THE Quakers Confuted, BEING AN ANSWER Vnto Nineteen QUERIES; Propounded by them, and sent to the Elders of the Church of Duc­kenfield in Cheshire;

WHEREIN Is held forth much of the Doctrine and practise Concerning Revelations, and immediate Voices, and against the holy Scriptures, Christs Ministry, Churches and Ordinances &c.

TOGETHER With an Answer to a Letter which was Written and sent by one of them to a Family of Note and Quali­ty in the said County, which pleaded for perfection in this life, and for Quaking.

By Samuel Eaton, Teacher of the Church of Christ hereto­fore meeting at Duckenfield, now in Stockport in Cheshire.

LONDON, Printed by R. White for Thomas Brewster, and are to be sold at the sign of the three Bibles at the West-end of Pauls. 165 [...].

To the Supream Authority of the Nation, the Parliament now sitting in Westminster.

Right Honourable,

IT is the Duty of all that Love the Lord Jesus Christ in Sincerity, to contend for the Faith that was once given to the Saints, every man in his place, according to the Calling, Office, Power, Interest, Gift, Ability that he hath received from God. And I in my place (though the weakest of many, be­ing yet led forth thereto by special inviting Providences) have done it both formerly and at present. And I As­sume the boldness to present my poor, plain, weak and slender labours to your Honors view, and most humbly beg your favorable construction of my design and scope in them. It is not to asperse any who are innocent; it is not to bring Saints who are weak and frail under con­tumelie; Neither is it to exasperate the Supream Ma­gistrate against any Persons in whom the visibility of Saintship shall be found; Nor is it to conivnce these Per­sons (betwixt whom and my self the contest lies) of their Errour; for had there been any hope of that, I should have found out another way; but it is to preserve those who are yet sound in the Faith from infection, and it is to awaken others (who are far more able in the Scri­ptures [Page] then my self) to appear for God, for Christ, and for the Truth, in such times of the great Apostasie of so very many from the Faith. And it is to provoke your Honors to a self-reflection, if thereby you may di­scern what your own Duty may be, and whether there be not somewhat which the Supream Magistrate, accord­ing to his Power, Place and Interest is called to do, in obe­dience to that command. I know you will manifest very much tenderness to all Saints, though in diffe­rent forms, and of different judgements in circum­stantial Truths, and no question Christ will take it kindly from your hands; but there is a company of A­postate Christians who are dispersed all over the Land, and who do sow much corrupt seed (which comes up with great increase in many places) who yet do pass with some for precious Saints. But my hope is, and my Prayer shall be, that the Lord will make you wise to judg ef Saintship according to Scriptural Rules, and not according to the large Charity of some who are truly good, though too much friends to them. You are not ignorant what a Character Christ himself gives of false Teachers, though appearing a Righteous, Innocent and Harmless People, (as these Quakers stile them­selves) he calls them Wolves in Sheeps clothing. And Paul speaking of such, compares them to Satan in this, That they will transform themselves (as he doth himself into an Angel of Light, so they) into Ministers of Righte­ousness. And John in his Epistles makes them all Anti­christs, And the Scope & Drift of all the Apostles in all their Epistles almost, is to confirm the Faith which the Saints had received, and to preserve from, & recover them out of Errour; and it is to impugn such Doctrine as [Page] Seducers brought in among them, & the Zeal that they shewed is worthy of observation. You know also that as God is a righteous God, & loves Righteousness, and therefore if you advance Righteousness (as my hope in God is that you wil) you shall not lose your reward; For he is also a jea­lous God in the things wherein his Glory is more immedi­ately concerned; And his Honor is not more concerned in any thing then it is in the Doctrines which men hold and teach, and in the Worships which men give to him: therefore if you also shew your selves jealous of his Glory in these things, it will be assuredly written down in Gods Book of Remembrance what Zeal you had for your God, and the Lord will bless you thence forward. Are Magistrates for a Praise to good works, and for a ter­rour to evil works, while only they are good and evil, but when they come to be best or worst (as they alwayes be when Religion is in them) is it so that they then have nothing to do, neither are they to meddle with them? If this be the sense of the Apostles words (as all Persons which do exclude the Magistrate from having any thing to do with the matters of God) will have it to be; it is a strange one, and hath nothing to bear it up, either from that Text, or any that I know of. But you are suffi­ciently instructed (I doubt not) concerning your own pow­er, and your Zeal shewed where the honour of God is en­gaged, will provoke many whereto they will the rather be carried, considering that no sins do bring more & greater plagues upon a Nat on that professeth Righteousness, then sins against the first Table do; Now Magistrates are the Fathers of the Commonwealth, and therefore should study to preserve it from those judgments that would destroy it. Or else why are Laws made against Oaths, and such kind [Page] of Blasphemies, if they be not to intermedle with matters of the first Table; and are there no sins against the first Table that God hates so much as he hates Oaths? yea, there are Blasphemies of opinion that are of a more hate­ful and harrid nature. But what ought to be done in this case, I leave that to your Honors wisdom to find out by searching of the Scriptures; knowing that the Lord hath made many of you very dextrous and skilful in the un­derstanding of the Scripture. When you meet with Crimes of a Civil Nature mentioned in the New Testa­ment, as Murther, Adultery, Theft, &c. You cannot Read their Penalties there which ought to be in­flicted; you find the sins, but not the Punishments against such Offenders; What course do you take? you are forced to fly to the Old Testament, and to fetch your Light thence. There are Apostates from the true God, from the true Christ, from the true Faith in the great Fundamental of it, and from the true Worship in the very Substantials of it, and who also are Teachers of Apostasie, who yet were once enlightned, and knew the Truth; What ought to be done to such, or what course ought to be taken, that Dishonour to God may not be increased, nor the Land troubled by Gods Controversie against it? I leave it to be seriously thought of; and I hope the Lord will guide your minds (among the multiplicity of other weighty and serious thoughts within you) to the seasonable consideration of it. But if there be Sorcery and Familiarity with the Devil to be found among a People, who challenge Propriety in God, excluding all others from Interest in him; I have no cause to doubt but that such gross polluting Evils will be searched out. [Page] The God of Wisdom direct, and guide your Honors in all things that you take in hand, that by well doing, you may gain the Testimony of the Saints and World, that you are raised up of God, to exalt God, Christ, Faith, Truth, Godliness, Righteousness, and Mercy in this Nation. I most humbly beg pardon from your Honours, for my boldness in suggesting these thoughts of my heart, and spreading them before you, and remain

Your Honors in all humble Duty Samuel Eaton.

To the Christian READER.

CHristian READER, about three years since I was travelling through Not­ting ham towards London, and meeting with many reports respecting a People who are called Quakers, concerning Sorcery and witchcraft that should be among them; for confirmation whereof, it was asserted, that ma­ny Persons who came among them only as specta­tors and Observators of their way, grew distemper­ed, and fell into trances among them. I was very desirous to satisfie my self concerning the truth thereof, being very unwilling to entertain reports upon Hear-say; At last (about half a mile from Not­tingham Town) I met with a man of a godly, sober spirit (as he appeared to me) & Preacher to a people about amile off from the aforementioned Town: up­on occasion of enquiring of the way which I was to go, I fell into discourse with him about the Quakers, and asked him, whether he conceived that there was any Sorcery among them; he answered, yea; and thereupon made Relation of this ensuing Story. There is (said he) a young man of my Farish, whom I judge to be truly godly; he desired leave from me to go among them one day to behold their way: but I durst not give way unto him, but told him that is might be a [Page] tempting of God if he should go. Notwithstanding (un­known to me) he went, and while he was observing of them, he began to be sick, and was afraid he should fall, and wished himself from among them, and soon after their meeting was ended; and he grew well again, and remained unsatisfied with that which he had seen (for he came late) and was very desirous to have some further knowledge of their way, and therefore went the second time among them; and after he had been there awhile, he began to be sick again, and his distemper increased upon him, till at length he fell into a trance among them, in which they left him, and went their way; and when he came to himself there was onely an old woman there, and he returned home, and was very sensible of his mis­carriage in not hearkening to my advice, and came to me and confessed his fault, and acquainted me with all that he had done, and what had befallen him, and blessed himself from that people, and concluded the De­vil was powerful among them. Having received this Relation from the Minister (who was a meer Stranger to me, but very godly in all his expressi­ons) I became credulous of many like things, which I had before that time heard of them, and thought to have nothing to do with that Genera­tion of men; and though I have been often solli­cited to confer with them, yet I have perpetually declined it, because I looked upon them as a People not onely deluded, but given over to the power of Satan. Notwithstanding beyond all mine own thoughts, I have (by the Providence of the Lord, which orders all things) been called forth to have some dealings with them, and am now in a sort [Page] necessitated to appear in Print against them. Fo thus it fell out.

There was a certain man, named Richard Waller, who was Servant at a Gentlemans House near Stopport in Cheshire; this man fell in league with a Woman servant in the same house with him, who stood related to us, and was a Member of our So­ciety; she acquainted us with this league, and sought our consent; we appeared not against it ab­solutely, because he made some profession of Religi­on, but withheld our consent till he should clear himself from some scandalous fact that was charged upon him; but she was impatient of delay, and re­ceived his own relation of the thing, and to our grief and trouble gave herself up unto him in Mari­age. Not long after both of them left the Family in which they lived, and went into the lower parts of Lancashire to live there, near unto those parts where there are many Quakers, who meet frequent­ly together. This man (it seems) had not been long there but he fell in among them, and gave himself up unto them; and within a short time after writ a Letter to the Family (where he and his wife had so lately been Servants) in which he pleads for such a Perfection which excludes all sin from being committed by the Saints; and he also pleads for quaking, and produces many Scriptures to prove both; and he reviles Ministers under the Title of Priests of this World which teach deceit, and he denies all the Teachers of the World, and wit­nesseth his Teacher to be within him, and he ex­horts them to wait upon the Lord, and to cease [Page] from man, and to mind the Light of God-within them, with much more of this nature. A Copy of this Letter was given unto me, which I communi­cated to the Brethren, and after a debate had of those two things, which he asserted and endevour­ed to make out by Scripture; it was concluded that the Letter with those Scriptures should be answer­ed, and sent to this mans wife who wrote the Letter, for the establishing of her, because she stood rela­ted to us, and we were sensible of the danger that she was in; and I was intreated to draw the An­swer, which I did, and it was sent by a special Massenger unto her. About two Moneths after, the same man that wrote the Letter (which occasi­oned our Letter of answer to his wife) came over to our side as a Messenger sent by the Quakers, with a Reply to our Answer, and with a paper of nineteen Questions; and upon the fifth of June last, being the first day of the Week, he delivers the pa­per of the Questions in their name to me, in the face of the Congregation, and requires an answer there­to, and pleads for an Absolute Perfection in the presence of all that were assembled; the paper of Reply he kept back, as being too scurrilous in his own thoughts, as some collected that spake with him; but I had notice of it, and called for it from him the next day, and then received it.

Upon this account it is that I come to be engaged in an answer to these Queries; I have also annex­ed the Copy of his Letter that was given me, and the Answer which I sent unto it, which was di­rected to his wife, together with the Reply that [Page] the Quakers made unto it; which indeed is too te­dious to be read of any who have most time; it is such a sottish and senseless piece of stuff, and hath so much scurrilous language in it. But by it, and by the Queries, the Saints and World may know what a people these are, & what little hope there is of any good to be wrought upon them; if they would admit of any rational discourse from Scripture, some encouragement would be given to spend time that way with them; but they can easily evade all with such Answer as this, Busie minds give senses to Scripture, and are Persons that have nothing to do with Scripture, can witness nothing of that they speak of. They pretend to speak and act all by the Spirit, and if any one will try the Spirit that they speak by, their Reply is, that such an one can neither witness Scripture nor Spirit, and therefore hath no­thing to do with such things. Yet they deceive many, and they increase in number continually; but the time will come that they shall proceed no further. In the mean time it ought to be sad to every godly spirit, that Satan should have such pow­er to work so effectually in and upon many who have been reputed Saints, who are drawn into them; but God will issue all to his Glory at the last, and in this I rest, and remain

Thine in the Lord Jesus Samuel Eaton.

THE Quakers QUERIES, For some Friends who call themselves Elders of the Church of Christ, meet­ing at Stopport, these &c. A few Queries to you who profess your selves to be Teachers, Pastors and Elders.

Querie 1. WHether you have the same eternal Spirit which gave forth the Scriptures, yea or no?

Querie 2. Whether the Apostles did give a right meak­ing to the Scriptures when they gave them forth, or left them to you to give a meaning to them, yea or no?

Querie 3. Whether the Plagues be not added to them who add to the Prophesies written in the Book? and whether his Name be not diminished out of the Book of Life, that di­minishes? and whether you can witness this Name, yea or no?

Querie 4. Whether you have an infallible Judgement to judge of things eternal, yea or no?

Querie 5. Whether you be above the Apostle, and are able to judge his Condition? because you say, he was not per­fect, who said, he spoke wisdom among them that were per­fect.

Querie 6. Whether you have the hidden wisdom which God [Page] ordained before the World was, which the Apostle speaks of yea or no?

Querie 7. Whether you have heard the voice of the live­ing God of Heaven and Earth? or whether do you not take the Prophets words, Christs words, and the Apostles words, and say, he saith it, when saith the Lord, I never spoke to you?

Querie 8. Whether a man shall overcome the body of sin while he is upon the Earth, yea or no?

Querie 9. Whether you preach no other Doctrine then that which the Apostles did? that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and with our hands have handled of the word of life? For this life is made manifest, and we have seen it, and bear witness and shew it unto you.

Querie 10. Whether you have this word which was from the beginning, and this life manifested to you which was to the Apostles? And if it be, why do you take a Text from the Letter, and Preach from it, and shew the People the Letter?

Querie 11. And shew me where the Prophets did take a Text, and preach from it, but only Christ read a place, and said, it was fulfilled, who said he was anointed to preach; and which of you can witness you are anointed to preach by the living God, yea or no?

Querie 12. Tell me why you sing Davids Conditions and Experiences in Meeter, and when you read them, hats you keep on, and when you sing them, hats you put off.

Querie 13. Whether you have the voice, and whether you do know the voice of Christ from the voice of a Stranger? My Sheep know my voice, saith Christ, seing that you are so forward to judge, and sit as Judges of the Saints Conditions?

Querie 14. Whether that which is in you which Judgeth, be eternal and infallible, yea or no?

Querie 15. What is the Ordinance which is ordained of God, that those which you call Quakers deny, and where or when did God command you to observe them? As to sprinkle Infants, to pray before and after your Sermons, as you call them, or to set times, dayes and hours, which was in the Generation which were enemies to Christ, who observed such things.

Querie 16. What these Ordinances of God be which you speak of? And where God commanded them, and to whom, which you say those that you call Quakers do deny? mention them in particular, and declare them openly in Writing, and give over accusing.

Querie 17. Whether you do not seduce the People to draw them from the anointing within them? when as John saith, they need no man teach them, but as the anointing, and the Pro­mise was Eternal Life to him that did abide in the anointing.

Querie 18. Whether you do not bewitch the people, to draw them from the Spirit of God within them, to observe these things which God never commanded; to tell people of a Sacra­ment, and following your outward Teaching, who stand praying in the Synagogues, and are called of men-Masters; which Christ did forbid, Mat. 23. And have the chiefest places in the Assemblies; Whether these be not Antichrists, which act contrary to the Commands of Christ, this yea or no?

Querie 19. Whether a man shall ever grow up that he need no man teach him under your Ministry, yea or no? see­ing the Apostle saith, you need no man teach you, and you which have been long Teachers, how many have you brought up into this Condition?

The Church of Christ is the Pillar and Ground of Truth, which doth witness the eternal Spirit; and if you be the same Church, and have the same Spirit, Answer me these Queries without any consequences or senses, otherwise deny your El­dership and Pastorship, and to be no Church of Christ.

From some Friends in the Truth in Lancashire, whom the World calls Quakers.

An ANSWER to the foremen­tioned Queries, brought by one Richard Waller a Messenger of the Quakers, and presented by him in the name of them, unto the Elders of the Church common­called the Church of Duckenfield, now meeting at Stockport in the face and pre­sence of the whole Congregation; and an Answer required fromthe above said El­ders, upon the 5th of Iune 1653.

Querie 1. WHether you have the Eternal Spirit which gave forth the Scriptures, yea or no?

Answ. We do believe and assert, that all Concer­ing the in­dwelling of the Spi­rit in the Saints. that do believe in Jesus Christ (of which number we take our selves to be) have the Spirit of Jesus Christ, Rom. 8. 9, dwelling in them, 1 Cor. 3. 16. Which Spirit is God, Acts 10. 3. 5. compared with vers. 19, 20. and therefore Eternal; Dout. 33. 27. and he who gave forth the Scriptures, 2 Pet. 1. 21. 2 Tim. 3. 16. But we do not believe that there is any substanti­al, essential or personal union, betwixt this Eternal Spirit and such Believers; For such Unions would either make the Spirit and Believers some third thing, as when soul and bo­dy [Page 2] are united, a third thing which is neither soul nor body, but compounded of both, ariseth from it, which is called Man; or else thee will be a confounding of substance which cannot be; for God cannot mix with the Creature. And else such Uni­on if it should be Personal, as betwixt the two Natures in Christ, would make Believers God, and equal with Christ, and consequently equal with God himself; The Consequence of which would be, thatsuch Persons would have an Almighty Power, which they might put forth in working as many mi­racles as they please, as they may see it make for the Glory of God, and that they would be omniscient and know all things, and would have the rest of Gods Atributes as Christ had, who was God andequal with God, and in whom this Personal Union was; But this is palpsbly false in reference to Saints, and is full of Blasphemy.

And though we believe that the Spirit of Christ dwels in Saints, yet we assert the Spirit of Christ to be distinct from the Saint, and the Saints from the Spirit, And though he dwells in the Saints, yet he acts not in them but as it pleaseth him; neither doth he impart Wisdom, Power, Grace and Glory but as it pleaseth him; 1 Cor. 12. 7. to 12. And though there be the same Spirit in all Saints that gave sorth the Scri­ptures, yet all Saints have not the same Inspiration of the Spirit which the Prophets and Apostles had, so as they should be able to give forth infallible Truths, and immediatly discover the pure and clear will of God as the Prophets and Apostles did; Timothy had the Spirit of God, yet he must give attendance to Reading, 1 Tim. 1. 13. and 2 Tim. 1. 14. 15. He must continue in the things he had learned and had been assured of, knowing of whom he had learned them. And the holy Scriptures which of a child he had the know­ledge of, are those Writings to which the Apostle sends him as being able to make him wise to Salvation. The Spirit within him did not dictate all things to him, but he must have recourse to the Scriptures. God dwelt in the Temple, but God did not make out all his Glory in the Temple. Some­times there was no Glory at all that was visible, and yet God was there; and when there was Glory, there was not [Page 3] all that might have been: And Believers are the Temple of the Holy Ghost, and the Spirit of God dwels in them; but God doth not make out all his glory in them, not all the Glo­ry his Wisdom, Power, Holiness, or of the rest of his Attri­butes; For neither is there a capacity in the Crreature to re­ceive it, neither doth the Spirit communicate according to the capacity, but it is reserved for another time and place; and now every Saint is in weakness and infirmity, as in Know­ledge so in all other Graces. 1 Cor. 13. 9. to 13.

