Quaker Heritage Press >Online Texts > Works of James Nayler > Several Papers
There is a paper ready for the press, given forth by George Fox (wherein all may see that forms of religion, ordinances, as they are called, and observations, whereinto people are led by the searchings of wisdom and the light of their reasons and understandings from the letter of the Scripture, are nothing but the worship of the first nature, the sacrifice of Cain which God doth not accept: And that the worship of God in Spirit is not known to such, neither indeed can be, for to that eye it is hid; and the revelation of Jesus Christ, and of the deep things of God by the Spirit, is a mystery to them not understood) which is intended (if the Lord please) to be made public so soon as this is finished.
Who have been scattered abroad in this cloudy dark day from mountain to mountain,1 and worshipping that which they know not, following the imaginations of others which they spake from the divination of their own brain and not from the mouth of the Lord;2 shepherds that fed themselves and clothed themselves with the wool,3 and sought after the fleece, and so made a prey upon us and do upon the people. But God, as he promised saith he, I will gather my sheep from your mouths and seek them which have been scattered in the cloudy dark day, hath gathered us and doth feed us upon the mountains in a good pasture; and so we witness the promise of the Lord fulfilled; and as the Lord said, I will seek that which was lost and bring again that which was driven away, who hath one shepherd, Jesus Christ; herein do we witness the Lord fulfilling the Scriptures in us; and I witness the lost sheep is found, and the Lord hath brought back again that which was <210> driven away: and here do we deny all the teachers of the world, who speak a divination of their own brain, and not from the mouth of the Lord;4 for who spoke from the mouth of the Lord denied them then;5 so do we by the same word: and we deny all them that seek for gain from their quarters, which are greedy dumb dogs, as the Scripture saith; and all those who take the people's money and sell the letter, which was spoken forth freely. For Isaiah that spoke from the mouth of the Lord, he denied such things and bid all come "freely, without money and without price," to hear the voice of the Lord, that their souls might live, and to make with them an everlasting covenant, "even the sure mercies of David":6 and this covenant I do witness; therefore I deny, with the same word wherewith they spake, the same things the Scripture denieth, and all those that bear rule by their means, and hirelings which preach for hire and prophesy for money. For Jeremy, who had the eternal word, denies such things.7 Micah denies such things;8 and Jesus Christ who was the word, said "the hireling would fly" because he was an hireling;9 and this word the Lord hath made manifest, which gathers our hearts together up to God,10 and opens to us the Scriptures, whereby we see the deceits of the priests of the world now, of the same generation and nature, and acting those things there is no Scripture for, which the holy men of God did not practice. And for taking tithes in the old time, Levi, which was to receive tithes, the strangers, the fatherless and widows were to come and care, and be filled within his gate;11 but this was according to the Law; and here you see the priests of the world do not act according to the law, in which were types and figures of Christ. And when Christ was come, those he sent forth were not to have a bag nor a stick to defend them, nor two coats, nor brass, nor silver, but freely ye have received, freely give.12 The workman is worthy of his meat; so they neither walk according to the law nor the gospel, therefore we deny them. And the ministers of Jesus Christ, which went into the world, they had no portion of the world but whipping, <211> stocking, prisoning.13 But them that were gathered out of the world in the eternal word, which met together and were of one heart, one mind, one soul,14 to such they say, "If we minister to you spiritual things is it a great thing if you minister to us carnal things?"15 But this was spoken to them upon whom the end of the world was come;16 and this I do witness what the Scripture doth say. God commanded an outward temple, circumcision, the sabbath,17 given as figures and types and shadows of Jesus Christ; so when Jesus Christ the substance was come, and when he was crucified and risen, who believed in him preached his resurrection and so went up and down in the synagogues and into the temple, reasoning and disputing with them18 that held them up, to bring them out of the figure up to Jesus Christ, who was the substance; so all which were gathered together in the substance met together,19 and then the church was in God,20 and they denied the outward temple, which God commanded, being made the temples of God; and denied circumcision outwardly, being circumcised with the Spirit;21 and denied the Jewish sabbath outwardly and observing days.22 For he that believes is entered into his rest and hath ceased from his own work, even as God did from his.23 And all those now who have received Jesus Christ the substance, who is the head of the church,24 deny all types and figures of him and do witness the Scriptures fulfilled. And Jesus Christ who is the chief shepherd, the bishop of their souls.25 And Jesus Christ who is the mediator between God and man, being made manifest in them,26 makes them all of one mind and one heart, and to deny the priests of the world, who profess him in words and act those things he forbids. First, for sprinkling of infants and telling people they baptize them into the faith, into the church, which there is no Scripture for; but the baptism by one Spirit into one body,27 this we own; and the church is in God, as Paul and Sylvanus and Timotheus writ to the church of the Thessalonians, which was in <212> God.28 And they tell people of a sacrament, for which there is no Scripture; that we do deny, and them. But the supper of the Lord we own, "the bread that we break is the body of Christ, the cup we drink is the blood of Christ,"29 all made to drink into one Spirit. And the singing of psalms, after their manner, we deny; for they sing David's tremblings, quakings and roarings,30 this they have turned into meter, as if we should see one of you lie roaring, crying, till your eyes should grow dim, and watering your bed with your tears, and we should turn it into meter and make a rhyme of it, and take it and go among a company of ignorant people, and say, let us sing to the praise and glory of God, "O Lord, I am not puffed in mind, I have no scornful eye," when they are puffed in minds and have scornful eyes. And when they read the Psalms they keep on their hats, and when they sing them, they keep off their hats; here they worship the work of their own hands; all such practices we deny: but we will sing with the Spirit, we will sing with grace, we will sing with understanding,31 praises, praises unto the Lord God on high. And they speak a divination of their own brain and not from the mouth of the Lord; and such the Lord sent his prophets to cry out against, all these now who study a divination of their own brain and speak not from the mouth of the Lord, we do deny. And all who are made ministers by Oxford and Cambridge, bred up with learning and so made ministers by the will of man, and speak natural languages, as Hebrew and Greek, and say that is the original, which a natural man may learn; and the natural man knows not the things of God, and all such we do deny. For Paul was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel in the Jewish religion, but that did not make him a minister of Jesus Christ; for he declares that he was not made a minister by the will of man, nor of man, neither by man, but by the will of God;32 and all such I own, who stands out of the will of man, denying all carnal ends: for this ministry draws up to God out of the world and doth not respect any man's person, but ministers to that which is in prison.33 But those teachers which are <213> made by man say the letter is the light, the letter is the word, the four books, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is the gospel, when the letter saith Christ is the light, and God is the word, and Jesus Christ is the glad tidings which was promised, the lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world,34 and that we witness to be fulfilled; all they that are in the light are in unity; for the light is but one, and all who know the light are in unity; all who know the word, which is a mystery, are come to the beginning, are sanctified by the word, and clean through the word;35 for this word is a fire, burning up all corruption, as an hammer beats down all high minds, high nature, that the pure seed may be raised up, as a sword cuts to pieces, and divides asunder the precious from the vile, and makes a separation inwardly and outwardly from uncleanness;36 and this is the word of reconciliation37 that reconcileth together to God and gathers the hearts of his together to live in love and unity one with another, and lets them see how they have been strangers and aliens from the life of God;38 the light doth, and the word draws from under the occasion of all laws outwardly, working out that filthy nature which the outward law takes hold on: so walking in the Spirit, there is not a fulfilling the lusts of the flesh;39 and the Spirit is but one, which baptizeth into one body, which we do witness, praised be the Lord, to be fulfilled.
