« ForrigeFortsæt »
from 1 Cor. xv. and John i. 19, 26, 27. What say you to the question-do you deny itp.”
George Whitehead.-Some man will say, how are the dead raised, and with what bodies come they forth? i Cor. xv. “O fool! that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die, and thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or some other,” &c.
Matthew Caffin.--" My question is not with what body, but if the same that is laid in the earth shall rise ?”
George Whitehead.-The question, how are the dead raised, and with what bodies come they forth? which was asked by some whom the Apostle reprehends as fools, comprehends thy question, whether the same body, or another shall be raised ; and therefore the Apostle's answer in the case, might satisfy thee, if thou wert reasonable, I do certainly believe.
Matthew Caffin.—“ It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body; the same that is sown, is it that is raised.”
George Whitehead. Is that body of flesh, blood, and bones, thou speaks of, the seed to which God giveth a body as it pleaseth him, and so to every seed its own body, yea or nay? But no direct answer would Matthew Caffin give to it, though many times urged.
Matthew Caffin.“ I appeal to the husbandmen and farmers who sow wheat, rye, pease, &c. how the same grain or sòrt, and grain that they sow, doth arise and grow up again."
George Whitehead.-I do appeal to the husbandmen, whether the same corn that is in the ear of wheat, rye, &c. be the same that was sown iu the ground; or whether that body or ear of corn, (being come to maturity, so to a body,) be the very same that was sown? Surely they inay easily see Matthew Caflin's error herein; for the wheat, or other grain that falls into the earth dies, as to the substantial part of it; but if that which comes forth, were but the same that is sown, there were no increase ; then husbandmen would soon be weary of tilling the ground, and sowing. And if that body of flesh, blood, and bones, be the seed, to which God giveth a body as it pleaseth him, and which shall be raised, as he says ; then from hence every man must come forth with two bodies, which is monstrous. To this Matthew Caflin could not reply nor clear himself. And further, there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body, as there are bodies celestial, and bodies terrestrial; the sun, moon, and stars are the celestial bodies; but the birds, beasts, and fishes, are the terrestrial. Now you might reckon him a very blind and ignorant man that should put no difference between those bodies celestial, and these that are terrestrial; or that should reckon the bodies of sun, moon, and stars, and the bodies of birds, beasts,
and fishes, to be all one in matter and substance, as Matthew Carfin bas done concerning natural and spiritual bodies.
Matthew Caffin.—“The resurrection of the bodies, I affirm, and believe. And people, it is as you have been taught and believed. So let us leave this to the people to judge of, &c."
George Whitehead.-There is something more to be said to what thou hast alleged froin Job xix. of seeing God with these eyes, which thou wouldst make people believe are these bodily eyes. This supposes that God is not a Spirit, nor invisible, &c. for no object or thing is obvious or visible to the carnal or outward eye, but what is visible and outward, that is a bodily and outward substance ; for these bodily eyes cannot see a Spirit, or that which is invisible.
Matthew Caffin.-" These eyes shall be glorified and made spiritual ; for as now they are mortal and corruptible they cannot see God, but as they are made immortal, and glorified, they shall see God."
George Whitehead.—Job after said to God, “ I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth thee.” Job xlii. 5. This was a spiritual eye, and not his bodily eyes, But to tell of these bodily eyes being made spiritual, and then of seeing God with them, that they must be made so spiritual, and be the same they are for matter and substance; this is strange doctrine, and that which we could never hear demonstrated from any maxim in divinity, nor yet from any general rule or reason in philosophy. Let us hear how thou wilt demonstrate that these carnal or bodily eyes shall be made so spiritual as to see God, who is invisible, and yet they be the same in substance that they are? But Matthew Caffin did not at all essay to demonstrate his assertion, nor to clear hiinself of bis absurdities,
Matthew Caffin. Let us go on to the next question, and leave this to the judgment of the people." George Whitehead. It is here,
before this auditory, evident and manifest that thou Matthew Caffin art confounded in thy work, and put to a nonplus, not being able to manage thy assertion, nor to clear thyself of the absurditjes justly charged upon thee from thy own words and arguments. Wherefore be ingenuous, and confess thy error, and that thou art confounded, and not able to maintain the controversy in this matter. Thou hast come off very faintly. I advise thee, as thou wilt answer it before the great God, who will judge the secrets of men by Christ, according to the gospel, that thou dost not wrong, nor go to out-face thy own conscience before this people, as if thou wert not confounded; but deal plainly and ingenuously, and confess and acknowledge thou art at a loss, and confounded, who for proof tells the people, "it is thy belief, and what thou hast affirmed is true;" as much as to
say, it is true, because it is true; or people must believe it, because Matthew Caffin says it; and then they must receive it upon an implicit faith, as believing he is infallible. But Matthew Caffin has no such authority with us, for we see bim fallible, in error and in confusion, as particularly, about the same wheat growing again, and seeing God with these bodily eyes. [With many more errors and false boods which Matthew Caffin was detected for, which we have more at large upon record.]
