The Serpent's Subtlety Discovered: Ambrose Rigge
In a plain answer to a lying scandalous paper, lately come from Leonard Letchford, who calls himself rector of Hurst-Pierpoint in the County of Sussex.
paper is styled, Something drawn up for the good Christian's information, and
the Quaker's edification; in which he goes about to vilify the Quakers, as
much as in him lieth, by slanders and false accusations; and lastly, to charge
them (as his forefathers did Christ) with having a Devil ten particular ways, but
is no more able to make it appear to be truth against the Quakers, than his progenitors
could against Christ and his followers in the days of old: And therefore is his
lies and false accusations returned upon his own head, which may serve for the
universal good, and satisfaction of all honest people, who hath any scruple
left in them concerning the Quakers. From him who is a real friend to all good
Christians, but a living witness against all false accusers and slanderers of
the truth, whose name among men is
And first to his charges.
1. Leon. Letchford sayeth, A Quaker is one whose pride tells him that the pinnacle of the temple is a fitter place for him, than the feet of Gamaliel, one who scorns to be anyone's disciple, yet undertakes to teach all, though he knows neither what he sayeth, nor whereof he affirms.
Answ. This charge is very false against the Quaker, (whom the Lord in the riches of his love and mercy to him) hath brought, both from his pride, and the pinnacle of the temple, and from the feet of such Pharisees as Gamaliel was, Acts 5:34, at whose feet Saul was brought up, who was a persecutor of the servants of God, Acts 22:4, binding and delivering both men and women into prison, as his posterity now doth, who are and hath been brought up at the feet of such Pharisees as Gamaliel was, and are as blind persecutors as ever Saul was, in binding and delivering into prison both men and women, as he did, let all the gaols throughout England be witnesses hereunto.
But the Quakers are brought to the feet of Jesus to learn of him, whose disciples they are; yet are not greater than their Lord, whom the blind Pharisees called the Prince of Devils, Matth. 9:34, Mark 12:24, and so it is no marvel why such as Leon. Letchford calls them of his household after the same name, Matth. 10:25, and as for any man's disciples the Quakers are not, for what they have received hath not been from man, neither were they taught it by them, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ, as Paul testified, Gal. 1:11, 12.
Priest. 2. Charge. Or he is one whose business is to deliver out their own traditions, and new coined truths to the world, rather than to receive the Scripture truths, in the love of them, and so one who hath provoked God to send him strong delusions, and to give him up to believe a lie, that he might be damned.
Answ. As for delivering out our own traditions and new coined truths to the world; this is a most horrid untruth; for that truth which we deliver to the world, is the most ancient upon the face of the earth besides it, even the same word which was from the beginning, by which many are begotten to God, into the faith & fellowship of his own son; this word was before traditions was, & judges them all in whomsoever they appear; this is the ancient truth and faith which was once delivered to the saints, and hath brought the Quakers to receive the Scripture truths in the love of them, by which they see under the sheep's clothing, which such ravening wolves as L. L. hath been so long covered withal, but would not he have called the appearance of Christ in the flesh, in that way and manner of ministration of life, wherein he never appeared before, new coined truths, if he had been in their days, who cried against several things, and changed several things which God commanded and established in the first covenant, as the temple, and the priesthood, and the law, and would he not have called this new doctrine, as the philosophers, epicureans and stoics said of Paul, Acts 17:18. and others in the same nature, who asked if they might know what this new doctrine was whereof he spoke, for they said he brought certain strange things to their ears, others said he seemed to be a setter forth of strange gods, vers. 18, 19, 20, thus they censured him in their carnal dark minds, which led them to call the doctrine of Christ a new doctrine, as Leo. Letchford doth of the same doctrine now preached by Quakers.
Pr. 3. Charge. When you see him in his outward formal, Pharisaical garb, his glittering outside beyond other men, wherein he boasteth not a little, you may look upon the Devil in him transformed into an Angel of light.
Answ. As for outward, formal, Pharisaical garb, and glittering outside, this is all denied by the Quakers, but where the outside is foul, there the inside cannot be clean, for as the tree is, so is his fruit according to Christ's words, Matth. 7. But as for boasting of our glittering outside, this is a false charge, which the Lord will judge thee for, but that righteousness with which we are covered is not of ourselves, but of him who hath covered us with his white raiment, as the spirit of God bears us witness: And because of this is the priest's rage so great against us, even to blood itself; as the same generation was against him, who could never be satisfied till they had his life, of whom all the prophets and apostles gave testimony that he was the Son of God, though the chief priests with the scribes called him a devil; and if the Devil were transformed in us, into an angel of light, we should be more esteemed by L. L. and his brethren, than we are at this day.
