OR ANSWER TO A LETTER INFERRING PUB­lique communion in the parrish assemblies upon private with godly persons there.

Stand fast in the liberty wherwith Christ hath made you free. Gal. 5. 1.
Be not partaker of other mens sinns: keep thy self pure. 1. Tim. 5. 22.

By Iohn Robinson.

Anno Domini. 1615.

To the godly reader.

ALbeit I be justly sorry for all oppositions against the truth, yet not so for this occasion of further manifesting that my former­ly professed perswasion, that publique communion with the parrish assemblies cannot be inferred vppon private with godly persons though members there: the constitution and estate of the same assemblies rearing up a partitiō wall, ney­ther so transparent as may be seen thorough, m [...]h lesse so open as may be passed, no not in the best charity, as this ma­nuducent supposeth: but on the contrary, so grosse, & entyre in evill, as that no engine of wit, or art can so batter it, as to make a safe passage through it for a good conscience.

Needfull it were in a matter of this nature, and weight, that the manuducent, or hand leader should guide men by the playn, and open way of the s [...]riptures, as is the way of the Lord in them layd down, open, & playn, as the King▪ high way: and beaten by the feet of the Apostolicall churches: & not by subtile Quaerees, and doubtfull Suppositions, and such under hand conveyances, as may lead the vnwary into a maze, and there loose him, but cannot clear the way for an vpright cōscience. Of the way of Christ it was prophesied of ould:Isa: 35. 8. An high way shalbe there, and a way, and it shalbe called the way of holines: the vnclean shall not pase over it, for he shalbe with these: the wayfareing man, though fooles, shall not erre therein. But so many and doubtfull are the wyndeings of this mans way, as that he who findes it, had need be no wayfareing man, but a town-dwel­ler, and well acquainted with all the secret turnings thereof: nor a fool, as the Prophet speaketh, but one haveing wit indeed more then a good deal. But let them psalm 84. 6, 8. in whose hearts are the highwayes of the Lord, that they may goe frō strength to strength, till they appear vnto God in Sion, let them, I say, not suffer themselves to be led by the turnings of mans devise whatsoever, but byPro: 8. 8. [...]. the wordes of the wisdom of God, which are all in righteousnes; & in which there is nothing wreathed, or perverse: but they are all playne to him that will understand, and straight to him that would fynde knowledge.

Now for my persvasion about publique, and private communion, it is the same which I have manifested in my other book: and that, wherein (so far as by the weak light, which God hath given to shine in my heart, I can discern) I neyther wrong the good in that Church; (person, or thing), nor partake in the evill of eyther. My trust is, that God who hath given me my part (though in great infir­mity) in the Prophets comfort,Ps. 119. [...]. with all my heart have I sought thee; will al­so fulfill his request uppon me, let me not wander from thy commandements,

[Page 3] IT was some addition of honour to1 Sam, 17. 51. Davids victory over the Philistime, that he slew him with his own sword: vpō which hope, mine opposite, as it seemes, enterprizeth the bea­ting down of the partition wall of our separation from the parrish assemblies in theyr publique communion, government, and ministery, by the engine of mine own acknowledgment, of private communion with the persons & pe [...]sonall graces os many christians, though otherwise members there: uppon which acknowledgment, he therefore propoundeth certeyn Quaerees or Demaunds in number seaven: the first whereof is.

Suppose one of those many so qualifyed as that in the judgment of those that can dis [...]rn he is competently fit to be employed in the publique ministery,1. Quaere. having his own [...] given to th [...]t work, and the hearts of many [...]a [...]ing his help, suppose, I say, that such a man (not fyndeing means for the present of a comfortable enterance into that calling) shalby leav in a publique assembly, where many like himself, and many unlike are gathered togather, without any further calling for a [...]yme perform the actions of prayer & pr [...]p [...]sying, without any addition, de [...]ract [...]ion, or alteration of that which he had lawfully done in private, my demaund is, whether it be not lawfull to commu­nicate with him in his work?

I answer,Answer. that these exercises of religion not performed by this persō, by any publique calling, or authority, but onely by his personall gift, & desyre to do good, are not publique or Church actions, but private, and personall: nor communion with him therein, publique, but private com­munion: no not though performed by him in a publique place: which no more makes the action to be of publique nature, or a Church action, which in my whole book I make (as they are) the same; then did the pri­vate chambers where the Apostles administred the word,Act. 1. 13. &c. &10. 30▪ 47. & [...] 7. & sacraments to the Churches, make these theyr administrations private, or personall, Rea­son it self teacheth that publique actions are onely such as are performed by publique authority. See Mr. Perkins in Treatise of Christian equity, for this purpose.

The same answer serveth for the 2d Qu: which supposeth onely a longer continuance of tyme in the same course by co [...]nive [...]y of them in authority; 2. Quaere. An [...]w. since mere continuance in the same course (especially as an ordinate means [...]o the same end) altereth not the nature thereof. And so this, as the for­mer Quaere, is besides the purpose in hand. Onely I ad, that no man can continue thus preaching in a publique place especially some years, but un­der the cloak & appearance of a Byshops minister, though he be not such indeed.

[Page 4] Suppose yet the same man obteyneth a licence from the L. Byshop of the Diocesse without any unlawfull condition for to continue in that his course;3 Qu: I ask, whether that leav, or licence given doth pollute the actions: seing a man may ask leav of the great Turk to preach the Gospell within his dominions?

This Supposition conteyneth a contradiction:Ans. for the very obteyning, & receiving of the Bishops licence (which yet I think no man doth before he have receaved orders as they are called) is a real acknowledgment that the Byshop hath a lawfull power to graunt it, which is an vnlawfull condition. John Claydon a martyr of Christ was otherwise minded then this man,14 [...]5. Mr. Fox. whē he witnessed that the Byshops licence to preach the word of God, was the true cha­racter of the beast. i. e. Antichrist. Rev. 13. 15. 16. 17. & 14 9. 10. Neyther is there the like reason of procu­ring the Byshops liecence to preach the gospell in his Province or Diocesse, & of asking leav of the great Turk to preach in his dominions. For 1. he minceth the matter too much, in making this obteyning of the Bishops licence to be nothing but the asking him leav, as a man may ask leav of the great Turk, that is, desire him not to hinder him. For to obteyn licence of the Bishop is to obteyn pub­lique authority of the publique officer, and according to the publique lawes, of the church, to excercise a publique ministery. 2. The great Turk is a lawfull civill Magistrate in his Dominions, with whose civill au­thority it is lawfull to partake: but so is not the Byshop a lawfull Eccle­siasticall officer in his Province or Diocesse, with whose spirituall jurisdi­ction Gods servants may communicate. And is this to lead men by the hand, to take for graunted the mayn question in controversy, to wit, that the Bishops jurisdiction in their Provinces & Diocesses is lawfull: which I have also by sundry arguments proved vnlawfull, & antichristian.Act: 9. Surely they who suffer themselves thus to be led must be as destitute of spirituall sight, as was Saul of bodily, when men led him by the hand to Damascut. Theyr authority then being proved (& so confessed by this myne oppo­site els where) antichristian,Rev. 18. 4. & so consequently one of the sinns of Babylon; whether excercised by themselves or by others; eyther Officials in the Cō ­sistories, or ministers in the Parochiall churches, may not by Gods peo­ple be partaken with, no not in actions though otherwise lawfull, under the peyn of Babylons plagues.

