Copia to Mr Edward Lane
your large discourse of three sheets & a halfe I receiued as heretofore I haue intimated unto you, when I was upon a remouall; & all my papers out of order: from which state they are not as yet rescued; because public seruices & some endevours towards the relief of the Captiues of my nation, haue hitherto taken up my time, & will happily keep me yet for a while <somewhat> unsetled; for
this <which> Consideration I thought it not fit to differre too long the answer which I suppose you expect; & the rather because I perceiue that your whole discourse is inlarged upon mistakes which I hope easily to rectifie. which that I may do I shall suppose all your allegations of my words to bee true, & rightly taken; for the truth is, I cannot examine them, because I cannot now find your first paper to me nor mine to you, they not being in the place where I thought I had laid them; therefore I take all upon trust as true; which is the greatest aduantage you can desire in this busines.
First then you tell me that I haue mistaken your meaning when I said in mine to you that you Charged me to haue fomented seducers in their errors: I am gladde your meaning was more harmles then I thought it was, it was my weakenes, & not my wilfulnes to mistake you: yet you are pleased to tell me that I haue insulted ouer you, & that I did prefix my Charge of you to my writing as a meanes to Screw up my Spirit to a Magisteriall height, to the end I might Censure your arguing with me as most absurd & preposterous. [left margin: / at beginning of next 7 lines] to which I shall reply no more but this; that the Censure which I made was only of your words
upon my mistake <by a mistake therof as you say>; but the Censure which you make is of my intention, as if I did purposely <left margin: (that is upon a designe to insult ouer you) mistake. it seems I was not not so Considerat [ nor?] ouer your words nor> mistake [ Issues and] so rationall as I should haue been; but you strike deeper; & are farre more uncharitable. let us to preuent further mistakes <of this nature> henceforth mind the Apostles rule Rom. 14. 13. not to iudge one another any more, but to iudge this rather, that we put not a stumbling block or an occasion of offence to fall in his <in our> brothers way. lest whiles wee <either of us> blame one another <the other> for insultation & Magisterial heights, we bee both found such of whom <guiltie therof for> the Apostle saith; thou art inexcusable o man whosoeuer thou art that iudgest; for wherin thou iudgest another, thou condemnest thy self, for thou that iudgest dost the same things Rom. 2. 1.
Hauing vindicated your self from the iniurie which you supposed I had done you you take occasion from some expressions of mine to digresse upon the way of handling truths, to let me know that you think it was not seasonable for me to utter my opinion concerning the present visible state of the Church, by reason of the euill Consequences which may be made of it: I shall confesse that truths must bee tim'd; & respect had unto the persons to whom they are to bee deliuered; but whether yea or no this is not a fit time to manifest this truth to our present Ministery & professors, contending about outward formes of administrations: I shall not insist to debate it with you, but giue you leaue to think that I haue done imprudently; yet for ought I haue heard from you I haue Cause to abound in mine owne sense: & so shall leaue that till God farther manifest his Counsell to us.
Hauing Censured the Prudencie of my proceeding; you come to the main matters of debate; & to that effect diuide my letter to you into three heads, concerning which you alledge in each head my words; & then reply unto them at large.
The first head is Concerning the visible estate of the Churches; where hauing played the Critick in obseruing the difference (as you suppose) of some of my words in my letter to you; from some of the words of the epistolicall discourse; you Coniecture a hæsitancy in me; which though I am not Conscious of to my self; yet I loue not to boast, nor to appeare
very <too> confident in any thing; but whateuer my expressions are, they differ not materially in my meaning <left margin: one from another> nor will I striue about words. when you haue done with your Criticismes you come to reflect upon two more materiall things; first upon the Charge (as you call it) which I put upon the Churches secondly upon the Confirmation of that Charge from the scriptures.
The Charge (as you say) is in respect of the visible outward estate of the Churches, [catchword: that they]
that they are in a wildernes of spirituall desolation & Confusion. my meaning is that [left margin: / at beginning of next 7 lines] the visible societies of professors though in other respects <towards God> they may bee in the Truth, yet as to their outward estate <amongst men> they are like to a wildelnes; wherin the worke of the spirit doth not appeare
amongst them; but <left margin: as to the outward man they are destitute thereof; seing their public wayes wherin they relate one to another> they seeme destitute therof; & < seing> their wayes are full of disorder & Confusion: & although I use these termes; yet my meaning is not to lay this as a proper Crime or fault to their Charge; but rather to shew, that it is their present Condition & Calamitie to bee so; & to shew that the prophecie of the womans flight into the wildernes Reu. 12th is in this respect fulfilled, amongst us of this age.
Now to cleer the Churches from this Charge as you call it; you first Coniecture that I haue found some things amisse among the Churches in my peregrinations; & then you aske me foure Questions. 1. whether I haue not also found many things as to their outward estate worthy my approbation? 2. Could I see no order or decencie in their outward administrations? 3. are they growen so weake that they haue no power to resist Satan & Antichrist? 4. is there no beauty or comelines at all to make them amiable in the eyes of their beloued? to which I shall briefly & distinctly answer. 1. although I found many things worth my approbation in some, & in some very few, yet these many or
very few things did not exempt their estate in outward things from the Condition of a spirituall wildernes; which wherin they stand at present as they relate <to> one another; & therin are opposit to the state wherin they shall bee when Ierusalem shall bee built as a City compacted together in her outward estate [ &?] visible assemblies, & when the thrones of iudgment, the thrones of the house of Dauid shall bee set therin. for as yet this is not apparent amongst them at least to me; but it seemes rather to me that the houses of our present Ierusalem are like heapes of stones gathered together in different formes & quantities; & so like a <left margin: a desolate place or> wildernes comparatiuely to that which I hope in due time it will bee. 2. the outward administrations of some are more orderly & decent then of others; but if you take them together in their visible estate as they relate one <to> another; you will see little orderlines or harmonie, but rather an irreconcilable dissonancie & iarring about outward concernments; which makes them to bee as dead men in desolate places one to another in spirituall things of common edification. 3. when the Church was constrained to fly into the wildernes, it is manifest that as to her outward estate she was weake & not able to resist Satan & Antichrist, else she would not haue fledde. 4. there is an inward beauty & comelines to make the Churches which hold the foundation amiable in the eyes of Christ; but upon their present societies in their outward iarring estate; there is no beauty nor comelines to make them amiable; nor will their visible condition bee amiable till the Lord build up sion, & appeare in his glory; & till the people bee gathered together & the Kingdomes to serue the Lord: & Let this suffise for an Answer to your <these> queries at this time.
