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Or A brief Tractate concerning the Doctrine of the Quakers, Demonſtrating the deſtructive nature thereof, to Religion, the Churches, and the State, with conſideration of the Remedy againſt it.

Occaſional Satisfaction to Objections, and Confir­mation of the contrary Trueth.

By JOHN NORTON, Teacher of the Church of Chriſt at Boſton. Who was appointed thereunto by the Order of the GENERAL COURT.

I know thy works, and thy labour, and patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evill; and thou haſt tryed them which ſay they are Apoſtles, and are not, and haſt found them lyars
Rev: 2.2.

Printed by Samuel Green, at CAMBRIDG in New-England. 1659.


CHAP: 1. The Original of the Doctrine of the Quakers. With ſome of their principal Heterodoxies. A brief Demonſtration of three distinct Perſons, in the Divine Eſſence. Satisfaction to ſome Objections. And a Vindication of ſome Scriptures.

WHen that grand-Heretick Swenok feild, who in eighteen yeares had publiſhed fifty ſcripts, (ſuch as they were) ſometime troubled Luther. with his papers, which he ſent unto him for an anſwer: his returne was quick, ſaying to the meſſenger, the Deuil was the author of them: the Lord rebuke thee O Satan! Quod-vult-deus whileſt he deſired Au­guſtine to publiſh a tract of al the hereſies which infeſted the church in thoſe dayes, diſcerned the undertaking to be too immenſe & great: this Calvin alſo perceiving being about to write againſt the Libertines, preſently determined (omitting the reſt of their wild & endleſſe heterodoxies) to addreſſe himſelfe unto the enumerati­on, & refutation, of ſome of their principall, & portentous tenets. Luthers anſwer may ſeeme too ſhort: Auguſtines taſke is acknow­ledged too long, Calvins example in this brief treatiſe I ſhall in part (God aſſiſting) endeavour to follow.

The recalling of the begin̄ing of the Father of lyes, may ſoon lead us to the Original of Errour: but the full diſcovery of its progreſſe & encreaſe, is not to be expected, untill that day, which ſhall bring to light, all the workes of darkneſs. He that deſires no: in­conſiderably to informe himſelfe,Dnaeus de. Haeeſibus ante Chriſtú. concerning the attempts of the old Serpent, upon this deſigne, from the begin̄ing of time, untill the times of Chriſt, may conſult antiquity not unprofitably, for that end. In the very Apoſtles times wee read of Deceivers, who pretend­ed to higher attainments, to be ſtars of light, & that of the firſt magnitude,Jae 13. but were indeed Raging waves of the ſea fomng out their2 owne ſhame, wandring ſtars, to whom is reſerved the blackneſs of darkneſs for ever.

That the doctrine of the Enthuſiaſts in Germany, & Libertines, in the low-countryes, was a dead ſea of heterodoxy, conſiſting in a great degree of the pernicious waters of old hereſyes, till then out of mind for many hundred yeares, and that the doctrine of the Quakers (as to the ſubſtance of it) is but the opening of that vaſt and horrid ſinke: (ſuch as makes the land to ſtink in the noſtrils both of God and man, more then the Frogs that ſometime annoy­ed Egypt) But the ſame doctrine of the Enthuſiasts & Libertines, of the laſt Century, though in a ſecond edition, is thus manifeſted.

The great doctrine of

  • The Trinitie.
  • Chriſt.
  • The Scripture.
  • Goſpel
    • Ordinances.
    • Miniſtry.
    • Order.
  • The Chriſtian Magiſtrate, & Civil Order.

Are the Objects, that the three following ſtages of heterodoxie, finally engaged & engage againſt, and that ſo, as the ſecond viz: Enthuſiasts, & Libertines, were indeed not only actors & Preachers of what was prepared, but alſo in ſome conſiderable degree, Collect­ors out of the ſcatterings of their Predeceſsors, to compleat their bo­dy of falſe doctrine: but the laſt, viz: the Quakers, are more deluded by their maſters in wickedneſs: whither Satan, or any Jeſuitical, or other malignant & ſerpentine agents, who making uſe of the myſtery of iniquity, thus farr perfected to their hand, notably abuſe their ignorant, and ſelfe conceited proſelytes: whileſt under the pretence of new light, they communicate both ſtale and exploded hereſies & error, to be diſſeminated by them the ſecond time.

Certain old heterodoxies, concerning the forementioned heads of Reli­gion from whēce or the like the Enthuſiaſts, & Libertines might ariſe

Praxeas, who lived in the year two hundred, taught that there was but one perſon, only in divers reſpects, called the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghoſt. After ariſeth Sabellius under Valerian, affirming that in the Divine Eſſence, there were three names, but denyed that there were three diſtinct ſubſiſtences, or perſons.

Concerning Christ: the enmity of the father of lyes hath no where more ſhown it ſelfe then in his malignant contrivances con­cerning3 the perſon & office of Christ. The Gnoſticks denyed Ieſus to be the Christ: Cerinibus denyeth the Dvinity, Neſtorius affirmeth two perſons. Eutiches denyeth the two Natures Marcion affir­meth his paſſion to be imaginary, not reall. Ignatius mentions incredulous men, who were aſhamed of the trueth of the Incar­nation. ſome pretended themſelves to be Christ.

Concerning the ſcriptures, conſidered as the rule of life. the Meſſalian Enthuſiaſts expected divine raptures without the word, they waited for the operation of a certain Daemon, or a ſpirit: and this operation (which indeed was the operation of the Devil) they eſteemed to be the preſence of the Holy Ghoſt, & called their fantaſies prophecyes. Athanaſius in one of his ſermons concerning hereſies, writes againſt ſuch, who in thoſe times held that the words of the ſcripture were to be taken ſimply, without conſi­deration had unto what they ſignifyed.

Concerning Goſpel Ordinances, Miniſtry, & Order: the authors to the Hebrews, Jude, and Iohn, make mention of Apoſtates there from ſuch who in their dayes forſook the church aſſemblies, ſeparat­ed themſelues, & went out from the fellowſhip of the Saints. Heb. 10.25. Iude. 19.1. Iohn. 2.19.

Jude alſo informeth us of ſuch who deſpiſed Dominion, ſpake evill of dignitie, and periſhed in the gainſaying of Core: which conſiſted in murmuring, & rebelling againſt Moſes and Aaron.

The Gnoſticks repreſented themſelves perfect, againſt whom, John is conceived to write. 1. Epiſtle 1.8. The old Catharoi called puritans affirmed alſo that they were perfect, & without ſin.

The tenets of the Enthuſiaſts, & Libertines, concerning the ſame heads of Religion. The Enthuſiaſts began about 1521. The Libertines in Calvin's time, both Sects vexed the Church and State many yeares.

Concerning the Trinitie, they acknowledged three:Sleidan commēlib. 5 et 10. but they denyed the Father, Son, & Holy-Ghoſt to be three diſtinct Perſons.

Concerning Chriſt: they ſaid Chriſt incarnate was nothing but a godly man, or a believer made of a body, and an opinion.Lu. Ofiand. Cent. 16. lib. 2. cap. 33 they made euery ſaint equal with God, according to the imagina­tion of the Libertines each one of them was Chriſt.Calvin ad­verſus liber­tinos. Guy de〈◊〉 hence Quinti­nus as offended with thoſe who aſked him how he did, was wont to anſwer: how do I? can Chriſt do amiſs?

Concerning the Scripture conſidered as the Rule of life: Swenck­field4 ſaith they make an idol of the word.Mr Ruther­ford Surv: when the Authors by him Cited in the Marget part••ch. p. 3. who eſteem it as the Power of God through faith unto ſalvation: i. e. who eſteem it as the meanes whereby the ſpirit worketh grace in the heart of the hearer. he goeth through Sweden, Normberg, Vlms, Tubingia, in private houſes accuſing the paſtors, that no man was the better for their preaching: extolling the ſpirit that doth all, underſtand without the word; as the meanes The Libertines, denyed all preach­ing by Officers, Sacraments, Church-aſſemblies, ſinging of Pſalmes. they accounted the ſcripture as a dead letter, & neglected it, pre­tending to follow the ſpirit: yet, they uſed it in ſpeaking and writing becauſe (through the peoples good opinion thereof) they found it a fit meanes, to inſinuate themſelves, with their diabo­licall opinions, into their heart. they rejected the ſcripture and pretended the ſpirit for their rule.

Concerning the Magiſtrates; Muncer defameth, & detracts from the miniſters of the Goſpel, afterwards falls with like violonce upon the Magiſtrate, hoping by making void theſe two orders, they ſhould prevaile upon the flock. he teacheth parity, reject­ion of dignities. Thoſe in Germany held that none with good con­ſcience could exerciſe the power of a magiſtrate, that is, none but ſuch who were of their mind: witneſs both their doctrine, & practice, in Munſter and elſe where, they held alſo that it was lawfull for the people to depoſe their Magiſtrates being unbelievers, and they counted all unbelievers who were not of their mind.

They pretended an immediate miſſion, & to act from the ſpirit, and by vertue of an immediate command, above the triall of the ſcripture. Muncer ſaid that by his divine revelations, he muſt Judge of the Bible.

They carryed it in the beginning very faire before all men, for they had alwayes in their mouths the faith and fear of God, the mortification of the fleſh, & mention of the croſs. They affected a grave countenance & poſture, wore plain apparell, uſed few words, cryed in the ſtreets repent, repent. they were reſerved as to the diſcouery of their myſteryes, untill they were hopefully aſſured of their follower, they ſtudyes to ſpeak equi­vocally, ſo as their words might carry divers ſences. they lifted up themſelves above others, & gloryed to be called spirituales, men of the ſpirit. The fourth order of the Libertines (for they had many orders) was of the holy and ſinleſſe ones.


The tenets of the Quakers concerning the ſame heads of Religion.

Concerning the Trinity; they acknowledg that there is one God and three, viz; the Father, Son, and Holy-Ghoſt; but they deny that theſe three, are diſtinct Perſons.

Concerning Chriſt: they deny Christ to be God & man in one Perſon, they deny Chriſt to be a diſtinct Perſon from the Perſon of the Father,The tenents here menti­oned, appear from publiſhed papers, with the names of the Authors af­fixed, or by word of mouth. they deny Christ to be a diſtinct Perſon from any of his members, they acknowledge ſuch a Chriſt as unchriſts Chriſt, when they ſay Chriſt manifeſt in the fleſh, they meane not according to the ſenſe of the ſcripture, but fallaciouſly.

Concerning the Scripture, conſidered as the Rule of life: They deny the ſcripture or written word to be the Rule of life, & make the light within them, & the ſpirit without the ſcripture, to be their guide, They account Church-inſtituted-worſhip, & waiting up­on God for the efficacious preſence and co-operation of the Spirit of grace in the miniſtery of the word and Sacraments for converſion & edification to be idolatry. And the political Order of Church-Officers and members, they affirme to be an Image.

Concerning the Magiſtrate: they own none as lawfull Ma­giſtrates, who are not of their way. Their non-acknowledgement of the Magiſtrate as now eſtabliſhed in all chriſtian ſtates, is more then manifeſt.

They pretend unto an Immediate call, & to act from the ſpirit and an infallible light within them above the triall of the ſcrip­ture, they will not acknowledge that they ſin, but profeſs perfection of degrees in this life, and publiſh ſmart & ſarcaſticall invectives againſt miniſters who teach the Contrary.

How farre the deportment of the Quakers, anſwereth to the outward guiſe and geſt of the ſectaryes in Germany, & the low-countreyes prementioned, he that ſeeth the one; & heareth of the other, may eaſily Judge. The premiſes ſhow the Quak­ers to be rather imitators of the Enthuſiaſts & Libertines, then Innovators.

That the perſons thus opinionated are called Quakers; is not from their tenets, but from the geſture where with they are acted, at or about the time of the reception of their revelati­ons: or, when elſe, in reference to credit their doctrines. This very geſture as circumſtanced, renders their way in no ſmall de­gree ſuſpitious: it being the ancient and known manner of Satan,6 when he inſpired his Enthuſiasts, to afflict the bodyes of his in­ſtruments with paines & thoſe often in their bowells, and to agitate them with Antick and uncouth motions, & in particular with this of quaking & trembling: thereby to amuſe ignorant ſpectators with a ſuperſtitious aſtoniſhment, and ſo to diſpoſe them to the expectation of ſome ſtrange diſcovery preter-humane in pretence divine but indeed diabolicall. Seneca preſenteth the Sybil i. e. Satans propheteſs at the act of receiving her Oracles, from the revelation of the Devil; pale-faced with eyes wrung, in an unwonted and fearfull manner,Seneca in Agmem. as alſo quaking & trembling.

