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THE Heart Opened by Chriſt; OR, The Conditions of a troubled Soul that could find no true Reſt, Peace, Comfort, nor ſatisfaction in any thing below the Divine Power and Glory of God, breaking forth and appearing in ſeveral operations and manifeſtations, by the bleſſed Spirit of the Lord Jeſus, the Saviour of the ſoul, God manifeſting himſelf in fleſh, that he may glorified in Spirit.

With, A word to thoſe that are for the Approbation of Miniſters; and ſomething to thoſe that ſcruple about the Receiving or not Receiving that which they call a Sacrament and Communion of Saints, at Ea­ſter, Penticoſt, Chriſtmas, ſo called, and other Feſtival and ſet daies, or any other time when it is to be adminiſtred by thoſe Prieſts that profeſs themſelves to be Miniſters of Chriſt.

Written in the year 1654. in the third Moneth, commonly called May, by R. F.


The Heart Opened by Chriſt; OR, The Conditions of a troubled Soul that could find no reſt, peace, comfort, nor ſatisfaction in any thing below the Divine Power and glory of God, breaking forth and appearing through ſeveral operations and manifeſtations, by the bleſſed Spirit of the Lord Jeſus, the Saviour of the Soul.

ABout the 16 year of the age of my natural life, the Lord did begin to work under a cloud, and let me ſee the vanity that I lived in, and wrought me into ſome inward trouble of mind, and I ſeeing that the wrath of God was revealed againſt ſin in me, knew not what to do to ſatisfie his Juſtice that was offended; but by con­ſulting with mine own heart, and carnal reaſon together, ſet on ſome ſelf-acting, to ſeek for life, peace, comfort, and ſatisfa­ction to my ſoul, and ſo concluded in my ſelf, that reading, hea­ring of Sermons, and prayer, was the way and means to appeaſe the wrath of God, and to attain to ſalvation, believing in the Declaration of the Scriptures,Pſal. 32.5, 6. v. Pſal. 55, 16, 17. Deut. 6.10. 1 Theſ. 5 17. and Chriſt dying at Jeruſalem, to ſatisfie the infinite Juſtice which was offended by me a ſin­full creature; and ſo betook my ſelf to read often, and pray often, at ſet times, and to hear Sermons often, that it became cuſtomary, and I left off my ſports and pleaſures, looking upon them all to be vain and heatheniſh, and became very ſtrict in ob­ſerving2 what the Prieſts did preſs me unto, and read three times a day, and prayed as often, and ſeveral times in the night, and roſe out of bed to pray upon my bare knees, becauſe David prayed ſeveral times in the night, and what I did, it was from imitation of others, knowing no better way then at that pre­ſent, but as the Prieſts taught me, who themſelves were never taught of God; and I got many Chapters by heart to medi­tate on as I went about my labour, and applyed the Promiſes and Saints conditions to my ſelf, and went to Church, as I cal­led it, and they taught me, and I writ Sermons, and repeated duty at the nights, and obſerved both publique duty and pri­vate, as they called it, and I then followed their waies and wor­ſhips, reſting in thoſe outward performances, and ſo went on in a fleſhly joy, that ſpring up from thoſe fleſhly performan­ces acted in the will, and by the reaſon, and did increaſe in out­ward knowledg, walking a little ſtrictly to the outward appea­rance, making ſome conſcience of my way that I walked in, and became zealous, ſo that I could have perſecuted even unto death, thoſe that were licentious, and did not walk as exactly as I did.

And all this while I was but carnal and earthly, knowing nothing of the new birth, and the reſurrection of the juſt, but walked on in an outward profeſſion, believing all to be true that the Prieſts told me, and was very zealous for them at that time, and was Catechized by them, obſerved to do as they gave me directions, and would gladly do what was and might make moſt for the glory of God, and as they told me, that the Stee­plehouſe was the Church and Houſe of God, I did then believe them, and as they told me that Sprinkling Infants was one of the Sealing Ordinances; and that which they called a Sacra­ment, was another; I gave credit to what they ſaid, and was mighty zealous for thoſe traditions three or four years; and I did then loath all open prophaneneſs, and ſports, and pleaſures, and Idle and vain company, and grew ſolid and ſerious in my way, deſiring of the Lord to inſtruct me and teach me his mind and will, that I might do what he made known unto me, out of the integrity of mine heart, and being ſtrict in hearing, rea­ding, and praying, I was reproached by the rude people, and3 called a Puritan, Roundhead, and the like, and ſo rejoyced in that, calling it the Croſs of Chriſt; but the Croſs of Chriſt is a myſtery.

And about the 20 year, or 21 of my age, I began to queſtion many things that I had been ſo zealous for; and ſomething roſe up in my ſpirit to work me into an examination of my way and worſhip that I then lived in, and made me reſtleſs in my ſpirit, and ſet me on ſearching the Scriptures very diligently, and by the light of God in my conſcience, and the Scriptures together teſtifying,Act. 20.28. 1 Pet. 2.5. Act. 4 32 Eph. 1.22.23. Eph. 2.19, 20, 21 22. Eph. 5.26, 27. 1 Theſ. 1. 1 Theſ. 2.9, to 14. I came to ſee that the Steeplehouſe was not a Church, nor the houſe of God, as they had told me; and I believed that prayer was more acceptable in that houſe then in any other place, till the Lord convinced me of that error recei­ved by tradition from the Prieſts; for I was made to ſee by the breakings forth of the light of God in my ſpirit, that the Stee­plehouſe was no Church, for the Scripture ſaith, that Chriſt came to redeem his Church with his blood, and not that Stone­houſe; and that the Church of Chriſt was made all of living ſtones, elect and pretious, and there is not one living ſtone in that; and although there were a Temple commanded to be built by Solomon, and that was but a figure for the time preſent, till Chriſt came to put an end to the Covenant outwardly, Tem­ple, and Sacrifices, that were then offered up; and Chriſt ſaid, that there ſhould not be one ſtone left upon another in that Temple that was at Jeruſalem, and there were never any o­ther commanded to be builded; and now there are many Idols Temples which are no Churches, for the Church is in God the Father of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, as Paul and Silvanus writ to the Theſſalonians, and the Church of Chriſt were of one heart, and one mind; but now in the Engliſh Churches, or people that aſſemble together in the Idols Temple, they are of confu­ſion, one ſaying one thing, and another ſaying another, both Prieſts and people divided. But in the Church of Chriſt there is true unity, and no jarring nor jangling; and the Saints their bodies are Temples for the holy Ghoſt to dwell in, as God hath ſaid, 2 Cor. 6.17, 18.

