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of scriptures, it will come upon yourselves. And thou hast shown in all thy book, that thou art not able to divide the word aright, nor an instructer of babes.
P. And thou sayst, “that Christ died for the sins of the elect.'
A. And the scripture saith, he was an offering for the sins of the whole world; and who shall lay charge to God's elect whom he justifies.
P. And thou speaks of God destroying men for their ignorance, and they shall find no favour in the day of judgment.'
A. Whereas the scripture saith, 'the time of ignorance God winked at, but now he commands all men every where to repent,' and 'every man that cometh into the world is enlightened.' And the spirit of truth shall • reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judg. ment,' which leads believers into all truth. And the grace of God which brings salvation hath appeared to all men,' but they turn it into wantonness, which is the saints' teacher. And this shall make every tongue to confess to the glory of God, and every knee to bow at his name, which is the Emmanuel; and so none shall plead ignorance, as thou said, who art in the ignorance thyself, but inexcusable, because convicted. And thou hast rejected the tender mercies, who hast lifted up thyself against the saints and the Lamb; but a stone is set over thy head that shall grind thee to powder, and the saints shall have the victory, and the kingdom that is an everlasting kingdom. The witness in thy conscience shall witness against thee for all thy hard speeches, and let thec know that you and thou had better have been silent, than to fight against the Lord, the Lamb and his saints: that is the word of the Lord God to thee and you all. When ye are judged, the witness in all your consciences shall answer.
W. Pis. principles, in his book entitled, “ According to truth, that
quakes not, trembles not, nor quails.'
P. They say, "If the apostles had been put to preach upon a short text, or methodically, as by a long practice in the church, is expected from us, they might oft times have studied for it.'
A. In this you have showed your spirits, and made manifest you are void of the revelation from God, and your ignorance of the scrip tures; for the holy ghost shall not speak of itself, but take of his. And the apostles, what they had seen and heard they declared. And Christ, what he had received of the Father, he declared. And the spirit is that which speaks in the church, and it shows the fulfilling of the
scriptures, and it keeps not people long in texts, as the world doth, that wrests scriptures up and down, and keeps people in sects. And so, there is the spirit leading into all truth, and the spirit of the Father speaking within, and the holy ghost that moved men to give forth scripture, that teacheth to divide the word aright, which is the spirit of prophecy in the church, not studying.
P. They say, 'Every man that hath the spirit in some measure, doth not attain to the great height and degree that they did that gave forth scriptures, therefore may not lawfully and infallibly teach as they did.'
A. Every man that hath a measure of the spirit of God, in the least measure or degree, it is infallible, and so far may they teach infallibly, and know scriptures; but they cannot know all scriptures, but as they attain to the full measure of the spirit of the prophets and apostles, and to the measure, and stature, and fulness of Christ. And if they do not attain to all this, they are not able to know all the scriptures; and the work of the ministers of God was to bring people to this, to the measure, and stature, and fulness of Christ; and the apostle saith,. Let every one minister as he hath received the grace.' And take heed of any of you going beyond your measure. And they that deny the grace of God appearing to all men, cannot minister.
P. They say, “The greater part of professors in the visible church were, and always are, earthly minded, nor can rightly value spiritual and heavenly things.'
A. In this you and your ministers have showed your fruits like Balaam’s, which wither and are earthly ; such as Jude speaks of, that separated themselves, sensual, and had not the spirit, but went forth from the apostles, that were got up since the days of the apostles, church and ministry, like priest, like people; and to be such as were coming up before the apostles' decease, as he speaks of in Timothy, who minded earthly things;' like teacher, like people; that pierced themselves through with many hurtful lusts. While they coveted after money, they lost the faith, and so came people to be all on heaps (out of unity) in the earth, being out of the faith of God's elect. So this is all in the apostacy since the apostles.
P. And he saith, that he is not a hireling that takes wages. The wages are allotted to him for his work.'
A. But do not all you preach for hire? and is it not for hire you preach? Now the least in the truth may see you. Is there ever a priest in the nation but he is hired to work, or if he have it not, he will not stay? Now to prove that you do preach for hire; where there are many steeple-houses in many parishes that have no priest, thither you go not, because there is but a little benefice, and they have souls as well
as others; and where there is an agreement for so much a year, thither you go; is not this for hire? And so the prophet's words are fulfilled,
the priests preach for hire.' And all these great sums of money which have lifted you up, and a great deal of it has been gathered out of poor men's labours; this hath been the undoing of you all and of nations, and many poor people, because they cannot put into your mouths. But now is God come to judgment upon you all apostates, in the apostacy.
P. And thou calls the steeple-house a church.
A. Which is the church that is come up since the days of the apostles, in the apostacy; for the church is the people of God, the elect seed, which Christ is the head of, who in the midst of this church doth sing praises, which is the pillar and ground of truth, without spot or wrinkle. Whereas the steeple-house you call your church, will spot, wrinkle, and blemish, and decay, and fall down, and wicked men may prevail against it; but the gates of hell cannot prevail against that church which is built upon the rock.
P. And thou sayst, Thou dost not speak in that degree of the holy ghost as the prophets and apostles did that spoke forth scriptures.'