Querie 2. Whether the Apostles did give a right meaning Concer­ning the sense of the Scri­ptures. to the Scriptures when they gave them forth, or left them to you to give the meaning of them, yea or no?

Answ. The Apostles and so all the Penmen of Scriptures, in all the Scriptures they gave forth, had a meaning, and they gave it forth in and with those Scriptures which they gave forth, yet not alwayes so plainly that the meaning thereof might be rightly taken up by those that read them, unless compared with some other Scriptures which they also have given out, which have a plainer sense in them, and are help­ful to expound them; 1 Cor. 2. 13. Christ saith unto the Jews who required a Sign? Ioh. 2. 19. Destroy this Temple and in three daies I will raise it up again: Christ had a sense in which he meant those words; he understood what himself said; but the Iews understood it not, could not take up the sense, but applyed the words to a Material Building; But the Evangelist gives the right sense, in which Christ intended them; and we come to know the right sense, not by the sig­nification of the words themselves; for more things are sig­nified then one by one word, as the word (Temple) signifieth plainly and properly a material house where God gave his Presence and was worshipped; but siguratively and mystically the Body of man in which the Soul dwels. In this metapho­rical sense Christ meant it; But this did not appear to them, nor would it have appeared to us by the signification of the word, if in another place of Scripture the Evangelist had not given the interpretation; Ioh. 2. 21, 22. The Apostle Peter tels us, 2 Pet. 3. 16. that some things in Paul Epistles were [Page 4] hard to be understood, which they which were unlearned and unstable did wrest to their own destruction. There was a sense which Paul gave forth in those Seriptures in his Epi­stles, but it was not easie but hard to be understood, and so hard that they who were unlearned in the Scriptures, not well read therein, not well vers'd, not well acquainted there­with, did wrest them; and unstable ones by reason of the difficulty that was in the sense of them, did pervert them to their own and others ruin. Christ in his Parables that he gave out (which are part of Scripture) had a meaning, But the meaning was so mystical and hidden, that the Disei­ples could not have found it out, if Christ himself in other words had not given the sense and meaning thereof. And Mo­ses & the Prophets wrote of Christ so darkly & obscurely, that though themselves knew what they meant in what they wrote, Iohn 12. 41, yet others did not; the Disciples did not till Christ first expounded unto them the things which Moses and the Prophets wrote of him: Luk 24. 26, 27. Therefore it is that Christ commmands to search the Scriptures, because the meaning lieth deep in many places, and is hidden from the common eye; yet by searching what Scriptures layd together speak, the sense may be gotten out.

In Answer therefore to the Question, the Apostles when they gave out the Scriptures, they gave out the sense in some places more darkly, in other places more clearly; so that the sense and meaning may be taken up (at least in all the, great Points of Faith) if Scriptures be compared with each other; And they have not left them to us, nor to any others to give the sense of them, that is, to put any sense of our own upon such Scriptures which they have given out, which is not their sense: but that which is Jeft to us, is, to find out the sense and meaneing which they have put, as in Re2. 13. 18. after some mystical things had been held out in which there was a mean­ing, but hard to be understood, it is is said, Here is Wisdom; let him that understandeth count the Number of the Beast; that is, let him set all his Wisdom and understanding that he hath on work to search it out. Nevertheless it is not to be understood, that the meaning which the Apostles intended [Page 5] in the Scripture which they gave out, doth perpetually fol­low the sound of the Letter; for the Letter contains con­tradiction many times in it, but the Apostles meaning as he interprets himself, hath sweet congruity in it without con­tradiction.

Querie 3. Whether Plagues be not added to them who add Concer­ning ad­ding to and dimi­nishing from the Scripture, In what sense it is to be un­derstood. to the Prophecies Written in the Book? And whether his name be not diminished out of the Book of Life who diminisheth? And whether you can witness this name, yea or no?

Answ. It is plain and clear from Rev. 22. 18. that the Evils are great and terrible, that are threatned against adding and diminishing; But what this adding and diminishing is that hath such woes belonging to it, is the question; If ex­pounding the Scripture, and interpreting it, and shewing the sense and meaning thereof, be the adding or diminishing that the question intends, against which such a fearful Sen­tence is pronounced, then it would reach Ezra and those others with him mentioned. Nehem. 8. 7, 8. For they read and they gave the sense, and caused the people to understand the reading. And Christ also gave the sense of those words in Isai. 61. 1, 2, 3. and declared how they were fulfilled in himself; and he expounded Moses and the Prophets, their Writings to those two Disciples who were travelling towards Emmaus. And Philip guided the Eunuch in his reading unto the right sense of the Prophet Isar. in Chap. 53. 7, 8, 9. He shewed the Prophet spake not of himself but of another, via. Christ; Acts 8. 31. 34 And what was preaching the Gospal ordained of God for? And why were Gifts given unto men? but that the People might be brought to Knowledge, and might come to understand the Scriptures. Therefore the Apostles were much exercised in opening those sealed Pro­phesies which were often read and never understood, which respected Christ, and in proving out of them that Jesus was the Christ. Therefore the interpreting of Scripture is not adding to it, so long as it is not any private interpretation that is given, which a mans heart hath found out and his [Page 6] fancy hath imagined; but such an interpretation as agreeth to the Spirit of the Scripture in other places. 2 Pet. 1. 20, 21. and such as accords with the Analogy of Faith. Rom. 12. 6. that is, holds Proportion with the Doctrine of Faith as it is laid down in other Scriptures; This is not adding; but ad­ding is, when the sufficiency of the Scriptures to build men up to salvation, and to make them perfect, throughly furnished unto every good work, is not acknowledged; and thereup­on Traditions, Canons, and Doctrines and Commandments of men are brought in and annexed and imposed upon the people; As of old, by the Scribes and Pharisees which Christ so often conflicted with; and by the Roman Synagogue, and by some of that stamp amongst our selves; And when Per­sons assume an Authority and Power to themselves to be the Judges of the Scripture, and expunge what they please out of it, and introduce into it what liketh them, and what sense they give unto it, whether it agrees or not agres with other Scriptures, yet that must be the sense of of it, and none must question it: Whereas Scripture it self ought to be its own interpreter, else there would be no plain standing rule to try truth by, but the Truth of God must be subjected to the various and opposite fancies of men. And when Persons pretend the Spirit, and say they have dreamed, and come with their apprehensions, and say it is made out so to them or it is so given in to them; and though there be never so much repug­nancy in it to other Scriptures, yet that must be the sense; by which means the Spirit of Truth comes to suffer many affronts in this Age; This is adding: And (indeed) the rigid adhering to the letter of Scriptures and to the sound of words therein, without admitting a wholesom sense, such as accords with other Scriptures, is adding, which is the way of all Seducers and Deceivers to make their blasphemous do­ctrine the more vendible. For the letter of Scripture in some places, without searching out a sound sense, will coun­tenance Papists, Arrians, Ranters, and whom not ! in their Tenents; This is the introducing of another Scripture then that which is Scripture indeed; and it is properly such adding to the Scripture, against which such plagues are denounced. [Page 7] Let these Persons who are called Quakers, look to this, for it is their grand imposture wherewith they beguilc the people; they bring the Letter where it serves for their purpose, as the Papists were wont to bring their hoc est corpus meum, This is my Body, to prove the bodily presence of Christ in the Sacrament. And these press upon the people the Letter, and cry out upon the Ministers of Christ and say, they are lying Priests, and they lead the people in darkness, and so by the Letter destroy the sense of Scripture, and bring in another sense which is not Scripture-sense, and so themselves are found both adders to and diminishers from the Scripture.

Querie 4. Whether you have an infallible Judgement to judge of things eternal, yea or no?

Concer­ing Infali­bility in judging how fat men may have it, and how far not.

Answ. The first state of every man is darkness; the natu­ral man understands not the things that are of God, they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor. 2. 14. When any man is brought from darkness to light, even then he knoweth but in part; Paul himself was in some darkness; now we see through a glass darkly, said he of himself and others, 1 Cor. 13. 12. Those to whom John wrote, who had the annointment to teach them all things, and of whom John said that they knew all things, (which was but an hyperbolical expression, and did import only much knowledge to be in them; 1 Ioh. 2. 20, 21, 27.) yet those were not all light without any darkness, but they were such who might be deceived, and were subject to errour; therefore the Apostle warns them of Seducers, not withstanding the unction that they have received. They had not an infallible judgement, but might be mistaken in some of the things of God, though they had the Spirit; for the Spirit gives himself out to those in whom he is, in light, in power and grace as he will. Therefore neither we nor any others have infallible judgments in all things at all times, but we are subject to Errour, and in many things we do not apprehend and speak aright of God, of Christ, of the Spirit, of the Saints, of our selves, of the mysteries of the Gospel, [Page 8] which are some of those things which are eternal; As God said to Iobs Friends, Ye have not spoken of me the things that are right, as my Servant Job hath; and Iob himself did dar­ken Counsel by words without knowledge, when he spake of God.

Notwithstanding that fallible mind and judgement that is in all men in some things, and at some times; yet because the Rule that is left men to judge by, is an infallible, sure and certain Rule, which cannot deceive men, and because it is a plain Rule in many things and easily understood, Prov. 1. 4. and because the principles of Religion and fundamentals of Salvation are so clearly revealed in the Scripture, that Babes in Christ may come to the knowledge of them; there­fore both we and all the Saints, may in some things have an infallible judgement, and may judge of things eternal with a judgement of Certainty, both respecting God, Christ, Faith, Repentance, Resurrection of the dead, eternal judg­ment, and many other things. How else could there be any preaching, if persons could not know infallibly, that in some things they hold forth they speak the Truth; And how could any thing be assuredly believed, if the word of Faith in the true sense of it, could not infallibly be held forth, and judged of? And how could any Person be at a certainty concerning his own Salvation? And how could any Christian seal the Truth of Christ with his blood, if some things could not be judged of with an infallible judgement?

But whether any person having not the Spirit, can have an infallible judgement to judge of things eternal, by the know­ledge they may get from the Scripture, is the drift and scope of the question, if I be able to make a judgement of it. They think that none can infallibly judge of things of an eternal nature, but such who have the Spirit; and that we are persons that have not the Spirit, and therefore cannot judge of them nor of their way, and that they themselves have the Spirit, and that judgement belongs to them only, both of persons and of things; we are but in our first birth, and are carnal, and know not things of an eternal Nature; they are in the second birth, and are spiritual, and can judge all things; [Page 9] and all men, for hitherto tends a great part of a large Letter sent unto us from them, by which I come to prove them in this question. In answer therefore unto this, I must distinguish of in­fallible judgement: There is an infallible Judgment which may be made from the Scripture without the Spirit, and there's an infallible judgment which cannot be made from the Scrip­ture without the spirit. The Judgment that may be made from the Scripture without the Spirit infallibly, respects the Do­ctrine which the Scripture contains to be received & believed by men that they may be saved; what they be, and what man­ner of life it is, that Persons ought to live that would come to Life eternal; these things are clearly and plainly laid down, and may easily be taken up by unprejudiced Persons, who have unballanced spirits, though they have not the spirit. Upon this account it is that the Apostle John would not have every Spirit believed, but would have the spirits tryed whether they be of God; but how must they be tried unless by the Scriptures? for every one will pretend the Spirit, and there are many false Prophets who have the spirit of delusion, and are gone forth into the world; 1 Joh. 4. 1. For if the Scripture were not the judge of the Spirit in this case, so far as concerns Do­ctrines and Manners which men have Received and learned, whether they be of God or no; or whether the spirit of the Devil hath not inspiried them: therewith, all men living would be put upon desperate uncertainties, which is the Spirit that gives our the Truth, and which is the spirit of Errour. And they would be confounded through the multiplicity of spirits, each spirit pretending to Truth, and crying down the con­trary as Errour; Therefore the Scripture alone being of the Spirits inspiring, is a light sufficient to shew the Doctrine what it is, and the commandment & precept what it is, to one that will attend unto it, without any further inspiration of the Spirit; else in vain were the Scriptures at the first inspired.

But then again there is an infallible Judgement which can­not be made without the Spirit, that is, whether those Do­ctrines and Rules of Life which are clearly contained in the Scripture be Doctrines which proceeded from God? whe­ther God spake with Moses, sent Christ to declare what he [Page 10] hath declared, inspired the Apostles in speaking and writing what they have spoken or written, or whether all these spake of themselves. It is the Spirit of God alone that can give assured satisfaction concerning this. The Jews and their Rulers, though they saw the Miracles, yet they know not Christ to be the Messiah; for had they known him, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory. These are among those invisible things which are revealed unto us by the Spirit, as the Apostle tels us, 1 Cor. 2. 8, 9, 10. It is easie for any man that hath his reason, and hath not the Spirit, by read­ing the Scripture to conclude that Scripture makes Jesus the Son of Mary to be the Son of God, and the Christ; But for any man to beleeve it, and build upon it as a sure truth of God, this is from the Spirit; flesh and blood hath not re­vealed this, but the Father which is in Heaven; Christ told Peter so, Mat. 16 16. The conclusion is, That the Scrip­ture is the foundation of an insallible judgement concerning things contained in them, and not the Spirit: but both Scrip­ture and Spirit must concur to give in the certainty of those things that are there contained, that they may become a sure rock to be built upon; for no one can say assuredly, and by a spirit of Faith, that Jesus is the Lord, but by the holy Ghost, 1 Cor. 12. 3.

Quere 5. Whether you be above the Apostle, and able to Concer­ning per­fection, what may be granted and what not. judge his condition, because you say he was not perfect who said he spake wisedom among them that were perfect?

Answ. This Question relates to a passage in our Answer to a Letter of theirs which pleaded for perfection; (which we had the sight of) which fell into their hands, and hath oc­casioned this Question. The words of our Answer are these, He might have discerned that Paul expressly denies perfection in reference to himself, Phil. 3. 12. His Question hence is, Are you above the Apostle, and able to judge his condition, because you say he was not perfect? It is a senceless, foolish, causeless Question, because he judged nothing of the Apostles condition, but perverted what the Apostle judged of his own condition; for it is his own words of himself, which are [Page 11] spoken in the above mentioned place, not our words of him. Not (saith he) as though I had already apprehended or were al­ready perfect. We relate his words, And do we exalt our selves in it above him, and judge his condition? As for his speaking of Wisedom among those who were perfect, that proves not his perfection of which the Question runs, nor (indeed) doth it prove any perfection at all, which excludes all sin, which is that which they drive at in making mention of it. There is a comparative perfection which some attain unto, which the Apostle intends in that place: There are some that are in their way towards it, and have made a good progress, and are still passing thitherward; these are perfect in comparison of the rude wild world, and of such who are onely babes in Christ: He that can bridle his tongue, is a perfect man, as James affirms, not absolutely perfect; for the heart may be unruly, though the tongue be restrained; but comparatively perfect, because there are not many who can do it; amongst such perfect ones Paul speaks wisdom, but not amongst absolute Perfectists.

Querie 6. Whether you have the hidden wisdom which God Concer­ning Christ in Saints, in what sense they have him, and in what sense not. ordained before the World was, which the Apostle speaks of, yea or no?

Answ. This hidden Wisdom which God, ordained before the world was, which the Apostle speaks of in 1 Cor. 2. 7. is CHRIST; for he is called the Wisdom of God, 1 Cor. 1. 24. and he is hidden also; for he was in the World, and the World knew him not, and he came unto his own, and his own re­ceived him not, Joh. 1. 11. 12. For though they said they knew him, and whence he was, yet Christ told them, That they nei­ther knew him nor his Father, nor whence he was, nor whi­ther he went; For though they knew him as he was man, yet the Divinity which was vailed in his fl [...]sh, they saw no [...], nei­ther could see; for flesh and blood revealed it not, but the Fa­ther, as Christ told his Disciples; and it is clear from the above-mentioned place, which he alludes to in this Question, that Christ is the person that is called The hidden wisdom which [Page 12] God erdained; For the Apostle saith, vers. 8. Had they known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory: Now if Christ be this hidden Wisdom, then the Question runs of Christ, whether we have him, yea or no? Our Answer to it is this: What we are will appear in time; but if we be Be­lievers, we have him; for all Believers have him; for he dwells in their hearts by faith, Eph. 3. 17. For faith receives him, Joh. 1. 12. And who ever hath one of the three, hath all the three dwelling in him. If Saints have the holy Ghost (as was grant­ed in the first Question,) Then they have Christ also; nay, they could not have the Spirit, if they had not Christ; for Christ sends him; yet it must be understood in a spiritual sense that they have Christ, and not in a literal and carnal. They have Christ standing in relation to them and they to him, as the members have the head because they are united to it and it to them, and as branches have the Vine, and the Vine the branches, because united to one another. And they have Christs influence upon them, and Christ in those influences: And they have the vertue and power of his Spirit put forth in them in such measure as pleaseth him, but always in part, and not in perfection, 1 Cor. 13. 12. and therein they have him. But they have not Christ in flesh, or the flesh of Christ dwelling in them; for that was taken up into Heaven and will be there contained, till the restitution of all things. But they intend this Question of an higher way of having Christ, and they dream that they themselves have him in a higher way, and that neither we nor any others but themselves have him in that way. They imagine such an having of Christ as the flesh of Christ had God, or as the humanity of Christ had the Godhead: The flesh of Christ had God in such sort, that it was wholy comprehended of God, and taken up into oneness of Person with him, so as that the infinite power and wisdom and holiness of God, was put forth many times in flesh; and always when the flesh (that is, when the humanity) acted any thing, it was in perfection of compliance with God, which was in it and comprehended it; Such an having of Christ as this, they conceit in reference to themselves, that as the Godhead had the flesh, so they have the Godhead, which [Page 13] supplies with all Wisdom, Knowledge, Graces of all kindes, strength, holiness, and with every thing, so that they neede nothing that is external, neither Scripture, nor Ordinances, or Teachers, but Christ whom they have within them is suf­ficent for all things, and unto all purposes, and makes them perfect as Christ is, as God is; Now such an having of Christ as this is, we assume not nor dare assume; And we declare against it as a Satanical delusion, to which God hath left these poor Creatures, who have forsaken him. They would be as God, as Christ; the Devil tempts them to it, as at first he did our first Parents, tells them that they are so, and so they cast off his Institutions, Ordinances, Servants, which he sends in his name, and him in them.

Querie 7. Whether you have heard the voice of the live­ing Concer­ning im­mediate voyces, whether there be any such immediate voyces now as of old time to the Prophets and Apo­stles. Or, con­cerning immediate inspirati­on. God of Heaven and Earth? or whether you do not take the Prophets words, Christs words, and the Apostles words, and say, he saith it, when saith the Lord, I never spoke to you?

