed; for al­most all things were by the Law purged with blood; and without shedding of Blood is no Remission, Hebr. 9.22. [mark] here is the establishment of the first Covenant, which stood in meats and drinks, and divers wash­ings, and carnal Ordinances, which was im­posed untill the time of Reformation, Hebr. 9.9, 10. [mark here again] which was but a Figure for the time then present, and could never make the Comers thereunto perfect, as pertaining to the Conscience: But Christ be­ing come an High Priest of good things to come, [mark] by a greater and more perfect Ta­bernacle, that is not made with hands, nor not of this building. I say also, Christ Jesus be­ing come (who was the end of the Law for Righteousness sake, to all that believe, and the Substance of all Shadows, Antitypes and Figures) he hath brought in a more excellent Ministry, being a Mediator of a [Page 89]better Covenant, established upon better Promises; wherefore, coming into the World, he saith, Sacrifices, Offerings and Burnt-Offerings for sin, thou wouldest not, (which are offered by the Law) but a Body thou hast prepared, (as it is written) Lo I come to do thy Will O God; by the which Will, we are sanctified, saith the Apostle; [mark] He taketh away the first, that he might estab­lish the Second; Now if the First Cove­nant had been faultless, there should no place have been for the Second, but finding fault with them under the First Covenant; (and why? because it was not possible that the blood of Bulls and Goats should take away sins; for in those Sacrifices there was (yea, and is) a remembrance of sins every year; so that the Commers thereunto is not made perfect so finding fault with them, he saith, Behold the days come, that I will make a new Covenant with the House of Israel, and with the House of Judah, not according to the Cove­nant that I made with their Fathers when I took them by the hand, and led them out of Egypt; (for because they abode not in my Covenant, I regarded them not saith the Lord) But this is the Covenant that I will [Page 90]make with them after those days, I will put my Law in their Hearts, and write it in their in­ward parts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my People, Jer. 31.33. Ez [...]k. 37.26. &c. Hebr. 8.8, 9, 10. and 10.16. They shall not need to Teach every Man his Neigh­bour, or every Man his Brother, saying Know the Lord for they shall all know me, even from the least to the greatest of them; and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more: [mark] Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more; here suffer me to enlarge a little by the way: Now where Re­mission of sin is, there needs no more Of­fering for sin; and for this end was Christ made manifest to take away all sin, and in him was no sin; howbeit the Children of Dark­ness, who are strangers to the Covenant of Promise, being never yet come to the Light, nor to the Second Covenant, the New and Li­ving Way; they I say, that have not received this, they say there is no Redemption from under sin; there is none say they, can be set free from iniquity while on this side the grave; there is not an upright Man upon the Earth say they, that doth good, and sinneth not; there is none Righteous, no not one: a [Page 91]strange Doctrine in a Gospel Day: this Generation used to bless the Name of the Lord for this glorious Day, and Golden Age, and time (said some) wherein his Gospel was so purely Taught and Preached; [mark this confusion] is the Gospel purely Taught them when they are yet in their sins; but it may be they have not received the Gospel in Pow­er and Purity, but in name and word only, for the Gospel is the Power of God, Rom. 1.16. or Christ Jesus the Light of the World the Power of God and the Wisdom of God, 1 Cor. 1.24. who was manifested to take a­way sin; but these will pretend to be Gospel Men and Christians, who say none can be purified from sin, and thereby frustrate the end of the Lord and make void his coming, who came to save his People from their sins, and he is able to save to the utmost them that come unto God by him: but may it not be said, they come not unto God by him, and they enter not in at the Door, but climbs up some other way that holds sin for Tearm of Life, which the Devil is Author and Lord of, then whose Servants are they, let wise Men judge; a smookey Tenent, a Principle of Darkness assended out of the Bottomless [Page 92]Pit; sure no Christians, what ere they may profess: What, hath Christ suffered in vain? What, hath the shedding of his Blood no more effect? What, is he not able per­fectly to save those to come unto God by him? Is he not able to save his People from their sins? Is he not able to redeem from death? Is his Hand shortned? Or his Power weakned? Is he not the same he was in the Apostles dayes? Is not his power the same yesterday, to day, and for ever? [mark] Was he not given for Salvation to the Ends of the Earth? Was he not sent to redeem those that were under the Law? Was he not sent to save his People from their sins? Was he not ordained a Light to lighten the Gen­tiles, and the Glory of the People of Is­rael? Yea, a Light to lighten those that sit in Darkness and the Regions of the shadow of Death, and to guide their feet in the Way of Peace: Was he not manifested to take away our sins? and was not his Blood shed for the Remission of sins? the Apostle said, yes: and if it be not so that our sins be done away, nor we not sanctified, purified and cleansed through his Blood, nor do not wit­ness Remission nor forgiveness through his [Page 93]Sufferings and Death, and our Consciences purged from dead works, and our sins done away in him: I say, if none have this benefit by him, then is our Faith vain, and we are still in our sins, and both the Apostles and we are found false Witnesses of him, but neither they nor we are false Witnesses, for we know, (and they knew before us) That Life and Salvation is manifested, and we have seen it, and that which we have seen and heard we do declare, that ye might have Fellowship with us [mark] that ye might also obtain Remis­sion and Redemption with us. And this in­deed is the Message that we have heard of him, and received from him, and declare unto you, that God is Light, and in him is no Darkness at all, and if we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lye: But if we walke in the Light, as he is in the Light, then have we fellowship with him, and one with another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all Sin, &c. (mark) ye Sons and Daughters of Darkness, that say none can be cleansed from all Sin; but no marvel if Infidels say so, that never owns the Light, that never came to the Blood of Sprinkling, that never [Page 94]came to the Blood (the Life) of the Cove­nant that cleanseth and purifieth from all sin, but are stumbling and groping in darkness immagining in their dark minds that all is like themselves, and these will profess they know God but they are Lyars, (1 John 2.4.) for they neither keep nor believe that any can keep his Commandments; but they seeing but in part, believes that a Man can but be in part purified, and in part sanctified, but not throughout: Now I would ask them one Question, wherefore none can be sanctified throughout? Is not that which sanctifies in part able to sanctifie throughout? Is not the Blood of Christ able and sufficient to cleanse and purifie from all sin? Was he not able perfectly to save those that come unto God by him? Yes surely he was, else he had been an imperfect Sacrifice; but the cause is, either they will not come to him for Life and Salvation (or else when they do come, they abide not with him, nor continue not in obedience, to press forward to the high Calling that is in Christ Jesus; they sit down short of the prize; they go not on unto perfection, they faint, and are weary before the work be compleated and finished, [Page 95]like foolish Builders, and then content them­selves in their own vain immaginations, and pleads inability, weakness and failing, which (say they) is insident to all Men, thinking all like themselves; but they measuring all by themselves, and comparing themselves with themselves, (viz.) with their own immagina­tions, are not wise, as said the Apostle; but John said, As many as received him, to them he gave power to become the Sons of God, even to them that believe in his Name, John 1.12. and if Sons, then Heirs, and Joynt-heirs with Christ; now Heirs doth inherit, but no unclean thing doth inherit; therefore Sons and Heirs must needs be sanctified through­out, and must needs be born again of the Holy clean Seed that inherits; and the Apostle said, Ye are the Off-spring of God, and the Off-spring of God must needs be Holy; for as the Root is, so are the Bran­ches; and as the Tree is, so is the Fruit. But I shall return to my former Subject a­gain (viz.) the Second Covenant, the Light or Law written in the Heart, which we have received, and therefore are not looking up to the Mount that might not be touched, and that burned with Fire, [Page 96]nor at Blackness, and Darkness, and Tem­pests, nor at Figurative and Shadowy things, Hebr. 10.1. and 12.18, 22. &c. but we are come to Mount-Sion, the City of the Li­ving God, to the New and Heavenly Jeru­salem, &c. and to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant, and to the unchangeable Priesthood, that endureth for ever, for the Law maketh Men High-Priests that have infirmi­ties, that continueth not by reason of Death, but the word of the Oath which was since the Law, maketh the Son High-Priest, who is Consecrated for ever, and therefore he is the surety of a better Testament, and such a High-Priest becomes us, and such a one have we need of, who is holy, harmless, undefiled separate from Sinners: Yea, this was his Work, I say still, and the end of his coming to separate and sav [...] his People from their sins, and this is Christ Jesus an High-Priest of our Profes­sion, a Priest for ever after the Order of Mel­chisedeck, who is worthy of more Glory then Moses, inasmuch as he that buildeth the House is worthy of more Glory then the House, now Christ is a Son over his own House, which House are we, if we hold fast our confidence and hope to the end, where­fore [Page 97]he is able to save to the uttermost those that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them; but this they still doubt of, and cannot believe; who are yet wading in the frothy unstable Waters, and stumbling in the dark, being tossed with every windy vanishing Doctrine, and is not come to the breakings of the Day, to the Light, the Son I mean; for its the Sun and Light that makes Day, and makes all things manifest, Ephes. 5.13. John 12.36. I say they cannot believe that Doctrine, that any should be saved to the uttermost; and no marvel, for they are Strangers to the Cove­nant of Promise, the Light and to the vertues and effects of the Light, which until I recei­ved and obeyed, I was as doubtful as they, and did object against it as incredible; but I was of them the Apostle foresaw, that spoke evil of things they knew not; for I had not then known nor tryed the Light, though it was in me, yet I loved darkness rather; even so do they now, who spakes against Light, and the sufficiency of it, they speak evil of that they know not, &c. in that thing they corrupt themselves.

