The Missing Cross to Purity

Part 12

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Principle. He said, ‘The spirit speaks expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared as with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and abstaining from several foods.’ See page 73.

Answer. Before the apostle's decease he saw these things come, and the spirit speaks this; mark! It [the spirit] ‘speaks expressly.’ Now since the apostle's decease the things have been fulfilled; the faith has been departed from, the unity among all Christians has been lost, in all Christendom. They have all run on heaps, destroying one another about the scriptures, churches, ministry, yes, for maintenance [money]; you have departed from the spirit in speaking, so out of the unity of it, which is the bond of peace, which would have kept peace in all Christendom; it would have kept all the professors of Christ in peace, and in it is the unity. You have ravened from that, you and the Papists, and all sects upon the earth. So some are forbidding foods and forbidding marriage, whose consciences are seared as with a hot iron; the devil's doctrine, speaking lies in hypocrisy, and giving heed to seducing spirits. You are the spirits that are inwardly ravened from the spirit of God, who deny direct revelation, and hearing the voice of God directly; these are the seducing spirits, and keep all people in the burning and heating lusts, from the marriage of the Lamb; all the seducing spirits do this who deny revelation, direct inspiration, and hearing the voice of God directly from heaven now as ever. Therefore their fruits declare they are burning one against another, destroying one another about their religion and ministry, their consciences seared as with a hot iron, tenderness lost and gone, destroying people, and casting into prison for their bellies [lusts], for maintenance, for tithes. So you have set up your church, which was a mass-house, and tithes, and sprinkling infants, who have had the time of compelling others to worship. But the day is breaking, the light is springing, life is rising, and glory is appearing, your torment is coming, and you can be no longer hid.

Principle. He said, ‘Beware of false prophets; there shall be false prophets among the people, who shall bring in damnable heresies, denying the Lord who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction, and many shall follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. As Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these resist the truth; but they shall proceed no further; for their folly shall be made manifest to all men, as theirs was.’

Answer. Christ said to his apostles that antichrist would come, and false prophets would arise, and before their decease they saw they had come already, as Peter and John declare, by which they knew it was the last time. They went forth from them, (the apostles), and in the Revelations it is said the whole world went after them, that the nations came to be like waters, and the peoples waters, and their tongues waters, and multitudes waters; so many followed their pernicious [destructive] ways, by whom the way of truth has been evil spoken of, by you and them both. They brought up the damnable heresy; and are like Jannes and Jambres, being men of corrupt minds, and reprobates concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further, for now their folly is made manifest, and shall be made manifest to all men. Do not the very heathens cry out against Christendom, of the hardness of their hearts, and of their unrighteous dealings and actions? You who are called Christians have caused the way of truth to be evil spoken of. Is not the damnable heresy among you? Have you not run into all heathenish ways by setting up temples, and tithes, and priests, and schools, and colleges; and yet you never heard the voice of God, as you confess, as may be seen in this book? Is not all this trumpery and trash, and these fables have come up among the Papists and you, since the days of the apostles? Do you not deny the light that enlightens every man that comes into the world? Do you not deny the grace of God which brings salvation, which has appeared unto all men, to bring every man to a teacher? Does anyone know the Lord who bought him, except he who owns the light that enlightens every man that comes into the world? Do not all deny the Lord who bought those who deny the light? Do any see the Lord and his blood that bought them and purchased them except with the light that comes from him? Are you not all like Jannes and Jambres who withstood Moses to have kept the people in Egypt? Are you not all denying the light that enlightens everyone that comes into the world? Were not all those who inwardly ravened, who got the sheep's clothing, who Christ said would come, and the apostles saw had come, who went forth from them, and whom the whole world went after; were not all these in the witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment, necromancy [divination]? Are not they wizards, familiar spirits, and witches who deny the light that enlightens everyone that comes into the world? Have not Babylon, the mother of harlots, beast, false prophet, unclean spirits, dragon, antichrists, and all deceivers been up since the days of the apostles? Has this not been the mystery of iniquity, which has ruled since the days of the apostles, that cries, ‘prophecy has ceased,’ and slays the prophets, and makes war against those who keep the commands of God, and calls the scriptures ‘the law and the testimony,’ and makes war against those who have the law in their hearts, and the spirit of prophecy? Have you not manifested yourself to be of this number, and of the stock of the great whore, that has drunk the blood of the saints, and martyrs, and prophets?

Principle. Are not you crying to magistrates, ‘Help; stop the mouths of blasphemers?’ in page 23. And stirring up the zeal of the magistrates, and showing them the zeal of the Jews' magistrates; ‘how they tore their clothes off at blasphemers,’ in your 31st page; and say, ‘you could rejoice that they would breathe such an air throughout all the English quarters, and would not that the Quakers should have support from the magistrates.’

