THE CONFESSION of faith of certayn Eng­lish people, living in exile, in the Low countreyes.

Together with a brief note of the special heads of those things wherin we differ frō the Church of Englād.

2 Cor. 4, 13.

We beleev: therefore have we spoken.

Harmony of Confess. in the pre­face set before it, in the Name of the French & Belgick Churches.

The Prelates & Priests alway cry out, that we are Hereticks, Schismaticks, and Sectaryes. How­beit let them know that the crime of Heresy is not to be imputed to them whose faith doth whol­ly rely vpon most sure grounds of the Scripture; That they are not Schismaticks, who entierly cleave to the true Church of God, such as the Prophets & Apostles do describe vnto vs; Nor they to be coūted Sectaryes, who embrace the truth of God which is one and alwayes like it self.

Reprinted in the yeare. 1607.

To the reverend and learned men, Students of holy Scripture, in the Christian Vniversities, of Leyden in Holland, of Sanct­andrewes in Scotland, of Heidelberg, Ge­neva, and other the like famous schooles of learning in the Low countreys. Scotland, Germany, & France.
The English people exiled, in the Low coū ­treys, wish grace and peace in Iesus Christ.

THis true Confession of our fayth, in our iudgment wholly agreable to the sacred Scri­pture, we here exhibit vnto al to be discussed: and vnto you (reverend Sirs) we dedicate it for two causes. First, for that we know you are able in respect of your singular knowledg in the Scrip­tures, and hope you are willing in respect of your syncere piety, to convince our errours by the light of Gods word, if any where we erre out of the way. Secondly, that this testimony of Christian faith, if you also fynd it to agree with the word of truth, may by you be approved, eyther in silence or by writing, as you shal think best.

It may be, we shal be thought very bold, that being despised of all, yet doubted not to sollicite you so many and so great learned men. But this we did, partly at the request of others to whom we would not deny it; partly with desire [Page 4] to have the truth through your help more de­fended & furder spread abroad; partly constrey­ned by our exile & other calamities almost in­finite; partly also moved with love of our na­tive countrey, and of these wherein now we live and others else where; wishing that al may walk with a right foot to the truth of ehe G [...]sspel, & praying daily vnto God, that the great work of restoring religion & the Church decayed, which he hath happily begun in these latter tymes, by our Gracious Soveraigne and the other Princes of these countreyes & ages (his servants) he would fully accomplish, to the glorie of his name & [...]ternal salvation in Christ of his elect in al places of the earth.

Touching the causes which moved vs to pu­blish this Confession of faith, & to forsake the Church of Eugland as now it standeth, we have truly & as briefly as we could related them, in the Preface to the Reader, hereafter following: & therefore thought here to omit the repetition of them. The Lord Iesus alway pre­serve you & your Vniversityes to the prayse of his name, the ornament of good learning, th [...] propagation & maintenance of his pure Religion.

❧The preface to the Christian Reader.

IT may seem strange vnto thee (Christian Reader) that any of the Englysh nation should for the truth of the Gospell be for­ced to forsake their native country, & live in exile, especially in these dayes when the Gospel seemeth to have free passage & flo­rish in that land. And for this cause have our exile ben hardly thought of by many, and evil spoken of by some, who know not (as it seemeth) eyther the trew estate of the Church of England, or causes of our forsa­king and separation from the same, but hea­ring this sect (as they call it) to be every where spoken against, Act. 28 2 have (without all fur­ther search) accounted and divulged vs as heretickes, or Schismatickes at the least. Yea some (and such as worst might) have sought the increase of our afflictions, even here also if they could: which thing they have both secretly and openly attempted. This hath Sathan added vnto all our for­mer sorrowes, envying that we should have rest in any part of the inhabited world, and therfore ceaseth not to make warre with the remnant of the womans seed, Rev, [...] which keep the com­cōmaundements [Page 6] of, God and the testimony of Iesus Christ. [...]al. 105. [...], 14. But the Lord that brought his former Israel out of Egypt & when they walked about from nation to nation, from one Kingdome to an other people, suffered no man to do them wrong, but reproved Kinges for their sakes: the same Lord yet liveth to mainteyn the right of his afflicted servantes, whō he hath severed, and dayly gathereth out of the world,Pet. 2, 9. to be vnto himself a chosen genera­tion, a royal priesthood, Psal. 46, 1 a peculiar people & Isra­ell of God: He is our hope and strength and help in troubles ready to be found, he will hyde vs vnder his winges, and vnder his feathers we shall be sure, vntill these mise­ries be overpast.

And though we could for our partes wel have borne this rebuke of Christ in silence, aud left our cause to him who iudgeth iust­ly al the children of men: yet for the ma­nifestation & clearing of the truth of God from reproches of men, and for the bring­ing others together with our selves to the same knowledg and fellowship off the Gos­pel, we have thought it needfull & our duty to make knowen vnto the world, our vn­feyned fayth in God, and loyall obedience towards our Prince and all Governers set over vs in the Lord, together with the reasons of our leaving the Ministery worship and Church of England. Which are not (as they pretend) for some few faultes & cor­corruptions [Page 7] remayning, such as we acknow­ledg may be found in the perfectest Church on earth: Neyther count wee it lawfull for any member to forsake the fellowship off the Church for blemishes and imper­fections, which every one according to his calling should studiously seek to cure, and to exspect and further it, vntill eyther there follow redresse or the disease be gro­we incureable,Rev. 2. 5. & the candlestick be moved out of the place. But we having through Gods mercy learned to discerne betwixr2 Cor. 6. 1. [...] ▪ 15. &c Psa. 94. 20. the true worship of God & the Antichristiā lei­tourgy; the true ministery of Christ & An­tichristiā prelacy;2 Thes. 2. 3. the ordināces of Christs testament & Popish canons: have also lear­ned to leavePs. 37. 2 [...] ▪ Ier. 51. 6. the evill & choose the good, to forsake Babell the land of our captivitie, & get vs vnto Sion the mount of the Lordes ho­lynes, Rev. 18. 4. & 14. 1. and place where his honour dwelleth.

But first we desire thee, good Reader, to vnderstand, and mynd that we have not in any dislyke of the Civill estate and po­litick government in that Common wealth, which we much like and love, separated our selves from that Church: Neyther have we shaken of our alleageance and dutifull obedyence to our Soveraigne PRINCE, the honorable Counsellers, and other Magistrates set over vs, but have alwayes and still do reverēce love and obey them every one in the Lord, opposing our selves [Page 8] against all enemyes forreigne or domesti­cal: against all invasions, insurrections, trea­sons or conspiracies by whomsoever inten­ded against the Prince and the State, and are ready to adventure our lives in their de­fence, if need require. Neither have our greatest adversaryes ever ben able to at­taint vs of the least disloyalty in this regard. And though now we be exiled, yet do we dayly pray & wil for the preservation peace & prosperity of our Soveraigne Prince & al the dominions of that kingdome.

