A PLAINE CONFVTATION OF A TREATISE OF BROVVNISME, Published by some of that Faction, Entituled: A description of the visible Church.

In the confutation whereof, is shewed, that the Author hath neither described a true gouernment of the Church, nor yet proued, that outward discipline is the life of the Church.

Whereunto is annexed an answere vnto two other Pamphlets, by the said Factioners latelie disper­sed, of certaine conferences had with some of them in prison.

Wherein is made knowen the inconstancie of this Sect, what the Articles are which they still maintaine: as also a short confutation of them.

There is also added a short ansvvere vnto such argumentes as they haue vsed to proue the Church of England not to be the Church of God.

LONDON, Printed by Thomas Scarlet for William Wright. 1590.

TO THE RIGHT HONO­rable Sir Thomas Henedge Knight, Vize Chamberlaine to her Highnes, Treasurer of her Ma­iesties chamber, Chanceller of the Dutchie of Lanca­ster, and one of her Highnes most honorable priuie Councell, the comforts of this life and of the life to come.

COnsidring that (right Honorable) the ma­king of many bookes doth breeda weari­somnesse with smal! profit, the councell of Salomon is to bee re­garded, who wil­leth vs to receiue admonition by his holie wri­tings. In regard whereof, though hereticall pamphlets are dailie dispersed, yet the wise are loth to answer thē: as also lest that in answring the fole according to his follies, they might seem like vnto him: yet when silence hath hardned the factious, and emboldned them to adde new supplies, we learne that the foole is to be answe­red vnto his follies, lest he seeme wise in his own conceit. This burden I haue taken vpon me, per­haps presumptuouslie; but finding on the one side the learned vnwilling to deale with so sot­tish [Page] a schisme, and on the other side, that small learning wil be sufficient to ouerthrow so igno­rāt a sect, I haue bin the more bold in this mine attēpt: for I preiudice not the wise herein, who refuse this labor, nor yet giue cause of discontēt­ment to the simple, for whose sake onely I haue done it: if those with whom I deale find them­selues grieued, I regard it not; onely if I may e­scape the censure of rash presumptiō in publish­ing this rude treatise vnder your honorable ti­tle, I shall obtaine my desire. I haue presumed to present it to your H. not for that I am able to bring forth anie thing worthie your H. accep­tation, but that I might obtain a defence for my self, & your H. might be moued to go on in fur­thering the Lordes building. So shall God by your meanes be glorified, his church comforted, and euerie member thereof shall haue iust cause to continue their heartie praiers vnto God for your H. prosperitie, with the increase of all hea­uenlie giftes & graces of his spirit in this life, & for the assurance of your euerlasting ioy in the life to come.

Your Honors most humble in the Lord to command, R. Alison.


HOwsoeuer earthly kingdoms do prosper best, when peace is had, yet the church of Christ which is his throne,Cassi. in Psa. 1. receiueth good euen by dissention, Inde crescit Ecclesia, vnde mundus deficit. Therfore although a good agreement in al affaires ought to be regarded, yet a dissent in religion doth sometime profit, inasmuch as ther­by the faith of some is exercised, the inconstancie of others is made manifest, and the diligence of all those whom deep securi­tie hath not ouerwhelmed, is much quickned vnto the serching of the truth. The rent that is made by some, hath confirmed this vnto vs by experience, whiles that the constancie of such as are wise hearted, is made manifest; the vanitie of those that are vn­stedfastly minded is laide open; & the godly are made acquain­ted with those ancient heresies, whereof in times past they were both ignorant and carelesse. The disturbances of our Church are many, proceeding from one fountaine, though they bee not all of one nature; Satan hath sent them, they are like vnto him, disagreeing one with another, and at iarre in themselues, and yet are all opposite vnto the truth. For the Atheists and Papists are at as great defiance one with another, as euer was Herod and Pilate.Luk. 23. 12 And the Anabaptists and Donatists condemne each the other for matters of religion, as much as the Pharesies did the Saduces; and yet as they could bee reconciled,Math. 22. rather then the Church should inioy her peace; so these will sooner iustifie one another, than they will submit themselues vnto the truth. But the bush which Msoses sawe perished not, though it was compas­sed with a flame: and the Church of God through his gracious prouidence doth stand fast, though the securitie of Atheists, the Idolatrie of Papists, and the impietie of the rest, haue threatned an ouerthrow: yea, it is now come to passe, that although no he­resie is without some fauourers, yet the deuises euen of the most skilfull deceiuers, haue bene so laid vpon, that not one of those is thought vpon of sober mindes, but with detestation. I grant that men voide of reason may thinke reuerently of them, because wee see the Donatist condemning Donatisme, a schisme which hee himselfe vpholdeth, which is a verie dronkennes, though it bee without wine;Aug. contra Cresco. lib. 5 but wisedome is iustified of her children.

The Donatists in the yeere of our Lorde 290. or as some write 353. by their preposterous dealings disturbed the churches in all those partes where they remained.August. Bonif. Epist. 50. With vaine impuden­cie they condemned all the Churches of God,Aug. ad quod vult deum, de haer. cat. and affirmed that the Church was in the partes of Donatus onely. Also in vphol­ding that the Church of Christ is without spot or wrinkle, or [Page] grosse pollution; they did falsely charge Coecilianus the Bishop of Carthage with certaine crimes, taking occasion therevpon to separate themselues from the Church; They did account the Sacraments to be no Sacraments,Aug. in Psa. 10. Retrac. lib. 1. cap. 21. Victo­riano. Epist. 21. Contra Epist. Parmeniani, lib. 1. cap 7 Aug. Donat. Epist. 204 Cont. Epist. Parmi. li. 1. ca. 7 Aug Epist. 152 Daneus de Donat. cap. 67. And by the councell are latine. August. contra Parmi. lib. 1. cap. 6 if they were deliuered by one that approued not their schisme; And therevpon, though Do­natus did not institute rebaptization, yet his successors rebapti­sed those that came vnto them. They taught that it was vnlaw­full to seeke vnto the magistrate for aide in causes of the church, because they were the Lords free people. To be short, that men are not to be compelled vnto good duties, that they are to vow a constancie in their schisme, that they were ready to prouoke the sword of the magistrate against themselues, that they might brag of sufferings: these and such like were the fruites of Dona­tisme. Now Donatus the first author of this schisme, was con­demned for an heretique, and his doctrine for hereticall, in the daies of Constantine, by the councel of Carthage; and from time to time euer since it hath ben so accounted of, not onely of the Church of God, but also of such as abhorre the name, but main­taine the doctrine of this schisme.

