Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
The following list of references are not meant to be exhaustive, merely representative. Most are organized by stating a principle (P.) and an answer (A.). Other places have an objection (O.) and answer. These are mostly passages from Fox's answers to anit-Quaker tracts and books.
I promised Jim Wilson that I would include some quotes from Lewis Benson. Those will appear in a separate posting. This one is a bit long as it is.
vol. iii, p. 152
P. He saith, ' They lay in wait to deceive, who call the breaking of bread carnal,' page 18.
A: We cannot say that the outward bread is spiritual, the bread which perisheth is carnal; and we say Christ is the bread which is spiritual, and they deceive people who say outward bread is spiritual, and not carnal.
vol. iii, p.173
P. Simpson saith, ' If my heart deceive me not, I could wish that God would recover you out of the devil's snare.' See page 40. And ye speak of breaking of bread, and ordinances, and the Lord's supper, and baptism.' See page 35.
A. The prayers of the faithful that are in the spirit, are acceptable; but he that doubts, knows not his own heart, and prays without discerning, being out of that which purifies it. And for baptism, and ordinances, and the Lord's supper, and the bread that the saints broke, ye have all been ignorant of them in this night of apostasy since the days of the apostles. Paul told the Corinthians, what he had received of the Lord, he delivered unto them; and as oft as they did eat that bread, and drink that cup, they did show forth the Lord's death till he came,' and they were to do it in remembrance of him. And afterwards the apostles wrote again to the said Corinthians, and told them, 4 the light that shined in their hearts would give them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus;' and said, while we look not at things that are seen, but at things that are not seen: for the things that are seen are temporal, (bread, wine, and water are seen,) but the things that are not seen are eternal.' And bids them examine themselves, and prove their own selves, and said, Know ye not that Christ Jesus is in you, except you be reprobates?'
vol. iii, pp. 199-200
P. He saith, ' It is an error of such as leave water baptism, and breaking of bread,' &c. page 38.
A. Doth not the apostle bring people off those things that are seen ? And are not outward water and outward bread the things that are seen? And are not these things temporal, though in their places and service they are owned. But they who come into the baptism of the spirit, come into that in which the other ends, the greater. For many came to John; but when they should have come to receive Christ the light, which doth enlighten every man, &c. they stood against him, as you do now. And Christ told them they received 'honour one of another,' as you do now, (a mark of the unbeliever,) and the love of God was not in them, and the word of God was not abiding in them; and they had never heard the voice of God, nor seen his shape at any time. And there are you, like the Jews, whose table is a trap, sticking in the outward things, standing against the light that doth enlighten every man that cometh into the world, and so stumbling at the corner stone, elect and precious. But it is fallen upon your heads; and will grind you to powder; fight, bustle, and do all that you can, it is upon you, and all your compliments will do you no good. And none seek the honour that comes from above, but who are in the light that doth enlighten every man, &c. And none honour the son, but who are in the light that comes from him, though they have all the scriptures, as the Pharisees had in their age.
vol. iii, p. 207
P. He saith, 'The light in the conscience that takes them from the law of God, is the light of satan.'
A. The light, Christ, in the conscience is the end of the law for righteousness' sake. And that which keeps men from that which doth end the law, is not the doctrine of the true apostles, but the false.
And the light which doth enlighten every man that cometh into the world,' which is the substance, leads men off from all types, and figures, and signs: who come to enjoy him, enjoy the end; who come off from all outward elements, as bread and wine, and such things, to the substance itself, to look at things that are not seen. For things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal.'
vol. iii, p.273
P. He saith, 'Bread and wine are spiritual institutions, and are not carnal in a sense as set in opposition to spiritual institution: and that is not mere carnal bread and wine after Christ's institution to be used, nor an ordinary bread and wine.' And he saith, In the Lord's supper is Christ's body, and it is his blood,' page 188. And ' this is my body and blood, the word of a command is, do this,' page 191. And 'Christ fed not the souls with wheat bread, and red wine,' &c.
