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conformed to the image of the son of God, whose image is the brightness of the glory of God, and express image of the Father's substance.
The Lord hath chosen us a people to himself, and led us by his light
by his holy pure spirit, grace, and truth, which we received of Christ Jesus, and by it to follow him, who is not of the world; and so to walk in him, who is the new and living way, by whom all things were made and created, who is our rest, peace, and salvation, our rock, foundation, and mediator, who makes our peace betwixt us and God; and he is our priest, prophet, shepherd, and bishop of our souls, in his grace, truth, gospel, and spirit, which is come from him; by it we are joined to him; and so through Christ, with his light, power, and spirit, we do see over all the ways, religions and worships, and the churches, which men that are fallen from the spirit and power that Christ and his apostles were in, have set up; and cannot join unto, nor walk in any of their ways, religions, and worships, but in that new and living way, that was set up above sixteen hundred years since, and in that faith which Christ is the author and finisher of now, as he was in the apostles' days; and in that religion which was set up above sixteen hundred years since, which is pure and undefiled before God, and keeps from the spots of the world; and in that worship which Christ set up in the spirit and truth, which comes by him, which he set up above sixteen hundred years since.
And we do join to that church which is come to the heavenly Jerusalem, and the spirits of just men made perfect, which are the living stones, and spiritual household; not a carnal household, with their car. nal Jerusalem, and carnal worldly sanctuaries and temples.
And this church is a holy priesthood, offering up spiritual sacrifices unto God; of which church Christ is the heavenly and spiritual head and husband; and so their heavenly prophet, and bishop, and spiritual priest, that lives for ever in his church.
And now, we have been branded, as being Papists and Jesuits, and Popishly affected. But be it known to all the world, that we are neither Papists nor Popishly affected; for our religion, way, and worship, and the grace, truth, spirit, faith, and gospel of Christ, which we walk and live in, was before the Pope, Papists and Jesuits, and their religions and worships were.
And we have suffered in the days of Oliver Cromwell, and in his long parliament time; and before Oliver was protector, we suffered by Papists made in Queen Mary's time.
And we suffered in the days of the Presbyterians, Independents, and Anabaptists, and now by the Episcopalians.
And the chief cause of all our sufferings, that have been by all these that have had power, was, for denying and not joining to the Popish and Jesuitical ways, and the relics of the Papists, which they held up and allowed of amongst them.
As first, for our not paying the Presbyterian priests, Independents, and Baptists, and now the Episcopalians, their tithes, easter reckonings, midsummer dues, and mortuaries, and such like, and surplices, pulpit clothes, and cushions, and steeple-house or old mass-house rates, and clerks' wages, and such like services.
Now, hath not the Pope and the Papists been the founders of all these things, and not Christ nor his apostles? And do not all these things stink of Popery? For Christ saith to his ministers, that he made and sent forth to preach, .Freely you have received, freely give.' And the apostle saith, he .coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel; but kept the gospel without charge;' and declared against covetous teachers.
And Christ said, “the outward temple should be thrown down, and not one stone left upon another; for he would build up a temple of living stones, a spiritual household, in his new covenant, whose household the true christians are.
And Stephen and the apostle said, "the Most High did not dwell in temples made with hands.'
And moreover, the apostle said, that the bodies of the saints were the temples of God and of Christ, and of his holy ghost.'
So then they were not like to mend or repair the old temple and houses, and call them churches, when, as they said, the Most High dwelt not in temples made with hands, but their bodies were the temples of the Holy Ghost.' And so Christ preached or prophesied, that they should be thrown down;' and the apostles preached them down, and said, the bodies of the believers were the temples of the living God.'
Secondly. We have suffered because we would not bring our infants, and give the priests money to sprinkle them; and church our women ; and because we would not marry with the priest, and bring him a ring to put on, and give him money for that service.
And hath not this also been derived from the Pope, Papists, and heathen, who married with the ring, and not from Christ and his apostles ? which practice of theirs herein they could never prove, or make good by scripture, from Christ and the apostles.
And also, we have suffered for bearing our testimony against their priests' education at schools, and their taking of degrees, as bachelors and masters of art, and doctors of divinity, &c. and against their garbs of white coats, and black coats, and their being called of men masters, like the proud Pharisees, and to be called lords, like the Gentiles.
And are not all these things from the Pope, and Papists, and the heathen? and not from Christ and the apostles.
For Christ forbids his ministers to be called of men masters; for you have but one master, even Christ; and you are all brethren;' and that • they should not exercise lordship one over another, like the Gentiles; and be called lords; for it should not be so amongst them.'
And the apostle Peter exhorted, that they should feed the flock of God, but not to be as lords over God's heritage,' as in 1 Pet. 5. In the world there be lords many; but to us but one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom were all things made; and one Lord God, the creator of all; and one faith, and one baptism ;' and Christ alone is the one saving baptiser.
And therefore, how can the Pope, and his bishops and cardinals say, • they are the successors of Peter,' when they are called lords? which Peter forbids any of his successors to be called lords; •but to be exam. ples to the flock. And so in this they are transgressors of Peter's doctrine and command, and Christ's, who hath said, they should not be called lords, like the Gentiles.'