Then was I convinced by the light of Chriſt in my conſci­ence, that the Prieſts were very formal in that which they cal­led4 prayer, and that they kept in a form of words, and knew before hand what to ſpeak,Mat. 6.7. Mar. 6.5. 1 Cor. 14 15. Rom. 8.26.27. Zac. 8.21. Mar. 26.41. Act. 12.5 Rom. 12.12. Jude 20. Jam. 5.15 16. when to begin, and when to end, any natural man might do ſo, that had but a quick wit and me­mory, and I could have done that my ſelf, till I was convinced that either to get prayers out of a book, or to pray by a book was carnal and formal. and not by the ſpirit, and this was a ſe­cond error that I lived in, till the Lord did convince me of it by his ſpirit, and I had received that by tradition from the Prieſts, and as the light of God did ariſe in me, I could not be ſatisfi­ed with ſuch carnality, and ſo likewiſe their Preaching became but as the telling of a Tale, or a boy that ſaith over his weeks work at the School, what he hath learned all the week, he ſaith over at once, or one time, and ſo did the Prieſts, they ſtudied out of books, and writ down in papers, and knew where to be­gin, and where to end, and any natural man might do ſo; but the natural man knoweth not the things of God, for they are ſpiritually diſcerned: And this is another error that I did live in, till I was convinced of it by the pure light of God in my conſcience;Iſa 9.16. Iſa. 3 12. Hoſ. 4 9. for the Prieſts neither Preached nor prayed by the Spirit, and ſo there was little or no reformation at all wrought by it, for people that had been proud, did continue ſo, and the Prieſts led them on in it, and made them covers for it, and ſo on in covetouſneſs ſports, or pleaſures, and the like for look­ing at the Prieſt for an example,Eph. 5.4.4, 5, 6, 1 Cor. 12 12, 13 Rom. 6.3.4, 5. Gal. 3.27 and ſeeing him given to pride, covetouſneſs, and the like, the people ſay in their hearts, that if it were not right, he would not do it, and if he do it, they may do it, for he knoweth more then they do, and ſo they fol­low him for their example, and become light and vain, and that Scripture is fulfilled by them, The Leaders of the people cauſe them to err. And a fourth error that was diſcovered to me, that the Prieſts led into, was ſprinkling infants, calling it Bap­tiſm, and entring them into (ovenant with Chriſt; and Chriſt never ſprinkling any infant, nor the Apoſtles never ſprinkled any, for that is carnal, and they have no Scripture-rule for it, for by one ſpirit did, and were they baptized into one body in the Church of Chriſt, and made to drink into one ſpirit: But the Prieſts of England walk clear contrary to the Saints rule and order in the true Church, and they obſerved fooliſh5 heatheniſh cuſtoms in the Steeplehouſes in Yorkshire, at the ſprinkling of infants; they were to have Godfathers and God­mothers for the child, and God hath neither father nor mother, and all that are born of water and the ſpirit, and baptized with the holy Ghoſt, do deny thoſe Popiſh Ceremonies; and a fooliſh thing was there upheld at the ſprinkling of infants, If a young man did not kiſs the young woman there openly, he was to forfeit a pair of gloves, and the Prieſt did ſuffer ſuch things as theſe unreproved; and I was convinced of the error of them, and made to teſtifie againſt them, and could not ſing Davids conditions in Rime and Meeter with them, becauſe I could not experience thoſe conditions in my ſelf to be fulfilled;Ro. 12.2. Eph. 5.6. to the 19 verſe. and what I could not witneſs was not mine, then was I hated and reproached, and called Independent, Browniſt, Seperate, and the like, and was content to bear their reproaches, for the teſtimony of the truth in what I knew, 1 Pet. 4.14.

For in reading the Scriptures I did ſee that there never was any ſuch things practized amongſt Chriſtians,1 Pet. 3.18, 19, 20, 21. Acts 1.5.6. Mat. 3. and that all that were baptized with water, which was the figure, were ſuch as did bring forth fruits of amendment of life, as in Luke 3. and were believers, and not infants; and though Chriſt did ſay, Suffer little children to come, and forbid them not, for of ſuch is the Kingdom of God, Mark 9.33. to the end. Mark 10. chap. 13, 14, 15, 16.

Yet he did not baptize them, for he baptized none himſelf, but his Diſciples, John 4.2. they did not baptize any but believers; yes, ſay they, the Goaler and his houſhold, and others and their houſhold; and then conſequently ſay they, there muſt be infants in an houſhold.

Now that was their carnal reaſon and conſequence that led them out into the imaginations of their own hearts, for no in­fant is mentioned; and they might be ſuch places as their chil­dren were grown up to believe in Chriſt, for the word was preached to them before they were baptized, and when the Goaler asked what ſhould be done that ſalvation might follow? it was anſwered, Believe, and be baptized; but had there been infants, they had not been capable of faith, and the preaching of the word by the holy Ghoſt, which gave power with the thing6 done, to make it effectual, Acts 16.32, 33; 34. Acts 18.7, 8, 9, 10, 11.