This is it that the malcontents of our age do greedilie hunt after the annoiance of our church; condemne it and all other Churches that are not partakers of their faction; crie out that the true church is without spot or wrinkle, or grosse pollution, take libertie to slaunder those that are in authoritie, so to free themselues from all submission: affirme that the Sacraments are no Sacraments. (Whervpon though the renuer of this schisme, Browne I meane,Some of their owne compa­nie haue con­fessed it. did not in plaine wordes require a baptising a­gaine, yet their succossors in their established Church attempted it) haue taught, that they being the Lordes free people, the ma­gistrate is not to deale in causes ecclesiasticall: holde that men are not to be compelled to good duties, binde one another with a vow to persist in this faction, boast of suffrings, &c. & yet detest the name of Donatisme, though Donatus was the first deuiser, & of Brownisme, though Brown was the only restorer of these fan­sies. The forerunners it should seeme, were grosse, when their Disciples are ashamed to be accounted their schollers: yet if anie grossenesse as yet vnnamed, either in matters of faith, or manner of dealing be found in them, it will appeare in these also; for it is no new fansie but an ancient heresie, neither is there hope that they will be restrained but by an olde remedie: For as the Dona­nists when councels were called conference was had, and they were conuicted, yet gaue it out with great glorie, that they had put to silence all the learned,August. ret. li. 2 cap. 26. & Bo­nifacio. epi. 50 and remained wilfull, vntill that by the sharp laws of Honorius, they were restrained, yea and many of them by that meanes were brought againe to the Church: so [Page] with our men all gentle meanes haue bene vsed: in conference hard speeches haue onelie helped them, yet remaine they obsti­nate, and brag of victorie: if the lawes of our christian Honorius doe them no good, they are incurable. No doubt the Phisition is irke some to a frantique person, and a father to an vnrulie child, the one in binding, the other in striking, and both in louing. The dutie of a phisition, and the nature of a father must appeare in the magistrate, not in satisfieng the desires of the froward to cō ­tent them, but in restraining their phrensie to profite them. It may bee to the discontentment of some, that anie punishment should be inflicted vpon them for their disordered stubburnnes, I would not be mistaken,In his confe­rence with m. Cooper, pa. 49 I wish it not, howsoeuer m. Greenwood affirmeth that the magistrate ought to compell vnto the hearing of the word. Only this I saie, that the lesse these matters are cōsi­dered of, the better may the men be conceiued of, but view their writings, examine their doctrine, and marke their dealings, and they will appeare the open enemies of Gods truth: for in pre­tending to establish a church, they ouerthrowe the church, and vnder the colour of setting vp the discipline of Christ, they seeke to plague themselues and others with their owne dreams, which in this their treatise of discipline, and in their two other treati­ses, of certaine conferences lately by them published, shall bee made manifest to the indifferent reader. In answering of them al (onelie the calumniations in the conferences excepted, which concerne some particular persons, whose cause I leaue to them­selues, who best know how farre they are abused, and in regorde thereof can best answere the same) I haue followed the authors method, leauing the man, and seeing into the matter, not regar­ding who wrote it, but what is the doctrine that is maintained by him. As for the treatise of the visible Church, it will appeare not tollerable, inasmuch as it is impious, abusing the Scripture, iniu­rious to the Church in describing a false gouernment, and daun­gerous to the simple, who are readie to bee deceiued with euerie blast of vaine doctrine. The other discourses are not onely like vnto it, but haue in them many bitter speeches & vngodlie slan­ders both of Church, Magistracie, Ministerie, and all: wherby it seemeth that the author hath not learned to rule his pen. In this mine attempt I haue small hope to satisfie those that are wed­ded to their will, when Gaudentius was answered sufficientlie to his follies, hee would notwithstanding returne his aunswere though he did the same,Aug. ret. lib. 2 cap. 59. nulla ratione respondens, sed magis se nec respondere, nec tacere potuisse declarans. If our au­thor wil replie, let him labour to be vnlike to Gaudentius and his companie, who with words and bitter speeches sought to vphold their cause, & if he vse the Scriptures, let him applie them faith­fully, [Page] and then if he preuaile the controuersie will be at end. In the meane while if these poore labours of mine might satisfie these discontented persons; or failing hereof, might staie the ig­norant from beeing seduced, or else might prouoke them that are better able to deale more substantially in these matters, I shal be glad. Finally, I am to intreate the reader both to accept in good part that which in desire of his good is deliuered. And also before hee beginne to reade this treatise, to amend such faultes as by default in the printing were committed.

R. A.

Faultes escaped in the printing.

The 2. pag. line 21. This read Thus. pag. 5. li. 5. read the sentence pag. 9. line 24. reade preaching. pag. 13. in the margent Iudg. 4 reade Iude. 4. pag. 23. line 12. read Veliphnei Iehouah ijshpok. &c. pag. 30. line 14. dutie reade vnitie. pag. 40. in the margent, reade Bale in Apoc. 2. Iraeneus, &c. pag. 65. line 25. reade were not in the primitiue, &c. pag. 99. Tit. 3. is to bee placed, line. 11. and line 19. should be Deut. 13. pag. 108. line 28. reade for instruction one­ly, &c. pag. 110. line 23. reade Inst. lib. 4. &c. pag. 117. line 2. reade ignorantiam.

A PLAINE CONFVTATION OF A TREATISE OF Brownisme, published by one of that Faction; the Title whereof is this. A true Description out of the word of God of the visible Church.

The Answere to the Title.

THE departure out of the Church is rightly called the badge of an here­tike, to whom in his going out the Goates do flie for succour, when the sheepe of Christ do seeke their foode in the Church of Christ. But because it is a lesser burthen to beare the marke, then to haue the name of an heretike, it falleth out that men in all ages when they for­sake [Page 2] the fellowshippe of the saintes of GOD, they doe professe a betaking themselues vnto the true Church of God.

Heerevppon it commeth that such as haue beene nourished with the milke of discontentment, strengthened with the spirite of vnquietnesse, and cloa­thed with the profession of a godlie conscience, do now trouble and molest vs, refuse to continue with vs, and make a nullitie of our Church. Their eyes (they say) are now opened, who liued vntill nowe in blindnesse, they haue found out the true Church, whereof they labour to be members: in seeking our good, they publish and set sorth vn­to vs a true description thereof; and this shall bee confirmed out of the word of God.

This their knowledge, their loue, and their faithfull dealings, are warranted vnto vs in the Title of this their treatise, which matters if we can finde therein, we will acquite them from schisme and [Page 3] heresie: but if the discourse be not an­swerable vnto the Title, they must re­turne vnto vs, or else wee must ac­knowledge them to be, not as they pre­tend, but as they are.


As there is butGen. 1. 1. Exod. 20. 3. one God, and father of all, one Lord ouer all, and one Spirite, so is there but1. Timoth. 2. 4. Phil. 2. 25. Ephes. 2. 18. Iohn 8. 41. one truth, one faith, one saluati­on, one Church, called in one hope, ioyned in one profession, guided by oneDeut. 6. 25. Romans 10. 8. 2. Timoth. 3. 15. Iohn 8. 51. Iohn. 2. 3. 4. &c. rule, euen the word of the most high.

The answere.

In this first sentence which heere is sette dovvne, wee are giuen to vn­derstande, what there is to bee hoped for in that which followeth, both for the matter and also for the manner of hand­ling the matter, if wee do but regarde the ende and scope thereof, being al­togither [Page 4] false, yet packed vp with euident truthes, that the certaintie of these might free the other of suspition. The manner of dealing is to pester the margent with a cloud of witnesses to smal purpose, onely they make the ignorant beleeue, that he which gain-saith this booke, doth speake against the word of God. But how vainly this is done, it will appeare by the exami­nation of the particulars. Seeing the na­ture and gouernment of the church (say they) is like vnto the Lord thereof, it must be granted, that as God is euer one and the same: so is his church which professeth one truth, holdeth one faith, and is guided by that order which God hath reuealed in his word. Our answere is, that we do acknowledge one God the father, sonne, & holy ghost, his truth our faith, and the meanes of our saluation to be vnchangeable; we confesse likewise one catholike church, which is the com­munion of saints, which iointly and seue­rally do confesse that saluation is obtai­ned in and through Iesus Christ alone. [Page 5] This church comprehendeth in it both angels and men,Col. 1. 18. 19. 20. the one sort continuing in, the other sort restored vnto that e­state wherein they stand; and all obtai­ning this sentence of being perfitly righ­teous, in and thorough the head of that church, whereof they are members, euen Iesus Christ our Lord. This is the church which they say must be guided by one rule, euen the word of the most high. Now we desire to know in what sence the word of the most high is taken; for if they meane thereby the prouidence of God, in which sence it is sometimes taken, as Deut. 8. 3. & Heb. 1. 3. we do agree in this clause al­so. But the places quoted in the margent, do shew that it is meant of the reuealed will of God contained in his word; For Deut. 6. 25. Moses telleth the Israelites that the obseruing of all the commande­ments of the Lord their God, wil be their righteousnes. Paul Rom. 10. 8. saith, that the worde of God was in their mouth, & in their hart euen the word of faith which vvas preached. Againe 2. Tim. 3. 15. hee [Page 6] sheweth Timothie that the scriptures are able to make him wise vnto saluati­on, thorough the faith that is in Christ Iesus. Christ in the eight Chapter of Iohn and the one and fiftith verse, affir­meth that if a man keepe his vvorde, he shall neuer see death. Lastly Iohn saith, 1. Iohn. 2. 3. By this vve knovv that vve know him, if we keepe his comman­dements. It is euident that these places do speake of the word of God, which is giuen vnto vs to be our guide in this life, for the gathering togither of the saints during their abode in this world: but when life ceaseth, the vse of this word of God doth cease in the Church of God, as appeareth in the first to the Corinthians the thirteenth chapter and eight verse, Colossians the first chapter and the three and twentith verse, &c. Therefore to say that the whole church, that is, both angels in heauen, the faith­full departed out of this life, and the god­ly remaining vpon the earth are all alike gouerned by this rule, doth bewray ei­ther [Page 7] a foule ignorance, or a foolish rash­nesse. VVhich rash ignorance if in this one matter it had shewed it selfe onely, it had bene more tollerable, then it can be when it alledgeth manie scriptures to prooue the truth, so vnseasonablie as here it doth about the vnitie of the God­head &c. For the two first places, the first chapter of Genisis and the first verse,So they speake in the trea­tise of the church ap­parant. the twentith Chapter of Exodus and the third verse, do mention God in re­gard of his soueraigntie ouer all things, but they speake of him as the inheritour of mount Sion his Church: wherefore that of saint Paul in the first to Timothie, the second chapter and fourth verse, might haue bene sufficient both for the proofe of this, and also that there is but one truth, one faith, &c: Vnto the know­ledge whereof it is the will of God that men should come and be saued.In a pam­phlet, the question being of the best prea­chers in England▪ (By the way obserue that this place of Paul doth crosse that negatiue of theirs, We de­nie, say they, that you are able to iustifie that faith which they beget: their reason is, [Page 8] because our worshipping of God is not ioyned with their discipline, for we hold that faith which Paul approueth.) As for the testimonie which Paul giueth of Epa­phroditus,Phil. 2. 25. that he is his brother, companion in labor, and fellow souldier, It is a weake proofe of that whereunto it is referred, so is that of the Iewes,Iohn. 8. 41 saying that they haue all one father, euen God, which Christ denyeth vnto them in the verse next following. These things are spoken, not to call that into question which in it selfe is true, but to shew what discretion hath bene vsed in the choise, and alledg­ing these scriptures. But we will go for­ward.


