[Page] A IOYNT ATTESTATION, Avowing that the Discipline of the Church of ENGLAND was not impea­ched by the Synode of Dort.

LONDON, Printed by M. Flesher for R. Mylbourne, and are to be sold at his shop at the great South-doore of Pauls. 1626.

A IOYNT ATTESTATION, avowing that the Discipline of the Church of England was not impeached by the Synode of DORT.

IT behooveth him, that pre­tēdeth to frame A just Appeale from unjust Infor­mers, therein to keepe himselfe cleare from the just imputation of unjust informing. Yet hath the Author of the Treatise, styled Appello Caesarem, rashly and without [Page 2] ground cast a foule blot upon the Synode of Dort in generall, and consequently in common reputation upon all the mem­bers thereof; among whom those Di­vines, that were by his late Majesty of blessed memory sent thither, and con­curred in the Conclusions of that Natio­nall Synode, are in speciall aymed at, as having betrayed, or impeached the go­vernment of their Reverend Mother. The Discipline of the Church of England Appeale page 70. (saith hee) in that Synode is held unlawfull. And againe, The Synode of Dort in some Page 108. points condemneth upon the Bye even the Dis­cipline of the Church of England.

Was that distressed Church, in the midst of her distractions about matter of Doctrine, so wily in her intentions, as to make preposterous use of their neigh­bors assistance, and to draw them in for concurrence, in matter of Discipline, with a forreine sister against their owne Mother? Were those, that hence ayded that Church, tam naris obesae, so dull of [Page 3] apprehension, as not to perceiue the in­terest of their owne? Or did they de­meane themselves tam sublesta fide, so per­fidiously, as to suffer the government of this renowned Church, so much as upon the Bye, to bee condemned by o­thers there, and to sit downe by it?

Had there been any colour for such sur­mise, it might have pleased the Appealer, or Appeacher, before he Recorded in print such his odious Information, tendered to his Majesties owne hands, to have demanded in private such a question of some of those, from whom in all likely­hood hee might have received particular satisfaction. Civill correspondence re­quired no lesse of him towards those, whose persons hee professeth to respect Page 69. for ancient acquaintance, and other causes.

The best is, though himselfe, for his own part, doth often salute that Synode with the complements called in Rhe­torique [...], and [...], Non equidem Page 107. [Page 4] invideo, and such like flowers strewed along his Treatise, yet in his indulgence hee giveth others, as cause, so leave to speake in their owne behalfe. Let them Page 71. looke to it, and answer for it, whom it con­cerneth. And againe, Let them, that are in­teressed, Page 108. plead for themselves. Wee there­fore, who have hereto subscribed our names, being interessed in that Synode, and withall deeply in this crimination of Puritanisme, can doe no lesse then answere, and cleare in some pub­lique manner this slander published a­gainst us.

And first in generall to remove the often objected suspition of complicati­on betweene foreine Doctrine and foreine Page 56. & 72. Discipline, wherby is intended, that there is a kinde of naturall consanguinitie be­tweene that Doctrine (which odiously hee styleth foreine) subscribed unto by that Synode, and the Presbyteriall Disci­pline established in that and other forein Churches: wee answer, that in the Ne­therlands, [Page 5] the party opposite unto that Synode, and most aggrieved with the Conclusions thereof concerning the Points controverted, are notwithstan­ding as vehement and resolute maintai­ners of the Ministeriall Parity, as any that concluded, or accepted the judgement of that Synode. Moreover, in our private conversing with the most eminent of the Ministery there, wee found divers times, upon occasion of our declaring unto them the order and manner of our Church-government, that they were more ready to deplore, then defend, their owne estate, and wished, rather then hoped, to bee made like the flourishing Church of England. Nor were these therefore the lesse ready to concurre for the Dort Conclusions, but were rather of the principall and forward actors therein.

Secondly in speciall we plead against a supposed act of damning our owne Episcopal discipline. Which inditement, [Page 6] in fayre accusation, should have beene layed more particularly, what action, what Session, what Conclusion. Now are wee put to seeke, not so much our defence, as our fault. And for such sur­mise wee can finde no other footing, then (possibly) in the approbation of the Belgique Confession, propounded to the Consideration of the Synode about a weeke before it brake up.

This Confession (composed an: 1550, and received in their Church, and in the Wallon Churches, ever since the first re­forme of Religion) is unto them, for consent in Doctrine, a Rule not much unlike to our Articles of Religion here e­stablished. Which as it was formerly anno 1583 accepted and approued by the Reformed French Church in a Nationall Synode at Vitree, so upon the opportu­nitie of this Nationall Synode the State and Church there recommended the same to more publique judgement for further establishment.

