A Faithful general Epistle, Presented to all
Who have known the way of truth, forewarning
Them to flee Security, and Careless walking under the
Profession of the same; discovering some of Satanís Wiles, whereby
Also, wanton persons, and their ungodly waysí are disclaimed,
Through the grace of God, in the Order of his Gospel,
According to the Scriptures.
for if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again intangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them then the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, then after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandments delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them, according to the true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit, and the sow that was washed to wallow again in the mire.
London, Printed for Francis Tyton, and are to be sold at the three daggers
In Fleet street, near the Inner-Temple-Gate. 1649
Having these many years, through the grace and free mercy of out God, been kept in the profession of the name of Christ contained in the Holy Scriptures of the Prophets and Apostles; and finding the exceeding benefit; and comfort of walking with God in some measure suitable to what he hath made known unto us; and well knowing that we are called to live in the last ages of the world, wherein iniquity abounds, and the love of many waxeth cold; as likewise considering those peculiar times spoken of in the 2. Of Tim. 3.1 &c. are come upon us, wherein men who sometimes have made large profession of God and godliness, are turned aside to commit all manner of uncleanness with greediness, having turned the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ into lasciviousness, calling darkness light, and light darkness, by means of whom the way of truth is evil spoken of; and many poor souls through temptations ready to quit their professions, and to be taken in their snares; we thought it our duty to declare our utter dislike, abhorring, and detestation, of all such evil persons, and wayís, who shall under any pretence whatsoever plead for or practice any way of ungodliness.
And having been thought the goodness of our God, to discern the secret and subtile designs, and snares of Satan, which he hath laid to entrap poor souls in, by carrying them from step to step, until they have been wholly captivated in his snares, and fitted by him to do him service.
We could do no less, then according to that measure of light we have received from the Lord, to discover his Wiles, and Stratagems, and to Caution all that profess the fear of the Lord to, watch over their own hearts, and ways, and to take heed lest they fall into the same condemnation.
For this we have found, that that way in which God in his infinite wisdom taketh to bring souls unto himself by, viz. The presenting unto men his great love in giving Jesus Christ to suffer death, and his great salvation to all that believe in his name, Satan that old serpent through his instruments under the specious pretence of beating men off from all false rests, endeavors with all his strength to oppose and make void; persuading the sons and daughters of men, that what is declared concerning the death of Christ at Jerusalem, and his bearing our iniquities in his own Body upon the Cross, is but a mere history & shadow that the Scriptures are but a letter, and the Ordinances of God by fleshly forms, thereby labouring to beget in peoples minds a contempt, and slight esteem of Christ, his Word, and Ordinances; and that he might cheat them to purpose, tells them of a God within, and a Christ within, and a Word within, and that God, and Christ, and they are one, without any true distinct knowledge of the true meaning of that which is expressed; whereby poor souls with great and swelling words of vanity, triumph in a great mystery of mere nothing, but emptiness and confusion, speaking things whereof they know not; and many poor souls knowing such expressions to be Scripture Phrases, do greedily embrace them without a true, distinct, and clear understanding the sense of what is spoken, having the persons of those who speak such language in great admiration, as the chief, tender, charitable, knowing, high and spiritual Christians; whereas indeed although the words spoken by them, are many true in themselves (without which Satan could not so effectually deceive) as that God and Christ, and the Spirit dwell in us, and that God and Christ and the saints are one; Yet are we to understand this union to be only in a way of relation through participation in the same spirit, and this dwelling to be only in respect of grace, and powerful operation and influence, working in the hearts of believers, according to the tenor of the new Covenant, in making men holy and humble, purifying their hearts, causing them to walk in all good conscience towards God and man, all which by them is trampled under foot, and another kind of union and indwelling driven at in their discourses, which although covertly expressed, until by craft and subtilty, they have prepared the hearts of simple and unsuitable souls, to receive whatsoever they shall suggest unto them; then is openly discovered, being indeed the root of all bitterness, and desperate prophaneness, and blasphemy, that can be imagined in the world for from thence they conclude, that themselves are God and Christ, and what God is they are, and what they are, God is; for say they, there is no Spirit but one, and so deny any created Angel or spirit, holding upon the same account the living soul in man to be uncreated, and so consequently to be God himself, and not created by God. Now this being the ground-work of their delusion, the building in unanswerable.
For first, Concluding the reasonable should to be God.
