A CRYER, IN THE VVILDERNESSE OF ENGLAND, Declaring the Baptisme of the e­ternall Spirit, to be the onely Baptisme in Christs Kingdome Published in Gospel-light, according to the word written in the Scriptures, and the eternall word written in the hidden man of the heart, for satisfaction of those, who are satisfied with truth alone.

By Edward Punch of Carisbrook in the Isle of Wight, Who is not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, be­cause it is the Power of God to salvation.

Acts 13. 41.

Behold, ye despisers and wonder, and perish, for I work a work in your dayes, a work which you shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.

1. Cor. 12. 13.

For by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bound or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Acts 11. 16.

Then remembred I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptised with water; but ye shall be bap­tised with the holy Spirit. Acts 1. 5.

LONDON, Printed by T. M. for Richard Moone, at the Seven Stars in Pauls Church-yard, near the great North doore, 1654.

To all true Saints, in England and elsewhere, who are re­ally partakers of Spirit-Baptisme in the Lord JESƲS, who is the way into the possession, and injoyment of e­ternall grace and glory in the Lord JEHOVAH.

FRiends in the truth, He that hath set his hand to the Plough and looketh back, is not fit for the Kingdome of God, And I must here declare unto you, that Gods Kingdom, that he will bring forth in these latter dayes is another manner of building and work, than the world or Churches under Antichrists raign doth think of; for God is now pulling down the old building, that man hath been setting up, this many hundred years: and O friends, I would advise you, not to stand looking back upon the old building, in Anti­christs Kingdome, but with the Apostle, look for new heavens, and a new earth, wherein dwells righ­teousnesse.

Let us, who are of the day, go toward Zion, with our faces thither-ward: for looking back, hinders seeing what is before us. Let us look unto the new Jerusalem, the City of the living God, that cometh down from God out of heaven; and let us not so much, as take any notice of the old heavens, wherein men would ascend up to God (for God hath not bid us look after the old, but the new, and hath bid us [Page] rejoyce for ever in the things that he will create, and he hath told us, that he that stands upon the Throne makes all things new.

And this is a clear truth, that all the Churches and Church orders of men (as they call it) are yet in Babel, they are all in confusion one with another, & amongst themselves, One saith here is Christ, and another saith, there is Christ, one for one way, another for another way, one for one order, another for another order, one interprets Scriptures one way, another another way; one saith, one thing is truth, and another saith, another thing is truth: and many cry out against the clear truth, and would, if it were possible, hinder that from appearing. And now how can you imagine that the Churches are out of Babel, and yet still in confusion, in darknesse, and mistakes? Christs first com­ing, brought divisions into the world: but now it shall bring peace among all (Luke 12. 51.) Isa. 11.

Consider a few particulars, wherein it doth appear, that Babylon is not yet fallen, but standeth still even to this day.

1. When God brings forth his great work, in the latter dayes, The wolf and the lamb shall dwell together in peace, &c. but now we are far from such a dispositi­on, for those who look like lambs, (and are so for ought I know) they cannot dwell together in peace and love, but are at great difference as well as the lamb and wolf, but persecution shall come to an end in the lat­ter dayes, and not continue as before: therefore look not for such a time now to come.

2. In that day the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, but it is now full of ignorance of the Lord, [Page] as all carnall principles and doctrines of men do wit­nesse, with their works and actions.

3. In that day, God will get his people a name and a praise in all lands where they have been put to shame: but yet they are a reproach in all Lands; therefore that day is not yet come.

4. In that day God will turne to his people one pure language, wherein they shall all serve him with one consent: and God will give them one heart and one way, the Lord shall be one and his name one &c.

But none of this is to be found, for we see even a­mong those that praise God, there are many langua­gues, and they serve God (according to their know­ledge or ignorance) in many wayes, and there is no consenting together: therefore Antichrist is not yet destroyed, & so we are yet in the wilderness & in Ba­bel, Egypt and Sodom, where our Lord was crucifi­ed &c. and as the great difference was between open profannesse and a forme of Godlinesse: so now it is between the forme and the power of godlinesse. Therefore the loftinesse of man is not laid low, nor the Lord alone exalted.

5. The promise is, that in that day the peace of Gods people shall be great, but now it is not so, for our divisions are now great, and our peace little with men: then none shall disturbe nor make them afraid but now there are many disturbers, even a­gainst the cleare truth.

Therefore Antichrist is not yet destroyed, but doth oppose Christ in Spirit, and so Babel or confu­sion is still present, therefore not the new heavens, and new earth the worke of God in this world, as is cleare by many witnesses.

[Page] 6. When Babylon is fallen, the kingdomes of the world shall become the kingdomes of the Lord, and of his Christ, & this must needs be in another manner of way then before, for all Nations are at Gods di­sposing still, even in the highest of Antichrists raign. But we see not this yet fulfilled, for the kingdomes of the world are still as they were, men are unrighte­ous, unholy, without love, pity and compassion to their fellow Creatures as they were, some have thousands of Gold and Silver, and others want food and raiment &c.

This does not look like the righteousnesse of God in the new heavens and new earth, but like the un­righteousnesse of men in the old, tyrannical, cruell and oppressing kingdome of Antichrist: this looks not like the love of Christ, but like selfe-love &c. as in the Epistle of James.

Consider farther the Church of Christ was to be droven into the wildernesse of Antichrists kingdome, during his reigne, and the outward Court of the Temple was given to the Gentiles during Antichrists reigne (and I hope you know what this is) therefore take not that unto your selves that is given to the Gentiles during Antichrist's reigne, for you have no example so to doe.

For the Jewes never set up visible worship, nor ordinances in any time of Captivity, either in Egypt, the Wildernesse, Babylon, or else where, but in Jerusalem the place of worship.

So let us who are the Lords building within waite for the spirituall Jerusalem comming downe from God out of heavens, which God will send forth with [Page] visible worship and ordinances such as pleaseth him: (and not as man pleaseth.)

And as we desire of friends to be the habitation of God through the Spirit, so let us desire to be more acquainted with the Baptisme of the Spirit, which consists in spirituall washing, purifying and clean­sing our souls and spirits from all filthinesse of flesh and spirit, that so in it we may be made partakers of eternall Righteousnesse, purity, and Holinesse of God, and so builded up together, an habitation for God, and a Temple for the living God to dwell in, through the presence of the eternall Spirit in us, in spiritual washing and spirituall burning, the true and onely Gospel purifying.

So I rest, wishing the day of God may come upon us all, that may burne up all our drosse and tynne, and may wash and purge us from all our Idols, that we may worship God in spirit.

A few words to every Reader in general.

Kind Reader, consider a few things in Love.

BE sure those Ordinances you doe owne and set up in your highest affections, be of God and not of man; for if they be of man, then they cannot stand in the day of Triall when, God brings them to triall by the Truth.

2. Take heed of setting up Ordinances in the kingdome of Anti­christ, in spirituall Babylon, Egypt or Sodome, least it be found that you have noe Command, nor Example for your soe doing. See Rev. 11.

3. Looke that your Administrators be right in their Calling, and Qualifications, according to the true patterne of the primitive Administrators, both in your Ministry and Ordinances, least being tried by the word, they should be found liars, take heed, I say, of crying up your selves and waies to be Apostolicall, least the truth should prove you lyars. Rev. 2. 6.

4. Consider this well, that the pure way of Gospel-worship, that is truly spiritual, will never come out of Antichrists kingdome, princi­ples, doctrines, nor traditions, but consider that the bright day of Gods comming in spirit shall destroy the foundation and whole building of the man of sinne and mystery of iniquity,

5. Trust not to the old building of man in Antichrists kingdome in these dayes, wherin God is rooting up, and pulling downe the foun­dation and whole building of the old heavens and old earth: and God is also about to bring forth new heavens and new earth, wherein dwells Righteous, the work of God alone, in which day the Lord alone shall be exalted, and the loftinesse of man laid low.

6. Look well to your Principles, Rules, and ends for, and in whom, you do act in those things you call Ordinances; beware of self, and ignorant zeal, you have heard there is a zeal, and that for God too, that is n [...]t according to knowledge.

[Page] 7. Look not so much at outward forms, as at inward principles; look to the inward, and hidden man of the heart; if that be right, in the sight of God, then it shall be well with you for ever, and you shall never be finally deceived.

8. Beware of setting up the bounds of your love to the brethren, un­der any form, or opinion whatsoever, but let your love be equally unto all, where you do see the appearance of Christ in Spirit and power from on high, this is the way for peace, unity and love among true Saints.

9. Look not for the true way of visible worship and ordinances, that are truly spirituall and of God, to be established in the world, till God hath made his people of one heart; and when God makes them all of one heart, (which shal be, when they are all taught of God) then they shall be all of one way, and great shall be their peace, then they shall all rest in quiet dwelling places for ever, and none shall make them afraid.

10. Consider, when the way of God is clearly revealed in his people, and they endued with divine life and power to walk in it, then all by-paths and wayes, that are not of God, shall be destroyed, thrown down, and quite forgotten, (the old heavens and earth, shall be re­membred no more, nor no more come into their minds, Isa. 66.)

But now we see, there are many wayes in the world, even amongst those that professe to know God, one cryes up one way, another ano­ther way, a third another way, &c.

But let us remember the command of Christ, who saith, Many shall come in his name, &c. Many shall say, here is Christ, or there is Christ, but go not after them: If ye consider these three Testimonies, of these latter dayes, whereby Christs coming, shall be manifested unto all, who are partakers of his light, in spirit and life, then you may easily discern the coming of Christ, and his light and brightnesse from the false lights, and wayes of Antichrist, the pla­ces are these, Isa. 11. 9. Matth. 24. 27. 2. Thess. 2. 8.

11. As every one doth walk in his own light, and thinks his light best, generally so take heed you do not imitate Antichrist, to confine others to walk in your light. Take heed of sitting in the Temple of God, it is proper onely to God alone, to rule our Consciences, and spirits of men, [...]nd whosoever doth assume this Prerogative, doth apparently declare himself to be an Anticrhist, who doth oppose himself against God, and doth exalt himself above God, as in 2 Thess. 2. 4. and set in the Tem­ple [Page] of God (even his people) 2. Cor. 6. 16.

12. Take heed of mistaking the coming of Christ now, in these dayes, wherein Antichrist shall be destroyed, lest you should imitate the old Scribes and Pharisees, and so instead of being friends of Christ, and of his people, in his Spirituall coming, you should prove the great­est enemies to Christ, in his spirituall coming in his people, as the old Jews were.

13. Take heed of slighting, refusing, or undervaluing the pure, and spirituall waters of life, the onely fountain of comfort to spiri­tuall souls, and beware you set not up any form or outside ordinances, to oppose the clear administration of the Spirit, which is truly spiritu­all: for God will assuredly famish and make lean all your empty forms, Idols, and shadows that you set up, to oppose the substance, as in the room thereof, for the Kingdome of heaven is not outward shews, but inward Substances, Righteousnesse, Peace, and Joy in the Spirit.

14. Beware in having any hand in slaying of the Witnesses of God, that do prophesie, though but in Sackeloth; lest their resurrecti­on affright you, and strike you with terror. For consider, though they shall be slain, yet they shall ly dead, but a little while, and again, when God puts the Spirit of life in them, then they shall affright all those that dwell upon the earth: beware then all those that do live up­on earthen principles, Doctrines, Forms, Customes, and Traditions of men; they shall be all affrighted with a witnesse; therefore look to it well, that the dispensations you live under be of God and not of man; for God will destroy all things below, himself, though never so excel­lent, and highly esteemed of man..

So I conclude, wishing that we may all live in love now, one to ano­ther, seeing love shall continue to Eternity, and let us consider what a low thing it is for believers to live contrary to that which is their life, and in which we are all one body, and members in particular (which is Love.)

A brief description of the particulars contained in this Book.

1. The Testimony of John the Baptist, concerning his Bap­tisme, and the Baptisme of Christ that was to follow.

2. The Testimony of Christ concerning John Baptist, and where­in [Page] he was greater and lesser then those that went before him, and those that followed after him.

3. The Testimony of Christ, concerning his own Baptism, decla­red in the Commission, and in other severall places, and what it is.

4. Severall dispensations, in which God hath manifested himself unto his people at severall times, the last being wholly Spirituall.

5. That the Baptisme of Christ, is to baptise men into the name of God, according to the Commission (and not into water) and what the name of God is, into which we are baptised, according to the Com­mission, Matth. 28. 19. page 13. (laid down in seven particulars.)

6. Severall Testimonies from the clear word of truth, how the Nations come to be partakers of the Baptisme of the Spirit in the A­postles ministry, which doth clearly agree with the Commission, where­in it doth clearly appear, that Christs Baptisme, was, and is, Spirit-Baptisme.

7. Twenty four Objections for Water-Baptisme, answered, where­in it doth appear plainly, that Water-Baptisme i [...] no more in force now, than other Ceremonies.

KInd Reader, observe, that I had said nothing in publick, if men had let the the truth alone, and walked as their light was, and waited upon God for further dis­covery of truth, but when I hear and see men so publickly oppose the clear truth, I cannot but speak the things, I have seen and heard, in witnesse to the truth; God ha­ving made me a witnesse, not man.

A Cryer in the Wildernesse OF ENGLAND.

Declaring the Baptisme of the Eternall Spirit, to be the onely Baptisme in Christs Kingdome, revealed in Gospel-light, according to the word written in the Scriptures, and the Eternall word written in the hid­den man of the heart, for satisfaction of those that de­sire to be satisfied with Truth alone

THE best way to reconcile differences in the things of God, is to lay aside all humane and traditionall Doctrines of men, and look ex­actly into the testimony of the word of God alone, that being an infallible Rule, that who­soever follows it in the light, and wisdome of the Eternall spirit, they cannot erre.

And God having taught me not to depend upon man, whose breath is in his nostrills, but to look unto the Lord a-alone, whose work alone it is to bring forth the new Creation; I desire therefore, not to stand looking back up­on the old building in the Wildernesse of Antichrists King­dome, after so long and generall Apostafie from the purity of the first Churches in the Apostles times.

But my desire is with the Apostle, to look for new Hea­vens [Page 2] and a new Earth, according to the promise of God, Even such Heavens and Earth, where the righteousnesse of God doth dwell: and not such righteousnesse as men sets up by their humane Wisdome and Counsel.

I doubt not, but these are the dayes wherein God will bring forth the clear light of truth, that hath been hid many generations, and let men set up what they will, or what man can set up, yet nothing shall stand in the bright day of Gods coming in spirit in these latter dayes, but the purity, holi­nesse and righteousnesse of God, which is suitable to the new heavens, and new Earth, the work of God alone.

And now among many other things in controversie in our dayes: I find a great deal of difference about Baptisme, and all for baptising with materiall water: some for Infant Bap­tisme, and others for baptising believers.

And I have (if God hath given me understanding in the mystery of the truth) searched to find out the right way of Baptisme, and I can find neither of these to be the way of Gospel-Baptisme, neither can I find by the Testimony of the word of truth, that there is any water Baptisme at all to be used by way of Command, in the pure spirituall Kingdome of Christ.

But that water Baptisme was at an end in respect of the command of it, when Christ was glorified, and came in spi­rit, as all other Ceremonies, Types and Figures were.

And I can find no other Baptisme in Christs Kingdome to be in force, but the Baptisme of the Eternall spirit, and this I affirm to be all, and the onely Baptisme in the Kingdome of Christ;

And to go about to set up any other Baptisme in Christs Kingdome, is all one, as if men should set up any other Cere­mony, all which will alike prove humane and traditionall, not spiritual nor of divine Institution, and for the proof here­of, I shall lay aside all the Judgements, interpretations and opinions of men; who do casually understand the Scri­p [...]ures, and refer my self and all others, for the triall of this t [...]uth unto the testimony of the word of God alone, and so f [...]r as any do see the word in the light of God, so far they can beli [...]ve it really and no further.

[Page 3] And that we may see this to be clear truth from the testi­mony of the word alone; that the Baptisme of the Eter­nall Spirit is the onely Baptisme in Christs Kingdome. Let us consider the testimony First of John the Baptist, Secondly of Christ, And thirdly of the Apostles in their preaching and writing to the people, with the Objections of men also for water Baptisme, and the answers against it, from the clear testimony of the word, and not from men, in these and se­verall other particulars according to the word, I shall as God enables me proceed in this Discourse; for the help of man is vain in the things of God.

First then, we will begin with the Testimony of John the Baptist himself, who was the author of water Baptisme; and see what he saith for his own Baptisme, which was water, and what he saith of Christs Baptisme, which is Spirit.

First in Generall, we will observe one thing that John de­clareth, and it is this; that he was sent to baptise with water Iohn 1. 33.

Now let all our water-men in England, or in all Nati­ons come forth with their strong reasons, and bring one wit­nesse in the word of truth, that saith from Christ, that ever he sent his Apostles to baptise with water, or else, where any Apostles do testifie in Scripture that Christ did give them a Commission to baptise with water? In the mouth of two or three witnesses, every thing is established, shew me but one such witnesse from any of the Apostles, as from Iohn, and I will believe it; but till you do so, I cannot believe you, we have witnesse to the contrary, 1 Cor. 1. 17. from the chief A­postle.

Johns businesse was to declare Christ to come, that he should be manifested to Israel, therefore am I come baptising with water saith he. Iohn 1. 31. Shew me such a testimony from any Apostle, or else prove your selves Antichrists, declaring Christ yet to come in the flesh, who is already present in spi­rit, but now to the witnesse of John, concerning his own Baptisme and Christs, as Matth. 3. Mark 1. Luke 3. John 1.

We will begin with the testimuny of Iohn, Matth 3. 11. I indeed baptise you with water unto repentance, (saith Iohn) but [Page 4] doth Iohn say this Baptism must continue? no, But he that cometh after me, is mightier than I; but shall his Baptisme be water too? no saith John, (as he is mightier, so his Baptisme shall be mightier too) He shall baptise you with the holy spirit and with fire.

And verse 12. He declareth the power and efficacy of Christs Baptisme, that so none may mistake his meaning; for saith he, Christ will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into his Garner, but shall burn up the chaffe with unquenchable fire. Here is a clear testimony of the fire and water of the Spirit, that shall be powred out upon Souls in Christs Baptisme, it shall throughly purge and cleanse his people from their sin and filthinesse, and burn up all the chaffe and drosse with spiritu­all fire, which no combustible principle in the creature is a­ble to quench or put out; but it shall destroy those corrup­tions in the flesh and Spirit of man.

This is the onely Baptisme that Iohn declareth to come af­ter his Baptisme, which was but an outward washing; this is that Judgement and Righteousnesse that shall redeem Zi­on and her Converts from sinne and all unrighteousnesse, Isa. 1. 27. This is that spirit of Judgement and burning, whereby the Lord shall wash away the filth of the daughters of Zion, Isa. 4. 4. Here is a discovery of the true washing or Baptisme of the new Testament, all others went before, as we may see in the witnesse of Iohn here and else where, with Heb. 9. 10. &c. which stood in meats and drinks, and divers washings and carnall Ordinances imposed on them untill the time of Reformation.

2. See another witnesse of John, Mark, v. 4, 5, 7, 8. Here John baptiseth with water, and declareth that there is one that cometh after him, that is mightier than he, &c. I indeed saith he, have baptised you with water, but he shall baptise you with the holy spi­rit. Here Iohn declares what his Baptism was, it was water, I have baptised you with water, and he also declareth what Christs Baptism should be, but not one word of water, but he shall bap­tise you with the holy Spirit. O that men had but eyes to see how clearly Iohn distinguisheth betwixt his Baptisme and Christs.

3. Luke 3. 15, 16, 17. In this place it is recorded that the [Page 5] People did generally take Iohn to be the Christ, There was great reasoning among them, whether he were the Christ or no? v. 15. John answers them all, v. 16. that he was not the Christ, and upon what account they should believe it, because he did baptise with water, Iohn answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptise you with water, but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose sho [...]e I am not worthy to unloose, he shall baptise you with the holy spirit and with fire, and so he goeth on to declare the powerfull effects of Christs Baptisme (as in Matth. 3. 12.)