Answ. This Question consists of two parts; The former part demands of us, Whether we be persons immediately in­spired in what we deliver. For the voyce which they en quire after, is some voyce that immediately comes from God, such as came to the Patriarks, to Moses, to Samuel, to all the Prophets, to Christ and to all the Apostles, The Jews would confess that God spake with Moses, and we Christians will ac­knowledge that God spake both with Moses and with Christ; for all Scripture was given by Inspiration of God, and holy men of old spake as they were inspired by the holy Ghost. And this we assert in reference to the New Testament as well as in reference to the old, because God by signs and wonders and with divers Miracles hath given Witness there­unto. Now our Answer is, That such a voyce as this, as comes immediately from God, we have not heard, and such an in­spiration as this we have not received, nor do we wait for it; And if the persons who propound this Question, have heard any such immediate voyce as this (for they pretend much to [Page 14] it, and say Gods speaks unto them, and the Spirit immediate­ly suggests what they speak or pray in their meetings, coming unto them at such time as they quake and tremble; and their quaking is the sign by which others know that the Spirit is come unto them) let such persons confirm Gods speaking or the Spirits speaking to them by signs and wonders and by d [...] ­versitie of Miracles as Christ and his Apostles did, Heb. 2. 3, 4. else they must of necessity be acounted Impostors and Decei­vers of the People.

The latter part of the Question shews the evilness of their design, and what it is that they strike at; it is at preaching out of the Scriptures; they would have no preaching but what immediately proceeds from the suggestion of the Spirit, which they pretend to have; and herein lies the venome and poyson of the Question, as they are the propounders of it; And they would make all preachers, save such who preach by the im­mediate dictate of the Spirit as the Prophets did and the Apostles did, to be false Prophets and Teachers of lyes, which cell the people that the Lord hath said so, and the Lord never spake to them; Let this be looked into and ex­amined,

First, It will be granted by themselves, that God spake by Moses. by the Prophets, by Christ, and by the Apostles, and that all their words are Gods Words; and what ever they said in their Prophesies, and preachings, or Epistles, that they wrote, God said it by them; this is clear from Heb. 1. 1, 2. God spake in times past unto our Fathers by the Pro­phets.

Secondly, It must be granted without contradiction, that what ever the Fathers heard of God at any time during the Old Testament, it was taken out of the Prophets, it was some­thing that God spake by the Prophets; For the Priests and the Levites, which were the Instructers of the Fathers and Teachers of the people, spake not any thing which they had received immediately from God by voyce, but what God had spoken by the Prophets, or by Moses, who was also a Prophet; We shall finde that Ezra a Priest and the Levices with him, read in the Law, and gave the sense, Nehem. 7. 8. [Page 15] Now the Author to the Hebrews compriseth all the teach­ing that the Jewes of the Old Testament had through all Generations whilst that Testament was standing, under this head, Gods teaching them by the Prophets. Now we know there were not Prophets at all times in all Generations, who brought immediate Messages from God; The last of the Pro­phets was Malachy, and there were many Ages after that, yet the people were taught all along by the Prophets; for the Apostle saith, God spake to our Fathers by the Prophets: But how could that be when the Prophets were dead? Yea; for though the Prophets were dead, yet their Prophesies were li­ving and remaining, and were made use of by the Ministers of the Old Testament, and urged and pressed upon the people as the Word of the Lord: And Christ is said to have spoken unto us, when onely the words of Christ are brought unto us, Heb. 13. 25. And what ever it be that the Prophets or Christ have spoken from the Lord while upon the Earth, when such words are urged upon a people, it must be accounted God present speaking. The Apostles dehortation is, Heb. 12. 25. Not to refuse him that speaketh, he speaks in the present Tense, though Christ was then in Heaven, and spake not; but what he hath spoken, when it is presented, must be accounted his present speaking. Christ himself expounded unto the Disciples The words that Moses and the Prophers had spoken respecting his sufferings, and presseth them upon their Faith, as words spoken by God, blaming them for their unbelief; And Paul applyed the words that God spake by Esay the Prophet, to these unbelieving Jews that withstood his preaching as Gods Message to them, and said they were The words of the Holy Ghost. Act. 28, 25. 26. And his whole wit­ness that he gave of Christ, was fetched out of Moses and the Prophets. Act. 26. 2. And all that are brought to the Faith of Christ, are said to be built upon the Apostles and Pro­phets, Ephes. 2. 20. Not upon an immediate voyce that comes from God to themselves or to any others who are their Teachers, but upon the Word of God that was of old spoken by the Prophets; and this is called a more sure word then any immediate word, unless it come notably, marvellously, and [Page 16] visibly confirmed unto them. 2 Pet. 1. 19. For there may be much fallacy in that, and much delusion; but we know that God spake with Moses, and with the Prophets; so also with Christ and with the Apostles; and what was spoken to them, was intended to continue as a rule till Christs appearing, Isai. 8. 20. 1 Tim 6. 13, 14.

Thirdly, It is evident from Scripture, that what ever the Prophets or Apostles have spoken or written, is to be safely kept and retained, and also transferred and made over to others, and these others are to communicate and make the same known to others after them, and so it is to pass from man to man, and from age to age, and never to be lost, but kept as a precious treasury is kept for the benefit of after Posterity. And consequently that God did not intend im­mediate teaching, nor to give out an immediate voyce in after ages, which should direct and guide men in the wayes of Salvation, 2 Tim. 2. 2. The things that thou hast heard from me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also. This is the way in which God intended the propagating of the knowledge of himself, and of his Son, and of his will. Paul must have his knowledge immediately, but not Timothy, but he must have it from Paul, and those faithful men from him, and others from them; so the truth of God must pass from hand to hand throughout all Generations. And the Faith, viz. the Doctrine of Faith is said to be once delivered to the Saints, Jude 3. and that very Doctrine which was once delivered, must be always contended for: This (once) imports as much as already, as vers. 5. shewes, or (once delivered) is once for all, never more to be delivered. It hath been delivered, that is, immediately from Heaven, and that cuts off all expectations of any other delivery from Heaven, and of all other imme­diate voyces thence; But all Saints must hold what they have once had, 2 Thes. 2. 15. Hold the Traditions (said Paul) which ye have been taught whether by word or by our Epistle. Every Bishop or Elder (for they are one in Scripture expres­sion) must hold fast the faithful word, as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound Doctrine, both to ex­hort [Page 17] and convince gain-sayers, Tit. 1. 9, 10. And the reason is rendred, because there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, whose mouthes must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, vers. 10. 11. There must not be waiting for a new word, an immediate word, but that word which hath been al­ready taught, must be held fast; and that is the sound Doctrine which must be made use of to convince and exhort men by; and this word may be called the Word of the Lord to the Apostles and Prophets, for our use and benefit, though not spoken to us immediately, as Paul said, Well spake the holy Ghost by Isaiah; he did not say, Well spake the holy Ghost to me, but to Isaiah. It was Gods Word to Isaiah, which he made use of against that people to whom he spake, though not Gods word to him immediately.

Querie 8. Whether a man shall overcome the body of sin Concern­ing sin, what free­dom per­sons have from it, and what not. while he is upon the Earth, yea or no?

Answ. If this Question be meant of a full and perfect Vi­ctory over the body of sin, which is accompanied with the utter destruction of the body of sin, so as that there shall be no remainders of it abiding in men, so as that persons shall be all Spirit, and no flesh, and in a perfect state without any propensity to sin; then the Answer must be negative; no man while upon Earth, shall overcome the body of sin after such manner: For the Apostle declares the condition of all the Saints in this World, Gal. 5. 17. The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contra­ry the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would; and the same Apostle in Rom. 7. 14. to the end, describes in his own person the vexatious exercise that all Believers have more or less in this World, through contrary laws within them, viz. through the law of the flesh, and the law of the minde, which are always warring one against the other. And though they do delight in the Law of God after the inward man, yet many times through the strength of sin within them, they know not how to perform that which is good: And this made the Apostle groan for de­liverance, [Page 16] [...] [Page 17] [...] [Page 18] v. 24. Oh wretched man that I am, who shall de­liver me, &c. And though he thanks God through Jesus Christ; yet it was not for any perfect or full deliverance that he ob­tained after his groaning from this condition; for he concludes of himself in the very next words after his thanksgiving, That with the minde he himself served the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. And the deliverance which he had in Christ, was from the Curse of such a state, rather then from the state it self; and from such dominion as would make him a perfect Captive, from which he was kept; For still his will was to do good, though many times, the good which he would have done he did it not. And it was deliverance he apprehended by Faith would be through Jesus Christ to him at last, in which he rejoyced, and for which he thanked God, rather then for any victorious strength he at that time possessed. And he saw it in Christ the head already, and assured himself of it in due time upon that account. But an over­coming of the body of sin, such as delivers from all sin in this world, is expresly against the Scripture, as hath been already declared in our Letter which we sent in Answer to that pleaded-for perfection contained in a Letter of theirs brought to our view. But if the Question respect onely a partial overcoming, and such as is imperfect, and is onely in tendency towards perfection of conquest, it will then be condescended to; For Saints go forth conquering and to conquer, and yet sometimes have the worst of it, and are as Captives, Rom. 7. 23. And yet are never totally disarmed, but reassume the wea­pons of their warfare, and take hold on Gods strengh, and get the better again, and weaken the fleshly part by a power from on high. And in such a sense as this, it will be granted, that a man may and doth overcom the body of sin. He is about the work and is doing it; by the power of the Spirit, he is mortifying the deeds of the flesh, Rom. 8. 13. and be­lieving that through Christ strengthening him, he shall be per­fectly Conqueror at the last, he may be said to have done it, as in 1 Joh. 5. 4.

Querie 9. Whether you preach no other Doctrine but Concern­ing preaching, whe­ther it de­pend up­on seeing of Christ with our bodily eys, hear­ing of him with our bodily ears, hand­ling of him with our bodily hands, as the Apo­stles did, yea or no? what the Apostles did? That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life. For this life is made manifest, and we have seen it, and bear witness and shew it unto you.

Answer. This Question is proposed upon occasion of John's Preface to his first Epistle, where John first declares the subject which he would bear witness of, and that was Christ, said to be from the beginning in reference to his Diety, and said to be one heard, seen, handled, in reference to his huma­nity; And afterwards he declares his assurance which he had in witnessing and shewing what he should present; he would shew them nothing but what he had both heard, seen, and handled, and therefore could confirm the truth thereof unto them; Now the Question demands of us, whether we preach no other Doctrine, then such as John preached? Is the mean­ing of it, Whether we preach Christ as he did? if so, we could resolve him, that we aym at no other thing but to ex­alt Christ. And we would have all our preaching tend thi­ther. But there is another thing intended in the Question, Whether we preach with that assurance that he did, nothing but what we have heard of him, and seen of him, and handled and felt of him, and what is after this manner manifest unto us and within us. And if this be the sense (as without doubt it is) then the Answer must be that we do not preach that Christ whom we have seen with out bodily eys, heard with our bodily ears, and handled with out bod [...]ly hands; for Christ is in Heaven in his humanity, and not on Earth; and there­fore not to be seen, heard, or handled by us or any other that live on Earth; But that Christ which John and the rest of the Apostles heard, saw, and handled, we preach, and we do not give our own assurance, but the Apostles assurance; and we conceive that the Apostles assurance is as good now as it was then; And we have warrant to preach what we have understood from their writings, though we have not seen [Page 20] with our eyes; even as Timothy was commanded to preach and shew what he had heard of the Apostle, who yet himself had not heard, nor seen, nor handled any thing of Christ; and he must commit them to faithful men, who had seen no more then he, and they must teach others also; But this Question holds affinity with the seventh Question, to which I refer the Reader; onely I shall add this, that if the persons that make these proposals do glory over us, because we have not thus seen Christ, and do give it out that he hath appeared to them, and that they have seen him, and heard him, and heard him, and that he is with and in them; let them seriously consider, whether it be the true Christ, the same whom Iohn heard or saw with his bodily eyes, and handled with his bodily hands, which they have seen, or a bodiless Christ of their own framing. And whether their seeing of Christ be not like Saul his seeing Sa­muel, who indeed saw the Devil in Samuels shape, and talked with him, and had fellowship with him, but saw not Samuel.

Querie 10. Whether you have this word which was from Concern­ing the manifesta­tion of Christ what it is; And con­cerning preaching from the letter how far it may and must be, and how far not. the beginning, and this l [...]fe manifest unto you which was to the Apostles? And if it be, why do you take a Text from the Letter, and Preach from it, and shew the People the Letter?

Answ. This word and this life which is Christ, was mani­fested in flesh, Ioh. 1. 14. The Word was made flesh. 1 Tim. 3. 16. God was manifested in flesh: And this Word, and this life in flesh was manifested to the Apostles; for there was a glory of Christ in flesh, in reference to his mighty works which were done in flesh, which never any else did but he, Ioh. 3. 2. & chap. 15. 24. And this glory was as of the onely begotten Son of God; and this glory they beheld, and all Saints have be­held it, and do behold it, but not with bodily eyes as the Apostles did, but with spiritual eyes, with the eyes of Faith, 1 Pet. 1. 8. Whom though ye see not, yet believing ye rejoyce, &c. They did not see at that time, for Christ was ascended: neither do Saints as yet see, because the Heavens do yet contain him; [Page 21] but they believe; and believing is called a seeing in Scripture. Ioh 8. 56. Abraham rejoyced to see my dayes. He did not live to see it with his bodily eyes, but he saw it by Faith, by which also the Apostles had the sight of Christ; else they could have seen but the outside of glory, and have been dazzled therewith, as the rest of the Jewes were which saw him, and were not' able to judge whose glory it was that they saw. In this spiritual sense Christ is manifest to us, so many of us as believe, and we have seen him by faith, and he is in us by his Spirit, and is life within us as a living Word that quick­neth us.

Notwithstanding this we take a Text from the letter, be­cause the whole will of God, and minde of Christ is left us in letters; and blessed is he that readeth and considereth thereof, as it is contained and declared in letters, Revel. 1. 3. And Christ himself who was manifest to himself, did take a Text from the letter to preach things that respected himself, which the letter contained: And Philip he took that Text in the letter which the Eunuch was guided to read, and preached Christ from it. And though preaching be from the letter, that though we make something that is written, or something that is comprehended in letters, the foundation of our preach­ing, upon which we bottom and build our discourse; yet we preach not the letter, but such spiritual truths as are contain­ed in it, respecting Christ, as Christ preached the glorious truths of himself: And Philip preached those blessed my­sterious truths which concerned Christ, which have a vertue and power in them from the Spirit which accompanies them, and which is given to the Elect, whilst such truths written in words and letters are preached to them, by which such persons are quickned, who were before dead in trespasses and sins, 2 Cor. 3. 6, 8. For if the Gospel which is now left us in words and letters in the Evangelists and Apostles Writings, be hid from any, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the god of this world hath blinded the mindes of them that be­lieve not, least the light of the glorious Gospel should shine unto them, 2 Cor. 4. 3, 4. And indeed, this Gospel as it is now upon record in letters, and is become (as such) a standing rule [Page 22] to men, is hid from this Generation of men (so far as we can judge) who are the propounders of this Question; and their design is to hide it from others, and to draw all persons off from all that is written, to depend upon an unwritten word; some word immediately dictated to them, within them, proceeding from him, who is (as they say) the Word from the beginning, and is the life, and is manifested (as they give out) within them as to the Apostles: And in this sort of men doth the Devil shew his spite, spleen, and malice, against the holy Scriptures.

Querie 11. And shew me where the Prophets did take a Concern­ing preaching from a Text, and the justifi­cation of it; And what anoynt­ment Mi­nistes have to Preach. Text, and preach from it; but only Christ read a place, and said, it was fulfilled, who said he was anointed to preach; and which of you can witness you are anointed to preach by the living God, yea or no?

Answ. The Prophets took not any Text to preach from it, because they were to lay the foundation of preaching unto others, Ephes. 2. 20. and other were to build upon it all that they should preach; and therefore it was that the Priests and Levites did preach out of the Prophets; they read therein and gave the sense; And the Apostles proved all things from the Prophets which they preached; And though they did not preach from one particular Text, yet they preached from many Texts, for they cited many to confirm their preachings. And the Apostles also, as wise master-builder, sinstructed im­mediately by the spirit, did in their Doctrine perform the same work, 1 Cor. 3. 10. viz. did found the Faith of Believers upon their Preachings and Writings. And the Ministers of the Word which were to succeed them, are onely to put their superstructure to it, bottoming upon that ground-work which they have laid; and therefore it is that both they and we take a Text, that the weight of our building may be laid upon it, and that all may see and be convinced that we preach not our own dreams, but what we have warrant for from the Writings of the Apostles and Prophets, with and to whom God spake, and that the truth of our Doctrine may be read [Page 23] of all men, being engraven upon such Scriptures which we make choyce of; and by this means also, the idle extrava­gances of mens wits and fancies, which will never convince the conscience throughly, are prevented.

But, why is the taking of a Text quarrell'd at, when yet it is confessed that Christ took a Text? And doth he not therein justifie us? What if the Prophets did not, yet if Christ did, will not his example bear out our practise? But these men make light of this pattern, detracting and diminish­ing (though they know the danger of it, mentioned, Revel 22. 19.) from the fulness of that Scripture that declares it, Luk. 4. 16. to 23. They say that onely Christ read a place, but the Evangelist saith, That as his custom was, he went into the Synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read; and that then there was a Book delivered to him, and when he had opened the Book, he found the place that he would read, and then closed it again, and gave it to the Minister. They say, that Christ said it was fulfilled; and as if this were all, they mention no more; but the Evangelist saith, That the people wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And these things are obvious from this Text they mention; First, there were publike places to meet in, which were called Synagogues; Secondly, there were dayes set apart for service to be performed to God in such places, which are called Sabbath dayes; Thirdly, there was a Mi­nister whose work it was to read out of some book of holy Scriptures to the people to instruct them thence. Fourthly, it is manifest that Christ approved of all this, and he liked this way so well, that he himself did go and do likewise, and did accustom himself to the same course of teaching the people, as that which was edifying to them, so that it was not once only done that Christ took a Text, but oftend one, his cu­stome was to read some portion of Scripture, and to preach out of it. And it is evident that Christ did not onely say, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears; but many gracious words proceeded from him, tending (as must needs be supposed by any man that hath but the use of his reason) to clear it up to their capacities, how that Scripture in every [Page 24] part of it was fulfilled, by opening and unfolding the many branches of so plentiful and large a Text, and shewing how all things therein related unto, were accomplished in him­self, which might be a subject of many Moneths discourse as Christ might have followed it.

But these men object, that Christ was anoynted to preach; and demand which of us can witness that we are anoynted to preach by the living God.

Christs anoynting was not by the pouring of any oyl upon his head after the manner of the High Priests anoynting, Psal. 133. 2. which was but a shadow of a more excellent Un­ction which Christ had. And the Prophet, Psal. 45. 7. doth but allude thereunto: But his anoynting was by the donation of the Spirit, and the gifts and graces thereof, Ioh. 1. 32, 33. & ch. 3. 34. by which he was enabled to the execution of such Offices and works to which he was called, in redeeming a people to God, and especially to preach the Gospel, which in a very excellent and glorious way he effected, Luk. 4. 22. And all the Saints receive the same spirit, and gifts, and graces, every one according to the measure of such a part, which they fill up in the body, and are Kings, and Priests, and Prophets to them­selves, as Scripture calls them. But those persons especially whom God calls out to be to the body in place of eyes to guide them and direct them, God gives more of his grace and influence to, as appears from Eph. 4. 8. He ascended up on high, and gave gifts to men, viz. such men as he placeth in his Church for the work of the Ministery, and for the perfecting of the Saints till the end of the world; therefore Christ is not anoynted alone, but all whom he calls to the Ministery are anoynted also with the same spirit and gifts, and graces; onely he hath the preheminence, and hath an anoynment above his fellows, for he received not the spirit by measure, as those who are his Ministers and servants now do, Psal. 45. 7. Ioh. 3. 34.

