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churches to know one another in the faith, and the churches of Christ know each other to be true churches, and you whose business is not to bring men off from heresy to faith, know not the church of Christ, which is the pillar and ground of truth, built upon Christ, who is the author of faith. And the scriptures, which signify writings, outward wrie tings, with paper and ink, are not, as you say, infallible, nor are they divine, but human, and men get a human knowledge from them; and so writings with paper and ink are not infallible, nor is the scripture the ground of faith, but Christ, who was before the scripture was written; this the scripture tells you, and that God is divine; and the scriptores. are the words of God, which Christ, the word, ends, who is the author of the faith. And Abraham and Enoch had a rule, and had faith, before scripture was written, and the spirit is the rule that leads people into all truth, so saith Christ; and you put the letter for the ground of your faith, your rule is paper and ink, that will come to dust, it is human as you call it, and you give it that which the scripture doth not. And as for your creed, that you have learned of your father the pope, the scriptures tell you not that, neither do they teach you the word human; so you and the Papists have crept into the apostles' words, but are out of the life, and are proud and covetous.
P. "That it is heresy to say there is another role of faith than the scriptures, and if any are proved to teach any doctrine, contrary to scriptures, let the ministers and pastors do their parts to correct and restrain them.'
A. You by your judgment have judged yourselves to be corrected by the ministers and pastors, and to be restrained by your own judgment, who have taught contrary to the scriptures; for the scriptures say Christ is the author of faith, and faith is the gift of God. And you say scripture is the rule, but Abraham, and Enoch, and Abel, will tell you they had faith before they had the scripture, which you say is your rule. So, have you not thrown out the true rule of faith, and the giver of it, and put the words in the place? and so are ye not corrected here by the true pastor, Christ the author of faith? And faith is the gift of God. The apostle did not say scripture was the ground of it, but bid look to Jesus the author of it; and the apostles did not turn such to the ministers to be corrected that opposed them, or did not believe them, nor receive them as they spoke, or that went from them. And all they are in the heresy that have not Christ, the author of their faith; which was before the scripture was given forth; and though they have all the scriptures, they are not in the life of them that gave them forth, in which was the unity. And therefore you, being out of this faith and unity, and from the author of it, put the letter for the rule, are all on heaps about the saints' words, being out of the life that they had that
spoke forth the scriptures, which were afterwards written and printed. And so ye wolves in sheep's clothing put that for the rule of your dead faith, and have no other, and are killing and mangling one another about it, and so death and destruction talk of the fame of the scriptures, and know not the author of faith, nor would have known that there had been a faith, had not the scripture declared it; the priests confess it.
P. “We deny not, that in order to teach people and young ministers to stop the mouths of slanderous adversaries, to cure the jealousies of distempered minds, we all are ready in every Protestant church, to give men a full account of our faith, in plain confession: but with this protestation, that the holy scriptures only are the rule of faith: if any thing in our confession be found disagrecable to that rule, we are ready, when we understand so much, to disown it, and to correct it.'
A. How do you stop their mouths in haling them before magistrates, and casting them into prisons, is this your stopping? is not this your work? Let the jails and the houses of correction witness how you have stopped their mouths, and convinced gainsayers! Now, that which is truth, and they who speak plainly to you, ye call adversaries or slanderers. Now it is not a slander to call a lamb, a lamb, a dog, a dog, or swine, swine; but to say a lamb is a swine, a dog is a sheep, that is a lie; or that a wolf is a sheep, though he hath got a sheep's clothing on him, and therefore would be called a sheep that he may deceive, and would not be called a wolf, though his fruits declare it. Notwithstanding his reviling, devouring, having sheep's clothing, and casting into prison, yet he is offended if ye call him not a sheep, or a minister of the gospel of Christ.
Nay, the truth, the lambs, the sheep cannot do so, but they must speak the truth to you; and though you devour them, and tear them, they will not tear you again: and though you wolves have on the sheep's clothing, you cast into prison because they will not feed you. Did ever the lambs do so, the ministers of Christ? Were not they fed in his pasture? followed him, and knew his voice, and did not want? But how have you cured the jealousies and diseased minds all this while ? You have wounded them, made them sick, and filled them full of jealousies; therefore are the people broken into heaps and sects, which are the fruit of jealousies one of another. And how have you been ready, you who are called teachers, who are apostatized from the apostles, to render to every Protestant church a full account of your faith in plain confession, when many hundreds have been moved of the Lord God to come into those places called churches, and ask you a question, you have cried, “ Take him away, magistrate; to prison VOL. III.
ministers of Ireland, who had Christ's and the prophets' and apostles' words, stop the mouths of Edward Burrough and Francis Howgill, but suffered or caused them to be banished out of the nation. You looked upon them to be gainsayers, who are the servants of the Lord; and yet you were not able to stop their mouths, though you had all the sheep's clothing, neither were able to resist their spirit; which shows your spirit, and that you are not fit to send forth ministers, normake ministers, nor try ministers. And the apostle doth not say, that the letter is the only rule or trial; but if people have not the spirit of Christ, they are none of his, and if they have not Christ in them they are reprobates. And we do witness that the spirit is come, whereby we are ministers of that, not of the letter: for the spirit that once established circumcision, the same spirit ended it again. Now the Jews that tried by the letter, judged the apostle to be a deceiver. And those that have the sheep's clothing, and have not the spirit of Christ Jesus, they are crying, lo he is here,' and • lo he is there.'
P. You tell us of a sacrament, and that the world lies in wickedness, in gross Egyptian darkness, and of false apostles and Jezebel, making herself a prophetess to teach and seduce, and men loving preeminence are to be called masters.'
A. In this state you are called of men masters, loving pre-eminence, Jezebel like, usurping authority, setting up yourselves to teach, keeping your fasts, persecuting and banishing the righteous, you are in the steps of the false apostles, in spiritual Egypt, in gross thick darkness, rejoicing with the world that lies in wickedness, telling people of your sacraments, which you had from your father the pope, and the false apostles your forefathers, who were got up before the apostles' decease, and so you are judged with the life of the apostles and Christ, and by them that are in it; which shall answer the witness of God in you all. And the wickedness of the world declares your fruits, that you have not profited the people at all. And your Jezebel's doings hath declared itself, and your loving pre-eminence, being called of men masters, which the apostle judged, and Christ cried wo against: these marks are found in your foreheads, that all that can read the scripture, may read you to be out of the life of Christ and the apostles.
P. · Unless some preacher of righteousness bc then living to warn the sinful world of their wickedness.'
A. Such as are the preachers of righteousness, who warn you and the sinful world of their wickedness, you banish, these are your fruits.
P. The purest grain hath its chaff, the best needs a fan to cleanse them, the best needs a Nathan, all flesh is liable to fly-blows. To run without office and power argues presumption.'
A. The wheat that is gotten out of the chaff, hath not its chaff, that