In a brief Answer to a Book, intituled the Worcestershire Petition defended; set forth by one (of Englands blind guides) who calles himself a Minister of Christ, yet pleads altogether, that the Friars, Abbots, Bishops, Deans and Chapters Lands, which the Papists set forth to maintain their Idolatrous Worship, are of Divine right and institution, and were given to the maintain­ing of the Church of England, which he calles the Church of Christ, and complains of the sin of Sacri­ledge, against those who have, or shall take any of the aforesaid Lands or Tithes, from the Clergy, which he calles the Church, &c.

THou Fowler, who snares for others madest, art in them found fast thy self; and for thy lies art cas [...] into the pit, from whence thou shalt never rise, un­til thou be made to cry out against them, and own thy own condemnation, and there wait, until all thy lies be cast forth of thee, who art with the light, which Christ hath enlightened his Children withall, seen to be one of Sathans Ministers, transformed into the Ministers of Christs likeness, and yet thy mouth full of lies: And be­gins in thy first answer to the first Query, where thou sayst, All the Ministers in England, whom that Petition doth mention, are given to the Church, for the perfecting of the Saints, &c. and yet thou sayst; But it doth not follow, that the Ministers of this Age, must bring the Saints to perfection. Here thou utterest forth thy lies and confu­sion, and art for condemnation with the light; for if [Page 2]thou with thy Brethren be given to perfect the Saints, (as thou sayst) and further (as thou sayst) the Saints can­not be made perfect by you in this age: then you ac­complish not the work whereunto you are sent, so are found unfaithful and unprofitable Servants, and must give an account of your Stewardship, and out of your own mouths be condemned, and for your unfaithfulness be cast out of your service.

2. Thou sayst, Perfection will be at Christs second coming, and your Resurrection, when soul and body shall be joyned in felicity: here thou utterest forth thy folly, and confesseth thy ignorance in the knowledge of Christs coming in spirit in thy flesh, and of thy Resur­rection and holiness in Christ, showing thy selfe to be dead, and in the grave of sin, unraised from corruption, not having put on Christ, where no imperfection is, and yet darst call thy self a Minister of Jesus Christ. Oh blush for shame, thou that hates to be reformed, (and thy Bre­thren) who hast a Whores forehead, and sits in the high­wayes, and corners of streets in the twigh-light, and night of your iniquities, to intise the ignorant and fool­ish ones, to commit adultery with you, and to act forni­cation with strange lovers, and all are strangers to God, and strangers from the Covenant of grace, and are gone from the Lord, the true lover; and from the light: and into the night, and darkness leads where you all dwell and have your portion.

