THE Original and present STATE OF MAN, BRIEFLY CONSIDERED: WHEREIN IS SHEWN, The Nature of his FALL, and the Necessity, Means and Manner of his RESTORATION, through the Sacrifice of CHRIST, and the sensible Operation of that DIVINE PRINCIPLE of GRACE and TRUTH, held forth to the World, BY THE PEOPLE CALLED QUAKERS. TO WHICH ARE ADDED, Some REMARKS on the ARGUMENTS of SAMUEL NEWTON, of NORWICH.


We both labour, and suffer Reproach, because we trust in the living GOD, who is the Saviour of all Men, 'specially of those that believe.

1 Timothy iv. 10.





MY chief Inducement to publish a few Obser­vations upon S. Newton's* Letter in the Year 1767, was the Defence of that divine Prin­ciple vouchsafed by a gracious Creator, through a beneficent Redeemer to all Mankind, in order to their Instruction, Help and Salvation. Its Operation and Extent appeared to me to be misunderstood, and mistakenly represented in that Discourse; and sinding it equally so in a late Reply of the same Author, I think myself in some Degree obliged to appear a second Time, still further to shew, according to my Understanding, the Necessity, Universality and real Sensibility of the Work of God's Holy Spirit upon the immortal Soul of Man, as the vital Source, and Support of true Religion in him; and therefore the pri­mary Guide of his Life and Conduct.

My Intention is not mere Controversy, but Explanation and Doctrine. I have therefore taken the Liberty to use divers Expressions from the Apocrypha, and other writings, where their Pertinence and Clearness entitled them to a Place.

[Page] I take little Notice of the numerous declamatory Parts of my Opposer's Performance. It concerns not the ingenuous Reader, who can be most keen or most petulent, but on which Side of the Question the Truth lies, and by which Doctrine his Mind is most likely to be best and most profitably informed. This he may better judge for himself, than others for him; for be they ever so ingenious, or other­wise learned, they cannot be competent Judges in Things they have not experienced, and which are not to be known but by Experience.

I have no Animosity towards my Antagonist; but his Work appears to me founded in Mistakes, both concerning the Sense of Scripture, and the Intention of our Writings. To proceed minutely to unravel and clear, what he has been at so much Pains to perplex and confuse, would be more tedious than difficult, and could by no Means com­pensate either for the Reader's Time or my own. My first Endeavour therefore shall be, to shew the Verity of our true leading Principles, from the original, and present State of Mankind, with the Assistance requisite thereunto, and after­wards to add some Remarks upon divers Parts of the Treatise before me.




1. Man was originally created in Purity, and in a State of due Order and Rectitude. 2. He was inspired with a Sense of his Duty; and 3 and 4, impowered to perform it. 5. Being tempted, he lapsed from his proper Guard, the preserving Power of God, into Sin. 6. He fell from the Image of the Hea­venly, into the Image of the Earthly. How unlawful Self rose in him. 7. That he really suffered Death in Spirit, in the Day of his Transgression. What the Life and Death of the Soul are.

1. IN the Beginning God created all Things good. Inherently and immutably good himself, every Production of his must neces­sarily be so, according to the several Kinds wherein he created them. As Man was wholly made by him, he must have been made wholly good; his Nature clear of all Impurity, and free from all Defect and Disorder. His Facul­ties [Page 2]were not imperfect, but limited to their proper Sphere, and every Part of his Compo­sition constituted in its due Rectitude; the Body placed in Subservience to his rational Spirit, or Soul, as to the more noble and excellent, and therefore the superior Part, made for Immortality, and in Subjection only to the Guidance of its Creator.

2. The human Faculties, or Powers of Capacity, must then be clear, unprejudiced, and fit to receive Impressions, yet void of any but those of immediate Sense. Man, merely as Man, could not originally bring any real Knowledge into the World with him. That must either be immediately communicated to him by his Maker, or afterwards acquired by himself, through Observation and Experience. The latter required Time to effect; and as it was requisite to his Situation, that he should be immediately endued with such an Under­standing of himself, and his Creator, as related to his present Duty, and affected his Felicity, he certainly was, by Divine Wisdom and Goodness, timely furnished with it.

3. Man must not only then be supplied with a due Degree of Light and Understanding, but he must also be impowered to act up to it, else his Knowledge would have been afforded him in vain. Yet, though he certainly was thus impowered, the Sequel manifested he was placed in a State of Probation, otherwise, he could never have been guilty of the least Failure; for his Maker being essentially and unchangeably good, must have fixed him in a State of immutable Virtue and Goodness, had be determined to fix him at all.

[Page 3] 4. As the omniscient Creator most certainly foresaw what a subtle Adversary Man would have to encounter, he as surely furnished him with Means sufficient to discover his Snares, and resist his Assaults. If Satan was suffered to use his Subtlety and Influence to deceive him, doubtless he was not only warned, but also endued with a Sufficiency of Divine Light and Influence to withstand his Attempts, as he kept duly upon his Watch.

Nothing but the Divine Nature can enable any intelligent Creature to resist Temptation, and act up to the Divine Will. If therefore any created Being is required to keep up there­unto, it must be assisted by Divine Power so to do. God created Man for a Purpose of his own Glory. To glorify God, and to partake of his Glory, Man must walk in Obedience to his Will. Man could neither infallibly know his Will, nor constantly perform it, merely by the Strength of his own Faculties; he must therefore, necessarily have been assisted by the Spirit of God, to enable him to perform his Will, and so to obey him as to glorify him, and enjoy a blessed Inheritance in him; other­wise, the End of Man's Creation could not be answered. Hence it is concluded, the first Man Adam was made a living Soul by the Inspi­ration of the second Adam Christ, who is a quickening Spirit; 1 Cor. xv. 45, 46. for ‘that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.’ That is, Adam was first created a natural Man, and then rendered a spiritual One by the quickening Power of the Spirit of Christ, which is the [Page 4]true Life, and proper Element for immortal Spirits to live and move in.

Thus the Parents of Mankind, in their origi­nal uncorrupted State, being fit Temples for the Holy Ghost to dwell in, were, as well as the Sanctified in Christ afterwards, Partakers of the Divine Nature, 2 Pet. i. 4. by the internal quick­ening of Divine Life. The Author of the Book of Wisdom observes,Wisd. vii. that Wisdom in all Ages, and certainly in the first and purest, entereth Holy Souls: Which Wisdom he describes to be the Breath of the Power of God, a pure Influence flowing from the Glory of the Almighty, the Brightness of the everlasting Light, the unspotted Mirrour of the Power of God, and the Image of his Goodness. This clearly denotes the Spirit of the eternal Son of God himself, and evidently concurs with those Parts of the New Testament which declare him to be,1 Cor. i. 24. the Power of God, Col. i. 15. and the Wisdom of God, John i. 49. the true Light, and Life of Men,2 Cor. iv. 4.the Brightness of the Father's Glory, and the Image of the invisible God.

It was undoubtedly in the Light of this pure Influence that Adam had such an intuitive Discerning of the Creation, as enabled him to give Names to them according to their several Natures.Gen. ii. 19. For we read, ‘The Lord God formed every Beast of the Field, and every Fowl of the Air, and brought them unto Adam, to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living Creature that was the Name thereof.’

Under this celestial Enduement, the scared Impression of the Divine Image conspicuously appeared in the first of Mankind.Gen. i. 27. ‘In the Image of God created he them.’

[Page 5] 5. Had Man kept in faithful Obedience to his Heavenly Guide, and rejected the Efforts of the Tempter, he might undoubtedly, in due Time, have been advanced to a Degree of Establishment beyond all Possibility of falling; but not continuing strictly upon his Watch, and, contrary to the Warning before given him, turning his Attention towards the Temptation, when alluringly presented, he slipped from his proper Guard; leaving hold of that Spirit wherein his Life and Strength lay, he fell from it, and all its Advantages, out of the Liberty of the Sons of God, into the Bondage of Corruption: A sure Introduction to Misery. For as Holiness and Happiness are inseparably united, so Sin and Misery are indivisibly con­nected.

To suppose, that the Almighty Author of all Good, originally subjected Man under a moral Necessity to transgress upon the Appear­ance of Temptation, is an Imagination too injurious to the Divine Character to be admit­ted. Our first Parents were unquestionably enabled by their Maker to abide in due Watch­fulness, which would have entitled them to Preservation; their Defection from which, was certainly not of him, but of themselves. Had their Lapse been thro' his Will, or intentional Disposition of Circumstances, so that it must inevitably follow, he could not consistently have sentenced them to Punishment for it; because in so doing, they performed his Will, which could not be a Sin against him.

A dangerous Fondness to become knowing in Things hurtful, and no Way necessary, seems to have an early Entrance into the human [Page 6]Mind.Gen. iii. 5. ‘In the Day ye eat, your Eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as Gods, know­ing Good and Evil.’ By the Suggestion of this flattering Falthood, Eve was deceived. Knowing nothing but Good, she might have remained happy; but experiencing Evil, she became otherwise. This Knowledge is as opposite to that of the Divine Wisdom, as Darkness is to Light. It is certain the Om­niscient knows both Good and Evil, but he knows the first by immutable Possession, and perfect Enjoyment, and the last he beholds with Abhorrence, in eternal Opposition to, and infinite Distance from the Purity of his Nature. With sinful Man the Case is reverse, Evil having immediate Possession of him, and Good being out of his Reach, without divine Mercy, he must be completely wretched. This is the necessary Consequence of that boasted Know­ledge of the World, which Men acquire by tasting the pernicious and poisonous Sweets of Temptation.

6. The Consequences of this primary Lapse were immediately affecting to the actual Trans­gressors, and remotely to all their Posterity. 1. They lost the bright Impression of the Divine Image, and the Felicity attending it. Forfeiting the immediate indwelling and pure Influence of GOD's Holy Spirit, they lost that Divine Similitude, wherein they had enjoyed internal Light, Life, Love, Goodness, Righteousness, Holiness, and Happiness. That omnipresent Spirit of Power, Truth and Virtue, which in their original State had been their Comforter, disunited from them through Transgression, now became their Accuser and [Page 7]Convictor. 2. Lapsing from under due and constant Subjection to the Mind and Spirit of his Creator, the Wid of Man separated from the Will of God, and became Self-will. Self­love in Man was originally and properly placed in Subservience to the Love of his Maker, who being in all Respects justly Supreme, had, whilst Man stood in cheerful Obedience, the Supremacy in his Affection; but by his undu­tiful Self-gratification, and letting in the Suggestion of the Tempter, his chief Love turned from his Maker to himself. Thus probably inordinate Self-love and Self-will originated in Man, and they always stand in a Will separate from the Will of God, and a Spirit contrary to his Holy Spirit. This mental Separation opened an easy Road of Access for the Evil Spirit to influence the human Mind towards exterior Objects, and rendered them the Subjects of Temptation. By giving way to carnal Inclinations, Man became carnally­minded, and "to be carnally-minded is Death." Rom. viii. 6.

7. When the Sovereign Legislator first added a positive Law to Adam, he pre-denounced immediate Death upon him, in Case of his Transgression.Gen. ii. 17. ‘In the Day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.’ This seems to imply a much deeper and more important Meaning than what relates to the Body; a Meaning more immediately affecting to the rational Soul; the Privation of a Life which before Transgression it happily enjoyed, and which, by Disobedience, it must certainly lose. What then is the proper Life of the Soul, and what is the Death of that which must for ever exist? Merely to be, cannot be [Page 8]the Life intended. It must be, to live in that Life which immutally exists only in the Divine Nature, and which is not to be enjoyed but by partaking of the Divine Nature,2 Pet. i. 4. John x.v. [...]. C [...]. iii. 4. John i. 4. the Spirit of him, who is the Life, and our Life; that Life the Evangelist declares to be the true Light of Men.

This Supernatural, Spiritual, Heavenly Power and Virtue of the great Illuminator, and Quickener, is the true Life of the immortal Spirit of Man; and the total Want, or Depri­vation thereof, is its Death. Turning from this to embrace Temptation, our first Parents did surely, in the Day of Transgression, deviate from, and die in Spirit to that Divine Life by which they had been quickened. For, it is the Spirit that quickeneth, John vi. 6.3 2 Cor. iii. 6. or giveth Life; and when Life departs, Death ensues of course. As the Body dies when deprived of its animal Life; so the Soul is left in a State of spiritual Death, when that which is its proper Life departs from it; saving this Difference, that the deceased Body remains wholly insensible; but the Soul, in the full State of its Death, still exists under the unavoidable Sense of its Guilt and Misery.Wisdom i. 12, 13. Thus, according to Wisdom, Man found Death in the Error of his Life.‘For God made not Death, neither hath he Pleasure in the Destruction of the Living.’ Ibid. ii. 24. —But ‘through Envy of the Devil came Death into the World.’



1. The Fall of Adam and Eve affected all their Progeny, not with Guilt, but with Infirmity. 2. How this accrues. 3. The State of Infants. 4. The common Ascendence of the sensitive Powers over the rational. 5. How the Crea­ture is said, Rom. viii. to be subjected to Vanity by its Creator. 6. When arrived to Years of Understanding, we add Sin to Infirmity.

1. IT appears from holy Writ, that previous to our own actual Offences, we are all naturally affected by the Transgression of our Primo-genitors. ‘By one Man,Rom. v. 12. Sin entered into the World, and Death by Sin, so Death passed upon all Men, for that all have sinned’ This is not to be understood of the Death of the Body only; for all come into the World in the Image of the earthly, or, void of the quickening and sensible Influence of Divine Life. But this Disadvantage, through the Supreme Goodness, is amply provided for, and there appears no Necessity to conclude, that we all come into the World justly obnoxious to Divine Vengeance, for an Offence committed by our Primo-genitors, before we came into the World. With what Propriety can an Infant in­capable of committing any Crime, be treated as an Offender? The Scripture positively assures us,Ezek. xviii. God's Ways are equal—that the Sould that sin­eth IT shall die, Rom. v. 15 to 20. and not the Son for the Fault of the Father—that whatever Adam's Posterity [Page 10]lost through him, that and more they gain in Christ; and undoubtedly, his Mercy and Good­ness, and the Extent of his Propitiation, are as applicable to Infants, who have not personally offended, as to Adults who have.

2. The immortal reasonable Soul of Man, in every Individual, appears to be the immediate Production of its Creator; for the Prophet Zechariah, speaking of the great Acts of God in Creation,Zech. xii. 1. asserts, that ‘he formeth the Spirit of Man within him.’ And in Eccles. xii. 7. we read upon the Death of the Body, ‘Then shall the Dust return to the Earth as it was, and the Spirit shall return unto God who gave it.’ The Soul therefore, receiving its Existence immediately from the Perfection of unchangeable Purity, can have no original Impurity or Intemperature in its Nature; but being immediately and intimately connected with a sensitive Body, and of itself, unable constantly to withstand the Eagerness of the animal Passions after Gratifications of a carnal Nature, is liable to be so influenced by them, as to partake with them in their sensual Indul­gencies. In this State the Descendants of Adam come into the World, unendued with that divine Life which Adam fell from. And who can say, this might not be admitted in Mercy to all the future Generations of Man­kind? Ist. That each succeding Individual might be prevented from incurring the Guilt of repeating the Sin of our prime Ancestors, and falling from the same Degree of Innocence, Purity and Divine Enjoyment. 2d. That, by feeling the Infirmity of our own Nature, and the Want of Divine Assistance, we might [Page 11]become the more sensible of our Danger, and necessary Dependence on our Creator, and thence be continually excited to seek after, and cleave to him, in Watchfulness, Circumspec­tion and Prayer, in order to obtain a State of Restoration. 3d. That having in Part attained such a State, our Prudence might be useful towards our Preservation and Growth therein; since we should certainly be more assidiously concerned, to secure to ourselves a good Con­dition, obtained through Pains and Difficulty, than one we might have been originally placed in without any Care or Trouble to ourselves.

3. Whatever were the Peculiarities attending the Fall of the first Man and Woman, or those consequent upon it, this is certain, that their Progeny do not come into the World in that same State of Brightness themselves were constituted in after their Creation. It cannot escape the Notice of those who have had the Care of Infants, that the earliest Exertions observable in them, evidently arise from the Powers of animal Desire, and animal Passion; how prone these are to increase in them, and to predominate as they grow up, and the Soli­citude it requires to keep Children out of Unruliness and Intemperature, as they advance to Youth's Estate; how much too potent their inordinate Propensities are for the Government of the rational Faculty; what Pains are neces­sary to regulate, and often but to paliate them, by a virtuous Education, and improving Con­verse; and the Impossibility they should ever be radically subdued and ruled, without the Application of a superior Principle.

[Page 12] 4. In the present State of our Nature, the sensitive Powers take the Lead of the rational in the first Stage of Life, as the Soul brings only a Capacity, without any real Knowledge, or Potency, into the World with it. It acquires its Knowledge by Degrees, enlarging also in Capacity to receive it gradually. Every one knows, it is not capable at five or ten Years of Age, to comprehend the same Ideas in the same Extent, as in riper and more advanced Years. It first becomes impressed with the Images of external Things, presented through the corpo­real Organs, and afterwards with those mental Ideas inculcated by its primary Instructors, whether true or salse. Hence the Bias of Education becomes strong, either to Right or Wrong, according as the Instructions received are agreeable to either, and the Passions being inlisted in their Service, occasionally exercise their Warmth in Favour of the prevalent Idea, or Impression, however wrong it may be; unless the Mind, through Divine Illumination, dis­cover its Error, and submit to its Rectification.

5. Previous to the Reception of Knowledge, the Soul is joined to the Body, by the Power of its Creator, who, in Consequence of the Fall,Rom. viii. 20, 21. saw fit it should be so. "For," saith the Apostle, ‘the Creature was made subject to Vanity, not willingly, but by Reason of him who hath subjected the same in Hope; because the Creature itself also shall be deli­vered from the Bondage of Corruption, into the glorious Liberty of the Children of God.’

The rational Soul is here intended by the Creature, and properly denominates the Man. [Page 13]Herein the true Distinction lies, betwixt the human Species and Creatures of inferior Kinds. This descends not with the Body, from Parents to Children; the Soul being an indivisible im­material Substance, cannot be generated. The Soul of the Child never was in the Parent, and therefore could never sin in him, nor derive Guilt from his Transgression. Neither can Guilt accrue to it, merely from its being joined to a Body descended from him, because that Junction is the Act of the Creator.

To account a Child guilty, or obnoxious to Punishment, merely for an Offence committed by its Parents, before it could have any Con­sciousness of Being, is inconsistent both with Justice and Mercy; therefore no Infant can be born with Guilt upon its Head.

6. Besides our natural Alienation from, and Ignorance of the internal Life of God, Eph. iv. 18. in our fallen State, it must be acknowledged, that all who have arrived to such a Degree of Maturity as to be capable of receiving a right Under­standing, and of distinguishing the inward Monitions of Truth in their Conscience, have also increased and strengthened the Bonds of Corruption upon themselves, in different De­grees, by a repeated, and too frequently an habitual Indulgence of the carnal Part, against the Sense of Duty received, and are more deeply entered into the dark Region of the Shadow of Death,Ibid ii. 1. through their own Trespasses and Sins. Thus ‘all have sinned,Rom. iii. 23. and come short of the Glory of God.’



1. The State of Man in the fallen Nature, and the Necessity of his Renovation. 2. His Ina­bility to accomplish it for himself, and the Necessity of Divine Assistance thereunto. 3. What moral Evil is—that it both may, and must be removed from Man in order to his Felicity. 4. Without this, Man is not fully acquitted by the one Offering of our Saviour at Jerusalem. 5. The Spirit of God is absolutely necessary to effect this great Work. 6. What perfect Redemption from Sin consists in—The Term World, John iii. 16. is not to be consined to the Elect—Christ tasted Death for all Men without Exception.

1. WHATEVER we may have derived from our Parents, we certainly accumulate to ourselves additional Corruption. ‘All Flesh hath corrupted his Way upon the Earth.Gen. vi. 12 Every adult Person, in his common natural State, must, upon serious Introversion, find in himself a Proneness to the Gratifica­tion of Self, and the sensual Part, an eager Inclination at Times to forbidden Pleasure, an Aversion to Piety and Holy Walking, a Con­sciousness of Guilt, and a fearful Apprehension of the Approach of Death. Men generally confess they have erred and strayed, like lost Sheep, from the salutary Paths of Virtue and Duty, and that, such is their Frailty, it is an easy Thing for them to fall in with Tempta­tion; but hard, if not impossible, effectually [Page 15]to resist it. Nay, even the high Rewards pro­mised to Virtue and a good Life, and the sore Punishments annexed to Vice and Folly, are altogether insufficient to retain them in the Practice of the former, or to enable them to conquer the Force of their Inclination to the latter. This demonstrates the Corruption of their Nature; and,Mat. xii. 34. as ‘out of the Abudance of the Heart, the Mouth speaketh;’ so from what lodges or presides within, the exterior Practice arises. The Corruption in the Heart corrupts the Actions, Manners, and Language. Hence all the Irregularities in Conduct, all the prophane and untrue Speeches, all the common complimental Falshoods, to gratify the Pride and Folly of vain Minds.

As the Origin of Evil in Man, came by transferring his Attention and Desire from his Creator to the Creature, dividing his Will from the Will of God, and his Spirit from the Spirit of God; so the Continuation of Evil in Man is by the Continuance of this Separation, and must abide so long as that remains. In this Situa­tion, commonly called the State of Nature, we are both unfit for, and unable to enter the Hea­venly Kingdom,Eph. v. 5. which admits of nothing sinful or unclean. It is therefore absolutely requisite that Man should be made Holy, in order to be happy. Holiness cannot unite with Unholi­ness; nor can Ability arise from Infirmity. If Pollution can cleanse itself, if Evil can produce Good, if Death can bring forth Life; Man thus corrupted, debilitated and deadened, may disengage, reform, quicken, and restore him­self. But it is not in the Power of Man, as such, to extricate himself from the Bonds of [Page 16]Sin and Death. Yet, as Impurity is the Bar, it must be removed.Isa. lix. 2. As Sin separates Man from his Maker, Man must be separated from Sin, or he cannot be reconciled, and united to him. Without Restoration to a State of Holi­ness, he cannot enjoy the Felicity pertaining to that State;Heb. xii. 14. for, ‘without Holiness no Man shall see the Lord.’

How then shall corrupt Man become Holy? How shall he, in a State of utter Incapacity, enter into and maintain a Warfare against his many and mighty Adversaries, which beset him within and without? What Ability has he to fight his Enemy who is already enchained by him? A Power too strong for Man has got Possession; it must be a superior Power to dis­possess him, to rescue and restore Man; and who is sufficient for these Things? None but his Omnipotent Creator was able to unbind and extricate him. But his Will Adam had sepa­rated from, his Law he had transgressed, his Command he had disobeyed, and against him alone he had committed this high Offence. Yet, behold the astonishing Compassion and Kind­ness of infinite Goodness! An all-sufficient Means was straightway provided, for the Re­demption both of the actual Offenders and all their Progeny. The eternal Word, the Son, the Lamb of God Almighty, gave instant Demonstration of the Greatness of Divine Love and Mercy, in then concurring with the Father, to yield himself up in due Time to take the Nature of Man upon him, Ibid ii. 16. and, by resigning it to Suffering and Death, to make it a Propi­tiation for the whole Species; and also, in immediately,1 Cor. xii. 7. and all along, affording a Mani­festation [Page 17]of his Holy Spirit to every Man to profit withal, in order to their present Deli­verance from the Power of Sin, and their everlasting Salvation from the certain Effect of abiding therein to the last, namely, the second Death.

That Man should, of himself, empower him­self to live in the constant Practice of crossing his natural Inclinations and Propensities, is a wild Presumption; but that a Spirit infinitely good, and more powerful than all his Enemies, should so influence, incline, and enable him, is highly reasonable to believe, because abso­lutely necessary. By the Help of God's Spirit, Man may, like the Apostle,1 Cor. ix. 27. be assisted to keep his Body under, and bring it into Subjection, before the Strength of its Passions and Affec­tions lessen by Decay of Nature; which the rational Faculty can never effectually accom­plish, even under that Decay, without superior Assistance.

3. Neither the Possibility, nor Probability, of Man's Purification and Sanctification by the Holy Spirit, can reasonably be doubted; for, First, as physical Evil, or bodily Pain, has no substantial Existence of its own, but is purely incidental to corporeal Nature; so moral Evil is to the Soul, a Disorder which it has impro­perly lapsed into. It is no Part of God's Creation, nor has any real Existence by itself; but is the fallen, defective, distempered Con­dition of Beings, once created without Intem­perature, or Defect. Evil therefore, though it be in Man, is no constituent Part of Man, but an Imperfection adventitious to his Nature, which by an all-powerful Principle, he may [Page 18]be recovered from, and his Nature restored to a State of Fitness for Union with his Maker. Secondly, uncreated Omnipotence is certainly more able to cleanse, than the creaturely, cor­rupt, and fallen Powers of Darkness are to defile; and Infinite Goodness must be as willing and ready to effect the first, as limited Envy the last. Did not the Sovereign Lord intend Man should be made Holy, he would not require it; nor would he require it without affording him the Assistance requisite to accomplish it, for he enjoins no Impossibilities. That he doth require it, the sacred Writings sufficiently wit­ness. "God,"1 Thes. iv. 7. saith an apostolic Writer, ‘hath not called us unto Uncleanness, but unto Holiness. Eph. v. 25, &c. And, ‘Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it, with the wash­ing of Water by the Word,’ (or the puri­fying Efficacy of the Holy Word, or Spirit, which cleanseth the Soul, as Water doth the Body) ‘that he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having Spot or Wrinkle, or any such Thing, but that it should be Holy and without blemish. In another Place, he gives this Exhortation,1 Thes. v. 22.24. ‘Abstain from all Appearance of Evil"—then proceeds— "And the very God of Peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God, that your whole Spirit, and Soul, and Body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ And to encourage them to seek it and hope for it, he immediately assures them, ‘Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

4. Vain is that imaginary Pretence, that Christ has paid the whole Price for us, by which [Page 19]we stand fully acquitted in the Sight of God; that we have complete Redemption in him with­out Sanctification in ourselves; and that by the external offering up of his body, he hath per­fected the Work for us, and we are already reconciled thereby. For, was this the real Truth, Christ only paid the Price of Man's Redemption, that he might continue in a State of Pollution, and practice Evil with Secu­rity; or be justified in breaking the known Commands of God, and serving Satan during the whole Term of this Life. Contrary to this, the apostolic Doctrine is,1 Pet. ii. 24. ‘His own Self bore our Sins in his own Body on the Tree, that we being dead to Sin, should live unto Righteousness."—He died for all, 2 Cor. v. 15. that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them." —How shall we that are dead to Sin live any longer therein?Rom. vi."Let not Sin therefore reign in your mortal Body, that ye should obey it in the Lusts thereof."—"What Fruit had ye then in those Things whereof ye are now ashamed? For the End of those Things is Death. But now being made free from Sin, and become Servants to God, ye have your Fruit unto Holiness, and the End everlasting Life.’

It is true, the Apostle saith,Heb. x. 14. ‘By one Offer­ing he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.’ But this doth not imply, that his Sacrifice perfected those who never came to be sanctified. Applying it to this Case, it can mean no more than, that such who have so experienced the effectual Operation of Divine Grace, as to become sanctified, have Remission [Page 20]by that one Offering for Sins committed before their Sanctification, which perfects their Re­demption; and also for Transgressions after, upon Repentance. For Sin once committed cannot be undone; present, and future Obedi­ence is no more than Duty; and past Offences must still remain against us without Forgive­ness. Our Saviour therefore, by his Sacrifice, manifested the Mercy, Love, and Kindness of God,Rom. iii. 25 "by whom," saith the Apostle, ‘he was set forth to be a Propitiation through Faith in his Blood, to declare his Righte­ousness, for the Remission of Sins that are past, through the Forbearance of God.’ Herein he shewed, that a Door of Reconci­liation is opened to all Men; but those who through Unbelief of, and Disobedience to Divine Grace, never experience the Work of Sanctification, deprive themselves of that un­speakable Advantage; for it is through Sancti­fication that any come effectually to enjoy the Benefit of the Sacrifice of Christ. That out­ward Offering for all, shewed the Love of God towards all; and that he stands ready to pardon past Transgression, in all who sincerely accept his Terms of true Repentance and Reforma­tion; but our Salvation is not completed by that single Act only, and the Work of Redemp­tion, finished for us without us. Though Christ died for us, that we might be brought unto Glory, yet we are not actually purified, fitted for, and introduced into the Kingdom merely by that one Offering. The Way to Reconciliation was opened by the Death of Christ, but we are not saved by his Life till we livingly experience the Work of Salvation in our own Particulars.

[Page 21] 5. It is always requisite that the Means be adequate to the End, the Cause sufficient to the Effect; therefore, as all Men throughout all Nations, and every Generation, originally stand in equal Relation to their Creator, have been, and must naturally be, in absolute Need of his Help, in order to Purification and Sal­vation, the Means afforded for this Purpose must be universal to reach all. It must be a Principle of real and powerful Holiness and Goodness, to change the Condition of Man, from Evil to Good. It must be Omnipotent, to enable him to overcome his Adversaries, the World, the Flesh, and the Devil. Nothing but a Spirit superior to all these can effectually cleanse the Soul, and operate to the Expulsion, and Exclusion of those subtil and powerful Enemies which continually seek to hold Men in the Bondage of Corruption; therefore nothing but God's Holy, Universal, Almighty Spirit can effect this necessary Alteration in Man, rectify the Disorder Sin has introduced into his Nature, and raise him up from a State of spiritual Death, by producing a new and Heavenly Birth of Divine Life in him, by which he may be cre­ated anew in Christ Jesus unto good Works, and restored to the Image of God in Righte­ousness and true Holiness.

6. Perfect Redemption consists, first, in paying the Price of Ransom; and second, in bringing out of Bondage, and setting the Pri­soner at Liberty. Our Saviour paid the first by his Suffering and Sacrifice; and he performs the last by the effectual Operation of his Spirit, in the Hearts of those who receive him, and resign wholly to him.

[Page 22] None have Cause to murmur at, or complain against the Dispensations of their benevolent Creator, for in Christ he hath rendered to every Child of Adam a full Equivalent for the Loss sustained through his unhappy Fall.John iii. 16 ‘God so loved the World, that he gave his only be­gotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting Life.’ I know some alledge, that the World here intends not all Men, but the Elect only. But we find the Term World, when confined to Men, in the New Testament, is used either for all Mankind in general, for the Majority of Mankind, or for the unbelieving Part of it; and where it intends a Part of the Species, it is often used to signify Unbelievers, and to distin­guish them from Believers, but is never spoken of Believers only. Besides, such an Accepta­tion would turn the Text into Nonsense, for then it must be thus understood, ‘God so loved the Elect that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever of the Elect believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting Life.’ This would imply, that some of the Elect would not believe in him, and all the con­sequent Absurdities of that Position. But read the Text as it stands, and the Particle whoso­ever, properly distinguishes the World into Believers, and Unbelievers, or Faithful, and Unfaithful, and shews that God so loved the whole of his rational Creation, that he gave all an Opportunity of being saved through believ­ing; and if any did not so embrace it, their Refusal was the Cause of their Condemnation, and not the Want of God's Love, nor of an Opportunity of closing in with, and receiving [Page 23]the Benefit of it. This the four succeeding Verses plainly declare.John iii. 17 &c. ‘For God sent not his Son into the World to condemn the World, but that the World through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is con­demned already, because he hath not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the Condemnation, that Light is come into the World, and Men loved Darkness rather than Light, because their Deeds were evil. For every one that doth Evil, hateth the Light, neither cometh to the Light, lest his Deeds should be re­proved.’ It is not reasonable to conclude, the whole World can mean less than the whole human Species.

The Apostle Peter saith,2 Pet. i. 21 and ii. 1. ‘The Prophecy came not in old Time, or rather at any Time, by the Will of Man, but Holy Men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. But there were false Prophets also among the People, even as there shall be false Teachers among you, who privily shall bring in dam­nable Heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift Destruction.’ This indicates that Christ died not only for those who come to be saved, but also for those who bring Destruction upon themselves; otherwife it cannot be understood "that, by his Sacrifice, he bought or paid the Price of Redemption, conditionally for them as well as others. But if he thus bought those who denied him, who yet occasioned their own De­struction, it is truly asserted in the full Extent of the Words,Heb. ii. 9. that ‘He by the Grace of God [Page 24]should taste Death for every Man;" and that He is the Propitiation for our Sins,1 John ii. 2. and not for ours only, but also for the Sins of the whole World.


1. The Progeny of Adam not condemnable for his Transgression, but their own. 2. The vital Part of Religion is internal, and may be experienced by People under every religious Denomination, and in every Part of the World —Pagans not necessarily excluded from all Share in Christ, and Christianity; which, 3, consists not essentially in Exteriors, or an imagery of Religion, but in being endued with a new Nature. 4 and 5, This is certainly and sensibly to be known, through the Operation of Divine Grace. 6. Christ waits to be gracious at the Door of every Man's Heart, causeth the Dead to hear his Voice, quickens the Observant, and renders them Partakers of his Heavenly Com­munion.

1. HOWEVER publick a Person Adam may be accounted, and however his Posterity might, without a Redeemer, have been by any thought chargeable with his Sin (though I am unable to conceive how any Man should deserve Condemnation for what he could not help) yet our Saviour having paid the Price of our Redemption,Heb. ii. 9. by tasting Death for every Man, there cannot be any Thing chargeable to Adam's Descendants merely on Account of his [Page 25]Transgression, exclusive of their own. Original Sin therefore, in that Sense which implies Guilt in them for his Offence, I apprehend, has no Foundation in Truth. Nor, was it really so, could any ceremonious Performance of Men, or even all the Water of Jordan wash it away. All exterior Forms, however mistakenly exal­ted, or celebrated amongst Mankind, are but outward and visible Signs, and altogether inef­fectual towards any real Change or Reformation of the Subject. And respecting little Children who are taken away before they have personally offended, they cannot in Equity be chargeable, but may with just Considence be resigned, as perfectly safe in the Arms of their Saviour, who declared,Mat. xix. 14. "Of such is the Kingdom of Hea­ven;" and also told his Followers,Ibid xviii. 3 except ye be converted, and become as little Children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Hea­ven.’

2. The vital Part of Man's Religion and Duty stands, principally, in a right Attention to, and a faithful Obedience of the Manifesta­tion of the Spirit of Christ in the Heart and Conscience. He who pays due and constant Regard to this, is in his Measure a Follower of Christ, and has, in some Degree, the Reality of Christianity in him, live under what Mode of Profession, or in what Part of the World soever he may. For who is a Servant of Christ but he that willingly obeys him? Is he who willingly acts according to his verbal Precepts, a Follower of Christ; and is not he who, without the Knowledge of these, with equal Willingness follows the Leadings of his Spirit, also his Servant? Of this Spirit the truly [Page 26]Virtuous and Religious amongst the Gentiles were,Rom. ii. 14, 15. in Degree, Partakers; "For," saith Holy Writ, ‘when the Gentiles which have not the Law, do by Nature the Things contained in the Law, these, having not the Law, are a Law unto themselves; which shew the Work of the Law written in their Hearts, their Conscience also bearing Witness, and their Thoughts the mean While accusing or else excusing one another.’

The Words by Nature here, I apprehend, are not to be understood as if the Apostle intended the Gentiles became virtuous by any Goodness in their fallen Nature, which must be the same as all other Mens. The Context shews, he was here distinguishing between those who enjoyed the Ministration of the Mosaic Law, and those who had it not; and he useth the Expression, by Nature, in the same Sense as if he had said, without an Education under the Law, and proceeds to shew, that though they had it not, yet they practised the Substance intended by the Law. This shewed not, that their own Hearts were their Law, but as the Apostle explains it, that the Work of the Law was written in their Hearts, and that they had a Part in the New Covenant, in Reference to which it is said,Jer. xxxi. 33. ‘I will put my Law in their inward Parts, and write it in their Hearts.’ Though they were without the Law of Moses, they were not without Law to God. For, by receiving and retaining the Divine Impressions in their Consciences, they were under the Law to Christ, or subject to the Manifestation of his Spirit in their Hearts, and in Proportion to their Obedience, Partakers [Page 27]of the Nature of the Divine Principle within them. By the internal Operation of this Nature it was that they became reformed in Heart, and rectified in Life and Practice, so far as they were so; or as the Text has it, enabled ‘to do the Things contained in the Law.’ Originally disordered, and actually depraved, their own Nature as Men could never have led and em­powered them to this; for, since the primary Lapse, it is prone to Evil, Rom. vii. 18. and true Reformation and Religion arise not from that disordered and corrupt Ground. They come not by Nature, but by Grace. They are the Fruit of that good Seed u [...]ersally sown in every Heart, by the great and good Husbandman for that End. Were it not for the Notices and Powers com­municated by this internal Principle, Man must have continued to proceed in the Increase of Corruption, Irreligion and Misery; as appears too evidently by the Conduct of such as disre­gard it. Not by following their own Nature therefore, but by Obedience to the inward Law of the Divine Nature written in the Heart, the conscientiously Virtuous amongst the Gentiles, as well as others, were enabled to perform the Things, or just Morals contained in the Mosaic Law, and thereby to evidence in their Measures, the effectual Operation and Authority of the Divine Lawgiver within them.

The Gentiles therefore partaking of the Law written in the Heart, cannot properly be said to be excluded from all Share in the New Covenant, or Dispensation of the Gospel. The Gospel, taken in its full Extent, is the Reve­lation of the Love and Mercy, and the Offer and Operation of the Grace of God, through [Page 28]Christ, to fallen Man in his natural and cor­ruptible State, in order to his Restoration and Salvation. It is not wholly contracted into the more Tidings; but, including these, goes deeper, and essentially consists in the Thing declared by them;Ibid i. 16. the Power of God adminis­tered to the Salvation of the Soul. By this the outward Coming of Christ is rendered truly and fully effectual to each Individual. Those who believe in, and obey him in his inward and spiritual Manifestations, by which the Gospel is preached in every rational Creature under Heaven, may come to be Partakers of his Life, and be saved by him from the second Death of eternal Misery, though providentially incapacitated to know the exterior History of his Incarnation, &c.