And this answer also serveth to the 4th demaund,4 Qu: Ans. or Supposition of this persons takeing besydes his licence, the form of admission called orders, of the Dioce­san. And so, that which I bring pag: 15. Arg: 2. of my book, is here mis­applyed. I there speak of lawfull actions performed merely by the perso­nall grace of fayth, & the Spirit in a godly man, though of infirmity re­mayning in an estate, & standing otherwise culpable: but here of actiōs, though in themselves lawfull, yet performed immediately by vertue, or [Page 5] vice rather of that very vnlawfull state, & standing.

Suppose after this that being desyred,5 Qu: & so chosen by some assembly wherein there are many fearing God apparently, he taketh a Pastorall charge of them, haveing the Bishops, & Patrons admission, but cheifly, & professedly grounding his calling vpon the peoples choyse: & that he do nothing but the same he did before, besydes the administration of the Sacraments to such as are in charity, & discretion to be estee­med worthy, what hindreth from communion here?

Indeed if men may take liberty in disputeing first to suppose what them­selves have a mynde vnto,Ans: and after to suppose, that others are also of the same mynde with them, and yet have litle reason eyther for the one or o­ther, they may then easily conclude theyr purposes. But .1. I deny that an assembly gathered, & consisting of many fearing God, & many (which must also be supplied) without the fear of God, is a lawfull Church-assembly, haveing a right in communion, or common right, to call, & en­joy a pastour, & his pastorall administrations. 2. I deny that any doth, or can truely take a pastorall charge in the parrish assemblyes. It belongs to the pastours charge not onely to teach, & minister the sacraments, but also (& that as a mayn parte, or duety thereof) to govern, and rule the flock: which no parochiall minister doth, o [...] can take vpon him.Act. 20. 17. 20 1 Thes: 5. 1 [...]. 1 Tim: 5. 17.

3. The Church of England; doth acknowledge no such calling as is cheifly grounded vpon the peoples choyce: but onely that which is groun­ded vppon the Bishops ordination at the first, and to the ministery at large: and determinately, eyther uppon the Bishops license, or vp­pon the patrons presentation, Bishops institution, and Arch-deacons induction, confirmed by the publique lawes of the same Church, both ecclesiasticall, & civill. According to which publique lawes, and orders (especially submission vnto them being publiquely professed and given, as is by the minister here deciphered) we are to judge of the publique mi­nistery of the Church, & not according to the private intendiments, and vnderhand professions of particular persons. And let God, & all reaso­nable men judge between me & myne opposite, whether a man goeing to the publique governers of a Church, & desyreing of them a publique of­fice, or publique orders, & so receaving them according to the publique lawes of the same Church, & therewith authority to preach the word, & so preaching publiquely in the same Church, whether I say such a man be not to be esteemed as called to that work by these governers; & so by cō ­sequence, whither al men pertakeing with him in that work of preaching for which he was so sent, do nor partake therin withall what in them lyeth in the authority of the sender. And for such a man (except he have pub­liquely renounced his former calling) to pretend in secret vnto his freinds whom he dare trust, & who, he thinks, will agayn trust, & beleeve him, ey­ther [Page 6] that he preacheth not by that calling, or by an other principally, is but to put on a cloak of shame, & to walk in craftines, [...] Cor. 4. 2. more like in truth to a disguized familist, then a minister of Iesus Christ. And if any ministery grounded, as this man supposeth, be to be found in any of the assem­blyes, I deny the [...]ame to be the ministery of the Church of Englād, about which our question is. And howsoever men do build much vppon the peoples acceptance of, and submission vnto theyr ministery, yet is this a very sandy foundation wherevpon to build such a weight. If they be not the lawfull ministers of those Churches before, it is theyr syn to accept of them,Rom: 15. 31 Heb: 13 17 & submit vnto them, as such. The peoples acceptance, and sub­mission are not causes, but consequences of the ministers calling, & due­tyes, which they ow vnto them all theyr life long. 4. The supposition is but an imagination, that any parochiall minister doth administer the sacramēts onely to such as are, in charity, & discretion, to be esteemed worthy. He is by his parochiall cure (& shew me the man whose practise is not answerable) to administer the sacrament of Baptism to all the infants born in the par­rish, though neyther parent can, no not in the most enlarged, if [...]ot over­stretched charity, be judged to be of the fayth, & so in the covenant of A­braham; according to which covenant Baptism is to be administred. Last­ly, I would know of this man (& so of others who would bring the pres­biteriall government vpon the parrish assemblyes without a separation) what should be done with such men of years in the parrish, as are to be e­steemed vncapeable of the L: Supper. It should seem, as the common o­pinion is, that such should be suspended, & so consequently (remayning obstinate & incorrigible) excommunicated. But by what law of God, or reason of man, do the Censures of the Church apperteyn vnto such, as had never right to be of the Church, nor were within GodsGen: 17. covenāt made onely with theyr faythfull, & theyr seed? And since the Church is onely to 1 Cor: 5. 12. iudg them which are within, & the same faln from theyr former holines, at least, externall; how should not excommunication be greatly propha­ned vpon such, as never came vnder that condition of eternall holines?

Suppose at length that he be deprived by that prelate, [...] Qu: which formerly admitted him, for not conforming to humayne corrupti [...]ns, & his people for fear of [...] for­sake him, if he I say now reiected by the prelate, & witnessing agaynst his corruptions, shal without seeking any new licence fynde place to preach the gospell in occasionally els where, why should any refuse to hear him?

First this his deprivation (especially for well doeing or not doeing e­vill) by the prelates spirituall jurisdiction,Ans: shewes his spirituall bondage vnto the Anticristian H [...]erarchy: as doth also his forsakeing his flock when [...]he wolfe thus cometh, Ioh: 10. declare (by the testimony of Christ himself) of what [Page 7] Spirit he is. And very fadeing is the colour, which here he sets vpō the mi­nisters cess [...]ation from theyr ministery: which is the peoples forsakeing them for fear of da [...]nger: whereas the contrary is most true, & that the ministers did vniversally, for fear of daunger, forsake the people: and that in sundry places, where the people offered to suffer persequution with them at the magistrates handes. But myne answer is, that this man remayning by the prelates ordination a minister of the Church of Engl: & as he was before his institution, or licence, & so preaching by that calling, communion cannot be had with him therein, without submission vnto & vpholding of the Prelates Antichristian authority, which in that work he exerciseth.

Suppose lastly that the s [...]me man doth besydes the good actions which God hath commaunded, admit of some thing at mans commaund, which is not lawfull,7 Qu: yet houlding the fayth, & building faythfully in the mayn things of the Gospell, and it may be repenting also of what he hath done at his admission: is no communion law­full with him in those very things, which if they were done by another after the same manner were heavenly dutyes? May not his fault be an humayn infirmity, in an externall ordinance? May not some faultes of his enterance be circumstantiall per­sonall actions by which his calling is not abolished.