Answer. Now you have made yourself manifest, that you do not have the spiritual weapons; and you may well deny direct revelations. Was it not in all ages such who pretended to be ministers, and did not have the life that gave forth scriptures, who called to the magistrates, to stop the mouths of blasphemers? Was not the mouth of the priests against Christ to the rulers at the council? Likewise were they not against the apostles, and against the prophets? Now it is your mouth to your magistrates; as you are now part of the apostasy that has been since the days of the apostles. But do you think that the magistrates will let you get atop of their backs, and gallop upon them, to be their executioners? If you are ministers who have the spirit of God, stop the mouths of the opposers, for never did the apostles nor the church wrestle against flesh and blood; but they struck at the power that captivated the creatures, to the intent that the creatures might come into the liberty of the sons of God. But your fruits have stunk about you, and your fruits. How barbarously have the saints and true Christians in the spirit been used among you! So those who make war against the saints, are those who have inwardly ravened from the spirit, and so got the sheep's clothing, and turned against those who had the spirit of God. Those ravened from the spirit of God inwardly, lost the spiritual weapons, and had only the sheep's clothing, and that would not carry them in the time of need, and so were willing to run to magistrates, to carnal weapons. By this means, in all ages, the righteous have been slain by those who had the scriptures, but were away from the spirit that gave them forth; and all the saints upon the earth have been slain by those who have been away from that of God in their own particulars; which now is awakened, by which men come to be turned to God. You now, who deny the light that enlightens everyone that comes into the world, who preach that men should have sin their entire life on earth, and the body of it, and imperfection, are those who have led people captive all their lifetime, with the form of godliness without the power; and have kept people in spiritual Egypt, Sodom, and Gomorrah, in filthiness and darkness, where Christ was crucified by those whose ears were stopped to that of God in them, and that was spiritual Egypt. All of you who are inwardly ravened from the spirit of God in your own particulars, who have a form of godliness, but deny the power, who are ravened inwardly from that of God; you are likely to be reprobated concerning the faith; you are not likely to lead people to the knowledge of the truth, but to keep them in the many lusts, laden with their sins, and ‘always learning, never able to come to the knowledge of truth.’ There are all the witchcraft, and sorcery, and enchantments, and familiar spirits; among those who deny the light that enlightens everyone that comes into the world.

And as for your lies, and all your slanders, and revilings, they will be your own clothing, and you must wear your own garments; and they will cover you in darkness in the day of your judgment, when your works are tried with fire; the witness in your conscience shall answer that I am a friend to your soul. You have published your shame, and folly, and wickedness to the nation. All sober people see your folly; and your silence would have been better to have preached you a sober man. But novices and fools must utter their folly. The truth has gone over you, and you shall feel it one day when you and your works are tried with the fire. And you shall eternally witness, they are judged and condemned.

Edward Boules, who calls himself a teacher of the gospel at York, in his book he calls, ‘The duty and danger of swearing, opened, (as he said) in a sermon preached at York, the day of swearing the Lord Mayor.’

This is the title of his book, which he directs to Stephen Watson, lord mayor, the aldermen, and common council of that city; whose work throughout his book, that he calls a sermon, is to teach them to break the commands of Christ.

Principle. First, he says, ‘Christ brought down the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees,’ and ‘the Pharisees wrested the scriptures, or made the scriptures bend to their own righteousness.’

Answer. This is your own condition, and the Papists', who cannot own the scriptures as they speak; but you will make the scriptures bend to your own wills, and wrest them as the Pharisees did, and as you and the Papists do Christ's words, who says, ‘Do not swear at all,’ and you say, ‘swear.’ How now, Edward Boules! Who makes the scriptures bend now? You teach men that they should swear, and Christ said, you shall not swear at all, and so are an antichrist, and against the doctrine of Christ, and teach your own tradition for doctrine, and make the commandment of Christ of no effect. He who is against the doctrine of Christ, is an antichrist, and so the Papists, and Protestants, and Pharisees all are found to be swearers, out of Christ's doctrine, who says, ‘do not swear at all;’ and yet in your pride you will make a trade of his words, and a talking of his words to get money.

Principle. You say, ‘Christ did not come to destroy the law; and it has deceived some to say, “Swear not at all.” The scripture must not be taken in general terms; for Paul said, he became all things to all men; and Christ our savior, his intent is this, that we should not swear as we were accustomed to do, “not at all” must be interpreted; so that you see it is the scope and circumstance of this place, that this “swear not at all” be interpreted, vain and unnecessary customs, and abuse of swearing among the Jews; and it is not unlawful to swear, but to all men not only a liberty, but in just cases a duty, and part of divine worship, not ceremonial or mutable, there is no shadow or type in it. An oath is for confirmation, and the end of strife, it gives the last peal to all differences, and gives a great honor to God, and is the proper end of worship, and consequently a great honor.’

Answer. They are deceived who break Christ's commands; for when he says, ‘do not swear at all,’ he says in all your communication ‘let your yes be yes, and your no, no, for whatever is more than these is evil.’ So he lays down no other doctrine that men should practice, than ‘not to swear at all,’ but ‘yes, yes, and no, no;’ those who go any further, go into the evil, ‘whatever is more than these is evil.’ So mind these three things; and though the apostle became all things to all men, yet not without the law of Christ, (mark! the law of Christ), which was, ‘swear not at all.’ So still that is agreeable to Christ's words; the scripture is to be taken as general, and Christ said, ‘It has been said to them of old time, you shall perform the oath of the Lord.’ Christ said so that comprehended time, which was the end of that old time in which had been those who swore, but it was true oaths that Christ brought them off from, the oath that was to be performed to the Lord, which Christ the oath of God ended, who comprehends time, and told them the danger, if they went any farther than yes and no. And so your interpreting the scripture, who are the private interpreters, is but to wrest them to your own earthly wills; and what opposes the commands and doctrine of Christ, does not bring honor to God, is not a part of his worship, nor is divine, but in what is out of truth, (for none worship God but those who are in Christ, who says, ‘swear not at all,’ who is the end of the law and the prophets, and oaths), and is but one of your dark consequences. It is not men's duty in any case to swear; for the duty of man is to keep the commands of Christ, and there are none who are just who will swear, who obey the commands of Christ; but those swear who are unjust, and who are out of what gives the last peal, and ends all differences, which ends all oaths, and all strife, and all controversy, which is Christ Jesus the covenant of God. For strifes, controversies, and differences are outside the covenant of light and life, Christ Jesus, the oath of God; and so you are not a minister of Christ, who brings people back to the law, and tells them it is lawful to swear. Here the Papists and you are one, both opposing the commands of Christ, who would make people believe that they were the frivolous oaths among the Jews that Christ brought them off from, and not the true oaths, and say the oath was not a shadow. I say, yes, it made peace, and ended the strife among men; the oath of God that was sworn by the Lord; but Christ the oath of God ends the strife, and ends those oaths that men were to swear by the Lord. So it was typical and ceremonial, and was to change, and was mutable; for Christ who comprehends time, says,
in the old time the oath must be performed to the Lord; but I say to you now, do not swear at all.’ So that was to be changed, and it did type forth something. There you may see the substance of it, Christ the oath of God, in whom men have peace, who ends the strife between men and God, who makes all things new. So those who bring men to the swearing, bring men into the evil; and those who bring men to the law and prophets that speak of swearing, bring men away from Christ, who is the end of the law and prophets, into the old time.