That virtuous and devout Gentiles were approved of God, appears in the Case of Cor­nelius, for we find that before his Reception of historical and verbal Christianity,Acts x. 2, 3, 4. his sincere Devotion, and Reverence towards his Creator, and charitable Acts to the Needy, ‘came up for a Memorial before God,’ who also now taught Peter, Verse 15, the Gentiles he had thus cleansed were no more to be esteemed common or unclean than the believing Jews, and gave him,Ibid 34, 35. of a Truth, to perceive, ‘that God is no Respecter of Persons: but in every Nation, he that seareth him, and worketh Righteousness, is accepted with him.’

Hence it appears, those who conscientiously obey the spiritual Manifestations of Christ in them, are internally, though not by outward Profession, his Disciples and Followers, and truly believe in him so far as he is revealed to [Page 29]them; for Obedience is the certain Proof of a right Faith. And I make no Question, but those in any Part of the Globe, who, from invincible Obstacles, have not the Opportunity of historical Christianity, in their Obedience to the spiritual Appearance of Christ in their Hearts, are accepted, and partake of the Bene­fits of his Death. Why should they not be as capable of receiving Advantage by the Sacri­fice of Christ, as Disadvantage by the Fall of Adam, whilst they are equally Strangers to the History of both? But certainly, those to whom the sacred Writings are providentially com­municated, are under double Obligation, since they are favoured with that additional instru­mental Advantage; and it will tend to their greater Condemnation, if they believe not unto Obedience. For, however high the Profession of such may be, they are but imperfect, super­ficial, ineffectual Believers, who hold with the external Part, and experience not the internal: Christians in Name, but not in Deed and in Truth. It is essential to us who have the Scrip­tures, to believe both in the outward Coming, and inward Ministration of our Saviour, resign­ing to him, and trusting in him, with that Faith of the Operation of God, which works by Love to the Purification of the Heart, and is the saving Faith of the Gospel.

Complete Christianity has both an Inside and an Outside; a Profession or bodily Appearance, and a Life and Virtue, which is as a Soul to that Body. Those who are in Possession of both, are complete Christians. Those who have the inward Part without the outward, though incomplete in that Respect, will, in [Page 30]the Sight of perfect Equity, certainly be pre­ferred to such as have the latter without the former; and it would be well for all who have the History, and profess the Christian Religion, yet walk contrary to its Requirings, could they change Conditions at last with such conscien­tious Gentiles. Let those who are so deeply affected with Absurdity, as to believe or ima­gine, that Infinite Wisdom, Goodness and Equity, has confined Salvation to such of his Creatures as happen, without any Choice of their own, to inhabit particular Spots of the Globe, are formalized after a peculiar Manner, or entertain one particular Set of Articles and Opinions, let such duly consider the following Texts.Mat. viii. 10, 11, 12. ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great Faith, no not in Israel; and I say unto you, That many shall come from the East and West, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of Heaven; but the Children of the Kingdom" (by Education merely) "shall be cast out into utter Darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of Teeth."Rev. vii. 9, 10. "After this I beheld, and lo, a great Multitude, which no Man could number, of all Nations, and Kindreds, and People, and Tongues, stood before the Throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white Robes, and Palms in their Hands; and cried with a loud Voice, saying, Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb!’

3. Real Christianity consists not in the Pro­fession of any framed Articles of Belief, nor in the Practice of Signs and Ceremonies, however displayed with exterior Pomp, or whatever [Page 31]Significance may be fancifully attributed to them by their Supporters. Form and Profes­sion make not a real Christian; but the putting on of a new Nature. ‘They that are Christ's,Gal. v. 24. have crucified the Flesh with the Affections and Lusts." "If any Man be in Christ, 2 Cor. v. 17, 18. he is a new Creature; old Things are past away; behold all Things are become new, and all Things are of God. The Necessity of Rege­neration, the Power by which it is effected, and the Co-operation of God and Man therein, are all included in that Text,Rom. v [...]i. 13, 14. ‘If ye live after the Flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the Deeds of the Body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God.’

4. The New Birth is not brought forth in Particulars imperceptibly. The New Man is renewed in Knowledge; Col. iii. 10. in a certain and sensible Experience. The Soul in whom it is going forward, has an internal Sense of it through its whole Progress, and must keep a steady Eye thereunto, that it may go forward.2 Cor. iii. 18. "We all," saith the Apostle, with open Face beholding as in a Glass, the Glory of the Lord, are changed into the same Image, from Glory to Glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ By looking at the deceitful Beauty of Tempta­tion, Men fall into Sin, and by keeping a stedfast Eye inwardly unto Christ in Spirit, with humble Resignation to him, and earnest Desire after him, Man finds Preservation, and gradually advanceth from one Degree of Grace to another, till he really experienceth a Renewal of the Divine Likeness upon his Soul, and an inward Translation out of Sin, Darkness and [Page 32]Death, into Divine Light, Life and Holiness; and thereby, in Conclusion, from Anxiety and Misery, to Peace and Felicity.

5. The natural Man may polish and adorn himself with Variety of Literature, Arts and Breeding, but in his best Accomplishments, he is but the natural Man still, which the Apostle declares,1 Cor. ii. 14. receiveth not the Things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them. This is the natural Condition of all Men, before the Work of Renovation is begun in them, and seeing all stand in Need of Divine Grace to effect it, and that ‘God will have,1 Tim. ii. 4. or willeth, all Men to be saved, and to come unto the Knowledge of the Truth;"Tit. ii. 11, 12. so, "the Grace of God that bringeth Salvation, hath appeared to all Men, teaching us," (by its Convictions) "that denying Ungodliness, and worldly Lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present World."Psal. l. 1. Thus, "the mighty God, even the Lord hath spoken, and called the Earth, from the rising of the Sun unto the going down thereof.’ All the personal Instructions, and Writings of the Prophets, Apostles, and their Contemporaries taken in their full Extent, have never been any Thing near so universal amongst Mankind, as this Grace and Power of God; for it always hath been, and is present to every Individual, in all Nations, and throughout every Generation.

6.Isa. xlix. 6. He who is given for a Light to the Gen­tiles, and God's Salvation to the Ends of the Earth, not only dispenseth of his Grace univer­sally and individually, but even waits to be gracious.Rev. iii. 20. "Behold," saith he, ‘I stand at the Door and knock: If any Man hear my [Page 33]Voice, and open the Door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.’ This is Christ in Spirit, who pro­claimeth, He that hath an Ear, let him hear.

Query. But if Man in his fallen Estate be dead, how can the Dead hear?

Answ. When the Saviour called,John xi. 43. Lazarus come forth!’ The Dead was quickened, and immediately obeyed. The Voice of him who is a quickening Spirit, is a quickening Power. ‘The Hour is coming, and now is, 1 Cor. xv. 45. when the Dead shall hear the Voice of the Son of God,John v. 25. and they that hear shall live.

Query. What is meant by his standing at the Door?

Answ. His wonderful Condescension, Pati­ence and Long-forbearance, in waiting upon the Soul of Man, as for an Entrance; that as he is a rational Creature, he may be prevailed with willingly to open his Heart to his Re­deemer, and receive him.

Query. How doth Christ in Spirit knock, or call?

Answ. By influencing the Soul in its Seasons of Quietude, so as to excite Inclinations and Desires towards Good; and also at other Times, by distressing it with the painful Sensations of Guilt, and Remorse, for its sinful Pursuits and Practices.

Query. How shall Man open to him, and receive him?

Answ. By resigning his Attachment to Self, and the Propensities of Sense, and humbly adhering to the Voice, or present Manifesta­tions of the Spirit.

[Page 34] Query. How doth the Lord come in and sup with Man, and make him a Partaker of his Supper?

Answ. When the Spirit of Christ is received by the Soul in Faith, Love and due Submission, he proceeds by Degrees to set it at Liberty from the Bondage and Influence of Corruption; for,2 Cor. iii. 17. "where the Spirit of the Lord is," (in Possession) "there is Liberty;" and when he hath brought the Soul into a proper Degree of Purification, he sheds the Comfort of his Love into it, and makes it a Partaker of the Commu­nion of Saints, which is inward and spiritual. This is the true Supper of the Lord. He who participates of this, discerns and tastes the Lord's spiritual Body, and experienceth it to be Meat indeed, John vi. 55. and his Blood to be Drink indeed.



1. God's true and faithful Witness in the Con­science a Divine Monitor, and daily Preacher to Man. 2. It produceth the New-birth in the Obedient; and, 3, promoteth its Growth in them. 4. This no Indignity to Man, but the contrary, and of absolute Necessity to his Ascen­dence above sublunary Considerations. 5. It is not beneath the Dignity of the Creator to make Man so far the Subject of his especial Regard, as to enable him to answer the End he created him for. The same Power that cre­ated, requisite to the Support of his Creation, and his continual Superintendance necessary to Mankind.

1. MANKIND are not left to Satan, nor to their own Lusts, nor to live without God in the World. A Way is cast up. A Means is provided. Besides the natu­ral, and traditional Consciousness of mere moral Good and Evil in every Breast, God hath a Divine Witness in the Heart of each Individual, which will truly manifest Right and Wrong in the Consciences of those who faithfully attend thereunto, afford Light and Power to set them free from the Mists of Prepossession and Preju­dice, and become to them a safe Conductor, and an able Supporter in the Paths of Religion and Virtue.

What Instructor can we have equal to this most intimate Witness? A Monitor so near, so constant, so faithful, so infallible! This is the [Page 36]great Gospel-privilege of every Man: The Advantage of having it preached Day by Day in his own Heart, without Money, and with­out Price, yet with Certainty. Is it reasonable to conclude, this nice, true, and awful Dis­cerner, should be less than Divine? Can any Person, upon serious Consideration, imagine it to be the Nature of the fallen Man himself? Is there the least Probability that any Thing so corrupted and clouded, should so clearly and instantly distinguish, and would the Heart of Man, which is declared by Inspiration to be deceitful above all Things,Jer. xvii. 9.and desperately wicked, so faithfully reprove itself? Would that which delights in its own Indulgence, and is impatient of Restraint, act in daily Control to its own Inclinations? Is it the Property of Evil to do Good? Here is a just Criterion. That which is natural, leads according to Na­ture; that which is spiritual according to the Spirit. These are distinguished in Scripture by the Terms Flesh and Spirit, Rom. vii. 23. and are truly said to war against each other in Man.Gal. v. 17. As Sin wars against the Spirit to destroy the Soul, the Spirit wars against Sin to save the Soul.

Let me query with you, who, instead of embracing in Humility, Love, and Thankful­ness, this upright Principle as Divine, are exerting your Abilities to depreciate and revile it. Whilst you confess it distinguishes Right from Wrong in your own Breasts, by its Appro­bation of the first, and rebuke of the last; can you thus acknowledge it to be infallibly Good, and at the same Time attribute it to yourselves? "I know,"Rom. vii. 18. saith Paul, ‘that in me, that is in my Flesh,"(or belonging to my Nature) [Page 37]dwelleth no good Thing.’ Is your Nature in a better Condition than his was? Is there any good Thing in yours, yet was there none in his? He confessed he had none as Man. I pre­sume you have no more than he had. Whence then this quick and righteous Discriminator appearing in your Consciences? You will not say, it is of Satan; it must therefore either be of Man, or of God. For the Reasons above hinted, it cannot be of Man; it must therefore be of God. Wonderful is the Mercy, and great the Advantage to every Man, that God himself, according to the Scriptures, thus condescends to be the Teacher of his People, Isa. ii. 3. and liv. 13. by the Mani­festation of his Spirit in every Heart;Jer. xxxi. 34. and certainly it ought to be accepted and observed with the greatest Reverence and Thankfulness.John vi. 45. and xvi. 13..

2.1 Thes iv. 9. The Increase and Operation of this living Principle becomes a new Life in and to the obedient Soul,1 John ii. 27. quickening and refreshing it with a Sense of Divine Love, Strength, and Comfort. This Life being begot and brought forth by the Holy Spirit in the willing Mind, is called a Birth of the Spirit, and being its new Production there, it is stiled the New­birth; and seeing our first Parents, immedi­ately upon their Creation, were favoured with this spiritual Birth in them, and lost it by Disobedience, the Renewal of it, both in themselves and in their Posterity, has taken the Terms of Regeneration and Renovation, or the Birth of Divine Life renewed in Man. Being Inheritors of spiritual Death in Adam, or in the fallen State and Nature, we can only be born again to Life in Christ, by the Power and Virtue of his Holy Spirit,John xi. 25. who is the Resur­rection and the Life.

[Page 38] 3. Every productive Power brings forth its own Likeness; the evil Spirit an evil Birth, and the good Spirit a Birth answerable to its Goodness; and as every natural Birth admits of a Growth, so doth this spiritual Birth in the Soul.Luke xiii. 18, 22. Our Saviour represents its gradual Progression,John iv. 14. in those Similies of the Increase the Mustard-seed, the Process of Leaven, and the springing up of living Water into everlasting Life. The Apostles Peter and John also shew the several Gradations experienced amongst the Believers, under the Similies of new-born Babes,1 Pet. ii. 2. Children, young Men, and Fathers. There is likewise not only a Progression from the lowest of these States to the highest, but even that of Fathers admits of continual Advances, as Paul witnesseth, who, tho' he truly asserted, that the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus had set him free from the Law of Sin and Death; Rom. viii. 2. yet he was sensible of higher Degrees of Attainment still before him, and therefore, after he had been near thirty Years in the Apostleship, he makes this Acknowledgment; ‘Not as though I had already attained,Phil. iii. 12, 13, 14. either were already perfect, but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one Thing I do, forgetting those Things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those Things which are before, I press toward the Mark, for the Prize of the high Calling of God in Christ Jesus.’

4. Those who treat this Doctrine, of the Necessity of Man's being renewed, led, and guided by the Spirit of his Maker, as a Dispa­ragement [Page 39]to human Reason, put the highest Indignity upon the supreme Wisdom, Good­ness, and Power. The Dignity of human Nature consists not in Self-sufficiency. The most exalted of created Beings neither exist, nor act independent of their Creator; much less Man,Heb. ii. 7. who in his primitive Purity was made lower than the Angels. He stands in continual Need of Divine Help; and his true Dignity consists in being, by his Reason, above all inferior Creatures capable of consciously receiving that Assistance, and of being thereby preferred to, and preserved in a blessed Union and Com­munion with his Maker. It cannot be any lessening to an Inferior to be directed and guided by a superior Being; especially by the Supreme Lord, and sole Author of all Existence, Infinite in Excellency, Power and Wisdom, and Immu­table in Glory. Endued with his Spirit, in any Degree, the Creature is raised above the highest Elevation of its own Nature; and the more it is clothed with it, the more it is dignified and exalted.

No created Being, by its natural Powers, can rise above its natural Sphere. To reach a sub­limer Station, it must be assisted by Strength superior to its own; a Power equal to the Height of its Ascent. It is only when the Sun of Righteousness sheds forth its quickening Beams upon the Spirit of Man, that the poor Worm is capacitated in Reality, to take Wing and mount above its sublunary Limits, towards the Regions celestial.

5. Some Writers of the Epicurian Cast, have imagined it beneath the Divine Greatness, for the Sovereign Lord of all, to stoop so low as [Page 40]to make Man a peculiar Object of his Notice and Regard. To such as mistake those sure Marks of Degeneracy, Pride and Haughtiness, for Greatness of Soul, this may seem reason­able; but in him to whom Pride is Abomination, Pro. xvi. 5. and as distant from his Similitude as Darkness is to Light, it cannot have any Place. What it is not below him to create, it cannot be beneath him to regard, proportionably to the End he made it for; and seeing Man was created for a Purpose of his Glory, Isa. xliii. 7. and to partake of his Felicity, it would derogate from his Wis­dom and Goodness, to suppose he should look upon it as below him to enable Man to answer the great Ends of his Creation; which he could not by any Means do, without a competent Assistance from his Maker. Pride was the Cause of the Degeneracy of Angels, and its natural Consequence is the Destruction of Peace and Felicity to all that entertain it. By being something in our own Conceit, attributing any Good to ourselves, or aspiring above our Place and due Order, we center in Pride and Arro­gance. Created Beings may be guilty of this; but it is impossible to that all-perfect Existence, who is Infinite, Omnipotent, and Immutable.

This visible World demonstrates, it was made by an Omnipotent Power, and is preserved by the same Power. Without Power it could not be made, and as Tho. Sherlock justly observes, ‘That which owes its very Being to Power,Discourse on Provi­dence. must depend upon the Power that made it, for it can have no Principle of Self-sub­sistence independent on its Cause.’ What doth not necessarily exist, must both be origi­nally created, and continually upheld by the [Page 41]Power, that made it. It had no Being before its Creation. It cannot retain its Being against the Will of its Creator. Its Existence and Sup­port stand equally in the Power of its Maker, without whom it was nothing, could never have existed, nor can continue in Existence. It was made by his Power, is preserved by his Power, and upon the Withdrawment of his Power would dissolve and evanish into its origi­nal Nothing. There is no Medium between Self-existence and Dependence on its Cause; therefore a Cessation from it of the Power that made it, is Annihilation to it. Thus, as all created Things were made, and still subsist soley by the Energy of the Creator's Will and Power, he must necessarily, whilst they exist, be omni-present with them, in them, and thro' them; therefore cannot be ignorant of any Thing relating to them, nor unconcerned about them, or any Part of them.

The continual Interposition and Superin­tendence of the Spirit of God, was always requisite to Man, both to preserve him whilst in Innocence, and to recover him from under his fallen Estate, by governing the Effects of natural Causes; and to counteract the Wiles, and oppose the Influences of the evil Spirit. Therefore the great Mediator for, and Redeemer of Men, was from the Beginning, not only incarnately and corporeally given for a Propi­tiation for the Sins of the whole World, to be testified, or verified, in due Time; but he was also as universally given, in a spiritual Manner, to be a Witness, a Leader, and Commander. Isa. lv. 4. 1. He is spiritually given for a Witness, to testify against Sin in every Breast, by his Smit­ings [Page 42]there for Evil conceived or committed. 2. For a Leader and Commander, to such as pay due Regard to his Convictions, by turning from Iniquity to him that smites them, and cleaving to him in that Faith and Love he produces in them. These he leads in a Cross to all the corrupt Nature, and impowers them to follow him in the Regeneration. This is the true doctrinal Cross of Christ.


1. Regeneration not only necessary, but really expe­rienced by the Primitive Christians. 2. Paul's comprehensive Description of this great Work. It answers to the original Work of Creation, and is effected only by the Holy Spirit. 3. An Objection against the Sensibility of this Work answered. 4. The same continued. 5. Who it is that disbelieves it. The Renunciation of human Reason not required, but the yielding it to an infallible Instructor, in order to its Rectification and Improvement.

1. NOW, O Man! What is the great Business of thy Life in this World, but to regain thy Place in the Paradise of God; to secure an everlasting Establishment in that Inheritance which is incorruptible, 1 Pet. i. 4. undefiled, and fadeth not away! To accomplish this, thou must be stripped of all that which unfits thee for an Entrance. Whatever has been the Cause of Exclusion must be removed. Whatever can have no Place nor Habitation there, must be separated from thee, or thou canst not be admitted. That which lets will let till it be [Page 43]taken out of the Way. Whatever thou hast in thee or about thee, that thou art attached to in Consequence of the Fall, all separate Self, and the carnal Mind thou must resign, or thou canst never know a Restoration. The Gospel-axe, the Power of the Spirit of God, must be laid to the Root of the Tree of Cor­ruption in thee, that it may be extirpated, and the Vine of Life implanted in its Room, that in the Heart, where the sinful Nature hath spread its poisonous Produce,James i. 21. the engrafted Word which is able to regenerate and save the Soul, may flourish, and bring forth its Hea­venly Fruits; from whence ariseth Happiness to the Creature, and Praise to the eternal Author of all Virtue and Felicity.

The Necessity of Regeneration was not only preached to the People in the primitive Times, but was actually experienced by the Believers.

A clear and pregnant Instance we have in 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10, 11. ‘Know ye not that the Unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Be not deceived, neither Fornica­tors, nor Idolators, nor Adulterers, nor Effeminate, nor Abusers of themselves with Mankind, nor Thieves, nor Covetous, nor Drunkards, nor Revilers, nor Extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God; and such were some of you; 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 the Apostle plainly testi­fies, that some of the Corinthian Brethren, who had been of polluted Hearts and vicious Lives, were become regenerated, made clean and holy, and shews this great Change in them, was [Page 44]wrought in the Name, or Power, of the Lord Jesus, which he explains to be, by the Spirit of our God. The Apostle Peter concurs with Paul in bearing the like Testimony.1 Pet. i. 22, 23. ‘Seeing ye have purified your Souls in obeying the Truth, through the Spirit, unto unfeigned Love of the Brethren; see that ye love one another with a pure Heart fervently; being born again, not of corruptible Seed, but incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for Ever. To the like Purpose might be added, Eph. ii. 5, 6. Col. i. 13,—ii. 10, 11, 12, 13—iii. 9, 10. with the 6th Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, and many other Texts.

2. The Apostle particularly shews the Nature and Manner of this Work in Romans the viith and viiith; which, for Want of a real Experi­ence of, many have been led to imagine, were intended by him, as only descriptive of his own Condition at the Time he wrote them; yet it is manifest, they comprehend diverse, and even contrary Conditions, which himself and others had experienced in their Christian Progress, and which it was impossible he should be in at one and the same Time; viz. a State of Darkness, and a State of Light; a State of Uncleanness, and a State of Purity; a State of Bondage, and a State of Liberty; a State of Life, and a State of Death.

Chap. vii. 5. he saith, ‘When we were in the Flesh,’ (under the Dominion of the carnal Nature) ‘the Motions of Sins which were’ (manifested) ‘by the Law, did work in our Members to bring forth Fruit unto Death.’ Here he refers back to that State [Page 45]of Sin and Death, they had formerly been enthralled in, but were now past, as fully appears by the succeeding Verse, which saith, ‘But now we are delivered from the Law, that being dead wherein we were held, that we should serve in Newness of Spirit, and not in the Oldness of the Letter.’ Verse 7, he returns to the former State again, and becomes more particular. "I had not known Sin," saith he, "but by the Law." Before he became sensibly convicted in his own Conscience, where the Sense of the Law was opened to him; he remained in his first State of natural Blindness, yet knew it not to be such, notwithstanding his learned Education, and legal Strictness. Though dead as to any Sense of Divine Life, yet he was alive in the Spirit of the World;Rom. vii. 9 "For" saith he, ‘I was alive without the Law once; but when the Commandment came, Sin revived, and I died.’ Opposed by the internal Administration of the spiritual Law, which brought Conviction, the sinful Nature was afresh excited by the Powers of Evil, and sprung up as with new Life and Vigour, to obstruct his Escape from it; ‘For,Vers. 8. without the Law Sin was dead.’ That is, its Nature remained quiet and undisturbed, enjoying its Indulgence without Interruption, till the Law of Life was administered against it. Then ‘the Commandment,Vers. 10, 11 which was ordained to Life, I found’ (by the Resistance of that Nature) ‘to be unto Dea [...]. For Sin taking Occasion by the Commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.’ Or, darkened me, and brought a Sense of Death over me. It seems to have deceived him at first into a Belief [Page 46]that the Law brought forth Death, because he found a Sense of Death ensue upon the Con­victions of this Law; but Death is the Fruit of Sin, which is condemned by the Law: For saith he,Vers. 12, 15 ‘the Law is Holy, and the Com­mandment Holy, Just, and Good. Was then that which is Good made Death unto me? God forbid.’ He found it was that which so violently opposed it that produced Death, and occasioned the Condemnation of the Law to come upon him, which discovered this Death in him. This was permitted that Sin might appear Sin, and that by the convict­ing Force of the Commandment it might become exceeding sinful in his View, or be held by him in Abhorrence. He then feelingly expresses the enthralled Situation of this convicted, but unconverted State.Rom. vii. 14. The Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under Sin.’ That is, he found himself as really in Captivity under Sin, as those are to their Purchasers who are sold into Slavery.Vers. 15. ‘For that which I do, I allow not.’ I am convinced it is Evil, and would gladly be delivered from it, but notwith­standing my Convictions, am under its Power, and unable to extricate myself.Vers. 19. ‘For the Good that I would, I do not; but the Evil which I would not, that I do.’ Yet, in patient Submission, and fervent cleaving to God, some Consolation attends this awakened Condition;Vers. 20, 21, 22, 23. for, ‘If I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but Sin that dwel­leth in me. For I delight in the Law of God after the inward Man; but I see another Law" (or Power) "in my Members, warring against the Law of my Mind, and bringing [Page 47]me into Captivity to the Law" (or Power) of Sin, which is in my Members.’ Thus prevented of what I love, and enthralled by what I hate, what a miserable Slavery am I in! ‘O, wretched Man that I am!Vers. 24. Who shall deliver me from the Body of this Death?’

He then,Vers. 25. still personating One in this strug­gling Situation, thanks God, through Jesus Christ, for having brought him thus far on his Christian Course and Warfare, that he could will to do Good, though yet unable actually to perform it. Hence he had a Ground of Thank­fulness, in Hope that he who had wrought the Will in him, would also in due Time perfect the Deed by him. In Conclusion, he proceeds to shew, though this had once been his Condi­tion, he now experienced perfect Deliverance, from all the perplexing and afflicting Circum­cances of this, and the several exercising States he had formerly passed through, and had just been giving so lively a Description of.Rom. viii. 1, 2. ‘There is therefore," saith he, "now no Condem­nation to them which are in Christ Jesus," (as he then certainly was) "who walk not after the Flesh, but after the Spirit: For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, hath set me free from the Law of Sin and Death. This again testifies his Deliverance, and answers to that first cited,Chap. vii. 6. ‘Now we are delivered from the Law,’ (which condemn­eth for Sin) "that," (sinful Nature) ‘being dead wherein we were held, that we should serve in Newness of Spirit, and not in the Oldness of the Letter.’ With these accords that of Colos. 1. 12, 13. ‘Giving Thanks [Page 48]unto the Father, who hath made us meet to be Partakers of the Inheritance of the Saints in Light: Who hath delivered us from the Power of Darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of his dear Son.

In the Passages above cited from Rom. vii. and viii. the experienced Apostle evidently includes a Representation of three very different Conditions, in their Course of Progression, and State of Disparity from each other. First, a natural blind unconvicted State; which is that of Darkness and Death, answering to the origi­nal Chaos before Light was brought forth. Second, a State of Illumination and Disco­very, of Conviction and internal Warfare, in order to a complete Conversion; which partakes of a Mixture, and shews Light and Darkness in the Act of Separation, like that in Gen. i. 3, 4, 5. Third, a State of Redemption from the Power of Sin, through Purification, and a Translation into the spiritual Kingdom of Christ; which is the State of the perfect Chris­tian, and completes the new Creation, wherein every Thing takes its due Place, and moves in its proper Order. I now refer it to the intel­ligent Reader, whether it is not an Absurdity to imagine, that these three diverse, and in some Respects contrary States should all subsist together, at the same Time, in the same Subject.

By this Representation, which contains a brief and comprehensive Delineation of the Work of the New-birth, the Apostle shews to such as are young in the Faith, what different States they have to pass through in that prepa­ratory Travel, and also reminds the Regenerate [Page 49]of what they have witnessed, in the Lines of his own Experience. He describes the various Steps, and principal Leadings of the Holy Spirit, till by its effectual Operation, the Soul is rendered a new Creature, and introduced into the Kingdom of God; which being inward and spiritual, is entered by an inward and spiritual Way. Hence it is clear, a Man may acquire all the Learning, and receive all the Degrees that Schools and Colleges can bestow, with all the Authority Men can afford him, and may be strict in the Practice of all the Forms and Exteriors of Religion; and yet remain the natural Man still. These can bring him no nearer to true Regeneration, than he was the Moment of his Birth; for the New­birth is the Work of the Holy Spirit only. Nothing but the Spirit of Holiness can make a Man Holy; for nothing can communicate what it hath not. Nothing can set Men free from the Power of Sin, and its Wages, Death, but the Law, or Power, of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus individually administered. This, which turneth Sinners into Saints, by a real Purgation, and renders them, as to their inward State, new Creatures, remains to be their Light and Leader, and the primary Guide of their Life and Conduct, by its immediate Mani­festations in the Heart; whereby it frequently brings Scripture-Truths to their Remem­brance, and opens the Sense of them profitably to their Understandings, at the same Time influencing the Mind to a Practice answerable.

3. Evident as it is, that the Apostle in the foregoing Scriptures, describes divers Changes of Condition, which through the Operation [Page 50]and Effect of the Holy Spirit, he had certainly known and sensibly felt; yet some have appeared even amongst the Leaders of the People, who acknowledge,* ‘The Influence of God's Spirit enables us to render him an acceptable Service,’ but assert, that it is in a Way imper­ceptible to us; that the Sacred Writings are utterly silent concerning any sensible Demonstra­tions of its Workings within us, that they cannot be distinguished from the Efforts of our own Reason; that all Pretences to it are suggested by an enthusiastic or distempered Fancy; and that there never was a Christian with a cool Head, and a sound Judgment, that in any Instance of a Change of Life, would presume to say, which Part of his Reformation was owing to Divine Help.

The truly sound reformed Christian knows and acknowledges, every Part of his Reforma­tion is owing to Divine Help; and whoever propagate the above-cited anti-scriptural Doc­trine, demonstrate their Ignorance of true Regeneration, and that their Wisdom is but the superficial Wisdom of Words, which can only enable them to make a Shew of Know­ledge, by talking about the Things of God, without any right Understanding of them. The Pomp of Science, and the Flourish of Eloquence, have no more Alliance to Truth than the Pride of Life. They belong to the Wisdom of this World, by which God is not to be known;1 Cor. i. 21. ‘For the World by Wisdom knew not God,Ibid. ii. 11. nor the Things of God.’ All the Knowledge of the natural Man, the [Page 51]Man whose Nature remains unchanged, whether called Pagan, Jew, or Christian, and whether it be stiled Philosophy or Divinity, is but the ineffectual ideal Wisdom of this World: The vaunting Head-knowledge. It is not the Wis­dom from above, by which alone God, and the Things of God are to be known, that is, experienced. These are out of the Reach of Arts, Languages, and Sciences, and are disco­vered only by the Manifestation of the Spirit of Christ in the Heart.Col. ii. 3. ‘In whom are hid all the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge.’ Yet though the World by all its admired and celebrated Wisdom, knows not God, there is a Wisdom communicated by which he is known. "For God," saith Holy Writ,2 Cor. iv. 6, 7. ‘who com­manded the Light to shine out of Darkness, hath shined in our Hearts, to give the Light of the Knowledge of the Glory of God in the Face’ (or inward Appearance) ‘of Jesus Christ.’ The Apostle adds, ‘We have this Treasure in earthen Vessels,’ (we enjoy it now whilst in these Bodies of Clay) ‘that the Excellency of the Power may be of God, and not of us.’

This luminous and excellent Power operates upon the humble thankful Acceptor, so as to open an Understanding of what he reads, both in Scripture and other experimental Writings, often giving him to feel that concerning which he reads, and rendering it of improving Effect to him. But he who rejects the Means, can never attain the End. He who refuses or flies from the Light of Life, when it offers itself to him by Reproof and Conviction, not believ­ing it to be of God, nor receiving it as such, [Page 52]stops its Operation, prevents it from opening itself to him, and enlarging in him. For the unbelieving Heart shuts up its own Way, Mat. xiii. 58. and therefore remains insensible of the internal Power of the Saviour.Mark vi. 5, 6.

4. What Man upon Earth can say, he has not had Convictions? Or, that he has had them without any Sense of them? Who could have a Sense of them, and not distinguish it from the Efforts of his own Reason; not distinguish the Reprover from the Reproved? Unfelt Convictions are Impossibilities. In what Manner is the Work of Renovation known, without any Preception of it in its Progress? Did the Apostle Paul so patheti­cally describe the painful States he had travelled through, and the opposite Powers engaged within him, without ever having a certain Sense of them? Or is the Coolness of his Head, and the Soundness of his Judgment now to be arraigned, and are his Christian Experiences to be treated, only as the Issues of an inthusiastic or distempered Fancy?

How could any witness Repentance unto Life, Remission of Sins, and the Times of Refreshing from the Presence of the Lord, without an inward Sense of them? Where all the Cries, the Pantings and Thirstings after the Divine Presence, uttered by the sacred Writers without a Sense of that Want; and were all their triumphant Rejoicings in the Consolation of his Presence, expressed under a total Insensibility of it? Were the kindly Fruits of the Spirit, and the Comforts of the Holy Ghost unfelt by those who enjoyed them? Who can affirm these Absurdities? [Page 53]Where can such blind Leaders bring their blind Followers to? Those who turn their Backs on the Light, must walk in Darkness. It is the sole Property of the Spirit of Christ, the Light of Men, to make true Discoveries to the Mind, both respecting itself, and every Thing else that concerns it. Hence he is rightly stiled the Sun of Righteousness; the same Thing to the Soul of Man, that the Sun in the Firmament is to his Body. The one is the Light without, the other the Light within; and therefore is properly so denominated.

5. It is the unbelieving unrenewed Man, unacquainted with the effectual Operation of this Heavenly Principle, that unwittingly re­jects and disparages it, and thereby contributes to keep both himself and others in Blindness concerning it, and Prejudice against it.1 Cor. ii. 14. ‘The natural Man," saith the Apostle, "receiv­eth not the Things of the Spirit of God, for they are Foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiri­tually discerned.’

What! saith the mighty Man of Reason, must I put out my Eyes in order to see? Must I lay aside and renounce my Reason, to obtain a better Understanding? It is impossible, absurd and preposterous. Very true; and it is equally true, that no such Absurdity is required. It is neither right Reason, nor the proper Use of Man's Reason, that is objected to and advised against. For right Reason is Truth, and is ever correspondent with the inward Motions of the Spirit of Truth; and Man's rational Faculty is what renders him capable of receiving divine Influence and Instruction, without which it is [Page 54]impossible to conceive he could be a fit Sub­ject for it; and was his Reason in such a perfect State, as to merit the Name of right Reason, he would not stand in such absolute Need of it. But it evidently appears, from the various Biasses and Prepossessions Men are generally under, the Weakness and Mutability of their Understandings, and the innumerable and irreconcilable Differences amongst them, especially the learned and leading Part of Man­kind, that human Reason is far from being always agreeable to right Reason, which is unchangeably true. What is cautioned against therefore, is the setting up human Reason above its due Place in Religion, making it the Leader instead of the Follower of Revelation, the Teacher, instead of the Learner; and esteeming it vested with a Kind of Self-suffici­ency, independent of the Direction and Help of God's Holy Spirit.

We are not required to lay aside our Under­standings, either in order to, or under the Influences of the Spirit; but, as prudent and docile Scholars, to submit them to the necessary Instruction and Improvement of that infallible Master of Infinite Wisdom and Knowledge, who is the* universal Teacher of his People; that we may be enabled rightly to obey and worship him with the Spirit, 1 Cor. xiv. 15. and with the Understanding also. The Spirit of God, and a right Understanding must infallibly concur.

As the Light of the Sun is so agreeably dis­pensed by the Sovereign Wisdom, that it doth not put out or blind Men's Eyes, but assists to [Page 55]the proper Use of them; so the Divine Illumi­nation and Influence is admistered by the same Wisdom in such due Degrees, that it neither banishes Man's Reason, nor deprives it of its Utility, but restores it to its full and proper Use in Religion, by dispelling the Fogs of Prejudice and Passion, giving it a clear Sense of Duty, and furnishing Ability to perform it. The Holy Men of God were not deprived of their Understandings,1 Pet. i. 21. when they spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, but found them illuminated and highly improved by it. They were not used by the Spirit as senseless Machines, nor remained as Vegetables, imper­ceptive of the Virtue arising in, and enlarging them. Their Faculties were brightened, and raised to an higher Pitch of Usefulness, than could ever have been reached by them, whilst unassisted by the Power of Divine Grace. With good Reason therefore, hath one of the inspi­red Writers given this necessary Exhortation. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine Heart,Prov. iii. 5. and lean not unto thine own Understanding.’ And he further saith,Ibid. xxviii. 16. ‘He that trusteth in his own Heart, is a Fool.’



1. Whence true Religion ariseth. 2. How God is to be known according to the New Covenant. Of whom the Body or Church of Christ is composed, and the Life it enjoys. 3. Whence this Life is received. 4. That which brings forth the New-birth must maintain it. 5. True Religion always essentially the same. Exterior Institutions only super-additions to lead the Darkened and Degenerate towards it. 6. Man has no Pretension to Merit, but through Faith­fulness, is graciously allowed a filial Claim. 7. The Nature of God's Covenants with Man.

1. NOTWITHSTANDING too many are taught to imagine Importance and Efficacy, in Mode, Ceremony, Sign and Shadow, the Mint, Anise and Cummin of the legal Dispensation;Gal. v. 6. yet it is certain, that ‘in Jesus Christ, neither Circumcision availeth any Thing, nor Uncircumcision, but Faith which worketh by Love.’ Neither the Practice, nor Disuse of Forms and Rituals, are of any Availance with God. But the first may more than unprofitably busy their Practi­sers, if they are so dangerously deceived, as to place Confidence either in their own Perform­ances, or those of their Leaders. The Religion of the true Christian consisteth not in Form, but Substance, and ariseth not from the Activity of human Reason, Imagination, or Opinion, but from an Heart-felt Sensation of Divine Love in the Light of Life. Its Foundation is no less than the immediate Administration of God's [Page 57]Holy Spirit to the Spirit of Man. This shews unto Man what his Thoughts are, what himself,Amos iv. 13. and what the Lord is, so far as properly con­cerns him. It opens the Understanding, and the Duty of the Obedient;Jer. x. 23. ‘for the Way of Man is not in himself; it is not in Man that walketh to direct his Steps.’ It is the Light of the Lamb which sheweth the Way of Salvation; the one great Light appointed to rule the Day, or spiritual Dispensation of Christianity;Rev. xxi. 14. wherein the Nations of them which are saved must walk.