Querie 12. Tell me why you sing Davids Conditions and Concern­ing sing­ing of Scripture. Psalms; the Law­fulness, and neces­sity there­of. Experiences in Meeter, and when you read them, Hats you put on, and when you sing them, Hats you put off.

Answ. Davids conditions and experiences are many times our own conditions and experiences, and then we sing them not as Davids meerly, but as our own, by a spirit of Faith making application to our selves of what we sing out of David. But many times its otherwise, that something of Da­vids inditing, and of his state, and containing his experience, is the matter of our Psalms, which we cannot so fitly apply to our own condition and temper, and many stumble at this and are offended; but its from some darkness in themselves, for Psalms are for instruction by the very design and scope of of God who dictated them and enjoyns them, as the Titles of very many of them: shew: And the Apostle enjoyns the Saints to teach and admonish themselves in Psalms and Hymns, and spiritual Song; and what ever the matter of them be, one end or use of them must be instruction to our selves from them, as from any other parts of Scripture. And the reasons of singing them are such as these:

1. God would have us in our meetings to rejoyce in him, which is done in singing.

2. God would have his word to be familiar to us, Col. 3. 16. it must dwell in us, and this must be shewed in singing; and would have us so much to delight in it, and to finde such sweetness in it, that we should make our selves spiritually merry with it.

3. Because singing is that which raiseth the Spirit, refresheth the heart, moves the affections very much, God would have the Spirits of his people to be raised and refreshed in the de­liberate meditation of his Word, what ever the subject matter be; For therefore it is that the Psalms which David and other Saints compiled to be sing, consist of subjects of greatest diversity and variety. Some are Historical, some Prophetical, some are Hortatory, some are Precatory, others Deprecatory, others Laudative or Psalms of prayse, and the soul should take [Page 26] pleasure in all, and have the heart raised in the meditation of all; Do we not observe how a prophane carnal spirit will compile Songs of every kinde of matter, and will make it self merry therewith? And shall not a spiritual heart sing every thing that is a Psalm, and is Divine and Spiritual, with an elevated and raised minde?

Object. But why most Davids Psalms be sung Many strick at that who will assent unto the singing of other Psalms which are compiled by a special gift.

Answ. There are reasons which are weighty, which do carry thereunto.

1. Psalms which were immediately inspired by the Spirit of God are most Divine and Heavenly, and do contain the most admirable Doctrine.

2. The Scripture is given for every use, to be read, sung, pre [...]ched out of, confened of, medicated on, and to be the matter of our prayers also: And those parts of it which we finde to be Psalms, we ought to make use of as Psalms, and sing them; And though we have liberty to sing other spiritual Songs of our own or others making, after we have wel digest­ed them, as well as to read other godly Books besides the Scriptures; yet as our reading of other Books will not excuse our omission of reading the Scripture, so our singing of other spiritual Songs will not excuse our omission of singing Scriptures Psalms.

3. Davids Psalms were brought into the Church of God in Hezekiahs time, and an express command given to the Le­vites to sing praise to the Lord with the words of David, and of Asaph the Seer, which is a president and a pattern for Saints to follow.

4. There are Commands laid upon the Churches of Christ, and upon particular Christians to sing Psalms, Hymns, and spi­ritual Songs unto the Lord, and nothing suggested unto them concerning the matter of them: And doth Christ put a ser­vice upon use people, and nor afford them any straw or matter to perform the same with? There was no need, else Christ would not have been wanting; There were Psalms, Hymns, and spiritual Songs complied by David to their hands; for [Page 27] such Titles we shall meet with in the Book of the Psalms; A Psalm, of David familiarly a Song often, in Hymn some­times, as in the Title of 145 Psalm.

5. The Ex [...] of the Apostle to the Church at Coloss, is to let the word of Christ dwell in them [...], in all wise­dom, teaching and admonishing them selves in psalms, &c. what is this but a clear suggestion, that the word of Christ, which is some part of Scripture, should be famliar unto them, and become the matter of their Psalms for their in­struction. For is there not first an injunction, Let the word of Christ dwell in your And is there not after wards a direction how to perfom it and one way is, by teaching and admonish­ing themselves in Psalms

6. It is less warrantable, because there is no president for it; and more dangerous because of some evil consequences that may attend it to bring in other Psalms of mens compiling and not Scriptural, into the Church of God, and to impose them upon the people For the people that must act in singing, must first know them to be consonant to the Scripture, and must have a right understanding of them, that they may sing to their edification; and them there must either be a book of such Psalms so brought in and imposed, which every Saint must have, or else the whole Church must be gathered together every time there is singing, to peruse such Psalms which must be al­lowed to be sung amongst them but Scripture is silent concern­ing such wayes, and seemes to give other direction.

And though he that had a gift brought his Psalm into the Church, 1 Cor. 14. 26. yet for ought appears he sung it alone, and then the rest might judge, and say Amen, or not say Amen, as they approved or disapproved of it; And it was not imposed upon the Church to be sung. But the Apostle Paul layes singing of Pslams, Hymns, and spiritual songs upon the whole Chruch, and there are no orders of Musitians now, or office of singing Choriston as in the Old Testment, but all the people are the Choristers in the dayes of the New Te­stament, to sing Psalms and Songs, &c. And the Apostle James layes at injunction upon every particular Saint, if he be merry, to sing Psalmi, Jam. 5. 13. But hath every particular [Page 28] Saint a gift to compile a Psalm? If not, what must such a Saint do? Therefore there must of necessity be use made of Scripture-Psalms.

And as for singing them in Meeter, the Hebrews had their Poetrie, according to which they both compiled and sung their Psalms: And it is but sutable, that every Nation should have the liberty of their own proper and peculiar Poetrie among themselves to praise God by, and meeter is that which is congruons to our English Poetry.

Concerning putting on of Hats in reading Psalms, and putting them off in singing them, I shall not much contest; But this I say, that reverence is that which is sutable to all Gods Ordinances, and because the putting off the Hat doth shew reverence, it would be very comely when Scripture is read; but if it be otherwise, I judge it not to be want of reve­rence in such a person, because reverence may be shewed, and not tied to one posture, therefore I leave persons to their liberty. Yet there is a difference in Ordinances; in some we have an immediate address to God, and in such we use more reverence, as when we pray or give thanks, we do not send one to God with our requests, but we go our selves to him immediately; but in preaching and reading it is other­wise, we have not immediate communion with God, but God sends by whom he will send his Message to us; and speaketh not immediately, but by another; and so there is no irreve­rence, though the like degree of reverence be not given. And hence it comes, that we may use a different posture and gesture, though the same words be spoken, if they be spo­ken in an Ordinance of a divers nature. As if words of prayer he read as a part of Scripture, then they are Gods speaking to us by another, but if we our selves make use of such words, and put them into our own prayers, then they become our speaking to God, in our immediate addresses unto him, and so the Hat may be put on in the former, and yet ought to be put off in the latter; the like may be said of singing and reading Davids Psalms: They are different Ordinances, and may require different postures. There is also difference be­twixt speaking and hearing; he that is the speaker, though [Page 29] it be but in a civil Assembly, shews more reverence, speaking to many, then they that hear him do to him, and is usually uncovered, when they that are spoken to are covered, and in Religious Assemblies it is so also; he that speaketh, though it be in the name of God, is uncovered, when yet the people that are spoken to are usually covered; But in singing of Psalms, they are all Speakers, and have to do with God, shew­ing their holy joy in him, and in his word, and therefore are all uncovered. But the custome of the Churches of God in these things, if there be not palpable superstition in them, is much to be respected, and not rashly departed from 1 Cor. 11. 16. and offence to brethren in such things is vigilantly to be avoyded, Rom. 14. 20, 21.

Querie 13. Whether you have the voice, and whether you do know the voice of Christ from the voice of a Stranger? My What is Christs voice, and how di­stinguish­ed from a Strangers voice. Sheep know my voice, saith Christ, seeing that you are so forward to judge, and sit as Judges of the Saints Conditi­ons?

Answ. The Apostle tells us in the Epistle to the Hebrews, that God who at sundry times, and in divers manners spake in time past unto the Fathers by the Prophets, hath in these last daies spoken to us by his Son; for the Word was made flesh and dwelt among the Jews, and went up and down teaching in their Synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the King­dom, Mat. 4. 23. and this Son of God in flesh sent forth the Apostles to preach, and put a word into their mouthes, and guided them by his Spirit in writing to the Churches what his minde and will was unto them, Let him that hath an ear, hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches. Now that which Christ preached, and the Apostles preached, and wrote unto the Churches, that is Christs voyce, as from Heb. 4 3. which is fetched out of Psalm 95. appears. David saith, to day if ye will hear his voyce: What voyce was this? The Apostle tells us, Heb 4. 2. That unto us was the Gospel preached aswel as unto them but the word preached did not profit them, through unbelief. The word then which they heard in Davids time [Page 30] which was preaching out of the Prophets, was this voyce, and so the Gospel which Christ and the Apostles have preached and left upon Record, is the voyce of Christ. And this voyce we have in the Scriptures, and this voyce we know, and we are able through Gods Grace to distinguish this voyce from the voyce of a stranger, if any bring not this Doctrine which Christ and the Apostles brought, we know him to be a Wolf and an Antichrist, and after once or twice admonition, we dare not say God speed to him. But there is another voyce which th [...]se persons who question us, intend and pretend to, and that is an immediate voyce which speaks within them, (as they say) and dictates unto them all that they say and do: Now this voyce we have not heard, nor do we know it within our selves experimentally, and we believe and hope that we shall be kept, that we may never know it. For we know it is not the voyce of Christ, but the voyce of a stranger. We know it from what it speaks and acts in others, yea, in these per­sons that pretend to it, and we bless our selves from it, for it is the voyce of the Devil, that comes as Christ to them, and pretends to be he, but deludes them, and deceives them, as one of themselves, recovered out of their soares hath con­fessed. Now to the praise and glory of Gods Grace we speak it, that we have neither heard his voice nor seen his shape.

Concerning our judging, there will be occasion to speak of it in the Answer to the next Question.

Querie 14. Whether that which is in you which Judgeth, be eternal and infallible, yea or no?

Answ. These men are harping in many of their Questions Ifallibili­ty further discussed. upon one and the same string; They have a conceit of Christ within them, speaking within them, acting within them; say­ing all, and doing all immediately and infallibly that is said and done by them; so that it is not they that say or do any thing, but it is Christ and the Spirit within them. And this so fills them, that it almost fills all their Questions: Now it doth appear, that it is a spirit of delusion, that thus possesseth them, because it contradicts both Christ and the Spirit in the [Page 31] Scriptures, in many things. And after this Christ and Spirit within, they enquire of us, whether that which judgeth in us be eternal and infallible; But we assert no such thing con­cerning our selves. For though all the Saints have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them, which is eternal and infallible; yet that this Spirit should do all that Saints do, and should say all that Saints say, and should judge for them, both of persons and of things after an infallible manner; and that they should neither say, nor do, nor judge any thing by any un­derstanding of their own, but the Spirit, all this we deny. For the Apostle speaks of himself, When I would do good, evil is present; so it may be said of every man, when I would say or do right, errour is present. Notwithstanding though we judge not either person or thing, by any Spirit of infallibility, yet there's one that judgeth, and that is the word which Christ spake, and which Scripture speaketh; and this word is eternal and infallible; And so far as we judge according to this word, our judgement becomes eternal and infallible; and so we may speak of persons present condition with much certainty, because we know what the Scriptures have said of them. Christ tells us of Wolves, that shall come in sheeps clothing, and that by their fruits we shall know them, Mat. 7. 15, 16. And John tells us who is an Antichrist, viz. he that denyeth the Father and the Son, 1 Joh. 2. 22. And Peter prophesieth of false Teachers, that shall bring in damnable heresies, denying the Lord that bought them, 2 Pet. 1. 1. When therefore we see such, we may judge of their present state, what and who they be; but in reference to their future final state, we must leave them to the judgement of God, who infallibly knows who are his.

Querie 15. What are the Ordinances which are ordained of God, that those which you call Quakers deny? Or when did God command you to observe them, as to sprinkle Infants, and to pray before and after your Sermons, (as you call them) or to set times, dayes and hours, which was in the gene­ration which were enemies to Christ, who observed such things. Querie 16. What these Ordinances of God be which you The justi­fication of several ordinati­ons of Christ in the Churches of God. speak of? and where God commanded them, and to whom: which you say them (which you call Quakers) deny? men­tion them in particular, and declare them openly in Writing, and give over accusing.

Answ. These two Questions are distinct in the paper pre­sented to me, but the former entirely comprehends the latter, and is more ample then it, requiring us, not onely to shew reason of accusing them, but also grounds for the justification of our own practise, therefore I have joyned them together; And in reference to the first; What Ordinances they do deny which God hath commanded, there is no need that we should accuse them, for they are accusers of themselves in their very Questions which they propound. The Reader may easily discern from them, what the things are, against which their malignity is shewed. It is against all outward teaching, against singing of Psalms, against Ministery, against Sacra­ments, expresly against Infants baptism, against publick prayer, against all set times, dayes, and hours of performing religious duties, the 10, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, 19. Queries do declare all this. Now whether these be Ordinances of Christ, and how they will be maintained so to be, will be the Question, and for our own justification must be discussed. I have already given some touches, respecting outward teaching, and have en­deavoured to clear up our practise in singing of Psalms, and shall now attempt to vindicate other of our ways, and the ways of the Churches of Christ, from unjust exceptions, and discuss them as I meet with them in the paper.

And first concerning sprinkling of Infants, there is so much Concer­ning the sprinkling of Infants. written for and against this practise, that I accompt it lost time to make any large debate about it; onely something of that which satisfies us in reference to our own practise I shall present.

First, for the Act of sprinkling, we use it not, though some­thing may be held out to justifie it; The blood of Christ is called the blood of sprinkling, Heb. 12. 24. and cleansing was by sprinkling blood, Heb. 9. 13. and sprinkling of blood was used in the Passeover, and signified cleansing; therefore seeing water in Baptism typifies Christs blood, and the ap­plication of it signifies cleansing from sin, why may not the water be sprinkled on the subject of Baptism, to signifie the cleansing away of sin by the blood of Christ. If any ob­ject further, let such as use it maintain it. Our practise is to use the water of Baptism in a washing way, which sutes well with the mysterie in it, which is washing away of sin, Act. 22. 16. And the Greek word which is put for baptism, is ap­plied to Tables, brazen vessels, beds, and such like things, which was not by dipping, but by the application of water in a washing way, Mar. 7. 4. So that though the word sig­nifie dipping, yet it signifies washing also, which warrants the application of water in Baptism, in a washing way.

Secondly, for the subject of baptism, whether it be to be applyed to Infants, amongst many things I shall onely pre­sent this, viz. That Baptism is an outward Seal of an out­ward and visible Covenant of Grace, which runs always up­on the condition of believing; and is to be applyed to vi­sible believers or Saints, and is also to be extended in re­ference to the subject as far as the Covenant is extended; and if the Covenant be extended not onely to visible believers, but to their whole Infant seed, as from Gen. 17. 7. compared with Exod. 12. 48, 49. and also from Deut. 29. 10, 11. ap­pears, then the Seal of. it must extend so far also. I shall con­firm all this, first, that it is a Seal, for God having promised such a blessing as the taking away of sin in the Covenant of Grace, Jer. 31. 34. would (by the Ordinance of Baptism in the application of the element of water in a washing way [Page 34] to the body) have the baptized person to know and believe that he washeth away the sin of the Soul by the blood of Christ, Act. 22. 16. therefore it is said, Act. 2. 38. be baptized for the remission of sins, not to effect it, but to assure it to you; secondly, that it is an outward Seal, because all is external and visible; the water is, which is as it were the Seal; the washing is, which is as it were the Sealing, or the putting on of the Seal; the body is, which is as it were the thing sealed; all is outward, and done before men; but whether it be done in the conscience really and inwardly by the Spirit, that is a se­cret and known to God. And the Spirit onely is the inward Seal that assures the heart. And many times, the outward confirmation is separated from the inward assurance, as in Simon Magus; he had the outward sign of remission of sins, but not remission of sins it self. Thirdly, that it is an outward Seal of an outward and visible covenant of Grace, because the profession of faith, with shews of reality, is all that is required unto the bringing of persons into it, and unto the participation of the Seal of it. It was enough to the Eunuch he professed his Faith, and Philip baptized him; he could not see into the heart to know the truth of it, yet he baptized him; And Ananias, and Saphira, and Simon Magus, their professi­on brought them within the Covenaut, and gave them a right to the Seal of it, and not any truth of Faith it self, for there was none: And indeed that Covenant wherein the ministery of man in made use of, in the making of it, must needs be external. Fourthly, that it is extended in reference to the subject of it as far as the Covenant is excended, because it is the confir­mation of it, to the subjects of it; and the confirmation must need be as large as the Covenant; but this is not doubted of by any. Fifthly, that the Covenant is not onely extended to visible Believers, but also to their whole Infant seed, be­cause in Gen. 17. 7. we finde it so; for it runs in these words, I will be thy God; now this is comprehensive of all blessings, even the very highest, as Heb. 11. 16. shews, and it is the same for substance with that in Jer. 33. 33. which is called a new Covenant; And Circumcision that sealed it, is called The Seal of the righteousness of Faith, Rom. 4. 11. and the Circum­cision [Page 35] of the flesh did signifie the circumcision of the heart, Col. 2. 11. And the Gentiles that professed Abraham's Faith, which had nothing to do with Canaan, entred into it, and spiritual priviledges were sealed to them, Exod. 12. 48, 49. by which it appeareth to be a Covenant of Grace: And for the subject, it was with Abraham a Believer, and with his seed; what seed? his whole Infant seed; for the application of the seal, viz. Circumcision to the whole Infant seed, shews that the Covenant extended it so far; And Deut. 29. 10, 11. clears it, That the Covenant was with the little ones. And though all Infants are not counted the seed as to spiritual and eternal blessings, as indeed neither are all that profess Faith with shews of reality (as Demas, &c.) to be accounted the true spiritual seed, yet they are the seed as to Church privi­ledges, and external Ordinances of a spiritual nature, and so were all Abrahams Infant natural seed, and Believers seed in all Ages the true seed, as to the enjoying of such Ordi­nances.