And ſecondly, as for infants being in thoſe Families, there is not any mention of them, and there might as well be no child at all, for in ſeveral Families in Yorkshire, and for inſtance, that where I then lived, they never had child, and if all the Fa­mily had been in the faith there, and baptized, there would not have been one infant.

And Chriſts ſuffering little children to come unto him, was to bleſs them and heal them of their diſeaſes, which was the work he was about at that time, and not baptizing with water, for he baptized none but with the holy Ghoſt, Mat. 3.11.

And herein the error of the Prieſts was diſcovered, that they did not act by the ſpirit of the Lord, but followed the imagi­nation of their own hearts, and lead people into error and de­luſion, and do things without warrant from the Spirit of the living God, and ſo are ignorant of the Goſpel; for the Mini­ſters of the Goſpel are the Miniſters of the ſpirit,Eph. 3.2, 3 to the 13. 2 Cor. 3.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 2 Cor. 4. to the 14 verſe, Gal. 1.11, 12. Col. 1 25. to the end.

Another thing the Prieſts led me to obſerve, and that they called a Sacrament and Communion of Saints, and told me it was a ſacrifice acceptable, and well pleaſing to God, for the purging out of ſin, and aſſuring the ſoul of Gods love and fa­vour, and a ſealing ſoul-ſaving Ordinance, and the like: And one came to the houſe where I lived, a High-Prieſt, who had been a Captain in the Army, and examined me about it, near unto an houſe, and I did conſent to receive it at his hands, which was a thing that I very much did ſcruple, whether I ought to do if, or not to do it, becauſe in my examination, in my own ſpirit, I could not tell well what the body of Chriſt was, though I could talk talk to him much, and in many words about thoſe things, for I had got much to ſpeak of, though I did then lit­tle experience what I ſaid, but thought it was ſufficient to talk and diſcourſe of things, and reſt in the outward knowledge of the ſame.

There was great expectation of the Prieſt to come to that Town where I lived, to examine and ſee who were ſit to re­ceive,7 and who was not, for he would not admit of any.

And great fear was upon many, and that not of the ſmalleſt, before the day of Examination came, leſt they ſhould not have wherewithall to anſwer, and ſo come to ſhame; but it was ſo, that he came to that Halls Place, where I then was a ſervant, and I was ſent for in to the Prieſt, and going into the Hall, the Owners thereof went their waies forth; and I would have followed, but the Prieſt called me to him, and asked me many queſtions, and we continued our diſcourſe near unto an hour, ſo that the laſt queſtion he asked me, was the firſt he began with, and I told him the ſame, and upon that we parted, and he ſtroaked me on the head, and gave me his bleſſing, the bleſ­ſing of the Prieſt, and the laying on of his hand, but I did not receive any holy Ghoſt by him, nor at that time knew not what the holy Ghoſt was.

Yet when the Prieſt and they came together ſoon after that day, he told them he was never ſo anſwered by any, except they had been at Cambridge, as if God could not teach his truth without Cambridge and Oxford helps and moreover he ſaid he would go forty miles on his bare feet, if all his Pariſh were ſuch; upon that condition, ſo reaſoning carnally, though then I knew not the ſame, but ſadled a horſe, and road to accompa­ny him towards his houſe that night, and he ſhewed much outward love; but as the day did appear, the ſhadows fled away.

And before the time came that we were to go to eat bread and Wine, which they call a Sacrament, and Communion of Saints; but is not (I ſay before the time came that it was to be given, and I to receive it) there was great reaſoning in me, and great preparation I made by reaſoning and praying, and pow­ring forth my complaint to the Lord to fit me, and prepare me, and make me worthy to partake of that Ordinance, and make me a fit Communicant, and the like; but after three or four weeks preparation, ſtill I was not right in my ſelf, and knew not what to do, whether to receive it or not; yet leſt I ſhould of­fend, I went, and when I was going, all the way I prayed, and pondered in my heart, and deſired of the Lord to ſeal up aſſu­rance to my foul that day by the ſame; and when I was to re­ceive8 the Cup into my hand, I trembled in my heart for fear, leſt I ſhould be unworthy; and after I had received the bit and the ſup, I ſat pondering of it in my heart, and waited in ex­pectation in my ſelf, to receive ſome divine operation, and ſpi­ritual change, and to receive aſſurance of the pardon of ſin; but none came in: But the thoughts of my heart did excee­dingly trouble me, and Judas was brought into my remem­brance, how that Satan entred after that he had received the ſop: and then great queſtioning and reaſoning did ariſe in me, whether I were of the number of Gods Elect, yea or no, and great fear came upon me, and I went home, and prayed to the Lord, and cryed and prayed a week or two before I was clear­ed, and ſo it wrought for good, for I ſaw then by the light of God in my conſcience, that it was not the body and bloud of Chriſt, but a carnal invention: and ſo did the Lord clear my underſtanding in that thing, and let me ſee why Chriſt broke the Paſſeover with his Diſciples, and how the bread which the Saints broke, was the Communion of the body of Chriſt, and the cup which they drank, was the Communion of the blood of Chriſt;1. Cor. 10 15, 16, 17 and ſo was I made to ſee the error of the Prieſts in that thing, and that theirs was but a ſacrificing to Devils, and not to God, as the Gentiles did, ſo doe they, 1 Cor. 10. 20, 21.

