THE REASONS OF A PASTORS Resolution, touching the Reue­rend receiuing of the holy COMMVNION:

Written by Dauid Lindesay, D. of Diuinitie, in the Vniuersitie of Saint Andrewes in Scotland, and Prea­cher of the Gospell at DVNDY.

LONDON, Printed by GEORGE PVRSLOWE, for RALPH ROVNTHWAITE, and are to be sold at his shop in Pauls Church-yard, at the Signe of the Golden Lyon. 1619.

TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFVLL SIR IOHN SCRYMIGEOVR of Dudope Knight, Sheriffe principall of Anguse, Constable of Dundy, and his Maiesties Standard-bearer in the Armies of Scotland, his very good PATRONE.

WE are exhorted by Saint Peter, to be euer ready to make answere to euery man, that asketh a reason of the hope that is in vs, with meeke­nesse and feare. So must wee bee ready to giue an account [Page] of all our actions, if the ho­nour of God, the edification of the Church, and the truth of our profession doe so require. Hereby I haue beene mooued, at the desire of my Brethren of the Synode of Brechin, to set downe these reasons of my Re­solution, which I propounded before them briefely in a Ser­mon; to shew in what faith, and assurance of a good con­science, both they and I might and ought to giue obedience to the Acts of the late Assembly holden at Perth. These I pre­sent vnto your Worship, to whom I know, they shall bee most acceptable; not onely be­cause they are conform to your [Page] owne wise & solid iudgement against the whole externall or­der of our Church; but also, by reason of the sincere affecti­on that you haue euer carried to his Highnes Person, and the great estimation, or rather ad­miration, that you haue of his Maiesties surpassing wisdome, as well in the Ecclesiastike, as Politike Gouernment. And I hope, by the grace of God, that as vnder the protection of that Standard, which you haue frō your Noble Progenitors, and they for their valour haue had the honour to carry these ma­ny hundreth yeeres in the Ar­mies of Scotland; our Nation hath been often victorious, and [Page] euer inuincible: So the veritie shall march with courage vn­der the Patrocinie of your name, and according to that Martial Motto of your Armes, DISSIPATE, shall scatter and driue away these doubts, scrupo­losities, anxieties & feares, wher­with custome, opinion, and preiudice, doe enuiron and as­sault the weake & tender con­science, as with Armies of im­placable enemies, who will ac­cept no conditions of Peace, and hauing deliuered her out of their hands, shall restore her to that liberty wherwith Christ hath made her free; that with confidence she may draw neere to serue the liuing God, know­ing [Page] to put difference betweene circumstantial indifferent alter­able Ceremonies, wherevnto shee is not tyed in the worship of God; and the necessarie sub­stantiall points of Religion, which cannot bee changed, without the vtter exterminatiō of a good Conscience, and the shipwracke of Faith. In this hope I consecrate D.D.D. this testimonie of my sincere affec­tion to your worship in Christ.

Your Worships most affectionate and deuoted, DAVID LINDESAY.

The Contents of the Chapters and Sections of this TREATISE.

THE Preface or ground of this Trea­tise is taken out of the 14. to the Ro­manes, Verse 23. where is expounded the true meaning of that place.

CHAP. I.
  • THat Sitting is not a necessarie ge­sture to be vsed at the receiuing of the Sacrament.
  • Sect. I. The forme of gesture vsed by [Page] our Sauiour, and the Apostles, at the Paschall Supper.
  • Sect. 2. The Reasons are set downe against the necessarie vse of Sitting at the Sacrament.
  • The first Argument, that it is not cer­tain that our Sauiour did Sit, or Lye.
  • The second Argument, prouing, that the gesture vsed by Christ and the Apostles was occasionall, and not ne­cessary.
  • Another Reason, to proue that it was oc­casional,
  • The third Argument.
  • The fourth Argument.
  • The fift Argument.
  • The sixt Argument.
  • The seuenth Argument.
  • The eighth Argument.
  • The Epilogue of this Chapter.
CHAP. II.
  • THAT to Kneele at the Lords Table, agreeth with Decencie.
  • [Page] Sect. 1. How the Table of the Lord is taken in Scripture.
  • Sect. 2. That Kneeling is decent.
  • Sect. 3. An answer to the obiection ta­ken from the common Table-gesture.
  • Sect. 4. An answer to the Obiection taken from Custome.
  • Sect. 5. An answer to the Instance of Honorius.
  • Sect. 6. An answer to the Instance brought from the custome of the Pri­mitiue Church.
  • The Epilogue.
CHAP. III.
  • THAT it agreeth with Pietie, to Kneele at the Sacrament.
  • Sect. 1. That Pietie requireth a most religious gesture.
  • Sect. 2. That the consideration of the gift, and the manner of the Giuer, requireth the same forme of Gesture.
  • Sect. 3. A consideration of the Gift.
  • [Page] Sect. 4. The manner of Receiuing.
  • Sect. 5. The nature of the Sacrament.
  • Sect. 6. The difference betweene the Sacramentall Word, and the word preached.
  • Sect. 7. That greater, and more par­ticular reuerence must be vsed in re­ceiuing the Sacrament, then in hea­ring the word.
  • Sect. 8. That the name of a Supper giuen to this Sacrament, doth not diminish the reuerence that is due thereunto.
  • Sect. 9. What manner of person should wee esteeme our Sauiour and our selues to carry at the Sacrament.
  • Sect. 10. In what respect this Sacra­ment is called the Eucharist.
  • Sect. 11. The conclusion of this point, which concerneth this Sacrament.
CHAP. IIII.
  • [Page]VVHether it may stand with charity towards our bre­thren, to kneele at the receiuing of the Sacrament.
  • Sect. 1. That Kneeling serueth for edi­fication.
  • Sect. 2. That Kneeling obscureth not our fellowship with Christ and amongst our selues.
  • Sect. 3. That by eating and drinking, our fellowship with Christ is suffici­ently expressed without the Table-gesture of Sitting.
  • Sect. 4. So likewise our fellowship a­mongst our selues is sufficiently ex­pressed, by eating the same bread in the Sacrament.
  • Sect. 5. That Sitting cannot bee a ne­cessary Sacramentall Ceremonie, nor a proper Table-gesture.
  • Sect. 6. That by Kneeling we symbolize [Page] not with the Papists in Idolatry.
  • Sect. 7. That Kneeling hath, and may be lawfully vsed in the Sacrament, as it is and was in prayer.
  • Sect. 8. The Obiection of the brazen Serpent answered.
  • Sect. 9. The difference betweene Knee­ling at the Sacrament, and before Images.
  • Sect. 10. We strengthen not the Papists in their Idolatry, by our kneeling at the Sacrament.
  • Sect. 11. That Kneeling offendeth not the weake brethren.
  • Sect. 12. That by Kneeling at the Sa­crament, the reformation and prac­tice of our Church is not damned.
ROMANS, CHAPTER fourteene, Verse the three and twentieth. Whatsoeuer is not of Faith, is sinne.’

THIS CHAPTER, wherein the Apostle teacheth the vse of things indifferent in the worship of God, is closed vp with three short and sententious Apho­rismes. The first concerneth those that are strong, that is, fully resolued of their Christian libertie: The sen­tence [Page 2] is this; Happy is he that con­demneth not himselfe in that which hee alloweth. The meaning is, the man is happie, who being throughly per­swaded of his Christian Liberty, ma­keth not himselfe guilty, through the abuse thereof. The second is this, He that doubteth, if he eate, is damned. The meaning is, he is guilty that ea­teth, or doth any thing indifferent, doubting whether it be lawfull, or not, because he is not perswaded of his liberty. The third is the ground of both the former, and this is it, Whatsoeuer is not of faith, is sinne.

For vnderstanding of this last sentence, which is the ground of the two former, wee haue three things to consider in it. First, what these things be that make a man guilty of sin, if they be not done in faith. Secondly, what this faith is wherein they should be done. Thirdly, what kind of sin it is whereof he is made guilty. As for the first, the word [Page 3] Whatsoeuer is generall, and compre­hendeth all things, that falleth vn­der the action of man. Of these things, some are commanded, or forbidden by God in his Word, and are simply good or euill: Some are neither commanded, nor forbidden, and these are called indifferent. The Apostles rule, Whatsoeuer is not of faith, is sinne, extendeth to both: but because this rule is set downe by the Apostle in this place, chiefly with relation to things indifferent, which may haue vse in Religion, whereof immediately before hee hath beene intreating; leauing the former, wee shall speake of these.

Things indifferent I call such, as being considered in themselues ab­solutely, are neither commanded nor forbidden in Gods Word: First, I say, neither commanded, nor for­bidden, to shew in what sense they are called indifferent; not by reason of their nature: for in nature all [Page 4] things are the good creatures of God: but in respect of the Law, wherein they are neither discharged, nor commanded, and so are neither good, nor euill, Morally. Second­ly, I say, considered in themselues; for if in practice and vse, they bee affected with any Morall respect, or intention of the agent, they cease to be indifferent, and become either good or euill, according to the qua­lity of his intention. As for exam­ple: to salute with a Kisse, is a thing indifferent: but if thereby thou tes­tifiest thy Christian loue towards thy brother, it becommeth a holy Kisse. Salute one another (saith the Apo­stle) with an holy Kisse. Rom. 16▪ 16 And contra­riwise, if thou kisse with Iudas, and Ioabs intention, it is a treasonable and wicked Kisse.

Thirdly, I say, considered absolute­ly: for if they be considered with re­lation to the exigence of occasions and circumstances, they cease like­wise [Page 5] to be indifferent. As for exam­ple: to eate or not to eate, of such or such kind of meates, in it selfe is a thing indifferent, neither comman­ded nor forbidden:1. Cor. 8. 8. Meat commends vs not to God; for neither if we eate, are we the better, neither if wee eate not, Rom. 14. 17. are wee worse. And the King­dome of God is not meate and drinke, but iustice, peace, and the ioyes of the Holy Ghost. This then, to eate and not to eate, being indifferent in it selfe, is made good or euill by the exigence of occasions and circum­stances. If it bee said,1. Cor. 10. 28. when thou art to eate, This meate is consecrate to an Idoll; this speech, and the conscience of those who are present, maketh thy eating not indifferent: but if thou eate, thou sinnest. A­gaine,Gal. 2. 11. wee see that Peter was rebu­ked by Paul, for that hee did not eate with the Gentiles, but withdrew himselfe so soone as the Iewes came vnto him, because by his abstinence [Page 6] and separation of himselfe from the Gentiles, hee made the Gentiles doubt of their Christian liberty, and confirmed the Iewes in their errour, touching the necessary obseruation of the Ceremoniall Law. To stand, or to kneele at prayer, is a thing in­different; but in the Primitiue Church, to kneele on the Lords Day, or from Pasch, till Whit sunday, was not indifferent:Tert. de Coro. Milit. Nefas ducimus (saith Tertullian) because it was con­trary to the custome of the Church. Then to conclude this point, in a thing indifferent, three things are required: First, it must not be com­manded nor forbidden expresly in Gods Word. Secondly, it must not in practice and vse be affected with any morall respect, or intention of the Agent. Thirdly, it must bee free from the necessary exigence of oc­casions and circumstances.

The next thing to be considered in this rule, is faith, out of the which [Page 7] the action must proceed. Faith is taken diuersly in Scripture, but that whereby we and our workes are ac­ceptable, is of two kinds. The one concerneth the iustification of our persons; the other the righteous­nesse of our actions. That which maketh our persons acceptable, is our confidence in God, through Ie­sus Christ, whereby wee are assured of pardon and grace. This which concerneth the righteousnesse of our actions, is an assurance in our mind, that the thing which we are to doe, is not against the Law of God, as is set downe in the fift verse of this chapter. This last, is the faith which is required, the other is supposed: for the rule is giuen to Christians, who are iustified by that faith, with­out which it is impossible to please God.Heb. 11. 6. Now as the faith which con­cerneth the acceptation of our per­sons, leanes to the promise of the Gospell; so the faith that concerneth [Page 8] the righteousnesse of our actions is grounded on the precepts of the Law, in such things as are comman­ded or forbidden: But as for things indifferent, that are neither comman­ded nor forbidden, there bee three generals, whereon our faith must re­pose in the worship of God, Pietie, Charitie, and Decencie. First, we must know assuredly, that the thing which we are to doe, tends to the glorie of God; at least, is no wayes deroga­tiue thereto: next, that it is not offen­siue to our neighbour, that is, it giues him no iust cause, nor occasion to scarre, or take exception against our profession. These two grounds wee haue in this chapter, the last we haue in the end of the 14. chapter of the 1. Corinths: Let all things be done graue­ly and orderly. So whatsoeuer thing indifferent is not done with assurance that it is neither offensiue to God, nor to our neighbour, nor vndecent for our profession, it is sinne.

[Page 9] Now what sinne this is, which was last to be considered, is easily decla­red: for if it bee offensiue to God, or vnseemely for our Profession, where­of God is the Authour, it is sinne a­gainst the first great Commande­ment, Thou shalt loue the Lord thy God with all thy mind, heart and strength. And if it be offensiue to thy neigh­bour, it is against the second, Thou shalt loue thy neighbour, as thy selfe.

If these grounds be sure, it is ma­nifest, that although indifferent things bee neither commanded, nor forbidden particularly in the Word, yet the vse and practice of them is subiect to the generall rules of Piety and Charity: and as euery man in his priuate action, must haue respect to these rules,Gal. 5. 13. and not abuse his liber­ty to licentiousnesse: So must the Magistrate in the Common-wealth set downe Orders and Lawes to bee kept by subiects, touching the vse of such things; as of times and pla­ces, [Page 10] for Iustice, for Markets, for the exercise of Armes, for vse and ab­stinence from meates at certaine times and seasons, which things in themselues may be done indifferent­ly at any time, or in any place, if po­licie and decencie did not craue Or­der to bee kept, whereby the priui­ledge of subiects is not impaired, but ciuility established, and their vti­lity procured. Euen so in the wor­ship of God, when rules are set down touching Times, Places, and Cere­monies of Diuine Worship, accor­ding to these grounds, Christian li­berty is not abridged, but confusion, schismes, and disorders are preuen­ted, Decency and Order are preser­ued.1. Cor. 14. 33. God is not the Authour of con­fusion and vnquietnesse, but of order and peace, in all the Churches of the Saints. The contrary whereof must needs be, if in these things indiffe­rent, euery man were permitted to vse his owne will: for as many wits, as [Page 11] many wils, as many heads, as many diuerse conceits. This meditation (I hope) is not vnproper for this time; wherein yet many are in the ba­lance of deliberation vnresolued whither to sway. Some doubting of the acts of the late assembly of our Church holden at Perth, be determi­nations of things indifferēt, or if they containe necessary points & grounds of diuine worship, whither faith would, they should bee obeyed or gaine-stood.1. Thes. 5. 20. Here it were good to try all things, and after tryall to hold that which is best. Goe to then, & let vs put some of them that are most controuerted to a proofe: For if after tryall we shal finde, that the acts con­cerning these, be such as in faith wee may obey; then doubtlesse in faith we cānot disobey: if we may obey them without offence to God, or scandal to our neighbour, we shall not disobey wthout the offence of God, our neigh­bor, & our whole Church. What the [Page 12] reasons of my resolutions are, I shall propound, and submit them to your charitable censures: where I erre, I shal not be ashamed to be corrected: where we doubt, let vs inquire, and where we accord, let vs proceed, and goe forward together.

The point most controuerted is that, which concerneth the bowing of our knees, at the receiuing of the body and bloud of our Lord in the Sacrament; For some hold, that ge­sture of Sitting is a necessarie Cere­monie, if not essentiall, yet surely such as belongeth ad integritatē Sa­cramenti, to the perfection of the Sa­crament. And others hold, that al­though it be a thing indifferent, yet it is more proper and agreeable to the nature of this Sacrament, then Kneeling; which they esteeme either idolatrous; or at least such a gesture, as being abused to Idolatrie, cannot be vsed in faith, according to the grounds of Pietie, Charitie, and De­cencie.

CHAP. I. That Sitting is not a necessary Ge­sture to be vsed at the recei­iuing of the Sacrament.

SECT. 1. The forme of Gesture vsed by our Sauiour, and the Apostles, at the Paschal Supper.

TO beginne at the opi­nion that holdeth the necessitie of Sitting: it may bee presumed that our Sauiour and the Apostles obserued the same Ge­sture and position of the body, at the celebration of the Sacrament, that hee vsed before at the Paschall Supper.Mat. 26. 20. That Gesture is expressed by the Greeke words,Mar. 14. 18 [...] Luk. 22. 14 which signifie not our formeIoh. 13. 12. [Page 14] of sitting, called in that tongue [...], but a certaine kinde of lying and stretching downe of the bodie: for men of ranke and quality in these dayes, sate not as we doe at Tables: but lay at them on beds of repose, not appointed for sleeping, but for resting and easing of their bodies, while they were at meales: Where­vpon they did not commonly lye downe, before that they had washed their feet, if they were bare-footed. Plautus in Persa, locus hic tuus est, hic accumbe, ferte aquam pedibus. This is thy place, come lye downe here, bring water to his feet; and if they were shooed, they did put off their shooes, and layd them by, One tel­ling how hee went to table, saith, Deposui solcas, I laid my shooes by. They lay on their left sides, with their brests towards the table, hauing the rest of their body stretched downe on their beds; as we reade in the sixt of Amos: not euen downe, as when [Page 15] they went to sleepe, but inclining to the back-side of the beds, that they might make place one to another: For as wee sit one by another, side to side; so they lay with their backs to­wards their neighbours bellies, lea­ning their head and shoulders at their brests.Ioh. 13. 23. So Iohn lay on our Sa­uiours bosome: when they drew vp their legges a little, their feet did ea­sily reach to the back-side of the beds, whereat the seruants stood, as is manifest by these Verses.

Omnia cum retro pueris obsonia tradas,
Cur non mensa tibi ponitur a pedibus.

