By IOHN SPRINT, Minister of Thornbury in Glocester-Shire, sometimes of Christ. Church in Oxon.

MATTH. 12. 7.

I will haue mercie and not sacrifice.

[printer's device (not amongst those attributed to John Bill by McKerrow) of two squirrels eating nuts under a stylized rose]



TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFVL Mr. DOCTOR GOODWIN Deane; and to the Canons of the Colledge of CHRIST-CHVRCH in Oxon.

FOr dedication of this booke to you (R. w.) I had direction frō the Riuers, who Eccles. 1. 7. empt themselues in­to the Seas from whence they came. To you, by whose Reuerend praedecessors I was in common consent chosen scholler into Christ-Church; by whom that small modell of Lear­ning which I haue (if I haue any [Page] thing in mee which may be called Learning) was deriued to me, and by whom I was of free donation, without bribe or sute first placed in my pastorall charge. Then you, I haue no greater patrones; for you, I haue no greater gift. And this I offer to your view, your censure, your memoriall. God euer graunt you so to blesse the Colledge of Christ-church, by your free electi­ons and elocations, that the Church of Christ may euer blesse God for you, and your selues may feele the comfort of your well-doing in this life, and find the fruit thereof in the life to come. London 27 of April M. DC. XVIII.

Who am euer at your seruice in CHRIST, IO. SPRINT.

TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFVLL Mr. SAMVEL BVRTON, Arch­deacon of the Diocesse of Gloucester.


AS it pleased you to appoint mee a certaine time, to giue answere of my pur­pose, or refusal of Conformi­tie: So I haue at last resolued to offer it vnto you in these my Letters; Confessing ingenuously, (for some re­spects seeming weighty to my poore iudgement) my vnwillingnesse thereto, if by any meanes I [Page] might auoide it: Howbeit, seeing I see the sway of Authoritie ouer-ruling, and inforcing thereun­to, partly in obedience to it, and partly for other more important reasons swaying my Conscience; I giue you to vnderstand, that I am resolued to Con­forme. To the which resolution, I confesse I was the rather drawen, by the mixture of your dis­creete proceedings, yet not so much driuen there­unto by your publike authoritie, as drawen by your priuate lenitie and kindnesse, and vndeserued re­spect vnto my meannesse; I being well acquainted with the common condition of mans will which may be induced, when it cannot be inforced. And I trust with equall good conscience and successe, to pro­ceede and continue in seruice vnto God and to his Church in this my Conformitie, as before I did in not Conforming: And I heartily wish, that in the like case all others did the like. This I can say, that my indeauours haue not beene wanting to perswade others, wherein I haue preuailed with not a few: And I am perswaded, that if my reasons of this point, might see the light (authoritie giuing way thereunto) it would more preuaile to induce men of contrarie iudgement, then many other bookes pen­ned to that purpose. Not for any worth of Art [Page] or reading that is in them more then others, my selfe being the meanest of many thousands for a matter of this nature: But partly in respect of the qualitie of the penner, (which haue beene I confesse a Non-conformitan) and partly because of the con­clusion prooued, which inforceth the imputation of a sinne vpon the sufferers of silencing for not confor­ming; a matter which of all things the Ministers of this kinde will least indure: And partly also for the sufficiency of the Truth presented in those reasons.

Now, if any shall thinke the booke vnfit to bee published, because it reacheth not home to prooue the conueniency or necessitie of the Ceremonies themselues: they may bee pleased to consider, that this position of mine, being onely proposed by way of presupposall, concludeth nothing to crosse that. I haue endeauoured to prooue this, others (whose knowledge and dexteritie is greater) haue libertie to prooue further if they please. But this I may more then probably affirme, that the very most of not conforming Ministers will hearken vnto this, when (I am assured) they will not vnto that. My reasons I offer to your Learned view, and correction of authoritie. If any thing bee found in them hindering the passage thereof, I wish it bee [Page] censured with a Deleatur: For that my intenti­on is not rashly to thrust out any thing offensiue to authoritie, but that which may bee to the profit of the Church: Which I humbly desire of God in this, and al other mine indeauours for his owne names sake. To whose sauing grace in Christ, I commend you, with many thankes for your many vndeserued fauours. This 21. of October 1617. Thornebury.

By yours humbly at command in Christ, IO. SPRINT.


EVery part of Trueth is precious, euen the least: (as the least graine of muske is sweete.) Because it is the Trueth; Because Gods Truth; and because small errors intertai­ned against small Trueths, haue often euill, sometimes pernicious effects. Which last appeareth in the controuersie of our Ceremo­nies; the sparkles of which difference haue growen vnto great flames in this our Church. Where the fault is, as God knoweth, so the day will try, and God will one day iudge. But difference of appre­hensions hath brought foorth difference of iudge­ments, and difference of iudgements, hath brought forth difference of practise, and disagreement in af­fection. The difference of practise hath mooued Authority to silence and suppresse refusers of Con­formitie: The disagreement in affection, hath moo­ued the Ministers depriued to speake euil of persons in authority, and of Conformers: Whereby in the euent, the course of the Gospell is interrupted, and [Page] of Popery enlarged; the friends of Sion are grieued, the enemies reioyced, the Deuill gratified, and God not pleased. The Church is rent with Schisme, the Trueth scandalized by dissention, & the Ministers vndone by losse of liuing, and the vnitie of brethren liuing in the same house, professing the same Faith, and reioycing in the same Hope, is pulled in pieces: And this like to continue God knowes how long; but all men know, the longer the worse.

For which cause I haue vndertaken this seruice to Gods Church, to vnfold the state of this question, which as yet hath not been so directly and distinct­ly handled, in my opinion, as it might, by any that I know. The Ministers haue heretofore laboured to proue the Ceremonies euill to be vsed, and fit to be abolished; but they neuer went about to prooue, whether in case of Depriuation they ought to haue conformed; which is the question directly concer­ning their case. This is performed in this tractate, and resolued by reason drawen from God and man, from Scripture and Authority of all sorts, which thou (good Reader) mayest perceiue, if thy desire allure thee, or thy patience will giue thee leaue to reade.

The occasion of my penning it was this: At The occasion of penning this Treatise. first, being of aduersary iudgement to the Ceremo­nies, I laboured (as men doe that are sicke of pre­iudice) to gather all I could against them, and ab­stained from the practise of them, as from things simply euill: But after, hauing been indicted at a [Page] quarter Sessions for refusing to conforme, by some of my Parish for my fidelity in opposing their dis­ordered life, I was occasioned to looke more neere­ly into the state of this question, whether I might vse them with my peace in any case, or not; name­ly, of necessity, & Depriuation. I asked of my selfe two things, whether I would rather suffer death, then vse them in a Church professing the founda­tion, and vrging them as things indifferent, not pres­sing them, as binding Conscience in themselues, or as needfull to saluation? And whether the execu­tion of my Ministery (which was pressed on my Conscience with a woe, if I neglected it) should not be as deare vnto me, as my life? Which questions, when they put mee to a stand, and that I could not well resolue vnto my selfe, for the ill conceit I had against the Ceremonies, I beganne to search in­to the iudgement of our best latter writers, and the practise of reformed Churches, from whence I went vnto antiquitie of primitiue and purer times; where with one consent and harmonie of iudge­ment, I found them for the practise of farre more, and more offensiue Ceremonies then ours may bee supposed, and chiefely in this case. This was a ground to stay my iudgement, and build my re­solution: From which when once I found it, in con-conscience I could not, in modestie I durst not de­part in haste. For with what shew or conscience should any man turne his backe in dislike, or his face in opposition to the iudgement and [Page] practise of all Churches of Christ since the A­postles? And from all those worthy Lights, those Spirituall persons, the Teachers of the Churches, the champions of the Trueth, the Masters of Reli­gion, by whom, and by whom onely, God had in all ages propagated his Gospell, conuerted soules, confirmed Veritie, confuted Heresies and Errors, builded Christes Church, discouered and ouerthrowne the Church of Antichrist? Chiefly, seeing it is the iudgement not of one or two, nor of some against some other, but euen of All, not One excepted which is of note, or classicall authority: And none against this iudgement, excepting con­uicted and condemned Hereticks and Schisma­ticks, such as Donatists, Anabaptists, and our latter Brownists. From thence I looked into the reasons mouing them vnto this iudgement, & that practise, which in this Tractate are set downe: So that here is no nouelty broached, or fancy of mine owne pro­posed to thy view (Christian reader) but Antiquity and Vniuersality; not Papall, but Euangelicall, ac­cording to the Scripture; not of Carnall, but Spiri­tuall persons, which may bee to thy Conscience as an [...].

The causes of publishing are principally three, re­specting Causes of publishing. the trueth, the Ministers my brethren, and my selfe. The publication of this booke concerneth the trueth in two respects: First, because it is a que­stioned trueth, which may not bee concealed with­out iniury to God, and to his Church: and it is a sin [Page] of no light nature, to withhold the trueth in vnrigh­teousnesse: Rom. 1. 18. next, it is a profitable trueth, which may occasion some Ministers to enter, which dare not for conformitie, and others to returne which are depriued for not conforming to the Ceremo­nies, both tending to the benefit and edification of Gods Church. For what greater profit may there be, then that which is opposed to the greatest mis­chiefe? For as it pleaseth God to saue them that be­leeue 1 Cor. 1. 21. prou 29. 18. by preaching: so where no vision is, the peo­ple perish. Secondly, it respecteth the ministers of two sorts. First, such as are depriued, on whom these reasons doe inforce a sinne for not confor­ming in the case of depriuation: and it is very scan­dalous for Ministers, professing sinceritie of Christ his Gospel to haue begunne, and to continue in a wrong course; neither can they approoue their con­science before God or man, to beginne and to re­maine in error and not amend when they see a bet­ter way. Then, it concerneth the Ministers that haue conformed in this case: both because it serueth to cleere the innocencie of sundry godly teachers, that haue conformed to preuent their depriuation, which are hardly thought of, and traduced as back­sliders, and betrayers of Gods cause. And if this trueth were knowen, they would not haue condem­ned innocents: As also because it is meete that the hearts of such as haue conformed of feare, and are wounded with griefe, should bee relieued: this trueth seruing to quiet their afflicted conscience, [Page] which must not bee neglected. Lastly, it re­specteth my selfe, and that two wayes. First, be­cause by suppressing of this veritie, I should wrap my selfe in the guilte of a two fold sin; namely, vn­thankfulnesse to God, & vnrighteousnesse to man. For why hath God opened my eyes to see this truth, but to that end I should reueale it vnto others?

And it were vnrighteousnesse, and hatred to my Leu. 19. 17. brethren to suffer them to sin, and not to shew them of it, to see them to wander, and not to point vnto the right way. Lastly, it were iniquitie to my selfe, to suffer my Ministerie to be euill spoken of, for practi­sing the trueth; there being scandall taken farre and neere at the alteration of my iudgement, and pro­fession of my purpose to conforme, rather then to suffer depriuation, which I may lawfully, and must also of some necessitie preuent. To this I adde the respect I haue vnto our Schismatickes, the Brown­ists, whose errors are hereby discouered, and their false conclusions ouerthrowne.

1 Obiections answered.But it will bee said I am in error: If so, it shall the easier be confuted. And when any man hath shewed it to be error, hee may the more safely call it so: And I shall bee the rather induced to confesse it so to be. It will be well, and more agreeing to the comfort of mens consciences, and more fitted to the rekconing they must giue, to bee aduised before they so con­clude it. Howbeit, if I erre, it is with such company, with whom in some case I had rather erre (as one speaketh) then thinke or know the trueth with some [Page] other. Neither can I bee perswaded, neither will any man proue easily, that all true Churches of Christ, of all ages, agreeing in a pointe, haue agreed in an error.

2 But thus good men receaue disgrace that stand against the Ceremonies. To this I say that no man can, no good man will esteeme the trueth to bee his owne disgrace. It is a grace by seeing error to acknowledge it. It is an honour vnto God to disgrace our selues, by gracing and embracing of his trueth. Can any man preferre his credit to Gods dishonour, and redeeme it with the ship­wracke of the trueth?

3 O, but I lay a sinne vnto the charge of all the Mi­nisters depriued: And to this I say, they lay a sinne vpon their brethren not inferiour to themselues, that haue conformed to the Ceremonies (by their account) in nature euill. Nay they lay a sinne vp­on all Churches and godly Teachers since the time of Christ: should any man indure so great indignity, or swallow such absurditie by sparing them? And admit they be prooued to be found in sinne, it is no newes that hath beene taught from the beginning, Rom. 3. 4 23. Iam. 3. 2. 1. Cor. 13. 9, 10 that all men are liers, and that all haue sinned; yea, in many things wee offend all: Wee know but in part, and difference will bee among the best, and with difference, error on one side or another in mat­ters circumstantiall, vntill perfection come. Our Psal. 19▪ 12. comfort is, that all sinnes, especially vnknowne to such as are in Christ, are pardoned, as being inclu­ded [Page] in the compasse of their generall repentance. Though reason accuse them of a sinne, yet grace in 1. Ioh. 1. 7. Christ his blood cleanseth from all sinne, neither can any man condemne where God hath iustified. Rom. 8. 33, 34. And what I thinke of them in charitie, that to my comfort I thinke of my selfe and all that holde this iudgement albeit it prooue an error.

4 Yet againe good mindes will be offended at this, which I haue written. But either it is Truth or error. If error, I confesse they haue iust cause, and I will confesse it when I see it. But if it bee the Trueth: what? will the children of the light bee offended at Gal. 4. 16. Luk. 7. 35. the light? or am I their enemie because I tell them the Trueth? wisedome is iustified of all her children. And euery one that is of the Trueth heareth the Iohn 18. 37. voice thereof.

5 And wicked men, with such as are the enemies of our Church, such as Papists, Brownists, Anabaptists, will triumph and reioyce, that such as haue stood out against Conformitie, doe now defend it: But when was it otherwise, when will it, how can it bee, but that weake eyes should be offended at the light? It is a griefe to raigning sinnes to see others to amend. They triumph in our conforming, but will they not much more in our eiection? they reioyce in our con­forming to the Ceremonies, and wee will grieue at their conforming to the world.

6 Lastly, some haue obserued, how certaine of the Modest offer. fol. 19. Ministers which stood against Conformitie, haue af­ter yeelding, euidently lost the grace and power of [Page] their gifts, some fallen to idlenesse, neglect of pub­licke and priuate duties, yea to prophane and scanda­lous life & conuersation. And so (say I) haue sundry done vpon my knowledge, that haue holden out a­gainst Conformitie, euen to suspension & depriuati­on; whose zeale in that behalfe, hath either been pre­postrous, more insisting on the lesser then the weigh­tier matters of the Law, or ioyned with grosse ig­norance, themselues not able to haue giuen a reason of their doings before God or man: It being iust with God to punish them on either side, who without con­science or ground of Faith, do either conforme or re­fuse Conformitie. For otherwise none can be igno­rant, but that on either side, sundry haue remained in the constant euidence of Gods best gifts and gra­ces, and in the blessing of a sanctified estate. To teach vs that it is not the zeale, for or against the Ceremonies, but an heart established in grace, that Heb. 13. 9. can keepe men from the markes and badges of hy­pocrisie.

Now, for the manner of my handling these my The manner of handling. reasons, I trust it shall appeare to euery person fea­ring God, that as I haue written these things with a good conscience, as in the sight of God: so I haue performed it with due respect to my Brethren, as it becommeth Truth. I know with whom I hold this controuersie, not with enemies but brethren, and I haue not learned the language of fowle speech. If any man be moued to reply, I wish him to performe it in the spirit of meekenesse, and in the euidence of Iames 3. 17. [Page] heauenly wisedome; for that our passions are great hinderances of finding out the Truth: And no man breaketh out into inordinate affection in any con­trouersie, chiefly of this nature, but hee hazardeth the losse of a better thing then that he seeketh. Hee seeketh Truth, and loseth Charitie and power of godlinesse; whereas he should seeke Truth in Cha­ritie: For Charitie reioyceth not in iniquitie, but in Ephes 4. 15. 1. Co [...]. 13. 6. the Truth. God needeth not our lies to defend his Truth: I leaue such practise for my part to Papists and to Brownists, who by vnablenesse to leaue their rayling formes and bitternesse, do manifest the foule­nesse of their heart and falsehood of their cause, that cannot bee defended but by weapons borrowed from corrupted nature, and the diuill; And in a word declare themselues vnprofitable in the Truth they know, & vncapable of any Truth they know not, and quite vnworthy of respect. Wee haue had contentions enough about circumstances and Ce­remonies. The yeeres should teach vs how smally the Lord doeth blesse the dissentions of Brethren: And the times approach wherin it must be knowne, Rom. 14. 17. that the kingdome of God stands not in meate and drinke, nor godlinesse in Ceremonialls, but in the power of a regenerated state: And that sauing grace wil stand, though men neuer write or preach against a Bishop, or suffer depriuation for refusall of a Cere­mony: And that the grace of God doth teach vs to seeke resolution of euery doubt, and to witnesse our dislike of things to bee disliked in wisedome and [Page] proportion; but neuer to contend about any thing, but for the faith once giuen to the Saints. If any man Iude v 3. Phil 3. 15. bee otherwise minded, God shall reueale the same vnto him. If any man bee ignorant, let him be 1. Cor. 14 38. ignorant still. If any man will be contentious, we 1. Cor. 11. 16. haue no such custome, nor the Churche of God. In the foundation we all agree. Time and day will 1. Cor. 3 11. 12. 13. 15▪ 10. try the hay and stubble from the gold and siluer: And the fire of Gods triall will surely sindge delin­quents. Let euery man take heede how hee builds. 1. Cor. 4. 5. Let vs iudge nothing before the time, vntil the Lord come, who will bring to light the things hidden in darkenesse: Phil. 3. 16. But whereunto we haue attained, let vs walke by the same rule, and let vs minde the same thing. Iude v. 20. Let vs edifie our selues in our most holy Faith, and pray one for nother. And the in their hearts. Iames 5. 16. Lord doe good to those that are good, and to them that are vpright Psal. 125. 4.



IT is necessary for a Minister to Conclusion. conforme to the Ceremonies prescri­bed in the Church of England, rather then to suffer Depriuation.

Quest. 1 Two questions touching this con­clusion there are to be discussed. The first, whether a man may with a good conscience suffer himselfe to bee depriued or suspended of his Ministry, for not conforming to the Ceremonies pre­scribed and established in the present Church of England: Such as the Surplesse, Crosse in Baptisme, Kneeling at Communion, Ring in Marriage, and the like?

2 The second, whether a man ought not rather of con­science to conforme to all the Ceremonies prescribed in the Church of England, then to suffer himselfe to be depriued of his Ministry?

Answ. 1 These questions depend the one vpon the other, so that the answere of the one giueth answer to the other: There­fore the former question I answer negatiuely: That name­ly, A man cannot (as I suppose) with a good conscience suffer himselfe to bee depriued of his Ministry, for not con­forming to the Ceremonies.

2 To the latter question I say, that a man is bound in con­science rather to conforme to all the Ceremonies of the [Page 2] Church of England, then suffer his Ministry to be suspen­ded or depriued.

The reason of which answers stands in this, Because he shall sin against God in not conforming, and in suffering himselfe for that cause to be depriued of his Ministration in the Church. That he shall sinne in so doing will appeare by these two reasons.

Reason 1 First, that the practise of suffering depriuation for not conforming to the ceremonies of this our Church, and the doctrine thereof is directly against the Word of God. This also is proued by two points.

1 Because it is against the doctrine and practise of the holy Apostles of Christ.

2 Because it is against the grounds of Gods Word: and they are two.

1 One ground is this: where two duties doe meet, a grea­ter and a lesse, whereof both cannot bee done at the same time, the lesser dutie must yeeld vnto the greater: But this doctrine of suffering depriuation for not conforming teacheth, and the practise thereof causeth to neglect a grea­ter duty for the performing of a lesser: Therefore it see­meth to bee an errour in doctrine, and a sin in practise.

2 A second ground is this; All things must bee done in loue, 1. Cor. 6. 14. But this doctrine and practise is against the royall Lawe of loue: and therefore seemeth to bee vnlawfull.

Reason 2 The second maine reason is this: For that the doctrine and practise of suffering depriuation, for not conforming to the Ceremonies of our Church, or the like, tendeth to condemne all true Churches, all faithfull and sound tea­chers, all sincere Christians of all times and places, since the time of the Apostles of Christ, which haue taught and practised otherwise.

These things being directly and plainely proued, it will (I doubt not) appeare that to suffer depriuation or suspen­sion, for refusing to conforme to the Ceremonies pre­scribed, [Page 3] is a sinne: Whereupon will follow these conclu­sions.

1 That seeing those Ministers haue sinned, at least a sinne of ignorance, who haue suffered depriuation for refusing to conforme to the Ceremonies prescribed, they ought of conscience to offer conformitie to the Ceremonies, that they may returne to their Ministry againe.

2 That such as not conforming to the Ceremonies, doe remaine in their places vndepriued, are bound in consci­ence to conforme vnto the Ceremonies, rather then to suf­fer themselues to be depriued or suspended.

3 That such as are profitably, or probably fitted with gifts vnto the Ministry, and doe withall desire to enter into that calling, are also tied in conscience before God to promise and practise conformity to the Ceremonies prescribed, ra­ther then refusing so to doe, to bee kept out of the Mi­nistery.

4 That such Christians as doe make conscience of the Ce­remonies, as kneeling at the Communion, admitting their children to be baptised with the Crosse, hearing of publike prayer, or preaching in a Surplesse, are of conscience to ad­mit of these things, and to practise them, rather then to ab­sent themselues, or to be depriued of the worships of God, and that otherwise they shall sinne against God. It remai­neth therefore that the former reasons be proued, which by Gods helpe I will performe in order.

Arg. 1 Reason 1 The doctrine and practise of suffering depriuation, and losse of Ministry is directly against the Word of GOD, which no man will deny to be sinfull and erronious. This assertion is confirmed by the probation of two farther points.

1 Because such doctrine and practise is contrary to the doc­trine and practise of the Apostles of Christ.

2 Because it is against the grounds of Gods Word.

1 Concerning the first point, namely, that the doctrine and practise of suffering depriuation, especially vpon the [Page 4] reasons vrged against our Ceremonies, is contrary to the doctrine of the holy and inspired Apostles, and so by con­sequence is an errour and sin: I proue it by two reasons.

Because(1) the holy Apostles, with the whole Church at Ierusalem(2) by inspiration of the holy Ghost and com­mandement of God(3) did practise themselues,(4) and caused others to practise,(5) yea aduised one another,(6) and inioy­ned or commanded(7) whole Churches the practise of(8) as euill and inconuenient Ceremonies(9) in sundry & maine respects, as in their iudgement ours are, namely in num­ber,(10) nature,(11) vse,(12) and euill effects, and(13) that for rea­sons equiuolent or inferiour to the auoyding of depriuati­on. This proposition I thus proue in the seuerall members. 1. The holy Apostles and whole Church at Ierusalem] namely Peter, Acts 15. 7. Iames, Acts 15. 13. & 21. 18. 21. 24. 25. Paul, Acts 15. 2. 22. & 18. 18. & 21. 26. 1. Cor. 9. 10. Barnabas, Acts 15. 2. 22. Iudas, Sylas, which were Pro­phets, Acts 15. 22. 23. The Apostles, all the Elders, and whole Church, Acts 15. 4. 6. 23. and 21. 18. 25. 2. By inspiration of the holy Ghost, and commaundement of God] as appeareth, Acts 15. 28. It seemed good to the ho­ly Ghost and to vs. Also Iames and the Elders, Acts 21. 18. that determined before one practise of conformity to Iewish Ceremonies, Acts 21. 25. By inspiration of the holy Ghost, Acts 15. 13. 28. did afterwards perswade Paul to another practise of conformity to Iewish Rites, Acts 21. 23. 24. And the things written and determined by the A­postles, euen concerning matters of order in the Church, are the commandements of God: 1. Cor. 14. 37. 3. Did practise themselues:] For Paul shaued himselfe, and made a vow, Act. 18. 18. Paul purified himselfe, contributed, and entred into the Temple, & declared the accomplishment of the dayes of the purification, vntill that an offering should bee offered for euery one of them. Acts 21. 24. 26. Paul vnto the Iew became as a Iew, to the men vnder the Law, as though he had been vnder the Law, 1. Cor. 9. 20. 4. And [Page 5] caused others to practise:] For Paul circumcised Timothy: Acts 16. 3. Paul took the men, and was purified with them, Acts 21. 24. 5. Aduised one another:] For Iames and the Elders perswaded Paul thus to conforme: Doe this that we say vnto thee, take them (the votaries) purifie thy selfe with them, contribute with them, that they may shaue their heads, Acts 21. 23. 24. 6. Enioyned or commanded the practise of Ceremonies:] For thus did the councell of Ieru­salem, They laide on them those necessary things, from which you shall doe well to keepe your selues, Acts 15. 28. 29. This constitution was called the Apostles and El­ders Decrees ordained by them: Acts 16. 4. Iames and the Elders say, Wee haue determined and written that they obserue no such things, but that they abstaine from bloud strangled, &c. Acts 21. 25. 7. To whole Churches] of diuers and farre distant Countries and Nations, namely to the Gentiles in Antiochia, Syria, Cilicia: Acts 15. 23. 8. As matters good and necessary in that case:] For it is sayde, it seemed good to the holy Ghost. These necessary things, Acts 5. 28. From which if you keepe your selues you shall do well, vers. 29. 9. And yet as euill and incon­uenient in sundry maine respects as they can imagine ours, namely in number] for they were diuers, namely circum­cision, Acts 16. 3. Shauing the head, Acts 18. 18. & 21. 24. Purifying, Acts 21. 24. 26. Vowing, Acts 18. 18. & 21. 23. Contributing, Acts 21. 24. Offering sacrifices for the per­sons purified, Acts 21. 23. Obseruation of the Iewish Sab­baoth, Acts 13. 14. 42. & 18. 4. & 17. 2. Abstaining from bloud, Acts 15. 29. Abstaining from strangled, Acts 15. 29 10. And in nature] for they are called by the holy Ghost, Needlesse shadowes, Col. 2. 20. Yokes not to bee borne, Acts 15. 10. Burthens, Acts 15. 28. Traditions burdening. Col. 2. 20. Ordinances of the world, Col. 2. 20. Commandements and doctrines of men, Col. 2. 22. Tur­ning from the truth, Tit. 1. 14, Voluntary religion or will worships, shewes of religion, Col. 2. 23. Impotent and beg­garly [Page 6] rudiments, Gal. 4. 9. 10. And for the further con­firmation of this member, looke the proofe of the next immediate reason proouing this first point. 11. In vse] First, for that they were most strictly pressed on the consci­ences of weake Christians by Iewish and contentious Bre­thren: for they were vrged ex necessitate salutis: Except ye bee circumcised after Moses maner yee cannot bee saued, Acts 15. 15. They would haue brought their consciences in bondage by them and yoaked them, Galat. 5. 1. 3. Acts 15. 10. They would haue condemned them for the not v­sing them, Col. 3. 16. Secondly, they were more dange­rously accounted necessary euen to saluation, Acts 15. 1. Thirdly, they were perniciously abused for confirmation of most false, hereticall, and impious doctrines, as much as euer our Ceremonies could bee, or were by the Papists; as namely, that men are iustified by the workes of the Law, Gal. 2. 14-15-16 and 5. 4. That euery Christian is bound strickly on his saluation to keepe the whole Law, Gal. 5. 3. That there is no hope of saluation without the vse of them, Acts 15. 1. That Christ the body was not yet come by con­tinuing the shadow, Col. 2. 16. 17. That they are to be con­demned who vse them not, Col. 2. 16. That the Kingdome of God standeth in them, Rom. 14. 17. Yea from Pauls preaching and practise it might bee argued by some, that a man may on occasion practise that, which practise he tea­cheth euery where against, Acts 21. 21. 23. 26. Fourthly, for the latitude and compasse of their spreading, it was both amongst them, neere and far from them euery where: Namely at Ierusalem, Acts 21. 17. 20. 21. Rome, Rom. 14. 2. 5. 17. Antioch, Acts 15. 23. Syria, Acts 15. 23. Cilicia, Acts 15. 23 Collossus, Col. 2. 16. 17. 20. 21. Creete, Tit. 11. 14. Derbe, Lystra, and Iconium, and those quarters, Acts 16. 1. 2. 3. 12. And euill effects,] For the vse and conti­nuance of them were the occasions of many pernicious ef­fects to such as abused them, which appeareth in this. First, they bondaged their Christian libertie, Gal. 4. 9. & 5. 1. 3. [Page 7] Secondly, they made Christ to profit them nothing, Gal. 5. 2. Thirdly, they made them to fall away from grace, Gal. 5. 4 Fourthly, they caused them to turne away from the truth, Tit. 1. 14. Galat. 2. 5. Fifthly, they hindered them from obeying the truth, Galat. 5. 7. Sixtly, they were occa­sion of condemnation to them as pressed them as necessa­rie Gal. 5. 10. Seuenthly, they leauenned the whole lumpe with sowernesse, Galat. 5. 9. Eightly, it occasioned Paul to feare least hee had bestowed his labour in vaine among his hearers Gal. 4. 10. 11. Ninthly, it occasioned Paul to wish them cut off which did disquiet the Church by them, Gal. 5. 12. Tenthly, they were occasion of Peters dissimulation, and Pauls iust reprouing of him, and were meanes to bring Barnabas, a man full of the holy Ghost, Acts 11. 24. and other Gentiles into their dissimulation, and to cause them not to goe the right way to the truth of the Gospell, Gal. 2. 11. 12. 14. Eleuenthly, they were fit meanes to put them besides their adoption and inheritance in heauen, Gal. 5. 10. 20. 21. 22. Lastly▪ they made as much stirre, strife, and con­tention among Brethren in the Church, yea much more then our Ceremonies haue done, if either wee respect the violence and bitternesse thereof, or the latitude and wide spreading of it in so many and farre distant Countries and Churches, Galat. 5. 10. 12. troubling and disquieting the Church. Act. 15. 24. 13. And for reasons equiuolent part­ly, and partly inferiour to the auoiding of depriuation:] For it appeareth that the Apostles vsed and inioyned the prac­tise of these Iewish inconuenient Ceremonies for these cau­ses. First, for the beleeuing Iewes, to keepe them from of­fence, being as yet zealous of the Law, and not rightly in­structed in the truth of the abrogation of the Legall Cere­monies by Christ, that they might not be occasioned to be drawne backe to Iudaisme, Acts 21. 20. 21. 24. For this cause hee circumcised Timothy, because of the Iewes, Acts 16. 1. 3. Secondly, for the vnbeleeuing Iewes, and that for two reasons. One reason was to winne them to the Gospell, [Page 8] 1. Cor. 9. 20. 21. 22. and to further their saluation, 1. Cor. 10. 32. 33. Another reason was to auoid the persecution of the froward and malicious Iewes, as also to redeeme the li­berty of his Ministry, and of the Gospell, which otherwise was like to be endangered, as fell out in the euent, Acts 21. 22. 27. 28. 30. 31. 32. Thirdly for necessitie, (for in that case they were necessary things, Act. 15. 28.) and expedient (for it seemed good to the holy Ghost, & in the practise of them in that case they did wel, Act. 15. 28. 29.) namely, to appease their bitter dissentions and vehement disputations in the Church, Acts 15. 2. 5. And to quiet the trouble and cum­ber of their mindes: as if one should say for the peace of the Church, Acts 15. 24. That thus the Churches might be established in the faith, and increase in number dayly, Acts 16. 4 5. As doubtlesse by Gods blessing ours would also doe, if either the Ceremonies might safely be remoued from the scandall of Papists, or if they were conformed vn­to by our depriued Brethren, till libertie of Ceremonies were granted by the Magistrate.

Out of this reason thus I argue;

If the Apostles by direction of the holy Ghost, and vp­on reasons of common and perpetuall equitie did practise themselues, and caused others to practise, yea aduised and inioyned (as matters good and necessary to be done) Cere­monies as inconuenient and euill in many maine and ma­teriall respects, as the Ceremonies inioyned and prescribed in our Church are supposed to be; then it followeth;

That to suffer depriuation for refusing to conforme to the ceremonies of our Church, is contrary to the doctrine and practise of the Apostles:

But the former is true as hath beene prooued:

Therefore the latter followeth also.

So much of the first reason, prouing that the doctrine & practise of suffering depriuation for refusing to conform to our prescribed Ceremonies, is contrary to the doctrine and practise of the Apostles, & so seemeth to be an error & a sin.

The second reason proouing this point is this: Because the same obiections in substance, and for the most part which are brought forth against our Ceremonies, to proue them simply and in nature sin, may be obiected and applied to the practise and doctrine of the Apostles, which was per­formed by direction of the holy Ghost, for those Iewish Ceremonies were Abridge­ment Lin­coln. fol. 17. 1. Humane inuentions:] for they left to be the commandements of God, and are called the tra­ditions, commandements and doctrines of men, Col. 2. 22. 21. 16. 17. Titus 1. 14. Ibid. 2. Of no necessary vse] seeing Christ was come which was the body, and they the shadow of things to come, Coloss, 2. 16. 17. Heb. 10. 1. And Paul taught euery where that the Iewish Ceremonies must bee left, Acts 21. 22. Ibid. 3. Abused to superstition:] for they were a­bused to the confirmation of most false and pernicious doc­trine, iustification by workes, Gal. 2. 3. 4. 12. 14. 15. 16. No saluation without them, Acts 15. 1. vt sup. Abrid. Lin­col. fol. 31. 4. Ceremonies significatiue, or of mystical signification:] Yea sacramentall Ceremonies indeed, and added to baptized persons,] For circumcision was a Sacrament, and all the Ceremonies of the Law were shadowes of things to come, Col. 2. 16. 17. Heb. 10. 1. Patternes, shadowes, similitudes of heauenly things, Heb. 8. 5. and 9. 23. The holy Ghost signified by them, Heb. 9. 8. And the signification of them, were inse­parable to the Iewes that beleeued not, as also to the weake beleeuing Iewes, who were not instructed throughly. Abrid. Lin­col. fol. 37. 5. Esteemed, imposed and obserued as parts of Gods wor­ship:] So they were by the Iewes esteemed, imposed, and obserued as necessary, Acts 15. 5. to saluation, Acts 15. 1. For which cause the zealous Iewes were violently offended with Paul, for teaching that Christians ought not to cir­cumcise their children, nor to liue after the legall customes, Acts 21. 21. 27. Yea, this argument might seeme to be pres­sed on the Apostles, who enioyned those burdensome Ce­remonies as good and necessarie, Acts 15. 28. 29. and conformed vnto them for their sake, and in the presence [Page 10] of such as did esteeme and hold them as worships of God, Acts 15, 1. 5. & 16. 3. & 21. 26. 44. 48. fol. 6. Swaruing from the generall rules and directions of the word for determining of Ceremonies,] not needfull or profitable to edification:] For how could Iewish ceremonies, which were antiquated, and either had no signification, being shadowes of things already come, or a false one, edifie the Church: nay, the euill doctrines which they established, and euill effects which they produced, serued rather to destroy, then to edi­fie the Church, yet their vse and yeelding serued to edifie by making way to the Churches peace, and furtherance of the Gospel. 44. 48. fol. 7 Not profitable for order:] For it had been most orderly to haue serued God by Legall Ceremonies vnder the Law, and Euangelical vnder the Gospel. It might seeme disorder to bring backe the Legall Ceremonies which were abolished, and to ioyne them with Gods worships in the Gospell: yet it was order to vse and practise them in that case, because it preuented the maine disorder and confusion that else might haue insued, namely discord of beleeuing Brethren, and suppressing of the Gospel. 44. 48. fol. 8 Not profitable for decency:] For what was more indecent, then for a Christian to vse idle, vnfruitfull, needlesse and beggarly ru­diments? For a Christian to bee shaued, circumcised, offer sacrifice, yet did this indecency vphold a higher decency, which was the establishment of faith, dayly increase of the number of Churches, Acts 16. 4. Which conformi­tie in our Ceremonies in the case of depriuation would also do. 45. 49. fol. 9. Offensiue many waies:] For first they might offend and grieue the beleeuing Gentiles, which neuer vsed them, and knew by the Apostles doctrine that they were to bee abolished, Acts 21. 21. Galat. 2. 3, 9, 12, 15. Secondly, they did so scandalize, and were such stumbling blockes to the beleeuing and weake Iewes, that they contended about them, as needfull to saluation, Acts 15. 15. And were violent against Paul in the defence of them, Acts 21. 21, 22, 27, 28. And ready to forsake the Christian faith about [Page 11] them, as perhaps some did. Thirdly, the hardned and vn­beleeuing Iewes might bee more hardened from Christia­nitie, and say, The Christian religion borroweth our Ceremonies, they decline and come backe to vs. Fourth­ly, the Apostles and the Church of God they were offen­ded, both in the violence of pressing the necessitie of these things by the Iewes, Acts 15. 24. As also in imposing that they did: For they were loath to lay any burthen, and the burthen that they layed was necessary for the state of the Church, Acts 15. 28. Besides they taught against the things they inioyned, that namely they ought not to bee vsed by Iewes and Gentiles, Acts 21. 21. Fiftly, to this we might adde, that they might tend, & in the euent did serue indeede, as meanes to infringe the Christian libertie:] For they were burdens, yokes, bondages, and opposite (as they were pressed by the Iewes) to the Christian libertie: Act. 15. 10, 28. Gal. 4. 9. 10. and 5. 1. yet the vse and practise of these things, by the direction of the Apostles, did procure the li­bertie of the Gospel, and the preaching thereof; like as con­formitie to our Ceremonies would doe to preuent or reco­uer the losse of their Ministery. To this adde againe, that those Ceremonies were very strictly inioined] by the Iewes as necessary to saluation: Act. 15. 1, 5. As ours are now; By the Apostles, as necessary for the peace of the Church, and freedome of the Gospel, Act. 15. 24, 28. and 21. 21, 27. In which respects the practise and conformitie to our Cere­monies may seeme necessary at this time for the appeasing of fraternall discord, and furtherance of the Gospel. And see­ing by the way these are the chiefest and maine arguments, which the depriued Ministers haue brought against the Ceremonies to proue them simply, and in their nature euil: let it be cōsidered by the iudicial & godly Reader, whether they might not vpon these grounds except against the Apo­stles prescription, and refuse the practise of those Iewish Ce­remonies, euen with the losse of ministry & interruption of the Church, as well as to suffer depriuatiō for refusing of the [Page 12] Ceremonies prescribed in the Church of England.

But from this point I argue thus;

Whatsoeuer Ceremonies are of humane inuention, of no necessary vse, abused to superstition, of misticall and spiritu­all signification; esteemed, imposed and obserued, as parts of Gods worship, swaruing from the generall rules of Gods word, not profitable for edification, order, or decencie, of fensiue many wayes to the godly, weake and wicked; in­fringing Christian libertie, strictly inioyned as necessary: such Ceremonies by the doctrine of the Ministers refusing conformitie, are simply and in nature euill, and could not be practised by any persons, no not the Apostles themselues, and that through the direction of the holy Ghost with­out sinne.

But the Iewish Ceremonies prescribed and practised, by the Apostles through direction of the holy Ghost, were of this nature and qualitie, in euery one of the points aboue named.

Therefore by the doctrine of the Ministers refusing con­formitie, in the case of depriuation, the Iewish Ceremonies prescribed and practised, by the Apostles through direction of the holy Ghost, were simply and in nature euill, and could not by them be practised without sinne. Or thus;

Whatsoeuer doctrine and practise, tendeth to accuse and condemne the inspired Apostles, in their inspired practise and doctrine, of teaching the practise, and of practising Ceremonies, in sundry maine respects, as vnlawfull as ours are pretended to bee, tendeth to accuse and condemne the Apostles, in their inspired practise and doctrine, for teach­ing and for practising things simply euill.

But this doeth the doctrine and practise, of suffering de­priuation, for refusing to conforme to our prescribed Ce­remonies.

Therefore the doctrine and practise of suffering depri­uation, for refusing to conforme to our Ceremonies, doeth directly tend to accuse the inspired Apostles, in their in­spired [Page 13] practise for teaching, and practising things simply euill. Whereupon I thus conclude;

Whatsoeuer doctrine or practise, doeth directly tend to accuse and condemne, the inspired Apostles for practising, teaching, and prescribing things simply euill, such doctrine and practise is erronious and sinnefull:

So doeth the practise and the doctrine, of suffering depri­uation, for refusing to conforme vpon the grounds al­leadged, as hath beene prooued:

Therefore the doctrine and practise, of suffering depri­uation, for refusing to conforme vnto our Ceremonies, is erronious and sinnefull.

To this that hath beene here alleadged, there are certaine obiections made by certaine godly, graue, and learned de­priued Ministers, which here I thinke fit to make answere vnto.

Obiection. The Apostles might doe many things, which wee may not doe, in respect of their immediate authoritie from God. Those cases were decreed by the holy Ghost, ours not so, they did it by the direction of the spirit: there is no propor­tion betweene their case and ours: they guided by the spirit, we not so. The Apostles could not erre, we subiect to error. It is no good consequent to say, they vsed such and such things, therefore we may: they had warrant for what they did, the holy Ghost gaue them warrant.

Answere. First it is to bee noted, that they who thus obiect against this reason, must needes relinquish the excuses and accusati­on of the Apostles, which others make for vsing the Iewish Ceremomnies vnlawfully: For the one affirming their practise to be vnlawfull, the other granting it to bee done by direction of the spirit, doe mistically ouerthrow one ano­ther, so that both cannot stand as true. This being obser­ued, I answere; First, if the Apostles were immediatly from God authorized, and did those things by direction of the holy Ghost, as vndoubtedly they did, wee may be the bol­der to immitate them in their practise, and in their doctrine, [Page 14] and in so doing wee shall not erre: For in so doing wee may say, wee doe no more about matters of Ceremonies, then the Apostles haue done before vs. It is a point wee wish the Church of Rome could say. Secondly, though wee may not immitate the Apostles in things peculiar to their office, persons and times: yet we may follow them, and are bound in conscience so to doe, in matters of common equitie and generall reason. For as the Apostles had warrant from the holy Ghost, so wee haue warrant from the example of the Apostles, and from the reasons, for which the holy Ghost mooued them to do those things. For the holy Ghost being euer the same, teacheth, and ruleth the Church by one and the same reason reuealed in his word, as well now as then. Now the Apostles in this case, did vrge the practise of these Ceremonies, not from their immediate authoritie from God, nor from inspiration onely of the holy Ghost: but by reasons and rules of common and perpetuall equitie, name­ly expediencie; It seemed good to the holy Ghost and vs, Acts 15. 28. and necessitie: these necessary things, Acts 15. 28. also to winne more, 1. Cor. 9. 19, 20, 21, 22. to further and propagate the Gospel, 1. Cor. 9. 23. By the which rules the holy Ghost doeth teach the Church, in the like cases of the Church, to follow the like example by the same generall rules: namely to practise the same Ceremonies in the like case, or other Ceremonies of like nature in other cases: no lesse then he doeth teach the Church to pray, and singin a language vnderstood from the generall rule of edi­fication. [Let all things in the Church be done to edificati­on] 1. Cor. 14. 12, 26. And for Prophets to speake one after another, not many at once: and for women to hold their peace in the Church, to auoyd confusion: from the gene­rall rule of order and honesty. [Let all things bee done honestly, and by order in the Church] 1. Cor. 14. 27, 30, 31, 34, 35, 40. Which may the rather appeare, because they be all cases of one nature, namely of order, and Cere­monie in the Church and worship of God, which I thinke [Page 15] a sufficient answere to this obiection.

Obiection. There is a great difference betweene the Ceremonies of the Church of England, and those prescribed by the Apo­stles, Master Parker of the Crosse. part 2. sect. 13. fol. 69. and at first ordained of God, and must haue honoura­ble buriall: for that our Ceremonies are farre worse in many respects and circumstances; As being Antichristian, more scandalous, more hurtfull, more dangerous, more strictly inioyned, then sometimes Gods commandements, these the inuentions of men, yea of Antichrist, &c. stubble and straw, or rather straw when they are at the best.

Answere. I know and grant there is a great difference, in many circumstances betweene the Iewish Ceremonies, and the Ceremonies of this our Church, but for answere I say; there is agreement betweene them, in the most part of those many things, whereby our Ceremonies are vrged and ac­cused to be simply euill and vnlawfull, as before appeareth, so that this obiection is nothing to the pointin question, or to giue direct answere to this argument. For my allegation of these things doeth confirme thus much: Namely that it is good and necessary to practise inconuenient, scandalous, and hurtfull Ceremonies in a case of superior reason, name­ly of procuring the Churches peace, and libertie of the Gospel and the like: which no man will deny, and I seeke no more. For admit these Ceremonies with vs in contro­uersie to be inconuenient, hurtfull, and scandalous more or lesse, it skilleth not, so long as they bee of no other nature, then those Iewish Ceremonies prescribed, and practised by the Apostles; (as hath beene prooued they are not) how will it be auoyded, but that in case of superior reason, as of auoyding depriuation of the Ministrie, they may lawfully, and needfully be practised, and that according to the minde of the holy Ghost, and the direction of the holy Scripture.

Obiection. But the Church of England, hath not the like causes and reasons, to prescribe and enioyne the present Ceremo­nies, as the Apostles had to prescribe the Iewish.

Answere. First, this obiection is nothing to the poynt in hand: [Page 16] For the question is heere, not whether our Church doth well to prescribe these Ceremonies: But whether such Ce­remonies being prescribed, as the Church conformed to by the Apostles decree in a case of necessitie, ought not to be conformed to by our depriued Ministers in a case of like or greater necessitie.

Secondly, But the Church of England in prescribing Preface to the book of com­mon Prayer, tit. Of Cere­monies. these Ceremonies, professeth a respect of winning and pro­fiting two sorts.

First, Some thinking it a matter of great conscience to depart from a piece of the least of their Ceremonies.

Secondly some new fangled would innouate all things, and despise the old, nothing liking them, but that which is new: therefore they thought it expedient to take away some such as were most apt to bee abused to superstition, and to retaine others: and in their practise they tooke away so ma­ny ceremonies, as time would serue quietly to doe it, the rest were reserued to keepe order, and quiet decipline in the Church. Which is further noted to King Edwards an­swere to the Deuonshire and Cornishe rebells: who being Ans. to 3. Artic. Act & monument. Papistes would haue the Masse in Lattine: To whom the King replyeth, that the good things in the Masse-bookes were onely translated into English for their sakes, onely the superstition taken out.

Obiect: The Apostles, Acts, 16. 3. and 18. 18. and 21. 26. Did vse the Iewish ceremonies voluntarily without compulsion of any superior authority or Law, to stoppe a scandal with the weake brethren of the Iewes. If therefore that be pressed for the vse of our ceremonies, it will proue a necessitie of vsing them out of the case of depriuation, aswell as in that extre­mity, and that a man must practise them voluntarily with­out any compulsion or hazard of Ministry.

Ans: First though the cases of the Apostles practise in Act. 16. 18. 23. were voluntarily performed, that is, without com­maund of any superior authority: yet the case of practise in Acts, 15. 28. 29. Was inioyned, decreed, and commanded: [Page 17] Acts, 16 4. and 21. 25. And that by the rule of necessitie, then which there can hardly be a greater argument of com­pulsion. Act. 15. 28.

Secondly, and besides the very cases alleadged were done by compulsion also of preuenting the Iewes offence: yea in a case of danger also of depriuation to the Apostles, if they had not conformed, as appeareth by the tumult made by the Iewes, Acts. 21. 27 28, 29, 30. Vpon a supposition of those Iewes that Paul taught non-confirmitie vnto the Iewish ceremonies. Verse 21. By the which tumult they raised, it came to passe, that Paul was indeed depriued from any free vse of his Apostleship in Iudea, til he came to Rome, as appeareth in the sequell of the history. And if there were no Law for depriuation of Ministers, yet if the execution of their office were in hazard, I doubt not but they should con­forme; for compulsion may aswell be vsed without Law, as with Law.

Obiect. Those ceremonies were practised but once or twice vp­on extraordinary occasions: But ours are vrged for a per­petuity, and vpon an ordinary and standing reason, and are like to continue without euer remoouing them.

Answ. Neither doeth this obiection come neere the poynt in hand: which prooueth that such ceremonies as ours are in themselues not simply euill, nor of noe other nature, then those ceremonies enioyned and practised by the Apostles; which therefore in a case of necessity may bee practised by vs, yet I answere. Touching the ceremonies practised by the Apostles.

1 First, it is true they were not alwayes by them practised but vpon certaine occasions: Howbeit they were alwayes practised by them, when they met with the same occasion of necessity, and would oftner haue practised them if by the like necessity they had beene driuen to it, which shewes the necessity of conforming to inconuenient ceremonies, in the case of depriuation.

2 Secondly, when the Apostles decreed the abstaining from [Page 18] blood and strangled, it was inioyned without limitation of time: whereupon a man might haue made this obiection vnto their decree, and say They are vrged for a perpetuitie, and vpon an ordinary and standing reason, namely of ne­cessity and fitnesse, and are not euer like to be remooued.

Thirdly also, some of the prescribed Iewish ceremonies endured longer in the Church, then on the sudden may be imagined: For it is obserued that Christians abstayned from blood and strangled, till the time of Tertullian, Origen, Whitaker de Ro. pon. cont. 4. quest. 7. fol. 832. 833. Syrill, Eusebius, Councell of Ganga, yea of Augustine, 400. yeeres after Christ.

2 Concerning our ceremonies▪ it is vntrue, that they are vrged for a perpetuity: for the preface of the com­mon prayer booke expresly saith of the ceremonies prescri­bed thus [they are retained for a discipline and order, which vpon iust causes may be altered and changed, and therefore not to be esteemed equall to Gods Law] And for the con­tinuance of practise of our ceremonies, I suppose noe sound Protestant will pleade for the necessity of their practise, or continuance, longer then the reason of necessity doeth hold.

Our case is rather to be matched with the time of Pauls re­fusing Obiect. part. M Parker 2. sect. 14. fol. 71 to circumcise Titus, and of his reproouing Peter for his dissimulation in cōforming to the Iewes, Ga. 2. 3. 11. 13.

Answ. This can by noe meanes hold, as appeareth, because Paul in a case of hazard of his Ministry, disquiet of the Church, and interruption of preaching the Gospell (which is our case) did circumcise Timothy, Acts 16. 3. But did vtterly refuse (as also all the Apo [...]tles at Ierusalem) to circumcise Titus: Aretius in act. 16. 3. fol. 75. Gualter in act. 16. hom. 106. fol. 149. Beza annotat. in Gal. 2. 5. Because they were vrged as necessary to saluation, Acts 15. 15. Because by them false brethren laboured to bring their Christian libertie into bondage, Gal. 2. 3. 4. Be­cause by that practise in that sense he should teach iustifica­tion by workes, Gal. 2. 14. 15. 16. This case sorteth there­fore to the Papists, who teach that God is worshipped by them; That a man is iustified by practising of them; That [Page 19] a man is bound in conscience to vse them, as hee is the pre­cepts of God: al which false doctrines are in so many words disclaimed, both by oath, doctrine, and confession of the Church, in the booke of the Articles of religion, as also in Artic. 11. 20. 34. the preface to the booke of common Prayer, where the su­perstitious vse of these Ceremonies is disclaimed, as also the opinion of Gods worship by them, and the reasons set downe of prescribing these, namely the quiet and decent order in the Church. And that the conueniency or agree­ment of our case with the Apostles conforming, (not with the Apostles refusing the Iewish Ceremonies) may the bet­ter appeare, I haue added these paralells, which I desire may be considered.

The Apostles and the Church of Ierusalem,The Church of England,
To auoid offence of weak and obstinate Iewes, and to winne them,To auoid offence of weak and obstinate Papists, and to winne them,
Prescribed and inioyned Ce­remonies abused super­stitiously.Prescribe and enioyne Cere­monies abused superstiti­ously.
Holden as the worships of God and needfull to saluation.Holden as the worships of God and needefull to saluation.
By the vnbeleeuing and weake Iewes.By the superstitious Papists popishly affected.
But not by the Apostles nor faithfull Christian.But not by any sincere Prote­stant, teachers, or people.

The members therefore of eyther Church, may and ought equally to conforme to either Ceremonies, in a case of necessitie, and of superiour reason.


The Apostles,The depriued Ministers,
In a case of superiour reason, as to further the Gospel, & to preuent the hindering of their preaching,In a case of superior reason, as to further the Gospell, to preuent their depriuation and suspension,
Conformed to Ceremonies many wayes inconuenient, abused superstitiously, and holden necessary by the Iewes.Ought to conforme to cere­monies, though many waies inconuenient in their opiniō, abused to superstitiō & hol­den necessary by the Papists.
Imposed by weakenesse and violence of the Iewes.Imposed and vrged (as they construe it) by weak Chri­stians, & authority threat­ning depriuation.

Obiect. Others perceiuing more force in this argument then some haue done, to presse them to the practise of our Cere­monies in the case of depriuation, and yet remaining pe­remptory in their former iudgement, doe answere it ano­ther way, thus: Answ. That Saint Paul did euill in vowing, sha­uing himselfe, contributing, offering sacrifice, circumci­sing Timothy, because they were Ceremonies of practise: But the Apostles constitution, Acts 15. 28, was onely of Ceremonies of omission, of like nature with our abstaining from flesh on fasting daies, not of the Crosse, or Surplesse.

They who thus reply haue had, I confesse, a light of this their answer from some Hier. apud August. Epist. 19. Hierom. Ep. 89. Gualt. in act. 23. hō. 138. fol. 248. Bullin. in act. 21. M. Parker of the Crosse, part. 2. sect. 14 fol. 70. learned men, which vsually haue their differences from others according to the reasons mo­uing them, who thus did censure Saint Paul in these acti­ons. Yet Gaulter and Bulling doe onely doubt of the place, Acts 21. not of the rest: but to this I say;

1 We may probably see how these repliers, if they had [Page 21] liued in these dayes would haue behaued themselues to­wards the holy Apostle, at least they would haue reproo­ued him, and condemned him for committing a sinne, and would by all meanes haue disliked his doings: yea they would haue cast off a thousand weake beleeuing and obsti­nate Iewes, and suffered depriuation of a thousand mini­stries, rather then to conforme to that, which the inspired Apostle Paul did submit himselfe vnto. But withall we may consider, whether authoritie in practise were rather to bee esteemed theirs, or Saint Pauls. And indeed it is a miserable shift, when no better answer can be framed to accuse the in­spired Apostles in their doings, because their practise will not stand with the reasons, which themselues haue framed or vndertaken to maintaine the suffering of depriuation for refusing to conforme. A very feeble answer, as I suppose, which will not stand, but by heauing at the pillars of the Church of Christ.

2 Though they accuse the Apostles for this conformity, yet the Scriptures doe not so, and it may seeme to much boldnesse to speake, especially in so dangerous a case, of lay­ing sin vnto the charge of such and so great persons, where the Holy Ghost is silent.

3 But this practise of S. Paul may be easily and strong­ly iustified.

1. Because he was aduised to this practise by Saint Iames, and the Church of Ierusalem, Acts 21. 18, 20, 21, 23, 24. Which persons inioyning other Iewish Ceremonies in the like case were directed and inspired by the holy Ghost in so doing, Acts 25. 28, 29.

2. Because the Holy Ghost seemeth to iustifie the reason of Paul in circumcising Timothy, not onely in not condem­ning him in his practises, but in approuing of his reason in so doing, Acts 16. 3. Paul circumcised him, because of the Iewes of those quarters. For (saith the holy Ghost in the text) they knew all that his Father was a Grecian.

3. Because Paul iustifieth this practise of his in those [Page 22] Scriptures of his Epistles, wherein vndoubtedly he did not erre, as the 1. Cor. 9. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. and 10. 13. and giueth a maine reason thereof; because by his practise hee would winne the more vnto the liking of the Gospel, and be a meanes of their saluation.

4 Because it cannot bee immagined, that Paul was ignorant if it were a sinne, for hee was at the Synod at Ieru­salem, Chap. 15. where circumcision & other Ceremonies were denied in other cases: and if he knew it to bee a sinne, it were strange hee should so many times fall into a relapse, Acts 16. 18. and 21. and obserue the Iewish Sabboth so continually, Acts 17. 8. and 18. 4. and 13. 14. 44.

5 Aretius giueth another reason, to iustifie this fact of Paul: Aretius in cap. act. 21. fol. 95. Antiocheia ecclesia bona parte constabat ex gentibus, itaque maior pars non erat offendenda in gratiam paucorum: Hic vero Ierosolymis maior pars, imo omnes Iudaei sunt quos Paulus debuit considerare. And of his iudgement are the best interpreters, namely, Augustine, Caluin, Beza, Aretius, Piscator, Gualter, Zanchius, Iunius, Bucanus; who with one consent doe hold these things indifferent; which indiffe­rent things should serue for the edification of the Church.

4 Touching the Apostles constituion, Acts 15. that it was of matter of omission, it maketh little to infring the practise of Saint Paul: Because,

1 They were Ceremonies of the Law aswell as the other.

2 They were significatiue one as well as the other.

3 They were abolished by the comming of Christ, as well one as the other: In which respect they were in their nature no lesse euill, though they might be lesse in conueni­ent then the Ceremonies, of practise in some respects. To this obiection I answere a little the more sharpely, because it sauours of a little to much insolence▪ and small regard vn-the holy Apostles of Christ: and I would shew the absurdity thereof; let the reader take the lesse offence thereat: And thus much of this point.

To the former argument let these Propositions following be added, and obserued.

1 A Man may lawfully for the edification of the Church, Proposition. and furtherance of Gods substanciall worshippes, and for the propagation of the Gospel. Acts 16. 3. 1. Cor. 9. 23. Practise and obserue such Ceremonies, which he preacheth euery where against, that men should not doe, Acts 21. 21. Neither hee himselfe in some other cases would doe. Gal. 2. 5. 11. 14.

2 Burdensome Ceremonies. Acts 15. 28. For the edifi­cation and peace of the Church, and vnitie of brethren. Acts 15. 2. 5. 24. May lawfully bee imposed and inioyned on Churches, euen by the minde of the holy Ghost. Acts 15. 28. 29.

3 Burdensome Ceremonies, and many wayes inconue­nient, may be necessary in some cases to be imposed on such Churches, as neuer obserued them before, Acts 15. 19. 28. and 21. 25.

4 It may bee expedient for Minsters, in a case of superior reason, to procure greater good vnto the Church, and to auoyd greater mischiefe, to perswad others. Acts 21. 18. 23. 24. And to be perswaded by others to conforme, Acts 21. 26. to such Ceremonies, as in many respects are fit to bee preached against, Acts 21. 21. as burdensome traditions, Acts 15. 28. Col. 2. 20. impotent and beggarly rudiments, Gal. 4. 9. and occasions of sundry euill effects, Vt supra.

5 It may bee expedient and necessary, for a Minister or other Christian in the like cases of superior reason, to practise the like Ceremonies voluntarily, of his owne free accord, not being enioyned or commanded by authoritie there vnto. Acts 16. 3. and 18. 18. 1. Cor. 9. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. and 10. 33.

6 Those Ministers and people doe well, Actes 15. 29. and according to the will of God, and minde of the holy Ghost, Acts 15. 28. who in a like case of necessitie, and fur­therance [Page 24] of the Gospel, 1. Cor. 9. 23. do practise the like Ce­remonies, being enioyned them by authoritie, Acts 15. 28. and 16. 4. and 21. 25.

7 Paul to redeeme his Ministrie, and to gaine liberty to the Gospel, to adde soules vnto the Church, and to winne the more vnto Christ, Acts 16. 3. and 21. 20. 21. 1. Cor. 9. 20. 21. 23. might as well and lawfully haue worne a linnen Ephod, or a linnen Surplesse, as well as to haue purified, and shaued himselfe, vowed, circumcised Timothy, or to haue ioyned in offering sacrifice.

8 Paul might as well haue vsed the signe of the Crosse, to a baptized person, in a case of depriuation, or of redeem­ing the Gospels libertie, or of winning vnto Christ, as to haue vsed the signe of circumcision, to a baptized person, as hee did to Timothy. Acts 16. 3. And thus much of this ar­gument, being the first member of the maine reason.

Argu. 2 Now I proceede to the second member of the first reason, which is this, Reason 1 [Because the doctrine, and practise of suffe­ring depriuation, is against the grounds of Gods word] whereupon I conclude, that such doctrine and practise, is an error and a sinne.

The grounds of Gods word, which are contraried by this doctrine and practise, are two in number, and they doe Minister two arguments, which I will prosecute in order by the helpe of God. The first ground is this;

When two workes, or deuties commanded of God, doe meete in one practise, so as we cannot doe them both, but one of them must of necessitie be done, the other of necessi­tie must be left vndone, in this case the worke or dutie of greater reason, must be performed, and that of lesser reason must bee neglected and omitted, and it is a sinne to neglect the greater to performe the lesser: Out of which ground I assume:

But the doctrine and practise, of suffering depriuation, for refusing to conforme, doth cause men to neglect greater duties, to performe the lesser.

Therefore the doctrine and practise of suffering depriua­tion for refusing to conforme to our prescribed ceremo­nies is an errour and a sinne.

For the confirmation of this argument there are two poynts to be prooued.

1 That it is contrary to Gods word, and therefore a sinne to passe by a greater worke or duety to performe a lesser.

2 That to suffer depriuation for refusing to conforme vnto the ceremones prescribed in our Church, is to passe by a greater worke or duety to performe a lesser; whereupon the former conclusion must follow of necessity.

Touching the former poynt, namely that it is contrary to Gods word and therefore a sinne to passe by a greater worke or duety to performe a lesser: The which poynt al­though it be in it selfe euident, and must needs bee graun­ted by euery sound diuine, yet for illustration sake I make more manifest by these reasons.

Reason 1 First, because the will of God is such, then when mer­cy (a greater duety) and sacrifice (a lesser duety) doe meete, so as both at the same time cannot bee done, mercy must be done, and sacrifice left vndone. Mat. 12. 4. 7. I will haue mercy and not sacrifice.

2 Because hypocrites are reprooued of God for passing by greater dueties to performe lesser: thus were the Scribes and Pharises reprooued by our Sauiour, for letting passe the weightier matters of the Law, and following the smal­ler: As strayning at a gnat, and swallowing of a Cammell, Mat. 23. 23. 24. Luke 11. 42. For vrging sacrifice of cere­moniall dueties, and for omitting and reproouing mercy, Mat. 12. 7. Luke 13. 14. 15. 16. For offering sacrifices and oblations with the neglect of parents, Matthew 15. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

3 Because the Godly are excused, and approued of God for passing by smaller dueties to performe greater: thus were excused and reprooued.

First, the Priests of the Law for breaking the Sabboths ce­remoniall, and strict rest by sacrificing and other businesse to performe Gods Publique worship (a greater duety) & are pronounced blamelesse therein. Mat. 12. 5.

Secondly: Dauid for eating shew-bread (not lawfully for him to doe) in a case of necessity, hee and they who were with him, were acquitted as innocent and blamelesse. Mat. 12. 3. 4.

Thirdly, the Apostles of Christ, for plucking, rubbing, and eating the eares of corne, so violating the Sabbaths strict and Ceremoniall rest (a lesser duety) to satisfie hunger, the necessity of nature (a greater and morrall duety) were called innocent. Mat. 12. 2. 3. 4.

Fourthly, Iesus Christ preferring the healing of the sicke a greater duety, before the strict keeping the Ceremoniall rest a lesser duty, and commanding a kind of seruile labour viz. the carying home of a bed in some case vnlawfull. Io. 5. 8. 9. proueth it not onely by a peculiar reason, proper vnto himselfe, that hee is Lord of the Sabbath, and there­fore might ouerrule in this case. Mat. 12. 8. But euen by reasons of Common equity, namely; First because it is lawfull, (by not strictly keeping ceremoniall rest) to doe (morrally) well on the Sabbath day, omitting sacrifice to doe mercy. Mat. 11. 12.

Secondly, because the end is superior to the meanes: for the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, Mar. 2. 27.

