Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Works of James Nayler > A Second Answer to Thomas Moore
Thomas Moore, when wilt thou love the truth and cease thy deceit, and mind the light of Christ to lead thee out of thy crooked paths, that the mouth of the serpent may be stopped that belcheth out thy own shame in thy lies and confusions as thou <537> hast done; not only when I was with thee before many witnesses, but also in thy two books, wherein thy lies are too many to number. In thy first book I sent thee back 48 lies, out of three times as many more, that thou might prove them. But instead thereof thou adds heaps upon heaps; and so it must be, that he may be revealed who abides not in the truth and so is a liar from the beginning, and so thou art found. As thou didst make up the substance of thy first book with lies, so thou begins this. And in the front of thy lie thou makes a cover for it, lest it should be seen. In thy first book thou says thou shalt refuse further to meddle or have to do with me unless thou perceive in me some turn to the Lord. And in thy second book, thou renders me as the mouth of the devil, to cast out his poison. Is this the turn to the Lord thou perceives in me? Or thou would have me believe that in this book thou hast thus filled with deceit to cast upon me thou dost not meddle with me therein? This by the way all may see thou art no bungler in that art; for in the most part of thy lies thou makes sure to present them as to leave open a way or two to escape, if thou be taxed therewith; and if not, then let it pass for truth, and this all shall see in thy books who doth but read them with the light of truth: which deceits I shall not much trouble myself to trace thee in; only in some few where the serpent would devour the simple by the way and shut up the kingdom against such as desire to choose the plain way, I shall discover thy spirit, of what nature it is, that they that will may beware.
1. There is three things thou would have the reader to believe from thee, if any be so void of truth: First, that I have belied thee, and the truth attested by thee; to which I say, 48 of those thou calls thy truths I sent thee back again into thy bottle, besides many more of the same nature I laid open. I knowing these to be notorious lies, attested by thee for truths, I could do no less than testify against them: any other belying of thee, thou art not able to prove.
2. How empty, frothy, and corrupt my answers is, and how plainly the Scriptures are wrested by me. To which I say to the first part, the boaster speaks the frothy words. To the second I say, if quoting Scriptures without adding or diminishing be no wresting, then thou hast but herein added a lie more to the number.
3. How the wolf appears in the sheep's skins, in the beginning <538> and close of my book. To which I say, my book begins with discovering thy lying, antichristian doctrine, lest by it the simple souls should be deceived; and what I say, I make it appear to be truth, and my book ends with twelve points of truth laid down, needful to be cleared to all from the devil's mists cast upon them, and this is no part of the wolf's work. But what beast was that which was up amongst thee and thy companions, who when I spoke the truth amongst you, your weapon was heaved up to knock me down in the yard, when you was on horseback, and left the dispute the latter day, which in this book thou wouldst cover with a subtle lie. If I had intended such a thing to any creature, I could not have been excused in the sight of God from a wolf or a dog; for I am sure it was no part of a man, much less of a saint, to knock one in the head who did not resist, neither had anything in his hand wherewith to resist.
For the first of these, and the deceitful crooked ways thou takes to excuse thy lies and blasphemies, who doth but read thy books, and my answer to thy first, needs not any further to see thee withal, if they mind but any light in them; yet for love to the simple ones, I shall lay thee open in some of them, that they may the better find thee out in the rest.
In thy first thou begins with, thou says thou dost not gather thy charge against me, that I preach down the person and work of Christ in one body for us, &c., from my letter, because I witnessed the flesh of Christ the food of the inner man. But from my comparing my confession of the flesh of Christ in me with the apostles' preaching down circumcision, &c. Wherein all that ever reads my letter in thy book may be witness against thee, if in any part of my letter I have compared these two together, nor ever did it enter into my heart so to do. But the end of my letter is this, to let you see yourselves more blind as to the knowledge of the Spirit and its teaching and revelation than the Jews was, as much as if I had said, if you oppose my testimony when I confessed the flesh of Christ, which the letter doth declare of; what a generation would you have been had you lived in the time of the apostles, who preached down circumcision, which the letter said should continue? So the comparison stands betwixt you opposing the testimony of the Spirit in me, which is according to the letter, and the Jews opposing the apostles' testimony in Spirit, which disannulled <539> the letter, wherein you are found double to them in blindness. Now how this preaches down the person of Christ, or whether I made that comparison thou says I did let any judge, who all may see thou hast made it thyself to slander withal, without the least ground from me, and then says I made it. O thou shameless man, how dost thou bend thy tongue for lies and slanders?
Also having, in thy book, called perfection a devilish doctrine, and being told of it and confounded in it by Scripture, now thou covers it, as though thou called our doctrine of perfection devilish, and says, thou nowhere finds Christ gave gifts to perfect men in lying, &c. I say, when didst thou read of any other doctrine of perfection preached by us but the doctrine of Christ and his light and Spirit for perfecting the saints? and this is it thou callest devilish; and for thy lies our doctrine lays thee open therein, else we should not be so much opposed by thee and the generation of liars, who deny the light of truth within, as thou child of darkness dost, who says the grace of God that brings salvation to all men instructs them not to look to any light or spirit in them for direction, herein showing thyself wholly ignorant of the Spirit of Christ and his light; for all who have the Spirit of Christ they have it within them, and his light in them, which thou denies for direction; and so art antichrist, opposing the spiritual sight and teaching without which none can come to know God or themselves, and that is the cause of all thy lies thou hast told in thy books; for who denies the Spirit of truth, which is appointed of God to lead into all truth, must needs be led with the contrary, who are sensual, not having the Spirit nor light in them; and if thou hadst said no more in thy books this had been enough to have showed thyself a blind guide, who denies the teachings of the Spirit and light within to be from the grace of God; for none can have the grace of God to appear with its light and teachings and salvation, but within; for the grace of God is spiritual, and that which is spiritual is within, else no creature can have it to salvation; wherefore Christ saith the kingdom of God is within you,1 not lo here, lo there (as you Pharisees would have it). And saith he, Go not forth; and the apostles preached the word of faith that was in people's hearts,2 to whom they preached; and they came to the knowledge of God and his <540> glory by the light that shined in their hearts.3 And the saints had their grace in their hearts, and the word of God dwelt in them richly;4 yea God himself dwelt in their hearts by his Spirit;5 and yet thou says the grace of God teaches not to look to any light within; and here thou art clearly manifest to be heart-blind,6 and would have all in thy state; for herein your kingdom would fall and you could no longer reign over people's consciences and estates: if they come once to know God's grace in their hearts and the teachings of the Spirit within them they would soon see your idol-worship and high place preaching to be out of both form and power, of that which the saints lived in and practiced, and no longer would they give their money for that which is no bread, and their labors for that which doth not profit; and then could you no longer ride upon the nations as masters; and the Whore would fall: so thou and the rest do what you can to keep people spiritually blind from looking within, that so they may come to you for teaching and so be ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, ever loadened with sin, but never set free, being led out by you and kept from entering in where freedom is; for the veil must be over the heart till they turn to the Spirit.7 Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit is, there is liberty from sin, from glory to glory by the Spirit, which no literal ministration can ever come to, though the letter be read every day, and so you deny both letter and Spirit also; for saith the letter, you shall be all taught of God; and none can be taught of God but by the light of Christ within, in Spirit; and thou that denies this art against Christ; and his kingdom is in the heart, and his law in the heart, and his word in the heart, and he himself in the heart;8 therefore thou his enemy would not have his people to look there for teaching, so let all who desires to be united unto Christ avoid thee and thy