Silet repente Phoebus, & pallor genas
Creberquetotum poſſidet Corpus tremor.

Horat. lib. 1. Ode. 16. Noadytis quatit &c:At Pythia a place in Phocis, Apollo that is the Devil, is reported by the Poet, to cauſe his Prieſt to quake. Gregory of Nice ſpeaking of this ſubiect, beſide the hair hanging down about their eares looſe, & eyes averſe, maketh mention of foaming at the mouth and much like hereunto is what we read in Chryſoſtome, of a wo­man inſpired (underſtand by Satan) panting and having her head Contort that is wryed in ſo ſtrange a manner, as was affrighting to behold. Many inſtances of this nature, might be produced, but I ſhall only further mind the Reader of the cuſtome of the Powa's or Indian Wizards, in this wilderneſs; whoſe bodies at the time of their diabolicall practiſes, are at this day vexed and agitated in a ſtrange unwonted & dreadfull manner. This verifieth that old proverb, that Satan is Gods ape. yet the examples of Iſaiah going naked & barefoot, i. e. in a bare habit like a poore ſlave or bond man that is carryed into captivity Chap: 20.2. Of Ezekiel, ſmiting his hand, and ſtamping with his foot. Ezek. 6.11. Of Daniel's great quaking, which fell upon him at the ſight of that viſion Dan: 10.7. with the like, do not juſtifie this geſture. Their cauſes were divine, circumſtanced to edification, and extraordinary not cuſtomary to the Prophets themſelves.

Concerning three diſtinct Perſons in the divine Eſſence.

Who being the brightneſs of his glory, and the expreſs Image of his Perſon. Heb: 1.3. The firſt manner of exiſtence in the Divine Being, is here called Hypoſtaſis, which imports a diſtinct ſubſiſtence.

If the Father viz. the Correlate be a diſtinct ſubſiſtence, there is the ſame reaſon of the Son, vz the Relate. If the Father be a diſtinct ſubſiſtence, the Son is a diſtinct ſubſiſtence. If the Son be7 a diſtinct ſubſiſtence, the Father is a diſtinct ſubſiſtence, the Son is as diſtinct from the Father,Auguſt. de trinit. lib. 7 c. 4. as the Father is from the Son, that which the Greek calls hypoſtaſis, the latine calleth per­ſona, from which laſt is our Engliſh word perſon.

Chriſt ſpeaking of the Father Iohn. 5.32. calleth him another: there is another that beareth witneſs of mee. likewiſe ſpeaking of the Holy-Ghoſt he calleth him another Iohn. 14.16. I will pray the Fa­ther & he ſhall give you another Comforter. this predicate another is unintelligible of the Eſſence, for ſo the Father Son & Holy-Ghoſt are one. Iohn. 10.30. 1 Iohn. 5.7; therfore it muſt proceed concern­ing the Subſiſtence; what is more manifeſt then that another Subſiſt­ence, and another ſubſiſtence, ſpeake diſtinct ſubſiſtences.

The diſtinction of the perſons, or Subſiſtences, is manifeſt from the relative properties of begetting, being begotten, and proceeding, Pſal. 2.7. Iohn. 15.27. Begetting, is diſtinct from being begotten, being begotten from begetting, both from proceeding.

A perſonal act is God neceſſarily, relatively and in an Incommuni­cable manner, acting within or upon himſelfe. Now theſe acts of the Perſons one upon another argue the diſtinctnes of the ſubſiſtences, viz: to beget, being begotten, & proceeding, God in the firſt man̄er of ſub­ſiſtence is conſidered as acting upon himſelfe in a way of underſtand­ing: in the ſecond manner of Subſiſtence as reflecting upon himſelf underſtood;Auguſt. de trinit. lib. 5. c. 11 & lib. 6. c. 5. in the third manner of ſubſiſtence as willing of & delight­ing in himſelfe. Hence the Spirit is called the hand of the Trinity, proceeding from the two other perſons, as the Love of them both: which ſelfe-ſufficient, and infinitely bleſſed Communion of God, in and with himſelf, before there was either mountain or hill, while as yet he had not made the earth: wee read of Prov. 8.30. Then was I by him, as one brought up with him & I was dayly his delight, rejoycing alwayes before him.

The diſtinction of the Perſons further appeares, from the order, of their operations upon the creature; held forth in their miſſion, or ſending, the ſecond Perſon is ſent from the Father Iohn. 8.42. Ieſus ſaid unto them, if God were your father, yee would love mee, for I proceeded forth & came from God: neither came I of my ſelfe, but he ſent mee. The Holy-Ghoſt is ſent from the Father & the Son: whom the Father will ſend John. 14 26. whom I will ſend John. 15.26. Sending imports two things, Firſt an eternall relative property of the Divine Eſſence, the order & original whereof is not of it ſelf. 8Secondly, a deſignation of the Perſon diſtinguiſhed by this relative property unto ſome work concerning the creature to be perform­ed in time. Now evident it is that he which ſendeth and he which is ſent are diſtinct. That the Father ſending & the Son ſent by the Father: the Father and Son ſending the Spirit, and the Spirit ſent by the Father & Son are diſtinct ſubſiſtences and not the ſame.

Concerning ſatisfaction to ſome Objections.

Object: 1The Church was without the Scripture, or written Word, for the ſpace of 2454 yeares, untill Moſes: during which ſpace, the Doctrine of Life was communicated VOCALLY; by the Patriarches: Therefore there is no need of the Scripture, or written Word.

Anſw. There are many Reaſons obvious, why the Tradition of the Rule of life by word of mouth, might better ſuit the ſtate of the Church, in the time of the longevity of the Patriarchs, then now: as alſo, why God ſaw not good, to continue unto after ages, ſuch and ſo frequent extraordinary manifeſtations of himſelf, as wee read of in thoſe elder times. Why God diſpenſed the Rule of life then by word of mouth, & not by writing: a principal reaſon thereof was his good pleaſure: The ſame good pleaſure may ſtand for a principal reaſon, way he diſpenſeth the Rule of life now by the word written, and not by vocall tradition. Even ſo Father, becauſe it pleaſeth thee. Diſtinguiſh between neceſſity abſolute, & neceſſity according to Divine conſtitution. God according to his abſolute power, can communicate the rule of life by what means he pleaſeth: therefore the ſcripture is not neceſſary abſolute­ly. But Gods will being to communicate the Rule of life by his written word hence the ſcripture is neceſsary by neceſsity of divine conſtitution, or appointment. Whileſt Iſrael was in the wilder­neſs God give them Manna, bread from heaven in an extraordi­nary manner: After their comming into Canaan, he changeth his diſpenſation, and giveth them bread in the ordinary way of a­griculture or tillage. He could ſtill have ſupplyed them in an ex­traordinary way, out he would not. The Maana ceaſed. Joſh. 5.12

Not the letter without the mind of the Author, nor the Spirit without the letter, but the Scripture, i. e. the word-written as in­cluding the ſenſe of the author is the Rule of life. Diſtinguiſh between Moral-obliging-power, and ſtrengthning-Phyſical-power.

9All the ſtrengthning-Phyſical-power, whereby we are enabled to obey the Rule, is from the Spirit, but the Moral-obliging-power is from the Scripture it ſelf or Cōmand as denoting the will of God ſignifyed thereby. Surely they are under a Rule, who have not the Spirit. Since the Canon of the Scripture is cloſed, ſo farr is the Spirit from being a Rule of life that to us it is not the Spirit, but as it moves agreeably to the written word: Hereby we are taught to diſcerne between the Spirit of trueth and the Spirit of error.

Object. 2The words of the Scripture are to be taken ſimply, without interpretation or conſideration, of what is ſignifyed by them.

Anſw. This Objection expoſeth Scripture to the imputation of non-ſence: which cannot be without at leaſt the reflexion of blaſphemy interpretative, upon the author. It was wont to be ſaid Scripture lyeth not in the Sound, but in the Sence. They are not the inkie cha­racters; without the mind of the author, that can conſtitute Scrip­ture. But taking the mind of the objection more favourably, as proceeding only againſt any other ſenſe, or interpretation to be given of Scripture, then according to the ſound of the words in a proper or (according to ſome) in a literall ſence. yet it unſcrip­tures a conſiderable part of the Scripture unto us, & becommeth a fruithfull womb of confuſion, error, and abſurdity, ſhould it ſtand in force. The example, thoſe words [that they may be one as wee are one. John. 17.22. ] give an uncertain ſound. Nay the Papiſts Tranſſubſtantiation, & Origen's, caſtration are hence warrantable. Diſtinguiſh between no interpretation, miſ-interpretation, & ſound interpretation. Non-ſenſe, a falſe ſenſe, and the true ſenſe. The two former are wiles of the enemy, the laſt is the gift of the Spirit of trueth, and a great part of the work of the Miniſtry. So they read in the book of the Law of God, distinctly: and gave the ſenſe, & cauſed them to underſtand the reading. Nehem. 8.8. He expound­ed unto them in all the Scriptures, the things concerning himſelf Luke 24.27. Philip ſaid, underſtandeſt thou what thou readeſt; and he ſaid, how can I, except ſome man ſhould guide me! Act. 8.30, 31

Object. 3Nothing is to be acknowledged Scripture-trueth, but what is con­tained therein in expreſs termes.

Anſw. A Scripture conſequence; is a Trueth evidently & neceſſarily ariſing out of a propoſition, held forth therein in expreſs termes; So that: if the doctrine conteined in the propoſition held forth in ex­preſs termes be true, then is the doctrine conteined therein by10 conſequence, alſo true. Thoſe trueths are Scripture-trueths, which are conteined or held forth in the Scriptures: though not in expreſs termes, yet by juſt & evident conſequence. Exod. 3.6 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Iſaak, & the God of Jacob. Hence Mat: 22.29, 30. Chriſt proves the Reſurrection by conſequence the ſumm whereof is, as if he had ſaid, that which God ſpake to Moſes in the Buſh, inferreth the whole perſons of Abraham Iſaak and Jacob, to be in everlaſting covenant with him, and that they ſhall be bleſſed: therefore there ſhall be a Reſurrection. For how can the body be glorified, except it riſe again? and ſo farr were the hearers from objecting againſt this kind of argumentation as that they highly approved of it. One of the Scribes, having heard their reaſoning, perceived that he had anſwered them well. Mark 12.28. Then certain of the Scribes, anſwering ſaid, Master thou haſt anſwered well. Luke 20.39. The multitude were aſtoniſh­ed at his doctrine. Mat: 22.42. And no man was able to anſwer him, neither durſt any man (from that time forth) aske him any more queſtions verſe 46. Out of Pſalm 16.10. Peter proves the Reſurrection of Christ. Act. 2.31. He that is, the Patriark David ſeeing this before ſpake of the Reſerrection of Christ, that his ſoul was not loſt in hell, neither his fleſh did ſee corruption. Yet the Pſalmiſt in theſe words ſpeakes not of the Reſurrection in expreſs termes, but onely by conſequence, the queſtion is; whether the believing Galatians, which were formerly heathens, were juſtifyed by faith? Paul out of thoſe words Gen. 22.18. And in thy ſeed, ſhall all the nations of the earth be bleſſed; proveth the affirmative by conſequence. Gal. 3 8, 9: The queſtion is: whether believing Abraham hath matter of glorying before God? The Apoſtle from Gen: 15.6. concludeth the negative by conſequence. Rom: 4.2, 3. Queſtion: whether Chriſt did well, or blaſphemed, in ſaying that he was God? Chr ſt from Pſal. 71.6. juſtifieth his act by a Scripture conſequence. Io n 10.35, 36. His argument proceeds from the leſs to the greater.

Queſtion: whether Circumciſion is neceſſary unto the believing Gentiles? The Apoſtle concludeth the negative by conſequence. Acts 15.8, 9. God bare them witneſs, giving them the Holy-Ghoſt, even as he did unto us, and put no difference between them & us, purifying their hearts by faith. Therefore &c: Many more inſtances are pro­ducible, if need were. So many citations as there are in the New Teſtament, of teſtim onies in the old Teſtament not extant there11 in expreſs termes, are ſo many proofes of the Scripture-conſe­quences. Scripture trueths by conſequence are called Scripture: yee do erre not knowing the Scripture. Mat. 22.29. for what ſaith the Scripture; Rom. 4.3. and the Scripture foreſeeing Gala. 3.8. what Peter deduceth from Davids words by conſequence that he affirmeth David to have ſaid. Acts. 2.31. what Paul deduceth out of Moſes by juſt conſequence, that he affirmeth Moſes to have ſaid Rom. 10.5.10.

