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that indifferency, and that Laodicean spirit that is fallen upon us ;* while we have been crying, let him make speed and hasten his work, that we may see it; let the counsel of the Lord t come that we may know it. And all this while, we have been drawing iniquity with cords of vanity, having been in a great measure, as without the sense of the work; so without the true travail of soul which this work should put us into.-The crown is fallen from Zion's head by reason of her iniquity; we have been bewailing personal iniquity, congregational iniquity, national iniquity, family iniquity, closet iniquity. We have, by search, found poor Zion, as it were without soundness from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot, full of bruises and putrified sores. Your own poor souls are in distress, heaven and earth seem to frown.-Oh! come down, sit in the dust, and weep bitterly before the Lord for all your abominations. You have but as it were, played with God; you have not trembled in his presence; ** you have been wanton before him, having been without the terror of his Majesty; therefore you have confessed, and have delighted to word ff it out with the Lord.Oh! how often have you mocked God!-It appears already how God takes it at your hands. We have begged him to save us, yet this once more, and truly we tremble-the hope that is in Israel, lies in your putting from you that accursed thing. Oh! now if you would pursue this worldliness, this coldness and sloathfulness, your personal neglects, your family neglectshow doth the world, as a canker, eat out your affections to the Lord Jesus, eat out your time, your strength, your zeal. While you have been a sleep in the lap of this delilah, your locks have been cut off, and you are but as other men. ‡‡ Whoever beholds you may say, What singular thing do ye? Now then lay to heart these crying abominations-the world is too beautiful-this hath bewitched-you have fallen before your enemies this iniquity hath been apparently written upon your fore-heads; witness your remissness in meetings, your neglect of the poor saints and ministers of Christ, whose

All these are fallen upon you, because you have refused the light within, which would give the knowledge of the power and life.

† Herein you did own immediate teaching.

That sense and travail you have yet kept off, and despise them that experience it.

§ And you are more unsound now than ever, neither can you be sound until you own the light.

1 And especially for your envy and hypocrisy.

** But now you despise them that do.

Which kind of Pharisaical babbling is still very customary among you. Excepting, that you are outwardly dipped, but as inwardly corrupt as others, and more envious than most men are.

§§ And will yet fall more.

daily complaints and addresses * are living monuments of this reigning abomination. Your cruelty to servants, children, exacting all their labours, but take no time to counsel them, instruct them that are without Christ, that miserable estate wherein they are-this hath made professors' families so dry, t useless and profitable—this sin eats out all of that divine sweetness of regenerating, sanctifying grace. We have mourned t in that we have had so great a hand in this trespass, in not bearing so faithful a testimony against it in our ministry; but slavish fear of being accounted selfish, or the like, hath stopped our mouth, until the mouth of this iniquity hath almost devoured the poor churches of Christ-that of sloathfulness and carelessness, another reigning evil-they are evils rooted deeply in the heart; it is hard to get them out. ** They are sermonproof, and epistle-proof; so strong, that they have wrested all weapons out of the hands of saints and ministers, that have been formed against them. Now we desire we may no longer rest in a testimony of words, but proceed to take some effectual course, that sin or sinners may be purged out †† of the house of God. In order to this, we desire the churches that they would set some day or days a part, wherein they may bewail the iniquities and pollutions of Zion before the Lord.-Also, that the ministering brethren would without respect of persons ++ bear their constant testimony warning--every one to flee from these abominationsanother evil we had thought to have spread before you §§ for want of opportunity, we shall now omit, yet desire you to lay it to heart."

• Which shows the great hardness of heart that is among you.

Oh! great dryness and withering is come upon you.

So you have cause still to mourn much more.

The slavish fear of many of you hath greatly appeared in suffering times, and self-interest and gain hath much stopped you.

**You cannot get them rooted out without the power of God, which only is received by believing in his light within.

Your house is not yet purged of them; however, this was an honest care to endeavour such a purging, better than to excommunicate persons for owning the light within.

# Which they are very prone to for advantage.

§§ Many more evils you had need now to spread before them.





Proved a physician of no value;

And the truth plainly asserted and vindicated, in divers weighty points, against both the imperfect and corrupt work of Stephen Scandret, and his masters, the Assembly of divines, (so called,) who sat at Westminster in the long Parliament's time, and of the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, about their Confession of Faith, which was first printed at Edinburgh, and afterwards reprinted at London, Anno 1651.

Ye are all physicians of no value. Job xiii. 4.


A comprehensive account concerning the rule, the light, and scripture, explaining both our sense of the terms and S. Scandret's; together with the Assembly's Confession about the scriptures.

By the word RULE we understand,.

1. The power of government, and authority to order and rule, in the sense that, in the first creation, the greater light was set to rule the day, (Gen. i. 16.) or, for the rule and order of the day. So in the new creation the Divine light of Christ, the Sun of righteousness, doth govern and rule, in the order of his everlasting day, in the souls of the righteous; the path of the just being this shining light, which shineth more and more unto this perfect day.

