Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Works of James Nayler > A Further Discovery of the Quakers
Since our publishing of The Perfect Pharisee, as we find, we bless God it hath been prosperous, to the no small satisfaction and establishing of his people, who with an humble and sober spirit have been willing to try the spirits whether they be of God. So we see it hath provoked the spirits of those Quakers to more obstinacy, bitterness, and railing. As in the pouring out of the fourth vial, "men were <400> scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, and repented not to give him glory." Now though truly we must profess, with Reverend Mr. Eaton writing concerning the same people, in his epistle to his book called The Quakers Confuted, "That we cannot apprehend that there is any hope of convincing these persons of the error of their way, so far are they under the very power of the spirit of delusion, and professed enmity to the ordinances of Christ Jesus our Lord": yet for the further securing and fuller satisfying of the people of God, we are induced to answer this reply of James Nayler, for the clearer manifesting of the wickedness and folly of these men and their principles. And though it cost us new revilings and more bitter cursings from this people, which we fully expect: yet what are we, and our names, though trodden under foot, so Jesus Christ may have the glory, and his people the advantage of our standing for the truth.
But that thou mayest know the nature of their answer, thus it is: We charge them to hold seventeen blasphemous and heretical doctrines, besides their other principles and practices, in our books expressed, and what he says to them we have given thee a short account in the draft subjoined to our epistle, wherein thou wilt easily see with what full proof we have testified those things concerning them, though the tongues of these men accustomed to nothing more than to rail, do so confidently charge lies upon us. But we are sure and confident in the Lord that we have spoken that of them which will (if not already, as it doth to all impartial readers) fully, undeniably and convincingly appear to be truth, if thou read the clearness of the evidence of this ensuing treatise.
Reader, if thou has read our former book thou wilt find our arguments and assertions against the blasphemous doctrines of these men fully strengthened by plentiful variety of evident, plain, convincing Scriptures, to which thou wilt find James Nayler in his reply answering not one word. Certainly the demonstration of the Spirit of God either hath convincingly silenced him and stopp'd his mouth (for how ready is he to catch at any trifling appearance of advantage?) or what canst thou or any man imagine of him but that Scripture is nothing to him, nor his soul under any obedience unto, or conscience of the truth of God? either of which, what a miserable and deplorable state of soul doth it speak, when men can stand out in their blasphemies against the light of conscience?
It shall be our work in this ensuing treatise, in following James Nayler in his reply, to answer all such Scriptures as he impertinently and injuriously wrests, and to clear the truths of God from their being misapplied to his horrid principles. By which, and other occasional <401> passages in this book, thou wilt find a more full and plain manifestation of these men and discovery of the mystery of iniquity working in them. Consider what thou readest, and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
1. Equality with God. This we proved by six evidences. He denies but two of them, which yet we shall prove under the hand of witnesses, and his very answers do amount to an asserting of it.
2. No distinction of persons in the Godhead. This is denied by them; but we shall by further testimony clear it to be theirs.
3. That the soul is a part of the divine essence. This he excepteth not against, nor takes any notice of our arguments, but is full of bitter railing.
4. That Christ is in every man, and in the reprobates held under corruption. This is confessed clearly, though seemingly denied; only one expression is shuffled which is yet proved by testimony under hand.
5. That Christ was but a figure, and example. This is denied by him and miserably shuffled; yet we evidently prove it, even by their own books and other testimony.
6. That men are not justified by that righteousness which Christ in his own person fulfilled without us. This is not denied, though so wicked a doctrine, but a new asserted, and no tittle of an answer to our arguments.
7. That men are justified by that righteousness which Christ within them enables to perform. This we proved by six evident testimonies, two of which Nayler only shuffles in, but we shall clear them, and answers nothing to plain Scripture against them.
8. That God and man cannot be wholly reconciled till he be brought to the state of the first Adam, and able in his own power to stand perfect. This he denies, but we prove from his own words it clearly is, and must be his meaning.
9. He that commits sin and is not perfectly holy can never enter into the kingdom of heaven, unless there be a purgatory. This he denies to be so in his book, and raileth as if we charged a lie upon him; but we <402> shall further clear it, though in his own answer he partly confesseth it.
10. No real saint but he that is perfectly holy, &c. This he confesseth and answers only by railing, but takes no notice of the Scriptures against that principle.
11. Every man hath a light within him sufficient to guide him to salvation, without the help of outward light. He confesseth all but answers nothing.
12. No need of outward teaching, &c. He denies one testimony of ten, which yet is true; but confesseth the doctrine and falls a-railing.
13. Scriptures not the Word of God, but a declaration of the conditions of them that spoke them. This he denieth not: we proved it by five testimonies. He answers by one Scripture grossly perverted and two others ignorantly applied, but gives no answer to many Scripture arguments against it.
14. Spirits not to be tried by Scripture. This we proved by three testimonies, none of which, nor the position is denied, but goes about to prove it and falls a-railing.
15. No sense, meaning or exposition to be given, or studying of Scripture. This we proved in four testimonies; he confesseth, goes about to prove it; but answers not a word to fourteen evident Scriptures but falls a-railing grossly.
16. They cry down baptism, and the Lord's Supper, as types and shadows. For this we gave four proofs, which he denied not, and we further prove it. He shuffles from baptism in general to the business of infant baptism, and falls a-railing.
17. No mediate call to the ministry. Denies not the proof but falls miserably a-railing, as if he would pour out his gall upon us.
As for the rest of his reply to what we charged upon them as their principles and practices, there is such palpable shufflings, such miserable weakness, and such horrible railing, as that we should not have meddled with it at all but that we believe it is the design of God to lay more and more open the spirits of these men.
|This book, pretending to answer us, is thus subscribed: "By one whom the world calls James Nayler." We are not a little jealous that there lies a mystery of iniquity in that very style and expression. For first, God himself (whom to think to follow any sinful expression or custom were no less than blasphemous) calls men by their names of distinction given by men. Gen. 22:11: "God said unto him Abraham." Hannah called her son Samuel. 1 Sam. 1:20: "She called his name Samuel," <403> &c., and afterwards when the Lord appeared to him to call him out to the work of the priesthood, chap. 3, verses 4, 6, 8: "The Lord called Samuel," and called him again so the second and third time; here it's evident that God himself calls him by the name that his mother gave him. Acts 9:4: there Jesus Christ from heaven calls him "Saul, Saul," a name given him before his conversion. Christ when upon earth calls his disciples by the names given them at their circumcision, as "Philip," "John," "Simon son of Jonas," &c. The apostles do so constantly, as "Festus," "Agrippa," "Gaius," "Aristarchus," &c. and this without such a mysterious preamble as "one whom the world calls Festus, Agrippa," &c. You see how these pretenders to Scripture depart from Scripture, as if they would include God and Christ under the carnal observations of the world or else teach them to speak.||About men being called by names given them by their parents|
2. It is apparent that these very men do constantly call themselves by these names, as James Nayler doth in an epistle at the end of Farnworth's book;a George Fox in a pamphlet lately printed; and the very men of their generation call them so, without any such preamble.
|3. But shall we tell you where the mystery lies? We are satisfied that this expression is merely to cloak their pretense to an equality with God. Our reason is evident. For in this very answer of Nayler's, pag. 4, where he relates Fox's his evading of the charge against him that he said, "He was equal with God." Nayler thus hints that "Fox being asked whether he spake this of George Fox as he was a creature?" To this he answered, "I deny George Fox, he is dust; and must be dust; but I and my Father are one." Is not this as plain as the sun, that he therefore denies George Fox, that he may deny his being a creature, one that must return to dust, that so he may set up and assert his oneness with God? Compare but this with that usual expression of theirs in their books, "Whose name in the flesh is James Nayler"; "Whose name in the flesh is John Audland," &c and it will be more apparent. But more of this you have in our answer to their reply to the first article.||The mystery of the Quakers' style in writing themselves (such who the world call so and so)|
|In the epistle in the said answer written by A.P. he calls us "the priests of the north," a word on purpose given us to our reproach. Surely their pretended meekness should have taught them other expressions; though truly we find, and the reader may, even in this their answer, find more cursed railing than we receive from the worst of men; yet our suffering in that kind from them <404> also is not small. But A.P. might know that every priest was to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sin, and that we wait not upon any such work; and that the gospel knows no chief priest but the Lord Jesus, who is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek; nor any priests at all properly but the saints, metaphorically called a royal priesthood: and shall the style of the Lord Jesus and his saints be a reproach in the mouths of Quakers?||About the word priest|
He goes on and tells the world, "That we five are all strangers to that sort of people called Quakers, except one." A.P. (who is none of the least of that sort of people) cannot but know that he is too well known to all of us. Secondly, three of these five also have had cause to know many more of them, as M. Taylor, John Audland, Stubbs, Holmes, Atkinson, Hodgson, Ayry, &c., and others from whom we suffered disturbance in our public ministry; and some of these also are pretenders to be eminently sent forth. Thirdly, though all of us were strangers to their persons, yet are we not strangers to them in their writings, and so if it be possible to know them by their papers (which they industriously scatter up and down) we know them fully. But whither tends this aspersion, that they are strangers to all of us save one; but to make the world believe that we have taken up these things against them by report? But we hope the reader by this time understands the nakedness of the slander and the subtlety of A.P.
As for that evidence which one of us (W.C.) gives concerning their principles and practices, which A.P. under the name of "reports" would insinuate into the people as if they were lies; the reader shall observe that the most of these evidences are not at all contradicted by Nayler in his answer, but passed over, which we take as confessed by him; others only evaded, which yet shall appear to the reader in the ensuing answer to be either such things as he was an eye or ear witness of or shall be fully confirmed by undeniable testimony. A.P. goes on and tells the reader that in this answer, "What is truth is owned, and what is false is denied"; truly he could not, in so few words, have spoken more untruly to prepossess the reader: but we beg the reader, as to that, to suspend his judgment till he have fully read the ensuing discourse, wherein, whether anything have been charged on them that is false, and whether Nayler have done faithfully in owning what is truth, will appear at large.
|In the preface of James Nayler to his answer, he tells you "That Christ now appearing in his saints, to discover the man of sin, with all his deceits and deceivable workings"; "now all the powers of darkness are gathered <405> against him, God and Magog." As for those deceits and deceivable workings, truly these blasphemous doctrines of these men, with their diabolical delusions and quakings, will make it appear where the man of sin is now working. To open this, we shall stay the reader a little.||The man of sin, and his workings in the last times revealed|
|1. It is as clear as the noonday (2 Thes. 2; Rev. 12:3; Rev. 13; Rev. 17:4,5,9,10) that the papal apostasy and state is the Antichrist so often prophesied of in Scripture. Now it is as plain that the very distinguishing doctrines and practices of these men are such as are the main principles of that man of sin in opposition to Jesus Christ.||Agreement betwixt papists and Quakers|
1) Papist. The papists deny the imputed righteousness of Christ for justification, and in scorn and derision call it A putative righteousness.1
Quak. These also from the same spirit deny the imputed righteousness of Christ for justification: and Nayler himself, before the whole court at Appleby, discoursing with W.C. about justification by righteousness of Christ imputed, not only denied it but in a slighting way ended his discourse thereabout with this language, "That which is without is without." So George Fox affirmed "That he that is born of God is justified by Christ alone, without imputation." Saul's Errand, pag. 12.
2) Papist. The papists in their controversies with us do positively affirm that justification is by inherent righteousness. Hence Bellarmine, Stapleton, &c., with the rest do positively affirm, that is only justum facere per inherentem justitiam, that to justify is only to make righteous by inherent righteousness.2
Quak. So these men do as confidently affirm that they are only justified by inherent righteousness, or that righteousness within, which Christ within them enableth them to perform. See our proof, Perfect Pharisee, pag. 10.
3) Papist. The papists again do confidently conclude that a man may perfectly keep the whole law. Hence their neglect of the righteousness of Christ, their works of supererogation, and the like.3
Quak. So the Quakers, their great assertion as a challenge to all is that every saint is perfect; that it is possible to be perfectly holy and without sin. Perfect obedience to the law of God is their great principle, which they confidently cry up more than any.
4) Papist. The papists affirm that the Scriptures, or the written word of God, are not the supreme judge of spirits.4
<406> Quak. So these people, that the spirits are not to be tried by Scripture. So A.P. in the book he put forth called Several Papers (p. 19). The "world's touchstone is without them; and they try the spirit by the letter, &c., but the saints' touchstone is within."b So that though they agree not what shall be, yet both of them consent in denying the Scripture to be the judge of spirits.
5) Papist. The papists call the Scripture "a dead letter," "a nose of wax," "a scabbard without a sword" (Costerus in Euchir. page 44; Pighius, lib. 1, cap. 4). So Melchior Canus says, "It is most certain, the written word is only for babes and is no way necessary for those that are grown"; as is more full Melchior Canus, defens. cath. fid. contra confess. Wortberg, cap. 36.
Quak. So these men also not only cry down the necessity of the written word, see The Perfect Pharisee, pag. 10, but also call it "a dead letter," "a carnal letter," that they are but a declaration of them that spake it. So Melchior Canus again saith, "the gospel is not the Scripture"; as Farnworth in his book, Discovery of Faith,c scoffs at our saying the four books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the gospel (pag. 13).
6) Papist. The great argument by which the papists do go about to establish the truth of their way is Immediate revelations, and pretended miracles; the want of which they upbraid the Protestant ministers, and charge us to be no church.
Quak. So the Quakers do in their pretense to an immediate call, and their supposed miracle of quaking. So A.P., "the word of the Lord came to me saying." So Audland, "the word of the Lord came to me": but of that more hereafter.
7) Papist. The papists do place much of their holiness in their fastings, beggarly apparel, and forsaking the world, as they call it, as their living mewed up in convents and cloisters, their wandering up and down as hermits, and begging friars, &c.
Quak. So these men is known to place abundance of their holiness in fasting, beggarly apparel, wandering up and down the world, &c., we might add much more; but here you may see how the man of sin in these men, in their compliance with the principles and practices of the Romish way, breaks out in his deceit and deceivable workings.
2. He is a stranger in the book of God, as to the discovery of antichrist, who doth not observe the Spirit of God mightily unveiling antichrist by the revealing of the spirit of error in him; for 1 John 2:18, <407> there it plainly appears that horrid errors are of that affinity with the antichrist that when he would describe that man of sin in the last time, he calls the heretics by that very name. "Now are there many antichrists, whereby we know it is the last time," &c. Now besides those which we have named the reader will easily observe such a mass and heap of Arminian, Socinian, Familistical errors in their doctrines laid down in The Perfect Pharisee that he may clearly observe where the spirit of antichrist works in all deceivableness in this last time.
3. Lastly, it is the saints' bulwark against the papists, while they call for our miracles, that the Spirit of God clearly holds forth that the coming of the man of sin is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders (2 Thes. 2:9). So Rev. 16:13: the three unclean spirits (v. 14) are the spirits of devils working miracles, to gather together, &c. Now this further evidenceth the spirit of the man of sin acting in them and their way. As for his "Gog and Magog" (Rev. 20:8) to which Nayler compares our books being set forth against that generation: truly we cannot but smile at the weakness of the man, for who knows not that Gog and Magog refers to the time of the Jews' conversion, when God will pluck up the kingdom of the Turks and Saracens and is to be after the expiring of the thousand years, as that chapter is exceeding clear.
Reader, we entreat thy pardon for this digression, though truly, when we came to consider that his expression of "the man of sin," our spirits could not but strike in with this call of providence to lay naked that mystery of Babylonish iniquity which worketh in these men.
|In the next place, thou wilt find him (that he may compare us with Herod and Pilate conspiring against Christ) thus charging us, "These five formerly could scarce agree in anything, no not in that which they call the worship of God," &c.||Difference in judgment about discipline no breach of a joint appearance against the methods of Satan.|
First, A.P. accuseth us to have taken up the things we wrote against the Quakers by report, whereas he says, "that people was not known to any of us, except one"; let him now tell us whether James Nayler takes not up things by report, who we believe never saw the face of four of those five whom he so boldly chargeth.
2. But is it true "that we can scarce agree in anything"? This is a charge we wonder he hath such a brazen forehead to raise against us. Do we not all agree? and is not our real agreement known in all the doctrines of the gospel? As for matters of discipline, we do really confess there is some difference in judgment amongst us. But first, doth this make us like Herod and Pilate, who hated the very principles <408> of the gospel and (as Nayler says) could not agree in "anything." Secondly, Paul and Peter had their difference in point of judgment as to circumcision (Gal. 2:14). So thirdly, Paul and Barnabas had their difference in another case (Acts 15:39). But fourthly, that rule of the apostle we hope shall be our rule (Phil. 3:16): "If in anything ye be otherwise minded, &c. Nevertheless whereto we have already attained, let us mind the same thing, let us walk by the same rule." Fifthly, and as the apostles abovesaid, notwithstanding their particular differences even in judgment, yet agreed to oppose the enemies of Christ and the gross heresies then springing up: so by the assistance of our God we have been enabled cordially and industriously to agree in promoting the work of the gospel; and we are confident in the Lord shall further be. But doth not this savor of abundance of malice when he says they could not agree in anything, "no not in the worship of God," &c. Could we not agree in the worship of God? or doth he know what the worship of God is? or what difference is betwixt worship and discipline? surely if he had, his conscience must check him for charging such a lie upon us. But this it seems A.P. doth report, and James Nayler will report it.
Further he goes on and tells the reader, "We are not afraid to speak evil of their forsaking the world, the pride and lusts of it"; and these (he says) we call "a sinful neglect of their families, trivial observations," and belie the apostle, saying "he calls them rudiments of the world." Reader, that thou mayst see the willful (and we are afraid) malicious mistake of the man we shall give thee our own words as they are in our epistle, thus, "There is indeed something which pretends to holiness in this generation of men: as the meanness of their apparel, sometimes more than ordinary abstinence, their forsaking the world (though to a sinful neglect of their families and callings) and many trivial observances, which the apostle calls, 'the rudiments of the world' (Col. 2:23)." Now,
1. In this the reader may clearly see our willingness to speak the fairliest that we in conscience could of the ways of these men, for we say that these things there named do "indeed pretend to holiness and have a show of humility," they are our own words; so far were we (as he would charge us) from speaking evil of anything that doth but look like a command of Christ.
2. He most grossly chargeth us that we speak evil of "forsaking the world, the pride and lusts of it," and that this we call "a sinful neglect of their families, and trivial observances," when as it's as clear as if it were written with a sunbeam that we do no such thing. For is there any one tittle in these our words, concerning their forsaking "the pride and <409> lust" of the world? We hope we have so much of the dread of God upon our souls as that it shall not enter into our hearts to set a pen to paper to plead for the lusts and pride of the world. But what wickedness is this, to foist those falsehoods into our epistle which we never spoke.
|3. It is a sinful neglect of their families and callings which we speak against (for this we know to be a sin), but we speak not against a forsaking of the world in its proper gospel sense; we say that "they do sinfully neglect their callings," that's apparent in their constant wandrings up and down, Fox and Nayler themselves are two evident examples of it. And for the sinfulness of so doing we refer you to these Scriptures: 1 Tim. 5:8: "If any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel"; 2 Thes. 3:10: "We commanded that if any would not work neither should he eat: for we hear there are some amongst you walking disorderly, working not at all." 1 Cor. 7:20: "Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called; art thou called being a servant, care not for it," &c; ver. 24: "Let every man in the calling wherein he was called therein abide with God." How doth this reprove their practice and prove the sinfulness of their neglect of their callings.||Sinfulness of neglect of callings & families|
Object. But if they should say that the apostles left their callings and followed Christ.
Answer: It is true, the Messias has his disciples following him. But first, Paul after the ascension of Christ, doth leave a standing rule in the Scriptures for Christians to abide in their callings; "commands the aged women that were believers that they be keepers at home" (Tit. 2:5), reproves the lightness of the younger widows, "When they wax wanton against Christ they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not," as 1 Tim. 5:11,13 (the very picture and pattern of the women-Quakers).
2. Before they left their callings in the world, it's evident they had an immediate call from Christ. Mark 1:17: "Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me," &c, where he immediately calls Simon and Andrew, James and John, calls also Philip. See John 1:43 and Matthew from the receipt of custom (Matt. 9:9). We know these men will pretend to the same immediate call; but we have fully answered in The Perfect Pharisee (pp. 45-46) to the vanity of that pretense.