That propoſition; the Scripture is a perfect Rule of life. is un­derſtood as including Scripture-conſequences? otherwiſe, it were not a trueth. The greateſt part of Scripture-trueth is revealed in Scripture-conſequences. Yea many fundamentall trueths are not held forth in expreſs termes, but by manifeſt conſequence.

If there be no truth contained in the Scripture, but what is held forth therein in expreſs termes: then the individuall perſons of Thomas & Mary, &c, are therein neither Cōmanded Obedience, nor forbidden diſobedience. For we no where read thou Thomas or Mary, ſuch an one by name, do this, or not that. This trueth concerning Scripture-conſequences is the more to be attended, be­cauſe of the time, wherein many after the example of Arrius of old, and the Libertines, & Gunter with ſome other Jeſuites of late, when they are not able to anſwer unto Scripture-arguments; rather then to yeild unto the trueth, chuſe to fly to this miſerable ſubterfuge of hereticks namely that the trueth defended againſt them is not con­tained in Scripture, becauſe it is not there in expreſs termes.

Concerning the Vindication of ſome Scriptures.

Iohn. 1.9. That was the true light, which lighteneth every man, that commeth into the world. Hence they affirme that in every man Collectively, i. e. in all men, not one excepted; there is a light, which being followed is an infallible guide: & that this light within us, & not the Scripture, or written word, is the Rule of life.

In anſwer hereunto, two things are to be cleared, Firſt, that the ſence of the text pretended: is notoriouſly falſe. Secondly what is the ſence of the place.

Were the ſence pretended ſound, then righteouſnes ſhould be by the law, not with ſtanding ſin; contrary to. Rom. 8.3. For the light which is in every man that is born into the world, is not Goſpel-light. The Goſpel being the ſecret of God, a myſtery un­known12 to Angels, & Adam himſelf in the time of innocency. The naturall man cannot know the things of the spirit of God 1 Cor: 2.14. Natural is to be conſtrued in oppoſition to ſpiritual: and denoteth a man, as following the dictate of reaſon only, or the light of nature, whence it is manifeſt, that the light of nature, as ſuch: and the light of the spirit, are contra-diſtinct; the one to the other. The light of nature, remaining in Adams poſte­rity, ſince the lapſe: is ſo little, as that it is not to be mentioned the ſame day, with what was in Adam, before the fall. The light of nature, conſiſts in common principles imprinted upon the rea­ſonable ſoul, by nature: inclining man, to aſſent unto ſome na­turall, and manifeſt trueths upon the repreſentation of them; with­out waiting for any proofe; that is, as it were by inſtinct, without argument. Viz: that it is impoſſible for the ſame things, at once, for to be, & not to be: that the whole, is greater then the part. That a man is bound, not to do to others, what he would not have done unto himſelf.

As alſo in certain Notions: that there is a God, that God is to be worſhipped, that Parents are to be honoured, that there is difference to be made between that which is good, and that which is bad. That we ought not to ly, steale &c: In reference whereunto, men are ſaid to have a natural Conſcience bearing witneſs unto their actions, and their thoughts to be accuſing or excuſing. Rom. 2.14, 15. The uſe is, Firſt, to be a help whence they might ſeek after God. Acts 17.27. by meanes hereof ſome have arrived at the diſcovery that there is butone God, that he is an act, void of all paſſive qua­lity, yea hereby they aſcend ſo farr: as to diſcover ſome of his attributes, viz his Eternity, Omnipotency, & being the Creator. For thus much may be known of God to them. Rom. 1.19, 20.

2. To leave them inexcuſable: in that they walk not anſwerable to the light of nature. Adem natura vi rationis hominem conciliat homini & ad orationis, et ad vitae ſocietaten. Cicero lib 1 de Officijs. Auguſt. Epiſ 105.Rom: 1.20. 3. For the preſervation of humane ſociety. Their principles ſpeculative, riſe higher then their priniples practicall. Yet their Principles practical, concern­ing deportment towards God, are more obſcure, then thoſe which relate to their behaviour towards man.

〈◊〉their knowledg, as to that which is ſaving, is but folly. Where is the Scribe, where is the diſputer, hath not God made fooliſh the wiſedome of this world? 1 Cor: 2.20. Hence the times of Gentiliſm, are called times of ignorance, Acts 17.30. Of wrath, Rom: 1.18. Without God, & without hope, Eph. 2.12. The Lord looked down13 from heaven upon the Children of men to ſee if there were any that did underſtand & ſeek God. There is none that underſtandeth, there is none that ſeeketh after God, they are all gone out of the way, they are altoge­ther become unprofitable, there is none that doth good, no not one.

Pſal. 14.2.3. & 53.2.4. Rom. 3.9.10 Moreover this little light that there is, is much miſcarried, whileſt it is managed by the reigning influence of the power of darkneſs the Judgement is corrupt as well as the will, whoſe corruption perverts the exerciſe of the faculty of reaſon. They became vaine in their reaſonings.

Rom. 1.21. To conclude: the light of nature notwithſtanding, the irregenerate man is darkneſse.

Star-light, cannot make it, otherwiſe then night. The light of nature ſince the fall, compared with the light of the image of God, before the fall, hath not the proportion of Star-light, to the bright Sun-light at noon-day. This indeed is but darkneſs. But, if compared with the light of the Goſpell, it is worſe then groſs darkneſs. Yee were darkneſs Eph. 5.8. Alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them Ephe. 4.18. Behold all ye that kindle a fire, that compaſs your ſelves about with sparkes: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparkes that ye have kindled, this ſhall ye have of mine hand, ye ſhall ly down in ſorrow Iſaiah. 50.11.

Quantâ ſub nocte, jacebat
noſtra dies?

Concerning the ſenſe of the place: diſtinguiſh 1. Of the light, where by we are enlightned. 2. Of the light enlightning. 3. Of every man.

Concerning the light, whereby wee are inlightened: it is either the light of nature & of right reaſon: or, the light of ſaving grace. The light inlightening: is either the WORD, i: e. The Sonn conſidered onely as the ſecond perſon, not incarnate: or Christ, i e. the ſonn conſidered as incarnate. This phraſe [Every man] is taken collectively? for all men that come into the world, abſolutely, none excepted. Or diſtributively, for all men ſo qualified, of all ſorts.

Calvin, Beza, Piſcator, and others, underſtand theſe words [every man] collectively, by the light wherewith we are enlightened, The light of Reaſon, and look at this light of reaſon, as an effect proceeding from the WORD: i. e. the Sonn, conſidered as the Se­cond Perſon. But as concerning man, endued only with the light remaining in him ſince the fall: they conclude him to be darkneſs and unable to comprehend the light, ſo; as to improve it to ſal­vation. 14They are ſo farr from affirming this light, to be the light of life, as they are from denying Chriſt to be the light of life.

Others, underſtand [Every man] distributively, by the light wherewith we are enlightened, the light of ſaving grace, or Rege­neration: and look at this light of Saving grace, as an effect pro­ceeding from Christ, i.e. the Son incarnate. That phraſe [every man] is illuſtrated by Pſal: 145.14. The Lord upholdeth all that fall: and rayſeth up all that be bowed down. The meaning is not, that ALL that fall, are upholden by the Lord: but, that ALL amongſt thoſe which fall, who are upholden: are upholden by the Lord.

It is an uſual ſpeech, to attribute all thoſe deeds unto God, which none can do, but God. Both interpretations have many authors and are analogous unto Scriptures, which of them is genuine, is left free to the judgment of the Reader.

Jer: 31.34. Heb: 8.11. And they ſhall teach no more, every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, ſaying know the Lord: for they ſhall all know mee, from the leaſt of them, unto the greateſt of them, ſaith the Lord Hence it is inferred, that there is no need of the miniſtry of man, under the times of the Goſpel.

Anſw. It is true, that the times here ſpoken of, are the times after thoſe dayes Jer: 3.33. Heb: 8.11. viz: the times, after the dayes of the Moſaical adminiſtration, of the Covenant of Grace: which expired fully, at the Paſſion of Chriſt, ſo, that the times here ſpoken of, are the times of the Goſpel-diſpenſation of the Cove­nant of Grace: beginning at the abrogation of the Moſaical-diſ­penſation, and continuing, untill time ſhall be no more.

But what more diſconſonant from, or what more contradict­ory to Scripture, then to teach, that throughout all the time of the Goſpel-diſpenſation, there is no need of the miniſtry of man? wee appeal to the examples of the Apostles, Evangeliſts, Ordinary Office-labourers in the word & doctrine, and Goſpel-churches recorded in ſacred writt; as alſo to the inſtitution of the Goſpel-miniſtry, by Pastors and Teachers, for the calling of the Elect a­mongſt all Nations, for the perfecting of the ſaints, untill we come unto a perfect man; i. e. untill the perfection, of the Myſtical body of Chriſt.

Jer: 31.31, 34. We have an illuſtrious compariſon, between the external Covenant of Grace, made with the National Iſrael, in the time of Moſes: and the internal Covenant of Grace, made15 with the elect Iſrael, in the time of the Goſpel. As alſo, the ſecond covenant (other reſpect of its preheminence omitted, not ſo nextly pertinent to the preſent discuſſion) preferred before the firſt, upon the account of the betterneſs of the diſcriminating promiſe.

They i. e. the national Iſrael brake the covenant although God was an huſband unto them. But as concerning the elect Iſrael under the better covenant I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts, I will be their God, and they ſhall be my people, ſaith the LORD. which is in effect the ſame with Iſay 54 13, Iohn 6.45. And they ſhall be all taught of GOD i.e. They ſhall not be onely taught of man, as others in externall covenant onely are. Theſe words [They ſhall be all taught of GOD] are not to be interpreted excluſively ſo as to exclude the teaching of man: but exten­ſively, ſo as to include the teaching alſo of God: witneſs the cloud of Scripture-inſtances of all thoſe under the Goſpel-diſpenſation, who were taught of God: but how? by not without the teaching of man. Further the promiſe undertakes for ſuch a writing of the Law in their hearts ſuch a teaching of God, as that they ſhall not finally apoſtate from the Covenant: Jer: 32.40. But I will put my Fear in their hearts, that they ſhall not depart from me.

The Subject ſpoken of, are ſuch perſons, which are actually the people of God, ſuch in whoſe hearts the Law is written. The knowledg of God, is taken either for that knowledg of him, which is eſſential to effectual vocation or for the knowledg of edifica­tion. Taking knowledg in the former notion, of writing the Law in the heart indelebly: this being a property of the Covenant of grace, the ſenſe naturally flowes, viz: that after converſion once wrought, there ſhall be no need, to ſpeak unto ſuch, to know the Lord: namely with a knowledg eſſential to vocation, as if they were ignorant thereof, for this were in effect to deny, a characte­riſtical priviledg of the Covenant, and to affirm falling from grace. Regeneration is not iterable, they who are once converted, need not to be converted from the ſtate of nature to the ſtate of grace a ſecond time. This ſeemeth to be the genuine ſenſe of the place.

If we take knowledg in the latter notion, viz: for the know­ledg of edification; then the interpretation proceeds comparatively, thus: comparing the Gospel-Iſrael, having the law written in their hearts, being alſo under a clearer diſpenſation, & under the promiſe of an efficacious, & copious influence of the Spirit: with the16 National-Iſrael, finally impenitent under the Law, the teachers of the one, as to a great part of the labour of their miniſtry, in reſpect of the conſolatory ſucceſs thereof, eſpecially in the glorious times; ſhall not look upon it as labour, compared with the fruitleſs la­bours of the other, ſo as the forementioned Goſpel-hearers, in re­ſpect of the premiſes, might ſeem rather, comparatively to have been taught by ſome immediate irradiation, then by meanes of or­dinary inſtruction. 1 John 2.27. But the annointing which ye have received of him abideth in you: and you need not that any man teach you: but as the ſame annointing teacheth you of all things, and is no ly. Hence it is inferred, that believers have no need of being taught by man. Anſw. The Objector miſtakes the queſtion. The Apoſtle ſpeakes of heterodox doctrine taught by man. The objection proceeeds concerning teaching by man. The ſenſe of the words alledged is, you believers, who through grace, are an̄ointed with the in dwelling, ſaving operatiōs & efficatious influence of the Spirit, which is the only Teacher: have ſo learned Chriſt, i.e. the Lords Chriſt, that you need not be troubled with, nor ought you to harken to, the doctrine of Cerinthius, Ebton, or the Gnoſticks, who though they pretend themſelves to be teachers of Chriſt, are indeed Antichriſts, 1 John 2.18. So teaching Chriſt, as that they un-Chriſt Chriſt: nor have you need of any other doctrine whatſoever from any other man, not agreeable unto the doctrine of the true Chriſt which, you who are annointed, have received.

