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conceived they sate there as Ministers of justice; and therefore might not deny unto him his just appeale (understanding that the deniall of an appeale, must either presuppose a superiority in them that deny it, or an equality at the least, with the State appealed unto) unto which the Governour made answer, as also Master lohn lndicote, deputy Governour, and had Gorton never dream, or think of any such thing, for no appeale should be granted unto him.
Now the Ministers and Magistrates, having weighed better our Writings, our Examinations in Court, answers to questions more privately, with any thing, spoken in the prison amongst our selves, which daily ear was lent unto, or our carriage and demeanure in any respect; they had now summed up, and drawn all into four questions, which were now to be answered in case of of life and death.
The Questions were these that follow, not a word varying in any one of them.
1. Q. Whether the Fathers, who dyed before Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, were justified and saved only by the blood which he shed, and the death which he suffered after his incarnation.
2. Q. Whether the only price of our Redemption, were not the death of Christ upon the Crosse, with the rest of his sufferings, and obediences in the time of his life here after he was borne of the Virgin Mary.
3. Q. Who is that God whom he thinks we serve.
4. Q. What he means, when he saith, We worship the Star of our God Rempham, Chion, Molech.
To these four questions the Court told Gorton he must answer speedily upon life and death, and that under his hand writing; he told them be was not willing to answer in any thing but as before he had done; they told him he must give in speedy answer under his hand writing; he asked what time he must have for the answer of them; they told him a quarter of an houre; he told them he could answer them in so short a time, but he knew not whether it could give them satisfaction; for it was as much as for a man to describe Iesus Christ what he is, and the way of Antichrist aho, which might be done in few words; but not to be clear to every man; for a man may describe the whole world in these words; in the beginning God
created created heaven and earth, and the earth was without forme and void, and darknesse was upon the face of the deep, and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters; all the whole worke of creation is in this masse or heape; but to set out the glory and beauty that comes out of this, needs many Phrases to expresse it; even so it is in the description of the Son of God, lesus Christ, borne of the Virgin, it may be done in few words; but to lay out the Ma<ure, benefit, and glory of it, no smal speech, or time can serve to expresse: and therefore desired in word (as before he had manifested his mind unto them) so he might give that present answer which God gave unto him in this point also; but they told him it must be done in writing, and so commanded the Goaler to convey him to an other room to dispatch the same; but as he was going out from them, they called unto him, and told him he should have the liberty of lialfe an hours time to performe it in; when he was come into an other room, pen, inke and paper being brought unto him, as he was going to write, word was sent from the Court, that if it was brought in, on the second day in the morning, it should suffice, for the Court considering of it, that many of them had farre home, and it being the day of Preparation for the Sabbath (for it was now Saturday in the afternoon) and they thought not fit to sit any longer; so Gorton was conveyed againe into the Prison to the rest of his friends; who continued cheerfully together, all the Sabbath day, as they had done before in the Prison; only some part of those dayes, they brought us forth unto their Congregations, to hear their Sermons, of occido and occidio, which was meat not to be digested, but only by the ^ heart or stomacke of an Ostrich: But upon the Munday morning, Gorton tooke pen and inke, and writ in answer to every one of the four questions given unto him, as here followeth.
This is a true Copie of answers, given to the Court of the Massachusets to the four questions, which they required to be answered in writing upon life, and death, in case of Blasphemy, which we were charged with, and sentence so jarre passed, as to take away our lives by the sword, in case of not disclayming of our Religion, or erroneous opinions, as they were pleased to call them; the answers are truly set down, verbatim.
PpO-the first question we answere affirmatively (only assuming
.*. the liberty of our explanation) namely, The Fathers who
dyed before Christ was borne oj the Virgin Mary,
in tiiis'answDr were justified and saved, only by the blood which
tuere is a word he shed, and the death which he suffered, [bJ in
added to their
question, which was done of purpose (knowing how Ihey looked) to regulate them, if it were possible, as it was declared unto thein, in the first reading of the answer, how they fell short in it, which they yeelded unto; they say, the death which In: suffered (atter) his incarnation, the answer saith (In) and after his incarnation. For to speake of the sufferings of Christ, alter his incarnation, without respect unto that which was before, we may as well speake of his sufferings before his incarnation, without respect to that which 'is nfter; for the Crosse of Christ is not, but with respect, both to humane nature and divine, and we cannot know the two natures in Christ, what they are distinctly in themselves, to give each its proper due, and what they are joyntly united in one, no otherwise, but as they are considered in the vory act of Incarnation, in which appears the Sufferer, and that which is suffered, the Sufferer is tho Son of God made man, the creator becoms a creature; the thing suffered, is to be made a curse, that is to be mado such a thing as is in it selte, by nature accursed, and so Christ was made a curse; the sufferings of Christ then, and the shedding of his blood (as he is known after the spirit) are properly in that one act of his incarnation, which is the proper act of the humiliation of the Son of God, so that to speak of his sufferings after his incarnation, you may as well spcako of his sufferings before his incarnation, for it is no suffering of Christ, but with robpect, both to the one, aud the other, and only in the act of incarnation tlioy are made one; and to aneako of the sufferings of Christ visibly, in his humane nature, in the dayes of Herod, to be the proper sufferings of the Son of God, any further, but as a true doctrine (as in all other holy Writ) to ieach what that suffering is, in the act of his incarnation, you may as well speak of sufferings of Christ invisibly, before that act of his incarnation, for the Crosse of Christ is not, but with respoct, both to divine and humane nature; nor can it be said to be in time, no moro then it may bo said to bo before ul time; for the humiliation of the Son of God, admits not of any bounJs or limits, for then wore it not of intinit value; and if not of intinit value and vertue, then not the humiliation of the Son of God, nor could it be said to be the blood of God, as the Apostle cals it; so that as he hiinselfe is not, but as the first and the last become one, even so his sufferings are not, but in that one act, of the curse and blessing, being madi one. This being premised which was signifiod unto thorn by word of mouth, tho answer runs clear, to understand Christ i. according
