TRUTH Lifting up its head above SCANDALS.
Wherein is declared What
- Holy Ghost
- Ordinances of God
By GERRARD WINSTANLY.
Professors of all forms, behold the Bridgroom is in co∣ming; your profession wil be try'd to purpose, your hypocricy shall be hid no longer. You shall feed no longer upon the Oyle that was in other mens Lamps (the Scriptures) for now it is required that every one have Oyle in his own Lamp, even the pure testimony of truth, within himself. For he that wants this; though he have the report of it in his book: he shall not enter with the Bridegroome into the chamber of peace.
LONDON Printed in the year 1649.
TO THE SCHOL∣lars of Oxford and Cam∣bridge, and to all that call them∣selves Ministers of the Gospel in City and Country.
YOu are the men that stand up, assuming the power to your selves to teach the People the mystery of the Spirit, and that you are the onely men sent of him for that office: therefore you are called spiritu∣all men, or men that are all spirit.
Many differences you see about spi∣rituall things, arises up daily amongst the people; it doth not belong to you to make parties; but to judge of these differences, with a moderate and meek Page [unnumbered] spirit between people and people; you are not to suffer flesh or selfish distem∣per to breake forth from you; a hasty rash spirit cannot judge any thing.
There are onely these two roots, from whence these differences spring up, that is, either from the Spirit that made all things, or from humane flesh, which is the Creature that is gone astray; and he that walks after the flesh, denies the Spirit.
Now if you be spirituall, as you say, you are to judge of these differences, and declare what is of the Spirit, that it may stand; and what is of the flesh that it may be trod under foot; that so the Lord alone, that made flesh, may be exalted above flesh, in the day of his power, that doth begin to shine forth. The rule that you judge by, you say are the Scriptures of Prophets, Apostles and ancient writers; if so, then you are not spirituall, or all spirit; neither have you the alone priviledge to judge; for the Page [unnumbered] People having the Scriptures, may judge by them as well as you.
If you say no, the People cannot judge, because they know not the ori∣ginall: I answer, neither doe you know the originall; though by your learning you may be able to translate a writing out of Hebrew or Greek into our mother tongue, English; but to say this is the o∣riginall Scripture you cannot: for those very Copies which the Prophets and Apostles writ, are not to be seen in your Universities.
You say you have the just Copies of their writings; you doe not know that but as your Fathers have told you; which may be as well false as true, if you have no better ground then tradi∣tion. You say that the interpretation of Scripture into our mother tongue is according to the mind of the spirit; you cannot tell that neither, unlesse you were able to say, that those who did •nterpret those writings, had had Page [unnumbered] the same testimony of Spirit, as the pen-men of Scriptures had; for it is the Spirit within that must prove those co∣pies to be true: now you know that there are many translations and inter∣pretations, which differ much one from another; which of them must the People take to be truest; seeing you yourselves are at losse?
One company of you sayes, this translation is the truth; and then the People must be forced to follow you: loe, here is Christ, saith the Prelats; a∣nother company of yours saies, such a translation is the truest; and then the People must be forced to follow them: as this halfe-day of the Beast, cry, loe here is Christ,
First, here▪ in the Pres•ytery; then there in the Independency: and thus you leade the People like horses by the noses; & ride upon them at your plea∣sure▪ from one forme and custome to another, and so quite from the Spirit.
Page [unnumbered]You presse the People with much violence, to maintain the Gospel: the People demands, What is the Gospel? You say, it is the Scriptures. The Peo∣ple replies again; How can these Scrip∣tures be called the everlasting Gospel, see∣ing it is torne in peeces daily amongst your selves, by various translations, infe∣rences and conclusions; one pressing this, another that; and the People are lost in the midst of your waters?
If you say, you can judge by the Spi∣rit, why, then you have not the alone priviledge to judge neither; for the Spirit is not confined to your Univer∣sities; but it spreads from East to West, and enlightens sons and daughters in all parts.
If you say, that visions and revelati∣ons are ceased, and that the Spirit and Scriptures are still together; then you erre mightily in spending constructi∣ons upon the Scriptures, which is a re∣velation; and doth not rather leave the Page [unnumbered] Scriptures to their own genuine lan∣guage, that People may read the very lettter without alteration.
Two things, as you are Scripture men, you must judge of. First, what is the Gospel. Secondly, what is the re∣port or declaration of the Gospel. I de∣clare positively what I know; doe you take the Scriptures and disprove me if you can. First, The Gospel is the Spirit that ruled in the Prophets and Apostles, which testified to them, that in the la∣ter daies the same Spirit should be pou∣red out upon all flesh. Secondly, then their writings is not the Spirit; but a re∣port or declaration of that law and te∣stimony which was within them.
Now the Spirit spreading it selfe from East to West, from North to South, in sonnes and daughters, is ever∣lasting, and never dies; but is still ever∣lasting, and rising higher and higher in manifesting himselfe in and to man∣kinde.
Page [unnumbered]But now the declaration of the Spi∣rit, being but words gon out of the mouth, may be, and daily are corrup∣ted by the subtilty of imaginary flesh; it is the Spirit within every man that tries all things: words cannot try all things: he that speakes from the flesh; shall of the flesh reap corruption; shall tast of misery that flesh brings upon himselfe: but he that speaks from the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life: or he that preaches the Gospel, shall live of the Gospel; that is, he that speakes from the Spirit, shall have inward peace, life, and liberty from the Spirit, in the midst of all worldly straights, he shall not want life and peace with∣in.
I answer, it is matter of the greatest concernment; your Pulpit wrings against Errors: The People cries what are those errors? You answere, Page [unnumbered] that there are a company of men ro• up that denies God and Christ, and th• Scriptures, and the Gospel, and pray¦er, and all Ordinances; and yet yo• have not considered with a meek spiri• what these men say; but cry then down without tryall: is this spiritual judging.
Well, matters of this nature, are to be judged with a wary and moderate spi∣rit; covetous rashnesse can judge of no∣thing. I my selfe being branded by some of your mouthes, as guilty of horrid blasphemy, for denying all these, as you say though you cannot prove it, was drawn forth by the Spirit to write what here followes; which I leave to the spirituall men all the world over to judge.
Whether you your selves, be not the very men that doe deny God, Scrip∣tures and Ordinances of God; and that turnes the tr•thes of the Spirit into a lye; by leaving the letter, and walk∣ing Page [unnumbered] in your own inferences; and so by holding forth spirituall things by that imagination of the flesh, and not by the law and testimony of the Spirit within; and let them likewise judge whether those men you count such blasphemers; be not those men that doth advance God, Christ, Scriptures and Ordinances, in the spirituality of them.
When the Apostolicall gifts ceased, which was to speak from an inward te∣stimony of what they heard and saw; as the Father did will it should cease for a time, times and halfe time; or fourty two moneths; then began the false Christs and false Prophets to arise, that speak from tradition of what they had read in Books; expounding those wri∣tings from their imaginary thoughts; getting a power from the Magistrate to protect them; and to punish such as speak from the testimony of Christ within them, which flesh is willin• to oppose.
Page [unnumbered]And then the flesh began to be ad∣vanced above the Spirit, from the time that the universall Bishop was raised, to this very hour; and so in every go∣vernment; which imagination hath set up since that time false Christs, and false Prophets have arose from your Schools, and have filled the Earth with darknesse; so that now when the King of righteousnesse begins to arise, and fill the earth with his light; the Earth growes mad & full of rage: but though flesh be angry; assure your selves Christ will take the Kingdome, and rule in flesh. And here I rest,
A servant to the Faher; Gerrard Winstanly.Oct. 16. 1648.
To the gentle Reader.
DEAR friend it is slandero usly re∣ported (by reason whereof some of you may be troubled to hear) that Chamberlain the Redding man, called after the flesh, William Everard; doth hold blasphemous opinions: as to deny God, and Christ, and Scriptures, and prayer; and they call him a deceiver, and many •ilt by names; and upon this report of the raging multitude (some that call themselves Ministers, and some common people) the Bayliffs of Kingston have put him in prison, as he came through their Towne and took a nights lodging; and hath kept him there this weeke, upon these supposed scandals.
Now I was moved to write what here followes, as a vindication of the man and my selfe, being slan∣dered as well as he (by some of the Ministers) ha∣ving been in his company; that all the world may judge of his and my inn•cency in these particular scandals; and that it may appear, as it will upon tryall, that the parish Ministers themselves, and e∣very one that followes their way of worship; doth turn the Scriptures into a lye, by leaving the old Page [unnumbered] letter that the Apostles writ; and new moulding those Scriptures into their own language; walking according to their owne inferences and conjectures thereupon; and by holding forth God and Christ to be at a distance from men; they are the only men that deny God and Christ and Scriptures, and Ordinan∣ces, walking in the practise of their own invention, to which ignorant flesh closeth without examinati∣on: and so the greatest theeves cry, stop theefe first.
And here I shall adde one word as an accompt wherefore I use the word Reason, instead of the word God, in my writings, as you shall meet mith∣all: If I demand of you, who made all things? And your answer God. If I demand what is God? You answer the spirituall power; that as he made; so he governs and preserves all things; so that the sum of all is this, God is the chief Maker or Governor, & this maker & governor is God: Now I am lost in this wheel that runs round, and lies under darknes.
But if you demand of mee, why I say Reason did make, and doth governe and preserve all things: I answer, Reason is that living power of light that is in all things; it is the salt that savours all things; it is the fire that burns up drosse, and so restores what is corrupted; and preserves what is pure; he is the Lord our righteousnesse.
It lies in the bottom of love, of justice, of wis∣dome; for if the Spirit Reason did not uphold and moderate these, they would be madnesse; nay, they Page [unnumbered] could not be called by them names; for Reason guids them in order, and leads them to their right end, which is not to preserve a part, but the whole crea∣tion.
But is mans reason that which you cal God? I an∣swer, mans reasoning is a creature which fl•ws from that Spirit to this end, to draw up man into him∣selfe: it is but a candle lighted by that soul, and this light shining through flesh, is darkened by the ima∣gination of flesh; so that many times men act con∣trary to reason, though they thinke they act according to reason.
By that light of Reason that is in man, he may see a sutablenesse in many things, but not in all things; for the reason that acts in another man, may see a weaknesse of reason that asts in me: but now the Spirit Reason, which I call God, the Maker and Ru∣ler of all things, is that spirituall power, that guids all mens reasoning in right order, and to a right end: for the Spirit Reason, doth not preserve one creature and destroy onother; as many times mens reasonings doth, being blind by the imagination of the flesh: but it hath a regard to the whole creation; and knits every creature together into a onenesse; making every creature to be an upholder of his fel∣low; and so every one is an assistant to preserve •he whole: and the neerer that mans reasoning comes to •his, the more spirituall they are; the farther off they be, the more selfish and fleshy they be.