This Quaere is in effect comprehended in the former,Ans: in whose answers it hath also been answered. But for more full satisfaction I further ad; that I may not partake in the sinns, though of hum [...]yn infirmity, 1 Tim: 5 & of persons other­wise go [...]ly: whether those sin [...]s be in the work done, or in the vnlawfull calling of the doer: of which we here speak, and not of any personall, or circumstantiall action, as is in vayn insinuated. And he that breaks down the partition wall which an vnlawfull especially an antichristian calling sets vp in the Ch:,Numb: 16. not making cōscience of partaking therwith in duetyes how heavenly soever in themselves, makes way for all Babylonish confusion: ney­ther is Israel now to be blamed for communicateing with Corah in the heavenly duety of burning ince [...]se to the Lord, to whom onely a lawfull out­ward calling was wanting: he so ministering by an Anti-mosaicall, as do the men of whom we speak, by an Anti-Christian calling. And for the ministers repenting of what he hath done at his admission, it may well be called (as truely being) a supposition, but of an impossibility, and contradiction. He cannot repent of his sin, which is his re [...]eaving authority from the Bishop to preach, but he must forsake, & renounce the same authority, as he recea­ved it, which if [...] indeed & truth, he ceaseth to be a minister of the Church of England.

And thus it appeareth, how this Authour is so far from leading a good conscience by the hand a [...] [...]e promiseth, as that he doth not so much as poynt out with the finger any passible way into publique communion [Page 8] with the parrish assemblyes as they stand: but rayther haveing framed a plot of ministery, & other devise in his study, sends men by doubtfull suppositions to seek they know not what, nor where. It remaynes we now come to his removall of the barrs which I in my book set in the way: the first whereof is, that, such a parrishional minister is a branch of the prelacy / as receaving power from it / by which it doth administer / and there­fore all communion with it to be avoyded by Gods people.

His answer is, that in proper, & accurate speach the minister, whom he former­ly described, is no branch of the prelacy, nor doth receave his power of ministering frō any prelate.

The question is not whether the minister which he describeth, or rather Supposeth, be a branch of the prelacy, & so minister or no: but whether the ministery of the parrish assemblyes, being partes of the Diocesses, and Provinces, be such or no.

He addeth, that the power of right he (that is his supposed minister) had be­fore ever he had to do with any prelate, which power is from God by the Church: but a power of externall legall abillity to do that, which from God by the people he had for­merly right to do, this he may be sayd to receav from the prelate.

He looseth himself in the labyrinth of his own devise: for even his sup­posed minister had to do with the prelate, both for license to preach & or­ders of ministery before this supposed right conveyed to him by the people, as appears in his Quae: 3. 4. & 5 compared together. 2. None of the par­rish assemblyes have in theyr hands, as Churches, power of right to chuse theyr ministers, nor are the Lords free people in that case: but do, on the contrary, stand in subjection & bondage spirituall to the prelate, and pa­tron, by whose appoyntment they must receave them, will they, nil they. Indeed some of them do by favour, or mony get ius patronatus into theyr handes, & so do agree amongst themselves what person they will present vnto the Bishop for theyr Clark: but this they do not as a Church, neither will, or may the Bishop so receave him from them, or appoynt him over them, but as a patron, (which right any one profane person may have & enioy as well as they): nor, that such a person may be ordeyned a mini­ster in, & of that Church,Act. 6, & 14 accordeing to the order Apostolicall: but that being before, or first, a minister at large of the Bishops makeing, and or­deyning, he may by the same episcopall authority, in way of licence, or institution conveyed, be determined to that particular parrish, according to the Popish order. So that if there were any thing in the distinction be­tween the power of right, & of freedom, he hath the power of right, or authority by the Byshop at the first, in his ordination: & the legall ability or freedom af­terwards by the patron, & prelate presenting, & appointing him to his [Page 9] place: & so the parrish, as a Church onely receaves him so appoynted by others. But the distinction is more subtile then sound: & i [...] not a distincti­on without a difference, yet a division of things inseparable in this kynde. No man hath externall spirituall power of right, to minister the holy things of God, but by a lawful calling: & no man haveing a lawful calling wants ex­ternal spiritual power of ability or freedom to minister them: & of this power we speak, as being that which the Bishops as the spirituall governers of theyr Prov: & Dioc: do confer. I know a man may be restreyned by viol [...]nce, or other bodily impediment from the vse of this spirituall freedom, but then he is restreyned from the vse of his power of right also. Whosoever hath the one hath the other by the same act, & whosoever hath a lawfull calling, hath both. Of his great mistakeing (vpon which notwithstanding he builds the weight of his answer, both in this, & the former parte of the book) which is that the Bishops Provinciall, & Diocesan authority & ad­ministrations are civile, & derived from the king, I shall speak hereafter.

He ads that it cannot stand with my plea, that such a man preaching diligently, & professing that to be his mayn office should in this work be a branch of the prelacy, & d [...]t by his power receaved by him. For. 1. this is not any parte of the prelates power (as he is a prelate) to preach the word. Which he also would prove by an affirmation in my book, which is (though he weaken the evidence of the truth thereof in relateing it) that the prelates office / and order is foun­ded vppon theyr usurpation of the rights / and libertyes wherewith Christ the Lord in his word hath endowed his Church (the Elders for theyr go­vernment / and the people for theyr liberty) for the calling of officers / & cen­sureing of offenders. Power therefore (sayth he) of preaching can be no parte of it.

First that which he admits in myne affirmation hath enough in it to overthrow his consequence. For if it belong to the prelates to call mi­nisters, & that in calling them, they give them power &Book of ordering of Preists. authority (though no absolute charge) to preach according to the order of that Church; then followeth it vndeniably, that those ministers thus preaching do therein excercise the prela [...]es power: & that it may be sayd of the ministers, and Bishops,Mat. 10, 40, as Christ sayd of his disciples & himself, that whosoever receaves them which are sent, receaves them which send them. In submitting vnto, or withdrawing from him that is sent by the king, in a work of his office, men do submit vnto, or withdraw from the king himself, & his authority; so is it in all estates, & subordinations, whether Ecclesiasticall, or civile; as every one that dimms it not in himself, may see by the light of nature.

And if vnto this be added, that, as the whole nation is devided into two provinces vnder the two Arch-Bishops / and the Provinces into [...]ndry [...] ­o [...]eses vnder the Bishops / and they into theyr severall parrishes vnder the ministers thereof / so the Arch-Bishops / and Bishops do share out vnto the [Page 10] parrish preistes in theyr ordination / & other assignementes / a parts of theyr charge, to wit / so much as concerns the ordinary service of the parrish: as vn­to theyr chancelours, commissaryes, and Arch-deccors on other parts for inferiour government reserveirg to themselves the Lordship ever both for the best advantage of theyr own honour, and profit, it will then evidently appear, (as that the part is a branch of the whole), that the parochial mi­nistery is a branch of the di [...]es [...]n & provinciall p [...]lacy. By which ministe­ry we are not to vnderstand (as doth myne opposite) the work of preaching, or any other work whatsoever, but the office, & power exequuted, & vsed in these works. For if we will exactly weigh things in a just ballance, we must consider of these three distinct poynts in the ministery. 1. The office. 2. The power. 3. The workes. The office is the very state, & function conferred vpon a man by his calling: from which office ariseth immediately power, & charge to minister, and to perform the workes of that office: in the per­formance of which workes the office is exequuted, and power vsed. And if preaching diligently & faythful [...]y were the pastours mayn office, then should Apostles, Prophets, & Evangelists, have the same mayn office with pastours, for they all do that work of diligent preaching, 1 Cor: 16. 10. one as we [...]as an other: besides that this work is lawfully performed by him that hath no office at all,Quae: 1, & 2. & therefore cannot be the Pastours office mayn, or mean.

