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Thomas Leadger's book, called ‘A discourse,’ his principles in it follow.
Principle. He said, Those are in an error who set up a light within to be above the scripture, or equal with the scripture, and know no Christ but a Christ within.
Answer. The light, Christ, by which all things were made and created, glorified with the Father before the world began, which the scripture testifies of, is above the scripture, before the scripture was. They who are not in this ‘Christ within,’ are reprobates, in which the scripture ends and which it testifies of; and so it is Christ, the same to-day, yesterday, and forever, that the saints come to witness within them, not another Christ, neither many Christs. Those who profess a Christ without them, who would have a Christ without them, and another Christ within them, here are two; for if it is not the same Christ that ended all types, and figures, and shadows; if it is not him who is within, they do not have the possession, the substance, nor the comfort of the true Christ. But they who do not have Christ, the end of the types, shadows, and figures, in them, are among antichrists and false christs; and they who have the form of godliness who can confess a Christ without them, and not within them [cannot confess a Christ come in the (their) flesh].
Principle. Again he said, ‘The saints have a glorious light within them, but imperfect.’ ‘And ‘it is an error to say they have an infallible light within them, that they must follow, which will show them all things.’ And ‘to judge of scripture that it must be fulfilled in them.’ And ‘these are they who are brought up in dark places of the earth, are like Saul's who go to the witch and not to the law and testimony.’
Answer. None come to the law and to the testimony, though they have the Old and New Testament, but those who come to the light in them, for the law is the light, and those who come to the spirit within them, which is the spirit of prophecy; and all that go from this, go into dark places of the earth, and such are they who go in the path of Saul, such spirits as go from the light within them, and the spirit that is the testimony of Jesus, and the light. The glorious light of the saints with which they are enlightened is Christ, which is perfect, and they are changed from glory to glory; and so the light which you say the saints are in, and yet not perfect, and yet glorious! Mind your words, consider your measure, your judgment. The infallible light which every one that comes into the world is enlightened with, is the leader of the people, and the light they are to follow, and it is the way to the Father, out of the way from the father [the devil] that is in the first Adam, in the transgression; which light is Christ the second Adam, that every man that comes into the world is enlightened with. And they who follow this, and believe in it, and walk in it, abide not in darkness, but have the light of life. And the light within, and the spirit of God within, that gave forth the scripture, is the trial of the scripture of truth; for men without that may wrest the words, and wrongly translate them. So the light within, the spirit of God, is the judge of the scriptures and knows scripture, which gave it forth, and is the rule, and ruled and led them to speak them forth, and is the rule that leads them to open them again, and to lead into all truth, as said Christ.
Principle. He said, ‘What they set up above the scriptures is heathenish; and the scriptures are the ground of faith, without them faith cannot act; and faith has no bottom to rest upon but scripture; and scripture is more than faith, the sure word of prophecy, the balm of the conscience; it satisfies doubts, heals wounds, discerns the thoughts.’
Answer. The Pharisees and the chief priests, were not healed, except they came to Christ; they found no rest for their souls; though they had the scripture, yet they came not to Christ the light, which was before the scripture was given forth. The Pharisees had the scriptures, but they had not faith; they stood against the author and the ground of it, Christ. The Pharisees had the scriptures, but it was Christ and God that showed them their thoughts; so the scripture knew not their thoughts, but who are in the spirit that gave forth the scriptures, it shows men's thoughts. Enoch and Abraham had faith, and did not have any scripture. All are heathens who are not in the light which was before scripture was written, though they have all the scripture. The holy men of God acted in the faith, in obedience to it [the light and the word within], before the scripture was given forth, and they were all in the faith that gave forth the scripture, and they did not act as from the scripture, but from the spirit of whom they had learned, who is the author of faith which the just live by, and God and Christ, the substance of the scripture.
Principle. ‘And the scripture is an infallible rule of worship.’
Answer. The Jews and Pharisees had the scriptures, and the apostates since the days of the apostles have had the scriptures, and have been out of the life that gave them forth; they lack the rule, which is the spirit, in which God the father of spirits is worshipped, and that was the rule which all the holy men of God were led by to give forth scripture, in which they worshipped God; for the Pharisees had the scriptures and not the spirit which gave them forth, that worshipped they did not know what. They lacked the rule, the spirit of God that was in them that gave forth the scriptures, in which they should have worshipped God; so saw not the substance, the ground of faith, and author of faith, Christ Jesus.
Principle. ‘They will not put off their hats; they write thee and thou one to another; they will not say master.’
Answer. The honor of the hat, the putting of it off, is an earthly honor of the earthly Adam in the fall, in the transgression, which Christ the second Adam, the Lord from heaven, not of the earthly, comes to redeem man out of; he receives it not, he will have none of it, but the honor that comes from above, and comes to stain the honor that is from below, and sees it a mark of earthly Adam in the transgression, and not of the second, the heavenly. And as for thee and you, you to a number, and thee to a singular, they who stumble at this, show they have neither learned grammar nor bible; so are short of the spirit that spoke the sound words that cannot be condemned, and speaks proper words, which is the plant of renown. As for being called of men master, Christ said, ‘Be not you called of men master, for you have one master, even Christ, and you are all brethren;’ and they are in error that slight his commands and trample them under feet; and they are hypocrites, who, after they have trampled his commands under foot, make a profession of his words. Thomas Leadger, you profess that you esteem the scripture highly, above ordinances, above angels, and is not this scripture which said, ‘Be you not called of men master,’ and is it not Christ's command? Yet you deny these scriptures and trample them under your feet.