Secondly, they affirm that this soul being clothed with their humane bodies, or flesh, is Christ, or God, or God in flesh, hereupon they imagine that Jesus Christ spoken of in the Gospel, as being born of the Virgin Mary, accused by the Jews, delivered by Pilate to be crucified, dying at Jerusalem upon the cross, rising the third day, and ascending into Heaven; is only to be understood parabolically, or figuratively, speaking of one thing, and intending another; pointing at, and prefiguring a work only within us, conceiving the Virgin Mary, the Jews, Pilate, Jerusalem, and the Cross, Christ rising and ascending, spoken of in the Scriptures, to be all within them, and no such thing substantially, or in truth without.
As they conclude all things spoken of by Christ, to be but in a typical, or figurative manner, intending and typifying out this God within, or God incarnate in their flesh, still meaning their reasonable souls, conceiving this to be the substance of all those shadows; so also upon this ground they are forced to conclude the whole New Testament, with all the Doctrines, Laws, Rules, and Administrations of the same, to be but a shadow or figure, holding forth a substance within. As for instance, Moses and Aaron, being but figures of the substantial Saviour and Priest to come, so the Administrations of Moses as Mosaical, were but fleshly and carnal administrations, to be abolished when the substance was come, they being only shadows of good things to come; in like manner do they understand Christ in his person to be but a shadow of Christ within, and all his heavenly and spiritual Gospel to be but a Letter and carnal History put to an end and abolished, when they once come to apprehend that the substance of all is within. They coming also to believe that the soul is God, do thence infer that they are perfect, and that they are in as happy an estate as can be, and for this they urge 1 Cor. 15.24 to the 28. To shew when they kingdom is delivered up to the Father, and then Christ ceaseth his Mediatorship, and consequently, all his New Testament ceaseth; now they conclude, that all this is accomplished when they come to discern there is but one Spirit, and their soul that spirit, which is God, and then they are in the possession of all things.
And seeing the Scripture declares that before our full possession of God and glory, there must be a temporal Death, and Resurrection of the Body, and eternal Judgment, they upon the former grounds, judging themselves already glorified, do understand this death of the body in all such Scriptures mystically, and that the Resurrection, and eternal Judgment are passed already in the soul, as Hymenius and Philetus did, 2 Tim. 2.18 compared with 1 Tim. 1.19. Thence also they conclude, that Faith and Justification by Christ, together with all the Ordinances of Christ are abolished, as fleshly forms, like unto Christ, that appointed them above and without all which, they triumphantly (in their own fancies) live when they once have attained this super eminent life (as they speak) of being the full fruition of God, comprehending that infinite Being, (which they blasphemously affirm themselves to do,) intruding themselves into the things they are altogether ignorant of; Hereupon is it that they, as Peter saith, scoff at any second coming of Christ, 2 Pet. 3.3, 4 and mock the holy Scriptures, those heavenly Oracles of God, denying them to be the Word of God, or that Law by which they ought to conform their lives, conceiving and uttering that there is no Law nor Rule but what is in man, his Light being his onley Law, that is to say, what ever that spirit that dwells within (which they call God within) dictates to them, that ought to be done by them, strengthening themselves with this opinion, That there is no sin but what contradicts a mans own light, (which is a mans only law) and sin is only sin to him that thinks it so, and that there is no hell but that torment that men sustain through crossing their own light (which God knows is nothing but thick darkness) from these principles the desperately wicked & deceitful hearts of men satisfied in their sins, having now their conscience seared with an hot iron, account it their only misery and hell, that they are troubled at any thing, be it never so abominable, thus casting off all trouble and remorse for sin, they follow the law of their own mind, (as they needs must, conceiving their own souls to be the only eternal God) and whatsoever their evil hearts are naturally inclined to, whether Drunkenness, Cursing, Swearing, or Whoredom (although for a time their principles do not put forth such horrid impieties in execution) yet at length being violently hurried on through the assistance of the strong impulsions and restless suggestions and instigations of the devil (the Judgments of God being also heightened upon them) they now commit the same with greediness, and that with such a high hand, as they account it their perfection, and the highest pitch of their glory, to give themselves to such abominations, pleading for them affirming that they have made a League and Covenant with sin, death, and hell, and have communion with God in all these, seeing all these, and what ever evils can be imagined, reconciled to God, and so good, accounting all their actions for good, being acted by their