Page images




In the Mystery and in the OUTWARD, Briefly, plainly, and uprightly Acknowledged, and

Testified to; For the Satisfaction and Benefit of the Tender-Heárted,


Desire to Experience the Quickening, Healing, and Cleansing

VIRTUE of it.


A Brief ACCOUNT concerning the People called QUAKERS,

. in reference both to Principle and Doctrine.

Whereunto are added,

Some few other Things, which, by the Blessing of God, may be experimentally found useful to the true Pilgrims and faithful Travellers out of the Nature and Spirit of this world.

Written in true Love and Tenderness of Spirit by

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifeft in

the flesh, justified in the Spirit, feen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory, I Tim. iii. 16.

Of whom are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, wha is

over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Rom. ix. 5.

[ocr errors]



TTAVING been lately at London, upon occasion of a meeting between:

T some of the people called QUAKERS, and some of the people called ANABAPTISTS, and other confederates, wherein I was somewhat concerned, being charged or brought in by Thomas Hicks, in his second book of Dialogues, called Continuation, p. 4. to prove, that the QUAKERS account the blood of Christ no more than a common thing; and having been at that meeting to clear my innocency in that particular; but the thing not then coming in question, and I being to return to my habitation in the country (though I staid also a second meeting for that purpose); it was on my heart, in the clearness and innocency thereof, to give forth this testimony, to take off that untruth and calumny of T. H. both from the People called QUAKERS, and myself; being both of us greatly therein injured, as the Lord God of heaven and earth knoweth. I have had experience of that despised people for many years, and I have often heard them (even the antient ones of them) own Christ both inwardly and outwardly. Yea, I heard one of the antients of them thus testify, in a publick meeting many years since, That if Christ had not come in the flesh, in the fullness of time, to: bear our sins in his own body, on the tree, and to offer himself up a facrifice for mankind, all mankind had utterly perished.

What cause then have we to praise the Lord God, for sending his Son in the likeness of sinful Aesh, and for what his Son did therein! O professors ! do not pervert our words (by reading them with a prejudiced mind) quite contrary to the drift of God's Spirit by us! If ye should thus read the holy scriptures, yea, the very words of Christ himself therein, and give that wisdom of yours which fights against us scope to comment upon them, and perverts them after this manner, what a strange and hideous appearance of untruth and contradiction to the very scriptures of the Old Testament might ye make of that wonderful appearance of God? For the



words of Christ seemed so foolish and impossible to the wise men of that age, that they frequently contradicted, and sometimes derided him..

If we be not of God, we shall come to nought; nay, we had not stood to this day, if his mighty power had not upheld us. We could not have stood inwardly, nor could we have stood outwardly, against the fierce assaults we have met with both ways. And as we have not had by-ends to move us inwardly, so neither have we had by-ends to move us outwardly, as our God knoweth.

Oh! T. H. dost thou believe the eternal judgment at the great day, not outwardly only in notion, but inwardly in heart? Oh! then consider how wilt thou answer it to God, for saying so many things in the name of a people, as their belief and words, which never were spoken by any one of them, nor ever came into any one of their hearts ! Innocency in me, life in me, truth in me, the Christian spirit and nature in me, is a witness against thee, that thou wrotest thy dialogues out of the Christian nature and Spirit; and thy brethren, William Kiffin and the rest, who have stood by thee to justify thee (or at least seemed so to do) must take notice of these. things, and condemn them in thee, or they will expose themselves (and their religion), to the righteous judgment of God, and of all who love truth, and hate forgery and deceit.

I pity thee; yea, I can truly say, I forgive thee the injury thou hast done me (though indeed it is very great, thus to represent me publickly; what thou couldst not have done, if thou hadst. equally considered the things written in that book); and I also desire that thou mayest be sensible of what thou haft fo evilly done, and confess it, before God, that he also: might forgive thee. Oh! I would not bear the weight of this sin at the judgmentseat of Christ for ten thousand worlds! And that these books should be so long publick, and thy brethren take no notice of them, but rather at last apply themselves to justify thee, oh! how will they answer this thing, when they come to answer it for ever! Oh! why will ye fet up an interest against our Lord Christ (who is the truth, and teacheth truth) and bend all your strength and understanding to make lies, fallhoods, and forgeries to appear as if they were truth, and not forgeries?''. . Utta

If ye will judge yourselves, and repent of these things, ye shall not be condemned of the Lord; but if ye will go on; to cover and hide this great iniquity, ye shall not prosper therein. , ii iii ;!