antichristian doctrine. And it is no matter what thou says, as touching the things of God, who art heart-blind and hast not thy teaching from the light and Spirit of Christ within thee. All that comes out must needs be of the devil, and so it is in all who hath it not from the light and Spirit of Christ within them; for he that speaks of himself is the liar and the father of it, and so it is seen <541> of thee in thy books; and also thy blasphemy, who says, to direct to look to the light within, is the same as directing men to seek to a familiar spirit; and of that brood thou art who ever called Christ Beelzebub, and light darkness. O thou blasphemer! did Christ direct to a familiar spirit when he told them the kingdom was within them?9 and that the light of the body is the eye, and if it be single the whole body is full of light,10 as the bright shining of a candle doth give light. And keep thy heart with all diligence, for from thence are the issues of life.11 And saith, thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin;12 and commune with your own hearts and be still;13 and the law of God is written in the heart,14 and the heart of the wise teacheth his mouth;15 and the Spirit of truth is that which leadeth into all truth.16 Nay doth not all the Scriptures testify to the light and Spirit-teaching within; and that they are none of Christ's who have not the Spirit of Christ, and is it counted a familiar spirit now with thee? Now is it seen to all the children of the light, that antichrist is revealing, as the Scriptures hath foretold, and the man of sin pleading against freedom from sin, and the blind guides preaching against the light, and he that is born of the flesh against the Spirit and its teachings, and the children of darkness against the light that manifests the evil deeds, and he is discovering who abode not in the truth, and the Spirit and light is that truth which thou would preach down to lead out into the world, where the liar is, who hates the light because his deeds are evil. And this is thy work in thy books, and to thy master and his work thou art faithful, using thy utmost subtlety to do his work thoroughly, to preach Christ out of his creatures, that none should mind his light and Spirit but without in another world, that so the devil may have his will in the heart in this world, while anyone lives, and serve God and be made free when they are dead and can do their master no more service if they would. And when thou hast struck them off from looking at any light or Spirit within, then like the serpent, lest his head should be seen, thou hides thyself with telling of not to lean to their own understanding; and (says thou) though the word be nigh them in their hearts, that it might be, yet it is not, received by them in their hearts, or <542> dwelling there as a light or principle to direct them, while in their natural estate, when thou hast done what thou can to persuade them that the looking to it is but as to a familiar spirit. But is that their own understanding, which condemns their natural understanding, as they are fallen from God, and lets them see that all their understanding, wisdom and prudence is God hid from, and manifests all their deeds in that state to be evil? this hath every natural man in him from the Father of Spirits, which manifestation of Spirit is given to everyone to profit withal, if it be but minded and not quenched; and without this can be no knowledge of God, and if this candle be put out, there is no doing the work of God till it be lighted, further than to wait; and there is no waiting but with the heart in Spirit, till it shine out of darkness again; and till then, all the creature doth is but deeds of darkness and not accepted by God; his prayers are abomination and his plowing sin; yea, though all the world should flatter such a one they could not save him nor unite him to God, nor give peace of conscience with God, nor sealing in spirit; and this the children of light know, though blind serpents and deaf adders oppose it, who walk in craft and deceit; but the apostles who handled not the word deceitfully did commend themselves to that in every man's conscience in the sight of God.17 And the ministration of Christ is to the spiritual seed, whereby the spiritual seed is quickened and raised out of darkness and death; but the ministration of the hireling and false prophet is to the itching ears; and so the beast and the false prophet joins against the seed of God to keep it in death and darkness; and if it be borne up, then they persecute him in whom it is borne. And these take the letter, therewith to deny the light and oppose that Spirit that gave it forth, and whereof the letter testifies, because they have not the word abiding within them,18 and this was the work of the Pharisees and hirelings; but never any one of Christ's ministers denied the light and Spirit within as thou dost, yet staidly and covertly: so as if thou be taxed for it, thou may have an excuse to come out of and deny thy work with a meaning and consequence; but if none disproves thee, then goes on with thy work to lead out simple people from the light of Christ in Spirit, to follow thy imaginations without, a Spirit and light without, which thou never saw.
<543> Yet in this one thing, there is not many exceeds thee; for whenever thou lays down a deceit, the end whereof is to deny the light or Spirit, or perfection, or to slander any who own the truth, in these things thou makes sure before thou leave it to make two or three ways for escape, lest it fall upon thy head, knowing before the things to be such thou cannot stand by with Scripture; and this the least child of light may see in thy books, wherefore I shall not much need to trace thee therein, the thing being so plainly evident to all that in the light read thy books and my answers thereto.
And when thou hast told a lie, and being told thereof, thou on purpose having left out a word or syllable, there thou makes an escape. As for instance, in thy answer to the last query, which asks, What that grace of God is which brings salvation and hath appeared to all men: thy lie is that indeed we believe no such thing as the grace of God appearing to men; which I finding this to be as answer to the query, I tell thee, Thou answers with a slander, saying that indeed we believe no such thing as the grace of God appearing to all men; now thou having left out the word "all" (for escape) which is in the query and in the Scripture also, in thy defense says thou, "my words are, 'They believe no such thing as the grace of God appearing to men.'" and this thou would charge upon me to be a lie, when the lie is thy own and hath both abused the query and the Scripture on which the query is grounded, leaving out the word "all" to make it, and such holes as this thou creeps out of to hide the liar from being seen.
And in other places where thou hast gone a crooked way to fetch a compass to make a lie (for otherwise thou could not), which when I come to answer and takes the sum of the thing in brief (which otherwise might fill a volume), then thy escape is, because I tell not all the lying story over again after thee; and in these and suchlike crooked ways thou goes about to avoid the truth, and wind out thy head, lest it should be bruised therewith. And this shall any see who in the light doth but read thy books and my answer, wherein I might trace thee into every particular were it needful or dark to the least simplicity.
Also in other places, where thy escape will not serve thee with a seeming show of truth, before thou stick thou wilt forge an absolute lie. As for instance, page 9, where thou mentionest my <544> charging thee to say that none have yet ceased from their own works. To which thou says thy sayings are that none here have yet so ceased from their own works, &c. To prove which words, thou quotes Antidote, page 44, which all that read that page shall read thee a liar, thereby to accuse the truth; for these words are not so there, nor anywhere else that I have yet seen; and so according to the doctrine, to thee it is, who hast not yet ceased from thy own works, who art yet a liar and covering one lie with another, carping at words (when I speak the sense) to make me a liar, when thou canst not hit thy own words; but he that is come to Christ is ceased from his own works, who is become God's workmanship; but the serpent hath no portion here and so would exclude all others, who knows no better but to believe him. But where God works all our work in us he ordains peace there; and such are entered into the rest, the serpent knows not (Isa. 26:52; Phil. 2:13); they which did believe were entered into rest (Heb. 4:3), but thy sophistry is to keep people from looking for any rest from their own works till they be cut off by death and can serve the devil no longer, and so art one of those who will neither enter thyself nor suffer those that would, like the rest of thy fathers, who art seeking to overthrow the faith by thy lying divination. For the devil knows unbelief is that which keeps from entering into rest: so he strikes off faith. But many are entered in who have heard his voice, and such will believe thee no longer; so thou casts out thy flood after such as is out of thy reach. Another way thou hast, that when I tell thee of thy lies and deceits in thy book, lest people should find them, thou sets them to seek in another page, where thou hast made some cover for that deceit, and not in the place in which it is spoken; and thus thou shuffles to hide thyself, lest thou should be discovered in plainness to the simple: instance that about the resurrection.