4 Fourthly, because it is contrary to the inspired examples in the Scripture, which are of common equity and reason, and to the practise of the faithfull Saints of God, namely (besides the forenamed examples of the Priests, of the A­postles, of Dauid, of our Sauiour) first of Salomon, who in a case of necessity, did offer vpon another Altar then the Altar appointed for the worship of God: because it was not able to receiue the offrings. 2. Chro. 7. 7. but was to little for that end. 1. King. 8. 64. Whereas they were to offer [Page 27] sacrifice, and to burne incense vpon one onely Altar in the Temple. 2. King. 23. 12. It being a Type of Christ, the on­ly sacrifice and mediator. Heb. 13. 10. 2. of Hezekias, who to set forward the mayne and substantiall worships of God did admit of many to the Passeouer, albeit they were not ceremonially sanctified, but legally vncleane: and did not receiue the same as it was written in the Law, nor according to the purification of the Sanctuary; yet with a true heart seeking the Lord, they were accepted, namely in a case of superiour reason. 2. Chron. 30. 17. 18. 19. 20. Thirdly of Paul who to saue his life (a greater duety) did with his owne hands cast away into the Sea the good creatures of God, which otherwise should haue beene preserued, and so for that cause neglected a lesser duety, Act. 27. 30. Fourthly, of the inspired Apostles of Christ, who (as before is noted) did practise on themselues: Act. 21. 26. and vpon others: Acts 16. 3. and did aduise: Act. 21. 23. 24. yea ordaine, inioyne, and command the practise of Iewish ceremonies, as circumcision, shauing, purifying, abstayning from blood, and strangled meate, and that as a duty good and necessary, Act. 15. 28. which to auoide, and not to vse was a duety re­quired of God: which to vse and practise in other cases was reprooued by the holy Ghost: Acts 15. 10. and 21. 21. Gal. 4. 9. 10. 11. and 2. 12. 13. 14 and 5. 2. 3. 4. Colo. 2. 20. 21. 22. 23. and were needlesse shadowes, Col. 2. 20. Ordinances of the world. Col. 2. 20. Commandements of men turning from the trueth Col. 2. 12. Titus 1. 14. Impotent and beg­garly rudiments, Gal. 4. 9. 10. And of sundry perillous, and perniciouse effects: yet this they did admit (albeit the vio­lation of a duety) to doe a greater duety of superior reason, namely, to procure the vnity of brethren: Act. 15. 2. 4. 6. 7. 24. The wyninng of strangers to the faith: 1. Cor. 9. 19 20. And to propagate the Gospell. 1. Cor. 9. 23. To preuent the scandall of weake beleeuers, Act. 16. 3. and 21. 20. And the danger of interruption or depriuation of the Ministery, by the violent Iewes persecution, Act. 21. 12. 24. 27. 28. Thus [Page 28] is the first point confirmed; to the which doctrine sundrie godly learned men, euen so many as I haue reade of this point, doe also consent both in the same words and proofes. viz. vid. Caluin: in Mat. 12. 1. 3 fol. 260. Vrsin. cat. part. 3. fol. 707. im­mediat. ante praecept. 1. impress. Cantabridg: anno. 1585. Piscator in Mat 12. 1. 2. 3. in analisi. fol. 190. & in ob­seruat. ad eun­dem locum. fol. 205. 106. 107 Idem in obseruat. in Mat. 9. 13. fol. 156. Idem. in obser. ad Mat. 15. 3. 4. 5. 6. fol. 243. Polan. syntagm. Theolog. lib. 9 c. 29 fol. 4077. 4078. Martyn in summula. verbi dei cap. 2. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. fol. 47. 48. de-calo­go. Mr. Per­kins vol. 1. of his workes treatise of conscience Cap. 2. fol. 520. Yet to this poynt or proposition howsoeuer firme it bee in it selfe, as hath appeared, and is approoued by the best diuines, yet some obiections haue beene layd against it, which I will heere set downe.

Ob. Where it is sayd in the former proposition [when two dueties doe meete at one time] it is obiected that they can­not bee dueties both at once. For if they were both dueties they would both bind, and so a man must needes commit a sinne, seeing hee is straitned betweene two dueties, and must omit the one, this therefore is not well proposed.

Ans. The mentioning of these two duties meeting together at one time in our practise doeth not intend that they doe both of them bynd the conscience at the same instant, but they are called dueties as they are considered apart; being both workes are commanded of God in two seuerall com­mandements: Which two workes being dueties considered apart, doe sometimes offer themselues to our practise at one instant; As to heare a Sermon at the Church on the Sab­both, and to tend a sicke person ready to die at home at the sametime, both are duties being cōsidred apart, but meeting together, and offering themselues to our practise at one time, there is indeede but one duety, because both cannot be performed in one instant; In which case the greater worke is the duety, the lesser bindes not for that present: In like case for a minister to refuse inconuenient ceremonies, albeit it be a duty being cōsidered apart from the duty of preaching the word; yet when it meeteth with the duty of preaching, so as preaching the word will not stand with refusing inconueni­ent ceremonies, this refusing of ceremonies bindeth not the cōscience, but leaueth to be a duty. There are not two duties at that instant, but only one, which is to preach the word of God: In which case the refusing of inconuenient Ceremo­nies is no duety, neither is their practise a sinne, yea the [Page 29] practise of them is a duety, if otherwise they cannot preach the Word; this obiection therefore needeth not.

Obiection. The doctrine included in that point or proposition is not true [because there may be a greater duetie neglected for the performance of a lesser] which may then be done, when the performance of the lesser keepeth him frō sin, as for exam­ple: A Preacher enioyned to preach naked, ought to neglect preaching. Besides it is contrary to the rule of the Apo­stle, Rom. 3. 8. The least euil must not be done, that the grea­test good may be performed. For when I cannot doe it with­out sinne, it is no duety, and therefore you should propose the matter thus; It is necessary to performe a lesser sinne for to performe a duety that is greater.

Answere. First, the doctrine of the proposition remaineth true notwithstanding this obiection. For the case is proposed not of a sinne and a duetie, but of two dueties being con­sidered a part, being both commanded of God, and there is no such case wherein a greater duetie is to bee neglected for the performance of a lesser, which also is in reason absurd.

Secondly, to the instance of preaching in a naked man­ner I say, that in this case there are two things to bee con­sidered: Necessitie, and Decency: if then he cannot preach naked but with the perill of his life, he ought to refuse prea­ching, it being a case of necessity, and mercy is better then sacrifice. But if his life will consist with his naked prea­ching, hee ought to preach notwithstanding the scandall or indecencie, if there bee no other meanes admitted for his preaching.

1 Because a mans naked body, being considered as it is naked, it is the good creature of God, and is not indecent to be looked on but to vncleane and vaine mindes, it is decent enough to the pure.

2 Because the gayning of soules and meanes of mans saluation, is a duety of farre greater reason and waight, then the auoyding of an inconuenient circumstance of scandall, [Page 30] or of seeming indecencie, arising only by accident, not from the nature of the obiect: and the like case is of the practise of our Ceremonies to redeeme the libertie of preaching, to the place. Rom. 3. 8. which sheweth that we may not doe the least euill to compasse the greatest good: I say, that to the present purpose wee may consider euill two manner of wayes.

For first, euill is either that which is formally simply, and in nature euill, which no circumstance can amend: As to redeeme preaching vpon condition of blaspheming God, Inuocating the Deuill, committing of idolatry, periury, idultery, teaching of heresie, or the like, the which kind of euill, is intended by the Apostle, and may not bee done at any hand for the gayning of the greatest good.

2 Againe, euill may bee taken for that which is onely circumstantially, ceremonially or accidentally euill: which kind of euill may in some cases bee practised without sinne, namely, in case of superior reason, at what time it is impro­perly called euill. That this is so, appeareth in the Priests, who brake the Sabbath: in Dauid, who did that which was not lawfull for him to doe, and yet were blamelesse and in­nocent. Mat. 12. 4 5. 7. Also in the practise of Iewish in­conuenient, and many wayes euill Ceremonies, which pra­ctise was so farre from being euill in that case, that it was good and necessary. Act. 15. 28. 29. touching this obiection see more at the end of the argument.

Obiect. Mordecay refused to bow, and performe the gesture of reuerence to Haman, yea though hee were commanded by the King. Hest. 3. 1, 2, 3. by which refusall of obedience to a ceremoniall, hee violated two greater dueties: One was the Kings command: and the other was the hazard of his life, and destruction of the Church of the Iewes, and thereby for performance of a lesser duetie hee did violate a greater.

Answ. Either this gesture was Spirituall or Ciuill: if the former, hee ought to auoide spirituall adoration to a creature, an [Page 31] heathen, a wicked person, an Amalekite, and an enemy of the Church, which is a sufficient and the true answere, and thus doe all interpreters vnderstand this place: thus the Hebrew glosse, thus the Apocryphall prayer in the additi­ons to Hester, Lyra, Ʋataplus, Iunius, Drusius, Merlyne vpon these places. If the latter, either his action was euill or good; if euill in disobeying the Magistrate in a thing indif­ferent, it is impertinently alledged: if well the reason is vn­knowne and not expressed, wee cannot iudge of the qua­litie of the dueties compared, if he did refuse this reuerence.

1 Because hee was of the Amalekites, which were especially cast out by God. Exod. 11. 14. Deut. 25. 7. Num. 24. 7.

2 Because an open prophane person, a malitious and professed aduersary of Gods Church.

3 Because himselfe was a better man then Haman, be­ing the Queenes Vncle, it may bee considerable, whether hee did not well, euen in this respect to refuse this reuerence. Touching the hazard of his life, and ruine of the Church it was vnknowne to Mordecai; for Haman practised it be­cause he did refuse it.

Obiect. Daniel neglected a greater duety to performe a lesser, for hee continued to pray three times a day, kneeling vpon his knees, his window being open towards Ierusalem, not­withstanding that he knew that he should die for doing it: so hee preferred the ceremonie and circumstance of prayer which was a smaller duetie, before the safety of his life which was a greater: Dan. 6. 10. Also the Iewes chose ra­ther to die then to eate Swines flesh. 2. Mac. 7. 1. and 6. 8. preferring obseruance of a ceremoniall duetie before their life.

Answ. To these instances I first demaund whether these bee brought therefore to conclude, that therefore Ministers should rather die, then to vse the Ceremonies prescribed in our Church. And let it bee considered seriously by eue­ry person truely fearing God: whether they thinke it fit for [Page 32] another, or could resolue himselfe to loose this life by be­ing at a stake for none other cause, then for refusing the pre­scribed Ceremonies, especially in a true Church of Christ, wherein there are otherwise a true confession of faith, and sufficient meanes of their saluation. If it should fall out that they would not die in such a case, I would know further, how then they could loose their Ministery for not vsing them, seeing it were better for a Minister to loose his life, then to loose the comfort of his Ministerie, Act. 20. 24. 1. Cor. 9. 15. If they would rather suffer death then vse the Ceremonies, let them shew the ground and comfort they should haue before the Lord in this proceeding. If they al­leadge these instances, I wil shew to how small purpose they serue therein: therefore I say, that their cases doe farre differ from the case in question.

First, they were controuersies depending betweene the heathen and professed enemies of Gods Church, and be­tweene the people of Gods couenant and members of the Church: our controuersies are in the Church, and betweene professed louers and beleeuers in Christ.

Secondly, they were cases of confession, wherein they were called to confesse the trueth and religion of God a­mongst Gods enemies, as also the necessitie of inuocation of Gods name, and of obedience to Gods precepts: With vs the doctrine of Ceremonies is true, and according to Gods word, and the parts of our generall confession in the Booke of Articles is agreeable to the word of God.

Thirdly, the dueties were of exceeding great moment, for the performance whereof they should haue hazarded and lost many liues. Daniel stood in obedience of a maine substantiall duetie (not Ceremoniall or circumstantiall) of the first commandement, namely prayer to God, and pray­sing of his name: for which a man should rather die then intermit for the pleasure of any mortall man: and the cere­monie of his praying toward Ierusalem in farre distant place, was such as specially did exercise his faith, and to [Page 33] which the promise of audience was tyed, 2. Chron. 6. 34. The Iewes refusing the eating of Swines flesh, did confesse the whole religion of God and faith of the Church, and totall obedience to all Gods Commandements, which was that which Antiochus did aime at, as appeareth, 2. Mac. 6. 2. 7. and 18. 24. and 7. 1. 2. 4.

Lastly, to both cases, the meere commandement of a Ma­gistrate and an idolater, was opposed to the especiall com­mandement of God, Dan. 6. 7. 9. 10. 2. Mac. 7. 30. In which respect God must of necessitie bee obeyed before man, Act. 5. 29. There being no such materiall circumstance in the case in question, whereby it also appeareth, that they did not neglect a greater dutie to performe a lesser, but passed by an inferior dutie to performe a farre greater. And thus much of obiections to the first point, which being answe­red, I proceede vnto the second point which is this:

That to suffer depriuation for refusing to conforme, is the neglecting of a greater duetie to performe the lesser.

For the proofe and clearing this point, two trueths must be confirmed:

The first that two duties, both commanded of God, doe offer themselues in the questioned case to bee obserued: where one of the two cannot be done, and therefore must be left vndone: The former dutie is to preach the word, the which duety is commanded to all the Ministers of Christ, Mat. 28. 19. 20. 2. Tim. 4. 2. 1. Pet. 5. 1. 2. 1. Cor. 9. 16. and is included in the second Commandement: Now this duety cannot bee done with vs ordinarily, as things doe stand, if Ministers doe not conforme: for by order they are to be de­priued of their Ministery, as very many wee see haue beene. Lincol. Apo. arg. 1. against the ceremo­nies: Except. 2 fol. 17. & arg. 4 excep. 2. fol. 45. 49.

The other duty, is to refuse Ceremonies, as they pretend, incōuenient in their vse, though in their nature indifferent, which is commanded in the second cōmandement, Ez. 14. 7, as also to auoid occasions of superstition. And to preuent sundry offences, and other inconueniences, arising from the [Page 34] vse of things in different commanded, 1. Thes. 5. 21. Iude verse 23. 1. Cor. 10. 32. and 8. 9. 12. Rom. 14. 3. 4. 10. 15. 16. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. The which deuties, in respect of di­uerse and sundry persons, which will take offence in the vse of them, cannot be well performed, if Ministers doe con­forme vnto the Ceremonies.

The second point is this, that for a Minister to continue in preaching, is a greater deutie of superior reason, and of higher bond to tye the conscience, then the dutie of la­bouring vnto fit Ceremonies, or of refusing inconuenient Ceremonies, such as ours are presumed to be. And this ap­peareth by reasons, drawne first from their nature, and secondly, from their effects.

First, from the nature of either worke or dutie: it is manifest that the dutie of preaching, is a duty of farre greater moment, then the dutie of performing fit Cere­monies, or of refusing inconuenient Ceremonies, such as they pretend ours are, or the like. First, because the dutie of preaching the Gospel, is a matter simply good in nature, but the refusing of such Ceremonies as ours are, supposing them to be inconuenient, or the practise of other Ceremo­nies in their steede supposing them to bee more fit, is a la­bouring about matters in their nature simply indifferent, as before is manifest, and after appeareth further, so that in this case there is a refusall, of a thing simply good, as preach­ing of the word, and propagation of the Gospel. Secondly, because the dutie of preaching the Gospel, is a substantiall externall worship of God: the dutie of vsing fit Ceremo­nies, or of refusing vnfit (so they be not impious) is a matter ceremoniall, and circumstantiall: For the Ceremonies are but circumstances, tending to the better performance of the substantiall worshippes, and doe serue those substantiall worships of God: that is, they must be so ordered, as they may best serue to edifie, and further the substantiall wor­ships of God, and meanes of edification. Wherefore to o­mit preaching, is the violation of a dutie substantiall, the [Page 35] conforming to inconuenient Ceremonies, is but the viola­ting of a dutie circumstantiall. It is better suffering an vn­toward handmaide in the house, then by thrusting out the handmaide, to thrust the mistresse out of dores. Thirdly, be­cause preaching the word is a dutie particularly comman­ded in the word: but the dutie of the practise of fit Cere­monies, or of refusing the practise of vnfit (so they bee not simply and in nature euill) is included onely vnder generall rules of necessitie, of edification, expediencie, &c. Fourthly, because the dutie of preaching is pressed on the Church, as a dutie perpetuall to the worlds end, Matth. 28. 19. 20. till we all meete, Ephes. 4. 11. 12. till the appearing of Christ. 1. Tim. 6. 14. But the performance of Ceremonies are va­riable, as appeareth by the frequent and lawfull variation of them: as in the chang of the time of the Lords supper from night to morning abolishing of the kisse of loue: and of the feast of charitie; sometimes in some Church Ceremonies burdensome and scandalous are needefully imposed and practised as Iewish rites by the Apostles: sometimes in o­ther Churches, others more needfull and they pernitious, Galath. 2. 3. 5. and 4. 9. 10. and 5. 2. Colloss. 2. 20. 21. Besides all Churches differ in their Ceremonies one from another, and that in such like Ceremonies as ours are: The Primitiue from the reformed, and all among them­selues, some vsing more, others lesse conuenientrites and ceremonies. But the preaching of the Gospel, which giueth life and being to the Church, is perpetuall and vniforme for the substance thereof in all true Churches of all times and places; They all agree therein. Fifth­ly, Because the preaching of the Word, is an essentiall and inseparable marke of the true Church, without the which a Church cannot consist, fit ceremonies are no marke of the Church, neither doe vnfit and inconueni­ent ouerthrow the being thereof: and to this I adde that by continuance of preaching (by which the Church is ga­thered and vpholden) the danger of the ceremonies, what­soeuer [Page 36] it would be preuented and auoyded by the purity of doctrine: but the purity of ceremonies, or the refusing incō ­uenient ceremonies will not counteruaile the losse of prea­ching. Corrupt ceremonies deface the wals, & perhaps may in time impaire some part of the out house: But the nullity of preaching ouerthroweth the whole Church, walls, co­uering, ornament, foundation, and all.

Sixthly, Because the preaching of Gods Word is the or­dinary meanes of new birth, faith, hope, and of all grace, and finall saluation, 1. Cor. 1. 21. 1. Tim. 4. 16. Rom. 10. 15. 17. Eph. 4. 12. Fit Ceremonies are no such meanes, neither do vnfit Ceremonies destroy the power & efficacy thereof.

Seuenthly, Because the dutie of preaching is simply ne­cessary, both in respect of Gods particular command, and also in respect of the preacher, who is attended with a woe if he neglect, 1. Cor. 9. 16. Hos. 4. 6. and in respect of the people who are ordinarily by this meanes gathered, edified and saued, Ephes. 4. 11, 12, 1. Cor. 1. 21, and doe perish if they haue it not, Prou. 29. 18, Hos. 4. 6. But the vsing of conuenient Ceremonies is not simply necessarie, one­ly secundum quid, for the sake of preaching to further and vphold it, in which respect scandelous and dangerous cere­monies may be necessary to be inioyned and practised, Act. 15. 28. 29. And with inconuenient and hurtful Ceremonies, a Church may be a true church (as the Apostolical Church of Antioch was, as the most part of primitiue churches were, and of reformed Churches vsing far worse ceremonies then ours are pretended to be:) Also a Christian may haue the being of a true Christian, & may so remaine standing in the true practise of faith, repentance, loue, patience, &c. and in the assurance of his election, adoption, iustification, and in that state may finally be saued, albeit hee liue and die in the practise of as euill ceremonies as ours are supposed; who if he should continue without the meanes of preaching, the Word might haue great cause to doubt of all.

Eightly, Because of their subordination, for Ceremo­nies [Page 37] (as before is noted) and the determination of them doe serue the ordinance of preaching the Word, and are by the Church to be determined, as may best serue for the fur­therance thereof, so they be not formally & in their nature impious, in which respects (as before is said) it may be expe­dient to admit of very inconuenient, and accidentally hurt­full Ceremonies namely for the furtherance of the Gospel, & edification of the church: Else the Apostles by direction of the holy Ghost, sinned in their doctrine and practise. But the ordinance of preaching doth at no time serue fit Cere­monies, neither should giue place by laboring against vnfit.

Thus from the nature, now from their effects it doth in like sort appeare, that the duty of preaching tieth the con­science with a farre greater bond, then the duty of refu­sing of the prescribed Ceremonies. First on the better part: The benefit of preaching the Word is incomparably grea­ter, then the benefit of auoyding these or the like inconue­nient Ceremonies. By the preaching of the Word, the Church hath name and being, yea, though Ceremonies, as is noted, be very inconuenient, and doe remaine in the Church as timber, hay, and stuble vpon Christ the founda­tion: Ceremonies be they euer so well ordered without preaching, are of no force to giue name or being to the Church. Now farre greater is the Churches being, the progresse and liberty of the Gospell, the publike vse of the meanes of new birth, faith and saluation, and the visibility of Christ his kingdome vpon earth, then the auoyding of offence, and such other inconueniences accidentall, not in­herent, neither purposed by Ceremonies in their nature not euill, but meerely indifferent: the one bringing a publike good to the whole Church, the inconuenience of the o­ther but priuate to a few, who take offence, and in this case by their owne default. Besides experience sheweth, how God hath prospered multitudes of latter times, that haue entred by conformitie in euery place, and such who stan­ding in their places haue with a grounded conscience, not [Page 38] by sinister respects conformed to preuent their depriuati­on, or to redeeme it being lost: The Lord hath done as much good by them, as by any Minister depriued, by the conuersion, confirmation, consolation, reclamation, exci­tation, edification, I say not refusing Ceremonies, speaking against Bishops, pleading for Church discipline, but in the maine doctrines and duties of sauing grace and goodnesse: Gods blessing hath beene on them as much as euer before, the Papists and enemies of righteousnesse haue beene no lesse vexed and conuinced; yea Saints no lesse comforted and confirmed; the Church no lesse fortified, and the truth of the Gospell no lesse propagated if not much more. And the reason hereof is plaine: because experience sheweth, that the Church is not builded vp, but destroied rather, afflicted consciences nothing quieted, but troubled rather, doubtful mindes not setled, but distracted rather, zealous mindes not rectified but disordered rather, Papists and Brownists not wonne or conuinced▪ but rather driuen further backe by the doctrine, practise, & endlesse disputations of discipline, ceremonies, constitution of Churches, and the like: but by the sound doctrine & essentiall practise of repentance from dead works, faith in Christ, loue, patience, and good works, which sauing points of the mistery of godlinesse are more taught and better practised by simple hearts, when the stumbling blockes of these lesse pertinent questions (as Mint and Cummin in respect of Mercy and Iudgement) are remoued, or more sparingly and peaceably debated.

Secondly, on the worser part: The mischiefe, offence, and inconuenience of the Ministers depriuation, for not conforming to the Ceremonies, seemeth in reason, and hath appeared in experience, to bee more by many degrees, then the scandall, and inconueniences arising of confor­ming to redeeming of their preaching, which thing ap­peareth;

First, because the Papistes doe more reioyce, the Godly are much more grieued, the Libertines doe much more tri­umph, [Page 39] and so are like to doe (as they haue all more cause) to behold the Gospel interrupted, the trueth obscured, the Church weakened, the Ministers of God throwne out, the flocke of Christ scattered, and the visible kingdome of Christ diuided and dessolued, then they would be to behold some inconuenient Ceremonies: these greater things of the law remaining entire, whereby Antichrist and sinne is dayly discouered and wasted; and by the which trueth and pietie, doe more encrease and preuaile. Admit that by inconuenient Ceremonies, the Church should bee blemish­ed, and the consciences of many scandalized: yet in de­priuation of teachers, without supply of as good, the Church of God tendeth to dessolution, and vtter ruine: yea the soules of all the people are endangered to perish. Prouerb. 29. 18. Hos. 4. 6. Math. 15. 14. For without the preaching of the worde, there is no publique ordinary meanes of saluation left: and so by consequence no ordina­ry meanes of the hope of saluation, though all both Mi­nister and people, should abstaine from these inconuenient Ceremonies: Wheras so long as the word and Gospel preached doeth remaine, Christ the foundation doeth re­maine, both in sound and doctrine, 1. Cor. 3. 11. Ephe. 2. 20. as also in assured presence, Matth. 18. 20. and 28. 20. the infinite value of whose blood clenseth from all sin, 1. Ioh. 1. 7. and 5, 12, howsoeuer the stubble of corrupt doctrine, & Ceremonies do remaine withall, and so the Church, both Minister, and people retaining and laying hold, on the foundation may bee saued, though as by fire, 1. Cor. 3. 15.

Secondly, experience teacheth vs, what a decay of grace, and backe sliding of many most forward professors of re­ligion, what increase of Popery, and all prophanenesse in euery corner of the Land, and euen in sundry of the places, where the depriued Ministers were placed, haue ensued this their suffering of themselues, to be thus put besides their Ministrie. And being thus depriued, what good haue they done vnto the Church? Or what good vse haue they im­ployed [Page 40] their talent, in more then to some few priuate fami­lies, wherein some of them haue beene exercised? Verily in sundry others, especially the younger and more vnstaied sort, especially of them which draw neere the brincke of Brownisme, it hath falne out, that after the losse and lea­uing their Ministrie, small other fruite hath happened in them, then to make the Churches rent the wider, to speake euill, and scoffe at persons in authoritie, which had more neede to haue beene prayed for in these dangerous times: to breede distraction in the hearts of the people, to vilifie their Godly breathren, which haue submitted themselues to conformitie, to swell in scorne and pride against them, and to prepare the mindes of vnstable persons, of tender consciences, and shallow knowledge to schisme and sepe­ration, and in the meane time, to neglect the maine dueties of true Godlinesse, as meekenes, mercie, tender heartednes, patience, visiting the sicke, comforting the feeble minded, instructing the ignorant, chatechising children, perswading of Papists to the trueth, reproouing raigning sinnes in wise­dome, loue, and meekenesse: conference of godlines to edifi­cation, prouoking to loue, to good workes, painefull labou­ring in some honest trade of life, to preuent the eating of the bread of idlenesse: which I write not in reproach, but in so­bernesse, and tender hearted greife, declaring that which I haue seene not in a few. And further to this end, it may be profitably noted, what degrees of grace doe appeare in such as are violently carried this way: surely it is common­ly seene, that the more eager people are against the Ceremo­nies, and for reformed discipline, their zeale is so exercised, and their affections carried to things without them, as that they finde small leasure to looke into Gods kingdome with­in them: their tongues, pennes, practise are carried this way together with their hearts, so that they commonly neglect mercy, iudgement, fidelitie, and loue of God, mortification of sinne, moderation of affections, holy guidance of the tongue, fruites of loue, and conscience in [Page 41] their walking before men, and are brought at last so neere vnto their practise, who were taxed by our Sauiour that they can hardly escape their reproofe, viz. To straine at a Gnat, and swallow a Cammell. Let the Brownists and such as draw neere vnto them, witnesse for themselues, both in their owne practise and report of faithfull witnesses, and in the dismall proceedings of such fierie spirits, whom Arianisme, Familisme, Anabaptisme, Libertisme, or plaine prophanenesse haue swallowed and vndone at last. For it is a true maxime in Theologie, That when men bestowe more zeale vpon circumstantialls or ceremoni­alls, matter right or wrong, one way or another, for them or against them, then they doe vpon substantialls, they are vndoubtedly setled in the high way to hypocri­sie. Lastly, this poynt will the rather appeare by the enumeration of sundrie inconueniences, which are by some alleadged to arise from the prescribed Ceremonies, and comparing of those euills, with the euill or inconueni­ences, which would arise from the generall doctrine and practise of suffering Depriuation, by refusing to conforme.

Obiect. The prescribed Ceremonies, doe blemish the worships of God, viz. the Word, the Sacraments, and the pure ad­ministration of them.

Answ. But Depriuation of all preaching Ministers ouerthrow­eth them quite: Vtrum horum?

Obiect. The continuing in the practise of these Ceremonies, will be occasion of future superstition.

Answ. They will much more so doe, when all preaching is ta­ken away, which should teach the people the true nature of them.

Obiect. It is most expedient to reduce the Church from humane mixtures & burdens, to Apostolicall simplicitie and purity.

Answ. But if it be not in the power of priuate persons, shall we all giue ouer, and let all alone, & the whole Church fall downe on the ground, because we cannot doe all the good that we would?

Obiect. The Ceremonies prescribed, doe hinder the true know­ledge of Christ, and sincere worships of God, and the maine duetie of godlinesse: the mindes of ignorant people being led aside by these, so that they put religion, and Gods worship in them.

Answ. How much more will the knowledge of Christ be obscu­red, the sincere worship of God, and duties of pietie bee neglected, and these Ceremonies turned into will worship, if the generall preaching of the Word (which is our directi­on) should be interrupted.

Obiect. These Ceremonies, are vailes and shadowes to couer Antichrist, and the mysterie of iniquitie, from the eyes of the people, that they cannot so well discerne, detest, and flee from Popery, as is enioyned by Gods expresse Com­mandement.

Answ. Generall depriuation of Preachers, is the high way, not so much to hide, as to bring in Antichrist againe, with all his abhominations.

Obiect. The Ceremonies doe disgrace our Church, and hinder the growth thereof.

Answ. Generall suffering of depriuation, kills the Church, and ouerthroweth not the growth and grace, but the life and being thereof.

Obiect. The continuing of Ceremonies, doeth take away all hope of future reformation.

Answ. The discontinuing of Preaching, doeth take away the hope of the continuing of the Gospell, yea the ordinarie meanes, of the hope of our saluation.

Obiect. The Ceremonies doe take from many good christians a great part of the comfort of their consciences in the seruice of God.

Answ. Suffring depriuation, taketh away the ordinary meanes of saluation and bringeth a greater discomfort in the place.

Obiect. The Papists, & other enemies of godlines & religion wil reioyce greatly, to seevs conforme, and draw neere to them.

Answ. But will they not more reioyce to see you depriued: and [Page 43] being emptied of Preachers, will they not thinke the places fitter for their Masse-priests?

Obiect. The Papists by those Ceremonies are shrouded, are con­firmed by them in superstition, are occasioned by them to commit superstition, they kindle in them, an hope of letting Popery in againe.

Answ. All these things are tenne times more effected by generall depriuation of the Word.

Obiect. Very many godly mindes, are vexed and grieued in their consciences, at the Ceremonies in the Church, much more if their Pastors doe conforme.

Answ. But will they not be much more troubled and grieued to be vtterly depriued of them?

Obiect. It wil be very inconuenient for the Minister to conforme in many respects.

Answ. And in many more, it will bee inconuenient for him to suffer depriuation, to loose the comfort of his labour, to bid farewell to his deere neighbours, and hearers, to bee tur­ned with his wife and children, from his house and meanes of liuing, into silence, contempt, and beggery. Thus is this second point confirmed, viz. that the duty of preaching the Word, is a greater dutie, tying the conscience with a greater band, then the dutie of refusing to conforme, or the like. These two points therefore being thus confirmed it follow­eth: That for a Minister to suffer himselfe to be depriued of his Ministery for refusing to conforme to the prescribed Ce­remonies, is contrary to Gods word, and so an error in do­ctrine, and sinne in practise.

Now I will answere the obiections, which are brought a­gainst this poynt.

Obiect. The Ceremonies prescribed in our Church, are vnlaw­full, as they are prooued by sundry reasons, by the depriued Ministers: therefore wee may not conforme vnto them, but rather suffer depriuation: for wee may not doe euill, that good may come thereof, Rom. 3. 8.

Answ. If it should be granted which they cōtend for: It followeth [Page 44] Answ. not, that because they be vnlawfull in some respect, there­fore they may or bee conformed vnto: because a man may doe that which is vnlawfull in some respect and yet not sinne against God, as appearth by these instances out of Scripture. A man may breake the Sabboth (It is our Sa­uiours phrase) in some respects, and yet be blamelesse before God, Mat. 12. 5. A man may doe that in some case, which by Gods Law is not lawfull for him (as our Sauiour Christ speaketh) to doe, and yet bee innocent, Matth. 12. 3. A man may in some cases performe some circumstances in a substantiall worship of God, not as it is written, and yet performe that worship in Gods acceptation, and with his blessing, 2. Chron. 30. 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26. A man may in some case practise lawfully and necessarily, Act. 15. 19, 20. such Ceremonies, which in some other cases to practise were impotent and beggarly rudiments, Gal. 4. 9. will worships, traditions, commandements, and doctrines of men, Collos. 2. 20, 21, 22, 23. and in many maine re­spects, euill and vnlawfull. Againe, vnto the Apostles say­ing, I further say, that a man may bee sayde to doe some euill to doe some good. Which answere will appeare out of the sayde places; For to breake the Sabboth was e­uill, yet to breake the Sabboth in some duetie, to further a greater duetie in Gods worship, which was good, made the Priests blamelesse. To doe a thing not lawfull was e­uill, yet to preserue life, which is good, made Dauid in­nocent before God. To performe Gods worship not as it was written, was [...], and a sinne: yet to further Gods substantiall worships, which was a good thing, was not re­garded of God. To practise antiquated, and superannua­ted, vnprofitable, yea very hurtfull Ceremonies was vn­lawfull: yet to purchase the libertie of the Gospell, and vnitie of brethren, which was good, made their pra­ctise good and necessary. So that this rule of the A­postle must bee limited, and in some cases holdeth not: for that as wee see a man may bee sayde to doe [Page 45] some euill, that some greater good may come thereof; the reason whereof is included in the foregoing argu­ment, the summe whereof is this; Because the relin­quishing of obedience to a lesser duty leaueth to be a sinne, when a greater duety commeth in place, which yet were e­uill if the greater duety were absent. As for example, to violate sacrifice, (namely to breake the Sabbath by rubbing eares of corne: to eate that which is expresly forbidden him of God, and so to doe a thing not lawfull) is noe sinne, when mercy and necessity comes in place, which if mercy or o­ther superior worke and duety were away, were sinne. In a word a man may doe a thing euill in vse, circumstance, and by accident, so it be not simply and in nature euill: al­so a man may violate a duety ceremoniall to further or ac­complish a morrall good thing, in which case the euill of the action ceaseth, and this was the Apostles in the practise of the Iewish ceremonies. Obiect. But the ceremonies prescribed in our Church are not onely euill in the vse or inconueni­ent, but are in their nature simply euill, especially in their vse, as appeareth by the reasons made against them in sun­dry writings of the depriued Ministers. Ergo by noe meanes may they bee conformed vnto, to procure the grea­test good.

An. 1 The reasons alleadged by the depriued Ministers to prooue these ceremonies to be simply euill are very weake, and friuolous, because (as it is noted in the first argument) they al of them, or the most part be applied to the Iewish ce­remonies practised & enioyned by the inspired Apostles, and therefore either the practise and prescription of such cere­monies in a case of necessity leaueth to bee a sinne, or else the Apostles must be accused for practising of such things as were simply a sinne: and it is not in Apostolicall power to make a matter simply and in nature sinne to be noe sinne at all.

2 Howsoeuer these ceremonies bee now iudged in their nature simply euill by the depriued Ministers, yet they were [Page 46] neuer so iudged of in the church of christ in any age or place by any sound teacher, or wel grounded Christian, & the most curious sights among them that most stand for reducing of the Church to the primitiue purity in discipline & ceremo­nies that euer looked on them in these dayes, though they wished them to bee abolished, as being many wayes incon­uenient, yet they iudged of them in their nature as things indifferent, not onely as they are considered in themselues, but as they are in vse with vs. Thus iudged they of a surplesse or linnen garment in the worship of God.

In a surplesse there is no impious thing per se, noe not Bucer. in the vse of it. Script. Anglican fol. 79. Hoopero.

These garments are not impure of themselues speaking also of their vse. idem in his Epistle to Io. Alasco.

In the English litargie there is nulla manifesta impietas. Epist Caluin. P. Martyr. 200. fol. 336. Per se sunt [...]; these garments are of themselues indifferent. Loc. com. fol. 1085. amico cuidam.

The vse of them not impious or pernitious per sese, aut sua natura verbo dei contrariae. ibidem. 1086. Hoopero.

These garments are not per se impiae impious of them­selues, that a Minister should rather leaue his Ministry then Beza. vse them. Epist. 12. fol 98. I graunt them to bee in­different, being considered in themselues.

It is adiaphoron natura, in the vse a matter indif­ferent in nature. Enchirid. Tit. 1. de Adiaph. Clas. 3. cap. 16. Hemingius. fol. 375.

It is liberum per se, a free matter of it selfe to vse or not Zanchius. to vse. de redempt. lib. 1. cap. 16. fol. 445. yea magis deceret vestis linea quam lanea.

It is an indifferent thing. Lo. 33. Quaest. 13. fol. 382. Bucan.

It is a thing indifferent in vse, in Ezech. cap. 44. fol. 807. Polanus.

The surplesse in the owne nature indifferent, meaning Cartwright in the vse, for hee perswaded to the vse, in the case of de­priuation. Rest. of the second reply. fol. 262.

Thus also iudged they of the Crosse in Baptisme, and of [Page 47] kneeling at Communion, & the rest, which afterward shalbe alleadged. The reasons prouing this poynt are these.

1 Because they are neither expresly Commaunded nor forbidden of God. Bucanus vbi superius, this rule also of a thing indifferent hath Polanus Syntag. lib. 6. cap. 38. fol. 3036. Paraeus Colleg. 2. cap. 31. sect. 15. fol. 274. Illyricus claue Scriptur. fol. 22. part. 1. Adiap. And are distinguished from things simply good, which are ex­pressely Commaunded, from things simply euill which are expressely forbidden of God, being in their na­ture neither morrally good or euill, neither Comman­ded nor forbidden of God, and by accident may bee both good and euill. Exerc. part inter. Thes. fol. 826.

Obiection. Beza contra Sarauiam cap. 25. fol. 200. saith indifferent things I call which are neither expressely nor secretly Commaunded, nor forbidden by the word, neither maketh vs the better being vsed, nor the worse if wee vse them not. But our ceremonies are forbidden in the word in generall, and in particular in our vse. Ergo.

Answere. So may be said of the Iewish ceremonies rather then of ours: both they and these are in nature indifferent not im­pious, and in the case of depriuation or necessity are not forbidden any way, but commaunded rather: because wee must vse indifferent things for the furtherance of the Churches edification, and not refuse them, (though they seeme to vs inconuenient,) to the Churches destruction; And as for Beza with all other sound writers, that are of other mindes concerning our ceremonies they hold them in their nature indifferent, and not forbidden in the word, especially in our vse, and in the case of simple necessity.

2 Because in some cases a man may vse them and not sinne: which, a thing in nature euil, he can neuer vse, but he shal in­cuitably sin: of this nature are Idolatry, adultery, blasphemy, periury: which sins no circumstance can euer amend. Beza cont: Saraui. cap. 25. fol. 199. Indifferentia sunt, quorum vsus modo bonus, modo illicitus prout viz bene vel male illis vtitur, quae [Page 48] naturam habeant neque ad bonum neque ad malum determi­natam.

3 Because in some respects, and in some vse they may bee good: a thing in nature euill, can neuer bee put to any profitable vse: Peter Martyr saith, Adiaphoris bene vel male vti possumus: L. Clas. 4. cap. 4. fol. 707.

4 Because in some respects and in the same vse they may bee good and necessary, as the Iewish rites were in the A­postles practise.

5 Because they are of the same nature with the Iewish rites, practised by the Apostles. Of this opinion is Peter Martyr Loc: cum. inter Epist. fol. 1087. Zanchius in Philip. 1. fol. 45. Polanus in Ezech. 44. fol. 807. which ceremonies by the streame of all sound writers are holden as indifferent in nature in the case wherein they vsed them.

6 Because a man vsing them all the dayes of his life, as they are prescribed in our Church, and that without repen­tance, for such vse of them, may still remaine a godly and good man, and presupposing him otherwise to walke in holinesse, may in that estate bee saued, whereas one sinne in nature, as to liue in fornication, 1. Cor. 6. 9. 10. Being con­tinued in especially if it should bee pleaded for, and defended, Mat. 5. 9. Cannot stand with his saluation. So Bucer. script. Anglican. 1458. Martyr inter Episto. fol. 1085. Amico cuidam. Aretius sayth that indifferent things are such as are in equall respect to good and to bad, Prob. cap. 83. de Adiaph. fol. 266.

7 Because if they were in nature euill, a godly person could not communicate with a good conscience with our Church (which doth prescribe and practise them, and re­moueth them not being admonished) neither in the Mini­stery or any worship of God. Bucer Epist. Io. Alasco. Martyr. fol 1086. Hoopero.

8 Because all such as haue continued in the vse of them, and defended, the same might be iudged impiouse and wic­ked, such as are the Martyrs and other worthy persons of [Page 49] our Church, and other Churches also: yea the Apostles and all faithfull teachers and Churches since their time should be condemned; yea it might bee taught as a doc­trine, that such as vse them with continuance, or main­taining them, could not be saued, which I suppose none of the Ministers which are depriued will iustifie, Martyr. fol. 1086. Hoopero.

3 Simply euill may be taken for any thing particularly for­bidden of God, or the omission of a thing particularly commanded of God: sundry things of which kind, though in themselues considered are euill, may bee done lawfully for a superior good, and in that case doe leaue to be simply euill, as to doe seuile labour on the Sabbaoth day, to eate such bread as God had forbidden to the persons which did eate thereof, to come, or admit commers in a legall vnsanctified estate to the Sacraments, and the like, which shall bee after mentioned more fully: therefore to this purpose I distinguish of euill (as before) which may bee two wayes considered: either for that which is intrinsi­cally, formally, and in the nature thereof euill, not onely because God hath forbidden it, or commaunded the con­trary, which kinde of euill is immutabiliter malum, as mur­ther, periury, adultery, &c. Being against the immutabili­tie of Gods nature, no circumstance can make them good, though by circumstances they may bee lessened or made greater: of this nature our Ceremonies are not, neither can they bee euills of this kinde; or else euill is taken for that, which being indifferent in nature, yet by accident is euill, namely in vse, when offence will be taken there­at, by diuers persons in diuers respects, or rather incon­ueniences will arise, which were euill therefore to vse, if it lay in mans power to refuse them: Againe, for that which being particularly forbidden of God in his Word, is therefore vnlawfull to doe.

The euill of both which latter kinde may by circum­stances bee amended, and the practise thereof may leaue [Page 50] to be a sinne, namely in a case of superiour reason, when a dutie of greater band doth tie the conscience; which that it may be the better manifested, we may obserue two points.

First the degrees; Secondly, the subordination of duties commanded in the Law of God. Consider first, that there are degrees of duties of both Tables of the Law, which ap­peareth in reason: for there are duties substantiall, and du­ties circumstantiall. Substantiall duties are both internall of the first Table, as loue, knowledge, feare, and confi­dence in God: of the second Table, as loue, reuerence, pa­tience, kindnesse, compassion, iustice, &c. Substantiall externall also of the first Table, standeth in the maine wor­ships of inuocation, preaching, and hearing of the Word, receiuing of the Scraments, lawfull swearing, &c. Of the second Table, as outward reuerence, obedience, helpe, and tribute to superiours, kindnesse and thankfulnesse shewed to equalls, almes, reward, correction, and instruction to in­feriours: The circumstantiall duties of either Table are ex­ternall circumstances, actions, or Ceremonies, for the more orderly, fit, and decent performance of the substantialls: as obseruation of fit time, as either night or day, and this or that houre, in either place publike or priuate, site of bo­dy, as sitting, standing, kneeling, high or low, singing, saying, and the like. The which degrees, and differences of duties are thus distinguished vnto vs by the holy Ghost himselfe, who hath taught vs to seuer the loue of God, a substantiall of the first Table, and iudgement, mercy, fide­litie, substantialls of the second Table, from the tithing of mint, cummin, annisse, rue, and all manner of hearbes, a ceremoniall Law, which yet was a duty being comman­ded, and must be done, calling the one sort of duties, the weightier matters of the Law, Matthew 12. 23. Luk. 11. 43. separating them by that title, from the other which must be lesse weightie, or (as they called) the lesser com­mandement, Matthew 25. 19. Calling the one mercy, the other sacrifice, Matthew 12. 7. the one, the knowledge of [Page 51] God, the other burnt offerings, Hosea 6. 6. the one Gods kingdome, the other not so, Rom. 14. 17. betweene the which he teacheth vs to put as much difference, as betweene a Cammell, and a Gnat, Matth. 23. 23. 24. himselfe ac­cepting the former without the latter, Marke 16. 15. 16. but not the latter without the former: tying the promise of saluation simply to the greatest, but not to the inferiour without the greater. Consider that there is a subordination of these duties of the Law (whereof there are these forena­med degrees) as namely, that the greater duties, such as haue in them greatest reason and band, doe tye the consci­ence, doe ouerrule the lesser, and command obedience with the neglect of the other for that present, when they meete together. So as the neglect of the lesser leaueth to bee a sinne, for the performance of the greater: as the neglect of obeysance to a noble man, or inferiour person is no of­fence in presence of a King: and this subordination is ge­nerall to all the duties of the Law, except the supremest of all other, then which there is none higher; as the highest duties vnto God, feare, loue, confidence, repentance, which must neuer be commanded & ouerruled by other duties inferior, whatsoeuer they be: and the reason is, because the supremacy of God, and the immediate proximity betweene these duties and God: which also in respect of the immutable nature, & attributes of God, which must leaue to be God, and deny his titles of iustice, of mercy, goodnesse, truth, &c. if hee should dispence with them. Now the truth of this subordi­nation I wil in order manifest in 4. propositions following.

First, the substantiall duties of the first Table, doe ouer­rule Propos. 1. the substantialls of the second Table. Loue of Christ (a substantiall of the first Table) ouerruleth the loue of parents, of wife, children, friendes, brethren, substan­tialls of the second Table, Matthew 10. 37. yea so farre must the one yeeld vnto the other, that for the loues sake of Christ, the loue of parents must bee turned into hate, Luke 14. 26. 33. and tokens thereof, Deut. 13. 6. 7. 8. [Page 52] 9, 13, Psalme 139. 21. 22. 2. Chronicles 19. 2. Obedi­ence to good meeting, the obedience to the Magistrate o­uerruleth it, Acts 4. 19. and 15. 29. This was the case of the three children, of Daniel praying, and of the Iewes refusing Swines flesh: who disobeyed the Magi­strate to obey GOD, and neglected life, a substanti­all of the second Table, to professe GODS trueth, and to refuse Idolatrie, substantialls of the first Ta­ble.

2 Secondly, The substantialls of the second Table, doe ouerrule the ceremonialls of the first Table: so to su­staine nature in prouiding and eating corporall food, mee­ting with the strict ceremoniall rest of the Iewish Sab­baoth, the one a substantiall of the second Table, the other a ceremoniall appendix to the first Table, the for­mer ouerrules the latter: in which case GOD sayth, I will haue mercy and not sacrifice, Matthew 12. 47. Also workes of necessitie, implying seruile labour, as the car­rying whom of a bed, Iohn 5. 8. 9, 10, mercie to a man sicke and diseased, Matthew 12. 10. 12, 13, Luke 13. 14. 15, 16, mercie to a beast to saue his life, Matthew 12. 11. 12, to giue him necessaries, Luke 14. 5. 6, and 13, 15, meeting at the same time with a ceremoniall obseruation of the Sabbaoth, though commaunded in the Law, and a dutie, Exodus 20. 10. and 31, 15, 16, and 35. 3. The former ouerrules the latter, by the reason yeelded by our Sauiour, That the Sabbaoth was made for man, and not man for the Sabbaoth, Mark. 2. 27, and it is lawfull (though violating ceremoniall rest) to doe morrally well vpon the Sabbaoth, Matthew 12. 12, for in these cases God will haue mercy and not sacrifice.

3 Thirdly, the substantials of the second table, of greater rea­son do ouerule the substantialls of the second table of lesser reason. Thus it is a duty of Magistrates to put wilfull mur­therers to death Gen. 9. 6. Exo. 21. 12. 14. Leuit. 24. 17. Deut. 19. 11. 12. 13. Num. 35. 16, without recompence or dispen­sation, [Page 53] Numb. 35. 31. 32. the not executing of which law draweth on the whole land, the heauy plagues of God, Numb. 35. 33. Deut. 21. 8. 9. And this was a substantiall dutie of the second table, yet this dutie is ouer ruled by a case of necessitie: for the safetie of the policie of the king­dome and state of the Church, (so Ioab the wilfull murde­rer of Abner, 2. Sam. 3. 27. of Amasa, 2. Sam. 12. 10. and that in the time of peace, 1. Kin. 2. 5. and of Vriah, 2. Sa. 11. 16. 17. is suffered to liue all the time of King Dauid, viz. be­cause he was (being Captaine of the host) too hard for him, 2. Sam. 3. 39. which implyed the safetie of himselfe, and of all the whole state, which was a substantiall of the second table, of greater reason then the other: neither is Dauid re­prooued, or the land plagued for this thing: neither was it repented, because it was no sinne in him, to passe by lesser worke commanded for the performance, of a worke of greater reason. Againe it is a breach of a substantiall dutie of the second table, Exo. 10. 14. and euen of the law of nature, for ab initio non fuit sic, Mar. 10. 6. 7. 8. 9. Math. 19. 8. for the Magestrate or the Church, Mat. 19. 3. 4. 8. Mar. 10. 6. 7. 8. 9. to command, Deut. 24. 1. 2. Mar. 10. 3. 5. Mat. 19. 7. or to permit Matth. 19. 8. husbands to put away their wiues for euery cause, Matth. 19. 3. as namely for some filthynesse espied in them, Deut. 24. 1. yet this did Moses to preuent the breach of an higher precept: namely many grieuious inconueni­ences in the whole policie of the Iewes, arising from the ob­stinacie and cruelty of an obdurate people, such as were the Iewes. In which respect, Moses is not reproued for this thing by our Sauiour Christ, and that from the reason, for which Moses did permit this inconuenient precept, which was the hardnesse of the Iewish nations heart, Matth. 19. 8. Marke 10. 5. Also it is not lawfull, for it is not good, to cast away the good creatures of God, which may serue for the life of man, but they must bee preserued that nothing bee lost, Matthew 15. 26. Iohn 6. 12. 13. yet in a case of necessitie to preserue life, and preuent violent death, a substantiall of the second table of greater reason, [Page 54] Paul and the rest of his company which were in the Ship, with him in danger of Shipwracke, did lawfully cast with their owne handes the tackling, and the wheate out of the Ship into the Sea, where it was spoiled and destroyed. Acts 27. 19. 38.

4 Fourthly and lastly, the substantials of the first table, doe ouerrule the ceremonials of the first table, which in­cludeth the case in question. It was vnlawfull in the law for the Priestes to admit, or for the people to come vnto the Sacraments, otherwise then as it was written, though the failing was but a ceremoniall matter: yet so did the people come, and the Priestes admit the people in the time of Hezekias, that the substantiall worship of God in the Passeouer should not bee hindred: In which respect God layed not the breach of dutie to the charge of such as sought God in that Sacraments with their whole heart, 2. Chron. 33. 18. 19. 20. likewise the substantiall worships of God, requiring paines and labour of body, such as the sacrifice of the law, and other businesse to be done vp­on the Sabboth, meeting the precept of bodily rest vpon the Sabboth, by which practise the Sabboth in respect of the rest is broken, Mat. 5. 12. yet in respect of performance of the superior and substantiall worships, they were blame­lesse for breaking the Sabboth in the ceremoniall rest there­of. The vnlawfulnesse of Iewish Ceremonies, in many respects hath before appeared: whereby was violated a cere­moniall circumstantiall dutie of the first Table: which yet the Apostles we see did practise to further the substanti­als thereof, namely the libertie of the Gospel, and edificati­on, and peace of the Church of God. By all which instances wee may see this conclusion prooued: A matter euill by it selfe alone considered, leaueth to be euill when a superior dutie commeth in place to ouerrule it, whereby we may in­ferre, that admitting the Ceremonies prescribed to bee euill in some sence, yet in performance of a superior worke, as to continue in preaching of the worke they leaue to bee a sinne. Because the dutie of refusing of such like Ceremonies, [Page 55] is a subordinate dutie to the practising of the word by preaching, the one being a dutie circumstantiall, the other an externall dutie substantiall.

Obiection. To conforme to these Ceremonies prescribed, is the vi­olation of a negatiue precept, now negatiue precepts doe bind ad semper, and as Master Perkins saith, (Golden Chaine. cap. 19.) they bind at all times, and to all times: The affir­matiue bindeth at all times but not to all times: A negatiue is broken by acting or doing a thing forbidden: an affirma­tiue is broken by omitting some dutie positiuely comman­ded, as for example; I may for a time omit preaching or prayer, I am not bound continually to vse them, but haue houres of omission: But no sinne of adultery, bowing to an idoll, murther, swearing, prophaning of the Sabboth, so neither of conforming to forbidden Ceremonies. The negatiues are these; Thou shalt not make to thy selfe any similitudes, Exodus 20. 4. giue no offence to the Church 1. Cor. 10. 32. vse not the fashions of idolaters, Leuit. 19. 27. 28. wherefore we may not neglect the refusing of Cere­monies to redeeme our dutie of preaching.

Answere. 1 This rule is not rightly conceiued, for Master Perkins saith not, that all negatiues doe alway bind, and in all cases, so that in no case, they may at any time be violated, but on­ly addeth, that negatiues are of more force then affirma­tiues, which indeede is trew.

Also this rule is not generally true: for these precepts were negatiue, which yet were violated, none but Priestes must eare sheaw bread: let none of the people eate thereof [not lawfull but onely for Priestes, Matth. 12. 4.] yet Dauid did lawfully violate it, and they that were with him out of standing reason, I will haue mercie not sacrifice, Matthew 12. 7. thou shalt doe no worke, Exodus 20. 10. yet the Priestes brake this and are blamelesse: the Apostles violate it and are innocent by the former reason, I will haue mercie and not sacrifice, Matthew 12. 1. 2. 5. 7. In the the like case men doe lawfully feede and saue the life of [Page 56] their cattle, Mat. 12. 11. 12. Lu. 14. 5. 6. and 13. 15. seruile labour is vsed as carrying of a bead, Ioh. 5. 8. 9. 10. cast not bread to whelpes, Matth. 15. 26. let nothing of Gods good creatures be lost, Ioh. 6. 12. 13. yet Paul and his company doe lawfully cast away the goods in the Ship, to saue their liues, Acts 27. 19. 38. Let no murtherer liue▪ let not thine eye spare a man hating and killing his neighbour, Deut. 19. 11. 12. 13. Num. 35. 30. 31. 32. 33. yet Dauid suffered Ioab the murtherer of Amasa, Abner, Vriah all his dayes, vp­on this ground hee was to hard for Dauid, 2. Samuel 3. 39. till after his death, 1. Kings 2. 5. 6. neither was Dauid reprooued, or the land plagued as it was threatned, Numb. 35. 33. Deut. 21. thou shalt not kill, Exodus 20. 13. no not in heart or intention, Matthew 5. 21. 22. yet Abra­ham sinned not, but is commended and rewarded of God, for purposing and setling himselfe to kill his onely sonne, Genesis 22. 11. 16. grant no diuorce betweene man and wife for euery cause, not for light cause, Ab initio non fuit sic. Matthew 19. 8. yet Moses is not blamed for permit­ting or commanding such a bill, Matthew 19. 8. Deut. 24. 1. 2. but is iustified, because hee did it for the hardnesse of their hearts, Matthew 19. 8. Marke 10. 5. Let none bee vncircumcised after eight dayes, Genesis 8. 11. 12. 13. yet for fortie yeeres there was not one circumcised, Ios. 5. 5. 6. 7. 9. let none legally vnsanctified be admitted to the Passe­ouer, 2. Chron. 30. 18. Matth. 7. 6. yet in case of necessitie some were admitted and approued of God, being internally sanctified, 2. Chro. 30. 19. 20. hate not father, mother, bro­ther, sister, wife, life, Exodus. 21. 17. Pro. 20. 20. yet when Christ calleth vs to shew our loue to him, and that the loue of these will not stand with our loue to Christ, we must hate them indeede, and testifie it by our outward practise, Luke 14. 26. 33. Deut. 13. 6. 7. 8. 9. 2. Chro. 15. 16. for the better explication of this rule, and to see how farre it holdeth, and how smally it concernes our case, I say first, that this rule holds in the duties of the first table, which forbides sinne which by no circumstance can be amended, [Page 57] but are formally euill, and in nature, and opposite to the puritie and immutability of Gods nature, as in these, Haue none other gods, Commit not Idolatry, Take not Gods name in vaine. There is no time, or occasion, or duety superior, wherein a man may violate the precepts, they are sempiternally, and irreuocably inuiolable, without excepti­on. Duties also of the second table, as resist not the Magi­strate Rom. 13. 2. despise not thy parents. Prou. 23. 22. com­mit not murther, commit not adulterie, steale not, beare not false witnesse, couet not, neither may these duties in any case bee, or for any superior reason violated: neither haue they beene heretofore broken, but onely in a case of exception, and that is of Gods speciall command. For in this case the common rule holdeth: That a particular command of God vnto one person or more ouer rules a generall; In which case the substantiall negatiues of the second table, doe yeeld to the substantiall affirmatiues of the first, as being all subordi­nate to the loue of God: As the particular command of God to Abraham, to kill and offer his sonne Isaack, Gen. 22. 10. 12. ouerrules the generall command of God, Thou shalt doe no murther: and in Abraham it was no murther, notwithstan­ding that command which else had beene. The particular command of God to Iehu, if not Ieroboam, 1. Kin. 11. 35, 37, 38, and 12. 24. to smite the house of Ahab his master, the Queene, and the blood royall. 2. Kin. 9. 6, 7, 9, 10, & 10, 15, 16, 17, 30. which else had beene vtterly vnlawfull for him to doe. So Gods particular command vnto the Israelites to borrow that of the Egyptians, which they neuer paid and so spoyling them, Ex. 3. 22, and 11. 2. and 12. 35. ouerswayd the general command, Thou shalt not steale, which else had bin theft in them. Also the particular command of God vnto the Prophet Ezechiel not to mourne for his dead and most deere wife, Eze. 24. 15, 16, 17, 18. which else had beene argu­ed want of naturall affection. I will not giue instance of Gods particular command to Hosea, cap. 1. 2. to marry a wife of fornications, because the place is otherwise interpreted by [Page 56] [...] [Page 57] [...] [Page 58] the best iudgements, as Zanchius, Drusius, Iunius, Paraeus, item. Eman. Sad. in hunc locum, though others vnderstand it otherwise, that is litterally. The like is of the Lord parti­cular command of smiting the Prophet, 1. King. 20. 35, 36, 37. In which case it was no sinne to smite and wound the innocent Prophet, and it was a good worke of obedi­ence to smite him, which without the particular command of God, had beene a sinne. Secondly, this rule holdes, ex­cepting in a case of simple necessitie: In which respect, it was lawfull for Paul to cast the wheate into the Sea, though otherwise it were not good to doe it, Mat. 15. 26. and for Da­uid to spare Ioab the murtherer, in a case of necessity, because he was too hard for him: also Moses command for per­mission of diuorce, is heereby iustified, for the hardnesse of the Iewes hearts, a case of necessitie: Also the Apostles pre­scribing and practising the Iewish Ceremonies was vnlaw­full, but in a case of necessitie: of like nature, is Dauids ea­ting the Shew-bread, the Apostles rubbing of the eares of Corne: vnder this kinde commeth the lawfull vse of all in­different scandalous things, ouerruled by necessitie: and so is the conformity vnto the Ceremonies prescribed, made lawfull, for all the negatiue prohibitions, whether one or o­ther in this case of necessitie. Thirdly, this rule holdeth also in matters circumstantiall and ceremoniall, excepting when a superior duety meetes with them, to ouerrule them: of this kind is the case of Dauids eathing Shew-bread, and the Apostles practising and prescribing Iewish Ceremonies, for the Churches peace and furtherance of the Gospel: which hade not else beene lawfull to haue done, and here is also an image of our case. Here it is demanded, whether an affima­tiue substantiall of the first table, meeting with a negatiue circumstantiall of the first table, the former doeth ouerrule the latter? I answere yea: For such were the former cases of Dauids eating the Shew-bread, of the Apostles practise of Mosaicall Ceremonies, and the like. By this also we haue an answere against the objection; That we may lawfully omit [Page 59] good, to doe some superior duety, or to omit good for a time, to preuent a mischiefe of sinne, or harme to others or our selues: as to conceale a trueth to saue ones life, or to o­mit preaching, to quench an house on fire. But we may not commit an euill, to purchase or procure any good. Which obiection is both vntrue, for Dauids eating Shew-bread, the Apostles practising of Iewish, scandalous, and hurtful Cere­monies, and the like instances before rehearsed, were mat­ters of commission, not of omission, and besides, this ob­iection is incident into the former: For omission is of du­ties affirmatiue, and commission is against duties negatiue.

Obiect. These Ceremonies are against the second Commande­ment, which forbiddeth humane inuentions in Gods wor­ship, significatiue Ceremonies, abused to superstition, by Idolators, and apt to be abused by vs also, which comman­deth vs all possible purity and simplicity, in the worships of God; Ergo our Ceremonies are vnlawfull, simply, and in na­ture euill, as being idolatrous, and may not be practised.

Answ. This obiection is not wel vrged by any as yet, that I know, because it is vrged confusedly, and distinguisheth not of the parts of this commandement, neither declareth the degrees of the duties commanded, or of the sinne committed a­gainst this command, that so the reason might bee euident, why, and how farre these Ceremonies are against the se­cond Commandement. But I answere, though a man should admit the antecedent, that these Ceremonies in these respects are against the second commandement, yet it fol­loweth not, therefore wee may not vse them to preuent de­priuation, or to redeeme the libertie of the Gospell; and the reason is, that as the reason of the refusing of such Ceremo­nies as ours are, be commanded, so also is the preaching of the Word commaunded in the second Commandement: the former as a circumstantiall duety, to which all Cere­monies are as a lesser worke to a greater. The lesser may not commaund or ouerrule a greater: if it bee sayde these Ceremonies are Species idoloatriae kindes or [Page 60] degrees of idolatry: I answere, that admit it were so, yet it is such aspecies, as the wearing of some apparrell a little too fine (yet not being euill in it selfe) or the smile of the wife of another man, a little too familiar, without euill intention may bee aspecies, or gradus of adultery, that is of the least degree thereof, quatenus, it may be an occasion, and acci­dentall meanes of scandall in some, and vncleanenessein o­thers, which is farre from making a diuorce, or so much as sturring indignation in the husband: But if we would make a paralell and equall cause, betweene that case and ours, it must be thus, namely, in a case of necessitie, that a man must either goe naked, and so impaire his health, or indanger his life, and goe after an vnseemely fashion, or else hee must weare some inconuenient apparrell, in the wearing whereof, some good mindes will bee offended with him in the vse, others will take it as an occasion by the fashion, to bee vnlawfully inamored with his person, and so may be an occasion to draw them to actuall adultery in thought, desire, intreatie, or attempt: suppose also, that other men doe vse the same fashion or finenesse to pride, and in­tention of adultery, take away the necessitie, and I con­fesse, euen the least occasion of these scandalles were vn­lawfull: but with the necessitie, it leaueth to bee a sinne in the wearing thereof, because a greater dutie comes in place: nay it were a sinne to neglect health, by leauing the ap­parrell; and compare this case with ours, it may as well bee say de to bee adultery, as this idolatrie, it being a vio­lation of a negatiue precept as well as this is supposed to be, for all the occasions of the sinne, are forbidden with the sin, that a sinne of commission as well as this is conceiued to bee, and the redeeming of preaching the Word, the meanes of mans life spirituall and celestiall, may be paralled, and put in ballance, with the redeeming of our health, and naturall life, in comparision of the other: other comparisons may bee made out of other precepts, but this sufficeth. Secondly, This Obiection doeth ineuitably accuse the [Page 61] Apostles of idolatry in prescribing and practising Ceremo­nies scandalous, significant, abused, and apt to bee abased to superstition, and in many other respects in conuenient: yea, what Church in the world shall escape censure, for pre­scribing and practising Ceremonies of the like nature, which euer in the purest Churches haue beene vsed more or lesse? yea if this hold, how can any manioyne to the Church of England, or to any primitiue or reformed Church of a­ny age; seeing by this they may all be sayd to be Churches, practising and maintaining of idolatry, and so idolatrous Churches? How can any depriued Minister communicate in any assembly in England, where kneeling at the Com­munion is, if kneeling at Communion be idolatry, albeit hee sit himselfe, seeing he communicateth with an idola­trous Church, and with a company of idolators? and so must needes be driuen to separate from England, with the Brownists, and from all the most and best reformed Chur­ches, primitiue and latter? For we must come out from ido­lators and touch no vncleane thing, 2. Cor. 6. 17. Rom. 18. 4. By which reason also our Sauiour Christ himselfe, his Mo­ther, his Apostles, & al the faithfull of those times, could not escape the gilte of a sinne, for communicating with the Word, Sacraments, inuocation, and Ministery of such a Church, as proposed some Ceremonies of meere humane inuention, as the worships of God, and necessary to saluati­on, Mat. 5. 8. 9. Lastly it takes away saluation from the Apo­stles, the Martyrs, and all faithfull teachers which commu­nicate with such like ceremonies, both because Idolators shall neuer enter, 1. Cor. 6. 11. Gal. 5. 19. 20. 21. Reu. 21. 8. as also because presupposing it to be a breach of the lowest de­gree thereof: yet breakers of the least commandement, and teaching so cannot be saued. Mat. 5. 19.

Obiect. Admitting the ceremonies of our Church to bee indif­ferent, yet we may not by the vse of any indifferent thing offend or scandalize our brethren, rather wee must neuer vse it. 1. Cor. 8. 9. 12. 13. & 10. 28. Rom. 14. 15. 16. 21.

Answ. True, we may not vse any indifferent thing, by which our weake brother is offended, if the not vsing or vsing thereof be voluntary & within our power, as that indifferent thing seemeth not to be, the vse whereof is commanded by a Ma­gistrate, or publique law: whom therefore wee must obey whosoeuer bee offended, and the offence that any doth take in this case, is Scandalum acceptum, non datum.

Replic. A Magistrate onely commandes my outward man, and inflictes an outward penalty, whom albeit I am comman­ded to obey, and that of conscience in a thing indifferent: yet if I disobey him not of purpose or contempt, but with a con­scionable and charitable respect of not offending weake or godly Christians, that so I may not destroy my brother, Ro. 14. 15. 20. 1. Cor. 8. 10. 11. neither wound his conscience, nei­ther sinne against Christ▪ 1. Cor. 8. 12. I doe not sin against God, but am onely lyable to the penalty enioyned, my con­science is not herein touched before God, because I respect and follow a greater duety. 2. A Magistrate cannot com­mand me to vse a thing, whereby either purposely, or by ac­cident I shal offend my weake brother, & sin against Christ 1. Chro. 8. 12. though he should, yet God commands me to auoyde it, and tells me it is a sinne against Christ, 1. Cor. 8. 1 [...]. a superior command and of superior reason, better obey God then man.