Pr. 4. Charge. When he meets with the commands of kings and magistrates, though not contradicted by Scripture, or never so concordant to it, he is that demoniac in the Gospel, and you may look upon the Devil in him as that unruly fiend, who breaks all bonds and chains asunder, and whom no man can tame.
Answ. As for the commands of kings and magistrates, which are not contradicted by the Scripture, or never so concordant to it, our souls are subject unto, not for wrath but for conscience' sake, yea to every ordinance of man, which is for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well, I Pet. 2:13, for which end alone king and rulers were ordained of God; and whosoever resisteth such (as such) resisteth the ordinance of God; but the Devil was not in the three children, who resisted Nebuchadnezzar's command, Dan. 3, when it was contrary to the command of God and his worship, neither was the Devil as an unruly fiend in Daniel, though he resisted the command of Darius the King, Dan. 6.10, when it was matter of conscience to God; that though Darius had established a royal statute, and a firm decree, and signed it; yet Daniel broke it, and prayed to his God, as at other times, though by the king's law he was not to pray, yet he went into his house, and his windows being open, he kneeled down and gave thanks before God, &c. and those men that stirred up Darius against Daniel, assembled together, and found Daniel praying, for which they accused him to the King, so that he suffered, vers. 11, 12, even as many wicked priests hath done against many at this day for praying to God, and worshipping him in their houses, into which they have often entered, and finding the people of God either at prayer, or some other godly exercise, have often accused them, and stirred up the rulers against them, so that they have deeply suffered as Daniel did, and the Devil was not in Mordecai, who disobeyed the command of King Ahasuerus, and would not bow unto Haman, nor do him reverence, Est. 3:23, though the King had commanded it, and his servants urged him daily to do it, yet he hearkened not to them, ver. 4. but worshipped the Lord as he had commanded him, & the Devil was not an unruly fiend in Peter, and the other Apostles who disobeyed the strict command of the rulers, Acts 5:20, 21, and said they ought to obey God rather than man, but if these had been in L. L.'s days, he would have called this rebellion, and an unruly fiend in them, as he doth them that are led by the same spirit; now, though I question not but their souls was subject to the higher power, yea to every ordinance of man, which was ordained of God, for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that did well, as their successors are at this day, neither do I question at all that the rulers aforementioned, would have been so cruel to the above named servants of God, if they had not been stirred up by the blood-thirsty priests, whose weapons in every generation was prisons, furnaces, and such like tortures, upon the bodies of them, whom God raised up to bear witness against their ungodly deeds, as this age hath fully manifested, and when that will not serve, but that they see the Lord delivers them out of all such tortures, then they threaten to cut their throats themselves, as Leon. Letchford hath done within this late years, who is so far from being a minister of Christ, that the Devil cannot make him more like himself, who was a murderer from the beginning, John 8:44.
Pr. 5. Charge. All his doctrines and principles tend to the nourishing and advance of treason, rebellion, and irreligion, take a taste of them. And first, I must tell you, that the name of that outrageous and unruly spirit was Legion, that very Devil that is in the Quakers, because he is many, as he sayeth of himself in the 5. of St. Mark.
Answ. For the truth or falsehood of this charge, I shall leave to the judgement of every judicious man who hath any true knowledge of the Quakers' doctrine & principles, whether it ever nourished (or so much countenanced) treason, rebellion, irreligion or confusion, and whether such things is not daily found among the priests, and their followers take a taste of them. I would fain know who it was that stirred up the whole nation against Charles the I. to treason and rebellion, and cursed all who would not go forth against him, till they had destroyed him, was it the Quakers or the priests in their pulpits, even till they had driven the whole nation into confusion and blood, whose lives was deadly to them while he enjoyed any part of his, who can but set to their seals to the truth of this, that had any understanding in that day, who cried both against the King, and that way of worship he had established by law, to the confounding and overthrowing of that which before they had cried up for Divine service, and then set up another thing, and cried up that for an oracle of God, because it suited with their profit and unrighteous gain, for the preservation of which they were ready to cry up anything whatsoever it pleased men to lay before them; into which Leo. Letchford did creep, and relinquished him called Lord Goring, when he was to suffer for the King (as 'tis said) and would not come at him in the time of his distress, though he had pretended much friendship to him before, when he did put into his mouth; yet when the said Goring was near execution he left him, and sided with Oliver and his party while they could put into his mouth; and now to cover this his treachery, he would accuse others of treason and rebellion, who both are, and ever were clear of such rebellion and confusion, our leader being not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them, Luke 9:56, who hath led us into the life of Christianity, from such blood-suckers, who to satisfy their thirsty stomachs, cannot have any content while their fellow creatures remain undestroyed.