As for my particular, I had committed my-cause to the Lord, and intended to have been wholly silent, knowing my innocency will be cleared by him in this particular at the great day, and the love, truth, and up-. rightness wherein I wrote these things owned by him. : :1 min

But in the love of God, and in the stillness and tenderness of my fpirit, I was moved by him to write what follows. And oh! that it would please the Lord to make it serviceable even to T. H. himself, for his good. i

Vol. II.






YN the second part of Thomas Hicks's Dialogues called Continuation, p. 4.

he maketl his personated Quaker speak thus: Thou sayest, we account the

blood of Christ no more than a common thing ; yea, no more than the blood of a common thief. To which he makes his personated Christian answer thus : Ifaac Penington (who I fuppofe is an approved Quaker) asks this question ; Can outward blood cleanse? Therefore, faith be, we must enquire, whether it was the blood of tbe veily that is of the human nature, or the blood within the veil, viz. of that Spiritual man, consisting of filejh, blood, and bones, which took on bim the veil, or human nature. It is not the blood of the veil; that is but out. ward; and can outward blood cleanse?

Now to satisfy any that desire to understand the truth as it is, and to know what the intent of my heart and words (as spoken by me) was, I shall first say somewhat to his stating the question, and then open my heart. nakedly and plainly, as it then was, and still is, in this matter.

.. First, I answer, these were not my words, which he hath set down as mine; but words of his own patching up, partly out of several queries of mine, and partly out of his own conceivings upon my queries, as if he intended to make me appear both ridiculous and wicked at once. For I no where fay, or affirin, or did ever believe, that Christ is a spiritual man, consusting of fielh, blood, and bones, which took on him the veil of human nature. Thus he represents me as ridiculous. It is true, Christ inwardly, or as to his inward being, was a Spirit, or God blessed for ever, manifested in filesh; which (to speak properly) cannot have flesh, blood, and bones, as man harlı. And then, besides his alterations at the beginning, putting in only four words of my query, and leaving out that which next follows (which might have manifested my drift and intent in them) he puts in an affirmation which was not mine, in these his own words : It is not the blood of the veil; that is but outward; and then annexeth to this affirmation of his own, the words of my former query, Can outward blood cleanse? As if these words of mine (Can outward blood cleanse?) did neceffarily infer that the blood of Christ is but a common thing.

Herein he represents me wicked, and makes me speak, by his changing and adding, that which never was in my heart, and the contrary whereto I have several times affirmed in that very book where those several queries were put (out of which he forms this his own query, giving it forth in my name). For in the oth page of that book, beginning at line 3. I positively affirm thus : that Christ did offer up the flesh and blood of that body (though not only fo, for he poured out his soul, he poured out his life) a sacrifice or offering for sin, a sacrifice unto the Father, and in it tasted death for every man; and that it is upon consideration (and through God's acceptance of this sacrifice for fin) that the fins of believers are pardoned, that God might be just, and the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus, or who is of the faith of Jesus. Is this common Aesh and blood? Can this be affirmed of common fesh and blood ? Ought not he to have considered this, and other passage's in my book of the same tendency, and not thus have reproached me, and misrepresented me to the world - Is this a Christian spirit; or according to the law or prophets, or Christ's doctrine? Doth he herein do as he would be done by ? Oh! that he had a heart to consider it! I might also except against those words : human nature (which he twice putteth in) being not my words, nor indeed my sense ; for by human nature, as I judge, is under-, stood more than the body: whereas I, by the word veil, intended no more than the flesh (or outward body), which in scripture is expressly so called, Heb. x. 20. through the veil, that is to say, bis flesh.

Secondly, I cannot but take notice of this, that he hath not cited the place, page, or pages; nay, not so much as named the book, where those words or sayings which he attributeth to me are written; whereby any perfons that are not willing to take things upon bare report (especially in fo deep charges, reflecting not only upon one person, but a whole people), might consult the place, and see whether they were my words or no; and whether the queries I did put (indeed to the hearts of people) had any such drift or no, and might compare the words (if they were mine) both with what went before, and also followed after; and with what was said in feveral other places of the book, which speak of Christ's flesh and blood as of no common thing, but as that which God makes use of toward the redemption of mankind.

Thirdly, The drift of all those queries in that book was not to vilify the flesh and blood of Christ, by representing it as a common or useless thing, but to bring people from sticking in the outward, to a sense of the inward mystery; without which inward fenfe and feeling, the magnifying and crying up the outward doth not avail. Indeed, at that time, I was in a great exercise concerning professors : love was deeply working in my heart; and I was in a very tender frame of spirit towards them, as any may perceive, who, in the fear of God and in meekness of spirit, shall read that book (it is intituled, A question to the professors of christianity, whether they have the true, living, powerful, saving knowledge of Christ, or no, &c.) And in this Kk 2


« PreviousContinue »