The people were then of the same principle generally that people are of now; to look upon the Baptisme of Christ to be an outward washing with materiall water, but Iohn takes them off from their expectation, and tells them his Office and Person was weak, not to be compared with Christ and his Office: Indeed sath he, I baptise with water, but one mightier than I cometh, &c. he shall baptise you with the holy Spirit and with fire.

Here Iohn layeth himself and his Baptisme low, and de­clareth that he was not worthy to do the meanest thing in Christs Kingdom, (and then sure Johns Baptisme and Christs, was not all one,) and Iohn doth highly exalt Christ and his Baptisme, and declareth as we have shewed before the great effects of Christs Baptisme. v. 17.

4. John 1. 15. In this Chapter Iohn still continueth his te­stimony of himself and of Christ, saying, this is he of whom I speak, &c. in v. 19. to the 23. It is recorded, The Iews sent Priests and Levites to examine Iohn, whether he were the Christ or who he was, and we have here Johns answer who he was, and v. 24. it is recorded that they who were sent were of the Pharisees, verse 25. we have their question unto Iohn, that if he were not the Christ, &c. then why he did baptise? and here by the way we may observe, that men of a Pharisaicall prin­ciple look upon the Baptisme of Christ to be an outward washing with materiall water, I wish men were not so car­nall now.

But presently John crosseth their conceit, and telleth them, that he baptiseth with water, and further tells them, that there standeth one among them whom they know not, v. 26. Oh that [Page 6] all who do now professe Christ (which is more than the Pha­risees did) were not so ignorant of Christ in the mystery of his Baptisme, as the Pharisees were, but to observe Johns Conclusion in the businesse, he declareth. v. 33. the true Baptisme of Christ, from the testimony of him that sent John to baptise with water (and in Luke 3. 2. we have a proof who it was that sent him, even the word of God came unto him, &c.) V. 33. And I knew him not, but he that sent me to baptise with water, the same said unto me, upon whom thou shalt see the spi­rit descending from heaven and remaining on him, the same is he that baptiseth with the holy Spirit, and v. 34. He declareth, That he saw and bare record, that this is the Son of God.

So we see the testimony of John that he declareth himself and his Baptisme to be weak, and Christ and his Baptisme to be strong and mighty, and to follow after his: therefore sure, the Baptisme of Christ is not materiall water, as Johns was, but if he could see truth in its own light, then they might see it as it is in it self, but generally men are apt to look upon the word, as men have interpreted it for their own ends and interests, I doubt, for the most part, and so they look not upon it, as in it self: but as it seems to be from men in their opinions and Judgements, and so what men of our Judgements have set up as truth; that we own, and what they do cry down, that we disown, because men say so, and think so.

We come now to the testimony of Christ, concerning John, which we have recorded. Matth. 11. 10, 11.

  • 1. Christ declares him to be more than a Prophet.
  • 2. He declares him to be The voice of one crying in the Wilder­nesse, &c. As the Prophets had prophesied of him.
  • 3. He declares, That among those that were born of women, there had not risen up a greater than John.
  • 4. That he that is least in the Kingdome of heaven is greater than John.

First it is to be considered wherein John was greater than all that went before him, greater then a Prophet, or more than a Prophet: And secondly wherein it doth appear that John was the least in Christs Kingdome, or the Kingdome of heaven.

[Page] First John was greater than those that went before him, in this respect; because those that prophesied of Christ, and those that figured out Christ in these Ceremonies, they never saw Christ personally in the humane nature as John did, therefore not so great as John; for John pointed out Christ present, say­ing Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sinnes of the world, which none could do before him, because Christ was not pre­sent in person; and in this respect, John was greater than those that went before him.

Secondly John was greater than those that went before him, in this respect: because of the rarenesse of his Office; his Baptisme was so rare, and of so high esteem among the people, they thought him to be the Christ. Indeed his Bap­tisme was a more excellent Ceremony than any used before, because he did in it represent the greatest work that ever was wrought upon creatures in the world; even the Baptisme of the eternall Spirit, given out in the name of Father, Son, and Spirit, in testimony of the full discovery of the mini­stry of God unto the Sons of men, in no lesse power, than all power in heaven and earth, and this was the onely sub­stance that John did represent, figure out and declare to be at hand, both in his Baptisme and in his Doctrine, and in this respect, John was greater than those that went before him, for the rarer the thing signified is, the rarer and more excellent is the Signe.

But now let us see wherein it doth appear, that the least in Christs Kingdome, or in the Kingdome of heaven is greater than he.

1. The least in the Kingdome of heaven is greater than John, because the least in Christs Kingdome, had a sight and could testifie more or lesse, that Christ was crucified, dead and risen, and had accomplished the whole work of Redempti­on, and was glorified, which John could not testifie as done. Every one in Christs Kingdome was an eye-witnesse more or lesse of the great pourings out of the Spirit upon all Nati­ons, Christ was glorified: as the Father had promised after, Christ had declared, and John represented in his Baptisme, and in this respect John was lesse than the least in Christs [Page 8] Kingdome, because he did but figure out and declare those great things to come, but was not an eye-witnesse of them as they were; he living but in the middle dispensation, which went before, for as John was greater than those that went before him, seeing they did but figure out, and prophesie of the Messiah, whom John saw in Person: so John was lesse than those that were Eye-witnesses of the great pourings out of Spirit, which John did but declare to be at hand, not come.

3 Those that lived in the Kingdome of Christ were great­er than John in this respect; because they were partakers of those great things, that John figured out in his Baptisme; for the dispensation they lived in, in the Kingdome of Christ, was wholly spirituall, and they did partake of the great pourings out of Spirit, which was not to be accomplished, till Christ was glorified, which John did declare to be at hand, and figured out in an outward washing: for though John had a clear fight of Christ, and declared him very clearly in his ministry, yet his Office was but an outside, figurative wash­ing, as other Ceremonies were, onely more excellent than others, as we have declared before, but those who lived in a dispensation wholly spirituall, were greater than John, because the substance is greater than the shadow: and thus we see briefly, wherein John was greater and lesser than those that went before him, and those that followed after him.

But now we come to the next thing, which is the testi­mony of Christ concerning his own Baptisme, and this we have recorded in severall places of Scripture, as in Matth. 28: 19. the Commission of Christ to his Apostles; the great myste­ry of God opened to the Sons of men, in the third and last dispensation, by him who had power in heaven and earth gi­ven unto him, compared with all other places; and now we are to be tryed by the truth alone concerning the Baptis­me of Christ, and what it is, and not by man, as mans te­stimony.

First, Matth, 28. We have Christ coming to his Disci­ples, declaring v. 18. all power in heaven and earth to be given un­to him, and upon this v. 19. gives them the Commission, Go ye [Page 9] therefore and teach all nations, or make Disciples in all Nations, baptising them, in, or into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things whatsover I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you alwayes, even unto the end of the world, or of an age, (and here let us observe, the Nations are, not taught or made Disciples by baptising into water, but by baptising them in­to the name of Father, Son and Spirit: and further observe a clear distinction in the Commission. First the Nations are to be taught or made disciples in their ministry in which they were to be baptised into the name of God: and afterward they are to teach them to observe all things Christ hath comman­ded them; so that first they are to be baptised into the name of God, and afterward they are to be taught to observe all the commands of Christ.

So here we see Christ gives his Apostles a Commission to go teach all Nations, baptising them into the name of God, &c. and we have another proof, Luke 24. 49. when the Apostles must go forth in the accomplishing his great work of baptising the Nations into the name of God, it was when they wee en­dued with power from on high; for they were not able of themselves to effect this great work, without power from on high, and this was the promise of the Father, as Christ saith here, so that it is clear, that the promise of the Father, and the power from on high is all one, and it is called the Baptisme of the Spirit; and is onely suitable to a Spirituall dispensation, which is given forth in all power in heaven and earth, by him who had received all power for the effect­ing this work,

Again, Acts 1. 4, 5. we have another Testimony of Christ, wherein he doth clearly distinguish between his Baptisme that is Spi [...]it, and Johns that was water, and bids them wait for the Baptisme of the Spirit, and being assembled to­gether with them, commanded them they should not depart from Jerusalem▪ but wait for the promise of the Father, which saith he, Ye have heard of me: (now the next words declare, what this promise of the Father was.

For John truly baptised with water, but yet shall be baptised with [Page 10] the holy Spirit, not many dayes hence. O that men could see this witnesse of the truth, in the light and Wisdome of the Spirit, how clearly Christ distinguisheth betwixt his Baptis­me and that of John, and bids his Apostles wait for the ful­filling his Baptisme, according to the promise of the Father, and himself.

But here it will be said, that this Baptisme was to be wrought upon the Apostles, by an immediate power of God, and not by man, therefore this is not the Baptisme the Apostles were to use by command from Christ; but let us in the light of God consider, it was requisite the Apostles should be baptised, First with power from on high, by an immedi­ate power, that the promise might be fulfilled, and also that they might be able to fulfill the Ministry committed to them, and I shall declare one proof, that the people were baptised with the same Baptisme the Apostles were in the ministry of the Apostle, as in Act. 11. 15, 16. &c. And as I began to speak, the holy Spirit fell on them, as on us at the beginning, then remembred I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptised with wa­ter, but ye shall be baptised with the holy Spirit; (this is not non­sence as some call it, but the clear testimony of the truth) the Apostles were baptised in this Baptisme, by an immediate power, and the people were afterward baptised with the same spirit Baptisme, by a mediate power in the Ministry of the Apostles, the promise of spirit Baptisme was to them and their children, &c. Acts 2. 33, 39. compared to­gether.

Let us therefore take heed of wresting the Commission of Christ, which is a full discovery of the Ministry of God to the Sons of men, which was before held forth in types and shadows, but now is given forth in all power in Heaven and earth, by him in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdome and knowledge, and whose presence in Spirit and power put an end to all shadows, and this being the Substance of all that was figured out before, and promised before, could not consist in types, shadows, and outward washings, &c. as these dispensations that went before did consist in, and that this may appear to be a clear truth, let us consider times and things as they are.

[Page] First let us consider the severall dispensation of God to the Sons of men at severall times.

Secondly, and then let us consider in this last The Kingdom of God con­sists in Spirit and power from on high Luk. 17. 20. 21 Rom. 14. 17. not in outward Ceremonies and observati­ons as Pharisees do imagine. dispensation, what is meant by baptising all Na­tions into the name of God, and what the name of God is, into which all Nations are bap­tised.

Thirdly, let us observe from the clear testi­mony of the word, how the Nations were made partakers of the Commission (which was baptising them into the name of God, our Fa­ther, Son and Spirit) let us for the proof here­of consider of the clear Testimony of the word it self, and not the opinions of men, who do carnally understand the great mystery of God in Spirit and life.

1. First then let us observe the first dispensation of God to the sons of men after the fall of Adam, was generally held forth in the name of the Father, and this in severall types, shadows, figures, and Representations of good things to come, and many great and precious promises were revealed, but not to be fulfilled unto them, but unto us, as saith the Apostle, Acts 13. 23. Heb. 11. 39. to 1 Pet. 10. 11, 12.

2. The second dispensation was generally declared, and dispensed in the name of Jesus Christ, and this was a middle dispensation coming between the Law and the Gospel, and it was more Evangelicall than the Law, and more legall than the Gospel, and this dispensation continued from the coming of John the Baptist, till Christ had finished the work the Father gave him to do in his own person here on earth.

For in this dispensation, though John pointed out Christ more clearly than any before saying, Behold the Lamb of God, &c. Joh. c. 1. Christ spake as never man spake, Joh. 7. 46. Ps. 45. 2. yet very little of the Spirit was poured out, so that the Apo­stles themselves were ignorant of the mystery of what was declared, and the clear discovery of truth was reserved unto the time of the coming of Christ in Spirit in the last dispen­sation, for Christ (as well as John) declares the Kingdome [Page 12] of heaven to be at hand, not come, Mark 1. 15. as John saith, Matth. 3. 2. and the word also declareth that the Spirit was not given yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified, John 7. 38. 39.

3. But now when Christ had finished the great work of salvation, being risen from the dead in testimony hereof: now the time is fulfilled and all is accomplished that was to go before, now the time is come that the mystery of God shall wholly be revealed unto the Sons of men in Spirit and power from on high, now there are no more types nor figures to be brought forth by way of command, to signifie the sub­stance to come, but now the substance it self is come, which consists in all power in heaven and earth, which needs no signs to figure it out, it being present.

And as the former dispensations were given out, first in the name of the Father, and secondly in the name of the Son, so this third and last, which is to remain, was given forth in the name of Father, Son and Spirit, as the full dis­covery of the whole mystery of God unto the Sons of men.

And it is called Spirit Baptisme, never so called before un­to former Generations, nor never so named till John doth call it so, declaring it to come after his Baptism, Mat. 3. 12. &c. & now this being the manifestation of the Spirit, that is more glorious than all that went before it: it hath pleased God in his wisdome to stile it the Baptism of the Spirit, wherein creatures are made partakers of the name and nature of God, and though believers in all ages did partake of the Baptisme of the Spirit, yet God hath reserved the name and title here­of unto the last times, as he hath the greatest pourings out of Spirit, and that we may not be mistaken in the great my­stery of God, opened in the Commission, and so with the world and carnall Church understand the Baptisme of the e­ternall Spirit, to be meant of materiall water. Let us consi­der the difference between being baptised into materiall Wa­ter, and of being baptised into the name of God, or Father, Son, and Spirit.

First then, it will be good to know and consider well, what the name of God is, that so we may see and know what [Page 13] we are baptised into, when we are baptised into the name of God, who is the true, eternall nature or being, declaring himself to the sons of men by severall names and titles, weak creatures, not being able to apprehend God, who is infinite in all whatsoever he is, but through such severall disco­veries.

First then let us consider, whatsoever name is ascribed un­to God in Scripture, it is suitable to the nature of God; (as appears clearly)

Secondly, And let us observe this also in our following dis­course, that as the name of God is suitable to himself, who is onely good, so our name is also suitable unto our nature, which is corrupt and evil.

First then the Scripture declares the name of God to be light, and this is the nature of God, God is light, and in him is no darknesse at all, 1 John 1. 5. here we see the name and nature of God is light, it is contrary to the nature of God to have any darknesse at all in him.

And that we may the more clearly see into this mystery of our partaking of the name of God, let us see also what our own name is of our selves, Ephes. 5. 8. we have our very name and nature described, Ye were sometimes darknesse, here is our name, and very corrupt nature, even darknesse it self; we are filled in our hearts and minds with darknesse, yea, thick darknesse, so that our very name is derived from it.

And now see what a change here is, when we come to par­take of the name and nature of God, which is light, then we are called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord hath named according to his promise, Isa. 62. 2. now we are light in the Lord, heere is our name given us of the Lord.

And herein is our happinesse to Eternity, that as we are light in the Lord, so God is, and will be our light to eternity. Rev. 21. 23. & 22. 5. as he hath promised, Isa. 60. 19. 20. The Sun shall be no more thy light by day, neither for brightnesse shall the Moon give light unto thee; for the Lord shall be to thee an everlasting light, & thy God thy glory, &c. and thus we are baptised into the name of God, which is light, the Spirit being as refiners fire in us, burning up and destroying our darknesse and blindnesse, and [Page 14] bringing forth the light of God in us, and translating us in­to the light of God in the new Creation, creating light in us, and so we are no longer darknesse, but light in the Lord, and so God changeth our name and nature from darknesse to light, and we beholding (in the light of the Lord) the glory of the Lord, 2 Cor. 3. 18. are changed into the same image or name, or likenesse of the Lord, not from any thing of our selves, but by the Spirit of the Lord, who is the Spirit of burning and of brightnesse in us, and thus light is sown for the righteous, and it springs up in them.

Secondly, as God is called light, so he is called love, God is love, 1. John 4. 16. Here is the very name and nature of God meeting in one and the same principle, even love; and as we may read the name of God and his nature to be love; so also we may read our own name in our own nature, prin­ciples, and actions, to be enmity it self, Col. 1. 21. Ye, who were sometimes Enemies in your minds, hath he reconciled, &c. we are of our selves in our corrupt nature, Rebellious, and Stubborn against God, yea, our minds are set on evill works, fulfilling the lusts of the flesh, &c. Eph. 2. 3. Tit. 3. 3.

And we being baptised into the name and nature of God, which is all one (love) infinite love; this love of God wrought in us by the operation of the Spirit of love: it is so hot and strong in us, that it burns up and destroys our en­mity that is in us in our old nature, and it changeth us into the very love of God, which is his nature, and so we come to be partakers of the divine nature, and so the new nature or Creation, is brought forth in us, and as we do grow up more, and more in the love of the Father, in the same nature; so our enmity in our old nature is destroyed with the very cor­rupt nature it self, for that which is enmity, cannot be re­conciled, but must be burned up, and quite destroyed by the fire of the Spirit, in the Spirit Baptisme, and thus we may see already, there is infinitely more in the Baptisme of Christ, then as we do imagin, when our minds are fixed up­on a little cold water in a River there below the Firma­ment, and that the Baptisme of Christ is suitable to all power in heaven and in earth, which is onely able to burn up and [Page 15] destroy our enmity, and bring forth a principle of Di­vine love in our souls, which all the angels in heaven, and all the men on earth, are never able to do, but onely he who createth all things anew, that are new indeed, and this is not done but by an infinite power, wrought by him that worketh and none can hinder.

Thirdly, the name of God is wisdome, for Christ is cal­led the wisdome of God, Prov. 8. and Christ and the Father are one, and as God is called in Scripture, The onely wise God Jud. 25. now the name and nature of God is wisdome, and God is infinite in wisdome, and it is impossible there should be any folly or ignorance in God; but now our name is foolish, we are of our selves fools, and our very wisdome is foolishnesse with God, nay our wisdome is enmity against God, and these two cannot stand together, but the one must destroy the other, and when we are in the Baptisme of the Spirit made partakers of the wisdome of God: then the spi­rit burns up and destroys our wisdome, that is, earthly, flesh­ly, carnall, and divelish, and brings forth a principle of divine wisdom that is from above, and so we come to live and dwell in wisdom, and wisdome lives and dwells in us, so that we, because wise to salvation the wisdome of God is now brought forth in us, and Christ is made of God unto us wisdome, and Christ is the wisdome of the Father, and all the treasures of wisdome and knowledge are hid in him, and Christ living in us, the treasures of divine wisdome are opened in our souls and spirits, and we are the children of wisdome, and wis­dome is justified of her children (though both wisdome and her children be condemned as fools) and so whatsoever crea­tures think of us, yet the word of Gods eternall wisdome is our guide, and the true anointing is our teacher, and this is more joy, peace and comfort unto us than all the wisdome and glory of the world can be unto all that do live in it, and make it their delight and happinesse for a time, and thus our name is changed from foolishnesse to wisdome.

Fourthly, the name of God is purity and holinesse, Holy is his name, and he that hath called you is holy, and God is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, 1 Pet. 1. 16. &c. the very nature o [...] [Page 16] God is purity it self, God is the Originall of all pu­ri [...]y and holinesse: but now our Name is quite contrary, and so is our Nature, we are all unclean, and un­holy, and impure in our very Name and Nature, we need go no further for proof hereof, than Rom. 3. and our own experience, if we have any, of the true purity and holinesse of God in us.

And when we are made partakers of the Baptisme of the Spirit, then we are spiritually washed and cleansed from our uncleannesse, filthinesse and pollution both of flesh and Spi­rit; then we are dipt into the pure River of the water of life, that proceeds forth out of the Throne of God and of the Lamb, and as we are washed from the guilt of sin in the blood of the Lamb: so we are washed, rinced and cleansed from the coruption, power and pollution of sinne, in the pure foun­tain of living water, clear as Chrystall, p [...]ceeding from the Throne of God, and of the Lamb, in Spirit and in power from on high, which is onely able to cleanse souls and spi­rits from spirituall filthinesse.

Now this is observable, that the Baptisme of the Spirit is compared unto fire and water, both b [...]ing of a cleansing and purifying nature: the fire, that con [...]umes, destroys, and burns up all the drosse, and the water, that washeth away all the fil­thinesse.

