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luxury and avarice. I say, it was the work of God's spirit upon our hearts, who, by his light, gave us to see the just difference of things, and to distinguish between that which pleased him, and that which pleased him not. And this holy pattern he gave us in the light of his beloved Son, which we design to follow, as did the holy ancients; and is a full answer to the bishop's unfriendly queries upon our distinguishing behaviour, in his 14th and 15th paragraphs, as if it were not out of fear towards God, or upon a conscientious bottom, but to serve a worldly turn? For he asks us,' Is it not your main aim, end, and study, by pretended mortifications, to make yourselves a party considerable?' Again, Are not to this purpose your different garb, speech, looks and gestures, and to make yourselves remarkable, rather than out of a sense of duty, or conscience of obligation?' Which, as it is the worst construction that the most irreligious and profane could make upon our behaviour, so I beseech God to forgive the bishop, and make him sensible how little such treatment of strict and sober living advances the common cause of religion, and how much it indulges those, that know no reins or check to their excesses, in his own church. But to go no farther than the bishop and his clergy, pray who distinguish themselves more by their garb from other people than they? Though I cannot say as much of their behaviour. So, indeed, did the Chemarims, or Black-coats, of old, and those that wore long robes in our Saviour's time; but, as I take it, they went not without his censure, while I think the bishop will find none in scripture against our plainness. But the bishop's pontifical robes, do, in my opinion, look much more like singularity and a sight than ours; for our garb is like other mens, only freed of their superfluity. In short, I wish him a better understanding of the true grounds of our stricter conduct, and where and who they are that make a trade of religion; that if he has any shot left against mercenary religionists, he may not miss the mark next time, but may make it his main aim, end, and study, to expose hirelings and hypocrites in their proper colours: and some are of opinion he need not go far to find too many of them.

It is strange the bishop should be so insensible of the advantage he gives me by his queries, and what a wide door he opens to a severe retaliation; but I desire to be modest; and to be silent upon such advantages, is, I think, to be abundantly so.

Howbeit, I must take notice of one expression, for it may too seriously affect us not to be observed to him. When he asks, 'If it be not our main end and study, by pretended

mortifications, to make ourselves a party considerable?' He adds, and such to which, for reasons of state, peculiar privileges must be indulged.' If this were not more than mockery, I should wave my notice; but calling the meaning of the government in question about the liberty of conscience we enjoy, he must forgive me if I bestow a few remarks upon that expression. It seems, then, our liberty flows not from the inclination of the government to liberty, less from compassion, and least of all from justice and a Christian principle. Which motives carry with them a prospect of the continuance of liberty, if not for liberty's sake. But the bishop believes no such thing; and if he would not have us of his mind, he did weakly to tell us so. Well, then, we are all of us to take his advertisement, that our liberty holds but by slender threads, and a reason of state, and not of nature, right, or Christianity; which certainly is not to bespeak this considerable party to the advantage of the government: and for which I think the bishop a very moderate statesman, and the government as little beholden to his politics, as we are to his charity. However, we will have a better opinion of our superiors' regard to liberty, and conclude that their inclination equals their discretion, and that their judgment, as well as prudence, is on that side, let the bishop say what he pleases. And though he deserves it not at my hands, I could almost persuade my self to think that he does not begrudge it us, and means not so loosely as he writes. But be it as it will, that God, that has upheld us by his free spirit to this day, through many and great afflictions, we firmly believe will suffer nothing to attend us, that shall not in the conclusion work for his glory and our good, if we continue steadfast to the end, in the blessed way of righteousness, wherein he has so often and signally owned and preserved us; notwithstanding the violence of open enemies, and the treacherous and restless endeavours of false friends.

His sixteenth paragraph multiplies reflection, as before observed, and repeats what I have already largely answered; particularly, that we own the Christian faith, which he makes us to wave, suppress, or at least not to confess; and have expressed it, even in the paper he has faulted so much of shortness, and that more fully, in all points, than in the creed commonly called the Athanasian; except that about the Trinity, which seems to me to be less plain by that copious way taken to explain it.

He also says, We reject all outward, positive parts of worship," which we deny for we own and use prayer, preaching, and praising, in the Spirit, without which they

cannot be owned or joined with; for they cannot be so per formed to edification by a true Christian worshipper; since God, who is a Spirit, will be worshipped in spirit, and in truth, which Christ's Spirit must enable us to perform: and such worshippers only, God the Father seeks to worship him implying, he regards not other worshippers.


But, especially,' the bishop says, we reject baptism and the supper.' We say, we do not reject, but disuse the signs, because we felt the invisible graces in our souls they were signs and shadows of; and therefore, not in disrespect to the signs, but in reverence to the divine substance they show forth, we discontinue their use among us. They obtained place in the infancy and twilight of the church; in her more weak and ceremonious time, directing, as I may say, that interregnum between the law and the gospel, before the dispensation of the Holy Ghost had fully obtained place and pre-eminence in the church. But of this I have been already very particular.

He grows warm in his 17th paragraph, and episcopal; for he says, 'In a word, I again require you, as you will answer all your secret arts and pretensions at Christ's tribunal, that you either embrace and profess the entire Christian truth, in the points wherein I have shown you to be defective; and that you receive the Christian seals or badges, baptism, and the Lord's supper; or else that you desist to lay claim to the name of Christians.'


