More vvorke for PRIESTS: OR AN ANSWERE TO GEORGE GIFFORDS pretended defence of Read Prayers and devised Leitourgies, comprised in the first part of his booke; Intituled A short Treatise against the Do­natists of England: Wherein Is proved that the serving of God in such away and manner is a supersti­tious and vaine worship.

Written By JOHN GREENWOOD Christs faythfull Martyr: Here-unto Is added by another man, many other arguments against stinted service and booke prayer.

Luk. 16. 15.

That which is highly esteemed among men, is an abomination in the sight of God.

Printed in the yeere 1640.

The Preface

MY first writing being about that spiri­tual exercise of prayer and true invo­cation of Gods reverend name, whereby the distressed soule of man, loaden with the burden of sinne, compassed also about with so many deceitfull enimies, conti­nual assaults of Satan, rebellion of the flesh, entisements of the world etc. see­keth daylie help of God the Father, giver of all good giftes, having thorough Iesus Christ free accesse by the direction of his holy spirit, for all occasions to unburden it self of whatsoever grief, or occasion of thankes it is moved with: I ought stil, and by Gods assistance shall keepe me in the meeknes of the spirit, not withstan­ding his unchristian railinges, slanders, & reproches against me & the truth. I then shewed that no other prayer could utter and ease the severall occasions & distres­ses of this conscience, and that no other mans writing could speake for this soule unto God, but the heart and mouth of him that prayeth for himself, or is chosen the mouth of many, uttering to God his or their mindes for their present wātes or [Page 4] occasion urgeth, and the spirit giveth ut­terance. And I further proved that onelie this prayer pleaseth God, and is grounded on faith; to this effect I brought many reasons out of Gods worde, admiring the ignorance of this age, wherin (having had the gospell of Christ thus many years in our owne language to search and try all things by) whole congregations doe make no other praier to God thē reading over a certeine number of wordes upon a booke from yeare to yeare, moneth to moneth, day to day &c. the same matter and words as they were stinted, even out of that Portuis, englished out of Anti­christs masse booke; besides private rea­ding of menswritings instead of praying. And seing this counterfeit shew of wor­ship and pretended prayers was made common marchandize in every assemblie by this Antichristian preisthood, and that al men every where, were compelled to bowe downe hereunto, and to offer up such counterfeit sacrifices; I perceaved the first principle of Religion) which is to to invocate the name of the true God, through the meditation of Christ in spirit and truth, with heart and voyce, for our [Page 5] present wantes according to the will of God) was never yet sincerely taught by these time serving Priests: But as an agreable service to the humors of earthlie minded, men which have not the spirit of God, this ware was thrust upon al people. They wel knowing, that such a ministery and such a Church of wordlings could never have stood, without such a Sama­ritan worship & Egyptian calf; and like earthlie devises to counterfeit a Religion, al men inclyned to some. And long have I heard this pretended worship inveyed against by many (sometimes zealous) for the errours and confused order thereof: Yet could I not heare anie to sett downe or teach, which was the true prayer that only pleased God, manie contriving di­vers formes of wordes, as though they had knowen the heart of man, counselled thē to reade them, day unto day, yeare unto yeare, at evening, morning, dinner, sup­per &c. by portion, measure, and stint, as an offering to God what state soever the soule was in; not teaching the dif­ference betweene reading upon a booke, and prayer unto God, all the tyme. So that true and only prayer hath not beene [Page 6] taught all this tyme, & those that knewe how to pray aright neglect it, this reading being most easie as they thinke, and they aprest therunto, compelled in the publi­que assemblies thus to mocke with God, after the manner of the papists mattins, true zeale no where founde, but in the persequuted remnant.

These my first writings, caryed a­broode by such as desired true instructiō, and willing to make others partakers of such benefits as God imparted unto them, it fell into Mr GIFFORDS hand; Who (as it seemeth being a marchaunt of such ware fynding the gaine of the priesthood to depend here upon, or as he saith (the peace and uniformitie of the Church) made head unto it; and that not with purpose (as the fruite of his labour sheweth) to edifie others, but standing himself a mi­nister to this Liturgie, having made ship­wrack of that conscience he sometimes was thought to have; with all bitternes of spirit, and carnal wisdome, having no more savour of grace in his writings, then there is taste in the white of an egge, fleeth upō me with uncharitable raylings, slanders &c. And loadeth not only me, [Page 7] but all the faithfull that walke by the rule of Gods worde, with opprobrious titles, of Donatists, Brownists, Anabaptists, Heretiques, Schismatiques, seditious, foolish, frantick, &c. to bring not onely us, but the truth of God into contempt with our Sovereigne Prince, and all that feare God: for he ceaseth not with laying al reproches he can devise upon our persons; as one of those Locusts, Rev. 9. whose similitudes are like unto horses pre­pared to battell, whose faces like men, but their teeth as the teeth of Lyons; But also perverteth, blaspheameth, & by all meanes defaceth the truth offered to him. Welseing the natural mā perceiverh not the things of the spirit of God (I wil speak not here of the giftes of the spirit but of the grace of God which sanctifieth the same, many having Charismata that have not Charin.) And see­ing I am alreadie thus rent, Gods truth de­livered by me, troden under his feete, I will followe the councell of Salomon who fore­warneth me that he which reproveth a skorner receaveth to himself shame, and he that rebuketh the wicked himself a blot: And so tourne me from him, leaving him to the considera­tion of his owne words: where he sayeth in his Epistle to the reader, He that seemeth [Page 8] most zealous in Religion and refrayneth not his tongue, hath but bitternes in his heart in stead of heavenly Zeale. And though nothing els can be looked for at their bandes that are Apostate from that light they have some­tymes themselves published, (of vvhich sorte the worlde was never more full) yet for the good of Gods chosen scattered a­broade, and for the defence of Gods trueth I cannot holde my tongue: And for the more playnenes, I will answeare as to him, though I minde not to have anie more to doe with him, till God give him repen­tance. Wishing grace by the direction of Gods holy spirit to him that readeth, to weigh both sides uprightly, and to follow the truth to his owne salvation.


More works for Priests.


To condemne & overthrow read prayer, ye bring as the ground or foundation of al your matter, this Sentence, God is a Spirit & to be worshipped in Spirit, Iob. 4. This Scripture indeed is cleare & strong to cut downe al carnal worship, as dis­greeing from the nature of GOD. And if any maintaine that the very bodily action of reading is the worship of God, it may fitly be alleadged against them, &c.


‘Wisdome is Iustified of her Children.’

IT is agreed upon & consented unto on both sides, that seeing God is a spirit, & onely requireth such to worship him, as worship him in spirit & truth: all carnall worship is cut downe hereby, of what sort soever, as disagreeing from the nature of God: & that all fantastical devises of men; namely, whatsoever is not warranted in his worde, is carnall worship, a wearisomnes unto him, & lothsome in his sight: So that no man ought to intermedle, attempt, or practise any thing in shew of worship, wher of they have not sure grounde of his worde: For even our God is a consuming fire.

Now to put away all your (bodily) distinc­tions [Page 10] and earthly cavils, I still affirme (as I have proved) the stinting, imposing mens writings upon publique assemblies, to have them read over by number and stint, or any other way, as a worship of God instead of true invocation, is a meere devise of man, & so carnall worship; as also all other rea­ding of mens writings publiquely or pri­vatly in this abuse, for praying to God. Yet say you to apply this Scripture Iohn. 4.22.23. in this manner against read prayer, is frivolous, where I appeale to all mens consciences, for the weight therof. It is frivolous, you say, except I can prove that a man cannot pray by the spirit of God with sighes, and groanes upon a booke, or when prayer is uttered after a pre­script forme, &c.. At the first step you goe about to alter the question. All our prayers ought to be uttered after a prescript forme, even that perfect rule and forme our Sa­viour gave to his Disciples and all posteri­ties: But this is nothing to the matter.

For the other which is nothing but a beg­ging of the question, I alleaged certayne reasōs to this effect. First that those sighes & groanes in reading instead of praying were not of faith, seeing that those sighes & gro­nes that proceed of faith, minister matter [Page 11] to pray without a booke. 2. That you did but barely affirme the question in calling it prayer by the spirit, when one doth read, seing reading is not praying at all: for as I then alleadged, to invocate the name of God in spirit, is by the worke of the spirit to bring fourth of our hearts prayer to God, which is then in truth when it agreeth to Gods word. But reading is another matter, namely a receaving of instruction into the heart from the booke. Out of the first Mr. GIFFORD maketh men beleeve he hath fetched two heresies; the one a perfection of faith, the other that faith cannot be joyned unto, or stand with anie outward helpes for the encrease therof. Litle marveile, he found so many heresies in our whole writings, that could finde two or three in my first reason: but that you may remember your self better (though you had two yeares to consider) I will bring the wordes before you againe, if peradventure you may have grace to call backe your self. I said if the sighes & grones (in that kinde of praying) were of faith, it would minister matter without a booke, this sentence I may confirme by many testi­monies of scripture, that no perverted spirit can gaine say or resist: the scripture teacheth [Page 12] us every where, that in praying the spirit onely helpeth our infirmities, no other helpes men­tioned or can be collected in the present ac­tion of prayer through the Scripture. He hath sent into our hearts the spirit of his Sonne crying:Rom. 8.26 Gal 4.6 2. cor. 4.13 Abba Father, we beleeve, therfore we speake. Yet here is not any shew of perfec­tion of faith, but of the contrary, praying for our wantes. But this may be gathered, that God onely accepteth the fruits of his owne spirit in prayer, and requireth no more of any, but that every one according to the pro­portion of faith, pray unto him, as occasion in them requireth. Now to conclude that because in praying we neede not a book to speake for us, when the heart it self & book of our conscience speaketh with God; that therefore sayth never needeth instruction, but is perfect, were slanderous, false, and senselesse. The cause then of these heresies proceed hereof, that your sel fe Mr. Gifford would needs frame two syllogismes, & in the moodes of your malice, constraine the pro­positiō of the present action in praying, to a generall sentence of all times and actions. though both our question here was of the very action of praying, & in the conclusion of that very point within six lines after this, [Page 13] you ad these wordes; Even in the time of their begging at Gods hands; so that these he­resies must be Mr Giffords and not myne, seeing they are found to be coyned of his idle brayne, and godles heart, only to de­fame the trueth.

But (say you) the most part are ignorant, weak, short of memorie, &c. therfore need all helps to stir them up to pray, &c. where, by your own confession, reading is not praying, but a help to stir up to pray. And even hereupon al our errours arise, that you cannot discerne the difference of spiritual gifts, with the distinct use of thē. We doubt not but before prayer, & al the daies of our life, we have neede of helps of instruction to praye aright, & for the fitnes of the mind & bodie, often fa­sting, reading, meditating, &c. are great helpes to go before to humble our selves in praying: but in the present action of prayer whē the heart is talking with God, the eies, hands, &c. with attention lift up to heaven, all the powers of our soules & bodies con­versant with God, to take a booke & read, cannot be called in this action a help, but a confounding of the mind, & of Gods ordi­nances, and a doing we know not what, though before and after, it be an exeellent [Page 14] meanes ordeyned of God, to instruct us to pray and al other dueties.

As for the conformation you talke of, where I alledged that a troubled minde is the penne of a readie writer, therefore needeth not a booke to speake for it in the action of praying:Psalm. 51, 17. By troubled minde I understood such a minde, as is presently moved with the sight of some sinne, or urged by other occa­sion: a broken spirit, a broken & contrite heart: & not such a minde as in dispayre or doubt is perplexed: and that the heart which is moved in faith with present occasion to cal upon God is the penne of a readie writer, (that is) hath matter and wordes enough without a book to utter his own wantes, we may reade throughout the Psalmes, My throte is dry (saith David) I am wearie with crying &c. But here againe in stead of an­swere, you tell me, I runne upon the rocke of an hereticall opinion of perfection: Wherein I wonder (but that I perceave your right eye is blinded) you should be so carelesse what you say, nay what after two yeares studie you put in print. Doth it follow, that be­cause the heart, moved with occasion through the worke of faith, hath wordes and matter enough in praying without a [Page 15] booke to speake for it, that therefore faith is perfect? Let equall Judges con­sider.

Here you say manie are so troubled & per­plexed in minde, that they cannot pray till they have some consolation by the direction of others; which when they cannot have, reading upon a booke is a notable help, I allowe all this and agree, if you would make reading one thing, and prayer an other, divers exerci­ses of the spirit &c. But in the verie action of praying to have an other speake unto us never so good wordes of exhortation, were but a confounding of the minde and action, and an abuse of both those holie exercises. Even so, by your owne comparison, reading upon a booke in the action of praying, seing we cannot doe both at once. It is the spirit of God in the verie action of prayer that helpeth our infirmities. David in praying finding his soule heavie, stirreth up himself as thus. My soule why art thou cast down, why art thou disquieted within me, Psalm. 42, & 43. waite on God; For I will yet give him thankes, my present help and my God. He had a troubled minde, his mouth wanted no wordes to provoke the Lorde to heare his complaint, and his heart to waite upon the Lord, & so through [Page 16] all the Psalmes you shall finde the conver­sing of the soule with God to be such, as it were a mockerie to think reading vpon a book could have anie place in that action, or that anie mans writing could lay out the present estate of the soule with the passions thereof. The Priest may say, my booke whie are thouso euill prynted, for when they reade the heart cannot reason and talke with God.