3. They were called forth to an office and public works in the ministry, which was not a neglect of their callings, but a changing of them. Now this public work of ministry these men will not sure pretend <410> they are called to, for they do cry down all churches and ministerial employment, as to outward teaching, as wholly needless.
4. And lastly, Paul after this reproves Christians for leaving their callings (2 Thes. 3:10; 1 Tim. 5:13), which had not been if their example had been binding.
|As to a right forsaking of the world according to the mind of Christ, we must again say it lies not in a monkish changing of apparel, not wearing of a band and giving over to labor in their callings, it lies in no such thing; but it eminently consists in these two things:||The nature of forsaking the world rightly stated|
1) A crucifying of affections to the world, so that the soul sits loose as to all the possessions and comforts of it and can see so much in Jesus Christ as to satisfy itself, by which we are preserved in an holy indifferency as to the things of this world and can freely submit to the Lord, as to any providences in things below. And so we can affirm that a man may forsake the world and yet enjoy his possessions in it. Abraham, Jacob, Nehemiah, David, &c., men all of vast possessions and yet true forsakers of the world. Were not those believers rich whom the apostle chargeth (1 Tim. 6:18) "that they be ready to distribute," &c., but their forsaking of the world was in this, "that they be not high-minded nor trust in uncertain riches"; not in their leaving their families and callings, but that (1 Cor. 7:29-31) "Let them that have wives be as though they had none; they that rejoice as though they rejoiced not; they that buy as though they possessed not; and they that use the world as not abusing it; for the fashion of this world passeth away."
2) It consists in a willingness of spirit to part with these things when thereunto called, which is in case of competition betwixt Christ and our enjoyments; in reference whereto the saints have need to sit down beforehand and reckon this, the charge of the gospel may cost them one day their dearest comforts, as it costs us the scandals and reproaches of our persons at this day from these Quakers. See this (Matt. 10:37): "He that loveth father and mother more than me is not worthy of me."
And the case being thus opened, if any shall nourish their idleness under a pretense of forsaking the world, we dare freely tell them that they make the Scriptures a slave unto their lusts and walk contrary to the plain rules of it.
|5. Lastly, there is another false charge laid upon us, as "that we do call the forsaking of the world, pride and lusts, a trivial observance, the rudiments of the world, and will-worship." We have showed already that we spoke not a syllable in that epistle of "the pride and lusts of the world" (that's foisted in by James Nayler). We now add that it <411> is as malicious a scandal to say we call forsaking of the world "a trivial observance," &c. The reader may see we speak of their trivial observances as of another business, things distinct from that of forsaking of the world. And because he would so palpably wrest our words we shall tell him what those trivial observances of theirs are: such as these: their not saluting, not putting off a hat before a magistrate, their thouing every man, not calling men masters, and suchlike; like those of the apostle (Col. 2:21) of "touch not, taste not, handle not." Now as such as these, as to a soul's placing his holiness and religion in them, we dare boldly call "beggarly elements," and the "rudiments of the world"; so we yet again say that he that shall place so much of his perfection in such trivial observances as these, he walks indeed in a "show of wisdom, in humility and will worship, and neglecting the body" (not in any honor) to the satisfying of the flesh, that is, to the satisfying of the fleshly principles of legal righteousness, puffed up and fed with such acts of will-worship.||The quaker beggarly elements|
|Having thus traduced us he begins to cry up his own followers for their obedience to the "commands of Christ." We wonder how they can so much as pretend to obedience to the command of Christ when it is evident that the whole generation of them will not submit to his righteousness, establishing a righteousness fulfilled in themselves. Nay, 'tis their great work to deny his righteousness fulfilled in his person to be imputed to us for justification. As also, they deny many other truths, with a full opposition to gospel-ordinances, prayer, supper, baptism, church government, ministry: whom can he persuade that such as these are brought up to obedience to the commands of Christ?||The disobedience to the commands of Christ and the ordinances|
|Lastly, in the conclusion of his preface he tells you "that they are persecuted by us"; in which accusation we shall appeal to the reader whether they be the persecutors of him that is born after the Spirit, or we? For first, it is evidently known that while we are carrying on the work of the gospel in our respective congregations peaceably some of them have come no less than threescore miles to revile us and smite us with the tongue of bitter reproaches, in public congregations, nay, even in the time of exercise, to the great hindering of the seed of the word, which questionless is the design of Satan in those their confusions. And are we the persecutors?||Who are the persecutors betwixt us and them discovered.|
2. If causing such tumults, and their such bitter slanders of us in the time of worship, have brought them at any time within the compass of law, we must tell them that that was a suffering as evildoers; and no <412> persecution, if it be a sin to break the peace, and traduce and take away the good names of others. Yet even in such cases also they may remember how many of them were discharged the town, without imprisonment? and such as were imprisoned, how soon released?
3. If reproaching with the tongue be persecution (for what else was Ishmael's persecuting of Isaac, to which that text relates [Gal. 4], what was it [Gen. 11:9] but Ishmael mocking Isaac?) we may say we have had as large measure thereof from this people as might fill pages to set down in particular.
4. If our book be the persecution, Paul's zeal against wicked principles and unlawful practices may as well be called persecution as our pleading for the truth of Christ against opposers, we being set for the confirmation and defense of the gospel.
We now proceed to take notice of his answers to the positions they have asserted; the first is,
1. To the first proof, that George Fox affirmed "He was equal with God," James Nayler answers and says "that it is false" that George Fox did say, "that George Fox was equal with God."
Let the reader take notice that Nayler in his reply doth not deny our proof at all, when we say that George Fox said these words, "I am equal with God"; he doth not except against this at all.
2. Nayler's further reply plainly doth evidence it also, where he confesseth that George Fox, when he was asked "Whether he was equal with God," said, "I deny George Fox, he is dust, &c, but I and my Father are one." Where he clearly asserts his oneness with God, as to equality (for that was the question the justices put to him). So that our proof against him stands clear by his own confession.
Now the strength of Nayler's answer lies in this evasion, which we doubt not but any that have their eyes open will discover to be the subtlety of the serpent, viz., he doth not deny that George Fox said "He was equal with God"; but denies that he said that "George Fox was equal with God"; where Nayler makes Fox to distinguish ignorantly and make a difference betwixt George Fox and himself, so that though George Fox is not equal with God, yet he that is called George Fox is equal with God. Now to this blasphemous evasion, we thus answer:
1. If George Fox for his blasphemy be turned into hell, what will become of him? that is, what will become of that person that is called by the name of "George Fox"?
2. Is not the name always given for the distinguishing of the person; <413> yea, even when they are in a blessed state, translated from corruption (Matt. 17:3) "there appeared Moses and Elias talking with him"; they were Moses and Elias still, though in a state of glory. So that the person is understood and distinguished by the name; and therefore by the name "George Fox" must be understood in our book, "the person distinguished by that name"; we were never so childish as to think that a bare name, without its relation to the person distinguished by it, any should cry up to an equality with God; we speak of the person understood by "George Fox." Such cobweb answers and childish evasions may satisfy such deluded spirits as Nayler, but we cannot but in the fear of the Lord cry out, Oh! the plotted blasphemy of these men.
3. Did ever any of the saints of God in the Old or New Testament distinguish in this way? Did not Paul say, "Paul a servant of Jesus Christ," not saying, "I deny Paul, Paul is dust, and must to dust," but I am a servant to Jesus Christ? what unscriptural and ridiculous language is this?
4. Hence you may see it was not without reason that we were jealous of a mystery of iniquity lying under these distinctions betwixt George Fox and himself; and in these words, "one whom the world calls James Nayler"; and in Francis Howgill his paper, called A Woe to Kendal, "one whom the world calls F.H."
5. The very evasion that Nayler useth is a very great demonstration to us that George Fox asserted he was equal with God. For Nayler confesseth he was present when George Fox was asked whether he spoke "this of George Fox as he was a creature." Now here is a clear confession that George Fox did say "He was equal with God," that's confessed he spoke this; only the question was about the sense of these words and whether he spoke them of himself as a creature. Whatever the person were that asked Fox that question, we would leave this upon his conscience, what apprehensions he had of Fox? For by the necessary and infallible rules of reason there is nothing that hath a being but is either a creature or a Creator; and if Fox have another consideration (as that question clearly implies) besides that "as a creature," it must necessarily be "as a Creator," and so his equality with God is asserted. Well, 'tis confessed he spoke these words. 2. In this answer he denies "George Fox as a creature"; the meaning thereof as given in answer to that question must be this, that George Fox as a creature denies "to be equal with God"; but that he, as under some other consideration, is equal with God, he denies not; nay asserts it, when he says, "I and my Father are one."
6. We cannot but press it upon the reader that in these debates about equality with God it had been easy for Nayler or Fox to have declared <414> their total inequality with God, and not so to have deluded the people in such fond distinctions, as I am equal with God and yet George Fox is not equal with God; nay this debate certainly was an eminent call to them to disclaim it, if this wretched principle had not filled their hearts; yet instead of our ingenious denying of this blasphemy their whole work is falsely to assert it under the cloak of subtle and unscriptural, nay blasphemous, distinctions and evasions.
|Now for the Scriptures he so blasphemously abuseth, they are these two: First John 10:30, "I and my Father are one"; this Scripture, that it is properly and incommunicably spoken of Christ, God and man, and cannot be applied to any mere creature, we shall thus make evident. The person there spoken of is first in the 9th verse the door. "I am the door, by me if any enter in he shall be saved." Is George Fox the door? 2. That person spoken of affirms (v. 18) "that he hath power to lay down his life of himself and power to take it up again." Hath George Fox that power? 3. In ver. 26 he saith to the Jews, "Ye cannot believe because ye are not of my sheep." Dare George Fox say so? The reason why men do not believe, is it because George Fox hath not elected them from eternity? 4. That person there spoken of saith (ver. 27-28), "My sheep hear my voice, and I give unto them eternal life; neither shall any man pluck them out of my hands." Is it not blasphemy for Fox to assert these things of himself? 5. He also saith, "My Father that gave them me is greater than all" (v. 29). Did the Father give the elect to George Fox? Now, v.30, this person of whom these things are spoken, it is, who is one with the Father. And you may as well ascribe the other five considerations to George Fox, or any mere creature, as this, that he and the Father are one. But oh! the greatness of his ignorance of God, of Christ, of Scripture, of himself, which is the cause of such most wretched blasphemies.||John 10:30 opened|
|This next Scripture is (1 Cor. 6:17), "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit." The design of the apostle there being to dehort from fornication, upon the account of that union that is betwixt the fornicator and the harlot (v. 16), "they are one body; for two, saith he, shall be one flesh," doth add a further reason to the saints, "he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit" (v. 15). "Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them the members of an harlot, God forbid?" Now that this text doth not hold forth a believer's equality with God will thus appear. For first, the strength of the apostle's argument in this place is by the membership of a believer to Christ, to prove the exceeding sinfulness of taking a member of Christ <415> and making it a member of an harlot: all the union it holds forth betwixt us and Christ is only as we are members of the Lord Jesus. Now the membership of a believer with Christ is nothing to prove his equality with God. For first, the implantation of a believer into Christ being by faith in his death, and faith itself being a finite grace, can no way bring the soul into an infinite equality. 2. Besides, Paul after membership by faith in Christ, yet complained of a body of sin, which utterly disclaims all equality with God.||1 Cor. 6:17 opened|
1. The nature of this union speaks no physical oneness, for as there is no physical oneness betwixt the fornicator and the harlot, neither are they physically one body, though so called out of a relative respect; so neither is there any such physical oneness betwixt believers and Christ. And without the soul's physical oneness with God, there can be no equality betwixt it and God; nay, if Christ were not essentially one with the Father neither could he be equal with the Father.
Having thus seen the full meaning of these Scriptures, we believe (reader) thou wilt wonder how the justices could hear the Scriptures so blasphemously abused and yet be satisfied, as Nayler pretends, they understanding his affirming his equality with God of the Spirit of Christ in him. For did they think that the Spirit did essentially dwell in Fox? how then came they to be satisfied, when Fox attributes that to himself which is the Spirit's property? or how comes he to be the same essentially with the Spirit of God? or did they conceive the Spirit in Fox to be the graces or fruits of the Spirit? how then could they be satisfied, if so; inasmuch as those fruits of the Spirit are in their best capacity but a new creature, and so in no way equal with God? But were they all satisfied? How then was it that Mr. Sawrey, a member of the late Parliament, and as unprepossessed as any of the justices then present, was so fully satisfied that Fox was really and by confession guilty of those blasphemous words, that he said he was equal with God, that he openly declared against him in the presence of them all and urged the justices that Fox was clearly guilty of that blasphemy by his own confession before them all. Now for what he adds, concerning Dr. Marshall his oath, "That one of the justices, who was present at Lancaster when Fox spoke those words, did openly there witness against Marshall's false oath in the hearing of the open court." Let the reader know,
1. 'Tis true that justice did so in the hearing of one of us (W.C.); but did it in such a way, with his head hanging down and a low voice, that spake clearly enough to observant hearers he had more will to accuse him than either confidence or reason. 2. That justice was Col. Benson, 'tis true, he was at Lancaster; and 'tis as true he was a Quaker <416> long since and before that time, and had made it his work to ride up and down about that business to get Fox discharged from his blasphemy; and what such a partial evidence is to gainsay the doctor's oath, let the reader judge. 3. Besides, the Dr. swore it, and so did Mr. Altham; but Col. Benson only whispered it, or said it at the utmost. 4. It was fully evidenced after in Lancaster before the whole country. 5. But to discharge ourselves and to clear up the truth beyond all denial, we have here given you the testimony of the said Dr. Marshall and Mr. Altham sent to us and dated at Lancaster, Jan. 19, 1653.
George Fox said: "That he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are one; and they are equal."
George Fox being asked, "Whether he was equal with God?" answered thus, "I am equal with God."
The truth of these two articles against George Fox, we have already witnessed by deposing our oaths before the magistrate at several times, and still witness, though now our testimony be not so necessary as formerly, since the observant reader may discern what we witness more generally held out in their own books, particularly in the book entitled Saul's Errand to Damascus, pag. 8, line 8. See also their answers, pag. 5, 6, and 10.
Jan. 19, 1653
Thus we have you see fully cleared our first testimony. And for the second, that Nayler said he was as holy, just and good as God, against which Nayler thus excepts, "It is an untruth, and was never spoken by me, nor ever did it enter into my thoughts; but is a lie, raised up by the father of lies, the devil, and vented by his servants to make the truth odious," and so goes on, denying that ever Will. Baldwinson heard him say so, &c. We thus answer:
Surely this man thinks by his rage to darken the truth of this testimony: but that thou mayst again acquit us, and see that James Nayler makes no conscience of lies, as we have given thee the testimonies of Dr. Marshall and Mr. Altham for the former, so we here give thee a large account of the proof of this horrible blasphemy under the hand of Will. Baldwinson.
January 14, 1653
You writ to me to certify you of some words that I heard from James Nayler and Richard Farnworth, as they call themselves amongst us. I myself went to George Bateman his house in <417> Underbarrow called the Crag, and there was a great deal of people come in to the house, and Nayler and Farnworth sitting beyond a table upon a bench; and there Nayler speaking and teaching perfection, and to be attained to in this life, and to be without sin; this teaching so did trouble me, as being contrary to the word of God, that I stood up before the table and spoke these words: "Friend, do you hold that a man may attain to that height of perfection in this life to be as perfect, as pure, as holy and just as God himself?" And they jointly replied, "Yea, and they were so." And one in the house spake and said, "My question was not to the purpose." And I answered and said, "But it was, because I knew no such thing by myself." And after these words they began to teach that every man had a light within him, if hearkened to, would teach, guide and save him. And I replied again and said, how is it that our Savior Christ says, "There is no man comes to me, except my Father which sent me draw him; before God and Christ draw, where is my light?" and to this they spoke not one word, so I went home from amongst them. But the day of the month, nor the month I set not down, I not fearing the danger of this heresy. All these words were spoken in the same house in the night time.
We do testify this to be Will. Baldwinson's own testimony.
Tho. Walter. John Wallace. John Myriell.
2. Here thou hast our innocency vindicated; and now what reason hath Nayler to call us, "the servants of the devil," and "venters of lies?" when as thou seest his denial of that testimony is but the backing of his own blasphemy with a notorious lie, which must needs fly in his face if he have any spark of conscience left in him.
3. This full testimony gives a further discovery of their positions we formerly laid down; as first, their asserting "perfection" in this life, and "to be without sin." As also secondly, not only Nayler but Farnworth also affirmed he was as holy, just, and good as God, for so saith Will. Baldwinson, "they jointly replied, 'Yea, and they were so.'" Thirdly, that every man hath a light within him, if harkened to, "will teach, guide and save him."
Thus we can bless the Lord that our being forced, by Nayler his charging us with lies, to vindicate the truth hath been an occasion to discover the blasphemies of these men more apparently and convincingly unto all.
But we wonder how they dare deny these things? or why Nayler <418> should stand disputing against these testimonies? when their being equal with God is fully laid down in Fox's own words in print: see Saul's Errand to Damascus, pag. 8 and line 8. "He that hath the same Spirit that raised up Jesus Christ is equal with God." And again thus, line 11, &c., "As Jesus Christ which is the mystery hath passed before, so the same Spirit takes upon it the same seed and is the same where it is made manifest." Where it is clearly his design to show that there is the same hypostatical union betwixt the Spirit and our nature, where the Spirit dwells, as was betwixt the divine nature and the human in the Lord Jesus.