And ſo I ſaw the deceits of the Prieſts in many of their grea­teſt Idols, yet I durſt not leave them off, till I ſaw the Lord clear in leading me out of that way, and went to thoſe that I judged to be the beſt, and left the worſt, and could not be ſa­tisfied in my ſpirit, but my ſoul wanted, longed, and thirſted after the living bread.

And a death came upon all that life which I had received in hearing of them, the Prieſts, and ſo the beſt of them was as the worſt, nothing more, but a refined ſubtilty, and a higher de­ceit in the high notionary Prieſts, and the free gratious, and none could ſatisfie or give peace to my ſoul amongſt them all, and I was taken off from writing after them, my memory fail­ed me, and my wiſdom was confounded, and the pure ſeed was burdened, and groaned for deliverance, but they could not help, but wounded me, and leſt me, and there I lay, until the9 Lord viſited with his loving kindneſs, and took me into the Inn, the Doctrine of his Son, and healed and cured my diſeaſed and wounded ſoul.

For a year, or very nigh, I was full of trouble, and did ſee in­to the deceits of Prieſts, but looked that ſome of them ſhould be right, and went from one to another; and if I did hear of a­ny that were high in notion, I ran after him, but he was at the reſt, and ſtill my ſoul wanted, and I knew not where to betake my ſelf to find reſt, all outward helps and means failed, and I was ſo wearied in my ſpirit, that I could not write after them as I had done, and I ſaw them to be confuſed in their ſayings, one ſaying one thing, and another ſaying another, and they con­fuſed themſelves many times in their own ſayings, which did exceedingly trouble me, for in hearing of them as the pure ſeed or God ſprung in me, and groaned for deliverance, never a Prieſt that ever I heard or met with, could deliver, nor direct me where to wait till deliverance came, but drove me further off, for when all duties and performances failed, and death paſ­ſed upon them, that I neither found life in hearing, reading not prayer, but was wearied, and cryed out day and night, weeping and wailing, and was full of the terror of the Lord, and my earth was diſquieted and did mourn, and I lamented, but no eye pittied, for they were to me as Jobs miſerable comforters, and inſtead of healing they wounded, and ſet me to act and do in my will, as I had done, and bad me repent, and believe, and the like, but never told me, neither how to repent nor believe by experience, and ſo I was ſtill as far from peace and reſt as I was before, and the righteous Law was ſet up in me, which did condemn me for all my ſelf-actings, and wearied me out of all, and the curſes rung in my ears, curſed, curſed, curſed art thou, for thou doſt not continue in all things that are written in the book of the Law, to do them; and the pure was ſtirred up in me, and wounded the Serpent time after time, yet not meeting with any true ſhepherd that could direct to walk by the foot­ſteps of the flock, to come where the fold was, I wandred to and fro, from mountain to mountain, in cloudes and thick dark­neſs, and the hireling ſhepherds inſtead of ſeeking a poor loſt ſheep that wandred, and wanted life and refreſhment, they10 drove me off, and ſet their dogs on me, and chaced me away from them, and ſo fulfilled the Propheſie of Ezekiel, the 34 Chapter.

For when I could not find any reſt, peace, comfort, or ſatiſ­faction in any thing that I could do, and durſt not but go to hear ſome of them; when I came there, none ſpake to my condition, but all was confuſed, what they builded up in the forepart of their Sermons,Iſa. 56.10 11 Phil. 3.1 2, 3. Rev. 22.14, 15. they threw it down again in the hin­der part, and began to rail and bark like doggs, and cryed out of Hereticks and Schiſmaticks, and the like; I could not bear it, becauſe that when I asked them the ground of error, Schiſm, and Hereſie, and would have had them not to cry out of thoſe things, but lay them open, and make them known to the peo­ple to be avoided; but they ſtill kept barking and ſnarling at my heels, or behind my back, but not to my face, and they ſet the curs to bark and javver in the ſtreets, and they would rayl upon me, and others that walked in any tenderneſs of conſci­ence, Souldiers and others that then feared God; and if we had been ſpeaking two or three together, they would have cal­led us Tub-Preachers, and Sectaries, and Independants, and the like, and railed on us, wagging their heads, as the wicked did at David, and ſo they fulfilled the ſaying of the Lord by the Prophet. My ſheep wandred upon all the mountains and up­on every high hill, yea my flock was ſcattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did ſearch or ſeek after them, Ezek. 34. 6. and ſaith the Lord to the hireling Shepherds, that eat the fat, and cloath themſelves with the wool, who feed themſelves, and feed not the flock, the diſeaſed have ye not ſtrengthened, nei­ther have ye healed that which was ſick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye ſought that which was loſt, but with force and cruelty have ye ruled them, and ſo have they fulfilled the ſaying of the Lord by his Prophet, Ezek. 34 3, 4. but ſtill my ſoul longed to ſee the ſalvation of the Lord, and many a day did I weep and cry, and looked upon my ſelf to be the miſerableſt creature that was upon the face of the earth, and I could not reſt till I left off for going to the Stee­plehouſe, which was by them called a Church; and this pro­miſe11 of the Lord came in, I will teach thee freely my ſelf, and all the children of the Lord ſhall be taught of the Lord, and in righteouſneſs ſhall they be eſtabliſhed, Iſa. 54.13, 14. Ezek. 34.11, 12, &c.