Seeing, saith the Poet, that thou giuest all the dishes back ouer to the seruants: why doest thou not rather set the table it selfe behinde at thy feet,Luk. 7. 38. where the seruants stand? On such a bed, our Sauiour lay in the house of Simon the Pharise, when the sinfull woman stood behinde him, and washed his feete with her teares, and dryed them with her [Page 16] hayres.Ioh. 12. 3. And so did Mary Magdalen stand and anoint them: their Stan­ding sheweth, that his feet lay some­what high aboue the ground, for the beds had a height proportionall to the tables whereat they lay. Aeneas lay vpon an high and stately one, In­de toro Pater Aeneas sic orsus ab alto, their standing behinde, sheweth that our Sauiours feete lay back towards the outside of the beds, where they stood.Iohn 13. 4. & 12. Hereby it seemeth most pro­bable, that after the first Supper, or rather the first seruice of the Pas­chal Supper, our Sauiour did rise a­lone, and went about the backside of the beds whereon the Apostles lay, and washed their feet, they lying still at table, as the women did his: for in Iohn no mention is made, ei­ther of their rising, or lying downe againe; but of our Sauiours onely. This was the Table-Gesture vsed by the Iewes, as is manifest by the sixt of Amos, verse 4, 5, 6. by these Hi­stories [Page 17] of our Sauiour, and by the words [...].Luke 9. 14. which signified to lye and leane downe, either on a bed, or on the ground: for on the ground they lay, who had no standing table to eate at; as the multitudes whom our Sa­uiour fedde miraculously in the De­sart. And these Oppressors, and Ido­laters, whom Amos reprooueth, Chap. 2. verse 8. in these words, They lye downe vpon cloathes layed to pledge by euery Altar, and drinke the Wine of the condemned in the house of their God. After this manner the Christi­ans are forbidden to lye downe in Idoleio, in the Idol Chappell, and eate their sacrifices. Thus [...] 1. Cor. 8. 10. is to bee interpret by Amos words. As to the table of Di­uels, mentioned in the tenth Chap­ter, it is not to bee taken for a mate­riall one, standing in the Idols tem­ple; but for the thing sacrificed to the Idol, which the Idolaters broght [Page 18] home to their own tables, and there­vnto inuited the Christians, who are forbidden wittingly to eate thereof, 1. Cor. 10. verse 21. 25, 26, 27, 28. This was the gesture vsed in those dayes at meate, whether it was re­ceiued at table, or on the ground; not by the Romanes onely, but by many other Nations, who did imi­tate them, as Philo Iudaus thinketh in his booke De vita contemplatiua, which custome the Iewes seeme to haue had long before their conuer­sing with the Romanes, as it is cleere by the prophesie of Amos. And lear­ned men hold with great reason, that it is the most ancient of all Table-ge­stures: for before the vse of materiall tables, men behoued to receiue meat; and except the gesture vsed by vs, there could bee none more commo­dious then this gesture of lying and leaning. The Turkes sitting on the ground with their legs plat, is not so commodious. The knowledge of [Page 19] these things are not vnprofitable for vnderstanding of the Historie where they occurre; and are to be obserued against those, who affirme that this Lying differeth only frō our Sitting in this; that wee sit with our bodies vpright; they sate with some inclina­tion, & leaning: For the contrary is manifest by the word [...], that signifyeth Sitting, from the which commeth,Mat. 23. 6. that signify­eth the first place of Sitting in the Synagogues,Luke 9. 14. differing from [...] and [...], that signifyeth the first and most honourable place of Lying at Banquets: For in the one they Sate, and in the other they Lay. So both the gestures were in vse, but in diffe­rent actions. Lying at Banquets, called in Latine accubitio and accubi­tus, because they Lay, and Leaned on their elbowes, Sitting in Iudge­ment, in Counsell, and in many o­ther actions. Finally, the feasters stretching downe of themselues on [Page 20] the beddes, Amos 6. Verse 4. The shooes putting off, the washing of the feete, that the bed should not be defiled, doe euidently euince, that they sate not on Benches, and on Chayres as we doe, with their feete at the ground. That our Sauiour did vse this gesture at the Paschall Supper, is manifest by Matthew, Marke, and Luke, who testifie that he lay downe thereto: and Iohn, that he rose vp from it, and hauing wa­shed the Disciples feete, lay downe againe. And it may bee presumed, that he retained the same gesture at this Sacrament: For the Apostles being eating,Mat. 26. 26 Hee tooke bread, and when hee had giuen thankes, procee­ded in the action. Now, in our times, to this gesture of Lying, Sitting hath succeeded: and therefore our Vulgar Translators of the Bible, for the ca­pacitie of the people, vse the word of Sitting, which is our Table-ge­sture, for that which in the Originall [Page 21] is Lying, and was the Table-gesture vsed of old.

This gesture of Sitting, I will not deny to haue beene lawfully vsed in our Church heretofore, at the recei­uing of the Sacrament; but that it should bee onely vsed as necessarie, the best, the most decent, and that it may not be changed, I hope, no rea­son, antiquitie, nor Scripture shall enforce.

SECT. 2. The Reasons are set downe against the necessarie vse of Sitting at the Sacrament.

ARGVM. 1. It is not certaine, that our Sauiour did Sit▪ or Lye.

ALthough it may be presumed, as hath beene said, that our Saui­our [Page 22] and his Apostles obserued the same gesture, at the celebration of this Sacrament of his body, that hee had vsed before at the Paschall Sup­per: yet it is not certaine, when hee tooke the Bread, and gaue thankes, and blessed the Cup, that he did not alter and interchange the Table-gesture, with some religious gesture of praying. For Athenaus recor­deth in his fourth Booke, that the ci­tizens of Nancratis, when they did meete at their Banquets, after that they had layed themselues downe on the beds at Table, had a custome [...] To rise againe on their Knees, while their Priest rehear­sed the prayers vsed in their Nation. This declareth, that although they had beene Lying at Table before, yet when they blessed and gaue thankes for their meate, they vsed to rise vp againe on their Knees. If this religious and reuerend ge­sture [Page 23] was vsed by them at Prayer, is it not much more probable, when our Sauiour blessed and gaue thanks, that hee and the Apostles did rise a­gaine, either on their feete, or their Knees? which was their constant gesture when they prayed, whom we doe also imitate when we begin this Sacrament, with blessing and thanks-giuing, humbling our selues vpō our Knees. If this our Sauiour and the Apostles did, what warrant haue we that they lay downe againe, and did not stand still on their feete, or sit on their Knees, according to the ge­sture vsed by them at praying, vn­till the whole action of the Sacra­ment was perfected? Thus what our Sauiours gesture was at the cele­bration of the Sacrament, is vn­certaine. But certaine it is, that vpon an vncertaine example, no necessa­ry Religious imitation, and obserua­tion can be founded. Moreouer it is will-worship,Col. 2. 18. to hold and vrge any [Page 24] point, for such as in the seruice of God must of necessitie bee either eschewed, or obserued for some di­uine respect; not because we cleere­ly see in the Word of God with the eyes of Faith that it is such: but because, according to the minde of the flesh, that is, our naturall rea­son and affection, we conceit it and will haue it to be such. Seeing there­fore it is not certaine by the Scrip­ture, that our Sauiour did sit or lye, when hee did institute this Sacra­ment, the gesture of Sitting should not be esteemed and vrged, as ne­cessarie to be vsed thereat.

ARG. 2 Proouing that the Gesture vsed by Christ and the Apostles, was oc­casionall, and therefore not necessary.

THe time which was the night season;Mat. 26. 20 the place which was a priuate Inne;Luk. 22. 11. the order,Luk. 22. 20. after Sup­per; the element,Mar. 14. 12 vnleauened bread: these are not thought necessarie, al­beit they were vsed by our Sauiour in the Sacrament, because they were occasioned by the Paschall Supper: and it is as manifest, that if our Sa­uiour and his Apostles sate thereat, they vsed that gesture by the same occasion; for it was chosen for the Supper preceding, and was continu­ed only at the Sacrament. For, as for the Apostles, that they did not of purpose sit downe to receiue the Sacrament, is euident, seeing they [Page 26] did neuer so much as thinke thereon before it was instituted; therefore in respect of them, the Sitting at the Sacrament was occasionall, and ac­cidentall. As for our Sauiour, albe­it it be certaine, that he intended the institution of the Sacrament; yet that he lay or sate down thereto with the Apostles, to recommend to them and their successors the gesture of Sitting, to bee vsed as necessarie for euer in the celebration of the Sacra­ment, hath no probabilitie: for if that had beene his purpose, he had de­clared it to them, either by word, or a manifest example. Of it by word he hath made no mention: and his Sitting in that action, cannot be e­steemed exemplar: for a common gesture continued in two actions, without intermission, as that action of Sitting was, which did begin at the Paschal Supper, and was retained onely in the Sacrament, cannot be taken for exemplar in this Sacra­ment, [Page 27] as haply it might, if Christ had sitten downe to it seuerally, and by it selfe; but seeing that our Saui­our, in the Sacrament succeeding, did onely retaine the Gesture vsed before at the Supper preceding, it is manifest that the gesture of Sitting was not intended, and specially cho­sen for the Sacrament, to be exem­plar, more then the rest of the com­mon circumstances of time, place, vnleauened bread, which belong to the Paschall Supper, and were re­tained in the Sacrament; but was onely Accidentall and Occasionall, as these.

Another Reason to prooue that it was Occasionall.

And it is yet more euident, that if Christ sate at Table when hee did institute this Sacrament, that his Sitting was occasioned by the Pas­chall Supper; if the last act and con­clusion [Page 28] of the Paschall Supper was changed by our Sauiour into the symbolicall part of this Sacrament, as some learned Diuines hold. For it is recorded, that the Iewes had a custome, after the Paschall Lambe was eaten, to wash the Feasters feete, as Christ did the Apostles feete, Ioh. 13. 5. Then after, for the second ser­uice, to present a Sallade of wilde Lettice, and sugared with a cer­taine sauce (wherein it is thought our Sauiour did dippe the sop which hee gaue to Iudas) then the Master of the Family did take a whole cake,Ioh. 13. 27. or loafe of vnleauened bread, which he diuided in two equall parts, pro­nouncing this blessing on the one part: Benedictus es, Domine Deus nos­ter, Rex seculi, qui sanctificasti nos man­datis tuis, & praceptum dedisti [...] Ioseph. Scalliger. De emendatione temporum: Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the world, who hast sanctified vs with [Page 29] commandements, and hast giuen a command, touching the eating of the vnleauened bread. The other part of that cake hee kept vnder the cloth of the Table, till the end of the Feast, which then hee brought forth, and did breake it in so many parts as there were Feasters at the Table; Frustum erat magnitudine Oliuae, quod s [...]gellatim & ordine om­nibus porrigebatur: Euery piece was the quantity of an Oliue, which was deliuered orderly to euery one, with these words: This is the bread of af­fliction, which our Fathers did eate in the Land of Egypt. Then hee tooke the cup, and hauing said this blessing, Blessed bee thou, O Lord, who hast created the fruite of the Vine, did first drinke himselfe, and then gaue to him that sate next: and so it past from hand to hand, till all had drunken. This is recorded to haue beene the last act and conclusion of the Paschall Supper, differing no­thing [Page 30] from the externall elementall part of the Sacrament, sauing it may bee that our Sauiour hath vsed an Euangelicall Thankes-giuing, in stead of the Legall vsed by the Iewes, and interchanged the words (This is the bread of affliction) with the Sa­cramentall words (This is my Bodie, this is my Bloud;) and finished the action with this perpetuall statute (Doe this in remembrance of mee.) If this conclusion, and last act of the Paschall Supper, be changed by our Sauiour into the symbolike part of this Sacrament; then is there no question, but if he vsed the gesture of Sitting at the Sacrament, it was oc­casioned by the Paschall Supper, the last act and conclusion thereof being transformed and changed into this Sacrament.

Touching this, reade Beza his great Notes of the last Edition, vpon the 26. of Math, and the 22. of Luke.

ARG. 3.

HOwsoeuer it bee, it is certaine that if this Gesture was vsed by our Sauiour, it was occasioned by the Paschall Supper, or that which went before, whereat they were ea­ting; and therefore if the time, the place, the order and quality of the Bread bee not necessarie, because they were occasionall, farre lesse shall this Gesture be thought neces­sarie for the Reasons following. It is to bee foundAct. 20. 7. in Scripture, and Tert. de Coro. Milit.Antiquitie, that at such time, videlicet, in the night season; in such a place, in priuate houses; and after the same order, that is, after sup­per, or after meate, the Sacrament hath beene taken, but that it was re­ceiued Sitting at any time after the first Institution, either by the Apo­stles, or any in the primitiue, or suc­ceeding Churches, shall not expres­ly [Page 32] be found, nor by reason demon­strated. Thus then I reason: If prac­tice and custome, for the time, the place, and the order, ioyned with the example of the first institution, doth not import necessitie for obser­uing of these; farre lesse can a bare example of Sitting, vsed in the first institution, by occasion of the Sup­per that went before, without any practice following thereon, make the example of Sitting to bee obser­ued as necessary and best.

ARG. 4.

MOreouer, if the example of our Sauiour and his Apostles must bee of necessitie obserued in their gesture, why should it not bee also in their externall preparation and ha­bit? for as they did sit at Table when they receiued the Sacrament, so they did sit and receiue it with bare and cleane washed feete. A Ceremonie [Page 33] as significant as that of Sitting: for the washing of their feete did signi­fie the puritie and holinesse where­with our Sauiour did sanctifie his Disciples, as is manifest by these words: Hee that is washed, hath no need but to wash his feet onely, for hee is cleane euery whit. So their cleane washed feete was a signe of that ho­linesse wherewith euery one of vs should present our selues to this Ta­ble; as also of humilitie and charity, whereof Christ did giue them ex­ample in washing their feete; two o­ther necessarie parts of the wedding garment wherein we should come to the Supper. But if this externall ha­bite and preparation, wherewith Christ and his Apostles did cele­brate the Sacrament, signifying the Wedding Garment, bee neither thought necessary nor expedient; by what reason should the gesture of Sitting, the signification and vse whereof in this action, is no where [Page 34] expressed in the Scripture, bee not onely esteemed expedient, but also necessarie?

ARG. 5.

FVrther, if the example of our Sa­uiours Gesture at Table should be obserued necessarily as best, and should bee the parterne whereunto wee should conforme our gesture, then doubtlesse it should bee obser­ued throughout all the action, and in euery part thereof, wherein our Sauiour did vse it. And if yee hold that hee did not alter his gesture, but lay still, as well at the Thankesgiuing and Blessing, as at the giuing and re­ceiuing, which yee must doe, ex­cept yee grant, according to the truth, that it is vncertaine what ges­ture hee did vse: Why doe wee vse then three sorts of gestures in that Action? For when we take and giue the bread to the people, wee stand; [Page 35] when we blesse it, we Kneele, and command the people to Kneele; and finally, when the Sacrament is a re­ceiuing, we will haue the people to Sit downe againe. So for one simple gesture vsed by our Sauiour, we prac­tise three, variant and different one from another. If it bee answered, that the Thankes-giuing wherewith the action beginneth, is no part of the Action, then it will follow, that one essentiall part of the action, at least, an integrant part is omitted by vs, which our Sauiour did prac­tise: for the words of the Institution which wee repeate at the celebration of the Sacrament, are not Narratiua tantùm, but Verba directiua; not nar­ratiue onely, but directiue words, which we must follow and practice according to the precept, Doe this in remembrance of mee: And there­fore as we say, Christ took the bread, so we take the bread; and as wee say hee brake it, so we breake it; and as [Page 36] hee commanded the Disciples, so we, in his name, command the peo­ple to take it, and eate it, which they must also doe; and as hee said, so we in his Name say, This is my Bo­dy, this is my Bloud. If all be directiue, and are performed by vs according to the direction, then certainely we must also giue thankes; as our Sa­uiour gaue thankes; although wee haue no particular forme of thankes­giuing set downe, yet keeping the grounds of the generall rules, the Lords Prayer, a thankesgiuing should bee conceiued agreeable to action. It is thought that the ancient Church, and the Apostles did one­ly vse the Lords Prayer, and there is none like it, nor more conuenient▪ if [...], which wee interpret Daily bread, doe signifie the super­substantiall bread, as it is taken by many of the Fathers.

ARG. 6.

HEere by the way I would aske, with your fauour; If the exam­ple of Christ should be precisely fol­lowed, why doe we vary, not one­ly in our gestures thus, from Stan­ding to Kneeling, and from Knee­ling to Sitting? But why do we that are Pastors, all of vs, or the greatest part, receiue the Sacrament our selues Standing, and not Sitting, and yet will haue the people, when they receiue, astricted to the gesture of Sitting, as most necessary and best, which we obserue not our selues?

ARG. 7.

SO likewise I demand; If we should precisely obserue the example of Christ; Why doe we not once giue thankes when we take the Bread, as Christ did? And againe,M [...]t. 26. 27. blesse or [Page 38] giue thankes when we take the Cup, as hee did, and as it appeareth the Apostles did? For Paul calleth it, The Cup of Blessing, 1. Cor. 10. 16. which wee blesse. To propound the example of Christ to bee precisely followed in Sitting, and not to follow it in such an ex­presse point: next, not to follow his Table-gesture in all the parts of the action, but in such as wee like one­ly: and finally, not to follow it our selues in that point of Sitting, but to vrge the people with that imitation, might seeme rather to proceed from contention, then from a simple re­ligious opinion. But the truth is, if wee had receiued from the Refor­mers of our Church, and had been taught from our youth vp, to pre­sent our selues to the Table, with bare cleane washed feete; to haue blessed the Bread and the Cup at diuers times, and not at once; to haue ei­ther Stood, or Sitten, or Kneeled, during all the time of the action: we [Page 39] would, without question, stand out as zealously for euery one of these, as we now do for Sitting. Adeo in teneris assuescere multum est: such force hath education and custome. Hence all our weakenesse and tendernesse of conscience proceedeth: so difficill a thing is it to quit the opinions, wherein we haue been fostered from our Child-hood; for they cleaue and stick to vs, as if they had beene bred and borne with vs. It is an old say­ing, Consuetudo est altera natura, Custome is another nature: And it is a true saying, [...], there is nothing more difficill, then to teach a man to thinke, or doe otherwise then hee was first taught.

ARG. 8.