To our proof that George Fox affirmed, He was the judge of the world, Nayler denieth it not, but replies by justifying that expression; and tells us "we are grossly ignorant of Christ," and rails at us exceedingly. For this he quotes 1 Cor. 6:2-3: "Know you not that the saints shall judge the world." Hence he abuseth the Scripture to infer that George Fox is the judge of the world.
|For the opening of this Scripture, know first "That the Father hath committed all judgment to the Son" (John 5:22). Acts 17:31: "God hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath given an assurance unto all men in that he hath raised him from the dead." Where you see plainly, the Father hath eminently appointed Jesus Christ alone, that "man to be the judge of the world." How then comes George Fox to be "judge of the world"? for the Scripture doth but hold forth One to be the judge of the world, even the Lord Jesus, whom the Father hath therefore furnished with all necessary qualifications, viz. of infinite power, infinite knowledge, infinite presence, things absolutely necessary for "the judge of the world" (1 Cor. 15:25). Again, it is one thing to judge the world and much another thing to be the judge of it; there is very much difference betwixt these two: but George Fox must be either the judge, or none it seems. 3. It is not said the saints do judge the world (that's proper to the Lord Jesus), but 'tis said, they shall judge the world, they shall judge angels, the apostles kept very strictly and closely to the expression of the future, clearly holding forth that he means of their judging of the world at the end thereof and the resurrection of the dead, according to that of Christ concerning the apostles in the day of judgment. Matt. 19:28: "Verily I say unto you that you which have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." We shall not need to speak of the manner of their judging, as justices at the <419> bench, by subscription, or assent to the righteous proceedings of the Lord Jesus at that day.||1 Cor. 6:2 opened|
And is it not still apparent to be a blasphemy for Fox to say he is the judge of the world? And can the abusing of this Scripture help him? And what reason hath Nayler to charge us with gross ignorance and rail upon us upon this account; but we have laid this open enough to any reader. Only this we shall add, in Saul's Errand to Damascus (pag. 6), it is objected against Fox that he professed himself to be the eternal judge of the world, not only the judge but the eternal judge; and this he doth not at all deny, but blasphemously goeth about to justify it. This is suitable to that which one of these Quakers lately wrote to an eminent officer in the army, who told it himself to one of us, viz., "Look to the light within thee which cannot sin, where by thou wilt judge and determine God-like."
|His next justification of that title is bottomed upon that 1 Cor. 2:15: "The spiritual man judgeth all things." To which we answer that he that is acquainted with the original will easily perceive that the word "judgeth" in the 15th verse is the same with that in the 14th verse which is rendered "discerned," , ver 15 , so that the meaning of the expression is no more but the spiritual man discerneth all things; "all things," viz. , the spiritual mysteries of the gospel: this is evident, that these all things are , for the apostle is speaking of the "mysteries of the gospel," ver. 7, the wisdom of God in a mystery; he is speaking of such things (ver. 9) which God hath prepared for them that love him; and (ver. 11) the things of God; (ver. 12) the things freely given to us of God; (ver. 12) things spoken of, such things as are (ver. 16) the mind of Christ. So that Nayler is wide to seek when he applies this as he doth: the spiritual man, 'tis true, doth discern the mysteries of the gospel and mind of Jesus Christ; these things of the kingdom of God are not known to the men or princes of this world: but what is this, to prove this: therefore it is lawful for George Fox to say he is the judge of the world? Did ever Paul or any of the apostles conclude from their "spirits of discerning" that they were the "judges of the world"? Will a discerning of the mysteries of the gospel raise up men to sit in Christ's throne, and to judge, and condemn, and pronounce irrevocable sentence against others (as the practice of some of the Quakers is)? That spirit of discerning is there only attributed to the spiritual man, "as to the mysteries of the gospel"; will a discerning of gospel mysteries prove a power to discern the final state and condition of souls, what it shall be to all eternity? Is there not a <420> large ignorance of their own hearts, even in such as have a large measure in knowledge of gospel doctrines? And is not this the prerogative of God, to search the hearts? (Jer. 17:10; Job 1:25). And is "discerning" and "judging" all one? (1 Tim. 5:24). Some men's sins are open beforehand; yea, God doth now fully discern and know the states of souls; yet the judging of the world speaks more than a bare act of knowledge and discerning. For there is a time when that God that knoweth the thoughts of men's hearts, yet doth not execute this sentence of judgment upon their souls (Eccl. 8:11). Rev. 6:10: "How long, O Lord, &c., dost thou not judge," &c., but God hath the day of his wrath and of the revelation of his righteous judgment (Rom 2:5). So that he that shall consider how far short discerning doth fall of this sort of judging, how far short discerning of doctrines doth fall of either judging or discerning the future and final state of souls; how evidently this Scripture is wrested to lift up sinful creatures into a blasphemous arrogancy of the very attributes and office of Christ, will easily see how sinfully Nayler hath done to serve the antichristian pride of Fox, who, as God (2 Thes. 2:4) will needs sit in the temple of God and show himself that he is God.||1 Cor. 2:15 opened|
To our proof further, that George Fox was called by one of those Quakers, "the Son of God," Nayler says, "You that are offended that one shall witness the Son of God show that you are ignorant of the new birth," &c. (1 John 3:1-2). "Behold, &c. that we should be called the sons of God. Now blush for shame that you should be ministers of the letter, and are ignorant of it." Thus far he.
|That Jesus Christ is only the Son of God essentially, and according to Scripture expression emphatically and distinguishingly called the Son of God is very clear. Matt. 16:16: "Simon Peter answered and said, thou art Christ, the Son of the living God." This is that famous confession of Peter which Christ said, "Flesh and blood had not revealed to him," which is in that expression raised up to such a pitch that it is impossible it should be meant in the ordinary notion of the sons of God, as when applied to regenerate persons, as is plain by these two eminent expressions of "flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee"; and upon this confession (not upon Peter's person), ver. 18: "Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Consonant to this is that, upon the miracle wrought by Christ (Matt. 14:33), "they in the ship worshipped and said, of a truth thou art the Son of God." Can George Fox testify his being the Son of God by such a miracle? Nay, Heb. 1:5: you have a challenge for the distinguishing <421> Sonship of Christ; "unto which of the angels said he at any time, thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee"? Ver. 8: "But unto the Son he saith, thy throne, O God, is forever and ever." Here you have his Sonship vindicated from being communicable even to the very angels; though in other places called "the sons of God" (Job 1:6; Job 38:7), "when the sons of God shouted for joy." Thus we have proved the essential Sonship of Christ, and how that expression, "the Son of God," is emphatically and distinguishingly given to him, so as not to be communicable to the best of creatures. For the creatures of God, when any of them are called the sons of God, it is upon one of these two accounts: 1. Either of creation (Luke 3:38): Adam is called "the son of God." 2. Or of adoption (Gal. 4:5): "to redeem them that were under the law that they might receive the adoption of sons." We know what the adoption of sonship of believers is and do bless God that this manner of love is given us, that we should be called the sons of God (1 John 3:1). But first, either hence to appropriate Christ his incommunicable title of being by eternal generation the Son of God. Or secondly, from that adoption, to assert an equality with God, we can account no less than blasphemy. Now let the reader know that the reason why we produced that expression of George Fox being called "the son of God" by one of that way was to prove their conceits of an equality with God. Had Nayler confessed that his looking upon Fox, &c., as son by adoption doth not carry him up to look upon them as equal with God we should not have troubled the reader further as to this particular: but instead of confession he goes about to prove what the other had asserted; so that we have reason still to see that name of Son but made a cloak to usher in Fox's intruding into, being distinguishingly and emphatically called "the Son of God," and being (according to his own words) equal with the Father. But if they will still play with the phrase of "the Son of God," yet the understanding reader will observe that that expression was but one of the six proofs we gave, that they had asserted an equality with God, three of which are already evident beyond exception.||How Christ the Son of God; how the saints are sons|
There are two more deep and pertinent proofs against them as to this: One is, that their usual expression is "that they can see men's hearts"; questionless, this is God's incommunicable attribute (Jer. 17:10): "I the Lord search the hearts." The other is an expression used by Nayler himself to one of us, to this purpose, how God "should reveal anything to him, and he, viz. Nayler, not know it." As if God knew nothing but Nayler knew it. Oh the horribleness of such expressions! the reader may wonder with what patience we can write such <422> things. Yet these two so fully speaking to prove that they assert an equality with God, Nayler wholly passeth over, though himself was the assertor of one of them.
So that it still stands fully evident against them that they do assert an equality with God.
Reader, if thou wonderest at the length of our answer to this particular, truly the dread of the great God hath been herein upon our souls, and we think no time or pains too much to vindicate the honor of our dread Lord and his Son Jesus Christ, remembering that his glory he will not give to any other.
Against our proof for this Nayler objects that "such a position is not in Saul's Errand to Damascus" and says, "we have not any proof for what we here accuse of."
That George Fox in Saul's Errand to Damascus (pag. 12), being asked, "Whether there be one individual God, distinguished into Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," answered, "It was but a busy mind so to ask," &c. (so little respect he hath to that saving mystery of the Trinity) this that book will witness. And that we had reason to infer this position to be a principle of their way, will thus appear.
1. If Nayler had taken notice of our book, he might have considered these words immediately following, "With other assertions of the same kind, known to some of us." Now had he considered this, he might have seen that we did not gather that this denying of the persons, &c., was their principle, only from what Fox lays down in Saul's Errand to Damascus, page 12, but from that of Fox, together with other assertions of the same kind, known to some of us. We know it to be their principle by comparing that expression of Fox with what ourselves did know from others of them; those truths compared were our proof of that assertion, as the reader will presently fully see.
2. Had we had no other ground but that expression of Fox's, when he says, "It's a busy mind to enquire," &c., this had been enough? For certainly if Fox think it to be a busy mind to enquire it, it's clear, he doth not believe it himself, as he would not have it to be a matter of any other's faith.
3. But thirdly, doth he say we have not any proof for what we here accuse of? Let both him and all men know that we have not charged that assertion on them without sufficient evidence. Tomlinson, an eminent man in that way, in his book called A Word of Reproof to the <423> Priests (pag. 4, line 20) boldly affirms, "the Spirit to be no other but Christ himself in flesh." Is not this to deny the Trinity and take away the distinction of persons in the Godhead? 2. One of us doth know this was the principle of Mr. Taylor, Col. Benson, &c., and so it was not asserted without reason, and their own spirits and consciences will bear me witness. 3. A godly minister (W.C.) in Westmorland wrote to us that one of his charge being perverted to become a Quaker, affirmed "that there was one God, but no such thing as a distinction of persons in the Godhead," and spoke many words passionately against it.
And now whether there is not just cause to charge them with maintaining this blasphemy will be fully manifest; and how unrighteously Nayler hath so reviled us upon this account. But we leave him to the Lord to rebuke.
To that we laid down as to the proof and confutation of this, Nayler only replies, "What the soul is you know not who live in the fall and are vain contenders and pleaders for sin," and so goes on grossly railing.
For the proof there set down, let the reader observe that he doth not in the least deny it, though it be a blasphemous principle. And one of us (W.C.) doth still affirm that he was an ear witness of it. Secondly, here we might very well expect that since he could not deny our proof, he should answer to our confutation of that blasphemy. Against which we have given six reasons, but instead thereof he falls a-railing, as if a Rabshakeh's spirit were divine rhetoric. And what says he? He says "We know not what a soul is, and that we plead for sin," &c., and "seek gain from our quarters," &c. This is his answer to our arguments. We shall not trouble the reader with answering their scandals and revilings but set the example of Christ before our eyes (1 Peter 2:23), "who when he was reviled, reviled not again."
To this Nayler answers thus, "When will you cease to add your lies to slander withal?"
We admire how the man can have so much impudence to charge lies upon us. Whenas first, within six lines Nayler himself confesseth <424> that he said "That if an Indian were there he should witness against him," viz. W.C., for affirming "that Christ did not dwell in the Indians that never heard the gospel." For the said W.C. did he not think the conscience of James Nayler seared, durst appeal to himself whether that discourse was not about every man's having a light within them, and that light of Christ, so that he cannot but remember that he affirmed Christ to be a light within the very Indians. Secondly, nay further, lines 16-17, Nayler most ignorantly reasons "that Christ is in the most vile in the world, else he cannot judge them." Certainly had the man any spark of conscience or ingenuity left, he durst not in the same page and with the same breath deny and affirm the same doctrine.
But oh! thou full of all subtlety; did I say, "that Christ in the reprobates is held under corruption?" let all that were there be witness against thee.
1. In our proof there is no such thing laid to Nayler's charge. For that position of theirs as we laid it consisteth of two parts, and Nayler might clearly have seen that he is brought only as a proof to the first part of it, viz., "That Christ is in every man"; for all he is charged with is that he extended the in-dwellings of Christ to Indians; and therefore it shares but of the fullness of his gall, thus to pour it out without cause. The proof of the second part, viz. "that Christ in the reprobates is held under corruption," we laid down in our second proof, in a letter of John Audland's to Edward Briggs, which letter Nayler doth not deny. For having told him he was damned, yet he also tells him that he crucifeth Christ within him, &c. What is this but to affirm Christ under corruption? But to make this further clear, this Nayler himself in Edward Briggs his house used this expression, "Father, raise up thy own Son from under bondage," as we have it from his testimony under his hand in a certificate dated Jan. 14, 1653. And to put it yet out of all possibility of denial, that the juggling of these men may further yet appear in denying their own principles, we give you a part of a dispute betwixt M. Sanderson, a minister of the gospel, and several Quakers at Peircebridge, Decemb. 12, 1653, attested by the subscriptions of ten several persons, part of which concerning the thing in question we have given you word for word.
Quaker: Is not Christ the true light in every man? speak.
Mr. Sand. Where Christ is, he rules as a king, but in all he doth not so exercise his government. Therefore &c.
<425> Quaker: In some he is kept under corruption, and this I witness, he is subdued in me; this I pawn my salvation upon.
Mr. Sand. It's blasphemy to say that a finite corruption should keep under an infinite Christ, this is to make corruption stronger than Christ.
Quaker: Well, if a man obey the light within him, he will be happy, &c.
|How undeniably doth this convince this man of his faithless and perfidious dealings, in seeking most unworthily to shuffle off a principle so fully owned by them, viz., "that Christ in the reprobates is held under corruption"; yea, notwithstanding his so confident denial of this prinicple, yet Nayler immediately forgets himself and falls to proving of it, in justification of Audland's letter, from Heb. 6:4-6, "that it's impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put him to an open shame"; whence he would prove that Christ Jesus is in the reprobates because they crucify afresh the Son of God.||Heb. 6:4-6 opened & vindicated|
1. Let the reader observe, it is not said they crucify the Son of God in themselves, but to themselves. How then doth this text speak anything to the upholding of his error?
2. Those the apostle writes to were Hebrews, the Jews; such as were of that people that crucified and put to death the Lord of life. Now as it doth not follow that because they crucified him upon the cross therefore he was in them; so neither doth it follow that Jesus Christ is in reprobates and apostates because they crucify him afresh unto themselves. This is enough to show that though apostates do crucify the Son of God to themselves, yet it no way follows that Jesus Christ is in every man and in the reprobates is under bondage. And for as much as it is affirmed that those apostates there spoken of are included under an impossibility of salvation it must necessarily follow that if Nayler will suppose that Christ doth dwell in those, then he must affirm that Christ doth dwell in those whose sins are unpardonable, that have sin'd a sin against the Holy Ghost.
There are yet these things objected to justify this principle, John 1:9: "this is that true light that lighteneth every man that cometh into the world."
|For the opening of this Scripture, you are to know that John is speaking here of the eternal word: "in the beginning was the word, all things were made by him," &c. so that his design is to manifest the divinity of Jesus Christ and the creation of the world <426> by him; in which creation he enlighteneth every man that comes into the world: "He was in the world, and the world was made by him"; these being the words immediately following that expression of "enlightening every man," &c. it's clear as can be that that light is that which was implanted in the souls in the first creation. Now that this light which is in the first creation was implanted in the soul, and so is in every man that comes into the world is 1) neither Christ, 2) nor a knowledge of Christ as mediator, 3) nor is a light sufficient to bring to gospel salvation, we shall fully clear and so discover how miserably this text is wrested by them.||John 1:9 opened|
|1. That that light there spoken of, which is implanted in the soul in the first creation, is not Christ, will thus appear. First, it's a light created by Christ in the soul and so cannot be Christ himself, unless they will blasphemously affirm Christ to create himself. 2. For this light with which he enlighteneth the soul must either be by creation or by hypostatical union, viz., by the dwellings of the divinity of Christ in every man, as he was personally in the human nature when the word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us; which how horrid a blasphemy were it to assert, and how loathsome would it be to any that knows but the first principles of the gospel. And here we must again tell James Nayler of his wicked blasphemy in affirming that "Christ as man dwells in him," which though we proved against him in the book he pretends to answer, yet he wholly passeth that over in silence without a tittle of exception, which we cannot but interpret as his confession that it is his principle.||Light in all men is not Christ in all men|
|2. That that light, which by Christ in the creating of the world is implanted the soul, is not a knowledge of Christ as mediator, we shall thus evidence.||Light in all gives yet no knowledge of a mediator|
1) First, this was the light of the first covenant, viz., a covenant of works, which did not at all hold forth or make out a mediator, for it was that light which was given forth in the first creation, in which Adam stood only under a covenant of works, neither needed a mediator before his fall; upon which fall the first light of a mediator broke out in a promise: The "seed of the woman shall break the serpent's head," as in Gen. 3:15.
2) The knowledge of Christ as mediator, the Scripture purely holds forth as a matter of mere revelation given forth by God in the second covenant, and not implanted in the soul in its first creation. Matt. 13:11: "to you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." If Christ do enlighten every man in the knowledge of himself as a mediator, how then comes this Scripture to <427> speak so distinguishingly? "to you it is given, to them it is not given"; which exception of Christ doth clearly deny the Quakers' universality, that it's given to all. To this is parallel that of Christ to Peter, when by the Father's peculiar revelation he understood Jesus to be Christ. Matt. 16:17: "Blessed art thou Simon bar Jona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but my Father," where he clears Peter's knowledge of Christ as mediator not to be from any principle of light created or natural knowledge, but from a peculiar revelation from the Father, and pronounceth him blessed upon the account of that distinguishing discovery. How fully doth that place of Paul forever dash any pretense to a power to know Christ as a mediator by that natural light which is in every man that comes into the world. 1 Cor. 2:14: "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, for they are discerned spiritually." There the apostle gives the reason why no light implanted in our natures in the creation can discern the things of the Spirit of God, because they are spiritually discerned; where he makes an opposition betwixt natural and spiritual light and puts an impossibility upon discovering Christ by the light of nature. We may add that (ver. 9-10), "Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither hath in entered into the heart of man to conceive, &c. but God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit."
3) That that light which by Christ in the creating of the world is implanted in the soul, is not a knowledge of Christ as a mediator, will appear by undeniable examples; for there are multitudes of men and women, without contradiction never knew the Lord Jesus as a mediator, though it must be confessed they had a rational or natural light. Those thousands of saints that went over into New England fully experienced it, that there is not the least hint of a Christ implanted in those Indians, one of us having often conversed amongst them can also fully witness it; as is more fully also evident by the confessions of many of them in print, who have been converted by the ministry of Mr. Eliot, of which we spake in The Perfect Pharisee (pag. 19).
But may not these Scriptures fully confound these men's pervertings of that Scripture? Read Ps. 143:19: "He showed his word unto Jacob, his statutes and judgments unto Israel; he hath not dealt so with any people, and as for his judgments they have not known them." Ps. 79:6: "Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee." Col. 1:26, "the dispensation of God is given to fulfill the word of God, even that mystery which hath been hid from ages and generations." But let Paul determine the contrary, to whose judgment we shall desire to stand (2 Thes. 3:2): "All men have not faith."<428>
|3. That this light which by Christ in creating of the world is implanted in man is not sufficient to bring to a gospel salvation is also plain from what we have convincingly proved, that this natural light may be in thousands that never knew the Lord Jesus as a mediator: and John 17:3: "this is life eternal, to know thee the very God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." So that there is an utter insufficiency and incapacity in this light to bring to salvation. So that though A.P. hath lately expressed his abhorring the distinction betwixt natural and spiritual light, yet our Lord Jesus and the apostles are so full in it that they are of more authority with us than the novel opinion of A.P.||Light in all not sufficient to save|
Thus you see this Scripture fully vindicated from their wrestings, for hence it is apparent that though Jesus Christ (by whom the Father made the world, Heb. 1:2) in his creation of man did enlighten and create a principle of light, and natural reason and understanding in the soul (which we have proved is eminently there understood) yet this proves nothing for the Quakers, that either therefore every man that hath a reasonable soul Christ dwells in him, or that he knows Christ, or that his natural light can possibly suffice to bring to gospel salvation.
Nayler's next defense is this ridiculous argument, "If Christ be not in the most vile in the world, &c., how shall he judge everyone according to their thoughts, as well as according to what they do? must he proceed as carnal judges do, by proof or confession, and no further?"
We need say no more to show the simplicity of this argument than to ask them these questions: Doth the Scripture say that Christ is in the devils, and yet he sees, and knows, and judgeth them? Or doth the Scripture say that the damned in hell Christ is in them? Nay, but doth not Scripture speak in this language, "Christ in you the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27), so that Scripture speaking of "Christ in you," speaks of him as being the hope of glory where he dwells. And is Christ in devils and damned souls the hope of glory? For neither the Quakers nor we are in this controversy at all disputing concerning the ubiquity of the divine nature, by reason of which he is above all and through all and in all, but of Christ in us in that sense the gospel useth the expression, viz. as a saving light and principle, the hope of glory.
2. How ridiculous is it from Christ's knowing all things to infer "that he dwells in all"? can he not know things unless he dwell in them? Doth he not know the inward motions of brutes, horses, fishes? <429> &c., and is it Scripture language from thence to infer his dwelling in them? Oh! the vainness and frothiness of such a spirit; and how are these men given up to blasphemy. We shall conclude with that of David (Ps. 11:4): "The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try the children of men."
He hath another argument, "that Christ dwells in the saints"; which we know, in its gospel sense, but not in Nayler's, that "Christ as man dwells in them": but how absurdly and unscripturally doth this conclusion follow, therefore "Christ doth dwell in all."
Thus you see our proofs fully confirmed, his lies confuted, his perverted Scriptures cleared and answered, and the folly of his arguments fully opened though he hath not answered one of our arguments, and many Scriptures against that doctrine.
"O deceitful spirits," &c., "are those words expressly found in Saul's Errand to Damascus, "as you say they are, let that book be witness against you and your lying slanders to all that read it."
Surely this man pretends neither to conscience nor modesty, that doth challenge us here for a lie for saying that doctrine was expressly found in Saul's Errand. He that shall but look upon that book (pag. 2, pag. 8, pag. 14) shall begin to know the impudence of James Nayler: pag. 2, line last in the schedule annexed to the Lancashire Petition to the Council of State, you have this charge: Richard Hubberthorne wrote "that Christ's coming in the flesh was but a figure." Now, are we liars in affirming those words are expressly found there? Nay, further, in pag. 8, where Hubberthorne answers to that charge, we will give you his own words: "Christ in his people is the substance of all figures, types and shadows, fulfilling them in them; but as he is held forth in the Scripture letter without them, and in the flesh without them, he is their example or figure, which is both one that the same things might be fulfilled in them that was in Christ Jesus." Could a man have spoken more plainly to affirm what we asserted of him? And do we add our own imaginations to make them odious when we say, according to their principle, those things that are hold forth "of Christ without us" (as Hubberthorne says) must be acted over again within us? and so Christ must be born of the virgin in us, and Judas and Herod and Pilate <430> must be in us to betray and crucify him? Is not this the plain assertion of Hubberthorne? "the same things must be fulfilled in us that was in Christ Jesus, as he was held forth in the Scripture-letter and in the flesh without us." And this we also proved by an assertion of George Bateman (pag. 29), to which Nayler answers nothing.