And thus the fire and water of the Spirit meets with the whole body of sin, and doth by degrees burn it up, destroy, consume, and wash it away; so that in the Baptisme of the Spirit we come forth in the new Creation, pure, clean and holy, being refined by the true refiner of souls, and as Silver is tryed seven times in the fire, and as the man was to wash seven times in the Pool; so are we purified, and washed, and cleansed from all our filthinesse, in the pure and precious Baptisme of the Eternall Spirit, wherein onely we are bap­tised into the name and nature of God, who is the onely fountain of all purity and holinesse, and so the purity and holinesse of God is brought forth in our souls and Spirits, and thus we partake of his holinesse; and whosoever looks unto any other Baptisme than this, they look below the [Page 17] fountain, and so looks unto broken cisterns that can hold none of this pure water, that washeth and cleanseth souls and Spirits and bodies from their filthinesse: and so as the Pro­phet saith, Isa. 44, 20. They feed of ashes, a deceived heart having turned them aside, so that they cannot deliver their own souls, nor say, is there not a lye in my right hand? or in my best affections, or highest esteem?

Fiftly, Again, the name of God is Righteousnesse, God is called the Lord our Righteousnesse, Jer. 23. 6. and this is also the nature of God, the Righteous Lord loveth Righ­teousnesse. God is the onely Fountain of all righteousnesse, and all true Righteousnesse proceeds from him alone, as the originall root and Fountain of all Righteousnesse.

But now our own name and nature is quite contrary, as we are in our selves, in our nature, principles and actions, our nature that is corrupt ever since the fall of Adam, not by Creation, but by transgression, so that now our best righte­ousnesses are no better than filthy rags, as the Prophet de­clareth, Isa. 64. 6.

And so now, our name is unrighteousnesse, sin, and evill, and this is our nature, as far different from the name and na­ture of God, as darknesse is from light, Sin from Righte­ousnesse, and Evill from Good.

But now in the Baptisme of the Spirit, our own name and nature is quite changed, even from Sinne and Unrighte­ousnesse, of corrupt flesh and blood, and we are called by a new name, that the Lord Jehovah doth stamp upon us, and bring forth in us. And God doth not onely call us by a new name, stamp his name upon us, and record his name in us, but God doth also with this name, and in this new name bring forth this new nature in us also, and change us from our old name and nature, which is sin and unrighteousnesse it self; and God brings forth his own name and nature in us, which is Righteousnesse it self.

2 Cor. 5. 21. The Righteousnesse of God is brought forth in us, and we are in the new Creation made the Righteous­nesse of God in Christ, who is the eternall word of the Fa­ther, and the true Son of Righteousnesse, that doth rise up­on [Page 18] our souls in spirit and life. He is that Root and fountain of Divine Righteousnesse, into whom we are planted in the Baptisme of the eternall Spirit; and being planted into the root of righteousnesse, our very name and nature is changed, and we take our name, and have our new nature from this pure fountain of eternall righteousnesse, The Lord our Rghteousnesse.

And being thus planted into this pure Fountain, and root of Righteousnesse, we spring up and grow in righteousnesse, and become trees of Righteousnesse of the Lords planting, and we have our nourishment we (as we may say) from the fountain head, being watered every moment with the pure waters of life, that proceeds from the fountain of Life, and all fullnesse, Isa. 27. 3.

And for us to be dipped, washed, and rinsed in this River of water, that makes glad the City of our God, Ps. 46. 4. and to have this water of life and eternall purity and righteousnsse sprinkled upon our spirits, souls and bodies, is infinitely more comfort and gladnesse to us, than to be dipt into or sprinkled with a little water in our earthly Rivers, that being but a Ceremony, and an outward washing at the best.

But still we are to look upon the ministration of the spi­rit spiritually, and so to look upon the name of God to be suitable to his nature, which is eternall righteousnesse, &c. as here we have declared: and thus we see, that when God doth pour out his spirit from on high upon us, then we are changed from our own name and nature, which is unrighte­ousnesse, &c. and we are baptised into the name of the Fa­ther Son and Spirit, the onely root, nature and being of in­finite, eternall Righteousnesse, and so were all righteous, Isa. 54. 6. yea, the righteousnesse of God, 2 Cor. 5. 21.

Sixthly, The name of God is power, the Lord strong and mighty, in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength, Isa. 26. 4. &c. In this also, the name and nature of God is one, The Lord is onely strong and mighty, yea, strength it self, and be alone can work, and none can let him, Isa. 40.

But our name is quite contrary, God hath called us by our names as we are of our selves, nothing, vanity, and our [Page 19] works nothing, we are compared to the weakest things, as Grashoppers, a drop of water, a small dust of a ballance, perishing creatures, our strength as grasse the flower of the field, &c. Isa. 40.

But when we are baptised into the name of God, which is power from on high, then our own weaknesse rules us no longer, but the power of God, who is infinitely stronger, that takes place in our souls and spirits, and the Spirit of God being the Spirit of power, brings forth a principle of divine power in us; the fire of the eternall spirit is stronger than the opposite fire of Lust, stubbornesse, sin and rebellion that is in us, and the fire of the spirit being unresistable, and an unquenchable fire, it burns up, destroys, quencheth and quite puts out the opposite fiery strength that it meets with in our spirits, which is but weaknesse it self, in respect of the strength of the eternall spirit in us.

And thus in the Baptisme of the spirit which consists in power from on high, we are changed from our own name and nature, which is weaknesse, nothing, without strength, &c. into the name of God, now we are strong and power­full, and can do all things through Christ that strengthens us (who before could do nothing of our selves) and now God hath destroyed our weapons, who are carnall and weak, and have pulled down our strong holds of sin, the world, and Devil, 2 Cor. 10. and God hath cast down our imaginations and self-exaltations against God & his appearances in spirit; and it is indeed proper onely unto God in spirit and power from on high, to throw down all our own power and strength that exalts it self against God by his power alone, for no lesse power can do it, and it is proper also unto God, to bring forth a principle of divine power in us, and to indue us with weapons from on high, that so we may be able to fight the good fight, and to stand in the day of triall, for we can stand by no lesse power, than the power of God: and thus we are baptised into the Name and Nature of God, which is power from on high.

Seventhly, The name of God is mercy, pity, compassion, &c. Exod. 34. and this is agreeable to the nature of God; it is as naturall to God, to shew mercy, pity and compassion, [Page 20] as it is proper to the Sun to give light: the Scripture doth clearly witnesse to this truth too, and every soul that hath obtained mercy of the Lord, can witnesse the Lord to be a God full of mercy, pity and compassion unto him.

But now if we look upon our own name, and read it in Scripture, and in our old and corrupt nature, we shall find it to be quite contrary to the name of God, for we live in wrath: Envy, and malice, hatefull and hating one another, Eph. 2. 2, 3. Tit. 3. 3. our very name is Envy, and Envious, &c.

But when we come through the mercy of God to be parta­kers of the Baptisme of the Spirit, and are baptised into the name and nature of God, which is mercy, &c. then our envy, wrath, malice and hatred is destroyed, and we are made partakers of the name and nature of God, then we are fil­led with mercy, pity and compassion.

And as we were before, envious and hatefull against the truth, and all that followed it in sincerity, proud, lofty, and hard-hearted toward our fellow creatures: now we are quite changed in our hearts, minds and natures: now we are kind, mercifull, full of pity and compassion toward all men, wil­ling to do good unto all, even from bowels of mercy and compassion within us.

Now we are humble and lowly in heart, and of a meek and quiet Spirit, suitable to the nature of our Father that is in heaven; and thus the Baptisme of the Spirit brings forth the new nature in us, Mat. 5: and makes us mercifull, as our heavenly Father is mercifull.

Much more may bee said concerning the Baptisme of the Spirit, given forth in a Commission by him, who had all power in heaven and earth; but this brief discovery of this clear truth, I doubt not, but it is sufficient to satis­fie those that see truth in its own light.

Even those that have the two great witnesses to witnesse unto them, and to confirm them in the truth; which is the word written in the Scriptures, and the eternall word writ­ten in their hearts and minds by the Spirit of the living God; which Spirit is the onely witnesse within them, re­vealing the true ministry in them, of that word that is [Page 20] written in the Scriptures without them. And without this eternall word written in the hidden man of the heart, we are never able to understand the mystery of the word written in the Scriptures, but till we have the witnesse in our selves, we shall Antichrist like carnally understand the Scriptures.

And now in conclusion of this point, I desire all men se­riously to consider in their own Consciences which they do think is most suitable to all power in heaven and earth, to give out a Commission to baptise men into the name and nature, and image, and likenesse of God, or into materi­all water, which was but a figure of good things to come, and a fore-runner of the substance, as the authour himself of it doth clearly testifie (as before is witnessed.)

But I know, as flesh and bloud cannot inherit the King­dome of God, so neither can corrupt and carnall Principles in the heart of man, receive the clear and bright discoveries of God in spirit, till the principles of Antichrist the man of sin and mystery of iniquity be quite destroyed out of the hearts and minds of men, for so far as men are carnall, so far they will worship the Gods of the earth. And this will be till the God of heaven have famished them all, which will be in his clear and bright coming in spirit & power from on high, Zep. 2. 11. 2 Thes. 2. 8.

But now we proceed to the next part of our Discourse, which is to shew the testimony of the word, how the Nati­ons came to be partakers of the Baptisme of Christ, and that it doth appear to be spirit-Baptisme, and answers clearly to the Commission of Christ to his Disciples, Mat. 28. wherein it doth clearly appear, that Christs Commission to his Apo­stles, was, (as we have before declared) to baptise men into the name of God, or Father, Son and Spirit, and not into materiall water, as men do carnally understand it.

First we have a clear testimony, in the 11 Chapter of the Acts, of the accomplishing of this great work of Spirit Bap­tisme, wherein the Commission of Christ is fulfilled accord­ing to the clear testimony of the Commission it self.

Acts 11. 15, 16, 17, 18. 1. Here is Peters preaching the Gospel according to his Commission he had received of Jesus Christ.

[Page 22] 2. Here is the spirit falling on the People as Christ had promised, saying, Ye shall be baptised with the holy spirit.

3. Here is Peters remembring the words of the Lord, with his Testimony what it was; That John baptised with water, but they should be baptised with the Spirit.

4. Upon this great work of the spirit wrought on the people, here is Peters Apology, that seeing God had in his ministry baptised the Gentiles with the Baptisme of the spi­rit, as they were at the beginning, that he could not with­stand God.

5. Here is the Testimony of those brethren that came with Peter, who were eye-witnesses of this great work of God upon the Gentiles, Then they held their peace, and glorified God saying, then hath God also unto the Gentiles granted Repen­tance unto life.

But now carnall reason and ignorance will object against the Baptisme of the Eternall spirit in this place, and it will be this, that the Baptisme of the spirit is here meant onely of the Baptisme of gifts, v. 17.

But though I intend to answer all objections that are against this clear truth, (that I do at present know of) in my fol­lowing Discourse, yet I must here answer thus, for I am not to seek of this, how men that stand upon carnall, and flesh­ly and traditionall observations of the things of God, how they will object against the clear truth to uphold their own carnall principles, ends, and interests, but the truth will manifest it self to their shame, that so oppose it. And for answer to this Objection, I desire to go no further than the clear Testimony of the Truth it self.

For answer to this Objection, let us observe the Testimo­ny of the 14. and 18 verses of this 11 Chapter. In v: 14. we have recorded, that the words, Peter was to speak, should be instrumentall, for the saving of the man and all his house.

Now there was more in the words of salvatio than the Baptisme of Gifts, as men do imagine; for in the words of sal­vation, there was the great myste [...]y of God opened unto weak creatures; and these words were so effectuall, through the opera [...]ion of the eternall spirit, that they were effectuall [Page 23] for the saving the man and his whole house from sinne and all unrighteousnesse, and for the turning the man and his fami­ly from darknesse to light, from sin to God, for opening their blind eyes, and washing them in the bloud of the Lamb, and pouring forth the pure waters of life upon their souls, washing and cleansing them from all unrighteousnesse, sin and filthinesse, and bringing forth in them the pure and ho­ly nature of God, in their hearts, souls and spirits, this and all else whatsoever is included in salvation, is here by the A­postles ministry made effectuall in them, according to the Commission, which was to baptise them into the name of Fa­ther, Son, and Spirit; and this is the substance of Spirit-Baptisme, and is infinitely more than is imagined by those, who think the Baptisme of the spirit to consist barely in visi­ble gifts, as they say, given in an invisible manner, or how they please to wrest the Testimony of Spirit Baptisme to maintain their own ends, opinions and carnall conceits, for the setting up of self, &c. (But may not Gods whole work in his people be called a gift, or gifts?) and in v. 18. It is recorded that those believing Jews that came with Peter, when they saw the great work of God wrought upon the Gen­tiles, that then they held their peace, and glorified God say­ing, then hath God also unto the Gentiles granted Repen­tance unto life. They did not lay the Substance of the great effect of Peters ministry upon the receiving of visible gifts, but that God had granted unto them repentance unto life, in which, as we said before, is contained the whole work of salvation wrought in them.

1. And here let us observe, 1. Christs Commission, Go teach all Nations, baptising them into the name of the Father, Son and Spi­rit.

2. Christs promise, Ye shall be baptised with the Spirit, Acts 1. 4.

3. Peters obeying the Commission, in preaching the Gospel unto the Gentiles.

4. The promise following, they are baptised with the Spi­rit, and Peter here remembers the promise.

5. Here is the substance of Christs Baptisme declared, [Page 21] which was the effect of Peters preaching: even salvation and Repentance unto life. Here is clear testimony enough, to sa­tisfie those that look upon truth singly in it self, and that are not baptised with Traditions, Forms, and Opinions of men.

So here we have one clear Testimony from the word it self, of the fulfilling the great Ordinance of Spirit-Baptisme, ordained and given forth by him, who had all power in hea­ven and in earth, and fulfilled by the same power from on high, which was present in the Apostles Ministry according to his promise, Matth. 28. 20. for the accomplishing this great work.

Secondly, we have another clear Testimony of the accom­plishing the great work of Spirit-Baptisme upon the Ro­manes c. 6. v. 3, 4, 5, 6. In the beginning of the Chapter, the A­postle answers a common Objection that men bring against the free Grace of God shed abroad in his peoples hearts; Shall we sin that grace may abound? (saith he) God forbid; and pre­sently he reasons out the point, saying, How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

And v. 3. He shews how we came to be dead to sin, it was by being baptised into the death of Christ, and v. 4. We are bu­ried by this Baptisme into death, but what death? death to sinne; we are now dead to sin (I hope no man is so simple as to think that baptising men into materiall water can kill sin in them, or make them dead unto sin.)

And v. 5. We have the Apostle declaring the businesse so plain, that he that can see, though but dimly, yet he may see what the Apostles meaning is, for (saith he) If we have been planted together in the likenesse of his death, we shall be also in the likenesse of his Resurrection. Here the Apostle calls this Bap­tisme planting into Christs death; and is materiall water think you of any force at all, to plant us into the death of Christ? Let those who are truly partakers of the power of Christs deathin their own souls, which destroy the life and power of sinne in themselves, let such I say come forth, and witnesse to this truth, whether sin be destroyed in them by being baptised into the power and vertue of Christs death, or [Page 25] whether sin be destroyed in them by any outward washing.

And again, v. 6. this is a thing known to believers, that our old man is crucified with Christ, and it is for this end, that the whole body of sin might be destroyed, that so we should serve sin no longer.

Let us once more briefly consider of the words of the A­postle here.

V. 3. Those that were baptised into Jesus Christ, were baptised into his death; therefore not into materiall wa­ter; for the death of Christ with the power and vertue thereof, is not, nor cannot be materiall water; therefore the Baptisme here spoken of, cannot be meant of materiall water.

V. 4. We are buried with him by Baptisme into death, therefore not into materiall water; for death and water is not one, but by vertue of our being baptised into death with Christ, so as Christ was raised by the glory of the Father, so we should walk in newnesse of life, by vertue of our partaking of the power of Christs death, and resurrection in this spiri­tuall Baptisme, which consists in power from on high.

V. 5. The Apostle concludes it must so follow, for if we have been planted together in the likenesse of his death, we shall be also in the likenes of his Resurrection: and here let us observe, what he before called baptising into Christ, baptising into his death, buried with him into death by Baptisme: now he calls planting together in the likenesse of his death, &c. but ma­teriall water cannot plant us into the likenesse of Christs death, which is in effect the destroying of sin: therefore the Baptisme here cannot be materiall water, but it is the Bap­tisme of the Spirit, which onely is able to destroy sin and all evill in us, and to bring forth the image and likenesse of Christ, in us, in our new birth, and so we see the Commission was fulfilled in changing people from their own name and likenesse, and to bring forth the name and likenesse of God in them.

3. Again we have another Testimony of the great effect of Spirit Baptisme upon the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 6. 11. v. 9, 10. the Apostle reckons up severall works of the flesh that raigns in [Page 26] those that shall inherit the Kingdome of God, v. 11. he tells them that some of them were such; and he also tells them how they came to be changed, but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Here was the work of all power in heaven ad earth, wrought upon poor sinfull souls, that were full of all abominations and all filthinesse of flesh and Spirit, and this was done, by washing, sanctifying, and justifying in the name of him, who had all power in heaven and earth given unto him for this ve­ry work, that souls might be washed, cleansed, sanctified purifi­ed and justified, and here is the spirits work also in this great and mighty change wrought in those Corinthians, in the name of the Lord Jesus and in the spirit of our God.

Here is a Testimony of the coming forth of the word & spi­rit of eternal being, even from the bosome of eternall love and kindnesse, pity and compassion, for the eternall God of poor, wretched, sinfull creatures: and here the word and spirit of e­ternal being, coming forth in power from on high, is implyed about this great work of wonder, in washing, cleansing, puri­fying, sanctifying and justifying poor undone souls, that ly wallowing in their own blood and filthinesse.

What think ye, O ye that have any love to the truth? Here you may see a washing, but not with material water, but a wash­ing in the pure river of water of life, clear as Crystall coming forth from the Fountain of all life and sweetnesse, and this water is onely able to wash, cleanse and sanctifie souls and spirits from all sin and filthinesse of flesh and spirit.

We can ascribe nothing at all unto materiall water, in this great work of washing, cleansing sanctifying and justifying of souls in the presence of the infinitely righteous, pure and holy God, but we do ascribe the whole work hereof unto the mighty God, in the Baptism of the eternall Spirit, which con­sists onely in power from on high, in spirituall washing in the pure river of living water, which continues in us a well of water springing up unto eternall life; and I could wish with my whole heart, that those, who professe to know God, would not undervalue the Baptism of the eternall Spirit, and set us a [Page 27] poore and beggerly element in the room of so glorious a Bap­tisme, that consists in all power in heaven and earth, but now we proceed to the next Testimony.

Fourthly, the next testimony of creatures being baptised into Christ, is Gal. 3. 27. For as many of you as have been baptised into Christ, have put on Christ. The baptisers of our times, as they say they are, do quite crosse the witnesse of the word here; for the Apostle saith here, that as many of them as had been baptised into Christ, had put on Christ: but they say, none must put on Christ, (that is) professe Christ first, and be baptised in materiall water afterward: but the Apostle saith no such thing here, though this were the practise of Johns Baptisme, and used afterward, as we shall shew more hereafter, when we come to answer ob­jections; but to observe a little from the words.

1. The word saith, they were baptised into Christ, therefore not into water. 2. As many as were baptised into Christ, had put on Christ, but all that were baptised in material water had not put on Christ; no not in those very times, Simon Magus for example, &c.

But now we shall observe, what it is to be baptised into Christ, and what it is to put on Christ; which is the effect of being baptised into Christ, those that are baptised into Christ, are baptised into the power of Christs death and Resurrection, and so our sin & evill is destroyed by the presence of the pow­er of Christs death in us, and a new life is brought forth in us, by vertue of Christ living in us. And Christ living in us, is in all his divine appearances, in Spirit and life Christ: living in us, in the glory of the Father, brings forth in us a princi­ple of divine love, light, wisdome, power, righteousnesse, ho­linesse, purity, truth, faithfulnesse, &c. and thus (as we have de­clared before) we are baptised into all the divine appearances of Christ in Spirit; and so by vertue of being baptised into Christ in all his goodnesse, being that fountain of fullnesse of divine treasures, in whom God will make creatures partakers of his own name & nature, I say, by vertue of being thus bap­sed into Christ, we do really put on Christ in his manifestati­ons in light and love, by vertue of being baptised into Christ, we do really put on Christ in his manifestations in light and [Page 28] love: by vertue of being baptised into Christ, we walk in the light of Christ, and thus we shine forth in the light of God among a crooked & perverse people, among whom we do live, and likewise we do live in the love of Christ, & this love doth appear unto all men, & thus we fulfill the Law of Christ to do, as we would be done unto, and so living in the love of Christ, a principle of divine love is brought forth in us, and from this love within us, we walk in love unto all, and are filled with Kindnesse, Pity, Bowels of Compassion, Humblenesse of Mind, meeknesse of Spirit, &c. unto all our fellow-crea­tures.