And whereas we have been accused of intrusion into the Magistrates office, as going about our selves to reforme the abuses in that land, it is a mere malicious calumnie, which our adversaries have forged out of their own hart.Neh. 6. 6. 7. [...]. We have alwayes both by word & practise shewed the contrary, ney­ther ever attempted or purposed any such thing: but have endevored thus only to re­forme our selves and our lives according to the rule of Gods word, by absteyning from al evill & keeping the cōmandements of Iesus: leaving the suppressing and cast­ing out of those remnants of Idolatry, vnto the Magistrates, to whom it belongeth.

And further we testify by these presents vnto all men, & desyre them to take know­ledg heerof, that we have not forsaken any poynt of the true Ancient Catholicke and Apostolike fayth professed in our land: but [Page 9] hold the same groundes of Christian religi­on with them stil, agreeing lykewise here­in, with the Dutch, Harmon. of Confes. Scottish, Germane, French, Helvetian, and al other Christian reformed Churches round about vs, whose Confessions published, we cal to witnes our agreement with them, in matters of greatest moment, being conferred with these Articles of our sayth following. The thinges then onely a­gainst which we contend, & which we mis­like in the E [...]glish parish assemblies, are ma­ny reliqu [...]s of that m [...]n of synne (whom they pretend to have abandoned) yet re­teyned among them, and with a high hand maynteyned, vpholden, and imposed. The particulers whereof (being almost infinite) cannot wel of vs be set down, and would be tedious and yrksome to thee (good Rea­der:) But the principal heads we wil truely relate, and that [...]o briefly as in so large and confuse a subject we can.

First, in the planting and constituting of their Church (at the beginning of Queen Elizabets reigne) they receyved at once into the body of that Church, as mēbers, the whole land, which generally then stood for the most part professed Papists, who had revolted from the profession, which they made in the dayes of King Edward of happy memory, and shed much blood of many Christian Martyrs in Queen Maryes dayes. This people yet standing in this [Page 10] fearful sinful state, in Idolatry, blyndnes, su­perstition, and all manner wickednes, with­out any professed repentance, and without the meanes thereof, namely the preaching of the word going before, were by force & authority of Law only compelled, and to­gether received into the bosome and body of the Church, their seed baptised, them­selves receved and compelled to the Lords supper, had this ministery and service (which now they vse) inioyned & set over thē, and ever synce they and their seed re­mayne in this estate, being all but one bo­dy commonly called the Church of England. Here are none exempted or excluded, be they never so prophane or wretched, no A­theist, adulterer, thief, or murderer, no ly­er, perjurer, Witch or conjurer, &c▪ al are one fellowship, one body, one Church. Now let the law of God be looked into, and there wilbe found, that such persons1 Pet. 2. 5. Ier. 51. 26. are not fit stones for the Lords spiritual howse, no meet members for Christs glorious bo­dy. None of yearesAct. 2. 38. 40. 41. and 8. 36. 37. & 15 9. Ioh 10. 3. 4 5. Esa. 35. 8. 9. may be received in­to the Church without fr [...]e professed fayth repentance and submission vnto the Gospel of Christ & his heavenly ordinances. Ney­ther mayIoh. 15. 2. 5. Mat. 18. 15. 17 Lev. 13. 46. Num. 4. 13. any contynew there longer then they bring forth the fruyts of fayth, walk­ing as becommeth the Gospell of Christ. Christ IesusIohn. 15. 19. & 17. 14. 16 Mat. 3. 12. Lev. 20. 24. [...]6. 1 Iohn. 4. 5. 6. hath called & severed his ser­vants out of and from the world. How [Page 11] then should this confused and mixed peo­ple be esteemed the orderly gathered true planted and right constituted Church of God?

Secondly, as they have reteyned the whole [...]rout of the popish multitude without any distinctiō, for mēbers of their Church▪ so have they set over them (as reason was) the same popish Clergie & Prelacy, which they receved from the Romish Apostasie, and this day is to be found in the popish Churches:About forty ecclesiasticall popish offices are at this day in the Church of England, ne­ver a one ap­pointed by Christ in his Testament. to witt, Archbs, Primates, Bbs. Metropolitanes, Suffraganes, Archdeacōs, Deanes, Chauncellors, Commissaries, and the rest of that rable, which rule and govern these as­semblyes according to the Popish Canons, Rites, and Customes. These have the power and aucthoritie in their hands to set forth Injunctions, to make and depose Ministers, to excommunicate both Priests and people, which they do very exquisitly, if they yeeld not vnto them their due homage and obe­dience. These have both Ecclesiastical and Civil aucthoritie, to reigne as Princes in the Church and live as Lords in the Common wealth, to punish, imprison, and persecute even to death al that dare but once mutter against their vnlawfull proceedings. Of these Prelates tyranny cruelty & vnlawful aucthoritie, the better sort both of prea­chers and people have cryed out, and long tyme sued vnto the Prince and Parlament [Page 12] to have them removed out of the Church as bei [...]g the lymmes of Antichrist. But not prevayling. they are now content (fo [...] avoyding of the crosse of Christ) to submit themselves & their soules to this Antichris [...]tian Hierarchie, and beare the sinful yok [...] and burthen of their traditions, and to re [...]ceive and carry about the dreadful and d [...]testable marke of the Beast vpon them.

Thirdly, the inferiour ministery of tha [...] Church, consisteth of Priests, Parsons, Vi [...]cars, Curats, hired preachers or Lecturers, with Clerks and other like Officers, which have received their offices callings and aucthoritie from their forenamed Lords the Prelates to whom they sweare their canonical obedi­ence, and promise to performe it with al [...] reverence and submission. Their office i [...] to read over the service book & Bbs Decrees thereby to worship God,With what words and rites, in what habit and ges­ture, these things are to be done, they are taught in their Rubrik. to marry, to bu [...]ry, to church women, to visit the sick, give him the Sacrament, and forgive him al his sinnes: & if their livings or benefices (as they are called) amount to a certeine sūme of money in the Princes booke, then must they preach, or get some other to preach for them fower sermons in a yeare in their parish. Where also must be noted that the most part of these Priests are vt­terly vnlearned, and cannot preach at all: whereby it commeth to passe that most of the people are as blynd as they were in the [Page 13] dark dayes of popery. These Ministers generally, aswel preachers as other, live in feare & servitude vnder their foresaid Lords the Bbs. For as without their licence writ­ten and sealed they cannot preach, so vp­on their displeasure and for not obeying their injunctions, they are many tymes sus­pended, degraded, and if they will not be ruled, put in prison: so that sundry of thē have ben suspended and imprisoned for preaching against the Prelats, not subscri­bing to their devised Articles and Booke of cō ­mon prayer, not wearing the sqare cap and surplice, not reading the service booke, & be tyed to the same, not coming to the Bbs courts, visitations, inquisitions, &c. tyll now of late being wearyed with these trou­bles, they give place to their tyranny, and are content to conforme themselves, and yeeld their canonical obedience according to their oath, [...]eeping now silence, yea going back, bearing & bolstering the things which heretofore by word and wryting they stood against, so long as there was any hope that the Prince & Counsel would have hea [...]kened vnto them, and put these adversary Prelats out of the Church.