2 Pet: 1.19. We have alſo a more ſure word of Propheſy, where unto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that ſhineth in a dark place, untill the day dawn, and the day-starr ariſe in your hearts.

Hence is inferred. that after the reception of the Spirit, or believing there is no more need to attend unto the Scripture.

Anſw. This interpretation preſuppoſeth three things, any where of failing, it cannot ſtand. 1. That we are to underſtand by a ſure word of Prophecie: the whole Scripture. 2. By the day dawning, and the day-starr ariſing: the Spirit of grace in Regenera­tion. 3. By the particle Ʋntill: the limited inſtant of regenera­tion. Before which, though we either do, or may, yet after which we are not to attend unto the Scripture.

Peter himſelf expounds the word of prophecie verſe 19, of the Scripture of the old Teſtament verſe 20, 21. Which Scripture-teſtimony compared with the verbal teſtimony of the Apoſtles concerning17 the voyce heard in the holy mount, in relation to the doctrine of Chriſt: he preferreth (not as the moſt true, but,) as the moſt ſure ground for Faith of the two, and upon this account: becauſe the ver­bal teſtimony of the Apoſtles, though Apoſtolical, was as yet but verbal. and not ſcriptural. So that ſhould this text (upon a falſe ſuppoſition) be looked at as ſpeaking of a believers non-attenti­on unto Scripture, yet it proceeds not concerning the Scripture in general, but concerning the Scripture of the old teſtament only, not of the Canon of the new Teſtament.

The day dawning, and the day-starr appearing: denotes either the ſaying light of the Spirit, making our attention unto the Scrip­ture from time to time effectual, during the ſeaſon of our depen­dance hereupon, throughout this life: or that day-light of the viſion of glory: both which ſenſes in concluſion iſſue in one. But, it cannot be underſtood of the regenerating-light of the Spirit; becauſe the Apoſtle ſpeakes to thoſe who are believers, ſtill to at­tend upon the Scripture.

The particle [untill] (any other acception not pertinent to the matter under conſideration omitted) either noteth a certain time, before which ſuch a thing is to be, which was not before: or after which ſuch a thing is not to be, which was before. The Scepter ſhall not depart from Judah, nor a Law-giver from between his feet, untill Shiloh come. Gen: 49.10. But here it denoteth not any certain time in this life, after which we are not to attend upon the word written. For then, that certain time notified by the day dawning and the day-starr appearing: muſt either relate to Chriſts comming in the fleſh, or to the beginning of the Goſpel-diſpenſation, or to the effectual revelation of Chriſt in vocation, or to ſome other terme, that may rationally and ſcripturally be inſtanced in: but it cannot relate unto the firſt, becauſe it is not an appearance in the fleſh, but an appearance in the heart, that is here expreſly ſpoken of: and the day-starr ariſe in your HEARTS. Neither indeed, can it relate either unto the firſt or any other of the termes, or limits mentioned: becauſe Peter writes unto ſuch, ſtill to attend upon the word of Prophecie, who were regenerate; who were believers: have­ing obteined like precious faith with himſelf, Cap: 1.1. Yea ſuch, who cannot be looked at otherwiſe, then of conſiderable ſtand­ing & proficiency in the faith: and lived after his incarnation, and Goſpel-diſpenſation: whence, were this Objection of force, it would18 follow, that this exhortation of the Apoſtle had then been as much after its time, as that terme of a believers attention unto the word of prophecy, be it either the incarnation, Goſpel-diſpenſation, or regeneration of thoſe; whom he puts upon this duty, was before this time. The Goſpel (whether any of it were now written or not) was promulged by Chriſt & his Apoſtles, and therefore was ob­liging. If the particle untill bee ſayd to denote a certaine terme, not in this life, but relating unto the dawning and riſing of the viſi­on of glory: the queſtion is graunted, and the objection falleth.

While the Church is in a darke place, the light of the Scripture is to be attended unto: hence the written word is here compared unto a light that ſhineth in a darke place now wee know, that there is much darkneſs, and obſcurity in the hearts of all the Children of light, in this life. 1 Corin: 13.9.

Or; the particle untill ſignifyeth a terme, iſsuing in attayn­ing of all the good, attainable in ſuch a way. or in the participatiō of the perfecting end, of the ſubject, ſpoken of.

A bruiſed read ſhall hee, not break, and ſmoaking flax ſhall hee not quench,〈…〉 untill he ſend forth judgment unto victory. Mat: 12.21.

This notion agreeth not only with the analogie of faith, but alſo according to the mind of the Apoſtles common action ex­hortatory, ſeemeth more readily to flow. The ſcope of Peter, is to confirm the hearts of the twelve tribes ſcattered abroad, con­cerning the trueth of the Goſpel: this he doth by two arguments, The firſt taken from the teſtimony of the Apoſtles verſe 15 16, 17. The ſecond, from the word of Prophecy: illuſtrated by two adjuncts, the former of its ſureneſs: the latter of our taking heed thereunto: this attention he amplifyeth, by calling unto ſuch a conſcientious and vigorous continuance therin; as may never be in vain in the Lord, yea ſuch as that the effectual light of the ſpirit of grace concurring with the doctrinal light of the word: may from duty to duty, ſhine upon the dark places of their hearts more and more, untill the dawning of the perfect day of the viſion of glory.

If with ſome Orthodox Interpreters, wee underſtand by a dark place, the time of the Church under the old Teſtament: compared with the night, wherein candles are lighted: and by the day-dawning, the time of the Goſpel day-light, wherin the Sun ſhin­eth; the new Teſtament expounding the old, and thereby giving a greater light.

19Yet ſtill we are to keep in mind, that as the New Teſtament giveth light unto the Old, ſo the Old Teſtament giveth light unto the New: they give light mutually one unto another. Tis the ſame Christ, & the ſame Gospel, which is held forth both in the old & in the New Teſtamēt: Heb: 13.8. Gal. 3.8. As the trueths of the old Teſtament, are confirmed by the New: ſo what more frequent then the confirmation of the New Teſtament, from the Old: both by Chriſt and his Apoſtles? The word Ʋntill, doth not here intend a certain time, whereat they were diſcharged from after attention, to the word of Prophecie: as if they who were com­mended for their attention hitherto, were now diſmiſſed therefrom and ſtood not from henceforth obliged any more.

Gen: 28.15. For I will not leave thee, untill I have done that which I have spoken to thee of, 2 Sam: 6.23. Therefore Michal, the daugh­ter of Saul had no child unto [or untill] the day of her death, Mat: 16 28. They ſhall not taſt of death, untill they ſee the Kingdome of God. It were ill gathered from hence, either that God did forſake Jacob after he had performed that promiſe concerning his ſafe return. Or, that Michal had a child after the day of her death. Or, that the Diſciples which ſaw his glory in the Mount, ſhould not out-live the Aſſenſion, Miſſion of the Holy Ghoſt, and the promulgation of the Goſpel to the Gentiles, with ſignes enſuing.

Mat: 11.13. For all the Prophets and the Law prophecyed untill John. Mat: 22.44. Sit thou at my right hand, untill I make thine enemyes thy footſtoole. John 5.17. My Father worketh hitherto, or [untill now,] and I work. 1 Tim: 4.13. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. In his exempris. praeeri tam ita negarat, ut contrarium〈◊〉non ſignificetur.It cannot be gathered from hence, either that after John, there is no more Law and Prophets. Or, that after Christs enemyes are ſubdued, he ſhall ſit no longer at the right hand of his Father. Or, that after Chriſt ſpake thoſe words, the Fathers Governing-providence of the world ceaſed. Or, that after Pauls comming, Timothy is no more to attend to reading, exhortation, and preaching.

In the Negative examples, the word untill ſo inferreth the denyall of a thing, concerning the time before it: as that, it doth not at all inferr the affirmative of that thing concerning the time after it. In the affirmative examples, the word untill ſo inferreth the affirmative of a thing, concerning the time before, as that, it not at all infers the denyal of that thing, concerning the time after it

20The ſumme is according to this laſt interpretation the word untill is taken extenſively not excluſively.

So farr then, is this text from diſobliging believers, from their attendance upon the Scriptures: as that, it is a moſt ſolemn & ſeri­ous incentive, as of all others to whom the ſacred Canon ſhall be revealed: ſo alſo, of believers in particular, not only to attend upon the word of prophecie, or the Scripture: but ſo to take heed thereunto, as that their attention, through the co-operation of the Spirit, may be effectual: and that ſo long as their hearts are dark places, i. e. during their preſent ſtate of imperfection: untill Chriſt the bright morning-starr appear in their ſoules; according to the fulneſs of the Spirit of grace, and the noon-day-light of the per­fection of glory.

The heterodoxie & errour of ſuch, who from the text alledged, in­ferr the old Teſtament to be unneceſſary unto thoſe that live under the Goſpel: is argued thus.

Promiſes, given unto the Saints in the old Teſtament belong unto believers living under the new Teſtament. The Promiſe made unto Joſhua Joſh. 1.5. & to David Pſal. 118.6. The He­brews are led by the hand unto & taught confidently to make uſe of, in reference unto their preſent, and Perſonal caſes. For he hath ſaid I will never leave thee, nor forſake thee. So that we viz: believers under the Goſpel, & not onely David, may boldly ſay, the Lord is my helper, I will not feare what man ſhall do unto mee. The trueths held forth by the Prophets, touching ſalvation by Christ: concer­ned not onely thoſe, who lived in the times of the old, but alſo us; who live in the times of the new Teſtament. 1 Pet: 1.10, 11, 12. Ʋnto whom it was revealed, that not unto themſelves, but unto us, they did miniſter the things which are now reported unto you. The exem­plary juſtification of Abraham by faith, is written in the old Teſta­ment for our ſakes. Rom: 4.23, 24. Now it was not written for his ſake alone, that it was imputed to him: but; for us alſo, to whom it ſhall be imputed, if we believe in him that rayſed up Jeſus our Lord from the dead. The examples of the old Teſtament, are written for our ad­monition, upon whom the ends of the world are come 1 Cor: 10.11. Not now to labour further in the proof hereof, by an induction of particulars: the uſefulneſs of the old Teſtament to thoſe that live under the New, we haue aſſerted once for all; and that, concern­ing all that part of Sacred writt. Rom: 15.4. For whatſoever things21 were written afore time, were written for our learning: that wee through patience, and comfort of the Scripture might have hope. John 5.39. The Jewes in the time of Chriſt, are Commanded to ſearch the Scripture, which neceſſarily proceeds of the Scriptures of the old Teſtament, the new, as then not being extant. After the time of Christ we hear the Teſtimony of the new Teſtament, concern­ning the profitableneſs of the Old. 2 Tim: 3.16, 17. All Scripture is given by inſpiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for inſtruction in righteouſneſs: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furniſhed unto all good workes. Underſtand this, as ſpoken of the holy Scriptures, known by Timothy of a child, which muſt neceſſarily be the Old Teſtament.

CHAP. 2. Of the Signal Nature of the Quakers, and other falſe Teachers, ariſing, and prevailing among the people of God.

AS the Soveraigne Lord, and onely wiſe God, is both the diſpoſer and interpreter: So hath he given unto his ſer­vants, to be diſcerners of the times. The Scriptures held forth many occurrents of providence Significative of the ſtate of reli­gion, & of the reſpective condition of the profeſſion thereof: as alſo of Gods more remarkable adminiſtration unto his people, whe­ther with relation unto his Predictions, permiſſive, or comminatory or both, Hence we read of ſignes of the times. Mat: 16.3. Of good times in the place cited. Of evill times, Mat: 24.33. This trueth, the Pſalmiſt mentions, as of acknowledg'd & notable mo­ment in Iſrael. Pſal. 74.9. We ſee not our ſignes.