And Christ being the true way into the possession and in­joyment of all the goodnesse of the eternall God; and we be­ing baptised into Christ, we are partakers of the true and eter­nal salvation, in the true way the Father hath opened for crea­tures to possesse his love and goodnesse in unto eternity, and in this Baptisme we are taken up into God, and so we live a­bove all the wayes of this world in Christ, and in him in the Father, in spirit, the onely true way into all happinesse, and the onely happinesse to eternity, and Christ is also the truth, and we being baptised into Christ are made partakers of the truth, as it is in Jesus; (but those, who are baptised in materi­all water, may still live in error, for all this) but those who, are baptised into Christ, who is the truth, they live in the truth, walk in the truth, act in the truth, and speak truth; yea, they that put on Christ in truth, and are clothed with truth, righte­ousnesse, holinesse, purity, syncerity, &c. as with a Garment.

And so as Christ is, so are they in this world, and so every one that is baptised into Christ, have put on Christ, and so do appear in the likenesse of Christ, in the new Creation, the work of God alone, in spirit and power from on high.

Fifthly, We have another clear testimony of the Baptisme of the spirit, the onely true spirituall washing, in Eph. 5. 25, 26. and how it is wrought according to the Commission of Christ, Mat. 28. the words are these, Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctifie and cleanse it, with the washing of water by the word,

Here is a clear testimony of the accomplishing the Commis­sion [Page 29] of Christ upon those people that belonged to his church. 1. Here is Christs love to his Church. 2. Here is the effect of his love; he gave himself for his Church. And 3. Here is the end, why he gave himself for his Church or people? and that is, that he might sanctifie and cleanse it. 4. Here is the means whereby this is done; it is with the washing of water by the word.

And now the end of all is, that it might be presented unto himself, a glorious Church, without spot or wrinckle, or a­ny thing like spot or wrinckle, but holy and without blame.

And now that this great work of washing, sanictfying, clean­sing, and purifying the Church of Christ may be accomplish­ed; the end of his redeeming it: now he was risen, and had finished the great work of redeeming his Church, now all power in heaven and in earth is given unto him for the refor­ming of his Church.

And now Christ having received all power in heaven and earth for the accomplishing this great work of sanctifying and cleansing his Church, that this may be done, he gives his Apostles a Commission to Go teach all Nations, and in this mi­nistry, Baptise them into name of Father, Son, and Spirit, and so as instruments, sprinkle the name of God upon them, and dip them into the pure river of water of life, which is onely able to sanctifie and cleanse them, that so they might be holy and without blame in the presence of God, and of the Lamb, who is undefiled.

Now this is the means, whereby Christ sanctifieth and cleanseth his Church, with the washing of water by the word; now the word being the ministration of the eternall Spirit, and given forth in all power in heaven and earth, though un­to weak creatures.

Yet the word they preached, being the ministration of the Spirit, and all power in heaven and earth, being present in their ministry, they are made instruments in the hand of God, for the accomplishing this great work of sanctifying and cleansing souls, with the washing of living water by the mi­nistry of the word of life.

This was that administration that God had declared by [Page 30] the Prophets long before, that should be accomplished in the latter dayes, as in Isa. 35. 6. In the Wildernesse shall waters break out, and streams in the Desart, v. 7. And the parched ground shall be­come a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water, &c.

And chap. 41. 18. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the middest of the vallies: I will make the wildernesse a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water, &c. and chap. 44. 3. For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and flouds upon the dry ground, I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thy Offspring, See also Ezek. 16. 8, 9. and chap. 36. 25, 26. and cap. 47. with Joel 2. and severall other places, that God did declare by his Pro­phets, that should be fulfilled unto us in Gospel-times (which is the ministration of the Spirit) as saith the apo­stle, 1 Pet. 1. 12. &c.

This is the way that the onely wise God is pleased to pour out the fountain of living waters, upon his people in these latter dayes, even in the ministry of the word; this is the way God will sanctifie, wash and cleanse his people, with the washing of water by the word.

Now this dispensation of God being mighty, it brings forth mighty effects in the world upon the Sons of men; for the power of God, being present in this Gospel ministry, it makes his people willing in this day of his power, it is migh­ty through God to throw down the strong holds of sin, to turn men from darknesse to light, and from the power of the Devill to God.

In this Ministry God doth by his mighty power bring forth the new nature in his people, and makes all things new in them; and God in this ministry enters into an eter­nall Covenant with his people to be their God for ever, and they to be his people to Eternity.

In this ministry of the word through the operation of the eternall spirit, God brings forth a principle of power to be­lieve in him alone, and trust in him alone, and God doth by this ministry take off his people from all dependence upon creatures, and creature-excellency, and sets them upon the rock of ages, in whom is everlasting strength,

In this ministry God doth enter into an evelasting Cove­nant [Page 31] with his people, and give them a new heart, and Spirit according to his promise, and pour clean water upon them, and make them clean, and wash them from all their filthi­nesse, and this is the onely water of the Gospel, and the onely washing of the new Testament, but Gospel-washing, is an outward, and carnall, or legall washing, as carnall creatures do imagine.

And thus we see the ministry of the Spirit in Gospel-times is set forth by a spirituall water-washing, cleansing, &c. and the ministry of the spirit, is a spirituall washing of spiri­tuall water by the word, as we have clear Testimony from the word written in the Scriptures, suitable to the word written in the hidden man of the heart, the work of God a­lone. See John 4. 14. But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst: but the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of living water, springing up into ever­lasting life, &c. Here Christ takes the woman off from all carnal and outward observations of the spirituall waters of his spi­rituall Kingdome, and sets her a looking after the true wa­ters of life, that flows out from the Fountain of life.

Again, John 3. 5. Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdome of God: But materiall water hath no place in bringing forth a new birth; for Christ saith, That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit; but it is unpossible mat [...]riall water can bring forth any part of the new birth, but if they were old creatures, before, and dipped or sprinckled with earth­ly water, they are so still. It is onely the Heavenly water that hath force to wash away sin, and to bring forth the new birth in us, as those can witnesse that have this heavenly birth brought forth in them, and are washed with pure water of Life.

Sixthly, We have another Testimony of the Baptisme of Christ in the Epistle to the Colossians, that they were made partakers of the Baptisme of Christ.

1. Col. 2. 12. in vers. 8. The Apostle bids them beware of Philosophy, vain deceits, the traditions of men; the rudi­ments or Elements of the world, &c. and is not water-Baptisme [Page 32] an Element of this world among the rest: as a tradition or carnall Ordinance, &c. as we may see v. 20, 21, 22, 23.

2. V. 9. The Apostle sets forth Christ to be the onely substance that we ought to look after; For in him dwelleth all the sub­stance of the Godhead bodily, and all fullnesse being in him, see in the next place what doth follow.

3. Ye are compleat in him, which is the head of all prin­cipalities and powers, our compleatnesse consists in Christs being in us, and our being in him, and no part of our compleatnesse can consist in any of the Elements of this world, therefore not in being thrown into the Element of water.

4. V. 11. He takes them off from that ancient and hono­rable Ceremony of Circumcision in the flesh, and sets them a looking into the Substance, which was the Circumcisi­on made without hands, and this was the putting off the bo­dy of sinnes of the flesh, by the Circumcision of Christ, which is spirituall, for nothing but Spirit can destroy Flesh.

5. Having now set forth the true Circumcision, which is truly spirituall, he comes now to set forth the true and substantiall Baptisme, which also is truly spirituall, vers. 12. buried with him in Baptisme, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead, &c.

Now we are not onely buried with Christ in Bap­tisme, but in this Baptisme we are also risen with Christ (wherein also ye are risen with Christ) but wee may be buried under earthly water, and yet never risen with Christ: therefore this cannot be the Baptisme here spoken of, but in the following words we have the power of God set forth by which this is done, even the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Christ from the dead, He that hath raised Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortall bodies.

Here is still relation to the Resurrection of Christ. Now we know, that after Christ was risen from the dead, [Page 33] then all power in heaven and in earth, was given unto him of God the Father, for the gathering in of his Church that he had redeemed out of every Kingdome, People and Nati­on, &c. and this was the effect of the Commission, Mat 28. Baptising them into the name of Father, Son and Spirit.

So here as the Apostle takes off the Colossions from look­ing after Circumcision in the flesh: so he also takes them off from looking after the Baptisme of water, that was but fleshly, or in outward washing.

And as he takes them off from all types and outward resemblances, which were in use before the substance came; so no [...] he sets forth the substance, which is the Baptisme of the Spirit, by which they were baptised into Christ, and so made parta­kers of the power and vertue of Christs death, and resurrecti­on: in which Baptism they were made partakers of the f [...]lnesse of God. and so were compleat in Christ, who is the ex­presse image and glory of the Father.

And thus we are buried with Christ in Baptisme, and By ver­tue hereof we are raised from a dead state of sin and evill, un­to a new life, by being baptised into the power of Christs death and resurrection, and the power and vertue hereof o­perating in our souls and spirits, changeth and transforms us into the image and likenesse of the Lord Jesus Christ, and so the new nature is brought forth in us, and we are born from above, of water and the Spirit, not of flesh and bloud, nor of fleshly forms, as the world and carnall Church is; for it is nothing, but Spirit, and spirituall waters that can bring forth the spirituall birth in us, That which is born of the Spirit is Spirit, and nothing but the Spirit Baptisme can baptise us in­to Christ, and his fullnesse, for water-baptisme cannot make us partakers of his fullnesse, we can onely have unity in a form in this, but not unity in the fullnesse of Christ, that i [...] onely to be had in Spirit, and Spirit Baptisme.

Unity in forms m [...]kes outside Christians, but unity in Christ, and the eternall nature in him makes Christians in­deed, not onely in name, but also in nature, not in word onely, but in power, not onely outwardly, but in the in­ward man.

[Page 34] Seventhly, We have another Testimony, how Paul and other believers came to be partakers of the goodnesse of God in eternall salvation, after they had lived an evil life in the world before, it is in Titus 3, 4, 5. but after that the kind­nesse and love, or pity of God our Saviour, toward man ap­peared, not by works of righteousnesse which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of Regeneration, and renewing of the holy Spirit, which he shed in us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Savi­our, &c.

  • 1. Here is the kindnesse of God toward man appearing.
  • 2. This love of God to us, is not from our works of righteousnesse.
  • 3. But it is of meere mercy that God doth save us.
  • 4. Here is the means set forth, whereby God doth save us, and that is by the washing of Regeneration, and renewing of the holy Spirit.
  • 5. This is shed forth abundantly on us in Jesus Christ.
  • 6. In the partaking of Salvation in this Spirituall wash­ing, and spirituall renewing, we are justified by the Grace of God.
  • 7. And being justified by free grace, we are made Heirs, and have hope of eternall life, or according to the hope of eternall life.

O that we could in this clear discovery of the eternall God, behold his Testimony in this place in the clear light, and wisdome of the eternall Spirit, for then we should not look so low as we do, upon earthly, and carnall observations of the things of God, and especially of the Baptisme of the eternall Spirit, the onely Baptisme of the new Testament, but then we should look upon it, as it is the work of all power in heaven and earth, according to its first institution, and then we should see the glorious effects of it fulfilled in the washing of Regeneration, and renewing of the holy spi­rit, then we should see the new birth brought forth in souls, by this spirituall washing, the work of God alone, in the o­peration and renewing of his Spirit, or wrought by his spirit in us.

[Page 35] Here is declared the true Gospel-washing, even the saving of souls from sin and all uncleannesse, here is the great Go­spel-promises, fulfilled with a witnesse; even opening a foun­tain of pure living water, and pouring it forth upon the bar­ren wildernesse, and the dry ground, the barren, dry, and unfruitfull ground of unbelievers, are by this Spirituall washing made the Garden of the Lord, and being trees of the Lords planting, they are watered every moment, and re­freshed and comforted, with the streams of that river, that makes glad the City of God.

This is the true washing, that washeth away the fi [...]thines and pollu [...]ions of the sons and daughters of Zion, coming forth from that eternall fountain, the Lord of Hosts, who dwelleth in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, making his people a fit habi­tation for himself to dwell in, by washing away their filthi­nesse, in the pure waters of the Spirit of life, flowing out from the Lord God, and from the Lamb, whose habitation they are in the Spirit, and spirituall washing.

Here is the work of all power in heaven and earth, in sa­ving souls by spirituall washing, and this onely is suitable to the Commission of Christ, Mat. 28. spirituall washing or bap­tising; in which we are made partakers of the name & nature of God, being by the presence of the eternal Spirit in us washed, renewed, regenerated, sanctified and cleansed from our own filthinesse, sin, and pollution, which is contrary to God, and all appearances of God in Spirit.

Here is the great Gospel-work of saving creatures from their sin and all iniquity, by the love, kindnesse and mercy of the Lord Jehovah: and here is the way also set forth in which the Lord Jehovah saveth souls from sin: it is by spiri­tuall washing, and spirituall renewing of them, by the work of the eternall spirit; and O that we were more sen­sible of the glorious work of all power in heaven and earth manifested in us, in washing and cleansing us from all sin and uncleannesse, and bringing forth the pure and divine nature in us, which work is of the Lord alone, and not of man, who is as nothing, and vanity it self.

The Baptism or washing of the New Testament, is not like [Page 36] those carnall, legal, figurative, and typicall washings, &c. which were administred either by Moses, or John, in which the substance of the great things to come, were figured out, or declared to come after.

But the substance it self goeth forth in the Baptisme or washing of the New Testament, this washing is to purpose, for in it, and by it, we are washed and saved from our sin, and this is the substantiall and onely washing of all washings.

Eighthly, we have another clear Testimony of the true and spirituall washing, the onely Baptisme of the New Testa­ment, 1 Pet. chapter 3. verse 21. the words are these; The like figure (or example) whereunto Baptisme doth also now save us, (not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the an­swer of a good conscience toward God) by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, &c.

Here we have the true Baptisme of the New Testament set forth, and the people taken off from all outward washings, (not the washing of water)

1. Here the Apostle declares the saving of Noah and his fa­mily in the Ark, from drowning by water, v. 20. and now he tells them of another kind of saving, and this is by wa­ter, (of which that was a signe or example) or this is an example of that, &c.

Baptisme doth now save us, but is it water-Baptisme that doth save us now? no saith he, not the washing of the filth of the flesh; what then? why the answer of a good conscience; but whereby is the answer of a good conscience brought forth, not by water-Baptisme, but by the Resurre­ction of Jesus Christ.

Here is a clear allusion to the Resurrection of Christ, and to the power and vertue thereof; for then Christ received all power in heaven and earth, for the accomplishing this great work of spirituall Baptism or washing, and so the power, and vertue hereof doth baptise souls into the goodnesse of God, cleanse and purifie their Consciences, and so the answer of a good Conscience is brought forth in them by vertue of Christs Resurrection, by virtue whereof soules are washed [Page 37] and cleansed from an evill and corrupt Conscience, whereby all men are naturally defiled by sin and evill.

The like testimony of spiritual Baptisme or Washing, we have declared, Heb. 10. 22. in v. 20. the Apostle describes a new and living way, by whom we do enter into the holiest place, even the presence of the infinitely holy God; and in this 22. v. he declares how it is that we doe draw neer unto God in this new and living way: it is by having our hearts sprinkled from an evill conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

So here we see how the answer of a good Conscience is brought forth: it is by being sprinkled with pure water (but our earthly waters will not, nor cannot bring forth such ef­fects in us, it is onely the waters of the Spirit that can doe this: that river of pure water of life that John saw, Revel. 22. 1. and this is the onely water that washeth, sprinkleth and clenseth hearts, spirits, souls, consciences, and bodies, from all evill, sinne, filthinesse and uncleanenesse of the whole man.

Thus I have faithfully declared the true Gospell baptisme, as I have received from the Lord, agreeable to the word writ­ten in the Scriptures, and also the eternall Word written in the hidden man of the heart, the two great Witnesses of God in the World.

And now I know this clear truth of God revealed in the clear light and wisdome of the Eternal Spirit, will not with many opposers (as it hath already) throw mens carnal un­derstanding of the Baptism of the New Testament. I shall therefore fairly Answer all Objections that are against this clear Truth: according to the Testimony of the pure and clear Word of Truth. Even as many as I do at present know and have heard of.

And though there may be many more then I have heard of, yet though I cannot answer all, or if I could not answer any, yet I know the truth is able to answer all opposers against it.

Now it remains that we answer the Objections which are for water Baptisme; and they are not a few: but for satis­faction [Page 32] to those that desires to be satisfied with truth alone: I shall lay down the Objections that are for water Baptisme: and the severall exceptions against them, in answer to the ob­jections for water Baptisme: that so they all may judge of it, who are not biassed with any forms or opinions, or judge­ments of men whatsoever, but desires to look upon truth in its own light: for those who are fixed upon the forms and traditions of the former ages, set up in the old building of Antichrist in his Kingdom; they stand for their forms, tradi­tions, and outward washings, and carnal observations, as zea­lous as the old Scribes and Pharisees did; yea, though they do oppose Jesus Christ himself in Spirit and Power from on high: and tell him to his face (in the Testimony of his Word. and Spirit) that he is a deceiver and seducer of the People, &c

But they never look upon their making void the Com­mands of God by their Traditions, as Christ told their Pre­decessors.

Seeing there are so many Objections against Spirit Baptism, and for to maintain Water Baptisme: I care not much where I begin.

Object. 1. First then it will be objected, that Water Baptism came in the room of Circumcision, &c.

Answ. 1. As if one Type did come in the room of another, even then, when the substance was come, and all Types were at an end; Besides, where is your ground from the clear testi­mony of the Word, that Water Baptisme came in the room of Circumcision? but seeing there is no ground from the Word to prove this Objection, I have no ground to believe it, for I am not to believe the opinions of men, but the Word of Truth; and where there is no law, there is no transgression.

Object. 2. Water Baptisme is a Signe or Seale of the Cove­nant, as Circumcision was a Seal unto the People of God be­fore as the word, saith, Rom. 4. 11.

An. That Circumcision was made with hands; and it was but in the flesh, not in the Spirit, in the outward man, not in the inward and hidden man of the heart, and when the sub­stance was come, the Apostle declares against this circumcision, and cals it no circumcision, saying, for he is not a Jew, who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision, which is outward [Page 39] in the fl [...]sh: but he is a Jew which is one inwardly, and cir­cumcision is that of the heart in the Spirit, and not in the Letter, Whose praise is not of Men, but of God, Romanes 2. 28, 29.

And here I have good ground by this Rule, to declare a­gainst water-Baptism, and say, that is not Baptism that is out­ward in the flesh, or fleshly washing, but that is true Baptisme that is in the heart and spirit and inward man, whose praise is not of man, but of God, but Pharisaicall Jews must have some out­ward washing, or else he shall be a deceiver, and his Do­ctrine blasphemy.

2. All things under the Law, were generally confirmed un­to the people, by outward seals, signs, figures and outward Representations, Heb. 9. 10. but the Gospel is not declared nor confirmed by outward Testimonies unto those that do be­lieve, but by inward and spirituall witnesses and Testimo­nies in the heart and inward man, but the Jews must have some outward signe like their outward Religion.

3. Where do you find in Scripture, that water-Baptisme hath that honour given unto it, to be a seal of the new Co­venant, or any part of it? either of faith, love, righteousnesse, &c. I know no outward fleshly, and carnall Seal, to confirm an inward spiritual and everlasting Covenant unto believers, but formall believers must have formall Seals, or else they will not believe truth, but the Seal of the Covenant that God makes with his people in all Gospel-times, is the Spirit of promise, whom the Lord hath promised to give unto all that he makes poss [...]ssors of the New Covenant, in whom that after ye believed ye were sealed with the Spirit of promise Ephes. 1. 13.