To the second poynt, which was but your bare assuming of the question, to say a man may pray by the spirit vpon a booke &c. I alleadged that to worship God in spirit, is, when the inward faith of the heart, brin­geth foorth true invocation, etc. this you graunt to be most true, and that none other is accepted of G O D; then that which proceedeth from the inward faith of our owne heart: But you think that reading vpon a booke is to bring foorth of the heart true invocation. This cannot be, if wee con­sider the difference betweene proseuche and anagnosis prayer and reading, the one being a powring fourth of vowes, petitions, supplications, the other a receaving into the soule al such things as wee reade: This therfore I leave to all mens consciences to [Page 17] be considered, whether the matter we reade can be said a powring fourth of the heart, the whole vse of these divers actiōs through the whole Bible shew yt cannot. Now where I said that you teach men insteade of powring fourth their hearts, to help them­selves with matter and wordes out of a booke, you say I speake fondly and foolishlie etc. Mine answeare now is, yt is well I lyed not, if I had said you compell men to read vpon a booke in all your publique assem­blies, certaine wordes of your owne wri­tings by number and stint, from yeare to yeare, & day to day, & the same instead of powring out their hearts before the Lorde for their present wants, I had not lyed. Now let all men by that which hath bene said, consider the grossnes of it, and so the follie remayneth to your self. But to helpe this matter, & to deliver your self conniug­ly in such a strayte, you say you wish al men to use the help of the book, that they might the better powre fourth their hearts vnto God, being such as are not throughly able. First you graunt here, the prayers read vp­on the booke is not the powring fourth of the heart, but ought to be vsed only as an help, wherbie you graunt the whole questi­on, [Page 18] and furder all your assemblies have had no other invocation of Gods name this many yeares, but a help to teach them to powre fourth their hearts. But whether mens writings may be read in the publique assemblies to this use, we shall after make manifest, Here yet is graunted but an help, and not the powring fourth of the heart. And to whom is it graunted an help? to such as are not able to pray. Here eyther you must confesse your whole ministerie is vnable to pray, or that they transgresse in in this high worship of GOD: for in an other place you graunt in all your assem­blies, this reading is vsed of mens writing for prayer, thus you may behold your best worship to be nothing, but a help to teach you to pray.

Where I said that you teach men to fetch the cause of their sorrowing from the booke, euen in their tyme of begging at G O D S hand, you say I speak fondly, to call that the cause, which is the manifesta­tion of the cause etc. You here forget your artes, Is ther no more causes then one? if it be the instrumentall cause, it is sufficient to prove, that if your Ministers had not their booke, they had nothing to aske, or [Page 19] els asking that which is in the booke, they aske not that wich before was in their owne heartes, so not comming heavie laden, they goe emptie away, and leave the matter in the booke as they founde it, till the next day and then sing the same songe, But true prayer is when the heart is first prepared, and moued with the sight of their wants as the child that asketh breade: So we should not pray of custome, but aske the verie thing wherof our heart feeleth the want. Your comparison againe betwixt the being stirred up by a Sermon, and stirred up by reading, sheweth, that your self will not make the reading the powring fourth of the heart.

Ther is no question but the exercise of reading is chieflie for instruction and en­crease of knowledge, and meditating is not the same, nether can be said to be al the use of reading, though we denie reading to be praying, but because we are forbidden contention about wordes, & I have offred you as much wrong in saying you denyed reading to be for meditation at all, I will proceede to the more necessarie doctrines. Also for the controversie of Canonicall and Apocryphall, we shall speak in due place. [Page 20] Thus (say you) you have answered nothing at all vnto this Commandement giuen by our saviour Christ to vse that prescript forme of prayer, say, Our Father &c, but by shift and cavill &c. Here you thinke you have put me to a plunge, your self needed nothing doubt, but that I allowed the Commaundement holie and good, and to extend to all Christians, as well as to the Apostles, namely, to use that prescript forme of prayer as the perfect pat­terne, & direction to all mens true prayers. But you I trust will make difference be­twixt a forme to all prayers, and praying, or prayer. And here you vehemently urge me to answeare you, before I see you conclude any thing from the place, and so I should runne into follie, to answeare a matter be­fore I heare it. In your first entrance of this discourse, you were rounde in your Syllo­gismes, by two at once to wraft my wordes, and can find none for your self, Yt seemes your conscience is witnes the matter would not hang together. And me thinkes you had never more neede to have shewed what you would drawe from this place Luke 11. Se­ing I either mistooke you the last time, or els you make a simple collection: which was this: Christ said to his Disciples, when you [Page 21] pray say Our Father. &, and not when you meditate say Our Father. Now what would you conclude of this, except as I said, that Christ would not have them, meditate that Scripture: But this I perceave was not your meaning: now I partlie thinke your Ar­gument should be (if the sworde were not broken in the sheath) thus: Christ com­maunded his Disciples when they prayde, to say, Our Father, &c. therefore to be tyed to reade over or say by roate certaine wordes, is lawfull praying. For the first, that our Saviour Christ tyed no man, or commaunded none to say over those verie wordes when they prayde, but to pray according to that form, after that manner as Math. 6. I manifested in my first writing. I. that our Saviour did not commaunde us to use those wordes. 2. that Matth. 6. doth not keepe the same wordes, nor that number of wordes which Luke 11. doth. 3. that he did not say, read these wordes when you pray, or say these wordes by roate. After all which reasons slilye passed away in both your answeres, you come with your bare affirmation, that he commaunded those wordes to be said over by roate or reading: Yea a litle after you say, it is false to say that he commanded [Page 22] not the verie wordes to he said over when we pray. And you further conclude, that because Christ commaunded his Disciples to say over those wordes, therefore all mens writings in the forme of praier may be brought into the publique assemblies to be read for praier, being agreable to the worde. To which I answere that seing no mans writings are without errour, it is per­nitious and blasphemous doctrine you col­lect. First because you make mens writings of equal authority with the forme of praier which Christ hath prescribed 2. for that you give men as much liberty and authori­ty to frame and impose their Liturgies as Christ had to set downe a forme of praier, he being Lord of the house. The wicked­nesse of which collections you shall never be able to answere.

And because you here urge me thereunto, I will make answeare to your two places of Scripture, wherwith by false interpreta­tion you deceave the simple, which taken from you, your matter is nothing but cavil­ling: The places are these, Luke 11. Num, 6. and because the one explanes the other, and your collections the same from both, I will beginne with numbers 6.32, 33.34: [Page 23] etc. Thus shall you bless the Children of Israell saying, the Lord bless thee and keep thee, etc. Here you say they were commaunded to use the verie wordes prescribed, in all their blessings. This I say is not true, for the Hebrew worde is Coh Tebaracu, thus shall you blesse: wher the worde Coh is an adverb of simili­tude, as we say, after this manner: which cannot be to say the same, but according to the same instructions. This worde Coh is used throughout the Bible in this maner, in all the Prophets when they say, thus sayth the Lorde: where the summe of their pro­phesies are onely recorded to us by the holy Ghost, and not all the wordes. Againe this blessing is used in the Psalmes and Chro­nicles in prayer, for the people, in manie other wordes. Ely blessed Hanna in other wordes, etc. And where in Luke 11.2. it is recorded, that our Saviour Christ commaunded his Disciples, when you pray, I. Sam. 1 17 say Our Father, &c. it is plaine by the doc­trines following. verses, that Christ tied no man to the verie wordes say­ing over, for he teacheth them to aske their particular wants, as a childe asketh breade or an egg of his Father: also to importune the Lorde for our particular wants. But to [Page 24] make this place more plaine, the same holy Ghost in the 6. of Mathew 9. verse saith, when you pray, say thus, Our Father, etc. where the greek word houtos hath the same signification that the Hebrew worde Coh hath, which is, after this manner: & cannot be referred to the verie wordes saying o­ver, wher upon Mr. Calvin upon those wordes faith, Noluit filius Dei prescribere quibus verbis utendum sit: The Sonne of God would not prescribe what words we must use. Now consider how falslie Mr Gifford hath interpreted these Scriptures, to say the Priests were commaunded to use the verie wordes, and that Christ commaunded to use the verie wordes. As for his collections, that therefore mens writings may be imposed upon publique assemblies, by stint & number to be prayde, it is an intollerable error,& bringeth in all poopery.

Here I must call all men that reade this fruitlesse discourse to be witnes of Mr. Giffords abuse of his tougue, to the defacing of Gods truth. In his Epistle he proclaymed, that I called all men Idolāters; which you shall perceave to be his owne wordes, and to that end I will breifly repeat it. In my first writing I affirmed the reading imposed [Page 25] Liturgies by stint and limitation, instead of true invocation, as also all reading mens­writings for praying, to be idolatrie. In his answere he said, he could not see by what col­lour it could be called Idolatrie, or maintayned out of Gods worde so to be; but it seemes the penners of these things take every sinne against the first table of the Lawe, to be Idolatrie: if they doe so (saith he) and with all doe hold, that no Idolater shalbe saved, then doubtlesse all are lost, &c. To this ignorant excursorie I an­swered, that all false and devised worship by mans intention was Idolatrie, as the first and second commandements did testifie. And to admit all the breaches of the first table were not idolatrie, yet reading of mens writings instead of praying must needs be idolatry, seing it is a transgression of the second Commandement. Further (though I needed not have followed his emptie head, even a cloude without water) yet I proceeded to prove, that no idolater could be saved but b y repentance for their knowne sinne, and craving pardon with David for their hidden sinnes and secreet faults.Psal. 119 Moreover (sayd I) doe you thinke anie man is free from all inward and out­ward idolatrie, seing we cannot keep one [Page 26] Commandement, and in some things we sinne all. In which wordes I plainely re­proved his grossnes that concluded all men idolaters which committed anie idolatrie, and that no idolater could be saued, and distinguished betweene the sinne of igno­rance, weaknes, and imperfection &c. in Gods children, and open professed obstinate idolatrie. Yet this godles man would lay to my charge, that I should call all men idola­ters, wheras I never used such a worde in all my writings, But onlie answered his folly in this running out from the question, they were his owne wordes that brought this upon his owne heade, by concluding, that if every sinne against the first table were idolatrie, and no idolater could be saved, then all are lost, let the grosnes then be his, and not mine. And I leave it to the consi­deration of all men, whether I may not say, that they which transgresse the first or se­cond Commandements, do commit idola­trie, without absurdity. But saith he though it be so, yet the Scripture calleth not the godly, murtherers, idolaters, etc. for the reliques of sinne remayning. I answere that therefore your former absurd cavilling, where you said, if we hold it idolatrie, etc. [Page 27] is by your owne mouth fully answered.

But to avoyde this foile, he hath an other evasion. J thought (saith he) we had rea­soned about such grosse idolatrie as a church is to be condemned and forsaken, which is defiled therwith. Here againe you misre­port me: J never reasoned to that end in in this whole discourse, but onlie laboured to shew all men this error of reading mens writings instead of praying, that they might learne how to converse with God & their owne Conscience, in prayer. And what mendes will you make for this slandering and defacing of the truth, to all the world all that I desire is your repentance and a­mendement, which God graunt unto you, if you be his.

It followeth in your booke thus: But see­ing you confess that all men be Idolaters, that is touching the remanents of sinne, it must needs follow there is no Church free from spots, etc. This worde idolaters must still be yours, & then I willinglie graunt, that no man living is free from idolatrie, concerning the reli­ques of sinne: Also that no Church upon earth can be without spot upon earth: So that now, by your owne confession, I pleade not for perfection in this life, though the [Page 28] more we want, the more we ought to ende­vour. With what face then could you pub­lish me an Anabaptist in your Epistle, and out of one mouth give contrarie sentence? Doth your ordinary teach you to cast out such bitter waters of untruthes? was it pos­sible I should bold al men idolaters, & some men without committing of sinne after re­generation, especially to maintaine both such heresies as you give out? Wel consider yourself, before the Lord call you to ac­compt for defacing his truth, and pleading for Baal. I grant, yea, I were not of God if I should speake otherwise, that the deare servants of God fall into most lothsome sinnes after regeneration, that the riches of Gods mercie might appeare in their repen­tance, through the worke of his grace. Then you reason thus: if ther be alwaies spottes and imperfectnes in the true Church upon earth, then all your Arguments you bring against the Church of England, are of no force, except you will maintaine a perfec­tion. Mine answere is, I will not meddle with your Ch. to prove it a false church in this treatise, but refer you to Mr Barrowes refutation of Mr Gifford, him that handleth that part of your booke. Yet I must tell [Page 29] you your argument is verie simple: For af­ter the same manner you might reason thus: If ther be no true Church without spottes upon earth, then the Church of Rome is the true Ch. for it hath manie spottes, and you all Scismati­ques: Againe you assume the matter you should prove. It will be proved against you, that you have not Ecclesiam a people called fourth of the world to the obedience of Christ: Then, that the spottes of your Church are Egyptian ulcers, incurable run­ning botches. But I purposed not to deale with your Church, onelie my mind is to shew the unlawfulnes of this reading and imposing mens writings upon mens Con­sciences in stead of true praying. Of which sinne the Lord give you and this whole land grace to repent, that so men may learne more ferventlie to call upon God.

