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An answer to many principles held forth by some of those called
ministers, teachers, and professors in England; taken out of their several books, with their names to them. And also several other sayings and writings of the priests and professors of this nation, gathered together and answered.
Samuel Eaton, (who calls himself a teacher of the church of Christ, at Stockport in
Cheshire,) in his book called, The Quakers Confuted,' sent to the Parliament,
Sasth in his epistle to the parliament, then sitting at Westminster, • That they are not to judge of saintship, according to the large charity of some who are truly good,' &c.
Answer. So here is another doctrine than Christ's was, who said, The tree is known by its fruits;' and by their fruits ye shall know them.' And the fruits of the spirit are known from the fruits of the flesh.
Again, in the conclusion of his aforesaid epistle he begs pardon of the parliament, for the thoughts of his heart that he hath spread before them, and so puts them in the pope's place.
Likewise, in his epistle to the reader, because Richard Waller wit. nesseth his teacher within, and bids others to mind the light within them; and that he was come off from all other teachers, &c. he judgeth this to be delusion; contrary to John the apostle, who saith, · Ye need no man to teach you, but as the same anointing teacheth you, which is truth, and is no lie.' John ii. 27. And again, in Heb. viii. • Ye shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord, for they shall all know him from the least to the greatest: for the Lord will write his law in their hearts, and put his spirit within them,' &c.
Principle. He saith, he doth not believe that there is any substantial, essential, or personal union betwixt the eternal spirit and believers.'
Answer. Although the scripture saith, the spirit dwells in the saints, 1 Cor. 6. and, He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.' 1 John 1, As though the saints had not union with God, which the scripture saith they have.
P. He saith, " It is palpably false, and blasphemy, to say, that the saints know all things, and have power to work miracles to the glory of God.'
A. Contrary to the minister of Christ, John, who saith, But ye have an anointing from the Holy One, and know all things.' 1 John ii.
20. And Christ said, Greater things than these shall ye do that believe in me.'
P. He saith, Though we believe that the spirit of Christ dwells in the saints, yet we assert the spirit of Christ to be distinct from the saints,' &c.
A. How are they led by the spirit? how are they led into all truth? and how are they sanctified by the spirit, and their unity in the spirit? By which spirit they have unity with God; by which spirit the saints worship him. And · He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit; he that hath not the spirit of Christ is none of his.' And so they are distinct from it; but they are not so that have it, and are in unity with it, and one with another.
P. He saith, . Although there be the same spirit in all the saints that gave forth the scriptures, yet all saints have not the same inspiration of the spirit that the prophets and apostles had, so as that they should be able to give forth infallible truths, and immediately discover the pure and clear will of God, as the prophets and apostles did.'
A. In this he hath showed his ignorance of the spirit, and of the holy ghost. And himself is the false spirit gone out into the world. For the spirit of truth shall lead into all truth, and bring to memory Christ's words, and doth inspire into them the things of God, and doth reveal to every one according to his measure.
P. The spirit doth not communicate according to the capacity in the creature.'
A. Then there is none can divide the word aright. God gives to every man as he will, and reproves the world, and leads the saints into all truth.
P. He saith, They had not known the signification of the words of Christ, but by the evangelists,' &c.
A. I say, neither he, nor any one knows the signification of Christ's words by the evangelists' words, but by the evangelists' spirit, and by the same inspiration which thou sayst thou looks not for.
P. He saith, The scriptures do give their own sense, and are a standing rule,' &c. And yet thou said a little before, in page 4, • They are dark, and are left to you to give a sense.'
A. Here then thou confoundest thyself; the spirit of God is the standing rule which leads them to speak forth scripture, and not others' words; and the prophets and apostles' words, did not lead to speak forth scripture, but the spirit.
P. He saith, "They that had the anointing within them, had not an infallible judgment,' &c.
A. John said, “They know all things;' and bid them, try the spirits,' whether they were of God. And said, they had the spirit of
God, which spirit is infallible, and gives an infallible judgment; which spirit was to try the false prophets that were gone out into the world.
P. In some places thou said, 'the scriptures were dark, and hard to be understood.
A. And here thou sayst, . It is plain, and easily to be understood,' page 8. Mark thy confusion; for the scripture is not understood without the spirit.
P. He saith, “There is an infallible judgment, which may be made from the scriptures without the spirit,' page 9.
A. Who can judge infallibly without the spirit? Christ told the Pharisees (who had the scriptures) they were of the devil,' and judgment they had neglected, and he did not own their judgment to be infallible. And the apostle saith, what they knew who were separate from the spirit, they knew naturally as brute beasts, Jude 10 and 19. though they spoke high words in hypocrisy. And there art thou with thy infallible judgment (as thou saidst) without the spirit, (which is proved fallible.) There is no infallible judgment to be given that stands without the spirit; they that judge without the spirit, will judge amiss, and not infallibly, as the Jews did of Christ, and as the natural brute beasts did which Jude speaks of; there art thou.
P. And he further saith in the same page, that the scripture is to be judge of the spirit, and a light sufficient to judge of doctrine and manners,' &c.
A. The Jews had not an infallible judgment that had scripture, but stood against Christ the light, and judged him to be a devil. That judgment was not infallible, and their doctrine and manners were not right, which stood against Christ the light.