Principle. ‘The ground and occasion of oaths yet remain, and so a usefulness of oaths for the ending of controversies, which must be established by oaths for the end of human societies. The apostates take for granted that the Christian religion forbid all oaths; it is false and ridiculous; for the prophet said “every tongue shall swear,” and “you shall swear by my name.” Deut. And “men verily swear by the greater.” And men and angels have made use of oaths to confirm the truth, and avenge falsehood. I see not how swearing by any creature can be exempted from idolatry. He who swears must do it righteously in a lawful, just matter. Those who swear falsely are highly guilty of offence against the God of truth. Can a black moor change his skin, or a leopard his spots?’

Answer. Christ, who has ended oaths, ends controversies among men, and brings them to peace with one another, and with God, and ends the law, and fulfils it, and does not break it; and ends the prophets who swear, and ‘Christ is the end of the law to everyone who believes.’ And your human societies, which are of the earth, from the ground, among whom are the oaths, the swearing, are out of the doctrine of Christ, and do not know the end of the law and the prophets; and they are the apostates, and false, and ridiculous, apostatized from Christ and the apostles' doctrine, who swear, and teach men to do so, and are not the true Christians. And so you who will swear, will swear falsely, who are out of the truth; for the truth, Christ, said, ‘Do not swear at all.’ And the apostle says, ‘Above all things, my brethren, do not swear.’ So you are the false brethren, apostatized from the truth, and have come to be as black as the Ethiopians and the black moors, and your custom of the sin of swearing takes away the sense of it.

As for men and angels swearing, and the swearing by the greater; and ‘to the Lord every tongue shall swear, and perform their oaths to him;’ and they were to swear by the name of the Lord. Now Christ is he to whom the angels must bow; and as the people had sworn by Baal, so the prophet brought them to swear by the Lord, to change their form; to swear by the Lord, as a true oath, and perform it to him. But Christ is the end of the prophets and the law, as I said before, and of the true oath; for said he, ‘It has been said to them of old time, you shall perform your oath to the Lord;’ that was a true oath, not a false oath; let all take notice of that! ‘But I say to you, do not swear at all.’ So he came to end the true oath, Christ, the oath of God. And so, though the angels, or men in strife, or prophets, or Moses, or the law, said swear; yet Christ, who comprehends time before the world was made, who came to end that old time, says, ‘Do not swear at all, but let your communications be yes and no, for whatever is more, these come of evil.’ And many men are undone by these false oaths, and by swearing. And you who call yourselves ministers of the gospel, and teach men to swear, when Christ says do not ‘swear at all,’ have brought another doctrine, and so are to be accursed.

And again, do you not swear by the Bible, by the prophets, and Moses, and Christ's, and the apostles' words, and by the evangelists? Christ says, ‘Do not swear at all!’ What a perverse generation of men are you professors, and teachers, and people! What an unchristian spirit you have! And see, have you not brought the judgment upon yourselves to be the idolaters? For the true oath was by the Lord, among the Jews, and you swear by the evangelists, and the bible that tells you that you should not swear! Did ever the prophets swear by Moses' words? Or Moses by Enoch's? Or the apostles by the prophets', or Christ's words? Now is this not a frivolous oath to swear by the bible, which says, ‘Do not swear at all?’ And worse than the Jews who swore by the temple, who were to swear by the Lord, and to perform the oath to him? Which oath Christ ended, and brought men out of strife, and the earth, into peace with God, to the beginning, to ‘the glory which was with the Father before the world was begun,’ who brings the ‘peace on earth, and good will towards men.’ And do not you who swear by the bible, swear by all that is contained in it, as the Jews swore by the temple? And so has not the bible judged you? Here are Christ's words and the apostles', that tell you that you should not swear, and yet you swear! And if you say, the prophets, and Moses, and Abraham, and Jacob, and Joseph, and the angels swore, and men of strife swore; do not Christ and the apostle tell you he is the end of the prophets, a greater than Solomon? David called him Lord, before Abraham was; he reigns over the house of Jacob and Joseph; to him the angels bow, and he says, ‘Do not swear at all.’ ‘This is my beloved son, hear him,’ is the end of the law and the prophets to him who believes, who hears him. But it seems you who are the swearers and forswearers [oath breakers] will not hear him. And the apostle brings that concerning an oath's being the end of controversy among men of strife; and that men swear by the greater, and that they swear by the Lord; he brings these examples, not that men should swear, but to show how God, who could not find a greater, swore by himself concerning his son, who is the oath of God, the end of oaths. And as to the true oath that men swore, that ended the strife; he brought peace on earth, and good will towards men, that ended that oath, and brought men to unity with God and one another, out of the earth to the beginning.

Principle. ‘That oaths are to be performed if the scriptures were silent; the law of nature and nations would speak loud in this point, because of the particular miscarriages in human societies. Therefore, says the Lord, you despised my oaths, and you have broken my covenant. It would be a great dishonor to the nature of an oath, if it should tie any man to disobey the commands of God. Governors are ready to think it their great security to establish themselves by oaths.’