The not diſcerning herof, as it is a matter of blame: but how is it ye diſcern not this time? Luke. 12.56. So in the diſcerning thereof, is a matter of praiſe. And the Children of Iſſachar which were men which had underſtanding of the time, to know what Jſrael ought to do: The heads, of them were two hundred, and all their brethren were at their Commandement 1. Chron. 12.32. Con­ſortative unto the good, & awing unto the bad, was that ſeaſona­ble word of an Ancient, who when terror had ſurpriſed the hearts of thouſands by reaſon of that fearfull earth-quake, which in Juli­ans time threw up the very foundation of the temple, then about to be reedified by the Apoſtate-Emperour; told them, that this a­mazing & ſtrange accident to them was but the accompliſhment of that prophecie. Verily I ſay unto you, there ſhall not be left here, one22 ſtone upon another that ſhall not be thrown down. Full of preſence of Spirit in a time of Calamity, was that ſpeech, where with Lupus a Bſhop is reported to have greeted the enemy Attilas, then depo­pulating & laying waſt his countrey: I rejoyce (ſaith he) that you are come ſafe, whom I judge to be the ſcourge of the Lord, & of my God, ſent to chaſtiſe his people. The good man; howſoever others hearts might faile under their fears both of preſent•••e, & of everlaſting burnings: looking at the King of the Hunnes, not as a weapon of deſtruction, according to his own deſire; but as a rod of correction, in the hand of God: and chooſing affliction, rather then iniquity, gathers meat out of the eater.

Falſe Teachers, and falſe Prophets are ſignal; i. e, they are ſignes, that the time is come, when God will inflict vindicative ſpi­ritual-juſtice; upon the non-receivers of the Trueth in the love of it.

They are executioners of ſpiritual juſtice, puniſhing the non-recep­tion of the trueth: with deception by their lyes. They are inſtru­mental executioners of Juſtice, to puniſh the non-reception of the trueth, diſpenſed by the Miniſters of Chriſt: with deception by, and reception of a ly, diſſeminated by the miniſters of Satan.

This ſolemn, and by reaſon to the iniquity of the times) both awfull, and ſeaſonable trueth: the Reader is deſired the rather to attend the proof of. Aabeſides other ſinners, laden with the guilt of the eſcape of a blaſphemous Syrian; rejects the trueth in the mouth of Micaiah, the Lords Prophet, diſwading him from going a­gainſt Ramoth-Gilead: This; God viſited, by giving him up to be­lieve a ly in the mouth of the falſe Prophets; commiſſioned to per­ſwade him, to go to Ramoth-Gilead, unto his deſtruction.

1 Kings 22.19, -23.

I am come in my Fathers name, and ye receive me not: if ano­ther ſhall come in his own name, him ye will receive. John 5.43. The awfull trueth contained in this text, will be the better ſeen, by re­ſolving it into four propoſitions. 1. Chriſt came unto ſinners i. e. tendered himſelf to them, according to the Covenant of grace and that according to the appointment of the Father: an external unparallelled mercy. But laſt of all he ſent unto them his Son: ſaying, ſurely they will reverence my Son. 2. They received not the Son, though ſent unto them in the Fathers name. As the Goſpell is the great command; ſo the rejection of the Goſpel, is the great ſin.

If I had not come, and ſpoken unto them they, had not had ſinn: but23 now they have no cloak for their ſin. John 15.22. 3. Upon the rejecting of the Doctrine of the great Teacher, there are teach­ers ſuppoſed to come in their own name. A famine of the word of trueth is a ſore judgment. Amos 8.11. But theſe teachers, are worſe then no teachers. Accurſed & ominous. 4. That thoſe who received not Chriſt, comming in his Fathers name, will re­ceive teachers comming in their own name. No better Teacher, no ſuch teacher, no other teacher, then he was whom they refuſed.

Scarce any (if any) worſe teachers then thoſe whom they received. Tis not ſo ready to ſay, whether their unbelief or belief was more dreadfull. Wofull is their condition, when the teacher is accurſed Gal. 1.9. and the hearer bewitched Gal. 3.1.

And for this cauſe God ſhall ſend them ſtrong deluſions, that they ſhall believe a ly: that they all might be damned, who believed not the trueth, but had pleaſure in unrighteouſneſs 2 Theſ. 2.11, 12. See here the non-receivers of the trueth in the love of it, puniſhed both with a penal, and effectual miſſion of deceivers.

That this tremendous diſpenſation, may have the deeper impreſſion upon our hearts: we find the Vindictive hand of God upon the contempt of the Goſpel, mentioned thrice in one chapter: and that alſo, ſometime as a forerunner of the deſtruction of a nation. Mat: 24.5. For many ſhall come in my name, ſaying I am Chriſt. Falſe teachers ſhall come, and leſt any ſhould think their comming notwithſtanding, happily they ſhall not prevail: it is added, and ſhall deceive many. Again, verſe 11. Many falſe pro­phets ſhall ariſe. Forget not again what followeth, and ſhall deceive many. So verſe 24. For there ſhall ariſe falſe Chriſts, and falſe Prophets, and ſhall ſhew great ſignes & wonders: in ſo much; that if it were poſſible, they ſhould deceive the very Elect. Hereunto (if with ſome learned interpreters, we underſtand by the end mention­ed Mat: 24. that famous period & deſtruction of the Nation of the Jewes) we may not unaptly annex that of the Apoſtle 1 John 2.18. in the judgment of ſome as atteſting unto Mat: 24.3, 6, 33, 34 Namely that theſe grand-deceivers were fore-runners of the then enſuing miſery of that nation. Little children, it is the laſt time, & as ye have heard that Antichriſt ſhall come, even now there are many Antichriſts, whereby we know that it is the laſt time.

The ſumm is; that the doctrines of Devils audaciouſly diſſe­minated by numerous falſe teachers, pretending themſelves to be24 immediately ſent of God, are SIGNAL, or are ſignes of evill times, in four reſpects, i. e. They ſignifie four things

  • 1. Greater light then Ordinary foregoing.
  • 2. The non-reception of that light by many, in the love of it.
  • 3. The Judicial giving up of many non-recivers of the Trueth in the love of it to believe their lyes.
  • 4. Sometimes at leaſt, alſo a National Calamity impending: when the prementioned iniquities, are in Conjunction with o­ther crying ſinns without Repentance.

Sinning againſt the Goſpel, is very ſinfull. The Goſpel is a con­ſtitution or effect tempered of the Grace of God, and the blood of Chriſt ingredients, neither of which are to be found in the Law. So much as the Goſpel excelleth the Law, ſo much is ſinning againſt the Goſpel aggravated compared with ſinning againſt the Law Sin­ning againſt the Goſpel is yet heightned by circumſtances: that it is given to us after the tranſgreſſion of the Law. Given to ſome tranſgreſſors, and not unto others. Of them to whom it is given, diſpenſed with greater light to ſome, then to others. What Nation gloryed in theſe priviledges above our own, our ſelves being witneſſes? From the kind of ſinning; If the non-recep­tion of the trueth in the love of it, expoſeth unto this vindictive deception, according to what dreadfull degree ſhall they be count­ed obnoxious, who perſevere in ſcandals under the light?

Count it pleaſure to riot in the day time, yea fear not to commit that abomination in Iſrael, of turning the grace of God into wantonneſs.

From the doctrine of free grace, drawing a licence to ſin, to take their fill of luſt: and that without the guilt of ſin, without the con­ſcience of ſin, yea with a pretended conſcience of obedience.

In a word, to feaſt the old man unto the higheſt, with the blood of Jeſus, and compleat the mystery of iniquity, by the myſtery of the Goſpel.

As the non-reception of the trueth of the Goſpel, is a fearfull ſin, ſo the fruit thereof is a fearfull evill. Their unbelief is fear­full: their belief is fearfull. Ʋnbelief of the trueth is iniquity: Be­lief of a ly, is both iniquity & folly. The trueth they unbelieve, is a trueth of the greateſt wiſdom. The ly which they believe is an object of the greateſt vanity. To believe the trueth, is a great mercy. 1 Cor. 7.25. At one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord, to be faithfull. To believe a deſtructively, is a great judgment. 2 Theſ. 252.11, 12. And for this cauſe God ſhall ſend them ſtrong deluſions, that they ſhould believe a ly, that they all might be damned, who believed not the truth. Not to believe Christ is to make him an Impoſtor: re­markable is divine juſtice, that the iſſue of ſuch unbelief, ſhould be the believing of Impoſtors. So legible is divine juſtice, in that they who forſake the way of ſalvation, ſhould chooſe the way of damna­tion: that the folly of that wiſdom may be manifeſt, whoſe wiſdom is to diſacknowledg the Wiſdom of God; and that the glory of that wiſdom may be ever adored, the contempt wherof, deliver­eth the contemners unto ſuch finall folly.

Theſe lying Spirits, with other like Pests, howſoever incon­ſiderable & deſpicable looked at as in themſelves: yet if looked at as meſſengers of Divine wrath, witneſſes of guilt, and impenitence inſtruments of penalty, and commiſſionated to do effectual execu­tion, they are now repreſented under a formidable aſpect: and be­come objects of great terrour. God can plague Egypt with lice, and make locusts, wormes, & graſhoppers, a matter of horror unto Judah: though there remained but wounded men amongſt the Cal­deans: yet ſhould they riſe up every man in his tent, & burne this Citty with fire. Alas tis ſin that armes juſtice, and diſarmes the ſin­ner. When there is a concurrence of delinquency and authority, the meanneſs of the executioner aggravates, not extenuates the anguiſh of the malefactor. What more formidable then a penall and vindictive-permiſſion, of a deluſion-deſtructive: Upon Gods willing the permiſſion of ſin, ſin falleth out infallibly. Upon this antecedent Adam when all mankind was conteined in that one man yet in innocency, is deceived & ſinneth away, not only the Image of God from his poſterity, but alſo ſinneth mankind into the guilt of eternal death. The woman which thou gaveſt to be with me, gave mee of the tree and I did eat. Upon a permiſſion penal-corrective, Peter falleth as ſhamefully before the temptation of a poor maid, as he engaged confidently. No merveil then if upon a permiſſion penal-vindictive foregoing, we read; and all that dwell upon the earth ſhall worſhip him, i. e. the Beaſt, whoſe names are not written in the book of the life of the Lamb, ſlain from the foundation of the world. And that Chriſt warneth us of the perill thereof, as ſuch which threatens to deceive if it were poſſible the very Elect. The ſtrength of falſe prophecy lay not in the argument of the ſpeaker, but in the affection of the hearer. My people love26 to have it ſo. Jer. 5.32. The conjunction of a Judicial diſpenſati­on, with a pleaſing error, & an itching ear, preſents a ſufficient reaſon why men otherwiſe rational, are intoxicated with doctrines moſt irreligious & irrational. Why the ſucceſs of falſe teachers (at times) hath been ſuch, as hath exceeded their own expectation Hence was the ground of that old ſaying of the Monk, inſulting over the peoples credulity, Si mundus vult decipi, decipiatur. If the world will be deceived, let it be deceived. When the Duke of Sax­ony affected with Muncer's crying out under the ſeverity of his tortures, ſaid unto him, truely Muncer you indure at preſent, but think alſo upon the ruine of ſo many poor people, which at this day by occaſion of your ſeduction, are ſlain. He anſwered after a laughing manner, they would ſo have it. Whether it were more wickedly done in Muncer that thus mocked, or it more juſtly befell the miſerable people thus to be mocked, the reader may conſider. Paraeus la­ments whileſt he reports of a Papist glorying over his countrey-men, that if the Pope ſhould ſo Command the Germans under pretence of the redemption of their ſouls, they would eat hay & graſs like Cattel. wo, be to Ahab when both God, the lying prophets, and himſelf, con­ſpirer ſpectively the ſame deception, unto his deſtruction.

Though the being of hereſies be a great evill, yet hereſies must be: as ſerving the counſell of God unto divine uſes. In reſpect of the world: in reſpect of the profeſſors of the truth, both hypocri­ticall, & ſincere: In reſpect of the world. Ma. 18.7. woe be to the world becauſe of offences. Open enemies of the trueth rejoyce in them, harden their hearts in impenitence by them: whereby theſe veſſels of wrath, fill up their meaſure, and fit themſelves for their juſt, & greater condemnation.