Principle. ‘The scripture is the lantern of obedience, and it directs men to Jesus.’ And he calls the scripture ‘the word of God, the sum of truth.’ And ‘they could not have known there had been a Christ, or a mediator, or grace, or glory, or worship, or Father, or spirit, or light, but as it is declared in scripture.’
Answer. I do believe that you are of those who have gotten up since the days of the apostles, in the apostasy, inwardly ravening from the spirit of God; and you would not have known there had been a Father, or spirit, or grace, or worship, if the scripture had not declared it [because you are teaching errors, and therefore condemned to be unable to hear the voice of God, the word within your heart, the light within.]; but they [many of the early Church] who did not have scripture, had faith, had the Holy Ghost, had the Father, knew the Father, knew Christ, knew the spirit. Those who had the scripture, the Pharisees, did not know the father, did not know the Holy Ghost, nor the redeemer, but resisted (as it was in Steven) him who was born of the spirit. Now they who did not have the scriptures knew all these things, that had the spirit that gave them forth; while those who had the scriptures, and not the spirit, did not know these things because they had the spirit of error and were in heaps about the saints' words. Now the Pharisees had the scriptures, yet walked in darkness, not having David's lamp to their feet, and so could not see Christ as David did. Said the apostle, their table was their trap, there they stuck. David that had the life that gave forth the scriptures, had the lantern to his feet; and had not they a lantern before the scripture was written? Abraham, Enoch, what led them all to give forth scripture? are not all they who have the scripture and are out of what they were in that gave them forth, out of the light, and out of the lamp? And they had a rule of obedience before the scripture was given forth, the word of God, that lives, and abides, and endures forever; that is the word of faith, in which the scripture, the words of God, ends. And those that had the scripture and were from the life that they were in that gave it forth, knew not Christ.
Principle. ‘The gospel is the scripture.’
Answer. Many may have the scripture and deny the power of God which is the gospel, and many had the scripture and the form, and stood against the son, the truth, Christ Jesus, the power of God, the gospel.
And as for your other lies and slanders which are not worth mentioning, which come from your drunken spirit, when the spirit is awakened that suffers by it, you shall feel every word your burden, and you who do set the scriptures above Christ, and God, and the spirit, are a heathen.
Thomas Leadger's ‘Antiquakers' Assertions.’ His principles in it follow.
Principle. He said, ‘The divine nature is without mixture of sin, but it does not destroy wholly the sinful nature that is in us;’ and ‘the being of sin does not until the body dies;’ and ‘sin has been in us to humble us.’
Answer. Sin is what does not humble, but lifts up. What humbles people, and brings down the sin, is the humility which bears the sin and iniquity, which is Christ. The saints were made free from sin while they were upon the earth, and had the body of sin put off. And they who have received the divine nature, know it, and have escaped the pollutions that are in the world, and the lust of it; and so the divine nature destroys sin in its being.
Principle. Again he said, ‘The scripture is a quickening spirit, the wisdom of God, the power of God unto salvation, the words of the blessed scriptures every line of it. I have had (said he) the righteousness of God revealed in my soul; I have had the love of God, the grace of Christ, the communion of the Holy Ghost manifest in me, but I trample upon all attainments, the highest, as dung.’
Answer. Many had the scriptures, and stood against the wisdom of God, and stood against the power of God, yes, killed and persecuted the Lord of life and glory; they who had the dead letter without the life. And many got the form, and denied the power, and denied the quickening spirit. And the spirit of Christ does not bring to trample upon attainments, not upon the love of Christ, nor the righteousness of Christ. The love of Christ, the grace of Christ, the righteousness of Christ, were never esteemed as the dung, nor trampled upon as the dung. Such as were transgressors were as dung, and they trampled upon the love of Christ, the righteousness of Christ, but who come into this, trample upon their own notion.
Principle. He said again, ‘That perfection is a golden dream, and the scriptures are the word of God.’
Answer. Perfection is over all dreams be they never so golden, and it ends them all, and is above them all. And Christ's ‘name is called the word of God,’ and the scriptures are the words of God, which Christ, the word of God, by which all things were made, came to fulfill.
A book called ‘A Serious Review of some principles of the Quakers.’
Principle. ‘No man has reason to say that the spiritual substance is in the creature, the divine essence is subject to change as is the soul of man, and everyone is enlightened that comes into the world by the light of Christ,’ and this he calls ‘a natural light.’ And ‘that some persons are come up out of the fall, is an error. I do not own a perfection without sin, and it is an error to say there is any perfection without sin.’
