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CONTENTION, especially with perverse spirits that desire it and seek occasion for it, is not a thing desirable to me; howbeit, for the living and precious Truth's sake, and that living effectual faith which was once delivered to the saints, I am one necessitated earnestly to contend, being brought forth and raised up by the power of the living God for that end, against perverse gainsayers and peevish opposers: one of whom I find one ROBERT GORDON, in a second piece of anti-christianism, stuffed with confusion, perversion of scriptures, abusing and belying the people called Quakers; though he hath given it the title of Christianity vindicated, but therein hath discovered a great deal of his own, and of his tutor's ignorance of the very nature of Christianity, as concerning those weighty matters of salvation; to wit, reconciliation, justification, and redemption; which in the true nature and sense thereof are in this treatise unfolded, according to the holy scriptures; although this man hath grossly wronged divers of us, by accusing us, as if we did oppose and seek to overthrow the plain testimonies and voices of all the prophets and apostles, concerning the true Saviour, or the man Christ Jesus, whom we have frequently confessed, both as to his Divinity, and as to his taking upon him the body, prepared for him to do the will of God in,

according to the scriptures of truth: yea, both his outward and inward appearance, his suffering nature, and glorified state, and his dignity, in both we have always truly believed and confessed; even his Divinity, spiritual out-goings from of old, from everlasting; as also his outward birth,* and coming in the fulness of time in that body, wherein he shewed forth innocency, preached righteousness, wrought miracles, suffered contradictions, crucifying and death, by wicked hands ; together with his glory, dignity, resurrection, and glorious triumph; as a captain, as a conqueror, leader, and example through all these things have a spiritual and divine impression upon us, and a place in our hearts; through that eternal Spirit, by which Christ offered up himself a Lamb without spot, and a sacrifice of a sweet smelling savour to God; which things being so openly and frequently owned by us, according to the scriptures of truth: we cannot but look upon it as a wilful perversion and wicked abuse in this R. G. or any others, contrarywise to represent us, when, as to him, we have only opposed his confused dark testimony, which is without life, and much of it without sense or reason; although pervertedly he hath interwoven some Scriptures, abused by him in it: howbeit, he saith, he hath testified to what he received of the Lord, and witnessed through and under the ministry of those I call Presbyterians and Independants. Now seeing he hath learned his testimony or religion of such, and yet hath perked up, as if he were somebody, or could do more against us than his tutors or fraternity (although he falls short of many of them, in the management of their cause) I should think it were more prudence in the Presbyterians and Independants, to stop such shallow cavillers and forward novices, as can scarce write three pages, without manifestly contradicting themselves, as this their disciple R. G. hath done, who will never bring any honour to the cause of Presbyterians and Independants. He should have let us known, whether they do approve of this his work against us, yea, or nay; which if he write again, we desire him to signify, whether he is owned, and his work ap

* Micah, v. 2.

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proved of by the Presbyterians and Independants, yea, or nay? Some suppose it probable, that what he hath written against the innocent and suffering people of God in this nature, hath some self-interest and end, as either of some preferment, or applause at least; who, though he be dismounted with the times from his former place and preferment, yet is not content to live quietly in that obscurity he is in, but he must villify, reproach, and slander an innocent people, who have appeared and do stand up for God, and the testimony of Jesus, in his Divine power, where such peevish, pitiful, underly cavillers as R. G. dare not shew their faces for Christ, nor yet for their own Directory and Church-Faith, for all their pretended zeal for him, though he and they can carp and quarrel against us, who are under sufferings: and he having shown himself both an Antinomian, a shattered Presbyterian and Independant, he is the more fit man to insinuate into such, especially the more ignorant sort of them, for some applause or name to himself, like many of his selfish teachers before, who being dismounted from their parochial Bishoprics, pulpits and tythes, are now for the rattling of the platters, which have been very beneficial to many such feigned preachers and temporizers, who can make a flourish in fair weather, but either flee, skulk, or comply when a storm or a pinch comes; or otherwise, drive a trade more privately and have the platters rattle more secretly with their watchers and spies at each corner, to give them warning, lest they should be surprised for driving a trade unlicensed, that they may escape out at back-doors, or byeways, which hath been the manner and practice of such as R. G's tutors, notwithstanding their severely pressing their hearers to faithfulness, and to stand fast, &c. when they are no example thereof themselves; but on slight occasions ready to flee like hirelings and ready to give their flocks the slip,