[Page 7] And because two or three Articles therof concerned Church-discipline, and avowed a Parity of Ministers, they, pru­dently fore-seeing that the Britaine Di­vines would never approve, but rather oppose the same, did therefore provide that before the examining or reading thereof, protestation should be made by the President of the Synode, that nothing, but the Doctrinall points, was to be subjected to their consideration and suf­frages: and for the surer preventing op­position or dispute, the Articles concer­ning Discipline were accordingly re­trenched and suppressed in the reading of that Confession to the Synode.

If therefore the Britaine Colledge had in their suffrages onely answered ad quae­sita, concerning Doctrine, and uttered no opinion at all de non quaesitis, concer­ning Discipline, they thinke they had not herein beene wanting to their Sy­nodicall duty and calling. The rather for that

[Page 8] 1 They were sent thither to endeavour the peace and composure of that distra­cted Church, by expressing their judge­ments in the Points there already con­troverted, not by intruding in matters not at all questioned among them.

2 Among the Instructions given them by his Majesty, they had none to med­dle with the Discipline there established, but had charge to use moderation and discretion, and to abstaine from multi­plying of questions beyond necessity.

3 In that subject there was no hope, on possibility of prevayling by argument or perswasion; especially in that Church, where the Civill government is popu­lar, and so complyeth more easily with Ecclesiastique Parity.

Yet wee thought not fit to content ourselves with warrantable silence; but, upon our returne from that Synodicall Session to the place of our private Colle­giate meeting, wee diligently perused the Confession, not onely for points of [Page 9] Doctrine; referred to our judgements, but also for those excepted Articles tou­ching Discipline. And consulting toge­ther what was fit to bee done in delive­ring our opinions the next day, wee joyntly concluded, that, howsoever our Church discipline had not beene Syno­dically taxed, nor theirs avowed, yet it was convenient for us (who were assu­red in our consciences that their Presby­teriall Parity, and Laicall Presbyterie was repugnant to the Discipline established by the Apostles, and retayned in our Church) to declare in a temperate man­ner our judgement as well concerning that matter, though by them purposely excepted, as the other expresly referred to us. Accordingly the next morning, when suffrages were to passe concer­ning the Doctrine comprised in that Confession, wee (having by our place the prime voyce in the Synode) gave our approbation of the substance of the do­ctrinall Articles, with advice touching [Page 10] some incommodious phrases; and with­all (contrary to the expectation of the whole Synode) wee added expresse ex­ception against the suppressed Articles, with some touch also of Argument a­gainst them. Which our Contestation, or Protestation (for so may it bee styled) was principally performed by him, whom for prioritie of age, place, and dignitie it best became, and from whose person, and gravitie it might be the bet­ter taken by the Civill Deputees of the States there present.

Therein he professed and declared our utter dissent in that point: and fur­ther shewed that by our Saviour a Pa­ritie of Ministers was never instituted, that Christ ordained twelve Apostles and seventy Disciples; that the authori­tie of the twelve was aboue the other: that the Church preserved this order left by our Saviour. And therefore when the extraordinary authoritie of the Apostles ceased, yet their ordinarie authoritie con­tinued [Page 11] in Bishops, who succeeded them, who were by the Apostles themselves left in the government of the Church to ordaine Ministers, and to see that they who were so ordained, should preach no other doctrine: that in an inferiour degree the Ministers, that were gover­ned by Bishops, succeeded the 70 Disci­ples: that this order hath bin maintai­ned in the Church from the time of the Apostles. And herein he appealed to the judgement of Antiquity, or of any lear­ned Ignat. Epist. ad Phila­delph. Tertul. de Baptismo. Hieronym. Epist. ad Marcellam. Aug. in Psal. 44. Epiphan. hae­res. 75. man now living, if any could speak to the contrary, &c.

In giving our severall suffrages the same exception was seconded by the rest of us Collegues, partly by other allegati­ons, and partly by briefe reference to this declaration made communi nomine by our Leader. To this our exception and al­legations not one word was answered by any of the Synodiques either Stran­gers or Provincialls. So that herein we may seeme to have had either their con­sent [Page 12] implied by silence or at least appro­bation of our just and necessary perfor­mance of our bounden duty to that Church, whereunto they all afforded no small respect, though differing in go­vernment from their severall Churches.