Page [unnumbered]Now this word Reason is not the alone name of this spirituall power: but every one may give him a name according to that spirituall Power that they feel and see rules in them, carrying them forth in actions to preserve their fellow creatures as well as themselves.
Therefore some may call him King of righteous∣nesse, and Prince of peace: some may call him Love, and the like: but I can, and I doe call him Reason; because I see him to be that living powerfull light that is in righteousnesse, making righteousnesse to be righteousnesse; or justice to be justice; or love to be love: for without this modera•er and ruler, they would be madnesse; nay, the selfewillednesse of the flesh; and not that which we call them.
Lastly, I am made to change the name from God to Reason; because I have been held under darknesse by that word, as I see many people are; and likewise that people may rest no longer upon words without knowledge; but hereafter may look after that spiri∣tuall p•wer; and know what it is that rules them, and which doth rule in and over all, and which they call their God and Governour or preserver. And this I hope will be a sufficient accompt why I alter the word: what here followes may give more light into the thing.
Reade and judg; let flesh be silent; let the Spirit be honored.
TRUTH LIFTING UP HIS HEAD ABOVE SCANDALS.
I Have said, That whosoever worships God by hear-say, as others tels th•m, knowes not what God is from light within himselfe; or that thinks God is in the hea∣vens above the skyes; and so prayes to that God which he imagines to be there and every where: but from any testimony within, he knowes not how, nor where; this man wor∣ships his owne imagination, which is the Devill.
But he that is a true worshipper, must know who God is, and how he is to be wor∣•hipped, from the power of light shining in him, if ever he have true peace.
Page 2And from hence a report is raised, and is frequent in the mouthes of the teachers; That I deny God; And therefore, First, I shall give account what I see and know is to be; and let the understanding in heart judge me.
W•at is God?
I answer, He is the incomprehensible spirit, Reason; who as he willed that the Creation should flow out of him: so he go∣vernes the whole Creation in righteous∣nesse, peace and moderation: And from hence he is called, The Lord, because there is none above him: And he is called, The Father, because as the whole creation came out of him, so he is the life of the whole creation, by whom every creature doth subsist.
When can a man call the Father his God?
When he feels and sees, by experi∣ence, that the spirit which made the flesh, doth governe and rule King in his flesh: And so can say, I rejoyce to feele and see my flesh made subject to the spirit of righteous∣nesse.
But may not a man call him God, till hee have this experience?
No: For if he doe, he lyes, and there is no truth in him; for whatsoever rules as Page 3 King in his flesh, that is his God. As for ex∣ample; If pride, envy, frowardnesse, hypo∣crisy, uncleanesse, feare of men more then feare of God, or covetousnesse; If all, or any one of these, rule and governe thee, ei∣ther all, or any one of these is thy God, and so thou worships the flesh, and that Devill is thy God. And the spirit of righteousnesse is not thy God, for thou dost not yet submit unto him.
But I hope that the Father is my Governor: and therefore may I not call him God?
Hope without ground is the hope of the hypocrite; thou canst not call him God, till thou be able in pure experience to •ay, Thy flesh is subject to him; for if thy knowledge be no more but Imagination or •houghts, it is of the Devill, and not of the •ather: or if thy knowledge be meerly from what thou hast read or heard from others, it • of the flesh, not of the spirit.
When then may I call him God, or the migh∣• Governour, and doe not descend my selfe?
When thou art, by that spirit, made • see him, rule and governe, not onely in •ee, but in the whole creation: so that thou •e•s and sees, that the spirituall power that ••vernes in thee, hath a community in thee ••th the whole globe; and thou art made Page 4 subject to that spirit of righteousnesse, peace, meeknesse and love, who doth subject all things to himselfe, and brings all things in∣to a one-nesse. Now thou mayst call him God warrantably, for thou knowest him to be the mighty governour: And that the go∣vernment of the whole creation is upon the shoulders of that spirit, to which thou art ma•e experimentally subject.
Waite upon him till he teach thee. All that reade doe not understand: the spirit on∣ly sees truth, and lives in it.
But how shall I know the spirit of the Fa∣ther, so that I may call him God?
The spirit of the Father is pure Rea∣son: which as he made, so he knits the whole creation together into a one-nesse of life and moderation; every creature sweet∣ly in love lending their hands to preserve each other, and so upholds the whole fa∣brique.
Where doth this Reason dwell, which yo• call Father and Lord of all?
He dwels in every creature, accor∣ding to the nature and being of the creature but supreamely in man Therefore man i• called a Rationall creature, and the well-beloved son of the Father, because by hi• creation, he is to live in the light of Reason Page 5 But when he acts unrighteously, he lives without Reason; and so contrary to his creation as a man. But when he acts righte∣ously, then he lives in Reason, and Reason in him; and so according to his creation, to the honour of his Maker.
Give some example, how Reason made and governes the creation?
Take these among many; and yet you shall finde, that the further you dive in∣to Reason, the more incomprehensible hee will appeare; for he is infinite in wisdome, and mighty in power, past finding out by flesh, till the flesh be made to see light in his light.
The clouds send downe raine, and there is great undeniable reason in i• for otherwise the earth could not bring f•••• grasse and fruit. The earth sends forth g••sse, or else cattle could not be preserved. The cattle feed upon the grasse, and there is Reason in it, for else man could not be preserved. The Sunne gives his light and heate, or else the creation could not subsist. So that the mighty power, Reason, hath made these to give life and pre∣servation one to another.
Reason makes a man to live moderately and peaceably with all; he makes a man just and righteous in all his actings; he kils fro¦wardnesse, Page 6 envy and pride in a man: and why? where lyes the Reason? Because this man stands in need of others, and others stand in need of him; and therefore makes a man to doe as he would be done unto. In∣deed Reason is of such a mighty power, that when he rules King in the flesh, he governes all things in righteousnesse, and there is no complainings or cryings out against op∣pression.
There is nothing but unreasonablenesse in all the powers of the flesh; as in coveteous∣nesse, pride, envy, and the like; and hereby the flesh brings misery and ruine upon it self. But pure and perfect Reason makes every thing to sing and rejoice in righteousnesse: When this King reignes the City is glad.
What Reason is there that I should have such temptations within, and afflictions without?
Reason sees it fit you should be befit∣ted by your owne lusts, which you have chose to delight in; that hereby you being in∣wardly tormented and shamed, you may be drawne to owne and submit to the spirit, that gives peace and liberty; and so for ever after hate the motions of the flesh.
But what reason is there, that other men should oppresse me?
Still to let you see your owne un∣righteousnesse Page 7 to others; therefore other unrighteous men are suffered to deale un∣righteously with you, to let you see, that the wayes of unrighteousnesse brings nothing but paine; and when you are brought to this, the spirit which hath beene sleighted by you, is now owned and honoured.
Secondly, Reason suffers the flesh of other men to tyrannize over you for a time; that in the day, when he will sit upon the throne, all flesh may be silent before him, and con∣fesse his Justice to be righteous upon them, for their unrighteousnesse one to another.
Now Reason suffers all these things to be, that the flesh may forsake himselfe; he seeing in Reasons light, that he being nothing but envy and misery to himselfe; and so may re∣turne to the spirit, and submit thereunto; in whom his life and peace lyes.
And what is the end that Reason hath in all this?
To destroy the powers of the flesh; which leades creatures into divers waies of opposition one against another, and to bring all into pure experience of that sweet rest and peace that is in the unity of himselfe, the one spirit.
Is Reason to be seene in every creature?
What Reason is to be seene in a Horse?
Reason carries him along to eate his meat, that he may doe worke for the use of man.
But the horse doth not know this Reason that rules him?
No: Neither hath any creature that priviledge to see and know that Reason rules him, but man. Therefore he is said to be, the Lord of creatures, because he knowes how to govern them by reason that is with∣in himselfe.
But all men doe not see and know Reason to rule in them?
No: Therefore some are called un∣reasonable men; and though they are in the shape of men, yet their actings are like their horses, and they know the spirit that rules them, no more then their horses.
But now when a man knowes, that this King of righteousnesse, Reason, doth dwell in him, and rule in him; to which all the powers of his flesh are made subject, which indeed is Christ dwelling in the flesh. Now he may be said to be a perfect man, for he acts like a man, righteously: and so as the Fa∣ther lives in him, he lives in the Father.
Who is he that cals men to an account for their unrighteousnesse?
It is the mighty spirit, Reason, who is King of righteousnesse and King of peace; wherefore art thou proud, saith Reason? Wherefore art thou covetous? Wherefore art thou envious and bitter spirited against thy fellow creatures? Wherefore art thou un∣clean?
The Flesh answers, It is to please my selfe.
Reason answers, Didst thou make thy selfe, that thou shouldst live to thy selfe? Or did not I the Lord make thee to live un∣to me? I tell you when Reason puts these questions to the heart, the heart will be struck dead.
What is it to walke righteously, or in the sight of Reason?
First, When a man lives in all acts of love to his fellow creatures; feeding the hungry; cloathing the naked; relieving the oppressed; seeking the preservation of others as well as himselfe; looking upon himselfe as a fellow creature (though he be Lord of all creatures) to all other creatures of all kinds; and so doing to them, as he would have them doe to him; to this end, that the Creation may be upheld and kept together by the spirit of love, tendernes and onenesse, and that no creature may complaine of any Page 10 act of unrighteousnesse and oppression from him.
Secondly, when a man lives in the know∣ledge and love of the Father, seeing the Fa∣ther in every creature, and so loves, delights, obeyes, and honours the Spirit which he sees in the creature, and so acts rightly to∣wards that creature in whom hee sees the spirit of the Father for to rest, according to its measure.
And whereas before he exercised outward senses to follow creatures; now he lives in the exercise of his spirituall senses, and hee doth rightly, and he knowes wherefore; for his soul now sees, feels, tasts, smels and hears the Father spiritually in all things, and so doth all things in love and cheerfull obedi∣ence to the Spirit, that discovers all things to him inwardly; whereby he is made able to doe acts of righteousnesse outwardly.
This man that is thus drawn up, knowes what it is to live in community with the Globe; and to live in community with the Spirit of the Globe
In the next place, I said that Jesus Christ at a distance from thee, will not save thee; and that it is not the humane flesh, but the Spirit in that body, that is the Saviour, and the Seed, that must bruise the Serpents head Page 11 in mankind. And hence they say I deny Christ. Therefore I shall give accompt here unto by these questions.
What is Jesus Christ?
I answer, He is a man taken up to live wholly in the Father; or a meek spirit drawn up to live in the light of Reason. And here note two things.
1. That Jesus Christ that dyed at Jeru∣salem by the hands of the Jewes, he was the first in whom the Father did appeare bodily to dwell in; and that humane body was the Lambe that answered all the types of Moses Law: But that body tooke its name from the spirit that dwelt within it.
What was that Spirit?
He was the spirit of meeknesse and humility, which saved humane flesh from all distempers that ariseth from pride or cove∣tuousnesse, and this is the Child Jesus, a Sa∣viour; for he destroyes the covetuousnesse and pride in flesh, & frees the creature from all distempring fears and passions; and rules King, in meeknesse and quiet humility.