Answ. All this is in some sence true, howbeit al this holdeth one­ly in case of outward and ciuill penalty, where I ought to beare some corporall paine, or externall losse, to violate the magistrates command, in not offending the godly weake brother. But it holdeth not in a case of spirituall, publique & generall penalty, as of depriuation of the ministry, which to auoyd by vsing a thing indifferent is a duty of superior rea­son, then by not vsing a thing indifferent to giue offence, where (in that case) it should not be broken, which apea­reth two wayes. 1 First by the greatnesse of in conuenience; for it is ten times more in conuenient by not vsing of the cere­monies (things indifferent in nature to suffer depriuation of ministery, the Gospell to be hindred & suppressed the whole Church, & visible kingdome of Christ to be vtterly dissol­ued [Page 63] and dissipated, then by vsing them to redeeme these be­nefits, to offend some few, who in this case should not be of­fended, and that they are is meerely their sinne. 2 Secondly, by the proportion of offence and scandall. For the Papist & Athiest will much more triumph and reioyce, and a Godly Christian wil much more grieue & be troubled, to see a wor­thy, painefull, and profitable minister be depriued and silen­ced, then to weare a surplesse & vse some few ceremonies, the one being a smal in cōuenience, but the other a deadly mis­chiefe to the Church of Christ, & so much of the second ar­gument of the first reason.

Argum. 3 Now followeth the third prouing, That to suffer depriuatiō for the refusing to cōforme to the prescribed ceremonies, is contrary to Gods word, and therefore a sin; because it is con­trary to a second ground of Gods word, namely the royall law of loue: for the further euidencing of this reaso, there are two points to be considered and proued. 1 First that to do any thing that is contrary to the law of loue, is contrary to the word of God. 2 Secondly to refuse conformity to the pre­scribed ceremonies in case of depriuation, is contrary to the law of loue. 1 The first point is of it selfe cleere ynough without any further proofe, howbeit it appeareth by these reasōs, that namely it is cōtray to Gods word to do any thing cōtrary to the law of loue. 1 First because if loue be the fulfil­ling of the law, Ro. 13. 8. 12. thē the violatiō of this law, is the violatiō of the law of God, which is a sin. 1. cor. 16. 14. al our things must be done in loue. 2 Secondly because of the fulfil­ling of the law of loue, according to the scrip. by wel doing; for the Apost saith, If ye fulfil it ye do wel, Iam. 2. 10. thē the violatiō of the law is euil doing, which is sin. 3 Thirdly because the violation of the law of loue is a breach of the end of the cōmandemēt, 1. Tim. 1. 5. 6. which is a sin. 4 Fourthly because the violatiō of the law of loue is a breach of the law of loue to God, Io. 3. 17. & 4. 20. 21. & 5. 1. therefore a sin. 5 Fiftly Be­cause the violation hereof putteth out the infallible and true badge in vs of being ture christians, *Ioh. [...]3 35. 1. Ioh. 4. 7. & 13. 10. 19. which is a sin. 6 Sixtly be­cause the violatiō of this law putteth out the internall assu­rance of regeneratiō, & of being the childrē of God, *& that [Page 64] wee be translated from death to life, which is a sinne.

The second point is also prooued thus, namely, That to incurre and suffer depriuation for refusing to conforme, 2 Poynt. is contrary to the royall law of loue. The reasons are these;

Reason. 1 First, because this doctrine and practise is a greate enemy to mans saluation, which is a breach of this law of loue in the highest degree. Rom. 14. 15. This appeareth, because it doeth by abstaining from a thing in nature indifferent (such as our ceremonies are prooued to be) needlesly depriue him of the ordinary meanes of his saluation, which is the prea­ching ministry of the word of God, and of the Sacraments. For as things doe stand, all such as doe not conforme vnto the ceremonies, are to be depriued without exception.

Obiect. A man may haue the ministry of others, though some be depriued.

Answ. Surely very hardly: For where almost in any place ma­ny thousands of persons fearing God, in this land, enioy a preaching minister, hauing lost their faithfull teachers by this doctrine of suffering depriuation for refusing confor­mity to our ceremonies, which haue no teachers neerethem in a greate compasse, and are tyed by necessitie of outward meanes that they cannot remooue their dwelling, where they may enioy this ordinary meanes of their saluation. Secondly this obiection is nothing to the point in hand: for in that some preachers remaine for the comfort of Gods people, is Gods extraordinary blessing and grace, of whose mercy it is, that wee are not consumed, because his com­passion fayles not. Howbeit this is no thanke to this doc­trine of suffering depriuation for indifferent ceremonies, which if it might preuayle according to their minde, would leaue noe preacher in England at this houre, but sweepe them all away at once, which I thus manifest. 1 First our Soueraigne King and the Ecclesiasticall gouernors vn­der him with the whole state (as appeareth by the Statutes yeat in force) doe remaine resolued and vnremooued to maintaine the practise of ceremonies prescribed indifferent, [Page 65] and that it is not a conuenient thing, neither yet safe, nei­ther standing with the credit of the Church, or common­wealth, to remoue these things, which they hold to haue bin at first with mature aduice established; and this resolution of theirs, experience in the losse of many woorthy prea­chers hath taught vs. 2 Secondly, the doctrine of suffering depriuation for inconuenient ceremonies, if it bee truth, as they suppose it be, who haue beene for that cause depriued, doth tie all Ministers alike, so that if it tie the conscience of one, it tieth also the conscience of another, yea of a thou­sand besides, not one excepted. Wherefore no man (if wee presuppose the state of things to remaine as they doe) may by that doctrine without sinne, conforme to redeeme his Ministery, not onely at this time, but not in any po­steritie heereafter: and so this doctrine doth vniuersally depriue all places of this Land at all times (things stan­ding as they doe) of the ordinary meanes of their saluati­on, which is the Ministery of the Word and Sacraments.

Obiect. God blesseth the priuat meanes of priuat reading, catechi­sing, instruction, reproofe, comfort, exhortation, and in­uocation, in the absence of the publike.

Answ. True vnto such persons, as are not cause of depriuing themselues needlesly of the publike meanes: in which case I know God accepteth a man according to that he hath, and not according to that he hath not. But what is that to the Ministers, that doe not on iust cause, but needlesly suffer de­priuation for refusing to conforme? whereby it seemeth that they incurre the danger of two mischiefes. One by needles­ly suffering the light of Gods publike ordinance to be quen­ched, they create to themselues iust feare that hee will not blesse their priuat meanes to them, being guilty of the need­lesse leauing of the publike. The other, that they may also feare least they haue done (though in ignorance & purpose of well doing) as much as in them lay, needlesly to destroy the flocke committed to their charge, by denying further instruction to them, and publike ordinary meanes of their [Page 66] saluation, which they might haue with good conscience continued in, to the comfort & conuersion of many a soule.

Obiect. Wee must so loue our neighbour, as that wee must loue Christ aboue our deerest friends, Matth. 10. 37. Luk. 14. 26. Secondly, loue reioyceth in the truth, not in iniquity, 1. Cor. 13. 6. Thirdly, wee must so loue our neighbour, as that we offend not God, by breaking his will. Fourthly, wee must so loue our neighbour, as that we offend not God, by violating a good conscience, and breaking our peace, Heb. 13. 18. Fifthly, we must not doe euill, that good may come thereof: wherefore wee must not vse the ceremonies, though wee suffer depriuation, and by this practise wee breake not the law of loue, but keepe it.

Answ. First wee loue Christ, when we keepe his Commaunde­ments, Ioh. 14. 21. 24. who hath commanded his Ministers to preach his Word to the worlds end, Matt. 28. 19. 20. he breaketh not Christs commandement, that doth practise in­different ceremonies, though in some respects accidentally inconuenient, to redeeme the fulfilling of his greater duty of teaching the Gospel to the flocke, which is a great argu­ment of our loue to him, Ioh. 21. 15. 16. 17. Secondly, the truth is this, wherein true loue reioyceth, that for tender loue vnto the sheepe of Christ, that Ministers must con­forme and practise euen inconuenient ceremonies, that the Gospell may haue a free passage, which truth is proued, Act. 16. 1. 3. & 15. 28. 29. & 21. 23. 24. 25. 26. Thirdly, we breake the will of God, if we neglect the preaching of Gods Word, 2. Tim. 4. 2. but vpon iust cause, and draw the heauy woe vpon vs, 1. Cor. 9. 16. Fourthly, what good conscience may a man haue by breaking a greater duty, to performe a lesser? by committing a greater sinne, to auoid that which in this case leaueth to bee a sinne? to make conscience of that, where none in this case is to be made, and to make no conscience of that, where great conscience is to bee made, namely of continuing to feede the flocke committed to their charge. Fifthly, this obiection is answered before, and [Page 67] holds in matters euill onely by nature, not in things indiffe­rent of nature, and in vse onely inconuenient.

Reas. 2 Because the doctrine and practise of suffering depriuation for inconuenient ceremonies, is a great enemy to the edifi­cation of the Church, which is a speciall property and effect of loue: for loue edifieth, Ephes. 4. 16. 1. Cor. 8. 1. For by ine­uitable consequence, it ouerthroweth all the Churches and ministery of Christ in England, yea al the reformed church­es Zanch. in Phil. 1. fol. 45. b. Read the Question. of Christendome at this houre yea all Churches since Christ and his Apostles. Wherefore this doctrine and pra­ctise is opposite vnto the law of Loue. The ineuitable ouer­throw, dissipation, and destruction of all Churches by this doctrine and practise, appeareth by this that followeth. 1 First wee must consider this, that no Church since the Apostles time, but hath practised inconuenient Ceremonies in some respect: neither is there any true reformed Church at this houre in the Christian world, German, Danish, Bohem, Heluetian, Dutch, or French, which doth not practise some inconuenient ceremonies: some of them doe practise farre more then ours, and more liable to exception; all which is made euident in Argument the fourth. Yea, the Apostoli­call Churches did practise inconuenient ceremonies & that by the Apostles command, and that as things good and ne­cessary for the Church, Act. 15. 28. 29. 2 Secondly, it there­fore followeth by this doctrine of suffering depriuation for inconuenient ceremonies, that all the Ministers of England, yea of al Christendom, must necessarily suffer depriuation for refusing their inconuenient ceremonies (seing all Churches doe strictly tie their Ministers to the practise of their cere­monies:) yea the Apostles by this doctrine did very ill, and committed sin to perswade others to conforme to inconue­nient ceremonies, Act. 21. 23. 24. yea to command them to conforme to them, as good and necessary in that case, Acts 15. 28. 29. Yea to practise this conformity on themselues, Act. 21. 26. Yea and on others also, Acts 16. 1. 3. Yea, they should rather haue suffered their Apostleship to haue bene [Page 68] forfeited, and left the preaching of the Gospel to haue bene suppressed, the Churches of Christ to haue bene dissolued and desolated, then to haue yeelded to this conformity of inconuenient ceremonies. But to admit of this is apparantly absurd: wherfore the reason followes and remaines in force.

Reas. 3 Because this doctrine and practise doth needlesly, on no ground or iust cause, breed or produce sundry scandalls and offences against diuers sorts of persons, which is a­gainst the law of loue, as appeareth. 1 First, it is the occasion of fraternall discord, mouing the Ministers to [...]udge and ac­count of the reuerend Bishops, as of Antichristian, and ty­rannous Prelates, and the Bishops to esteeme of them, as of pernitious and vnsufferable Schismatickes. This disturbeth the Churches peace, maketh the common enemy insult and blaspheme the Gospel, at our mutuall discords, and deuou­reth our owne strength, by biting one another, and is Ergo against the law of loue, 1. Thess. 5. 13. Galat. 5. 13. 14. 15. Rom. 12. 8. Whereas if in the case of depriuation, the Mi­nisters did peaceably conforme, this scandall would be cut off, or exceedingly made lesse and mittigated: of which sin the authors and accessaries are guilty before God. 2 Second­ly, it two fold more scandalizeth the Papist, then conformi­ty: for hee doth farre more reioyce and insult to see a godly Minister thrust out, and with him all the truth of the Gos­pel, feruently and continually pressed (the greatest enemy to Popery that can be) then to see him weare a Surplesse in the face of our Church, with his mouth opened, and sto­macke inlarged against Antichrist, and his superstitions, and will worships. 3 Thirdly, it two fold more scandalizeth the Atheist, and carnall Libertine and Epicure, who by the painfull Ministers depriuall, will exceedingly triumph to see a doore opened for him without resistance, to liue in drun­kennesse, whoordome, swearing, oppressing, & to bring in securely wanton dancings, Church-ales, profane wakefeasts, reuells, vnlawfull sports, and a thousand euills, much more then to see the Minister, though conforming to the ceremo­nies, [Page 69] yet present to withstand, disgrace and suppresse these sins and therein to glorifie God, to further his kingdome, to edifie his Church, to propagate his Gospel, with a Surplesse on his backe.

4 Fourthly, it two fold more scandalizeth such one as doth truly feare the name of God, who could bee more conten­ted to enioy the meanes of his Faith and saluation, and of the Communion of Saints, and visible prosperity of Christ his kingdome vpon earth, with a small inconuenience of some Ceremonies, which hee grieueth at, and is not guilty of, then to lose his Pastor, the Gospel and ordinary meanes of his sauing faith, yea of his saluation: and heereby to see (if it so fall out) loyterers and Wolues in sheepes clothing, take the charge of the flocke of Christ, and to behold the sheepe and lambes, so deerely bought, and heeretofore so well instructed, to lie scattered vp and downe, which were vnited in one fold together, and led into the greene pastures of grace and life.

5 Fiftly, it offendeth the Magistrate, by prouoking him (perswaded and resolued as hee is) to disgrace these other­wise well deseruing Ministers, and to strike them with the sword of authoritie, and that in the dayes and light of the Gospel, which would cease by conforming in this case. And if wee should not offend a priuate person, much lesse should we offend the Magistrate, which is a publicke per­son, about the vse of a thing indifferent. If it be saide, that therefore they abstaine from the Ceremonies that they might not giue offence to godly mindes, I say againe, that good mindes should not bee offended in this case, which if they do we must neglect, for that by refusall of conformity the Magistrate is prouoked to depriue them; and such as are well minded haue farre more occasion of offence at the depriuation of a good teacher, (which is a mischeefe) then at his conformity (which is but a simple inconueni­ence at the most.)

6 Sixtly, it vniustly condemneth the harmonie of all true Churches, that euer were Primitiue and reformed, for teaching false doctrine, and many godly and most re­uerend persons, who in case of depriuation partly haue taught the doctrine of necessary conformity to in­conuenient Ceremonies, partly who aduised thereunto, partly who practised the same themselues: which hath bene an vniuersall doctrine of all sound Teachers, of all times, and places: (as appeareth else where in the following ar­guments) yea it condemneth the very inspired Apostles of Iesus Christ, and the Churches of their planting, which (for performance of greater duties) did conforme them­selues, perswade others to conforme, and commanded the same to others as a duty good and necessary. All which in­conueniences by conformity, euen vnto inconuenient Ce­remonies, in the case of depriuation would bee wholy auoyded: which by not conforming are needlessely main­tained, strengthened and vpholden. It followeth there­fore, that the doctrine and practise of suffering depriuation for refusing Ceremonies, though in some respect inconue­nient, is opposite vnto the law of loue, and so by conse­quence, and error and a sinne. Touching the doctrine of this point, and applicati­on thereof vn­to the practise of like Cere­monies to ours in a like case, looke Gual. in act. 16. 3. hom. 106. fol. 199. P [...]sc. in act. 15. 28. Idem in act. 21. 20. Idem in act. 16. 3 Calu. in act. 15. 28. fol. 265. Idem in act. [...]8. 18. Aret. in act. 15. 28. fol. 72. Idem in act. 16. 3. fol. 75. Beza annot. in act. 15. 29. & in act. 16. 4. & 21. 20. & 18. 18.

Reason 2 Thus much of the first maine reason, prouing that the doctrine and practise of suffering depriuation, for refusing to conforme to the prescribed Ceremonies, is contrary to Gods word, and therefore an error and a sinne.

Argu. 4 Now the second maine reason standeth in this: because the doctrine and practise of suffering depriuation for re­fusing to conforme to the Ceremonies prescribed (in the present Church of England) or the like, tendeth directly to condemne all true Churches of Christ, Primitiue and latter: and all sound teachers and sincere Christians of all times and places since the time of the Apostles, which appeareth to bee an errour in doctrine, and a sinne in practise.

For the further manifestation of this reason, there must be proued, these two points.

1 That to condemne all true Churches, and sound Tea­chers of all times and places, primitiue and latter, for teach­ing error in any doctrine, or maintaining or committing maintained sinne in practise, is a sinne and error.

2 That this Doctrine and practise of suffring depriuation, for refusing to conforme to the prescribed Ceremonies, in our present Church of England, or to the like, doth con­demne all true Churches, and sincere Teachers, of all times and places, since the times of the Apostles.

Which points being prooued, the conclusion will ineui­tably follow, that to suffer depriuation for refusing to con­forme, is a sinne and an error to be taught and practised.

Touching the former point: That namely to condemne 1. Point. all true Churches and sound teachers for teaching, and maintaining false doctrine and sinne, is both an error and a sinne: First, I say it is an error:

1 Because in condemning their doctrine for false doctrine, euen in this point they condemned the inspired doctrine of the holy Apostles for false doctrine (as before appeareth) which must needes bee an error and a sinne, of no light degree.

2 Because it condemneth their doctrine & practise, which are followers of the Apostles in their inspired doctrine and practise, and which walke so as they haue them for an ex­ample: which rule of doctrine and practise, being com­mended as true, and commanded as iust, Phil. 3. 17. and 4. 9. the contrary thereto must needes be an error.

3 Because the true Catholike Church indefinitely, taken for the company of the faithfull in all ages, being as they are euer built on the foundations of the Prophets, and A­postles, and Christ the corner stone, Eph. 2. 20. is the pillar and ground of trueth, 1. Tim. 3. 15. but whatsoeuer is a­gainst the ground of trueth, must needes be an error.

4 Because the true Church of all ages being defined true­ly, [Page 72] ly, to bee the congregation of the faithfull, consisteth of a company of spirituall persons, (not of carnall blinde or prophaine persons, or hereticall Idolatours and tira­nious Popes or Prelates as the Papistes:) Now the spiri­tuall man discerneth all things, 1. Corinth. 2. 15. euen the deepe things of God, vers. 10. by the spirit which God hath giuen him, ver. 12. how much more is the whole company of all the spirituall, able to performe the same: wherefore the contrary to their doctrine must needs be an error.

5 Because it condemneth the whole streame of the faith­full teachers, and Churches of all ages, of an hainous and damnable crime, namely the breaking the lesser com­mandements of God, and the teaching of men so to doe: whereby they exclude them, by necessary consequence out of heauen, Matthew 5. 19. which must needes bee a grosse error, and no small sinne.

6 Because no scripture is of priuate interpretation, 2. Peter 1. 20. either of priuate spirits of carnall persons, though they be many as the interpretations of the Romish Popes and Doctors, or of other heretickes failing in the foundation: or of a few Godly and well affected Persons, against the Ocean and world of the faithfull: but the iudge­ments of the English depriued Ministers, being against the whole true Church of Christ, is but as a litle streame vnto the Ocean, or a small field vnto the world: their opinion therefore against the whole Church is of priuate interpre­tation, and an error.

7 Because it is against the rules of Gods word, and meanes appointed of God for the finding out of the trueth, euen in such like cases as this, for a few Ministers and other persons, be they otherwise neuer so faithfull, to be opposite in iudge­ment to the whole Church.

1 One meanes is for learners to obey their teachers, Hebrew. 13. 17. especially teaching secundum legem, accor­ding to the law, Deut. 18. 11. but the Fathers and Godly learned Doctors, since them being the Ministers of the [Page 73] Church of Christ in all ages, are the Teachers of all others, specially, if they teach secundum legem, which must be hear­kened vnto and obeyed, and whosoeuer doth not hearken to them so teaching, erreth.

2 An other meanes and ordinance of God is this, that two or three Prophets speaking, the rest must iudge of that they speake: and that the spirit of the Prophets must bee subiect to the Prophets, 1. Cor. 14. 29. 32. When therefore a few English Ministers doe speake in the Church, the will of God is this; that the whole Church of all ages and places should iudge: but for the whole Catholike Church of all ages and places to speake, and a few Ministers of one only Prouince and of one time to iudge and censure them, is the mother of confusion, and an enemie to peace, as the Apostle saith, 1. Cor. 14. 32. 33. and contrary to this rule and ordi­nance of God, and therefore the way to error.

3 An other meanes of Gods appointment euen in the like case with this: that in matters of difference, not onely a­bout fundamentall points, but also in matters of Ceremo­nies, when the peace of the Church is broken about them, the vnitie of brethren deuided, and the course of the Gospel hindred and interrupted: to aske and seeke the iudgement of other true Churches and Teachers, about the case in que­stion: As the Apostles did in, Act. 15. 2, 3, 4, 6. and the Pri­mitiue ages following after their example, also did imitate as their duty was, Ph. 3. 17. and 4. 8, 9. in which case if the iudg­ment of one, two, or twenty Churches be to be harkned to, and not despised or contradicted rashly, how much lesse the iudgement, of all true Churches, of all times and places. Now for a few persons of one Prouince (as of England and of one season, to sway against all Churches, & to condemne their doctrine, and practise of sinne and error, is against this ordinance of God, and the way to error.

Because the swaying against the iudgement and practise VIII. of all Churches and Teachers, is against the equity of ma­ny forcible and maine reasons: For:

[Page 74] 1 Who are more likely to know the trueth, euen in such a point as this, then the whole company of such? First, who are indued with the most excellent gifts in the Church, and greatest degrees of knowledge and vnderstanding of Gods word, and with meanes tending thereunto? doe not the best sights, best iudge of colours? Secondly, who are and haue been endued with greatest degrees of euident sanctity? Thirdly, whose labours haue beene most of all blessed of God, for the conuersion of soules, for the ouerthrow of sinne, and Antichrist, and Heresies? Fourthly, who haue li­ued and died most comfortably in the Lord? If a man should not rest in the iudgements of the whole company of such, where should he rest? or what peace or assurance shall hee haue to haue all these (so many as all and so incomparable persons) his aduersaries: as in condemning such for sin­ners and false Teachers.

2 No one point of error can be shewed, which is establi­shed by this rule: namely, by the consent of iudgement and practise of all Churches, primitiue, and reformed latter. For albeit▪ some faithfull persons, and some true Churches, may differ from some other in sundry points, and thereby there must needes bee error in one part or other: yet it were hard for a few priuate persons, to conuince them all of er­rour, in a matter wherein they all agree: if they were in errour; is it not strange, no age should bee able to dis­cerne it?

3 Such as haue wilfully and professedly differed from this rule, haue beene found to haue beene New­fangles, Heretickes, Schismatickes, and prophane per­sons; such as Donatists, Anabaptists, Brownists, Ari­ans, Famelists, and the like: and are of infinite varie­ties, one from another, and therefore all, or the very most, must needes bee an errour, for there is but one trueth.

4 By the reiecting of this rule, euery Sect maketh a way open to their owne contempt. For if the iudgement [Page 75] of so reuerend, and so excellent lights and agreement of them all, is to bee despised and reiected by any particular: why should not others reiect and contemne them and their iudgement, the matter being difficult, and of disputa­ble nature, and themselues being so many thousand degrees behind the person whom they thus despise, in their worth or number?

5 It opens a doore to singularitie, noueltie, and of endlesse differences, errors and contentions, and leaues no rule of Peace, or of ending dissentions in the Church of God: For if one may vnder colour of trueth, teach and pra­ctise what he list in his diuersitie: why may not another do the like? or what rule will there be, to compose the dissenti­on, that doe and will arise in the Church! which one part hauing the trueth, may vrge vnto the other voyd of truth: why should hee rather follow this part then that? wherefore in this case wee are to note, that no priuate person or per­sons, may raise vp any new opinion, and pretend Scripture for it, and so propose it for a Doctrine and a truth in the Church, though hee condemne the whole Church beside for an error and a sinne. Because as the Scriptures are not of priuate interpretation, so Gods Spirit is not priuate, but ge­nerall to all the faithfull.

Thus wee see this doctrine of swaying against all true Churches and Teachers of all ages and places, and condem­ning them of sinne and error, is false doctrine. Whereupon also it followeth secondly, that it is a sinne: which also ap­peareth further.

I Because Dauid doth iudge himselfe that he trespassed, in that he being a priuate man condemned and censured all the generation of Gods children, Psal. 73. 13. 14. 15. Againe because God laieth a woe vpon the practise of taking away the righteousnesse of the righteous from him, Esa. 5. 23. or of condemning the iust, Pr. 17. 15. But that doctrine & practise which laieth a sin vnto the charge of all Gods Church, takes away their righteousnes and condemnes them in that point. [Page 76] Therefore it is a sinne, euen of bearing false witnesse against the whole congregation of neighbours.

2 Because the censuring of all true Churches, for a sin, or of false Doctrine, is contrary to the Commandements of God: who would haue the Teachers obeyed and hear­kened vnto, which doe teach and define secundum legem: as aboue I noted, Heb. 13. 17. Deut. 17. 9, 10, 11, 12. and would haue the rest to iudge of the words of a few which prophe­sie, 1. Cor. 14. 29. 32. and of the commandement, of walking in the wayes of good men, Pro. 2. 20. Phil. 3. 17. and 4. 9. It is also contrary to the practise of the holy Apostles, who de­termined one Churches differences by another, Act. 15. 2. as before I noted.

3 Because this Doctrine is the ground, and mother of schisme: For S. Paul noteth, that they cause diuision and offences, that teach and practise contrary to the doctrine which the whole Church hath receiued especially from the Apostles, Rom. 16. 17. Therefore this doctrine is a sinne.

Obiect. Against this point it is alleadged, first, that it is a Popish ground, to make the Church the ground of our Faith: It contradicteth the Doctrine of our Churches against the Papists.

Answ. This point includeth no Popish ground; nor doeth it contradict the Doctrine of our Churches against the Pa­pists: For the Churches desire nothing so much against the Papists, then that they would grant the elect and faith­full to bee the onely Church: and then that they would stand to the iudgement, determination, and practise of such as are faithfull in all ages. But that this may the better appeare to bee no Popish ground, Wee are to note:

1 The Papists vnderstand the Church, to consist onely of persons in office, and those often hereticall, sacrilegi­ous, and prophane persons such as their Popes, Cardinalls, carnall Bishops: Wee, the only faithfull in all times and pla­ces, whether in office or not.

[Page 77] 2 They vrge Apocriphall and basterd Fathers, for the patronage of their errors: Wee the vndoubted writings of the approued Fathers.

3 They vrge the Fathers errors, and things wherein they differ: we their truth, so farre foorth onely as they a­gree and consent.

4 They alleadge the vngrounded opinions of some priuate fathers: we their trueth, so farreforth as they agree to Gods word, and examples of the Prophets of Christ and his Apostles.

5 They insist vpon Fathers further from the Apostles, & from Apostolicall and Primitiue purity, wee most of all insist on those who were most neere to the Apostles, as be­ing most pure and free from Antichristian contagion.

6 They are only for the former Fathers we bring the consent of all our later worthy Fathers and teachers of the most reformed and purest Churches of the world.

Obiect. This were to giue and to ascribe as much to man as to God, to make them the grounds and iudges, of our faith or practise: yea it is so farre from being a sinne, to sway from all iudgements, that it is a sinne to iudge that all iudgements should bee the rule of our consciences.

Answ. This obiection is both vnfit and vntrue: It is vnfit be­cause the argument concludeth not that they are, or that we should make them the grounds and iudges of our faith and practise: But that it is an errour and a sinne to condemne the whole Church of Christ, for teaching errour, and for practising and maintaining sinne. Next it is an vntruth to call the whole company of Saints and spirituall persons, (Man) opposed vnto God. Which appeareth further by con­sidering the aequiuocation of the word (Man). For man is taken either for meere man (i) a carnall man, or to the poynt, a company of carnall men, prophane, ignorant and erronious, which cannot know nor perceiue the things of God, because they are spiritually discerned, 1. Cor. 2, 14. and so it is true, if the case were thus, that wee should put [Page 87] the iudgement of this thing, to a company of carnall per­sons, for in this case, it is sayde that all men are lyers, Rom. 3. 4. But there is also the spirituall man which hath vnder­standing to iudge what other men do say, 1. Cor. 10. 15. and discerneth all things, euen the deepe things of God, Psal. 25. 14. 9. 1. Cor. 2. 15. 10. 12. Dan. 12. 10. Iohn 7. 17. 1. Iohn 2. 27. The consent in iudgement of which com­pany, is not to be termed a company of men opposed against God: But such as being built one the foundati­on of the Prophets, Apostles, and Christ, the corner stone, Eph. 2. 20. are also called by holy the Ghost in this respect the pillar and ground of trueth, 1. Tim. 3. 15.

Obiect. A priuate man may see a truth which a great many Godly men may not discerne.

Answ. Though a priuate man may see more into some trueth, and explicate or confirme it better than many other: yet it were absurd to say, that one man might see more then all the faithfull, all godly learned Teachers, all true Churches that euer were in the world, for the rule is good which Lyrinensis giueth, Nouè non noua: The Papists take the Church, for onely persons in office, as Pope, Cardinall, Bishops, and Abbots, and other Doctors gathered in a Councill: and it was well maintained by Gerson, that a priuate man, by the light of Gods word, may see more then they all: And the reeson is plaine. First, because those persons haue many wayes prooued themselues to be carnall, and prophane, and not able to discerne the things of God, which are spiritually to be discerned. And againe, because they iudge not as it was inioined to the Priest in the law, Secundum legem Deut. 17. 11. and so there can be no light in them, Esa. 8. 20. But the case in question is quite opposite to this, in either part, and therefore this obiection toucheth not the point.

Obiect. The whole Church of God may erre in some circum­stantiall matters: All visible Churches may erre in matters, not fundamentall: The consent of Churches and of the faithfull teachers, according to Gods word, a rule of fun­damental [Page 79] truths; that is of al such truths as may quiet a mans conscience, it is not so in matters of circumstance.

Answ. 1 Wee hold rightly against the Papists that all particu­lar Churches may erre: whereupon wee assume and inferre: But the Roman Church is a particular Church: There­fore it may erre. But that the Catholique Church taken in the sence, that our part doe explicate it, (i) for the com­pany of the faithfull in all ages, it was neuer holden by any sound diuine: But the cleane contrary.

2 Though the iudgement of all true Churches in mat­ters fundamentall, be infallible, because without fundamen­talls, they could not be Churches: and againe albeit all par­ticular Churches may erre in matters circumstantiall and ceremoniall: yet it is an hard speach to say that the generall or Catholique Churches, or company of the faithfull, in all ages haue generally consented in an error, neither can there possibly on instance be shewed of such a point, no not of a circumstantiall point.

3 The depriued Ministers hold it a sinne in nature to practise the ceremonies prescribed in our Church or the like: but sinne in nature is a thing substantiall, in the prac­tise whereof a mans conscience cannot bee quieted, and therefore if the iudgements of all Churches bee brought a­gainst them, either they must confesse their doctrine in this point, to be an error: or else that the whole general Church, since Christ haue erred fundamentally, which is not farre from haeresy and blasphemy, and I earnestly do pray them to consider of this poynt.

Obiect. Churches and fathers haue exceedingly differed among themselues in all times: heere should wee make their iudgement, and consent to bee a rule of our doctrine and practise.

Answ. This is soone answered because I speake not of their dif­ferences or of the things wherein they are deuided: but on­ly of such things wherein they all consent and agree: as namely they all agree that the Christian Sabbath must bee [Page 80] sanctified, and that from the ground, and in memoriall of Christ his resurrection: for they agree that al the bookes of Scripture are the word of God: and in the point in question, they agree that Churches may vary in their ceremonies and discipline, and yet retaine their peace one with another. And that ceremonies, as inconuenient (as our ceremonies are sup­posed to be,) & in some respect, fit to be abolished, yet may they be retained, and ought to be practised to preuent the diuision of brethren: disquiet of the Church, & hinderance of the Gospel; and there are few points wherein they agree more constantly then in this.

Obiect. We are commanded to call no man our teacher vpon earth, because one is our Doctor and teacher, euen Christ, Mat. 23. 8. 10. there is one law giuer, Iam. 4. 12.

Answ. This obiection is much vrged by Brownists, as some of the others are. But what will they conclude from hence? surely if any such thing, it must be this. Therefore we may not make the iudgement of the Fathers or whatsoeuer men in earth, a rule of our conscience. And indeed I say that it is wel concluded, neither verely would I nor any other, that I know of sound iudgement hold otherwise. But that it may appeare how little to the purpose it is alleadged, I say:

1 If they will apply this to our Church in respect of our ceremonies prescribed: then may they conclude against the Apostles, for prescribing Iewish ceremonies, notwithstan­ding the end and accomplishment of them all, by the death and consummatum est, of Christ.

2 The Primitiue auncient and latter reformed Churches, are all of them deficient this way: either in disipline or cere­monies, they are faulty and doe faile more or lesse; yet they will not accuse them for denying Christ, to be their teacher and Prophet.

3. They onely deny Christ to be their Prophet and tea­cher, who doe preach another Gospell to the Church, Gal. 1. 6. 7. which teach any thing besides, Gal. 1. 8. 9. Ro. 16. 17. [Page 81] otherwise, 1. Tim. 6. 3. Contrary to the word of God, Tit. 1. 9. diuers and strange doctrines, Heb. 13. 9. Heresies, Tit. 3. 10. which will not heare him in all things whatsoeuer hee shall say, Act. 3. 22. Mat. 28. 20. Ioh. 3. 36. & 10. 5. All which our Church with all other reformed Churches doe vtterly disclaime, and are free from: and namely in prescribing and vsing of these ceremonies, or the like, as appeareth by considering; First, the matter which is taught, which is of two sorts, some things are fundamentall and of greater moment, some things circumstantiall and of lesser: againe some things are specially commaunded, others included vnder generall rules and are left free to euery Church to bee determined, as shall best serue for the edification there­of, sometimes after one manner, and at other times after some other: where we are to obserue that our Church (as other reformed Churches) doe teach nothing fundamen­tall, which is not expresly taught in the Word, neither doth it teach any thing contrary to that which is expresly com­manded by Christ in his Word; onely it varieth the cir­cumstantialls or ceremonialls, according to the liberty left vnto all Churches, and practised by all Churches, which the gouernours doe suppose best to further or edifie the sub­stantialls. Secondly, consider we the manner of our Chur­ches proposing of these things. The fundamentall points, and speciall precepts of Christ shee proposeth as binding the conscience vnder paine of condemnation to euery wil­full and impenitent transgressour. The circumstantialls or ceremonialls determined by her, out of the generall rules of the Word, she proposeth and inioyneth as free, not bind­ing the conscience in themselues, as variable not perpetuall, as accidentall not as necessary. In which case our Church cannot bee saide to deny Christ for her onely teacher and Prophet, but rather to confesse him, seeing shee teacheth nothing but that Christ hath commanded. In which re­spect hee is with our Church by promise, ad finem sae­culi, Matthew 28. 19. 20. and hee that heareth the tea­chers [Page 82] thereof thus teaching heareth Christ, Luke 10. 16. Ioh. 13. 20.

And thus the first point is confirmed: The second fol­loweth Point. 2. to be spoken of: which is this, [That the doctrine and practise of suffering depriuation for refusing to con­forme to the prescribed Ceremonies, doth tend to con­demne all Churches and godly teachers, Primitiue and lat­ter, of teaching false doctrine, & of practising a maintained sin:] Which point is thus made euident: Because such Mini­sters as haue suffered depriuation for refusing to conforme, or doe hazard their ministery for the same, doe account and conclude it to bee a sin simply to conforme vnto the Cere­monies proposed in the present Church of England, or the like: and that all that doe conforme in any case vnto them, shall therein commit a sinne against God: and further that whosoeuer teacheth the contrary, they stand out to confute them and conuince them of an er­rour. But all true Churches of Christ, and all true Or­thodoxall Teachers, both auncient and latter of all times and places, without exception of any one, haue vni­formely and constantly taught this conclusion: That it is a truth and no errour to teach; a dutie and no sinne to practise the prescribed Ceremonies of the present Church of England, or the like, rather then to violate and breake the peace of the Church, or that a Minister should suffer depriuation, and so the preaching of the Gospell should bee interrupted, or that a Minister, or a­ny other Christian should separate themselues, or suffer themselues to bee separated from the publike worships of God in a true Church: Wherefore it must needes follow, that they who iustifie the former must needs condemne the latter.

Now, that it may appeare that all Orthodoxall Chur­ches and Teachers of all ages and places, since the time of the Apostles of Christ, are of this iudgement and prac­tise and not of the other: I will first begin with the Primi­tiue [Page 83] Churches, before the Reuelation and raigne of Anti­christ, and next in order of the latter reformed Churches, since the restauration of the Gospell, and declination of Antichrist.

Concerning the Primitiue Churches, and their teachers, I will obserue two points. First, the state of the Churches of those times concerning Ceremonies, and secondly the iudgement and practise of the Fathers and the faithfull in that estate.

Point. 1 And touching the former point, wee must not bee ig­norant that euen in the dayes of the Apostles, the myste­rie of iniquitie did beginne to worke, as themselues ob­serued, 2. Thessalonians 2. 7. For euen then there were many Antichrists, 1. Iohn 2. 18. And after the Apostles departure, the seruants and workemen of Christ his fielde, that is, the Ministers of Christ his Church did fall a sleepe, that is, they were not vigilant and watchfull, but grew carelesse and remisse in teaching and propagating the truth of Gods Word, to confute errours, and to resist and keepe out corruptions attempted to bee brought in by Heretickes and Sectaries: and while they thus slept, the Diuell sow­ed his tares, Matthew 13. 25. a president whereof wee haue, Apocalips 2. and 3. Where the Angels or Teachers of the Churches are reproued in this respect: of which kinde of tares that the Diuell sowed, the Ceremonies of the Church were not the fewest nor the least hurtfull. And they farre exceeded our Ceremonies, if wee should esteeme or proue them much worse then they are, and namely in three respects. First, in respect of their multitude varietie and difference. Secondly, in regard of their nature, kinde, and qualitie. Lastly, in respect of their effects and abuse a­rising from them.

1 Their multitude, variety and difference, did begin ve­ry high and neere the times of the Apostles: For the diffe­rence of the celebration of Easter (if the Ecclesiasticall Records bee true) began before or about the time of Po­licarp, [Page 84] Bishop of Smyrna, and disciple of Saint Iohn, and Anicetus Bishop of Rome, Euzeb. 5. 24. Socrat. 5. 22. and who readeth the antiquitie with any obseruation, that shall not perceiue in the vndoubted writings of the most aunci­ent Fathers, both of the Greeke and Latine Churches the euidence hereof: as namely in Clemens, Alexand. Tertull. Cyprian, Basill, Ambrose, Hierom, Augustine, and others: And for the latitude of this varietie it stretched very farre, euen ouer the whole face of the Christian world. Iraeneus in Euseb. 5. 24. and Firmilianus in Cyprian, Epist. 75. doe shew the great difference and varietie of ceremonies be­tweene the Churches of Ierusalem and Rome, that is, of the Easterne and Westerne parts of the world, and of the seue­rall Prouinces among themselues. And Augustine to Casu­lan. Epist. 86. and to Ianuar. Epist. 118. 119. declareth the difference of customes and rites in the Citie of Rome and Millaine, and in multitude of other places of his dayes: Quae diuer sorum locorum diuersis moribus (saith hee) innume­rabiliter variantur, Epist. 119. cap. 19. in as much as for the varietie thereof, Socra. 5. 22. affirmeth that a man could scarce finde two Churches retaining and following one or­der in both places, and for the multitude thereof hee saith, that to set downe in writing the diuers and innumerable ceremonies and customes dispersed throughout Cities and Countries, would proue a very tedious piece of worke and hardly, nay impossible to bee performed: A taste whereof in both hee giueth largely in that place, together with his censure. The like doe Sozomen. 7. 19. who mentioneth o­ther diuersities. The reasons of which varietie and num­ber, if wee would giue we must distinguish of their qualitie, for if they were conuenient ceremonies, rightly deduced out of the generall grounds of Gods Word, their varietie and difference proceeded from the lawfull libertie which God hath left vnto all Churches to order and appoint fit ceremonies for themselues, as they see to be most apt to fur­ther their owne edification, & if they were more studiously [Page 85] commended by them then was meet, it was as Sadeele saith, vt viam Schismaticis obstruerent, De verb. Dei script. cap. 5. fol. 32. Or if otherwise they were inconuenient, friuolous and needelesse, and as many of them proued to be euident oc­casion of following superstition & contention. The cause of them in generall, is alleadged by Martyr Loc. com. class. 2. cap. 5. §. 17. to bee this that the diuell did presently begin to sow his tares vpon the good seede, which was sowed by Christ and his Apostles, the particular reasons wherof shall be shewed in that which followeth.

2 Touching the kinde and qualitie of the Ceremonies, and traditions vsed by the Primatiue Churches if we would examine the particulars, wee should finde them to haue beene farre more scandalous and hurtfull, then ours can bee imagined to bee, not onely in their abuse (which I will note in the next member) but also in their nature: which to mention onely is to make euident; as for examples sake I will giue instance of some part.

Touching Baptisme they vsed,

THe annointing of the Baptized, Tertul. contra Marci­on. lib. 1. Distinc. 11. cap. 5. de consecr. Dist. 4. cap. 87. & 90. This Ceremonie signified vnto them, that they were Christians and Champions, fighting and contending for God, Tertul. and was commended as Apostolicall, Basil de spir. sancto cap. 27.

The putting of milke and hony into the mouthes of the Baptised, commended as proceeding from the Apostles, Tertul. contra Marcion. & de coron. milit. In some places also wine and milke without hony, Hierom. contra Lucifer.

The arraying of the Baptized in a white garment, Tertul. ibid. de consecratione dist. 4. canon 91. 92. in token that they did put on innocency and puritie, ibid. out of Ambrose and Rabanus.

The crossing of the childe in Baptisme, Tertul. de resur­rect. carnis. Caro signatur vt anima muniatur. August. tract. 118. in Ioan. serm. 55. saith that they vsed it in euery Sacra­ment, and that else Baptisme was not performed after the rites and manner, vnlesse the signe of the Crosse were made in the childes forehead.

To dippe the childe three times in token of the Trinity, Basil. de spir. sancto cap. 27. Sozomen. 6. 26. commended also as Apostolicall by Basil & Turtul. in other places they vsed to dippe the childes head onely, and that three times, Hierom. contra Lucifer. cap. 4. and that in token and remem­brance both of the Trinity, as also of Christ his three dayes death, and buriall in the graue, as also of his resurrection, which was performed the third day, Tertul. ibid. de consecra. dist. 4. can. 78. 80. 81. out of Augustine, Hierom, & Gregorie: in other places they dipped the childe but once onely, Cyp. to signifie the vnity of Gods essence, de consecr. Dist. 4. can. 82.

To Baptise only once in the yeere, and that in the Easter holidayes, Socra. lib. 5. cap. 22. also three times in the yeere, viz. on the dayes of Christs Natiuity, Easter, Whitsontide, Zopper. polit. eccle. lib. 1. cap. 12. fol. 76. They deferred the baptising of their conuerts, two yeres after their conuersion to the faith, Caranza. summa concil. in Elibert. concil. can. 42.

To absteine a weeke after Baptisme from washing, Tertul. cont. Mar. lib. 1.

To renounce openly the Diuell and his Angels, and to giue the Ministers the right hand, Tertul. de coron. milit. commended by him as Apostolicall, De consecrat. dist. 4. can. 95. also Decre. part. 1. dist. 11. cap. 5. ex Basil. commen­ded as Apostolicall.

To blesse the font with oyle, ibid. Dist. 11. cap. 5. ex Basil. commended also by him as Apostolicall.

Touching the Lords Supper.

THey were accustomed, to signe the elements with the signe of the Crosse, for so was euery Sacrament signed, August. tract. 118. in Ioan. Serm. 55.

To mingle water with wine, Cypr. l. 2. Epist. 3. & 63. and he calleth this Dominica traditio.

They also vsed onely water in steede of wine, which persons so celebrating the Eucharist, are in the fore alleadged place by Cypr. called Aquarij.

To giue the Eucharist to infants, Cypr. serm. de Lapsis.

To receiue the Lords supper euery day, August. Epist. 118. cap. 2. thus it was receiued in Rome, and in Spaine, Hierom. Epist. ad Licin. 28. in other places onely on the Lords day, Socra. 5. 22. In other places on Saturne day, and the Lords day, August. Epist. 118. cap. 2.

To receiue the Lords supper in some places in the mor­ning, and that fasting, but in other places after supper, and that being well fed, Socrates 5. 22. Cyprian. lib. 2. Epist. 3. Augustine Epist. 119. cap. 6. commendeth the receiuing of the Lords supper fasting, to be a tradition Apostolicall, and that it was obserued in all the world.

They sent the Eucharist to other Churches, for a token of their consent in the faith, and of their loue to one an­other, Eusebius 5. 24.

They reserued part of the bread of the Eucharist, and sent it to such as were absent, Iustin. Martyr.

The people caried the bread of the Eucharist home, and kept it in a little boxe, Cypr. de Lapsis. Tertul. lib. 2. ad vxo­rem: in other places they burned that which was left, Origen in Leu. 7. Hesych. in Leu. 8.

They gaue the Eucharist vnto the sicke if they required it, euen when they were speachlesse, Euseb. 6. 43. Decret. caus. 26. quaest. 6. 7. 8. 10.

They gaue the Eucharist vnto the Baptised, immediately after Baptisme, Crys. Epi. 1. ad Innoc.

Touching Prayer.

THese were their Ceremonies, to stand in prayer and not to kneele, and all the Dominicall or Lordes dayes, Basil. de Spiritu sancto cap. 27. Tertullianus [Page 88] de resurrectione carnis, Hieron. cont. Lucif. cap. 4. This Cere­mony was done in token or signification of their resurrec­tion, and further to teach them that on the day of Christ his resurrection, they ought to seeke heauenly things, Basil ibidem August. Epist. 119. de consecrat. dist. 3. cap. 10. quoniam, out of the Nicene Councell where it was decreed: This was commended to bee an Apostolicall tradition, Tertull. cont. Marci. & de coron. mil.

To stand in prayer and not to kneele, on all dayes be­tweene Easter and Whitsontide, commended also as Apo­stolicall, Basil. Tertul. Hieron. ibid.

To pray towards the East, and that for this cause and sig­nification, because we seeke to Paradise our old and auncient countrie, and is commended and Apostolicall, Basil. ibid.

To pray in some places by candle light, Socrat. lib. 5. cap. 22. in the day time, Hier. con. vigil.

They did also weare a linnen garment, or Surplesse in the worships of God, Crys. hom. 83. in Mat. Hier. lib. 1. contra Pelag. and of this iudgement is Zanch. de redemp. cap. 16. lib. 1. fol. 444. a. and citeth Hier. P. Martyr. Loc. Epist. Hoopero fol. 1087. citeth Chrisostom, and Cyprians examples out of Pontius Diacon. and Saint Iohns Petalus out of Ecclesiastical Historie, to prooue that the originall of the Surplesse was not of Antichrist, Bulling. and Gual. in an Epistle doe cite Theodoret. hist. 2. 27. Socra. 6. 22. Iohn the Euangelist his example out of Euzebius, Pontius Diacon. of Cyprian, and Chrisostom. It is cited by A. B B. C. Whitgift defence. fol. 2618. Polanus citeth Hieron. comment. in Esec. cap. 44. fol. 807. Zepperus citeth Chrysostome and Hieron. shewing that they vsed them for a signe and admonition of honest and pure life de Polit. Eccl. lib. 1. cap. 12. the like doth Zanch. vt sup.

Touching dayes.

TO celebrate the dayes of Christs Natiuitie, Passion, Resurrection, Ascension to heauen, and descension of the Spirit, or Pentecostin the remembrance of these things, [Page 89] this was obserued in all the world, August. Epist 118. cap 2. Origen cont. Celsum lib. 8. concil. Agatheus can. 14. 39. also the feast of the natiuitie of Iohn the Baptist, ibid. can. 14.

To keepe Saturne day holiday, and frequent the Ecclesi­asticall assembly, as on the Lords day, Sozomen. 7. 19. & 6. 41. Socrat. 6. 8.

To keepe the Fryday holiday, vsing thereon the Ecclesi­asticall assemblies, in remembrance of Christ his passion, as they did obserue the Lords day in remembrance of his re­surrection; this was commanded by Constantinus Magnus, Sozomen. 1. 8. Hist. tripartit. 1.

To celebrate Easter day on the foureteenth of Aprill in halfe the world, namely in the Easterne part, but on the Lords day in the Westerne part; this was commended on either part to come from the Apostles, which yet could not both bee true, but the trueth is (saith Socrates) that the A­postles left no Lawes concerning dayes, but left them as a matter free, lib. 5. cap. 22.

Touching fasting.

TO fast on Thursdayes all the yeere, in remem­brance of Christ his assention, and on Fridayes in remembrance of Christ his Passion, this was commen­ded, as an Apostolicall tradition, Epiphanius cont. haer. in Epilogo.

To fast on Saturnedayes in some places, in other pla­ces not, Augustinus Epist. 118. cap. 2. Hieronymus ad Li­cin. Epist.

To fast euery Lords day, so they did at Rome, Socra­tes ibid. this Augustine reprooueth in his dayes as an euill and scandalous thing in the Roman custome, be­cause it was vsed by the Maniches, and enioyned to their followers: in other places they would by no meanes fast on the Lords day, Augustinus ibidem, Hierony­mus ad Lucif. Tertull. de coron. mil.

To fast the time of Lent before Easter, by some three weekes, by some sixe weekes, and by some seuen weekes, Socrates, 5. 22. Dist. 4. cap. 5. This was commended also, as an Apostolicall tradition by Ambrosius, & Hieronimus, ad Marcell. And by Epiphanius Haeres. 75. 80. who shew­eth, that the Apostles inioyned, that all men should eate in Lent nothing but Bread, Salt, and Water, howbe­it, this is denied by Socrat. lib. 5. cap. 22. by affirming that namely, the Apostles neither made, nor left any lawes for fasting, but left it also as a matter free, the like doeth Au­gust. Epist. 86.

To fast from kindes of meate: some from euery kinde of liuing creatures: some eating onely fish, and fowles of the ayre: some not egges, nuttes, apples, nor any kinde of fruit: some onely dry bread: some not so much as that: Socrat. 5. 22. some onely bread, salt, and water, Epiphan. Haer. 75.

Touching sundry other Ceremonies.

TO signe ones selfe with the signe of the Crosse ad omnem progressum: at euery going abroad, and com­ming home: at putting on of apparrell, putting on of shooes, washing, sitting, lying downe, &c. Tertull. de co­ron. mil. Dist. 11. cap. 5. eccl. ex Basilio, commended to bee Apostolicall.

To make an offering yeerely for a mans birth day, Ter­tullian. cont. Marcion. lib. 1. & de coron. mil. commen­ded as Apostolicall, yet afterward abolished for Gen­tilisme.

To wash ones feete at a certaine season, Aug. Epi. 119. cap. 18.

The Temples were erected to stand East and West, the Altars of the Church stood Eastward; and some toward the West, Socrat. 5. 22.

III. Lastly concerning the effects of these Ceremonies [Page 91] and abuse of them. It is also manifest, that they farre excee­ded our Ceremonies prescribed in their euill effect, and were much more abused: First in the Fathers themselues, and next also in the people.

Touching the Fathers and Bishops of the Church some being simple and of small capacitie, and shallow iudge­ment, as Eusebius saith, receiued traditions without any searching of writings, as out of bare report. Such one was Papias, the hearer of S. Iohn, and companion of Poli­carp, who in this simplicity broached fabulous doctrine of the Chiliast error: by whom Irenaeus & others which were of the like opinion were deceiued, namely by pretending and reuerencing of his antiquity, Euseb. 3. 35. such were Tertullian and Lactantius.

Some were indued as Caluin instit. 4. 10. 18. and P. Martir. noteth Loc. com. class. 2. cap. 5. §. 20. & Zanch. de redempt. lib. 1. cap. 15. fol. 366. [...] quadam, with a certaine false, and erronious zeale, by being desirous to imitate the Iewish Ceremonies: which they doe both confirme and iustifie out of Aug. cap. 20. de catechizand. rudib. and Cal­uin noteth, that many of those Fathers, were non satis con­siderati & nimis curiosi ac cupid, iquorum vt quis (que) posterior e­rat, ita stulta aemulatione cum suis decessoribus certauit ne rerum nouarum inuentione cederet.

Some were deceiued by Heretickes, who to couer their pernicious heresies, did studiously broach traditions vnder the Apostles names and authoritie, so did Artemon, Basi­lides, Valentius, Marcion, Eusebius 5. 25. Clemens Strom. lib. 7.

And thus Tertullian is noted to haue been deceiued by Mon­tanus his Paraclet. and inspiration, as appeareth in his booke de veland. virgin.

Some are noted to haue ascribed too too much vnto traditions: So did Papias, Clemens, Origen and they cite Apo­cryphall booke to countenance them, and commend very sory matters, both of doctrine and of practise to themselues [Page 92] and others. So did Papias, Clemens, and Origen, and Basil, and Epiphanius, of which point, looke Chemnitius examp. parte. 1. de tradition. fol. 85, 86, 87. and what they could not sound from any true originall, sundry of them did vsually ascribe to the Apostles; So Hierome, Epiphanius, and Ambrose doe affirme Lent to bee an Apostolicall tradition: So Aug. Epi. 86. makes report of such, as alleadged Iames, Iohn, and Peter the Apostles, for fasting on the Sabbath, the vr­ging of which kinde of ground or allegation hee saith is, interminabilis contentio, generans lites, non finiens quaestiones: So the Easterne Churches did referre their obseruations of Easter to Saint Iohn, and the Churches of the West­erne parts vnto Saint Peter, and Saint Paul: But heere­of sayeth Socrates, 5. 22. Sozomen 7. 19. There is no euidence in writing, and therefore hee noteth them most likely to arise from custome, rather then from Canon.

Some of the ancient Bishops, gouerning at seuerall times, in diuers places, did commend the traditions, which they liked or fancied themselues, to their posterities for lawes. And this is Socrates obseruation ibid. a president whereof a man may see, Dist. 12. cap. 5. Ridiculum: and other places: see Caluin instit. 4. 10. 18. & quia periculum, &c. And their posteritie were no lesse superstitiously obsequi­ous in obseruing, then they in prescribing; for Sozomen saith, that in those dayes, in Cities and Villages, very ma­ny customes, which for reuerence of those which brought them in at first or of those which succeeded the bringers in, they who had beene trained vp in them, did by no meanes holde lawfull or tollerable to violate, which very thing fell out vnto men in this very feast of Easter, lib. 7. cap 19.

Some of the Fathers did bring in the Ceremonies with no superstition or opinion of merit, or necessitie, but with a good intention; namely, to stirre vp the more reuerence and admiration towards the Sacraments, and to stirre vp a [Page 93] kind of deuotion in the minds of men: which going fur­ther and further, and increasing, tooke strength vntill at last they turned to that manifest impiety, idolatry, and su­perstitions, as wee see in that supposed Church of Rome this day, Zepperus de Politia eccl. lib. 1. cap. 10. fol 55.

Some were deriued from the Gentiles, and though sometime they were vsed, yet they were afterward abolished; such as the yeerely offering for the birth day, Sadeel.

Some of the Ceremonies were brought in vpon occasi­on such as the signing of a mans selfe with the Crosse, which was vsed on occasion of the Pagans mocking of the Christians crucified God, that they might testifie vnto them, that they were Christians, and not ashamed of the Crosse of Christ: this Martyr Loc. class. 2. cap. 5. §. 20. noteth out of Augustine,, de verbis Apostoli ser. 8. which after grew to superstition. So the not fasting one the Sab­bath was established, on occasion that the Maniches did in ioyne fasting on that day to their disciples August. Epist. 86. so the gloria Patri, and as some suppose the threefold dipping of children in Baptisme, was brought in by way of opposition to the Arians and Antitrinitarians, Sozom. 6. 26.

All, or the very most part of these their ceremonies, were significatiue, as before appeares; many of them in the euent were holden opperatiue, such as the imposition of hands, signe of the crosse, anointing with oyle, Tertullian de resur­rectione carnis. Caro vngitur vt anima consecretur: Caro signa­tur vt anima muniatur: Caro manus impositione adumbratur vt et anima spiritu illuminetur: looke more in Bellarm. Tom. de Imag lib. 2. cap. 29.

They were in processe of time, & increase of superstitions (as many little streames meeting in along tract, doe end in an Ocean:) So multiplied for number and burthen, that to the more sincere and prudent Fathers, the estate of the Iewes seemed more tolerable and easie then the estate of the Christians of those times, Augustine Epistle, 119. cap. 19.

Some of them were very eager and inexorable for the obseruation of them, it was accounted nefat on the Lords day to kneele in prayer, Tertull. cont. Marcion. lib. 1. & de coron. mil. and who hath not heard of thē foule coile which Victor the Romish Bishop kept, or at least began to keepe against the Churches of the Easterne world: whom onely for not obseruing the order of the Westerne Churches, hee would haue excommunicated, and giuen them all vnto the Diuell at a clap: which audacious and frantike attempt of that turbulent and boisterous Prelat, al­beit it be cogingly blanched ouer by Sanderus vi­sib. Monarch. lib 7. num. 22, 23, 24, 25 fol. 246, 247, 248. Sanders, Bellarm de Rom pont. l. 2. c. 19. Bellarmine, Baron. An­nal. Tom. 1. anno. 198. Baronius, & Genebrard. Chronol. lib. 3 anno Christi, 206 fol. 389. Genebrard (fit dawbers of so tottring a wall) as if it had beene by him, as by the primacy of the Romish Sea, yet it is farre otherwise reported in the records of antiquity: for first it is plainely said by Irenaeus that this excommunication was flat against the minds and prac­tise of the most reuerend Fathers, such as Policarp the dis­ciple of Saint Iohn, and other Romish Bishops his pre­decessors: such as Amicetus, Pius, Higynus, Telesphorus, & Xistus, who in the like difference gaue not the like example, neither did they hold this odds of such trifles as Irenaeus calls them, a matter of that quality to breake communion, but held fast the band of loue and vnity, Euseb. 5. 24. Socrat. 5. 22.

That this censure of the man, was done in exces­siue heate, or in a pelting chafe on his part, as Socrates affirmeth, 5. 22. that Irenaeus Bishop of Lions, did put Victor in remembrance of his duety, Eusebius 5. 24 sharpe­ly reprooued him, ibidem, and bitterly inueighed against him, and contested with him by letters, Socrates 5. 22. that all the Easterne Bishops still kept their old by as from the Romish Sea, for all the threates of Victor, euen vnto the time of the Nicaene Council, when all agreed with­out any absolution at all, from Victors thunder-clappe, yea that Policrates, the president of the Easterne Bi­shops, and all the rest which were very many, were [Page 95] not moued an haire at these rattles, set vp to fright them, Euseb. 5. 23. Where by the way wee may vnderstand two points.

First what a feeble Primacy, the Pope had in those times, besides his possibilities and actuality of erring, euen in Catheàra being so countermaunded reprooued, and disobeyed, by such incomparable Churches, and teachers.

Secondly, how dangerously the Papists put the iumpe of all their sempiternall expectations vppon the credit, euen of the greatest clerkes, which so vn­truely, falsly, and corruptly relate the recordes of an­tiquity.

Next, for the effect and abuse of these things in the people, wee may easily see that if the fountaines bee troubled the streames cannot bee cleere, as may appeare by that which followeth.

Many things commaunded in the holy Scrip­tures, and of very holsome and good vse, were lesse respected and cared for, then many light matters, whereof they ouerbouldly presumed, August. Epist. 119. cap. 19.

Many of them neglected and swallowed great things, placing opinion of religion, and shewing great diligence in following or practising such things as had in them small profit, Hieronymus. in Mattheum cap. 23.

Many of them were obserued to bee troublesome to others by being caried on with a contentious ob­stinacy, others by a superstitious timorousnesse about such trifles, as neither were comfirmed, by authority of the holy Scripture, nor by the custome of the Church in generall, neither serued for any profit to the amendment of life and manners, August. Epist. 118. cap. 3.

As for example they were very superstitious and precise [Page 96] in bearing about certaine little peeces of the Gospels: and of the wood of the crosse. & istiusmodi rebus, and in the like things, and vsque bodié factitant, doing it euen to that day, hauing the zeale of God, but not according to knowledge, straining at a gnat and swallowing a Cammell, Hieron. in Matt. cap. 23.

They were maruelous precise in their fastings; for on their fasting dayes, they would eate no oile nor bread, but figges, pepper, nutts, dates, flower, hony, pi­stachia, all herbes and fruits growing in the garden (& delicias) and other delicates, they would not drinke water, but they would haue instead thereof, sor­bitiunculas delicatas: delicate suppings, and the Iuice of herbes pressed out, and that not in a cup, but in the shell of a Sea-fish: they sought famam abstinentiae, in delitijs, commendation of their abstinence, by vsing, delicates: Hierom. calleth these things, ineptiae: superstitiones: Ieiunium superstitiosum in Epist. ad Neapot.

They censured such as dined on the Sabbath soberly, and did not fast as the manner of some places was: that namely they were in the flesh, and could not please God; that they were wicked persons, belly mongers, and that they sauou­red of the flesh, and of death, and their voice was this, rece­dant a me iniqui, viam eorum esse nolo, and they separated from them, Aug. Epist. 86. ad Casulanum.

They would not serue God in a temple once abused to Idolatry, neither eate any herbes growing in the garden, nor drinke any water running from the fountaine of an Idoll-temple, Idem Epist. 154. Publicol.

They would more sharpely reprooue a man (qui per octa­uas suas terram nudo pede tetigerit) Who during the time of their octaues, should touch the ground with his bare feete, then a man which was with wine starke drunke, Idem Epist. 119. cap. 19.

Some of them did absteine from eating flesh, with such a mind, as that they iudged those persons vncleane which [Page 97] did eat thereof: This Augustine writeth out of the report of Ianuar. Epist. 119. cap. 20. and giueth his censure there­of, that namely, apertissimé contra fidem sanam (que) doctrinam est.

In a word, many of them, out of their owne fancies, or from the custome of other places, did cause such litigious questions about these matters vngrounded in the Scrip­ture, and vnprofitable in their nature, that they thought no­thing right, which they did not themselues, August. Epist. 118. cap. 3.

And thus in part, we see a small glimse of the state of the Primatiue Church of Christ, which we commonly ac­count and is heere extended from the daies of the Apostles, vntil the time of S. Augustine or there about: For afterwards the same (which then was clouded) declined vnto darke night, and we will descend no lower, knowing that iust ex­ception might be taken at it in this argument.

Now in the next place we will giue a taste of the doctrine and practise of the Fathers, and the faithfull in the middest of these corruptions, that we may see how the doctrine of suffering depriuation for inconuenient ceremonies (farre more for number, and worse for qualitie then ours are pretended) hath by them beene proposed and practised. Touching their doctrine of this point, thus they taught:

That the Apostles driftin their writings, was not to set downe Canons and Decrees concerning Feasts and Holi­daies (or such like Ceremonies of the Church) but to set downe a president of pietie, good life and godly conuersa­tion, Socrat. 5. 22.

Seeing there is no man able to shew any president or re­cord in writing (of fasting daies or the like traditions) it is euident that the Apostles did leaue free choice and liber­tie to euery Church at the discretion thereof, without feare, compulsion, and constraint to vse that which seemeth good and commendable for it selfe, ibid. the like doth Augustine, Epist. 86. speake of fasting.

They obserued three sorts of Traditions or Ceremo­nies [Page 98] in the Churches of their times; First, such as Christ left to his Church, expresly set downe in the Canonicall Scriptures, which Augustine calleth an easie yoke and light burthen, very few for the number, very easie for the ob­seruation, very excellent for signification (he mentioneth onely baptisme and the Lords Supper) whereby hee hath knit together the society noui Populi of the new Church.

Secondly, such Traditions or Ceremonies in the Chur­ches of their times, as are not written but deliuered, and are obserued throughout the whole world, supposed to pro­ceed from the Apostles, or from the prescription of gene­rall Councells (whose authority was wholesome (quoth he) to be esteemed of) such as the dayes obserued yeerely to the memoriall of Christ his passion, resurrection, asension, and descension of the holy Ghost, commonly called Pen­tecost or Whitsontide.

Thirdly, such as in diuers parts and places of the world are obserued diuersly, as for example, that some doe fast on the Sabboth, others doe not so; some doe daily receiue the Communion, other receiue it on certaine dayes: In some places it is celebrated on all dayes without exception, other where onely on Saturne dayes, and on the Lords day: Et si quid aliud huiusmodi animaduerti potest, totum hoc genus rerum liberas habet obseruationes, August. Epist. 118. cap. 1. & 2. Ianuar.

That there ought of necessity one faith to be spread ouer the whole Church, as the soule within the members, albeit this vnitie of faith, be celebrated and solemnized with di­uers obseruations, by which diuersity that which is true in the substance of faith, nullo modo impeditur, is no way hin­dred because all the beautie of the Kings daughter is within: but the outward Ceremonies which are diuersly obserued, are as vpon her garment, August. Epist. 86.

That the difference and variety of fastings, or of dayes obserued in diuers Churches (or Ceremonies of like na­ture) doth not interrupt or impaire but commend the vnity [Page 99] and consonance of faith, so saith Irenaeus, Euseb. 5. 24. the like is, in Distinct. 12. cap. 3. scit. Sancta.