FInally, that this gesture cannot be necessarie, is manifest by this Rea­son: There is no necessarie Ceremo­nie, that either belongeth to the [Page 40] essence or perfection of this Sacra­ment, but is set downe in the doc­trine of the institution thereof, either by Paul, or the Euangelists. The forme set downe by Paul to the Co­rinthians, who professeth that hee deliuered to them, that which hee had receiued of the Lord; and in another place affirmeth, that fidelity is the chiefe vertue required in the dispensers of the Gospell, and that his conscience did not accuse him that he had failed in that point: The forme (I say) set downe by him, containeth nothing concerning Ta­ble-gesture. In Mathew, Marke, and Luke, if we would know certainely what things doe necessarily belong to the Sacrament, then wee must marke precisely where the doctrine of the Sacrament beginneth, and where it endeth. It is sure, that it beginneth not at these words, [...], they being eating; not before, except we hold the order obserued [Page 41] by Christ to be necessary, videlicet, to be eating another supper before; but must beginne at these words, Iesus tooke Bread, and end with this com­mandement, Doe this in remembrance of me. Betweene these two points the whole doctrine is set downe, and containeth no more, then Paul pro­fessed to haue deliuered to the Corin­thians. And so there is neither in the doctrine of Paul, nor in the doc­trine of the Euangelists, so much as mention made of Lying, Sitting, Standing, or Kneeling; whereby it is euident, that none of these gestures and positions of body, are recom­mended as necessary. But that this Ceremonie is left to be determined by the Church, as the Time, the Place, and the Order, are according to the rule of Charitie and Decencie.

THE EPILOGVE.

THen to conclude this point, wee see the gesture vsed by our Saui­our to bee vncertaine, and that there­fore no necessarie imitation can bee founded thereon. Moreouer, that it cannot be more necessary (although it were certaine) then the rest of the circumstances of Time, Place, and Order.

First, because it was occasioned, as these, by the Paschall Supper.

Secondly, because it hath the na­ked example of Sitting, or rather of lying, without any practice follow­ing thereon, which the rest of the circumstances haue, and notwith­standing are not thought to bee ne­cessarie.

Thirdly, because the example of the Apostles can no more enforce a necessitie for the gesture of Sitting, then for the externall habit and pre­paration [Page 43] wherewith they receiued the Sacrament, videlicet, of bare and cleane washed feet, which is a more significant Ceremonie, and hath better warrant in Scripture then Sitting.

Fourthly, because Christs exam­ple can import no greater necessitie for the vse of Sitting, in one part of the action then another; and our practice prooues, that wee thinke it not necessarie to bee obserued in all the parts: for in one wee Stand, in one wee Kneele, and in one we com­mand the people to Sit.

Fifthly, because it is no more ne­cessary to bee obserued by the peo­ple, then by the Pastor: And our practice sheweth that wee thinke it not needfull to bee vsed by the Pas­tor, who most commonly receiueth Standing.

Sixthly, if wee esteeme not all to be necessary, which our Sauiour is mentioned expresly to haue done, as [Page 44] to giue thankes, and to blesse twice, first, the Bread, and then the Cup; much lesse shold we think Sitting to be necessarie, wherof nothing is men­tioned in the Institution: and there­fore cannot be necessary at all, see­ing all things necessarily belonging to the Sacrament, are so fully con­tained in the doctrine of the Institu­tion, set downe by Paul, and the Euangelists, that it were great temerity to affirme any thing to bee lac­king.

CHAP. II. That to Kneele at the Lords Table, agreeth with Decencie.

SECT. I. How the Table of the Lord is taken in Scripture.

THus far hath beene rea­soned against the opi­nion of those who hold Sitting to be a necessa­rie Ceremonie. Now let vs come to their opinion, who e­steeme it more proper for the Sacra­ment, then Kneeling, because it is an vsuall Table-gesture; and because Kneeling being abused to Idolatry in this Sacrament, ought in their iudge­ment vtterly to be abolished in that [Page 46] action. Then to begin at the first, and try what gesture is most proper for the Sacrament: Doubtlesse, if neither Lying, nor Sitting, nor Stan­ding, nor Kneeling be necessarie, but all be indifferent, that gesture is most proper, which is most agreeable vn­to the rule wherby things indifferent should be determined: that is, the rule of Pietie, Charitie, and Decen­cie. And to enter this tryall vvith Decencie: To sit at a common Ta­ble, beeing in our times most vsuall, must also be most decent for a com­mon Table; but that it is a gesture most decent to be vsed at the Lords Table, cannot be well affirmed, ex­cept we first consider what the Lords Table is; whether it be the same, or like, or different from a common Table. For vnderstanding this point the better, wee would try, how the Lords Table is taken in Scripture, whether for the materiall, whereon the elements are set and consecrate, [Page 47] and where-at, and where-from they are distributed and giuen. For if thereby the materiall bee onely and chiefly vnderstood, it may seeme that there is little or no difference betwixt it and a common Table, and that the Gestures and Manners that are pro­per for the one, may well agree and be vsed at the other. In the 10. chap. and 1. Epist. of the Corinths. vers. 21. mention is made of the Lords Table, in these words, Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and of deuils: yee can­not bee partakers of the Table of the Lord, and of the table of deuils. As the Table of the Lord is taken in this place, so shall we finde it vsed, I hope, in all other parts of Scripture. But here neither by the Cup can be properly meant, the materiall Cup, nor by the Table, the materiall Ta­ble, because it is certaine, that hee who is partaker of the table and cup of deuils, may be partaker both of the materiall Cup of the Sacra­ment, [Page 48] and sit at the materiall Ta­ble, whereat it is giuen: Yea, more­ouer may drinke the Sacrament of the bloud of Christ, out of the one, and eate the Sacrament of his Bo­die at the other; and yet the Apo­stle affirmeth, that they cannot bee partakers of the Lords Table: where­by it is euident, that by the Table of the Lord another thing must bee meant, then either the materiall Ta­ble, or the symbolicall externall part of the Sacrament onely. What is that? The Bodie and Bloud of the Lord, the Bread that came downe from heauen to giue life to the world, which by a certaine colour of speech is called a Table. So that speech set downe by Moses, in the II. chapter of Numbers, and the fourth verse, Who shall giue vs flesh to eate? is thus expressed in the 78. Psalm. Can God prepare a Table in the Wildernesse? Which words are presently inter­preted, ver. 20. Can hee giue bread, [Page 49] and prouide flesh for his people? Luk. 22. 30 When our Sauiour promised to his Disci­ples that in his Kingdome they should eate and drinke at his Table; neither did he meane by his Table any materiall Table, or any naturall Food, but that blessed, eternall, glorious life, communicated with him by the Father, which he would communicate with them in his King­dome: according to that which hee saith in Iohn, chap. 6. vers. 57. As the liuing Father hath sent mee, and I liue by the Father, so hee that eateth me, shall liue by mee. Then to bee short, the Lords Table, whereof we are par­takers here, and that whereof wee shall be partakers in heauen, at the great Supper of the Lambe, is the Lord Iesus himselfe, his Bodie, his Bloud, his Righteousnesse, his Life, and the satiety of pleasures and ioyes that are in him for euermore.

This then being the Table of the Lord mentioned in the Scriptures, [Page 50] whereof we come to be partakers at the Sacrament, let vs see what man­ners and gestures are most decent to bee vsed thereat.

SECT. 2. That Kneeling is Decent.

AS it is true, that no place is more proper for a common supper, then a faire Chamber or a Hall, in a priuate house or Inne, and no time fitter then the night season, or at euen; so there is no gesture more decent with vs then sitting at Table. But if the day-light, and the Lords Day, a sacred place, such as a Tem­ple, and a reuerend order, such as to receiue before other meate, be more decent for the Sacrament, because it is not a common supper, but the Lords Supper: So a religious Ges­ture, such as Kneeling, should seeme more decent, then a common Ges­ture, [Page 51] such as Sitting, because this is not a common Table, but the Ta­ble of the Lord.

SECT. 3. An Obiection taken from the common Table-gesture, answered.

IT may bee replyed, that seeing there is a materiall Table whereon very bread, and very wine are set, and seeing we eate that bread, and drinke that wine externally, as wee doe other bread and other wine, why should we not vse that same externall Gesture that wee vse at other com­mon-Tables, as most decent for the outward action? I answere, first, there is a great difference be­twixt eating and drinking, and the Gesture and Sitting of body, that men vse when they eate and drinke: Eating and drinking are naturall ac­tions, [Page 52] in stead whereof, no other action can bee vsed in receiuing meate and drinke, but the gesture is Moral, and voluntary, and change­able, according to the custome of Times, Places, and Persons, and the nature of the action, wherein it is vsed: and therefore although wee eate and drinke externally at this Ta­ble, as we doe at other tables, be­cause wee can eate and drinke no o­ther way, it will not follow that wee should vse no other gesture, then that which we vse at other tables, if the nature and qualitie of this Table require another Gesture then that which is common, seeing the Ges­ture is voluntary, and may, and should be altered, as the nature of the action requireth. Next, I answer, that although the Bread and Wine bee materially the same with com­mon bread and wine, yet after the Consecration they are no more for­mally the same; that is, they are to [Page 53] be esteemed no more for common food, but for the mysticall symbolls of the Bodie and Bloud of the Lord. And as for the Table, in matter and forme is like other tables, but in vse differeth, as farre as a spirituall Table from a carnall, a celestiall from a terrestriall: And who knoweth not, that our manners and gestures must bee composed, neither accor­ding to the matter, nor forme of the Table, but according to the vse wherefore it is appointed? For what is the cause when men come to the table of Exchange, for to receiue money, that they vse other forme and gesture then at a table appoin­ted for meate? Is it because they differ in matter and shape? No ve­rily, but because the vse is different: Therefore at these wee vse such ges­tures, and motions, as is meete for receiuing of money; at this, such as are most commodious for easing of our bodies, and receiuing of [Page 54] meat: Euen so, our gesture at this sacred Table, whereon our spirituall food is set and presented, is not to bee proportioned to the matter and forme of the Table, which is com­mon; but to the vse wherefore it is appointed: that is, to the giuing and receiuing of the sacred Mysteries, and the communion of the Bodie and Bloud of the Lord Iesus, which thereby are offered and deliuered to all worthy receiuers. To this diuine and holy vse, as all our manners, behauiour, and carriage should bee framed, so should the Gesture and position of our bodies bee; Other­wise if any man thinke that wee should vse the same gesture & man­ners at this Table, that are decent to bee vsed at other Tables: What is the cause that at this Table wee vse no speech nor conference one with another, but in silence meditate with our selues? Why sport we not, nor are merry, but carry a modest and [Page 55] graue countenance? Why are our heads bare, and not couered? What is the cause that wee touch nothing presented on this Table, before that it be offered vnto vs? Take nothing before we be commanded? Neither eate nor drink before we bee instruc­ted what to eate and drinke, and for what end? Why are all our maners, rites, and gestures vsuall at other Ta­bles, so changed at this? Why is this silence, this grauity, this medi­tation, the reuerence of the bare­head, this abstinence from touching, from taking, from eating, from drinking, before the offer, the com­mand & word of instruction? Why? Because the vse of this Table being meerely Religious, Spirituall and Diuine, is so farre different from the vse of other Tables: For heere, be­sides the materiall Table that the eye of the bodie sees, there is another spirituall Table that should be obiec­ted to the minde, and beside the ex­ternall [Page 56] elements and other celestiall and eternall food, which thy heart should perceiue. These are but [...], the symbolicall vestures wherein Christ is wrapped vp; but that is Christ himselfe, his Bodie and his Bloud; therefore is it that we feare, or should feare, to touch the sacred things, before our hand and our mouthes be sanctified by that diuine Precept, Take, eate, and drinke yee all hereof, and to receiue, before our mindes and hearts bee prepared and sanctified with knowledge and faith, by the Sacramentall word, This is my Body that is broken for you, This cup is the new Testament in my Bloud, &c. Doe this in remembrance of mee: By the which word the vaile is remo­ued, the Mysterie is opened vp, the garments and symbolicall vestures are taken away, Christ is made na­ked, and is exposed as really to the eye of our minde, and to faith, the [Page 57] hand of our heart, as the sacred symbols are to our externall senses. The respect therefore that is due to him who is the spirituall Table, and the bread of Life, whom the hid man of the heart sees and perceiues there really present, makes all our deuotion and religious reuerence; for this respect a choyce is made, not of a common, but of a sacred time & place for this actiō; for this respect we come fasting, preferring our spirituall food to our naturall: for this respect all our manner and carriage is holy and reuerend. What then? Shall wee esteeme Sitting a common Ta­ble-gesture, and therefore dis-con­forme to all the rest of our carriage, that is sacred, more decent for this heauenly Table, then Kneeling, a Religious gesture, and therfore most conforme both to the nature of the Table, and to all the rest of our Re­ligious manner and behauiour, that wee vse thereat?

SECT. 4. An Obiection taken from Custome answered.

THIS (I hope) shall satisfie a modest spirit, that searches for verity, and striues not for the victory: But if any list to be contentious, and pleade from Custome, that Kneeling cannot be decent, because custome maketh Decencie, and it is not the Custome to Kneele at a Table; I grant it is not the custome at a com­mon-Table, because it is not com­modious; for commodity maketh Custome, and Custome maketh De­cencie in things of this kinde. It is not commodious, for it were weari­some and painefull, to kneele so long time as an ordinary supper will last, wherunto men come to refresh their bodies, both with ease and meate: But the time being short that is spent [Page 59] at the Sacrament, and seeing men come thereto, not to ease and feed their bodies, but to worship God, and to worke their owne saluation, certainely, to Kneele for such a space cannot bee painefull nor wearisome to those who are holy in Spirit, and whole in body (sickenesse and infir­mitie makes exception) and there­fore although Kneeling is not, nor hath not bin in custome at common Tables, because it is incommodious and wearisome: yet it hath beene in vse at the Lords Table, farre longer then Sitting, and is more vniuersal­ly receiued in the reformed Chur­ches: For we must grant, that before Sitting, Kneeling hath beene vsed in the Christian Church, neere foure hundred yeeres at least,Better not to deter­mine the s [...]t time, for [...] and there­fore it may bee maintained with very good reason: Certainely it may bee presumed, that it hath beene in prac­tice in all ages aboue, euer vntill yee be able to designe some time when [Page 60] another gesture hath beene in vse. The induction of foure hundred yeeres must either put you to an in­stance or silence.

SECT. 5. An Answer to the instance of Honorius.

AND heere let me tell you, that the instance of Honorius will not serue:Decretal. Gregor. li. 3. for Honorius did onely ordaine, after the consecration,Tit. 41. at the eleua­tion of the Host (so they call the Sa­cramentall Bread) that the people should reuerently bow themselues, that is Kneele, as is manifest by the constant practice whereby obedi­ence hath been giuen to this Canon. This belongeth not to gesture vsed at the receiuing: for in euery Masse at the eleuation the people kneeled and adored; and this was done be­fore [Page 61] that either the Priest himselfe, or they, receiued; yea, when after the people did not receiue at all, but the Priest himselfe alone, which was most frequent in these last times, wherein the people receiued but once in the yeere. But at what time, and by whose authoritie Kneeling began to be vsed of the people, at the receiuing of the Sacrament, I hope shall not bee certainly designed. For by the contrarie, Honorius Canon see­meth to import, that before his time, the people vsed to Kneele, when they receiued; because it ordaineth that they should only Kneele at the eleua­tion, and not at the receiuing, which doubtlesse, it would, if it had not been in custome before; for it is not pro­bable, but at the receiuing they should haue beene ordained to haue giuen the same reuerence that they were appointed to giue at the eleua­tion, had it not beene already in prac­tise, & therfore needles to be inioined

SECT. 6. An answere to the instance brought from the Custome of the Primi­tiue Church.

ANother instance is brought frō the custome of the Primitiue Church. It was the custome of the Primitiue Church, not to Kneele on the Lords day, nor from Pasche till Whitsunday, at any time in their Prayer;Canon 20 & by a Canon of the Coun­cell of Nice, this custome was allo­wed, and commended to all Chur­ches. Therefore vpon the Lords day, and during the whole time, from Pasche till Whitsunday, it is very likely that they receiued the Sacra­ment Standing: and the words of Dionysius Alexandrinus making men­tion of one who receiued the Sacra­ment [...],Euseb. Eccl. li. 7. cap. 9. stāding at the [Page 63] Table, confirmeth this strongly. This instance I admit for the Lords day; and for these, wherein the Primitiue Church did not Kneele: for other times and dayes, it maketh no proba­tion; seeing on other dayes, and at other times, they might and did pray Kneeling. Now although this in­stance may seeme to make somewhat against Kneeling at the first view; yet being better considered, it fauou­reth the cause, that wee defend very much: For first, if the Primitiue Church did stand sometimes at the Table, and receiued: certaine it is, that they did not esteeme Sitting to be a necessarie gesture. Next, that they did not think, that at this Table we should carry our selues as equall to Christ, and plead for the Liberties and Priuiledges of a Table: for in those dayes wee reade of none that stood at Table, in time of Supper, but such as serued. Therefore it was ordained as a punishment of igno­minie [Page 64] to be inflicted on Souldiours: Vt cibum potumque caperent in coena stantes, Lyps. de Mil. Rom. lib. 5. that is, that they should sup standing on their feet. Thirdly, here I marke, that the Primitiue Church did vse the same gesture in receiuing the Sacrament, that they vsed in praying; so that if wee would aduise with them, what gesture they would esteeme most decent for our times, they should answere, That which we are most accustomed to vse at pub­like prayer. The custome then of Standing on the Lords day, and from Pasche till Whitsunday, being now euanished and worne out ma­ny hundreth yeeres since, and in stead thereof, Kneeling receiued; Knee­ling now is the most decent gesture that can bee vsed at the Sacrament: For if you reason well from our Sa­uiours Lying (had it beene a neces­sarie ceremony) to proue Sitting that hath succeeded: Then this Argu­ment must be strong from Standing [Page 65] at Prayer and the Sacrament, to prooue that now Kneeling should be vsed, which hath succeeded Stan­ding, and is now most frequently vsed in the time of publike prayer.

EPILOGVS.

THen to conclude this point; If either wee shall throughly consi­der, what gesture is most agreeable to so sacred an action; or what ge­sture thereat may bee most euidently proued to haue had longest custome in the Church; or what gesture is yet most vniuersally receiued in the reformed Churches; And finally, how the Primitiue Church did vse the same gesture at this Sacrament that they vsed at publike Prayer; I hope no gesture shall be found more decent to bee vsed at the Lords Ta­ble, then the Religious gesture of Kneeling: And thus much for De­cencie.