Answer. Let the law, as you call it, of nature and nations, who establish themselves by sin and transgression in the earthly human societies, cry ever so loud for swearing, the commands of Christ forbid swearing. And I know that the law of nations, and the national laws, have sanctioned swearing by several heathen gods and idols, as the Jews swore by the temple, and you by the evangelists; but ‘do not swear at all’ says Christ and his apostle. And there is a great outcry for oaths, but here is a cry from the Lord Christ, which says, ‘Do not swear at all.’ And oaths were in the covenant which was to change, (mark that!) oaths despised, and covenant broken. This was the first covenant, in which were the oaths, that was to change and decay; and Christ came to end both covenant and oaths, and told them ‘do not swear at all,’ and took away the first covenant, so that he might establish the second. And as the Jews broke the first covenant, and despised the Lord's oath, which was, to swear by himself, who is the greater, and to perform it to him; so you who are teaching men to swear, despise his covenant, his Son, the everlasting covenant, which ends oaths and the first covenant. And so there is swearing, and forswearing, and lamentable work, as you may see in your courts, how they will swear a man has so much, when he does not have half as much, as the writs and indictments, and all their bad stuff declare. And so you who swear break the commands of Christ. Though it was the command of God in the old time to swear, yet it is the command of Christ, who makes all things new, ‘Do not swear at all.’

And the governors who are established by oaths are out of the doctrine of Christ, who establish themselves by what Christ denies, and so establish themselves out of his power, command, and authority, and do not hear the son, and are not the true Christians, but are apostatized from the true church, and have only his name, but are dead to the life.

Now Christ, who takes away oaths, and showed the danger of those who went into oaths, more than yes and no in all their communications, told them ‘do not swear at all,’ and that they went into the evil who did, he established a way; ‘by two or three witnesses every word is established.’ So they who would have any more than yes and no, may take the order of Christ, mind the order of Christ, ‘two or three witnesses,’ that you may establish every word. And this is a way for all tradesmen, and magistrates, and all whatsoever, that they may follow and practice the commands of Christ, yes and no in all their communications; and if they will have any more, to have ‘two or three witnesses, that every word may be established.’ And those who are the true Christians, the true brethren, who abide in the doctrine of Christ, they are not transgressors, but have the son and the Father, which the others do not have; and that is a practice for all true Christians, cities, countries, and magistrates upon the earth.

Principle. You say, ‘Those who are engaged take oaths, and they must be circumspect in taking of it,’ and this is the word you add: ‘And you, my lord mayor and sheriffs, under the bond of an oath shall execute your office.’

Answer. The command of Christ and the doctrine of the apostles, do not engage men to swear, and do not engage any to swear, and Christ is the end of the law and the prophets; but you ministers of unrighteousness, and false apostles, teach men to disobey and transgress the commands of Christ, who are the false prophets and antichrists which Christ said would come, John saw had come, which went forth from the apostles, and since then the world has gone after you; and so you have taught the world to swear, and men to swear, and Christ and his apostles teach them not to swear. And so here is the land mourning because of oaths; among boys and girls they have become common in your streets, courts, and houses: swearing, forswearing, and profane swearing, and what is out of the command of Christ is profane; for they bewitch people, who draw people from the command of God. The apostle instances circumcision which Christ ended; and what they are who draw people to those things which Christ forbids, but these would not have him to reign, but are antichrists, who have come away from the apostles. And so you and the Papists are one here, doing what you do by an oath; and the apostle (whom you are apostatized from), said, ‘Above all things, do not swear at all, neither by heaven, nor by earth, nor by any other oath;’ mark, this was to the brethren, true Christians, true believers, those who obeyed Christ's doctrine; for he tells them the danger, ‘lest you fall into condemnation.’ ‘Let all your communications be yes, yes, and no, no; whatever is more, is evil:’ ‘Not by heaven, nor by earth, nor by any other oath.’ Now true, and false, and profane, and all swearing whatever, was comprehended in these words, ‘not by any;’ but keep to ‘yes and no in all your communications.’ Now tell the apostle he does not mean what he says, give him the lie [call him a liar], pervert his words, and words of Christ, who says, ‘swear not at all,’ and say he means profane oaths. Christ brought the people off the true oath which was in the old time, which was performed to the Lord; a profane oath was not performed to the Lord; that, therefore, was not meant, but such as were sworn by him. Christ says now, ‘swear not at all;’ and so those who break the oath, break the covenant, the true oath; so those who swear now, do not own the new covenant, which ends the true oath and covenant in the old time. The profane oaths were judged by those who lived in the first covenant, and they did not type out any thing, but a true oath did, which ended controversies among men; which the oath Christ ends, who is the peace between God and men, and reconciles them to God and one another. These are true brethren, true Christians, who have come to yes and no in their communications, and cannot swear ‘by heaven, nor by earth, nor by any other oath,’ lest they come into the evil; but keep to yes and no in all their communications, lest they come into condemnation. So you who teach men to swear have brought them into evil, and under condemnation, and you have raised a great outcry to break the commands of Christ. You who teach them to swear any oath whatever, cast behind your backs the commands of Christ, and doctrine of the apostles, and the apostle, that told the saints to keep to yes and no in all their communications, and ‘swear not at all,’ said, if you will have any more, take two or three witnesses.

And for all your other confusion, and your perverting and wresting of scriptures, to bring people into the condemnation and evil of swearing, is not worthy of mentioning, and will but come upon yourself in the day of your condemnation and judgment; you and all upon the earth who have departed from the apostles shall witness how you who have transgressed the commands of Christ, and teach people to transgress them, and to sin, have brought them into the evil and condemnation. So repent, and while you have time prize it.

Samuel Hammond, in his book, called ‘The Quakers' house built on the Sands,’ which is a  very fit title for himself and the rest of his priests. These are some of his principles.

Principle. ‘Young men and women having some convictions and awakenings of the law, have followed the light of an awakened conscience, and sit down before they have closed with Christ; and they do not make a distinction between the righteousness imputed, on the account of the blood of Christ, and the righteousness inherent, wrought in us by his spirit; and this inherent righteousness, the attainments brought forth by the light in every man, they confound with the other, not being able to distinguish the workings of Satan.’