This is the true Seal of all believers, that seals and confirms all the goodnesse of God unto them in the great Covenant of free grace and mercy unto them, and other Seals I know none, nor I cannot own any other, except the word did declare it, but it is the Spirit, that is the onely Seal of the new Cove­nant, and the earnest of our eternall possession, that we have in and through Christ, being freely given unto us.

4. Where do you find in the word, that the testimony of the e­ternall [Page 40] Spirit in our hearts, written by the finger of God, that we are commanded to set up a Signe or Seal in the Flesh, to confirm it to us, or declare it to others.

Would this be Gospel think you, or any part of the sub­stance? is this any of the worship of God in Spirit? or any part of the Gospel, which is wholly spirituall.

5. Where do you find that the love of God shed abroad in his peoples hearts, (that fills them with zeal for the glory of God) as hot as fire, that this hath need of a litt [...] cool wa­ter to confirm it unto them, or to be a Seal unto them of this love in them, or would you have it a Seal unto nothing? or to a blank, as it is unto your Infants that are sprin­ckled.

6. Must the Baptisme of the eternall Spirit wrought in our hearts, souls and Spirits, by all power in heaven and earth, the very life and substance of Gospel-grace in us wrought, must this have an empty shadow follow after it, to be a sign or Seal, to signifie what the Substance was that went before? how can any creature call this Gospel?

3. Ob. Water Baptisme distinguisheth the Church from the world, &c.

An. 1. As if the righteousnesse, holinesse, purity, love, syn­cerity, meeknesse, humblenesse of mind, pity, compassion, bowels of mercy, gentlenesse, long suffering, &c. all which is brought forth by the mighty power of God in the new man in the new Creation, as if such, who are the Church of Christ, & members in particular, had need of some outward washing, to shew forth to all men that they are washed within, or that these so qualified had any need to have any outward Ceremo­ny to distinguish them from the world; their principles and a­ctions, are opposite to the world; therefore clearly to be di­stinguished from them.

2. Is not the Law of God written in his peoples hearts, able to discern them from the world? seeing Gods Laws are pure, holy, just, good, righteous, and upright Laws, that are written in his peoples hearts, and brought forth in their conversati­ons, what think you? are not such Laws, who are of God, the Laws of the spirit of life, of love, of power, and of a sound [Page 41] mind, are not these sufficient to distinguish Gods people from the world, the world being led by the Devil and their own lusts.

3. What think you, is not the light of God in his people, clear enough, & bright enough, shining forth in them and they in it, to distinguish them from the blind and dark world, who do live and walk in darknesse, and stumble at they know not what, seeing light is sown for the righteous, and it springs up in them, and they shine forth in it. I hope this will be bright enough to see and discern them in, without their go­ing under water.

4. The wisdome of God being wrought in his peo­ple by the word of Gods eternall wisdome, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdome and knowledge, this is wise enough to distinguish them from the ignorant and foolish world: this is wise enough to direct them in wayes above the wayes of the world, and so the wisdome of God being revealed in the secret parts, in the inward man, and so teach­ing the whole man to walk wisely toward all men, that so wisdome might be justified of her children, and this is e­nough to distinguish wisdomes children from the world, they need not have water-Baptisme to help in this businesse.

5. Is not the love of God revealed in his people, the foun­dation of their happinesse, and that whereby they do stand: is not this enough to distinguish them from the world, who lives in wrath, hatred, malice, and envy, hatefull, and hating one another.

6. Is not the holinesse, purity and righteousnesse of God holy enough, and pure enough, and righteous enough being brought forth by the mighty power of God in them; for to distingish them from the unclean, unholy, and unrigh­teous world, except they be washed in earthly water? what think you? can this adde any thing to the purity, holinesse, and righteousnesse of God, for the further distinguishing of us from the profane world?

7. The grace of God, that bringeth eternall salvation to light in our souls; teacheth us to deny all ungodlinesse and worldly lusts, and teacheth us also to live Godly, Righteously [Page 42] and soberly in this present world: and is not this enough to distinguish us from the evil world? O that we could once see that principle of eternall grace manifest it self in those that professe godlinesse, then I affirm, they need no more to se­parate them from the world.

8. God dwells in his people, walks in them, lives in them, they are his habitation, his resting place, they live in God in divine injoyments, and what think you now? is the pre­sence of God, living and dwelling in his people, in the pre­cious discoveries, and injoyments, of love and favour, living in them to Eternity? Is this enough to distin­guish them from the world, who do live without God, &c.

What think you? is not eternall being the Lord Jehovah, the mighty God, in the love, wisdome, life, light, power, &c. of divine spirituall glory, enough to distinguish his people from the world, without their coming under some carnall ordinance, of being thrown into water or the like.

9. You talk of distinguishing the world and carnall Church one from another by water-Baptisme, but you are quite out, for this is rather a mark of Antichrist, wherein the world and carnall Church are joyned together, and so a Kingdome of Antichrist, is made up of carnall Christians, made so by water-Baptisme.

Objection 4. But Infant-Baptisme, hath been of a long time standing, for ought we know even from the Apostles times.

Answ. 1. Let this be granted, yet, if you cannot make it appear to be of Scripture proof, either from command or example, it is nothing worth, for consider, there were ma­ny Antichrists gone forth, even in the Apostles times, and that which hath no ground in Scripture must needs be an Antichrist, and then here is the whole line of your suc­cession cut off.

What do you think?

Is not this the way to set up an Antichrist, to go about to make Christians, where Christ makes none? Now all Europe, have been made Christians by Infant-Baptisme: and [Page 43] yet many thousands of them have not been Christians in­deed, and then, what have they been but Antichristians, and all this hath been done, without any Testimony at all from the word, therefore it is of Antichrist, and not of the true Christ.

Again, many have been dipped in water, at severall times from an outward profession, and after their conversation have declared them to be of Antichrist, so both forms in both wayes, go to make up a Carnall Church for An­tichrist.

From unity in a form, for which there is no ground at all for, in the word of truth, but meerely from mens car­nall principles, conceits, and traditions, one never being commanded, nor any example of the practise of it, and the other in Force and in use, when other Ceremonies were.

Objection 5. Water-Baptisme, keeps men in Fellowship, Love, and Unity among themselves, so that they denyed no [...] asunder, as others do, and as they might, if they did not take up this form.

Answer 1. Example teacheth us, that Unity in an exter­nall form, cannot keep people together in Unity, fellow­ship and love; for many that have been, and are still one in some forms, as water-Baptisme, &c. yet they agree not in o­ther things, and at last, many have broken quite in pieces, and parted quite asunder!

Forms do commonly keep people together for their own ends and interests, therefore this Unity is not Gospel-proof, but Antichristian Unity, for that is Antichristian Unity, that tyes up peoples love in one form.

2. The people of God, who are called by his grace, and hath his love revealed in them, and do really live in God, and so in love, and so in the Unity of one e­ternall Spirit, by whom they are all led into all truth, faithfullnesse, Love, fellowship, kindnesse, tendernesse of heart, Bowels of Compassion, &c. one to another, they need not to have any outward form of water, or any such thing to keep them in Unity of Spirit, &c. being [Page 44] one Spirit in the Lord, but that one eternall Spirit that is in them all, who doth quicken them all, it being the spi­rit of love in them all; this internall work of God in pow­er from on high, shed abroad in his peoples hearts, is of infinite more force to keep them in love, and fellowship with one another, in the Father, and the Son, than any earthly form, dipping, or sprinckling a little cold wa­ter, you that are truly spirituall consider.

Objection 6. That which was once commanded, and ne­ver reversed, or repealed, is still in force, and water-Baptsme was once commanded, and never repealed, there­fore it is still in force.

An. 1. All Ceremonies were once commanded, yet no Ceremony is still in force, for all Ceremonies ended (in re­spect of the command of them) when the Substance came.

2. Whatsoever was not a command in Christs King­dome, is not still in force, because not a command in Christs Kingdome, and water-Baptisme was not a command in Christs Kingdome, but a fore-runner of it, as is clear by se­verall Scriptures; therefore it is not still in force, if you look, John the Baptist will tell you in severall places, that it was a fore-runner of Christ, he being the minister there­of, and going before Christ.

Objection 7. The Baptisme of John was from heaven, and the counsell of God, and they that resisted it, resisted the counsell of God against themselves.

Answer 1 I grant this to be a clear truth, being ob­served in its time, and place; but observe, all the Mosai­call Laws, Ceremonies, shadows, types and figures, were once the commmands of God, and those that obeyed them not, but resisted and refused them, they died without mercy under two or three witnesses; but when it was all finished, and the ends for which it was ordained, were accomplished, and the fullnesse of time come, that the substance was pre­sent (which had been figured out in them) then the Apo­stle calls them beggarly rudiments, and asks the Collossi­ans, [Page 45] why they were subject to them Colos. chapter 2.

2. As those that resisted Johns Baptisme in its time, did resist the counsell of God then: so these do now resist the counsell of God, that do deny the Baptisme of the Spirit, it being that administration of God, that is, spirit and life, and the very substance of what was figured out before.

And if they resisted the counsell of God, that did resist an outward and bodily washing, which was then appointed of God to go before the substance: what manner of coun­sel do they resist, that do resist the Baptisme of the eternall spirit, coming forth from the eternall God in all power in heaven and earth, which think you hath greatest power in it? the foregoing figure, or the present substance.

Consider of this, you that say, there is no spirit-Bap­tisme now: is not this denying the power, and setting of a form.

Ob. 8. That place, Mat. 28. 19. Where Christ gives his Disciples Commission to teach all Nations, baptising them, &c. must be meant of water-Baptisme, for without water, no Baptisme.

An. 1. There is no other Baptisme besides water, or else John was out, when he bears witnesse of another Baptisme that should come after his Baptisme, and that it should be ad­ministred by another manner of person than he was, Mat. 3. 11. I indeed (saith he) do baptise you with water, but there is one that cometh after me, that is mightier than I, be shall baptise you with the holy Spirit, and with fire. So here you see all Baptisme is not water, there is some fire-Baptisme too.

2. If the word of truth did not bear witnesse to ano­ther kind of water, and washing by water besides our earthly waters, then you had some ground for this conceit, but the Scriptures and spirituall souls, that are partakers of the true spirituall washing, purifying, and baptising in the strength of all power, in heaven and earth; such souls can with the word written bear witnesse to another manner of Baptisme and washing, than any earthly washing in earthly rivers.

I have already, in the former part of this discourse, born witnesse to this true and Spirituall washing, I will onely [Page 46] here cite some witnesses of the written word that prove clearly another kind of water and of washing then mens wa­shings are in earthen fountains, Psal. 46. 4. Ezeck. 16. and cap. 47. Isa. 35. and cap. 44. 3. John 4. 14. John 7. 38, 39. 1 Cor. 12. 13. Rev. 22. 1. 17. Isa. 55. 1, 2.

Now consider, if you could make it appear clearly by the Word, that there were no other Waters, but our earthly wa­ters; and no other washing, but our earthly washing: then you might also affirm there were no other Baptisme, but with materiall Water: but till you can prove this, by the witnes of Truth, we cannot believe the Baptisme in Matt. 28. 19. Can be earthly Water, or earthly Washing, or earthly Baptisme; but heavenly Water, heavenly Washing, heavenly Baptisme, suit­able to power from on high.

Object. 9. Water Baptisme is a command of Christ, from Matth. 28. 19. Go teach all nations, baptising them, &c. Here is wa­ter Baptisme given by command from Christ, and so we doe follow it upon this ground.

Answ. 1. Though I have already declared what the Com­mission is; yet I shall also answer to this Objection in several particulars; First there is not one word of materiall Water spoken of in this place; but the Commission was to Baptise them, into the Name of God, or Father, Son, and Spirit; [nor no where else that I could yet see by Commission from Christ] Therefore not material Water; for the name of God is not material water. [neither is this Baptisme material Wa­ter.]

2. Your interpretation is quite contrary to the nature of the Commission; for materiall Water doth not suite with all power in heaven and earth (that being but an outward wa­shing; but all power in heaven and earth do accomplish an inward and spiritual washing, and clensing from sin and all uncleannesse, which outward washing could not do: there­fore outward washing is contrary to the nature of Christs Commission, as it is contrary to the name of God, and all power in Heaven and Earth.

3. [Page 47] Water Baptisme suites not with a dispensation that is wholly spirituall, but belonged to a precedent dispensation, that had passed before in Johns time, of whom he was the right Administrator; and we never read of any that was sent to Baptize with Water but John (as he declares he was:) let all Water-men in England come forth with such a word from Christ or his Apostles; John 2. 33. and I will believe it (that they were sent by command from Christ, to baptise with ma­terial water.

4. Water Baptisme is contrary to the kingdome of Christ, which is within all Believers that are Believers indeed; and Christ would not give his Apostles a Commission to practise that; which was contrary to his kingdome, or that was no part of it: for Water Baptisme was a legall washing, and that which went before that spirituall administration, which Christ and John also calls the kingdom of God and of Christ, Matt. 3. Mark. 1. 15. therefore Christ would not give his Apo­stles Commission to set up a shaddow in the room of the sub­stance: for the kingdome of Christ is wholy spiritual, and comes not with outward shews or observations.

But it consists in righteousnesse, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, and it is not brought forth in Saints by any out­ward observations.

Neither doth it come unto them, in, with, by, or through any carnal, outward, or legall ordinance, as washing or the like; but in power from on high, wrought within them, by all power in heaven and earth: and now a Baptisme of this nature do onely agree with such a kingdome as this, where­in creatures are made partakers of the divine nature, their own corruptions being destroyed and washed away in the pure baptism of the eternall Spirit, this is the onely bap­tisme that is agreeable with the pure spirituall kingdome of Christ.

5. This interpretation of the Commission is quite con­trary to the true Gospel-worship; which consists in Spirit and Power from on high: for Water baptisme is such an or­dinance, and such worship, as the Apostle speakes of Heb. 9. vers. 10. that was to continue untill the time of Reforma­tion: [Page 48] but when once the time of Reformation came, then no more outward and carnal Ordinance to be set up by com­mand from Christ: but when the time of Reformation came, which was when Christ was glorified, and the Spirit given; then all worship was and is spiritual (that was and is from God) we have two proofs of this, that Gospel worship is spirituall, John 4. from v. 20. to 24. and Phil. 3. 3. Here is not confidence in flesh nor fleshly worship, let it be what it will; nor no joy nor delight in it: but those that worship God, should worship him in Spirit and Truth; and spiritual worship is the onely true worship in the spirituall kingdom of the Son and the Fa­ther.

6. To affirm the Commission to be meant of Water bap­tisme, as quite contrary to the clear Testimony of other scri­pture, both from the testimony of Christ himself, and the Apostles: and seeing it is clear by other Scriptures, that there is another baptisme besides Water baptisme, and not one word of water in this place: How dare any to affirm the Commission to be Water baptisme? This is Antichrist like to set in the Temple of God, and so confine Scriptures and mens Consciences to their Carnal and Traditional Interpre­tations, and so to change Times and Laws, 2 Thess. 2. Dan. 7. 25. (or think to do it.)

1. See those Scriptures that are clear against this Inter­pretation, Luke 24. 49. compared with Acts 1. 4, 5, 8. Here is another baptisme spoken of by him who gave the Commis­sion, and he calls it the Promise of the Father, Power from on high; and the baptisme of the Holy Spirit: Now all this considered, how can we safely wring any material water out of the Commission? Seeing the Author of the Commission declareth another baptisme so plainly; which is infinitely more suiteable to such a Person, then an outward and bodily washing.

2. See also the witnesse of the Apostles, to another bap­tisme, besides that of material water, Acts 11, 16. 1 Cor. 12. 13. Ephes. 4. 5. besides those places spoken of in our former discourse. If the Testimonies of John Baptist, and the Apo­stles in their Epistles, and as the Word bears witnesse to ano­ther [Page 49] baptisme: so also it doth bear witnesse to another kind of Water, and of baptisme, and of washing, besides that of earthly water, as we have already declared.

And that baptisme, and that water and washing being onely suitable to the Power & the Person here giving the Commissi­on; and therefore it is also suitable to the Commission given by such a Person, in such Power, for the accomplishing a work suitable to such a person, Power and Administration, which is wholly spirituall, and from above, not carnall, nor from beneath, nor from the Elements of this world (for all earthly things perish with the using, as saith the Apostle, Coloss. 2. v. 22.

7. Paul declares plainly, that he was not sent by Christ, to baptise with Water, 1 Cor. 1. 17. when he is speaking of water baptisme; and this were sufficient to satisfie all men if they were not byassed with the erroneous Traditions, and carnall Observations and understandings of Scriptures.

But here the old Objections will come in, that Paul was not sent to baptise onely, but also to preach the Gospel. But I could wish you would not forget the Conclusion of the New Testament, Revelation 22. 18, 19. and we may as well put in words in other places as here, (as for example) where the word saith, salvation is not of works, (we may put in onely) and read it thus, Not of works onely, but also of Grace; and so these words set up Antichrist with a witnesse.

But now if this Commission had been to baptise with mate­rial water, then Paul had more reason to have had a Commis­sion to baptise so, than any of the Apostles, seeing he was to go into all the world, where no Ordinance of God had ever been, (but you will say, that others were to do this; but yet, if it had been a part of his Commission, then he would have exhorted others to practise it, but we find no such thing in all his Epistles unto any.

But he gives God thanks that he baptised no more, v. 14. lest they should scandall him about it; but he was so [Page 50] zealous for all the commands of Christ, that he valued not his life, so it might be accomplished, and if this had been a command of Christ, he would not have cared who had a­bused it, or him about it, for his work was to fulfill the mi­nistry of Jesus Christ, or the Commission of Christ, and not to respect what p [...]rsons did say against him, in the fulfilling of it.

But if water-Baptisme were in the Commission of Christ to the other Apostles, then Paul had but a part of the Com­mission of Christ given unto him: for he was not sent to baptise with water, and so Christ gave a whole Commission to some, and but a piece to the rest.

8. If water-Baptisme must be meant here, then in all pla­ces, where Baptisme is spoke if, it must be meant of water, though water be not named, as here it is not. This is to cheat the people, and to tell them, this is the naturall signi­fication of the word here: do but observe how this doth crosse other Scriptures, as Luke 12, 50. Matth, 2. 1. Acts 1. 5. chap. 11. 16. here one word is used for severall Baptismes, (we may well say, wise men are simple)

Ob. 10 Spirit-Baptism consists in visible gifts, given in an in­visible manner, &c. and so all those places that speak of Spirit-Baptisme are to be understood.

Answer 1. I deny this upon these grounds: First, gifts are no where called Spirit-Baptisme; but that gifts were a part of it I do not deny, though they were not the sub­stance of it.

2. The Apostle declares 1 Cor. 12. 13. that all were by one Spirit baptised into one body, whether Jews or Gen­tiles, bound or free, (let them be what they will) but all were not partakers of such visible gifts, as you would have called Spirit Baptisme, as appears in the same chap. 29, 30. which is to speak with tongues, work miracles, as heal the sick, &c. which all could never do.

3. If Christs Baptisme, did consist onely in visible gifts, &c. then John was not out, when he declared the Baptisme [Page 51] of Christ, to be mighty, to the through cleansing of his people from their finnes and corruptions, Matth. 3, 12. Luke 3. 16, 17.

4. The substance of Spirit-Baptisme consists in the pro­mise of the Father, which we have heard of the Sonne, Acts 1. 4, 5. as he himself hath declared, now the promise of the Father, doth consist in more than visible gifts, as appears by severall testimonies of Christ, unto his Apostles, let us observe some particulars.

1. The promise of the Father, was more than visible gifts, for it was the eternall Spirit which should be unto them an everlasting comforter, that should abide with them for ever.

John 14. 16, 17. now the Spirit of truth, that was to abide with them for ever, and to be their comforter al­wayes, was more than visible gifts, which continued but for a time.

Again, the Promise of the Father, which was the spi­rit and comforter, whom the Father would send in the name of the Son, should teach them all things cocerning the great mysterie of God, and bring all things to their remembrance that the Sonne had before declared unto them, which is more than visible gifts as you say.