Concerning hypocriticall profeſſors, God hereby diſcovers them. They went out, that they might be made manifeſt, that they were not all of us. 1. John. 2.19. God in his own ſeaſon, many times detects unſound profeſſors, & Church members, in this life: to ſhew that whatever name they had in the Churches which they lived in, yet they were never unſeen to his alſeeing eye. 2. To make others afraid how they approach to his holy things in hypocriſy. Acts. 5.14. 3. To prevent others being deceived by them. When the ſtate of the repub­lick is quiet, all the members ſeem to be wel-affected, & like minded to the ſtate: but as ſoon as Abſaloms trumpet ſounds, there quickly followeth a viſible ſeparation in Jſrael. Now David knoweth27 whoſe hearts are indeed with him, whoſe not. During the churches peace, all the members ſeem orthodox, but if a ſtrangers voice be heard, then the lovers of ſound doctrine & itching ears, fall into par­ties: & follow not the ſame Teacher.

As concerning ſincere profeſſors of the trueth: Teachers of falſe doctrine are unto them, as ſo many tempters or tryars. For the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart, & with all your ſoul. Deut. 13.3. Tempta­tions of an high nature, trying to the utmoſt, if it were poſſible as we ſaid before, to deceive the very Elect. Tryalls greater then thoſe of perſecution, exile, ſpoyling of goods &c: Witneſs the ſad a­poſtacy of too many, in this preſent aſſault of hetrodoxie, who quitted themſelves with reputation before men in the fore-named ſufferings. The ſame temptation managed under the notion of a Prophet, and as the word of God prevailed: which propoſed by King Jeroboam, with the proffer of half his houſe ſuper-added, was rejected: 1 King. 13.19, 8. Yet the demonſtration of their love to the Trueth is ſweeter then the probation therof is bitter.

Furthermore falſe Prophets, do not only prove our ſincerity between God and our ſelves: but alſo;1 Cor: 11.18. occaſionally make it known unto others. For there muſt be alſo hereſies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifeſt among you. The manifeſtation of their zeal for the Trueth, was evangellically provoked by the antiperiſtaſis, or oppoſition of error. Error & hereſie by accident conduce much, unto the furtherance of the trueth. Oppoſition occaſions light. Light proceeds unto confeſſion of the trueth. Confeſſion is a divine meanes of conqueſt. Oppoſition begets diſputation, that removes objections, and clears the trueth. Every article of religi­on triumphs upon a juſt inquiſition. Nothing prejudiceth verity more then the hiding, and ſmothering of it, by falſehood & ſophi­ſtry. The ſight of the trueth is the confuſion of the adverſary.

Trueth cleared after us queſtioning becometh out of question. Nothing more approved, then that which is approved upon tryal. The invading of that great and myſterious trueth, by Atitrinitarians: ended in the eſtabliſhment of the doctrine of the Trinity.

The faith concerning the Perſon of Chriſt, was advantaged by its conflict with Arrianiſm. The doctrine of free grace, hath been triumphantly confirmed, by its conteſts with Arminianiſm. The point of Church-governmenmuch more underſtood by reaſon of its28 man fold controverſies, with Antagonists.

The light thus vindicated, and illuſtrated by polemical la­bours, cannot be hid: but by the open profeſſion of the aſſertors ſhneth forth unto the world. Witneſs the Apoſtle's Creed, (ſo called) with other eccleſiaſtical Creeds, whether proper, viz: ſuch as were ſet forth by ſingle perſons: or particular, viz: ſuch as were ſet forth by this or that Church: or general, viz: ſuch as were publiſhed by general Councils: namely the Nicene, Epheſine, and Chalcedon, penned partly for the better expoſition of the Apoſtle's, and part­ly that men might the better know how to avoid the hereſies of thoſe dayes. Witneſs the acts of orthodox Councels, down all along ſince theſe ancient times. Witneſs the Harmony of con­feſſions of the reformed churches, throughout the chief proteſtant ſtates: in the Century laſt foregoing (concerning which Century, as it cannot be denyed, that no one for many hundred yeares together ſo abounded with errors: ſo muſt it alſo be acknowledged, that no one, throughout ſo long a tract of time, abounded more with confeſſions of the trueth), and all thoſe worthy labours, perform­ed with a ſpirit as zealous for,Preface to the Harm. as the enemy was malignant againſt the faith. Let them therefore (ſaith the godly prefacer) leave off, in mocking to terme us confeſionſts, unleſs perhaps they look for this anſwer at our hands, that it is a farr more excellent thing to bear the name of confeſſing the Faith, then of denying the Trueth. Very notable, & memorable is Chriſts improvement of the various and erroneous conceptions of man concerning him, unto a diſtinct and famous confeſſion of him. Mat. 16. 13.-16. As alſo of that opprobrious apoſtacy of many of his diſciples, unto a moſt confi­dent profeſſion of him. John. 6.66, -69. Thus through the my­ſterious adminiſtrations of God, even apoſtacy it ſelfe from the trueth, occaſions a victorious teſtimony unto the trueth. Victori­ous both in reſpect of the Confeſſors, & Confeſſions: and they over­came by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their Teſtimony Rev. 12.11. The Confeſſor dyeth, the Confeſſion liveth The Conflict of the Confeſſors ceaſeth, but the Teſtimony of the Confeſſors yet ſpeaketh, and conquering goeth on to conquer.

Though Dionyſius ſeeing the darkneſs which was upon the face of the earth, at the paſſion of Chriſt, feared a diſſolution of the univerſe: yet; Faith ſeeth that it is but an Eclipſe. The Sun of Righteouſneſs will ſhortly ſhine again. Whileſt you look upon the29 efficacy of error, with the eye of Reaſon, its motion ſeemes to pro­ceed according to Satan's will: but whileſt you look upon it in the Scripture, you ſhall find its motions ordered exactly by, and ſubſervient unto Gods will. If you look upon the hour & power of darkneſs as a man, it repreſents it ſelf as the apparition of Satan looſe: but if you look upon it as a believer, you ſhall ſee Satan in a chaine. The firſt aſpect, preſents all formidable, as the product of Satans will: which conteining the extirpation of all good, with the introduction of all iniquity, confuſion, & miſery. (upon ſup­poſition it ſhould obtaine) what can be ſuperadded in the way of evill therunto? The ſecōd repreſents every thing beautiful in its time it being an impoſſibillity, that he; whoſe wayes to his end are paſt finding out, ſhould do any thing, in relation either to way, or end: incongruous, or indecent unto him, who is abſolute perfection it ſelf

Look upon the ſpirit of error in it ſelf, it is like the Lyon roaring upon Sampſon: look upon it in the Promiſe, 'tis as the Carkaſs of the Lyon: but behold there is a ſwarm of Bees, and honey in the car­caſs of the Lyon. In its own nature, it is a flood of waters caſt out of the mouth of the Serpent: In the promiſe, it is as the waters of Noah, unto the freinds & ſervants of the Trueth. When I thought to know this, it was too painfull for mee, untill I went into the ſanctuary of the Lord, then underſtood I their end. Pſal. 73.10, 17.

CHAP: 3. Of the deſtructivenes of the Doctrine, and Practice of the Quakers; Ʋnto Religion, the Churches of Christ, and Christian States.

DIſeaſes may well be concluded malignant, and mortal, at leaſt in their next tendency: when they ſeize vpon the vitalls and Spirits. The doctrine under examination, being cenſured according to this proportion, will ſoon be found guilty of the charge.

The deſtructivenes of the doctrine of the Quakers unto Chriſtian States, appeareth; from

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  • The nature of the Object they ſingle out, imediately to fight againſt, viz:
    • The Trinity.
    • Chriſt.
    • The Scripture as the Rule of life.
    • Order, both
      • Civil, eſpecially as acknow­ledged in al Chriſtian States with Power in matters of Religion.
      • Eccleſiaſtical; as inſtituted in the Goſpel.
  • The Spirit they are acted by.
  • The ſuitablenes of their doctrine unto diſcontented, ſeditous, factious, and tumultuous ſpirits, eſpecially if preſſed with poverty or a ſuffering condition.
  • The experience of the examples of their predeceſſors in Germany acted by the ſame principles.

Fundamentals in Religion are ſo denominated.

Principally, & properly: ſo; Chriſt is a foundation. Mat. 16.16

Doctrinally: ſo; the Scripture is a foundation in that it holds forth the doctrine of life. 1 Cor: 3.10, 11. Eph. 2.20.

Practically: ſo; Order is according to ſome, not ineptly ſaid to be of the foundation: in that it is requiſite, in the way of means for the preſervation of what is fundamentall.

For the making good the firſt & maine article of the charge; the clearenes of the trueth, of the heads inſtanced in, as the four parts thereof (their fundamentality, with the contrariety of the doctrine-impleaded thereunto being manifeſt) is neceſſary. In order whereunto (the Trinity and Scripture being ſome-what ſpoken to above, and that of the Perſon of Chriſt in this place not calling for it) it remaineth onely: to demonſtrate, 1 The nature and neceſſity of order: 2 That in their oppoſing the Magiſtrats, as now eſtabliſhed in Chriſtian eſtate: they oppoſe civill order.

3. That the viſible-politicall-Churches Church-Officers Church-worſhip & adminiſtrations, are Goſpel-inſtitutions, appointed by Chriſt, to continue to the end of the world.

Order is a divine diſpoſal, of ſuperior & inferior relations, in hu­mane or Chriſtian ſocieties, diſtributing to each one reſpectively, what is due thereunto. There was Order directive in Innocencie, order both directive and coactive, is neceſſary in mans fallen eſtate. Order is Gods way of lapſed mans wel-doing, & wel-being. It is the forme of ſocie­ties, Formes are eſſential without which things cannot be.

31By Order; plurality is formed into, and ſubſiſts in unity. Without it; plurality is but an heap. Neither nature, nor ſociety, whether humane or chriſtian, no not ſo much as a family can ſtand without order. Ephe. 1.22. 1 Cor: 12.19. If all were one member, i. e. if there were no order, where were the body? Order is a divine pre­ſervative of Trueth, Peace, and Communion. The good of Order is further intelligible by the evill of confuſion. James 3.16As confuſion is not farr from every evill work, ſo order hath a tendency to every good work, Order without action is negligence, action without order, is preſumption. Action without knowledg is reprehenſible, and order unprofitable: but Order, Action & Ʋnderſtanding, perfect bodies Politick. The great good which is in order, is the cauſe why the wicked one ſo reſtleſly oppugneth it. The working of Satan againſt Order, is a policy, againſt a policy. The policy of hell, againſt the Policy of heaven. Whileſt we remember that God is the God of Order: it is not hard to diſcern the ma­ligning therof, as proceeding from the Serpent: For God is not the author of confuſion, but of peace; as in all the Churches of the Saints. 1 Cor: 14.33, 34. In Eccleſiaſticks it is a maxime indiſpenſable in Paul's motion, Let all things be done decently, and in Order. 1 Cor 14.40. Doing nothing is more eligible, then doing without or­der. Many times there is not ſo much good in the matter done: as there is evill, in that it is diſorderly done. In Civills; in caſe of non-adminiſtration wickedneſs reignes. Judges 17.6. In caſe of mal-adminiſtration incorrigible in the Magiſtrate, the Pſalmiſt cryeth out, that the foundations of the earth are out of courſe. Pſal: 82.5. Such a foundation then is Order, as it being caſt down, what ſhall the Righteous do?

Their Oppoſition to Civil Order, is thus evinced.

That doctrine which denyeth obedience unto the order of Magiſtracy in its due ſubject, Exod. 18.21. interpretatively, and in effect denyeth the order of Magiſtracy, i. e. Civil order.

But their doctrine denieth Obedience unto the order of Ma­giſtracy, in its due ſubject.

Therefore their doctrine denyeth the order of Magiſtracy i. e. Civil order.

That they deny obedience unto the order of Magiſtracy, in its due ſubject: witneſs both their ſcripts, & behaviour, wherin they deny obedience unto all Chriſtian Magiſtrates, who are not of their32 own mind. Their pernicious principles herein, (from the execu­tion of which the good hand of God hath hitherto reſtrained them) are notoriouſly palpable in the practiſe of Storke & Mancer, their Predeceſſors. About 1521. Nicholas Storke, a ring-leader a­mongſt a company of mutinous, and ſeditious perſons, pretended to immediate viſions: and thereupon, preached; that there ſhould come a new world, wherein ſhould dwell Righteouſneſs: therefore they ought to exterminate all the wicked, withall the Princes & unbelieving Magiſtrates from the earth. They (faith the Author) called all thoſe unbelievers, which were not of their faith & faction. In Al­ſtad, a Town in the Earledome of Manifield, one of the 4. Eſtates in upper Saxonie, Thomas Mancer enrolls the names of them, which were entered into league with him, and by ſolemn Oath promiſed aſſiſtance to diſpatch the wicked Prince, & to ſubſtitute new ones.