Answer. Inherent righteousness is a word of your own invention and the Papists' inventing, and you are a man who cannot distinguish between the workings of Christ and the workings of Satan. For the light which everyone that comes into the world is enlightened with, which brings men and women to know the law, and the convictions of it, brings them to the end of the law, Christ, and to see that appear that cannot be shaken, and the righteousness imputed to a believer that is felt within: ‘For he who believes has the witness in himself,’ and feels it there; and the blood of Christ is felt within, justifying and cleansing the conscience from dead works. The righteousness of faith is found within, and that righteousness which is wrought within, is found within, and no man sees this but with the light with which Christ has enlightened every man that comes into the world; and this light is that which confounds all your attainments, for Christ's righteousness; and his blood and spirit are all one, which justifies and sanctifies.

Principle. ‘They dream of a perfection by obeying the light within, and this is delusion; they are not able to distinguish, between “justified freely by grace,” which is the favor of God upon the account of Christ's satisfaction, and the grace that is wrought by Christ's spirit in the soul; that natural light within, being improved, they call grace. The work of God upon the soul, leads into the covenant of works; then it is no other than to tread in the Papists' steps. So this is delusion, and the ground of their delusion is their not distinguishing between saving light given forth by Christ in conversion, and the light of conscience that every man has.’

Answer. None come to the perfection, out of the delusion, but those who come to the light within, and follow that; it gives him the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. What was wrought without is within in the soul, for ‘Christ in you,’ and he is the covenant of grace, of light, of life, and of peace; and none know him without, nor justification by grace, but who know it in the heart, and it is one and the same thing, it is not another grace, nor another covenant, nor another Christ, but the same ‘Christ in you.’ The saints are in his spirit, and in his mind, and are of his flesh, and of his bone. You who are so full of your delusions, are out of this, and you always have been in the fables, and will never know perfection, until you come to the light within. God's work in the soul leads to the end of the covenant of works, who ‘works all in us, and for us,’ as the apostle says; who works faith and grace, commands the light to shine out of darkness, and shines in the heart to give the knowledge of the son. And so you are in the delusion and the Papists' doctrine who do not know this within, but call it the covenant of works; do you not tread in their steps, and have crept up in their great mass-houses? And the light given forth by Christ in conversion, and the light in the conscience, are one, and it is not natural, it was before natural was; it exercises the conscience towards God and towards man in those who love it; but those who hate it, are not converted, but live in the many ways out of the one way to God; for he who is the covenant of light is the covenant of grace. And thus you are blinding people with many things.

Principle. ‘The not owning the imputation of Christ as the matter and formal cause of justification, is damnable doctrine; to make our reconciliation to God to be wrought by our improving the light within, and renewing the image of God in us, is damnable doctrine; to take men off from going to the fullness of Christ at the right hand of God, and send them to look to a light within, which they say is in every man, is a damnable doctrine; this is to forsake the fountain of living waters and dig to themselves broken cisterns; the principle of perfection by improvement of the light within is dangerous.’

Answer. The imputation to a believer is owned, and this imputation is within; for he who believes is born of God, and has the witness in himself. Now Abraham believed, and the Romans, and to such the imputation was spoken in the belief; and Abraham saw his glory, who is Christ Jesus the righteousness itself. And the apostle says, you are now nearer than when you first believed; and again he says, ‘Christ is in you, and God will dwell in you, and walk in you.’ So those who have Christ in them, have the righteousness itself, without imputation, the end of imputation, the righteousness of God itself, Christ Jesus. No man knows the reconciliation, and his reconciliation made with God, but by hearing and doing the word of God, that is in the heart and mouth, which divides your bad words, and your bad thoughts, and cuts them down, and hammers them down, and burns them up; that is the word that sanctifies and reconciles to God, and makes clean. And the word is Christ, called ‘the word of God,’ and Christ is the light that enlightens every man that comes into the world, and that is it that renews man into the image of God. For the light that comes from Christ is the image of God, ‘the light of the glorious gospel which is the image of God,’ and so this is within, and you who do not know this within, and do not feel it, your lips are polluted, and you are in the damnable doctrine, and you cannot comprehend the light that shines in the darkness. Indeed, you are too proud, high, and lofty, and must be brought down; the Lord God will abase you. No man comes into the image of God, and is renewed, and has reconciliation with God, but he who comes to the light which Christ the word has enlightened him with, and that is within, and those who believe in it have the witness in themselves, and those who do not, the light condemns them. The light that every man who comes into the world is enlightened with, does not take them from Christ's fullness at the right hand of God; but the light lets them see him lifted up, and no one upon the earth comes to Christ at the right hand of God, to receive of his fullness, but he who comes to the light with which Christ enlightens every man that comes into the world; that is the eye, the light, with which he sees Christ, and in which he receives him, and comes to be engrafted in him, in the vine Christ Jesus. So you who draw men from the light within, which Christ has enlightened every man that comes into the world with, you draw them from Christ at the right hand of God, so that they cannot receive this his fullness, and so you take away the key of knowledge from people, who are in the doctrine that is damnable, and to be condemned, that is away from the light. None come to the fountain of living mercies, but are all broken cisterns, who are away from the light within them, which comes from Christ the fountain of living mercies, which enlightens every man that comes into the world, that with it all might come to see the fountain, and believe in it, and they who do not are condemned. No one knows perfection, or comes into the perfection of Christ, but is in the dangerous estate, where you are, who do not come into the light that enlightens every man that comes into the world; for the imperfection comes by the first Adam and Eve, and the devil going out from the truth; the perfection comes again by Christ, who destroys the devil, death, and his works, and sanctifies man, and reconciles man again to God, who enlightens every man who comes into the world, that in the light all men might see the perfection of God, Christ Jesus; which none do, but those who come to him, the light.