But first I must return the bishop his secret arts and pretensions, in all which he is grievously mistaken. For either I do not understand his meaning, or I abhor it. Next, be it known to him, we wave not, we suppress not, but heartily embrace and profess, before the whole world, all points of Christian doctrine, according to the mind of the Holy Ghost, as I have amply signified before upon this subject: and where the bishop takes leave of the text, he must excuse me if I leave him, to keep company with it. We did not entitle our paper All Gospel-Truths,' but 'Gospel-Truths,' which extended so far as we were taxed with error about those truths and yet he must have but a little charity that will not allow a believer and follower of those truths to be a Christian. Nor, indeed, has the bishop given us the arti cles of faith he says we wave or suppress, or told us his own, or that one church's faith he would have us receive, as I have complained already. But that the bishop should forbid us so much as to lay claim to the name of Christians, unless we will practise what he calls the seals or badges of Christianity, (which divers churches in Christendom think he mis uses) is very uncharitable and dogmatical. But, besides

what I have said at large in our excuse and defence in that matter, he produces not one scripture that calls them either seals or badges. But yet there are other things that are so represented by our blessed Saviour and his apostles, which he takes no notice of: as Matt. xvi. 24. where, they that will be reputed Christ's disciples must take up his cross and follow him. Christ's cross is a Christian's badge and seal of discipleship. Again, John xiii. 35. He said to his disciples, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another." Likewise Matt. xxv. 34, 35, 36. ́ The distinguishing character of the last day is not water-baptism and the outward supper, but love, mercy, and compassion; bowels and charity; not being ashamed or afraid of owning and helping the Lord's servants in their afflictions, viz. “I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: 1 was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in ye prison, and ye came unto me." This is the Christian badge that will be recognized by our Lord Jesus Christ at the last day we have his own word for it. In all which he is so far from mentioning either of the other badges, that, Luke xiii. he brings in the unhappy, that are on his left-hand, using this argument to engage him to receive them into blessed"We have eaten and drank in thy presence, and ness, viz. thou hast taught in our streets." A plain instance they had the use of such ordinances as the bishop reputes badges of Christianity; but it is as plain that such pleas would not do: for, behold, the Lord Jesus says unto them in the parable, "I know you not, depart from me, ye workers of iniquity!" I recommend the perusal of the following verses to my reader, which confirm my sense of the text: for he spoke to an outside people, that counted themselves the people of God, and were observers of meats and drinks, and divers washings and that which was doctrine and caution then, is doctrine and caution now; for truth holds the same to the end.


I might add, holiness, for a characteristic, "without which no man shall ever see the Lord;" and that "neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature," Gal. v. 6. Also, the fruits of the Spirit, chap. 5. among which there is not one word about water-baptism, or the outward supper, with many more passages that are close and cogent.

His eighteenth and last paragraph tells us, 'He will not judge us, and yet his whole paper is but one continued judgment of us: but, from God,' as he says, and, as his minister, he bids us judge ourselves.' First, We thank God


we are before-hand with the bishop, having judged ourselves, and that by the judgment of God upon us, and so have right to judge others according to that judgment. Secondly, We have no proof that the bishop speaks from God to us: nor can I tell how he should, that does not acknowledge the inspeaking word of God in the soul. Thirdly, For his being God's minister, he has not shown us his commission yet, and I fear it will not be from heaven, whenever he does. But if my reader will take the pains of perusing this very paragraph, he will not only see a judging spirit, but that the bishop holds out abusing us to the last, rendering us as bad as bad can be, viz. That we subvert the faith once delivered to the saints, and equal our conceits to the divine oracles, using and disusing what parts of God's instituted worship we please;' adding, I will not interpose your making gain your godliness.' But, as I have already taken ample notice of this charge, so I shall say no more of his irreligious slant at our sincerity than this, that I cannot pretend to tell the bishop what tribe of men, in Christendom, it is that have long made gain their godliness, and the pretence of it their worldly inheritance; since he has been so much more sensibly instructed in this affair than myself: but one thing I am sure of, that if gain, and not godliness, was our motive to be the people we are, we mightily mistook our way when we left the bishop's: for afflictions, spoils, prisons, banishments, yea, and death itself, have attended us, since God was pleased to manifest his truth to us and if, under all those calamities that have followed us since we were a people, for the sake of our unfashionable profession, the bishop, or any else, is so unnatural, as to envy us the blessing of God upon our honest industry, and to render that which is an effect of God's goodness, the reason and end of our religion, God forgive them. I could enlarge upon this topic, but time would fail, and the discourse swell beyond bounds, as indeed it hath already, beyond my expectation; for which I should excuse myself to my reader, but that it was not simply from the regard I had to the bishop's sheet, since that could not have deserved this notice from me, but might have been answered as concisely as that was written, had I only considered his undertaking and treatment, and not my reader's satisfaction, in the better knowledge of our so much misrepresented persuasion especially in a nation, where of late I had occasion so generally to travel, and the bishop's paper hath been, I suppose, as generally dispersed. I owe it, therefore, to my profession, to myself, and to the country, to vindicate the one, and to express my Christian regard and acknowledg

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