But when I left off, and did not go to Church, as they cal­led it, and had been ſo diligent to hear, repeat, and write Ser­mons, and pray, and perform duty, and the like, then came ſome profeſſing people that I had been very intimate with, and they perſwaded me to go to the Church again, and ſaid I ſhould give great occaſion of offence to many, if I left off, that had been ſo as I had been, and the like, ſo that they prevailed with me to go ſometimes; but great trouble was upon me when I was there, hearing them lie, as they did: and there was much preſſings in my ſpirit to ſpeak to them openly, but I was hin­dred, and roſe up and went out and left them, with reſoluti­ons never to hear them more, come on me what will come, and then ſtayed away till ſome came to me, and wept over me to en­treat me to go again, and could not prevail; and ſome that had command of me in the outward, would have come and threat­ned me what they would do, if that I would not go to the Church, as they called it, and it was their duty they ſid, to cauſe me to obſerve them in their commands. To the which I anſwered, and ſaid, that in any outward affairs that I could do, they ſhould command me, and I would be ſubject to them; but as touching the worſhip of God, they were not to com­mand me contrary to my conſcience; for they were but earth­ly minded people, though they were great in the world, and of a great profeſſion, and the natural man knew not the things of God, becauſe they were ſpiritually to be diſcerned; ſo I deſi­red them to pardon me in that thing,1 Cor. 2.14. for I could not go with them to the houſe of Rimmon to worſhip; I ſhould be willing to die, rather then to offend my conſcience in what I was con­vinced of, and offend my God, to ſerve mens wils, whether is it better to obey God or man, judge ye for I cannot be ſub­ject in that thing: So I was made to deny the Prieſts and their way of worſhip,Luke 9.23. Mat. 10.38 16, 24 and deny all that which I had gathered toge­ther under them, and wait upon God for teaching, counſel, and direction in all things, according to his promiſe, which he hath12 fulfilled, and in waiting upon the Lord, in the light of the ſpirit of truth I found much inward peace,Rom. 7.9, 10, 11, 12 Rom. 8.2 3, 4. Hagga, 2.6, 7. 1 Pet. 1.25. Jam. 1.21 Rom. 10. 6, 7, 8. Heb. 4.12 Col. 3.16 Job. 28.7 8, 9, 10, 11. 1 Cor. 1. 26, to 29 1 Cor. 2.12, 13. Phil. 3. 2 Cor. 4.8, 9, 10, 11 Gal. 1.11 12, 15, 16 verſe. Eph. 4.4.5. 1 Pet 1.22, 23. Joh. 6.51 1 Pet. 2.2, 3, 4, 5. Joh. 14.16, 17. Rom. 8.14, 15, 16 17. Joh. 14.26. Col. 1 25 26, 27. joy, comfort, and ſatisfa­ction to my ſoul, and the righteous law of the ſpirit of life ſet up within, convincing of ſin, and the righteous judgement of God, condemning all unrighteouſneſſe, as the light and law of the ſpirit of life in Chriſt Jeſus did diſcover it in me, and the e­ternal word and power of God were preached in me by Chriſt Jeſus, my Lord, which power did ſhake the earth, ſea, and dry land, and did overturn the mountains by the roots, and put dark­neſs to an end in me, ſo that the true light of the glory of God in the face of Jeſus Chriſt, doth now ſhine in my ſoul, and the heavenly treaſure doth dwell in an earthen veſſel, as the Apoſtle did witneſſe, 2 Cor. 4.6, 7.

And my joy is in doing the will of my heavenly Father, and the Lord Jeſus my Saviour, who hath called me by his grace, and ſet me to declare againſt deceits and deceivers, and all falſe waies, falſe worſhips, which ſtand in the will of man, and being dead with Chriſt, from the rudiments of the world, as in Coloſ. 2. I can never touch, taſte, nor handle that which is to periſh, ver. 20, 21, 22, 23. God is a ſpirit, and all his waies and wor­ſhips are now in the ſpirit, and his Miniſtry is in the ſpirit, and his Miniſters are made by the will of God, and the ſon is re­vealed in them, and they are able Miniſters of the ſpirit, and the baptiſm of Chriſt in the new Covenant is by one ſpirit into one body, and we are made all to drink into one ſpirit, where there is one faith, one Lord, one Baptiſm, one God and Father of us all, who are born again of water and the ſpirit, and our ſouls are nouriſhed with the milk of the word, and Chriſt is our bread of life, and water of life, and feedeth our ſouls with the refreſhing mercies of his eternal love, ſo that we having received the promiſe of the Father, which is the ſpirit of his Son, crying Abba, Father, in our hearts, guiding and leading us into all trut, that we are made to exalt and ſet forth Jeſus Chriſt to be the everlaſting Miniſter of the new Covenant, and his Goſpel is free, and he Preacheth glad tidings to our ſouls, and giveth good gifts to our ſouls, and we are made to cry, Hoſanna to the high­eſt, praiſes, praiſes be to our God and Saviour, the Lord God and his Son, and the holy Ghoſt the Comforter, whom the13 world knoweth not, nor the Prieſts and Clergy-men, with all their high notions, and guilded pretences, cannot find out,Job 28.12, to 17 who open their bags to receive of our earthly Treaſure, but never made us to partake of any ſpiritual gifts; I deny them all that are hirelings, and teach for Tythes, gifts, or rewards, they are Idol ſhepherds, and Miniſters of man, and ſent of man, and obey man, and received Orders, Commiſſion, Power and Authority, means and maintenance of man, who are they that do not abid in the councel of God, and do not profit the people of God;Jer. 23: 21 to 33. and now it is conſidered as in the Propheſie of Jeremiah, 23.16.17. to 21.

So I have cleared my conſcience, in declaring part of my ex­perience of them, and not by report nor opinion of others.

