LORD BISHOPS, NONE OF THE LORDS BISHOPS. OR A SHORT DISCOVRSE, WHERIN IS PROVED THAT PRELATI­CALL JURISDICTION, IS NOT OF DIVINE Institution, but forbidden by Christ himselfe, as Heathenish, and branded by his Apostles for Antichristian; wherin also sundry notable passages of the Arch-Prelate of Canterbury in his late Booke, Intituled, A Relation of a Conference, &c. are by the way met withall.

MATH. 20. 25, 26. Iesus said to his Disciples, ye know that the Princes of the Gentiles exercise domi­nion over them, and they that are great exercise Authority upon them: But it shall not be so among you: But whosoever wilbe Great among you, let him be your Servant.
1 Joh. 2. 18, 19. Even as there are many Antichrists: They went out from us, but they were not of us.
BERN. Praelati Pilati: non Pastores, sed Impostores.

Printed in the Moneth of November, 1640.

TO THE HIGH AND HONOVRABLE COURT OF PARLIAMENT, THE NOBILITIE AND GENTRIE NOVV Assembled in both the Houses, Grace, Mercy and Peace be multiplyed.

MOST Noble Senare, and right worthy Pattiots, who both feare your GOD, and honour your King; He who truly honours you, and dayly prayes for a blessed successe of this your Meeting, humbly presents you here with a Cause, which well weighed in your ma­turest judgements, may prove one of those greatest Parliament Businesses, which your most pious and prudent thoughts and Consultations are taken up withall. When you have perused this short Discourse concerning Prelaticall Authority, whence it is, and if it shall appeare by cleare evidence of Scripture, justly compared with their Prelaticall properties, and practises, that they are the Seed of Antichrist, the Mystery of Iniquity; a more then Heathenish Ty­ranny over Soules, bodies, and estates; a meere enmity (but under the veile of Hypoerisie) against Christ, against his Word, against his Mi­nisters, against his People, and the Salvation of their Soulee; yea against the peace and prosperity of Civil States, by their Factious and Seditious practises, and the like: Your Wisdome, your Piety, your Zeale for GOD, your Love to Christ, your Loyalty to your King, your tender compassion towards your poore Country, your Christian care of your own Soules, and of your Posterities, will all of them call and cry for a serious Consultation, and a speedy resolution what is to be done herein, as you [Page] shall apprehend the Prosperity, or Calamity of this whole Church and State, and the happy or miserable issues of Parlliaments to depend upon it. A word to the wise. What I would further say, I will turne into continuall Supplication to the Great President of Councels JESUS CHRIST, that he will send his Spirit of Wisdome and Vnder­standing, the Spirit of Councel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge, and the Feare of the Lord: that Antichrists throne being quite cast out, and Christs alone set up, the King may be established in perpe­tuall Peace and Prosperity to himselfe and Royall Posterity, 'till the coming of Him, who shall put an end to Times and Kingdomes; and with whom all that truly serve him here, shall raigne for ever­more.

Your Honours and Worships faithfull Orator till death.

Of the State of the Question: Whether Bishops be de jure di­vino, of divine Authority?

OF Bishops, or Episkopoi, Episcopi, so called, so commended in Scripture, we doubt not, but they are de jure divino. But what are those Bishops? Not Diocesan Lord Bishops, so com­monly called. For of such we no where read of in Scripture; as we shall fully prove anon. But those, whom the Scripture calleth Episcopos, are Presbyters, or Ministers of the Word, lawfully Called, and set over their severall Congregations respectively. Such onely are Bishops jure divino. But as for such, as are Katagrestikoes, abusively sty­led Bishops, to wit, Diocesan or Lord Bishops, there is not so much as any one footstep of them in the Scripture. And therfore as these have not the true Nature and Calling of a Scripture-Bi­shop: So neither ought they to usurpe the Name and Title of Bishop. But as they are of humane invention and institution onely, yea of humane presumption (as old Father Hierome saith) and not of divine Institution: So let them be known by such Titles [Page] onely, as man hath given them, as namely Prelates &c. Prelati, or Prelates are so called, because they are preferred, or rather preferre them selves before and above others, that are GODS Ministers. And thus they participate of the Prelacie of the Great Antichrist, who is that2 Thes. 2. 4. supereiromenos (as the Apostle styles him) he that exalts himselfe, above all that is called God. He is also called in the same place 'o a'ntikeímenos, that Adversary, called by Iohn, 'o Antíkristos, that Antichrist, to wit, that Adver­sary against Christ. And agreeable hereunto is that other Title of Prelates, namely Antistes in the Latine, which they interpret a witnesse: but it may rather be derived from the Greek; Anti is not a Latine Preposition, but Greeke, and signifies against. So as Antistes, is one that stands against; and it may answere to Antistasiastès, one of the adverse Faction, or on the contrary side, as all Prelates are Antistasiastai, adversaries against Christ, or Anti­christs, which you will; as will further appeare. But we will content our selves with the Title of Prelate in this our whole insuing discourse, as being none of the Scripture-Bishops.

Now concerning Prelates, the learned Papists themselves are not, cannot be resolved, that they are jure divino, of divine insti­tution immediately, but onely at the most mediately, deriving their Prelacie from the Pope, as all his Canonized Saints doe their Saint-ship; saying, that the Pope hath his Supremacie jure divino, both as Christs Vicar, and Peters Successor: but all Prelates derive their Prelacie from no further a Fountaine, then the Pope, as from the well-head, or the Head of the Hierar­chicall body, which gives them their lively motion, as the Head to the naturall members. This very point of Prelaticall Jurisdiction was canvased and controverted in the Councel of Trent, and held by some learned there, to be but jure Pontificio, by Pontifician Authority resident in the Pope:Histor. Concilii Trident. whom there­fore they call Patrem Patrum, the Father of Fathers, as being the Father of the whole Paternity of Prelates. And our Prelates of England may remember, that till Hen. 8. cast the Pope out of England, the Prelates held all their Jurisdiction from the Pope, and their Authority was but translated from the Pope, to the King, So as passing from one man to another, it was meerly humane still. And the great Primate, the now Cham­pion of the Church of England as he beares himselfe in his [...]a [...]e Book (his Relation of the Conference) confesseth thus much, That among these (to wit,Conference pag. 176, 177. Bishops in their severall Dioces, as there he names them) there was effectuall subjection respectively grounded [Page] upon Canon and Positive Law in their severall Quarters. Where by effectuall subjection he meanes subjection of the Prelates in every Province to the Arch-Prelate, or Primate: then he confesseth, that Archiprelaticall Iurisdiction is grounded upon Canon and Positive Law, and so consequently not upon the Holy Scrip­tures, as being jure divino. And thus much he confessed in open Court at the High Commission at Doctor BASTVVICKS Censure, that no one of the Apostles had Iurisdiction one over another; and so consequently not an Arch-Prelate over other Prelates, jure divino, but onely jure Canonico, & Positivo, by Canon and Positive Law. Arch-Prelates therfore have no Iurisdiction by di­vine Institution. Or if he meane it of subjection of Ministers in every Diocese to their Prelates respectively, that this also is ground­ed upon Canon and Positive Law: though so he should say truly, yet in so saying, he should contradict himselfe, as where he saith elsewhere, That Christ thought it fitter to governe the Church (universall) Aristocratically by diverse, rather then by one Vice-Roy. As much to say, rather by many Popes, then by one. Confe. pag. 200. And this (saith he I beleeve to be true. So as he makes it an Article of his Faith, That Prelates are jure divino. Yet but a little before in the same page, it is not certaine that the whole Militant Church is a Kingdome: for there are no meane ones (saith he) which thinke our Saviour Christ left the Church Militant in the hands of the Apostles, and their Suc­cessors, in an Aristocraticall, or rather mixt government, &c. So as what others, and those no meane ones Thinke, the Prelate beleeves. And the Government, which some thinke, and he beleeves to be Aristocraticall, he understands to be Prelaticall, which (saith he) is Aristocraticall, or rather a mixt Government. What meanes he by a mixt Government? Namely, partly Aristocraticall and partly Monarchicall, for of those two he there speaketh. His meaning then is, that a Prelate is in part in Monarch. But where doe we find that Christ thought it fittest to Governe his Church by Prelats, that the Prelate is so confident to beleeve it? It seems he is one of Christs Cabinet Counsellors, that he is so intimately privie to his thoughts. For surely Christ hath no where left the impres­sion of any such thought of his in his written word. But I sup­pose the Prelate doth but presume so, or charitably beleeve Christ thought so. Me thinks he should not so beleeve it, as to write upon it, I beleeve this is true. But thus (I say) this faith of his overthrows the credit of his former Saying, That Prelates with their effectuall Subjection, are grounded upon Canon, Confer. pag. or Positive Law, and so have no Authority from Christ (as the Prelate a little before [Page] affirmeth) of what force is his Canon? For there speaking of the Pope he saith, Nay out of all doubt, 't is not the least reason, why de facto, he hath so little successe, because de jure he hath no power given. But how then is it, that some fewConfer pag. 183. pages before he saith, that some one must be Ordine Primus, to avoyd confusion [...] and he speakes there of the Rom [...]e Prelate. It is then of necessity, that there must be one Ordine Primus to avoyd confusion in the Ca­tholick Church Militant (which elswhere he makes to be visible, and Hierarchicall, or Prelaticall) then did not Christ leave so much exprest in writing, but to Canon and Positive Law? But perhaps Christ thought it best: and the Prelate so beleeves. Thus we see here is nothing, but Ridd [...]es, Ambiguities, and Contradicti­ons, or Enterfeerings with our Prelate. What course then shall we take for a cleare resolution of the Question, That Prelates (as themselves affirme) are jure divino? Certainly, if they be jure divino, they must shew good proofe for it in the written word of God. And to this Rule we must hold them, and to this onely. For it were to tread an endlesse maze, to goe about to prove a Divine Title, or Authority out of the Volumes of humane writings, or Ecclesias [...]icall Histories. They can tell us de facto what hath been: but that Prelates are de jure divine, that we must search for in the Sacred Records of Divine writ. If there we find it, well and good: but if there it be not, but the contrary: then all humane writings are in this point to be rejected, as of no credit, or value. Come we therfore to the Scripture, which will clearely tell us what Christ thought of this matter.

Wherein is proved, That CHRIST expresly condemneth all Prelacie, or Hierarchie, as flatly forbidding it to his Apostles and Disciples.

MATH. 20. 29, &c. Then came to him the Mother of Zebedees children, with her Sons worshiping him, and desiring a certaine thing of him. And he said unto her, what wilt thou? She saith unto him, G [...]ant that these my two Sonnes may sit the one on thy right hand, and the other on thy lest in thy Kingdome. But Jesus answered and said. Ye know not [...]hat ye aske. Are ye able to drinke of the Cup, that I shall drinke of, [Page] and to be baptised with the Baptisme, that I am baptised with? They say unto him, we are able. And he saith unto them, ye shall drinke indeed of my Cup, and be baptised with the Baptisme, that I am bap­tised with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shalbe given to them, for whom it is prepared of my Father. And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know, that the Princes of the [...]entiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever wilbe chiefe among you, let him be your Servant. Even as the Son of man came not to be ministred unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransome for many.

In these words, as we see the mind of these, as yet carnall Disciples: So on the other side we see the mind of Christ, and what he thought of Prelacy. For Prelacy is that, which they make such a solemne suit for. They ambitiously affect Cathedram, a Prelates Chaire, or Throne: they make suit to sit, and that in the most prime Seat, on the right, and left hand of Christ. And these two suiters were Christs Kinsmen, Iames and Iohn. A faire mo­tive for promotion to a Prelacy. For as the Saying is,

Dic [...]re vis, Praest [...]? De sanguine Praesulis esto.
Wouldst thou have Church Dignitee?
Th [...] Prelats Kinsman thou must be.

Or according to those old Verses:

Quatuor, Ecclesias, his Portis, itur ad omnes:
Sanguinis, & Simonis, Praesulis, atque Dei.
Prima patet Claris: nummatis altera: Charis
Tertia, sed raris janua quarta patet.
Through these foure Gates all Churches wayes are trod
Of Birth: of Simon: Prelate: and of God.
The first for Nobles: next for golden worth.
For Prelates Kin, the third: for few the fourth.

These two brethren would enter into the chiefe Cathedralls by the gate of Nobility, as they are Christs neere Kinsmen, and so descending of the blood Royall. And in hope the better to speed, they get their Mother to speake, who with Christ was not a little gratious. But besides the absurdity of this their [Page] suit (for Christ told them, ye know not what ye aske) they come in as unfit a season, and upon as unsutable an occasion for such a suit, as possibly could be. For in the very next words going be­fore, Christ had but newly told them of his Death at Ierusalem, saying, Behold we goe up to Ierusalem, and the Son of man shalbe betrayed unto the Chiefe Priests and Scribes, and they shall condemn him to death: and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to Mocke, and to Scourge, and to Crucifie him, &c. And in the next words they come to make their suit. Nor onely here, but in other places of the Euangelists this is constantly noted of the Disciples, that when Christ was telling them of his suffering, and death, they were still harping upon this string, which of them should be the greatest. As we may read, Mark 9. ver. 30. to 34. and Luk. 9. ver. 43. to 46. Yea (Luke 22.) when they were at the Last Sup­per, and Christ had newly told them, that one of them should be­tray him, they were instantly againe at their philoneikía, a hotly contending about Prelacy: as ver. 21. to 24. As if they would contend, which of them should betray him. So as still they took as bad a Season for their suit, as might be. But in Mathew (Chap. 20. 19.) Christ told them also of his Resurrection, which might give him a faire hint for their suit. But alas, poore Soules; they as yetMark 9. 32. Luke 9. 45. understood nothing at all, either of his Crucif [...]ing, or of his Rising againe. And againe it is to be noted, that after the Lord was risen againe, and they had re­ceived the Holy Ghost, they never made any such suit, or had any such contention, or ambition among themselves. Then they were become other men, never so much as thinking of any such vanity, as a Prelacy; they now saw, that Christs Kindome in its military condition admitted not of Prelaticall Chaires to sit at their ease, and to injoy their pomp, pleasure, and riches of the world. Their contention was then, which should be the greatest in paines taking in his Ministry, and in undergoing greatest afflictions for Christ, and the Gospell, and in winning most Soules to Christ, and the like. But (I say) before Christ was risen againe, they were carnall, carnally minded, they dreamed of a temporall, and worldly Kingdome, wherein they would be chiefe. And such a Kingdome indeed is that, which hath Chaires of Prelacy, and Preeminence, such as they blindly aymed at. And yet as blind as they were, theirMark. 9. 33, 34. Conscience made them ashamed to confesse to Christ what it was, that they reasoned of by the way; for they had been at it, which of them should be the greatest.

[Page] Well, we have heard of their suit: now for Christs Answere Ye know not (saith he) what ye aske. You know not the nature of that Kingdome of mine, which in this world is not a Kingdome of externall pompe, glory, and greatnesse, but a Kingdome of grace, humility, patience, and wholly Spirituall, a Kingdome not of ease and pleasure, as to sit in Chaires of State, but of paines-taking, of labour and travell in your Ministry, of contempt of the world, and of suffering manifold afflicti­ons, and even death it selfe, for my Names sake. And therefore Christ addeth here: Are ye able to drinke of the Cup, that I drinke of? &c. And they answering: We are: he addes; Ye shall indeed drinke of the Cup, and be baptised with the Baptisme, that I am baptised with: that is, you must thinke of other matters, when you come into my Kingdome, then of any such worldly greatnesse as you dreame of; you must prepare your feet for the fetters, your backs for the whip, your bellies for hunger and thirst, your bodies for nakednesse, your stomacks to drinke and digest the bitter Cup of death, and to be dipped over head and eares in floods and Seas of afflictions. Are ye able to doe this? Alas, poore Soules, as yet they were novices in Christs Schoole, they would be of the highest forme, before they had learned the very first Principles of the Catechisme, or the A, B, C. of the Crosse of Christ.

But, saith Christ, Ye shall drinke of my Cup, &c. that is, after ye have fullfilled your Ministeriall Course, and suffered afflictions, and drunke deaths Cup, and therewith have been baptised, then a place shalbe proved for you in my Kingdome of glory, such as my Father hath appointed for you, and for all my Disciples, so as in whom the greater improvement of theLuk. 19. 16, 17, 18, 19. Math. 25. 16, 17, 18, &c. Talents of Grace, committed to your trust, is found, the greater preferment in Glory he shall have, each according to his proportion yet so, as every good and faithfull Servant, shall enter into his Masters joy, inPsal. 16. 11. whose presence is the fullnesse of joy, and at whose right hand there are pleasures for evermore. But for any such thing as you aske, it is not mine to give, I have no such Commission from my Father to bestow upon you any such thing, as worldly Prelacy; that's no part of my Kingdome, nor of the administration thereof. But all that are found faithfull in the Kingdome of Grace, shall in the King­dome of Glory sit with me at my Fathers right hand for evermore. Whereas on the contrary, such as turne my Kingdome of Grace into a Kingdome of Pleasure, pride and ease, as they due which hunt after, and injoy the preferments of the world, to those I say,Luk. 6. 24, 25, 26. Woe to you that are rich for you have received your Consolation. Woe to you that are full: for you shall hunger. Woe to you that laugh now: for ye shall mourne, and weepe: Woe unto you, when all men shall speake well of you: for so [Page] did their Fathers to the false Prophets. Hence we may note by the way, that Christ applyes this his whole Speech to such espe­cially as are false Prophets; that wallow in ease and pleasure, as we know all Prelates doe; who therfore shall be ranked among the voluptuous and salacious goates at Christs left hand when he shall say unto them, Goe ye cursed, &c. For as one said, Qui Praelatum quaerit in terris, inve [...]t confusionem in Coelis. He that seeks Prelacy on earth, shall find confusion in heaven. And we see here, that Christ hath no such Prelacie to give; he convinces his Disciples of great blindnesse, in such their ambition. Christ then to be the Author and giver of any such Prelacie. Prelacie therfore is not jure divino, as from Christs Ordinance. For Prelacie alwayes is attended with a long Silken Traine, goodly Palaces, rich reve­news, great Grace in Princes Courts, and what not that the world can afford? Quo jure then? From what Title doe Pre­lates hold? Namely, from him who saidLuk. 46, 7. All these things are mine, and to those that will fall downe and worship me, I give them: that is, All that will be Prelates, and so will be my Servants in op­pressing Gods Word, in persecuting Christs Saints and Ministers, in exercising their Lordly Iurisdiction over the Consciences of Gods people, captiving them with manyfold ceremonies of will-worship, to [...]h [...] destruction of Christs Kingdome, of Mans Salvation, and of that liberty from all Spirituall bondage, the redemption from which cost Christ his best blood: to those I will give rich Prelacies, goodly houses and Palaces, a Princely Traine and Retinue, a Lordly Revenew, and all the pleasures and contentments, which the world can afford. And thus we have found out the very Source of this Egyptian Nilus, the prime Author, and Patron of all such Prelacie, as falsely pre­tends its Title to be de jure divino, yea even from Christ him­selfe.

It followeth in the Text ver. 24. And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. Observe here of these Disciples, as yet carnall, some are ambitious, and the rest envious. For all of them before Christs Resurrection, were ambitious of Prelacie; as we read in the place forecited. So as hence we may note, that such as affect, and are ambitious of Pre­lacie, they are carnall men, which savour the things of the flesh, worldly minded, such as the Apostle speaks of, thatPhil. 3. 18, 19. are ene­mies to the Crosse of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. They have a wisdome indeed, butlam. 3. 15. such as is not from above, but is earthly, sensuall, and develish, as Iames speaketh. And where­upon [Page] speakes he it? In the former verse he had sayd, If ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lye not against the truth. And this was the wisdome of these carnall Disciples, they were ambitious, and envious one against another; yea they did a'ganaktein, stomack and maligne one another in the point of Prelacy. For ambition and envy are two inseperable twinnes, like those of Hypocrates, they are borne together, live together, and dye together. And as lames in the former place addeth, For where envying and strife is, there is confusion, kai pan phaulon pragma, and every evill worke. Now to apply this to our Prelates: what men in the world more ambitious of Prelacie, and more envious one against another? In those Primitive times, at the first Councel of Nice, what bundles and fardles of complaints did those Prelates bring one against another? and all this arose from their ambi­tion and [...], each seeking precedency of his Sea before ano­ther. And the fire was so kindled, that had not Constantine the Emperour caused all the Bills of complaints to be cast into the fire together, it had been enough to have set all the world in a combustion. And the Prelate of Canterbury in his said Book con­fesseth,Confer. pag. 176. that the onely difficulty was to accommodate the places and precedencies of Bishops among themselves. And afterwards, what a hot stirre was between Iohn of Constantinople, and GREGORY of Rome, for the precedencie of their Seas, and for the Supreme Headship it selfe? And heretofore between the Prelates of Canterbury and Yorke for the universall Metropolitanship over all England?

But let us further hearken to what Christ saith: But Iesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the Princes of the Gen­tiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise au­thority over them. But it shall not be so among you. And Luke ex­presseth it thus: The Kings of the Gentiles exercise Lordship over them, and they that exercise authoritie upon them, are called Benefactors. But ye shall not be so. All is to one effect. Which is, Christ here forbids his Disciples to exercise any such Dominion, or Auhortity, or Lordship, either over one another, or upon his Church, as Heathen Princes doe use over their People. And this he ap­plies to their ambition of Prelacie, which Prelacie he samples and parallells with the Dominion, Authority, and Lordship, which Heathen Princes exercise over their people. These words of Christ are so expresse and full, that Bellarmine hath no other Shift to ward off the blow, but to say, that Christ here forbids his Disciples the exercise of all Temporall Authority and juris­diction, [Page] such as Heathen Princes used, but not of spirituall Do­minion and Lordship, Authority, and jurisdiction over the Church. But it is more cleare then the Sun, that Christ forbids here to his Disciples all manner of Dominion and Lordship either over one another, or over the Church of God, as over Gods Ministers and People. First, for Lordship over one another, the said Arch­prelate of Canterbury confesseth Christ gave them none. And se­condly, for Lordship over Gods heritage, the Apostles themselves afterwards both disclaimed in themselves, and condemned in others; as we shall see hereafter. And by the way, by Bellar­mines own confession, all Temporall Lordship, or Government is condemned in Prelates.