Fourthly, for administratiō, which is by Law imposed vpon all both Clergie and Laitie, (for so they distinguish them) they have gathered their Service book verbatim out of the Masse book, turning out of Latine [Page 14] into English the Suffrages, Prayers, Let any Collects, &c. (leaving out some of the gross pointes therin) keping still the old fashio [...] of Psalmes, Chapters, Pistles, Gospell [...] versicles, respondes, also T [...] Deum, Bened [...]tus, Magnificat, Nunc dimittis, Our Father Lord have mercy vpon vs, The Lord be wi [...] you, O Lord open th [...]w my lyps, Glory to God [...] high, Lyft vp your harts, O come let vs reioyc [...] Glory be to the Father, Quicunque vult, & [...] These doe they read dayly morninge an [...] evening all the yeare long in their priest [...] vestures, Surplice, cope, &c. some the [...] saye, and some they sing, having in the Cathedrall Churches, the Organs, Quer [...]ters, singing men and boyes, as in tymes pa [...] in pope [...]y.Some of them in certaine English books set forth, have reckned above 100. popish corruptiōs yet reteyned in this Church. Many popish errors yet remayn in that book, which their own preacher have noted, & found fault with. There a [...] they prescribed what prayers to read ov [...] the dead, over the co [...]n & grasse, some time in the yeare. By it are they injoyned [...] keep their holy dayes to their Lady ( [...] they cal her) to all Saincts and Angel [...] to all Christs Apostles, (except Paul a [...] Barnabas) whose eyes they are cōmande [...] to fast, as also their Lent & Ember day [...] besides frydayes and saturdayes throug [...] out the whole year. By this book are t [...] Ministers instructed how to marry, wi [...] the signe of the Ring, &c. to baptise the hallowed Font, with signe of [...] [Page 15] crosse, with Godfathers and Godmothers, asking the child whether it wil forsake the devil and all his works, &c. to mi­nister also their other sacrament or com­munion to the people kneling, as when in popery they received their maker, the words of Christs institution altered, and others in stead of them taken out of the popes portuis, with innumerable such like enormities and fopperies wherewith it swarmeth. And this is all the worship and service which many parishes have v­sually, except peradventure some writ­ten Homilies which the vnlearned Priests read vnto them. This service must first be read, and hath the preeminence, even on the Lords dayes, before any preaching, yea before the Bible it self. He that can read this book [...] distinctly, is fit ynough with them to be a Preist, yea many that have ben Artificers, as Shoemakers, Taylers, Weavers, Porters, &c, and without any giftes or knowledg at all, save only to read English, have ben and are admitted, & to this day maynteyned by the Prelats in the Ministerie.

To these Churches Ministers & Service must all the people there come every daye, yea though they hav in the next parish a Prea­cher, and in their own a dumb vnlearned Priest, yet are they all tyed to their owne Church and Minister, and must at the [Page 16] least twise a yeare, receve the Sacramēt at his hāds. If they refuse this, or do not ordinarily come to their parish Church, thē are they sūmoned, excōmunicated, & impri­soned tyl they become obedient▪ In this bō ­dage are our countrymen there held vnder their Priests and Prelats: and such as by the word of God witnes against and con­demne these abhominations, they hate, punish, put to death, and persecute out of the Land.

Who now in whom any spark of true light is. cannot playnly perceive this their Ministery worship and Church to be false & adulterate? Doth Christs eternall testa­ment ordeyn and approve of such popish Lordes and Prelats to reigne over his Church? Are these, those Christian Bishops that isRom. 12. 1. Cor. 12. Eph. 4. 11. 12 13. Pastors, Teachers, and Elders, which he hath set in his Church and over his owne people vnto the ende of the world? Or can those Preachers which are thus created and deposed by, thus sworne and obedient vnto their spiri­tuall Lordes, be deemed true Teachers of the Gospell of Christ lawfully called and ordeyned to that Ministerye? Is that their English Masse theIoh. 4. 24. Mat. 15. 9. trew & spirituall wor­ship of God according to his owne wil? We are taught in the scripturesDeut. 6. 4. 5 Mat. 16. 6. [...] Cor. 6. 14. 15. Psal. 106. 34. 35. 36. that there can be no agrement made betwixt Christ and Antichrist, betwixt the Lawes [Page 17] of God and mens traditions; that the ser­vants of Iesus may not submitt vnto or re­ceive the marke of that Beast, neyther drinke of the cup of the whore of Ba­bylons fornications, or buy any of her wares; but mustIudo. vers. 3. contend for the maynte­nance of that saith which was once gyven vnto the saincts, keeping their souls and bo­dyes pure frō Antichristiā pollutions, touch­ing 2 Cor. 6. 17. Eph. 5. 11. no vnclean thing, nor having any fel­lowship with the vnfruteful works of dark­nes, leastRev. 18. 4. & 14. 10, 11. by partaking with their synnes they receve also of their plagues, & drynck of the wyne of the wrath of God, & be tormented in fyre and brimstone, before the holy Angels and before the Lamb for evermore. If Christ be God, let vs follow him: but if the Pope be God, what shall we say? Why have we left him, his Church and ministery, his worship & jurisdiction, or what halting and mocking with the Lord is this,Mat. 6. 24. to put away the Popes per­son, 2 Kin. 16. 10, 11, 12. Rev [...]l. 13. 12. 14. 15. and reteyne his Prelacy and Ministe­ry, his Lawes, Traditions and Canons, his worship & service: or at the least to frame vnto our selves a worship Ministery and Church after the patterne and mould of the Apostasy of Rome? which what other thing is it, then to make an Image of that wild beast, and force men to worship it?

Thus seest thow briefely (good Christi­an Reader) the thinges which we mislike [Page 18] in the Church of England, and for which we have separated our selves as God com­maundeth. [...]. 51. 6. Mi [...] 2. 10. Rev. 18. 4. 2 Cor. 6. 17. To all these, if we were a­mongst them, should we be forced to submitt our bodyes & soules, or els suffer violence at the handes of the Prelats, [...]. 40. & end our lives by violent death or most miserable imprisonment, as many of our brethren before vs have done. For so great is the malice and power of those Romysh Priests, that they persecute vnto death such as speak against them: and such poor Christians as they cast into their noysome prysons, can seldome or never get out (except with shipwrack of conscience) vn­til they be caryed forth vpon the Bere. Neyther is there any care taken for their relief in this case: but being cast into pry­son, there they are deteyned without any alloweance of meat or money for their mayntenance, be their want and poverty never so great. If they have any thing of their own, there they are driven to spend it vp: if they have nothing, there they are left by the Prelates to feed on the ayre. And that they may more readily be sterved, or weakened in the truth, they are cōmonly shut vp in close pryson, their frends & acquayntance being not suffred to come at them: Nay even their wives & children being kept and debarred from them by the tyranny of these bloody Pre­lats [Page 19] and their Instruments: whose hard harts and vnnaturall cruelty, if thou did­dest vnderstand (gentle Reader) as many of vs haue felt and to this day yet feel, it would make thy hart to bleed, considering their vnmercyfull and barbarous dealing. And how many soules haue perished in their prisons through miserable vsage, how many have ben put to death, and how many banished, though we could to their eter­nall infamy relate to all the world, yet wil we not blaze abroad their acts (for we take no delight in laying opē their shame) but mourne for them in secret, cōmitting our cause to God that judgeth justly, kno­wing that he that maketh inquisition for blood remembreth it, Psal. 9. 12. and will not forget the com­plaint of the poore. And thou (Christian Reader) vouch safe to remember vnto God in thy prayers such as yet remayne in bandes and pryson amongest them for the testimony of Iesus,Heb. 13. 3. enduring a hard sight of afflictions, and having the sentence of death in them selves, are like (if the Lord send not vnexspected deliverance) there to end their dayes.