But further, it shall yet appear that it's clear in Saul's Errand to Damascus (pag. 14), where George Fox expressly says, "Christ his flesh is a figure, for every one passeth through the same way that Christ did who comes to know Christ in the flesh."
What a seared conscience must this man needs have, that when this doctrine is expressly found in those evident places in that book, yet hath the impudence, against the light of conscience, to say, "Let that book be witness against you and your lying slanders therein to all that read it." But both you and we shall both learn what this man and his way is.
You say, this was written in a letter which Nayler wrote to one in Lancashire, viz., "That he that expects to be saved by him that died at Jerusalem should be deceived, which is a most filthy untruth," &c., and so he goes on railing.
1. It is acknowledged that that letter which had this doctrine in it, "that Christ was but a figure," was not Nayler's letter, in which that other passage is; we mistook Nayler for Hubberthorne, and that it was in a letter from Hubberthorne written to one in Lancashire. Take this ensuing testimony of Mr. Moore, a godly minister in Lancashire.
Richard Hubberthorne wrote that the coming of Christ in the flesh is but a figure, or an holding out in outward actions amongst men those things that he will truly, spiritually, and really do in the spirits of his people at his second coming. This "but" being objected against him, as denying the Lord that bought us, he replied in another letter, "Thou dost not understand what I meant by that expression," &c. These words being often objected to the Quakers, and particularly to George Fox, though some of them made an answer to the "but," yet none of them deny it in these parts that I can hear of. These letters were sent to Henry Holme and are now in my hands.
Kellet in Lancash.
Jan. 16, 1653
Thus you have our confession of our mistake, only of the name; <431> you see the truth of the thing convincingly evidenced.
But that it is a "filthy untruth" that Nayler wrote such a letter in which were those words, "He that expects to be saved by him that died at Jerusalem, should be deceived," we answer:
First, Nayler may know that we do only affirm that Doctor Marshall did object this against him at Appleby, and Master Jacques, minister of Bolton in Lancashire, sent his promise that he would make it appear. Had Nayler denied that either of these two were true he might have charged us with a falsehood; but this he doth not, he dare not do. 2. Though Nayler do so cry out against this as a slander, yet he that considers this their principle, "that Christ with all he did in the flesh is but a figure" (which is proved to be their principle beyond exception) will wonder why Nayler should look upon this as a slander when it is the necessary consequence of that wicked doctrine; for if Christ were but a figure I should no more expect to be saved by him than by the figures and types of the law. But because the man so loudly cries out against this as being a "filthy untruth" that ever he wrote such a letter (though he deny not what we say, that this was objected against him by D. Marshall and that M. Jacques engaged to justify it) yet we have affixed M. Jacques' testimony to satisfy the world of our clearness from the scandals and wicked reproaches of Nayler, and this sent us under his hand and seal:
James Nayler in a letter which he writ to Henry Holme gave out this expression, "If thou expect to be saved by him that died at Jerusalem, thou art deceived."
Hoc unum test.
There is but one thing more in Nayler's answer whereby he shuffles this position, and that evasion is this, "We do own and confess that Jesus Christ in the flesh is a figure or example"; as if figure and example were all one. To which we answer:
1. We challenge James Nayler to show one tittle of Scripture where Jesus Christ is called a figure. The first Adam is called a figure (Rom., 5:14), the tabernacle called a figure (Heb. 9:9), but Jesus Christ is never called a figure; and therefore it is a sinful shuffle of James Nayler thus to confound an example and figure.
|Jesus Christ not a figure|
2. If he be a figure, we again affirm he must typify something; but we refer you to our book (as to Christ not being a figure or only an <432> example) where we have laid down many Scriptures and arguments, to which he answers nothing, Perfect Pharisee, pag. 8-9.
Reader, thou wilt see in our book we had four proofs for this, three of which Nayler denieth not; and for the fourth we refer thee to Mr. Jacques' testimony; so that as to the truth of the assertion we must take it for granted, especially considering what George Fox saith in Saul's Errand to Damascus (pag. 12): "He that is born of God is justified by Christ alone without imputation." This gives us to understand the meaning of Nayler's answer to that position, thus:
"That righteousness Christ hath performed without me was not my justification, &c., until Christ appeared in me, &c., and appeared in me my righteousness, sanctification, justification, and redemption," &c.
1. Let but the reader compare this of James Nayler with that expression of George Fox, viz., "he is justified by that alone without imputation"; and that of Anthony Hodgson, viz., "I believe to be saved, not by the righteousness of Christ imputed to me but by the righteousness of Christ inherent in me," which he doth not deny, he will learn the meaning of Nayler's words to be clearly this, "that Christ in a man is the matter of his justification"; so that though he labor to color over the business in this answer by saying "Christ was not his justification till he appeared in him," yet comparing his answer with these testimonies it will appear to be downright equivocation and shuffling.
|Fox denying imputed righteousness in plain terms|
|2. For Nayler cannot but know, that the question is not at all concerning the time when Jesus Christ becomes actually my justification, but concerning what is the matter of our justification, whether the righteousness which Christ in his person did perform, or the holiness which he worketh in us, be the matter of our justification when we are justified? Now notwithstanding Nayler's shuffling, it's clear their sense is that whensoever the soul is justified (for we speak not of the time) the matter of its justification is not that righteousness which Jesus Christ in his own person did perform without us. Nayler himself at Appleby in discourse asserted, "He was justified by Christ in him"; and being there told by one of us "that justification is an act of God for Christ's sake <433> absolving me from the guilt of sin, not done in me but without me in the court of heaven," Nayler said nothing to this but "that which is without, is without." See Mr. Higginson's book, pag. 78.d||Question betwixt Quakers & us, concerning the matter of justification, but the time|
|Now that the righteousness of Christ performed without us is the matter of our justification whensoever we are justified, besides what we have laid down undeniably from the Scripture in the Perfect Pharisee (pag. 10), will further appear by these testimonies: Rom. 3:14: "Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation," &c.; Isa. 53: "He was wounded for our transgressions, and through his stripes we are healed"; ver. 5-6: "he laid on him the iniquities of us all"; ver. 11: "he shall bear their iniquities"—where Christ's merit or righteousness is the reason of the non-imputation of sin to the soul. But what need we add more in a case which is so full a principle of the gospel? But of this enough; we shall add more in the next position. As for reckoning "drunkards" and "swearers" to have as much right to what Christ did and suffered at Jerusalem as we, we look upon it as one of his reviling fits and passions and leave him to the Lord to rebuke him. But this is all the answer he gives to the many Scriptures against his doctrine laid down by us.||Further proof that Christ's righteousness is the matter of our justification|
We proved this to be their doctrine by six testimonies. None of which are denied; only he quarrels at one expression in one of them, viz. the third, which Nayler lays down, viz., "We are not reconciled to God till we be perfectly holy and able to stand so in our own power"; he quarrels at the last clause of this, of which we shall give you an account in the next position, whether it properly is to be referred: but the first branch of it, viz., "we are not reconciled to God till we be perfectly holy," this he denieth not but asserts again in his answer thus, "No imperfect thing can be reconciled to God"; so that the charge stands clear against them notwithstanding the heresy of the tenet and the loud outcries of Nayler, as if we slandered him.
|And to put it further out of question we shall add these besides Nayler's confession in the present answer. John Wilkinson of Hutton, in the <434> hearing of Mr. T.W., minister at Kendal, and Mr. G. affirmed "that the light within men would not only discover sin but also redeem from it and justify." Capt. Robert Lucas of Kellet in Lancashire attesteth under hand, that Robert Wither said "that men are saved by the works of Christ which he worketh in them and maketh them to work." John Camm affirmed to Mr. T. and Mr. Gr. "that holy and close walking with God was a saint's covering from the wrath of God": so that this principle stands clear, notwithstanding his evasions.||New proof that Quakers' justification is by inherent righteousness|
He chargeth us with wresting truth to slander, by saying that his affirming "that the light within men will bring to fear God, and so lead to justification" doth hold forth "justification by inherent righteousness."
To this we answer that it is evident to us it is the sense of his words: for let any sober spirited Christian consider his words, "the light within," by bringing a man to exercise a pure conscience in the fear of God towards God and man in uprightness, will so lead up to justification and peace: what doth this but plainly speak, that we are justified by obedience to this light in the exercise of a good conscience towards God and man; for, saith he, it doth so lead to justification, &c.
But what saith he again, "that no imperfect thing can be reconciledto God is plain in Scripture." This he lays down to prove (if it would serve) the truth of that position "that we are justified by inherent righteousness."
We answer, that Paul was reconciled to God is plain, and that he was justified which are the same (Rom. 5:1,9-11), but that Paul was imperfect when yet he was reconciled to God, Rom. 7 will abundantly evidence. He that says, "I am carnal, and sold under sin" (ver. 14); was not he then imperfect? "What I do, I allow not; what I would, that I do not; but what I hate, that do I" (ver. 15); he that was in this condition, was he not imperfect? He that "had a law in his members warring against the law of his mind and leading him into captivity to the law of sin" (ver. 23), was not he imperfect? He that in the sense of his body of death cried out, "Wretched man that I am," &c., was not he imperfect? How ignorant doth Nayler discover himself to be of the conditions of the saints of God. Was not Peter imperfect when he cursed and denied his Master <435> (Matt. 26:72), but that then he was in a justified state we know none that ever questioned. But this gross fancy of his own perfections, and ignorance of the mystery of justification, runs him upon such bold assertions and desperate rocks as these. What an uncomfortable doctrine had this been to Paul, when he was complaining of the "body of his sin," to have told him, therefore he was not justified nor reconciled to God? with what a glorious gospel spirit would Paul have challenged such a man, as he doth "angels, principalities, and powers" (Rom. 8:37-38). "It is God that justifieth, who shall condemn me?" "It is Christ that died"; fetching out a pardon and justification from the blood of Jesus, notwithstanding his own imperfection in the work of holiness.
|Justification consistent with the saints' infirmities|
To your position "of being justified by our own works" we deny, "for it is he that worketh in us to will and to do," &c., and herein we deny self-works, &c.
This is the old threadbare shuffle of the papists; when they are pressed by the Protestants and their justification by works or inherent holiness is confuted by Scripture they constantly answer as Nayler doth: they deny their being justified by their own works which flow from a principle of their own power but say that the works by which they are justified are such as flow from grace, or the workings of God within their souls. They say that by the first, ne hominem justificare posse, men cannot be justified; but per opera qua ex fide Christi & gratia fluunt homines justificari,e by the works which flow from Christ. All this while both papists and Quakers assert justification by inherent holiness, not by the righteousness of Christ imputed, only they pretend it is not by their own power. The full confutation of which popish and antichristian doctrine we have laid down in The Perfect Pharisee at large, pag. 11 and 10, which Nayler, according to his wonted presumptuous confidence, answers nothing.
|Consent of papists and Quakers about justification|
Nayler first excepts against this assertion "that the book shall <436> witness against us" and says, "man's being able to stand in his own power, was never spoken by him nor thought by him"; and says "that though the word be twice repeated to stand in God's power, yet they are not ashamed to wrest it to their own power," &c.
1. To this we answer, that the book which he saith shall witness against us, hath not so much as once the words, to stand in "God's power," though Nayler say "those words are twice repeated"; for the query is in these words, "Whether God created man and woman perfect without sin, and able in his power to have stood, if they had not forsaken his power and consented to the wisdom of the serpent?"
|2. From these words, We considering the nature of the state of the first Adam, to which Nayler says "man must be brought before he be reconciled," could not but gather that standing in men's own power must be the sense of those words. Our reason is plain; for that power which Adam had to stand in his state of perfection was given to him as the prodigal's portion into his own hand; but the power that the saints now are to stand by is a power in the hand of the Lord Jesus, given to him as a feoffee in trust: for in this lies the difference of the power in the sons of men in the first and second Adam: our standing in the second Adam being by a power and support in the hands and dispose of the Lord Jesus, by reason of which it is alone, "that none can pluck us out of the Father's hands" (John 10). And the standing of the first Adam being by that portion of power which was entrusted in his own hands, without any promise of assistance or perseverance from God. So that it is apparent that when Nayler says "man must be brought into the state of the first Adam before he be reconciled," he must mean he must be able to stand in his own power, without any engagement of support from God, for that was undeniably the state of Adam's power. Let Nayler show us a tittle out of Scripture where Adam had anything of promise or assistance for his standing, more than the power he had in his own hands, which was his own power.||The nature of the power of the first Adam considered|
|3. If yet Nayler will shuffle that this is not one of the doctrines of the Quakers, we shall further convincingly clear it from the very words of George Fox, in a book entitled To all that would know the way to the kingdom (pag. 10); he profanely, and like a perfect atheist, scoffs at the grace of God, saying thus, "And to you that tempt God and say, Lord give us a sight of our sins, &c., this light within you lets you see it, so you need not tempt God to give you a sight of your sins, for ye know enough, &c., and <437> give over tempting of God to give you a sight of your sins. And to all ye that say, God give us grace, and we shall refrain from our sins, there ye have got a tempting customary word, for the free grace of God hath appeared unto all men," &c.||Fox's horrible jeering at the grace of God|
Hence thou seest Fox most wretchedly asserting these two things.
1. That to pray for sight of sin, and for power from sin, is a tempting of God. 2. That to pray for light and power for the discovery of sin, and refraining from it, are needless: for so he saith, "ye need not tempt God to give you a sight of sin," and cease from saying, "God give us grace," for "the grace of God hath appeared to all men": so that he plainly affirms that all men have both a light and power also, that they need not be beholding to God to give them, nor to ask them of him; for he adds the reasons, "Why you need not ask it of God, for you have a light within you, and you know enough," &c.
|What a wretched principle is this, and how contrary to plain Scripture? "If any man lack wisdom let him ask it of God" (James 1:5) where the apostle bids the poor creature to beg wisdom of God, though Fox scoff at it. "Open thou my eyes that I may see" (Ps. 119:18). "Give me understanding." Job 34:31-32: "Surely it is meet to be said unto God, that which I see not, teach thou me." 1 Peter 5:10, where Peter prays, "The God of all grace make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." Eph. 3:14-16, "for this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus, that he would grant you to be strengthened with might by his Spirit." "Every good and every perfect gift comes down from above from the Father of lights" (James 1:17). Now here you may see the practice of the saints and the wickedness of Fox's profane jeering at the grace of God, with sending men to their own light and power in opposition to the grace of God; and how all the lies that Nayler chargeth on us, while he denies this position, do fully fall upon his own head, while it is as confidently asserted by the grand master of this Babylonish mystery.||Begging of light and power the saints' duty|
The second exception is this, "You that say that Adam in the state of innocency was under a covenant of works make it appear to all that know Adam's state that you never knew it; for the law, wherein is the covenant of works, was added after," &c.
What we have said at large about Adam's being under a covenant of works, and how much better a state the saints are in by interest in Christ than the soul of the first Adam was, the reader may find at large in The Perfect <438> Pharisee (pag. 12-13), to which he hath answered nothing, as his manner is; but we shall further add.
|Adam in innocence under a covenant of works|
First, Adam was under a covenant of living by doing, or by obedience to the law, which is plainly a covenant of works: who knows not this? "In the day thou eatest, thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17).
2. Adam was under such a covenant as had no mediator; upon his breach of the command there was none by that covenant to interpose betwixt him and death, which is a distinguishing consideration betwixt the two covenants made with the first and second Adam.
3. And for Nayler's reason he was not under the covenant of works, because the law was given after; we may laugh at his ignorance. Was the law never known before it was written upon tables of stone? Did God make Adam a rational creature wholly ignorant of his will? Doth the engraving of the law in tables of stone infer that Adam had not the engraving of that law upon his heart or that he was not under the command or covenant of that law? but that we have proved from those express words of covenant, "In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
We know not whether to think the ignorance of this man or his impudence greater, in answering nothing to what we have fully laid down against his doctrines.
Nayler then excepts, "There is not a word to that purpose, as you have set down."
This is strange? Doth not he confess there is this query in it? "Whether any imperfect one shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, yea or no? and if not, then how shall one dying in sin? and where shall he be made perfect and clean? seeing the tree must lie as it falls; and whether you own a purgatory, yea or no?"f this he confesseth to be his words. And is there not a word (as he chargeth us) there to that purpose?
|2. But the reader must know that what he there in that book lays down by way of query must be looked upon as his positive assertions, as thou wilt see by the adjoining queries in the same page, where challenging those that are so much <439> offended at perfection, he puts these queries: 1. "Whether any imperfect one committing sin be the image of God, yea or no?" where a man may plainly see, he means such an one is not the image of God. 2. "Whether any can witness the work of redemption complete in them by Christ, while they commit sin?" where it is evident he intends the negative. So in this query, to resolve it into a proposition, we appeal to his conscience, or the judicious reader, that whilst he puts this query as a challenge to those that deny perfection in this life—"Whether any imperfect and unclean one that lives in sin shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, yea or no? and if not, how shall one dying in sin? and where shall he be made perfect and clean? seeing the tree must lie as it falls; and whether you own a purgatory, or no?"—we dare appeal to them, we say, if it run not thus by way of assertion: That no unclean or imperfect man can enter into the kingdom of heaven unless there be a purgatory to wash away his sins that dies imperfect.||Nayler's queries reduced to assertions|
And now thou wilt see how unjustly this man rails with open mouth, as if we were the most wicked liars in the world, when the assertion is so evidently his own, and will so appear to any that hath but half an eye of common understanding.
He tells us, "They charge me to say that no man that hath sinned can enter into the kingdom, and as though I owned a purgatory."
"Hath sinned," what a miserable shuffle is this, and what a pitiful conscience hath this man? thy own eyes reader will inform thee that we have not such a tittle in our book; we charge him to say, "No man that doth commit sin and is not perfectly holy can enter into the kingdom"; but who chargeth him to have said, "that no man that hath sinned," &c. For charging him as if he owned a purgatory it's like the former; surely the man was put to a pinch when he falls a-doubling and shuffling so apparently. We say this must be his argument, "Either there must be a purgatory to wash away the sin of him that dies imperfect, or else he can never enter into the kingdom of God." It seems Nayler knows no other way but a purgatory to wash away his sin that dies imperfect. But we look upon that clause as the absurdity which Nayler thinks to run us upon, if we will plead that a man may die imperfect and yet be saved, then we must own a purgatory. And so because he knew no other way to wash away men's sins, but either by perfect holiness here, or by a purgatory, we found him out a medium, even the blood of the Lord Jesus, which cleanseth <440> the soul (otherwise as to its personal actings, very guilty) from all sin.
Against this he objects that text, 1 John 1:7: "Doth it say any are cleansed from sin while they personally act sin? or the quite contrary?"
How falsely doth Nayler deal with the Scripture and imitate the father of lies; when Satan tempted Christ (Matt. 4:6) "to cast himself down from the temple," he takes that of Scripture that would be thought serve his purpose, and leaves out the rest; as may be seen by comparing it with Ps. 91:11-12. Just so deals Nayler with the Scripture and us, leaving out from that Scripture that which immediately follows, "If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us"; which would fully have made out the mystery of perfect justification consisting with imperfect sanctification; it's spoken of saints that are actually cleansed by the blood of Christ, and yet are told there is no truth in them; they make God a liar if they say we have no sin. That text beyond exception also (Rom. 4:5): "To him that worketh not, but believeth in him that justifieth the ungodly," &c., he is silent unto, according to his custom.
|Nayler's juggling with Scripture|
Our several proofs that this is their principle are not denied, but we are reviled for manifesting this to be an error from Scripture, though he hath not answered one of the many Scriptures we gave against this doctrine.
The first reviling is this: "It seems there can be no greater offense to you than to cry down sin and to grow up to perfection, &c., you plead for continuance in sin and imperfection, &c., you plead for the devil's kingdom, putting cleansing from sin and perfection far off till after death, &c."
