Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Works of James Nayler > A Defense Against the Poison of Satan's Design
Having (not with lightness, but) on good grounds (as in the close of my answer to J.N.'s letter)1 purposed not farther to have to do or meddle with him, unless I should discern in him some perception of the evil and danger of his principles and way, and his heart inclined to turn to the Lord, I shall through the strength of God's grace keep my purpose, according to that good counsel given me (Prov. 9:7-8 and 24:21; Matt. 15:13-14). Yet that the truth of the gospel may continue with others, <474> and the faithfulness of its discoveries of a lying and antichristian spirit (though under other visors) in the people that call themselves Quakers,2 may further appear, I add this direction and farther discovery to the reader, by which himself may see from James his own pen more than he would easily believe from another's testimony of him.
1. How himself hath grossly belied me and the truth attested by me.
2. How empty, frothy, and corrupt his pretended answers, and how palpably the Scriptures are perverted in them.
3. How the wolf appears in the sheep's-skin, in the beginning and close of his book.
1. How he hath grossly belied me and the truth attested by me appears in these two things: 1) in his manifest and notorious altering and falsifying my sayings in that book; 2) in his alike false charging the sum and scope of the things asserted and maintained therein. I shall give a few instances (of many that might be given) to each of these. And,
1) Of his manifest and notorious changing and falsifying my sayings. See,
1. In his 4th page he saith that I gather my charge of their preaching down the person and works of Christ in one body for us, as the apostles preached down outward circumcision, &c., from his letter, because he said "the flesh of Christ is the food of his inward man"; which is altogether and manifestly false.
It was not from any such saying that I gathered the ground of that charge, but from his comparing his confession of the flesh of Christ in him with the apostles preaching down circumcision, temple and sacrifices without and confirming them within, and so our opposing of his confession of the flesh of Christ in him with the opposing their preaching down those things without and confirming them within.3 And from his following saying, that the confirming them within, in Spirit, is the ground and bottom of all, in which all must end. That is (as appears by comparing it with what goes before) not only the outward circumcision, temple, and sacrifices, but the flesh of Christ also, as for us in that one personal body, Jesus of Nazareth of the seed of David after the flesh.
See if these be not rendered as the chief ground gathered from his letter for that charge.4 Though otherwise also the truth of those charges is particularly demonstrated in the former and following pages, but nowhere from any such ground as he mentions, as the reader may see.
2. In his 6th page, to render my sayings contradictions, he saith <475> that in my 32nd page I deny the possession of God in his saints, and in my 25th page confess the body to be the temple of the Lord in which God primely and chiefly dwelleth and manifesteth himself, &c., and so say and unsay. These his words.
Now see the falseness of them: read through that 32nd page and see where the possession of God in his saints is denied. Contrariwise, his dwelling in the believer's heart is asserted, and the manner how explicated, according to the Scriptures of truth, in these words: "That same Jesus that is in our nature in that body (then, and so prepared for him as before) set down on the right hand of Majesty in the heavens, even he that person that is personally absent from the believer is dwelling in the believer's heart, by faith of and in him; and so the Father in and through Christ (2 Cor. 5:6-7; Eph. 3:17,19; 1 Pet. 1:8; John 12:45)." Again, in the same page, in these words: "As he (that is Christ) is now given virtually and spiritually in the testimony of him, so all things pertaining to life and godliness are given in and with him in a like manner, and to be enjoyed by faith in him and in the first fruits of the Spirit. And when he shall appear again personally in the glory of his Father and with his holy angels, then all things forementioned shall be given with him, in such manner as to be enjoyed by way of actual possession in fullness and glory, and in such enjoyment of his personal presence forever; even the fullness of all spiritual blessings (which now we are blessed with in Christ our treasury) and the total and eternal redemption of the body. Of this glory, Christ is in and to our hearts the hope, not the possession; nor do we possess the glory, for then hope should cease. But if we hope for that we see not (which indeed we do, when Christ our forerunner is our hope as aforesaid) then do we with patience wait for it." These are my words in that page.
Observe here, the believer is affirmed to receive and enjoy God dwelling in his heart by faith in Christ, and in a first fruits of all spiritual blessings. And that that glory which I affirm the believer doth not actually possess in this day is expressly and restrictively, this glory, viz., the fullness and harvest of all spiritual blessings (which now we are blessed with in Christ our treasury) and the total and eternal redemption of the body. And so, the glory spoken of (Col. 1:27, with Rom. 5:2), of which he saith, "Christ is in and to us the hope." And see if Rom. 8:18,25 say not the same.
The other part of his charge, to make up the contradiction, is that in my 25th page I confess "the body to be the temple of the Lord, in which God primely and chiefly dwelleth, &c." See the notoriousness of that falsehood.
My words in that 25th page are these: "The body also is said to be <476> the temple of the Lord; it being the tabernacle of that mind, spirit, or inner man in which God primely and chiefly dwelleth and manifesteth himself in and through the testimony of Jesus there received." Do not these words plainly render the mind, spirit, or inner man of the believer, as compared with the body or outer man, the tabernacle thereof, to be primely and chiefly the subject of God's indwelling, habitation, and manifestation: which spirit of the believer is therefore said to be made alive for righteousness sake, while the body is yet dead because of sin, as is also expressed, page 24. To which sayings there, that forementioned in the 25th page refers; there needs no more but reading my words in either or both pages to show how grossly he belies them.
3. In his 9th page he again alters and falsifies my sayings to make another seeming contradiction in them, as that I say, "that there is not in man any light, knowledge or understanding to make them sensible of their idolatry and wickedness." And that in the next page I say, "Although the word be nigh them in their hearts." And to this he adds, "what? is not the word, light, understanding," &c.? My words, in Epistle, page 8, are these, "That no man hath in him, as of him, that light, spirit or wisdom in the inward parts, by which he may get in the knowledge of what is done for him in Christ or apply it to himself." And in the same page I add, "Nor while abiding in his natural state is there any such wisdom, capacity or spirit, so as received by or lodging in him, as are to be his teacher and rule; neither is there in them any light, knowledge, or understanding, to make them sensible of their idolatry and wickedness, they not liking to retain his knowledge inspired in the word." All this saith not "that there is not in man any such light or spirit"; but "not in man, as of him," nor while abiding in his natural state and not liking to retain the manifestations of God to him, is there any such thing as received by or lodging in him."
The words belied by him in the next page, which he would make people believe do signify, "that the word is not light, and that the word may be in a man and not the true light or spirit, in a like sense in him." They are these,
"Though it's true that the true light is in the testimony of Jesus, or of God's goodness, that is in and through him, through all means shining in and to the dark and darkened hearts of men (even of such men) while the day of God's grace and patience is towards them, and that so as it might be received (it would in such coming enlighten the darkness and strengthen to receive it), yet the darkness comprehends it not. And so, though the word be nigh them in their hearts, that it might be, yet is it not received by them in their hearts, or dwelling there as a light or principle to direct them, while so abiding in their natural state or in <477> their rebellion against the word or testimony, in and with which the light, Spirit, and Power comes: which is no further received by or dwelling in any man, than that word in and with which it is, is received by or dwelling in him."
What contradiction is in this to that before? Or where are the word and Spirit divided, as if one might be in a man without the other? But the wisdom of God is foolishness with James Nayler.
4. In the same 9th page, he charges me with saying "that the grace of God that brings salvation instructs not to look for any light or Spirit in them for direction," &c. See the abominableness of his forgery in this also. My words in the foresaid epistle, immediately following those forenoted, page 9, are these: "From which consideration, that grace of God that brings salvation to all men instructs them not to look into themselves nor to any light or spirit in them for direction, but unto Jesus," &c. I do not say, "That it teaches not to look for any light in them," &c., but not into themselves, or into any light or spirit in them (as before, as of them) for their light and direction, but to Jesus, as being the fountain of it. According to that demonstration of him, as Moses lift up the serpent in the wilderness, which (it appears) offended James so that he could not see what he read. For he knew that the brazen serpent was an object prepared for the people, not of them nor in them, but without them; and so lifted up too, that in looking to it, as so lifted up, they might be healed. And those that knew more of the inward, instructing, healing and saving operations of the grace of God than J.N. yet have made this their acknowledgment unto God, and before angels and men: "Oh Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh, to direct his steps" (Jer. 10:23). Again, "I know that in me" (that is, in my flesh) "dwelleth no good thing" (Rom. 7:18).
5. Again in the same page he says that I endeavor to make people believe "that dwelling in the light within opens a gap to all popery and corrupt principles."
But whoever reads page 10 and 11 of the epistle will find that I mention something else (and not that) as opening the gap to the letting in popery, or any corrupt spirit or principle; and so to that for one. The directing people generally to adhere to the light within them, or their own spirit, which is darkness itself, and not to the Spirit of God, as James would falsely insinuate. And that which I mention as so opening the gap, &c., is first and chiefly this principle, that the mind or meaning of the Holy Ghost is not expressed in his words, &c., as there more at large.
6. Again in the same page he saith, "that I would deny the infallible Spirit of God for giving the sense of the Scriptures, and that I say we have the same ground for that that the papists have for the <478> pope or Council." See his gross slander. My words in epistle, page 11, are these: "These that follow after differ not much; they say it must be some spirit of or in them, which they suppose to be infallible." As much ground for one as for another.
7. In the same page he saith, "I call perfection a devilish doctrine, and so Christ's doctrine and his apostles' devilish," which charge he renews, page 17 and 30; my words are in epistle, page 12 (speaking before of some other corrupt imaginations), "That it requires but a little to make up their devilish doctrine of perfection." All may see that I do not here call perfection, or the doctrine of perfection, devilish; but their doctrine of perfection devilish; yet he is not ashamed to renew this falsehood so oft in his book, and in page 30 to conclude from it that I render the end of Christ's giving gifts to be devilish; to which I answer, I nowhere find that the end of Christ's giving gifts is to perfect men in a way of lying, proud boasting, and false accusing, which appears by him to be the perfection their doctrine and principles lead to.
8. In his 10th page he charges me with denying him (namely Christ) and his working any of his works of righteousness in his creatures now, which he saith I do in divers places of my book (but he mentions none); his gross slander in this also appears in that forementioned 12th page of the Epistle, to which it may be seen he primely alludes, where my words are, "All those principles and apprehensions in which men are directed to have their rejoicing and consolation originally in some gracious frame or qualification wrought in them, or some works of righteousness done by them, and not in the person and works of Christ in his own body for them. These have opened the gap," &c. How far is this from denying him, or his working anything of his works of righteousness in the creatures now? It fully acknowledgeth & takes for granted that there may be, and are in many, gracious frames and qualifications wrought in them; and thence, some works of righteousness done by them. Nor doth it deny all rejoicing in them but rather signifies, there may be some secondary rejoicing in some sense in them, as 2 Cor. 1:12. It only reproves, as evil, those principles or apprehensions in which men are directed to have their rejoicings and consolation originally in them and not in the person and works of Christ in his own body for them.
9. Farther, in his said 10th page, being put to his shift for some pretended answer, to shuffle off what I say about magnifying and serving the belly, in the later end of my Epistle, and in page 45, and in some other places of my book, he invents another notorious slander, namely, "That I could not abide from my dinner"; and "that it was my act to break up the dispute"; and "that in my book I confess it my act <479> and excuse it." The falseness of which, as far as it concerns my book, may be seen in Epistle, page 4 and 5, where it's clear.
1) That I do not confess any act on our part as to breaking up the dispute, but a desire of Mr. Wray to break off for an hour to refresh ourselves, and that we might meet with more conveniency of room after, otherwhere. Sure none will judge there was anything in this desire that had tendency to break up the dispute, but to continue and enlarge liberty and conveniency for it: if any broke up the dispute it was first R.F., who, when it might be perceived by them probably that James could not shuffle any longer, to keep off from the queries at first propounded, spent about an hour's time in a set speech, nothing to the business, and without intermission that any might answer him. It may seem the dispute was then broke up on their part; and after, when we moved for liberty to reason with them before the people, they oft bade us with unchristian, uncivil and peremptory language, stop our mouths. And after that, James and the rest refused to come to a place of more conveniency, when desired.
2) That which I do mention about it is no confession of my act but of Mr. Wray's desire, which needs no plea of excuse; the desire itself, with the occasions of it, show its reasonableness; for what he signifies I had then to prove but could not, I know not what he means; but I thank God there was no such thing; through the grace of God I could have said much more to everything we spake to if they would have suffered me, and I did say more than they either did or have yet answered (as I shall further show anon), but this is like what follows, where he saith "I make excuses for my errors then uttered." The reader will not find that I acknowledge through my book any errors then uttered or that I make excuses for them he calls errors, but demonstrate their truth by the testimony of Jesus in the Scriptures.
10. In his 11th page he charges me with accusing them for murdering the Just One in them, the same he renews in his 15th page with the signification of another, as notorious a falsehood, to fasten an absurdity on me, viz., "That I deny Christ's being in any since his ascension." The falseness of which also hath been showed already and shall be farther manifest. This charge of my accusing them as before is also in his catalogue of lies, page 52, the abominable falseness of which may be seen in my words (speaking of the Quakers) in Epistle page 6, these they are: "That it's their counsel to all men, I have oft heard it, and seen it in many of their papers, even to such as they then judged to be yet wallowing in their filthiness, turned out of the presence of God, murdering the Just One in them; yet to turn the eye inward, to look to the light in them," &c. In which word it's evident that those expressions of murdering the Just One in them are by me rendered as their sayings <480> and not as my own, nor are they my sayings anywhere in the book.
11. In his 12th page he saith I "go about to make the Scriptures the absolute ground and medium of faith," where he puts in "ground" for "rule," a gross and willful alteration, seeing also in all places where I mention it, I render Jesus Christ as the only absolute ground, foundation and bottom of it, as well as the object, and so the Father in him.5
12. In his 14th page, he says "that I say 'God was' (not 'God is') manifest in flesh."
My sayings are "that that scripture" (1 Tim. 3:16, speaking of those great things of the mystery of godliness, as done only in that one person) "saith not, God is, but God was manifest in the flesh."6
13. In his 16th page, after he hath said "that if I mind I may see the liar, false accuser, and envious blasphemer," he adds, "that I say in my 24th page that it cannot be perfectly said that God in an absolute sense was, or is manifested in the flesh of any son of Adam." And yet in my next page, "that the body is the temple of the Lord, in which God primely and chiefly dwelleth, and manifesteth himself."
Now reader mind, and see where (to use his own expressions) the liar, false accuser, and envious blasphemer rules in the heart.
My words are these, "that it could not properly be said, that in a full or absolute sense, God was or is manifested in the flesh of any natural son of Adam, in the time of this mortality, nor so as he was in that person," &c.7 James leaves out the words "natural," and "in the time of this mortality"; besides also the whole clause that follows. But the forementioned words are such as without which that mentioned by him cannot stand at all as my saying, but his slander. And that he charges me to say in the next page is already showed to be altogether false, and far from my meaning or words, which say, "It's the believer's spirit or inner man in which God primely and chiefly dwelleth," &c., as in that page the reader may more fully see.8
14. In the close of his 19th page he charges me, but falsely too, with saying "that none have yet ceased from their own works." My sayings are, "that none here have yet so ceased from their own works, as God did from his, but our forerunner, who is already entered for us."9
15. In his 21st page, he charges me with saying "that their boast of some inward light or spirit, to be listened to and received, must needs be another spirit, and bring in another Jesus, a contrary anointing." This false also: my words are, "that when this word or gospel of Christ is slighted or rejected as a dead letter, and yet some <481> inward light or spirit boasted of and propounded to be listened to and received, that must needs be another spirit than that which is in and with that hearing of faith; yea, a contrary spirit, such as is in and with such contrary and strange doctrines as bring another Jesus, a contrary anointing."10 James leaves out the whole first clause that gives the rule to discern whose "boast of spirit" is so to be accounted and so altogether slanders my saying and owns himself to be one of those that do so "slight and reject the word of the Lord" and yet pretend Spirit.