Another way thou hast with thy divination to turn a thing quite contrary to what I both speak and intend; and this is usual to thee in most places of thy book. Instance thy 15th page, thou having in thy first book seemed to deny any other manner of preaching than what was left by the apostles, to which I answer, Then you may spare your pains (you steeplehouse teachers) who are out of the manner, yea and matter also; and with thy divination thou turns this, that I would set up a new manner of teaching, of two or three years standing; when both my words and end is to establish the old way; and therefore deny your idol worship, <545> which is out of it, your preaching and printing. And in some of these ways, or some other suchlike crooked way, hast thou cast a mist over the truths wherewith I have laid open thy deceits; yet canst thou blind none therewith but thy own generation, who are blind already; and as any of them minds the light in Spirit (which thou so much opposest) they shall see thee and thy deceit also. And now having a little opened the way to all who desires to know the truth, that they thereby may see all the rest of thy rotten covers, I shall not much contend about words, but leave the truth to manifest itself to all who in the principle of truth reads our books and inquires after it; and they who will be filthy and loves deceit, in thy book, may cover themselves therewith.
Thou goes on saying, "We come to give some instances of his false charges," and you mention some particular things. To which I say, how many that "we" is thou speaks on, I know not further than that there is legions against the Lamb; but to that I have said, I shall make it appear to be true, as to the true intent of thy doctrine without the least desire to aggravate, as follows.
First, as to thy seeking to exclude God and Christ, the Spirit and light out of the world, and that he should no more dwell in his people till doomsday, and so on to all the rest.
To which I say thy words are, that it cannot be properly said, that in a full and absolute sense, God was or is manifest in the flesh of any natural son of Adam, in the time of his mortality; where it is plain thou excludes all mortality, with all the time till doomsday. If not, let the wise judge; as for thy word "natural" thou hast thrust in to blind people with, it is of no force in that place, unless thou prove that all men must be in their natural estate during the time of their mortality, which indeed best suits thy end and condition; and as for the Spirit, thou calls it as popery to confess a Spirit within to open the Scriptures; and the light within thou compares to a familiar spirit. In another place thou says, "God was (not, God is)" manifest in the flesh: which words, "not God is," is as absolute a denial as can be made, and so preaches him not only out of the world, but out of all the saints and thyself; thou sayest also, the Word Christ is personally absent from us while in these bodies. And in another place speaking of the manifestation of God, thou says "in that one person, not in divers"; and this is to deny the Father and the Son; <546> for he that hath not the Father hath not the Son, and he that hath not the Son hath not life; and so this preaches an eternal separation between the creature and the Creator and keeps God out of his dwelling-place, denies him present to judge, rule and guide; and this preaches him out of the heart and not to be manifest in the flesh; and the whole is herein proved upon thee, which I have said, out of thy own mouth; and whereas thou would shuffle out by saying thou dost but uphold that Scripture Paul speaks to Timothy, I say, Paul says no such words as that God is not manifest in flesh, that's thy own, therewith to deny God in the flesh; for Paul saith, great is the mystery, and speaks of what Timothy should wait for then in him, that so by God manifest in him he might know how to behave himself in the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth, which church was in God, and God in them, who did dwell in them and walk in them; and they knew that what God was in Christ, he was in them, as they had received Christ according to these Scriptures (John 14:20-21,23; John 17:23), and they knew that they was the temples of God, which temples was holy, in which God was known and manifest, to dwell and walk (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 6:16). And if any had not the Father and the Son in them, they was warned not to receive them into their houses (2 John 9:10).
And therefore they was to try all antichrists who denied Christ in their flesh as thou dost, and so all idol-shepherds and hirelings who had not God in them they denied; and those that was without God they saw them to be in the world, and so the world would hear them, but them in whom God was they knew not but as thou dost now to envy and reproach (1 John 4:3-6,12-13,15-17). So that which I have said of thee is no slander, being proved out of thy own mouth & afterward contradicted by plain Scripture, and thou proved to be that antichrist who art without God in the world, denying Christ now in the flesh and God also, and knows not the great mystery of God manifest in flesh, which was great and is great though thou know it not now, no more than the blind guides did then. And thy cover is that that Word Christ is personally absent from us while we are in these bodies upon earth. I say thou may stop thy mouth for any knowledge thou hast of Christ, personal or spiritual: he was never known to the idol-teachers and hirelings and blind guides and such as preached for gifts and rewards; such never knew his person nor appearance. Had there not been a <547> letter we should have little talk of Christ or his appearance, with thy generation of chemarims,b who have always put his appearance into another generation, wherein thou exceeds all thy predecessors, who would bind him in heaven while he is and while any man lives, which seeing, thou goes about to deny. I shall repeat thy words, which are these, in thy first book, page 36. That he remains "in the heavens as opposed to the earth, and where while he is, he is personally absent from us while we are in these bodies on earth"; and yet with the same shameless mouth am I accused as a liar for telling thou hast limited his person from the earth till doomsday (as it is called), when thy words reaches further, even to while he is, which is as much as to say forever: thou blind sot, wilt thou limit the Lord in heaven19 who fills heaven and earth, who after he had descended into the lower parts of the earth ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things? And was not this the person of Christ (Eph. 4:9-10) which descended and ascended, and that above all heavens (which now filleth all things), which thou would limit in heaven? Art not thou blind as to the letter itself? was he personally absent from any of his dear lambs in their sufferings, though but once in the likeness of sinful flesh to grow from a child to a man's state that in himself alone he might work redemption and leave a living example of faith and obedience, temptings and sufferings, to all generations that believe; and for that end was he lifted up that through him all might believe, yet hath he appeared in divers forms, both before his sufferings and since (Mark 16:12), wherein he is not personally absent? Was he personally absent from the three children in the furnace (Dan. 3:25)? Was he personally absent from John in the Isle of Patmos (Rev. 1)? Was he personally absent from Paul, who confesseth his personal presence (2 Cor. 2:10)? Nay thyself says, page 2 of thy first book, that Paul with his bodily eyes did behold the person of Christ after his ascension; and this thou could make use on in thy dispute to plead against any immediate call from God; and now thou would limit him to a place while he is. Cease thy <548> imaginations about the person of Christ; the serpent is as blind about the person of Christ as he was about the body of Moses, yet will he be disputing to see if he can get in. Christ is revealed in the light, whose person is before the world was and by whom the world was made, which light thou calls a familiar spirit, as thy fathers called him Beelzebub: so much knows the carnal imaginations of his person or his light, wherein he leads out of the world to reveal his person to them that follow it. Is not Christ wherever the right hand of God is, though the blind see him not? was not the person of Christ with him when he made the world, and by him he made it?20 was not he at the right hand of God in David's time (Ps. 110:1)? And is not he at the right hand of God in the new creation? And is not he in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, whereby they become of his flesh and his bone? Was it not the person of Christ that came in amongst his disciples, the doors being shut? And was it not the person of Christ that said he would come again to them, though he had yet to ascend?21 Which, till then, the work he had to do was not wholly done; and wilt thou now bind him as a man in a chair, who fills heaven and earth;22 yea, who is far above all heavens; yea, wherever the right hand of God reaches, he is there; and without him (present) he doth nothing. Cease, vain man, thou knows not whom thou would limit, who limits the word to be personally absent from believers. All the devils in hell cannot limit him absent from his lambs in their greatest straits, who, though he be to be preached in heaven, yet is he not to be limited from the earth, whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain (Eph. 4:9-10). Nor doth that place (Acts the 3rd) limit him, though it say the heavens must receive him (which the world will not), but saith upon their repentance, God will send him whom the heavens hath received. As in many other places, his appearance is promised, waiting for and received, as he is in himself, not in imagination; and in this book thou denies him as mediator to be in man, because the letter says between God and man, thou says not in man; thou may as well say not in God, so much thou knows of him in thee. Read Christ's words (John 14:20) if he be not in God and in man. And whereas thou would accuse me for asking thee if thou dost not deny the resurrection of the body, in <549> saying no man, as from Adam, can approach or see the Lord's throne in heaven, I say, had I not good ground to ask question, yea, and rebuke that lie also, as I did, telling thee John and Steven was men from Adam and yet did see God's throne and Christ's promises to such as overcome, to sit on his throne. And dost thou call this a slander to tell thee of it? then keep in thy false doctrine, if thou would not hear it reproved; and think not to hide thee under John's words, which saith, "No man hath seen God": for John saith, "The only begotten Son hath revealed him." John did not speak these words to deny the sight of God and so make himself a liar, who had seen him; but to declare the true way to come to see him, which is by revelation; which thou denies and so would wrest John's words against what he did witness and declare of.