And being the deſire of you the Commiſſioners that are for the approving of them your National Miniſters, as you call them,The Book of affairs in the Nation, pag. 3. Friday the 7. of April, to 1654. who ſay you do humbly and earneſtly beſeech all the people of God throughout the Land, who ſhall ſend any Certificate to you, that they would not take things upon the opinion and re­ports of others; but to certifie their own perſonal knowledg and experience of them, your Miniſters, &c. as in the book you ſet forth, on the third leaf, Friday the 7 of April. 1654. as you ſay, that you would not have any of the people of God recom­mend unto you, them whom God diſalloweth, leſt guilt be con­tracted by the Recommenders, to whoſe Teſtimonials you ſay, ſo much is referred, that unfaithfull men, whom God doth not approve of, may not be commended to you, leſt they be admit­ted of by you, to the diſhonour of God, the prejudice of the Church, and the utter fruſtrating of the pious intents of your Honours, beſides the blot which will deſervedly ſtick to them, not only for the preſent, but with poſterity, and ſucceeding times; For as much as the Certificates now exhibited, will appear up­on Record.

So to this my Certificate and Teſtimonial of them, the Prieſts of theſe times, whith I do not know by the opinion or report of others, but by real experience, whether you do approve of it or no, I have done my duty in clearing my conſcience, to let you know part of my experience of them, and according to your de­ſire and humble requeſt, and reſt,

A ſervant of the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, Rich. Farnworth.

A Word to you that are appointed to be Commſſioners for the Appro­bation of Miniſters.

TAke heed that you do not approve of thoſe whom God Almighty diſalloweth, and ſo your Judgement prove carnal, and you want ſalt to ſavour withall, and be caſt out of favour with God for ſo doing.

Take heed to your ſelves and the work you are about, that you do not ſtand as Judges of the ſimple by your carnal wiſdom, and ſo ſeek to eſtabliſh proud, covetous, ſelf-ſeek­ing men, men that follow pleaſures, and are oppreſſers, that Preach for hire, 100 l. or 200 l. per annum, or Tythes, Bribes, and large augmentations, to pleaſe you and the great men of the world, and ſo diſhonour the Lord; and if you go about to approve, and allow, and eſtabliſh thoſe whom God intends to root out, you muſt come to an account before the great Judg of Heaven and Earth, and be puniſhed for it; take heed of ſinning againſt the light of Chriſt in your conſcience, and againſt the ho­ly Ghoſt; then ſee what is ſaid in Hebrews 10.26, 27. Read and underſtand, and act not according to the will of man, leſt thou diſobey the will of God. The everlaſting Goſpel of Jeſus Chriſt is to be preached freely, and the Proclamation is, Come freely, Iſa. 55. and the Miniſters of the Goſpel are not by the will of man, nor approved by carnal men, but by God the Fa­ther of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt. John 4.22, 23, 24.

God is a Spirit, and all his Ordinances are ſpiritual.

Therefore a word to thoſe that ſcruple about the receiving or not receiving that which they call a Sacrament and Communion of Saints, at Eaſter, Pentecoſt, Chriſtmas, ſo called, and other15 Feſtival and ſet daies, or any other time, when it is to be admi­niſtred by thoſe that profeſſe themſelves to be the Miniſters of Jeſus Chriſt.

Firſt, to the ſimple hearted, whoſe deſires are to walk in the wayes of Godlineſſe, and to do thoſe things that are moſt plea­ſing and acceptable to God in the light of Jeſus Chriſt our Lord: And you conceive that which you call the Ordinance of Chriſt, in the holy Sacrament, ſo called in eating bread and wine at ſet times to be a Sacrifice well pleaſing and acceptable to God, by Jeſus Chriſt, and that it is, as you conceive, neceſſary to ſalvati­on; and how ſhall you be ſaved, if you neglect ſo great ſalvati­on, as you conceive that holds forth to your ſouls: Let me tell you,Col. 2 20 21, 22, 23 that is carnal and periſhing and the periſhing mind feeds on it, and you neglect the body of Chriſt, therefore touch it not, Coloſ. 2.21, 22, 23.

Now if you look for that to be neceſſary to ſalvation, and without it you cannot be ſaved, then do you make an Idol of it, and ſet it up in the room of Chriſt, and ſo would make it a Co-Saviour, and there contradict the greater with the leſſe, for he himſelf ſaith, he is able to ſave all that come unto God by him,Heb. 2.0.10, 14, 15 and he is not to be found now that he is glorified and aſcended, in that carnal right, and weak and beggarly thing; and there you err through weakneſs, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God unto ſalvation, Heb. 10.9, 10, to verſe 19.

For thirdly, in that very thing which you call the Lords Sup­per and Communion of Saints, you are unfit to be a communi­cant, to partake of the body of Chriſt, which is not carnal, but ſpiritual; whilſt you are carnally minded, you are enemies to Jeſus Chriſt, and he hath no communion nor fellowſhip with thoſe that are proud, nor with thoſe that are covetous, nor with thoſe that are drunkards, nor with thoſe that live in pleaſures, nor with backbiters, nor haters, nor with any that live and take pleaſure in unrighteouſneſſe,Rev. 20.15. for ſuch ſhall not inherit the King­dom of God, 1 Cor. 6.9, 10. Gal. 5.19, 20, 21. verſe. Rev 22.15, 16 verſes.

Fourthly, Then thoſe which are not fit for the Kingdom of God, are no fit communicants, neither have they any right to the body of Chriſt, and ſo eat and drink damnation in not diſcer­ning16 the Lords body, now that he is aſcended and glorified, from a little bread and wine, which is earthly and natural, and to be received with wicked men that live and take pleaſure in unrighte­ouſneſſe, and ſuch are in the fleſh, and their communion is not in the ſpirit, and they are ſacrificing to devils, and theirs is no communion of Saints,1 Cor. 10 20, 21. but a fellowſhip with wicked men and devils.

Fifthly; But there is an imitation by the carnal minded ones, who live in death and darkneſſe, from the letter which is death, to ſet up the form of a thing, and lives in ſhadows, without a ſubſtance, and this you ſay is a thing that ought to be done, becauſe that Chriſt himſelf did break the Paſſeover with his Di­ſciples.