A. Then thou must take heed of exalting thyself above thy measure; for thou canst not know scripture, but by the same degree of the spirit the prophets and apostles had.
P. And he saith, "He hath no command in scripture to sprinkle infants, and he holds it not absolutely necessary, and he hath no command in scripture against it, and he hath a commandment of the governors, and so he is subject to every ordinance of man.'
A. An ordinance of man that is of absolute necessity, consider what it is! and that which the scripture no where commands, nor thou hast any example for, consider what that is! And as to saying the scripture no where forbids it, it forbids all the traditions and doctrines of men: so that is judged by the spirit of God that is set up by men.
P. Thou sayst, The Lord may, with the outward washing, give the spirit to the child.'
A. Can man receive the spirit of God by following traditions of men and outward things? Were not they all from it, and from the spirit? and doth it not judge them for setting up such things as God nerer commanded?
P. And he speaks of David's Psalms given to the world suitably.'
A. The world must repent and be in the spirit, (for it lies in wickedness,) before they can know David's singing; for the prophet saith, their songs must be turned into howling, and David's condition is not the world's.
P. He saith, 'men may respect persons in their places.'
A. That is contrary to the apostle, who said, God was without respect of persons, and that the Gentiles should be accepted as well as the Jews. He that doth righteousness is accepted with God; who holds the faith of Christ it is without respect of persons, it is in the unity, and they that are out of that, are out
are out of that, are out of the unity. So thou who hast pleaded for that, art out of his doctrine.
• He that respects persons commits sin, and is convinced of the law as a transgressor,' saith the apostle. W. P. thy works are tried and weighed, and found too light, and condemned for the fire, as the witness in thy conscience shall answer; but now in thy security thou art asleep, but the wrath of the Lamb shall find thee out.
And as for all the lies and slanders thou heaps up in thy book, they are not worth mentioning, but will come upon thy own self, for they are thine own covering, which are judged, the witness in thee shall answer.
The Elders and Messengers of the several Churches of Ilston,
Abergevenny, Tredingnoge, Caermarthen, Hereford, Bredwerden, Cledacke, and Liangors, meeting at Brecknocke, whose book is titled, 'An Antidote against the Infections of the Times.'
Who have shown yourselves full of poison, and such as infect the
times, but with the spirit of truth ye are comprehended and judged. Your principles are as followeth.
P. You say, you are “conceived in sin, and brought forth in iniquity.' Psalm li. 1.
A. David doth not say, “you who were conceived in sin,' but I;' and W. P. saith, “John was sanctified from the womb;' and the scripture speaks of such as were sanctified from the womb, and children that were clean. And so you do not speak as elders and messengers of true churches, or men dividing the word aright; but you are one against another, though you are all against them you call Quakers; that are in the truth.
P. They say, 'they observe the design of Satan to cast down the walls of Sion, and to remove the living stones thereof from the sure foundation, the rock of ages, the Lord Jesus Christ, and draw them to build upon
the sands.' A. Is this likely that the elect should be deceived? that living stones should be drawn from the sure foundation, the rock of ages, the Lord Jesus Christ? For these living stones to be built upon the sand, and drawn from the rock of ages, doth not sound like the doctrine of men VOL. III.
of understanding; for the living stones are the spiritual household, and the royal priesthood; and theirs is the foundation that stands sure, the rock which the gates of hell cannot prevail against. You in your notions should let living stones alone, for none can pluck them out of the Father's hand.
P. And they say, "No man can redeem the soul of his brother.'
A. Solomon saith, "The fruits of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.' And he that saves a man from his evil ways, saves a soul from a multitude of sins.' Again thou sayst, “No man, the greatest of men, can redeem the soul of his brother.' Ye should not have left out Christ the saviour, the redeemer, the man Christ Jesus, the elder brother; so you are a company of blind pastors, contrary to them that gave forth scriptures.
P. “To say heaven and glory are in man, which were before man was, they are sottish and blind.”
A. There are none have a glory and a heaven but within them, which was before man had a being.
P. “Wherefore, take heed of depending upon any righteousness within you, or any righteousness done by you.'
A. This is a strange doctrine, that men must take heed of any righteousness done by them, or within them! This is contrary to scripture, which saith, the kingdom of heaven is within, that stands in righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy ghost. And the fruits of the spirit are righteousness and goodness; and this is that which ends the righteousness of the law. And · He that doth righteousness is righteous, and Christ, the righteousness of God, is with them.'
P. «Man hath received a light from Christ as a creature, but not as a redeemer.'
A. That is false; for whosoever hath received a light from Christ, hath received a redeemer, and a saviour, and he that doth believe in it is saved, and he that doth not is condemned.
P. And they say, "If you love your souls, beware of such delusions, lest ye perish eternally, that say it is the true light that enlightens every man that cometh into the world, and that following it, it is sufficient to bring men to heaven; which light is natural reason and conscience.'
A. The light that every man that cometh into the world is enlightened withal, cometh from the salvation, Christ, who is the way to the Father, whose throne is in heaven; and Christ saith, Believe in the light, that ye may become the children of the light,' and he that believes in the light shall not come into condemnation.' All men are enlightened, that through the light they might believe. So you are not able to divide the word aright, and all that are from this light, are lo