|And whereas thou would accuse me as slandering thee amongst the parish-masters; I said not that thou was a parish-master, but thou art one with them, in the same spirit, for gifts and rewards, though yet thou hast not got a parsonage suitable to thy will. But art thou not a master teacher, and in their way also of parish steeplehouses; and then what wrong have I done thee in reckoning thee amongst parish-teachers and masters also? But thou wants something to accuse me, that thou might make me like thyself; and so thou seeks all along in thy book. Instance thy accusing me for saying thou tells of some abatement of persecution, &c. I say, let any but read thy epistle to the first book, p. 2, line 1, and they may see the liar; and so in many other things not worth mentioning after thee; wherein, going to prove me a liar, thou proves thyself one. But if any who have the least measure of Christ in them read but thy 28th and 29th pages of this last book of thine, they may see what spirit is in thee, as to persecution of us; and how thou goes about with thy lies and slanders to add to our sufferings, which one day thou shalt know thou should not have done, rendering us to all the world as though it could not stand with the security of any commonwealth to suffer us: wherein it is plainly seen what shall become of us if thou get power, or if such as are in power will but give ear to what thou hast published to them: but to the Lord we appear in these things, and if he do suffer your generation of murderers to get power, we may read by what hath been done what mercy we may expect from thee and the rest of that generation, who art showing thy teeth before thou have power, rendering <550> us in as vile a manner as thou canst, as papists, and would lay the blood they have shed upon us, who art in the state of their papist priests thyself, incensing (and in most notorious slandering too) the earthly powers against us all thou can by thy false accusations, too many to mention; and when thou hast done, to cover thyself, thou says thou would have us to have liberty that thou may fairly deal with us with other weapons. O full of all subtlety! can these words cover thee? It hath been always known what weapons is of most use in the hands of the idol-shepherds; which weapons thou art sharpening beforehand in this thy book, in which thou renders us as not fit to be suffered to live in any commonwealth, heaping up thy accusations upon us, of which we are clear; and rendering the sufferings of hundreds of innocent ones as evildoers, and justifying therein the bloody cruelty acted upon many of them, saying, "It is not so great as we pretend, nor as it was in the bodily and bloody persecution"; and then would cover thyself with feigned words. But the Lord who despises not the sufferings of the poor shall find thee out, and the children of light sees thee, and thy opening a door to murder and persecution.|
There are many more, besides thee, who thinks our sufferings are not great enough; but your day is coming on apace.
And whereas thou (after thy usual manner) casts a slander upon me, and when thou hast done aggravates it again in thy second book, wherein thou would make people believe that I own no sufferings nor satisfaction of Christ for the world but what was in me; and much suchlike conjured stuff thou raises out of the bottomless pit and calls it my fancy, which is but thy forgery; for I know the offering of Christ for the sin of the whole world in his own person, as I have hinted in page 56 of my answer, which might have stopped thy mouth of this lie: but more at large in that book called A Salutation to the Seed of God and divers others; which all remains as so many witnesses against thy false slander. Yet did I never know his reconciliation, sufferings, nor satisfaction as I ought to do (but by hearsay) until I knew Christ revealed in me with his sufferings, satisfaction, and reconciliation, though I could have talked much of the thing without me as thou dost; yet had always such a feeling within me as kept me from such a common road of lying as thou delightest in and dost exercise as a trade beyond all that ever I read or heard. Surely dost thou think that people are all as blind as those thou hast in guiding? Dost not thou <551> blush to tell such abominable lies as thou dost in thy books, that he that runs may read thee so to be. What a lie hast thou framed to excuse thy brother (as thou rightly calls him) about lifting his rod to have struck me on the head in the yard at your departure, which thou knows in thy heart is a lie, and so many people eyewitnesses against thee. Did not John Wray himself say concerning it, "Now is the devil up." Whereupon Richard Farnworth bade him go and reprove him then. To which he said, "If he was called to it of God he should." And yet thou hast covered over the thing as though he was but reaching to me with his rod to speak to me; yea, so smooth hast thou made it that any who knows not thy spirit or saw the thing would believe thee therein. Was there ever such an impudent spirit? How art thou brazened in thy wickedness as though thou should never account for thy tongue? And when thou hast done, being conscious of thy deceit and that it could not be hid, so many being present, then thou would make me the offender for telling of it; and says, whatever it was, I am not guided by the Spirit of Christ, who opened not his mouth in such sufferings, &c. I say Christ opened his mouth and told the murderers, liars, serpents and vipers what they were, though there was a time when he opened not his mouth; but if the chief priests may be judge, Jesus is the offender and Barabbas cleared; which if thou be not acting in this thing let all that see that thing acted judge thereof, who hath forged a lie to clear him that offered the violence and would make me the offender for reproving it, though I did not resist him further than with telling him that was the nature of a dog to devour and murder.
Also, take notice of thy notorious lies in page 30: thou accusest me (but falsely) to say, "That as Christ bore sin in that his own body that died at Jerusalem, so he hath borne sin in my body." And ere thou leavest that page thou forgets that lie, and contradicts it thyself, saying (this note), "that I say nothing for disproving what thou saidst of Christ having so borne our sins in his own body to the tree, but that he hath not left them so to be borne in our souls or bodies, but hath perfected the sacrifice in that one offering of himself once for all." And as thy tongue bewrays thee in this, so doth it in most of the rest; as I might show, were it worth the while, to trace the serpent in his crooked ways.
And thou speaks of the enmity being slain in Christ; I say, <552> that I know, but it is alive in thee, as the venom of thy mouth doth plainly manifest.
And thou would make people believe that there was a time when God did not impute sin unto the world, and this time thou imagines to be in the time of Christ's undertakings; and thou asks me, "Where do I find those that have received the word of reconciliation, called the world." I say, Where dost thou find the world reconciled to God (though he be reconciling them that come out of the world). But on the contrary, the whole world lies in wickedness, and of such I spake. And did not God impute the trespasses of the Jews to them, who murdered him, which was in the time of his undertakings: so thou calls me blind, but it is thyself. And again, I say, if God impute no sin to the world, then no condemnation can be to them, neither then nor now; for they are blessed, to whom he imputes not sin.23 And this thou says opens a large door of faith: I say, to the world's faith and thine it doth, who can believe your sins are imputed to another and not to you, though you live in them; that makes thee so free in thy lying and false accusing: but we know where sin lives and is served, the world is not reconciled to God, but sin is imputed, and your large faith will be too large for the strait way: thy hope will perish with the world, who art not reconciled, though God be now reconciling, as he was then in the apostles' time; and some have the word of reconciliation, which the world and thou opposes and preaches personally absent; and yet art telling of two reconciliations, but knows not one to live in it; but preaches a distance from God, to whom the saints are reconciled.