But now for our Prelates: Quo jure doe they de facto exercise such Authority and Dominion, such Lordship and Jurisdiction over Gods Ministers and People, as differeth nothing at all from the State of Heathen Princes? This Christ expresly for­bids to his Disciples: and therefore such as doe it, are none of his Disciples, nor yet any of their Successors. But they will say, They are Spirituall Lords, and exercise a Spirituall Lordship over the Church. But this bare Title of Spirituall, is too short a cloake to cover the nakednesse of so poore a shift. They call themselves Spirituall, when they are the most carnall men in the world. Thus did those false 2 Cor. 11. 13. Apostles, deceitfull workers, transforme themselves into the Apostles of Christ. Thus Antichrist himselfe, whom the Scripture intitles2 Thess. 2. 3. the Man of sinne, and the Son of perdition, will salve all, by Styling himselfe, Holy Fa­ther, yea Holinesse it selfe. But to come a little more close and home to our Prelates, those Spirituall Lords: wherein doth their Spirituall Dominion and Lordship differ from that of Heathen Princes? For first, they assume the Title of Prince to them­selves, as the Arch-prelate in High Commission most bravely and boldly alledged Psal. 45. 16. for which he borrows Bel­larmines Glosse. Princes then they must be. But what Prin­ces? Spirituall. Nay by their Lordships favour, they are Tem­porall Lords; For how els come they to sit in Parliament cheek by jowle with the Princes and Peers of the Realme? And do they not in all points beare the Image, and represent Hea­then Princes in their State and Dominion? Have they not their Stately Palaces, as they? Have they not their Attendants and Officers of their House, as they? Doe they not goe in Purple, and Scarlet, Silkes and Velvets, and fine linnen, and faire deliciously every day, as they? Have they not their Courts, and [Page] Officers, their Tipstaves, Lictors, and Prisons, as they? And doe they not exercise their Authority without subjection to any humane Law, and in their own Names, as absolute, and independent Lords, as those Heathen Princes did? Thus have they not with the Beast (their Syre) in theRev. 13. 14. Revelation, made a perfect Image of the first Beast, to wit, of the Heathen Empire, from top to toe, whose whole forme and State of Do­minion they set up in their Prelaticall Hierarchie? Doth not the ver. 12. Beast, which cometh out of the earth, having two hornes like a Lamb, but speakes as a Dragon (which is the Papall Hierarchie) exercise all the power of the first Beast before him (namely of the Roman Emperour there described) yea and cause the Earth, with all that dwell therein to worsh [...]p the first Beast, that is, to subject themselves to the Throne and Authority of the Hierarchie, which is now invested with an absolute, Imperiall, indepen­dent power, which yet they blush not to affirme to be jure di­vino, and from Christ himselfe? How can any thing be more diametrically contrary to Christs words here, It shall not be so among you? Yes (saith this Shamelesse Beast, it shalbe so with us, and this Imperiall jurisdiction) we doe, and will exercise over the People. As they doe indeed.

Yea these Spirituall Lords do not only exercise all the power of the first Beast, as of Heathen Princes over the bodies and goods of men, by imprisoning, fyning, undoing of Men and their whole Families; yea and faggotting also the deare Saints and Servants of God, onely by a pretty conveyance, making the Civil Ma­gistrate to be their executioner, as the High Priests having con­demned Christ, delivered him over to the Secular Power, to Pilate the Roman Governour: but they also usurpe and exer­cise a most transcendent and Tyrannicall Dominion over the Soules and Consciences of Gods people, as whose Canons and Consti­tutions (even their whole Canon Law, written in blood, signifi­ed by their red Inke, like to Draco his Laws, which for their cruelty were sayd to be written in blood [...] are most cruelly pressed upon the peoples soules for a full conformitie to all those humane Rites and Ceremonies of their will-worship in their Divine Ser­vice, as they call it. A bondage infinitely more bloody and cruel, then that of Gods people of old under the Egiptian Taskmasters. And yet, not withstanding all these things, is this their Lordly and Princely Jurisdiction jure Divino, from Christ? Or are Pre­lates herein the Apostles Successors? Were the Apostles ever such Princes? Lived they in such Palaces? Kept they such Courts? [Page] Did they imprison, persecute, and undoe Gods Saints? Did they make any Canons, or Laws for will worship? Did they presse so much as any one ragge of a Ceremony of their own devi­sing upon the Conscience of any of Gods people? Nay did they not expresly forbid, and condemn it? Not as Lords over Gods Heritage, saith1 Pet. 5. Peter to the Presbyters. Not as having dominion over your Faith, saith2 Cor. 1. 24. Paul to Gods Ministers and People. Yea this was also one branch of that Dominion, which the Hea­then Emperours exercised over the people, namely to force their Conscienses in matters of Religion.Dan. 6. 7. Darius made a De­cree, that none should make any request to God or Man for 30. dayes, save to the King alone: Dan. 3. Nebuchadnezzar proclaimes his Com­mandment, that all should fall downe and worship his golden Image. And Iulian the Apostata would force the Christians to offer sa­crifice to his Idols, or at least to cast but a little incense upon the fire before them. And such as refused, were sorely persecuted, punished, yea put to death. And doe not the Prelates exercise the like Dominion over mens Soules (I say) even to the utter un­doing and exterminating of all those, that refuse to submit their necks to such an Antichristian yoake? Nay doe they not fast Chaine to their Tyranny all Ministers, that take their Oath of Canonicall obedience, even as Temporall Princes take an Oath of Allegiance of their Subjects [...] Only here is the difference, the Subjects are by their Oath bound to the Prince, to obey him according to Gods Law, and the Laws of the Land: but Prelates by imposing the Oath of Canonicall obedience, doe exact of all Ministers absolute and unlimited obedience, to all their Canons, not onely those in being (although they be both contrary to Christs Law, and are not authorised by the Law of the Land) but to whatsoever other Canons they should in time frame and compose. Which was one great Coale, that hath caused the Smoaking out of all the Prelates out of our neighbour Coun­trey. Thus we see, that the Prelates, exercising the like, yea even the same Authority and Dominion, which the Heathen Princes used in all points over their People, are here flatly and expresly forbidden by Christ himselfe: So as their Pr [...]lacie is so farre from being sure divino, of divine Authority, as that it is an open rebellion against Christ and his Kingdome, and a very trampling of his words under their feet: But it shall not be so among you.

Againe for the words in Luke, The Kings of the Gentiles ex­ercise Lordship over them, and they that exercise Authority upon them, [Page] are called Benefactors. But ye shall not be so. Ye shall not be called e'uergétai, Benefactors, or Gracious Lords, as some Translations render it. In which word or Title Christ forbids all such Ti­tles to be assumed by his Apostles, as are Heathenish, or such as did, set forth the magnificence, pompe and State of Heathen Princes, or such Titles, as the Scripture doth not give to Gods Ministers. Now it was not unusuall with the Heathen to call their Kings, who were the greatest tyrants, and oppressors of the People,Euergétal, Horat. Benefactors, or the like, in flattery of them. Thus they did incrustare vitia, parget, or roughcast their vices; as the Poet speakes. And it seems the Popes learned of the Heathen this fashion of changing of their Names: as, if he were deformed, to call him, Formosus: if cruel, Clemens, &c. But for Prelates, are they not called Euergetae, Benefactors, your Grace, your Honour, Right reverend, most Reverend Father in God, My Lord, My Reverend Discesan, My Patron and Benefactor, Our Metropolitan, Primate, My Ordinary, and many such like devised Titles, no where to be found in Scripture, but serving to bolster out their Pontificiall pride? All such Titles Christ forbids to his Dis­ciples here; as elswhere also,Mat. 23. 8. 9, 10. Be ye not called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren. And call no man Father upon Earth (such Fathers as Prelates are called) for one is your Father which is in heaven. Neither be ye called Masters: for one it your Master, even Christ.

But the Prelates will say, Distingue tempora, Distinguish the times: the Apostles were poore, the Church was then but in the In­fancie, Swadling clouts might serve the Turne: but now we that are the Successors of the Apostles, are men grown, and know how to use the honours, pleasures and preferments of the world, being cast upon us; and being now promoted to be Princes, those titles, riches, and honours that we have, are but sutable to our dignity, and serviceable to our Principality: Then was then: and now is now. These things some great Pontificians and Popes themselves have alledged.Bernard. De Consider. ad Eugen. 4. lib. 4. c. 2. But Bernard, who was one of their owne, writing to Pope Eugenius, and telling him plainly and freely of all his Pontificiall Pomp, and how unlike therein he was to Christ and his Apostles: saith, Scilicet sic factitabat Petrus? sic paulus ludebat? Did Peter I pray you doe thus? Did Paul play such play? Si anderem di­cere, Daemonum magis, quam ovium pascua haec: If I durst speake it, these are the pastrues of Devils, rather then of the Sheep. Honori totum datum datur, Sanctitati nihil aut parum: All is given to honour, but little, or nothing to holinesse. But he puts their [Page] allegation as I sayd before) Absit; inquiunt, tempori non convenit: What should holinesse doe, say they? It is not sutable for our times. Thus Bernard.

But we need goe no further, then to the Painter, whom the Pope set a worke in his Gallery to draw the pictures of Peter and Paul: who having painted their faces blushing redde, and the Pope coming in to see his worke, and asking him, If Peter and Paul had such redde faces, because he had so painted them: No, puoth he, but if they were here now, and did behold what a glo­rious, rich and magnificent Successor they have, they would blush as redde, as now you see their pictures doe. And his Holinesse was very well pleased with the Painters Conceit, to see himselfe a bra­ver man, then ever poore Peter and Paul were, whose Succes­sor notwithstanding he boasts himselfe to be. For what els, but a Sweet Fable, doth the Pope make of the Gospel, as him­selfe said? And surely we cannot thinke, that Prelates, who are the limbs of this great Beast, are of any other Spirit, then Athe­isticall, such as the Head himselfe is of, and which he hath derived to his Members.

Well, hitherto we have heard Christs Sentence concerning Prelacy in the Church, and that negatively, denyed to his Apostles, as a thing heathenish and carnall; and so which turnes Christs Spirituall Kingdome into a meere carnall and temporall, yea profane and heathenish Kingdome. But it shall not be so among you. Ergo Prelates (as before is noted) are none of Christs Disciples, and their Prelacie, or Hierarchy none of his Institution or Ordinance, but flatly forbidden and condemned by hm. Now a word of the affirma­tive part of his Answere, wherein the shews what manner of men his true Disciples must be.

Verse 27. &c. But whosoever wilbe great among you, let him be your Minister: and whosever wilbe chiefe among you, let him be your Servant: The Summe is: Christs Apostles and Disciples must be humble men, and Servants to their brethren, not Lords over them. For these two are opposed one to the other: Prelacy is for proud men: humility for Christs Disciples. Christs Disciples then, and Prelates cannot stand together. And pride is not the way to come to sit the next to Christs right hand, but humility. He that is most humble, shalbe exalted to the greatest honour. As Christ saith here, whosoever wilbe chiefe among you, let him be your Minister, or Servant. That's the way to be the chiefe.

Lastly, in the next words, Christ sets himselfe for an exam­ple: Even as, (saith he) the Son of man came not be ministred unto, but [Page] to minister, and to give his life a ransome for many. And the Servant is not above his Lord. And as Christ humbled himselfe below all men: So for that cause God hath highly exalted him, Phil. 2. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1. and given him a Name, above every Name, that in the Name of Iesus every knee should bow, &c. that is as Christ made himselfe the Servant of all, So God hath made him now the Lord of all: this is that Name above every Name: So as In this Name to bow, is not an hypocriticall and Su­perstitious bowing of the knee of the body, when ever the bare Name Iesus is named, when the Name Christ is nothing re­garded: but it is an acknowledgement that Iesus Christ is the Lord and Iudge of all, to the glory of God the Father; as there the Apostle speakes. So as he there saith,ver. 5. Let the same mind be in you, which was in Christ Iesus. Thus true humility is the way to honour in Christs Kingdome: he that fits lowest at Christs footstoole here, shall sit highest at his right hand in heaven. So as this is not such an humility, as was in the Monke, that alwayes went hang­ing down his head, untill at length he came to be Prior, and then being asked, why now he held up his head: he answered, I have now found the Keys of the Covent. Nor as of another, that being a Frier, would cover his Table with a piece of an old Fisher-net, in token of his humility: but coming to be Abbat, he cast away his Net; and being asked why, he said, I have now taken the Fish. Neither are Christs words so to be taken, as the Pope stiles himselfe, Servus Servorum Dei, Servant of the Ser­vants of God: under which Title he hath made himselfe Domi­nus Dominantium, Lord of Lords. Nor because Pope Gregory was the first, that styled himselfe Servus Servorum Dei, and his next Successor but one, Boniface 3. got the Title of Vniversalis Episcopus, universall Bishop: therfore Christ requires such an humility; as aymes at temporall promotion. But he is truly humble, that denyes himselfe; and tramples on the worlds preferments, preferring Christs rebukes before the treasures of Egypt, and to suffer afflictions with the people of God, rather then to injoy the pleasures of sinne for a season. This is that humility, which brings us to that Recompence of Reward, to sit at Christs right hand. And thus much of Christs words, wherein he declares his mind touching Prelacy, so as he never thought it fittest to governe his Church by Prelates, as the said Archprelate is not ashamed to bely him, and so to blas­pheme him. Therfore the Hierarchy is no Institution of Christ, and so not jure devino, of divine Authority.

Wherein sundry passages of the Prelate in his said Booke, for the mainteynance of his Hierarchy, and so for the disabling of the Authority and Evidence of the Holy Scripture, are met withall.

FOr concerning the Scripture, he hath writ a large Trea­tise orSect. 16. Section of his Relation, of almost 15 Sheets of paper, wherein he extremely abuses the clearenesse and Sufficiencie of Scripture, as wanting light enough of it selfe to show it to be the word of God; untill the Authority and Tradition of the present Church doe light it. And for proofe hereof he saith, that God in his Providence hath kindled in it no light for that. Thus belying and blaspeming Gods Providence. It shalbe sufficient to name and note this onely, for the present, the confutation there­of requiring a larger discourse, then this of mine will admit. Againe, he saith,Confer. pag. [...]57. If there be a jealousie or doubt of the Sense of the Scripture, we must repaire to the Exposition of the Primitive Church, and submit to that: or call, and submit to a Generall Councel, &c. Now, if he shall quarrell this Scripture, and those words of Christ forementioned, as being either jealous or doubtfull of the sense thereof: and so send me to the Primitive Church, or call me to a Generall Councel, for the determination of this point: what shall we say? For in no case can he yeeld the Scripture the honour to be sole Judge of controversies in faith. And for the Primitive Church, which he meanes, namely that which came after Christ and his Apostles, that (he will say) had Bishops, or Prelates. And for a Generall Councel, that by his own verdict, must consist of Prelates, and so then shalbe Judges in their own cause. Therefore herein I must tell him plainly: that, first, for the Primitive Church, which was that of the Apostles, never any one of them was a Prelate or Diocesan Bishop, as we shall see more anon. Secondly, the next ages of the Church succeeding that of the Apostles, knew no such Lord Bishops, or Prelates, as are now adayes, with their Traines and Courts. And when they began to get Prelacies, old Hierome reprooved them; and so did others. Thirdly, never any Generall Councel yet conclu­ded, that Prelates were jure divino. Fourthly, For a Generall Coun­cel now to be called for the determining of this controversie, which must consist onely of Prelates: I deny them to be com­petent Iudges in this Case. For by the Prelates own Confession [Page] pag. 157. No man ought to be both party and Iudge in his own Cause. And again, thepag. 220. 226. Prelate is too strict and Canonicall, in tying all men to the decision of a Generall Councel, and to yeeld obedience unto it, yea although it determine a matter erronious in the Faith. Now then if a Generall Councel of Prelates should determine, that Pre­lates are jure divino, although it be erronious, yet according to the Prelates Rule, all must yeeld obedience, and submit thereunto. And then we are gone, if we commit this matter to a Generall Councel.

But we will passe by these, and come to some other of his passages for his Prelacy. He saith,pag. 200. I beleeve, Christ thought it fitter to governe the Church Aristocratically by Diverse, rather then by one Vice-Roy. A [...]d those Diverse, he makes to be Prelates, or Hierarchs, or rather Archprelates. Now except he verily beleeve that Prelates are the best men in the world, how can he beleeve, that Christ thought is fittest to governe his Church by them? For Aristocracie is a Government of the best men. Aristoi, Optimi, and therefore called Optimates, most honourable for their vertues But are Prelates so? Doth their extreme pride, ambition covetousnesse, voluptuousnesse, idlenesse, hatred and suppressing of Gods word, perse­cution of Gods Ministers, oppression of Gods people, even all that professe godlinesse, and extreme both injustice and cruelty without all Law or Conscience in Censuring poore innocent soules that come before them: doe these their vertues make them to be the best men for Christ to thinke the fittest, by whom to governe his Church? unlesse in this respect Christ might thinke it fittest: that seeing he thought it fittest, to keep his true Church, his little sto [...]ke, alwayes under manifold tryalls of afflictions and persecutions, as being the exercises of all that will live godly in Christ Iesus, and the way, through which they must goe into the Kingdome of God: therefore for this very cause, he might thinke it fittest to suffer Satan to set up Anticr [...]ist in the Temple of God, with his Traine of Prelates, who should prove the most vengable Instruments of persecuting and oppressing Gods true children, of all other men in the world. And this I beleeve to be true. And againe, I beleeve this to be true also, that Christ thought it fittest to governe his true Church Aristocratically, that is, by the best men, because he hath so expressed himselfe in his word. Why? Where? and who be those best men? Let my Lord Prelate have patience, and I will shew him a cleare ground of this my faith, such as he can never shew for his blind faith. Those best men, that Christ thought is fittest to governe his Church by: are the severall Ministerss rightly [Page] qualified, and lawfully placed over their Severall Congregations respectively. And they are called both Presbyteri, and Episcopi, Presbyters or Elders, and Overseers, or (as Prelates falsely style themselves) Bishops. But how are these o i aristoi, the best men? Because Christ requires such to have the qualities of the best men. What be those? [...] Tim. 3 [...] 2. First, such a Bishop, or Overseer must be blamelesse: the husband of one wife (not therfore one tyed from Marriage, which is for Antichrists Priests) vigilant, sober, of good behaviour given to hospitality apt to teach, not given to wine, no strik [...]r, not greedy of filthy l [...]re: but patient, not a brawler, not covetous, &c. And in Titus: Tit. 1, 7. Not selfe-willed: not soon angry: a lover of good men [...] sober, just, holy, temperate, holding fast the faithfull word that he may be able by sound doctrine, both to exhort, and to convince the gaine­sayers. Such therefore, as call themselves the onely Bishops, to exercise Lordship over many Ministers and Congregations, and are proud, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures, more then lovers of God, cruell strikers with their High-Commission-weapons, soone angry; and never appeased againe, not lovers, but persecuters of good men; not such as hold fast the wholesome word, but suppresse it all they can, forbidding others to convince the gainesayers, as those of the Arminian party, and the like; and cutting off the Eares of those Ministers, that should dare to reprove the Prelates notori­ous practises and attempts, in setting up a false, Idolatrous, and An­christian Religion for Christs Religion, and such like: such (I say) how can the Prelate beleeve to be of those diverse, whom Christ thought it fittest to governe his Church by.

Againe; another passage of his, is this: pag. 210, 21. She (the Church of England) beleeves, That our Saviour Christ hath left in his Church, besides his Law-booke, the Scripture, visible Magistrates and Iudges, that is Arch-bishops, and Bishops, under a gracious King, to governe both for Truth and Peace according to the Scripture, and her owne Canons and Constitutions; as also chose of the Catholick Church, which crosse not the Scripture, and the just Laws of the Realme. So the Prelate.

In the next passage before, the Prelate makes profession of his own Faith concerning Christs thought for Prelaticall Govern­ment: and here he tells us what is the Faith of the Church of England about the same new Article of his beliefe [...] And not un­likely it is [...] that the Prelaticall Church of England is of the saine beliefe with her learned Champion, and great Metropolitan. But the faith both of the Prelate and his Church, in this point, is notoriously erronious, as both is proved before, and which the [Page] Prelates own words here will sufficiently convince of fashood. For first, Christ left none (when he went into heaven) but his 1 Apostles and Disciples, such as he inspired with his Spirit, to in­struct and governe his Church. But the Prelate albid. little after con­fesseth, that one of these visible Iudges, Arch-bishops and Bishops, are infallible. Therfore Christ left no such Iudges; and when he went into heaven, there were no Prelats extant, nor yet hatched; and therfore Christ cannot be so much as thought; much lesse beleeved, to have left any such visible Iudges, as the Prelate men­tioneth. Secondly, it cannot be safe to beleeve, that Christ left 2 any such to be visible Iudges in matters of faith and Religion, who are in their judgement not onely erronious, but in their affections malicious against Christ and his word, and his trile Church. For the universall and constant practise of Prelates (and especially ever since Antichrist hath been exalted in his Throne) in persecuting the Professors of the Gospell, doth proclaime them to be of the malignant Church, and ofGal. 4. 29. the bendwoman, that where of Babylon, whose [...]eed doth persecute the true Church and Chil­dren of God: and therefore Christ would never appoint such to be visible Iudges in matters of Faith and Religion in his Church. Thirdly, the Prelate in making such visible Iudges besides Christs 3 Law-booke, the Scripture (as he saith) doth hereby deny and exclude the Scripture from being the Sole Iudge in all matters of Faith and Religion. And the Church of England formerly before this her Metropolitan started up) was of this beliefe, that the Scripture was the Sole Iudge and Rule of Faith, and admitted of no other Iudges to sit on the same Bench with it. This the many learned works of our English Divines, yet extant, can abundantly te­stifie. Therfore except the Church of England hath lost her wits, and hath no more grace left her, then the grace and faith of Canterbury: she cannot be so madde as to beleeve Christ left any such visible Iudges, as her Prelate speakes of. Fourthly, it 4 can never be beleeved of any sensible man, much lesse of any even common Christian, that Christ would leave notorious hypocrites to be Iudges in matters of Religion, who under a faire pretence of Truth and Peace, doe labour utterly to destroy both Truth and Peace in his Church. As here, the Prelate names Truth and Peace, as the end of his Hierarchicall Government: but his practises doe prove him to be the greatest enemy both of Truth and Peace, that ever Sate in the Chaire of Canterbury. For first, for Truth (as the Truth of the Doctrines of Grace, layd down in the Articles of Religion of the Church of England hath he 3 [Page] not in the Declaracion before those 39 Articles (but set forth in the Kings Name: for all must be, under a gracious King) baffled it, making the Articles to speake nonsense, or in the language of the Delphick Oracle, ambiguous, that may be taken either way, as favouring the Arminian, aswell as the Orthodox; so as by this meanes, his Arminian Crew may prove their Heresies out of those Articles, aswell as the Orthodox, can the Truth. Is this visible Iudge then for Truth? Againe, how doth he suppresse all preaching of the Doctrines of Grace, by terrifying Ministers in all the Visitations of these visible Iudges? So cleare it is, that he governes for Truth.