But to proceed, I say Christ Jesus is [Page 98]come, the New and Living Way, who is King, Priest and Prophet; so the Covenant is changed, the Priest-hood is changed; so there must of necessity be a change of the Law also, and then Tythes and Oblations must needs cease, Hebr. 7.12. For verily they that were of the Sons of Levi, who re­ceived the Office of the Priesthood had a Commandment to take Tythes of the People; but it is evident, that after the si­militude of Melchisedeck there ariseth ano­ther Priesthood who is made not by the Law of a carnal Commandment, as the Sons of Levi and Aaron was, nor Consecrated by a carnal nominal Bishop, (as Priests are now) but he was made and ordained by the Power of an endless Life; and this is no other then the Son of God, who is Consecrated for evermore; and saith the Apostle (with this assertion) There is verily a disanulling of the Commandment going before, because of the weakness and unprofitableness thereof: (mark) here is a disanulling of the Commandment, what Commandment? The Law of the car­nal Commandment by which the Priests (the offspring of Levi) received their Office, and the Commandment by which they took [Page 99]Tythes of the People, read Hebr. 7. through­out; so the Priesthood being no more of Levi, nor the Sons of Aaron, then there is no more Law, nor no more Tythes after the First Covenant; for the New Covenant is established, the New and Living Way is made known, and the unchangeable Priesthood being brought in, the First Covenant and Priesthood must needs give place, the Law must needs be abrogated, and the Com­mandment disanulled, and the first Taber­nacle and Sanctuary must needs be turned out, and then all the Rites and Ceremonies, and all the Appurtenances and Ordinances of that Priesthood, Tabernacle and Sanctu­ary must needs be turned out also; then no more room for Tythes, (being an Appur­tenance or Ordinance of that Covenant) when Christ the Spiritual, Eternal, and Un­changeable High Priest is come, (and we say he is) a greater and more perfect Taber­nacle; for the First that stood in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal Ordinances, was but imposed untill the time of Reformation, being Figures for the time then present, [mark] and but shadows of good things to come, Hebr, 9.10. and 10.1. [Page 100]and 8.5. Now, when doth the time of Re­formation enter, that you may shake off the first Priesthood, Tabernacle and Ordinan­ces? Is it not now high time for People to amend, repent and reform? Is it not time for Men to work out their Salvation? Is it not time to make their calling and election sure? Is it not time to turn from Darkness to Light, and from Satans power to God? Is it not time to seek the Kingdom of God, and the Righteosness thereof? If so, then is not the time of Reformation come? Is not the Spiritual appearance of the Son of God come? Is not the Comforter that leads into all Truth come? Is not the sound of the Everlasting Gospel come? Is not the time in which the true Worshippers shall Worship the Father in Spirit and Truth come? Is not the Light that was given for Salvation to the ends of the Earth come? Is not the Light that gives the knowledge of the Glory of God come? Is not he that convinces the World of Sin, of Righteousness, and of Judg­ment come? Is not he that is the Way, Truth and Life come? Is not he that saves his People from their Sins come? And is it not now a time of Reformation? Is it not [Page 101]now time to die unto Sin, and awake unto Righteousness? Is it not time to put on the New Man, which renews into the Image of God, and brings into Righteousness and Ho­liness? else in vain hath the many and large Professions of England been; and to what purpose hath it carried the name so long of a holy and reformed Nation, if the time of Reformation be not come? Indeed there is little more amongst many of the Tollerated Churches in England but Profession only; amongst all the Lo here's, and Lo there's; amongst all the many Divisions, Denomina­tions, Sects and Separations; amongst all the Gatherings, Societies or Assembles, how few hath the Womb of Reformation really brought forth? and how many hath proved Abortives? yea, how many is Strangled [...]'ch Womb? Oh! he wist well what he said, who said, Strait is the Gate, and narrow is the Way that leadeth unto Life, and few there be that find it: yea, may I say, few there be that seek af­ter it, and therefore must needs be few that find it. Oh! who can but lament, yea, mourn and sorrow in secret to see the present sad and miserable Estate of England, who was formerly accounted as a Nursery of Chri­stianity [Page 102]and Godliness; and how is it now grown over with Weeds, Briers and Thistles? Oh, who doth not see how wick­edness is established, and sin increaseth as a flood; how the Workers of Iniquity are set up and the proud called happy? Oh, how doth Idolatry grow and flourish, and all manner of abomination abound? yea, they work wickedness greedily, making haste to do evil, and are skilfull to transgress; yea, they improve both wits, life, time and estates in the lusts and pleasures o'th Flesh; they commit lewdness with heart and hand, their feet run to evil, and they are not at all a­shamed, neither do they blush; they sport themselves with their abominations, and the fear of God is not before their eyes. Oh, the unparallell'd abominations that swims in Eng­land is undeclarable! Oh, how doth the vessels of the Whore flote upon her Waters! surely, surely, the just God will be avenged on her, and will recompence her for all her abominations, and notorious evils; he will bring down the pride of her stout hearted, and humble the heady High-mindedness of her High ones, and lay low the lofty looks of her Lordly leaders, and severly punish the [Page 103]pride of her Princes; Yea, his anger is already kindled, and his wrath shall ballance her wickedness, and who shall withstand his Power, or who can divert his Decree: in that day the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him, for neither Rock nor Moun­tain shall save them, they'l find no cover from the Storm, nor no hiding place from the Tempest, though they now flatter them­selves with their own imaginations, and heal themselves with smooth words, and fortifie themselves with the arm of Flesh, sitting like a Queen that shall see no sorrow, making merry over the Witness which lies slain in their Streets; yea, they hate to be refor­med; The Judges judge for Reward, the Prophets divine for Money, the Priests preach for Hire, and hare rule by their means, and the People love to have it so.

I remember Malachi complaining, cryed out, O ye Priests this Commandment is for you, and if you will not hear, neither lay it to heart, I will bring a Curse upon you, and I will Curse your Blessings; for ye have departed out of the Way, ye have caused many to stumble; therefore have I made you con­temptible and base before all the People, Mal. [Page 104]2.1, 2, 8, 9. And is not this the State of the Priesthood of England, who is ready enough to cry, Bring ye all the Tythes into the Store House, (viz. into their Kitchins, Purse and Pocket) and pay them (say they) duely, and truly, liberally, and with a chearful Heart for God loves a chearful giver; and then say they, God will remove his Judgments from amongst you, and those (let them be as vile as they will) that will pay them liber­ally (and that with the better) and is ready to put into their mouths, and labour, and give it to them; to such they will cry Peace, peace, and say such a one is a very honest Man, and they will befriend him in any mat­ter of concernment before Magistrates, &c. but he that ceaseth to put into their mouths, (let him be as honest as he will) against him they prepare War, and cry, Bring ye all the Tythes, &c. when as it was they that Ma­lichi complained of, that robbed God in Tythes and Offerings, Mal. 2.1. and 1.6. it was they that despised his Name; it was they that offered polluted Bread, and the blind, and lame and sick for Sacrifice, &c. Who a­mongst you, saith he, will shut a door for naught, or will kindle a fire on mine Altar for naught, [Page 105]verse 10, and are they not so now, who a­mongst them will shut a Door for naught? which of them hath any thing to Preach, if the People have nothing to give? nay, they cannot relie of the Peoples gift, but they must know what Revenew belongs unto the In­combent, or Minister of that place, and how it doth arise; and it must be confirmed to them either by the Bishop, Magistrates, or Donators, &c. thus they Bargain, yea, they are as expert Merchants as ever Babylon bred, observing their time for Trading; and when they have enjoyed a Benefit Ten, Twenty or Thirty years, if another fall vacant of a greater Revenue, Stipend or Value, then they bestir themselves, with all diligence, by writing, running, riding, &c. (yea, some will not let to ride Post to and again) to the Donators, Bishops, or such as can impower and invest them in such a place; and having obtained it, then they will be gone; there say they, a Man may live comfortably, this is a poor sorry mean place having this or the other inconvenience: And thus they shew themselves unto all; for it appears their Comfort is Fleshly ease, and their End is great Benefices, and their [Page 106]gain is filthy lucre, their god (they chiefly serve) is their Belly, and what will be their reward? hence they fulfil the old proverb, No penny, No pater Noster; nay not so much as a Ho­mily, or Farwel Sermon; Benefit taken away they are struck dumb.

And they are so far short of the Priests in Malachi's dayes, that they will kindle no fire at all; they will keep no Store-House at all, neither for the poor Widow, Father­less, Orphant or Stranger; (these must beg in the Country) Tythes is confirmed to us, say they, for our maintenance and liveli­hood by the Law of God and Man, that so we may be less cumbred in the World, and may devote and give up our selves more to the Service and Worship of God, and at­tend the Church: And thus they claim Tythes to be theirs, and yet (as I said be­fore) they will keep no Store-House to maintain the Poor out of, as they did under the Law; nor they'l kindle no fire on the Altar, neither will they Sacrifice or Of­fer any thing unto the Lord out of their Tythes and First-fruits; they'l neither Sa­crifice Bull nor Goat, Lamb nor Dove, nei­ther Cake nor fine Flower, nor Bread [Page 107]leavened nor unleavened, neither Meat offer­ing nor Drink-offering, Sin-offering, Peace-offering nor Trespass-offering, nor any man­ner of Oblation according to the Levitical Law, and yet they must have Tythes paid them as they were then; all that Law say they, is abolished since Christ came in the Flesh, save that sweet morsel of Tythes which is so pleasant to their pallat, like Achan's wedge of Gold, and Babylonish Garment, Josh. 7.21. which they covet as much as he did, and would save alive, as Saul did the King of the Amalekites, and the best of the spoyl as Sheep, Oxen and Fatlings, &c. 1. Sam. 15.9. even so they would have Tythes kept up above all the rest of the Ordinances, Cere­monies and Services of the first Tabernacle, and that shadowy Dispensation, Tythes is the sweetest of all, many of the rest would be trouble and cost to them, and diminish their Revenue: So these they confess to be abolished, and why not Tythes say I? Of what institution was Tythes? Or for what term more then the rest? that they must not be abolished with the rest? I know no cause but the reasons aforesaid crept in a­mongst their Ancestor, or Mother the [Page 108]Church of Rome in the Night of Apostacy.

