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be attained to by the life ye live, until ye come to the principle of God in you; but the life that David lived in saw an end of all perfection. And all who come to Christ the second Adam, come to perfection; and all who attain to him, attain to perfection in the life of God out of the first Adam; but who deny the light that enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world,' and rest in the first Adam, the life they live in, denies perfection, and they never own it in the life they live in. But those who come into perfection, come into Christ, a new life, out of Adam in the fall, in transgression. All physicians to sick men are to make them perfect. And do ye say, make none whole, make none perfect, makes never a man perfect? For being made whole, they are made perfect, for sin wounds; for the ministry of God was to bring people to the perfect man, to present them perfect.' These were physicians of value and of worth, whereby the body, soul, spirit, and all, were cured, and they glorified God in the body and spirit.'
Now ye, that say they shall not be perfect, and that none shall be without sin upon the earth, no perfection in the life we live in, are physicians of no value; ye are not worthy to have the name of physicians, ministers, nor teachers, Thomas Weld, Richard Prideaux, Samuel Hammond, William Cole, and William Durant; for ye are pleading that while men are upon earth they must have a body of sin, and that he that saith otherwise is a deceiver. And so ye keep them in their wounds and sores, putrifying and imperfect, and are not makers up of the breach, and binders up of the wound. And the Lord saith, • Though their sins be as red as crimson, I will make them as white as wool, and will blot out sin and transgression.' And this tender love and kindness of the Lord, and mercifulness to sinners and transgressors, hath the Lord made manifest amongst them whom the world in scorn calls Quakers. And it is not a strange thing that you would not have people to forsake the fashions of the world, who are thus hung about with ribands, and cuffs, and scarfs, and your double boot-hosetops, more like stage-players than ministers.
P. Perfection is a fancy. Those were not words of true physicians who brought men to a perfect man, to the growth up in perfection amongst the perfect ones who speak wisdom.' They say, 'It is no where said that the law is fulfilled in any saints in this life.'
A. They that love God keep his commandments. Christ is the end of the law to every one that believes,' and who are in him are in the end of the law. And all that dwell in love, dwell in God, and love is the fulfilling of the commandment; they who are of the seed of God keep the words of God, but the beast and false prophets since the days of the apostles, who have inwardly rayened, are turned against the royal
seed of God, that keep the commandments of God; and none of you that raven from the spirit of God can keep God's commandments, though ye have all the saints' words; for the saints witness the end of the law, and witness perfection and a perfect man, and spoke wisdom among them that were perfect, and growing up to perfection.
P. That Christ gives to every man a saving light, we utterly deny.'
A. He is the true light that enlightens every man that comes into the world,' saith John the minister of God, and he is salvation to the ends of the earth,' and they that hate the light, neglect their salvation, and turn the grace of God into wantonness,' and deny the Lord that bought them. And every one that hath heard and learned of the Father cometh to the son;' and none hear or come to the Father, that come not to the son; none but they who come to the thing that is transgressed in them, and the light that every man that cometh into the world is enlightened with; nor do they hear or learn of the Father, or come to the son, but by that; and the light that lighteth every one that cometh into the world is the salvation to him that believes, and he that doth not, it is his condemnation.
P. · But how dare these men lift up themselves in their blasphemous pride, to say they are pure as God.'
A. Doth not Christ say, 'Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect?' is that blasphemy? And is it not said, “Be ye holy, for I am holy?' is that blasphemy? Whose ministers are you? Was not this the work of Christ and the apostles? Without holiness ye shall never see God,' and as he is so are we in this present world.'
P. The word of God is contained in the scriptures.'
A. The scripture saith God is the word, and the heaven of heavens cannot contain him. Are ye not more like men void of reason, than ministers, whose ignorance of the scriptures thus appears? They say God is the word, and the scripture is the word, and Christ is the word who fulfils them.
P. “The scriptures were given forth, some more darkly, some plainer
A. They who gave forth scripture, and they that are in that in which it ends, to them the scripture is not dark; but such as are from the principle of God in their ownselves, they are in darkness, which blinds their minds, and the scriptures were not given forth darkly, but in the light, but you who are from the light are dark.
P. The apostles ordained them elders by a mediate call: and we are convinced clearly of a mediate call to the work of the ministry and of the word.'
A. That which made the officers and overseers in the church amongst the saints, before the apostacy, was the holy ghost, which holy men spoke scripture from; that was what made them overseers, and that was not mediate but immediate, that did oversee in the church of God. And we do believe that you elders, and members, and those called ministers, are all mediate, and your order and gospel since the days of the apostles; who are such as Christ said should come, inwardly ravening forth from the spirit of God, and have got sheep's clothing; since the days of the apostles people have walked after you, and you have deceived the world and nations. But we see, that the false ministers, the worshippers of the beast, antichrist, and the deceivers, among whom is the devil to deceive, are now taken, with the false prophet, the beast, and the mother of harlots, and confounded and cast into the lake of fire, and the Lamb and the saints shall have the victory. And the gospel is immediate, and he is cursed that preacheth another; the word, I say, is immediate, it lives, abides, and endures for ever.