2. He was the spirit of the Father; that lived in the ex•rcise and use of all the spiri∣tuall senses; and ther•fore as the Father was said to live in him, so he was said to live in the Father.
But shall not that humane body of Christ save me by his death?
The Spirit in that humane body is the Saviour: The flesh profits nothing: the pati∣ent death of that humane body, declares the exellent power of the Spirit within it to be the alone Saviour of humane flesh from the curse and power of darknesse, that workes and rules in it, and so hath taken it priso∣ner.
And therefore when the same Anointing or Spirit that was sent downe into that bo∣dy; is sent down into yours, changing your vile bodies and making them like that glorious bo∣dy, killing all the cursed powers in the flesh; making your flesh subject to the Spirit; now you are become one with Christ, and with the Father, which is your salvation.
But shall I not looke upon that body, which was called Iesus Christ, and expect salvation from him?
Jesus Christ at a distance from thee, will never save thee; but a Christ within is thy Saviour: and therefore Paul after he had looked upon the Lambe along time; that is looked upon Christ at a distance from him∣selfe, he saw that would bring him no peace; therefore saith he, Though I have known Christ after the flesh, yet henceforth know I him no more:Page 13 for now the mystery of God, that hath been kept secret from ages and generations past, is in these last daies revealed, which is, Christ in you the pope of glory.
But was not that body killed, laid in the earth, and raised again from the dead, and ascended up to the Father into Heaven?
He was killed by the curse that ru∣led in the Jewes, and was laid in the earth; here was the wisdome and power of the Father seen, that though all the powers of hell, or covetous, proud flesh did combine together, to oppresse, and then to kill a bo∣dy, wherein he himselfe dwelt bodily; yet they could not distemper him, for he was still patient, and he was not heard to com∣plain.
Wherein was his wisdome and power seene in this?
Hereby hee gives testimony to the World, that it is he himself that is the Seed that bruises the Serpents head, that is, in man∣kinde: for his spirit being so powerfull in flesh; kils the spirit of venome that is in flesh; and that body being laid in the earth purifieth the earth and purges it from that curse that man had filled it with by his un∣righteousnesse; and so his spirit doth spirit the Earth in righteousnesse.
Did man fill the Earth with poyson and the curse?
Yea, after he refused to live after the Spirit his Maker; and made joyce to live up∣on the objects of the Creation, he then dy∣ed and corrupted, and fell into all venimous and stinking unrighteousnesse: and as his body went to the earth, he did still poyson and corrupt the earth, and caused it to bring forth poysonous Vipers, Todes and Ser∣pents, and Thornes and Bryars.
For the curse being first falen upon man∣kinde, through man it fell upon the other creatures, and the Earth was cursed for his fake; and the poyson of mans unrighteous body, dunging the Earth, filled the grasse and herbs with strong unsavory spirits, that flowed from him, whereby the cattell feed∣ing, comes to be made bitter spirited, and mad one against another.
For the Ayre and Earth is all poysoned, and the curse dwels in both, through mans unrighteousnesse; he that should have kept within order, being made Lord of creatures, he put the Creation out of order, by forsa∣king his Maker, and by acting according to the flesh. Now this mighty spirituall man, of righteousnes Jesus Christ, doth purify hu∣mane flesh again; and so, restoring the head Page 15 first, doth new spirit the Creation, and brings all into order again; taking away the bitternesse and curse, and making the whole Creation to be of one heart and one Spirit.
But it is said that his body rose again and ascended up through the cloudes into the skies, which is called Heaven, or place of Glory, where the Fa∣ther dwels?
This speech hath blinded the under∣standings of many; for the Father is not confined to any one particular place; for he is in every place, and in every creature; and where Hee dwels in cleare manifestations, there is Heaven; and the higher manifestati∣ons the higher Heavens.
Now the body of Christ is where the Fa∣ther is, in the earth, purifying the Earth; and his Spirit is entred into the whole crea∣tion, which is the heavenly glory, where the Father dwels; which is a glory above the flesh, and where he rules King and Lord, in and over all the Creation, purging out all strong spirited powers that causes sor∣row; and bringing all into the unity of that one Spirit, himself. So that this Jesus Christ or mighty man that saves us, is not in one particular place: but every where.
And this certainly to me is very cleare, Page 16 That whereas the Apostles saw Christ arise and ascend, and were witnesses of his Resur∣rection, it was onely a declaration in vision to th•m, of the Spirits rising up: for death and hel, and darknesse, and sorrow, could not hold him under; he saw no corruption; for as soon as that one body, in which he was confined, for a time was laid low; he rose presently up again in the bodies of the Apo∣stles, & so began to spread in the Earth; and when his set time is expired, that the Beast, or flesh shall reign no more: Then he will spread himselfe in sons and daughters from East to West, from North to South; and ne∣ver cease encreasing till this vine hath filled the Earth.
And truly this is great comfort to me, that envy could not kill that Spirit; but though it killed that body, through an ap∣pointed permission; yet the spirit rose up, and shewed himself, and went to his Father; that is, entred into the Creation, to purge it from the curse; and to spread himselfe in sons and daughters of the Earth; that by him their flesh being made subject, and saved from the curse, might by him become one with him and with his Father; that is, be∣come one in spirit with him, and enjoy communion with the Spirit that is in the whole Globe.
But how shall I know that Christ dwels in •e?
It is the testimony of the Spirit it •elfe that must give you satisfaction: for •hat which is a testimony within me, is not •ours till the same Spirit make it yours: •herefore you are to waite with a quiet and •umble spirit, till the Father be pleased to •each you, and manifest himselfe to you, •nd then you shall know, what I speake, I •peake not of my selfe; but what I have re∣•eived from the Father.
You seem to say, that the body of Christ •as laid in the earth and remains there: but the •criptures say, that he saw no corruption; how doth •is agree?
His body was laid in the Earth, as •ther dead bodies of men are; but it lay not •n the Earth as other dead bodies doe; for o∣•her dead bodies lay there corrupting the Creation: but he rose up and purified the Creation; death or curse could not hold his •ody under its power.
What doe you mean by Creation in this •nce?
I mean fire, water, earth and aire, •f which four elements the whole creation Page 18 is made, and mankind is made up of them all. Now when the first man fell, he cor∣rupted the whole creation, fire water, earth and aire, and still as the branches of his bo∣dy went to the earth, the creation was more and more corrupted, by the multipli∣cities of bodies, that stil saw corruption, for none rose up above the curse, but all lay un∣der it. Now when the body of Jesus Christ went to the earth, that body likewise being made of fire, water, earth and ayre, he purified the whole creation, and rose up, and saw no corruption as others did.
But how can he be said to be laid in the earth and remaine there, and yet rise up out of it purifying the creation?
As his body was laid, by the hands of his enemies, in the earth as dead carrion, as they thought, like one of themselves, when they die: but his body corrupted not the creation, but rose up above corruption, purging it out.
Explaine your meaning?
His body; being made of the four Ele∣ments, which were corrupted by man in whom they all dwelt: they are restored a∣gain, from that bondage of corruption by the body of Christ, in whom they all dwelt Page 19 likewise: As thus; his breath rose up above the corruption of the Ayre, purifying the Ayre; his moysture rose up above the cor∣ruption of the waters, purifying the water; his heat and warmth rose up above the cor∣ruption of the fire, cleansing the fire: and his flesh and bones, rose up above the corrupti∣on of the earth and stones, purifying of them; and so he spreading himselfe in the body of the Creation took of the curse: so that the foundation of restoration of all things was laid in and by him; which when it is manifested then man kinde shall see the glory of it; and till that time, the whole Creation groaneth and travelleth in paine, waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God.
I but the Apostles saw him after he was ri∣sen, and touched him, and saw him ascend up∣wards?
The declaration of Scripture, doth point out the mystery of Christs spirituall •ising, and the exaltation of his spirituall power over the flesh, and over the corrupti∣on that is in the Creation: for the whole Scriptures are but a report of spirituall my∣•teries, held forth to the eye of flesh in •ords; but to be seene in the substantiall •atter of them by the eye of the Spirit; and •herefore the Apostle might well say, they Page 20 saw & touched Christ; for their very bodies and mindes were changed, and made like to his glorious body, for they were made new crea∣tures, and were raised up above corruption; which was no other, but Christ rising up in them, and lifting up himselfe in their fight and feeling above the flesh.
Why then I perceive that as the body of the first man was a representation of the whole Creation, and did corrupt it; so the body of Christ was a representation of the whole Creation, and restores it from corruption, and brings all into the unity of the Father again?
This is very true; for in this parti∣cular lies the mystery of the Fall, and the re∣storation of all things again.
But whither went the Spirit of Christ?
To his Father; that is, entred into the spirit of the whole Creation; into that Spirit that breathed all forth of himselfe, and that governs all by himselfe; which is Reason; and so is become one with him; and being lifted up will draw the whole Creation to the spirit of onenes with him∣selfe, and with his Father. As a bucket of water first taken out of the Sea, and stand∣ing alone for a time, is afterwards powred into the Sea again, and becomes one with the Sea. And this is the Seed that comes to Page 21 bruise the Serpents head; and when his work was done in that one particular person, hee returned backe again to his Father; from whence he came; and now sends down his Spirit, and drawes up Sonnes and daughters; yea, the whole Creation into himselfe.
And truly this is great comfort to me, that whereas formerly there was not a man found that could remove the curse; but eve∣ry one still increased the curse: now there is a man found that hath killed the curse in part; and the virtue of that sweet oyntment shall cleanse the whole; and this worke is now breaking out; for the Father will make the Creation to know it by experience, and it shall be hid no longer. And this points out the mystery of the first Adam and the se∣cond Adam; or the first Man and second Man, which the Father, Reason, was pleased should spring up in mankinde.
What doe you mean by the first Adam, or first man?
He is a preparer, to hold forth three names or titles of the one perfect power of darknesse, and yet a son that Reason hath brought forth: But this son is said to be of the earth, earthy; for he is a son that feeds, lives and delights himselfe altogether in and upon the objects of the earth; endeavourin Page 22 to make himself a Lord over his fellow crea∣tures; in unrighteousnesse seeking to ad∣vance himselfe, though it be to others ruine; and this man hath lift up his heel against his Maker, and knowes him not.
Is this Adam one single person or branch of humane flesh?
Every particular branch of mankind, living upon the objects of the creation, and rejecting their maker, are the linage or gene∣ration of the first man: yea, being bound up all together, they make up but the one first Adam.
Declare more plaine what this first man is?