Concerning praying before and after Sermon; first, we Concer­ning pray­ing before and after Sermon. finde that in the meetings of the first Christian Church at erusalem, there was Doctrine, breaking of bread, and prayers, in which Ordinances that Church of Christ was conversant, Act. 2. 42. Secondly, we finde that the Apostles, whose work was to attend upon the Ministery of the Word, upon that account casting off se [...]ing of Tables, did joyn prayer unto it, and did wait upon these joyntly, Act. 6. 4. Thirdly, we reade that it was the Custom of the Apostles to begin every weighty serious business with prayer; when they were to cast a lot, they went to prayer first; when they were to lay on hands on Deacons, they first prayed; when they were to send forth Paul, and Barnabas to the work which God had appointed them unto viz. to preach the Go­spel, they prayed first, & when they ordained Elders in every City, they began it with prayer; so that all was attempted with prayer; preaching therefore being a weighty work, should be performed with Prayer. Fourthly, prayer is that which sanctifieth all things, and persons have a Christian holy use of things which in their nature are but Civil. Every [Page 36] creature of God (saith Paul) 1 Tim. 4. 5. is sanctified of God by the word and prayer; much rather should holy and reli­gious services be used holily, by adioyning prayer thereunto. Fifthly, The Apostle Paul giving direction in his Epistle to Timothy, how the worship and service of God should he car­ried on in the Churches of Christ, doth in 1 Tim. 2. 1, 2, 3. enjoyn, that first of all Prayers and Supplications should be made; his scope is not to direct particular Christians, but Churches of Christians in their publike Assemblies; as ap­pears from vers. 11, 12. where Women are commanded to keep silence, and are not suffered to teach. Now this re­spects the publike meetings of the Saints, and in 1 Cor. 11. 4. the same Apostle gives light how publike exercises of Reli­gion were carried on in the Christian Assemblies, there was prayer and prophesying afoot amongst them; prophesying was not without prayer. Sixthly, there are also many gene­ral rules (amongst others that in Phil. 4. 8.) which serve to justifie this practice: What ever things are just, true, ho­nest, pure, lovely, of good report, if there be any vertue, any praise, think on these things. Now I leave it to the judgement of any person who is not given up to a wicked spirit, whether prayer before and after preaching be not such a thing. And the Apostle many times requires, that things which make for edification may be done: 1 Cor. 14. 4, 5, 12, 26. Eph. 4. 26. 1 Thes. 5. 11. But these men shew what spirit they are of, by their arguing against the most religious and holy Exer­cises, and spiritual Performances which the Saints use, and which the Devil and the Flesh have alwayes much opposed.

Concerning set times, days and hours, which was in the Concer­ning set times, and days and hours. generation which was enemies to Christ, who observed such things, I know not what answer to make, unless I under­stood what it is that they find fault with: The Charge runs as if we did keep up those Jewish Sabbaths, and holy Fasts, and Feasts, and Hours of Prayer which were observed in Christs time whilest he lived on Earth amongst those of his own Nation, most of which were enemies unto him; but they are, or might be convinced of the contrary concerning us, that we set no such times a part for worship as they did; [Page 37] neither was it the practice of the enemies of Christ only to set such times, and days and hours apart, but of the friends of Christ also, and of Christ himself while he was upon the Earth, and of the Apostles, seeing it was by divine insti­tution that the people should meet at such times, Acts 3. 1. Nor was it any part of their enmity against Christ, but rather of their subjection to God, that they met at such times; therefore these Persons have another intent and scope in their question. It is our Lords day-meetings, and our Christi­an Fasts, and Thanksgiving-days that we keep, that they are offended at; it is the hours of prayer in our Church-meet­ings and Families which they find fault with: and in this al­so they strike at Godliness; for if they can but destroy all forms, the power will fall with it; for though the form be but the shell, yet it preserves the kernel; the power is put forth in a form, and if they can but acquit and discharge the body from service and religious exercise, the spirit will not bear up in it any long time after, but all devotion and duty Godward both in body and soul will fall in short time; Therefore the Devil and his Instruments plead against set times, days and hours, knowing very well that Gods wor­ship cannot at all be performed by many Christians together, without times, and days, and hours, no nor yet kept alive any long time in any.

But for the better justification of set times, days and hours Concer­ning the first day. for Gods service, let it be considered; First, that time is a per­petual adjunct of action: there is no action can be done, but it must be done in time; It is therefore a necessary adjunct of divine and spiritual actions: so that if God will enjoyn a worship and a service to be performed to him, he must needs enjoyn the time in which he will have it performed. Secondly, let it be duly weighed, that both the Apostles themselves were wont to meet upon the first day of the week to worship God, and that Christ met with them upon that day twice, and thereby shewed his approbation of their meeting upon that day: Joh 20. 19, 20, 26. And also that the Churches that were planted in the world by the Apostles, ob­served that day in course as it came, and set it apart for di­vine [Page 38] exercises; 1 Cor. 16. 1, 2. Act. 20. 7. and further it is to be observed, that the Apostle annexed duty to that day, and bound the collection of the Saints to that day as it should come in course; which how he could do without usurping upon them, unless he had received it from the Lord, I cannot under­stand. And also that that day above all other days was deno­minated the Lords day, and it was spoken of as a noted known day to all the Saints by that name Rev. 1. 10. which name (Lords day) doth point at an institution; as, when the Supper is de­nominated the Lords Supper, it is from the institution which it had from the Lord Christ that it is so named; and Lords day holds the setting of it apart to the Lords use, and to call something for remembrance, which can be nothing but the resurrection, as the Lords Supper is for remembrance. Third­ly, let it be observed that occasional Fasts are justified in the Concer­ning fasts and thanks­giving days. New Testament as well as in the old, from Primitive ex­amples both of Apostles and Churches, Acts 13. 3. and 14. 23. and upon the like accompt will occasional thanksgivings be maintained: and we have in the new Testament, besides the instances that may be fetcht from the Old Testament, something that looks that way. Acts 4. 23. to 32. Fourthly, concerning hours, it doth not appear from the New Testa­ment what hours were spent in their publike service, nor Concer­ning hours in the publike service. whether those hours that were spent were spent together, and at one entire meeting without intermission and parting: or whether they divided their hours according to the pattern and example which they had in the Offerings and Sacrisiees of the Old Testament, which were not at once and together, but at discontinued times; there was a morning and an eve­ning-Sacrifice, which were offered about the third and ninth hours; and there was a great expediencie in it, that there might be some bodily refreshing betwlxt the times, and the necessity of Nature was provided for in it, and Sabbath-exer­cises were distinguished thereby from Fasts; and upon this accompt, it is equitable that Christian service should be car­ried for time after such manner: but herein Christian Pru­dence hath the Principal stroke; for we do not judge our selves Scripturally obliged to so many hours, or so distribu­ted, [Page 39] that some should be in the forenoon and some in the af­ternoon; but for conveniencies-sake we practise it, yet not precisely keeping to an hour. And for hours in Families, we Concer­ning time spent in holy exer­cises in Families. have read how holy men of God have carried it in their milies: Abraham commanded his children and his houshold after him, and they did keep the way of the Lord: Jacob he reformed his Family, and purged away the Idols and all the filth from it, that they might more purely serve the Lord to­gether: Josbua resolved that he and his house would serve the Lord, now he could not resolve it in reference to secret worship, which each apart was to perform to God; but it refers to Family-duties and service, which should be on foot amongst them together: And David would walk not in his own Person alone, but in his house with a perfect heart: And there is a Prophesie that respects Families mourning apart, which is to be accomplished in the dayes of the Gospel. Zach 12. 12. to the end, And there is a Promise made, where two or three are gathered together, (suppose in a Fa­mily or any other way) Christ will be in the midst of them; and where Saints are together in a Family, the Spirit of God within them will be a Spirit of Prayer within them, and will bring them together; and there cannot be Family-duties but there must be a time to perform them in and if morning and evening be taken for them, it is most congruous: First, because occasions, wilt then best permiso for it will be before the works of these Callibas be begun, and it will be afree they are finished, Secondly all things are sanctified by prayer, and so will their is bours be in the morning, and their rest in the evening; But where or when doth a good heart dispute against these things? a spiritural heart will rather dictate to a Person to apprehend the opportunitigs unto prayer and all other spiritual duties, both apart and with others, and will practise what was commanded in reference to preaching, will pray in season and out of senson, at times which con­ [...]eiency makes cheice of; and at other times also will put up all manner of prayers, and at all times, as occasion re­quites; And where Saipts are together they will encourage one another, and say, come let us joya together, and pray, [Page 40] and seek the face of God in prayer, and in other duties also; and in Families especially will this be done.

Querie 17. Whether you do not seduce the People to araw Concer­ning the Spirits teaching, in what way to expect it. And whe­ther the outward must be denyed, that the inward may be received. them from the anointing within them? when as John saith, they need no man teach them, but as the anointing, and the Pro­mise was Eternal Life to him that did abide in the anointing.

Ans. The scope and intent of this Question, is, to overtura all out ward teaching by men, & to erect an immediate teach­ing of the Spirit in the room of it; It is to carry men off from Gods outward Ordinances, to wait for secret Inspirations of God; and indeed it is to subject men to Satanical delusions in­stead of the Spirits suggestions. For that which is insinuated, is this, viz that the drawing of any people to attend upon any out ward instruction, becomes in effect a withdrawing of them from the annointing, or from that inward teaching of the Spi­rit, (which indeed) hath not one syllable of truth in it: For John the Baptist did draw the people after him, so did Christ, so did the Apostles, to hear the Word of God which they preached, which was an outward word, an outward teaching: did they withdraw such Persons from the inward teaching, from the annointing within them? or were they not rather drawn to the annointing within them, by attend­ing and giving heed to the outward preaching? did not the Spirit of God accompany their outward preaching? did not John come in the Spirit and Power of Elias in his outward Ministery? and were not many turned from their disobedi­ence to the wisdom of the Just? and could this be without the Spirit? was there not an admirable power of the Spirit attending both Christs teaching, and the Apostles preaching? did their outward instruction withdraw the people from the Spirit, or did they not rather convey the Spirit to them? Is not the Gospel as it is presented to men in an external way, said to be the administration of the Spirit? 2 Cor. 3. 8. Gal. 2. 5. And were not many annointed with enriching gifts by that Spirit, which is the Spirit of the Gospel, which comes along with the Gospel preached? How then are any seduced by being [Page 41] being brought to the hearing of the Gospel preached? or are not they rather seduced who are drawn off from the external Means and Ministery, by which the Spirit is given, and Faith is wrought, to wait for the receiving of the Spirit without any Word to conveigh it to them? which Spirit when they have, it is not the Spirit of Truth, but of Delusion: as is confessed by one of their own, newly redeemed out of such hellish cap­tivity, under which these poor Creatures are held.

Object. But they produce a Scripture which seems to erect and set up one only Teacher, which is the Spirit, and to throw down and cast under foot all outward Teaching which is perfor­med by men. John saith to them he wrote, 1 Ioh. 2. 27. That they needed not that any man teach them, but as the annointing teacheth them of all things, and is Truth.

Answ. First, This is not spoken of all men, but of those 1 Ioh. 2. 27. Answered. viz. ye need that no man teach you, but as the anointing teacheth you all things. who are come to Christ, and had the Spirit, that they needed no man to teach them; But what must they do that have not the Spirit? how must they obtain it, if not by the Word of the Gospel which conveys it? therefore an outward teaching is necessary for such. Secondly, The Apostle seems to speak of such an annointment which they had received, which had already taught them, by which they should abide in Christ and not be seduced; as those words shew, Even us it hath taught you, you shall abide, &c. Now indeed the Spirit of God hath taught us of all things in the Scriptures which were of his inspiring: whereto if we attend, we shall abide in the Truth, and not be misled by Seducers; and to this teaching of the Spirit in the Scriptures, we need not that any teaching of man should be added, but as we are taught in them. Thirdly, The words, You need not that any man teach you, but as the annointing teacheth you, are hyperbolical expressi­ons; there is an excess in them, as in many places of Scri­ptute, as where it is said, If all things should be written, which Jesus said and did, the whole world would not contain the the Books that would be written: The meaning is, there would be very many Books written, if all should be written; [Page 42] And in vers. 20 of this very Chapter, the Apostle tells them that they knew all things; it is an excessive speech, for no one knoweth all things but God: Christ himself as man knew not all things, who yet had the Spirit not according to mea­sure, but beyond it; the meaning then is, they had much knowledge, and knew many things, and so they needed not that any man teach them; that is, they knew so much already of the Doctrine of the Gospel, that if onely they persevered in that which they knew, they might be kept without much teaching; it is to be understood in a comparative sense; not in an absolute consideration, as to exclude all teaching, but to exclude much of that teaching which others do require; and it respects the abundance of knowledge which they had in comparison of Believers of former times before the Gospel was revealed; as from the Prophesie, from which these words of John were fetcht, appears, Jer. 31. 34. They shall teach no more man his Neighbour, and every man his Brother, saying, know the Lord, for they shall all know me from the least of them unto the greatest of them; saith the Lord; Knowledge should so abound in the dayes of the Gospel, that they should not need teaching so much as in the times of the Law; For it points at the days of the Gospel after Christ should be revealed; of which Christ saith, That he that is least in the Kingdom of Heaven, should be greater then John the Baptist, who yet was greater then al the Prophets, so exceedingly should Light shine in Gospel-times; but that teaching should be ab­solutely excluded, was not the Apostles meaning; for though they never did need it less, yet they never had it more then in the days of the Apostles and of the Primitive Churches: For there were many who were eminently gifted besides Pastors and Teachers, who did teach; And it is to be observed, that the Spirit was never given so plentifully in any Age, as in that Age, wherein so much outward teaching was; so that there is no such measure of reception of the Spirit, that can thrust out outward teaching while we are here: yea, and John himself thought there was need of teaching, while he tells them of an unction that they had received, and that they knew all things, and needed not that any one should [Page 43] teach them; for vers. 36. he saith, These things have I writ­ten unto you in reference to them that seduce you; that is, least you should be carried away from the Truth by them, he taught them to stand fast in the Truth they had received. Fourthly, It holds forth that they were not, neither should be Babes, which knew nothing themselves, were able to judge of nothing themselves, but do depend wholly and re­ally upon others to teach them, and were led wholly as others guide them; in this sense they should not need teach­ing; for there was a light set up in their souls, and they had the Spirit of God, which is a light, and enables them to discern with such clearness, that they believe not because others tell them so, but because they can look into the Truth themselves. Concerning the last words of that question: viz. that the Promise was eternal Life to him that did abide in the anointing, because there is no such Scripture that saith so, and because no course we take in our teaching doth tend (as hath been shewed) to withdraw from the anointing; therefore I shall not insist upon them.

Querie 18. Whether you do not bewitch the people, and draw them from the Spirit of God within them, to observe those Sacra­ments and Ministery, maintain­ed, and other practi­ses in Church­meetings. things which God never commanded; to tell the people of a Sacrament, and following your outward Teaching, who stand praying in the Synagogues, and are called of men Masters; which Christ d [...]d forbid, Mat. 23. And have the chiefest places in the Assemblies; Whether these be not called Antichrists, which act contrary to the Commands of Christ, yea or no?

Answ. In this Question, besides the repetition of former things, they strike at Sacraments, at the teaching and praying of Pastors and Elders, for to them they speak in al their questions; at the posture of standing in prayer, at the places of meeting, calling them Synagogues in a derisive way, at the Title of Master, which is put upon them, and charge them with ambiti­on, in assuming chiefest places, which (they say) such take; I must clear up the truth in all these particulars.

First, Concerning Sacraments: there are no Ordinances on foot amongst us which we call by that name, though there Concor­ning Sa­craments. might be a defence for it; but there are Ordinances which others call Sacraments, and we call them Seals of the Co­venant, which are to confirm Faith in the Covenant of God, concerning Remission of sin by the blood of Christ, and other Grace of the like nature, which is vouchsafed in Christ; and they are Baptism and the Lords Supper, and they are both of them instituted by Jesus Christ: Mat. 28. 19. 1 Cor. 11. 23. and they both point at Christs Death and the shedding of his Blood, Rom. 6. 3. 1 Cor. 1. 26. Mat. 26. 28. and they serve to Seal Remission of sins by Christs Blood, Act. 22. 16. Mat. 26. 28. and indeed both of them are to put us in remembrance of Christ; and that which Christ hath instituted, who dares abrogate? And those that destroy the Seals, therein attempt the destruction of the Co­venant; for Seals are the ratification of Covenants; or at least they do despise Gods grace of condescendency, who for the cause of our weakness in belief of his Covenants, vouchsafeth to grant us Seals to confirm them. And Gods Covenants have never been without Seals; and though there hath been change of Seals, yet Seals are as old (one or other of them) and are to last as long as the Covenants, and the Lords Supper expresly till Christ come: 1 Cor. 11. 26. And let all take heed, least slighting Seals and gracious Covenants, they be hereafter accompted despisers of Gods Grace, which will be reckoned amongst the greatest sins.

Secondly, Concerning our outward teaching, I have decla­red already in part the necessity of it; It is the ordinary way Concer­ning out­ward teaching and Mi­nistery. by which a people that are in darkness are brought to light: Mat. 4. 13, 14. Act. 26. 16, 17, 18. It is the way and means by which the deep and profound, and many most sweet and necessary Truths of Scripture come to be understood: Acts 8. 30, 31. It is the means which God hath appointed for the bringing of men to Faith: Rom. 10. 14, 17. It is the power of God to Salvation: Rom. 1. 16. It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those who do believe: 1 Cor. 1. 21. Upon which accompt it is, that the Apostle con­cludes, [Page 45] wo unto himself, if he preach not the Gospel of Christ: 1 Cor. 9. 16. It is the means of exalting Christ: which made the Apostle so much to rejoyce that Christ was preached, though from an envious Spirit: Phil. 1. 18. And hence it is, that God in all times and ages in which he hath had a Church, hath had such which have preached and taught the people; as James observed in that speech of his in the Councel: Act. 15. 21. Moses (saith he) of old time hath in every City, them that preach him, being read in the Syna­gogue every Sabbath-day. And must Christ be worse provi­ded for then Moses? no; Christ himself was a Preacher of himself, Luk. 4. 18. Mat. 4. 23. and he gave Commission to his Disciples to preach, and sent them into all the World for that purpose; Mat. 18. 19. and in them he commissi­oned others in all Ages to the end of the World; for he promised his presence to the end of the world, and conse­quently not to them only which were not to continue so long, but to such also who should succeed them impreaching. If any one should attempt to make this place invalid, by inter­preting the words which are translated, to the end of the World, to be meant only to the end of that Age, because of the di­versity of the sense that is put upon the Greek word [...], which is translated (World) and sometimes signifies (Age) to shew the weakness thereof. I shall only give this hint, these words together [...] are used for the end of the World in a plain proper sense in many places of Scripture; as Mat. 13. 39, 40. a [...]d cap 24. 3. Heb 9. 26. and I know not that they are together used in any other sense.

Secondly, It seems to be too gross and wicked to restrain Christs presence to an Age, much more the things that are given in charge to be preached and observed vers. 20. as if one only Age were to observe Christs Commands: for how­soever the Apostles were the Persons that immediately re­ceived the Commands, and had the Promise, yet there is a further scope in Christs words, and a clear intimation of the continuation of the work by others, who should succeed af­ter they should cease to be. For sutable to this, is that charge which Paul gives to Timothy. 1 Tim. 6. 13, 14. I give the [...] [Page 46] charge in the sight of God who quickeneth all things, and before Iesus Christ, &c. that thou keep this Commandment without spot irrebukably, until the appearing of the Lord Iesus Christ. Was Timothy to continue til the appearing of Jesus Christ, or is there not another thing implyed, viz. that Timo­thy should have successors in that work? to whom Paul gives the charge as well as to him, and lays it upon them to keep the same Commandment: And because it is one work, Paul speaks to them all as to one man, and so did Christ in the Commission above mentioned. And Christ a­scended, up on high and gave gifts to men, and he appointed some Apostles, some Evangelists, some Prophets, some Pastors and Teachers, for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministery, and for the edifying of the Body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the Faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the Stature of the falness of Christ. Eph. 4. 11, 12, 13. that is, till all Saints come to a State of Perfection, so as neither to be sub­ject to errour nor to sin, which is not attainable in this World; Christ was born in weakness and littleness of sta­ture as other men, and he grew up to a perfect man; the Apostle alludes to this: Saints are growing up whilest they are here in knowledge and in all spiritual Gifts and Graces, till nothing be wanting of that proportion which God hath appointed for them, which is not in this life; And Ministery must last while Saints are in their growing state, while any thing is wanting of the measure they must come unto.