2 Secondly, for Peace. What Peace, I pray you, hath either the Church, or State of England had, since this Polypragmatick be­gan to stirre and stickle both in Church and State? Nay what Peace hath the Neighbour-Kingdome had, since his Arme hath been imped out, to put his hot coale under the Eves of that Church also. So as now, when Scotland burneth, is't not time for England to looke out, and to cast on water, and to quench the fire, not with more fire, to consume all, but by quenching the coale, that both first kindled, and still fomenteth the flame? Thus we see what a Governour here is under a Gratious King, For Truth and 5 Peace. But, fiftly, he addeth, According to the Scripture. This is something. And yet as good as nothing: for he immediate­ly annexeth, And her own Canons and Constitutions Canons, enough to batter the Scripture: and Constitutions to undermine and blow it up. For what Scripture can stand in any force, where his Canons come? And much more, where these Canons of his Church of England are seconded by his Catholike Church: Wherein his Church of England, and that of Rome, are become (according to hisConfe. Epist. Dedicatory, & pag. 376. own words) one and the Same Church, of one and the Same Faith and Religion. And thus indeed, the Church of England may enter Common with Rome in her Canons, as namely in her Ca­non Law, and so make Corpus Cononicum the Rule whereby to governe this new Corporation of the Two Churches now be­come one againe. So as let but the Canons of the Church of Eng­land be seconded with those of her Prelates Catholicke Church, and then all Scripture is gone in Common Law. So vaine is it, that with Scripture he names and yoakes his Canons of England and 6 Rome, by which his Figures of value, he conjures the Scripture within the circle of a meere Cypher But, Sixtly, he concludes with this qualification: which crosse not the Scripture, and the just Laws of the Realme. But first, for the Scripture, who shalbe Judge [Page] whether the Canons doe crosse it? Who but the Canon-makers, and Canon-masters, the Prelates? And will they trow you turne the mouth of their own Canons against themselves? Nay their Canons, though never so crosse to Scripture, yet are like to Da­rius his Decree, which though against the Scripture, yet rather then it shalbe broken, Daniel must to the Lions denne, to try whether the Lions, or the Kings Decree be more cruell. So the Prelates Church Catholick Canons are like the Laws of the Medes and Persians, all the Daniels in the world shall rather to the Lions denne, then the Canons be reversed. To give but one instance for many: That Canon De Haeretibus comburendis, Of Burning the Hereticks (which is one of those speciall Canons of his Catholick Church, and a most damnable Canon, as any in all the packe, and such, as if Christ and his Apostles were now upon the earth, and did Preach as once they did, they should by vertue of that Canon be brought to the Stake, as Christ was by the High Priests Ioh. 19. [...] Law to his Crosse) that Canon (I say) though it crosse the Scripture (as being against all true Chisti­ans, whom this Canon calls Hereticks, and burnes for the Scrip­ture-sake) yet shall it not be for ever in force, so long as there is one Hereticke remaining upon the face of the earth, and one Pope, or Prelate to discharge the Canon?

But the Prelate addes, And the just Laws of the Realme: If the said Canons crosse not the just Laws of the Realme. This is as good, as the former, and no better. For what Laws of the Realme doth he account just? Those, that crosse any Prelaticall practises, and Antichristian lawlesse courses of his Spirituall Courts? Surely those are not to be ranked among the just Laws of the Realme those must needs be unjust Laws, which are made to restraine; the Infolencie and Lawlesse proceedings of Prelaticall Courts. Which is the reason, that now of late, under this Archprelate, Prohibitions out of the Kings bench to the High-Commission are so gueason, so well Schooled are both Lawyers to move, and Judges to grant any such thing. Thus the Prelates practises are a sufficient Commentary of his owne words. So as the Summe of this his whole passage is, That his Church of England must submit her beliefe to her Arch Bishops and Bishops, as visible Iudges left by Christ to governe, and to determine all matters of difference in point of Faith and Religion, and that according to Scrip­ture too, so farre as they crosse not her own Canons, and those of the Catholicke Church, wherein England and Rome are one and the Same, one Church, of one Faith, of one Religion. And all this (if we [Page] may beleeve her Metropolitan) the Church of England beleeves. O miserable Church!

Wherein some other Passages of the Prelate in his Booke, touching the Authority of his Hierarchie, are met withall, and confuted by evi­dence of Scripture.

IN hispag 15. Epistle Dedicatory he hath these words: She the Church of England) practises Church-Government, as it hath been in use in all Ages, and all Places, where the Church of Christ hath taken any rooting, both in, and ever since the Apostles times; and yet the Seperatist condemnes her for Antichristianisme in her Discipline. So he. A bold Speech, and the more bold, be­cause most false, and hath nothing but his bare Ipse dixit, his naked affirmation, as Authority sufficient. Whence I note sun­dry 1 particulars. First that he calleth the Hierarchie, or Ecclesi­asticall Government therof, the Church of England. A thing fami­liar with Prelates to make themselves the Church. And such a Church as that of Rome, the Pope and his Priests, or Prelates, are the Church, as themselves affirme. Whereas indeed (as Iunius hath well distinguished) [...] they are not the Body it selfe of the Church, but [...]ennes, or swellings grown up, and so incor­porated into the Body, as overspreading it like a Leprosie, it assumes the denomination of the Body. And such are Prelates, who in the Church of England are Strumae great swellings like the Kings Evill, which are commonly next the Head, or about the necke, in the most principall parts of the Body. Onely in this they will not be called the Kings Evill, because they claime their Originall from Christ (as before is noted) and therfore though they be but certaine Abscessus, or Apostemes (and so in­deed Apostat [...]s from the true Church of Christ) which not onely deforme the Body, but greatly in danger the life thereof, yet the name of Church they challenge in peculiar to themselves. But surely the true Church of Christ in England disclaimes com­munion with such a false Church, as the Hierarchie calls it selfe.

2 Secondly, he saith that his Church, or Prelaticall Government hath been in all Times and Places, where the Church of Christ hath [Page] taken any rooting. Here he finely excludes all the Protestant Reformed Churches, as no Churches of Christ, because they have weeded out those.Heb. 12. 15. bittet roots, whereby many are defiled, and rooted up those plants, Mat. 15. 13. which our heavenly Father hath not plan­ted, to wit; all Prelates with their Hierar [...]hicall Government, which being rooted out of those Churches, the Gospell (blessed be God) and so the true Church of Christ hath taken the deeper and firmer rooting, and brought forth the more abundantRom. [...]. fruits of holin [...]sse. But the Prelate in thus unchurching all true Reformists, is as good as his word, which he openly spake at Dr. Bastwicks Censure, in High-Commission, saying, The Protestant Churches beyond the Seas were no Churches, as having no Bishops, calling Calvin a plaine Rascall. But so long as those Churches have the true Bishops namely Orthodox and Sound Pastors to seed their seve­rall [...]locks, it is not the Arch-prelate, that can so easily degrade them from being Christs true Churches, as he can deprive those Ministers both of Ministry and Meanes, who are obnoxious to his Church-Go [...]ernment.

Thirdly, where he saith, that his Church-Government hath 3 been in use in all Ages, and in all Places, where the Church of Christ hath taken any rooting, both In, and ever since the Apostles times: although this be most false, yet were it true, it would not ther­upon follow, that this his Church-Government is either Aposto­licall, or jure divino, or from Christ. For first, every thing that hath been in use in the Apostles times, and in the true Church of Christ, is not therfore Apostolicke, or such, as the true Church of Christ alloweth of. For we read, that the Mistery of Iniquity be­gan to worke in the Apostles times, and even then there were 2 Thess. 2. many Antichrists, and that in the very midst of the Church in those dayes.1 Iohn 2. And if Prelates shall prove to be those Antichrists, which the Apostles detected, and described by their qualities (as will appeare anon [...]) then because such Antichrists were ex­tant, and their Church-Government in use in the Apostles times, will the Prelate therfore conclude, such were Apostolicke, and had their Originall jure divino? Secondly, neither can the Pre­late 2 ever prove, that his Prelaticall Government (as now of later, and of long time it hath been) is any thing like to the Church-Government exercised by those, who took upon them to be the first Diocesan, or Provinciall Bishops in those ages succeeding the Apostles. He that shall read the Centuries; Cat [...]lagus Testiun [...] veritatis, and other true Church Stories, shall find as vast a difference between those poore ancient Bishops, both in their [Page] manner of life, and Church-Government, and the moderne Pre­lotes, since Antichrist mounted aloft in his Pontificalibus: as the Ovid. Meta. Poet makes between the Silver Age, and the Iron Age: or as theDan. 2. Prophet shews between the brazen brest of the Image of the Babylonish Empire, and the feet mixt of iron and clay. And that Image may well resemble the State of the Spirituall Babylon, or Hierarchy, which had its rise of simple and small beginnings, but by degrees Successively, it grew and got strength, and both height and bredth, and so became at length of a blind Brooke, a goodly navigable River, so as the Church turned a City of Traffique and Trade in all worldly pleasures and riches (as Ba­bylon is described Revel. 18.) and so the more worldly it grew, the more wicked, proud, tyrannicall, lordly, and imperious, and of a Militant Church turned Triumphant as the Prelate himselfe saith of Rome so as now the Church Government of the Prelates in regard of their great Courts, and Consistories, and doing all things without the Presbytery [...] is as much unlike that ancient Church-Government of those Bishops of old, as our moderne Prelates themselves are unlike them in manner of life; for these are per­secuters of the Gospel: those were persecuted, and suffered Mar­tyrdome for Christ. Thus it is false, that he saith, that the Church-Government now in England was in us [...] in the Primitive Church. For to instance in one thing: In those ancient Times Excommunication was not used for every trifle, nor done in a blind Court, nor denounced by a dumb Priest. But enough of this.

Fourthly, whereas he saith: And yet the Seperatist condemnes her for Antichristianisme in her Discipline. First, as for the Sepera­tist (as he calls him) I thinke the Prelate with this his Book, and other his Prelaticall practises hath made more Separatists from his Prelaticall Church of England, then ever any that hath sit in the Chaire of Canterbury ever since his Predecessor Au­gustine first sate in it. Nor doe I see, how any Christian living in England can with a safe Conscience have communion with that Church, which professeth (as the Prelate doth in her Name) to be one and the Same Church with Rome, of one and the Same Faith and Religion. Yea were it no more, but that the Church of England professeth to be a Hierarchicall or Prelaticall Church, which in that very respect is no true Church of Christ, it were argument and cause sufficient to Seperate from her. And that because,

Secondly, he that is a true Seperatist from her, for the for­mer [Page] respects, may justly condemne her for Antichristianisme in her Discipline, For first, She exerciseth, She professeth no 1 other Discipline, but that which Antichrist, the Pope and the whole Antichristian Romish Church exerciseth and professeth, and that in all points Cap a pied, from top to toe. And this her Discipline is Antichristian, as being of Antichrist, and so a­gainst Christ, and exercised in the maintenance of Antichrist. For instance: The Prelaticall Church of England hath lately found out a Discipline, to censure, punish, imprison, fine, excommu­nicate, degrade deprive, and all these together, him that shall dare to deny the Pope and Prelates to be jure divino. Dr. Bastwicke did thus: and so the High-Commission served him, as aforesaid. What Discipline then in the world can be more Antichirstian, or more forcible to drive Christians from having any more com­munion with that Church; which exercising such an Antichristian Discipline, how can She shift off the just condemnation of Anti­christianisme, which they shall cast upon her? Againe, Second­ly,2 the whole Discipline of the Church of England, as it is the Discipline, which Antichrist and his Church exerciseth, and therfore Antichristian: So it is that, which hath no footing, but is expresly forbidden in the word of God, as Antichristian and Tyrannicall. For the Church of Englands Discipline stands most upon the imposition of sundry Ceremonies of humane invention, and Antichristian observation, which She presseth upon all mens Consciences, and for default of Conformity, layes grievous Cen­sures upon them, as Excommunication, and the like. Now all such Ceremonies, so imposed, both Christ himselfe condemneth, M [...]t. 15. 9. In vaine they worship me, teaching for Doctrines the Commande­ments of men: and the Apostle also throughout that whole Chapter of the Epistle to the Collossians doth charge Christi­ans not to put their necks under any such yoake, as whereby they are deprived of the benefit of Christs death, and beguiled of their reward, and spoyled of their Christian liberty, and the like. Againe, the Prelates in imposing their Ceremonies are Anti­christian, because in so doing, they usurpe Christs throne, and therein fitting, doe exercise a Tyranny over mens Consciences, intolerable to be borne; which if men will not yeeld unto, they doe in as much as in them lyeth, make them Anathemaes, shut them out of the Church, by Excommunication, &c. And lastly, their Excommunication, not onely in regard of the matter and cause, for which it is, namely, because men will not re­nounce Christs service, to take the Tyrannicall yoake of Anti­christs [Page] Ceremonies upon the shoulders of their Consciences, but for the very manner of it, as it is used in the Church of Eng­land, is a Discipline Antichristian, as being against that form of Excommunication, which is prescribed in the word of God, and was practised in the Apostolicall Churches. It was Christs rule, Tell it to the Church, that is, to the Congregation; and if the Offen­der will not heare the Congregation, he is Excommunicate by and out of the Congregation. And the Apostles rule is, for such Offenders as deserve Excommunication: 1 Cor. 5. 3, 4, 5. I verily (saith he) as absent in body, but present in Spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him, that hath so done this deed: In the Name of our Lord Iesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my Spirit, with the power of our Lord Iesus Christ, to deliver such a one unto Sa­tan, for the destruction of the flesh, that the Spirit may be saved in the day of our Lord Iesus Christ. Whence I note, that Excommunica­tion is a Solemne businesse, not to be inflicted for every trifling matter, much lesse as the Pharisees did, who excommunicated all those, that confessed Christ; nor to be done in a blind Court, and by a single soled Priest, nor the Offender to be released for the payment of his fees, or by way of committing, or the like: all which are practised in the Discipline of the Church of England. But Excommunication must not be, but for a great offence; nor done, but by the whole Congregation, nor released, but upon the publique repentance, confession, and promise of reformation before the said Congregation, where the offence was given, and by whom the penalty is taken off. Therfore the Discipline of the Church of England in this case is wholly Antichristian.

Lastly, forasmuch as Prelates doe necessarily draw after them a Traine of Ceremonies, as a Chaine of so many links, wher­with they captivate, ensnare, and enslave the Consciences of men (as their Motto is, No Ceremonie, no Bishop: for they goe inse­perably together, like Tobie, and his Dogge) and the Church of England in her Discipline, and Church-Service, is wholly capti­vated by the Masters of such Ceremonies, the Prelates: and some Ceremonies are such, as even doe deny the Lord that bought them, as namely, Altars, and their Service: and all the Ceremonies imposed upon the Conscience, deny Christ to be the onely King of his Church: all these taken together, what be­tween the Prelates, and between their Ceremonies, the Church of England, and her Discipline is become Antichristian; and ther­fore no marvail, if for this cause, good Christians, that have knowledge, and make Conscience, doe Seperate from communion with any such Church.

Wherein some other Passages of the Prelate are taken tripping, though he would run away with it, That his Hierarchie is Jure Divino.

HE saith, Confer, pag. 175, 176. For the Calling and Authority of Bishops over the inferiour Clergie, that was a thing of known use, and benefit for preservation of unity and Peace in the Church. And so much St. Jerome tells us. Though being none himselfe, he was no great friend to Bishops. And this was so sei [...]ed in the minds of men from the very Infancy of the Christian Church, as that it had not been to that time contradicted by any. So that then there was no Controversie about the Calling. The difficulty, was to accom­modate their Precedencies [...] And thepag. 183. Ordine Primus (whereof there was a necessity) falling to the Roman Prelate, by reason of the Imperiall Seat, this was the very fountaine of Papall Greatnesse, the Pope having his Residence in the Imperiall City. So he.

Now for Answere hereunto: First, for the Authority of Bi­shops or Prelats over the Inferiour Clergie (as he calls it) first he must prove their Calling, before he can make good their Au­thority. Now Prelates have no such Calling from God. And the Apostle saith,Heb. 5. 4, 5. No man taketh this honour unto himselfe, but he that is called of God as Aaron. So Christ glorified not himselfe, to be made an High Priest: but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee: Thou art a Priest for ever after the Order of Melchisedec. But that the Prelates have no such Calling from God, the Prelate himselfe (as before is noted) doth as good as con­fesse, saying,Confer. pag. 177. Among Bishops there was effectuall Subjection re­spectively grounded upon Canon, and Posuive Law in their Severall Quarters Ergo this was not jure divino. And if not, where is their Authority then? And therfore, as the Prelate saith of the Popes Supremacy, in being the Sole Living Iudge in and over the universall Church. pag. 198, 199. Neither (saith he) hath he power from Christ over the whole Church to doe it; nay out of all doubt, 'tis not the least Reason, why De Facto he hath so little Successe, because De Jure he hath no Power given: So I may say as truly of all Prelates (who challenge to be the living visible Iudges (as before is shewed) which is one maine part of their usurped Authority over the Ministry) that they have no such Power from Christ over their severall Diocese, Provinces, or Quarters to doe it; nay out of all doubt 'tis not the least Reason, why De Facto they have so little Suc­cesse, [Page] because De Jure they have no Power given. According to that in the Prophet.ler. 23. 30, 31, 32. Behold (saith the Lord) I am against the Prophets, that steale my word every one from his Neighbour. Behold I am against the Prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He Saith. Behold I am against them that prophecie false dreames, saith the Lord, and doe tell them, and cause my people to erre by their lyes, and by their lightnesse, yet I sent them not, nor commanded them therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord. And this: is the very case of the Prelates; they are faise Prophets, they steale Gods word from the people of God, and instead thereof use their own word, prophecying false dreames, saying, The Lord saith, the Lord hath sent us, we have our Calling and Authority from God over all Ministers, we are the sole living visible Iudges in matters of Faith and Religion, so as all must rest in our Iudgement, according to our own Canons and Constitutions, &c. thus causing simple peo­ple to erre by their lyes, and by their lightnesse: yet the Lord hath not sent them, nor commanded them, they have no Calling, and so no Power and Authority from God: and therfore the Lord is against these false Prophets: and because he hath not commanded them, nor sent them, therfore they shall not profit the people at all.

But Secondly, the Prelate saith, that his Prelaticall Iurisdiction over the inferiour Clergie, was a thing of known use and benefit for preservation of unity and Peace in the Church. Now first, for his Inferiour Clergie. Clergie being appropriated to the Ministry is an abusive Monopoly, and usurpation; for all Gods people re­deemed by Christ, are his kleros, his Lot, or [...]nheritance, whereof the word Clergie is derived. As Peter saith, writing to the Pres­byters, 1 Pet. 5. Not as Lording over t [...]n kleron, Gods heritage, but as en­samples to the flocke. So that the flocke of God, are his kleros, his heritage. But to passe over this: Secondly, he tells us of an Inferiour Clergie: he meanes his Priests, and the rest, as Arch­deacons, and so forth, to the number of 7 Orders, as they call them. A rabble of Orders not unsutable to the Subjects of a Lord Prelate, as being all of them of humane devise and insti­tution; of which their Hierarc [...]ie is made up; another word of mans invention, which some call ratherHist. Concil. T [...]id. Hierodoulia; but what holy Orders Christ hath left in his Church, we shall see anon. Thirdly, this was (saith he) a thing of known use and benefit. Of the known use we have formerly spoken. But now, what's the benefit? Namely, for the preservation of unity and peace in the Church. How proves he this? From S. Ierome, who said, That one was chosen over the rest in Sckismatis remedium, to remedy [Page] Schisme in the Church. But by the way, these very words of Ie­rome doe argue, that Prelates were of humane Institution: for unus electus est, one was chosen, I [...]rgo of men. But lerome speaks more expresly, which the Prelate wisely passeth over dry foot, where he saith, that Prelacy was set up humana praesumptione, non Institutione Divina, by humane Presumption, and not by Di­vine Institution. Well: but had it that successe, the Prelate speaks of? Did it produce the fruitfull benefit of unity and Pea [...]e? Or what unity? Or what peace? Indeed we find by wofull proof, that this Hierarchy was the very egge, of which the Cockatrice, Antichrist was hatched, so as the Hierarchy consisting of so many Prelates, grew at length co [...]lescere, to grow together into one Antichrists [...]n body, whereof the Ordine Primus came to be the head. And herein unity and Peace are so conjoyned, as they have made up one intire new Catholicke Church, that, whereof the Prelate professeth himselfe, with the Church of England, and of Rome, and all other Prelaticall Churches in the world, (all other not Prelaticall, as the Reformed Protestants beyond the Seas, excluded, as before is noted) to be, in all which this his Ca­tholick Church (asConfer. pag. 370. elswhere he saith, hath its existence. Which Prelaticall Catholicke Church is the ver [...] head and body of Anti­christ. Even as the Prelate tells us, that the Ordine Primus, the Roman Prelate having his Throne in Rome. This (saith he) was the very fountaine of Papall Greatnesse: So I may say, The Prelacie, or Hierarchie was the very fountaine [...], when [...]e hath issued the maine Ocean of th [...]se Revel. 17. 15. many waters over which the Whore sitteth, which though it be distinguished into many severall Seas of so many Prelates, yes all make up but one Maine Sea (as it were) one Catholicke Church. And this is that unity and Peace, the benefit of both the constitution, and preservation whereof is to be ascribed to the Hierarchy of Prelates over their inferiour Clergy.

Thirdly where he saith, Though S. Jerome, being no Prelate himselfe, he was no gre [...]t friend to Bishops. Hence I note onely the 3 conceit of the Prelate, that he thinks none can speake against Prelates, but such as are none themselves, as if it were onely a matter of envie. But as the Poet said, Dic mibi, si fi [...]l tis L [...], qualis eris [...] Tell me, if thou thy selfe wert a Lion, what manner of man wouldst thou be? So the Prelate imagines, that if any of those, that speake against the Authority of Prelates, were themselves Lions that is, Lord Prelates, they would be of ano­ther mind, they would then say, We Prelates have Authority over all Inferiour Priests, Jure Divino; we are the Sole visible living Iudges [Page] to determine and resolve all doubts in matters of Faith and Religion; we are the Sole Masters of Ceremonies, to bind all men to Canonicall obedience to all our Canons and Constitutions: we enjoy honours, pleasures, riches, ease, delights of the world, favours in Court, and what not? Thus the Prelate thinks all men would be of his mind, were they in his Place. And I thinke so too, thus farre, that they who take upon them the Prelacy, they no sooner sit in that Chaire, but it proves a Chaire of Pestilence unto them, infecting and corrupting mans very reason and judgement so farre, as to make him beleeve all is gold that glistereth. Onely few come to that Chaire, but such as are selfe-infected with their own imbred Plagues, as pride, Ambition, Covetousnesse, and that in a high Degree. So as King Iames being once asked, why he had made so many Bishops, in Scotland, and not one honest man amongst them all: he replyed, saying, By his Saule there was never an Honest Man wad tack a Bishopricke. And Histories tell us of many holy men, that utterly refused Bishopricks, And there is never a true Reformed Protestant Minister, Vid Espencae­um in Tim. but hates a Bishoprick, as he doth the Throne of the Beast. But

4 Fourthly (saith the Prelate) This (to wit Anthority of Bishops) was so settled in the minds of men from the very Infancy of the Chri­stian Church, as that it had not been to that time (in the 4th Age or Century) contradicted by any. No doubt but such a brave and bonny thing, as a Prelacy; would find Grace enough in the world, and quickly sink down, and settle in mens minds and affe­ctions. But what's this to the purpose, as to prove it a Calling from God [...] But this was (saith he) from the very Infancy of the Chri­stian Church. Surely the Prelacy, in the very Infancy of the Chri­stian Church, either had no being at all i [...]rerum natura, or was but a misshapen Embrio, or infant in the Mothers belly, as Es [...] was at the same time in his Mothers belly with Isaac, yea and would have claimed the blessing of the birth-right too from Isa­ac, because of his antiquity. And did not this young Babe wra­stle with [...] in the wombe, when the Apostle saith, The Mystery of iniquity doth already works, and this young Prelate wanted but time and opportunity to grow up to be a ‡ Gen. 10. 8, 9. Nimrod, even the great Antichrist, as we shall see further anon. So as to plead Antiquity of the Prelacy even from the very Infancy of the Christian Church, is yet no good Argument to confirme their Authority to be jure divino. For even Satans Kingdome had existence in the world, before Christ was Promised. And the Kingdome of heaven, to wit of [...] here, is described to be such as no sooner was the [Page] wheat of the Gospell sowne, but that wicked one had his Super­semination of Tares of manifold [...]rrors, such as sprung up even in the Apostles times, the very Infancy of the Church. But had not been till that time which the Prelate speakes of) contradicted by any. That I must now contradict. For first (as before is shewed) Christ forbad it upon the first motion of it. Secondly, the Apo­stles of which we shall speake by and by) mightily contradicted it, and cryed it down, as being that monstrous mystery of Iniquity. And thirdly, it was contradicted by sundry; as by [...]. But you will presently say, that Epiphanius ranks him (even for that very opinion only, that he held Prelates not to be de jure divino, or that the Degree of a Bishop was no greater, then that of a Priest) in the Catalogue of Hereticks. And so am I also con­tent, upon the same termes, to be by the Prelates, counted for an Hereticke. But Secondly, himselfe confesseth S. Ierome to have contradicted their Authority; as we noted before; saying, that their Institution was meerly of humane Presumption. Yea and thirdly Augustine (that Famous light) was of the same mind with Ierome: So as some of the Learned in theHist. Concil. Trid. Councel of Trent alledged both of them in this point. So that contradicted it was, and had been, and that by many, and some of them (as Christ and his Apostles) of Divine and Infallible Authority. So as without all Controversie, Prelaticall Authority over other Mi­nisters is no Calling of God at all; which we now come more fully to shew, by the Testimony of the Apostles, both in their Doctrine and Practise.