This Church as it is vniuersally vnder­stood, containeth in it allGen. 17. 1. Pet. 1. 2. Reue. 7. 9 1. Cor. 10. 3. Iohn. [...]7. 20 the elect of God that haue ben, are, or shall be.

The answere.

Most certaine it is that the inuisible Church of God extendeth it selfe vnto all the beloued of God, that haue bene, are or shall be, men and Angells, beeing [Page 9] complete in him who is the head of all principalities and powers, to wit, Iesus Christ. VVe do agree herein, yet it hath his warrant, such as it is, for it is here pro­ued by the couenant made with Abra­ham, Gen. 17. and by the vision of Iohn, Reuel. 7. 9. VVhich places do not proue the matter, in as much as they speake of the restoring and preseruation of man onely, and not of the whole bodie of the church. The other three places alledged are lesse to purpose. Peter 1. Pet. 1. 2. writeth vnto the church, which was scat­tered ouer the face of the earth; so that he speaketh not of the vniuersall church of God, but of that which was in his age. Paul saith, 1. Cor. 10. 3. that the fathers did eate one spirituall meat: But they were not the vniuersall church of God, he spea­keth only of those that were before him. Christ prayeth for his Apostles, Ioh. 17. 20. and not for them onely, but for those which should beleeue in him thorough their pearching: he prayeth not for the vniuersall church, viz. all that haue bene, [Page 10] are, or shalbe, but for those which being aliue, should inioy the ministery of his Apostles. But it may be the authors mea­ning is not out of euery of these seueral­ly, but from them al ioyntly to conclude this vniuersal church, for as much as Paul speaketh of those which haue bene, Pe­ter speaketh of those that are, and Christ mentioneth those that shalbe. VVhich though we should grant, yet they all mention but mankind onely, and there­of not all the elect of God: for the in­fants which are vnder the couenant, and departing this life before they are capa­ble of the ministerie of the word, are not comprehended within the number of those which Christ in that place prayed for, Peter did write vnto, &c. so that these places iointly taken, do not conteine so much of the vniuersall church as the two first places: & though they did, yet they do not comprehend the whole as hath bene said. Thus a good dish may be mar­red by an vnskilfull cooke, and a good matter spoiled by an vnlearned clearke.


But being considered more particularly, as it is seene in this present world: it consisteth of a company and felowship ofPsa. 111. 1 & 149. 1. Esa. 62. 12. Eph. 1. 1. 1. Cor. 1. 2. Deut. 14. 2. faithfull andDeut. 12. 5. Ioh. 6. 37. & 3. 14. & 12. 32. Luk. 17. 3. ho­ly people, gathered togither in the name of Christ Iesus their onlyGe. 44. 10. Psal. 45. 6. Zac. 9. 9. Heb. 1. 8. king,Rom. 8. 34▪ Iohn. 17. Heb. 5. 9. & 8 1. & 4. 14. priest, &Deut. 18. 15 Matt. 17. 15. Heb. 1. 1. Gen. 14. 18. pro­phet, Exo. 20. 7. Leu. 10. 5. Ioh. 4. 23.worshipping him aright, beingMatt. 11. 29 1. Cor. 11. 16. Mar. 13. 34. Reuel. 22. 9. peace­ably gouerned by his officers and lawes,Eph. 4. 3. 1. Cor. 1. 13. Mark. 9. 50. kee­ping the vnitie of faith in the bond of peace, andIoh. 13. 34. 1. Cor. 13. 4. 1. Pet. 1. 22. 1. Ioh. 3. 18. loue vnfeigned.