own spirits, which (as they think) are God, saying, that God (but truly not God, but their own accursed spirits) willed that they should curse and swear and be drunk and fill themselves with all uncleanness, which they esteem to be perfect righteousness, calling that holiness and righteousness which consists in a spotless conformity to the Laws of Christ revealed in the Scripture, which curbs the insolency of the flesh, and the lusts of the heart, a plaguy and nasty holiness, which must be destroyed; so that those amongst them, that can with the greatest impudency, without the least check or control of conscience, commit the most horrid abominations (which we tremble to think of) they are the most perfect, and the most swallowed up in the will of God; To justify these their abominations, they say, the Angels of God swear with glory and Majestie, which Angels are God in them (for all created Angels they deny) who therefore may swear as they will, and that with glory and Majesty; Yea so great is their thralldom and captivity, That now the prince of the power of the air, that rules in the hearts of these children of disobedience, hath so far the mastery and dominion over them, as that they are ready, not only to fight against God himself in his spiritual ordinances, but against civil societies, violating the bonds of marriage and Laws of families, against the very principles and light of nature, which common justice (remaining amongst the heathens) would soon adjudge to merit severe punishment; and certainly those that shall thus transgress all civil bonds, do not only lye liable to the just and fearful judgment of God, but justly incur the punishment of the rulers of this world.
Having thus laid open some of the principles, and evil practices of these men, even that root of bitterness, from which such their sinful branches grow; by which every one whose eyes are opened, may discern what a fearful thing it is to leave the Holy Word of God, and give heed to the motions of a deceitful heart, and to the dictates of a lying spirit: We shall now endeavor briefly to make manifest the sandiness, and dangerousness of the foundation whereupon these things are built; which we shall essay to do by proving; That soul of man, is not God, but a creature, created and made by God; which will appear both by Scripture and reason, if you consider.
1. That God is incomprehensible, the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain him, but the soul of man is comprehended and contained in the body.
2. God is Almighty, but the soul of man is not; what ever God will, that he can do; but man desires many things, and hath not power to accomplish them.
3. God knoweth himself, and all things, the secrets of all hearts, things past, present, and to come; but alas! The soul of man knows not the Being of it self, nor of the least creature, he knows not what is done in another house next to him.
4. The soul is made and created, 1 Cor. 15 The first Adam was made a living soul, Jer.38.16. It is written, As the Lord liveth that made us this soul, now to be made and created, argues a beginning, but God is without beginning; therefore the soul cannot be God.
5. God is the God of the spirits of all flesh, Numb. 16.22. there is a spirit in the body, of which God is the Father, Heb. 12.9 which God forms within man, Zech. 12.1 with which spirit the spirit of God bears witness, Rom. 8.16. which plainly proves our spirit or soul to be a creature; the truth of which further appears in that God can destroy the soul, or cast it unto hell fire, Math. 10.28 in that the soul may be converted, Psalm. 19.7 in that it stands in need of deliverance and redemption, Psalm. 13.19 34.22 49.8. But now God cannot be destroyed, neither needs he any redemption at all. By this is it clear that mans soul is not God, and if not his soul much less is his body, that it is subject to such vanity of distempers, and so neither body nor soul. O therefore what a horrid thing it is for men to affirm they are God, that made and created all things, that governs the world, and the like, and to father all their abominations upon the Lord, thinking him to be altogether such a one as themselves are; From hence we may safely conclude.
1. That if the spirit be created by God, and is united to the body, then those actions that are done by the body, are the actions of the man. O how some men fighting against the light, cry out, that it is God in man only that acts, that shall be saved, and the like, whereas it is evident that it is the man that acts, either good things, viz. The man that beleeveth, prayeth, conformeth, and is blessed of God, or it is the man that sins and walks in disobedience, which man is the subject of destruction.
2. That if the spirit be created by God, it must be subject to the will and law of the Creator, we are made by God to shew forth his praise, and by our obedience to declare our selves to be his children, we are not left at liberty to run from God; this was that that involved Adam at first in misery, and still keeps his off-spring in sorrow and confusion.
3. That sin is the defection, variation from, or the transgression of the law of our Creator, and not of our own wills; when we do the things God forbids, or leave undone the things commanded, we sin against God the Lord, the Creator of soul and body.