after this you tell me that you looke upon their Confessions & see how unanimously they agree in the maine, & how good a progresse there hath beene in the worke of Reformation &c. To which I say that the tenor & harmonie of their Confessions doth belong wholly to their inward estate; & the progresse of their Reformation from Poperie doth belong more to their inward then to their outward estate: therefore all what you say in this paragraph concerning the Catholick Church & her ornaments, & that which you alledge out of Bernard Super Cant: is nothing at all to our present question; for I meane by the outward estate of the Churches that which is visibly apparent in the outward constitution of their Societies aswell in the world; as in the practise of Christianity, <chiefly that wherin>
tha t they relate to one another in their way of worship & Church fellowship. Now whether the Societies of professors be in an orderly constitution in the world: & one towards another, & whether the way of worshipping God bee visibly practised so as it becommeth those who haue fellowship one with another & are members of the same Body under one head; I shall leaue you to Consider; I wish it were so, but till it bee so, I must say that their outward Societies & visible states is a wildernes of spirituall desolation & confusion; out of which God will bring them when they shall bee compacted & fitly ioyned together, not only in reference to the inward man, but also in reference to the outward manner & way of edification, that not only a Paul who hath spirituall eyes, able to discerne all the spirituall features of the Churches as hee did in the Church of Colosses. 2. 5. but euen the Kings of the earth, they shall bee able to discerne the same <Chiefly> when they shall bee assembled against her: for then they shall passe by together when they [left margin: psal. 48. 4, 5.] see her frame, & shall maruell at it, & for feare of it bee troubled & haste away, & the Children of Sion <on the other hand> shall bee able to walke about Sion, & go round about her; & tell her towers, & marke her bulwarks & Consider her palaces & be able to tell it to the generation following psal. 48. 12, 13. if you are now able to tell me where the frame of this building is, that the Kings may see it, or that I may see it in the public profession either at home or abroad; you will do me a singular pleasure; & I shall confesse that I haue been mistaken hitherto in my obseruations; & that you haue opened mine eyes to see Ierusalem.
Next you take Reu. 11. into your Consideration whence you say I tooke the proofe of my position; & here you interpret Contrary to my meaning the words spirituall desolation & Confusion, to bee a totall separation of the Church Catholick from God; & Gods [catchword: iudiciary]
iudiciary forsaking of her: which is indeed a totall dissolution of her estate from being any more a true Church; which is the present Condition of the Iewish Church till God shall call them back againe. but that you should haue imagined this to haue been my meaning Concerning the present Catholick Church of the Gentiles; I much wonder; seing I Conceiue that I had expressed my self full enough; that in this wildernes of spirituall desolation & Confusion wherof I speake;
that the Church had still a true being as to her inward state & relation towards God. for I hold that there can be no separation between the spirit of God, & the Catholick Church which is the mysticall Body of Christ, made up of the first borne whose names are written in heauen. these are they who worship God in the spirit & reioyce in Christ Iesus & haue no Confidence in the flesh. this sort of people is the temple of God Ephes. 2. 20, 21, 22. Hebr. 3. 6. & 1 Petr. 2. 5. this temple is measured before God in all the dimensions of their gifts, & in their worship <left margin: they haue a spirituall rule set unto them in the law & testimonie> for God knoweth who are his, & he that Calleth upon the name of the Lord let him depart from iniquitie saith the Apostle. 2. Tim. 2. 19 the measuring then of the temple is a discouerie; that God hath setled therin all the proportions & properties <left margin: of his grace wherby they are fitted for his seruice> therof; as more at large is set forth in the vision which Ezechiel had of the temple wherin the Iewes shall worship God at their returne; which vision in respect of the act of measuring is Parallel to this. partly as a Type to the Antitype, viz: the outward in Ezechiel <doth> represent[altered from representing] the inward in Iohn. partly as a prediction, foretelling the Compleat Constitution & regulation of the Euangelicall temple which is to bee among the Iewes at their Conversion, wheras Iohn only intimates <in generall that> tha t during the time of the witnesses prophecying in sackcloth: there should [ still?] bee among the Gentiles still a spirituall temple. the dimensions of the Iewish temple are distinctly set forth; because that Church shall bee a <in> a visible State perceptible <left margin: outwardly perceptible to bee ordained by God, in all things>, but now whiles the 42. moneths of prophecying in Sackcloth laste shall laste among the gentiles; the dimensions of their spirituall state shall bee Concealed from the eyes of all men that are without; therefore Iohn doth not relate what the dimensions of the temple, & of the altar & of the worshippers were <are>, but only tels us that they were measured by Gods appointment; & so are knowen to God alone:[altered from ,?] as for the Court which is without the Temple Iohn is Commanded to Cast it out, ([Greek: [ekbale?] exo] saith the text) Cast <it> out, outwardly; that is let not the visible outward estate of the professors & of their worshipping towards the temple bee measured; or cared for how it is setled, & under what forme it is brought amongst men because it is giuen to the Gentiles who shall tread the Holy City under foot 42. moneths. Iunius upon the place saith eijci Censetur quod in metiende tanquam profanum negligitur; & Consequently he interprets [Greek: ta ethne] here not as you do to bee the Gentiles [ conuerted?] <left margin: Conuerted> unto God but he sais they are profani, Impij, Infideles, ecclesiæ aduersantes. but I will not say that by Gentiles here none other are meant but such, I rather think that by gentiles here the promiscuous multitude of <all common> worshippers, or pretenders to the profession of Christianity amongst all the <the [ gentile?]> nations are meant: my sense then of this place is not that which you haue wrongfully attributed unto me, but it is thus to bee understood. nor is your animaduersion upon my words (supposing them to bee such as you relate them) much to be heeded; for if the visible outward estate of the profession is the Court without the temple; & as such not to bee regulated by any Circumstantiall appointment of God, but Cast out of his speciall Care & thoughts as a Common thing which is giuen up to the promiscuous multitudes of professors; then it is euident that this Court though it may bee full of people; yet as to a spirituall state full things it is a desolat place, a place of Confused & disorderly behaviour towards God, a place wherin the spirituall presence of God doth not appeare: & the reasons why I conceiue this Court to bee such a place are these. first it is said to bee [Greek: [ten?] aulen, [ten?] exothen tou naou]. the Court, which is outward to the temple; though it is Called a Court, & a Court with [ some?] respect to the temple, yet it is without or outward to the temple; & that is (as I take it) separate from the place of Gods visible & spirituall presence. Secondly it is said to bee Cast out; that is despised & not regarded. Thirdly the prophet is forbidden to measure it; that is to bring it under Certain dimensions & proportions obseruable therin as a rule; which Confirmes the former sense; that to bee Cast out is to bee reputed as a Common thing under no speciall rule. fourthly the reason why it was to bee Cast out & not measured Confirmes this further, because the text saith it is giuen to the Gentiles, &[altered] they to whom it is giuen shall tread the Holy City under foot. here as the Court without is distinct from the Court within; so the Gentiles <without> are distinct from the worshippers <within> at the altar, & so farre as the temple & altar are opposit to the Court without; in respect that those are measured, & this not; so farre also are the worshippers within, opposit to these Gentiles who are without, the temple for they are like unto their Court under no measure. Lastly that these Gentiles to whom the outward Court is giuen; are not <as such> to bee Counted true worshippers, as such; but rather a Common & promiscuous [ rabl?] rabble rout; is to me apparent by the Characters which are giuen them: for first they are Called [Greek: ta ethne] which in scripture phrase is commonly taken for the Common sort of people in the world as distinct from the peculiar people of God. Secondly it is said of them that they shall tread the Holy City under foot: by the Holy City I understand the fellowship & Communion of Saints: & to tread this under foot is to breake all the bonds of all Societie & holy relations in their outward walking; so that they haue none [catchword: other]
