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A. The scriptures were given forth from the spirit of God, and they are the things of God, and the words of God, and they are not known nor understood, but by the spirit of God, for there is a spiritual understanding. Neither can they understand any of the scripture of truth which cannot be broken, but by the spirit of God within that gave them forth, which is of God of whom they were learned.
P. He saith, Christ was not a minister of the circumcision,' &c. See page 14.
A. The apostle said, they were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh;' they were circumcised with the spirit. But who was the minister of this circumcision? For the apostle saith, it was the circumcision of Christ. Col. ii. 11. And again the apostle said, “We are the circumcision, that worship God in spirit, and have no confidence in the flesh.'
P. He saith, · What man in his right wits would say a wilderness was a city,' &c. page 14.
A. When the people have transgressed the law of God, they are erred from his ways, they are become a wilderness, and bear the fruit of brambles and briars, not seeing any way to get out, till the Lord's mercy be manifested to them; which is further than the law of justice. And thou hast not seen thy wits' end yet, nor seen the wilderness in thy heart fenced, though a city; and the children of Israel were called a wilderness, in transgression, though in cities.
P. He saith, ' he can tell things to come without the spirit of God.' And that 'the Pharisees could tell by the skies what should be the weather, and what the days should bring forth, and this without the spirit of God,' &c. page 15.
A. That which gives to understand the creation, and the altering and changing of the creation, either in weather or days, is the wisdom of God; and his spirit, by which all things were made, knows these things in the truth; who counts the stars, and numbers them in their kind; who sets the sun to rule the day, and the moon to rule the night.' Now who understands these things aright, it is by the spirit of wisdom; and there may be a wilful rejecting, and a having these things in the form, yet not a knowing them in truth, and so Christ calls these hypocrites. And a man may know things by the spirit, and go
into from the spirit, and then hold them in his memory. P. He saith, Every man that cometh into the world hath not the light of Christ in him,' &c. page 16.
A. This is the true light that doth enlighten every man that cometh into the world;' and it shines in the darkness, and the darkness com
prehends it not.' Now this light reproves where it is come to; where men hate it because their deeds are evil, it is their condemnation. And so, is not that which reproves them, in them; which makes manifest the heart? and are not those that quench the spirit, the wicked ? and those that are led by the spirit, are not those the good? And are not here both good and bad? Thou art that darkness that John speaks of, that cannot comprehend the light which shines in darkness, like the Pharisees.
P. He saith, "There may be a light to convince people of sin, and yet not within them.'
A. There is no people convinced of sin, but they are convinced within themselves, and with the light within them; and it is the light that makes manifest to a man when he is convinced: it answers to something, and reaches to something in their particulars, though the words be spoken without them from the light.
P. “That every man in the world should not have his sins pardoned,' &c. page 17.
A. Christ gave himself, his body, for the life of the world;' he was the offering for the sins of the whole world, and paid the debt, and made satisfaction, and doth enlighten every man that comes into the world, that all through him might believe;' and he that doth not believe in the offering is condemned already.
P. He saith, “It is an error to say that every man hath a light within him, to teach him to worship God,' &c. page 18.
A. Every man that cometh into the world has a light from Christ Jesus the truth; being in the light which Christ Jesus the truth hath enlightened him withal, and walking in it, he shall worship God aright in the truth, and come into that the devil is out of, and worship God in the spirit. But none worship God aright but they who are in the light which Christ hath enlightened every man with that cometh into the world; for who is in the light, is in the truth, for it is truth; and all other worships out of the light are as the devil is, and there thou art, condemned with the light.
P. He saith, that the error he chargeth us with, is, to say that the light which doth enlighten every man that cometh into the world, is within every man,' &c. page 19.
A. In which he shows his ignorance of the scriptures: “I will give him for a covenant of light to the Gentiles,' a leader unto them; "and a new covenant to the house of Israel and Judah,' and this covenant was written in their hearts. And as I said before, the light shines in darkness, and the darkness comprehends it not: and where the light shines out of darkness, it shines in the heart. He that hates the light
is enlightened, and he that loves it; and it reproves the evil deeds of him that hates it.
P. He saith, “It is miserable darkness to direct people to the light within them,' &c. page 26.
A. Which was the apostle's doctrine; he was sent to turn people from the darkness to the light. And he told people, that the light that shined in their hearts would give them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus!' And Christ bade them walk in the light, and believe in it:' and they are in miserable darkness that do not.
P. He saith, ' It is a known error, to say, that a man was in hell, and in heaven,' &c. See page 21.
A. In this he shows his ignorance of scripture; for it gives testimony of men that witnessed that they had been in hell, in the nethermost hell; and witnessed again they were in heaven, and sat in heavenly places in Christ Jesus ;' and such were in heaven as are spoken of in the Revelations.
P. “It is an error to say they have perfection, and they themselves not perfect, &c. And to say they have communion with the body and blood of Christ at the Gentiles' table,' &c. page 23.