Answer. All error is in the fall, and what has come up out of the fall has come out of the error, into the second Adam, where there is no error, which many witness, for all error is in the first Adam in the fall, and in him who tempted. The light which enlightens every man that comes into the world, by which the world was made, which was before the world was made, by which all things were made and created, in whom is life, and this life is the light of men; and men being in the light which they are enlightened with, and coming by the light to him from whom the light does come, they come into the perfection, out of sin; for all sin and imperfection are in the first Adam, in the earth. Perfection is in the second Adam, Christ Jesus, who bruises the serpent's head [in his saints that he perfects], the author of imperfection. Those who are in him are in a perfection without sin, and there is no sin in perfection, nor any error in the perfection of Christ. All who are in the unreasonableness are ignorant of the spiritual substance, and power of God, and Holy Ghost, the spirit of truth, the spirit of Christ, the nature that dwells in the saints, all which are substance and not shadow, and the divine power, and the power of the Lord God. And God does not change, nor his spirit, nor the soul, nor his power; so read yourself. God does not change in his being, neither does that which comes from him, what he has in his hand, and in his power.
Principle. He said, ‘What is imperfect can be reconciled to God, and that they are poor blind creatures who say the light enlightens every man that comes into the world, and need no light and discovery to help, and the scripture does no where call Christ the word, but the scripture is the word, and so these poor creatures err, not knowing the scripture. To speak in the singular number is nonsense, and they who translated the words thee and thou, might have translated them you. ’
Answer. The spirit gave to speak the proper language, singular and plural; and spoke such words as cannot be condemned. And if translators that are out of that, translate the words given forth from the spirit into whatever form they will, yet the spirit will find it out; and the light which ‘enlightens every man that comes into the world,’ by which all things were made, the made lights, and created lights, Christ Jesus the light, which enlightens everyone that comes into the world, need not have these outward lights or discoveries; they were all made by the light, which light was before these were made. And they who are come into the reconciliation with God, are in perfection, out of the imperfection, from under the wrath. And the word reconciles, hammers down, cuts down, and burns up what is contrary, and sanctifies, and makes clean. And Christ Jesus, his name is called the word of God; the scripture said so; and they say that the scriptures are the word, but they are the words of God, and Christ the word, which was before they were given forth, comes to fulfill them; and that which is imperfect is done away.
Principle. ‘To say that God is substantially in man, as essentially one with him, can be no other but the man of sin, the devil himself, having transformed himself into an angel of light, and if it were possible would deceive the very elect.’
Answer. The scripture said, that God will dwell in man, and walk in him, and the saints had unity with the Father and the son; and all that hate the light which Christ the light has enlightened them with, have not the Father and the son. In such the man of sin reigns, and in such the devil may transform; but the elect he cannot deceive, the elect have the victory and dominion, who were elected in him before the foundation of the world. Glory forever! And as for all the other words in your book, they are not worth mentioning, they will be your own burden, they will fall heavy upon you in the day when you shall give an account to God.
James Brown's book, called, ‘Antichrist in Spirit.’ His expressions and principles are as follows.
Principle. ‘That the light in every man is a certain guide and rule in all things; this is the means by which scriptures are slighted.’
Answer. No one knows nor owns the scriptures, but as the light of Christ who enlightens every man that comes into the world, guides and teach him, the light of Christ within, which gives them ‘the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus,’ and of the scriptures, and to see the scriptures, and does not slight them.
Principle. ‘To witness God, and Christ's glorious resurrection, and heaven, and the happiness of New Jerusalem,’ this is looked upon as an error.
Answer. Christ is within, who is the resurrection, the glory, the kingdom of heaven is there; and David who witnessed him was in hell, he was upon the earth too, and he who witnessed the New Jerusalem, and that happiness, was upon the earth. They who have all these words, not possessing the life, they have no comfort in what they speak, nor in what they profess; and the babes and the children that are free, know their mother that is from above.
Principle. ‘If there is no outward means but light within, what need of the scriptures?’
Answer. The light, Christ within, was in the saints before the scriptures were given forth, and that was it which was their guide to give forth the scriptures, wherein they walked, and did not stumble; and that is it which gives to see the scriptures again, to what condition they are spoken, and the use of them.
Principle. ‘The day is not yet dawned, nor the day-star, the bright and morning-star.’
Answer. The apostle tells the saints of the day-star, and they were children of the day, and the night was over, the true light shined, and the darkness was past. Though some indeed had not yet come to the day-star, and the light shined in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. Where darkness rules, there are the works that are out of the light; and among such as have apostatized since the days of the apostles, the day-star is not risen to them, they see it not; but among the children of light it is seen, and they who see it not, are comprehended. The day-star is risen, and they are children of the day.
Principle. ‘And those who bring people to look at the light within them, are as Corah, Dathan, and Abiram.’
Answer. All that go from the light within them are as Corah, Dathan, and Abiram among the Lord's prophets, exalting themselves, and persecuting.
Principle. ‘All men are not so taught of God as they shall be at Israel's return.’
Answer. All men are taught of God that are in the covenant, whether Israel hears or not.
Principle. ‘I know that many of the Quakers are temperate, sober, self-denying people, but this is only the tithing of herbs.’
Answer. It was the doctrine of the apostle, who preached Christ the end of tithing and herbs; and self-denial, soberness, and temperance were not called the tithing of herbs, for the spirit that gave forth the scriptures brought to these.
Principle. ‘And the light within is darkness; and I never read of the churches of the saints that spoke by two.’