Then again, there is that in Luke 11.42. where Christ said, Wo unto you Scribes and Pharisees, &c. from which they infer that Christ allowed the payment of Tythes, un­der the Gospel; indeed so say I that Christ there allowed the payment of Tythes, (the Scribes & Pharisees being as under the Law) but not under the Gospel, its true he condems them for the neglect of weightier matters, as Judgment, &c. may not I accordingly con­dem both Priest and People now; he said they Strained at a Gnat, and swallowed a Camel; may not I say so now to them that makes so much ado about Tythes, and neglects things of greater weight, as departing from Iniquity as Swearing, Lying, Coveting, Stealing, Op­pressing, Defrauding, Cozening, Drinking, Cheating, Adultery, Fornication, and many more things of greater weight, walking in disobedience to what God hath manifested by his Light in their Consciences; doing that which they ought not, and leaving undone what they ought, they are (at best) but like the Pharisees, Sticking at the outside things, as Tythes, Ordinances of the Church, so called, Conformity, and the like Tradi­tions [Page 109]required by Men, but never shew so much zeal and diligence to keep their Consciences clear, and to observe what is re­quired of them by the Lord; they'll pretend a great zeal for the Church and Government, &c. but when appears so much zeal for God? and the keeping of his Commandments, and of loving him with all their Heart. But to come more positively to the point of his al­lowing of Tythes in this place, I say, I grant it for they were then under the Law, and the Law was but a fulfilling, For he came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it, which he did observe in the dayes of his Flesh, untill he had offered up himself a perfect and ever­lasting Sacrifice, then he said, It is finished; then came in the Second Covenant, and took place of the First, (it being disanulled) the Second was Established when his Blood was shed, by which Salvation was obtain­ed, For without shedding of Blood there is no Remission: So may not we as just­ly Condemn then the Tything Priests, and other fiery Zelots in our Age, who is so Exact for their Tythes, as if Salvation de­pended in that particular, and is very neg­ligent in seeking after Righteousness, Pie­ty and Reformation of Life; but contra­rily, [Page 110]if any seek after God, or the knowledge of his Way and Truth, then they cry out of such with open mouth, as Fanatick, Schis­maticks, Seducers, Erroneous persons, who seek to be Wiser then their Forefathers; What is become of them, say they, that the Way and Worship that served them can­not serve you, but you must have a new Way of your own, contrary to Church and State? I now remember some of the same Spirit said to the Apostles, They were setters up of strange Gods, bringers in of new Doctrine, turners of the World upside down; away with them they Taught the People against the Law and the Customs of the Place and People, they were not worthy to live; so that I see by experience, They that live after the Flesh persecute those that live after the Spirit in every Age; but I shall not here insist, but as I have said before (to that of Luke) he spoke to them that was yet under the Judaical Laws, (but so am not I) and was a fulfilling them, as appears else­where by his saying to John about Baptism, Suffer it to be so now, for so it becomes us to fulfil all Righteousness; so he was but a com­pleating that Dispensation; but when he came to suffer, and was lifted up upon the [Page 111]Cross, he said, Its finished; then he put an end to all the Ordinances of the First Taber­nacle, and brought in the Second, the un­changeable Priesthood, which stands for ever after the Order of Melchisedeck. Thus much for Tythes as they were due un­der the Law, and no where else; and as they were an Ordinance amongst the Jews only in the Land of Canaan, and no People else; for its said, He gave his Statutes and his Judg­ments to Israel, to every Nation he did not so; but I am no Jew, therefore not under that Law, but rather of the Stock of the Gen­tiles, (as is believed) and Tything among the Gentiles I never yet read of; and Christ the end of the Law for Righteousness sake (and the Heart and Life of what the Law figured out) being come, neither Jews nor Gentiles ought to be any longer under Shadows and Figures, &c.

But again, when their claiming of Tythes by vertue of the Mosaical Laws is overtur­ned, and will not hold plea Jure Divino, (as they say) then they betake them to ano­ther that is, Jure humano, or The Civil Laws of this Nation, by which Laws say they, Tythes is established and setled to them (say [Page 112]the Priests) by vertue of their Place and Office as a most competent Livelyhood for them and their Families: In answer where­unto I say, that the radix and grand Original property of this Title and Claim did and doth still arise from the Mosaical or Levitical Law, (which is disanulled and done away in Christ, as is before proved) and hence they are accounted a Spiritual propriety, and therefore a (pretended) Spiritual or Ecclesiastical Law and Court is kept and appointed (by Episco­pal Authority, within their several jurisdicti­ons, distinct from their Civil Laws) only for the tryal and recovery of Tythes, and such other matters as they account Spiritual; and this Levitical Institution is the sole Basis and Foundation upon which their Civil Law de­pends, and the Foundation being taken away the Structure or Building falls; so that be­ing disanull'd in Christ, the Civil Law hath no more power, so that the Title of Tythes is lost. Now again, every Law is or ought to be grounded upon Equity, and sound Rea­son, and Righteousness, and for some con­scientious and pious honest end and purpose, as the Preamble to all Laws do hold forth, which is the Key that opens the mystery, [Page 113]ground, intent and end of every Law and Statute whatsoever; so that of Henry the 8th about Tythes, doth not institute, enact or ordain, settle or impose them as a Temporal Civil Injunction, but they are there called Spiritual gifts belonging to holy Church, and because many doth deny the payment, &c. so this Act doth but enjoyn the payment of them, as a supposed due and right formerly belonging to holy Church; and therefore doth but (at the utmost) repair, strengthen and preserve that which was like to decay, but doth not set up any new stru­cture, property or title; so the reasons of this Law being taken away (which is, that they are a supposed due) this Act is nulled.

These before mentioned being the on­ly main Grounds and Reasons whereupon Tythes are claimed and payed, which I hope is satisfactorily answered; indeed, some more frivilous Objections are made; (as, what will not many say to save them­selves when they are in an exigent? yea, brawl, menace, perhaps beat with wicked fist, revile or scoff, and it may be set an Officer on one, and hale him before a Magi­strate, [Page 114]&c.) I say many more they make to little purpose, as that in Luke 18. where the Pha­risee payed Tythes of all he possessed, which hath little in it, unless they would be con­demned (with him) as a Pharisee with their outside holiness: others say, Thou shalt not muzle the mouth of the Ox that treadeth out the Corn; I say so too; if they be Oxen let them be unmuzled, and live of what they tread out, which is so little that they never durst rely upon it yet, but they are more idle then such Oxen, &c. this is like their plowing in hope, and sowing in hope, which for the most part fails before they ei­ther plow or sow; for in which of the Priests did ever the hope endure untill he reaped the Fruit of his plowing or sowing? but rather first he must know what Stipend there is, what Tythes or Gleab-lands, or o­ther Revenue belongs to the Incombent, and how it doth arise; this you may say is too true: Again say they, He that gathers a Flock let him eat of the milk of the Flock; (indeed so say I) but they either get no flock gathered, or else their Flock is barren, and gives no milk, or otherwise the milk they give doth not satisfie, which makes them pull, [Page 115]tug and draw so hard for milk, meat and maintenance from others pertaining to ano­ther Flock which they never gathered, as daily experience teacheth to their shame, and to the shame of all that are gathered by them: Again, (say they) If we have sown unto you Spiritual things, is it a great matter if we reap your carnal things? I say its no great matter, but rather the part and duty of a Christian; but to whom have they sown Spirituals? I am sure not to me, for L. W. hath Ministred nothing to me, but that which is Earthly, and savours of Death, (as I have elsewhere said) which deserves not my Carnals, nor any other maintenance from me, not that I am strait-handed, or so knit and joyned to the things the Lord hath endued me with, but I can destribute them freely to such as sow Spirituals, and Ministers freely from the mouth of the Lord, or to any other in necessity; but L. W. (as is well known) hath no such necessity, for all his eager pur­suit after my Carnals these Three or Four Years last past; but he hath coveted an evil covetousness, to set his nest on high, but there­by hath not delivered his Soul from the pow­er of evil, but hath consulted confusion to his shame.

So Still I say the grand Title stood in the Mosaical Institutions, all which pointed at Christ, and Christ being come, they fall flat, and to them a period is set; for its Evident for some hundreds of years after Christ, there was neither Claim nor payment of Tythes, nor no setling or confining of Ministers to such and such Parishes or Places, but they that received freely, preached freely, and went from one Country to another, and from one People to another, as they were drawn by the Spirit of the Lord; and in those dayes there was no setled nor forced maintenance belonged unto them, but they who received Spirituals, and were brought into the Faith and Fellowship of the Saints they administred of their Temporals freely without any injunction, (as many hath done in England these late years) and the Lord having opened the Hearts of many (as Lydia) they called them into their House, being open, to distribute to their Necessities; so that they that set forth without money or scrip, &c. wanted nothing: yea, I believe ma­ny of the Lords Ministers and Servants (called Quakers) hath Travelled (in these late years) many Hundred of miles, from [Page 117]one People and Nation to another, having been persecuted, and beat, and haled to Pri­son, and out of Prison, here and there amongst a strange Nation and People which they knew not, who when they set forth could not assure themselves of one Nights lodg­ings, or one meals Meat, and yet they were in every place sufficiently provided for, and had no want, they only cast their care upon the Lord, and lived upon the Gospel, being Preachers of it, and by the Faith of the Son of God, as did the primitive Christians in the Apostles dayes, and some Hundred of years after, untill the power of Christianity was lost, and the Apostacy crept in, and then they fell into Forms and Immitations, Rome being the leading Church setled Bishops, Vi­cars and Priests, and erected Monasteries, Abbeys and Religious Houses, and placed them there, and brought in the old Rites and Customs of the Jews again, (under a colour of Zeal and Piety) perswading the People to give gifts to pious uses; so enjoyning them to one thing after another, until their Traditions were received as Canonical, and amongst the rest brought in this of Tythes again, which for a long time [Page 118]was payed at the Owners pleasure, either to the Poor, or to the aforesaid Monasteries and Religious Houses for pretended Spiri­tual uses; and when they saw that the greater part destributed their Tythes to the Poor, Pope Alexander the third did restrain the Peoples freedoms, Anno 1180. And Pope Gregory ordained that Tythes should not be destributed to the Poor, but to the Mother Church, Anno 1274. And Pope Pi­us the Fourth ordained the payment of Tythes upon penalty of Excomunication by a Council at Trent, about the year 1560. And thus they crept in again, (as they fell from the Power of Godliness) then they be­gan to build again that which was before de­stroyed, and so brought in these old Ordi­nances again, in immitation of the Mosaical Law, and so came to force and compel a maintenance (for a Priesthood and Ministry which was not of Levi's Linnage) which was never used nor known amongst the Christians in the purity of the Gospel; but being lit­tle acquainted or read in the State of the Church as it did descend from the Primi­tive times downwards to this Day, I shall be more sparing in things thereunto pertain­ing, [Page 119]and for the further satisfaction therein, (and how Rome, and other Churches, fell from their Primitive purity, and how they brought in Tythes and the Relicks of Ju­daism again) and every external extant Or­dinance or Tradition now allowed and estab­lished throughout all Europe) I refer the Reader to A. Pearson's Book, called, The great Case of Tything, and also to Francis Howgil's Books, the one called, The Glory of the True Church Discovered in its Purity, where he proves Tythes no Gospel Ordinance; the other called, The Great Case of Tything once more Revived &c. where the State of the Church in the Primitive times, and down­ward from year to year, and the bringing in of all the Romish Stuff, and Superstitious Trash is sufficiently treated of, and may be satisfactory to any sober Reader that desires to be instructed.

Now it appears clear, that that Law by which Tythes was payable and due under the First Covenant was only Established a­mong the Jews, (as I said before) and that in the Land of Canaan, being a peculiar People, to whom he gave his Laws and [Page 120]his Statutes for ever, as its said, Psal. 147.19. and its believed we are not of the Jews Genealogy, neither of the Offspring of any of the Tribes of Israel according to the Flesh; and therefore (if Tythes were yet an Ordinance in force) as to the contrary is sufficiently proved ought not to be paid by us by vertue of that Law and Covenant, we being of the Gentiles Stock by Nature, (is authentical) and so hath nothing to do with the Ordinances of Is­rael according to the Flesh, who was the natural Branches unto whom pertained the Law, and the Covenant, and the Oracles of God, and they fell through unbelief, and by their fall we came to be ingrafted, and we stand by Faith, which is the Gift of God, a Mystery held in a pure Conscience, and not by the Observation of the Ordi­nances of the Jews, and the First Cove­nant: So let the blind Priests and Do­ctors lay their hands upon their mouths, and be ashamed of their gross absurdity, and stupid Sences being mudled and jumbled in obscurity with their many Arts and Sciences, multiplicity of Tongues, and divided Langu­ages, one pleading one thing, and another [Page 121]pleading another, until they become like Froth upon the Waters, which while not touched appears material and substantial, but if once handled wasteth and vanisheth away; so doth their windy deformed Doctrine, and typical Tenents, who hath long Preached and talked of a Covenant of Grace, which is still a Mystery, or as a Book Sealed to them while they are studdying and musing in their Greek and Latin Libraries, not at all percei­ving the Vail, or the Wall of Partition that stands between them and the Cove­nant of Grace unbroken down and remo­ved.