A. By all this what differ ye from the Papists? have not ye laid their foundation, and laid their ground? Bread and wine, are but bread and wine, temporal things, things seen, and may turn to ashes; but the body and blood of Christ will not do so. And bread is not spiritual, and wine is not spiritual, but are things seen and visible. And who eats the flesh of Christ, and drinks his blood, ' hungers no more, and thirsts no more;' but who eats temporal bread and wine, hungers more, and thirsts more.' And Christ did say, as often as ye do eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye show the Lord's death till he come.' And that which the apostle had received of the Lord, he delivered to the Corinthians. 'As often as they ate that, and drank that, they were to do it in remembrance of him, showing the Lord's death till he come.' But then saith the same apostle to the same Corinthians, in his last epistle, Examine yourselves. Know you not that Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates ?' And said, while we look not at the things which are seen; for the things that are seen are temporal.' So bread and wine are things that are seen, are things temporal, 'but the things that are not seen, are eternal.' Now bread and wine, are but bread and wine, not spiritual after consecration; it is but the same bread that it was before, and is no nearer the body of Christ after they have consecrated it, than it was before. Who is in the life and power of God, that gives every creature its being, and causeth every creature to come forth, is in the life and virtue of all creatures, and the being of all creatures, and the wisdom of all the creation, that is spiritual. He that giveth every creature its being, and causeth every creature to come forth, and gives the sense and feeling of all creatures, is spiritual. And here the soul comes to be known, and the seed Christ, and his body, and his blood.
vol. iii, p. 318
P. And whereas thou sayst, 'They had eaten the bread of Christ, and they had turned the heel against Christ.' And thou sayst, The Quakers, some notionists, and others, are against it.'
A. Our rest is in Christ the body, that ends the shadow, that ends the signs, who is the substance of the shadows and signs, and those notionists are such as thyself, and so the saints' rest is in the substance Christ, the end of the signs and shadows, who was before the sign was, the day was, in him is rest. Here all men rest from their works, ' and every soul that believes hath entered into his rest,' and hath come from shadows, signs, and types into the body, Christ, that ends them, and holds the head, and is out of the will-worship, worshipping of angels, and satisfying the flesh; for such as do these things are blinded as concerning the body, and come to be judged about the days, and they hold not the head, as they do who are come to the body and head, Christ Jesus, to whom all angels bow. For they that neglect the body will satisfy the flesh, and live in signs, and shadows, and will-worship, and worshipping of angels, and intrude into those things they never saw, who come to be judged in respect of days, which are but shadows. And such as are in those things satisfy the flesh, and keep themselves from the body, Christ, and hold not the head; and they that will rest in a shadow after the substance, the son of man, the Lord of the sabbath, is come, will rest in that which decays, and it is a false rest.
vol. iii, p. 327-328
P. Thou sayst, The sabbath is mentioned with new moons, and sacrifices; that the actions, baptism, and breaking of bread, are the signs of a Christian sabbath; it is high presumption to alter the word of God, in calling every day the Lord's sabbath, and honouring any other day as the sabbath. So if we be followers of God, as dear children, and take the spirit to be our guide, we must honour the sabbath with all holy devotion.'
A. The sabbath is mentioned with new moons and sacrifices, but the apostle says they were shadows of good things to come; when this is come, which was before the shadows were, which is the body, Christ, who was before days, new moons, or sacrifices were, the body, who be in that ends them all: and to that the apostle brought people, and not to the days. Now there were some brought them to observe days, and he was afraid of them that did observe them, and he brought them to the body, Christ, to whom all the angels did bow; for they that observe days, new moons, and sabbaths, and are worshipping of angels, neglecting the body, which is Christ, and this was for the satisfying of the flesh. And now what art thou satisfying,who art teaching to observe days, signs, and shadows, which the apostle brought people off, to the body, and to the head, Christ Jesus ? and to worship God in spirit, and brought them into that that ended all shadows; for the devil will lurk in a shadow, or a type, or a sign, or figure, and creeps into those things, after the substance is come, to keep people from the body, and will persecute such as will not bend to the shadow, and come from the substance. And breaking bread, and baptism, are no sign of the sabbath day, of the Jewish sabbath day. The sabbath was a figure of the rest, and sanctification of the creation; and breaking of bread among the saints was a figure of the bread, Christ, of which the saints eat, and live for ever. And the word of God cannot be altered, and the word of God cannot change; man may alter, but the word of God'cannot be altered, but abides and lives for ever.