Thou further tells me, if I had minded the Scriptures more and my imaginations less I might have seen that scripture, Rev. 13:8, means not of the Lamb slain, but of Beast-worshippers. To which I say, were I so blind as to leave both the Spirit and Scripture also and believe by blind imaginations, contrary to both, then should I become a Beast-worshipper like thee: this is like thy divination of that in Amos 2:13, where thou would have the people to read, "I will press you," instead of "I am pressed," putting man instead of God; and here thou would put the Beast-worshippers instead of Christ the Lamb, and with such as this <553> thou leads blind when thou meets such as knows no better guide within themselves but to follow thy divinations.
And thou sayest, by his stripes you are healed, and yet denieth him come, and saith the Scriptures rendered his appearance always to all believers in the time to come, as that which they are to be looking for all their time in this world. I say thou speakest a truth as concerning thyself, and so take notice, thy healing is without Christ, and so deceitful; but why wilt thou that art without Christ judge believers and belie the Scriptures; for he that believeth hath the witness in himself, and Christ in you the hope of glory, who is that witness, and he that hath not the Son hath not life (1 John 5:10; Col. 5:27).
And the Scripture saith, We know that we are of God, and we know that the Son of God is come and hath given us an understanding. And, Christ in you, except ye be reprobates. And, he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ hath both the Father and the Son, else they was not to receive them into their houses (1 John 5:20; 2 John 9:10; 2 Cor. 13:5). And Paul had Christ revealed in him before he was a minister (Gal. 1:16), and this with thee is always to come; and so all that thou hast proved herein is but thyself without Christ, healing and being healed: like the false prophets, who hath not the word in thee and so speakest of thyself, and so art believed by all that have Christ in them and fellowship in his sufferings and in his resurrection; and with such thou art seen to be reprobate, thy preaching and healing, who art preaching Christ at a distance from believers, which the apostle preaches in them: so thy work is discovered in all thy crooked dark paths in thy book, who art putting Christ far from thee and from all that will believe thee, destroying their faith by telling them they must never see nor receive him while they live, such a faith as none of the children of God ever preached; but is of him who (that he may keep his house in peace while people lives) cannot endure they should believe the appearance of a stronger than himself whilst they are in this world.
And with thy subtle divination thou goes about to make people believe that the apostle's sense was of an inward light and Spirit when he told of serving their bellies; and with this thou wouldst cast thy dirt on the light of Christ and his Spirit within his saints, showing thy beastly blindness against the light of Christ shining in <554> his dwelling place the bodies of his saints, and brings to prove it Rom. 16:18; where all may see thy gross darkness and abominable wresting the Scriptures: doth either that or any other scripture speak against minding the spiritual light within, or call it serving the belly, which thou wouldst make it speak with thy divination? be ashamed of thy meanings, who wouldst wrest the Scriptures, which all testify of the Spirit and light within (by which they was spoken forth), which thou wouldst call serving the belly, to own an inward light and Spirit: doth not the Scriptures say, he that believeth, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living waters (John 7:38)? which how much thou knowest of this, or the indwellings of Christ his light or Spirit, or how much thou lovest it to be believed or received in others, thou hast sufficiently manifested herein, if thou hadst said no more; nor did the apostle speak of them that minded the light or Spirit within, but of them that minded earthly things, minding your bellies more than the work of God, as thou and thy companions did at the dispute, who broke it up because it was an hour past dinner time; such are belly gods and not they who mind the light or Spirit of Christ within them. And let all honest people judge what it is, thy deceitful lips will not make the Scriptures speak, who would make the sense of the apostle's words to intend against minding a spiritual light within, whose words is of such as mind earthly things: yet in this, as in all other of thy deceits which thou darst not plainly avouch, thou so lays down the thing as to leave thyself a way to escape, if thou be taxed for thy falsehood, as by thy words, "some pretended light opposed to Christ," when any may see thy envy is at the light of Christ and his Spirit within; for no other do we pretend; and this is not opposite to Christ as he is in heaven, but the only thing that revealeth him in Spirit.
And thou layest down two reasons to prove thy deceits, which no Scripture will: the first opposing, that the apostle did mean earthworms in a gross and carnal sense; and in thy second thou sayest, they were walkers, brethren, they had not such a form of godliness as stood in talking only, but in walking also. In the first whereof thou strikest at the apostle's words, who said, they minded earthly things; but thou sayest, not earthworms; and in thy second thou strikes at upright walking, yet doth neither of them prove anything for the further than thy confusion.
And thou wouldst prove me to be one whose god is my belly; <555> and the thing thou wouldst prove it withal is because I say the apostles preached the Spirit and light within, shining in their hearts to give the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus; and this treasure they had in earthen vessels; but if any read 2 Cor. 4:6-7 they may see that instead of proving me one whose god is my belly, thou hast proved thyself one, whose father is the devil, who saith the apostle saith no such thing; but saith, it's my spirit of antichrist: so let plain Scripture judge, which is good reason, that it should be believed before thy lying spirit, who goeth on to deny the Spirit and light to shine into their hearts, as though God would shine into their hearts without his Spirit and light; and such dark stuff thou utters, who knowest not his Spirit and light mangling thy confusions to darken the truth, as though I had said their hearts should give them the glory of God without his light and Spirit, when my words are with the apostle and all the servants of God, who witness the light and Spirit to give the knowledge of God; without which there can be no knowledge of God, which treasure is in the earthen vessels; which words thou leavest out lest they should have spoiled thy design in perverting the words and deceiving the simple. And thou makest much ado in thy book to drive a believer's light far distant without, as far from them, as to the place where Christ was crucified, saying he that was crucified on the tree was the fountain of believers' light, which though he be the fountain to those who have him in them, yet is he known to none but by hearsay, who have him not: to such the fountain is sealed, therefore dost thou (blind) utter forth so much of thy folly, who imagineth a fountain without thee but darkness within, which cannot comprehend the light though in the darkness it shine; and the devil himself knows what was done upon Mount Calvary, and the wickedest men in the nation as well as thee, who has it not in thee; so you believe in a tradition, who have not the revelation. And thou makes a babbling to blind people with, as that the apostle preached not the earthen vessels or themselves. I say those are thy own words; for none else I know that intends them or mentions them; but the most of thy bustling in thy book is to wrest my words or to add to them thy own and so start a lie out of thy own bosom; and when thou hast done, much to-do thou makes to confute it: and this pleaseth thy fancy as though thou hadst done some great thing, when thou hast but confuted thyself and laid open thy folly.
<556> And thou goest creeping about to make people believe that Christ is not a Spirit, but darst not deny it (yet as thy manner is) casts a mist before it, Christ in Spirit being that thou seeks most to oppose, for nothing else discovereth the devil's seat in man; and therefore said the apostle, I know him no more after the flesh,24 and, When they shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away: now the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty;25 but this liberty breaketh the devil's kingdom: therefore his ministers he sets to keep people without in the letter, imagining a thing at a distance, but to believe the appearance of Christ in Spirit, that is death to him and his ministry; and whereas thou tells of Christ being glorified in heaven in your nature, I say Christ was never of the nature of the liar, neither in heaven nor on earth, though he was flesh: yet it was not that which lusteth against the Spirit. None knows his flesh nor nature but who knows the word in them, which thou opposeth, which art full of the old leaven; and thou askest me a question (if the Scriptures say the same), so take thy question back and apply it to thyself.