One other Objection is in my mind, which is this, speaking of Melchisedeck who recei­ved the Tenth of the Spoils from Abraham, its said, Levi, who received Tythes payed Tythes in Abraham; and further he saith, Here men that die receive Tythes; but there he received them of whom it is Witnessed that he liveth; now what objection can be made from these words, Here Men that die receive Tythes, but there, &c? the words hath Relation to two times or places, or as here or there? as here in this time, and there in that time; for the Law being 430 Years after [Page 122] Abraham, or after the Promise was made to Abraham, Galat. 3.17. must needs be nearer to the Apostle, or to the days of the Apostle, then the day that Abraham gave the Tenth of the spoyl to Melchisedeck, by so many years; so that he might well say here when he spoke of the Sons of Levi, and there when he spoke of Melchisedeck; but if any say it hath Relation to the very Age and Day when the Apostle spoke it, (which is disputable) yet I may say now as he said then, Here Men that die receive Tythes, (yea such as are dead while they live) and not only receive Tythes, but persecute, imprison, and in a manner rob for Tythes such as doth not give contrary to Law or Cu­stome, but I allow not such: I may say here Ministers in England Swear, Lye, Co­vet, Oppress and Persecute exceedingly for Tythes, and yet pretend to be Gospel Mi­nisters; but I say again, I allow not such neither believe they are Gospel Ministers; so this makes little (in my judgment) for Tythes under the Gospel: Then again, There he received Tythes (viz. Melchisedeck) of whom it is witnessed that he liveth; and Christ is said to be a Priest for ever after the [Page 123]Order of Melchisedeck; Now if any in­fer from hence that Tythes or First-fruits belongs to Christ, as being, or coming in Melchisedeck's Order; I say, rather it hath reference to his immutability and unchange­ableness, then taking of Tythes; for its said, He was without descent, without begin­ning or end of dayes; and if it related to Tythes; first, I say to that, it was but the Tenths of the Spoyls, and not of all his E­state and Increase, clean and unclean, as they are now claimed: And secondly, I hope you'l grant Christ a Spiritual Priest, and there­fore if any will give, it must be the First­fruits and Tenths of things Spiritual, and not Carnal, else there is no agreement nor coherence; For Sacrifice and Offerings he would not, for he being Spiritual accepts nothing but what is Spiritual, and proceeds from the measure of his own Spirit and Truth in every one; and herein let as many offer and give unto the Lord as will, and as much, and as often as they will, I allow of it, if it be a Spiritual Offering indeed.

Thus much in Defence of my Innocent Sufferings, being thus far convinced in my [Page 124]Judgment, and perswaded in my Heart and Conscience, I dare not allow nor yield to a­ny thing so noxious to my Conscience, and contrary to the Gospel Dispensation and the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, be­ing (as is before proved) in the first place Figurative, imposed for the time then pre­sent, until the time of Reformation: Se­condly, being only an Ordinance among the Jews, and such as were under the Law, and not to the Gentiles, nor such as are under the Gospel. Thirdly, being claimed as Spiritual by Divine Institution, when as the extent and scope of the Institution is finished and ended, and is therefore now no more Spiritual then the rest of the nine parts. And lastly, being generally Dedicated, Payed and Received for the use and main­tenance of an Antichristian, dark Man-made Ministry, who only seeks ours, and not us; for which the Wisest and Learnedst of them can neither produce Precept nor President from Christ, or any other his Apostles, Ministers and Servants in the Pri­m [...]tive purity of the Church, being an old Ordinance of Moses renovated in the Romish Apostacy, and Traditionally dispersed by [Page 125]Papistical Authority over all the Europian Nations, as doth fully and largely appear in those pithy and ponderous works of the before recited Authors A. P. and F. H. this Title of Tythes having such a pleasant delightsom relish, it hath been still retained amongst all the Reformed Rulers in Church and State, who hath so largely professed to cast off the Papistical Yoke.

Now I shall proceed to say something to those my Neighbours and Parishioners, amongst whom I have had my conversati­on in times past, and a society when I wrought the will of the Flesh, who have known my manner of Life from a Child; I say to such, what have I done? what have I thought? what have I acted or spoken that hath deserved any such measure as I have received from L. W? or what evil have I done? or what occasion have I given to any Mans person, good name or e­state at any time? especially since I associa­ted amongst the People called Quakers, let him, you, or any of you, or any other Per­son come forth, that can justly charge any thing against me, wherein I have dam­nified [Page 126]any one the value of a penny, and have denied to give satisfaction, or have of­fered violence to any ones Dog, and I shall willingly (upon due proof) make acknow­ledgement and satisfaction to the utmost of my power; for blessed be the Lord my Righteousness and Redeemer, there is no thing upon my Conscience and Spirit, but what is between the Lord and my own Soul in matter of my Testimony; yea, ever­lastingly magnified be the Righteous Lord my preserver, to whose praise I desire to speak it, that though L. W. and many others have sought occasion, and have waited for my halting or falling, they have not yet seen it, nor got no occasion against me (save about the Law and Worship of my God, or the holding forth my Testimony and Exercise of my Conscience towards him, for which I have been reviled, mocked and reproached a­mongst you; yea, the Children in the Streets have played upon me with their Tongues; this I speak to their (or their Parents) shame, but was as joy and rejoy­cing to my Soul, being for Righteousness sake, the Blessing of the Lord was with me, and mine Enemies knew it not, nor [Page 127]they that dwelt in Darkness saw it not.

This further I have to propound to you, whether ye can allow of it? or that it would be justifiable in the Law of Equity and true Judgment, that my Servant should Sue you at Law, make spoil, and carry away your goods, and cast your persons into Prison, and after all seek to make your Estates forfeit and confiscate, and all for the wages and recom­pence of the Service he hath done for me? which of you would approve of such work; or of me in keeping such a Servant? would you not rather say to me, if I have hired a Servant and employed him, pay him and maintain him also; why doth he trouble you? What have you to do to pay him for my work, seeing he is my Servant? Is not this the case between me and you? Is not L. W. your Minister, and also your Servant? And by what Law or Reason ought I to pay him for doing your service? Hath ei­ther you or he a President in all the Scrip­tures of any such unequal deeds? Did ye ever Read of any of the Churches, or Ser­vants of God in Ages past that used such things? I trow not; If I had destributed [Page 128]voluntarily it had been one thing, but being sued and compelled thereunto, therefore I complain; may not I say to you, why do you hire more servants then you can pay? Or why do you keep more then you are able to maintain? Else, why am I thus persecuted for his maintenance? May not I speak this to your shame? being so many (as I may say) for one Servant, you are either hard Masters, and very penurious and strait-handed to your Servants, or else your Ser­vants are very lavish, proud profane and pro­digal, and hath much maintaining: Did e­ver any Minister of ours (called a Quaker) come among you to sue and cast into Pri­son for their maintenance and livelihood? or what would you say if they should? I believe you would condemn both us and them; and indeed we should be greatly a­shamed, if they should; for my part, I had rather Administer to the last mite, then any such cause of aspertion should be given against us, and also testifie against them as no Ministers of Christ that Preaches for any such ends; if they be Gospel Ministers, let their Gospel maintain them, or let them la­bour with their hands; though many have [Page 129]said, we are a disorderly and unmannerly People; but I affirm we have better or­ders and manners amongst us then you have; for your Servants are become your Masters, and Lords it over you, and both in that, and many other things, disorder and confusi­on is come over you, as they that built Babel of old.

I remember well what Malachi saith, complaining of the Priests, Mal. 2.2, 3, &c. to verse 9. I will send a Curse upon you, I'll Curse your Blessings; yea, I have Cursed them already: Behold, I'll corrupt your Seed, and spread dung upon your Faces, and ye shall know that I have sent this Commandment unto you, that my Covenant might be with Levi, my Covenant was with him of Life and Peace, the Law of Truth was in his mouth; for the Priests lips should preserve knowledge; but ye are de­parted out of the Way, ye have caused many to stumble at the Law; ye have corrupted the Co­venant of Levi, (saith he) therefore have I made you contemptible and base before all the People. [mark, now] Is not this the case and condition of the present Priesthood and Clergy of England, those neutralists, that are neither Ministers of the Law nor [Page 130]Gospel? hath not the Lord made them contemptible and base before all the People; yea, where shall a Man come and have any Discourse about them, but the most part, if not all, doth generally conclude they are Covetous, vile, proud and profane Per­sons, Oppressors, Drunkards, Men-pleasers, Time-servers, Turn-coats, Heady and High-minded, lovers of Pleasures and filthy lucre more then of God, having a Form of Godli­ness, but denying the Power; but their fol­ly shall be, (and is) made manifest, it shall pro­ceed no further, said the Apostle.

May not I say the Merchants of this last Age hath exceeded all that ever went before them, they can trade on those dayes called their Sabboths, or Lords-dayes, and prohi­bit all others from either trading or labour­ing in their lawful and honest vocations (but if they'l Play, Drink, Revel, Swear, and be Profane, there they may have liberty enough) on those Dayes? Also, whether any have need of their Merchandice or not, or will come and Trade with them or not, or will take any of their Commodities from them or not; yet they have a Law, and by that Law compel them to pay, and that [Page 131]even their own Rates what they demand; and if any refuse, then they'l menace and thunder out their Comminations, and Ex­comunications, and some they'l cast in Pri­son, it may be till Death, and yet cloke themselves over with the name of Gospel Ministers, and plead innocency, and say its the Law that requires it, and binds Men to be subject to Ecclesiastical Canons and Cen­sures; now, wherein doth their inno­cency appear, unless in putting a white Coat above a black one, a Popish dress; and if the Figure be true, they are but outside Pharisees, appearing white and clean with­out, and that in Apparel only: Yea, I may say they are as wise expert Marriners (in that Babilonish Wisdom) as ever Traf­ficked or Sailed upon the Waters of the Great Whore, they can Sail with any Wind that blows within the Circuit of Babylons Coasts; but that Prophesie comes to be fulfilled upon them, Evil Men and Sedu­cers shall wax worse and worse deceiving, and being deceived, &c. But blessed be the Lord the Day is dawned that declares them, and the Light that makes them ma­nifest, with their all Abominations, and the [Page 132]Son is appeared that will disperse them as the Morning mist, so that their skirts shall be uncovered, and their nakedness shall be laid open, and their visage shall be no more Vailed, for the Judgment of the Great Whore is come and coming, wherein all her Merchants shall weep and mourn, be­cause no Man buyeth their Merchandice any more.