2. So this Divine light is truly the only rule, as well for its being most eminent, above all outward rules and prescriptions, as for its power, glory, virtue, order, and government, as the rule of life, in all the children of light.

It is the only trying and discovering rule, for it manifests whatsoever things are reprovable, (Ephes. v. 13.) whether they be spirits, works, or words. And he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God. John iii. 21.

3. By the only rule, we understand an universal, manifest, public standard for truth and righteousness, in the consciences of all people and nations, and against all sin, wickedness, and unrightousness; and so it is the spiritual and Divine light of the

Son of God, in whom was life, and the life was the light of men, (John i. 4.) whose life is supernatural, increated, and incorruptible; Christ the Divine Word being that true light that enlightens every man that cometh into the world. verse 9.

4. Concerning that heavenly gift, or Divine manifestation within, which was the saints' rule of life, the apostle Paul thus speaketh, 2 Cor. 10. 13: " But we will not boast of things with-out our measure; but according to the measure of the rule, which God hath distributed to us," &c. ver. 15, "not boasting of things without our measure, that is of other men's labours; but having hope when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you, according to our rule abundantly:" ver. 16, "not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand." And Philip. iii. 16: "Whereto ye have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing." Gal. v. 15, and 16: For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision availeth any thing, but a new creature ; and as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them." By all which note, that there was an universal, divine, and spiritual rule, distributed of God to the true believers, and new creatures in Christ, in whom stood their several attainments and growths, (and this was not other men's lines, nor the letter,) wherein they were mutually enlarged. Nor could the letter be this rule, for that required circumcision. What then was Paul's rule, for denying it, but the spirit of life, the new covenant, the immediate dictates of the holy Ghost? See Acts xv. 24, 28.—Heb viii. 9, 10.

By the word scriptures we understand, not only writings in general, but particularly all the holy scriptures contained in the bible, not excluding those many writings of the prophets and apostles which are not inserted in the bible, which contain a plurality of words of truth, commands, prescriptions, precepts, &c. and, in that sense, rules or directions, relating to both the old and new covenant, and to divers states, occasions, and dispensations, many of which are abolished with the old covenant, which therefore cannot properly, (in the singular,) be called the rule, or one entire full rule, much less the only rule, in exclusion of all others, or the chiefest and highest rule, as Stephen Scandret unscripturally and erroneously calls them. For the spirit or light, that first gave them forth, with its immediate illumination, motions, and directions, is both before and higher than the scriptures or writings, how true soever they be.

So that though we confess the holy scriptures do contain true words, commandments, precepts, directions, and so rules, yet it is no more proper to call them "the only highest rule and guide to heaven and glory," as S. S. does, than to call them the only highest word, commandment, and light, which they are

not. We can neither call the scriptures God, nor Christ, nor the light, nor the spirit, nor the power of God; but innocently and simply as they term or call themselves, owning them in the true light given us, according to the true intent, purpose, and end for which they were first given out from Divine inspiration. For which none that are ingenuous will blame us, for the Word lives for ever; "it is settled in heaven ;" it is also to be known and felt nigh in the heart; and it is the holy and living commandment of power, which is called life everlasting, and this is immediate. This Word was to David "a light," and "lantern to his paths," and therefore his only way and rule to felicity. Yea, for its eminency it may be truly esteemed the word of words, the commandment of commandments, the rule of rules, that Divine light, in which consists the government, rule, and order of the everlasting day of salvation, glory, and life, to all the children of the day, who in order to that attainment, have obeyed and followed the degree and measure of this true and divine light in its manifestation in them.

The scriptures or bible also contain many various passages, as well historical as doctrinal, even of the examples of men in the fallen state, of things done in the time of ignorance, and of the failings and weaknesses of persons-of things transacted and done in a time and state not suitable to that of man in the beginning, nor to that of the gospel or new covenant: as, for a man to have several wives, or many concubines at once. It was not so in the beginning, nor ought it to be so now, yet such things are recorded in scripture of divers persons, without any expression of censure. Therefore it is both gross, impious, and contradictory for any to count the whole bible the rule of life and duty, without exemption, according to our opposer. p. 61. Moreover, he asserts the infallibility of the scriptures, and as such their being the highest rule. He neither puts a limitation of what part of the scripture or bible he intends, nor yet tells us in what language, copy, or translation, they are infallible. For every rule, whether moral or artificial, ought to be infallible, otherwise it is no rule, but therein lies obscured under ambiguities. However, we may suppose he means, according to his masters, the Assembly of pretended divines, Confes. chap. 1. where, having declared, that "the holy scriptures are given by inspiration of God to be the rule

But S. S. tells us not whether he owns those books called Apocrypha, or any of them, as a part of his rule or canon; or whether he is not of the same opinion with his masters of the Assembly, where in their Confession they say, that "the books, commonly called Apocrypha, not being of Divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the scriptures; and therefore are of no authority in the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved or made use of, than other human writings." But this general debasement of these books we cap

not own.

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