16. In his 29th page, he charges me with saying of the letter, "that therein is known the whole counsel and mystery of God," &c. What I say is of the holy Scriptures, the things left on record from the one mouth of his prophets and apostles since the world began, given forth by immediate inspiration and according to the commandment of the everlasting God. And that which I say of them is, "that in them, God hath made known the mystery of his will," &c.11 By and by, James adds, as my saying, "Even in those Scriptures which Timothy had known from his youth, and nothing to be added." But that word "nothing to be added," is there falsely added by him. And upon that addition, he would fasten this absurdity: "That I judge the apostles' writings, which are added since, to be superfluous." But my saying there, without his addition, signifies no such thing, only is used (as by the apostle in the place cited) to note what he means by the Scriptures he commends to him, even those things which God having spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets that had already spoken to us in the name of the Lord, were given forth and left on record, also by inspiration of God, and so preserved in the records on the account of his righteousness for our instruction, on whom the ends of the world are come, that Timothy "had known them from a child" (those of them that were so already given forth), which were the same things, and spoken by the same mouth of God, with those that followed by the apostles, who said nothing but what the prophets said should come, in which respect the apostles' doctrine which they wrote is said to be "not a new commandment, but an old commandment; even the word they had heard from the beginning" (1 John 2:7). So that they were the same that he had known from a child; though those farther revelations of the same thing, then added by them, he had not so known from a child, or those of them not then given forth. Nor do I say, "Those and only those he had so known, or in those he had then known so as no farther revelations of the same thing was then to be added." Where I add that clause, "Nothing more <482> to be added," it is "Unto that last and fullest revelation of the mystery given, or to be given to mortal men, and in this corruptible state of the world that began to be preached by the Lord himself and was completed and confirmed by those immediate messengers that had received of his fullness in that respect" (as John 1:16, with Eph. 1:10).12
Yea, how I have asserted the authority, usefulness, and excellency of the narrations and declarations of the mystery as come forth and manifested in Christ, by the apostles last, that were of the first trusters in him,13 as so manifested (Eph. 1:12) and received their whole word and doctrine immediately from him, may be seen in that book. And how the apostles had received of his fullness, and so the last dispensation or revelation of the mystery to be given forth until Christ's second personal appearance; and so how by them, the giving forth of the Scriptures of truth, the revelation of the mystery out of the Scriptures of the former prophets, unto all nations for the obedience of faith, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, was completed, as (Rom. 1:1,5 & 16:25-26; John 1:16; Eph. 1:10; Heb. 1:1-2 and 2:1,4) may also be seen in that book.14
So that in this James evidently appears seeking to catch at a word, which yet he cannot make serve his turn without his false addition, to introduce a notorious lie in his own knowledge, as is evident to all that read that book.
While yet he judges and condemns me at a high rate in his 17th and 18th pages, for but propounding my standing in doubt of him (no more than the apostles doth to the Galatians and Corinths, Gal. 4:20; 2 Cor. 11:1),15 though also I have good ground for my jealousy of him, from the whole sum and scope of his own sayings, without wresting or catching at words, much more without altering and adding. But to use his own words, "It's as hard for his spirit to speak truth as for a leopard to change his spots." His mouth is full of cursing, fraud and deceit; under his tongue is mischief and vanity; as one that hath said, "With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are our own, who is Lord over us?" (Ps. 10:7 and 12:4); see how he goes on.
17. In his 30th page, besides the renewing of his lie twice before told, that I call perfection a devilish doctrine, he charges me with saying "that they deny the sufficiency of God's teaching, who deny the sufficiency of the Scripture, as to lead to God without the Spirit to give the meaning and lead to the use of them." These his words. Now see the notorious falseness of them: my sayings are these, "They that deny, slight, or throw by the holy Scriptures, either in their authority, clearness, <483> certainty, agreement, truth or sufficiency, as not being able to make wise to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus," &c. "without some additional helps of men's learning or art, or without the imagination of their own spirit or some other spirit than what is in and with them to give the meaning, they deny the sufficiency of God's teaching," &c.16 Here, besides his slander, note, he intimately owns some other spirit than that in and with the Scriptures, as God's Spirit.
18. In his 31st page he tells me, "I say while people are here, they must be imperfect in everything." My words are these: "While they are here, they being imperfect in everything as to attainment" (observe the restriction of the sense, "as to attainment" as Phil. 3:12-13), "not knowing as they are known," &c., "they have therefore still need of those means of God's appointment for their growth to the perfect day."17
19. In his 32nd page, mentioning the 6th query, he leaves out the word "immediately," which he could not but see in the query; and also, carefully observed and chiefly insisted on in the several distinct answers to that query, which he takes no notice of, and yet leaving out that material word in the query and answers too he saith, "To this I answer, No," which is another notorious falsehood.18
20. In his 44th page, he renders as my saying, and as the whole sum of my answer to the 9th query, "That the word is not a principle in men that believe or mind it not." Whereas my words, after a full answer to the query, are these: "That word in the preaching of it comes, or is made nigh unto men through the power in and with it, that it might be received, though it is not naturally nigh to or in any man, but shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehends it not; nor otherwise is it as a habit or indwelling principle in men that believe or mind it not" (as more full in the book).19
21. In his 47th page he saith, "that (in answer to the 14th query) I would bind the light only to the enlightening of them who are believers." Whereas my words are, "That Christ the true light is in his influences virtually and spiritually among men and dwelling in them, in whom he dwelleth by faith." Where it's evident that the men among whom he is affirmed to be virtually and spiritually are men distinct from and besides believers, even all men in due time, as is more full in that answer before. And anon he saith, "I would limit it to be personal." Let the reader see the falseness.
22. In his page 49 he charges me with saying "that they believe no such thing as the grace of God appearing to all men." My words <484> are in Postscript page 1: "that they believe no such thing as the grace of God appearing to men and bringing salvation to them, as a thing wrought in another for them, and thence and therewith moving in saving operations," &c. Like to this in Epistle page 6: "That they acknowledge not the grace of God in the death and resurrection of Christ, as accomplished in that his own body, as being the foundation of or bringing salvation to men." To which words also James alludes in his second accusation in his catalogue; but, as here, he leaves out all those following parts of my saying in the Postscript, viz., "Bringing salvation as a thing wrought in another for them, and thence and therewith moving in saving operations." So there he leaves out the like material words used in the Epistle to the same purpose, viz., "As accomplished in that his own body," without which words (so left out by him) they are neither of them my sayings but his gross slanders; yet doubtless this instruction we may learn from his leaving out those material clauses to the same purpose in each place, that as the sayings stood whole as they came from me, they were so true a charge that he durst not deny them nor encounter with them; which we may be confirmed in by observing the like policy used by him in other places, as in his 13th accusation in his catalogue, he leaves out the words "And the only virtuousness of them" which the reader may find in my saying to which he there alludes,20 and so in most of those accusations my words are altered and the expressions most galling them left out.
23. Farther in his 49th page he saith "I would make people believe he denies the Scriptures," because he bids blind guides search them. And that the greatest ground for my rendering their bottom principles, and the Ranters, one is Richard Farnworth writing a book against them: but all that read the Postscript, to which in this he alludes, may see there, as well as in other places of that book, that I give other grounds for demonstration of the truth of what I charge them with as to those things, and not them he mentions.21
But his directing others to the Scriptures, and R.F. writing against the Quakers, neither appearing to be in truth but in hypocrisy, or in the hidden things of dishonesty, I bring as instances to prove their pretending highly for or against a thing, when in truth they intend neither; which also he accuses me for, as lies in his forementioned catalogue; but it's again proved true by himself in this book, where many times he pretends to acknowledge the grace of God bringing salvation to men; and yet in his 49th page signifies it to be in no other sense than the natural life is brought to <485> them, which all reasonable men know, after it's once given of God, cannot be properly said to be always or daily bringing unto them, nor doth the Scripture anywhere so say of it; but that it's graciously preserved by him from the womb and oft strengthened and renewed; but in another sense the grace of God is daily (during the day of his grace and patience) bringing salvation in and by Christ unto men (as also the forementioned comfortable preservations and renewings of the natural life is by him) as we have showed both in the Antidote and in Mercies for Men (p. 69), which further sense of bringing salvation in the supernatural influences of the light and power of God's Spirit in the discoveries of salvation in another for them, and thence moving in saving operations (as before) it may appear both here and in what we have noted before James acknowledgeth, not according to the Scriptures, and yet would pretend highly to it.
And of like nature with these notorious slanders are many of those in his catalogue of what he charges on me as lies, viz., such as the reader may, by comparing, see how falsely he charges me; as in the first, with saying "that they did signify their resolution not to come to the meeting." My words are in Epistle page 1, "That we understood so"; and so we did by what we heard; which I am persuaded was true; and "that J.N. was one that signified he would not come." However the thing is true. We heard it, so likewise as we have already showed in some others of them: some are gross and notorious slanders; most of them are so expressed as my words are wronged and altered. But, as delivered by me, the reader may see the truth of the most of them in my book and by that may judge of the rest. So that his delivering them as slanders, as delivered by me, makes up so many more lies and slanders from his own pen: see for his 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th charges: what my sayings are, and what demonstration of the truth of them, in the Epistle, page 6, 7, &c., with Postscript and book, for his 9th and 10th see page 7 of the Antidote, for the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th see page 12, and compare with it the whole discourse of them in that book; for the 17th see page 25 and 37 and 59 and 60. Yea, see if his pretended answer do not abundantly confirm that of their slighting the Scripture and so also the truth of those following, falsely called slanders (as delivered by me) as to his seeking to introduce another Jesus, Spirit, gospel, &c.,22 besides the faithfulness of the discovery there made from his own letter and other sayings which he denies not: I say, besides that, let the reader see what he saith in his book, page 51, speaking of the devil's not having such an advantage against that he calls the truth, he saith, "since it begun to be spread in <486> the nation." And in the later end of his 49th page he mentions 3 or 4 years in which that by him called truth hath been writ and spoke against. And in his 21st page, in answer to what I say, "That there is not another manner of preaching to be given now than that delivered and left us by the apostles." After he hath moulded it into other terms, which he found not in my book, then he answers thus, "That then we may spare our pains, &c., for that is preached and printed already," &c. Which answer as given to what I said as delivered by me, fully signifies that if there were not something to be added, and another manner of preaching to be given forth by men, now, there were no need of preaching or printing, no need of being put in remembrance of the things we have already heard in the word of the truth of the gospel as delivered by the apostles, or of opening and comparing those Scriptures for our instruction on whom the ends of the world are come: if we have no new thing, no other manner of preaching to bring, they would have us say nothing. It seems by this their work is to bring in a new and another manner of preaching which is but of 3 or 4 years standing, as appears by comparing this with the forementioned pages and other places in his book. And then must needs be another; for their doctrine we had in the records mercifully preserved to us, and preached and suffered for too, and that in this nation long before the name of Quakers was heard of.
Likewise the truth of those other discoveries of the lying and antichristian spirit in them, some of which right, some wrong he mentions and calls, but falsely, my lies and slanders; I say, the truth of them may appear in a diligent perusal of his own book and by comparing it with what it pretends to answer, as through God's grace we shall further show before we have done with it.
2) We come now to give some instances of his false charging of the sum and scope of the things asserted and maintained in my book, such as may be easily discerned by every understanding reader, as to mention those that pertain to one thing together.
I. That I would exclude God and Christ, the Spirit and light out of the world; and that he should no more dwell in his people till doomsday.23
That I make it my work to preach him out of the world till doomsday and confine him in the heavens, and have excluded him from being a way to those now in the world; and have limited his person from the earth till doomsday, and do not confess his Spirit manifest in the creature.
That I have denied him in myself and would thrust him out of the world.24
<487> That I deny the Father and Son in the saints.
That my work in that book is to make an eternal separation between the creature and Creator, and keep God out of his dwelling place, yea, as far distant as heaven and earth.25
To deny God manifest in me, or being in any since his ascension, or working in us.
That I do not own him present, to judge, rule, and guide.
That my work in that book is to preach him out of the heart, and not to be manifest in the flesh.
The notorious falseness of which charges every understanding reader of that book may easily discern, and see the contrary even in those places whence he takes the occasion of his slanders. Namely,
That the majesty of God, whose throne is in heaven, is in his inspections, influences, and operations everywhere, and in his gracious and spiritual presence and manifested nighness in and through his Son dwelling in Zion, even in the hearts and societies of his people.26
That the great end of Christ's ascension, and appearing in the presence of God for us, and receiving gifts, was for men, even for the rebellious, that the Lord might dwell upon them; and that to that purpose he might fill all things with the influences and virtues of his sufferings and give the peculiar gifts to the church.27
That that Spirit that essentially and immeasurably dwells in the person of Christ is in his instructing and reproving influences in the gospel and goes forth to men in and with the testimony of Jesus, with whom God gives all things pertaining to life and godliness.28
That the word of faith in the preaching of it vouchsafed comes or is made nigh to men in their heart, in their mouth, that it might be received though not naturally nigh to or in any man.29
That in and through that word Christ, that is personally absent from the believer, is yet dwelling in his heart by faith, and in the first fruits of the Spirit; and so the Father in and through him. See the places noted, pages 2 & 3.30
That God was manifest in the flesh in that one person, in, and to the accomplishment of those works for us which he hath finished, and is received up into glory.31
That thence virtually and spiritually dwelling among men, and in the hearts and societies of his people, he may be said in some sense now to dwell and be manifested in their mortal body. And shall in due time be <488> gloriously manifested therein, when this mortal shall put on immortality, even in that glorious manifestation of the sons of God for which we wait.
II. That I deny that Spirit Christ promised to send for teaching; and so his sending him to be grace;32 with many more suchlike charges through his book. The notorious falseness of which, yea, the contrary to it, may be seen in all forenoted: yea, particularly in that he takes the occasion of his slander from; see Epistle, page 9 & 10, and in the answer to the 5th & 14th query: it's men's own understanding and spirit that is in them, as of them; and what that inclines them to listen to and receive, namely, the spirit of the world and of Satan, that I would not have people adhere to.
III. That I plead against perfection and for sin with all my power.33 This charge also is oft renewed. And how he belies my words, as rendering "perfection a devilish doctrine" we have already showed. But according to my words there falsified by him, such through the grace of God is my work in that book, and all other services as I have occasion and opportunity: namely, to plead against "their devilish doctrine of perfection" that would present men "perfect in themselves," while there is "nothing perfect,"34 that so they may not look to that perfection in Christ or not follow on through faith and hope therein, to the attaining the resurrection of the dead, but as though they had already attained, either were already perfect, sit down short of entering into his rest, rejoicing in some sensual fancied and imaginary kingdom and glory, and so in their fleshly mortification, zeal, &c., which is abominable to God; yea, while they boast of and promise others in listening to them, liberty, freedom from sin, glorious conquest in themselves (as the serpent beguiled Eve with promise of a better condition and more glorious likeness to God than that God had set them in). They themselves are the servants of corruption and in a great measure, if not fully, given over to believe lies: this I am pleading against. And as hard pleading for that which they account sin (namely such spirits as forementioned), that is the looking to that Jesus who is the very Christ, and the grace of God in and through him. And the so receiving the love of the truth as to save us from our sins, that so we may be washed in his blood with the washing of water by the word, and so daily redeemed from every evil word and work and way, and preserved to his heavenly kingdom, as Phil. 3; 2 Tim. 4:6-8. Thus, how short soever I come of answering them, the principles of certainty and truth I have received, held forth, <489> and professed, do instruct and lead me to be pleading with men and persuading them with all my might. And if this render me vile with them, I hope I shall be more vile still.
IV. That I deny the resurrection.35 Which charge is grounded from my asserting that 1 Tim. 6:16; John 1:18. I may well be contented to bear this slander when he reckons the apostle Paul and John with me in it, and so blasphemes the Holy Spirit by which they spake. But haply he may say I added to their words: no mere man as from Adam. To which I say, I did indeed put in that as a parenthesis to hint to the sense the Scriptures give of themselves and of one another. And see if it have not its ground in the words. First, John in his delivery of that doctrine, "No man hath seen God at any time," signifies the exception of one man, even the only begotten Son of God, who was then made flesh and had dwelt among them. He was now actually in the man, even in that his own personal body, in which he had dwelt among them in the bosom of the Father, appearing in his presence, and always beholding his face for us; and he had revealed him. But this one man was not simply, merely, or only a man as from Adam, but is the only begotten Son of God, the word that was in the beginning with him. And now that he became man, it was not by way of natural propagation as all others, but the word was made flesh by a wonderful and supernatural way, "a new creation" made of a woman by the Holy Ghost coming on her, and the power of the Highest overshadowing her. Therefore the words "natural, or mere man as from Adam," would except him.
Again, secondly, the Scriptures together say, "No man hath seen, or can see"; but neither of them say, nor did I say, "they shall never see." For, though not as in and from Adam, yet in and by Christ, in the virtues of him, and by his voice and power, all shall be made alive and appear before the judgment seat of Christ; and then shall "the pure in heart," that are washed in his blood, "see God" (Matt. 5:8). But neither the felicity of the saints in the enjoyment of God, nor the resurrection of all, & appearing before his judgment seat, comes from Adam or shall happen to them as they are merely from Adam; but as they are the price of Christ's redemption and given to him to dispose and judge; for as by "the first man came death, so by the second man," the Lord from heaven, "came the resurrection from the dead." Therefore the words, "mere man as from Adam," and so the like words used in a like case (page 24) which James leaves out (as we have noted) in his mentioning of something as my saying there; namely the words "natural son of <490> Adam" and "in the time of this mortality"; they do not only except "the only begotten Son of God made man, who is glorified with the Father's own self in our nature"; but they do also as properly and fully except "the children of the resurrection."36 So that that clause aptly signified both the forementioned instructions, and no more denied the resurrection than the Scriptures without it did; but fully signified, and that as contained in the Scripture, both the excellency of the person of the only begotten Son of God in man's nature, and also the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead by him, at both which it may seem James was angry, he would have it understood in such a sense as in which, according to his imagination, it may be alike applied to every man, not that one forementioned Jesus of Nazareth excepted, who only for present could be excepted by that clause.