So this Mite of my Testimony I have cast in, being but a Mite indeed in comparison of the many weighty, praise-worthy works, given forth by many of the dear and faithful Servants of God upon this very Subject in this very Age, from the breakings forth of the Glorious Light in them revealed and made known; And for the clearing my Con­science in the sight of the Lord, I refer this to publick view, and give this Testimo­ny to my Countrymen and Acquaintance, or any others that yet see not the difference be­tween us and the Priests in this very point; and partly for satisfying or silencing of o­thers, especially the People of the Indepen­dants, or Congregational Church at Melmer­by, (so called) who though (as I have said before) they once made the non payment [Page 133]of Tythes an Article of their Judgment; yet have of late (since I became a sufferer for them) whisperingly or clandestinely con­demned me in secret more then many (if not all) others that have less profession, and seem more profane, rendring me fool [...]sh and unwise to suffer so much, and so long for such a trivial, external, tempory matter, as they call it; but to me it was and is no sm [...]ll matter being to the Contrary perswaded in my Conscience, and knowing by good ex­perience, and assured Testimonies, that I must stand or fall by obedience or disobe­dience to the manifestation of the Lords precious Gift and Light in my own Soul and Conscience; I therefore value not the Judgment of any Man, or People, (being from the Light, the Line of True Judg­ment, and Rule of Life to me) and to be accounted a Fool is no new nor strange thing, for a Fool I am to their Wis­dom, as was the good and precious Ser­vants of God in Ages past, For the Wis­dom of God is foolishness with Men; and casting things upon me behind my back, be­comes them not, it were more Christianly for them to Admonish, or Instruct me face [Page 134]to face, and to give me their Advice and Reasons in matters of this nature, which if I found to be more weighty, sound, and agreeable to the Witness of God in my Conscience, I should be very ready, willing and glad to receive them, and be informed by them; I am neither so far remote, nor so much a stranger to them, (though my Principle may) but this way they chuse not, but makes War and fights as Men that beat the Air hiddenly, or a far off, slighting and contemning my Principle, and me for its sake, above most of People, as though I had been Poysonous and Infectious where I came, prohibiting some of their Society, (and Mem­bers so called) to have any Fellowship or Converse with me, or to receive either Books or Papers from me, or come where I was; and one of their leading Teachers (G. Ni­cholson by Name) denied to make good their own Principles and Tenents, held forth in their own Defence against us; and also to make good several contumelious aspertions cast upon us (in my Hearing) by him and others; and also denied to give an account of his Faith and Hope in Christ J [...]sus, saying, It was in vain, &c. with [Page 135]several such like matters which I shall now omit; and yet these People will be Slighting and Villifying us in secret; in­deed we have much more cause to have dis­esteemed them and their Principles, having more knowledge of both them and it, when we were amongst them, then ever they had of us or ours; and in villifying our Princi­ples, they speak evil of things they un­derstand not, being a Treasure whose worth and value they never knew, the mystery whereof is hid and sealed from that state and nature they live in; we have known theirs, but they never knew ours; yea, for my own part I can truly say in the Light and Pre­sence of the Lord, that I had more love and affection in my Heart for those people, then any other Profession that was from the Light; yea, many a time I could have mourned in secret, and been willing to have undergone great hardship that they might have been won and gained to the Lord; yea, I could as it were, have plucked them out of the fire many a time; other times my spi­rit hath been weighed and burthened, yea, filled with indignation against some of them that were Elders, Teachers and Leaders [Page 136]that caused the rest to Err, who like the Pharisees of old, have Shut the Kingdom of God, as it were; but I am sure they have drawn backward and hindred the work of the Lord, both in themselves and others; for they would neither enter themselves, nor suffer those that would, but have made War against the Light in themselves and o­thers; and I testifie they are Strangers to the Covenant of Promise, Christ Jesus the Light, the New and Living Way, who is the Light of the World, John 8.12. Who is in the World, and the World knows him not, and lighteth every Man that comes into the World, John 1.4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, unto whom John came to bear Witness, and yet how few will believe? how few doth receive John's Testimony, though he was sent from God to bear Witness of the Light? and all hold John as a Prophet; also, how few do receive Christs own Exhortation, who said, While you have the Light believe in the Light, that you may be Children of the Light, John 12.36. no marvel if they receive not ours? may it not well be said unto them, Behold ye Dispisers and wonder, I will work a Work in your day, which though [Page 137]a Man declare it unto you, yet will you in no wise believe, Acts 13.41. [mark] ye Despisers that Despise the Light, account­ing it as a thing of nought, (calling it Na­tural, or Diabolical, or an unholy thing) esteeming it too mean a Meat for your stuf­fed up Stomachs, and cannot yet be digested by you; what better Testimony would you have? Would you have one arise from the Dead? here's John a Man sent from God, and here's Christ Jesus which rose from the Dead, which Death could not bold; also we have the Testimony of the Spirit of Truth, and having received this Testimony, we have the Witness in our selves, and can set to our Seals that God is True, John 3.35, and that there is no other way to the Father, but by Christ Jesus the Light, which is the Life and Blood of the Everlasting Covenant, though many set it at nought, and will not stoop to so small a thing, yet all the Powers of Darkness cannot comprehend it, it will break thorow them all to your condemnati­on that are disobedient; and for proof thereof I appeal to every of your Conscien­ces in the sight of God, and let the Light therein, which abideth in you, which is [Page 138]Truth and no Lye, John 2.27. let it de­clare for me whether any of you can hide you from it; If you take the Wings of the Morning (as David said) and fly into the uttermost parts of the Earth, it will find you out; do what you will it will declare the nature of your deeds; when you do evil at home or abroad, never so secretly, when no man sees, it will condemn you, and when you do well it will justifie, and you will feel peace and joy in that Work; it will tell you all that ever you did, as the Woman of Samaria said, Is not this the Christ, come and see; then they came and saw and be­lieved also, not because of her words, but by what they heard from him themselves, say­ing, they knew indeed that this is the very Christ, John 4.42. So be intreated (as a Man would intreat his Friend whom he loveth) to come with the Samaritans, and see wether it be not so as we have said; she was but one, and that a Woman, yet they came forth with her to see if it was he, and it was he, and they believed; but we are many Witnesses, and Testifie what we have heard, and seen, and handled of him: So once more (I say) be intreated to come and see; [Page 139]not to come forth after us, and follow us, as he said, Luke 17.21, 23. but to turn in your minds (I mean) to the Light of Christ Jesus in your own Hearts, for the Kingdom of Heaven is within you, and there hearken to him that is the Light of the World; (mark, the World is set in Mans Heart, Eccles. 3.11.) and when you have heard and obeyed, (for that is believing indeed) I question not but you will be ready to say with the Samaritans, That ye know that he is indeed the very Christ. So put not off by delays, but while the Lord calls do you answer, and while he seeks be you gathered, Prov. 1.24.26. yea, while the Light and Love of God is with you believe in it, receive it, and walk in it; for Darkness comes when no Man shall walk or work, John 22, 35, 36. And the Light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall be quenched, Job. 18.5, 6. Then shall his Wrath and Fu­ry increase, which will torment the Conscience for ever, where they shall feel the Worm that dies not, and the Fire that never goes out; then Sorrow, Mourning and bitter Lamenta­tion shall fall upon them; then may they cry to the Mountains fall on us, and to the [Page 140]Hills to cover us; even they (I mean) that slighteth their day of Visitation, and hate to be reformed; For behold the Days come that shall burn as an Oven, wherein all the proud, and all that do wickedly shall be as stub­ble; the Day that cometh shall burn them up, and shall leave them neither Root nor Branch; but to them that fear my Name, saith the Lord, shall the Son of Righteousness arise with heal­ing in his Wings, and they shall go forth and grow as Calves in the stall; and they shall tread down the Wicked; yea, the Wicked shall be as Ashes under the soles of their feet, in that Day when I shall do this saith the Lord; he that can believe it, let him.

This is my Testimony given forth in the same Love wherewith the Lord my God hath loved me, not desiring to Eat my Morsel alone, nor yet to conceal the loving kindness of the Lord, (which is held forth freely unto all) of which I am made a par­taker, according to the measure of that Grace and Love received in Christ Jesus, who would not that any should perish, but that all Men might come to the knowledge of the Truth and be saved; who was the First-fruits of Righteousness, leaving us an Example to [Page 141]follow his steps: So desiring that all might come to partake of the same Grace with us, and walk in the same Light with us, where there is no occasion of Stumbling; and come to drink of the same Living Water with us, which whosoever drinketh thereof shall ne­ver thirst again, but is satisfied for ever, this none knows save they that drink thereof, and they are but a few.

Having for the Reasons aforesaid, commit­ted this to publick view, its now other Mens (as well as mine) to judge of, and no doubt may be by some opposed, as well as by o­thers approved; I therefore desire the discreet Reader (having soberly and piously pondred this short Treatise, in the fear of the Lord (not rashly to asperse either me or it behind my back, thereby to make my Prin­ciple or Testimony odious in the Eyes of such as are weak and unstable in Judgment, but rather (having any thing to object against the Truth of any particular herein) to make known their Objections to me, ei­ther by word or writing, and I shall be very willing to be Christianly informed, or else to give a Christian information, and sober Reply for their satisfaction, and [Page 142]for the clearing and vindicating of every par­ticular herein, according to that Talent of knowledge that is given me to improve; and this I hope will be easily granted by such as is willing to do unto me as they would have me (or others) to do unto them, which is according to both Law and Prophets.

Tho. Carleton.

To the CALLED OF GOD, And true Professors of the LIGHT & SPIRIT of Jesus Christ, in these Northern Nations.

To the Called of GOD, &c.

OH, my well-beloved Friends, Bre­thren and Sisters, in that Spiritual Heavenly Relation, that stands in the power of an endless Life, do I tenderly Greet you all, and in the sensible Feeling thereof, do I at this time with much tenderness and fear, communicate these fol­lowing Exhortations unto you.