other <outward marke of vnitie>
tye of [ union?] upon them; but their Common being in the outward Court of the temple, & their Common Course of treading the Holy City under foot; is their Common guilt whiles they are Conuersant one with another in this outward Court: therefore although the text hath not expresly the word (wherin) which I paraphrastically did adde yet the thing is in itself cleer; that whiles these Gentiles haue the outward Court giuen up unto them, whiles this Court is not measured; & whiles they are not reckoned [ a?] amongst those who are within, & worshippers at the altar; that they shall tread the Holy City under foot; & haue no visible Communion one with another, as the inhabitants of Ierusalem ought to haue; who are a City Compacted together, & where the thrones of the house of Dauid are erected. the materiall temple, the materiall altar, & the materiall City are now litterally troden downe by the Gentiles <left margin: litterally taken> the spirituall temple & altar the Gentiles <left margin: spiritually taken> are secluded from; & Cast out into the outward Court; to bee Conuersant therin after their owne way; wherin they Concurre to tread the holy City in a spirituall sense under foot. the Holy City hath to this day a litterall but no spirituall being; but the temple & the altar haue only a spirituall; but no litterall being. the Court of the Gentiles in a litterall sense was; & in a spirituall sense is, between the the temple & the Holy City; so that they intercept the passage which is between the one, & the other; hindering the worshippers in the temple to enioye the possession of the Holy City: if then you will make good your interpretation of the place, & confute this which I haue offered; I suppose you must shew: how the Court without the temple giuen to the Gentiles to bee inhabited can bee Counted a place of regular & orderly worship (which you account it to bee) although it bee commanded to bee cast out & not measured? how there can bee any regular & orderly worship without the temple? How there can bee any regular & orderly worship besides that which the spirit of God doth measure out unto us by his need? How that which is cast out from being measured, can <as such> bee accounted any part or place of true & acceptable Gospell worship? how the Gentiles; as being in the outweard Court; & the authors of the desolation of Ierusalem can bee Counted the true worshippers of God[ ??] whiles they are in that state considered in that state? if you can make out these things to bee Consistent with the Analogie of Faith; & the scope of this place rightly Analysed; I shall then Confesse that you take the word [Greek: edothe] in this place in a true sense so as not to put too much weight upon it; for I will not deny but that giuing here may signifie some kind of favour; but that it should bee such a favour as you expresse I cannot at all apprehend, but think it a weake inference; that because the same word, is used before & after; to Iohn & to the two witnesses; in a matter of duty inioyned to them, in a very favourable sense; that therefore when it is used towards the Gentiles in a matter of sufferance wherin they are borne withall; that therefo it should haue none other sense. I shall not then follow you in the strained notions & Conceptions, by which you make the Court without the temple to be the only place of orderly worship; & the measuring of the temple, of the altar & of the worshippers in this place to bee the annihilation of the Iewish worship. I shall not altogether deny the things which you say, to bee in some sense (that is materially) true: but that they are formally true, (that is analogous to the tenour of the Common faith, & to the Circumstances of the[altered from this] text in this place; & <to> the scope of the prophecy) I must utterly deny it; except you can answer the Queries which I haue euen now proposed unto you. for I conceiue that the rule of your interpretation is not sound; when you say thus; Now why should not I haue the Liberty to giue this interpretation, seing it is not repugnant with scripture else where. I say this is no sound rule of interpretation, because euery thing which is not repugnant to scripture else where, cannot bee the meaning of euery place wherunto it may with some proportionality of an Anagogicall or Allegoricall sense bee applyed: for some things may bee analogous to some grounds of truth; & haue a similitude to the things mentioned in some place of Scripture; & yet not bee at all meant, in that place wherunto they are applyed; but the proper & genuine meaning of euery place must bee taken; from the Analysis of the place within it self, aswell as from the generall Analogie of Faith. now whether your interpretation or mine bee most Consonant <not only> unto the Generall Analogie of Faith, & to the [ Phraseologie?] <Phraseologie> of the Scripture else where upon other like occasions; but more [catchword: distinctly]
distinctly to the scope of the present matter, & to the Circumstantiall resolution of the words of the Context as subordinat unto that scope: I shall submit to better iudgments then yours or mine, to bee determined between us. for by this rule I think all our interpretations must stand or fall. & if I had time to spare I think I could let you see that your interpretation of this place, at the most (if at all any thing) is nothing else but an Anagogicall & Allegoricall reduction & Construction of the words & matter to something which the prophet neuer meant by them; & no wayes a proper & genuine interpretation of his sense in this place. & so I shall leaue both this of the 11th. & that which you afterward adde out of the 12th. of the Reuel
(which to my apprehension is as farre if not further strained then the foregoing ) & so let all bee tried by the forementioned, or (if if you can suggest it) by some better rule of interpretation; & till then in Gods name abound as your owne reason <follow your light> & so I leaue it: for I haue stood upon it a great deale longer then I intended at first; or then perhaps was requisite.
Afterward you come to Answer that which you call my arguments, wherby
you <I> endevour to prooue that the visible state of the Church is in a wildernes of spirituall desolation & Confusion: I do not remember that I used such a distinct way of proouing this position in my letter to you <left margin: as you seeme to intimat> but I take all as I find it deliuered by you. to that then which I said (& you call my argument) that the visible state outward estate of the Church is unsetled, Changed, tossed to & fro, & Caried about by power in subordination to the policie of those who manage the affaires of this world; you answer; that I am uncertain in the description of the outward estate; & to make this good you tell me that some times I speake of it in reference to the people of God in their temporall estate & being with others in this world; & another while in reference to the public order that is exercised in the Churches in outward administrations. & when you haue alledged some pasages to shew this out of my letter to you & out of the epistolicall discourse; then you tell me that when I am convinced of an error in the one acception, then I make an euasion to the other, & that I waue the matter by tergiuersations &c. to bee short both these acceptions in my sense are Concomitant one to another & make up together the whole outward visible estate of the Church as it is in the wildernes of desolation & Confusion: therefore you misconstrue my meaning when you tell me of euasions, of wauing, & of tergiuersations. for truly before <let me> tell you (lest you may think too well of your owne strenth) that as I found no Cause by what you then said <said> or now adde, to bee put to such shifts; so I hope, if I were straitned, & could not auoid the dint of your reasoning <left margin: but should be convicted in Conscience of an error,> without shifting; I should bee free to Confesse it, & yeeld my self Captiue to the truth: I shall <then> exhort you to take heed of this <very thing> wherewith you Charge me; if perhaps the strenth of that which I haue offered from Reu. 11th should straiten you. let me tell you then in answer to this Charge of euading & tergiuersation; that I know no Contrariety between these two acceptions of the outward estate of the Church, but that they are fully Consistent together; for what incongruitie is it to say, that the Societies of true professors ( true <true> I say in respect of the inward state of Faith, as to God) are in the world [word deleted] (which is in some sense also the outward Court) as Scattered Cottages in a desert place; & that at the same time these Societies Considered in the way of their outward profession, & visible worship, are to one another without fellowship, without harmonie, & by reason of humane failings & <want of> mutuall acquaintance in left destitute of spirituall helpes, which they might yeeld one to another; & subiect to disorderlines & Confusion in their outward actings. the one Condition is Coordinat & Consequentiall to the other; & therefore no incongruitie to speake of both as occasion doth offer. Coordinata & subordinata non pugnant is a rule of Logick.