CHAP. III. That it agreeth with Pietie, to Kneele at the Sacra­ment.

SECT. 1. That Pietie requireth a most Reli­gious Gesture.

I Come next to Pietie. In respect of Pietie, there be none of vs, that doe not plead for Kneeling in deed, when wee teach our people at the Sacrament not to settle their thoughts and mindes vpon the exter­nall things; but to lift vp their hearts from earth to heauen: from the Pa­stor who giues the externall element, to God the Father that giueth his [Page 67] Sonne, and to God the Sonne, who giueth himselfe: from the Symbols; the Bread and the Cup; to the Bread that came downe from Heauen; to the flesh and the bloud of Christ: and therfore exhorteth them, that as their hand is ready; so their hearts may be prepared, and their minds, to receiue the Lord Iesus Christ him­selfe, with faith and thankfulnes, and that they come with a Religious re­solution in this action, and by this action, to celebrate the remembrance of his death, till his comming againe. All these considerations, and diuine Meditations, whereunto we stirre vp our people; (First, of the order and forme of giuing: Secondly, of the gift: Thirdly, of the manner how we receiue: Fourthly, of the nature and chiefe ends of this Sacrament) do al most euidently proue & euince, that Pietie craueth of vs a most Re­ligious gesture to bee vsed in this action.

SECT. 2. The consideration of the giuer: and the maner of the Donation.

LEt vs take a view of euery one of them seuerally. The giuer, from whose hand wee should receiue the bread of Life, is not a seruant, such as couereth our tables, brings our di­shes, serues and fils our cups, to whom wee owe no reuerence. He that here presenteth and propineth vs with these inestimable benefits, is the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, God in the person of the Sonne, vnto whom when we present our gifts. If we should Kneele, as we are taught by the Holy Ghost, in Micha, chap. 6. verse 6. in these words, Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow my selfe before the most high God? Shall I come before him with [Page 69] burnt offerings? with Calues of a yeere old: How much more should wee come and bow our selues before him, when we are to receiue at his hand the greatest benefit in heauen and earth, The body and the bloud of his onely begotten Sonne, the character of his Person: the brightnesse of his glory; the treasure of his grace; another himselfe? And vnto this shall we finde our selues much more bound, when we haue considered after what man­ner this gift is giuen, Euery good gift commeth from him that is the Fa­ther of lights: and so should wee ac­knowledge it to bee; but God giues not euery gift with a solemne exter­nall testification of his Donation, made as it were with his own hand, not in generall, but in particular to euery one that receiueth, as hee doth in this Sacrament. Other benefits he bestoweth by ordinarie meanes of his creatures, and by a secret proui­dence in such sort, that the action of [Page 70] Donation is not perceiued, at the in­stant of giuing and receiuing, but is after knowne by fruition of the bene­fit. And therefore, then is to be ac­knowledged, when it is seene and felt with Thanksgiuing, either priuately, or publikely, as the qualitie of the benefit requireth. So the Leper,Luk. 17. 16. when he did finde and feele that hee was cured of his Leprosie, returned and gaue thankes: the operation and working of the cure, hee could not perceiue, till it was perfected. It is one thing to receiue a benefit sent to vs by a Prince, either by the hand of his seruant, our equall, or it may be by the hand of our owne seruant or inferiour; and to receiue it from his owne hand deliuering it, [...], in state, and pompe openly in presence of his people. As this de­liuering and receiuing is not to bee compared with that; no more is the gesture and reuerence, whereby it should be expressed: a word there, [Page 71] may suffice to declare our thankeful­nesse; but here, a word, a bare head, a beck, are all scarce sufficient, when we receiue the benefit of peace and prosperitie, by the Kings good go­uernment. If in our hearts wee ac­knowledge that benefit, and there­fore in our prayers cōmend him to God, and be ready to obey him, our thankefulnes is sufficiently expressed. So when God by his secret proui­dence blesseth vs; or by any of his creatures; either our Superiours, e­quals, or inferiours, doth vs good; If in our Chamber secretly, or in the Temple openly, after the receiuing, we declare our selues thankefull; it is inough. But when in the Sacrament God openly before his people pro­fesseth, that he is a giuing and deliue­ring to vs the greatest benefit that can be giuen: certainely not onely should there bee before and after the gifts receiued, thankes giuen, but in the very act of giuing and receiuing, such [Page 72] reuerence vsed, as may sufficiently declare and testifie how highly we e­steeme of the greatnesse and good­nes of the Giuer; and how vnworthy we thinke our selues to be of his in­estimable beneficence, what gesture is meetest to bee vsed, according to Piety in such a case; whether Sitting, or Kneeling, let them iudge that haue vnderstanding.

SECT. 3. A consideration of the gift.

SEcondly, if wee consider the gift, it is not a bread that perisheth, which is lesse worth then the life, as our Sauiour saith, but is the Bread of God that came down from heauen, to giue life to the world, a food more precious then all creatures; and therefore such a food as wee are commanded in the very Sacrament [Page 73] to discerne from common naturall food, and to eate that Bread, and drinke the Cup of the Lord worthi­ly, except we would prooue guiltie of indignitie done to the Bodie and Bloud of the Lord Iesus: In the which warning, as faith, and a re­ligious disposition is required in the heart, so an externall reuerence an­swerable thereto should be in the ex­ternall action; for this the very word importeth: Therefore hee that eateth this Bread, 1. Cor. 11. 27, 29. and drinketh the Cup of the Lord vnworthily, shall bee guiltie of the Bodie and Bloud of the Lord: And after, Hee that eateth and drinketh vnworthily, eateth and drinketh iudge­ment to himselfe, because hee hath not discerned the Lords Bodie. This eating and drinking here, must be the ex­ternall receiuing of the Sacrament; for the spirituall and inward eating and drinking admitteth no vnwor­thinesse; but is performed with such discretion, as giues to Christ the [Page 74] reuerence that is due to him, both in outward action, and inward affec­tion: But the externall action of ea­ting and drinking may be vnworthi­ly performed, if either it be done in hypocrisie or profanely. I call that to eate and drink in hypocrisie, when an hypocrite giueth all due and ex­ternall reuerence to the Sacrament, but in the meane time, hath neither faith, nor the true and right estima­tion that he should haue of the spiri­tuall benefit. To eate profanely, is both to eate without the outward and inward reuerence, that is due to the Bodie and Bloud of our Sauiour; for no man wants the outward reue­rence, but hee that hath not the in­ward. They who thinke that the vnworthinesse onely consisteth in the want of faith and inward reuerence, must thinke hypocrites onely to eate vnworthily; yet it is certaine in this place,1. Cor. 11. 21. that the Apostle findeth no fault with the hypocrisie or supersti­tion [Page 75] of the Corinthians, but with their profanenesse; for comming drunken, for eschewing the poore, and despising the Church: so this vnworthinesse was as well in their outward behauiour, as in their in­ward disposition: And so conse­quently the Apostle would haue vs to discerne the Lords Bodie, not by our inward estimation onely, but by our outward carriage and gesture, that it may bee seene of all, that in the Sacrament wee doe chiefly con­sider and respect, not the outward and symbolicall elements, but the thing signified, the Bodie and Bloud of Christ, and that according there­to we compose and frame our selues and our manners; which if wee doe, this question is at a point: For what gesture, I pray you, can make a more euident difference betwixt Christs Bodie, the Bread of Life, and other common Bread, by giuing thereto such reuerence as best beseemeth [Page 76] the dignitie and worthinesse thereof, then the humble and religious ges­ture of Kneeling.

SECT. 4. The manner of receiuing.

THirdly, to come to the spirituall receiuing, which we know con­sisteth in faith:Ioh. 6. 35. Hee that commeth to mee, shall neuer hunger, and he that be­leeueth in me, shall neuer thirst. And in the same Chapter after, Hee that beleeues in me, hath life eternall, and I shall raise him vp at the last day. And Augustine saith, Wherefore preparest thou thy teeth and thy belly? Beleeue, and thou hast eaten. This faith is ac­companied with two inseparable companions in this action, Prayer and Thankes-giuing: for first, no man commeth-worthily to this Ta­ble, but hee that commeth with a [Page 77] hunger and thirst after righteousnes and life in Christ, whom hee com­meth to receiue: for vnto such onely as are thus disposed, the inuitation and promise is made; Esay 55. Ho, euery one that thirsteth, come yee to the waters. Math. 5. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousnesse, for they shall be filled. Luk. 1. 53. Hee hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he hath sent away emptie. Psal. 22. 26. The poore shall eate and be satisfied. And in the exhortation v­sed by the Minister before the Sacra­ment, these words wee haue in our booke: The end of our comming hither is not, to make protestation that we are vpright and iust in our liues, but contrariwise wee come to seeke our life and perfection in Iesus Christ, &c. With this hunger and thirst, and with this spirituall appetite, we should come eate and drinke: And what is this, but the feruent prayer that the heart is offering to God, [Page 78] while the hand is receiuing, and the mouth is eating? For the sub­stance of prayer consisteth, not in the voyces of the mouth, but in the wishes of the heart to God, where­of the voyces are but significant signes. With prayer then wee come and receiue, and our receiuing is in faith, the mother of humility, which in her selfe acknowledgeth nothing but miserie, and therfore renouncing her selfe, fleeth to the store-house and fountaine of mercy, that is in Christ Iesus, there eateth and drin­keth, feedeth and resteth vpon the merit of his death, and the eternall Testament confirmed thereby; the sense whereof is more pleasant and sweete to the taste of the soule, then the hony, & the hony-comb is to the taste of the mouth. For was there euer any thing more pleasant, then the meditation of the death of Christ to the penitent soule, which being wearied before vnder the burthen of [Page 79] sinne, and bruised vnder the weight of the wrath of God, well knoweth and is perswaded, that Christ hath borne our griefes and carried our sorrowes; That hee was wounded for our transgressions, Esay 53. 4. that hee was bruised for our iniquities, that the chastisement of our peace was vpon him, that with his stripes we were healed. Thus by the meditation of faith, we eate, we drinke, and feed on Christ with plea­sure, and ioy that cannot be expres­sed. And is it possible that this ioy, pleasure and delectation, that wee haue in tasting the sweetnesse and goodnesse that is in him, can pos­sesse the soule without thankefulnes; that is, without such estimation of him, and such affection towards him, as presently resolueth in most earnest wishes and desires, that all the world might ioyne with vs in set­ting forth his prayses? Now what are these wishes and desires, issuing from the ardent affection of loue, kindled [Page 80] by a liuely and feeling faith, but a true inward rendring of thankes? Nam gratiam qui habet, refert; for hee that hath a thankefull heart, after this sort, giues thanks to God indeed. So Christ is spiritually receiued, first, when with our eyes and eares wee deuoute him, asTert. de resurrectione carnis. Tertullian saith; that is, when by these things that wee see and heare in the Sacra­ment, wee call to remembrance the breaking of his Bodie, and sheading of his Bloud. Secondly,Christus Deuorandus auditu. when with a spirituall hunger and thirst af­ter the righteousnesse that wee know to bein him, weRuminan­dus intellec­tu. ruminate, we chew and eate not with the mouth and the teeth, but with the minde, and the serious thoughts of a celestiall medi­tation, his death and Passion, vntill wee haue sucked and drawne out of it by diuine contemplation the full assurance of reconciliation with God, and of saluation:Et fide digirendus. And finally, digest him, and his death, [Page 81] not in our belly, but in our brest; that is, in the depths of our hearts, by trusting in the All-sufficient fulnesse of the grace and goodnesse; yea, of the God-head it selfe, that is in him, wherewith our soules being satiate, as with the fatnesse and sweetnesse of Marrow, are enlarged with ioyes, and filled with the wishes and de­sires of his eternall praise and glory. And therefore, as we do testifie our spirituall receiuing of Christ in faith, by the outward actions of taking, eating, and drinking: So should we testifie the serious wishes and desires of the heart for our owne saluation and his glory, with such an outward gesture and carriage of bodie, as is most agreeable to such sacred af­fections, and exercises of the soule in this action. And what is more agree­able to the humility of faith, where­in we receiue, and the hearty pray­er and thankesgiuing, wherewith wee receiue, then the lowly and de­uout [Page 82] bowing of our Knees. Then to conclude vpon these three consi­derations: first, of the giuer and ma­ner of giuing; next, of the gift; thirdly, of the manner of receiuing, I ground and build this Argument:

Whatsoeuer Gift our Sauiour deliue­reth to all not coniunctly, but seue­rally to euery one of them by him­selfe, and that all not coniunctly, but seuerally should receiue from his hand with Prayer and Thankes­giuing, in presence of the Congrega­tion of the Saints, and in a solemne act of Diuine Worship:

A gift, I say, that is giuen, and should bee taken after such a manner, may bee very lawfully receiued by euery one reuerently sitting on his Knees.

But the Body and Bloud of Iesus Christ in the Sacrament, is a gift that is gi­uen, and should be taken after such a manner:

Therefore the Bodie and Bloud of Iesus Christ in the Sacrament, may very [Page 83] lawfully be receiued by euery one re­uerently sitting on his knees.

Thus I prooue the lawfulnesse of Kneeling, the expediencie shall bee after cleered.

SECT. 5. The Nature of the Sacrament.

NOW to come to the last thing, which wee propounded to bee considered in this tryall of piety, that is, the nature of the Sacrament. The nature of the Sacrament is to bee esteemed according to the chiefe end wherefore it was instituted, and these bee two: the one concerneth God, and our Sauiour Christ; the other, the Church. The end which concerneth the faithfull, is their vni­on with Christ, and amongst them­selues, to saluation: The end that concerneth God and our Sauiour, is [Page 84] the prayse of his glorious grace. In respect of the first end, it is called, The communion of the Bodie and Bloud of Christ, the Table, and the Supper of the Lord: and in re­spect of the second, it is the comme­moration, and predication of the death of Christ. The action in num­ber is one, whereby these ends are attained and produced, but is di­uersly to be considered, according to the diuersitie of these ends. In re­spect of the first, it is a representati­on of the sacrifice of Christ, and the application thereof to vs; where­by our vnion with him, and amongst our selues, is performed: and in this respect it hath two parts; In the first, the death of Christ, the oblation and sacrificing of himselfe, (which really was onely done vpon the Crosse) is mystically acted in the breaking of the bread, and taking of the cup; whereby the breaking of his Body, and sheading of his Bloud [Page 85] is represented, and therefore it may be, and is rightly called a represen­tatiue sacrifice. The next part is, the application of this sacrifice to the faithfull: This part is acted, first, mystically, by the command giuen in the name of Christ, Take, eate; and by the obedience giuen by the peo­ple in taking and eating the externall elements: like as vnder the Law, first the oblation was made, and then the people did eate of the sacrifices. Next, this application is acted really and spiritually, by the Sacramentall word; This is my Bodie which is broken for you: This cup is the new Testament in my Bloud. By this word, accom­panied with the power of the Spirit, two things are done, whereby the reall and spirituall application of the Propitiatorie Sacrifice is made; first, the mysterie that went before, is ope­ned vp and interpreted, which repre­sented the sacrificing of Christ, and the application of his Sacrifice. The [Page 86] sacrificing of Christ, which was symbolically represented in taking and breaking of the bread, is expla­ned by that parcell of the word, This is my Bodie which is broken: This is my Bloud which is shed. The application of this Sacrifice to the faithfull, which was symbolically represented in the giuing, taking, and eating of the elements, is expounded in the other parcell; Broken for you, shed for the remission of the sinnes of many. This explication and declaration of the Mysterie by the Word, is a reall and spirituall application of the sa­crifice of Christ, and the benefit thereof to the minde and vnderstan­ding of the Receiuer, to bee consi­dered and pondered in the ballance of a wise and spirituall iudgement. This is the first thing that is done by the word: next, by this word, the last Will and Testament of Christ is declared, wherein he maketh a reall donation and disposition of him­selfe, [Page 87] and of all his graces and gifts to the worthy receiuers; The Bread which wee breake, is it not (saith the Apostle) the communion of the Bodie of Christ? And the Cup which we blesse, is it not the communion of the Bloud of Christ? How is this Bread and this Cup the communion of his Bodie, and of his Bloud? How? But by the Sacramentall word: wherein he de­clareth, that the Bread and the Cup are the instruments of the communi­cation and disposition of his Bodie and Bloud, and the seales whereby he confirmeth the same. This decla­ration conuaied with the inward grace and operation of the Spirit, is a reall application of the sacrifice of Christ, and the eternall Testament confirmed thereby to the heart and the will of the Receiuer, that witl heart, will, and affection hee may trust and reioyce therein. Thus th [...] application is acted really and spir [...] ­tually on the part of Christ: and [...] [Page 88] the part of the receiuer it is acted likewise, when he considereth and pondereth in his mind, as he should, the death of Christ, and the bene­fit thereof declared by the Word; and next, when he resteth and repo­seth thereon with a full confidence of saluation, according to the will of Christ, declared and testified by the same VVord. This is the spirituall application and reall receiuing of the Lord Iesus with all his benefites. So many as receiued him (saith Iohn) he gaue them this prerogatiue, that they should be called the sonnes of God. But who are they that receiued him? All those (saith hee) that beleeued in his Name. Then to receiue him, is to beleeue in his name. In this beliefe and faith, standeth our participati­on of the Lords Table, and the ea­ting and drinking at his Supper, whereby we haue communion with him and amongst our selues. And all this is effectuall, by this Sacra­mental [Page 89] Word (This is my Body, this is my Bloud) because both it is,Quo res sen­siles fiunt intelligibiles. Whereby the mea­ning of the exter­nall things which wee propoun­ded to the senses, is declared to the minde. verbum expositiuum mysterii, and Dispositiuum Testamenti; the word that expoun­deth the mysterie to the vnderstan­ding, and is the dispositiue word of the Testament: or the Word that declareth and testifieth the Legacie, and Letter-will of Christ, giuing and deliuering himselfe to the hand of our faith.

SECT. 6. The difference betweene the Sacramen­tall Word, and the Word preached.

