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P. · That the anger of God is most dreadful for the sins wherein they were born.'
A. Then you are not the believers, who were born in the sin, nor of believing parents, if you own the apostle's doctrine, for the unbelieving is sanctified by the believing,' else were their children unholy, but now are they clean,' saith the apostle the minister of God, if you can believe his doctrine, and bear it, and receive it. But if you do object and say, "born in sin and transgression, and all by nature the children of wrath;' yea, I say, this is the estate the apostle speaks of among unbelievers, Jews and Gentiles gone astray from the life of God, from the covenant of promise; but they who come into the life of God, and the covenant of promise, are believers; the believing wife or the believing husband sanctifies the unbelieving, else were their children unholy, but now are they clean.' He that can receive this, let him. This was the apostles' doctrine.
P. Because the justice of God requires that the same nature of man which had sinned, do itself make recompense for sin.'
A. All that makes the recompense for sin, is he that never sinned, Christ, the second Adam, and not the first; so in this your blindness and darkness have appeared. And it is not the same nature that hath sinned, that destroys sin, but it is Christ that cleanseth the nature of man that hath sinned and destroys sin itself, that is to say, the devil that hath defiled the nature of man, and so Christ is called the sanctification, justification, redemption, cleansing man's nature, and blotting out the sin and transgression.
P. · Salvation is not offered to all men who perished in Adam, but only to those men who are grafted in him by true faith.'
A. Salvation is purchased to all men that perished in Adam though they do not believe it; for he is the saviour of all men, especially of them that do believe, and an offering for the sin of the whole world, mark, the world, and doth enlighten every man that cometh into the world, that all through him might believe. And he that believes not, is condemned by Christ the light, the life, the sacrifice, the offering, who through death hath destroyed that which in them was the power of death, the devil, and his power, and so entered into his glory. All that believe in him have life, and all that do not, and receive him not, have not life, but are condemned through unbelief. Now if you say that in Adam all died, I say yes; and that in Christ all shall be made alive to the justification of life, I say yes, as in Adam all died, so in Christ they come to be made alive. So they that are believers are holy, so are the believers' children; a new creation, a new generation, new creatures, out of Adam in the fall; the believers passed from death, that came by Adam, to life, and so in that is a clean creation and holy generation.
P. 'All things contained in the gospel are summed up in the apostles' creed.'
A. The apostles do not tell us of a creed, but the pope's canon-book, and common-prayer-book; and many things the apostles had to say, which were not lawful to utter, and many things Christ had to say, which they could not bear; but the gospel is the power of God, and that the scripture speaks of, but doth not say the epistles are it.
P. God hath manifested himself in his word, that these three distinct persons are one.'
A. Neither the word nor the scripture doth tell us of three distinct persons, but it tells us of Father, and of son, and of holy ghost; but indeed, as I said before, the pope's canon-book, and mass-book doth so; for the holy ghost is not distinct from the son, and the son is not distinct from the Father, but they are all in one.
P. ·Having our chief hope placed in God, being assured that nothing may withdraw us from his love.'
A. Yet you say you are not able to keep the commandments of God perfect; then you are drawn from the living God, and you are from the chief hope, Christ; for they who love God keep his commandments, and such have the chief hope, Christ, in whom the commandment ends; here love goes forth out of the pure heart: but are not riches your hope? and do not riches, and the glory of the world, and the fashions thereof, draw your hearts away? and do not your love and hope stand in them, and have taken up the possession of your hearts more than God? Therefore, they who keep them not perfectly, keep them not at all.
P. . You say Christ hath ransomed your bodies and your souls from sin, and by that one sacrifice of his body he hath redeemed you.'
A. Are your bodies redeemed, and your souls and your spirits that are immortal, sanctified, and do you glorify God in your bodies, souls, and spirits which are the Lord's? and is there not sin in your bodies, and are not your spirits corrupted? Now, they who witness redemption of the body and soul from sin, these are out of the first Adam's state, and are the holy ones, and these are in the end of the law, and that which fulfils the law, Christ Jesus. But now if you come to say that you have not sin in your bodies, and the fruits show themselves by persecution, or envy, rage, malice, pride, or such wickedness, this shows not the fruits of redemption.
P. You say, 'that God in Christ hath put out the remembrance of your sins, and of your corruptions within you, wherein you must fight all your lifetime. '
A. Whilst the sins you are fighting with are not blotted out in your own particulars, this is not the life of the saints, they are not fighting all their lifetime, but come to the kingdom of God, witnessing sin and
loved in a pure
iniquity blotted out, and the everlasting covenant of peace and life with God.
P. You say, “You are righteous before God through faith, though your consciences accuse you for your trespasses against the commands of God, being prone to evil, yet notwithstanding embrace the benefits of Christ, as if you never had committed any sin or corruption, and this is as if you yourselves had perfectly completed the obedience.'
A. Where the conscience accuses it is impure, and that the true faith is out of, for the mystery of faith is held in a pure conscience, and that receives Christ, and which is not prone to evil, nor transgresseth the commands of God. But you are out of the perfect obedience, and the faith both, and are in the corruption, and are not the lovers of God, por come to Christ the end of the commandments, who heart. And you talk of conscience accusing, and yet say, you are righteous through faith, that is your ignorance, for faith is held in a pure conscience, the conscience doth not accuse any but the unsanctified.
P. Not that we please God through the worthiness of our faith, for our works, the best of them, are-imperfect in this life, defiled with sin.'
