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all the several Sorts of Christians, Men and Women of integrity and fimplicity of Heart, who tho' blinded in something in their understanding, and perhaps burdened with the superstitions and formality of the several Sects in which they are engrossed; yet being right in their hearts before the Lord, chiefly aiming and laboring to be delivered from iniquity, and loving to follow righteousness, are by the secret touches of this Holy Light in their Souls enlivened and quickened, thereby secretly united to God, and therethrough become true Members of this Catholic Church. Now the Church in this respect hath been in being in all Generations. For God never wanted some fuck witnesses for him, tho? many times sighted and not much obser. ved by this World. And therefore this Church, tho? still in being, bath been oftentimes, as it were, invisible, in that it hath not come under the observation of the Men of this World, being, as faitb the Scripture, Jer. 3. 14. one of a City, and two of a Family.
And yet, tho' the Church thus considered may be, as it were, hid from wicked Men, as not then gathered into a visible fellowship, yea, and not observed even by some that are Members of it; yet may there not: withstanding many belong to it; as when Elias complained, be was left alone, 1 Kings 19. 18. God arSwered unto him, I have reserved to my self Seven Thousand Men, who have not bowed their knees to the image of Baal; whence the Apostle argues, Rom. 11. the being of a remnant in his day.
Secondly, The Church is to be considered, as it figo nifies a certain number of persans gathered by God's Spirit, and by the Testimony of some of his servants (raised up for that end)unto the belief of the true Principles and Doctrines of the Christian Faith; who thro' their hearts being united by the same love, and their understanding informed in the same truths, gather,
meet, and assemble together to wait upon God to Worpip him, and to bear joint Testimony, for the Truth against Error, suffering for the fame, and so becom. ing thro' this
Fellowship as one Family and Houshold in certain respects, do each of them watch over, teach, instruct and care for one another according to their several Measures and Attainments. Such were the Churches of the primitive times gathered by the ApoStles, whereof we have diverse mentioned in the Holy Scriptures. And as to the Visibility of the Church in this respect, there hath been a great interruption since the Apostles daies, by reason of the Apoftafj; as foall hereafter appear.
To be a Member then of the Catholic Church there is need of the inward calling of. God by his Light in the heart, and being leavened into the Nature and Spirit of it, so as to forsake unrighteousness and to be turned to righteousness, and in the inwardness of the mind to be cut out of the wildOlive-tree of our own first fallen Nature, and ingrafted into Christ by his Word and Spirit in the heart. And this may be done in those who are strangers to the History (God having not pleaSed to make them partakers thereof) as in the fifth and fixth Proposition hath already been proved.
To be a Member of a particular Church of Christ, as this inward work is indispensably necessary, so is also the outward profession of, and belief in Jesus Christ, and those holy Truths delivered by his Spirit in the Scriptures ; seeing the Testimony of the Spirit recorded in the Scriptures doth answer the Testimony of the same Spirit in the hearts, even as face answereth face in a Glass. Hence it follows, that the inward work of holiness and forsaking iniquity is necessary in every respect to the being a Member in the Church of Christ, andthat the outward profession is necessary to be a Member of a particular gathered Church, but not to the be
ing a Member of the Catholic Church; yet it is absolutely necessary, where God affords the opportunity of knowing it. And the ontward Testimony is to be bes lieved, where it is presented and revealed; the fum whereof harb upon other occasions been already pro • ved.
In this large passage transcribed from Mr. Barclay, and containing the Quaker Notion of e Church, there are diverse great Errors, all (or at least the principal of) which will be easily disproved, if the Reader be pleased to observe the following particulars.
First, that a wicked Man may be a Member of Christ's Church. This is plain (not to mention other proofs) from the following words of St. Paul, who faies, I wrote unto you in an Epistle not to keep company with Fornicators. Tet not altogether with the Fornicators of this World, or with the Coveteons,or Extortioners, or with Idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the World. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any Man that is called a Brother be a Fornicator, or Coveteous, or an Idolater, or a Railer, or a Drunkard, or an Extortioner; with such an ane, no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among your felves that wicked perfon, i Cor.5.9--13. From these words 'tis mani. feft, that a Man who is called a Brother, may at the fame time be a Fornicator, Coveteous, an Idolater, a Railer, 'a Drunkard, an Extortioner; and confequently he who is called a Brother, may at the fame time be a very wicked Man. Now to be called a Brother, does here signify to be a Member of the Church of Chrift. For those Fornica. tors, Coveteous persons, Idolaters, &c, which are
here faid to be called Brethren, are directly oppofed to those Fornicators, Coveteous persons, Idolaters, &c. which are of this World, that is, not
Members of the Church. Besides, the Apostle i judgeth concerning those Fornicators, Coveteous
persons, Idolaters, &c. which are called Brethren, by commanding such a particular Punishment to be inflicted on them : but he disclaims all judging concerning such Fornicators, Coveteous persons, Idolaters, &c. as are without; that is, without the Church, or no Members thereof. For, faies he, what have I to do to judge them also that are without ? And consequently those Fornicators, Coveteous persons, Idolaters, &c. whom he does judge, and who are called Brethren, are not with
that is, are not without the Church, or no Members thereof; but within, that is, within the Church, or Members thereof. Farther, the Apostles writ that Epistle to those only who were Members of the Church of Christ. For he directs it unto the Church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are fanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be Saints, with all that in every place call upon the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord, 1 Cor. 1.2. And he commands those to whom his Epistle was writ, to put away from among themselves that wicked person, who is a Fornicator, Coveteous, Idolater, &c. that is, to excommunicate him, or cut him off from the Church. And consequently, whilst he was still called a Brother, and among them, he was not cut off from, but a Member of the Church.
If it be said, that St. Paul commands them to put the wicked Person away from among themselves, thereby intimating, that the Church was to consist of holy Persons only, and consequently that a wicked Person cannot be a member thereof; I an
fwer, that the Apostle does indeed here injoin the Exercise of Discipline; but it appears from what has been said, that tho a wicked Person ought to be cut off, yet till he is' actually cut off, he is accounted as a Member of the Church by the Apostle himself.
If it be faid, that Idolatry is one of those Crimes which the Apostle here supposes the wicked Man to be guilty of, and that the Commiflion of Idolatry is inconsistent with a Man's being a Christian; I answer, that tho' Idolatry be a very crying Sin, and for that reason a Contradiction to God's Law, yet the Commission of Idolatry does not immediately make the Person who is guilty of it to be no Christian. For the Papists are Members of Christ's Church, tho’they be corrupted and Idolatrous ones. Nay, our Adversaries themselves do acknowledge this.For Mr.Barclay faies in the Paffage before recited, there may be Members therefore of this Catholic Church, both among Heathens, Turks, Jews, and all the several forts of Christians, &c. And certainly, they will confess, that the Papists are one of those forts of Christians, and that the Papists are. Idolaters. Besides, Mr. Barclay has (6) told us, that all Worship, which man fets about in bis own will, and at his own appointment, which he can both begin and end at his pleafure, do or leave undone, as himself feeth meet, whether they be a prefcri. bed form, as a Liturgy, etc. or Prajers conceived extempore by the natural strength and faculty of the Mind, they are but superstitions, will-worship, and abominable Idolatry in the right of God. And confequently all those Parties and Seas, both of Jews,
(b) Apol. prop. 11. P. 440