2ly, It followeth not because the office of the prelates is founded vppon theyr v­surpation of the Churches rights in calling of officers, & consureing of [...]fferders [...], that therefore power of preaching is no parte of theyr office. Men may by theyr office have power to do more then the very things vppon which theyr office is founded: otherwise the parochiall ministery should be very slightily foun­ded, considering how many trifles, and superstitions the ministers have not onely power but charge also to perform. By this mans reasoning theyr office should be founded vppō the wearing of a surplice, makeing a crosse, &c. for these they have power to do, yea not power to leav vndone, by theyr office.

There are among men many lawfull offices or orders, & those lawfully founded, and yet not so perfitly but that some evil actions are (through humayn fraylty) done in & by them: so on the contrary is the office of prelacy vnlawfull, & vnlawfully founded, and yet not so absolutely, but that the good work of preaching may be and is performed in, and by it. Which preaching being also an inferiour work of that office, and order (which is principally set vp for government): and that wherwith the Bi­shops do litle trouble the Churches, it ma [...] well be excluded frō the foun­dation of theyr office, though a work thereof: (as there are also many doctrines of Christian religion,Heb. 6. [...]. besydes those which are properly called the [Page] foundations thereof) & though a work good in it self, yet in the extent of theyr power to preach when and where they list in theyr provinces, and diocesses, exorbitant, and antichristian; & so a parte of theyr usurpation, whether of the foundation, or building, it matters not: a parte of which power they also share out vnto the ministers in theyr severall parrishes. An other argument he bring vpō an affirmatiō in my book, (p. 29) that preaching is no natural, or necessary parte of the parochiall ministers office.

This myne assertion in the first place he reprocheth as an intemperate speach proceeding from an impotent sicknes of mynde, which yet (sayth he) may be vsed agaynst my selfe.

If I were sick of any such impotency of mynde, as he in his potency of mynde pronounceth, I should surely fynde him a phisition of no value: which brings no other medicine then a reproch to cure me withall. One­ly he insinuates a reason agaynst that I say, which is, that, preaching the word is expresly mentioned in the ministers ordination. And is it not also men­tioned in the ordination of a Mas-preist, of whose office notwithstanding it is no necessary or naturall parte? yea is it not evident that one, and the same ordination serves both for a Mas-preist, & parochiall minister, being given, by a popish Byshop? and so by consequence, that there is one, & the same office of both, though exercised in some different workes? So also is ministring the disciplyne of Christ, as the Lord hath commaunded, expresly mentioned in his ordination: & is it therefore a necessary work of the Pa­rochiall minister? or is he any more then the Bishops mans man in publi­shing his court censure? The Bishop also expresly bids his ordeyned one, Receav the H: Ghost. Doth he therefore so receav it? Or know we not that it is Antichrists guise, and that not a litle advantageable to the mi­stery of his iniquity, to keep the formes of good wordes without the sub­stance of things, & so vnder the name of Christ to subvert Christs truth, and ordinances? I would to God the notorious ignorance, and vtter in­ability to preach the gospell in the greatest parte, by farr, of the parochiall ministers, to the destruction of so many 1000 soules for which Christ dy­ed, did not cry out vnto God, and men agaynst both that Church, Pre­lacy, and ministery, that preaching is no necessary parte, or work of theyr office. There is but one order, or office of preisthood in that church: & how can that be a naturall, or necessary parte of that office, which the most of those officers want, this especially being by the constant practise of the puqlique governers, & according to the constitution, and state of that Church, ministery, and government; the publique lawes thereof also both ecclesiasticall, and civile approveing it; as otherwise, so by appoynt­ing homilyes to be read by such as are vnable to preach.

[Page 12] Such a one the patron may present for his Cl [...]rk to any parishonall charge, and may also compell the Bishop, will he, [...]ill he, to institute him by processe of law:Quare im­pedit. whom the people also are bound to receav, as theyr mi­nister, & with him to communicate vnder penaltyes civil, and spirituall. Let Baal then plead for himself: even the wearing of a surplice, and signeing a babes forehead with the crosse are more naturall, and necessary to the parochiall ministery, considered both in the common practise, and pub­lique lawes, then is preaching of the gospell. For inability to preach (though most ordinary) no minister is, or can be deposed: but for not conforming, how many in a few years? Myne affirmation then (how li­cenciously soever myne opposite censureth both it, & me) is so apparē [...]tly true, as it cannot be denyed without losse of credit both to the person, & cause of the denyer, in the eyes of all reasonable men.

Vppon which affirmation of myne his inference notwithstanding is of no force, viz. that such ministers as give themselves to preaching do not in that buesines excercise any power receaved from the prelate as a branch of him, because that power must then have been a naturall parte of his office.

It followeth not. For as some partes, or workes of the parochiall mi­nisters office are naturall, and necessary, as to read divine service &c. so are other workes or partes thereof but casuall, & arbytrary, as is this of preaching, as the person can, or will. It is not by any absolute necessity required of every minister to preach, but yet he that doth preach, doth it by authority of the prelate, in his parrish, as in a parte of the prelates pro­vince, or Diocesse. And where he speaks of the ministers not excercis [...]ing the power receaved from the prelate in that buesines of preaching, it is, as a poore shift, so a vayn insinuation, that though in other buesinesses he did excercise the prelates power, yet not in that of preaching. Wheras he both preacheth, & readeth divine service & doth whatsoever he doth publickly, by one & the same ecclesiastic, power, & office. He is not one officer in the desk, & ano­ther in the pulpit, though his works be divers; [...]ut the Bps minister in both.

He ads (as opposite to an affirmation of myne, pag: 30.) that though the prelacy were pluck [...]d vp, yet the parochiall ministery might stand still, as reason (he sayth, but shewes none) will teach, and experience sheweth in Denmark, Saxony, H [...]ssia, & other partes of Germany.

But wherefore doth he lead me to Churches so far off, whose estate I neyther can easily know, nor he happily justify? Why doth he not rayther insist in the better both known, & reformed churches in the low coūtries? I perceav if I follow him in his Manuductiō he wil lead me cōpasse enough.

Well, I deny, & marvell he would affirm, that the same parochiall of­fice, and power of ministery doth remayn in those Churches, which was [Page 13] in vse before the extirpation of the prelacy there. The office it self was the order of Mas-preisthood, & the power derived from the Pope, & popeish prelacy. That the works of preaching, and prayer, performed by many of the parochiall ministers, and also by some of the Masse-preists) may re­mayn, though the prelacy be taken away, (& with it the parochiall preist­hood also) is without doubt; as they do in the reformed Churches, and with vs, where there is neyther prelate, not parochiall minister: but our question is not about some particular workes, as myne opposite makes it, but (as hath been oft observed) about the very function it self, and the power by which it is given, and vsed.