The first Argument against read Prayer, &c.

No Apocrypha must be brought into the pub­lique assemblies: for there onelie GODS worde and lively voyce of his owne graces [Page 30] must be hearde in the publique assemblies. But mens writings and the reading of them over for prayer are Apocrypha, therefore may not be brought into the publique as­semblies.


First touching the Proposition, No Apocrypha is to be brought into the publique assemblies: What can be more false? Apocrypha is op­posed against Canonicall: If nothing may be brought into the publique assemblies but Canonicall Scripture, then the Sermons and prayers of Pastors are to be banished, &c.


IN the answere of this, you will needes oppose against both Propositions, & yet have nothing to say, if not, to royle the doctrines delivered with your feete, least others should drinke therof. The part of a wise man had beene to lay his hand on his mouth. In the first Proposition you would oppose the worde Apocripha against the lively voyce of Gods graces when you see I said onlie, that no Apocripha might be brought into the publique assemblies. And [Page 31] further to explane my minde, least you should willingly finde such a cavill, I added this reason for there only Gods worde & the li­vely voyces of his graces are to be heard: where I acknowledged those livelie voyces to be Gods ordinance, yet nether to be called A­pocrypha nor Canonical. How can you say th̄e I would have these, or that these are bani­shed, if all Apocrypha writings be banished the publique assemblies? Yet as I told you, I take Apocrypha to be all writings, but the Canonicall Authenique Scriptures. But (say you) then I will exclude the Paraphra­ses upon the Scriptures and the Psalmes in Metre etc. Affirme you them to be Apo­crypha as you doe, and can do no other, & I wil through Gods grace prove they ought not to be brought into the publique assem­blies. First, no mans writings are given to the Church by testimonie of Gods spirit, & we are onelie commaunded to heare what the spirit saith: therefore though mens wri­tings be permitted to be read privatelie of them that will, and therupon called Apo­crypha (that is hidden) they may not be brought into the publique assemblies.Rev. 2. 11. Se­condly no mans writings are without er­rour and imperfections, therfore not to be [Page 32] brought into the publique assemblies:1 Tim. 3. 15. The Church is the pillar of truth. Thirdlie the Church is builded upon the foundation of the Prophets and the Apostles Christ Ie­sus being the cheif corner stone,Other foundatiō can no mā laye, &c. and not upon mens writings, Therefore mens wri­tings may not be brought into the publique assemblies. Ephes. 2. 20. and 1 Cor. 3. Fourthlie if we might bring in anie mens writings into the publique assemblies, thē all mens writings which we judge agreable to the Scriptures. But this is forbidden, Ecclesiastes 12. 11. 12. My proof of the first Proposition is this: If anie mens writings are to be brought into the publique assem­blies by Gods commaundement because they are agreable to the Scriptures, as you in an other place alleadge, then all that are thought agreable to the Scriptures ought of necessitie by the same commandement, and if ther be no commandement, then none are to be make Authentique which God hath not made Authentique,Gal. 3. 15 Heb. 2▪ 3 4. & 9. 14 Mat. 5. 18. 2 Timot. 3 15. 16. 17 Rev. 22. 18. 19. For that were to set man in the place of God. No mans writings cary that majestie, as doth the pen of the holy Ghost. No mans writinges are Cecuromenai, Authentique, confirmed by signes and wonders from heaven, sealed by [Page 33] Christes blood, that not one worde of title shalbe vnfulfilled, The Scriptures are all suf­ficient. All men must walke by that one rule; To thinke ther were not rules enough prescribed by the Lord for his house were blasphemous and papisticall. Now for the explication, interpretation, etc. and speach vnto God in prayer: God hath given giftes vnto men to pray and prophecye, and ordeyned his ministery of Pastors, Teachers, whose lively voice is appointed to be the mouth of God vnto the people, & of his people vnto himself, in the publique assemblies. And these graces are not Apocryphall, for no prophecie of the Scripture is of private interpretation idias epiluseos: to euery one is given the mani­festation of the spirit to proffit withal. Most execelent,2. Pet. 1. 20. 1 Cor. 12 7. men serve but their tyme in the publique assemblies. Now J may conclude as J beganne.

That onely Gods holy word & the lively graces of his holy Spirit are to be heard & offred vp vnto in him the publique assemblies.

Where then in way of answere to the Minor Proposition, you say you see not how our speach vnto God should be Apocrypha: It answeareth not me, who deny an other [Page 34] mans writing to be our speach in prayer unto God. But c̄onvinceth your selfe by you, own mouth thus: True praier is not Apocry­pha, but all mens writings are Apocr.; There­fore mens writing is not true praier. Here when you have nothing to say for your self, you woulde make me believe that I accompt the Psalmes and the other formes of pray­er in the Scripture to be Apocrypha when they be read, though a litle before you con­sested, you had in your last writing donne me wrong therin. I do accompt the reading of thé for praying, to be a groffe and super­stitious abuse of them, yet them to be holie & canonical script. And here you have flatly ouerthrowen your self: saying the worde Apocrypha is vsed with vs for that which is not Gods vndoubted worde vnto vs: And in your last writing, which should have beene your answere, you said, God speaketh to vs onely by the Canonicall Scriptures. Now seing you would make your liturgie and devised formes of prayer, helpes and instruction, and yet cannot make them Ca­nonicall or Gods vndoubted truth, they must not be brought into the publique assemblie, much lesse imposed by lawe vpon the consciences of all men. And here remem­ber [Page 35] all your Liturgies are cast out of the doore: besides that, you have not made in both writinges one direct answeare to this most firme Proposition: which I will still leave upon you, thus.

Onely the Canonicall Scriptures and lively voice of Gods own graces are to be brought into the publique assemblies for doctrine and prayer.

But mens writings are neyther Canonicall scripture nor the lively voice of Gods gra­ces in such as he hath appointed to speake in the publique assemblies.

Therefore no mans writings, may be brought into, nor imposed upon the publique as­semblies.

Thus might I make an ende with this vaine man, considering the whole matter is proved against him, all that followes being but repetitions of these former cavills, but that I must cleare my self of his unconscio­nable slanders.

The Second Argument.

We must doe nothing in the worship of God without warrant of his worde. But read prayers have no warrant in his worde. Ther­fore read prayers are not to be used in the worship of God.


To this I answere at the first, that it is a greate audacitie to affirme that there is no warrant in the worde for read prayers. When ther be sundry testimonies to warrant the same, un­less you will make difference, betweene that which a man readeth upon a booke, and that which he hath learned out of the booke. Furder I said, I doe not remember that ever. I have read that God commaunded in the Scriptures that prayer shalbe read upon a Booke, &c.


SEing you have indeed not answered one reason or proof I alleadged in my last writing, but with must evil conscience (as the handling sheweth) perverted them, I will leaue them to be iudged of them that shall see my writing. And here, seing you would not print it, I will answere your cheif obiections. First then you graunt, that if I put difference betweene reading vpon the booke, and that which he hath learned out of the booke, mine Argument is founde. For by your owne confession, God hath not given anie Commandement for read prayer, and so it hath no warrant. Whervpon I gayne thus much. First, that [Page 37] they which impose read praier vpon the Church, do that wherof they have no war­rant in the worde, and that in the high service of God then, that they which reade vpon a booke for praying, do that wherof they have no warrant in Gods worde: wherupon al your Ministers must leave rea­ding their stinted prayers upon the booke, or els stand vnder Gods wrath, & all that so pray with them, which wilbe a fearefull reckoning if they repent not of their sinne shewed them. And although our question be cheiflie concerning the reading of mens writings instead of praying, yet I am content the other abuse of the Scriptures be included also, though I make not both in the same height of sinne, as shall ap­peare in my several reasons. As an vnconstāt man then, you in the latter end of the ans­were to this Argument would, cal backe a­gayne that, which you here have granted: Namely, that there is no Commandement to reade prayer vpon a booke for praying.

Of the contrary thus you reason The peo­ple of God did reade the Psalmes vpon a booke when they did singe, therefore men may reade vpon a booke when they pray. I deny your Argument: besides that all men may see [Page 38] Your unstablenes in denying and affirming with one breath, you now go about to make reading of prayer a Commandement: thus you prove it. Singing (say you) is a part of praier. Singing may be read vpon a Booke: therefore praier may be read vpon a booke. Ad­mit that Singing were a part of praier, yet doth it not followe that all prayer may be read vpon a booke. But you speake like an ignorant man, to say that Singing is praier, seing they are twoo diuers actions & exer­cises of our faith: the one never read for the other, nor said to be a part of the other, through the Scriptures, but are playnely distinguished I. Cor. 14.15. what is it then I wil pray with the spirit, but I will pray, with vnderstanding, I will sing with the spirit etc. Againe, if you be sad, pray, and if you be merye sing Psalmes, prosuxomai and psalo. I wil pray, and I will sing, are divers exercises of the faith, if a man should say reading a chapter of the scripture, and prophecying were alon, were he not wide. Even so euery part of Gods service is not praier. I graunt we are every where com­maunded to singe Psalmes unto God. And alleadged that place of the Apostle to the Ephes. 5. 19. Speaking to your selves in [Page 39] Psalmes and Himnes and Spirituall songes, etc. and that of the Coloss, only to this end, that in Psalmes singing we do not alwaies speake vnto God, as in those Psalmes which are onelie instructions and prophesies, in the 1. and 2. Psalmes you have not one worde spoken vnto God. Againe, as all rea­ding of the praiers in the Scriptures, is not praying or speaking unto God, so the rea­ding or singing of Psalmes I tooke to have beene a speaking to our selves, a stirring vp of Gods graces in vs etc. But I do not now nor did not then hold it so, in al Psalmes singing. And where you say I purposelie left out the latter part in both places, which was this. Sing vnto God with a grace in your heartes, the Lorde knowes I had no purpose to injurie the Scripture, nor main­taine an vntruth, But though wee might do those things with a grace to God in our heartes, which were not properly and directlie a conversing by thought & worde with him alone, but one thing might have kept you from crying out, here sie, in that I added this, that I would not stand vpon that reason, but desired to knowe it furder. But how vniustlie could you number this for an heresie mainteined of us al in your [Page 40] Epistle, that we should denie that Psalmes should be songe vnto God. The Lorde keepe me from such errour, And a wofull phisition you are; if I had bene in such an er­rour; For the 102. Psalme, I never de­nied: but that it was a most excellent Psalme penned by Daniel or some other Prophet, and given to the whole Church to be songe or read as other Psalmes, in the forme of praier. But you must prove that the Church did use it as you say, to reade it over for praying, or were commaunded so to doe. This is proof enough they did not, because it is a Psalme. Now though the Ch. speake manie times in the singular number, yet it is expressed in some other verse that it is so. But now admit that you could prove that the psalmes were read insteade of, or for invocation, which you shall never be able to doe, it doth not followe that mens writinges should be brought into the as­semblies and read for praier. The 6. of Numbers I have answered before: From the 92. Psalme you reason thus. If the psalmes and other formes of prayer in the scrip­tures were read or said by rote, the verie forme of wordes for praying; Then reading instead of, or [Page 41] for praying. Here you durst not set your as­sumption, it was so false, which should be thus. But the Psalmes & other formes of pray­er were read for praying, &c. This I shewed you was verie untrue, they were never commaunded so to be used, nor never so us­ed. My proof was this, they are given were by the holy Ghost for other uses, as singing, reading, etc. and not commaunded anie where so to be used, so that you do but cavil, not having one proof for all your shameles assertions. Now where I demaunded what this made for your Liturgies, and reading mens writinges for praying, except you would make your owne writinges of equall authoritie with the Scriptures: You an­swere. That if I denie the consequence, it was lawfull to use the Psalmes, therefore mens writings, then I wil shut out all pray­ers, even the praier of the Pastor. See your carnall handling, shufling, and confoun­ding Gods ordinances: Doth it followe that because mens writinges may not be brought into the publique assemblies, or there be read for praying, therfore the prai­ers uttered by the lively voice of the Pastor should hereby be excluded? this your shift was answered in the first Argument, your [Page 42] cavils are stale, you are againe convinced. Touching the other matter of cunning phrases and formes of praier by roate, to say over certeine number of wordes, it is popish and a meere evasion, and bewraieth your ignorance in prayer, In this you have gran­ted me that he which praieth not with a feeling of his present wants of his soul, but saith over certaine number of wordes of custome or affectation, he is an hiprocrite, which is true, proved. Mat. 6.7. Now by this examine your dailie, monethlie, annuall etc. saying over, nay reading over certeine wordes, euery time the same, as you are stinted. It is plaine the sacrifice of fooles. Ecclesiastes. 4.17. The two pointes wherein you protest so willinglie to agree with me, were these. First whether only such praiers as were made without the book, were accep­ted of Gods children. Secondly whether the same spirit teacheth vs to pray, that taught the holie men of God before time. You grant both these, but that you would seeme to alter the first question: wel then, Gods owne spirit that taught them to pray without a booke, or stinting of wordes, teacheth vs so to pray nowe, & in the acti­on of praying giveth the mouth to utter [Page 43] what the heart desireth, moved with the same spirit. Still then after your long shif­ting to and fro, I trust you wil stand to your first wordes, that you never read in the Scriptures anie commaundement for read­ing of praiers. Secondlie, to say over cer­teine numbers of wordes or phrases of the Scripture of custome or affectation, with­out feeling of, or asking for our present wantes, is hypocrisie. Therefore I wil con­clude as I beganne, mine Argument stan­ding good, that, To doe anie thing in the worship of God werof we have no war­rant of Gods worde, is sinne: But read praiers have no warrant in Gods Word, Ergo, etc.