Now to Leonard Letchford's Affirmations.
1. Affirmation. He sayeth the Devil is in the Quaker, an irreligious Devil, taking him off from holy duties, and bids him sit still and wait, give over praying, reading, hearing, and having anything to do with Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord, but expect a voice within him, some extraordinary motions, which he must look upon as Christ the light within him, and which he must follow as his guide, though differing from, and standing in no conjunction with the light contained in the Scriptures.
Answ. That such a spirit is in the Quakers, as to take them off from holy duties, I think the Devil himself might blush to affirm; but as for holy duties, unholy men cannot perform them, whose prayers and ploughing is sin, Prov. 15:8, & 21:4, and therefore that which bids him sit still and wait till the Lord work in him, both to will and to do, of his good pleasure; is not the Devil, but the word of God, Phil. 2:13, for it is good for a man both to hope and quietly to wait for the salvation of the Lord, Lam. 3:26, and the Lord is good to then that wait for him, Prov. 20:22, but if the Devil can get the wicked to make long prayers, and can satisfy them with that while he can keep them in sin and transgression, he knows they are fast enough in his Kingdom, who knows God heareth not the prayers of sinners, as it is written, John 9:31, whose sacrifice is abomination to the Lord; therefore I leave the prudent to judge, whether such prayers were not better to be given over, which can never enter into the ear of the Lord, but is sin before him, but as for baptism and the Supper of the Lord, the Quakers both own and practice, according to the Scriptures, and therefore this is a false charge against them: but may it not be rightly said to be the Devil in L. L. who sends the servants of God to prison for practising of prayer & holy duties, which the Lord hath led them to perform, as he hath done many of late years; and as for any extraordinary motions which the Quakers doth own as Christ in them which differeth from, or standeth in no conjunction with the Scripture, I charge L. L. to produce any such, that the Quakers either own or practise, or else let shame cover his face, from condemning the innocent, without a cause.
Pr. 2. Affirmation. And now he may boldly adventure to become a seducing, and an erroneous devil having drawn him from the rule which is the written word which he calls sometimes the declaration of the mind of God, I suppose he means to other men, who are in darkness, he calls the Quakers to have recourse to some voice within him, which was Saul's delusion, I verily thought, that I might do many such & such thing, Acts 26. & to attend upon some new revelations and declarations of the mind of God, which he hath not given to other men, and which are not contained in that dull and dark lantern of the Scriptures, as they esteemed it, if this Devil play (as he doth with the Quaker) may not the dreams of St. Francis, and St. Anthony, the Revelation of St. Bridget, and St. Katharine, come to be of higher esteem; and to be preferred before the Scriptures, Popery, Popery, is not this making way for unwritten traditions, a bringing them into credit, to the slighting of the written word of God.
Answ. As for the Devil, being a seducing erroneous spirit, this hath been his practice many ages, having drawn both the priests and their followers from the life and power of God in Christ Jesus, which only redeems out of Satan's kingdom; but as for drawing the Quakers, from the rule of righteousness or the word of God, this he neither is, nor I hope shall never be able to do; for it is the sword of the Spirit; by which we have and do quench all his fiery darts, which either he or any of his ministers, hath or can shoot against us, but where dost thou read of a written word to be the rule, if thou canst prove such a word by the Scriptures bring it forth now because: thou hast urged that so often to make us odious, who cannot call the Scripture that which it doth not call itself, but a declaration we can truly call it, because the holy men of God did so call it, as thou mayest read, Luke 1:1, 2, which plainly demonstrates, that the Scriptures, or writings of the holy men of God from the beginning was called a declaration; And the word was God, John 1:1. And Christ who was one with his Father, his name was called the word of God, Rev. 19:13. And the Bereans were noble because they received the word, and then searched the Scriptures, Acts. 17:11, which again makes a manifest difference between the word and the writings which was first received before they could rightly search the Scriptures, for if we had not received the word of God, and thereby searched the Scriptures, we could not have found out the deceivableness of the priests, so much as we have done. And as for the Devil calling the Quaker to some voice within him, this was never the Devil's call, but the call of God, as thou mayest read, Deut. 39:13, 14. And it was not the word of the Devil in Paul who said the righteousness of faith sayeth, the word is nigh thee, even in thy heart & mouth, that thou mayest hear it & do it, Rom. 10:6, 7, 8, here he called them to a voice within as God called Moses, as I have showed above: & it was not the Devil that led Paul to say Christ spoke in him, 2 Cor. 13:3, whose voice he both heard, and exhorted others to hear. And to say that that was the light within Saul when he said, I verily thought, &c. this is an absolute lie, for that was the same Spirit of darkness and delusion, which now leads his successors to think they do good service in persecuting the Church of Christ and the members of it, who follows their evil thoughts, as he did, but when he came to know the true light, word, and power of God, this brought into captivity every thought unto the obedience of Christ, as he himself affirmed, 2 Cor. 10. 5, and then instead of being a persecutor, he was persecuted by them who followed their evil thoughts, and among such who now follows their evil persecuting thoughts, instead of the true light of Christ Jesus, the imaginations of their own brain, is more esteemed than the sound truths, declared in the Scriptures, and as for St. Francis, St. Anthony and Bridget, I know no such saints; but if they follow their own dreams & imaginations, it is but as the priests doth at this day, who sets up that from Scripture, which bears no testimony unto it, which is but near Popery in the ground, though covered with a more fair cloak.