He is that mighty power of flesh, that leades flesh to live upon it selfe, and not to live upon its maker: it followes the way of the flesh with greedinesse, and jeeres and ejects the spirit. And this is called a mighty man, because he being to act his part in the great world first, as Father Reason, will have it. He hath drawne all flesh into disobe∣dience to the spirit. And this Adam hath beene very fruitfull; he hath filled the earth with himself, and covered all with his dark∣nesse. For looke upon every man and woman in the world, that lives upon the ob•ects of the creation, and not upon the spirit in the Page 23 creation, and they are but branches of the first man; and then put them all together into one lumpe, and they make up still, but the first man perfect; an earthy man, that knowes not the spirit: and therefore when you see a man wholly delighting himselfe in the enjoyment of fellow creatures, you may call him truly Adam, or the first man.
What is the spirit in the Creation?
It is a meeke and loving spirit, live∣ing in the light and strength of reason, hold∣ing up the whole creation in a onenesse of sweet compliency in every creature, accor∣ding to its place and office.
What are those three names of one perfect power of darknesse, that the first man Adam was a preparer of?
First, The King of darknesse, or a∣spiring power of the flesh, that lifts up his heele against his Maker, but yet lies within, and acts not.
Secondly, The beastly son that arises up from that rebelling power, and that is, Man, that holds forth this rebellion to fellow creatures; for now rebellion is broke out, and Reasons law is violated; the creatures flesh seekes to honour it selfe, and hath for∣saken his Maker: here is the Father and the Son of darknesse.
Page 24Thirdly, When the whole earth is filled with this disobedience, so that you cannot meet with a branch of mankinde; but hee lives upon the objects of the creation, and not upon the spirit. This makes the first man perfect in darknesse, and the whole world is filled with uncleane breathing. Here is Fa∣ther, Son, and uncleane spirit, or King, and Beast, and bottomlesse pit: Three names, but one power of darknesse, filling the earth, and corrupting the creation more and more. All this is but the first man, that Reason would have to governe the earth.
Why doth the Father suffer this first man to fill the earth so abundantly with unrighteous∣nesse?
For two reasons; First, That man∣kinde may see, that though it spring up to an innumerable multitude of sonnes and daughters, all living upon creature objects, not upon the spirit, are but still the one first man, that wearied out himselfe in vaine, and finds no true peace thereby.
Secondly, That the second man may have the more glory, when in the fulnesse of time he shall come, and pull the Kingdome out of the first mans hand, and tread him under foot, and rule righteously in flesh himselfe. Yea, and to begin this great worke, when all Page 25•he nations of the earth are filled with the wit and strength of the first man, who fights against the rising up of the Second man with violence: and therefore is it said, when the Son of man comes; shall he finde faith on earth? No: he must bring it along with him, and new spirit the creation.
What? Are all troubles, sinnes and sor∣rowes, the worke of the first man?
Two things are to be observed in the first man; First, his revolt from the spi∣rit, in making choyce to live upon the crea∣tion, and not upon the spirit: and hereby now the law of Reason is broke. And this is one thing, that such as are of the generation of the first mans flesh doth doe.
Secondly, Note the misery that this first man flesh doth bring upon himselfe: by so doing, he puls crosses and sorrowes with∣in upon himselfe, and troubles without: for his unrighteous breath corrupts the aire, and raises hurtfull winds and weather; and his unrighteous flesh corrupts the earth, and causes it to send forth hurtfull crops, and poysonous Vipers: these are the fruits of his earthy choyce and labours; and therefore when you see misery in the world, then say, this is the fruit of living upon the creatures, and not upon the spirit.
Page 26Well, From the beginning to this day, Reason hath suffered the first man to reigne, and to fill the earth: therefore is it said, The first man is of the earth, earthy; and he fils the earth, as one beane, multiplying every yeare, fils the earth with that graine; which is but the multiplication of it selfe.
Adam, or first man, is looked upon in a three-fold sense.
First, Adam, or first man, that went astray from his Maker, which lived upon earth ma∣ny thousand yeares agoe, which the eyes of every man is upon.
Secondly, Every man and woman that live upon the objects of the creation, and not in and upon the spirit that made the creati∣on, is a sonne and daughter of the first man; and being put altogether, make up but the one first man: so that we may see Adam every day before our eyes walking up and downe the street.
But Thirdly, I see the two Adams in e∣very man: The first Adam hath his time to rule first in me; when the chiefe powers in me, leads me forth to looke after objects, and to delight in them, more then in the spirit. And this first man must act his part in me, till the fulnesse of time come, that the Father is pleased, that the second Adam,Page 27 Christ, shall come and take the Kingdome out of his hand, and deliver me from his bondage, and so rule King of righteousnesse for ever after in mee.
What is the second man, or second Adam?
He is a preparer likewise, to hold forth three clear names in one perfect pow∣er of life; who is called, the well-beloved Son; for this Son is said to be the Lord from heaven; or a mighty man, governing the earth in righteousnesse from the strength of pure Reason; not placing his delight upon the objects of the creation, as the first man did. But upon the enjoyment of that mighty power that made the creation, and that up∣held it by himselfe.
Is this second man one single person?
First, This second man is a meek spi∣rit, drawn up to live in the light and strength of pure Reason.
Now as the first man, ruling in flesh, drew mankinde from his maker, so this second man, ruling in flesh, drawes mankinde back againe to his maker. And this second man is called a man anointed, or mankind living in the light and strength of pure Reason, the essentiall Father. And so the whole bulke of mankinde, when they shall be drawne up to live in the unity of the one spirit, is the se∣cond Page 28 man, & every son and daughter of this spirit, is of the lynage of the second man.
But shall this second man fill the earth, as the first man did?
Yes, Reason hath so determined that as the first man filled the earth with un∣righteousnesse, and corrupted all: So this second shall take the Kingdom in the latter dayes, and raign King of righteousnesse in flesh, and spread as far in restoring al things, as the first man corrupted all things.
But hath this second man never ruled the earth?
He hath appeared in the earth, but the first man having a limited time given him by the Father, would never let him ris• up to rule, but still pressed him downe by persecution or death; he did never general∣ly rule over the earth, as the first man hath done, but hath still been as a servant.
But is his time now to come to rule the earth and fill it with himself?
Yes: and shall have as large a pri∣viledge to sill the earth, as the first man had surely; and he wil change times and custom•, & fil the earth with a new law, wherin dwels righteousnes and peace. And justice, and judg∣ment shal be the upholders of his kingdom. And he shal fill the earth with himself, as a corn of wheat multiplying every yeare, fils Page 29 the earth with that graine, so that all live in the light, and strength of pure Reason, in righteousnes are but the sons & daughters of the second man: And being looked upon in the bulke, they being made to be all of one heart and one spirit. They are but the se∣cond man still, that fils all, and is in all; though they overspread the earth. And this is the generation of the second man, or se∣cond Adam: mankinde living in and upon his maker from the power within himself.
What are those three names, which this second man declares to be one perfect power of life?
First, the Father Reason, that made all things before the creation was brought forth he was not known. Secondly, the Son, and this is that part of the creation that holds him purely forth to the view of others. Now truth begins to shine, and Reason begins to be honoured by an humane body; so that here is Father and Son. Thirdly, when the whole earth is filled with the one spirit; this makes the second man perfect, for corrupti∣on and curse is removed; and the whole earth is filled with holy breathing; all acting and living in righteousnesse. And this is Jesus Christ the second man.
They say I deny the Gospell, and the do∣ctrine of it; & hereunto I give this accompt.
What is the Gospell?
It is the Father himselfe, that is, the Word, and glad tydings, that speaks peace inwardly to poore soules.
But are not the writings of the Apostles and Prophets, the Gospell?
These writings are the report or de∣claration of the Gospell; which are to cease, when the Lord himselfe, who is the everlast∣sting Gospell, doth manifest himselfe to rule in the flesh of sonnes and daughters.
But did not Paul say, This is the word of the Gospell, which we preach; and so left those words in writing?
It is true, his writings are the word of it, or the report of it; but it is not the thing it selfe: for when it was reported, that the Father would dwell in the flesh, and destroy the Serpent: this report savoured sweet: But when man comes to see, and feel, and know, that the Father dwels and rules in him; This is farre more sweet: This is to enjoy the Gospell himselfe: The word of life within, and this shall never cease, but endures for ever.
But how doe you know, that this is the Gos∣pell?
I know it by the testimony that is within my selfe, and by the sweet, peaceable Page 31 and soule-satisfying rest, that I have, through communion, with the spirit; The Lord our righteousnesse; In the midst of the mad rage of the world.
Secondly, For satisfaction to the world. I desire all men to take the Record, and search those Scriptures, for they are they that doe testifie of the truth hereof, as well as they testified of Christ, after the flesh, to be the Lambe. And this is the mystery and testimony of the Scriptures: The spirit dwel∣ling and ruling in flesh.
The declaration or report of words out of the mouth or pen of men, shall cease; but the spirit endures for ever; from whence those words were breathed: as when I have the thing promised, the word of the promise ceases.
What is the lively testimony or appearance of the everlasting Gospell to dwell in flesh?
I answer; Justice and Judgement are the two witnesses, or the manifest appea∣rance of the spirit; or the pure light of Rea∣son, teaching a man both to know what is righteous, and to doe righteously: And when these two rule in man, then is flesh subject to •he spirit.
But I have heard men say, That the Scrip∣•ures are not onely the word of God, but God him∣selfe: Page 32 for the word and spirit goe together; as, I the beginning was the Word; and, The Word was God.
If that very written word were God himselfe, truly God then would mightily be torne in pieces every day, by the bad inter∣pretations of imaginary flesh.
But I answer; The spirit himselfe is the Word; This is the power that tooke flesh and dwelt amongst us. And the Scriptures are the testimony of those men, to whom this secret was revealed: by which testimo∣ny within, they were made able to give,
First, A report, that such a mystery, as God manifest in the flesh, should break forth and appeare in the world, in a child that should be borne of a Virgin; and so all the writings of the Prophets foretold the coming of the man-child, the Messiah, The Lambe of God. And so when the Pharisees told Christ he was a deceiver.
He answered, I am he; and unlesse that you believe that I am he, you shall dye in your sinnes: and search the Scriptures of the Prophets, and you shall see, that they tes•ifie of mee, that I am the Messiah; the Man-child; the Lamb, that am to answer all Moses types; and the Prophet, whom the Father hath sent; For I came not to doe my owne will, Page 33 but the will of him that sent me.
Secondly, The writings of the Apostles doe justifie the Prophets, and declare posi∣•ively, this is the Christ; the Son of the Fa∣•her, well-beloved: we ate and dranke with •im; we saw him and heard him, and were •ye-witnesses, that the Rulers of the Jewes •lew him, and that the spirit raised him from •he death.
But doe the Apostles writings report no •ore but this?
Yes; As they declared, when they •aw and heard how the spirit dwelt bodily • that humane flesh, or single man, Jesus Christ: So they have declared, by the same •estimony, that the same spirit that ruled in •im, should in the latter dayes be poured out •pon sonnes and daughters; and shall spread • the earth like the shining of the Sun from •ast to West.