1. Reader, if thou hast read our book of The Perfect Pharisee, thou wilt see we foresaw this language from them, where we told thee, "we expect (from their former usage in this kind) they will charge us with pleading for sin" (pag. 16-17), where we showed "that discovering the imperfections of the best saints, lest they should live upon their own <441> righteousness, was no pleading for sin": and this we proved from the practice of Christ (discovering the imperfections of the churches), of the Spirit, rehearsing the faults of the saints; of Paul crying out of the body of his death. So that to discover it is not to plead for it, unless you will blaspheme the holy One of Israel. Had Nayler considered these texts he might have spared the labor to repeat again a cavil so fully answered; but he answers nothing.
|Denial of perfection in this life is no pleading for sin|
|2. But yet to make it more clear, that to say perfection in holiness cannot be attained in this life is not to plead for sin and for the devil's kingdom: consider first, the kingdom of the devil is not pleaded for there, where there is a pressing of a continual wrestling and struggling in the power of Jesus Christ against it, which pressing is our constant practice to our people. For though it is plain from Scripture that in the utmost attainments of the people of God, still they "see but in a glass, darkly" (1 Cor. 13) and "have not attained perfection" (Ps. 3:12), yet it is their duty to struggle and wrestle against the body of their death and "to press towards the mark" (Phil. 3:14). Again, doth the physician meeting with a patient in a consumption, who strongly conceives that he is in perfect health though the physician demonstrate it that there are such and such decays in his vital parts, doth he by declaring this "plead for his sickness"? or rather by this means plead for his use of effectual means for his recovery? For "the whole need not a physician, but they that are sick": and Jesus Christ "came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. Nay, will not all say rather, that the physician is more faithful to the sick man than he is to himself? and more an enemy to, and pleader against the sickness, than the man is that conceits he is sound and perfect? This is the very case betwixt us and Nayler. Nayler says he is perfect; the Quakers say they are perfect and without sin; we plead and say, he is not perfect; nay, he cannot be perfect while there is such a body of death in him, and such a plague of sin running in his heart; we tell him that he that "saith he hath no sin, is a liar, deceives himself, and makes God a liar," and so do plead with him (not as he maliciously would scandalize us to lie still in that state, content to have the body of his death work his will) but to go out to the blood of Jesus Christ for cure, that iniquities may be pardoned, to fetch strength from the fullness of Christ, not from his light within him, against the bubblings up of corruptions in the heart, and press towards the mark. Whether now plead for sin, Nayler or we? he that will not hear of the saints being sick or under any spiritual imperfection, or we that demonstrate their sin from Scripture, that so <442> they may seek after the healings of the blood of Jesus.||Telling a conceited perfectionist of sin is to deal faithfully with his soul|
|3. What is the design of the discovery and convictions of the sins of men by the Spirit of the living God? Is it to plead for sin? that singular office of the Spirit (John 16:8), he shall convince the world of sin; when God doth set our secret sins, the secret sins of saints before their eyes, is it to set up the kingdom of the devil? What blasphemy must Nayler bring upon himself? or is it not evidently to pull down the throne of Satan and the power of sin, which never is weakened in the soul till it be discovered, and never reigns more securely and effectually than in the heart of him that is secure and confident he is complete and perfect, and says (Rev. 3:17), "I am rich, and increased with goods and stand in need of nothing, when he knows not he is miserable, poor, blind, and naked."||The spirit convincing of sin doth not plead for sin|
|4. We shall add no more but this, that pleading for this, that any of the sons of men are perfectly holy and do not sin (which is the design of Nayler) is really to plead for sin, and to set up and strengthen the bars of the kingdom of Satan.||Pleading for perfection here is a pleading for sin, proved in seven particulars.|
1) That soul will never struggle after a better state, which lives in a conceit of his perfection here (Rom. 8:24): "hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth why doth he yet hope for?" how doth this strengthen the kingdom of darkness? contrary to Phil 3:12-14; Rom. 8:23; 2 Cor. 5:2-3; Phil. 1:21-22.
2) This is to cast a needlessness upon the precious blood of Jesus, 'tis a trampling under foot the blood by which we are justified, our propitiation being through faith in his blood (Rom. 3:25). What needs this fountain for sin and uncleanness (Zech. 13:1) where there is no sin? What need of a savior, where there is no sin? "the whole need no physician" (Matt. 9:12); and what a wickedness is this to make the blood of Christ in vain? and what is it but as Nayler saith, to count the blood of the Lord Jesus as a common thing? (Gal. 3:22).
3) Will such a soul ever go out to pardoning promises? and how doth Satan by such a doctrine as this at once destroy the necessity of the blood and of the promises of Jesus Christ, such as these: Isa. 1:18: "though your sins be as scarlet," &c.; Isa. 43:25: "I am he that blotteth out transgressions"; Heb. 8:12: "Your sins and iniquities I will remember no more." Is not this evident from the practice of Quakers, both in their speaking and writing? They never send these souls whom they call damned to the pardoning promises and blood of Christ; but to their own light to save them. What need of the promises of pardon when I have no sin? and was it not the Pharisees' sin (Matt. 15:6; Mark 7:13) "to make <443> the command of God of none effect"? and is it not much more the Quakers' sin, to make void the promises? (Rom. 3:3; 4:14). So, Heb. 2:2-3: "If the word spoken by angels was steadfast, &c., how shall we escape if we neglect" the word which at first began to be spoken by the Lord.
4) Is not this also, this fancy of perfection, the great root of that great sin against the gospel, of self-righteousness? which the apostle so much declares against (Rom. 9:31-32, Rom. 10:2-3; Gal. 5:4), for such is the remaining pride that is in everyone that if they have anything to glory in they will set it up as their idol in their hearts.
5) How can sin be mourned over and mortified, when neither owned nor discovered? We find blessed Paul, a saint, of another principle than James Nayler pretends to; he, good man, complains of an imperfect state; 1 Cor. 13:12: "I see but in part"; he mourns over the body of his death; Rom. 7:24: "Oh! wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me?" But how shall we expect this from such as hide their eyes from their bosom sins? There can be no sense of an unseen, an unfelt, an unacknowledged sin. What is the reason why so little mourning and mortifying? is it not blindness and want of discerning sin in the exceeding sinfulness of it in men's hearts?
6) This is to take away the end of Christ's convincing men of sin, which is that free grace may superabound (Rom. 5:20). What made Paul to cry out of the exceeding abundance of grace (1 Tim. 1:15), but the exceedingness of his sins? "I am the chief of sinners." David, though a man after God's own heart, yet the sight of his great sins, after he was in a justified state, this is that which makes him cry out to the multitude of God's tender mercies for pardon. Ps. 51:1: "according to thy loving kindness, according to the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions," &c. How shall a Quaker see any glory in pardoning grace, as to its daily coverings of their weaknesses, when they say, they are perfect, and do not sin at all.
|7) This fancy of their perfection is the hiding from their poor deluded souls of those sins which they are evidently under the power of, in the eyes of any spiritual observer. For though they cry up their own perfections, yet who knows not the sinfulness of their self-righteousness, of their many blasphemies, heresies, denying the Lord that bought them, railings, pride, lying, reproaching of the precious ordinances of the living God and messengers of Jesus? Alas, what observant eye doth not read these evidently in their books, writings, words, behaviors? Now who knows not, if Scripture be true, these are woeful corruptions and damning sins? And shall their fancy <444> of perfection be a covering to such abominations as these? No, no; the prophet Isaiah will tell them otherwise (Isa. 28:20); the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it, and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.||The Quakers' sins discovered notwithstanding their pretense and pleading for perfection|
Nay, their very pleading they are perfect convinceth them of sin. For Job, a man of excellency and holiness beyond any of them saith (chap. 9:20-21), "If I justify myself my own mouth shall condemn me; if I say I am perfect it shall also prove me perverse; though I were perfect yet would I not know my soul." But such broken reeds will one day pierce their hands when the king of terrors shall arrest the body and the sorrows of death shall compass them about; then their perfection will appear to be a dream. Oh! that Nayler would think of that of Bellarmine, who had long disputed for a "perfection of holiness"; but when he came to die then he came to see somewhat of the rags of his own righteousness and cried out, "Lord have mercy on me, not according to my workings but according to thy mercies in Jesus Christ." Reader, if God ever open these men's eyes, they will then see the need of the blood of Christ, when the flames of wrath shall be burning up their straw and stubble: but if the spirit of slumber shall keep them in blindness and in bondage still, that they cannot see and will not own their imperfection; yet when Christ shall come in flaming fire how shall their righteousness shrivel together as a scroll and be like stubble before the flame? Then will the vanity of that Quaker's expressions be laid open, "That holy and close walking with God is a saint's covering from the wrath of God." Oh! let the reader (Ps. 2:12) "Kiss the Son lest he be angry; when his wrath is kindled but a little, blessed are all they that trust in him."
As to this matter of perfection, the sum of the rest of his answer is to plead for perfection here from these considerations: "That this is the end of Christ's coming, to present us perfect, that not one jot or tittle of the law must pass till all be fulfilled. Rom. 8:3-4: That God sent his Son, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, and to dispute against perfection here is to make the commands of Christ and endeavors of the saints of none effect."
1. As for the first, "that Christ destroys the work of the devil" (1 John 3:8), and to this end was made manifest. We answer, 1) Christ destroyed the works of the devil for his people, upon the cross. Col. 2:14-15: <445> "and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly triumphing over them in it. Heb. 2:14: Christ himself took part of flesh and blood, that by death he might destroy him that had the power of death, viz., the Devil." Do we then by denying perfection of inherent holiness in this life make void the end of Christ's coming, thus to destroy the works of the devil? Nay, we establish it; for by discovering of imperfection we send them to glory alone in Christ crucified (Gal. 6:14). 2) Christ destroys the works of the devil in his people also; and this is the constant carrying on of mortification in their hearts, with his own Spirit "whereby he takes away the dominion and reign of sin" (Rom. 6:14). As in Paul, who though he had the Spirit of Christ, and the dominion of sin removed, and Christ daily destroying the works of the devil in him; "yet still he had a law in his members, warring against the law of his mind" (Rom. 7:23), yet there was the Spirit lusting against the flesh, and the flesh against the Spirit. Thus Christ exerciseth his conquering power in the conflicts of his saints. Now though sin in Paul were not wholly removed or destroyed at present, yet did not Christ lose this end of his being made manifest. For first, as he had it in part in his daily conquering. So secondly, he will have it in fullness in his own appointed time, when the soul shall see him face to face, then that which is in part shall be done away, and not till then, as is clear (1 Cor. 13:9-10). 3) There are ends of Christ's being made manifest which are not void because they are not fulfilled in this world, such as the putting of the saints into the possession of his fullness of glory, the putting of all his enemies under his feet, &c., so that perfection in holiness being one of these things that are reserved for a state of glory we do not destroy the end of Christ's coming when we plead he shall attain this end in his own appointed time; and though the most holy here are full of many infirmities, yet the day shall be when the works of Satan shall be destroyed in them altogether, in the time appointed by the Father; the Quakers may as well say, because the saints are not now in glory therefore Christ hath lost his end in dying. What we have said to this, both in Christ's satisfying for souls, whereby he presents them perfect as to justification, as also his destroying at death the whole body of sin when they enter into a perfect state of glory, will show the vanity of his second plea; for though we be not perfectly holy in ourselves in this life, yet we are perfect as to justification and complete in him (Col. 2:10); and though the saints be not completely holy at present, yet the day is coming when they shall, even the time appointed by him that died for it and purposeth to present us spotless at his coming; so that Christ loseth not the end of his coming.
|1 John 3:8 opened. How Christ destroys the works of the devil|
|As to his third, that Matt. 5:18, "not one jot or tittle of the law shall pass till all be fulfilled," which he brings to prove perfection in the saints, thus: First, it is evident that he that is there spoken of in v. 17 as fulfilling the law is the Lord Jesus. "I came to fulfill it"; and that was solely and alone the work of Christ, both as he was the accomplishment of prophecies in the law or book of Scripture, as he was the substance of all shadows in the law ceremonial, and as he in person did exactly as mediator perform all the duties of the law moral, that so by his obedience many might be made righteous. What is this to prove perfection in the saints because Christ fulfilled all righteousness?||Matt. 5:18 opened|
2. But the natural and proper sense of this text is clearly another business: Christ is speaking here that the law, or the word of command and prophecies, shall stand good and sure; the word here is interpreted in the repetition of them (Luke 16:17), not one jot shall "fall";5 so here, not one tittle shall "pass from the law,"6 it shall stand good and entire in itself: Christ is not speaking as if the law should be completely fulfilled and obeyed by us; it shall stand in its force and authority, notwithstanding that I am come; yet I came not to destroy it but to continue it in its truth, entireness and authority: like that Rom. 3:31: "Do we then make void the law through faith? nay we establish it." And that Isa. 40:48 repeated 1 Peter 1:25: "the grass withereth, and the flower thereof fadeth, but the word of the Lord abideth forever." And what a nonsensical reason is this to prove that the saints are perfect here, and do perfectly fulfill the law, because the law shall not lose a tittle of its authority and entireness?
|3. His third plea to prove the perfection of holiness in this life is Rom. 8:4, "that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us." To which we answer: First, the apostle here (ver. 1) is speaking of justification, "there is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus"; ver. 3, he lays down whence that freedom from condemnation flows and tells you "that what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, for sin" (viz. by a sacrifice for sin, or to satisfy for sin) "condemned sin in the flesh"; that is, when man could not be justified by reason that sinful flesh could not satisfy the law, God sent his Son to satisfy for sin that so the righteousness of <447> the law might be fulfilled in us. So that though we personally cannot, and could not perform it, yet through our union with Christ, being "dead with Christ" (Col. 2:20), "quickened with him" (Eph. 2:5), we have his righteousness fulfilled in us. Thou wilt fuller understand that this place is meant of the righteousness of Christ satisfying and fulfilling the righteousness of the law and so made ours by our union with him, if thou consider these observations:||Rom. 8:4 opened|
1) It is nowhere said in all the book of God that the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in this life in any saint, as to inherent holiness; nay the contrary is here asserted, ver. 3, "the law was weak through faith."g As also, Rom. 3:20, "that a man is not justified by the works of the law," &c. 2) It is Beza's note, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled, ; not , "not of us or by us." 3) Is not this to go about to confirm justification by inherent holiness, against which you have had such undeniable proof? 4) What is this but to build up the old popish notion of justification by inherent holiness? 5) If any shall think that latter expression ("who walks not after the flesh but after the Spirit") shall tie this fulfilling of the law in us to sanctification, we refer him to the first verse, where the same words are used; and yet they are only laid down as a description of the persons to whom there is no condemnation; as they are laid down also as a description of these persons that enjoy the fruit of that glorious work of Christ fulfilling the law and satisfying it. So that this text only holds forth the satisfaction of the law by Jesus Christ to be made really ours by our union with him, as fully as if it had been performed in our own persons. But as to justification by inherent holiness, or perfection of it in this life, we have fully proved the contrary.
Lastly, he tells us we looked upon it as a strange thing that Farnworth should say, "No unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of heaven." Whenas that which we say is no such thing, but a challenging of Farnworth his ignorance of the gospel, that he can see no consistency with these two: "A saint cannot be perfect here," and "No unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God." Is this to count the Scripture a strange thing? or is it not Farnworth's gross ignorance that he knows no way of entering into glory unless he be perfect before he die? Is he not grossly ignorant of the main mystery of justification by the blood of Christ? May not a man be in part unclean by reason of the imperfection of his present holiness, and yet pure and spotless too <448> as to justification by reason of the imputation of the obedience of him who is the Lord our righteousness? This, reader, is their great idol and Diana, and therefore thou wilt pardon our tediousness and clearly see how blind these man are as to gospel righteousness.
In his answer to this position he denies none of our proofs but adds his further profession of the same principle, in these words: "All the world shall witness against you that they have a light that lets them see when they sin, which if they did mind and obey would lead out of sin unto Christ," &c.
The main part of his answer is by way of railing; all that he speaks to make good this position is "that Christ is the true light, and that he enlighteneth every man, and that where he is there need no outward discovery."
|For the first, that Christ is the true light is confessed on all hands; but that Jesus Christ is in every man or gives a saving light to every man we utterly deny: and we have plentifully proved in our answer to the fourth position. The first text he proves it by is John 1:9: "He is the true light that lighteneth everyone." We have fully opened this text in our answer to the fourth position and convincingly showed it is not meant at all of any gospel saving light, where we desire the reader to satisfy himself at large. For his second, John 8:12: "I am the light of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in darkness." This proves not that Christ doth give a saving light to the whole world, no more than that text, 1 John 2:2, doth prove that the whole world shall have the benefit of Christ's propitiation. Secondly, the words immediately following might satisfy Nayler, that he is thus a saving light only to them that follow him, who are believers drawn by the power of the Spirit of God (Cant. 1:4): "No man comes to me except the Father draw me" (John 6:44-45); "Every man that hath heard and learned of the Father cometh to me." So that Christ is only the light of those that have learned of the Father and have been drawn by the Father, and follow him. Here is a clear restriction of Christ's being a light only to believers, to them that follow him, &c. The third Scripture (John 1:4-5): "the light shined in <449> darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not," is clear against him. For the phrase of the "light shined in darkness" imports only that Jesus Christ was preached to them, Christ came amongst them, and John preached him to them (ver. 29): "Behold the Lamb of God," &c., yet they were in darkness; for want of light they could not so much as discover him nor receive him: so far were they from knowing Christ, or the world from having Christ a light in them all that they could not apprehend him when he was preached openly to them. His fourth text is John 3:19: "this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world," is as full against Nayler as the former: for it speaks this, that Jesus Christ is the true light, was preached to the world and discovered to them, when he had before been a mystery hid from ages and generations (Col. 1:26), yet they would not believe him but loved to continue in that darkness or ignorance of Christ, which is in all by nature.||John 8:12 opened|
John 1:4-5 opened
|Now for the third branch of his answer, "that where this light of Christ is there need no outward discovery." We answer, 1) We have abundantly proved that Jesus Christ is not in all, in our answer to his reply to the fourth position. 2) We have also proved that Jesus Christ neither is in all nor doth he enlighten all, by giving every man a knowledge of the gospel; this we have done at large in the same place. 3) We have fully proved that all men in the world do need an outward light or discovery, and that it is the way of Christ his making known himself by outward discovery, and preaching the gospel, in The Perfect Pharisee, pag. 18-19,h in six arguments, to which Nayler answers nothing. All that he brings for it de novo, in his answer, is only his bare word without either argument or text, so that we need to say no more. Yet, ex abundanti, we shall add. First, It was the wisdom of the Father to have the gospel preached to every creature, and therefore did he send men forth to publish it (Mark 16:15, Matt. 28:19,30).||Necessity of outward teaching further proved|
2. It pleased the Father to own preaching of the gospel, with the conversion of souls (Acts 2:41). 1 Cor. 1:21: "It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."
3. It pleased the Lord Jesus, when he was ascended up to heaven, to give officers for the perfecting of the saints (Eph. 4:11-12), for the edifying of the body of Christ.
4. It pleased him also to establish this as an everlasting ordinance to continue till the end of all things (Matt. 28:last; Eph. 4:15). He that <450> hath any sense of the wisdom of God, and submission to it, will not dare to say with Nayler "that every man hath a light within him, sufficient without the help of any outward discovery," or to charge folly in doing all this upon him whose wisdom is admired, infinite, and acteth nothing needlessly and in vain. But what dare not these men do, who dare lift up themselves in their blasphemous pride to be as pure as God?
|There is one Scripture, 2 Peter 1:19, which is not brought by Nayler by way of proof but is most ignorantly wrested by him, to this their idol of light within. We hinted how little the man had of any knowledge of Scripture by his so blind and pitiful abusing this text, in that former book, The Perfect Pharisee (p. 19). We see he is yet as confident as he was; we shall only say that which is there called "the sure word of prophesy" (2 Peter 1:19) is that word of prophecy "which in old time holy men of God spake," &c. (v. 21), and to this he bids them take heed, viz., to the doctrine of the prophets; where Peter doth not send them to the light within them but to the books and words of the prophets as Christ sends the Jews to the same Scriptures (John 3:39). Nay, the text is so far from hinting any light within that the apostle tells you these words of the prophets were , "a more sure word than the voice that came from heaven" (ver. 17). Thus the man hath still the weakness to produce Scripture that fully destroys his own principle.||2 Pet. 1:19 opened & vindicated|
We shall add no more, but from these words of Nayler's, "Where this light of Christ is there needs no outward discovery," wish the reader to observe that it is not only the publishing of the gospel by the ministry that Nayler cries down in this as useless, but also the very Scriptures, the written word itself (being an outward discovery) must by the same reason be asserted needless. Here is the religion of these men that pretend so much to perfection and yet will not hear God in his word.