From the not right understanding of the creatures subjection, and relation unto God, flow also those vain allegorizing of those texts of Scripture that speak of Christ himself. For if we search the Scripture we shall see clearly, that Christ Jesus was not a figure or shadow of a substance to be enjoyed now or hereafter (as these men dream) but the true substantial good it self, the true mediator God and man, the substance of all figures, and shadows under the Law, which was a School-master unto Christ, Gal. 3.24. The Apostle tells us, The administrations under the Law, were a shadow of good things to come, the body or substance whereof was Christ, or was in Christ, now it is against Common sense and reason, that one shadow should type out another, and that as carnal and fleshly as it self, but contrary hereof is most certain, for Moses and Joshua being typical saviours, redeeming the temporal Israel out of Egypt into earthly Canaan, must needs hold out a substantial Saviour, that most effectually shall redeem the spiritual Israel; for saith the Apostle, he is able to save to the uttermost all that come to God by him seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them, Heb. 7.5. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the ending, the first and the last, Rev. 1.18. Who said to John, fear not, for I was dead, and am alive for evermore, Amen: and I have the keys of hell and death. This Jesus is not only true man as touching flesh, but also God over all blessed for ever, or the most high God, Rom. 9.5 John the Baptist testifying of Christ, Iohn 3.31 saith he that cometh from above is above all, and this is true of Christ as touching his Godhead, who is also truly man, soul and body, consisting of a human soul and fleshly body, and that after his resurrection as appears, Luk. 24.39. In reference to the Conjunction of both humane and divine nature, he saith, I lay down my life and I take it up again, as man he died, as God he raised himself from the dead; now that any should be so vile and wretched as to count the ever-blessed Lord, who is the most high and blessed Saviour, a fleshly form and shadow, because according to the infinite wisdom and love of God, he assumed mans nature, that he might thereby become a more fit and suitable Saviour unto them; we are wounded in our souls to think thereof, and tremble to think what hardness of heart, ingratitude and blindness of mind, such souls are given up to; and though they may talk of being above the dispensation of Christ, the Kingdom being in them resigned up to the Father, they say they know not what for before the office of Christs mediatorship ceases, and the Kingdom to be resigned to the Father; the Scripture expressly tells us, all enemies must be subdued under his feet, Psal. 110.1 1 Cor. 15.24,25 Heb. 2.6,7 which is not yet effected, for Christís enemies, viz. The Devil, Sin, Babylon, Anti-Christ, the opposite oppressing civil powers of the world, death, and the grave, and the rule and authority they bear rule with, are not yet wholly by Christ put down, therefore the Office of his Mediatorship still stands in force; Hence we may falsely conclude.
First, That if Christ be a substantial Mediator, truly spiritual, his Gospel then, which he and his Apostles hath declared, is not a bare out ward Relation, History, or carnal Letter, but a spiritual and substantial Truth and Mystery, containing the whole Mind, Will, and Law of God for us and all saints to believe and practice throughout all ages.
Secondly, It must needs be as durable as the Mediator is, for the Law of Christís Priesthood is a durable as the Priesthood it self, the Law depending upon the Priesthood for the change of the Priesthood and Law goes together, and so the Priesthood of old being changed, the Law then, and not till then was it changed, the Law then, and till then was changed also, Geb. 7.18. So when Christís Priesthood is changed, then the Law of that Priesthood, and not till then shall be changed also.