And this is that which this mouth and •en of mine doe testifie of to all that heare •ee: that the same spirit that hath layne •id under flesh, like a corne of wheat for an •ppointed time, under the clods of earth, is •ow sprung out, and begins to grow up a •uitfull vine, which shall never decay, but • shall encrease, till he hath filled the earth. •his is the Kingdome of God within man. Page 34 This is the graine of mustard seed, which is little in the beginning, but shall become a mighty tree. This is the fire, that shall dry and burne up all the drosse of mans worke, and turne all things into his owne nature▪ This is that spirit which is broke out, that will bring mankinde into one heart, an• one minde: For, assure your selves, I know what I speake. The Thorne bush is burning but the Vine is flourishing. The Ashes of th• Thorne bush is laid at the root and feet o• the Vine, and it growes abundantly.
Now search the Scriptures for this like∣wise, for they doe testifie of the sending o• the spirit into the flesh of sons and daugh∣ters: and they testifie of the utter destruction of the man of sinne, the flesh, with all▪ hi• curse, power inwardly and outwardly. Now he that doth jeere the spirit, or denies tha• the spirit shall come and rule in flesh in son• and daughters, as he did in that one man, Je∣sus Christ, is an Antichrist, and a Traitor to the Father, let him be whom he will.
Therefore le•rne to put a difference be∣tweene the Report, and the thing Reported of. The spirit that made flesh is he that is re∣ported of. The writings and words of Saints is the report. These reports being taken hold of, by corrupt flesh that would rule, are ble∣mished Page 35 by various translations, interpretati∣ons and constructions, that King flesh makes; •ut those sons and daughters in whom the •pirit rests, cannot be deceived, but judgeth •ll things.
They say, I deny the doctrine of the Gos∣•ell: I shall give this account to that.
What is the doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
What Jesus Christ is, I have shewed •efore: The doctrine or report of h•m is •his: That mankinde shall be by him re∣•onciled to his Maker, and be made one in •pirit with him: that is, that the curse shall •e removed, and the power of it killed and consumed. And that created flesh, by that mighty power, the man of truth, should be made subject to the spirit that made it; so •hat the spirit, which is the Father, may be∣•ome all in all, the chiefe ruler in flesh.
And truly this is but according to the •urrent of the whole Scripture; that in the •ay of Christ, every one shall be made of one •eart and one spirit; that is, all shall bee •rought in, to acknowledge the Father, to •bey him, walke humbly before him, and •ive in peace and love in him. This is the •octrine of Christ and the Gospell. This is •lad tydings to heare of. But when you are •ade to enjoy this doctrine as yours, then Page 36 you shall know what it is to know the Son▪ and what it is to be set free by the Sonne therfore wait upon the Father, till he mak• forth himself in you.
I waite, that's true, but I must use th• meanes?
That which you call meanes doth harden your hearts, and blind your eyes, i• shuts you out from sweet enjoyment; tha• is, to run after men for teachings, I speak• not rashly, I speak what I know, and yo• shall finde before your soules taste of tru• peace, that whosoever takes those Scriptures▪ and makes exposition upon them, from thei• imagination, and •els you that is the wor• of God, and hath seen nothing: That they are the false Christs and false Prophets, an• their way of teaching is meer deceit both to your soules, and to your purses; for now in this day of Christ which is begun, and which will have a greater appearance ere long in the great world; Men must speak their own experienced words, and must not speake thoughts.
For thoughts, and studies, and imaginati∣on of flesh, are the men that are found gathe∣ring sticks upon this sabbath day, and these are stoned to death by the Power that is ari∣sing in some already; and shall be stoned to Page 37 death in all; that the Lord alone may be ex∣alte in this day of his Power.
Must I use no meanes at all, or what meanes must I use?
These 3 first; let your chief endeavour be to act according to your creation: that is, to doe as you would be done unto, by all creatures, as I have shewed; and Ile tell you, this is as needfull a gospell doctrine to be practised as any I know for the present; for Ile assure you, the world is at such a passe, yea, and among imaginary professors espe∣cially, that I know not who I can say is a sincere hearted friend; so that I am sure the sonne of man at his coming finds no faith in earth, neither in my flesh, nor in the flesh of other, he brings it with him, and gives it to us.
Secondly, waite upon the Father with a meek spirit for his teaching. And you shall find it a very hard thing to performe these •wo meanes: for the flesh is both very un∣•ighteous to seek it self, and it is very hasty •o have all knowledge, peace, and experience •n a sudden; its so proud and hasty, it will •ot wait.
Thirdly, if you would hear other men •peak, you may doe two things; First, read •he record, and there see what the testimony Page 38 of the Apostles and Prophets, your fellow servants were; but do not alter their words, by forceing a meaning, till the Father teach you.
Secondly, if you would hear, then acquaint your selves with such, as can speake from a testimony within: for as they received what they have from the pure teachings of the Fa∣ther: so this second hand teaching will be pure teaching to you; but be sure you do not prefer this second hand teaching before the first: for now the everlasting word and gospel must reveale himself to you, or else you can∣not be satisfied.
I have now discharged my service to the Father, in this declaration: remember what is tould you, despise not the Fathers meanes, by preferring the way and meanes of the flesh, above the wayes of the Father.
They say, I deny the Scriptures, because I say, that the Scriptures were not appointed for a rule to the world to walke by, without the spirit; but were the testimony of the Fa∣ther in those men that writ them, for the comfort and benefit of those that are drawn up into communion with the same spirit: And to this I shall give this accompt.
What is the Law and Testimony which if Page 39 a man speak not according to it, it is because there is no light in him?
This Law and Testimony to which I must have recourse for my comfort, is not the words or writings of other men with∣out me; But the spirit of the Father in me, teaching me to know him by experience; and when I can speake purely what I doe see and heare from the Father; this is the Law and Testimony within me, from which I speake, and if I speak not from this Law within, I have no knowledge in me.
But are not the Scriptures, the Law and Te∣stimony of the Father?
It was the Law and Testimony of the spirit which rested in and upon the Pro∣phets and Apostles, for they writ what they saw in vision, and they spake what they heard by voice, speaking to them spiritually.
But are not those Scriptures the Law and Testimony for people to walk by in these dayes?
No: For this is to walke by the eyes of other men, and the spirit is not so scanty, that a dozen or 20 pair of eyes shall serve the whole world; but every sonne and daughter as they are called children of light, have light within themselves: The same spi∣rit that fils one, fils all; and makes the whole number of them, according to their severall Page 40 measures, to be of one heart and one mind.
But may not men take these Scriptures, and spend construction upon them; and hold forth those constructions to others, as perfect light, by way of office?
I answer no: neither reason nor Scripture allowes any man to speake any words, but what he knowes positively to be truth. And he that spends constructions thereupon, speaking from his imagination, he speaks from the flesh and devill, and so he makes himself to be a traytor to the father, inholding forth that to be truth which is no truth. And a thief, robber, and unrigh∣teous dealer with the Prophets and Apo∣stles: First, in taking their words as his own: and secondly, in expounding their meaning, and so putting his own meaning upon their words.
But yet he that hath the same spirit, may speak the same word, where the Father hath given him the same sight and experience: for no man can safely tell ano∣ther, this is a positive truth of God, till he have the same testimoniall experience with∣in himself as the penmen of Scripture had: and this I am sure all that stand up to teach by way of office have not; therefore it is clear, that the power that sets up such teach∣ers Page 41 is not from the Father; commanding, but from the flesh; being suffered by the Fa∣ther for a time, that when he comes to throw downe his enemies, flesh may be sha∣med, and he honoured.
That man that cannot speak the testimo∣ny of the Father, no other way, but from his book as he reads, or from the mouth of another what he heares: as the publike teachers doe speake by hearsay and not from experience, and so declares him∣self to be a false Christ, a false prophet, that runs to teach others, before he have any dis∣covery of God within himself.
But are not the Scriptures the truths of God?
Yes, for they declare, that the spi∣rit was the mighty governour of the flesh of those that writ them, and so the truths of God the great governour in the pure expe∣rience of those penmen.
And I shall demand of you how you know that these Scriptures are the word of God, in the sense you call them: but the te∣stimony of the spirit within your selves, I say, there is no way to know but by the spi∣rit himself; seeing there are so many expo∣sitions upon them, which without doubt hath varied the copies: if it were possible to Page 42 see those very writings from the prophets and Apostles own pen: which is not to be seen.
But when the spirit comes in he must, nay he doth and will declare his own mean∣ing. And so the spirituall man judges all things, and he himself is judged of no man: he can judge the flesh, and passe righteous judgement, because he sees and knowes wh•t the flesh is. The flesh cannot judge him, for if he doe, it is not righteous judging, but rash censure.
What use is to be made of the Scriptures?
First, they are, or may be kept as a record of such truths as were writ not from imagination of flesh, but from pure experi∣ence, and teachings of the Father. Secondly, we are taught thereby to waite upon the Fa∣ther with a meek and obedient spirit, till he teach us, and feed us with sincere milk, as he taught them, that wrote these Scriptures.
Thirdly, when I look into that record of experimentall testimony, and finde a suta∣ble agreement betweene them, and the feel∣ing of light within my own soule, now my joy is fulfilled. And every man and woman may declare what they have received, and so become preachers one to another.
For the Scriptures doth but declare the Page 43 sending down of the spirit and how he shall rule in the earth in the latter dayes: but they doe not declare every particular measure and beame of the spirits ruling, for this the sons and daughters are to declare, by their parti∣cular experiences, as they are drawn up.
But when I read the Scriptures and findes a perswasion in my heart, that they are true, may I not owne them as a truth, and speak them as a truth; and speak them to others?
You may deliver the same words you reade which you are perswaded of, but to passe construction and the meaning, by way of office teaching others; this you cannot do. There is an imaginary perswasion groun∣ded upon thoughts, or as he conceives; but this is a sandy foundation, and deceiveth all the world. Secondly, there is an experi∣mental perswasion, grounded upon sight and feeling of the spirit of truth, ruling king within him; and this is the rock that will never fayl.
But did not the Apostles and Christ take texts of Scripture, and expound them, as Philip did to the Eunuch, and Christ from the 61 Esay?
They did not preach and expound any text customarily, as the parish gods do: but such particular Scriptures as the opor∣tune time and occasion served, to declare Page 44 Christ to be the lambe of God, or the grea• prophet which the Father promised to send.
So that all the Scriptures of the ancient prophets, which they spake from, was only to make it appear that the Messias was come: but they did not preach in setled parishes, forcing the people by the hand of the magi∣strate, to come and hear them, and give them a maintenance for so doing, under pain of punishment; the Scriptures knowes no such custome or way to be used: therefore who∣soever lives in such a practise, denies the Scri∣pture, and are enemies to Jesus Christ.