Concerning our selves, who through the mercy of God have found a place of rest in this land, for which benefyt we are alwayes and every where humbly thankfull: we desyre (Christian Reader) thy charitable and Christian opinion of [Page 20] and holy prayers vnto God for vs, whose kingdome we seek, whose ordinances we desire to establish and obey: protesting with good consciences, that it is the truth of his Gospel only for which we strive a­gainst those cursed reliques of Antichristian apostasie: vnto which we dare in no wise submit our selves, no not for a moment. For if it be not lawfull for Christians at this day to reteyn the ceremonyes of Mo­ses Law together with the Gospel, as the Passeover, Circumcision, the Priesthood, Sacri­fices, &c. Gal. 4. 4. 5. 6. &. 5. 1. 2. Heb. 8. & 9. & 10. chap. which yet were once cōmanded by God himself: how can we think it tollerable to observe the odious ceremo­nies of Antichrist, or submit our selves to his lawes, Priesthood, Hierarchie, & traditions, which the Lord never allowed, & which never entred into his heart: yea which he hath so severely forbidden, with fearfull judgments threatned vnto all that shal so do.

But because we have ben very grievously slaundred in our owne nation, and the bruit thereoff hath followed vs vnto this land, whereby we have ben hardly deemed of by many without cause, we have ben forced at length to publysh this brief but true Confession of our fayth, for the clearing of our selves from sclaunder, and satisfying of many who desired to knowe the thinges we hold. Wherein if in any thing we erre [Page 21] (as who is so perfit that he erreth not) we crave (good Reader) thy Christian bro­therly censure and information, promising alwayes (through the grace of God) to yeild vnto the truth when it shall be further shewed vs, and leave our errors when by the light of his word they shalbe reproved. In lyke manner it shall be thy par [...] and duty to acknowledge and submytt vnto the truth, by whomsoever it is professed, looking alwayes rather to the preciousnes of the treasure it self then to the base­nes of the vessels which conteyne it,2. Cor. 4. [...] or the infirmities of those that witnes the same: in whose mortall bodyes thow shalt see nothing but the markes and dying of our Lord Iesus Christ. Iam. 2. [...]. But hold not thy fayth in respect of mens persons, neyther be thow moved at the evyl reports which have ben raised of vs. Here hast thow the trew summe of our Christian saith: try al thinges by the true light of Gods word: and if thou shalt reap any profit by these our labours, give God the glory, and remember vs vnto him in thy prayers. Farewell in Christ Iesus.

THE CONFESSION of Fayth of certaine English people, living in the Low countreyes, exiled.
VVE beleeve with the heart & confesse with the mouth.


THat there is but one God, one Christ, one Spirit, one Church, on [...] truth, one Faith, one true Religion,| on [...] rule of godlines & obedience for al Chri [...]tians, in all places, at all tymes, to be ob­served.


God is a* spirit, whose being is [...] [Page 23] himself, and giveth beeing, moving, & preservation to al other things, being him­self eternal, most holy, every way in­finite, in greatnes, wisdome, power, good­nes, justice, truth, &c. In this Godhead there be| three distinct persons, coeternal, coequal, and coessential, being every one of them one and the same God, & ther­fore not divided but distinguished one from another by their several and pecu­liar propertie: The Father, of whom are the other persons, but he of none; the Sonne, begotten of the Father from ever­lasting; the holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Sonne before all be­ginnings.


God hath* decreed in himself from everlasting touching al things, and the [Page 24] very least circumstances of every thing, effectually to work and dispose them ac­cording to the counsel of his own will, to the glory of his name. And touching his chiefest creatures, GOD hath in Christ before the foundation of the world, ac­cording to the good pleasure of his will, foreordeyned some men and Angels, to eternall lyfe, to be accomplished through Iesus Christ, to the prayse of the glorie of his grace. And hath also of old ac­cording to his just purpose foreappointed other both Angels and men, to eternall condēnation, to be accōplished through their own corruption and desert, to the prayse of his justice.


In the| beginning, God made al things of nothing very good: and created man * after his own image and likenes in righ­teousnes and holynes of truth. But streightwayes after, by the subtilty of the serpent which Satan vsed as his in­strument ( himself with his Angels ha­ving sinned before, & not kept their first estate, but left their owne habitation:) first| Eva, then Adam being seduced, did wittingly and willingly fall into disobe­dience and transgression of the cōmaun­dement of God. For the which,* death came vpon all, and reigneth over al: yea even over infants also, which have not synned after the like manner of the trans­gression of Adam, that is, actually: Hence also it is, that all since the fall of Adam, are begotten in his own likenes after his image, being conceived and formed in iniquity, and so by nature children of wrath and servants of sinne, and sub­ject to death, and all other calamities due [Page 26] vnto sinne, in this world and for ever.


Al mankind being thus fallen and be­come altogether dead in sinne, & sub­ject to the eternall wrath of God, both by original and actuall corruption: Yet * the elect, al and onely, are redeemed, quickned, raysed vp and saved again, not of themselves, neyther by works (least a­ny man should boast himself) but whol­ly and only by God, of his free grace and mercy; through faith in Christ Ie­sus, who of God is made vnto vs wis­dome, and righteousnes, and sanctifi­cation, and redemption, that accor­ding as it is written, He that reioyceth should [Page 27] reioyce in the Lord.


This therefore is* lyfe eternal, to know the only true God, and whom he hath sent into the world Iesus Christ. And on the contrary, the Lord will render vengeance in flaming fire vnto them that know not God, and which obey not the Gospel of our Lord Iesus Christ.


Now the rule of this knowledg faith and obedience, concerning the worship and service of God and all other chris­tian dutyes, is not mens opinions, devi­ses, lawes, constitutions, or traditions vn­written whatsoever, but only the writ­ten [Page 28] word of God, conteined in the Cano­nicall books of the old and new Testa­ment.