And the saints who come to the body, Christ, come to honour him who ends the sabbath, which is a sign, and a shadow; and such honour God the Redeemer and Creator, and Christ, by whom all things were created and made. And who are the dear children of God the apostle speaks of, he did not bring them into days, and to observe sabbaths, and signs, but brings them to the body, Christ, the Lord of the sabbath; and doth not set up that which thou calls devotion, in holding up the Jewish sabbath, on which they should rest, and which was a sign; the rest of the creation, and the rest of all mankind, cattle, and beasts; that God would restore and redeem all things by Christ, who is the word, and gives rest; and is the sanctification, and gives rest to the whole creation.
vol. iii, p. 345
P. They say, that there is not any heaven within, into which the man Christ is ascended; nor can any man contain a man four foot long?'
A. Christ is a mystery, and is not he to be revealed within, who is a mystery? he who did ascend to be revealed and made manifest in his saints, in flesh and spirit, he that did descend; who is now manifested, that the world wonders at, who is ascended far above the heavens, who is the saints' life, living bread, and drink. And where ever used the ministers of Christ any such expressions as thou dost ? which shows that Christ is yet to thee a mystery.
P. Christians must attend upon God's ordinances and sacraments, to know their duty toward their neighbour, which sacraments are the seal of the covenant.'
A. The apostles tell us of no such signs or sacraments, nor such words; but that which fulfils law is Christ the son of God, which brings man to do his duty towards God, and towards his neighbour.
P. There are two sacraments, and the covenant of grace is to all that believe and receive Christ; and the two sacraments are baptism and the Lord's supper, which are visible signs.'
A. The scripture doth not any where call them visible signs, nor sacraments; and the covenant of grace is to all, whether they believe, or do not believe; receive, or do not receive; and the scripture doth not call baptism and the Lord's supper sacraments.
P. Because infants of the Jews were circumcised, therefore are children baptized: Christ hath ordained this sacrament of bread and wine, and the sacrament is the food of the soul.'
A. This is a Popish doctrine; that which feeds the soul is immortal, and that is the soul's food which it finds rest in, Christ the bread of life, the food for the soul. And the scriptures do not tell us that the bread and wine are a sacrament; and the scriptures do not tell us that circumcision outward was a type of outward baptism, but of the inward. And you bring a scripture, which is the xxiii. of Luke and the 43 verse, and say, that it saith, 'that the souls of the wicked are cast ,into hell,' but that scripture speaks no such thing.
vol. iii, pp. 487-488
P. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us; and there is not a just man upon earth that doth good and sinneth not; and in many things we offend all. And the state is not attained in this life, but that men shall he groaning under weaknesses. The highest attainments of saints, is but a spark, but the dawning of the day; that highest enjoyments are not to the attainment of desires.'
A. It is the truth that lets men see they have sinned, and lets them see they have sin within them, and it brings them to confess it, and forsake it; and 'the blood of Jesus Christ, the son of God, cleanseth from all sin.' Then' he that is born of God doth not commit sin, neither can he, because the seed of God remains in him: herein the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil,' which makes him to roar. He that is born of God doth not commit sin, and cannot, because he is born of God, he is not born of the devil, nor by the will of man, nor by flesh and blood. And what Solomon saith, in Eccles. vii. speaking of the just man, is, that he doth no good under the law, by which, saith the apostle, no flesh is justified. But he that comes to Christ, the end of the law, his faith gives him victory over sin, whereby he becomes dead to it, and ,comes to the end of the law; which faith the just live by, by the life and the faith of the son of God. And the apostle saith in the epistle to the twelve tribes, 'In many things we offend all.' Mark, in many things we offend all; but we are come to the one thing, Christ Jesus, the end of the many things, and in him there is no sin. And he sins not who is in him, who put an end to the many things that must end and change. And the saints "were come to the day," further than a spark, and were the children of the day; and they witnessed the night was gone; and some again were not come to the day-star, according to their growth. And the saints again were made free from sin, Rom. vi. And had put off the body of sin, by the circumcision of the spirit. Coloss. ii. And they were complete in Christ; and they witnessed the kingdom of heaven, that stood in joy, and peace in the holy ghost, and so were not groaning always. And the saints witnessed the marriage of the lamb and Christ in them, and their bodies to be the temple of God, and attained the end of their desires; and so were not always desiring, but they witnessed their bread from above, which they that ate of should hunger no more, nor thirst any more.
vol. iii, p. 595
0. 2. 'That both baptism and the Lord's supper are unlawful.'