The third Argument:

We may not in the worship of God receave any tradition which bringeth our libertie into bondage. Read prayer upon commandement brought into the publique assemblies, is a tra­dition that bringeth our libertie into bōdage. Therefore read prayer &c.

The Minor is thus proved, that God hath left it in all mens freedome to pray as the present occasion requireth and the spirit [Page 44] giveth utterance, according to his will. A­gaine no man hath power to commaunde anie thing in the worship of God, which God hath not commaunded &c. Marke Math. 15. Gal. 5.1. &c.


I say it is ungodlie and neere unto blasphemie, to affirme, that prescript forme of prayer is a tradition bringing our libertie into hon­dage &c. my reason was &c is, that the Lord by Moses prescribed a forme of blessing &c. Num. 6 the Prophets in the Psalmes, have prescribed manie formes of prayer. Our Sa­viour Christ prescribed a forme of prayer, &c.


HEre is a greate storme, & yet nothing but wynde. If you were in Caiphas his place you would either have rent your clothes for zeale, or, els condemne me be­fore you vnderstand what I say. Is it sim­ple dealing do you thinke to say I hold it a bondage breaking our libertie, for the Lord by Moses, the Prophetes, our Saviour Christ also, to set downe a forme of praier or to prescribe a forme of praier? Did you not see that the Minor Proposition speaketh of the reading for praing, and not of the forme of praier? Againe, of the commandement, wherby men are compelled to reade instead of [Page 45] praing? Did you not see that these wordes brought into the publique, assemblies, did specifye the matter to be mens writings to be read in the assemblies as a worship, yea invocation of Gods name: which is a grosse mockery. Not that ther is any Com­mandement to reade ouer those formes of praier mentioned by you for praing, and so the Commandement so to reade them for praying, is an abuse of them, and a Commandement of men and not of God, etc. But that much more odi­ous it is to bring in mens writings into the publique assemblies., is proved vnlawfull in the first argument, and then to commit Idolatrie with them by reading them jnstead of praing, and that to compell men by Commandement wher God had set no Commandement so to vse them, was a brin­ging all men into bondage of popish traditions. So that your common recitall of these places of Scripture is abuse of them, and you do but palinodian cauere. I thinke if you get St. I H O N S gospell about your necke as the Papists do, you wil thinke you haue religion ynough. The more fearfull is your Apostacy, you proceede from euill to worse.


About the Commaunding a prescript forme of prayer to be used, our Church doth agree with all godly Churches, yea the reformed Churches have and do practise the same, here therefore I wish the reader to observe that you Brownists doe not only condemne the the Church of England, but all the reformed Churches whatsoever, and can be no other but Donatistes.


I Trust your madnes will appeare to all men, the poyson of Aspes is vnder your tongue: he that cannot rule his tongue his Religion is in vayne. Shall J in your heate be pressed with multitude of, Churches? then heare what the Lorde faith, Thou shal: not followe a multitude to do evill, we have the word amongst vs, we shall by that worde be either iustified or condemned. Then either prove your matter from the scriptures or els give eare to the Scripture. If those Churches you speake of, bring mens writinges into the publique assemblies, & inforce them to be read for praying, I would see their war­rant, [Page 47] we beleeve not because men say so, or doe so, but because God speaketh: And where he speaketh, all men must be silent. You may accuse other countries as you wil, knowe not their estate, but your drudgery insteade of true worship, is lothsome, the priest with his massebooke, & the begger with his clapdish canuize over the Pater noster for their bellie, which is your com­mon worship, with other trinckets. We shal speake of a Liturgie in due place, Here you breath out your accustomed lyes, slanders, & railings. First you terme us Brownists & Donatists, wheras I never conversed with the men nor their writings: I dereft Dona­tus his heresies. And if they had beene in­struments to teach us anie truth we were not therfore to be named with their name, we were baptised into Christs. Browne is a member of your Church, your brother, and all Brownists do frequent your assem­blies.

And here you wish the reader to consi­der, that I condemne all reformed Chur­ches. do I condemne all Churches for re­proving a sinne by Gods worde & May not the true Churches (if they were such) err? Did I affirme at anie time that they were [Page 48] no true Church that used read prayers, re­member your self, you knowe who is the Father of such untruthes. But because your Conscience bare witnesse you had wrong­fully chardged me, and in frome, all true Christians: you bring it in by necessary con­sequence thus. you assi'me (say you) pre­script formes of praier brought into the publique assemblies to be the changing the work of the Spirit into an idoll, a tradition breaking Chri­stian libertie, a deade letter quenching the Spirit &c. and therefore most detestable. But all re­formed Churches receive and use it &c. there­fore: You can reason well to bring the truth into contempt, your moth is open and tongue whet as a sworde thereunto. If the proposition be true, drawe what conse­quence you will, it is yours & not mine, if the doctrine be true, it is Gods worde that giveth sentence against the sinne. And if you have anie sparke of grace, procure that we may decide the truth with other Chur­ches. Doth it follow that because imposing of mens writinges to be read for praying is an heynous sinne, therefore they that use it are no Church, If I should say so, I should justlie be called an Anabaptist.

And here you accuse me to pleade for [Page 49] such a freedome in the Church, that nothing receaued which is imposed by com­maundement. Abaddon is the Father of such Prophets. Doth it follow that because we would have the Church free from all tradi­tions of men which have no warrant in Gods worde, that therefore we would not receave Gods ordinances by Commaunde­ment. That we ought to receave nothing by Commaundement in the worship of God, which God hath not commaunded, the second commaundement with the scrip­tures I have rehearsed, are evident, Deut. 5.32.33. Mat. 2▪5.2.3. Gal. 4.9. Collof. 2, 20 But seing your self graueled, (considering all the world cannot lay a Commandement to bring their owne inventions into the assemblies, wher God hath laide none, but forbidden it:) you ranne to your former places of scripture to wrast them as before, where your collections are but vaine repe­tions of that which hath been convinced before. Moses, the Prophets etc. prescribed formes of praiers, therefore men now may thrust their writings into the publique assemblies: Your Argument is denied: and yet here is no warrant for the reading them over for praier.


The Church had power to expounde those pra­yers mentioned in the Scriptures, & to ap­ply them to their severall necessities &c.


If you meane by expounding, the brea­king of them up by doctrine vp, and by doctrine and praier to applye them to the severall vses of the Church by lively voyce, far be it from me to thinke otherwise. But if you meane by expounding. to make ho­milies vpon them, or liturgies by writing to be thrust upon the publique assemblies, you are wide, and now iustifie homilies insteed of preaching, and written praiers instead of praying: shew your warrant. The CHVRCHES power is limited by the word.


When the prayers be framed and composed of nothing but the doctrine of the Scripture and after the rules of true prayer, nothing is brought in which God hath not com­manded,


THis might have come in before your raylings, but you sawe it was too silly: where is that commaundement of God, that all mens writinges in forme of prayer agreable to the Scriptures should be brought into the publique assemblies, your bare worde is not enough to put me to silence. And when you have gott them into the Church, you must prove that God hath commaunded they should be read for praier.

Where I said our Sauiour Christ never vsed the wordes when he praied. in that forme of praier he gave to his Disciples, nether commaunded his Disciples to say over these wordes, nether do we reade that ever his Apostles did use them, or enforced others to vse anie certaine number of wor­des, you say I spake vntrulie. For say you the Disciples desired him to reach them to pray, as Iohn taught his Disciples, and he commanded them, when you pray, say Our Father; etc. Luke. 11. and S. Math. an Apostle hath deliuered the same to the whole Church, I answer I have never heard that Iohn Baptist taught his Disciples to say over certeyne wordes, ne­ther [Page 52] can it be gathered by our Sauiour Christes answere, for he answeared not al­waies the verie demaunde according to their wordes, but thereupon tooke occasion to instruct them as the sawe neede. And I have proved by the 6. of Math. that our Saviour did not commaunde them to say over the very wordes when they prayd: for the word Houtos in Mathew signifieth after this maner: Againe that Math. recordeth not the very number, or the very same wor­des that Luke doth. And now I reason thus: if Christ had commaunded those very wordes to be said over in praying, then we must alwaies when we pray, say over those wordes: for in Math. 6. he saith when you pray, pray thus. Our Father etc. The etc. The word when sheweth, that this com­maundement is to be observed at all tymes: And then the Apostles sinned in praying o­ther wordes Acts. 4.24.25. Furder it being the most summary forme of praier, most ample, most perfect etc. if those wordes were commaunded to be said over, then we ought not to vse any others, for he is accur­sed that bringeth not the best offrings he hath. Malach, 1.14. By all these it is eui­dent that our Saviour nor his Evangelists [Page 53] tyed no man to the very wordes saying o­ver, but according to that forme and those instructions: and now leave of your popish dreames. Yet you would make men belive, I reasoned thus, that the Apostles did not nether our Saviour himself, or anie that we reade of, vse these wordes in praier, ther­fore they did not use it. Nay I said, they did not vse these verie wordes in their praiers, but vsed other wordes according to their particular wants, as our Saviour in the 17. of Iohn is said to do: therfore he nether vsed nor commaunded others to say over those wordes. And so I may well cōclude, that to impose certaine wordes to be read or said by roate for praying, vpon the Church, especiallie mens writings, is an intollorable pride, even a setting of men in the place of God: Also that to vse them or bowe downe vnto them in that order, is sinne, and a breach of Gods lawe.

The fourth Argument.

Because true prayer must be of faith, vttered with heart and lively voice: it is presump­tuous ignorance to bring a booke to speake for vs vnto God &c.

The fift Argument.

To worship the true God after an other maner then he hath taught, is Idolatrie. But he Commaundeth vs to come vnto him, heavie loaden with contrite hearts, to cry unto him for our wantes &c.

Therfore we may not vse reading of a dead letter, instead of powring fourth out peti­tions.

The Sixt Argument.

We must strive in praier with continuance &c. But we cannot strive in praier and be importunate with continuance, reading vp­on a booke. Therfore we must not reade when we should pray,


These 3. I ioyned togeather as having no weight, you say I answeare by plaine contra­diction without Scripture &c. And after wardes is not my bare deniall as good as you bare affirmation: &c.


STay your selves and wonder they are blind and make blind. Is ther anie doc­trine [Page 55] more spirituall, anie more inculcated by the holy Ghost, thē this accesse vnto God in the mediation of Christ, by his owne spirit to make our mindes knowne vnto God, to offer vp the fruits of his owne spirit in vs, and fetch encrease from him by this secreat worke of true inuocation with the heart and voice? This colloquie with the high maiestie of God, is it a matter of no weight to learne to discerne between diverse exercises of the spirit, and to exercise his graces aright according to his will? Right is it said, the wisedome of God is foolishnes to the naturall man. But Mr GIFFORD. wil say he graunteth the propositious true and weightie maters, it is the Assumptions that be so frivolous, & as he said a litle after, ridiculous: wel, let them he weyed. 1. That reading instead of praying is not a powring fourth of the heart by lively voyce. 2. That it is a quenching of the spirit, to reade an other mans wor­des vpon a booke, in the very action of powring fourth our heart as we pretend. 3. That it is not an vnburdening of a con­trite heart by faith, but an ignorant action to reade for praying. 4. That we cannot [Page 56] strive in praier, continue in praier, be im­portunate etc. by reading vpon a booke. These are matters he thinketh of so litle weight, the bare deniall and contradiction wherof he holdeth of such credit, that it must suffice for answere, seing he saith he hath before proved the vse of reading. See here he caleth it the vse of reading; He could not say that reading is praying, nether that these two exercises of our Faith can be vsed both in one instant, as one action. I have shewed that proseuche & anagnosis, praying and reading, are divers actions both of the minde and body: let the reader consider what weight then this matter is of, to talk with the living God.

But for the benefit of such as have grace to savour the things that are of God, I will a litle illustrate the Assumptions, at least some of them. 1. That it is a quenching of the spirit to reade an other mans wordes vpon a booke, when I should powre fourth mine owne heart, the word itself must be considered, the Apostle commaundeth say­ing 1. Thessaloniaus. 5.19. extinguish ye not the spirit. Now to suppresse and leaue vn­vttered the passions of our owne heart by the worke of the spirit, giving vs cause of [Page 57] our owne heart by the worke of the spirit, giving vs cause of prayer, and instead ther­of to reade another mans writing, I doubt not wilbe founde and judged of all that haue spirituall eyes to see, a quenching of that grace, yea in that action, the reading hindreth vs from pleading our cause with God, according to the occasions we see in our owne hearts. And by not teaching men to drawe out the graces of God in them, to offer vp the sweete incense of his owne spirit in praier, but an other course devised by fleshly pollicy, the people growe into such Atheisme, that they learne not all the dayes of their life to lay open their owne soule before the Lord in praier. How much more then, by imposing stinted wor­des to be read in the whole assemblies, in­steade of the liuely graces, making it a suf­ficiēnt ministerie to reade ouer such beggar­lie wares, do you abandon Gods spirituall giftes, and make an assemblie of Atheists in most places of this land, yea trulie in the best assemblies compell such wares to be read, when and where the liuely voyces of God present graces should onely be dra­wē fourth as an holy odour vnto the Lorde. Yea I appeale to the consciences of al that [Page 58] feare God, if this have not brought the land generally to Atheisme, that not one a­mongst an hundred can call vpon God.