Principle. ‘That there is so much light in every man that will reveal Christ, and save those who believe in it; and that an Indian has it; and to direct to this to lead to perfection, and to neglect the fountain of wisdom at the right hand of God, is a soul destroying principle.’

Answer. The light which every man who comes into the world is enlightened with, is saving to those who believe in it, those who do not are condemned; and this light leads to perfection, to the fountain of wisdom, Christ Jesus the light of the world, to know the bishop of their souls; and all who have not come to the light in their own particulars, which comes from him who enlightens every man who comes into the world, their principles are destroying, which yours are who stand against the light, you are antichrist, kicking against the light with which Christ has enlightened you. No man knows a savior, nor sees salvation, but as he comes to the light; with the same light he comes to see Christ the light and savior, to save him from his sins. And that light is sufficient; ‘I will give him for a covenant of light to the Gentiles;’ and ‘I will make a covenant with the house of Israel and Judah,’ those who had the old covenant, (and here is the entire world), ‘and he shall be my salvation to the ends of the earth.’ The Gentiles were heathen, call them Indian or what you will; ‘I will give him for a covenant to the Gentiles, a leader of the people,’ and many Gentiles have found their leader, the covenant of light; and in this light, Jew and Gentile are one, and in unity. ‘If you walk in the light as he is in the light, then have you fellowship one with another,’ and this breaks all your sects, the covenant of light between Jew and Gentile, and brings them to one in believing in the light.

Principle. ‘That light that is in every man is the relics of the first covenant of works which cannot reveal Christ as mediator.’

Answer. The light which every man that comes into the world is enlightened with, which is Christ, by whom the world was made, ends the covenant of works; the creation was made by him, and he was before it was made, so he is not a created light, but that by which all things were created. And you are in your works, the covenant of works, and the created lights, who call the light that enlightens every man that comes into the world (Christ Jesus) a covenant of works, or that a natural light, which was before the covenant of works was, or a natural light was created; which ends the covenant of works. You are to be judged for your words. With that light every man sees the mediator, believing in it; if not, it condemns him.

Principle. ‘That all the light they have is but the light of a natural conscience, and that is a blurred one too. No, how does it come to pass that in old England we see so many hundreds, who manifest no other but a natural conscience? And in New England, we have conversed with the Indians, and never saw the least breaking forth of the light.’

Answer. The light which enlightens every man that comes into the world, by whom the world was made, was before natural conscience was, or natural light either, or the blurred light, as you call it. Many of the Indians show forth more of the light in their conduct than you do. As for old England, what have you been doing all this while, if you see so many hundreds manifesting no other light but a natural conscience? But how should they manifest it, when you keep them from it? Your work is to keep them from the light within. But now there are thousands who are manifesting the light on the house-top, that by which the world was made, which ‘enlightens every man that comes into the world.’ You ministers of Satan, out of the light and truth, are those who stand against it; for the devil who went out of the light and truth, who sowed his seed in the hearts of people, would not have them to own the light in them, he would confess a God outside him; and so he teaches them in whom he sows his seed, not to have the light within them, the seed Christ, the tree of righteousness, the root of God.

Principle. ‘I charge the Quakers to show one scripture that tells to look to the light within, the old trick of error. The righteousness of faith does not direct people to look for a Christ within; the scripture tells weary laden souls, go to Christ; is this to the light within them? I am amazed at their ignorance.’

Answer. The righteousness of faith brings people to look at Christ within; and what abundance of ignorance you have shown, who has been a teacher of the people these many years, yet show how contrary you are to Christ and the apostles in doctrine, for in 2 Cor 4:6, the apostle tells the Corinthians, ‘the light shined in their hearts, to give them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus.’ This was the work of the true apostles, when the false apostles, and devil's ministers and messengers, had gotten among them. The devil is out of truth, and so are his messengers, and they will draw people from the light within, and blind their minds so that they would not come to the light within, to see the glory of God in the face of Christ, from whom it comes. So you conclude yourself among the devil's ministers, and false apostles and messengers. No wearied soul who is burdened, comes to Christ' who is the soul's rest, but who first comes to the light within, which comes from Christ who is the soul's bishop, with which light they see him; he shines in their hearts, which gives them the knowledge of him, and the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus. You, who lead them from the light within, lead them from Christ and the glory of God, who should save them from their sins, and give them ease, rest, and peace.

Principle. ‘I said, looking to the light, and living upon the light within, will lead men to hell; and is going to, and living upon, a muddy puddle of natural light. That Christ is the light in all in a saving manner, I deny; for Christ to be the righteousness of men in justification, differs from this; and to send a man to live upon a light within, is not to send him to Christ; and if he lives upon it, upon the light as it is justification, it is a plain covenant of works.’

Answer. There is no man who has life but in the light which comes from Christ, the light by whom the world was made, in whom was light, and this light is the life of men; and this light and life are manifest in us; for he who has the son of God, has light and life. He who does not receive this but hates it, though he is enlightened, does not have life, but hates it. Those who lead people from it, go from it in their own particulars; they lead people into hell, into its gates, which prevail against them; but those who are in the light, the gates of hell cannot prevail against them; and those who believe in it are not condemned. And so they live in the muddy puddle, and go into the natural light, who deny the light within, which Christ has enlightened every man that comes into the world with; they do not live upon the life, but in the muddy puddle of darkness, and are antichrist, out of the light, and are against it in their own particulars, and against those who walk in it; and such are unlike the ministers of Christ. Every man that comes into the world is enlightened with the saving light, and he who believes in it is saved, he who does not is condemned. No one comes out of the covenant of works, but by the light within, which Christ, the covenant of God, has enlightened him with. No one lives out of the covenant of works, but who lives in the light; and who lives in the light, lives in Christ, and Christ in him: ‘I in you, and you in me;’ and those who hate this light, do not live in Christ, it condemns them, for they are in their own covenant of works. Whoever believes in the light, has entered into the rest, and ceased from his own work as God did from his. Righteousness and justification are one; where Christ is known and felt in man, they are both felt in one. For Christ is the righteousness of God, and the justification, and Christ is in you; and see if you can read this, who say, they differ.