Pr. 3. Affir. He is in the Quaker a proud supercilious uncharitable, censorious devil, to cloak and colour, which he gives him leave to be outwardly and in show a reserved, and humble, and grave, and abstemious, and abounding with sanctimony, and self-denial, is the most religious monk or hermit, or the strictest votary in the Church of Rome, that he is not in lewdness like other men, there lieth the foundation of his spiritual pride, if he had not this boast of the Devil, could not hope to make him half so like himself, who is the king of pride, though he never wore ribbons, nor lace, nor bandstrings to judge, and censure, & condemn all men, who are not in their way, by calling themselves the blessed of the Lord, the followers of the Lamb, the counsel and nobility of the royal seed, is such a piece of diabolical pride, and uncharitableness, the Devil were a very fool, should he not be willing to give them the glory of that deep humility and self-denial, as the renouncing of a hatband, a pair of cuffs, and a bandstring.
Answ. Was that a proud, supercilious, uncharitable, censorious devil in John, who said, we know we are of God, & the whole world lieth in wickedness, I John 5.19. & was their grave humbleness & abounding with sanctimony & self-denial to be judged as L. L. would judge the Quakers, whose light so shines before men, that the worst of their enemies cannot but see & acknowledge to their good works; yet the Devil having no just occasion against them, that way to satisfy his malice, to make them odious, would brand them with spiritual pride, or liken them to the strict votaries in the Church of Rome thereby to cast dirt in their faces, for which God will them judge. But as for the Church of Rome, time may manifest, whether the priests or the Quakers are more like to her in principle & practice, who are already so near concordant that one can scarce discern the difference, but only the strictness of the one, & the lasciviousness of the other is the chiefest difference, that at present appears between them, but as for the Quakers, they are hated and persecuted of both, who deals proudly, censoriously, & uncharitably with them, & would cut their throats, if they durst, their malice is so great against them; and as for diabolical pride & uncharitableness to the advancing of which (as thou sayest) the Devil were a very fool, should he not be willing to give them the glory of that deep humility, &c. our humility & self-denial stands in that which judges the ground of all superfluity whether of cuffs, band-strings, or any other things which is needless, or superfluous, and of this the Devil doth not give us the glory, but odium and contempt because of the power of God which hath struck at the ground both of those & many more great evils which hath and doth torment him, and destroy his Kingdom, which hath long stood in the superfluity of naughtiness, both in the Church of Rome, and elsewhere, and because the daughters of Zion walked in such a superfluity, the Lord sent his plagues and judgements upon them, as thou mayest read, Isa. 3:16, to the end; and the Apostle forbade such superfluity and costly array, Tim. 2:9, and yet was not a votary of the Church of Rome, nor had his glory from the Devil, as L. L. would charge the Quakers withal, and as for censuring such evils, woe unto us if we should justify that which God never did, and now doth so manifestly condemn.
Pr. 4. Affirmation. He is in the Quaker an uncivil, unmannerly devil, shows as little honour or respect to the greatest Prince or Ruler on earth, as he doth to the meanest person, these are like to have much from him, when he denieth him the cap and the knee, and the bowing of the body, he salutes other men whom he meets, as brute beasts do one another, by staring in the face, and passing by, plays the dumb devil, unless a thing he calls a priest in derision come in his way, and then he is an everlasting, prating, bawling, railing devil.
Answ. If the Devil be uncivil and unmannerly (as no doubt he is) he is manifested in none more than in L. L. whose nasty, uncivil, unmannerly words and actions hath far exceeded all the hirelings about him, as I can produce under his own hand in many particulars, that insomuch that he being on a certain day in the house where Sarah Welsh lives, in Hurst, he used such uncivil expressions, that she desired her children to go out of the room, last they should learn such evil communications which corrupt good manners, as the Apostle sayeth, 1 Cor. 15:33, who strictly forbade it, Eph. 4:29: though this is not the hundredth part of his uncivil, unmannerly words and actions, which hath proceeded from him, which might turn the hearts of any civil man from him, who appears more like a mountebank upon a stage, than a minister of the Gospel.
