Sivut kuvina

for ever.

holy men spoke scripture from; that was what made them overseers, and that was not mediate but immediate, that did oversee in the church of God. And we do believe that you elders, and members, and those called ministers, are all mediate, and your order and gospel since the days of the apostles; who are such as Christ said should come, inwardly ravening forth from the spirit of God, and have got sheep's clothing; since the days of the apostles people have walked after you, and you have deceived the world and nations, But we see, that the false ministers, the worshippers of the beast, antichrist, and the deceivers, among whom is the devil to deceive, are now taken, with the false prophet, the beast, and the mother of harlots, and confounded and cast into the lake of fire, and the Lamb and the saints shall have the victory. And the gospel is immediate, and he is cursed that preacheth another; the word, I say, is immediate, it lives, abides, and endures

And the ministers that are in the spirit are immediate, and these are furnished with the mysteries of the gospel, and their calling' is immediate. And the overseers of the church which the holy ghost makes, are immediate; and all that are in the life that gave forth scripture, and none know the scriptures but by it,) are immediate; that which doth convince of sin is immediate. But now your call is mediate, your ministry, your overseers, knowledge, word, gospel, people, and church are mediate. We do believe you, all this is so amongst you since the days of the apostacy from the apostles' doctrine, power, life, and spirit, with which ye are judged, and who are in the life they are in that which gave forth scriptures, which you are ravened from, and are not like to talk of immediate.

P. • The scripture is the word and the rule.'

A. The scriptures are the words of God, and Christ is the word in whom they end; and the word of God is the end which fulfils all scriptures, which came to the prophets, which the apostles preached, by which they discerned and spoke forth the words, and saw the fulfilling of the words; and the scriptures of truth cannot be broken, but are fulfilled by Christ the word. And the spirit is the rule that gave forth scriptures, and that led the saints into all truth.

P. Thomas Castel went naked in the streets of Kendal, and Thomas Holmes of Kirkby Steven.'

A. This hath been a figure of your nakedness, who are Egypt spiritual, and the Ethiopian black. And the prophet Isaiah did not put off all his clothes,' say they, contrary to the prophet's words. He was to go among all the transgressors in Ethiopia and Egypt, a figure of their nakedness. So, since the days of the apostles and the apostacy, ye have gone from the spirit of God, and inwardly ravening from that, ye have wanted the clothing with the spirit, ye have had only the out

side, the sheep's clothing, but have been naked of the life; therefore the Lord hath moved his servants to give a true sign amongst you, and not a lying one; who have their clothing of the spirit, which ye want; and ye shall witness the truth of the Lord God in the sign, if ever ye come into the true clothing of the spirit of God.

P. “And ye say Christ did not mean as he spake, when he said, Be not ye called of men masters.'

A. Which shows they are none of his ministers who trample upon his commandments, and teach people that it is lawful to break them, pleading the lawfulness of their being called of men masters. So as for their being called of men masters, standing praying in the synagogues, their long robes, salutations, their tithes, and their pulpits, these are the works of the perfect Pharisees; all people may look upon their fruits, their works, and practices, and see the very image, and that they have their very garments and places, according to their condition, fruits, and works. And as for all the rest of their hard speeches, lies, slanders, vilifying and railing words which they have poisoned people with, they will be their own burthen, and fall heavy upon them, and turn upon their own heads. Their way is compassed, their bounds are set, and their limits, and in this the day of their account, every one shall feel his words to be his burthen. And their patience had been better then to have uttered forth their folly, and published it to the nation. But the day is come that tries every man's work; and a witness is rising in people, the day-star is risen, the morning is broke, the sun is rising, that people may not make lies their refuge, neither feed upon them, nor upon any thing, but what comes from God, the living bread that comes from God above; which who eats of, lives for ever. Many have their bread and their water, that hunger no more, and thirst

no more.

« The Worcestershire petition to the parliament,' which is said to

be signed by six thousand.

P. “He hath made a law commanding all people to whom we preach the gospel to allow us a sufficient maintenance, that we may not be hindered from or in his work.'

A. The scriptures and the apostles do not speak of any such thing as that Christ made a law for them, commanding all the world to whom they preached to allow them a sufficient maintenance, that they might not be hindered from or in their work. What! will maintenance hinder them if they have it not ? was it not the command of Christ to give

freely as they from him had received freely? And then if any set mest before them they might eat. But if a law commanding all the world to give a sufficient maintenance and allowance to the apostles and disciples had been first, they might have been sure of maintenance, and this had been the way to have clogged the people's minds, and have brought them into trouble; whereas the gospel was always glad tidings But if the apostles had not preached to the world, without this law which ye speak of, commanding all the world to give them suficient maintenance, what a condition would all people have been in. Bu: they that had received freely, were to give freely. So you have manifested your spirits, to be the deceivers of the people for means. That ever six thousand people should say he made a law commanding all the world to whom they preach the gospel to allow them sufficient maintenance! when Christ saith, they (the disciples) were to preach as they went; and they were to preach if they did not receive them; and they were to go into all nations. Yet the apostles did not plead a law where they came, that they were all to maintain them; no, they were in fasting often, and would not use their power to eat among many people; though they had power, yet they would not use it. And so the maintenance did not hinder the apostles from their work, for they preached often in fastings, and sometimes their own friends communicated to them when they were up and down among the heathen i other nations preaching. The apostles did not plead a law to the na tions whom they preached to; and thus they brought glad tidings keeping the gospel from charge. Are not you six thousand men ashamed to petition for a maintenance for your ministers, that you should publish in a petition your nakedness to a supreme power of a nation, that you are not able to maintain your ministry! that the churches are not able to maintain their ministers! Doth not this show your beggarliness, and that you are of the seed that is begging bread? when the scriptures saith, “The righteous are not forsaken, nor their seed begging bread.' And in this have you not shamed your ministers, that they have no better vineyards, ploughs, and flails? Did ere the apostles or their hearers, when they came into a nation, petition ! the powers of the earth for means?