Herein perhaps by some we might be deemed rather to have gone too farre in contestation and upbraiding, quasi in as, the Civill Magistrate, and Ministery there with undue forme of government of that Church, whose doctrine onely was offered to our opinions.

But on the contrary part it hath bin suggested here at home by some, that herein wee came short of our duty, that we ought to have stepped yet farther by exhibiting in writing a formall Prote­station to bee entred, and kept by the Actuary of the Synode. Whereto we answer.

First that the course there taken for the manner of delivering our judgements, was not (as in the 5 Questions contro­verted) [Page 13] by subscription, but onely by vocall suffrage: which gave no opor­tunitie of putting in a written Protesta­tion; whereas, if we had subscribed our names unto that Confession, we would infallibly have added with the same penn our exception against the Articles concerning Discipline.

Secondly in that vocall proceeding had we been overborn by the multitude of their voyces, or receiued any grie­vance or affront from them touching Discipline, we would have releeved our just cause either by written Protestation, or better meanes. But when as neither the Civill Magistrate (in whose hearing our exceptions were constantly uttered) did gain-say us, nor any of the Divines in the Synode once opened their mouths either in offence of our government, or defence of their owne, what needed we to redouble our stroke upon those, that turned not upon us? Rixa suam finem, cum silet bostis, habet.

[Page 14] Peradventure some hot spirit would not have rested in a formall recorded Protestation neither: but would have charged those Churches to blot those Articles out of their Confession, and forthwith to reforme their government; otherwise not have yeelded approbation to any Article of Doctrine, as there com­prised: but renounced the Synode, and shaken off from his feet the dust of Dort, I have nothing to doe with your Conclusions. I have no part nor portion in them. What ends you have, how things are caryed, I cannot tell; nor care.

We confesse, we were, and are, of an­other minde; our owne dispositions, and the directions of our blessed Peace­making King, kept us from kindling new fires; where we had worke enough to quench the old. We then thought (and so still in our consciences are con­fident) that we forgat not our duty to our venerable and sacred Mother the Church of England, but tooke a course [Page 15] conformable to the rules, as wel of filiall observance, as of Christian moderation.

And even then (according to our cu­stome of weekly transmitting into Eng­land briefe narrations of the proceedings in each severall Session to be imparted to his Majesty) we by the next messenger sent our relation hereof, as no whit asha­med of our deportment herein. Which, because it was then framed, when we did not imagine that any quarrell would be picked against us, for more impartiall and unpassionate attestation, is here in­serted, as much as concerneth that parti­cular.

1619. April. 29 stylo novo. Ses­sione 144 pomeridiana.

Gregorius Martine, unus ex politic is ad Sy­nodum delegatis, Hagâ jam recens reversus, narrat quanto Dni Ordines gaudio affician­tur de singulorum in Canonibus sanciendis unamini consensu. Eo nomine Theologis cùm exteris tum Provincialibus gratias habere eorum Domniationes ob labores Synodicos ex­antlatos. [Page 16] Proximo in loco postulare vt Con­fessio Belgica perlustretur: ita tamen vt sine gravi causa nihil immutetur, nec phrasium Grammaticarum argutijs curiosè insistatur. In eadem judicijs Synodicorum subjiciuntur tantùm ea, quae doctrinam spectant, omissis prorsus ijs, que disciplinam. Intercurrit quae­stio de authentico exemplari. Sumitur illud quod in Ecclesiarum reformatarum Confessi­onibus habetur. Totum perlegitur, pretermis­sis, qui disciplinam Ecclesiasticam attinent, articulis.

Sessio. 145. April. 30. antemeridiana.