AND heere by the way, it shall not be vnprofitable to consider the difference betwixt this Sacra­mentall Word, and the Word prea­ched. The Word preached is one­ly Promissorium and Conditionatum, [Page 90] that is, promissorie and conditionall, because in it life eternall is promised, vpon condition that wee repent and beleeue in Iesus Christ: and it is true, that by the Word preached, wee are taught, and perswaded to beleeue, and to present our selues to the Sa­craments. Then the Sacramentall Word, annexed to the Symbolicall Mysteries, declareth that Iesus Christ hath made, and by the present acti­on of the Sacrament, maketh an ac­tuall and reall disposition and dona­tion of the benefits promised in the Word preached, because the con­dition therein required, is performed in vs by the true perswasion and pro­fession of faith. So in the Word preached, the promise is made vpon condition of faith: But in the Sacra­mentall Word, because the condi­tion is presumed to bee fulfilled, a simple donation and disposition is made of the things promised. And herein consisteth the dignitie of the [Page 91] Sacraments. First, that they are one­ly ministred to the Beleeuers, and the Beleeuers are onely admitted to them: But the VVord is preached to all, and all are admitted to the hearing thereof. Secondly, in the Word, a promise is onely made of righteousnesse and life; but in the Sacrament, a reall donation and dis­position is made of the things pro­mised. Thirdly, in the Word, the promise is onely made in generall; but in the Sacraments, the thing pro­mised is applyed in particular. Fourthly, in the Word, the promise is conditionall, if wee beleeue and perseuer in faith: but in the Sacra­ments, the donation is simple, be­cause it presupposeth faith and per­seuerance. Fifthly, in the Sacra­ments, there is an externall solemne binding vp of a couenant betwixt God and the faithfull: But by the Word preached, and the hearing thereof, the people are onely per­swaded, [Page 92] either to enter in this Coue­nant by beleeuing, or continue there­in, if they beleeue alreadie. It is true, that by the power of the Word preached, faith is wrought in the hearts of the hearers, whereby they enter in a hid and secret Couenant with God, and God with them: They with God by beleeuing in him; and hee with them, by imputation of faith to them for righteousnesse. This I call an hid, and secret Couenant, because it is onely knowne to God and to their owne hearts: To God it is knowne; for hee sees and sear­ches the heart and the reines, and knoweth them that trust in him: To them it is knowne by the testimo­nie of the Spirit of God, testifying with their spirit, that they are recei­ued in his fauour; and that their faith is imputed to them for righteous­nesse: for the Spirit of God testifies in the Word, that the Beleeuers are iustified, and our spirit and consci­ence [Page 93] testifieth that we beleeue, and consequently that wee are iustified. Moreouer, the same beliefe and faith which our spirit testifieth to be in vs, being the worke and effect of Gods Spirit in vs, is a realt estimonie giuen by the Spirit of God, of our Iustification. The Spirit then of God, both in generall in the Word, and by his owne particular worke in vs, testifieth, that wee are receiued in Gods fauour; and our spirit priuy to this Testimonie, concurreth and testifieth with the Spirit of God. So this Couenant is secret and hid, be­cause it is not knowne to men, yet it hath three most famous and faithfull Witnesses; God, his Spirit, and our conscience. But to returne, in bin­ding vp of this secret Couenant, nei­ther is Gods part acted by preaching of the Word, nor our part by hea­ring: for by the Preaching he onely promises to receiue vs in grace, if wee beleeue, and to continue his fa­uour [Page 94] with vs if wee perseuer in faith: and hearing on our part, is not the condition that is craued, and must bee performed of vs, but faith, which we must declare, when we solemnely enter in Couenant with him; not by a simple applying of our eare to heare, but by an open and publicke testification, both in word and work, that wee haue heard and beleeue. The Couenant thus begunne in se­cret betwixt God and man, is solem­nized by the Sacraments, in the which action man maketh a pub­like profession of his faith in God, in comming to receiue, and in recei­uing the signe and badge of his Faith and Religion towards God, and the Instrument and Seale of his iustification & saluation from God; and after this manner mans part is acted in the outward and solemne binding vp of the Couenant: As on the other side, God acteth his part by receiuing man in his fauour and [Page 95] grace, admitting him to the com­munion of Saints in the Sacrament of Baptisme; and by disponing and giuing to him the Bodie and the Bloud of his Son Iesus Christ, and the new Testament confirmed there­by in the Sacrament of the Supper, to assure him that his fauour and loue shall constantly remaine with him for euer.

SECT. 7. That greater, and more particular re­uerence must be vsed in receiuing the Sacrament, then in hea­ring the Word.

HEreby it is euident, that al­though the preaching of the Word be a work of greater moment and charge, oneris & operae maioris, and more excellent in regard of the gifts required in the Pastor, and [Page 96] more necessarie to saluation, then the administration of the Sacraments; yet certaine it is, that to be admitted and receiued to the Sacraments, is a greater dignitie & prerogatiue, then to bee admitted to the hearing of the Word; and to receiue the Sacra­ments, then to heare the Word. For in receiuing the Sacraments, and in speciall, this of the Bodie and Bloud of our Sauiour, Christ draweth neerer to vs, and communicateth himselfe with vs more particularly, familiarly, and entirely, then in prea­ching of the Word, which is com­mon to all. In the preaching of the Word, God dealeth coniunctly, generally, and in common with all at once:The Word likewise worketh seuerally. but in the Sacraments, al­though the action bee publike and common to all the Receiuers; yet therein God dealeth not coniunctly with all at once, but seuerally and particularly, with euery one alone and by himselfe. And therefore in [Page 97] this action, the common and gene­rall reuerence and worship done to GOD in the publike prayer and thankesgiuing, for the common be­nefit to bee receiued, wherewith the action beginneth; and for the com­mon benefit that wee haue receiued, when the action is ended; this common and publike worship (I say) wherewith the action beginneth and endeth, is not sufficient. But as the common benefit is seuerally and particularly giuen to euery one; so should euery one at the receiuing thereof, doe reuerence and worship in particular for himselfe to God and his Sauiour, from whose hand im­mediately hee receiueth the benefit. For as the Sacramentall Word, This is my Bodie, this is my Bloud, is ge­nerally and in common pronounced at the Consecration, in the audience of all that are to receiue: And yet at the receiuing, euery one must esteeme, that as the Bread and the [Page 98] Cup is in particular deliuered to him, and receiued by him, so the Word to bee spoken particularly to him; This is my Bodie which is broken for thee; this Cup is the new Testa­ment in my Bloud, that is shed for the remission of thy sinnes: Euen so should euery one apply, and tender vnto Iesus Christ in particular for him­selfe, the substance of the generall prayer and thankesgiuing that went before; that is, hee should when hee receiueth, wish, that by the death of his Sauiour, whereof hee is made partaker, himselfe may bee saued, and that in his saluation, his Sauiour may bee glorified. These should be, and are the thoughts and exercises of the minde of euery one that recei­ueth worthily; for the thoughts of the worthy Receiuers should be, and are such as the Sacramentall Word and Precept requireth: The Sacra­mentall Word (This is my Body that is broken for you; this Cup is the new [Page 99] Testament in my Bloud, that is shed for the remission of the sinnes of many) requireth that euery receiuer, at the instant when hee receiueth, do actu­ally beleeue, that vnto him in parti­cular Christ offereth himselfe, and the new Testament confirmed by his Bloud, containing the right of eter­nal saluation; and that with his whole heart hee embrace him, and rest on him, hoping for that saluation, and earnestly desiring to haue the full fru­ition and possession thereof. Now this desire, proceeding from this faith and hope, is in effect a parti­cular application to our selues of the generall prayer which went before, wherein all desired to bee partakers of Christ himselfe, and by him of life eternall. Next, the Precept, Doe this in remembrance of mee, requireth a present actuall remembrance of the death of Christ, which remem­brance at that time, must either bee actually thankefull for the benefit [Page 100] which hee hath receiued in Christ, or it is actually profane and diaboli­call. And this thankefull remem­brance, or this remembrance actu­ally thankeful, is a particular applica­tion of that generall Thankesgiuing that went before to God for our own Redemption. Now to draw all the thoughts and exercises of the minde together, that are required by the Sacramentall Word and Precept, to bee in the Receiuer, at the instant of receiuing, are briefly, and in sub­stance these: I call to minde with thankefulnesse, O Lord, thy Bodie that was broken, and thy Bloud that was shed, here represented and applyed to me, and therein my soule trusteth, and waiteth for thy saluation; wherewith possesse mee, I beseech thee, Amen. No tongue can vtter so briefly, as these thoughts goe swiftly thorow the minde of the worthy Receiuer. Eusebius, in the sixt booke of the Ecclesiasticall Sto­rie, recordeth, that Nouatus, when [Page 101] he deliuered the Sacrament to his people, did apprehend their hands; & compelled them [...], in stead of blessing, to sweare by that which was in their hands [...], and to say, in stead of Amen, Wee shall not returne to Corne­lius againe. By the which words it is euident, that they did not onely [...], pray and giue thankes, be­fore and after the receiuing, but in the very Act it selfe, while the bread was in their hands, they blessed it, and said, Amen. Now with what gesture and reuerence, I pray you, should these thoughts and meditati­ons of our heart be accompanied, at the instant, when Christ is pro­fessedly giuing, and wee receiuing from his hand? Thinke yee that suf­ficient which is vsed, when men at­tend to heare his Will declared in his Word? If a King should gene­rally declare to a multitude, what be­nefit hee were to bestow vpon them, [Page 102] and thereafter should call them man by man, and with his hand deliuer it; should the carriage of euery man comming seuerally to receiue, bee no other then that which was vsed of all when they harkened to his speech?

SECT. 8. That the name of a Supper giuen to this Sacrament, doth not dimi­nish the reuerence that is due thereto.

ANd here let it bee considered, whether this should exempt vs from bowing the Knee, because this gift is called a Supper, which should not bee receiued with Kneeling. A Supper it is called, I grant: But I demand, Is it so called in respect of the nature of the action, simply con­sidered in it selfe, and properly? Chry­sostome [Page 103] saith, that Paul in 1. Cor. 11. cal­leth that a Supper, which should ra­ther haue beene called [...], a Din­ner, or a breake-fast, if hee had re­spected the time: but hee calleth it so, Vt remitteret illos iam inde, ad il­lam vesperam qua Dominus tremenda mysteria tradidit, That hee might send them back to that euening, wherein our Lord deliuered these fearefull mysteries. The meaning is, that hee might call them to remem­brance of the first institution; In re­spect whereof, it is called a Supper: So likewise it is called a Supper, be­cause in some thing it resembleth a Supper: For it is not a priuate meale, but like to a publike banquet, where­vnto all the faithful are inuited. Now we finde that in these dayes men vsed to dine priuately, and their feasts whereunto they inuited their friends were commonly suppers made at night. Vnto this agreeth well that which Plutarch writeth; The Supper, [Page 104] saith hee, was called by the Romans, Coena, ob [...], because it was com­mon: for the old Romanes vsed to dine sparingly, but to sup with their friends. And finally, it is called a Supper, because it is the Antitype of the Paschall Supper, as Baptisme is of Circumcision; in respect where­of, the spirituall part of Baptisme is called by the Apostle, Coloss. 2. 11, 12. The Circumcision of Christ, as this Sa­crament is called the Supper of the Lord.

That properly it is not, nor can­not be called a Supper, whether wee consider the symbolicall, or the spi­rituall part thereof, is manifest by these Reasons:

First, euery Repast that is properly called a Supper, is (at least) suffici­ent to content Nature: Amongst the Ancients, although their Din­ners and Breake fasts were sparing, and therefore the Custome was not, either to sit or lie at them; yet their [Page 105] Suppers were large, and a long time spent at them, which made them to Lie or Sit for ease of their bodies. Of this sort was the Paschall Sup­per, and all the Feasts wherein the Legall Sacrifices were eaten: Here all the meate is a little morsell of bread, no greater then an Oliue, and all the drinke a little quantitie, ra­ther tasted then drunken. Such a shew of Repast as this, can neither properly bee called a Breake-fast, a Dinner, nor a Supper, and the time spent in taking heereof, so short, that easily it may bee past with any position of bodie, as was said before.

Secondly, the Feasters here take not, nor eate not, as at an ordina­rie supper: all that they eate, or drinke, they receiue at the hand of the Pastor, all their meate at once and together. This kinde of inter­tainement is not proper to a supper.

Thirdly, at the deliuery and recei­uing [Page 106] of this food, a word is pro­nounced, whereby wee are taught, that this food is not giuen, nor should bee receiued to nourish the body, but onely to signifie and re­present the Passion of Christ, and the application thereof to the Be­leeuers, for their comfort. A food giuen and receiued for such an vse as this onely, cannot properly bee a Supper; for no Repast properly is a supper, but that which is appointed to nourish the bodie, whatsoeuer vse it hath beside. So if either wee consider the quantitie of the Repast, the time that is spent in the receiuing thereof, the forme of giuing and receiuing, or the end wherefore it is giuen, wee shall finde, that proper­ly, neither is it, nor can it bee called a Supper.

As for the spirituall and internall part of the action, whereby the minde is informed, and faith con­firmed, it may be called a Supper; [Page 107] not properly, but in the sense that Salomon calleth a good conscience, a per­petuall Feast, because by the medi­tation of the death of Christ, and the benefit that we haue thereby, the soule is fed and nourished with spi­rituall and heauenly knowledge, strengthened with confidence and hope, and satiate with ioyes and pleasures that cannot bee expressed: Whereby it is euident, that neither in respect of the externall and mate­riall part, nor in respect of the in­ward and spirituall part, is this Sa­crament properly called a Supper. Therefore the appellation should not alter the worship, and religious reuerence, that the nature of the acti­on, simply considered in it selfe, re­quireth.

But put the case, that it were pro­perly a Supper, yet wee must grant that the Master of the Feast, is our Lord and King, out of whose hand if wee receiue the Cup, or some [Page 108] daintie morsell, should wee vse no more reuerence, then when we carue to our selues, or receiue from the hand of a seruant, or from our com­panions? Consider then with your selues, how this whole Supper, to wit, the Bodie and the Bloud of Christ, is giuen by Christ himselfe at once to vs, his Bloud in one Cup, and his Bodie in one Morsell. So that [...], The Lords Supper is a Gift, or a Iewell giuen out of his owne hand, as a pledge of his loue, and there­fore is sometimes called by the Fa­thers, [...]. Basilius writeth in his Homily of Charitie, that Christ left to his Disciples, when he was to fulfill his Ministerie in the flesh, [...], Donum perfecti­tium, a gift giuen at his departure, in pledge of his loue. Then to con­clude, this Supper being a Gift giuen in pledge of his loue to vs, by him who not onely is our Lord and King, [Page 109] but the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. Whether should we draw neere and receiue, in respect of the testification of his loue towards vs, with greater confidence? Or in con­sideration of his glorious Person and Maiestie, with greater feare and reuerence? Doubtlesse, both should be so great as great may bee: How great then must the Religion and Deuotion bee, that is composed of these two, the greatest confidence, and the greatest reuerence?

SECT. 9. What manner of person should wee esteeme our Sautour and our selues, to carry at the Sacrament.

LO, but Christ inuiteth vs as co­heires to this Banquet, whom hee will honour as his owne Peeres and Equals, and will not haue vs to de­meane our selues, as Inferiours and [Page 110] Subiects: Whence learne wee this: Christ Sate, or Lay, at the Table with his Disciples, when hee deliuered his Bodie and Bloud to them: and there­fore now, why should wee not sit at Table with him, and receiue from his hand? I answer, Christ Sate or Lay with his Disciples, when he did institute this Sacrament, so did hee at the same time wash their feete. Two Reasons hereof are giuen by himselfe: Hee came not to bee ser­ued, but to serue: and therefore du­ring the dayes of his flesh, as hee did carrie the forme of a seruant, so hee saith, that hee was as a seruant in the midst of them. Next, hee did giue to them an example of humili­tie, that they should neither rule im­periously, one ouer another, nor ouer the Lords inheritance, but in humilitie serue one another, and feed the Flocke committed to their charge. This last Reason would nei­ther teach them, nor vs, to match [Page 111] our selues with our Lord & Master, but to submit our selues to our e­quals. The first sheweth, that as in the rest of the parts of his Ministe­rie; so in the institution of this Sa­crament, although hee was the Lord and Giuer of the inward and spiri­tuall grace, yet hee did carry him­selfe as the Minister of the externall Element, which person now the Pastor sustaineth: and hee exalted at the right hand of the Father, hath declared himselfe to haue laid down the person of a seruant, and to bee no more an externall Minister, but the Lord and Giuer of the Spirit, and inward grace, by sending down the Holy Ghost from heauen vpon the Apostles. Hee then, who now would sit with him, as his fellow, must either bring him downe from heauen, and abase him againe in the forme of a seruant; or else hee must exalt himselfe to Sit with him, at the right hand of the Throne of Maiesty [Page 112] in the highest places. Therefore let no man in this action thinke and esteeme of the Lord Iesus, according to the condition of the person that hee sustained, and the carriage that hee vsed, when hee did institute this Sacrament. The true and right esti­mation of him, is to be learned, with­out question, from the doctrine and word of the institution. Let vs then take diligent heed, and marke how there hee is propounded to be consi­dered and esteemed of vs. There hee is the great High Priest, and Sa­crificer of himselfe (Hee tooke, Hee brake) wee are the sinners for whom the Sacrifice is offered; with this Sa­crifice hee payeth his Vowes,Psal. 22. 25. in the midst of the vniuersall Church (Take yee, Psal. 22. 26. eate yee:) Wee are the poore and hungry that eate and are satis­fied. Hee is the Mediator, Suretie, and Testator of the new and eternall Testament (This is the new Testa­ment in my Bloud.) VVee are the [Page 113] Heires and Legators, who haue nei­ther right by Nature, nor Merit, but by his meere Donation and Dis­position onely. Hee is the honoura­ble and glorious person, who in this action is to bee remembred as the Authour of eternall saluation, (Doe this in remembrance of mee:) And we are the redeemed, who for the bene­fit of our redemption should remem­ber him with Thankesgiuing and Praise.

Thus wee are taught by the words of the Institution, how in this action wee should esteeme, both of him, and of our selues, and how therein accordingly wee should behaue our selues towards him: Namely, as the redeemed, towards their Redeemer: the poore and the hungry, towards their Nourisher and Feeder: The adopted heire, towards their Adop­ter and Testator; and they who should giue thankes and praise, to­wards their Benefactor.

SECT. 10. In what respect this Sacrament is called the Eucharist.