A. There are many of the servants and children of God, whose meat and drink are the body and blood of Christ, who come among the Gentiles and their tables, to witness against them; yet nevertheless they have communion with the body and blood of Christ. may witness Christ the perfection, in words, though they are not in it, as the whole world do; yet who are in Christ, are in the spirit, and are perfect. So that it is one thing to be in the thing, and another thing to have sight of the thing, and another thing to profess the thing without the sight. Yet I say, the sight that seeth Christ is perfect, and sees perfection; and the faith is perfect, whereby he cometh to the knowledge of the son of God, and to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
P. He saith, “The writings of the scriptures may be burned, but the word of God contained in them cannot be burned,' &c. page 34.
A. If he had said, the word that it speaks of, or testifies of, he had spoken properly, like scripture: but to say the word is contained in the writing, while the writing saith it testifies of Christ the word, is not to speak properly. And here is a proof to thee, that the Quakers are sent of God, who speak to thee of the scriptures rightly, as they are.
P. He saith, It is a lie, to say every man hath the light of Christ,' &c. page 44.
A. Contrary to John, who saith, “Every man that cometh into the world is enlightened.' And as many as receiveth him, to them he
gives power to become the sons of God? And he that believes in the light, shall not abide in darkness, but shall have the light of life,' and so it is sufficient. And he that doth not believe, is condemned already;' and he hath it to believe in, or to condemn him.
P. He saith, “Thousands stumble because they have no light in them,' &c. page 44.
A. They are such as hate it, and do not receive it which hath enlightened them, and not walking in it, it is their condemnation; and it shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehends it not: and so they are in darkness, and here is the unregenerate state.
P. He saith, The Pharisees were far enough from having the kingdom of heaven within,' &c. page 45.
A. Contrary to Christ's words, who said, it was within them.
P. He saith, “It is a notion to say, the light of Christ is in every one,' &c. page 47.
A. Which is contrary to John's doctrine. It is not a strange thing to the saints for these priests and teachers to question the light that doth enlighten every man that cometh into the world; for the Jews, priests, and Levites stumbled at it in the days of John, and it set them all in an uproar as it does you; and they examined and questioned John, and he said, This is the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, that all men through him might believe.'
P. He saith, “None were ever baptized into the name of the Father, son, and holy ghost, that were not baptized with water,' &c. See
A. Where was Matthew, or Mark, or Luke, or John baptized? and many more whom the apostle said, he thanked God he had not baptized, &c. although he had begotten many? Baptizing is making disciples to the Lord Jesus, and baptizing them into his name, that is, his power. And he told the saints they were baptized with one spirit, into one body, and said that he thanked God he had baptized but a few: (viz. with water.] But he told of the spirit's baptism, and brought the saints off from things that were seen; and water is seen and its baptism. And as for all thy rabble from thy contentious spirit, and thy railings, and unsavoury expressions, they will turn home upon thyself; and thy own words will be thy burthen; and the witness in thy conscience will answer in the day of thy judgment.
Francis Harris' book, called ' Queries to the Quakers,' Loc.
P. Thou sayst, Do not these people that pretend to the light, stumble at noon day as in the night, and there is no gospel light, we mean of the revealed and written gospel light, in them ? &c. See
A. The gospel light is that which doth enlighten every man that cometh into the world: and they who hate it neglect the gospel light, and receive not the power from God which is the gospel; for the gospel light is Christ Jesus, that doth enlighten every man that cometh into the world. And they that walk in this light stumble not; they stumble that are out of the light, which light is the way to the Father. And many may have the written words, yet be out of the gospel light, and the power of God which is the gospel, (as Rom. i.) which brings people where the sheep lie down at noon day.
P. He saith, What did Christ mean when he bid people search the scriptures, or Peter when he called the scriptures the sure word of prophecy, the light shining in the dark place? And yet scripture without is a dead letter,' &c. See page 12.
A. And yet they call it the light, and the word, which is a dead letter.' Christ bids the professors of scripture to search it, that thought to have had life in it, not that they should find life in it, but that they should search it, and see how it testified of him who was the life; that was his end. And those that were come to Christ the life, were come to him the scriptures testified of, as John i.: We have found him of whom Moses and the prophets wrote.' And those were they that were come from John; the others were they that stuck in John, and came not to the life, but went to the scriptures to have had life in the scriptures, and came not to him the scriptures testified of, but persecuted him. And Peter means as he speaks; he tells them of the sure word of prophecy,' and bids them take heed to it, “as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in their hearts.' He doth not say, this is the scriptures without;' which thou sayst, are a dead letter. How can that which is dead, shine?
P. He saith, “Doth not this draw people to gross idolatry; to bid people take heed to the light in you, which you call the pure 'light of God; not the light of nature? And whether you do not delude people, by saying there is a pure light of God and Christ in every man and woman by nature,' &c. See page 14. 17.
A. The light which enlightens every man, &c. leads from all idolatry: for all that are out of the light, that enlightens every man that comes