2. Men in their natural State may, by Read­ing and Study, collect Abundance of Notions concerning the Supreme Being; but as Light discovers all Things, yet cannot be really known but by its own Appearance; so God, who, in the most perfect, and superlative Sense, is Light, 1 John i. 5. can only be truly known by his own immediate Manifestation. What is ordinarily called the Knowledge of God,John xvii. 3. is but a Series of Apprehensions concerning his Essence, his Attributes, and his Providence; but what our Saviour called so, is the real experimental Sense of his Life. ‘This is Life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.’ Truly to know him, is to participate of the quick­ening Sense of his Life, through the commu­nicated Influence of his eternal Spirit. Thus to know him, is to partake of the New Covenant, or true Gospel Dispensation; for therein it is declared,Jer xxxi. 34. ‘They shall all know me from the least of them to the greatest of them.’ Accordingly the living Christian has a certain Sense of Divine Life in his own Breast, which [Page 58]affords him Instruction, Strength and Comfort, in such a Manner, as he waits in Faithfulness upon it, that he is under no absolute Necessity to lean upon the Teachings of other Men; yet when they come in a Degree of the same Life, he accepts them as instrumentally from God.

This Life of God in Christ, is the very Soul of Christianity; without which the best Forms and highest Professions are but as Members of a dead Body, unavailable and unacceptable. ‘He that hath the Son hath Life, 1 John v. 12. and he that hath not the Son of God hath not Life." Because I live,"John xiv. 19, 20. saith he, "ye shall live also. At that Day, ye shall know, that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. It is because he lives in, and communicates of his Life to his spiritual Followers, that they live also. Of these the true Church, the adopted Body of Christ, under all Denominations, is composed. These alone are his peculiar Heri­tage, or Clergy. This Ecclesiastical Body of Christ, is a living Body, rendered such by the Inspiration of his Life.Col. iii. 4. He is the Life com­mon to all his true Members. By his vital Influence he communicates a living Sense of Truth to them, inclines them to himself, and inspires them both with the Desire and Power of Obedience, and as they advance in Faith­fulness, he favours them with increasing Tastes of Divine Grace and Love, the Savour of the Holy Unction, and the indwelling Virtue and Glory of his Heavenly Presence.Eph. iv. 4. ‘There is one Body, and one Spirit.’ Was there not one and the same Spirit throughout the whole Church, it could not be one Body, nor a living Body.In Joh. Tract. 26. Non potest vivere corpus Christi nisi [Page 59]de spiritu Christi, saith Augustine: The Body of Christ cannot live but by the Spirit of Christ. He who partakes not of the same Spirit with the Head, is no true Member of the Body. His spiritual Influence is the precious Blood, or Spring of Life which renders all his Members living, and what gives Life gives a Sense of that Life;Col. iii. 3. but though their Life is most surely known to themselves, it is hid with Christ in God, from the Knowledge of those who remain unquickened by it; and hence ariseth all their Opposition to it.

3. We are all by Nature Strangers to this Divine Life, and we cannot, by any Means, obtain it for ourselves. It is not of Man's Acquirement, but God's Communication; and as far out of the Reach of the most Learned, as of the most Illiterate. It is hid from the Wise and Prudent (in their own Eyes) and re­vealed to those who are as Babes (to the World's Wisdom.) It is not the high Learned, but the Humble that God teaches, and the Meek that he guides in the Paths of Truth and Judgment. Every one's Eye therefore ought to be humbly to God alone, and not to be fixed upon the Wise, the Scribe, the Disputer of this World; for God hath, by the powerful Simplicity and Purity of his Gospel Dispensation,1 Cor. i. 20. made foolish the Wisdom of this World. Yet so fond is the World of its own Wisdom, that it has in great Measure detruded the Cross of Christ, and true spiritual Religion, and erected and supported this Idol in its Room. After this Image the World has wondered, and indeed it hath been a Means wonderfully to blind, ensnare and deceive its Worshippers, whose Faith stands in [Page 60]the Wisdom of Men, 1 Cor. ii. 5. and not in the Power of God; and is therefore the Reverse of the Faith of the Gospel.

4. From a due Consideration of the debased and corrupt State of Mankind, since the Fall, and of the great and good End of their Creation, it must evidently appear, that Regeneration hath ever been the one Thing needful; a Work essen­tial for all to experience. And as the Birth of the Spirit cannot be brought forth by any Thing but the Spirit, so it must also be pre­served in its Growth and Accomplishment by the Spirit. Hence the abiding, or indwelling of the Spirit, remains to be of absolute Neces­sity to the Regenerate, that as their Souls are quickened into the Divine Life by it, they may continue to live, move, and have their Being as Christians therein, and be sustained in a spiritual Union, and blessed Communion with their Maker.

5. The Essentiality of true Religion hath ever been the same, primarily consisting in the Life of God being raised up, and the Love of God shed abroad in the Heart, operating therein to its Renovation, and to every virtuous and benevolent End. Whatever of Externals or Ceremonials have, at sundry Times, been super-added by Divine Direction or Command, were not intended to alter, or unsettle Men from due and constant Attention to vital spiritual Religion; but when they were become greatly degenerated from it, and darkened concerning it, the mer­ciful Creator was pleased, by Means suited to their estranged and carnal Condition, to point it out to them, and lead them by Signs and Symbols towards it. Thus the Mosaic Law [Page 61]was not meant to be the Whole of Religion to the Israelites, Gal. iii. 24. or to supercede the internal Reli­gion of Grace; but only to be as a Schoolmaster to bring them to Christ in Spirit, in whom all is included and fulfilled, and whose Presence was then with the Faithful amongst them, who had spiritual Communion with him; for, according to Scripture,1 Cor. x. 3, 4. ‘They did all eat the same spiritual Meat, and did all drink the same spiritual Drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ.

It is a vain Thing to imagine, that Reli­gion ever wholly consisted in Mode or Form; or that the All-perfect Lord at any Time dis­pensed with the Substance for the Sake of the Shadow; or ever made any Alteration therein, by Diversity of Institutions, from arbitrary Will and Pleasure, merely to exercise his Sove­reignty, as though Power was a darling Attri­bute, and more regarded by him than Wisdom, Righteousness, and Goodness; or as though his Attributes could be divided in him. No; he is God, and changeth not. His Law is his own Spirit of eternal Rectitude, and his Retri­bution according to every Man's State and Works. The different Modifications that have appeared amongst Men in Point of Religion, have been occasioned by the different Altera­tions in the Conditions of Mankind. The All-wise God hath directed some for a Time, in Condescension, for the good End above­mentioned; and divers Combinations of Men have invented and enjoined Abundance more, according to their own carnal Misapprehensions [Page 62]of spiritual Things, or to advance their own sinister Purposes.

Exterior Forms are but temporary Matters. They are no Essentials of true Christianity. The great Author of it represents it as a Well of Water in Man springing up into everlasting Life. John iv. 14. It radically ariseth from a living, abiding, increasing Principle in Man, of a pure, spiritual and heavenly Nature. As this is cordially embraced, it enlarges in the Soul, expels the Works and Power of Darkness, and produceth its own genuine Fruits of Humility, Self­denial, Patience, Resignation to God, and Trust in him alone; Righteousness, Holiness, Meek­ness, Gentleness, Temperance, Goodness, Bro­therly-kindness, Charity. It derives its Origin from Heaven, and leads to Heaven. It carries the Soul out of all Formalities and false Rests, up to the Supreme Good himself. It breaks down all our own Self-will, and brings into perfect Resignation to the Divine Will. In this humble contrited Frame, and no other, can we sincerely and truly say, Thy Kingdom come! Thy Will be done! For whilst our Wills stand in Separation from the Will of God, we cannot address him in these Terms with Pro­priety; or in Spirit and Truth.

6. The Pride of Man is naturally averse to this abased and broken Situation. It knows not how to submit to be, or to think itself, nothing; though it is worse than nothing. It would fain erect and plume itself upon some Impor­tance, some Estimation, or Deserving of its own; yet all its Pretences to Merit are false and vain. Man being nothing as such, but what God has made him, and possessing nothing but [Page 63]what he affords him, is wholly God's, and not his own, and is therefore in Duty bound to walk in Obedience to him, every Moment of his Life, which is given him for that End. And seeing Man has fallen short of his Duty, and hath sinned against his Sovereign by Diso­bedience, it is neither in his Power, by any Thing he can perform, to merit Heaven, nor to purchase Remission for himself. He can neither undo what he has misdone, nor render to his Maker an Equivalent for the Trespasses he hath committed against him. But such is the merciful Goodness, and Free Grace of God towards his helpless Creatures, that he offers both Forgiveness and Felicity upon the most reasonable Terms of Repentance and Amend­ment. To the Willing and Obedient, to him who is faithful unto Death, to him that over­cometh, through Divine Assistance, are the Promises of eternal Life. Upon the Foundation of these free and voluntary Offers of the Divine Goodness, and Man's Compliance with the Conditions, stands his Title.Rev. xxii. 14. ‘Blessed are they that do his Commandments, that they may have Right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the Gates into the City.’

7. The Laws and Requisitions of God to Man, are in Scripture often stiled Covenants. Not meaning that Man has personally bound himself, on his Part to perform the Conditions, but that he is really in Duty as deeply obliged, and as firmly bound to do the Will of his Creator, as if he had voluntarily bound himself in the strongest Obligations possible. The Reason is, Man owes his very Being, and all the Good he receives, spiritual and temporal, [Page 64]to his Maker, to whom he stands indebted for all, and who therefore hath an unquestionable Right to claim all Affection, Gratitude, and Obedience from him; and more especially as it is all for his own everlasting Advantage. There is also an internal spiritual Covenant, a Divine Connection, which the Heart of Man feels, in his Faithfulness, to his Creator: The Spirit of Life, in Christ Jesus, which sets free from the Bonds of Sin and Death, and unites the Soul to its Saviour in the powerful Covenant of Divine Love. By this, through Faith, it becomes engrafted into Christ; and by Obe­dience, it remains in him as a Branch in the Vine; or is incorporated with him as its Head; for ‘he that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit.’ 1 Cor. vi. 17. Of this vital Union regenerate Souls have a certain Sense, in Proportion to their Progress.1 John iv. 13. ‘Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit."Ibid. iii. 24.—"Hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’ Hence it is clear, that the Gift of the Spirit communicates this Intelligence.



1. Religion the same both to the Learned and Unlearned—The Holy Spirit requisite to every Man, as the universal Reformer. 2. It was such to the Israelites, and 3. The best Part of their Divine Legation. 4. Why Statutes of an outward and temporary Nature were added. 5. They are taught to look through them to Christ, of whose Spirit they partook. 6. But it was not dispensed to them in that Degree of Purity and Splendor with which it broke forth at the Christian Aera. 7. How this was witnessed to by the Law. 8. How by the Prophets. 9. The Spirit was in all Ages administered, and the truly Humble favoured with its indwelling.

1. RELIGION here, and Salvation hereafter, are as much the Concern and Duty of the Illiterate and Ignorant, as of the Wise and Learned. And as those are by much the greater Number, religious Duty must undoubtedly consist in something equally attainable and practicable by all; for God is no Respecter of Persons. It cannot lie essen­tially in literal Knowledge, nor in any peculiar Mode of Education; for these are the Lot of few, in Comparison of the whole of Mankind. Happiness being the End of Man's Creation, and the universal indispensable Concern of every Man, the effective Means of Regeneration and Salvation must be attainable by every Man. [Page 66]Nothing but the Omnipresent, and All-effec­tive Spirit of God can be this Means; for nothing else is universal, nor any Way adequate to the Work. The Spirit of God therefore, being necessary to every Man, is afforded to every Man, by him who with-holds nothing necessary.

This Holy operative Spirit, Solomon, under its Influence, with great Propriety, stiles Wisdom, and represents it, in familiar Language, as calling upon Mankind, to turn at its Reproofs, with a Promise,Prov. i. to pour out its Spirit unto them. He also impleads those as Fools who reject or slight its Reproofs, or Convictions in their Consciences;Verse 20, 21. by which he shews, it accompa­nies them even in the Streets and Places of Concourse. Recounting the great Works of this Spirit of Wisdom, he elsewhere testifies, ‘She preserved the first formed Father of the World,Wisd. x. 1. that was created alone, and brought him out of his Fall.’ She was not only his Preserver before his Fall, but his Requickener and Restorer out of that Death, he through Transgression fell into; and seeing the whole rational Progeny of Adam are naturally under the like Necessity of being born of the Spirit, its Administration is offered to all, in due Degrees, and every Individual in all Ages, who have experienced the New-birth, by which right Reformation is wrought, have known it to be effected by the Operation of the Spirit. This the wise Author above-cited witnesseth, in his Acknowledgment to Almighty Good­ness, when he saith,Wisd. ix. 17, 18. ‘Thy Council who hath known, except thou give Wisdom, and send thy Holy Spirit from above? For so the [Page 67]Ways of them who lived on the Earth were reformed, and Men were taught the Things that are pleasing unto thee, and were saved through Wisdom.

Evident Tokens of internal Religion, and the immediate Manifestations of the Spirit for that End, appear throughout both the Old Tes­tament and the New. Before the Flood, the old World was favoured with the Manifestation of the Holy Spirit, as it is implied Gen. vi. 3. My Spirit shall not always strive with," or rather in, "Man." For so Hebreans say it ought to be rendered. And indeed, where could the Spirit so properly strive as in the Soul of Man, where the Seat of Corruption is, and to which the Suggestions of Evil are applied? And to what End should it strive with them, but to bring them to Repentance and Refor­mation, and to become, through their Obe­dience, the Kingdom, or ruling Power of God in them.

Renovation of Heart by the Holy Spirit, and its genuine Fruits of Repentance towards God, Faith in him, and Obedience to him, was the principal and essential Part of Religion also among the Israelites. Deut. xxx. 10. Moses represents the Conditions on the Perfor­mance of which they should be entitled to the Promises. ‘If thou shalt hearken unto the Voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his Commandments and his Statutes, which are written in this Book of the Law, and if thou turn unto the Lord thy God, with all thine Heart, and with all thy Soul.’ These are the Terms; first, that they should keep the Law; this was the external and legal Part [Page 68]of their Duty. Second, that they should turn their whole Hearts and Souls to God; this was the internal and evangelical Part. He leaves them not here in a State of Uncertainty, but proceeds to shew them to what their inward Attention should be turned.Verse 11, &c. "For," saith he, ‘this Commandment which I command thee this Day,’ (or this which I command thee to turn thine Heart unto) ‘is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in Heaven that thou shouldst say, who shall go up for us to Heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it and do it? Neither is it beyond the Sea, that thou shouldst say, who shall go over the Sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it and do it? But the Word is very nigh unto thee, in thy Mouth, and in thy Heart, that thou mayst do it.’ The Apostle assumes and explains this Passage, Rom. x. 6, 7, 8. ‘The Righteousness which is of Faith, speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine Heart, who shall ascend into Heaven?’ (that is to bring Christ down from above.) ‘Or, who shall descend into the Deep?’ (that is to bring up Christ again from the Dead) ‘But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy Mouth, and in thy Heart. That is the Word of Faith which we preach.

By this Explanation of the Apostle, it appears, 1st, That besides the Law, Moses then preached to Israel the same Words of Faith, which himself, and his evangelical Brethren did. 2d, That this Word is Christ in Spirit, calling for Attention and Obedience in the Heart, or Conscience, of Man, in order to effect his Restoration and Salvation. 3d, This [Page 69]is not a local, or temporary, but anward Visitation of the Saviour of Mankind, by his Spirit in the Heart.

The Word of Faith is the Word of Truth, the Word of the everlasting Gospel; and not a Composition of Letters. The Term Word, like many other Words, is used in various Senses; as a Speech or Saying, an Engagement, a Report, a Command, an Exhortation, an Instruction, &c. because these are composed of Words. And as Men use to convey their Sense to one another by Words, so God conveys his to Men by Christ, who is peculiarly and empha­tically stiled in Scripture, the Word of God; John i. and Rev. xix. 13. and as the Way Men receive Words from the Mouths of one another is by hearing, so the Manner by which the Soul receives internal Instruction, Reproof, &c. from the Holy Spirit, is metaphorically called Hearing. Thus Faith, which is the Gift of God, is said to come by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Rom. x. 17 That is, I apprehend, the internal Sense itself is opened in the Soul, as well as Subjects com­municated, by the Spirit of Christ.

3. Hence we see, the Divine Legation to the Jews, consisted not in the outward written Law only. Nor were they kept in Ignorance of inward spiritual Religion, or of a future State of Rewards and Punishments. For, if so, to what Purpose did Moses press the Considera­tion of their latter End upon them, with so much Fervency? ‘O that they were wise,Deut. xxxii. 29. that they understood this, that they would consider their latter End. What material Consideration should their latter End, or Time of Death, be of, to such as know no better [Page 70]but that it would be the Period of their Exis­tence? Or why should he command their Attention to the living Word of Faith, Christ in the Heart, as well as to the written Code? He was an eminently inspired Prophet, and well knew that Salvation is by Christ alone; and that his inward spiritual Law, is as preferable to the exterior one, as the Substance is to the Shadow. Obedience to the outward temporal Law, had outward and temporal Promises; but Obedience to the inward spiritual Law, hath Promises of an internal and eternal Nature. By the Works of the first, no Man could be justified; but by the Operation of the last, Sanctification is wrought, and Salvation expe­rienced. Moses was a Type of Christ, and the temporal Law, with its temporal Rewards, a Type of the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, and its eternal Recompence.

4. But it may be queried; if the spiritual Law was always afforded, what Occasion was there for the Addition of temporal Statutes? Answ. The Israelites, by living under Servi­tude to a most superstitious and idolatrous People, were become prone to Superstition and Idolatry themselves.Psal. evi. 35, 36. "They were mingled among the Heathen," saith the Psalmist, ‘and learned their Works; and they served their Idols, which were a Snare unto them.’ Out of this Idolatry they were to be brought, and by their Obedience to the only true God, were to become an Example to the Nations round them, to influence their Return likewise. Tho' all had the Word nigh in the Heart, yet having lost the right Sense of what it is, the Law was [Page 71]added because of their Transgression and Cor­ruption till the coming of Christ in the Flesh.Gal. iii. 19.

Seeing their habitual Attachment to the Forms and Superstitions of Paganism, was too strong to admit of their being willingly and clearly brought out of them at once, Divine Wisdom condescended to meet them in the State they were in, and to proceed gradually with them, by allowing them some Forms and Ceremonies like to those they had been inured to; but more regular and significant. The Supreme Lord of the Universe first observes to them,Exod. xx. ‘I am the Lord thy God which have brought thee out of the Land of Egypt, out of the House of Bondage;’ and then commands, ‘Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.’ Thus he draws their Atten­tion off from the Idols of the Heathen, and places it wholly upon himself, as the sole Object of their Adoration and Obedience. And to give one Instance for all, as the Heathens, whose Manners they had imbibed, were accus­tomed to swear by their false Gods, he did not see fit to prohibit all solemn Oaths at once, but confined them to swear by himself alone, exclusive of the Pagan Idols; not requiring the perfect Practice of the Christian Precept, Swear not at all, neither by Heaven, nor by the Earth, nor by any other Oath, of them, whilst not in a Christian State, nor under its clear Dispensation; but only entering them into the Path appointed for them towards it, and to prepare the Way for its Establishment. Thus he made the Law a temporary Expedient, to bring them gradually towards the Practice of that perfect Religion, he intended in due Season [Page 72]to introduce, and to set up in its Purity, for all Men to come into, and to walk in.

5. In the mean Time, the Sovereign Wisdom was pleased to sound an Alarm, and set up an Ensign to the rest of Mankind, amongst the Descendants of Israel. He wrought Wonders for their Deliverance and Support; and, besides many excellent moral Precepts, dispensed to them a Form of Knowledge and of the Truth in the Law; Rom. ii. 20 symbolically denoting the Nature and Manner of Redemption and Salvation through his Son, by many significant Types, Allego­ries, and Similitudes, accommodated to the religious Modes, and Apprehensions they had espoused; which, though Semblances of a distant, because of an exterior Kind, yet were intended, and wisely adapted to be to the super­stitiously disposed,Gal. iii. 24. as a Schoolmaster to lead them gradually to Christ: That is, to the Know­ledge of Christ, then to come outwardly as a propitiatory Sacrifice for the Sins of Mankind, and also to the Knowledge of Christ within, the Hope of Glory, as the actual Sanctifier and Saviour of Men.1 Cor. x. 2. For though they were all baptized unto Moses in the Cloud, or dipped into his exterior Dispensation as under a Veil; yet the Spiritually-minded amongst them, were enabled to penetrate through the Veil to the internal Reality,1 Cor. x. 2, 3, 4. and "did" as before observed, ‘all eat the same spiritual Meat, and did all drink the same spiritual Drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.

Still further to assist them, Divine Goodness, at Times, inspired divers of the most regene­rate, and most devoted of both Sexes, with [Page 73]the Spirit of Prophecy, and engaged them to preach the Necessity of Righteousness and Holiness to them, and to direct their View, through the Figures and outward Similitudes of the ceremonial Law, to the Truth signi­fied by them, and plainly to instruct them in, and exhort them to inward and spiritual Reli­gion; which was the ultimate Intent of the Mosaic, and every other Dispensation of God to Mankind. For the Rituals of the Law were not instituted to supersede, but to serve, as an Index to the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.

I do not apprehend, that the Mystery of Godliness, and its internal Life and Virtue, was ever intended by Divine Wisdom to be concealed from Mankind; but was always held forth, though sometimes obscurely under typi­cal Forms, on Account of the Numbers of degenerate Minds, who were too much prepos­sessed and darkened, to behold the Splendor of the Gospel in its clear Manifestation. For, throughout all Generations, to as many as rightly received Christ, John i. 12. he gave Power to become the Sons of God; yet the spiritual powerful Gospel of our Lord, was not so publickly promulgated, without some Kind of ceremo­nial Shadows, till the full Display of the Christian Dispensation, at the Time of the Jewish Feast of Pentecost, when the Disciples, waiting together in Obedience to the Com­mand of Christ, were according to his Promise, baptized with his one true permanent Baptism; that of the Holy Ghost, which fulfils and supersedes all other Baptisms, and remains the standing Ordinance of God to his Church for [Page 74]ever. Then by Revelation was the Mystery con­spicuously and powerfully disclosed,Eph. iii. 5, 6. "which," saith the Apostle, ‘in other Ages was not made known unto the Sons of Men, as’ (or in the same Degree) ‘it is now revealed unto his Holy Apostles and Prophets, by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be Fellow-heirs, and of the same Body, and Partakers of his Promise in Christ by the Gospel. Rom. iii. 21.—"For now the Righteousness of God without the Law, is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets.’

7. The Law witnessed to the Gospel, 1st, by its various Offerings and Sacrifices, pointing out, and keeping in Remembrance, that the Messiah should come in the Flesh, in order "to put away Sin by the Sacrifice of himself."Heb. ix. 26: This was the real Use of the Sin and Trespass-offerings; for,Ibid. x. 4. ‘It is not possible, that the Blood of Bulls and Goats should take away Sins.’ No; they had Reference to the pre­cious Blood of Christ, both corporeal and spiri­tual, who ‘by one Offering,Heb. x. 14. hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified,’ thereby putitng a final Period to the legal Sacrifices. 2d. The Law witnessed to the Gospel, by its divers Sprinklings, Washings, and Purificati­ons, which had no more Efficacy towards the Removal of Sin and Guilt, than the Blood of Bulls and Goats; but must be understood to denote the Necessity of real Holiness, and to signify the spiritual Administration of Christ, who gave himself for us, Tit. i. 14. that he might redeem us (not only from Guilt and Condemnation) but also from all Iniquity, the Cause of them, and purify unto himself a peculiar (or sanctified) [Page 75] People, zealous of good Works. Ibid. iii. 5. This he doth by the washing of Regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost.

8. The Prophets witnessed to the Gospel, 1st, by their predictive Declarations concern­ing the Coming, Sufferings, and Offices of the Messiah. 2d, By instructing the People in the Necessity of internal, essential, effectual Reli­gion, in Preference to the written Law, even during the Time that stood in Force, as that weightier Part and superior Duty, which ever necessarily remains throughout all Generations.

Samuel saith,1 Sam. xv. 22. ‘To obey is better than Sacri­fice.’ Hos. vi. 6. Hosea, ‘I desired Mercy, and not Sacrifice,’ (or not in Comparison with it) ‘and the Knowledge of God more than Burnt-offerings.’ David acknowledges to the Lord, ‘Thou desirest not Sacrifice,Psal. li. 16, 17. else would I give it: Thou delightest not in Burnt-offering. The Sacrifices of God are a broken Spirit: A broken and a contrite Heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ In his pathetic Address to the Almighty, Verse 6, he saith, "Thou desirest Truth in the inward Parts;" and Verse 10, he prays, ‘Create in me a clean Heart, and renew a right Spirit within me.’ Micah queries,Micah vi. 7, 8. ‘Will the Lord be pleased with Thousands of Rams, or with ten Thousands of Rivers of Oil? Shall I give my First-born for my Transgression1, the Fruit of my Body for the Sin of my Soul?’ And then answers; ‘He hath shewed thee, O Man, what is Good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, to love Mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Moses exhorteth the Children of Israel, Deut. x. 16. to cir­cumcise [Page 76]the Foreskin of their Heart, and told them,Ibid. xxx. 6. ‘The Lord thy God will circumcise thine Heart, and the Heart of thy Seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine Heart, and with all thy Soul.’ Here he shewed them,Rom. iv. 11. though they had received the Sign of Cir­cumcision, the Reality most required was that of the Heart in the Spirit; which is the Work of Regeneration, the Christian Circumcision of the Apostle,Ibid. ii. 28, 29. who asserts, ‘He is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that Cir­cumcision which is of the Flesh, but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and Circumci­sion is that of the Heart, in the Spirit, and not in the Letter. He also observes to the Colosians, Col. ii. 11. that in Christ they were circumcised ‘with the Circumcision made without Hands, in putting off the Body of the Sins of the Flesh, by the Circumcision of Christ.

That the Necessity of the Knowledge and Love of God, and of a Change from Sin to Holiness, by the internal Circumcision of the Spirit, was both taught and pressed upon the Jews, as that without which the Observance of the Law would little avail them;Isa. i. 11. to 19, and Chap. lxvi. 3, 4. nay, the Prophet Isaiah plainly shews, that the latter without the former, rendered the Practice of it, though divinely instituted, abominable even to its Institutor.

9. Regeneration, or the Circumcision of the Heart in the Spirit, being always required, the Spirit by which alone it is wrought, must have been always dispensed to Mankind for that End. This is the gracious Gift of the Father Almighty, through the Redeemer, to whom the Psalmist saith,Psal. lxviii. 18. ‘Thou hast ascended on [Page 79]high; thou hast led Captivity captive; thou hast received Gifts for Men; yea, for the Rebellious also; that the Lord God might dwell among them. This was the blessed Expe­rience of those that humbled themselves under his mighty Hand.Isa. lvii. 15. ‘For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth Eternity, whose Name is Holy, I dwell in the high and Holy Place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble Spirit, to revive the Spirit of the Humble, and to revive the Heart of the contrite Ones.’


1. The Mosaic Law a new Form of Theocracy, therefore introduced by miraculous Appear­ances. The Abolition of the Law, and the setting up of the Gospel in its genuine Purity, was necessarily attended with equal Demon­stration of the like wonderful Powers. 2. All the primitive Ministers had the Spirit, but their Gifts were different. All were not Workers of Miracles, therefore these were extra Powers, not essential to an inspired Ministry. Inspiration always requisite to true Ministry; but Miracles not. 3 and 4. Mira­cles were temporary Sanctions requisite to the Abolition of the Law, and Institution of the Gospel, but not essential to be continued for its Support, yet under all Dispensations, at Times were occasionally wrought. The Want of them no Proof a Minister is not inspired. 5. The Institution of Christianity once confirmed by them, the future Promulgation of its Doc­trine, [Page 80]stands not in Need of their continued Repetition. The Excellency of the Gospel con­sists in its being a Ministration of the Spirit, clear of all exterior Signs and Shadows. 6. True Christians are baptized by one Spirit into one Body. 7. The Primitives not opened at once into the perfect Clearness of the Gospel, but gradually enlightned. 8. Hence many Profes­sors to this Day, mistake the first initiatory Mixture for the complete State of Christianity. 9. This consists in the total Removal of out­ward Signs and Shadows, and the clear shining of the Sun of Righteousness itself. The Vanity of superseding this by human Learning.

1. AFTER the Wonders of Creation and Providence were displayed, in pro­ducing and establishing the stupendous System of external Nature, its great Author was pleased, at distant Periods, to shew forth the visible Effects of his miraculous Power amongst the Sons of Men; but when the Time came wherein he saw fit to recal the degenerate World from the Corruptions it was immersed in, by a public Assumption and Manifestation of his own just Dominion amongst a People chosen for that Purpose, he raised up the Chil­dren of Israel as an Exemplar to the rest of Mankind. He brought them out of their Aegyptian Bondage by an high Hand, and through many admirable Strokes of his Power; and upon his Institution of the Mosaic Law, which being the Introduction of a new Form of Theocracy, unknown to the World, it was requisite it should be attended by such extraor­dinary Marks of Divine Authority, as might [Page 81]be sufficient to authenticate and inforce it, as coming from himself. He therefore, on that great Occasion, appeared to the Israelites in a Manner answerable to his Almighty Sove­reignty; and also to the Nature and Solemnity of that Law; which being a Ministration of Condemnation, was ushered in by the most dreadful and astonishing Tokens of Terror; with Thundrings and Lightnings, Blackness, Darkness, and Tempest, the Mountain flaming with Fire, the alarming Sound of the Trumpet, waxing louder and louder, and the Voice of Words so terrible, that not only the People, but the whole Mountain quaked exceedingly. This being an obvious, and most solemn Act of the supreme Legislator of the Universe, no less Authority than his own, could either abolish, or alter it, and when the Period arrived, wherein he saw fit to set aside, and supersede this Law of outward and carnal Ordinances, by bringing forward into full View, and sole Obligation, the Substance pointed to by it, his spiritual and more excellent Covenant; it was necessary that it should appear to be done, by clear Demonstrations of the same sovereign Autho­rity, in as public a Manner, and at the most proper Season for it. Accordingly the gracious Dispensation of the Gospel was introduced by Evidences of Divine Authority equally extra­ordinary, and equally suited to its placid and falutary Nature.

Besides the numerous Predictions of the Prophets concerning the Messiah, the Advent of his Forerunner the Baptist, and the miracu­lous Conception of our Saviour by the blessed Virgin, witness the many wonderful Works [Page 82]he performed, the unaccountable Darkness, and the rending of the Veil of the Temple throughout from Top to Bottom, upon his giving up the Ghost, denoting the Separation, Conclusion, and passing away of all Sign and Ceremony, and the Disclosure of the Substance in Spirit and Truth; his astonishing Resur­rection, and that of the Bodies of buried Saints which arose and went into the City; and his visible Ascension, attended with the glorious Ministration of Angels. After all this, at the Time of the Jewish Feast of Pen­tecost, annually observed in Memorial of the giving forth of the Law on Mount Sinai, the Apostles and Disciples, Male and Female, being assembled together, according to the Lord's Command, the Holy Spirit gave a two-fold Demonstration of its Advent, as the admi­nistrative Power of the Christian Dispensation, then to commence without any Mixture of a legal or shadowy Nature; first, by the Appear­ance of cloven Tongues, as of Fire, which sate upon each of them. Second, by filling their Hearts with the Holy Ghost,Acts ii. to such a Degree, that they began to speak with other Tongues, or in other Languages besides their own, as the Spirit gave them Utterance. Indued with Heavenly Wisdom and Power, and infla­med with Divine Love and Fervour, they were now qualified to put in Practice the Commis­sion before given, in a verbal Manner, by the great Lord and Lawgiver. To divers of them were likewise added, the miraculous Powers of healing all Manner of Diseases; the Dumb were made to speak, the Deaf to hear, the Lame to walk, the Blind to see; Demoniacs [Page 83]were dispossessed, and the Dead were raised and restored to Life.

But these extraordinary Powers were neither conferred upon all, nor confined to the Apos­tles only; yet a Measure of the same Spirit was communicated to every one of them, Women as well as Men; otherwise Peter's Application of the Prophecy of Joel had not been true. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, but diffe­rently gifted, and qualified by it, for different Services, according to the Will and Wisdom of the great Dispenser.1 Cor. xii. 8, &c. ‘To one is given by the Spirit the Word of Wisdom; to another the Word of Knowledge by the same Spirit; to another Faith by the same Spirit; to ano­ther the Gift of Healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of Miracles; to ano­ther Prophecy; to another discerning of Spirits; to another divers Kinds of Tongues; to another the Interpretation of Tongues. But all these worketh that one and the self same Spirit, dividing to every Man severally as he will.

Hence it appears, that what are commonly called Miracles, are not necessary or essential to Divine Inspiration, but only adjunctive Ope­rations of the Spirit thereto, which have been occasionally super-added, and therefore may either totally cease, when the Occasions for which they were added are over, or continue to be used as it shall appear requisite to Divine Wisdom. When therefore the Gospel was so far spread and established, in the Parts then intended, that the End for which those extraor­dinary Powers were afforded was answered they were gradually withdrawn from the Church; [Page 84]which was left, in the general, upon its proper and permanent Bottom, the immediate Inspi­ration of the Holy Spirit. No Necessity there­fore can be pleaded for the constant Continuance of miraculous Powers, or such a Spirit of Pro­phecy, as signifies a peculiar Gift of foretelling future Events; but only of those supernatural Influences, which are requisite to enlighten, quicken, regenerate, sanctify, bring forth the Fruits of the Spirit in Man, enable him to fill up his Duty, and finally prepare him for a Coelestial Mansion. These are indispensably necessary to be continued. They are of moral Consideration, and immediately influential to the Preparation and Salvation of every Man, which Miracle and Prediction are not.

3. Notwithstanding manifest Appearances of extraordinary Power were added, both to the Introduction of the Law, and that of the Gospel, they are not to be considered as Parts of either, but as Sanctions requisite to their Insti­tution; so I believe, some divine Exertions of a miraculous Nature have been evidenced, at Times, under both Administrations, as well as before them; either for the Convincement of doubtful Persons, or to give additional Weight and Authority to the Ministry of some inspired Servants of God, amongst those present with them, or to encourage and confirm them in their Service. Though I doubt not but this hath sometimes been the Case since the first Century, and may remain to be so to the End of Time, for neither the Power nor Good­ness of the Almighty is shortened; yet I am also of Opinion, that miraculous Appearances have been less publick, and more sparingly [Page 85]afforded since the first Century than before it; which may be in Part owing to the Declension of the professing Churches. I also believe, according to the prophetic Declarations of the. Apostles, that under the declined and darkened State of both Teachers and Hearers, many strange Signs, and lying Wonders have been, and still may be suffered to be imposed upon the Credulity of a disobedient People, by false Pre­tenders, for the Support of a corrupt Interest, and the Aggrandisement of the Conductors. Undoubtedly, those mysterious Delusions have been abundantly more numerous for many Centuries past, than the Exertions of Divine Power in an extraordinary Way.

4. The Continuation of exterior Miracles is not essential to the Ministration of the Gospel; for was it so, Christianity could not subsist without them. Yet, though they are not of absolute Necessity thereunto, they may be occa­sionally used, or not, as the Sovereign Wisdom sees meet. But that they are still constantly, or periodically continued in any particular Church, as a peculiar Mark of its being the only true Church of Christ, above all others, I find no Warrant to believe. Pretensions of this Kind, naturally put thinking Minds upon looking for a superior Excellency in the Doc­trines, and Practices of such a Church; and when they find it abound in Superstition and Pomp, coercive Imposition, proud Hierarchy, Craft, Lucre, and Idolatry, even bordering upon Politheism; for what else is the Adora­tion of Saints, and Sinners under that Title, by attributing a Kind of Omnipresence, and Influence in the Court of Heaven to them? [Page 86]When they find these, and other monstrous Absurdities in the established Doctrines of such a Church, instead of the Simplicity, Purity, Humility, Love and Life of the Gospel; what can they conclude of those Pretensions, but that they are the deceitful Juggles of Imposture, and the Legends of Folly? The very Ends most of them are calculated to answer, sufficiently evidence their Falshood, and shew, whatever they are, that they are not Divine.

It doth not appear, that in the primitive Age of Christianity, those who were sometimes attended with miraculous Powers, were always so accompanied in their Ministry; nor that all inspired Ministers were ever enabled to work Miracles in the Sight of the People. Seeing therefore it is evident, that these extraordinary Powers are not essential to an inspired Mini­stry, they are not the necessary Proofs of it; nor the Want of them an Argument, that a Minister is not inspired. But though these are not essential to Christianity, immediate Inspi­ration is constitutionally so. The Excellency of the Gospel Dispensation is, that it is not a Mixture of Sign and Substance, as that of the Jews was, nor a temporary, but a standing Ministration of the Spirit.

5. Seeing no further Change of Dispensati­ons is ever to be made, nor any other Doctrine to be preached, but that of our Saviour and his Apostles, which upon its Commencement, received a miraculous Confirmation, sufficient for its lasting Establishment, People are not now to expect, or call for Miracles from those who preach the Christian Doctrine; but to turn to, and attend upon that Divine Principle [Page 87]pointed out in the Scriptures, as manifested in the Breast of each Individual, the Ministra­tion of Christ in Spirit. This will give the sincere and humble Receiver more clear and particular Demonstration than outward Signs and Tokens could do; for the Powers whence these proceed, may be disputed, but the inter­nal Evidence of the Light of Christ, the Life of Men, as rightly waited for, and adhered to, leaves no Doubt in the Mind concerning its Divine Nature and Authority. Hence Robert Barclay asserts, in the Words of the primitive Protestants, there is no Need now of outward Miracles to avouch the Doctrines of the Gos­pel; yet acknowledges, that some did appear upon its Revival in the last Century. But to return.