And whereas we are a people accused to raise up a new war, it is false; for dwelling in the word it takes away the occasion of wars, and gathers our hearts together to God and unto one another, and brings to the beginning before wars was; for the ministers of God, which had the word of reconciliation to draw them from the occasion of all wars, working out that nature that occasions wars, said, whence do wars arise? even from the lusts.40 Therefore all dear people who love the Lord Jesus Christ and the appearance of Jesus Christ in your souls, be not talkers of the truth, nor followers of the blind guides,41 but mind the pure light of God in you,42 which shows your sin and evil and how you have spent <214> your time, and shows you how your minds go forth and every carnal thought; and if you love that light, you love Christ, and walking in the light in measure there will be no occasion of stumbling,43 for all stumbling is being disobedient, and wait to find the word in you, as the Scripture saith, not to fetch it from above nor from beneath; but what saith it? It is nigh thee, in thy heart, for with the heart man believeth, and with the tongue confession is made unto salvation.44 And abiding inwardly in the light it will let you see one another and have unity one with another, and all the teachers of the world to be the ministers of the letter.
And whereas we are accused for going into steeplehouses: it was the practice of the apostles to go into the synagogues, reasoning and disputing about the scriptures, showing them the substance, and told them that God did not dwell in temples made with hands, neither was he worshipped with men's hands. Stephen said, "The most high dwells not in temples made with hands,"45 and for witnessing forth the substance was stoned to death. But these were types of Jesus Christ, and the saints; and who were made the temples of God denied all outward temples. But the ministry now which doth profess Jesus Christ holds up these outward synagogues, as Moses which was a type of Christ, which was a servant, and faithful in his house;46 the deceit after him got into his place and was called of men, masters,47 which sat in his seat, which pretended justice and did not; and that was the time before Christ was sacrificed up. He came to fulfill the law and not to break it; but he cried woe against them that were called of men masters and had the chiefest place in the assemblies,48 and laid heavy burdens upon the people, and paint themselves with the prophets' words. But when Jesus Christ was sacrificed and risen, his ministers preached his resurrection; they did not hold up the types and figures then but held forth the substance, Jesus Christ; and all who were gathered together in the substance were one heart, one mind, one soul,49 and met together and exhorted one another, and builded up one another in the most <215> holy faith,50 and all building is in that which is holy; and this faith I witness, which is but one,51 and all are one that are in it, if ten thousand, which purifies the heart, stands in God, glory and honor to the highest; and whom Jesus Christ made ministers, he made them not masters; but said, "Be ye not called masters, neither call any man upon earth master, for ye have one master, even Jesus Christ."52 But the teachers of the world, who in words profess the Lord Jesus Christ, are called of men masters and lay heavy burdens upon the people, go in long robes, having the chiefest place in the assemblies,53 standing praying in the synagogues, and them that did so, Christ Jesus said their prayers were heathenish; which shows they were never taught of him, for they abide not in his doctrine, and he that abides not in the truth is of the devil.54 And here they show themselves neither to follow Jesus Christ the example, nor the apostles as an example, but take the Scriptures to trade withal. And all those which Jesus Christ, the prophets and apostles do deny, we deny. When the apostles spoke to the saints, he bade them, Take heed to the light that shined in a dark place, till the day dawned, and the day-star arose in their hearts;55 and as the light appeared, so they exhorted one another; for there were false prophets and false teachers among the people, which with feigned words and covetousness made merchandise of them,56 who had forsaken the right way, following the ways of Balaam, going in the way of Cain,57 whose sacrifice God did not accept. Now all people that love the Lord Jesus Christ, you may see all the teachers of the world there, going after the ways of Balaam; for then that doctrine crept in which is scattered over the world; and the apostles saw certain creeping into houses, leading silly women captive, laden with sin and divers lusts, which were ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth; which he describes; they were lovers of their own selves, covetous, proud, heady, high-minded, self-willed, incontinent, truce breakers, false accusers; fierce, despisers of those that are good; lovers of pleasures more <216> than lovers of God; having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof; as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith; but they shall proceed no further, their folly shall appear to all men.58 Now the apostle bids, from such turn away; though once he said, some preach Christ of envy, some of strife and contention, some of good will, though their intention was but to add affliction to his bonds;59 yet he rejoiced in it. And that was a time when few did believe that that was the Christ: so that his name was spread abroad, he did not matter what they were; but when his name was spread abroad, and many got the form and had not the power; such were antichrists and were denied by them who had the power,60 and so they are now. And all people consider (you have been long hearers and learners) if you be yet come to the first principle of religion,61 to that which turns the mind to God. All whose faith doth not purify, they are reprobates concerning the faith.62 So ask any, priest or people, whether they shall overcome the body of sin as long as they are upon the earth? they will say, No. Therefore their seeming faith I deny; for faith purifies the heart and gives the victory over the world; and this I own, and you have put off the body of sin by the circumcision made without hands: and while we were servants of sin we were free from righteousness: but God be thanked who hath made us free from sin, to serve God in righteousness, in the newness of the Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.63
And whereas we are accused for not owning magistracy; justice we own for conscience sake; for that which is in the conscience loves equity, and righteousness, and justice, and leads out of all evil and uncleanness. For "let every soul be subject to the higher power, for all power is of God,"64 and the powers of God our souls are subject unto; for he that resisteth that, resisteth the ordinance of God; but who lives in drunkenness, in pride, in covetousness, murder, lust, and uncleanness, their souls are not subject to the higher power, but resist it; and that nature we do deny, <217> and justice which cuts it down we own, honor, and set up, and honor all men in the Lord: but as for respecting persons we deny, for he that respects persons, commits sin, and is a transgressor of the law. For to respect a proud man, because he hath a gold ring on his finger and fine apparel,65 such respects we deny, for the Scriptures deny the same; and to set up a great man which hath abundance of earth, joining field to field and land to land,66 and respect such above the poor, this is an evil eye; for God cries woe unto such, for God hath made all of one mold and one blood, to dwell upon the face of the earth, and he is no respecter of persons;67 and who are in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ it is without respect of persons,68 for it is but one, and makes all one, one seed, one soul, one heart, one mind, in one God, Father of all, over all, blessed for ever; and this we do witness, praised be the Lord, to be fulfilled, which all the holy men of God did witness forth a good conscience; and therefore we have a cloud of witnesses which are recorded in the Scriptures.69 And whereas we are accused for our uncivil speeches, which the world calls uncivil and walking, as because we "thou" people, and say "thou" to a particular, and "you" to a number. The Scriptures witness that all the holy men of God evermore practiced the same:70 thoued one, and yeed many, thoued kings, thoued God, thoued Christ, and thou O Lord of heaven and earth;71 and therefore who art thou, O proud flesh, that thou are exalted?72 Dost not thou thou God and thou Christ in thy prayers?73 And would thou be yeed? Here shows the son of perdition himself and is exalted above all that is called God in thee; and the language of God is not known with thee. And as for the customs and fashions of the world, bowing and making obeisance with cap and knee, which men and women have done one to another, which lived without the fear of the Lord, we deny;74 but we honor all men in the Lord with our soul and with our heart;75 and who look for these things outwardly, there is a fleshly principle, for <218> these things may be done and are practiced, and the heart full of envy; therefore all the fashions we deny.76 And as touching good-even and good-morrow, which are customs of the world, spoken without fear of the Lord, we do deny: but good to all men we wish, and the good day, that they may be brought into it, and that they may see the happy day: but the fashions and customs which the fleshly and heathenish nature holds up, and when it's crossed in its ways and customs rageth and is mad, we deny; and that nature which holds up all these things we deny.