That if their be any matter of this quality, which is con­trary to the grounded obseruation of Christ and his Apo­stles; It must be reduced to the doctrine & practise of Christ and his Apostles; againe, though their predecessours of simplicitie or ignorance had erred (which by Gods mercy might be pardoned to them) in which case men ought not to obserue, what any man before them did thinke fit to be done, but what Iesus Christ (who is farre before all) did per­forme himselfe, Cypr. Epist. 3. lib. 2. Legantur plura.

That Ceremonies and Traditions (such as fasting on a certaine day, as on the Lords day) after that they haue beene vsurped and abused by detestable and damnable He­retikes (as that was by the Maniches) ought not to be obser­ued, but disused for the scandall thereof, Aug. Ep. 86. Casul.

That all such Ceremonies and Traditions, which are not contained in the holy Scriptures, neither established by ge­neral Councels, neither vniuersally obserued in the Church, but are varied innumerable waies in diuers Churches, which either for number did ouerload the Church with a seruile burthen, or for whose continuance there could not be giuen a sound reason, albeit it doe not appeare that they be contra fidem, yet vbi facultas tribuitur, sine vlla dubitatione resecanda existimo: They ought without staggaring to bee cut off, when conueniently they may saith Augustine, Epist. 119. cap. 19. Ianuario.

That these cautions in establishing of Ceremonies (be­ing obserued) such Ecclesiasticall Traditions as do no hurt vnto the faith, are so to be obserued, as they are deliuered of the auncients, neither ought the opposite custome of some, ouerthrow or preiudice the custome of other, dist. 12. cap. 4. Illud. out of Hier. Epist. 28. ad Lucinum. In the which Epistle hee concludeth also thus, Vnaquaeque prouincia abundet in sensu suo. Touching Ceremonies, let euery Countrey a­bound in their owne sence, presupposing their former cau­tion [Page 100] that therein they impaire not the faith.

That whatsoeuer is inioyned in any Church, which is, Neque contra fidem, neque contra bonos mores, ney­ther opposite against faith, neyther yet good manners, is to beholden as indifferent, and to be kept, according to their custome with whom wee liue, August. Epist. 118. cap. 2. Ianuar.

That in matters whereof the Scripture hath determined no certainty, the custome of Gods people is to be followed, August. Epist. 86.

That there is no rule or discipline better, or more fit for a graue and prudent Christian, then to doe after that man­ner as he seeth to be performed in that church, to the which it falleth out that he shal come, Aug. Epist. 118. This is to be vnderstood of such Ceremonies, as before he saith are not contrary to faith nor manners, for of such hee expresly speaketh, and then also he presupposeth a true Church.

That into whatsoeuer Church a man shal come, he ought to obserue the customes or Ceremonies which hee findeth there to be in vse, if he will not giue scandall to others, nei­ther receiue scandall from other. This was the counsell of Ambrose to Augustine, on the behalfe of his mother Moni­ca; Ego verò (saith Augustine) de hâc sententia etiam atque etiam cogitans ita semper habui, tanquam eam caelesti oraculo susceperim, Epist. 118. cap. 3.

That vpon occasion of refusall of these matters, Cauen­dum est ne tempestate contentionis serenitas charitatis obnubile­tur, August. Epist. 86. The law of charity must moderate this controuersie.

That if disputation bee once admitted on the one side, from the diuers custome of some Churches, to condemne others in these Ceremonies, there will arise interminata lucta­tio, a boundlesse strugling or contention, which with toile of ianling will produce no conclusions of any certaine truth, Agust. Epist. 86.

That if on the other side, men do labour to ground their [Page 101] particular Ceremonies on the authoritie of the Apostles: thence also commeth interminabilis contentio generans lites, non finiens quaestiones, an in determinable contention breeding strife, without deciding of the question, Idem ibid.

That it was most euidently opposite to faith, and to sound doctrine for Christians, about the vsing or not vsing of these things, to censure one another, in respect of their standing in true grace, by iudging one another to be vn­cleane, August. Epist. 119. cap. 20.

Thus of their doctrine: Now of their practise.

ALthough the teachers of diuers Churches, did vary ve­ry much in the iudgement & practise of diuers Cere­monies, as for example in the obseruation of fasting, some fasting one day, some two, some more, some fortie, as Euseb. 5. 24. as also in the celebration of the daies, as of the daie of Easter, some obseruing it on the Lords day (as the Westerne Churches did) some keeping it on the foureteenth of the moneth: both sides deriuing their practise from the A­postles, Socrat. 5. 22. yet for all this difference they were at vnitie one with another, thus writeth Irenaeus to Victor, Eusebius. 5. 24. they were not at discord one with another, neither fell they out, Socrat. 5. 22. they varied not among themselues about these trifling matters, Euseb. 5. 24. they perswaded not one another vpon either side to practise other then they did, Euseb. 5. 24. they vsed not a word of discord about this matter, ibid. they did not euer excom­municate one another for this difference, Euseb. 5. 24. they did communicate on with another for all this difference, Socrat. 5. 22. they parted when they met one from another in peace, Euseb. 5. 24. they neuer deuided the Communion of the Church, neither brake they asunder the bonds of amitie, Socrat. 5. 22. nor depart from their mutuall Com­munion, Sozom. 7. 19. but all of them in their variety held fast the bond of loue and vnitie, Euseb. 5. 24. and the reason [Page 102] is well added and expressed by Sozom. 7. 19. for they held it (quoth he) a friuolous thing and that deseruerdly, for those to be mutually separated from the benefit of eithers Com­munion: Qui in praecipuis religionis capitibus consentirent, which agreed in the chiefe and fundamentall points of reli­gion: For neither (saith he) shall you finde the same tradi­tions in all Churches alike in euery point, albeit they agree among themselues: and to proue this hee fetteth downe a multitude of differences, of diuers Churches, both of disci­pline and Ceremonies.

They sharpely reproued such, Euseb. 5. 24. and bitterly inueighed against them, Socrat. 5. 22. as troubled the Church by attempting to compell other Churches from their owne auncient custome to their practise, and for threatning them with excommunication, for not obeying their admonition, as before we noted.

They regarded not those excommunications, neither obeyed they such admonitions, but persisted in their course, and so protested openly that they would do, Euseb. 5. 23. 25.

The Church of God in those times, being placed among much chaffe and many tares, did tollerat many things (which for the time she could not well amend) & tamen quae sunt contra fidem (saith Augustine) vel bonam vitam non appro­bat, nec tacet, nec facit, yet neither did she appoue, conceale, nor practise any thing which is contrary to the faith▪ or good life, Epist. 119. cap. 20.

They held their Ceremonies not necessary, but alterable: for Constantine sent Osius Bishop of Corduba, to make an vniformitie of obseruing Easter, Sozom. 1. 15. but Osius re­turned and could doe nothing therein, cap. 16. thereupon the Necene Councill was by Constantine gathered, wherein the matter of the Easterne controuersie was ended, and all conformed in one order, ibid. namely to the order obserued in the Westerne part, Theodoret. Hist. Ecclesi. 1. 9. fol. 585.

They grieued and lamented to behold many perturbati­ons of weake Christians, to haue beene wrought, partly by [Page 103] the contentious obstinacy, partly by the superstitious time­rousnesse, quorundam fratrum, of certaine brethren, which raised such contentious questions about Ceremonies, and matters of this nature, which were neither grounded on authoritie of holy Scripture, nor on the generall obseruati­on of the Church, nor were profitable for correction of life and maners in as much, as they thought nothing to be right, but that themselues did▪ August. Epist. 118. cap. 3.

They grieued exceedingly to see many holesome pre­cepts of diuine Scripture to bee lesse regarded, and such a­boundance of presumptuous euery where, that they would more sharpely reproue a man for the violating of a trifling Ceremonie, then they would reproue a man for drunken­nesse August. Epist. 119. cap. 19.

There were many such inconueniences, which they durst not reproue more freely then they did, that they might auoid the offence and scandall, partly of certaine holy per­sons, and partly also of some other turbulent persons, ibid.

They practised the Ceremonies of euery Church, where­soeuer they came, as they saw them there practised and vsed, so they were not opposite to faith and good maners: so did Ambrose, and so did Augustine and his mother Monica, at the perswasion of Saint Ambrose, August. epist. 86. & 119. cap. 3.

They perswaded euery Church to follow her owne custome, Sozom.

They perswaded euery Minister compassionately to cor­rect, as much as in him did lye, whatsoeuer was amisse, and that hee could not amend, to beare it patiently, and with a tender and louing affection to grieue and mourne at it, August. contra Parmen. lib. 3. cap. 2.

They perswaded the members of the Church, euery one of them to obserue, as much as in them lie, the ceremonies & customes of the Church, wherin they did come or remaine, if they be not contra fidē aut contra bonos mores, vt decet ecclesiae prudentē ac pacificū, as becommeth a prudent and peaceable, [Page 104] some of the Church, August. Epist. 118. cap. 5. 7. thus did Ambrose teach and perswade Augustine, telling him that he would teach him none other, then he practised himselfe: Et si melius nosset, id potius obseruaret: herein also did Augus­tine and his mother rest, this aduise they reuerenced as an Oracle, and practised the same; and thus the same Saint Augustine perswaded others, as namely Casulan. and Ianuar. to whom he wrote, Epist. 86. & 118. c. 3.

Lastly, they taught vnto men the doctrine, and perswa­ded them vnto the practise of their Christian libertie, from all humane ordinances when by them it was endangered or questioned, as also in a case of necessitie, or of superior rea­son, so Spiridion the B B. of Cyprus, when his guest hauing nothing else to eate, denied to eate Porke flesh in the time of Lent, because hee was a Christian; yea rather eate (quoth hee) because thou art a Christian, for that all things are cleane to the cleane. Sozom. lib. 1. cap. 11. Hist. tripartit. 1. 10. of the like nature is that of Augustine before alleadged, Epist. 119. cap. 20.

And so much of the iudgement and practise of the Pri­mitiue Churches and fathers, out of the which I know it is not possible, that any man should conclude the doctrine of the necessitie of suffering depriuation, for refusing inconue­nient Ceremonies; for my part, I suppose it clearely crush­ed and quelled, in the vniforme iudgement and practise of the Primitiue times. Neither truely doe I know, or haue euer read, or heard any thing much differing from this which is here set downe, not that I make their iudgement or practise the infallible rule of trueth, to ouerrule and guid my conscience or the consciences of others by, but it pro­ueth the point in question clearely, that namely the doc­trine and practise of depriuation, is opposite to all the best iudgements, the most spirituall and Godly minded, yea the most eminent lights, and must sanctified vessels of Gods grace, after the times of the Apostles in the Primatiue Churches. Neither doe I thinke that there were any better [Page 105] or many other then these to bee found, vnlesse a man should picke out the opinions of conuinced and condem­ned Heretikes and Schismatikes. And for my part since I perceiued this their vniforme consent, I durst not bee peremptory or refractorie in dissenting therefrom, especi­ally perceiuing withall the consenting harmony of all our later writers, and reformed Churches, to agree and iumpe with them, both in doctrine and in practise of these things, and in matters of this nature; which now in the next place, by the helpe of God, I will labour to make manifest.

Secondly therefore I will prooue the second part of the assumption, namely, [that the doctrine and practise of leauing ones ministerie by suffering depriuation for not conforming to the Ceremonies prescribed, is opposite vnto the doctrine and practise of all true reformed Chur­ches and teachers or all classicall writers.]

That this point also may bee made euident, wee must consider (as wee did before) two points: first of the estate of reformed Churches in respect of Ceremonies: Next, the iudgement, doctrine, and practise of the most excellent teachers and classicall writers of our time.

The former of these points will teach vs, that the estate Point. 1. of reformed Churches, in respect of inconuenient Ceremo­nies exceedeth ours, (supposing ours to bee inconuenient, as is pretended) in three points, euen in number, nature, and effect. For the Ceremonies of other reformed Chur­ches, are for number more, and for their nature and ef­fect much worse, whereof the intelligent Reader may ea­sily vnderstand, in considering some of their particular Ce­remonies, which I here set downe.

Touching Baptisme.

THey doe vse the signe of the Crosse in the Danish and Lutheran Churches: Heming. syntag. 4. lege Decalog. §. 3. fol. 365.

They doe vse exorcisme in Baptisme: planè Papistico mo­re, ibid. Putaeus lib. 2. exercit. 24. fol. 170. Lutherani exorcis­mum cum signatione crucis defendunt, vt Muller. Leiser.

They permit allow and defend the Baptisme of Wo­men, Colloqu. Mompelgart. fol. 499. Conrad. Schlusselb. lib. 1. cap. 18 fol. 60.

They vse the old hallowed Fonts to baptize in Berne, and Lansanna: Beza in vita Caluini anno 1538. and euerie where.

They haue such as vndertake for childrens education in Baptisme, commonly called Godfathers, Caluin. Ep. 302. fol. 491. So in the Lowe Countries, as appeareth, in Actis inferioris Germaniae, M. Can. 41. anno 1581. apud Sculting. Anachr. Hierarch. lib. 9.

Touching the Lords Supper.

THey vse kneeling at the Communion in all the Lu­theran Churches, Harmon. confess. Bohem. §. 14. fol. 120 and that is the more dangerous, because of their doctrine of consubstantiation.

They vse the Wafer cake, as the Papists doe, in the Church of Geneua, Bez. in vita Caluin.

They giue it in priuate, and vnto the sicke, Schluselb. lib. 1. cap. 30. fol. 161, 162. Harm. confess. §. 16. Witenberg. fol. 197. Yea, they gaue it vnto onely two, ibid. §. 14. fol. 146.

They retaine the name of Missa, the Masse, Harm. con­fess. §. 14. fol. 107. Augustan.

They keepe none backe from the Communion, be they neuer so scandalous of life, in the Churches of Heluetia, in libello de ritibus Eccles. Tigur. fol. 16.

The ministers doe put in the Bread and Wine into the mouthes of the Communicants, ibid. fol. 15.

Touching the holy Scripture.

THey make the Epistle to the Hebrewes, and that of Solom. Ges­ner. compend. de Script. fol. 11. Iames, and the second and third of Iohn, and Iude, with the Apocalyps, to be either Apocryphals, or at least of more doubtful authority then other parts of Scripture in the Lu­theran Churches, Chemnit. Enchir. fol. 63. propositiones Mar­purg. tom. 1. Hunnij. fol. 3. tom. 2. Winkelman. fol. 5. Laelius de ver­bo Dei proposit. 22. fol. 113. propos. 22. 130.

They reade the Scriptures after the forme of Epistles and Gospels in the Churches of the Lutherans, Helue­tians, Nassouians, Countie Palatines, as appeareth by the Epistle of Luther, Melancthon. Heming. Gualt. Oleuian. Tex­tor. So Harm. confess. §. 1. fol. 9. Bohem. lib. de ritibus Eccles. Tigur. fol. 4.

They reade publikely the Apocryphal Books of Scrip­ture in the Church.

Touching prayer and Leturgie.

THey retaine the forme of their Leturgie like vnto the Masse booke, Harm. confess. §. 14. fol. 127. Augustan. fol. 131. ibid. Looke the Booke de ritibus Eccl. Tigur. fol. 12, 13, 15, 16. they haue the Angelicall Hymne, Gospels, gloria Patri, gloria tibi Domine after the Gospel, &c.

They haue sundry prayers and Hymnes in the Latine tongue, Harm. confess. §. 14. fol. 127. Aug.

They haue the vse of Waxe candles in the Lutheran and Danish Churches, Heming. syntag. 4. lex. Decal. §. 33. fol. 365. Simlerus de vita Bulling. fol. 34.

They vse the Surplesse, Heming ibid. Simler. ibid.

They vse no singing of Psalmes in some Churches of Heluetia, in lib, de ritibus Eccle. Tigur. fol. 9. b.

They suffer and doe vse priuate prayers at burials, ibid. fol. 27. a. b.

Touching Churches.

THeir old Churches idolatrously abused, standing East and West, with the Chancell, and in forme of a Crosse retained euery where.

They retaine Images in their Churches, and maintaine a lawfull vse of them, Colloq. Mompelg. fol. 390, 403, 404. Schlusheb. Theolog. Calu. li. 1. cap. 10. fol. 35. 36. Eckhard. Fasc. quaest. cap. 8. quaest. 3. Heming. syntag 4. lex Decal. §. 33. fol. 365. Siml. b. sup.

They retaine Altars, in stead of the Communion Table, so placed in the Church, as are the idolatrous altars of the Papists, Colloqu. Mompelgart. fol. 424. 425. In the Lutheran Churches, and also in the Church of Berne, Ibid. Heming. syntag. 4. lex decal. §. 33. fol. 365. They retaine the vse of Or­gans in the Church and other musicall instruments, Colloq. Mompelg. fol. 391. 409.

Touching discipline.

THey haue Diocesan Bishops and Archbishops in Simler. in vit. Bulling. fol. 35, 36. Heming. en­chirid. class 3. cap. 10. ord. Eccle. fol. 348. Idem. Syntag. tit. gubernat. Eccl. §. 15, 16, 17. fol. 228. Denmarke, and superintendants, and euen Abbots in Germany among the Lutherans, Melancht. consil. part. 1. fol. 95, 96, 225, 276, 610. Harm. confes. §. 17. fol. Augustan. Some Bishops of France conuerted from Popery, retained their place and office still by common consent of the French Church, Caluin. Epist. 373. fol. 646, 647, 648. So Martyr. Loc. com. ad finem, inter Ep. fol. 1143. Bezae.

They haue no vse at all of excommunication in the Churches of Countie Palatine Heluetia, of Witenberg, & Mompelgart. Erast. de excommunica. fol. 356, 382. Vrsin catech. part. 2. qu. 83, 84. fol. 620. Caluin. Epist. 166, 170, 366. neither ruling Elders, T. C. his admonit. fol. 83, 84.

They haue holy dayes of Christ his Natiuitie, Passion, Resurrection, Pentecost, &c. in the Heluetian Churches, lib. [Page 109] de ritib. Eccl. Tigur. fol. 4. In the Churches of the Low-coun­tries. Brownist 2. Letters to Iunius, in the Churches of Denmarke, Heming. Syntagm. 4 lex Decal. 22. 24. 25. fol. 363. 364. Also in the Church of Berne, Aretius Problem. loc. 99. fal. 289.

They haue holidaies consecrated to the memoriall of the Virgin Mary, the twelue Apostles, S. Paul, S. Iohn Baptist, S. Stephen, Innocents, Saint Michael, Al Saints, as appeareth in the Epistles which are before alleadged, also Heming. vbi sup. Harm. confess. §. 19. fol. 176. Bohem.

Their Ministers are called by them, Sacerdotes Priests, as are the Popish Mass-priests Harm. confess. Bohem. §. 11. fol. 47. & fol. 4. 62. Aug. Item. §. 13. fol. 93. Bohem. Heming. syn­tag. 4. lex Decal. §. 11. fol. 43. albeit otherwise the Tigurines disclaime this name being taken in the worser sence Harm. confess. §. 11. fol. 38.

They haue Deacons not Collectors for the poore, but a degree to the Ministry and an assistant to him: yea sup­plying the place of a Minister in his absence. Harm. confess. 11. fol. 47. lib. 2. de ritibus Eccle. Tigur. fol. 7. & 16.

Their Ministers in the Heluetian Churches doe play the Deacons, and gather contributions for the poore, lib. de ritibus. Eccles. Tigur. fol. 22.

They practise and maintaine auricular confession and pri­uate absolution Harm confess. §. 8 fol. 142. 143. Bohem § ibid fol. 147. 150. August.ibid fol. 154. Saxon.ibid. fol 160. Witten­berg. schlusselb. Theol. Caluinist. lib. 1. cap. 19. fol. 6. 9. Simlerus in vita Bullingeri. fol. 34. calleth it priuatam quandam confessio­nem parum a Papistica differentem: yet looke Zepper. de Sa­cram. cap. 35. fol. 787. 798.

They allow and practise a kind of preaching and absolu­tion of repentant sinners by women, in the absence of the minister among the Lutherans, Colloqu. Mompelg. fol. 499.

And thus wee see in part the estate of reformed Churches [Page 110] in respect of ceremonies, Not that hereby I doe goe about to iustifie these Ceremonies which they doe practise, but thinking and professing many of them rather most fit to be abolished in many respects, and the Churches of Christ to be reduced so much as is possible to Apostolicall simplicity. Non dam­namus ve­teres illos qui morem hunc seruârunt; habuerunt enim graues pro ratione il­lorum tempo­rum causas. Chemnit. Ex­am. part. 2. fol. 102. As neither doe I vtterly condemne their practise of these things, as knowing that there may bee iust and many oc­casions for Churches to retaine inconuenient ceremonies, and that by the examples of the very Apostles, yet here wee may see how farre more iustifiable our Churches estate is which (to speake the truth) hath fewer, and those more con­uenient and decent ceremonies, then many other reformed Churches, whose ceremonies are more lyable to excepti­on then ours, whether we respect the number, or the nature, or the euill effect of the said ceremonies. Now it followeth that we consider of the iudgement, and practise of the most excellent teachers and classicall writers of our reformed Churches; who excelling in the greatest measure of know­ledge, sanctification, power, & blessing, were made the mar­ueilous and mighty instruments of God in this latter age, to propagate the euerlasting Gospell to the Church and to re­ueale, and ruinat the kingdome of Antichrist. First of their iudgement touching ceremonies in generall appeareth to be this that followeth.

First touching the Fathers, albeit they doe testifie their dislike of the want of heedfullnesse, with abundance of curi­osity, aemulation and of Zeale, with some Lacke of know­ledge for their iniunction strict defending and multiplying of ceremonies in sundry of the Fathers, as may further ap­peare, Caluin. Instit. lib. 4. cap 10. sect. 18. Beza confess. de eccles. cap. 5. §. 20. fol. 129. Idem Epist. 8. fol. 71. 72. 73. P. Martyr Loc. class. 2. cap. 5. §. 20. Zanch. de redempt. lib. 1. cap. 5. fol. 366. b & c ‖ yet they all generally approue of the fore alleadged doctrine and practise of the Fathers concerning the cere­monies namely:

They iustify Irenaeus for reproouing Victor, and con­demne [Page 111] Victor for censuring other Churches for the diffe­rence in such trifles. Also they commend the saying of Irenaeus: That the difference of fasting, doeth not dissolue the consent of faith, Caluin. inst. 4. 7. 7. Idem Epistola 118. fol. 215. Zanch. confess. cap. 24. §. 10. fol. 207. Idem compend. Loc. 16. fol. 654. Harm. confess. § 16. fol. 176. Heluet. Poster. Beza. Epist. 8. fol. 71. calleth the message of Irenaeus to Ʋictor, insignis Epistola. Looke also Polanus Symphonia, Cathol. cap. 47. fol. 1212. Zepper. Polit Eccles. lib. 1. cap. 11. fol. 74. Idem de Sacrament. cap. 13. fol. 329. Paraeus in Rom. 14. Dub. 4. fol. 1203.

They commend the iudgement and saying of Socrates: That the Apostles left no ordinance of Ceremonies in wri­ting: That these things were left by them free for euery Church: That no Religion doeth obserue the same Rites: That they who agree in the faith, doe differ in their Rites among themselues, Harm. confess. § 16. Heluet. Poster. fol. 176. & ibid. Augustan. fol. 187. 191 Where they alleadge the saying of Socrates out of Tripartit. Hist. 9. 38. Harm. con­fess. §. 17. Heluet. Poster. fol. 211. Zanch. Compend. Loc. 16. fol. 654. Zepper. Polit. Eccles. lib. 1. cap. 11. fol. 74.

They commend the practise of Polycarp with Anicetus, Pius, Higinnus, Telesphorus, and Xist: who as Grinaeus noteth in his note on Eusebius 5. 23. Propter adiaphora non mouebant certamina.

They commend the doctrine of Ceremonies contained in Augustine, and of Ambrose, alleaged by him, Epist. 86. 118. 119. before alleadged, Harm. confess. §. 16. fol. 187. 189. August. Caluin. Instit. 4. 10. § 13. 14. 19. Peter Martyr Loc. Class. 2. cap. 4. § 39. fol. 203. and Class. 4. c. 4. §. 4. fol. 7. Sadeel de verbo Dei Scripto, cap. 5. fol. 32. Regula 4. Ibid. fol. 34. Obi. 9. Aretius Problem. cap. 83. de adiaph. fol. 267. Paraeus in Rom. 14. Dub. 4. fol. 1203. Quibus de rebus in genere vehementer probamus at (que) amplectimur vtram (que) Epistolam Augustini ad Ianuar. saith Zanchius confess. cap. 24. § 15. fol. 2 [...]1. and cap. 25. §. 30. fol. 251. yea they doe specially commend the [Page 112] practise of that councill which was giuen by Ambrose to Aug. Namely that all men ought to fashion themselues for ceremonies according to the custome of the church, wherof they are, or whereto they come; So as those ceremonies be not against faith or good manners, Zanch de operibus re­dempt. cap. 10. fol. 188. 6. & cap. 19. fol. 696. item Danaeus Isag. part. 3. lib. 4 cap. 18. fol. 410.

They allow of the doctrine of Hierom: ad Lucin. Epist. That the constitutions of euery Church are to be kept, and obserued which doe not hurt vnto the faith, Sadeel de ver­bo Dei Script. cap. 5. Regula. 4. fol. 32. Zanch. comp end. Loc. 16. fol. 655. Polanus. Symphon. Catholike, cap. 49. Thess. 4. fol. 1239. and of this saying also of his in place, In his rebus abun­det quaeuis in sensu suo P. Martyr Loc. Clas. 4. cap. 4. §. 4. fol. 711.

They doe partly excuse, and partly commend and al­low the ceremonies, vsed by the Fathers, and mentioned in Tertullian Zanch. in Eph. 5. fol. 448.

They giue a probable and a commendable reason of the Fathers Studious commending of traditions & Ecclesiasti­call rites, vt vias omnes schismaticis obstruerent, Sadeel. de verbi Dei Script. cap. 5. fol. 32.

They commend the saying of Pope Leo 9. & Nicholas the first, that the rites and customes which are diuersified ac­cording to the circumstances of the place and time, doe neither hurt the vnity of the Church, neither the Saluation of beleeuers, Harm. confess. §. 16. fol. 191. August. & §. 17. fol. 215. Bohem. taken out of Decret. part. 1. Dist. 12. cap. 3. scit sancta.

They perswade and enforce the doctrine of Augustine a­gainst the Donatists cont Parmen. 2. 1. and 3. 1. 2. that if priuat persōs do perceiue the corruptions of the Church to be but slackly reformed, they must not therefore presently depart from the church: or if the pastors themselues cannot reforme all abuses and corruptions as they would themselues, they must not therefore cast off their Ministery or (inusitatâ asperi­tate) with extraordinary harshnes and eagernes trouble the [Page 113] whole Church, because the life of Church discipline stands in this, to retaine the vnitie of the spirit in the bond of peace: and therefore out of Cyprian they doe exhort, Miserecorditer igitur corripiat homo quod potest quod autem non potest patienter ferat, & cum dilectione gemat atque lugeat, Caluin. inst. 4. 12. 11.

Next, let vs see their owne vniforme and intire doctrine and iudgement of those things, thus they teach.

That all Churches should labor, as much as possible may be, to Apostolicall simplicitie and paucitie of Ceremonies, which they iudge the safest, purest, and the best, Pet. Martyr. loc. com. inter Epist. fol. 1086. Hoopero & fol. 1125. amic. in Angl. Beza confess. de Eccle. cap. 5. §. 20. fol. 129. Zanch. confess. cap. 25. §. 30. fol. 249. Caluin. Epist. 303. fol. 497. Bucer. script. Anglican. fol. 705. Resp. ad literas, Iocun. Hooperi. de re vesti­aria. Zepper. de Sacrament, cap. 13. fol. 32.

That Iesus Christ would not prescribe the particulars of externall discipline and ceremonies what we should follow: for that hee foresawe that these things depended vpon the condition of the times, neither did he iudge one forme to a­gree to all ages, & therfore in this case the Church must run vnto the generall rule of the Word, namely of order, decen­cy, and edification: of the which rules determination, cha­rity must be the moderator, in adding, altering, abrogating, Caluin inst. 4. 10. 30. Bucer. vbi superius, fol. 708. Hoopero.

That albeit the Apostolical doctrine be exactly perfect, to the which we may neither derogate, neither adde anything: yet in rites and ceremonies of the Church it is otherwise, for that the Apostles themselues could not set downe at the be­ginning what was expedient for the Church heerein: and therefore did of necessitie proceed by little and little. And that euen in their times the same rites or ceremonies were not vsed in all Churches: and againe, that many cere­monies in their times in vse, were afterwards abolished, Be­za Epist. 8. fol. 71.

That there must needes bee some certaine forme of rites [Page 114] and orders in all Churches: and those established by lawes, else the Church must of necessitie bee weakened, and dissol­ued, and that it would proue the mother of contention and confusion to suffer euery man to doe as hee list himselfe, Caluin. inst. 4. 10. 27. 31.

That the same ceremonies, rites and orders cannot pos­sibly, nor ought to be the same in all places, or in all Chri­stian assemblies, Harm. confess. §. 16. fol. 187. 191. Augustan. 11. ibid. §. 17. fol. 214. Heluet. poster. Zepper. de Sacram. cap. 13. fol. 328.

That ceremonies are alterable and to be disposed, accor­ding to the circumstances of places, times and persons: some externall rites are profitable to some places, others more auailable for other places, Zanch. de operibus Re­dempt. cap. 19. fol. 695. Zepper. de polit. lib. 1. cap. 11. fol. 73. 74.

That all true Churches haue libertie left vnto them of God to ordaine and establish, and to command such cere­monies and traditions, in their nature not euill, but indiffe­rent, as they shall perceiue and iudge to bee fittest for the edification of the Church, and furtherance of the Gospell, which therefore are to bee left free to euery Church, to Alexander. A­lesius in Pro­oem. ad lib. or­dinat. Angl. Bucer fol. 374 375. Polanus Syntag. The­ol. lib. 9. cap. 29. fol. 4078. Canon 6. make their choice as they shall perceiue and iudge to be fit­test: To this end Bucer. script. Anglican. Hoopero de re vesti­aria. Idem in Epist. Ioan. Alasco. Zanch. de redemp. cap. 19. fol. 696. Polani Symphon. cathol. cap. 49. thes. 4. fol. 1234 Whitaker. controuer. 3. de concil. qu. 1. cap. 3. fol. 18. Zepper. polit. Eccle. l. 1. c. 11. fol. 73.

That albeit in the manner of gouerning the Church, churches must not turne aside in any point that Christ hath specially ordained: yet this doth not hinder, but that there may bee certaine instituta ordinances in euery particular place, pront commodum visum fuerit, as shal seeme most com­modious, Harm. confess. §. 17. fol. 216. Gallic.

That B Bs. may ordaine with the consent of the Church canons, or iniunctions of daies, feasts, reading Sermons for [Page 115] edification and instruction of the true faith in Christ, Har. confess. §. 17. fol. 229. Witemberg.

That men must not immoderately contend, that rites and ceremonies bee in euery Church the same, and obser­ued euery whereafter the same manner: But they should bee most carefull of this, that these ceremonies bee not repugnant to Gods Word. But that they may bee by our vttermost indeuors so ordered, as that they may further or­der an edification in the Church. P. Martyr. loc. class. 2. cap. 4. §. 34. fol. 203. Zanch. confess. cap. 25. §. 30. fol. 250. 251. That vnitie of ceremonies in all Churches, albeit as much as may bee should bee laboured for, yet it is not ne­cessary, but for the diuersitie of places and diuers respects and reason of the time, it is profitable to haue diuers rites in diuers Churches, Zanch. Confessio. Scriptu. 24. §. 15. fol. 21.

That diuersitie of Ceremonies in diuers Churches doth serue to testifie the Christian libertie, and doth greatly con­duce to teach and manifest the true doctrine and iudge­ment of ceremonies, namely that all men may by this di­uersitie vnderstand, that those things which are not deliue­red in the holy Scripture are not necessary to saluation: but may bee altered according, as the time and circumstance of edification doth require, Harm. confess. §. fol. 194. Witem­berg. P. Martyr. loc. clas. 2. cap. 4. §. 39. fol. 203. Zepper. polit. Eccles. 1. 11. fol. 74.

That the externall vse of things indifferent, must be gui­ded and moderated by the rule of charitie or loue: which is the end of the law and bond of perfection: Wherefore ce­remonies must be squared to the edification & vnity of the Church, Caluin. in act. 15. 28. fol. 235. Idem. Inst. 4. 10. 30. Alesius vbi supra. fol. 375.

That the Lawe of Loue or of charitie teacheth men to obserue thinges in their nature indifferent (though in their vse in sundrie respects inconuenient) for the sake of weake brethren to preuent their scandall: [Page 116] or hinderance of the Gospell and hurt of the Church, Pis­cator in act. 15. 20. obseruat. in which respect the vse of such Ceremonies may be necessary not alway and euery where, but necessary for the peace of the Church, Piscat. ibidem in scholijs act. 15. 28. Caluin. in act. 15. 28.

That one Church must not condemne another, for the diuers obseruation of indifferent things: as it came to passe in the Primitiue Church (ingenti malo) with incredible mis­chiefe, about the obseruation of Easter and fasting, Bucan. loc. 33. qu. 14. fol. 384.

That the Church of God, is euery congregation which worships God according to his Word, albeit there bee great dissimilitude of Ceremonies: The true Church of God is distinguished by doctrine and worship, and not by Ceremonies [hee citeth Ambrose and Augustine] Hem­ming. Syntag. in 4. Decal. legem. §. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. fol. 364. 365.

That to the true vnitie of the Church, it is sufficient to consent in the doctrine and administration of the Sacra­ments. Neither is it necessarie that humane traditions or rites ordained of men, should bee euerie where alike, Harm. confess. 10. fol. 19. August. Alesius vt sup.

That the vnitie of the Church, it resteth not in exter­nall rites and Ceremonies, but rather in the truth and in the vnity of the Catholike faith the briefe of which Catho­like faith is the Apostles Creed. Hence among the ancients there was diuers varieties of rites, but such as was free: by which difference no man euer thought the Ecclesiasti­call vnitie to bee dissolued. Wherefore the true agree­ment of the Church standeth in doctrines and in the true preaching of the Gospell, and in the rites expresly deliuered by Christ, Harm. Confess. §. 10. folio 8. Heluet. poster.

That it is a generall rule, that men must not contend about indifferent things, that the vnitie of the Churches should be thereby broken, Zanch. de redempt. c. 19. in 4 prae­cept. [Page 117] fol. 696. Neither the peace thereof troubled, Zepper. de sacram. cap. 13. fol. 314.

That if different rites bee found in diuers Churches, no man may thereby thinke that they are at dissention, Harm. confess. §. 17. fol. 20. Heluet. Posterioris: so that they agree in the summe of doctrine, Beza Epist. 1. fol. 7.

That the diuersitie of rites, is no sufficient cause why we should separate from any Church, seeing the Church hath alwaies varied in rites, according to the diuersitie of places and of times, Aretius loc. 57. fol. 177. He citeth Augustine, and approueth Irenaeus his reprouing of Victor, Bulling Deca. 5. serm. 2. fol. 360. 361.

That it is not lawfull for any man, vllâ de causâ, for any cause to make separation from the Church of Christ: that is as much to say; as in which, at least sound and sincere doctrine is retained, in the which standeth, incolumitas pie­tatis▪ the safetie of piety, & where the vse of the Sacraments ordained of God is preserued: and they are Schismatikes that separate, and that therein they do sinne, Beza Epist. 24. fol. 148. No not although there be sundry errours and cor­ruptions in doctrine, manners, externall policy, ceremo­nies, Morneus de Eccles. lib. 2. fol. 32. Zanch. confess. cap. 24. §. 10. fol. 207. Idem in Philipians, 1. 25. 26. fol. 45. 46. Da­naeus, Isagog. part. 3. cap. 13. fol. 148. Bucan. loc. 41. Qu. 22 fol. 505. & qu. 25. ibid.

That contentions and strifes about things indifferent, as rites and ceremonies, are such as before are mentioned in particular, to haue beene in the Primitiue Churches, must not be raised in the Church, Polanus symphon. cathol. cap. 49. thes. 4. fol. 1234. & cap. 47. thes. 1. fol. 1212. & cap. 48. thes. 2. fol. 1227. Idem syntag. lib. 9. cap. 29. fol. 4078. Zanch. de redemp. cap. 19. fol. 696.

That if there bee found any not pernitious dissimilitude of rites and ceremonies, no man ought to be offended, or to take scandall thereby, or for this cause to reproach or to harme others, or to bee the authour of Schisme or faction [Page 118] seeing the forme of Ecclesiasticall constitution, was neuer heretofore one and the same, neither yet is to this day, Har. confess. §. 17. fol. 215. Heluet. poster.

That those persons doe grieuously sinne, who for indif­ferent Ceremonies for the Churches edification, do trouble the Churches, or condemne other Princes, Magistrates, and Churches, for that it is opposite both to pietie and cha­ritie. Zanch. de redemp. cap. 19. fol. 697.

That where there is a certaine forme of Ceremonies for the Churches edification ordained and receiued, there vni­tie in those Ceremonies must be retained of euery one, and the Ecclesiasticall order must not be troubled, or interrup­ted, according to that of the Apostle, 1. Cor. 1440. Zanch. confess. cap. 24. §. 15. fol. 211.

That in Ceremonies of indifferent nature, such as fast­ing, &c. euery faithfull person (to auoid the giuing of of­fence) is to follow the custome of the Church wherein hee is, or to which hee commeth, Polan. symphon. cathol. cap. 47. thes. 7. fol. 1226.

That because wee are men, and doe liue amongst men in the Church, it is not meete that in humaine manners, rites and traditions wee should bee found froward. Let diuine things bee obserued as diuine, and humane as humane, so long as with a free and pure conscience they may bee kept, Musculus Loc. part. 2. de tradit. §. 6. fol. 31.

That if any person wrangle, and will bee more wise then he ought against a common established order, let him looke how hee can giue a reason, of his frowardnesse to God, howbeit the saying of Paul should satisfie vs, 1. Cor. 11. 16. wee haue no such custome, neither the Churches of God, Caluin. instit. 4. 10. 31.

That things otherwise in themselues indifferent, doe after a sort change or alter their nature, when they are either commanded or forbidden by any lawfull authoritie, Beza Epist. 24. fol. 143.

That albeit Christian libertie hath taken away the yoke [Page 119] of the Law Ceremoniall, and in steed thereof it is not law­full for any mortall creature to lay or impose any other yoke: yet the too licentious vse of things indifferent, is by Gods word restrained; both in generall by the law of chari­tie, whereby wee are commanded to doe nothing which may scandalize our neighbour, or omit any thing which may edifie him, so farre as in our calling wee may; as also in speciall by the politicke, or Ecclesiasticall consti­tution, so farre as the Churches gouerners vnder God doe iudge it profitable to the Commonwealth or Church, and thereupon frameth a law, Beza Epist. 24. fol. 143.

That such constitutions doe binde the conscience, in as much as no man sciens & prudens rebellandi animo, witting and knowing with a minde of disobeying, or in case of scandall may without sinne doe that which is so forbid­den, or omit that which is so commanded, Beza Epist. 24. fol. 143. Caluin. institu. 4. 10. 31. Harm. confess. §. 17. fol. 230. 231. Sweu. ibid. fol. 218. 224. Augustan.

And whereas it might bee here obiected, that these writers doe speake of Ceremonies rightly established, thus much they farther teach in generall;

That the Word and Sacraments are not administred rightly and exactly, secundum [...], as altogether agree­ing with the prescript of the Lord, no not in all the world; yet albeit they be not administred according to that exact rule, and by reason of our frailtie cannot bee sodaine­ly reformed, yet may they bee so performed, that they may be pleasing vnto God, and healthfull to the Church, yet so as the defect should bee lamented and acknowledged; which point if it bee not granted, there will bee no pure or true Church in all the world, Vrsinus catech. part. 2. ad quaes. 84. fol. 620.

That albeit many euill things do goe along and be done, yet these things are done by such as hinder reformation, and by the disobedient; not by such as wish and sue for a­mendment: For blessed are they who hunger and thirst after [Page 120] righteousnesse, Matth. 5. 6. (that is) which doe desire good things to be done in the Church, which if they be not done it is not their fault, they may in that case retaine a good con­science, Vrsinus ibid. fol. 618.

That euery Ceremonie, or tradition haue some certaine causes, for which, and some certaine end to which they be ordained, and therefore euery Ceremonie must bee so obserued of the faithfull, that the obseruation thereof may answere to the reasons, and may bee aimed to the fulfilling of the end. And seeing there is a diuerse reason of traditi­ons, some seruing to faith some to pietie, some to charitie and concord, others to discipline of manners and sancti­tie of life: the people of God, must bee instructed by the diligence of Ministers, and vnderstand how they may apply themselues to euery of them, with fit and competent obseruation, Muscu. Loc. part. 2. de tradi­tionibus § 6. fol. 31.

That if any man hath so profited in Christs religion, that himselfe can receaue either no profite, or very small from any on tradition: yet if this tradition bee so fitted as that it may serue for edification vnto the vnskilfull mul­titude, hee ought to obserue that Ceremonie with that study of charitie, whereby such as are perfect, are debters to the more imperfect, so farre forth that they harme them not by their example in those things wherein they are bound, in the whole study of their life to profit them, Musculus ibid.

That when men vnder the colour of the study of perfecti­on cannot indure any imperfection, either in the body or members of the Church; then are they admonished that the diuell attempteth to puffe them vp with pride, and to seduce them with hypocrisie, Caluin aduersus Ana­baptist. art.

That where the foundation remaines entire, albeit there remaine behind some stubble error, or corruption in doc­trine, externall policie, manners, or Ceremonies: there we [Page 121] may, and ought bee present at Sermons, and receiue the Sacraments, and exercise, or hold charitie and peace with our brethren, yet so as making manifest our more sound doctrine, and perswasion of these corruptions, and farther to signifie that for these corruptions, wee will make no schisme, Zanch. in Philip. 1. fol. 37. Idem confess. cap. 24. §. 10. fol. 207. Mornaeus de ecclesia cap. 20. fol. 32. and in respect of corruptios it were to be wished indeed that the church were pure and without spot, yet if it be not, we must vse patience, else it is ineuitable, that wee must needes make a priuate schisme, which is most diligently to bee auoided of euery Christian man. Wherefore those errors for which a man shall separate from the Church, in which he is baptised and is conuersant, must not be of any other sort, but onely such as ouerthrow, and violate the very substance of faith, and articles of the faith, either directly and clearely, or in sence and consequence: Danaeus Isagog. part. 3. cap. 13. fol. 148. Bucanus Loc. 41. qu. 22.

That there are many things which are not to bee ap­proued in the Church, which are not worthy of contenti­on, Caluin. Epist. 51. fol. 100.

That there may and ought many things to be tollerated, By tollerating them also, we meane practi­sing, Beza Epist. 8. which yet are not rightly commanded, Beza Epist. 12. fol. 98.

That many things must of vs be tollerated, which is not in our power to reforme, Caluin. Epist. 148. fol. 254.

That albeit men must endeauour to purge the Church of corruptions, which sprung vp out of superstition, yet this exception must go along, that certaine things although they bee not to bee approued, yet must bee borne with all, Caluin. Epist. 305. fol. 504. to Iohn Knox.

That some rites and Ceremonies, albeit not necessary are yet to bee tollerated, or borne withall for concords sake, Beza Epist. 8. fol. 70.

That as the maners of doting parents so the customs, of our vnaduised country must bee endured: yea the seruitude [Page 122] which is without impietie, and that in matters of lesser na­ture [in the Church] must bee borne withall, Harm. confess. §. 11. fol. 860. Melanctho concil. Thelog. part. 2. fol. 107. and that there is euer some kinde of seruitude of the Church, more milde somewhere, somewhere more hard: how­beit more or lesse, there is euer some, Malanch. ibid. fol. 92.

And thus we see their iudgement and doctrine concer­ning Ceremonies in generall. Now let vs see the generall practise of the Churches in these points: Thus they speake thereof,

Albeit our Churches doe not equally obserue all Rites and Cerimonies with other Churches, a matter which both cannot, neither yet is necessary to be done that namely in all places of Christian assemblies, one and the selfe same Ceremonies should bee vsed, yet doe they not impugne or oppose themselues to any good and godly constitutions: Neither are they so minded, that they would raise vp any dissentions for the cause of Cerimonies, albeit some of them might be iudged not very needfull: so as they be not found opposite to God, and to his worship and glory, and to the true iustifying faith in Iesus Christ, Harm. confess. §. 17. fol. 214. Bohem.

We the reformed Churches of these dayes, hauing diuer­sitie of Rites in the celebration of the Lords Supper, and in some other things: yet in doctrine and faith we doe not dissent, neither is the vnitie and societie of our Churches rent or diuided thereby: But euer the Churches haue in these Rites, as in things indifferent, vsed liberty: That which we (the reformed Churches) at this day do also vse, ‖ Harm. confess. §. 17. fol. 211. Heluet. Poster.

So much for the iudgment and practise of the Churches, and of our classicall writers, concerning Ceremonies in ge­nerall: Now also we will consider of them in particular: wherein we will giue notice of foure points. First of the iudgment & censure of our classicall writers, touching these [Page 123] Ceremonies which are prescribed in our Church, and the like, and their aduice to others touching the practise there­of, especially in a case of Depriuation. Secondly the vse and practise of these ceremonies, by the most excellent and worthy persons in this case. Thirdly, the reasons moouing them vnto this iudgement, practise, and aduice. And lastly, the obiections against these things, especially in the case of Depriuation answered by them.

Touching their iudgement and censure of our Ceremo­nies, I find them in a threefold difference. For some of them doe approue sundry of our controuersed Ceremonies as fit and commendable. Some againe do iudge of many of them as of things indifferent, to bee vsed or not vsed, euen as the Church shall thinke fittest for it selfe. And lastly, some there be who account them as things in many respects vn­lawfull and inconuenient: but yet in respect of greater in­conueniences, (and namely of Depriuation) doe holde them tolerable and excusable: which difference if any man be desirous to make vse of, he may discerne it in the reading and obseruing of them seuerally.

In the iudgement, censure, and aduice of the godly lear­ned touching our Ceremonies, we may obserue first, what they thought in generall of the Common prayer Booke of our Church, and of the Ceremonies therein contained. Secondly what they thought concerning them in the seue­rall particulars, which are vsually excepted against.

Touching the Common prayer Booke in general.

I BVcer: In perusing the Common prayer Booke of the Church of England▪ wherin he was set a worke by Bi­shop Cranmer I gaue God thanks who had giuen you to re­forme these ceremonies vnto that purity: I haue not found any thing in the Ceremonies of that leturgie, which is not taken out of the word of God, or at least is opposit ther­to, if it be fauourably taken or construed on the better part. [Page 124] For (I confesse) there want not some few matters, which if they be not candidè. fairely taken, may seeme not altogether to a­gree vnto the word of God. Script. Angl. fol. 456. Praefac. ad censur.

II Caluin: In the English Leturgie, or booke of Common prayer which you describe I perceiue sundry tolerabiles ineptias. Looke the discourse of the troubles at Frankford fol. 28. wherin is shewed, that Knox, Whiting­ham, and o­thers, descri­bed the En­glish Leturgie: to which de­scription this was the answer of Caluin, as appeareth there fol. 34, 35 tolerable vn­fitnesses: In which two words I expresse thus much that there was not that purity therein contained, which were to be wished; which blemishes at the first day of reformation could not be corrected. Wherein seeing there is conteined no manifest impiety, these things therfore ought to be borne with for a season, Ep. 200. fol. 336. and a little after to the En­glish exiles at Frankeford, which desired reformation of the English Leturgie, hee giueth this aduise: Ʋos vltra modum rigidos esse nolim, Epist. 200. fol. 336. Of the which aduice of his he thus speaketh, in Epist. 228. fol. 374. in An­glorum controuersia moderationem tenui cuius me non poeni­tet. & in Epist. 206. fol. 342. hee perswadeth one part to incline themselues to all possible moderation, and is dis­pleased with the other part, that nothing by them was yeel­ded or mitigated.

III Martyr. loc. com. inter Epist. fol. 1127. amico in Angli­am: For mine owne part, I wish that all things may bee done simplicissimè▪ most free from humane mixtures, in the worship of God. Yet when I thinke with my selfe, that if peace betweene the Saxon Churches and ours, might be obtained, there would follow no separation for such mat­ters as these Ceremonies.

IV Alexander Alesius, a worthy Scot, of great account and note, in Proaem. before his Translation of the Common prayer Booke, in Script. Anglican. Buceri. fol. 373. com­mendeth the performance of it by our Countrey-men exceedingly, with their great diligence and care there­in, and calleth it, Preclarissimum & diuinum factum, in constituting and ordering the Church of Christ, ac­cording to that Booke, & further declareth that the vertue [Page 125] and pietie of English men in this matter, would reioyce many mindes, and bee an help to the endeuors of others in the like, and that it was euident that the enemies of the trueth, were very sorry of the good successe, and progresse herein. Also hee complaineth with Gregory of some, Vt cōmotis studijs contentio semper irritet aliquorum indignationem, vt (que) nimio ardore interdum admodum peccetur, dum nemo mi­nus videri altero, ac potius solus sapere vult, fit vt non necessarijs quaestionibus, & disputationibus necessariarum rerum cognitio negligatur: further he sheweth this contention of brethren about this booke, to come of the diuell, who failing one way, seeketh another to mischiefe the Church, hee com­plaineth of some, Aliquam diuisionis occasionem arripientibus, non iam nulli, & vocabula, & penissyllabas expendendo verbis tantùm litigant, reipsa si placidè exquiratur futuri concordes. Of the common prayer booke it selfe, he saith: Hic liber & per se vtilis futura lectio ipsius quàm plurimis & hoc tempore di­uinitus oblatus esse videatur, ibid. fol. 375.

V Cranmer Martyr: In his purgation of slanders against him: If the Queenes highnesse will graunt thereunto, I with Maister Peter Martyr, and other foure or fiue which I shall chuse, will by Gods grace take vpon vs to defend, not one­ly the common prayers of the Church, the ministration of the Sacraments, and other rites and Ceremonies: but also all the doctrine and religion, set out by our said Soueraigne Lord King Edward the sixt, to be more pure and according to Gods word, then any other that hath beene in England these 1000. yeeres, so that Gods word may bee iudge, Acts & mon. fol. 1465.

Bishop Ridley: When Bishop Grindall from beyound Sea wrote to him (in prison being condemned to bee burned) concerning Knox his peremptory and violent exceptions, against our booke of Common prayer (which was euen misliked by Caluin himselfe, Epist. fol.) answered by writing thus. Alas that brother Knox could not beare with our booke of Common prayer, in matter against which al­though [Page 126] I grant a man (as hee is) of wit and learning may finde apparant reasons, yet I suppose hee cannot soundly by the word of God, to disproue any thing in it, Act. & mon.

VII Doctor Taylor Martyr: There was after that set forth by the most innocent King Edward for whom God be praised euerlastingly) the whole Church seruice with great delibe­ration, and by the aduise of the best learned men of the Realme, and authorised by the whole Parliament, and re­ceaued and published gladly by the whole Realme, which booke was neuer reformed but once; and yet by that refor­mation it was so fully perfected, according to the rules of our Christian religion in euery behalfe, that no Christian conscience could bee offended with any thing therein con­tained, I meane of that booke reformed, Act. & mon. fol. 1521.

VIII Exiles at Franckeford: Among them was great diuision and dissention, about the vsing of the Common prayer booke of England, one part refusing it as Iohn Knox, Wil­liam Whittingham, Christopher Goodman, Dauid Whitehead, Miles Couerdale, Iohn Fox, Anthonie Gilby, &c. The other part standing for it, which also were reuerend persons, as Thomas Leauer, Iohn Iewell, Iohn Mullins, Iohn Parckhust, Lawrence Humphry, Iames Pilkington, Alexander Nowell, Iames Haddon, Edwin Sands, Edmund Grindall and others: Looke the discourse of the troubles at Franckeford, fol. 16. 23. 19. Which dissentions caused them to seeke the iudge­ments of other churches, and their teachers, as of Caluin, Beza Bullinger. fol. 25. 199.

Also Robert Horne, Thomas Leauer, Io. Mullins Tho. Ben­tham, W. Cole, Io. Parckhust, Lawrence Humphry, &c. were all fully determined to vse none other, then the order last ta­ken in the Church of England, Discourse fol. 16. 223. The same order of seruice concerning religion, which was in England last set forth by King Edward, fol. 10.

Also Iames Haddon, Edwin Sands, Edmund Grindall Chri­stopher Goodman, &c. not doubting or distrusting their good [Page 113] conformitie and ready desires in reducing the English Church now begun there, to it former perfection it had in England, least by much altering the same wee should seeme to condemne the chiefe authours thereof: whereas they now suffer, so are they not ready to confirme that fact with the price of their bloud, &c. fol. 22. 23.

They also at Franckford (writing to them at Zurick exi­led also, dissenting from them about our Ceremonies:) Thought not that any godly men would stand to the death in defence of those Ceremonies, which, as the booke specified, vpon iust occasions may be altered, accounting it an argument that they are slenderly taught, which for a Ceremony will refuse such a singular benefit, as to ioyne with the Church. Master Fox was one of the seuenteene that subscribed to this Letter.

Also after all those stirres vpon the point of their returne into England, after Queene Maries death, Iames Pilking­ton, Io. Mullins, Henry Carow, Alexander Nowell, &c. wri­ting an answere to Io. Knox, Christopher Goodman, Miles Couerdale, Anthony Gilby, Willi. Whittingham, W. Williams, &c. We purpose not (as wee trust these shall be no cause) to enter into contention with you. For Ceremonies to con­tend (where it shall lye neither in your hands or ours to ap­point what they shall bee, but in such mens wisedomes as shall be appointed to the diuising of the same, and withall receiued by common consent of the Parliament) it shall be to small purpose but wee trust that both true religion shall be restored, and that we shall not be burthened with vnpro­fitable Ceremonies, and therefore as we purpose to submit our selues to such orders as shalbe established by authoritie, being not of themselues wicked, so wee would wish you willingly to doe the same. For whereas all the reformed Churches differ among themselues in diuers Ceremonies, and yet agree in the vnitie of doctrine, we see no inconue­nience if wee vse some Ceremonies diuers from them, for that wee agree in the chiefe points of your Religion, &c. [Page 128] Discourse of troubles at Franck. fol. 189.

IX B B. Iewell: Wee are come as neere as possibly wee could to the Church of the Apostles, and of the olde Ca­tholike Bishops and Fathers, which Church wee know was sound and perfect, and (as Tertullian termeth it) a pure Virgin, spotted with no Idolatry, nor with any fundamen­tall or euident errour. And besides that, wee haue aymed not onely our doctrine, but our Sacraments also, and forme of our publike Prayers after the patterne of their rites and ordinances, Apolog. fol. 170.

X Master Deering against Harding: Our Seruice is good and godly, euery title grounded on holy Scriptures; and with what face doe you call it darkenesse? sure with the same that the Prophecies of the holy Ghost were sometimes called dreames, the doctrine of the Apostles Heresie, and our Sauiour Christ a Samaritane. As Elias saide to the Priests of Baal, Let vs take either our Bullockes (namely their Masse booke, and our booke of Common Praier) and lay the pieces on our Altars, and on which God sendeth fire, let that bee the light—a little before—O Master Har­ding turne to your writings, examine your authorities, con­sider your counsells apply your examples, looke if any line bee blamable in your seruice Booke, and take hold of your aduantage; I thinke Master Iewell will accept it as an Article.

This was their iudgement of our Ceremonies in gene­rall, which how opposite it is vnto the doctrine, of suffe­ring depriuation, for not conforming to them, I neede not say, no not to men of a contrary iudgement: wee will dis­cend vnto the iudgement of the particulars.

Touching the Surplesse.

MElancthon & Benhagius, in the territories of Marques Albertus the Prince and court required the Pastors, to embrace and follow the whole booke of the Augustane [Page 129] confession: refusall thereof was made (pio consensu) by the godly agreement of the Nobilitie, or Gentry, of the Citizens and Pastors. The Court hereupon runneth on another deliberation, proposing Articles which alter not the doctrine, and the Leturgie, but thrust vpon them more Ceremonies, which yet howsoeuer may well enough bee borne, adding withall a threatning, that they who will not follow this prescription should depart; albeit many Pastors had rather haue departed then yeld to such condition; yet the Churches requested that they might not bee forsaken. In such a strait what councell should bee giuen? some more forward affirme, that it were good the Court were frighted with some terrible writing, with the feare of sedi­tion, and with this scarcrow to represse and hinder farther alteration.

There be many causes why wee would not giue any such aduice: Neither would wee haue the Churches forsaken, as it came to passe in Sweuia, where in many Churches there remaineth either no Minister, or a Wolfe, which bring in againe impious doctrine and false worships. That it may euidently appeare that we wilfully dissent not from the Papists our aduersaries, wee contend about great mat­ters, in the which the euidence of trueth doeth conuince the more sound, euen among the aduersaries: that we iudge to be more profitable, then to wrangle about a Surplesse or the like matter, where wise men will exclaime against vs, that wee withstand and disobey authoritie, and nourish dissentions with a foolish frowardnesse, Concil. Melanth. part. 2. fol. 90. 91.

Againe, we perswade not that (by the vse of these Cere­monies, as the Surplesse) the Churches should be troubled, neither are wee (which thus perswade in this case to con­formitie) in lesse griefe and perill then they who stand a­gainst it. But where new burdens are imposed, wee thinke fit that it bee iudged, whether Churches bee to bee left to Woolues, or solitude and vtter ouerthrow of them to bee [Page 130] admitted: or else whether seruitude (of vsing these prescri­bed Ceremonies) bee to bee endured. For neither would we haue any impious Ceremonies to bee receiued, neither the Churches to bee forsaken, without most weightie rea­sons, as it is written, Not forsaking the fellowship, &c. ibid. fol. 92.

Againe Melancthon: Surely I could haue wished in these great occasions, that these Churches had by no alteration or imposition of these Ceremonies (such as Surplesse, &c.) bin troubled. But I cofesse, I perswaded the Franck. Church and other, that they would not forsake the Churches for such seruitude, which without impietie may bee sustained. Miricus out cries, that rather desolation should be made in the Church, and that Princes are to bee frighted with the terror of insurrection. For my part I will be author of no such sower aduice: And for our part it is euident, that wee endure farre more heauie and hard burdens in our places, then is a linnen garment, &c. fol. 106.

Againe Melancthon: I perswaded that desolation should not be made in the Church for the refusing of a linnen gar­ment, or matters of the like nature, ibid. fol. 108.

Bucer: I am perswaded that godly men may vse these garments godly, In Script. Anglican. Censur. fol. 458.

Againe: To the question mooued by Bishop Cranmer to him, Whether the Ministers of the Church of England might vse the Surplesse prescribed by the Magistrate: After he had put in this caueat, that his answer cōcerned only such as were true and faithfull Preachers of Gods word, answe­reth, that hee iudged those Ministers who are such in the English Church, might by the grace of God vse these gar­ments, if so withall they did preach the whole trueth, and perfect detestation of the Antichrist of Rome; and teach withall that their meaning is not hereby to establish any Antichristian corruption; that the Ministers by them are nothing more holy then other men, neither the more effe­ctuall to please God; neither that they thereby intend to [Page 131] reuolue Aharonicall garments, but onely in obedience to the King his Maiestie, and those with whom God hath left authoritie to determine of externall Rites of the Church (yet according to Gods word) and further, that they doe it to auoid the scandall of troubling the publike order and agreement: and last of all, testifying to godly men, that eue­ry creature of God is good, and therefore all Christians may vse such things godly, howsoeuer others haue im­piously abused them, Idem ibid. in Epistol. ad Cranmer. fol. 682.

Againe, I can by no meanes affirme these garments by Antichrists abuse to bee so defiled, that they are not to bee permitted to any Church; notwithstanding that, that Church knoweth and worshippeth Christ, and withall knoweth and practiseth the Christian libertie of all things. Neither doe I see any Scripture whereby I may defend this condemnation of the good creature of God, Ibid. in Re­spons. ad liter as Hooperi, de re vestiariā, fol. 707. To make it (impium perse) an euill thing in nature for a man to vse these garments in Gods seruice in any respect, I see no Scrip­ture to permit or affirme so much, ibid. fol. 709. §.

Againe, I verely (as I haue confessed vnto you, and de­clared to our Countreymen) had rather that no kind of ve­sture, which the Papists vsed, were reteined amongst vs, for the more full detestation of the Antichristian Priesthood, for plainer aduouching of Christian libertie, for the auoy­ding of dangerous contention among the Brethren: Yet I cannot be brought by any Scriptures (as farre as to see hitherto) to denie that the true Ministers of Christ his Church may vse without superstition, and to a certaine edi­fication of faith in Christ, any of those vestures which the Antichristians abused, Idem in Epist. Io. Alasco, at the ende of the examination, a booke so named and written in an­swere of a booke called the vnfolding of the Popes attire.

Againe I know very many Ministers of Christ, most godly men, who haue vsed godly these vestures, and at this [Page 132] day doe vse them: So that I dare not for this cause ascribe vnto them any fault at all, much lesse so hainous a fault, as communicating with Antichrist: For the which fault wee may vtterly refuse to communicate with them in Christ, Ibid.

Peter Martyr: Seeing these garments are things in diffe­rent and in themselues good, they neither make any man godly nor wicked; yet (as you also thinke) I iudge it ra­ther expedient that these garments and other things of that kind be remooued, when conueniently they may, that mat­ters of the Church may much more simply bee perfour­med, Loc. com. ad finem inter Epist. Amico. fol. 1085.

Againe, the reasons by you (Bishop Hooper) alleadged perswade me not to holde the vse of these garments to bee pernitious, or in their nature contrary to the word of God, which I suppose to be altogether indifferent; being not ig­norant of this, that things indifferent may sometimes be v­sed and sometimes should bee remooued, Ibid. Hoopero. fol. 1086.

Againe, albeit I doe but slenderly approue these of gar­ments, yet I perceiue somtimes, that some indifferent things albeit troublesome and burde some, yet must needs bee borne with, thus farre foorth as wee cannot doe otherwise: lest if it be contended more bitterly then it ought to be, it prooue to be an hinderance vnto the Gospel, and by our ve­hement contention we teach those things to be impious, which in their nature are indifferent, Ibidem.

Againe, surely to mee it should bee farre more pleasing, (as I haue often testified) that wee might onely doe those things which Christ himselfe practised and deliuered to his Apostles: Howbeit if some indifferent things be added, such as the Surplesse, I would not haue men too eagerly to contend about this matter, especially when we see those by whom the light of the Gospel is much furthered in Eng­land, and may yet more bee furthered, to oppose themselue [...] to vs heerein, Ibid. fol. 1085.

Againe, First I exhort that you withdraw not your selfe from your calling, (to the Bishopricke:) which is offered you, in regard of the wonderfull penury of able Ministers: Whence this mischie [...]e will come; that if you that are the pillars of the Church pull backe, and refuse to execute the Ecclesiasticall affaires both the Churches will bee distitute of faithfull Pastours, and you shall giue toome to Wolues and Antichrists after. Concerning the square Cappe and externall Apparrell of Bishops, I suppose that it ought not much to bee disputed of; seeing it is free from supersti­tion, and may haue a ciuill reason, especially in this King­dome of England: Touching the holy Garments as they call them; I wonder that they bee so strictly retained: For I wish that all things in Gods worship may be perfourmed with greatest simplicitie: Howbeit when I thinke with my selfe that if reconcilement in points of doctrine might be made betweene the Saxon Churches and ours▪ there would be no separation for such garments as these: For albeit wee like them not a whit, yet wee would beare with their vse a­mong them, and gratulate our selues, that wee haue aboli­sh [...]d them: Wherefore you may lawfully vse these garments either in preaching, or in administring the Lords Supper: yet so as you proceed to speake and teach against the incon­uenience in the vse of them, Idem. ibid. fol. 1127. amico in Angliam.

Caluin of Bishop Hooper: As I commend his constancy in refusing vnction and annealing, so I had rather that hee had not so exceedingly contended (de pileo & veste linea) about the square Cap and Surplesse, Epist. 120. fol. 217.

Againe, to Melancth: To that you say the Magdeburg Ministers doe moue brawles about a linnen garment onely: I see not whereto such brawles of theirs did appertaine or tend: a little before; It may be some will vrge some things, & as in contentions it came to passe, will odiously ventilate some ceremonies, wherein there is not so much euill as they pretend, Epist. 17. fol. 213.

Also, although at first Caluin being demanded his iudge­ment, de rebus adiaphoris, of things indifferent in the Saxon Churches, such as Surplesse, &c. did freely manifest his iudgement, and admonish Melancthon whom some accu­sed as to soft and too remisse (for hee perswaded to confor­mitie, rather then to suffer depriuation, vt superius) yet saith Beza they accused him immerito quidem, very vnde­seruedly, as afterwards Caluin knew more thorowly. For then it was not known with what intention that euill spirit, and whole troope of Flaccians (which perswaded rather to be depriued then conforme) which after occasioned so ma­ny tumults, and now saith Beza at this time doth hinder the worke of God against the Papists, with that impuden­cy and fury, as if he had beene hired with large summes vn­to it by the Pope of Rome, Beza in vit. Caluin. anno. 1540.