Thirdly, It must also be granted, That the Scriptures which do declare this great mystery of Jesus Christ and his Gospel, be the holy Scriptures, and the infallible Word of God, for it could never have entered into the heart of man to have known or manifested those hidden mysteries, had not God himself by his own Word revealed them from heaven; now the Scriptures are Gods Word, declaring his Mind, making known his Counsel, being able to make the people of God Wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus, being given by inspiration of God, and are profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction, for Instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoughly furnished unto all good works, 2 Tim. 3:15, 16 and therefore not to be slighted and undervalued, as a dead Letter, a History, a carnal empty story. Therefore dearly beloved brethren, we beg and in treat you, and every one that loves his soul, to fear and tremble at the thoughts of slighting and despising Christ and his Gospel, or any one of his laws, or holy Commandments revealed in his Word, for know that God will set his Son upon his holy Hill of Sion, Psa. 2.3 and will call all his enemies that will not have him to rule over them, and slay them before him, He is to be received to rule over us as King, as well as to be an oblation for sin, as he is a Priest and Sacrifice, so also a Prophet and a King, to teach and govern his people, being the author of eternal salvation to all that obey him. Therefore that man that departeth from the way of subjection to Christ in his holy Commandments and Ordinances, refuseth Christ to be his Lord, and King, and judges himself unworthy of eternal life; Wherefore we in tender compassion to your souls, and zeal for the glory of God, do beseech and exhort you, that you still keep the holy commandments, as they were delivered unto you, the you do shew the same diligence to the end (for he that endureth to the end shall be saved) that ye stand fast, and earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the Saints, that no man take your crown from you, and that you take heed that be not led aside with the workers of iniquity, O let none of us dally with the ways of God, lest we be given up to the error of the wicked, even to those horrible delusions before mentioned, for God is a just and holy God. O that God would give his people this wisdom in all Nations to keep his holy Commandments, for holiness becomes his house for ever; O that Gods severity might prevail with all that profess his name, to search their own hearts, least not receiving the truth in the love thereof, they be given up to strong delusions to believe a lye, least they making sin their work and pleasure, God make condemnation to be their wages, and disannulling their league with hell and death, he pull them down from the top of their vanity, whether they have above the heights of the clouds exalted themselves, and laugh at their destruction, and mock when their fear comes.
Ob. But many may be ready to object, that those who have faith into such desperate abominations, were sometimes members of our Congregations, and from thence are apt to contemn our profession, and question whether our way be of God or no, saying, you see what your judgment leads too.
Sol. In answer to this we say,
1. That it is a great mistake to judge that those persons were all of our societies, for this we can clearly evince, that many, if not most of them, were never members with us.
2. Suppose they had been all of us (which yet is not so) yet we say that none may thence reasonably condemn our profession, nor our selves scruple it, as not of God, which we doubt not, but they will confess, if they consider:
1. That from the undeniable truths of God and from the Churches gathered immediately by the holy Apostles themselves (which by all are granted to be the purest) many professors have gone astray, and fallen into great condemnation: Hymeneus, and Alexander made shipwreck of faith, and a good conscience, 1 Tim 1.19 affirming (as many of these in our days do) that the resurrection was past already, destroying the faith of some, 2 Tim. 2.18 several in Corinth denying any resurrection at all, 1 Cor. 15.12 others falling into very great abominations, Jude tells us vers. 4. That there were certain men crept in unawares, before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. To add one instance more for all (John saith) Little children it is the last time, and as you have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many Antichrists, whereby we know it is the last time; they went out from us, but they were not of us. 1 John 2.18, 19.
2. The Spirit of God foreseeing such things should be, that we might not be stumbled when they come to pass, hath expressly foretold them; As to the Elders of Ephesus, Act. 20.28, 29, 30 saith Paul by the Spirit, Take heed to feed the Church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood; for I know this, that after my departing shall grievous Wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock; Also of your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them, so also the Apostle Peter, 2 Pet. 2. 1, 2 &c. There shall be (saith he) false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction, and many shall follow their pernicious or lascivious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of: Jude excites the Saints to remember the words of the Apostles of our Lord Jesus, how they foretold there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts, separating themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit, vers. 17, 18, 19 and from whom shall they separate, but from the true Churches of Jesus Christ, professing the faith of Christ, and being baptized in his name (the Scripture no where approving any other Church, that we read of) Paul also tells Timothy the time would come (and surely those prophesies are now fulfilled) when they would not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts, heap to themselves teachers, having itchy ears, that should turn away their ears from the truth, giving heed unto fables.
3. God in his wisdom permits these things, that those which are approved may be made manifest, and those that seem to be what they are not, may be discovered; for Hypocrites have and will be creeping in the Church (and that no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an Angel of Light) but because they receive not the truth thereof, God sends them strong delusions that they should believe a lye, that they all may be damned, who believe not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness, 2 Thess.. 2.10, 11,12 &c. 1 Jo. 2.18, 19.