Leauing the inuisible church of God, we are to keep in remembrance, that this discourse is of the visible church, as it is seene in this world: and it setteth be­fore our eyes the matter whereof it is framed; the glory wherewith it is crow­ned, the discipline whereby it is gouer­ned, and the estate which it enioyeth, euen in this life. All which matters are here set downe so necessarie vnto the esse or being of the church, that the want of these or of anie of these, presentlie causeth a nullitie thereof: but how sub­stantiallie these matters are prooued, [Page 12] the particulars shall make manifest. The matter whereof this church is framed,Treatise of the church apparant. is a companie of people which is faithfull, &c. The Authors meaning is expressed more plainely in the arguments vsed against the church of England, Argument. 6. The church of Christ is sanctified and made glori­ous, without spot or wrincle, or grosse polluti­on. Againe, Argument. 8. The people shalbe all righteous. Againe, One wicked man disa­nulleth the couenant vnto all. And in the latter end of this booke it is concluded, that in this visible church is no vncleane per­son. Gen. 4. 1. But was not the house of Adam the visible church of God, and Cain a mem­ber of it? he was vnfaithfull. Was not the Arke of Noah the visible church of God,Gen. 7. 7. and Cham preserued in it? he was vnfaithfull.Gen. 17. 23. VVas not Ismael being cir­cumcised in Abrahams house of the visi­ble church?Gen. 25. 1. Reg. 16. 29. 30. he was vnfaithfull. VVas not Esau in the family of Isaac, Achab in his raigne ouer Israel,Matth. 10. 4 and Iudas Ischariot of the visible church? all these were vn­faithfull. In the visible church of God [Page 13] there will be tares, yea vntill the haruest: chaffe among the wheat,Matth. 13. 30. & 3. 12. & 25. 32. goates among the sheepe, hypocrites among the true professors: nay to go further, Antichrist for a time sitting in the temple of God, and other monstrous men abiding in the church,2. Thess. 2. 4. Iudg. 4. Treatise of the church apparant. turning the grace of God into wantonnesse. But they do confesse that there may be pollutions in the manners of men being secret, which they leaue vnto God: but if they be such spots and wrinkles, as declare the church not to be glorious, then no apparant church. VVhat spots they can finde grea­ter than those before mentioned I know not: yet this I adde, that the church at Ierusalem was not greatly glorious in the dayes of Herods tyrannie, when also the office of the high Priest was diuided to two: Nor from the dayes of Malachy vntill the comming of Christ, during all which time there was a deepe silence of the word. Nor in the captiuitie of Baby­lon, as appeareth by the prophesie of Zacharie.Zach. 3. & 5. Esa. 1. 6. Nor in the daies of Hussia, Io­than, Achaz, and Hezechia, when Esay [Page 14] complained that there was no whole part from the sole of the foote to the head, but wounds & swellings, and sores full of corruption. Nor in the time of Dauid,2. Sam. 13. when the incest of one of his sonnes,2. Sam. 15. the traiterous attempts of ano­ther,2. Sam. 11. yea the sinnes committed by Da­uid himself were most abhominable. And yet I hope the Author will acknowledge these to haue bene the apparant church of God, euen in the midst of grosse pol­lutions. Therefore it is not necessary for the esse or being of the church apparant, that euerie member therof be faithfull, &c. How is this therefore proued? here is quoted Psal. 111. 1. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart in the secret meetings of the iust, and in their congregation, that is, both publikely and priuatly, wheresoe­uer the iust do meete. Also Psal. 149. 1. where he calleth the said meetings, the congregation of the godly. But in these pla­ces Dauid neither saith, that it is vnpos­sible for a wicked man to ioyne with the faithfull in outward dueties; nor yet [Page 15] that the presence of the vngodly mā can cause the assembly not to be the congre­gation of the iust or godly, which is the matter that should haue bin concluded. Now wheras the church is called an ho­ly people, Esa. 62. 12. & Deut. 14. 2. it is in regard that they were the seed of him, with whom the couenant was made:Rom. 9. 4, &c. but howsoeuer in respect hereof the adopti­on pertained to them, & the glory, & the couenant, & the giuing of the Law & the seruice of God, & the promises, of whom are the fathers, and of whom concerning the flesh Christ came, and therfore were called an holy people: yet neither are all they Israel that are of Israel, vers. 6. neither yet is the true Israel cleane vntil the fountaine be opened to wash away their filthinesse:zacha. 13. 1. as for the church of Ephesus, Eph. 1. 1. & of Corinth, Cor. 1. 2. they are indeed called saints: but can we truly say that there was no pollution knowne among them? the matter is plain, that euē at that instant, as appeareth by both the Epistles, al things were not so well in these churches as [Page 16] were to be wished. Therefore, notwith­standing these churches are called saints, Israel holy, and the assemblie of such as worship God, a congregation of the iust: yet there may be a visible church of God though some member thereof be not faithfull. This people, saith our Author, must be also holy: for proofe whereof is brought Deut. 12. 5. where the peo­ple are commanded to worship in the place which the Lord should choose. But I pray you, when some of them o­beyed not, [...]. Reg. 12. 28. & 1. Reg. 16▪ 32. as Ieroboam, who caused the people to worship in Bethel and Dan: Achab,2. Chro. 33. who worshipped in the house of Baal, Manasses, and others, did the peo­ple of God cease to be the church of God? in no wise. VVe grant that Gods ordinances ought to be regarded, espe­cially in matters concerning his wor­ship: but this is not the matter in que­stion; but whether the breaking of them by some one man, can make the people of God to be no people vnto him? for this is it, that should haue bene conclu­ded. [Page 17] Next to this is alledged Iohn. 6. 37. which place, that it may the better be vn­derstood, we are to remember, that in the verse immediatly going before, Christ had said, Ye haue seene me and beleeue not: the he addeth, All that my father gi­ueth me, shall come vnto me: whereby he sheweth that the gift of faith is the free election of the father in Christ: so that faith is a certaine testimonie of election to the faithfull. The argument standeth thus. No man can come vnto Christ and beleeue in him, except it be giuen him of the father: therefore euerie member of the visible church is holy.In a treatise which they haue scatte­red abroad. Surely it is no maruell that the knowledge of the libe­ral sciences is condemned as an exercise of curious arts; but if they knew these Arts, no doubt they would be ashamed to abuse themselues & others with such sencelesse kinde of reasoning. Besides, what meaneth this, that to prooue the people of God faithfull, are alledged scriptures that speake of holines? as Esa. 62. 12. & Deut. 14. 2. And now to proue [Page 18] their holinesse, faith is mentioned? If faith and holinesse be all one, why are they noted as diuers with e & f? if they be not all one, why is the handling of them thus confounded? in one of these must be acknowledged a foule ouersight. Then followeth to proue the holinesse of the church aforesaid, Iohn. 3. 14. & 12. 32. both which places doe shew, that Christ will draw his elect vnto him: the first doth shew the meanes whereby this shalbe done, namely, by the ministerie of his word, which is signified by his lif­ting vp; the other place noting the time, viz. after his death. Now this is the force of this argument: Christ bringeth men to beleeue in him, therefore euery mem­ber of the visible church is holie. I neede not stay in shewing how well this proofe is made; we wil come to the last place for this matter cited, which is that of Christ, Luk. 17. 3. Looke to your selues, and so pro­ceedeth in shewing how reprehensions are to be vsed; I cannot perceiue what moued the Author to alledge this place [Page 19] which pertaineth not to the matter; ex­cept it were to make a shew in the mar­gent amongst his other friuolous & vain quotacions. To proceede, This faithfull and holy people is gathered in the name of Christ Iesus, their onely king, priest, and pro­phet, &c. That Christ Iesus is our onely king, priest, and prophet, and that the ser­uants of God in all their assemblies, both publike and priuate, do meete in his name, is confessed: but the manner of dealing with the scripture, is not here greatly to be commended. For how is the kingdome of Christ prooued? for it is cited, Gen. 44. and the tenth verse, where Ioseph speaking to his brethren of the cuppe, saith thus. Now then, let it be according to your words, he with whom it is found shall be my seruant, and yee shall be blamelesse. Truely, if a written coppie of this treatise, being more ancient then the printed booke had not come vnto my handes, wherein I see the same place quoted, I should haue laide this fault vppon the Printer, for I should neuer [Page 20] haue suspected a church builder to haue bene such a sencelesse prophaner of the word of God. The other testimonies, viz. Psal. 45. 6. Zac. 9. 9. Heb. 1. 8. are more plaine. So for his priesthood, the making intercession for his, Rom. 8. 34. & Ioh. 17. which is a part of that function; and Heb. 5. 9. & 8. 1. & 4. 14. speaking of the whole office, are to be accepted. Now to come to his propheticall function, for which is alledged Deut. 18. 15. which is not to be restrained vnto Christ; for it promiseth vnto the church a continuall succession of teachers in all ages. It is more to pur­pose, which is alledged out of Matth. 17. 5. & Heb. 1. 1. but as touching Gen. 14. 18. though it speaketh of Melchisedek, who was king of Salem, and a Priest, and was a figure of Christ, Heb. 7. 1. yet the place that is quoted hath small force in it selfe, to proue that, for the which it is brought.In his pam­phlet a­gainst read prayers, and Treatise of the church apparant.