The Apostle, 2 Cor. iii. shews that the Mini­stration of the Gospel far excels that of the Law, and that its Excellency stands in its Spirituality. Having spoken of the Law,2 Cor. iii. 8, 9, 10, 11. Verse 7, he subjoins, ‘How shall not the Ministra­tion of the Spirit be rather glorious? For if the Ministration of Condemnation be Glory, much more doth the Ministration of Righ­teousness exceed in Glory. For even that which was made glorious, had no Glory in this Respect, by Reason of the Glory which excelleth. For if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remain­eth is glorious.’ Why is the Gospel thus super-eminent above the Law, seeing that was a Divine Institution? Principally, because it is not an outward Code as the Law was,2 Cor. iii. 3. but an inward Law of Life, ‘written, not with Ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, [Page 88]not in Tables of Stone, but in fleshly Tables of the Heart;Verse 6. and because it makes able Mini­sters, not of the Letter, but of the Spirit; for the Letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth Life.

No Man can be a true Christian without the Spirit of Christ;Rom. viii. 9. for, ‘If any Man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.’

Every Christian ought to experience the indwelling of the Spirit.1 Cor. vi. 19. ‘Know ye not that your Body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own.’

It is requisite to every Christian, that he should know the Spirit to be his Guide and Leader;Rom. viii. 14. for, only as many as are led by the Spirit of God, are the Sons of God.’

No Man can be a Sheep of Christ without a distinguishing Sense of the Spirit of Christ. ‘I am the good Shepherd,John x. 14, 27, 4 and 5. and know my Sheep, and am known of mine."—"My Sheep hear my Voice, and I know them, and they fol­low me."—"The Sheep follow him, for they know his Voice, and a Stranger they will not follow.’ The Voice of Christ is the Manifestation of his Spirit to the Soul.

Without being born again of the Spirit,John iii. no Man can enter the Kingdom of God, and without the Spirit, no Man can be born of it; consequently the Spirit is altogether as requi­site to us as it could be to the Primitives. It is no more in our Ability to regenerate and prepare ourselves for the Kingdom, than it was in theirs. No Powers, natural or acquired, in our unregenerate State, are sufficient for so great a Purpose, and to enable us truly to say, with the People of God in former Times, [Page 89] ‘Lord, thou wilt ordain Peace for us;Isa. xxvi. 12. for thou hast wrought all our Works in us.’

Without the Spirit, no Man can be a Mini­ster of the Spirit. The apostolic Direction is, ‘As every Man hath received the Gift,1 Peter iv. 10, 11. even so minister the same one to another, as good Stewards of the manifold Grace of God. If any Man speak, let him speak as the Oracles of God; if any Man minister, let him do it as of the Ability which God giveth; that God in all Things may be glorified through Jesus Christ.’

6. Every true Believer and faithful Follower of Christ, in the apostolic Age, received a Portion of the same Holy Spirit which the Prophets and Apostles did, though in less Degrees; "for," saith Paul, 1 Cor. xii. 13. by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. This one Spirit rendered them one Body, and joined them to the one living Head. ‘There is one Body and one Spirit,Eph. iv. 4, 5, 6. even as ye are called in one Hope of your Calling; one Lord, one Faith, one Bap­tism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Thus, according to the several Measures allot­ted them, they were all Partakers of the same Holy Spirit, and as it was then, so it is now, and ever must be in the true spiritual universal Church of Christ.

7. The Gospel Sun arose in great Splendor, yet it appeared not in its full Meridian at once, to any. The Openings of Truth in the Minds of the primitive Christians, Apostles as well [Page 90]as others, were gradual. As they advanced forward in the new Nature, they saw further and further. For a Time, they occasionally circumcised, entered into Vows, anointed with Oil, baptized with John's Baptism; all which were of an external and legal Nature. Nay, at first, they perceived not the Holy Ghost was to be given to Gentiles as well as Jews, though Joel had plainly prophesied, it should be poured out upon all Flesh. But afterwards, as their Concern continued to press forward, they were led beyond the first initiatory Mix­ture of Things; they saw clearly and declared, that the Holy Spirit fell upon the Gentiles,Acts xi. 18. as well as Jews; Gal. v. 6. that neither Circumcision nor Uncircumcision availeth; Heb. ix. 9. that a good Conscience ariseth not from the Practice of exterior Rites; 1 John ii. 20, 27. that the Unction from the Holy One is altogether sufficient to give Instruction and true Judgment; that the saving Baptism is not that which can reach no deeper than the outside of the Flesh, but that of the Spirit, which baptizes the Heart,1 Pet. iii. 21. and produceth the Answer of a good Conscience towards God, by the Resurrection of Christ, or his spiritual arising in or upon the Soul.

8. It is no uncommon Thing to hear the apostolic Age stiled the Infancy of Christianity; and so it was in Point of Time, and also in Respect to the temporary Continuation of a few Exteriors, not immediately seen through, and afterwards retained for a Season, in Conde­scention to those new Believers, who had been so much attached to symbolical Practices, they could not readily be brought to disuse them. And, in our Day, many of the present Leaders [Page 91]and Rulers, in divers of the most numerous Churches professing the Christian Name, seem to imagine, that though the Assistance of the Holy Ghost was necessary to the Introduction, and Support of the Christian Religion in pri­mitive Times, it has no Need of it now. It is become so matured by Man's Wisdom and Learning, which had no Share in its Origin, that it is fully capable to go alone. So that now it is, in great Measure, become another Thing, and stands upon another Foundation, than formerly. Though it still calls Christ its Head, and accounts itself his Body, it receives no immediate Direction from him, nor feels the Circulation of his Blood, which is the Life and Virtue of true Religion. Thus deservedly incurring the Reproof of the Apostle implied in this Query, ‘Having begun in the Spirit,Gal. iii. 3. are ye now made perfect by the Flesh?’ In Truth, it too evidently appears, in a general View, the professed Christian Churches, instead of being in the Maturity of Christianity, are greatly in the Decline from that State; or they could not be so insensible, nor durst appear so opposite to the Life of Religion, as to reject and decry the vital Part of it, and treat it as extinct, unnecessary, or at least insensibly, to be now received; as too many of their Leaders and Members do. Surely a Church in this Condition, is properly entitled to that Address of the Spirit, to the degenerate Church of Sardis; I know thy Works, Rev. iii. 1. that thou hast a Name that thou livest, and art dead.’ Yet, notwithstanding this seems to be too generally the Case, and that the Religion of many high Professors is little else but real Deism, covered [Page 92]with a superficial Kind of Christianity, I hope, and verily believe, there are many living and sensible Members of the Body of Christ in those Churches.

The Vitality and Glory of Christianity lies in the clear Administration of the Holy Spirit, without any Veil of legal or ritual Adumbra­tions. School-learning is but an human Accomplishment, and though very useful as a Servant, is no Part of Christianity. Neither the Acquirements of the College, nor the Formalities of human Authority, can furnish that Humility which fitteth for God's Teach­ing. Possessed of Arts and Languages, weak People are puffed up with a Conceit of Supe­riority, which leads from Self-denial and the daily Cross, into Pride and Self-sufficiency; and instead of waiting for, and depending upon the Wisdom and Power of God, into a Confi­dence in the Wisdom of this World, and a devotional Satisfaction in the Rote of external Forms and Ordinances. Whereas those that worship God in the Spirit, Phil. iii. 3. rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no Confidence in the Flesh. And why? Because it is the Spirit that quickeneth; John vi. 63. the Flesh profiteth nothing.

Whosoever deny that the Holy Spirit, and its internal Operations, are now to be sensibly experienced, only demonstrate their own Insen­sibility thereof. The true People of God in all Ages, have declared their own undoubted Sense of Divine Illumination and Help, and the Apostle, in Rom. vii. and viii. before cited, testifies he had a strong, clear, distinguishing Sense of the Holy Spirit throughout its Ope­rations. As it was then, it now is, and must [Page 93]remain to be, so long as Men are upon Earth. The same Work, in due Measure, is abso­lutely necessary to every one, and the like Sense of it proportionably clear and certain to all who experience Regeneration. No Man can obtain Felicity out of God's Kingdom, nor can any enter the Kingdom without being born of the Spirit, neither is the Work of the New-birth wrought insensibly in any. Whatever Medium incognitum, or unknown Means Men imagine, insensible Operation is not Regeneration. It is a mere Deception. The Holy Ghost, whe­ther it operate by Words and Instruments, or without them, always comes in Power; a Power which gives an undeniable Sense of it, perfectly distinct from, and above all other Powers, and with a Perspicuity, at Times, as far exceeding all natural Lights, as the radiant Sun does the faint Glimmer of the Glow-worm.

This Holy Spirit of Divine Light, and Power of Life, is the great fundamental Prin­ciple of the reproached Quakers, and the only true saving Principle for all Mankind. It is Christ in Spirit, a Light to lighten the Gentiles,Luke ii. 32. and God's Salvation to the Ends of the Earth; Acts xiii. 47. who always became, and stands always ready to become,Heb. v. 9. the Author of eternal Salvation to all them that obey him.



1. S. Newton's Mistake, in asserting the Doctrine of the Quakers centers in the reprobationary Scheme. 2 God first sets Man at Liberty, often revisits him by the Spirit of Grace, seeks by all proper Means to pre­vail with him, without violating the Liberty he affords him, till his continued Backsliding demonstrates he will not turn from his evil Ways, and live. Then his Time of Visita­tion ceases, and he is given up to his beloved Delusions. 3. God is not the Author of Evil. Objections from Isaiah and Amos answered. 4. Men justified in Evil-doing, if God be its Author. What Sin is. It is not the Effect, but the Cause of his Displeasure, and to be placed to Man's Account. 5. The Cause of Man's Salvation. The great Efficient of it. He operates towards it, both immediately, and by the Use of proper Means, all by Grace, through the Faith it communicates, which necessarily produceth good Works, not to be attributed to Man as meritorious. 6. What Calvinism teaches. 7, &c. The modern Fatalists somewhat refine upon this, but unavoidably center in the same Absurdity and Falshood. This largely shewn in Variety of Matter to the End of this Chapter.

1. HAVING endeavoured plainly to shew what the leading Principles of the People called Quakers are, and that they are the genuine Doctrines of true Christianity, I shall now proceed to take more particular Notice of [Page 95]divers material Parts of my Opponent's Treatise.

His insisting that the Quakers Doctrine cen­ters in the reprobationary Scheme, and that Barclay was as much a Predestinarian as John Calvin, is merely his own Mistake. He grounds it not upon their Doctrine, but what he improperly imagines to be so. Page 14, he says, Barclay and his Friend speak of no Divine Assistance which enables Persons to be passive, that the Light within may operate and save.’ Whereas, in my Observations, P. 82, I quote Barclay, saying, ‘As Man is wholly unable of himself to work with the Grace, neither can he move one Step out of the natural Condition, until the Grace of God lay hold upon him, so, it is possible to him to be passive, and not resist it, as it is possi­ble for him to resist it.’ That is, by the Power of Divine Grace laying hold of, or in­fluencing the Spirit of Man, it first becomes possible for him to be passive, and not resist its Operation; which is the first Step Man takes in the Way of Salvation. "Without me,"John xv. 5. saith our Saviour, "ye can do nothing." I therefore added, ‘Man cannot set one single Step towards his Salvation, without the Assistance of the Grace of God, as the first moving, and continually enabling Cause, both of the Will and the Deed. So that though Passiveness is the Beginning of the Work, he is previously disposed to it by Virtue of the Holy Spirit. This manifests the Untruth of S. N's Assertion, P. 212, and the Nullity of all his Reasonings from it, that ‘the Apolo­gist will not suffer the Honour of the first [Page 96]Step of the Soul towards Salvation to be ascribed to the Light or Grace within.’ On the contrary we attribute the Whole of Man's Salvation to it, first and last, without at all placing Man's Destruction to the Account of his Maker; which John Calvin directly doth.

What our Doctrine teacheth is, 1. That Man has no Ability to save himself, is not naturally in a State of equal Freedom to Good or Evil at his Pleasure, nor is in Possession of that Faith which is necessary to his Salvation. 2. That the Redeemer affords a Manifestation of his Spirit to the Soul of every Man, by which, at Seasons, he checks his corrupt Incli­nations, stops them in their Career, and puts it in his Power to reflect upon his present Con­dition, and become passive to the Operation of this inward Principle. If he resist it not, but stant in Submission, it takes further Hold of him, gives him so to believe in it, as to suffer it in some Degree to unite with, abide in, and operate upon him. In this Situation, he feels Strength and Comfort spring up from it, which increaseth his Faith and Trust therein, and gradually enables and engages him to become active; that is, to join heartily in Concurrence with its Operations, and to proceed from Faith to Faith, and from one Degree of Grace to another, till he attain to know the New-birth of the Spirit, and to participate in Degree of the glorious Light, Life, and Nature of the Heavenly Kingdom.

2. God hath made Man a reasonable Crea­ture, and therefore requires a willing Obedi­ence of him, in order to the high Reward of [Page 97]eternal Felicity; and if he repeatedly visits all with the Reaches of his Grace, and continues Time after Time to convict, persuade, and wooe, as the Scriptures declare, that he may prevail upon him to come to Repentance; doth he not go as far as reasonable Creatures can claim, without violating the rational Liberty he affords? Let Man but yield Obedience to his Convictions, and see if he can charge his Creator with Partiality, or hard Measure. It is the unprofitable and unprofiting Servant that doth this.

Education and Tradition do certainly pre­possess, and give a Bias to the Mind against every Doctrine different to those it hath been taught; but the Divine Light, at Times, darts in upon the Soul unawares, as quick as Light­ning, penetrates through all its Darkness and every false Colour, disturbs it in its polluted Rests, and carnal Gratifications, shews its Bondage under them, and inspires the secret Wish and heaving Sigh to be delivered, attended with some Degree of Resolution against them. This being the opening of Divine Light upon the Mind, is called the Day of God's Visitation, the Time of Grace unto Man; wherein Life and Death are distinguished in him, and Liberty is not only given him to chuse Life, which he could not do before, but also a suitable Measure of Ability to love and cleave to the Grace, he is visited with, and thereby to come to Repentance, and be saved.Tit. ii. 11. For this Grace is the Spirit of the Saviour, and brings the Power of Salvation in it.

These merciful Visitations of Divine Grace are often repeated, by Night as well as by Day. [Page 98]"God" saith [...] Elihu, Job xxxiii. 14, &c ‘speaketh once, yea twice, yet Man perceiveth it not, in a Dream, in a Vision of the Night, when deep Sleep falleth upon Man, in Slumbrings upon the Bed. Then he openeth the Ears of Men, and sealeth their Instruction; that he may withdraw Man from his Purpose, and hide Pride from Man. He then proceeds to shew, how he operates upon the submissive Soul, in the Work of Repentance and Morti­fication, and what shall be its Issue. After­wards he recapitulates the Whole in these comprehensive Terms.Job xxxiii. 27, &c. ‘He looketh upon Men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it pro­fited me not; he will deliver his Soul from going into the Pit, and his Life shall see the Light. Lo, all these Things worketh God oftentimes with Man, to bring back his Soul from the Pit to be enlightened with the Light of the Living.

The great FATHER OF MERCIES, is pleased to continue his gracious Visitations from on high to backsliding Men, till they are become so determined in Wickedness, and so habitually united to its Servitude, that like the Servants in Exodus xxi. 5, 6. they will not be freed from it. Then Night comes upon them, the Day of their Visitation ceases; for God will not always strive with those,Prov. xxix. 1. who have been long and often reproved, and still harden their Neeks, to no Purpose: but after long Forbearance he with­draws the Reaches of his merciful Loving-kindness, and suffers them to incur that dread­ful Sentence,Rev. xxii. 11. ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still.’

[Page 99] When Persons are thus judicially hardened, and given up to their own Hearts Lusts, and beloved Delusions, and lest in a State of Insen­sibility of the Divine Principle, they may blindly mistake it for Peace and Security. To such, Conscience becomes, for the present, obscured, and as a Book shut up, wherein they cannot read; but in the Day of the righteous Retribution of the great Judge of Quick and Dead, this hidden Volume will again be unfolded, by him who openeth, and none can shut, and a just Distribution made to every one according to what is written therein (for it will prove either a Book of Life or of Death to every Man) to them who, by patient Conti­nuance in well-doing, have sought the Glory of God, their own Salvation, and the Good of others, Immortality and eternal Life; but to those who have continued in Disobedience and Rebellion against God, Tribulation and Anguish both inexpressible and interminable.

3. Can any reasonable Creature think it possible, that the same Spirit and Power of Goodness which condescended to take our low Nature upon him, suffer in, and sacrifice that Nature whilst connected with it,1 John ii. 2. a Propitia­tion for the Sins of the whole World, could ever intentionally consign the Majority, or any Part of the same World, to unavoidable or uncon­ditional Misery? It appears from his Attributes of Truth, Equity, Wisdom, Mercy, and Good­ness, impossible that he should either actually oblige any of his Creatures to sin, that they might be miserable; or, when he has created them, to desert them to Sin and Misery, by entirely with-holding from them that which is [Page 100]necessary to their Help and Preservation. We therefore rationally conclude, that he doth not only set Good and Evil before Man in their just Distinctions, but at the same Time, enables him to chuse which he will follow; and further, that he stirs up and assists Man to desire after true Felicity, and as he abides in this Desire, he empowers him to strive, press, and wrestle effectually for Deliverance and Preservation.

The primary Motions of Volition in the Mind being very nice and delicate, are not easy, if possible, for Men to form a precise Idea of, without the Light of God's Spirit; whence some have taken Occasion to charge the diffe­rent Dispositions of Men towards the Visita­tions of Divine Grace, to God's Account, by which they render him the primary Author of Evil, who by the special Peculiarity of his Essence, is too unchangeably perfect in all his Attributes, ever to warp from perfect Recti­tude. But is it not absurd to suppose, that any intelligent Being can voluntarily produce what is contrary to its Nature; especially an Omnipotent Existence, whose Power must be irresistable by all Objects and Occurrences? Is not Sin the Transgression of God's Will, and Vice contrary to his Nature? How then could these be produced by an Act of his Will, or be the genuine Fruit of his Power, either mediately or immediately? Can a right Under­standing lead any Man to think, that the Will of God is possible at any Time to be contrary to his Nature?

From Purity, Goodness, and Virtue, no Impurity, Vice, or Evil could naturally arise. But that Text hath been objected,Luke xvii. 1. ‘It is im­possible [Page 101]but that Offences will come.’ True; but whence come they? Not from God, but from that Root of Corruption, which hath entered and overspread the World. Whilst this corrupt Root remains, they will naturally spring from it; and the same Text pronounces, "Woe unto him through whom they come." "But God saith, I create Evil."Isa. xlv. 7. And the Prophet saith, ‘Shall there be Evil in a City,Amos iii. 6. and the Lord hath not done it?’ Moral Evil is not here intended, but the natural Evil of Pain and Distress, through Hostility, Sick­ness, Famine, &c. which are the Judgments of God upon Men for Disobedience, and the Commission of moral Evil.

4. To say, that God originally so constituted and ordered Things, that Evil must necessarily ensue in Consequence of such Constitution, is to treat him both as the designing and potential Author of all Evil. Wherein then are the wickedest Creatures, whether angelical or human, to blame? If they cannot be other­wise than they are, nor act otherwise than they do; in Point of Equity, all their Wickedness is justified by the Necessity they are originally subjected to by their Creator; whom this Doctrine renders the real Author of it, either immediately or remotely. If God himself laid the Ground-work of all Evil, he must be the Author of all that follows by necessary Conse­quence upon it.

According to my Apprehension, Sin consisis in the Creature's preferring the Indulgence of its depraved Nature, to the Obedience of Divine Grace; which Indulgence leads it to the Abuse of that Grace, and to think, speak and act [Page 102]against the manisested Will of its Creator. Neither the Origin, nor Continuance of Sin in the World, can be the Fruit of God's Will; for it always brings his Displeasure upon the Creature. It is not the Effect, but the Cause of his Displeasure. A Being perfectly Holy, Just, and Good, can neither do Evil, nor Delight in seeing his Creatures do it. It is contrary to his Nature, therefore against his Will, and what he could not suffer to originate without offering Means to prevent it, and shewing his Displeasure with it; nor can he consistently be conceived to extend personal Approbation or Aversion to any, exclusive of the State of the Parties respecting Good and Evil.

That some obey, and others refuse Obedience to the Manifestations of Divine Grace, is cer­tainly true; and we believe, the Cause of this Difference is not of God, but entirely owing to the Man. Let him that doubts it, enquire in his own Conscience. The faithful witness there, by its Condemnations for Evil, will plainly shew him, that the Fault is his own. What Man is there upon Earth without these compunctive Strokes? Who has not, also, felt at Times, Inclinations and Dispositions excited in him towards Virtue and a good Life; and who knows not, that when he followed them, he found Peace in his Obedience; and when he turned from this salutary Pursuit to one of a contrary Nature, he incurred Trouble and Condemnation? Can a reasonable Creature need further Proofs, that both those convicting Reprehensions and Comforts, are the internal immediate Adjudications of a just, good, pow­erful, [Page 103]omni-present, all-intelligent Principle? And what is this but God; and for what End doth he thus attend every Soul and Conscience, but that all may come to Repentance, and experience Salvation?

5. The first moving, true, and proper Cause of Man's Salvation, is the Goodness and Love of God to him. The essential Means by which he effects it, is the Operation of his own Holy Spirit on the Soul of Man, often immediately, and sometimes instrumentally, by making use of exterior and incidental Things, and working by them as secondary Means; such as Preach­ing, reading the Scriptures, and other good Books, pious Conversation, Worship, Mercies, Distresses, &c. After this Manner it pleaseth Divine Wisdom to exercise the Body in the Service of the Soul, whereby both are bettered divers Ways. It is God by his Holy Spirit, who worketh all Good in Man, both as to the Will and the Deed. It is by Grace we are saved, through Faith; or in the Way of Faith. That Faith which worketh by the Love of God to the Purifying of the Heart, and the Production of good Works. These are the genuine Fruits of it, and inseparable from it: Therefore without Works we cannot be saved. Yet it is not by the Works that we are saved, as the Cause of Salvation to us, but by Grace, through the Root of them, the Faith, by which we believe in God, open to, and receive him, cleave to him, trust in him, and so lay hold of eternal Life. This Faith is not our Faculty, but the Gift of God to us. It comes by Grace, the free Grace of God, who is not willing that any should perish,2 Pet. iii. 9. but that [Page 104] all should come to Repentance.’ He whose Works are Evil, hath not this saving Faith, believe what Propositions he will; for where it is, it necessarily produceth them. This Root is never without its Fruits.Jam. ii. 18. ‘Shew me thy Faith without thy Works, and I will shew thee my Faith by my Works,’ saith the Apostle James. Yet these Works do not render us meritorious of Salvation, for they are not to be attributed to us, but wholly to him who through his Grace, hath brought us into this blessed State of living Faith wherein they are produced.Eph. ii. 8, 9, 10. ‘For by Grace are ye saved, through Faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the Gift of God. Not of Works, lest any Man should boast: For we are his Workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good Works, which God hath before ordained, that we should walk in them.’

6. The Reprobationary Scheme demon­strates, to what a Pitch of Absurdity, the Minds even of sensible and pious Men may be carried, when they follow their own cloudy Reasonings instead of the Illuminations of the Holy Spirit.Cap. 3. Gen. 1 Inst. C. 18. S. 1. Calvin asserts that, by the Ordi­nation and Will of God Adam fell. God would have Man to fall—and that the highest or remote Cause of hardening is the Will of God.Lib. de Praed.Beza saith,Lib. de Prov. God hath predestinated not only unto Dam­nation, but also unto the Causes of it,Lib. de Praed. De Eccaut. Q. 5.whomsoever he saw meet. Zanchius, that God is the first Cause of Obduration. Zuinglius, that God moveth the Robber to kill.Lib. de Provid. C. 3. Resp. ad Verst. Part 1. P. 120.He killeth, God forcing him thereunto. But thou wilt say, he is forced to Sin; I permit truly that he is forced. Piscator, that reprobate Persons are absolutely ordained to [Page 105]this two-fold End; to undergo everlasting Punish­ment, and necessarily to sin, and therefore to sin, that they may be justly punished. It is a Mystery to me, how the poor Reprobates can be justly punished, for Actions they are Divinely obliged to commit; or how they can sin by necessarily doing the Will of God.

7. Our modern Writers of this Class, refine a little from the Barbarism of their Prede­cessors in Expression, but their Refinements ultimately center in the like Accusation of their Creator. S. Newton often edges about it, yet appears very shy of speaking his Sentiments clearly upon this Point; but I presume we have them in his favourite Author, Jonathan Edwards, M. A. whom he so particularly recommends in his Letter, Page 54. This Author, in his careful and strict Enquiry into the modern prevailing Notions of that Freedom of Will, &c. has these Expressions.P. 357-8. ‘If by the Author of Sin be meant the Sinner, the Agent, or Actor of Sin, or the Doer of a wicked Thing; so it would be a Reproach and Blasphemy to suppose God to be the Author of Sin.— But if by the Author of Sin is meant the Permitter, or not a Hinderer of Sin; and at the same Time, a Disposer of the State of Events in such a Manner, for wise, holy, and most excellent Ends and Purposes, that Sin, if it be permitted, or not hindered, will most certainly and infallibly follow: I say, if this be all that is meant by the Author of Sin, I don't deny that God is the Author of Sin."— "It is no Reproach for the Most High to be thus the Author of Sin. This is not to be the Actor of Sin, but on the con­trary, [Page 106] of Holiness. What God doth herein is Holy, and a glorious Exercise of the Infi­nite Excellency of his Nature."—"That it is most certainly so, that God is in such a Manner the Disposer and Orderer of Sin, is evident, if any Credit is to be given to Scrip­ture; as well as it is impossible in the Nature of Things to be otherwise.’

I think I have already shewn, in the pre­ceding Part of this Discourse, that it is not only possible, but most probable to be otherwise; and now shall proceed to shew, it is impossible to be according to this Author's Assertion.

8. If God disposeth the State of Events in such a Manner, that Sin will most certainly follow, and that he also permits, or doth not hinder it, he must be the sole Author of Sin himself, and those who are called the Actors, or Committers of Evil, are only Subjects, by whom he effects it: They are nothing more, in the Case, than the necessitated Instruments of Evil. If he hath so ordered the Nature and Concerns of his rational Creation, that they must most certainly and infallibly sin, he must be the Cause of Sin, and not they; and it cannot be righteous in him to charge the Blame of what must infallibly follow, from his own Deter­mination and Disposal, upon those to whom he has rendered it unavoidable.

If the Almighty, from the Beginning, so ordered his Creation, that Evil must necessarily ensue in it, it must be designed by him, or he would not have so ordered it, and every supposed Transgressor necessarily acts according to the Divine Will, in every Sin he commits, and the Divine Being takes Pleasure first in his Sin, and [Page 107]next in his eternal Misery; for he is certainly pleased when his Will is done. What worse can be said of the Worst of Beings, than this Doctrine implies of the Best.

If Man be allowed no Choice, he can incur no Guilt. He must at some Time be at Liberty, or he can never do amiss. If he do only what he is obliged to do, by a Constitu­tion of Things fixt by his Creator, he cannot sin against him; for what he obliges him to do, he wills him to do, and it can be no Trans­gression against him to do his Will; because to sin, is to offend him, and to offend him, is to act contrary to his Will. Whatever a Man doth from the Necessity of his Nature, let that Necessity be the Consequence of the Lapse of his first Parents, or not, if a Remedy be not in his Power, it is the same Thing to him. It was not himself that subjected himself to such a faulty or defective Nature; therefore he cannot, in Equity, be condemned for what he could no Way help, or avoid. To assert, that a Person may be justly punished for being what he is obliged to be, or doing what he is inevi­tably forced to do by his Maker, may pass upon blind inconsiderate People for Mystery; but to others it must appear a manifest Absur­dity, and a most daring one, when attributed to the eternal Fountain of all Truth and Justice, a Reproach to him, and Blasphemy against him.

9. It is impossible God should commit any Act of Sin, because it is against his Nature, and consequently impossible he should will it. Sin is the Transgression of his Will, and if he could neither will nor act it, he cannot be any Way the Author of it. Barely suffering it to [Page 108]arise, is not causing it to be. All that can be allowed is, that by forming reasonable Crea­tures, and constituting them in a State of rati­onal Freedom, he afforded them the Oppor­tunity of making their Duty their Choice; but never willed them to abuse it, by lapsing from the Grace he favoured them with for their Preservation, dividing their Wills from his Will, and counteracting his salutary Laws; to whom they owed their Being, and on whom they must absolutely depend for all the Good they ever could enjoy. And notwithstanding he foresaw they might be prevailed on to make a wrong Use of their Liberty, he certainly intended to favour them with Means amply sufficient for their Recovery and Restoration. Though he forbore forcibly to hinder them from falling into Iniquity, he did all that could be done to prevent it in rational Creatures. He forewarned them against it, shewed them the dreadful Consequence of it, and unquesti­onably armed them with Power, by his Spirit, to withstand all Temptation to it, had they kept under it. He never could so permit, as to licence their Departure from their reasonable Duty, and true Interest. By the Power and Goodness dispensed to Man, he might have stood without Sin; and now that he has fallen into it, by a Renewal of the same Power and Goodness still afforded him, he may be reco­vered from it, and brought to Felicity. His Redeemer both offers and assists him; yet he backslides, and refuses to abide under the Guidance of his great Benefactor. Man's Destruction therefore,Hos. xiii. 9. is of himself, and in the Lord alone is his Help.

[Page 109] 10. We are told, The Will is always deter­mined by the strongest Motive. Has the Will no Liberty then, at any Time? Is it always so forcibly determined, in all its Motions, by Circumstances and Motives successively arising upon it, from the original Constitution of Things, that every Man is necessarily obliged to think, speak, and act just as he doth? No, it is answered, In temporal Matters the Mind has a Liberty of Choice. Why not in Spirituals as well as Temporals? How are the Motives and Circumstances which determine the Will in temporal Concerns, more in its Power than those that determine it in spiritual ones; and how do we know it to be so? Was this really the Case, our inevitable Acts would certainly render us no proper Subjects of Reward and Punishment; of Come, ye Blessed, or Go, ye Cursed. We must be equally unintitled to Approbation and Censure.

Those who alledge, that Motives arise from the Circumstances we are placed in, and the Occurrences we meet with, which necessarily oblige us to think, speak, and act as they impress our Minds, do not appear sufficiently to consider, that there is a Supreme All-pow­erful Controller of Circumstances and Events, who can, and unquestionably doth, in due Season, by his potential Influence upon the Mind of Man, counterbalance every other Influence. Can we think that he placeth Good and Evil, Life and Death before Men, as the Sacred Records testify, and calleth them repeatedly to chuse Life and Good, and yet that he doth not enable them so to do? Every Divine Precept, every Exhortation, every [Page 110]Command, every Commination, implies a Liberty afforded to the Subject, to comply or refuse; to obey, or disobey.

11. In the Supposition before us, the Will of Man is effectually deprived of all Freedom in his main Concern. For it is the same Thing to the Sufferer, whether the superior Power subject him under this irresistible Fata­lity, by an immediate and unalterable Decree, or by the Means of Motives and Inducements, so powerfully suited to his natural Inclinations and Passions, that he must necessarily be car­ried away with them. The Man is equally in Bondage either Way. To tell him, that his Will is free, because he doth as he pleases when he acts agreeable to those Motives, and the Dispositions they necessarily excite, or enlarge, whilst at the same Time, they are unvoidable by him, and so irresistibly influential to his corrupt Inclinations, that they are rendered eagerly concurrent with them; to argue in this Case, that because the Party pursues the Gra­tification of his present Desires, he acts upon a Principle of Freedom, is to assert an evident Falshood. For, the Man is first deceived, overpowered, and so unwittingly captivated, that he cannot avoid willing the Evil he is insnared into; and though he wills it, it is because his Will is not at Liberty, but previ­ously deceived and captivated, though he sees not how, and instead of being a moral Agent, is merely the Instrument of an unseen superior Power, who artfully obliges him to an evil Course, and to the Infelicity consequent upon it.

[Page 111] The Nature of Liberty supposes no absolute Necessity, but such a Freedom as may admit of Choice, without a pre-determining Power obliging one Way only. 'Tis true, the Powers of Men, as well as those of all other Creatures, are necessarily limitted to their proper Sphere. No Creature can exceed the Bounds of its proper Element, yet it can act with Freedom therein, as a Bird in the Air, or a Fish in the Water; so Man, though unable to stretch beyond the Compass of Humanity, is enabled to act at Liberty within it; and I conceive, a wise and good Being, though Omnipotent, would not put any Restraint or Force upon him there, but for his Good. It is barbarous to suppose, he would restrain him from Good in order to his Hurt. ‘Far be it from God,Job xxxiv. 10, 11, 23. that he should do Wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit Ini­quity. For the Work of a Man shall he render unto him, and cause every Man to find according to his Ways.—For he will not lay upon Man more than Right; that he should enter into Judgment with God.’

12. I cannot perceive any Ground for a destructive Partiality in Almighty Wisdom, and perfect Equity. Can he who prefers Mercy to Sacrifice, exalt Cruelty above Mercy? To sppose, that the Supreme Excellence should create all the Millions of Mankind of one Nature, and for eternal Duration, and that he should, either immediately or remotely, neces­sitate a Minority of them to everlasting Hap­piness, and at the same Time determine to give the major Part no other Opportunity, but to be inevitably and eternally miserable; is to sup­pose, [Page 112]that there is more Cruelty than Good­ness, more Rigour than Wisdom, and more Inequality than Mercy in the Divine Nature. I therefore must conclude, that the Supposi­tion is irrational, unjust, and grossly injurious to the Divine Character.

It is to be understood, that he who is sup­posed to act in this contrary Manner, towards his Creatures in the same State and Nature, doth it from one and the same Nature in him­self; or that he is differently determined towards them, from two different Natures of contrary Dispositions in himself? I am utterly unable to conceive how opposite Wills can subsist in the same Nature, and how two contrary Natures can exist in a Being of perfect and immutable Simplicity and Purity; or that such contrary Procedures concerning his rational Creatures, can arise from Unity, Equity, and Goodness, in the utmost Perfection? But no Difficulty attends the Supposition, that the same Nature should operate to different Effects upon Subjects in different Conditions. It is evident to every Man's Observation, that the most glorious inanimate Object of Creation, the Sun, by its Beams will soften Pitch and harden Clay; but these contrary Effects arise not from different Natures in its own Rays, but are different Effects of the same Beams, occasioned by the contrary Dispositions of the Pitch and Clay to receive them. So, I apprehend, the Holy Spirit operates differently on different Persons, by reason of their different States and Dispo­sitions to receive its Influences.

It is not a little affecting, to behold Alle­gations so injurious to the great Dispenser of [Page 113]all Good, set forth with Subtlety of Sentiment, and Elegance of Language, which can hardly fail to operate to the Deception and Hurt of those who embrace and allow them a Place in their Minds. To assert, that God either or­ginally, or afterwards, disposed the Course of Things, and State of Events in such a Manner, that Sin must certainly and infallibly follow, is to render him the intentional and primary Author of all the Evil that ensues. For he that raises a Building, causeth it to be filled with Com­bustibles, and sets Fire to it by a Fuze, or a Train of Powder of the greatest Extent, which must infallibly burn it down, is as certainly the Destroyer of the Edifice, as if he fired it im­mediately without such Means.

13. It hath been alledged, If God had not given Man Liberty, he could not have abused it. Very true. If the Artificer had not made, nor the Shop-keeper furnished the Suicide with the Knife he cut his Throat with, he could not have misused it; but is he who made or sold it him, for better Purposes, intitled to any Part of his Guilt? Without Liberty Man could not have sinned, and without the Knife the Suicide could not have made such a self-injurious Use of it; yet it is not the Knife, nor those who furnished it; neither is it the Liberty, nor he who afforded it; but the ill-conceived Disposition of the Perpetrator from whence the Default ariseth, and to which it is in Justice, wholly to be imputed.

14. All the Souls that God has made, are equally his; and he whose Mercies are over all his Works, overlooks none of his Creatures in the Distribution of his Mercies. He with| [Page 114]holds his Talents from none, but dispenseth them in different Portions to different Persons; that social Communication and Connection may be preserved amongst us in this Life. To One he gives five Talents; to a Second, two; to a Third, one; but to every one a Degree of Divine Manifestation sufficient, if believed in and obeyed, to operate to his Salvation. He justly requires a Profiting answerable to the Measure he affords; and as he perfectly knows to what Degree of Improvement each might have attained, he will finally judge all accord­ing to their Increase, their Negligence, or their Rejection of the Talent received.

15. The rational immortal Soul, is princi­pally and essentially the Man. This, as I have already shewn, is the immediate Creation of God, and descended not from Adam and Eve, nor passeth from Parents to Children, like the mortal Body; and seeing it never was in them, it never sinned in them. The Doc­trine of Preterition therefore, which supposes, that all sinned when Adam transgressed, and deserve Condemnation for the Sin he committed, and thence concludes, that God doth justly with-hold his saving Grace from the Majority of Mankind; is a Conclusion drawn from untrue Premises, and consequently a false Doc­trine. First to create the rational Soul, and then to forsake it, is not Preterition, but Dereliction. And this Doctrine is not only false, but dangerous. For when some feel the comfortable Touches of Divine Visitation, instead of humbling themselves under it, that the Work of Regeneration may go forward, this Opinion leads them to imagine it to be a Mark [Page 115]of their Election, and perhaps to add other Marks to themselves from mistaken Scriptures; by which they increase their natural Pride, Self-conceit, and Presumption, which defeat the good Intention of God's Grace towards them. Others of a melancholy Turn, when convicted and distressed in their Minds for Sin, are led by this Opinion, to think it a Mark of personal Reprobation, and thence into De­spondence, with all its dismal Consequences. Thus, what the merciful Creator intends for Men's Benefit, they turn to their own great Disadvantage.