And the ministers that are in the spirit are immediate, and these are furnished with the mysteries of the gospel, and their calling is immediate. And the overseers of the church which the holy ghost makes, are immediate; and all that are in the life that gave forth scripture, (and none know the scriptures but by it,) are immediate; that which doth convince of sin is immediate. But now your call is mediate, your ministry, your overseers, knowledge, word, gospel, people, and church are mediate. We do believe you, all this is so amongst you since the days of the apostacy from the apostles' doctrine, power, life, and spirit, with which ye are judged, and who are in the life they are in that which gave forth scriptures, which you are ravened from, and are not like to talk of immediate.
P. “The scripture is the word and the rule.'
A. The scriptures are the words of God, and Christ is the word in whom they end; and the word of God is the end which fulfils all scriptures, which came to the prophets, which the apostles preached, by which they discerned and spoke forth the words, and saw the fulfilling of the words; and the scriptures of truth cannot be broken, but are fulfilled by Christ the word. And the spirit is the rule that gave forth scriptures, and that led the saints into all truth.
P. Thomas Castel went naked in the streets of Kendal, and Thomas Holmes of Kirkby Steven.'
A. This hath been a figure of your nakedness, who are Egypt spiritual, and the Ethiopian black. And 'the prophet Isaiah did not put off all his clothes,' say they, contrary to the prophet's words. He was to go among all the transgressors in Ethiopia and Egypt, a figure of their nakedness. So, since the days of the apostles and the apostacy, ye have gone from the spirit of God, and inwardly ravening from that, ye have wanted the clothing with the spirit, ye have had only the out
side, the sheep's clothing, but have been naked of the life; therefore the Lord hath moved his servants to give a true sign amongst you, and not a lying one; who have their clothing of the spirit, which ye want; and ye shall witness the truth of the Lord God in the sign, if ever ye come into the true clothing of the spirit of God.
P. “And ye say Christ did not mean as he spake, when he said, Be not ye called of men masters.'
A. Which shows they are none of his ministers who trample upon his commandments, and teach people that it is lawful to break them, pleading the lawfulness of their being called of men masters. for their being called of men masters, standing praying in the synagogues, their long robes, salutations, their tithes, and their pulpits, these are the works of the perfect Pharisees; all people may look upon their fruits, their works, and practices, and see the very image, and that they have their very garments and places, according to their condition, fruits, and works. And as for all the rest of their hard speeches, lies, slanders, vilifying and railing words which they have poisoned people with, they will be their own burthen, and fall heavy upon them, and turn upon their own heads. Their way is compassed, their bounds are set, and their limits, and in this the day of their account, every one shall feel his words to be his burthen. And their patience had been better then to have uttered forth their folly, and published it to the nation. But the day is come that tries every man's work; and a witness is rising in people, the day-star is risen, the morning is broke, the sun is rising, that people may not make lies their refuge, neither feed upon them, nor upon any thing, but what comes from God, the living bread that comes from God above; which who eats of, lives for ever. Many have their bread and their water, that hunger no more, and thirst no more.
• The Worcestershire petition to the parliament,' which is said to
be signed by six thousand.
P. "He hath made a law commanding all people to whom we preach the gospel to allow us a sufficient maintenance, that we may not be hindered from or in his work.'
A. The scriptures and the apostles do not speak of any such thing as that Christ made a law for them, commanding all the world to whom they preached to allow them a sufficient maintenance, that they might not be hindered from or in their work. What! will maintenance hinder them if they have it not? was it not the command of Christ to give freely as they from him had received freely? And then if any set meat before them they might eat. But if a law commanding all the world to give a sufficient maintenance and allowance to the apostles and disciples had been first, they might have been sure of maintenance, and this had been the way to have clogged the people's minds, and have brought them into trouble; whereas the gospel was always glad tidings. But if the apostles had not preached to the world, without this law which ye speak of, commanding all the world to give them sufficient maintenance, what a condition would all people have been in. But they that had received freely, were to give freely. So you have manifested your spirits, to be the deceivers of the people for means. That ever six thousand people should say he made a law commanding all the world to whom they preach the gospel to allow them sufficient maintenance! when Christ saith, they (the disciples) were to preach as they went; and they were to preach if they did not receive them; and they were to go into all nations. Yet the apostles did not plead a law where they came, that they were all to maintain them; no, they were in fasting often, and would not use their power to eat among many people; though they had power, yet they would not use it. And so the maintenance did not hinder the apostles from their work, for they preached often in fastings, and sometimes their own friends communicated to them when they were up and down among the heathen in other nations preaching. The apostles did not plead a law to the nations whom they preached to; and thus they brought glad tidings, keeping the gospel from charge. Are not you six thousand men ashamed to petition for a maintenance for your ministers, that you should publish in a petition your nakedness to a supreme power of a nation, that you are not able to maintain your ministry! that the churches are not able to maintain their ministers! Doth not this show your beggarliness, and that you are of the seed that is begging bread? when the scriptures saith, “The righteous are not forsaken, nor their seed begging bread.' And in this have you not shamed your ministers, that they have no better vineyards, ploughs, and flails? Did ever the apostles or their hearers, when they came into a nation, petition to the powers of the earth for means?
P. And ye say, "Where any man will not do justly, and pay the labourer the wages he owes him, the magistrate must see justice done, or else I know not what he hath to do.'
A. The apostles, ambassadors, and messengers of the Lord Jesus Christ, who were to go to all nations to preach the gospel, had not a law at the magistrates' hands to give them wages, did not hale their hearers before them to give them wages, or put up petitions before every supreme of the nation before whom they came; this was not the work of