2 That it is an ignorance to presume to come into so neere a conversing with God, and to do one action for an other, so offring the sacrifice of fooles, let it be sufficient proof that reading is not praying. That it is presumptuous, to bring such lame sacrifices when yov know to do better, let, it be considered whether you would so vncircumspectly, and carelesly approche to the presence of the Prince or any noble personage. Then if he be our Lorde where is his honour, his feare etc. when we wil teach men and compel men to do they knowe not what in his sight, and to offer such lame sacrifice. The Priests themsel­ves care not what offring they bring to him Malach. 1.

Thirdly the reading praier can be at no hand a striuing in praier, for the worde agoniso which is read Rom. 15, 30 signi­fieth to contend in fervency both in minde, and worde, to preuaile with God as Iaakob wrestled with the Angell, and said, I will not let thee goe except thou blesse me, Genes. 32, 24.25.26. Such [...]rist you shall [Page 59] see throughout the Psalmes in the praiers of David, and the Prophets, alas, how this should be performed either by feruency or contynuance, let the wise consider.

4. For importunacy and continvance in praier, whereof we have many precepts, let the worde be looked vpon, which is proscar­tereo to insist by perseverance etc. as we see our Saviour Christ make plaine vnto vs by a parable, Luke 11.5▪6.7.8, and Luke. now shall not God auenge his elect which crye night and day? Experi­ence we see in Moses, who when he lifted up his handes to heaven the Israelites so long preuayled: Exod. 17. You can not make your read prayers serve in this vse with all your divises, For how would you effect this, except to make the Priest reade till he sweat againe, with vaine repetition, and the people that use such stinted praiers to say them often over, as the Papists their fifteene Aue marias & fiue Pater nosters as a cure of altheir grieves. By this litle I have spoken, it may appeare (though the Lorde knowes I am a man of vncricumcised lippes, nei­ther able to vtter that God giveth me by faith to see in these high thinges, neither yet comprehending anie title of the exce­lency, [Page 60] of them) it I hope it shall appeare to Gods children, how odious your marchan­dize is in Gods eyes, and how you make the ordinances of God of true prayer, of none effect, by your traditions, he onely approving the lively graces of his owne ministerie, and such as have gif­tes and are called thervnto, to be his mouth vnto the people, and the peoples mouth vn­to him in the publique assemblies, you in­vent a newe worship and extinguish his, which maketh men fall into dissolutnes and bloudie tyrannie against his Sainctes.

And where I alleadged that Paul would pray with the spirit and vnderstanding, and therefore not vpon a booke, you ans­were that Paul had no such neede of a book as other men have. But if you had looked vpon the text better, you should see, that the Apostle in his owne person teacheth what ought to be donne in all Churches & of all men, And that he there taketh away the abuse of spirituall giftes. I Corin. 14.15 and in the same Chapter sheweth that this and all other his doctrines are commann­ments of God. vers. 37 nowe either God prescribeth two wayes to pray, or els your reading for praying is a devise of man. But [Page 61] your self have confessed there is no com­maundement to reade prayer for praying. Yet here you cauill with your stale shift, that Paul taught others to singe Psalmes vpon a booke, which is a meere evasion, seing singing is not praying. The same A­postle faith to all that are borne of God, because we are sonnes God hath sent fourth into our heartes the spirit of his sonne which cryeth Abba Father. So that although we have not like measure of grace, yet if we cannot pray we have uot the spirit of God, Gal. 4.6.

I alleadged as you say a reason here, why praier read cannot be true praier. Jn rea­ding we fetch the matter from the booke which moueth the heart, In true praier we fetch the matter from the heart which cau­seth the mouth to speake. Your answere is, that this a most ridiculous vanitie, for tell me (say you) this, when we bring fourth in true praier matter frō the heart which cau­seth the mouth to speak, hath not the heart bene first moued with the worde of faith, etc. Let men here, witnesse with me, what cause I had to esteeme you as a skorner. Againe, how empty you are of any spiritual favour. And here you haue no answere to give, but aske me certaine questions: First [Page 62] whether whē we bring fourth in true pray­er. etc. the heart hath not beene first in­structed. To this I answere, that againe you confesse the reading praier vpon a booke is not praying, but an instruction of the heart to praye. If you would stand to this, we should not neede have so much labour, and all the places of Scripture which you have alleadged for to proove reading praying, have beene meerly wrested by you to deceaue the simple. Well(say you) but if the heart be first instructed before it can vt­ter matter in praier, whie may not the heart againe be moued with hearing or reading the worde, and so vtter prayer. Yes I graunt and still you graunt me, that reading is not praying but moueth to praier: Thē all your assemblies that have no prayer at all, and all that vse read praier for praying do not praie but mocke with God. See if your Or­dinarie will here be pleased with you, Yet you would denie all this with the same breath by a shift, saying: The heart in mo­ved when one heareth the prayer of the minister and presently sendeth fourth pra­yers together with him. I trust you will not say that the heart of the hearer prayeth one thing, and the Minister an other, againe [Page 63] the praier of the minister is the prayer of the people, by Gods ordinance, whiles they think one thinge, and are mert to one end, for anoyding confusion one speaketh, ye all pray togeather one thing. But the minister may as well preach and pray, or reade any chapter and praye, as reade praiers, and praye both in one action of the minde, and voyce, which were strange. Your cavill then whether the heart may be moved, and pray, both at once, is taken awaye, seing you graunt reading and praying, two severall excercises of the heart and voyce, which cannot be performed at once with lively voyce. The conclusion is then, that either ye must fetch the matter out of your booke when you reade prayer, and so do not pray for the particular wants wher with the heart is moued and pressed before you come, or els you pray not with lively voyce at al, when you read: The Lorde then having taught vs to breake vp our owne hearts, and powre fourth our peti­tions with heart and voyce, give grace to al his people so to worship him.

The Seventh Argument.

We must pray as necessitie requireth. But stinted prayers cannot be as necessity re­quireth. Therfore stinted prayer is unlaw­full.


To this I answered, approving the Proposition. And in the Assumtion I did distinguish of matters to be prayed for, as that there be thinges necessarie to be praied for at all ti­mes. and of all men: of these a prescript forme may be vsed at all meetings of the Church, there be matters not at all tymes needfull to be praied for, for such there can be no prescript forme to be vsed contynually, &c.


I Have proved in the first Argument, that no mens writtngs are to be brought into the publique assemblies, for there the liuely graces of Gods owne spirit and Cononical Scriptures onely must be heard: In the Se­conde, the vnlawfullnes of reading for praying, in the third, the vnlawfullnes to impose any thing by commaundement, that God hath not commaunded. And here we shall handle in few wordes the end of your stinted praiers. Your distinction is, far, differing from the wisedome of the spirit, for though many thinges be at all tymes [Page 65] needfull to the publique assemblies, yet stand not the assemblies either all at any tyme, or anie at all times in the same neede and feeling of them, or fitnes to receave them, so that except you cā make all assemblies in the same want of such thinges as are alwaies needfull, or any at al times in the same preparednes to aske, and use them that be needfull, you can make no stinted prayers for them. Give eare then to the Scripture in this point 1 Cor. 2.11. For what man knoweth the thinges of a man, if not the spirit of man which is himself, &c. A­gaine, who knoweth what (shalbe) tomorrow? Iam. 4.14. Whiles you then thought to have founde out more then the only wise governour of his house lawe needfull for his worship in his Church, and of every soule, you have lifted up your self into his seate: and taken the office of his spirite upon you, who sear­cheth the heartes and knoweth the rey­nes, and teacheth his people how and when to aske, according to his will and their needs, Rom. 8.26.27. also the spirit helpeth our infirmities, for what we should pray as we ought, we know not: But the spirit it self ma­keth request for us with sighs and groanes, which can not be expressed: Yet searching [Page 66] the heartes knoweth, the meaning of the spirit, because he maketh request for the saincts according to the will of God. And wher you say then, that if we marke the prescript forme of prayers of all Churches, we shall see this regard,Rom 8.7. and 11 34.1 Cor. 2.16. & 3.19. that nothing be left out which is necessarie, etc. This be­wrayeth your shallownes, the wisedome of the flesh is foolishnes with God: who hath searched the depth of Gods spirit, or knowne the minde of man? who can pre­scribe the estate of all Churches, and what every moment is needfull to be praied for? Odious then is such drosse of a fleshly mans heart.

Your second provision, that nothing be prayed for in your liturgy that falleth sel­dom out, but they are limited to the time. Your Church hath not this provision, you compell men to pray against thunder and lightning at midd winter, and in your most solemne feastes against sodeine death: But the truth is, till you amend your wayes, God will accept no sacrifice of you, much lesse requireth this at your handes, to doe more in his worship then he hath com­maunded.

And where you say, in the Church of [Page 67] England the preachers are not limited tou­ching the matter of their prayers, it is not true, you are all sworne to your portuis, howsoever, you may omitt some of it for your Sermons, and under pretext therof. what part you will. And why is ther not a forme for prayer prescribed, to be used af­ter and before your Sermons? is it because the text is not allwayes the same, or that the speaker is not in like fitnes, or the auditorie in the same preparednes? I assure you these thinges might be sufficient cause why you cannot use alwaies the same wordes, and pray according to your necessities, and even so standerh the case for al other affaires in the Church. The disposition of the soule and the distresses thereof, continve not in one state one howre. But let me tell you why you have no forme of praier for your preachings, In manie of your parishes, or (as you would have them) Churches, Ser­mons are of those rare thinges, whereof you saye ther can be no prescript forme of prai­er, yea your liturgie approveth a ministerie and sufficyent administration without anie doctrine, which sheweth it came out of the divells forge, and not out of Christes Testament.

But seing you would take vpon you to set so manie prescript formes of prayer, as ther are thinges necessarie for every assem­blie to pray for, wher Christ hath set none. And if it were a thing so necessarie to have prescript wordes at the administration of the Sacraments, I asked you whether our saviour Christ had not forgott himselfe as you thought, that when he commaunded his ministers to go preach and baptise, and shewed them the wordes of institution, and the Elementes to be vsed with all things thervnto needfull, he did not prescribe some forme of wordes for prayer in particular: In the tabernacle every pinne was prescri­bed, so that ether such formes of praier are not necessarie, or Christes Testament hath some wants. To this you answere, that it is not of necessitie ther should be a sett forme of praier prescribed for the admi­nistration of the Sacraments: The minister may conceive praier, etc. Hold you to this, that it is not of necessity: you will denie it againe in the next Argument. Wel here you graunt, it is not of necessitie. But you have not answered me, tell me whether you hold it necessarie or no. if it be at all times neces­sarie, the Testament is not perfect. Againe [Page 69] do you not hold it of necessitie, when you excommunicate men, & depose your mini­stery for not observing it? But you saye, it is for conveniencie, If it be a part of Gods worship, and all times convenient, then is it necessarie, and if it be not necessarie, put such conveniency in your corner Capp, or surplus. Nowe if it be necessarie at all times: you must prove it is commanded in Gods worde, or els say that all things ne­cessarie in Gods worship be not conteyned in Gods worde, which were blasphemous and papisticall to affirme. To this you graunt all things necessarie and conveni­entare conteyned, and aske if I be ignorant that ther be manie thinges conteyned in the Scriptures, that are not expressed in particular, but be gathered from the gene­rall rules. No, I am not ignorant of this; but if it may be gathered ether by expresse wordes, or by generall rules, that there should be prescript formes of praier for the administration of the Sacraments, or anie other particular action of the Church, then must it be so of necessitie, because God hath commaunded it, though not in particular, yet in generall rules: But you graunt it is not of necessity: therfore it is not com­maunded [Page 70] in particular, nor conteyned in anie generall rule,

Yet you demaunde of me, if one should, obiect that ther were not commaundement in the scriptures, nor example for anie pray­ers to be made at all before preaching etc. I would say he should lye against God, we1 Tim. 4. 5. Act. 16.13.13 have both. For the Apostle shewes it was the chief part of their office, to continue in the worde and prayer. Act. 6.4.1. Cor. 14. and 1. Tim. 2, 1 Acts. 2.42. besides, all things are sanctified vnto vs by the word & praier. And because they never vsed doc­trine in the Ch., but praier wēt before ther­fore their meetings is said to be vnto prai­er, some things ther are I graunt that are not prescribed in particular, and yet are com­maunded by general doctrine, as baptis­me of Infants. But whatsoever is commaun­ded either in particular or necessary collec­tions, from generall rules, are of necessitie to be obeyed, as the commaundements of God and may not be altered, but your par­ticular forms of prescript wordes have no such warrant. Nowe seing you would have no prescript wordes of prayer for the minister to vle before his preaching, not of necessitie for the Sacraments, & have none [Page 71] for excommunication, etc. I wondred wher of your Portuis is made, & wherto it should serve, except for churchings, and burialls and such popery, wherby you leaue the commaundements of God to sett vp your owne traditions. And here vpon I demaun­ded, wherupon you would make your stin­ted and sett praiers. You marueile I should be so babling and make such questions, you meane about your babling worship. You saye of the particulars of the Lordes praier. I demaunde nowe againe, whether you can number the starres of heavē, or the sandes of the sea, if not, much lesse the par­ticulars of the Lords praier. There is mede­cine, and direction of praier for every soule & every disease, therfore to be drawē fourth by doctrine & parier as need requireth, you would sett a liturgie vpon some thin­ges, and compell men thervnto every mee­ting, which were no thing els but to seale vp the fountaine, and send men to the drye pitts of your execrable devises, from the whole fountaine, to a pitcher of water, from the liuely graces of Doctrine and prayer, to your owne writings. Paul commaunded to pray for Kings and Princes, yet bounde no man what wordes to vse. The Lord give [Page 72] you repentance of such presumptuousTim. 2.1 34 5. sinne, as to alter his worship. If you cannot knowe the estate of the soule before hand, you can make no formes of wordes for it.