Upon the Second day of the Tenth Month at Even, after I was returned from [Page 148]waiting upon, and serving the Lord, amongst the assembly of his People, as my body I lay down upon my Bed, expecting to take its natural rest, my Soul also was inclined to take its sweet repose in God, and in my contem­plation, the care of the Churches, and the concerns of the Flock of God, came weightily upon me, so that my natural Sleep was wiped away from mine Eyes, and in my Meditation with my God, these things fol­lowing rose fresh in me, and the delivering of them to you, came greatly upon me, so that I felt a real necessity upon my Soul to arise and write: And a cry run through me, and the Mourning of my Spirit, and the Lamenta­tion of my Soul was very great, for the division of Reuben, oh for the division of Reuben there was great searchings of Heart, oh many a Sigh, oh many a Groan, oh, many a Lamentation is made by many a tender Heart, and many a broken Spirit, for the division of Reuben, which at this Day were great and many, so that it came upon me in the Dread and Fear of the Eternal God, to Warn all the Churches, all the Called of God, all the Professors of his Name, High, and Low, Rich and Poor, Man and Woman, [Page 149]to beware of Divsion, even the Division of Reuben the First-born, therefore take heed, take heed all you that were First-born, or First begotten to God, who were as the First-fruits of the Spirit in this last Age, and Dis­pensation; Oh let all be Advised I hum­bly intreat you, and in the Counsel of God, do I hereby Warn you all, to beware and avoid Division, for that House that is Devid­ed in it self, and against it self cannot stand, oh let me advise and warn you (in the ten­derness and brokenness of my mourning Soul) as Joseph did his Brethren of old, see that you fall not out by the way, oh feel, feel the melting compassionate Spirit of Joseph whose Bowels broke towards his Brethren, and he wept upon their Neck, oh that in­nocent Spirit of Joseph, he sought no Re­venge when they were fallen into his Hand, and there sheaves came bowing to his sheave; and the eleven stars did obeisance unto him, he was not lifted up, nor exalted with Pride, though Lord of all Egypt, as he said but was full of Compassion and wept over them when they were smitten and terrified with Guilt, only innocent Benjamin wept upon his Neck: Oh see his care to his Bre­thren, [Page 150]fall not out by the way; And as our faithful Father Abraham said to his Nephew Lot, let there be no strife between us for we are Brethren, and the Canaanite and the Perizite they dwell in the Land, they will see it and behold it, and this will agravate the Sin and the Lord will greatly be disho­noured by it. Oh see the Care and Peace­able Spirit of faithful Abraham, how he sought to preserve Peace and Love, and even as it were submitted to his Nephew Lot, the whole Land is before thee, take thy choice, and let not us strive for we are Brethren, so here was no superiority nor exalted Spirit in Abraham; but he works by Love, Oh my dear Friends be you all warned and take heed of Division; for we are now upon our Travel, and upon our Return out of Egypt as Joseph's Bre­thren were, and the Lord hath given us Favour in the sight of Pharoah's Princes, and hath given a large supply to the Souls of us, and our families who was sorely af­flicted with Famine yet in all this there is no cause of Division, let no ones Heart be exalted or lifted up because of Gods Love to them; We are now Returning to [Page 151]the premised Land the Land of Rest and Peace, Therefore let us return in Peace, and dwell in Love together, for Love is of God, and he that dwells in Love, dwells in God; and this Love thinks no Evil its no maintainer of Strife, nor no be­getter of Division, And take the Advice of the Apostle, mark them that cause Division, and avoid them, and from whence comes War and Strife, and from whence comes all Division, do they not rise from fleshly self-seeking Lusts that War against the Soul; And is not the accuser of the Brethren con­cerned, would not he accuse us one to ano­ther, and set us at variance one with another, and provoke to sell, and betray one another into the hands of the Medianites, to be Bondslaves in Egypt again.

And what is the matter the accuser works upon, is it some party coloured Coat the Father is pleased to bestow upon one more then another, or upon some dream of Exaltation, or being Prefered one above another, or is it about some Trifle, Jangling, or questions of Words, thus the Enemy laboured of old and wrought Division, and thus he would Work now if he be not watched against, [Page 152]Oh therefore all take heed, and labour to keep near the Lord every Man for himself, and every Woman for her self; labour to keep out that Spirit that would provoke to strife, and to contention, oh let it enter into none, nor (be­ing entered) keep possession in any for where Strife is there is Confusion and every Evil work, so if any thing would arise at any time that tends to Strief, or would rend, and make Division; in the Bowels of the love of God; I desire all to watch against it, shut it out, crush that Cockatrice timely; kindle no such fire, nor blow up that Flame with words, but in the meek spirit of Jesus quench it, and rather give place to wrath, for a soft mild answer turns it away; always remem­bring the words of the Apostle, Why do you not rather suffer wrong, and suffer your selves to be defrauded, and set them to judge that are least in the Church, that a speedy end may be put to it: And as Christ himself said, he that would be Chief let him become Servant, and as I have washed your Feet, even so wash you one anothers Feet: Here was a blessed Example of Humility laid down, and the lording of the Gentiles reproved. And truly Friends, they that stand single in the [Page 153]light and counsel of God, whose Eye is impartial may clearly See, and distinguish in all matters of Debate and Controversie, what spirit Rules, for if the Lambs spirit be there, there is Innocency, there is Tenderness, there is Humility, there is broken Hearted­ness, that spirit that is from above is Gentle, Meek, and Lowly, easie to be entreated; it is not stubborn, proud nor self willed, it hates not Reproof as Fools, but it loves the Reprover as a wise Man; so they that are of this spirit they are of Abraham's Seed, and of Abraham's Faith, let there be no strife between us for we are Brethren, they will readily comply, and follow after Peace, knowing that the Lords Honour, and the Honour of his Truth is concerned; so let the fruits of the Lambs spirit appear in all, let the Lambs nature come up, and rule in all, that the Lamb and his followers may have the Victory; so shut out all Pride, all Stubbornness, all Ambition, all self Exaltation, and Worldly glory, let that spirit and nature, bow down at the Foot­stool of the Lamb, and come bending unto him as Joseph's Brethren to Joseph; Oh how then would his Bowels break, and weep [Page 154]over its neck, as Joseph over his Brethren, and the Father over his prodigal, oh how willing is he to receive such, and love them freely; therefore all keep near the Lord and wait to feel universal Love in the uni­versal Spirit of Jesus, that it may fill all, possess all, and mutually flow through all, that your first love may be strengthened, even the love of your espousals, whereby you were first espoused to God, and united one unto another, this will renew you again, oh the comliness, and the beauty of this first love, how precious and sweet it was; many of us may yet remember, how it drew our Souls to God, and one unto another, oh what a Heavenly harmony, what a Heavenly oneness this love, this first love did beget, how it wrought all into concord, and unity as one Body, one Heart and one Spirit, to hold the same Testimony and speak the same Thing, in the one pure Language, out of the many Languages, and out of all Di­vision the root and spring of it; oh the amiableness of that first love, the love that thinks no evil, how precious and sweet a thing it is to behold, and to see Brethren dwell together in it, it truly preaches for [Page 155]God, and is one infallible signe of a Disciple of Jesus Christ as by himself lay'd down, by this shall all Men know that you are my Dis­ciples because ye love one another, for love is of God: So if any have turned aside, if any one be hurt, if any one be wounded, here is their balm, retire to their Primitive purity, to their first Zeal, to their first fervent desire, to their first love and tenderness, that which is stronger then Death which many waters cannot quench, nor floods wash away; Oh that all would be stirred up to wait upon the Lord, to feel the renewings of it, that in ten­derness of Spirit we may serve one another, and provoke one another to love and good works, and in that dwell together, and watch against Division and the author and maintai­ners of it, and the God of Peace and Love will be with us, and he will delight to dwell amongst us, and he will cause his that abide in his Love to revive as the Corn and to blossom as the Rose, and their comliness will appear again as the morning Sun upon the Mountains; so every particular retire, retire to your first Love, to your first Integrity to your first Zeal for God, let not that be lost as the Church of Ephesus did; least the [Page 156]Lord the Just and Righteous God, remove the Candlestick out of its place; so all do your first Works, and keep your first Testimonies unviolated, in Doctrine, Life and Practice, for this Preaches much for God.

And truly Friends this is a searching Day, though a Day of outward ease, yet a Day of inward trouble to many, a sifting trying Day, the Day of Satans transformings, who goes subtilly about to deceive, and with his Tail would sweep down a third part of the Stars and cause them to fall to the Earth; there­fore my dear Friends keep low and humble before the Lord, within the Sanctuary of God, and lay timely hold upon the hornes of the Altar thereof, for the Day of sifting is begun, and the Day of win­nowing is at hand, wherein our God will sift the Nations, and winnow the People, he will fan them, yea he will fan them, and thorowly purge them, he will take away the chaff from the wheat, and purge away the dross from the silver in his refining Fire, and who shall stand when he appears, who shall dwell with devouring Fire, or who shall dwell with everlasting Burnings, only he that walketh Righteously, and speaketh Upright­ly, [Page 157]who abhoreth the gain of oppression, and shutteth his eyes from seeing Evil.

And truly Friends our God is come and comming to execute Justice and Judg­ment in the Earth, I have seen it, yea in the Light of Jesus, I have beheld the Lord for several years past, how he hath been search­ing out the Sins of the Daughter of his People; and bringing to Light the hidden things of dishonesty, yea how hath the Lord sought out the hidden things of Esau; so there is nothing covered but he can reveal it, nor nothing hid that he doth not know, his Eye sees all, and his Ear hears all, his Justice he will Execute upon the head of the Trans­gressor, and he will wound the hairy scalp of the Head of the Evil doer, whether professor or prophane, let none think to escape, Wealth nor Wisdom he will not regard, nei­ther Mountains nor Hills can preserve or co­ver any of the Workers of In quity in this searching Day; the Righteous God of Hea­ven will not be bribed, he will not be mocked nor dissembled with, though prophane Men Johanan like, may dissemble with one ano­ther, and may for a time appear like Pha­risees Tombs with a fair smooth polished [Page 158]Face in the sight of Men, and may subtilly cover their Sin, and keep their deeds of deceipt and darkness hid from the Eye of Man for a time, and like a painted Har­lot wipe their mouth, as though they had done no Evil, flattering themselves with their own crafty Wit, making lyes and falshood their refuge, yet the Just and Righteous God, who judges Righteously he will find out such, he will discover their skirts, and uncover all their nakedness to their shame and utter confusion:

Therefore all take heed of maintaining any thing hiddenly, in the dread of the Lord God I warn you; but mind the Light of Jesus, and the leadings of it in your own Hearts, and live in that, walk with God in that as Enoch did of old; and then you need not fear the Tryal of the Day, though your Deeds be revealed upon the House top, your nakedness will not become your shame, you will need no deceitfull coverings nor aprons of Fig-leaves, so to the Witness all retire, it will dissemble with none, it will truly discover your present estate and con­dition before God and the nature and pro­pertie of every thing you undertake, I know [Page 159]the experience of it, not a foot can turn aside out of the narrow way of Life, but (being waited in) it will certainly discover; the worth and preciousness of it, let no one ever despise; Oh my dear Friends em­brace it take heed of riding over or trampling on its reproofs, or of thinking to smother and quench it in your selves, no no, its mouth can never be stoped, nor its judgment ever perverted, it will be as Ten thousand Witnesses, it will one Day be too hard for all that now rejects it, And will put the World the Flesh and the Devil to silence.