Answer. The apostles' doctrine to the Corinthians was, that they might speak by two or three; and the light within, which is the light of Christ, which does ‘enlighten every man that comes into the world,’ the darkness cannot comprehend it, though it shine in it, till it shine forth in the heart, ‘to give the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.’
Principle. ‘And that the kingdom that is in the saints, is in the Pharisees, I deny.’
Principle. ‘The state of arising from sin to grace is never called a resurrection.’
Answer. Those who arise from sin to grace, out of the first Adam into the second Adam, come into the resurrection, and the second death shall have no power over them; and the saints come to judge the world.
Principle. ‘Such as trust to a light within them, forsake the holy oil, the Lord's spirit that speaks in the scriptures.’
Answer. The Lord's spirit spoke in those who gave forth the scriptures, who had the holy oil, the light within them. And the spirit speaks not from the scripture, but by what gave it forth, which is the author of it.
Principle. ‘I deny that any have a light within them to attain to the measure of God and Christ, as they who have the writings.’
Answer. None attain to the mystery of God but by the light which comes from Christ the mystery, though they may have the scriptures.
Principle. ‘They who will not put off the hat, but say thee and thou to people, this is a sin of their own devising.’
Answer. Thee and thou is [was in the 17th Century grammar books] proper language, and a form of sound words; the hat is earthly Adam's honor, that is earthly, which the second Adam never looked for, but gives this mark to know an unbeliever by, who seeks it and looks for the honor below.
Principle. ‘Is it not a shame for a boy to say thee to his father, and thou to his mother?’
Answer. Jephtha's daughter thoued her father, the judge of Israel, and he did not look upon it as a shame. And the children of God thoued their Father, and the Lord never rebuked them for it, as we read in scripture.
And as for all the rest of the lies and slanders in your book, they are not worth mentioning, but to redeem truth from them; and that none at all may make them their refuge, for they shall feel it, if they do, at the day of judgment.
Some of Philip Bennet's principles, called Minister at Cartmel in Lancashire.
Principle. He said, ‘That none know another to be the child of God.’
Answer. Which is contrary to the scripture. 1 John 3, ‘We are the sons of God.’ And the apostles knew others to be the children of God, as the ministers of God do now.
Principle. Again he said, ‘that he did not know why God did make a difference among men.’
Answer. So is ignorant of the ministry, which puts a difference between the precious and the vile.
Principle. And he said, ‘None can give a reason of the election, or know the elect of God.’
Principle. Again he said, ‘he would never exhort people to take heed to that of God which is made manifest in them.’
Answer. Contrary to the apostles' doctrine, Rom 1:19, 2 Cor 4:6, Col 1:27, 1 John 2: 27, Rom 10:8 who brought people to the light within them, and to the son within them, Christ within them.
Some of Adam Sands' principles.
Principle. He said, ‘He hated “what may be known of God is made manifest in man, which God has showed unto him, (Rom 1:19) ”’ and said, ‘that was the Quakers' foundation.’ And it was told him they were the apostle Paul's words, and he was showed the place in the Bible, and told look at it; he said again, ‘he hated it.’
Answer. So he is found in the nature of the Jews and Gentiles that went astray, who were not like to retain God in their knowledge, while they were reprobates from what may be known of God, made manifest in them, and hated it. Neither are you, nor any professor upon the earth, like to receive God or Christ, spirit or faith, while you hate that of God in you.
Principle. And he called those with him, ‘brethren and servants of God;’ and yet a little before said, ‘they had no grace in them.’
Answer. Contrary to the apostle, who said, ‘the brethren's hearts were established with grace: and the grace of God which brought salvation appeared to all men,’ which taught the saints, which you have turned into [a license to sin, or] wantonness.
Principle. And he confessed, ‘that they were more and more ignorant of God, and blinder and blinder every day than other.’
Answer. We do believe you. How should it be otherwise with you, who say you are brethren, and have no grace in you, and hate that of God in people? But ‘the grace of God which brings salvation has appeared to all men,’ which lets them see ungodliness. So in that the liar speaks in you; for grace is what lets everyone see ungodliness.
Roger Atkinson, reader at Turver chapel in Lancashire.
Principle. ‘That the letter of scripture was God:’ and it was asked, if the letter, paper, and ink, was God? and he said, ‘it was God,’ and brought 1 John to [try to] prove it. And again he said, ‘the letter was the word of God.’
Answer. The scriptures of truth are the words of God, and were all learned of God, and are writings; and Christ the word comes to end all these words, and all end in him. So the scriptures are not God; but those who spoke them forth were holy men of God, who had learned from God, for God was before scripture who gave them forth.
Richard Stoaks, called minister at Grayrig chapel in Westmoreland.
Principle. He said, ‘that the scriptures are God.’ And again, ‘that the scriptures are a God.’ And afterward he set his foot upon it, and stamped upon it, and said, ‘it was but Hebrew copies, and Greek copies, and they were not the scriptures,’ and said, ‘they were not true,’ before near a hundred people.
Answer. And yet a God! And they God! But the scriptures of truth are the words of God; and the carnal man and the devil, both of whom are out of the truth, may get scriptures; but stand against the word, Christ, who fulfils them. And the scriptures of truth are not God, nor a God, but are the words of God that cannot be broken, and must be fulfilled by Christ the word.’