But then you come to examine whether the outward worship & seruice of God be so unsetled tossed to & from & Caried about by power &c. as that it therefore must bee [
accounted?] concluded to bee in a wildernes of spirituall desolation & Confusion. here you seeme to produce some learning, concerning the state of the Iewish Church in Egipt; & the Gentile Churches under the primitiue persecutions & since that time, wherby if I mistake you not; you endevour to shew, that the Iewes were neuer under a state of spirituall desolation, or a totall dereliction of all worship, & that the Gentiles neuer were, nor euer shall bee so left as to bee utterly cast off & brought to a spirituall desolation; & when you haue satisfied your self in those notions; you come to Rhethoricall Exclamations; intending thereby to shew that Christ will neuer suffer the outward worship to bee so farre corrupted as to become subordinat to the Policies of men; but I shall in these things leaue you to either to your second thoughts, or suffer you to <left margin: entertaine your present notions> [ changed?] in your owne sense < entertaine your notions present notions> when I shall haue briefly told you; that by speaking of the outward afflicted estate of the Church; I neuer meant to waue the matter of the outward worship & seruice of God, which I understand to haue been, euer since the first [terme?] persecutions, & to bee still to this very day amongst the promiscuous professors & societies of Christianity unsetled, as to the Circumstantiall way therof or being setled in the changed from age to age in the <superstitiously in respect of> visible formes, manner of practises & humane customes <it hath been> Changed from age to age; & tossed to & fro in respect of the extremes wherin it hath been <found> [ caried?] <[in?]> sometimes set up, & then againe pulled downe; sometimes pressed <upon men> & sometimes left[altered from set] free; & <so> Caried about by power in subordination to the endes of those who haue had power from time to time in the world. [catchword: & this]
& this I could undertake to shew from Constantines time to this day; but I intend not to bee so voluminous as such a discourse would make me; for neither haue I so much time to spare,
upon nor doth the subiect require it; for it is Cleer to all that haue but Cursorily lookt into the history of the Church that it is so.
And thus I haue done with that which you call my first argument to prooue that all the visible estates of the Churches are in the wildernes of spirituall desolation & Confusion; the second argument which I alledge (as you say) to the same effect is because the Churches in their relation one to another are not one entire body, growing up visible in Christ,
as Saints ought to do; nor are the saints ioyned together & compacted by that which euery ioint supplyeth to the edifying of themselues in Loue. in answer to which you haue inlarged your self very much. first you warne me not to bee henceforth discontented with & opposit unto the Churches, who formerly haue made it my worke to procure their Peace & vnitie which warning although it proceeds from a mistake of my aime & misconstruction of the sense of my words; yet I blame you not for it but rather thanke you for being so Carefull of me. Secondly you tell me of the saints standing at a distance one from another (where you instance in Paul & Barnabas Act. 15) which doth not preiudice their spirituall vnitie. but this proceeds from another mistake of the Case wherof I speake concerning the Churches; which is not a bare distance, but rather a direct opposition which is <wherby they are> destructiue to each other in their outward way, for outward Concernments & interests, which breeds in the visible circumstantiall way of their standing a desolate & confused condition about their spirituall matters. Thirdly you tell me at large of the vnity of the Churches, & of their growing up into one Body in Christ visibly, yet so as the manner of their growing up is not discernible; & to make out this you digresse at large upon the mysticall vnitie & growth of the Church of all ages, as it hath had Communion with God in the spirit, & as it depends upon the head Christ; which I Contradict <not to haue a truth in it> in some respect to bee true, nor haue I said any thing to my remembrance to make this matter questionable between us; & therefore I must put you in mind againe of another mistake of the whole state of the Question between us: & if I should tell you here of your shifting [ of?] the matter, & wauing of the point; I should perhaps do you no wrong; for I haue Cleerly spoken all along of the outward visible state of the professors; & you discourse with me concerning their inward estate to let me know that it may bee spiritually discerned: & of this state you say, that it hath alwayes been one, & in a course of growth; which is nothing further to the purpose in hand, then that you are pleased to shew that you haue read & obserued something about that matter. But Lastly you tell me of something which indeed is not altogether so farre from the question as the former point is; yet doth <it> not at all directly reach it: for wee are to speake of the present visible estate of the Churches, & you in opposition, to what you think I hold of the future visible estate of the Churches, tell me; that you belieue not that before the last iudgment, there shall bee any visible Coadunation of the Churches professing the name of Christ, so as they should haue a constant & professed agreement among themselues in respect of spirituall worship. this you say you belieue <not,> & hereby you rather confirme my position then contradict it <left margin: for as much as you grant that there [ neither?] is, not[altered from nor] euer shall bee such a Coadunation as I suppose requisite to bring them out of their desolate & confused state.> & I shall cleerly tell you that I belieue otherwise then you doe namely that before the last comming of Christ to iudgment, the professors of his name shall bee vnited in the faith & in the outward way of their worship & profession for some Certain time; & that once all the nations shall bee gathered together unto Christ to serue him with one consent. this is that which I belieue shall come to passe, as that which I conceiue to bee promised Genes. 49. 10. Zeph. 3. 9. Ephes. 4. 13. & elsewhere; & therefore I speake of it freely, as that which I hope for. & although you belieue it not; yet I can beare with you; only put not your self at a distance of spirit from me for hauing a larger hope of things to come then you; & a lesser good liking of things at present visible then you haue.