For the God of power, light, and glory hath raised up a light in his people77 and gathered their hearts together to himself, and hath discovered unto them the vanity of all things wherein they have lived and showed them his way and truth, where they should walk and glorify him and serve him in holiness and newness of life; and with eternal food, the bread of life, doth he feed us,78 whereby we become wonders to the world, and he hath raised his seed to his praise and glory and is adding daily to his church,79 and the strong man bows himself, and the keepers of the house tremble,80 and the powers of the earth shake, and the glory of the Lord is rising and is risen, which terribly shakes the earth, that the idols of gold and silver are cast away,81 and God alone loved, who is Lord of heaven and earth; and the works of the Lord are strange and wondrous, as ever was, as the Scriptures witness. When Daniel heard the voice he fell down and trembled, and his strength and breath was gone.82 And Paul, when he heard the voice, he fell down and trembled.83 And Habakkuk, when he heard the voice, his lips quivered, his belly shook, rottenness entered into his bones, that he might rest in the day of trouble.84 And David, when he heard the voice of God in the holy temple, and his prayers came before him, the earth shook, and David his flesh trembled.85 And work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Now these workings are strange to <219> them, where the strong man keeps the house;86 and who are in the earth, but who are rising up out of the earth, witness the power of the earth to be shaking; and who are raised up out of the earth witness these things and have a cloud of witnesses to witness them,87 passing through the same door88 to the same rest, and so we witness the Scriptures and the power of them, and them to be fulfilled and fulfilling, praises, praises be unto the Lord God Almighty forever. We witness the happy day of the Lord is come, the good and happy day, and glad tidings to souls;89 the day of Christ, praises, praises be unto him forever. All ye children of the Lord, praise the Lord forever, sing praises unto the Lord forevermore. This is the day of salvation;90 and the everlasting gospel, glad tidings is come into souls, free pardon of sin by Jesus Christ, who is come to take away sin and to destroy the works of the devil,91 this do we witness the Scriptures fulfilled by God alone, therefore deny all the ministers of the letter.92
Canst thou prove in all the Scripture that God commanded any of his to salute any by the way, or to take his name in vain, or to use any other heathenish customs, but God, Christ's, the prophets' and apostles' commands? The contrary God saith, "Thou shalt not take my name in vain, nor bow to any creature."93 Christ saith, "Salute no man by the way."94 The prophet saith, "Salute no man by the way, and if any salute you answer him not again."95 And the apostle saith, "Bid Godspeed to none but such as abide in the doctrine of Christ and have both the Father and the Son; for he that bids him Godspeed is partaker of his evil deeds."96 God saith, "Thou shalt not do after the manner of the heathen."97 And Christ saith, "Every idle word shall be accounted for at the day of judgment; and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."98 <220> Now thou that art offended at any for obeying the commands of God, Christ, the prophets and apostles, show thyself to be no Christian but a heathen, and wilt neither obey the commands of God thyself nor suffer them that would, but strives to uphold such customs as God never commanded, but are set up by the world and used without the fear of God. Now how art thou exalted, thou man of sin, who will both dishonor God thyself and would compel thy brother also to act contrary to his conscience? What place wouldst thou leave for the throne of Christ?
Having heard of divers untruths cast upon me by some of the priests in their high places, though I stand only to the Lord in respect of myself; yet lest any that love the truth should be led ond to speak evil of the things they know not,99 I shall lay open the truth as it is in me revealed, touching those things whereof I have been falsely accused.
1. Concerning Jesus Christ, who is the eternal word of God,100 by whom all things were made and are upholden, which was before all time but manifested in time for the recovery of lost man;101 which word became flesh and dwelt amongst the saints,102 who is the same yesterday, and today, and forever; who did and doth dwell in the saints;103 who suffered, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, and is set at the right hand of God,104 to whom all power is given in heaven and in earth; who filleth all places; is the light of the world,105 but known to none106 but those who receive and follow him; and those he leads up to God, out of all the ways, <221> works, and worships of the world, by his pure light in them, whereby he reveals the man of sin and by his power casts him out, and so prepares the bodies of the saints a fit temple for the pure God to dwell in,107 with whom dwells no unclean thing; and thus he reconciles God and man,108 and the image of God, which in purity and holiness is renewed;109 and the image of Satan, which is all sin and uncleanness, is defaced; and none can witness redemption further than Christ is thus revealed in them to set them free from sin;110 which Christ I witness to be revealed in me in measure.111
2. Concerning the Scriptures, that they are a true declaration of that word which was in them112 that gave or spoke them forth, and are of no private interpretation;113 but were given forth to be read and fulfilled in the saints as they were given forth by the Holy Ghost, without adding or diminishing,114 and was not given forth for men to make a trade upon to get money by; but as they are, they are profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work:115 but they who trade in the letter and are ignorant of the mystery deny all perfection; and none can rightly understand the Scriptures but they who read them with the same Spirit that gave them forth. "For the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are spiritually discerned."116
3. Concerning Baptism, the true baptism is that of the Spirit, with the Holy Ghost and with fire,117 baptized by one Spirit into one body;118 not the washing away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God;119 by the resurrection of Jesus Christ;120 without which no other baptism can save us, they being but figures or shadows,121 but this baptism of Christ is the substance, whereby we are baptized into his death;122 and those who are baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
<222> 4. Concerning the Lord's supper: the true supper of the Lord is the spiritual eating and drinking of the flesh & blood of Christ,123e which the spiritual man only eateth, and is thereby nourished up unto eternal life; without which eating there can be no life in the creature, profess what you will; and all who eat of this bread and drink of this cup have real communion with Christ the head, and also one with another as members,124 and are all of one heart and one mind,125 a complete body in Christ. Now the world, who take only the outward signs and are not brought into a discerning of the Lord's body, eat and drink damnation to themselves,126 and so become guilty of the body and blood of Christ; and calls this a communion, but lives in envy, strife, and debate, fighting and going to law one with another for earthly things.
5. Concerning the Resurrection, That all shall arise to give account and receive at the last day according to their works done in the flesh, whether good or evil;127 these bodies that are dust shall turn to dust, but God shall give a body as pleaseth him; that which is sown in corruption shall be raised in incorruption; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.128 And as we have borne the image of the earthly, so we shall bear the image of the heavenly. But flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption, for we shall all be changed.129 But they who cannot witness the first resurrection within themselves know nothing of the second130 but by hearsay. And therefore say some of your teachers that Christ is in heaven with a carnal body; now that Christ, who is the first fruits, shall be there with a carnal body, and the saints with a spiritual body, is not proportionable.131
6. Concerning Magistracy, that it is an ordinance of God, ordained for the punishment of evildoers, and an encouragement of them that do well.132 Where justice and righteousness is the <223> head and ruleth without partiality, that land is kept in peace; and those who judge for the Lord, I honor as my own life; not with a flattering honor of putting off the hat and bowing the knee, which is the honor of the world, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage, for self-ends;133 but from my heart, for conscience sake,134 as to the power which is of God, and not to men's persons. For the Scriptures saith, "He that respects persons commits sin."135f And the apostle commands the saints "not to have the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, with respect of persons"; and saith, "such are partial in themselves and become judges of evil thoughts."136 And saith Paul, "Let every soul be subject to the higher powers: for," saith he, "there is no power but of God: the powers that be, are of God," not of man, and "whosoever resisteth, resisteth the ordinance of God"; and therefore "subject for conscience sake."137 And therefore, though the prophets and saints were often sent to pronounce judgment against unjust men, who had the power committed to them, and did not judge for God but for self ends; yet they never attempted to raise any violence against them, but used all means to persuade them "to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God,"138 that they might be established and the wrath of God turned away from them; for those that be of God cannot rejoice in the destruction of any, but would have all to turn to God and find mercy.