4. We cannot wonder that those who draw near to God in the visible profession of his name, being destitute of the power of godliness, do thus fall away: for God will be sanctified in them that draw nigh to him, either in making them conformable to his will to the praise of his grace, or else in discovering their falsehood, hypocrisies and madness, making them dreadful examples of his wonderful severity, to the glory of his Justice. Nadab, and Abihu, for offering strange fire, which the Lord Commanded not, were destroyed by fire from Heaven, Lev. 10.1,2,3. The Lord himself proclaims from heaven, that his ways are righteous, and the just shall walk in them, but transgressors shall fall therein, Hos. 14 ult. The narrow path of the Saints righteous walk, suits not with the licentious principles, & interests of carnal men, and though sinners may be in Sion for a time, yet fear surprises them, & by reason of the purity and brightness of the ways of God, they cannot abide therein, but cast Christís yoke from their necks, because it will not be subservient to their own lusts. A remarkable example of Gods severity against those that sometimes professed the truth, whose hearts were not right before God, we may see in Judas, and in Ananias, and Sapphira, who for lying against the Holy Ghost were suddenly destroyed, to the great fear of all the Churches of Christ: As in nature the corruption of the best tings, is the greatest corruption, so the greater profession men make of the truth, when once they be corrupted, they fall into the grossest abominations. The truth is, for who is it that sins the unpardonable sin, but one that professed the truth of the Gospel, Ion. 1.5,6 Who are those that are twice dead, plucked up by the roots? Except those eminent Professors of the same truth with us have fall foully (which hath been the occasion of much grief to us) yet it hath been hitherto, and we hope ever shall be our care (as they have been by the righteous judgment of God discovered) according to our duty to put them from amongst us, endeavoring to preserve our selves from all iniquity, and not to have fellowship with the unprofitable works of darkness, but rather to reprove them: We conclude this, saying of them that are gone from us, and fallen into such notorious wickedness, as John saith, They went out from us because they were not of us, for if they had been of us, no doubt they would have continued with us, but they went out from us, that they might be made manifest not to be of us.
If any shall judge what we have here declared doth savor of un charitableness, rigidness, censoriousness & bitterness of spirit to them that dissent from us, we desire all such seriously to take notice, that true love and charity is not the soothing of any in their sins, the healing of wounds slightly, the crying peace, peace, when sudden destruction is at hand; it is not the daubing with untempered mortar, but it is a true love to the Truth, and to all for the Truths sake, consisting in plainness and simplicity, engaging us to endeavor the restoring of them that are fallen, to pull them as brands out of the fire, to contend for the faith once delivered to the Saints, to note such persons that walk disorderly, to endeavor the preserving of them that are sound in the faith.
While some men cry out against us for uncharitableness, in crying down sin and sinful practices, O how uncharitable in truth are they, that can suffer God to be dishonored, his Son to be vilified, his Truth trampled under foot, his Ordinances sleighted, and their own and thousands of poor souls in danger of being utterly seduced, to their own destruction, and yet have not a heart to relent for such practices, nor a tongue to plead against them, whereby others might be forwarned of their swift approaching danger; our consciences bear witness, That the honor of God, the love of his Truth, zeal for his Name, and if possible, the saving of souls from death, hath been the prevailing argument with us, thus to express our selves; beseeching the God and Father of our Lord Jesus, that by the same power which raised him from the dead, he would make this instrumental to confirm those who yet abide in the truth, to restore all the simple in heart, who are ready to turn aside from the voice of the true Shepherd, and to sollow strangers, and the cunning sleights and devices of the Destroyer, that walks up and down as a roaring Lion seeking whom he may devour, who hath cast down many wounded, and slain many strong men: And that it may also to all men more fully discover the desperate folly and madness of those, who triumph in their proud imaginations against the Truth and Scepter of the Lord Jesus, that all may clearly see their house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death, lest they, poor souls, through fained speeches, being enticed to yield, and forced through the flattering of their lips, should go after them straightway, As an Ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a Fool to the correction of the stocks, till a dart strike thorough their liver, hasting as Birds to the snare, not knowing that it is for their life; and we by uncharitable silence should become guilty of their blood. Now brethren we commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified, praying that you may stand upon your watch, clothed with the whole amour of God, and that you may be kept blameless, living by faith, until the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, not casting away your confidence, which hath greater recompense of reward; For yet a little while, and he that shall come, will come, and will not tarry. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Subscribed in the Name, and by the Appointment of the
Before mentioned Churches of Christ.
John Spilsbery. William Consett. Tho. Waters. Thomas Patience.
William Kiffen Edw. Drapes. Hen. Forty. John Pearsons
Solomon Saffery. John Vernon. Tho. Young. Ralph Prentice.
Hugh Gosnel. Tho. Vans. John Watson. Joseph Sanson
F I N I S.