Object. But ministerial gifts are not now to be found in the world, such which the Ministers of the Gospel had in the Primitive times; the Apostles were not to go forth into the world, but were to tarry at Ierusalem, though they had a Commission to Preach the Gospel in all Nations, till they were first endued with power from on high, that is, till they were annoynted with the holy Ghost, as was done at the time of Pentecost, as is mentioned Act. 2 1, 2, 3. &c. then had they the Spirit given them, and were enriched greatly with gifts, by which they were enabled to discharge that ser­vice they were called unto; so Gal. 3. 5. the person that [Page 47] preached the Gospel, had the ministring of the Spirit, but now no such gifts; therefore no such work ministerial as was then, nor any such Officers, as Pastors, Teachers, &c. as was then.

Answ. First, When the Apostle Paul layeth down the qualification of Bishops or Elders (for they are one) he mentions many things respecting a good conversation, and some other things respecting a right dispensation; he must be [...]ound in the Faith, and setled and established in the Truth, and mighty in the Scriptures, that he may convince gainsayers; and inclinable to communicate what gift he hath, by an apt­ness to teach, and he must be good and upright in his life in all things; But not one word proceeds from the Apostle of any extraordinary gifts wherewith he is to be endued, but a total silence in that point: Now if such an anointment had been necessary with such an absolute necessary, as that without it there could be no Bishops, no Pastors and Elders of any kind at all; how comes it that the Apostle omits the men­tion of so main a thing which is made the principal, when he nominates many other things? Therefore that anointment which the Apostles had, and thole gifts wherewith they were enriched, they served for other ends then to qualifie them for the Ministery; Or if some of them were Apostles qualifica­tions, which were to go into all the world to preach the Go­spel, and did therefore stand in need of tongues, yet they were not Pastors and Teachers qualifications which are fixed to certain places and people; Such gifts as were then given, were testimonials that Christ was received to the Glory of the Father, and did sit at his right hand, and that all power was given him to Heaven and Earth, according as he spake when he was upon the Earth.

Secondly, There might be as forcible an argument fetch: against all Christianity (if words be taken up in the Letter, in which they run) as against Ministery, Mark 16, 17. Those signs shall follow them that believe in my name, they shall cast out Devils, they shall speak with new tongues, and many other things it is said they should do, and they did so in the Primi­tive times; very many of them, and perhaps all had one ex­traordinary [Page 48] gift or another; as, 1 Cor. 12. 7. The man i­festation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withall; to one in one kind, and to another in another kind. And there­fore when Paul met with Disciples at Ephesus, the first Question that he asked them, was; whetherthey had received the holy Ghost since they believed? As if suchgifts of the holy Ghost had been so connexed to Faith, that they could not be separated the one from the other shall we therefore reason from hence, that because these signs are not now ac­companying those that profels Faith, that there are no Be­lievers to be found in these latter Ages? We may as rational­ly, and with as much (and more) colour of Scripture rea­son after such manner, as these persons do against Ministery.

Besides, the Apostle speaks of Ministery which some per­sons have received, Rom. 12. 7. and requires a waiting upon it, and he that teacheth must wait upon his teaching, and he that exhorteth must wait upon his exhortation: Here is not only an outward teaching allowed, (which the persons who shaped these questions oppose) but an outward teaching by office is enjoyned, which some others that are no Quakers are ready enough to withstand; For if it should be meerly by a gift, which some will grant, though they deny Office: How comes it that the Injunction is to wait upon it? For though it be not expresly in the Original, yet it is necessarily im­plyed, that there may be sense made of it; and how comes an injunction of maintenance, Gal. 6. 6. from him that is taught, to him that teacheth, if teaching be not by Office, be not waited upon, and made the special work of some persons? And how comes the Apostle to raise a living to some persons from their preaching, when he saith, that they who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel, and saith also, that so the Lord hath ordained it? 1 Cor. 9. 14. and if persons make it not their office, and wait upon it as upon their office, if only they preach by vertue of a gift that they have, or think that they have and exercise it at their pleasure, will the Apostle have such men live upon the Gospel that so preach it? Or why doth the Apostle fetch an argument from them that served at the Altar, whohad their livelihood thence, [Page 49] to prove a living upon the Gospel Preached, if such who were to Preach the Gospel, were not Ministerially and by office to do it; For those who lived upon the things of the Temple, and upon the Altar, were Priests and Levites, and Ministers of the Old-Testament. Were all these Directions and In­structions which respect Office, Temporary and Transitory? Then may the whole Gospel in all the Injunctions and Com­mandments of it be made a Temporary, and a Transitory Gospel.

Or can any rational person conceive how Preaching is like to be kept up, and to be on foot any long time, if some per­sons be not appointed to wait upon it, and if it be not laid upon some persons as their work? Or what certainty can the people be at concerning supply that way, if none be engaged to it? And how weakly is Preaching likely to be carried, when none attend upon it, nor give themselves over unto it? The Apostles who had incomparable endowments beyond any who live now, did yet give themselves to prayer, and to the Ministry of the Word. And shall not those who fall great­ly below them, be much rather wholly devoted to that ser­vice, when as the work is so weighty if it be carried as it ought to be, that it requires the whole of man?

But I believe these dayes wherein there is such arguing against Ministry, and such pleading for the Preaching of gifted men, were Prophesied of by Paul, 2 Tim. 4. 3, 4. where 2 Tim. 4. 3, 4. which re­spects the heaping up of Teachers, opened. he saith, that the time shall come, when they will not endure sound Doctrine; But after their own lusts, they shall heap to themselves Teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the Truth, and they shall be turned unto fables. It is observed that the Greek word that is translated (heaping) doth import three things: 1. An ardent study to acquire many Teachers. 2. A rash and heady gathering to­gether of many Teachers, without any solid judgement exer­cised. 3. A confused multitude of such as are gathered together imployed. And it may be further observed, what manner of persons they be that shall heap together Teachers after this manner, and what grounds they go upon. First, They are such who will not endure sound Doctrine. Secondly, they are such [Page 50] who please their own lusts and fancies in the Teachers whom they heap together to themselves. Thirdly, They are such who have itching ears, who affect to hear many, and no one nor a few will serve their turn; they hear one and another without being satisfied, after the manner of those who have an itch upon them. Fourthly, They turn away their ears from the Truth, and are turned to Fables; that is, any thing that is new, though it be a very fable and have no truth in it, is thirsted after by them; old truths will not please so well, they leave them, and turn after these. It is also worthy to be considered how Teachers come to be multiplyed, that there is such an heap of them; why the wantonness, loosness, and vanity of the spirit of the People, which will not endure the strictness of the care and vigilancy of Pastors and Teachers, and have also itching ears, shall multiply them and pile them up one upon another like an heap; the lusts of the people make many Preachers more then any thing else. And these persons that are so wanton that they must have many, are yet such who will not have some, viz such who are solid and preach the Truth; For this Text saith, they turn away their ears from the Truth (where it is solidly held forth) and are turned after fables.

Nothwistanding that there is a distemper of this kind which is very prevalent in these dayes, yet I dare not so affix preaching to office, as thereby to exclude all exercising of gifts; but the exorbitancy is that which I appear against; I would have those that do preach, and others also that are solid sober Christians, judge together who are fit to preach, and who have a gift; 1 Cor. 14, 32. and I would have them first proved, before approved, 1 Tim, 3. 10. and then they should exercise it occasionally; for he that hath an office, it belongs to him and is his part to wait upon it; but he that hath only a gift without an office, must look unto it how he is called out to exercise it before he use it.

Thirdly, Not only outward teaching offends them, but Concern­ing pray­ing stan­ding. praying standing will not down with them; I know not what posture they would have, but that which we intend by it, is, that he that prayeth may be seen by all the people on whose [Page 51] behalf he prayes; For he is their mouth, and it doth affect the heart of the people when their eyes behold him who is pray­ing for them, and it is justified from Solomons example, who when he prayed on the behalf of Israel, he stood in the pre­sence of all the Congregation, and spred forth his hands to­wards Heaven; And yet we plead not so for standing, but that we shall grant other postures to be lawful, provided that the person that prayeth be visible to the people; but they that love not the duty it self, but except against it as in Querie 15. may better be allowed to find fault with the posture.

Fourthly, Nor will they be pleased with the place of Concer­ning pray­ing in the Suna­gogues. meeting, who would have no meeting at all for such exercises; they call them Synagogues in way of derision; but there is no harm in that word if they understood it; it doth but signifie a place where the people come together, a place of Assem­bling; It did signifie the place where the Jews met together to hear the Word of God upon the Sabbath-day. It was no holy place in the Jews accompt, as the Temple was; it was not hallowed and sanctified for sacred uses only as the Temple was; but was made use of for civil purposes, as to punish offences; For they scourged such as they counted malefactors in their Synagogues, Mat. 23. 34. If our place therefore be only like a Synagogue, its no brand to us; some place we must have if a service be to be done; & one place will serve our turn as well as another, provided it be a capacious place that will hold the company that are to meet in it, and that it be also a free place, which we may make bold with without detriment to any, and a known agreed-on place, which all may take no­tice of, and may repair thither: yet our place cannot hard­ly be called a Synagogue in allusion to the Jewish Synagogues; for it was not erected for any spiritual or divine use, or with any intent of serving God in it, as the Synagogues among the Iews were, though they made use of them for other services.

Fifthly, After cavelling at places, they come to strike at Concer­ning Title of Master. Persons, and charge us with Ambition and Affectation of Honour: 1. Because we are called Masters. 2. Because we have as they say, the chiefest places in the Assemblies; for [Page 52] the former, viz. the title, we confess it is put upon some of us, and as we have not affected it, so neither have we cause to reject it. It doth import nothing but civil honour and re­spect which others shew us: It is put upon all persons who have either birth, breeding, riches of this world, office and employment of an honourable nature: It was not only put upon Christ, but upon the Apostles of Christ also, in Joh. 12. 21. and not rejected by them. Some came to Philip, and said (Sir) we would see Jesus: It is in the Greek, Master, we would see Iesus: and Acts 16. 30. The Gaoler came to Paul and Silas and said, (Sirs) that is in Greek, Masters, what shall &c. and they repelled him not in reference to that Title.

But these Persons alledge Mat. 13. where it is said; Be not ye called Masters, for you have one Master which is Christ. But this Text will stand them in no stead; for this word that is translated (Masters) is, [...] which signifies such Masters as are Duces viae, Guides of ones way, and Guberna­tores vitae, Governours of a mans life, which is proper to Christ, and not to any man; For no man doth-it, saving in­strumentally from and under Christ. And Rabbi which was forbidden them also, vers. 8. is such another Title, which carries too much in the signification of it; it imports one Teacher who for the abundance of his knowledge is instead of many: And the affectation is that which is principally forbidden, and the derogating in the coveting of such-Titles from God in that Glory which is due to him, who is that Dux viae, that Guide of Guides, and that Rabbi, that one teacher which is more then all; But for the Title Master in a civil acception, there is neither hurt in giving of it, nor in taking of it, provided that pride and haughtiness do not oc­casion it; For the Apostle saith, in giving honour, go one be­fore another, Rom. 12. 10. And we know that he justifieth the Title of Master in all such who have others to serve them, and gives direction unto them how they ought to deport themselves towards those who are their servants. But these persons may better be born with, if they destroy Titles, who destroy Relations themselves which founded them. Concer­ning [Page 53] chief places in the Assemblies, except the Pulpit be the chief place, which the great ones covet not, I know no­thing of the cause of this charge, but do account it a meet slander.

Querie 19. Whether a man shall ever grow up that he need no man teach him under your Ministry, yea or no? see­ing the Apostle saith, you need no man teach you; and you which have been long Teachers, how many have you brought up into this Condition?

Answ. Persons may grow up under the teaching of such a Ministery as is among us, to need no man to teach them, in the sense in which the Apostle understands it; they may be brought to the knowledge of all the great truths of the Go­spel, and may come to understand many of the high and deep things of Scripture; they may also come to be much con­firmed and established therein, so that in a comparative sense they may not need Teachers; not that they are absolutely perfect in knowledge, but that they know very much, and are able to teach others also; and of this we have some experience. But in the sense in which these persons understand it (for they intend such a perfection in knowledge as excludes all igno­rance, and all humane helps for any further attainments) we ingenously confess, that no man is ever like to grow up so high, as to need no teaching, nor are we our selves come up to such a perfection; and we think our selves to be but Chil­dren in knowledge, in comparison of that which we hope to attain unto in heaven; nor do we think it any dishonour to us to confess so much, especially while we medicate upon the Apostles expression, 1 Cor. 13. 12. Now we see through a glass darkly, speaking of the time of this life, but then we shall see face to face, speaking of the time after this life. Nor do we find that Christ himself, or the Apostles, ever bred up persons to such a condition as these men speak of, to need none to teach them in their sense. Paul bred up Timothy, and to a great height he bred him under his Ministery, whom he cals Son, because he had been with him as a Son, yet he exhorts [Page 54] him to meditate upon such things, and to give himself wholly unto them, that his profiting might appear unto all, 1 Tim. 4. 15. And Peter exhorcs those that he wrote to, of whom he Iaith, that he did ouly put them in remembrance of things, and that they knew them already, and were established in the present truth, that they would grow in grace, and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Pet. 3. 18.

The Conclusion that they put to all these Questions, is this;

The Church of Christ (say they) is a pillan and ground of Truth, which doth witness the eternal Spirit; and if you be the same Church, and have the same Spirit, answer me these Queries without any consequencies or senses; otherwise diny your Elder­ship, and Pastorship, and to be no Church of Christ.

Answ. The Church of Christ is the ground and pillar of Truth, and doth witnese the truth of all that is contained in the holy Scriptures, and more especially that the mysterie of godliness is gteat, viz. That God was manifest in the flesh, ju­stified in the Spirit, seen of Angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the World, received up into Glory. And this we assert without any Consequencies or senses; many of which, (if not all) you that urge us thus, most desperately deny. As for your questions, we have answered them agreeablyto Scripture, and have made such inferences and necessary con­sequences, and have put such senses as cannot be contradicted by any knowing Christian, nor indeed by any but those whose design is to destroy all Scripture, and utterly to subvert the Faith of the Gospel, and to lead men captive after their own delusions: and instead of denying a Pastorship, and Elder­ship, and our selves to be the Church of Christ, we shall pray God to open the eyes of so many of these poor creatures, who are thus sold over to delusions, that so many of them as be­long to Gods Election, may be recovered out of the snare of the devil, who are led captive for the present after his will.

A Coppy of a Letter which Richard Waller a Quaker, sent to a Gentlemans Family, near Stockport in Cheshire: in which both he and his wife had been formerly servants: Wherein he pleads for an ab­solute perfection, and for Quaking.

Dear Friends,

MY dear love in the Lord presents it self unto you all in the power of the truth; desiring the Lord to establish you all in the truth it self, that you may grow and become faithfull unto the Lord to bring forth much fruit, that the Lord in all things may be glorified by you. Dear friends, I did long stand in opposition against a company of people by the World called Quakers; So it pleased the Lord in his time to let me see my condition; So that I did plainly see that I had got the Saints words to talk of before I came to witness the Saints condition: Now the Scripture saith, Jesus Christ was made manifest to destroy the works of the Devil. Whosoever can witness Christ manifest in him, can witness sin destroyed: But he that saith Christ is manifest in him, and committeth sin, is a lyar. For whosoever is born of God, sinneth not, 1 Job. 2. 4. For his seed remain­eth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God; Now the Priests of the World tell us we cannot be perfect here: So they leave a hole for Satan here contrary to Scriptures; and when will they have him cast out? As for me, I deny all the Teachers of the World: For I can really witness that I have found my Teacher within me, which is a mysterie to all the World. Now, I and the rest that can witness that Christ is made ma­nifest [Page 56] in us, we are hated of the World; for we disown the Worlds ways, Worlds worships, and Worlds Customs, and they disown us. Now the Scriptures saith, He that is a friend to the World, is an enemy to God: The World calls us witches and mad men; they did so by Christ; they said he was a De­vil: and they said Paul was mad, and Stephen spoke Blas­phemy: It is just so now as it was then; they Jear and say, Never any of the Saints Quaked and Trembled. Read these Scriptures at your leasure, and you may find them lyars, Heb. 12. 25, 26. Ezra. 9. 3, 4. Heb. 12. 21. Moses quaked and trembled. David trembled Psal. 119. 120. Psal. 18. 7. Heb. 3. 16. When I heard, my belly trembled, my lips quivered. Jerem. 23. 9. Isa. 66. 2. Ezek. 32. 10. Dan. 10. 7. and 11. Daniel Trembled, Acts 9. 6. Joel 2. 10. Job 26. 11. Amos 8. 8. Jer. 30. 6, 7. Acts 13. 40. 41. See here is a Cloud of Witnesses against them: And whereas they deny that per­fection is to be attained, here they are found lyars. See Phil. 3. 15, Let us, as many as are perfect, be thus minded. Col. 1. 28. Col. 4. 12. 2 Tim. 3. 17. Heb. 6. 1. Heb. 10. 14. He. 12. 23. Heb. 13. 21. Jam. 1. 4. Col. 4. 12. Deut. 18. 13. Joh. 17. 21. I in thee, and thou in me, that they may be made per­fect in one. I plainly see the Priests taught deceit, and we believed them: But the Lord hath discovered their deceit to his, and he will teach all his himself. Oh therefore wait upon the Lord, and cease from man whose breath is in his nostrils, and mind the light of God in you which discovers deceit; and the peace of God be with you all, and keep you all in the sense of him staid in your minds, that you may be kept in his feare which keepeth the mind clear, and pure, and open to receive his teachings, and to forsake the evil, and choose the good, and so bring you into obedience; and it will suffer you to joyn with nothing but what is of it own nature, pure and clear, and it will keep you from the evil of the World. The Lord cause you all to grow up as trees of Righteousness, and stablish your hearts in the living truth, that his name in all thing may be glorified.

Dear friend Christian, I have sent you a little book, read it without partiality, and you may see deceit discovered; My [Page 57] wife desires you to present her service to her Master and Mistress, and all the children, and her love unto you and all the servants; We are both well, and our child grows fast. As for me, as I begun with my dear love unto you all, so I end: For I dare not complement, because it is a Custom of the World. Farewell,

A Copy of an answer to the forementioned Letter, written in the name of the Church of Duckenfield, now meeting in Stopport, and sent unto the wife of Richard Waller, for the setling and establishing of her in the faith of Christ, be­ing a member of the forementioned Church, wherein all such Scriptures which were brought to prove an absolute Perfection and Quaking are Interpreted, and the true sense given to them; and freed from such corrupt fense for which they are alledged.