True it is, he did ſo to ſhew them what death he was to die, his body was to be broken,Mark 14 chapt. Mat. 26.20.21, 22 to v. 33. Mat. 28.5 to 11. v. and his bloud to be ſhed, and that was the figure, and they were to obſerve it till he came to riſe from the dead; and they did ſo, for ſaith he, As often as ye do this, do it in remembrance of me, for therein they ſhewed the Lords death till he came to be ſacrificed upon the Croſſe, and his body there to be broken, and his bloud to be ſhed; for before that Chriſt broke the the Paſſeover with his Diſciples, they knew not what death he was to die, and they did obſerve it till he came to them again after his death, and then the ſhadow was put away, and the life was manifeſted in power, and the ſubſtance was come unto them; for he ſhewed himſelf to thoſe very diſci­ples which he broke the Paſſeover with before his death ſeveral times, and by many infallible teſtimonies, to confirm them that it was him that was riſen from the dead, and came unto them to ſtrengthen and confirm them in the faith, life, and power of truth, as the Scripture witneſſeth.

Sixthly; But do you read that Chriſt gave any command to his Diſciples to obſerve that thing, after his reſurrection when he was come to them again, read the firſt of Acts; and before that he aſcended into heaven, you may ſee when he had called them together what command he gave them at his parting with them Act. 1. c. and there is no mention of any ſuch carnal thing by him, after his glorification; therefore do you erre, not knowing the17 Lords body and Communion of Saint, which is in the ſpirit or life of Chriſt.

Seventhly, None are fit Communicants to have fellowſhip with Chriſt that lives in their ſins,2 Cor. 6.14, 10 18 1 Cor. 10.20, 21. 1 Joh. 3.8 9.10. v. for what fellowſhip hath righ­teouſneſſe with unrighteouſneſſe? and what agreement hath the Temple of God with Idols? he that hath communion with Chriſt, doth not commit ſin, and that is a right communicant; for he that commits ſin, is of the ſociety and fellowſhip of de­vils, and hath communion in wickedneſs, for he that commit­teth ſin, is of the devil, and is one of his communicants, but he that is born of God ſinneth not, and hath fellowſhip with the Father and the Son, and he that abideth in him, and is in union with Chriſt, ſinneth not; he that ſinneth, hath not ſeen him, neither known him, 1 John 3.5, 6. verſes.

Eightly,Eph. to 12 1 Joh. 3.7.10. Therefore little children let no man deceive you with vain words, for becauſe of thoſe things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of diſobedience, and he that doth righ­teouſneſs, is of God, and may have right, and hath right to the body of Chriſt, and his ſoul feedeth on Chriſt daily, as in John the ſixth Chapter, where he ſaith he is the bread of life that is from heaven, and whoſo eateth my fleſh, and drinketh my bloud, hath eternal life; but that is not a little bread and wine which is carnal, and not eternal, John 6.54. for ſaith Chriſt Jeſus, My fleſh is meat indeed, and my bloud is drink indeed, he that eat­eth my fleſh, and drinketh my bloud, dwelleth in me, and I in him, John 6.55, 56.

Ninthly, He is not there talking of bread and wine, but fleſh and bloud; Is bread fleſh? or is wine bloud? or are they (joyn­ed together) the life of Chriſt, if they were, then he that had moſt of this world, might have moſt of that food; but the Kingdom of Chriſt is not of the world, and the pure in ſpirit, theirs is the Kingdom of God; and bread and wine is ſo far out of the mind of Chriſt, now where he is troubling the Jews; for the carnal people can get into carnal obſervations and imitations, but not into the ſpirit and life, that Chriſt did exceedingly trou­ble the Jews, in that ſaying, John 6. when he ſaith, I am the li­ving bread which came down from heaven, if any man eat of his bread, he ſhall live for ever, &c. then were the Jews trou­bled16〈1 page duplicate〉17〈1 page duplicate〉18at thoſe ſayings, verſe 51, 52. and ſo are the Jews in know­ledge now that hath a form, without either life or power, and knoweth not that bread which is the life of the Saints, which they have union withall, who are of the houſhold of God, that live in Chriſt, the everlaſting ſacrifice, and he is meat and drink for the ſoul to feed on, and have fellowſhip withall, and not bread and wine, John 6. As the living Father hath ſent me, and I live by the Father, ſo he that eateth in me, ſhall live by me, ſaith Chriſt, John 6.57. v.

Tenthly, This is not carnal bread, nor carnal communion, as the worlds is, and conceiveth the Saints to be ſo; here is no talk of bread and wine, but fleſh and bloud, which troubleth both Jews and Diſciples that were carnal, ſo that they left him; but had he been talking of bread and wine, it would not ſo much have troubled carnal minded people, they could have received it, and carnal Diſciples need not to have left Chriſt at that ſaying, as they did, but the ſpiritual ones aboad, and their communion was in the ſpirit, and is now the ſame, and eateth the ſame bread, John 6.58. and the bread which we break is the communion of the body of Chriſt, and not a wheat loaf of bread, that is but food for the body, and none for the ſoul, but Chriſt our Paſſeover is food for the ſoul, and Saints communion is in him, in being made partakers of his life, and the cup which we drink, is the communion of the bloud of Chriſt, and not a cup of wine, that is carnal, and nouriſhing for the body, but Chriſt is our bread and head, and meat and drink to our ſouls, now, as he was to his Saints in former ages; I ſpeak to thoſe that are ſpiritual, to judge what I ſay, 1 Cor. 10, 15, 16, 17. and they that can receive it, let them.

And if any ſtumble at the corner ſtone, it is that they may be broken and fall, he that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit ſaith to the Churches.