In this written word, God hath plainely reveled whatsoever he thought needfull for vs to know beleev and acknowledge, touching the persō & Office of Iesus Christ; in whō all the promises of God are Yea, and in whom they are Amen, to the prayse of God through vs.


Touching his Person, the Lord Iesus, [Page 29] of whom Moses & the Prophets wrote, and whom the Apostles preached, is the everlasting Sonne of God the father by eternal generation, the brightnes of his glorie, & the engraven forme of his Per­son, coessential coequal & coeternal God with him and with the holy Ghost: By whom he made the worlds, by whom he vpholdeth and governeth all the works he hath made: Who also, when the ful­nes of tyme was come, was made man of a woman, of the| Tribe of Iudah, of* the seed of David and Abraham, to wyt, of Mary that blessed Virgin, by the holy Ghost comming vpon her, & the power of the most High overshadowing her: and was also in all things like vn­to vs, sinne only excepted.


Touching his Office, Iesus Christ* only is made the Mediator of the new Testa­mēt, even of the everlasting Covenant of grace between God & Man, to be per­fectly and fully the Prophet, Priest, and King of the Church of God for evermore.


Vnto this office, he was from everlasting * by the iust and sufficiēt authority of the Father, & in respect of his Manhood, from the wōb, called & separated & anoynted also most fully & abundantly with all ne [...]cessary gifts, as it is writtē, God hath not mea­sured [Page 31] out the Spirit vnto him.


This office to be Mediator, that is, Pro­phet, Priest, and King of the Church of God, is so proper to Christ, as ney­ther in the whole, not in any part there­of, it can be transferred from him to any other.


Touching his Prophecie, Christ* hath perfectly revealed out of the bosome of his Father, the whole word and will of God, that is needfull for his servants, ey­ther joyntly or severally to know beleev or obey: He also hath spoken and doth speak to his Church in his own ordi­nance, by his own Ministers and instru­ments onely, and not by| any false Mi­nisterie at any tyme.


Touching his Priesthood, Christ* be­ing consecrated, hath appeared once to put away sinne, by the offring and sacri­ficing of himself: and to this end hath fully performed & suffred all those things by which God through the blood of that his crosse, in an acceptable sacrifice, might be reconciled to his elect, and the blessing of Abraham come vpon vs to eternal life wherefore also having broken down th [...] partition wal, and therewith finished and removed all those rites, shadowes, and ceremonies, he is now entred within the vayle into the holy of holies, that is t [...] the very heaven, and presence of God where hee for ever liveth and sitteth a [...] [Page 33] the right hand of Majestie appearing be­fore the face of his Father, to make inter­cession for such as come vnto the throne of grace by that new and living way: and not that onely, but maketh| his people a­spiritual howse, an holy Priesthood, to offer vp spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through him. Neyther doth the Fa­ther accept or Christ offer vnto the Fa­ther any other worship, or worship­pers.


Towching his Kingdome, Christ* being [...]isen from the dead, ascended into hea­ven, set at the right hand of God the Fa­ther, having al power in heaven and earth given vnto him, he doth spiritually go­vern his Church: exercising his power o­ver [Page 34] all Angels and men, good and bad, t [...] the preservation and salvation of the elect to the overruling and destruction of th [...] reprobate:| communicating & applying the benefits, vertue, & frute of his prophecy and priesthood vnto his elect, namely to th [...] remissiō, subduing, & taking away of thei [...] syns, to their iustificatiō, adoptiō of sōnes regeneration, sanctificatiō, preservation & strengthning in all their conflicts against Sathan, the world, the flesh, & the temp­tations of them: continually dwelling in governing, and keeping their harts in h [...] true faith & fear by his holy spirit: which having once given it, hee never take [...] away from them, but by it still begette [...] and norisheth in them repentance, faith love, obedience, comfort, peace, ioy hope, and all Christian vertues, vnto im [...]mortalitie; notwithstanding that it b [...] somtymes through sinne and tentatio [...] interrupted, smothered, and as it were o­ [...]erwhelmed for the tyme. And on th [...] contrary, ruling in the world over [...] [Page 35] enemies, Sathan, and all the vessels of wrath, limiting, vsing, restreyning them [...]y his mighty power, as seemeth good [...]n his divine wisdome and justice, to the execution of his determinate counsell, [...]o wit, to their seduction, hardning, and condemnation, delivering them vp to a reprobate mynd, to be kept through their [...]wn desert in darcknes, sinne, and sen­sualitie, vnto judgment.


The Kingdome shalbe then fully perfe­cted, when he shal the second tyme come [Page 36] in glorie with his mightie Angels, to judg both quick and dead, to abolish a rule authoritie and power, to put all his enemies vnder his feet, to separate and free all his chosen from them for ever [...] to punish the wicked with everlasting perdition from his presence, to gather ioyne, and carry the godly with himsel [...] into endles glory, and then to delive [...] vp the kingdome to God, even the Fa [...]ther, that so the glorie of the Father ma [...] be full and perfect in the Sonne, the glo [...]rie of the Sonne in all his members, & God be all in all.


In the meane tyme, besides his abso­lute rule in the world, Christ hath her [...] in earth* a spirituall Kingdome & oeco [...]nomical regiment in his Church, which he hath purchased and redemed to him­ [...]elf, [Page 37] as a peculiar inheritance. And al­beit that many hypocrites do for the time [...]urke amongst them whiles the Church [...] militant here on earth, yet Christ not­withstanding | by the power of his word gathereth them which be his into the body of his Church, calleth them from out of the world, bringeth them to his [...]ue faith, separating them* frō amongst [...]nbeleevers, frō idolatrie, false worship. [...]uperstition, vanitie, dissolute life, and [...] works of darknes, &c. making them [...] royal Priesthood, an holy nation, a peo­ [...]le set at libertie, to shew foorth the vir­ [...]es of him that hath called them out of [...]arknes into his marvelous light; gathe­ [...]ing and vniting them together, as mem­ [...]ers of one body, in his faith, love, and [...]oly order, vnto all generall and mutu­ [...]l dutyes,52 through his spirit instructing and governing them by such Officers & [...]awes as he hath prescribed in his word, [...]y which Officers and Lawes he gover­ [...]eth his Church, and by none other.


To this Church hee hath made the* pr [...]mises, and given the seales of his Cov [...]nant, presence, love, blessing & protecti [...] Here are the holy Oracles, as in t [...] Arke, surely kept and puerly taught. H [...] are all the fountaynes and springs of [...] grace continually replenished & flowi [...] forth. Heer is Christ| lifted vp to all N [...]tions, hither* hee inviteth all men to [...] supper, his mariage feast: hither ou [...] all men of al estates and degrees, that [...] knowledge him their Prophet, Priest a [...] [Page 39] King to repayre, to be enrolled amongst his houshold servants, to be vnder his hea­venly conduct and government, to lead their lives in his walled sheepfold and wa­tered orchard, to have communion heer with the Saincts, that they may be made meet to be partakers of theyr inheritance in the kingdome of God.