In thy first book thou made an objection: Can flesh and blood enter into the kingdom of heaven? and thou answers, No, yet the same flesh and bones may, the blood being poured out and gone; to which I answered, what confused stuff is this that proceeds from thy imaginations? Is Christ ascended without blood? or is it only the blood of people that keeps them from ascending, which they must leave behind them, taking the same flesh and bones, but not the same blood? and in this book thou excuses the matter with saying he is ascended without material blood; and yet with the virtues of that blood. I say, again, hath he material flesh and bones, and not material blood, then is he not the same that he was when he was upon earth. But why dost thou not make some answer to thy other clause, how people must do to get shut of their blood? seeing thy faith is, they cannot ascend till their blood be poured forth. This being a new doctrine which the Scripture doth not declare of, it stands in need of better grounds than yet thou hast laid down, if thou intends any to believe thee therein, and this is like the rest of thy stuff, out of the dark bottle, fit for such a <557> believer to receive, the grounds of whose faith are other men's words from their imaginations, where the word of God is personally absent, and know neither light nor Spirit of God within them.
And much ado thou makes, and many crooked ways thou takes to preach Jerusalem out of this world, and that it must be always to come, and that yet it came not from God to any; and to disprove that which John spoke in Rev. 21:2,10 (who saw the new Jerusalem) thou sayest, that was but a vision, and from that thou conjurest up a deal of thy own filth to cast upon me, not worth mentioning after thee. But this I say to thee: thou must first see thyself in Babylon, yea, and the slanderous mouth stopped ere thou knowest the new Jerusalem, the city of God or his dwelling place: the liars and sorcerers are without; and now it is seen in the mount of God, talking of visions seen by others, but the strong man keeping the house and thou joined with him to bring forth his works, opposing thyself an enemy of Zion and her children who are come and coming to their rest, which thou would destroy the faith concerning God, Christ, the Word, their indwelling in the saints, as in thy first book, who would deny that the apostles preached the word and faith in the heart. And when I instanced that place (Rom. 10:8-9) where the apostle saith, The word of faith is nigh in the heart; in this book thou wouldst cast a mist before it (lest any should look for it there), saying, he saith not, "the word and faith," but "the word of faith." And sayest thou, he saith not simply "in their hearts," but "nigh them in their hearts." What shifts is the devil put to, to keep creatures from looking what God hath placed in their hearts, where God hath written his law and placed his word, a guide to all that mind it; what shameful shifts art thou put to lest the devil should be discovered in the heart and his kingdom fall. Is not the word and faith where the word of faith is, if ever that creature come to faith? or can any have either of them but in their hearts? And doth not the apostle say they are in their hearts because he saith, they are nigh them in their hearts? But from the word "nigh" if thy divination fail not thou wilt attempt to preach them clear out of the heart, so that which the apostle saith nigh in the heart (by thy will) must never come near the heart, but would put word and faith as far off as thou hast put grace and light, who saith, the grace of God that bringeth salvation, teacheth <558> not to look to any light within for direction. And as thou dealest concerning God, Christ, the word, faith and light, so dost thou with the city of the living God, being blind thyself, would keep all at a distance from others: such are thy visions, such as thy imaginations. But seeing thou would put that Jerusalem John saw out of the expectations of any whilst the world stands; read Heb. 12:22 and judge if thou canst of that heavenly Jerusalem, whether that was a vision also, and whether the apostle spoke truth when he said the Hebrews was come to the city of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem; but they had denied Babel's builders, and the idol priests and their idol worship, else could not they have seen an entrance into Zion, a city which thou hast sufficiently cleared thyself to be ignorant of. And thou askest, where did James read of its being taken away, after its coming down from heaven; I say in thee I read it and thy generation, whose work is to deny it present. I need go no further for proof than thy own books. As for the rest of thy heap of confusion: thy lies, thy slanders, and thy threatenings, be they to thyself, for me they touch not; but seeing thou deniest Jerusalem, what city was that the Ephesians was citizens of with the saints? which was builded upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom they was builded a habitation of God (Eph. 2:19-22); was not this the city of the living God, the new Jerusalem? but this makes ill for thy doctrine, whose work is to preach God out of his people; yet when thou writest again let us see what a shift the serpent hath to avoid this; for he must be discovered in all his holes, and thou canst not hide him. Yet didst thou but declare thy own experience I should not contend with thee; knowing thou canst declare no more of God, his word, his light, his faith, his dwelling place, than thou knowest. But seeing thou goes about to limit God out of his dwelling in the hearts of his people; in faithfulness to God and love to souls I can do no less than bear testimony against thee and thy work, which is contrary to the ministers of Christ, who preached reconciliation to God, and God in his people; but thou preaches division and separation, and thy work is against any believing reconciliation.
And because I tell thee of thy shuffling, in thy answer to thy third query, which asks where the covenant of God is (having respect to the manifestation of it to the creature), for so is the intent <559> of the query. And because I tell thee thou shuffles and answers not to the question, thou tells me therein, I have trodden underfoot the Son of God and put him to open shame; and that there is no more sacrifice for sin; I say it is thy deceit I tread upon and puts to open shame, which is for open shame before the Son of God, who is the sacrifice and remains a witness against thy confusion.
|The fourth query thou pretended to answer asks what and where that anointing is, &c. And because I tell thee thou wouldst put that to literal teaching, thou rakes up a deal of thy own imaginations out of thy own bosom to cast upon me; as though I had said "That the name of God, in Christ Jesus, is no better than literal teaching"; when my answer is to reprove thee for setting literal teaching instead of the unction and name of Christ. And that thou dost thrust out from the Spirit within to the literal teaching, thy answer doth clearly manifest: though first to cover it with thou makes a confession to the person of Christ and suchlike words to blind the eye lest thy intent should be seen. Afterward thou comes to tell what the sum of this anointing is, the sum of the gospel concerning Christ, which thou sayest is meant the things heard from the beginning, called the anointing; which after thou brings to the writings of Paul to Timothy. And following it a little further, thou brings it to be the same to this day, which is no other but the letter. For, sayest thou, "the preaching of it was given by those great apostles and of the same virtue or quality that ever it was, for teaching all things" and afterwards calls it the anointing and yet denieth any light and Spirit within. So that all that reads thy answer shall see that I have spoken nothing but the truth of thee in saying, Thou would thrust it to literal teaching, and thy crooked ways cannot hide thee. But thine own words in another place may put the thing wholly out of doubt, where thou sayest "that the grace of God that brings salvation to all men instructs them not to look to any light or Spirit within them for direction." Here would thou thrust out from the light and Spirit within to literal teaching, contrary both to the Spirit and the letter also; for that which is in Spirit is within; and the letter saith, "The anointing that you have received of him abideth in you; and you need not that any man teach you, but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things."|
For that which is not immediate from God, nor from any Light and Spirit within must be literal teachings.
