« PreviousContinue »
Jam. I was never there.
Col. Brigs. I charge thee by the Lord that thou tell me whether thou wast or not?
Jam. I was then in the north, and was never taxed for any mutiny or any other thing while I served the parliament.
Col. Brigs. What was the cause of thy coming into these parts.
Jam. If I may have liberty I shall declare it. I was at the plough, meditating on the things of God, and suddenly I heard a voice, saying unto me, Get thee out from thy kindred and from thy father's house: and I had a promise given in with it. Whereupon I did exceedingly rejoice, that I had heard the voice of that God which I had professed from a child, but had never known him.
Col. Brigs. Didst thou hear that voice?
Jam. Yea, I did hear it; and when I came home, I gave up my estate, cast out my money; but not being obedient in going forth, the wrath of God was on me, so that I was made a wonder to all, and none thought I would have lived; but (after I was made willing) I began to make some preparation; as apparel, and other necessaries, not knowing whither I should go. But shortly afterward going from my own house toward the gate with a Friend, having an old suit, without any money, haying neither taken leave of wife or children, not thinking then of any journey, I was commanded to go into the west, not knowing whither I should go, nor what I was to do there: but when I had been there a little while, I had given me what I was to declare; and ever since I have remained, not knowing to-day what I was to do to-morrow.
Col. Brigs. What was the promise thou hadst given?
Jam. That God would be with me; which promise I find made good every day.
Col. Brigs. I fever heard such a call as this is, in our time.
Jam. I witness him in me; and if I should deny him before men, he would deny me before my Father which is in heaven.
Just. Pears. Spiritual, you mean.
you ? Jam. The ministers affirm Christ to be in heaven with a carnal body, but I with a spiritual body.
Just. Pears. Which of the ministers say Christ is in heaven with a carnal body?
Jam. The minister so called of Kirkby Steven.
Priest Higginson stood up, and affirmed it again openly before all the court.
Jam. If Christ be in heaven with a carnal body, and the saints with a spiritual body, it is not proportionable; neither was that a carnal body which appeared among the disciples, the doors being shut, and appeared in divers shapes.
Quest. Was Christ man, or not?
Jam. Yea, he was, and took upon him the seed of Abraham, and was real flesh and bone; but is a mystery not known to the carnal man; for he is begotten of the immortal seed, and those that know him, know him to be spiritual; for it was “the word that became flesh, and dwelt amongst us;' and if he had not been spiritual he had not wrought my redemption.
Just. Pears. Is Christ in thee as man?
Jam. Christ filleth all places, and is not divided : separate God and man, and he is no more Christ.
Just. Pears. If we stand to dispute these things, we should have the ministers.
Jam. Perceiving priest Higginson offended, because he had told of his saying that Christ was in heaven with a carnal body, James said, • Friend, I had not accused thee, had I not been asked what was the difference between the ministers and me: for I am not come to accuse any; for I am against accusations.'
Col. Brigs. Wast thou not of a Kirk about Sawrby?
Col. Brigs. Wast thou not excommunicated for thy blasphemous opinions ?
Jam. I know not what they have done since I came forth; but before I was not to my knowledge.
Col. Brigs called to Mr. Coale, saying, “Did you ever hear such a call as this ? did you hear it?'
Coale. Yea, I heard part of it.
Col. Brigs. Didst not thou write a paper, wherein was mentioned, that if thou thinkest to be saved by that Christ which died at Jerusalem, thou art deceived ?
Jam. If I cannot witness Christ nearer than Jerusalem, I shall have no benefit by him; but I own no other Christ but that who ówitnessed a good confession before Pontius Pilate;' which Christ I witness suffering in me now.
Col. Brigs. Wilt thou deny thy hand?
Jam. I will not deny my hand, if I may see it; and I desire that I may so much savour, that that paper may be kept as an evidence either with or against me.
A large petition being read, wherein was something against quaking and trembling
Just. Pear. How comes it to pass that people quake and tremble?
Jam. The scriptures witness the same condition in the saints formerly; as David, Daniel, Habakkuk, and divers others.
Just. Pear. Did they fall down?
James. Did all Israel see the face of God ? that crosseth the scriptures.
Coale. They saw his glory. I shall see the Lord with these eyes ; putting his fingers to his eyes.
James. They must first be made spiritual: he cannot be seen with carnal eyes, for he is a spirit; and no flesh can see God, and live.
Coale. That light by which I am justified, is a created light.
Just. Pears. To the word: what sayst thou to the scriptures? are they the word of God?
James. They are a true declaration of the word that was in them who spoke them forth.
Higginson. Is there not a written word?
James. Where readest thou in the scriptures of a written word? The word is spiritual, not seen with carnal eyes: but as for the scriptures, they are true, and I witness them true, in measure fulfilled in me, as
I am grown up. Just. Pears. Why dost thou disturb the ministers in their public worship. James. I have not disturbed them in their public worships.