according to the spirit, otherwise a man mny carnalize the answer unto him. selfe as ho knews Christ after the flesh, as the world doth the whole word of God, so also the set.d of Abraham, is to be understood as Abraham liimselfe is; Abraham is the Father of Christ, as in the Genealogy it appears; so saith Darid in the person of Christ, our Fathers trusted in thee, meaning Abraham for one, and Christ also the Father of Abraham, therefore hee is called the everlasting father; and Christ hiinselte saith, before Abraham was 1 am, such also is the'seed of Abraham, it produceth and brings forth tho Son of God, and the Son of God produceih and brings forth it; so is it with the Virgin, she is the mother that gives form, and being to Jesus Christ, he also gives form and being unto her; therefore she cals him her Lord aud Saviour; tho woman brings forth the man, a Virgin conceives and bears a Son; the man brinjjs forih the woman, made of a rib, out of his innocent side; so that th» man is not without the woman, nor the woman without the man in the Lord; these two being separated, the Contract is broken, the Uovorce is made, and not buing rightly united, the word is adulterated, we nre in our sin. The mysturie of this answer then lies in this, (which Pharnsies understand not) if Christ be the Virgin Maries Son, conceived in her womb, and born of her, how doth iiio Virgin Mary in spirit call him her Lord God, aud Saviour?
and after his Incarnation (that is on thiswise; that the guilt and stain of man is not, but with respect unto the holy word of God, the disobedience whereof, by eating the forbidden fruit, breeds an infinit distance, between God and his owne worke, without the least defect or blame to be found or imputed unto the Word of God, but the sole defect and blame is in the creature, even in man himselfe, yet could he in no case be so miserable, but with respect unto the holy Word; even so the justification and salvation of the Fathers, was by the holy word of God, not but with respect and relation unto the seed of Abraham, and the Son of David, (conceived and borne oj the Virgin Mary) in uhom they were justified and saved, and yet no vertue nor power, arising out of any thing that is humane; man therefore is a sinner of infinit guilt, with respect unto that word, which was before all time, and no fault to be found in the Word at all; the word of God is a Saviour of infinit value, with respect unto the seed of the Virgin Mary, borne, suffering, dying, and rising againe in the fulnesse of time, and yet no vertue in that seed at all, unto whom all the Prophets bear witnesse, having an eye unto him in all their holy Writings, and the faith of the Fathers comprehending Christ, both in the one, and in the other respect, were justified and saved by him alone, his death being reall and actuall unto faith, God having the same coexistance with the creature in all ages, though the creature cannot have the same with him but in time.
To the second Questiou depending upon, or rather involved in the former we answer.
Mans rejection of the Word of God, being his sinne and separation from God, is the only forfeiture of himselfe, which could not be, but with respect unto the word of eternity; even so Gods Righteousnesse revealed by taking man into unitie with himselfe, is the only price of our Redemption, with respect unto the death of Christ upon the Crosse, with the rest of his sufferings, and obedience, from the time of his Incarnation, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, to his ascention into Heaven, without which there is no price of our Redemption.
To the third Question, who we thinke that God is, that men serve, that are not of the faith above-said: we answer that all mens hearts are awed (by the true God) to bow in worship: therefore when the Apostle looking upon the inscription upon the Altar at Athens, it is said, Ae beheld their devotion (or as the word is) the God which they worshipped, though ignorantly, yet it was he only that he declared unto them: So the Apostle Iames, thou beleevest, that there is one God, thou doest well, the Devils also beleeve and tremble.
The fourth Question therefore is the explanation of the third, namely what we mean by Molech, and the Star of that God Remphan: to which we answer, that the Scripture alluded unto, * makes difference between those Gain-sayers Act. 7.43. of t1Ie Fatners which fell in the Wildernesse, and those of the true seed, that gave faithfull Testimony unto the Oracle of God; the Rebels of the sons of Levy, would not take up, nor beare the Arke of God, as their duty was, nor give the light and lustre of a Star in the Tabernacle, when it was pitched (for the seven Stars are the seven Angels:) But as they had the power of a worldly Ruler, or Governour to defend them in their worke, and to subdue all that were not of their mind under them: therefore they tooke up the Tabernacle of Molech, or bore the Booth of the King, and gave the light of Remphan (alluding unto Rapha, who in Davids dayes had four sonnes, were mighty Gyants, warring only by the strength of the Arme of flesh) so that they would not give Testimony unto the holy way of God; but as they had a King set over them, besides Moses, to defend them, when as a greater then Moses was there: And in this they turned backe in their hearts, unto AUgypt, looking unto the way of Pharaoh, that would subdue all that were not of his own way, and be a defence unto his wise men in what ever they wrought; but the faithfull seed of Abraham, had the Tabernacle of witnesse, or witnessed unto the Tabr.rnadc, even in the Wildernesse, where there was no