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FLESH and BLOOD
In the MYSTERY and in the OUTWARD,
Briefly, plainly, and uprightly Acknowledged, and Testified to;
For the Satisfaction and Benefit of the TENDER-HEARTED,
Defire to Experience the Quickening, Healing, and Cleansing VIRTUE of it.
A BRIEF ACCOUNT concerning the People called QUAKERS, in reference both to Principle and Doctrine.
Whereunto are added,
Some few other Things, which, by the Bleffing of GOD, may be experimentally found ufeful to the true Pilgrims and faithful Travellers out of the Nature and Spirit of this World.
Written in true Love and Tenderness of Spirit by
And without controverfy great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifeft in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, feen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory, I TIM. iii. 16.
Of whom are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Chrift came, wha is over all, God bleffed for ever. Amen. Rom. ix. 5.
E FAC E.
AVING been lately at London, upon occafion of a meeting between fome of the people called QUAKERS, and fome of the people called ANABAPTISTS, and other confederates, wherein I was fomewhat concerned, being charged or brought in by Thomas Hicks, in his fecond book of Dialogues, called Continuation, p. 4. to prove, that the QUAKERS account the blood of Chrift no more than a common thing; and having been at that meeting to clear my innocency in that particular; but the thing not then coming in queftion, and I being to return to my habitation in the coun-try (though I ftaid also a second meeting for that purpose); it was on my heart, in the clearnefs and innocency thereof, to give forth this teftimony, to take off that untruth and calumny of T. H. both from the People called QUAKERS, and myfelf; being both of us greatly therein injured, as the Lord God of heaven and earth knoweth. I have had experience of that defpifed people for many years, and I have often heard them (even the antient ones of them) own Chrift both inwardly and outwardly. Yea, I heard one of the antients of them thus teftify, in a publick meeting many years fince, That if Chrift had not come in the flesh, in the fullness of time, to bear our fins in his own body on the tree, and to offer himself up a facrifice for mankind, all mankind had utterly perished.
What caufe then have we to praife the Lord God, for fending his Son in the likeness of finful flefh, and for what his Son did therein! O profeffors! do not pervert our words (by reading them with a prejudiced mind) quite contrary to the drift of God's Spirit by us! If ye fhould thus read the holy fcriptures, yea, the very words of Chrift himself therein, and give that wisdom of yours which fights against us fcope to comment upon them, and perverts them after this manner, what a ftrange and hideous appearance of untruth and contradiction to the very fcriptures of the Old Teftament might ye make of that wonderful appearance of God? For the
words of Chrift feemed fo foolish and impoffible to the wife men of that age, that they frequently contradicted, and fometimes derided him.
If we be not of God, we fhall come to nought; nay, we had not stood to this day, if his mighty power had not upheld us. We could not have flood inwardly, nor could we have stood outwardly, against the fierce affaults we have met with both ways. And as we have not had by-ends to move us inwardly, so neither have we had by-ends to move us outwardly, as our God knoweth.
Oh! T. H. doft thou believe the eternal judgment at the great day, not outwardly only in notion, but inwardly in heart? Oh! then confider how wilt thou anfwer it to God, for faying fo many things in the name of a people, as their belief and words, which never were fpoken by any one of them, nor ever came into any one of their hearts! Innocency in me, life in me, truth in me, the Chriftian spirit and nature in me, is a witness against thee, that thou wroteft thy dialogues out of the Chriftian nature and Spirit; and thy brethren, William Kiffin and the rest, who have stood by thee to juftify thee (or at least seemed fo to do) must take notice of these things, and condemn them in thee, or they will expose themselves (and their religion), to the righteous judgment of God, and of all who love. truth, and hate forgery and deceit.
I pity thee; yea, I can truly fay, I forgive thee the injury thou haft done me (though indeed it is very great, thus to reprefent me publickly; what thou couldft not have done, if thou hadst equally confidered the things written in that book); and I alfo defire that thou mayeft be fenfible of what thou haft fo evilly done, and confess it before God, that he alfo might forgive thee. Oh! I would not bear the weight of this fin at the judgmentfeat of Chrift for ten thousand worlds! And that these books fhould be fo long publick, and thy brethren take no notice of them, but rather at laft apply themselves to juftify thee, oh! how will they answer this thing, when they come to answer it for ever! Oh! why will ye fet up an intereft: against our Lord Chrift (who is the truth, and teacheth truth) and bend allyour strength and understanding to make lies, falfhoods, and forgeries to appear as if they were truth, and not forgeries?
If ye will judge yourselves, and repent of these things, ye fhall not be condemned of the Lord; but if ye will go on, to cover and hide this great iniquity, ye fhall not profper therein.
As for my particular, I had committed my caufe to the Lord, and intended to have been wholly filent, knowing my innocency will be cleared. by him in this particular at the great day, and the love, truth, and up-. rightness wherein I wrote thefe things owned by him.