Just. Pears. Why dost thou speak against tithes, which are allowed by the states ?
James. I meddle not with the states; I speak against them that are hirelings, as they are hirelings; those that were sent of Christ, never took tithes, nor ever sued any for wages.
Just. Pears. Dost thou think we are so beggarly as the heathens, that we cannot afford our ministers maintainance ? We give them it freely.
James. They are the ministers of Christ, who abide in the doctrine of Christ.
Just. Pears. But who shall judge? how shall we know them?
James. By their fruits you shall know them; they that abide not in the doctrine of Christ, make it appear they are not the ministers of Christ.
Just. Pears. That is true.
Accusations against John Lawson, by him answered.
That John Lawson of Lancaster did affirm, December the 4th, 1652, 0. "That he was dead, and rose again.'
A. Thou art a witness against him that is risen from the dead, whereof the apostles were witnesses. Here thou showest thyself to be a witness against the living, and showest thyself to be in the death, and no minister of Christ: for the ministers of Christ justified them who were raised from the dead: Even when we were dead in trespasses and sins hath he quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us together, and hath made us to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ: for in that he died, he died once unto sin; in that he lives, he lives unto God. Here thou showest thyself to be no minister of Jesus Christ. He that believeth, hath “passed from death to life, because he loveth his brethren:' here thou showest thou dost not believe, but art in the death, and art in envy; so thou showest forth thyself to be Cain, and hatest thy brethren. We know that we are translated from death unto life, because we love our brethren; he that loveth not his brother, abideth in the death;' and there thou art. Whosoever hateth his brother, is a manslayer; and you know that no manslayer hath eternal life abiding in him.' 1 John iii. And this is thy condition, and here thou art an antichrist in the world, envying those who are raised from the dead; and thou seekest to bring them to the death, whom God hath raised from the death. Thou hast not seen thyself to be the prodigal; yet the scripture saith, • This my son was dead, and is alive again : but thou art without God in the world.
0. 2. That the day of judgment was past.'
A. Christ speaks, " The bruised reed he will not break, the smoking flax he will not quench, till he bring forth judgment into victory.' Here thou showest thyself to be ignorant of the scripture; but only as a hearsayer thou speakest, and the outside of the letter, and not Christ; and canst not witness him, who brings forth judgment into victory, but standest as a witness against them who witness the scriptures fulfilled in them, and Christ bringing forth judgment into victory: and here thou showest thyself to be unacquainted with Christ, and thy nakedness and ignorance thou makest appear.
0. 3. That he had been in hell, and is now in heaven.'
A. Here thou showest thyself to be a witness against the holy men of God. Jonah saith, Out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice, and the Lord delivered him out of hell; and might not he confess it, thou hypocrite? For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption. Thou hast delivered my soul out of death: bless the Lord, my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name.' How darest thou profess the scriptures, and the holy men of God's conditions, which were raised and brought out of death; and if any witness the holy men of God's condition, thou persecutest them? O thou blind hypocrite! here thou showest thou never sawest hell's mouth yet, therefore thou never criedst in hell yet.
0. 4. That he was come to the infinite company of the first born, and the spirits of just men made perfect.'
A. Paul said, (who was a minister of God,) but ye are come to Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first born, which are written in heaven; unto God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. Paul was a minister of Jesus Christ by the will of God,' who encouraged the saints who were brought hither; but thou now persecutest them, and art a witness against them that confess they are brought hither; here thou showest, thou hast the spirit of error, openly: and art no minister of God, no, not of the letter; but art against the letter as it speaks, persecuting them that have the life of it.
0. 5. That he had heard the last trumpet sound, and seen the new Jerusalem.
A. Here thou showest forth thy spite and venom: if Jolin was here, which saw the great city and holy Jerusalem descend out of heaven from God (John said, I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, come down from God out of heaven) thou wouldst be a witness against him; and thou showest thyself in the generation that were ever persecutors, slanderers, and opposers of the power of truth. Where the same spirit is that was in John, he sees these things now, as he did then, but where the same spirit is not, which thou showest thou hast not, but a contrary spirit that persecutes them which do see those things—this is as a dog to bite and devour. John saw the trumpet sound, which shows thou art not come to the first. Blow the trumpet in Sion, sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the earth tremble. Here be thou a witness against thyself, that thou art a witness against the truth, and in the generation of them that ever slew the righteous seed.
G. 6. That John Lawson said he had God face to face.
A. Here thou showest thyself to be a witness against them that know God, and makest thyself manifest to be a heathen: for all are heathens that do not know God; and no man knoweth God, saving he that is born of God; and who are born of God, are owners of the truth, and not against it, but against the deceit. Jacob said, I have seen God face to face. Isaiah said, mine eyes have seen the king, the Lord of Vol. III.