3. The promise of the Father consists in power from on high: as Christ declareth to his Apostles, Luke 24. 49. Behold I send the promise of my Father upon you (but what is that? he bids them tarry in Jerusalem till they were endued with Power from on high, here is the Promise of the Father, that was to come upon them, even power from on high, and this spirit and power from on high being poured forth, Turned the barren Wildernesse into a fruitfull field, &c. Isa. 32. 15. it enabled the Apo­stles to do great things, besides visible gifts, as to them­selves and others.

They were hereby enabled to preach the great mystery of salvation to all the world, and there went forth such [Page 52] a power in their ministry, that it threw down the whole Kingdome of the Devil in peoples hearts, and made it all flee in pieces before it, 2 Cor. 10. 4, 5, &c.

It wrought so mightily in them, that it comforted them agaimst all affliction they met with, either inward or outward: it filled their hearts and spirits with abundance of peace, Joy, and spirituall comfort, which the world could not give nor receive, John 14. 17. 27. now this and the like, is more than visible gifts, except you will say, the whole work of God, in bringing his people into the pos­session and enjoyment of the great salvation, be all visible gifts or the Baptisme of gifts.

4. The whole mystery of all, doth meet in one and the same things, as the promise of the Father, power from on high, and the Baptisme of the spirit; for com­pare the 14, 15, 16. chapters of John, with Luke 24. 49. and Acts 1. v. 4, 5. 8. and all these do agree in one and the same thing, (namely spirit-Baptisme) we need go no fur­ther for proof hereof than Acts 1. 4, 5. in v. 3. it is recor­ded that he was seen of them sorty dayes after he was ri­sen, and the things he speaks of were concerning the Kingdome of God (let us consider by the way, what that is;) and then vers. 4. and being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which saith he, Ye have heard of me; For John truly, baptised with water, but ye shall be baptised with the holy Spirit not many dayes hence. Here is the promise of the Father, power from on high, (as in verse 8.) and Spirit-Baptisme meeting all in one, as clear as the light.

So now from clear testimonies of the word, we do con­clude, that the Substantiall part of Spirit-Baptisme doth consist in the inward work of God wrought in his peo­ple, suitable to the promise of the Father, and power from on high, and this consists in comforting, supporting, gi­ving peace, joy, and rest of Spirit unto them, not in the [Page 53] world, but in Christ, in whom dwells the fullnesse of God.

And also in breaking in pieces the Kingdome of Satan, and opening the eyes of the blind, and turning many from darknesse to light, and from the power of Satan to God.

And in opening rivers in high places, and turning the wildernesse into pools of water, and giving water to the thirsty, and rest to the very souls, and binding up the bro­ken hearted, and washing away the filth of the daughters of Zi­on in the eternall fountain of living water, pouring out a bles­sing upon them, and his spirit upon their ofspring (with ma­ny more precious promises of the Father, all being fulfil­led in the Baptisme of the Spirit, as the Father and the Son had promised, and so it was fulfilled in Spirit and pow­er from on high.

Objection 11. All believers in all ages, had faith and the works of God wrought in them, in turning them from sin to God, &c. Yet we never read it was called Spirit-Bap­tisme, therefore it is not meant of the great work of God, in washing and saving his people from sin, &c. but it must be something else.

Answer 1. Here is Nicodemus, his ignorance with a wit­nesse; for because the work of God in his people in for­mer dayes, was not called the new birth to be born from a­bove, to be born of water and the Spirit, &c. therefore there was no such thing as he thought, for he had a carnall apprehension of the great work Christ speaks of.

And as Nicodemus came to Christ by night, so I doubt, ma­ny do come to Christ in the dark now, and so they are igno­rant of the great work of Christ, as Nicodemus was, for you are as much out now, that cannot believe there is any spirit-baptisme now, because it was not so called before Christ came, or that there was none before Christ came, because not called so, you may as well say, there was no Gospel, nor born from above, nor no spirituall birth, &c. because not so [Page 54] called, and so with Nicodemus discover your ignorance:

Objection 12. VVater-Baptisme was used after Spirit-Bap­tisme came in force, yea, among the Jews and Gentiles, and the Apostles themselves did also practise it, therefore it is still in force.

Answer 1. Not so, for though the Apostles used it yet not by Commission nor by Command from Christ, for there is not one word in all the Scripture more or lesse, that is de­clared by any Apostle, either in their Preaching or Writing Epistles to the Churches, that they had any command from Christ to baptise with Water.

Nay, further, there is not any testimony in the Word, that ever Water baptisme was called the baptisme of Christ, (but of John) and seeing we have no proof to call it Christs ba­ptisme, why then shall we submit to it as the Ordinance of Christ, and commanded by him, which is no where called his, nor none sent by him to practise it: Indeed we read John was sent to Baptise with Water, but shew me such a proof from any Apostle? or, where Christ said, Go Baptise all Nations with Water, &c.

2. That Jews and Gentiles used Water baptisme, makes nothing for the perpetuity of it, for all ceremonies were practised in those dayes, as well Circumcision, Jewish Puri­fications, and observing meats and drinks, &c. as well as Wa­ter baptisme.

And Water baptisme being a Ceremony last took up, what infallible proof can any give, why that should be first laid down? or why it may not be in use as long as others in those dayes, or longer? seeing it was so rare, that the people thought the Author of it to be the Christ.

3. Why might not some be zealous for this Ordinance that was administred under the second dispensation; as well as many thousands were zealous for Circumcision, which was given out under the former dispensation; and all this when the substance was come, even the third dispensation, which was in it self wholy spirituall.

[Page 55] 4. Water baptisme was so rare, that it founded through­out all the World, there being many people of all Nations at Jerusalem, and many Proselytes, who were joyned to the Church of the Jews: and Water baptisme being an honour­able ceremony among the Jews, and in its institution, the command of God, they were abundantly confirmed in it, as others were in other things that were once the commands of God.

Objection 13. Peter exhorts the people to repent, and be baptised every one of them, In the name of the Lord Jesus, for the Remission of sins, and they should receive the gifts of the holy Spirit, &c. Therefore it is to be practised by this exam­ple, Acts 2. 38.

Answ. 1. The same Apostle in the next Chapter bids the people repent and be converted, that their sins may be blotted out, &c. so that we may observe that Repentance, Baptisme, and Conversion do agree in one; and the Apostle doth not bid them be baptised in Water, but in, or unto the name of Jesus Christ, in whom alone there was hope of Remission of Sins (but if you do still affirm this to be Water baptisme,) yet you can plead neither command nor Commission from Christ; neither doth the Apostle say, that Christ did give him a Com­mission to baptise them in VVater who did repent.

2. Upon this Repentance and Baptisme, here is a pro­mise of the gifts of the spirit to follow, but where doth it fol­low water baptisme? (and if you would have this to be Wa­ter baptisme) then look to it that the gifts of the spirit doe follow it, or else it is to no purpose to use it, if the same ef­fects do not follow, and Acts 10. 46, &c. the Gentiles had the gifts of the spirit, and were baptised with water afterward, these do not agree.

3. For the Promise is to you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call; here is the substance of all declared, even the promise of the Spirit: But what is this promise? Is it Water baptism that is so much cryed up in the World? that was unto them [Page 56] and their children, and to all that are afarre off.

No it is not Water-Baptisme, but it is Spirit-Baptisme, see v. 33. compared with this, it is the promise of the spirit, that is unto them and to their children, and to all that were afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. So here it is the promise of the Spirit, that is unto them, and their chil­dren, and to all that are afar off, and not Water-baptisme.

And here we may adde one thing more, in answer to the tenth Objection, that the baptisme of the Spirit, cannot be understood of gifts onely, for it is to continue unto so many as the Lord shall call, who were then afar off, and are yet afar off, who are yet unborn, for it is unto all the Lord shall call, but those gifts were not to continue, but for a time, for the present occasion, as none can deny.

Ob. 14. But Peter commanded some to be baptised, Acts 10 48. no man can deny this to be Water-baptisme.

Ans. 1. This is but Peters command, not the command of Christ, neither doth Peter, here, declare one word, that Christ had given him a Commission to do it.

2. Peter doth not first command this to be done, till there was a controversie among the people about it, (as we may observe by the words of Peter, v. 46. Then answered Pe­ter; but sure he would not answer to nothing, there was something spoken about it.

3. We never read of any that were baptised with water till they did desire it, it was not laid upon any simply as a command, as believing and obedience to all Spirituall pra­ctises were, but they were baptised so, when they desired it, as other Ceremonies were used, in reference to the peoples condition, as it was in this place.

4. The new converted Gentiles were of tender Conscien­ces, as were the Jews, and if this Ordinance that was so rare, and in so high esteem, should not have been admini­stred unto them, they would have stumbled at it, not being able to see beyond it: and therefore the Apostle did it, that so they might not stumble nor be offended.

[Page 57] Fifthly, When Peter wrote his Epistle, he takes off the peo­ple quite from water-baptism, and tells them of a baptism that there was, but saith he, Not the washing away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good Conscience towards God by the resurrection of Christ: the power and vertue of Christs Resurrection, was the strength and substance of the true bap­tism, and this consisted in the answer of a good Conscience, being cleansed by the waters of the Spirit, in the baptism of the Spirit.

But for ground that Peter had a Commission from Christ to baptize with water, I never yet saw any.

Obj. 15 The Apostles laid nothing upon the people by way of Command, but what they had Commission from Christ for.

Answ. 1. The Apostles did never preach water-baptism un­to the people as a command of Christ; neither declared it in their Epistles, as a command of Christ, nay, they never preacht it in their Ministery at all; which is cleer that it was not a Command of Christ: for in the Commission they were to teach men to observe all things whatsoever Christ had com­manded them; but if water-baptism had been a Command of Christ to his Apostles, then they would as frequently preacht it to the people in their Ministery, as any other part of their Commission, or of that they were commanded to preach. But sometimes after they had preacht, and the people questi­oned of it, &c. then they did speak of it according to peo­ples weakness.

2. In Act. 11. 15, 16, 17. Peter preaches according to his Commission, and according to the promise, the spirit falls upon the people, and here Peter remembers the words of Christ, which was, that John had baptised with water, but that they should be baptized with the Spirit; and here the people ad­mire at the work of God: now here is baptism declared by the Apostle, but not a word of water-baptism.

Observe here, the people speak not of water-baptism, and Peter never puts them in minde of it neither, but he mindes them of Christs baptism, now he remembers it, by the seeing it fulfilled.

But if water-baptism had been a Command of Christ, then [Page 58] the Apostles would have exhorted the people to it everywhere when any had been converted.

But we never finde they exhorted any, or commanded any to take it up, but when the people desired it, therefore they ne­ver laid it upon any as a command of Christ: but when it was commanded or exhorted unto by them, it was to satisfie the Consciences of the weak who did desire it.

And the reason why Peter reasons as he doth, Act. 10. 45, 46, 47 is to satisfie those of the Circumcision that came with Peter, that so they might not hinder the Gentiles from taking up wa­ter-baptism, seeing they desired it. But where there is no que­stion made about it, there he doth not lay it upon them, as is cleer.

3 We have cleer proof that Paul doth command and ex­hort believers of all sorts, to bear one with another, and not to offend one another in observing, or not observing meats, and drinks, days, &c. and all these did concern Mosaical Ce­remonies and observations, and had no relation to Pauls Com­mission, which was to preach the Gospel, and Gospel-obedi­ence, &c. but not Moses nor Ceremonies: and for proof of this, that Paul was to preach the Gospel, and had Commission for no more, read Gal. 1.

And yet that Paul did command and exhort people to other things in reference to this condition, we have proof in Rom. 14. & 1 Cor. 8. &c. and we have also Pauls reason why he did so, to the Jews he became a Jew, and to the Gentiles he became a Gentile; yea he saith, that he became all things unto all, that he might win some. So we see, that all that was imposed upon the people in those times, was in reference to their strength or weakness, some being for strong meat, and some for herbs; some for one Ceremony, some for another.

Many thousands of the Jews for Circumcision, Act. 21. and many for water-baptism, many for observing days, meats, drinks, new-moons, Sabbaths, &c. and all once commands of God, and therefore not easily laid aside, seeing they made Conscience of them as commands of God.

And we may see it in our days, how zealous people are for ancient Customs anst Observations, though never the com­mands [Page 59] of God: how much more zealous might the people be in those days for the things that were once the commands of God?

And further, the Apostle Peter is much out himself, Gal. 2. when he compelleth the Gentiles to live as do the Jews, &c. for which Paul reproves him openly: and now what will you make of Peters commanding the Genriles to be baptized in one place, seeing Christs Command is not mentioned?

Besides, Paul declares in another place, that he was not sent of Christ to baptize, and yet he did baptize with water, there­fore the Apostles might, and did do things without Command or Commission from Christ.

So you cannot for all this, prove water-baptism to be the command of Christ, but that it was used as other Ceremonies were, seeing the chief Apostle used it without Commission from Christ, for he could not have Commission for that he was not sent to do.

Obj. 16. But we have more to object concerning the Commissi­on, Mat. 28. baptizing the people into the name of God our Father, Son and Spirit, is into the profession of God, &c.

Answ. 1. First, this is contrary to your own principles, for you say that people are first to profess Christ, believe, &c. be­fore they be baptized with water; besides, this was the pra­ctice when water-baptism was in use, that people should be­lieve and profess the way of God before they were baptized in water, therefore this cannot be the meaning of Christ in the Commission.

2 This is the way to set up a Jewish and Mosaical Church still, to make Christians by a bare profession, and taking up an outward form. But this is not sutable to a Gospel-dispensati­on, wherein people are made Christians from an inward work, as writing of divine Laws in their hearts, &c. not from a lit­tle cold water in outside of them.

3 There is more in the being baptized into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy-Spirit, then a bare outside profession of God, as men do carnally understand.

There is infinitely more mystery in the name of God, then you think of or imagine, by your going about to binde up the [Page 60] name of God in a form, and confine it to an outward profes­sion of God, and to this purpose, consider a few particulars, though we have declared it before.

1 By partaking of the name of God, people are the sons and daughters of God, as the Scripture declares, Isa. 43. 7. and this is from the pretense of God dwelling in his peo­ple.

Not from a bare profession of the Name of God, as creatures do carnally understand: shew me one Scripture that we are sons and daughters of God by an outward profession, and taking up an out form of water, or the like in Gospel-times, or whether we are not sons and daughters by the presence of God dwel­ling in us, in spirit and power from on high? in which we do truly partake of the name of God, in all Gospel-times.

2 Those that do partake of the Name of God, they are so named of the Lord himself; they shall be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord shall name; Isa. 62. 2. What think you? is there no difference between the name of God that we are made partakers of, by the Lords naming, even by the spirit of his mouth, in power from on nigh, and an empty name that creatures have by going into water? Oh consider! as the power of God is higher then ours, his thoughts higher then ours, his ways higher then ours: so is his name that he gives us in the baptism of the spirit, higher and more excel­lent then our name taken from our beggerly rudiments of this world.

3 God doth set those on high that do know his name, Psal. 92. 13. but dipping creatures into the water cannot make them partakers of the name of God, nor the effect thereof, which is to set them on high; for many may know the name of God by an outward profession, and may be called the people of God by partaking of an empty form, as dipping or sprinkling with, or in water; and yet they may be far enough from being set on high by the mighty God: so dipping in water cannot inte­rest us in the name of God, therefore this cannot be the scope of the Commission.

4 This name of God that his people do partake of in the baptism of the spirit, it is given to them by the Lord; and they [Page] are partakers of it by his mighty power, I will give them a new name, saith God, Rev. 2. 17. God gives his people a white stone and in the stone a new name written, that none knows, but he that hath it, this is the new Name that God brings forth in his people in the new nature, written in them by the eternal Spirit.

And none knoweth this white stone, nor the name written in it, but those that have received it; and this onely is an eternal name that shall never be blotted out, it being the name of the living God, and written by a divine power in the new man, or new name, which is the white stone, the eternal word brought forth in us, in which God writes his own name, which is the name of all names; and so we do become living and pre [...]ious stones, by partaking of the divine nature in him, who is the foundation of all precious stones, being laid of the Father, the onely precious stone, and chief corner-stone, by whose vertue we do become pure, white, and precious stones, builded up together for an habitation of eternal being through the pow­er and operation of the eternal Spirit.

But the waters of this world can never baptize us into this name, nor give us this name, nor write this name in us.

But the name any have by going into water, is such a name as all may read, because it is an external name, and it is no bet­ter name then Simon Magus may partake of, yea any wicked person, (is not this giving holy things to dogs?) I mean the name of God, not water-baptism.

But he that hath the name given him of God in the baptism of the eternal Christ, none can read it, or know it, but he that hath it; therefore water-baptism is not that name, neither can it give this name unto any, nor baptize any into this name.

5 Water-baptism cannot interest people into the name of God, for Christ hath promised to write the name of God up­on his people, yea he will write upon them his own new name, Rev. 3. 12. here we see, it is the work of him who hath all power in heaven and earth, to write the name of God upon souls, and this is done in the power of the eternal spirit, not by dipping in water. For water-baptism is not the name of [Page 62] God, neither can it work such effects upon souls, as to bring forth the name of God in them, nor to write the name of God upon them. Creatures are onely partakers of the precious name of God, by power from on high; not by a little cold water.

Those that have any experience of the name and nature of God in themselves, and those that are not wilfully blinde, they may see or hear what the name of God is: if you look but in­to the word written in the Scriptures, that will tell you what the name of God is, and Gods name and nature is one.

You know the Name of God is declared in Scripture to be Love, Mercy, Goodness, Light, Wisdom, Righteousness, Holi­ness, with many the like, and I hope none that knows and loves the truth, wi [...]l sa [...], that the glorious Name of the eternal God doth consist in a bare outside profession, taking its deno­mination from dipping in a little cold water, and that those who are interested into this glorious name, that it is from their being thrown into a brook of earthly water (there cannot be a more carnal conceit then this.)

The Commission is to baptize people into the name of God, and that is declared to be Love, Goodness, Mercy, &c. as in Exod. 34, &c.

But I hope no man will say, water-baptism is the Name of God, that doth consist in all good, sutable to his Nature, nor that to be baptized into the Name of God, that consists in Light, Love, Wisdom, Purity, Strength, Fruitfulness, &c. that this is into material water.

But the truth is, in the baptism of the spirit, which consists in power from on high, we are dipt and washed in the pure River of the water of life, that proceeds from the Lord God, and from the Lamb, and this is the onely baptism in Christs pure and spiritual kingdom, which consists in spiritual fire, and spiritual water, and this spiritual fire will lick up all our earth­ly waters, and quite destroy them.

In a word, this fire and water of the spirit, burns up, de­stroys, wasteth away, and cleanseth us from all filthiness, both of spirit soul and body, in which way we do come to live in the name and nature of God in holiness and righteousness.

[Page 63] And thus we may see, that material water is not the Name of God, nor to be baptized into the Name of God, is not in­to earthly waters, but it is into Life, Light, Love, Wisdom, Truth, &c. yea, into the divine nature, for as we have first been partakers of the earthly, even the old man which is corrupt and sinful; So in the baptism of the spirit, we do partake of the new name, or are made new men in him who is the Lord from heaven; and such a baptism is onely suitable to all power in hea­ven and earth, which is able to write the Name of God upon his people, and in them, and whosoever do call themselves by the name of God, or are called by his name from any outward form in the time of r [...]formation, and have not the name of God written within them, they are bastards, and not chil­dren of God: it is onely the spirit and spiritual power and work of the spirit, that do, or that can interest us into the name of God. So we conclude, the Commission is spiritual, and consists in spiritual baptism, even power from on high, sutable to the person that gave it, and also to the dispensation, which was wholly spiritual: and so interests us into the name of God, which our earthly water cannot do, for that cannot inte­rest us into eternal Love, Light, and all good; as spirit-baptism can and doth.

Obj. 17. The Commission cannot be as you say, to baptize men into the Name of God, or Father, Son, and Spirit, because it is not mans work to baptize with the Spirit, but it is the work of Christ alone, to baptize us with the Spirit; and therefor [...] we affirm, that no man can baptize with the Spiri [...], into the Spirit, &c.