Again, he would have it no otherwise applied to any man than as it shall be forever their condition, as may seem by his carping at that word, in which it may appear that he acknowledgeth not the only excellency of that one person of the only begotten Son of God, in that one personal body in man's nature; nor doth otherwise acknowledge any resurrection or judgment to come, but as made in men in this life; and truly, that they are at least reprobate, or of no judgment concerning the faith in these great things, may farther appear in this; though sometimes they will pretend an acknowledgment of them in equivocal terms, that people may not fear to listen to them. Yet let these three things be minded:
1) They never make it their work in their speakings or writings to preach, lift up, or commend that Jesus, as in that his own personal body, the works of our redemption were finished in him; and that that Jesus is the very Christ, and so the resurrection of the dead bodies of men, and the judgment to come, as grounded on the death and resurrection of Christ for men; I say, though they will seem in equivocal terms to acknowledge something of these things, as to the first of them James doth in the beginning of his book, yet they make it not their work thus to preach Jesus and the resurrection (as the apostles did, Acts 4:2 & 17:2,3,18) in any of their discourses; they lift not up or set before men these things, but lay them by as strange things impertinent to their purpose, or as mean, low and carnal things, to be left behind them; verifying that I have written to him the great things of my law, and they are counted strange things, they can make up their whole doctrine and matters without that which God hath laid in Zion as the foundation of all, and that set before us in the gospel as the end of all. They would not <491> be thought to deny, but they confess not in their preachings as the great things of God's law, they lift not up, they magnify not the Son of Man, and these great things of God's doctrine in him. Witness James, in his book, in the conclusion of which he professeth to lay down their principles, and that as to the things spoken of in my book, as plainly as he can: and yet in them all asserts nothing of that Jesus of Nazareth, in that which he hath done and is become in that his own personal body for us; much less lays that as the foundation of all, which is so laid by God; but under his second head brings in something seemingly about it, in equivocal terms, but that is not brought in as a thing asserted or propounded as the foundation of what he hath to say; but as if he were afraid of it, that he should not be able to make good his matters against it, he brings it in with a "though," "though Christ Jesus in himself hath suffered," &c. The equivocalness of his terms we shall also show when we come at it; he seems to bring in Christ here and array him in a gorgeous robe, as Herod and his men of war did, that he may mar his visage and mock at him, as so presented to the people; nor doth he assert in any of those principles the doctrine of the second personal appearance of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and glory then to be revealed,37 which the Holy Ghost also propounds as one of those great things of God's law, the end of all done for us, required of us, and to be wrought in us. They make it not their work to preach, lift up, or commend Jesus and the resurrection. Then,
2) Let this be also diligently observed: They apply all those scriptures that speak of that Jesus, and the works wrought and finished in his own body, in which he bore our sins to the tree, to themselves, as verified in some internal operations in them; witness James his book, see page 8,24,25,&c., in which they say "I am Christ"; but they are false Christs; yea, likewise all those scriptures that speak of Christ's second personal appearance, the resurrection of the dead, and the glory then to be revealed, they mention and apply, whenever they speak of them, as verified and accomplished in them now. They leave nothing of the declarations of our hope, that they so invert not: witness also this book, see his 8th page, with his letter and the answer to it in the Antidote, page 43 and 44, and the same things intimately (though in equivocal terms) acknowledged again in this book, page 20 and 21; but evident enough in all their discourses and in their books generally. Yea, farther,
3. If any do truly and plainly assert and preach these things concerning Jesus and the resurrection, which yet they say they hold, and <492> revile all that would signify or be jealous of anything otherwise of them—as James doth me for my jealousies about his true acknowledgment of the person of Christ in the heavens; yet I say, if any do truly and plainly assert and preach these things according to the Scriptures, they shall be by them therefore reproached and reviled, as the heathens reviled the apostles for preaching Jesus and the resurrection (Acts 17:18). "What will this babbler say?" a term frequently used by James in his book; yea, he saith, "I have sufficiently proved myself to be an antichristian spirit," and reproaches me for making so much ado to demonstrate and prove Christ's personal appearance in the presence of God in our nature in the heavens, and the necessity and usefulness of his being there, and our holding fast that acknowledgment of him; and yet he reproacheth me also for standing in doubt of his not right holding it: but all may see good grounds for my doubts in his great rage at my plain demonstration of it, and calling it vain babbling, with other gross reproaches and slanders thence cast on me, as even now we showed. He acknowledgeth that Jesus as the very Christ, and the resurrection of the dead, as Judas did his Master, when having given a secret note to them that followed him: "Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he" (take him away, he is the heir, murder him, and none will, like him, hinder our claim to the inheritance), "then he cries, Hail Master, and kissed him." So that if things be rightly weighed James will appear either a denier or the same in effect, a not acknowledger of Jesus and the resurrection, according to the Scriptures; yea, a secret or privy underminer of that acknowledgment.
I desire these three things may be diligently observed, wherever found in any spirit, that we may know them, that whatever they seem to confess to blind people withal, yet they make it not the sum and subject matter of their preaching, even Jesus and the resurrection, according to the Scriptures; but lift up or commend something else. 2. Pervert all those scriptures (that speak to those things) as verified in them, as before. 3. Are in the greatest rage against those that plainly preach the same things, showing that Jesus to be the very Christ, and through him demonstrating the resurrection, according to the Scriptures (though themselves would yet seem to confess them). Note further what we shall say to the discovery of these spirits in the close.
Divers more such slanders I might mention, the grossness of which every reader may see; but I shall have occasion to discover some more of them in my following discovery of the weakness and unsoundness of his pretended answers; therefore here I add no more to that.
And for those things that the reader can have no other satisfaction in than by my saying on the one hand, and James on the other, without farther witness; for which I shall not trouble myself, though there be <493> many that can and would witness the truth of them if it were needful; but to those things I say, I shall only add that I call God for a record upon my soul, I speak as in the presence of the great Judge, before whom we must both appear, that I have not spoken anything of them untruly, to the utmost of my knowledge.
And for what James says to excuse their incivilities and revilings, viz., that "one of my companions had his staff up to have knocked him down in the yard, gnashing at him with his teeth, and narrowly he escaped,"38 that it was not so, though that passage whence he takes the occasion for that slander is not mentioned in the Antidote, yet forasmuch as it concerns my brother, and the truth much more, I shall briefly declare the notorious falseness of that also, and give the reader a true report of that passage.
That one of my companions and brethren in the faith and patience of Jesus, Captain Goodrick by name, which I the rather mention, that all that know the temper of the man's spirit in his converse with all men may judge how unlike it is he could be put into such a distemper or provoked to such a rash and unadvised act by all their incivilities, seeing also he never looked for better from them; that he I say had a small riding stick in his hand (being on horseback to come away, as most of us were) is true, but that he had it up to have knocked James down, or to have knocked him at all, is altogether false; and so it is that he gnashed on him with his teeth; but thus it was, when we had many times desired liberty39 to manifest and prove to the people (in answer to James his antichristian witness concerning himself) what we had propounded as to the one offering of Christ to bear our sins finished in his own body, and to his second personal appearance yet to be waited for: I say, when we had oft desired freedom to this and could not obtain it, but they grew more clamorous, we took our horses to leave them; yet Mr. Wray, desirous to obtain freedom, was still laboring for it; we stayed a while most of us on horseback to see the issue.
In which time, my brother Goodrick applied himself to James Nayler, persuading him to give and procure with his companions such quiet freedom as was desired; in which he used some action (as is ordinary in discourses) with his hand, in which his stick was (his bridle being in the other). And as I remember (who was very near him) it was by pointing, or reaching with his hand towards James (that was willingly heedless) to move him to listen to what he said, James on a sudden turning towards him and spying his stick in his hand asked him if he would <494> have struck? And as one imagining more advantage than he had to make the people believe such a thing, he stayed not for answer, but with the greatest venom that I have seen, as one in the gall of bitterness, and indeed gnashing his teeth at him, reviled him, saying "Thou dog, thou dog," &c., divers times together; when he had a little vented his bitterness the captain asked him before the people "if he thought in his conscience that he had any intention, or thought, of striking him?" To which he replied, "He would not put his conscience to it. The lifting up of the hand was a sign of striking." But though then he durst not (it may seem his conscience was seared enough to have done it then, but that he could not think such a verdict would have been received from it, there and then, and so it might have been rendered a fallible and erring conscience, for) now he dares advisedly and peremptorily affirm "that one had his staff up to have knocked him down." Oh shameless slander! The contrary was truly verified in that passage, viz., "While he was for peace, and pleading for it, they were for war," as Ps. 120. And left to manifest their unreasonableness and brutishness in a very great measure, having then, though privily under other pretenses, such as Korah's, "Are not all the Lord's people holy?"40 been stoutly despising, treading under foot, or marring the visage of the Son of Man, the only Lord and Prince of Peace, who creates the fruit of his lips, Peace, peace to him that is near, and to him that is afar off.41 But the wicked is like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. His tongue deviseth mischief like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. He loveth evil more than good, and lying rather than to speak righteousness.42 And whereas James seems to bring in this passage as an excuse to their incivilities and clamors, this note: As there is no truth at all in his report of it, so,
1) Whatever it was, it was at our last parting. And the most of their unreasonableness and clamors that I mention in my Antidote was before it.
2) If his report of that passage had been true, and preceded their clamors, yet their being so provoked to retort declares them not to be guided by the Spirit of Christ, who though zealous for his Father's name, yet meekly and patiently endured all injuries done to his person as man, and as a sheep before the shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth when reviled, buffeted, and spit on; he reviled not again, but prayed for his persecutors, did bless them that cursed him, and hath so instructed us to follow his example: and if any shall strike us on the one <495> cheek, to turn to him the other also, and not to give place unto wrath. But James says, "He justifies no such thing." To that I say, and all that were there that took any notice and have any honesty left in them will witness, that himself was as unreasonable and bitter as any and not the least clamorous and reviling: witness the last mentioned, which was without the least occasion given; yea, he is the man that reproached one by his age, calling him "old sot," "old beast," &c., on no other occasion but that he thanked him for dealing more plainly than he had done before in declaring his principles.
And let the reader judge if he have not sufficiently justified such groundless clamors and railing accusations in his book, as (to instance in one) when he hath grossly slandered me of saying "that they murdered the Just One in them" (when every reader may see, as I have before showed, that it is not rendered by me as my sayings but as one of theirs), yet thence he often shamefully reviles me; yea, upon this he cries out, "Thou blind sot."43 And of like revilings on such false grounds his book is full. Sure he will not say this was his Christ, or light in him, that moved him to anger, and break out in such revilings without cause, and upon mistaken and false grounds, unless he will acknowledge his Christ to be, as indeed it is, antichrist: for the true Christ teacheth us not to be angry without a cause, nor to call "Raca" or "thou fool" (Matt. 5:22,44), to which "blind sot" is equivalent. To "speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness to all men" (Tit. 3:2).
This also shows the fallibleness of James's spirit, so far from knowing what's in man as the true Christ doth, or discerning all things as the spiritual man doth. That it cannot understand what it reads, though never so plain, doubtless he was befooled in this and other gross mistakes, as that in his 6th page with reference to my 25th page, that he might see his vanity and that he is yet very imperfect in knowledge, if not very wicked in his will, or both; yea, his spirit by which he is immediately guided appears not only fallible but so lying a one that it seldom tells him true, though he takes all on trust from it—witness his many reproaches of me as a parish-master, hireling, &c. (page 44, 45 and 50). And in many other places in his book, as one of his companions also at Glentworth said, "I would never preach or pray if I had not hundreds by the year." And pretended she knew I was a beneficed man, by the light within her; and so I believe she might. For the devil was a liar from the beginning; when he speaks a lie he speaks of his own; and that makes <496> James so apt at this sport on every turn. But blessed be God, that suffers their folly in some measure to be made manifest to all men, it shall be fully in due time. In the meantime, though I be neither parish-master nor parish-servant, nor have hire from any, nor desire it; but stand at present and long before James knew me, resolved against it in my own mind, and as to myself, yet without judging as unlawful or unsuitable to grace some others' practice therein; nor will I join with James in reproaching or railing against any of them; nor with them, against him; nor with him, or them, against the truth as it is in Jesus. But for it, and on the truth's behalf, I will join and walk with any of them, or anybody else, in the strength of God's grace, let him reproach what he will. Yea, with me it's a small thing to be judged by them as a liar, deceiver, hireling, antichristian, and what they will. Though James in his 17th page says, "I cannot bear it to be called antichrist," but his spirit proved fallible and false there too. For truly I rather rejoice in what I suffer of that nature for Christ's name's sake, from them; yea, I desire not to pass for man's judgment, nor to judge myself; for though I knew nothing by myself, yet am I not thereby justified; he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and will make manifest the counsels of the heart, and then shall every man have his praise of God; they that here have served him & suffered with him shall for all their shame have double glory in their own land; they shall possess it; everlasting joy shall be unto them. Then when all the tares, that grow up together with and among the wheat, and as to outward appearance in many glorious services and sufferings seem very like the wheat, though in the issue they bring another fruit that tends not to feed and nourish but to corrupt, when I say, "They shall be all plucked up and bound in bundles and cast into the fire, which shall be accomplished at his coming, and at the end of the world: then shall the righteous shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." In the meantime why should I not be willing to be as he is in this world, even despised and trodden under foot where he in his personal sufferings, and the only virtuousness of them for the taking away our sins, as declared in the gospel, and in his second personal appearance, is so despised and trod under foot—yea, unknown where he is so. It's enough for the servant to be as his master. I desire to be made more willing and cheerful in following him through good and evil report, not seeking my own things but the things of Jesus Christ. In pursuance of whose glory, and for others' good, I shall add,
2. Some farther discovery of the weakness, frothiness, and unsoundness of his answers, in which we shall find that he that falsely accuseth and judgeth another condemneth himself in so judging, being indeed <497> found guilty of the same things, as 1) Making lies his chief refuge, 2) Perverting and altering almost every Scripture he meddles with, though he is not ashamed to say, "He doth but quote the plain words." 3) Taking no notice of things most material to the business he pretends to speak to in my assertions and answers in that book, but snatching at here and there a word, and altering that according to his pleasure, and then making a flourish about it, but no substantial answer.