Rogantur de hac Confessione suffragia. Dominus Episcopus Landavensis omnia do­ctrinae capita probat. Interea tamen de disci­plina paucis monet. Nunquàm in Ecclesia obtinuisse Ministrorum paritatem, non tem­pore Christi ipsius; tunc enim duodecim Aposto­los fuisse Discipulis superiores: non Apostolo­rum aetate, non subsequutis seculis. Nec va­lere rationem in hac Confessione usurpatam; nempe quia omnes sunt In the more cor­rect edition (then pro­mised, and since publi­shed among the Acts of the Synode) Articulo 31. the words aquè and ae­qualem are cashiered. aequè ministri Christi. Nam & 70 discipuli erant Ministri Christi [Page 17] aequè ac Apostoli: non tamen inde Apostolis aequales: et omnes omninò homines sunt aequè homines: non inde tamen homo homini non debet subesse. Haec non ad harum Ecclesiarum offensionem, sed ad nostrae Anglicanae defensi­onem se submonuisse professus est. A reliquis Britannis nonnulla alia sunt subnotata de libero arbitrio, de passiva Christi obedientia; praesertim vero de phrasi nimis dura & gene­rali, cum dicatur de Canonicis libris nullam unquam fuisse controversiam: Quae quidem incommoda phrasis vitio interpretis irrepse­rat, cum in originali Gallicana benè se habeat. Item exceptioni de disciplina adjioitur à reli­quis Britannis similis exceptio, si quid contra legitimos ritus externos generaliter ibidem statuatur. Britannorum interpellationi à Sy­nodicis responsum ne [...] quidem.

About a yeare after our returne the Acts of the Synode were published in print, wherein among other particulars, the Belgique Confession is at large set downe in 37 Articles. Whereof two or three containe matter of Discipline [Page 18] received in those Churches; These be­like our Censurer viewing, prout jace [...] in terminis, thereupon, without any fur­ther search, concluded, that Synode Guil­ty and condemnable, as condemning the Discipline of the Church of England. But still wee hold our selves to stand cleare, and therefore prosecute our Appeale from the rash sentence of this Appellant, alleadging for our selves

1 Though all and singular the Ar­ticles there comprised had passed Syno­dicall sorutiny, and beene approved ca­nonically, yet will it not follow, that all and every the Synodiques there gave consent thereto. For this approbation might have passed by the votes of the major part, etiam reclamantibus Britannis, who for number were not considera­ble among so many both other strangers and Provincialls. And so a favourable construction might have exempted the Britaine Divines from (that which is here covertly put upon them) being [Page 19] thought to reach forth their hand to the striking their Mother.

2 We deny that upon view of those Synodall Acts we by presumption in Law need to be put to our purgation herein, as members involved in a Capitular de­cree of the whole Body. For in point of Discipline there passed no Act at all, there was no proposition made: as evi­dently appeareth by the same booke of the Synodall Acts, in the narration of the Acta Synod. in folio. edit. Dord. Sess. 144. pag. 301. proceedings about this Belgique Confessi­on; where the matter subjected to delibe­ration is recorded with limitation, first positive, quae ad dogmata & doctrinae essen­tiam pertinerent, points dogmaticall, and pertaining to the essence of Doctrine: then exclusive, Monitum proinde fuit eo tempore Articulum The word trigesimum should have beene twise repeated, which by mistake was here cast out as redundant. And upon this errour the word utro (que) crept in for illis. trigesimum, primum, & secundum non esse examinandum: quia in u­tro (que) de ordine Ecclesiastico, quem exteri non­nulli à nostro diversum habent, ageretur. De­claration was accordingly made at the same time that the thirtieth, first, and second Ar­ticles [Page 18] [...] [Page 19] [...] [Page 20] were not to be examined, because in them Ecclesiasticall Order or Church govern­ment was handled, wherein some strangers (namely the Church of England) differ from ours, (namely from that of the Church of the Netherlands.) This recor­ded testimony of so expresse withdraw­ing from the eye of the Synode all view of Church discipline might demonstrate to any indifferent peruser of those Acts, that there was no possibility of Synodi­call condemning, so much as upon the Bye, the Discipline of the Church of England in such examining the Belgique Confession.

As for our manner of examining and judging thereof, though it be not so par­ticularly set downe in the said printed Acts, as we could have wished, & would have provided for, had wee beene made acquainted with any intent of their pub­lication, yet is it in some sort touched in the same page in that very narration of the next Session, testifiyng a cautelous [Page 21] delivery of our judgements. Declararunt clarissimi Magnae Britanniae Theologi, se Con­fessionem Page 301. Sess. 145. Belgicam diligenter examinasse, nihilquè in ea deprehendisse, quod ad fidei qui­dem dogmata attineret, quod verbo Dei non consentiret. The Divines of great Britaine declared, that they had diligently examined the Belgique Confession, and that therein (for as much as concerned dogmaticall points of faith) they found nothing, that agreed not with the Word of God. Which reservation im­plyeth that somewhat else (which did not cōcerne point of faith, but other mat­ter) received not their approbation. It may be sayed (and so wee our selves say) that the disposers and publishers of these Synodicall Acts had done more right to the Britaine Divines, if speciall mention had beene made of that other matter not approved by them, and of their particu­lar exceptions against the Articles, which concerned Church government. But, it seemeth, (as in most other vocall passages in this Synode) the Actuary here inten­ded abridgement in what he set downe [Page 22] and meant not to expresse in par­ticular what was sayd by any concer­ning points not propounded to Synodi­call deliberation; especially touching up­on so tender a string as the open im­peachment of their owne established Discipline. And so they thinke that they have given us our due herein, partly by thus pointing afar off to what we did in our owne defence, leaving the reader to finde it by implication, and partly by re­cording that all Synodicall proposition and approbation of this Confession was confined to matter of Doctrine onely.