But now if any one take Scriptures, that speak of the spirits ruling in flesh, and so proves the truth of the Scripture by his own testimony or witnesse within himselfe; this may be done, but for any other way of ex∣pounding Scripture I know none, neither will, nor doth the Scripture warrant any o∣ther, but what advances the spirit and throws down the flesh, by the speakers own experi∣ence.
But may not the powers of a land compell their people, some to preach, and others to hear Scri∣ptures expounded as the manner is in England?
I answer, That power that com∣pels is the little horne, or dragon, whereso∣ever Page 45 it sits; and that expounding is a flat de∣nial of those Scriptures, and treason against the spirit, liberty is to be given to every one in the case for the kingdome of Christ hath an interest herein.
Lands and Kingdoms are most common∣ly governed more by the wisdome of the flesh, then of the spirit: and why? because the spirit gave that power into the hand of flesh for a certain time, and when the flesh is judged for his action, the Lord wil condemn him for his unrighteous, cruell self-seeking and oppressing government over his lambs and sheep.
The Powers of the Land punished Christ and his Apostles for holding forth their te∣stimony of the Father which was within them; but they did not compell any to hear them, or to follow them: it is an •asyer thing for magistrates to be breaking forth against such as speak from a pure testimony, then a∣gainst such as speak from imaginary studies of the flesh, both in regard of the powers of the flesh within them, blinding their eyes, and because of so many envious spirits a∣gainst truth, that will be flattering the ma∣gistrate, and telling him tales of slander on purpose to incense him against the sincere hearted in the land, because they hate them, Page 46 through ignorance that is in them; not knowing the Majesty of the Lord that is in his serva•ts, whom they despise.
What must the powers of a Land doe then in the matters of Religion, as they call it?
First, they must suffer every one that will quietly to keepe the record in their houses, or to rerd it, or speak of it one to another, and they that find their own experience to suite therewith, speaking from a pure testimony, and walkes in all acts of righteousnesse towards his fellow creatures. It is the charge which the Father hath put into the hand of the Magistrate, to protect these from their oppression of unrea∣sonable men.
Secondly, if any man walk unrighteously towards his fellow creature in civil matters: the Powers of a land must punish him, ac∣cording to the nature of his offence, and so to be a terror to all unrighteousnesse.
But what if the Powers of a Land command some of their people to hold forth the scriptures to the rest, and they be willing to obey?
If they doe, they can command their servants only to read them, and to such peo∣ple as are willing to hear them read, but they cannot command their servants to spend constructions thereupon, neither can they Page 47 force the people to come to hear those con∣structions; but must leave both parties at li∣berty: neither can they force the people to give the tenths of their increase, for a yearly maintenance to those servants: neither can those servants say, we speake truthes, and what differs from our constructions are er∣rors; and so call upon the Magistrate their master, to punish such, whom they brand for hereticks; for all these things denie the scriptures: and is contrary to the spirit of the Father: and doe tie his hands, and hin∣der the setting up of pure service, and sow emnity to the Fathers own way of teaching.
They say, I deny Father, Son and Holy Ghost, but wherefore they raise such a scan∣dall I cannot tell; yet hereof I shall give this accompt.
What is Father, Son and Holy-Ghost?
These are three names given to the one Spirit; As first, the Father, he is the spirit Reason; out of whom the creation of heaven and earth, with every branch of it proceeded. The Spirit in whom all things lay before there was any manifestation ap∣peared visible: and this is called the siery orbe, or spirit of burning, that will trie all mens works, of what nature they be.
Secondly, the Son is the light and decla∣ration Page 48 of the Father, to the creation, after it was come forth: and here first note, that every creature in its place, and stature, is a son to the Father; because every single crea∣ture doe demonstrate his maker to the view of his fellow creature, every one as a candle∣stick, holding forth the Father by the light that is in it self, for indeed the light that is in it, is the Father himself, and the Father shewes forth himself to the creation: by e∣very particular parcell of the creation, but these are but darke or weake shining Suns, Suns over which the clouds are much spread
But now perfect man, is the Son of the Father, in perfect glory, for when the Father rules and shines in him bodily, then he can declare the Father by all his senses, to the c•eation, which no other creature can doe but he.
Therfore man is called the supream crea∣ture, and he can call the spirit, Lord; be¦cause he sees and heares, feels, smels and tastes, that he who is the spirit of gentlenesse, uniting all together in love, and sweet com∣pliancie, doth governe the whole creation, and subjects all the flesh under him, and makes it serviceable. Now tha• man that is not humble and subject to the spirit his ma∣ker, he is a Sun und•r a dark eclipse; he hath Page 49 the forme of the Son indeed that hath no •rightnesse in him, he is not the well belo∣•ed Son. So you see here is the Father and •he Son both in one person and spirit.
Now thirdly, the Holy Ghost is a man in whom the Father dwels bodily, which is, E∣•manuel, God with us, and in and by whom •he Father doth manifest his power in do∣•ng great works. And he is said to be holy, •ecause the darknesse of the flesh is subdued •nder the feet of the spirit, and the spirit •ules in flesh over all his enemies.
And he is called, the Go-host, or the •rength of heaven; living and walking in •esh as an host or army of men, are called, the •rength of a land, and going up and down or the defence of the land, against all ene∣•ies; so I say, perfect man hath the strength •f the Father dwelling bodily in him. And •ne man thus drawne up, is as an hoste of •en, or a strong army, or a Go-host, going •r travelling among enemies, and subduing •hem under his feet, by the power of the •pirit that is in him.
And thus did the man Jesus Christ, tread •ll enemies powerfully under foot, and •ranke not, he was a Go-host, or a travel∣ing army of mighty strength, which way so∣ver he went; the spirit dwelt in him with∣out Page 50 measure. And the particular Saints like∣wise, as they are drawn up into the Father they have this tearme given them, that on shall chase a hundred, and a hundred put t• thousand to flight; this declares they a• go-hosts, or armies of mighty strength.
Now he that sins against the Father or th• the Son, in the former sense of Son-ship • I said▪ shall be forgiven, and here he speak• of creatures one trespassing against anothe• and in so doing sins against the Father, th• is, the light in them. And here flesh m• possibly walke in wayes of opposition to th• Father, as he shines forth in creatures, or • he shines forth out of man weakly; but • that sins against that body in whom the F•¦ther dwels bodily, shall not be forgiven.
A man may sin against other sons and • forgiven; but he that sins against this bel•¦ved son, this holy Ghost, this strength • the Father, shall never be forgiven.
By the word, He, or whosoever doth sin• is not meant here the creature man, but th• man of sin, or powerfull serpent within th• flesh: for this strong wicked man fights a¦gainst the strength of heaven, this would n• have the spirit to dwel in flesh bodily; & why because he himself would dwel there, & wou•• have the spirit to be under his proud feet Page 51 therefore there is an irreconcilable diffe∣rence between the man of sin, the serpent, and the man of righteousnes the Spirit, both striving to dwell in man, but the spirit will prove the stronger.
But if it must only be the cursed one in me that shalbe destroyed, Ile live as I list, I shalbe saved?
Know this, that this body of sin and the flesh is so nearly wrapped each in other, that before the spirit hath parted them, thou shalt roar in bitternesse and wish thou hadst never been borne; and the more familiarity thou hast had with thy cursed lust, the shar∣per will thy torments be; the found•r can∣not burn away the drosse, but must burn the gold too in the fire.
But if you take it Spirit; Father, Son and holy Spirit, and leave the word Ghost out, as to be a declaration of the Father, as some say?
Then the Spirit doth declare holy breathing, as when man was first made, his maker breathed into him the breath of life, and man became a living soul: so that the spirit in the man is, the life and breath of God in the man, and so a holy spirit.
And in this sense likewise the man of sin, the powers of the curse in man seeke to de∣•troy the light, life and breathing of God in man; but he must be destroyed under the feet Page 52 of the spirit, who will dwell himself in his own house, which house is man.
But how came in that distinction of holy Spirit, and of uncleane spirit; which are phrases often used?
Before man rejected the spirit his maker, the spirit was his breath and life. And he lived in the spirit treading the ob∣jects of the creation under his feet in compa∣rison, but after that man began to look af∣ter the objects of the earth, delighting him∣self to live upon or among fellow creatures more then the spirit. And so chose to him∣self another livelihood and protection, then his master; then his breath or power that guided him, became mixed and turned un∣cleane.
Ʋnfold your meaning in this a little more?
The spirit made the flesh to be his house to dwell in, and set man in the midst of the creation, as a lord to govern the crea∣ture, which while he governed according to the light of his maker within him, he did al• in righteousnesse; but when he fell off, and delighted to follow the lusts of his eye, the lusts of his heart, and guidance of the flesh, then he governed al in unrighteousnesse, and so pulling death and curse upon himself, and upon the earth.
Page 53For the spirit that made all creatures, did know that man as he was flesh, would be looking after fellow creatures, and take de∣light in the creation more then in the spirit of the creation; who was his maker that dwelt within, and lay covered from the eyes of flesh.
Therefore Reason the essentiall Father, gave this Law, that in that day, that man left off to own his maker that dwelt within him, and to suck delight from the creation, he should then die, or be cast into a conditi∣on to live below the spirit that is to live up∣on the creature, and not upon the spirit; And the spirit would suffer himself thus for a time to be trod under foot, til the fulnesse of time came, that he would rise up like seed of wheat, from under those darke and heavy clods of fleshy earth, and so him∣self, the seed out of whom all things came would bruise the serpents head, that powerfull proves that was in flesh to looke after objects without him, rather then into the spirit within him.
Why then you seeme to say, that the Law which Reason gives occasioned man to fall?
Very true, for if there had been no Law, there had been no transgression, if there had beene no binding law of reason to re∣quire Page 54 him to cleave only to his maker, and to eye and own him principally; then he had not done evill though he had placed his de∣light in the objects of the earth, his fellow creatures.
For note here, it is one thing to live in and upon the spirit, and another thing to fleight the spirit, and to live in and upon the creation, that came out or forth of the spi∣rit.
I intreat you to tell me what you meane by the Spirit?
The Spirit is the alone being of himself, that gave a being to whatsoever we see and hear, for whatsoever you see or hear, is but the breathings forth or declaration of an infinite being that was before them; as the words of a mans mouth are the declaration of the spirit or power within; and are crea∣ted by the spirit, and so hold forth as a crea∣ture to the creation.
And therefore the Spirit is called, the Fa∣ther, the King, the mighty God or Gover∣nor, Jehovah, Elohim, the Lord, and the like. Now he is called the Lord, because he is the power that rules in and over the whole globe of heaven and earth, for they are all governed by this one spirit.
But is death and darknesse made by this one Spirit likewise?
The one spirit made light and drrknesse, as in the great body of night and day, so in the litle body man; for that po∣wer of darknesse that dwels in humane flesh, and which leads the creature captive into complainings, and sorrow was made by the Spirit; by these words, In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt die. As well as he made that power of light, liberty, and life; by those words, Live; yea, I say, Live.
I pray explaine this a little more?