George Johnson, priest of Orford, said,
Principle. ‘That the light which John bore testimony to, is the light of nature.’
Answer. Which is contrary to the scriptures; for the light which enlightens every man that comes into the world, was before any natural lights or created lights were.
Principle. ‘That the Americans [Indians] were never ordained for grace and salvation; and that the grace of God had never appeared to the Americans.’
Answer. Which is contrary to the scriptures, which say, ‘The grace of God which brings salvation has appeared to all men.’ And, ‘I will give him for a light, a covenant to the Gentiles, a new covenant to the house of Israel and Judah, and that he may be my salvation to the ends of the earth.’ And many in America have received truth and salvation.
Principle. ‘That none can be free from sin, nor perfect, while they live upon the earth; and that none are able to keep the commands of God.’
Answer. So he has denied the one offering, and shown himself to be out of the love of God, and the circumcision of the spirit, which puts off the body of sin, and out of the blood of the new covenant.
These are the principles of the priests of Orkney.
Principle. James Morrison said, ‘that Christ which is within men is a devil:’ and that ‘all who said they had Christ within them, were devils and witches,’ and so tells the people ‘take notice of it.’
Answer. Contrary to the apostle to the Colossians, who said, ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ And to the Corinthians he said, ‘Christ is in you, unless you are reprobates.’ And they are in the witchcraft, and of the devil, that have not Christ in them, and are reprobates; and this was and is the doctrine of the ministers of God.
Witnessed by Luke Liddall, soldier, with all the rest of the priests' hearers.
G. W. (George Whitehead)
George Larcum, priest of Cockermouth, in Cumberland. His principles as follows.
Principle. He said, ‘He would come to Christ, and never own the light within him.’
Answer. None come out of transgression to the second Adam, but who come to the light within, which is the way to the Father, and that is it which gives ‘the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,’ which comes from him.
Principle. George Larcum said, ‘I wish to God I had power, so that you would be severely punished.’
Answer. Here you have shown you are limited, as well as are your weapons and your armor, and you are not a minister of Christ, in the armor of God, the shield of faith, nor shod with the gospel; but such are the priests and false prophets, who are in the form but deny the power of God, who get the magistrates on their side, that they may be ready to help them against the truth whenever it arises.
Thomas Warwicke, priest, came to the meeting of those called Quakers, on a green, and struck John Grave, and plucked him off the green; and his wife struck and beat them severely, and drew blood of Friends. The same priest said, ‘If the law were correctly executed, you might not stand there, it would cut off all your necks.’
Thomas Dentham, priest, called me out of the meeting to him, and said he would stand to prove his practice, and then went his way, and told the people take me away, hang me; and at his words the people beat me, and pulled the hair out of my head.
John Grave, witness.
Answer. You show yourselves not to be ministers of Christ, but to be such that ever were out of the saints' life, who were found in the spirit of murderers and persecutors; of him you are that is out of the truth, that would drink the blood of the saints; this is the mark of the beast and false prophets, that would kill creatures, and wrestle with flesh and blood.
Principle. ‘That the devil is a minister of Christ in some sense.’
Answer. Christ the seed of the woman, bruises the serpent's head, and destroys death, and him that has the power of it, and destroys the works of the devil, and judges the prince of this world, and takes him, together with the false prophets and the beast, and casts them alive into the lake of fire, that he shall deceive the nations no more. Therefore he will not allow the devil to minister; and thus the devil and his apostles are bound under with the truth, which he is out of.
Principle. ‘The scribes and Pharisees were ministers of Christ in the same sort as Moses was, when Christ commands to hear them, though in a lower degree of manifestation.’
Answer. The scribes and Pharisees were not as Moses; for Moses was in the life and light, with which he saw Christ. The Pharisees had the words of Moses, and the law and prophets, but were out of the life that Moses and the prophets were in; though got up in Moses' chair, they stood against Christ, and saw him not as Moses did; Christ cried woe against them. So they were not the ministers of Christ, but against him who was the end of the prophets.
John Owen, who calls himself a Minister of the Gospel, in his Catechism, which he gives forth, 1657, has these principles.
Principle. ‘All truth concerning God and ourselves, is to be learned from the holy scripture, the word of God.’
Answer. There was truth learned before the scriptures were written; and the scriptures of truth are the words of God, which end in Christ the word; and there is no truth learned, but as the spirit does lead into all truth, which comes from Christ the truth, which was before the scripture was written. And the spirit of truth leads into all truth of the scripture. And many have the scriptures, but know not Christ the truth, but as the spirit leads them, and reveals him; and so he has excluded Christ and the spirit.
Principle. ‘There is one God in three persons.’
Answer. Where does the apostle tell us of three persons, but tells us of the Father, the Word [Jesus], and Holy Ghost, which are one; but you and you get this out of the mass-book, and old common-prayer-book, who are the mutterers about three persons.
Principle. ‘I am conceived in sin, and born in iniquity.’
Answer. Then your parents were not believers, so their children unholy. For, ‘by nature children of wrath,’ that is in the unconverted state, in the transgression, unbelievers; for they who by nature are children of wrath, are not born of the believers; for the unbelievers are sanctified by the believers, else were their children unholy, but now are they clean.