Wherein is shewed, that according to the Scripture, Preshyters and Bishops are all one, without difference, so as he which is a Presby­ter, is called Episcopus, a Bishop, and a Bishop a Presbyter.

THe first place of Scripture that proves this, is in Acts 20. where the Apostles called together the Presbyters, or Elders of the Church of Ephesus, as ver. 17. which Elders, or Presbyters in v. 28. he calls Episcopus, saying, Take heed therefore unto your selves, and to all the Flocke, over the which the Holy Gh [...]st hath made you Episcopous, (that is, Overseers, as our English renders the word, or) Bishops, to feed the Church [Page] of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. From which words it is manifest, First, that Presbyters and Bishops are all one and the same Order, Calling and Office. Secondly, that in the Church of Ephesus there were many Bishops, or Presbyters. Thirdly, that they had their Calling from the Holy Ghost. Fourthly, that their Office was to feed the Flock of God, over the which the Holy Ghost had made them Overseers. And for this Cause such are called else­where Eph. 4. 11. Pastors, and Teachers, right Shepheards indeed, that feed the Flocke of God. Now will our Prelates say, First, that they are those Episcopi? What more contrary to their Canons, and practise: For First, they doe not allow, that every Presbyter be called a Bishop, nor to be of the same Order, Calling, and Office. For they say, that the Order, Calling, and Office of a Bishop or Prelate is distinct and different from that of the Presbytery. Se­condly, the Prelates have an old Canon, that there must be but one Bishop in one City, or Diocese. But here we see the Church of Ephesus, that one City had many Bishops in it, even as many as there were Presbyters. Thirdly, our Prelates can never prove their Authority and Office to be from the Holy Ghost either from any inward calling, or outward. Not from an inward calling, because, first, it is not any zeale of Gods glory, or desire to win soules to God, but it is the strong bias of ambition and covetousnesse, pride, and vaine glory, and love of the world, that draws them to a Bishopricke. Nor Secondly, is it an outward calling from men. For as in respect of God, they have run; afore they be sent: So in respect of Man, they come before they be called. Yea they provide and prepare a long time before for such a Purchase. For they heap up by hook or crock 3 or 4 Fat Liv­ings, they seldome Preach at any of them, nor keep Residence, or Hospitality, but hoord up full Bagges, Sculke at the Court, [...]gratiate themselves with those in greatest Grace, and when the Chaire is voyd, they bring out their Bagges, and so they ar the onely qualified men for such a Dignity. They are well known to be no Puritans. So as neither according to their own ancient Canons (which were framed according to the practise held in the Apostles dayes, when the People had a voyce in the election of their Pastors) have the Prelates an outward calling to their dignities. For instance; when Mr. Moutague was to be in­stalled (or I wot not what they call it) in Bow Church, and the Tipstaffe (according to the Ancient custome in that Case) with his Mace proclaimes open liberty for any, that can come and except against the worthinesse of that Man; one stood forth, and [Page] made his exception; which though it was both legall, and very materiall, yet he was borne down, and the matter never came to tryall, but was carryed with a strong hand for the new Prelate. Thus (I say) they have no lawfull, nor truly formall, or yet Ca­nonicall outward Calling. Yea, besides that they are notorious Simonists, either purchasing that dignity with a great Summe of money, or procuring it, obsequio, by obsequiousnesse, or Court-Ser­vice, and attendance, or by a wager, or the like (all which are branches of Simonie they doe also play the egregious hypocrites. For when the Question is asked them, Vis Episcopare, Wilt thou be a Bishop? he answers, Nolo, No forsooth. And this is done three times. A meere mock-holiday. For if the wretch were taken at his word, he were undone. Fourthly, neither doe our Prelates affect the Bishopricke for that end, that those Bishops of the Church of Ephesus were exhorted unto by the Apostle: name­ly, to feed the Fock of God. Yea, besides that their ayme and de­sire is not for the Office and worke of a true Bishop (as the Apo­stle saith,1 Tim. 3. 1. He that desireth the Office of a Bishop, desireth a worthy worke) which is principally to feed the Flocke of God, as also1. Pet. 5. 2. Peter exhorteth; for they look not to the duty, but after the dignity, as Chrysostome andVides omnem Ecclesiasticum zelum fervere, sola pro dignita­te tuenda. Ber. Bernard have noted of old. Thou seest (saith Bernard) all Ecclesiasticall zeale to boyle and pant aft [...]r their Dignities onely, &c. as we noted before: besides this, I say, it is a thing impossible for them to feed the Flocke of God. For some of them have foure or five hundred Flocks within their Diocese, some more [...] some lesse, which they never once in all their life bestow one fothering upon; onely the Prelate in his Trienniall Visitation, that is once in 3. yeares, visites perhaps halfe a dozen Churches, where he comes not to feed the Flock [...] with one Scrap of a Ser­mon, but to fill his pouch with his poore Ministers double Pro­curations, and his paunch with their good Cheere. But our Prelates will answere (as our Non-residents doe in that case) that though themselves doe not feed the Flocke, yet their Curates do [...] it for them. For (say our Prelates, and that according to their Collect for Bishops and Curates) all the Ministers in their severall Diocese are their Curates, to feed so many Flocks. Thus by this rec­koning, the Prelates are the most egregious Non-residents, of all other. And thus we see, how not onely unlike, but directly contrary all Prelates are to those Bishops of the Church of Ephesus, and that in all and every of those particular and remarkable re­spects forespecified out of the Apostles own words. And ther­fore by that place of Scripture, Prelates, though they have [Page] usurped most unjustly the Title of Bishops, yet they have no­thing in them of true Bishops indeed, and therfore are never able to prove, that they are Bishops jure divino. For they which are Bishops jure divino, are lawfull Pastors set over their particu­lar Flocke, to feed the same with the wholesome food of the word: but Prelates call themselves Diocesan Bishops, having so many Flocks, as they neither doe, nor ever are able, nor ever intend to feed them. Nay instead of feeding them, they restraine and inhi­bit all Ministers to feed their Flocke at all in the Afternoone on the Lords dayes, nor at any time to feed them with sound and wholsome, and comfortable f [...]od of the Doctrines of Grace, and Gods free love to his Elect in giving Christ for them, effectually to Redeeme them, and certainly to bring them to that eternall glory in heaven, which God from all Eternity had Predestinated them unto. So as without this sound preaching of Grace no Flock can be Savingly fedde. Pre­lates therefore are Wolves to destroy, not Shepheards to feed the Flocke of Christ.

A Second place of Scripture, proveing a Presbyter and a Bi­shop to be all one, in Order, Calling and Office, is in Tit. 1. 5. &c. For this Cause (saith the Apostle to Titus) I left thee in Creete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordaine Elders in every City, as I had appointed thee. If any be blamelesse, &c. For a Bishop must be bl [...]melesse, as the Steward of God; not Selfe-willed [...] &c. Here againe we plainly see, that those, who are the Presbyters, or Pastors set over the Flock of God, are here called Bi­shops by the Apostle. Whence in is evident that in the Infancy of the Christian Church, in the time of the Apostles themselves, and that by Order from Christ, and from the Holy Ghost, all Presbyters, or true Pastors of several [...] Congregations (as aforesaid) were called Bishops, or Overseers, as the Greek word signifieth. And this was k [...]ta po [...]n, in every City, and Towne in Creete, especially where there was a Congregation of Christians, Titus was appointed by the Apostle to ordaine such Elders or Bishops, And in Centuries we read, [...]ow in some Countries, there was never a Towne, or Village, but it had a Bishop in it, which Bi­shop was the Pastor there. And the severall qualities required in those Presbyters or Bishops are in the same Chapter set down by the Apostle, which because we touched before upon occasion, I will not here insist upon. But those qualities are such, as our Prelates willingly leave to those poore Presbyters or Bishops, as most sutable for those Apostolick Times and Persons, Con­tent they are to take the Name of Bishop upon them, but for [Page] the qualities there required, they are not Prelaticall enough, such as will [...]uit with a Lord-Bishop. For those were poore Bishops, or Overseers, and Feeders of one Flocke in this or that City: but these are Lord-bishops over a whole Di [...]se, as before is noted.

To these places, we might adde others; as Phil. 1. 1. With the Bishops and Deacons. Where the Apostle, nameing no more Orders, but of Bishops and Deacons [...] (the same which he nameth and describeth in the forecited places, 1 Tim. 3. and Tit. 1.) makes it cleare unto us, that by those Pishops in Philippi he meanes the same in kind, that were in Ephesus, and Creete, to wit, so many Presbyters, as were also called Bishops, or Overseers. And naming Bishops. which were at Philippi, it argues, there were many Bishops of that one Church, as we noted before of the Church of Ephesus. And in other places also, they are called Elders. For 1 Tim. 5. 17. Let the Elders that rule will, be counted worthy of double honour, mali [...]ta o [...] kopiontes, especially th [...]se, that take greatest paines in the Word and Doctrine. 1 Tim. 3. [...]. Now those Elders (Chap. 3.) he calls Bishops. Implying they are both o [...]e, as also, that there were many of those Bishops in the Church of Ephesus, where Timethy then was. And those Presbyters or Bishops, some were more industrious in the word and Doctrine, did kopian, la­bour more hard therein (as the word signifieth) then ordinary: and therefore such the Apostle would have to be counted worthy of double honour. Now is it thus with our Lord-Bishops? First, do they kopian, [...]oyle hard at Gods Plough (to use La [...]imers Com­parison) do they desire no more honour, but such as is propor­tionable to their paines in Preaching Gods word? Tussi, their honour is according to the honour of the City whereof they are Lord-Bishops (as the Prelate himselfeConfer. pag. 176. tells us, The Honours of the Church should follow the Honours of the State) or according to the greatnesse of their reven [...]s, or according to their great fa­vour and place in Kings Courts, and not according to their yeares, or vertues, or good deserts, which are neither required in them, nor respected of them. Thus still all along quantum abludunt, how much distance is there, and what infinit disparity between our Lord Bishops, and Scripture-bishops? And lastly, these Bishops, so called by Paul, are called also by Peter Praesbyteri, Presbyters, or Elders: where he saith,1 Pet. 1, 2, 3, 4. The Elders which are among you, I exhort, who am also an Elder, and a witnesse of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker of the glory that shalbe reveald: Feed the Flocke of God, which is among you, taking the oversight thereof (Episcopountes) not by constra [...]nt, but willingly: not for filthy luore, but of a ready mind: [Page] neither as being Lords over Gods Heritage, but being Ensamples to the Flocke. And when the chiefe Shepheard shall appeare, ye shall receive a Crown that fadeth not away. Where First, he notes the Ministers and Pastors by the Title of Presbyters, or Elders, as also he stiles himselfe. He saith not My Lords, or Right Reverend Fathers, or the like. Secondly, he useth no imperious language unto them, but saith, parakalo, I exhort, or beseech you. Not as the Prelates to their Priests. These are to will and require you, upon pai [...]e of Episco­pall Censure, &c. Thirdly, the thing he exhorts them unto, is to [...]eed the flocke of God committed to their Charge. But our Lord-Prelates command their inferiour Ministers to feed their flocke, as sparingly as may be, as, at the most to preach but once upon the Lords day, or once a moneth will serve, and for Catechising in the afternoone, altogether to forbeare expounding, and for the sound food of the Doctrins of Gods free Grace, which is the very Summe of the Gosp [...]l, never to preach of them at all, as being too Purita­nicall, and the like. Fourthly, He exhorts them to feed, each his own Flocke, Feed the Flocke of God, which dependeth on you. He saith not Flocks, as if one Presbyter or Bishop were set over many Flocks or Congregations as our Lord Bishops are; as is noted be­fore. Fiftly, he exhorts them to oversee their Flock [...], not for filthy lucre, but of a free and ready mind. But our Lord Prelates, and their Curate Priests are of another mind, as being hirelings, and noe true Shepheards, so as it is with them, No penny, no Pater noster; they looke more to their tithes, then to their taske, and more after the sleece, then for the good of the flocke. Sixtly, Not as Lords over Gods Heritage; yea Mud' o [...]s katakurie [...]ontes, nor as Lording it ever Gods Heritage. The same word is used in Mat. 20. 25. Mark. 10. 42. Where such Heathen-like Lording, is by Christ himselfe forbidden his Disciples, asChap. 2. before is she [...]ed. But the Pontificians, and so our Lordly Prelates say, that this word katakurieuein signifieth onely a tyrannicall Lordship, which they doe not use. I answere, that in Luke kurieu [...]in, to Lord it at all, is forbidden. And being put for katakurieuin, it noteth, that all manner of Lordship over the Flocke of God is forbidden to Christs true Ministers. Nor can the Prelates (whether Pontifician, or Protestant in Name) so easily cleare their Lordly Dominion over Gods people from Tyranny. For even our great Prelate himselfe sticks not to charge the Church of Rome withConfer pag. 298. Tyranny. And can he discharge himselfe of it? Wherein comes the Primate of the Church of England short of the Papall Tyranny, but in this, that the Pope tyrannizeth over the universall Church of the great [Page] world, and the Metropolitan or Metropolitician of all En [...]land ty­rannizeth over that whole Church, which the Pope called the other world? The difference (I say) is onely in the Magi [...] & Minus, which alter not the nature of the thing. For, for the Popes Inqui­sition, the Prelate hath his High-Commission; by the Law where­of though he cannot bring his Heretick Puritans to the Stake, attended with fire and fagot, as the Popes Inquisition doth, yet he can make their life more miserable, then death it selfe, by his pecpetuall close Imprisonments, and the like. Nor wants he either Canons and Ceremonies, as snares to catch, nor Pursuivants, as Beagles to hunt out the poore Sheep, and to hale them to his Shambles, for refusing to be fed with such hemlocke, instead of Gods wholesome word. Yea where his High-Commission cannot reach to suck the blood, and crucifie the bodies of Christs Servants, as upon the Pillory: he can easily remove the Cause into ano­ther Court, where himselfe sitting a grand and Powerfull Sway­ing Judge, will satisfie his blood-thirsty longing. And as inConfer. pag. 204. an­other place of his Booke he twitteth the Church of Rome for be­ing a Tryumphant Church: Saying, Now She must be a Triumphant Church here; Militant no longer: So no lesse Triumphant hath the Prelate made his present Prelaticall Church of England. Oh, how doth he triumph in his Chaire, as in his Charet? Yea, more spe­cially, how did he triumph over those. Three his Remarkable men, whom he (looking out at the Court-window beheld standing on the Pillory, and loosing their Eares and Blood; how did he then applaud his politicke pate, and potent credit in Court, that he could thus anékesta, without rememedy (as theSocrat. Hist. Eccle. lib. 1. c, 2. Story saith of the Tyrant Licinius, a persecuter of the Christians) overthrow the most innocent Cause, and therein the most innocent Persons (and without all colour of contradiction, the Minister) that ever was Judged in any Christian Court. Thus he triumphed over them: though their triumph over him, and all his Antichristian lawlesse cruelty, in that their most constant couragious, and invincible cheer­fullnes in suffering, was as much more glorious, and noble, as his was most Ignoble, and Base. But thus (I say) the Prelate, with his Prelaticall Church, must be Triumphant: Militant no longer, but in warring against the Lambe, and his poore followers. So as this Pre­late, with his Confederates, are the Successors of the High-Priests, Scribes and Pharisees, and of Edmund Bonner, and Stephen Gardiner, those bloody Butchers and Wolves, which devoured and destroyed Christs Sheep in Queen Maries dayes; and therein were the Church-Triumphant in England. But this by the way. Re­turne [Page] we now, whence we have a little (as it were) digressed, though not impertinent to our Purpose in hand, which is to shew the true difference between the true Ministers of Christ, and those of Antichrist.

Seventhly, therefore, Not as Lording it [...]ver Gods Heritage, but being Ensamples to the Flocke. Now wherein are our Lord Pre­lates Ensamples to the Flocke? In their humble carriage? In their meeknesse of spirit? In the moderation of their government? In their continencie, and contempt of Riches, Honours, Pleasures, Ease, and the like? Nay are they not Examples to the world (farre be it from Gods Flocke) of extreme Pride, Ambition, Covetousnesse, Voluptuousnesse, Idlenesse, Profanesse, Lawlessenesse, extreme Cruelty, barbarous Injustice, implacable Malice, and intolerable Tyranny, pal­pable Hypocrisie, and such like Prelaticall vertues and graces, the most proper and peculiar indowments, inseperable qualities of their Hierarchie? Eightly, and lastly, true Elders, or Bishops, that with a good Conscience feed Gods Flocke, both with the whol­some food of sound Doctrine, and with the holy Example of a good life, shall, when the chiefe Shepheard shall appeare, receive a Crown of glory, that fadeth not away. Where I observe two particulars: that Iesus Christ is the onely Chiefe or Arch-Shepheard. O' A' rki­póimen. So as here is no place, either for Pope, over the univer­sall Church, or Metropolitan over a whole Kingdome, or for Arch­prelate over the Provinciall, or yet Prelate over all the Shepheards in his Diocese [...] for then such should be A' rkipoímenes, the Cheif Shepheards: but this Title and Office is peculiar to Christ alone, and incommunicable to any other. Nor did Peter himselfe, arrogate to himselfe any such Title, but was content with [...] Pet. 5. 1. o [...] tumpresbúteros, a Fellow-Elder, as if an equall to those Elders, or Presbyters, to whom he writ. The second particular I note is, that all such Presbyters, or true Bishops (as aforesaid) may and do most certainly expect, and shall most surely receive, at the ap­pearing of the Chief Shepheard, an immarcescible Crown of Glory-Behold, here is such a Reward, as no Lord Prelate can expect, or hope for. For these are rightly resembled by [...] Luk. 16. Dives, to whom (being in hell torments, and desiring one drop of water to coole his tongue) Abraham answered, Son remember, that thou in thy life time receivedst thy good things, &c. For he had gone in his purple and fine linnen, and fared deliciously every day, while mer­cilessy he suffered poore Lazarus to lye at his gate full of sores, yeeld­ing him no reliefe, or comfort at all; saving that his dogs came, and licked his Sores. A [...]d doe not our Diveses, our rich Lord Pre­lates [Page] (and which of them is poore) goe in their Purple, Satten, Velvet, and the finest lynnen, as their Lawn sleeves and Rochet, and faire deliciously every day, not induring once in their lives, with their good wills, to keep one extraordinary Fast day, so zealous are they of the observation of Lent, and other Embers; wherin they can faire deliciously with the choycest Fish, and Fruits, and Wines, and other Cates. So as with Dives they have their good things here. Only these come short of, and outstrip Dives in some things: For First, Dives yet suffered Lazarus to be layd at his doores: but these beat away the true Lazars from their doores, 2. Dives suffered his dogs to shew so much compassion, as to lick Lazarus his sores: but our Lord Prelates doe set their dogs at the true Lazarusses, to teare them in pieces; 3. Lazarus brought his sores with him, Dives did not cause them: but our Lord Prelates doe fill Gods Lazarusses full of wounds, which they carry away with them, not scaping from their Gates with a whole Skin; 4. Lazarus was willingly layd at Dives his gates: but Gods Lazarusses never come to the Lord-Bishops Gates, but with an ill will, when they are hayld and pull'd; 5. Dives de­nyed his Crummes, to Lazarus, because they were of his bread to feed his dogs: but the Prelates doe not onely deny any one Crumme of mercy, when they are offended, or to doe right when the Lazarusses are injured: but they doe also rob, pill and poll them, stripping them of all they have, and so doe not re­lieve, but make Lazars.

Againe, on the other side, Lazarus in some sort may be an Embleme of Gods true Ministers: For Lazarus had all his evill things in this world: So the good and faithfull Ministers of God must undergoe manifold afflictions, tribulations, and persecutions in the world, as our Saviour Luk 21. 12. Christ forewarned his Disciples, and so their true Successors,Mat. 24. 9. to wit, Godly and painfull Mini­sters of the Word; who find their Masters words verified in themselves, by manifold experince of tributations and persecu­tions, which they mainly and chiefly suffer at the hands of An­tichrist, and his Antichristian Prelates; as the world it selfe is able to beare witnesse. In the Kingdome of England at this day, who are the great persecuters, yea and the onely oppressors of Gods faithfull and painfull Ministers, and of all true Professors, but these Lordly Prelates, who will not suffer any one, Minister, or other, to burrow within th [...]ir Diocese (if he doe but smell of a Puritan, as they call them) but do ferrit them out, and hunt them to the death? Where by the way it is cleare to all men, that have but [Page] common sense, that the Prelates (which are, and ever have been [...]at least since Antichrist hath been aloft) the most furious and fiery Persecuters of Gods good Ministers and people, even for Reli­gion sake) are false Bishops, falsely pretending their Iurisdiction from Christ, and their Succession from the Apostles. They might aswell say, that they have Authority from Christ, and his Apostles to afflict, persecute, and oppresse all true Religion, with all the true Preachers, and Professors therof, and so prove themselves to be of those of whom Christ foretold his Disciples, saying,Iob. 16. 2. They shall put you out of the Synagogues, yea, the time cometh, that whoso­ever killeth you, will thinke that be doth God Service. And surely the Prelates, grounding their usurped Authority upon Christ, which they so exercise in afflicting and oppressiing Christs Ministers and people, must needs consequently conclude, that this their per­secution is a speciall part of Gods service. to conclude, then the Parable; as these Prelates have their good things here, and no­thing is left them, but aHeb. 10. 27. fearefull expectation of judgement and fiery indignation, which shall devoure the Adversaries, so as they shall not find a drop of mercy in Hell, who would not shew a crumme of mercy here, but contrariwise shalbe tormented with more scorching flames, then Dives, by how much their wicked­nesse here exceeded his: So Gods faithfull Ministers, as they receive their evill things here (and especially at the hands of Antichristian Prelates, whose malice and cruelty against them exceedeth all other in the world) so they shalbe sure to receive a most glorious and unfading 2 Tim. 4. 8. Crown of Glory, which the Lord, the Chiefe Shepheard, the righteous Iudge shall give unto them, at that day, nor to them onely, but to all those that love his Appearing.