After the Spirit had made the crea∣tion, and mankinde to governe it. Now Reason would manifest himself to this cre∣ation by the works of his own hands, there∣fore let any man stand alone to the Law of Reason his Maker, to see whether he would stick to the one spirit, and live in him, or cleave to the creatures, and live in them; and man rejected the spirit, and cleaved to the creature; and so by virtue of the Law, cast himself under the power of death and darknesse, which was the curse, that Reason inflicted.
And thereupon the spirit within man being a prisoner to the flesh, or divell: As Reason would have it so for a time, that when he comes to arise up in flesh, like a corne of wheat from under the clods of the Page 56 earth: the creation may then come to know the spirit that is within it, is the mighty Power, and that al the creation being rested upon, is still but weaknesse, and cannot give true Rest, that so the Father alone may be all in all.
What is the devill?
The flesh of man within, and the objects of the creation without, is the divel; under which the spirit within is for a tim• buried and lies silent; and while man is sub∣ject to his flesh, or to the objects before him▪ he is carried away prisoner under the powe• of darknesse; for let him goe from creatur• to creature, all are too weake to worke hi• peace, or let him have all the desires of hi• flesh satisfied, even that delight brings pai• and sorrow, no true peace.
And why is the flesh of man within, a• objects without, called the devill.
Because when it is King it leads th• spirit of man into darknesse; yea, into ut¦ter darknesse and sorrow far from light, li• and true peace; for it drawes men to live u•¦on the creation, and to reject the spirit. Th• is that you call the serpent which tempte•Adam.
How doe you mean, make it more clear?
The flesh of man having lifted •Page 57 his heele against the Spirit within, which was his Maker, seeks life and contentment, from objects without in the globe, not from the Spirit Reason that dwels within, and that holds altogether by the Power. As for example; covetous flesh delights in the en∣joyment of riches or creatures; pride of the flesh delights in the enjoyment of the sight of the eye, or inward delights placed upon visible objects.
Now the man lives in, and upon the crea∣tion, not in and upon the Spirit in the crea∣tion; and though he say that the Father is his God, yet he lies, for he is led and ruled by the flesh, which is the devil, or father of lies which throwes the man into vexation and sorrow every foot, for if his covetousnesse, pride, and lusts be satisfied, he hath peace; but this is the peace of the flesh, or devil; and let his covetousnesse or pride be crost, and then he is filled with vexation; which is hel or darknesse, even the torments of the flesh or devil.
And the Law of Reason suffered the flesh thus to fall and to weary out himself in his own folly, that when the Spirit is pleased to breake forth and manifest himself to rule in flesh, then man may see his wise flesh hath nothing that is good in al his selfish actings; Page 58 but that the spirit that brought it forth, is the mighty Power.
And when the Fathers time is come to manifest himself to any one, he will then di∣spell the darknesse, which by his Law he made, and will set the creature free from the bondage of that darknes, burne up all those thornes and briars that flesh hath brought to terrifie it self; and will take up the crea∣ture into his own liberty and life; And then the Spirit shall be all in all: whereas the flesh generally living up on objects is all in all, or chiefe ruler in every man.
What is it to live in the Spirit?
When flesh is made to see, and to be subject to the spirit that brought it forth, and is guided by the light of Reason and righteousnesse, that might tie power ruling it. And not led away like a bear by the nose, by every object before his eyes, which the flesh lusts after to enjoy, and places content∣ment in.
They slander me, And say, I deny Prayer: And to this I shall give this accompt.
What is Prayer?
Prayer is of a threefold nature; First, it is to pay the king of righteousnesse his due; and that is for every man to act accor∣ding to the-creation of a man, which is to Page 59 righteously to all fellow creatures, he being the lord of the creatures.
As first, to doe righteously to his own bo∣dy, in taking food moderately, for the preservation of the health of it, and not to be excessive in drunkennesse and gluttony; and not to give away to the unclean lusts of the flesh, which tends to the destruction of himself; for if the Spirit, Reason, within a man let the flesh alone, and doth not go∣vern and moderate it in righteousnesse, it will destroy it selfe in a short time: let the flesh walke in Reasons law of moderation and righteousnesse, and it shall be preserved from heart breaking sorrows.
Secondly, act righteousnesse to all fellow creatures, till the ground according to Rea∣son; use the labour of your cattell with Reason; follow your course of trading in righteousnesse, as Reason requires; doe to men and women, as you would have them doe to you; and by so doing you shall live as Reasonable creatures, you shall act according to the creation of a man, and so pay the King of Righteousnesse his due; for when you hold forth him in your conversation, to the view of others, you honour him, you glorifie his name, and give him thanks: and this is one part of prayer.
Thus the heathen walked according to the light of nature, but Christians must live above na∣ture?
Then English Christians are in a lower and worser condition, then the hea∣thens, for they doe not so much. Men that are guided by principles, of fair dealing void of deceit, knowes not this day how to live, but he will be cheated and cosoned; and is this life of Christians (for all England is so called) above the life of the heathens? Surely the life of the heathens shall rise up in judge∣ment against you, from the greatest to the least. But let me tell you, that that man whosoever he be, that is not carefull to look into the light of his nature, and follow the rules of that light, to do as he would be don unto, shall never come to see the Spirit, that made and that dwels in nature, which is the Father of the whole creation. And if you know not him, then I pray tell me what God you worship or pray to?
But secondly, Prayer lies in the Reasonings of the heart, as thus: Ask this question with∣in thy selfe; Is covetousnesse the name of the Lord, or the name of the flesh? the an∣swer within thee will be, it is the name of the flesh, not the name of the Lord; now if thou walke in covetousnesse, how can thou Page 61 be said to honor the Lord by thy words in prayer, when thou honorest the name of the flesh, in thy practise.
And so is pride, is envy, is rash anger, is hypocrisie, is self-will, is unmercifull cruel∣ty, is zeale without knowledge, is unclean∣nesse; the name of the flesh, or the name of the Lord; thy owne heart will give answer, they be the name of the flesh, not the name of the Lord, and thou lives in the practise and power of those lusts; and gives the Lord a few customary words, and thinks his ser∣vice lies in them. I will have thee to know that the time is now breaking forth; yea, it is began, that they that worship the Father shall worship him in spirit and truth, and not in lip labor and custome, according to the imagination of flesh.
What is the name of the Lord? then I pro∣pound this question within thy heart.
The name of the Lord, is Love, joy, peace, meeknesse obedience, self-denial, cha∣stafie, humility, mercifulnesse, Reason.
Now he that is drawne up thus to Reason within himself, and to see himself, this man is praying continually, and calling upon the name of the Lord continually, whatso∣ever he doth, whatsoever he thinkes, which way soever he goes, he shall have Page 62 still fresh occasions thus to be reasoning within himself; and this reasoning will do two things.
First, it will strike the heart dead; when thou comest to see that for all thy praying in words, yet thou art at a losse, for thou honorest the name of the flesh in practise, and only worships the Lord with wind, like the way of the world; your servant Sir; when he could kill him in his heart: when these things comes home to thee, thou wilt be struck dead, and thy mouth be stopped; and this is a great power that stops the rage of flesh.
Secondly, this way of prayer or calling upon the name of the Lord will kill thy di∣stempers as they arise, and wil keep thy heart in peace, this I know, if thou wilt beleeve a∣nothers testimony, for now the name of the flesh is spied out, and the poyson of it killed; for when once Reason begins to enlighten thee, he will be thy keeper. The name of the Lord likewise is hereby advanced; first, within thy selfe, thou fearest and tremblest before him. Secondly, outwardly thou art moved to act righteousnesse to others, from the savour of this sweet oyntment.
Now that man doth not live lesse or more in the practise of those two rules laid down; Page 63 did never pray in all his life, though he use the words of prayer every day.
Words and actions going together are the declaration of a sincere heart; but words in prayer, without acting according to creati∣on as the generall practise is, are declarati∣ons of hypocriticall and deceived flesh: let his profession be what it will be.
Therefore professors look to your selves, both priests and people, there is light broke out that will lay open the hipocrisie of your private actings to the view of the whole cre∣ation, and you shall not cover your shame, doe all you can. Thus much for the second part in prayer.
Thirdly, prayer lies in words or utterance, but this is the remotest part of prayer. Now words among men should be the declarati∣on of the heart among men, but oftentimes they are not; for men have good words ma∣ny times in prayer, which they have got by tradition, which their hearts are strangers to; and so they draw nigh God with their lips, but their hearts are removed: and this hypocriticall darknesse hath at this day o∣verspread pulpit worship, and almost all fa∣mily worship. But our God hath left us a remnant on earth, whose hearts wait upon him, or else we had been as S•dom, here in England before this day.
But when shall I use or speak words in prayer?
When the power of the Spirit with∣in doth give words to the mouth to utter; for he that speakes words before the Lord, and not from his power, speakes he knowes not what, and his prayer is the vain babling of the heathen, that thinks to be heard, for their much speaking.
We all know that without the heart words of prayer are nothing, and there is no man that makes conscience of his wayes, dares speake, unlesse he feel his heart upright?
This is the language in professors mouths, but they neither know nor practise their own words; for let me tell you, and your heart shall bear witnesse, that I speake truly, that many times when you are put upon it to pray, as you call it, you find your self empty of words, now you will not wait upon the Father till he give words of know∣ledge; but the pride of the flesh will put you on, and force words out of your mouth though they appear ful of confusion to your selves, and likewise to the standers by: and tels you, what will others thinke of thee, if thou neglect to pray or preach as thou hast been accustomed; and so shame of men with∣in thee, puts thee upon speaking a multitude Page 65 of confused words before the Lord. But Reason tels thee, when thou comes before the Lord, let thy words be few and faith∣full.
But must I use no words at all in prayer?
I tell thee when the power within thee gives words to thy mouth to utter, then speak, and thou canst not but speak; but he that speakes before the Lord, whatsoever he be, learned, or unlearned, before he hath received power from on high, that man offers the sacrifice of a fool, not considering what he doth.
Well, thou hast now heard what prayer is, both in the heart, and in the mouth, and in the hand. These words shall not die, they are sincere milke which once a wearied soul did suck from the Fathers owne breasts of love, and wherein he now walks, and finds true rest in the Father; they are words of truth and sobernesse.
Therfore though thou go on in thy custo∣mary way of praying words in the pulpit, and in families, yet know, that thou art left without excuse, and thou shalt be brought before the King, and condemned for thy hy∣pocrisie, to the shame and torment of thy whole man.
Page 96Lastly, they say, I deny the ordinances of God, and that I live above all Ordinances, which is my pride: Hereunto I shall give this accompt.
First, that I doe walke in the dayly pra∣ctise of such Ordinances of God, as Reason and Scriptures doe warrant.
Secondly, that the Clergie and professors of England, in their publike worships doe practise their own inventions, which nei∣ther Reason, nor Scripture, doth warrant; and yet they call them Gods Ordinances; by which practise they are the men that deny God and Christ, and turne the Scriptures in∣to a lie.