P. And ye say, 'Where any man will not do justly, and pay labourer the wages he owes him, the magistrate must see justice dost or else I know not what he hath to do.'

A. The apostles, ambassadors, and messengers of the Lord Jesci Christ, who were to go to all nations to preach the gospel, had not alım at the magistrates' hands to give them wages, did not hale their hearts before them to give them wages, or put up petitions before every $upreme of the nation before whom they came; this was not the work o

the apostles, messengers, and disciples, who were to go into all nations to preach the gospel. When they had preached the gospel to the nation, they did not petition to the supreme powers of the nation, powers, or principalities, or kings, for maintenance from their hearers, as you do now.

Oh! this stinks, and shows it is out of the power which the apostles, disciples, and messengers of the Lord Jesus Christ were in.

For they would have made their gospel to have stunk, if they had come into all nations to preach the gospel, and then after they had preached it, if their hearers would not have given them maintenance, to have petitioned to the supreme authority of the nation, and have haled their hearers into courts, to assizes, sessions, and benches. Would this have been glad tidings to the nations, or trouble to the nations? They would have been but deceivers, and pretenders of glad tidings, and bringers of trouble to the nation, and seekers of themselves, and for themselves. And this would not have been to do the work which the Lord Jesus Christ sent them about. They would not have been preachers of the gospel that live of the gospel,' such as might use their power and would not. And the power of God is the same now as ever it was, and it tries all the spirits that are gone out into the world, which have apostatized since the days of the apostles, out of the apostles' power; and now with the power the apostles were in, are they comprehended, which are gone out of the power which the apostles were in.

P. And ye speak of Jonas' temptation, and yet of your comfort in

your studies.”

A. The power that Jonas was in, ye are far from, or those that are to !ivide the word aright, but are swallowed up in the great temptation of he world, pride and covetousness, in that are ye drowned, and in ard heartedness, as the jails in the nation witness. Such as cannot live you maintenance, and such as are moved of the Lord God to come ind speak to you, are cast by you into jail, which shows that you are 1 another power than the apostle was in, who said, 'Quench not the irit;' and than the prophet was in, who said, Limit not the Holy

ne;' and denying prophecy. So now your power and authority to our ministry with the spirit of the Lord God are fathomed, and you

be out of the spirit the apostles were in, and to be spirits that are one out into the world, and into the earth and fall; and so you usurp le authority, and usurp the ministry in usurping the authority, as

ourselves may see. Read the scripture of the prophets and apostles, id there read the fruits of your ministry and actions; try them by plain ripture.

P. “Ye say that the ministry hath no power to put you out of the neyard, but to persuade others to do it.'

A. Are the ministry in the vineyard of God, and have they no power, have they no authority there in the vineyard? Are the mgistrates then to put them into the vineyard, and to take them out: All those that are labourers in the vineyard must persuade to put into the vineyard. Do not you in this show your ignorance of the apostles' doctrine, and of their work, who rebuked, stopped the mouths of gainsayers, had power to silence, had power to try spirits, had power to judge, had power to defend ? Now have you not in this (if you be ministers) dishonoured your power and authority; and have shown that you are out of the power, and are those that cry to the mountains, “fall on us, and hide us from the glorious presence of the Lord,' which is arising to shake terribly the earth.

P. So if the ministers' maintenance be taken away, there is little likelihood of a ministry long.'

A. It seems the maintenance hath been that which hath caused them to preach, and held them up, so take away their maintenance, down falls their ministry. But I say the power will stand, and the administration of the spirit, and the hearing of Christ, and the teaching of God, if men take away all their maintenance, and cast them into prison for speaking. But this holding up of ministers by maintenance is that which came up before the apostles' decease, among those who taught for filthy lucre's sake, and through covetousness made merchandise ci the people; through the love of money they erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many hurtful lusts, and admired mea's persons because of advantage, and taught for gifts and rewards: these were come up before the apostles' decease. Now these teachers who admired men's persons, taught for filthy lucre, the love of money, and covetousness, the apostle saw before his decease, after whom the world hath since run. Take away their money and their lucre, and their gifts, and see how long these will preach. Now have you showed your root, your offspring is found out. Now, the apostles preached, and were ministers that stood, who judged the root from whence se are sprung, for your root was come up before the apostles' deceas. But now ye cry, if maintenance be taken away, there is no likelihood the ministry will stand long. And we say so too, we know that take away your maintenance, and down falls the preacher. Therefore, with petitions are you troubling the courts and magistrates for your lifelihood, but if ye were true ministers ye would be in the work, in the vineyard of God, and would be ashamed of such things, and with the power of God cover your nakedness, and not be beggars, and petition for outward things; ye dishonour the power of the Lord God, and cause his name to be blasphemed among the heathen. And so, for shame! let your mouths be stopped for ever, for saying ye are ministers.

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