1) The first thing he seems to oppose, and pretends to answer, is that in my Epistle (as he saith) I tell of "some abatement of bloody persecution in these times." In which he alters my words, which are these, "That iniquity should abound in such manner as forementioned, chiefly at such times as when there should be some abatement to bodily persecution, and that the last sort of trials are specially to abound in the last days and continue to the time of the end."44 And for proof of this quoted Dan. 11:34-35; 2 Tim. 3:12-13 with 1 Cor. 11:19; 2 Thess. 2:3,10; 2 Pet. 2:1-2 (and I might add, Luke 21:8,12), unto all which nothing is said but to his own collection from my words, "that there is some abatement of bloody persecution in these times." And all that he hath to say in opposition to that, is, "The enmity of these days against them, even reaching to bodily persecutions" (which also he much glories of in many places of his book), to which I say,
That is no substantial answer, to oppose either my sayings or his own collections from them, unless he can prove 1) that their sufferings are for Christ's name's sake or for conscience sake towards God, for to that sort of persecutions only we and the Scriptures cited speak. And 2) also, That their sufferings are as great as in any time have been of that sort. For all that is said signifies but some abatement of bodily persecutions foretold, as preceding the abounding of more spiritual iniquity, or the mystery of it in any place in the last days, and not of any whole cessation of it in any time or place until the end of the world and the second personal appearance of Christ. I suppose he can never prove the first, but in his usual way of peremptory asserting it in his own name, it's evident enough to all men that will not shut their eyes that most of their sufferings are for such evildoing as falls within the inspection and reach of the magistrate to punish, as the contempt of authority, denying honor and respects, civil and natural, where due, proudly insulting over almost all people as the only lords of their faith and conscience (while yet they pretend against calling or being called masters), using their liberty they have in their Christ or light in them (which indeed is darkness itself) as <498> a cloak of maliciousness and pride, as Rom. 13:1,7; 1 Pet. 2:13,17-20; 2 Pet. 2:10-11; Jude 8-9. And where their sufferings are not so directly for such evildoing as defiling the flesh, despising dominion, doing things directly to the outward harm of their neighbor or disturbance of the public peace, such things as fall within the magistrate's cognizance, as very many of their sufferings that might be mentioned have been and are: I say, where their sufferings are not directly for such things, yet they may appear to have been so at first occasioned to them. As in the papists, many of them suffer much only for their principles' sake, or for their profession, who never have appeared to act to the moving sedition or treachery (whatever their principles lead to), only on this ground, that their principles have been and are generally known to be such, and have been so proved in divers of their generation, as will not stand with the outward security of their neighbor or safety of any commonwealth or government where they are and have all the freedom that otherwise they might have, if they be not supreme lords of all others' faith and worship in an outward and more gross way; even so in these people, it may be, some may suffer some deprival of some place or office in civil or military affairs, or of such freedom as otherwise they might have had; only for that they are known and profess themselves to be of those principles, though yet they have not appeared in any such practices as might truly fall within the magistrate's cognizance, such as forementioned; it may be so I say: yet I think it's rare to find them of that generation that have not given the chief occasion and provocation of their sufferings themselves by something of the nature forementioned. But if as before, though I justify not all such proceedings against them (as I have not to do to question them) but do heartily wish, that they may have all the liberty that may be, or that I desire myself, while they do nothing that truly comes within the magistrate's cognizance and reach to punish; that so we might freely and fairly deal with them, as to their principles only, with other weapons; which otherwise I cannot, for my part, so freely do, if they be under restraints and I at liberty. Yea, I do not grudge that many of the chief of them have more liberty and countenance too, from authority, than myself have, or happily desire further than may stand with and be to the promoting of God's glory in others' good. As I have said before, so say I now again, doubtless were we more acquainted with that doctrine and armor of the grace in Christ, and skillful in it, we should neither desire nor need any other weapons than that faithful word to stop the mouths of these as well as other gainsayers. But this I say, though happily there may be many such proceedings which I justify not; yet, I suppose, they may thank the general peremptoriness and headiness of their principles and generation for any sufferings of that nature that befell <499> them; their principles being such, and having so appeared, in many of their generation, as lead them to follow their own spirit, contrary to and in contempt of all commands of superiors, even such as might be obeyed in the Lord and for his sake; yea, and of all principles of honesty, justice, or equity, if standing cross with the vision or motion of their own spirit, that it being observed may have begot such a jealousy of them in some that they dare not trust any of those principles in any place or office near or about them, if they can hinder them. Yea, it's evident they desire to provoke wrath in others against them, and to rush themselves into petty sufferings, that so they may glory of them as if they suffered therein for his name's sake, which indeed they do not; nor are their sufferings, though so occasioned, so great as they pretend, nor anything near to what hath been suffered in bodily and bloody persecutions for the gospel and for conscience sake, when their principle and way durst not show its head, though it was then secretly retained by and working in many.
2) The next thing he pretends to answer is (as he saith) my calling it "a spirit of antichrist, to witness Christ bearing sin now in the body."45
Neither are these my words, but they are such as do render as part of the revelation of the spirit of antichrist from himself, these sayings, viz.,
"That as Christ bore sins in that his own body that died at Jerusalem, so he had borne sins in his body too; and so that his first appearing to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself had been manifested and accomplished in him; yea, that death, in which it's appointed unto men once to die, past in him; and Christ's second appearing without sin to salvation manifested and accomplished in him."46 None of all this he denies to be his sayings, but takes something like a piece of the beginning and latter end of them, and appears as one that would again assert and prove the truth of what I call "a revelation of the spirit of antichrist" in this place (and the like in my answer to his letter, where I demonstrate it to be such).47 Now let us see what James says for confirming the truth of his witness, and first to the first part of it, we shall consider what he saith to that by itself, here and elsewhere in his book, and then what he saith to the other also.
First, to what he saith about "Christ's bearing sin now in the body." This note, he saith nothing for disproving what I have said of "Christ having so borne our sins in his own body to the tree, as that he hath not left them so to be borne in our souls or bodies, but hath perfected the sacrifice in that one offering of himself once for all." Of all said to this he takes no notice. But here first he tells me, "I have not seen him whom <500> I have pierced." But did he not "bear sin in me," I had been in hell ere now. In answer to which I say again, "that as Christ bore our sins in that his own body that died at Jerusalem, so he never did, nor doth bear them in any other soul or body." And till that said to this in the forecited pages be answered, there is no need of adding anything here.
Yet this is evident, that James confounds Christ's forbearance of, or bearing with sins yet done in our bodies, with his bearing sins in the imputation and strokes of them himself in his own body, to fulfill truth, satisfy justice, make peace and propitiation for us. Again, that in that forbearance, longsuffering, or bearing with sins found in men now, he confounds his making intercession with the Father for transgressions, in and unto which he appears in heaven itself in the presence of God for us (not in us). The great Mediator, not in men, but between God and men: that I say James confounds this with his gracious dispensations in the name of the Father unto men, nor doth he rightly express that neither.
The truth is, in these expressions, and in others which we shall mention anon, James acknowledgeth no such thing as Christ's bearing sins himself in his own body to the tree, in any other sense than as he may be said still to bear them in us. Nor doth he acknowledge his appearing in the presence of God as the great Mediator between God and men, making intercession for the transgressors in any other sense than as he appears in men, sustaining, bearing, &c., in their particular persons. And because he could find no answer to what is said to the demonstration of his antichristian spirit in this (in the forecited pages) he evades it all here, and elsewhere, with a sorry cavil in his 6th page, at my rendering the variety of readings, which the same translators give us of Amos 2:13; Col. 1:27; Luke 17:21. But belies me in saying I would have the people take it one way, rather than another. I tell them it may be read either way, and do so render it and explicate the sense according to and by other scriptures each way. And the same translators that through God's providence have given us the one reading have given us the other also, as he might have seen in the margin. Yea, that reading of Amos that he rejects as contrary is the only reading given us in the old translation, a little varying in terms, thus: "I will crush—as a wain," &c., But what is all he saith in this to the purpose, against what I say to his abuse of those scriptures? Consider page 49, 50, and 51; and see if he might not have found other matter there to have answered to.
Further to this point, in his 20th page, he says that I say, "God did not impute the trespasses of the world to them, but caused them to meet together on him." My sayings are, "That then and therein (when one died for all) was God in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, but causing them all to meet together on <501> him," as 2 Cor. 5:19; Isa. 53:6.48 To these plain expressions of the Holy Ghost, he seems to oppose and answer thus: that he says "If God impute not sin to the world, nothing else can condemn them." But if he were not brutish in his knowledge he might understand great difference between "God did not," "doth not," "will not"; and so that though when he was in Christ reconciling the world to himself he was not imputing their trespasses to them in that work but to him on whom he caused them all to meet, that came on us simply and necessarily through the first disobedience (Rom. 5:12,18), that first occasioned the distance and enmity, which were all that were in being in the world before the consideration of his interposture and undertaking, & so the reconciliation virtually wrought in him & peace preached by him; yet when this atonement and reconciliation is wrought, and the grace of God through it bringing salvation, if men sin again after the similitude of Adam's transgression, voluntarily against the light and power of God's grace, he may impute sin to them and condemn them too, on a new account, as John 3:19.
But this (saith James) opens a large gap to the works I am pleading for.
Yea, blessed be God, I know it doth open a large and effectual door of faith and hope in God through Christ, that in him that enmity is slain, and on that ground the apostle beseecheth all to be reconciled.
But saith James, "If I were not blind I might see the apostle speaks of such as received the word of reconciliation." I may truly say of him, because he says he sees therefore his blindness and sin remains. If he were not willful in his blindness he could not but see that the apostle speaks of the world as distinct from the "us" and "we" mentioned, that had received his word and were his ambassadors. And where doth James find those that have received the word of reconciliation called "the world" in any place? Contrariwise, they are called "a people chosen out of the world, and not of it, though in it" (John 15:19 and 17:16). Yea, he might have seen that they are more than had received the word and so were reconciled to God in their particular persons by Christ, concerning whom the apostle affirms, "God was in Christ reconciling them, not imputing," &c. It appears from the exhortation following on it, "Now therefore we pray you be ye reconciled," which exhortation they pressed on all men where they came, as vers. 11, Acts 17:30. And that on this ground God hath made him that knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. He might have seen a twofold reconciliation there spoken to, one wrought in Christ for men, the other to <502> be wrought in men by Christ, the one virtually done and perfect from the beginning of man's need, then actually preparing and working when one died for all and rose again, now actually finished and perfected in Christ for men that the other might be through the virtues of it, and in the preaching and spiritual discoveries of it wrought in men, as vers. 15. And that one died for all, that they that live (in their several ages) might not henceforth live to themselves but to him that died for them and rose again. The first he did perfectly in himself without us, and therein himself bore our sins in his own body to the tree, and with his stripes, the healing, the atonement or reconciliation is made in him for us. But for accomplishing the other he needs not to offer himself daily but is daily improving the virtues of what he hath done with the Father, appearing in his presence for us; and thence in his name discovering the same ends and virtues of his blood to us, and God's glory as appearing in his face, this gospel is his arm, put forth to men for reconciling them in their particular persons to God in and by Christ. But James appears to have no skill in either of these and therefore confounds them both into an imagination of God's being in Christ in every man that receives that word of such a Christ being in him, reconciling the world, that is the world in that man, not imputing the world's trespasses in him to him, but to Christ in him; and so he brings in his fancy of Christ's bearing sin & working the reconciliation, even perfecting the sacrifice for sin in their bodies. This is most like to be his fancy here; and so some of them have more fully and plainly expressed it. But what saith the Scripture, "God was in Christ reconciling the world; not imputing their trespasses unto them," viz., the world's trespasses (from the enmity of which he was in Christ reconciling them) to the world (but as before). And that (as appears with reference to the former verses) even then when one died not in but for all and rose again. And so if we should in a secondary sense understand the reconciling men in their particular persons unto God by Christ as that which God was also doing in Christ, even in his own personal ministration while on earth, and is now doing still in him, even in the demonstration of him but by and through his gospel (as left to us) and servants on earth, yet still by the world (whom yet he is said to be reconciling, though in that sense not reconciled) are meant unbelievers, as distinct from and opposed to believers that had received the word and were reconciled, as 1 John 2:1-2 and ch. 5:19-20, to whom God is not imputing their trespasses while he is so in Christ reconciling them: and yet may after impute sin and condemn for it too (as before) if they receive all this grace of God in vain, as is signified they may, vers. 10-11, with ch. 6:1-2.
Farther also to this point. See James in his 24th and 25th pages, rejecting that testimony of Christ having suffered, the just for the unjust, in <503> bearing their sins in his own body to the tree, and of the peace and healing being already made in him for them, with or through his stripes, while they are yet sinners and enemies in themselves (as 1 Pet. 3:18, ch. 2:24; Rom. 5:6,8,18), for judging me as such, he saith of me, "that my sins are not nailed to the tree,"49 corruptly alluding to and abusing the expressions in that Col. 2:14, where the apostle speaks evidently of the handwriting of ordinances which was against us, &c., signifying thereby, both the partition wall between Jew and Gentile, the law of commandments in ordinances, and also that great enmity that was between God and all mankind, as iron bars and brazen gates,50 viz., "the curse of the law," under which by it in God's just sentence they were all concluded, as Rom. 3:19,23 and 5:12 of both which also he saith, "he hath blotted them out, taken them away, nailed them to the cross, slain them, even in his flesh in his cross, in himself, even in that work in which he hath spoiled principalities and powers, and made a show of them openly, that so he might reconcile both Jew and Gentile unto God in one body; and that in the virtues and influences of his one body by the cross, having slain the enmity in himself." See Col. 2:14-15 compared with Eph. 2:14-16. But where doth James read of any for whom this enmity is not slain in Christ, who in and by him were not redeemed from the curse of the law, by his being made a curse for them, and so whose transgressions as under the first testament, that said, "Do and live," were not then nailed to the tree; he may read the contrary (Gal. 3:13; Rom. 5:11; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; Heb. 9:15; Rom. 3:19,23-24; 1 Pet. 3:18; Col. 1:20).
See farther how he goes on in his 25th page signifying Christ to be daily actually pierced and slain, as the Lamb or propitiatory sacrifice from the foundation of the world. But if James had minded the Scriptures more and his own imagination less he might have seen
1. that that scripture to which he seems to allude, Rev. 13:8, especially comparing it with ch. 17:18 in those words, "from the foundation of the world," seems rather to refer to the names of beast-worshippers and heart-dwellers on the earth (and not to the Lamb slain), their names as such were not written in the Book of Life (of the Lamb that was slain), no not from the foundation of the world; it was always contained in his testimony as it was always witnessed by the one mouth of his prophets and apostles from the beginning of the world, that though God hath given us eternal life in Christ, as in a treasury for us all, and so all men's names as sinners and fallen in and from Adam, yea, as rebellious ones while it's yet today, are written in the Lamb's Book of <504> Life as those for whom life is so prepared and given in Christ for them; yet he that hath not the Son of God through believing on his name, he hath not this life, he is not made partaker of it; as 1 John 5:11-12. And in such a sense the names forementioned were never written in the Book of Life from the beginning of the world; that is, to have part with Christ in that eternal life that is in and by him.
2. Again, he might have seen that if the words "from the foundation of the world" be understood to refer to the Lamb's being slain; yet here he saith not he was actually slain. And if we compare it with 1 Pet. 1:19-20 that signifies it to be in purpose and foreordination, and so in agreement, undertaking, and acceptation, and not in manifestation, as in actual accomplishment, till in these last times; and then not divers times, nor in divers persons, but once in the last ages of the world, and in that one body prepared him, he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself (Heb. 9:26,28).
But James goes on, confounding his sufferings for us as they were to put away sin, through which the sacrifice was perfected, with his sufferings as they were for his Father's name and gospel sake which he preached, and to witness and confirm the same, because we read of afflictions and sufferings of Christ as so considered, yet behind, and to be filled up in his members. Now that those sufferings of Christ (Col. 1:24 mentioned by him) were the afflictions of the gospel, and for his name's sake, is evident by comparing that and 2 Cor. 1:5 with 2 Tim. 1:8.
And that in his sufferings as so considered only, his members are to follow his steps; and so that in those sufferings Christ is not bearing sin or making an offering for sin in their bodies, but hath done that alone and perfectly in his own body so that with his stripes, as sustained in that his own body, and the virtues of them we are healed. All this is evident and used as a motive of encouragement to follow him in sufferings, he having perfectly done that himself alone for us in his own body, and not left it to be done by us or in any of our sufferings in our bodies (see 1 Pet. 1:20,24). And that in those sufferings of Christ which are the afflictions of the gospel left behind he doth not suffer in his own personal body, but in his name or gospel, as received and acknowledged by his servants on earth, and so in them, as Matt. 25:40, &c., with ch. 10.
Yea, James doth not only confound the sufferings of Christ to these two ends: to make propitiation, and to witness, seal and confirm the truth of the gospel according to his double or twofold mission into the world, To make peace, and To preach peace; I say he doth not only confound these but fully signifies his sense to be that the sufferings left behind, to be sustained in divers persons, are Christ's sufferings as to the first end, viz, as propitiatory.
<505> See the middle of his 25th page, where he saith, "If they were sufferings of self, they had no worth or ability in them to prevail with, or please God." To this let me add that even Christ's sufferings in any other body but that his own one body could not have done that as to the making atonement or propitiation for sin; if righteousness could have been had any other way, Christ had died in vain. But because no other sufferings or sacrifices could please God, to make atonement for, or purge sin, therefore God prepared for him one body, not many; which was offered, received and accepted once for all. But James's meaning, as also appears in what follows in the same 25th page, in confessing Christ's sufferings in his own person, and him the everlasting sacrifice, is not that he so suffered for sin, in that his own body, then and so prepared for him, according to the Scriptures, that through those sufferings himself in the infinite and abiding virtues of them was perfected and remains forever, the everlasting sacrifice and propitiation for sin. But that he is always suffering in his own person in us, and in our sufferings, and so always in his people, from the foundation of the world to everlasting. And so and therein the suffering work, and everlasting sacrifice for sin, often and daily making; and even in that sense Christ daily coming in the flesh: not already comed, the offering not perfected once for all as the Scriptures witness. Farther to this, see his new exposition of 1 John 4 and 1 Tim. 3:16 to mean his daily coming in Spirit into, or being in the heart of flesh, in divers persons;51 and how contrary that is to the expressions and plain appearing sense of those scriptures may be seen, and we have already sufficiently showed, both in these answers and in the Antidote.