According to which reserved forme of expression the President of the Synode, in the great Church of Dort (immediately after the publication of the Synods Iudg­ment upon the five Controversies) no­tifying the approbation of this Confession sayed (not that the whole, and every par­cell, was approved, but) doctrinam in Con­fessione comprehensam, in Synodo relectam, Act. Synod. Page 322. atque examinatam,—ut orthodoxam &c. fuisse approbatam. The doctrine comprised in [Page 23] that Confession, read over in the Synode, and examined, was approved as orthodoxe. Which style of speach excludeth whatsoever is there comprised concerning, not Do­ctrine, but Discipline, whatsoever was not examined Synodically, nor so much as read in the Synode, whatsoever in common understanding admitteth not the title of Orthodoxe, which attribute is proper unto dogmaticall points. In this sense, and of this subject they did, and well might, there alleadge the cōcording judgements omnium tàm exterorum, quàm provincialium Theologorū, of all the Divines, as well strangers, as Provincialls. Nor had we cause to expect, that in such publica­tion of the whole Synods doctrinall consent they should trouble their owne people with expressing the dissent of some few of the Exteri in matter of Church-discipline. Which our dissent they have delineated in this Record of their Acts, though over-veyled for their owne peace, yet transparent enough for our defence.

[Page 24] But our ill happ belike it was, that he, who turned over all the leaves of the Bel­gique Confession there set forth, to finde the Articles concerning Discipline, could not intend to cast his eye upon the page next fore-going that Confession, to view the limited manner of both propoun­ding, and approving that body of Arti­cles. Which limitation had he seene and considered, (so confident are we of his ingenuitie) he would not have cast this harsh imputation upon us.

And now being better informed by this our true account of the cariage of that businesse, he, that hath traduced us, will (we hope, and crave) make us some competent satisfaction, by acknowled­ging his over-sight, and recalling what he hath unadvisedly written to our pre­judice. Which reparation we have the more cause to expect, for that, upon cre­dence yeelded to this his Information, this imputation hath of late bin further, upon the Bye, grated on and upbrayded in the audience of divers personages of [Page 25] note, whose opinions of us we have great cause to respect.

As for our selves, in the integritie of our consciences we herein doe not de­cline the judgement of any indifferent unpassionate man; and such, we hope, this true and plaine Narration will satis­fie. But above all, according to our duty and desire, we humbly submit this, and all other our actions concerning our cal­ling, to the judgement of our most ve­nerable Mother the Church of England. From whose sacred rule (we avow) we have not swarved, nor any whit impea­ched her Discipline, or authorised Do­ctrine, either abroad, or at home. And as in that Synode our speciall care, and perpetuall endeavour was to guide our judgements by that sound Doctrine, which we had received frō the Church of England: so were we farre, and ever shall be, from usurping our Mothers au­thoritie, or attempting to obtrude upon her children any of our Synodicall con­clusions, as obligatory to them: yet re­maining [Page 26] our selves never the lesse resol­ved, that whatsoever there was affented unto, & subscribed by us concerning the five Articles, either in the joynt Synodicall Iudgement, or in our particular Collegiate suffrage (styled in the Acts of the Synode Theologorum Magnae Britanniae Sententia, and at large extant there) is not only war­rantable by the holy Scriptures, but al­so conformable to the received Do­ctrine of our said venerable Mother. Which we are ready to maintaine, and justifie against all gain-sayers, whensoe­ver we shall be thereunto called by law­full Authoritie.

Ita attestamur
  • GEORGIVS Cicestriensis Episcopus.
  • IOHANNES Sarisburiensis Episcopus.
  • Gualterus Balcanquall Decan. Roff.
  • Samuel Ward Pub. profess. Theol. in Acad. Cant. & Coll. Sid. Praefect.
  • Thomas Goad Sacrae Theol. Doctor.

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