This church also worshippeth him aright; that is, neither in a set forme of praier, nor yet in that place where discipline is not [Page 21] established; for we gather the Authors minde out of his owne writings. So that he alloweth that for true wor­ship, which is by the direction of Gods spirit, our onely helpe, and vnder the established gouernement of Pastors, &c. Indeed,Iohn. 4. God is a spirite, and is to be worshipped in spirite and truth, which cannot be done without his direction: yet are there certaine outward helpes which God hath sanctified for the furthe­ring of the weake, in their special seruing of God, as reading, &c. And if true wor­ship cannot be performed without this gouernment, then may not we iustifie, e­uen their owne seruing of God, for they thēselues do want this discipline. Three places of scripture are here abused,Exod. 20. 7. Leuit. 10. 5. Exo. 20. 7. 8. Leuit. 10. 5. Ioh. 4. 23. for not one of them condemneth read prayers in any mā, much lesse whol churches, either for them, or for want of this discipline. True it is, that the name of God must not be a­bused, neither must his worship be pro­phaned, as is euident to be seene in Na­dab [Page 22] and Abihu, who for their strange fire were consumed of the Lord; not that he regardeth so much a cole of fire, only he warneth men to take heede, that they worship God according to his owne ap­pointment. But to the matter. Did the sin of Nadab and Abihu cause Moses & his people to be no church vnto God? we may not so thinke. The offenders recei­ued iust recompence for their sin, the rest continued the seruants & worshippers of God. These proofs therfore faile in these points: First they proue not that the false worship of one maketh a nullity before God of the whole cōgregation, but shew the contrarie; secondly, they proue not a set forme of praier to be a taking of Gods name in vaine, a prophanation of the sa­baoth, or a carnal worship: but we say that this kind of worship is vnlike to that of Nadab & Abihu, because it is warranted in the word of God, wherin I wil not vrge Nu. 6. 23. or Matth. 6. 9. which hauing bin aledged heretofore, are turned aside with expounding the Hebrue coh, & the greek [Page 23] houtos, after this manner, or thus: as if the place in Numery were the sum of al bles­sings, & the other in Matth. were only gi­uē for a direction in our praiers; the vani­ty of which cauil, togither with the whole discourse hereof, I leaue to him who hath alredy dealt with this matter: & yet in the meane season, we may note that the 102. Ps. was not giuen for a patterne of prayer, but to be vsed for a prayer, as appeareth by the title therof. Tepillah legnanei kiiagne toph beliphne Iehouah jishpek shicho. A praier for the poore when he is distressed, pow­ring out his meditation before the Lord. Also Psa. 9. Mizmor shir leiom hashabath; A Psalme & song for the sabaoth day. So that as the former was a set praier for the afflicted, so this latter was a thanksgiuing for the blessings of God, & both of them vsed in his holy worship. Of the like sort are Psal. 42. 44. 22. 80. 39. and many other Psalmes which were not helpes onely to meditation, but set praiers in the church of God. Thirdly, these places proue not the want of this discipline to make a false [Page 24] worship, but we say that God cannot be truly serued, where the discipline descri­bed in this treatise is established, which shall appeare by that which followeth. Being peaceably gouerned by his officers and lawes. The Author expresseth what his meaning is, in the other part of this booke: for he describeth these officers and these lawes, what they are: Concer­ning all which, this I say in generall, that here is nothing but palpable ignorance to be found, for first these gouerning of­ficers,Officers. pastors, doctors, Elders, Deacons and relieuers, being fiue in number, are so necessarily required, that the want of these or any of these in a congregation, causeth it to be no Church apparant. A­gainst the which assertion, for to make their madnes more manifest, we do here by the way of supposition grant vnto thē, that there are such functions, & yet these exceptions may be taken: first, if the au­thor hath described the relieuer and the Deacon faithfully, then are they no go­uerning officers, but seruants vnto the [Page 25] church. Secondly, that the want of Elders taketh not away the esse or being of the church, considering that Christ and his disciples which ioined with him were the apparant church, and yet during the time of his humiliation these officers were not erected. And when many reuolted, as is to be seene Iohn. 6. Christ asking the twelue if they also would go away, Pe­ter answered in the name of the rest, Ma­ster to whom shall we go, thou hast the words of eternal life? so that Peter accounteth the word a sufficient warrant for his continu­ing with Christ, howsoeuer these men though they confesse that the worde of God is to be heard, yet denie the hearing of it at their mouthes, which haue not ordained Elders among them. But this may seeme no sufficient proofe, which is taken from Christ and his disci­ples, forasmuch as this discipline was not then commanded, I answere, that if there were a time when the church of Christ was without this gouernment, and foras­much as it receiued not the gouernment [Page 26] of the Iewes, it is not a perpetuall rule, that outward gouernment should be the life of the Church, but I will not holde them in this straight: they aske where we can finde a church without this gouerne­ment, after that Christ had sent his spirite vpon the disciples. I answere, that as Ti­mothie was left at Ephesus, so was Titus in Crete, I meane in the house of God, which is the church of the liuing God. And yet at that time Elders were not appointed in that church before Titus had ordained them, not to speake of the church of Ieru­salem, which made choise of Deacons, but not of Elders. Also it is plaine that the Elders which were appointed in the churches by the Apostles, were for the most part such as dealt in the worde, and not in gouerment onely, as heereafter shall be made more manifest in his due place. Thirdly, that the Doctor is not ne­cessary in euery congregation, nor yet to execute his office in the publike assem­blies. For wheras they themselues affirme that the word & sacramentes must go to­gether, [Page 27] for which they alledge that saying of Christ,Math. 28. 19. Go preach, haptising: by which saying wee are drawen to the mislike of vn­preaching ministers: so by the same wee may conclude against an vnministering Doctorship, the worde and Sacraments, the mysteries of God are not to be diuor­ced, yet do we acknowledge the office of a Doctor, a distinct matter frō the pastors function, who is to feed his sheep with the mysteries of God, both worde and Sacra­ments in the assēblies, which are for Gods worship; the Doctor attending vpon his dutie in a place by the church appointed, instructing men in the true sense of the scriptures, whereby the church may haue able men alwaies in readines, to supplie such romes as shalbee void in the church by death or otherwise, Pastor in ecclesijs, Doctor in scholis. In annota. Bez. Eph. 4. Lastly, I saie, that though it were grāted, that this platform drawen out in this treatise, were warranted by the word, yet cānot they ascribe to it an abili­tie to make the church of God perfect therby in this life, for thē shuld that praier [Page 28] be needlesse,Matth. 6. 12. forgiue vs our sinnes. Nei­ther will they say, that these offices can at al times be had, especially when there are not men sufficiently qualified for them: for they confesse that Gods ordi­nances are not to be prophaned, and to haue no Elders is better then to haue ignorant and insufficient Elders, and in this respect do they cleare the church in the dayes of Christs humiliation, and ac­quit it from sinne in the want of this esta­blished gouernement; nor yet will they grant, that if there were men meete for these offices, that yet they should be set in these roomes before the church doth elect them,In this trea­tise. for here is no intrusion, &c. So that the most that by their owne doctrine is to be yeelded vnto, is this; that when men are able, in respect of their gifts, to vndertake this burthen, if it be thought a matter expedient by euery member of the church, then is this gouernement ne­cessary,In the trea­tise of the apparant church but this is farre wide from that conclusion which is made against the church of England, that it should not be a [Page 29] church, bicause it did not receiue this go­uernement. I omit to speake any further of the particular offices, vntil we come to the seuerall handling of them. And as tou­ching the lawes which here are required, either they are not at all described in this booke, which were grosse, or else we must confesse that the lawes of Christ are vn­perfect, which is impious. For the lawes that in the end of this boke are set down, are such as may seeme to be sufficient for the ordering of the common sort, but if the Elder be disordered, here is no lawe for his reformatiō, or if the whole seigno­ry do faile either in iudgement or in pro­ceeding (as generall councels, much more a priuat eldership may feele their wants) there is no manner of proceeding declared in this euill. VVell the church of Christ must be guided by his officers and lawes. How is this proued? Heere is alleaged Matth. 11. 29. where Christ wil­leth vs to take his yoke on vs. Mark. 13. 34. where is shewed that he hath com­mitted to euerie man his worke: in both [Page 30] these, he speaketh not of discipline, one­ly he willeth men in all meeknes to walke in their callings. VVhereunto is fitly ioy­ned that of Paul, 1. Cor. 11. 16. If any man lust to be contentious, we haue no such custom nor the churches of God. And I wish with all my heart that he which quoted these pla­ces, had the grace to practise that do­ctrine which in them is contained. That of Iohn, Reue. 22. 9. where the Angel doth forbid Iohn to worship him. I acknow­ledge my ignorance in not conceiuing how it is applied to the matter in hande, Keeping the dutie of faith. This keeping of faith in the bond of peace & loue, beeing required in the foresaide officers (as the wordes seeme to import) cannot be con­cluded by the places of Scripture, which are cited for that purpose, Eph. 4. 3. 1. Cor. 1. 13. Mark. 9. 50. Iohn. 13. 34. 1. Cor. 13. 4. 1. Pet. 1. 22. 1. Iohn. 3. 18. for all these (one of them onely excepted, viz. 1. Co. 13. 4. which describeth the properties of loue) are generall exhortations vnto all men, not particular to these officers, to keep [Page 31] the vnitie of the spirit in the bōd of peace and loue. Thus farre of the matter wher­of this visible church is framed. Now fol­loweth the dignity and glorie thereof.


MostPs. 87. 2 ioyfull, excellent and glorious things are euerywhere in the Scriptures spoken of this church, it is called thePs. 87. 2 citie,1. Ti. 3. 15 Heb. 3. 6 house,1. Co. 3. 17 temple, andEsa. 2. 2 Micha. 4. 1 mountaine of the eternall God, the chosen generation, thezach. 8. 3 1. Pet. 2. 9. holy nation, the peculiar peo­ple, theIsa. 51 and 27. 11. vineyard, theCan. 4. 12. Isa. 51. 3 garden enclosed, the spring shut vp, the sealed fountain, the orchard of pomgranads with sweete fruites, theIsa. 9. 25 heri­tage, theMic. 3. 2 Iohn. 3. 3 kingdome of Christ: yea hisCant. 5. 2 sister, his loue, his spouse, hisPsa. 45. 9 queene, and his1. Cor. 12. 17 Ephe. 1. 23 bodie, the ioy of the whole earth. To this societie is the Gal. 4. 28couenant, and all the promises made ofPs. 147. 14 2. Thes. 3. 16 peace, of loue, & ofIsa. 46. 13. Zac. 14. 17 saluation, of theEsa. 60 Ezec. 47 Zach. 4. 12 presence of God, of his graces, of his power, & of his protection.