The reader by his answer may observe there is nothing said against our many proofs, only one shuffle about the expressions of John Audland, who we said affirmed "No need of outward teaching," which Nayler says is false; for the words were, "He needed no man to teach him." What a shuffle is this? or doth this deny what we say? doth he not say "no need of outward teaching to himself"? But Nayler hath this but by report, and the words were spoken in our hearing. Nayler <451> also (we observed in the last position) asserts the same fully, in these words, "Where the light of Christ is, there needs no outward light or discovery," &c., the rest of his answer is the grossest heap of railing and lying, as we have seen. His railing will appear to all that reads it, and his lying is as full; for he saith, "Those promises you give to them that are in the first birth sew pillows under every armhole; you preach them up all believers, except some that refuse to give you hire; and them you prepare war against; you say men must commit sin while they live," &c.; who knows not that knoweth us the falseness of these lies? which he speaks out so freely as if they were as true as could be. But as their wickedness is fully known, so the Lord will in due time discover what shall be given to a false tongue.
There is only produced by him these Scriptures (Jer. 31:31; 32:33; Heb. 8:10-11); they are both the same: "They shall teach no more every man his neighbor, or saying know the Lord," &c.
We answer that this promise doth only concern the children of God, as Nayler himself confesseth also, it concerns them only.
|1. The children of God only are in everlasting covenant in the new covenant. 2. They that shall be thus taught are such as have their sins pardoned. Will Nayler say that every man hath his sin pardoned? he may as well affirm that all have their sins pardoned as affirm that this promise belongs to all. So that as in the point of pardon all flesh must signify not every man, so it must be restrained also in the point of teaching to those all that are the people of God and are interested in the mercy of this everlasting covenant.||That great promise in Jer. 31:31 opened at large|
2. Though these people of God be thus taught of God, yet this excludes not the use of outward teaching. Reader, besides the evidences of this we gave thee in four arguments under our reply to his answer to the eleventh position, if thou wouldst take the pains to read what we have written in The Perfect Pharisee (pag. 21-22), in which we have convincedi the needlessness of outward teaching, even to the best of saints, by plentiful arguments, and above thirty undeniable, plain, evident Scriptures, thou wilt be fully satisfied; and therefore we shall not trouble thee to repeat what we have said; only in a few words to open the meaning of the expression, we shall add:
<452> 1) Know this promise was made good when the saints were under outward teachings, when the apostles preached, when elders were set over the churches, when "faith came by hearing" (Rom. 10). For in those times the Spirit was abundantly poured forth; yea, then was the time when their sons and daughters prophesied, so that it is a promise consisting with outward teaching. 2) With how much willingness did the saints, when enjoying this promise, attend the apostles' doctrine (Acts 2:42). 3) Why doth the apostle write to the Hebrews to teach them if that were the meaning, that no man should teach his neighbor. 4) Nay, doth he not say (Heb. 5:12): "Ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God." 5) Paul blames them for their forsaking their church assemblies (Heb. 10:25). Yea, 6) commands these Hebrews, "remember them that have the rule over you, who have spoken to you the word of God" (Heb. 13:7). And 7) Jude 3, "It was needful for me to write unto you and exhort you." 8) Paul, speaking of himself as to his ministry, says (Phil. 1:24), "to continue in the flesh is more needful for you"; and what was it for? but as to their instruction. So that it plainly appears this is not spoken to exclude outward preachings but are to show the abundance of spiritual knowledge and light in gospel-times, comparatively with the dispensation the Jews were under before the coming of the Lord Jesus. But we have abundantly proved the sense is not, cannot be, to take away the needfulness of outward teaching.
|To excuse George Fox his juggling in a concordance, he falls to abuse the division of Scriptures into chapters and verses. It seems he hath a mind to cast all the dirt he can upon any outward light, though it be the Scriptures, and though for nothing but this, and he saith, "the hireling priests have done it to trade withal"; thus doth he ignorantly rail, though the Old Testament was so divided and distinguished long before the coming of Christ, by the Masorites, into chapter and verse, about two hundred years before the coming of our Savior; and the most learned say that they were that ecclesiastical senate held by Ezra, Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi, with divers others; who amongst others their eminent services distinguished the Scriptures into sections and verses. And as we find none of the apostles, nor Christ himself disallowing that division, so the saints of God in our days have found precious advantage by thus methodizing Scripture, though this man revile it under the name of the work of hirelings.||Warrant for division of Scripture into chapter and verse|
How he shuffles in the rest about the apostles' preaching and ordaining elders will inform thee fully how the man was puzzled in that <453> business; and his last expressions of saying we tell men, "they must commit sin," will inform thee of his maliciousness. He would insinuate to the reader, as if we pressed men to sin. We have said so much of this that we shall add no more, having fully cleared our pressing to all, yea to the best, to strive after greater degrees of holiness daily, and that they must struggle after that perfection which yet they do not enjoy; but we see the man is vexed and so we leave him to calm his spirits. We have been very full also as to prove the necessity of teaching, to which thou mayst observe he answers nothing, and thereby see the spirit of those men that do stop their eyes against the plainest light; but he that hardeneth his heart shall not prosper.
He answers nothing, according to his custom, to our arguments, nor excepts against our proofs, but labors to confirm the position.
"Christ is the word; now if the Scriptures be the word then there is two words of God, now prove that in Scripture, or that the letter is called the word in plain words."
1. That Christ is the word is plain (John 1), and who knoweth it not?
|2. That the will of God contained in the Scripture is the word of God is as plain, besides the Scriptures we named in The Perfect Pharisee (pag. 24): Mark 7:13; Luke 11:28; Rom. 10:17; John 12:48, we shall add these: Luke 8:11, "the seed is the word of God," ver. 12, "then cometh the devil and taketh the word out of their heart lest they should believe and be saved"; can the devil take Christ out of their hearts? 1 Thes. 2:13, "when ye received the word of God which you heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men but as it is in truth the word of God," &c. This was the word which the apostles spake; yea, received it, which cannot be meant of Christ; he should have said, ye received him not as the word of men, but as it is in truth the word of God. This is so plain a case we shall not trouble thee further. And here thou mayst observe there are two words of God: the essential and the declarative, and wonder the man should be so weak as to bid us produce Scripture to prove this, when the Scripture is so full of it to any that doth but read it.||The essential and declarative word not all one|
The apostle calls what he wrote a declaration (1 John 2:2-3).
How doth this prove the Scriptures are not the word of God? nay, doth it not fully prove the contrary? for that which he declares was that he had heard of the Lord Jesus. Again, we do own the Scriptures to be the declarative word of God, or a declaration of the mind of God; but we say the Quakers do destroy the Scriptures' divinity and authority when they call them only a declaration of the conditions of them that spoke them forth. For as we proved before, 1) They shall be then no foundation for the faith of saints; for one man's condition is not the foundation of another man's faith. 2) The Scripture shall have no authority over the soul of any but he that is in the same condition and hath experienced it, contrary to 1 John 2:4,8; this is the reason why Nayler says they are not commanded to forbear to wear shoes in his book (p. 21); if they were, they should, as well as they are commanded not to salute; whereas that command (if it be in any part binding) (Luke 10:4) requires both; but this will tell thee what is meant by their calling Scripture a speaking forth of the saints' condition, viz., it shall have no authority over them further than they list, or have an impulse on their spirit, or they practice; for both the commands are of equal authority, yet he denies they are commanded one of them; nay they are both in the same verse (Luke 10:4). Yea, 3) This destroys the divine authority of all historical and prophetical Scripture, which could not be the saints' conditions when they spoke them, as also threatenings and promises, &c. But see this at large, The Perfect Pharisee (pag. 24-25). We shall say but this (1 John 5:6): "There is a sin unto death, I do not say that you should pray for it"; was this John's condition when he spake it? did he experience in his heart that he had sinned to death? 2 Pet. 2:22: "The dog is returned to his vomit," &c., was this the condition of Peter that spoke it? but we are ashamed of this wickedness and folly of these men.
|Scriptures not only a declaration of the conditions of saints|
Whereas you say it cannot be understood to be the word Christ that came to the prophets, Samuel, Jeremy, &c., it seems your understanding is not with the apostle, who saith, "It was the spirit of Christ that was in them" (1 Peter 1:11), and you say, "what Christ and his apostles preached," &c "was not Christ, the Father, or Spirit," whenas the Scripture saith, "Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the <455> Holy Ghost" (2 Pet. 1:21).
1. Consider reader, how grossly he abuseth and perverts the Scripture to prove that the words that they spoke were Christ and the Spirit, because it is said, These holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. What a gross and blasphemous confounding is here of the word that those men spoke, and the Holy Ghost that moved them to speak, making the word spoken by a finite creature to be the everlasting Spirit, the Holy Ghost? The words were committed to paper and ink (Rev. 1; Heb. 2:2), engraven in tables (2 Cor. 3:7); Isa. 30:8: write it before them in a book, noted it in a book, &c.; can this be Christ, or the Spirit of God? And yet these are the things which they were moved of the Holy Ghost to write. Who knoweth not that it was the Spirit of God that moved them to write, that revealed the things they were to publish to the world? but were those things that the holy Ghost moved them to write, were those things Christ? were those things the Spirit? What a miserable ignorance or judicial blindness is this which certainly the righteous judgment of God hath given up this generation of people to, because they received not the truth in the love thereof, that they might be saved.
|The Quakers' gross confounding of Christ with the written word|
This position is not denied by Nayler; we proved it from three testimonies, and Nayler in his answer adds his own defense thereof, without exception against any of our proofs. We shall take his arguments for defense thereof in order.
"The infallible Spirit, which is the original of all Scriptures, is the trial of all spirits, and that spiritual man judgeth all things, and by that Spirit the saints was to judge of all spirits and gave those up to Satan that was for that end, as is plain (1 Cor. 5:4-5)."
The force of this argument by which he would prove that spirits are not to be tried by Scripture, lieth thus: "The infallible Spirit is the trial of all spirits; therefore spirits are not to be tried by Scriptures." To which we reply that this is no consequence at all and shall demonstratively prove it from <456> these several arguments.
|The Spirit not to be set in opposition to Scripture|
1. To set the mind and will of the Spirit in opposition to the Spirit itself can be no gospel argument. For the Scriptures are the infallible will of the Spirit, laid down as the rule of saints' believing, judging, and walking. What a reproach had it been, when the Spirit of God sent the prophets to reveal his will, or when Jesus Christ sent the Jews to search the Scriptures, what a reproach had it been to the living God for them to have answered, We will not be judged, nor will we judge of spirits or doctrines by that word or Scripture, we will stand to the judgment of the Spirit itself, opposing the Spirit itself to its own will? How wicked a thing had it been in them? and how ridiculous an answer is this in Nayler?
|2. How is this to undervalue the wisdom of the Holy Ghost himself (Acts 17:11), who judgeth and pronounceth the Bereans more noble than those of Thessalonica in that "they searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things that were spoken by Paul and Silas were so or no"; in that they searched the Scriptues the Spirit prizeth them, for trying the doctrines of Paul and Silas by the Scriptures, the written word. And how wicked a thing is this in the Quakers to cry down this trying of spirits and doctrines of Scriptures, which the Spirit expressly owns with such a signal testimony, as speaking out in the soul such a spiritual nobleness.||Bereans commended for trying spirits by Scriptures|
3. It is confessed on all hands that the eternal Spirit is the original of Scriptures, and the trier of spirits, who ever questioned that? But our question is what the saints are to try the spirits by? not whether the Spirit can try the doctrines. No. But we affirm that this eternal Spirit hath left the written word as that which shall be the discovery, touchstone, and trial of spirits and doctrines by authority and divine warrant from himself. See 2 Pet. 1:21, "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost"; 2 Tim. 3:16, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God," &c. John 5:39, "Search the Scriptures"; Isa. 8:20, &c. So that our asserting the Scriptures to be trial of spirits is but setting up the Spirit in his own authority and throne over the spirits and consciences of men, and pleading with men that the Spirit may rule in his own way, and that they will try doctrines by that Scripture which the Holy Ghost commands them to try the doctrines by. And he that refuseth that touchstone which the Spirit hath laid down for trial doth destroy the authority of the Holy Ghost, let him speak fantastically of trying by the Spirit what he will. But this reasoning of Nayler's is as if when the Lord Protector should declare what is treason by law in public proclamations, a justice of peace should, when a person were <457> proved before him guilty of treason according to that law, yet should say, he is not to judge what is treason according to that law, but he would appeal from the law to himself for what is treason, though the law had determined it before.
But in this case, to exclude the Scriptures because the Holy Ghost is the original of them, is to destroy that plain truth, Subordinata non pugnant, things that act in a subordination, though about the same thing, do not destroy one another's usefulness or causality. Nay, the Spirit's being the original of all Scripture, this being confessed doth necessarily confess their divine authority for that trying of spirits for which they were given forth by the inspiration of God.
2. As to that expression, "the spiritual man judgeth all things," we have fully spoken before in pag. 79. We know there is a spirit of discerning which believers have of gospel mysteries; but what absurdity is this to infer, therefore spirits are not to be tried by Scriptures? For that light which a spiritual man hath is a Scripture light.
|3. How ignorantly is that 1 Cor. 5:4 produced to prove this assertion, when Paul says, "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ when you are gathered together, and my spirit, to deliver such an one to Satan," &c. Paul is not trying of spirits or judging of doctrines, but exhorting the church to excommunicate the incestuous person, and tells them that his apostolical power shall go along with them in that sentence. The verse going before tells you what is the meaning of his spirit, where he says, "I am absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already as though I were present, concerning him that hath done this deed"; that is, I in this epistle do send you my mind and my judgment, what you ought to do with this man that hath committed incest, as fully as if I were present with you, and so you may go on at your meeting to excommunicate him, having for so doing not only the authority of the Lord Jesus but also the consent and judgment of me his apostle. This is that in those words, In the name of the Lord Jesus, and my spirit. How doth this man heap up quotations without any understanding of the mind of the Spirit in them; and with what exceeding ignorance doth he apply such texts to his absurdities, as neither prove them nor speak a tittle concerning them.||1 Cor. 5:4 opened|
By this Spirit were the spirits tried before the letter was; therefore spirits are not to be tried by Scriptures.
What a miserable non sequitur is here. There was a time when the <458> Spirit had not given forth the written word; therefore when the Spirit doth give forth a written word it is not to be regarded. There was a time when the law was not engraven in tables of stone, therefore when it was engraven the Israelites must not look upon it as a rule of life or judgment. There was a time when the will of God was not written, was not Scripture; therefore when Christ bids you search the Scriptures you need not heed them at all. But we leave the reader to laugh at this absurd consequence. The Bereans judged by another light than James Nayler doth, who though they knew there was a time when Scripture was not written, yet they tried the spirits and doctrines of Paul and Silas by the Scriptures. And the Spirit itself inspired and moved holy men of God to write the Scriptures, to leave them as a trial and touchstone of spirits, though once there was a time when there was no written word. But oh! how doth God infatuate men when they will not submit to the authority of his word.
He falls a-railing exceedingly and says, "We have no guide but the letter" (because we assert the authority of Scripture) and adds, "how many minds, how many forms, how many gods do you worship? and all pretend Scripture." If it be possible to rake up a reason out of a heap of railing, this it is: those that do uphold the Scriptures to be the trial of doctrines do yet differ amongst themselves; therefore the spirits or doctrines are not to be tried in Scriptures.
|This, as many other of their answers, is a known threadbare popish argument: they say, "You Protestants cannot agree in your discipline, and therefore, the Scriptures are not to be the judge of doctrines, but the infallible spirit of the Pope." We hope God will discover them ere long to be men merely acted by the spirit of antichrist; but we shall give you a full answer under these two considerations.||Quakers' popish argument|
|1. First, as it reflects upon ourselves: We say, to differ in discipline is not to worship several gods (as Nayler rails), while it is known we hold the head the Lord Jesus; but this we look upon as the spitting of his venom. When Peter was for circumcision, and Paul was against circumcision (Gal. 2:13-14), did they worship several gods? So those (Acts 15) that contested in different judgments, did they worship several gods? But this man cares not what he says, so he may throw his dirt upon us, though he betray his excessive ignorance in it before the world.||Difference in non-fundamentals no prejudice to the Scriptures being judge of spirits|
<459> 2. As it fights against the Scriptures being the judge and trial of spirits, we shall show there is no strength in this exception at all. For the Scripture loseth not its authority for the trial of spirits by reason of the darkness and different apprehensions of spirits. How dark were the apostles in the prophecies of Christ's resurrection? Luke 24:25: "Fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken," &c., yet the Scriptures lost not their touchstone authority upon the account of their darkness, though Christ saw that truth of the resurrection in the Scriptures spoken of which they could not apprehend: "ought not Christ" (ver. 26) "to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory?" Doth not Peter say plainly that in the writings of Paul there are (2 Pet. 3:16) "difficult things, and hard to be understood, and such as the unstable and unlearned wrest"; and yet those writings and epistles do not lose their authority because of the diversities and darkness of believers' thoughts. Scripture rightly understood will clearly discover every spirit and every doctrine, though the best of men, knowing but in part (1 Cor. 13:9) and so not fully taking in the genuine sense of Scripture, may have, through their darkness, difference of judgment in things less fundamental. But we may be weary in following such trivial arguments, only we would not have the saints entrapped in any of Satan's snares, nor the blessed word, that's sweeter than honey and the honey comb, subjected to the delusions of evil men.
|Thus we have given thee the strength of his answer; only he adds his false gloss upon that of Isa. 8:20 by us objected against them in The Perfect Pharisee: the gloss is this, "Whereas you quote that place, To the law and to the testimony; it is true, the law of the new covenant is written in the heart by God, and the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, and if any be not guided by, and speak according to these, it is because they have no light in them, but without them." But we answer, As he plainly by this overturns all Scripture and leaves no rule but the law written upon men's hearts (which we have confuted in The Perfect Pharisee, pag. 25), so it is a gross perverting of the text and truth: for it is clearly spoken of the written word, and the very next words expresseth it clearly: "If they speak not according to this word," the Hebrew is full beyond exception, [cedabar hazzeh] "according to this word": so that that text is no reference that God makes to the law written upon men's hearts, but to the law written in tables of stone, which tables were called "the testimony," and the ark thereof called "the ark of the testimony" (Exod. 25:22) because the tables of stone in which the law was written, called (Exod. 31:18) "the tables of the testimony," were laid <460> up there.||Isa. 8:20 vindicated|
We have fully shown in the book called The Perfect Pharisee (pag. 26) the sad fruits of this doctrine of denying the Scripture to be the rule of trying doctrines and spirits, that it is to open a gap to all the delusions of Satan, and we instanced in the known case of John Gilpin, who was sometimes a Quaker, to which Nayler replies only thus, "It is no more than if the chief priests should have cited Judas to confute Christ," &c., "as he consulted with the priests to betray the truth; so John Gilpin hath done now, who shall receive his reward and you priests also," as Nayler says. To which railing we thus answer:
|1) That John Gilpin was thus acted by the devil is a known truth beyond questioning. 2) That he did verily believe he was acted by Christ, when yet the devil acted him, is very apparent. Nay Atkinson, the boy that pretends to answer that relation of Gilpin, doth all along confess that he was acted by the devil, is plain to any that reads that his childish and nonsensical piece of railing. 3) John Gilpin himself, since the Lord hath delivered him in mercy out of the snares of Satan, hath fully confessed that it was the spirit of Satan, and not the Lord Jesus, that then acted him. 4) And that all this grew out of his casting off the Scriptures, searching to a light within: Take his own words (pag. 15) of a book called The Quakers Shaken. "It was most just with God to give me over to strong delusions to believe lies &c., as for other provocations, so especially for rejecting the revealed will of God in his word, and hearkening only to a voice within me; nay, not only to listen to the devil's suggestions but to embrace his voice for the voice of Christ." Thou seest now reader what reason we had to say this rejecting the Scriptures from being the trier of doctrines doth open an unavoidable gap to Satan's delusions.||Shaking off the Scripture the inlet to Satan's delusions|
2. But what reason hath the man to say in this both John Gilpin and we have consulted against Christ? Nay, have we not been pleading for Christ against Judas, the desperate betrayers of his truth and gospel? while we have been discovering the subtleties of Satan in those that are acted by him and pleading for the authority of Christ in his word against all the delusions of the devil. And as we can thankfully and comfortably look upon it that God hath engaged us in so good a work, so we can look for our reward, not what Nayler we believe could wish us (but how can he defy when God hath not defied) but what Christ hath promised to them that can forsake their names and comforts &c. for his testimony. It is no small slander to say we have consulted with John Gilpin, whose face none of us ever saw to our <461> knowledge till after the printing of his confession; but there is a day wherein God will call every idle word to an account, and then Nayler's conceit of his perfection will not take off the guilt of such apparent lies.