7. Concerning Ministry, the true ministry of Jesus Christ hathg always been and are still such as came not by the will of man, but by the will of God;139 neither are they fitted for that work by anything of man, but by God alone; for the true ministry is the gift of Jesus Christ given for the perfecting of the saints140 and need no addition of human helps and learning, but as the work is spiritual and of the Lord, so they are spiritually fitted only by the Lord.141 And therefore he chose herdsmen, fishermen and plowmen <224> and suchlike: and as he gave them an immediate call without the leave of man, so he fitted them immediately without the help of man;142 and as they received the gift freely, so they were to give freely.143 And whenever they found any of the false ministry, that taught for hire, they cried out against them, and pronounced woe against them, and showed them that they lay in iniquity because they thought that the gift of God could be bought and sold for money.144 And Christ calls them hirelings and saith, "they care not for the sheep."145 And Micah cries out against the priests that taught for hire and saith, "They build up Zion with blood and Jerusalem with iniquity."146 And Jeremy cries out against the priests in his days, that bare rule by theirh means, and calls it an horrible thing, and saith that from the least of them to the greatest they are all given to covetousness.147 Isaiah cries out of such in his days, and calls them "greedy dogs that can never have enough"; and saith he, "they all look for their gain from their quarter."148 And Peter saith of such in his daysi that they through covetousness make merchandise of the people, whoj "have hearts exercised with covetous practices, who have forsaken the right way, and have followed the way of Balaam, who loved the wages of unrighteousness."149 And Jude cries, "woe unto them, for they go on in the ways of Cain and run greedily after the error of Balaam for reward."150 But those that were sent but by Christ counted it their reward to make the gospel without charge;151 neither ever had any set means, but went about, having no certain dwelling place;152 neverk was masters, but servants to all for Christ's sake. Never went to law for tithes or any other earthly thing, but suffered persecution; and as always he that was after the flesh persecuted him that was after the spirit;153 even so it is now. All people, try <225> your priests by the Scripturesl and never think to hear the word of the Lord from their mouths, who walk contrary to the Scriptures; for such was never sent of God. For had they been sent of God, they would abide in his doctrine.154 And John saith, "such hath not God; but he that abide in the doctrine of Christ hath both the Father and the Son." And if there come any to you and bring not this doctrine, you are forbidden to "receive them into your houses or bid them Godspeed," for if you do, "you are partakers of their evil deeds."155 And unto the wicked, saith God, "What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant into thy mouth, seeing thou hatest to be reformed?"156m
You self-willed professors and you conceited hypocrites, lament, for your woe and misery is coming; you who dissemble with God and man and deceive both yourselves and others; away with all your curious minds which feedeth on that air and are so light, and which feedeth upon your dainty dishes and novelties; you are above the cross,157 and so the earthly will is fed and fleshly desires.158 Woe unto you self-conceited ones, which gaddeth abroad to change your ways, death doth feed upon death, and death doth speak death, and all is death; the letter is death, and the carnal mind is death.159 The Lord hath said, "the seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent";160 and people will talk of it without them. But O man and woman, doth not death reign in thee?161 While the carnal mind reigneth, death reigneth; and the head of <226> the serpent is head in thee if God hath not bruised him in thee; and dust is the serpent's meat;162 you must all see it in yourselves. Whatsoever is seen is dust;163 all your outside profession is dust which you have got out of books and sermons; and your Latin, Greek and Hebrew, and all which is outward is dust, and all your glorious gospel notions is dust, and your gold and silver is dust and fine apparel is dust;164 and all the world's glory the mind feedeth on is dust, all the world's profession and worship, which is not in spirit and truth, is dust. If the head of the serpent be bruised in thee by the seed of the woman, thou wilt see these to be so; for the pure worship is not without but within.
The world's church is without them; carnal lime and stone, and their call is outward,165 a carnal bell and a carnal man speaking the carnal letter to carnal minds, for carnal money and carnal ends.
The saints' church is in God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.166
The world's assembly is without them, a company of earthly minds meet in a steeplehouse.
The saints are brought to the general assembly of the firstborn, and to the innumerable company of angels, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to God the judge of all.167
The world's teachers are of the letter without,168 a proud man called of men master, and hath the chiefest place in the assemblies, going in long robes, loving greeting in markets, the highest rooms at feasts, all which Christ forbid.169
The saints' teacher is within them: ye need not that any man teach you, but as the anointing that ye have received teacheth you of all things and is true, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you ye shall abide in it.170
The world's law is without them in the command of the letter, and they break the command, and so it is death.171
The saints' law is within them, written in their hearts, and <227> they are all taught of God from the greatest to the least, and shall no more teach every one his neighbor, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall know him.172
The world's light is without them, a chapter or a verse, which was other men's light, left upon record.
The saints' light is within them: you have a light that shineth in a dark place, to which you do well that you take heed until the day dawn and the day-star arise in your hearts.173
The world's word is without them, and they take the letter for the word, when as the word is invisible.
The saints' word is within them: the word is nigh thee, in thy heart and in thy mouth,174 and doth sanctify them, and is sharper than a two-edged sword, dividing asunder, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the hearts.
The world's witness is without them, which is the letter, and it bears witness against all the practice of the world.
The saints' witness is within them: he that believeth hath the witness within himself.175
The world's baptism is without them, sprinkling of infants, for which is no command or example in Scripture.
The saints' baptism is within, baptized with one spirit into one body, and are made all to drink into one spirit.176
The world's communion is without them, taking a little bread and wine, which is carnal, and calls that a communion, but are separated in spirit, and are not of one heart and one mind.
The saints' communion is within, written in one another's hearts, and though absent in flesh yet present in spirit.177
The world's touchstone is without them, and they try the living by the dead, the spirit by the letter.
The saints' touchstone is within, whereby they try the spirits whether they be of God or no; every spirit that confesseth Jesus Christ come in the flesh is of God, and he that confesseth him in truth hath him, and the Father also.178
<228> The world is ruled by outward rules, and all goeth from the rule.
The saints' rule is within them, Christ who ruleth over them and is the head of the body.179
The world's record is without them.
The saints' record is within them; the spirit that God hath given into them is their record.180
The world's sabbath is without them, and they have no rest but in a form without.
The saints' sabbath is within, where Christ is come to give them rest, and they are ceased from their own works.181
The world's psalms are without them, and they sing David's quakings and tremblings, wastings, prophecies, prayers and tears, weeping till his eyes grew dim; he watered his couch with his tears, and they turn these into meter and say, Let us sing to the praise and glory of God, when it is altogether to his dishonor.
The saints' psalms are within, and they sing with the Spirit and with the understanding also.182
The world's guide is without them, in the traditions and precepts of men, which leads from God.
The saints' guide is within them: the Spirit, and they are the sons of God who are guided by the Spirit of God.183
The world's temple is without them, which was builded for the idolatrous worship.
The saints' temple is within: ye are the temples of the living God, and he doth walk in them and dwell in them, and they know and can witness God dwelling in them.184
The world's prayers are without them, and the power thereof stands in outward words; and they ask and have not, because they ask amiss, that they may spend it on their lusts.185
The saints' prayers are within, by the Spirit, which teacheth in all conditions what to pray for, and helps the infirmities with sighs and groans which cannot be uttered; and they ask in the name of the Son and are heard in whatsoever they ask;186 and thereby is the <229> Father glorified, for they ask in faith, nothing wavering.187
All you who read these things, read yourselves where you are, whether you be within among the saints, or without among the world.