3) The next thing in his pretended answer is his appearing to justify the other part of his former witness concerning himself, namely "that Christ's appearing the second time without sin, to the salvation of those that look for him, spoken of Heb. 9:28, was manifested and accomplished in him." These were his sayings at first, and much to that purpose often since; now I say he appears to justify them. First, in his 8th page, saying "that Christ appearing without sin to salvation is witnessed with all that have seen his appearance." This is equivocally expressed and altogether in his own name, without any Scripture expressions to warrant it. And if he mean, as it's evident he doth, that his appearing the second time without sin to the salvation of them that look for him is made or accomplished to any in this day, this is contrary to the Scriptures which render it always and to all believers in the time to come, as that which they are to be looking and waiting for all the time of this <506> present world. See Heb. 9:28 and Tit. 2:12-13. See further for this his assertions and my answers to them in my Antidote.52
Further to this, see his 20th and 21st page, where in opposition to Christ's being received by the Father in the heavens till the restitution of all things, and none of the disciples then spoken to (John 16:10; Luke 17:22), nor any since the last apostles (as so set forth, 1 Cor. 4:9) seeing him any more with bodily eyes till that second day of the Son of Man, his appearing from heaven in the glory of his Father and with his holy angels; I say, in opposition to this, he first mentions that as my sole ground for this, that our Savior saith in Luke 17:22, "The days will come when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man and shall not see it,"53 which indeed is a good warrantize for my faith in this matter, especially as compared with the other part of that chapter and with other scriptures, as in the Antidote; yet that was not propounded as the ground or proof of what I asserted about it, but divers other scriptures, fully and plainly demonstrating the truth of what is before summarily expressed;54 to all which he saith nothing; but to this occasionally spoken, to clear the Scripture in some of the foregoing verses from his abuse of them; to this I say he tells us that he says, "that our Savior told them also that they should mourn in the while of his absence, but he would come again, and their mourning should be turned into joy when the man-child should be born into the world, and commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem but wait for that they had heard of him." To all which I say, 'tis true that James says so; but we find not these our Savior's sayings as thus delivered. James judges and condemns the parish-masters and others for altering and adding. But who alters and adds here? Our Savior saith not "when the man-child should be born into the world, they should rejoice," but "when he should see them again, they should rejoice with such manner of joy as may be resembled by a woman's joy after her sorrow in travail, when a man-child is born."55 Nor doth our Savior yet say to them that "they should tarry at Jerusalem and wait for what they had heard of him." Nor are those sayings, "until he did see them again and showed himself alive to them after his passion."56 James here goes about 1) to confound his showing himself alive to them after his passion with his sending forth the Holy Spirit after his ascension. 2) To confound both these with that second day of the Son of Man, spoken of Luke 17:22, to the end of that chapter. And then also, 3) to set the Scriptures together by the ears, as if while one said, "They should not see that day of the Son of <507> Man till we all meet together," as indeed it doth, comparing the verses, the other should say, "They should see that day of his second appearing presently, and in the time of this mortality," which indeed it doth not, nor anything like. That so when he hath signified a seeming contradiction in them there might appear some necessity of his Spirit to reconcile them.
But James takes no notice of what answer is already given to this abuse of Scriptures,57 where it's showed, that that his seeing them was not his other day spoken of in Luke 17. And so not his coming again to receive them to himself, after his going to the Father to prepare a place for them, spoken of John 14:3, but only another personal and visible demonstration of his first day, and of himself, and the works the Father gave him to do on earth, as they were now finished in his body before his ascension, or going to the Father, spoken of John 16:17: "A little while and I will see you again, because I go to the Father." Enough is said to this before which remains untouched by him.
And for the promise of the Spirit, for which after he had showed himself alive to them after his passion (to their great joy, as John 20:20; Luke 24:41,52-53), he bade them wait. Himself calls it another Comforter to be with them in his stead, in the time of his personal absence, and so his presence with them virtually and spiritually to the end of the world, while yet personally absent, and until his second personal appearance (John 14:16-18; Matt. 28:20 with John 15:26-27 and 16:7-8,13). Though James would confound the sending of that other Comforter with his own second personal appearance,58 and indeed destroy the distinction between their persons or their manner of being in the Godhead, which in God's testimony are everywhere rendered as distinctly two of the three mentioned (1 John 5:7), who although three clearly distinct, yet are one God. But James would destroy this distinction of persons or of manner of beings in the Godhead, and thence also calls that sending forth of the Holy Ghost by him, his second coming in the Spirit. Though he finds it nowhere so called in the Scripture, nor his second coming called "a coming in Spirit"; 'tis called "the coming of the Son of Man" (Matt. 16:27; Mark 14:62; Matt. 25:31-32, &c.), God's sending that Jesus Christ who before was preached unto them (now the Holy Spirit speaks not of himself as the sum and subject matter of his preaching, but takes of the things of Jesus, his person, works, &c., and so lifts up and glorifies him, that is now with the infinite and abiding virtues of his sufferings appearing in the presence of God for us, even him whom they crucified and hung on a tree, whom God hath raised and exalted, whom the heavens must <508> receive till the restitution of all things of which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, &c., Acts 3:13-14,20-21 with ch. 1:11).
4) In his 10th and 13th pages he pretends answer to what I say about serving and worshipping the belly, spoken of Phil. 3:19, but saith nothing to the sum of what I say about it, nor takes any notice of what I render as the apostles' sense of their belly, and so their worshipping and serving it in that scripture as compared with others,59 but runs to his old shift, of breaking up the dispute for a dinner (that so he may make a show of answering). The vanity and falseness of which charge is sufficiently showed before. But every reader may see that is a mere shift to evade the business spoken to in those places from that scripture. It seems he had no answer to it, or was also very angry at it, and so would signify his slighting it. However having this occasion to revive it again, because I judge it needful and may be profitable, I shall briefly,
1. Revive what is there said with the addition of a word or two for demonstration of the apostles' sense of the belly and of worshipping it there.
2. Give some reasons why we are to understand him there chiefly in such a sense.
3. Demonstrate James by his book to be such a worshipper and server of his belly.
1. That which I render as the apostles' sense of their belly there is some pretended inward light, understanding, or spirit, or so also some internal or external operation of or in them, as opposed to, or commended and lifted up in the stead of the treasure we have in heaven, in Christ our treasury there, and hope or expectation from heaven, of and in his second appearing, mentioned in the 20th and 21st verses of the same Phil. 3. And this is equivalent to the same apostle's sense of the belly (Rom. 16:18) where he affirms them servers of their own belly as opposed to the Lord Jesus Christ, who did cause divisions contrary to the doctrine which the believers had learned; though in their conversation, as to outward appearance, they did not so but on the other hand were zealous walkers, as these; yet if they brought another and strange doctrine, in which they appeared not to love, esteem, and lift up Jesus Christ as they had been taught, whatever good words they might give him, such did not serve the Lord Jesus or his design, or worship and magnify him, but their own belly. Understand belly in both places in a sense equivalent to the sense of the word used by our Savior, speaking of another sort of persons, even of believers on him (John 7:38-39): "He that believeth on me, <509> as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he" (saith the evangelists) "of the Spirit which they that believe on him should receive," &c., where by belly, he evidently means the understanding, and whole heart and spirit of the believer, in which the testimony is received, with its renewing, saving and strengthening operations, and whence it issues, according to that Matt. 12:35, "A good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth good things"; likewise on the other hand, "An evil man, out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth evil things." So here by their belly may be understood their mind, heart or spirits; or also their experience of some inward and outward operations from a contrary spirit (God's Spirit in his testimony of Jesus being rejected or slighted by them) as well as also their own lust and will, whose minds are full of an adulteress (the spirit of antichrist). This is the belly they magnify and serve while they are lifting up something in or of them, as before in opposition to that treasure we have in another, even in Christ Jesus, as appearing in heaven in the presence of God for us; and to that our expectation from thence, to take men off from looking to and having their conversation in that treasure in heaven and hope from thence. To this agrees that 2 Thess. 2:10-11. The mystery of iniquity foretold, to abound and reveal himself more fully in the last days, his coming is with power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness, greatest unrighteousness under great shows of righteousness, or forms of Godliness. But where is this manifested? See the text, "in them that perish," or do err, and swerve from the faith, to whom "the preaching of the cross is become foolishness," as 1 Cor. 1:18, for in them only it hath such full proof and efficacy; this the belly they serve and worship: themselves and something of or in them, as opposed to, or to the undervaluing the person and works of Christ, and the hope of his second appearing, whereas the true believer in Christ, though he hath good treasure in his belly, received there by faith and in the first fruits of the Spirit and hope of the harvest; yet doth he not magnify his belly but his treasure, as it is in itself in Christ Jesus, the fountain and treasury, as in his own person appearing in the presence of God for us; "his conversation is in heaven," from whence he looks for the Savior, the Lord Jesus, who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, &c.
And like unto the apostle's sense of their worshipping their belly or making it their god, such also is his sense of their "minding earthly things," as in Jude 19. They were "sensual, not having the Spirit," who yet pretended spirituality, heavenly-mindedness, and did speak "great swelling words of vanity." Truly, what spirituality soever they pretend they are but earthly things they mind, that are minding, pursuing, <510> seeking to, and rejoicing in anything that hath its foundation and end under the sun, whether without them or within them; and all such are aptly opposed to the apostles, who had "their conversation in heaven," and their expectation from him there, that when he should appear, they should appear with him and be like him in glory. And so in opposition to their having their rejoicing in Christ Jesus, he reckons all other rejoicing or confidence in whatever else (whatever works of righteousness or blameless walking) are to be but rejoicing and confidence in the flesh; see the beginning of the chapter, and here minding earthly things, as opposed to our treasure in, and hope from heaven.
2. For confirming this to be undoubtedly the apostle's sense of serving and worshipping the belly and minding earthly things here, we shall note these two reasons in the text.
1) The apostle's saying to the believing Philippians, concerning these persons (v. 18), "That he had told them often, and now did tell them weeping" (as signifying their hardness to believe his testimony of them) "that they were the enemies to the cross of Christ," &c. Now such as the Philippians would never have been so hard to receive such a testimony of them, if they had been belly-gods and earthworms in a gross and carnal sense. It seems therefore they were such in outward abstinence, mortification, zeal, seeming holiness, that looking according to outward appearance they could not judge them to be enemies to the cross of Christ, and aiming at the destruction of our faith and hope in him. Yea,
2) The apostle's first note of them is that they were walkers. "Brethren," saith he, "I beseech you mark them that walk as ye have us for an example," "considering" (as Heb. 13:7-8) "the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today, and forever." "For many walk," &c., who mind not the same thing, but "their end is destruction" (as Ps. 62:3-4), yet they are walkers, they had such a form of godliness as stood not in talking only, but in walking also, that rendered them the more deceivable; therefore not grossly belly-gods, &c., but in such sense as before, in spiritual wickedness, the mystery of iniquity, &c. But James had no will to understand this, because his own deeds were reproved by it. For,
3) To demonstrate him such a walker, whose end is destruction, whose god is his belly, &c., in such Scripture sense when speaking of these things, see his abuse of that scripture (2 Cor. 4:5-7): "I say" (saith he) "the apostles preached the Spirit and light within, shining in their hearts, to give the knowledge of God's glory in the face of Jesus—."60
<511> It's no matter what he saith, unless for some discovery of his antichristian spirit in this, for the apostle himself saith no such thing, but that "they preached not themselves, but Jesus the Lord," &c. (v. 5). And that which follows is rendered by him as the reason why they did so (and not as the subject matter of their preaching), "for God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, the light of the knowledge of his glory" (not in their own face, but in the face of Jesus). Here observe James his gross altering the apostle's words, not only rendering that as the matter of their preaching which they render as the reason (as before), but altering the words here too, and so, as he would render their god to be their belly and them to be minding, seeking, and rejoicing in earthly things, even their earthen vessels. For first, whereas the apostle saith "God hath shined in their hearts," &c., James Nayler says, "The Spirit and light within had shined in their hearts." Indeed, if it had done so they might well have made it the subject matter of their preaching and commending to others, but they acknowledge that in them, as of them, dwell nothing that was good, no sufficiency, not so much as to think a good thought, much less to be the first discoverer and revealer of the great things of God's glory in Christ: their hearts were a dark place and had no such Spirit or light in them, till this light of God's glory in the face of Jesus shined into them; nor were they otherwise, or further light, than in the Lord: therefore also 'tis signified to be a work of new creation to shine in their hearts the light of the knowledge of his glory in the face of Jesus, and compared to the first creation of light, or making it by his word to be where there was none before; God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts, &c.
Again, secondly, whereas the apostle saith, "that God had shined in their hearts the light of the knowledge of his glory in the face of Jesus," James says, "that the Spirit and light within had shined in their hearts TO GIVE the knowledge," &c. 'Tis true, the translators put in those words "to give," and doubtless they had a better meaning in them than James; however they deal faithfully and give us them in a different character, as their words, and not as the words of the apostle, which James would have seen and have been contented with the apostle's words here, had he been led by the apostle's spirit. But as these little words "to give" are brought in by James after he hath said, "The Spirit and light within had shined in their hearts," they signify that the Spirit and light was originally in their hearts before any light of the knowledge of God in Christ; and that it had from thence first revealed itself and so shined there that their hearts should give unto them the knowledge of God's glory in the face of Jesus; and what Jesus may we think it is that their own hearts would commend or show glory in, when also they are <512> guided by a light arising originally out of themselves; seeing the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked; who can know it? so that he that trusteth in it is a fool (Jer. 17:9; Prov. 28:26), yea, when enlightened by that heavenly light in and from another, even Jesus, yet they are of themselves deceitful and not to be trusted any further than as they are enlightened, directed, and regulated by the light of the Lord in the testimony of Jesus or of God's goodness through him as discovered, whence that woe to them that follow their own spirit and have seen nothing, and so prophesy out of their own heart the visions or revelations of it, and not out of the mouth of the Lord (Ezek. 13:1-2 with Jer. 23:16,32). Still Jesus, as in our nature in that one body that was hung on the tree, he is the fountain of the believers' light and teaching from whom God gives it continually in the face of him, in the discovery or revelation of him, according to his testimony. And therefore the apostle saith not, "God had shined in their hearts, to give the light," &c, as if he would signify either that the matter of his shining is something else besides the light of the knowledge of his glory in the face of Jesus, and that only, that's the end of his shining to give it, 'tis not only the end but the matter of his shining according to the apostle's words, without the translators here: or that he might signify as James would have it that the shine was so in their hearts, or originally thence, that their hearts might give them the light. No, God had shined the light of the knowledge of his glory in their hearts, in the face of Jesus, in the demonstration of him as revealed, as the works were then already actually finished in his own body. And this he had done both by infusion of the immortal seed of the word of God, and diffusion of it, or scattering and shedding it abroad in their hearts, even still in that face of Jesus, as Rom. 5:2,5. And therefore such a word is used here as signifies both "he hath shined in, he hath opened the eyes of our understandings, and so let in to our hearts, and by the same Spirit of wisdom and revelation that is in the knowledge of him he hath shed abroad in our hearts his love, his glory, the light, comfort, and strength, with all the furniture of instruction of the knowledge of it; and all this in the face of Jesus"; compare this with that Rom. 5:2,5-8; Eph. 1:17-19 and 3:16-17,19; 2 Pet. 1:3. "This treasure indeed they had received in earthen vessels," so called because as men their minds was yet subject to passions, and their bodies to infirmities and death. But it was not that their earthen vessels should be now glorified or gloried in by them, but that the excellency of the power might appear to be of God and not of them: therefore they preached not their earthen vessels, or themselves, their own hearts, as the original and fountain of all their consolation, rejoicing and teaching (as James doth, and would have us think they were like him), but Jesus the Lord, and the treasure they had in him, and hope by him, of which <513> faith was to them the confidence of things not seen, the evidence of things hoped for; they did commend and preach him as in himself for men; that so they might comfort others, not with their experiments or being comforted, but with the thing they had experimented, the light of the knowledge of God's glory shining in the face of Jesus, with the same comforts wherewith themselves were comforted, even with the consolations that are in Christ Jesus, who hath delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver, all which affords the ground and nourishment to hope of his further salvations, even to the utmost; so as in and through him (2 Cor. 1:3-4,10 with Ps. 40:1,3,5-6, &c).
I might farther demonstrate James to be one of those belly-gods (Phil. 3:19), but enough is said before to discover it in his corrupt answers, for Christ his bearing sin as the propitiatory sacrifice in us, and for his second appearing being manifest and accomplished in men here; and in what we shall farther say we shall farther discover him such. By the way before we pass this, note on his abuse of this scripture how he hath verified what he saith in the next page, "That Satan can encounter with nothing from the Spirit of Truth"; nor indeed (as he might have added) can he make it serve his turn, till he have altered it and moulded it into his own fashion. These words, 2 Cor. 4:5-6, would not serve at all to express James his mind until he had so grossly altered and corrupted them; as also we shall further see in other scriptures he meddles with, though James otherwhere saith, "Satan and the man of sin can make use of the letter to oppose Christ & plead for sin withal." But if he mean by letter, the Holy Scripture, they can do nothing with it without altering, adding and diminishing, as Satan could not propound his temptation to our Savior without leaving out some material clause, as in that Matt. 4:6 he leaves out that clause, "in all thy ways," without which it was none of God's word or promise (see Ps. 91:11-12).