The Eight Argument.

Read prayers were devised by Antichrist, and maintaine superstition and an Idoll minis­tery: therfore read prayers and such stinted service are intollerable &c.


Antichrist devised manie blasphemous wicked prayers. But to say that the making or following a prescript forme of prayer was his, is most false, for there were Liturgies in the Church of olde, before Antichrist was set in his throne &c.


THe Scripture never inforced to reade praiers for praying, nether stinted vs what, or how manie wordes to vse, nether is the formes of praier prescribed in the Scripture and devise of man. Let vs then hold these two to be the matters in [Page 73] hand, the one, reading in steade of praying, the other, stinging and limiting by a written liturgie, what & howe many wordes to pray, with all other such prescriptions as your li­turgie conteyneth All may be affirmed anti­christian which is not warranted by Christs worde: Yet your liturgie, is even from that Antichrist lifted vp into the throne you speake of, as may by all men be seene that will compare it with the Portuis. And (as I have heard) the Pope would have approved of your liturgie, if it might have bene receaved in his name. Nowe we have proved in the discourse before, that reading for praying hath no warrant from Gods Worde, which maketh them two severall and divers actions every where.

Here then we must consider something for an other liturgie, then Christes Testa­ment which we shall find to be nothing els, then an other gospell. And because Mr Gifford saith ther were liturgies in the Church before Antichrist was lifted vp into his throne (which I will not denye) I would have all men vnderstand that I do not go about to prove the church no church that hath a liturgie (as mine Arguments are falslie wrested to that purpose) but to [Page 74] prove the vnlawfullnes of such liturgie thrust vpon mens Consciences, is onlie my determination through Gods assistance. The worde liturgie signifieth publicum manus, ergon Laon, the worke of, or for the people: that is the very execution of the ministerial actions in the Church, according to the worde, of all the officers therof, that is the practise of those ministeriall duties prescribed by Christ, we may euery where reade. Jn the first of the Gospell of Luke the 23. verse it is said. And is came to passe that when the daies of his ministration were past, he went home to his house, meaning, Zacharias: where we see the worde Liturgie for his execution of his ministeriall functi­on. Now this Leitourgia of the newe Te­stament, is even the rule and function pre­scribed by Christ, for the puqlique actions to be donne in his Church: which leiturgu Gal. 1.8.9 Rev. Tim. 1.13, 1 Tim. 6▪14 of Christ is perfect, and he pronounced accursed that addeth any thing therto, or taken any there from: yea al mē are bound to keep the true patterne therof, without alterration or innouating anie part of the same as is called a commaundement to be kept without spott, till the appearing of our Lorde Iesus Christ. Nowe, to make an [Page 75] other leiturgie, is to lay other foundation, and to make an other Gospell, not that ther is an other Gospell, but that there are some willing to pervert the Gospell of Christ. Then your leiturgies to which you are sworne, and by which you administer, being (as you cannot denie) an other leiturgie then Christes Testament, is plainely an other Gospell, for the Canons and rules you pre­scribe and impose are such, as he hath not prescribed or commaunded, or at the best, a transforming of his ordinances. Now if you should say, you do nothing but make laws of particular thinges collected from the scriptures, and with that collour im­pose your leiturgies, we have shewed the vnlawfullnes of bringing anie mans wri­tinges, as rules into the Church, For the explaining of the whole will of Christ, so far as is meet for vs, he hath given vs his of­ficers to administer, according to his litur­gie by liuely voyce, and due execution of all things by one rule. Making then a newe litourgia, you must also make a new mini­sterie, for Christes ministerie cannot ad­minister after a counterfeit liturgie. And that Antichrist was the cheif Innouator of this liturgie (howsoever the thing might be [Page 76] long a working by litle & litle) it is plaine when he is called Antikeimenos that oppo­site man, or laier of an other foundation. Now we must not make all liturgies beside the Testam., of like wickedness or blasphe­mie. But how neere the most heynousest yours approach, let him that answereth the other part of your booke witnesse vnto me.

Nowe where I said you had confessed that you never read in the Scriptures any warrant to reade praiers vnto God, you say now, I knowe I have falsified your wordes. Surely it would be knowen, for I would not willinglie so doe, your wordes you say were these, to your remembrance: God never commaunded a man to reade praier: vpon the booke: Is not this the same that I saye: you confesse ther is no warrant for reading prayer: is ther anie thing warranted in his worship that he hath not commaunded? Then you aske me if I will gather thus, is it not ex­presse commaunded, therfore it is not war­ranted. No you forgot the worde expressie to help your self to saye & vnsaye. I gathe­red, that because you said absolutely it was not commaunded, therfore it was not warranted. Here you come againe to shewe [Page 77] your ignorance in the scriptures, to say ther is not anie exprese commaundement to vse praier before or after doctrine. And remem­ber, you here will have it a commaunde­ment, and said before you hold it not of necessitie.


There would sundry inconveniences growe for want of a Lyturgie or prescript formes of publique praiers.


STil I must put you in minde of the wise­dome of that gouernour of his house the builder, beginner and finisher of our Faith Christ Iesus: he forsawe what inconvenience would haue growne if either men or An­gells should make newe liturgies, or other formes of praier, then he hath prescribed, for the publique assemblies. Here therfore you deeply chardge him, not to have donne all thinges that were needful, in not prescri­bing you more formes thē he hath donne, or not suffered learned divines to impose their owne writinges vnto God. But see what the Scripture saith, who hath knowen the mynde of the Lord, that he might instruct him. [Page 87] Againe.1 Cor 2.16. and. 2▪20. wher is the wise, where the Scribe, where the disputer of this world hath not God made the wisedome of this world foolishnes? To put you out of doubt then, that we neede not any newe liturgie, nor anie mens writinges to be brought into the publique assemblies, the Holie Ghost saith, 2. Timot. 3.16. The whole Scripture is Theopneustos, inspired of God, and profita­ble vnto doctrine, vnto reproof, vnto correc­tion, vnto erudition which is in righteous­nes, that the man of God may be absolute, perfect fully furnished vnto everie good worcke. Nowe if onelye the Scriptures be Theopnestos, and sufficient to make Gods childrē absolutely perfect, even fully furni­shed to every good work, what blasphemie is it to say, sundrie inconvenience would growe, if mens writinges were not imposed vpon the publique assemblies?

And in this your wisedome, let us see what is the chiefest inconveniency that would growe. You say everye franticke spi­rit (of which sort ther be manie in the mi­nisterie) would not only be unlike them­selves, but varie from others. I answered, and still doe, that the Papists have not so weake a reason for their Idolatrous Litur­gies, [Page 79] Rubricks, and Canons. You say it ap­peareth by all my Arguments, how meete a man I am to judge the weight of reasons alleadged by the Papists, and others: well I am weake, and you strong, foolish & you wise, yet might you have shewed me a weaker reason which they alleadge for their constitutions ecclesiasticall, as they cal thē. But my chief answere was (wherby you might have beene satisfied) that if it were but in Parases the ministerie should differ, it is no sufficient cause to ordeine liturgies. And if they offend in matter of doctrine or conversation, the censure of the Church should help that. The first you graunt, the second also you confesse, that the Church should censure such thinges: But you say ther are sundry other differences in admini­stration of publique praiers & Sacraments, as in order and ceremonies which the Ch. is is to have regard of, and not to leave arbi­trarie. All other ceremonies in Gods wor­ship then Christ and his Apostles have pre­scribed us, are diabolicall, and not Aposto­licall. Then, for all thinges donne in the Church in those publique actions, the offen­ders must be admonished, if they trasgresse the rules of the word. And for the others [Page 80] you speake of, you meane circumstances of time, place, kneeling, sitting, standing &c. of them there can be no furder lawes, then Christ hath prescribed, that all things be donnne to edifying, in comelynes and de­cency &c. of these to set particular lawes, were to breake the lawe of God, which lea­veth them in the Churches liberty as neede requireth, to the glorie of God. In these thinges to doe anie thing contrarie to the generall rules of order, edifying, decencye etc. the transgressour is by those rules to be instructed, admonished and censured.

Well, here you have made a faire hand, to make read prayers but a matter of or­der, which is all the worship you have, to bring in mens writings into the publique assemblies, to make thē ether rules to bind the conscience, and so put them in the place of Gods booke, or to reade them over for praying, is but a matter of order, well then put them in your cornerr Capp, we have enough of rules for the ordering of Christs spouse, without such Babilonish ware. Here you say mine experience is not so great as my boldness. I passe not to be judged of you, it is not like that the en­chaunters of Egypt should knowe the beau­tie [Page 81] of Sion: ther is a cloude betweene you and us: we have (blessed be our God) a pillar of fire before us. An other fault you say in my former reason, is, that because the censure of the Church should redresse defaultes, therfore ther needeth no liturgie. Nay take all with you: No fault can be censured that is not a transgression against the rules of Gods worde, and those to be censured by the doctrine and admonitions of the Church, therfore we neede no liturgies. To the worde of God onely, ought all men to be bounde by covenant, and for the transgres­sions therof onely, to be censured.


The Church hath this power, to ordeine ac­cording to Gods worde, and to appointe such orders in matters of circumstance &c. as shall most fuly serve to edifica­tion. And then these orders being established the Church is to drive men to the observation of them.


First, in this your papisticall mudde, I must tell you, your reading of mens writinges for prayer, is a falle worship [Page 82] of God, and not a matter of circumstance, And for matters of order and circumstance, which are no part of the worship, ther can be no other lawes made of them, then Christ hath made: As for ordeyning of la­wes in the Church, it is to plead for unwrit­ten verities, and to make the lawe of God unsufficient: neyther can it be according to the worde, to make anie lawe, that God hath not made, but an adding to his worde, which is execrable pride: these your wordes then (according to Gods worde) was but a cloake to cover the grossenes of your posi­tion: for the worde, ordeyne, or create lawes, is to make some, that are not made before: let us then see your cleane sentence to be this, The Church hath authority in mat­ters of order and circumstance to make and or­daine lawes in his Church for his worship: now see how you contradict these Scriptures: Rev. 22.18.19. Prov. 30.5.6. everie worde of God is pure etc. put nothing to his worde least he reproove thee and thou be found a liar. likewise Deut. 4.2. and 12.32. and Gal. 3.15. though it be but a mans cove­nant', when it is confirmed, no man doth abrogate it, or superordeine anie thing to it. And the second Commaundement for­biddeth [Page 83] anie such humaine tradition in the worship of God: all the Popes trinckets might be brought in by the same grounde: We would willingly have seene your war­rant for this doctrine, your bare worde is not sufficient to impose other lawes then God hath made, upon his Church. This is the foundation of Poperie and Anabaptis­trie, to give libertie to make lawes in the worship of God. Yet you will goe furder, that such lawes being ordeyned & establi­shed by publique authoritie, the discipline and censures of the Church are to drive men to the observation of the same. By your judgment our Saviour Christ was an Ana­baptisticall Schismatique, that would not himself, nor his Disciples, obey and observe the traditions of the Elders: And what saith he unto pleaders for traditions. It is thus written Marke 7.5. then asked him the Pharises and Scribes, whie walke not thy dis­ciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eate meate with unwashed hands. Then be answeared, surely Isay hath prophesied well of you hypocrites, as it is written, this people honoreth me with their lippes but their heartes are far from me. But they wor­ship me in vayne, teaching doctrines mens [Page 84] precepts. For you lay the commaundement of God aside and observe the tradition of men.

And to helpe foorth your evill matter, instead of proof from the scripture, you fal out into furious exclamation against them that desire onely to have the worde prac­tised: saying, who is able to imagine the innumerable divisions and offences in the practise of your anabaptisticall freedome, in which you deny the Church to have power to ordeine and impose any orders? lett all men judge the venemousnes of this tongue, Christ pronunceth them accursed that add or superordeyne any thing to his worde, and you pronounce judgement of them, that onely obey his worde. Shall it be said that Mr Gifford holdeth, that the onely practise of Gods worde, would be the cause of iunumerable divisions and of­fences? This hath bene Satans old accusa­tion in the mouth of the most enimies of Christs Gospell: nowe it must be Mr Gif­fords accusation of Gods ordinances, to be insufficient, unperfect, etc. fearfull is his Apostacy from that truth he hath knowen. I take it, it is more like to be Anabaptistry, to practise any thing without warrant of the word, to make their own devises lawes, [Page 85] in Gods worship, then to doe nothing but what God hath commaunded, within the limites of our callings.