And as* all his servants and subjects are called hither, to present their bodies and soules, and to bring the gyfts God hath given them, so being come, they are heer by himself bestowed in their se­verall order, peculiar place, due vse, be­ing [Page 40] fitly compact and knit together by every joynt of help, according to th [...] effectuall work in the measure of ever [...] part, vnto the edification of it self in lov [...] Wherevnto when he ascended vp o [...] high he gave gifts vnto men, and distri­buted them vnto several publik function in his Church, having instituted and ra [...]tified to continue vnto the worlds end only this publick ordinarie ministery o [...] Pastors, Teachers, Elders, Deacons, Helpers, [...] the instruction, government, and service of his Church.


This Ministerie is exactly* descrbed distinguished, limited concerning their office, their calling to their office [Page 41] their administration of their office, and their maintenance in in their office, by most perfect and plaine lawes in Gods word: which lawes it is not lawfull for these Ministers, or for the whole Church wittingly to neglect, transgresse, or violate in any part, nor yet to receive any other lawes brought into the Church by any person whatsoever.


None* may vsurp or execute a minis­terie, but such as are rightly called by the Church wherof they stand Ministers, vnto such offices, and in such maner, as God hath prescribed in his word. And being so called, they ought to giue all di­ligence to fulfil their Ministery to be foūd faithfull and vnblameable in all things. [Page 42]


This Ministerie is alike given to eve­ry Christian congregation, with like and equal66 power and commission to have & enjoy the same, as God offereth fit men and meanes, the same rules given to all for the election and execution there­of in all places.


As every Christian congregation* hath power and commandement to elect and ordeine their owne Ministerie according to the rules in Gods word prescribed, & whilest they shall faithfully execute their office, to have them in superabundant [Page 43] love for their worke sake, to provide for them, to honour them & reverence them, according to the dignitie of the office they execute: So have they also| power and commandement, when anie such default, eyther in their life, doctrine, or administration breaketh out, as by the rule of the word debarreth them from, or depriveth them of their Ministerie, by due order to depose them from the Ministerie they exercised: yea if the case so require, and they remain obstinate & impenitent, orderly to cut them off by excommunication.


Christ* hath given this power to re­ceive in or to cut of any member, to the whole body together of every Christian [Page 44] congregation, and not to any one mem­ber apart, or to more members sequestred from the whole, or to any other Congre­gation to do it for them: Yet so, as ech Congregation ought to vse the best help they can heervnto, and the most meet member they have to pronounce the same in their publick assembly.


Every member [...] of each Christian con­gregation, how excellent, great, or lear­ned soever, ought to be subiect to this censure & judgment of Christ: Yet ought not the Church without great care and due advise to proced against such publick persons.


As Christ hath* for the keeping of this Church in holy and orderly com­munion, placed some speciall men over the Church, who by their office are to governe, oversee, visite, watch &c. So lykewise for the better keeping thereof in all places, by all the members, hee hath given authority and layd duty vpon them all to watch one over another.


Finally, whilest the Ministers & people thus remayne together in this holy order & Christian communion, ech one ende­voring to do the wil of God in their cal­ling, and thus to walke to the glory of God, in the obedience of faith: Christ hath promised to be present with them, to blesse & defend them against all fraud and force of theyr enemyes, so as the gates of hell shall not prevaile against thē. [Page 46] 75


But when and where this holy order and diligent watch was intermitted, neg­lected, violated: Antichrist that man of sinne, did together with other points of Christian faith corrupt also and alter the holy ordinances, offices, and admi­nistrations of the Church: and in stead thereof brought in, and erected a strange new forged ministerie, Leitourgie, and government. Yea and the nations king­doms and inhabitants of the earth were made druncken with this cup of forni­cations and abominations, and al peo­ple enforced to receive the Beasts mark and worship his image, and so brought into confusion and Babylonish bondage.


The present Hierarchie reteyned and vsed in England of Archbs, Primates, Lordbps, Metropolitanes, Suffraganes, Deanes, Prebendaries, Canons, Peti­canons, Archdeacōs, Chancellors, Com­missaries, Priests, Deacons or Halfpriests, Parsons, Vicars, Curats, Hierling roving Preachers, Church-wardēs, Parish-clerks: Also their Doctors, Proctors, and other Officers of their spiritual Courts (as they call them) together with the whole ra­ble of the Prelats, and their Servitours from and vnder them set over these Ca­thedrall and Parishionall Assemblies in this confusion, are a strange & Antichris­tian Ministerie and Offices: and are not that Ministerie above named, instituted in Christs Testament, nor placed in or over his Church.


These their Popish Offices, Entrance, Ad­ministration, and Maintenance, with their names, titles, privileges, & prerogatives: also the power and rule they vsurp over and in these Ecclesiasticall assemblies, over the whole Ministration and affai­res therof, yea one over another, creating Priests, citing, suspēding, silencing, de­posing, absolving, excommunicating, &c, Their confounding of Ecclesiasticall & Civill jurisdiction, causes, and procedings in their persons, Courts, Cōmissions, Vi­sitations, the Priests of lesse rule taking their Ministery from & exercising it vnder them by their prescription & limitation, swearing Canonical obedience vnto thē, administring by their devised imposed stinted popish Leitourgie, &c. Finally the dispensations which they vse for Plurali­ty of benefices, licences of Non residen­cy, Licences to mary and eat flesh (both which with them are on certain dayes & tymes forbidden, &c,) These, we say, are [Page 49] sufficient proofes of the former assertion, the particulars therin being duly exami­ned by & compared to the rules of Christs Testament. Not to speak here, of their pri­vate Baptisme, of the signe of the Crosse vsed in Baptisme, of questions propoun­ded to the infants, of the Priests surplice, prayer over the dead at buriall, kneeling at the Lords supper, and other the like po­pish corruptions, almost infinite, reteyned and allowed among them.


These Ecclesiastical Assemblies, remay­ning [Page 50] thus in confusion & bondage vnder this Antichristian Ministerie, Courts, Ca­nons, worship, Ordinances &c. without freedom and power to redresse any enor­mitie among them, cannot be said in this confusion and subiection, truly to have Christ their Prophet Priest and King, nei­ther can be in this estate (whilest we judg them by the rules of Gods word) este­med the true, visible, orderly gathered or cōstituted Churches of Christ, where­of the faithful may become or stād Mem­bers, or have anie spirituall communion with them in their publick worship and Administration.


Therfore are* al that will be saved, bound by Gods commandement, with speed to come forth of this Antichristian [Page 51] estate, leaving the suppression of it vnto the Magistrate to whom it belongeth. And all such also as have| received or exercised any of these false Offices or any pretended function or Ministerie in or to this false and Antichristian constitution, are willingly in Gods feare to give over aud leave those vnlawfull Offices, and no longer to minister in this maner to these assemblies in this estate. Neyther may* any of what sort or con­ditiō soever, give any part of their goods, Lands, Money, or money worth to the maintenance of this false Ministerie and worship, vpon any cōmandement or vn­der any colour whatsoever.