Having thus showed the emptiness and corruptness of his pretended answers as to things most material, I shall more briefly touch some of the rest.
5) In his 13th page, he pretends answer to something but tells us not what or where. But it seems the sum of it is that I say, "God hath spoken to us by his Son," and yet deny immediate teaching. "That God hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son," I did, and do say, as page 15, "And that therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things that have been already so spoken to us, and not at any time to let them slip"; and saith not the Holy Ghost the same (Heb. 1:1-2 & 2:1,4.)?61 And that none since may expect in this day to receive his word in a like <514> manner, or so immediately from his own person, as Paul and the rest of the apostles did; but mediately in the evidence and demonstration of the Spirit, through their word, as declared and left to us, or through those declarations of his testimony, or God's goodness that is in and through him, which are vouchsafed to men in or by one means or other. This also I have oft said and do say. Now see what James says to disprove it. He tells us that he says, "The Son is a Spirit"; but we may tell him he should have said, "a spiritual and heavenly man," in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily. Our Savior himself saith to his disciples, after his resurrection, and a little before he was parted from them and carried into heaven, "behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself, handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have." And the Holy Spirit testifies him to be ascended into heaven in the same body and therein glorified with the Father's own self, even with the glory he had with him, as his only begotten Son before the world was, and so appearing in the presence of God for us, the man Christ Jesus, the mediator between God and men; and from heaven he shall descend in the same spiritual and glorious body, the Son of Man in the glory of his Father.62 And if James deny the truth plainly asserted in these scriptures, why saith he nothing to that large demonstration of the person of Christ glorified in our nature in the heavens, in my answer to his letter?63 But farther he tells us "that the Son being a Spirit, if he speak, he speaks immediately."
But we may inquire, doth the Scripture also say the same? If not, it's no matter what James says; he is no master of our faith, though he would be so: or from what reason follows it that if he be a Spirit he must needs speak always immediately? may not the Spirit of God speak by means? See Job 33:14-15,29-30; Ps. 107:43; Micah 6:7. Yea, did not God speak by the mouth of all his holy prophets, and was not that mediately? But he further adds, "that it seems I mean" (namely by God's speaking by his Son) "his speaking by the letter, which the Son spake to them that heard him." But where doth it seem so? I never yet said or understood that the Son spake letter to any. And himself saith, "that his words were Spirit and life," even as spoken to them that yet received them not (John 6:63-64). And the testimony of Jesus is still the Spirit of prophecy, in and with which the light of God's Spirit comes forth to reprove and instruct,64 which James is angry to hear of, but knows not how to oppose, and <515> therefore leaves all my assertions and answers as to the manner of God's teaching untouched with anything from his pen, but with slanders, railings, judgings and revilings.
6) To disprove what I say of 1 Tim. 3:16, with other scriptures, as speaking of God's being manifested in the flesh in that one person that is now received into glory, he bids me read Rom. 1:19,21,28; John 14:19-21 & 15:4-5; 1 John 4:4 & 2 Cor. 6:16. "In these scriptures," he says, "I may read my error, and that God was manifest in men and women since Christ's ascension." To this I say, let the reader see if he can find where I have denied God's being manifested in men and women since Christ's ascension, or before it either.
Again, none of these scriptures speak of God's being manifested in the flesh (much less of his being manifested in the flesh like that of 1 Tim. 3:16), but of God or his truth, and that which may be known of him being manifested in or to their mind, conscience, or inner man, while yet in this tabernacle of flesh. What answer is here to that I have said about God's being manifested in the flesh: see pages 22, 23, 24, 25, &c.
Only here we have some discovery of his design to cast him down from his excellency, as Ps. 62:3-4, as also in that which follows.
7) In his 16th page to disprove what I say in my 25th and 26th pages of the Antidote, about the manifestation of the sons of God spoken of Rom. 8:19,25 and 2 Thess. 1:5,10, as yet to be waited for by all believers all the time of this present world, (after some of his usual reproaches) he quotes 1 John 4:17. "As he is, so are we in this world." To this let it be noted that the Holy Ghost saith not that as he is now in heaven in his personal body glorified with the Father's own self, so are we in this world. But "as he is, so are we, in this world." The comparison is bounded to the place and time of this world. "As he is in this world, so are we in this world." Now, if they be no otherwise "in this world" than "he is in this world," then they are neither fully nor gloriously manifested in it; but on the other hand, as his visage, his face or appearance in that which he hath done and is become, as brought to light through the gospel, is more marred than any man's, in this world, and chiefly by such spirits as these: even so are they in this world, even as the filth and offscouring of all things unto this day, and so rendered by James more than any other people he has to do with.
But when he that is our hope shall appear on the earth in his glory, then their vile body shall be fashioned into the likeness of his glorious body, and they shall appear with him in glory. Then shall James be ashamed of this his foolish and willful cavilling against it, if he take not shame in time, if there be yet time of repentance for him.
8) In justification of Rich. Farnworth's abuse of those scriptures, Rom. 7:23 and 8:10 spoken to in my 30th page, James tells us in his <516> 17th page "that Paul once was in the warfare and then wretched, but afterward more than a conqueror." See, reader, if both were not at the same time. The one is mentioned, ch. 7:23-24; the other, ch. 8:37. Note, that last mentioned is affirmed not only of himself but of all that love God (vers. 28), which doubtless he did when with his mind he served the law of God, and yet then was he in the warfare, and so wretched, ch. 7:22,25. And so it's evident in ch. 8. Though those that through his love, love him, are more than conquerors through him that loved them, yet not in themselves freed from those things that war or from the warring of them (though from the evil of the temptations and combats) but in all these things they are more than conquerors through him, &c. See how grossly he hath here also belied the apostle and so the Holy Ghost, and how he evades all I said to Rich. Farnworth's abuse of those scriptures. Read that for farther answer to him in this.
9) Against what I say of Paul's being the last of the apostles that immediately received mission and furniture from the person of Christ, to be such an immediate messenger, for obedience to the faith among all nations for his name. When he hath curtailed and falsified my words, he tells us that Ananias and Barnabas and others were called since.65 And where doth James find that? He may read that Ananias was called and a disciple before Paul (Acts 9:10,13). Or where finds he that Ananias was at any time so immediately called by Christ to such apostleship? (which is the thing spoken to). That Acts 9:10-11 mentions only a call to "put his hands on Paul" and "pray for him that he might receive his sight." Or that Barnabas was so? and after Paul too. That Acts 13:2 speaks not of God's call to them, but of his appointment given to others, to separate them to the work to which he had (already) called them, so that they had their call before; and how, that scripture tells us not. And Paul affirms that he was last of all called to such apostleship, as one born out of due time. Shall we believe him, or James Nayler in his own name?
10) To what I say to that 1 Cor. 15:50, "that by flesh and blood is meant the body in its corruptible and mortal state, and so it cannot enter; but the same body, even that flesh and bones, shall be raised in another, even a glorified state, and shall enter, as in the person of Christ, the blood (as the life was in it) being poured out and gone, the same body in the resurrection spiritualized and immortalized is entered and set on the throne."66 James in the mention of some of this, leaves out that clause, "as the life was in it." And then for answer saith, "Is Christ ascended without blood?"67 And reproaches this as confusion: <517> but what answer is this? My sayings do not signify that he is ascended without blood, but without material blood, as the life was in it, in the days of his flesh or weakness, and yet with the infinite and abiding virtues of that blood once shed.
11) To what I say, page 44, "That none hath so ceased from their own works as God did from his, but the Forerunner." After he hath belied it, as I have forenoted, then for answer he only boasts of himself and his adherents,68 lifting up themselves in their works of lies, vanity and error, that have truly ceased from nothing of their own; but they are their own witnesses, and what answer is this to those Scripture demonstrations of what I affirm as to that? read and search the Scriptures whether those things be so, and let God be true and every man a liar, as it's written, that he may be justified in his sayings, &c. (Rom. 3:4).69
12) In answer to my charging him to belie the apostle, in saying "He preached the word, and faith in the heart of them to whom he preached" (Rom. 10:8-9), he saith, "Let any read the verses and see if the apostle there did not preach both word and faith in the heart."70 But sure he did not read them himself, for the words there signify no such thing. But what saith it, "That the word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart, that is the word of faith which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth and believe in thine heart," &c. He saith not (as we have noted, page 48, otherwise marked 52) "the word and faith" but "the word of faith." And of that he saith not simply "that it was in their heart," but "nigh them in their heart," and evidently speaks of such a nighness of it as is to men in its preachings to them vouchsafed before it be believed or received by them. And that it might be so, see farther there and in the answer to the 9th query.
13) In his pretended replies to my answers of their queries, to waive his slanders and revilings,71 the first, besides what I have spoken to already, is his cavilling at what I say about creatures and Scriptures as means of God's teaching, as if I excluded the Spirit; to which I say, the Holy Spirit of God in his supernatural influences of light and power is by me mentioned (though not as by itself without the other, as James presents his Spirit, yet) as the inward and spiritual means, the prime instrument used by him, in, with and through all the other means.
Yea, expressly in the place he alludes to, my words are, "They are able, being his own words, and so owned by him and accompanied with his spiritual presence, to the end of the world," &c.; see also the <518> former page throughout,72 so that in his following answer, he fights with his own shadow.
14) To what I assert in my answer to the first query, "That the new Jerusalem is not yet come down to them, for they profess to be yet travailing with pain for others," he replies, "Did not Christ weep over Jerusalem, and had not John bowels of compassion to others; and will I deny their seeing of the new Jerusalem?"73
Answ. I am so far from denying their seeing of the new Jerusalem in a Scripture sense that I assert even concerning all true believers in Christ, "that by faith they come unto it and to Jesus the foundation of it and are in such believing made of it and do so come forth of its waters, that Jerusalem that is above is the mother of them all; yet to them all in this day in their time in this present world it's yet Jerusalem that is above, not yet come down from God out of heaven to them, as Gal. 4:26,"74 to which James answers nothing. But he adds, "Can any commiserate others but those that are come into the rest?" To this also I have asserted "That believers by faith, and in a first fruits of the Spirit, do enter into rest, though none are fully entered but the Forerunner;75 and yet before they be fully entered, even while they are in this warfare and vale of tears, running the race set before them, the grace of God teacheth them to have compassion one of another and to bear one another's burdens; yea, to remember them in bonds, as bound with them, to bless them that curse, to be grieved at men's misery. But when that Jerusalem shall come down from God out of heaven there shall be no more pain, grief, or tears to them in it; but they shall rejoice when they see the smoke of their enemies' torment rise up forever"; as more at large in my first answer.76 To which he says nothing. Further he saith, "Was it not come down in John's time, and when went it up again? only it was taken away," &c. Answ. He saith he knows not what. John saw it in vision (the text saith not "come down," which if it had were nothing to his purpose because but so seen in a vision; but the words are) "coming, descending from God out of heaven" (Rev. 21:2,20). Yea, in his vision he saw it coming down at the same time when "there shall be new heavens and new earth," as is showed more at large in the Antidote, to which no answer. Yea, let us see what the angel that showed him these things, even at the close of this vision, saith expressly to this question, whether it was come down and so those things accomplished in his time which in vision he showed John and also related to him; see ch. 22:6-7. "And he said unto me, These sayings <519> are faithful and true; and the Lord God of his holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly" (signifying that then shall be revealed and accomplished the glory promised to them that wait for him, even at his second personal and glorious appearance, as Heb. 9:28, with Tit. 2:13). "Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book."
Again, where did James read of its being taken away after its coming down from heaven? But they that would tell us, Lo here, or Lo there is the Son of Man appearing in his glory, and actually possessing us of the accomplishment of the promises then to be revealed, must have their unwritten verities.
But see a little farther whither his fancy will lead him. What John saw in vision as done, or doing, must needs be actually accomplished in his time, according to James's rule. But in this same vision, John "saw the dead, both small and great, just and unjust, raised and judged," ch. 20. Therefore the general resurrection and judgment to come after death, of which he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised Christ from the dead; they were actually accomplished in John's time. I suppose, if James would speak out or understand the tendency of his own principles, he would acknowledge those things as much accomplished then, and before, and since, in and upon men in their several ages, as ever he looks they should be. But it may be he had some special reference to that time when he said, "that death in which it's appointed to men once to die, and that judgment to which they must all come after death was past in him"; they were past indeed a great while, if finished so long before he was born, as in John's time, as according to his rule by which he understands the new Jerusalem then come down, they must needs be. But the worst for James is, these fancies will not hold. He shall die as one of Adam's sons, and be in the same body by virtue of Christ's ransom redeemed from the grave (for he hath so abolished death that there is no darkness or shadow of death in which the workers of iniquity may hide themselves), he shall rise again and appear before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ, to receive according to the things done in his body; then shall he not escape that righteous judgment of God threatened to the adders to and detractors from the sayings of the prophecy of that book (he persisting therein till his sin be finished) (Rev. 22:18-19).
15) To my answer to the third query, what and where that covenant is (Jer. 31; Heb. 8), James saith, "that I shuffle it by with other things nothing to the question, and put it into another world."77
Now consider, what are the things he saith "are nothing to the <520> question"? I have there asserted,78
1. Christ as raised from the dead, the foundation and assurance of it (Isa. 55:3-4, with Acts. 13:34).
2. The promises given in him and to be given with him, sealed in his blood the matter of it, as 2 Cor. 1:20; Rom. 8:32; 2 Pet. 1:3-4.
3. This life the time of its making with men in the giving Christ to them for a covenant, and in their receiving him in believing on his name, and of its performance in the first fruits of those spiritual blessings in it.
4. The life to come, the time of possessing the harvest of those spiritual blessings, and the redemption of the body; and so of the performance of all the promises in fullness and glory (Rom. 8:19,25; Hab. 2:2,4 with Heb. 10 to 14; Acts 3:19-21).
Hath not James, in accounting these things, other things, and nothing to the question verified that scripture, "I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing" (Hos. 8:12)? Yea, hath he not herein trodden under foot the Son of God and put him to an open shame in denying him before men to be anything to the question, what and where God's covenant with men is? And counted as an unholy or common thing the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified, and done despite to the Spirit of grace? if this was done advisedly and willfully, after knowledge of the truth. What shall we say? There is not another sacrifice (whatever he may fancy) than that here slighted (if not willfully rejected by him) as nothing to the question, &c.
And having done so, what other can be expected than what follows, viz., lies and confusion, as the issues of a reprobate mind, without the least answer to anything spoken by me to the question.
16) To my answer to the 4th query where and what that anointing is (1 John 2:21,27), he saith, "This I would thrust out from the Spirit within to literal teaching."79 Now see his slander and what he here accounts "literal teaching." My answer is that it is in and upon him, that one person of God and man, immeasurably, and as the fountain for us.80 In him God's name, the revelation or manifestation of his glory to the sons of men, as well as his power, authority and majesty (as he is anointed with both), this name of God as in him is that precious ointment poured forth by & through him, as there is more fully demonstrated & proved and explicated as in the verses whence the query is propounded.
Yea, the same apostle saith, "The law came by Moses, but grace and truth by Jesus Christ," and of his fullness they had received; and <521> Paul saith that the law as given by Moses was a ministration of death, a killing letter; but the grace and truth that came by Jesus Christ, even that dispensation of the fullness of times, which was committed to them, the apostles last, is a ministration of Spirit, of life, of glory, &c. But J.N. saith in effect that the name of God as in Christ, and in and by him declared, and as precious ointment poured out, is literal teaching. Sure here he is gotten a step higher than in his 30th page, though that was too high, where he reckons the Scriptures amongst carnal and visible things: but here the sum, scope and end of all the Scriptures, the great things of God's law, even all fullness as dwelling in Christ communicably and as declared therein, is rendered by him as no better.
17) To what I say to the 5th, What and where that Comforter is (John 16), he replies in his 32nd page, "That in the heart I dare not confess him." For answer, let the reader see if (with the text) I show him not to reprove the world and teach and lead the believer into all truth, in the lifting up of the Son of Man, and whether that reproving & teaching effectually be not in the heart or inner man, or can be out of it, let any judge. See also how that is farther asserted and explicated in the place that answer refers the reader to.81
But it appears, that which I mention as the fountain and sum or subject matter of their spirit's teaching, in and with which he is always conversant, viz, the testimony of Jesus, even the Son of Man lifted up, and God's glory as appearing in his face is not the thing he would have acknowledged, received, or abiding in the heart; because that keeps out his other spirit or tends to dispossess him.