And for the poynt: since all the ministers of that Church are made, & appoynted by the Bishops authority, take away the same Bishops authori­ty, and how can the ministers remayn the same ministers? Take away the correlative, and the relation ceaseth. 2. Take away the prelacy, and how possibly can such a ministery continue (as is the parochiall) whereof the one of the two partes (though the inferiour) which stands in fee [...]ing the flock by ruling, shal be vsurped, and possessed by the prelates and theyr or­dinaryes. 3. Take away the Provin: and Dioc: Prelates, and with them the prov: and dioc: churches: and then the parochiall churches as partes of them must fall with them theyr whole: and with the churches the mini­sters, as partes of them. 4 It is not possible that the prelacy being aboli­shed, such an office of ministery (of which office the reader must still re­member our question to be) should survive, as whereof men vtterly vnapt to teach should be capable, as it is with the parochiall ministery. Can such stuffe passe thorough any but Byshops fingers? or will the Lord ever wipe away so much of theyr shame as to suffer any other hands but of prelates, and theyr chaplayns to be layd vppon the heads of such Idoll-preists? Or is it possible that in any other then the Episcopall governmēt the ministe­ry of [...]o many zealous, and learned teachers should hang vppon the cop-web of conformity to Crosse, Surplice & such vanityes, & be in daunger every day for refusall thereof to be broken asunder? Can this web be wo­ven by others then Byshops, or of other stuffe then comes out of theyr bowels? Lastly is it possible that in such light of the truth, as now shineth in Engl: all the profane parrish without difference should be compelled to be of the Church, & the minister of them to take charge, as his flock (as the parochiall ministers do): but as the same is a part of the Bishops flock, & well serving for to supporte his lawlesse Lordship? Now no man weigh­ing these things with an equall hand will judge them light, and sleighty matters, but weighty, & as he speaks, substantiall, in ▪& about the mini­stery. Which therefore cannot stand, as now it doth in the severall par­rishes, [Page 14] when God in mercy to that nation, shall root out that plant of the prelacy, which his hand never planted.

Where after to myne obiection, & charge, that all the parochiall mini­sters are subject vnto the jurisdiction of the prelates spiritually, in theyr cita­tions, suspentions, and excōmunications, he for answer alledgeth, that pre­vate Christians are subiect to the same jurisdiction personally, & for personall & pri­vate opinions, and behaviours also, it is that which I say, & vppon which I in­fer a separation from the formall state, & government of that Church eve­ry manner of way, since with the sinns of Babylon (whereof I have proved in my former book the Hierarchicall government one) no man may par­take. But if herevppon he would conclude the vnlawfulnes of private or personall communion with the godly, as well as of publique, or Church communion, I must deny his consequence; & because I would not repeat the same things agayn, do desire the Reader to take knowledg of the dou­ble difference about this matter shewed in my former book.

But he gives a 2d ▪ answer,Pag: 10. Ans: to the 3 obiect: vppon which also the lawfulnes of the By­shops authority is much pleaded, throughout the whole book. Which by the way, I desyre the Reader to observ, & withall how such as go on in op­poseing our separation, are driven in the end, to justify the Bishops au­thority, though diversly. His answer, & defence is.

The greatest parte of theyr jurisdiction being externall & coactive or forcing, is from the king derived vnto those that do exercise the same: & therefore must of ne­cessity be a civile power, such as the king might as well perform by other civile officers, as it is indeed exercised in the high-commission, & some other courts also, [...]he lawes of the land do so esteem it, as Sir Edward Cook now L: cheif justice of Engl: hath largely shewed in the first book of his reportes.

Divers pleas for the prelates have been made by men diversly mynded touching them: but that theyr jurisdiction in theyr provinces & Diocesses should be civile, & coactive (for externall we graunt it to be, which is ill joyned as the same with civile, & coactive, since even1 Cor: 10. spiritual ordinaunces are externall also) this I say is a plea, which to my remembrance I never heard of before. The Authour in the front of his book proclaymes the vn­reasonablenes of our separation: but I hope the Lord will give me grace, and modesty, never to defend, or continue in that state, & standing, for which I shalbe driven, to make so vnreasonable a defence: which is indeed an ar­gument of an ill cause, & of no good consideration, that I say no more, in the writer.

For the better then both clearing of this poynt here and els [...]where in the book, & help of others otherwise: it must be considered that the By­shops have in theyr hāds a double authority: the one civile as magistrates: [Page 15] the other spirituall, as Church-officers: and so do perform workes of di­vers kyndes according to these their divers callings. By the former they sit with other Barrons in the parliament-howle for the enacting of lawes, & statutes, vnder bodily punishments: some of them also being of the kings p [...]ivy councell, & some of his high commission, haveing therein ioynt au­thority with other Lords, & Magistrates civil. They are generally, in the Countyes & Shyres where they live, Iusticers of peace, in the same Com­mission with other honourable, & worshipfull personages & thus they sit vppon the bench at Assises, & Sessions: & have authority civil ioyntly with the other Iusticers, & so severally as they, at other tymes, to apprehend, imprison, fyne, & punish bodily, malefactors, according to the common lawes of the land, & theyr office of Iusticeship: and all these theyr admini­stratiōs they perform expresly in the kings name. In which also they are to be honoured, & obeyed, as are other civil magistrates whatsoever, by all the kings subiects, & wherein, for my self, I professe communion with & submission vnto theyr authority, & power.

But besydes this theyr civil authority they have also ecclesiasticall Iuris­diction, as they are the Arch-Byshops of Provinces, & Byshops of Dioce­ses. And thus they with the rest of theyr triumphant Church, & Clergy, sit in the convocation house, frameing Canons, & constitutions ecclesias­ticall, vnder spirituall penaltyes. Thus they ordeyn ministers, & institute them to theyr several charges; & give them licences to preach within theyr provinces, & Diocesses. Thus they keep theyr spirituall courts by them­selves, & theyr subordinates, Chauncelours, Commissaryes, Arch-Dea­cons, & other theyr officials: citeing men thither by theyr Apparitours; as on the contrary in theyr civil administrations (though in matters ec­clesiasticall) they vse Pursivants, & Constables. There, and thus they sus­pend, depose, & degrade ministers, as at the first they ordeyned, and ap­poynted them: as they also excommunicate, & absolv both ministers, and people as they see cause: proceeding in all these, not in the name of the king, as in the former, but expresly in the name of God: in & vnto which theyr vsurpation of the name or power of God, & Christ, no communion may be had, or submission yealded.