And now as to the doctrinal part of his book, he having affirmed a justification and redemption of men, even while no good is wrought in them by any light or spirit whatsoever; and when no qualification is wrought in man by any spirit what

soever, to mend the matter he adds, in order to the perfecting the purchase of redemption, &c. which word, purchase, he thus explains in an unscriptural and nonsensical style, viz. that God man purchased and completed reconciliation, justification, &c. with God, at once, without us, which is as good sense, as to say, God purchased them of God, and for proof thereof, he very many times over repeats that scripture, Rom. 5. 10. If when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, (not so much minding the following words,) much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life: and verse 11. We have now received the atonement, &c. This he hath made a cloak for his justification of men, even while no good is wrought in them, one while saying they are reconciled to God; another while, God to them, now though plenteous redemption, salvation, and peace were in being in Christ for us, while enemies; and that God commended his love towards us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us, verse 8, which doth explain the intent of the words, If when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God, by the death of his son, &c. yet it is not the nature of reconciliation for men to be enemies to God: I appeal to the conscience of both R. G. and all other professors, whether enmity and reconciliation do not differ? And whether, while persons are at enmity, they be then actually reconciled? Though while we were enemies, we were reconciled, by the death of his son; intentionally on God's terms, but not actually in ourselves, till the enmity was slain in us; as God, with reference to his purpose, speaks to Abraham, 1 have made thee a father of many nations, before he was actually so made; for Paul, in the following words, saith, God, who quickeneth the dead, calleth those things which be not as though they were, Rom. 4. 17. And also Zacharias, being filled with the Holy Ghost, he prophesied saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people, Luke 1. 67. 68. and to the end of the chapter: now though this, redeemel, be spoken of as a thing done, yet it was spoken of in the prophesy, of Christ the horn of Salvation; whose salvation is deliverance and preservation out of the hands of our enemies, that we may serve him, without

fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life this was not witnessed when the enemy ruled, and no good was wrought in us.

Further, if reconciliation and redemption had been actually


我 finished without us, when no good was wrought in us, what needed the Apostle so earnestly beseech and pray them in Christ's stead to be reconciled to God? 2 Cor. 5. 20. They might have said, that is done and completed already or to say, that Jesus Christ gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, &c. Tit. 2. 14. they might have said we are redeemed at once already without us, while no good is wrought in us; what needest thou to tell us of redeeming from all iniquity, or of being purified? We do not expect any such thing while we live here, and yet we are redeemed, justified, and perfect in Christ. This is according to R. G's doctrine and sense; but the Apostle's sense is contrary, as where he saith, you that were sometimes alienated, and enemies in your minds by wicked works; yet now hath he reconciled in the Body of his Flesh, through Death, to present you holy and unblameable, and unreprovable in his sight; if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled. Col. 1. 21, 22, 23. Mark here the nature and tendency of a reconciled state! and how it differs from that of enemies in the mind, as you were sometimes enemies, yet now reconciled, viz. Ye saints and faithful brethren in Christ, which are at Coloss. chap. 1. 2. But the mind of him that is an enemy in his mind is not reconciled to God or his truth. Drunkards, swearers, and ranters, are not in a reconciled state, nor justified state; neither is God reconciled to them, nor in union with them.

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Again, the words purchased and redemption, are used by R. G. in an unscriptural sense, while he doth so nonsensically render it as God man, having purchased all of God without, and so justified man, when no good is wrought in him by the spirit of God; and as if Christ's works without, were the previous purchasing cause of the love of God; and also, states man's justification and redemption, as only without, and preceding the work of the spirit within; whereas, redeeming from all iniquity

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