Principle. ‘We have not kept the commandments of God, but are all sinners, and transgressors of them.’
Answer. We do believe you, John Owen, and the rest of you, who call yourselves ministers of the gospel, and yet have not kept the ten commandments, and would include all men with you to be sinners and transgressors of them. No, John was separated from you, who said, ‘He who loves God, keeps his commandments.’ But what! Are you not false witnesses who call yourselves ministers of the gospel? Are you not false witnesses, who covet after other men's goods, houses, and money? Are not you committers of adultery and stealing? Are not you murdering men in holes [prison cells in walls of castles and fortresses] for goods, like a troop of robbers, as the company of priests did in the day of the law and prophets? Do you not live in dishonoring your parents and God, and taking it to yourselves? Do not you all come short of keeping the Sabbath, who are bearing of burdens, making a fire, gathering your meat when you should be at rest? Are not you all taking God's holy name in vain [in their vain opinions preached from their carnal minds], both in pulpit, town-house, ale-house, streets, market houses, and naming Christ's name in your iniquity, so not held guiltless? Are not you all making images, and graven images, and hanging them up in your steeple-houses, and on signs, and in houses, and gardens, and highways, of things above the earth, and things that are beneath the earth? And do you think that people do not believe you, when you tell people in your catechism, that you have broken all the ten commandments, when we see your fruits have declared it? Are you not ashamed to set forth such a catechism, who say you do not keep the commandments?
Principle. ‘The sacraments are the seals of the covenant of grace.’
Answer. It is God that seals the son, and sent him into the world, and not outward shadows. And as for your word sacraments, the pope was the author of them in his common-prayer-book [there is no such word as sacrament in scripture]. And as for the rest of your work in your book of catechism, it is like unto the old doctors of the Jews that broke the commands of God, that loved him not, whom Christ cried woe against.
S. Palmer, and R. Hooke, who say they are the Servants of Christ, their principles in a book, called ‘The Form of Sound Words;’ and who direct their book to the Friends, Neighbors, and Parishioners of Gedling and Sowdham.
Principle. ‘That henceforth you are not children tossed to and fro, and carried about with the slights of men;’ which is in reference to false prophets, of whom this land is now full. You say, ‘that a man cannot be made free from sin, and cannot keep the commandments of God perfectly.’
Answer. Are not you in the tossing to and fro, and tossing people to and fro? And are not you the false prophets who Christ said would come, who John said had come, and the world has been following after you, who tell the people that they cannot keep the commandments perfectly? Contrary to John, who said, he who loves God keeps the commandments of God. And ‘the beast made war against those who kept the commandments of God;’ and ‘herein is the love of God perfect.’
Principle. You tell people of ‘a sacrament, a creed, and three persons.’
Answer. The scripture tells no such thing, but the common-prayer-book [the Episcopalian prayer book, which is not scripture] does, and so you do not teach the form of sound words in your catechism.
Principle. ‘Out of the scriptures we may learn the knowledge of the true God.’
Answer. What gives the knowledge of the true God is the spirit that gave forth the scriptures; for the Pharisees that had the scriptures and did not know God.
Principle. ‘The state of man in this life is threefold, creation, corruption, regeneration.’
Answer. In regeneration the life is changed out of that life which is in the fall. So regeneration and corruption are not one in the new life.
Principle. ‘A man by his own power cannot get into regeneration, for they are dead in sins and trespasses.’
Answer. Some are sanctified from the womb, and some children are holy; so all are not dead in sins and trespasses, for they who are so, are but unbelievers.
Principle. ‘All men have not salvation by Christ, and there are many that have no share in the salvation purchased by Christ.’
Answer. This is contrary to scripture, which said, that he is the offering for the sins of the whole world, and the savior of all men, and especially of those that believe. And they who turn the grace of God into wantonness, deny their salvation; and they who hate the light which enlightens every man that comes into the world, hate their ‘salvation to the ends of the earth.’
Principle. The scripture is the word, and God is in his word, and God in the scripture offers Christ: God in his word offers Christ, which you call scriptures.’
Answer. The scriptures of truth are the words of God, and Christ the word comes to fulfill them; and God was in those who gave forth scriptures, and Christ was in them who gave forth scriptures, and the scriptures testify of him; and the scripture does not say that God is in the dead letter, paper and ink. But his power you are ignorant of, and err, not knowing the scriptures; and the scriptures are not God.
Principle. You say, ‘that God works inwardly by his spirit, and outwardly by his word, and our faith is summed up in the apostles' creed.’
Answer. Christ is the author of faith; and the apostle does not tell us of a creed. The spirit and the word [Jesus] are one, and they are inwardly known, sanctifying.
Principle. ‘The rule of Christian obedience is the law of God.’
Answer. What is the end of the law, is a Christian's life and rule, who comes to the obedience of faith, in which he pleases God, and is justified, but no flesh by the works of the law is justified.
Principle. ‘Brethren, be perfect, be of good comfort; be of one mind. No man is able to keep the commandments of God, we break them daily in thought, word, and deed; in the best of our duties we are unprofitable servants.’
Answer. Here is your confusion laid open; those that were perfect had a new mind, and their deeds were wrought in God, and their thoughts were changed that witnessed repentance, and they kept the commands of God; and their fruits were of the spirit and of faith, which are not unprofitable. But your works and fruits, who are out of the faith, and out of the spirit of God, are unprofitable, who break the commandments, but they who love God, keep his commandments.
