« EdellinenJatka »
P. "Hath every man a light sufficient to bring him to God, when none come to God but by Christ? If there be a light sufficient within for the enjoyment of life, for direction to the Father the fountain of life. The holy ghost saith, “ Ye shall teach no more every man his neighbour,” “ye need not that any man teach you.” He doth not speak absolutely and strictly.'
A. To Jews and Gentiles who witness the new covenant of God promised, the law in their hearts, it is absolute; they need not say to one another, Know the Lord,' in the covenant of life and peace with God, in him by whom the world was made before it was made. But they that have these words in a form, are they that set to themselves heaps of teachers. And the apostles in their teachings to all nations were ambassadors of this covenant, declaring the substance, to the bringing people off from all teachers, that they needed not be taught by any man to know the Lord. And the light, Christ, which doth enlighten every man that comes into the world,' is sufficient to guide to eternal life, and he that believeth in it shall not abide in darkness, but shall have the light [of life, and shall come out of condemnation; and he that hates it abides in darkness, and knows not whither he goes. And it is sufficient to let every man see his salvation. For . I will give him, for a covenant of light,' said God, he shall be my salvation to the ends of the earth,' the covenant of light, “ that doth enlighten every man that cometh into the world.'
P. “What Christ, and the apostles say, “Swear not at all, neither by heaven, nor earth, nor any other oath," they did not mean a they spoke, but that men should swear; and they did not speak against all swearing. And the Quakers may blush, for it is as if God should not speak as he meant by Moses in the law.'
A. Christ and the apostles meant as they spoke; to what state and condition they spoke, the words were truth to that state, if it was by parables, or patterns, or figures. Now Christ being the end of oaths and types, saith, “Swear not at all,' who is the covenant of God, the end of the prophets, of Abraham, of David, of Solomon, of Jacob, o: Joseph, of oaths and swearing. And angels must bow to him, who saith, 'swear not at all.' And the apostles preached this covenant this oath of God, Christ Jesus ; and the apostle that was in the doctrine of Christ, bid them, . Above all things, my brethren, swear not at all, but in all your communication let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay, for whatsoever is more cometh of evil.' And they spoke as they meant; for they came into condemnation that broke the doctrine of Christ. Now apostates, and hypocrites, and false brethren may swear, that are out of the light, the covenant of God, that have the form of
godliness, and deny the power; and such are antichrists, against his doctrine, and wrest the scriptures to their own destruction, and say, that Christ, and God, and the apostles, did not mean as they spoke. But God did mean as he spoke, when he spake to Abraham. And Christ meant as he spoke, when he said swear not at all.' And the
apostle meant as he spoke, my brethren, above all things, swear not į at all.'
P. "We are ministers under the new covenant, and have the allowance of the gospel, and the tithes only being designed unto us, we may with a good conscience take them. And the tithes are not in themselves ceremonial. Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedeck. If there be not a maintenance settled out to the ministry, we know we cannot subsist to do service to their souls without a worldly support, a sufficient maintenance. They call us greedy dogs, because nursing fathers and mothers have provided for our nourishment a maintenance for us. To work or to beg are two straits, whereof the world might be asham- , ed, but especially the saints.'
A. The world would not be ashamed, nor the saints, to see you work, who have taken the people's bread for whom you do no work ; and the saints do witness against you. The prophets, Christ, and the apostles, declare such to be greedy dogs, that can never have enough. And Christ came to put an end to tithes before the law, to tithes in the law, to a priesthood made by the law, which had a command to take tithes, whose is a priesthood for ever after the order of Melchisedeck, who was the similitude and likeness, and not after the order of Aaron,) who continues a priest for ever. And so when the first priesthood was ended, tithes and all ended, and the command that gave them, and the priesthood. Christ reigns over the house of Jacob, who was before Abraham was, and Melchisedeck that Abraham paid tithes to, the similitude and likeness, which Christ is the end of. Here is the rock, and the substance. This is my beloved son, hear him,' (saith God, who was in the bosom of the Father. So they that know him, come to preach the gospel, and live of the gospel; who breaks down the earthly part, and opens the hearts of people; who breaks down the earthly part, and reaches to the seed. And as for your nursing fathers and mothers, such as give you maintenance, else you could not continue your ministry without a worldly support, that is it which hath held you up long, and who are fain to fly to the old worship, among whom the tenths were paid, and so are roving up and down in sheep's clothing for your own ends to get maintenance; and if that falls, your ministry falls. And your nursing father and mother was the pope, the pope was the author that set forth
your tenths at the first, since the apostacy from the apostles, and since the apostles' doctrine hath been lost. Therefore that life the apostles were in, are people now come to, by which ye are seen and comprehended. And a worldly support is not that which holds up the ministry, but Christ, who is with them to the end of the world;' and they that preach his gospel, live of it, and they are far above shaming the saints or the world either, for maintenance. But ye have both shamed yourselves, and the saints are ashamed of you, and many of the world and your own hearers are ashamed of you, and will not justify your practices. And so ye have showed your consciences who take the tenths, that you are not exercised with the light, neither are in the mystery of the faith, which gives to see the end of all changeable things. And are not you begging with your petitions for more maintenance? with your petitions flying up and down for glebelands and augmentations, to the powers of the earth ? and sending for writs, summoning up to the courts people that you do no work for? and this hath been the end of
P, Hc that scorns to make use of the labours of men for his improvement in the things of God, shows himself proud. If there be occasion to make use of human authors, which we offer to our hearers.'