AND heere we rancounter with the other end of this Sacrament, which I called the praise of the glo­rious grace of God, and of our Sa­uiour the Lord Iesus. In respect of this end it is a commemoration and predication of the death of Christ, acted not in word onely, but in deed, both by the Pastor and the people: By the Pastor, when hee represen­teth Christs death in the mysticall action, and by the Sacramentall word maketh the donation and ap­plication thereof to the people, ta­king, breaking, giuing, and saying; This is my Bodie, this is my Bloud; and by the people, when they take, eate, and drinke: in doing whereof they expose in open view to the eyes of [Page 115] the world, the Passion and Death of the Lord Iesus, and the benefit that therby they acknowledge them­selues to receiue, and so doth pub­likely and solemnely remember his goodnesse and grace to his praise and glorie, and testifie that their faith and thankefulnes towards him, according to the direction of our Sa­uiour, Doe this in remembrance of me▪ In the which precept wee are com­manded; first, to celebrate the acti­on as hee hath done: and secondly, we are admonished of the end wher­fore that celebritie should be obser­ued; namely, that thereby a solemne memoriall of his death ought to bee kept. So Paul interpreteth the Pre­cept in these words immediately sub­ioyned; For so often as yee eate this Bread, and drinke this Cup; that is, so often as yee doe this, yee shew forth, or shall shew forth, and preach the Lords death till hee come: (that is, yee shall doe it in remembrance of me.) [Page 116] Hereby shewing and preaching the Lords death: The Apostle meaneth not a verball Sermon, or a preaching made by word in the Congregation, for that wee know is not the part of the people, whereof here hee spea­keth; but a reall preaching, acted by the people for their part, by ta­king, eating, and drinking; and therefore the Apostle saith, that if they eate and drinke vnworthily, they shall be guiltie of the Lords Bodie. The reason is, because by eating and drinking vnworthily, they shew forth & preach the Lords death vnworthi­ly; that is, without the reuerence and respect that the worthinesse of his death deserueth: for if they eate and drinke like full and drunken persons, their preaching is profane and viti­ous; if they eate and drinke with contempt of the Church, and de­spising of the poore, their preaching is disdainefull, and ignominious to Christ and his Church. This was [Page 117] the Corinthians fault, who did abuse this sacred memoriall of the Lords death to his dishonour and disgrace, because therein looking too basely on the elements, they did not dis­cerne, by their religious reuerence and carriage, the Body of the Lord, from other common food: where­fore the Apostle exhorteth them to try and refine themselues from the drosse of the old man; their pride, their profanenesse, their drunkennes and contentions, and so eate of that Bread, and drinke of that Cup: other­wise, if they should eate and drinke vnworthily, that is, without a due regard to him, who, for a glorious remembrance of himselfe till his comming againe, did institute this action, they should eate and drinke damnation to themselues. This acti­on then, as it is, in respect of the end that belongeth to vs, the commu­nion of the Bodie and Bloud of Christ, or the instrument and seale [Page 118] of that communion: so in respect of this end that appertaineth to Christ himselfe, and of our dutie that should be performed therein to him, it is a solemne memoriall, or [...] of his death, ordained to bee obserued for the praise of his grace; and therefore by the ancient and re­cent VVriters and Doctors of the Church, is rightly called the Eucha­rist, not onely for the thankes-giuing, wherewith it beginneth, and which the Church is accustomed to giue after it is ended, which is common to many other religious actions, but because the very action it selfe is so to bee esteemed, by reason of the end whereunto it is appointed, from the which commonly actions receiue their nature and their name, and therefore [...], a wor­thy and an honorable remembrance of Christ, being one of the chiefe end [...] of this action. The action it selfe is [...], an action of praise, [Page 119] in respect of Christ, for whom it is done; and [...], an action of thankesgiuing, in respect of these by whom it is done: for as it is a me­moriall of his praise, so is it a testi­monie of their thankefulnesse. And what is a thankesgiuing, but the re­membrance and declaration of be­nefits receiued, made and intended to the praise of the giuer, whether it bee performed in word, in deed, or in both? For thankesgiuing in word, reade all the Psalmes and Orations in the Scripture, conceiued for that effect, and yee shall finde it so, Psal. 135. 126. 1. Chron. 17. 29, 10, &c. The Passeouer, and all the rest of the Feasts kept vnder the Law, in remem­brance of some great and extraordi­narie benefits of God, were Eucha­risticall, because they were obserued to the praise and honor of God, not verbally, but really. Such amongst the Heathen, were the Olympick, Py­thick, and Isthmick games, wherein [Page 120] the prayses and honour of their gods were remembred and celebrated, not by Speeches and Orations, but by the very Actions and Deedes of the Gamesters. So Virgil hauing recor­ded the Pastimes, and Games that Aeneas caused to bee acted to the prayse of his father Anchyses, con­cludeth, Hac celebrata tenus sancto certamina patri; hitherto the pastimes were celebrated to the praise of his holy Father. And heere it is to bee obserued, that although in these su­perstitious solemnities, no mention were made of their praises and ho­nours for whom they were kept, yet they are remembrances of their praise, because they were instituted, and ex professo, professedy obserued for that purpose. In the religious Festiuities, some resemblance there was of the benefit that was remem­bred, beside the profession of the end wherefore they were instituted and kept. But amongst all the Cele­brities [Page 121] and Solemnities, that euer were obserued for the praise of God or man, there was neuer any that had the end wherefore it was institu­ted, set downe more cleerely to bee a memoriall of praise, or an honou­rable remembrance, then this Sa­crament hath in these words, (Doe this for a remembrance of me,) and that had a more euident and plaine resemblance of the benefit that was to bee remembred with praise and thankesgiuing, then this. For what can more liuely expresse the praise of the glory of our Sauiours grace, then that part of this action, where hee is brought in, breaking his owne Bodie, and sheading his owne Bloud, and offering himselfe in a sacrifice for the sinnes of the world? And againe, what can more euidently declare the faith and thankefulnesse of the people towards him, then the other part of the same action, where they are brought in, feeding on the [Page 122] sacrifice of his Bodie and Bloud, thereby testifying before the world, that by him alone they doe acknow­ledge themselues to haue liberty and life, that in him alone they repose and trust, that hee alone is the medi­tation of their minds, the desire of their soules, the ioy and delectation of their hearts. Caluin. Instit. lib. 4. Cap. 18. Sect. 17. Huius generis sacri­ficio carere non potest coena Domini, in qua dum mortem eius annunciamus, & gratiarum actionem referimus, nihil aliud offerimus quam sacrificium lau­dis. Aquinas Quotiescunque ederitis pa­nem hunc, &c. Exponit verba Domini, Hoc facite in meam commemorationem: dicens mortem Domini, annunciabitis represent ando, scilicet eam per hoc Sacra­mentum. Caluin saith, that the Sup­per of the Lord cannot want in it an Eucharisticall Sacrifice, because, while wee declare the death of the Lord, and giue thankes, we doe no­thing, but offer vp a sacrifice of [Page 123] praise. Aquinas affirmeth, that wee declare and preach Christs death, re­presenting it by this Sacrament. In diuers places of the Greek Liturgies this Sacrament is called [...], the sacrifice of praise; and not onely is the action it selfe, and the celebra­tion of this Sacrament, called the Eucharist by the Ancients, but the Symbols themselues, the Bread and the Wine. Origen contra Celsum, [...], the Bread, which is called the Eucharist, saith hee, is a Symboll of our thankeful­nesse to God, and so is the whole action in deed, because not onely in it are thankes giuen in word, Sed gratiae aguntur vere & re-ipsa, but a solemne thankesgiuing is acted truly and in deed.

SECT. 11. The conclusion of this point, which concerneth the nature of this Sacrament.

HEreby it is manifest, that as this action, in respect of Christs part towards vs, or the end that con­cerneth vs, is a Mysticall represen­tation, and a reall application of the Propitiatorie sacrifice of Christ to vs: So in respect of our part towards Christ againe, and the end [...] that concerneth him, it is a spirituall and Eucharisticall Sacrifice done to his glorie. Nay, if we consider the acti­on, in regard of the one end, or the other, it is to bee performed of vs with such a religious and humble gesture, as becommeth sinners to vse towards their Sauiour when they re­ceiue from him the benefit of expia­tion of their sinnes, and reconcilia­tion [Page 125] with God. Or when they offer back againe to him therefore, the sacrifice of thankesgiuing, both se­cretly in their inward affection, and publikely in a most solemne action. Now, what gesture can better agree to sinners in receiuing their pardon, and in giuing praise therefore to their Redeemer, then the religious and humble gesture of Kneeling, commanded by God himselfe to bee vsed in his worship; practised by our Sauiour himselfe; and by all the Saints both vnder the Law and the Gospell, not onely when they did offer their supplications to God, but when they ioyfully gaue thankes and praise? Psal. 138. I will praise thee with my whole heart; before the Gods I will sing praise vnto thee, I will bowe my selfe Eshtachaue towards thy holy Temple, and praise thy name for thy louing kind­nesse. Psal. 95. O come, let vs sing vn­to the Lord, let vs make a ioyfull noyse to the Rocke of our saluation: let vs come [Page 126] before his presence with thankesgiuing, and make a ioyfull noyse to him with Psalmes, &c. ver. 6. O come, let vs hum­bly bowe our selues, and fall downe, and Kneele before the Lord our Maker. Luk. 17. 16. When one of the ten Lepers perceiued that hee was hea­led, hee returned with a loud voyce, giuing glory to God, and fell on his face at the feete of Iesus [...], giuing thankes to him. In the Apo­calypse the 24. Elders, when they giue praise, and sing a new song to their Sauiour, not onely fall they downe off the Thrones, whereon he had placed them, but they cast the Crownes off their heads, the ensignes of the Kingdome that he had dispo­sed to them; thereby teaching how basely wee should esteeme of our selues, and how highly wee should thinke of our Sauiour, and with what gesture and carriage wee should ex­presse the same, when wee come with thankesgiuing and praise, to [Page 127] worship him, as wee should all pro­fesse our selues to doe in this action. In this point I haue beene forced to bee somewhat larger, because there is one, who to maintaine his The­sis for Sitting, against Kneeling, ben­deth & spendeth all his wit in vaine, to proue that this Sacrament should not, nor can not bee called the Eu­charist, against the sway of all the Learned, both in the Orient and Occident Church; so audacious is [...] the passing-measure-loue of contention, who re­gardeth not to tread on the Veritie, prouiding she may seeme to haue the Victorie. Dij talem terris auertite pestem: From the which pestilent Monster, the Lord deliuer his Church. Amen.

CHAP. IIII. Whether it may stand with Cha­ritie towards our Brethren, to Kneele at the receiuing of the Sacra­ment.

SECT. 1. That Kneeling serueth for Edification.

THE last thing that wee haue to try, is, whether the gesture of Kneeling in receiuing the Sacra­ment, bee according to charitie: that is, whether it may tend to Edifi­cation, or at least, may be vsed with­out offence and scandall in our Church. As for the first; The chiefe [Page 129] things whereof the Church should be informed at the receiuing of the Sacrament, are the spirituall bene­fits, that are mystically shadowed in the symbolicall Elements; as Christ, the Giuer; his Body and his Bloud, the Gift; the spirituall appe­tite, wherewith wee should come; faith, the hand wherewith we should receiue; the nature of the action it selfe, a mysticall representation, and a reall application of Christs propi­tiatory Sacrifice for vs; and an Ob­lation againe made by vs of an Eu­charisticall Sacrifice for him; and the end of the action our saluation, and the glory of our Sauiour. These things being the chiefe points where­in the Communicants should bee edified: What gesture for their edi­fication can bee chosen and vsed more conuenient, then Kneeling? A Gesture, declaring what reuerence is due to the Giuer, and the Gift: A Gesture, agreeable to the spirituall [Page 130] appetite and desire, wherewith the poore and hungry should come to this Table: proper to the humilitie, that in this action our faith should produce, when it learneth vs to renounce our selues, and rest on Christ; and very decent to be vsed by the Saints, when either they re­ceiue benefits from Gods hands, or giue backe thankes to him therefore.

SECT. 2. That Kneeling obscureth not our fellow­ship with Christ and amongst our selues.

AGainst this, if it be obiected that although in the respects aboue specified, it may serue for edi­fication, yet it obscureth the fellow­ship and communion that wee haue with Christ, and amongst our selues, that is signified, and sealed vp in [Page 131] this Sacrament, and is most cleere­ly expressed by Sitting at Table. It is answered, As for our fellowship amongst our selues, if at the Table an vniforme gesture bee obserued by all the Communicants, whether it be Standing, or Lying, or Sitting, or Kneeling, if it be the same, and vni­forme, I say, it is sufficient to ex­presse our Societie, at least, it obscu­reth it not: For there is as well a fel­lowship amongst the Saints in Knee­ling, as in Sitting or Standing. As for our fellowship and communion with Christ, wherein our honour in deed, and Christian prerogatiues consist, if wee imagine that to bee represented by our Sitting at Ta­ble with our Sauiour; How was it expressed, when the Communicants stood at the Table, except yee thinke that Christ stood with them? for if hee sate and they stood, they were not vsed as his Coheires & Equals, as some affirme wee should bee: but [Page 132] there was a disparitie as great, as is betwixt the Lord that sitteth, and the seruant that standeth. And if our Sauiour, the Lord Iesus, be nei­ther locally nor corporally with vs at Table now (as was before cleered) if hee be neither there Standing, nor Sitting, nor Lying, as hee was with his Disciples: How can our Sitting at Table import our fellowship with him more then Kneeling, or any other gesture?

If it be said, that the Pastor repre­senteth him in the action, and that our Sitting with the Pastor sheweth our fellowship with Christ:

It is answered, that Christ had two conditions of estate: The forme of a seruant, and the authoritie and power of a Lord:Ioh. 13. 13. Yee call me Lord and Master (saith hee) and I am so, yet I am as a seruant in the midst of you: Luk. 22. 27. the one in open view hee did carry; the other hee had but hid in the forme of a seruant: By his power [Page 133] and authoritie, as Lord, hee did in­stitute this Sacrament, and was, and is Lord and Master of the Feast, and the spirituall Giuer of the internall and inuisible Grace. In the forme of a seruant, hee lay with his Disci­ples, and they with him at Table, and hee was Minister of the externall element. This person our Sauiour hath laid downe, and sustaineth one­ly that of Lord and Master, had while hee was on earth, but manifest in heauen; which neither man nor Angell carrieth, but himselfe at the right hand of the Father. With that other of a Seruant and Minister, the Pastor is cloathed, wherein hee standeth and serueth in the Congre­gation, and sitteth not as Lord and Master of the Feast. Our Sitting therefore with him, or Standing at the Table, cannot declare our pre­rogatiue, and honourable fellowship that we haue with the Lord and Ma­ster of the Feast, our Sauiour Christ [Page 134] Iesus, whom to esteeme now as a seruant, either in this, or any other Religious action, and vs as his fel­lowes, let bee his equals (which is blasphemy) is pride in vs, and con­tempt of him. Hee is our Lord and God, as Thomas said, and him wee must adore, as the Apostles did euer after his Ascension.

SECT. 3. That by eating and drinking, our fel­lowship with Christ is sufficiently expressed, without the Table-gesture of Sitting.

THE true fellowship, vnion and communion that wee haue with our Sauiour and amongst our selues, is in this Sacrament both wrought and represented, not by Sitting, nor Lying, nor Standing, nor Kneeling, but by a farre more significant and [Page 135] effectuall meane, not drawne from a controuerted example of Christs Table-gesture, but set downe in the expresse words of the Institution, and interpreted by Paul, 1. Cor. chap. 10. in these words following: The bread which wee breake (not the Table whereat wee sit) is it not the commu­nion of the Bodie of Christ? The Cup of blessing which wee blesse (not our Sit­ting or Standing) is it not the commu­nion of the Bloud of Christ? Here the Bread and the Cup deliuered and receiued, and not the Table, nor the Sitting thereat, are the Signes and Seales of our Communion and Fel­lowship with Christ; yea, a signe that declareth a far more strict coniuncti­on with Christ, then either Lying or Sitting, or any other Table-gesture, to wit, such a coniunction and vnion, as is betwixt the bodie, and the food wherewith it is nourished, which is not onely locall, but reall: For as our corporall nourishment is turned [Page 136] into the substance of our bodies na­turally, so are we conuerted and tur­ned into the Lord Iesus spiritually, insomuch that wee become flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bones; and this conuersion beginneth in this life at the soule, and is perfected both in bodie and soule in the life to come. Here wee are conuerted in the same minde, will, and affections, then, our bodies shall bee made like his glorious Bodie. And this con­uersion is wrought by the reall vnion that is betwixt our Sauiour and vs, represented in this Sacrament, by the naturall vnion, that is betwixt the bodie that is nourished, and the food whereby it is nourished, and is most cleerely set downe by our Sa­uiour himselfe in the sixt chapter of Iohns Gospell, wherein the spirituall part of this Sacrament is most ac­curately described, containing both the benefit which wee receiue, and the meanes and manner whereby we [Page 137] receiue it. The benefit, the resur­rection of our bodies, and life euer­lasting,Ioh. 6. 54. in these words, Hee that ea­teth my Flesh, and drinketh my Bloud, hath life eternall, and I shall raise him vp at the last Day. The meanes and manner, whereby wee receiue this benefit, is our vnion and commu­nion with Christ; and touching the vnion, hee saith,Ioh. 6. 56. Hee that eateth my Flesh, and drinketh my Bloud, remai­neth in me, and I in him. Then follow­eth the communion;Ioh. 6. 57. As the Father liueth, so liue I by the Father, and hee that eateth mee, shall liue by mee. Here we haue a fellowship with the Father and with the Sonne, in the greatest dignitie and honour whereof a crea­ture can be capable, in the blessed, the eternall, and glorious life of God, which is signified & sealed vp by the Sacramentall action of eating and drinking the Bread and the Cup of the Lord liuely, then any gesture, or position of body can expresse.

SECT. 4. So likewise our fellowship amongst our selues is expressed sufficiently, by eating the same Bread in the Sacrament.