I have heard a voice of woe and terror to come upon all the inhabitants of the earth: repent all you inhabitants of the earth, the sword of the Lord is furbished against you to make a grievous slaughter. Howl, woe and misery, all sorts of people, who have preferred your own wills, lust, and pleasures before the pure law of God: howl you sodomites and belly-gods of the earth, who have given up yourselves to fullness of gluttony and all excess of riot, feeding without the fear of God, sporting in the daytime, living like fed horses, spending the creatures upon your lusts, which were never made for that end. Woe unto you, you fat swine, the swines of Sodom are found among you, and the plagues of Sodom are nigh at hand. Woe unto you, for now is the Lord come to require his corn and his wine, which he gave to feed the poor and hungry, which your lusts have devoured; the wants of all poor in the nation cry out against you; you have exceeded all that ever went before you, and you shall exceed in misery. Woe unto you proud and lustful lofty ones, that are lifted up in your own eyes and have set yourselves above the fear of God, which teacheth humility: you plainly appear to be children of the devil, who is the father of all pride and self-exaltation; you bear the image of the serpent, you speckled ones, who have painted yourselves in <230> the various colors to make yourselves seem glorious in the eyes of others, that they may bow and worship you. Woe unto thee that hast set thyself in the seat of God, "thou art weighed, and found wanting"; thy pride is for the fire and thy honor for the dust. For now is the Lord coming to inquire after his wool and his flax which he gave to clothe the naked of all sorts, with which thou hast decked the serpentn and spent upon thy lusts, thereby to set thyself in the seat of the Almighty. Woe, woe, woe unto thee, thou that art exalted as high as heaven, yea,o into God's throne; but thou shalt be cast down to hell; the Lamb is risen to rule the nations. Woe unto the covetous cruel oppressors who live upon dust, you grind the faces of the poor and oppress them that are fallen; your measures you have filled, and you have heaped up abundance against this day of wrath. The fire of the Almighty is kindled, and it shall never be quenched till it hath devoured and burnt up you and your heaps and made you a curse to the generations that shall come after. Woe unto the envious serpents that seek to devour the innocent, that make a prey upon them that depart from iniquity: you are the headp of the serpent that must fulfillq what is spoken of you, and you now show the enmity that God hath put between the two seeds. Now thy rage is come,r the seed is comes whose heel thou art bruising, who shall bruise thy head; thy time is as short as thy rage is great. Rejoice all you that suffer it, that the Scriptures may be fulfilled. Woe unto you scorners, you sons of Hagar, you sons of bondage to the works of the devil, scorning, backbiting, false accusing, slandering and evil speaking. You are brought forth by the Egyptian woman and are in Egyptian darkness, and you cannot see that you are in the works of the devil, and by him you are put on to act against Christ in his saints. But now is the son of the free-woman brought forth, to whom the heritage belongs, and you shall be cast out among the heathen and ungodly, and judgment is coming upon you in which you shall not be able to stand. Woe unto you swearers and liars, under whose tongues lies the poison <231> of asps, which you vent out as you are moved by your father the devil, against the holy and dreadful name of the Almighty: the land is filled with this generation, and hath long mourned because of you; who can pass on streets or markets, that fear the Lord, and their hearts not be broken to hear it? Do not all places abound with vain oaths and lying idle words? Never wast nation like to this in these things, so that any who will not use these idle words and oaths is known in the streets as they pass and not esteemed worthy to live in the nation; and thus not only with all the common sort, but also with many that are in place of authority to punish such things; and yet those are not afraid to call themselves Christians. Shall not the Lord be avenged on such a people as this? Woe unto you that live upon deceit in your weights and measures, by your flighty words arising from the serpent's wisdom, which makes a prey on the simple; and when you have got great estates you say God hath given you them. You are set up above them who are made poor by you;u now is the Lord come to search you out, and you shall restore for your theft fourfold. Woe unto you that have had power in your hands to restrain these things; but instead of using the sword to scatter the works of iniquity have turned the edge of it against such as the Lord hath called out of these things, and sent them to call others out, lest they partake of the plagues that are to come upon those who are found in them. Woe, woe unto thev blind guides, who have called yourselves Christ's seedsman, and now that the Lord of the harvest is come to look for fruits, here is no better fruits to reap but such as these; and that among such as you call saints and the churches of Christ. And now that the heir is appearing you are stirring up the powers of the earth how to destroy him, lest you be called to account for your great care to feed your own bodies and heap up carnal things and the little care for the souls of Christ's flock. Now shall not you escape, your day is near at hand. Who could have believed that England would have brought forth no better fruits than these, now after such deliverance as no nation else can witness? Oh tell it not among the heathen, lest you strengthen the hand of the enemy and occasions the wicked to <232> blaspheme the name of the God of Hosts, who is reported to be among us and hath subdued all our enemies, and hath delivered us thus far. Awake, awake, all sorts of people! Can you say you have not had power in your hands against these abominations? But now that you have not proved faithful in the promises to the Lord in the day of your fears: therefore is the Lord coming to call to account all sorts of dissemblers and oppressors and by his own right hand to get himself the victory. And now woe unto you that have known to do well, and had it in your power, but have not done it. Woe unto you that have taken counsel at your own wisdom, and multitudes, and not at the Spirit of the Lord, and have strengthened yourselves by your riches. Woe unto yourw fruitless trees: you have long been digged and pruned, but no fruits;x you have long cumbered the ground. Woe unto you that are at ease in Zion. Howl, woe and misery; tremble ye women that are at ease; strip you; make you bare; put off your pride and put on ashes; turn your music into wailing, your feasts into fasting and bitter lamentation, and meet the Lord if there may be hope for your souls in the day of his fierce wrath that is coming upon the earth. While you have time, improve it.
1. Did not God create man and woman perfect in his own image without sin?188
2. Did not the first sin make a separation betwixt God and man?189
3. Whether is there any other way to unite God and man into spiritual communion again but by being separated from the works of the flesh, sin, and uncleanness, and being redeemed into his first estate?190
<233> 4. Was not that the end for which Christ was manifest in the flesh,191 that by taking away sin he might restore man into his first estate in which he was created, in the image of God without sin?
5. Whether any can witness the work of redemption perfected in them while they commit sin?192
6. Whether any unperfect, unclean, and sinful one shall enter into the kingdom, yea or no?193
7. Was not that the end for which the Scriptures were written, to warn all to turn from sin to holiness?194
8. Shall not God justly judge every one as he finds them at the day of judgment, they that have done good into life eternal, and they that have lived in sin into everlasting fire?195 And whether do you look for a purgatory to cleanse you from your sins between the day of death and the day of judgment?
9. Whether a Christian have ground to believe, and ought to wait for it, that he shall be redeemed by the second Adam into that estate which he lost by sin in the first Adam?196
10. Are not all that are servants of sin out of the covenant and under the power of darkness, and in the kingdom of the devil?197
11. Is there any promise in Scriptures due to any who have not confessed and forsaken their sins; but all the plagues written in the book are to fall upon that generation of evil doers?198
12. Was it not the only end why all the true ministers of Christ, both now and ever, were begifted and sent into the world, (to wit) to call people out of sin and to perfect the saints in holiness, and to present them perfect to God?199
13. Whether all those who both by life and doctrine encourage people to abide in that condition of sin, imperfection, and separation from God (which Christ came to take away and so to unite God and man again) do not oppose the work of man's redemption and withstand the only end of Christ's coming, and so are ministers of antichrist and labor to uphold the kingdom of the devil?200
Now all you who plead for sin in yourselves or others, consider <234> these things and see if you do not withstand the love of God in giving Jesus Christ into the world, to cleanse from all sin all that believe in him and so to present you to the Father without spot or blemish,201 and so you are the greatest enemies to your eternal salvation. How will you stand before the Lord at that great day, who would have gathered you out of your sins, but you would not,202 but have joined with the devil to uphold the wall of separation between God and you. Woe unto you, ye whited walls.