The excellency of the visible church of God is cōmended vnto vs by the names & titles giuen vnto it, & also by this, that the couenant and promises of peace are made vnto it,Ez. 48. 35 Math. 8. 20 Esa. 62 both which we acknoledge [Page 32] with them, both iointly, and in euery par­ticular title and promise. Onely I would haue obferued that some of these quota­tions are not made in the wisest sort: for Heb. 3. 6. and 1. Cor. 3. 17. do not speake of the whole visible church, which is a companie of both good and bad, which ioyne in one profession, but of the faith­full only, which are members of the same. VVheras the church is called, a holy peo­ple Zach. 8. 3. 1. Pet. 2. 9. (as vpon the like allegation hath bin said) it is partly in re­gard of Gods couenant, and partly to put them in remembrance of that holinesse, whereunto they are called, and wherein they ought to walke, and not as if they were void of pollution, as our author fan­tastically dreameth. This church is called a vineyard Esay. 5. 1. but not in the place cited for this purpose. It is compared vn­to a garden inclosed, but not so called Cant. 4. 12. and Esa. 51. 3. It is called the kingdom of heauen Matth. 11. 12. but in the thirde of Michah alleaged is no such thing. In deede in a written copie I finde [Page 33] Math. 3. 2. quoted, where the kingdome of God is mentioned, not for the visible Church, but for that happinesse which is assured in newnesse of life. In which sense that of Christ is to be vnderstood Iohn. 3. 3. whereas the Church is called the body of Christ. Ephes. 1. 23. It is not meant by the visible, but the vniuersall church of God. Thus vnder hope to get credit by folding vp a multitude of scri­ptures in a narrowe roome, ignorance hath vnfolded and laide it selfe open to the broad world. But why are these ti­tles of the church broght into this trea­tise? Surely that from the excellencie of them might be enforced a perfection. But who knoweth not wherefore these titles were giuen, and those promises were made vnto the Church, viz. that it and e­uerie member there of might bee assured of Gods loue, whereby they might bee comforted in the middest of the repro­ches of men, knowing that the temporal miseries which they endure, and the de­spightfull dealings wherevnto they are [Page 34] subiect, shall not be able to ouerwhelme them seeing they are so precious in the eies of God. Also that the remebrance of this excellēcy, might stir thē vp to looke vnto their cōuersation, that as God hath begū to deal graciously with thē, so they shuld labor for the cōtinuāce of his loue in a daily mortifieng of their corrupt af­fections, & putting on the Lord Iesus, in whō only standeth the glorie, comfort, & saftie of the church.

And surely if this Church be considered in her partes,Brownist it shall appeare most beautifull, yea most wonderfull, andCan. 6. 4. 9. rauishing the senses to conceiue, much more to beholde, what then to inioy so blessed a communion? For behold herIsa. 62. 11. Io. 12. 15 Heb. 7. 8 king and Lord is the king of peace, and Lorde himselfe of all glorie. She enioyeth most holie and heauenlyMat. 11. 30 1. Iohn. 5. 3. lawes, most faithfull and vigi­lant Act. 20pastors, most sincere & pureRom. 12. 7 teachers, most carefull and vprightRom. 12. 8 gouernours, most diligent andAct. 6 trustie deacons, most louing and soberRom. 12. 8 Iohn. 13. 17 Deut. 13. 17 releeuers, & a mostMath. 5. 5. Deut. 18. 10 Eze. 36. 38. Esa. 60. 8 humble, meek, obe­dient, faithful & louing people, euerie1. Reg. 7. 9. Zach. 14. [...]1. 1 Pet. 2. 5 stone li­uing, elect & precious, euery stone hath his beu­tie, hisGal. 6. 2 burden & his1. Co. 12 Rom. 12. 3 order, al bound toHeb. 10. 24 edi­fie [Page 35] one another, exhort, reproue & comfort one anotherLeui. 15. 17 1. Thes. 4. 9 louingly, as to their owne members,Col. 3. 23 1. Ioh. 3. 20 faithfully as in the eies of God.

No2. Col. 2. 17 3. Iohn. 9 office here is ambitiously affected, no 1. Ti. 4. 2. 3 Gal. 6. 12law wrongfully wrested, or1. Cor. 5 wilfully neglec­ted, noIere. 23. 28 1. Tim. 3. 15 truth hid or peruerted,1. Cor. 6. and 14. 30. euery one here hath fredom & power not disturbīg the peace­able order of the church, to vtter his cōplaints & griefes, & freely to reproue the trāsgressiōs & errors of any, without exceptiō of persons.

Here is noIohn. 10. 1. intrusiō or climbing vp another waie into the sheepfold, thē Act. 1. 23. & 6. 3. & 14. 23 by the holy & free electiō of the Lords holy & free people, & that according to the Lords ordinance, hūbling thē ­selues by fasting and praier before the Lorde, crauing the direction of his holy spirite for the trial and approuing of his gifts.

Here is a third matter set down to com­mend the church vnto vs,Answere. viz. the glorie, excellēcy & sincerity of euery part therof being seuerally considered. VVhich mat­ter if it could be as soundly proued, as it is cōfidently spokē, thē were this church in itself without Christ most beutiful, yea most wonderfull, and euen rauishing the [Page 36] senses to conceiue, much more to be­holde: what then to enioy so blessed a communion? But to begin withall, the place of Salomon,Cant. 5. Can. 6. 4. 9. is much a­bused by the author, whilest that it is ap­plied to cōmēd the beutie of the church, which is nothing else but blacknesse, as the church her selfe acknowledgeth. For wheras in the former chapter the church hath accused her selfe of negligence, in not perfourming her dueties vnto her spouse. And (the daughters of Ierusalem comforting her) she declared his nature and disposition, the place of his abode, &c. whereby shee doeth aggreuate her former fault. For (quem beneficia accepta meliorem non reddunt, Chrisost. de sacerd. li. 4. is certe etiam grauius suppliuum commeretur. Hee whome bene­fites receiued make not better, doth de­serue the more grieuous punishment. And surely the greater the loue of Christ is to the church, the greater is the sinne of the church in not performing dutie.) Novv in the former parte of this sixth chapter, her beloued doth comfort her, [Page 37] & doth assure hir that she is as dere vnto him novv, as euer before she had beene. So then it is not the excellencie of the church that commendeth her, but her spouse through his gracious fauor doth accept of her, notvvithstanding her de­fects, which she acknowledgeth.The seueral parts of the church. To let this passe, let vs consider the seuerall parts of this visible church.Her king. Her King and Lord is the king of peace, and Lord himself of al glory, the sauior of Sion. Esa. 62. 11. a king, Iohn. 12. 15. and one, whose soueraigntie was figured in Melchizedek, Heb. 7. 8. So that in regard of this hir king, we also do confesse the church to be glorious; She enioyeth most holy and heauenly lawes. Her lawes. Most true it is, that the commandements of Christ are such, that it cannot iustly be counted a seruitude to be obedient vnto them; yrksome they are no doubt to a carnall man, but not to him that lo­ueth God: this is it that is witnessed in the places alledged, viz. Matt. 11. 30. and 1. Iohn. 5. 3. but what are these Lawes and commandements? Our Sauiour Christ, say [Page 38] they, was fortie daies after his resurrection conuersant with his Apostles, teaching them those things which concerne the building of the church and kingdome, and the Apostles accor­ding as they haue receiued instruction of him, so they builded, and lefte vs a patterne nowe. So that these most holie lawes were gi­uen by Christ to his Apostles, betvveene the times of his resurrection and ascen­tion.

VVhereunto I saie, that although the discipline of Christ beeing his owne ordinance is most holy, yet this is to put it in the number of vnwritten verities, when men would proue it by such argu­ments as this is. And as for the saying of Christ by them produced, it doth not speake of discipline, for hee onelie wil­leth his Disciples to take his yoake vp­on them.