So let none be puffed up with any thing, trust not to Egypts help nor to the Worlds wisdom, for they will be as a broken Reed, but all keep low, and mind the narrow Way that leadeth unto Life, the self denying way, 'tis but a few that find it, yea perad­venture but a few of that few that pro­fesses to walk in it; The broad way the way of the World lies very near on every hand, it is soon stepped into, if once ones Eye be turned aside, then it appears delight­full, and hath a show of Beauty in it, but it leads to the chambers of Death.

And my Friends those things I laid be­fore you in my former Epistle, I hope I need not here reiterate or make repetition of, but as I was enjoyned by the Lord to deliver them unto you; so I would have all Male and Female, to ponder them in your Hearts that all may be clear, and I clear of all, And Friends keep your Hearts clear of the spirit of this World, of all the Ways, Fashions, Pleasures and Alurements thereof; shake your selves from them, live loose to them, for things may be Lawful to them, and by their Law, that may not be Lawful to us by our Law. The Law of the spirit, here is our rule, so take heed of measuring by their Rule, for our Rule being spiritual, exceeds all their carnal Rules; and our Righteousness must exceed theirs also, so all minding the Rule, and minding the Line, none needs go out of their Way, for it exceeds all the Lines and Rules of Mans making, so come to the just measure, the measure of Truth, for un­just measures are abomination in the sight of God.

And all shake your selves from all the Whorish Babilonish brats, from all her Customs, from all her Ways and Worships, partake not of them, come away come away, hasten hasten out from among them, bid adieu to all her Glories and escape for your lives as Lot did out of Sodom, be­fore Gods destroying Angel go forth, for his Wrath is kindling and his Fury is com­ing up into his Face, and who shall stand be­fore him; Oh therefore come, come a­way, linger not, hasten, hasten, to little Zoar the City of our Refuge, which God hath appointed for us, come give up, give up all, in pure obedience follow the Lamb, even the Lamb of God that takes away the sin, and finisheth Transgression, and breaks the bonds of Death, oh give up, leave all and come away, and wait to feel the Blood of sprinkling, the Blood of the Lamb to sprinkle the posts of your Doors that the destroying Angel may not enter, but may pass over you as he passed over his Israel of old; for I know it from the Lord and can declare it unto you, that God hath a Remnant at this Day, (as he had in that) that are in Covenant with [Page 162]him; And those are they that hath o­beyed Truth in their inward parts; and hath kept their Garments unspotted of the World, and hath walked with God in the simplicity of their Hearts, they are his, he hath Chosen them out of the World, he hath called them by his Name, and espoused them to himself, and whosever toucheth them touches the apple of his Eye, God will take care of them and will be their munitioned Rock, he will pass by them and spare them as a Man spareth his onely Son that serveth him; oh therefore retire, retire to the Lowly, Meek, and self-denying Spirit of Jesus, live in the possession of it, so shall you be Heirs of Life and Glory in and through Christ Jesus, and Ci­tizens of the New and Heavenly Jerusa­lem, whose Walls is salvation and Gate [...] praise, and though fear may surprize the hypocrite, and astonishment cease upon the Disobedient and Rebellious, yet you shall [...]and as Mount Zion, that cannot be mo­ved, the Lord God Almighty will strengthen your stakes, so that not a stake of Jerusalem can be removed, nor a Cord of Zion ever [...]e broken, the Mouth of the Lord hath said [Page 163]it. Oh therefore all sink down, sink down to the pure Principle of God in the inward Man, the just Mans path, the shining Light of Jesus Christ, oh let that Guide all, and Order all, and then may we say with David, thy Word o Lord is a Light unto my feet and a Lanthorn unto my paths indeed, and so in the Light feel the Love, the first Love renewed, and strengthened again, oh strengthen, strengthen that little that yet re­mains, that it may grow warmer and warmer, and not colder and colder; for where ini­quity abounds there Love grows cold, and undoubtedly in such the Life declines; therefore feel universal Love to grow, to fill, to run through all, for Love worketh no ill to his Neighbour, it is the fulfilling of the Law as faith the Apostle; so if any one Male or Female have declined, have walked disorderly, have turned aside from the holy Commandment, from the Foot­steps of the flock of God, from the holy Order of the holy Life, and Gospel of Jesus Christ, it stops the Currant of Love both in themselves and others, oh let such return, return, repent and amend, and bow to the Righteous Judgment of him to whom all [Page 164]Judgment is committed, and at the Footstool of Jesus truly humbled, in true Tenderness and Contrition of Spirit, wait to feel the Currant and Streams of Love from God the Father, to flow in, and heal again, and to restore again, that so the heavenly sap, vertue and univer­sal love may be felt to spring, run and ascend again through every member or branch, that love and good will in all may grow and increase, and the contrary nature may decline, and that root in which enmity, self-love, pride and contention, stands, may be dai­ly subdued and slain, that all may bow to the Cross and be subject to the Power, the heavenly Power of God, oh feel it, feel it, in your Souls to live, oh let none resist it in them­selves, nor in others, for whoever resists the Power resists the Ordi­nance of God, so prise it, prise it my dear Friends, retain the sense and sa­vour [Page 165]of it in your selves; let not that be lost in any high nor low, rich or poor, old nor young, there is a living Beauty and Comliness in it still, it is beyond all professions or prescribed Forms, or imitations of Mans mak­ing, there can no form nor likness be made of it, so the nature and work of the Power being possessed and lived in, it will preserve all in Love, Unity and Peace and Heavenly fellowship, and spiritual oneness, out of all jars, strifes, discords or di­visions; And the God of Peace and Love will be with us, and de­light to do us good, and will un­doubtedly cherish and maintain his own heavenly Birth and righteous Seed, which by the over shadowings of his heavenly eternal Power he hath begotten, and raised in all his regenerated ones.

So to the pure gift of God, I Recommend you all my dear Friends [Page 166]Brethren and Sisters, that in it we may all hold the mistery of Faith in a pure Conscience, even that Faith that gives Victory and Dominion over the World, and all that nature, that in it we may live, and by it all may be preserved, unto the end, That so the Lord God Almighty his Living Holy Name, and Eternal Truth may be Feared, Served, Ho­noured and Obeyed over all, by and through all, for He alone is worthy, yea Everlasting worthy, God blessed for ever and evermore,

Saith the Soul and Spirit of him who is the Lords and yours in the Unity of the Gospel of Christ Jesus. T. C.

A General EPISTLE: CONTAINING Wholsom Admonition and Advice to Friends in IRE­LAND, and else-where.

DEar and well beloved Friends, Bre­thren and Sisters who are in some Measure gathered by the Arm of God's Power, and have known the blessed Ap­pearance [Page 170]of Life and Salvation, to you is the Salutation of my unfeigned Love, and in the Fellowship of God's Everlasting Light do I tenderly greet you all; and for the clearing of my Spirit, of that which for some time hath been upon me, do I com­municate these Lines, in the true Simpli­city of my Heart, dearly desiring all that love the Lord Jesus Christ, To keep low and near the Lord, and wait to feel God's living Power in your Hearts, unto which we were turned or exhorted from the Be­ginning; for, in the Light of the Lord, I see there is a Necessity for it: For, unless the Sense of God's living Power be felt, Profession is vain, and Meetings are not made profitable; for the Mysteries of Life and Salvation, and of true Christianity, con­sist not only in any Profession, Name or Notion, of this or that Principle, Article or Creed, formed or received in the Minds of Men or Women, but in a living Enjoy­ment and Possession of the Power and Spirit of Christ Jesus, the Author and Finisher of the living saving Faith. So my dear Friends, all wait to feel the Operation of that Pow­er in every Heart and Soul, to subdue all [Page 171]to God, and to work all into submission and real obedience to the heavenly Will and Mind of Christ Jesus, who is come a Light into the World, that all men through him might believe; hear is the unchangeable standing Rule, which every one is to mea­sure themselves by; and he or she that is measured or squared by this, are as polished Stones for God's spiritual House; and he or she that is not squared by this, are not fit to be Members of God's Building: so all having the Measuring line in your hearts, let Judgment be laid to it, and so try all things, words, works, behaviours, and the Intent of all, and from what ground and spirit it doth proceed: and this unchangeable everlasting Rule all keep to it, and Build by it, so shall you be justified with it in the Day of Tryal; so all things done by this unchangeable unerring Rule (the Law of the Spirit of Life) this keeps clean and pure, and sets free of all Mud and Confusion, Sin and Iniquity, and things that bring death and darkness over the Soul and understand­ing, and so cloud the Testimony: So let every man and woman (by this standing Rule) examine themselves, and so let them [Page 172]eat, speak or act, as the Lord shall per­swade them; and wherein any one doubteth, and is not clear in what he or she undertak­eth, let such forbare, and wait in quietness till the Lord clear their way: So all take heed, and keep to the Rule; for in the Lord's Light we see Light, and have Clearness, and Freedom, and Peace? but going from the Light, without Rule, without Guide the Vail comes over, Darkness gathers in, Confusion and Trouble, then Peace comes to be lost. So you that have known in any measure the work of Regeneration, and of the New Birth, through the working of God's Spirit and power in your Hearts, by which some unclean spirits have been cast out, keep to the Power still, and beware of letting in the unclean spirit again, for if you do, the lat­ter-end will be worse then the beginning. And lean not to the World's Wisdom, be­ware of that spirit I advise all; for by that wisdom God is not known; and if once the Sense and enjoyment of God be lost, then man and woman is in a woful state, without God in the World; so keep out of the world's spirit I intreat you all, and live as Fools to it, and all its wayes, fashions & customs, for [Page 173]in the light of the Lord I see a great Snare there at this day and too many that make Profession of Truth are like to be split upon that Rock. So dear Friends, live loose to the world, and all the glories of it, and seek to be wise in that which is not of this world, that you may be loved of God; and so dwell in that which can bear the revilings and re­proaches of this world, and the contradicti­on of sinners, as our Lord Jesus Christ hath left us an Example: So beware of looking back to Egypt's Glory again. to see any heauty or comliness in that dark Land, for, from the Lord I see a Temptation attending God's spiritual Israel in this day, as surely as ever it attended Israel after the Flesh, and many are too prone to desire the pleasures of Egypt again (though the best of them be bondage, as many to their Sorrow have found) yea, too ma­ny there be that cannot bear tryals and reproaches, and the way of the Cross and self-denyal, but think it long, and wearisom, and hard, as they did in the dayes of old, and so are too ready to murmur and repine, and lust in their hearts after this World's glory again, and joyn to its fashions and customs [Page 174]again, and so set up Idols again, as they did whose Carcases fell in tho wilderness, with whom the Lord was displeased: So beware of letting in that spirit of destrust, unbelief and rebellion against God, and his pure Wit­ness in your Consciences, and beware of building that which was once destroyed, or licking up that which was once vomited, or entertaining of that which was once cast out, or owning that which was once denyed, ei­ther in words, in works, in behaviour, in apparel, in doctrine or faith: hath Truth in you condemned for all idle, vain pro­phane, wicked, unfound and unfavoury words, and brought you into a Form of needful, true and sound words? keep to it still: hath Truth condemned all idle, proud, prophane, wicked and ungodly Acti­ons, and all empty, airy, foolish, wanton, lustful, proud, self-willed and Men-pleasing behaviours, and brought you into modera­tion, gravity, plainness, reallity and Truth in Life and Conversation? keep to it still: hath Truth condemned for decking and adorning the Body with vain, superflu­ous, proud, needless, worldly, eye-taking Toyes in Apparel, and led you into plain, [Page 175]profitable, decent, needful things? keep to it still: and fashion not your selves like unto the World, nor learn any of their man­ners, nor of the breeding of that Egyptian-Spirit, which keeps the Seed in bondage, and oppressed the just in the particular and in the general; so from the Lord I advise you all, and warn you all that are Parents, to watch over your Children, and bring them up in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord, and beware you breed them not up in the World's manners nor customs, nor in pride, lightness and vanity, nor in things that puff up and lead away their minds from un­der the Cross of Christ Jesus, but rather breed them up in Humility, Lowliness and Self-denial, and in the Fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of true Wisdom and gate of Virtue; and so endeavour to train them up in the right Way to Life, and lay a good Foundation in them while they are young, and then both you and they may ex­pect a blessing from the Lord which is better then all. So away with all Manners and Breeding, and Education that is out of the Fear of God; for you your selves know, the first Nature in it self is too in­clinable [Page 176]to be taken with the Manners and Customs of the Egyptian-Spirit, and to take pleasure and conceit it self, and be puffed up with, and in those things that lead from God, without nursing and encouraging there­unto; so keep all Low in Meekness and Self-denial, that God's Fear may be timely planted in their Hearts, and the Principles of Life and Peace, they may be instructed in, as you your selves have learned them of the Lord, that so the loving-kindness and gentle dealings of God towards us, we may tell of them to our Children, and they to a­nother Generation; so all learning the way of the Cross and Self-denyal, that Will that is carnal and earthly will be mor­tified and slain, and the Spirit of the World and the Customs thereof will be Crucified to you all, and you all unto it, and then, how can they that are Crucified to the World live any longer therein? and so Spiritual Men and Spiritual Women, Sons and Daughters of the incorruptible Seed, begotten again by the Power and Spirit of Christ Jesus, and so dead to the World's Spirit, Ways, Cu­stoms. Manners, Traditions, Ordinances and Worships, all in the Fall and Degenera­tion [Page 177]from God, and every one Living up to this, being guided by God's Wisdom, keep their Testimony clear and unviolated in the sight of God and Men.