Principle. ‘What warrant have you to go out to the Quakers? Shall a man go to hear the Jews and Popish mass, because Paul told try all things? No, no.’

Answer. Paul says ‘Do not quench the spirit:’ and where the spirit is not quenched, they may try Papists, Jews, and Protestants; but those who quench the spirit, and draw people from the light within, draw from that they should see with; then you stuff them up with old authors, and lying stories, as you print abroad.

Principle. ‘Christ's revealed will is the word of reconciliation.’

Answer. The scriptures are not the word of reconciliation; but Christ is the word of reconciliation, who reconciles man to God, and satisfies the Father, and gives men peace with God; and this the scripture declares. As for the ministers of Newcastle, who have persecuted the people of God because they met there, and banished them out of their town, this does not show the spirit of Christ, or the love of God among you, but the works of the Pharisees and Cain. You never knew the gospel, you who deny the light of Christ, that has enlightened every man that comes into the world, but you are found among the monkish-holiness you speak of, and the Pharisees and the Papists; for the Pharisees, the Papists, and you, do not own the light, Christ Jesus, who enlightens every man that comes into the world. So with the light you are all comprehended and condemned in one body, not to be true believers; for they believe in the true Christ the light, and told people believe in the ‘light that enlightens every man that comes into the world, that all men through him might believe;’ that is the end; that he who does might be saved, and that he who does not might be condemned.

Principle. You say, ‘The saints laid down their estates at the apostles' feet.’

Answer. You priests say you are ministers of Christ and the gospel, and you are willing to cast men into prisons, because they will not put food into your mouths. Now all people may see that you have a contrary power to the apostles; for when did a people, your hearers, lay down all at your feet? No, you are willing to cast into prisons, hale before courts, a hundred or two hundred miles, and take triple damages. Now do you not think that most people begin to see that you are apostatized from the apostles, and from the power they were in, with which you are fathomed, and you are judged with the life the apostles were in.

And whereas you speak of circumcision, and tell people that those who are circumcised cannot be saved; the Quakers bring no people to circumcision, except that of the spirit, which puts off the body of sin, which you say they must have while they are upon the earth, and so have ravened from the spirit of circumcision; and such keep people in the covenant of works, from the spirit within that puts off the body of sin.

As for all the rest of your torn, confused stuff, which is given forth from your vain thoughts [imaginations], it is not worth mentioning; but in the day of your judgment, the witness in your conscience shall answer it, and all your works are fuel for the fire.

Priest Bennet's ‘Looking-glass.’ These are some of his principles following.

Principle. ‘James asks the question, Can one fountain send forth sweet water and bitter?’ He says, ‘It is a new imagination to say there is a light in every man which will guide him to salvation.’ And says, ‘There is a fancy of perfection.’

Answer. One fountain cannot send forth sweet water and bitter, and yet it is bitter to those who are in the transgression; for the righteousness of God revealed to the wicked, is a terror to him; but the righteousness of God revealed to the saints, is their joy, as is the truth; but speaking truth to him who is in the deceit, is bitter to him, but to the just it is not. The ‘light that enlightens every man that comes into the world,’ is Christ Jesus, ‘the salvation to the ends of the earth.’ You are in the imagined presumption that stumbles at this corner stone; and this ‘light that enlightens every man,’ is the perfection of beauty, and those who are out of this, are in the imagination of perfection, where you may see yourself. The Pharisees stood against Christ the light, the covenant of God promised to Jews and Gentiles, though they had the scriptures; you are like them, who are now stumbling at the light as they did. So you have the mark of an unbeliever, one ‘that has the form, but denies the power,’ and are not a preacher of what people should believe in, that is the light.

Principle. ‘The scriptures are the lamp of Israel. The scriptures are the wisdom of the cross.’

Answer. The word of God is the lamp of Israel, as David says; and Christ Jesus is the wisdom of the cross; Christ the wisdom of God; and the cross of Christ is the power of God. And Abraham had a lamp, and Enoch and Abel, before the scriptures were written.

Principle. You say, ‘The corruptions of the damned in hell shall never be destroyed; and it would be good news if the Quakers should go and preach to the spirits in hell.’ And you say, ‘David would open his mouth in dark sayings of old.’

Answer. The scriptures, and David's words, to you who are in darkness, are dark, but not to those who are in the light. The Quakers have been among the prisoners that are in hell, and ministered to them, and the corruptions shall go into the fire that has no end; and those who do wickedly, and forget God, shall go into hell, and death and hell shall go into the lake of fire, and there is yet more in these words than you can receive. For ‘God is the salvation of all men, but especially of those who believe.’ But I must tell you, you and your flesh are for the fire you are speaking of; and when you are burning in it, remember your judgment in your lifetime, and what you did. The end of Ezekiel is known, and the prophets, and Moses, Christ Jesus, the savior and redeemer of the world.

Principle. ‘That a natural man may preach the gospel in the history.’ You bring Judas for an example. You say, ‘Christ said, destroy this temple, and I will build another.’

Answer. What led Judas to minister was not natural, for the same condemned him when he went out from Christ. A natural man cannot preach the history of the gospel truly, for he cannot receive it; but natural men are giving other meanings to it, and this brings all the confusion that is in the world about the scriptures; for Judas was made a partaker of the ministry, and when he went to the priests from Christ, then he was condemned. Christ did not say, ‘Destroy this temple,’ you pervert his words. Neither did he say he would raise up another of lime, and stone, and wood, which you dark priests of the world, blind people's eyes with; but he meant the temple of his body, in which God dwelt, which the outward temple was a figure of.

Principle. ‘That it is an absurdity to say the light is in every man to teach him.’