I knowe that they take this Yoake for discipline, but the circumstaunces of the place do bewraie their ignorance in so thinking. For in bearing this yoake, CHRIST willeth that his example [Page 39] bee followed, Learne of me, saith Christ. Nowe I woulde vnderstande of these men, what was that Church, wherein Christ founde this discipline established, and submitted himselfe vnto the same, leauing this his deede for an example to bee followed: if they cannot tel me this, as it is harde to shewe that which neuer was, I wonder what hath moued them to wring out discipline from hence, seeing that Christ onely exhorteth to submis­sion, meeknes, &c. by his example. The Philosopher was not so grosse in his Panspermia, as they are in making quidli­bet ex quolibet so commonly. Yet I saie againe, the lawes of Christ are most ho­ly, and that discipline which he appro­ueth most necessarie, which is not the gouernment which heere is decyphe­red, for it shall appeare to bee the de­uice of man, without the approbation of the vvord of God, but the rule of his worde, wherein vvee are taught to em­ploie our selues in our seuerall callings, to performe those dueties which in our [Page 40] callings God requireth at our handes. As for the vigilancie of Pastors,Her mem­bers. the sin­ceritie of Doctors, the carefulnesse of Gouernors, the trustinesse of those vnto whom the care of the poore is commit­ted, the sobrietie of relieuers, the humi­litie, obedience and meekenesse of the people; these are required in the word of God, and all the testimonies in this cause cited (one or two excepted) are admoni­tions, & exhortations, that men wold be carefull of these things, as they do con­cerne them in their callings. But do these proofes here vsed iustifie that the visible church enioyeth such a people, qualified in this sort? Nay, those that come nee­rest the matter, as Rom. 12. 7. 8. Act. 20. 28. Matth. 5. 5. Deut. 18. 10. are but exhor­tations vnto this fidelitie, vigilancy, &c. but no promises that the church shal en­ioy such men alwayes.Bulling. & Ioh. Bale in Act. 2. Fre­neus contra valent. li. 1. cap. 27. Ter­tul. in pre­scrip. Heret. Some of these scriptures do flatly shew the contrarie. Read Act. 20. vers. 29. 30. I know, saith Paul, there shall enter in among you grieuous wolues, not sparing the flocke, &c. It is also [Page 41] the iudgement of some, that one of the deacons spoken of Act. 6. was the first of the Nicholaitans mentioned Reuel. 2. 6. Other places alleaged are nothing to the purpose as Ioh. 13. 7. which is not spoken of the widowes, that here are called rele­uers, but to the disciples of their duties in helping one an other. Likewise Esay. 60. which is a prophesie of the calling of the Gentiles, and & Eze. 36. 38. which promi­seth a blessing vpon Israell, are farre from prouing that euerie member of the visi­ble church is meeke, obedient, &c. thus hath our author tolde vs of many good things, without due proofe of any one.

VVhen this describer of the church, had shewed vs the sinceritie of euerie member particularly, he giueth his iudge ment of them all iointly, saying: Euerie stone is liuing elect & pretious, which is con­firmed with three testimonies: the first is, 1. Reg. 7. 9. where the building of Solo­mon being shewed in order, that he built one house to dwell in, an other called the forrest of Libanon, a porch for the throne [Page 42] where he iudged, and a house also for Pharaos daughter, it is said, All these were of costlie stones. And how then? did euerie of these buildinges to what vse soeuer they were appointed, represent the visi­ble church of God? The onely sight of this place is sufficient to shew what force it hath to prooue the matter in question. The second place is Zach. 14. 21. Euerie pot in Ierusalem and Iuda shall be holie vnto the Lord of hostes, and all they that sacrfice shall come, and take of them, and seeth therein: by this ceremonie the people were put in minde, that euerie of them doe worship the Lorde with holy affections, but this doeth not prooue that all the people did thus behaue thēselues in Gods worship; the contrary is plaine. Agg. 2. 11. 12. &c. The last place which is 1. Pet. 2. 5. cōmeth more neere the marke: for the Apostle saith that as liuely stones they were made a spirituall house; yet he saith not that e­uery one among them was so, and those that were, he declareth from whence it came: to wit, Iesus Christ. In which mat­ter [Page 43] (if no further purity be ment by the au­thor) we do agree: as also that euerie one hath his burthen & his order, being boūd to edifie one an other, exhort, reproue, and comfort one an other louingly as be­ing members of one bodie, and faithful­ly, as in Gods sight. The neglect of these duties hath bred, nourished, & continued this late & pestilent schisme amongst vs.

That the affecting of offices, the wre­sting or neglecting of laws, & peruerting of truth are not incident to the church, is newes too good to be true, as shal appere euen by the selfe same places of scripture which here are set in the margent as good proofes of the authors follies, whiles that they do so flatly gainesay that which they should iustifie. For manie make merchandize of the word. 2. Cor. 2. 17. And Diotrephes lo­ueth to haue the preheminence 3. Iohn. 9. then is there affecting of offices. In the latter times some shall speake lies through hipocrisie, and haue their consciences burned with an hot iron 1. Timoth. 4. 2. And some desiring to make a faire shew in the flesh constraine men [Page 44] to be circumcised Galat. 6. 12. then is there peruerting of trueth. The Corinthians were negligent in proceeding against the incestuous person 1. Cor. 5. then is there neglecting of lawes. VVhat shall we then say to this man, who woulde make the world beleue, that the scriptures do con­firme that, which they do so directly and plainely deny? Let him pronounce the sentence vpon him selfe. He saith, The pro­phet that hath a dreame let him tell a dreame, and he that hath Gods word let him speake Gods word faithfully. Ier. 23. 28. and so say I: for it is a vile abuse, that is offered to God and man, when a dreame or fancie is countenaunced with the scriptures, which doe ouerthrow it. What is the chaffe to the wheat. Timothie durst not thus behaue himselfe in Gods house 1. timoth. 3. 15. Euerie member of the church (say they) ought to haue freedome to vtter his complaintes and griefes, yea and not disturbing the peaceable order of the church (by passing the boundes of his calling) to reproue transgressions and errors: this we grant of our owne accord, not be­ing [Page 45] vrged hereunto by any thing menti­oned. 1. Corinth. 6. or 14. 30. which proue it not; but that the estate of the visible church is such, that euerie member hath alwaies this freedome, we deny it. Also, we say, that as there may be intrusion or climing vp an other way into the sheepe­fold through mens corruptions, then by the election of those to whome election doth belong: so woulde it be a horrible cōfusion if the election of offices were left in the hands of the people, as in this plat­forme of discipline they doe teach vs, but that the people should haue their interest in ordination, also is more then grosse. For proofe whereof, I will not stand vp­pon those places of Paule 1. Tim. 5. 22. lay not thy hand rashlie on anie man, and Tit 15. for this cause left I thee at Creete, that thou mightest appoint Elders in euerie citie, be­cause that although they flatly gainesay the ordination of Elders by the people; yet they seeme not sufficient vnto some, to infringe the libertie of the people in e­lection also;Caluin Inst. lib. 4. cap. 3 Sect. 15. because that Luke shewing [Page 46] howe Paule and Barnabas appointed El­ders in the churches,Act. 14. 23. saith that they did it by consent. And it is not to be thought saith Caluin that Paule did grant a grea­ter liberty to Timothie and Titus then he tooke vnto himselfe: for which purpose is also alleged Ciprian who would,Cipr. lib. 1. vt sacer­dos plebe presente sub omnium oculis deligatur atque dignus atque idoneus publico iudicio cō ­probetur; Epist. 3. that the priest, when the people are present, be chosen in the sight of all & be approued to be sufficient & meete by common consent. Vnto all which I say, that euen these authorities of Luke, Cal­uin, and Ciprian do flatly deny that elec­tion should be made by the people: for Praeesse electioni debere alios pastores nequid vel per leuitatē, Calu. Ibid. vel per mala studia, vel per tu­multū à multitudine peccetur. Other pastors ought to rule the election, lest the multi­tude faile either through lightnes or by e­uill practises, or tumult: so that howsoeuer it be granted by these places cited, that a wise people ought to haue their cōsent in election, yet if they be tumultuous, ill cō ­ditioned, [Page 47] or void of grauity (as generally the cōmon sort are fautie in one of these) then ought other pastors to rule, yea and ouerrule thē. Those churches also which by the iudgement of our author himselfe are most reformed, who admit not any thing of weight to be don, inscia vel inuita ecclesia, yet whatsoeuer pertaineth to the state of the church, they haue the same di­sposed by the cōmon counsel of the Elder ship, so that election is in their power, the people consenting vnto them. And ther­fore (not to presse the authority of Chri­sostom, writing about the yere of our lord 500. saith flatly that neither people nor Elders were to elect a bishop,Chrisost. in Phil. hom. 2. or a mini­ster but the bishop only) neither election, much lesse ordination ought to be at any time in the hands of the multitude, furder then in giuing cosent vnto the pastors, nor at all to be regarded if they be such as before haue bin mentioned; and ther­fore as these men are vaine in arroga­ting more then this, so are they vaine in censuring the churche of Englande, [Page 48] for that it leaueth not this election vnto the people, whose ignorance is general­ly great for want of instruction, & whose heads are generally very tumultuous by the meanes of such as this our author is. VVhy are not they a holie and free people? Num. 16. 3. Indeede when Corah and his companie had gathered them selues togither a­gainst Moses and Aaron, they said, Ye take too much vpon you seeing all the congre­gation is holie euerie one of them and the Lord is among them. But I doubt I should iniurie Corah by comparing these men vnto him; for he vnder the pretense of holi­nesse and freedome, sought onely to be priuiledged from submission; but these our men vnder the same vaile, content not thēselues herewith, but in their aspi­ring minds do seeke to bring not the go­uernement of the church onely, but of the weale publike also into their handes; for obtaining where of they lay this plat­forme: first that priuatmen are to erect and establish this gouernment of theirs, and then it being erected that all matters [Page 49] both ciuill and ecclesiastical are to be or­dered by the same. The later of these two pointes wil be manifest hereafter in their description of an Elder, who (as they say) must discerne betweene plea and plea, &c. And as touching the former point, al­though in one of their writings which they haue dispersed they haue made this protestatiō; We purpose not to medle with the reformation of the state, otherwise then by our prayers vnto God; yet as forgetting them selues, immediately after in the same dis­course they affirme, that Christ hath left but one forme of gouernement in his last will and Testament vnto his church, which he hath sealed with his bloud: and therefore not left it arbitrable at the plesures of princes, or policies of times to be done or vndone, but made it by a double right inuiolable, both by his vvord and his Testamēt: so that the church of God can neither be gouerned by any other lawes or gouernement, neither ought it to be without this; for God holdeth them all in the state of enemies, which haue not his sonne to raigne ouer them. Now then the [Page 50] faithfull are cōmāded to gather togither in Christs name, with promise of directiō & protection, & authoritie not only to e­stablish his lawes & ordinances amōg thē but faithfully to gouern his church ther­by; for the kingdom of God cōsisteth not in word but in power. Now this assembly of the faithfull before they be planted & established in this order, cōsisteth hither­to but of priuate persons, none as yet be­ing called vnto office, & function. There­fore we may well conclude that God cō ­mādeth his faithful seruants being as yet priuat men, togither to build his church, according to the true patterne of Christs Testament: thus farre they. But here is no word of God to proue any of these asser­tions: we read of Asa, Iehosaphat, Iehoiada the priest, Hezekia, Iosia & others, some of them pulling downe the abominations of Iuda, others setting vp the priests & Le­uits in their places in the house of God disposing thē as in the feere of God, semed good in their eies; but in the whole book of God is not to be found either precept [Page 51] or exāple to warrant a priuat man in pur­ging, much lesse in erecting the church of God. Who then required these things at the hands of these men? will they tell vs of extra­ordinary procedings in matters of extre­mity? Let them shew herein some extra­ordinary testimony from God to warrant vs in regarding them, otherwise here is in trusion. For howsoeuer Zerubbabel & Ie­hosuah, Ezra & Nehemia did daily pray for the restoring of the people out of captiuity, & were most willing & ready to go before thē, & to bring them to Ierusalem, yet vntill they had authority cōmitted to thē so to do by the kings of Persia, Cirus, Darius & others,Ezra. 1. they neuer durst attēpt the matter;Ezra. 7. and yet we may truly say that these were no common persons,Neh. 1. 4. & 2. 5. Iehosua being the high priest, Zerubbabel a chief mā of the people, Ezra a scribe of the law, & Nehemia a great man, yea in the court of Artashast: but they al knew ful wel that Moses & Aaron the prince and the priest must ioine together in all such actions.