So stand true Witnesses for God and be Faithful or full of Faith in the Lord; believe in Him, love Him above all, and trust Him with all, Wife and Children, Estate and Life; and take heed of giving Offence, or of causing Truth to suffer in its Esteem; for God hath glorified it, and will glorifie it; and Wo from the Lord is to them that cause Truth to be Evil spoken off, that brings a blot upon their Testimony, and so marreth the Visage and Countenance of Truth in the particular, or in the general.

And dear Friends stand living. Witnesser for God's Truth, and be not cowardly, but valiant, as Soldiers of Christ Jesus, and stand up against all the Works and Workers of Iniquity, against all Hirelings and false Shepherds, against the grand Oppression of Tythes, with the abolished Ceremonies and Ordinances of the first Covenant, and Jews outwardly, which Antichrist and the Decei­vers that are gone into the World (having lost the Power) would innovate and set up [Page 178]again among the Gentiles and Jews inward, contrary to the Institution of God; and stand up against all Swearing, and that which leads to Swearing, and against Lying or Stealing, and against Fighting or Killing (since our Kingdom is not of this World) and against Fornication, Adultery, Whore­dom, Lasciviousness, Luxury, and all man­ner of Uncleanness, the sins of this World, which are so vile they are scarce fit to be spoken of, or named amongst the Saints; so as becomes Warriours for God, and the everlasting Gospel of Christ Jesus, stand clear of them all, and against them all, and then there will be no need of shifts and ex­cuses, and crooked Reasons in the fallen wis­dom, to hide or cover any one with.

And my dear Friends, let your Yea be Yea, and your Nay be Nay, and keep to the form of sound words in all your Commu­nications, Bargains and Dealings one with another, and also with them that are without, that so you may honour the Lord, and ho­nour his Truth, and convince all with whom you have to do, that Truth and Righteous­ness lives in you, and you live in it; this is the glory of all Profession. And be not [Page 179]forward and rash in Words and Promises; for some there are, yea, too many, that make Profession of Truth and true Religi­on, and yet know not a bridle for the Tongue, and the Apostle said, such Mens Religion was vain; yea, and too many there are, that are hasty to promise, and flow to per­form, and then shuffle to excuse themselves (as Eve did) where no Excuse can properly bear in the Truth; so beware of it, I desire you all, for this was one express Token the Apostle laid down of the falling away; therefore be slow to promise, but careful, quick and forward to perform, when pro­mised, and that keeps Truth clear, and an­swers the Expectations of all, and Preaches to all with whom we have to do, and hereby the Saints reached God's Witness in one ano­ther in the beginning, so keep to it still, and every one speak the Truth from his Heart without Dissimulation, and learn not the slighty words and cunning evasions of the deceitful Spirits of this World, which darken knowledge, thereby to drive Bargains, to accomplish self-ends and covetous designs; for such things (though never so fairly glos­sed) are inconsistent with the innocency and [Page 180]naked simplicity of our Gospel, neither is Truth honoured by such deceitful coverings: so all Friends, keep clear of such things, and be plain-hearted with all Men; for no co­verings will hide or avail in this bright light­some Day, but that of God's Eternal Spi­rit, which will stand over all, and Darkness cannot comprehend it; but going from the Light and Spirit of God, into the fallen de­ceitful wisdom, then the World comprehends and sounds, and bottoms all such, and so Truth suffers in the particular, and in the general; so the Law of the Spirit of Life, which we profess, is beyond all Laws, and a Rule beyond all Rules, and reaches further to the ordering and guiding of all those that are resolved and given up to it, in Obe­dience, then all Laws, Precepts, Canons or Injuctions that are outward whatsoever; so the Righteosness that is God's, which Christ Jesus is the Author of, is beyond all, and exceeds all the Righteousness of other Pro­fessions, Scribes or Pharisees; whereby its plain every Righteosness doth not enter, nor is accepted of God, but only that which exceeds the Scribes and Pharisees, which Christ works in all his by the Operation of [Page 181]his eternal Spirit. So my dear Friends, wait to feel it, and the effectual Works of it brought forth in you all, which to feel is more then words, that your Faith may stand in it, and in a living Enjoyment of it; for that Man or Woman that doth not feel it, and the efficacy and vertue of it, they bring from a strange Vine, which Christ Jesus will not own; and all take heed, and keep low in God's Fear. And you my Friends that are Rich in this World, or have much of the Creation of God, do you watch and take heed; for there is a Snare, and that none of the least, which attends that state also; and if the Lord hath encreased your store, set not your Hearts upon them, nor trust to them; for he that trusteth to his Riches, shall fall, for as one said, They are not for ever, but some­time make themselves Wings, and fly away: so be not lifted up with them, but eye the Lord, and possess as though you possessed not, and labour to be Rich towards God, and Rich in good Works; and remember poor afflicted Joseph, and be ready to do good, and to communicate, as said the Apostle, and keep your Hearts single and loose to those things, and so in God's Wisdom you [Page 182]will see your Way and Service, and the End and Use of all. And all you Young Men and Women, that are single and unmarryed, you have an Oportunity to serve the Lord? do you keep low, and beware of being en­tangled or brought in Bondage by youth­ful Lusts; for thereby many have lost a good condition with God, and brought them­selves to Sorrow and Wo, both in this Life and that which is to come: And above all, take heed of joyning Affinity with strange Nations, and such as know not God▪ nor obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; for this was forbidden Israel after the flesh, Deut. 7.3.4. and for their Diso­bedience herein, God's anger was kindled against them, and they were carryed away captive many; years which made Ezra, the Servant of the Lord, rent his Garments, and pluck his Hair off his Head and Beard, and mourn before the Lord, till he and the Elders of Israel resolved to put away their Strange Wives, Ez 9, 10. chap. And Esau by marrying the Daughters of Heth, so grieved his Father and Mother, that Rebecca complained, she was weary of her Life, Gen. 27.46. And Paul ad­vised, [Page 183] not to be unequally yoked together, Believers with Unbelievers, knowing there could be no Union between Light and Dark­ness, nor the Temple of God and Idols, &c. so keep your Hearts single to God, and wait in God's Wisdom to overcome the Wicked One in your own particulars, and seek to be marryed to the Lord first, and joyned to the Lord by his eternal Spirit, which brings into Unity, and keeps Chasti­ty in Mind and Spirit unto him: and ob­serve the Advice of the Apostle, who said, The Unmarried cared for the things of the Lord, how he or she might please the Lord; but the married for the things of this World, how he or she might please Wife or Husband: So all be watchful, and mind your Places and Callings in Christ Jesus: but if any one (in the Fear and Wisdom of God) do see it their way to marry, let such seek God's Counsel, and be not hasty, but wait in it, that he or she may enjoy a Wife or a Hus­band in the Peace and Love of God, and to be joyned one by his eternal Spirit, and then Meet helps and a Blessing one to ano­ther, and then the Marriage is honourable, and the Bed undefiled; so all keep clean, [Page 184]and live up to God in all things, in all States and Conditions, in your Places and Callings whereunto God hath called you, that the Lord may take pleasure to do you good, and to multiply his Blessings upon you, that the Issues of Life and Peace may abound, and run through all, and rest upon all your Hearts and Souls as the dew of Hermon. And the God of Peace and Love preserve us all in his Peace and Love, and carry us through all by the Arm of his Eter­nal Power, and guide us all in his heavenly Wisdom, to the Praise, Glory and Renown of his Everlasting Name, who is God alone, blessed forever and for evermore.

Your Friend & Bro­ther in the Obedi­ence of Truth, Tho. Carleton.

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