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Gentiles, and upbraided with being a Jew, and teaching their Customs ; the fame Paul is baled and ready to be killed by the Jews, for breaking the Law, and defiling the Temple with the Gentiles. The like bath also befallen these faithful Witnesses and Mefjengers, wbom God has raised up in this Day to witness

fer bis Truth, which bath long been in a great Meajure bid; but now is again revealed, and many brought to be Witnesses of it, who thereby are come to walk in the Light of the Lord.

This People thus gathered, have not wanted those Trials, that usually accompany the Church of Cbrift, both on the right Hand and on the left ; each CharaEterizing them in such Terms, as they have judged would prove most to their Disadvantage. From wbexce; as the Testimony of the false Witnesses against their Lord did not agree, neither do these against us, fome will have is to be foolish, mad Creatures ; others to be deep, sublile Politicians ; fome to be illiterate, ignorant Fellows ; others to be learned, cunning Jesuits, under a meer Vizzard : Divers Projeljors will have us to be only Pensioners of the Pope, undoubtedly Papists; but the Papists abbor as as Hereticks: Sometimes we are a disorderly, confused Rabble, leaving every one to do as ibey list, against all good Order and Government; at other Simes we are so much for Order, as we admit not Men to exercise the Liberty of their own Judgments. Ibus are our Reputations tossed by the Envy of our Adversaries; which yet cannot but bave this Effect upon Jober-minded People, as to see. what Malice works against us; and how ibele Men, by their contradi&tory Allerlions concerning us, save us the Pains, wbile they refute one another.

True

* John Owen charges us with so much Ignorance, that tho' he writes against us in Latin, he fears we will not understand it. And Thomas Dayson, about the fame Tinie, accuses us of teing Jefuits, sent from Abroad under this Vizzard.

True it is, we have laboured to walk amidst these Extremities ; and upon our appearing for the Truth, we have found Things good in themjelves abused on both Hands : For such hath always been the Work of an Apostacy, to keep up the Shadow of certain Truibs; that ibere-ihrough they might Shelter other Evils. Thus, ibe Jews made Use of the Law and the Prophets to vindicate their Abuses ; gea, and to crucify Christ : And how much many Christians abuse the Scripturesa and the Traditions of the Apostles, to uphold Things quite contrary to it, will in the general be readily atknowledged by most.

But to descend more particularly; there be two Things especially, botb of which in their Primitive Use were appointed, and did very much contribute towards the Edification of the Church : Tbe one is,

The Power and Authority, which the Apostles 1. had given them of Christ, for the gathering, building up, and governing of his Church ; by Virtue of which Power and Authority they also wrote the Holy Scriptures.

The other is, That Privilege given to every Christian under the Gospel, to be led and guided by the Spirit of Christ, and to be taught thereof in all Things.

Now, both these in the Primitive Church wrought effe&tually towards the same End of Edification; and did, as in their Nature they may, and in their Use they ought to do, in a good Harmony very well consist toge ther : But by the Workings of Satan, and Perversness of Men, they are made to fight against and destroy one another. For on the one Hand the Authority and Power, that resided in the Apostles, while it is annexed and entailed to an outward Ordination and Succellion of. Teachers, is made Use of to cloak and cover all Manner of Abuses, even the Height of Idolatry and Superstition. For by Virtue of this Succession, these Men claiming the like Infallibility, that was in the Apostles, though they be Strangers to any inward Work,

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of Manifestation of the Spirit in their Hearts, will needs oblige all others to acquiefce and agree to their Conclusions, however different from, or contrary to the Truths of the Gospel; and yet for any to call fucba

. Conclusions in Question, or examine them, is no less than a bainous Heresy, deserving Death, &c. Or while the Revelation of God's Mind is wholly bound up to these Things already delivered in the Scriptures, as if God bad spoke his last Words there to bis People * we are put wilb our own natural Understandings to debate about tbe Meanings of it, and forced to interpret them not as tbey plainly speak, but according to the Analogy of a certain Faith made by Men, not so mucb conļrived to answer the Scriptures, as the Scriptures are Brained to vindicate it : Wbich to doubt of is also counted Heresy, deserving no less than Ejection out of our Native Country, and to be robbed of the common Aid our Nativity entitles us to. And on this Hand, we may boldly say, both Papifts and Protestants bave greatly

gone aside.

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On the other Hand, fome are so great Pretenders to Inward Motions and Revelations of the Spirit, that there are no Extravagances so wild, which they will not cloak with it, and so much are they for every one's following their own Mind, as can admit of no Chriftian Fellowship and Community, nor of that good. Order and Discipline, which the Church of Christ never was, nor never can be, without. This gives an open Door to all Libertinism, and brings great Reproach 10 the Christian Faith. And on ibis Hand bave foully fallen the German Anabaptifts, so called, John of Leyden Knipperdolling, &c. in case ibefe monDrous Things committed by them be such as they are related, and some more moderate of that Kind bave been found among the People in England, called Ranters;

as

* So faith James Durham, a noted Man among the Presbyterians, in his Exposition upon the Revelations,

as it is true, the People called Quakers bave been branded with both of ibele Extreams: It is as true, it batb been, and is their work to avoid them ; and to be found in that even and good Palb of the Primitive Church, where all were, no doubt, led and acted by the Holy Spirit, and might all have prophesied one by one ; and get there was a Subjection of the Propbets, to the Spirits of the Prophets. There was an Authority some bad in the Church, and yet it was for Edification, and not for Deftruation: There was an Obedience in The Lord to such as were set over; and a being taught by such, and yet a knowing of the Inward Anointing, by which each Individual was to be led into all Truib. The Work and Testimony tbe Lord bath giver us is, to restore this again, and to set both these in their right Place, without causing them to deftroy one another. To manifest bow this is accomplished, and accomplising among us, is the Business of this Treatise ; which, if bope, will give fome Satisfaction to Men of fober Judge ments, and impartial and unprejudicate Spiritss and may be made useful in the good Hand of tbe Lord, to confirm and establish Friends against their prefent Oppo

ers; wbich is mainly intended and earnestly prayed for by

Robert Barclay

The 17th of the 8th

Month, 1674.

B

THE

viii

Τ Η Ε.

C Ο Ν Τ Ε

Ο T E N T S.

Section 1. THE Introduction and Method of this

Treatise.

T Trenije

Section II. Concerning the Ground and Cause of this

Controversy.

Section III. Whether there be any Order or Govern- .

ment in the Cburch of Christ.

Section IV. Of the Order and Government we plead

for.

Section V. In what Cafes, and how far, this Govern

ment extends.

Section Vi. How far this Government extends in

Matters Spiritual and purely Conscientious.

Section VII. Concerning the Power of Decision.

Section VIII. How this Government altogether differeth

from the oppressing and persecuting Principality of the Church of Rome, and other Antichristian Affernblies.

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