<560> Thou goes on to the fifth query, and there thou casts down all thy whole work, if thou dost but mind what thou art there driven to, to hide thyself; where thou confesses the Comforter that reproves the world, and leads into all truth, and teaches effectually to be in the heart, and cannot be out of it: so that by thy confession now, there can be no teaching out of the heart. So let any compare this with the rest of thy books, and see thy confusion, and what shifts thou art driven to, to and fro, like one stark drunk in thy imaginations, vomiting out thy own shame. Is there no teaching out of the heart, and the grace of God (thou says) instructs not to look into ourselves, or to any light or Spirit within us for direction? What a birth is this thou hast brought forth into the world? How will these two agree? Or with what divination wilt thou reconcile them? No teaching but in the heart, and yet not look within? But seeing thou hast confessed that there can be no reproving and teaching but in the heart, let me mind thee of it again lest thou forget it; it being a truth, I would have thee no more to contradict it. Might not thou as well have confessed this long ago? and have spared all thy wranglings and crooked paths thou hast walked in, thereby to deny the light and Spirit within to be the only teacher, and now confesseth it cannot be out of the heart. So if thou own it in thy heart thou mayest read thy condemnation, for opposing it all along in both thy books.
And thou adds another accusation as false as the rest, and that is "that I pervert most of the Scriptures I meddle with"; and for instance thou names that of Jer. 23:30, which thou says I do in the close of my 32nd page.
I say, thou shameless man! were thou not hardened in thy wickedness past feeling thou would blush to say I pervert a scripture where I mention none. But this is like the rest of thy slanders, who can both name the scripture and pervert it thyself, and then slander it upon me that doth not so much as mention it, nor any other in that place. In thy other thou accused me for perverting scriptures where I did but quote them as they are without a word adding; and now thou accusest me, where I quote none nor mention any at all, but it's impossible to escape thy tongue. It's not much to be wondered that thou should call Christ and his light within, which convinceth of sin, nothing but a fancy and as a familiar spirit, as thou dost. It's a strange doctrine to thee, to know the Son of God condemning sin in the flesh; and so it appears, <561> when the liar is so strong in thee. If thou knew any light in thee but what is thy own fancy, the devil would be reproved and sin condemned, didst thou know Christ in the flesh. But the prince of the world not being judged, the reprobate is head, which knows not Christ in thee, his light and Spirit, which reproves the world and guides into all truth, in whom he is known and followed. So thy confession is suitable to thy practice; for thou that hath not Christ in thee to condemn sin, it's not like the devil should condemn what he begets: so thy tongue becomes without bridle and thy heart without knowledge, that thou dost evil.
So deceiving and being deceived is thy work even whilst thou art telling what Christ did on the cross. Thou hast lost the cross, and so the devil is at liberty in thee, unreproved or condemned. So not believing in the light, thyself is in the same condemnation, and knows not, but is past feeling, being heart-blind.
And thou tells of a promise thou hast made "to prove a wolf in a sheep's skin"; and thou wilt prove it out of my acknowledgment of the righteousness of God, wrought in the one person of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, his sufferings, resurrection, and ascension, according to the Scriptures. And thou tells of two little words I have left out: so it seems that to confess Christ according to the Scripture, without two little words more, with thee is a wolf; and with such muddy, dirty stuff as this, not worth naming after thee, thou keeps thy promise and fills thy book.
And thou sayest, I care not how full I make my acknowledgment of the righteousness of God wrought in the death and resurrection of that person, in that personal body, so they be not understood to be therein finished, and need not be wrought in us. To which I say that it is the thing most feared by thee, and him for whom thou laborest, lest any should look for the righteousness of God wrought in them. A thing which thou art little guilty of thyself, out of whom springs the work of the devil like a flood: yet do we know that the work of righteousness is not ended and finished for any creature, so as to bring them to God, till God's righteousness be wrought in them. A thing the devil and his ministers doth now most of all oppose, though you confess what was done at Jerusalem; yet can he keep his kingdom in England in every heart, wherein God's righteousness is not wrought. So righteousness (to talk of) without, but the devil within, is the doctrine <562> best pleasing to the devil and his ministers. But who are his workmanship have not so learned him, which knows Christ in us, which thou calls antichristian; and thou that art without Christ, with the liar, in thee would be counted the Christian.
And further thou sayest the wolf appears under the sheepskins in my following declaration of our principles. To which I say I did lay down 12 particular heads, being the chief things, which thou cunningly went about to deny in thy book, which I plainly laid down to see if thou wouldst plainly oppose them, as thou hadst secretly sought to undermine them, that so the serpent might be brought out of his holes and discovered in the sight of the simple, which now thou casts thy venom at them calling it a wolf but darst not deny one of them. And because they may stand as witnesses against thy deceit in this book, as they did in the other, and seeing this may come to the hands of some which the other does not, I am free to send them to thee again and to all the world: and do not call them wolfs till thou hast so proved them; neither seek to cast thy dirt upon them by shuffling them out of their place and seek to make people believe I mean another thing than I speak, so turning the truth into a lie before thou dare encounter with it, that being thy old way by which thou hast raised these lying slanders in thy book, not having a ground for raising a slander from anything that I have spoken in it till thou hast taken it one piece from another and thrust in thy own forgeries and meanings to make some show unto people to cover thy nakedness: without which, as it appears, thou durst not meddle to oppose these truths (though they be much in thy way) which are as followeth:
1. That the light of Christ is the first principle that shows a man his condition and leads to Christ the Savior, and without it, the gospel is hid from every creature living; and without it, none can read with profit.
2. That though Christ Jesus in himself hath suffered and satisfied the whole will of God for all the world; yet none but who by faith in this comes to receive a measure of the same Christ, in the same Spirit and power and life in them, can have redemption by him from sin and death.
3. That the word of God is spiritual; and who hath it, hath it in their heart; and that none who hath it not in their hearts hath eternal life, though they may have the letter as the devil hath, to <563> pervert to wrong ends, to plead for sin and tempt the sons of God.
4. That none can understand the Scriptures, nor know the voice of Christ in them, but who have that Spirit and light in them that gave them forth to open their understanding to know the mystery and life of them.
5. That no man knows his own heart but who first owns the light of Christ to search it, and the same light that searches the heart gives light to know God and his glory.
6. That the least measure of living faith, that is not a fancy but stands in Christ Jesus, is present power against all sin and the greatest power of Satan, if the creature abide faithful in it and run to no other helps, but mind obedience in it.
7. That no man can be a minister of Christ nor preach him truly but who preacheth perfection, and that is the end of his ministry (which thou callest a doctrine of devils).
8. That there is not one particular of the worship you perform in your high places but it is added or altered from what it was, when Christ appointed it and established it.
9. That God and his word is now manifest in the bodies of his saints in the same manner and as freely as formerly he hath been; and that there he is a sufficient teacher and shield against sin, without any other help to all, according to the measure of their knowledge of him present.
10. That no man can receive the things of God's Spirit but who mind somewhat of God in them to receive it withal.
11. That the least measure of God's Spirit is an infallible guide, and without it no man knows Christ nor can judge of anything of God, or his truth, his kingdom, or the way to it, or the devil and his subtleties; but lies open to be deceived in all things and to be led by men of corrupt minds, in whom the devil is.
12. That the ground of all errors, sects and opinions, heresies and blasphemies that are in the world, is in being led from the guidance of this Spirit; and all live in error but who are guided by it; but none ever errs who was guided by it alone, nor ever shall.
These being the main things for which thou accuses us in thy book, having wrested them contrary to our judgment and practice, thereby to darken the way of truth, more dear to me than life: to the end that all may find it and rest to their souls, I have laid them down as plain as I can, as they are in Jesus, in me <564> revealed without any adding or diminishing, as in the sight of God: so when thou writes to oppose again let it be plain to the people whether thou owns or denies: so the difference may be judged with the truly wise in heart, and the ground of it, and do not cast a mist over the truth, as in thy book, and yet dare neither own nor deny, but secretly bite and devour.