A. As for that word unlawful, it was not spoken by me: but the baptism of infants I deny; and there is no scripture that speaks of a sacrament, but that baptism that is into Christ, with one spirit into one body, Gal. iii. 27. that I confess according to scripture. And the Lord's supper I confess, and that the bread the saints break is the body of Christ; and that cup which they drink is the blood of Christ, this I witness.
vol. iii, p. 597
Q. ' Whether the two sacraments, baptism and the breaking of bread, ought necessarily to continue in the church, or not ?'
A. Thou askest thou knowest not what, concerning two sacraments, which there is no scripture for. Thou askest a question, which is an addition to the scripture; and thou that dost add, the plagues of God are added to thee. Who come into the true church, are baptized with one spirit into one body, but as for sprinkling infants, there is no scripture for it; I deny it; in the true church of God there is no talk of such carnal things. Thou sot, the bread which the saints break is of the body of Christ; he is the bread of life. The church is not the steeple- house, but the church is in God, and those that eat the bread of life live for ever: the church is in God, and the bread of life is there, and it shall continue for ever.
vol. iii, p. 600 (James Nayler)
4. Concerning the Lord's supper. The true supper of the Lord is the spiritual eating and drinking of the flesh and blood of Christ spiritually; which the spiritual man only eateth, and is thereby nourished up unto eternal life: without which eating there can be no life in the creature, profess what you will. And all who eat of this bread, and drink of this cup, have real communion in Christ the head, and also one with another, as members; and are of one heart, and one mind, a complete body in Christ. Now the world, who take only the outward signs, and are not brought into discerning of the Lord's body, eat and drink damnation to themselves,' and become guilty of the body and blood of Christ;' and call this a communion, but live in envy, strife, and debate, fighting, and going to law one with another, for earthly things.
vol. iv, p. 48
For the God of power, light, and glory, hath raised up a light in his people, and gathered their hearts together to himself, and hath dis- covered unto them the vanity of all things, wherein they have lived, and shewed them his way and truth, where they should walk and glorify him, and serve him in holiness and newness of life;* and with eternal food, the bread of life, doth he feed us, whereby we become wonders to the world, as he hath raised his seed to his praise and glory, and is adding daily to his church, and the strong man bows himself, and the keepers of the house tremble and the powers of the earth shake, and the glory of the Lord is rising, and is risen, which terribly shakes the earth, that the idols of gold and silver are cast away, and God alone loved, who is Lord of heaven and earth; and the works of the Lord are strange and wondrous, as ever were, as the scriptures witness.
vol. iv, p. 134
CONCERNING SILENT MEETINGS.
CONCERNING silent meetings; the intent of all speaking is to bring into the life, and to walk in, and to possess the same, and to live in and enjoy it, and to feel God's presence, and that is in the silence, (not in the wandering whirling tempestuous part of man or woman) for there is the flock lying down at noon-day, and feeding of the bread of life, and drinking at the springs of life, when they do not speak words; for words declared are to bring people to it, and confessing God's goodness and love, as they are moved by the eternal God and his spirit, and so all the ravenous spirits that are from the witness of God in themselves, cannot be still, cannot be silent, it is a burthen to them; so cannot keep at home in their own houses, but are the hunters before the Lord like Nimrod, the first builder of Babel; but God confounded them, for they went out of the stillness and quietness, as did the Jews that went from the law of God, then they gadded abroad, and changed their ways, and so did not see their salvation; as do the apostate christians, who inwardly rove from the spirit of God; so are gone from the silence, and stillness, and from waiting upon God to have their strength renewed, and so are dropped into sects, among one another, and so have the words of Christ and the apostles, but inwardly are ravened from the still life, in which the fellowship is attained to in the spirit of God, in the power of God, which is the gospel, in which is the fellowship, when there are no words spoken.
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