Now to whom Chriſt is come, they need not to obſerve that which did typifie or hold forth that he was to come, and when that which is perfect is come, which is Chriſt Jeſus, the perfecti­on of beauty; then bread and wine, and carnal obſervations, which are imperfect, are to be done away: and now people that profeſſe Chriſt come, and to be their Saviour, do hold up a type,19 and would have that to be a Coe-Saviour, and look for ſalvation by it, and in it; but what ſpiritual operation hath that carnal imitation upon your ſouls, I appeal to the ſimplicity that will witneſſe to purity as it ſtands unvailed?

That when there hath been a ſight of their ſouls wants, and a diſcovery of their ſins, then they cry and pray to be fitted and prepared to receive Chriſt in that Ordinance, as they call it, and after three or four weeks preparation they are ſtill as unfit as they were, and go in fear, and at the receiving of it, are ready to tremble leſt they be unworthy, and after they have received it, look for ſome change or new life, by a ſpiritual operation to come into their ſouls by it, but none cometh in at that dore, then fears and doubts may ariſe in them, and Judas is brought to re­membrance, and ſo are in troubles. This is the condition of thoſe that make a conſcience of it; but where haſt thou met Chriſt, or what life and power is come into thy ſoul at the recei­ving of it? Judge thy ſelf, to that in thy conſcience do I ſpeak, which ſhall witneſſe for me, as the book of conſcience is opened, then ſhall I be witneſſed: in wrath remember what I ſay, all you that are in the fleſh, and walk on in the broad way. And others there are that go to that thing as if they went to an Inn or a Tavern; but all fleſhly joy ſhall be turned into mourning, and woe to all that are at eaſe in the fleſh, but bleſſed are they that mourn in Sion.

They who know their Teacher within, ſhall not have him re­moved into a corner any more; therefore thus ſaith the Lord, Thou ſhalt hear a voice behind thee ſaying, this is the way, walk in it, when thou turneſt to the right hand, or when thou turneſt to the left. And ſaith Jeſus Chriſt, My ſheep hear my voice,Iſa. 30.20, 21. and they follow me, and will not follow after ſtrangers, John 10.4, 5. verſes.

Dear hearts, high and low, rich and poor, bond and free, male and female, Jew and Gentile, every one, every where, in what eſtate and condition or diſpenſation ſoever you are in, ſtand ſtill out of your own thoughts and imaginations, for they lead out your minds into cumbrances and vain janglings, ſtrife and cove­touſneſſe, and there you follow the voice of the ſtranger, which leadeth to confuſion; and ſo one cryeth loe here, and another20 doe there, and ſo you wander and goe aſtray, and do not follow the Lord and dwell in your Tents, therefore O Iſrael to thy Tents.

And all wait that the Lord may lead you as in the light of the Goſpel to dwell in peace and love one with another, that pati­ence may poſſeſſe your ſouls, that you may obey the voice of the ſpirit of truth within, which is checking and calling unto you to turn to the Lord, and to deny your ſelves of all your ſelf-a­ctings and fleſhly performances, and to forſake all your vain de­lights and pleaſures, and to undoe the heavie burdens, and let the oppreſſed goe free, and break every yoke, deal thy bread to the hungry, and bring the poor that are caſt out to thy houſe &c. then ſhall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health ſhall ſpring forth ſpeedily, then ſhalt thou call, and the Lord ſhall anſwer, thou ſhalt cry, and he ſhall ſay, here am I, if thou take away from the midſt of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and ſpeaking vainly, and draw out thy ſoul to the hungry, and ſatisfie the afflicted ſouls, then ſhall thy dark­neſſe be as the noon-day, Iſa. 58.6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.


About this transcription

TextThe heart opened by Christ; or, The conditions of a troubled soul that could find no true rest, peace, comfort, nor satisfaction in any thing below the divine power and glory of God, breaking forth and appearing in several operations and manifestations, by the blessed spirit of the Lord Jesus, the Saviour of the soul, God manifesting himself in flesh, that he may glorified in spirit. With, a word to those that are for the approbation of ministers; and something to those that scruple about the receiving or not receiving that which they call a sacrament and communion of saints, at Easter, Penticost, Christmas, so called, and other festival and set daies, or any other time when it is to be administered by those priests that profess themselves to be ministers of Christ. Written in the year 1654. in the third moneth, commonly called May, by R.F.
AuthorR. F. (Richard Farnworth), d. 1666..
Extent Approx. 49 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 13 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A85140)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 166955)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 114:E745[7])

About the source text

Bibliographic informationThe heart opened by Christ; or, The conditions of a troubled soul that could find no true rest, peace, comfort, nor satisfaction in any thing below the divine power and glory of God, breaking forth and appearing in several operations and manifestations, by the blessed spirit of the Lord Jesus, the Saviour of the soul, God manifesting himself in flesh, that he may glorified in spirit. With, a word to those that are for the approbation of ministers; and something to those that scruple about the receiving or not receiving that which they call a sacrament and communion of saints, at Easter, Penticost, Christmas, so called, and other festival and set daies, or any other time when it is to be administered by those priests that profess themselves to be ministers of Christ. Written in the year 1654. in the third moneth, commonly called May, by R.F. R. F. (Richard Farnworth), d. 1666.. [2], 20 p. s.n.],[London :1654.. (Place of publication from Wing.) (Annotation on Thomason copy: "by Richard Farnworth a quaker June 30".) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Jesus Christ -- Early works to 1800.
  • Communion of saints -- Early works to 1800.

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  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A85140
  • STC Wing F485
  • STC Thomason E745_7
  • STC ESTC R207062
  • EEBO-CITATION 99866136
  • PROQUEST 99866136
  • VID 166955

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