And thus I haue endevoured to cleer that first Generall head wherin you say that you are still unsatisfied Concerning my opinion of the present visible estate of the Churches: the second thing which you mention is Concerning the perfection of the Churches; of which you tell me; that you are gladde to heare me say, that I now acknowledge a perfection to bee in the Churches as they are here in via; & that you desire this acknowledgment of mine may bee added to the margins of the bookes wherin I haue said the Contrary. but if I had euer denyed any such perfection in them heretofore; you might iustly haue used these termes, <but> to my understanding of my self, I neuer haue said the Contrary; nor do the words of the epistolicall discourse if not mistaken & misconstrued Contrary to my cleer Scope therin import any such matter. for I cleerly intend to speake of the graduall perfection of the outward state of true Churches, wherunto I hope in due time they shall come although as yet they are not come to it: which doth cleerly presuppose in them an essentiall perfecion whiles they are here in via: as for the perfection which shall bee herafter in Patria, you say you fully agree with me, excepting only the words wherin I say that Christ shall bee in us at that time, which you Conceiue can not be made good, because Christ shall giue up the Kingdome to the father, & the Oeconomie of his mediatoriall office shall cease; & the dispensation of his presence in the hearts of his saints by Faith, shall be no more when we shall see the father face to face: all which I assent unto, & yet I conceiue that what I said is true; viz: that Christ shall bee in us at that time [catchword: when the]
when the father shall bee all in all; for although Christ then shall not bee in us by Faith, because that dispensation will cease when wee shall enioye him face to face; yet his spirit, his life & the Divine nature wherof by him we haue beene made pertakers in the state of Regeneration, shall neuer Cease to haue a being in us; but then this spirit, life & divine nature, shall bee perfited in us by his presence; for when we shall see him as he is then wee shall bee like him to the [left margin: 1. Ioh. 3. 2.] full extent of our susceptibilitie of his likenes. for when the dispensation of faith shall Cease by his personall presence, then from it, as visible to us; the immediat irradiation of his light & power shall ouershadow us; & transforme us into the same image, both in soule & Body by that power by which he is able to subdue all things unto himself: this the Apostle cleerly testifies concerning our vile Bodies; that euen they shall bee made conformable to his glorious body Phil. 3. 21. now I conclude that if the image of Christs Body shall possesse our Bodyes, so the image of his soule shall possesse our soules, & the image of his spirit our spirits, & so wee shall bee wholly possessed with his glory when wee shall see him as he is, in the glory of the Father <euen> at that time when the Father shall bee all in all. it is not expedient that wee should speake of the things which we haue not seene; but yet we may & ought to speake of the testimony of Iesus according to what hath been reuealed unto us; being wise unto sobriety; let me then tell you what I haue been taught from the Scriptures concerning our being with Christ & Christs being in us after this life when the Father shall bee all in all; [left margin: Ioh. 17. 5] in that day Christ shall bee glorified with the father with the Glorie which he had with
the Father <him> before the world began; & this his glory shall bee made perceptible to us. Ioh. 17. 24. Compared with Ioh. 6. 62. & in Ioh. [numbers deleted] 1. Cor. 13. 13. & by this sight of him wee shall bee made like him 1 Ioh. 3. 2. & 2. Cor. 3. 18. & if our perfection in that state shall bee to bee fully like him, then it is truly said that hee shall bee in us: for the perfection of his image in <us,> is hee, [ to?] <in> us. but let us enter a little deeper into this mysterie according to the measure of Faith which God hath at this time bestowed; I shall say then that the proflux of the beames of Glory, & that light wherin the power of life is Conveighed to those that are made Capable to [left margin: psal. 16. 11.] see it, shall irradiat our spirits in his presence; & from thence the fulnes of ioy shall bee deriued unto us for euer more; so farre as wee can pertake therof: & although then the glory of the Father shall bee all in all both in Christ & <in> us; yet our susceptiblitie of that glory shall be deriued from Christ to us, not then as a Mediator any more; but as [left margin: Ephes. 1. 23.] the head of the Church, which is the fulnes of him who filleth all in all, in the glory of the Father that is in & by whom the Father shall bee all in all to euery member of his Body: for heerin the Son shall bee subiect to the father; that his influence upon us, as he is our head in the humane nature, shall bee wholly subordiant & directed by the influence of the fathers loue towards us: so that the Loue wherewith the father Loueth the son, shall then also through the headship of the son ouer us, bee in us. for Christ though he shall Cease to bee an intercessor, a mediator & aduocat for us; yet he shall neuer cease from being our head, & the fountaine of all divine perfection to all Creatures; for it is the good pleasure of the father [left margin: Colos. 1. 16, 17 18, 19.] that in him all fulnes should dwell, & that all things visible & invisible both in this world & in that to come; as they are made by him & for him; so they should subsist in him; that he in all things may haue the preeminence: for his throne is for euer & euer, as he is the son in the glory of the father: because the world to Come is not made subiect unto Angels, but unto man; & this man the Apostle interprets to bee Christ. Hebr. 2. v. 5. till 10. & although Christ as the Son and as man shall giue up the office & Kingdome of his Mediation to the Father from whom he receiued the administration there <left margin: because it shall come to an ende when all shall bee fully reconciled to God> which is now fully in his owne hand; yet the Father will neuer[altered] take from Christ; nor will Christ euer giue up to the father (as a thing which is to haue an ende,) his preeminence ouer all the Creatures; but the life of the Father so farre as it is Communicable to us, shall alwayes flow through the humane nature & person of Christ, as our head; upon us; for I Conceiue that the Act of life by which the father will impart himself to the spirits of men for euer, is his Loue, & his light the highest measure of his Loue wherof we are Capable, is that Loue wherewith he hath Loued Christ as he is man; for the Loue wherewith he hath Loued him as God none can pertake of but he alone. I conceiue then that the Communication of life Eternall which shall bee imparted to us shall bee in our receiuing of the same act of Loue from the father which Christ as man hath first receiued; yet not as separate from Christ, but as in him shall wee enioye the Father immediatly; that as the Father immediatly imparts himself to Christ for euer & euer, so he shall also impart himself to us in Christ; & so I understand the words Ioh. 17. 26. that the Loue wherewith thou hast loued me may bee in them, & I in them, to signifie that the vnion of the father with those that are brought by Christ unto glory, shall bee such as is between Christ & the Father & between Christ & his owne members: for in Glory the relation of head & members between Christ & us shall not cease, but shall bee rather perfited by the enioyment of that for which God did appoint it; which is the shedding abroad of his Loue upon those that are made Conformable to his son the image of his son. for the ende & aime which [left margin: Rom. 8. 29.] God hath in the decree of Election; is to make those whom he did foreknow & predestinate to bee Conformable to the image of his Son, that he might be the first borne among [catchword: many]
many brethren; now when God shall haue accomplished this aime, & wee shall bee fully Conformable to the image of his Son; then wee shall bee susceptible of the Loue wherewith he Loueth his Son; & when by this Conformitie to his image we shall bee susceptible of this Loue, then the brotherhood between Christ & us shall not cease or be made void nor shall then his prerogatiue of being the first borne amongst many brethren bee taken from him; but it shall rather bee most gloriously compleated, when not only the fathers Loue wherewith he Loueth the first borne shall bee extended to all those that are fully conformable unto his image, but also the Loue of the first borne himself shall haue its full & glorious influence upon his yonger brethren. now as then the profluxe of the Fathers & Sons Loue shall be to us, so shall be our reception therof; his Loue shall haue its profluxe towards us by his light; for the Louelines of no being Can be otherwise knowen then as it is in the light; so farre then as wee shall pertake of the light of glory, so farre can wee bee sensible of the Loue & life of glory; now the light of glory wherof wee are made pertaker is not only the light of God, but the light of the lamb also as Reuel. 21. 23. the Citie had no need of the Sunne, neither of the moone to shine in it; for the Glory of God did lighten it, & the lamb is the light therof. here the glory of God & the lamb are one & the same light to us; & therefore the Loue of God to the lamb and to us, & the Loue of the lamb towards us are one loue: for the same proflux of the light of life conveighs one & the same Loue to us. as for the place Ioh. 17. 26. which I quoted to hint this matter to you, I am not of your mind concerning it that it relates only to the Disciples in statu quo (as you call it) as they were upon the earth, imployed in Christs Seruice: for if you looke upon the parts of Christs prayer in that Chapter you will cleerly find three distinct heads of his request. first he prayes for himself from v. 1. till .7. secondly he recommends his disciples to the Father & prayes for them v. 7. till .20. & thirdly he prayes for them & for all those iointly that should [