But as for our showing as little respect or honour to the greatest prince on earth, as to the meanest person, in denying them the cap and the knee, and bowing, &c., it is confessed we cannot respect men's persons for their gold rings, nor gay clothing, for then we should commit sin, and be convinced by the Law of God, as transgressors. According to the words of Jam. 2:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, For we say how can such believe who receive honour one of another, because Christ said so, John 5:44, & we know there is no respect of persons with God, Eph. 6:9, & many more instances might be produced, but yet we honour all men in the Lord, & if any prince or ruler upon earth rule well, he is worthy of double honour, which was never withheld from them by the Quakers, though they could not respect their persons with cap and knee, it being a heathenish invention & not commanded not practised by any Christian under the Gospel, but forbidden. And as for brute beasts, often when they meet one another in the fields, they bow their heads one to another, as the heathen do, who bow and cringe with cap and knee one to another, while they are inventing mischief in their hearts one against another. And as for the Quakers standing in people's faces, and especially on the priests, at whom L. L. sayeth the Devil in them, is an everlasting railing brawling Devil, would not he have said the same of Paul, who set his eyes on Elymas, & said, O thou full of all subtlety & mischief, thou child of the Devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, &c., Acts 13:8, 9, 10, would not L. L. have called this an everlasting, prating, railing, bawling devil, in Paul, I leave this also to the prudent to judge of, whether the Quakers or Priests practice in this thing also is more concordant to the Scripture.
Pr. 5. Affirmation. He is in the Quaker a covetous, fraudulent, sacrilegious Devil, withholding that tenth part from the owners of it, which given by the piety or superstition of former times, he can never make appear to be his own by any Law of God or man.
Answ. This charge hath no more truth in it than the former, nor not so much, whose ox or ass have the Quakers coveted, or whom have they defrauded of anything which is their just and proper right; but if L. L. count it sacrilege to withhold tithe from a hireling priest, they are guilty of that though he himself questions whether it was given by the piety or superstition of former times, yet however it must be counted sacrilege to withhold it, though neither he nor any of his can ever make it appear by the Scriptures to be theirs, but if it could so be proved, they have robbed this whole nation in not bringing it into a store-house, & with it relieving the stranger, fatherless & widows, for which end it was ordained of God, Deu. 14:29, Mal. 3:9, 10. What a nation would this be, if the tithes were put to that use for which they were ordained of God, in the time of the Levitical priesthood, but if these priests should so do as they are far enough from it, yet they must deny Christ to be come in the flesh who was the end of that law & priesthood that took tithes, & changed both, Heb. 7:12, & so show themselves Antichrists, as they are, I John 4:3. So that the ministers of the true Gospel were content with Christ's allowance, which was food and raiment, and did not covet after the gift of the Levitical priesthood, but since their days the Pope hath converted it to another use, which the Lord never ordained it for; and therefore to withhold it from them who have no right to it by the law of Gospel is not sacrilege, but a true testimony of the coming of Christ, who ends the law and that priesthood also, & offers up the ninths & tenths also to the Lord who gave it, is not to uphold such who are called of men master, & stand praying in the synagogues, & loves the uppermost rooms at feasts, going in long robes, & love greetings in marketplaces, which Christ the son of God cried many woes against, Matth. 23.
Pr. 6. Affirmation. He is in the Quaker a rebellious, traitorous devil, denying the King his supremacy in things spiritual, in things appertaining to the worship and service of God, such of time, place, gesture, conducing to the more comely and decent ordering of it, & having proudly, and perversely, fettered and hampered himself, is resolved to admit of no other bond or obligations, than those of his own humours and fancies have laid upon him.
Answ. As for the King's supremacy, let them answer to whom it concerns, but we are neither fettered, nor hampered, unless by the prisons, and fetters which the Devil and L. L. hath laid upon us, for the trial of our faith and patience, according as it was foretold, Rev. 2:10.
Pr. 7. Affirmation. He is in the Quaker an absurd, senseless, stoical devil, affirming that a man is not to make resistance, so much as to defend himself, if any other come to take his purse or his coat from him, it is likely he will say, if any come to pull the King's crown from his head, or his sceptre out of his hand, an excellent encouragement, to thieves, rogues, rebels, and traitors, what preys and booties would the Quakers (who for the most part have little or nothing) make, could they fool men into their doctrine and persuasion.