16. Whatever Doctrine contradicts the evi­dent Sense of those clear and express Portions of the Sacred Record, which, by Divine Com­mission, professedly and directly treat upon this Point; such Doctrine must be false, and ought to be rejected. It answers no good Purpose to increase Disputation about Things hidden, or Texts obscure and ambiguous; but this is certain, and certainly to be relied upon, that where the Almighty plainly declares his Will, respecting his Creatures, he who cannot be mistaken, is surely to be credited in Preference to the Contra-positions of mistaken Men, who presume to interpret his Words so as to con­tradict his most clear, and most solemn Asse­verations.

Through a Misapprehension of the second Commandment, the People of Israel, in Eze­kiel's Time, had espoused this reprobationary Notion, that the Children were punished for the Sin of their Parents, so that it was become a Maxim among them, ‘The Fathers have eaten sour Grapes, and the Childrens Teeth [Page 116]are set on Edge.’ The Prophet therefore, was especially commissioned to declare God's immutable Will and Determination, in Oppo­sition thereto.Ezek. xviii. Ver. 2 to 5. ‘As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have Occasion any more to use this Proverb in Israel. Behold, all Souls are mine, as the Soul of the Father, so also the Soul of the Son is mine: The Soul that sinneth, Verse 20. it shall die. The Son shall not bear the Iniquity of the Father, neither shall the Father bear the Iniquity of the Son; the Righteousness of the Righteous shall be upon him, and the Wickedness of the Wicked shall be upon him.Vers. 25 to 29. —Yet ye say, the Way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O House of Israel! Is not my Way equal? Are not Your Ways unequal? When a righteous Man turneth away from his Righteousness, and committeth Iniquity, and dieth in them, for his Iniquity that he hath done, shall he die. Again, when the wicked Man turneth away from his Wicked­ness that he hath committed, and doth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his Soul alive. Because he considereth, and turneth away from his Transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.Verse 30.—I will judge you, O House of Israel, every one according to his Ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your Transgressions; so Iniquity shall not be your Ruin. The Pro­phet repeats more to the like Purpose, both in this Chapter,Chap. xxiii. 11. and in the 33d. ‘As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no Pleasure in the Death of the Wicked, but that the Wicked [Page 117] turn from his Way and live. Turn ye, turn ye from your evil Ways; for why will ye die, O House of Israel? Verse 17, 18, 19. —Yet the Children of thy People say, the Way of the Lord is not equal; but as for them, their Way is not equal. When the Righteous turneth from his Righteousness, and committeth Iniquity, he shall even die thereby. But if the Wicked turn from his Wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right; he shall live thereby.

It is manifest, the Death denouced in these Scriptures, is not the common Death of the Body; for in that Respect, one Event happeneth to the Righteous and the Wicked, but that State of everlasting Infelicity peculiar to those who go out of Time into Eternity, without Repentance and Regeneration.

From all these express Declarations, it evi­dently appears,Lam. iii. 33. that the Almighty ‘doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the Children of Men;’ that he is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to Repentance.2 Pet. iii. 9. These are all plain Manifestations of the Mind of God professedly on the Point, and to all who intend not to deny his Uprightness and Veracity they ought to be decisive. The Sins of Men are placed to the Account of their own Will, and not to the Will of God, in that pathetic Expostulation, Why will ye die? And indeed, it is impossible he should will that which is a Transgression of his Will. It is clear, he doth all that can be done by fair Means to prevent it. By that pressing Repetition, Turn ye, turn ye from your evil Ways, it is manifest, he puts it in the Power of Men to turn from them. Who then can justify their Perverse­ness, [Page 118]by any Way charging their Sin, either immediately or remotely, to his Account?

Men are not destroyed through any Male­volence in their Creator towards them; but are saved by his Grace, which he dispenseth to all from that unparalleled Benevolence, which ariseth purely from his Infinite Goodness. Sinful Man hath nothing to offer, God there­fore, will have Mercy, because he will have Mercy; because he is full of Mercy, he will dispense it to his helpless and unworthy Crea­tures. "I,"Isa. xliii. 25. saith he to the repenting Sinner, ‘even I am he that blotteth out thy Trans­gressions, for mine own Sake, and will not remember thy Sins.’

17. Detachments of various Texts and Por­tions of Scripture, though indirect to the Subject, and alluding to different Considera­tions, have been pressed, and martialled under divers Colours, to fix a cruel Partiality on our common Creator and Benefactor.Edwards, P. 358, &c. We are told, that he ordered the Obstinacy of Pharaoh, the Sin and Folly of Sihon, and the Kings of Canaan, the treacherous Rebellion of Zede­kiah against the King of Babylon, the Rapine and Ravages of Nebuchadnezzar, &c. But properly considered, this was ordering Punish­ment for Sin, not Sin for Punishment. He hardeneth none till they have hardened them­selves past all Probability of Repentance, and then he leaves them to the Mis-rule of their own beloved Lusts and Vices; and what are treated as unrighteous Ravages, though really such in the Committers of them, are, respect­ing the Almighty, the righteous Execution of his Justice against those who have filled up [Page 119]their Measure of Iniquity and abused his gra­cious Goodness and long Forbearance towards them, till he sees fit no longer to continue it to them. Thus he punisheth the settled Wick­edness of some, by the Wickedness of their Enemies, which he permits to be turned upon them; and afterwards proceeds in like Manner with their Chastisers, when they also have filled up their Measure.

I shall omit at present to proceed further with the Scriptures alledged against the univer­sal Extension of Divine Goodness to the Souls of Men, and acknowledge my Inability to conceive, what wise, holy, and most excellent Ends and Purposes could be answered, by the Almighty's disposing the State of Events in such a Manner, that Sin will most certainly and infal­libly follow, and eternal Misery to innumerable Multitudes of his Creatures in Consequence; and also what Glory can accrue to a Being infi­nite in Wisdom, Power and Goodness, from his continually creating immortal and reasonable Creatures, with no better Intention towards them but that most barbarous one of irredeem­able Infelicity. I am also at a Loss to dis­cover, what Comfort can arise to an humane, virtuous and charitable Mind from such a cruel Consideration. Those Hearts must be very unfeeling for others, and their Conceit in their own Favour very strong, who, fancying to themselves a personal Election, can pride and console themselves in their own imagined Secu­rity, and the inequitable Destruction of the major Part of their Species. Misled Men, like the unprofitable Servant, may imagine such unjust Severity in the unchangeable Per­fection [Page 120]of Equity, but those who have the Love of God shed abroad in their Hearts, by the Holy Ghost, find it to flow freely towards all Mankind without Exception, and to engage them to wish the Salvation of all. This is a stronger Proof to them of the Universality of God's good Will to Men, than all the sophisti­cal Reasonings of those who remain insensible of it, to the contrary.

18. Before I leave this Subject, let me observe, that my Opponent, P. 198, after his usual Manner of making Meanings for me, will have it, that according to some of my Expressions; ‘Mankind are by Nature, in such a State, that if God does not afford them sufficient Means of Salvation, he is unjust; surely then, there can be no Grace in his giving them these, for, whatsoever he is bound in Justice and Equity to bestow, cannot be Grace. This is an Observation which carries its own Evidence with it.’

Every Observation carries its own Evidence with it, but it may not be a true Evidence. What I assert is, that as it would be an Act of Injustice and Cruelty, to create rational and sensible Souls, with no better Purpose towards them, than to render them inexpressibly and eternally miserable, by continually supporting them in Being, and as continually with-hold­ing that from them without which they never can be relieved; so it is impossible for God, who is most essentially and immutably Justice and Goodness itself, to act otherwise by his Crea­tures than according to Justice and Goodness; and therefore, that he cerrainly doth not with­hold, but affords his Creatures the Means [Page 121]necessary to their Felicity. I believe his Mer­cies are over all, and to all, with a just and gracious Intent towards them; and that the universal Redeemer purchased Gifts for those who prove rebellious, as well as others, and that all are visited with a Manifestation of his Spirit, that they may profit by it; and though they do lapse from the visiting Power, and often lose the disposing Assistances afforded them, he still follows them, Time after Time, in long Forbearance, and often revisits them, of his freely-abounding Grace and Mercy, that they may be prevailed upon to come to Repentance and be saved. Hence, according to common Phraseology, we stile his universal primary Assistance an Act of Equity, and his nume­rous Repetitions thereof Acts of Goodness; yet neither is the First without Grace and Mercy, nor are the Latter void of Equity. As to that of God's being bound in Justice and Equity, I do not see the Propriety of that Language. I apprehend, he is not bound by any thing, but that he always acts in the perfect Freedom of his own Nature; which is that of Equity, Truth and Goodness. For, strictly speaking, I think it less proper to say, that he has what we mean by these Terms, than that he is what we intend by them; and as his Essence can never admit of the least Imperfection, it is impossible he should ever be, or act otherwise. It is therefore by a strained and unjust Inuendo, that S. N. would infer from my Words, that irreverent upbraid­ing Kind of Expression, ‘If God does not afford them sufficient Means of Salvation, he is unjust. Should I follow his Manner [Page 122]of Reasoning, I might as properly infer, that he holds Grace and Justice are incompatible with each other, and cannot possibly concur in the same Act; which, I think, he will hardly affirm. Doth not he, as well as I, assert that God's Acts are according to Justice? Will he allow me to say, that he therefore denies there is either Grace or Mercy in them? Should I put such an Abuse upon his Expressions, he would unquestionably bestow the Severity of his Justice upon me; which I acknowledge he has often done with great Freedom, with­out any just Merit on my Part.

19. We read Isaiah lv. 8, 9. ‘My Thoughts are not your Thoughts, neither are your Ways my Ways, saith the Lord; for as the Hea­vens are higher than the Earth, so are my Ways than your Ways, and my Thoughts than your Thoughts. And Chap. xl. 28, the Prophet saith, ‘There is no searching of his Understanding.’ Yet our Christian-Fatalists appear to think themselves wise enough to dis­cover, the very precise Mode and Manner of God's Prescience, and because they can see but one Way how Omniscience should foreknow, they seem to conclude, there can be no other in the unlimited Expanse of Infinite Ability. But,Rom. xi. 34. ‘who hath known the Mind of the Lord, or who hath been his Counsellor?’ To whom hath he revealed those unsearchable, and incomprehensible Secrets of the Divine Essence which belong to himself only? A due Degree of Modesty would teach us, there is something in the Mode and Manner of Infinite Comprehension, as much beyond the Reach of our limited Capacities, as the Extent of [Page 123]Omniscience itself; and attempts to unvail inscrutable Mysteries, are more evident Demon­strations of human Presumption and Folly, than of Wisdom and Piety. Are those Men sure, there is no Way possible for God to know, but what is open to the Perception of their imperfect Modicum of Reason? The Argu­ments they ground upon this imaginary Foun­dation, are sufficient to impeach their Basis; for they carry an evident Face of Falshood. They ultimately and unavoidably render the undeniable Source of all Good, and Center of all Perfection, the real and intentional Author of all Imperfection, Vice and Wickedness, and all the Misery consequent thereupon; which it is impossible for unchangeable Truth and Goodness to be. "Wilt thou," saith he,Job. xl. 8. ‘disannul my Judgment? Wilt thou con­demn me, that thou mayest be righteous?’ ‘—God forbid,’ saith the Apostle, ‘yea,Rom. ii. 4. let God be true, but every Man a Liar.’

From the Certainty of the Premises the Certainty of the Conclusion ariseth. From uncertain Premises no certain Conclusion can be drawn. There is something in the Divine Prescience which always hath been, and is ever like to remain an impenetrable Secret to human Understanding. What no Man knows, no Man can properly argue from. We know the Divine Being is but one Essence, perfectly pure and simple. One eternal, immutable, central Power, making and supporting all other Beings, and operating variously accord­ing to the Subjects, and the State of the Sub­jects of its Operation; but never contrarily towards Subjects in the same Condition. As [Page 124]all Souls are equally his immediate Crea­tion, no just Reason can be advanced why he, who is righteous in all his Ways, Psal. cxlv. 17. and holy (or merciful) in all his Works, should deal so unequally with them, as to predetermine some to eternal Happiness, and others to inevetiable Misery. Mere Will and Pleasure, implies an unaccountable Severity, tho' under the Guise of Sovereignty. The Condemnation of Men, according to our Saviour, is neither the Fruit of God's previous Decree, nor his Preterition; for,John iii. 19. this is the Condemnation, that Light is come into the World, but Men loved Darkness rather than Light, because their Deeds were evil.’



1. The Quakers cleared of the Charge of their holding Anti-scriptural Principles. 2. S. Newton's reiterated Pretence to try their Doctrine by Right Reason, and the true Sense of Scripture, a presumptuous Vanity. The Scripture not clearly and fully understood without the Illumination of the Spirit that gave them forth. 3. Authors cited to this Purpose. 4. Barclay's Assertion defended. 5. No Disagreement or Clashing in the dif­ferent Degrees of Divine Evidence. 6. The Infallibility of the Scriptures as given forth by the Spirit, and the Fallibility of human Understanding concerning them. 7. None but the Divine Author able to ascertain his own Sense in the Scriptures. 8. The Scrip­tures rightly understood, a Rule; but not the sole, the primary, and universal Rule. The Holy Spirit alone is such. 9. The Scriptures allowed to be the primary written Rule, to which, in all Disputes, we therefore refer, as well as others; but the immediate Illumi­nation of God's Spirit, is a more certain Cri­terion to each Individual in his own Breast.

1. MY Opponent, in his Introduction, P. 3, and in several other Places, insinuates, that the Quakers System is founded upon a supposed saving Influence of the Holy Spirit, without the Instrumentality of the Scriptures; and Page 4, he charges it upon them as an Anti-scriptural Principle. This he positively asserts, from which I must dissent, [Page 126]because I understand the Religion of the Qua­kers stands not in System, nor is a supposed saving Influence of the Spirit any Part of their Doctrine, but a real experimental one; not always without, but often with the Instru­mentality of the Scriptures. I'll own myself obliged to him, if he will shew me where the Scripture either says, or fairly implies, that the Spirit is not to be received without their Instru­mentality. How was the Spirit received by the Pen-men of the Scriptures, from Begin­ning to End,2 Peter i. 20, 21. when they wrote and spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost? I look upon this Assertion of S. N. as a fundamental Error; for, it is not only true, that the Scrip­tures assert no such Thing, but also that they plentifully inculcate the contrary, as will appear anon.

Christ is with his true Followers, and will be to the End of the World. To say, he is always with them in the Scriptures, appears to me, too great a Strain of Language for Truth to accompany. If the Spirit of Christ be so connected with the Text, as always to attend it, I apprehend, no sincere and sensible Reader could mistake the Sense of it, nor any such differ to an Opposition of each other about it; yet what is more common? We have fre­quently experienced, and always allowed, that the Spirit of Truth often useth, and openeth Truth by the Scriptures, as an instrumental Means; and we also assert, that the same Spirit often hath opened Truths, given a Sense of their Conditions, and administered Help, to sincere and attentive Minds, without the Instrumentality of the Scriptures. This is the [Page 127]universal Gospel-privilege, foretold by Jere­miah, through Divine Inspiration.Jer. xxxi. 33, 4. ‘I will put my Law in their inward Parts, and write it in their Hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my People. And they shall teach no more" (of Necessity) "every Man his Neighbour, and every Man his Brother, saying, know ye the Lord; for they shall all know me," (each Man for himself) from the least of them to the greatest of them, saith the Lord.’

Is it rationally to be understood, that this Divine Internal Teacher, is so absolutely bound to the Instrumentality of Scripture, in his immediate Legation to the Soul of Man, that he never opens or instructs without it? The Text implies no such Matter. The Apostle John (Anno Dom. 90) treats of this imme­diate Teacher under the Title of an Unction from the Holy one. 1 John ii. 20. 27. ‘Ye have an Unction from the Holy one, and ye know all Things. That is, I take it, ye have the Spirit, which, as you "attend to it, gives you a right Discerning of all Things that concern you; for, ‘The Anoint­ing which ye have received of him, abideth in you, and ye need not that any Man teach you; but as the same Anointing teacheth you of all Things, and is Truth, (the Spirit of Truth) ‘and is no Lie; and even, as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him or it. This shews the complete Sufficiency of this inward, immediate Instructor, without any Instrumentality of an exterior Kind. The eternal Spirit of Truth cannot stand in Need of any such Assistance; consequently, is not to be understood as confined to any, but operates [Page 128]either by the Scriptures, or without them, at his Pleasure.

God hath always afforded Instruction to his People; but his Teachings by the Law to the Jews, were through instrumental Means. The Prophet declares,Jer. xxxi. 31, 32. this New Convenant of the Gospel should not be according to the Old Covenant of the Law; it should not consist of instrumental Teaching, though that might be occasionally used; for God himself would put his Law in their inward Parts. This implics his own immediate Communication to the Soul, of that Law which is not according to the lite­ral Nature of the Old Covenant, but is really and truly, the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus; the illuminating quickening Law, immediately and mentally given to Man by the Spirit of Life itself; which therefore is, and ever must be, the constitutional Establish­ment of the Gospel-dispensation.

Isaiah, in a prophetic Address to the Gospel Church,Isa. liv. 13. saith, ‘All thy Children shall be taught of the Lord.’ In Reference to this, and other like Prophecies, our Saviour saith, ‘It is written in the Prophets,John vi. 45. and they shall be all taught of God. Every Man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Fa­ther, cometh unto me." And in the preced­ing Verse he saith,V. 44. "No Man can come to me except the Father who hath sent me, draw him.’ This drawing, hearing and learning of the Father, and coming to Christ, are all spiritually to be understood; as I have shewn in the former Part of this Discourse. This Doctrine is witnessed to 1 Thess. iv. 8, 9. Beginning with those who had so little Under­standing [Page 129]standing of it, as to treat it with Contempt, the Apostle declares, ‘He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not Man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit. But as touching Brotherly-love, ye need not that I write unto you; for ye yourselves are taught of God, to love one another.’ The Apostle was then writing to them mediately from God; by Divine Inspiration, and he makes a mani­fest Difference between this mediate Manner of Teaching, and what he intended by their being taught of God; [...] direct and obvious Sense of which is, God's own immediate Illumination and Instruction.

By necessary Consequence from these Pre­mises, and Abundance more that might be added from the Scriptures, it appears to be both an experimental and a scriptural truth, that God teacheth immediately by his Spirit, as well as Instrumentally by external Means; and that this is an indispensable Doctrine of the Gospel.

2. S. N. sets out, in his Letter, P. 4, with a Profession to try the leading Principles of the Quakers by Right Reason, and Scripture, or as he afterwards expresses it, the true Sense of Scripture. Upon this, I observed, that without Divine Illumination, Man has not sufficient Ability to ascertain the genuine Sense of doubtful and disputed Texts, which are very numerous, and mentioned in Proof, the Diversity of Senses wherein those Texts, are understood, by Persons apparently of equal Sincerity, and of the best natural and acquired Parts, under the same, as well as different Denominations, as plain Indications, that the [Page 130]Assistance of the Divine Author himself is requisite to the right Understanding of them. I also shewed, that Man's Reason is too much clouded, and biassed by his Passions and Prepossessions, to be justly denominated Right Reason, and instanced its Diversity concerning spiritual Matters, and its Mutability in the same Persons; also that Right Reason is Truth, unchangeably the same, and incapable of Error, and therefore exists only in the Divine Nature, which Men must, in Measure, become Par­takers of in order to the Rectification of their fallen and fallible Reason.

Instead of either acknowledging, or dis­proving this, S. N. now professes to bring the leading Sentiments of the Quakers, a second Time, to the Bar of Right Reason and the true Sense of Scripture; but he forgot that he ought, in the first Place, to prove, that he hath these infallible Criterions in Possession. "A Man," says Sir William Temple, ‘that tells me my Opinions are absurd or ridi­culous, impertinent or unreasonable, because they differ from his, seems to intend a Quar­rel instead of a Dispute, and calls me Fool or Madman with a little more Circumstance; though perhaps I pass for One as well in my Senses as he; as pertinent in Discourse, and as prudent in Life. Yet these are the com­mon Civilities in religious Argument, of sufficient and conceited Men, who talk much of Right Reason, and mean always their own, and make their private Imagi­nation the Measure of general Truth.’ Observations on the United Provinces, Page 226.

[Page 131] Respecting the Scriptures, we are so far from lessening them, or opposing the true Sense of them, that we verily believe, and sincerely assert, that the Holy Spirit, in what Degree of Illumination soever it appears, never can contradict them; for Difference in Degree makes no Contrariety. It is the private, or particular, Interpretation of Man without Di­vine Illumination, that we object to, as insuffi­cient to assure the Sense of disputed Scriptures. Besides Man's natural Inability, the various Prejudices, the prevailing Passions, the diffe­rent Interests, and the diverse Leaders of the People, all contribute to give different, and sometimes opposite Senses of the Sacred Text. Many have the Words of the Spirit in Scrip­ture, who have not the Mind of the Spirit in their Hearts.

3. Neither Nature nor Education can give a Man the Sense of the Holy Ghost, nor, of Consequence, interpret its Expressions with Certainty. It is therefore truly asserted, not only by the Quakers, but also by Abundance of distinguished Writers of various Professions, ancient and modern, that the internal Illu­mination of God's Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary to every Man, in order to his right Understanding of the Scriptures. Let me advance a few out of many more now before me.

‘The Holy Scriptures opened by the Holy Spirit, shew Christ unto us; the Holy Spirit is therefore the Opener of the Scriptures.’ Theophylact in Joan. 10.

‘What Men set forth from human Sense, may be perceived by the Wit of Man; but [Page 132]what is set forth by the Inspiration of the Divine Spirit, requires an Interpreter inspired with the like Spirit.’ Erasmus, Paraph. in 2 Peter i. 20, 21. And Coll. in Ixthuophagia prope Finem, he says, ‘They expound the Sacred Writings from the Pulpit, which no Man can either rightly understand, or profitably teach without the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit.’

‘The Scriptures are of no private Interpre­tation; i. e. not of every private Man's Interpretation out of his own Brain, because they were dictated by the Holy Ghost; and by the Holy Ghost, the Meaning of the Holy Ghost in them only can be expounded.’ Ghad. Wather's Disc, concerning the Spirit of Martin Luther, P. 97.

‘The Scriptures are not to be understood, but by the same Spirit by which they were written.’ Luther, Oper. Tom. 2. P. 309.

‘The Spirit of God, from whom the Doc­trine of the Gospel proceeds, is the only true Interpreter to open it to us.’ Calvin's Com. in 1 Cor. ii. 14.

‘The Apostle teacheth, 1 Cor. 2. that the Scripture cannot be apprehended and under­stood but by the Holy Spirit.’ Zenchius, De Sacra Scriptura, Tom. viii. P. 430.

‘The Things of the Spirit of God, are understood and perceived by the powerful Inspiration of the Holy Spirit alone.’ Beza, Anotat. in 1 Cor. ii. 14.

‘As the Scriptures were written by the Spirit of God, so must they be expounded by the same. For, without that Spirit, we have neither Ears to hear, nor Eyes to see. [Page 133]It is that Spirit that openeth, and no Man shutteth, the same shutteth, and no Man openeth.’ Bishop Jewel's Defence of the Apology, P. 72.

‘The outward Reading of the Word, with­out the inward Working of his Spirit, is nothing. The precise Pharisees, the learned Scribes, read the Scriptures over and over again; they not only read them in Books, but wore them on their Garments; they were not only taught, but were able to teach others. But because this Heavenly Teacher had not instructed them, their Understanding was darkened; their Knowledge was but Vanity.’ Arch-bishop Sandy's Sermons, printed 1616, P. 48.

‘The Holy Men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost; it fol­loweth, that all the Scripture ought to be expounded by God, because it is inspired of God—We do acknowledge, that all Means are vain, unless the Lord give Eyes to see; to whom, therefore, the Prophet made his Prayer, Open mine Eyes, Psal. cxix. 18. that I may see thy Wonders of thy Law. Rainolds's Confer­rence with Hart, P. 81.

‘The internal Light whereby we come to see the Sense of the Scripture, is the Holy Spirit.’ Weemse's Christian Synagogue, Lib. i. P. 31.

‘The Anointing of the Holy Spirit, teach­eth the Faithful to understand those Truths, which they have received from the Apostles.’ Amesius, Bellarm. enervatus. Lib. i. C. v. N. 32, P. 60.

[Page 134] ‘It is not possible that super-natural Know­ledge should be rightly received, without super-natural Light.’ Fra. Rous, Interiora regnia Dei Coelest. Academ. Chap. ii. P. 12.

‘God is the Author of all Divine Truth, and of the Discovery of it made to us. An inward enlightening and irradiating the Mind by the Holy Spirit, is absolutely ne­cessary for the Apprehending of the Divine Mysteries, which are contained in the Doc­trines of the Gospel.’ John Edwards's Free Disc. concerning Truth and Error, P. 481.

‘In Regeneration, the Understanding is illuminated by the Holy Spirit, that it may understand both the Mysteries and Will of God.’ The Helvitian Confession, and Ex­pos. Fidei Christinae, Chap. ix.

‘The Gift of interpreting Scripture, is not of human Prudence, but of the Holy Ghost.’ Wirtembergica Confessio, de Sacra Scriptura, in Corp. Confess.

‘We acknowledge the inward Illumination of the Spirit of God, to be necessary for the saving Understanding of such Things as are revealed in the World.’ Confession of Faith by the Assembly of Divines at Westmin­ster, since approved by the Kirk of Scotland, and the same with that of the Independents, and particular Baptists.

4. Page 5. S. N. saith, in his Note, that I charge him with Ignorance and Design. My Words are, Ignorance or Design. Ignorance; if he really thinks Barclay means, the internal Illumination of the Spirit in one Man's Breast, is an Evidence of it to others. Design; if he really understands his Meaning, and wilfully [Page 135]perverts it. Barclay's Assertion, that neither the Scriptures, nor the natural Reason of Man, are a more noble, or certain Rule or Touchstone, than the immediate Revelation of God's Holy Spirit, relates only to such as are sensible of its immediate Revelations, and to the Evidence of these Revelations in the Parties themselves to whom they are immediate. To these he asserts, they are more noble, because Divine, and more certain, because immediate, than their own private Interpretation, of Scriptures, by Reading and Study, without the Illumination of the Holy Spirit, can be. The Spirit only can ascertain the Sense it intends. Sometimes it communicates a literal, sometimes an alle­gorical Sense, a direct, or an allusive Sense, a theoretical, or an experimental Sense. Men are liable to mistake one for another, and with­out a Sense of the Spirit, must often miss of the Mind of the Spirit.

In the next Proposition, Barclay demon­strates the Truth of his Assertion, by shewing from 1 Cor. xii. 12, &c. that though the Body or Church of Christ is one, it is com­posed of many Members, who have each their several Services appointed, and directed by the Holy Spirit in that Body; and each must therefore attend to the Spirit for his own proper Direction. He afterwards instances the special Duties of Particulars in the Church. Barclay therefore gives frequent Advices, to a Waiting for, and due Attention to, the Holy Spirit; which S. N. P. 5, seems so out of Temper with, that he treats them as bold Dictates, terrible Impositions, and enthusiastic Delu­sions of fatal Tendency.

[Page 136] 5. P. 7. He professes to untie what he calls the Gordian Knot of Quakerism, by observing, that the true Sense of the Scriptures, is of equal Authority with Divine Manifestations, and that, as the Scriptures were given forth by the Apostles, whom we allow had the Spirit in a greater Degree than any in this Age, therefore he concludes, upon our Principles, the true Sense of the Scriptures, is a nobler Rule of Judgment in Religion, than our own pretended inward Divine Revelations.

We are well apprized of, and have always asserted, greater and lesser Degrees of Divine Illumination have been communicated to diffe­rent Persons; but we also believe there cannot be any Contrariety, Clashing, or Dissonance in any of its Degrees; because it is from one and the same Spirit, and in what Degree soever it appears, it speaks one and the same Thing, in point of Congruity, and carries its own Divine Authority with it in every Degree. Hence, to suppose a Disagreement between one Degree of it and another, whilst it can differ in nothing but Degree, is untrue and absurd. As to our own, or any Man's own pretended, or any pretended Divine Revelations, we utterly and equally disclaim, as being of any Authority, or Advantage whatsoever; for such mere Pretensions are altogether as unequal to discover and assure the true Sense of dubious Parts of Scripture, as the unenlightened Reason of the natural Man. It is a vain Thing in any Person to pretend he has the true Sense of the Holy Scriptures, whilst his Performances demon­strate his Mistakes concerning it; which is [Page 137]evidently the Case with our present Opposer, as I shall make more fully appear by and by.

6. When any press their own particular Opinion of the Sense of any Part of Scripture, as the true Sense of the Holy Ghost, yet deny all Sense of the Holy Ghost in their Hearts, who that observes a Diversity of Senses amongst these, can give Credit to their Asser­tions? But they alledge, the Scripture is infal­lible. I allow it; but how is its true Sense to be infallibly conveyed to every Reader? By human Study and Instruction? That has led into all the Differences and Disagreements about it. The plain Truth of the Matter is, nothing but the Spirit of Divine Wisdom, whence the Scripture came, can give the genuine Sense of it. For,1 Cor. ii. 11. ‘The Things of God knoweth no Man, but the Spirit of God.’ What is the Infallibility of Scripture to him, who has not the infallible Sense of it? If all had this, who have the Scriptures, none could mistake them, nor differ with each other about them; yet it is too manifest, by the Differences among Christians, they do mistake them. This is not to be imputed to any Defect in the Sacred Writings, but to the common Unfitness of Men's Understandings to discover the right Sense of them. What then can open it to Man's Capacity but the Holy Spirit?

The Question is not, whether the Scriptures, as written by Divine Inspiration, are infallibly right, for such must be so, but whether every one that reads them, is able infallibly to under­stand them? To pretend, if they are not clearly to be understood without the Assistance of the Spirit, they are given in vain, is to contradict [Page 138]the Scripture,1 Cor. xii. 7. which declares that, ‘The Manifestation of the Spirit is given to every Man to profit withal.’ It may as truly be asserted, that the Divine Being, whilst he knows we are in Darkness, gives us a Chart to direct our Way, and at the same Time with­holds the Light, by which alone we can discover its true Contents; which is merely to mock and tantalize us, and also to render our Situation worse than that of the Jews; for all the written Precepts of their Law were plain and evident;Neh. ix. 7. yet God gave them of his good Spirit to instruct them; all the written Doctrines of the Gospel are not so, and is not the Holy Spirit as requisite to us as it was to them?

7. Scripture Doctrines are of divers Classes. They exhibit just Morals, and benevolent Conduct between Man and Man, in a Manner superior to the best Ethic Writers in all Ages and Nations. These are generally and justly allowed to be of natural, universal, and unal­terable Obligation, and are sussiciently plain and clear to the common Sense of every Man. But Matters relating to Faith and Worship, having admitted of many circumstantial Addi­tions and Alterations, according to the diffe­rent Dispensations of Divine Wisdom, have not been so level to Men's Understandings, nor have they been so united in Judgment concerning them, as in the Case of moral Duties. Ever since the collected Publication of the New Testament, Differences in Opinion about the true Sense, especially in Matters of Faith, have subsisted and abounded; and what can determine these Differences? The learned A. saith, such a Text means so and so. The [Page 139]learned B. asserts, it is to be accepted in a different, perhaps a contrary Sense. They apply to the Context, and remain still as diffe­rent in Opinion, and as positive of being in the Right. They recur from Text to Text, and from Critic to Commentator, till they have exhausted every one they can find, or force to their Purpose, and still remain equally, if not more at a Distance than at the Beginning. What is there left to determine the Matter? Will Churches or Councils do it? They jangle from Year to Year, or from Age to Age, and leave the Difference as wide as they found it. The true Sense still remains only with the Divine Author of the disputed Texts, and he alone is able to communicate it. Would it not be a wild Presumption in either A. or B. to boast that he'll try his Opponent's Opinion by the true Sense of the Spirit, and at the same Time deny, that either himself, or Man, can have any real Sense of the Spirit? I have not here supposed a Nonentity, but a Case that has sub­sisted for a great many Centuries, and which must always continue, whilst Men prefer their own Prejudices, Imaginations, and Rea­sonings, to the internal Leadings of the Spirit of Truth.

8. We hold the Scriptures to be a Rule to all that have them, so far as they have a right Understanding of them, and also that they are adequate to the Purpose intended by them; but we cannot aver, they are the sole, the pri­mary, and the universal Director of Mankind in Matters of religious Duty. 1. They are not the sole Director; because the Spirit of God in the Heart and Conscience of Man is also an [Page 140]undeniable Director. 2. They are not the primary Director; because the Illumination of the Holy Spirit that gave them forth, is requi­site to open the true Sense of those numerous Parts of them, about which the Apprehensions of Men so much differ. The Spirit also from which the Scriptures came, is original, and therefore primary to them; and as the Spirit only can open its own true Sense included in them, they are secondary to the Spirit, as an Instrument in its Hand. 3. They are not the universal Director; because it is not probable that One in Ten, if one in Twenty, of Man­kind, have ever had the Opportunity of possessing them. Seeing therefore this is the Case, they cannot properly be pronounced, the complete, adequate, universal Rule of Mankind.

Hence we esteem them the secondary Rule or Guide of Christians, which being Divinely communicated for the Use of all to whom they may come; and also being intrinsically superior in Excellence to all other Writings, we prefer them above all others, and as thank­fully accept, and as comfortably use them, as any People upon Earth; verily believing, with the Holy Apostle,Rom. xv. 4 that they ‘were written for our Learning, that we, through Pati­ence, and Comfort of the Sciptures might have Hope.’

This is not to depreciate the Scriptures, but to hold them in their proper Place, and due Superiority to the Works of Men, and Subor­dination to their Supreme Communicator, and only sure Expounder. For the Holy Spirit is requisite to the right Use of them, as the Agent to the Instrument; and what is an [Page 141]Instrument without a Hand to guide and enforce it? And which is superior, the Agent or the Instrument? The Holy Spirit is the original Wisdom whence the Scriptures came, and the sole Power that can open, and give right Effects to them.John xv. 13. The Spirit of Truth is given to guide into all Truth; is the only Thing that can do it, and consequently the Supreme Guide afforded to Mankind. It is both unwar­rantable and irrational, to assert any Thing else is the sole, or primary Director, whilst the Spirit of God is communicated for that Purpose.

The same Scripture-Truths appear as diffe­rently to each Person, as their Understandings differ one from another. Human Intellects therefore must be rectified, to enable them to see those Truths in the same Sense. The Rectifier is the Spirit of Truth, which alone can unite them in the true Sense.

We stick not to style the Scriptures collec­tively, a Divine, or Christian Rule; but we object to call them, The Rule of Faith and Practice, lest that should be understood to imply we are to look for nothing further to be our Guide or Leader. The Scriptures them­selves abundantly testify, there is something superior to them, which all ought to look for, and attend unto; that is, the Holy Spirit of the Supreme Legislator of Men, and Prime Author of the sacred Writings; in and by whose Light and Power they are made instru­mentally useful, and adequate to the Purposes intended by them. Like a good Sun-dial, they are true and perfect in their Kind, that is, as Writings; but, respecting the Parts differently [Page 142]understood, they may justly bear the same Motto with the Dial, * Non sine Lumine. For as the Dial without the Cast of the Sun-beams, has not its proper Use, to tell the Time of the Day; neither doth the ambiguous Text answer its true End, infallibly to communicate the Mind of the Holy Spirit to different Under­standings, except the luminous Beams of the Sun of Righteousness discover it to the attentive Mind.

9. Our Opposers call the Scriptures the primary Rule. We allow it is the prmiary written Rule, and in all Disputes betwixt them and us, we abide by its Decision, accord­ing to our understanding of the Sense of it, which they profess to do likewise by theirs. In all public Differences therefore we refer intentionally to the same Rule with them. But we have both plain Scripture and Expe­rience to support our Belief, that respecting the particular Duty of Individuals, every one hath in his own Breast, a nearer and more cer­tain Rule or Guide of Conscience than the Scriptures; the Manifestation of the Spirit given to every Man to profit withal, which duly observed, gives a right Interpretation of Scrip­ture, so far as is necessary for them, and also the truest Sense of each particular Person's Duty to him. When a Person feels the faith­ful Witness of God in his Conscience, con­demning him for what is wrong, and approving him for what is right, does he not find it to speak more clearly, particularly, and convict­ingly to his Case and State, than he can read it in the Scriptures? Can he then conclude, [Page 143]that this truly-distinguishing and most strik­ing Witness, is less than that Spirit of Truth, or Comforter, John xvi. 8. which convinceth the World of Sin, of Righteousness, and of Judgment?

Speaking of Persons unenlightened, I ob­served that ‘every Man's Sense of Scripture, is his Scripture, and when he proposes his Opponent shall be determined by Scripture, he means according to his own Apprehension of the Sense of it.’ This S. N. applies equally to Mens Apprehensions of the Illu­minations of the Spirit within them; and I allow, it holds equally against those Preten­ders to the Spirit's Illuminations, who are in Reality void of them; but it will by no Means conclude against the really Enlightened; nor will his following Argument prove that no Man is enlightened. "For," saith he, P. 10. ‘what John Reeve and Lodowick Mugleton thought to be the Mind of the Spirit within them, William Penn and his Brethren de­nied; and what these thought to be the Mind of the Holy Ghost, the former re­jected as spurious.’ This shews, that the Pretensions of both Parties could not be right, but not that neither of them were so, any more than it would prove the Apostle Paul, Acts xiii. 8. Jer. xxviii. and Elimas the Sorcerer, or Jeremiah and Hana­niah, equally wrong in their Pretensions.