Wherein is shewed, that the Prelates are no lesse contrary to the Pra­ctise of the Apostles (whose Successors notwithstanding they pre­tend to be) then they are to their Doctrines; as hath been proved.

FOr the more cleare demonstration hereof, we will con­sider the Practise of the Apostles in a twofold notion: 1. the Practise of their Ministry: 2. the Practise of their life and conversation. First, for their Ministry: that also we consider in a double respect: 1. of Doctrine. 2. of Disci­pline. [Page] Of these being to speake, we will first consider the Apo­stles two wayes: 1. as they were Apostles: and 2. as they were Ministers. First, as they were Apostles, to speake in a strict and proper sence, they left no Successors behind them. For as Apostles, 1. they had their immediate Calling from Christ: 2. they did1 Cor. 9. 1. see Christ with their bodily eyes: 3. they were inspired immediately from Christ with Apostolicall Gifts and Graces of the Holy Ghost,Iohn 16. 13. which led them into all truth, so as their judgement was infallible, they could not erre: 4. they were made the Pen-men of the Scripture: 5. They had a power given them to appoint Euangelists to attend their Apo­stleship in the Gospell, to settle and water, where the Apostles had planted, and where they appointed them: 6. They hadAct. 8. 26. & 16. 6. immediate direction from the Holy Ghost where to preach at such, or such a time: 7 They had theirMat. 28. 19. 20. Commision imme­diately from Ch [...]st, which was to preach the Gospell throughout the world, though theAct. 13. 2 [...] Holy Ghost did more particularly dis­pose of them to severall Countries. Now in all these respects the Apostles, as Apostles left no Successors behind them. For after the decease of Apostles, and so also of the Euangelists (some whereof writ the Gospell, and some preached the Gospell, and did other things at the Apostles appointment; whereof we shall have occasion to speake more anon) their Office of Apo­stles and Euangelists, ceased. So as, never since they lived, have there beene any Apostles or Euangelists, properly so called. Though in a generall notion all true Preachers of the Gospell, in asmuch as they have a Calling from God, being sent of him, though mediately by the Church, may be called Apostoli, that is, sent, (as the Apostle called Epaphroditus Phil. 2. 25. A'póstolon, the Phi­lippìans Apostle, which our English translates a Messenger, be­cause they had sent him to him) as they are called in the selfe same respect Aggeloi, Revel. 1. 20. Angels, or Messengers: and they may be called also for the same reason Euangelists, because they are Preachers of the Gospell. But I say, strictly and properly the Apostles onely were called Apostles, and the Euangelists Euan­gelists, for the reasons aforesaid. So as after their decease, the ordinary Ministers of the Word which God appointed to suc­ceed them in their Ministry, were called Pastors and Teachers, as Eph. 4. 11. and somtimes Presbyters or Elders, and Overseers, or Episcopi, set over their severall Congregations respectively as aforesaid) and somtimesAn. 26. 1 [...]. Col. 1. 23. u [...]pereta, or díakoni, Ministers of the Word; as the Apostle often styles himselfe.

[Page] So as in the Second place we come to speake of the practise of the Apostles, as they were Ministers of the Gospel, whose exam­ample all true Ministers imitating, are said to be their true Suc­cessors. But before we speake thereof, one Objection crosseth us in our way, which is this. We noted before, that one pecu­liar priviledge and badge of an Apostle [...] properly so called, was, that he had the Holy Ghost immediately inspired into him by Christ, so as it led him into all truth, that he could not erre in his preaching, or writing of the word of God. Now it is Objected, that the promise of Mat. 28. 20. Objection. Christs Spirituall presence, and so of the Holy Ghost, is made to the Apostles, but to all the succeeding generations of all their true Successors to the end of the world. Upon which promise (but most falsely applyed) the Pope doth build his Imaginary Infallibility, of a power of not erring in the faith.

For AnswereAnswer. hereunto briefly. First, neither the Pope, nor any Prelate, have any thing to doe with this promise. For they have no Calling from Christ, as hath been proved; and they are Antichrists, and so led by another spirit, to wit, of him, of whom they have their Calling, and tha [...] is, of the great red Dragon; as remaines yet further to be cleared Secondly, concerning this promise made immediately by Christ to his Apostles, that he would be with them to the end of the world, and that the Holy Ghost should lead them into all truth: we must distinguish between the Apo­s [...]les, and all Succeeding true Ministers. First, this promise was actua [...]ly fullfilled to the Apostles, so as they neither erred in their preaching, nor in their writing of the word of God; and the substance of all their preaching (so farre as it is necessary for the salvation of Gods Chruch to the end of the world) is by them left in writing to be a rule of our faith, and the ground of all holy and saving knowledge. Now then all true Ministers, succeeding the Apostles in all ages, and also all true Beleevers, though they nei­ther receive the Holy Ghost inmiediately from Christ as the Apo­stles did, nor are any to expect to receive it in that extraordinary way: yet all true beleeving both Ministers and People doe receive the Holy Ghost. But how? By what meanes? The Apostle tells us,Gal 3. 2. By the hearing of Faith preached; that is, by hearing the Gospell (which is the ground of Faith) preached, Act. 10. 44. we receive both faith, and the Holy Ghost. Now as we received the Holy Ghost by hear­ing of Faith preached: So this Spirit of God doth guide us into all truth, by and according unto the Scripture. And as the Holy Ghost is (as I may so say)Gal. 4. 19 [...] begotten in us by the Seed of Gods word Sown in our hearts (though properly we are begotten again [Page] by the Holy Ghost) so this Holy Ghost is as it were, nourished and preserved in us by and through the word of God, even as the light of the Lamp is nourished by the Oyle, or as the breath goeth with the voyce or word spoken; or as the blood hath its course in the veins, or the vitall Spirits have their S [...]at in the heart; or as the Animall Spirits in the braine, when they are deri­ved into all the parts of the body in the Arteries and veines, so as all the members are thereby actuated and moved. And as the Philosopher saith of naturall bodies, Aristot. D [...] Ortu. & in teritu. lib. 2. A'panta trephétas tois a [...]u­tois, e'x o`pér e`isi: All things are nourished by selfe same Substance, whereof they are begotten, or have their beginning or beeing: So in a sort it may truly be said, that as we begin Spiritually to live by the Holy Ghost through Faith by the Preaching of the word of God: So this Holy Ghost in the severall graces and operations there of is preserved, and as it were nourished in us by the continuall ministration of the food of the same word in our Soules: Or in a word, the Holy Ghost hath no operation in us, either for instruction, or illumination, or consolation, or corroboration of any Grace in our Soules, but in and by, or ac­cording to the word of God. So as besides Gods written word, there are no revelations of the Spirit to be expected in Gods true Church. Secondly therefore, the promise of the Holy Ghost to Christs true Church and Children, succeeding the Apostles even to the end of the world, is made good to all and every particular member of Christs Mysticall body, whether Ministers or Peo­ple: so as in the matter of their faith, and whatsoever appertains to their salvation, they are by Christs Spirit guided into all truth, being led by the rule and light of Gods word, which to those that are in Christ never goes unaccompanied with the Holy Ghost. For, even asRom. 8. 14 [...] so many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God [...] So as, If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, the same is none of his: So none are led by the Spirit of God, but those that are led by the word of God. And therefore as Christs Spirit dwells in all his, so hisIoh. 15. 7. Word also. For these two are inseperable; the Holy Ghost teaching us no other things, but what we find written in the word of Christ. To which purpose Christ saith, When Iob. 16. 13. the Spirit of Truth is come, be will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speake of himselfe: but whatsoever he shall heare, that shall he speake. Now the whole Scripture is Christs word: this the Holy Ghost receiving from Christ revealed to his Apostles, or (as Christ saith)Ioh, 14. 26. brought to their remembrance: and the Apostles commited those things to writing (as the Holy Ghost directed them) for our both instruction, and remembrance. So as if Isa. 8. 20. any [Page] Speake not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Whatever Spirit men bragge of, not indurcing the Law and Testimony of the Scripture, it is without light, a counterfet Spirit, a lying spirit. And this is that very Spirit of Antichrist, and of his Prelates, who to advance their own Canons and Decrees, and to cry up their usurped Antichristian Authority, in taking upon them to be the onely visible Iudges in matters of faith (asCap. 3. before we have noted of our Prelate of Cant [...]) as if they had the Spirit of Infallibility, and were the onely men of Gods Privy Counsell, and the onely Privilegiats not to erre: doe so much depresse, vi [...]ifie and cry down the Authority and Sufficiencie of the Scripture, as if it were aSee the Pre­lates Relation. Sect. 16. throughout. dumbe, dead, and blind Iu [...]ge, having not so much light in it, as is sufficient to demonstrate it to be the word of God, but what it must be beholden to the Authority and Tradition of the present Prelaticall Church [...]or. But [...] ye blind Guides, Esa. 8. 20. To the Law, and to the Testimony: for while ye Speake not accordiag to this word, but contrariwise blaspheme the same: it is a manifest signe, that there is neither light, norIoh. 6. 53. life in you,

Come we now to prosecute the remainder of the former particulars propounded: the second generall whereof is, the Practise of the Apostles, as they were Ministers of the Gospell, whose example all true Ministers imitating, are said to be their true Successors. And first of this Practise in regard of Doctrine, to wit, in their Ministy of the Word, and Sacraments. First for their Doctrine, it was sound and sincere, the very word of God, which they preached with all diligence, and good Conscience; ex­horting other Ministers also to the like diligence and faithfull­nesse in preaching: as 2 Tim [...] 4. 1, 2. I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Iesus Christ, &c. Preach the word, be instant, in season, out of season, &c. Thus did the Apostles. But doe our Pre­lates thus? First, do they preach diligently? Are their Sermons, any more, then 2 or 3 Festivalls in the yeare? And doe they preach sound Doctrine? Nay as the Apostle there saith, They will not indure sound doctrine; they neither preach it themselves, nor permit others. And instead of exhorting Ministers to be di­ligent in preaching, and teaching the people, they flatly forbid them to preach so of [...]en, as twice on the Sabbath, or to expound the Catechisine, for instructing the People. Thus they are enemies of Gods word, and so of the salvation of Gods people. Are these men then Successors of the Apostles? Againe, for the two Sacra­ments, the Apostles administred them duly according to1 Cor. 11. 23 Christs institution, not varying one title from it; they neither detracted [Page] any thing from i [...], nor added ought of their own inventions. Now doth the Prelaticall Catholicke Church, (wherein that of England, and of Rome are both one and the same, and doe professe one and the same faith and Religion, as our great Prelate saith; noted before) thus? Now Romes detractions and additions, we all know. But what hath the Prelaticall Church of England done in this kind? 1. Doe they not detract both from Christs institution, and from the dignity of the Sacraments, while they set dumb Priests, no better then Masse-Priests, to administer? Doe they not de­tract from Baptisme, while they doe as much debase it in com­parison of the Lords Supper, as they doe exalt this (which they Relation of the Conf. p. 136. call the Great Eucharist) in comparison of that? Do they not administer that, neere the Belfrey, or Church-door, the lowest part of the Church, as they estimate it: and this at the end of the Chancel, their highest part of the Church? Secondly, do they not alter Christs institution by adding to the Sacraments of their own superstitious inventions? Doe they not adde an empty and [...] figne of the Crosse to Baptisme, the o mission whereof is no lesse heinous, then of Baptisme it selfe? And have they not added a long Forme of Liturgie to the administration of both the Sacraments? Have they not altered the Table for the Lords Supper, into an Altar for a sacrifice, which is also as great a dero­gation from the sufficiencie of Christs onely sacrifice on the Crosse, as it is an alteration, yea and an annihilation of this Sacrament, which is to be administred as a supper, on a Table, not as a sacri­fice, on an Altar. And this they doe also, in imposing a necessity of kne [...]eling at the receiving of the Sacrament, whereby they overthrow the nature of a Supper. To omit their necessity of private Baptisme, and of carrying their Host to a man on his death bed: would they not also ofAs in Dr. Coosins Booke of Private De­votions, or Canonicall, Houres. late yeares have brought againe into the Church of England the other 5 Sacraments of the Romish Church, that so the Church of England and of Rome might in no­thing be unlike in their practise, as they are not in profession, as our said Prelate saith: Thus are our Prelates herein Successors of the Apostles?

Secondly, for the Apostles practise in point of Discipline. And this is either in Ordination of Ministers, or Reformation and cor­rection of manners, or imposition of Ceremonies. For the first, Ordi­nation of Ministers, we read, of Timothies ordination no lesse by the imposition of the hands of the Presbytery, then of Paul himselfe. Titus indeed was appointed by Paul to ordaine Elders in every City in Creet (as was noted before) but if he did this alone, [Page] without the Presbytery, 2 necessity must needs be supposed, which is neither Rule nor Law in ordinary Cases. And by the way, whether Titus and Tim [...]thy were Diocesan Bishops, as the Prelates pretend, we shall see in a more fit place. And for Ordination this we are sure of, that whoever have the charge of it, Prelates have nothing at all to doe with it, because (as is already proved) they are no lawfull Ministers of Christ, much lesse Suc­cessors of the Apostles. Againe, whom did the Apostles, and Pres­bytery ordaine Ministers of the word, but such, as were every way qualified with gifts and graces for preaching, and the like; as we see prescribed in 1 Tim. 3. Tit. 1? They were not like to Iero­beams Priests, nor any of those, whom the Prelates doe make Priests, which areEsa. 56. 10, 11, 12. dumb dogs (as the Prophet calls them) blind watchmen, that love to s [...]ep, to take their ease, greedy dogs, that are never satisfied with heaping up Living upon Living, they fill themselves with strong drinke, and are good Fellows, not good Mi­nisters. Yea such as are truly qualified, either Prelates doe not ordaine them: or they doe afterwards, seeing how they prove painfull in their Ministry, put them to silence, or suspend and persecute them, as before is noted. And againe Thirdly, The Apostles, and Presbyters in their time, Ordayned none for money; for offering whereofAct. 8. Simon Magus was accursed; but our Pre­lates Ordaine tag and rag for money, so as the ordinary Fees come to 3, 4, 5, or 6 pounds. So as in point of Ordination how doe our Prelates prove themselves to be Successors of the Apo­stles? And lastly, the Apostles and their lawfull successors Ordained none, but lawfull Ministers of the Gospell: but our Prelates do ordaine a new Order of Priests, bringing in, and setting up a new Priesthood, which is Antichristian, not having any foundation in the Sccripture. Prelates therefore in Ordrnation are no Successors of the Apostles.

Secondly, for matter of Censure, or for Reformation and cor­rection of Manners, as for instance, in the Censure of Excommuni­cation, the Apostles, though as Apostles, they might doe of them­selves, yet as Ministers they did it not, but with the whole Con­gregation; or else the Congregation with the Presbyters; as we see 1 Cor. 5 3. 4. 5. Insomuch, as even Prelates themselves, after they first had taken footing, as being the time of their Innocency (as I may say) observed this Order. So as Cyprian, who lived about 250. yeares after Christs nativity, would doe nothing in this kind, without the consent both of the Presbytery and people. This lasted during the 10. Persecutions: but Peace and Prosperity [Page] Succeding, it degenerated into that height of Tyranny by degrees [...] to which we see it arrived at this day. Secondly, Excommuni­cation was for weighty Causes, as in the same place; and 1 Tim. 1. 20. The Apostles had no Prelates Courts, or Consistories, where they did Privately by themselves, or by a dumb Priest Excom­municatt for every trifle, and especially for the least breach of a Canon, and the like (as we noted before) but the Consistory was the whole Congregation solemnly assembled, where no Censure was imposed, but for great offences, and those breaches of Gods Laws, and of Christs Ordinance. Nor were those Censures re­mitted, but in and by the whole Congregation, after publick sa­tisfaction given by the offender to the offended. Whereas our Pre­lates, in all, doe quite contrary, absolving also great offenders for a fee, without any signes of Repentance, much lesse fruits of Re­formation, and satisfaction made to the Congregation offended. Whereas the Apostles absolved none, before the Congregation was first satisfied by, and so pacified towards the offender; as 2 Tim. 2. 10. Do our Prelates thus? No such thing. Therfore no Suc­cessor of the Apostles.

Thirdly, for Imposition of Ceremonies in the worship of God, the Apostles were so farre from laying any such yoake, upon Chri­stians necks, or any such snares for their feet, as they did utterly condemne all humane Rites and Ordinances whatsoever in Gods service, laying also a speciall charge upon Christians not to put their necks under such yoakes, unlesse thereby they would re­nounce Iesus Christ for their onely King, and Lord over their Consciences and Soules in all matters of faith, and the worship of God. In one Chapter (Colloss. 2.) the Apostle beats them all down, whether they be old Iewish Ordinances (now abolished under the Gospell) or of mans devising, and imposing. First, for Iewish Ceremonies, he saith, they areVerse 16, 17. Shadows, which now upon the death of Christ are all vanished, and abolished. Secondly, all other Rites and Ceremonies, which are of mans devising, he calls themverse 8. Philosophy, and vaine deceit, traditions of men, rudiments of the world; not after Christ: av. 18. voluntary humility, as worshiping of Angels, and so Idolatry; an intrusion into things not seen in Scripture; of a fleshly mind vainly puft up; which seperate from the v. 19. head, Christ; they v. 20. evacuate Christs death, wherein he did v. 14. blot out the handwriting of all such Ordinan [...]es, nayling it to his Crosse, &c. So as now to be subject to such, is to renounce Christs death, and make it of none effect: and they v. 22. perish with the using, are good for nothing, being after the Commandements and D [...]ctrines of men: they have but [Page] a meere shew of wisdome in will-worship and humility, and hypocrisie in not sparing the body, and onely serve to satisfie the flesh. Argu­ments Sufficient to any one, that feares God, and hopes to be saved by Iesus Christ, tov. 8. Beware of being Spoyled, and made a prey (as the word signifieth) of being v. 18. heguiled of their reward by such a bondage and Slavery. Thus the Apostle so damning all manner of Rites and Ceremonies imposed on the Conscience in the wor­ship of God, so as he shews it to be a very Apostacy from Christ, of such as hold not the Head: with what face can our Lord Prelates (the great Masters of all manner of Superstitious and Idolatrous, both Iewish, and Heathenish, Romish and Antichristian Ceremonies) beare themselves to be the Successors of the Apostles, while not onely they erect such Superstitions, but with all rigour impose them upon mens Consciences as a most insupportable burthen, and intolerable bondage, and with all severity and cruelty inflict terrible punishments upon those, that refuse to performe the Tasks of such Egyptian Taskmasters? Or how dare they affirme, that they have such their Iurisdiction from Christ, while in so doing, usurping such a Power over mens Consciences, they thrust Iesus Christ out of his Throne? But we shall have occasion to speake more of this hereafter. Thus we see in the meane time what kind of Vice-Roys of Christ, and Successors of his Apo­stles, the Prelates prove themselves to be, in Lording over the Consciences of Gods people by their Superstitious Ceremonies, and Romish Rites.

But perhaps they will object the Apostles determination (Act. 15.) concerning the Gentiles newly converted to Christianity, that they should abstaine from eating of blood, and things strangled, which was a Mosaicall Rite. To which I answere: First, that the Apostles in thev. 10. same place do shew, that that burthen of Legall Ceremonies was removed by the death of Christ, and buried in his Grave. Secondly, they did this, in regard of the Iews, which dwelt among those Christians, for the time being for peace-sake, untill thev. 21. Christian Iews were better confirmed in the faith and knowledge of Christ. Thirdly, they did it by the speciall direction of thev. 2 [...]. Holy Ghost, for the reason alledged. So as that example being extraordinary, and for the time of the Infancie of the Gospell, it is no rule for us to follow now, after so long a shining forth of the Gospell. And I might adde this moreover, that the Apostles did not this alone, but with the whole Congregation, the Presbyters, or Elders, and Bre­thren being [...]oyned with them. Whereas our Prelates, though [Page] they confesse that aCon. pag. 261. Generall Councel hath no immediate Institu­tion from Christ to determine Controversies; but that it was prudently taken up in the Church, from the Apostles example, Act. 15. yet for all their prudence in taking up that, which belongs not unto them, they shew themselves very unfaithfull, while they follow not the example of the Apostles in determining alone, and not with the whole Congregation; and therefore Christians have the lesse reason to captivate their faith to Prelaticall Decrees, either in a Generall Councel, where the Pope of Rome, and of Canterbury are the rulers of the rost, or in a Convocation, where the Pope of Canterbury is Prime, Primate, Metropolitan, and All, who without the Holy Ghost (which is never given to any such Antichristian Assemblies) whatever they decree in point of faith, or other­wise, be it never so erronious, yet they enjoyne obedience there­unto by all men; as ourConfer pag 226. 227. Prelate affirmeth.

But he will not be so easily beaten off from his Ceremonies: For in hisEpist. Dedi [...] pag. 19. 20. Epistle Dedicatory he tells the King, That Ceremonies are ne [...]essary for the setting out of Gods worship His Great Witnesse to the world that our heare stands right in that Service of God, to wit, the inward worship. Take this away or b [...]ing it into contempt, and what light is there left to shine before men, that they may see our Devotion, and glorifie our Father which is in heaven. And to deale clearely with your Majesty, these thoughts are they, and no other, which have made me labour so much as I have done, for Decency, and an Orderly Settle­ment of the externall worship of God in the Church; which cannot be without some Ceremonies, &c. For Ceremonies are the hedge, that feare the Substance of Religion, &c. And a great weaknesse it is, not to see the strength, which Ceremonies adde even to Religion itselfe, &c. So and much more the Prelate [...] Whence it appeareth, that had he not Ceremonies to garnish his worship of God (as he calls it the world could not see how right his heart stands, nor yet see his good works; because instead of good works perverting Christs word) he puts his Devotion, and his Devotion stands in his Ceremonies; which he saith must not be too few, for then they leave his Service naked, and therfore to avoyd that he must have both a Surplice, and Hood, and Cope, to cover that nakednesse. So as all his light is in his Externall worship shining forth in his brave Garbe of Cere­monies; as that of the Pharises in their broad Philacteries. So as without this, men (in truth) could not so easily see the pride, vanity, Superstition, and hyprcrisie, which lurketh in the Prelates [...]re, and bewrayeth it selfe in his many inventions of Superstiti­ous Ceremonies, the very Ideas and Idols of his profane heart. And [Page] Antiquity was the Mystery of Iniquity; if that will doe them any pleasure. This we generally touched before in the Third Chapter.

But for the Second, That the Prelacie is this Mystery of Iniquity, let us a little examine what is meant by this Mystery of Iniquity. This Mystery of Iniquity is opposed to the Mystery of Godlinesse, of which the Apostle speaks, 1 Tim. 3. 16. Iniquity is opposit to Godlinesse: but both Godlinesse and Iniquity are called a Mystery. Yet in a different respect. The Mystery of Godlinesse is so called, because of its deepnesse, and difficulty to be understood, but by Gods 1 Cor. 2. 9. 10. Spirit reuealing the same: but the Mystery of Iniquity is so called, because Iniquity is vailed under a pretence and shew of Godlinesse, by whichRev. 13. 8. 2 Thes. 2. 10. many are deceived,Mat. 24. 5. whose names are not written in the booke of life. As Christ saith,† Many shall come in my Name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many. And thus doe all Prelates come in Christs Name, while they pretend Christs Authority, and usurpe Christs throne over his People. And the great Antichrist is so called, because though he be against Christ, yet he saith, he is for Christ, as being Christs Vicar; even as Antichristus in the Greeke is a compound word, the Preposition Anti signifying both for, or instead, and against. And so is Antichrist, in pretence for Christ, but in practise against Christ: and so are all our Prelates; as shall yet further appeare. And this is truly and properly the Mystery of Iniquity. In which respect the Turke, and other profest Enemies of Christ, and Christian Religion cannot come within the compasse of this Mystery of Iniquity, and so cannot be full Antichrists, because they doe gumme kephale, openly, without any vaile, professe this Ini­quity, of being Adversaries to Christ.

