indeed the Lord's labourers shall see of the travail of their souls, and on both hands shall be satisfied.

"Here, the mourners in Zion shall be comforted, the feeble knees shall be confirmed, the careless sons and daughters shall be quickened, the aliens and strangers shall be gathered, and the obstinate and rebellious shall be left without excuse.

"I see in the vision of life, a glorious work and service before thee. Behold the fields are white to the harvest, many are wandering as sheep without a shepherd, and others waiting for the consolation of Israel. Be faithful, and thy labours shall be crowned with abundance of increase; no weapon formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that riseth up against thee thou shalt condemn. Keep low, stand in the cross, and wait in stillness and simplicity, and never open thy mouth in public, till thou certainly feelest him to open, whose sole prerogative it is in the gospel ministration. My soul hath been, and is in a travail for thee, and a cry ariseth in me to the Lord, that he would hide thee in the hollow of his hand, and lead thee in the way he would have thee to go; and then, thy goings will be safe, and his work shall prosper in thy hands. Do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem.

"This is in tender love from thy travailing Friend and Brother, "RICHARD CLARIDGE."

Before we conclude this year, we hope it may be

of service to insert

The substance of two Conferences between him and David Crossly, an Antinomian Baptist preacher ; the first, on the 3d of the Fourth Month, 1698; the second, on the 21st of the Fourth Month, 1699, with some enlargement upon the subject of election and reprobation.

An Antinomian Baptist preacher, having heard that Richard Claridge, who had also been a teacher among the Baptists, was gone off from that people, and turned Quaker, (as the common phrase is, among those who are ignorant of the truth as it is

in Jesus,) wrote a letter to Richard Claridge, desiring him to inform him whether the report he had heard of him were true; but Richard Claridge making no reply thereto, when the Antinomian came to London, he gave Richard Claridge a friendly visit at his house, to confer with him about that, and other religious matters.

The first thing they discoursed of, was, concerning gospel worship and ministry, which Richard Claridge said, were not of any human institution or contrivance, but purely divine or spiritual. For God being a spirit, he will be worshipped in spirit and in truth. And they that minister, ought not to come forth in their own will and time; but wait in silence, to receive from the Lord, before they offer any thing before him; that he may provide himself a sacrifice, and receive an oblation of his own preparing, and not of man's. This briefly is gospel worship, and gospel ministry, and there is none other.

The Antinomian declared his full accordance with Richard Claridge in this matter, saying, he was one with him therein; and as to the ministry, he did believe the ministers of the gospel were to receive first from the Lord, that which they delivered to the people. By which concession, the ministry among the people called Quakers is justified; for they wait in silence upon the Lord, to receive from him, before their mouths are opened in prayer, or testimony: and the practice of others is condemned, whether Episcopal, Presbyterian, Independent, or Baptist preachers, among whom there is no waiting in silence, first to receive from the Lord, and then to offer unto him of his own; but their teachers usually come forth with a prepared form of

words, which they have gotten together, by study or premeditation, or such extemporaneous matter, as the strength of their natural memory or invention furnishes them with. And thus, that which is neither gospel, nor preaching of the gospel, but man's comments and devices, not the Holy Spirit's dictates and inspirations, they boldly obtrude upon their hearers, under their several forms; ignorantly using the words of Christ, his apostles and prophets, and erroneously calling their own preaching, the preaching of the gospel.

The Antinomian next proposed to speak to the point of justification, asking Richard Claridge several times over, "What is the matter of our justification before God?" Whether it was that righteousness which Christ wrought out in his own person by his active and passive obedience? With more to the same purpose; adding, if Richard Claridge was sound and orthodox in this great point of justification, he might be borne with in lesser matters.

R. C. replied, That he did not divide, or separate Christ without, from Christ within, as this question seemed to do, and so to make two Christs; for Christ is one, whether we consider him in his out

ward, or inward appearance, being "the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." He added also, That this question was not proposed in plain Scripture terms, neither had the Antinomian any solid foundation to ground it upon. Then he quoted that testimony of the apostle Paul, in 1 Cor vi. 11: "But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." And said, that it was evident by the apostle's words, that he did not lead us to an outward righteousness only, for our justifica

tion; but to an inward righteousness, as being the immediate cause thereof: for, if we attend to the order of the apostle's testimony, we must be washed and sanctified, before we can be justified. And, if we come to witness the efficacious work of the Spirit of Christ, in our cleansing and sanctification, then we shall know ourselves to be in a state of justification, and not till then. For, though Christ be a "" propitiation for the sins of the whole world," 1 John, ii. 2, yet no man can comfortably apply him as such to his own soul, but as he first experiences the sanctifying work of the Spirit. Richard Claridge added, that he did not by any means exclude the sufferings and death of Christ without us, from having a part in our justification; for he looked upon them as the remote procuring cause, and were by no means to be slighted and undervalued; but he placed the main stress, as to the immediate work of justification, upon the inward operation of the Spirit of Christ in our hearts, whereby we are purged from our old sins, and brought into a state of actual reconciliation and acceptance with the Lord. He said, actual; because there is a possibility of reconciliation, which all mankind are under, through the mercy of God, by the sufferings and death of Christ; but none are actual partakers of the saving benefits accruing therefrom, but such as truly repent and believe. This he spake with respect to adult persons, that are not incapacitated by any natural, or providential necessity, as infants, idiots, deaf persons, and the like are.

In a word, if justification be considered in its full and just latitude, neither Christ's work without us, in the prepared body, nor his work within

us, by his Holy Spirit, are to be excluded; for both have their place and service in our complete and absolute justification.

By the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ without us, we, truly repenting and believing, are, through the mercy of God, justified from the imputations of sins and transgressions that are past, as though they had never been committed: and by the mighty work of Christ within us, the power, nature, and habits of sin are destroyed, that " as sin once reigned unto death, even so now grace reigneth through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord." And all this is effected, not by a bare, or naked act of faith, separate from obedience; but in the obedience of faith, Christ being the author of eternal salvation to none but those that obey him.

The Antinomian still pressed for a direct answer to his question.

R. C. then said to this effect, That the matter of our justification, in the sight of God, is the righteousness of Christ alone.

The Antinomian said, That was true; but the expression being capable of admitting divers interpretations, it needed to be explained.

R. C. told him, He did not understand by it Christ's righteousness, wholly without us; for then men might be justified in a state of sin and transgression, which is contrary to the whole current of Scripture; but the righteousness of Christ, wrought in us, not excluding that without us: his righteousness without us, being the remote procuring cause, and his righteousness wrought in us by his Spirit, the immediate formal cause of our justification.

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