And being come forth of this Antichristiā-estate vnto the freedom & true profession of Christ, besides the* instructing and well guyding of their owne families, they are willingly to ioyne together in Christian communion and orderly covenant, and by free confession of the faith & obedi­ence of Christ to vnite themselves into | peculiar & visible Congregations: wher­in, as mēbers of one body wherof Christ is the only head, they are to worship and serve God according to his word, remē ­bring to keep holy the Lords day.


Then also* such to whom God hath gi­ven [Page 53] gifts to interpret the Scriptures, tryed in the exercise of Prophecy, attending to studie and learning may and ought (by the appointment of the Congregation) to prophesie, according to the proporti­on of faith, and so to teach publickly the word of God, for the edification, ex­hortation and comfort of the Church: Vntill such tyme as the people be meet for and God manifest men with able gifts and fitnes to such Office or Offices as Christ hath appointed to the publick Ministerie of his Church: But no Sa­craments to be administred vntil the Pas­tors or Teachers be chosen and ordeined into their Office.


And then wheresoever there shall be a people fit, and men furnished with [Page 54] meet and necessary gifts, they are not onely still to continue the exercise of Pro­phesy aforesayd, but also vpon due tryal to proceed vnto choyce and ordination of Officers for the Ministery and service of the Church, according to the rule of Gods word: & so hold on* stil to walk forward in the wayes of Christ for their mutuall edification and comfort, as it shall please God to give knowledg and grace therevnto. And particularly, that such as be of the seed, or vnder the government of any of the Church, be e­ven in their infancie received to Baptisme and made partakers of the signe of Gods covenant made with the Faithful & their seed throughout all generations. And that al| of the Church that are of yeares, and able to examine themselves, d [...] communicate also in the Lords supper, both men and women, and in both kinde [...] bread and wine. In which* clements as also in the water of baptisme, even after they are consecrate, there is neyther [Page 55] transubstantiation into, nor consub­stantiation with the body and blood of Iesus Christ: whom the heavens must conteyn, vntil the time that all things be restored: But they are in the ordinance of God signes and seales of Gods ever­lasting covenant with vs, representing & offring| to all the receivers, but exhibi­ting only to the true beleevers the Lord Iesus Christ & al his benefits vnto righ­teousnes, sanctification, and eternal lyfe, through faith in his name, to the glorie and prayse of God.


Thus being rightly gathered, established, & stil proceeding in Christian cōmunion and obedience of the Gospell of Christ, none is to separate for faults and corrup­tiōs, which may & so long as the Church consisteth of mortall men will fall out & arise among them, even in true constitu­ted Churches, but by due order to seeke redres [...]e thereof.


Such as yet see not the truth, may not withstanding* heare the publik doctrine and prayers of the church, and with a meeknes are to bee sought by al meanes [Page 57] Yet none who are growen in yeares may be received into their cōmunion as mem­bers, but such as do make confession of their faith, publickly desiring to be received as members, and promising to walk in the obedience of Christ. Ney­ther any infants, but such as are the seed of the faithfull by one of the pa­rents, or vnder their education and go­vernment. And further| not any from one congregation to be received mem­bers in another, without bringing cer­tificate of their former estate & present purpose.


And although the particular Congrega­tions [Page 58] be thus distinct and severall bodies, every one as a compact and knit citie in it self, yet are they al to walke by one and the same rule, and by all meanes conve­nient to have the counsel and help one of another in all needfull affaires of the Church, as members of one body in the common faith, vnder Christ their onely head.


It is the office and duty of Princes & Magistrates (who by the ordinance of God are* supreme governours vnder him over all persons and causes within their Realmes and dominions) to suppresse and root out by their authoritie al false Ministeries, voluntarie religions, & coun­terfeit worship of God; to abolish and destroy the Idol Temples, Images, Al­tars, Vestments, & all other monuments [Page 59] of Idolatry and superstition; and to take and convert to their own civill vses not only the benefit of all such idolatrous buildings and monuments, but also the Revenues, Demeanes, Lordships, Posses­sions, Gleabes, and Maintenance of any false Ministeries, and vnlawfull ecclesias­ticall functions whatsoever within their dominions. And on the other hand, to stablish and mainteyn by their lawes every part of Gods word, his Christi­an Religion, pure worship, and true Ministery described in his word; to che­rish and protect all such as are careful to worship God according to his word, and to lead a godly lyfe in al peace and loy­alty; yea to enforce al their subjects whe­ther Ecclesiasticall or Civil, to do their dutyes to God and men, protecting & mainteining the good, punishing and restreyning the evil, according as God hath commaunded, whose Lieutenants they are here on earth.


And thus the protectiō & cōmandement of the Princes and Magistrates maketh it much more* peaceable, though no whit at all more lawfull, to walke in the wayes and ordinances of Iesus Christ: which he hath commanded his Church to keep without spot and vurebukeable vntill his appearing in the end of the world, And in this behalf, therefore, the brethren thus mynded and proceding as is before said, are both cōtinually to supplicate to God and as they may, to their Princes & Go­vernors, that thus & vnder thē they may [Page 61] lead a quiet and peaceable lyfe in al god­lines and honestie.


And if God encline the Magigstrates hearts to the allowance and protection of the Church therein, it ought to be ac­coūted a singular & happy blessing of God who grāteth such noursing Fathers & Mothers to his Church. And it behoveth al to be careful to walk worthie so great a mercy of God, in all thankfulnes and obedience.


But if God withold the Magistrates al­lowance & furtherance herein, yet* must wee notwithstanding proceed together [Page 62] in Christian covenant & cōmunion thus to walke in the obedience of Christ and confession of his faith and Gospel, even through the middest of all tryalls & af­flictiōs, not accounting our goods, lands, wives, children, Fathers, Mothers, bre­thren, sisters, no nor our lives, dear vn­to vs, so as wee may finish our course with joy, remembring alwayes that we ought to obey God rather then man: & groun­ding vpon the commandement, com­mission, & promise of our Saviour Christ, who as he hath all power in heaven and in earth, so hath also promised (if we keep his commandements, which hee hath given without limitation of tyme, place, Magistrates allowance or disallowance) to be with vs vnto the end of the world: and when we have finished our course and kept the faith, to give vs the crown of righteousnes which is layd vp for all that love his appearing.


Vnto al men is to be given whatsoever is due vnto them. Tributes, Customes, and all other such lawfull & accustomed dutyes, ought willingly and orderly to be payed and performed: Our lands, goods, and bodyes, to be submitted in the Lord to the Magistrates pleasure. And the Ma­gistrates themselves every way to be ac­knowledged, reverenced, and obeyed ac­cording to godlines, not because of wrath onely but also for conscience sake: And finally, all men so to be estemed and re­garded, as is due and meet for their place, age, estate and condition.