And for the further application of this Mysterie of Iniquity to the Prelates, we come to the third Proposition: That, What is spoken of the great Antichrist himselfe, is spoken of all Prelates, as members of the same Head, or as so many inferiour antichrists, though in themselves great enough. Let us therefore see the properties of Antichrist here described by the Apostle. First he is called, That man of Sinne: And this is Antichrist in two respects: 1. in re­spect of himselfe, as being carnall, proud, covetous, ambitious, vo­luptuous, and a most malicious hater, and most cruel persecuter of the Saints and Servants of Christ, a proper Sinne of Antichrist [...] These Sinnes and Lusts are the proper Sinnes of a Prelate, and common to every Prelate, and especially those of the latter Stamp, since Antichrist mounted aloft, now for above 600. [Page] yeares, yea a 1000. yeares from Boniface 3. Secondly, Antichrist is that man of Sin, in respect of others, as being a prime instru­ment of causing others to Sin: as by giving Indulgence, Dispen­sation, and Liberty to men to Sin, and by suppressing the means whereby they should be kept from Sin. The Pope is notorious for this. And our Prelates come not farre behind him. For they allow profane sports on the Lords day, by which the 4th Com­mandement is broken: and that to Servants and Ch [...]ldren so as their Parents and Masters may not restraine them; which is a manifest breach of the Fift Commandement: so as by this means many other Commandements are broken in committing many Sinnes. Thus they bothMath [...] breake the greatest Commandements, and teach men so. Againe instead of suppessing of sports, they re­straine and Suppresse the Preaching of Gods word, whereby men should be kept from Sinne, and learne to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, denying all ungodlinesse and worldly lusts. Thus Antichrist is that man of Sinne.

Secondly, Antichrist is called the Son of Perdition For as he is that man of Sinne: so by consequence he is that Son of Perdition' and that in both the foresaid respects, as of Sinning, so of Pe­rishing: for as he both Sins himselfe, and causes others to Sin: so he both perisheth himselfe, and causeth others to perish, as 2 Thess. 2. 10. And this is proper to the Pope in the first place, whose necessity of perishing is such, that himselfe confesseth an im­possibility of amendment. As is noted of Adrian 6. who said, Hist. Concil. Trid. lib. 1. That the condition of Popes was miserable, seeing it was evident, that they could not doe good, though they desired and indeavoured it never so much. And PopeIn Platina, of the lives of the Popes. Marcell flapping his hand on the Ta­ble, said, It was impossible, that any one Sitting in that Chaire could be Saved. And his own Decretalls say, That if the Pope carry with him millions of Soules to be tormented with the great Devil, no man may reprove him. So incorrigible he is. And this is according to Christs saying,Mat. 19. 24. That it is easier for a Camel to goe through the [...]ye of a needle, then for a Rich man to goe into the Kingdome of heaven. And are Prelates in any better condition? Is there any more hope of them, then of the Pope, that ever they can or will re­pent? If they will repen [...] indeed, that they may not be the Sons of perdition, either in themselves, or also in others, they must get them out of the Chaire of Pestilence, they must in one word, abandon their Prelacie, and Prelaticall practises. Will they doe this, and so cease both to Sinne themselves, and to cause others [...]o Sin? This were happy for them. And this were the onely [Page] way to free them from being the Sons of Perdition, namely by ceaseing to be those men of Sin. But if Chrysostome said of Pre­lates in his dayes, that he wondred, if any of them could be saved: then what would he have said of the Prelates in our dayes?

Thirdly, Antichrist is called o `antikeímenos, that Adversary. But still under a pretext of being a friend; as before is noted. Thus Antichrist is the grand Adversary, [...] a'ntikeímenos, opposit, or set against. But against whom? Against Christ, against his word, against his Ministers, against his people, even all true pro­fessors of the Gospell, against all true Religion. Such is the Pope, and such are the Prelates, as their practises doe plainly prove, and openly proclaime them to be.

And Fourthly, here is added by a Copulative, kaì u`prairo­menos, and He that exalts himselfe (as our English renders it) Over whom? Over all that is called God, or that is worshiped. Epì­pantà, Over all, or against all (as some Translation hath it) that is called God. For the Preposition e'pì may signifie both. But for Against we have a'ntikeímenos, opposite, and so this we may take for lifting himselfe up over all that is called God, or that is wor­shiped; which we may understand two wayes, either over all Religion (as before we noted) or over all Policy, and Civill Govern­ment, over Kings, and Princes and Magistrates, who arePsal. 82. called Gods, and over the Emperour himselfe, who is called s [...]bastos, which is venerable, or worshipfull; and the honour of Caesar which is called sèbasma (as in the Text) over which this Antichrist ex­alts himselfe. Now that this is verified of the Pope, it needs no proofe, as being as cleare as the Sun at noone day, and which Impudencie it selfe hath not the face to deny. But now for our Prelates, how is this verified of them? For they would seem to be friends to Kings and Princes, insomuch as they are by Princes themselves openly proclaimed to be a holy Order most Christian in it selfe, most peaceable in Civil States, and most conso­nant to Minarchie, or the like. For answere whereunto: First, if the Pope their Sire be such an Adversary, and so exalted, how can the Prelates be excused, seeing they are of the same Spirit, as the members actuated by the Head? Secondly, if Prelates be (as their ordinary practises doe shew) Adversaries and opposits to Christ, and to his word, aswell as the Pope is (as before is noted) how can their Hierarchie be said to be either most Christian in itselfe, or most peaceable to Civil States, or most consonant to Mo­narchie? Can such an Hierarchie be most Christian, which is most Antichristian? Or can it be peaceable for a Civil State, that pro­fesseth [Page] Christianity, yea and the true Religion, to uphold and maintaine such as are most notorious Adversaries to Christ, and to the Gospel? Or can that be most Copsonant to a Monarchy (pro­fessing to be under Christ the onely Monarch, on whom all others depend, and to be governed by good and just Lawes, and not by a Lawlesse Tyranny, which it selfe is an Hierarchicall Tyranny, and such as Tyranniseth over soules, bodies, and estates? Or can Prelates be true Friends to Princes, who under a false vizard of Friendship labour to corrupt them by their flattery, to make them forget they are men, to make them disaffected with their good Subjects, to make them the Authors of Innovation in Religion, by suppressing the Truth by their publicke Edicts, which tends to fill the People with discontents, and to stirre up Sedition, and the like? Can this be safe for Monarchie, or peaceable for the Civil State, or a thing in it selfe most Christian? Nor is it so onely with our present Prelates. Revolve all Histories since Antichrists exaltation, and ye shall find that never any great Treasons have been, either against the persons of Princes, or their Civil States (if they were but suspected of disaffection to the Papacy, or Romish Religion) but either a Prelate, or some of his faction had his finger in it. But there it may suffice, that our eyes have been witnesses of the effects of Prelaticall pranks and practi­ses, in being so busie and bold to bring in againe the Romish Religion, and after the Gospel had taken such deep rooting. So as if our Kings wisdome had not been the greater in composing things in a peaceable way (as foreseeing the dangerous Conse­quences that might have ensued, in case he should have by a strong hand gone about to have reduced that Antic bristian Go­vernment into that Kingdome, which it had now cast out) God knows what wofull calamities such a Warre might have pro­duced. But blessed be God, for preventing it.

Againe. As the Pope lifts up himselfe above and against all Emperious Kings, and Princes; yea setting his feet on their necks, causing them to hold his stirrop, to lead his palfrey, and doe such like Offices (as his Holinesse Booke of Ceremonies, and other Histories shew) to hold their Kingdomes in Fee from him, and the like: and as his Cardinalls take place of Kings, his Arch­prelates of Dukes, his Prelates of Lords: So our Prelates (which come from them, and pro [...]esse still to be of one and the same Church with them, of one and the same Hierarchicall Catholicke Church, of one and the same Faith and Religion, as before is noted) doe they not the like, according to their proportion, and degree? Doe [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] not Archprelates take place of Dukes, and Prelats of Lords? Nay, doe they not set their feet upon the neck of the Kings Laws, while they (though as yet de jure they cannot, yet de facto they doe) exempt themselves from them, in that they by their power in Court, and threatnings in their own Courts, so terrifie all Pro­hibitions, that they dare not peep, or shew their Faces in the High-Commission; as the Author of theSee the Apo­logie. His Epi­stle to the Iudg­es. His Sermons. Apologie, and Two Ser­mons, For God and the King, hath observed, though he hath payd dearely for his truth telling? Thus doe they not u`praírethai, highly exalt themselves above all that is called God (as above Kings and Civil States) while they dare thus withdraw their necks from under the obedience of their good and just Laws (the benefit whereof the Kings good Subjects should enjoy in re­lieving themselves, and their innocent Cause from the Prelates unjust and tyrannicall oppressions in the lawlesse proceeding in their Courts) and so set their proud feet upon the Kings both Laws, which are the sinews, and loyall People, which are the members of the same Body Politick, whereof the King is the Head? Do they not herein come neere their Father Pope, who trampleth upon Emperours necks, when they dare tread upon the Kings feet, asGen. 3. 15. the Serpent did upon Christs heele? And for this Cause is the Hierarchie, or Antichristianisme, called by the Apostle, the Mysterie of Iniquity. Yea the Mystery tes a'nomías, of Lawlessenesse; for which cause the Head of this Mystery, to wit, the Grand Antichrist, or the Pope, is called o`anomos, that Lawlesse one, which our English turnes, That wi [...]ked.

So as here may fitly come in Antichrists Fift Title o` a'nomos, that Lawlesse one. This the Pope proves himselfe to be, as be­ing subject to no Laws, either of God, or man. So as (he saith) he hath all Laws folded up in the Cabinet of his own brest, as being the great Oracle of the world, and the onely infallible Iudge in matters of Faith; at least, when he Sits in Peters Chaire; and that he can dispense with the Apos [...], and the like. But how doth his agree with our Prelates? Are they also such a'nomi, such Lawlesse ones, as to merit the next place to the Pope, for the Title of Antichrist? Yes surely, they hold a correspondence with their Syre, so as in all things they doe patrifare, shew themselves to be his Sons. Of their Lawlessenesse, in regard of Subjection to Princes Laws, we spake but now. And now re­maines to shew how they are Lawlesse, in regard of Gods Laws. First, their Hierarch [...]e is [...] at all, nor in any thing (as neither g [...]o [...]ded; so) regulated by the Law of God, and of C [...]ist, but [Page] meerly by their own Lawlesse Canons, which are the Laws of their Lawlesse Kingdome. Yea, and when they list, they have a Prerogative to goe either beyond, or against their Canons, in case their lust find not scope enough. Secondly, (as is noted be­fore) they not onely can dispense with Gods Law, but dare and doe annihilate it, and make it of no authority. For they doe unmoralize the 4th Commandement, as concerning the Sabbath day for Christians: they allow profane Sports thereon, which Gods Law hath altogether forbidden: they forbid preaching on that day, which Gods word commandeth to be both in season, and out of season: they altogether forbid preaching of the Doctrines of Grace, which Gods word commends unto us, and commands to be preached: they Suspend the sense of the Articles of Religion touching. Gods free Grace, thereby giving way to the contrary Errours, which they forbid Preachers to confute, flatly against Tit. 1. 9. Gods Commandement: they dispense with the fift Commande­ment, dissolving the bond of obedience in Children and Servants to the Parents and Masters, and stripping those Governours of their Authority over them, while they give them liberty to Sport, and run riot on the Lords day, and threaten all that shall dare to con­troule them. And herein also, they destroy Mans Law: for the Law of the Land no where, either allows any such profane Sports on the Lords dayes, but flatly forbids them: or forbids Parents and Masters to restraine their youth from such profanati [...]ns, or to correct them, if they offend, and will not obey then Lawfull Commands: nor much lesse hath the Law of the Land given any such power and authority to any Civil Magistrate, or other, to pu­nish those, that shalbe brought before them, for exercising their lawfull authority over those under their charge. And we all know, that the Prelates had the chiefe hand, not onely in penning, but in publishing that Booke for Sports on the Lords day, which is an open proclaiming of Warre against God, against Christ, against his holy Laws, against all holinesse, against our Christian vow in Baptisme, against the good Laws of the Land, and Acts of Parliament, and against the very bonds of all Civill and Natural Societies. And thus our Prelates are the most noto­rious Lawlesse men (onely excepting the Grand Antichrist, the Pope, unlesse in some things they doe outstrip him) that ever were in any Age of the world.

Further, two wayes more doe the Prelates prove themselves to be o`i a'nomei, those Lawlesse men. As first, in hanging the Keys of Scripture at their Girdle, saying, that the Credit and belie [...] [Page] of Scripture to be the word of God, doth necessarily depend upon the Authority and Tradition of the present Church, as the prime inducing cause to that bel [...]f. This our great Prelate in his said Book bold­ly affirmeth [...] and often repeateth, saying withall, that the Scrip­ture hath not light enough in it selfe, is not sufficient to shew and prove it selfe to be the word of God. So as the whole Authority of Scrip­ture [...] depending upon Church-Tradition, and Authority, is neces­sarily made subject to Episcopall Power, and so consequently the Law of God contained therein, shall not be Divine, unlesse it please their good Lordships to give their good word for it, and to make it of so much credit, by the vote of their Authority and Tradition, as that men may beleeve it to be Gods Law. And upon this ground it is, that if the Prelates shall pronounce the 4th Commandement not to be Morall for the sanctifying of a Se­venth day, yea the first day of the weeke, for Sabbath, and that Ser­vants, and Children are not bound to yeeld obedience to their Masters and Parents on that day, in Case Civil or Ecclesiasticall Authority shall dispense with them to be free that day for their Sports. then all men must be of their opinion, that those Com­mandements are none of Gods Commandements. The second way, whereby Prelates doe shew themselves Lawlesse men, is by de­nying the Scripture to be Iudge in Controversus of Faith. For the said Prelate pe [...]emptorily saith,pag. 378. I absolutely make a lawfull and free Generall Councel Iudge of Controversies, by and according to Scriptures. Which [By and according to the Scriptures] come in by the By, and are meere Cyphers. For by these words he either meanes, That By and according to the Scriptures hee absolutely makes, &c. which is most false: for by and according to the Scripture no Generall Councel is Iudge of Coneroversies; Neither by and accor­ding to the Scriptures hath the Prelate power absolutely to make a Ge­nerall Councel Iudge of Controversies: or els, by these words he doth but cast a [...]yst before his Readers eyes to make him be­leeve upon the first rebound of his words, that he makes Scrip­ture the Rule, for Generall Councels to determine Controversies by. Whereas he meanes no such thing. For elswhere he hath sun­dry speeches to the contrary: aspag. 31. The Churches Declaration can bind us to peace, and externall obedience, where there is not expresse letter of Scripture, and s [...]nce agreed upon. And againe, If there be a a [...]eal [...]usie or doubt of the sense of Scripture, a Generall Councel must judge the Difference: onely Scripture must be the Rule. Now if Scripture be doubtfull, and not cleare, how can it be a rule to others, to judge by? But if Scripture be sufficiently and aboun­dantly [Page] cleare in it selfe in resolving of matters of faith for salva­tion, how come men to take upon them to be Iudges? But that the Scripture it selfe should be Iudge, the Prelate in no case, in no place of his Booke will allow of that: Onely he confesseth, that the Scripture is a pag. 80. & 194. Iudge, but without light Sufficient: visible, but not living, not speaking but by the Church. So as the Iudge he makes upon the matter both blind, and dead, and dumb. As theLighius. Hosius. de ex­presso Dei Verbo. Papists make it a dead letter, and Leaden or Lesbian Rule, that so they may set the Church above it, to be Supreme Iudge. Thus our Prelates (if they will allow their Primate to speake for them) have made the Scripture, and so Gods word of no Au­thority in and of it selfe, when it must depend both for its Au­thority, and Sense upon the Church and that the Prelaticall Church, or that Catholicke, wherein the Church Prelaticall of England, and of Rome, are one and the Same. Are not the Prelates then, next after the Pope, those Lawlesse men, branded here by the Apostle, under the name of that Lawlesse one?

We come now to the Sixth note of Antichrist in the Text: which is [...] that he at God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing him­selfe, that he is God. Now the1 Cor. 3. 10. 17. & 6. 19. 2 Cor. 6. 16. Temple of God, properly, accor­ding to the New Testament (the ancient Temple of the Iews being abolished) is the Soule and Conscience of every beleever: or true Christian, namely a Spirttuall Temple. Now all that beare but the beare name of Christians, as Papists doe, doe also participate of the bare Name of such, as are the true Temples: and so in that respect, Antichrist is said to sit in, or upon or over the Temple of God. For sitting, argues a Seat, Chaire, or Throne, which Antichrist sets up in the Soules and Consciences of all Papists, Sitting and raigning as King over them in all matters of faith. So as thus he makes himselfe a Spirituall Lord, or King over them. And thus by Antichrists sitting is understood his raingning, as the Scripture doth often use this Terme: as Revel. 17. 1. 3. 15. and 18. 7. And so in other places of Scripture, by sitting, is understood raigning, as Heb. 1. 13. 1. Rev. 1. 13. Now that the Pope doth thus set up his throne, and sit and raigne in the Consciences of men, who are the Subjects and vassalls of his Spirituall Kingdome, himselfe cannot, will not deny. And he sits, as God, that is, as­sumes and exercises that power and authority over the Conscience, which appertaines to God, to Christ alone. And thus he makes shew, that he is God, as to whom God hath committed all his Power and authority unto. As the Pope calls himselfe Vice-God, Christs Vicar, and the like, usurping whatsoever Titles of Power [Page] Christ hath in the Scripture: as we read of Leo 10, in the Councel of Lateran, calling himselfe the Lyon of the Tribe of Iudah, and the like. And Bellarmine blusheth not to say, and therein to Blas-Pheme, that what soever is attributed to Christ in the Scripture, is communicated to his Vicar, the Pope. And thus is fullfilled that, which Christ, foretold,Mat. 24. 5. Many shall come in my Name, saying, I am, or I am Christ, and shall deceive many. Thus for the Pope, that man of Sinne, Mark 13. 6. that Sonne of Perdition, who opposeth and exalteth him­selfe, ab [...]ve all that is called God, Luk. 21. 8. or that is worshiped, that Lawlesse one, that as God sits in the Temple of God, shewing himselfe, that he is God [...] Now for our Prelates, are they not herein also, as in all the rest, at least petty Gods Sitting in the Temple of God, shewing them­selvs to be so many Gods? As for their materiall Princely Thrones in materiall Temples, they have them set up in great State. But this is nothing to that Throne, which they have set up, and wherein they sit and raigne, over the Consciences and Soules of Gods people; their multitude of Canons and Ceremonies being so many Laws by which they rule over them, and so many bonds or Chaines, whereby they hold them in Spirituall bon­dage. And thus they sit also as God, in the Timple of God, shewing themselves to be God, in saying they are Christs Vice-Roys, and the Apostles Successors, having Authority from Christ to exercise that their Iurisdiction and Power over Gods People, who are the living Temples of the living God. Thus we see all along, how this Army of Priests (as G [...]egory and others call them) the Pre­lates, do follow their Captain and King Antichrist step by step, in all his properties here described by the Apostle.

The last thing we propounded here to speake of, is, That Apostacie must goe before to strow the way, to the full revealation of the Mystery of Iniquity, and so of Antichrist, which Apostacie was partly and primarily the Prelacie. I say, partly and primarily. For partly the removall of the Imperiall Seat, from Rome to Constan­ [...]inople by Constantine, and partly the decaying and declyning of the Empire, and partly the defection of sundry Kingdomes from the Empire, made way for Antichrists greatnesse, to which he grew not but by degrees, and that through many Ages. Yet the prime foundation of his Babylonian Tower was layd in the Apostles own times, they labouring to hinder it all they could, but not pre­vailing herein, they preached and writ against it, and so fore­warned Gods people to beware of it. And this foundation so long agoe begun to be layd, was the Prelacie, or rather the Spirit of Prelacie, which had a time of working even while the Apostles [Page] lived, and became to be as it were an Embrio or little Masse, but did not receice the forme of a body, till afterwards, and was long a growing up, untill it came to the full stature. Now (I say) the spirit of Prelacie was the very beginning of the Apostacie, which was Antichrists way-maker.

But how doth it appeare, that this spirit of the Prelacie began to worke in the Apostles dayes? And then secondly, how will it appeare, that this spirit of the Prelacy was and is an Apostacie? For answere: First, that the Prelacie began to get life in the Aposiles time, it is manifest by sundry places of Scripture. As 2. Cor. 11. 20. Ye suffer (saith the Apostle to the Corinthians) if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devoure you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himselfe, if a man smite you on the face. Now the Apostle meanes here of those immediately mentioned before, to wit, false Ministers, whom he calls false Apostles, deceitfull work [...]rs is transforming themselves into the Apostles of Christ, v. 13. 15. These (as young Prelates) would be Apostolic [...]ll men; and they have the qualities of Prelates, they Captivate Gods people (as be­fore) they devoure, take, exalt themselves, smite [...] just Prelate-like. And for brevity (to omit sundry other places) we find one pretty briske Prelaticall man in 3. Iob. 9. 10. his Name was Dio­trephes, and he did beare himselfe according to his Name, as one of Iupiters nurslings: his qualities are these: 1. He loveth to have the preeminence. 2. he receiveth not the Apostles, and brethren: 3. he prateth against them with malicious words: 4. he neither recei­veth the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would: 5. he casteth them out of the Church. Loe here a pretty well grown Prelaticall Child, a pregnant Sparke to make a Lord Prelate of. For all his Pro­perties are proper to a Prelate: for a Prelate, first, loves the pree­minence: 2. though he pretend to Succeed the Apostles, yet his deeds shew, that he hates both their Doctrine, and Example, per­secuting them in their true Successors: 3. he receiveth not the bre­thren: yea 4. he so hates the very name of holy brethren, that he forbids all men to receive them: and 5. he casteth them out of the Church, he playes fy gib with his thunderbolt of Excommunication. I might insist more, and inlarge all these particulars: but this may suffice to shew, that the Spirit of the Prelacie was stirring in the wombe of the Church, even while the Apostles lived.

