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law of nature and nations would speak loud in this point, because of the particular miscarriages in human societies. Therefore, says the Lord, mine oaths ye despised, and my covenant ye have broken. It would be a great dishonour 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.'
A. Let the law, as ye call it, of nature and nations, who establish themselves by sin and transgression in the earthly human societies, cry never 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 “swear not at all’ Christ says, and his apostle. And there is a great outcry for oaths, but here is a cry from the Lord Christ, which says, "Swear not 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 bid them "swear not at all,' and took away the first covenant, that he might establish the second. And as the Jews brake 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 that are teaching men to swear, despise his covenant, his son, the everlasting covenant, that 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 hath so much, when he hath not half so much, as the writs and indictments, and all their bad stuff declare. And so you that swear do 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, "Swear not at all.'
And the governors that are established by oaths are out of the doctrine of Christ, that establish themselves by that which 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, have only his name, but are dead to the life.
Now Christ, that takes away oaths, and showed the danger of those that went into oaths, more than yea and nay in all their communications, bid them 'swear not at all, and that they went into the evil that did, he established a way; 'by two or three witnesses every word is established.' So they that would have any more than yea and nay, may take the order of Christ, mind the order of Christ, two or three witnesses,' that ye may establish every word. . And this is a way for all tradesmen, and magistrates, and all whatsoever, that they may follow VOL. III.
and practise the commands of Christ, yea and nay in all their communications, and if they will have any more, 'two or three witnesses, that every word may be established.' And such are the true christians, the true brethren, that abide in the doctrine of Christ, they are not transgressors, but have the son and the Father, which the others have not; and that is a practice for all true christians, cities, countries, and magistrates upon the earth.
P. Thou sayst, • Those that be engaged take oaths, and they must be circumspect in taking of it,' and this is the word thou adds: And you, my lord mayor and sheriffs, under the bond of an oath shall execute your office.'
A. The command of Christ and the doctrine of the apostles, engage men not 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 should come, John saw were come, which went forth from the apostles, and since the world is 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 are become common in your streets, courts, and houses: swearing, forswearing, and profane swearing, and that which is out of the command of Christ is profane; for they bewitch people, that draw people from the command of God. The apostle instances circumcision which Christ ended; and what are they that draw people to those things which Christ forbids, but such as would not have him to reign, but antichrists, which have been from the apostles. And so you and the Papists are one here, doing what you do by an oath; and the apostlc (whom you are apostatized from,) saith, `Above all things, swear not at all, neither by heaven, nor by earth, nor by any other oath;' mark, this was to the brethren, true christians, true believers, such as obeyed Christ's doctrine; for he tells them the danger, lest ye fall into condemnation.' 'Let all your communications be yea, yea, and nay, nay; whatsoever is more, is evil:' Not by heaven, nor by earth, nor by any other oath.' Now true, and false, and profane, and all swearing whatsoever, was comprehended in these words, not by any;' but keep to 'yea and nay in all your communications. Now ell the apostle he doth not mean as he speaks, give him the lie, pervert his words, and Christ's words, 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, that 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 they that break the oath, break the covenant, the truc oath ; so they that 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 them that 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, that are come to yea and nay 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 yea and
in all their communications, lest they come into condemnation. So you that teach men to swear have brought them into cvil, and under condemnation, and a great outcry you have raised to break the commands of Chris Ye
teach them to swear any oath whatsoever, cast behind your backs the commands of Christ, and doctrine of the apostles: and the apostle, that bid the saints kcep to yea and nay in all their communications, and “swear not at all,' said, if ye will have any more, take two or three witnesses.
And for all thy other confusion, and thy perverting and wresting of scriptures, to bring people into the condemnation and evil of swearing, is not worthy the mentioning, and will but come upon thyself in the day of thy condemnation and judgment; thou and all upon the carth that are departed from the apostles shall witness how ye that 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 ye have time prize it.
Samuel Hummond, in his book, called The Quakers' house built
on the Sands. A very fit tille for himself and the rest of his priests. These are some of his principles.
P. “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 make not a distinction between the righteousness imputed, upon 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.'
A. Inherent righteousness is a word of thy own and the l'apists'
inventing, and thou art a man that canst not distinguish between the workings of Christ and the workings of satan. For the light which every one that cometh 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 that believes hath the witness in himself, and feels it there, and the blood of Christ is felt within, justifying and cleansing the conscience from dead works. And 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 which Christ hath enlightened every man that cometh into the world withal; and this light is that which confounds all thy attainments, for Christ's righteousness; and his blood and spirit are all one, which justifies and sanctifies.
P. • 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 favour 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 hath.'
A. None come to the perfection, out of the delusion, but they 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. That which was wrought without is within in the soul, for Christ in you,' &c. 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. And thou who art so full of thy delusions, art out of this, and thou always hast been in the dreams, and never wilt know perfection, till thou come to the light within. And God's work in the soul leads to the end of the covenant of works, who works all in us, and for us,' as says the apostle; 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 thou art in the delusion and the Papists' doctrine, that knows not this within, but calls it the covenant of works: dost not thou tread in their steps, and hast 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 exerciseth the conscience towards God and towards man in them that love it; but they that hate it, are not converted, but live in the many ways out of the one way to God; for he that is the covenant of light is the covenant of grace. And thus thou art blinding people with many things.
P. The owning not 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 fulness 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: a dangerous principle is that of perfection by improvement of the light within.'
A. The imputation to a believer is owned, and this imputation is within; for he that believes is born of God, and hath 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, ye are now nearer than when ye believed ; and again he says, Christ is in you, and God will dwell in you, and walk in you.' So such as 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 thy bad words, (Hammond,) and thy 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 doth enlighten every man that cometh 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 thou that knowest not this within, and feelcst it not, thy lips are polluted, and thou art in the damnable doctrine, and the light that shines in the darkness, thou canst not comprehend. And indeed, thou art too proud, high, and lofty, and must be brought down; the Lord God will abase thee. And no man comes into the image of God, and is renewed, and hath reconciliation with God, but who comes to the light which Christ the word hath enlightened him withal, and that is within, and they that believe in it have the witness in themselves, and they that do not, the light condemns them. And the light that every man