Principle. ‘Christians must attend upon God's ordinances and sacraments, to know their duty toward their neighbor, which sacraments are the seal of the covenant.’
Answer. The apostles tell us of no such signs or sacraments, nor is the word sacrament found in the Bible; but what fulfils law is Christ the son of God, which brings man to do his duty towards God, and towards his neighbor.
Principle. ‘There are two sacraments, and the covenant of grace is to all that believe and receive Christ; and the two sacraments are baptism and the Lord's supper, which are visible signs.’
Answer. The scripture does not any where call them visible signs, nor sacraments; and the covenant of grace is to all, whether they believe, or do not believe; receive, or do not receive; and the scripture does not call baptism and the Lord's supper sacraments.
Principle. ‘Because infants of the Jews were circumcised, therefore children are baptized: Christ has ordained this sacrament of bread and wine, and the sacrament is the food of the soul.’
Answer. This is a Popish doctrine; what feeds the soul is immortal, and that is the soul's food which it finds rest in, Christ the bread of life, the food for the soul. And the scriptures do not tell us that the bread and wine are a sacrament; and the scriptures do not tell us that circumcision outward was a type of outward baptism, but of the inward. And you bring a scripture, which is the of Luke 23:42 verse, and say, that it said, ‘that the souls of the wicked are cast into hell,’ but that scripture speaks no such thing.
Principle. ‘We are not to seek for happiness in this life.’
Answer. The saints were and are made partakers of the heavenly riches, and of Christ's fullness, and of his joy unspeakable and full of glory in his kingdom, which is in them, while upon the earth. And for the rest of your lies and confusions, they are not worth answering.
Richard Baxter's principles, in what he calls, ‘One sheet for the ministers,’ which is two sheets, in whose mouth is found a lie, as in his title page is to be seen.
Principle. ‘That we are hated of all men for the name of Christ who are but ministers, who gave some pastors, some teachers; appointed for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to a perfect man; to disciple nations, baptize, and teach them. So cut down the ministers, the pillars, and the buildings will fall.’
Answer. In the steps of the ministers of Christ you are not found, but in the steps of the scribes and Pharisees, ‘called of men masters,’ in ‘the chiefest seats' of assemblies, in your ‘long robes,’ and ‘uppermost rooms at feasts,’ causing the ministers of Christ to be haled out of your synagogues, and thrust out, and persecuted, and imprisoned, who are in the generation of serpents that should fulfill Christ's words. Mat 23. And the work of the ministry, and pastors, and teachers, you exclude yourselves from, who received their gifts from Christ; you who deny perfection while men are upon the earth, or coming to a perfect man, you are not with those who edify the body of Christ, but throw yourselves out of that work. You are not those who are for the perfecting of the saints, for none are the ministers of Christ, but who bring people to a perfection, out of imperfection, and to a perfect man; and these were the ministers that were haled by those priests that had the law, and tithes, and temples, and synagogues, that made nothing perfect. But your temple and tithes, and synagogues, have been invented by such as went forth from the apostles, whose successors you are, that had the form of godliness, but denied the power, and so they denied what was perfect; and this you have held up since the apostles, in the apostasy, whose work, and ministry, and foundation, are to be overthrown with the power of God, [you and your predecessors] having been what has drunk the blood of the saints and martyrs since the days of the apostles. But in the rising of the lamb and the saints, you are all overthrown, and rejoiced over, and slain with the sword which is the words of his mouth. Though you all, beast, false prophet, and antichrist, may rise in battle against him, the Lamb and the saints shall have the victory. You have been the pillars that have held up antichrist's kingdom, in the usurped authority, out of the power and life the apostles were in, who were sent to preach and baptize; but you baptize and then preach, which is quite contrary to all reason and true understanding; for they must first be preached to before they be baptized. Did not John rebuke the vipers, and asked them, who had forewarned them ‘to flee from the wrath to come,’ and told them ‘bring forth fruits fit for repentance, and think not to say you are of Abraham, for God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham?’ Now where is your measure, you priests?
Principle. He said, ‘I send you to open the eyes of the blind, and to turn them from darkness to light; how many millions of souls would these wretches sweep away to hell, if they had their will, while thousands are in damnation for lack of the light?’
Answer. All you priests and teachers who call yourselves ministers, since the days of the apostles, who are inwardly ravened from the spirit of God, are turning and have turned all people from the light to the darkness, and so have kept thousands and millions of souls in damnation, and have been turning them and keeping them in the path and way unto hell; who are Satan's messengers and ministers, stopping the eyes of people from the light, and their ears from hearing the word; and this has been the work of your ministry and has been ever since the days of the apostles, and as at this day, the people of the whole nations have witnessed, and may witness. Now Christ's ministers were sent to turn people from darkness to light, and to bring them to perfection, to a perfect man, out of what was not perfect. Satan, who went out of truth, the work of his ministers and messengers, whom he sends out from his authority, is to turn people from the light to the darkness, and keep them there. And this has been your work, as your pulpits and the nations declare. So you bring not people into unity and fellowship one with another, which is in the light, but set people at enmity one with another, and keep them from the light, who are with it condemned.