Sister Waller,

YOu are very precious to us, though your miscarriage against God and us hath been very great. We are apt to hope that the Lord either hath or will convince you of the sin you committed in your unadvised Marriage; Which you so selfwilledly carried on against us: And when your heart is kindly humbled; we know you will give praise to God, and justifie us: And then we shall con­ceive as much can see of joy from your repentance, as we have done grief from your sin: We cannot yet think otherwise, but that you do belong to the Lord: And if so, he will not suffer you to have rest in any evil way you have gone [Page 58] in, till he have made you truly sensible, and sorrowfull after a Godly manner: which if ever you once manifest to us, we shall with as much tenderness own you, as in any time heretofore: For you are very dear to us, and our bowels do very much yearn after you: Especially since we heard of a Letter which your husband wrote to Duckenfield, which some of us have seen; by which we discern what deadly poyson he hath sucked in, to the undoing of his poor Soul, if God be not very mercifull to him, and bring him to Repentance. And you also, through your nearness of Relation to him, are exposed to multiplicity of Temptations, to forsake the faith of our Lord Jesus, and to turn aside to such Satanical delusi­ons which he is carried away with. We do conceive hope, that as yet the Lord hath kept you, by observing one passage of his Letter, which holds out your desire, that your service may be presented to your Master and Mistress: therein, owning the relation they stood in to you, and you to them, which he declares against, making it the worlds way, and not Gods. Our desire and prayer to God for you shall be, that he will yet keep you even to the end. And who can tell but that the Lord may bring out a great deal of good to your soul, by this evil of your Husbands fearfull apostacy, which his Letter holds out? God may open your eyes, thereby to see your sinfull haste which you made in that Marriage: He may humble you for rushing upon it against Counsel; he may make you to know that he was angry against you, by leaving him to such fearful error of way. He hath laid a sore affliction upon you, by giving up one so near and dear to you, to such fearfull Temptations. You have offended God through him, and now you must be chastned in him. Be awakned, be a­wakned, and consider the Lords righteous hand in this matter; The person whom you have chosen, God seems to have for­saken; at least for a time he is become the Devils Captive. O fear you, and repent you, least he also forsake you. But we hope better of you; and our prayer is, that you may be setled and established in the truth. We foresee that you will be strongly sollicited: He that thought himself bound to tempt persons by his Letters at so great a distance, what al­luring [Page 59] ways will not he take to cause you to forsake your in­tegrity, and to turn aside to such fleshly deceits of Satan: take heed you be not bewitched with pretences, and quotati­ons of Scripture presented in the Letter; there lyes the greatest danger. The Devil tempted Christ, by telling him that it was written; and his Instruments will use the same fleights: They will put false Glosses upon Scripture, while they de­ny all senses to be put upon Scripture, to deceive themselves and others thereby. The Apostle Peter saith, 2 Pet. 3. 16. that some that are unlearned, and unstable, do wrest Scripture to their own destruction; and he doth warn them, lest they being led away by the error of the wicked, do fall from their own stedfastness, by such means. And we also do beseech you to beware of this Snare, viz of Scripture abused by miscon­structions. It is a misconstruction, when the construction is made to follow the sound of the words, though it be never so much repugnant to other Scripture: You know that all Scripture is given by Inspiration of God, 2 Tim 3, 16. And that holy men spake as they were Inspired by the Holy Ghost, 2 Pet. 1. 21. Now God is a God of Truth, and the Spirit is a Spirit of Truth, and cannot speak contrary things, nor con­tradict himself: therefore, if there be any seeming contra­diction in Scripture taken in the Letter of it, we must seek after a right sense, by which the seeming contradiction may be removed. Your husband produceth many Scriptures to prove an absolute perfection without sin; And the first Scripture he mentions, is Phil. 3. 15. Let us (saith Paul) (speaking of himself and the Philippians) as many as be perfect, be thus minded; He Collects from hence, that the Saints here have such a perfection that excludes all sin: Alas poor Creature! We thought he had been better acquainted with his own heart: But he might have looked a little higher in the Chapter, upon ver. 12. and have discerned that Paul expresly denies Perfection in reference to himself Not as though I were already perfect, saith he; Was Paul perfect, and yet was he not perfect? In the Letter there is a contradiction: But Paul speaking by the Spirit of God, cannot contradict himself: therefore, we must look after the sense of the [Page 60] word [Perfect] It is many time taken for sincere, 2 Kings 15. 14. Asa took not away the high places; that was his failing; Yet his heart was perfect; In what sense perfect? Was it perfect without sin? Not so, For it was his sin that the high places were not taken away; But perfect, that is Upright; He did not serve God in pretence, but in truth, They say we must not give the sense of Scripture, but must take it in the Letter; but that is contrary to the examples of Scripture. Those in Nehemiah 8. 8. read in the Book of the Law, and gave the sense; and it is necessary sometimes to avoid contradiction, which is in the Letter, to give the sense; The sense of that place, in Phil 3. 15. Let us so many as be perfect, be thus minded, is this, Let us so many as be Sincere, Upright, and halt not betwixt Moses and Christ, betwixt the Law and the Gospel, be thus minded: that is minded like to Paul, as he had given them example; For that was the Scope in that whole Chapter; he had left the Law and all confidence in Mofaical Ordinances, and followed Christ; But yet was not perfect therein, as to be without defect in that, but was up­right and sincere therein; and he presseth them, as many as were perfect, that is, upright, to be as he was, to do likewise, and yet not to think that they can be so compleat as not to need to follow more and more after Christ; but to be still striving, as he was; This is clearly the sense, by which your husband may understand his error. As for all other places, to give a particular Exposition of each Quotation, will take up more time then we can well spare at present; but as need shall require, upon intimation given us, we shall be willing to hold forth the sense of any Scripture you shall doubt of hereafter, as the Lord shall help us, and we hope with Truth. comparing Scripture with Scripture, that one may not oppose another. Onely in general it is good to take notice that is Scripture there is mention made of a Comparative per­fection; Those who stuck in Moses his Rites, and could not get past them, were not so perfect as those who were clearly bottomed upon the Gospel. And to this Perfection Paul endevoured to bring the Colossians, and Philippians, and all that did believe, Col 1. 28. And those who were Babes in [Page 61] knowledge, were not so perfect as those who had their senses exercised to discern betwixt good and evil, of which Heb. 6. 1. And there is a perfection that respect Justification, and not Sanctification, Heb. 10. 14. By one Offering he hath for ever perfected them that are Sanctified; that is, he hath perfectly justified all the Saints, by dying once; when as all the legal Offerings (though repeated day by day) could not do it; But there was still a Conscience accusing for sin. And there is a perfection that respects rather the number of Graces, then the measure of them, and respects rather duration and continuance to the end, then any height or strength in the act of performance; as Jam. 1. 4. Let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting no­thing; This perfect work of patience, is the work of patience perpetuated, and lasting to the end; He that endureth to the end shall be saved, Mat. 10. 22. Mat. 24. 13. And [being entire and wanting nothing] respects the filling up, and compleating the rest of the Graces that they had, with this Grace of patience exercised to the end; as in 2 Cor. 8. 7: Therefore as ye abound in every thing, in Faith, and Utter­rance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us; see that ye abound in this Grace also. When all Graces be in Saints, and do abide in exercise to the end, then there is a kinde of Perfection in Saints. And the Scripture doth frequently stir up the Saints to endeavor after perfection; When yet it saith not that is is to be attained unto in this life. 2 Cor. 13. 9. We wish (said the Apostle) your Perfection; and Heb 6. 1. Let us go on to perfection; And the A­postle himself was not Perfect, but going on towards it, Phil. 3. 12. Not as though I were already Perfect; But I forget that which is behind, &c. and so follow on towards it. The Apostle Paul tells us, that while he was here, he did see through a Glass darkly; and that now, that is in this life, he did know but in part; and if but in part, where then was per­fection? And the Apostle John tells all Saints, 1 Joh. 1. 8. that if they say they have no sin they deceive themselves, and the truth is not in them; And the Apostle James faith, that in many things we-offend all; he and all others did offend And he faith, he is a perfect man, that offendeth not in word; that [Page 56] is, he would be comparatively perfect that could only bridle his tongue; but who can do it at all times? we perceive your Husband cannot; for then he would never have uttered such reproachsul words against godly men, calling them Priests, and saying they are found Lyars; his Conscience will tell him that some of them are such as fear the Lord: but he faith, if Perfection be not here, we leave an hole for Satan; and when will it be, if it be not here in this Life? Alas, alas, is he left so soon to so great darkness as not to believe another Life and World after this? that he asks when it will be, if not here? It seems Satan hath had an open door to enter into his heart, and fill it with such fogs and mists of Darkness; he might have read and weighed the Apostles words, in 1 Cor. 13. 9, 10, 11. Now we know in part, but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away; and he might have considered that distinction of time con­tained in these words, Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; this [now] is here, and this [then] is after this life; But he strengthens himself in that place, in 1 Ioh. 3. 9. He that is born of God, sinneth not, but his Seed remaineth, and he cannot sin; This he urgeth, but he con­sidereth not that the same Iohn saith that which is contrary to this, viz. Whosoever saith he hath no sin, deceives himself, and the truth is not in him; A sound sense therefore must be brought out of Iohns words, else Iohn will be found a Lyar against himself, and against God, as your Husband endeavours to make him, denying sin to be there, in whom Christ is made manifest, from this text; but the meaning is of sin in course, per­fisted and continued in, without true repentance and turning from it; he that is born of God cannot so sin; for the seed of Truth and of Grace within him, will not let him so sin; for after such manner the wicked of the world sin, but the Saints cannot so sin; there will be smitings of heart in them, and they will ask and enquire what they have done, and will re­pent and turn to God, as Iob did, David did, Peter and all the Saints have done.

Now concerning quaking and trembling, there is a multi­plying of many Texts of Scripture without knowledge; for none of them can be applyed to justifie the practice of [Page 53] those whom they call Quakers. The first Text that they al­ledge, if it be taken in the Letter, as they take all Scripture, doth destroy them and their practice; viz. Heb. 12. 26 whose voice then shook the Earth, but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the Earth onely, but the Heaven also. Now the Apostle gives the sense of these words [yet once more] vers. 27. It signifieth (faith he) the removing of those things that are shaken, that those things which can­not be shaken may remain: Now those Persons whom they call Quakers, they are shaken in their meetings, first one, and then another; then the Text taken in the Letter, shews that they shall be removed and taken away, seeing they are sha­ken; but others who are not shaken, shall remain; so they fall by the Text which themselves alledge. But the true sense of this Text is Metaphorical, and signifies the removing of things corrupt in Church and State, so far as it remains yet to be fulfilled; and it did signifie the removal of Moses Law of Rites, that the Gospel might be establ [...]shed instead there­of. There was an outward shaking of the Mount, and of Moses, but it was typical of this Metaphorical and spiritual shaking, and shewed how Moses Paedagogie, or Childish Discipline was to be removed away; but what is this to their purpose? There is also a spiritual trembling, arising from the reverence of God and his Word, which is inward in the foul, which all Saints have more or less; Isa 66, 2. Ezra 9. 4. which are Texts of his citing, but they make nothing for the upholding of their outward shaking: nor are they persons that tremble at the Word of the Lord, but are despisers of it, There is also a quaking and trembling of Flesh, but it did ar [...]se from the sense of Gods Judgements, Psal. 119. 120. Jer. 23 9, Ier. 30 5 6. and from a sense of Gods Wrath; Psal. 187. but they who have the name of Quakers, being all of them perfect and without sin (as they pretend) cannot be afraid of Gods judgements & of his wrath, nor do they quake upon that account; what they shall do hereafter if they repent not, we leave to that one ludge of the world to determine in his time. There is also a quaking from Visions and Apparitions, as when an Angel appeared to Daniel, Dan. 10. 7. 11. and the outside of the Vision, those that were with him saw, and qua­ked, [Page 64] and fled through fear; they saw not the inside, as those that were with Saul did which saw a light, though they saw no man, and they were terrified. And Paul was astonied, and trembled Acts 9. 6. upon the appearance of Christ to him. Now whether these persons pretend to apparitions or not, we know not; and whether there be any Apparition un­less the Devil doth appear, we know not; onely this we know, Those persons who saw many Visions, and to whom God immediately, or by an Angel spake familiarly, which caused quaking and trembling, they were such, for whom, and by whom, God wrought many wonderful things; there­fore said the Pharisees to the people, We know that God spake with Moses; It was known to all, by signs and wonders that Moses did, that God had Communion with him and spake to him; so also it was with Daniel, Peter, Paul, and all others; so that all might be assured that God spake with then, and the appearance was visible also: Now when these persons can confirm their Visions by miraculous things wrought for them and by them, it will be better received, that God hath appeared and spoken to them. But that which most satisfies us, that neither they nor their quaking are of God, is first, because though some particular persons, upon some par­ticular and sudden appearances have trembled and quaked, yet there is nothing in all the Scripture that makes out the meetings of many people together in a constant way and course, waiting and expecting to see or hear something which casts them into trances, and brings upon them quaking and trembling, and in a kind of order also; as first one, and then another. Indeed the Apostles did abide waiting at Ierusa­lem once; but never after, for the receiving of the Spirit ac­cording to the Promise of the Father, by Christs own spe­cial Injunction; but then the Spirit came in visible manner; there was a rushing wind, and sound from Heaven, and an ap­pearance of cloven tongues, like as it were fire sat upon every one of them, and they spake with tongues; But what injunction have these men to meet, and sit together waiting for any ap­pearance of spirit, or Angel, or ought else? And what promise have they made to them, or what outward appearance is there of any comming of the Spirit to them? Or what mighty [Page 65] works are done by them; Or what communion with God, or with his Spirit can they have, which oppose God in their many blasphemous assertions which come from them? and who destroy many of the great Doctrines of the Gospel? and who change and subvert Gods Ordinances, viz. Rela­tions betwixt Magistrates and Subjects, Masters and Servants, &c. which God doth build up in his word?

Sister, You may discern what little strength there is in those many Scriptures in your Husbands Letter, heaped toge­gether, by that which we have presented in answer; A cloud of misapplied Scriptures we hope will deceive none but the simple. We are willing to believe that God hath, and will give you a better understanding, then to be deceived with vain words. Watch you, stand fast in the faith, quit your self well like a solid Christian, be strong: If you doubt of any thing, send to us, we shall endevor to give you satisfaction, and shall beg of God to guide you, even he himself by his Spirit, into all Truth: Appear not in any other meetings, as you tender the welfare of your Soul, tempt not God to, leave you. If your Husband bring them to your house, get from among them. If by any means you can, have no discourse with them, least you be ensnared. You are warned in your Husband, he conversed with them, and how soon is he become one of them, as his Letter shews, We pitty his condition greatly. What would we do to recover him, and bring him out of such snares? But we fear least some sin is unrepented of, and that God is offended, and hath left him; Look you to your self, and past wayes, and know the evil you have done, and meet the Lord by faith and timely Repentance; It may be God will be gracious to you, and you shall be kept in the fire, and in the water, in the midst of the greatest and nearest dangers; so that they shall not touch you, nor hurt you. Which shall be the pray­er of those who are true friends to your soul, and do watch over you, as those who must give an account to God for you.

Farewell.
From the Elders, and some brethren of the Church of Christ, meeting at Stoppors, In the name, and on the behalf of the rest. Sam. Eaton.

The Quakers Reply to our fore­mentioned answer, sent by Richard Waller, with an injunction that it should be read in the presence of the CONGREGATION.

I Have received a Letter, wherein I find many busie minds, giving senses upon the Scriptures, and false Accusations.

Can you give a better sense upon the Scriptures then they are? thereby you shew another Spirit then that which did give forth the scriptures. For all Scriptures being given forth by the Inspiration of the spirit, it is of no private Interpretation, nor came not by the will of man. O flesh be silent before the Lord, who art giving senses, and speakest with thy own will: wherein thou hast uttered forth thy solly, who art unlearned: therefore thou art wresting the Scriptures, which thou wouldst turn up­on the backs of others, and the same turns upon thy own back and pate, who art giving senses: who livest in the corrupt nature, and pleadest for it, a servant to the Devil, maintaining his Kingdom: Whereof thou Accusest him being led Captive, and thou art led Captive, doing the work of the Devil, and art a witness against him, or them who are in the second Birth, and the children of the living God: Jacob was a perfect man, God saw no iniquity in him; Iob was a perfect man; And God saw no transgression in Israel; and Christ said, be ye per­fect, as your heavenly father is perfect: and the Apostle said, see that you stand perfect in the will of God, And he that is born of God sinneth not, neither can be sin, because the seed of God [Page 67] remains in him; he that doth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous; let no man deceive you with vain words, and in that number you shew your selves to be deceiving with vain words; and we speak wifdom among them that are perfect, saith the Apostle; Yet not the wisdom of this world, that cometh to nought: but in the wisdom of the world thou art, witnes­sing against that which the Apostle justified, and hast raised thy self out of that which he was in, giving Senses and Mean­ings upon his words, as they painted Serpents did, shewing a contrary Spirit then the Apostles had; Shewing thy self in the first Birth, and not in the second, which is perfect; Lit­terally learned, but not Spititually, that which will own it, own without any Witchcraft, Sorcery, or twining humane in­ventions, or its sence upon the Scripture, which all is for De­struction and Fire; For to that in thy Conscience do I speak, which shall eternally witness for me, and before you witness, the same Spirit that gave forth the Scriptures, you must wit­ness these things in your selves. The contradiction is in your selves, and a seeming contradiction, and not in the Scripture: Therefore it is you that look after the sense of the word, which cannot own it as it is, and so make the contradictions; had you the Spirit which Paul had, and which gave forth the Scriptures, you would not wrest it to your own destruction; but the confusion is in your own minds, and that is wrest­ing the Scriptures in you, and giving senses to it, which is for destruction; And whereas you speak of Pauls condition; I desire you to let Pauls condition, and the Saints alone: For you know nothing of them, but are giving senses upon their words, and wresting them, being unestablished with his Spirit, and his life, and the Saints; For that mind in you hath nothing at all to do with it: The Letter saith that the Saints were compleat in him, and is not upright perfect? Wherein it shews that you are not compleat in Christ, but without in the world, giving meaning to his words; whereas you speak of giving a particular exposition of every Quotation, it is the busie mind which would be exalted; So if I should answer to every sense which you have given upon the Scripture from your conceivings, I should make fools wise in their conceits, [Page 68] which God hath promised, he will scatter the proud in their imaginations, and there you are, and there is your por­tion.

Friends, Your weakness you have uttered, while any one thinks they are perfect they cannot tell; but are in the same mind that you are in, giving senses upon the Scripture, which was given forth by an eternal spirit, and you are giving senses upon ir, with your external minds, and your own imagined wisdom, which is from below, you utter it forth; for it de­nies perfection, and while your minds stand in imitation, there is an Image in your minds, which sets something up in it, that neither knows Christ, nor the way, nor the Scripture; Neither can it refolve doubtfull minds; But that sense giving upon the Scriptures doth heal up the beast which hath a wound, and applies the Scriptures to a wrong nature, to your own sense, that thereby many are led blind by you, and led into doubts, and instead of stablishing, you unstablish, and that is it which keeps so many in sin, and from waiting upon Jesus Christ, which comes to take away sin.