To what I say to the 6th query, I have before showed how grossly he slanders me; and so he doth in all that follow, as I have before noted in some, and the reader may easily see in the rest, either by what is already said here or by comparing them with the answers which they pretend reply to, but give none to any purpose, but wholly evade them and make here and there a vain flourish of confusion to make simple people believe he hath answered, when no such thing.
And whereas he charges me with slandering the sense of the inscription of the queries: I say to that, if the printer had not a little altered the form by adding a colon or stop between the two last sentences of it, which I am sure is not in the paper that came to me, every reader would have seen that I have given the sense of that inscription rightly, that the queries are not therein directed at all to such as own the sufficiency of God's teachings but to those that deny them to be sufficient to such as <522> own them so; but such slanders, and those of a higher nature of which his book is full, may well be borne from him that ceaseth not to pervert the right ways of the Lord, as we have showed, and might farther discover in that which follows. But there being nothing material behind that is not already spoken to and answered, and because I would not draw out this discourse to too great a length, I shall conclude this part of my discovery with only noting to the reader his gross abuse of two or three more of the scriptures mentioned by him; as in what we have noted before, his palpable altering the sayings and perverting the sense of most he meddles with, is manifest, much more of the same might still be noted, as in the close of his 32nd page, where he renders that Jer. 23:30 to be a stealing their word (that they preach) from others, every man from his neighbor, whereas the text saith, "they steal God's word, every one from his neighbor"; and that not to preach but to cast behind their backs, that they may preach their dreams and the visions of their own heart in the room of them, and say of them "he saith," who think thereby to make his people forget his name by their dreams, which they tell every man to his neighbor, having stolen the word of the Lord from them, as their fathers have forgotten his name for more gross idolatry: a true and proper character of these spirits. Therefore saith the text, "in the latter days he shall consider it perfectly"; read vers. 20, 25, 32. Likewise in the close of his next page he appears (though covertly) to justify that false reading of Isa. 30:20, putting in for "teachers," "that teacher," &c., the corruption of which we have discovered and detected in the Antidote.82
Also, in his 48th page, he renders that Rom. 8:3 thus: "The Son of God condemning the sin in the flesh," whereas the words in the text are, "God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh," which clearly renders it as the act of the Father to lay the imputation and punishment of our sin on his Son. "He delivered him to death for our offenses and raised him again for our justification." Yea, the text renders it as such an act of the Father as was accomplished and finished in and upon the person of his Son on the earth, when he was sent forth in that one body prepared for him in the likeness of sinful flesh. Then & therein God condemned the sin charged on us by the law. Then was the judgment of this world, that from thence in due time that which follows might be accomplished in the believer through Christ. For God hath made him to be sin for us (who knew no sin) that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
But James as he renders it destroys the distinct consideration of the <523> Father's work in laying our iniquities on his Son and condemning them there; and renders that as the work of the Son (or his fancied Christ) in the creature, continually doing (condemning the sin, &c.) and so confounds it with what follows, namely the righteousness of God being fulfilled in the creature, as if both were now working in the creature, the one in and with the other; taking away from us the personal sufferings of Christ in his own body, and the infinite and abiding virtues of them for our help, and putting in the room of it his imaginary or fancied Christ or light in men, condemning or reproving sin; which can be nothing but a fancy while it springs not from this as its foundation, and comes not in such discovery, and lifting up the Son of Man; yea, while it comes in his room to the putting him out or laying him by as useless to this business; as here in James's sense it manifestly doth. Much more of this nature might be showed. But (rightly to apply his own false applied words) I am weary with raking in his uncleanness that so corrupts and alters almost everything of God's name he meddles with, as he wholly perverts it and turns it contrary to its scope and end.
Yet for the reader's profit I shall briefly add according to my promise.
3. A brief discovery of the wolf in the sheep's-skin, put on in the beginning and close of his book, to make the simple believe he is another creature than indeed he is, and appears within his book that so they may more diligently ponder the inside, which he fears they would not do if not so covered; and which he presumes (they doing) will make them his prey, though so covered, or at least entice them to inquire farther into his principles where more plainly discovered.
For this discovery, observe the equivocalness of his expressions; and for understanding his own sense in them, compare them with other sayings in his book which we have already noted.
In his first two pages (marked 3 and 4) he says, "that I possess people that they deny and preach down the person of Jesus of Nazareth of the seed of David, and the work of redemption wrought for us in his own person, as types, shadows or figures of the true Christ, which is to be found in some other thing, &c." See what I charge him with more full as to this, and on what ground, in my Antidote, page 60, 61. And let this be here noted,
James doth not deny this in these terms, but answers thus:
"The Lord be judge between me and that lying murderous spirit, whether I own any other righteousness than that everlasting righteousness of God wrought in the person of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, his suffering, resurrection, and ascension according to the Scriptures. And that endures from generation to generation. And all inherits that same righteousness <524> as by faith they receive the same Jesus." These be his words, which appear as a plausible acknowledgment of the truth. But for discerning his inside in them, first observe his policy, in secret stealing away and leaving out these two little words, "for us," which also himself took notice of and mentioned, as in my charge. But in his answer and acknowledgment he wholly leaves them out. And that he may do it and not be discerned but by those that begin to incline to him, he fills up the room with more expressions, there omitted in his mention of my charge. As to say, he says I charge him with preaching down that person, &c. And the works of redemption wrought ("for us") in that his own person, &c. Then in his answer and acknowledgment he says he owns that everlasting righteousness of God wrought in the person of Jesus Christ of Nazareth: but here he leaves out the words "for us" and to blind the simple puts in many more in the room, as if he would make his acknowledgment more full as to those very works of redemption wrought in that person in his suffering, resurrection, and ascension; not caring how full he makes his acknowledgment of the righteousness of God wrought in the death and resurrection of that person, in that personal body, if the works of redemption and righteousness therein wrought be not asserted and understood to be therein finished and made perfect in him for us, so as they need not to be iterated and wrought over again in us.
His leaving out these material words, "for us," here hath left him room under this acknowledgment to disown that everlasting righteousness of God wrought in those works of our redemption, as acted and accomplished for us in his own body without us, as not being sufficient and perfected in him to the obtaining eternal redemption into himself in the man in that one body for us, and therein infinite furniture of power and gifts, in the same personal body which he offered once for all, that through him men might be saved. And so likewise, as not being sufficient to justify our persons in the sight of God and also to sanctify and make us meet for God, only through faith exercised thereabout and centering therein: I say, he hath left room for the disowning it in this sense, and for introducing under the notion of the same everlasting righteousness, his imagination of the same works of redemption that were wrought in that person, viz, Christ's sufferings for expiation of sin, his resurrection for our justification, his ascension to appear in the presence of God, as necessary to be acted or wrought over again in every other person that may have such benefit thereby as aforesaid. And though he adds this clause, "according to the Scriptures," that clause, as used by him, restrains not the liberty thus left for reserving such a corrupt meaning and seemingly contradictory to the fact of his expressions. I say that clause, as used by him, restrains him not, seeing himself renders the expressions <525> of the Scripture, yea, the words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the great things of his law as there declared to be carnal, letter, &c., without some other Spirit or light than what is certainly in and with them and according to the plain import and meaning of them for giving the sense (as may be seen in our former discovery), so that according to the Scripture in his sense is according to his spirit's sense of the Scripture or according to the light in him, which is sufficiently manifested to be darkness itself.
But farther he adds, "that endures from generation to generation," but whether in the infinite and abiding virtue of those works finished in his own body for us, or in the daily acting and accomplishment of the same works, of being delivered to death for our offenses and raised again for our justification, over and over again, in men's particular persons; that he tells us not, but leaves it in, as he may disown the former and mean the latter, for they cannot stand together.
Farther he saith, "All inherits the same righteousness, as by faith they receive the same Jesus." But how do men by faith receive the same Jesus and so inherit the same righteousness in his sense? Is it the same Jesus in that his own personal body, in which he was once offered to bear our sins and did bear them to the tree, and is now received up into glory for us, according to the plain declarations of his testimony in the Scriptures? Is it he as so considered, received by faith of and in him, in and according to this testimony of God already declared concerning him, and so the inheriting of righteousness in and by him in like manner to be understood? that is, by faith in him, in the so receiving him by faith as our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, and so as the fruit thereof, in some first fruits of the Spirit by way of possession and in the hope of the harvest in due time. Or doth he not mean by receiving the same Jesus by faith, and so inheriting the same righteousness, a receiving the apprehension (or imagination) of the same Jesus that was in that particular body, to be in a like manner in our particular personal bodies? bearing sin in us, rising for our justification, ascending and appearing in the presence of God for us, and all this in us (as in that person), and this fancy of the same Jesus in their particular persons (as once in that one body) working the same works of salvation over again in them (as aforesaid) to be received, owned, and acknowledged as the truth and end of all (as in his letter inserted in my Antidote and in those passages therein inserted in the beginning of this) and so the satisfaction, rejoicing and confidence to be put therein for all; and that so in a like manner, the same righteousness, is in such actual accomplishment of it in them, inherited by them, as was in that one person; even the resurrection, redemption, glory, &c.? We have good ground to take him in the latter sense; not only from his leaving out <526> such words here as might answer to the first part of his pretended acknowledgment and restrain it to the same Jesus, after the same consideration; even so as in that his own personal body and works accomplished for us therein. But also from what through his writings may be seen to be his sense or imagination of the manner of men's receiving the same Jesus by faith and so of being made inheritors of his righteousness, as in his 8th page he reproaches me for not knowing or believing in him as bearing sin in me, even as the propitiatory sacrifice (compare that with page 11). See also his 20th and 21st and 24th, 25th and 26th pages, and what discovery we have already made of his principles there declared after his confused fashion: yea, his gross altering and corrupt rendering the scripture we last noted as abused by him, viz. Rom. 8:3, confirms that we last mentioned to be his sense of receiving the same Jesus by faith, and being made inheritors of that righteousness as aforesaid. Yea, there is a little discovery of it in his last page, where yet he seeks to hide in like equivocal expressions. At the close of his pretended acknowledgment of some truths, mixed with many falsities, there he saith, he hath laid them down as plain as he can, as they are in Jesus, in him revealed—where he signifies not only that the Jesus he preaches is in him, which alone doth not render him antichristian, for the true Jesus is received, so as by faith of and in him, by as many as believe on his name. But he also signifies that his Jesus he preacheth is as in him originally, the fountain, the sum and subject matter of his preaching; yea, after that consideration of him as in him preconsidered, he hath had his pretended everlasting truths of three or four years standing revealed to him, & so the Jesus his faith hath received is some imagination of some light or Spirit in him, now revealed in its working those works of redemption in his body that were wrought in that one body (as before) and that as the ground of his faith, the bottom matter and end of his rejoicing, the thing to be owned and acknowledged by him, whereas the Holy Spirit of God glorifies Jesus, that one person of God and man, that is personally ascended and set down on the right hand of Majesty in the heavens, in that one body, and as so the fountain of all grace and truth; the treasury of all wisdom and knowledge, in whom only, and as so considered, the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily; and as so lifted up and exalted, he learns all truth in him, in that influence of his light and power, in and with his testimony as come forth since he was glorified (John 16:7,13-14; Heb. 1:1,4). The Father propounds him as so glorified in our nature in that one body, and appearing in his presence for us, as the ground, foundation and object of faith, and so the Father in him; and after that consideration of him he is received, owned and acknowledged by the true believer, and so preached unto others by <527> them: so that though they preach the same Jesus that is in them, and in and to them (being received by faith) the hope of glory, yet they do not preach his being in them, or any of his operations in them or in others to whom they preach, to be looked to as the original ground or object of their faith and hope; but himself, as he is in himself for them; so as they may present them all perfect in him, as in the public person, that so in believing in him as so considered, the benefit may be received (as before) (Col. 1:27-29; Rom. 3:22-24; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; Gal. 3:13-14).
So that in James's expressions ("in Jesus in me") so joined to that before, his unsoundness and reprobateness concerning the faith is at least signified, and so that his sense in his expressions of receiving the same Jesus by faith and inheriting his righteousness is suitable to his fancy otherwhere more plainly discovered.
So that James's sense in this his acknowledgment appears to be this: that he owns no other righteousness than that everlasting righteousness of God that was wrought in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, and so wrought in his person as for himself, or at most, as a pattern of what should be wrought over again in our particular persons, that thence from the same works of death, resurrection, ascension, perfecting the propitiatory sacrifice being wrought over again in our souls and bodies, we may have the benefit, and not from the works wrought in his body for us. And so that righteousness of God (not as wrought and made perfect for us in the works of redemption, finished in his body, and so remaining in the infinite and abiding virtues of that for us, but) in the daily accomplishment and manifestation of those works of the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, as wrought, and to be wrought over again in us as they were in him, endures from generation to generation; that is, he is daily appearing to suffer and offer himself, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, which is so everlastingly offering, making and perfecting, from the beginning of the world and forever. And that all inherit the same righteousness; that is, have the same works of righteousness, in which satisfaction is made for sin, eternal redemption obtained, their persons rendered accepted, wrought over again in them in their measure, as they were wrought in Jesus in that person of Nazareth, as by faith they come to receive, own, or acknowledge that the same Jesus that was of Nazareth in that body then is now in them; and so in them, that the same works may be accomplished in him there also, even in their bodies now, both the one offering for sin and his second appearing to the utmost salvation of them that look for him, that is promised.83
<528> For farther confirmation of this to be James's sense in his acknowledgment there, remember what his words are (in page 8, 11, 20, 21, 24, 25) to the justifying his former witness of Christ's being daily and everlastingly coming in the flesh, appearing and offering himself daily to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, made and perfected through sufferings in divers souls and bodies. And so of his second appearing being manifested and accomplished in some internal operations in men, and that in this day, both contrary to God's testimony concerning Christ. See what is already said to these things in the discovery of James's vanity and corruption in his answers in those forecited pages, under the second head, in that discovery.
Likewise, for farther discovery of his inside under this acknowledgment, note that in other his pretended acknowledgments of what I charge them generally with denying or not believing, he ever leaves out such material words in my charges as in which the sense is bounded, as when I charge them with not believing or rightly confessing the grace of God in the death and resurrection of Christ, as accomplished in that his own body to be the foundation of salvation, when he would make his pretended acknowledgment of it with reference to those words, yet he leaves out these material words ("as accomplished in that his own body"). And so when I charge them with not rightly acknowledging the grace of God bringing salvation as a thing wrought in another for them, and thence and therewith moving in saving operations, when he would render that as false, yet he changes my expressions and puts in "wrought in Christ," instead of "wrought in another." As if he were afraid to acknowledge that Christ in whom salvation is wrought and brought to us to be another distinct person, and in a distinct personal body, from every of those for whom salvation is wrought and brought in and by him. See farther of these mentioned with some other pretended acknowledgments of the truth on such occasions, where this policy is used, those material words in which the sense is bounded are left out. See, I say, for this, my discovery of his gross belying me and the truth attested by me, the 22nd and 23rd branches or heads of that discovery. It appears fully in these mentioned, that his meaning in his pretended acknowledgments is that the grace of God (or rather their imagination of it) in the death and resurrection of their light or Jesus in them, as accomplished in their bodies and in divers others, is the foundation of salvation. All which considerations, in which he is but compared with himself, do confirm the truth of what we have rendered as the inward meaning or sense of his plausible acknowledgment in the beginning, or that it is something of that nature such a strange voice, as in which the Son of Man is not lifted up according to the commandment of the <529> everlasting God, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, nor anything less intended, but the man of sin, in the mystery of iniquity exalting himself in his room, whose ways are movable, that we cannot certainly know them by searching into them, but may and shall in listening to the voice of the great Shepherd be helped so far to discern as to know them to be strange and to understand good ground of rejecting and turning away from them. See a little farther for this his declarations of their principles, as he saith as plainly as he can, but 'tis as they are revealed in his Jesus in him, whose excellency lies not in revealing things so as when men read they may understand their knowledge in their mystery as the apostle of Christ (Eph. 3:4,2; 2 Cor. 1:12-13, & 4:1-2 and 2:16-17) but in using craftiness and hidden things of dishonesty in expressing things equivocally, like the oracles of the heathen supposed gods, that may be interpreted any way and yet seem to bear out several contrary senses, as the devil's first oracle, "Ye shall be as gods," might be, and doubtless was understood by our first parents, "that they should be as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost"; but it might be understood, and so they found it verified, that they should become like to them the evil angels, for they also are called gods, principalities, powers, the god of this world, &c. And as they were deceived, so may we, in listening to such glorious shows and promises of a better condition and likeness to God than what we have restored in the person of Christ for us and are set in through faith in him now, and in hope of full possession in due time; we may easily in listening be defiled and corrupted from the simplicity and plainness that is in Jesus, as demonstrated in the gospel; and then whatever else we turn to they are but fables that will serve us as the devil's oracle did. And indeed these spirits, whatever plainness James pretends, rejoice in their likeness to Satan in this: that they can so deliver their principles as men when they read may not understand their inward meaning in those words, but be confused and led to admire something they know not what, and to expect some great matter until they be defiled and decayed in their love to Christ in his person, cross, second appearing, &c. And then they may more freely further open their inside, though it tend directly to mar his visage. And that James is one with them in this craft, and using hidden things of dishonesty in his pretended acknowledgments here and elsewhere, let that passage in his book be a witness against him, page 13, where he reproaches me for using such plainness that who reads my book may read my God and my knowledge of the true God. It seems they that read James his book do not therein and so far read his knowledge, &c. Yea, the equivocalness of his expressions, and the hidden things of dishonesty used by him, and the wolf under the sheep's skin, appears sufficiently here too in this <530> following declaration of their principles; especially if we compare him with himself in other places, yea, in many of them it may appear without that; we shall take a brief view of three or four of them.