We had many proofs for this, that it was a position of the Quakers, which he denies not; we could add more, but 'tis needless because Nayler in his answer goes about to justify it, the sum of which lies in these two exceptions.
"The Scriptures are either perfect or not perfect; if perfect, let them alone, and do not darken them by your invented wisdom."
To which we answer: The Scriptures were given out perfect by the prophets and apostles; yet they gave them out in some places more darkly, and in some places more clearly; as Peter plainly confesseth (2 Pet. 3:16) that some things in Paul's epistles were hard to be understood, and laid down so darkly as that those that were unlearned, that is, not well acquainted with the mind of the Holy Ghost in them, did wrest them to their own destruction; which shows the necessity of opening and expounding Scriptures, unless we will suffer men through their ignorance to run upon their own ruin. 2) Were the Scriptures imperfect, or did Ezra add to them, because he gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading? (Neh. 3:8). 3) Doth not Christ speak the necessity of expounding Scripture, though it be perfect, when he said to the Pharisees, "Go learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice"? (Matt. 9:13). Nay, doth not Christ clearly assert the necessity of expounding when he saith (Mark 12:24), "Do ye not therefore err, not knowing the Scriptures?" Ver. 26: "Have ye not read in the book of Moses how God spake unto him in the bush, saying, I am the God of Abraham," &c., "he is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living"? where he opens the Scripture and proves the resurrection from thence, which lay but darkly hid in those words had not he that had the key of David opened and expounded them. 4) The necessity of expounding doth not arise from the imperfection of Scriptures but from that darkness that lies upon the spirits of the saints, "For now we see through a glass darkly" (1 Cor. 13), so that though the Scriptures be perfect in themselves yet thou seest the necessity of the opening of them through the imperfection that <462> is in us. This Christ and the apostles knew, when they made it a great part of their business in the teaching of souls to expound the Scriptures.
|Though Scripture be perfect in itself yet needs expounding through the darkness of souls|
"You that have not that infallible Spirit that gave them forth, what will you judge, and open, and expound them with?" &c.
This is but an old strain of his railing, but we can (let praises be to free grace) say with the apostle, "God hath revealed them unto us by the Spirit; by the light of which Spirit we are taught to compare spiritual things with spiritual" (1 Cor. 2:13) and so to open the Scriptures; for though we are the least of saints, and Nayler thus revile us; yet we can bless God for the indwellings of the infallible Spirit in us, which communicates light to our souls in that measure that pleaseth him, "dividing to every man severally as he will."
The rest of that answer is a heap of bitter railing which is no more to us than the chaff before the wind, or the viper upon Paul's hand, which comes forth from the flaming of their contention (James 3:6), and we can shake off as into the fire from whence it came.
Though the general charge lie, and our many proofs which he doth not deny make it clear that they cry down all baptism with water; yet Nayler in his answer shuffles from that charge and falls to except against infant baptism.
Reader we should willingly clear up that ordinance of Christ to thee, but it hath been so fully cleared in the learned writings of Mr. Marshall, Mr. Baxter. Mr. Blake, Mr. Sidenham, &c., that we are loath to fill up our book with the discussing and clearing up that point (it being already grown up to a bulk beyond our thoughts) and shall refer thee for satisfaction to those large discourses. But let the reader observe that this is but a mere evasion of Nayler, for our proofs do evidently satisfy that they cry down all manner of baptism with water, not only the baptizing of infants, but of all, and it's further apparent by their practice.
But at last he speaks his mind, and reasons against all baptism, and <463> quotes that of Paul (1 Cor. 1:14). Paul "knew what he spake when he thanked God he had baptized no more; for Christ (saith he) sent me not to baptize but to preach."
By these expressions, Nayler seems to make Paul look upon his baptizing others as a sin, and so to thank God that he baptized no more. How is this to heap sin upon Peter and the rest of the apostles, who baptized three thousand at one time (Acts 2:41). "Jerusalem and all Judea went forth to John to be baptized of him, and yet Jesus himself made and baptized more disciples than John" (see John 4:1), though Jesus himself baptized none but his disciples, what is this but to make Paul condemn the practice of those saints and oppose the command of the Lord Jesus, "Go and baptize" (Matt. 28:19).
|1 Cor. 1:14 opened|
2. But to give thee the full meaning of Paul's expression, thou shalt find (1 Cor. 1:12) he is charging them for factions. "One said, I am of Paul, another I am of Apollo," &c., and argues thus: "Were you baptized in the name of Paul?" and thence takes occasion to "bless God, for not having baptized many," left any should from thence have grown into a faction; as himself gives the reason (ver. 15), lest any should say, "I have baptized in my own name," and from thence have made a faction; so that he blesseth God that since the Corinthians were grown of such factious and dividing spirits, that providence had so ordered it that they had by his baptizing so few of them, so little advantage to cry him or his name up in opposition to Apollos, Christ, or Cephas. Yet by the history of the Acts of the Apostles thou mayst observe that whenever any were converted by Paul, they were baptized (Acts 16:15, 33; 18:8), many of the Corinthians hearing "believed, and were baptized" (Acts 22:16), &c. But if Nayler from that expression, "Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach," will argue against baptism he will fully make void the express commands of Christ for baptizing and charge sin upon the apostles' practice, so that instead of crying down expounding Scriptures we leave him to study what that expression meaneth.
"For the outward signs of the supper, do this in remembrance of me till I come; but when he was come, then the bread which they did break was the body of Christ."
We cannot but be amazed at his gross perverting Scripture: but we have shown the false meaning of that expression ("till he come") in <464> The Perfect Pharisee (pag. 29). That those Corinthians to whom Paul wrote and commands to use that ordinance, "Do this in remembrance of me, till the coming of Christ," &c., were those in whom he was spiritually come before (1 Cor. 1:2). Yet notwithstanding that spiritual coming, they were commanded "to eat of the bread and drink of the cup, to show forth the Lord's death" (1 Cor. 11:26) "till he come": that is not till his spiritual coming in the work of grace (that was past before) but his coming in glory.
|The Lord's Supper an ordinance to the end of the world|
2. The life of saints here is a life of faith: Heb. 10:38: "the just shall live by faith." Now for the nourishing and strengthening of faith he hath left the seals of bread and wine as the holders forth of his body and blood for faith to act itself upon; and therefore before faith be swallowed up in vision, these are appointed as standing ordinances by the Lord Jesus for the establishing of it.
The rest of his answer is made up of such railing instead of reasoning, and such inconsistent expressions, that we shall only leave him to the Lord, to deal with his conscience for the guilt of them.
He denies not our proof, and instead of answering the many Scripture arguments we gave in our Perfect Pharisee (page. 32) for a mediate call to the ministry, he falls to a downright railing; though we have nothing we need to add to the arguments we there laid down against this position, meeting with no answer to what we have written; yet we shall observe in the midst of his railings these things:
|1. How flatly he contradicts himself, when he tells the reader (pag. 19 l. 8) "the apostles when they had gathered churches out of the world, they ordained them elders of themselves"? yet after says, (l. 10-11) "these were ordained not by man"; and after, (l. 13-14) "this ordination was not by man nor by the churches," &c. The apostles ordained them elders; and yet those elders were not ordained by man: were not the apostles men? And was not this a mediate call wherein the apostles ordained them elders in every city? (Acts 14:23).||Nayler's contradictions|
2. Though he labors with abundance of bitterness to cry down any mediate call, yet as he answers nothing to our Scriptures; so we cannot but observe how he is forced in the midst of his railing to confess the truth, saying (page. 19, l. 8) "the apostles ordained them elders," which is that mediate call we contended for.
Lastly, the substance of his railing is to tell us that we are invested <465> in the ministry by magistrates, towns, and parishes; whenas we do profess we do not know a minister in England that is ordained or professeth to receive his ordination from a magistrate, town, or parish.
3. All that the magistrate, town, or parish do is to provide maintenance for those that labor in the gospel; nay, the late Commission (which perhaps Nayler drives at) never pretended to put any in the office of a minister but only provided maintenance for him in the propagation of the gospel; so that notwithstanding what he hath said we are still fully convinced of the clearness of a mediate call to the work of public ministry of the word.
And thus we have followed him in every material expression, though he answers nothing to our Scriptures or arguments: and though his great cavil be at our testimonies, and upon this cries out as if we published filthy lies; yet the reader will now clearly see that of 55 proofs we laid down he only denies the truth of seven, which are yet fully cleared and proved either by the testimony of these that were the witnesses, under their hands and seals, or by the demonstration out of their own books; however Nayler labors to evade and shuffle them. How unjustly we have been charged with lies will now appear; and we must seriously profess that had it not been to clear up those truths which he chargeth with falsehood, and vindicating Scripture from his gross perverting of them, his book is so merely composed of railing and abusing us, and so beyond expectation sottish and senseless, that we should not have thought it at all worth our answer or observation.
Were we not ready according to that rule (1 Pet. 3:15) "to give a reason of the hope that is in us"; and that (Tit. 1:9-11) "to convince gainsayers" (whose mouths must be stopped) we should not have troubled thee or ourselves with answering such trivial exceptions as do hereafter follow against what we have proved so plainly from Scripture against the principles of the Quakers. But that we may not seem to leave any stone unturned that may clear up the truth to the spirits of the people of God, we shall proceed to the consideration of that which follows in Nayler's answer.
Reader, though we have proved that this command (Luke 10:4) of not "saluting any by the way" were but a particular case, and not generally binding (as we have made evident by many Scripture arguments and the practices of the saints), and though we have fully proved the command of Christ imposeth general salutation upon saints as a duty, as thou mayst read Perfect Pharisee (pag. 31, 42), yet thus he excepts.
The sum of his exception is against highway salutes.
To which we answer:
1. Highway salutes are the known practice of Quakers, as when they meet any of their own way in the streets, or otherwhere, their phrase is, "How dost thou," and their action, to take them by the hand. And if that text command against highway salutes, how contrary is their practice to it, "Salute no man by the way."
2. However the Quakers do contend against highway salutes (though by their own practice, publican-like amongst one another, they contradict this principle), yet highway salutes were the practice of saints. When holy Jacob met his brother Esau by the highway (Gen. 33:3) "he passed over before them and bowed himself before him seven times, until he came near to his brother," &c. Did not gracious Abigail salute David by the highway? 1 Sam. 25:23, "When David was coming to her house she went to meet him, and when Abigail saw David she hasted and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself by the ground." Thus you see the practice of the saints in highway salutes.
|3. Nay, it was not only the custom of the saints to salute by bodily gestures, but by words also, and words equivalent to what are used by the people of God in England in their salutations. See 2 John 10, where John forbiddeth them to give the least countenance to the heretical venters of false doctrines, commands them not so much as to bid them "Godspeed"; which clearly proves that that highway salutation was a common thing in the apostles' days, and not to be denied to any but such wicked persons as the apostle there speaks of in carrying on their wicked principles: "If any man bring not this doctrine receive him not into your house, neither bid him Godspeed." Hence Nayler's color, of "taking the name of God in vain"; we fully declare against people's using that phrase without any sense of God upon their souls. Yet look upon salutes as a command of Christ, and so with all such as do use the name of the blessed God in their salutes, either to keep a due regard of that Majesty upon their spirits when they use his glorious name, or else to use some other expression.||. Salutes of primitive times|
His next cavil is against that plain text, Matt. 5:47: "If you salute your brethren only, what do you more than do others? do not even the publicans so?" Where instead of submitting to the authority of the <467> commands of Christ he says thus, "It is no command to them to salute all but a warning to them of their partiality."
1) He that hath but looked upon that text (Matt. 5:46-47) but with half an eye will clearly see that he must as well except that Christ doth not command to love all, as to say that Christ doth not command to salute all; when it's apparent that the very phrase and reason in both commands is the very same.
2) Sure this man doth not understand himself when he affirms that this is a command against partiality in saluting, and yet is not a command to salute all: for what is partiality in saluting? but this saluting some and not saluting all. What a ridiculous cavil is this, even to the contradicting of himself?
3) As to his endeavoring by this ridiculous and self-contradicting exposition to charge us with partiality, as that we salute only those whom we love and who are rich, &c., we say it is a malicious slander; for 'tis sufficiently known we salute strangers whose face we never saw before, and the poor of the people as well as the richest of them; nay, the very Quakers themselves also. But how doth this again fly in their faces, who for the most part carry with so much incivility to all but to people of their own way.
3. There is a third exception, which we must not pass over without serious observation, it being a more than ordinary discovery of the spirit of the Quakers. Where when we charge them for picking and choosing at the command of Christ, such things in Scripture as do most agree with their humors and fancies, thus, "though they are forbid in the same place (Luke 7:4) to carry money in their purses or to wear shoes on their feet, as well as to salute any by the way; yet we charge them in this because they stand upon the one command and not upon any of the rest," and do evidently bring themselves within the curse (Rev. 22). Nayler thus replies to it (pag. 21, l. 4, &c.):
"What we do is not from the command that was to others but from command of the same power by which we are sent forth; and if we were commanded to forbear wearing shoes as well as we are commanded to forbear your heathenish customs, &c., we should be made willing to obey, as some have done who have been commanded to go naked," &c.
Now thou mayst see the mystery of iniquity that lies in the Quakers <468> laid open; we can bless the Lord that hath made them thus unveil themselves and discover the rottenness of their hearts as to the authority of the Scriptures, which they have so long by their juggling endeavored to conceal. For here thou wilt clearly see that the Quakers look upon the commands of Christ in Scripture as having no sovereign or binding authority over their consciences and practices further than agrees with their own principles and fancies. For what means that expression? "What we do is not from the command that was to others." This without controversy is utterly to shake off the authority of the word. For 1) Was not the whole word written to others? Did any now alive live in those days when the prophets or apostles writ their several books? Were we of the church of Corinth? or Philippi? Were we of the seven churches of Asia? or did we live in those days? Alas, there is no command in Scripture but was given to others long before the days of our fathers; and shall no command given to others be binding to us? Let them read those convincing texts (Rom. 15:4): "Whatsoever things were written beforetime were written for our learning"; where Paul makes the books of the Old Testament binding to those who were not alive when they were written; for the Romans to whom he then wrote were born many hundred years after the writing of those Scriptures. 1 Cor. 10:11: All these things "happened unto them for examples, and they were written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come." 2 Tim. 3:16: "All Scripture" to whomsoever written, or to what man soever the command was given beforetime, yet all "Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness." So the 2 Peter 1:19, speaking of the Scriptures, that sure word of prophecy, says, "they do well to take heed to them as to a light in a dark place"; though they were prophecies and commands given forth to other persons many hundred years before. Thus you see that commands in Scripture that were given forth to others are yet of universal concernment unto all, to those that lived not in those days, even such upon whom the ends of the world are come.
For that other expression of Nayler's, "if we were commanded to forbear to wear shoes," &c., what a wretched casting off is this of the yoke of Christ, and a desperate picking and choosing in his commands, only what is agreeing to their own fancies. Is not this "to break his bonds asunder and cast his cords from them" (Ps. 2:3)? If we were commanded; Is not the revealed will of Christ a command? Is one part of the same verse a command (see Luke 10:4) and not the other part? Is nothing a command till they judge it so? How loose do they hang in obedience to the Lord Jesus; they will obey, and not obey, as they shall <469> see cause. Praises be to our God that we have discovered them. Now we understand the reason why Nayler answered none of our Scriptures; we perceive he looked upon them as nothing to him: and now we clearly see the meaning of their shufflings about the word of God and their scornful expressions about the written word, &c. So that we can boldly charge them from this place with this horrid blasphemy, that the Quakers do affirm:
That the Scriptures have no authority over their consciences at all, nor any command in Scripture that was given to others that binds them, save what command they have an impulse upon their own spirits for.
This is the great stronghold of Satan, and the snare with which he entraps them as he will.
|From this principle of theirs he goes about to prove the lawfulness of people going naked, and reviles us for speaking against it; and says they do it "by particular command from God." Reader, thou mayst observe that Nayler denies not what we wrote about their going naked in The Perfect Pharisee (pag. 48), the wife of Edmund Adlington of Kendal going naked through the streets, Nov. 21, 1653. We shall add more, because some that have less acquaintance with these people may seem to make question of it. On Monday, October 28, 1653, there was one Thomas Holme of Kendal went as naked as he was born through the marketplace at Kirkby Stephen on the market day; at his turning he said, "It is not I but God that goeth naked," &c., and so after a time he went to his clothes, which were kept in a barn by four men of his sect. And to show that this is a fact they justify and plead for (instead of mourning for the horrible sin of it), Mr. Taylor, a great ringleader of that people, came to that town the week after to seek Mr. Higginson, minister of that place, as he said, having a message to him from the Lord, and being there in the marketplace he very solemnly pronounced a woe against it for rejecting that prophet of the Lord which he had sent to do signs and wonders in it, meaning, as those that heard him did conceive, that beast that went stark naked through the town a little before.||Discourse about going naked|
This we have from Mr. Higginson, under his own hand.
Thomas Castly, January 10, 1653, went shamelessly naked as he was born through the streets at Kendal. Edmund Nubye's wife went through Kendal naked, except that she had a shift on: and about the latter end of December last she came into the place of meeting of the church at Kendal in the same posture. Another of this sect came in the same posture into Hutton Chapel at the time of exercise about the beginning <470> of January. Elizabeth Leavens and Miles Newby went up the streets at Kendal in the same posture. This we have attested from Mr. Walker, a godly minister at Kendal, under his hand, by letters bearing date January 31, 1653. But were it needful to prove it, we could, by sending into places where these converse, fill thee with undeniable evidence hereof; but it's needless, because Nayler denieth it not but labors to justify them in this sinful practice. As to the manifesting of the wickedness hereof, we shall give thee these considerations.
1) No sooner had Adam and Eve fallen and were stripped of their innocency, but they saw themselves shamefully naked (Gen. 3:10). But God, who knows the working of corruption in the hearts of men after the fall, he himself clothed them, lest their nakedness should appear (ver. 21): "Unto Adam also, and to his wife, did the Lord God make coats of skins and clothed them." And doth not this manifest the will of God against going naked? would he have clothed them if he would have had them continue in that nakedness?
2) But that you may yet see further how odious being naked before others is in the sight of God, the sad curse that Noah from the mouth of God laid upon Ham the father of Canaan, for not covering his father's nakedness, will appear (Gen. 9:22-24, &c.): "Ham the father of Canaan saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brethren without, and Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father's, and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness; and Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his younger son had done to him, and said, 'Cursed be Canaan,' &c., and he said, 'Blessed be the God of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant,' &c. 'God shall enlarge Japheth, and Canaan shall be his servant,' &c." Where you see, Ham is bitterly cursed, and the curse entailed to all his posterity for that sin of not covering his father's nakedness. And what then shall we think of such an expression as Mary Collison, a Quaker in Kendal, used to these that covered the nakedness of the wife of Edmund Adlington in the street at Kendal: "That they had hindered the work of the Lord"? Oh! let them remember the curse of Ham and the blessing of Shem and Japheth here expressed.
3) The apostle arguing to the care that one saint ought to have over another doth it by a comparison of them with the body natural, and tells you (1 Cor. 12:23-24): "those members of the body which we judge to be less honorable, upon those we bestow more abundant honor, and our uncomely parts [, see Rom. 1:27, pudenda, indecora membra, instrumenta excretioni, & generationi destinata] <471> have more abundant comeliness": for our comely parts (viz., face, hands, &c.) have no need; mark that, the uncomely parts needed, yea they are such parts that (as the apostle phraseth it) "they lacked more abundant honor," viz., lest their nakedness and shame should appear.