P. He saith, “The conclusion is, that the scriptures is the foundation of an infallible judgment concerning things contained in them, and not the spirit,' page 10.
A. So he hath thrown out God and Christ, and the spiritual man, who was before the scripture was, who was the cause of the giving them forth, and the inspiring them through the saints, which the scripture saith, shall judge the world, yea angels.' And he may say upon this conclusion, that the world and the devil have the judge, for they will get scripture.
P. He saith, He that can bridle his tongue is not a perfect man.'
A. Which is contrary to the apostle James, who saith he is, and so thou art out of James' doctrine.
P. But the saints have not Christ in the flesh,' page 12.
A. Contrary to Christ and the apostle's doctrine, who said, they were of his flesh and of his bone, and should eat his flesh, and they that eat his flesh have it in them.
P. He saith, Christ within sufficient for all things to teach them, and to make them perfect as he is, and as God is. Now,' saith he, í such a having of Christ as this is, we assume not, nor dare assume. And we declare against it as a satanical delusion, and the Quakers are the poor creatures that confess this in them,' page 13.
A. And you that are not made perfect by Christ the truth, you remain out of truth, in the delusion, and so you are out of the apostles' doctrine.
P. The pastor saith, that such a voice as comes immediately from God we have not heard, and such an immediate inspiration as this from God we have not received, nor do we wait for it,' page 13.
A. So showing himself to be of them that God never sent. So you are as the Jews that could say, · Moses heard the voice of God, and the prophets heard the Lord's voice. But their own ears were stopped to the voice. For Christ said, 'Ye have not heard the voice of God at any time.' And ye say ye look not for it. And you that deny immediate inspiration, have denied the power of the spirit, for that is immediate, and the ministers of Christ witness it.
P. “All that pray by the spirit, and speak by the spirit, and do not show a miracle, are impostors,' page 14.
A. Many prayed by the spirit, and spake by the spirit, that did not show miracles at the tempter's command, though among believers there are miracles in the spirit, which are signs and wonders to the world, as Isaiah saith. But these are the impostors that pray, and speak, but not by the spirit of God.
P. Because the Quakers say, that such as preach and speak, but not by the spirit of God, are the false prophets which the Lord never sent, this the priest saith is an evil design, wherein lie venom and poison.'
A. They were and are in the evil design, that spoke not, nor preached not from the spirit of God, and lie in the venom and poison.
P. He saith, though Christ was then in heaven, and spake not,' page 15.
A. Contrary to the apostle, who said he had spoken to him, and hath spoken to us by his son, as Acts and Hebrews.
P. He saith, All that are brought to the faith of Christ, are not built upon an immediate voice that comes from God to themselves, nor to any others who are their teachers.' See page 15.
A. Who shows he never received faith from God, which from him is given, which faith is immediate: through which faith they have access to God who is immediate. And he goes about to overthrow all teachers made by the will of God, and by Christ, and the revelation of Jesus; for how can they be ministers, if they have not the ministry revealed lo them? So, he that denies revelation, doth not know the son nor the VOL. III.
Father; and denies himself to be any true minister, (but by man's will, which is not immediate,) who minister of the spirit, and are immediate in the spirit, which thou art not.
P. He saith, that there may be much fallacy and delusion in revelation.' "That God did not intend immediate teaching, nor to give out an immediate voice in after ages, which should direct and guide men in the ways of salvation,' page 16.
A. Which is contrary to the scripture, which saith, “ All the children of the Lord shall be taught of the Lord;' and, · He that is of God heareth God's word;' and that is immediate, and lives and endures for ever. And there is no fallacy nor delusion in the revelation of God, but all fallacy and delusion are out of it.
P. And he saith, “ Timothy had not his knowledge immediately, and yet he was in the faith.' And he saith again, “ The faith which was once delivered immediately from heaven to the saints, cuts off all from having any faith more delivered from heaven, and of all other immediate voices from thence.'
A. So he hath shut out Christ who is the author of every man's faith, to whom every one is to look, who was before scripture was. That which was once delivered to the saints, and given to the saints, the saints now must know, they must know their giver and deliverer, and must know from whence the faith comes in this age, as well as in the other age. For if they have but words that speak of the saint's faith, how they had their faith delivered from God; if the saints now have not their faith delivered to them from God, as those in ages past, they have but words, as the devil had, who stood against the author of the faith, Christ the light and the truth, and as the Jews had, but were out of the saint's faith, and stood against them that were in it. And Timothy had immediate teaching, for he had the testimony of the Lord, 1 Tim. and thou say st he had not immediate teaching.
P. He saith, There must not be waiting for an immediate word, but that word which hath been already to the prophets and apostles; none have the word spoken as it was to the prophets and apostles, they must have it mediately,' &c. page 17.
A. The word that was spoken to Isaiah, the apostle felt immediately, which the pastor saith he did not; for there was no scripture but came by immediate inspiration. And the word is immediate, and all the ministers of Christ preach the immediate word, and wait for it, and the outward written words with ink and paper are mediate.
P. He saith, But an overcoming of the body of sin, such as delivers from all sin in this world, is expressly against the scriptures,'&.c. page 18.
A. Contrary to Rom. vi.; contrary to the apostle to the Colossians,