Beza: But if any man demand, whether nothing at all of those things which are indifferent in themselues, may bee retained, at least for the sake of the weake, and whether I thinke the ministry rather to be forsaken, then to vse or ob­serue any such Ceremonies, especially if this caueat be also added; That these things are brought in, or tolerated to this houre, not properly to tie mens consciences, but for o­ther not trifling reasons: I answere that it appeareth not to me, that the Churches ought to be forsaken for Surplesses, or Caps, or any other the like thing which is truely indiffe­rent, Epist. 8. fol. 77. Grindallo.

Againe, But our Brethren demaund of vs, What iudge you that wee should doe in this case, vpon whom these in­conuenient Ceremonies are imposed? We answere; Heere needeth a distinction: For the condition of Ministers and people is different, besides sundry may and ought to bee to­lerated, which are not rightly commanded. Therefore first I answere, albeit in our iudgement these ceremonies are not rightly commaunded. Therefore first I answere; Seeing these Ceremonies are not of the kinde of those things which are impious in themselues, they seeme not vnto vs of [Page 135] so great moment as that therefore the Pastors should rather forsake their ministry then weare those garments, or that the flockes should omit and leaue the publike food of their soules, then heare their Pastors, being arraied in such attire. And these things which they cannot reforme or alter, let them rather endure and beare withall, then by forsaking of their Churches to giue way to greater and more dange­rous euils, so yeelding to the will of Satan seeking heerein nothing else, Idem Epist. 12. fol. 98. 99. This Letter is set downe & translated in the discourse of the troubles at Frank­ford, fol. 211. and subscribed vnto by diuers Ministers, a­mong whom are these; Theodorus Beza, Nicol. Colladonus, Simon Goulartius, Franciscus Port. Henricus Stephanus, &c.

Bullinger and Gualter: If you weare a Cap or a peculiar kinde of apparel, as a ciuill and politicke thing, it smelleth neither of Iudaisme nor Monachisme. For these will seeme to separate themselues from the ciuill & common life, and account a meritorious deed in the wearing of a peculiar gar­ment. If in case any of the people be perswaded that these things sauour of Papisme, Monachisme, or Iudaisme, let them be told the contrary and perfectly instructed therein: And if so be through the importunate crying out hereon before the people by some men many be disquieted in their conscience; set them beware which so doe, that they bring not greater yokes on their owne neckes and prouoke the Queenes Maiesty, and bring many faithfull Ministers in such daunger as they cannot ridde themselues againe. In an Epist. sent into England by them to Mr. N. and Mr M. It is cited in VVhit gift his defence fol. 277. They presse the vse thereof in the Primatiue Churches, Idid. fol. 288.

Zanch. Touching the forme of garments, which Mini­sters ought to vse publikely, either in the execution of their Ministery, our iudgement is that about these things wee must not so contend, that for this cause the peace of the Churches should be troubled, Confes. cap. 25. §. 30. fol. 249.

Againe, albeit seeing Christ neither his Apostles did not [Page 136] forbid, that any man should take other garments, then the vsuall, honest graue and cleane garment, Liberum est per se vti, vel non vti alijs vestibus: and albeit it be a free thing, and be accounted among matters indifferent, yet for significa­tion it rather should become a Minister in the administrati­on of the Sacrament to vse a linnen then a wollen garment: for that that colour is an embleme of innocencie and sanc­titie, hence in the Apocalyps, white garments are giuen to the Saints, Idem de operibus Redem. lib. 1. cap. 16. fol. 445.

Heming. I would not haue priuate persons to alter any thing in Ceremonies ordained, and approued of our Ma­gistrates by graue, and waighty reasons and authoritie: nei­ther ought a most exact reason of euery particular Cere­monie be enquired, so long as they sauour not of manifest superstition and impietie: neither doe we iudge Ceremonies to bee of that moment, that for them schisme should bee moued in the Church, [hee nameth there among other Ceremonies the Surplesse] let the sincerity of doctrine bee retained, as also the pure worship of God; let other things serue partly to the peace of the Church, partly to the infir­mity of men, and let vs leaue these things to the wisedome of gouerners, and let them determine of these matters, Syntag. in 4. Legem. Decalogi. §. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. fol. 365.

Againe, It is indifferent in nature to celebrate or per­forme holy things, as Baptisme and the Lords Supper, in a white and linnen garment: howbeit if the vse bee not free but be reserued (superstitionis gratia) for superstition, it can­not be any longer accounted among things indifferent, for then as in a case of confession of the trueth, they leaue to be indifferent, Idem Enchiridion Tit. de adiaph. cap. 16. clas. 3. fol. 375.

Polanus moues a question whether a Minister of the re­formed Church, when hee speaketh in the pew or pulpet, ought not to put on a linen grament, which they call a Sur­plesse vpon his vsuall attire? To which he answereth thus, [Page 137] Liberum videtur vtivel non vti in Sacris veste linea: then hee sheweth that in the time of Hieron. the custome was in the Church that such as did administer the Sacraments, did were a linnen garment in the act of practise, citing the said, Hier. contra Pelag. l. 1. thus speaking, quae sunt rogo inimicitiae contra Deum, si Episcopus Presbyter, Diaconus, & reliquis or do Ecclesiasticus in administratione sacrificiorum, candidâ veste processerit, yet hee inclineth to the remouing of these gra­ments out of the Church.

But further he demandeth and putteth case, that if in any reformed Church, the vse of a Surplesse may not be omitted without the feare of schisme, or incroaching of heretickes, what shall a Minister doe then? He answereth, In that case it is better for a man to weare a Surplesse, as an adiaphorall or indifferent thing, then by the obstinate refusall thereof, to stirre vp schisme to interrupt the course of true doctrine, and to giue occasion vnto heretickes of possessing the Church, which hee confirmeth by the example of Paul, which circumcised Timothy for the Iewes sake, because they all knew that his father was a Graecian, Act. 16. 3. howbeit if God grant a full reformation vnto any Church, so as that with Idolatry it selfe, all instruments and helps thereof bee vtterly banished, by so much the more is the grace of God to bee acknowledged, celebrated, and preserued, in Ezech. cap. 44. fol. 807.

Zepperus: Although he testifie his dislike of the superstiti­ous histrionicall, and corrupt vse of the Surplesse among the Papists, calling it an Aharonicall garment, whereof there is no vse, but aduiseth men to vse such a simple and de­cent garment in the worships of God, as may seeme most honest or agreeable to euery Country or place; and that from the example of Christ, the Apostles and Primitiue Church: yet hee confesseth that Chrisostome Homil. 83. in Mat. & Hieron. lib. 1. contra Pelag. doe make mention of a white garment, which the Ministers in those dayes vsed without superstition, in token and admonishment of lea­ding [Page 138] an honest life, De politia Eccles. lib. 1. cap. 12. fol. 19.

M. Cartwright: Touching the point whether a Mini­ster should weare it, although it be inconuenient: the trueth is, that I dare not bee authour to any to forsake his Pastorall charge for the inconuenience thereof: Conside­ring that this charge, being an absolute commaundement of the Lord, ought not to bee layd aside for a simple incon­uenience, or vncomelinesse of a thing, which in the owne nature is indifferent. After, if the Prince vpon the declara­tion of the inconuenience of such Ceremonies, and hum­ble sute for release of them, will nothing loose of the cord of this seruitude, for my part, I see no better way, then with admonition of the weake, that they bee not offended, and prayer vnto God to strengthen them thereunto, to keepe on the course of feeding the flocke committed to them in the end of his second Replie, fol. 262, 263.

Touching the signe of the Crosse.

BVcer: This signe of the Crosse, both in respect that it is of most ancient vse in the Church, as also that it is (ad­modum simplex & praesentis admonitionis crucis Christi;) A Ce­remonie Signe of the Crosse neither indecent nor vnprofitable. of much simplicitie, and of present admonition of the Crosse of Christ: I doe hold it nec indecens, nec inu­tile, neither indeecnt, nor vnprofitable. With this condi­tion, that in the vse thereof it bee purely vnderstoode, and Religiously receiued, without the addition of any super­stition or bondage of the element, or common custome. In Script. Anglican. Censur. cap. 12. fol. 479.

Beza: Seeing these things (the signe of the Crosse Not Idola­trous in it selfe & other things) are not perse Idololatrica, Idolatrous in their owne nature, we thinke of these things, as wee did of the Ceremonies going before, fol. 100. and what was that, Not of that moment to suffer depri­uation. namely (fol. 98.) that it seemeth not a matter of that mo­ment, that for it Pastors should leaue rather their charge, then vse (this signe) or that the Flockes should let alone [Page 139] the publike foode of their soules, then heare their Pastors v­sing this signe.

Againe: Touching the Crosse, what shall I say, admit there was a time wherin there was some vse of this Signe, in opposition to the cotemners of Christ crucified. Admit also that it was willingly, and of long time vsed by Christians for the externall profession of the true Religion. After: Yet I know, that some renouncing the adoration of the Crosse, retaine the vse of this Signe [vtantur igitur ipsi sicuti par est sualibertate.] let them therefore vse their libertie as is meet; wee in the French Churches for sundry necessary causes may not tolerate it, Beza contra Baldwin.

Heming: Some are offended with our Ceremonies (in the Denmarke Churches, and crie out that they are popish: they say we haue (Sacerdotes) Priests, Altars, Surplesses, Cā ­dles, Images, Exorcismes (signationes Crucis) signings with the signe of the crosse, (plane Papistico more) meerly after the Popish fashion. To those men I answere, the true Church is distinguished from the false by doctrine and worship, and not by Ceremonies, Quae per se adiaphora sunt; which are Of it selfe in­different. in themselues indifferent. Neither doe we iudge indifferent Ceremonies to be of that moment, as that Schismes should bee mooued for them in the Church. Let the sinceritie of doctrine bee retained; let other matters (ceremoniall and circumstantiall) serue partly for the peace and quiet of the Church, and partly to the infirmitie of men, Syntag. ad 4. legem Decalogi. §. 33, 34. fol. 365. Also, in commentar. super 1. cap. Ioan. hee sayth, Minime improbo signum Crucis.

Zanch: Other sort of Traditions there are, not necessa­rily to be retained in the Church, albeit very ancient, and mentioned of the Primitiue Fathers: As that a Christian ought to arme his forehead with the signe of the Crosse, as also to fast on Fridayes, and Saturndayes. For albeit they may bee vsed, si absque superstitione exerceantur, if their vse It may be vsed. bee without superstition: yet they binde not the conscience, Compend. Relig. loc. 16. De tradit. Ecclesiast. fol. 654.

Againe, If we diligently consider the things which are reported of the signe of the Crosse, wee shall finde that ma­ny things were fabulous, other matters fained of the Diuel, other vses thereof true, but not to the confirmation of su­perstions: others also of that quality which in those Pri­mitiue times indeede, when as they were not as yet turned into superstition, Tolerari potuerunt, & verò fuerunt laude In some case tolerable. digna, might bee tolerated, nay they were worthy of com­mendation: yet from which vses of this signe, for the pre­sent wee must wholly abstaine for the danger of superstiti­on. Other vses in a word there were of this signe: Quae to­lerari etiam nunc possunt, cum nihil in tali crucis vsu insit peri­culi: which may be tolerated euen now in the Church, see­ing in such vse of the crosse there is no peril, Deredempt. l. 1. cap. 15. fol. 367. After he sheweth that the Primitiue had the signe of the Crosse in the forehead, to testifie that they were not ashamed of the Crucifix: which was causa praeci­pua eaque non improbanda, The chiefe cause mouing them to vse it, and that not to be disliked, Ibid.

Polanus: The signe of the Crosse might haue beene vsed of the holy Fathers without sinne, so farre forth as it was a free and open testimony of the confident confession of Christians concerning Christ crucified, albeit he acknow­ledgeth that it was with good right abolished out of many reformed Churches, because it was Idolatrously abused by the Papists, and that all true worshippers might know, that God is to bee serued by them in spirit and truth, In E­zech. cap. 9. v. 4. fol. 258.

Zepperus acknowledgeth the practise of the signe of the Crosse to haue been an vsuall and ancient custome of Chri­stians in the Primitiue Church, and maketh apology and good construction of the holy Fathers vse thereof, namely, that they vsed it not superstitiously as the Papists do, but to testifie their trust and confidence in the crosse, that is, in the passion and death of Christ, as the Iewes in Egypt did, which signed the doore post of their houses, not as if the [Page 141] blood of the Lambe had any power to preserue them from the destroyer, but because it was a type of the blood and Crosse of Christ, though otherwise he dislike the vse there­of in Baptisme, because not commanded of God but hath been abused by the Papists to Idolatry: yet hereby he shew­eth, as also do the rest of our classicall Writers, that the vse of this signe is not a thing simply and in nature euill, de Sacrament. cap. 16. fol. 357. 358. & de politia Eccles. l. 1. c. 10. fol. 57. 58.

Gowlartius: The ancient or Primitiue Christians, did vse the figure of the Crosse without superstition, because the doctrine of the merits of Christ preserued them from error, which afterward crept in, Annotat. in Cyprian lib. ad De­metr. cap. 19. he calleth it a thing indifferent. Annot. Cyprian Epist. 56.

Master Perkins sheweth, that the transient crosse, that is, the signe of the crosse made with the finger in the ayre, was in common vse with the Primitiue and purer Church, and was vsed as a simple rite, as a signe of the externall profes­sion of their faith, and confidence in the Crosse, that is, the death of Christ, and as a certaine monitory, whereby they stirred vp their faith, and that it was not adored or supersti­tiously vsed, as among the Papists. Problem. tit. signum crucis. Sect. 1. 2. 3. fol. 83. 84.

Touching kneeling in receiuing the Communion.

CHurches reformed: Bohem: Geneua: The Bohemian con­fession touching the manner of their receiuing the Communion saith thus, The faithfull members of our Church doe most vsually receiue this Sacrament (in genua procumbentes) kneeling on their knees with thankesgiuing, ioyfulnesse, and singing Psalmes. Harm. confess. §. 14. Bo­hem. fol. 120.

Low-country Churches: In the administration of the Lords Supper, let euery Church impose or vse such Cere­monies, [Page 142] as they shall iudge to bee most expedient, so they looke that the Ceremonies taken out of Gods word, be not rashly changed, and superstitions bee diminished. Ex actis Synodalibus general. inferior. Germ. Middleburg. anno 1581. Can. 45. apud Sculting. Anachrys. Hierarch. lib. 9.

Caluin being questioned of one, whether hee might re­ceiue the Supper of the Lord from the Lutheran teachers, (in whose Churches kneeling is vsed, as appeareth before in the Bohem confes. as also appeareth in admonitiō of T. C. fol. 84.) In his answere to this question, makes no difficulty in respect of kneeling, but of their erroneous doctrine of con­substantiation, and therefore insinuateth it vnlawfull to re­ceiue, nisi clara & ingenua praecedat sanae doctrinae confessio: In which case he alloweth the receiuing thereof, notwithstan­ding their kneeling. Epist 292. fol. 479.

Bucer: If you admit not this, I doe not see how you can graunt any Church, that it may celebrate the Lords Supper in the Morning, and in an open Church consecrate to the Lord, that the Sacraments may be distributed to men knee­ling or standing; yea, to women as well as to men: For we haue receiued of these things neither couenant of the Lord, nor any example; yea, rather the Lord gaue a contrary ex­ample in these things, in Epist. ad Ioh. Alasco.

P. Martyr: Neither doe I iudge that we ought immo­derately to contend that rites and Ceremonies be the same, and euery where obserued after the same manner. But this must be looked vnto, that they bee not repugnant to Gods word: yea, they ought to be squared vnto that, as much as possible may be, and to our vttermost indeuour, edificati­on and decent order should bee furthered: which conditi­ons if they be obserued, it is nothing materiall whether we receiue the Lords Supper standing, sitting, or kneeleng, so as the institution of Christ bee kept, and occasion of super­stition cut off. Neither is it much to be respected while the Church receiueth the elements, whether some place of ho­ly Scripture be rehearsed openly, or whether Psalmes and [Page 143] thankesgiuing be sung of the people. Loc. com. class. 2. cap. 4. §. 39. fol. 203.

Againe, concerning adoration, how it may be vsed in re­ceiuing the Sacraments, I will say something, namely, in a cleere case: For if ones minde bee applyed not to the ele­ments, but to the things signified, adoration may lawfully bee interposed. Therefore when the Sacraments are re­ceiued, & the promises as perteining thereto, if we adore the Lord by kneeling, we doe not thereby testifie the reall and corporall presence of Christ in the Sacrament. Idem in defen. ad Gardiner. de Eucharist. part. 1. ob. 1. fol. 5.

Beza: Kneeling at Communion while the elements are receaued hath indeede a shew of Godly and Christian reue­rence, and therefore might heretofore be vsed, (cum fructu) with some benefit, yet because from this originall, that same detestable bread worship did first arise, and sticketh as yet in the mindes of many, it seemeth worthily remoued (in the Churches where they vse other gesture) yet againe see­ing this Ceremonie is not per se idololatrica, idolatrous of it selfe wee iudge of it as wee did of the Surplesse, and other foregoing Ceremonies, Epist. 12. fol. 100. namely that it is not of that moment, as that for the refusall thereof the Ministers should leaue their Ministery, or the people the Sacrament, Ibid. fol. 98. in another place, Epist. 8. fol. 77. albeit hee hold it inconuenient, yet he confesseth that it is not, per se impium, in it selfe impious.

Vrsinus: To a question whether among them that defend Consubstantiation, a man might lawfully receaue the Lords Supper? he answereth thus, seeing in those Churches the same foundation of saluation, and the same Christ is taught as is in ours: albeit some defects and blemishes doe sticke vpon their Sacraments, and seeing the authoritie and vse of the Sacraments, as also of the whole Ministrie, depen­deth not on the persons of the Ministers, neither can their false opinions or sinnes hurt and preiudicate, such as right­ly doe vse Christs institution; a man rightly informed, may [Page 144] holily communicate with them on these conditions. 1. If hee haue no more pure Ministrie in the place, or about the place of his aboade, or be driuen from the vse thereof a­gainst his will; as now in these partes the communicating in the purer Churches is for bidden, to the orthodoxe vnder paine of proscription. 2. If he receaue not the Communi­on with them, as a badge of approuing their error, and dis­liking of the true doctrine; as it is vsed, saith he, in the quar­ters of our neighbourhood. 3. If before he come, he make confession plainely, and ingenuously, without darkenesse, and doubtfulnesse vnto the Ministers, and know whether they will receiue him with this confession, and acknow­ledge him as a member of the Church, yeelding confession of the trueth to others also, but professe it before all, requi­ring of him a reason of his faith, either in publike or in pri­uate: If the Minister refuse him on these conditions, let him abstaine, if he admit him and there be obiected to him, and layed before him his practise (vitiosae Ceremoniae) corrupt Ce­monies, false opinions, scornings of the trueth by the ad­uersaries, as if hee should be infected with some superstition thereby, and that hee giueth scandall hereby to the weake, which may suspect that he approueth their opinions, and so may be confirmed also in these things. It is answered thus, that this is scandall taken, not giuen, if he who endureth this seruitude, inioying in the meane while his Christian liber­ty, doeth not omit the confession of the trueth vnto the Ministers and others; and with all doe openly professe for what cause, on what conditions, on what perswasion, and to what end hee communicateth, and in what different reckoning he holdeth the ordinances of Christ, and the traditions of men; for thus all iust cause of offence is taken away.

Neither is a person of sound iudgement defiled, when as he vseth the Ministrie of such as erre; yea and obserueth also haumane Ceremonies, if with all he cleerely and constantly disliketh the errors, and doe neither commit in word nor [Page 145] deede any thing openly and impious in it selfe, and repug­nant to the word of God, and withall professe that he estee­meth not humane traditions for the worship of God. So the Prophets & other Saints in the old Testament, and Christ and his Apostles in the New, did vse the Ministery of the Priests, which many waies did corrupt the doctrine & wor­ship of God: but in the mean while they themselues did no­thing in it selfe idolatrous or forbidden of God, but did sharply reprehend the errors of the Pharises & Saduces: So Paul by the obseruation of Iewish abolished Ceremonies did apply himself vnto the weake, when they fled from him as from an enemie of the Law, and of their countrey Cu­stomes, and in this thing did not sinne. Peter applied him­selfe vnto the Iewes also, and yet is reproued, we see, of Paul: The cause was because Paul did adde, but Peter did omit the necessary confession and doctrine of the trueth: Therfore Peter gaue scandall to the weake, and confirmed them that erred in their error, which Paul did not. Of this question (saith Vrsinus) I conferred heretofore at Zuricke, with P. Martyr of holy memory, not for mine owne scruple, but for others, of whom I was importuned for aduice, neither was his answer different from this of mine, Exercitat. part. 2 fol. 835, 836, 837, 838, 839.

Zanch: As he who with some kind of reuerence and ho­nouring doth beare himselfe vnto the Sacraments, is not to be blamed, so hee committeth idolatry which adoreth and worshippeth the same: Hee giueth a reason hereof, because the Bread & Wine of the Lords Supper are no longer com­mon or prophane things, but holy, by which Christ doth communicate himselfe & his grace, and in that respect those elements are worthy of reuerence. For as the word which is preached, although it be not to beadored, yet it is reuerently to be heard and handled, as the word, not of man, but as the word of God: So also the elements of the Sacraments, in the act of the administration of them are worthy of some reuerence and honour, as things not prophane, but holy, [Page 146] and to this purpose is that where the Apostle commaun­deth the Bread to be eaten, and the Wine to be drunke wor­thily. For albeit this dignity consist properly in the mind, which is indued with faith & loue, yet not from the purpose doe we also referre the same to externall reuerence: Hence they who approach vnreuerently to the Lords Supper, as to a common or profane supper, were of God grieuously cha­stened, as the Apostle teacheth, 1. Cor. 11. 29, 30, 31. Where­fore there is no doubt but he doeth well and godly, and ac­cording to the wil of God; which adresseth himself to come with external reuerence (as bareheaded, kneeling, or the like gestures) and so handleth, and partaketh of the Sacra­ments, De Redempt. lib. cap. 17. fol. 486.

Zepperus: These Ceremonies of good order or matters indifferent, may be thus distinguished, as that some of them may bee considered about the administration of the Sa­craments: others are accessaries, or furtherers of good order, and of honesty about externall worship: For albeit the Sacraments are not to be accounted among the number of adiaphorals, or things indifferent, yet there is a reall and great difference betweene the Sacramentall Ceremonies themselues, which at mans pleasure neither can, nor ought to be altered or changed, and betweene the circumstances of those Sacramentall Ceremonies; which circumstances for the state of Churches may by the Christian libertie be differently appointed and obserued, as for example, the time of administring the Sacraments, Situs vel positus cor­poris in vtendâ coenâ, the site and position or gesture of the body in vsing the Lords Supper; And the like, Polit. Eccles. lib. 1. cap. 11. fol. 76.

Againe, it is vsually obiected, that if wee will so exactly, and peremptorily sift all things▪ and square them to the in­stitution of Christ, then it will follow, that the Supper of the Lord, shall not bee celebrated but once a yeere, and that in the euening or night season, and that lying along about the Table, as Christ did in his institution, &c. He answe­reth [Page 147] thus, as if there were not great difference betweene the Sacramentall Ceremonies themselues, and the circumstan­ces of the Sacramentall Ceremonies, such as are the cir­cumstances of time, place, & site, or state or position of bo­dy, to which we are not bound in the New Testament, but do heere reioyce in the Christian liberty, according to that of Galat. 4. 10. & Col. 2. 16. And as Saint Paul of the vse of the Supper of the Lord doth bring in and apply the Word Quotiescunque. But the case is farre otherwise of Sacramen­tall Ceremonies, which appertaine vnto the substance of the Sacraments. Idem de Sacrament. cap. 13. fol. 321. 322. Looke Sarauia contra Bezam. defens. cap. 25. fol. 582. 583. and Luther in Gen. 47. where hee alloweth this Ceremony of Kneeling.

Touching Holy-Dayes.

THese are of two sorts: some bearing title to the memo­riall of Christ our Sauiour, and the parts of our re­demption by him performed; as namely, the daies of Christ his Natiuitie, Circumcision, Passion, Resurrection, Assension, and Descension of the Holy Ghost: some others bearing the name and memoriall of the Virgin Mary, the Apostles and other of the Saints. The former sort as they are in euery reformed Church in the world that I haue heard of practised (excepting in Geneua which onely ob­serueth the day of Christs Natiuity, Caluin. Epist. 118. fol. 215. & Argentorat or Strausbourg, Caluin. Epist. 128. fol. 226.) as namely in the Churches of Denm. Heming. Syntag. in 4. leg. Decal. §. 22. fol. 363. 364. Of Bohem. Harm. Confes. §. 16. fol. 179. Saxony and high Germany, Harm. Confess. §. 16. Augustan. fol. 186. Heluetia Harm. Confess. §. 16. Heluet. poste­rior. fol. 179. Item in libello de ritibus Eccles. Tigur. 8. fol. 1. of Basil. Polan. Syntagm. lib. 9. cap. 35. fol. 4147. Belgick or Low-Countries as appeareth in the last letter of the Brownists vnto Iunius last letter. Berne. Aretius Pro­blem. loc. 99. fol. 289. Fulke in Rhem. Apoc. 1. 10. fol. [Page 148] 854. and in Gal. 4. 10. §. 5. fol. 63. So do all good and godly iudgements that I could light of (excepting only Piscator in Gal. 4. 9. 10. 11. obseruat. fol. 426.) concurre together to ap­proue of them, so doth Bucer. Script. Anglican. in censura fol. 493. cap. 26. Pet. Martyr. loc. com. inter Epistolas fol. 1087. Bul­ling. in Epist. Caluin. 129. fol. 227. Zanch. confess. cap. 25. fol. 250. & in Col. 2. 17. fol. 67. Zepper. de politia Eccles. lib. 1. cap. 13. fol. 94. Aretius Problem. de Ferijs fol. 289. Paraeus in Rom. 14. dub. 4. fol. 1203. 1204.

The latter sort of holy dayes, albeit they be not vsed in some Churches, as in Heluetia, Belgia, France, county Pala­tine, &c. but are by sundry godly persons in some respects misliked, as Har. confess. §. 16. Heluet. Poster. fol. 175. Bulling. in Ep Caluin. 129. f. 227. & Dec. 2. Ser. 3. f. 126. Caluin. Ep. 278. fol. 456. & Ep. 379. fol. 658. Muscul. loc. part. 1. in 4. praecept. fol. 133. 134. 135. Zegedine loc. cō. fol. 324. de fest is Christianorū O­leuian. in Rom. 14. 5. f. 691. 692. Idē in Gal. 4. 10. fol. 95. Rolloc. in Coloss. 2. 16. fol. 164. 165. Paraeus in Rom. 14. dub. 4. fol. 1204. 1205. 1206. Bb. Hooper on Command. 4. fol. 48. Parae­us in Rom. 14. Idem exercit. 29. lib. 2. fol. 200. Yet by sun­dry reuerend persons they are excused, and by some allow­ed and practised in sundry Churches, as the Chur­ches of the Augustane Confession Danish, Bohem. Berne. and others Harm. Confess. §. 16. Bohem. fol. 179. Hemming. syntag. in 4. legem Decal. §. 27. 28. fol. 363. 364. Aretius Problem. loc. 99. f. 289. Bucer. script. Anglic. censura. cap. 26. fol. 494. allow them vpon condition that they bee sanctified by preaching & practising of holy duties; and not profaned by sin, belly cheare and vanitie. Zanchius excuseth them in that the Fa­thers who first ordained them, did vpon those dayes wor­ship God, and not the Saints and besides by this, Quod nul­la lege prohibebantur id facere quod faciebant de redempt. cap. 19. fol. 601. as also in respect of their endes of institution, the remembrance of the Saints excellency to our own pro­fit, the declaration of their vertues to Gods glory, and an excitation of mens mindes to thankfullnesse vnto God. I­dem [Page 149] in Col. 2. 17. fol. 67. And therefore he concludeth, that as those Churches did well to abolish the Popish supestiti­ous dayes, which were abused to Idolatry; as the day of the Conception and Assumption of the Virgin Mary, &c. yea, they also did not euill, which for the state of their Church did abrogate omnia praeter diem Dominicum, all dayes, being matters meerely indifferent, and to preuent future supersti­tion, Zanch. in Coll. 2. 17. fol. 614. & de redempt. cap. 19. lib. 1. fol. 618. yet seeing they are matters in their nature indiffe­rent, Liberum est Ecclesiae deligere sibi dies Festos, Euery Church hath liberty to chuse holy dayes for the edification of it selfe. Idem de redempt. cap. 19. fol. 615. Idem confess. cap. 25. §. 30. fol. 250. on condition that they bee not too many, neither vsed prophanely or superstitiously, or when they be so abused, if they cannot well be reformed to abolish them. Idem de redempt. cap. 19. fol. 615. 618. confess. vbi supra. And so he affirmeth, that these holy dayes ought by no man to be contemned, and that by the example of Christ, Zanch. in Col. 2. 17. fol. 67. a. Idem de Redempt. ibid. fol. 612.

The obseruators on the Harmony of confessions on sect. 16. ad Bohem. 1. doe thus affirme of these Holy dayes: As some Churches doe so farre submit themselues to their in­firmity with whom they conuerse, as that they doe obserue these holy dayes (titled with the names of the Apostles) al­beit with an vneuen, yea altogether a repugnant reason: So other sundry Churches being driuen vnto it by no such ne­cessitie, haue taken these holy dayes also, not only as vnpro­fitable, but also in some respects hurtfull.

Hemingius sheweth, that there is great difference between the obseruation of these Holy dayes distinguished by the names of Saints, as it is performed by the Papists and Hea­thens: The ends of whose obseruing them (being idola­trous and prophane) we abhorre, (saith Hemingius) as vn­worthy of whom any mention should bee made among Christians, and as it is obserued among the reformed Chur­ches, whereof he giueth 6. profitable ends: That the histo­rie [Page 150] of the Church may be the better made knowen: That the benefits of God towards the members of his Church may bee thought vpon: That thankesgiuing may be giuen to God for them: That the diuers cases of the Saints may be considered & weighed: That we may imitate the Saints in repentance, life, worship, confession, constancy, patience, and in other vertues: That lastly with holy sighes, we may desire the communion of Saints, Syntag. ad 4. legem De­cal. § 25. 26. 27. 28. fol. 364.

Caluin to the French Church at Mompelgart concer­ning the not receiuing of feasts: I could wish you to bee more constant, yet so (vt non litigetis de quibus libet) as yee contend not about all the holy dayes; but about such one­ly which neither make anything at all for edification, and besides, doe manifest themselues to bee superstitious in the very first appearance. He giueth instance of the holy dayes of the Conception and Assumption of the Virgin Mary, [which are built the one on false doctrine, the other on a lye] Epist. 51. fol. 100.

Againe, In another place, touching Festiuall dayes, and other ceremonies, as I suppose then to be subiect to the cen­sure of God, which vnder the colour of I know not what conformitie and agreement among Churches, haue both nourished an inconuenience, and turned aside the remedy: and it is an hard matter for the godly Brethren to subiect themselues to such things which they apprehend neither to be right, nor profitable, Ita etiam defectus multos tolerandos iudico, vbi emendari non possunt; Euen so I do iudge that ma­ny defects are to be borne withall, where they cannot bee reformed: Wherefore I doe not thinke it fit that any of the Brethren should for this cause insist so farre, as to de­part and separate from the Church, whereof hee is a mem­ber, if the greater part of the Church bee carried in a con­trary course; because in such cases it seemeth vnto me suf­ficient if that which we know to be right be of vs laboured vnto: for albeit it bee thrust vpon vs, & malam caudam tra­hat, [Page 151] and doe draw a long some euill effects with all, yet be­cause it is not repugnant to the word of God, concedi potest, it may be yeelded vnto, especially where the greater number doeth ouercome the lesser, when as there is no possible way or meanes for him, which is onely but a member of that body, to porcure and to further reformation, Idem Epist. 379. fol. 658.

Aretius: Because the appointing and determining of Feasts hath euer beene a matter free, that is, that other Churches may adde other dayes to the Sabbath to bee kept holy, Nihil & in hac re vitij inesse iudicamus, Probl. Loc. 99. fol. 289.

Polanus: The obseruing of holidayes in the beginning of the Christian Primitiue Church, was a matter indiffe­rent, and therefore discord and contention for the celebra­tion of them should not bee moued, Polan. Syntag. Tom. 2. lib. 9. cap. 35. fol. 4148.

The Churches of the Low-countries make this Canon for themselues, as holidayes shall bee abolished, excepting the Lords day, and the dayes of Christs Natiuity and As­cension; howbeit, if more festiuals be to be kept by the Ma­gistrates command, the Ministers must be admonished, that they labour by preaching to turne the peoples idlenesse on those dayes into godly businesse or excercise, Ex actis Synod. inferior. German. Middleburgi anno. 1581. canon. 50. apud. Schulbrig. Anacrysi.

Fulk: That other dayes also, besides the Lords day, may bee kept by the Churches ordinance, for the assembly of Christians to the exercise of religion, wee acknowledge: But that any are simply necessary, more then be of the Ho­ly Ghosts appointing in the Scriptures, we deny: In Rhem. Test. ad Gal. 4. 10. §. 5. fol. 603.

Againe, that any contention should arise for keep­ing or not keeping of the such feastes, it is a fault in our time, but yet such a fault as was very ancient, as appeareth by the contentions of Victor, and the Bishops of the East, [Page 152] for the celebration of Easter: and pursued with more bitter­nesse by Victor Bishop of Rome, then by any of our time. For he presumed to excommunicate as heretickes, all such as would not keepe Easter after his manner, Euseb. 5. 25. wee acknowledge it was a very auncient custome of the Church, to celebrate the memory of Martyrs, as the Church of Smyrna doeth write in their Epistle, Euseb. 4. 12. For the remembrance of them that haue fought before vs, and for the excercise and preparation of them that shall fight hereafter. But your Popish manner of celebration is nothing like, either in the forme or in the end, for you keepe your holy-dayes, as the Iewes did the feast of the Calfe, wherefore it is written; The people sate downe to eate and drinke, and rose up againe to play: In your Churches, you solemnize them with idolatros worshipping of the crea­tures, and their images out of the Churches, with banquet­ting, reuelling, and idlenesse, so that the people by your festiuities of Martyrs, are not taught what true Martyr­dome is, nor prepared to suffer for Christ, but rather to be­come Epicures, whose belly is their God, who glory in their shame, &c. In abrogating and retaining of feasts, our Church hath vsed that libertie, which Christians haue in obseruation of dayes: To conclude we learne by many testi­monies of the ancient Fathers, how Christian solemnities may be kept, that they bee not Iewish or Heathenish obser­uations, as when they are free from superstition, idolatrie, or opinion of holinesse in the times, and when they be kept as things indifferent, wherin the Church may vse her liberty to appoint or abrogate what is best for edification, & not to be seruilely bound to keepe thē of necessity, as you the Papists defend that they are, Fulk. Rhemi. Gal. 4. 10. §. 5. fol. 603. 604. Also we shew the Christian liberty in respecting all dayes a­like that are not discerned by the commandement of God. As for the doung of your festiuities, we condemne as open idolatry by manifest texts of scripture, forbidding Gods ho­nour to be giuen to creatures, & yet the dayes appointed by [Page 153] the Church for excercise of religion wee obserue, and that without superstition, Idem in Rom. 14. 5. §. 2. fol. 480. Looke also Reu. 1. 10.

Perkins: He reproueth the Papists for dedicating many of their Holy-dayes to the honour of Saints and Angels: whereas the dedication of ordinary and set dayes, is a part of religious worship, hee sheweth that it is the priui­ledge of God to appoint an ordinary day of rest, and to san­ctifie it to his owne honour. After: Indeede the Church of England obserueth Holy-dayes, but the Popish supersti­tion is cut off: For first, we are bound in conscience to the obseruation of these dayes: secondly, neither doe we place holines in them: thirdly, but we keep them only for orders sake, that men may come to the Church to heare Gods word: fourthly and though we retaine the names of Saints dayes, yet we giue no worship to Saints, but to God alone: fiftly, and such dayes as contained nothing in them but su­perstition, as the Conception and Assumption of the Vir­gin Mary, we haue cut off. Thus doth the Church obserue dayes with vs, and no otherwise. Indeed the ignorant mul­titude among vs faile greatly in obseruing of dayes: For they greatly solemnize the time of the Birth of Christ, and then they keepe few or no Markets: But the Lords day is not accordingly respected, and men will not be disswaded from following on that day, On the Gal. cap. 4. 10. fol. 316.

Touching sundry other Ceremonies, some vsed in our Church, others of much like nature vsed in other reformed Churches.

THe other Ceremonies which are vsed in our Church, are thus by our classicall writers that haue written of them, partly defended and excused.

The Ring in marriage with the words annexed, In the name of the Father, the Sonne, and she holy Ghost: This al­beit some learned men condemne as the outward signe of a Popish Sacrament: yet Bucer calls it, admodum commodus [Page 154] ritus, a very fit Ceremonie with this condition, if it bee expounded to the people what all this may signifie, which there he setteth downe, Bucer. Script. Anglican. in censura cap. 20 fol. 488.

The Purification of women deliuered of childe, now called more appositely, The thankesgiuing for women de­liuered, some condemne it as Iewish, yet Bucer giueth this censure and excuse for it, Haec omnia Scripturis congru­unt; This Ceremonie is agreeable to the Scriptures, with that which in the Common prayer booke is expressed; He excepteth the offering of a white garment, which is since a­bolished, Bucer. ibid. cap. 24. fol. 490.

Priuate Communion to be giuen to the sicke: Bullin­ger granteth, that good men might admit of a priuate Com­munion to bee giuen to the sicke, euen in these our dayes, for a time, to these which haue not as yet vnderstood the full vse of the Lords Supper: yet hee would not haue this libertie graunted vnto all, neither they that receiue it to hold it as viaticum, a necessarie supplie to helpe them in the way to heauen Decad. 5. Serm. 9. fol. 498. a.

Caluin alloweth it, if there be some company of the kin­red, friends and neighbours of the sicke, that the distribu­tion thereof may bee performed according to the instituti­on of Christ; and withall, if the action of this communi­cating be explained to the receiuers, neither any different matter done from the common practise of the Church, yet he would not haue this vsed commonly: He holdeth it val­dè periculosum huc & illuc promiscuè deferre, very dangerous (for superstition, and ambition, or vaine ostentation) to haue the Sacrament carried hither & thither, Epist. 360. fol. 625. Bucer holdeth it in our Church, Scripturis satis con­sentanea, sufficiently agreeable to the holy Scriptures, for the consolation of troubled consciences, if it bee receiued as the Lord appointeth, Censura cap. 22. fol. 489. The obser­uators of the harmony of confessions, albeit they dislike the Communion of two alone, obseru. ad §. 15. Wirtemb. 6. [Page 155] yet they grant priuate Communions, vpon condition that the libertie of other Churches bee reserued, wherein the Lords Supper is not administred but in publike assembly, least saluation might seeme to bee tyed to the Sacraments, or the Supper of the Lord to be tyed to that time onely, Ob­seruat. §. 16. Wirtemberg. 1.

Bowing the knee at the name of Iesus: Zanchius thus ex­cuseth; This name which was before by all the Iewes blas­phemed: after his death his Godhead being manifest, is adored of all, Insomuch as he is adored of all, so as all men bend their knee at the onely mention of his name. Hence I doubt not (saith hee) came first this most ancient custome in the Church, that when Iesus is named all should vnco­uer their heads, in token of reuerence and adoration: and it was established against the Arrians and other Heretickes, which affirmed Christ to bee onely man. Consuetudo fuit non improbanda: sed postea versa est in superstitionem vt mul­ta alia pie & Sanctè instituta: It was after turned into super­stition, as were sundry other godly and holy ordinances, Zauch. In Philip. cap. 2. 10. fol. 123.

Paraeus to the question, whether the putting off the Cap to the hearing of the name of Iesus may be proued by the scriptures answereth negatiuely: In the mean time, saith he, We condemne not this Rite, if it be not esteemed as a wor­ship of God, but for a decent adiaphoral, and then againe if such as doe it not be not condemned, Colleg. 2. cap. 31. Sect. 13. fol. 280. Master Fulke: Capping or Kneeling at the name of Iesus, is of it selfe and indifferent thing, and therefore may be vsed superstitiously, as in Popery, &c. It may be also sed well, when the minde is free from superstition, in signe of reuerence to his Maiesty, & as in a matter wherein Chri­stian liberty ought to take place and due reuerence to our Sauiour, may be yeelded without any such outward Cere­mony of Capping or Kneeling, Fulk. Rhem. on Phillip. 2. 10. §. 2. fol. 628.

Witnesses at Baptisme, Sponsores, commonly called God­fathers, [Page 156] Bucer in his censure dislikes it not. It is vsed in most Churches of the world, euen in Geneua, which Caluin li­ked of, so that the Parents were also present, vnlesse vrgent occasion should hinder, Epist. 302. fol. 491. Beza allowed of this custome and askes a question thereof: Quis tandem damnare ausit? Who dareth to condemne it, vnlesse hee would be reproued, by those expresse wordes of Paul, com­manding that all things bee done honestly and by order, E­pist. 8. fol. 75. to Bishop Grindall. Pet. Martyr calleth it V­tile institutum, a profitable ordinance, yet he reproueth the vsual negligence of such in casting off the care of children, of whose Baptisme they are the witnesses, loc. class. 4. cap. 8. §. 5. fol. 822.

Priuate Baptisme to sicke and weake children, Bucer al­loweth it, and saith it is holily proposed in our common prayer Booke: He wisheth that it might be obserued; espe­cially that infants Baptisme be not deferred. Whereby he obserueth, that a doore is opened to the Deuill to bring in the contempt of the Church, and so of our whole redemp­tion and communion with Christ, which preuailed greatly by the opinion of the Sect of the Anabaptists. Censur. cap. 15. fol. 481. So Caluin iudgeth hereof, that infants may be baptized out of the Temple, so it be done wheresoeuer there is numerus aliquis fidelium qui Ecclesiae corpus efficiet, & qui baptizat pro Pastore agnoscatur; A certaine number of the faithfull, which may make the body of a Church, and hee which baptizeth be acknowledged of them as their Pastor: And further, that it be not performed in priuate without a­ny witnesses at all. Epist. 185. fol. 304.

Perambulations in Rogation weeke: Peter Martyr, al­beit he affirme to haue risen from the Heathen custome of perambulating, and could not well tell how to giue aduise thereof: yet on condition that onely Prayer bee vsed vnto God for his mercy, and for the vse and blessing of the fruits comming vp, with thankesgiuing for his blessings on the creatures the last yeere; he doeth not altogether condemne [Page 157] it as superstitious, though otherwise he wisheth the Magi­strates to abolish it; Loc. com. inter Epist. fol. 1128. amico in Angliam.

Epistles and Gospels (the readings of holy Scripture so called) vsed in sundry Churches, as before appeareth, and is so farre foorth approued by the obseruators of Geneua on the Harmony of confessions, that liberty bee left to euery Church of vsing these, or not vsing them, vpon condition that this diuiding of the Scripture doe not produce a neg­lect of the rest; Obseruat. §. 1. ad Bohem.

Reading of Homilies: Albeit that all learned and godly teachers doe with one consent condemne an ignorant vn­learned slothfull Minister, and by all meanes doe perswade to their vttermost indeuour in the furtherance and plan­ting of a Godly, learned, and painfull Ministery, as Caluin. Epist. 127. fol. 124. & Epist. 87. fol. 164. 165. Bucer. censura cap. 2. fol. 458. & cap. 7. fol. 465. & Epist. ad Cranmerum fol. 683. Idem deregno Christi lib. 1. cap. 15. fol. 52. 62. Beza E­pist. 12. fol. 95. 96. & Epist. 8. fol. 79. Hyperius de Scriptur. lect. lib. 1. fol. 122. ad fol. 136. & Tom. 2. fol. 675. 676. 677. 678. P. Mortyr loc. inter Epist. fol. 1085. Danaeus Isag. part. 3. lib. 3. cap. 45. fol. 373. Zanch. Obseruat. ad confes. 25. fol. 66. 67. Whitaker in Epist. dedicat. contra Paraeum, with diuers o­thers: yet in a case of necessity Bucer saith, that it is better that godly and learned Homilies made by others should be rehearsed or read vnto the people, so long as Preachers are wanting, which may holily and holesomely teach and ex­hort them, Censur. cap. 7. fol. 465. Also in another place he commandeth the order vsed both in the Primitiue times a­mong the Fathers, as also in England in his time of appoin­ting Readers in the Church, with condition, si idonei, if they be fit: if they reade grauely, religiously, cleerely, and to the peoples edification: if they bee de singulari pietate commendati, of singular pietie: Else hee concludeth Illos non esse Ministros Christi, that they are not the Ministers of Christ, which chop and mumble vp their reading, as they [Page 158] cannot bee vnderstood with edification by the people. I script. Anglican. de vi & vsu ministerij. fol. 564. 565. This Zanchius also citeth and approoueth out of Bucer. Obseruat. ad confess. cap. 25. §. 10. 11. fol. 65. 66. 67.

Sundry other Ceremonies there are, partly vsed in our English Churches, and partly not such, as Christs picture, and Crucifixes, Beza colloqu. Mompelgart. fol. 49. Heming.

Images of Saints, Beza ibid. fol. 401. Heming. ibid. fol.

Altars of stone, Beza ibid. fol. 424. 425.

Exorcismes, Heming. ibid.

Candles, Heming. ibid.

Organs, Beza ibid. fol. 410. 411. 423.

Name of Priest by the Latine word Sacerdos, Heming. ibid.

Against which Ceremonies, albeit the said Beza doeth by many pregnant reasons shew his dislike, yet doeth he and Hemingius conclude them to be things of their owne nature (adiaphora) indifferent, howsoeuer in vse inconuenient: al­so the obseruators on the harmony of confessions doe men­tion other Ceremonies, such as the vse of Ecclesiasticall discipline in Sect. 8. August. obseruat. 6. Of Excommunica­tion, in Sect. 10. Bohem. 3. in Sect. 11. Anglic. 1. Of Suspē ­sion, in Sect. 17. Gallic. 1. Of priuate Absolution, in Sect. 8. Bohem. 1. and Saxon. 1. and Wirtemberg. 1. and in Sect 11. Bohem. 8. Putting on of hands on the head of the bapti­sed, in Sect. 13. obseruat. 1. Imposition of hands on the head of the Minister, in Sect. 11. Heluet. prior. obseru. 2. All of the which they doe not simply condemne, but doe leaue them to be done, or not, at the libertie of euery Church vpon two conditions. First, that the libertie of other Churches of dif­ferent practise being kept entire not preiudiced. Secondly, that the inconueniences of such Ceremonies bee carefully preuented.

So that we see here the vnitie of iudgements of the godly learned to bee opposite vnto the doctrine of suffering de­priuation, for not vsing or conforming to our inconuenient Ceremonies, or to the like.

Secondly also after the suruay of their iudgement, we will take a view of their practise also, what it hath beene in this respect.

In Geneua about Wafer-bread in the Lords Supper: This Church in the reformation thereof vsed common bread in the Lords Supper, and had abolished the vse of the Wafer-cake, as also their fontes to be baptised in, and all their holy dayes except the Lords day: Now it fell out that the Church of Berne assembling a Synod required a restoring of these things vnto the Churches of Geneua, Caluin. Coraldus, and Farell refusing to consent vnto them, or to administer the Sacrament in such maner, they were banished therupon the Citie of Geneua, and within three dayes after their refusall, were depriued of the vse of their Ministery in that place, the great part commanding ouer the better. Now in their ab­sence sundry godly persons were so offended, with this change from common bread to the Wafer-cake, as that they thought best for them to abstaine from the Lords Supper, and to separate from their Ministry, rather then vse the same with the sayd Wafer-bread: Whereupon Caluin. seriò monuit ne ob istud [...] litem mouerent, seriously ad­monished them that they would not raise contention about this indifferent matter, which is set downe in his Epistle 17. fol. 37. 38. 39. 40. so (saith Beza) the vse of the Wafer-bread tooke place and was established; about the which, Caluin after he was restored to his Ministry againe [Nunquam con­tendendum putauit, minimè tamen dissimulans quid alioqui magis esset probaturus] did not thinke it meete to contend, yet not dissembling his minde what otherwise he did meane to ap­proue. Beza in vita Caluini anno. 1538.

In Germany, about excommunication and discipline, Bullinger: There was neuer any contention about excom­munication betweene our Church of Zuricke, and the Church of Geneua most beloued of vs, Apud Erast. de excom. fol. 365. also in another place: In the meane space, wee neuer condemned the Church of Geneua which hath [Page 160] her discipline, albeit, we haue none, Ibid. fol. 350.

About the Surplesse: It being inioyned to the Ministers of Sueuia; they vtterly relinquished their Ministery rather then they would conforme vnto it: this practise did Me­lancthon, and Pomeranus vtterly dislike and perswaded the Ministers of Marquesse Albertus dominions, to conforme rather then to suffer depriuation, which they yeelded vnto for the most part, Consil. Melancth. part. 2. fol. 91.

About an Altar: There is a history related of two great persons, a Prince and an Earle, the one a Lutheran, the other a reformed Protestant. The Earle supposing that hee had more iurisdiction in a certaine Church then the Prince had, commanded an Altar in the Church to bee pulled downe, and a table to be erected in the place: The Luthe­ran Prince vnderstanding thereof, commanded the table to bee taken downe, and the Altar to bee againe set vp: The Earle repeated his practise the second time, so did the Prince, at last the Earle (in a matter of that nature) let alone the Altar in the Church, & suffered the contentious Prince to haue his will, Colloqu. Mompelgart. fol. 424.

In the Low-countries, about breaking bread of Lords Supper: A certaine person was accused to the generall Synod of the Low-countries, gathered at Midleborough 1581. That hee would not haue the bread in Lords Supper to bee cut (as the manner is of those Churches) but would haue it broken out into parts, out of the whole loaues, the which Ceremonie of breaking is doublesse the more agree­able to the institution of Christ who brake the bread, Mat. 26. 26. and to the analogie it had to Christ his Passion whose body was broken, 1. Cor. 11. 24. howbeit, it was demanded of the Synod, what was to be done and practised in this case? It was answered by the Synod, that they must remaine in the receiued custome of the Belgicke Churches, and if any should doe against the custome, they must be ad­monished to desist and leaue of that their practise: In actis Syn. inferioris Germ. partic. interrogat. numb. 76. apud Schul. Anachrys. Hierar. l. 9.

In America: When Ʋillagagno transported the French Coloniae into Brasil, anno 1555. vnder direction and prote­ction of Gasper Colignius, Admirall of France, there was a question on occasion moued touching the elements of the Lords Supper, whether in defect of Wine, and so of Bread of Wheate, they might administer the Sacrament in the Bread of Rootes, and common drinke of the Americans, made also of Roots? Hereof there was difference in iudge­ment, some holding that it were better to abstaine from the Lords Supper, then to administer or receiue it, seeing Christ mentioneth expresly, Mat. 26. 16. Marc. 14. 25. of the fruit of the Vine: Others on the other side thought that our Sa­uiour speaking of Bread and Wine, mentioned them onely as the common or vsual meat & drinke, not as determining those very elements. To which cōtrouersie, Ioan, Lerius, the reporter that was then present, inferreth, Albeit (quoth he) the greater part inclined to the latter iudgement yet because there was not so great scarcitie of the things questioned, as then the controuersie rested to bee determined by further iudgement, yet this peaceable disputation was cause of no kinde of discord among vs, who by the grace of God re­mained most neerely knit in our affection, in as much as I could willingly desire and wish, that there were so good a­greement betweene all those which doe professe the true Christian Religion, as there was at that time among vs, Ioan. Lerius. Histor. nauigat. in Brasil. cap. 6. fol. 69.

In England: About Episcopal garments and Surplesse, Bishop Hooper was a person exceeding peremptory both in preaching against the Ceremonies (as appeareth in his Sermons on Ionah, and on the Commandements, and in the obiections which hee made against them to Bucer, and P. Martyr as wee may perceiue in their answere to his Let­ter) as also in his flat refusall of them; whereupon he was by the high Commission conuented, and for his constant re­fusal was imprisoned by them, where he remained for a sea­son. Howbeit, after his obiections were by Bucer and P. [Page 162] Martyr answered and by them, and by Caluin perswaded to conforme, rather then to suffer depriuation: Hee confor­med at the last, and wore the garments; and beeing ap­pointed to preach before the King to trie his conformitie, he appeared in his Bishoply Robes, namely, a white linnen Rotchet, a long scarlet Chimere, and a square Cappe, Caluin. Epist. 120. fol. 217. Bucer. in Script. Anglican. fol. 705. de re Vestiar. Hooper. Pet. Martpr Loc. Com. ad fineminter E­pistolas, fol. 1085.

About receiuing the Lords Supper with inconuenient Ceremonies, and persons in differing doctrine: P. Martyr when hee came into England first, and the opinion of the corporall presence of Christ in the Lords Supper was in force, and when the Ministers albeit differing from him in iudgement, yet did not refuse to admit him with open confession of contrary iudgement, hee ioyned with them, and receiued the Lords Supper, Non obstantibus illorum Ceremonijs sibilicet ipsi molestis, notwithstanding the Ce­remonies, though very much troubling him. This coun­sell did P. Martyr giue to Vrsinus, and to other Christians in Germany Ʋrsin. exercitat. lib 2. fol. 840.

About the Surplesse: M. Deering: While any law did bind me to weare Cap and Surplesse, I did weare both; since I neuer perswaded any man to refuse them &c. Register, fol. 84.

M. Greenham: Albeit he affirme that he neither could, nor would weare the apparell, no, not so farre as he thought it might bee obserued, Register. fol. 87. yet from the obie­ction from authoritie, namely, that Bucer, Martyr, Bul­linger, Beza, and Gualter, doe thinke rather that these in­conueniences should bee borne withall for a time, then the Flocke should bee left to Woolues, sure (saith hee) this reason is maine enough of it selfe, if it were not authorized with these learned and godly mens writings; And I pray to God the Father of Iesus Christ, by his holy Spirit, to mooue others to bee as vnwilling to vse it, (i.) to suffer their [Page 163] flockes by depriuation for the Ceremonies to bee left to Woolues, as I am vnwilling to answere it, and haue it prac­tised on mee. I will not answere therefore this reason vntill there be no remedy, Regist. fol. 90.

The iudgement and practise of Bishop Iewell, Doctor Whitaker and Doctor Fulke, is knowne this way.

Doctor Humfrey: Albeit it bee knowne that hee was a great aduersary in his iudgement and long practise of refu­sall of the Surplesse, as appeareth in a letter of his written of that thing; yet he did at the last conforme vnto the Sur­plesse.

The like of late wee know did Doctor Reinolds, Doctor Sparkes, Doctor Chaloner, Doctor Ayray, Master Chader­ton, Master Knewstub, though they stood out and testified their dislike against sundry of the Ceremonies established, yet did they in case of depriuation yeeld vnto them, and conforme, and studiously perswaded others in this case vn­to this practise: The like did many other very godly and learned men at diuers times and in diuers places. Thus we see their practise also.

Thirdly, there commeth to bee considered the reasons mouing these persons to this iudgement & practise, name­ly, wherefore they perswade and practised conformitie to preuent depriuation or the Churches desolation, viz.

Because these ceremonies, seeing they are (adiaphora) indif­ferent, they make no man in themselues godly or vngodly, Martyr amico loc. fol. 1085. And therefore albeit it were granted that these Ceremonies were not fit to bee vsed: Yet if other things which are prescribed by Gods Word doe re­maine entire, these things may well be thought neither im­pious nor pernicious per sese aut sua natura, of themselues, or of their nwne nature, Idem Hoopero loc. f. 1088.

Because, where the doctrine it selfe is sound and pure, and the Ceremonies vsed to a ciuill honesty and decency, the in­conueniences are rather to be passed by in silence, then that by occasion of them men should proceed to contentions [Page 164] and more grieuous tumults, Caluin. Epist. 303. fol. 497.

Because, albeit these things bee not to be approoued, yet, somtimes these indifferent things, howsoeuer offensiue and burthensome, are to be borne withall, so far forth (quoad ali­ter non liceat) as conueniently wee cannot doe other­wise, lest if men contend about them more bitterly then they ought, it be both an hinderance to the progresse of the Gospell, and the things which in their owne nature are in­different, bee taught by our vehement contention to bee plainly wicked; which two points do bring with them most grieuous inconueniences, P. Martyr. Hooper. loc. com. f. 1086. And therefore these things which the Pastors cannot change, they should rather beare withall, then by forsaking the Church for that cause they should giue occasion for farre greater and more dangerous mischifes vnto Satan, who seeketh nothing else, Beza Epist. 12. fol. 99.

Because it is better to vse these Ceremonies (hee menti­ons a Surplesse) as a thing indifferent, then by the obstinate refusall thereof to raise vp Schisme, and to interrupt the course of the doctrine of truth and to giue occasion to He­retickes to possesse the Church, Polan. in Ezec. 44. fol. 807.

Because such is the example of Paul, who circumcised Timothy for the Iewes, in that they all knew his father to bee a Graecian, Act. 16. 3. Idem Ibid.

Because wee must giue place vnto the sway of the times wherein wee liue, so farre forth as may stand with keeping faith and a good conscience, Act. 28. 11. & 19. 10. 26. & 15. 28. 29. Maister Perkins cases of Consc. lib. 3. cap. 2. fol. 483.

Because, if we cannot doe the good that most we desire, in such exquisite manner as wee would, wee must content our selues with the meane, and in things which are good and to bee done, it is the safest course to satisfie our selues in doing the lesse, lest in ventring to doe the more, which cannot be, we grow to the extreamity, and so faile to offend in our action, Eccles. 7. 16. read the proofes, Perkins cases [Page 165] of Consc. lib. 3. cap. 2. fol. 484. 485. 486.

Because it may bee thought expedient, that these things for a time be borne withall; for it may perhaps produce this effect, that these contentions may be auoided, by the which contentions there is great perill, lest greater and farre more important benefites bee hindred; and lest the mindes of men be at the first beginning turned from the Gospel, as we see it come to passe, Martyr. ibid. fol. 1085.

Because, if the parity of Doctrine and of Faith doe re­maine entire, the Pastors may openly teach and presse vnto their flocks such doctrine as may serue to take away offen­ces arising by the vse of these Ceremonies, Beza Epist. 12. fol. 99.

Because, if wee preach and teach indifferent things to bee impious, we shall so alienate mens mindes from vs, that they will no longer endure to bee attentiue and patient hearers of sound doctrine, and of necessary instructions, P. Mar­tyr ib. fol. 1086. Hoopero.

Because it is farre better to contend about greater mat­ters, in which the euidence of trueth may conuince the Pa­pists and other our aduersaries, then to wrangle or braule about a Surplesse or the like thing, where wise men cry out vpon vs, that with peeuish way wardnesse and obstinacy we crosse our gouerners, and nourish dissentions, Melancth. concil. part. 2. fol. 91.

Because the sinew and principall members of Antichrist should first of all bee studiously oppugned [such as an vn­learned Ministry, slackned discipline, &c.] The which things, if all of vs on either side did vniformely with vnited force and indeuours set vpon, the abuses of Surplesses and of all other inconuenient things would easily be abolished, and all the markes and shadowes of Antichrist would va­nish: Elsevaine will bee the labour of driuing or expelling Antichrists reliques and shadowes from the Church, Bu­cer script. Anglican. Hoopro fol. 706. For if we did suffer the Gospel first of all to be spread abroad to take deepe rooting, [Page 166] perhaps men would better and more easily bee perswaded that they might remooue these externall inconuenient shewes and Ceremonies, like as a sicke man lusting after some small trifling meates, which, after hee is well againe, doeth voluntarily renounce as vnfit. Wherefore let Eng­land bee first diligently instructed, and confirmed in the chiefe and most necessary perils of Religion, and so after­wards in my iudgement the Church shall not much be of­fended to haue these things somewhat superfluous to be re­mooued, P. Martyr loc. fol. 1086. Hoopero.

Because if some things in their nature indifferent be im­posed it is not meete too egerly to contend about such mat­ters; especially when as we see those Magistrates by whom the light of the Gospel is much furthered in England, and by whose authority it may much more be furthered, to op­pose themselues against vs. Peter Martyr ibid. fol. 1085. Hoopero.

Because, whereas the Ministers are willing to reforme a­buses, & the Magistrate is peremptory and resolute, not to reforme for some reasons of policy, the Minister in that case is not to leaue his ministery, or to trouble the Church, intempestiuis clamoribus, or to contest or contend with the magistrate: The reason is, because this course tendeth to the ouerthrow of the Church, and is opposite to that charity which he oweth vnto Christ & to his church, out of which ground and rule he ought to preach, and to hold on in the course of his ministery. Hee ought indeede to teach pub­likely and priuately (as the matter requireth) what is to be done, but this he must performe without sedition and trou­bling of the Church; but peaceably and discreetly. Cha­rity will informe the Pastor, if he loue the Church indeede, how hee ought in these cases to behaue himselfe, Zanch. in Philip. 1. fol. 45. Looke also, Musculus loc. part. 2. de tradit. §. 6. fol. 31.

Because the Apostles in this case being guided by the rule of loue, did at the instant request of the Iewes, inioyne the [Page 167] Brethren, and the Churches which were gathered out of Gentilisme, to abstaine from strangled meate and bloud; and chose rather to burthen them for a season with the ob­seruation of these things which sauoured of Iewish super­stition. Also by the same rule of loue was Paul led whenas he came into the Temple with those foure Iewes which had a vow vpon them, and purified himselfe with them. Yet these Rites of those times were (Stipulae cum fundamento Christo non cōgruentes) Stubble not agreeing with Christ the foundation: But the edification of the Church required this thing. Wherefore many things are to be tolerated by the Ministers, that the peace of Churches be not rent, and that Schismes may bee auoyded, so that they bee not such things, or doctrines which doe fight with the foundation and doe heaue at it, Zanch. ibid.

Because if Pastors cannot reforme all things which need amendment, according to their desire, they must not there­fore cast away their Ministry, or trouble the whole Church with an vnvsuall asperity. The reason: Because all godly ground and forme of Ecclesiasticall discipline ought euer to haue respect and haue reference to the vnitie of the spirit in the bond of peace; which the Apostle commanded to bee kept by seruing one another; and which rule not being kept, the medicine of discipline groweth to be superfluous, and pernicious. It is confessed, that Pastors ought with their vttermost endeuours to labour, that there remaine no corruption in the Church: but they must vse that wisdome which our Sauiour prescribeth, lest by plucking vp the tares, they hurt the good corne. Wherefore the precept of the Apostle of separating the euill, (or of mending corrup­tion) must by no meanes be neglected, cum sine periculo vio­landae pacis fieri potest, when it may bee done without the danger of violation of the Churches peace: for else hee would not haue it done. Caluin. instit. 4. 12. §. 11. 13.

Because the charge of preaching the word of God is an absolute commandement of the Lord; and it is so neces­sary [Page 168] for him that is called thereunto, that a woe hangeth on his head if he doe not preach it: It ought not to be laid aside for a simple incōuenience, or vncomlinesse of a thing, which in its owne nature is indifferent; such as the Sur­plesse is, whereof he speaketh, or the like Ceremonies, Ma­ster Cartwright in the rest of the 2. reply, fol. 262. 263.

Because when two commandements of the morall Law are opposite in respect of vs, so as we cannot doe them both at the same time; then the lesser commandement (as auoy­ding inconuenient Ceremonies) giues place to the greater, (such as preaching of the Word) and doeth not binde for that instant, Master Perkins in his Treatise of conscience, cap. 2. fol. 14. 15.

Because it is euident that Iesus Christ our Lord did onely prescribe the substance of the Ministry both of the Word and Sacraments in his owne words; and all other things which appertaine to the decent and profitable administra­tion of his mysteries he hath left and admitted to be orde­red by his Church: Hence wee celebrate the Lords Supper, neither in the euening, neither in a priuate house, neither leaning, neither yet with men onely. Now who would condemne the Church, if by a pure and holy consent of the members thereof, it should bee the custome that euery communicant (as in the Primitiue Church the new baptised did) should weare a white garment? Bucer. Script. Angli­can. fol. 708. Hoopero. so also hee argueth in his Epistle to Io. Alasco: Christ no where hath forbidden such a vse of them, as we haue expounded, namely of Ceremonies significa­tiue ordained by the Church, not superstitiously, but pure­ly vsed. This argument also hath Zanch. de redempt. cap. 16. fol. 445. a. There is a great question (saith hee) in these our dayes about Ministeriall garments: surely we read not that Christ and his Apostles did appoint any thing of this mat­ter; neither that they changed their garments, either when they baptised, or when they administerd the Lords Supper, but neither did they forbid, that men might not take other [Page 169] garments. Wherefore it is (liberum perse) a matter free in it selfe to vse or not to vse other garments in the administra­tion of the Sacraments.

Because, if true Christians, hauing the pure doctrine of Christ & discipline in their Churches, should enioine some speciall garment though abused by the Papists, for the com­mendation of the Ministery to the simple people, there is no Scripture forbidding a man to leaue such Christians to their iudgement: But there are sundry Scriptures clearely teaching a man why he should leaue them to this their pra­ctise, as Rom. 14. 1. Cor. 8. and 9. and many other places, namely, wheresoeuer we are taught of the libertie and good vse of the creatures, not of meates onely, but of all crea­tures else. Hee giueth instance of a white garment vsed on the Baptized or Communicants of the Lords Supper, Bu­cer. Script. Anglican. fol. 708. Hoopero.