Principle. ‘The enemies of the ministers of Christ are playing the papists' game; that it will be easier for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for them who despise the ministers of Christ. Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. The enemies reproach the ministers of Christ, which is the devil's game, and the sects are against the ministers of Christ, and do the same work the drunkards and whoremongers do.’
Answer. This you have brought upon yours and your own heads, though you are blind and do not see yourself. All drunkards, whoremongers, idolaters, and the proud and covetous, have joined with you called priests, against them called Quakers, the only ministers of Christ not made by men, but by the will of God. Are not all sects joined with you against them? Are you not reviling them, and railing upon them in your pulpits, and is not this the devil's game you are doing? If any come among you to reprove you, either in season, or out of season, you are those who cannot endure sound doctrine, nor able to resist their spirits, or stand against them, but cry, ‘take them away;’ so they are beaten and knocked down in your steeple-houses, sent to stocks or prison. Are you not like Sodom and Gomorrah in this, and like the Pharisees, and the beast, and the mother of harlots, and false prophets which John speaks of, who take the blood of the saints, doing their game? Has not the Lord reproved many of you, yes, and magistrates too, for harming his prophets, yet you go quite contrary to scripture, which said, ‘Do my prophets no harm.’ And is not this the papists' game, to imprison and persecute? Was it not the papists' game to set up your mass-houses which you call churches? Their game was to call out, and to persecute, and make a law and decree that none should speak to them in their time of preaching, reading, or singing mass? Are not you quenching the spirit, when any are moved of the Lord to speak to you? Was not this the papists' game, which you are now doing? Did ever the apostles hale any out of the synagogues, but were so done unto themselves? But the Jews' game, and the papists' game, and your game are like one another here. Unlike the true Christians, Christ and the apostles, who wrestled not with flesh and blood, not striking at the creatures, but at the powers which captivated creatures, to the intent that the creatures might come into the liberty of the sons of God. So you, who are striking the creatures, wrestling with flesh and blood, are playing the devil's game, like your mother from the beginning. Was it not the papists' game to set up all your schools and colleges, and give your names to them, and your houses, and set them in the figure of the temple? When did you change them? Do you not go on in the papists' game? Was it not the papists' game to set up tithes? Are not you playing the same game in taking them? Was it not the papists' game to set up your hour-glasses, and preach by the hour, and marking with your cross, and setting your godfathers and godmothers? Are not many of you playing this game yet? What game are you playing in your steeple-houses, that the papists have not taught you? The papists were persecutors, and so are you. They haled out of synagogues, and so do you. They took tithes, and so do you. They preached by the hour-glass, and quenched the spirit, and so do you. They preached for money and glebe-lands [lease income from church property], and so do you. They had the cross on the top of steeple-houses, and so do you have in many places. They had Trinity College, Emmanuel College, and Christ's College, and so do you have. They named the saints' days, and so you follow them. They called their houses by the name of Trinity, Jesus, Emmanuel, and their mass-houses, by Peter, and Paul, and Mary, and so do you. Is this not the papists' game? Do not those who are called Quakers deny this game, and deny both you and the papists? And about Christ you are ignorant, who has come to reign, and rule, and teach his people himself.
Principle. ‘Ministers are spurring on the magistrates, to cast out the bad and scandalous ministers. Have not lawyers and physicians an easier life, and more honorable in the world, than the ministers? Have not the ministers been the principal instruments to pluck down deans and chapters, bishops, etc.? We ministers break our health and all our worldly interests for you. I had rather be a ploughman or the poorest tradesman, but for the greatest necessity, and the truth's sake.’
A. Have not all you ministers in this manifested yourselves? Did ever the apostles run to the magistrates, or incite them cast out scandalous ministers? Had not the apostles authority, and the spirit and power, to cast out, reprove, and rebuke in the church? Would they have not denied their power if they had gone to the magistrates and fallen on the mountains, which is the papists' game, and not the apostles'? Was it not the soldiers that were the cause of pulling down your rails and surplices, and your deans, and chapters, and bishops? Was it not the magistrates' work? But have you had a hand in it? Have you killed and taken possession? Have you put out bishops, and gotten into their places, who are in the bishops', and deans', and chapters' maintenance? Do you insist on making yourselves so foul and odious to all people? Were not many of you tradesmen and ploughmen's sons, poor men, and yet now gotten up into great interests, and taking great sums from people, for many of whom you do no work? How can you for shame say you leave your worldly interests, when you are only pursuing the world when you choose to be priests and ministers? Who are the proudest people in the parishes, in the glories and vanities of the world and honor of it, but the priests, and their wives, and their children? Are not you worse than lawyers and physicians, taking the people's money, and yet cannot make them perfect men, but say they must not be perfect? The physician is to make one perfect. Do they take money of people they do nothing for? Are they not ashamed to do so? But you take money from those who you do no work for! Are you not worse than the lawyers, who are bad? Do you not take money of such people as you do not work for, and sue them, and cast them into prison? Are you not the most unreasonable men upon the earth? And this is the devil's game you are playing. And do you not live in more honor in the world, greater gain, and no work done for it, than any other people in the nation, as the jails may witness your fruits!
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