Answ. if it be an absurd, senseless, stoical devil, to affirm that a man is not to make resistance, &c. then Christ's doctrine was such, who said unto his disciples, resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on the one cheek, turn the other, and if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also, Matth. 5:39, 49, and Christ said unto him that smiteth thee one the one cheek, offer also the other, and him that taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also, Luke 6:29. Now this I leave to the judgement of every judicious man, whether this is an absurd, senseless doctrine of Christ or no, or whether if L. L. had been in Christ's days when he preached this doctrine, he would not have called him an absurd, senseless, stoical devil, for affirming this, yea, or nay? and have told him this doctrine was an excellent encouragement to thieves, rogues, and rebels, and have said what preys & booties would he (who had not whereon to lay his head in the world) make, could he fool men into his doctrine and persuasion, as L. L. now sayeth of the Quakers, who if they have little or nothing of the world, it is because such ravenous wolves as he hath devoured their outward substance, by spoiling their goods and casting their bodies into prison, which was never the practice of Christ nor his ministers, but of the Devil and his, as before is showed.
Pr. 8. Affirmation. That he is in the Quaker a trifling, piddling, ridiculous devil putting them upon the dispute of good English, thou or you, the tenth hour, the ninth month, about bells, hour-glasses, ribbons, and band-strings, to take them from weightier matters.
Answr. This the very school-masters, throughout the nation, of England will condemn, who instructeth youth, to put a difference between singular and plural, Tu and Vos, and would count it ridiculous indeed in any boy learning his Accidence, to say Vos, to a single person, it being false in matter and manner; yea, it would be laughed at by the very Greeks and Jews, who speaks thou to one, and ye to many, which is sound truth, and is testified throughout the Scripture; therefore, L. L. I send thee to thy Accidence again, to read there, whether it be a trifling, piddling, ridiculous devil, that makes a difference between singular and plural, as thou wouldst make the Quakers, for speaking good English: and as for the tenth hour, the ninth Month, &c. was not this the language of S. Matthew 20:5, 6, 9 & 27:45, 46; Mark 15:25, 33; John 1:39; all these called the ninth hour, and the tenth hour, and yet was not piddling, nor ridiculous Devils; and the holy men of God did not call the months after the Heathens' invented names, as L. L. and his brethren doth, but called them the first month, Gen. 8:13; second month, II Chron. 30:2; third month, Ezek, 31:1; the fourth month, Ezek. 1:1; the fifth month, Num. 33:38; the sixth month, Luke 7:26; the seventh month, Gen. 8:4; the eight month, Zech. 1:1; the ninth month, Ezek, 10:9; the tenth month, Gen. 8:5; the eleventh month, Zech. 1:7; and the twelfth month, Esth. 3:13. Now L. L. bring us forth any other names that the months hath in the Scriptures, canst thou prove March, April, May, by the Scriptures? is it not a piddling, ridiculous Devil in thee, to condemn others for slighting the Scripture, who are found more according to it than thyself, who in all thy words, writings, & actions, one can scarce find one thing of a hundred that is concordant to the Scripture, but either blundering in an heathenish, Popish invention or another, to the slighting of the holy Scriptures, whereby that charge which thou wouldst lay so heavy upon others, falls the heaviest upon thy own head, and there shall rest till thou clear thyself, both of this and many more evils, of which thou art deeply guilty.
Pr. 9. Affirmation. He is in the Quaker an atheistical devil, whose doctrines and endeavours read to the destruction of Christianity, witness his daily work which is to render the ministers and teachers and pastors of the people, odious and contemptible to them, using all the means they can to draw them from having anything to do with them, or their Ministry, laying down this for a conclusion, that none ought to pay them, but those that hear them, those that partake of their wares and commodities, which if men were left free to do, I would know whether (to save their purses) they do not believe that the first thing that they conceive, nineteen parts of a nation (if divided into twenty) would do, would not be to resolve never to hear a sermon more, doth not the atheistical devil (in the Quaker) put on fair to make an atheistical people.