And where he affirmeth that the greatest parte of theyr Iurisdiction (to wit in theyr Provinces, & Diocesses) is derived from the king, which he might as well perform by other civile officers, & that the lawes of the land do so esteem it, alled­ging to that end S. Edw: Cook L; cheif Iustice, there is a great mistakeing in the matter. No onely the greatest parte of, but in effect, theyr whole Iu­risdiction in theyr provinces, & diocesses, standes, in theyr ordeyning of ministers & excommunicateing of offenders with theyr apurtenances, & [Page 16] in theyr contraryes, of the same nature? Now to make the power of ex­communication & of ordination of ministers civile, or these such workes as may be performed by civile magistrates, the king, or others, is to con­found heaven, & earth; & to make Christs kingdome (whereof these works,Iohn. 16. 39. in theyr nature, are administrations) to be of this world. This power of the prelates is in it self, & nature, spirituall: & in the extent of it over an whole Province & Diocese, & all the Congregations therein (to the abo­lishing of the power both of officers & people) papall, & antichristian, Of which the kings civile authority is no parent, but onely a nurse [...] other­wise the king should be not the d [...]fender onely, but the authour of the Chur­ches sayth in her government, & ministery. Papists have made of Popes kings, by deriveing from them civile governments: and will protestants make of kings, Popes, by deriving spirituall authority from them? And because Popeish kings have given theyr power to the beast, shall Christian kings therefore take the beasts power vnto them: which they should surely do in makeing themselves the spring-heades from whence floweth the power of makeing ministers, & excommunicateing offenders which the Prelates vse in theyr Provinces, & Diocesses?

And albeit for want of the bookes I cannot exactly set down the judg­ment of the lawes in this case, yet may I safely affirm, that they no where derive from the kings civile authority, the power of these spirituall admi­nistrations, but do onely make the king the establisher, & vphoulder civi­ly of this power. The same ecclesiasticall jurisdiction which had been in vse in popery, & a great part of the popish Hierarchy, was confirmed Eliz: pri: & so continueth at this day: & in vayn men apply theyr industry & ar [...] in the washing of this blackmore. Neyther yet doth it follow, though the lawes of the land did esteem this Iurisdiction civile that therefore it were such indeed. They may, and do misesteem many things especially of this kynde. They esteem the Crosse, Surplice, &c. indifferent, yea comely, & [...]dificative ceremonyes: & are they therefore such, or so esteemed by this authour? So for those corrupt vsurpations, & abuses, which he affirmeth to be mingled with the Byshops (so seeming vnto him) civile power, do not the lawes of the land esteem even them also lawfull, & laudable ordinances, & orders? The Arguments therefore from the lawes esteem to the nature of the thing is of no force.

Now that the prelates Iurisdiction in theyr Prov: & Dioc: is not civile, but ecclesiasticall, & a spiritual externall power, appeareth playnly by these Reasons.

First where he makes it civile, because it is coactive, or bodily enforceing, I conclude on the contrary, that because it is not so coactive, therefore it [Page 17] is not civile. The furthest the Byshops can go, as Byshops, is to excommu­nicate a man, or to pronounce him an heretique: which done they may deliver him to the secular power, or procure a civile coactiveDe excō ­municato capi [...]n [...]o. processe a­gaynst him from the L: Chauncelour, in certayn cases.

2dly. Where he affirmeth that the king might perform the works of theyr jurisdiction by other civile officers, there neyther can be stronger, nor need be other Arguments to prove the contrary, then the very consi­deration of the nature of those theyr workes: which are for substance, the makeing of ministers, & excommunicateing of offenders with theyr con­traryes, & app [...]rtenances: which to call civile workes, what is it but to make a civile religion?

3dly, Let theyr consecration to theyr byshopricks be looked into,Co [...]secra­tion of By­shops. and III there wil be found in them no word, or sillable insinuateing any civile au­thority; but onely that which is spirituall, for the feeding of the flock & doe­ing the work, wherevnto the H: Ghost hath called them: such scriptures also being therevnto applyed, as conteyn in them onely the callings, offices, & workes of the ministers of the Church.

4ly. Theyr civile authority, whether that which is peculiar to some of IIII them, as to be of the pryvy councell, or high commission; or that which is more ordinary, & cōmon to all, as to be Iusticers of peace in the coun­tryes where they live, is but one, & the same, & conveyed by one, and the same ioynt calling, & commission with that of other counsaylers, commis­sioners, & Iusticers: & therefore is nothing at all to that iurisdiction by which they ordeyn ministers, and excommunicate offenders, which the foresayd civile magistrates neyther have nor can have power to practise: though (by theyr civile power) they do, and may (civilely) restreyn men vnder peyn of bodily punishmēt. Ad vnto this also, that the Byshops may, & do excercise all, & every part of theyr episcopall authority, where they have not the least civile authority, viz: in the cittyes and corporations within theyr Provinces and Diocesses: as for example, the Bishop of Nor­wich in the city of Norwich, where his civile authority is no more then myne.

Lastly whereas all civile proceedings are made in the name of the king; V they on the contrary side proceed In the name of God, though too oft verify­ing the old saying, In nomine Dei incipit omne malum.

And by these reasons that which I did not suspect that any would have denyed, is confirmed, to wit, that the Prelates power in theyr Provinces, and Diocesses, is not civile, but a kynde of externall spirituall power which I have also in my former book proved Antichristian, as vsurpeing vppon Christes royal prerogatives, subverting the order of true Christian govern­ment, [Page 18] & su allowing vp, as with full mouth, both the peoples liberty, and Elders government, wherewtih Christ the Lord hath invested the true Church.

He proceedeth. But if this be so, then (sayth Mr Rob:) those ministers are vnder no spirituall government: and so be lawlesse persons, and inordinate walkers &c.

His answers are. 1. that they so govern themselves, as that no honest man hath cause to abhor from theyr communion. 2 that they are subiect to civile govern­ment, even in spirituall actions: & in the larger acception of the word to externall re­giment merely spirituall. 3. that they are no more lawles persons, then I my self was when I had no elder ioyned with me, or am now with myne one Elder, since I exclude the people from all government.

In these answers he neyther dealeth with me, nor the cause of the Lord, as is meet. For first, I do not in my book inter this exception vppon the former ground, as he sets it down for his advantage, as will appear in the examination of the 3. answer. 2. I do not alledg it to prove communion vnlawfull with them, as he insinuates, but to reprove, & that vppon theyr own plea, theyr Church-state, & standing, as such, as wherein they ney­ther do nor can enioy the spirituall externall government of Christ in his Church: & so neyther have that conscience, which is meet of the commaundements of Christ by his Apostles, 1 Tim. 5. 17 to give due honour to them who rule well: & to submit themselves to those who are over them in the Lord: Heb▪ 13▪ 17. nor of theyr own frayltyes, & in what need they stand of the Lords ordinances, & of this in speciall, for theyr guidance, & conservation in his wayes. And though he passe by this reproof, not myne, but the H: Ghostes, turning it off another way, yet let the godly Reader with good conscience remember that the disciples of Christ are to observ whatsoever he hath commaunded his Apostles: & withall that it was the Prophets comfort, that he should not be confounded, when he had respect to all Gods cammaundemēts: Mat. [...]8. 20. 3.Deut. 4. 2. & 6. 1. 2. In his 1. &. 2. answer he speakes not at all to the purpose in hand: our question not being about the personall government, Psal: 119. 8. which a man hath o­ver himself; nor about civile government, though in spirituall actions, nor about government at all, in the larger acceptation of the word: ut onely as it is taken for the outward guidance & ordering of the Church in her publique affayrs, by the Byshops, or Elders. And thus, and in this regarde all in the parrish assemblyes (if not vnder the Prelates spirituall iurisdiction, as many would make themselves, and others beleev) are lawlesse persons, & inordinate walkers: neyther is this myne assertion eyther lavish, or lawlesse, but a just & neces­sary testimony agaynst theyr transgression: of which I wish them from the Lord more conscience, & for that purpose, better counsayl, then in this manuduction they finde. Lastly, to make way to a touch of wit, vnto which [Page 19] he cannot get by my wordes, & meaning truely related, he takes liberty to change the one & other, for his advantage. I do p: 30 propound sundry defences made by such both ministers, & people, as dislike the prela [...]y: and the first, of the people, to wit, that they are not subiect to the prelates government. And that I intend this of the people, is evident by my reply in the same place: the words whereof I have formerly noted down in the 2d conside­ration of his answer. This by me spoken, and intended of the people, he misapplyeth to the ministers, putting, as my wordes, These ministers are vnder no spirituall government: and so would (in wantonnesse of wit) fasten the same reproof vpon my self as haveing been formerly with none, & now with one Elder, without government also, and so an inordinate walker.