1) He saith, "that the light of Christ is the first principle, that shows a man his condition and leads to Christ the Savior; and without it the gospel is hid," &c.
But what is it that he means by Christ, whether one person of God and man, one personal body, distinct from every other person of men for whom he is in man's nature anointed, or something essentially in divers persons? This he tells us not, or what he means by that he calls "the light of Christ" that "is the first principle"; whether something the gospel, in such preaching of it as by him vouchsafed brings to men, or something that it first finds in them: though he had good reasons from the things discoursed about to have satisfied us first in these things. But what his meaning is we may see within in what we have before noted, and particularly where he covertly denies my saying that the word is not a principle in men, as of them, and so not as a habit or indwelling principle in men that believe or mind it not, while they abide in their unbelief of his testimony, not liking to entertain God in his knowledge inspired or manifested to them. Likewise where he rejects the name of God as declared in Christ and brought to light through the gospel, as carnal and literal teaching, as before is noted.
2) He saith "That though Christ Jesus in himself hath suffered and satisfied the whole will of God for all the world, yet none but who by faith in this comes to receive a measure of the same Christ in the same Spirit and power and life in them, can have redemption by him from sin and death."
Here also what he means by himself having suffered and satisfied the whole will of God for all the world may well be questioned, seeing (as we have before noted) when the apostle saith "God was in Christ reconciling the world, not imputing their trespasses," he saith, "The apostle speaks of such as had received the word of reconciliation" (meaning surely that he was in Christ in them, and as in them, condemning the sin in the flesh, as otherwhere), "and so reconciling the world, not imputing their trespasses."84 Yea, he affirms of me "that my sins are not nailed to the tree."85 So that those and other passages show his sense here to be that Christ hath suffered and satisfied the whole will of God for all the world in that one person, at most as a pattern of what he must do over again in like manner in others; and so Christ in every of them that receives this word, suffers and satisfies the whole <531> will of God for all the world in them, and so none but who by faith in this done in Christ in them come to receive a measure of the same Christ, &c., can have redemption by him from sin and death;86 yea, he might have read that all shall be redeemed from the first death and come forth of their graves and to his judgment seat, even by Jesus Christ.
3) "That the word of God is spiritual, and who hath it, hath it in their hearts," &c. This is equivocal and gives no revelation of his mind, for everything that is spiritual is not the word. There is spiritual wickedness, and that may be in the heart too. And so almost all that follows are either merely pretended acknowledgments of some truth in equivocal terms—such as in which the word of God is handled deceitfully and as under which he can intend and carry other meanings than is plainly imported—or else his own principles expressed as equivocally, in words of dishonesty and shame, as that 9: "that God and his word is now manifest in the bodies of his saints in the same manner and as freely as formerly he hath been." And so he leaves that clause without telling us in whom: I suppose he means "as formerly he hath been in the bodies of any, that one body of the person of the Son of God that was then and so prepared for him" (as hath been showed) "not excepted." And I must suppose him so to mean because in the close of these he saith "that these are the main things for which I accused them in my book." Now, though I do not accuse him directly of this in my book, yet this is that I have asserted and demonstrated, as to this point, for which he accuses me sufficiently. That God was manifest in the flesh in that one person, in such manner, & to the accomplishing of such works, as he never was in any other body. One died for all. This death of one for all is not accomplished in all the saints, nor in any other person or body but that one: whence the apostle saith, "Was Paul crucified for you?" &c. He only suffered, the just for the unjust, as the propitiatory sacrifice. And so he died once and can die no more, but is alive forevermore; so Christ was once offered in that one body to bear our sins, not many times, or in many bodies, as we have before showed. And all that are sanctified in every generation are sanctified through the offering up of that body once for all: not through the offering it up again in them, but through and with the virtues of that one offering with which he appeareth in the presence of God, he saith not "in us" but "for us," being made perfect through sufferings, he is able to save to the utmost all that come to God by him.87
<532> Then and therein God was manifested in the flesh eminently and peculiarly in respect of the manner of his manifestation, and in respect of those works for men, for and in the accomplishment of which he was manifested. Then was the Son of Man glorified, and God glorified in him, as John 13:31-32; 1 Tim. 3:16. See the explication of those scriptures, with others to this purpose, in Ant., p. 22, 23, 24, &c.
But that this is his sense, That God is manifested in the same manner, and to the accomplishment of the same works of suffering and satisfying the whole will of God for the world in them, even of bearing their sins in the body, of resurrection for justification, of ascension and appearing in the presence of God, of Christ's second appearance without sin to salvation, &c., as we read, that either was or shall be accomplished in that one person of God and man. I say, that this is his sense, see what we have noted of his witness concerning himself at the meeting, which he denies not, and of his sayings in his book confirming it and further demonstrating it to be such.
Likewise that which follows, "That no man can receive the things of God's Spirit but who mind something of God in them to receive it withal." This is darkly propounded. He tells us not whether that he calls "something of God in them" be some light, strength, or capacity to receive, that the Spirit in his coming and discoveries brings to making the word nigh in the preaching of it or in the discoveries brought. But rather and indeed signifies that there is something, some such light or Spirit of God in men, before the things of his Spirit be discovered, that if minded will incline and strengthen the man to receive the things of the Spirit. And what is this less than to render the light and Spirit they boast of to be naturally in men, even in them as of them; or also something that by what is naturally in them they are inclined to receive, drink in, or gather to themselves, which indeed is nothing else but the spirit of the world and of Satan, which is darkness itself. And that being their light and their Jesus in them: how great is that darkness! Doubtless it's far from leading them into any truth rightly, though in pursuance of self and devilish designs it may lead them to acknowledge Jesus of Nazareth to be the Son of God and his prophets and apostles to be the servants of the living God that teach us the way of salvation; as the evil spirits (in those bodies in which they dwelt and manifested themselves in as strange actions of mortification, quaking and nakedness, as now in these people) did in our Savior's and the apostles' days,88 by whom they were <533> forbidden and detected, as driving on a contrary design under such acknowledgments. See Mark 3:11-12; Acts 16:17-18.
Yea, this we are admonished of, as needful to be known and remembered by us in these last days, that the false Christs and false prophets which shall arise shall not openly or grossly and palpably bring in damnable heresies, even such as in which the Lord that bought them is denied; I say, not openly but privily, with all deceivableness of unrighteousness (in his name) in them that perish. The deceivableness of unrighteousness shall be, in some, that boast of internal proof of the mystery of all, manifest and experimented abundantly in them that perish or swerve from the faith, neglect, or let go their giving heed to and rejoicing in Christ Jesus alone. After that's a while gone from, to go after such spirits, they shall prove this deceivableness of unrighteousness in them with power and signs, &c., which will have in it to themselves and others all the show of righteousness; yea, and pretense of acknowledgment of those very truths they seek to undermine, that it may have; and that will be such as will deceive themselves and all that swerve from their resting place. For God shall send them strong delusions, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned, who believed not the truth, nor received the love of it to save them, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thess. 2:9,11). Let us therefore remember that our Savior hath told us before, and his Spirit hath spoken expressly to us, that there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and that they shall come in his name, and with show of great signs and wonders, if possible, to deceive the very elect (Matt. 24:4-5,11,23-25; Mark. 13:5-6,21,23). Their grand design or work primely intended is set out by this double character of them, "false Christs" and "false prophets"; in both which their end is destruction (as Phil. 3:19 with Ps. 62:3-4; 2 Cor. 11:1,4).
1) To undermine, mar, and overthrow the acknowledgment of Christ in what he hath done and is become in his own body for us, and the only and infinite and abiding virtue of that with the Father for men, and for prevailing with men in the influences and discoveries of that in him for bringing men back to God and for perfecting them that are sanctified, or so to mar this visage of the Son of Man as to cast him down from his excellency therein; and to this purpose, to introduce another Jesus, a Christ, a contrary anointing.
2) Therein also to beguile us of our reward, to unsettle and move us from our waiting for his Son from heaven and the blessed hope of the glory of God then to be revealed, at least to slight that as a strange and inconsiderable thing, and to that purpose, in the stead of it, to introduce another understanding of the promise of his coming, and all <534> other promises of things to come with it, such as may have great show and glorious pretense of spirituality and appear as confirmed or verified in them.
In respect of the design they secretly pursue, or work they privily enterprise, they are deniers of the only Lord that bought them, and scoffers at the promise of his coming (2 Pet. 2:1-2 and 3:1,3). But,
The way in which they walk in the pursuance of this enterprise is 1) Not by a positive and palpable denial of these things (for they shall come privily), but 2) They shall come in his name (i) with a seeming and verbal acknowledgment of Jesus, and the resurrection of that Jesus to be the Son of God and the Lord, and of his second appearing, &c., according to the Scriptures; yet this may be easily discerned by them that have their eyes in their head. That they even in those seeming acknowledgments occasionally for advantage sake do not praise, magnify or lift up Jesus Christ and these things of him, but bring them in as strange things, and render them as a sealed book, and the so knowing those things of Christ as fleshly, low, and carnal knowing him. They lift not up the Son of Man, as Moses lift up the serpent in the wilderness, as the only object perfectly prepared in himself for all help and healing of men; that whosoever looketh to him as so lifted up and spiritually demonstrated in his testimony might in such looking to him meet with all help and healing as is good and needful for them, even saving to the utmost. They do not, as the true Spirit, take of his things and glorify him; but, (ii) speak of themselves, yet in his name, under pretense of such acknowledgment of Christ, and in his name they lift up and commend something else in the room of him and of those great things of his law forementioned, and the last and most subtle sorts of them, some internal operations, showed with signs and wonders also, though lying ones, because to introduce a lie in the room and name of the very Christ; saying in his name and under pretense of acknowledging him the sacrifice, propitiation, Lord and Christ, "I am Christ"; which is in effect done, in saying that his appearing in the flesh to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself there made and offered, his resurrection, ascension and appearing in the presence of God for us, is acted and accomplished in their bodies; likewise saying in his name, and under pretense of acknowledging his second appearing without sin to the salvation of them that look for him, and the resurrection of the dead, and the glory then to be revealed on them that wait for him, that these things are already made and accomplished in them; saying, "Lo here, or lo there, in the desert, or in the secret chambers," or the like, is Christ appearing personally the second time, and accomplishing in us the things others are and have been waiting for all <535> their time in this present world; and to these they shall pervert Scripture and pretend Spirit, and so come with all deceivableness of unrighteousness (as before) in them that perish, that they shall deceive many, overthrow the faith and hope (that is indeed in Christ Jesus) of many; yea, many shall follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of; let us therefore redeem the time,89 and improve the opportunities put into our hand for being well furnished with wisdom in the knowledge of him, in these great things of his law, because the days are evil; and in the light and strength of God's grace in Christ continue in the things that we have learned in the word of the truth of the gospel,90 through the evidence and demonstration of the Spirit therein;91 having so great promises given us in, and to be given with Jesus Christ, even in the influences and demonstrations of him, for keeping us through faith, to the salvation now ready to be revealed in the last time;92 and if we depart not willfully from him here, but abide or continue (according to his strengthening operations, in and with his gospel vouchsafed) in the faith of him, in what he hath done and is become, and be not moved from the hope of the gospel, &c., we shall as the issue of our faith and patience be presented together with him and by him, and so to himself (as he now presents us in himself to the Father) holy and without blame or spot of sin or death: our body that now is vile shall then be fashioned into the likeness of his glorious body; and we shall be ever with the Lord, and like him in glory.93
Having therefore, I say, so great promises in Christ, both pertaining to this life and that to come, let us in the light, strength and encouragement of them go on, cleansing ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord, not as though we had already attained, either were already perfect as to attainment, but pressing towards the mark; if by any means we may attain to and not fail of the blessed and first resurrection. To that purpose, let all that know the grace of God in truth, for their own and others' good, in the light and strength of that grace. building up themselves in their most holy faith, and praying in the Holy Ghost, keep themselves in the love of God in Christ, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life,94 that when he comes, we may not be ashamed.
1. Antidote, p. 65.
2. Satan's Design, title page, and p. 49.
3. J.N.'s letter, Antid., page 17.
4. Ant., p. 61, with 60 & 62.
5. Ant., p. 3, 4 and 47.
6. Ant., p. 22.
7. Ant., p. 24.
8. p. 25.
9. Ant., p. 44.
10. page 59 and 60.
11. Anti., p. 80.
12. Anti., p. 15.
13. p. 76 & 77.
14. p. 62,63,64,65 & 88,89.
15. Antid., p.36 & 43.
16. Ant., p.82.
17. Ant., p.86.
18. Ant. p. 88 and 89.
19. Ant., p. 93 and 94.
20. Ant. p. 12.
21. Postscr., p. 2.
22. Ant., p. 48, 49 to the 63.
23. Sat. Des., title page, p. 45 & 46.
24. p. 4, & 3.
25. p. 6.
26. Ant., p. 39.
27. p. 41.
28. p. 88.
29. p. 93.
30. p. 32 & 33.
31. Ant., p. 22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,&c.
32. Satan's des., p.9.
33. Satan's des. p. 17 & 56.
34. Ant. Epist. p. 11,12,13; Book, p. 44 & 45.
35. Satan's des.. p. 18.
36. Ant., p. 24.
37. Phil. 3; 1 Cor. 15.
38. Satan's des., p. 51.
39. Ant. Epist., pag. 5.
40. 2 Pet. 2:1-2; Num. 16:3.
41. Isa. 57:19-20.
42. Ps. 52:2-4.
43. Satan's des., p. 15.
44. Satan's des., p. 8; Ant. Epist., p. 1,2.
45. Satan's des., p. 8.
46. Ant. Epist., p. 5.
47. Ant., p. 49, 50.
48. Anti. p. 22 & 23.
49. Satan's des., p. 24.
50. Ps. 107:16.
51. Satan's des., p. 27.
52. Ant., p. 52,53,&c.
53. p. 55,56,57,&c.
54. See p. 53.
55. John 16:20-22.
56. Acts 1:3-4.
57. Ant., p. 58.
58. Sat. d., p. 21.
59. Ant. Epist., p. 14, Book, p. 12 & 45.
60. Satan's des., p. 21.
61. Ant., p. 88 & 89.
62. Luke 24:39, &c.; Acts 1:10-11; 1 Cor. 15:44-48; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; Col. 2:9; Eph. 4:8,10; 1 Thess. 4:16; Matt. 16:27.
63. Ant., p. 37,41.
64. Rev. 19:10; John 16:8,13-14.
65. Satan's des., p. 17.
66. Ant., p. 40.
67. Sat. d., p. 18.
68. Sat. d., p. 19.
69. Ant., p. 43 & 44.
70. Sat. d., p. 20.
71. Sat. d., p. 17.
72. Ant., p. 74 & 75.
73. Sat. d., p. 30.
74. Ant., p. 83 & 84.
75. Ant., p. 44.
76. Ant., p. 83 & 84.
77. Sat. d., p. 31.
78. Ant., p. 85 & 86.
79. Sat. d., p. 32.
80. Ant, p. 86 & 87.
81. Ant., p. 88, & 72, & 73.
82. Ant., p. 92 & 93.
83. Contrary to Heb. 9:24,25,28 and 10:1,12.
84. Satan's des., p. 20.
85. page 24.
86. The corruption of which sense is before discovered & detected.
87. 2 Cor. 5:14-15; 1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18; 1 Cor. 1:13; Heb.9:24,28; 10:4-5,10.
88. Luke 8:27-28.
89. Eph. 5:16-17.
90. 1 Tim. 3:14; 1:13-14.
91. Gal. 3:1,3.
92. Rom. 8:32; 1 Pet. 1:5.
93. Col. 1:22-23; Eph. 5:26-27; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 John 1:2; Col. 3:4.
94. 2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Tim. 4:8,10; Phil. 3:10-14; Jude 20-21.