Because they which defend these things, may pretend some honest and iust signification, not strange from the Scriptures: As, [touching the Surplesse] the Ministers of the Church are Angels, Mal. 3. 1. and the Angels alwayes for the most part appeared as apparelled in White gar­ments, Pet. Martyr. loc. fol. 1085. Hoopero. Bucer will haue them signifie (Caelestē puritatem & candorē, omnium (que) virtutū ornatū) heauenly puritie and sinceritie, and the ornament of all vertues, Script. Angl. fol. 682. so also fol. 707. 709. Againe, What should let, but that the Churches may vse this white Vesture, or more Vestures, to monish vs precisely of that diuine benefit, of the light and dignitie of the heauen­ly doctrine, which he giueth vs by the holy Ministery, and by the which the Ministers themselues may bee the more mindful of their office &c. Bucer in his Epistle to Io. Alasco, at the end of the examination. This reason also hath Zanch. Albeit a garment be a free thing, saith he, and numbred vp among matters indifferent; yet for signification, a linnen garment were more decent then a woollen for a Minister to vse in administring the Sacramēts, for that it is the Impresse, [Page 170] or type of innocencie and holinesse; Hence in the Apocalyps white garments are giuen to the Saints, Zanch. de redempt. cap. 16. fol. 445. a.

Because these Ceremonies are ancient, and haue some good vse, it was an old custome in the Church, that such as administred the Sacraments, should weare a white linen gar­ment, Zanch. ibid. ex Hieron. cont. Pelag. li. 1. The signe of the Crosse is vetustissima, very ancient, Beza Epi. 8. fol. 75. There was therfore some vse therof, thogh since it hath bin horri­bly abused, and there be small profit thereof, Bez. Ep. 12. fol. 99. Kneeling at the Communiō hath a shew indeed of god­ly & Christian reuerence, and therefore might heretofore haue been vsed (cum fructu) with some profit, ibid. fol. 100.

Because if we proceed to disswade from these indifferent things, as from pernicious and euill things, we shall thereby condemne very many Churches, not disagreeing from the Gospel; and shall taxe too bitterly innumerable Churches, which haue euer, and are of old celebrated, as most com­mendable and approued, P. Mart. loc. fol. 1086. Hoopero. If a­greemēt in doctrine might be procured between the Saxon or Lutheran Churches and ours, there would be no separa­tion made for Surplesses, or Ceremonies of the like nature, ib fol. 1127. Bucer hath also this reason; If there be no liberty granted to the Churches, of ordeining Ceremonies about the Lords Supper, whereof they haue not the expresse com­mandement of Christ; By this meanes will all Churches be condemned (impiae audaciae) of impious boldnesse: For all Churches doe obserue in the Supper of the Lord, such a time, place, and habit or site of body, and besides doe admit womē to the Cōmunion; of all which things they haue not onely no commandement of the Lord, but they haue also his contrary example; For our Lord did celebrate his Sup­per at night not in the morning; in a priuate house, not in a publike; leaning with his Apostles and after the receiuing of the Pascall lambe notwithstanding: Also, hee admitted not the women, among whom he had sundry his most holy [Page 171] Disciples, Bucer. Scrip. Anglic. fol. 807. 809. To this reason Pet. Martyr moueth an obiection. The Church authori­ty present or past, ought not to be of that force, that the truth of Gods Word be thereby wronged; which (albeit the world do fall about our eares in peeces) ought to be kept in­violable. It is true (sed propter [...]) but for things indif­rent, I am resolute, that by no meanes we may admit that either Churches should be condemned, or that wee should lesse reuerently or honestly speake of them, Ibid. fol. 1086.

Because we must take heed, lest these things which be of lesse importance through our contention, may be the meanes or occasions that those things which should be e­steemed of greater force and valew, either cannot at all be brought vnto the Church, or if they be once brought in they cannot be established with continuance, Peter Martyr ibid. 1086.

Because we must take heed of Satans accustomed sleights, whereby he leadeth vs away from the care of necessary things, to the immoderate carefulnesse of those things which may well be let passe, and from searching out of the true doctrine of Christ, to induce vs to those things where­in few can consent alike: and finally, by the which he kind­leth in diuers men a zeale to purge those things which are without vs, thereby to neglect our inward deformities, Bu­cer. Epist. ad Ioan. Alasco. After at the ende of that Epistle, This coulorable craft of Satan must be taken heed of, by which often he effecteth this, that wee reckon those things sinnes which are no sins, and those that bee sinnes indeede, wee seeme not to regard them in our selues, or else against those sinnes which our consciences define to bee sinnes in­deede, we vse no such seuerity as we ought.

Because we should in this Realme take most godly heed­fulnesse that wee further not vnawares the Diuels intents, who throweth in among vs sundry questions and contro­uersies, least wee should take in hand to handle the question of setting forward the doctrine of the Gospel, and resto­ring [Page 172] of discipline, and thereby to remoue all drones from Ecclesiasticall Ministeries, Bucer. in Ep. Io. Alascco.

Because things in themselues otherwise indifferent, doe after a sort change or alter their nature, when as by any command of lawfull authority, they be either commanded or forbidden: because they may not be omitted contrary to a iust commandement, if they bee commanded, neither may they be done against a prohibition if they be forbid­den, as appeareth by the Law Ceremoniall, Bez. Epist. 24. fol. 143.

Because there is some burthensome seruitude in euery Church, in some more milde, in others more hard and the sorrowes of such seruitude and burthens should be comfor­ted by the Brethren, and not increased by their condemna­tion so long as the foundation is retained, Melancht. consil. part. 2. fol. 92.

Because concord and mutuall loue must by Brethren be defended, lest inuocation in themselues, or in the people be interrupted, and lest lamentable and pernicious doubts be produced from questions not necessary, as of old time it did about Easter; they who haue their Christian libertie lesse restrained should giue God thankes and vse the same godly, for the illustration of doctrine, & not for that cause to slacken the raines of discipline the more: others in more burthen some seruitude should acknowledge themselues to be corrected of God, and let them not suffer the true wor­ship of God to be corrupted, as it is written, All this hath come vpon vs, yet haue we not forgotten thee, Melancht. consil part 2. fol. 92. And so much of the reasons mouing these persons to this iudgement and practice of admitting rather inconuenient ceremonies then to suffer depriuation, or the ouerthrow of the Church.

Fourthly and lastly, wee will obserue such obiections, as haue beene made against this doctrine and practice, which haue by them the said excellent persons and pillars of Christ his Church beene answered and resolued.

Obiect. Why haue yee not abolished these Ceremonies and cor­ruptions out of your Churches all at once?

Answ. 1 Melancht. As it is with a Pilote of a ship, which must take that way, and runne such a course, not which he know­eth to bee most right, but which the windes doe permit vnto him: so we when we could by no meanes hinder the greater, it was sufficient to admit the lesser, Consil. part. 1. fol. 76.

2 Zanchius: I approue not their intemperancy, which doe nothing vnlesse it bee tumultuously, and which haue more minde to teare and rend through all things, then dis­creetly and aduisedly to vnrippe them, Compend. loc. 14. de Scandalo. fol. 6. 15. taken out of Caluin. Institut. 3. 19. 13.

3 Illyricus: That Medicall and politicall rule heere ta­keth very good place, [omnis mutatio periculosa] That all kindes of alterations are not without some perill: For alte­ration of Ceremonies cannot easily bee made without of­fence vnto the weake, nor without an imputation or asper­sion of leuity, or of ambition with the more wise, Clau. script. part. 1. fol. 33. verbo adiaph.

4 Zepperus de Sacramentis cap. 13. fol. 324. 325. 326. 228.

1 The furious clamors and persecutions of the Papists did not permit this reformation of Ceremonies at the first: which were so violent and bloody, that it gaue small or no leisure to the teachers and lights of the Church, neither was it safe for them to bend their care or cogitations this way.

2 The people were so drowned in the deepe darkenesse and Idolatry of the Papacy, that the amendment of Cere­monies, and of externall worship could not in those begin­nings be vndertaken. It was necessary to vse doctrine, and to instruct the people of sundry and horrible errors, Idola­try, Superstitions, and abuses, which the whole Papacie and Popish ceremonies haue in their departure, that so all those ougly things might first bee remooued out of their mindes, before they were remoued from their sight. That [Page 174] which is not the work of one yere, but a task of long season: For as Ceremonies which are visible things, and apprehen­ded by the eyes, doe more affect and mooue then the inuisi­ble doctrine; So the people did closely sticke to their accu­stomed Ceremonies, and opposed themselues vehemently against the reformation of them: Euen as wee see at this day to come to passe, when as yet sound doctrine hath pre­uailed and flourished for aboue these 80. yeeres.

3. The Church in Popery was nothing else but a sicke body: In which from the sole of the foote, to the crowne of the head, there was nothing sound and intire: Where­fore at the first beginning of reformation, that whole chaos and abomination of error, and of Popish Idolatry could not suddenly be perceiued, but vse and experience did daily ma­nifest and teach euery day more, then at the first. ‖

Obiect. Bishop Hooper:] Your ceremonies are humane inuenti­ons, and mans Traditions about Gods worship, and are spoken against, Matt. 15. Col. 2.

Answ. P. Martyr:] 1 All humane inuentions about Gods seruice are not presently to bee condemned: for it was an humane inuention, that we should rather receiue the Lords Supper in the Morning, then after dinner. So it was an hu­mane inuention, that the price of the things sold in the Pri­mitiue Church, should be laid at the Apostles feete.

2 I confesse with you, that these ceremonies (such as the Surplesse) are humane inuentions, and of themselues they doe not edifie: Howbeit, to some it may bee thought expedient that they be borne with for a season: for it may bring this to passe, that by these contentions there is great danger, lest greater good fruit, and more rich commoditie will be hindred, and that the minds of men be suddenly tur­ned from the Gospel; the experience whereof, we haue seen heretofore, Loc. com. inter Epistolas Hoopero. fol. 1087.

Bucer:] 1 Whatsoeuer Scripture you alleadge against humane Traditions, that altogether you know to be vnder­stood only of those things, whereby men wil by these things [Page 145] offer worship vnto God, and that also by letting passe the Commandements of God.

2 To the place of Matt. 15. Euen you B b. Hooper had rather receiue your meate with your hands washed, then with your hands vnwashed, (as the Pharises did.) To Col. 2. Whatsoeuer is spoken there of beggerly and weake ele­ments appertaineth to superstition: by which superstition these things were exacted as matters necessary or profitable to saluation, euen after Christ was reuealed: And whatsoe­uer abuse there bee of these garments, (or the like Ceremo­nies) that sticketh not on the garments, but in impure mindes.

Obiect. Wee must adde nothing to Gods word, Deut. 12. Reue. 12. Pro. 30.

Answ. No parts of worship to the worship of God.

1. Beza: There is a twofold opinion concerning the reformation of Churches, some hold that nothing at all should be added to Apostolicall simplicitie, and by conse­quence are of minde, that whatsoeuer the Apostles did, they thinke they are to doe it, but whatsoeuer the Church after the Apostles did adde to the first rites, they thinke them fit euen all at once to be abolished: There are others on the o­ther side, which hold that certaine ancient rites (besides the Apostolicall ordinances) are to bee retained, partly as profitable and necessary: partly also albeit not necessary, yet to be tolerated for concord sakes. For mine owne part I doubt not, but the Apostolicall doctrine to bee most abso­lutely perfect without all exception, to the which it is not lawfull to adde, or to detract any thing, howbeit, touch­ing Ceremonies my iudgement is otherwise. For first, it is certaine that euen the Apostles themselues, could not deter­minately set downe, what they iudged to bee expedient for the Churches in their first beginning: and therefore neces­sarily they proceeded by little and little, as the institution of Deacons doeth make euident, in as much as they suffered, for a season many Iewish Ceremonies, as appeareth in the [Page 176] story of their acts: againe, to whom can it b [...]e doubtfull, that the Apostles had exceeding regard vnto their times, places, and persons in externall rites. In as much as it is not profitable, that the same rites were obserued euery where, as appeareth in that excellent Epistle of Irenaeus to Victor; besides necessity it selfe abolished certaine of their ordinan­ces, as their common feasts of loue. Wherefore whatsoeuer was performed by the Apostles in rites and Ceremonies, I doe not iudge that presently, neither yet without some ex­ception, to bee followed as a rule. And indeede I wonder not that those ancient Fathers, hauing respect vnto their owne times, did take away some things, some things adde, and some what alter. Onely herein (with their good leaue bee it spoken) they seeme to mee to haue often failed, that they neither held any measure in their rites, neither had that due regard to Christian simplicitie and puritie, as was meete, Epist. 8. fol. 70. 71.

2. Bucer: If there be no liberty granted to the Churches, of ordaining Ceremonies about the Lords Supper, where­of they haue not the expresse commandement of Christ, by this meanes will all Churches be condemned (impiae au­daciae) of most impious boldnesse. For all Churches doe obserue in the Supper of the Lord, such a time, place, and habit, or site of body; and besides doe admit women to the Communion, of all which things they haue not onely no commandement, but they haue also his contrary example: for our Lord did celebrate his Supper at night, not in the morning in a priuate house, not in a publike, leaning on his side, (and after the receiuing of the Paschall lambe) not standing; also hee admitted not the women, sundry of whom hee had for his most holy disciples, Bucer. Script. Anglican. fol. 708. 789.

3. Caluin: Forasmuch as our Lord hath both faithfully comprehended, & cleerely declared in the holy Scriptures, the whole summe of true righteousnesse, and all the partes of his worship, and whatsoeuer was needefull to saluation [Page 177] therefore [in his solus magister audiendus est] in these things the Master, Christ, is onely to bee hearkened vnto: How­beit, because he would not particularly prescribe what wee ought to follow or practise [in externâ disciplinâ & cere­monijs] in externall discipline and ceremonies: For that hee foresaw that these things did depend vpon the condition of the times, neither did he iudge one forme to be agreeing to all ages: Therefore here wee are to haue recourse vnto the generall rules which he hath left and giuen, that whatsoe­uer the necessitie of the Church for matter of order and decencie shall require, may bee determined by these rules, Instit. 4. 10. 30.

4. Zanchius: If any thing bee altered or added, which is not commanded of God being not essentiall, but acciden­tall, and not as necessary, but as indifferent, appertaining to decencie, or to order, or to edification; wee cannot hence conclude, that any thing is altered of the appointed wor­ship, or that there is another worship erected. As for ex­ample, Christ performed his Supper at night. The Apo­stles were wont to performe it also in the morning, and the Church followed afterwards this time: Should a man here­upon say, that any thing is derogated from the Supper of the Lord? surely no; because Christ commanded not the same to be celebrated in the night, as himselfe obserued it, but onely (hoc facite) that we should doe that (for the mat­ter or substance) which he did, but not at that time wherin he did it. Also to that the Primitiue Church (as appeareth in Iustinus Martyr) did mingle Water with the Wine in the Lords Supper; it is not a sufficient ground to say they alte­red or changed the institution of the Lords Supper, and that for two reasons; One, because it may be that the Wine which Christ Iesus gaue to his Disciples was mingled with water, seeing the Apostles doe not report the contrary and it is probable, that the Primitiue Church might receiue this from the Apostles: Another reason is, because the Primitiue church did not adde water as a matter altogether necessary, [Page 178] and so as appertaining to the substance of the Lords Sup­per, but only to signifie a mystery; but if any did commend it as necessary, they did vndoubtedly depraue the Lords Supper. But they much more, who vsed onely water in the Lords Supper, as the Aquarij did, against whom Cyprian did write: for it is euident, that Christ our Sauiour vsed wine, and commaunded that wee also should do the like. To this adde, in that the ancient Bishops in the celebration of the Lords Supper, did put on another garment, then that they vsually did weare, appertaineth nothing to the alteration of the Lords Supper: For Christ commanded not that wee should celebrate his Supper with our vsuall garments, as hee did, but onely that wee should doe that which he did him­selfe. The like may bee affirmed of sundry other things, as well in Baptisme, as in the Supper of the Lord. The summe of all is this: Such things as are added, but yet as matters in­different, for order, for decency, and to edification; such matters do not change the substance of the Sacraments, and therefore alter not the worship. But such things as are ta­ken from the institution of Christ, or els are added as neces­sary, and appertaining to the substance, those things do cor­rupt the institution of the Lord, and so doe establish another kind of worship. To this kind of addition appertain the pla­ces of forbidding to adde to Gods word, Deut. 4. 1, 2. Note that which hee there saith, Yee shall not adde to the Word which I commaund you: The Word of the Lord is ne­cessary, it tyeth the conscience, and deliuereth the substance of the Worship, and hath nothing adiaphorall or indiffe­rent therein: wherefore to adde vnto the Word, is to or­daine or appoint in Gods worship some thing as necessary, and as appertaining to the essence or worship of God, and which doth so binde mens consciences, euen as the Word of God it selfe; wherefore he addeth not vnto the Word of God, which by the consent of the Church ordaineth any thing, not as necessary, but as indifferent, and free for order onely, or for decencie, and vnto edification, not binding the [Page 179] conscience of any by such an ordinance, Zanch. de redempt. cap. 19. fol. 447.

Obiect. Bishop Hooper:] Whatsoeuer is not of faith is sinne, Rom. 14. 23.

Answ. P. Martyr:] This I acknowledge with you to be most true, hobeit that we may haue a quiet conscience in our ac­tions, that chiefly seemeth to conduce which is written by the Apostle vnto Titus, All things are cleane vnto the cleane, And vnto Timothy, Euery creature of God is good: But it is not necessarily required, that we haue an expresse mention of euery particular and singular thing which we vse to doe: This is sufficient in generall, to know by faith that indifferent things cannot defile those which vse them with a sincere minde and conscience, Loc. com. inter Epist. fol. 1088. Hooper.

Obiect. Bb. Hooper:] These Ceremonies are Aaronicall and Iewish, an imitation of the Aaronicall Priesthood, and therefore ought to be eschewed of all that loue Christ.

Answ. Bucer:] 1. Though I admit your antecedent, yet your con­clusion followeth not, for to imitate Aarons Ceremonies is not of it selfe vicious: but onely when men vse them as necessary to saluation, or to signifie that Christ is yet for to come to take flesh vpon him, Epist. ad Ioan. Alasco. Nothing can truely be said to appertaine to the Priesthood of Aaron so farre forth as it is abolished, but that which is vsed with such like superstition as if it were now (after Christ reuea­led) needfull to saluation, or profitable of it selfe, or where­by some occasion is giuen to a man to assume or to retaine this superstition with himselfe, or of troubling the peace and quiet of Brethren, Idem Script. Anglican. fol. 707. Hoopero.

2 For a Rite or Ceremony to be Aaronicall, adheareth or sticketh not to any of the creatures of God in no gar­ment, in no figure, in no colour, in no worke of God: But in the minde and profession of such as abuse the good crea­tures of God to impious signification, idem ibid.

3 If by no meanes it be lawfull to vse those things which were of Aarons Priesthood or of the Gentiles; Then it is not lawfull for vs to haue Churches nor holy-dayes: For there is no expresse commaundement by word in the holy Scriptures of these things. It is gathered notwithstan­ding from the example of the old people, that they are pro­fitable for vs to the increase of godlinesse, which thing al­so experience proueth, Idem ad Ioan. Alasco.

Petre Martyr: In the Law or Priesthood of Aaron there were 1. Sacraments, whereby it pleased God to confirme and seale the promises of Christ to come, all which I know are abolished & that we must beleeue that Christ is alreadie giuen, not to be giuen: And seeing other seales of Gods pro­mises are vnder the Gospell giuen by our Lord himselfe, namely, Bread and Wine; we ought not to recall the anti­quated signes. 2 Howbeit, there were some actions in the Law of that nature, that properly they may not be said to be Sacraments: For they made to decency, to order and some benefit▪ which I doe iudge may be recalled and retai­ned as agreeable to the light of nature, and furthering some profit to our selues: Who knoweth not that the Apostles for the peace and more comfortable conuersing of belee­uers, did command the Gentiles that they should abstaine from bloud and strangled? Those things were out of que­stion Aaronicall, if you will comprehend all things gene­rally which were in the Law. Further, no man is ignorant that Tythes are inioyned in innumerable places for the maintenance of Ministers: besides▪ if I might more diligent­ly search and consider, as the time now will not permit me, I could finde out not a few things which our Church hath borrowed out of the law of Moses, & that from the first be­ginning of the Church: And that I may not omit this one thing wee haue the festiuall dayes in memoriall of our Lord, Resurrection, Natiuitie, Pentecost, and death of Christ; shall all these things bee abolished because they bee shadowes of the olde Law? By these things I sup­pose [Page 181] you see (B b. Hooper) that all things appertaining to the Aaronicall Priesthood are not so abolished, as that nothing thereof either may be retained, or vsed by vs. Martyr. loc. inter Epist. Hoopero. fol. 1087.

Obiect. B b. Hooper:] These Ceremonies were of Antichrists inuention.

Answ. Bucer:] The vse of such garments (as the Surplesse, were vsed Godly by the holy Fathers, before the Pope be­came to be the Romish Antichrist, Script. Anglic. fol. 682. Cranmero.

Martyr: I cannot easily grant that the diuersity of gar­ments had their originall from the Pope, seeing we reade in the Ecclesiasticall History, that Iohn the Euangelist ware Petalum, seu Lamina Pontificalis, a kinde of garment proper to a Minister or B b. and Pontius the Deacon witnesseth of Cyprian the Martyr, that when as he was to be beheaded, he gaue his garment (named Birrus) to the executioners: His garment called Dalmatica hee gaue to the Deacons, and stood in his linnen garments. And Christians when they were conuerted vnto Christ, did as the Fathers witnesse, change their garment, and for a gowne did put on a cloake: For the which when they were mocked of the Heathen, Tertullian wrote a most learned booke (de Pallio) of the cloake. Besides, Chrysostome maketh mention of the white garment of the Ministers of the Church; Neither doe I thinke that you (B b. Hooper) are ignorant, that there was giuen a Whitegarment vnto those that were admitted vn­to the Church by Baptisme. Wherefore it is cleere that there were some differences of vestures before the tyran­ny of the Pope was in force. But admitte these things to The like an­swere and al­legations doe Bullenger & Gualt. giue to the sam obie­ction: Looke Whitgifts de­fence. fol. 268. be the Popes inuentions, I cannot perswade my selfe, that the impiety of the Papacy is so great that whatsoeuer it tou­cheth, it maketh so polluted and defiled, as that the vse of such things may not be granted to good and Godly per­sons. Martyr. Hoopero fol. 1087. Looke more for answere hereto, in the answere to the next obiection.

Obiect. Bb. Hooper:] These things abused by Antichrist, are so defiled, that they may not be permitted to any Church howsoeuer, knowing and worshipping Christ, and acquain­ted with her liberty of all things.

Answ. Bucer:] Surely I make great conscience to say thus much: For 1. I see no Scripture whereby I may defend it. 2. The Scripture doth euery where preach, that euery crea­ture of God is good vnto the good; that is, to such as doe truely beleeue in Christ, and doe godly vse his creatures: And that this creature of God is good, not only in naturall effects, as bread is good in the effects of feeding and streng­thening our bodies, and wine in the effects of drinking and heating vs, but also it is good in diuers significations and admonitions: For godly men doe stirre vp and nourish in themselues the remembrance and consideration of many of Gods benefits from euery thing which is a creature of God. From hence are those things in the Psalmes, and in the Songs of the Saints concerning the praise and celebra­tion of Gods Name, to the which all the works of God doe inuite them. 3. What Scripture teacheth, that there is such power giuen to the Deuill, or to euill men, that by their abuse they can make any creature of God which is good in it selfe, and good also in signification and admonition, to be in it selfe euill and impious? 4. Nothing can be said to be a rite of Antichristianisme, but such whereby some professi­on of, and communication with Antichrist is exercised, or whereby such profession and communion is furthered, Script. Anglic. fol. 707. Hoopero.

Peter Martyr] By this which you alleadge I see not how it may be firmely concluded, that we may vse nothing which is vsually done in Popery, surely wee must beware, lest wee oppresse the Church of Christ, with too much seruitude or bondage, that namely it haue liberty to vse nothing which appertaineth to the Pope. Surely our ancestors (in the Primitiue times) tooke the Idoll Temples, and conuerted them into sacred houses, in the which Christ may bee wor­shipped: [Page 183] and the reuenewes which were consecrated to the Gods of the heathen, to stage playes and Vestall Nunnes, they translated for the maintenance of the Ministers of the Church, when as these things did not only serue Antichrist, but euen the diuell. Further the verses of Poets, which were consecrated to the Muses, and to diuers of their Gods, or vsed in Plaies acted on stages to appease their Gods (for­sooth) the Ecclesiasticall writers vsed such of them as were fit, comely and true, and that by the example of the Apostle, which did not disdaine to cite Menander, Aratus, and Epimenides, and that in the very body of the diuine Scripture which hee deliuered; and those wordes which were otherwise prophane, hee fitted and applied (diuino cultui) to the seruice or worship of God: vnlesse per­haps ye will say, that the words of Paul, which are written and set downe in the holy letters, doe lesse serue to the wor­ship of God, then the visible words which are vsed in the Sacraments. Besides who knoweth not that wine was con­secrated to Bacchus, bread to Ceres, water to Neptune, oyle to Minerua, letters to Mercury, songs to the Muses or Apollo, and sundry other matters of this nature you may finde in Turtullian (de corona militis) who there is most of all in this argument: Al which things notwithstanding we are not afraid to vse freely, as well in holy as prophane vses, al­beit, they haue beene dedicated to diuels, or to Idols (looke more in the former obiection, & in that which followeth) Loc. com. fol. 1087. Hoopero.

Obiect. Bishop Hooper.] These Ceremonies ars notes of Anti­christ, and they that communicate with them, doe com­municate with Antichrist.

Answ. Bucer.] 1. For any thing to be a note of Antichrist, is not in the nature of any creature in it selfe (for to that end no­thing was made of God) But it hangeth altogether of con­senting to Antichrists religion, and the professing thereof: The which consent and profession being changed into the consent and profession of Christianity, there can sticke in [Page 184] the things themselues, no note or marke of Antichrists reli­gion. The vse of Bels was a marke of Antichristianity in our Churches, when the people by them were called to Masses, and when they were rung against Tempests: Now they are a token of Christianitie, when the people by them are gathered together to the Gospel of Christ, and other holy actions, why may it not then bee, that the selfe same garment (or other like Ceremonie) may serue Godly with Godly men, that was of wicked signification with the vn­godly. 2 2 Truly I know very many Ministers of Christ most Godly men, who haue vsed Godly these vestures, and at this day doe yet vse them: so that I dare not for this cause as­cribe vnto them any fault at all, much lesse so hainous a fault of communicating with Antichrist, for the which fault we may vtterly refuse to communicate with them in Christ. 3 3 The Priests of diuels did celebrate in their sacri­fices, the distribution of bread, and of the cuppe, as Iustinus Martyr, and Tertullian make mention, what let is there why we may not vse the same Ceremonies also?

Obiect. You will say wee haue a commandement of the Lord touching this Ceremonie.

Answ. Very well: And by the selfe same it appeareth, that same thing to serue among the children of God, to the seruice of Christ, which the wicked abused in the seruice of diuels, if the commandement of Christ bee added thereto. But it is the commandement of Christ, that in our actions we insti­tute and vse all things, so as comlinesse and order be obser­ued, that faith may bee edified, &c. 4 4 Many things which the Antichrists haue made markes of their impiety may be tokens of the kingdome of Christ, as the signes of Bread and Wine, the water of Baptisme, and the laying on of hands▪ Preachings, Churches, Holy-dayes, and many o­ther things also: these places of scripture are of a great scope; The earth and the fulnesse thereof is of the Lord, not of the Diuell, not of Antichrist, not of the wicked: And againe, the Sonne of man is Lord of the Sabboth, and the Sabboth is [Page 185] made for man, and not man for the Sabbath; and all hings are pure to the pure, and euery creature o [...] God is good, nor can be defiled to good men, by the abuse of euill men: The word of God must bee followed in all respects, as well in our priuate actions as publike: For all things are to be done in the Name of the Lord Iesus, and to the glo­ry of God. Then such libertie as we grant vnto our selues in our priuate vse of external things, let vs not denie in pub­like, Bucer. Epist. Ioan. Alasco.

Hemingius] Some are offended with our Ceremonies, which they exclaime to bee Papisticall. They say, wee in the Denmarke Churches haue Priests, Altars, Surplesses, Candles, Images, Exorcismes, Signings with the Crosse, plainly after the Papistical maner. To these I answer, that the true Church is to bee distinguished from the false, by do­ctrine and worship, not by Ceremonies which are (per se adiaphora) in their owne nature indifferent; neither doe wee iudge indifferent Ceremonies of so great moment, as that for them Schismes should be raised in the Church. Let the sinceritie of Doctrine be retained, and the pure Wor­ship of God; let other things serue partly for publike peace, partly for the weakenesse of men; and let vs leaue these things to the wisdom of our gouernors, and let them deter­mine of these matters, Syntag. ad 4. leg. decal. §. 33. 34. fol. 365.

Obiect. Bishop Hooper] If ye grant so great libertie to Churches, as that they may vse all things for holy significations and instructions, we shall open a window to let in all manner of abuses, Iewish, Gentilish, Antichristian, yea, Holy water, Censing, and innumerable matters of that kinde.

Answ. Bucer] This inconuenience neede not to bee feared at all: For the Churches which I haue described, and to the which I iudge that libertie, whereof I speake, cannot bee denied, wil so temper whatsoeuer Rites or garments, which they assume for their vse, that they may serue to illustrate, and not obscure the Gospel of our Lord Iesus Christ, Script. Angli. fol. 709. Hoopero.

P. Martyr] 1. There is a measure to bee appointed in those things, which they reuoke, that the Church of the faithfull bee not burdened with these kinde of matters.

2. Neither that Gods worship, or the opinion of Re­legion be placed therein, as wee see in Popish holy water, and in censing to haue been done.

3. Further, great care herein is to be vsed, that Christian libertie bee not hereby indangered, that albeit some olde Ceremonies bee restored, yet they be not so restored or e­steemed of, as a necessary meanes to obtaine saluation: But so ought such things as these are to bee tolerated, that when they seeme lesse profitable, they be remoued, Loc. com. fol. 1087. Hoopero.

Obiect. Bishop Hooper] Therefore by this graunt it is in the Churches libertie to communicate but once a yeere, or ve­ry seldome: To stand and behold the celebration of the Lords Supper, and not to receiue, and the like.

Answ. Bucer] These things I iudge to bee per se Papistica, (and the like to these) for they are contrary to the word of God, as there hee sheweth: But those other circumstances of place, time, site or habite of the body, in the celebration or receiuing of the Lords Supper: of admitting women as well as men to the Communion: of the forme and maner of publike prayer to God, and of singing Psalmes: as also of garments and other things appertaining to outward de­cencie, I doubt not but the Lord hath giuen free power to his Church, of appointing and ordaining, concerning these matters, such things as euery Church doth iudge to bee most expedient for the vpholding and increase of reuerence in the people towards all the holy ordinances of God, Scrip. Anglic. fol. 708. Hoopero.

Obiect. Bishop Hooper] Thus by imposing of these Ceremo­nies, spirituall tyranny will bee established on the consci­ence.

Answ. P. Martyr] I doe not thinke that tyranny is therefore brought in, if some indifferent thing (as the Surplesse, [Page 187] whereof hee speaketh) be vndertaken or intertained to be practised in the Church, and be thereupon constantly ob­serued of many. In these dayes wee doe so administer the Lords Supper in the morning as that we will not haue the Communion administred after dinner; but who will call this tyrannicall, which all of vs doe performe with like will & one consent. To me in truth it were much more pleasing, that we did onely that which Christ practised and deliuered to his Apostles, but if some indifferent things be added, I would not for this cause now that to sharpe contention be raised about it. Loc. com. fol. 1088. Hoopero.

Sarauia:] 1 Tyranny appertaineth to the Pope, which vn­dertaketh the command ouer mens consciences, and vnder penalty of eternall curse, commandeth & forbiddeth things (in their nature) indifferent, which cannot be approued for three causes. First, because he placeth religion in such things whereby God is not worshipped: Secondly, because he as­scribeth merit, expiation of sins, and satisfaction to them: Thirdly, because he hath no authority to exact these things of the people of God.

2 Yet we must know that the iust commaundements of lawfull authority, concerning things in their nature indif­ferent, doth euen with God tye the consciences of men, al­beit the Magistrate, and such as haue lawfull authority, doe commit them to God, as for example; A Father commands his sonne to digge his field: this sonne cannot with safe con­science disobey his fathers command; that which was free vnto him before his fathers command, when the comman­dement came is made necessary. A Merchant desireth to transport certaine wares, it is a thing indifferent, but if the exportation of those wares be forbidden by the Princes Proclamation, albeit the Prince respect not his consci­ence, yet it is not a good mans part to carry out wares a­gainst the command of his Soueraigne, albeit he may doe it secretly without any punishment: the like I say of all o­ther things, whether they concerne the common affaires of [Page 188] our life or the externall comlinesse of diuine worship, so as golden mediocrity be obserued, Defens. fol. 580.

Obiect. Bb. Hooper:] These Ceremonies are repugnant & oppo­site vnto the Word of God: they are impious superstitions.

Answ. Caluin: In the English Leturgy as you (the English exiles at Frankford) do describe vnto me, I spy out many tolerabiles in­eptias, tolerable vnfit things: By which two words I expresse thus much, that there was not that purity which were to be wished, which errors could not immediately the first day be corrected (Cum nulla subesset manifesta impietas ferenda ad tempus fuisse) Seeing there was therein contained no mani­fest impiety, these things should haue beene borne withall for a time, Epist. 200. fol. 336.

Bucer:] 1. In the Ceremonies of the English Leturgy, or Booke of Common Prayer▪ I haue not found any thing which is not taken out of the Word of God, or at lest which is repugnant to it, so it be fauourably vnderstood, Bucer. script. Angl. in cens. fol. 456.

2 I am not perswaded that there is in them (the Surples­ses) any impious thing (per se) of themselues, or in their owne nature, so that godly men may not vse them godly, Ibid. fol. 458. To make the vse of these garments impious in themselues, I see no Scripture to allow it, Ibid. f. 709. Hooper.

3 As for my part, if I thought that those Ceremonies and Vestures were impure of themselues, I would not take vpon me in any wise the office of a Minister or Bishop, vn­till by ordinary authority they were taken away, In Epist. to Io. Alasco.

P. Martyr:] These garments are (per se [...]) of themselues indifferent, and doe make no man either godly or vngodly, loc. com. fol. 1085. amico cuidam. I doe not holde the vse of these garments to be pernicious, or in their nature contrary to Gods Word, but doe esteeme this vse of them (omnino [...]) altogether indifferent, ib. fol. 1088, Hooper. This difference of garments I thinke not fit to be vsed, how­beit if other things which are prescribed vnto vs from Gods [Page 189] Word, doe remaine entire, I hold ths vse of these Vestures neither impious, neither pernicious, (per se, aut suâ natur à) of themselues, or in their nature. Ibid. fol. 1089. Hoopero.

2. I dare not condemne whomsoeuer I shall see vse these garments: If I were so perswaded, I would neuer haue com­municated heere in England with the Church, wherein such difference of garments is retained. Ib. f. 1486. Hoopero.

Beza:] Of Surplesses: They are not (ex earum rerum genere) of those kinde of matters which are per se impiae, of themselues wicked, Epist. 12. fol. 98. Some men will say they are indifferent things; I grant them verily so to be, be­ing considered in themselues, Ibid. fol. 97. Caps and Sur­plesses verè media & indifferentia, truely indifferent, Ibid. E­pist. 8. fol. 78. Round wafer bread, kneeling at Communion: non per se impia, Ibid. fol. 77. Signe of the crosse in Baptisme, kneeling at the Communion, are not per se Idololatrica, matters of themselues Idolatrous, Ibid. Epist. 12. fol. 99. 100.

Heming: It is (adiaphorum natur â) a matter indifferent in nature to performe holy things, as Baptisme, and the Lords Supper in a linnen garment, Enchirid. tit. de Adiaph. class. 3. cap. 10. fol. 375.

Zanch: It is (liberum per se) a free matter of it selfe to vse or not to vse a linnen garment, De redempt. lib. 1. cap. 16. fol. 445.

Bucan: Indifferēt things are said to be such actions, which are neither precisely commanded in the Law, or word of God, neither yet expresly forbidden to be done: as to eate flesh, or this or that kinde of meate, or not to eate it on this or that kinde of day: to be clothed in this fashion or colour, or not to be clothed. Loc. 33. quaest. 13. fol. 382.

Cartwright:] The Surplesse is a thing in its owne nature indifferent; In the rest of the 2. reply. fol. 262.

Polanus:] The vse of a linnen garment is a thing indiffe­rent, In Ezec. 44. fol. 807.

Obiect. Your common prayer Booke is framed like the Romish Masse booke. This obiection was made by such as Alex­ander [Page 190] Alesius calleth optimi & veritatus studiosissimi.

Answ. Alesius: To this obiection, albeit they giue answere which framed the Common prayer Booke themselues [in the Preface of ceremonies] yet we also may say truely, that it is best in all changes and alterations, as little to digresse or differ much from those things which are in vse, as possi­ble may bee: because sodaine and great alterations are euer very perillous: And it is much more safe to follow the commendable consent of some few, then casting all away, to begin and ordaine another altogether new. The errors and faults of the Masse bookes are not therefore approoued, if something be defended which those errors haue defiled, so the errors be remoued. Neither doth the Phisitian flat­ter the disease, if presently he cut not off, and cast not away the member, which laboureth with a recouerable euill. This whether ye call it wisedome, or moderation, or timo­rousnesse, or whatsoeuer, I say it neither serueth, neither gratifieth the impiety of any, but doth performe a necessary duety warily and circumspectly, and with the feare of God; and serueth God and the Church, in professing and defen­ding, and keeping the heauenly trueth; and doeth glorifie the Sonne of God, which will be worshipped by holinesse and righteousnesse before God, and adored by the holy Ghost. This moderation will not content him that is more hot of nature; yet let such a one looke what hee doth, and whither he goeth: Let him looke that he be not ouer-wise, more then he ought to be wise: Let him not cauill at other mens godly and temperate reasons; neither let him inso­lently condemne others lesse stout and confident: For all must stand before the tribunall of God, to giue an account of the things they haue done: Let not therefore the high minded too curiously pry into all the sayings and doings of the more humble: Let him beare with some things; let him slaunder none: Let him not hope by wrangling or brauling, that it is possible to giue helpe to things out of or­der, but rather to all agreement making, to bring two neces­sary [Page 191] affections, one of knowing the state, another of par­doning the faults. Iudgement is a great and high thing. This by how much the businesse is greater, is by so much the more diligently intended, and opinion is lesse rashly to be giuen: The cause ought to be euident, (not ambiguous) and of great weight, and by no meanes to be dissembled, for the which one brother should accuse another, much lesse that it hold a right affection to condemne him. Let euery one therefore looke that hee be not swift to speake, but ra­ther attentiue to know, and inclined to pardon, whereso­euer he may lawfully do: but of this sufficient, Inter. Script. Anglic. Buceri fol. 374.

Obiect. Bishop Hooper:] Holy significatiue signes are vnlawfull.

Answ. Bucer:] 1. When as God by his word hath sanctified all things by our prayers, and hath made all things pure to the pure, what cause can wee alleadge out of the word of God, to deny that God will not blesse the vse of such signes, (whereof we speake) that it should not be effectuall to that Church; to some commendation of the Ministrie, and thereof also to some edification of the faith? For how can it be but that hee, which promised to blesse the workes of our hands, which we take in his name, wil deny his blessing to these signes, seeing he hath no where forbidden such an vse of them as we haue expounded; and hath made vs Lords of the Sabbath, and all other things in the world? In Epist. Ioan. Alasco.

2. Let vs consider what the Holy Ghost teacheth, of the signification of a womans vaile, and couering of the mans head, 1. Cor. 10. wherefore doeth hee particularely mention the bright garments of the Angels? The Holy Ghost doeth nothing rashly, and doeth by all creatures preach the saluation of his, which consisteth in the faith of the Gospel, Script. Anglican. fol 709. Hoopero.

Petre Martyr:] The Ministers of the Church are the Angels, and Messengers of the Church, as Malachy wit­nesseth; and the Angels all wayes for the most appeared, as [Page 192] apparelled in white garments: [This hee calleth honesta & iusta significatio a Scripturis non aliena an honest and fit sig­nification of the Surplesse, not disagreeing, or strang from the Scripture.] How shall wee depriue the Church of this libertie, that it may not signifie some thing by her actions and Ceremonies; so as the people of Christ, bee not bur­dened with Ceremonies, and better things be not hindered? ye will say, let them declare themselues to be Angels indeed, let them not signifieit. But this might be replied as well on Saint Paul, when hee appointed among the Corinthians, that a woman should haue her head couered, & a man haue his head open, 1. Cor. 11. 5. for he only presseth the reason of signification, to confirme this Ceremonie. Now any man of the Corinthian Church might here reply vpon him thus; let the man declare himselfe indeed to be the head of the woman, and let the woman shew her selfe subiect to her husband, by their deeds and life; let them not striue to declare it by signes. But the Apostle saw that euen this might profitably be done, not onely that wee liue rightly, but also that by words and signes we be admonished of our duetie, Loc. com. fol. 1089. Epist. Hoopero.

Zanchius:] Albeit, a garment linnen or wollen for a Mini­ster, be numbred among indifferent things: yet for the sig­nification (magis deceret vestis linea quàm lanea) a linnen garment were more decent then a wollen for a Minister to weare in the administration of the Sacrament: for that it is the Symbole, or type of innocencie and holinesse. Hence in the Apocalips, white garments are giuen the Saints, De redempt. cap. 16. fol. 445.

Obiect. These Ceremonies bee offensiue and scandalous; to the godly who are grieued and burdened with them; to the Papists who reioyce in our practise, and are confirmed in their damnable will worships; to the weake who stagger, and can by no meanes bee perswaded of the lawfulnesse of them, and many haue occasion hereby to separate; and in a word generally to all sorts.

Answ. Caluin:] 1. Touching holy-dayes and other Ceremo­nies: It is a very hard condition to the godly brethren to subiect themselues to those things, which they vnderstand to be neither right nor profitable. For my part, I doe iudge, that many defects are to be tolerated, and borne with, wher­as they cannot bee amended: wherefore I doe not thinke that any of the brethren should for this cause proceede so farre, as to separate and depart from the Church, whereof he is a member; if so bee the greater part of the Church be of a contrary iudgement, because in such cases it seemes to mee sufficient, if that which wee knowe to be right, bee of vs laboured vnto.

Obiect. That which is thrust vpon vs doth bring with it scandall, and also drawes along an euill taile, namely, sundry euill effects.

Answ. Notwithstanding this, because these Ceremo­monies are not repugnant to the Word of God, they may be yeelded to, especially where the greater number doth o­uersway, and whenas there is no meanes for him that is only a member of the body to proceede further, Epist. 379 fol. 658.

2. I vnderstood some difficultie cast in your way about certaine Ceremonies, which those your Hostes, and en­tertainers would haue you to vse: Surely I see nothing more expedient, then to vse most few Ceremonies in the Christi­an Church: For it is sufficiently euident by experience it selfe, how easie a matter it is, by occasion of them to slide into superstition, howbeit the matter is otherwise, when authoritie resteth not in vs, of admitting or refusing what seemeth to vs meete: And those Ceremonies are not mat­ters of that qualitie, on occasion whereof we should volun­tarily suspend, or separate our selues from the Supper of the Lord, and as much as in vs lieth, wee must procure that which is manifest to bee the best. But if wee may not ob­taine what wee desire (feramus illos defectus) let vs beare with those defects, and not approue of them, so as there be [Page 194] therein no impietie, or other thing repugnant to Gods Word: As for example, If any shew or kinde of Idolatry were therein, we ought to withstand it, euen to the death: But where the doctrine it selfe is sound and pure, and the Ceremonies be vsed to a ciuill kinde of honestie and decen­cie, they are by vs to bee passed by in silence, rather then by occasion of them wee should proceed to contentions, and more grieuous tumults, Epist. 303. fol. 497.

3. This must bee euer remembred, that by whatsoeuer scandals Satan and the world doe labour to draw vs away from the commaundements of God, or to hinder vs from following that which he prescribeth, we must notwithstan­ding this stoutly proceede, Iust. 3. 19. 13.

P. Martyr] 1. We confesse wee must yeeld something to the weake, but yet with Paul wee must not suffer this to be done, but onely in things indifferent; But that which is in it selfe euill, and forbidden of God, wee aduise that it bee not done for any mans sake: For the rule remaineth vnre­moueable, which granteth to no man to commit euill that good may come thereof, yea, and neither may wee alway yeelde vnto the weake in things indifferent, but onely so farre foorth, vntill they bee taught better and more per­fectly: But when they vnderstand the matter, and yet not­withstanding this doe sticke, their weakenesse must not be nourished in them. Besides, so much may not be yeelded to the weake, as that wee should harme others, and many mo of the members of Christ by our example, Loc. com. clas. 2. cap. 4. §. 32. fol. 201.

2. In that you write, that very many will bee offended with your wearing the Episcopall garments, and holy gar­ments as they call them; I doe easily beleeue it: but you shall auoide the fault of scandall, if ye declare in your Sermons, that those garments also are displeasing vnto you, & with­all do with all care endeuour, that they may at last bee aboli­shed Epist. Amic. in Angliam, fol. 1128.

3. If occasion of erring be giuen to the weake hereby, [Page 195] let them bee admonished, that they perswade themselues these things to bee indifferent: Let them bee taught by Ser­mons, that Gods worship is not placed in those things, Loc. fol. 1089. Epist. Hoopero.

4 To this Obiection, that the eies of the beholders will be turned aside from thinking on serious matters: Hee an­swereth, This it may be, wilnot be iudged to be true of al be­holders: For first it may be answered, that will not come to passe if without cost these garments be vsed simply, as they haue bin hitherto; for the vse and profit of them do take a­way admiration: Againe perhaps it may be answered, that it is probable that the people being moued with admirati­on, may thinke of attentiuely the things that be more seri­ous, for which cause the Sacramentall signes seeme to haue beene imposed, that from the very sight and sense they may be drawne to thinke of diuine things, ibid.

Bucer: 1 Holdeth that the faithfull preachers of Gods Word may then vse the Surplesse, if they ioyne withall the cleere preaching of Christ our Sauiour, and with all the detection and detestation of whole Antichrist, as well of the Roman, as of any other, that they by the vse of these garments meane not to establish any of Antichrists wicked lies which be thrust vpon the people: That the Priests are in themselues no whit holier, or more effectuall to appease God then other Christians are: That they doe not set Christ before his Father in the Communion, neither apply his merit by their deed and will to any man, morethen any man doth receiue by faith out of the words of the Sarcra­ment: That Aaronicall Rites are not to be recalled: That by the wearing of these garments, they onely giue obedi­ence to those gouernours, within the compasse of whose authoritie God will haue the determination of externall Rites (consentientes tamen Verbo Dei) though yet agreeing to Gods Word. And that heereby they flee from the offence of troubling the common order, and the publike consent, as also that heereby they doe witnesse to godly persons that e­uery [Page 196] creature of God is good, euen by the way of signifi­cation, and therefore that all Christians truely beleeuing may well and godly vse these things, howsoeuer impi­ously others haue abused them, Script. Anglic. Cranmero fol. 682.

2 To this that in England many vse Vestures with ma­nifest superstition, and that they doe nourish and confirme in the people superstition; euen so it may be answered, very many abuse all this whole Sacrament, as also Baptisme and all other Ceremonies, Epist. Ioan. Alasco.

Zanchius: In things indifferent something is to be yeel­ded to the weaker, and that for a time; namely, vntill they be taught the truth. For if after that the truth is sufficient­ly and cleerely laide abroad vnto them so as being conuic­ted they haue nothing more what they may obiect and yet will notwithstanding sticke in doubt; sure their infirmity is not to be nourished by their dissembling with them or winking at them. For this is rather strong obstinacy then weakenesse, Deredemp. cap. 17. fol. 493.

Beza in a case of depriuation aduiseth to conforme; yet before they conforme hee thus counselleth them: That both the Pastor and the flocke sinne not against their con­science (presupposing the puritie of doctrine to be left en­tire:) We perswade the Pastors that after they haue freed their conscience, both before the Kings Maiestie and the Bishops, by a modest (as it becommeth Christians to be free from all tumult and sedition) and yet weighty prote­station (according as the greatnesse of the case requires:) they then doe openly presse vnto their flockes those things which doe tend to take away the offence arising from con­formity, and doe withall discreetly and peaceably giue di­ligent indeauour for the amendment of these abuses, as the Lord shall offer occasion (and so to conforme) Epist. 12. fol. 99.

Cartwright: The offence in occasioning the weake to fall, and the wicked to be confirmed in their wickednesse, [Page 197] is one of the fowlest spots cast vpon the Surplesse: But when it is laid in the scales with the preaching of the word of God, which is so necessary for him that is called there­unto, that a woe hangeth on his head if hee doe not preach it, it is of lesse importance, then for the refusall of it, wee should let goe so necessary a duety. As for that which is vt­tered against the offence, it is as the rest of this disputation, to shew how inconueniently such things are established, not that they may not in any respect be borne with. In the vse of those indifferent things, and abstaining from them, wee are so straitly bound to haue regard vnto the weake brother, as no Magistrate is able to loose the knot of that bond. But where offences cannot otherwise be redeemed then by leauing that vndone, which the Lord himselfe hath not left free vnto vs, but cast a yoke of necessary seruice vp­on vs, there the case is otherwise: For if the Prince vpon declaration of the inconuenience of such Ceremonies, and humble suite for the release of them, will nothing loose of the coard of this seruitude, for my part I see no better way, then with admonition of them thereunto, to keepe on the course of feeding the flocke committed vnto him. This is in few words my simple iudgement of the matter of this apparell and such like ceremonies. In the rest of his second reply, fol. 262. 263.

Sarauia: To the obiection, that the Papists will be con­firmed in their most damnable will-worships, by the vse of these ceremonies. 1. This is denied for two causes: First, for the publique contrary doctrine, which challengeth and reproueth those which professe the vse of these ceremonies for superstition: Secondly, for the Publique authority, which, (as is knowen to all, doth forbid the Subiects of ea­ting of flesh, and commandeth other things) not for that end which the Pope intendeth. For there is great difference betweene those things which are performed by way of o­bedience to publicke authority, and those things which are superstitiously assumed to be done by priuate councell. [Page 198] There was a controuersie among the Primitiue Christians about the obseruation of legall ceremonies; Some thought that euery kinde of foode was sanctified: others beleeued the contrary. They which thought rightly, might eate of strangled meate, and of blood, and it was superstition for them, to abstaine of conscience: Neither could any man make a Law vnto himselfe of abstaining from strangled meate and blood, more then from swines flesh. But after that it was vpon good aduice established by the authority of the Church, (not to confirme any man in a false opini­on) that such as were conuerted from Paganisme vnto the faith of Christ, should abstaine from strangled meate and blood, that, which to doe on a mans priuate councell had been a sinne, was made to be godly by the authority of the Churches constitution, Defens. de diuers. grad. ministr. cap. 25. fol. 580. 581.

2. Touching the scandall of the weake (by the vse of these ceremonies) which is obiected, it cannot take place against a publicke law, to the which priuate persons ought not to preferre their iudgement, but subiect it according to the publicke doctrine and profession, as well of the Magi­strates, as of the chiefe gouernors of the Church, Ib. f. 851.

3. Touching the Papists scandall: Small regard is to be had of them in this Kingdome; their error can admit of no excuse, after so many yeeres preaching of the Gospell: Paganisme being abolished, and the Idoles with their wor­ship being cast out, the Idolothytes or things offred Idoles, did cease. Euen so the Pope, being cast out and renounced, there ceaseth whatsoeuer he brought in and polluted, in as­much as those things which are done this day with vs at the Princes command, or for obedience sake vnto our Lawes: whereas withall, sound and Christian doctrine flourisheth of the grace of God, and mans merits: such Ceremonies and actions cannot bee compared neither with the eating of a thing offred to Idoles, neither with Popish will-wor­ship, &c. Ibid. fol. 582.

Obiect. Bishop Hooper:] By the strict pressing and obedience to these Ceremonies, Christian libertie will bee infringed and broken.

Peter Martyr:] The endangering of our Christian li­bertie will bee preuented, if such Ceremonies as bee resto­red bee not so respected, as if they were necessary to ob­taine saluation: and againe if wee doe so beare with such matters as these are, that when they seeme to bee lesse profitable, they may bee remoued, Loc. fol. 1087. Hoopero.

Beza:] Albeit, the Christian liberty hath taken away the yoke of the Ceremonial law, and insteed therof it is not lawful, for any mortal man to put another yoke, yet the too promiscuous vse of things indifferent is lawfully restrained, both in generall and in speciall. In generall it is restrained by the law of charitie, which is vniuersall, that is respecting all persons and things, and carefully bewaring, that no­thing otherwise indifferent and lawfull be done, whereby ones neighbour be destroyed; and that nothing be omitted, whereby he may be edified. But here two cautions must be presupposed, one that whatsoeuer may and ought to bee done, or omitted, ought alway to bee iudged by the word of God: the other that euery man haue a respect vnto his calling, thus are we to vnderstand that of the Apostle, I am made all things to all men. In speciall, if the vse of things in­different be restrained by a constitution, whether politicke or Ecclesiasticall. For albeit, God onely bindeth the con­science porperly: yet so farre forth as; either the Magistrate, which is the Minister of God doeth iudge it to bee good for the Commonwealth, that some thing otherwise lawfull in it selfe be not done; either the Church hauing respect of or­der, and decencie, and edification, doeth establish some lawes orderly concerning things indifferent: such lawes are altogether to bee obserued of the godly, and so farre forth doe tye the conscience, as that no man wittingly, and wil­lingly, and deliberately, with a purpose to disobey, may [Page 200] without sinne either doe the things which are forbidden, or omitte the things which are commanded, Epist. 24. fol. 143.

Zanchius:] Christians, albeit they bee subiected to no lawes of men in respect of their conscience, but are ex­empted from all power of men: yet in respect of their out­ward man, in respect of the flesh, they are not exempted from all power of men, but are rather subiect to Magistrates, as well Ciuill as Ecclesiasticall, and are tyed to obey them both for Gods commandement, and the publike good, and for keeping of order in the Church, as Rom. 13. 1. 1. Pet. 2. Compend. cap. 14. fol. 620.

Hemingius:] That no man abuse this his Christian liber­tie, both pietie to God, and charitie to his neighbour per­swade vs that we obserue the godly Rites and Ceremonies, established for order and discipline sake, so as the necessary worship of God, opinion of righteousnesse, merrit and ne­cessity bee not placed in them, Enchirid. clas. 3. cap. 14. fol. 372. de libertate Christiana.

Sarauia:] Christian liberty doeth not exempt men from the obedience of those, to whom God hath made vs subiect. The pure doctrine of the Gospel doeth take away the abuse of things, and restoreth the true vse of all things, which in­fidelitie had polluted; in as much as albeit, the actions out­wardly are very like: yet they are diuerse, aswell from the cause efficient, from which they are done, as the end for the which they are done, Defens. de gradibus Ministr. cap. 25. fol. 582.

And so much for the proofe of this argument: In all which precedent allegations, I thinke fit to obserue and note thus much▪ that albeit, I confesse there bee some diffe­rence among those worthy writers primitiue and latter, a­bout this matter circumstantiall and ceremoniall, some looking more vpon the practise of the Primitiue Church, and the substantials and maine worshippes of God, and danger of their remouing; by remouing of these Ceremo­nies, [Page 201] were more inclined to the defence of ceremonies; other looking into the inconueniēces, & many euill effects of the ceremonies, & wishing Apostolical simplicity, & in the iust detestation of Antichrist & all his superstitions, haue been more sterne against them; & yet all of them haue vniforme­ly agreed in the substātials of Religion; as also in this point, for the which they are alleadged onely, namely, that such Ceremonies as are with vs prescribed, suppose they were in­conuenient, and fit to bee abolished, yet they are not of that moment for a man to lose his Ministery, and to hazzard the ouerthrow of the Church, for the refusing of them: and this is worthy to bee noted for the confirmation of this ar­gument, that they are all and euery one among the Or­thodoxe, ancient and late classicall Fathers and Diuines, of this very mind. And againe, there is not one, I say not one of any sound iudgmēt or good report in the Church of God, for the contrary opinion, vnles Heretikes, & Schismatikes, such as Donatists, Anabaptists, Separatists. As for Illiricus, (and his few associats and defendants) who onely is allead­ged to bee of this minde, albeit he well deserued for his la­bour in the Centuries, and certaine other of his workes: And something might besaid for his excuse, and to shew the difference of his case from ours; as that,

1. The Ministers of Germanie were compelled to vse Illir. clau. Scri­ptur. par. 1. fol. 23. verbo adi­aph. such Ceremonies, which were cast out by the Church be­fore.

2. That they were commaunded and enioyned them by the Romish Church: Charles the fift, by the aduice of Sleid. comment. li. 20. ann. 1548. fol. 330. a. & fo. 332. b. f. 349. a his Clergie imposed the Interim (wherein were sundry Po­pish errors to bee receiued and approoued) on the German Churches, which was refused & confuted by diuers Chur­ches, in which respect Illiricus, and the rest, refused the Ce­remonies, as in a case of confession; and in which respect Hemingius himselfe, an adiaphorist, maketh an excuse for Heming. Enchi­rid. class. 3. cap. 16. tit. adiaph. fol. 375. the Ministers refusall in that case, because superstitionis gra­tia seruabatur, whereas in another hee pleadeth for the vse [Page 202] of them, as being things indifferent. Yet for all this, the condition of Illiricus is not vnknowen to the Church of God, how furiously and turbulently he was addicted to the peremptory maintenance of vnsauoury and grosse errors diuers other wayes, and vnsufferable disgrace of his betters for desert vnto the Church of God, whereby wee may the more probably gesse of the truth of his opinions this way, and supposing that his case were the self same case with our depriued Ministers; yet what is one to vniuersality? Illiricus to all the Church of God, to broach a singular and new o­pinion of suffering depriuation for inconuenient Ceremo­nies, not knowen nor heard of since the time of Christ, yea, accusing and condemning of all others besides himselfe of errors and false doctrines. But if any be desirous to see fur­ther of Illiricus, and of the iniquitie of his cause and procee­dings, let him looke Melancthon. consil. part. 2. fol. 104, 105, 106. 107, 108, 109. and Beza in vita Caluini anno 1549. And it is worth the obseruation that a French Historian saith of him, Mathias Flaccius, homo vehemens, & quocunque loco pedem figeret acerrimus turbarum incentor, Iac. Aug. Thuanus hist. l. 38. fol. 806. b. anno 1567.

Thus wee haue seene the iudgement of all true antiqui­tie, and of all their pure posteritie, to be opposite to the do­ctrine and practise of suffering depriuation for vsing incon­uenient Ceremonies; whereby his argument is proued: And therefore the conclusion which followeth is, that the doctrine of suffering depriuation for not vsing inconueni­ent Ceremonies, cannot bee admitted with a good consci­ence: and lastly, to admit and practise it, it is a sinne a­gainst God.

The whole foregoing argument is thus concluded in a Syllogisme.

Whatsoeuer doctrine or practise tendeth to condemne all true Churches, and godly learned teachers (which are knowen to haue declared their iudgements of these things) since the time of the Apostles, without exception of any [Page 203] one for teaching of false doctrine and for maintaining of a sin, is contrary to Gods Word, an errour in doctrine, and a sinne in practise: But

Thus doth the doctrine and practise of suffering depri­uation for refusing to conforme to the prescribed Ceremo­nies in the Church of England.

Ergo, the doctrine and practise of suffering depriuation is contrary to Gods Word, an errour in doctrine, and a sin in practise.

This whole argument I shut vp with the sayings of Lum­bertus, which he vsed on another occasion, In Ep. dedicat. de Christo seruatore contra Socinum: Nihil noui attuli, sed anti­quam & receptam doctrinam, quam hoc saeculo Martinus Chem­nitius, Iohannes Caluinus, Petrus Martyr, Zacharias Ʋrsinus, & multi alij Sancti Viri ex Dei verbo clarè & solide docuerunt, defendi & tutatus sum: Idem ibid. Subijcio hunc librum iudicio sanctae & orthodoxae Ecclesiae, quae Augustanam, Helueticam, Gal­licam, Brittanicam & Belgicam confessiones sequitur. Hanc e­nim esse veram Ecclesiam, & de his dogmatis quae in hoc libro tractantur rectè sentire credo, cum hác me concordiam colere profiteor.

To these authorities there are some things excepted, which heere I will setdowne: And

Obiect. Frist, that there is not that consent in these authorities, no harmony nor agreement neither in iudgement nor in practise: Not in iudgement, for they disagree among them­selues; some commend the Ceremonies, others discom­mend them, esteeming them vnprofitable, inexpedient, hurtfull: Not in practise, for the first 200. yeeres their vni­forme practise was answerable to the simplicity of the or­dinance of Christ and his Apostles, in the parts of Gods publike worships, which will appeare if ye cite the vndoub­ted writings of the pure Fathers, and not their Apocry­phals or Bastard and supposed writings.

Answ. 1 This obiection is quite besides the question, and is no­thing to the point in hand, and therefore might haue well [Page 104] beene spared. The question here is not whether the Chur­ches and Writers agree or disagree in their iudgement & practise of such Ceremonies as ours are, but whether in a case of depriuation a man ought to conforme to Cere­monies as euill & inconuenient as ours are pretended to be, rather then suffer depriuation. The answer by me is affirma­tiue, which conclusion all the forealleaged Authors, as well one as other, doe vniformely hold consent and agree vpon: and of this there is an vndoubted harmony. For their dif­ferences, let them be vrged when question is concerning a­ny point wherein they differ. To giue instance hereof, sup­pose a question betweene Timothy and Titus, whether it were fit that the Apostles should visit the Church which they had by preaching conuerted to the faith; and to finde out the truth heereof they will referre themselues to the iudgement of Paul and Barnabas, who conuerted them vn­to the truth: Timothy saith, that they should doe well to vi­sit them, and alleadgeth that Paul and Barnabas did consent in that iudgement and practise as appeareth, Acts 15. 26. Titus denieth it and saith, there was no consent nor agree­ment in their iudgement nor practise: For Barnabas coun­selled to take Iohn called Marke with him, but Paul thought it not meet. Heere may Timothy reply, that the question be­tweene vs is not about the taking a long of Marke, wherein they disagreed, but about the visiting of the Churches wherein they were both of one minde.

2 Touching their practise of 200. yeeres, that it was an­swerable to the simplicity of the ordinance of Christ and his Apostles: I grant that it was much more pure for that space then it was euer after; for as the time ran on, so purity vanished, and superstition grew on, as in a praecipitium and desperate downefall: Howbeit the mystery of iniquity be­gan to worke euen in the Apostles times: The Diuell in those dayes began to sowe his tares (as the watchmen be­gan to sleepe) both of false doctrine and corrupt Ceremo­nies, the controuersie which troubled all the Christian [Page 205] world, was within one hundred yeeres. And Anacletus, E­uaristus, Telesphorus, Anicetus, Victor, as also Polycarp, Irenae­us, which note the controuersie about Easter, and others, were within the 200. yeeres: So were the Hereticks, Valen­tinus, Montanus, Chiliastae. and others, who brought innu­merable ceremonies. Clemens Alexandrinus, and Tertullian within the 210. yeere did stirre in their writing: Origen a­bout the 216. yere: Cyprian about the 240. yeere. In whose vndoubted and not bastard writings may be seene, and hath beene alleadged the diuersity and multitude of Ceremo­nies which were then in vse: and much more might be said touching the confirmation of this point, namely, that such ceremonies as were then in vse, as inconuenient in vse and nature as ours, were practised by them: and the doctrine of suffering Depriuation for refusing to conforme vnto such Ceremonies as ours, was not by any of them taught, but by all of them confuted, partly by their doctrine, and partly by their practise.

Obiect. These Churches and writers were strangers to our cause, nor so well acquainted with the state of our Church, and therefore could not so well iudge of our case.

Answ. The persons whose iudgements are alleadged, were ei­ther strangers to our Church, or acquainted with the state thereof. The strangers thereto were the Fathers of the Pri­mitiue Church, and the Lutheran authors; Both which be­cause they were the practisers of more and worse Ceremo­nies then ours can bee imagined to bee, it is nothing to the point, whether they were ignorant of our Church, or not: For they that for the Churches peace did practise and per­swade the practise of Ceremonies, more in number, and worse for quality, would much more practise and perswade the lesser and the fewer in the same case, as all men know. For the rest which were acquainted with the state of our Church, they were either forreiners, or members of our Church: The forreiners were some of them inform'd of our Churches estate, by such as were not partiall in the re­lation [Page 206] thereof; Such as Caluin, who had our Leturgy tran­slated, and sent him to peruse; Beza, Bullinger, Gualter, Zanchius, Vrsinus, Polanus, &c. Others were such as dwel­ling in our Church, were eye-witnesses themselues of the state thereof, such as Bucer in Cambridge: For whose cen­sure the common praier Booke was translated into Latine. P. Martyr in Oxon. The members of our Church were no lesse worthy then the Forreiners and could not be igno­rant of the state of this Church; such as the Martyrs, Cran­mer, Ridley, F. and Hooper who at last conformed. Exiles, as Foxe, Iewell, Nowell, Parkhust, Sanders, Grindall, Humphry, &c. And the latter teachers, as Deering Fulke Perkins, and especially Master Cartwright, who with most exact dili­gence did sift euery thing to the vtmost of his power, that might cary any shew of the warrant of an opposition.