Answ. 1. First, I would propound one thing to you, as un­to reasonable creatures, and it is this; Whether you do think that God doth speak unto men by means, or without means?

And whether God doth work by means or without means? and if God do work upon creatures altogether without means, then why do any of you call your selves Ministers of Christ, and for what purpose you are, or declare your selves to be Mi­nisters?

2 You do manifest abundance of ignorance in this, not to distinguish between the efficient cause, and the instrumental cause.

[Page 64] Now in the first place, we ascribe the whole work of the baptism of the spirit unto God alone, as the author and finish­er thereof, in spirit and divine power; and that God doth ac­complish this great work by means, this we do also affirm.

And to this end, Christ gave his Apostles a Commission to go forth in the strength of power from on high, and teach all Nations, and in this Ministery, they were instruments in the hand of God, to sprinkle the name of God upon the people, &c. their very Ministery being power from on high, for they were not to go forth till they had received power from on high, Luke 24. 49. Act. 1. 4, 5, 8.

And so as instruments, inabled by all power in heaven and earth, they went forth in the Ministery of the Spirit, and in this spiritual administration God made them instruments to baptize men into the Name of God, the power of God be­ing present in their Ministery, for the accomplishing of this great work: and so, though it be the work of God alone, to baptize with the Spirit, yet when it pleaseth God to pour out his spirit in such a way, and by such means, for the effecting so great a work; and to give out such treasure in earthen ves­sels, that the power, glory, and praise may be of God alone, what is man that he should oppose it, or deny it? Oh man, re­member thou art in the hand of thy Maker, as the clay is in the hand of the potter: and God hath made his Ministers a sa­vour of life unto some, and a savor of death unto others, and who is sufficient for these things? None but those whose suf­ficiency is of God alone.

3 The same power that enables men to turn men from dark­ness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, the same power doth enable men to baptize with the spirit; and we do read, Act. 26. 18. that God sent Paul to turn men from dark­ness to light, &c. and why then not to baptize with the Spi­rit? for it is alike unpossible for men to do the one, as the o­ther, by their own power; and if you will deny the one, then you may as well deny the other, and so turn the truth into a lie: but let God be true, and every man a lyar, who is opposer of truth.

4 Paul declares that he had in Jesus Christ begotten the [Page 65] Corinthians through the Gospel; Paul was here an instrument in the power of Jesus Christ, to beget sons and daughters unto God, and so he was their Father in Christ, in the Spirit and in the Gospel; the Ministery of the Spirit, (1 Cor. 4. 15.) and why then not to baptize men into the name of God, which consists in all good, as well as to beget them unto God? what difference can you make here here? Seeing the substance is all one.

5 We have another proof of the mighty effect of the A­postles Ministery, 2 Cor. 3. 2, 3, Ye are our Epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Ye are manifestly declared the Epistle of Christ, ministred by us; written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in the flesh­ly tables of the heart.

Observe here, first the Corinthians were an Epistle written by the Apostles. Secondly, they were manifestly declared to be the Epistle of Christ. Thirdly, Ministred by the Apostles. Fourthly, written by the Spirit of the living God, in the hearts of the people. Here it is cleer, that God made men instru­ments through the power and operation of the eternal Spirit, for the writing of the Law of the spirit of life upon their hearts, and so herein is the great Gospel-promise fulfilled, in this Ministery of writing the Laws of God in his peoples hearts, and putting his Spirit in them, and causing them to walk in his ways, all this is fulfilled by instruments in the hand of divine power, and this agreeth with spirit-baptism exactly.

5 But that things may be cleared in plain words, consider Eph. 5. 26. here is washing mentioned, and it is by the word, and this hath exact relation to the Commission, Matt. 28. the Apostles had Commission to preach to the world, and in their Ministery to baptize the Nations into the name of God.

And here is declared that Christ useth the word in this great work of sanctifying, clensing, and purifying the Church; that he might sanctifie and clense it, with the washing of wa­ter by the word.

Now the Apostles were to preach the word, and so in the Ministery of the word preached by the Apostles, this great work of washing and clensing souls through the power of the eternal spirit was accomplished.

[Page 66] And so it is cleer to those that have eyes to see, that the true Ministers of Jesus Christ, who are indued with power from on hi [...]h, they are made instruments in the hand of all power in heaven and earth, for the effecting the great work of spirit-bap­tism, wherein creatures are made partakers of the name and nature of God, and so they are washed, clensed, sanctified, and made pure and holy, yea an habitation for the Lord of glory; and so they are clensed with the washing of water by the Mi­nistery of the word, which is the Ministery of the spirit, that giveth life, and all good.

Obj. 18. This baptism spoke of in the Commission, cannot be meant of spirit-baptism; because the spirit is not given in a pre­cept, but in a promise; and the Commission is a precept, Go teach, &c.

Answ. 1. How is it possible men can be so ignorant, that they cannot believe there is a promise in all power in heaven and earth? and so blinde, that they cannot see it? (or will not) for if men could but see, they might behold a promise in the Commission, for he that gave them the Commission, pro­mised them to be with them always, even unto the end.

And if he unto whom all power was given, would be with them unto the end, then sure a promise would be with them; yea and more then a promise: for all promises were with them, and all power with them; seeing he would be with them, in whom all promises are Yea and Amen, to the glory of God the Father.

2 The Ministery they were to go forth in, was the whole mystery of God op [...]ned to the sons of men, in the depth, and heighth, and length, and breadth of inf [...]nite and eternally rich grace, and free love unto the sons of men, wherein they should [...]e ma [...]e partakers of eternal life and salvation in God. And oh! What blindness is here, that cannot see a promise in the whole mystery of eternal love and salvation in God freely given and revealed unto men, which is that dispensation wherein God doth bring his people out of the ways of the wo [...]ld, into the possession and enjoyment of himself in light and love.

3 Christ who gave the Apostles a Commission to go and [Page 67] teach all Nations, he also commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, till they had received the promise of the Father, but to wait there till they were endued with power from on high, Act. 1. 4, 5, 8. And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you, but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be indued with power from on high, Luke 24. 49. (if this be not a promise, I know none.)

Now here you may read the truth that you do oppose, and behold your own ignorance, and sit down in silence, and cover your lips for shame.

Obj. 19. If no water-baptism, then no Ministery, nor no right calling to preach: and we may as well deny one, as the other, &c.

Answ. 1. Here I say as you do, though in another sence; if we are not baptized with the spirit, then we are no true Ministers of the spirit: and then we have no ground to preach. So our ground to preach doth arise from our being baptized, though not with material water.

For I do affirm from Scripture and Reason, that a man may be baptized in water, and yet be as far from having any ground to preach, that he may be an enemy to the true Ministery of God in spirit and power from on high.

For no man can deny, but a wicked man may be thrown in­to water, and so baptized in water. And we have example, that Simon Magus was baptized with water, and yet no right to preach.

2. Though the Apostles had received a Commission from Christ to go and teach all Nations, yet they were not to pra­ctise it, till they were indued with power from on high.

And now let me ask any of you, or all of you, who pretend a Calling to preach, either from going into water, or from mens laying hands upon you, yea from any external ordination which is from man whatsoever;

How you do dare to go and call your selves Ministers of Christ and of the Gospel, &c. from a bare outward calling, and yet are without either a Commission from Christ, or power from on high either? (the Apostles were not to go till they had both.)

But you do go to teach without a Commission, or power [Page 68] from on high; and what is this, but to run before you are sent?

But here I would not be mistaken, as if I were against all that do teach: no, I am really for all that do go forth in the strength of God, in whose hearts and mindes God hath writ­ten his divine Laws, and hath given them life and power from on high, who are able Ministers of the Spirit, and discerners of spirits in the light and wisdom of the eternal Spirit; and do hear the voice of God in their own souls, and do speak from the teachings of God in themselves.

So I hope you do see that those whom God doth teach, they have a right to teach others, though not hereunto ordained by earthly water, nor any tradition of men, taken up from a car­nal understanding of the Scriptures.

But if men do not see this truth, it is because of their ig­norance and blindness, and want of experience in the mystery of truth.

Obj. 20. But here you will say, The Apostles were to go forth in an extraordinary work, to teach all the world, to speak with new tongues, work miracles, &c. but now ordinary gifts will serve for to teach our own Nations, &c.

Answ. 1. I grant they were to be indued with tongues, &c. but yet the substance of all did consist in the internal work that was wrought in them, for though they could not speak to all Nations, except they did speak in their languages; yet this was not the substance viz. their speaking several languages; but there was a divine power went forth in their Ministery; and had it not been for power from on high, their word would have been no more effectual upon the people, then the preach­ing of Christ and his Aposties was before among the Jews, before the spirit was given.

2 There is as much need of power from on high now, in those that declare the mystery of God in the world; for now all people generally are fixed upon the forms and traditi­ons of the former ages, set up by antichrist, from a carnal understanding of the mystery of God.

And the man of sin, and mystery of iniquity have so blinded the hearts, mindes, and understandings of all Nations, that [Page 69] they cannot behold the glorious light of the Gospel, but they are in Egyptian darkness, the darkness and smoke of the bot­tomless pit, and the false lights of antichrist have so blinded and dazled the eys of all the world, that they cannot behold the glorious light of God. If you would see Scripture for this purpose, to declare this to be truth, See 2 Thes. 2. and Reve­lations of John, with Matth. 24, &c.

And now a Ministery that must destroy such a mystery of ini­quity, and such a man of sin, that have deceived all Nations for this twelve hundred yeers or more, had need be a power­ful Ministery; (I know not what you mean by your ordinary gifts, but) I know it is an extraordinary work must do this.

For I think that is extraordinary that hath force enough in it to destroy, throw down, and quite destroy, all the building that man hath been setting up this many generations; yea his very gods and all.

But that there shall be such a final destruction come upon the man of sin, and mystery of iniquity, it is cleer by the word, 2 Thes. 2. 8. here is so cleer a testimony of the destruction of the man of sin, and mystery of iniquity, spoken of, ver. 3, 4, 6, 7. that it is undenyable.

And now what think you? Is not the spirit of Gods mouth power from on high? and is not the brightness of his coming the light of God? then where are your ordinary gifts to de­stroy antichrist? but I advise you, that you be sure your buil­ding be of God, and not of self, for if it be below the power of God in spirit, and below the brightness of God, then when God comes forth in spirit and brightness, he will assuredly de­stroy it, root and branch, head and tayl.

And now I can conclude no otherwise but thus, that the Ministery that God will send forth from the spirit of his mouth, and that shall appear in the bright and cleer light of God in his coming, (for the destruction of the man of sin, and mystery of iniquity) it shall consist in power from on high, and in the true light of life. And let all that dwell upon earthly principles look to it, when God puts the spirit of life into his witnesses, they shall finde these are no ordinary wit­nesses, nor gifts in them, but extraordinary.


[Page 70]Obj. 21. But if water-baptism must down, then what shall we do for ordinances? and we may as well throw away all ordinances as some: and then, this is the way to bring in ranting principles amongst us, and carnal liberty, &c.

Answ. 1. Because we do not own nor set up that Ordinance that we have no ground for, must we therefore throw away all Ordinances? Doth this follow think you? because a man doth not own that which he hath no right to, doth this argue that therefore he will throw away all that is his own, or any of that he hath right to?

But do you know what an Ordinance of God is, that you do cry out so much for Ordinances? if you do not, then give me leave to declare some unto you, and these are standing Or­dinances indeed, and those wherein God is glorified among his people, in the true and spiritual performance of them.

First then, let us take up that Ordinance of Christ, Matth. 5. 16. compared with Phil. 2. 15. Let your light so shine before men, that they seeing your good works, may glorifie your Father which is in heaven. I advise those to take up this Ordinance, or to walk in it, that have the true light of Christ in them: let us so walk in the light of God revealed in us, that all may see, that our light is of God; and this you see is a Gospel-Ordi­nance.

2 Observe another Ordinance, which is also a command of Christ, Joh. 13. 34, 35. ver. 35. by this shall all men know that ye are my Disciples, if ye have love one to another.

I also advise all to obey this Ordinance of Christ, that have the precious love of Christ shed abroad in their hearts by the spirit of love, from the Father and the Son.

Oh let not us who are all in one eternal love, brought out of eternal bondage, sin, and darkness, into eternal liberty, light, and love; let not us confine our love to forms and opi­nions, as it is the ordinary practise of our times.

But let our love extend unto all, and from very love to do good unto all: we have an Ordinance for this large extent of love, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, &c. Do good unto all, but especially to the houshold of Faith: love the bro­therhood; but nowhere love for opinion, that is carnal love, [Page 71] for the true brotherhood lies not in any form, but from one­ness of spirit in love.

But many now adays look so much upon carnal Ordinances and outward observations, that their love is wholly upon that, and those that follow those forms, they are undone.

And they are so far from fulfilling this great Gospel-Ordi­nance toward all, that they manifest more hatred and envy to those that li [...]e in the same love of the Father, that they say they do live in (though they do not live under the same form as they do) then they do manifest to the greatest blasphemer or wicked person in the world, and all is from some difference about outside things: but they that are joyned to the Lord are one spirit, not joyned to one form.

Here is the cunning of the devil, to break in pieces the bonds of love and unity among those that profess the Lord Jesus.

But I could wish love were more practised among all that do own love, and that all would do as they would be done unto; but this I must tell you, There is no command more exhorted unto, and no command more slighted then this is.

I could wish we had not cause now to say to people, as Christ said to the Pharisees, that they do make void the com­mands of God by their traditions; yet this is the practise of many now to this very yeer 1653.

For they set up f [...]rms and traditions of men, and confine all to follow them, and to obey these Ordinances that are of men; and those that will not, or that cannot follow them, nor submit to them, they must be cryed out against for hereticks, and blasphemers, and so love that is the great command of God, that is made void, and the Ordinances of men, they are s [...]t up, and cryed up, let love and Christian fellowship go whi­ther it will.

3 We have another Ordinance set forth, Col. 3. 16. unto which we do well to take heed, Let the word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in the several parts of the great mystery of godliness.

Let us teach, exhort, instruct and comfort each other, as we are taught, instructed, and comforted in the Lord, that so we may be in­struments [Page 72] so strengthen one another against all conditions tbat we may fall into.

Let those who are indued with power from on high, conti­nue in the word and doctrine of truth and righteousness. Here is another Ordinance of God; God enable us to obey it in sincerity.

4 Let us walk wis [...]ly toward all, giving no offence to Jew nor Gentile, nor to the Church of God; that whereas others do speak evil of us as evil coers, they may be ashamed by the beholding our since­rity in Christ Jesus. But as for those who are offended at the truth, let them bear their own shame, for the cause of offence is not in the truth, but those that oppose it; (let not this Or­dinance be forgotten neither.)

5 Give no place to the devil, nor your own deceitful lusts, but abstain from all fleshly lusts that do war against the soul, and be ye holy in all manner of conversation, acting and shewing forth the purity of the hidden man of the heart, that you may appear to be the workmanship of God in spirit and power, and that ye have received the spirit of power, love, and of a sound minde: have also a special eye to this Ordinance too.

6 Deal honestly with all men, and speak truth every one to his neighbour, put away lying and all deceit, guile, and hy­pocrisie; let all your actions speak forth righteousness, and act in righteousness and uprightness toward all, hate flattery and bribes, with all things that are evil, do unto all men as you would have they should do unto you.

Here are Ordinances enough, if we could but see them, and had but a principle from God to walk in them: the Lord bring forth righteousness in our hearts, and then our actions will speak forth righteousness indeed.

7 Be not partial one to another, Jam. 2. Let not the rich slight the poor (nor let not their benevolence be tyed up un­der single forms) and remember this, that pure religion and un­defiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widdows, in their afflictions, and to keep himself unspotted from the world, Jam. 1. 27. here are Ordinances enough everywhere in the word of God, I could wish they were in our hearts too, [Page 73] for here are Ordinances enough for us to practise, if water were quite down.

Remember, Rom. 14. that the stong should not slight nor de­spise the weak, nor the weak should not contemn the strong, but let all keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, 2 Pet. 4. 2, 3, &c.

You may take them exhortations, Luk. 3. from John to the people, and also many more in the word of truth, onely I thought it good to put you in minde of a few, that so ye may see there are other Ordinances besides cold water, and such as there is a thousand times more ground to practise, then you have for water-baptism, and that will be more in force when the other doth appear to be no Ordinance at all.

But now to the latter part of your Objection, that this is the way to bring in ranting principles, if we deny water-bap­tism to be an Ordinance, &c.

First, must carnal liberty be brought into the Church of Christ, if that be not set up and practised there, which Christ never commanded? this is very strange.

2 Is this the way to bring in carnal liberty and ranting principles among believers, to exalt the work of all power in heaven and earth? I thought that creature-exaltation, self-seeking, and setting up idols, had been the way to bring in carnal liberty and ranting principles: when these things are imposed upon creatures, to make up an out-side society, then take heed of ranting.

3 God doth according to his promise write his righteous and holy, just and good laws, in his peoples hearts, and puts his fear in them, that so they may never depart from him, and hath said they shall not depart from him any more, and that he will be their God, and they shall be his people; that he will live in them and dwell among them, and they shall be all taught of him, and great shall be their peace, &c.

Now I hope this is not the way to bring in ranting prin­ciples, and carnal liberty among the people of God, who are thus taught of God, and do live in the law of the spirit of life that is in Christ, who is their life and their all.

The Law of God written in his peoples hearts doth no way [Page 74] bring in ranting principles into their mindes, but these; that is, unto the kingdom of the devil and antichrist, that do con­sist in sin and all unrighteousness, and in empty forms, traditi­ons and precepts of men, who proceed from fleshly and car­nal principles in the world, and carnal Church.

And I must tell you, that the Law of God written in his peoples hearts and mindes, this is the most rantingest prin­ciple to these, that can be upon the face of the earth; there­fore when God writes his Laws in his peoples hearts, and brings forth the new creation in them, and so makes them partakers of the divine nature, then let antichrist and all his carnal priviledges look for a final rooting out, and an eternal destruction.

For the life and power of godlimess wrought in the people of God by a divine principle, destroys all empty, carnal, and formal, and traditional outside Religion in them, that proceeds from antichrist, which proceeds from carnal principles of flesh and blood.

The Law of God in the new nature, destroys the Law of sin and flesh in the old nature, with the very corrupt nature it self. The life of God in his people, or rather God living in them, destroys the dead works of sin and flesh in them; the power of God from on high, being present in his people, destroys the power of sin in them; the wisdom of God in his people, destroys the wisdom of the flesh in them.

The work of God in his people in the new creation, brought forth in them, destroys the works of sin and anti­christ in their old nature, yea the whole body of sin it self.

Yea the work of God in the new man, is the onely ranting principle to antichrist, the whole mystery of iniquity and man of sin; for it makes it all flie in pieces before it; even all the gross darkness and corruption, and filthiness of the flesh, with all the false light in the flesh and spirit of man, with all empty forms and carnal observations, &c. all goeth down when God appears in his people, in the brightness of his coming in spirit and power from on high, in the hidden man of the heart.

[Page 75] And now where are your Ranting principles, and carnal li­berty you so much speak of, to fall upon those that obey not your carnal Ordinances? it falls altogether upon time-servers, outside-professors, self-seekers, &c. but not upon those that worship God in spirit and truth.

For the Grace of God that bringeth salvation to light in the souls of his people, teacheth them to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live godly, righteously, and soberly in this present world; and this proves Ranting principles to be nothing but the whole body of sin, which is contrary to the divine principle that God brings forth in his Temple; there­fore take heed of throwing dirt in the face of truth, and of slandering the Grace of God shed abroad in his peoples hearts, the onely principle of true holiness and righteousness.

Do you think nothing can keep us from Ranting principles, but a little cold water? why then have so many that have gone under water, fallen also under Ranting principles?

Obj. 23. Several baptisms were used in the primitive times, and water-baptism is nowhere forbid in Scripture; therefore we may use it still, &c.

Answ. 1. If the truth were not a mystery, then antichrist might understand it: but God is pleased to declare the truth in a mystery, that so those that receive it not in the love of it, may be blinded, and so given up to strong delusions to believe lies; as it is appointed for the antichristian world, man of sin, and mystery of iniquity, 2 Thes. 2. in which the anti­christian world is deceived and blinded, even to this day.