But in the love of God, and in the ftillness and tenderness of my fpirit, I was moved by him to write what follows. And oh! that it would please the Lord to make it serviceable even to T. H, himself, for his good.
FLESH and BLOOD of CHRIST, &c.
N the fecond part of Thomas Hicks's Dialogues called Continuation, p. 4. he maketlo his perfonated Quaker speak thus: Thou fayeft, we account the blood of Chrift no more than a common thing; yea, no more than the blood of a common thief. To which he makes his perfonated Chriftian answer thus: Ifaac Penington (who I fuppofe is an approved Quaker) afks this question; Can outward blood cleanfe? Therefore, faith be, we must enquire, whether it was the blood of the veil, that is, of the human nature, or the blood within the veil, viz. of that fpiritual man, confifting of flesh, blood, and bones, which took on him the veil, or buman nature. It is not the blood of the veil; that is but outward; and can outward blood cleanfe?
Now to fatisfy any that defire to understand the truth as it is, and to know what the intent of my heart and words (as fpoken by me) was, I fhall firft fay fomewhat to his ftating the question, and then open my heart. nakedly and plainly, as it then was, and ftill is, in this matter.
First, I answer, thefe were not my words, which he hath fet down as mine; but words of his own patching up, partly out of feveral queries of mine, and partly out of his own conceivings upon my queries, as if he intended to make me appear both ridiculous and wicked at once. For I no where fay, or affirm, or did ever believe, that Chrift is a spiritual man, confifting of fiefh, blood, and bones, which took on him the veil of human nature. Thus he reprefents me as ridiculous. It is true, Chrift inwardly, or as to his inward being, was a Spirit, or God bleffed for ever, manifefted in flesh; which (to fpeak properly) cannot have flesh, blood, and bones, as man hath. And then, befides his alterations at the beginning, putting in only four words of my query, and leaving out that which next follows (which might have manifefted my drift and intent in them) he puts in an affirmation which was not mine, in these his own words: It is not the blood of the veil; that is but outward; and then annexeth to this affirmation of his own, the words of my former query, Can outward blood cleanse? As if thefe words of mine (Can outward blood cleanfe?) did neceffarily infer that the blood of Chrift is but a common thing.
Herein he reprefents me wicked, and makes me speak, by his changing and adding, that which never was in my heart, and the contrary whereto I have several times affirmed in that very book where those several queries were put (out of which he forms this his own query, giving it forth in my name). For in the 10th page of that book, beginning at line 3. I pofitively affirm thus: that Chrift did offer up the flesh and blood of that body (though not only fo, for he poured out his foul, he poured out his life) a facrifice or offering for fin, a facrifice unto the Father, and in it tafted death for every man; and that it is upon confideration (and through God's acceptance of this facrifice for fin) that the fins of believers are pardoned, that God might be just, and the juftifier of him who believeth in Jefus, or who is of the faith of Jefus. Is this common flesh and blood? Can this be affirmed of common flesh and blood? Ought not he to have confidered this, and other paffages in my book of the fame tendency, and not thus have reproached me, and misrepresented me to the world? Is this a Chriftian fpirit; or according to the law or prophets, or Chrift's doctrine? Doth he herein do as he would be done by? Oh! that he had a heart to confider it! I might alfo except against those words: human nature (which he twice putteth in) being not my words, nor indeed my fenfe; for by human nature, as I judge, is understood more than the body: whereas I, by the word veil, intended no more than the flesh (or outward body), which in fcripture is exprefsly fo called, Heb. x. 20. through the veil, that is to fay, his flesh.
Secondly, I cannot but take notice of this, that he hath not cited the place, page, or pages; nay, not fo much as named the book, where thofe words or fayings which he attributeth to me are written; whereby any perfons that are not willing to take things upon bare report (efpecially in fo deep charges, reflecting not only upon one perfon, but a whole people), might confult the place, and fee whether they were my words or no; and whether the queries I did put (indeed to the hearts of people) had any fuch drift or no, and might compare the words (if they were mine) both with what went before, and alfo followed after; and with what was faid in feveral other places of the book, which speak of Christ's flesh and blood as of no common thing, but as that which God makes ufe of toward the redemption of mankind.
Thirdly, The drift of all thofe queries in that book was not to vilify the flesh and blood of Chrift, by reprefenting it as a common or ufelefs thing, but to bring people from sticking in the outward, to a fenfe of the inward myftery; without which inward fenfe and feeling, the magnifying and crying up the outward doth not avail. Indeed, at that time, I was in a great exercife concerning profeffors: love was deeply working in my heart; and I was in a very tender frame of fpirit towards them, as any may perceive, who, in the fear of God and in meeknefs of fpirit, fhall read that book (it is intituled, A queftion to the professors of christianity, whether they have the true, living, powerful, faving knowledge of Chrift, or no, &c.) And in this