AND thus much for our fellow­ship & communion with Christ: Our communion and fellowship a­mongst our selues, is in the same place of the Epistle to the Corinths, most euidently, not shadowed, but demonstrated in these words:1. Cor. 10. 17. Be­cause the Bread is one, wee many are one Bodie; for we are all partakers of one Bread. Cyprian in the sixt Epistle of his first booke, thinketh that our vni­on amongst our selues is onely de­clared by this similitude; As many graines are made one Bread, and many grapes one Vine: so the Church, that is a multitude of people, is made one spiri­tuall Bodie. But the Apostles reason [Page 139] is demonstratiue, the ground where­of is, that the Bread is one, whereof wee are all made partakers: one, not in forme and kinde onely; for so ma­ny persons and bodies may bee fed with one bread; but one bread in number, and therefore all that feed thereon, must bee one bodie: for two bodie in number cannot feed on the selfe-same bread in num­ber; the bread that I eate, cannot feed thee; and the same bread in number that thou eatest, cannot feed mee. It is one bread in number that feedeth thee, and another bread in number that feedeth me: but all the members of my body that are many, are fed with one and the selfe-same bread, that I receiue and eate; and therefore although they bee many, yet are they all but one bodie. Euen so all the members of the Church which are many, are fed with one and the selfe-same Bread in number, that is Christ, and therefore they must [Page 140] all bee one Bodie. This is a demon­stration of the cause by the effect: It is the proper effect or affection of one bodie, to be fed with one bread, and therefore to whomsoeuer this effect agreeth, they are one body: And contrariwise, the vnitie of the body, or the vnion of the members in one body by one forme, as the immediate and proper cause, that all these diuers mēbers are fed with one bread. As this therefore is a demon­stration of the effect by the cause, all that are one body, feed on one bread: All the members of the Church, are one Bodie; Ergo, all the members of the Church feed on one Bread. So this is a demonstratiō of the cause by the effect: Al that feed on one Bread, are one Bodie; all the members of the Church feed on one Bread, therefore all the members of the Church are one Bodie. Here you may perceiue the ground of the rea­son to bee, that the Bread whereof [Page 141] all are partakers is One: And this is manifest, whether by the bread, the signe, or the thing signified bee vn­derstood; for if by the Bread, the elementall bread bee vnderstood, al­though that materially it bee diui­ded in many parts, and distributed, yet all these parts and pieces are for­mally one and the selfe-same Sacra­ment. So that, although thou receiue not the selfe-same piece of bread in number, which I receiue; yet thou, and I, and all of vs receiue the selfe-same Sacrament in number. But if by the Bread, the Bodie of Christ, which is the Bread of life, be vnder­stood, as principally and chiefly it must, seeing the Bread which wee breake, is (as the Apostle saith) the communion of Christs Bodie, which we participate in breaking of the Sa­cramentall Bread: then the ground of the demonstration is strong and sure, That the bread is one in num­ber whereof wee are all partakers, be­cause [Page 142] the Bodie of Christ is not diui­ded, and giuen by pieces, but is all and whole, one and the same in number, giuen to all and euery one that worthily receiueth. As for the breaking of the elementall bread, it signifieth not the distribution of the Bodie of Christ by pieces, but the breaking of his Body on the Crosse, with the sorrowes of death for our sinnes. And here marke by the way, that [...] doth not alway signi­fie to receiue with others by parts; for if the thing be such as cannot be di­uided, then it doth signifie the same that [...], to receiue in common with others: So in the third chapter to the Hebrews, ver. 1. [...], and vers. 14. [...], the participation of Christ, & of the heauenly Calling, importeth not a diuision of Christ, and of the hea­uenly Calling, whereof wee are par­takers, but a communion of Christ, and of the heauenly Calling. And [Page 143] so in this place [...] sig­nifieth to receiue, not by parts, but in common with others, the selfe-same Bread of life in number, to wit, the Bodie of the Lord Iesus Christ, and the selfe-same Sacrament thereof in num­ber; whereon it followeth most ne­cessarily; that wee who are partakers of that Bread, must bee one Bodie. Here contention being laid aside, I would demand, whether the Sacra­mentall elements, and actions that are vsed about them, do not suffici­ently and fully declare our commu­nion with Christ and amongst our selues, or need they any accessarie gesture to supply their defects: For is there, or was there euer any ges­ture, that can signifie so straite a con­iunction, as is represented in this Sa­crament? First, betwixt Christ and vs; and next amongst our selues, by the participation of that one and selfe-same Bread, which first shew­eth the vnion betwixt Christ & vs to [Page 144] be such, as is betwixt the body and the food whereby it is nourished: and next, the vnion amongst our selues to bee such, as is amongst the members of the same body.

SECT. 5. That Sitting cannot bee a necessa­rie Sacramentall Ceremonie, nor a proper Table-gesture.

NOW to conclude this point (as I said before) that all the Ceremonies and Actions, that ei­ther appertaine to the Essence or In­tegrity of the Sacrament, are fully set downe in the words of the Insti­tution: So here I affirme, that all the significant Ceremonies and Actions that belong to the nature of the Sa­craments, are employed about the Elements, or belong to the vse of [Page 145] them onely. As in Baptisme, the washing, dipping, and rising vp, are Actions and Ceremonies that be­long to the vse of the water. In the Supper, the taking, blessing, and brea­king, giuing, receiuing, eating, and drinking, are Ceremonies and Ac­tions vsed about the Bread and the Wine: And the reason is manifest, because by the Elements onely, our Sauiour Christ and his benefits are signified; and by the Ceremonies and Actions, the application of him to vs, and our faith in him: as, by the Water, his Spirit; his Bloud, his Death; by the washing, dipping, and rising vp out of the water, the cleansing of vs from the guilt and vi­tiositie of sinne; by his bloud and Spirit, the participation of his death and buriall whereby wee die to sin; and of his resurrection, whereby we rise to newnesse of life: So likewise in the Supper, the bread and the cup signifie, his Bodie and Bloud; [Page 146] the Ceremoniall Actions represent his Passion, and the application thereof to vs; and in both, our obe­dience testifieth our faith. Whereby it is manifest, that if wee count the Table-gesture a Sacramentall Cere­monie, the Table, whereunto the vse of the gesture belongeth, must also be some third symboll or signe representing Christ; and consequent­ly as necessarie and essentiall to the action, as the elements of bread and wine, and the gesture that is proper thereto (if any be) as necessary to bee obserued, as the Ceremoniall Actions of eating and drinking, are necessarie to be vsed in receiuing the Elements. But this I am perswaded no man will affirme, neither will any man thinke, that a materiall Table is so necessarie, that without it, the Sa­crament could not be ministred, at least, in places where it might not be had, as in the Wildernesse, in Dennes and Caues of the earth, and [Page 147] such like places, whereunto the Saints were forced to flye in the dayes of persecution. And what shall we say of those, who receiue the Sa­crament lying sick on their beds? Of him who in prison and fetters, made his brest the boord? If by the mer­cie of God, the Turkes were conuer­ted to the Christian faith, might they not receiue the Sacrament without any such Table as they do their com­mon food, sitting on the ground? The thing that apparantly fostereth this conceit of Table-gesture, is this; Where mention is made of recei­uing meate, there commonly men­tion is made of a Table, and that we conceit to be a materiall one, such as in vse with vs: but mensa, albeit most frequently it be so taken, yet it is also vsed for that, whatsoeuer it be, whereon meate is set, whether it be a boord, or the bare earth, or the grasse, or a cake of bread laid on the ground vnder the meat, which some [Page 148] for hunger hauing eaten, said merri­ly, they had deuoured the Table: Heus etiam mensas consumimus, inquit Iulus. And the meate it selfe is of­ten called a Table, as in the Psal. 78. Can God prepare a Table for vs in the Wildernesse? When the Troians lay on the grasse, fusique per herbam, and were satiate, it is said that the boords were remoued, mensaeque remotae; that is, the rest of the meate was taken away. And children know, that the second seruice is called, Mensae secun­dae: Nec adhuc mensa secunda venit. Here with one stroke it were possi­ble (if it might stand with the fauour of good brethren) to cut this Gor­dian knot of Table-gesture, if wee should onely deny, that any Table is absolutely necessarie to bee vsed in the Sacrament, but that which the Apostle calleth,1. Cor. 10. 21. the Table of the Lord, that is, the Body of our Sauiour re­presented and offered in the visible elements, or any Table-gesture ne­cessary, [Page 149] but that which hee calleth [...], to participate of that Table by eating and drinking: which ges­ture is prescribed in the Institution, and must be vsed, and is not onely proper to the Lords Table, but to all Tables of Repast; as for sitting, lying, and standing, there be none of these proper: for neither hath any of them been, or shall be euer in vse amongst all people, or only in vse at a Table of Repast: for men sit often else-where, & not at such a Table; & lie to sleep, and stand at other businesse. Nay, none of these gestures are proper, & necessary: but as for taking, eating and drinking, not onely are they ne­cessary and proper to all Tables of Repast, but are more significant, and do farre better expresse both our fel­lowship and vnion with our Sauiour and amongst our selues, then the ges­ture of Sitting, or any other position of body whatsoeuer.

SECT. 6. That by Kneeling wee symbolize not with the Papists in Idolatry.

NOW to proceed, and come to the Scandall and Offence, that may be giuen to our Church by Kneeling at the Sacrament, as is al­ledged: The greatest that I heare of, is this, that in Kneeling we sym­bolize with the Papists. So doe wee in the place; they receiue in a Tem­ple, so doe wee: In the time; they re­ceiue on the Sabbath, and so do we: In the order; they receiue before meate, and so do we: In habite, for they receiue with their heads vnco­uered, and so doe we. And heere wee remember not that wee symbo­lize with the late Arrians in Sitting, who to testifie that they beleeue not our Sauiour to be God, but a meere Man, will not receiue Kneeling, but [Page 151] Sitting, lest that they should seeme to adore him as God. Against them therefore this conclusion is set down. Petro Couiensi Synodo generali, which is in number the fourth: De ceremo­niis Coenae Dominicae; the tenor where­of is this: Proinde ceremonias liber­tati Christianae donamus, & permitti­mus, vt stantes, vel genua flectentes, pij Sacramentum corporis & sanguinis Christi sumant: Sessionis vero ad men­sam Domini, quia praeter ritus in omni­bus per Europam Ecclesijs vulgo consue­tas, illi inter nos primi authores exti­terunt, qui omnia in Ecclesijs temere immutantes, à nobis ad Arrianismum transfugae facti sunt, &c. Quare hanc propriam ipsis vt Christum, ita sacra eius irreuerenter tractantibus, & tan­quam minus honestam & religiosam, simplicioribusque admodum scandolo­sam ceremoniam reijcimus. Here Sit­ting is discharged at the Sacrament of the Supper, as a gesture proper to Arrians. Now as in Sitting, though [Page 152] wee symbolize with the Arrians, yet did wee neuer (blessed be God) sym­bolize with them in Arrianisme, be­cause we haue beleeued and professed that Iesus Christ is God ouer all, blessed for euer. This faith and pro­fession hath exempted vs from sym­bolizing with them in Arrianisme, howbeit that in times, places, gestures and orders, we haue had a conformi­tie. For it is impossible that in euery thing, the true Church can bee dis­conforme to Heretikes, who hold many Truthes with her, and Cere­monies. So do we not symbolize with Papists in Papistry▪ Superstition and Idolatry, when wee Kneele at the Sacrament: For we beleeue and o­penly professe, that the Bodie of Christ is in the heauen, sitting at the right hand of the Father, and that the Bread is onely the Sacrament of his Body, and therefore that we nei­ther esteeme nor adore it for God, but that in the Sacrament we adore [Page 153] and worship our Sauiour, the Lord Iesus, who as hee did breake his Bo­dy, and shed his Bloud on the Crosse for vs, so doth hee deliuer them and apply them to our soules, to feed & nourish vs vnto life eternall. In this Sacrament to Kneele with this pro­fession, doth vindicate the religious Ceremonie from all blot and shew of euill, from Papistry and Idolatry: as our profession of Christ to bee God, did vindicate our Sitting from the staine and impiety of Arrianism. Know we not, that the Idolaters of the Gentiles did bow their knees to their Idols, Iupiter, Mars, &c? And Christians in this Ceremonie did symbolize with them in bowing of their knees to God: but the Profes­sion made difference betwixt our Kneeling and theirs.

SECT. 7. That Kneeling hath, and may bee lawfully vsed in the Sacrament, as it is, and was, in Prayer.

O But thou wilt say, that Kneeling was euer vsed in prayer, but was lately brought in vse at the Sacra­ment by Honorius, to worship the bread. I answered before, that it was not ordained by Honorius to be vsed at the receiuing, but at the eleuation, and carrying of it from place to place: For at the receiuing of it, it had beene the custome before Hono­rius time to haue bowed, as the de­cree in speciall commanded the Priest to teach the people to bow themselues reuerently, Cum eleuatur salutaris Hostia, & cum eam defert Presbyter ad infirmum; when the sa­uing Host is eleuate in the Masse, [Page 155] and when it is carried to the sicke. So doubtlesse the Priest had beene commanded to teach the people to bow themselues at the Receiuing: for he who so straitly commanded the people to Kneele at the onely sight of this Sacrament, would much more haue commanded them to Kneele, when they not onely did see, but when they receiued it, and ate it, if it had not beene a receiued cus­tome. But put the case that Kneeling then did first beginne to bee vsed in the Sacrament, yet might not the Church, vpon the Reasons before expressed, haue lawfully kneeled to God and our Sauiour, the Lord Ie­sus, at the receiuing? Caluin in his 4. book of Instit. cap. 17. sect. 37. affir­meth it in these words, Christo inqui­unt hanc venerationem deferimus: pri­mam si in coena h [...]c fieret, dicerem ado­rationem cam demum esse legitimam, quae non in signa residet, sed ad Chris­tum in caelo sedentem dirigitur. In this [Page 156] place Caluin finding fault with the worship that was giuen to the Bread at the eleuation, and at the pompous carrying of it thorow the streetes & publike places; saith, that then the worship were lawfull, if it were giuen to Christ in the action of the Supper, & did not rest in the signe, but were directed to Christ sitting in heauen. Peter Martyr, a learned and diligent Diuine, is of the same iudgement, for so he writeth: In Sacramento distingui­mus symbola à rebus, & symbolis aliquē honorem deferimus, nimirū, vt tracten­tur decenter, & non abijciantur; sunt enim sacrae res, & Deo semel deputatae: quo vero adres significatas, eas prompte & alacriter adorandas concedimus; in­quit enim Augustinus hoc in loco, Non peccatur adorando carnem Christi, sed peccatur non adorando, Class. 4. locus X. Sect. 49. & 50. Adoratio interna potest adhiberi sine periculo, neque externa sua natura esset mala; multi enim pij genua flectunt & adorant: In the Sacrament, [Page 157] saith he, we distinguish the symbols from the thing signified, & some ho­nour we yeeld to the signes; namely, that they be decently handled, and not slightly cast away; for they are sa­cred things, & once dedicate to God; but as for the thing signified, these we grant, shuld be readily & chearefully adored: for August. saith in this place, that it is no fault to adore Christs flesh, but it is sin not to adore it. And after a little; Inward adoration may be vsed without perill, neither is the outward adoration euill of it selfe: for many bow their Knees & adore reli­giously. Caluin in the action of the Supper saith, that it is lawfull to bow down and worship Christ sitting in hea­uen. And Martyr saith, That not only is it lawfully done; but pie, religiously. Then I say, Albeit it might be, that in the action of the Supper men bowed not before the daies of Honorius, yet certainely they might haue lawfully bowed, for the reasons aboue named.

SECT. 8. The obiection of the Brazen Ser­pent answered.

IF the Church might haue lawfully bowed at this Sacrament, to God, before Honorius time, why may she not now bow as well as then? Be­cause (say you) that gesture in this action hath beene abused to Idola­try: and therefore as Hezekias cau­sed the brazen Serpent to be broken, from the time the people beganne to adore it; so should Kneeling be abo­lished in this action, and not vsed, because therein it hath beene abused to Idolatry. That the answer to this may bee the more cleere, two things would be considered; the first is, that when Hezekias destroyed the brazen Serpent, it had no vse in Religion; next, that when the Brazen Serpent was destroyed, hee discharged not that the worship should be giuen to [Page 159] God, to whom it was due, that be­fore was abused, and giuen to the Bra­zen Serpent, as to bow their knees, to lift vp their eyes and hands, and to burne incense to God, although before they had abused all these things, & giuen them to the Serpent. So by this example we are taught to destroy the Idol, but not to discharge the worship due to God, that hath beene abused and giuen to the Idoll. These things being considered, let vs apply this example to the purpose; The Bread was made the Idoll in the Sacrament, and it was adored, and vnto it the Knee was bowed, which ought onely to haue beene bowed to God; then the Bread should be abo­lished: but that cannot bee, neither will the example enforce that, be­cause it is not like the Brazen Serpent, that had no vse in the worship of God; for it is an essentiall part of the Sacrament: and therefore although it was adored for God, & yet is made [Page 160] an Idoll by Idolaters, it is not to be a­bolished by vs, but by the sound & so­lid doctrine of the Word, should be restored to the right vse & estimation that wee should haue of it in the Sa­crament: So this example teacheth vs not to discharge the bowing of the Knee; a gesture commanded by God to be vsed in his worship; but whē we bow & adore, non in signo residere, not to rest on the signe, as Caluin saith, but to lift vp our hearts to Christ that is in heauen, to worship him, his Body & his Bloud, whereof this Sacrament is a memorial, & an Image, not made nor grauen by the hand of man, but institute by Christ himselfe, to repre­sent his Passion, and the application thereof to vs, that therby we might be stirred vp to giue thankes, both with externall & internall deuotion: which when we performe with bowing of the Knee, at the receiuing of the Sa­crament, we adore not the Sacramēt, but Christ that is signified and repre­sented thereby.

SECT. 0. The difference betwixt Kneeling at the Sacrament, and before Images.