Answer. The ‘light that enlightens every man that comes into the world,’ which is Christ Jesus, is the teacher; and he who believes in it, receives Christ, and it teaches him who hates it to see his evil deeds, to see his evil ways, and he hates it because it reproves him, because his deeds are evil, and so hates Christ, and hates his teacher, and sets up teachers outside him, and does not come to receive the anointing within him, and so that light is his condemnation, and so he does not see Christ the head.

Principle. You say, ‘The ministers may receive a courtesy,’ and the scripture you brings for it is, ‘the earth shall help the woman.’

Answer. The courtesy the saints received from those whose hearts were opened, that the Lord had opened by his power, is not condemned, but your taking tithes from people you do not work for, and casting into prison till death, for not giving it to you. How are you like the apostles, or like the ministers of Christ, or like the woman you speak of, the church that was persecuted? Now you persecute, she was persecuted; and you persecute for means [money], and hale up and down in courts and sessions, and will take triple damages, triple tithes of those you do not work for, and so you will not stand to the courtesy of people, nor wait for the power to open their hearts; but are in a power that will take it by compulsion, and by violence, away from people. So you have given judgment against yourselves, and are not of the number of those the Lord opened their hearts that ministered to their necessities, and so unlike the ministers of Christ who received the courtesies of the people, whose hearts the Lord opened.

Principle. You say, ‘When people have no guide but what is within, and that this principle is rooted, it will turn all into Babel.’ And you question, ‘whether it is not a principle of sedition to say, that every man has a light within him.’

Answer. All people in the world run into Babel and Babylon, and are building up and throwing down, and so go into confusion about law and gospel, prophets, Christ, and the apostles' words, when they are away from the spirit of truth within, ‘to lead them into all truth,’ and up to God, the Father of truth, from whom they learned who gave them forth, and with that spirit are they seen; in which spirit is ‘unity, which is the bond of peace.’ The ‘light which enlightens every man that comes into the world,’ leads all men out of sedition; and they are in the sedition who deny it, and say to the contrary, and in darkness, and cannot comprehend it, like John says; who says, ‘This is the true light that enlightens every man that comes into the world.’ And Christ says, ‘Believe in the light.’ And the prophets said, ‘God gave him for a covenant of light to the Gentiles, and a new covenant to the Jews,’ and he shall be the leader of the people, and salvation to the ends of the earth; and every man that comes into the world is enlightened. ‘He who believes is saved, and he who does not believe is condemned already.’

Principle. You query, ‘when the act of commission for the ministry was repealed, since Christ said he would be with them to the end of the world?’ And you say, ‘It is not said simply, they shall teach no more every man his neighbor; but it is added, “Know the Lord.”’ You say, ‘that every man is enlightened only with a natural reason, and the elect are enlightened with a saving knowledge.’ You say, I bring John 4:23. ‘to overthrow all outward worship.’ You say, ‘you can praise God with your bodies and spirits.’

Answer. In Mat 7:14-16 and 24:23-24, Christ said false prophets should come, and should be inwardly ravening wolves, having sheep's clothing; and John said they had come, 1 John 2:18-19 and 4:1-3. In Rev 13:3-4, 7-8, ‘all that dwelt upon the earth went after them,’ and these killed the saints. When they had gotten a head, they killed the saints and the true ministers, and those who were of the false, killed the true; and since those days the false have reigned, who have wrestled with flesh and blood, imprisoning, killing the creatures, and warring against them, and not with the principalities, and spiritual wickedness, and powers of darkness. Those have been out of the power, the gospel the apostles were in, and have killed those who kept the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy. It is said plainly, Heb 8:10-11, ‘They shall not teach every man his neighbor, nor every man his brother, saying, know the Lord, for they shall all know me from the greatest to the least, said the Lord.’ You pervert the scriptures, and are judged by them for it, who belies them.

The light ‘that enlightens every man that comes into the world, is the same light that the elect live in; and the world not believing in the light, Christ Jesus, the elect, the covenant of light, and life, and peace, promised to the world, they are condemned already; but he who believes in the light, is saved; so that saving is sufficient. Christ says, ‘those who worship the Father, must worship him in spirit and in truth;’ not at Jerusalem, not at Samaria, nor at the mountain. So I say, not at your mass-houses, with a cross at the end of them, which the popes and you set up, since the days of the apostles. So ‘those who worship God, must worship him in spirit and in truth.’ Truth does not change, neither does the spirit; and these are those who the Father seeks to worship him, and has found many. Christ overthrows the outward worship at Samaria and Jerusalem, and the mountain, and so do we at your Papists' mass-houses, and tell you God is worshipped in spirit and in truth; and those are the true worshippers that God seeks to worship him, and that will stand when mass-houses, Samaria, and Jerusalem are down, the spirit and the truth will remain.

‘In the mouth of the wicked, praise is not comely;’ and as you are singing David's conditions, or the saints' conditions given forth from the spirit, when you confess you are not in the spirit, as they were that gave them forth; so then you are judged by it to be such in whose mouths praises are not comely, but are in another state than they were that gave forth scriptures.

You do not know Adam's state before the fall, but you are found in the steps of the Pharisees and Papists. As the Pharisees got the words of the true prophets and Moses, out of the life, so the Papists and you have gotten the words of Christ and the apostles, and are out of the life, and persecuting those who are in the life, as the Pharisees did, and killing the just, the just being imprisoned in your own particulars, as it was in the Pharisees. You, with your dark eyes, have looked upon the scriptures ever since the apostasy, and ravened from the spirit of God and the pure eye, and so with that you are comprehended, felt over, and seen over, and with that shall the principle of God in you all be answered, that you are apostatized from the apostles in life, and power, and doctrine, and so are in heaps about their words, out from what is the ground of communion, the bond of peace.

And all your confusion in your book, is your own garment, who with it are for the fire; the witness in your conscience in the day of your condemnation shall witness it.

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