2 Paul teacheth one baptism unto the Church of the Ephe­sians, Eph. 4. 5. and doubtless Paul would not leave out ano­ther baptism (viz. water) if it had been any one bond of the true Churches unity, seeing he doth reckon up seven, which are a perfect number.

And that we may not be mistaken in the true understanding of this baptism Paul here speaks of, he satisfies us what bap­tism it is, 1 Cor. 12. 13. for by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles; whether bond or free: and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. So here Paul bears witness to the one, and onely baptism of the [Page 76] New-Testament, which witness is enough to satisfie those who are satisfied with the truth it self.

But you will say, that baptism spoke of, Ephes. 4. 5. is one baptism of a sort; and that this is the meaning of the place, &c.

First, this is more then the word declares, and so we have no ground to build, where there is no foundation.

2 If you make an addition unto this part of the words, [namely one baptism] and put in this word here [one of a sort] then we must put this word unto the sense of all the rest of the bonds of the true Churches unity, mentioned in this place. And then we must read it thus: One body of a sort; one spirit of a sort, one hope of a sort, one Lord of a sort, one faith of a sort, one baptism of a sort, and one God of a sort.

And now let all that have eyes to see, behold the gross blindness, and more then Egyptian darkness of this unrea­sonable interpretation of the word written. I believe none that owns the truth can own this blinde Exposition, except it be thus, To turn the shame of fools upon their own heads, answering them according to their folly.

And so this one of a sort will amount to thus much, that there is one body of Christ, and another of antichrist, and so one body of a sort. There is one true eternal Spirit of the Lord, and all that are joyned to the Lord, are one spirit in the Lord; and this is the true sort of unity of spirit, or in the spirit.

Again, there are many spirits of antichrist, and all that are led by them, are spirits of another sort.

There is also one hope whereunto believers are called, and this is hope of the glory of God, not of, or in creatures or things.

There are also hopes of other sorts, and these are that mens opinions and ways shall stand, &c.

There is also one Lord unto the true Church of Christ, un­to whom they desire wholly to give up themselves to be ruled and led by, though other Lords have had dominion over them before.

[Page 77] There are also Lords many, and these are of another sort, and they rule over the world and carnal Church, that is made up of forms and shews of godliness in will-worship, in forms of godliness, without the power, &c. and of these there are many Lords and Rulers over the poor creatures, though they see it not.

There is also one faith to the true Church, wherein they believe all things that are written in the Law and the Prophets with Paul, Act. 24. 14. but they cannot believe any more but the testimony of God, notwithstanding they are accused of heresie and blasphemy as Paul was; but there are Faiths of other sorts, for there is one faith of the devils, Jam. 2. ano­ther Faith of the ignorant world, and another Faith of the carnal and and antichristian Church, though a blinde Faith. For they dare not believe the Scripture but as it agreeth with the judgements of men, and so they have a mixed Faith, built up upon the traditions of their Faiths, and these Fathers are of antichrist with a witness, and of another sort.

There is also one baptism, into which the true Church of Christ are all baptized into one body, 1 Cor. 12. 13. and this is that sort of baptism wherein all the true Church is made partakers of the name and nature of God, and this is the onely true spiritual baptism of the New-Testament.

And there are other baptisms, and they are in the flesh, and upon the outward man, and taken up upon false Con­sequences, and false and carnal understanding the Scriptures, and these are outward washings, as were before the substance came, as was water-baptism; and one sort hath no example nor precept in the world, and the other maintained from a carnal understanding of the word.

And so there is one baptism of a sort, Spirit-baptism in Christs kingdom, the true spiritual Church: and water-bap­tisms in the world and carnal Church. But here I would not be mistaken, for I hope many that are under water-bap­tism are of the true Church of Christ: but not from their being baptized with water, but as they are baptized with the spirit.

Seventhly and lastly, There is one God, but as you ex­pound [Page 78] the words, it is one God of a sort, and so we will keep to your interpretation [one of a sort] but this will quickly be answered,

First, That there are Gods many, &c. is cleer, 1 Cor. 8. 5.

Again, That several creatures do set up several Gods, this is generally declared in the word.

Thirdly, That there is but one God to true Christians, is as cleer, 1 Cor. 8. 6. but unto us there is but one God, and so you may see the extent of your Exposition of this place to maintain your own opinion, it declares your ignorance, and will-worship.

Thirdly, But to proceed farther in answer to your Obje­ction, there is a cleer proof in the Word, that water-baptism should be left; and I believe you have read it in the letter many a time, though you never understood it. The place is, Heb. 6. 2. a place you bring to prove your point, though it be cleer against you, as all may see that are not blinde.

For observe, the Apostle here takes off the Jews from those Principles or Doctrines of the beginning of Christ, which we have a testimony of, Mark 1. at the beginning of the chapter, Leaving therefore the beginning of Christ, let us go on unto perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of Faith towards God, of the Doctrine of bap­tisms (or baptizings) and of laying on of hands, and of resur­rection from the dead, and eternal Judgement.

These Doctrines are to be left, by the cleer testimony of the word, verse first, Leaving therefore the word or Doctrine of the beginning of Christ, &c. the substance of this place lieth in this word leaving, and also in observing what should be left; the Doctrines to be left, are these six before mentioned, ver. 2.

First then, we must observe, that this place cannot be un­derstood as men have expounded it, for they say these Do­ctrines must be taken up of all Believers, and so they must go on to perfection, and leave them behinde, or not continue in them, &c.

But this Exposition is exactly against other Scriptures; and therefore this cannot be the meaning of the Apostle in [Page 79] this place, as we shall see further in going over the particu­lars, as they lye in themselves apart from mans Opinions, for truth is to be tryed by it self, and not by traditions of men: let us therefore consider of the things spoken of here, and al­so of other testimonies of the Word.

And first of the Doctrine of Repentance from dead works, which was the Doctrine of John the Baptist, Matth. 3. Luke 3. Marke 1. he preacht the baptism of Repentance, he baptized with water, an outward and legal washing that did signifie another manner of washing and Repentance to follow, for his was but water, and could not change the heart and minde (but an outward washing, and outward refor­mation) he onely declares another to come, which was the substance, Marke 1. 7, 8, &c. and that was Christ in spirit, in whom Repentance and remission of sins should be given, as we have a testimony, Act. 5. 31. him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give Repen­tance unto Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Here is the true Repentance we are to look upon, that is, perfection it self, even Jesus Christ exalted: but we are (or they were not then, and so not we) to look any longer upon an outward washing and repentance from John, who was but a forerunner, not the substance, but to look unto him in whom repentance and all good is to be had.

But that Doctrine of Repentance taught by John, was not to be laid for a foundation again, after the substance was come; much less to be builded upon.

2 But now to the second thing, and that is Faith toward God, and this is to be left also; but now what strange Do­ctrine should we have from the Apostle here, if this were meant of the life of Faith, that Believers do live here in the world in? he must then here overthrow his other Doctrine concerning himself, and other believers; and that of the Pro­phet, Hab. 2. 4. Rom. 1. 17. Gal. 2. 20. & ch. 3. 11. Heb. 10. 38.

This Exposition overthrows all these, with many more: for how can it be that we can leave Faith, and yet live in it, by it? &c.

[Page 80] But that Faith that was to be left, was this, that the people should no longer wait for the fulfilling those promises of God concerning the sending Christ to fulfil the work of salva­tion for his people, which Promises are frequent in Scri­pture.

And the Apostle well knew, the Priests and great ones had blinded the people with looking for Christ to come still, and that that was not the Christ, but a deceiver; and there­fore it is said that Christ shewed himself alive after his Resur­rection, by many infallible proofs, Act. 1. and here the Apo­stle takes them off from such waitings and expectations of Christ to come.

We have also a cleer proof of this Faith, Luke 24. 21. but we trusted it had been he that should have redeemed Israel, here is a proof of the peoples waiting upon God and trusting, which is believing; and this is Faith in God or toward God in his Promises, which should be fulfilled; and when it was fulfilled, then they were no longer to wait for it to be done; but to go on unto perfection, and so look upon this work perfectly done and finished.

3 The Doctrine of several baptisms were to be laid aside, or left, as there were several baptisms and washings used in those times.

And they were now onely to look after the true and spiri­tual washing and baptism of the Spirit, as he declareth to them, chap. 10. 12, having their hearts sprinkled from an evil Conscience, and their bodies washed with pure water, this was the onely washing the Apostle desired should be aimed at amongst them, now the substance was come, and all other washings and baptisms that were legal and carnal, should all be left; as ch. 9, 10, &c. there was no foundation nor footing for any such baptism to be laid again; therefore it was to be left all.

4 The next thing that was to be left, was laying on of hands, for when the gifts that followed it were ceased and at an end, to what purpose should it be used? therefore they are much out now adays, that think to ordain men by laying their hands upon them, seeing they leave them as they were [Page 81] before, for the gifts of the Spirit do not follow: now there­fore it is but like a dead form, where there is no life nor power, as in other forms.

5 We come now to the fifth thing that was to be left, which was, of Resurrection from the dead, but this cannot be meant the Resurrection of the body, which shall be at the end of all time, when the Son shall give up the kingdom to the Father, and God shall be all in all, &c. for that shall be the highest perfection that ever creatures shall enjoy, there­fore the expectation of this Resurrection, and the Doctrine thereof shall not be left behinde, for we cannot leave the highest perfection behinde, and so wait for a higher, the word written is cleer for this, that this Resurrection is to be ear­nestly expected and waited for of all that have good hope hereof, through the grace of God revealed in them, as in Act. 24. 15, 16 Phil. 3. 11, 12, 20. 1 Cor. 15. 1 Thes. 4. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Matth. 22. 30, 31, 32. with many more.

Now the Apostle bids us here leave these Doctrines and go on to perfection: but we are always to wait for the per­fection we shall have in the Resurrection, for we cannot be past the Resurrection and perfection, before we come to it.

Therefore this is not the Resurrection we are to leave wait­ing for, and go on unto perfection; because perfection is here, and we are not come to it, nor have not yet attained unto it, therefore not gone past it: nor have we yet been in it, nor ta­ken it up, nor left it behinde us.

But now let us consider what Resurrection the Apostle doth here exhort the Hebrews to leave the expectation of, and the waiting for the fulfilling. It is the Resurrection of Christ from the dead; this was the Resurrection that was then past, and therefore the people had no ground to look for it to come, and therefore they were to leave that Doctrine which did hold forth the Resurrection of Christ to come, and they, as well as we now, were exhorted to look upon the work of Christ perfectly done, and Christ risen and become the first fruits unto God, &c. for there was no perfection of the work till Christ was risen, and if Christ had never risen, the work had never been perfected, but we had still been in our sin, [Page 82] 1 Cor. 15. 14. 17, Rom, 4. 25. Act. 2. 31. Col. 1. 14, 15, 18, &c. Now if we should wait for this Resurrection any longer, we are antichrists with a witness, and take Christ for a decei­ver as the old Jews did.

6 Lastly, We come now to speak of eternal judgement that was to be left; and here also we must take heed we do not mistake, as in the rest of these Doctrines.

Now as Christ had undertaken to encounter with eternal judgement, and had tryed the utmost what the judgement of God could inflict upon him, and had born all, and satisfied God, and so conquered several judgements due to sin, and subdued sin, death and hell, and all enemies that were against us, and was risen in token of a full victory over all;

Now the people were no longer to wait and look for this great work to be done by Christ in time to come; but look upon Christ risen and glorifyed, and having finished this great work of eternal judgement, and so to leave that Doctrine which declared it to come: and look upon it perfectly done, waiting for the effect of it, even the destruction of sin in them.

But in this sense we are to wait for eternal judgement still, which is the effect of Christs conquering eternal judgement, and this is the final destruction of the body of sin, rooting out and destroying all sin and evil in the elect of God, for whstm he hath destroyed and overcome judgement, sin, death, and hell, and all enemies.

And now though we are in Christ more then conquerers, yet we see not all enemies destroyed in our own selves yet, but we are still in expectation of the destruction of sin and death, which is the last enemy that shall be destroyed; and so though eternal judgement shall pass upon all corruption in us, and it shall be all eternally destroyed: yet we are still in expectation hereof at present, and therefore not past it.

So here we see, in what respect we are to leave the Doctrine of eternal judgement: and in what respect we are to look for the fulfilling of it.

For the Apostle would never exhort the people to leave that they were never come unto yet, and also that which he doth cleerly exhort unto in other places, this were the way for the [Page 83] Apostle to be like those whose words were yea to day, and nay to morrow, contrary to his own words and practise, Rom. 1. 17, 18, 19. So this is the beginning of the Doctrine of Christ that was to be left, and this was the Doctrine and whole Ministery of John the baptist, as he was a fore-runner of Christ, as Marke 1. the Ministery of John is called the begin­ning of the Gospel of Christ.

1 The Repentance from dead works, that John taught and imposed upon the people in an outward washing, and out­ward Reformation, and outward Confession, &c. this was no longer to be rested in, for now Christ was exalted and made Lord of all, and a Prince to give Repentance indeed, and true and real Remission of sins, in spirit, life, and power, which shall never be repented of; but men might repent of a fained Repentance, as might be taken up from any outward form, or outward reformation which was in flesh, not in spirit, which is but a shew of Repentance.

2 Now that Faith that John taught, should now be laid aside, which was, that the people should according to the promises of God, expect Christ to come after him, and should fulfil all that was testified of him concerning mans salvation; and that he should suffer for sin, take away the sins of the world, &c. so that now they should no longer look after a Christ to come, and so live under types and shadows still: but now they should look upon all the promises fulfilled, and all finished, Christ having suffered and risen, and is glorified, and now they were to be­lieve all fulfilled that was promised of Christ, as Peter decla­reth, Act. 3. 18. and not to look for it to come, as before they did, though the chief of the Jews would have blinded all the people if they could, to wait still for Christ to come, and believe no otherwise.

3 Johns testimony was, that he baptized with water, but there came one after him that was before him, and was migh­tyer then he, and that he should baptize with the Holy Spirit, and with fire; yet at that present the people were to be sub­ject to his baptism, which was water, because the other baptism was not come: and he did figure out the baptism of Christ in his baptism. But when the true baptism of all baptisms was [Page 84] come, then they were to leave all the former that were out­ward; and trust wholly to that which was inward, and the true substance of what was figured out before. And here you see there is Scripture for leaving out some baptisms.

And there is also Scripture for the continuance of one bap­tism, Eph. 4. 5. there is one Baptism, and 1 Cor. 12. 13. this bap­tism is declared by Paul himself; and therefore Spirit-baptism is still in force, though other baptisms were to be left.

And so of the other three mentioned here, Heb. 6. and now where is your practising these Doctrines, and yet leaving of them? seeing some of them are not to be left behinde, while we live upon the earth, or are in the body, or live in this world; and now let all that see truth in its own light, behold your blinde and traditional interpretation of the word writ­ten, wherein are some things hard to be understood, which those that are ignorant and unlearned in the mystery of God, do wrest, &c. but observe, here it cannot be those who are unlearned in the wisdom of the world, for the greatest learned and wisest in the wisdom of this world onely, are the greatest fools in the things of God. But to answer an Objection from ch. 5. 12, 13, 14. Paul was no babe, &c. yet he did not leave the Doctrine of the Resurrection, nor of Faith, &c. Phil. 3. 10, 11, 12. Gal. 2. 20. Heb. 10, 38. Rom. 1. 5, 17. & ch. 16. 26. &c. therefore this is not that kinde of Faith, Resurrection, &c. that is here spoke of.

Obj. 24. Christ himself was baptized with water, therefore it is to be practised by us, seeing he hath left us an Example, and we are bid to follow Christ, &c.

A. 1. Are all things that Christ did Examples for us to fol­low him in? then we have example from Christ to be Circum­cised as well as baptized.

2. Christ said to John that he should suffer it to be so now, that so he might fulfil all righteousness: but not one word of Christ by way of Precept, that it should be an example unto future generations to follow it from his example of taking it up. But seeing Christ did not speak one word of the standing of it in his Church to future generations, we have no ground to follow it now.

[Page 85] So these be all the Objections that I do at present know or remember: but if there are never so many more, I know the truth is able to answer them all, though I could answer never a one.

And I know nothing can satisfie the Spirit but God; and when God is pleased to appear in mens souls and spirits, in his bright coming in Gospel-light, life, wisdom, and power from on high; then men shall be satisfied with truth alone, and not before.

And here I do conclude this Discourse, humbly desiring all men, that they would not despise the things they know not: but try the testimony of all men by the truth alone, and not try the truth by mens opinions, for all are to be tryed by truth, and not it to be tryed by them.

For at the best, man is but a servant to the truth (and it were well if they were so much) but no man is Lord over truth.

And here I have declared unto all men what I have received from the Lord, in witness to the truth.

And here I do profess in the presence of God, Angels, and men, that if I could see any just ground from the cleer testi­mony of the truth, that water-baptism were to be practised in Christs kingdom by Command or Commission from Christ, and that it were the baptism of the New-Testament, I would not be one day older before I would take it up, I am so zea­lous for all the Commands of Christ, through his presence dwel­ling in me in spirit and life.

But seeing I see so cleer ground against it in all the Scripture, and no cleer ground for it, therefore I have no ground to sub­mit to it, no, though all men were for it.

And thus I leave what I have here declared, to be tryed by the truth alone, knowing this, that whatsoever is of God, shall stand in the day of tryal, and whatsoever is of man, shall be burnt up, for God will bring a consumption upon all flesh, and the Lord alone will be exalted in his people in his day of ap­pearing in them, in his coming in them, in light and life; and then all men shall cease from man who is vanity, and his works of nought.


These books are to be sold by Richard Moone at the seven stars in Pauls Church­yard.

A Pathway unto Englands perfect settlement, and its centre and foundation of Rest and Peace discovered, by Capt. Robert Norwood.

2. An Additional Discourse, relating to the Treatise aforesaid. By Capt. Robert Norwood. Many things therein are fully opened, several Doubts and Objections answered; a brief account given of the Ancient Laws, Cu­stomes, and Constitutions of this Nation before and since the Conquest, so called.

3. The Life of that incomparable man, Faustus Socinus Senensis, descri­bed by a Polonian Knight. Whereunto is added, An excellent Discourse▪ which the same Author would have had premised to the Works of Socinus Together with a Catalogue of those Works.

4. Brevis Disquisitio: or, a brief Enquiry touching a better way then is commonly made use of, to refute Papists, and reduce Protestants to cer­tainty and unity in Religion.

5. The Apostolical and true opinion concerning the Holy Trinity, re­vived and asserted; partly by 12 Arguments levied against the Traditi­onal and false opinion about the Godhead of the Holy Spirit; partly, by a Confession of faith touching the three Persons, &c. By John Biddle Mr. of Arts.

6 A short Treatise touching the death of Christ; also, the point of bap­tism is handled, with the qualifications & demerits sufficient to the recei­ving in and casting out Church-Members. By J. Dell.

7. The Army Vindicated in their late dissolution of the Parliament. By John Spittlehouse.

8. A Warning-piece discharged: or, certain intelligence communicated to his Excellency the Lord Generall Cromwell. By John Spittlehouse.

9. The first Addresses to his Excellency the Lord General, with the new Representative elected by him and his Councel, &c. By John Spittle­house.

10. The new Earth, or, the Magna Charta of the past Ages, and of the Ages or World to come; called, The Jews Commonweal. By Joh. Brayne.

11. The unknown being of the Soul and Spirit, &c. By John Brayne.

12. The Way of disputing practised by Christ and his Apostles in deci­ding the Controversies of that Age, and the Rule for the determining of out own: or, the right use of spiritual weapons, &c. By John Brayne.

[Page] 13. Baptism without Bason: or, plain Scripture-Proof against Infant Baptism, in Answer to Mr. Baxters Arguments, and the Exercitations of Mr. Sidenham. By William Kaye, Minister of the Gospel at Stokesley.

A Cryer in the Wilderness of England, declaring the Baptism of the E­ternal Spirit to be the onely Baptism in Christs Kingdom, &c. By Ed­ward Punch.

15 Dissertatio de Pace, &c. or, A Discourse touching the Peace and Con­cord of the Church.

This he hath now in the Press.

Judah's Witness sounding the Trumpet, &c.

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