Obiect. These persons which had notice of our state, considered not of our grounds of Scripture, and of the arguments which we alleadge: they professed that they saw: but if they saw our reasons, and so vrged as we vrge them, they would doubtlesse haue bene of other iudgement.

Answ. They considered of all the maine reasons which are now vrged, as appeareth before in the Answeres of Master Bucer and P. Martyr, to the seuerall obiections of B b. Hoo­per; Besides, the members of our Church were wel acquain­ted with the reasons vrged against them, especially the later.

Obiect. Some of the Authors which perswade to vse the Cere­monies, doe giue such allegations as ouerthrow their owne grounds, and thereby we are more confirmed, that so great lights bring so weake grounds. For example: The Fathers did with one consent teach a refusall of all Ceremonies, which were contra fidem, & bonos mores: and therefore see­ing our Ceremonies are contra fidem, & bonos mores, it fol­loweth that the doctrine and practise of refusing our Cere­monies, agreeth with the doctrine of the Fathers: as for their practise, if it were contrary to their doctrine, in that part it was their ignorance, we must leaue their practise, and [Page 207] follow their doctrine, Mat. 23. 2.

Answ. 1 Neither doeth this obiection touch the question, which is whether all Churches and faithfull teachers doe vni­formely teach conformitie to such Ceremonies as ours, in case of depriuation: yet I answere, that these allegations of theirs must bee produced and better sifted, before it will bee granted, that they ouerthrow themselues with their owne grounds, which when it is performed I will further answere if I can.

2 It is petitio principij, or a begging of the question to con­clude without any further proofe that our Ceremonies are contra fidem & bonos mores, and I thinke verely that our bre­thren themselues, which doe thus obiect, will not say that they are fundamentall, or ouerthrowing Christ, which they should doe if they were contra fidem & bonos mores. Let this be soundly proued and then I will yeeld the whole cause, but then with all it must bee concluded, that no Church can bee a Church, which retaineth fundamentall errors; No conformer to them without repentance can be saued: the practise of the Ceremonies ouerthrow faith & a good conscience, and let it be considered how farre this will stretch, euen to the Apostles, and all Churches and faithfull teachers since the time of Christ.

Obiect. Many of the things alleadged touch not our cause, they might haue beene spared.

Answ. Though some things concerne not the peculiar cause of the Ministers depriued: yet all which I haue alleadged, do touch the question proposed, which euery intelligent dis­putant is to follow and intend, neither is there any thing that I know proposed, which may not serue as a true medi­us terminus, or pregnant argument tending directly to proue this conclusion: that all true Churches & teachers since the Apostles▪ did teach & practise conformitie, rather then they would suffer depriuation or seperation from the Church. But if any among so many things as are alleadged bee im­pertinent, let it bee shewed and put out with my good lik­ing: [Page 208] there is enough besides which is without all contro­uersie to the purpose.

Obiect. The times are different, there may bee a matter funda­mentall now, which was not then; in respect of the most cleere manifestation of the trueth thereof now, which was not then. Therefore their iudgement (though pure) is no rule for vs to follow now: It is no true arguing; They thus iudged, therefore we must thus iudge of these Ceremonies, as for example, It was a trueth that Christ should be borne at Bethleem, and of the Virgin Mary, this trueth being fun­damentall now, was not so before Christ was borne and manifested. Cornelius was a faithfull man before hee be­lieued in Christ the sonne of the Virgin Mary: yet hee had the faith of the Messias in generall, sufficient to his saluati­on; but after it was reuealed by the Apostles to him, euen this was also fundamentall.

Answ. This obiection containeth a trueth; but it faileth in the application therof vnto the case in question. For there must bee proued these two points, that this obiection may bee firme: First, that the vse of these Ceremones is growne to be a matter fundamentall, which sometimes it was not, and the sound reasons thereof must be alleadged, which as yet they are not: it is not knowen as yet by any light that euer I preceaued or heard of, how these Ceremonies here questio­ned should be rather fundamentall now then before, when by the same reasons they were opposed as they are now: Secondly, that the refusall of the Ceremonies questi­oned, bee a matter of that waight and nature, with the in­stance brought of belieuing in Christ the sonne of the Vir­gin Mary, betweene which I confesse there seemeth to me to be so great and so reall a difference, as that I suppose it to be brought in quite besides the point: When these two points bee solued, I will answere as occasion is offered further.

Obiect. You haue omitted some things in this your argument or reason, whereunto wee must also conforme: Besides con­formitie is not sufficient, wee shall be required to subscribe, [Page 209] and further, these our ceremonies are nowe farre more strictly enioyned and imposed, then euer before.

Answ. The question is, of what in this case we may lawfully con­forme vnto; if there be any thing besides which may be pro­ued simply vnlawful euen in this case of depriuatiō, to con­forme vnto, let it be soundly discouered, wisely and zealous­ly eschewed, and a reformation humbly laboured vnto by authoritie, or prayed for to God. In the meane time, let vs consider whether in this case our consciences be not tied to conforme, to redeeme the libertie of the Ministerie. Tou­ching the vrging or pressing of these Ceremonies, it is true, they haue been imposed with some vehemencie, yet they are not imposed (nor pretended so to bee) vpon the con­science, as the worships of God, or needfull to saluation, but they are taught as variable and free things, and in their nature indifferent but as they are commanded by authori­tie, and so imposed.

Obiect. The force of your argument lieth in this, that rather then we should suffer depriuation, we should receiue and vse Ce­remonies as inconuenient, hurtfull and scandalous, as were the Iewish Ceremonies, and those which the fathers imbra­ced: but the Iewish Ceremonies were holden necessary to saluation, Act. 15. 1, 3. and the Ceremonies of the Fathers were holden operatiue: your argument ergo concludeth a necessitie of receiuing Ceremonies, though euen holden necessary and operatiue, rather then to suffer depriuation for refusing such. Thus may wee also dispute for all other Popish Ceremonies, as for the shauen Crowne, Exorcisme, White garment in Baptisme, Soot, Spittle, Creame, holy Water.

Answ. 1. My argument concludeth onely for conforming to the Ceremonies which are prescribed in the case of depri­uation, and for none other, from an argument drawen from the consent of all true Churches, and faithfull teachers of all ages and places, which did rather conforme to more and worse then ours are pretended to bee: argumento à ma­iori [Page 210] ad minus ducto; which holdeth strongly for conforming to our Ceremonies, which are farre more tolerable, and lesse inconuenient and burdensome then theirs. Neither can my argument bee farther drawen or racked then I vrge it.

2. Touching the Iewish Ceremonies, they were hol­den necessary to saluation by refractary Iewes, not by the Apostles and the godly well grounded Christians. So our Ceremonies are holden by the Papists, but not by vs, there­fore that instance concerneth vs no more thē the Apostles, and the faithfull of those times.

3. Touching the Ceremonies of the Primitiue Fathers, they were also holden operatiue, not by the sounder Fathers themselues (as Zepperus, Perkins, and others doe alleadge for them) but by others, which did so accidentally, as the signe of the Crosse was not holden operatiue by the Or­thodoxall Fathers of it selfe opere operato, but they held their faith operatiue, which was exercised in them when they ex­ercised that signe. Onely Tertullian is cited to holde that signe operatiue, but hee is noted thereby, as by many other his singularities, to haue beene a Montanist, who thus vsed the signe, & other Ceremonies, as operatiue in themselues: and in like sort our prescribed Ceremonies are holden ope­ratiue in themselues, opere operato, by the Papist, but not by vs: Therefore neither doth this part of the obiection con­cerne our Church or this my argument, who vtterly and professedly disclaime these things.

4. For the Popish Ceremonies alleadged, such as sha­uen Crowne, holy Water, Creame, Spittle, Salt, &c. they are not mentioned in this my argument, and there may bee other waighty causes alleadged wherefore wee may except against them iustly. The Lutherans vse some of them, and we all account of them as of true Churches: And it is not possible for the true Church to put operation in them, or opinion of necessitie, or Gods worship or merit in the deed doing, for that this tendeth to ouerthrow the foundation, [Page 211] and so to nullifie the Church: But excluding these grosse apprehensions of those Ceremonies, it might proue a mat­ter very questionable, whether in case of necessity, as of depriuation of ministery and ouerthrow of the Church, they ought not to be vsed, euen by this my argument. How­beit till question bee made and iustly mooued vpon these points, we will omit further disputation, because it is a mat­ter meerely needlesse and vnprofitable. And so much of this matter.

Deo soli sit Gloria.

¶ A Briefe and plaine Answere to Master SPRINTS discourse concerning the necessity of conformity in the case of Depriuation.

BEfore particular answere be made to Ma­ster Sprints seuerall arguments, one thing is necessary to be premised that maketh much against the whole scope and drift of his Treatise, viz. That the cause why so many godly and worthy Ministers, haue beene heretofore, and are daily depriued or suspended; or why so many able men that haue desired to enter into the ministry haue beene kept backe, is not this onely that they haue refused to conforme; but that many haue beene and are daily depriued and suspended onely for refusing to sub­scribe according to the Canon: yea, many that at the time of their conuention, haue not so much as beene charged with non-conformity, and of whom (by reason they were Lecturers only, or for that there were some other that did vse conformity in their churches) the vse of the ceremonies was not at all or little required, haue beene depriued or sus­pended for this cause only, because they durst not subscribe. And who knoweth not that by the 36. Canon no man may [Page 212] be either receiued into the ministry or suffered to preachor catechise, except he shal first willingly & ex animo, subscribe to the 3. articles there mentioned, & to all things conteined in thē. Yea, admit that a man were contented both to con­forme & subscribe also, yet if he shall but at any time affirme (as it is euident many conformers & subscribers also wil not stick sometime to do:) That the Booke of common Prayer containeth something in it that is repugnant to the Scrip­tures, or that some of the 39. Articles are in any part super­stitious and erronious, or such as he may not with a good conscience subscribe vnto, he is to be excommunicated, ip­so facto (which must needes imply suspension from his mi­nistry) and not to be restored till he haue publikely reuo­ked such his wicked errour. So that though all Master Sprints arguments shal proue good & vnanswerable, where­by he goeth about to iustifie the vse of the Ceremonies in this case: yet will he neuer be able to conuince a great num­ber of them, that haue either beene kept out, or put out of the ministry, of so foule a sinne as hee would make the world beleeue they stand guilty of, vnlesse he can also iusti­fie the subscription, which he seemeth altogether vnwilling to doe, and can proue it vnlawfull for a godly minister to say, that there is something in the Booke of common Prai­er repugnant to the Scriptures, or that some of the 39. Ar­ticles are in some part superstitious and erronious, and such as he may not with a good conscience subscribe vnto. And if those conclusions which he setteth downe in the first page of his Treatise, and which he saith will follow vpon the proofe of this point, That to suffer depriuation or sus­pension for refusing to conforme, is a sinne; be the very marke he aymed at in his whole Treatise, and the only fruit he expecteth of all these paines he hath taken (as indeede they seeme to be:) then hath hee surely bestowed his time very ill, and spent a great deale of labour to no purpose at all. From hence it will follow (saith he) first, That see­ing those Ministers haue sinned that haue suffered depriua­tion [Page 213] so refusing to conforme, they ought of conscience to offer conformity that they may returne to their ministry. 2. That such as not conforming doe remaine in their pla­ces, are bound in conscience to conforme, rather then to suffer depriuation. 3. That such as are profitably or pro­bably fitted to the Ministry, and desire that calling, are tied in conscience before God to promise and practise confor­mity, rather then for refusing it, to bee kept out of the Mi­nistry. And where be those Ministers to be found in Eng­land, that haue suffered depriuation for no other cause, but for that they haue refused to conforme? or that being de­priued; might haue had assurance to inioy againe, and con­tinue in the vse of their Ministry, if they would offer con­formity? Or what Prelate hath he knowen, being to admit any into the Ministry, hath beene wont to require of him a promise of Conformity, and to allow him thereupon, though he did refuse to subscribe? It is not to bee doubted indeede, but that the onely cause that hath been pretended for the depriuation and suspension of some, hath bene their refusing to conforme, and that liberty hath bene offred vn­to others, vpon this condition onely, if they would con­forme; But that this hath beene the onely cause, why any haue suffred Depriuation or Suspension, will hardly bee prooued by Master Spr. or any other man. If then he knew it not before, let him now vnderstand, That the true cause why so many able and faithful Ministers haue suffred them­selues to be depriu'd and suspended, rather then they would conforme to the Ceremonies prescribed, hath been partly (but not only,) this; that they haue iudged the ceremonies vnlawfull, and partly, that they knew though they should haue yeelded to the vse of them, they could by no meanes haue bin assured, that the bearing of this heauy yoke would haue kept them in their Ministry, vnlesse they could be con­tent also to subscribe to the Booke of common prayer, and those 39. Articles according to the Canon, or at least for­beare to speake either publickly or priuately against any [Page 214] thing contained in them. This being so, M. Spr. should ei­ther first haue made it plaine▪ that the only, or at least chiefe cause why the Ministers haue been depriued vsually, or sus­pended in England, hath been their refusing to conforme; or else hee should haue made this the state of his question, Whether the suffring Depriuation, rather then a man will conforme to the ceremonies in this case, when besides con­formity vpon the same penalty subscribing to the Booke of Common prayer, and the 39. Articles, or at least for­bearing to speake against any thing contained in them, is required, be a sinne.

And this shall suffice to bee premised for a generall an­swere to his whole treatise. Now the arguments whereby he laboureth to proue the lawfulnesse and necessitie of Con­formity in the case of Depriuation, are to be examined par­ticularly.

His first maine argument is this, The doctrine and pra­ctise of suffring depriuation (specially vpon the reasons vr­ged against our ceremonies) is contrary to the doctrine and practise of the Apostles.

The antecedent of this Argument (for the consequent is strong and good) hee laboureth to prooue, first in this manner.

To refuse to do that, which the Apostles with the whole Church at Ierusalem did by Diuine inspiration and com­maundement doe themselues, and both aduise and com­maund others to doe, is a sinne.

But to refuse conformity in the case of depriuation, is to refuse to doe that which the Apostles and whole Church at Ierusalem did themselues, and both aduised and com­manded others to doe: for they practised themselues, and commanded others, euen whole Churches to practise cere­monies as inconuenient and euill, for number, nature, vse, and euill effects, as ours are supposed to be, and that for rea­sons equiualent or inferiour to the auoyding of Depri­uation.

Ergo, to refuse to conforme in the case of depriuation, is a sinne.

The proposition of this argument, he neuer goeth about to proue, which yet is most false and vnsound: for the A­postles and whole Church a Ierusalem might by diuine in­spiration, and some speciall commandement of God, both themselues vse and inioyne others to vse some Ceremonies, in themselues as euill and inconuenient as ours, & yet it may be vnlawfull for a Minister now to vse ours, except he did it by the same in spiration, and had the like commandement from God, as they had. Abraham to manifest his faith was commanded by diuine vision to kil his sonne and if he had done it, hee had in so doing done an excellent worke; will this make it lawfull for all other belieuers for the manifesta­tion of their faith, to doe the like, when they haue not the like speciall commandement from God to doe it? The contrary would bee much better concluded by this argu­ment, viz. that the Apostles doctrine and practise, doeth not so warrant a Minister now to conforme to such like Ceremonies, because they that command them to doe so, doe it not by diuine inspiration, or commandement, as the Apostles did.

That which he alleadgeth afterward for the confirmati­on of this proposition in his answere to the first obiect. pag. makes it neuer a whit the stronger. For first, the answere he giues, doeth but beginne the question, and is the very same with the proposition it selfe, whereof it should haue beene a proofe. If the Apostles authoritie (saith he) were imme­diate from God, and that they did was done by the directi­on of the Holy Ghost, wee may bee the boulder to imitate them. Secondly, his second answere, that though we may not imitate the Apostles in things peculiar to the office, persons, and times; yet wee may in matter of common e­quitie, and generall reason: Insteed of confirming he doth directly ouerthrow his owne proposition, for hee grants here that it is no sufficient warrant for vs to doe any thing, [Page 216] for that the Apostles did so, because they did many things by diuine direction, that were peculiar to their office, per­sons, and time. Thirdly, he doeth expressely in this his se­cond answere affirme, that the Apostles did vrge the prac­tise of these Ceremonies, not from the immediate authori­tie of God, nor from the inspiration onely of the Holy Ghost, but by reasons and rules of common equitie and perpetuall: Wherein besides that, he forgets what he had vrged before in the proofe of his assumption, and expresse­ly contradicts the text, which affirmes that all the things they did write, euen concerning matters of order in the Church, were the commandements of the Lord, 1. Cor. 14. 37. and that when they decreed these things in question, they sayd it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and vs, Act. 15. 28. hee hath also weakned his owne proposition here, and made it of no strength at all. For if the Apostles had vsed, or inioyned these things, and not done it by diuine inspira­tion, and immediate authority from God, whatforce could there bee in their example or commandement to bind our conscience? The Apostles we know were men, and subiect to error (as other men) in all cases wherein they were not immediately directed by the spirit of God. And if the rea­son why we are to conforme, be not this; because the A­postles did so, or because they did so by immediate directi­on from God: but because they did that, which the rules of common and perpetuall equitie, and generall reason did require: then an argument drawne from the doctrine of the Scribes and Pharises, as well as of the holy Apostles, might haue serued the turne. For we are bound to follow them al­so, where they do, or teach that which the rules of common and perpetuall equitie, and generall reason doe require.

But let the reasons be examined, whereby he is moued to iudge, that the Apostles did vse and inioyne these Cere­monies, not by immediate authority from God, nor from inspiration onely of the Holy Ghost, but by reasons and rules of common and perpetuall equitie.

They vsed & enioyned these things (saith he) for expedien­cie and necessitie to win the more to Christ, and to further & propagate the Gospel; which though it be granted to be true, yet shall we be as farre to seeke as we were before; for still the question will be, whether there be the same reasons now to moue vs to the vse of our Ceremonies, as mooued the Apostles then to vse those. There might be such speci­all causes as made it expedient and necessary for them to vse and inioyne such Ceremonies then, as neuer did fall out before, nor shall doe againe while the world doth stand. It is indeed a rule of common and perpetual equity, that things expedient and necessary, that may make for the winning of more to Christ, and furtherance of the Gospel, be done; but that may be expedient and necessary vnto these ends for some persons at sometimes, which yet would be neither ne­cessary nor expedient for other persons at another time to doe, without a speciall and immediat calling from God. It was expedient and necessary, that the Apostles should preach the Gospel to all nations, and do sundry other things that were peculiar and proper vnto their function, which yet none in these dayes may take vpon them to doe, because they haue not the like immediat calling and authority from God; neither is there any thing more euident to euery rea­sonable and vnderstanding man, then this, that the same things, which in some places and times haue been both ex­pedient and necessary to be done, haue at other times, and in other places proued farre otehrwise.

That which he alleadgeth in the same place (viz. in his answere to the first obiection) to confirme this, that the reasons for which the holy Ghost moued the Apostles to do those things, do warrant and binde vs to vse our cere­monies now, because the holy Ghost being euer the same, teacheth and ruleth the Church by one and the same reason reuealed in his Word, as well now as then; is not easie to be vnderstood: For if this be his meaning, (as by his words it seemes to be) that vpon what reason the holy Ghost at [Page 218] any time teacheth any person in the Church to doe a thing he teacheth all persons in the Church to do the same, when they shall haue the same reason, because hee is alwayes one and the same; it would follow, that whatsoeuer God hath by any speciall commandement, for any speciall reason re­quired, of any should be done of all, where there is the same reason, though there be not the same speciall commande­ment of God. And so, forasmuch as God (vpon this rea­son, that Abraham might make knowen his faith) com­manded him to sacrifice his sonne, all men shall bee bound to shew the like readinesse that he did, to kill his owne chil­dren, seeing the reason that mooued God to require this of him▪ concerneth them as well as him, all men being bound to manifest and make knowen their faith.

Where he addeth, that by the same rules whereby the holy Ghost teacheth the Church to pray, and sing in a knowen language, & Prophets to speake one after another, and wo­men to be silent in the Church, hee teacheth that Confor­mitie which is in question; because they bee all cases of one nature; namely, of order and Ceremonie in the Church, and worship of God; hee affirmeth that which seemeth to haue no colour of good reason in it: For these things are of themselues, and by the very light of nature at all times, and in all places, matters of order and decencie, and such as if no precept had been giuen, common and generall reason would say are fitting: And the contrary (in themselues, and not in respect of circumstance onely) vnseemely; which hee will neuer (surely) say of any of these Ceremo­nies. And what consequence there is in this reason the holy Ghost doth no lesse teach the one then the other, be­cause they are all cases of one nature, namely, of order and Ceremonie in the Church? Are there not some impious and idolatrous orders, or (at least) Ceremonies, such as a man ought to die rather then to yeelde vnto them? Are there not, or may there not be some contrary to all these ge­nerall rules? Doth not the damnablest idolatry, that is, lie [Page 219] in orders and Ceremonies? how can it follow then that they are of the same nature, and required by the same rules, because they are matters of order and Ceremonie?

And so much shall suffice for answere to the proposition of his first maine argument, and to that which in his an­swere to the first obiection hee hath brought for the forti­fying of it: now let vs come to consider how he proues the assumption of this argument. All that hee hath said to this purpose (though it bee by him spread into thirteene se­uerall branches) may well bee referred vnto these foure heads, and yet nothing omitted that is worthy considerati­on, or carrieth any weight in it at all, viz. 1. That the A­postles and whole Churches in their times, vsed as ma­ny Ceremonies as ours doth. 2. That these many Cere­monies which they vsed, were euery way as inconuenient and euill as ours are supposed. 3. That the Apostles by diuine inspiration and commaundement from God, requi­red the Churches to vse so many Ceremonies of such sort. 4. That the Apostles were moued to doe thus, vpon rea­sons of no greater weight then the auoiding of depriuation and suspension with vs. These foure points, if he can in­deede make good, as hee hath vndertaken to doe, then will no man deny but that hee hath confirmed his assumption sufficiently.

The first of these points concerning the number, though it be not set downe by him in so many words, yet it is eui­dently collected from that which hee hath heere written, without any wresting of his words or peruerting of his meaning. For when he saith, The holy Apostles, with the whole Church at Ierusalem did practise themselues, and in­ioyned whole Churches the practise of ceremonies in num­ber equall vnto ours, there is no doubt to bee made but that he intended to say as much, as in this first point he is char­ged to say. Let vs therefore obserue well how he proueth this. The Ceremonies (saith hee) that they (that is the Apostles and Church at Ierusalem, and whole Churches of [Page 220] diuers and farre distant Countries and Nations, namely the Gentiles in Antiochia, Syria, Cilicia) did vse, were diuers: as namely circumcision, shauing the head, vowing, purify­ing, contributing, offering sacrifices for the persons puri­fied, obseruation of the Iewish Sabboths, abstaining from bloud, abstaining from strangled. Whereunto this answere may be giuen; first, that sundry of these 9. things which he hath here reckoned vp, can with no good reason be called Ceremonies. In the last clause of his answere to the first ob­iection, when he had matched praying and singing in a knowne tongue, the Prophets speaking one after another, and womens keeping silence in the Church, with our Ce­remonies, he makes this the reason of it: Because (saith he) they be all cases of one nature, namely of Order and Cere­mony in the Church and worship of God. Whereby hee seemeth to vnderstand that this is of a nature of a Ceremo­ny to bee vsed in the Church and in the worship of God: which if it bee so, then surely can neither abstaining from blood, nor abstaining from strangled be accounted Cere­monies. And though it be granted that all these nine things he mentioneth, were once commanded in the Ceremoniall Law, yet that the Apostles or Churches he speaketh of, did vse any of them as Ceremonies, or as in obedience to that Law, he wil neuer be able to proue. If a man in these daies should abstaine from flesh in Lent in the presence of a Pa­pist whom he is loth to offend, and of whom he conceiueth hope, that by condiscending to him in this hee may winne him to the Gospell: or if a Minister coming to a people Popishly affected; should he (hauing the gift of continen­cy) for the same reason for beare to marry? would any man say, that either the one of these, or the other did in so abstai­ning practise any Ceremony? or was it a Ceremony in Paul, when hauing preached long among the Corinthians and Thessalonians, hee departed from his right, and fore­bare to take any maintenance from them?

2. If hee will needes haue all these 9. points to be Cere­monies, [Page 221] yet can hee not make their Ceremonies any whit neere equall in number vnto ours: For it will be easie (spe­cially accounting ceremonies as he doth heere) for their 9. to reckon vp 49. that are vsed among vs. 3. These 9. ce­remonies of his, can neuer be proued to haue beene vsed or practised by the holy Apostles, the whole Church at Ieru­salem, and those whole Churches of diuers and farre countreys and Nations he speaketh of, namely of the Gen­tiles in Antiochia, Siria, and Cilicia. For the vse of Cir­cumcision, he brings the example of the Apostle Paul one­ly, who is mentioned once to haue vsed it; But for Purify­ing. Contributing, offring Sacrifices for the persons puri­fied, he proues that not Paul only, but foure men more did once so, Act. 21. 23, 24. 26. for vowing and shauing of the head, that Paul did so, not only at that time with those foure men, Act. 21. 24. but once before, Act. 18. 18. For the ob­seruation of the Iewish Sabbaths; That in one place Paul and Barnabas preached on the Iewes Sabbath in a Syna­gogue, Act. 13. 14. In two other places, Paul himselfe dis­puted with the Iewes in their Synagogue vpon their Sab­bath day, Act. 17. 2. & 18. 4. for as for the place Act. 13. 42. hee hath much mistaken it: For the Gentiles desired them to preach to them [...]. on some day between that and the Sabbath. And lastly, for abstaining from blood, and strangled, he alleadgeth the decree of the Councill at Ierusalem, sent vnto certaine Churches of the Gentiles, Act. 15. 29. Thus wee see, that whereas he did vndertake to proue, that the holy Apostles, the whole Church at Ieru­salem, and sundry other whole Churches of sundry Nati­ons in the Apostles times did vse and practise more Cere­monies then the Church of England doth, he hath not been able to shew that either the Church of Ierusalem, or any one Church then, did practise any one Ceremony, or any Apo­stle either besides Paul: or that Paul did at any time vse more then 6. Ceremonies at the most: or that he vsed any of those sixe aboue once or twice at the vttermost. For nei­ther [Page 222] abstaining from blood or strangled, was enioyned as any Ceremony to the Churches of the Gentiles, nor the preaching or disputing in the Synagogues vpon the Sab­bath, Mat. 20. 55. Act 13. 42. and 20. 3. Act. 17. 17. and 19. 9. can with any better reason be called a religious obser­uation of the Iewes Sabbath, then Christs or Pauls prea­ching and disputing dayly when occasion was offred, will argue, that they did religiously keepe and obserue as holy, euery day in the weake. And this may suffice to haue been said of the first point, wherein hee equalleth the Ceremo­nies vsed in the Apostles time, with ours now; namely, the number of them.

The second point, wherein the confirmation of his as­sumption consisteth, is this; That those ceremonies which the Apostles and the Churches in their times vsed, were euery way as inconuenient and euill as ours are.

And that hee may make this good, he takes vpon him to shew, 1. That they were as euill in nature, as ours are. 2. That they had beene, and were as much abused as ours are, or haue beene. 3. That the vse of them wrought as dangerous effects, as the vse of ours can doe. 4. That whatsoeuer is obiected against our ceremonies, might haue beene said against them.

To all which this answere may be giuen, that no one of all those testimonies of holy Scripture, which he here citeth to shew what names and titles the holy Ghost giueth to ce­remonies, that were vsed in those dayes; how Ceremonies were then abused; what euill effects the vse of them did bring foorth, doth make any whit at all to his purpose, nor can with any colour of reason, be applied vnto any ceremo­ny which either the Apostles themselues, or any Church by their appointment did vse. For 1. they were no yokes or burdens, or burdening Traditions, as the places which himselfe (a strange thing) citeth, doe euidently shew: for by Act. 15. 10, 28. it is manifest, that the Apostles would by no meanes be drawne to inioyne Ceremonies as were such yokes and burdens. Neither could they truely bee called [Page 223] ordinances of the world, commandements or doctrines of men, or voluntary religion. For besides that, neither the Apostles, nor the Churches that vsed them by their ap­pointment, did put any religion in them when they vsed them: if they had done it, yet had not this beene voluntary religion, or a subiecting themselues to the commande­ments, or doctrines of men. Because as these things at the first, were of diuine institution, so during the time that the Apostles did inioyne the vse of them, they remained still the commandements of the Lord, as it is euident by that wee finde written, Act. 15. 28. 1. Cor. 14. 37. no more could they be termed impotent and beggarly rudiments, so long and so farre forth, as the Apostles did vse or inioyne them, but were of great force and sufficiencie, and serued vnto very good vse, for the winning of the Iewes vnto, or retain­ing of them in the loue of the Gospel. This is made the reason, both why Iames councelleth Paul, to doe as he did, Acts 21. 20. 24. and why Paul became a Iew, to the Iew, 1. Cor. 9. 20.

If it be admitted, that all these places were meant of the Iewish Ceremonies (as indeed the most of them were) and euen of those which the Apostles and Churches did yeeld to the vse of; yet will Maister Spr. bee neuer able to proue (and if he proue not this hee saith nothing to the purpose) that when and where the Apostles of those Churches vsed them, they had beene notoriously knowen to haue beene so abused, or to haue wrought such euill effects, as hee here speaketh of. Nay it is euident, that after they grew into such abuse, and such euill effects followed the vfe of them, the Apostles were so farre from vsing or inioyning them, as they did vtterly refuse the vse of them themselues, and for­bad it to the Churches, therefore Paul who once had vsed circumcision, and some other of the Ceremonies himselfe doeth afterward, with great sharpenesse, and bitternesse, re­proue, and condemne the vse of them, Gal. 4. 9. 10. and 5. 12. Tit. 1. 14. which places and such like, it is very strange [Page 224] that Maister Spr. would alleadge to proue that the Apostles, and Churches in their time by their appointment, did vse Ceremonies as bad as ours. For can any man be so absurd, as to imagine that the Apostle would euer practise, or com­mand those things after that they were growne so bad, after that hee had seene iust cause to inueigh against them, and condemne them in that manner? To this purpose also the Apostles resolution, in not suffering Titus to be circumcised (when hee saw what an abuse that Ceremonie was growen vnto, and how dangerous an effect was like to follow it, if hee had yeelded vnto it) maketh very strongly, notwith­standing any thing that hee would seeme to say to the con­trary in his answere to the sixt obiction, as shall further appeare in the discussing of the fourth point, that hath bene obserued in the confirmation of this his assumption.

3. If it were granted, that the Ceremonies which the Apostles vsed and appointed, had bin notoriously knowen to haue beene subiect to so great abuse of some, and to haue had in them so euill effects, euen before or at that time, and in those places also, where the Apostles inioyned them: yet could not this haue proued them euery way as incon­uenient, and euill as ours are. For ours are said (and suffici­ently proued also, as they suppose who haue suffered depri­uation, or suspension for this cause) to bee euill, not onely because they haue beene grossely abused, and very euill effects haue followed the vse of them (for so much may be said also of some of Gods owne ordinances) but for that they neuer were good, nor can euer serue to any good vse. Those, as they were at the first the ordinances of God, so they are here said by Maister Spr. to haue beene still in­ioyned to certaine Churches by the Apostles; which if it be so, then could no abuse, that obstinate Iewes, or other wicked men had put them vnto, make the vse of them either vnlawfull, or inconuenient vnto the faithfull, that by A­postolicall (that is diuine) authoritie, were required to vse them.

And here fitly commeth to bee examined, whether that bee true which is affirmed by him in his second reason, which he brings for the proofe of this point, viz. that no­thing in substance is obiected against our Ceremonies, which might not haue been said aswell against those which the Apostles and Churches of their times did vse. In hand­ling of this point, as he hath left out much of the force and substance of euery argument, which in the Abridgement (the booke which himselfe quoteth) are set downe against our Ceremonies, so hath hee affirmed much more against them which the Apostles then vsed, then he is able to iu­stifie and make good. The trueth is, that though euery one of those foure arguments doth strike to the heart the ceremonies of our Church; yet is there neuer a one of them that doth giue the least touch vnto those which the Apo­stles and Churches then did vse.

For first, Ours are humane inuentions, notoriously knowen to haue been of olde, and still to bee abused to ido­latry and superstition by the Papists, and yet of no necessa­ry vse in the Church: Theirs, as they were at first by di­uine institution, so were they not at that time when they vsed them, notoriously knowen to haue been abused, either to idolatrie, or to the confirmation of false and perni­cious doctrine, and were at that time of necessary vse: and though they had been neuer so much abused, and had beene also in any other of no necessary vse; yet because they were vsed, by warrant of Apostolicall and diuine au­thoritie, this first argument toucheth them not at all, hee doth indeede denie all this, and quoteth Scripture to proue that they were humane inuentions, of no necessary vse, and abused to superstition. But it hath beene already shewed, that all these Scriptures are misunderstood, and ap­plied by him; & no more shal need to be said for the conuin­cing of him in this point, when that himselfe (cleerely and strongly contradicting himselfe) hath both elsewhere in this argument, and euen in this very place affirmed. For [Page 226] were they humane inuentions, which himselfe here sayth were practised and taught by direction of the holy Ghost? were they of no necessary vse, which he in the proofe of his first proposition of his first argument, Num. 8. affirmes to haue bin commanded by the Apostles, as matters good and necessary in that case, and brings for proofe thereof? Act. 15. 28.

2. Ours are humane Ceremonies appropriated to Gods seruice, and ordained to teach spirituall duties, by their mysticall signification. Theirs, as they were not appropria­ted to Gods seruice, so neither were they vsed or appointed by the Apostles to bee vsed for mysticall signification; or if they had, yet (seeing as hath before beene shewed) they were not humane Ceremonies, this argument doth not concerne them. It is true indeed that they were in their first institution significatiue and mysticall, and thus much the places quoted by him here, viz. Col. 2. 16. 17 Heb. 8. 5. & 9. 8 23 & 10. 1. do proue: But that either the Apostles vsed them or ordained them, that they might teach some spirituall du­tie by their mysticall signification, that hee hath not so much as indeauoured to proue. And surely if Paul did vse circumcision as a Sacrament, Acts 16. 3. then by the force of Master Spr. argument heere (which maintaineth it law­full for vs to doe now what the Apostles or Churches in their time did:) it may be concluded that it is lawfull for vs to vse in Gods seruice, other Sacraments then those which God hath ordained.

3. Ours being but humane Ceremonies are esteemed, imposed, and obserued as parts of Gods worship. Theirs cannot be proued to be obserued by them, much lesse im­posed vpon them as parts of Gods worship; and if they had, yet because they were not humane Ceremonies, this argument maketh nothing against them: For what is this to the purpose that heere hee takes vpon him to prooue, That the Iewes esteemed, imposed, and ob­serued them as necessarie to saluation, Acts 15. 1. 5? [Page 227] That the zealous Iewes were violently offended with Paul, for teaching that Christians ought not to circumcise their children, and to liue after the legall customes Acts 21. 27? That the Apostles ordained them as good and necessary, Act. 15. 28. 29? That the Apostle conformed himselfe vnto them for their sakes, and in their presence that esteemed them as worships of God, Acts 15. 1. 5. & 16. 3. & 21. 26? Seeing the question betweene vs is not heere, whether the Iewes obserued and imposed Ceremonies, as bad as ours; but whether the Apostles or any Church by their appoint­ment did so. Did the Apostles or any of them, whose con­formity of Ceremonies is now in question betweene vs, vse any Ceremony as imposed by those Iewes he speaketh of here? And what though the Apostles called those things that by their decree was inioyned good and necessary? will it follow from thence that they imposed them as parts of Gods worship? or can nothing be good and necessary, but that which is a part of Gods worship? Though the supersti­tious estimation the people among whō they are vsed, haue of them be obiected by the ministers in the abridgement (& that iustly and materially) against our ceremonies: Yet doth not the maine forces of this third argument lye in that, but in this rather; that though they be but humane Ceremo­nies, yet they that inioyne them doe esteeme and impose them as partes of the worshippe of God, which puts a manifest difference betweene them and the Ceremonies that were vsed by the Apostles, or any Church by their appointment.

4 In the imposing and vsing of ours, those rules that are prescribed in the Word for matters of direction in the Church concerning Ceremonies, are not kept. For they are no way needfull or profitable for the edification of the Church, but are knowne to cause offence euery where, and hinderance vnto edification▪ and are obserued only for the will and pleasure of them that doe inioyne them. Theirs though they were vsed and appointed by them, who had [Page 228] more farre absolute authority, and might lawfully haue commanded in the Church of God, specially doing that they did by the inspiration of the holy Ghost: yet were they also squared & directed by the rules of the holy Scrip­ture, and were no way offensiue, but tended greatly to the edification of Gods people. And how often hath Master Spr. affirmed in the prosecuting of this argument, that they were profitable and necessary, and alleadged for proofe thereof, Acts 15. 28. 29. though heere as forgetting him­selfe hee doe deny it? Yea this very Section heere, wherein hee takes vpon him to prooue they were not needfull or profitable, they serued rather to destroy then to edifie the Church, he concludes with this clause; Yet their vse and yeelding serued to edifie, by making way to the Churches peace and furtherrnce of the Gospel. And this vaine of con­tradicting himselfe he taketh such pleasure in, as he conti­nueth it to the end of his discourse, wherein he laboreth to proue that the fourth argument against the Ceremonies in the abridgement, maketh as strongly against the Apostles, as against our Church. They were not profitable for order (saith he, in the beginning of that Section) and in the con­clusion of it affirmes, yet it was order to vse and practise them in that case. And in the beginning of the next Secti­on, hauing said, they were not profitable for decency; for what was more vndecent then for a Christian to vse idle, vnfruitfull, needlesse and beggarly rudiments; by and by he addes, yet did this indecency vphold an higher decency: Which last phrase of speech (besides the contradiction) is very hard to be vnderstood; for how can indecency support decency? or in what sense can the establishment of the faith, and the dayly increase of the number of the Chur­ches bee termed a higher decency? or how could the in­decency of these Ceremonies establish the faith and in­crease the Churches. After this in going about to shew that they were offensiue many wayes, in the fift Secti­on hee saith, that in the euent they did serue indeede as [Page 229] meanes to infringe the Christian liberty, and immedi­ately after; yet the vse and practise of these things by the direction of the Apostles did procure the liberty of the Gospell: So that if M. Spr. himselfe be to be beelieu'd, eue­ry indifferent and vnderstanding man will easily discerne that the 4. Argument which the Ministers haue vsed against our ceremonies in the abridgement, doth not any way con­cerne those which the Apostles did vse. And surely it would be altogether needlesse to insist longer vpō this part of this his Discourse, but that there is one thing affirmed by him, which may not be passed ouer: For noting this to be the 4. way, whereby those ceremonies were offensiue; that the Apostles themselues were offended in imposing that they did, hee addeth that they taught against the things which they inioyned; that namely, they ought not to be vsed by the Iewes or Gentiles. It is strange any learned or Godly man should so farre forget himselfe, as to charge the holy Apostles to haue inoyned the faithfull to vse those things which themselues did teach ought not to be vsed, either by Iewes or Gentiles; specially when the text expresly saith, that what they inioyned, they inioyned by the direction of the Holy Ghost. The place he citeth to proue this that he saith, viz. Act. 21. 21. doth not affirme that Paul had taught so indeed, but that the Iewes had been so informed of him: and by Iames his words vers. 24. it appeares also that in­formation was false. And if this which he speaketh of the Apostles preaching this against that which they did so de­cree, were to be belieued, (which God forbid) what had hee gained by it? surely that there could be no force in this ex­ample or decree to bind vs in conscience to vse those things which they in their doctrine did teach ought not to be vsed by any Christian: And so this his first Argument, wherein he hath laboured so much and with so great confidence, is by himselfe vtterly ouerthrowen.

The third maine point in cōfirmation of the assumption of his first Argument is this, That the Apostles by diuine [Page 230] inspiration and commandement from God, required the Churches to vse so many Ceremonies, and such as were as inconuenient and euill as ours are supposed to bee. That whatsoeuer the Apostles did inioyne the Churches, they did it by diuine inspiration & commandement from God, is so vndoubted a truth, as he needed not at all to haue trou­bled himselfe in the confirmation of it, it being so hard to find any scholler that would so much gainsay, or call this in question, as hee himselfe hath (sometimes) done in this Treatise. All the question in this point is, Whether euer the Apostles did inioyne vnto whole Churches so many Ceremonies as ours are, and those also as inconuenient and euill as ours are: This he goeth about to prooue after this manner; They caused others to practise ceremonies: for Paul circumcised Timothie, Act. 16. 3. and tooke the men, and was purified with them, Act. 21. 26. They aduised one another to practise ceremonies: for Iames and the Elders perswaded Paul thus to conforme, Acts. 21. 23. 24. They inioyned or commanded the practise of Ceremonies: for thus did the Councill at Ierusalem, Act. 15. 28. 29. This constitution is called the decrees that were ordained by the Apostles and Elders, Act. 16. 4. and the determination of the Apostles, Act. 21. 25. and this commaundement they gaue to whole Churches of diuers and farre distant coun­treys and Nations, namely to the Gentiles in Antiochia, Siria, and Cilicia, Act. 15. 23. and afterwards he addes that the Ceremonies that they did thus cause others to practise, aduise one another to practise, inioyne whole Churches to practise, were as inconuenient and euill as ours, both for number, nature, and euill effects.

For answere vnto all this: First, it were sufficient to say, That he hath not performed that, which he hath vnderta­ken, because hee prooues not that the Apostles inioyned so many Ceremonies as wee haue in our Church; or that any one of those Ceremonies which hee saith they did inioyne, were as inconuenient and euill as ours are: And for this [Page 231] point hee is to be referred to that which hath beene answe­red vnto the two former partes of his Assumption.

2. Though he had proued, that they did inioyne vnto some one, or some few persons such Ceremonies, as were both for number and for nature as bad as ours: yet vnlesse hee had shewed, that they had inioyned them vnto whole Churches, hee hath not concluded that which he tooke in hand. And therefore that which hee brings of Pauls cir­cumcising of Timothy, or Iames perswading Paul to purifie himselfe, is nothing to the purpose.

3. Hee hath not proued (nor euer will bee able to doe) that the Apostles did ioyne the practise of any one of those Ceremonies to any one Church, or to any one person, eitheir by inspiration of the Holy Ghost. For as for cir­cumcision of Timothy though it be true that Paul did it, & did it well: yet it would be a harsh speach and vniustifie­able, to say, that he compelled, or inioyned, or commanded Timothy to be circumcised. And for that which Iames and the Elders said to Paul concerning his purifying, besides that it cannot hastily bee called a commandement, or in­iunction (because no Church or Apostle had so much au­thority ouer Paul, as to command him any thing, 2. Cor. 11. 5. Gal. 2. 6. 9.) Maister Spr. knoweth well, that some are Magdaburg. Centurion. 1. lib. 2. p. 603. Gualt. in act. 21. hom. 139. Zanch. de red. p. 491. b. great Diuines, who haue plainely affirmed that Iames and the Elders, did ill in pressing Paul so farre in this matter; Caluin. in act. 21. 22. 23. others stand in doubt whether they did well in it or no; sure it is, hee can neuer soundly proue, either out of this or any other place of Scripture, that they did it by the inspira­tion of the Holy Ghost, or commandement of God. The place which hee puts most confidence in for the proofe of this third point is Acts 15. for there we read indeed of a de­cree sent by the Apostles vnto sundry Churches, and that decree was made by the inspiration, or direction of the Holy Ghost. But to this place it may bee answered that things mentioned in this decree, were so farre from being so many Ceremonies, or so bad as ours are (which hee must [Page 232] still bee put in minde, that hee should haue proued) that in very deed they were no Ceremonies at all, neither euer came into the minde or purpose of the Apostles, when they made that decree to inioyne the vse of any Ceremo­nies to the Churches. For to omit this that the meere ab­staining and forbearing the vse of many things, can with no good shew of reason bee called the vse, or practise of a Ceremonie; though the abstinence from bloud & strang­led, were once a ceremoniall dutie (while the law was in force) yet it was now inioyned by the Apostles to the Gen­tiles, not as a ceremoniall, but as a morall dutie, that they should absteine from their libertiy in the vse of these indif­ferent things, when they saw the vse of them would offend their weake brother. And surely seeing the reason and end of this abstinence was not any such misticall signification, as it had vnder the law, but onely to auoide the offence of the Iew; it could no more bee called a Iewish Ceremony, then if either out of a naturall loathing of those meates, or respect had to their health, or some such like consideration, they had forborne the same. Neither let Mr. Spr. thinke it strange that the same thing, which being cōmanded in the law, was a Ceremonie, should now, being commanded by the Apostles, alter the nature and become no Ceremonie. Let him consult with the best Diuines, and Interpreters of the Scripture, and he shall finde, that though circumcision, was a Sacrament vnder the Law, yet Timothy his circumci­sion Caluin. in Act. 16. 3. was no Sacrament; and that all the Ceremonies of the law were so abrogated by the death of Christ, as that (though some vse of them did remaine for a time) yet they did no longer belong to the worship of God, nor were figures of spirituall things, nor were obserued in conscience of obedience to the ceremoniall law: In which things con­sisteth the very life and essence of a Iewish Ceremonie, and without which nothing can in good propriety of speach bee called a Ceremonie. But what neede any more bee said of this matter, when the Apostles themselues speaking of [Page 233] this decree affirme that they that said the Gentiles ought to keepe the law, did in saying so, seeke to subuert their soules: that they had written and concluded, that the beleeuing Gentiles should obserue no such thing, (as vowing, shauing of the head, purifying, &c.) saue only that they keepe them­selues from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication: By which wordes also they doe plainely intimate, that this abstinence which they inioyne in this decree, was no such thing, (but of an­other kinde and nature) as vowing, purifying, shauing of the head, offering, &c. and consequently was not inioyned by them as any Ceremony of Moses Law.

The fourth and last point in the confirmation of his as­sumption is this, that the Apostles and Churches were moued thus to enioyne and practise such Ceremonies, so many, so inconuenient and euill, vpon reasons of no greater weight, then the auoiding of depriuation is with vs.

This hee prooueth by specifying the causes and reasons that moued the Apostles to practise and enioyne those Ce­remonies, which hee sayth were these three: First, for the beleeuing Iewes that they might not bee offended, nor oc­casioned to turne backe to Iudaisme, Acts 16. 1, 3. and 21. 20, 21, 24. Secondly, for the vnbeleeuing Iewes, that they might be wonne to the Gospel and saued, 1 Cor. 9. 20, 22. and 10. 32, 33. Thirdly, to auoyd the persecution of the malicious Iewes, and so to redeeme the libertie of the mi­nisterie, which otherwise was like to be indangered, Act. 21. 22, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32.

For answere vnto all this, it may be said, that if the Apo­stles had practised & inioyned such as are euill Ceremonies as ours are, they had farre greater reason so to doe, then the auoiding of depriuation is with vs. For first, as their ministery was of more great excellencie then ours, whether we respect the extraordinary gifts wherewith they were in­dued, or the wonderfull power of God, which did ac­company [Page 234] them, and giue successe and fruit to their labours: so the redeeming of the liberty of their ministery (if that were any cause, as he here supposeth it was) was, and ought to haue been of much more weight to moue them to doe as they did, then the continuance of vs in our ministery can be to perswade vs to the vse of our Ceremonies. What one Minister of the Gospel is there that dare to bee so presump­tuous, as to say that his preaching and ministery can bee of that necessity and vse for the glory of God, and good of his Church, as was the ministery of any Apostle? The worke whereunto the Lord hath called and separated the Apostles, (viz. the planting of the Church, and prea­ching of the Gospel to all nations) was such as could not haue beene performed by any other but the Apostles a­lone: But in the depriuation of our Ministers that refuse conformitie, there is no such danger, and of their prea­ching, there can bee no such necessitie imagined; though they preach not, the Gospel is preached stil, and that sound­ly and fruitfully. And how then can Master Spr. say, that the auoiding of depriuation with vs, is a reason either su­perior or aequiualent vnto that which mooued the Apo­stles to doe as they did? if hee had said, there is great simi­litude and analogie betweene these two cases, he had spo­ken probably, but to maintaine a paritie betweene them he hath no colour of reason at all.

2. The Apostles in vsing and inioyning those Ceremo­nies, might bee well assured that they should greatly fur­ther the successe of the Gospel thereby, the beleeuing Iewes would bee preserued from Apostasie, the vnbelee­uing (many of them) would be gained and that they should not onely obtaine libertie, and freedome for their Mini­sterie by this meanes among the Iewes, but that the very vsing of these things would edifie them. Now our Ministers haue no reason that is either Superior or aequi­ualent vnto this, to perswade them to the vse of our Ce­remonies, for they cannot be assured that the vsing of our [Page 235] Ceremonies would doe any good at all: no they are well as­sured by many reasons & long experience that they would doe much hurt euery way, both vnto the belieuer, and to him that is not yet called to the faith. And should not he (thinke you) haue great cause to brag of this bargaine, who after that he had purchased the liberty of his ministry by yeelding vnto conformity, should finde euer after a wofull experience, that he hath done much more hurt by his con­formity, then good by his ministry.

3. The Apostles in vsing & inioyning those Ceremonies (if they had enioyned any) and the Churches also in obser­uing them by their appointment (if any such thing had bin were well assured in their consciences they did that which was not onely lawfull but necessary for them to doe, and that they had sinned if they had not done so: for they had diuine authority to warrant & command to do as they did. Will Master Spr. say that the auoiding of depriuation with vs, is a reason either superiour or equiuolent vnto this? our Ministers can discerne no such warrant for the vse of our ceremonies, but are fully assured they haue this commande­ment expresly to the contrary: And will any man perswade them that for the auoiding of depriuation, or a far greater penalty (though indeede that be very great) they may do a thing which they are assured is euil in the sight of the Lord.

For a conclusion to this answere vnto his first maine ar­gument, it shall not be amisse to set downe and repeat sun­dry materiall differences betweene the case of the Apostles and Churches in their times and ours now.

1. They vsed such Ceremonies only, as both at the first were diuine ordinances, and the vse whereof was warran­ted vnto them by diuine authority; We are required to vse such as are inuentions, not humane onely but Antichri­stian.

2. They vsed them in this perswasion of their consci­ence, that they might in that case and ought to be vsed: neither did they euer inioyne them to any that held them [Page 236] vnlawfull: ours are imposed vpon such as are perswaded in their conscience they cannot vse them without sinne.

3. They vsed them but once or twice vpon extraor­dinary occasion: we are required to vse ours constantly and continually in the ordinary exercise of our ministery.

4. They neuer vsed them, but when they saw euident­ly that the vse of them would preuent scandall, and tend vnto edification: we are required to vse ours, though we see euidently the vse of them would hinder edification, and giue offence many waies.

¶ A Reply to the Answere of my first Rea­son for Conformitie in case of Depriuation.

LEst the answeres of my reasons should hold me void of charity, which is not suspitious, or to be carried on with e­uill surmising: I will omit, that sen­ding an answere to me, which am the second person from them, they giue answere as to a third. Neither will I insist vpon the Ironies which may seeme too palpable, & among godly minds needed not espe­cially in disquisition of a truth of so great consequence: Onely I put my brethren and my selfe in minde, for our better prosecuting of this question, that piety is meeke and gentle, equalling her selfe to the lower sort: it scorneth not such as are differing from it in iudgement, it is not prouo­ked to anger, but in euidence and demonstration of the truth, approueth her selfe to euery mans conscience in the sight of God.

Now as there is none end of making many bookes, so Gods wisedome should instruct vs, by contention not to leingthen controuersies, for which cause I haue purposed to be short in reply.

Touching the Preface or generall answere, made before the Answere to particulars, it might, as I suppose haue been well spared▪ as being to small purpose, and quite besides the point in question: For,

1. The Answerers could not be ignorant and my Con­clusion, drift in handling, matter, manner, whole course of prosecuting in euery Argument, doe plainely stretch no far­ther then to enforce Conformity in case of Depriuation. Therfore this caution is but a voluntary and studious wan­dring from the question; Neither doe these arguments la­bour to make the world beleeue, that all depriued Ministers haue sinned in suffring Depriuation, but so many onely as for not conforming, haue suffred depriuation. Therefore this speech of theirs is either an vntrue surmise, or a scorne­full Ironie.

2. Though the Answerers should bee ignorant that any Minister should suffer Depriuation for onely refusing to conforme; yet all the faithfull Ministers of these our parts doe know the contrary of sundry: my selfe doe know it of my selfe, and others. And who can be ignorant, that diuers Ministers haue been depriued only for not conforming, by inditements at Assise and Sessions, as well as by the Bi­shops, and doe perpetually stand liable to that censure; and is a cause ouer-ruled, as appeareth in the Lo. Cookes reports? Againe, it is well knowen, that for these later 5. or 6. yeeres, subscription hath not been vrged to Incumbents or setled Ministers, but meere conformity: And Bishops haue ac­knowledged▪ being put in minde by men of learning in the Lawes, that they could not vrge Subscription, either by ver­tue of the Statute, or the booke of Canons, to such as were already placed and setled in their charges. It was therefore vnaduisedly and vntruely affirmed (to say no more) that M. Sprint surely bestowed his time very ill, and spent a great deale of labour to no purpose at all. And the question is ea­sily solued, which asketh, Where be those Ministers to bee found in England that haue suffred Depriuation for no o­ther [Page 238] cause, but for that they haue refused to conforme.

But besides the caution here made, the Brethren my An­swerers were not ignorant of the principall point, which they should haue thought vpon chiefly, and would haue qualified this their censure; that for mine owne necessary resolution in a doubt of depriuation, I vndertooke this bu­sinesse at first; and yet besides they doe forget, that in my reasons there are specified other ends and vse of this my la­bour, that it should not be ill bestowed; namely, to mooue all Ministers who were depriued, euen for Subscription, as well as for non-conformity, to try whether by offer of con­formity they might not returne vnto their Ministry, which would be a cause of wonderous benefit and comfort to the Church. Also it serueth to resolue and quiet such as are to enter, which being scrupulous to conforme, can receiue ad­mittance by none other meanes. And lastly, it hath vse for professors of Religion, which without conformity to the ceremonies, (as kneeling at the Communion, or admitting the crosse) can by no meanes in the most places receiue the Sacramēts of Baptisme, or the Lords Supper: which things haue bred no small perplexity of minde, and outward trou­ble to many godly persons, who if by this meanes of my la­bour they might be resolued (as they may bee, if they will follow the iudgement and practise of all true Churches and faithfull teachers since Christ) would proue labour to great and good purpose, and farre from labour very ill bestowed. Men should beware of bearing false witnesse against their neighbour, or his honest labours: If therefore the Bre­threns answere prooue no sounder in the particular then in the generall, out of all question it is but weake, which now I will further consider of.

And before I giue reply vnto the particular answere, let my Brethren know, that this Argument vrged by me, is no fancy of mine owne, but hath bin thus conceiued, euen as I vrge it, by persons of most reuerend note in the Church of God, such as Caluin, Martyr, Zanchius, Vrsinus, Piscator, [Page 239] Polanus, to the end that they doe not so lightly esteeme of it and cast it of, but may be moued more seriously to consider of it: Their iudgements, I will deliuer in these two pro­positions.

1. The Iewish Ceremonies after the death of Christ, were in sundry respects as inconuenient, & vnlawfull to be practised by Christians, as the Ceremonies of the Church of England are pretended to bee: yet the holy Apostles of Christ did lawfully practise them, and cause others to practise them in cases of necessitie, as of the peace of the Church, or propagation of the Gospel.

Caluin in Act. 21. 24. fol. 355. That Ceremonie of vow­ing, practised by Paul, seemed to haue in it some things mingled with it (Parum consentanea cum fidei professione) smally agreeing with the profession of faith: yet he defends his practise by the place, 1. Cor. 9. 20. Idem in Act. 16. 3. fol. 27. saith, Non licuisse fidelibus eas retinere, nisi quatenus earū vsus in adificationem faceret: That it was not lawfull for the faithfull to retaine their vse, but onely so farre forth as their vse did make for the edification of the Church: yet in this case hee defendeth the practise of Paul, Paulo circumci­dere Timotheum licuit. fol. 270. the like he doeth in Act. 21. 23. citing, 1. Cor. 9. 20.

Zanchius saith of the forbidding of strangled and bloud, Act. 15. 28. that they were things Superstitionem Iudaicam redolentes, also of Pauls vow and purification, Act. 18. 18. & 21. 23. thus he speaketh, Fuerunt tamen etiam illi tunc tem­poris ritus stipulae, cum fundamento Christo non congruentes: yet he defendes their practise by the law of charitie, and for the peace and edification of the Church, Comment. in Phil­lip. 1. fol. 45. (b▪)

Pet. Martyr calleth the Ceremonie of abstaining from bloud and strangled Citra controuersiam Aharonicam: yet he defendeth the action as lawfull; Pro pace & conuictu creden­tium faciliori, Loc. com. inter Epist. fol. 1087.

Piscator calleth the circumcision of Timothy, rē molestā [Page 240] both to Paul and Timothy, in Act. 16. 3. yet hee defendeth that practise of his, by that saying of 1. Cor. 9. 19. 20. as al­so that practise of Act. 18. 18.

Now, that the Ceremonies practised by the Apostles, were as euill and inconuenient in their iudgement, as our prescribed Ceremonies, the proofes of the next proposition will manifest.

2. The practise of the Iewish Ceremonies, by the A­postles in a case of necessitie, such as depriuation of Mini­strie, is a sufficient ground to moue vs to conforme to the Ceremonies prescribed in our Church, in a case of the like necessitie.

Peter Martyr defending the lawfull vse (Vestium Mini­strorum Ecclesiae Anglicanae) alleadgeth the Apostles iniuncti­on, of Act. 15. 23. of Iudaicall Ceremonies. Quis non vi­det Apostolos, pro pace & conuictu credentium faciliori, man­dasse gentibus vt a sanguine & praefocato abstinerent? Erant haec citra controuersiam Aharonica, si generaliter omnia quae in lege fuerunt complecti volueris. Loc. com. fol. 1087. inter. Epist. Hoopero.

Ʋrsinus: Speaking, De vitiosis Ceremonijs falsis opinioni­bus, cum veritatis insectationibus saith, Ne (que) verò polluitur rectè sentiens, cum vtitur Ministerio errantium, & Ceremonias etiam humanas seruat, si modò errores disertè, & constanter improbet, & neque verbis, ne (que) factis aliquis palam, & per se impiam, & verbo Dei repugnans committat, & humanas traditiones pro cultu Dei se non habere profiteatur, Paulò Post: sic Paulus ob­seruatione Ceremoniarum accomodabat se infirmis, cum auersa­rentur eum tanquam hostem legis & moris patrij & in hâcre non peccabat. And that wee may not doubt but that hee speaketh of Ceremonies, as inconuenient as those of our Church, in their iudgement; he addeth presently after, that such was the iudgement of P. Martyr; as also his practise, who when he came first into England, and the error of cor­porall presence was as yet in force, did yet with profession of his opposite iudgement, receaue the Lords Supper with [Page 241] them, Non obstantibus sibi illorum Ceremonijs licet ipsimole­stis. exercitat. part. 2. fol. 838, 839, 840.

Zanchius perswadeth the Ministers being compelled by necessitie of Magistrates compulsion, and threats to the practise of such Ceremonies, which may bee termed stipula & faenum. And giueth instance of the Apostles practise of Iewish Ceremonies, (as before is alleadged) concluding thus, Ergo multa toleranda sunt ministris, ne pax scindatur Ec­clesiarum, & vt vitentur Schismata, modò ne tales sint, vel res, vel doctrinae quae pugnent cum fundamento, fundamentum (que) con­uellant, in Philip. cap. 1. fol. 45.

Polanus in Ezec. cap. 44. fol. 807. moueth a question de ve­ste linea, of the Surplesse; Si in aliqua Ecclesia Euangelica pror­sus non possit omitti vsus vestis lineae seu superpelliceae, abs (que) me­tu Schismatis, aut subreptionis haereticorum, quid tum facien­dum? Hee answereth, Praestat tum vti veste linea, tanquam re adiaphorâ, quàm obstinata eius reiectione excitare Schisma in­ter rumpere cursum veritatis doctrinae, & praebere occasionem haereticis occupandi Ecclesiam. And of this his iudgement he giueth instance in the Apostles practise thus, Exemplum est in Paulo qui circumcidit Timotheum propter Iudaeos sciebant enim omnes Patrem eius Graecum esse, Act. 16. 3.

Now to the answer of my first reason.

Which first reason of mine, when my Brethren went about to answere, if they would needes vnstrip out of his owne coat which I had framed, and draw into a Syllogisme of their owne, yet ought they not to make an argument, or new reason of their owne, and so to fight without an ad­uersary: But their duetie was (as they wel know) faithful­ly to haue taken all the substance of that I set downe in the whole reason, and that especially included in my Syllo­gisme, which they haue not done: pietie and sinceritie, and faithfull dealing should goe together; and thus they should haue laid it downe.

To refuse to practise such Ceremonies, which the A­postles by direction of the holy Ghost, and vpon reasons [Page 242] of common and perpetuall equity did practise themselues, and caused others to practise, yea aduised and enioyned (as matters good and necessary to be done) on others, especially in a like case in sundry maine and materiall respects, is a sin.

But to refuse conformitie with our Ceremonies in the case of depriuation, is to refuse to practise such Ceremonies, which the Apostles by direction of the holy Ghost, and vpon reasons of common and perpetuall equitie did pra­ctise themselues, and caused others to prctise; yea, aduised and inioyned (as matters good and necessary to bee done) on others, and that in like case in diuers maine and material respects.

Ergo: To refuse to conforme in the case of depriuation, is a sinne.

The Proposition of this argument thus proposed, is sufficiently confirmed in that which is included in the se­cond member of mine answere to the first obiectiō, in these words [though we may not imitate the Apostles in things peculiar to their office, persons and times, yet we may fol­lollow them, and are bound in conscience so to doe in mat­ter of common equitie, and generall reason: for as the A­postles had warrant from the holy Ghost, so haue we war­rant from the Apostles examples, and from the reasons for which the holy Ghost moued them to doe these things.]

Thus if my Brethren had proposed mine argument, they needed not to haue spent so many words, nor sounded such a triumph before the victory: viz.

  • 1. That the proposition is false and vnsound.
  • 2. That I neuer go about to proue it: which assertion of theirs they streight confute themselues, by setting down my proofes of the proposition.
  • 3. That I forgot my selfe what I had vrged before.
  • 4. That I weaken my proposition, and make it of no strength.

But let vs see what materiall shew of exceptions they bring against the proposition of mine argument.

Whereas I said that the Apostles did vse and inioyne the Iewish Ceremonies, not onely by immediat authority from God, but by reasons also and rules of common and perpe­tuall equity, and further did giue instance of the rule of ex­pediency and necessity out of Act. 15. 28. The answere is, that though it be granted to be true, yet shall they be as farre to seeke as before they were: For still the question will be, whether there be the same reasons now to moue vs to the vse of our Ceremonies as moued the Apostles then, because they suppose there might be some speciall causes might make those Ceremonies necessary, which neuer fell out be­fore nor shall doe so againe. And to this I say that there nee­ded no such further seeking as before: and the questions demanded touching common reasons with the Apostles, were set downe in the selfe same place where they read the other, in the words immediately following, which reasons are these; namely,

1. To winne the more, 1. Cor. 9. 19. 20. 21. 22. Now all men know, that this reason should moue euery godly minister in his place, and according to his parts and calling to labour the winning of soules, no lesse then it did moue the Apostles, for all are required to be faithfull, 2. Cor. 4. 1. 2. all are alike commanded of God in the Prou. & all alike are to receiue reward, Dan. 12. 3.

2. To further and propagate the Gospell, 1. Cor. 9. 23. which also is a common care appertaing to vs now, as to the Apostles then. For the commandement giuen to the the Apostles doth stretch in respect of place to all Nations, Matth. 28. 19. Luk. 24 47. and in regard of time, to the end of the world, Mat. 28. 19. 20. Reu. 14. 6. 7.

Wherefore the following (might be or) supposall of cau­ses might haue well beene spared, vnlesse they had been na­med: For my Brethren doe well know that A posse ad esse non val et argumentatio.

Howbeit they confesse at last that the two forenamed reasons be matters of common and perpetuall equity (what [Page 244] need then was there to seeke for that they had, or question that they grant at last?) and yet againe they ouerwhelme them with a new supply of vnwarranted supposalls [that something may be expedient for some persons and times, as are not for other without a speciall calling from God:] But heere againe the former rule cuts them off from arguing from a naked and vnproued supposal: And indeede it is but petitio principij, an encroaching on the point in question: Be­sides, it is a very feeble answere that is onely affirmed with­out proofe; so might a man argue against the practise of euery part of discipline practised by the Apostles, which may be said to be proper to their function, time and place. Therefore it followeth by this kinde of argumentation: their practise may seeme to giue vs no stronger warrant, then the practise of those Ceremonies in the case of neces­sity, vnlesse we were inspired and had immediate authority from God: The like might be argued from other sundry matters.