Now for the Second, it is no lesse true, that the Spirit of the Prelacy was and is an Apostacy from Christ. This first ap­peares by the Apostles former words of falling away first, which made way for Antichrist. And this began in the Prelacie: for [Page] the Prelacy is the setting up of a new Church, a new Kingdome, turning Christs heavenly Kingdome into an earthly, and the Spiri­tuall into a carnall, and the Kingdome of Grace, into a Kingdome of terrene glory, and the Church militant into a Church malignant and triumphant (as before is noted) and the true Catholicke Church which we beleeve to consist of all the Elect onely, Christs living members) into a new Catholicke visible Church of all nominall Chri­stians, tagge and ragge, Papists and others: and in a word, the Church of Christ into the Church and Synogogue of Antichrist. Is not here then a fearefull Apostacie, and falling from Christ? Time calls me off, and therefore I must be very briefe. I will adde therefore but one place more for the proofe of this, That Prelacy is Apostacy from Christ. It is in 1 Io. 2. 18. Little children, it is the last time, and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many Antichrists, whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us; but they were not of us: for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest, that they were not all of us. Loe, here is an Apostacie, and it is of certaine Antichrists, that were then sprung up, even many Antichrists. But how doth this concerne our Prelates? Let us looke but a little lower, and as before we found them wrapped in the Swadling Clouts of the Mystery of Iniquity: So here we shall behold them in the very robes of Antichrist. For v. 22. Who is a lyar, but he that deny­eth, that Iesus is the Christ: He is Antichrist, &c. Now what is it to deny Iesus to be the Christ? Surely we must so take these words, as we hold the Analogie of faith, and so, as they crosse not the Mystery of Iniquity, which we shewed before to be a denying of Christ, under a colour of confessing him. Now then there is a twofold denyall of Christ: one in words, another in works. So the Apostle saith of such,Tit. 2. 16. They porfesse that they know God, but in works they deny him, being abominable and disobedient, and unto every good worke reprobate. So as there is a denyall of Christ in deeds. But what it is to deny, that Iesus is the Christ? This is a point indeed very considerable. To deny that Iesus is the Christ, is to deny, that Iesus is the Auointed King Priest and Prophet; So, as never any were anointed, to all these 3 Offices. And therefore Christ was said to bePsal. 45. anointed above his fellows. And for that cause he is called here, o' Kristòs, The Anointed. Now then to deny that Iesus is the Christ, is to deny, that Iesus is the onely King, the onely High Priest, aud the onely Prophet of his Church. But ( to apply this) doth the Pope, and so our Prelates, deny that Iesus is thus the [Page] Chirst? Yes, they do. First, for the Pope, it is manifest, that he denyes Iesus to be the only King of his Church: because himselfe takes upon him to be King over the Church, sitting as God in the Temple of God, shewing himselfe, that he is God; as before is shewed. Secondly, he not onely sets up other High-Priests in heaven, as whom he makes Mediators of Interc [...]ssion: and so he denyes Christs High priesthood in heaven, whose Office alone it is to make Inter­cession within the v [...]ile, as was typed by the High Priest, Heb. 9. but the Pope also makes himselfe the High Priest on Earth, in forgiving of Sins, and in Sacrificing and offering up a Breaden Christ for a propitiatory Sacrifice, wherein also every Masse-Priest usurps Christs Priesthood on the Crosse. And Thirdly, he denyeth Iesus to be the onely Prophet to teach his Church, taking upon him to be the Sole Oracle, and unerring Iudge in matters of Faith. These might be inlarged, but I hasten. And a word in things so cleare, is sufficient. Now for our Prelates: Do not they too deny, that Iesus is the Christ? Doe not they deny him to be the only King of his Church, by their usurping of his throne and do­minion over the Consciences of Gods people in matters of faith and Religion, by imposing their manifold Canons, and Cere­monies, as before is shewed? And Secondly, do they not deny, that Iesus is the onely High Priest, while themselves with the Pope, and their false Priesthood, take upon them to forgive Sins? Yea and doe they not labour to come home to Rome, in setting up their Altars, with their Priests, which must needs have a su­table Sacrifice, some Host: so as thereby Christ is denyed to be the onely High Priest, who offered up himselfe on the Crosse once for all? Thirdly, and Lastly, doe they not deny Iesus to be the onely Prophet of his Church, while themselves usurpe the Office of being Iudges of the S [...]ripture, and of the Controversies of Faith, making their Dictates to be received for Doctrines, and their determinations (though in things erronious in the Faith) to bind all men to peace and obedience? Which being so: the Con­clusion is, that as the Pope is the grand Antichrist, so Prelates are so many Antichrists. For (saith the Apostle) Who is a lyer, but he that denyeth, that Iesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist. And thus we see, how these hypocrites, who are so Superstitiously and Idolatrously devout in their worshiping of the Name JESUS, prove themselves notorions. Antichrists, in denying Iesus to be the Christ, to be the only King, Priest and Prophet of his Church.

Wherein the Prelates usuall Allegations out of the Scriptures, by them perverted, or other by them pretended, are answered.

AS there hath been no Heresie, nor Hereticke, so grosse, but he could alledge some Scripture or other for the maintenance of his Heresie, if his own carnall sense might be the Intepreter and Iudge: So our Prelates, though their pretended Title of Iurisdiction be in some cleare Scriptures so expresly condemned both by Christ and his Apo­stles (as hath been shewed) as were sufficient to confound them, and put them to perpetuall silence: yet they leave no Stone unturned, under which they might find but some worme for a baite to deceive the Simple Fish. And therfore where they find but the least shadow, or appearance or resemblance, which may present to their fancy and imagination some aëry Image of their Hierarchie, that they set up for all men to adore. Now let us see what starting holes they find out for themselves in the holy Scripture. First, they alledge those Postscripts in the end of Pauls Second Epistle to Timothy, and of that to Titus: where in the one, Timothy is said to be first Bishop of Ephesus: and in the other, Titus first Bishop of the Church of the Cretians. These (say they) were Diocesan Bishops, ordained by the Apostle. And here (say they) we have Scripture for it. Ergo we Bishops have our Autho­rity Iure Divin [...] To both which places, I answere: First, That those two Postscripts are no part of Canonicall Scripture, or of the holy Text. For (as the learned Beza hath well observed) they were not found in the most ancient Greek Copies: nor yet in the vulgar Latin Translation, no not to this day. These were additions of some Monks, that were made some hundred yeares after the Apostles. So as in Ieromes time they were not extant, as the Translation that goes in his Name can testifie, which hath no such Postscrips. Secondy, our former and anci­enter English Translations, though they have those Postscripts, yet they are put in a small character, different from that of the Text, that all men may take notice they are no part of the Text. Although our All-Innovating Prelates of late, have in the newer Impressions inlarged their Phylacteries, in putting those Postscripts in the same full character with that of the Text, that the Simple might beleeve they are Canonicall Scripture. Thirdly, Timothy [Page] and Titus, are no where in Scripture called Bishops. Fourthly, Suppose they were such Bishops, as the Scriptures approve of, as before is shewed: doth it therefore follow, that they were Diocesan Bishops, Lording over the Presbyters, as our Lord Prelates doe? Let them shew us that. But fiftly, it is cleare by Scripture, that Timothy and Titus were neither Dioce [...]an Bishops; nor yet Bishops of a particular Congregation, such as the Scripture com­mends unto us. Not Diocesan Bishops: for first, as yet there was no distribution of Diocese; that came in afterward. And secondly, they were not tyed to any Residence either Diocesan, or Parochiall. And neither as yet was the Church divided into Parishes. Now the reason why Timothy and Titus were no such Bishops, is, be­cause they were2 Tim. 4. 5. Euangelists, whose Office was to attend upon the Apostles, and to be sent by them now to one Church, now to another, and that in remote Countries, and farre distant one from another, where they stayed no longer, then the Apostles thought expedient, having occasion to imploy them in other places; as we may read Tit. 1. 5. and 3. 12. Phil. 2. 19. 23. 2 Cor. 8. 16. 18, 19. and 12. 17, 18. Col. 4. 7, 8: 1 Thess. 3. 2. 5 and in sundry other places. So as Timothy and Titus, and other Euange­lists, their Office was to water those Churches, which the Apo­stles had planted, to comfort, confirme, establish the hearts of Chri­stians newly converted to the faith of Christ. So as if Timothy and Titus had been Bishops, either Diocesan, or Parochiall, then the Apostle in sending them to this and that Countrey, to this and that Church in farre distant Countries, should have been an Au­thor of Non-residence, a thing much controverted in theHist. Concil. Coun­cel of Trent, and the best learned did maintaine, that Residence of Bishops was de jure divino. They were no Bishops therefore, but Euangelists. And thus the Scripture it selfe shews plainly, that those foresaid Postscripts are meere forgeries, and counterfeit stuffe; though our Prelates are glad of any shred to patch up their Pyde Motley Coat withall.

But they alledge againe for themselves, that Titus was left in Creet to ordaine Bishops in every City. Ergo, Ordination of Ministers belongs properly and solely to Bishops. For Answere: Is this a good Argument: Titus Ordained Ministers in Creet: Ergo Ordination of Ministers pertaines to the Office of every Diocesan Bishop? But they must bring better proofe, that Titus was a Diocesan Bishop: otherwise, I deny their Argument. Secondly, Suppose, that Titus did alone ordaine: yet this being a case of necessity, and in the infancy of the Church, is it therfore to be made a Generall Rule? [Page] Thirdly, if they were Diocesan Bishops, whom Titus ordained in every City in Creta, then Titus was an Arch-bishop at least, and no small one neither, for there being an hundred Cities in Creet, called therefore e katómpolis, the hundred-City-Ile. But for Arch-bishops our Arch-prelate confesseth they are not Iure Di­vino. Or els, for Titus to ordaine such Bishops, as the Prelate meaneth he could according to ancient Canons of Councels, have had 2 or 3 other Bishops joyned with him. But if they had been Bishops, whom he is sayd to Ordaine, the word should rather have been teleiosai, or so to Consecrate, then katastesai, to ordaine: because a Diocesan Bishop is not ordained, but consecrated, as they call it; so as such a Bishop is not an Order, or Calling, as before is shewed. But to shut up this: Titus was no Bishop, and ther­fore our Prelates Argument from Titus his Ordaining of Mini­sters, is too weake a foundation, to build their high Towring Hierarchie upon.

Againe, they alledge the power that Timothy and Titus had to Censure delinquents: Ergo Prelates Courts are Iure Divino. This Argument is like the former, and concluds nothing for them. Nor had Timothy and Titus their Courts and Consistories, their Apparitors, and Pursuivants, their dumb Priests to sit in Court to Excommunicate, and the like. Nor were their Censures like to those of our Prelates; as before we have shewed about Excommunication, either for the matter, or manner, or end.

But Titus had a Commission tà leíponta, epidiorthosai, to set in order the things that are wanting. What then? Ergo it is an Office of Prelates to set the Church in Order, by adding such Ceremenies or Canons, as are wanting. As the Prelate saith in his said Booke, that he hadEpist. Dedi. pag. 20. taken all that paines for an Orderly Settlement in the Church. But besides the reasons aforesaid, that Titus was no Diocesan Bishop, for our Prelates to make their pattern by: they must consider, that the full latitude of the sense of epidiorthosa [...] (which our English turnes, to set in Order,) is, to set those things in Order, or in integrum restituere, to restore and reduce them to their former estate, wherein at the first they were ordered. Now Titus had received his rule from the Apostle for whatsoe­ver he was to set in Order, which rule comprehended such things as were wanting. The Apostle left it not to Titus to doe what he would, but o' [...] ego soi dietaxamen, as I had appointed thee. Thus nothing will frame well, the Scripture will not speak one good word for our Prelates.

But they take their wings, and flie to the Revelation, where [Page] the Bishops are called Angels, as Rev. 1. 20. and 2. 1, &c. The Angel of the Church of Ephesus (say they) was the Bishop, to wit, the Diocesan Bishop. But first they must prove that Ephesus had a Diocesan Bishop. before they can conclude he was that Angel. For every Angel is not a Diocesan Bishop. For then All Ministers being called Angels, because Gods Messengers, should be Diocesan Bishops, which our Prelates cry out against: but if they be false Ministers, or counterfeit Bishops, though they be Angels, yet they are of those Angels of darknesse, which transforme themselves into Angels of light, 2 Cor. 11. 13. 14. as the Apostle speakes, and which we men­tioned before. But hath Ephesus now gotten a Dioces [...]n Bishop? What's then become of all those Bishops of Eph [...]sus, whom the Apostle called together, [...]. 20. 17. 28? Of which we spake before. How come they now all to be moulded up into one Angel, one Diocesan Bishop? But our Prelates must bring us bet­ter proofe from Scripture, then so, for their Diocesan Bishop, unlesse they will have him some Angel dropt from the Clowds. Gal. 1. And (saith the Apostle) if an Angel from heaven preach otherwise, then what the Scripture teacheth, let him be accursed.

But they imagine this Angel is the Diocesan Lord Bishop, be­cause he stands single, and alone, To the Angel of the Church of Ephesus, not To the Angels, as many. But doe the [...] no [...] know, that it is familiar with the Scripture to use the singular number for the plural? Doth not every one of the ten Commandements run thus, Thou shalt not, &c. when every Mothers Sonne is meant? And why not so here? Nay it is so here: for though he write as to one, v. 1. yet v. 7. he concludes the Epistle thus, He that hath an eare, let him heare what the Spirit saith to the Church­es. And such is the style and manner of every one of those 7. Epistles to the seven Churches: so as under one is meant every one, yea all the Churches. Now will our Prelates hence con­clude, that because an Angel herd is named, and that which is written particularly to one, concerneth all the Churches: that therefore this Angel was the Diocesan Bishop? Surely then, he must be an Arch-bishop, as comprehending all the Churches. And so also must every one of the other Angels of the Churches: which would make a confusion. But if the Prelates were not selfe-blinded, they might discerne the reason, why the Holy-Ghost puts an Angel for many. For thus it holds proportion with the Vision shewed to Iohn, Chap. 1. 12. 20. This Vision of the Seven Starres, and Seven Candlesticks, and Seven Angels, and Seven Churches, is called a Mystery. And a Mystery is a Secret, [Page] which comprehends more, then is expressed. And so here, when one Angel is named, we are to understand all the Angels of that Church, to whom, in the name of one, the Epistle is written: nor [...]onely to all the Angels, but to the Churches, under the name of one Angel. So as in one are comprehended many, for it is a Mystery: yet one is mentioned (Chap. 2. 1.) because (I say) it holds proportion with the vision. Againe, if by the Angel here, they would have to be understood a Diocesan Bishop, then they must prove, that this Diocesan hath a lawfull Calling, as Sent of God. Otherwise he is no Angel, that is, no Messenger, no Angel sent of God. Or if they say, This Angel was sent of God, let them prove him to be a Diocesan Bishop. And thus they are brought into a Circle, and cannot find the way out.

But they alledge againe, That one here notes unity, which cannot be without a Diocesan Bishop. And therefore a Diocesan Bishop was set up for that end, to be a Head of unity, for the conservation of Order and Peace, in Schismatis remedium, for a remedy of Schisme. Insomuch as our Arch-prelate (as is before noted) holds a necessity of one Ordine Primus, for the unity and peace of his Catholicke Church. Now for answere briefly (this be­ing partly touched before) true it is, that one here is a mysticall note of unity, so as in the Angel of the Church of Ephesus, is comprehended the whole Church of Ephesus, both Ministers and People. But one here doth not signifie one Diocesan Bishop. Nei­ther is one Diocesan Bishop in a Diocese, nor one Metropolitan in a Province or Kingdome, nor one Ordine Primus in the whole Ca­tholicke Church, of necessity to preserve unity in the Church. 'Tis true indeed, that the Prelates new Catholicke-Church, which is Prelaticall, may need such a Head as one Ordine Primus, to pre­serve it in unity and peace: this being also very usefull for the inlarging of the Tower of Babel, for which the Prelate hath so laboured for Peace in the Church of England under the Headship of his Primacy: so as had he none to oppose or contradict his wicked practises, for the setting up of Popery, but all did qui­etly submit and conforme to his Canon, his Babylon would goe up apace, and prosper: even asGen. 11. when the old world was all of one language, the Tower of Babel went up a maine, till God con­founded their worke in the division of tongues: but the true Ca­tholicke Church of Iesus Christ hath one Bishop of there Soules, which is Christ, who is that Ordine Primus, thatEphes. [...]. 15, 16. unites the whole body, every joynt, and every member, that is, not onely every particular beleever, but every particular Christian Con­gregation [Page] is knit to the whole, in and under that one Head And so this Body groweth, and this building goeth up, not­withstanding all the mouths of contradiction, and of malicious Sandballets, that seek to hinder it. Whereas it is not so with the building of Babel. For one small breath of the mouth of God in his word, breathed by one poore Minister, is able to blast the building; and therefore the builders cry out against such Fellows, as troublers of the State, and movers of Sedition. And they cannot be in quiet, nor their building goe up, untill such make-bates be silenced, or made our of the way. And therefore they la­bour with the Prince (when themselves want power and Law) to d [...]e with such as Constantine did with Athanasius. Socrat. Hist. Eccl. lib. 1. c. 35. Athanasius was the onely man, that refused to hold Communion with a sort of Arian Bishops; which caused a great gappe in that unity and peace in the Church, which Constantine so much desired. Well, what's the remedy? He thereupon was easily moved to send Athanasius away into banishment, and then he thought all would be quiet and in peace. But by the way, Truth must be looked unto in the first place: otherwise what peace? For that a false peace, and the moeher of farther discord, for the which truth is lost. And even our Prelate himselfe in his said Booke doth often harpe upon these two strings together, Truth and Peace: a good harmony, were they rightly meant, and that his Truth were not made of a Wolfes gut, which will never agree with a string made of a Sheeps gut, as he pretends his Peace to be. But this by the way. And whereas they alledge the Prelacie to be a remedy of Schisme (Heare ô heavens, and hearken ô earth) is not the Prelacy the grand Schismaticke? I mean, not onely in being the most busie and usuall make-bate in all Civil States, dividing Prince and People, but in setting up a new and false Catholicke Church, al­together seperate from, and holding no communion with, yea excluding all Reformed Churches not Prelaticall, as no members of the Catholicke (as indeed they be not of the false Catholicke) all Prelacie drawing to one Head of the Papacy, and that by a necessity of one Ordine Primus; as before is noted.

But to draw to a Conclusion. The last Allegation which I note they make, is, that S. Marke was Bishop of Alexandria. Ergo Epis­copall Iurisdiction, is an Apostolicall Tradition, and so jure divino. And for this they alledge the Testimony of Ierome where he saith,Confer pa. 176. At Alexandria from Marke the Evangelist, the Presbyters alwayes chusing one from among them, and placing him in a more eminent de­gree, called him Bishop. Whereupon the Prelate thus inferres. So even according to S. Jerome, Bishops had a very ancient and honoura­ble [Page] Discent in the Church from St. Marke the Euangelist: and this (saith Ierome,) was a Tradition Apostolicke. So the Prelate. But first for Ierome, we noted his words before of such Bishops, saying, They were set up by humane presumption, and not by divine Institution, and consequently not by Apostolike Tradition. For Apostolicke Tradi­tion is farre from [...]um [...]ne presumption; So as it is humane presump­tion to make that Apostolicke Tradition. And for S. Marke, Euseb. Hist. Eccl. lib. 2. c. 15 Ec­clesiasticall Story tells us, that Marke was the first, that preached the Gospell (which also he writ) at Alexandria. But the Story saith not, that Marke was Bishop of Alexandria. And the Prelate must marke, that he was an Euangelist (as also Iereme saith) for he wrote the Gospel. And the History saith, he was Ibid, c. 14. a follower of Peter the Apostle. Which if true, it makes it more probable, that it was that Babylon in Egypt, whence Peter wrote his Epistle, where he saith, The Church that is at Babylon saluteth you, and so doth Marcus my Son: then that Peter was then at Rome, which the Papists (to make Peter to have been at Rome) are content should be that Babylon, from whence he writ. And if they will needs have it so, let them have it, with the whore of Babylon to boot. But this by the way. But be it, that Marke was at Alexandria, he was there onely as an Euangelist, and to doe the Office of an Eu­angelist, of which we have Spoken before: Bishop he was not, as the Prelates would have him; for that we have already pro­ved to be in their sense condemned both by Christ, and by his Apostles, and therfore is neither an Institution of Christ, nor a Tradition Apostolicke. And therefore what ever the Presbyters at Alexandria began to practise after Marke the Euangelist, in chusing and exalting one over them, whom they called a Bishop, whence our Prelates derive their Ancieut and Honourable descent: sure we are, they can never prove, that ever either any Apostle delivered this to Marke, or Marke from the Apostles to the Presbyters, to make it a Tradition Apostolicke. Yea this is a sure and infallible Rule in Divinity, That whatever the Apostles expresly set down in their Sacred writing, they never delivered the contrary by word of mouth. As the Apostle writes to the Corinthians, sayingIbid, c. 14. As God is true, our word towards you, was not yea and any. Now (as we have sufficiently proved before) the Apostles, as Christ their Masters forbad them) forbid Prelacy to others, they exercised it not themselves, they disclaimed dominion over the saith of Christians, they brand it for Antichristian: therfore Prelaticall Iurisdiction is no Apostolick Tra­dition: and so no w [...]y of divine Institution. And thus the Truth and Title agreeing together, I end, as I began, Lord Bishops, are none of the LORDS Bishops.



I Call that Counsel onely good, which God him­selfe giveth in his Word: and such is this Coun­sel, which is here given, as being taken from the mouth of God speaking in his Word. 'Tis a dangerous thing, and impious too, for Men to neglect Gods Councel, and follow their own. This is a signe of a People given up of God: As the Lord saith,Psal. 81. 1 [...]. 12. My poople would not hearken to my voyce, and Israel would none of me: So I gave them up unto their own hea [...]s lust, and they walked in their own Counsels. And what's the issue of such Counsels? David tells us, and that with an imprecasion, Psal. 5. 10. Destroy thou them, ô God, let them fall by their own Councels. And this is meant of such Councels especi­ally, as are taken not onely without the Lord, but against the Lord. Of which David also saith,Psal. 2. 1, 2, 3, 4. Why doe the Heathen rage, and the people imagine a vaine thing? The Kings of the earth set themselves, and the Rulers take Councel together against the Lord, and against his Christ: Saying, Let us breake their bonds a sunder, and cast away their cords from us. And what followeth? He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh, the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speake unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. [Page] For God hath set his King, even the Lord Iesus Christ, upon his holy hill of Sion. This King hath all power in heaven and in earth given into his hand. And he hath, as a golden Scepter sweetly to governe and protect his own people, so an Iron Rod to break in pieces his enemies, wherupon the Kingly Prophet concludes thus, Be wise now therefore ô ye Kings, be instructed ye Iudges of the Eearth: Serve the Lord in feare and trembling: Kisse the Son, least he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. And what doth more kindle Gods wrath against a State, or Nation, then to Slight and Scorn his Councels, and with those Giants of old to consult, and confederate, and even make Warre against the Lord and his Christ?

And now, ô England, thou a [...]t making a great preparation for Warre. But of whom hast thou taken Councel? Of the Lord? From his mouth? Hast thou consulted his Oracle, his Word? If not, what ever other Councel thou takest, or followest, it is but such, whereof David thus speakes, [...] Psal. 33. 10, 11. The Lord bringeth the Coun­cel of the Heathen to nought, be maketh the devises of the people of none effect, and casteth out the Counsels of Princes. The Councel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. And v. 16, 17. There is no King saved by the multitude of an Host, a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. An Horse is a vaine thing for safety, neither shall be deliver any by his great strength. Solomon saith, By wise Councel thou shalt make thy Warre. And no Councel can be wise, which is not taken of God, and much lesse, what is taken of enemies against God.