All people and professors, consider where you are and from whence you are fallen, you that plead for sin and say none can be set free from sin while they are in this world; you plead for a house for Satan in you while you are here, and where will you have him cast out, or what fellowship can you have with God while the serpent's head in you? you are separated from God and knows not; for what communion hath light with darkness? God is light, and he that dwells in God dwelleth in light, and in him is no darkness at all; but while you live in sin you are in darkness, and the god of this world hath blinded your eyes that you cannot see, and having blinded your eyes that you cannot see he leads you captive at his will, and you are willing to be so, and you do not believe that ever you shall be otherwise; you are servants to sin, and you take pleasure in it; you are in the flesh and sin, and have made a covenant with hell and death. You are resolved to serve the devil and please yourselves while you live, and you will repent at your death; you have forgot that your times are in the hand of the Lord, and that this is the day of grace and repentance, which you turn into lasciviousness and wantonness. You make it plainly appear that you love your lustful pleasures and filthiness more than God. You that are friends of the world are the enemies of God: you that love the world and the things of the world, the love of the Father is not in you. How can you say you love God and follow the lusts of your flesh? for whom you love, him you follow. Christ saith, If you love me, <235> follow me, keep my commandments; and those who follow him, he leads them out of all the ways of sin into ways of purity and holiness, and so he is the way to the Father. "For without holiness none can see God, for he is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, and no unclean thing can stand in his sight." Where will you, where will you appear? you blind creatures whom the devil hath deceived, you that follow the prince of the air who rules in the children of disobedience, bringing forth fruits of sin and unrighteousness, having your conversation in the earth and earthly things; following your corrupt wills and pleasures: and yet ye will profess you love God, draw near him with your lips, own him in words, but the devil in practice. Oh horrible hypocrisy: canst thou deceive God? Shall not the righteous judge find thee out and reward thee according to thy works? Thou art deceived who thinks to be heirs of two kingdoms; thou wilt have pleasure of sin here, and thou sayest thou hopest to be heir of the kingdom of heaven too; but the hope of the hypocrite shall perish. Remember thy father Dives in whose steps thou walkest, and the same way leads the same end. The Lord saith, "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all those that forget God." But the devil in thee saith, Thou mayest live in sin and have thy thoughts in the world and mayest enter into the kingdom of heaven too. Now, who must be liar, whether God or thee? O vain man, was it not sin that separated God and man at the first? And thinkest thou to be restored again as long as sin stands in thee? Man was not created in sin, but pure and holy in the image of God, and while he stood here he had communion with God and had the pure wisdom of God communicated to him by which he was able to see into the wonders of God and to give names unto all living creatures. But as soon as he had sinned he was stripped of all, that he became naked and was thrust out of paradise, and was cursed from the Lord; yea, the ground was cursed for his sake, and all this because of sin, which thou thinkest so light of and art so loath to part with, so odious is sin in the pure eyes of God who is holy; and didst thou but know thy condition, as thou liest in sin in the first birth, a child of wrath, and one to whom all the curses in the book of God are due, thou wouldst tremble at sin and not plead for it, wherein thou showest thyself plainly a servant <236> of the devil, and pleads for his image and kingdom; and were it not that he had blinded thine eyes thou mightest see where thou art, when thou thus abusest the goodness of God, that because he hath left the sins and fallings of others upon record, to the end they should be warnings to all that come after, not to do the like, and these thou makest use on to encourage thee on in thy sin & filthiness; and because God is merciful to pardon sins at what time soever they repent, therefore thou art encouraged to live in thy sins the longer unrepented of. Now all who are not plainly blind may see whose child thou art, for the apostle saith, "Know ye not that the long-suffering of God leadeth to repentance"; it doth so to the children of God. But whose child art thou? that Scripture is fulfilled in thee, which "because judgment is not speedily executed upon evildoers, therefore their heart is set in them to work wickedness"; and thus thou makest the mercies of God a cloak for thy unrighteous actions.
And yet thou wilt talk of a redeemer and of faith in Christ. But O friend, where is this redeemer witnessed whilst thou art yet in thy sins? What art thou redeemed from, who art in bondage to thy lusts? And what is thy liberty thou art redeemed into, while thou art a slave to Satan and at his command? Those who are redeemed are set free from sin and the servitude of sin; but thou servest sin while thou obeyest the motions of sin. Then where is thy freedom? Canst thou witness Christ died for thee, and thy sin still alive? How wilt thou witness his death in thee, or thyself dead with him? How hast thou put on Christ, who art clad with sin, the saints who was dead with Christ? And saith Paul, "How can you that are dead to sin live any longer therein?" and saith, "Those that are dead with Christ are freed from sin and become servants of righteousness." And saith he, "Now being made free from sin and become servants of God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." But while thou livest in sin thy fruit is unholy, and the end is death. Who are redeemed by Christ are redeemed from the earth and earthly things up to God again from whence they are fallen; out of every kindred, tongue, and people, and nation, are made unto God kings and priests, to reign above sin on the earth, and are made conformable unto his image again which they had lost by sin; but <237> what conformity is there in thee, while thou livest in sin? Thou art not like him but like the devil; for every sin is the image of the devil, who sinned from the beginning; and while thou commits sin thou holdest out his image in thee, who is thy father and thou his son, begotten in his own likeness. And Christ told the scribes and Pharisees, who professed themselves the children of God but lived in sin, "That they were of their father the devil, for his work they will do, for every sin is the work of the devil." And saith John, "He that commits sin is of the devil"; and saith, "For this purpose was the Son of God manifested, to destroy the works of the devil": whosoever can witness the Son of God manifested in them can witness sin destroyed; but if thou say thou canst witness Christ manifested in thee, and yet commit sin, thou art a liar. For saith John, "Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not"; whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. "For he that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." And saith the Holy Ghost, "Whosoever is born of God sins not," for his seed remaineth in him; for he that is begotten of God keepeth himself that the wicked one toucheth him not, and saith plainly, "In this are the children of God made manifest, and the children of the devil"; whosoever doth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loves not his brother. God in all ages hath known his by their obedience, but thou sayest thou must live in disobedience or else thou canst not live in the world, and yet thou would be accounted one of his too. But where is thy mark by which thou art known from the world? Those which are God's are marked and known from the world, and therefore hated of the world; but thou art in friendship with the world, and whosoever is a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Now thou that can conform to the world's ways, words and worship, and yet would be accounted one of God's too: O thou deceiver, thou deceiver, thou deceivest but thyself and men like thee; thou canst not deceive the Lord. Take heed, repent, halt no longer between God and the world; if thou wilt own God thou must disown the world, and the world will disown thee; thou canst not have both, for whilst thou art striving with both thou hast right to neither; for all things was made for the Son, both in heaven and earth, <238> and he is heir of all, even the fullness of all, and in him are the treasures of wisdom laid up, and there is no receiving anything without him. Witness the Son, and witness all; but no further than thou canst witness him, no further canst thou witness real possession, but feedeth on wind, words, shows, and shadows, and are deceived by the devil, that old serpent, who makes large promises but hath nothing to perform but deceit: for all the promises are yea and Amen in Christ; they are all to the seed, which is the Son, and to him are all the promises in the Scriptures. For he that hath the Son hath the Father also, and such are made free by the Son; but while thou art a servant to thy lusts thou art in sin and art far from a freeman. Now search the Scriptures and see if ever thou find one promise to thee, whilst thou art in this condition, but that the devil deceives thee, and leads to steal the promises that was given to the saints, who was risen out of thy condition; but thou hast no right to them, but all the plagues and woes written are thy portion. As thou liest in sin thou shalt drink the dregs thereof and wring them out, except thou repent.
1. Whether Jesus Christ be not that covenant of light spoken on in the Scriptures, promised by the Father, to enlighten and lead all that will own and follow him out of the dark world up to God, the Father of lights, yea or no?
2. Whether that be not the light of Christ which enlightens the conscience, witnessing there against all sin and unrighteousness, which convinceth and showeth the deeds of darkness and exerciseth the conscience in purity and holiness of all that will follow and obey it, yea or no?
3. If you say that be not the light of Christ, then how is Christ the light of the world? and how doth he lighten everyone that cometh into the world? and how do you distinguish between the light of Christ and that which you call a natural light? and doth the light of Christ enlighten the creature any other way than by shining into the conscience, yea or no?
4. Whether the light of Christ be not a sufficient guide to all <239> who receive and follow it to bring out of darkness into the Father, and reveal him to the creature without adding to it any other human helps, and was not he given to all the ends of the earth for this very end, yea or no?
5. Whether those that are in Scripture called the children of light be not only such as are gathered out of darkness by this light, and into it walking in it in measure; and those which are called the children of darkness be not such as whose understandings are darkened by following the prince of darkness, to seek out other lights from their imaginations, setting up persons, forms, customs, times, days, places, letter, and other visible carnal things to get light from which are not the Spirit of Christ, yea or no?
6. Whether it was not by the same light of the Spirit of Christ that all the holy men of God in all ages were inspired, had their revelations, and by which they spoke forth what is written in Scriptures, in a mystery to all the children of darkness: and whether the light of Christ be not the same now that ever it was, to everyone that have received in their several measures, yea or no?
7. Whether all those who are not only ignorant of this light but also enemies to it, rendering it under odious terms, as unable to lead out of darkness, be not ministers for the prince of darkness and against Christ the true light, and so are ministers of antichrist and upholders of the kingdom of darkness, which Christ came to destroy, yea or no?