The truth then is, that the people professing themselves (though most vntruely) to be from vnder the Prelates Spirituall government, do therein professe themselves to be from vnder all christian church government: & that, both ministers, and people professing themselves to be from vnder the prelates spirituall power, do therein professe themselves to be from vnder all power of Christ for the censures; & in those respects, and consi­derations (of which onely I speak though he streach my words further then he should eyther in charity or equity) to be lawlesse persons & inordinate walkers, 1. Cor. 5. [...] [...]. & without the yoak of Christ, & one speciall means of theyr sal­vation.

And thus much for the confirmation of my testimony agaynst com­munion with the parochiall assemblyes, in the particulars (though far frō all in my former book, as myne opposite pretendeth) wherin he hath en­deavoured to weaken it: where I also desyre the Reader well to note, that whatsoever eyther he pretendeth, or others conceav of publique cōmu­nion following vppon private, yet the issue unto which things come be­tween him & me is in these two questions. 1. whether the Bishops juris­diction in theyr provinces,1 Cor. 5. 4. [...] & diocesses be lawfull, or no? 2. whether the parochial ministers being ordeyned, instituted, & licensed by the Bishops, do preach by theyr authority, or no?

The other two stumbling blockes (as he calls them) viz. that all are vrged to communion by poenall lawes; & that a set form of prayer i [...] appointed, he neyther purposeth, nor thinks it needfull to deal about, seing 1. there are many excercises of religion where none are present by constraynt, nor the service book so much as appea­reth: for which he instanceth in Mr. Parkins his excercise.

And wherefore doth he still after his (but an evill) custome chaunge the state of the question? which is not about mens being preson [...] by constreynt at the excercises of religion, but about Churches gathered by constreynt of all the profane parrishioners with the other handfull; as vvas that parrish [Page 20] church whereof Mr Perkins was a member, & where he taught: & that by authority from & vnder the prelates.

My being once at his successours sermon since I professed separation, is neyther pertinently, nor truely obiected by him. I was there as in many other places since I made question of it, & disputed for it, but had not otherwise professed it. And vppō this occasion I think good to note down the work of Gods providence towards me in this matter. Comeing to Cambridge (as to other places where I hoped most to fynde satisfaction to my trou­bled heart) I went the fore-noon to Mr Cha▪ his excercise: who vppon the relation which Mary made to the disciples of the resurrection of Christ, de­livered, in effect, this doctrine; that the things which concerned the wh [...]le church were to be declared publiquely to the whole Church, Math. 28. & not to some parte onely: b [...]in­ging for instance,Mark. 16. & proofe the wordes of Christ, Mat: 1817. Tell it to the Church: confirming therein one mayn ground of our difference from the Ch: of Engl: which is that Christ hath given his power for excommuni­cation to the whole church gathered together in his name as 1 Cor: 5: the officers as the governers, & the people as the governed in the vse thereof; vnto which Church his servants are comaunded to bring theyr necessary complaynts. And I would desyre myne opposite eyther to shew me how, & where this Church is, haveing this power, in the partish assemblyes: or els by what warrant of Gods word I (knowing what Christ the Lord cō ­maunded herein) may with good conscience remayn a member of a Ch: without this power (much lesse where the contrary is advanced) & so go on in the known transgression of that his cōmaundement, Tell the church?

In the afternoon I went to hear Mr B: the successour of Mr. Perkins, who from Eph: 5. & v: 7. or 11. shewed the vnlawfulnes of familiar conversa­tion between the servants of God, & the wicked, vpon these grounds, or the most of them. 1. that the former are light, & the other darknes, between which God hath separated▪ 2. that the godly hereby are endaungered to be levened with the others wickednes. 3. that the wick [...]d are hereby hardened in receaving such approbation from the godly. 4 that others are thereby offended, & occasioned to think them all alike, & as birdes of a f [...]ther, which so flo [...]k together. Whom afterwardes privately I desyred, as I do also others, to consider, vvhether these very Reasons make not as effectually & much more agay [...]th s [...]irituall com­munion of Gods people, (especially vvhere there vvants the means of re­formatiō) vvith the apparently vvicked, to vvhom they are as light to d [...]rk­nes.

To that vvhich he alledgeth in the 2d place of the reformed Churches ge­nerally vs [...]ng a stint form [...]f prayer, with whom yet I will not refuse all publique cō ­munion, I ansvver, that for the very vse of a set form of prayer, or other the [Page 21] like fayling I vvill not refuse communion vvith a true Church in things lavvfull: but between the set form of prayer vsed in the reformed Church­es, & in the vnreformed Ch: of Engl: I put great difference; not onely in the matter, & sundry orders thereof, but especially in the manner of im­poseing it: which in the reformed Ch: is not by compulsiō, nor in the first place, as in the Ch: of Engl: where the reading of it is preferred before, & above the preaching of the gospell: and where more ministers (and those of the best sorte) have been deprived of theyr ministery in a few monthes for the not reading, and observeing it in manner, & form, then have been ever since the Pope was expelled, not onely for not preaching (for which no man is so censured) but for all other wickednes of what kynde soever, though abounding in the ministery there. By which, that theyr set service is advaunced above all that is called God, & made a very hatefull Idol, to which both great & small are compelled to bow down, & it to honour. Which Idol-servi [...]e also vpholdeth an Idol-ministery: which, as it is truely so cal­led, would without it be vvell nigh as dumb, as the Idols of the heathens, Psal. 115. which have mouthes, & speak not.

For conclusion, he affirmeth, that by the lawes of Geneva like strictnes, (to vvit, vnto that in Engl:) is vsed towardes the inhabitants of that city, though I vnadvisedly deny it in myne assertion of the Engl: assemblyes difference therein from all [...]mue Churches in the world. pag: 20.