4) In the 2 Sam. 10:4, "When Hanan the King of Ammon had cut off the garments of David's servants in the middle, even to their buttocks, &c., and sent them away, the men were greatly ashamed," ver. 5, and David, in the sense of this wicked act made war against the men of Ammon and destroyed them; so sensible was David of the wickedness of this act of discovering the nakedness of his servants.
5) 1 Tim. 2:9. The apostle wills "that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety." And we leave it to the reader to consider whether either going naked, or having nothing but their shift on, be any ways according to the modesty, bashfulness, and sobriety, by the apostle commanded in that place.
6) To add no more, we shall conclude with laying before thee the wickedness of this practice, besides that impudence and immodesty, even such as nature and ingenuity itself abhors, this practice speaks: Oh! what a fuel is this to the flames of lust, what accursed fires of hell doth it kindle in the hearts of men? Doth not the apostle strictly charge all "to mortify their earthly members," Col. 3:5: "fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence," &c, nay, doth he not say (ver. 6), "For these things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience"? And (1 Thes. 4:4) he chargeth every one that he should "know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor, not in the lust of concupiscence," &c. And what is the horribleness of the temptation of such wicked practices? this is so loathsome and nauseous to any sober apprehensions that surely it will make the very practicers of such things to be a stink in their nostrils and be looked upon as a shame both to religion and humanity; and we are fully satisfied from several parts it doth so already.
|There is but one thing that we imagine can be pretended for this wicked practice, and that is the prophet's going naked upon particular command; we shall take that which is the fullest Scripture for it, Isa. 20:3, and in that answer all together. Where God says to Isaiah, "Go and loose thy sackcloth from off thy loins and put off thy shoes from thy feet, and he did so, walking barefeet and naked."||Isa. 20:3 opened|
1. We are fully satisfied, and we hope we have satisfied the reader in The Perfect Pharisee (pag. 45-48), that the pretenses of these men to immediate calls are but mere delusions and an apish imitation of the prophets. But what these prophets did was by a true immediate call <472> from God, which we own, though we abhor the pretense of these men to it, of the lying and falsehood whereof we have informed thee fully.
2. Did either Jesus Christ or the apostles, when they came to publish the everlasting gospel, ever take up such imitation?
3. For the full meaning of that place, understand: 1) Some will only understand this thing as done in vision (Hos. 1:2: "Take unto thee a wife of whoredoms"). 2) Others conceive it was really acted, and with them we rather close. But what was that nakedness? it was not the putting off all their garments, that their shame should appear, but the putting off their upper garments. For so the word "naked" is often used in Scripture, when a man goeth in his inner raiment only, without upper garments; so it is said of Saul he in a prophetical rapture stripped off his clothes, that is his upper clothes (for the Jews used to wear an upper garment upon their long cassock, which was close next their bodies) and lay down "naked" before Samuel (1 Sam. 19:24). So in Isa. 32:11, the women are commanded to strip themselves and make them bare (that is, to put off their bravery and better apparel, &c.). 2) This "nakedness" is the putting off his prophetical robe, for the prophets had an upper garment of hair to distinguish them from others, as you may plainly see (Zech. 13:4), "neither should they wear a rough garment to deceive." See 2 Kings 1:8; Matt. 3:4: this was such a mantle as dropped from Elijah (2 Kings 2:13), and thus a prophet wanting his prophetical mantle or garment is said to be "naked," and Scripture calls him "naked." 3) What was Isaiah to signify by this? you must know his foretelling the shameful captivity of Ethiopia (ver. 3) was the intent of this command, how the Egyptian prisoners were to be handled; therefore he was to go stripped in that posture as captives and prisoners use to be. Now the common usage of prisoners is not to leave them quite naked, but to take away their best apparel and to leave them under ragged clothes or such as was necessary to cover their shame; for can it be imagined that they should be led stark naked from Egypt to Assyria so many hundred of miles? 4) But to put all out of doubt that it was not meant of being stark naked, can any man be so devoid of sense as to imagine the good man went stark naked three years together? Read Isa. 20:4: that time which the prophet went naked was for three whole years.
Therefore let these people see how vainly they do bring in the practice of the prophets, though far different from theirs; and though acted upon that call from God (which the Quakers but pretend to, doth speak the lying spirit they are acted by) how vainly we say these things are wrested by them to bolster them up in such ways as will make even a heathen blush that hath but any remaining sparks of ingenuity.<473>
|We have said so much to this that we need say no more, only we must observe that rather than he will be convinced by Scripture light, this man cares not to charge the chiefest of saints with sin in this case, but that it was no sin in them, that Scripture will fully speak (Rom. 13:7): "Render to all their due, tribute to whom tribute is due, honor to whom honor." So that as there are some to whom tribute is distinguishingly due, there are also some to whom honor is due also, as we have proved at large The Perfect Pharisee (pag. 33-34), to which the reader may observe he answereth nothing.||Quakers to justify their way cast dirt upon the saints in Scripture|
But he goes on with his ridiculous application of Scripture, viz., that of the commandment, "Thou shalt not bow down or worship," which is evidently spoken of adoring graven images made with hands, and this is Nayler's text against giving outward tokens of honor to magistrates or parents, as though they were idols; as ridiculously doth he also cite that text (Prov. 25:26), "A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain," which speaks only the falling, perishing, crushing of the saints by ungodly men, which is like filth or mud stirred up in a fountain.
|There only remains the learned annotation of A.P. Sure A.P. had some great crotchet in his head that he must needs stop it in the margin with his name at the bottom; sure 'tis some demonstration. But what is it? There is a power without persons because the keepers of the liberties of England were no persons. We ask him, Were the keepers of the liberties of England no body? And was this honorable no body set up by the authority of Parliament, against whom it should be treason to act? But what is this to make government without governors, power without persons to manage it? Were not the Parliament governors? or were the Parliament men who were the supreme governors, were not they persons? what were they? But what becomes of the justices of peace, will they be content to be turned out of their being by A.P? But seriously, A.P., if there be government without governors, who shall punish sin? who shall make laws? who shall preserve the peace? Shall government? when it is in nobody's hands? But let him leave his wild notion and look upon 1 Pet. 2:13: "Submit yourselves, to" &c. "whether the king as supreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him." And Rom. 13:4,6: he is the minister of God to thee, they are the <474> ministers of God attending on this very thing, and there he will learn that "him" and "them," and "he" and "they," do signify not things, but persons in the power, not government but governors: so that we leave him amongst the rest of his fancies to study Sir Thomas Moore's Utopia, or Plato's Commonwealth, where probably he may find a government without any persons to govern, or be governed.||A.P. his annotations answered|
All he replies to this is that "we bring the practice of men in the Old Testament to disannul the commands of Christ in the New." We give the man leave to lie and rail, as having nothing else to say. For if thou look into The Perfect Pharisee (pp. 34-35) thou wilt see at least ten Scriptures out of the New Testament fully discovering the vanity of this principle and the lawfulness of calling men "Sir" or "Master," besides the opening of what Christ meant in that prohibition (Matt. 23:10), so that we need to add no more.
There are four things that they charge against the ministry, to wit: 1) That they love the high places in the synagogues. 2) That they wear long robes. 3) That they stand praying in the synagogues. 4) That they preach for hire.
We dare without boasting say we have by evident demonstration from the Scripture shown at large that these were the proper guilt of the Pharisees and no way applicable to the godly ministers of England. See Perf. Pharisee (pp. 35-40). And we are saved the labor of further clearing those points, forasmuch as Nayler returns nothing of answer to what we there laid down. We only beg the reader in these points to compare our book and his together, and we leave it to thee to judge. But as we have all along found nothing but railing instead of reason, and the poison of asps under his tongue instead of the force of reason or Scripture, so he doth here heap up such a mass of bitter revilings as thou hast not seen: but we leave this evil spirit in him to the Lord to rebuke.
|In pag. 40 of the Perf. Pharisee thou wilt find us repeating others of their cavils against the ministry, viz., their "having been at universities." 2) "Making use of an hour-glass." 3) "Preaching upon a text." 4) "Running to the powers of the world to protect us." 5) "Stealing from the prophets." 6) "Not thouing." Four of these he answers nothing to; for the fifth he repeats that Scripture that is "against stealing the word of the Lord from their neighbors"; as if to name the same charge again were enough to prove it, though we have cleared it in the Perfect Pharisee that in quoting Scripture we do but follow the example of <475> Christ and the apostles. See Perf. Pharisee (pag. 27-28) and walk by Scripture rule. And for the sixth, viz., thouing, we told him that the not thouing all doth no ways entrench upon any attribute or command of God; and being but an expression of a civil respect, as "Sir," "Master," "most noble," "most excellent" (which the saints in the New Testament used), we told him we saw no cause why the same freedom in our dialect might not be used. Had he excepted anything against these we should have answered him. And for "that pure language" which he says the saints are redeemed unto, we cannot but wonder at the lowness of the man's conceptions in the things of God to think the pure language to which God restores them is to make them say "thou" and "thee." Oh! the blindness of these men in the things of Christ; for that pure language (Zeph. 3:9) imports the people's deliverance from idolatrous worship, "shall no more call upon their idols nor call God by the name of their idols," Hos. 2:16: nor lisp the language of Ashdod, Neh. 13:24: "but call upon the name of the Lord and serve him with one consent." Having gone through these things in our Perfect Pharisee, we proceeded (pag. 41) to some considerations of their practices.||The Quakers make the pure language to which the saints are redeemed to be when they begin to thou all men|
"For trembling and quaking we own it; but for grovelling on the ground and foaming at the mouth are lies and slanders of your own inventing."
|Are they lies and slanders? Was not John Gilpin a Quaker? and when a Quaker he tells you thus, in the book called Quakers Shaken (p. 5), "I could not stand upon my feet but was constrained to fall down upon the bed, where I howled and cried, as is usual with them, in a terrible and hideous manner, to the great astonishment of my family." Pag. 7 further, in the time of John Audland's speaking, I was from the power within me "drawn from the chair upon which I sat and thrown upon the ground in the midst of the company, where I lay all night; all which time I was turned from my back to my belly, and so back," &c. Is not this grovelling upon the ground? How dare this man say they are lies? Nay Atkinson, who would seem to answer that book in his pitiful pamphlet (pag. 11) says "he owned it to be of God." So in <476> Quakers Shaken (pag. 10) he says, "I was cast upon the ground, and lying upon my belly I was forced to lick the dust." Atkinson denies it not but tells him, "this is his portion." And how can Nayler say that these things are lies and slanders? We shall add but one more, as to their foaming at mouth, we shall give you this account under the hand of Mr. Moore, minister at Kellet in Lancashire.||Quakers grovelling upon the earth when in their fits of possession|
One of the Quakers coming to disturb our congregation fell into a trance, her belly puffed up, her sides extended, her backbone thrust out, her shoulders stretched up, her whole body as a bladder when it is in blowing. Whereupon I sent a maid to George Fox to tell him he had indeed alleged many Scriptures for quaking and trembling but withal to ask him what Scriptures he could show one for swelling of the body or foaming at the mouth; or where did he ever read of any in those postures, save only such as were possessed with devils. He denied that any of theirs swelled, till she was pointed out, and then he confessed it; upon which she asked him whether lying was a sin? because he had before denied that he committed any sin.
Read and judge what thou now thinkest of these men's actings and lyings.
As for our large discovery of the nature of quaking, owning it where there was any real appearance of God to the prophets and showing a clear difference betwixt these divine raptures and the satanical quakings of these men, he answers nothing at all but only cavils at a word.
That we say, "They call their quaking their great perfection"; which he says "is false," &c.
To which we answer: we cannot but look upon that as the great perfection in the eyes of these men which they do so much cry up and so much desire as such a precious attainment. One of us doth know that Cap. Ward, and Will. Cartmell did express their desires of it and their hopes to come under that condition. Henry Houseman said, speaking concerning quaking, "he was not come up to that perfection yet." We might add more, but John Gilpin tells you in Quakers Shaken (p. 5) "that he did earnestly desire that he might fall into quaking and trembling, apprehending that he should thereby attain to the immediate discoveries of God unto him." And is not that perfection? <477> Why doth Nayler still charge us with slanders?
He would endeavor from Scripture to lay down a warrant for his railing; and his reason is because "Christ called the Jews the children of the devil," &c. "The apostle calls men dogs, wolves," &c.
We charged them with railing at those persons they had never seen before, telling them "they were devils, damned, they saw the devil in their faces," so that this appears to be perfect railing; because not knowing the persons or actions of any such men, nor any particular sin by them, yet they let fly their dreadful censures at random. Thus we instanced in our Perfect Pharisee (p. 46) in their railing at Mr. H.T. Merchant of Newcastle, calling him a priest, &c., and George Fox railing at Mr. Nichols in Carlisle (p. 48), telling him he was an hypocrite, though he had never seen his face nor knew his name. Now how is this bottomed upon Christ's example, or the apostles, who gave such expressions to none but such as they had particular knowledge of as to their sin, giving a reason for such titles?
2. Those titles were given to wicked Herod and to the teachers of false doctrines (Phil 3:2; 2 Pet. 2), and we have fully cleared it we hope to every man's conscience who is not filled with error and prejudice that we are neither reproachers of Christ or his doctrine, but according to our talent have found mercy of the Lord to be faithful in carrying on the interest of the Lord Jesus; and therefore we cannot but look upon it as their sinful practice in pouring out such language upon us.
3. He that doth but read the Scriptures shall find that this is not the ordinary language of Christ and his apostles; it was very seldom and very solemn; and he that doth but compare this with the practice of Quakers shall see a vast difference: for it is their common practice, and such words are as familiar as any they use, as "thou art damned," and "I see the devil in thy face"; nay, they are their usual first salute to all they meet withal. Was this the apostles' way? take but any of their books and compare them with any of Paul's epistles, and as thou wilt see a spirit of sweetness and meekness in his, so thou wilt observe such a continual frothing out of passion and bitterness in these men as will lay them naked to be acted by a spirit vastly different from that of Paul or any of the apostles of the Lord Jesus.
4. But shall the holy zeal of Christ and his apostles be wrested to <478> be made a patronage to their malicious railings? Do they not by this means labor to take away the sinfulness of that railing, which the apostle tells you is the "fruit of the flesh" and of which they that are guilty "shall never enter into the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9). But we refer thee for further information in this to the Perfect Pharisee (pag. 44-45).
1. Here we having related by several passages of the Quakers pretending to a commission from God the ridiculousness of their messages and that pretense, he plainly tells us "he will not justify them"; and when he cannot shuffle it off he tells us, "he can say nothing to it because he knows not the things in particular"; though the persons (reader, thou mayst observe) that are there mentioned are of his familiar company and converse; and so thou wilt easily think, had they been lies, we should have heard from him with open mouth: yet the man will needs take the boldness to call them lies though he confess he knows not the particulars. Now reader, judge of Nayler and his conscience.
2. He says "that they who were before the magistrates were invited to any of our houses, is false." Oh! the confidence of this man, and how boldly dare he rush upon a lie, or anything to make us odious. All we say is "that some of them that came to Newcastle were invited to come to our houses by some of us." If James Nayler will ask M. Taylor if he were not invited by W.C. to his house, when he was at that time at Newcastle, and did not come, he will see the debauchedness of his conscience; for W.C. doth believe M. Taylor hath so much honesty left as not to deny it.
|As to George Fox's cursing M. Fetherston, which we quoted (p. 48, Perf. Pharisee) all that Nayler replies is "that M. Fetherston confessed, all that Geo. Fox spoke was Scripture." What a ridiculous evasion is this of so great a sin? Because there are such words in Scripture therefore he may apply them as he will. There are these words in Scripture: "I am the Lord and change not; he sits upon the circle of the Heavens," &c. "In the beginning was the word, and the word was God"; these expressions, because they are in Scripture, is it therefore lawful to give them to any creature? Nay, dare Geo. Fox challenge them to himself because they are in Scripture? Or because such words, "the Lord smite thee thou painted wall"; "thou hast lied against the Holy Ghost"; "for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever." Are these <479> true of G. Fox? or may we therefore lawfully apply them to G. Fox? because they are such words as are found in Scripture? Oh! what a ridiculous evasion is this? He may also plead that he and his followers may lawfully swear because the words (swear and oaths) are to be found in Scripture; and then this generation will perfectly come up to the necessary and experienced fruit of these principles, viz., ranting, to a great degree whereof they are already attained in their most impudent, obscene, and shameless nakedness.||Quakers justify their cursing because such words are in Scripture and make the Scripture a warrant for cursing|
The next exception is against our objecting (Perf. Phar., p. 48) Christopher Atkinson his immodest familiarity with a woman of that way, &c., where Atkinson challengeth the proof of it; we shall only say that that immodest familiarity (if he will needs force us, from our modest covering of that carriage, to speak out) it was his familiar kissing of her, as we are fully informed by the testimony of M. Walker and M. Wallace, and we cannot but account it as a sinful behavior. But to weaken the strength of this testimony Atkinson tells the reader that M. Wallace said, "It was no murder in him to murder Christopher Atkinson and the rest of the prisoners at Kendal."
|Truly we are afraid this whole generation of men are in a confederacy of lying; we have purposely sent to find out the truth of this foul challenge and shall give thee his clearing of himself word for word as we received it.||M. Wallace his vindication from Atkinson's lie|
Having received a paper from the Quakers that were prisoners containing horrible blasphemies, viz., "That they were the searchers of hearts," and saying, "Let them be accursed from God forever that will have Christ have any other body but his church." I spoke these words, and no more, in the hearing of many, viz. (That I thought it was no murder in the civil magistrate to put such blasphemers as they were to death, it being according to the law of God.) But that I ever said, "it was no murder in me to murder them or to put them to death," I declare it to be a manifest lie.
Kendal, Jan. 14, 1633
We whose names are subscribed, did hear when M. Wallace spoke these words above written, namely, these which are enclosed within the parenthesis, but no more.7
Thomas Berket Miles Harrison
<480> Now let the reader judge of what spirit these men are; and as for the railing which Atkinson pours out by reason of this testimony like a flood upon W.C., we his brethren say we hope he hath learned that of Christ (1 Pet. 2:23) "who when he was reviled, reviled not again, when he suffered he threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously."
There is but one thing remains, and that is the account we give, why we called our book the Perfect Pharisee, which thou mayst read in pages 49-51, and so conclude. We therein prove from Scripture that that title was most truly and properly applicable to them: to which Nayler answers so exceedingly weakly and railingly that we are resolved not to reply one word thereto, as having said enough before to that purpose to discover how weakly he struggles to evade the clearness of these Scriptures against himself and that way.
Reader, thou wilt by this time see the falseness of what Nayler speaks in his word of conclusion to us five: as if we had uttered "many untruths and false reports," taken up by hearsay without any ground at all, and divers things out of books which we have "on purpose wrested to slander with," &c. Thou wilt in this reply see the fullest evidence we think that can be given as to such cases, and all these particulars that he excepts against made the more apparent unto all. We profess before the Lord that it is nothing we have against their persons that should any way lead us to wrest any of their writings to make them odious; it is our only zeal for the truth and saints of the high God that hath carried out our spirits thus to expose ourselves to the revilings of all this generation, if by any means we might be serviceable to the gospel, and save ourselves and them that hear us.
Thou wilt find in the close of Nayler's book two leaves put forth in the name of one who says his name in the flesh is John Audland: 'tis such a perfect piece of bitterness and railing, and no way in answer to our book, that we leave it for waste paper.
Thus having been carried on by the everlasting arm and drawn out by the cords of love to our dear Lord Jesus his ordinances and his saints to bear witness to the true grace of God wherein we stand; we shall sit down in comfort and fly to him who is a refuge from the storm and a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible one shall be as the storm against the wall.
1. Bell. l.2. de justif. cap. 7.
2. Bell. l.2. de justif. cap. 3.
3. Bell. de justif., l.4, c. 11-14.
4. Bell. l.3 de verbo Dei, c.4.
6. . [sic. He means earlier in the same verse.—QHP]
7. Read Lev. 24:10,16; Deut. 13, the whole chapter.
a. See note, p. 150 above; also the epistle on pp. 313-316 above.
b. See p. 227 above.
c. See p. 165 above.
d. See p. 555 below.
e. Bell. de Justif. l.1.c.12.
f. See p. 195 above.
g. Sic. Apparently a reference to Rom. 8:3, which says that the law "was weak through the flesh."
h. href="pharisee.html#327">pp. 327-328 above.
i. convinced = convicted—i.e., found faulty.