1. Whether can the Scriptures be read and understood by any other spirit than that which gave them forth, yea or no?
2. Whether that Spirit be excluded from manifesting itself in the saints now in the same power and manner as formerly it hath done, yea or no?
3. Whether that Spirit where it is be not infallible, and judge of all truth and all deceits, in its measure as it is manifested, yea or no?
4. Whether those who have not the Spirit, which is the infallible <240> judge, have any ground to pass the censure of excommunication or to judge of blasphemy in others, yea or no?
5. Whether that which is spoken by that Spirit where it is be not the very word of God, yea or no?
6. Whether the spirit of the world, by their carnal laws grounded upon human wisdom and reason, have any power from God to judge that Spirit where it is? and have they not in all ages, when they have attempted it, passed the censure of blasphemy upon it, and so it hath suffered, yea or no?
7. Whether that Spirit be not at unity in itself, all that speak by it speaking one and the same things, each in their measure; and doth it not speak the same things now that ever it spoke in the holy men of God? and whether all that are guided by it be not brought into one and the same way to the Father and his worship in Spirit, yea or no?
8. Whether giving heed to any other spirits, whatever they pretend, be not the way to delusion and to lie open to be seduced into rent, schism, and heresy, yea or no?
9. Whether any who have not this infallible Spirit in themselves, which is the only light, and guide, and judge, be fit and able to teach others? Or did the Lord ever send out any to teach who had not this Spirit, yea or no?
1. Q. Whether you will own Jeremiah to be a true prophet, which cried against the priests that bore rule by their means; and whether you will justify these that bear rule by their means, which Jeremiah cried against?
2. Whether you will own the prophet Isaiah to be a true prophet of the Lord, which the Lord sent to cry against them that sought for their gain from their quarter; and whether you will hold up these shepherds that seek for their gain from their quarter now, as he cried against them?
<241> 3. Whether you will own Ezekiel to be a true prophet of the Lord, which the Lord sent to cry against the shepherds which fed themselves with the fat and clothed with the wool and made a prey upon the people; and whether you will justify these shepherds that seek for the fleece now, and for the wool and the fat, and make a prey upon the people, which Ezekiel cried woe against?
4. Whether you will own Micah to be a true prophet of the Lord, which the Lord sent to cry against the hireling priests and prophets that preached and prophesied for money, and whether you will justify these things now, which the Lord sent him to cry woe against then?
5. Whether you will justify such as Jesus Christ cried woe against, which was called of men "master," and had the chiefest places in the assemblies, and stood praying in the synagogues, and laid heavy burdens upon the people, and love salutations in the markets; and whether you will justify these things which he cried woe against?
6. Whether you will justify sprinkling infants, seeing there is not a word of Scripture to prove it?
7. Whether you will justify singing David's psalms, his quakings, prayers, and tears, and his condition turned into rhyme and meter and sung in the world, yea or no?
8. Whether ever any of the apostles, or ministers of God, did receive tithes after Christ was risen, yea or no?
9. Whether ever any of the disciples of Jesus Christ, or believers that believed in him, after he was risen, did pay tithes according to the old time, after the substance was come, yea or no?
10. Whether these be not the teachers spoken of which stand railing in the pulpit, and are in envy, and sue men at the law, and are proud and covetous, be not them which go in the way of Cain and through covetousness make merchandise of the people? And are they not to be cried against now, as Paul and Peter did then?
11. Whether these be not the teachers that seeks for great augmentations, and great benefits and tithes, be not as they which the Scripture speaks of, which run greedily after the error of Balaam, who perished in the gainsayings of Core, seeing the apostle said he coveted no man's silver nor gold, nor apparel, <242> but wrought with his hands that he might be an example to all that followed him?
12. Whether they do abide in the doctrine of Christ which compels people to swear, or the doctrine of the devil? When Christ saith swear not at all, but let your yea be yea, and nay, nay; whatsoever is more is evil.
13. Whether the outward temple was to be held up after Christ was risen, yea or no? seeing Stephen was stoned to death for witnessing against it?
14. Whether a man shall be made free from the body of sin while he is upon the earth, yea or no?
15. Whether you will own that Christ which said, be not ye called of men "master"? or whether you will be called of men "master," and so deny that Christ?
16. Whether that was the true Christ that forbade these things? and whether you will own that Christ as an example to follow him, who is the way, the light, and the truth?
1. Whether the shepherds in England now do not seek for their gain from their quarter, as they did which Isaiah was sent to cry out against? and whether the priests of England do not bear rule by their means, as they did which Jeremiah was sent to cry out against? and whether the horrible filthy thing be not committed in this land as was in Israel?
2.Whether the shepherds in England do not feed themselves with the fat and clothe them with the wool, and makes a prey upon the people, as they did that Ezekiel was sent to cry out against? and whether they do not preach for hire and divine for money, as they did which Micah cried against?
And whether the priests of England are not called of men "master," and have the chief places in the assemblies, and stand praying, and have greetings in the market, and goes in long robes as they which Christ cried woe against?
And whether they do not deceive you, which puts you upon singing David's psalms, his prayers and praises, and his condition, which you cannot witness, so causing you to sing a lie?
<243> And whether they do not deceive you that takes tithes and augmentations, when as Christ saith, "Freely you have received, freely give"?
And whether they that stand railing in the pulpits, and are in envy, and are proud and covetous men, and sue men at the law, be not as they which goes on in the ways of Cain and through covetousness make merchandise of you, and are they not to be cried out against now, as Paul and Peter did then?
And whether the teachers of England, who seeks for great augmentations, and benefits, and tithes, be not as they, which run greedily after the error of Balaam, which perished in the gainsaying of Core, seeing the apostle said, he coveted no man's silver, nor no man's apparel, but wrought with his hands, that he might be an example to all that follow him?
And whether the priests do not deceive you and bewitch you, that hold up these idol temples, which God never commanded, with many other things, when the apostle said they did bewitch them that taught them to observe that which God had commanded when the substance was come.
And whether they do not deceive you and perverts the Scripture, that tells you men shall never be perfect while they are on the earth?
And whether they are not ministers of antichrist and no ministers of Christ, that doth not abide in his doctrine; seeing the apostle said they that did not abide in the doctrine of Christ had not God?
And whether their call to their ministry and their gospel be of God, who comes from Oxford and Cambridge, when the apostle said his ministry was not of man, nor the gospel he preached was by man?
And whether ever any of the saints or believers, after Christ was risen, paid tithes to any, or no?
Now all people under what form soever, who doth uphold the priests who uphold such things: answer these queries, that the simple may receive satisfaction, which is aimed at in these queries.
1. Ezek. 34:12.
2. Jer. 23:16.
3. Ezek. 34:2-3.
4. Jer. 23:16.
5. Isa. 65:10-12.
6. Isa. 55:4,2,3.
7. Jer. 5:30-31.
8. Mic. 3:11.
9. John 10:13; 1:14.
10. 2 Cor. 5:19.
11. Deut. 26:12.
12. Matt. 10:8-10.
13. 2 Cor. 11:24.
14. Acts 4:32.
15. 1 Cor. 9:11.
16. 1 Cor. 10:11.
17. Gen. 17:10-11; 1 Chron. 22:10; Exod. 31:13-17.
18. Acts 17:2,17.
19. Acts 4:2.
20. 1 Thess. 1:1.
21. Rom. 2:28-29; 2 Cor. 6:16-17.
22. Col. 2:16-17; Gal. 4:10.
23. Heb. 4:10.
24. Col. 2:10.
25. 1 Pet. 2:25.
26. 1 Tim. 2:5; Col. 1:26,29.
27. 1 Cor. 12:13.
28. 1 Thess. 1:1.
29. 1 Cor. 10:16-17.
30. Ps. 6:6; 131:1.
31. 1 Cor. 14:15; Col. 3:16.
32. 1 Cor. 2:14; Gal. 1:14; 1:1.
33. 1 Pet. 3:19.