A. Human authors are from the earth, from the fallible nature; to mix and mingle that with that which is received from God, shows that he hath not discerning, and makes that not sufficient which he hath received from God; and this is contrary to the apostles. What the saints of the Lord had delivered, they did not mix it with men's enticing words of wisdom, neither did they speak it in the words which man's wisdom taught, but which the holy ghost did teach them. Therefore, this is to teach from men's labours or human authors; for men's labours, and the human authors' inventions come out of that nature which prisons the seed of God. And so that is not agreeable to that which is received from God; but every one's words there shall be his burthen: and so human authors are not to be mixed with the word of God, for the word is pure, and nothing is to be added to, or taken from it; he that doth shall be proved a liar; and the higher power is not human nor infallible.
P. · Paul and Peter were instructed by an immediate revelation, which we are not so presumptuous as to expect, or to make the apostles
' condition our condition. Human learning will not acquaint us with the mind of God, yet being sanctified, it is a great assistance to that end.'
A. Are not ye in the presumption, and do ye not usurp authority, to preach or to teach, that have not immediate revelation as the apos tles had, but have got their words and are out of their power? Are
not all who are not in the power of the words of the apostles, such as are to be turned away from, by the command of the apostle? And are not all who are in the power of God, and the life that the prophets, Christ, and the apostles were in, in the immediate revelation of God? Can any know the scriptures, or the truth given forth from the spirit of truth, learned of God the Father of truth, but by the immediate revelation of the spirit of God, which reveals the things of God? And thou speakest of study and prayer; can any divide the word aright, or pray aright, but in the spirit? and where that is, is not there immediate revelation from God? And this thou calls presumption, to be in the revelation that the apostles were in; but it is presumption to meddle with their words, and not to be in the condition they were in; that is presumption, and to usurp authority. And so ye are those that are got up since the days of the apostles, ravening inwardly from the spirit of God that they were in, and have sheep's clothing, who Christ said should come, and John saw were come, and went forth from them. And since the days of the apostles, the world have gone after you, all but those who have their names written in the book of life before the foundation of the world, and keep Jesus' testimony. And human learning doth not help in the way and things of God, as it is in itself, but as the spirit doth open through all things, and beyond all things, and comprehends all languages, and sees before languages were; that is it that ministers to the spirits in prison, and that is not called human learning, which sees over languages and beyond languages, and comes to have power over tongues, languages, and speeches, and sees before they were.
P. Custom hath made it the civility of our language, to say you to one, and not to say thou to a superior, except it be a familiar. It is no great fault to respect men's persons. And the scripture only, makes men wise to salvation. And it is a pernicious error in placing justification and salvation in righteousness within.'
A. That the righteousness of Christ might be fulfilled in us;' and where Christ is within, there is sanctification, and there is justification, and there is salvation known; for there is no salvation known nor felt without, but first it is found within. Faith evidenceth it, the spirit witnessing, the spirit comes to witness it, the light sees it, and this is within. And so they that have these words, of righteousness, of sanctification, of justification without, and not within, are in the error; and none know them without, but first they know them within. And you to a superior, and thou to a familiar;' is not God the superior, the supreme? and dost thou say you to God? dost thou esteem man higher, in a place beyond God? Is not this ambition, and pride, and Vol. III,
presumption, and foolishness! must thou not come to be judged here, and be humbled for thy miscarriages ? And thou to a familiar,' a person of low degree; canst thou speak more familiarly to God than to man? Thou to him, and you to man-is this righteous and sound speech that cannot be condemned ? Dost thou not in this show that thou never learned either the accidence or bible?
- He that respects persons, commits sin;' thou dost respect the poor and the rich in thy words, and art by the law reproved to be a transgressor, and art out of the faith that is held • without respect of persons.' And as for the rest of all thy lies and hard expressions in thy book, they shall come upon thyself, and to thee be a heavy burthen. And the day hastens upon thce apace; to the witness of God in thy conscience I speak, which will let thee see that it had been better for thee, if thou had never opened thy mouth, than to have exposed thy nakedness to the nation. And this is not the way to convert souls, to rail; for railing never converted any, but brought them into a form out of the power, and so increased knowledge which was their sorrow.
R. Sherlock's principles, as followeth.
P. He saith, "They do not attain the knowledge and understanding of the gospel by the same means as the apostles did.' Saith he, We preach the same gospel as the apostles preached, but do not attain to the knowledge and understanding of this gospel by the same means.'
A. That which the apostles received, they received from God; so ye receiving it not by the same means, have received it from men, and not from God.
P. He saith, The apostles were eye-witnesses, and understood by immediate revelation from God, inspired with the gift of the spirit more than any man could hope for since.' And he saith, they do not pretend any such gist, nor depend upon any such immediate miraculous revelation from heaven.'
A. Then all may see now in this that what ye have received, it bath been from man, not from heaven immediately, not the gifts of the spirit, nor have received the gospel by the same means the apostles did, who are not the eye-witnesses, as the apostles were. Neither have ye attained to the same knowledge and understanding that the apostles did, nor received it from heaven. Now let all people question, whether it is the same gospel, which is not received from heaven, nor immediately, nor by revelation; for the gospel is immediate, which is the power of God. Rom. i. They that understand the gospel, are in