For the franticke ministery, it came of your owne wordes, that therfore you must needes have a leiturgie, because ther are manie franticke spirits in the ministerie? then I say, it is like you have a frantick ministerie, that cannot be governed with­out another liturgie then Christs Testament: For their great giftes you speake of: I will not compare with them.

My reason from the Colossians was, that as the Church there is commaunded to admonish their Pastor Archippus, if he transgressed, and to stirr him up to his bu­sines, so all ministers that caused divisions, contrary to the doctrine of Christ, were to be admonished, and avoyded, if they re­pent not: so that the worde of God, and admonition by the same, if they trāsgresse, is the waye to keepe all men in due order, and not imposing Leiturgies upon the Church, besides Christs Testa­ment.

And where you collected thus, that if read Prayers, and imposed liturgies be I­dolatrous, then wher will you finde a visible [Page 86] Church say you. I answered that the true Church might erre, even in this poynte, though not in like height of sinne. Then you desire, that the Churches of England may find like favour at our hand:Mr. Bar­rowes refutation discovery, etc. to which I answeare, let him that handleth that que­stion with you, shew you, how your sinnes herein exceede other countries, and per­sequute such as reprove you. Your church (as you all it) cannot pleade ignorance. Your rayling speaches, of blind Schisma­tiques, Donatists etc. bewray what sweet water is in the heart: if you cannot prove your Church to be the established Church of Christ, they light all upon your self. Ther are none Schismatiques, but such as departe from the faith, shew wherein we have transgressed, & will not be reformed. In the meane tyme you are Schismatiques from Christ, in that you practise the Sta­tutes of Omry. You chardge us with pride, for that ( you saye ) we imagine to knowe more then all the Churches uppon earth. This also hath bene Satans old weapon, to deface the truth Ierem. 18.18. why maye not a simple babe in Christ see that, which whole nations have not seene? we cannot but speake the things Gods Worde [Page 87] teacheth us: if we speake trueth, you need not oppose that we judge anie man, it is the worde of God shall judge us all, and I saye, it is an old papish Argument, to rea­son thus (all Churches doe such a thing, therfore it is lawfull) except you hold with the Pope, that the Church cannot erre, which were blasphemous. You are not well pleased that I will not say it is no Church that hath a liturgie imposed upon it, and be­cause you have so often slandered me, that I hold it so, you take great paynes to con­clude it. I have said that to impose mens writings, to be read in stead of praying, 'is to worship God after a false maner, that it is a devise of Antichrist, a deade letter, quenching the spirit, not of faith, Idola­trous changing the worke of the spirit in­to an Idoll, breaking our Christian libertye, and so most detestable. By these speaches I condemne all Churches say you: this is not true, I condemne but the sinne. But you have sayd J deny that to be the Church, that hath any thing imposed. I say you speak an open untrueth; and remember the judg­ment of him that inventeth and maketh lyes: And God give you grace to repent, if you belong to him. The consideration [Page 88] of this our discourse, I hartelie commendo to be dulie and uprightly wayed, of all that feare God, who graunt us his grace to for­sake any sinne, where it shalbe shewed us, by how weake instruments soever it be re­proved, and pardon me all my defaults, in this my hastie answeare. Thus have we seene the unlawfullnes of thrusting mens writings upon publique assemblies, and reading instead of praying.

A generall Argument against their worship, in respect of their present estate, both of Mi­nisters and people.

The Prayers of such ministers and people, as stand under a false government are not ac­ceptable, not onely because they aske amisse, but because they keepe not his Commaunde­ments.

The prayers of such Ministers and people as be subject to Antichrist are abhominable:

Those Ministers and people which stand sub­ject to the Bishops and their Courts, are [Page 89] subject to Antichrist &c. Therfore their prayers &c.


These do concerne the third and fourth accu­sation, and therfore the answere is in­cluded in the answere to them. Yet I take exception against the first, that the Church may be holden by force from executing Gods commaundements tou­ching externall governement, and yet be the true Church of God, I alleadged the Church that was holden captive in Babylon &c.


HEre, after your acustomed manner, you offer me great wronge, first, insteade of answeare, you alter the question very subtilie: then you dismember my former answeare, and not onely so, but you have nether let my former answere be answered, nor printed. Thus you alter the question, & answere not, where the proposition spea­keth of a ministery & people standing under a false government, you say the church may be holden by force, from executing Gods [Page 90] commaundements in externall govern­ment, wherof I never doubted: what is this then, but to deceave your Reader, both to judge sinisterlie of me, and be drawen from the truth himself? But indeede you meane not this (holden by force) of civile bondage or persequution, for then ther were no difference betweene us, and mine Argument should stand untouched, You affirme then that the Church may stand un­der a false government, inforced therunto by the tyranny of the enemie, and yet in that estate be the true apparant Church, by open profession, which is nothing els, then that the Church may professe Christianisme and Antichristianisme, both at a tyme, sub­ject in minde to Christ, and subject to An­tichrist in outwatde obedience. That you hold this doctrine in this place, the pro­cesse of your matter proveth, and to make all plaine, your wordes in the last writing (which here you summe up) were these. But if the Church at any tyme be by mayne force restrayned from some priviledges, or have some government set over it, which agreeth not with Gods worde, which it cannot avoid &ct See now how smoothly this man hath put away the crosse of Christ, by teaching men [Page 91] to stand under a government, contrarie to Christes. I thought the ordinances of the newe Testament had beene a kingdome that could not be shaken.Rev. 24, 9 10.11.12 Heb. 12.28. that none could have beene a member of Christ, that receaveth the marcke of the Beast, though it be but in his hand, or could be holden a member of Christ, by out­ward profession, that here had beene the patience of the Sanicts, to suffer unto death, rather then to bowe downe, either in minde or bodie to an other government, then Christs. How is he a Lorde to them that are not governed by him? Well I needed not to have stod upon this doctrine, but that be nether printed my former answere, nor answered in these pointes, and myne owne copie taken from me by the Bishops: so that this man may retract what he will, & accuse as please him: if he have any com­mon honestie, let my former answeare be seene.

But to prove the Church may be sub­ject to an other government then Christs, which is even to say, that a man may give all alleageance by outward practise to the Kinge of Spaine, and yet be her Majest. true subject, He saith, the Church was hol­den [Page 92] captive in Babylon, where he as cun­ningly hideth himself as before, though in my last writing, I urged him to answere, whether the Church in Babylon was sub­ject to their Idolatrie, or no. To the civile power I doubt not they were: But if the Priestes and Levites stood Priests to the I­dolatrous worship in Babylon, whether the people of Israel bowed downe to the out­ward practise and obedience of their Ido­latrie, or no: then, if they did so, whether they stoode by profession the children of God, or apostate in that estate. None of these thinges have you answeared me. Let the examples of Hanania, Mishaell, and A­zaria testifie Dan: 3. The people that re­tourned repented their transgressions, wher they had any of them sinned, and made a new covenant with the Lorde, before they were receaved, Ezia 9.14.15. and 10. cap. 2.3.8. Yea the voyce of God was this, come out of her my people, and touche no un­cleane thing and I willbe your God. We are before thee (saith Ezra) in our trespasse, & we cannot stand before thee because of it. You never renounced your Antichristian ministerie,Esa. 52.11. Ierem. 51 6, 45. you never made a new covenant since the deepe defection of Poperye, but [Page 93] still minister in that kingdome, and wil not repent, yet boast your selves to be the Church of God, cryinge out, the Temple the Temple. I answeare then directlie, that whiles you stand subject unto, and practise and communicate with other orders and governments, then Christes, you are not by outwarde profession the churches of Christ. I may not with you omitt the worde (will­full) because you persequute the light, & so much higher is your sinne. Here I must forewarne the Reader, with diligence to consider Mr. Giffords disagreement and mine, he having accused me of a funda­mentall heresie (as he callet hit) wheras he himself maintayneth most grosse errors, wherof J reproved him, yet he persisteth, Namely, that the regenerate man may be said to stand in bondage to sinne, by reason of the corruption of the fleshe that is in us, and of our unperfectnes in this life. Then, that one standing in outward bon­dage to open knowen sinne, may in that estate be accompted and communicated with, as the servant of Christ by outward profession, both at one instant: which is as much to say, we may be to mans sight, the servant of the Devill, and the servant of [Page 94] Christ, both at one tyme, by outward pro­fession: so none should be excommunicate: none be without, the world and the church light and darknes, Christ and Belial, should be mingled togeather.

These heresies wherof, he most unjustly and untruly proclaymeth to be mainteyned by us, is, that the regenerate man consen­teth not to sinne, after regeneratiō, although in the last writinge I testified the contrary: Namely that the whole church might erre, might committ some kinde of Idolatrie, that no man was free from committing sinne, etc: And now I testifie to all the world, that I was never infected with anie such Anabaptistery, but have everie where re­sisted such damnable heresie. I have learned and taught manie degrees of sinne, and dif­ferences of transgressions, which the deare children of God fall into, after regenera­tion, in thought, word and deed, of igno­rance, of knowledge, of presumption, slip­pes, transgressions, and obstinate sinne: Yea that ther is no sinne, except the sinne against the holy Ghost, but Gods children, may commit it after regeneration, and be renued by repentance, which we ought to pray for in all sinners, but that one sinne [Page 95] except. Not that men should here upon take boldnes to sinne, because God giveth repentance to his elect, wherin the riches of his mercy appeareth, but rather serve him in trembling and feare, as a jealous God, least with Esaw we find no place to repen­tance, though we seeke it with teares. A­gaine, though in Gods sight, his elected are never forsaken utterlie, nor the Holy Ghost utterly extinguished in the repen­tance, yet to mans jndgement he that com­mitteth open knowen sinne, and persisteth obstinately in the same, cannot be held the child of God to us, by outward profession, but must be cutt of Numbers 15.27.31. Matt. 18.17. and 1 Cor. 5. till they repent. Much more none that stand open professed members of the false Church, subject by the least outward bowing downe to this antichristian Hierarchie, and so continuing in bondage to a false government, can be holden of us be true professors of Christs Gospel. Now let us peruse the several doc­trines. Mr Gifford affirmeth, that the true Church might stand in bondage to a false government, yet in that estate be helde, & communicated with, as the true Church, by outward profession: his wordes in waye [Page 96] of proof, be these. They may with St. Paule say, It is no longer I that doe it, but sinne that dwelleth in me. for if the yoake wher­with he was held captive in part, could not sake from him, but that he was the Lordes free servant, it is no reason that some out­warde bondage should make the Church not to be the spouse of Christ. If a man com­maund his wife (saith he) to do a thinge, and ther be violent force to withold her, shee is not to be blamed. Rom. 7. Mine ans­were to this he durst not print, but per­verted my wordes, so manie as pleaseth him, nether can I yet come by a copie of my former writing to shew, what I then replyed. Now consider what government is, and what bondage is, and then behold the wickednes of this man: Spiritual go­vernment is that soueraigntie, Dominion, and regiment that Christ Iesus, by his spirit, lawes, ordinances, and officers exerciseth in, and over his church, as it is written: And thou Bethlehem Iuda art not the least among the Princes of Iuda, for out of thee shall come a governour that shall governe my people Israell. againe, thy Scepter is an everlasting Scepter. I have set my king vpon Syon my Holy moun­taine, Mat. 26. Psal. 3. and 45, and. 110, these [Page 97] lawes and ordinances wherby this kinge raigneth,Mat. 116 are caled a kingdome that cannot be shaken Heb. 12.28. they that have not him to reigne over them, are by outward profession none of his. If I be your Lord, where is my honour? againe those myne eni­mies which would not that I should reigne over them, bring hither, and stay them before me, Luke. 19.27.

Also bondage or servitude is to be com­maundement, and to yeild obedience in subiection. Now to be in outward bondage to an other outward government, other la­wes, officers, and ordinances then Christs, is to be by outward subiection servants of Antichrist, which hath another founda­tion: for by outward profession we cannot stand (to mans iudgement) professed sub­iects to two kings at enmitye. But we must be an enmity to the one, and so esteemed of all men, much lesse members vnto two di­vers heades.