3. Thou sayes, You chearfully accept of Christs wayes, and yet sayes, you know not what it is; for he never co­venanted with you, as thou sayes, you never capitulated with him; but what he offers, you shall be sure of, in the life to come: here thou shews thy self ignorant of eternal life, and art without faith; for he that believeth in Christ, hath everlasting life dwelling in him, Jo. 6.47. and if thou hadst everlasting life dwelling in thee, what other life would be desired, or what life would be wish­ed for, more than life eternal; but thou and all who [Page 3]here live not in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, are without God and Christ, and lasting joy and happiness: and are in darkness, death and hell, shut up as thou plainly declares thy self to be, and hast nothing to do to talk of God or Christ, or Scripture; for from them art thou shut out, and from thee they are lockt and seal­ed up: the Gulf is betwixt you, and woe is thy portion, and all they who are joyned to thee, whilst you live there; for under the wrath of God you are, and are ac­cursed from off the earth, which fruit to God doth bring forth, with your Father Cain, and you vagabonds, stran­gers, wandering from God, and from the light of God, and are afraid of destruction by every one, who findes you out, as thou expresses in thy 11th Query, saying, If the publick maintenance be taken away, the Ministry will not continue long, and so thou wouldst tie (as thou callest it) Gods Ministry to depend on an outward pub­lick means, and here thou art a blasphemer, and knowes not the Ministry of Gods spirit, and art for condemnati­on by the Ministry of the spirit, and all such liars and blasphemers as thou art, who go about, either by speak­ing or printing to deceive the world, and to cast aspersi­ons on the sure truth, and draw poor Creatures from the light of God within them, to follow your and their own imaginations in a voluntary humility, and will-worship preaching and hearing for Doctrines, the precepts of men, crying out against all, who speak forth the living Oracles of God calling them Hereticks and deluders; but let all who desire to know the truth, as it is in Christ Je­sus, seriously consider, whether we who direct to walk by the true light, the spirit of truth in every ones mea­sure, and to be guided by it; and to do as the true anoin­ting teacheth them: or thou and thy Companions, who draw from the light to observe outward forms; be the deceivers and seducers. All that thou and thy fellows, in all your writings against truth, and in all your answers to any thing propounded, is but to gull the people of the Nation, and to perswade them, that God hath left you [Page 4]onely as teachers of them, and that you must have a maintenance from them; & if they will not pay you you cast out hard words against them, and so if they put not into your mouthes, you prepare warre against them, and keep the people under, and you Priests bear rule by their means, and hold up the filthy and horrible thing, preaching for hire, and the people love to have it so; but what will you do in the end thereof, which will come upon you at unawares. And thou who accounteth thy selfe a Minister of Christ, saith, it is sufficient for thee that Christ hath commanded, that men should not muzzle the mouth of the Oxe, that treadeth out the Corn, and the Labourer is worthy of his hire &c. did thou never yet sow spiritualls, and therefore can have no right to tem­poralls; for the seed of God is hid in thee, the witness lies slain in thy streets; and as thou sayst in thy answer to the first Query, Christ is not come to thee the second time to salvation, and the Resurrection of the dead bo­dy (or seed that lies dead) is not yet come to thee: there­fore to the light in thy conscience I speak, how canst thou or any of thy fellows, have a face to plead for tem­poralls (but that you are brazened)? when by your own confession you have no spiritualls to administer to them, or seed of God to sowe in them. Thou sayst, and I have heard many of thy fellows say, that the new birth is not in this life: but the Scriptures witness, that the Saints of God had passed from death to life, and they witnessed their turning from darkness to light, and their translating into the Kingdom of Christ; Col. 1.10.13, 14. and all who are called to be Saints now, in the measures witness the same. Thou sayst, if we so far pre­vailed, as to take away the establisht maintenance of the Ministry, you are resolved to preach never a Sermon the lesse: But none who knowes thee will believe thee, or any of thy Generation; for if your mouths be not fil­led, you will not, nor cannot bark; for your barking consisteth in the bit, as in Isa. 56.10, 11. and as thou thy [Page 5]self saith in thy 11th. Query of thy Book that if the pub­lick maintenance be taken away, there is but little like­lihood of a Ministry, longer her: To thy face, thy lies are laid open, as all that read in thy book may see. Oh shameless and filthy Generation, lying deceiving, and being deceived, how long will ye resist the power of the holy one, and yet profess your selves to be the Ministers of Christ! be ashamed and confounded! come down thou Daughter of Babylon, and sit in the dust, and humble thy self, if it may be the Lord may take pitty upon thee, and spare thee, for the hand of the Lord is stretched out o­ver Babylon to destroy it, and none shall hold it. And for answer to the rest of thy Book, all who read it may see, if they be not blind, thy shame and nakedness laid open by thy selfe and needs no other to unmask thee, but thy selfe: all which strives to prove, that the mainte­nance which was given to Friars, Abbots, Bishops, &c. by the Pope, are of divine right and institution, and was gi­ven to the Vniversities, as thou calles them, and to the rest of the Churches in England, calling it the Church of Christ. In thy fifth Query, laying open thy folly to all eyes who will see, thou sayes, is it not a fearful hardning to the Papists, when they shall observe that those of their Religion give to the Church, and that these of ours take it away: so here thou and thy Church, and the Pope, Rapists, and their Church, are all one by thy own words. and further thou complains against King Henry for ta­king away part of the means, and against this present Power, for taking another part of the Churches means, And thou saist, we will not leave any: All who knows what part Henry (King in England,) sould of the Churches means, knowes what he sould, was of the Fri­ars and Abbots Lands. O see thy shame and filthiness thou Beast, who dare so plead for the Popes right, to be thine, and the Church of Englands right; but all who in the light dwell, sees thee and the Church of England, that thou pleads for, and the Pope and his partakers to [Page 6]be Members of the body of Antichrist; and with the breath of Christ and his bright appearance in his Saints, shall be consumed. Thou likewise sooths up the igno­rant and poor people, and sayes, the common people may easily be perswaded that the Religion which teach­eth men to rob God, (counting it a robbing of God to fell the Fryars, Abbots, Bishops, Deans, and Chapters Lands) is not so good, as that which teacheth them to give to him and his worship. But wo is all your porti­ons, you cannot escape the hands of the Lord, and though you hide your selves never so secretly, you are found out, and all your lights and subtle devices, where­by you lay in waight to deceive the simple, are uncover­ed, and with the light are to be condemned. And so Reader, read but the Worcestershire Petition defended, which this man who calles himself a Minister of Christ, writ in answer to certain Queries, which was put forth to those, who put forth the Worcestershire Petition to be answered by them; and thou shalt see himself laying open his own folly and nakedness, and making his own shame to appear: and lastly, how he confesseth, that they (he and his brethren) have been too much mindfull of the things of this life, and preferring their own rights more then the rights of Jesus Christ: thus out of thy own mouth, are they condemned with thy brethren: you sloathful Servants, weeping and wailing, shall be your portion without you speedily repent and turn to the Lord, for with the light you are found out; and by the light you are condemned, and cast out from God, and from the fellowship and Communion of the Saints in God, with the abhominable and defiled, to have your portion in the lake, which cannot be quenched, without you make haste to meet the Lord: Repent therefore and come out of Babylon; for he who in her abides, shall pertake of her plagues, take warning by one who your soul loves, and desires to see your welfare in God, and return from Babylon, BEN: NICHOLSON.

And many more unsavory words there is in thy book, which be not worth mentioning; But this is given forth, that the fool should not boast himself in his folly, a­mongst the ignorant; & for the ignorants sake, this book was written, and sent forth.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.