Friends, here you sit as Judges of the Saints conditions, speaking you do not know what of the Gospel, of Moses Law, of Justification, and Sanctification, which of these things you know nothing of, but are busie minds, uttering forth your folly; for none of these things can you witness, which you speak of, not the Law of Moses, nor Justification, nor Sancti­fication, nor the Gospel, not in the inward man, but in the Notion; he that is sanctified is justified, and witnessed, and where it is not, it is babled and disputed upon, as you do, giv­ing your own imaginations and senses upon it, which leads in­to temptations from God, both your selves and others; By one offering he hath for ever perfected them that are Sanctified.

Friends, give over your babling, and see which of you can witness this Christ, this Sanctification, and this Perfection, and give over your disputes, and rabling, and rambling with an un­clean mind; For the Grace of God teaches to deny all un­godliness and worldly lusts. Which I do see you know no­thing of but in the Notion, and the History of it, who are Mi­nisters of the Letter.

Friends, see if you be brought to see a Conscience that doth accuse for sin; For that you must witness before you witness the Gospel, and look within your selves, and gad not abroad; For that is the woman that abides not in her own house.

Friends, let me ask you one question, are you come to the end, that you are Teachers of others? I believe it will appear with a literal knowledge; or have you an infallible judgement to judge of perfection, who were perfect, and who were not perfect? For you make it appear as though you were able to judge, but it is with your own sense, and dark thoughts, and not with the spirit that gave forth the Scriptures, who was the Minister of Christ which had it; said that they might pre­sent every man perfect in Christ Jesus; You speak forth your imaginations; Is the perfection that is in the Saints, but a kind of perfection as you speak of? These are your Saints which live in the Imaginations, and your Perfection, and your Sanctifica­tion, which is your own sense, who wrest the Scripture to your own destruction; by one offering he hath for ever perfected them that were sanctified: out of your own mouths you are judged. Friends, the Apostle Paul did not tell you these words, but you are theeves that steal his words; For he spoke to the Saints which had an understanding, when he bad them forget those things which were behind, which you need not give a sense to his words, and wrest them to another meaning; that is your condition which James speaks of, for you live in the nature by whom Offences come; that is but a form, and the Robber to apply his words, except you had a Principle within you that told you so: And Iohn saith, if they say they have no sin, they deceive themselves, and the truth is not in them; But saith he, if you confess your sins, he is faithfull and just to forgive, and to clense from all sin; and if you walk in the light as he is in the light, the blood of Jesus, Christ cleanseth from all sin; But here you are not in this light, onor cannot witness this blood, no not the confession of your sin, but in the generation of the Pharisees, gathered Churches, separated from others, contending against Christ; Who said, a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, and witnessed a good Conscience before Pontius Pilate: and where Christ is made manifest, he hath [Page 70] destroyed the works of the Devil; and he that is born of God sinneth not, and he that sinneth is of the Devil; Hereby are the children of God known from the children of the Devil; And in that Generation you are pleading for the sin, and not for the faith, which purifies the heart; But that mind and servant must serve its own master, whom you contend for; So every kingdom stands for it self, yet you have one of the beasts colours of profession, which makes you to appear beau­tifull, as ever the Harlot did, under a pretence of the true wor­ship of God, which is a stranger from the Spirit of God, as you utter it forth, which the Saints were guided by.

Friends, you give Exposition of the Apostles words, which he gave no such exposition, but spake plainly; he was a perfect man that could bridle his own tongue; and I know none in your Church and Generation can do it; Herein thou shewest thy self and thy Religion to be vain: For he that hath not power over his own tongue, his Religion is vain, and thy self no Mini­ster of Christ; For he was a Minister of Christ that said so, but you are evil beasts, and slow bellies, which the Scripture speaks of; Are they not hirelings, as the Priests were? are they not cal­led of men masters? and have they not the chiefest place in the assemblies? are they not lyars, which pretend to be in the same state the true Prophets were in? you are in the same nature which justifies them, who are for condemnation, and God will condemn that high wisdom of yours; the Apostle said, as he is, so are we, in this present world: which of you can witness that there is no hole for Satan? But friends, look within, and you shall see he keeps the house, you plead so much for him; Friends, in that life you live in, you cannot see it, For none can see God and live: therefore are you blinded, Fogged, and Misted with the corruptions of the dark mind: therefore take the alass, alass, to your selves, and pitty your own selves: he that believes is born of God, and he that is born of God sinneth not, and he that is born of God overcomes the world, and this belief you shut your selves out of, and do make it appear that you do not believe, to that in your Consciences I speak.

Friends, as touching Johns words, let flesh be silent for gi­ving [Page 71] senses upon them, for that fills the world full of imagina­tions and fancies: For you are the Lyars, which would draw something out of his words, and give another meaning to them, and shew a contrary spirit, and the wresting of the Scriptures; but all such as you are discovered, where the life of them is made manifest, who wrest the Scriptures, and give your own sense and meaning upon them, and so bewitch them by your craft, and draw them from waiting upon God to have them fulfilled: so that mind judgeth all to be deceit, which is not according to your own lense, and so calls light darkness, and evil good: Friends, you strengthen your selves with that Scripture, as he that saith he hath no sin, de­ceives himself, and the truth is not in him.

And here you stand up for the Devils kingdom, For you have not confessed your sins yet; If you confess you [...] sin, he is faith­and just to forgive, and to cleanse from all sin; but these thinge you know nothing of, but shew forth your corrupt mind, and your selves of them which the Scripture speaks of.

Friends, here you have uttered forth your folly without knowledge and understanding, and make it appear that you never heard the voice of God, for his voice shakes the Earth; First you must witness the Earth shaken, before you witnes the Heavens; and make it appear, that an your knowledge is notionary and earthly, and yet standing, and of this World; and the world by their wisdom know not God, and there you are: to that in your conscience I speak; here you thrust your selves out of the Church of God, and shew forth your ignorance, not having the form of the Letter; For Paul when he came among the Corinthians, he was with them in fear, and weakness, and much teembling, that their Faith might stand in the power of God, and not in the wisdom of Words; but here are you not: and the Corinthims re­ceived Titus trembling: and he that was a Minister of Christ, exhorted the Saints to work out their salvation with fear and trembling, for it was God that wrought both the Will and the Deed; and the Assembly which assembled to Ezra, had all trembling hearts, and Iobs flesh trembled, and Da­vids flesh trembled, and his bones quaked, and Moses when [Page 72] he heard the voice of God, he trembled; & Habbakuk when he heard the voice of God, he trembled. Hear the word of the Lord all you that tremble at his Word; when your Brethren hate you and cast you out and say [...] the Lord he glorified, he shall ap­pear to your joy when they shall be ashamed; and in that Generation you shew your selves to be, not knowing the Power of God not the Scriptures, but err; so shutting your selves out, from the life of them that gave forth the Scri­ptures, making your selves openly to appear blind; Friends, besilent, as giving senses of shaking and of removing of things without you; for, it is the e [...]th within you, and the Corrupti­ons within you which plead for the Devils kingdom so much, which must be removed, and that bufie minds which are giving senses upon the Saints Conditions, for eternally you know nothing. Friends, as touching Moses Condition, when any one witnessestlie, same Condition, you cannot own it, but are cavelling about words; neither can you witness that you are made free from the Law, for the Law hath power over a man as long as he lives; The Saints that did witness they were made free: from the Law by the body of Christ, wit­nessed this quaking and trembling, which you with your ser­pentine wisdom would give senses upon them, and despise: but he shall not enter into the Kingdom: Did not Habbakuks lips tremble; and his belly quake? And did not the Prophets knees knock together and quake? David and Ioh, their flesh trembled, and so must all proud flesh he laid low, and the loftiness of man be brought down and your imaginations, and God alone be exalted; the power that makes you to quake and tremble is now made manifest, which you know not; for if you did, you would not give so many senses upon the Scri­pture; and the same Power is now made manifest as ever was, praised be the Lord for ever; As they that saw the out­side of the Vision, as you speak, so you see the outside of the Letter, and would flie from them who have the power of the Letter, as Daniel had; so you see the outside, but not the in­side, as Daniel did, if you did, you would not utter forth your solly, ignorance and weakness: the same Christ they do witness to be made manifest, that makes proud flesh to [Page 73] tremble, and the same operation and death to be brought conformable to Christ they witness: but this power working in them as thou sayest thou knowest not, and whereof you speak, that you know them whom God spake to by Angels and Visions, whom he wrought wonders by, but only by a history-knowledge by Paper and Ink, and there you shew your selves to be lyars; for them whom you do accuse, which you call Quakers, the wonderous Works of the Lord are made manifest among them; though that Christ wrought Miracles among the people, yet they said, he did it by Bel­zebub the Prince of Devils; and thou shewest thy self to be in the same Adulterous Generation that the Scribes and Pha­risees were, which would have a sign or a wonder, but there in none shall be shewed to thee but the sign of Jonas; for an adulterous Generation seeks for a sign, and there thou art. Friends, you say there is nothing in all the Scriptures, makes out of the people meeting together as concerning trembling; did not the Corinthians tremble when Titus came to preach among them? and did not the Assemblies that came to Ezra tremble? there is nothing in your minds of God, born up in your understandings to judge withall; so in your'own con­ceits you are satisfied; and doth not the Lord say, I will shake all Nations; and let all the Inhabitants of the Earth tremble; so ye shew forth the ignorance of the form, for the power of it you cannot own, nor believe where it is operating and working; Friends, you have uttered forth many lyes and slanders, and scandalous speeches; lay your hands upon your mouths, blush and be a shamed, who art in Cains nature, mur­dering the righteous ones in your hearts, and spewing forth your venome against a harmless people; was it not the practice of the Saints to wait alone upon God for counsel, for wisdom, for grace, and for the Spirit? and being guided by the light of God they waited upon God; and the Apostle exhorts them, that they should take heed to the light within them, until the day dawn, and the day-Star arise in their hearts; and no Prophesie of the Scripture came by the Will of man, so it was of no private Interpretation, but Holy men spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost; this moving you speak [Page 74] not from, neither know; therefore as dogs, fnarle and bite them who are guided by the same Spirit, and wait for the same Spirit, by which we have unity with them in the same Spirit; and you shew your selves to be in the number of them who use their tongues, and say, he saith, when saith the Lord, I never spoke to them; but you speak a vain divinati­tion of your own brain, and not from the mouth of the Lord, gathering your selves together against the Lord and against his annointed; but I am satisfied, that I see your fol­ly and weakness uttered forth, which doth blind many; but God is raising up a light which will discover you; the Do­ctrine of God they own, but your Doctrine which is of man, they deny; And if these be your Ordinances which you speak of, as sprinkling Infants, and telling people of a Sacrament, these we deny, for God never commanded them; and if you draw people to these things which God never command­ed, you bewitch them; for the Galathians were bewitched, which were drawn to act these things, God had not comman­ded when the substance was come; & so you do bewitch them to follow your Traditions from the sight of God within them. And as touching Magistrates, you are false accusers which the Scripture speaks of, which have the form and not the power; For all who are brought into the Truth, do la­bour with singleness of heart unto God, and not with eye­service; and their souls are subject to the power of God, and Justice they own, and honour in their soul, which cuts down filthiness and corruptions which are alive in you, which makes you to give forth so many false accusations upon a harmless people, who wait for the restoring of the King­dom, and the overturning the World and the Kingdoms of it, and the Image of the Devil defaced in man, and the Image of God renewed in Righteousness, and man brought into his being from whence he was fallen; and so you are yet under the dominion of Satan, judging truth errour and blasphemy as ever they did, which had the form and not the power, in whose steps you walk; seeing you have uttered forth your folly so and filthiness, and call your selves the Church of Christ; his Church is not a sinful Church, for that [Page 75] you stand up for; but his Church which he hath purchased with his blood, is without spot or wrinkle, or any such, and yours is but an imitation; therefore slander not the Church of Christ, as they which say they are Iews, and are not, but are Synagogues of Satan; and there you are.

I charge you by the Lord, that you read this among all your Churches as you call it, and as you will answer it before the Lord, for to that in your Conscience do I speak.

From some Friends in the Truth, whom the World calls Quakers in Lancashire.

Annotations upon this Reply, and an Extraction of the unsavory passages contained in it.

THe greatest part of this Reply contains nothing but re­proachfull and villifying expressions, and is extremly censorious of us, as of persons who have nothing but darkness in us, and is self-magnifying, as conceiving themselves onely in the light, and having themselves, and they onely the spirit. And some small part of it makes mention of the very self same Scriptures which Richard Wallers Letter doth contain, and of some few more of like nature; But there is scarce the shew of an answer to any thing in ours, though it be very large and tedious; Some of the un-favory and un-Christian expressions, I have gathered out and presented to publike view, that all persons that have to do with them, may know what scurrilous language they may expect instead of an An­swer.

I find many busie minds giving senses upon Scripture.
O flesh be silent before the Lord, who art giving senses.
Who speaks with thine own will.
Thou hast uttered forth thy folly.
Who are unlearned, therefore thou art wresting the Scriptures.
The same turns upon their own back and pate.
Thou livest in corrupt nature, and pleadest for it.
A servant to the Devil, maintaining his Kingdom.
Thou art led Captive doing the work of the Devil.
Thou art a witness against him and them who are in the second birth.
Thou art deceiving with vain words.
In the wisdom of the world thou art.
Shewing a contrary spirit to the Apostle.
Shewing thy self in the first birth, and not in the second.
Litterally learned, but not spiritually.
Had you the Spirit, you would not wrest Scripture to your own destruction.
The confusion is in your own minds.
Let Pauls condition alone, for you know nothing of it.
You are not compleat in Christ, but without in the world.
It is the busie mind that would be exalted.
If I should answer to every sense you give, I should make fools wise.
God will scatter the proud, and there you are, and there is your portion.
Your exernal mind, and imagined wisdom, which is from be­low.
There is an Image in your mind, which neither knows Christ, nor the way, nor the Scripture.
That sense giving, heals up the beast that hath a wound.
Here you sit as Judges of the Saints conditions, speaking you do not know what of the Gospel, of Moses, of the Law, of Justifica­tion, of Sanctification.
Of these ye know nothing, but have busie minds uttering forth your folly.
None of these can you witness to, not the Law, not Moses, not Justification, not Sanctification, not the Gospel in the inward man, but in the Notion.
It is babled and disputed upon as you do.
Friends, give over your babling.
Give over your disputing, and rabling, and rambling with an unclean mind.
Look to your selves, and gad not abroad, for that is the woman thae abides not in her own house.
Paul did not tell you these words, but you are thieves and steal his words.
You live in that nature by whom offences come.
But here you are not in this light, nor can witness this blood, nor the confession of your sin.
You are in the Generation of the Pharisees contending against Christ.
Children of the Devil, and in that Generation are ye plead­ing for sin, and not for faith.
You have one of the beasts colours of profession.
You appear beautifull as every harlet doth.
None in your Church and Generation can bridle his tongue;
Herein thou shewst thy self and thy Religion to be vain.
You are evil beasts, and slow bellies.
You are Blinded, Fogged, Misted with the corruptions of a dark mind.
You are liars which would draw somthing out of Johns words.
Here you stand up for the Devils Kingdom.
You have uttered forth your folly without knowledge.
The world by wisdom knows not God, and there are you.
You are in the same nature, who justifie them who are for condemnation.
The earth within is that which pleads for the Devils King­dom.
Thou shewest thy self to be of the same Adulterous Generation of the Scribes and Pharises.
You have uttered forth many lyes, and slanders, and scanda­lous speeches.
You are in Cains nature, murthering the righteous one.
You are spewing forth your venom against an harmless people.
As dogs, ye snarl and bite them that are guided by the Spirit of God.
You speak a vain divination.
You are yet under the dominion of Satan.
You have uttered forth your folly and filthiness.
They that say they are Iews, and are not, but are of the Syna­gogue of Satan, there are you.

This is some of that mire and dirt, which as the Sea they cast up against us, meerly for the cause of that Letter which we sent to one of their wives, who stood related to us; But this is not all, for the whole Reply consists of such kind of Language, save that here and there, there is some small inter­mixture [Page 79] of some Scriptures produced for the Justification of Perfection anh Quaking, which I see no cause to return any further answer to, because the answer that is already given in the Letter that we sent, which is now presented to publike view, may be equally applied to such Scriptures which are here added, as to those other Scriptures which I met with be­fore, and will remain in like force.

These are the persons, who alone pretend to the Spirit, and to the second birth, and do not onely lay us, but all the Saints in all the World, under the condemnation of such who have not the spirit, and are in the first birth, and not in the second. But what spirit it is, that Dwells, and Acts, and Rules in them, doth appear from their expressions, for their speech bewraies them.

These things have I presented for this end and purpose, to obstruct their way, and stop their further proceedings, that by their impostures they may pevail no longer; If God shall be pleased to give his blessing to my endeavors, herein it will be a good reward of my labors; however I have discharged my duty, and shall have peace in that.

There was a paper given unto me, containing the confes­sion of Iohn Gilpin a Quaker; Which is now printed for pub­like view, that all may take notice what spirit it is that posses­seth these persons, and may fear and tremble at Gods just Judgements, who delivers up them to Satan, who cast off him.

FINIS.

There is lately Printed and sold by Thomas Brewster, at the three Bible in Pauls Church-yard, near the West and, these Books, viz.

A discovery of Mystical Antichrist, Displaying Christs Ban­ners, but attempting to lay waste Scriptures, Churches, Christ, Faith, Hope. &c. Containing an examination of the Doct­rines and ways of the Quakers in York-shirie; Written by, John Pomroy, Pa. Glissen, Ioseph Kellet.

Milk for. Babes in Christ, or Meditations, Observations, and Experiences: Divers Cases of Conscience Resolved, &c. by M. Fynch, Preacher of the Gospel in Lincoln-shire,

Sions glory Discovered in the Churches and Ordinances, before the fulness of the Iews come in by I. Prowd.

Three Treatises, 1. A Discovery of the unsupportable bur­then of sin. 2. The Resolution of a soul to return to God, that is sensible of his withdrawings. 3. The Entertainment that such meet within their returnings, by P. Hobson.

The Resurrection of the Witnesses, and Englands fall from Rome, by M. Cary.

Refractoria Disputatio: Or the Thwarting Conference, In a Discouse between different Interests: Disputing about the Dissolution of the late Parliament, and other Changes of State.

A stop to the mad multitude, being an Answer to a scurrilous book, published against the peace of this Commonwealth: Entituled, The Grand Politick Informer.

A Description of Ierusalem as it flourished in Christs time; With a large Map, Explaining, 268. places therein, and in the Suburbs thereof; shewing the several places of the Acts and sufferings of Jesus Christ, and his holy Apostles; As also of the Kings and Prophets, &c. Also seven general Rules for ex­pounding Scriptures that speak of Christs coming, and King­dom, and calling the Iews. by H. Jessey.

Vindicae Justificationis Gratuitae, Justification without con­ditions, or the free Justification of a sinner, and the absolute­ness of the New Covenant Explained, Confirmed, and Vin­dicated, from the Exceptions, Objections, &c. Cast upon it by the asserters of conditional Justification, viz. Mr. Baxter, Mr. Woodbridge, Mr. Cranford, By W. Eyre, Minister of the Gospel, and Pastor of a Church at New-Sarum.

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