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immediate, and so they were ministers of the spirit. And all elders made by the mediate, are carnal, earthly, and their weapons are earthly, and their rule which they oversee with is earthly. Therefore hath your church broken into so many pieces, and they divide (and cannot hold together) like earth, because ye are not in an immediate spirit. And so we do sce it is so since the days of the apostles; neither your elders nor your teachers are called immediately, but only have the sheep's clothing, ravened from the spirit of God. And so are the wolves, tearing one another to pieces about the letter, and your apprehensions of it. And Timothy, many of you say had not an immediate call, and yet thou sayst, he had the gift of God. Doth not that which God gives to men, bring to do his will? And that which is given from God to man, is not that immediate, and perfect? And we do believe you, ye do not witness that ye are of his flesh and of his bone,' ye
have not eaten his flesh, nor drunk his blood: therefore do you say the scriptures are the fountain of life, and have been these hundreds of years; which scriptures the Pharisees had in their age, and had not life. Ye have had the scriptures, which ye call the well and fountain of life,' many hundreds of years; yet though you and the Pharisees have all scriptures, except ye do eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you,' neither you nor the Pharisees; which flesh is our food, and blood is our drink. But we do believe you, that these many hundreds of years ye have not eaten his flesh, nor drunk his blood: and so are not of his flesh, nor of his bone;' therefore cry ye so much against immediate, and infallibility.
P. He saith, “The holiest man that is, is not able to give an infallible character of another man,' page 49. "We do grant, that our ministers came from antichrist, and passed through him.' And he chargeth people "for leaving their callings,' and says, that the Quakers are like to them that flee from the wrath to come.'
A. We do believe that your ministers came from antichrist, and through antichrist, for he was the channel; but the Quakers are neither of you, nor of antichrist, nor of the pope: but they are of the apostles' stock, and of Abraham, and of Christ, before the pope was, antichrist was, or you were, and so with the spirit of God and the apostles you are fathomed. And the Quakers do witness they are made free from the wrath to come, which the Pharisees that fled to John did not. And there thy measure is too short; all may see it that are in the light, and thy ignorance of the scriptures thou hast discovered and shown. And thou sayst, that the holiest man is not able to give an infallible character of another man: hast not thou in this discovered thyself to be no minister of Christ or of the spirit? If thou canst not give an infallible character of another man, how canst thou minister to his condition?
how canst thou see where he is? how canst thou see them that be turned from the darkness, and that be in the darkness? and distinguish the one from the other, and a holy man, from an unholy man, that canst not give an infallible character of any
man's state? How canst thou know when men are in the spirit; and that they are epistles written in one another's hearts, not with paper and ink, but with the spirit of the living God? Oh! a divider of the word aright hath been wanting among you dark ones! Thou mayst say right enough, your ministers came from antichrist, and through antichrist. And did not the saints leave their callings?
P. He saith, It is a fancy to witness the righteousness of Christ within us,' page 61. And to maintain persecution, he brings Ahab's slaying the false prophets,' and for the laying on of hands, he brings • the practice of the apostles.' And to stop the liberty of conscience, he saith, Must Saul be permitted to do what he will against Jesus of Nazareth?'
A. False prophets are enemies, yet they are not to slay them. The apostles did not wrestle against flesh and blood with the false prophets, as you ministers do now; though Saul did, before he was Paul, and showed himself of your nature, unconverted. And whoever are not in that state to witness Christ in them manifest in their flesh, and there condemning sin in the flesh, that they may through him become the righteousness of God, are in their fancies; and Christ destroys the ground of all fancy, and brings to see where there is no shadow nor changing, and brings their conscience into liberty, and washeth and sprinkleth it, where the mystery of faith is held in it. And your laying on of hands, (since the apostacy from the apostles,) is not as the apostles, who have not an infallible spirit, nor are infallible, nor called immediately, as they were; none of those you lay your hands on can receive the holy ghost, when you yourselves are not in the immediate spirit, nor infallible, nor called immediately. So you all being in the apostacy from the apostles' hands and calling, your folly is made manifest, the light hath discovered you, at which ye are stumbling; and every one is wrestling against the Lamb and the saints, that is wrestling against the light: and such are antichrists, that shall be slain with the sword, the words of his mouth: and the Lamb and the saints shall have the victory.
P. He saith, “Human learning helps to understand heavenly things,' page 70. Again, Christ enlightens men no more ways but one, to wit, by a natural light,' page 71. And the righteousness within is not that which justifies, and we are not freely justified, and saved, and redeemed (that is) through that redemption and righteousness that
is within us,' pages 74, 75. He saith,. We are justified freely, but not by the grace wrought in us.'
A. By grace ye are saved, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;' and this is manifested in the heart, before it be known and possessed. And every one that knows justification, redemption, righteousness, and salvation, these are all known within us, else people are in the first Adam, driven from God, not come to the second Adam, not knowing salvation in the ground, justification in the ground, redemption in the ground. If Christ, the righteousness of God, redemption, justification, and salvation, be not felt within people, and found within, they are reprobates. And the reprobates may talk of it without; but where that is, there is salvation, righteousness, redemption, justification, &c. And Christ doth enlighten every man that cometh into the world, him by whom the world was made, before it was made; which light people are to believe in, which is not natural : which gives to see over nature, before natural was. For the natural lights are the sun, moon, and stars, which may be seen with a visible eye: but Christ the light, the covenant of light to Jews and Gentiles, the salvation to the ends of the earth, doth enlighten every one that cometh into the world, that all men through him might believe. Here God is no respecter of persons; he that believeth in the light, shall be saved, and he that doth not, is condemned. And he comes to be a child of light, who believes in the light: and now shall the world be reproved for not believing in the light. And human learning is that which is earthly and natural; that doth not open the heavenly: that which reveals the things of God, is the spirit of God, beyond all the world's wisdom. For that you call human learning, and human soul, and human body, is earthly, not heavenly, nor understands them. The earth is below, so they that are below measure by the earthly wisdom, but they that are from above speak of the things above, and so that which gives to understand the heavenly things, is the spirit of God, and the spiritual wisdom, which is not of man, nor from man; for saith the apostle, Neither knows any man the things of God, but the spirit of God.'
