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This is a relation of some particulars and principles, affirmed by
some of the priests of Bishoprick, at a public dispute in Branspirth Castle upon the 21st day of the 7th month, 1658.
P. Josias DORKER affirmed, that immediate revelation or inspiration is not to be expected in these days.' · A. Then you are from the spirit, that say so, the spirit of God which doth reveal; you are they that have ravened, the false prophets and antichrists, that have inwardly ravened from the spirit of God, haying the sheep's clothing, and in the darkness; the king of the bottomless pit hath been your king, for the King of kings, and Lord of lords is not known but by revelation, for none know the son, but the Father, and he to whom he doth reveal him; which shows that you are out of the fear of God, for where the fear of God is, God reveals his secrets. But the fear of God is now witnessed, and the son of God is now witnessed, and revelations are now witnessed, in our days as they were in the apostles', but not amongst you, who have inwardly ravened from the spirit of God, who have apostatized from the apostles.
P. “That it is needless, and also diabolical, (that is to say, devilish,) to expect any such thing now.'
A. And so you are in the diabolical, devilish spirit, that expect not that now, which was in the days of the apostles, and you are out of the fear of God; and the spirit which doth reveal, and the son you know not, who said to the Pharisees, that knew him not, they were of the devil,' and so he is known by revelation.
P. That they had the scripture and the gospel, (as he consessed,) not from God, but from men."
A. You nor any man upon the earth, know not the scriptures, but as you know them from God and the spirit, as they did that gave them forth, who learned them of God; and so, he who knows scripture, must know revelation and the gospel, for they are not known, but by the spirit which gave them forth.
P. "That the bible was the gospel.'
A. The gospel is the power of God, which was before the scripture was written, preached to Abraham. And many may have the bible, but not the power of God, the gospel, which is glad tidings to the salvation of every one that believes. And the scripture is a testification of the gospel, of the glad tidings, and it is not called the power of God, but Christ and the gospel are called the power of God; and many had scripture, but would not come to Christ, the power of God, and so not to the gospel. - P. That the flesh of Christ is not in them.'
A. The saints eat his flesh, and they that eat his flesh, have it within them.
P. That Christ had, and hath a carnal body.'
A. Christ's body is not carnal, but spiritual; the first man was of the earth, earthly, the second man is the Lord from heaven, heavenly, and is a glorious body, and the saints are made like unto his glorious body: therefore, the first state is carnal, the second glorious; so there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
P. “That Christ is now in heaven with a carnal body.'
A. Carnal indeed is death, saith scripture, and it saith that corruption must put on incorruption, and mortal, immortality; so Christ's body that is in heaven is a glorious body, and not carnal, nor of the flesh, corruptible.
P. That Christ hath a carnal human body, united to his divinity.'
A. Carnal, human, is from the ground, the first Adam's body, was human, earthly, and Christ was not from the ground, (let all people read what thou sayst,) but he was from heaven, his flesh came down from above, his flesh which was the meat, came down from heaven.
P. “That Timothy retained his ministry, not from God, but from Paul!'
A. Timothy did retain his ministry from God, and knew the gift, that which he did retain from Paul was not as man, but Timothy was in the faith which Christ was the author of, and he had the gift, and every good and perfect gift comes from God, and this was not by man, nor of man.
P. • That there is as much difference between a spirit and a body, as there is between light and darkness.'
A. Christ's body is spiritual, and that which is spiritual, does not differ from the spirit; and so there is a spiritual body, and there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual man, and there is a natural man, and each hath their body.
P. Henry Liver said, that they knew no such thing as prophesying by immediate revelation or inspiration in these days.'
A. Then thou never knew the scriptures, for none know the scripture, as I said before, but by the spirit of revelation, which doth reveal the words; the spirit of prophecy, lets see into the words, and he that hath not the spirit of Christ is none of his; and he that hath the spirit of Christ hath immediate revelation, and prophecy. And the spirit of God is immediate, and it doth reveal; and the gospel, which is the power of God, is immediate.
P. Richard Frankling said, “ they had it by scripture.'
A. And it was the spirit that brought them to give forth scripture, which things of God were revealed to them by it; and the scripture does not reveal the spirit, but the spirit the scripture.
P. That the light which lighteth every man was not sufficient to lead up to Christ.
A. The light, Christ, that doth enlighten every man that comes into the world, that which he doth enighten every one withal, which they are to believe in, is sufficient to lead up to Christ; for they that believe in the light, become the children of light, they pass from death to lise, from darkness to light, and come out of condemnation, and shall never die, and so it is sufficient: so that he that doth not believe in the light, by it is condemned, for this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil.' And so you and they that love the darkness rather than the light, because your deeds are evil, and will not come to it, because it will reprove you, are they that live in the form of godliness, and deny the power, and teach people to say, that the light is not sufficient that every man that comes into the world is lighted with, that all might believe; who are not condemned by; and the light that comes from him, is sufficient to lead up to him.