belie?] belieue in him by their word v. 20 till .26. these distinct heads of the prayer are so clerly distinguished as expresse words can make them: so then for the Disciples & for those that should belieue in him by their word he prayes iointly for three things. first that in this world they might not only bee one, but perfect in one. v. 20, 21, 22, 23. from which request of Christ; which certainly the father will grant, I conclude, that all belieuers shall at last be so perfectly one in the profession of Christs name visibly before the world; that not only other belieuers, by the spirituall eye of faith (which you grant) shall be able to discerne their vnion; but that euen the world it self (which yet you grant not) shall discerne it so as to bee convinced therby that Christ was sent by the father. Secondly he prayes as for the disciples so for those who shall belieue in him by their word; that hereafter in Glory they may bee with him to see his glory. v. 24. Thirdly & lastly he Concludes all these & the former requests for his disciples & for the belieuers in generall; with a threefold recommendation of them all to his father, wherin he giues an account of the grounds for which these favours are due unto them. first because they are all distinguished <[ distin?]> <left margin: distinguishible> from the world in this that they had the knowledge of Christ that he was sent of the Father: which v. 25. which is true aswell of belieuers as of the twelue disciples. Secondly because Christ had declared & would declare further his fathers name unto them. v. 26. which is to bee taken not only of that temporary & Bodily declaration which then was made to the twelue but of the permanent & spirituall declaration, which then was & afterward was to be made to them & to all belieuers. Thirdly because the ende for which Christ did declare & would declare his fathers name to all of them, was that the fathers Loue wherewith he Loued Christ, [word deleted] might bee in them, & Christ <also> might bee in them: v. 26. the name of God is declared to all belieuers aswell as to the twelue disciples that they all receiuing the like precious Faith; may bee Sealed up to God, by that name written in their foreheads. as it is Reuel. 14. 1. nor is the name of the Father only said to bee written upon them, but the new name of Christ is also written upon them; & the name of the New Ierusalem which Commeth downe from heauen, as it is Reuel. 3. 12. & these names once written upon them shall neuer bee blotted out againe; therefore Christ shall bee for euer in them by his name written upon them: for by the impression of these[altered] names upon them they are fitted to receiue eternally the influence of the Fathers & Sons Loue. & I conceiue that when the worke of Christs Mediation shall bee at an ende, & that Christ shall giue up all those whom he hath brought to glory unto the Father that the father may bee all in all in them; that then Christ also as to them shall receiue a new name by which hee shall bee in & ouer them for euer; for Christ as he [catchword: is the]
is the head of the new Creature to purchase life Eternall to all that are to bee brought unto the father; so <now since>
when he hath purchased that life <left margin: he hath gotten a name aboue all name>, & when he shall haue brought <all> the redeemed unto the possession therof; of the life prepared for them; then they shall become his fulnes; & by their Conionction to him he shall haue a new state of glory, as the fruit & effect of his mediatoriall administration shining upon him; which I take to bee his new name, which then also shall bee written upon his redeemed for euer; & they shall bee exalted to sit with him upon his throne; as hee was exalted & sat with his father upon his throne. Reu. 3. 21. by all which I conceiue it is euident; that in the state of Eternall Glory Christ shall bee in us, as the fountaine & headspring of life Eternall unto all mankind, ouer whom; by & in the fathers <Loue &> name, which he hath declared unto them, & put upon them to remaine for euer & to bee all in all with them; hee shall shine in his <owne> euerlasting Loue & <new> name. & thus I hope I haue made out sufficiently this point unto you, according to your desire: the matter it self hath drawen me forth with some delight beyond to this lenth beyond what I purposed at first. I shall not need to bee large in that which followeth; for if that which I haue said alreddie Concerning the Churches perfection in respect of the <her> essentiall & inward < spirituall> state; & their <of her present> imperfectin in respect of their <her> Circumstantiall & outward spirituall state, bee heeded; I suppose you will bee able to rectifie by your <self> owne thoughts the mistakes wherinto you haue runne <are runne>, in your following discourse, by the misinterpretation of my meaning. for I deny not that there is a discernible perfection in the true Churches if you looke upon them <inwardly> [ in?] as they stand in the truth; & wee haue Cause to thank God for it; & I belieue with you that there neuer shall bee any other truth (in respect of the substance therof) bee shall bee reuealed besides this which is now reuealed [word deleted] therefore in this sense no perfection is to bee expected beyond what is now attained unto. but yet againe for all this I must tell you, that in respect of the graduall perfection of faith & knowledge aswell in the inward <depth of apprehension> [word deleted] apprehension as in the outward & visible <way of the> profession; I belieue there is a kind of growth wherunto at last all the Churches <on earth> shall come <iointly> which is proper to a perfect man; & proportionat unto the measure of the stature of the fulnesse of Christ; the effect of which growth shall bee this that thenceforth <left margin: the professors> they shall no more bee as Children, (as most of them now are) tossed to & [left margin: Ephes. 4. 13, 14 15, 16.] fro, & caried about with euery wind of Doctrine; but they shall all speake the truth in Loue & bee fitly ioyned & Compacted together to edifie one another <left margin: in a visible Correspondencie>, which as yet they are not <fitted to doe.> this state & growth I expect to bee accomplished in them before the dispensation of Faith (which is only usefull in this life) & the ministeriall worke, bee left of. & althoug the Church here on earth may bee truly said to bee militant; as long as the last iudgment is not <yet> fully come; because till Gog & Magog bee destroyed, with fire from heauen she can [left margin: / at beginning of next 5 lines] not bee said fully to bee deliuered from all [ y?] her enemies; yet I belieue that She shall before the last day <left margin: while she is yet under the dispensation of Faith; obtaine by her militia> haue a full Conquest of the beast, of the False prophet, of the whore & of the Kings of the earth; & for a certain space <after that conqueste> bee freed from the Seduction & molestation of Satan; & at that time, I expect that the prophecie[altered] of Isaiah[altered] & Zacharie shall bee fulfilled in a higher degree then hitherto they haue <it hath> been; viz: that [ in] <after> the day of the great slaughter (which I conceiue not to bee farre of) when the towers (all the towers of Babylon) shall fall; [left margin: Isaiah. 30. 25, 26.] then shall the light of the moone be as the light of the Sun, & the light of the sun, be [ as?] seuenfold, as the light of seuen dayes; in the day when the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people & healeth the stroke of their wound. I Conceiue the day of the great slaughter & the day wherin the Lord will bind up the breach of his people to bee <two times> consecutiue to each other; the first shall bring with it riuers & streames of waters; that is great Comforts of rich graces for the refreshment of his <Gods> people; but the second shall bring with it the increase of the light of glory <life> from heauen; which to the spirit is a triumphant sense of life <state of ioy>; & farre beyond the Comfort of riuers of waters. to the Body The prophecies also of Zacharie Chap. 12. & Chapt. 14. Chiefly towards the latter ende therof, I belieue shall bee fulfilled; namely that when the Iewes shall bee Called & setled in their Land all the Nations of the earth shall resort to Ierusalem to worship the Lord of hostes; & that the outward <left margin: worshippers & all things belonging to them euen the meanest Circumstantiall matters such as are the bells & trappings of the horses> worship & all the vessels therof shall bee holines unto the Lord: which Certainly is not yet fulfilled. as for that which you call the Chiliasts; I know what some of the ancients haue branded them withall; but I take up no mans opinion by tradition; nor do I follow any other light <for my self> but what I receiue from the testimony of Iesus. the places of Scripture, which you alledge to shew your sense of the <outward glory &> perfection of the Church in the Ages to come; you mixe with other places, which at the same time (as I conceiue) cannot come to passe, but needs must bee Consecutiue one to another; but I shall not insist to Scanne them now, it is sufficient that I cleer mine owne meaning from [catchword: the mistakes]
<the> mistakes which you haue runne into concerning the same. which hitherto I haue Chiefly intended, & hope in some measure <haue> effected; but now in the sequele of your discourse; after that you haue told me what the perfection is which you acknowledge shall bee in the ages to come; you rehearse a passage of your letter Concerning Loammi; & the Censure which I did make upon it in mine to you; which truly I cannot understand by what you say; nor
do I am I able to call it to mind; <left margin: not hauing the papers at hand out of which you quote the[altered] passage.> nor do I think it worth the insisting upon; because it concernes Chiefly my mistake of your meaning which I <shall> Confesse willingly I may bee <as> subiect unto; as you are subiect to mistake me.