First, then the Ordinances of God, which Reason and Scripture doth warrant, and in which I dayly walke in, are these.
First, I pray continually, calling upon the name of the Lord, in the manner I declare before; and for that search these Scriptures, and let Reason be judge. Eccl. 5.1.2. 1. Cor. 14.15. Esay. 29.13. Psa. 66.18. Mat. 6.5.6▪ 2. Cor. 13.5. Psal. 4.5. Act. 1.4.8. Psal. 52.9. Gal. 5.19.22.
Secondly, I speak to others as accasion • tendered, from the restimony within m•¦selfe, of what I have heard and seene and re∣ceived from the Father, and let Reason b•Page 67•udge. Act. 4.20. 1 Cor. 11.23. Act. 8.30. Ps. 51.12.13. Act. 2.14. Mat. 5.1, &c. Luke 4.21. Ioh•.11.
Thirdly, It is my endeavour and practise, to doe to others as I would have them do to me; for this is to act according to the crea∣•ion of a man, the chief Ordinance; let Rea∣son be judge. Mat. 7.12. Rom. 12.20. Mat. 25.•5. Esay. 1.16.17 &c. 1 Joh. 3.17. Rom. 14.•0. Deut. 1.16. Esay. 33.15, 16.
Fourthly, if I have knowledge, peace, or •ny good, I rejoyce to see the Father breath∣•ng forth love, in the strength I receive there •rom: I am ready as occasion is tendred, to out forth my hand to refresh others, and •ereby I give the Father thanks. And if I want any of those refreshments my self, my heart frets not, but is quiet, and made to wait upon the Father patiently, till he give me such things I want, in his own time. Psa. 9.14. Act. 15.31. Luke 22.32. Psal. 123.2. Zeph. 3.8. Gal. 5.5. Esay. 8.17.
Fiftly, I can, without grudging, suffer o∣•hers to walk to that measure of knowledge they have received, though it differ from mine; yet holding forth my light with ten∣dernesse to such as I see of meek spirits; and can without rashnesse (for I know what I speak) condemne, where I see a heart lifted Page 68 up in pride, waiting upon the Father, til he destroy the Serpent, and then make us all of one heart, and one spirit. Rom. 12.10. 1 Peter 4.10. Psal. 37.7. John. 7.34. 1 Cor. 6.2. Rom. 14.5.12.
Sixtly, I doe and can breake bread, with any in whom I see but the least measure of the Father rising up; that is, I can eate and drinke with them in any house, where I me•t with them, speaking of the things of the Father to them, and hearing them speak to me; for this is to break bread, from house to house, in singlenesse of heart; this is the communion of Saints in that particular; let Reason judge. Act. 2.46. Judg. 13.15. Gen. 18 4.5. Joh. 21.5, &c. Act. 16.34.
Seventhly, for Baptism, I have gon through the ordinance of dipping, which the letter of the Scripture doth warrant, yet I doe not presse any one thereunto; but bid every one to waite upon the Father, till he teach and perswade, and then their submitting will b• found; for I see now that it is not the mate∣riall water, but the water of life; that is th• spirit, in which soules is to be dipped, and s• drawn up into the one spirit▪ and all the• outward customes and formes are to cease and passe away. Mat. 3.15.16. Act. 8.38. Jo• 3.22, 23. 1 Cor. 12.13. Joh. 4.21, &c. 1 Cor. 13.•
Page 66Eightly, that Sabbath which I observe, is the day of Christ, wherein he is manifesting his power to save me from the curse; & so my soul is continually breathing forth, what I receive from him. I feel his power, in this day of his power, subduing the powers of my flesh more and more under me, and fil∣•ing me with himself. In whom I rest, and •ind sweet contentment; and this is the Anti∣•ipe of Moses seventh day. Heb. 4.3. Esay. 2.•1. Psal. 110.3. John 8.56. Revel. 19.6. Mat. 11.28.
They that will observe Gods Ordinances, must walk in the light of pure Reason, or •ccording to the command or example of Reasons Scripturs, in the very letter of them, •ithout making inferences or constructions; •or he that gives liberty to do so, gives liber∣•y to alter the Scriptures.
But what I have declared here, and what practise, to me is the light of pure Reason, •ho is the judge of all; and according to •xample and command of Scriptures in the •etter; therefore I owne the Scripture and Ordinances of God in the spiritual power of ••em, letting them shine in their own luster •ot mixing my own conjectures with them. Now observe, those Ordinances, which nei∣ther Page 70 Reason, nor Scripture doth warrant, and which you walke in, calling them Gods Ordinances.
First, you use words of prayer by custom, observing dayes, and times, and seasons, and places, whether ye have the power of pray∣er in you; yea, or no; witnesse your set formes, or the confusion that is in your ex¦tempore prayers; read these Scriptures, and let Reason judge whether this be a service with the whole heart. Gal. 4.10.11. Mat. 6.5. Lu. 18.10. John 4.21, &c. Esay. 29.13.
Secondly, you preach not occasionally from the testimony within your selves, but customarily from your imaginary studies, of what you have heard and read from others▪ and make a trade of it, to get a living by • but you say, you are commanded to preach because Paul bid Timothy to preach in season and out of season; this doth not concern yo• to take up preaching to make it a trade prove your command within your self, o• else you have no warrant from the Spirit s• to do, though you be learned in all the la•¦guages under the Sun, if you run before yo• be sent. Eze. 13.3. Jer. 23.21.30, &c. Jo• 10.12. Dan. 8.23, &c, John 3.11. Micah.• 11, 12.
Thirdly, you use words of prayer, befo••Page 71 and after sermon, a custome the Scriptures ownes not; read the Record, and let Rea∣son judge, whether you finde the power of prayer so customarily in you, or whether it be not covetousnes in you to get a temporal living that stirs you up to use this trade; and grosse ignorance in the people to consent with you, and the vain babling of the hea∣thens. Mat. 5.1. Acts 2.14. Iohn 8, &c. Acts 13.9.
Fourthly, your preaching is exposition of words and texts, a custome that Christ and his Apostles never used nor commanded; in∣deed Christ did expound the 61 of Esay, but it was upon occasion, to give forth his testi∣mony, that he was the Messias, he made not a trade of it customarily to get a living by. Mica. 3.5. Zacha. 13.4, 5. Act. 13.9. Act. 7.2. Acts. 21.40.
Fifthly, you petition the magistrate to compel the people to come to hear you pray and preach, or if you doe not petition, yet your ancestors have done it: And you allow of such a compulsion, and never tell the ma∣gistrate of his evill in so doing. A forcing power, which Christ and his Apostles never practised; indeed they did foretell the rising up of his power, which Daniel calls the little horne. Dan. 8.23, 24.25. Luke 11.47, 48. Page 72Mat. 15.6. Luke 9.50.53, &c. Rev. 13.6. Rev. 17.2. Mat. 24.26, 27. Rom. 14.5.12.
Sixtly, you call a parish (which is so cal∣led and made for civil good sake) a Church, and all that lives within the boun of that parish, you say, are bound to maintain one of you, that stands up to teach them, what you have read and heard from others; tel∣ling them, you speak from God, when your own soules knowes you lie; for you speak o∣ther mens words not your own experience; but your lyes now shall be covered no lon∣ger. Nay, you say, if the people refuse to give you tithes, you tell the Magistrate, it is his duty to force them, all which is not war∣rantable, neither from Reason nor Scripture. Mica. 3.5. Ier. 23.21. Ezek. 13.7. Luke 9.54, &c. Heb. 7.12.
Seventhly, you say and practise, that the first day of the week is the Sabbath day, and so making use of the Magistrates power, en∣deavour to compell the people to keep that day after the manner of the Jewish tipe, meerly to uphold your own trade; a practise which the writings of the New Testament warrants not; for the keeping of that first day, was not a forced businesse, but a volun∣tary act of love among themselves, having a •ast of the day of Christ, the Antitipe of Page 73 Moses seventh day. Iohn 20.19. Psal. 110.3. Esay 2.11.
Eightly, you say and practise, that break∣ing bread and drinking wine in a mixed company, if they be al parishioners, al sitting either afraid or ashamed one of another in a slavish bondage, none to speake, but one of you, is the breaking of bread which the A∣postles did practise: But neither Reason nor Scripture doth warrant your practise, for it is a meer table gesture, eating and drinking in love and sweet communion one with a∣nother from house to house: Read Act. 2.46. Ier. 18.4, 5.
Ninthly, you sprinkle children, and call that the baptisme of Christ, a practise which there is not the least command or example in Scripture to warrant; yet you doe it, for it mightily deceives the people, and moves them to uphold your trade. Acts 8.13. 1 Cor. 12.13.
Tenthly, you assume the office of preach∣ing the Gospel, because you are bred up in humane learning, which the Scriptures doth not countenanee in the least; and while you doe it, you persecute the Gospell it selfe, which is the Lord, or Spirit within; and you teare in peeces the declarations of the Go∣spel, which is the Scriptures, by your various Page 74 expositions, and so all you doe, is but to trouble the children, and to throw durt up∣on their food. Moses a shepheard; Amos a fruit gatherer; Apostles fisher-men; Christ a carpenter; such as the Lord made preachers, not such as made themselves preachers, that had biggest purses.
Thus I have given a tast of my own pra∣ctise, and if the priests, who say they own the the Scriptures, and they say, I deny the Scri∣ptures and Gods Ordinances; therefore let all men judge between us, whether is in the fault, and let truth hereafter be owned and practised.
They that practise any way of worship which neither Reason nor Scripture war∣rants, do deny the Scriptures.
But the Ministers of England, and such as follow them in the practise of praying, prea∣ching; sprinkling children, breaking bread, sabbaths, Church societies, & Ministers main∣tenance, as they practise in their customary way of performances, which they call Gods ordinances; hath neither Reason nor Scri∣pture to warrant them.
Therefore you that call your selves Mi∣nisters, are the men that deny the Scriptures and Gods ordinances, setting up your owne inferences and constructions above the Scri∣ptures, Page 75 leaving the antient letter which the Apostles and Prophets writ, and set up a new moulded way of Ordinances of your own framing, by inferences and conjectures. And by thus new moulding the Scriptures, you deny God, and Christ, the one Spirit, from whence the Scriptures were breathed.
Let the Record be searched without draw∣ing inferences from it, and let all judge. Let us speak the Scripture words, not force a meaning, least we speake contrary to the mind or spirit of them.
Well, all that I shall say, is this; let all men cease spending constructions upon the Scri∣ptures, and leave the pure Scriptures to shine in their own luster, not mixing imaginary inferences with them; they were the decla∣rations of truth in the Prophets and Apo∣stles.
And let us leave the pure teachings of the Father in every man, to conjoyn themselves with those Scriptures, and then there will be no jarring, but a sweet harmony of peace and love, betweene the experience of every man and those Scriptures.