IF here it be replyed, that all Ido­laters doe likewise professe, that they bow not the knee to the Image, but to God, whom the Image re­presenteth and bringeth to their re­membrance: I answer, that he is an euill grounded Christian, who hath not learned to put difference betwixt the vse of an Image in di­uine worship, and the workes of God, his Word and holy Sacra­ments. Images are the doctrines of lies: they represent nothing, nor bring nothing to our mindes of God, but lyes: They teach vs, that God hath eyes, and seeth not, eares & heareth not, feete & walketh not, and in them God is not worshipped, but [Page 162] a conception and fantasie in stead of God, bred and gendred in the mind by the Image: where, by the con­trarie the least of Gods creatures doe demonstrate and shew so much of the diuinitie and power of God, as may serue to ingender in our hearts, a true conception of him, and may furnish sufficient matter and cause, wherfore to worship him. How much more his Word and ho­ly Sacraments, where God and his goodnesse is so liuely expressed? To bow downe then, when wee haue seene the workes of God, when wee haue heard the Word, and when we receiue the Sacraments: To adore him, whom by his Workes, the Word, and Sacraments, wee are taught to adore, is neither to bow downe to an Idoll, nor to worship God in an Idoll. When the fire came downe from heauen and con­sumed Elias sacrifice, the people that saw it, fell on their faces, and cryed, [Page 163] The Lord is God; The Lord is God. In doing whereof, they adored not the fire, but the Lord, whome the fire taught them to be God. 1. Cor. 14. 24. If yee all prophecy (saith Paul) and an Infidell or Ideot come in, he is conuinced by all, hee is iudged by all, and so the secrets of his heart are made mani­fest, and so falling on his face, he adores God, &c. In both these two exam­ples, the principall cause of the falling downe, is God, to whome they fell downe, but the miraculous worke of the fire, and the word of the Prophe­cy were the instrumentall causes, whereby they were wakened, and stirred vp. Causae monitoriae & excitan­tes. Euen so, when wee fall downe at the Sacrament, the principall cause that moueth vs, is God, to whom we Kneele: but the Sacrament is the in­strument, whereby wee are taught, and admonished to fall downe at that time, and in that place; It being a memoriall of the death of [Page 164] Christ, and the seale of the benefit of saluation, that wee haue thereby. And although wee carry a religious respect and reuerence to the Sacra­ment, as a meane and creature con­secrated to a most holy vse, yet not of that religious respect and reuerence that we carry towards it; we bow not downe our knees before it, but out of the religious respect and reuerence, that by it, which wee are taught to giue to Christ, we bow our knees be­fore him, to whome all knees should be bowed in that respect. And there­fore this assertion (That hee who bow­eth at the receiuing of the Sacramentall Bread & Wine, boweth down in the Act of Diuine worship, before a consecrated creature, out of a religious respect and reuerence of it. This assertion (I say) is a vaine Sophisticall cauillation: for the reuerence and respect that we are taught by Gods Word to carry to the Sacrament, is not the cause of our bowing downe when we receiue [Page 165] it: So out of that respect we bow not downe as hath beene said, but the re­uerence and respect that wee are taught by the Sacrament to giue to Christ, is the cause of our bowing downe: the reuerence that is due to the Sacrament, is not such as should moue vs to fall downe before it; but the reuerence that is due to Christ, whereof wee are admonished by the Sacrament, wherin he is represented, breaking his Body and sheading his Bloud vpon the Crosse for vs, and with his owne hand applying it to nourish vs vnto eternall Life. This reuerence, I say, is such, and so great, as no gesture nor position of body is able sufficiently to expresse. Fur­ther, it is heere to bee marked, that hee who boweth at the receiuing of the Sacrament, is not properly said to bow before the Sacrament: for Coram [...], which wee interpret (before) is only properly attributed to liuing things, and not to things that [Page 166] want life; such as the Sacramentall e­lements be; so wee are properly said to bow before God, or the congre­gation, that is, to God, and in pre­sence of the congregation: but when wee speake of things that want life, we say not, before them, or coram, but versus, è regione, or ante, oueragainst, or towards them: So Dauid saith, I will bow towards the Temple of thy ho­linesse, not, before it. It is properly said, that Idolaters bow before the Sacramentall Bread: for they esteeme it to bee GOD, and bow them­selues to worship it: but as for those who worship the true God, they bow themselues before God, at the Sa­crament, that is, when they receiue the Sacrament. This is to bee mar­ked, that the simple bee not abused by the ambiguity of the word, and made to thinke that it is one thing, to bow at the receiuing of the Sacra­ment, and to bow before the Sacra­ment; to worship it, as Papists doe, [Page 167] which wee professe our selues to damne and detest. So to conclude this point; It is true, that the Pa­pists Kneele when they receiue the Sacrament, and so doe not wee; wee Kneele to Christ that sitteth in Heauen, and so doe not they; They giue to the Sacramentall Bread, the worship that is due to Christ; but wee giue that worship vnto Christ himselfe. Therefore their Kneeling is prohibited in the second Commandement, and ours is allowed: for vnto mee (saith God) all knees shall bow.

SECT. 10. Wee strengthen not Papists in their Ido­latry, by our Kneeling at the Sacrament.

FInally, it may be obiected, that by introducing this gesture of Knee­ling in stead of Sitting, vsed in our [Page 168] Church before, wee strengthen our aduersaries in their idolatry, weaken the faith of our infirme brethren, and condemne those that reformed our Religion. Vnto the first I answere, that the Idolatry of Papists consist­eth no more in Kneeling at the actiō of the Sacrament, then at the action of publike prayer: And as their Ido­latry in praying standeth in this, that they direct their prayers, and bow their knees to the Saints and Idols whom they adore, and not to God: So in this Sacrament, their Idolatry is, the adoring and bowing of their knees to the Element of Bread, and not to their Sauiour, the Bread of Life. And therefore, as the bowing of our knees, when wee pray to God, confirmeth them not in their Idola­try in praying to Saints, no more in this action doth the bowing of our knees to Christ, confirme their Idola­try, in adoring the Bread: And so themselues esteeme, whose writings [Page 169] are no lesse vehement against our Kneeling at the Sacrament, then a­gainst our Sitting: for it is not the Kneeling, except it be before an Idol, (which God forbid wee should e­steeme the Sacrament to bee) that maketh the worship Idolatrous: but the opinion, affection, and profession of the Idolaters, if they beleeue the Bread to bee God, and bee in their hearts affected, and deuoted to it as to God, and openly in the doctrine and profession, auouch it to be God. Then it being manifest, that by Knee­ling, they worship it, their bread is an Idoll, and their Kneeling Idola­trous: for an Idoll is not made by the operation of the hand, but by the o­pinion of the heart, and confession of the mouth, that is, not by the crafts­man, but the worshipper. By the con­trary, the Bread which wee breake, and the Cup which we blesse, is not made an Idoll, when at the recei­uing we bow our knees to God: Be­cause [Page 170] in our confession of faith, and in our publike Doctrine, in the thanksgiuing that goeth before our receiuing, and in our Exhortations we openly professe and affirme, that the Bread is not materially the Bo­dy it selfe, but the Sacrament of the Body of Christ, that the Cup is not materially, the Bloud it selfe, but the Sacrament of the Bloud of Christ: And therefore that our adoration and Kneeling is erected to God and our Sauiour, who sitteth in Heauen at the right hand of the Father. And thus by our Kneeling, Idolaters are not confirmed▪ but confuted.

SECT. II. The Kneeling offendeth not the weake Brethren.

AS for our weake brethren, it is not the introduction of Knee­ling that maketh them to offend, of whom I haue heard many affirm, that there is no gesture that can sufficient­ly expresse the reuerence and respect that in this action they owe to God: If patiently wee can abide to heare the truth, the verity is, there is nothing that giueth such offence to the people, as our contentions a­mongst our selues, while we pretend the offence of the people. When they see Cephas incensed against Paul, and Paul against Cephas, Pastor a­gainst Pastor, for Sitting and Knee­ling; what can the simple people thinke, but that in these Ceremonies the substance of Religion consisteth, [Page 172] and that the change of these is the al­teration of Religion, seeing we make so much adoe about them? If we did informe our people, as our duty is, that the Kingdome of God is nei­ther in Sitting, Standing nor Knee­ling, but that these are indifferent Ceremonies, that may bee vsed and not vsed; vsed in some Churches, and not vsed in others; vsed in some ages, and not vsed in others; vsed by some persons, and not vsed by o­thers; as may serue best for edificati­on: That the reformed Church of France that Standeth, when they re­reiue the Sacrament, differeth not in any substantiall point of Religion, from our Church that Sate; and the Church of England that Kneeleth, differeth not from the Church of France, nor vs when we Sate, and they stood: And therefore that now when we shall Kneele, wee shall differ no­thing from our selues, when we Sate, in any substantiall and necessarie [Page 173] point or Ceremony, that belongeth to this sacred action. If this wee would informe the people, and cease from contention, there would be no scandall taken by them. Caluin. Inst. lib. 4. cap. 10 sect. 30. God would not (saith the learned Diuine) in externall Ceremonies and Discipline prescribe particularly what we ought to follow, be­cause he foresaw, that to depend from the condition of times, neither did he iudge one forme agreeable to all ages. Heere then (saith he) wee must flye to the gene­rall rules, which God hath giuen, that according to them may be defined what­soeuer the necessity of the Church requi­reth to bee appointed for order and de­cency. Finally, seeing God hath set downe nothing expresly, because they are nei­ther necessary to saluation, and are di­uersly to be applyed to the manners of e­uery age, and for the edification of the Church: It is lawful, as the vtility of the Church shall require, as well to change and abrogate those that haue beene in [Page 174] vse, as to appoint new Ceremonies. I con­fesse indeed, that we should not run rashly and for light motiues to nouation: but what may hurt, & what may edifie, cha­rity can best iudge: Quam si moderatricē partiemur, salua erunt omnia. Which charity if we can suffer to be modera­trix, all things shal be in safety and go well. The same Author immediately before speaking of Kneeling, saith, that in the generall, it is commanded by God, but the speciall determination when and where, and in what cases it is to be vsed, is left to the arbiterment of the Church. If the vse of this Cere­mony, which is appointed by God himselfe, be left to the determination of the Church, shall Standing or Sit­ting be exempted from their iudge­ment, Ceremonies that are not pre­scribed by God? It is true, that for Standing wee haue some examples, but no rule nor precept, except it bee for the Priests Standing at the Altar, when he did offer the Sacrifice. In [Page 175] the publike worship of God, such as sacrificing and praying, I find not Sitting to haue been vsed. As for the Passeouer, it was sacrificed publike­ly, but was eaten in priuate houses, as another ordinary supper, whereat for commodity and ease, they were ac­customed to Sit. Moses, when he was wearie of Standing, Exod. 17. 12. was set on a Stone. Heere the Cere­mony giueth place to Charity, and the seruice was not ordinary, but mi­raculous and extraordinary, 1. Kings 19. 4. Elias likewise being wearie, did sit downe vnder a Iuniper Tree, vbi expetebat cum animo suo: Tremelli­us interprets Secum, where he desired in his heart to dye, and said, It is e­nough, Lord, take my soule. This pray­er is made in a secret place, and see­meth to haue been a priuy Meditati­on, 2. Samuel 7. 18. Our Translation hath, that Dauid went in, and Sate be­fore the Lord. The Marginall note hath, remained. 1. Chronicles 17. 16. [Page 176] Tremellius translateth the word Resti­tit, and noteth in the Margent, Con­sedit Catachresis. And wee know the word to bee often taken for Manere, to remaine: This gesture of Sitting, neuer commanded and neuer, or very seldome practised in Gods publike worship; must bee far more subiect to the Iudgement of the Church, and the power that she hath to abrogate and change Ceremonies (as Caluin saith) then Kneeling. And yet wee finde, the Primitiue Church to haue discharged the vse of Kneeling at Prayer on the Lords Day, and on e­uery day from Pasche till Whit-sun­day, and in stead thereof to haue ap­pointed Standing. If after this man­ner the Church might haue lawfully interchanged Kneeling, a gesture or­dained by God himselfe, with Stan­ding, touching the which there is no precept: How much more may our Church interchange Sitting, a ge­sture neuer cōmanded in any publike [Page 177] Act of Diuine worship, with Knee­ling, a gesture comanded by God, and most agreeable to this Sacra­ment in euery respect, without gi­uing of Scandall, either to Pastor or people?

SECT. 4. That by Kneeling at the Sacrament, the reformation and practice of our Church is not damned.

NEither doth this interchange damne the reformation and practice of our Church, which hither­to hath vsed Sitting, a Ceremony in­different in it selfe, in their iudge­ment meetest for these times, for to abolish the Idolatrous opinion of Transubstantiation, and to declare our separation from the Popish Church, wherein the truth of Gods Word (all praise bee to him) hath [Page 178] so preuailed, that publikely through­out the Kingdome, Transubstantia­tion, the Masse and Idolatry therof, is vniuersally abolished and abhorred. So that now we haue greater cause to be afraid that abuse and corruption shall creepe into this Sacrament, from pride, prophanenesse, and Arri­anisme, then from Papistry; as men are prone to runne headlong from the one, to the other extremity; frō the conceit of Transubstantiation, to contempt and despising of the sa­cred action, and from the adoring of the Bread, to adore themselues, af­firming in print, that it is a great sin if a man in this Action do think him­selfe inferiour to Christ, and doe not esteeme and carry himselfe as his e­quall. And what is that but to adore himselfe, if Christ should be adored? This I call a Luciferian pride, or Ar­rianisme: for he that accounteth him­selfe Christs equall, must either in his conceit abase Christ from being [Page 179] such a person as [...], God manifested in the flesh, and from the glorious condition of that estate: whereunto hee is exalted at the right hand of the Father, far aboue Prin­cipalities and Powers, which is worse then Arrianisme: Or hee must imagine himselfe to be such a person, and of such quality, as our Sauiour is, which no creature is, nor euer shall be. The Scripture saith, That when hee appeareth, wee shall bee like him, but not his Equals; Coheires wee are called; but are and euer shall bee inferiours in degree to our elder Brother, with whom wee must not striue for an equall portion: but content with such as shall please him to vouchsafe vs: for all is his by na­ture and merit, and by his grace one­ly wee are, and shall bee what wee are. To thinke otherwise, is a Luci­ferian pride: these detestable asser­tions, springing from the bitter root of contention, about this gesture of [Page 180] Sitting at Table, do euidently de­clare, what place some men haue be­gunne already to giue to Pride, Pro­fanenesse and Arrianisme: and how lightly they esteeme of the Sacra­ment, when they professe themselues to esteeme so basely of our Sauiour, the substance of the Sacrament, and so highly of themselues. What re­uerence is giuen by the common people to this Action, that I leaue to be considered by euery Pastor in his seuerall charge; I feare, they thinke it lesse then they would wish. As we therefore doe not, nor should not condemne and despise the iudge­ment of our godly Predecessors, who to root out Idolatry, did interchange Kneeling with Sitting: so should we not condemne & despise the iudge­ment of our Church at this time, who haue againe interchanged Sit­ting with Kneeling, considering it is an indifferent Ceremonie, and Reli­gious, not onely for the vse, but for [Page 181] the Authour thereof, God; and that now matters standing in the estate wherin they are, it may haue as good and profitable an vse in our Church, as Sitting had before: For as Sitting hath helped to roote out the errour of Transubstantiation, and to abolish the Idolatrous Bread-worship; so Kneeling shall serue to preserue the Sacrament, from profanation, our selues from pride, our Sauiour from contempt, and to debarre those fran­tike opinions aboue expressed. Sit­ting hath made a separation betwixt vs, and the corruptions of the Ro­mane Church: Kneeling shall serue to declare our Vnion with other wel-reformed Churches, with whom otherwise wee agree in all points of doctrine: and to winne such to our profession, of the Romane Church, who doe not so much abhorre our Communion for any errour in the substance of faith, as for the pro­fanenesse that they esteeme to bee in [Page 182] some externall Ceremonies. Paul be­came all things to all men, in things indifferent, to winne some: if hee became all things, may wee not in some things; yea, in a thing com­manded by God, conforme our selues to winne some, if it be possible? Finally, who is ignorant, that all this alteration and change hath procee­ded from the constant resolution, & the instant desire of a most wise and religious Prince, our gracious Soue­raigne? A motiue of the greatest mo­ment on earth; if either wee consi­der his Royall authority, or Fatherly affection; what power hee hath by the one, and what credit hee deser­uedly hath by the other: who hath giuen, and daily giues greater proofe of his loue and care towards the glo­ry of God, and the welfare of his Church; both by way of action and passion, then all his Subiects beside. His Highnesse Will then & Desire, against this and other points, [Page 183] being most orderly & formally pro­pounded to the generall Assembly of our Church, to bee aduised, rea­soned and concluded: and being in it selfe most iust and reasonable, as his Maiestie is perswaded, not onely out of his owne most profound and in­comparable knowledge (as in euery thing, so chiefly in matters of this kinde) but by the iudgement of the best and most learned Diuines of the Church: His Maiesties Will, I say, being such, and after such a manner propounded, and concerning one­ly matters indifferent and alterable: if without greater reason, then any that was, or hath beene propounded to the contrarie, it had beene gaine­stood; and his Highnesse thereby moued to griefe & displeasure: there is no question, but vpon those grounds and reasons, whereby hee was perswaded that his purpose was lawfull, hee might haue beene pro­uoked to proceed, and by his Royall [Page 184] Anthority inioyne and command both Pastors and People, to giue obe­dience in obseruing and practising these Articles: which if his Maiesty had done, then should we, who were the Pastors of the Church, and mem­bers of that Meeting, haue iustly in­curred the blame of pertinacie, and of vnwise contention in the estima­tion of all peaceable, and well-dispo­sed Christians: and should haue gi­uen occasion to seditious and vnqui­et spirits, to burden a most iust and equitable Prince, with a most vile im­putation of tyrannie; and made the Aduersaries of the Truth to reioyce and exult, beholding through our foolishnesse, a breach made, and a gap opened, whereby the enemy might enter in betwixt vs and our gracious Soueraigne: whereupon what euils might haue followed, may be easily perceiued by all, who haue not their opinions in greater estima­tion, then the honour of the Prince, [Page 185] the welfare of their brethren, and the Peace of the Church whereof they are members. The consideration & meditation of these things, are the reasons that mooue mee to thinke; that in faith we may obey the acts of the late Assembly, in this, and all the rest of the Articles concluded therein: and therefore that in faith wee cannot disobey, but shall there­by offend our God▪ giue scandall to his Church, and vantage to the Ad­uersaries by our contentions and distractions: From the which, the God of Peace preserue vs, & blesse vs with that Peace that passeth all vn­derstanding, vntill our Peace-maker appeare, who shall reward his bre­thren the Peace-makers, not onely with that most honorable stile to bee called the Sonnes of God, but to bee Heires and Coheires with him, of the Kingdome of God. Amen.

FINIS.

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