Leauing then this <left margin: I shall come to the following matter which you> <insist upon from some words of mine>
you alledge some other words of mine as you alledge next, wherin I did endevour <as you say> to declare to you what my meaning <was> when I said that I had not seen any perfection in any of the present Churches: here you relate the some words of mine wherof you say you understand not the meaning of one part of them; & the other part which you think to understand you endevour to refute. but I suppose I shall bee able to rectifie your mis cleer you in that <which> you understand not; & to rectifie you in that <which you refute> you haue mistaken <left margin: by a mistake> because I know what I meant; although I know not whether you haue quoted my words rightly; according to their true periodicall distinction. how euer the words alledged put me in mind of my sense. you alledge, then, that [ intending?] <left margin: [ said this?] when I intended> to Cleare to you, what I meant when I said, that I had not seeen any perfection in any of the present Churches [4? words deleted] <left margin: I should haue said that> I meant not absolutly of any perfection thing which in any respect may bee Called perfection, no not in Comparison of those that haue no truth in them at[altered from all] all, (here you make a parenthesis & tell me that you cannot reach the sense of these words & so will let them passe) but secundum subiectam materiam wherof I did then & there speake, which was concerning the adorning of the Bride to fitte her for the mariage supper of the lamb. these are the words alledged <and> in that [ words?] which you say you understand not; my sense is this; that in the epistolicall discourse when I said[altered from say] that I had not seen any perfection in any of the Churches; I did not exclude the Churches intend to <say that all> deny all things to bee <were absolutly> wanting to the Churches, which in any sense whatsoeuer <did> Containe any kind of perfection; although it should bee but a Comparatiue kind of perfection, wherin these Churches should bee set laid in the ballance with those tha t Churches that haue no truth at all in them: I say, when I sayd that I saw not any perfection in any of them, I meant not, that they were utterly destitute of all things which in any respect might bee called perfect; although but only although that denomination should bee giuen them only in <left margin: respect of> the lowest degree of perfection, which is when they are compared to those; that haue not the beeing of a true Church at all belonging to them; I say I do not mean such an absolut imperfection to bee in them, when I said that I saw no perfection in them, but only <left margin: that> secundum subiectam materiam wherof I there spoke, I saw no perfection in them [ tha t is?] in respect of that particular matter wherof I then spoke which was concerning the adorning of the Bride for the mariage supper: that is to say; as to the matter of <the> adorning [ which] of the bride; which was the subiect of my discourse, I saw not any of the Churches perfectly fitted with ornaments for the mariage supper: so that I deny them to bee perfect; not absolutly in respect of euery kind of perfection, but only in respect of the adorning to fitte them for the mariage supper. I say then that they were destitute of this perfection which then & there was the subiect of my discourse. by all which you <may> see your mistake in your discourse concerning the subiecta Materia of the Church; for I do not at all mention materiam subiectam in reference to the Church; but only in reference to mine owne discourse, to tell you, that my speech of the imperfection of the Churches was to bee <understood> under only in respect of that subiect matter <wherof> of my discourse did then handle. therefore what is further said. upon this mistake I shall not meddle with; nor is it needfull to insist upon the difference of my sense from yours Concerning the Mariage supper which I take to bee the spirituall feast which the Church shall enioy in the Kingdome of Christ here on earth [letter deleted] according to the Prophesies of Isaiah Ch. 25. 6, 7, 8. & 66. 11, 12, 13, 14. not excluding the euerlasting supper <left margin: in the world to come in heauen> according to your sense <which shall come afterward &> wherof the supper in this world before the last day of iudgment shall bee a kind of præludium.
what you say <after this> concerning the present failings of the Churches which are to bee bewailed, & the rage of Satan against them as a Confirmation of that which I had said to you, I need not
to reply unto: I shall ioyne with you in your prayer for them; that by the spirit of power resting on them they may in ende preuaile.
The Issue & Conclusion of all which you adde; is summed up according to your
mistakes sense of my assertions which I haue shewed to bee mistaken <by you>, & therefore I shall referre you to that wherby it is heretofore <to bee> rectified; & being rightly taken you will perceiue that the Consideration which you sadly offer unto me concerning the nationall Couenant is of no such weight as you apprehend it to bee; & that the Churches of Christ haue no iust cause to bee offended at me for telling them the truth of their present state; & their Laodicean temper, wherby they stand each of them <left margin: either as distant or opposit parties> [ up?] too much upon the[altered from their] Iustification of themselues & the Condemnation of others in respect of themselues. & I shall intreat you sadly to looke upon your owne zeale [ whether?] in your plea for <their present outward frame to iustifie it> the Iustification & .... dication of the Churches from that which you call my Charge against them; whether in effect it doth <not> say that which the Church of Laodicea saith of her self; that the present Churches are perfect in riches, & increased in all beauty, & want nothing to make them amiable to their well beloued; wheras in respect of their outward visible Constitution, they are wretched & miserable & poore & blind & naked; & haue need to bee rebuked & Chastened that they may bee zealous for righteousnes & repent of their [catchword: that partialitie]
partialitie wherin euery one of them studies to set up themselues in all things aboue others.