When Christ, after his Resurrection,Luke xxiv. 45. opened the Understandings of his Disciples that they might understand the Scriptures, was not the Divine Illumination in their Understandings, a more clear, certain and superior Evidence of the Sense of them, than all their Reading and Study could have afforded them, without such [Page 144]Illumination? Are Mankind now become so much more wise and penetrating, than those who for Years had the Benefit of hearing him who is perfect in Wisdom, that they have no Need of his Assistance to open their Under­standings? Or is their School and College Learning so perfect, as to render God's Illu­mination quire needless? Are the innumerable Clashings and Janglings of the Book-learned about the Sense of Scripture, a Proof of the Unity of their Sentiments, and the Verity of their Sense of disputed Texts? If so, Discord may be a Proof of Harmony, and Fighting of Agreement.

From what is past, I trust, it will appear that our Opposer's more certain Criterion, P. 3. is only such in his own Imagination. How can that be the certain Criterion, about the Meaning of which all the Uncertainty arises? It is certain, without Divine Illumination, every Reader of Texts of a dubious Sense, accepts them in the Sense his Prepossessions make for him; which is the Cause of the innumerable Differences amongst professing Christians. R. Barclay therefore justly denies, that Divine inward Revelations are to be sub­jected to the Test either of the outward Testi­mony of the Scriptures, or of the natural Reason of Man, as to a more noble, or certain Rule or Touchstone.



1. S. N.'s Reasoning not pertinent. 2. His charging me with Mistake, an Error of his own. 3. His Observation answered. 4. His Mis-construction and Mis-application of 2 Tim. iii. 15, &c. and its Antinomian Consequences refuted. 5. What true Gospel-Faith comprehends.

1. PAGE 7. To introduce a weak Argu­ment, S. N. queries, ‘Is the real Nature of the Spirit to be known either by mere Feelings, or metaphysical Specula­tions?’ Answ. The Divine Nature which the Faithful, in Measure, have been made Par­takers of, they have known by a Divine Sensa­tion of its Influence, communicated only by itself; as nothing but the Sun itself can reveal and impart its own Light and Warmth.

Ibid. ‘They must tell us what these Feel­ings are like?’ Answ. They are not like any Thing the natural Man is acquainted with. ‘The natural Man receiveth not the Things of the Spirit of God, for they are Foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.’

Ibid. ‘It is not conceived, however, that they can find out his Essence. Answ. They do not presume to find out his Essence. They are content with, and thankful for, the Dis­pensations he is pleased to make of his Influence; which this Author, P. 8. injudiciously jum­bles together with Views, Sentiments, Effects, Production, Creature, &c. Whereas the Influ­ence [Page 146]shed by the Essence is not of its Creation, but an Emanation of its own Nature, Power and Quality, which produceth those Effects in the Creature, as the Potential Influence of the Sun, is of the Nature and Quality of the Sun, producing its salutary Effects in external Nature, and sensibly operating upon sensitive Creatures, so as to enable them to see by its Light, and to feel the comforting Warmth of its Presence, as well as truly to discover its Productions in and around them.

Having indiscriminately confounded Things that differ, S. N. proceeds thus to syllogize upon it.

That which is not known, felt or dis­cerned in its real Nature, cannot be a Rule of Action to any One, superior to its own Influence, Effects or Productions.

The Holy Spirit is not known, felt or discerned in his real Nature, by any Quaker or others, but only his Influence, Effects, &c.

Therefore he cannot be in his own real Nature a Rule of Action to them, superior to his own Productions, Effects and Influ­ence.

This demonstrates how void of Truth and Probability Logic may be in a sophistical Hand. For, How should any Thing be a Rule superior to its Influence, when its Influ­ence is that by which it rules? And with what Propriety is its Influence, and the Effects and Productions of that Influence placed under the same Predicament? This Argument evidently insinuates, 1. That the Influence of the Holy Spirit is no more of its real Nature, than the Works and Effects produced by it; which is [Page 147]the same Thing as to say, The Influence of the Sun in the Firmament, that is, his Beams, which irradiate his distinguishing Light, and shed his animating Warmth, are no more of his real Nature, than the Wax he softens, or the Clay he hardens. 2. That the rational Soul feels and discerns the Influence of the Spirit, without any real Sense of the Nature of the Spirit. This appears to me just as true, as that we see by the Light of the Sun, with­out any Perception of that Light, and are corporeally animated by its Warmth, without ever feeling it. 3. That if the essential Ful­ness of the Divine Being do not come into immediate Contact with the Soul of Man, he cannot have any sensible Perception of God's Nature by his Divine Influence; which is like asserting, that the powerful Influence of the Sun cannot be sensibly perceived by a Man, unless the Body of the Sun immediately touch his Body.

2. Having noted in my Observation, P. 14, 15, from John v. 39, that the Pharisees rested upon the Scriptures, and would not apply to Christ, my Opponent answers, P. 11. ‘Our Saviour, however, seems to give a different Account of the Matter; for he frequently tells them, Mat. xv. 6. Mark vii. 13. that they made the Word of God of none Effect, through their Traditions; how then could they be said to rest upon it?’ Answ. The Reason our Saviour gives, why they should, or did search the Scriptures, is, For, in them "ye think ye have eternal Life." If they thought to have eternal Life in the Scriptures, they certainly, in that Sense, rested upon them [Page 148]for it, and not upon Christ, the only Saviour, to whom they would not come that they might have it. As to their making the Word, or Command of God, of none Effect through their Traditions, that was spoken at a different Time, and appears not to relate to the Object of their Dependence for eternal Life, therefore cannot either with Propriety or Prudence, be urged in Contradiction to what he here asserted. The Text, I apprehend, may be thus under­stood. Search, or rather, ye search the Scrip­tures, for in them ye think ye have eternal Life. You think so, but are mistaken, for they are not the Life, but come from the Life, and they are they which testify of me, who am the Life; yet ye stick in them as your Life, and ye will not come to me, the Life, that ye might have Life; therefore, notwithstanding your Depen­dence upon the Scriptures, ye remain in a State of Death, resting upon the Letter only, with­out the Knowledge of the Spirit.

3. P. 12. S. N. says, ‘It deserves to be particularly noted, that our Lord never once blames them for not attending to the Light within. I think, it merits more particullar Notice, that if he doth not blame them in Terminis,* for not attending to it, he does more, by shewing them the Condemnation that accrues to those who neglect it.John iii. 19-21. ‘This is the Condemnation, that Light is come into the World, and Men loved Darkness rather than Light; because their Deeds were Evil. For every One, that doth Evil hateth the Light, neither cometh to the Light, lest his Deeds should be reproved. But he that doth Truth cometh to the Light" (or attends [Page 149]to it) "that his Deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. That is, under the Influence of his Spirit. For, "God," saith the Apostle,2 Cor. iv. 6. ‘who commanded the Light to shine out of Darkness, hath shined in our Hearts, to give the Light of the Knowledge of the Glory of God, in the Face of Jesus Christ.’

The Light of God shining in the Heart, is certainly a Light within, and this Light comes in the Face, or Appearance, of Jesus Christ, which Appearance therefore, must be within, and ought in Duty to be attended to.

4. Ibid. I am unjustly charged with a Design to lessen the Importance, and shew the Insufficiency of the Scriptures; because I said, that ‘though they are sufficent to make the Man of God perfect, through Faith which is in Christ Jesus, yet they are not able to make the sinful Man, the corrupt Man perfect, who hath not this Divine Faith of the Ope­ration of God, by which the Victory is obtained.’ Against this, S. N. cites 2 Tim. iii. 15-17, and saith, Paul then here asserts, that the Scriptures are able to make a Person (who was not so before, or was not so with­out them, and must therefore be sinful and corrupt) wise unto Salvation, or in other Words, a Man of God, through Faith, &c.

If to perfect the Man of God, and to change the corrupt Sinner into a Man of God, be the same Thing; or, if the Man of God, and the sinful Man; the Regenerate, and the Unre­generate; the Prophet. and the Profligate; be One and the same, the Apostle saith it; but if they are not so, he asserts no such Thing. [Page 150]Writing, in this Place, to his beloved Bro­ther in Christ, Timothy, who in his former Epistle, he styles a Man of God, he addresses him in particular with this Expression:1 Tim. vi. 1. ‘From a Child thou hast known the Holy Scrip­tures, which are able to make thee wise unto Salvation, through Faith which is in Christ Jesus.* All Scripture given by Inspiration, is profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction, for Instruction in Righteousness, that the Man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good Works.’ This cannot with Propriety be extended to any but Timothy, and such as Timothy; true Believers in, and Followers of Christ. To add Wisdom to the Man of God, the regenerate Man, in order to his Perfection in Divine Knowledge, appears to me a very different Thing from the making a sinful corrupt Man Holy, or turning a gross and miserable Sinner into a Saint; for this, according to Scripture, is the peculiar Work of the Holy Spirit; as I have already made appear.

The Scriptures Timothy had been instructed in from his Childhood, could hardly be any other than those of the Old Testament; and all they could here be meant to do for the Man of God, must be to afford him Instruction in the Way of Righteousness; to add to his own Experience, the Experiences of those before him in that Line. For to suppose they were sufficient to regenerate and perfect the sinful corrupt Man, is more than they are able now to do, even with the New Testament added to them.

[Page 151] The sinful corrupt Man is certainly he that abides in sinful Practices; and the Apostle saith,1 John iii. 8. ‘He that committeth Sin is of the Devil.’ Will S. N. assert, that the Man of God, and he who is of the Devil, are the same? Then Christ and Bel [...] are united in the same Person, Light and Darkness may accord with each other, and that which sepa­rates from God may be joined to him.

I do not think so injuriously of my present Antagonist, as to believe he really intends what the Doctrine I oppose ultimately results in; but I judge this a proper Opportunity to caution against such corrupt and dangerous Positions as some have publicly avowed.

  • 1. That Man, at the same Time he is actu­ally unrighteous in himself, is righteous in Christ. That is, he is not what he is in Reality, but what he persuades himself to be, by a false Imagination concerning the Sacrifice of Christ;
    Prov. xxx. 12.
    like that Generation who are pure in their own Eyes, yet are not washed from their Filthiness.
  • 2. That the supreme Essence of immutable Truth, looks upon Man in a false Light; esteeming him pure, whilst he knows him to be sinful and corrupt.
  • 3. That Christ, the Truth, is a false Me­dium, shewing the States of Men contrary to what they are in Reality.
  • 4. That Man is the Servant of Christ, whilst he is under the Influence of Antichrist; that he is imputatively Holy, whilst he is ruled by the Author of Pollution, the Adversary of all Holiness; and that he is acting in the Will of God, whilst he is doing the Works of the [Page 152]Devil;
    Rom. vi. 16.
    notwithstanding we read, ‘To whom ye yield yourselves Servants to obey, his Servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of Sin unto Death, or of Obedience unto Righteousness.’

It is a vain Delusion for any to expect, that Purity in the highest Perfection should unite with them, whilst they remain in the very Cause of Separation from him. Sin made the Separation at first, and the Continuance of it continues the Separation. If it be queried, Did not Christ die to reconcile Sinners to God? I answer, Yes; but not to reconcile God to Sin, nor to save Sin. He suffered not to pur­chase a Licence for Sinners to continue such; but to open the Way for them to come to Repentance, through the Gift of God procured by him;Luke xiii. 5. for, saith he, ‘Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.’ He came not to uphold, but to destroy the Works of the Devil; which include all Manner of Sin and Corruption.1 Cor. vi. 9.10. "Know ye not," saith the Man of God, ‘that the Unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Be not de­ceived; neither Fornicators, nor Idolaters, nor Adulterers, nor Effeminate, nor Abusers of themselves with Mankind, nor Thieves, nor Covetous, nor Drunkards, nor Revilers, nor Extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God.’ The Notion of imputative Righ­teousness to such as remain in the Commission of these Evils, therefore, is a vain and perni­cious Error.

We must die to Sin, or we cannot live to God; and in Proportion as we die to Sin, we live in Christ, and no further. We must put [Page 153]on Christ, by true Faith and Obedience, which are never separate; for that is a false Faith which abides in, or satisfies any, without Obedience, "Faith without Works is dead,"Jam. ii. 2c. saith the Servant of Christ,Verse 18. and ‘shew me thy Faith without thy Works, and I will shew thee my Faith by my Works.’

The Law saith, Do, or avoid this, and live. The Gospel not only forbids the outward Act, but also restrains the inward Desire and Motion towards it. The Law saith, Thou shalt not kill; nor commit Adultery; nor forswear thy­self, &c. The Gospel commands, Give not Place to Anger; thou shalt not lust; swear not at all, &c. In this Manner, the Gospel destroys not the moral Law, but fulfils it, by taking away the Ground of sinful Acts, and laying the Axe of the Spirit to the Root of Corruption.

Can the Considerate imagine, that the ever­lasting Source of Wisdom and Might, can be at a Loss how to expel Satan's Kingdom in Man whilst upon Earth? Or can they think him so delighted with Men's Offences against his Purity and Goodness, as to will that Satan should reign over his Creatures to the last Moment of their Lives? Is it not more to his Glory to deliver from the Power of Evil, and to save both from Sin here, and Misery hereafter, than to save only from Wretchedness in Futurity? Is a Part greater than the Whole? Or, is an incomplete Deliverance preferable, or more glorious than that which is perfect?

When Doctrines opposite to Purification of Heart, and Holiness of Life, are industriously propagated, it stands every One in hand to be [Page 154]alarmed, lest, by giving Place to them in their Minds, they become blinded through the Deceitfulness of Sin; which will center them at last in a Fool's Paradise, instead of the City of God,Rev. xxi. 27. the Heavenly Jerusalem, into which nothing that defileth, that worketh Abomination, or maketh a Lie, shall in any wise enter.

5. The Ability in the Scriptures, as before cited, to enlarge the Man of God in saving Wisdom, the Apostle saith, is through Faith which is in Christ Jesus. S. N. resolves this saving Faith into a Belief of those Parts of the Old Testament, which related particularly to Christ, to which he adds the like Parts of the New Testament.

What true Gospel-Faith is, let us a little consider. As the Entrance of the Divine Word quickeneth the Soul, so it first commu­nicates a Degree of Faith,1 Cor. xii. 9, and Col. ii. 12. through which it operates; for true Faith is the Gift of God, and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Faith; 2 Cor. iv. 13. which is not a bare Belief of Truths concern­ing Christ,2. Tim. iii. 17. but a Faith in him. The Faith in Christ is not comprised in giving Credit to Narrations and Doctrines, and a Mode of Prac­tice framed by the Wisdom of Men upon it; for that centers short of the essential Substance of Faith. Gospel-Faith in Man believes the Truth of all that is revealed by the Spirit, both in the Heart, and in the Sacred Writings; because it feels it, savours it, and is one with it. It not only assents to the scriptural Accounts of the Incarnation and whole Process of Christ in Judea; but it also receives his internal Appearance, consents to his Operation, and concurs with it.

[Page 155] That Faith which stands wholly upon Hear­say, Tradition, Reading, or Imagination, is but a distant Kind of ineffectual Credence, which permits the Soul to remain in the Bondage of Corruption. The Wicked may go this Length towards Gospel-Faith; but the true Faith lays hold of, and cleaves to the Spirit of Truth, in its inward Manifestations, wherein it stands, and whereby it grows, till the Heart is purified, the World overcome, and Salvation obtained.

This Faith is as a Flame of pure Love in the Heart to God. It presseth towards him, panteth after him, resigns to him, confides and lives in him.1 Tim. iii. 9. The Mystery of it is held in a pure Conscience, and in the effective Power of the Everlasting Gospel; whence the Christian Dispensation in Holy Writ, is often distin­guished from the exterior Dispensation of the Mosaic Law, and the prior Administration of Angels in visible Appearances, by the Appel­lation of FAITH.

Though the Term Faith is occasionally used by the Pen-men of Scripture in divers, yet not contrary, but consistent Senses, this seems to be the One standing Faith mentioned, Eph. iv. 5. which is in Christ Jesus, as it is the Fruit of his Grace and good Spirit in the Heart. Through this the Scriptures become effectually instructive to the Man of God, and helpful to the real Christian in the Way of Life and Salvation.Rom. i. 17. It is the Faith by which the Members of Christ truly live, Gal. ii. 20, and iii. 11. and abide as such.Heb. x. 38. It is their invincible Shield; Eph. vi. 16. and the Knowledge of Christ in them, 2 Cor. xiii. 5. is the Proof of their possessing it.Heb. xi. Abundance is said of the Nature, Power, and Effects of this all-con­quering [Page 156]Faith; but I hope, this will be suffi­cient to shew, though in its complete Sense, it includes a Belief of all that is said of Christ, and by Christ, in Holy Writ, it goes deeper, and ariseth not in Man merely from the Man, but takes its Birth, and receives its Increase from the Operation of the Holy Spirit in him; which works by it to the Sanctification of the Heart, and the Production of every Christian Virtue.


1. S. N.'s saving Ability of the Scriptures considered. 2. His wrong Reasoning from the Plea of the Papists. 3. Spiritual Things how understood. 4. Barclay defended from the Charge of arguing in a false Circle. 5. George Fox rescued from S. N.'s illiberal Abuses.

1. S. N. says, P. 14. ‘No more than what we assert of the Ability of Scripture have the Apologist or his Defenders said of the Light within.’ It may be so; but where is the Proof of this, that himself and his Coad­jutors assert concerning the saving Ability of the Scriptures? Why thus it follows. We also say, the Scriptures will make us wise unto Salvation, if we attend to the Sense of them, believe it, and so become influenced by it, therefore they are able to save.

I have already shewn, that he mistakes the Sense of the Text above-mentioned, which is [Page 157]not the only One by many, how then should he attend to, believe, and be influenced by the Sense who has it not? And, how should he be saved by the Sense of that he does not under­stand? I hope his Salvation will be better founded than his Argument; for this hath no firmer Basis than bare Assertion. We say, the Scriptures, &c.’ therefore they are able to save. But I have said enough before to this Point.

2. P. 15. He reminds me, that the Papists plead, ‘The Scriptures are not the supreme Guide; for they do not answer the End, that is, the reconciling of Differences; for those who pretend most to consult the Scrip­tures, do most of all disagree in Matters of Faith, and in their Interpretation of the Scripture.’

No Protestant of a sound Understanding can deny the Truth of this; for more religious Differences have arisen, and still subsist, about the Sense of Scripture, than any Thing else. There is therefore Need of an infallible Inter­preter; which is the Spirit of Truth, whence they came, and who is measurably given to guide into all Truth. John xvi. 13. The Error of the Papists stands not in asserting the undeniable Diversities amongst Men, concerning the Sense of Scrip­ture, but in setting up a visible carnal Head, instead of the invisible spiritual Head of the Church; a Succession of fallible Men, under the Pretence of their being infallibly impowered, officially and finally to determine Doctrines for, and direct the Consciences of all others; and these who approach the nearest to this Part of Popery, are such as pretend their own private, [Page 158]or peculiar Interpretations, are the true Sense of the Scriptures, and who seek to impose them upon others as such.

3. P. 18. S. N. expresses an Imagination, that Barclay meant by Right Reason, ‘not the Faculty of the Understanding itself, but that Reasoning or Argument which is con­formable to the true Relation of Things. I must suppose him to intend here, the true Relation of spiritual Things; for those are what we have here to do with. But what will this avail him? By what Means will he assure us, that his Understanding is adequate to this Relation, and to what is, or is not conformable to it? Spiritual Things are the Things of God, and saith Holy Writ,1 Cor. ii. 11. ‘The Things of God knoweth no Man, but the Spirit of God;’ therefore the Apostle declares,Verse 12. ‘We have received, not the Spirit of the World, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the Things that are freely given to us of God.’ Verse 14.—But the natural Man receiveth not the Things of the Spirit of God, for they are Foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.’ Hence it is clear, that he who hath not the Knowledge of spiritual Things, by the Mani­festation of the Spirit of God, hath not the true Knowledge of them, imagine what he will of his other Acquirements; and he must find himself at last upon the sandy Foundation of vain Opinion.

The Apostle follows this by asserting,Verse 15. ‘The spiritual Man judgeth all Things.’ That is, the Man who is rendered spiritual, by the renewing Induence of the Holy Spirit, has, [Page 159]through the Shining of Divine Light upon his Mind, a clear Discerning of all those spiritual Matters it concerns him to know; which it is impossible for the natural Man rightly to com­prehend.

4. P. 21. ‘The Apologist has Recourse to the Scriptures, to prove to us the Necessity of immediate Inspiration for all Persons, but when he will convince us of the Truth and Certainty of the Scriptures, he turns back again to his peculiar Notion of the Revela­tion of the Spirit in every Man.’ Strange Logic indeed!

What Conclusion is more natural, than to determine what a Tree is by its Fruit; or what the Fruit is by the Tree? Men do not gather Grapes off Thorns, nor Figs off This­tles; but when they see a Fig-tree, they know its Fruit must be Figs; and when they see a Grape, they know it to be the Fruit of the Vine. In this Manner the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures, where both are known, bear mutual Testimony to each other, by a Demon­stration above all Logic, and out of the Reach of Sophistry. What Barclay, therefore, urges in this Case, is the reciprocal Testimony of the Spirit with the Scriptures, as the clearest and best Convincement of both to the Mind of Man, and this not so much by Way of Argument to the Head, as Appeal to the Conscience.

5. P. 22. Our Opponent falls upon George Fox, whom he represents in no very candid Manner. He takes upon him to contradict those concerning him, who for many Years were personally acquainted with him, and his [Page 160]Conduct, and who, both from the Opportu­nities they had, and the Abilities they possessed, were much better Judges both of the Man, and the Reality of the Facts, than he can possibly be. What he calls his fair and just Examination, is a mere Train of Invective and Abuse, relating to Matters transacted long before he was born into the World; and which his notorious Prejudice renders him unfit to determine upon. Having pursued George Fox with great Warmth, through eight or nine Pages, and sufficiently heated his Spirits, he fastens upon his singular Concern at Litchjield, in 1651. Upon which I shall drop the fol­lowing Observations.

It has pleased the Divine Being at Times, to require Things of his devoted Servants, which must appear very foolish to the Wisdom of the World;1 Cor. i. 27. but ‘he hath chosen the foolish Things of the World to confound the Wise.’ Might not such an Act as this simply related by George Fox, be required of him, in Part, to try, or to give him an Opportunity of exer­cising, his Faith and Obedience, and also to alarm a People too secure in false Rests, and carnal Indulgences? He represents the Appre­hension he had of it, was to revive the Memo­rial of their Predecessors, and their deep Sufferings for the Cause of Christ; which, in Divine Wisdom, might be proper to a Generation immersed in a State of Degeneracy, and For­getfulness of God, and to shew them the Woe that would attend a Continuance in a degenerate Life and Practice. With the same View, Woes have been pronounced by divers of God's inspired Messengers, as we read in Scripture, [Page 161]and what mighty Hurt or Scandal accrued from this, that it must be interpreted in the worst Sense possible to be put upon it? What but Ignorance, or an invidious and malevolent Disposition, would see nothing else in the Case, but arrant Villainy, rank Enthusiasm, gross and melancholy Fanaticism, loquacious Lunacy, and diabolical Possession?

If G. Fox had from a Divine Impulse, found it his Concern to go naked for three Years together, as the Prophet Isaiah did;Isai. xx. or to lay Siege to a Tile, in a cumbent Posture,Ezek. iv. and bake his Bread with Dung, for the Space of fifteen Months, as Ezekiel did; it would as surely have drawn down the Resentment of S. N. upon him, and would have been altogether as just a Foundation for his Asperity.

With Respect to miraculous Testimonials; when I consider the many gross Impositions of that Kind, under Names delivered down to us with great Veneration, and sainted in the Romish Church, I do not admire that thinking Persons, not sufficiently experienced in the Divine Life, should be inclined to disbelieve any modern Narratives of supernatural Tokens. But this Difference is evidently observable, between the sew related by George Fox, and his Friends, and the many by Popish Writers. These industriously propagated their miraculous Legends for a Name; for the Support of un­scriptural Superstition, and separate Interests, monastic Institutions, the Adoration of Relicks, and of the blessed Virgin, the Invocation of Saints, real or nominal, Prayers for the De­parted, Image-worship, their deified Sacra­ment, the formal Sign of the Cross, consecrated [Page 162]Oil, &c. But G. Fox never once pretended to a Power of working Miracles to the People where he came, to open a Door amongst them for the Reception of himself, or the Prin­ciples he spread; nor was it necessary he should, since they had been already miracu­lously attested, in the first planting of Christi­anity. For, the Fundamentals he preached were, Christ once in the Flesh, and always in Spirit, as the Light and Life of Men, the Mediator, the Propitiation, the Intercessor, the potential and actual Redeemer, offered for all, and to all, and the especial Saviour of all that believe in him so as to obey him; with the Necessity of Regeneration in Man, and the Practice of every Moral and Christian Virtue.

Is it nothing extraordinary, that a Person so obscure and illiterate, so little conversant amongst Men, so uneducated in Arts, Lan­guages and Sciences, so unversed in the various Modes of Divinity, by Turns in Fashion, uninstructed, unprovided, unprotected by Men, should singly and alone, launch into the trou­bled Sea of a tempestuous fluctuating World, and in direct Opposition to all the Pride, Policy and Power of a learned and lucrative Priest­hood, and a prejudiced People with a bigotted Magistracy at their Head; that such an One, by the simple Doctrine of the Cross of Christ, should be made instrumental to the turning of Thousands, not from Form to Form, but from Darkness to Light; from the Power of Satan, to the Power of God; from a Death in Sin, to the Life of Righteousness; from habitual Vice, to a Course of Virtue; inso­much that some judicious Magistrates declared, [Page 163]the People raised through his Ministry, eased their Hands of much Trouble, and had it not been for the Spreading of this Principle of Divine Light, the Nation would have been over-run with Ranterism, and Licentiousness! In this great and good Work, G. Fox, with the People he had been instrumental to raise, stood with unabated Courage and Constancy, and were enabled, with undaunted Fortitude, to bear up against near forty Years cruel Perse­cution, with small Intervals, both from royal and republican Parties, as each ascended the Scale of national Power. This he was favoured to see an End of, before his Removal beyond the Noise of Archers, and out of the Reach of Envy and Malignity.

Notwithstanding the inviduous Misrepre­sentations made concerning him, no Marks of Insincerity, Artifice or Imposture appeared in his Conduct, nor of Interest or Ambition in his Views. He sought not to gather People to himself, but to Christ alone. He made no Pretences to work Miracles, in Confirmation of his Mission, whilst he travelled and laboured amongst his Fellow-creatures; but, in his Journal, which he left behind him in Manu­script, he acknowledges the Goodness and Power of God, in giving extraordinary Proofs at Times, according to his Pleasure, that he attended some of them, with a Measure of the same Divine Power, which formerly accom­panied divers of the primitive Ministers in a much larger degree.

But notwithstanding the Principles we pro­fess, are evidently scriptural,Page 29. and depend not upon, nor as S. N. mistakenly asserts, stand or [Page 164]fall together with any Relations of miraculous Appearances, either in G. Fox's Journal, or the Writings of his Co-temporaries; which Relations are purely incidental, and appeared not till many Years after the Settlement of the Society. Yet, as he was an useful, eminent, and honourable Member of our religious Body, we are not unconcerned in his Veracity, and therefore require better Proofs against it than the Surmises, Presumptions, and Disguises of Prejudice. What he relates of the Facts, he asserts upon his own Knowledge of them, and divers are witnessed to by others as well as himself. Can S. Newton assert the Contrary, upon his certain Knowledge of the Falshood of those Relations; or has he demonstrated the Truth of them to be impossible? No such Matter. They are such as have always been; and what have been may be. George Fox's Integrity is too well attested, to be destroyed by Imaginations, Innuendoes, and Invectives. Lucre, Preferment, the Avoidance of Disad­vantage, Distress, or Abuse, have operated upon the Hopes and Fears of many; but never appeared to have shaken, or weighed with him. Such was the Strength of his Faith, and the internal Support which attended him. He was no Sect-master. He sought neither exter­nal Benefits, nor the Honour that is from below. He traded not in Religion. He truckled not to the corrupt Humours or Dis­positions of any. He called the People out of that Apostacy from the Holy Spirit of God they were too generally sunk into, and out of those carnal Ordinances which could not truly profit them, nor contribute to Renovation of [Page 165]Heart, and Reformation in Life and Practice. Neither did himself, nor those who became connected with him, divide from others for Separation-sake, but to join together in fol­lowing the One Everlasting Shepherd of the true Sheep. To him they gathered, and in the Life and Love of the Gospel, became united to him in Spirit, as their only Head, and one to another as Brethren. They learnt to call no Man Master in a religious Sense, and to know that the true Church is not the Church of Peter, of Paul, or of Apollos; that it owns but one Head, the Lord Jesus Christ; whose Followers they professed to be, and not the Followers of G. Fox, R. Barclay, W. Penn, or any other, further than they followed him. These they never looked upon as Heads of, but Brethren in the Society, never stiled themselves by their Names, nor allowed them any other Estimation, than that double Honour required by the Apostle,1 Tim. v. 17. to those who are doubly ser­viceable.

It is too probable from the Sacred Writings to be denied, that the Almighty, both before the Institution of the Mosaic Law, and during its Continuance, all along, at Seasons, occa­sionally manifested apparent Tokens of his supernatural Power, through those he parti­cularly concerned to hold up the Mirror of true Religion in its genuine Purity, and to revive and restore it when lost, or to a great Degree obscured amongst its Professors; and why should it appear an Absurdity to suppose, that since the primitive Age of Christianity, he should see fit sometimes on like Occasions, to add Sanctions of like Nature? When I find [Page 166]such Instances testified to by Men of Under­standing, Integrity, and disinterested Christian Piety, upon their own Knowledge of the Facts, I see no just Ground to discredit their Attestations, because Persons manifestly preju­diced against them, and confessedly insensible of the Influence and Operation of the Holy Spirit, have settled themselves in an Opinion, that they are to remain for ever to be discon­tinued under the Administration of the Gospel, though continued occasionally throughout all former Dispensations. I have met with no Reason sufficient to warrant me to conclude, that the great Minister of the Sanctuary might not see proper, in the last Century, to add some Instances of this Kind, to the Services of his disinterested and devoted Servants, for their Encouragement, to stem the Torrent of Opposition against the Revival of his Truth in its Purity, when Formality and Hypocrisy on one Hand, Licentiousness and Prophaneness on the other, with Jarring and Violence on all Sides raged against them; as if nothing less was meant than their utter Extinction.

[Page 167]


1. S. N.'s Insinuation, that I prefer the Apology to the New Testament, with the Imaginations be grounds it upon, answered. Herein the true Gospel is shewn, and the People professing it defended. 2. Answers to his Queries concerning the Oeconomy of the Quakers, wherein the Nature and Manner of their Worship is explained. 3. An Abuse obviated, and the Scriptures placed in their proper Light. 4. The Futility of S. N.'s Remark concerning the Prophecies I adduced. 5. My Inadvertance in one of my Expressions acknowledged, and my Sense cleared. 6. Con­cerning Revelation objective and subjective, immediate and instrumental. 7. My Oppo­nent's Instance of Balaam answered. 8. His Artifice remarked, in perverting our Words to serve his own Purpose.

1. S. N. in his Letter, Page 9, indirectly insinuated, that the Quakers read more, and form their Sentiments more from the Apology than the New Testament. Knowing this to be untrue, I denied it of the Generality of that People, and queried with him, ‘If he intended it of particular Persons, who are they?’ In Answer to this Question, P. 47, he now assumes the Charge of Nathan upon David, and roundly asserts to me, ‘thou art the Man.’ But how I should be the Man he meant when he penned that Suggestion, is mysterious to me, seeing then he certainly was [Page 168]perfectly unacquainted with me. But it seems, for Want of another, I must be the Man, because he can't help thinking, P. 46, that I assert or insinuate, 1. ‘What the Apostles have spoken and written is not the Gospel." 2. That the real Meaning of their Writings is only a dry Theory." 3. That the Gospel in Fact is an inexplicable Substane within all Men, whether they know any Thing of the Character and Redemption of Christ, as represented in the New Testament, or not." 4. That the Whole of our Salvation depends solely upon an inward Power and Virtue, without the Influence of the inspired Senti­ments of the Book of God.’

If I may be allowed to speak my own Sense, what I have asserted, and do believe, respecting these Points, is, 1. That the evan­gelic and apostolic Writings are descriptive and declarative of the Gospel,Rom. i. 16. which therein is defined to be the Power of God unto Salva­tion; 1 Cor. i. 24. that Christ is the Power of God, who spiritually and internally administers Light and Life to the Souls of Men, which spiritual and powerful Administration, is the essential Gospel; and that, both those Parts of Scripture, which bear Testimony to the Incarnation and outward Process of Christ, and those that witness to his inward Ministration in Spirit, whether narrative or doctrinal, being the best and most eminent written Testifications of the Gospel, are therefore, by a Metonymy, usually called by its Name.

2. In my Observations, from P. 36 to 43, I fully made appear, that the real Meaning of the apostolic Writings is not a dry Theory, but [Page 169]a strong Recommendation of the living and sensible Operation of the Power of God.

3. The Reader may see in my Answers to the first of these Articles, and other Parts of this Treatise, that I do not hold the Gospel to be in Fact an inexplicable Substance, &c. But that it is not to be truly and certainly known without Divine Illumination; for,1 Cor. ii. 11. ‘The Things of God knoweth no Man, but the Spirit of God.’ We read,2 Tim. i. 10. that ‘Life and Immortality are brought to Light by the Gospel.’ But what is this Life and Im­mortality? Did not Mankind believe in a future State, before the Incarnation of Christ? Yes, certainly: Both Jews and Gentiles believed and held the Truth of it. What Life and Immortality then is that which is peculiar to the Gospel, and which it is its particular Pro­perty to unvail? It consists not wholly in the Relation of the external Procedure and Doctrines of our Lord, but mainly in that spiritual Gift he procured for us through his Sufferings, which is the Life and Power that the immortal Spirit of God manifests in the believing and obedient Soul, that Spirit which quickens those who have been dead in Tres­passes and Sins,Ephes. iv. 18. and therein alienated from the Life of God. The very, Essence of the Gospel, is the issuing forth of this Spirit of Life to the Hearts of Men.Prov. iv. 23. ‘Keep thy Heart with all Diligence,’ saith the wise Man, ‘for out of it are the Issues of Life. This teacheth that these living Issues arise in the Heart of Man, but not from the Heart itself. Was it so, the Heart or Soul would be its own Quickener and Saviour, and Christ would be excluded as [Page 170]such;John xiv. 6. but he alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, therefore the Issuings of Life to the Heart are from the Spirit, and in and through it by his Spirit. The Divine Influence of it is the Life of the Soul, that which renders it living, and void of this, it cannot be in a Gospel Sense, a living Soul. It may endure to Eternity; but mere Duration is not this Divine Life. To exist without this Life, is to be scripturally dead; it is therefore requisite for the Soul to wait for, feel after, and find this immortal Life, and also to keep to it with all Diligence, that it may experience the daily Issues thereof to its Comfort and Preservation, and to be as ‘a Well of Water springing up into everlasting Life.’ John iv. 14.

4. The Pretence that I assert, the Salvation of those who have the Privilege of perusing the Scriptures, depends solely upon an inward Power and Virtue, without those as a Means, is no Assertion of mine; for my Words plainly indicate the contrary. I say, P. 14, ‘We do not pretend, that the internal Motion of the Spirit is the only Means of Reformation and Religion, to those who are likewise favoured with the Scriptures; but highly prize, thankfully accept, and use them as the best secondary Means extant. I also under­stand the propitiatory Sacrifice of our Saviour, by which he opens the Door of Reconciliation for us, to be the initiatory Part of Man's Sal­vation, and the internal Work of Regeneration by his Spirit, to be its actual Completion; for thereby an Entrance is administered into the Heavenly Kingdom.

[Page 171] Lastly, no Man can have the Influence of the inspired Sentiments of the Book of God, with­out receiving those inspired Sentiments, which I have sufficiently shewn, no Man hath who reads without the inspiring Power. Every Reader hath only his own Conceptions about the Sentiments inspired of God, and not those real Sentiments, without a Degree of Inspiration from him; which the manifest Mistakes and Contradictions of many demonstrate they are Strangers to.

By all this, it must evidently appear, that S. N.'s Premises are so many Perversions, and his Thou art the Man, a groundless Accusa­tion.

In his two next Paragraphs, S. N. demands an Exposure of some Matters relating to the internal Management of the Society in its own peculiar Affairs; and though I am not con­vinced of his Authority for it, I'll give him a just Answer to his Queries, without return­ing his Incivilities.

  • 1. The Quakers neither read the Scriptures, nor any Thing else, during the Time of their Worship, or as a Part of it, but after that is over, they usually once in the Year, take the Opportunity, before the Congregation separate, to read those short Informations and Advices which are transmitted from the Yearly-meeting in London. These Advices always consist of Scripture-quotations, and Doctrines agreeable to Scripture, according to the best of their Knowledge; but the reading of them is no more a Part of their Worship, than the reading Testimonies of Denial against immoral Mem­bers, [Page 172]or the Substance of Briess recommended by the Crown, at such Opportunities.
  • 2. They give such Preference to the Scrip­tures above all other Writings, that they strictly press the frequent reading of them, and call for Answers at every Quarterly-meeting throughout the Society, and at the general Yearly-meeting in London from every parti­cular Quarterly-meeting, whether the Holy Scriptures are constantly read in their Families, or not; which they neither do, nor ever did, respecting any of their own Writings, or any others.
  • 3. The Society doth occasionally present, or recommend such of their Books as they think proper to give Information concerning their Principles, to obviate the Prejudices conceived, and industriously propagated against them; which they apprehend, they have as much Right to do, as their Adversaries have to mis­represent and calumniate them; and indeed, the Abuses of those are sufficient to oblige them to this Practice.
  • 4. They do recommend Silence and Still­ness in their religious Assemblies; and as our Manner of Worship is misunderstood by many, and often treated with Ridicule, I shall take this Opportunity to offer some Explanation of it.