This then is mine answere here. 1. That it is an heresie to say a man may stand in bondage to open knowen sinne, and the free seruaunt of Christ by outward profes­sion, both at one instant. 2, That it is a falsifying of the Scripture, to say that St. [Page 98] Paul (in the 9. to the Romanes) was in bondage to sinne, when he, in the inner man resisted sinne, and daylie preuailed a­gainst the sinne, which his flesh would have led him captiue in, if there had not beene a stronger power to overcome that enimie, For he ther reasoueth of the benefits of the law, to manifest our sinne, and our con­quest over sinne by daylie repentance, and reproving of sinne in our selves, fighting against sinne in our selves, and labour to have victory over sinne, though it continu­allie rebell. 3. How blasphemous were it to contynue in knowen sinne, in bondage to it, and to say, it is sinne that dwelleth in vs, and not we, and so still to blesse our sel­ves without amendement. O horrible per­uertinge of the Scriptures to mens distruc­tion. 2. Pet. 3.16.4, That ther is no Argu­ment to be drawen, nor consequence to to followe, from the reliques of sinne, and corruption of the fleshe in one man, or the whole Church, and a professed bondage to all false government: no not betweene the open committing of sinne in the whole Church, or some members therof, and a professed homage and subiection vnto false government, we cannot be partaken [Page 99] be partakers with the false Church & state, at no hand. 1. Cor. 10.21.5. Lastlie, that the subiection to an other government, is as a wife that committeth adulterie. Hosea. 2.

I then reason thus on the contrary with you. Any man that after regeneration committeth open knowen sinne, and con­tynueth obstiuate, as a bond servaunt ther vnto, standeth not the professed servaunt of Christ, but of sinne. Ezechiel. 18. till he repent, so the whole Church, that persi­steth in the open knowen sinne, and perse­quuteth the messengers that reprove the same. They, as everie, member of the false Church standeth a professed servaunt of sinne, so the whole assemblies that stand; professed subiects of false government, no censures of admonition belonging vnto them, but calling of them, to repentance & separation from the false Church. Then, as the wife that giveth her self to be one with an other man, is an adulteresse Rom. 7.3. so that Church that subiecteth herself to an other government, ordinances, and lawes then Christs, is an harlot. Now lett all men say, whether I had not iust cause to say, you speak like a carnall libertine, and an A­thiest, yea now, as one having his conscience [Page 100] seated. to affirme, that the Church, remay­ninge in open knowne bondage to a false government, may saye as Paul said, it is not I that sinne. And, that continuing in that adultrie she is the spouse of Christ by outward profession. You would saye it were a false Argument, to say, the Church hath manie imperfections, ignorances, transgressions etc. therfore standeth in bon­dage to sinne, nay standeth in bondage to an other heade, and an other government then Christ. Even so, to saye the Church doth sinne, therfore may contynue in bon­dage to sinne, is false doctrine: nay, to say it may stand in open professed subiection to Antichrist, & be esteemed the Church of Christ by outward profession in that estate, is damnable doctrine.

It is the flat contradiction of all the rules of the Scripture, to say, a man may stand in bondage to sinne, and the free ser­vaunt of Christ by outward profession, by mans iudgement, at one tyme, seing the ob­stinate offenders are to be cast out of the assemblie: But nowe, though the regenerate may fall into these high sinnes, and con­tynve in their sinne a long time, yea manie yeares depriued of Gods grace, to mans [Page 101] seeming, & to vs he is the servant of Satan for anie thing wee see, yet the Spirit of GOD is never vtterlie extinguished or or deparred, after regeneration, but will recover the man againe, and bring him to repentance, as David after a whole yeare, for the stronge man once displaced and cast out by a stronger then he, the spirit never vtterly departed againe, for then it were impossible that man should be renew­ed. Mat. 12.31. Heb. 10.29. and. 6.4.

And herevpon I might saye, Paul never contynued captive in sinne but was alwaies renewed by repentance. Furder, this spirit of God (the sparkes wherof were ne­ver quenched vtterlie) did not, nor could not consent or give place vnto sinne, for here is the enmitye and battel betweene the spirite and the flesh, everie where spo­ken of. Gal, 5.16.17. Rom. 7. May I not now say then, that Paul never contynued captive vnto sinne, nor consented vnto sin concerninge the inner man, or gave place vnto sinne in that place mentioned, without heresie: And still reprove you, that when Paul reasoneth of the old man, or corrup­tion in him, you will conclude it of the new man, or inner man, and of the whole man, [Page 102] when you see evidently, he opposeth the one against the other: For whiles the spirit striveth against sinne, and raigneth in vs, though the fleshe rebell, and cause vs to sinne seaven times a daye, yet are we not overcome of sine, so to remayne in bondage no sinne, that it should contynue to raigne in vs, as you may see in the same chapter Rom 7.5.6. Where you alleage then, that Paul saw a lawe in his members, which did lead him captive vnto sinne, you do falsifie the text: for he saith leading me captive, and not did leade etc. for ther was a stronger then man, that suffered not the lawe of his members to reigne: for saith be, I my self in my minde serve the law of God, but in the flesh the law of of sinne, so that the whole man could not be said to serve sinne. But (say you) afterward as concerning then the inner man we may besaid to serve the lawe of God, and thervpon becalled the free ser­vants of Christ, notwithstanding this cor­ruption of sinne in the flesh: So the whole man by reason of our imperfectnes may be said to be the servants of sinne. No, it is not true, for the whole man is called after the part that hath greater rule in vs: as if the fleshe rule in us, we are the servaunts of [Page 103] sinne, and ledded by Satan at his pleasure, but if the Spirit rule in vs, we are the servauntes of God, Sonnes of God, Sainc­tes of God, Citizens of Ierusalem, a roy­all nation, holie and free people, Kinges and Priests: not that we are perfect, or sin­ne not, but that sinne raygneth not in vs, but the spirit, wherby we suppresse sinne, reprove sinne, strive against sinne, subdue sinne, and though we fall seven times, yet we rise againe by repentance, and serve not sinne. Rightly therfore did I saye, that man cannot serve 2 masters: for his servan­tes we are to whom we give our selves as servants to obey, whether it be of sinne, vnto death, or of obedience, vnto righte­ousnes. Rom. 6.16.18. being made free from sinne, we are made the servantes of righteousnes: So that the regenerat man, or he that is by outward profession the servant of Christ, cannot be called the servant of sinne, by reason of the corruption of the old man, and dregges of sinne, neyther can he that standeth in bondage to anie sinne and giveth himself over to it be called in that estate the servant of Christ, till he repent, but the servant of sinne. 2. Pet. 2.19.

Therfore you must recant your false in­terpretation [Page 104] of Paul in the 7. to the Rom. and cease your blasphemous raylings, in calling the truth of God, the rocke of Brownisme. And consider the height of your sinne, by concluding a bondage vnto sinne of the whole man, for the corruptions of the fleshe, which through the worke of the Spirit is daylie subdued, though never, vtterly rooted out of our earthlie members, and from the committing sinne through frayltie, and obstinate professed bondage to the false Church, false government, false ministerie etc. which is plainly the marck of the Beast, to whom with outward obe­dience they bowe downe, and stand ser­vants in his kingdome Revel.

As for the 4, of the Galat. 26. where the Apostles aith, Jerusalem which is abone is free with her Children, you durst not open it, nor expounde it, but blaspheame, raile, and slander, as though we should pleade for such a freedome, as should detract from Magistrates lawfull authorities, from ha­ving Gods ordinances established by com­maundement vpon the Church etc, yea, that we should hold Anabaptisticall free dome, as though we had power not to com­mitt, or consent vnto sinne: wheras we have [Page 105] everie where by practise and protestation, by word and writing testified to our Sove­reigne Prince, and to all men, the contrary. But Satan that old accuser and detracter of Gods children, to deceive the world, sendeth out such lyinge spirites to deface the truth. We, with all subiection and willinge obe­dience to our sovereigne Prince, teach all men their obedience to the higher powers: Subiectes to Magistrates, Flocke to Over­seers, children to Parentes, wives to their husbands, servantes to their Masters etc. in all things in the Lorde: and if they com­maund vs anie thing contrary to the lawe of God, we then patientlie suffer without resistance, or rebellious thoughtes, The freedome then we have to speake of here, which Christ had purchased for vs▪ is, first that triumphe ouer Hell, Deathe, and dam­nation, through the merites of Christ apprehended by faith, wayted for in hope, Rom. 8. Secondly, that because we were sonnes by election, he giveth vs the spirit of adoption, and sanctification, whereby we mortifie the fleshe, have power and dominion over sinne, that it shall never reigne in vs more vnto condemnation, repēting dayly of our trespasses, & craving [Page 106] pardon for our hidden sinnes, and secret faultes. Thirdly, we are through the same spirit and worde of trueth delivered from all subiection of Antichist, of the false Church, false ministerie, false government etc. And they that have not this fredome are not by outward profession the servaun­tes of Christ. Furder, we have freedom from all traditious of men that seing we are bought with a price, we are no longer servants of men, to be in bondage to anie beggarly rudimentes or devises of men, but in all peaceable manner, to worship and serve God, within the limites of our callings, according to the word of God, as it is reuealed vnto vs: We have freedome to speake the trueth with all boldnes, though all men should inhibite vs: we would not haue the doctrine limited, stin­ted, bought and sould for Iewish tythes or mercenarie stipendes.

We have freedome to separate from such false Prophets as yourself, to come out of Babel, etc. And in the true Church to reprove and withstand anie sinne or traditions of men in due order only, & to be guided & governed by Christes lawes and ordinances. In all this I trust you shall [Page 107] not find any Anabaptistrie in the freedom we professe: this is the truth of the Gospell, wherby we are made free.

Thus then we still affirme, that they which stand in open known bondage to sinne, are the servants of sinne, and not of Christ, till they repent, by outward profes­sion. Furder, that all which stand mem­bers of your parish assemblies, stand not members of CHRIST by outward profession, but in bondage to a false and Antichristian ministery, government, wor­ship etc. and the bond woeman and her sonne must be cast out. Furder for all liturgies, and other devises of men besides the canonicall Scriptures and lively graces of his Spirit, we hold they ought not to be brought into the publique assemblies, nor imposed vpon mens conscience: But if anie will write such, or reade such, let it be for their private vse, as all other mens writ­tings: we despise not any directions by word or writting, that may furder vs anie way to the practize of Gods ordinances, yet may they nether be imposed vpon mens consciences, not be made a part of Gods worship.

The Lord therfore that hath thus far [Page 108] far fourth discouered the chaff and mift of Antichrist delusions, euen to babes and sucklings, publish the glorious light of his blessed Gospel, that the peopel may see the counterfeit iuglinges of all such false pro­phets, and come out from amongst them, that you may be ashamed of your execra­pale wares, and forsake your Romish Priesthoode and give glory to God, that yet offereth grace,

Christs vnworthie witnes for the truth of his Gospell IOHN GREENWOOD.

9 Other Arguments to prove that all set formes of prayer to be used for prayer are unlawfull.

1. WE finde that all the holy men of God according to their present need & occasion used to pray in the spirit, through the helpe of the Holy Ghost, which God hath shed in the hearts of all his Children, without rea­ding or saying by rote any nūber of words; and for this we have plentifull Examples in Abraham, Isaak, Iacob, &c.

2. Not any prescript Leiturgy can pos­sibly be an ordinance of Christ, because the Church without it may perfectly and en­tirely worship God, I say performe all the parts of holy and spirituall worship, & this appeares by the constant and generall prac­tice of all the primitive Churches, who tru­ly worshipped the Lord many yeares, be­fore any such read stinted service was de­vised or imposed.

3. This external meanes and manner of worshipping God in prayer, is no where [Page 110] found in the written word (by the prescript whereof he is to be worshipped) whatsoe­ver the Iewes Fable of Ezra, or the Papists of S. Iames or S. Peter: Yea I doe to the contrarie affirme, that it did not seem good to the Apostles the last penmen of the Holy Ghost, that any certaine formes should be repeated or read out of a prayer booke. For if it had, they would have given com­mandment to the Churches for the practice thereof:

4. Reading of prayer in the act of prayer, is directly contrary to that act and nature of prayer; For in prayer we doe poure out matter: to weet, the holy conceptions of our minde, from within to without: that is from the heart to God. On the contrarie in reading we doe receive and admitt mat­ter from without to within; that is from the booke into our heart; Ergo, &c.

5. The stinted and devised formes doe quench the spirit of prayer, and this appeares in that men are so strictly tyed unto them as till they stint be out the spirit which the Lord gives his children, may not suggest one thought or word otherwise; Neither when that is out any more, then what next [Page 111] followes, in the prescribed prayers; and this is contrary to 1 Cor. 12, 7.

6. We finde it promised, that under the Gospell the spirit should be plentifully poured out, which he dayly graciously per­formeth in furnishing his children with spiritual gifts, who accordinglie pray (or at least all may) not with prescript words, but with such as the spirit gives them utte­rance, God preparing their heart, and ben­ding his eare.

7. The truth brings forth no absurditie; but this doth;Rom. 8.26. For Example, the spirit sayth the Apostle (speaking of all Christians) help­eth our infirmities, for we know not what to pray as we ought: Yes Paul with your leave right well, for we have in our Leiturgie what wee ought to pray word for word; and these things we can aske whether the spirit be present or no.

8. As it were a ridiculous thing for a Child, when he should aske of his Father bread, fish, or any other thing, to read it to him out of a paper; So is it, for the Children of God, to read unto God their Requests, even a most foolish and riduculous thing.

9. As the reasons published to the world, against the reading of the Apocrypha bookes in Churches, will serve as much and as well to condemne all devised and impo­sed formes of prayer; So likewise the ar­guments brought against kneeling before the bread and wine in the act of receiving, will prove that to fall downe before the common prayer booke, is every way as su­perstitious & sinfull a thing. And so much the reader shall finde certaine, if he will in­differently compare the things together.


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