here againe for looke upon the practise of euery party in their Contestation with another; & tell me if it bee not so, do they not all stand upon their owne iustification, & upon the Condemnation of others wherin they compare with them. doth not the Church of Rome this in Comparison of all the Reformers? & doth not each Reformer this in Comparison of another? the Socinians in Comparison of the Orthodox in fundamentals? <left margin: the Anabaptists in comparison of all other protestants> & the orthodox Lutherans in Comparison of the Caluinists? & the Caluinists Anabaptists & Caluinists? the Caluinists Presbyterians, [ Independents?] Congregationals, & seekers in Comparison of one another? each of these stand upon their owne perfection in what they are at present; euen the [word deleted] & separate from the Communion of others for that wherin they outwardly differ from them; esteeming themselues in their owne present frame as perfect as they can bee; & if you tell them either of thinking lesse of themselues or more of their neighbours who differ in outward Circumstantials from them; they can not beare it with patience. if you tell them any of them, or all of them, that they ought not to contend with so much heat of partialitie about such matters <left margin: for which they striue that they ought to beare with dissenters> that they ought not to set their spirits at such a distance from each other, for the things which they iudge failings in each other; but that they <rather> ought to ioyne professedly & walke together in that which is the maine of the profession, & wherin they really do agree, perhaps they <scarse> will giue you the hearing; but then you will bee told; let them come to us; for we haue no reason to go to them; wee are gone foreward to a greater perfection then they; why should wee go back againe? thus the matter stands in the outward frame; all reioyce to haue followers to their particular way; & in the outward Court of the profession they concurre equally, to tread the holy Citie the [word deleted] under foot; to neglect the Communion of Saints: here againe you will say that I heauily Charge the Churches of Christ who are his spouse, who are amiable in his sight &c. <&c> I answer & that they <you> haue iust Cause to bee offended at me for it; because the wilde seekers who unchurch them all <left margin: by reason of such these Charges as these> & deny that there is <at all> any Church <any> ordinance or Ministery on earth < any more> will hereby [word deleted] bee strenthened in their opinion & take occasion to insult ouer them. to this I answer that if [ the telling of Truth to?] to tell them the truth; & to let them see that which makes them unamiable before God bee a Charge; then I confesse this to bee a Charge; & if in loue to their edification, to giue them a [ wauing?] admonish them of their present failings; & point out unto them the way of Reforming the same bee a Charge then & a matter of <iust> offence giuen; then I shall confesse that I haue offended: & if & if the full discouerie of this truth (that notwithstanding the present imperfect frame & outward disorderly Constitution of the Churches; there is neuertheles within them <left margin: so farre as they hold the foundation> a true temple of God which shall appeare in due time) is the only effectuall meanes to stoppe the mouthes of the wilde seekers who deny to all the Churches any true being, & expect another foundation & upon that account separate from them all; if I say a full & cleer discouerie of a true Church being in them all; bee an effectuall meanes to Convince <the seekers of> their error; then I haue done nothing unseasonably or unaduisedly, or disaduantagiously to the Churches: but so farre as I can discerne I suppose it will bee to their aduantage euen against those of whom you are afraid that their nakednes should bee seene: I am not about to tell it in gath or in the streets of Ashelon what our priuat failings are; but I tell it to those that are in the outward Court of the temple, tha t [ those?] <left margin: who thinck themselues to be as the most holy set that their [letter deleted] breaches, their> divided practises, & <their> partialitie about <outward things through> them in the want of Charitie for <their> mutuall edification in that wherin they agree, is their treading of the Holy Citie under foot; which they ought rather are Called ought not to doe; but should rather endevour to build; it up by keeping the vnitie of the spirit in the bond of Peace your iealousie therefore that of me; hath ledde you in all these mistakes, & made you straine your notions for the defence of a thing which hath neuer was opposed, & sift my notions to find that in them which I neuer meant: thus my mistaking of you & your mistaking of me, if wee both should giue way to our passions would lead us [ unto?] into the condi Laberinth of Confusion wherinto the disputers of these times ordinarily fall; who stand up <left margin: in Contradiction to each other> as you seeme to do against me for one party against another. but I haue seene the ende of the perfection of all parties; that it is nothing at all but to glory in the flesh, into their owne; or ouer the flesh of their neighbours who is <are> at a distance from them; [& so?] & upon this account the Champions who take up the Bucklers for their quarrels use to bee stretch their witte that it may bee puffed up for one against another; & he that can outwitte; & baffle his neighbour & trample upon him most handsomely, hee is counted the better man. let us not then not [word deleted] <dispute> one with another after this manner <nor> & (as you phrase it) carreare with speare in rest one against another; to lift each other out of the saddle; but let us speake the truth <in Loue> so farre as wee haue receiued it in Loue it is discouered unto us in loue; that wee may by the manifestation therof grow up in him who is the head in all things, euen in Christ. & I conceiue the way to do this will bee to [mind?] 1. to deliuer our owne sense of euery thing as it is our owne <left margin: positiuely & negatiuely>, & the grounds upon which wee assert or deny it. 2. not to take upon us to deliuer another mans sense of any thing assertiuely as it is his, lest wee mistake him, & bee found in refuting him to beat the aire. 3. if <it> bee expedient to discouer anothers sense; let it bee done by way of [a?] Querie, wherof the termes are to bee explained to preuent mistakes [catchword: in answering]
in answering; lest whiles; the Querie speakes of one thing the Answer speake of another. & if you will follow this Method of proceeding in Conferring <further> with me about this subiect; I shall bee gladde to continue it; but if you this Conference & open all my thoughts to you; but if you will <should> reply againe as now you haue done; I shall not answer you, [althou?] to cleer <to cleer your> mistakes <any more> as now I haue done, but leaue <you> to your owne way; to make what Construction you will of my words, [nor?] for it shall not trouble me to bee misunderstood when the way to preuent misunderstanding is offered & not entertained; & if you should seeme willing by hauing the last word to affect a victory in this debate, I shall silently yeeld it unto you; for it is a Certain truth that I care not whether <all one to me whether now> I bee found in the right or in the wrong; if truth but <but truth> preuaile at last, & bee discouered <to me.> now the God of Truth bee with you & Lead us by his spirit in all his Truth; that wee may bee <made> perfect in euery good word & worke without blame; Thus prayeth
Iames house your Louing freind & willing
Octob. 31: seruant in Christ
1651. Iohn Durie
within the Couert wherin it was sent
were these words
I haue sent this inclosed to Mr Ellis intreating him to addresse it unto you, because I knew not otherwise to giue it a more direct addresse towards you: & I haue left it open for him to peruse because he hath seene hitherto all that passed between us: & he is our Brother to whom I shall bee willing to referre the arbitrement of the matter, for my part, who am
your Louing Brother & seruant
Iames house Iohn Durie
Copie of Mr Durie
to Mr. Lane