And Christ saith, · Whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.' So he doth not say, whom the priest shall join together, or marry with the ring; but, . whom God joineth together, let no man putý asunder.
But amongst the sects aforesaid, the priests have money for joining; and will also put asunder and divorce.mn
Thirdly. Because we will not bow and put off our hats, and cannotsay you' to a single person, but 'thou;' and because we will not swear at all.
And is not all this from the Pope and Papists, and not from Christ and his apostles? For where did ever they cast any into prison for not putting off their hats to them, though every knee must bow to the name of Jesus?'
But the apostle doth not say, that every one must bow the knee to the apostles or the pope, and that they must be uncovered to them; for the apostle taught, that they must be uncovered in their praying or prophesying) to the Lord, because man is the image of God.' But he doth not say, they should be uncovered to men, or bow the knee to them, but to the name of Jesus, and to God the Father.
Fourthly. And because we cannot swear and take oaths, have we suffered and been cast in prison. And hath not this come from the pope, and Papists, and heathen, and Jews too, amongst the Christians, and not from Christ and his apostles?
For Christ said, “Swear not at all: though they had sworn in the old covenant; and they then in the old time were not to swear falsely, but truly, and to perform their oaths to the Lord; but Christ, in his new covenant of grace, and in his gospel, saith, Swear not at all; but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than this, cometh of evil.
And the apostle James said, “Above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, nor by earth, nor by any other oath, lest you fall into condemnation.'
So, whether must we follow Christ and the apostles, or the pope and his Papists and Jesuits, and the heathen, Jews, or others that uphold their principles?
So, in most of the things and causes that we have suffered, it hath been for bearing a testimony against Popery, and the heathenish and Jewish inventions and traditions.
For are not tithes, easter-reckonings, and midsummer-dues, their old mass house and clerks' wages, with their preaching funeral sermons, and their mortuaries, and churching of women, and sprinkling little infants, and signing them with the sign of the cross, and god-fathers, and godmothers, and their swearing, and their preaching for money, and by the hour-glass, and their making of ministers at schools and colleges, with their titles of bachelors, masters, and doctors, and calling bishops .gracious lords ;' and their taking of their degrees, and their expectation of being bowed unto, and having 'you' said to one of them, with their distinguishing garments, and white and black coats, &c. Is not all this trumpery, and much more of the same sort, from the pope, Papists, heathen, or Jews, and not from Christ nor the apostles? And have not these been, many of them, the chief things for which we have been imprisoned and persecuted, and some banished ? and for meeting together in houses, as the apostles and saints did; yea, Christ himself had his meetings upon mountains, and preached out of ships. Yea, many thousands of us have suffered imprisonment and spoiling of goods ; and some were banished in Oliver's days, and since, for not joining to these things, which originally came from the Papists, or heathens, or Jews; which practice of theirs in these things we have borne testimony against, they could never make good by scripture of the new testament
And therefore, how can either the Presbyterians, Independents, Anabaptists, or Episcopalians, brand us for being Papists, or Jesuitically affected, when our sufferings have been these thirty years, or more, some of us, for not conforming to those things aforesaid, which came from the pope and Papists, Jews and heathens?
And they that live in those Popish things, which they cannot make good by the scripture of the new testament, and yet say, it is their rule, such are Popishly affected themselves.
But we are the true Protestant Christians, and in the same power and spirit the apostles were in, and do protest against all that which the apostatized spirit hath set up, which is erred from that power and spirit the apostles were in.
So the doctrines, commandments, ordinances, and traditions, that this spirit of error hath set up, which is erred from that power and spirit the apostles were in, we cannot touch, taste, handle, nor join with.
5thly. Is not all the observing of holy days, and making of holy days, as Christmas, Candlemas, Michaelmas, Easter, Whitsontide, and their Lents, and calling their days and months by the heathen's names, as is in their almanacs, from the pope, Papists, heathens, and Jews, and not from Christ nor the apostles?
And have not we suffered imprisonment and spoiling of goods, for not observing their holy days, so called ?
And was it not the work and labour of the apostle to bring people off from observing days, months, times, and years? and them that did go into such things, to wit, observing of days, the apostle told them, * that he was afraid he had bestowed labour in vain upon them.'
Therefore, as I said before, how can any in truth and righteousness, brand us as papists, when we have suffered by you that call yourselves Protestants, for denying such Popery as you allow of; and have spoiled our goods for not observing your Popish holy days, and other Popish things? And yet you say, the scripture is your rule, when you have no such commandment in the new testament, to observe days, nor those things aforementioned, but the contrary.
And so, for bearing a testimony, and protesting against such things which you have not from Christ nor the apostles, and were not set up by that power and spirit the apostles were in; and for bearing a testimony against the works and fruits of this erring spirit, have we suffered by you called Protestants, and by the Papists also.
So our sufferings have been because we could not join to that which you have had from the Papists, heathens, and Jews, and not from Christ nor the apostles.
I say, we who are of the household of the true catholic faith, in which the church was in the apostles' days, have suffered by you, and been branded as Papists; whereas in truth we are the true Protestant Christians, bearing testimony against all Popish, heathenish, and Jewish inventions, which have been set up by that spirit which is érred from that power and spirit the apostles were in.