We look upon Divine Worship to be the most solemn Act the Mind of Man is capable of being engaged in; and in Consideration of the high and inconceivable Majesty of Almighty God, think it our Duty to approach him with the greatest Reverence. Every thinking Per­son, who is in any Degree sensible of the Love [Page 173]and Fear of God, must esteem it an awful Thing, to present himself to the especial Notice of the Infinite Omnipresent Eternal Being. Under a Sense of this, the wife Man adviseth, ‘Keep thy Foot when thou goest to the House of God,Ecles. v. 1. (or enters upon Worship) ‘and be more ready to hear, than to give the Sacrifice of Fools; for they consider not that they do Evil. Be not rash with thy Mouth, and let not thine Heart be hasty to utter any Thing before God; for God is in Heaven, and thou upon Earth, therefore let thy Words be few.’ He well knew, as he expresses it,Prov. xvi. 1. that both The Preparation of the Heart, and the Answer of the Tongue is from the Lord.’ This accords with what our Saviour saith,John xv. 5. ‘Without me ye can do nothing.’ We, therefore, cannot perform Divine Worship acceptably but by his Assist­ance. This must be received in Spirit; for, saith the Apostle,Rom. viii. 26. ‘The Spirit also helpeth our Infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought. This being as certainly our Case, as it was that of the Apos­tles and primitive Believers, it is incumbent on us to wait for that Spirit which is requisite to help our Infirmities, in order to pray as we ought. No Forms of Devotion of Mens Invention can supply the Place of the Spirit. The same Apostle further saith,Eph. ii. 18. ‘Through him we both have an Access, by one Spirit unto the Father.’ Seeing therefore, that both our Help and Access is through the Spirit of Christ, the Renewal of which is at his Pleasure, and not ours, we must necessarily wait for it. This Waiting must be in Still­ness [Page 174]of Mind from the common Course of our own Thoughts, from all wandering Imagina­tions, and also in Silence from the Expression of Words; for the Utterance of Words is not waiting, but acting.

Words are requisite to convey the Sense of one Person to another, but not to that Omnisci­ent Being, who is an universal Spirit, and every where Almighty, who therefore stands not in Need, either of the Use of corporeal Organs, Instruments, or the Sound of Words, to com­municate with the Spirit of Man.

If, in order to worship, the Mind do not settle into Stillness, the Passions will be at work, and may agitate it into enthusiastic Heats, and vague Imaginations. But in true Stillness, and Singleness of Soul towards God, they are silenced and subjected. The still small Voice of the Inspirer of all Good then comes to be heard, and the Mind being closely engaged in Attention thereunto, and answering it in Faith and humble Submission, feels Divine Life and Love spring up, and receives Ability therein, truly to worship the great Author of its Existence, and Heavenly Supplier of its Wants, with a Devotion no Forms can reach.

This Worship is not entered upon by totally laying aside our Faculties, and falling into a senseless Stupor, as superficial Observers have imagined, but by a real Introversion of Mind, and an Attention fixed singly upon the alone Object of all Adoration, in patient, yet fer­vent Desire after him. Thus, according to the Hebrew, the experienced Psalmist advises, Be silent to the Lord, Ps. xxxvii. 7. and wait patiently for him;" and respecting his own Practice, he [Page 175]saith, "Truly my Soul is silent upon God,"Ibid. lxii. 1. adding this cogent Reason, "from him cometh my Salvation.’ Verse 5, he applies the Exhortation to himself. ‘My Soul, wait thou only upon God, for my Expectation is from him.’ Great Encouragement he had thus to wait, as appears Psalm xl. where he saith, ‘I waited patiently for the Lord, and he inclined unto me, and heard my Cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible Pit, out of the miry Clay, and set my Feet upon a Rock, and established my Goings, and he hath put a new Song into my Mouth, even Praise unto our God.’ This was no new Song in itself, but being sensibly renewed to him in his acceptable Waiting, he, with sufficient Propriety, stiles it so.

To the same practical and profitable Doc­trine Jeremiah bears Testimony.Lam. iii. 26, 27, 28. ‘It is good that a Man should both hope, and quietly wait for the Salvation" (or saving Help) of the Lord. It is good for a Man that he bear the Yoke in his Youth. He sitteth alone, and keepeth Silence, because he hath borne it upon him.’

Silent Waiting was in Practice among the Prophets, and those that attended them, as appears in the Prophecy of Ezekiel. We find the Spirit of the Prophet was engaged in Divine Vision, whilst the Elders of Judah sate before him, as it is described from the 1st Verse of the viiith Chapter, to the 4th of the xith Chapter. During the Time of which Vision, it cannot be consistently supposed, that he was either speaking to them, or they to him, or to each other. This was not a singular [Page 176]Instance of their meeting together, for it was the Manner of God's People to congregate with the Prophets, as that close Reprehension plainly indicates.Eze. xxxiii. 31. ‘They come unto thee as the People cometh, and they sit before thee as my People, and they hear thy Words, but they will not do them.’

In this solemn Practice, we have often been enabled thankfully to acknowledge, the Verity of that gracious Declaration of our Lord, ‘Where Two or Three are gathered together in my Name,Mat. xviii. 20. there am I in the Midst of them;" the Fulfilling of that Promise. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their Strength;"Isa. xl. 31. the Certainty of that Asser­tion, The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, Lam. iii. 25. to the Soul that seeketh him; and the Necessity and Authority of that just Com­mand, "Be still,Psal. xlvi. 10. and know that I am God."

As silent Waiting appears to us, in the first Place, requisite to the Worship of God in Spirit and Truth, it is always our Practice, for we believe he ought to have the Direction of our Hearts therein; and if he please to influence any One under due Preparation, vocally to appear, either by Way of Address to himself in Prayer, or to us in Preaching, we never preclude such Appearances, but silently assist according to our Measures. If it prove that none are so concerned to speak, we sit the Time through in Silence, wherein true mental Worship is often experienced; but never appoint any Meeting with Intent, that it shall be held throughout in Silence, as some have mistakenly imagined; for we believe, that all ought to be led and guided by the good [Page 177]Spirit of God, more especially in the solemn Acts of Divine Worship. It would be an happy Thing, were all so led, amongst us as well as others, but the Case appears otherwise with too many, who sit unconcerned, in Ex­pectation of hearing the Ministry, instead of waiting upon God, and therefore often meet with Disappointment. The Apostle said in his Age, ‘they are not all Israel, Rom. ix. 6. which are of Israel. So we must acknowledge, all who have descended from faithful Ancestors, are not themselves faithful; but the Defect is in themselves, and not in the Principle.

5. We profess, that the Spirit of Truth ought to be ours, and every Man's Leader, and that this Spirit is an infallible Principle, and that so far as any faithfully follow it, they are infallibly led, and no further; but we never did, nor do profess, that all in Society with us are so led, or even sufficiently seek to be so. Nor was it the Case amongst the primitive Christians themselves. We well know, and freely own, that we have all sinned, and come short of the Glory of God, and that without Repentance and Regeneration, we must for ever fall short of it. We are also sensible, that upon due Confession, Submission, and sincere Obedience to the Manifestations of Christ, the Light of Men,1 John i. 9. ‘he is faithful and just to forgive us our Sins, and to cleanse us from all Unrighteousness;’ Verse 7. and if we ‘walk in the Light, as he is in the Light, we have Fellowship one with another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all Sin.’ Could any Thing but either gross Ignorance, captious Envy, or Malevolence infer from this, [Page 178]that we profess, we all are, or that any of us always are infallible? Yet so have our Doctrines been discoloured by our Adversaries from the Beginning, and in the same Track our present Opposer follows his Predecessors, repeatedly upbraiding us by Allegation, that there is some Difference both in Sentiment and Practice among us; but is it possible to be otherwise with any Body of People, whether less or more, whilst different Degrees of Capacity and Experience remain amongst them, as they ever must, and whilst any are deficient in pay­ing that due Regard to the Principles they profess, which they ought to do?

3. S. N's subsequent Query, Page 47, has Reference to an Expression of mine, in Answer to his common, though improper, Manner of Reasoning, that is, drawing gene­ral Conclusions from particular Premises, and charging the Faults of particular Persons upon the general Body, which never espoused nor countenanced them. This I shewed to be a fallacious Practice, and instanced, that by this Manner of Arguing, the Theft and Treachery of Judas might be charged upon the whole twelve Apostles, seeing he was one of them. Upon this my Opponent impertinently asks, ‘Did our Lord, and his Apostles countenance Theft or Treachery, as the Quakers do pub­licly and privately a Neglect of a primary and principal Attention to the Scriptures, as the best Standard of Faith and Practice?’

This appears intended to deceive the unwary Reader into a Notion, that in the preceding Remark. I have drawn a Reflection injurious to the Character of the Apostles, and to [Page 179]heighten the Prejudice, he irreverently foists in our Lord also, who is not once mentioned in the Paragraph. With Regard to the Scrip­tures, I have declared our Sense concerning them, and shall only add, that we hold them to be the best written Standard of Belief and Practice that we know of in the World. We venerate them for the Sake of the great Author they came from, and seek to him for the right Understanding and proper Use of them; believ­ing him who alone can open the true ense of them, and accompany it with Power to enable us effectually to put it in Practice, to be the primary Guide, and therefore ought always to have our principal Attention; ever esteeming ourselves in Duty bound, in the first Place, Heb. xii. 2. to look unto Jesus, Luke xii. 23. the Author and Finisher of our Faith. As ‘the Life is more than Meat, and the Body than Raiment,’ so is the immediate Influence of the Spirit of Christ more than the Scriptures, or than any Man's, or People's private or partial Interpretation of them, from whence have arisen all the Diffe­rences that subsist about them, and which must ever remain to be the Case, till the Holy Spirit itself is applied and attended to, as the right Interpreter, and supreme Standard of Faith and Practice. This is the original essential pri­mary Guide, and that Revelation which comes immediately from the Spirit of God into a Man's Heart, is certainly the primary One, and that which he receives through instrumental Means, is as certainly but a secondary One.

4. S. N. pretends, P. 56, ‘It is somewhat remarkable, that Mr. Phipps should refer us more than one Hundred Years back, to [Page 180]prove to us, there had been a Spirit of Pro­phecy among them.’ Why should this be so remarkable, when he demanded what Grounds Barclay had to assert such had appeared among them? Would any Person rationally expect I should bring modern Instances to prove an Assertion made before they existed? Had I introduced any that arose after the Date of the Apology, he might properly have said they were impertinently alledged.

5. Page 64, he cites this Passage from my Observations, Barclay's Doctrine is, that the Holy Spirit communicates not a natural Faculty, but itself to the faithful Soul, and becomes to it a new Principle wherein, or as an Organ whereby, it is capacitated rightly to understand religious Truth.’ My Inad­vertence in leaving an Expression so short of my real Intention, perhaps may have led my Opponent to misunderstand my Meaning. I must therefore request his Leave to explain my own Words; which should have been, ‘The Holy Spirit communicates, not a natural Faculty, but somewhat from itself, to the faithful Soul, which becomes to it, &c. By this he might have gathered, that I intended not a Communication of its Essence, but its Influence; like as the Sun in the Firmament doth not shed its Body, but its Radiance upon the Earth; by the unvailing Light, and ani­mating Warmth of which, the Faculties of Men receive a clearer and stronger Perception, both of that glorious Luminary itself, and also of what it reveals and discovers, than it is possible for them to do without its Assistance, by all other Means whatsoever. As to the [Page 181]Word Organ here, S. N. knows it is only a Metaphor, a short Simile in one Word, often used in Discourse, not as Argument, but for Illustration; and as no Simile runs on all Four, it is not reasonable to expect it in this. I meant to be understood by the Words, as an Organ, its operating to like Purpose as a corpo­real Organ, or a Means of conveying Intelli­gence from the Divine Essence to the Soul of Man; as an Eye doth from the Object to the Understanding. I hope this Explanation will sufficiently obviate all the Inferences and Re­flections occasioned by my Inadvertence.

6. Page 69 and 70, S. N. infers, that the Quakers Notion of Revelation seems to imply, that it must be a Revelation of something not understood, or a Communication of something to the Mind, of which the Soul has no Conception; and that it is a manifest Contradiction,—no Re­velation at all, &c.

Barclay distinguishes Revelation into objec­tive and subjective, and sometimes he speaks of the one, and sometimes of the other. In order to shew the Propriety of this Distinction, let me observe, that the Soul of Man hath not only a Faculty of Cogitation, by which it ordinarily thinks, unites, divides, compares, or forms Ideas, but also a latent Power of internal Sensation, or of perceiving Spiritual Objects by an inward and spiritual Sense, when pre­sented through a proper Medium; which, till the Beams of Divine Light shine upon it, it must be as totally unacquainted with, as the Child in its Mother's Womb is with its Facul­ties of Sight and Hearing. For, though in that Situation, it may be completely formed, [Page 182]and possess every Organ proper to corporeal Sensation, yet it is not empowered to exercise them, or really to know it hath them, till it be brought forth into the Medium necessary to the Use of them, composed of the Light and Air of this World. Then it first finds the peculiar Sense, and Exercise of those natural Powers which, before its Birth, it could not have the least Understanding or proper Use of. In like Manner, the natural Man must be delivered out of his natural Darkness, into the luminous and quickening Influence of that Divine Word, or Spirit, which is most em­phatically stiled the true Light and Life of Men. Thus born of the Spirit, into this proper Medium of Divine Knowledge, the Soul is made acquainted with that spiritual Sense it could neither discover, nor believe pertained to it, whilst in its natural State. This is no new natural Faculty added, but its own mental Power newly opened, and brought into its due Place and Use.

Words are inadequate to the Expression of this internal Sense felt in the Soul under Divine Influence. It cannot be ideally conveyed to the Understanding of the Unexperienced; for it is not an Image, but a Sensation, impossible to be conceived but by its own Impression. So true is that of the Apostle,1 Cor. ii. 9, 10. ‘Eye hath not seen, nor Ear heard, neither have entered into the Heart of Man, the Things which God hath prepared for them that love him; but God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit.’ It was upon this Consideration that I said, Divine Light is the Subject of inward Sensation, ‘and is not to be commu­nicated [Page 183]from one to another by Reasoning, or verbal Description.’ For, should any Person give the most clear and lively Descrip­tion possible of the Light of the Sun, to a Man blind from his Birth, it would only be communicating an ideal Notion of the Light, but not the Light itself. It might be called a subjective Revelation concerning the Light to him, but not an objective one of the Light itself. This no Man can have but by his own immediate Sensation.

Divine Revelation is a Disclosure of some­thing to the rational Mind by the Holy Ghost, not in the Mind's own Power to discover. This the Holy Spirit doth, either by unvailing of itself by its Influence in some Degree to the Soul, and giving it an internal Sense of its Presence; or by favouring it with the Vision of other Objects, real or representative, through the Communication of Divine Light and Power; or by giving the Soul a clear Sense of its own State and Condition. All this being a Discovery of Objects, is called objective Revelation.

Subjective Revelation is a Disclosure of Sub­jects, or Things relative, through the Inspi­ration of the Holy Spirit; by which the Mind is opened into the Knowledge of the Divine Will concerning Persons or Things, led into the true Sense of Scriptures, or into a deeper Understanding of Doctrines than it could ever reach without Divine Illumination. Of this Kind was the original Revelation of the Scrip­tures to those who penned them.

All this, both objective and subjective, is truly internal immediate Revelation. What [Page 184]is now modishly treated as the only Revelation still existing, and to exist, is rather the Fruit of Revelation than the Thing itself, a scrip­tural Record of Things revealed; for they certainly were so to those to whom they were immediately disclosed; but the different Senses put upon the many disputed Parts of them, for many Generations past, demonstrate those Parts are not truly a Revelation to those who mistake them; nor can they ever become such to them, till they know the Holy Author to be their Interpreter.1 Pet. i. 20, 21. For, ‘No Prophecy of Scripture is of any private Interpretation. For the Prophecy came not in old Time," or rather, at any Time, "by the Will of Man, but Holy Men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.’

P. 75 and 76, S. N. argues, that the imme­diate internal Revelation of the Holy Ghost is not in all sufficient to save, because Barclay allows, that some who have once had it, may be, and have been damned; to which I answer, if all were saved, it would be a certain Proof that God is able to save all, but are we there­fore warranted to deny or dispute the Ability of Almighty Power to save all, because all are not saved? A flowing Spring is certainly sufficient to quench my Thirst, if I drink sufficiently of it; but if I refuse, the Insuffici­ency is not in the Spring, but entirely owing to my Refusal. But Balaam is adduced as an Instance quite in Point; because he had internal Revelation, yet taught Balak to seduce the Israelites to sin. That he sometimes had inter­nal Revelation, is true, and whilst he adhered thereunto, it preserved him from teaching [Page 185]Seduction. It was when he departed from it, or suffered himself to be so far overcome with a Love to the Wages of Unrighteousness, 2 Pet. ii. 15, and Jude 11. that the Holy Spirit departed from him, as an Illumi­minator and Preserver, that he joined Balak in his evil Purposes. This has been the Case of all Apostates, the Grace of God is all­sufficient, but they disobey, divide from, and thereby prevent it from operating sufficiently to their Salvation.


1. S. N.'s Inconsistency with our Saviour's Expression, Mat. xvi. 2. The Possibility and Necessity of attaining a spiritual Sense of the Spirit of God, preached by Paul to the Pagans. 3. A false Inference from my Words obvi­ated. 4. The Pagans not void of God's saving Grace, nor led by it into Polytheism. &c. The rude Absurdity of charging us with Paganism. 5. Impious Idolaters, &c. not in Christ; but he appears in them as a swift Witness. To whom he communicates saving Knowledge. A Piece of manifest Abuse repelled. 6. The Gospel comes not in Word only, but in Power, and Christ not only came outwardly, but also appears in­wardly, and by the powerful Operation of his Spirit effects all our Works in us. He is the real Efficient of all Good in Man. 7. The Gospel sensibly preached in every Man. The Office of the Spirit of Truth. 8. The Light not unintelligible, though undefinable [Page 186]as to its intimate and peculiar Essence by the Wit of Man, to which natural Things are equally so. 9. My Belief respecting S. N.'s Note. 10. His Mis-information and Im­pertinence concerning our Terms of Admission. II. A Day, or Time of Visitation to Man demonstrated 12. My Intention in stiling the Relief he expresses a notional one. 13. What Deism is. The Quakers not Deists, nor such Enthusiasts as their Opponent would render them.

1. PAGE 104. ‘We pass over his new Discovery, that the Rock on which Jesus will build his Church, is the immedi­ate Revelation of Christ by the Father.’ What he calls my new Discovery, is our Savi­our's old Discovery, as ancient as the New Testament; and what he stiles passing over it, is stopping to contradict it. The Answer of Christ to Peter is, ‘Blessed art thou Simon Bar­jona, for Flesh and Blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father, which is in Hea­ven. In Opposition to this, S. N. faith, "It is at least highly probable, the Apostle learnt the Truth he confessed from our Lord's Con­versation and Instruction, or from the Baptist's Testimony, however the Spirit of the Father influenced him in receiving it.’ I take it, the Truth Peter confessed was not the mere Truth of a Proposition, but a Sense of the Reality of Jesus being the Christ. This, our Lord saith, the Father revealed to Peter; but S. N. saith, it is at least highly probable he did not, but that either Christ himself or the Baptist did it, and intimates that the Father [Page 187]only aided towards the Apostle's better receiv­ing their Report. I do not see, why this Truth is not as likely to have been spiritually revealed to Peter by the Father, as it was to Paul, who declares,Eph. iii. 3, 4, 5. that by Revelation the Mys­tery of Christ was made known to him, and that it was likewise revealed to his Holy Apostles and Prophets by the Spirit.

2. ‘Neither shall we dwell upon his Rank­ing, P. 41. the feeling after God, and finding him, mentioned by Paul to the Athenians, Acts xvii. 27, as an equal Proof of his Point, with the Prophets being moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Pet. i. 21.’ The Point I brought this Scripture in Proof of is, that a spiritual internal Sense of God is not impossible to be known. I therefore first observed, that Paul told the Athenian Pagans, ‘God made of one Blood all Nations of Men, not only to live upon the Face of the Earth, but that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him and find him." Hence I inferred, "he then must certainly be to be found and felt by Man; and as he in a Spirit, it must be after a spiritual Manner. We cannot con­sistently suppose the Apostle was bantering the Athenians here, by putting them upon Jeeling after and finding what was not to be felt nor found by them. To this Argument my Antagonist answers not, but recurs to Eva­sion, and charges me with invidious Reflections and designing Perversions, for no better End that I can see, but to cover his Imbecility.

3. P. 106, he cites me as follows, Obser­vations, P. 44, ‘The Confidence of a true Christian is not in what he hears, or reads, [Page 188]but in what he feels of the Holy Spirit." Hereupon he says, "Now this sets aside the real Use and Importance of a written Reve­lation, to all Intents and Purposes, for its Contents cannot now be known but by either Reading or Hearing.’

The real Use of the Scriptures is to afford Instruction and Comfort, and their chief Im­portance is to recommend to the Spirit of Christ from whence they came, that his People may be enabled rightly to put their Trust in him. 2 Cor. 1.5, 6. The Apostle declares, God had given them the Earnest of the Spirit, therefore they were always consident. Was not their Confidence then grounded in the Earnest of the Spirit given them of God? And, is a Trust in this Spirit, and a Belief of the Contents of Scripture, incompatible with each other? Or, is a Chris­tian to have no Confidence in the Spirit and Power of the Saviour himself, but all in his own Notions of what he reads in Scripture, true or false; and will his own Efforts accord­ing to these Notions save him? Cannot he follow those seriptural Exhortations and Doc­trines which plainly teach us to pray for the Spirit, to be led by the Spirit, to live and walk in the Spirit, without setting the Scrip­tures aside, and treating them with Contempt? Those who have experienced a living Sense of the Spirit, instead of dividing from the Scrip­tures, and depreciating their Service, are by the Divine Influence, more closely united to them, read them with a better Understanding, and more to their Comfort and Advantage than ever, are altogether as fervently concerned to press the frequent Perusal of them, as any of [Page 189]those who so unjustly accuse them, and who are so inexperienced in the Truth as it is in Jesus, as to place their whole Confidence in the Notions and Opinions they gather from reading the Scriptures, and remain Strangers to the necessary Knowledge of Christ within, the Hope of Glory.

4. P. 109. S. N. thus entitles his 7th Article, ‘The religious Opinions and Practices of Mr. Phipps's Brethren, whom he has selected from among the Heathens, recapi­tulated, that he may see what their supposed Divine Inspiration taught them.’

The Instances I adduced from the Pagans, were to shew, that it was evident from some of their own Expressions, they had an internal Sense of that Grace of God which the Apostle saith, brings Salvation, Tit.ii. 11. and hath appeared to all Men. The Citations I made, appear to me Proofs of it. Our Opponent appearing prepossessed with an Opinion, that eternal Sal­vation is confined to the Knowledge of the History and Doctrines of our Saviour, is necessarily led to think, that all who are not providentially furnished with this, are intenti­onally left under an Impossibility of entering the Kingdom of Heaven; and thence con­cludes, that the Generality of the Pagan World must be void of any Share of the saving Grace of God; and that we must be wrong in supposing otherwise concerning them. Pos­sessed of these Notions, he seems to infer, that the same Principle which taught them, they had at Times a Manifestation of something of a Divine Nature within them, also led them into their Polytheism, Idolatry, false Theology, [Page 190]and Immoralities. But I apprehend, this is as far from being true of the Pagans, as it is of those Patriarchs, Israelites, and Christians, who have defaulted or degenerated. For I can no more believe, that Principle which some­times gave Plato a Sense that ‘the Light and Spirit of God raiseth up the Soul into a sen­sible Communion with him,’ led him also to teach a Plurality of Deities, than I believe the Spirit which led Noah to preach Righteousness, led him also to over-charge and disguise himself with Wine; or that the Spirit which at Seasons inspired Aaron, led him also to make a Golden Calf, for the Israelites to worship, or at all concurred with him in it. Nor do I think it reasonable to conclude, that because Aaron assisted in an idolatrous Prac­tice, and offended the Spirit of God in other Respects, as also Miriam, David, Solomon, and many other inspired Persons did, that he never had a Sense of Divine Influence.

But it seems, both myself, and the People I am religiously connected with, are Brother-Pagans, because we hold one like Opinion with some of the best and most intelligent Heathens. Is it either just or charitable, to suppose those Heathens held no sound or sensi­ble Truths? If they did hold any such, how can any sound or sensible Mind do otherwise, than to acknowledge the same Truths? And, if such a One detest their Polytheism, Idolatry, and Immorality, as truly as S. N. himself can do, is he justly to be stigmatized with the reproachful Title of Brother-Pagan? What is it that constitutes Paganisin? 1 Cor. xii. 7. Is it a Belief, that ‘the Manifestation of the Spirit is given [Page 191] to every Man to profit withal?" Or,Acts x. 34.35. to perceive of a Truth, "that God is no Respecter of Persons, but in every Nation, he that feareth him, and worketh Righteousness, is accepted with him?’ Then both Paul and Peter were Brother-Pagans too. If we hold the same Doctrine with the Pagans where their Tenets are agreeable to Truth, is it equit­ably to be inferred, that we are one with them where they are not? Should I return my Antagonist his Compliment, by produc­ing Points, wherein he accords with Papists, Deists, Enthusiasts, Antinomians, and Pagans, and charge their Errors and Extravagancies upon him, would he not tell me, it is treating him with haughty Contempt and virulent Invec­tive, as he doth without any such Reason? Let him look to the Beam in his own Eye.

The Sentences I quoted from a few Pagan Writers demonstrate what I adduced them for; that they were sensible of a Divine Principle in their Consciences, and knew somewhat of its Operation. Their abiding still in some Part of the Polytheism, &c. they had been educated in, and the Customs they had been taught to hold as sacred and inviolable, only indicate, they had not come so fully under the Guidance of this Principle, as to be led into all Truth by it; but not that they were void of all Sense of it.

P. 119, 120, S. N. asserts, when Paul was at Athens, he did not direct them to an immediate Revelation—nor appeal to a Divine saving Prin­ciple, or Spirit in them. But elsewhere says, Eph. ii. 12. they were without God; I Cor. i. 21. and that they knew not God.

[Page 192] The Text doth not peremptorily say, they knew not God, but that they knew him not by their own Wisdom; and the same Apostle saith, ‘They are without Excuse;Rom. i. 20, 21, 22. because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their Imaginations, and their foolish Heart was dearkened. Professing themselves Wise, they became Fools.’ This shews, they had some Time a Knowledge of him, but through Inattention and Disobedience lost that Knowledge; as is the Case with too many professing Christians as well as they. And when the Apostle was among the Athenians, he acquainted them,Acts xvii. 27. that God made all Nations of Men, that they might feel after him and find him; intimating, for their Encouragement so to do, that he was not far from every one of them. If they might feel after and find him, it must be by the immediate Revelation of his Spirit to their Spirits; which when found and felt, would, as adhered to in Obedience, be­come a Divine and saving Principle in them. As to that of Eph. ii. 12, it does not appear to relate to the Gentile-World of all Ages and Qualities, but to the carnal State of those Gentile Believers the Apostle was then writ­ing to, before their Conversion to Christianity, as the preceding Verse evidences. Respecting I Cor. i. 21, it is particularly levelled against all who depend upon their carnal Wisdom, their natural or acquired Parts, for the Know­ledge of God. For, the Words of the Apostle are, The World by Wisdom knew not God; which is equally true of carnal Jews and Christians, as of carnal Heathens. Both [Page 193]these Texts therefore are impertinently al­ledged.

5. In the following Paragraph, S. N. pre­tends, that I may call Idolators, Abettors of Suicide, Countenancers of shocking Impieties and Immoralities, Brethren in Christ, and treat them as savingly influenced by the Spirit of the true God.

I deny all such to be either Brethren, or any Thing else, in Christ, or savingly influenced by the Spirit of God. What I believe concerning them is, that they all have at Times felt the reproving Witness of God in their Consci­ences, which gives them a convicting Know­ledge of him;Job xxiv. 13. and if they continue to rebel against this Light, they become so darkened towards it, that they know not the Ways thereof, nor abide in the Paths thereof.’Not liking to retain God in their Knowledge, Rom. i. 28. after long Forbearance, he gives them over to a reprobate Mind. Our Principle teaches, that the Grace of God that bringeth Salvation, hath appeared to all Men, first as a Convictor, or Convincer of Sin. Thus it stands at the Door of Man's Heart, and knocks for En­trance, and if the Heart opens to it, and abides in the Ability it furnishes, sincerely desiring, and seeking to obey its Motions, it will, by due Degrees, increase that Ability therein, till it prove itself the Power of God unto Salvation to it. Then, and not till then, the Mind is sensible of the saving Knowledge of this Divine Principle; yet, before this, whilst the Soul knew nothing more of it than merely its Convictions, it could not be faid to be totally ignorant of an internal immediate Sense of that Grace which is saving, both in [Page 194]its Nature and Intention, though it was not indued with the saving Knowledge of it.

I appeal to that Sense of the Grace of God, in every conscientious Breast, whether those uncandid Reflections, and the Insinuation of my Opposer, that I may exult in the religious Spirit of impure immoral Idolators, be doing Justice to the scriptural Doctrine I declare, and becoming his Pretensions as a Minister of the Gospel?

6. As to what follows under his next Head, we have all along uniformly acknowledged, as fully as he can do, the Gospel came in Word as well as in Power; 1. Thef. i. 5. but not in Word only, but also in Power, even in the Power of the Holy Ghost. And, we are sensible, that this Divine Power, from whence the Words sprang, is the very Essence of the Gospel, and the Words but the outward Expression, or exterior Declaration by which it is preached and recom­mended. To this essential internal Grace, Power and Spirit of God, the Apostles called, and pressed their Hearers, as well as to the Belief of the outward Advent and Process of the Messiah then past. They taught them, that ‘Christ was once offered to bear the Sins of many,Heb. ix. [...]8. and unto them that look for him, shall he appear the second Time, without Sin unto Salvation. This second Appearance of Christ, we do not understand to intend his coming to Judgment at the great Day of general Decision; for then he will come both to deter­mine the final State of the Righteous and Unrighteous; not to Salvation only, but to Condemnation also. But this second Appear­ance is in order to the Salvation of those who [Page 195]look for him to that End. Accordingly, the Apostle thus prays for the Believers,2 Thes. iii. 5. ‘The Lord direct your Hearts into the Love of God, and into the patient Waiting for Christ;" and he describes the Corinthians as "waiting for the Coming," 1 Cor. i. 7. or renewed Appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Notwithstanding our Saviour empowers and employs his Messengers to declare his Will, and to call People to the Work of Repentance and Regeneration; yet he constitutes them not as Deputies to do Work for him. It is not the Words they deliver, nor any Application Man, by his own Powers, can make of them, which can perform this great Business. "Lord," saith the Prophet,Isa. xxvi. 12. ‘thou wilt ordain Peace for us; for thou also hast wrought all our Works in us. The Spirit of the High and Holy One is the true Efficient of all the real Good that is done, all the Virtue that is wrought, either in the Church in general, or any of its Members. It is the Spirit that(a) giveth Understanding, and unvails the Know­ledge of the Things of God; (b) quickeneth and maketh alive, (c) mortifies, (d) circumcises, [Page 196] (e) baptizes, (f) sanctifies, (g) regenerates, (h) sets free, (i) strengthens, and enables to Obe­dience. In the Spirit is(k) the true Light, (l) the Life, (m) the Love, (n) the Waiting, (o) the Walking, (p) the Fellowship, and Com­munion of the Gospel. In the Spirit(q) is true Prayer made, r Access to the Throne of Grace opened, and acceptable Worship performed. The Spirit is(ſ) the Covering of God's People, (t) their Guide, (u) their Leader,, (w) their Com­forter, (x) their Seal, the Infelt Earnest of an [Page 197]everlasting Inheritance to them; and in some, the all-effective Power and Virtue of the Gospel­ministration; all which the Scriptures here­under cited undeniably evidence.

7. In all these Respects the Holy Spirit operated in common amongst the primitive Believers. For the Continuation of the same spiritual Operations, it is that we plead, and not that of miraculous Gifts; which were always extraordinary, and afforded but to few in Comparison of the whole Number of the Primitives. Yet our Examiner all along chuses, that we shall mean what he pleases, and what may best answer the End he so artificially labours to accomplish. Upon this Ground, P. 122, &c. he proceeds against us, as though we disputed the Convincement of the Christian Converts through the Preaching of the Apos­tles; which we are as far from denying as any People upon Earth. What I opposed him in was, the Inference he appeared to make, that because it pleased God to teach them sometimes instrumentally, he never taught them immediately at any Time; or, that none were ever converted or taught of God but through external Means; which the very Convictions of God's Grace in every Man's Conscience disprove.

He allows, all Men have the Spirit, but denies they have any more Sense of it, than a Vegetable of the Sap that nourishes it. But his own repeated Confession, that when he does Right Conscience approves, and when he does Wrong it condemns him, shews the Contrary. This is generally called Conscience, [Page 198]because it is something of God appearing in the Mind, and giving it a conscious Sense of Right and Wrong respecting its own Acts. No Man could know it makes these just Dis­tinctions without a Sense of them. What is inward Conviction for Evil, but a Sense of Guilt? And, what is the genuine Effect of Guilt, but Remorse? What does Remorse lead to, but Repentance? And what is Repentance, but the Doctrine of the Gospel? Every rational Creature under Heaven, therefore, having this Sensation, hath the Gospel preached in him or her by this righteous Principle, agreeable to Col. i. 3.

Our Lord shewed his Disciples, that the Spirit of Truth,John xv. and xvi. the Comforter, should not only bring to their Remembrance what he had told them, show them Things to come, and lead them into all Truth; but it should likewise, reprove the World of Sin, of Righteousness, and of Judgment. Whether this Divine Visitor appears to the Mind of Man, in Words, or without Words, by the Sensations of Com­punction and Remorse; whether in the Sharp­ness of Reproof, or the healing Touches of Consolation; whether it manifests itself as Light, or sheds its Life and Love into the Heart; whether it darts upon it as Lightning, or settles it in a Holy Serenity; fills it with Faith, or inflames it with Zeal; in all these Ways, seeing it proceeds not by Messenger, but by its own immediate Communication to the rational Soul of Man, it is properly stiled internal immediate Revelation.

This Divine Principle is a living Source of Truth and Virtue in Man, without which [Page 199]Laws and Precepts would little avail, and when, through Faithfulness thereunto, it is enlarged and advanced over all in the Soul, it is found to be a sure Foundation, which neither the Wisdom of the Wise, the Reasonings of the Consident, the Jugglings of the Crafty, the Derision of the Reviler, the Rage of the Persecutor, nor even the Gates of Hell can prevail against.

8. S. N.'s repeated Allegations that this Principle is inexplicable and unintelligible, and calling for particular Definitions of its peculiar Essence, with his insulting Conclu­sions thereupon, amount to nothing more than this Argument. If you are really sensible of this Principle, you can clearly desine what it is; but you are not able thus to define it; therefore you have no Sense of it. To shew this Reason­ing proves nothing, take the following Parallel. If you are really sensible there is a magnetic Power in the Loadstone, you can clearly define what that Power is; but you are not able clearly to define it; therefore you have no Sense of it. What experienced Navigator would prefer this Reasoning to the Facts he has had occular Demonstration of; to the certain Experience he has daily profited by? That a Man must be able to define to others, the peculiar Essence of whatever he sensibly knows to be true, is beyond the Power of Logic to prove. It is enough for us to know, that it is God that worketh in us, and to yield Obedience to his Operations; the Truth of which is not at all affected by a Want of nice and essential Definitions of that which effects them. We plainly behold the astonishing natural Virtue [Page 200]of the Magnet, both respecting its Attraction and polar Adhesion. It is an undeniable effec­tive Power, yet essentially undefinable by the Wit of Man. All the Attempts that have been, or can be made to discover it, whether just or erroneous, cannot in the least affect the Reality and Verity of it; because a Cloud of Witnesses have found it to be true by a sensi­ble Evidence. So it is with the Work and Power of the Holy Spirit. All the painful Researches of the most ingenious and penetrat­ing of Mankind, demonstrate that the intimate Essences, and intrinsic Differences of natural Things, are out of the Reach of human Dis­covery; much more so are those of a spiritual Nature.

9. In his Note, P. 123, he suspects, I can't conscientiously believe, what I cannot but conscientiously believe; which is, that to be fervent in Spirit, relates to the Fervency of a Man's own Spirit;Acts xviii. 25. and that to be fervent in the Spirit, as expressed of Apollos, intends a Fervency inspired by the Spirit. It is true, our Translators have rendered the like Phrase, Rom. xii. 11. fervent in Spirit; but probably, what led them to that might be the contrasting Expression preceding it, not slothful in Busi­ness; yet I think unwarrantably.

Ibid. S. N. saith, ‘Mr. Phipps also is for making a Syllogism for me, that he might the more easily refute it.’ The Syllogism I made for him is founded upon his own Asser­tions; that ‘God had many People at Corinth, but he did not chuse to teach them the Gos­pel by immediate Revelation. No,’ &c. His new substituted Syllogism is founded [Page 201]upon a different Position, to which I do not object; that is, ‘they were not taught the Gospel by internal immediate Revelation alone. By his Addition of the Word alone, he alters from his former Doctrine to ours. What the Apologist asserts, is suffici­ently proved; for I have shewn, Words, with­out Divine Influence, are not to be depended on for the true Sense of ambiguous Expressions, because they are so liable to be differently understood by different Persons.

10. What S. N. gives out as our Terms of Admission, P. 128, are not our Terms of Admission. We receive our Members upon a better Foundation than he appears to be acquainted with. Our Terms of Admission, are, a free and unforced conscientious Acqui­escence upon Principle, with the essential Doctrines of Truth and real Christianity, and the Rules of the Society founded thereon, and not upon mere external Appearances. The Divine Principle itself is our Bond of Union, and the Holy Scriptures are our Articles. Christ once in the Flesh, and always in Spi­rit, are Fundamentals with us. We require no Subscription to Articles of human Inven­tion.