And thus, we labour to giue vnto God yt which is Gods & vnto Cesar that which is Cesars, and vnto all men, that which be­longeth vnto them: Endevoring our selves to have alwayes a cleare conscience to­wards God and towards men: And ha­ving hope in God that the resurrection of the dead shalbe of the just vnto life, & of the vnjust vnto condemnation, ever­lasting. Now if any take this to be he­resie, then do we with the Apostle freely confesse that after the way which they call heresie, we worship God the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ, beleeving all things that are written in the Law and in the Prophets and Apostles: and what­soever is according to this rule of truth published in our owne countrey or hol­den by any reformed Churches in their Confessions abroad in the world. We do also reiect and detest all straunge and he­retical opinions & doctrines of all Hereticks both old and new whatsoever. [Page 65] 114


Finally, whereas we are much slaun­dered and traduced as if we denyed or misliked that forme of prayer commonly called the Lords prayer: we thought it need­ful here also cōcerning it to make known, that we beleev and acknowledg it to be a most absolute and most excellent forme of prayer, such as no men nor Angels can set downe the like. And that it was taught and appointed by our Lord Iesus Christ, not that we should be tyed to the vse of those very words, but that we should according to that rule make all our re­quests and thankesgiving vnto God, for­asmuch as it is a perfect forme & patterne, conteining in it plaine & sufficient dire­ctions of prayer, for all occasions & neces­sities, that have ben, are, or shalbe, to the Church of God, or any member therof, to the end of the world. [Page 66] 115

Now vnto him that is able to keep vs that woe fal [...] and to present vs faultlesse before the presence of his glory with ioy, that is, to God only wise, our Saviour, be glory and maiestie, and dominion, & power, both now [...] for ever, Amen.

¶The heads of the differences between vs and the Church of England as it standeth at this day, con­cerning divers corruptions of An­tichrist yet remayning among them.


THat Christ the Lord hath by his last Testament given to his Church, and set therein, sufficient ordinary Offices, with the maner of calling or Entrance, Works, and Main­tenance, for the administration of his holy things, and for the sufficient ordinary instru­ction guydance & service of his Church, to the end of the world.

2. That every particular Church hath like & full interest & power to enioy and practise all the ordinances of Christ given by him to his Church to be observed therein perpetually.

3. That a true visible Church, is a com­pany of people called and separated from the world by the word of God, and ioyned to­gether by voluntarie profession of the faith of [Page 68] Christ, in the fellowship of the Gospell. And that therefore no prophane persons, vnbeleevers or wicked livers, may be received reteyned or c [...] ̄pelled to be members in the Church of Christ, which is his body; God having in all ages appointed & made a separation of his people from the world, before the Law, vnder the Law, & now in the tyme of the Gospel.

4. That discreet, faithfull, & able men (though not yet in office of Ministerie) may preach the Gospell and whole truth of God, that men being first brought to knowledg, & con­verted to the Lord, may then be ioyned toge­ther in holy comunion with Christ our head and one with another.

5. That being thus ioyned, every Church hath power in Christ to chuse and take vnto themselves meet and sufficient persons, into the Offices and functions of Pastors, Teachers, Elders, Deacons and Helpers, as those which Christ hath appointed in his Testament, for the fee­ding, governing, serving, & building vp of his Church. And that no Antichristian Hie­rarchie or ministerie, of Popes. Arch-bishops, [Page 69] Lord bishops, Suffraganes, Deanes, Arch-dea­cons, Chauncellors, Parsons, Vicars, Priests, Dumb-ministers, or any such like, may be set over the Spouse & Church of Christ, nor reteined therein.

6. That the Ministers aforesaid being lawfully called by the Church where they are to administer, ought to continew in their fun­ctions according to Gods ordinance, and care­fully to f [...]ed the flock of Christ cōmitted vnto them, being not inioyned or suffred to beare Civil offices withall, neither burthened with the execution of Civil affaires, as the celebra­tion of mariage, bu [...]ying the dead &c. which things belong aswel to those without as with­in the Church.

7. That the due maintenance of the Of­ficers aforesayd, should be of the free and vo­luntarie contribution of the Church, that accor­ding to Christs ordinance, they which preach the Gospel may live of the Gospel: and not by Popish Lordships and livings, or Iewish Tithes & Offerings. And that therefore the Lands & other like revenewes of the Prelats & Cler­gie [Page 70] yet remayning (being still also baits to al­lure the Iesuites & Seminaries into the Land, & incitements vnto them to plot & prosecute their woonted evil courses, in hope to enioy them in tyme to come) may and ought to be taken away, & converted to better vse, as those of the Abbeyes & Nunneries have been heretofore by the Princes power and authority, to the honor of God & great good of the Reālme.

8. That al particular Churches ought to be so constituted, as having their own peculiar Offi­cers, the whole body of every Church may meet together in one place, & ioyntly perform their duties to God & one towards another. And that the censures of admonition and excommunicatiō should in due maner be executed, for sinne, con­victed, & obstinatly stood in. This power also to be in the body of the Church whereof the parties so offending & persisting are members.

9. That the Church is not to be governed by Popish Canons, Courts, Classes, Customes, or any humane inventions, but by the Lawes & rules which Christ hath appointed in his Testament. That no Apocrypha writings, but only the Ca [...] ­nical [Page 71] scriptures are to be vsed in the Church. And that the Lord is to be worshipped and called v­pon in spirit & truth, according to that forme of praier given by the Lord Iesus, Mat. 6. & after the Leitourgie of his own Testament, not by any other framed or imposed by men, much lesse by one translated from the Popish [...], as the Book of common praier &c.

10. That the Sacraments, being seales of Gods covenant, ought to be administred onely to the faithful, & Baptisme to their seed or those vnder their government. And that according to the simplicitie of the Gospel, without any Po­pish or other abuses, in either Sacrament.

11. That the Church is not to be vrged to the observation of dayes & tymes, Iewish or Po­pish, save only to sanctify the Lords day: Neyther to be laden in thinges indifferent, with rites & ceremonies, Whatsoever invented by men; but that christian libertie may be rete [...]ned: And what God hath left f [...]ee, none to make bound.

12. That al monuments of Idolatry in gar­ments or any other things, al Temples, Altars, Chappels, & other places dedicated heertofore [Page] by the Heathèns or Antichristians to their fa [...] worship, ought by aucthoritie to be rased & bolished, not suffered to remayne, for nourish­ing superstition, much lesse imploied to the tr [...] worship of God.

13. That Popish degrees in Theologie, i [...] forcement to single life in Colledges, abuse the study of prophane heathen Writers, w [...] other like corruptions in Schooles & Academi [...] should be removed & redressed, that so th [...] may be the welsprings & [...] series of true lea [...] ning & godlines.

14. Finally that all Churches & peop [...] (without exception) are bound in Religion on [...] ly to receive & submit vnto that constitution Ministerie, Worship, & order, which Christ Lord & King hath appovnted vnto his Churc [...] & not to any other devised by Man whatsoeve [...]

Let him that readeth, consider.

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