Of whom then dost thou take Councel for thy Warre [...] Heare, ô England, examine thy selfe. I know the Councel of thy heart (as Solomon saith is as Pro. 20. 5. deep waters, into the bottome wher­of a vulgar eye cannot elsily pierce. But yet a man of under­standing will draw it out. But if thou wil [...] not discover who is thy Counsellour, certainly thy intended actions will bewray and publish to the world.

And therefore in the Second place, consider the Cause of thy Warre, that it be just. I do not meane made seemingly just by false colours, and pretences, but that it be really and truly just before God an Men, Otherwise, thou hast two grand Causes of feare, that the issue shall not be prosperous; to wit, not takiug Councel first of God for thy Warre: secondly, not undertaking it upon a just Cause or quarrell.

But (to come a little nearer home to the point) is the Cause such, as it will beare any Consultation, or Communion with God. [Page] So as thou mayst with a good heart and Conscience seek unto God, to maintaine thy Cause? And for what ever Cause thou indendest thy Warre, or against whom, surely the Cause being publicke, and so concerning the whole Land, such a seeking of God is required, as is solemne, publicke, and universall. And we are sure, that as yet, ô England, thou hast not sought God, for the good Speed of this thy great and warlike preparation And then, what good issue canst thou expect for?

But thou wilt say, how shall I seeke Counsel and helpe of God? For this, I will propound but one example. The whole Tribe of Benjamin stood up in maintenance of a most wicked and prodigious fact, as that towards the Levites Wife. He sent her being dead in 12 pieces to all the Tribes of Israel: who abhorring such a Fact, first sent to their Brethren the Benjamites to punish the Malefactors. They refused. Whereupon all the Tribes assembled. And first they aske Counsel of the Lord which of the Tribes, shall goe up first against Benjamin. He Answers, Iuda [...]. And though the Cause was just, and God coun­celled them, yet they were expulsed with the losse of 22 thou­sand men. They consult God the Second time; and that with weeping before the Lord untill even: the Lord answers them, Goe up, yet this time also they were beaten and lost 18 thousand men. Strange? Well they inquire of the Lord the third time, but in a better manner then before: for all the People of Israel assemble to the House of God, weeping and fasting the whole day untill even, and offered burnt offerings, and peace offerings before the Lord; and then asking the Lord, shall I yet againe goe to battaile against Benjamin, or shall I cease. The Lord answers them the third time, Goe up, for to morrow I will deliver them into thy hand. Whence it is to be noted, that till this Third time, that they make their peace with God by burnt-offerings, and peace-offerings, God doth not give them an answere of peace, and prospe­rous successe. Hence then, ô England; take thy patterne of seeking God, and asking Counsel of Him. First, doe not first resolve with thy selfe to fight, and then goe aske of God, not, whether thou shalt fight, or no, but onely, who shall goe up first. For then thou mayst speed, as they did. Secondly, thinke it not sufficient to powre forth teares of worldly sorrow for thy discomfiture, and ther­upon resolve to renew the battaile, for which also, though they had an Answere of God for it, yet it was without any Promise of good Successe. But Thirdly, a Generall Fast must be Pro­claimed over the Land, and a Solemne Day must be kept in [Page] offering up the burnt offerings of an humble and contrite heart, and peace offerings of reconciliation with God through faith in Christ, joyned with a thorow Reformation of thy notorious Sins and trans­gressions, wherewith the whole Land is burthened and defiled. Then, then (I say) and not before (alwayes provided the Cause of Warre be known to be just, as that of the Israelites was against the Benjamites their Brethren) mayst thou with a good Consci­ence and sure confidence in God make thy Warre.

But what Sins are those, which thou must reforme? In brief, thou must (ô England) call in those wicked and ungodly Bookes, Orders, Edicts, Declarations, whereby the Doctrines of Grace have been suppressed, the Sanctification of the Sabbath cryed down, Mini­sters persecuted, and put out of their places, much innocent blood hath been shed, especially of those 3 banished Close Prisoners; and to Summe up all in one head-Sinne, to cast out those, who are the maine Instruments and movers of all these and other out­rages in the Land, to wit, the Prelates, who (as the limbs of Antichrist, and so Christs adversaries) doe of late especially chal­lenge their Lordly Jurisdiction from Christ alone,Mat. 20. 25. Mark. 10. 42. Luk. 22. 25. which not­withstanding he hath expresly forbidden as heathenish, and ty­rennicall: and which his2 Thess. 2. 4. 7. & 3 loh. 9, 10. Apostles branded for Antichristian, and the Mystery of Iniquity. So as till these usurpers of Christs Throne, be cast out, with all their Baggage and Trumpery of their Cermonies and will-worship, be sure, ô England, thou canst not look to prosper in any thy undertakings, be they never so just: for in maintaining thy Prelates, thou maintainest open Warre against Christ, and his Kingdome, and (hadst thou eyes to see it) against thine own Kingdome too, and the peace and pros­perity thereof.

But it will be alledged that thy Reverend Prelats hate a Pub­lick Fast, as being Puritanicall, and consequently any such Refor­mation, as aforesaid, as being all Puritanicall: that their Order is most Christian, and consonant to Civil Government, and most agreeable with the Monarchy; and the like. And therefore, that thou art bound to defend them, yea though it be by making open Warre against all those, that doe withstand their Hiearchy. I [...] this be thy resolution, ô England, then know this for a certainty that thou caust not long stand: seeing thy so maintaining of that Antichristian Tyranny is to wage open Warre against Iesus Christ, the onely King of his Church. And therfore if this be the cause and end of thy warlike preparations, be sure thou shalt not prosper in why way how art thou so blind, as not to se, how thy prosperity must of [Page] necessity be thy ruine. For as Christ saith,Mat. 12. 25. A Kingdome divided against it selfe cannot stand. And so if the Iland which consists of two Kingdomes under one King be divided against it selfe, and the one Kingdome destroy the other, is it not as with the body when the right hand cuts off the left? And shalt not thou, ô Eng­land, be hereby exposed to thy false friends, and deadly enemies without, who could not wish a better opportunity for the effecting of their long wished desire, then to see this goodly Iland to imbrue her hands in her own bowels and blood? And therefore, if thou hast any such designe ô England, who could, who would counsel and instigate thee unto it, but the Spirit of Iezebel of Rome, possessing thy [...]relotes, who as those1 King. 22. false Prophets, bid thee to goe up against Ram [...]th Gilead, and prosper.

But it wilbe pretended, they are Rebells whom thou wilt Warre against. Wherein Rebells? For casting our Christs ene­mies, those Antichristian usurpers the Prelates? Indeed thus thou didst deale with those 3 above said, as Seditious Persons, because they convinced the Prelates of their usurped title of Iurisdiction from Christ, wherein they did not in the least point transgresse, or yet so much as trench upon any of thy Laws, but defended them against the Prelates. And if in so doing any shalbe accounted of thee to be Rebells, certainly they which doe it not, are neither good Christians, nor good Subjects. But if indeed thou wilt Warre against any such, as Rebells, let the Case first be tryed in a faire and Judiciall way, a better then which cannot be, then the present Parliament. And because the Prelates are Parties, let them be excluded out of the Court, till the matter be deci [...]ed. For no Reason, that Parties should sit as Judges, as the Prelates did in the Censuring of those former three, though they ex­cepted against them in open Court. And if indeed by such a faire tryall any shalbe found judicially to be Rebells against their King, then make Warre against them, and spare not, and I could wish to be the foremost in the fight. But if they onely stand to defend their ancient Rights and Liberties and those good Laws of the Land, which as the Ligatures doe bind, unite, and fasten the Head and Body, the King and his Subjects together: and which both Prince and People are bound by mutuall Cove­nant, and Sacred Oath to maintaine, let the Parliament determine, whether that be Rebellion, or no.

Which, till it be determined, let me crave thy patience, ô England, in a few words; and hearken to the Counsel, that I shall give thee in Gods own Name and words. And because the pre­sent [Page] Parliament is the Representative Body of the whole State of the Land, let me first addresse my Speech to it, now Assem­bled in both the Houses. Now where Gods word saith,Pro. 24. 6. By wise Counsel thou shalt make thy Warre: he immediately addeth, And in a multitude of Councellers there is Safety. And you, most Noble Senate, are a Multitude of Councellers, whose wisdome and Councel is requisite at this time for the making of Warre, or not, and much more, for the making of Warre against your Brethren, and in the very bowells of the Land. Which Warre if it be for the Prelates Hierarchy, let me say, as he did,Iudg. 6. 31. If Baal be a God, let him plead for himselfe. For otherwise [...] the making of such a Warre cannot be for safety: and therfore I hope a multitude of such Counsellers will never give their consent, much lesse their Counsel for such a Warre. Yea because as the wise Heathen Statesman and Orator said, Iniquissima pax justissimo Bello ante­ponenda est: even an unequall Peace is to be preferred before a just Warre: how much more is a most just and Christian Peace to be preferred before a most unjust and Antichrrstian Warre; Such as is undertaken for the maintenance of the Hierarhy, which is meerly Antichristian. And miserable are those War­riers, that fight for the Beasts Kingdome, and for the Dragon against the Lambe, Iesus Christ. And therefore to prevent this, hearken to Christs words, Blessed are the Peace-makers: for they shalbe called the Children of God. And if any be charged of Re­bellion, if it be found so by you, let the Civil Sword of Justice be drawn, and not the bloody Sword of Warre, by which the innocent may as soone suffer, as the nocent. And for the better making of way for Peace: let the make-bates be removed, those Ackans of Israel, the troublers and incendiaries of all Estates both Civil and Christian. And who are those but the Prelates? Solo­mon saith,Iudg. 6. 31. Take away the wicked from before the King, and his throne shal [...]e established in righteousnesse. This he compares there (v. 4.) to the drosse purged away from the silver; which is not done, but by the fire. So this Seperation of these wicked from the King cannot be, but by a strong and a holy Zeale. And till this Seperation be the Kings throne cannot be established in righ­teousnesse. And as (Pro. 26. 20.) where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: So where there is no Tale-bearer, the strife ceasseth. And surely if these Sycophants [...] and Eare-wiggs were removed, we should neither heare of Warre between Prince and People, nor feare any Invasion of Forraign Power.

But the Prelates (will some say) are by the Laws of the Land [Page] [...]thorised, and so incorporated into the Body of the State: So as [...]tis no easie matter to make this Separation. 'Tis true indeed, that an old inbred malignant hun our, or incorporated Wenne (as Iuniu [...] calls the Popedome, and Hierarchie) is not easily removed from the Body. But to you [...] comfort [...] most Noble Physitians) the Wenne hath of its own accord star [...]ed out of his place, So as it is but closing it up, that it returne not. For of late the Pre­lates have by their very claim of holding their Iurisdiction from Christ, fallen off from, and disclaimed their dependance upon either Kings Prerogative, or Law. And how severely have they in their Courts of late Censured those, that have withstood this their usurped Title, as Dr. Bastwicke, Mr. Burton, Mr. Pryn. Yea and but the other day, and within the very smell of the approaching Parliament, was not a Learned Reader in the Law in the Temple, now a member of the Parliament, inhibited and suspended from his Reading, because he undertook to prove, that Prelaticall Iurisdiction was not Iure Divino, by Divine Au­thority? So as now they having withdrawn themselves, and flown off from under the protection of Royall Prerogative, and Law, and having no one Evidence in Scripture for this their Title, which they are able to produce: they lye naked and ex­posed to this present Parliament, quite to casheere and abandon them, and send them with all their Pompe, Pride, Tyranny, and Antichristian Titles to Rome, from whence, with the great Antichrist, they had their first Rise and Originall. Therfore in Gods Name cast them out, as notorious Innovators, and enemies of all Laws of God and Man; for as that2 Thess. 2 [...] [...] anomos, that Lawlesse one, they wilbe tyed to none, but tramble upon all. How have they trampled on the sanctification of the Sabbath, and the mor­rality of the 4th Commandement, polluting it with their foule Pawes? How have they dared the Courts of Civil Justice, that no Prohibitions can be obtained for the most innocent Causes, to fetch them off the hooks of their High Commissi­on? How have they trampled upon Gods word, and all the Do­ctrines of Grace, utterly prohibiting them to be preached, without which Doctrines there can be no true Preaching? How doe they trample upon all godly Ministers and People, hunting them out of every hole, with their Beagles, So as what a kind of Convocation is now in beeing, and what Can [...]ns they will make, if they be suffered judge you, especially when they have such a Lawlesse Pope over them, as now they have. Out with them therfore, out of hand.

[Page] But some will say, they are grown potent in Court, and they have a strong Faction and Party, so as they are become a Noli me tangere: and no sooner shall the Parliament begin to meddle with them, but they will procure a hand to knock them off and breake up all.

Is it so? Will they do thus? It is not unlikely, because they have been such expert practisioners in such kind of fea [...]es. For all the world shalbe set in a flame and combustion, rather then one Sparke shall cindge their Coat. And if so, what then? Surely then, woe to thee, ô England, never look for Parliament more, but prepare thy necke for the Prelates Iron Yoake. Woe to thee, ô Scotland, i [...]case thy Prelates return by a forcible reentry, which shalbe my earnest Prayer, they may never doe. Nay I hope, for all their power and pride, their Kigdom is near at an end in this Hand. For Christ hath stirred up all the good Peoples hearts against them, and their Tyranny. And now, most Noble Senate, Christ requires, your helping hand, and unanimous votes to cast them out. Which to effect, first let a league be renewed between Christ and this Kingdome, by humiliation, by Reformation, by purgation of the Land from all Romish Altars, Images, and other Superstitions in Churches, and from all manner of humane Inventions and Ceremonies whatsoever to bind the Conscience of any man in the service and worship of our God. Then Secondly (the Prelates being casheered) stand closse to the King, and let him know and feele the boundlesse affections of his People, in their free and liberall Contributi­ons, for the necessary maintenance of the State of the King­dome. For nothing can Seperate Prince and Peoples affections, but Prelates.

But for conclusion abruptly, if their malice and power pre­vaile so farre, as to cause an untimely and unhappy beeaking up of this Parliament, as formerly they have done, which hath been and is the onely cause of all the Calamities of the Land, which now is drawi [...]g on to utter ruine and confusion, if not at this time through Gods mercy, by the meanes of this present Parli­ament prevented: now or never take heart and courage unani­mously to doe your utmost for the preserving both of your King and Countrey. And therfore before you be dissolved, if you cannot attaine to the establishing of so many Acts, yet at least let these particular Protests [...] be left recorded for perpetuall memory, and a Testimony to all the world, to Angels and Men, of your zeale for God, of your loyalty to your King, and of your love to your Countrey.

[Page] First, Protest against the Hierarchy, as an Antichristian Tyranny over the Soules, Bodies, and Estates of all the Kings Subjects, and therefore ought to be rooted out, and not suffered in any Christian Church, or Common Weale.

Secondly, and consequently, Protest against all Altars, Ima­ges, and such like Popish Idolatrous Reliques, utterly unlawfull to be erected in any true Christian Church.

Thirdly, Protest against all humane Rites and Ceremonies what­soever imposed upon mens Consciences in the worship of God, as being all of them Antichristian, bringing into bondage mens Soules, which Christ hath redeemed with his precious blood, who is the onely Lord of the Conscience, and the onely Law-giver to his Church for all mat­ters of Faith, and of the worship of God.

Fourthly, Protest against all such generall Taxes layd upon the Subjects, as whereby both their ancient Liberties, and the fundamentall Laws of the Kingdome are overthrowne, and so vindicate the Honour both of the King, and of this noble Kingdome, that it may not be recor­ded to Posterity for a State of Tyranny and Slavery.

Fiftly, and consequently, Protest against all those wicked Iudges, which have in such wise declared their opinions for intollerable Taxes expresly contrary to the Laws and Liberties of the Kingdome, as there­by they have given occasion for the betraying of all, and the bringing of the whole Land under perpetuall Slavery.

Sixtly, Protest against that Prelaticall Declaration set forth in the Kings Name before the 39 Articles, wherein those Articles of the Dostrines of Grace, are made voyd, and so all preaching of them sup­pressed.

Seventhly, Protest against that Booke for Sports on the Lords dayes, as whereby both the fourth Commandement, and the fifth are most desperately overthrown: as also against all those Bookes that have been set forth for the maintaining of such profanation, as whereby God is greatly dishonoured, and his wrath provoked even to the Spewing out of such a Nation out of his mouth.

Eightly, Protest against all that Prelaticall Tyranny in oppressing the preaching of Gods Word on the Lords dayes in the after-noone, and other dayes in the week, and their Antichristian persecuting and putting out of all godly and painfull Ministers, such as will not conform to their lawlesse Ordinances.

Ninthly, Protest against that most terrible and odious shedding of the innocont blood of those 3 forementioned, now perpetuall Exiles and Closse Prisoners, even their very Wives most lawlesly detained from them, with a [...] their other severe punishments, one of them being a Mi­nister, [Page] who in discharge of his duty first preached in his own Church, and then published his Sermons in Print against the Prelates noto­rious practises and Popish Innovations, for which he underwent pu­nishments so great, so many, as no Age [...] no Christian State can parallell; so as their blood doth incessantly cry against this whole Land, as guilty thereof (though shed onely by the Prelates instigation as aforesaid) untill it be purged.

Tenthly, Protest against that accursed Booke, Relation of a Conference, &c. published in Print, and Dedicated to the King, by the now Prelate of Canterbury, wherein he belyes, and so blas­phemes God, Christ, the Holy Ghost, the holy Scriptures, the Church of England, in saying it is one and the Same with that of Rome, of the same Faith and Religion with that Whore of Babylon, and many such like impious assertions, the whole Booke professedly tending to reconcile England and Rome, and so to bring the whole Land backe againe to Popery.

Eleventhly, If this great and Warlike preparation be by the Pre­lates Diabolicall Instigation (as by no other it can be, except by the Pope and his Iesuiter, and his Nuncio's Negotiation have also a hand in it) to goe against the Scots, and if the cause shalbe found to be no other, but that they have abandoned, and Remaunded to Rome all their Prelates, as the grand Enemies of Christ, and his Kingdome, and of the peaceable and prosperous estate of the Realme, and consequently of the Kings Crown and Dignity; and that they stand for the maintenance of their just Laws and Liberties, the continuance whereof is the Kings honour, and the establishment of his throne: If (I say) no other cause can justly be alledged, and yet they shalbe invaded, as Rebells: Protest against all ayd and assistance of such an Invasion, as being against the Law of God, of Nature, and of Nations, and as being a Warre directly against Jesus Christ, in the maintenance of Antichrist, and his An­tichristian Hierarchy; and so such, as must needs recoyle, and that in divine fury upon England it selfe, which having burned her neigh­bours house, exposeth her owne to the flames. Yea for England to In­vade Scotland for no other cause in truth, then before mentioned, namely, for their maintaining of the true Faith and Religion of Christ, and their just Lawes and Liberties, which all true Christians, and Civil States ought to lay down their very lives for; (as the light of Nature taught the very Heathen, Pugnare pro Aris ac focis; and that Grecian could say, A'iresomai teleutan mallon, 'è a'neleu­theros sun: I choose rather to dye, a Free-man, then to live a Slave. And the Monarchicall estate, governed by good Laws, was ever prefer­red, and opposed to Tyranny) were to renounce and give up her own [Page] ancient Liberties, and to betray, and persecute, and destroy the true Faith and Religion of Christ, and so set up and professe the Infidelity and Idolatry of Antichrist, and so with him and his cursed Crue, to goe into perdition. The Primitive Christians under Julian the Apo­stata, served him in the Warres against his Enemies: but when he Commanded them to goe against Christians, who refused to worship, or offer Incense to his Idols, they cast down their Weapons, acknowledging the Emperour of heaven. And when Saul 1 Sam. 22. commanded his Servants to fall upon the Lords Priests, none of them would doe it. And I read of a Secretary to an Empresse, who being commanded by her to draw an Edict againg the Christians, he still found delayes: but at length she growing instant upon him for it, so as he could no longer delay it, he tooke off his Military girdle (the Ensigne of his service) and cast it at her feet, and so discharged himselfe from her Court.

Thus, if you make, and leave these Christian, zealous, and just Protestations among the Recods of Parliament, in case it shalbe by the malice and inchantments of the Prelates unhappily dissol­ved, before you can produce them into a full Act, and establish them for a Law: though otherwise ye cannot effect a reall Re­formation of all the mischiefes and maladies, which the Prelates in speciall have filled the Land withall: yet forasmuch as you have thus publickly, both for your own persons, and as the Body representative of the whole State of the Land, solemnly protested against all these things: there is no question to be made, but that God in his mercy and favour will accept of your will for the deed it selfe, and will still preserve both you and your posterity, and the whole Land from destruction, and will find out some other way for the rooting out of the Hierarchy; according to those Prophesies in the Revelation, the full filling of which cannot be farre off.

Now the Lord Iesus Christ guide and govern the Kings heart to the love of God, and of his truth, and let him clearely see how miseraby he hath been abused by those notorious hypocrites, his flattering and Sycophantising Prelates, and so take off and divide his Noble heart from them, that being reconciled to God in reform­ing the manifold and horrible abuses, which the Prelates, to the dishonour of God, and of the King, have been the Authors and Instruments of, and being united to his loving and loyall Peo­ple, as the Head to the Body, in this Body representative, the Parliament: he may long raigne over this Land, and all his other Kingdomes in much peace and prosperity. And the same Lord Iesus Christ so unite the hearts of this Parliament unto God, and to [Page] the King, and among themselves, and so guide them by the wisdome of his Spirit and Grace, that they may sit, and consult, and conclude such righteous Acts and Decrees, as may be for the honour of God, and of the King, for the advancement of Christs Kingdome, and the establishment of the Kings Throne upon the Pillars of good Government with justice and mercy [...] in punishing the wicked, and relieving the afflicted and oppressed Innocents, as David in that Psalme penned for his Sonne Salomon, a type of Christ, prayed saying,Psal. 72. Give the King thy judgemens, ô God, and thy righteousnesse unto the Kings Son. He shall judge thy people with righteousnesse, and thy poore with judgement. He shall judge the poore of the people, he shall have the children of the needy, and shall breake in pieces the oppressors. Even as the Heathen also said of the duty of Kings, which was, Parcere subjectis, et debellare superbos: To spare his Subjects, and the proud beat down. And as they said of Iulius Caesar, Caesar dando subl [...]vando, ignoscend [...], gloriam adeptus est: Caesar by giving, relieving, and pardoning, got himselfe a glo­rious Name. And lastly, the same Lord Iesus Christ, power his Spirit of Grace and Supplication upon all the people of the Land, that being sensible both of their own Sins, and of the Nationall Sins of the Land, as also of the heavy yoake of Anti­crhist, and the burthens of Egypt, wherewith those Taskema­sters, the Prelates, have pressed them down, and broken their backs, and made their lives bitter unto them, they may truly repent and reforme their lives, and cry alowd to the Lord, as his People in Egypt did against their Taskmasters, and pray inces­santly for the good successe of this Parliament, that it may be as a Moses sent of God in theCum dupli­cantur Lateres, tunc venit Mo­ses. doubling of their Bricks, to deliver them, from the Spirituall Egyptian bondage of the Prelates: and dayly to pray for the King their Soveraigne, and for his happy and truly Religious Raigne over them, that they may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godlinesse and hone­sty. [...] 2 [...] 2. Amen Even so come Lord Iesus and helpe thy poore England, and thy poore People therein. Amen.


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