They (ſaith the ſame Author) generally accounted all Superiours wicked.

The being of Magiſtracy is from God immediately: There is no Power but of God, the Powers that be, are or lained of God.

This or that Form of Civill government, is of God mediately, i. e. by the means of man. 1 Pet: 2.13. Submit your ſelves to every Or­dinance of man, for the Lords ſake. Wherefore yee must needs bee ſubject, not only for weath, but alſo for Conſcience ſake. Rom: 13.5.

Concerning the Power of the Civil Magiſtrate in matters of Religion, See in the next chapter.

That Viſible Politica-Charches, Church-Officers, and Church-Ordinances, are Goſpel-Inſtitutions, appointed by Christ, to con­tinue to the end of the world, appeareth as followeth, briefly,

That Commandement which P•••gave to Timothy is to be kept untill the appearing of our Lord Jeſus 1 Tim: 6.14.

But Viſible Political-Church eſtate is part of that Cōmand­ment which Paul gave to Timothy 1 Tim: 3.15.

Therefore, Viſible political church-eſtate, is to continue untill the appearing of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, i. e. to the end of the world.

The word [Commandment] relates generally to all conteined in this Epiſtle, & preſcribed unto Timothy to be obſerved. Whence Beza readeth it, peception rather then Precept. This is part of that Depoſitum, that great thing depoſited: which the holy A­poſtle, ſo frequently & affectionately calleth upn his dear Timothy to ſee unto. Yea; and ſometime forbeareth not, as with a ſevere33 and moſt vehement adjuration, to charge bin with the cuſtody of, 1 Tim: 5.13, 14, 20. I give thee charge in the ſight of God. O Timo­thie, keep that which is committed to thy charge.

Either God ſince the inſtitutiō of the Ceremonial worſhip & Polity of Iſrael by Moſes, hath changed the Rule of Political Church-eſtate more then once: or he hath left his people without any Rule, as con­cerning Political church-eſtate: or elſe, the Political church-eſtate inſtituted in the Goſpel, is to continue to the end of the world.

But, ſince the inſtitution of the Ceremonial worſhip, & Polity ofſrael by Moſes, God hath changed the Rule of the Political eſtate of the Church but once: Heb: 12.26, 27. And it is not a trueth to ſay that he hath left his people without any Rule, as concerning the Political eſtate of the church: Heb: 3.5, 6. 1 Tim 3.14, 15. 1 Cor: 14.33.

Therefore, the Political Church-eſtate inſtituted in the Goſpel, is to continue unto the end of the world.

Paſtors & Teachers are Church-Officers:

Paſtors & Teachers are to continue to the end of the world:

Therefore, Church-Officers are to continue unto the end of the world.

The Apoſtle Ephe. 4.11, 12. having inſtructed us, concerning the inſtitution & uſe of Pastors & Teachers, proceeds verſe 13. to inform us concerning their duration: where; unto that queſtion how long are Paſtors & Teachers to continue? He hath prepared an anſwer long ſince, in thoſe words; till we all come in the Ʋnitie of Faith, & of the knowledge of the Sonn of God, unto a perfect man, unto the meaſure of the ſtature of the fullnes of Christ. Wee have in the text preſented before us, the duration of theſe Officers, deſcribed from two periodical, and indubitable notes. Firſt, the meeting of all the elect in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God. Secondly; the attaining of all believers unto a perfect man, or he full ſtature of Christ. By the firſt, underſtand the effectual calling, together with the perfect agreement of all the Elect in the faith. By the ſecond, the perfection of Chriſt myſtical. The head and members, Christ & all believers, make one myſtical perſon, or one myſtical-bodie. The perfection whereof is hee held forth, by a metaphor taken from the full ſtature of the body natural, after which there is no augmentation. Now the perfection or full ſtature of the body myſtical, after which it receiveth no augmentation,34 imports, two things: Firſt, that no member ſhall then be wanting: ſecondly, that every member ſhall be perfect. From the premiſes, it being manifeſt, that theſe two periodical notes, ſhall not be untill the end of the world: therefore as manifeſt it is, that Paſtors and Teachers being to continue untill then, they are to continue unto the end of the world. Thoſe three verſes are as Aarons rod, an argument (were it alone) ſufficient quite to take away the murmur­ings of the people. Yet, for the further ſatisfaction of the Reader, touching the Goſpel-miniſtry, two things may here not unſeaſonably be ſpoken to.

1. Concerning the nature of extraordinary Goſpel-miniſters.

2. Concerning immediate miſſion of perſons in theſe dayes.

Touching the firſt, Church-Officers are Extraordinary, i. e. but for a time: as, Apoſtles, Prophets, Evangeliſts Ordinary, i. e. ſuch whoſe function continueth, and is ſtanding at all times.

To the conſtitution of an Apoſtle, four extraordinary gifts concurred. 1. A Call immediately by Chriſt. Matthias ſub­ſtituted in the place of Judas, is elected by Lot, which was a di­vine vote. Acts 1.26. Paul hath a viſion of Chriſt, and heareth a voice from heaven. Acts 26.16. 1 Cor. 15.8. 2. Plenitude and amplitude of the power of the Keyes, i. e. all Church-power in all Churches. John 21.21. Mat. 28.19. Mark 16.15. 3. Infalli­ble aſſiſtance in their adminiſtration, when called thereunto. 2 Pet. 1.20, 21. 4. Power to work Miracles, 2 Cor: 12.12.

The Prophets were called immediately by the Spirit: their work was to interp et dark Scriptures, by a ſpecial gift, without ſtudy. Acts 13.1. & 15.32. 1 Cor: 14.24. Prediction of things to come, Acts 11.27, 28. & 21.11. Joel 2.28. Ats 2.9. Luke 2.36 Acts 21.9. Evangeliſts were extraordinary Miniſters called by the Apoſtles, as ordinary Miniſters are by the Church. Such were Timothy & Titus.

Queſt. Touching the querie, whether we have any Scripture warrant to expect perſons immediately ſent of God in theſe dayes.

Anſw. We have no promiſe of any ſuch ministry in our times. The laſt dayes Acts 2.17. are by ſome ſenced, as relating to the laſt dayes of the Jewes immediately preceding the dreadfull & famous de­ſtruction of that Nation. (According to them) called the great & terrible day of the Lord. Thus James chapt. 5.3. ſpeaking of35 the wealthy Jewes ſaith, that they have treaſured up their wealth as fire against the laſt dayes i. e. againſt thoſe times of deſtruction when their wealth ſhould but do them a miſchief, marking them out as prizes & preyes for the enemy. But this interpretation is left to free diſquiſition.

The Apoſtles ſeem not ſo to have expected any ſucceſſion of Apoſtles. Hence in their life time, they appointed Elders in every Church, Acts 14.23. And left behind them, a preſcribed form, as a directory of the Churches, concerning perſons to be called by man into the Miniſtry ſucceſſively, in the ages to come. 1 Tim: 3 Titus 1.

But though we have no promiſe of any ſuch miniſtry, yet in the Scripture we have frequent prediction & caution of pretenders to immediate miſſion, of deceivers, falſe Apoſtles, falſe Prophets, falſe Teachers, Speakers of lyes in the name of the Lord: with Command and directions to try them, not by their own profeſſion, for that is no great thing, if the miniſters of Satan transform themſelves into the miniſters of Righteouſneſs. 2 Cor: 11.15. Nor ſo much by their Converſation, (for the trueth were not true if ſuch ravening Wolves did not come in ſheeps cloathing:) as by their doctrine, by which fruit they are in an eſpecial manner to be known. Mat. 7.16. Iohn 2 Epiſt. 9, 10. Yea, and upon juſt tryal, ſo farr ought we to bee from being moved by them, in point of our faith, as confident­ly to pronounce them Anathama's. But though we or an Angel from heaven, preach any other Goſpel unto you, then that yee have received, let him be accurſed. As we ſaid before, ſo ſay I now again, if any man preach any other Gospel unto you, then that yee have received, let him be accurſed. Scepticks, & all others, are hēce beſeeched to conſider what unmovednes and firmnes in fundamentalls Chriſt looks for, eſpecially from thoſe who would acquit themſelves as Church-mem­bers, in reference to ſuch deceivers.

Though we have no Scripture warrant to expect immediate miſſions, and have both frequent and ſolemn cautions, concerning the riſing of falſe pretenders therunto, yet it being alſo a trueth, that the holy One of Iſrael, hath not limited himſelf herein. When any ariſe with the gifts prementioned, and with the fruits both of doctrine & life conformable to the Scripture, they are according­ly to be received in the Lord.

The Lords Supper is a Viſible-Political-Church-Ordnance,36 and is to continue unto the end of the world. For as after as yee eat this bread & drinke this Cup, yee ſhew forth the Lords death untill he come. 1 Cor. 12.26. In theſe words (ſaith Paraeus) is a tacite promiſe of the conſervatiō of the Church unto the end of the world

Baptiſme is a Viſible-Political-Church-Ordinance, and is to continue unto the end of the world. Teach and Baptiſe &c: and loe I am with you alwayes to the end of the world. Mat: 28.19, 20.

Therfore viſible political-Church-ordinances, are to continue unto the end of the world.

Object:〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which in our tranſlation we read world; ſignifieth an Age, and according to this verſion, the text alledged, ſpeaks not of the continuance of Baptiſm unto the end of the world, but unto the finiſhing of the age, viz: of that miniſtration, or of the Apoſtles age.

Anſw. The trueth of the premiſes already evicted, concludes this evaſion a falſity.

Hence it would follow, that the inſtant of John's death, the laſt ſurviver of the Apoſtles, & the inſtant of the diſſolution of Church order, was the ſame. But that John did not thus underſtand Chriſt yea that Chriſt did not thus underſtand himſelf, witneſs beſides his ſilence of any ſuch notion in his Epiſtles to the other Churches, his writing expreſly to the Church of Thyatira, that it was the precept of the Son of God concerning that Church, that they ſhould hold faſt the doctrine they had received, part whereof was chuch-eſtate not till John's death, but till Chriſt's Comming. Rev. 2.25. Namely to Judgment. If the words be underſtood by any, of his ſpeciall comming to them, by their perſonal deaths, the like alſo being to be underſtood concerning others, it effectually makes void this objection. Add hereunto that John by that formidable Anathema chap: 22.18, 19. ſecureth the obligatory obſervance of all the words of the Revelation, wherein is mention of Political church-eſtate, as alſo of the reſt of the ſacred Canon according to the judgment of the beſt orthodox interpreters, untill the ſecond com­ming of Chriſt. Rev. 22.7, 12, 20.

Neither did Ignatius, who lived in the time of the Apoſtles & outlived Iohn, thus underſtand Chriſt. Witneſs thoſe Epiſtles, which are acknowledged by orthodox & learned Criticks in an­tiquity as genuine. wherein he atteſteth unto & owneth many churches then in being by honouring of them with the expreſs titles37 of the Churches of Chriſt.

This objection renders the motion of Chriſt retrograde, viz: firſt forwards, from the daker dſpenſation of the law, unto a more cleare diſpenſation of the Goſpel: and then backwards again unto a dſpenſation more dark, then that of the Law, wherein the people of God (may we credit the objecter) are for 1500 yeares left with­out a Rule, without Order, without Seales, without any ſent by Office, to preach unto them, or any Church-Ordinance.

That the Engliſh tranſlation is apt, and renders not onely a true ſenſe of the word, but alſo its proper ſenſe in this place, appeareth from a particular indiction of its various acceptions in the New Teſtament. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉according to its proper notation, ſignifieth ſuch a duration as is without an end for EVER. Hence in refe­rence unto duration, it is uſed in diverſe notions. 1. For ever­laſting. Iohn 12.34. & 6.51. & 4.14. & 14.16. 2 Pet. 2.17. The objecter reading the word in theſe and many other texts [the Age of a man] muſt therewithall a firm that the reſidence of the Holy Ghoſt, the ſtate of grace, heaven and hell ſhall continue but the age of a man. 2. It is uſed alſo for a duration that is long viz: for all the tract of time, from its begin̄ing, untill ſuch a Term then ſpoken of. Iohn 9.32. 3. For the whole courſe of time. Mat. 13.39, 40, 49. 4. For the Ʋniverſe, or frame of Cre­ation itel, which is the Subject of time: that duration being an inſepperable adjunct thereof. Thus it is rendered worlds. Heb. 1.2 & 11.3. importing in born the viſible world. The world 2 Co: 4 4. ſpeaking of this world as contradſtinct from the world to come For there are two worlds: this world Iohn 12.31. and that world Luke 20.35. This preſent world. 2 Tim: 4.10 and the world to come Ephe: 1.21. This is the ſubject of the duration of time, that of the duration of Eviternity. Of the premiſed expoſitions the reader may ſoon perceive both from the ſubject matter ſpoken of and the collation of other Scriptures, that the third accepti­on only agreeth with the text preſented unto conſideration, and that this acception fully agree to therewith.