2. To the exception of the next member or allegation, that namely, the holy Ghost teacheth & ruleth the Church by the same reason reuealed in his Word, as well now as then: and therefore the reasons warranting the Apostles to conforme to the Iewish ceremonies, may moue vs to con­forme to these in the like case;] It seemeth to me a palpa­ble cauill, and it may seeme probable to others, that my Bre­thren would heere studiously not vnderstand my meaning. For what need was there for me (as they could possibly suppose, to proue a duty of common equity, by an extraor­dinary case, or by a sentence of extraordinary sence? And if there had beene that difficulty in that sentence which they pretend: yet Grammer might haue put them in minde that sentences of doubtful interpretation, should be construed by that which immediatly goeth before, or followeth after, e­specially if it cohaere therewith. Now the rules or reasons spoken of in that very place immediatly before, as also im­mediatly after this sentence, are expresly specified to be rules [Page 245] and reasons of perpetuall and common equity, which they could not be ignorant of, and therefore the instance of A­braham vrged this second time commeth in heere as vnsea­sonably as it did before, that is as much to say, as to no pur­pose at all.

3. Lastly, to the instance which I gaue out of 1. Cor. 14. 27, 30, 31, 34, 35, 40. It is answered by my Brethren, that I af­firme that which seemeth to haue no colour of good rea­son in it; namely, because of the different natures of the Iewish ceremonies, and of these prescribed by S. Paul in the forenamed place. Howbeit. I say againe, although there be disagreement in respect of dissimilitude of Ceremonies, the one sort of them decent of themselues, and by the light of nature, the other sort (namely, for a Christian to practise Iewish Ceremonies) vnseemely; the one sort fitted to all times, the other only practised in certain cases, and in some Churches; yet there is agreement betweene them in those things for which they are alleadged: For 1. both sorts are matters ceremoniall and circumstantiall, not substantiall or fundamentall. Ceremonia may bee genus to them both. 2. Both sorts were prescribed and practised by the holy A­postles. 3. Both sorts had the same rules, grounds, or ends of practise: namely, Necessity, expediency, profit and edi­fication of the Church. Now touching our Ceremonies, albeit they be not of that nature altogether with those pre­scribed of the Apostle, 1. Cor. 14. yet I suppose them to be of the nature of the Iewish Ceremonies practised by the Apo­stles, and therefore doe conclude with all godly learned tea­chers that euer vttered their iudgements herein, that for ne­cessity, expediency, profit, and edification of the Church, as for the liberty of the Gospel, and preuenting the depriuati­on of faithfull Teachers, they may lawfully, and must ne­cessarily be practised, no lesse then the Iewish practised, or the Christian Ceremonies prescribed by the Apostles, 1. Cor. 14. As for the question concerning impious and Ido­latrous orders, such as a man ought rather to die, then yeeld [Page 246] vnto their practise, I maruell my Brethren would not con­sider, that if they speake of other Ceremonies then ours, they are besides our question, and touch not the point in hand. If of ours, yet that they doe still petere principium, vn­lesse they plainely prooue our Ceremonies as they are vsed in our Church, to bee such indeede. And thus much also shall suffice for the defence of the proposition of my Ar­gument.

Now to the answere of the Assumption.

The answere, which my Brethren make, they haue redu­ced to 4. heads, replying to 4. parts of mine Assumption. Touching 1. the number, 2. the nature, 3. the warrant or ground, 4. the reasons of practise of the Iewish ceremonies and ours.

I In the first part of mine Assumption, whereas I affirmed that the ceremonies which the Apostles practised and pre­scribed, were in number equall to our ceremonies; The an­swere of my Brethren hath three members.

The first member saith, That sundry of the things I al­leadge, can with no good reason be called Ceremonies, be­cause they would enforce my words against their will, to say that I defined a ceremony to be that, which is vsed onely in Gods worship: But sundry of the things alleadged were not such, and therefore by mine owne account they were not Ceremonies. But my Brethren should know, that howsoeuer I say, that there bee Ceremonies in Gods wor­ships, yet that letteth not, but that there may be ceremonies out of G [...]ds worship; and so that collection of theirs is marred: But if for once I shall let it stand, and bee as they would haue it, what could they get by it? As though eue­ry ceremony of the ceremoniall Law, whereof wee spake, were not a worship of God, because whatsoeuer God com­mandeth, is a worship to performe: Therefore these things were both worships, and Ceremonies in Gods worships sometimes, which if my Brethren had remembred, they would haue blotted out this for a cypher; yea, by this rea­son, [Page 247] abstaining from blood, and strangled, must needes bee Ceremonies, though they would not haue it so: Which might further appeare, because it is one distinction of the Ceremonies of Moses law, that they were either of action, as circumcision, or of abstinence, as abstaining from swines flesh, blood, and strangled: Because they had significati­on, and were shadowes of good things to come, and there­fore Ceremonies. Lastly, because ceremoniall duties, and therefore Ceremonies, seeing they were included vnder, and commanded by the ceremoniall law of God, and so re­ceiuing denomination from that law: Which last reason my brethren themselues doe giue hereof; therefore by their confession they are Ceremonies. But they adde that I shall neuer be able to proue, that the Apostles or Churches did vse them as Ceremonies, or as in obedience to that law: And I say againe, suppose I neuer goe about to proue it, what needeth me to doe it? What if I grant (as I doe free­ly) that it is true and euident, and that it can by no meanes bee proued, nay that the contrary is manifest? It suffiseth me that they inoyned these things, that were some times duties, though not as they were duties of the law, meerely ceremoniall, and now after Christ his death, when as the holy Apostles practised them, were fruitlesse, dead, vnprofi­table in themselues: yea which might & did proue hurtfull vnto some, which held them still as worships, Col. 2. 23. and meanes of iustification, Gal. 5. 2. 4. and euen necessary to saluation, Act. 15. 1. 5. Wherefore the instances of ab­staining from flesh, or from mariage, for the wining of a Papist, and of Pauls departing from his right, are of no valew.

To the second and third members, concerning the number and often vse of the Ceremonies alleadged, I answere, that albeit they grant but sixe of the Iewish Cere­monies, and alleadge nine and fortie Ceremonies of our Church: yet the Ceremonies which are questioned by the depriued Ministers at this time, such & so many I meane, as [Page 248] come vnder the compasse of their practise, or of this our question, that is so many, the practise whereof would keepe a man from depriuation, are not sixe, as Crosse in Baptisme, Surplesse, Ring in Mariage, obseruation of Holy-dayes, & if there be one or two more, let it be so. It is a matter needles to contend about the number, and about the often vse and iniunction of them. For if I proue but one Iewish Ceremo­nie, at one onely time vsed lawfully by the Apostles, yet as euill in the most maine and materiall respects, as ours are, and that by reasons of common and perpetuall equitie, thence I will argue the lawfulnesse of the Apostles vsing them an hundred times, and in an hundred Churches. A­gaine if Paul did lawfully practise circumcision on Timo­thy, and shauing, vowing, offering, and purifying on him­selfe, I will conclude, that he might as lawfully practise on the like occasions, and for the same iust reasons, the most part of the Ceremonies of the law ceremoniall, if need had beene, which amount to a farre greater reckoning, then the Ceremonies of our Church make them, as many as my brethren may. In a word, if they were lawfully practised, then might the practise thereof be lawfully inioyned vn-the Churches where necessitie enforceth; seeing it is the iniunction of a lawfull and needfull thing. As for those proofes of mine, which my brethren doe sift cleane con­trary to my drift or practise; there was no neede for them­selues so to wrest them, and then to lay the wresting of them to my charge, as if from them I had concluded, quidlibet ex quolibet. They were orderly and perspicuously set downe by mee vnder euery head or member, in as much as that without wresting and abusing, they could not intend more then I did there cleerely proue by thē: For though I did vn­dertake to proue euery head or member of my proposition, by the Scripture annexed to them in seuerall; yet I did not vndertake to proue euery member, or any member by eue­ry Scripture, as my brethren would inforce vpon me: This dealing of my brethren was not so direct as I could wish.

And one thing more, that whereas I alleadge the Apo­stles iniunction of abstaining from blood and strangled; My Brethren answere, that these Ceremonies were not by them inioyned as Ceremonies to the Churches of the Gen­tiles: That also of their obseruation of preaching on the Iewish Sabbath, they say it cannot bee called a religious ob­seruation. As if they could produce or conclude out of my wordes, any such absurd or vnsound doctrine as my Bre­thren would seeme to thrust vpon me: Or as if it were not sufficient to my purpose, that the Apostles inioyned to the Churches of the Gentiles, and obserued the time of the Iewish Sabboth, matters which were Ceremonies of Mo­ses law, and in themselues fruitlesse, though not religiously, or as Ceremonies of the Lawe (as before I noted) such an assertion would serue a Papist well, who obserueth humane Ceremonies, as religious obseruations, which our Church disclaimeth, and therefore were it needlesse for any man to straine himselfe to such a purpose.

II The second point of mine assumption, is touching the nature of the ceremonies, where my brethren do respect the second member of my confirmation of the assumption to be this: That those Ceremonies, which the Apostles and the Churches in their times vsed, were euery way as incon­uenient, and euill as ours are in their iudgement: And to make this good, my Brethren tel the Reader that I take vp­on me to shew.

  • 1. That they are as euill in nature as ours are.
  • 2. That they had been, and were asmuch abused as ours haue been.
  • 3. That the vse of them wrought as dangerous effects as the vse of our can doe.
  • 4. That whatsoeuer is obiected against our Ceremonies might haue been said against them.

To which report of theirs, I say, before I proceede fur­ther to answere, that, seeing trueth needs no falshood or fraud for confirmation (for God needes not the helpe of [Page 250] mans lye) I doe greatly maruell, that my Brethren (men of that approued pietie, learning and sharpe iudgement, should be found failing in their fidelitie, as I doe herein challenge them.

1. In the vntrue reporting of my assertion, as is euident by collation of either part.

1. They report that I should say, that those Ceremo­nies which the Apostles vsed, were euery way as in­conuenient and euil as ours, and that it may appeare it was no slip nor ouersight, they proceed to misin­terprete, that I should say that they are, first, as euill in nature, as our ceremonies are; secondly, as much abused; thirdly, and hauing as dangerous effects in the vse as ours haue.

2. Whereas it is true, that I say, that they were as in­conuenient and euil as ours; but I say withall in sun­dry maine respects, which is farre from that which my Brethren do report, namely, euery way as euill.

2. The like dealing my Brethren vse in misreporting me touching the fourth member of the things alleadged: First, I say, the same obiections in substance, and for the most part which are obiected against our Ceremonies, to proue them simply euill, might be obiected against the Ceremonies practised by the Apostles. But they wil haue me say, that whatsoeuer is obiected against our Ceremo­nies, might haue beene said against them. But thus an el­der Brother might easily put besides his yonger Brother from that benefit of enioying his poore patrimonie: The Fathers will saith the elder Brother shall haue his Fathers goods for the most part; but the elder Brother saith, that his Father gaue him all whatsoeuer; what equitie were this, let my Brethren iudge.

Secondly another exception against my Brethrens lacke of fidelitie towards mee is this, that they alleadge the heads of probation, but they conceale the most part of the proofs of those heads, by which they be confirmed. And further [Page 251] in taking such things, which they thinke they may say most against, with greatest probability, and leauing much more that strongly maketh against them as by collation the Rea­der may iudge easily: But by this dealing who may not ea­sily confute the cleerest trueth, or confirme the strongest error?

Now to the reply of my Brethren to this second point, touching the nature of the Ceremonies, which is by them distinguished into three members.

First, they say that no one of those testimonies of Scrip­ture alleadged by me touching the titles giuen to Ceremo­nies, how abused, what euill effects they had, doth make a­ny whit to my purpose, or can with any colour of reason be applied to any Ceremony vsed or inioyned by the Apo­stles; and they bring out three or foure instances to which they speake, leauing cleane out and passing by all the other Scriptures cited by mee and annexed to the euill vse and ef­fects of those Ceremonies, which are very many: which places and proofes doe still remaine in full force, and had beene answered, as I suppose, if there were not that force in them which is vnanswerable. Wherefore my Brethren should not haue thus said, that no one of the testimonies make any whit to my purpose, vnlesse they had answered all; for wherefore should they say [not one] and leaue so many vntouched? To answere three, and suffer more then thrice three or foure to escape their censure? But let vs see the places which they deale withall. First, they say the Ce­remonies vsed or inioyned by the Apostles were no yokes or burdens or burdening traditions] This is vntrue: For circumcision vrged, Act. 15. 1. is called a yoke. vers. 10. and a burden, vers. 26. Yet after that Paul circumcised Timothy, Act. 16. 3. Whereupon I inferre that the holy Apostle did practise some legall Ceremon [...] (though in his owne pur­pose not as a legall Ceremony, or in obedience to the Law ceremonial, or as a yoke and burden, but in other materiall respects) in sometime and on some person after that it ap­peared [Page 252] to him, and was euident that the same Ceremony among other persons, and at other times was a yoke and a burden. And is it not strange that my Brethren should not see this, but impute it to me as a strange thing? But they en­ioyned none such Ceremonies as were yokes and burdens: admit of that, the question is of practise of Ceremonies to auoide depriuation, not of inioyning. Next they affirme that they could not bee called ordinances of the world, commandements or doctrines of men, or voluntary reli­gion; neither could they be termed impotent and beggarly rudiments:] I say againe, yes they might be so termed and that lawfully. For the holy Ghost in the Apostle doth ex­presly terme them so in the same words; both the obserua­tion of dayes, moneths, times and yeres Gal. 4. 9. 10. Holy­daies, new Moones, Sabboth daies, Colos. 2. 16. 22. as also abstinence from meates. Touch not, taste not, handle not, Col. 2. 10. 21. 22. 23. which was the very thing enioyned by the Apostles, Act. 15. 28. If the Holy Ghost called them so, we may be bold to terme them such. But my Brethren say that they could not be termed such so long and so far forth as the Apostles did vse or inioyne them. The which I an­swere by distinguishing betweene there nature and the vse that the Apostles had of them. In their nature they were such as they were called yokes, burdens, or burdening tra­ditions, impotent and beggarly rudiments; not onely in re­spect of the vnbeleeuing or ignorant beleeuing Iewes a­buse; but vnto the godly and best instructed Christians al­so; for which of them would willingly haue vsed them without occasions of necessity to auoide a further incoue­nience? yea considering them also in themselues: for seeing Christ himselfe was come, the body of what sound vse or erudition could they be, what could they teach but Christ to come, which was already come, which also was an vn­truth? or what comfort could they minister to the Gentiles to whom they were inioyned; or to Timothy and Paul by whom they were practised, but as yokes and burdens? only [Page 253] the comfort of their practise was the good purpose which they serued for, the winning of the Iewes, or retaining of them in the loue of the Gospell, as the reasons alleadged by my Brethren out of Acts 21. 20. 24. 1. Cor. 9. 20. doe shew, which were the causes of the Apostles vse of them, & made their practise lawfull. But this much is sufficient to prooue the point in question: For this sheweth the nature of those ceremonies to agree with the nature of ours. As the Iewish ceremonies, so likewise ours barely considered in thēselues, which the Papists & many professed Protestants abuse, may be accounted in a sort yokes burdens, burdening traditions, commandements and doctrines of men, voluntary religi­on, impotent and beggerly rudiments, &c. yet as the Cere­monies practised by the Apostles; so also ours by the same analogy in a case of necessity of expediency, to redeeme the liberty of the Gospel in the Ministry of many good Tea­chers, they are good and necessary, and the commande­ments of God to practise.

2. The second member of this Section affirmeth, That it will neuer be prooued by me, (and if not, then nothing is said to the purpose) that when and where the Apostles, or those Churches vsed them, they had beene notoriously knowen to haue beene so abused, or to haue wrought such euill effects as I there speake of.] And my answere is, That it is true, these ceremonies were not at all abused by any well grounded Christians at any time or place. But it is not possible but my Brethren should know, that the ceremonies well vsed by the Apostles, Churches, and other godly per­sons, were knowen by them to haue been grossely abused (euen as I alleadged in my first reason) by the refractary and weake Christian Iewes euery where, euen then when as they practised them (like as we know that our Ceremo­nies haue been, and are abused by Papists and weake Bre­thren) notwithstanding which abuse & knowledge there­of, they persisted to vse them as often as necessity enforced, and iust occasiō was offred. For Paul knew how the Iewes [Page 254] abused circumcision, to establish an opinion of the necessity thereof vnto saluation, Act. 15. 1. yet after this knowledge he vsed it, Act. 16. 3. and when S. Paul circumcised Timothy for the Iewes sake, is it not euident that the Iewes had a false and abusiue opinion and practise of circumcision (to pre­uent whose vniust offence, Paul did it) notwithstanding which, the Apostle practised Circumcision on Timothy. Likewise S. Paul his reprouing of Peter for abuse of Iewish ceremonies, in causing of Gentiles to conforme vnto them, Gal. 2. 11, 12, 14. whether wee referre the time thereof to Paraeus in Gal. 2. 104. Act. 11. 26. or as Paraeus doth to Act. 15. 30. 35. was before his circumcising of Timothy, and his vowing and shauing of himselfe, Act. 18. & 21.

Lastly, was it not knowen to the Apostles, when they obserued the occasion of the Iewish Sabbath to preach vnto them, that the Iewes had an opinion of necessity of obseruation of that day? as they had, Ioh. 9. 16. Luc. 13. 14. Matt. 12. 2. Or could Paul and the Apostles bee ignorant, that vowing, offring, contributing, shauing, (dueties of the ceremoniall Law) were abused by the Iewes both before they practised them, and where they practised them, and euen by occasion of their practise, which doeth easily ap­peare by the violence which the Iewes vsed on a bare suspi­tion, that Paul was a professed enemie vnto the Legall rites, Act. 21. 21, 27, 29. As for that which my Brethren alledge concerning Paul, who hauing vsed circumcision and other Ceremonies, doth after with great bitternesse reprooue and condemne the vse of them, Gal. 4. 9 10. and 5. 12. Tit. 1. 14. I will omit that which some Gual. in Gal. 2. Hom. 10 fol. 29. b. Codoman. annal. s. Scriptur. Ambros. Chry­sostomus. learned men obserue, that the Epistle to the Galat. was written before the Councill of Ie­rusalem, Act. 15. (and then those reproofes of his must goe before the circumcising of Timothy, and shauing of him­selfe, Act. 16. & 18.) because it is controuerted and holden otherwise by Paraeus pro­legom. in Ep. ad Rom. fol. 48. 49. Idem pro. em. in Epist. ad Gal. fol. 22. 23. other godly learned men; But to it I say, that that reproofe of Paul was not vsed in respect of the time af­ter, but in respect of the different case, it was a case of con­fession, [Page 255] that is, hee was called to confesse a fundamentall truth in Titus case, which he was not in the case of Timothy. For the false Brethren would haue compelled Titus to haue beene circumcised, meaning his conscience, as pressing it Thus do all our godly learned men hold Paraeus in Gal. 2. f. 81. 82. Paulus Titum [...] cumcisione defendendo recte fecit, quia fals [...] nionem circumcisionis necessariae ad salutem sta [...] lire non debuit. Aretius in Act. 16. 3. f. 75. Titum noluit cir­cumcidere, quia videbat hoc peti tanquam ad salu­tem necessarium. Idem ad Gal. 2 f. 224. circum­cisionem Galatis obtruserunt vt ad salutem neces­sarium, post obserua hîc quando sint [...] adiaphora, túm scil. cùm necessitas illis ani [...]ctitur, habet enim meritum aliquod in causa salutis. Gualt. in Act. hom. 106. f. 199 Propter ho [...] Titum circumcidere noluit, eo quod illos libertati fi­delium astutè insidiari videret. Gal. 2. lege reg. v­niuersalem eo loci. Idem in Gal. 2 Hom. 11 f. 32. quando Timotheum circumcidit, nulla erat eo loci de circumcisione controuersia. In Titi autem causus de circumcisione controuertebatur, & erant qui hanc ad salutem dixerint esse necessariam. Piscator in Gal. 2. obseru. ad v. 3. 4. 5. Titum circumcidere noluit propter Iudaeos pertinaces [...] exemplo isto abuterenter ad iactandum consen­sum Pauli de suo dogmate quasi s [...]l circumcisio ad huc in N. T sit necessaria ad salutem. Calum. Titum circumcidere non poterat, quia puram Euangelij doctrinam proderet in Act. 16. 3. fol. 271. a. Perkins. in Gal. 2. tom. 1. fol 218 b. as if he should say, For my part I was ready to cir­cumcise Titus, if there had beene a meete oc­casion: False brethren would haue imposed a necessitie vpon vs: Then I and Titus refused. After learne that a thing indifferent, when it is made necessary to saluation (as circumcisi­on was) is not to bee vsed. This conclusion serues to ouerthrow the Popish religion, &c. Looke Beza and Roll. on this place. ex necessitate salutis, as Acts 15. 1, 5. or as a worke iustificatory, Ga­lat. 5. 2, 3. whereby Paul notes, that circumcision would haue beene a bondage, as they did, Act. 15. 10. Whereupon I conclude that Paul, euen after the reproofes of the Epi­stle to Galat. 2. and 4. and Tit. 1. would haue beene no lesse ready to haue circumcised Titus, in a like case with Timothy, then hee was to circumcise Timothy after the decree of the councell of Ierusalem, as Ma­ster Perkins noteth on Galathians 2. and so I say touching our Ceremo­nies, though in our Church to re­deeme the ministry and libertie of the Gospell, a man were bound to conforme to the prescribed Cere­monies: yet if wee were called to a case of confession, if the Ceremo­ny were vrged as needfull to salua­tion, if our conscience were com­pelled to vse them, if iustification were taught in their vse, I holde plainely, that a man should lose goods, liberty, life & ministry, then to conforme vnto them: wherefore there is no such absurdity, as my Brethren presuppose, in affirming that which is with so good eui­dence approued, and that which I [Page 256] alleadged in my answere to the sixt obiection (though my brethren promised to answere it but did not) standeth firme.

3. The third member (fearing least it might be proued, which in the former member is denied) putteth case, that if such abuse, or euill effects of such Ceremonies vsed by the Apostles, had beene knowne before, or when they vsed them: yet would not this proue them euery way, as incon­uenient and euill as ours] where my brethren forget that they goe on in peruerting my words. For I said not, that I would proue them euery way simply as inconueni­ent as our Ceremonies, but added expressely in sundry maine respects. Let it be supposed that those Ceremonies, were sometimes Gods ordinances, & inioyned to Churches by the Apostles, & that these our Ceremonies were neuer good, nor in themselues may serue to any good vse, what serueth this to ouerthrow my conclusion, which is this, that the Iewish Cermonies were as inconuenient, and euill as our Ceremonies? then in conforming to the like case we shall doe well: and if wee doe euill in conforming to the Ceremonies to preuent depriuation, then did the Apostles and other persons euill in a much like case to conforme to Ceremonies, as euill and inconuenient as ours are deemed in many maine respects. And here my brethren thinke fit to examine the contents of my second reason, which is brought for the proofe of this point: Which is this as they affirme for mee [that nothing in substance is obiected a­gainst our Ceremonies, which might not haue beene said as well against those, which the Apostles and the Churches in their times did vse.] Here againe I call vpon my brethren for fidelitie, for I proposed my second reason thus [That the same obiections in substance, and for the most part which are brought forth against our Ceremonies, to proue them simply and in nature sinne, may be obiected and applied to the doctrine, and practise of the Apostles.] The differences are these: first, I propose the reason affirmatiuely, they [Page 257] negatiuely: Wherewith they giue themselues more aduan­tage to confute, and mee lesse to defend, as all men knowe. Secondly, they say, that nothing in substance is obiected, leauing out that which I added [and for the most part:] Thirdly, they adde, which might not haue been said, [as well] which words I haue not, but they haue added for their owne aduantage: Which alteration if my Brethren had not made, they needed not accuse me, that I left out much of the force and substance of their arguments; For I well know, that in some things, agreement in both cases would not stand, and yet my reason would haue iustified it selfe. But I must goe along to see how well my Brethren proue the point they affirme, namely, that the arguments made by them doe ouerthrow our Ceremonies, and yet neuer a one doe giue the least touch to those which the Apostles and the Churches vsed; and to this purpose they runne ouer foure members, or orders of differences betweene the Ce­remonies of our Church, and those practised by the A­postles.

The first sort of difference affirmeth that our Ceremo­nies are, first, humane inuentions; secondly, notoriously knowen to be abused to superstition & false doctrine; third­ly, and of no necessary vse in the Church, all which suppose I grant, let my Brethren tell me plainely, whether these ex­ceptions might not haue beene vrged by the Pastors of the Gentiles, touching the iniunction made at Ierusalem, as ab­stinence from blood and strangled, and touching the pra­ctise of Circumcision, shauing, vowing, offering, and ob­seruation of the Iewish Sabboth by Paul and the Apostles: That namely, these Ceremonies are simply vnlawfull, and in nature euill. First, because Iesus Christ heing come, which was the body, of whose comming they were sha­dowes, and therefore in their nature rudiments of great po­uertie and weakenesse (impotent and beggerly rudiments) and in themselues considered, of no vse or profit; and there­fore leauing to be Gods commandements, (for God com­manded [Page 258] them as ceremonies, in the time of the Law, not in the time of the Gospel) in as much as being pressed by the blinde and wilfull Iewes, they were called the com­mandements of men, Col. 2. Tit. 1. I would know here of my Brethren, what maine difference there is betweene the inuentions of men, and the commandements of men.

Seconly, because they were abused to superstition, and false doctrine many wayes, and had very many euill and pernicious effects, as I haue proued in the first reason of my first argument, Numb. 11. 12. which cannot be denied with any shew of contradiction.

Thirdly, because they were notoriously knowen to haue bin so abused, euen whersoeuer the Christian faith was plan­ted in Italy, Graecia, Asiaminor, Syria, Coelosyria, Iudaea, Creta; and may wee thinke, that the famous controuersie and Councel at Ierusalem for deciding thereof, about the false opinion about Circumcision was not notoriously knowen vnto all the Christian Churches, which also prescribed some Iewish Ceremonies, on occasion of abuse of other, as also the tumult made on Paul by the furious Iewes at Ieru­salem: In a word, wheresoeuer the Iewes were (as they were scattered almost in euery part) and new Iewish con­uerts, there must needes be knowen their notorious abu­ses of the legall Ceremonies; and I much admire that my Brethren should denie this.

Fourthly, Because they are of no profitable vse, because of no vse at all, (I meane in themselues, and in their nature being considered) being as shadowes without a body, weak rudiments without signification, shewes without substance, types and similitudes without an antitype, yea, resemblan­ces of nothing: Though I denie not but they were of ne­cessary and very profitable vse in the Apostles practise; but that was not in respect of any power in themselues, or of a­ny vertue which the Apostles gaue them by their iniuncti­on, but as meanes and weapons of necessitie to defend the Church from mischiefe, and the Gospel from interruption, [Page 259] which by no meanes they would haue practised without such necessitie; the like I say of our Ceremonies. These things being so cleere and euident, it must needs follow that these Ceremonies, in their nature, must bee tainted with that formal and inseparable euil, which the arguments of the depriued Ministers doe fasten on our Ceremonies, so farre forth as they agree in these Circumstances alleadged: which my Brethren fearing, are faine to runne into their old and onely refuge; That though they had been neuer so much abused, and had been also in any other respect of no necessary vse, yet this aagument toucheth them not, be­cause they were vsed by warrant of Apostolicall and diuine authoritie: But that I may driue my Brethren from this their vltimum refugium, I say their answere is of no force at all, which appeareth by these reasons.

1. Because the answere of our Brethren is barely affir­med, without all shew of proofe or reason, which is suffici­ently confuted with a bare deniall and matter of this na­ture, Eâdem facilitate comtemnitur qua probatur, as the olde saying of Hierome is: yea the Holy Ghost is silent and gi­ueth not the lest touch, to intimate that this action was pe­culiar to the Apostles, and how can my Brethren speake so confidently where the Holy Ghost is silent.

2. Because of the equall necessity of the Church in all ages, and like care which God hath of his Church in gi­uing equall remedy, who doth not onely command and inioyne duties for the purity and comely order of the Church, but also prouideth remedies against the diseases thereof. Now is there not a necessity for other things (aswel as for these Primitiue Churches) to appease dissentions, schismes, tumults, interruption of the Gospell, depriuation of Ministers, arising from inconuenient and abused Cere­monies? Must all other Churches besides these for euery inconuenient Ceremony, or other thing of like nature with the Iewish Ceremonies, suffer the Church to bee ouer­throwne, and the Gospell interrupted? did God giue them [Page 260] onely priuiledge thus to conforme, and not to others in o­ther cases, or did he giue remedy to their euills, and take it from vs? If it seemed good & necessary to the Holy Ghost in one cause for the good of the Church, to giue way to the practise of inconuenient Ceremonies of this nature; by what reason should it not bee still as good and necessary for other Churches in the like case, in the sight of the same bles­sed spirit to practise the like Ceremonies?

3. Because Saint Paul, rehearsing his practise of confor­ming to the Iewish Ceremonies, doth draw his practise thereof out of a generall doctrine, 1. Corinthians 9. 19. The generall doctrine is this; That though hee were free from all men (as euery faithfull Minister is) yet he made himselfe the seruant of all men (as in this sense euery faith­full Minister should doe) to winne the more. From this ground he deduceth his particular practise, vers. 20. of be­comming a Iew vnto the Iewes, that is, of practising the Iewish Ceremonies for the Iewes sake to auoide their scan­dall, and to winne them to the Gospel; shewing and decla­ring that out of this generall doctrine any godly and sin­cere Minister of the Gospel, might lawfully and ought needfully to conforme to the like Ceremonies of the Iewes in the like case, to win them and to gaine liberty to the Gos­pell. Therefore I conclude the Apostles practise of Iewish Ceremonies was not peculier to them, as arising from meer Apostolical authority, and that the practise of like in­conuenient ceremonies in the like case is lawful & needful.

4. Because the same Apostle, declaring his withstanding of the practise of Iewish Ceremonies in other cases, doth specifie the reasons thereof, namely, 1. They would com­pell men vnto it, Galat. 2. 2. and bondage their Christian liberty, Galat. 2. 4. with Act. 15. 1. 5. 10. 19—3. And it was not the right way to the truth of the Gospel, Galat. 2. 14. Therefore I conclude they practised the Iewish Ceremo­nies by a certaine and standing reason, and not alone by Diuine or Apostolicall authority. If they had not beene [Page 261] Apostles, by these reasons they would haue practised them in these cases or the like.

5. Because by this means any shifting disputant, may shift off al necessity of the practise of any part of Apostolical dis­cipline and order, namely of excōmunication of obstinate offenders, because a matter peculiar to the Apostles, as Eras­tus Erast, de ex­com. in Thes. fol. 46. Thes. 58. & others doe, or of the Churches meeting on the First day of the weeke, as many Libertines and Sabbatarians do, & things of like nature: yea also of our particular assurance of true grace, iustification, remission of sinnes, and salua­tion▪ which we vsually ground from the example of the A­postles, Rom. 8. 38. 39 Gal. 2. 20. 1. Tim. 1. 1. 15. which yet the Papists put off with this our Brethrens answer, It was peculiar to the Apostles, it was of speciall reuelation. For Bellarm. de iu­stificat. lib. 3. cap. 9 in resp. ad 7. testimon. Staplet. de Iu­stific. l. 8. c. 24. f. 297. Rhem. in Rom. 8. 38. what is the difference betweene their answere and the an­swere of my Brethren, being both alike pressed without reason, or rather contrary to sound reason.

6. Because all godly learned iudgements (before my Bre­thren) haue iudged as I iudge hereof; Therefore their an­swere is against all godly learned iudgements; with whom if I erre, (not obstinately as seeing no better reason) I shall retaine my peace. The Scriptures that I quote to prooue the Iewish ceremonies, practised by the Apostles, to haue been in themselues of no necessary vse, humane inuentions, and abused to superstition, my Brethren disalow, and say that they are mis-vnderstood, and mis-applied by mee, as they haue shewed; the trueth whereof appeareth in my An­swere to that shew of theirs. And they say further, that I contradict my selfe cleerely and strongly, and there­with they conuince mee: But why? Because I distin­guish of their different titles, nature, and vse, in different re­spectes; namely, that in some respects I said, that they were called commaundements of men, and ordinances of the world, impotent and beggerly rudiments, shadowes of things already come, and therefore fit to be abolished, as be­ing of no necessary vse, but very hurtfull and offensiue in [Page 262] sundry maine respects, and because the Apostles taught a­gainst their not necessary vse, and yet in other respects were practised and taught by the direction of the Holy Ghost, as matters good and necessary, Act. 15. 28. then both which members of affirmation, what can be more cleere? vnlesse my Brethren will say (which I am assured they will abhorre to say) that the Holy Ghost doth contradict himselfe in the Apostles, for that I herein say no more then I am taught to say by the Holy Ghost in the holy Scriptures, by all classi­call writers. The second sort of difference which my Bre­thren make betweene our ceremonies, and the Ceremonies of the Apostles practise, sheweth that our Ceremonies be­ing humane ceremonies, are first appropriated to Gods ser­uice: Secondly, ordaind to teach spirituall dueties by their mysticall significations, which theirs were not. To the first of which, I say, First, That some of the ceremonies practised by the Apostles, albeit they were not appropriated to Gods seruice, that is, his immediate worships, yet they might seemes to be appropriated thereunto; such as circumcising, offring vowing. For what were these things, being perfor­med as God required, but the immediat seruices of God, or else as shewes thereof? If hee did them as shewes onely of Gods seruices, and not as seruices there might seeme to bee a taking of Gods Name in vaine: or if he did by them serue God when they were out of vse, and left to be commanded of God, there might seeme to be some fault in Pauls action. Well then, how shall wee cleare Saint Paul of one or other errour? Verily not as my Brethren would doe, who would say, that hee did it by meere diuine authority, and nothing else; as if God should for a time command these Ceremo­nies a new vnto the practisers thereof.

But my answere is this, that if Saint Paul and the Apostles did not appropriate the practise of Gods seruice one way, that is, to his immediate woorship: yet did they appropri­ate the practise of them vnto the seruice of God another way, that is, for the libertie of the Gospel, the appeasing of [Page 263] fraternall discord, the winning of the more: the compassing of which in the performance of these Ceremonies were the true seruices of God. Wherefore euen the Ceremonies of the Apostles practise, were appropriate to the seruice of God: But these were not humane inuentions, but I haue shewed that they left in themselues, to be Gods commande­ments, and should not haue beene practised without neces­sitie, that is, of doing seruice to God in these fore-named endes. And touching signification, some man might thus argue, that either the Iewish Ceremonies practised by the Apostles, had a signification in their intention, or none at all. If none, then they might seeme needlesse and vnpro­fitable, and so the Apostles might seeme to be the practisers of idle actions, which (say I) is most true, were it not by their practise to wine the more, and to furder the Gospel, which made them actions very fruitfull, and to good pur­pose. But if they had signification in their intentions, then this signification was either true or false, not any false, as of Christ to come, which was their old and decaied significa­tion, Col. 2. vnlesse they might haue still a kinde of lawfull, and yet vntrue signification of Christ to come in their mindes, which expecting the Messias with an vpright heart, belieued not as yet in the Messias come; therefore they must haue some true signification, if any at all imposed on them; but this we read not, therefore we cannot affirme (as I sup­pose) that they had any signification at all: Wherefore I maruell my brethren would giue instance of the vse of o­ther Sacraments (such a trifle to play withall) as know­ing that in the Apostles, it might imply an absurditie in vs, an euident impietie. But it will bee demanded, I know, that if I grant the Ceremonies of the Apostles practise, to bee void of signification in their intention, what then is this vnto our Ceremonies, which are ordained to teach spirituall duties, by their misticall signification? But my brethren should remember, that the question here is not of the lawfulnesse of imposing signification on Ce­remonies [Page 264] (not of Gods ordaining) but of the lawfulnesse of the vse of Ceremonies, in a case of necessitie, on which signi­fication, signification is imposed by others: And thus these Ceremonies will accord to the point in question. For seeing those Ceremonies had a signification of the superstitious, and not well informed Iewes, before whom they were vsed by the Apostles, and for whose sakes some of them, were inioyned to the Gentiles; the question is whether an A­postle in a case of superior reason, as to redeeme Ministerie, might conforme vnto them (or to the like in the like case) lawfully, notwithstanding that ineuitable scandall, that hee should occasion vnto the beholders; namely, to apprehend by them I say, not a true signification (in which respect our significatiue Ceremonie of the Crosse seemeth more tole­rable) but a false, namely, to signifie to them Christ to come, which was already come. And if he might lawfully doe this (as it is euident he might) then let my brethren tell me, wherefore a Minister of the Gospel, now may not law­fully vse such a Ceremonie, which (being no commande­ment of God) is by others ordained and imposed to teach spirituall things, by their mysticall signification, and not intentionally, or approuedly in the minde of the vser.

As for that which is included in the third difference, I must needes confesse it hath more waight, then any thing I know alleadged against our Ceremonies, if my brethren can soundly proue, that namely our Ceremonies are esteemed imposed, and obserued as parts of Gods worships (whereby first of all I doubt not, but my brethren doe meane essentiall parts of Gods of worships, not accidentall) And secondly, that these our Ceremonies are esteemed, im­posed, and obserued, by the intention and doctrine of the Church of England, for things of such nature. For this I constantly auerre and resolutely holde, that if they can be proued matter of this nature, that they are doubtlesse to bee refused of all, in a case of confession, vnto the losse of [Page 265] Ministery, and of life it selfe: Howbeit of this I can by no meanes be perswaded as yet, and I will giue my Brethren the reasons thereof, namely, because the Church of England doth not so esteeme them, impose them, or obserue them for parts of Gods worship.

But here it wil be first asked, what I mean by the Church of England? To which I answere, that as the Church is considered two wayes, first, for the Congregation of the faithfull, scattered here and there, or for the whole societie of English men compact in one entire body, visibly pro­fessing the religion of Christ distinguished from the bodies of Scotland, France, Germany, & other Countreys: So by the Church of England in either acception, ceremonies are not esteemed, imposed, or vsed as parts of Gods worships. Of the Church in the former sence, I know my Brethren make no question; the latter I will iustifie: For the doctrine and practise of the Church of England, I take to be that which by cōmon consent of the whole State, King, Nobles, Bishops, Iudges, Commons in Parliament is taught and comman­ded: Whatsoeuer commeth hence, cometh from the com­pleate bodie of the Church of England, and is to bee ascri­bed to it, as to the visible Church: Now the doctrine of this Church of England is included in the Bookes establi­shed by this power, which are, the booke of Articles, and the booke of Common prayer: Now for the doctrine of our Church in this point, the booke of Articles expresly teacheth: first, that it is not lawfull for the Church to or­daine any thing that is contrary to Gods word, Act. 20. Se­condly, that the Church ought not to enforce any thing to be beleeued, besides the holy Scriptures, for necessitie of sal­uation. Act. 20. Thirdly, that nothing of traditions and Ce­remonies be ordained against Gods word, Act. 34. Fourth­ly, that euery particular or Nationall Church hath autho­ritie to ordaine, change and abolish Ceremonies, or Rites of the Church, ordained onely by mans authoritie, so that all things bee done to edifying, Act. 34. So likewise the Pre­face [Page 266] of the common prayer booke, tit. of Ceremonies ena­cted by Act of Parliament (that is, by the authoritie of the visible Church of England) this doctrine of Ceremonies is set downe: [We thinke it conuenient that euery country should vse such Ceremonies as they shall thinke fit, to the setting forth of Gods honour and glory, and to the redu­cing of the people to a most peafect and godly liuing with­out error or superstition: and that they should put away o­ther things which they perceiue to bee most abused, as in mens ordinances, it often chanceth diuersly in diuers countreys. And thus wee see the doctrine of our Church doth not esteeme any Ceremonies, as parts of Gods wor­ships but doth disclaime it vtterly. And for the application of their doctrine to our Ceremonies that wee may see what maner of Ceremonies, and of what nature the Church of England doth propose to be practised, and with what affecti­on such as practise them should performe it: the said Pre­face to the Booke of Common prayer saith of the Cere­monies prescribed in that Booke: [That they are retained for a discipline and order, which vpon iust causes may bee altered and changed, and therfore not to be esteemed equall to Gods Law.] Now according to this doctrine and appli­cation thereof by our Church all doctrines and practise of intention and action should bee conformed, to this they should be referred: If there bee any contrary direction or doctrine taught published, or inioyned by any one person, or many together, or in diuers places, it is nothing to the point: For they who preach esteeme, practi [...]e and impose any Ceremonies otherwise, by any conceit, word or acte, then according to the afore mentioned direction they doe it contrary to the iudgement of the Church of England, and it is to bee esteemed as the iudgement and practise of priuate persons, violating the doctrine and lawes of this Church, for the which they shall answere vnto God, and are liable to the censure of authoritie. Whatsoeuer Ceremo­nie therefore of our Church is either imposed, or the omis­sion [Page 267] censured by any persons, or by any Minister practised, or obserued by superstitious or ignorant people, as a part of Gods worship, is onely accidentall, adherent, and not inhe­rent to our Church; neither ought it to bee laide vnto the charge of our Church: Neither doe any of the Diuines, Abridg. fol. 38. 39. mentioned in the depriued Ministers reasons, nor can any Diuinity iustifie or say that the questioned Ceremo­nies are imposed by the Church as parts of Gods worships, for this cause, or will perswade men to suffer themselues to be depriued for refusing to cōforme vnto them. For here is no such case of confession, to which we are inforced; seeing we may all freely and ought, as in obedience to the Church, confesse the doctrine thereof agreeing to Gods Word, and conforme vnto the Ceremonies according to the doctrine, namely, as to things which are no worships of God, nor needfull to saluation. And as for them that hold, teach, or conforme vnto them, as to the parts of Gods worships, they are to be esteemed as malefactors condemned by the Church, which can no more preiudice the doctrine of the Church, then the practise of theeues, rebels, and murthe­rers can preiudice the good lawes of our Common-wealth that are made against them; and it were no lesse strange to blemish our Church with the iudgement or practise of the one, then to brand the Common-wealth with the practise of the other.

Now where my Brethren say that the Apostles neither obserued nor imposed the Ceremonies of the Iewes as parts of Gods worship, I referre them to my answere in the for­mer member touching the seruice of God; and do adde that if they vsed them not as parts of Gods worship taken strictè, yet they did vse them & inioyne thē as parts of his worship taken latè, or in a larger sence, seeing God may be said to be worshipped by that he is serued, and he is serued by duties done according to his will, and they conformed, & inioy­ned cōformity to those ceremonies that they might do du­ties according to his will, viz. the winning of the Iewes, the [Page 268] freedome of their teaching and the like. But now whereas it is demanded further by my Brethren, what it is vnto the purpose I alledge, that the Iewes esteemed, imposed, obser­ued them as necessary to saluation, Acts 15. 1. 5. and the rest. I answere, first, that I might make those Ceremonies analogicall with ours, that as our Ceremonies were and are holden as parts of Gods worship and needfull to salua­tion by the Papists, so were those practised by the Apostles, esteemed by the Iewes; yet the Apostles vsed them in case of necessity, and so may wee these in the like case. Second­ly, Abridg. fol. 38. I euer held it as an argument vrged by the depriued Ministers to perswade to the disuse of our Ceremonies, that being in themselues needlesse (a man hauing no necessity to vse them) there is occasioned the stumbling of the weak, by them the Papists and ignorant peoples abuse and opini­on of Gods worship: In which respect the practise of the Iewish Ceremonies might apparantly be taxed, had it not beene in a case of superiour reason. For the practise of them was in that case good & necessary, notwithstanding what­soeuer abuse or offence might haue bin taken thereat, so that they were done, first, voluntarily and not pressed on there conscience as Gods worships; secondly on iust occasion, as to redeeme the preaching of the Gospell, and to win soules to Christ.

The fourth and last kinde of difference alleadged by my Brethren betweene our Ceremonies, and the ceremonies of Apostolicall practise and iniunction of the rules prescribed in the word, for the direction of the Church in the matters of ceremony, which are not kept in the imposing and vsing of our Ceremonies, (as my Brethren say) but were in those others by the Apostles. First, they say they are no way needefull: which may be vnderstood either in respect of inioyning by our Gouernours, or of practising by our Mi­nisters. In the inioyning of them, againe we may consider the inioyning of them in their first plantation, or for the present. The inioyning of them in the first plantation in [Page 269] King Edwards dayes, of what necessity it was, it might ea­sily be collected, if we either consider the nature of coacted Churches, gathered and reformed by authority of Princes, where the most are worst, and of how great difficulty it is to reforme all disorders at the first, in comparison of Chur­ches gathered by voluntary coition, where all being wil­lingly assembled, will also willingly vnite their thoughts and proceedings to the best: and this is one maine reason of the different degrees of reformation of different Chur­ches. This Church of England therefore being a coacted Church, it is easie to imagine of what difficulty it was to reforme all things at the first; where the most part of the Priuy Counsel, of the Nobility, Bishops, Iudges, Gentry, & people were open or close Papists: where few or none of any countenance stood for religion at the first, but the Pro­tector, and Cranmer. Wherefore, howsoeuer those worthy persons were sollicited and stirred vp by Caluins letters, howsoeuer they laboured at the first, and did what in them lay, desiring to doe more, as appeareth in the Preface of the common prayer Booke, & in the Rule before Comminati­on: howsoeuer they refined the booke of Common prayer in an 5. & 6. Edwardi; yet necessity compelled them there to stay. The generall reasons whereof, are excellently obserued and set downe by Zepperus, which elsewhere I haue cited in my reasons. Now if we looke to the present iniunction of our Ceremonies, it is not for me to contest with authority, or to call her to account for her proceedings; she preten­deth necessity of enioyning them; that omnis mutatio est pe­riculosa, & plena scandalis (and therefore also must be obser­ued for the only will and pleasure of such as inioyne them.) Now if authority on these, or other like grounds will haue the Ceremonies practised, or else will proceede to Depri­uation, there is heere an ineuitable necessity of conforming in the Ministers: in which respect Conformity is simply needefull. In this sense also, though the ceremonies them­selues be supposed to be smally profitable, yet conformity to [Page 270] them in this case of necessity, is most profitable for the edi­fication of the Church, though it bee denied by my Bre­thren. And howsoeuer it may be granted, that offence and hinderance to edification doe arise from these our Ceremo­nies; yet it is certaine that there is no shew of comparison betweene the offence and hinderance of the peoples edifi­cation▪ arising from the practise of the Ceremonies, and the suffring of Depriuation for not conforming by euery Mini­ster, which my Brethren in their argument doe teach. Now for the Iewish ceremonies, to omit my Brethrens repetiti­on of Appstolicall authority, as being dealt withall before; they say they were squared and directed by the rules of the holy scripture. But to vnderstand this better, we must needs distinguish betweene the different respects wherein wee may consider them, first in their nature, and then in their practise, and then againe as it was needlesse or constrained, or occasioned by iust reason of necessity for the furtherance of the word, and good of the Church. In their nature they were fruitlesse, vnprofitable, empty, burdensome, and most indecent. Also in their needlesse vse they were not needfull or profitable, they serued rather to destroy then edifie. They were not profitable for order or decency, they tended to infringe the Christian liberty, and they were so farre from hauing no offence in them, that they were aboue measure scandolous; all which I haue so proued to my Brethren, in my first and second reasons of this my first argument, that though they deny and wonder, yet they meddle not with any proofe thereof, knowing that the very citation of the place would confute them. But in their constrained vse, or vse occasioned by reasons of necessity forealleadged, that conformity to these Ceremonies was profitable, necessary, seruing to edifie, by making way vnto the Churches peace, and preaching of the Gospel, it was ordered to vse them: and this vse of the practise of indecent Ceremonies, in na­ture did vphold one higher decency, euen the decency of Apostolicall preaching, conuerting soules, planting of [Page 271] Churches, and vnitie of brethren, and thus that paradoxe or riddle is absolued, which my brethren thought im­possible to bee belieued, that an indecency, supported de­cency, which if they had called to their remembrance, they might haue seene how this fourth argument, of the abridge­ment against our Ceremonies, doeth very fitly square to those which the Apostles vsed.

Yet one thing remameth to bee considered, which so much offendeth my brethren, that they scarce hold it pos­sible, for a godly or learned man to hold, namely, to charge the holy Apostles; first, that they were offended in impo­sing that they did; and secondly, that they taught against the things which they iniòyed▪ that namely, they ought not to bee vsed by the Iewes or Gentiles. But to the first I say, that if it were necessitie, that moued the Apostles to inioyne abstinence from bloud and strangled, which were legall Ceremonies, for they are called necessary things fol. 15. 28. yea without that necessitie, they would not haue in­ioyned them: if without necessitie vrging, they would not haue inioyned them, yea they must needes bee vnwilling, and loth to doe that which without necessitie, they would not doe: If they were loth to doe it, then they must needes haue some offence in them, for doing that they were loth to doe: And for the second▪ let me remember my brethren, who thinke I forget my selfe, once againe to say vnto them, that the holy Apostles did teach against the things, which they inioyned and practised, as appeareth by these plaine instances Paul preached against circumcision, Acts 21. 21. Gal. 5. 2. and so did Peter before the practise there­of; yet Paul practised circumcision on Timothy, Acts 16. 3. Paul preached against the Iewish Sabboths obseruation, Col. 2. 16. 17. Gal. 4. 10. yet he obserued them vsually, Acts 13. 14. 44. and 18. 4. and 17. 2. Paul taught against abstai­ning from meates [touch not; tast not; handle not] Col. 2. 20. 21. yet the Apostles (and Paul among them) pre­scribed difference of meates, Acts 15. 28. Let my brethren [Page 272] therefore giue me leaue, to thinke without any further mar­uell, that though I grant it were absurd and impious, to suppose that the Apostles practised those Ceremonies they preached against in the selfe same respect, and so farre forth as they practised them, so farre forth to preach against them; yet in diuers respects this may well stand. The A­postles therefore preached against the Ceremonies, not be­cause they held them simply impious in themselues, for then they could not practise them without impietie, but be­cause that Christ the bodie was come, the shadowes were vnprofitable, and because that many abused them pernici­ously, and held them necessary to saluation, in which re­spect, in some cases the Apostles refused the practise of them: Againe, the Apostles practised them not, of any loue they bare them, or for any opinion of necessitie, or the least profit in themselues, being impotent and beggarly; but onely being compelled for the necessitie of the superior ends, which themselues doe giue of such their doings. My brethren deny not but that the Apostles practised these Ce­remonies, Caluin. in Act. 21. 20. 21. fol. 353. 354. and that lawfully. But they cannot be perswaded, that they preached against the practise of them, yet Caluin will teach them, that Stephen did long before preach the abolishing of the ceremoniall law: And for this very place of Acts 21. 21. whereof my brethren are so peremptorie, that Paul had not taught so in deed, but that the Iewes had beene so informed of him, that hee preached against the practise of the Iewish Ceremonies: Howbeit, Caluin appre­hends it otherwise [Etiamsi aliquâ ex parte verus erat rumor, quo offensi fuerunt Iudaei, fuisse tamen callumniâ aspersam Legis abrogationem docebat Paulus.] Againe. [Qui aduentu Christi abolit as fuisse Ceremonias docent, adeò non sunt in legem contu­meliosi, vt potius eius veritatem confirmant] Againe. [Non minus Iudaeos, quàm gentes a Ceremonijs liberat, quas col. 2. 14. decretanominat] Aagaine [Paulus promiscuè Iudaeis & Genti­bus libertatem docebat partam esse: Nam istae sententiae generales sunt, 1. Corint. 7. 19. Col. 2. 11. 16. Corint. 10. 25. Galat▪ [Page 273] 5. 1. and 4 3.] In a worde, that my Brethren may alto­gether leaue to wonder at that I wrote, as at a strange matter or that they should thinke that godly and learned men forget them selues in such a point as this, let them­selues consider of the aduice of those godly, learned, and Bucer. Script. Angl Ep ad Cranm. [...]o. 6852 P. Mart. loc. com. inter Epist. amico in An­gliam, fo 1127. Beza Epist. 12. fol. 99. & 8. fo. 77. V [...]sin. exercitat. part. 2. fol. 835, 836, 837, 838, 839. excellent persons, which they giue to Ministers in the case of necessitie and depriuation; namely, that they pra­ctise the Ceremonies, and yet preach openly against the things they practise, namely, against the inconueniences of their practise, and of their vnwillingnesse to doe them: the names of them are these, Bucer, P. Martyr, Ʋrsinus, Beza. Wherefore, though my Brethren haue laboured with so great vehemencie against this argument of mine, yet is it not ouerthrowen by them, or mee, as they would haue it, but still remaineth firme, for ought that my Brethren haue sayd yet.

III And so much for the answere of my Brethren to these­cond part of mine assumption, touching the nature of our Ceremonies, & the Ceremonies practised by the Apostles. Now of the third member, touching the warrant & ground of conformity. In the answere whereunto my Brethren be­gin with the practise of a fallacy, which is called, fallacia compositionis, my Brethren might vnderstand (for they lacke not sense) that as the former part of their assumption (which they would haue me speake [That namely, the A­postles by diuine inspiration, and commaundement from God, required the Churches to vse] was not intended to be connected or ioyned with the latter part, which is, [To vse such and so many Ceremonies] so was it not immediatly ioyned with it in my proposition; nay, in the proofe there­of, it was disioyned and placed by it selfe, and the proper or peculiar Scripture of probation annexed to it. Inasmuch as (without violence offered) they must needs vnderstand the inioyning of the Apostles to bee vndrstood of Act. 15. onely, and the number to haue reference to Numb. 9. where the Ceremonies were enumerated: now my Brethren or [Page 274] their answerer, (whome it seemed they trusted in sundrie things too farre) takes my proofes for number, and appli­eth them to inioyning; and the decree of inioyning, where there was but two Ceremonies, they applied to number: The which confused shuffling of things together, which should be separatly considered (as they were proposed and proued) is done but to make shew of absurditie in my rea­son, which is but the tricke and cunning of a Sophister, to get aduantage to his feeble cause, and not the direct dealing of a sound disputant, which my Brethren needed not to borrow for the defence of that they are assured is the trueth.

This beeing obserued, my answere is the sooner made. To the Contents of their first member of Replie, touching the number, I referre them backe to the place in my answer, which they referre mee to theirs. To the second mem­ber my Brethren still remaine vnmindfull, that the questi­on is not of inioyning here, but of conforming in a case of necessitie: But the force of my reason drawen from the Apostles inioyning those Ceremonies (Act. 15.) stands in this, that if the Apostles in case of necessity did inioyne Ceremonies to Churches, as inconuenient as ours are pre­tended to bee in many maine respects (as they did act 15.) then might they much more practise thē, or the like in the case of necessity. As for the circumcision of Timothy, and Iames perswasion to Paul, they are brought in to proue an­other member of my proposition and not this. The mat­ter of the third member might haue beene spared, as being altogether ludicrous and trifling (saue onely that they mis­report the iudgement of Zanchius, who inclineth to the De redempt. fol. 492. b. Also touching the iudgemēt of the Magde­burgenses, look D. Reinolds de Idolol. lib. 1. cap. 4. fol. 158. 159. contrary iudgement, to that for which they alledge him, and saith that it is recepta illius loci interpretatio) vntill they come vnto the place which my Brethren say, I put most confidence in, which they finde to bee Acts 15. Which place it selfe vnlesse they had gone about directly to con­fute, they could haue said nothing to the purpose. For what [Page 275] is it to the point, when I speake of inioyning, and doe bring a place to proue it, for them to insist vpon the number; but according to the old saying, Ego de allijs, tu de caepis, which might bee referred to the Dialogue of Erasmuus de absurdis? As for the ensuing repetion of the things which before they alleadged in the same words almost, [that the things en­ioyned in Act. 15. were not Ceremonies: that they were imposed not as ceremoniall, but as morall dueties: that Ti­mothy his circumcision was not a Sacrament, and the rest: they are by me sufficiently replyed vnto before.

IV The fourth and last member of my assumption, is of rea­sons of suffering depriuation, where my Brethren in their answere beginne againe with misreporting of my wordes: For my reason saith not, that the Apostles and Churches were moued to inioyne and practise Ceremonies for rea­sons of no greater weight; but for reasons partly equiuo­lent and partly inferiour to the auoiding of depriuation. And I am sorry that in so little compasse of two or three sheets of paper my Brethren should so many times ouer­slip themselues, which if in this part of their answere they had not done, it had beene to small purpose to bring in so large a proofe of that (in the first Section heereof) which no man denieth that the Apostles office is of greater dig­nitie or excellency, then the office of an inferiour Mini­ster. For in that I said partly equiuolent, I left roome enough for any man to vnderstand that the reasons were not alto­gether equiuolent; and yet this very point being caeteris pa­ribus, vnderstood as the office of a Minister, is the ordi­nance of God, as well as the office of an Apostle; so the one in these dayes is no lesse necessary for the saluation of the faithfull man now, then the other then: and a Mini­ster in these dayes ought no lesse to bee carefull of the losse of his Ministery; or interruption of the Gospell, then the Apostles then: and therefore I see not but the same reasons and practise they vsed then to that end, we should also now vse for the profit of Gods Church.

Next, in the second place there is one thing by the way, that I cannot be perswaded of that my Brethren say, that the very vsing of the Iewish ceremonies then would edifie; whereas they should rather say, that the effect of such vse did edifie onely: For that the bare vse of them being in it selfe considered, might in many respects be scandalous, and did minister occasion to the corrupt Iewes of stumbling, as I haue prooued. But it is much, that my Brethren should affirme, that conformity to our Ceremonies to preuent Depriuation, should not doe any good at all; and further, that a Minister should doe much more hurt by his confor­mity, then good by his Ministry: As if the liberty of prea­ching the word were so great good by the Apostles practise to the Church, and with vs (by Gods blessing on his owne ordinance) it were no good at all: Or as if the practise of the ceremonies would nullifie or confound the blessing of Gods ordinance of preaching (and then how can the prea­ching of Conformitans bee blessed of God?) Or as if the vse of our Ceremonies would destroy more soules, then preaching could conuert or establish in the faith: Or (last of all▪ as if the vse of the ceremonies were more apt and forcible to peruert a man to his destruction, then preaching to conuert him to saluation. Which supposals as they are most vntrue, and my Brethren I know will not denie: so if they graunt them to be false, a Minister conforming to re­deeme the free passage of his preaching, shall haue a better bargaine out of question by his practise, then my Brethren heere doe vndertake to driue on his behalfe.

Now touching the last point, if my Brethren will haue me grant, that the Apostles were well assured in their con­sciences they did that which was not onely lawfull▪ but needfull for them to doe: Then still I must needs conclude, that so long as we doe performe the like practise with them in the like case, and on the like reasons, (as it doeth yet ap­peare) wee may very well haue assurance sufficient for it in our hearts; And so in degree (according to our modell) we [Page 277] may be said to haue an equiualent reason for the auoyding of our Depriuation. As for that full assurance, which my brethren say they enioy; namely, that they haue Gods ex­presse commandement to the contrary, and that they should doe euill in the sight of the Lord, to conforme vnto our Ceremonies, euen to auoid de priuation: It seemeth to me a speach, neither Theologicall nor safe. I say not The­ologicall, for that Theologie is assurance of matters fun­damentall, which in their nature are onely euident, and vn­questionable among the faithfull, which this is not. And I say againe not safe; because, as wee are expressely charged not to call good euill: so if our Ceremonies should in their nature proue indifferent, wee should feare to call them sim­ply, and in nature euill, both because it is vntrue, and the consequences are pernicious, which come from thence. And if it bee good and needfull in a case of depriuation, to conforme vnto our Ceremonies, as all good iudgements, and godly learned teachers and Churches haue taught, till now our brethren are become assured otherwise: Me thinks this plerophoricall confidence of my brethren should not bee so safe for them; but rather to set a side all ancient preiudice, to hearken carefully to that which is disputed, and concluded by the chiefest lights, and iudgements that euer the Church of Christ since the time of the Apostles obtained of God; to iudge charitably of their differing bre­thren, and modestly of themselues; and to iudge nothing before the time, till the Lord come, who will lighten things that are hid in darkenesse: And if they will not yeeld vnto this trueth, yet to leaue it as a matter of disputall nature till the day doe try, and the fire consume the stubble of the errors of Gods faithfull seruants.



THOV maist vnderstand (good Christian Reader) that this treatise was put in presse, before I had knowledge thereof; and I had not perused the copy that was written: Whereupon there is great neede of thy patience in respect of the many slippes escaped in Printing, and other altera­tions thereof, yet without the Printers fault or mine. The chiefe whereof I haue heere corrected. Let no man take offence at my consent for the publication thereof; because I rest perswaded of the truth there­in contained, and I bring not shew of words, but waight of reason; and besides it was needfull for me to publish those reasons, which the hazard of my depriuation did heeretofore occasion mee to frame, and enforced me of late to follow. The Lord giue such blessing to the same as I heartely desire for the peace of the Church, and for the quieting of the con­sciences of such as neede it.

7GAl. 5. 20. 21. 22.Gal. 5. 30. 10. 21. 22.
10of Faith daylyin the Faith dayly
11as ours are nowas ours are not by our Church
14then sometimesthey sometimes
 or rather strawor rather tares
 those many thingsthose maine things
16noted to Kingnoted by King
18as also allas also did
19both by otah, do­ctrineboth by doctrine
 Papists popishlyPapists and Popishly
21these dayesthose dayes
 Act. 25. 28. 29.Acts 15. 28. 29.
22and 10. 13.and 10. 31.
 of his iudgementof this iudgement
24in one practisein our practise
272. King. 23. 12.2. Chron. 32. 12.
28being both worksbecause both workes
31we cannot iudgeand therefore we cannot iudge
31by euery personby all persons
35the performancethe formes
38yea saintsthe Saints
 essentiall practiseeffectuall practise
39sound & doctrinesound doctrine
43to conforme or the liketo conforme vnto our ce­remonies or the like
45the Apostles inthe Apostles case in
47Exercit▪ part: in­ter thes.Vrsin Excercit: part. 2. in­ter thes. 126.
48because all suchbecause otherwise al such
49or ratheror other
50kneeling high or lowkneeling, outward habite as this or that forme of apparell, voice high or low
51Consider that which alsoConsider secondly that as also
52obedience to goodobedience to God
54proued, a matterproued, that a matter
54preaching of the workepreaching of the word
55practising of the word by preachingpreaching of the word
 no sinne of adulteryno time of adultery
57the praeceptsthese praecepts
59The former as a circumstantiall due­tie to which all cere­monies as a lesser work to a greaterthe former as a circum­stantiall duty comman­ding fit ceremonies, the other as a substantiall duty▪ to which all cere­monies, & ceremoniall duties, must serue as a lesser work to a greater.
63of the fulfillingif the fulfilling
 by well doingbe well doing
 violation of the Lawviolation of that Law
64many thousandsmay thousands
72as the Papistas the Papists wil haue it
74as in condemningor in condemning
 must needs be an errormust needs be in error
78the consent of Chur­chessuppose then, the consent of Churches
79Catholique Church takenCatholike Church may erre being taken
 Catholike Church haueCatholike Church hath
 here should we makehow should we make
80For they agreeso they agree
87Decret. caus. 26. qu. 6. 7▪ 8. 10.Decret. Caus. 26. qu. 6. can. 9▪ ex Nicaeno Conc. item. can. 6. 7. 8▪ 10.
88Commended andcommended as
90onely fish and fowlesonely fish, some fish and foules
92that in those dayes in cities in villagesthat a man in those dayes might find in cities and villages
97afterwards the sameafterwards the Sunne
102Easterne Controu.Easter Controu.
 pacificumpacificum filium
 WitenbergWirtenberg. so Correct it. pag. 108. 109. 115.
107Epistle of LutherPostill of Luther, the like pag. 109.
109Harm. Confess. §. fol. 176. Bohem.Harm. confess. §. 16. fol. 179. Bohem.
 4. Lex Decal. §. 11. fol. 43. albeit.4. Lex Decal §. 33. so doe the Tigurines. Har. conf. § 11. fol. 43. albeit
110First of their iudge­ment touching cere­monies in generall appearethFirst of their iudgement touching ceremonies in generall, as also of their practise after, and then also of our cere.
115an aedificationand aedification
 Scriptu. fol. 21.Cap. fol. 211.
118for the Churches aedificationDeleatur
125penislyllabasPaenè syllabas
134therefore first I answere, albeit in our iudgement these ceremonies are not rightly commanded.Deleatur
140primitiue hadthe Primitiue Church vsed
144yeelding Con­fession of the truethyeelding to his request heerein. 4. if he con­ceale not this confessi­on of the trueth
152wherefore it is writtenwhereof it is written
153we are bound followingwee are not bound following faires
159meane torather
162then tothen so to
167of mendingof weeding out
170haue some notwithstandinghaue had some not standing
171to be kept inuio­lableto be kept inuiolable: And he answered it thus
175No partesneither partes
191hold a right af­fectionshould preiudice a right affection
197admonition of themadmonition of ye weake that they be not offen­ded, & praier vnto God to strengthen them.
199so respectedso reserued
202his argumentthis argument
205which note the controuerfiewhich were the contro­uertists
 did stirredoe shew
288though purepast
213so refusingfor refusing
214doctrine and pra­ctise of the Apo­stlesdoctrine and practise of the Apostles, therefore it is a sinne
215viz. that the A­postles doctrine and practise doeth not so warrant a ministerviz. that it is both against the doctrine and pra­ctise of the Apostles for a minister
 doctrine of the Scribespractise and doctrine of the Scribes
224Apostles inioy­ned themApostles vsed and enioy­ned them
225when that him­selfethen that himselfe
226his first proposi­tionhis proposition
 to be obseruedto haue beene obserued
227for matters of di­rection in the Church concer­ning ceremo­niesfor the direction of the Church in matters of ceremonies
230nature and euillnature, vse and euill
235this commande­menthis commandement

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