P. And the righteousness of Christ by which we are justified (he saith) is not within us.' Again, 'The Lord will pour out his spirit upon all flesh; but that is not meant that all should have the spirit, for some have not the spirit, as in Jude. Page 79. He saith, "he desires God to lighten with a better light than that which lightens every man, &c. and to lead them out of these gross delusions.' See page so.
A. You that are not justified by that Christ that suffered without, manifested within you, shall never know justification; if the justification be not within, you are reprobates. And the Lord hath fulfilled his promise, by pouring out his spirit upon all flesh, sons and daugh
ters, handmaids and old men, though they quench it. And that in Jude proves they had the spirit, who went in Balaam's, Cores', and Cain's way, but had erred from it; where you are, in the sensual state, in the sects, and not seeing the fulfilment of the promise of the Father, that he would pour out of the spirit upon all flesh. Apostatized from the life the apostles were in, and the prophets, you manifest yourselves to the whole world. And so you own not the light, Christ Jesus, that God sent into the world, and gave his only begotten son into the world, which doth enlighten every man that cometh into the world, that all through him might believe; but thou that desirest better light of God than he, (to wit, Christ,) showest thy tempting, and blasphemy. For there is no other way to the Father but by Christ the light of the world, that doth enlighten every one, &c. and he that doth not believe in that light is condemned.
P. He saith, And Christ doth enlighten every man that cometh into the world, that is meant the church.' See postscript. "Paul and Peter were instructed by immediate Revelation, which we are not so presumptuous as to expect.' And saith, "Reproaches are cast upon the ministers, because they are not infallible, and preach not by immediate inspiration as the apostles did.' Postscript.
A. You that do not instruct and preach by the same immediate infallible spirit the prophets and apostles were in, are all in an usurped authority, out of the spirit, have run, and were not sent from God: for whom God sends, he sends immediately; and whom he teacheth, he teacheth immediately, and they know his infallible spirit. And none know the scriptures of truth but who are in the infallible spirit, and immediate, which the prophets and apostles were in, from which you are gone forth, and it is presumption in you to teach without it. And so neither you nor the pope are reproached, that are the false prophets and antichrists that Christ said should come, and the apostle John saw were come, that inwardly ravened, and have gotten the sheep's clothing,
have the form but deny the power.' You who deny infallibility, and the immediate call, and the immediate ministry, have denied the power of God, and so keep people always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth,' in the usurped authority which the apostles stopped and rebuked before their decease. And so you do not see the light that doth enlighten every man that cometh into the world.' Christ saith, “I am the light of the world,' not of saints only. And saith the prophet, I will give him for a covenant to the Gentiles,' not a new covenant to the house of Israel only; and there he was prophesied of before John came, the greatest prophet who was born of a woman, who said, “This is the true light that doth enlighten every man,' &c. And when Christ was come he said he was the light of the world: and who
soever did believe in him should not abide in darkness, but should have the light of life. And so, since ye ravened from the spirit of God, and have only had the sheep's clothing, ye have brought people into heaps and sects: and they that are not in that which is infallible, are they that reproach; for they are in the reproachful spirit, but the spirit of God never did reproach, which was immediate and infallible, which the prophets, Christ, and the apostles were in, which always judged the reproachers who were strayed from the infallible spirit.
P. And thou sayst, To the law, and to the testimony,' and that he gave some apostles for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body, till all come into the unity of the faith, to the knowledge of the son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature and fulness of Christ.'
A. Thou, and you all that have denied infallibility, and immediate inspiration and teaching, have shut yourselves out of the law and testimony, and the work of the ministry, which is for the perfecting of the body,' and bringing them to the unity of the faith, to the knowledge of the son of God,' &c. For the law is light;' that is infallible and immediate. “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy;' that is infallible and immediate. And ye may have the Old and New Testament, and say that is the law and testimony; but the law and testimony was before Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the Acts, the Epistlcs, and the Revelations were written, even in the days of Isaiah: see Isa. viii. chap. And that which persects the saints is infallible; that gift which was given to the ministry is infallible and immediate; that which edifies the body of Christ is infallible and immediate ; that which brings to the knowledge of the son of God,' is infallible, perfect, and immediate; that which brings to 'a perfect man, to the unity of faith,' is infallible and immediate, and perfect; that which brings to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ,' is perfect, and infallible, and immediate. And the infallible and immediate you having denied, ye have shut yourselves out of the work of the ministry, in the apostacy.
As for the rest of the lies and slanders in thy book, they will be thy own burden, who utterest forth thy own folly, and they touch not the saints, but fall off like dust; they are of no weight. And the day is come that tries men's works infallibly, what is for the fire, and what not.