34. John 1:9; John 1:1; Gen. 3:15; Luke 2:10-11; John 1:29.
35. John 15:3.
36. Jer. 23:19; Heb. 4:12.
37. 2 Cor. 5:19.
38. Eph. 2:12.
39. Gal. 5:16.
40. Jas. 4:1-2.
41. Matt. 23:16.
42. John 20:21.
43. 1 John 2:10.
44. Rom. 10:8,10.
45. Acts 7:47-49.
46. Heb. 3:5.
47. Matt. 23:7.
48. Matt. 23:6.
49. Acts 4:32.
50. Jude 20.
51. Eph. 4:5.
52. Matt. 23:8.
53. Matt. 23:6-7.
54. 1 John 3:8.
55. 2 Pet. 1:19.
56. 2 Pet. 2:1-3.
57. Jude 11.
58. 2 Tim. 3:3-9.
59. Phil 1:15.
60. Phil. 3:2.
61. Heb. 6:1.
62. 2 Tim. 3:8; 1 John 3:3; 5:4; Col. 2:11.
63. Rom. 6:22; 7:6.
64. Rom. 13:1.
65. James 2:9; 2:2.
66. Isa. 5:8.
67. Acts 17:25.
68. James 2:5.
69. Heb. 12:1.
70. Acts 26:2,27.
71. Ps. 25:1.
72. 2 Thess. 2:4.
73. John 21:15.
74. Job 32:21.
75. Exod. 20:5.
76. Acts 10:34; Rom. 12:2; Jer. 10:3.
77. John 14:6, Rom. 7:6.
78. John 6:35.
79. Acts 2:47.
80. Eccl. 12:3.
81. Isa. 2:21,20.
82. Dan. 10:7.
83. Acts 9:6.
84. Hab. 3:16.
85. Ps. 119:120.
86. Eccl. 12:3.
87. Heb. 12:1.
88. John 10:1-2.
89. Luke 2:10-11.
90. Luke 19:9.
91. 1 John 3:8.
92. 2 Cor. 3:6.
93. Exod. 10:5,7.
94. Luke 10:4.
95. 2 Kings 4:29.
96. 2 John 9-11.
97. Jer. 10:2.
98. Matt. 12:36-37.
99. Jude 10.
100. Rev. 19:13.
101. 1 John 1:1-5; 1 Pet. 1:25.
102. John 1:14.
103. Eph. 5:30.
104. Eph. 1:21.
105. John 8:12.
106. 2 Thess. 2:8.
107. 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Cor. 3:16-17.
108. 2 Cor. 5:18-19.
109. Col. 3:10.
110. John 8:34,36.
111. Gal. 1:16; 2 Cor. 13:5; Col. 1:27.
112. 1 John 1:3,5.
113. 2 Pet. 1:20-21.
114. Deut. 4:2; Rev. 22:18.
115. 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
116. 1 Cor. 2:14-15; John 3:11.
117. Acts 1:5.
118. 1 Cor. 12:13.
119. 1 Pet. 3:21.
120. Col. 2:12.
121. Gal. 3:27.
122. Rom. 6:3.
123. Matt. 26:26,28; John 6:51,53-56.
124. 1 Cor. 10:16; 11:24-25.
125. Acts 4:32.
126. 1 Cor. 11:27-29.
127. John 5:29.
128. 1 Cor. 15:38.
129. 1 Cor. 15:42-44,46,50-51.
130. Rev. 20:6; Phil. 3:21; 1 Cor. 15:20.
131. 1 Cor. 15:47; Col. 1:15.
132. Rom. 13:3.
133. Jude 16.
134. Rom. 13:5.
135. James 2:9.
136. James 2:1-4.
137. Rom. 13:1,5.
138. Micah 6:8.
139. 2 Pet. 1:21.
140. Eph. 4:11-12.
141. 1 Cor. 12:7; 1 Pet. 4:10-11.
142. Gal. 1:11-12,16.
143. Matt. 10:8.
144. Acts 8:20.
145. John 10:13.
146. Micah 3:10.
147. Jer. 5:30-31; 6:13.
148. Isa. 56:10-11.
149. 2 Pet. 2:14-15; 2 Cor. 11:15.
150. Jude 11.
151. 1 Cor. 9:16-18.
152. 2 Cor. 4:11.
153. Gal. 4:29.
154. 1 John 3:3-6.
155. 2 John 9-11.
156. Ps. 50:16-17.
157. Gal. 6:14.
158. Phil. 3:18-19.
159. 2 Cor. 3:5-6.
160. Gen. 3:15.
161. Rom. 8:6.
162. Isa. 65:25.
163. 2 Cor. 4:18.
164. James 5:1-3.
165. Heb. 7:16.
166. 1 Thess. 1:1.
167. Heb. 12:22-24.
168. 2 Cor. 3:6.
169. Matt. 23:6,10.
170. 1 John 2:27.
171. 2 Cor. 3:6.
172. Jer. 31:33; Heb. 8:10-11.
173. 2 Pet. 1:19.
174. Deut. 30:14; Rom. 10:8.
175. 1 John 5:10.
176. 1 Cor. 12:13.
177. Col. 2:5; 1 Cor. 5:3; 2 Cor. 3:2.
178. 1 John 4:2; 2:23.
179. Eph. 4:15.
180. 1 John 5:8-11.
181. Heb. 4:9-11.
182. 1 Cor. 14:15.
183. Rom. 8:14.
184. 1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Cor. 6:16.
185. James 4:3.
186. Rom. 8:26; John 14:13-14.
187. James 1:6.
188. Gen. 1:27.
189. Gen. 3:23-24.
190. 1 John 1:3,6-7.
191. 1 John 3:5,8.
192. John 8:34,36.
193. 1 Cor. 6:9; Gal. 5:21.
194. 1 Cor. 10:6,11.
195. Matt. 25:13-46.
196. 1 Cor. 15:22.
197. Col. 1:13.
198. Prov. 28:13; 11:21.
199. Eph. 4:11-13; Col. 1:28.
200. 2 Thess. 2:3-11.
201. Eph. 5:27.
202. Matt. 23:27-28.
a. Probably Alexander Parker.
b. Also printed (with minor changes) in Fox's Doctrinals with the note: "The following paper was published 1654, with several papers of other Friends" (1706, p. 23; 1831, vol. 4, p. 40).
c. A slightly different version of this paper is included in Saul's Errand to Damascus (see pp. 18-23 above) under the title, "James Nayler's Answer and Declaration touching some things charged upon him by the men aforesaid," and it was also published as a separate tract. Whitehead entitles it: "Truth Cleared from Scandals; being James Nayler's Answer and Declaration, touching some things charged upon him in the Lancashire Petition."
d. Whitehead omits "on."
e. Whitehead inserts "spiritually."
f. The version in Saul's Errand adds "and is convinced of the law as a transgressor." Whitehead changes "as a transgressor" to "as are transgressors."
g. Whitehead changes "ministry...hath" to "ministers...have."
h. Whitehead changes "their" to "the prophets."
i. Saul's Errand reads "as should come" instead of "in his days." Whitehead reads "in his days as should come."
j. W. changes "who" to "and saith they," as in Saul's Errand.
k. Whitehead changes "never" to "neither."
l. Saul's Errand and W. insert "whether they be of God or of the world."
m. Saul's Errand and W. read "instruction" instead of "to be reformed," and continue: "and castest my words behind thy back, and art a partaker with the thief, the adulterer, evil-speaking, slandering, and deceit; and such as these [W: such as do these things], think God to be like themselves." W. adds, "But I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes."
n. W. changes "serpent" to "thyself."
o. W. inserts "as."
p. W. changes "head" to "brood."
q. W. changes "must fulfill" to "are fulfilling."
r. W. changes "come" to "seen."
s. W. changes "come" to "manifested."
t. Whitehead changes "Never was" to "Was ever."
u. W. changes "you" to "your means."
v. W. changes "the" to "you."
w. Whitehead changes "your" to "you."
x. W. adds "brought forth," apparently following a 1654 edition.