P. “That grace was not conveyed from the Lord to any man, without the ordinary outward means.'
A. The grace of God hath appeared to all men, which teacheth the saints, and the grace is brought by the revelation of Jesus, as saith Peter by revelation, and the grace is the gift of God, and not attained by outward means, by man's will; and they that turn the grace of God that hath appeared into lasciviousness, are they that deny the Lord that hought them, who go from the grace, which is the saints' teacher, which brings salvation.
P. That the scriptures are that only which they are to have recourse unto, to inform the minds of people from.'
A. Before the scripture was written ar given forth, Abraham, Enoch, and Abel had that which informed their minds, and let them see Christ; and the Jews had scripture, and knew not Christ, they had the testification, and did not come to him they testified of, and so had not life. So that which is to inform the minds of all people is the spirit and the light which Christ hath enlightened them with; and their ears and eyes must be open to the spirit of God in themselves, before they hear his voice, which spirit informs their minds, and then they shall come to know the operation of the spirit, for many may have the scriptures, and not know that. And that which is to teach people is the grace of God, Christ, the light and life, and that it is which informs the mind to know scripture.
P. Priest Dorker said, that the word of God was the ordinary outward means,' and that the scripture is the word,' they all affirmed.
A. The word of God is not outward nor ordinary, but extraordinary,
it is that which lives, abides, and endures for ever; and the scriptures are to be fulfilled, and that which doth fulfil them is the word; and the scriptures of truth learned of God, the Father of truth, are the words of God, not a word. “God spake all these words, and said,' in Exodus; and my words,' saith Christ; and whosoever shall add to these words, saith John in the Revelations: and so the words are the scriptures of truth, that cannot be broken, Christ the word fulfils them, who was in the beginning, before the words were spoken forth, who is and remains to the end of words, who fulfils them, in whom they end.
Daniel Roberts, teacher to the Baptists at Reading, in Berkshire,
P. "That baptism of water, that is to say, elementary water, doth wash away sin."
A. Here thou puts water in the room of Christ's blood, which cleanseth from all sin, and what need of that, if water doth it; outward water can but wash the outward.
P. “That God had committed all judgment to the scriptures.'
A. That is contrary to the apostle, who saith, "God will judge the world by the man Christ Jesus, according to the gospel,' and that is the power; and all judgment is committed to the son.' Mark, to the son; and the saints shall judge the world, and he is in them.
P. That the new covenant is the words of Christ and the apostles, and every one that hath the Bible in his house, hath the new covenant.'
A. The new covenant is Christ the scriptures speak of, and the Jews had the scriptures that stood against the covenant, and many may have the Bible, and not in the thing it speaks of.
P. Another Baptist said at the same time, if they had not had scriptures, they had not known how to walk nor order their conversation.'
A. How knew those to order their conversation, and walk, before scripture was given forth? The life which led them to give forth the scripture, did order them to walk acceptable to him. And the Pharisees had the scriptures given forth from the life, but being out of the life, their conversations were not ordered by it.
P. Daniel Roberts affirmed, that he knew no other spirit than what was in the scripture, and that he carried it in his pocket.'
A. The spirit is not in the scriptures, but in them that gave it forth, and that the scriptures testify of. Many got the scriptures, but wanted
that which gave them forth, and so were not in unity with the scriptures, nor with one another, nor with God; and in all Christendom, so called, this is wanting, the unity of the spirit, in which is the bond of peace, for many have the words, but not the spirit.
An answer to Timothy Trever's principles, propounded by way of
P. That the light in every man, as in every man, teacheth not the way to the kingdom of God, nor giveth the hope of eternal life.'
A. The light in every man which doth enlighten every man, doth teach the way to the kingdom of God, and no other way it teacheth but to the kingdom; and though men hate it, and will not come to it, because their deeds are evil, yet that is the teacher in all men that gives them the sense of transgression, and an understanding of reproof, and if they come to that, they are reproved, and there is the kingdom in men; and that is it which lets all men see the Most High reigning, and shall make every tongue confess Christ to the glory of God; and it is that which gives every man assurance, that God hath raised Christ from the dead, who hath enlightened them, and that is it which gives every man the hope of eternal life, and in the light it is received.
P. That the seed to whom the promise of salvation is made, are, or have been sinners." A. The promise of God is to the seed, which
hath been laden as a cart with sheaves by the sinner, which seed is the hope, Christ, that purifies even as God is pure; and here is the creatur e come to know its liberty amongst the sons of God. And the seed, Christ, never sinned in the male nor in the female, in the Jews nor in the Gentiles, and of this mystery were the great high professors ignorant, that stood at a distance from the Gentiles, so that Christ had no room anlong them, but in the stable, in the manger, though they talked of him with their lips: and such Christ calls graves and sepulchres, and whited walls; and the wall is not the seed, nor the sepulchre, nor the grave, but the seed is Christ; so this promise is not unto seeds, as many, but to one, the seed, which is Christ.
P. “That there is no man doth possess the kingdom of God, whilst he is in the mortal body.'
A. In this thou art like Nebuchadnezzar, who must grace like the ox, thy mouth downward, who knows not the Most High ruling in the children of men; and God will dwell in you, and walk in you, and