As to Differences in Opinion amongst us; whilst Professors of the same Faith differ in Years and Experience, in Capacity and Oppor­tunity, in Education and Associates, in Faith­fulness or Unfaithfulness to their Principles, there must be different Opinions and Practices. When the Believers in the primitive Age of Christianity grew numerous, it was the Case amongst them, and in all Societies ever since. [Page 202]What we assert is, that the One Holy Spirit leads all that faithfully follow it into Same­ness of Doctrine, and Unity of Love; and that all who profess to be Followers of Christ, ought to be led by his Spirit; but that all, either of our own Society, or any other, are so led, we are far from asserting or believing.

The Quotatation made from Barclay, Page 131, amounts to no more than this; that the Spirit of God is sufficient of itself, without any Thing else; but nothing else is sufficient without that. To infer from this undeniable Truth, that we mean every Thing but the Holy Spirit is useless to Man's Salvation, whether the Spirit please to use them or not, is a mere Perversion. Whatever the Spirit is pleased to use, it ren­ders useful; what it uses not in the Work of Salvation, cannot be useful towards it; for Salvation is of God, Ps. xxxvii. 39. and there is no Saviour besides him. Isa. lxiii. 11. To parallel this with such an Huddle of Falshoods, as my Opposer cites from the deistical Author of Christianity not founded on Argument, is only a Repetition of one of his customary Abuses.

11. P. 135. He thinks Barclay's Time or Day of Visitation, which does not always continue through a Man's Life,’ a danger­ous and melancholy Opinion. "For," says he, ‘were a Man properly affected with his miserable Condition by Sin, and once ima­gined his Day of Grace to be over, neither the Light within him, nor the Gospel with­out him, can give him any Relief.’ For this Reason Men ought carefully to embrace the Day of their Visitation, and follow the Advice of our Saviour,John xii. 36. who saith, ‘While [Page 203]ye have the Light, believe in the Light, that ye may be the Children of Light.’ This is the only Way to escape the dreadful Conse­quences of continuing in Rebellion against it. And, is it not a Comfort to all Men, that they are allowed this Opportunity? If he think so unfavourably of this Doctrine, what does he teach others to think of his favourite Doctrine of Preterition, which allows of no Condition, or Time of Visitation-at all, nor even one single Chance for Salvation, to the Majority of Mankind?

That there is such a Time and Opportunity as Barclay inculcates, and that it may be lost to Apostatizers past Redemption, is evident from that awful Passage, Heb. vi. 4, 5, 6. ‘It is impossible for those who were once enligh­tened, and have tasted of the Heavenly Gift, and were made Partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted of the good Word of God, and the Powers of the World to come; if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto Repentance; seeing they crucify to them­selves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open Shame.’

This Passage evinces, 1st. that Persons may become sensible Partakers of the Holy Ghost, and taste of that Divine Power which is the eternal Life of the Blessed in the World to come. 2d. That they may apostatize from this Condition to such a Degree, that Repentance, and consequently Salvation, shall become impossible to them. 3d. That they bring this upon themselves, because they cru­cify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open Shame; they reject and rebel [Page 204]against the Invitations of his Spirit in them­selves, till they occasion it to forsake them, whereby the Divine Witness is spiritually crucified and slain as to its Life in them, and the Christian-name openly reproached through their evil Conduct and Example. This is further illustrated by a Simile in the two succeeding Verses.Heb. vi. 7 and 8. ‘For the Earth which drinketh in the Rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth Herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth Blessing from God. But that which beareth Thorns and Briars, is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing, whose End is to be burned.’ The Rain that cometh oft upon the Earth, denotes that the Divine Visitation is frequently renewed to the Soul of Man; and the Earth which drink­eth it up, and bringeth forth Herbs, the Soul that affectionately receives, and faithfully re­tains it, so as to bring forth the Fruits of the Spirit; whereby it inherits the Blessing of God's Salvation. By the Earth which beareth Thorns and Briars, is pointed out the Soul that so repeatedly continues to resist, and back­slide from the Divine Visitor, as to bring forth, and abide in, wicked Works, which occasions him to reject and forsake it; the Consequence whereof must be its final Condemnation and Destruction.

This Portion of Scripture thus demonstrates, both the Certainty of a Day of Divine Visita­tion to the Souls of Men, and the Possibility of its being discontinued, whilst they remain in the Body.

12. S. N. in his Letter, P. 29, having said, ‘Whether God would pardon my Iniquities, [Page 205]my Light could give me no Information;’ and afterwards expressing, ‘I am relieved by a Notion, a Report, a Testimony, Sentiments delivered by Jesus of Nazareth, and his Apostles in the New Testament.’ I queried, P. 58. ‘What does he read there that parti­cularly concerns himself more than any other Person? Where doth the New Testament declare, that* No Matter who, is in a State of Divine Acceptance and Approbation?’ Herein I had no Intention to insinuate, that he meant to exclude all others from an equal Share with him, nor will my Words bear such a Construction. But apprehending, upon his Predestinarian Principles, that he flattered him­self, he was one of the personally elected, from something he had read in the New Testament, and willing he should not deceive himself, I enquired where he found himself particularly pointed out as one of the Elect. Instead of a pertinent Answer, he cites only the first Part of the Question, and in that leaves out the Word particularly; which is unfair in both Respects, and renders all the religious Indigna­tion he vents upon it for several Pages, entirely pointless. What I intended was to put him upon Consideration, that if what he read in the New Testament was a true Relief to him, his Comfort must arise either from an Evi­dence that all Men universally have, or that himself in particular hath certainly a Share in the glad Tidings of the Gospel; and that, if he did not believe all Men therein comprehended, this comfortable Evidence to himself must spring either from the Holy Spirit bearing Wit­ness [Page 206]with his Spirit, that he is the Lord's, or from an especial Mention of him in the Scrip­ture; and as I found he denied the internal Evidence of the Spirit, I queried with him, where he found himself particularly pointed out in the New Testament, as in a State of Divine Acceptance; and I still think it worth his While to examine the Grounds of his Belief, that he may not be deceived by a mere Notion.

13. He cites Barclay's Definition of Con­science in the Abstract, and then improperly treats it as in the Concrete, to make it suit with the deistical Notions of Tindal, and prove the Quakers Deists: A Point he as arduously as ineffectually labours. We always under­stand the natural Conscience, and the Light of God's Spirit appearing in the Conscience, as different Principles. The very Essence of Deism consists in a Denial of Revelation. A Denial of all Divine Revelation is perfect Deism. A Denial of it in Part is partial Deism. The Quakers deny no Part of Divine Revelation; therefore are in no Respects to be stiled Deists. They believe both in the Inspiration of the Scriptures, and that of the Holy Spirit. Those who disbelieve either the one or the other, are so far deistical. He who believes the Sacred Writings were penned by Men inspired for that Purpose, and yet holds that all immediate Inspiration is now totally with-held, doth, in perusing the Scriptures, rest upon his own private Interpretations, or that of his Party, as the true Sense intended by the Holy Ghost, and is at best a Semi-Deist. Such a One has no Right to reproach those with the Name of Deists, who believe the Penmen of Scripture [Page 207]to have been Inspired as well as he, and also acknowledge the Continuance of Inspiration, which he doth not. To pretend, that the inspired Records must be needless to, and therefore set aside by, those who believe the Continuance of internal Inspiration, is falsly inferred; for, the Scriptures of the Old Testa­ment were useful to, and used by the inspired Apostles; and those who have at Times expe­rienced the Renewals of Inspiration, know that the Scriptures are often thereby brought to their Remembrance, more clearly opened, and rendered more useful and comfortable to them, than it is possible for them to be with­out it. This is not the vain Imagination of a private Spirit, nor that wild Enthusiasm so indiscriminately and untruly cast as an Oppro­brium, upon all who profess the Necessity of knowing the inspiring Spirit of Truth to lead into all Truth to the End of the World.



1. S. N.'s pretended Quotation from G. Fox's Great Mystery a false one. G. Fox's true Intention. 2. The essential Gospel, and S. N.'s supposed Cases answered. Barclay cleared of his Charge, and himself shewn to oppose the Sense of the Apostle. 3. Christ the Light and Life of Men before his Incarnation. These Terms not to be confined to his corporeal Appearance upon Earth. 4. Nor to the Scriptures. What their proper Use is. 5 and 6. The Greek Word Erchomenon, John i. ix. more properly applicable to Man, than either to Light or Christ. 7. A material Difference between Light afforded in order [...] Salvation, and a real embracing of it so as to be saved by it. Christ as truly the Light of the Souls of Men, as the Sun is to their Bodies, whether they keep their Eyes open to it, or shut them against it. 8. Christ as the Divine Word, the creating, uphold­ing, and saving Power of God to Mankind, the Elect, the gracious Administrator of Life and Salvation, through his external Sacri­fice, and by the Communication of his Spirit. The true Sense of unlearned Writers, not to be ascertained by the Rules of Grammar, or Criticism. 9. Rom. x. 14, 15, equally concerns Jews and Gentiles. The Improba­bility of the Primitives preaching throughout the habitable World. 10 Not every indi­vidual Man, but every regenerate Person, is the Temple of God. 11. The Kingdom of [Page 209]God is within, Luke xvii. S. N.'s Falsifi­cation of the original Text, to make it appear otherwise. The true Christian is the Temple of Christ, wherein he manifests himself by his Spirit. 12. What the Kingdom of God is. The Conclusion.

1. WHAT S. N. pretends to cite, Page 144, from G. Fox's great Mystery, is not there. It is nothing better than a Per­version of Expressions of a different Meaning, made formerly by Thomas Hicks, from whom he has taken it at second Hand, and who was one of the many unjust and violent Adversaries of the Quakers in the last Century; confuted by George Whitehead, in the second Part of the Christian Quaker, and by William Penn, in his Reason against Railing, and his Counterfeit Christian detected.

What G. Fox saith in his great Mystery, P. 68, is, ‘Christ is in you except ye be Reprobates," saith the Apostle; and again, God breathed into Man the Breath of Life, and he became a living Soul; for that which came out from God, was the Cause that Man became alive, a living Soul, and is not this of God?—Is not that of God which came out from God? This he did not intend of the Soul itself, but of the inbreathing of Divine Life in the Soul. Of this Life it is that he saith, ‘It brings the Soul that is faith­ful to it, up into God, from whence it came, whereby they come to be one Soul;’ mean­ing in Unity, not Identity. What he means, P. 29 and 91, by the Soul's being infinite, is only immortal, or of infinite Duration, not [Page 210] Expansion. These Terms he sometimes used one for another, as is common amongst unlet­tered Persons. It is evident from his own Words, P. 91, that he did not mean the Soul was a Part of the Divine Essence; for he there speaks of its being in a State of Death whilst in Transgression, which is not possible to the Divine Essence, and afterwards adds, ‘Every Man that cometh into the World, having a Light from Christ Jesus (the Way out of the Fall, the second Adam) receiving the Light, they receive Redemption and Sanc­tification, whereby their Spirits, Bodies, and Souls are sanctified.’ Here he plainly distinguishes between the Soul, and that which it receives of the Divine Nature which sanc­tifies it.

G. Fox's Treatise was printed in 1659, and contains cursory Answers to above an Hundred different Opposers, who in a Manner mobbed him from the Press at that contentious Period; and as he had full Employment for his Time otherwise, and had not the Benefit of that Literature which is now common, infamous Advantages then were, and have often since been taken by designing Antagonists, of the Inaccuracy of his Expressions. But I should think it beneath any Person of a liberal Edu­cation, and Character, to copy from those Ill-intenders, or to follow them in such a disinge­nuous Line. Neither the Witticism of S. N.'s sensible Writer, nor his own Reflection upon it, has any Foundation in our Doctrine.

2. In answer to his Efforts concerning the Gospel, P. 147, &c. without troubling myself with the unnecessary Pedantry of Etymologies, [Page 211]I shall say, we allow the Word Gospel, in an extended Sense, may include both the Mystery and the History, the inward and outward Pro­cess of our Saviour;1 Thes. i. 5. for the Gospel comes not in Word only, but also in Power, and in the Holy Ghost. We believe, this Power of the Holy Ghost to be the internal essential Part, and the Words the exterior declarative, and occasional Expression of it. We admit the History, metonymically to a Share in the Title, but not to engross it; lest the Power, which is the Life and Reality of it, should be excluded, and People be deceived into a Belief, that the Gospel essentially consists of nothing but Words.

The Passages S. N. cites, P. 148 and 150, from 1 Cor. xv. and Acts x. prove not that the Gospel is totally comprehended in the historical Part only. We are far from denying, that Paul, Peter, or any other true Minister or Messenger of Christ, preached the Gospel, when, by Inspiration, they preached concern­ing the historical Process of Christ; but we cannot allow, that this comprehends the Whole of the Gospel they preached. For we read in their Writings, that the Gospel is the Power of God unto Salvation, 2 Cor. iv. 6. and that it shines as a Light in the Heart, to give the Knowledge of the Glory of God. The Doctrines of the Gospel are also called the Gospel, and the Preaching of them, is termed preaching the Gospel; but it is evident, neither the History nor the Doctrines, are the essential Gospel intended in Gal. i. For, we find, after the Apostle had said,Gal. i. 9. ‘If any Man preach any other Gospel unto you, than that ye have [Page 212]received, let him be accursed,’ he shews what he meant by the Gospel they had received, in 11, 12, 15, and 16th Verses. ‘I certify you Brethren, that the Gospel, which was preached of me, is not after Man. For I neither received it of Man, neither was I taught it, but by the Revelation of Jesus Christ.—But when it pleased God, who separated me from my Mother's Womb, and called by his Grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Heathen, immediately, I conferred not with Flesh and Blood.’ The Gospel here intended is plainly, the immediate Revelation of the Son of God within him, and neither an historical nor doctrinal Relation of Things without him. It is against the Oppugners of this internal essential Gospel which is not of Man, nor by Man, but by the Revelation of Jesus Christ within Man, that the Apostle twice pronounces Ana­thema. S. N. untruly charges us with a Dis­regard of the Context, though here he mani­festly rejects it, and runs to 1 Cor. and Acts for an Explanation, rather than use the real and true One of the Apostle himself, in its due and proper Place.

S. N. allows, P. 153, that the Gospel was attended by the Power of the Holy Ghost, but asserts, it was not that Power. The Apostle saith,Rom. i. 16. it is the Power. Thus not we, but himself contradicts the Apostle.1 Cor. xii. 4, 5. In Demon­stration of this Gospel Spirit and Power Paul preached, that the Faith of his Hearers might be fixed in this Power of God, and not in the private Interpretations of Mens Wisdom. His Fellow-labourers preached under the Influence [Page 213]of the same Divine Power, which pricked their Hearers in their Heart; Acts ii. 37. and so must all that ever truly preach the Gospel. The Apos­tle declares,1 Cor. iv. 19, 20. he would know not the Speech of them that are puffed up, but the Power. For the Kingdom of God is not in Word, but in Power. This everlasting Power is the Spirit of the Gospel, wherein it mainly and most essentially consists; as the Essentiality of the Man doth of the rational Soul; and the Words and Matters preached or written, are as the Body, or present Outside. 2 Tim. iii. The Apostle describes what Kind of Men those would be who, ‘having a Form of Godliness, would deny the Power;" and directs, "from such turn away.’

P. 155, S. N. supposes two Cases, which are briefly these: First, if I and some of my Brethren were confined for Rebellion, without any Prospect but that of Death before us, and a royal Messenger brought a Proclamation to the Gate for our Pardon and Enlargement. Or, Second, if we were actually brought to the Place of Execution, and the King's Son, in his Father's Name, there declared a free and full Pardon to us, on practical Conditions. Upon these Suppositions he queries, whether these Declarations would not be Gospel, or glad Tidings to us? I answer, Yes, if the real Ful­filment of them certainly ensue; but if not, they would soon prove sad Tidings, and depress us the more upon a Disappointment. Will he say, that the Whole is done only by reading the Proclamation? Is not the material Part to follow? Are we delivered by Hearing? Is it not necessary that we should fulfil the Terms [Page 214] required, and then be unfettered and unbound, or the Prison Doors set open to us? And is not this the essential Part? The Words declare the kind Offer and the good Intent, but the execu­tive Power sets at Liberty; and which is prefe­rable if considered apart. Which would any Man chuse, to hear of Liberty, or to enjoy it? To resolve the Whole of the Gospel into mere Tidings, and to reduce it into bare Report, is to exclude the powerful Reality which gives Deliverance, from any Share in the Title; as though the Report was the Saviour, and the Notion the Salvation. This is what we cannot admit as an Article in our Creed. We know no Saviour but Christ, nor any Sal­vation without his Power.

S. N. was too sanguine in asserting in his Letter, P. 34, and repeating it in his present Publication, P. 149, that Barclay's treating the Gospel in like Manner, was a Distinction of his own devising. I shewed him the Con­trary, from William Thorpe, the Protestant Martyr, John Smith, of Cambridge, and Dr. Smith; and I'll now shew him further, that Tertullian wrote to the same Purpose fifteen Hundred Years ago. In his Apology, Cap. xvii. he saith, ‘surely the Soul was before the Letter, and the Word was before the Book. And in his Carminum Advers. Marion. Lib. ii. he saith, ‘—non Verba Libri, sed missus in Orbem Ipse Christus Evangelium est, si cernere vultis. In English thus: If you are disposed to understand; not the Words of the Book, but Christ himself, who [Page 215]is sent into the World, is the Gospel. We likewise read, 2 Cor. iv. 3, &c. ‘If our Gos­pel be hid, it is hid (in eos) in them that are lost; in whom the God of this World hath blinded the Minds of them which believe not, lest the Light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the Image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not our­selves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and our­selves your Servants for Jesus's Sake. For God who commanded the Light to shine out of Darkness, hath shined in our Hearts, to give the Light of the Knowledge of the Glory of God in the Face of Jesus Christ. Here the Apostle teaches, that the Gospel they preached was Christ, shewing his Face, or manifesting himself as the Image of God in their Hearts; and that it was only hid, or obscured in the Minds of those, who through Unbelief therein, or Unfaithfulness thereto, were become blinded towards it by him who is called the God of this World, Eph. ii. 2. because he is obeyed by those who walk according to the Course of this World.

3. P. 162, S. N. acknowledges, that John the Evangelist asserts, the Logos, or Word, was God, the Creator of all Things, the Life, and Light of Men; to which he adds, ‘It was the Source of all the true Knowledge of God, and a future State, that had ever been, or was then revealed to any of his People, for the Life and Happiness of their Souls.’

All this, understood of the Eternal Word, we readily acquiesce in; as it accords with the Nature of Truth, and the Prophecy of the Gospel-covenant.Jer. xxxi. 33, 34. ‘I will put my Law in their inward Parts, and write it in their [Page 216]Hearts.’ ‘—For they shall all know me from the least of them, to the greatest of them.’ This could not intend the Know­ledge of Christ incarnate; for that Appearance was too exterior, and of too short Duration. Nor could it mean the Knowledge of the Scriptures; for a Man may know them from Beginning to End, believe them to be true, and frame his Practice according to his Appre­hensions of the Sense of them, and yet not know the Lord. The Jews had the Law, the Prophets, and the Scriptures extant in their Time; yet the Almighty by the Mouth of the same Prophet declares,Ibid. iv. 22. ‘My People are foolish, they have not known me. Nor was it possible they should without Divine Assist­ance; therefore he saith,Jer. xxiv. 7. I will give them a Heart to know me. And in Ezekiel, ‘A new Heart also will I give you,Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 27. and a new Spirit will I put within you. ‘—I will put my Spirit within you. Thus the true Know­ledge of God is to be received, by the internal Writing of the Divine Word in the Heart, which puts the Law of Light and Life within Man, and thereby lighteth every Man coming, or that cometh into the World.

4. To imagine the universal Light and Life of the immortal Word, is at all meant of the Scriptures, is absurd. For it appears to have been, at least, two Thousand four Hundred Years after the Creation, before any Part of the Scriptures were written, and the several Pieces that compose them, were occasionally written at divers Times, and by different Pen­men, taking up about sixteen Hundred and thirty Years more, from the Publication of the [Page 217]first of them by Moses, to the last by John the Divine; considering also, that the abundantly greater Part of Mankind in these latter Ages, since they have appeared in Christendom, have never yet had them, and how many Millions therein, have been wickedly debarred from the Use of them in their own Language, by an in­terested and designing Priesthood; it undeniably appears, that a vast Majority of Mankind never had the Benefit of them. And, amongst those who are favoured with them, the Variety, and even Contrariety of Opinions and Practices which have all along subsisted, especially among the high Pretenders to, and Possessors of Literature, all contribute to demonstrate, that though the Sacred Records, opened by the spiritual Key of David, are profitable and excellent above all other Writings, yet a more adequate universal Guide than themselves, ever hath been, and now is, absolutely necessary to the Salvation of Mankind.

5. P. 164. S. N. understands the Word Erchomenon rendered coming, or that cometh, John i. 9. as referring to the Light, rather than to Man. But, as Maldonatus observes, Man being the next Noun, may more properly challenge the Participle coming to itself. Thus it is in the Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic Versions; in the Latin, by Luther, Erasmus, Beza, Drusius, and others; also in the French, Spanish, Italian, German, Low Dutch, and Anglosaxonic Trans­lations. In the same Sense it was understood by Nazianzen, Chrysostom, Lactantius, &c. Of all which Instances are produced in Wil­liam Penn's Spirit of Truth vindicated, pub­lished about a Century ago, in Answer to a [Page 218]learned Socinian. But apart from other Autho­rities, the Context appears sufficient to clear the Point.

John i. 1. The Evangelist shews first, what the Word, Christ, was in himself, and asserts he was God; and next what he was in and to the World. Verse 3, 4. First, he was the Creator of all Things; and second, the Light of Men; and both these he was in the Beginning, or early Part of Time to this Creation, four Thousand Years before his coming in the Flesh. As he then began to be the Light of Men, he hath all along continued to be so. As he made the Sun to be the Light of our external World, whether People keep their Eyes open, or shut them against its shining; so is the true Light of the Spirit of Men, whether they open to him or not. This he is by the inward Mani­festation of his Spirit in every Man's Consci­ence. ‘In him was Life,Verse 4. and the Life was the Light of Men.’ This was in the Beginning, and hath been from the Begin­ning. It is the One living Eternal Word, or energetic Spirit, appearing in both Modes, when truly believed in, and properly received.

6.John i. 5. ‘The Light shineth in Darkness, and the Darkness comprehended it not." This," saith S. N. P. 163, "may more par­ticularly, as some think, refer to the Jews. But, why so? Were the Gentiles less dark than the Jews? Or doth the Term World include the Jews only, who were but a Handful com­pared with the Gentiles? How does that com­port with Verse 10, ‘He was in the World, and the World was made by him, and the World knew him not.’ Are not the Gentiles [Page 219]included in the World that was made by him, as well, and as much as the Jews? Or,Rom. iii. 29. is he the God of the Jews only, and not of the Gen­tiles also? I take the Darkness to be the corrupt State of Mankind; Gentiles as well as Jews.

He says, P. 164, ‘The Phrase coming into the World, seems plainly to denote a pre-existent State; but neither Scripture, nor Reason, support any such Notion concern­ing Mankind in general.’ I agree with him in the latter Part, but differ from him in the former, i. e. that coming into the World seems plainly to denote a pre-existent State, in any other Sense than the Pre-existence of all Men in their Mothers Womb, before they may properly be said to come forth into,Jer. xx. 1 or to make their Appearance in the visible World. I apprehend the Phrase no more denotes any other Pre-existence of Mankind than the com­ing of the great Day, implies the Pre-existence of that Day. Nor do I see, with what Pro­priety this Expression can be applied to Christ, more than to any one of the Species. For he was always in the World, which was made,John i. 1 [...] and continually subsists by his Power; hence all that can be meant by his coming thereinto, is that he assumed a different Manner of Ap­pearance, or Mode of Manifestation in it than he had done before.

7. P. 166. ‘Those who did not receive him, and were not born of him, could not therefore be described as enlightened unto Salvation. Those who did not receive him, could never be born of him; for he that is born of him, is both enlightened and quick­ened by his Spirit. The Saviour as the Light [Page 220]of the World, dispenseth of his Light to every Man that cometh into the World, to give him a Sight of his captive Condition; this Sight producing that godly Sorrow which worketh Repentance, 2 Cor. vii. 10. Salvation ensues. So, though the Light of the Saviour ariseth upon all, in order that all may come to Repentance and be saved, yet those who are so attached to their evil Courses, that they love Darkness rather than Light, shut it out from them, and therefore do not come to the saving Know­ledge of him, who is the Author of Eternal Salvation to all that obey him. Heb. v. 9.

If my Opposer intends by the Phrases sav­ingly enlightened, enlightened unto Salvation; and such like, that we mean the saving Power is nothing in the Work but a mere Illuminator, and that Illumination is Salvation; I must tell him, we entertain no such Ideas, for they are void of Truth and Reality. When we speak of the Light's being of a saving Nature we do not intend, that Salvation is effected merely by Light abstractively considered, though it is the Light of Life. The Eternal Word ope­rates both as Light, and as Life. It gives true Discovery and Discrimination, as Light; and empowers to live and act suitably, as Life. This Light and Life, being the very Nature of the Saviour, are properly said to be of a saving Nature. Men may be so enlightened as to see the Way of Salvation, and yet refuse to walk in it; yea, they may be led into the Way, yet not abide in it. Will their Refusal, or Defection alter the Nature of the Light, or prove it is not saving? Would any shutting out the Light, be a Proof that it [Page 221]would not shine upon me; or of the Contrary? Food is not such to him who refuses to eat it; but is it not Food in its Nature, because he refuses it? And might it not be Food to him, if he would be wise enough to take it?

8. "In the Beginning was the Word."John i. 1. This Divine Word had no Beginning. It was no Part of the Creation. All created Things were made by him, and called from Inexistence into Being; but the Word is with­out Beginning or End of Days. The Word inexpressible by Words, and incomprehensible by Thoughts and Imaginations. The Orthos Logos, or Right Reason, infinite in Wisdom, Goodness and Power; from the Beginning issuing forth, and acting in the Work of Cre­ation and Providence, and also from the Time of the Fall, in Mediation and Regeneration.

As Man was the only Part of this lower Creation designed for Immortality, the Favours he then received were answerable to the high Purpose of his Maker in creating him. The creating and conserving Word, immedi­ately became his Illuminator, and Quickener. ‘All Things were made by him,Verse 3, 4. and without him was not any Thing made that was made. In him was Life, and the Life was the Light of Men.’

After Man's Transgression, and Defection from this Divine Light and Life, this gra­cious Word astonishingly condescended to offer himself to repair the Breach, by determining, in due Time, to take the Nature of Man upon him, and to give it up to excruciating Pains, and the Death of the Cross, as a Propitiation for the Sins of the whole World. Hereby he [Page 222]shewed the Greatness of Divine Love and Mercy to poor helpless Man, and also, by then immediately renewing, and thence-for­ward continuing, to afford a Manifestation of his Light to Man in his fallen Estate. For, before his Incarnation,John i. 10. ‘He was in the World, and the World was made by him, and the World knew him not.’ The Generality, though they selt his inward Convictions, the Reproofs of Instruction, they distinguished them not to be his, but might flatter them­selves, they were only the Effects of Tradi­tion early instilled into their Minds; and not having their Habitation in the Light, were become as Darkness; yet the Light shined in their Darkness,Verse 5. though their Darkness compre­hended it not. They thought too meanly of this Light, had no just Conception of it, knew it not to be the Visitation of the Son of God, and though they were his own, Gentiles as well as Jews, by Creation, and intentional Redemption, Verse 11, 12. they received him not. * But as many as received him, to them gave he Power to become the Sons of God.’

The Evangelist having spoken of him as the universal, illuminating, effective Word, Verse 14, he comes to speak of his Incarnation, saying, ‘And the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt among us.’ We are not here to understand, that the sovereign Word, or Spirit, was transubstantiated into Flesh, but that for Man's Redemption, he took the Nature of Man upon him, and appeared amongst Men, [Page 223]as a Man, and undoubtedly in the Eyes of most seemed not more than Man; but saith his enlightened Follower, and we beheld his Glory, (had a Sense of his Divinity, as well as a Sight of his Humanity) "the Glory as of the only Begotten of the Father" (the only One of his own Essence and Eternity) full of Grace and Truth—and of his Fulness have all we received, John i. 16. and Grace for Grace.

When Persons read, and presume to ex­pound, the Scriptures with School and College Methods uppermost in their Heads, it is no Wonder they mistake them. The inspired Writers observed no such Rules, even those of them who might have a competent Share of Literature; which most of them had not. Learned, or unlearned, the Light and Motion of the Holy Spirit was their Guide; not the Rules of Rhetoric, Logic, or Grammar. Is not the Apostle John's Greek as ordinary as G. Fox's English; yet who had a deeper Under­standing given him in Divine Things than John? Not School-learning, but the Light of the Holy Ghost gave them a right Under­standing, and the same is requisite to the right Understanding of their Writings.1 Cor. ii. 6. They spake not the Wisdom of this World; therefore are not to be understood by its Wisdom; yet nothing is more busy to explain them. They often treat of Things promiscuously; even as our Saviour himself spoke, intermixing the inter­nal spiritual Sense with the external, both respecting himself, and the Marters he touched upon. This John doth in his first Chapter, sometimes speaking of Christ as the Word, which respects his Divinity, sometimes as [Page 224]Man, or as in the Flesh, and sometimes com­prehending both Senses in the same Words. For Want of a right Understanding properly to distinguish them, Men are apt to jumble, and mistake one for another. Hence arise Disagreement, Clashing, and Jangling about the true Sense of Scripture; and trying it by the Notions of Systems they have espoused, instead of trying them by the Truth, it is no Wonder there is so much Controversy. The only Way to put an End to it, is for all to come to the Spirit of Truth in their own Hearts, that they may be led into all Truth; which till they do, they never can be.

9. P. 171, S. N. by a Perversion, charges Barclay with Perversion. He asserts, "Paul" (in Rom. x. 14, 15,) ‘is only speaking of the Israelites, as the Scope of the Chapter de­monstrates.’ This appears to me a Mistake. For though the Apostle had been speaking particularly of them in divers of the preceding Verses, in these he manifestly includes both Jews and Gentiles. Rom. x. 12, 13, 14. His Words are, ‘There is no Difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all, is rich unto all that call upon him. For, whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord, shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?’ &c. The Pronoun they hath evidently an equal Refe­rence to both Jews and Gentiles; as the pre­ceding Context demonstrates.

Verse 18. Accepting these Words, ‘their Sound went into all the Earth, and their Words unto the Ends of the World,’ as intended only of the Preaching of the Apostles, and their [Page 225]Companions in Travel, and as being literally true when Paul wrote his Epistle to the Ro­mans, S. N. P. 172, asserts, ‘It is most likely, it was by them, and their Adherents, pro­pagated throughout the greatest Part of the then habitable World.’ Upon which I ask, What Probability is there, that any of them ever preached the Gospel in China, Persia, Tartary, India, Russia, America, the numerous oriental and occidental Islands, or set legendary Tales aside, in Britain, or in short, throughout the far greatest Part of the then habitable World? The Assertion appears grounded upon a vulgar Error, though too current, and what is built upon it, is improbable Con­jecture.

10. P. 175, &c. S. N. having cited 1 Cor. iii. 18, and xii. 7, saith, ‘These and such like Passages are ascribed indiscriminately to Mankind universally, and every individual Man is declared to be the Temple of God, and to have a Manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal. That the Manifestation of the Spirit is given to every Man to profit withal, we verily believe, and do not only depend upon this particular Text for it. We also believe, that if every Man seeketh rightly to profit with it, every Man may so grow in Grace as in Time to become the Temple of God. But that every Man so profits with it, as really to become God's Temple, we no more believe than our Accuser.

Great Part of what follows, and indeed a large Portion of his Volume, is made up of Repetitions from his Letter, with additional Suppositions, which are untruly fathered upon [Page 226]us; and which lay scattered in the confuted Publications of Hicks, Faldo, Bugg, Lesly, Pickworth, and other party Writers in the last Century. These have become as Magazines of Sophistry and Abuse, to furnish their warm Successors in Opposition, who to this Day keep retailing them out against us.

11. P. 180. Our Examiner presumes entirely to refute every Thing Barclay's Defender has advanced upon Luke xvii. 20, 21. The Pas­sage is, ‘The Kingdom of God cometh not with Observation, neither shall they say, lo here, or lo there; for behold the Kingdom of God is within you. To suit his Pur­pose, S. N. chose to read these last Words, is among you. To this I replied, Observati­ons, P. 74, ‘This reading destroys the Anti­thesis evidently intended by our Saviour, who was here answering a Question put to him by the Pharisees, concerning the coming of an outward Kingdom, by informing them, that the Kingdom of God is an inward King­dom; and shewing the Difference between an outward and visible Form, which Men are capable to point out by their lo here, and lo there, and his own internal spiritual Dominion.’

To accomplish my entire Refutation, he takes the Word entos, out of the original Greek, the proper Signification of which is within, as it stands in our Translation. It is also rendered in Latin intus by Beza, and intra by Castalio, both which signify within. Instead of this my Opponent substitutes en, which is usually rendered in or among. By the like Practice the Scripture may be made [Page 227]to teach any Doctrine whatsoever. But to common Understandings, the taking away an original Word from the Text, and putting another in its Place different in Signification, is a direct Falsification of Scripture; which is the more notorious, as there does not appear to be any various Reading in the Greek Text to afford a Pretence for it.* The Cause of Truth stands in Need of no such Artifices; nor can that System be according to Truth, which is obliged to Falshood for its Support.

When a Writer, who professes so high an Esteem for the Holy Scriptures, takes such unwarrantable Freedoms with them, as openly to falsify them to serve his Purpose; his Efforts, instead of accomplishing the Refutation of others, must terminate in Self-confusion. For this, I refer to P. 239, where he vents him­self in these opprobrious Terms, ‘To adopt a religious Scheme which is contrary to them,’ (the Scriptures) ‘though we may borrow the Pharaseology and Terms of Scripture to express it, must be impious daring Insolence, and attrocious Rebellion against the Divine Government. Were the most dreadful Curses pronounced, by the Spirit, upon "any who shall add to, or diminish from the Prophecy of one Book." Rev. xxii. 18, 19. "How unspeakably deplorable must their Doom be, if they die without an Al­teration of Mind, who pervert the main Sense of the whole New Testament, and introduce another Gospel.’ If this heavy [Page 228]Charge and Denunciation belong to those who add to, diminish from, or pervert the Sense of Scripture, it behoves our Opponent to look to himself; for he appears to be notoriously guilty.

Page 184. He teaches, that the Apostolic Expression,Col. i. 27. Christ in you the Hope of Glory, only intends, ‘that Christ should be freely pro­claimed among the Gentiles, to give them the Hope of eternal Glory.’ Which is very much like asserting, that the Proclamation concerning Christ without them, is Christ in them, or at least, all that is meant by it. But presently after, he acknowledges the Truth in Part, where he says,— ‘Christ no doubt, dwelt and reigned in their Hearts, by his Spirit, through its purifying Influence.’ He after­wards expresses an Apprehension that I cannot think Paul meant, Christ so dwelt in the Hearts of all Mankind universally. Certainly I can­not; but at the same Time I must think, he appeared by his Spirit in the Minds of all, either as a Comforter, a Purifier, or a Con­victor and Reprover, in order that they might believe in, and obey him under this Appear­ance, through which they would find him to become the Hope of Glory in them.

In Matters of such high Concern as relate to our eternal State, it is incumbent upon all, to be more cautious than confident about the Exclusion of their Fellow-creatures from the Grace and Salvatian of God; lest by asserting the Non-existence of that Experience in others, themselves have not yet known, they become of those to whom our Saviour declares,Mat. xxiii. 13. ‘Ye shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against [Page 229]Men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering, to go in.’

12. If any ask. What is the Kingdom of Heaven, or of God? I answer; Notwith­standing he is the Almighty Sovereign of the Universe, yet that is more peculiarly stiled his Kingdom, wherein he so completely governs as to be always c [...]rfully and perfectly obeyed; where he is the [...]le Mover of all that is done, where he is glorified in all that is done, and where he communicates of his Glory and Feli­city without Mixture. This Kingdom can neither be entered, nor at all seen into by Man, but through the New-birth of the Holy Spirit, whereby the Soul experienceth a being born into it;John iii. Col. i. 13. a being delivered from the Power of Darkness, and translated into the Kingdom of the dear Son of God. Hereby alone the Spirit of Man enters it, and through Faith­fulness, is enabled to make Advances therein whilst in the Body. This Kingdom stands not in Locality, not in any here, or there; therefore it is in vain to direct it by lo here, or lo there. It stands in an Infinite and Heavenly Spirit, Life, and Nature, wherein nothing impure can live or enter. It is the internal Dominion, or ruling Power of the Holy Ghost in Men and Angels; that pure Influence so beautifully and sublimely described in Wisdom vii. flowing from the Glory of the Almighty, which in all Ages entering into Holy Souls, maketh them Friends of God, and Prophets. In fine, this Kingdom of God, is the Domi­nion of the Light and Life of the Spirit of God. Whoever lives under the sensible Influ­ence and Government of it, lives in this [Page 230]Kingdom. This is the Kingdom of the Saints militant on Earth, and of the Saints trium­phant in Heaven, it being experienced by the Sanctified in Christ Jesus, in Part whilst in this World, and enjoyed in its Fulness in the World to come.

What follows is chiefly a Repetition of what our Opponent published before in his Letter, the Tenour of which is already obviated in divers Parts of this Work, and therefore I shall now take my Leave of him, passing by Abundance of his Illiberalities, and sincerely wishing, that himself, and all Men, may come really to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ,John xvii. 3. whom he hath sent, that they may experience Life eternal.

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