These Baptists, who have been thus wranglivg, querying, and contending about the resurrection of the same flesh, blood, and bones, have manifested their carnal fleshly minds, (wherein they are puffed up, as intruders into things they have not seen,) and their gospel, to consist more of imaginations about flesh and blood, which cannot inherit the kingdom of God, (1 Cor. xv. 50,) than of any real knowledge of the true and saving gospel, which consists of Spirit, Divine power, life and light, the knowledge of which affords true satisfaction to them that enjoy it, without such vain and carnal contentions of Baptists, and questioning how the dead are raised, and with what body, like those whom the Apostle reproved as fools. (1 Cor. xv. 35, 36, 37.) As also like the Devil's disputing or contending with Michael the archangel about the body of Moses. (Jude ix.) They have appear. ed in these their carnal contests, to darken peoples' minds from the true light and life within. And such have been the products of flesh, and darkness against the breakings forth of truth in its light and power, which is, and will be, exalted over all these oppositions and clouds of ignorance that rise up against it,
DEVONSHIRE-HOUSE MONTHLY MEETING.
A SHORT ACCOUNT AND TESTIMONY CONCERNING OUR
DEAR AND WORTHY FRIEND
OUR ancient worthy Friends, who in the morning of this Gospelday, were about the same time sent forth to declare the Truth, with this our deceased friend, are now most of them gone'to their rest; yet the generality of Friends of middle age, may have had a long know. ledge of him, and of his gravity, wisdom, and abilities, beyond many in the Church of Christ. But for the sake of the younger Friends, that have not had that knowledge, and for the encouragement of those in faithfulness, that are, or may be convinced of the blessed Truth, or receive a gift of the ministry, we of the monthly-meeting of Devonshire-house, of which he was a very eminent member, about the space of Fifty years, esteem ourselves engaged to give in this our short account and testimony concerning him.
We find he was born at Sun-bigg, in the parish of Orton, in the County of Westmorland, about the year 1636, of honest parents, who gave him education in grammar learning. At, or about the seventeenth year of his age,
when some Friends, by the mighty power of God, were gathered to be a people, the Lord was pleased to visit bim, and by the testimony of truth, he was reached unto, and convinced of the necessity of an inward and spiritual work to be known and wrought upon the souls of men; and of the emptiness and insufficiency of outward shew and formality, out of the life and power. And in the year 1654, and the eighteenth year of his age, the Lord sent him forth to preach the everlasting Gospel in life and power; and having passed through York, Lincoln, and Cambridge, had some service in his journey, and travelling on foot, he came a youth into Norfolk and Suffolk, where he visited some few meeti ngs of Friends, and Steeple-houses, and meetings of sober professors; at one of which, near an whole meeting was convinced, by the mighty power of God, through his lively and piercing testimony and prayer.
He continued some months in Norfolk, and about Norwich, where having meetings, he preached the everlasting Gospel, and thereby turned many from darkness to light, and from the power of sin and satan, unto God, and his power; that people might not continue in empty forms and shadows, but come to the life and substance of true religion ; and to know Christ their true teacher and leader. And great was his service, labour and travel in those countries, whereby many were reached unto, convinced of, and established in the blessed truth; and some raised up to bear a public testimony thereunto. But he suffered great opposition, hardships, long and sore imprisonments, and severe whipping, for his testimony to the truth, in those his tender years, although few now remain who where living witnesses thereof; yet by a journal of his own writing, which we desire may be printed, the same will more largely appear; and the perusal of which we hope, may be edifying and serviceable, to the present and succeeding generations; and therefore we would not be too particular in relating his suffering, imprisonments, services, and travels, throughout most parts of this nation, but proceed to say something of our own experience, and that knowledge we had of him, and of his eminent services and great concern, for the peace and prosperity of the Church of Christ every where, during his long abode with us in this city.
We may say, he was one whom the Lord had fitly qualified, and prepared by his divine power, and holy Spirit, for that work whereunto he was called ; and whereby he was made one of the most able ministers of the Gospel in our day. He was a large experiencer of the work of God, and deep mysteries of the Heavenly kingdom, and was frequently opened in meetings to declare of and unfold the same, in the clear demonstration of the Spirit and power, dividing the word aright, to the opening and convincing the understandings of many, who were unacquainted with the way and work of truth, and to the comforting, confirming, and establishing of the people and children of the Lord, in their journey and travel Zion-ward.
He was not only a zealous contender for, and asserter of the true faith and doctrine of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in a sound and intelligible testimony, but also was valiant and skilful in the defence thereof, against adversaries and opposers of the same; and one, who through a long course of many days, was careful to adorn the doctrine of our holy profession, by a circumspect life and godly conver. sation, wherein the fruits of the Spirit, viz. love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance, did eminently shine forth through him, to the praise and glory of God.
Being thus qualified, and of a meek and peaceable disposition, he was had in good esteem amongst most sorts of people that where acquainted with him; which tended much to the opening his way in his public service for truth; and frequent solicitations unto several kings and parliaments, bishops, and great men, of this our land, for the relief and release of his suffering friends and brethren, under sore persecutions, and hard imprisonments, and for liberty of conscience, and also for relief in the case of saths. In which labour of love and