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. You must kill, or be "Incompletely; he overkilled; either you must comes, when he breaks overcome the world, or their force, leads them the world you.
"captive, and puts them If ye fight, ye shallinto chains; but they are overcome.
not at all lain, they some
times take him captive. To kill, or be killed, admits no middle way to escape; yet that both sin and God's children should lead one another captive; and that he which fights shall overcome, and yet be in danger of being led captive, because completely a conqueror, to me seems very strange doctrine..
However, he goes on to tell them, "Whosoever is < born of God, overcometh the lusts of the world, r and he that oyercometh the lusts of the world, over(comes the devils of hell; God's children have to do < with a conquered enemy. Yet he would all this while be understood in an incomplete sense; and to excite all to fight for this incomplete victory, he recommended to their consideration, the excellent rewards of conquerors, that is, “ to him that overcom«c eth, will I give to eat of the tree of life, the hid« den manna. I will give him a white ftone, a new «r name, power over nations, white raiment: yea, I « will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; “ he shall go no more out, and I will grant him to « sit with me in my throne.” Admirable privileges, I acknowledge! but are they promised to incomplete conquerors ? I judge not.
Reader, by this thou mayest be able to give a probable conjecture of the rest; and as I have begun with him and his co-disputants, with them I will end; who, notwithstanding all their boasts and calumnies against us, have so evaded those many opportunities we have offered them by letters, verbal messages, and personal visits, that had they any zeal for their principles, love for their reputation, or conscience in their
But as it hath am credibly informcome concerning
promises, they would have been induced to a more direct and candid treaty.
But as it hath occasioned the publication of this little treatise, fo I am credibly informed, through the too busy and malicious inquisition of some concerning it, (which have amounted to no less than positive reports) it is currently discoursed, how that a certain Quaker hath lately espoused the controversy against R. F. and therein has perverted the Christian religion to that degree, as plainly to deny Christ's coming in the flesh; with much more than was fit to be. faid, or is fit to be answered.
But, reader, I shall alk no other judge to clear me from that most uncharitable accusation; since first, I am altogether unacquainted with R. F. nor ever did design directly such a thing, being unwilling to seek more adversaries than what more nearly seek the overthrow of truth, although I doubt not but this plain and simple treatise may prove some confutation of his sentiments.
And lastly, as concerning Christ; although the slander is not new, yet nevertheless falfe: for I declare on the behalf of that despised people, vulgarly called Quakers, the grace, of which we testify, hath never taught us to acknowledge another God than he that is the ~ Father of all things, who fills heaven and earth:” neither to confess another Lord Jesus Christ, than he that appeared so many hundred years ago, « made of ^ a virgin, like unto us in all things, sin excepted ;” or any another doctrine than was by him declared and practised; therefore let every mouth be stopped from ever opening more, in blasphemy against God's innocent heritage, who in principle, life and death, bear an unanimous testimony for the only true God, true Christ, and heavenly doctrine, which in their vindication is openly attested by
Inhabitants of the City of London.
« He that uttereth flander is a fool.” Prov. x. 18. « A false balance is an abomination to the Lord.” Prov. xi. 1.
Published in the Year 1668.
DELIGION, although there be nothing of greater N concernment, nor which doth more effentially import the immortal happiness of men; yet such is the calamity of the age, that there is not any thing they are less solicitous about, or serious in the profecution of, vainly imagining it to consist in the implicit subscription to, and verbal confession of, mens invented traditions and precepts, whilst they neglect that more orthodox definition of the apostle James, viz. “ Pure religion and undefiled, before God, is, to " visit the fatherless, and to keep himself unspotted « from the world ; a" and instead thereof, believe they are performing the best of services, in facrificing the reputation, liberty, estate, if not life itself, of others, to their own tenacious conceptions; because perhaps, • Jam, i. 17.
though persons of more virtue, they cannot in all punctilios correspond therewith: how much I have been made an instance must needs be too notorious to any that hold the least intelligence with common fame, that scarce ever took more pains to make the proverb good, by proving 'herself a lyar, than in my concern; who have been most egregiously Nandered, reviled and defamed by pulpit, prefs, and talk, terming me a blafphemer, feducer, Socinian, denying the divinity of Christ the Saviour, and what not! and all this about my late answer to a disputation with some Presbyterians; but how unjustly, it is the business of this short apology to shew, which had not been thus long retarded, if an expectation first to have been brought upon my examination had not required a suspence; and if I shall acquit myself from the injurious imputations of my adversaries, I hope the cry will have an end; to which purpose, let but my innocency have your hearing in her own defence, who, as she never can detract from her intentions in what she really hath done; fo will she as easily disprove her enemies, in manifesting their accusations to be fictitious: judge not before you read, neither believe any farther than you see.
I. That which I am credibly informed to be the greatest reason for my imprisonment, and that noise of blasphemy, which hath pierced so many ears of late, is, my denying the divinity of Christ, and divesting him of his eternal God-head, which most busily hath been suggested as well to those in authority, as maliciously insinuated amongst the people; wherefore let me beseech you to be impartial and considerate, in the perusal of my vindication, which being in the fear of the Almighty God, and the simplicity of scripture dialect, presented to you, I hope my innocency will appear beyond a scruple. The Proverbs, which, as most agree, intend Christ, the Saviour, speak in this manner : « By me kings reign, and princes decree “ justice; I (wisdom) lead in the midst of the paths