Here is also some of thy lies, sent back to the author, and when thou provest them, I shall make my defense: till then, let them rot with the raiser of them, which are as followeth.
1. That I own myself to be one of those that slight and reject the word of the Lord.
2. That the way of lying, proud boasting, and false accusing is the perfection of our doctrine and principles.
3. That I own some other spirit than that in and with the Scriptures, as God's Spirit.
4. That we would present men perfect in themselves, while there is nothing perfect, that so they may not look to the perfection of Christ.
5. That we promise others liberty, freedom from sin, glorious conquest, in themselves.
6. That we count that sin that is looking to that Jesus which is the very Christ.
7. That we never make it our work, in our speakings or writings, to preach, lift up, or commend that Jesus as he is in that one personal body, &c.
8. That we preach not Jesus and the resurrection, as the apostles did.
9. That we make up our whole doctrine and matter without that which God hath laid in Zion for a foundation.
10. That we magnify not the Son of Man.
11. That I assert nothing in my book of that Jesus of Nazareth, in that which he hath done, &c.
12. That I array Christ as Herod did, that I may mar his visage and mock at him.
13. That in my book I say I am Christ, and that we leave nothing of the declarations of hope that we so invert not.
14. That if any do preach things according to Scripture we revile it, as the heathen reviled the apostles for preaching Jesus and the resurrection.
<565> 15. That I am a denier of Christ as Judas was.
16. That we make not Jesus the sum and subject matter of our preaching.
17. That we pervert all those scriptures that speak of those things.
18. That we are in greatest rage against those that plainly preach Jesus to be the very Christ.
19. That at the dispute, we did stoutly despise, tread underfoot, and mar the visage of the Lord.
20. That I say I justify no such thing, as if any strike us on the one cheek, to turn the other.
21. That my usual way of asserting Christ's personal appearance is in my own name.
22. That we contemn authority and deny honor and respect, civil and natural, where due.
23. That Christ or his light in us is darkness itself.
24. That we use Christ in us, and the light, as a cloak of maliciousness and pride.
25. That all our sufferings are occasioned, as defiling the flesh, or as evildoers.
26. That we are as the papists, who suffer much for their principles' sake.
27. That our principle leads us to follow our own spirit in contempt of all commands of superiors, even such as might be obeyed in the Lord and for his sake.
28. That our principle leads us in contempt of all principles of honesty, justice, and equity.
29. That we desire to provoke wrath in others, against such as are in places of trust.
30. That we desire to rush ourselves into petty sufferings, that we may glory in them.
31. That I said that as Christ bore sins in that his own body that died at Jerusalem, so he had borne sins in my body.
32. That I confound Christ's forbearance of sin done in our bodies with his bearing sin in the imputation of sin and strokes in his own body, to satisfy justice, &c.
33. That I acknowledge no such thing as Christ's bearing sin himself in his own body, in any other sense than he may be said still to bear them in us.
<566> 34. That I reject the testimony of Christ, having suffered the just for the unjust, bearing their sins in his body, &c.
35. That I fully signify that the sufferings left behind are to be suffered in divers persons, as propitiatory.
36. That my meaning is not that Christ so suffered for sin, in that his own body prepared for him, according to Scripture.
37. That I hold forth Christ bearing sin as the propitiatory sacrifice in us.
38. That I say that the name of God, as in Christ and in and by him declared, and as precious ointment poured out, is literal teaching.
39. That I destroy the distinct consideration of the Father's work, in laying our iniquities on his Son, and renders it as the work of my fancied Christ in the creature.
40. That I take away from you the personal sufferings of Christ in his own body and put in the room my imaginary or fancied Christ.
41. That I wholly pervert everything of God's name that I meddle with, and turns it contrary to its scope and end.
42. That I render the great things of the law to be carnal letter.
43. That I reproach thee for not believing Christ's bearing sin in thee, as the propitiatory sacrifice.
44. That my sense is, that God's righteousness wrought in the person of Christ was but at most as a pattern of what should be wrought over again in our particular persons, &c.
45. That I justify Christ being offering himself daily to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
46. That we imagine that the death and resurrection of our light in us is the foundation of our salvation.
47. That I intend not the lifting up of Christ, but exalting myself in his room.
48. That my excellency lieth in using craftiness and hidden things of dishonesty.
49. That indeed our spirits rejoice in our likeness to Satan.
50. That our inside tends directly to mar the visage of Christ.
51. That I deny thy saying that the word is not a principle of men.
52. That I reject the name of God, as declared in Christ and brought to light through the gospel, as carnal and literal teaching.
<567> 53. That I affirm that all that receives the word suffers and satisfies the whole will of God for all the world in them.
54. That we render the light and Spirit to be naturally in men, as of them.
These 54 lies have I taken out (as I told thee in thy last book) from three times so many: these, with the 48, in thy last book, make up the number of one hundred and two. I should not have troubled myself to reckon them up, had not the liar gone about to seek to lay them on the truth and slander the Quakers for liars: so let the liar be known by his fruits, who must be revealed by the Spirit of Truth. And when thou writest again, either prove what thou hast said, or stop thy mouth for calling liar forever. And one thing more I warn thee of, that thou dost not, as thou didst in thy last book, who (because I reckoned up but part of thy lies) goes about to make people believe I own all the rest. For I tell thee again there is above three times as many more, in both thy books, as false as these, which I am not guilty of, though I reckon them not here. Neither, say thou, I have wronged thee, in setting down these, in that I have not set down all thy words; for it is plain to every reader that I have set down the substance of thy slander, as it sounds in the ears of the reader, though in the most of them thou hast beforehand made thy way of escape, knowing them to be what thou canst not prove. Yea, this shall any see in thee, who are in the light and do but observe thee, that in this art thou exceeds, I must confess, of all that ever I had to do withal; thou art the master of this craft of lying: for not the clearest truth that ever I can speak, but if it be in thy way thou wilt take into pieces and mangle it with thy own, and turn it all into lies, which is the masterpiece in thy books, as I have showed in particulars. And as boldly and impudently wilt thou let them fly, having but made a way to creep out and deny them, if thou be charged therewith; and if not, then thou holds it out for truth, that all is owned that is not denied in particular: which should I have done in these thy two books, for one sheet of paper, five would not contain an answer. But they being most of them so gross, and the truth itself arising against them a living testimony in most parts of the nations, it will clear itself better than paper and ink, to the confusion of antichrist, the liar and his father.
1. Luke 17:20-21.
2. Rom. 10:8.
3. 2 Cor. 4:6.
4. Col. 3:16; Heb. 13:9.
5. Gal, 4:6.
6. Eph. 4:18-19.
7. 2 Cor. 3.
8. Luke 17:20-21; Isa. 51:7; Ps. 119:11; Jer. 20:9; 2 Cor. 6:16.
9. Luke 17:21.
10. Luke 11:34-36.
11. Prov. 4:13.
12. Ps 119:11.
13. Ps. 4.
14. Heb. 8:10.
15. Prov. 16:23.
16. John 16:13.
17. 2 Cor. 4:2.
18. John 5:38.
19. Jer. 4:22.
20. Col. 1:15-17.
21. John 14:18,23.
22. Eph. 4:10.
23. Ps. 32:2.
24. 2 Cor. 5:16.
25. 2 Cor. 3:16-17.
a. Thomason date: Feb. 17, 1655/56.
b. chemarim: A Hebrew term for idolatrous priests, found untranslated in Zeph. 1:4 (KJV) and in KJV footnotes to 2 Kings 23:5 and Hos. 10:5.