Answ. One would think the Devil himself might blush at this to leave his minister at Hurst so naked and contemptible in the fight of God & the whole nation, what now Leonard, hast thou preached so long with the rest of thy brethren, till you have begat the whole nation into covetousness like yourselves, that the nineteenth part (to save their purses if left free) would resolve never to hear you more? it now appears you have run, and the Lord hath never sent you, so that you have not profited this people at all, as the Lord by the prophet foretold of you, Jer. 23:21, 22, who hath not turned them out of covetousness which is idolatry, Col. 3:5. It seems God hath given little increase to your planting & warring this many hundred years, that at the last you must force wages out of their hands, it is a signal token that God hath opened their eyes to see how long they have spent their money for that which is not bread, and how you have made merchandise of them, through covetousness, as the Apostle foretold of you, 2 Pet. 1:2, 3. And now they will buy your traffics no more, which day is hastening upon you, & will overtake you as a thief in the night, and if you were not atheistical ministers indeed, you would make them satisfaction fourfold, whom you have thus wronged. And where did Christ's ministers exact or desire wages of them, who did not hear them, and receive of their spiritual, nay where do any shop-keepers through this nation, force his commodities upon any who do not like it, though his shop-doors stand open daily to sell, yet if any man do not like it, he may go to the next and please himself, & that shop-keeper do not sue him at the law as the priests do for money, who do not affect his wares, and goes to another, nay it were against reason for him so to do, yet at such things the priests cannot blush, whose unreasonable exaction far exceeds all other merchants beside themselves.
Pr. 10 and last Affirmation. That we may not deny the Quakers their tenths, though they grudge us ours; He is in the Quaker a discontented blundering devil, not knowing how to draw up his charge against a thing called priest, so as to make both ends hang together; if among these he meet with any who are blameworthy, and I could wish he meet with fewer whom he might justly blame, though he seem to be troubled at any kind of transgression, yet what pleasure doth he take in the treading awry of the foot of any such servant of the Lord, if there be anything of trouble in him, it is not because he finds such as do amiss, but because he find no more iniquity in them, to open his black mouth against them, if among those he meets with, whose conversation seems in the eye of the world to be as unblameable as the most arrogant Pharisee among them, then they cry out of them for their well-doing, for what the law of God and the light within them (their own rule) guides them to, such as the obeying the just commands of superior powers, this they must forbear to do for fear of being clamoured against, for those that stir up the rulers of the people against them, when we know nothing better or more becoming us, than to stir up such to be zealous in the cause of God, and in the maintaining of his true, worship, and service, how shall we ever credit that discontented, contradiction, spirit, that rules in the Quakers, who sends us to be guided by the light within us, & rails against us, for doing what this tells us we are bound to do.
By this it seems L. L. hath reserved nine of the Devils to himself
aforementioned, and hath sent that to the Quakers, which he calls a discontented
blundering devil, which had been as fit for him to have reserved to himself, as
the other nine, not knowing how to draw up his charge against them which he
cannot do, without manifesting, the blundering devil which rules in him, which
leads him to give forth such a loathsome dish, that the very sight thereof were
able to turn the stomachs of all honest men, both against it & the maker of
it, but to draw up a charge against a priest, is the easiest thing of a thousand,
& to make the ends meet together is no hard thing, the scroll will be so
long. For by the time their covetousness, pride, drunkenness, thievery, whoredom,
& rebellion, be measured, with their luxury, murder, & cruelty, which
is so manifest to all men, that there is scarce a county throughout this nation,
in which there is not hundreds, which can draw up volumes against them, their actions
are grown so foul & odious, that the ends will so meet together, that he
that is half blind may fasten them together. But as for the Quakers taking pleasure
in the priests' iniquity that is a very lie, for their iniquity hath made many
of their hearts sad, whom the Lord hath not made sad, and hath grieved the
Spirit of the Lord, till the earth is ready to spew them up; therefore let all
people take heed of partaking with them in their sins, lest they partake of
their plagues. But L. L. when didst thou hear of any of the Quakers, cry out
against any one for their well-doing, but if thou call the stirring up the rulers
to persecute and imprison, the innocent well-doing, that is cried against by
the Spirit of God throughout the Scripture, for it was always the practice of
the blood-thirsty priests so to do, which Christ and his Apostles cried many
woes against. And I charge thee to mention where ever the cause of God or his
worship was defended by such weapons in all the time of the Gospel, though all
power in heaven and earth was committed to the Son, yet he never gave such
authority to any of his ministers to inflict any corporal punishment upon any
for not receiving his doctrine, or whereby to defend the cause of God, which he
and his ministers pleads with the loss of their lives, if thou canst produce
any, bring it forth; if not, for shame give over calling it the cause of God, lest
the blundering devil in thee appear unto all men, not to be able to make the
ends meet either by Scripture or by good reason, what he hath led thee to give
forth under thy hand, and so put all people out of credit of that spirit that
cannot defend itself, without sending men to prison, and when that will not serve
to aggravate the rulers against them, to add afflictions to their bonds, &
when all that will not do, to threaten to cut their throats, as L. L. hath done,
to his own confusion: and as for the Quaker sending men to a light within them,
and railing against them for doing that which it tells them they are bound to
do; what now Leonard, didst not thou say in the second page of thy pamphlet, that
the voice within was Saul's delusion which led him to persecute? and doth thou
confess it tells thee thou art bound to stir up the rulers, &c. is not
Saul's spirit (by thy own confession) thy leader to this, and not the true
light of Christ Jesus, and dost thou so confess and affirm that the voice
within was Saul's delusion, and yet confesseth at last thou harkens to this
voice, and doth that which it tells thee thou art bound to do; here the Devil
hath manifested himself to be a confused, contradictory, blundering Devil
indeed, who hath let thee fall so foul at last, for by thy own confession, it
is Saul's delusion leads thee to persecute the servants of the living God, and
therefore thy conversion, and not thy destruction, is the hearty prayer of him,
who wishes no. hurt to thy body nor soul, who is called
Written the 15th day of the 12th Month called February, in the year 1663.