In that place of my book I observ tvvo mayn differences betvveen the Churches of Christ, as the scriptures testify of them; and the parrish assē ­bl [...]es in their very constitution. With these differences thus propounded he medleth not, eyther by shewing how the assemblies agree therein with the Apostolicall Churches, or how disagreeing from them in the one, and other, they can be true visible Churches rightly gathered & constituted. But where by the way for amplication I mention the reformed Churches, as in [...]eressed in the same differences frō Engl: he there st [...]ps in and takes me by the hand, and leades me along to Geneva: as b [...]like rayther hopeing to make the Church of Engl: agree in some thing with the lawes of Gene­va, then with the lawes of Christs testament. But was the Church of Ge­neva indeed gathered of all the apparently wicked, and fl [...]gitious persons in the citty, amongst the rest, scarse sensible in so vast a heap as were, and are the English parrochiall assemblies? If the state of Geneva did in a po­litique r [...]spect expell out of the citie such the inhabitants, as were not well affected towards the religion, and that the Church were gathered of the rest, being judged in charity capable of the holy things of God, uppon their personall confessior; how then standeth this agreement between the Genevean, and Engl: assemblies? And if the Church of Gen: had been [Page 22] gathered after popery (as the Engl: assemblies were, and it was not) of all the vnhallowed rowt in the citty, vvithout separation, I should con­fesse myne unadvisednes in my better judgement of it, then it deserved.

And thus much for this letter, which the Authour might more fitly have called [...]n exercise of wit, then [...] Manuduction, as he doth. And for that it is in effect intended for the justification of the Ministerie, it shall not be amisse for the better help of the Reader, and furtherance of the truth, breifly to set down such particulars, as by the scriptures and good reason thereunto agreeable, are of absolute necessitie for a true ordinary Church-officer, and minister of Christ; which for order sake I will reduce to four heads.

The first is, that there be a true visible Church, in which he is to be ap­poynted 1. Cor. 12. 28. God haveing set in the Church, Apostles, Prophets, Teachers etc: & mention being made every where of the Act. 14. 23 & 20. 17. 28 makeing and ordeyning of Elders, or Bishops in the Churches. Whereupon 1. I desire to know how the mi­nisters of the Church of England can be true Ministers, not being made,1 Tim. 3, 1. and ordeyned such in and to any particular Church?Tit. 1. 5. 2. Since, as is right­ly acknowledged in the former part of the book, Every true visible Church is a company of people called and separated out f [...]ō the world, I would know how ma­ny, and which of the parrish Churches consist of such a separated people, and are not both (at the [...]est) in their persons mixt of the people of God, and the world, and also mixt in one nationall, provinciall, and diocesan Church, or body with all the godles multitude, and part of the world in that land? 3. I ad, that since a separated people from the world is but the mat­ter of the Church, and that for a true Church a true form is also required, it must also be shewed how that can be found there. This form cannot be any particular act, which is transeunt, and passeth away, but something constant, and permanent, without which resydeing actually in the whole and all the partes thereof, the Church cannot consist one moment; ney­ther yet can it be any personall thing eyther disposition, or other relation whatsover: nor other, as I conceav, then a publique orderly covenant, and union of a particular assembly, by which it hath in it self entyre right to Christ, and to all the meanes of enjoying him: which I rayther wi [...]h could be, thē beleefe can be (for the present) found in any parrish Church in the land. Lastly, if the Provinciall, and Diocesan Churches be not true visible Churches (which I suppose is this Authours judgment) I would know how the parrish assemblies being partes of the other, and so partes of false Churches, can any more be reputed true Churches, then could a particular Iewish Synagogue be reputed a true Church, which should have made it self an entyre, and independent body in respect of the nationall Church, and Temple?

[Page 23] But now if any of the parrish assemblyes be thus separated in theyr per­sonall, & church estate, and formed accordeingly (though with defects, & wants) we desire to take knowledg of them, and which they be, that we may rejoyce for the grace of God towards them, and perform vnto them the dutyes of Christian fellowship, as is meet.

II The 2d necessary for a true ministery is a fit person,1 Tim: 3. in whom ap [...]nes to teach, & vnreproveablenes in conversation is found: even reason teaching that whomsoever God calleth to any estate he fitteth cōpe [...]ently for the mayn works thereof. In whom also for his own comfort with God, is required an inward calling, which with Calvin I conceav to be an holy disposition, & desire to administer the gospell of Christ to the glory of God, and fur­therance of mans salvation. Which inward calling as a true minister before men may want as did Indas, so for that they in Engl: much pretend it whē they cāno [...] justify their outward, I demaund whether a man thus inwardly called of God, & forefitted accordingly, & being withall perswaded in his heart that a lawfull outward calling, & without sin in the enterance, & continuance, cannot he had in the Ch: of Engl: whether, I say, such a mā be not bound in conscience to seek out, or procure an other Church then the Church of Engl: in the present state thereof; by, & vnto which he may la [...]fully enter, & administer: & how otherwise he doth not eyther care­lesly neglect, or sinfully profane the Lordes inward calling in his heart?

III The 3d thing necessary is a true, & lawfull office, or function of mini­stery;1 Cor: 12. 5 Eph: 4. 8. 11. 12, 13. there being, as the Apostle teacheth, diversityes of administrations, but (& by) the same Lord, even the L: Iesus: who when he [...]scended on high gave gifts vnto men, some Apostles, & some Prophts, & some Evāgelists & some Pastours, & Teachers. Now this office, & order not being a matter of dignity,1 Tim: 3. 1. as the order of knighthood, or the like, but of work & service; & this worke standing summarily in feeding the flock, 1 Tim. 5. 17 Act. 20. 28. and this feeding, in teaching & ruleing, as the two mayn partes thereof, I demaund how that can possibly be the true, & lawfull function, or office of a Byshop or Pastour, vnto vvhich preaching to the flock is not necessarily required, not ruleing so much as permitted; as vve all knovv the case standeth vvith the English ministery?

IIII Lastly there is required a true & lavvfull outvvard calling of the ministers by those in vvhom the Lord hath left that right,Heb: 5. 4. 5 Act. 1 &c & 14. & 1. Tim: 3. & povver: vvhich (if the scriptures may bear svvay) are the particular congregations in, and vnto vvhich they are to administer. And of such force is this true & lawful out­vvard calling, as that by it, & none othervvise, this fi [...], and lavvfull person becomes properly, & immediately, a true pastour. And hovv then can he be a true pastour, vvhose calling vnto his function, or office of preisthood [Page 24] in the Ch: of Eng: is merely by the prelate of the province, or Diocesse; by vvhose licence or institution he is also aftervvards designed to his more particular charge?

These 4 conditions & every of them are necessarily requyred to the con­stitution of a true pastour: & are none of them (to my knovvledg) save the 2d to be found in the parochiall ministery. Let myne opposite eyther dis­prove the former, or manifest the latter, & hovv, & vvhere such a minis­tery is to be found▪ but let him do it in that godly simplycity, vvhich be­commeth the gospel, and the things thereof: p [...]escribeing to himself vvith due reverence of God in vvhose vvorke he dealeth, the sa­cred bounds of the Apostle saying, we can do nothing a­gaynst the truth, but for the truth. In▪ & into vvhich the God thereof guide both him, and my selfe, and all his alvvayes.


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