There is yet in the Goſpel according to ſome learned men, another acception of〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, namely for the whole courſe of the time of the Goſpel-diſpenſation,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 after the abrogation of the Moſaical-diſpen­ſation, at the aſcention of Chriſt. This is called the laſt Age of the world, after which there is no other to be looked for by us here38 as after old age man is to expect no other age in this life but death, which putteth an end unto his time. And the Scripture (as they conceive) in this notion of age, relates to a very notable diſtribution (of famous account amongſt the jewes) of the time before and after the Meſſiah, into two ages. The firſt is called the Age before the Meſſiah, the then preſent age, the age of the jewiſh ſtate. The ſe­cōd the Age after the Meſſiah, the future age, the age of Chriſtianitie Not inconformably whereunto, Tobit ſpeaking of the ſecond Tem­ple rebuilded under EzRA, ſaith that it ſhall be untill the end of that Age. In natis ex Euſbio E­vang Demō­ſtra. t l. 7.Chapt. 14.5. And the Septuagint calleth Christ the Fa­ther of the age to come. Eſay. 9 6. And conformably hereunto, what wee read the ends of the world, they read the Conſummation of ages. Heb: 9.26. 1 Cor: 10.11. (The Greek bearing either verſion) conceiving that the Conſummation of ages, are therefore ſaid to be come upon them that live under the Goſpel, becauſe they who live under the Goſpel have out-lived the legal diſpenſation, the Ceſſa­tion whereof was the conſummation of the age before the Meſſiah, and live under that diſpenſation, the ceſſation whereof ſhall be the Conſummation of the age after the Meſſiah, i. e. the Goſpel diſpen­ſation, which ſhall be the ſhutting up of all ages, & conſequent­ly end with the end of the world. The ſum of this interpreta­tions commeth to this, I will be with you to the end of the age, mean­ing thereby the age of the Meſſiah, beginning at the Aſcenſion of Chriſt, and continuing unto the end of the world. It is the ſame in effect with the tranſlation, though differing in expreſſion.

Touching the Spirit they are acted from: their dictates are re­preſented by them, both as infallible and divine. Becauſe of the pretence of their infallibility, they muſt not be queſtioned. By rea­ſon of the pretence of their divinity, they muſt be obeyed. What can be ſuperadded to the deſtructive tendency of ſatanicall motions armed with the perſwaſion of the indiſpenſable neceſſity of Gods own Cōmand. Their tumultuous motions are by grave Authors frequently ſtyled Furies, from the fiercenes of their Spirit in the pro­pagation of their Errors. Their agitation is like that of the ocean, when one would think the deep to be hoarie: raging waves of the ſea, foam­ing out their owne ſhame. Jude v. 13. Erroneous zeal, heightened with intoxicating & fanatick animoſities, is ſo much wilde-fire. But dia­bolical zeal is ſo much hell-fire. A Spiritual frenzy. Being exceedingly mad againſt them. Acts. 26.11. Wicked perſecutors, who39 acknowledg not the faith are unreaſonable men: pray that wee may be delivered from unreaſonable & wicked men. 2. Theſſ. 3.2. wicked per­ſecutors who pretend to the faith, are mad men. The very light of nature teacheth all nations, that mad men acting according to their frantick paſſions, are to be reſtrained with chaines, when they can not be reſtrained otherwiſe. It goeth ill with the Saints, when they who kill them, think they do God ſervice, whileſt they rage accord­ing to their lusts. Woe to them who call upon the name of Chriſt, when he that verily thinks with himſelf, that he ought to do many things unto the utmoſt contrary to Jeſus of Nazareth, not only breaths out ſlaughter, but is alſo Cōmiſſionated with letters from Damaſcus.

Their Doctrine carryeth meat for its followers in the mouth of it: ſo that its contagious influence in a ſhort time, upon the tumul­tuous nature of the diſcontented and irregenerate multitude, needs not ſo much to be diſcovered, as to be antidoted. That theſe perſons canonize themſelves as the Saints of the moſt High, is a ſtrong deluſion. And if they alſo by vertue of a forged Saintſhip, be heard intitling themſelves unto the Kingdom: and thereby; unto the dignities & eſtates of all who are not of their mind, it will not be found more irrational, then Satanical: not more ſtrange, then pernici­ous. It may well be looked at as a Serpentine and inebriating ſtra­tageme, to make the power, honours, & poſſeſſions of the godly, and others alſo who are not of their way: to become lawfull prize, and plunder to the ravening luſts of their proſelytes. For what then remaineth, but that a ſufficient number accepting of their doctrine agree together to poſſeſs themſelves of all that falleth within the compaſs of their rapine. 'Tis true, the Devills tempting of Chriſt with all the Kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, All theſe things will I give thee: could take no effect with Him. But upon the tryall thereof with men of John of Leyden's ſpirit, the ſub­till tempter hath found better ſucceſs.

About February 1534 Rotman & Cniperdolling ſend unto the neighbouring townes of Munſter, thereby giving notice to them of their ſect to leave all their goods, & to repaire unto them, encourag­ing them, that they ſhould not fail to receive more then they left behind them. Hereupon great multitudes both of men & women hearkening unto thoſe magnificent promiſes, came in accordingly, and upon hopes of preferment, repair to Munſter, chiefly the poorer ſort, who knew not how to ſubſiſt. Some othoſe 2840 Teachers of the world ſent out from Munſter (upon the Cōmande­ment of the Father pretended to be given to John Twiſcoſcur a gold­ſmith) being demanded, why they expelled the honeſt people from the city of Munſter againſt their faith & promiſe, & detained their goods and by what text of Scripture, they could warrant that un­righteouſnes. They anſwered that the time was now come, wherein the word of Chriſt ſhould be fullfilled, that the meek ſhould poſſeſs the earth: and that GOD in this manner gave the goods of the Egyptians, to the Iſraelits. About the latter end of June, Twiſcoſcur calleth the multitude together into the market place, telleth them that he had a command from the heavenly father, that John of Leyden ſhould have the Command of the whole earth,Oſiand. cent. 16. lib. 2. cap 33. Guide breſſe Cap: 4. that he ſhould go forth with a mighty army, kill all the Princes promiſcuouſly, ſparing only the multitude, viz: thoſe who loved Righteouſneſs. That the time was now come, when the ungodly ſhould be oppreſſed, and the godly ſhould reign in this life. The King afterwards promiſeth to his 12 ſelect Captains, that they ſhould be Princes, aſſigning unto each of them their Province by name, as alſo Forts & Lands which he would give them.

How potent a temptation, the opening of an opportunity to the irregenerate & hungry multitude, of changing places with their Superiours, and poſſeſſing themſelves with their power, hon­our & eſtates, is: (When this temptation, is managed in a way of duty, and that duty alſo inſinuated from the higheſt nature, principle & end, viz) Saintſhip of the higheſt form, inſpiration divine & infallible, a ſuper-ſcriptural reformation guilded ouer with ſpecious pretences of the exaltation of Christ, and extirpation of Babylon: I ſay how threatning this temptation is, Engliſh men may not unprofitably collect, by recalling that perillous rebellion in the dayes of Richard the ſecond: raiſed from the doctrine of one man by a temptation of this nature, though then managed in a way of lawfulneſs only, not of duty. The ſumm whereof take thus. One John Woll a man of a factious ſpirit, perceiving the diſcontent of thoſe times: by two arguments, one taken from the equality of all men, as deſcended from Adam; the other from the injustice of the Laws upholding great inequality amongſt men: viz ſome Lords, and in large eſtates, whileſt others continued in a nee­dy condition, ſeduced the inferiour ſort, eſpecially ſuch as were pinched with penury, into a perſwaſion that it was lawfull for them41 to help themſelves. Thereby procuring an inſurrection of Sixty thouſand, for the while carrying all before them, commiting diverſe murthers, many outrages, unto the entering & awing of London, the terrour of the King, & jeopardy of the whole Realme. Iohn Woll is peſtilent, but Iohn of Leyden is much more peſtilent. The ſtrength of this temptation lyeth not in the reaſon of it, but in it's complia­ance with corruption. Such is man's propenſneſs to the world, that where it offers it ſelf he is apt to haſten to it, though by a way which inferreth the perdition of the ſoul. No marveil if that Religion, which hath made the way to ſalvation, and to the worlds enjoyment, both the ſame and quick & eaſy, be much fol­lowed: though not for Religion ſake, yet for the worlds ſake.

Howſoever Becold might ſmile in his ſleeve at the fallacy of his Re­ligion, yet therein he found ſweet, in that it promoted him from a Tayler of Leyden, to be King of Jeruſalem, yea; of the whole earth, and that all Princes muſt obey him, had their revelations prevailed.

To poſſeſs our hearts the more throughly with the peſtilence of the heterodoxie impleaded, conſider the diſmall effects which have followed upon the practices of ſuch, who have acted accord­ing to theſe principles.

Caspar Swenckfield an eloquent but unlearned man, ſpread his errours about 1520. The confeſſion of the Divines of Mansfield condemneth him, Anno 1555 and teſtifieth that he hath troubled the church thirty yeares.

About 1522 Nicolas Storke (of whom before,) rejects the Scriptures, as being a carnal & literal Rule, holds forth revelations, thereupon the extirpation of the Magiſtrate, with a renovation of the world wherein Righteouſneſs ſhould dwell. Out of this ſchool came Muncer.

About 1524 aroſe Thomas Muncer, who in his letters ſtiled himſelf Thomas Muncer, the ſervant of God, with the ſword of Gideon against the ungodly. He cryeth down books, and the letter of the Scripture, ſaying the Spirit was Leader and Rule to believers.

Amongſt other things he teacheth parity amongſt men, rejection of Dignities, Community of goods, that all the world ſhould abide in the liberty wherein it was at firſt created. Of his dangerous attempt in Alſtad to deſtroy the Princes, innovate the Government & change the times, we heard alſo before. In Mulhuiſen an Imperial Citty in the Province of Turingia, he ſo wrought upon the people42 that they changed their old Magiſtrates, choſe new ones of Muncer's way, whence aroſe many troubles. Many people leaven­ed with his doctrine, defiſt from their ordinary Labour & when they had need of any thing, they took from thoſe who had it, whe­ther they would or not. In Swaben & Francony the husband­men & labourers take up armes to the number of Forty thouſand, they drove away the Nobles, impriſoned ſome (according to the French Hiſtoriographer they ſlew many of the Nobility) ſacked & burnt their Caſtles & fortreſſes, as the fetters of their liberty. At laſt he & Henry Pfeiffer pretending a viſion from heaven gather forces & with a numerous companie take the field, fight with the princes are taken & put to death 1525. In theſe tumults of Muncer were ſlaine firſt & laſt fifty thouſand of the people: according to ſome one hundred thouſand.

About 1533 John Becold an Hollander of Leyden, by oc­cupation a Taylor: commeth to Munſter a Citty in Weſtphalia, with one Cniperdoling: where with their adherents & followers, having gotten ſome advantage into their hand: Command is given, that ſuch who were not rebaptiſed, ſhould be put to death, as Pagans and wicked: but theſe troubles were iſſued by compoſition. In February 1534 contary to their Faith & promiſe, they ſecretly fill the Citty with their own party. In the beginning they talked of nothing but spirit & Holineſs, they ſaid it was not lawfull for a Chriſtian to be a Magiſtrate, and that it was not lawfull to bear armes. But after they had gotten power into their hands, then it was lawfull to ſeize the publick armes, to take the Town-houſe, to chooſe Magiſtrates to their mind, to reject thoſe who were ordained of God, to thruſt themſelves into their places. They that before cryed Repent, Re­pent, now change their voyce, and cryed Depart, Depart, if you