Being a short Answer to what L. L. hath written to my Book called the Standard; &c.
First. He asked what need had Ambrose to have been at so much cost and pains, to tell people what they knew him to be before; a juggler, a mountebank, an empiric, a quacksalver, a liar, a locust sent out of the bottomless pit, &c.
Answ. Is not the railing, bawling devil he condemns before in the Quakers now fully manifest in himself? Is this the Scripture language, or where hath he any such language from the Quakers? and if L. L. doth not prove Ambrose to be such a one as here he charges him to be; doth not also the discontented blundering devil appear in him, that cannot tell how to draw up a charge against A. R. to make both ends meet without going one in aggravation with us, to make A.R. appear worse than he is, as he did at the assizes at Horsham, or else neither judge not country will think so ill of him as L. L. would they should.
The said L. L. charges A. R. with foisting in the word committing of sin, whereby
he seeks to darken that which God hath brought to light; but as for the query I
took it (verbatim) out of his first paper under his own hand, which if I
show, this cloak must off also, but if not, his false reformation of the query will
sufficiently manifest him unto all who is not blind, for John sayeth whosoever abideth
in him sinneth not, whosoever sinneth hath not seem him nor known him, John 3:6,
whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed remains in him, and he
cannot sin, because he is born of God, I John 3:9, which overthrows the priest's
query in his new modelled sense, and again whosoever is born of God sinneth not,
but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth
him not, I John 5:18. Now Leonard what better are thou than before, dare no man
challenge any perfection but sinning while they are upon the earth, what sayest
thou to these Scriptures.
But here again is not the everlasting, railing, bawling devil fully manifest in thee who cannot write a sentence without manifesting him. Here again thou callest Ambrose renowned hocus pocus, and calls his late printed book tagrag and rigrag, which is more like the language of the mountebank than a minister of Christ. But what is lately printed in that book, will forever stand as a true witness against L. L. unless he repent, and whether this nasty, scandalous paper be not fitter to be buried in a kennel, than counted an answer to the book, I leave to the serious consideration of all sober men who see both.
And instead of answering my 34 Scripture queries, by which the Devil is struck dumb at last, to evade this thou dost pretend, it would be my query, though it is thy own, who was the first founder of Gotham, and who was the first wise man of Gotham, and what was his name Ambrose or Thomas, which manifests thou carest no more answer my queries which are taken out of the Scriptures, than answer these nasty questions which are so far from Scripture queries, that they are not fit once to be mentioned amongst good Christians, thou art far from the wisdom of Solomon, and as far from his companion, though thou wouldst intrude thyself with him, and make him company for thee to carry on thy deceivableness of unrighteousness which the Lord's band is turned against.
And whereas thou sayest man's blessedness, lieth rather in having his unrighteousness hid, and his sins covered, than in not falling into sin.
This is equivalent for he whose sin is forgiven, hid and covered, he is cleansed
from it, and falling into it, by the blood of Christ without which nothing can
ever hide, cover, or blot it out, Acts 3:19, 1; John 1:17, before
which, he that covers his sins shall not prosper, but he that confesseth and
forsaketh them, shall find mercy: Prov. 18:13. So that still man's
perfection and blessedness consisteth in being cleansed from all sin, and from
falling into sin without which they cannot be covered nor hid.
One thing more I mind in thy postscript, where the murdering Devil appears on thee again, wherein thou sayest that Ambrose is not perfect, to which nothing can be added, but something may be added to Ambrose, (ergo) there may be added to him a certain thing called Help(?), pretending several lies and false accusations to cover this murdering Spirit, who would have others send me to the gallows; and when they do it not, would add one thing more to make me perfect, viz. a knife to cut my throat, as thou had already threatened me, but how this will stand in the day of the Lord's account, I leave it to him to plead with thee, to whom vengeance belongs, who will repay it into thy bosom, if he give thee not speedy repentance, and I leave thee naked to the eye of every judicious man, without any cloak for thy sin.