A. It is faith that brings men to please God, which faith comes from him, and gives victory over that men have lived in and not pleased God; so there is a worthiness in faith, it is the gift of God, by which men please God, and have access to him, and by which they are justified, and through it they overcome and subdue mountains, and raise the dead; your best works being imperfect, and defiled with sin in this life, are not wrought in God, but are out of him, in the darkness, they are works of darkness, imperfect and defiled with sin. Are not the works of darkness to be condemned for the fire, and to be out of the law and gospel ? But the works of the saints that are in the faith, created to good works, are wrought in love, are perfect, because they are wrought in God; these are distinct from the imperfect, defiled with sin, and these good works the saints witnessed when they were upon the earth, which are the works of faith that works by love.
P. •Infants that are baptized belong as well to the covenant and church of God, as they of full age, they by baptism being grafted into the church of God, so discerned from the children of infidels, so this baptism succeeds circumcision.'
A. Then by this all christendom that are baptized are the church and grafted into the church, Papists and Protestants and all! And how is it that your church is in so much confusion then? for you say they are grafted into the church of God; and in the church of God there is no confusion, it is the pillar and ground of truth, without spot or wrinkle; and how is it there is such killing one another in this church,
Papists, and Protestants, Lutherans, and Calvinists, so called ? how is it they are not of one body, but are broken into so many heads ? Now, the baptism of the spirit brings all into one body, in which spirit is the fellowship and the unity, which spirit is the bond of peace. And circumcision outwardly was a figure of circumcision within, and that it typed forth. And baptism without typed forth baptism within; and many may run into the outward water, that doth decrease, and do not come to the body of Christ the light, as you may read in the fifth of John; for none are grafted into Christ the body, but they who come to the light John bare witness of.
P. “You say, though Christ is in heaven, and you on earth, you are flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone.'
A. And yet before you said your consciences accused you, and your best works in this life were sinful and imperfect, and you could not keep the commands of God; now this is confusion, they who are of the flesh and bone of Christ are with him, and sit with him in heavenly places, for their conversation is in heaven.
P. “We are grafted into Christ by the holy ghost now, according to his human nature on earth.'
A. Human nature is from the ground, this is old Adam, but Christ, according to the flesh, was of Abraham and of David. The scripture doth not tell us of human nature, for human is from the ground, but Christ is from above; and though he were a lamb slain from the foundation of the world, yet his nature was not corrupted, nor his flesh saw no corruption. He that is made of the dust is human, he that is the Lord from heaven, is not human; so you err in your understandings that do not distinguish.
P. “Teaching the gospel and ecclesiastical discipline, by which the heaven is opened to believers and shut against the unbelievers.'
A. Christ hath the key which opens to believers, and he is the light which doth enlighten every man that comes into the world,' that through it they might believe, and they that do not believe in the light which Christ hath enlightened them with, heaven is shut to them, light condemns them, and they neglect the gospel; upon whom the wrath comes, which gospel is the power of God. And as for ecclesiastical discipline, it is got up since the days of the apostles, in the apostacy, which shuts up the kingdom of heaven against men, that which they should have believed in; that is, the light Christ hath enlightened them withal, which is the key.
P. • And such you say that are wicked men, the sacrament is to them forbidden, and they are shut out of the congregation.'
A. Do you not call baptism sacrament, and have you given them it, and did not you say they are grafted into the church by baptism? and VOL. III.
cannot Judas take the sop? But for the word sacrament you may look in the old canon-book, the mass-book, and such like. You give your sacrament to the covetous and proud, to the lovers of gold, and to them that are surfeited and drunk with the cares of this life, and such as are in superfluity, such you will give it to; and common outward drunkards you will keep it from: now are not all those forbidden, and out of the church of God? Read and judge yourselves, and amend your lives, and repent, that you may come into the spirit that baptizeth into the body of Christ.
P. You say, 'Christ hath redeemed you by his blood, and renewed you by his spirit to his image.'
A. And yet your works before were sinful, and you brake the command of God. Now this shows still, that you have but the form, and are unrenewed in spirit, unchanged, unconverted, and not in the image of God, and not in the thankfulness of God out of a pure heart.
P. “To mortify the old man is to be sorry for your sins.'
A. A man may be sorry for the sin he hath acted, but that which puts off the body of sin, is the spirit, and that which purifies the heart is the faith, and that which cleanseth from all sin, is the blood of Jesus, and that which blots out all sin and transgression, is Christ the covenant of God; and Christ within, manifest in the flesh, condemns sin in the flesh; so having him within, the body is dead because of sin.
P. • Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, the likeness of any thing in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or worship them, or bow down to them; thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain, &c. And remember thou keep holy the sabbath day, for six days thou shalt labour and do all thou hast to do, but on the sabbath thou, nor thy ox, servant, or stranger shall do no manner of work.'
A. Do you not make graven images and pictures of things in heaven, and of things in the water, and of things in the earth, and so make similitudes and representations, and adore them, and set them up in your houses ? and is not this quite contrary to the commandment of God? And have not the Papists been your examples for these things, and not the apostles? And do ye not take the Lord's name in vain daily in your streets and markets, in your buying and selling ? and do you not take the Lord's name in vain, when you
call him with your lips, but your hearts are in your covetous practices, and full of hatred, envy, pride, voluptuousness, ambition, self-honour, and deceit! And this is taking the Lord's name in vain, to call on God with your lips, while your hearts are after this manner. Do your servants, or strangers, or cattle rest on the seventh day? and do you not keep markets and fairs on that day, which the Lord gave to the children of Israel, after the fall of Adam, for a sign of the restoration of the creation, that neither man, nor servant, nor family, nor ox, nor ass should