Likewise in this church they haue holieBrownist [Page 52] Math. 5. 17 1. Tim. 1. 18lavves as limites and boundes, vvhich it is lavvfull at no hand to transgresse, they haue lavves to direct them in the choise of euerie of­ficer, vvhat kiude of them the Lord vvill haue.


This tautologie of the holy lawes of the church, it is not so vnwisely iterated & repeated, but it is as foolishly also and fondly proued. For Christ Matth. 5. 17. saying, that he came not to destroy the lavve and the prophets but to fulfill them; and Paul 1. Tim. 1. 18. giuing a commandement to Timothie, which commandement is ex­pressed what it is in the third, fourth, and fift verses of the same chapter, doe not once speke of the churches lawes for out­ward direction▪ as may appeare euident­ly to euery one that hath but a meane iudgement in the scriptures.


Their pastor must be apt toLeu. 21. 17 Matth. 2. 6. 1. Tim. 3. 2. teach, no yong scholler2. Tim. 2. 15. able to diuide the word aright,Tit. 1. 9. 2. Tim. 4. hol­ding fast the faithfull word according to doc­trine, that he may be able also to exhort, rebuke improue with wholesome doctrine, and to con­uince [Page 53] them that say against it: he must be a man that loueth goodnes, he must be wise, righ­teoue, holy, temperate: he must be of lifeTit. 1. 7. 8 vnre­proueable as Gods steward: he must be general­ly wel reported of, and one that ruleth his owne householde vnder obedience with all honestie: he must be modest, humble, meeke, gentle and lo­uing: he must be a man ofNum. 12. 3 Esa. 50. 4 Iere. 3. 15 Eze. 34. 18. Zach. 7. 11 Act. 20 1. Pet. 5. 1. 2. 3. 4 1. Tim. 2. 20 great patience, com­passion, labour and diligence: he must alwaies be carefull and watchfull ouer the flocke, wher­of the Lord hath made him ouerseer, with all willingnes and cheerefulnes, not holding his of­fice in respect of persons, but doing his duetie to euerie soule, as he will answere before the chiefe shepheard, &c.


In this descriptiō of the pastors office, as the author hath set down some things therein required, so hath he lefte other matters pertaining (by his own doctrine) thereunto, altogether vntouched: for whereas he telleth vs of an Eldershippe, wherein the pastor is the chiefe, here is nothing mentioned of this matter, as if the ecclesiasticall censure remained as [Page 54] peculiar vnto the Elders. Againe, foras­much as he requireth in a pastor, that hee exhort, rebuke, and conuince the gayne-sayers of wholesome doctrine: hee doth confirme herein that which hath ben said concerning the Doctor, for either this functiō is not in the publik place of Gods worship, or else it doeth intrude into the pastorall charge, & so these offices would not be seuered and diuerse. Thirdly, see­ing modestie, humilitie, meeknes, &c. are necessarie in a Pastor, Doctor, Elder, aud all, we seee howe vnfitte these men are to beare anie office in the Church of God, considering how farre they are from mo­destie, meeknes, or ciuill honestie, when they call the ministerie of England trai­tors to Christ, In the trea­tise of the church ap­parant. the Popes bastardes, wicked guides, Antichrists, &c. VVhen the booke of common praier is tearmed a peece of swines flesh,In another pamphlet of theirs. and the people of Englande generally are accounted persecutors of the church of God, & no Christians. Last­ly, we may obserue, that some of these te­stimonies of Scripture in the margent are [Page 55] not so fit as might bee to proue the office of a pastor. For Nu. 12. 3. doth speake of the meeknes of Moses, but his was not a pastorall charge. Esa. 50. 4. setteth foorth the Prophets diligence, Zach. 7. 11. com­plaineth of the peoples obstinacie: but what are these to proue the office of a pa­stor? The place that is quoted 1. Tim. 2. 20. because it is somewhat after the end of the chapter, it shall be answered when that verse is found.


Their Doctor or teacher must bee a man apt to teach,1. Tim. 3 Tit. 1. able to diuide the word of God aright, and to deliuer sound and wholsome doctrine frō the same,1. Tim. 1. 15. still bulding vpon the same grounde worke,1. Cor. 1. 17 & 2. 4 he must be mightie in the Scriptures, a­ble to conuince the gainsaiers, and carefully to deliuer his doctrine pure, sound and plaine, not vvith curiositie or affection, but so that it may edifie the most simple, approuing it to euerie mans conscience, he must be of life vnreprouea­ble, one that can gouerne his owne household, he must be of manners sober, temperate, modest, gentle and louing, &c.


In this description of a doctor here is nothing differing from that which hath bin in the description of a pastor. For as there, no mētion was made of any eccle­siastical iurisdiction, so here it is also pas­sed ouer in silence, as if he had neuer said that the pastor and doctor were gouer­ning officers. And as there he requireth of a pastor the diuiding of the worde of God aright, and the approuing of it to e­uerie mans conscience, so doth he heere require the same in a doctor: and both a­like in the iudgement of our author are to execute their office without any diffe­rence either of the place or of the mat­ter, or of the manner of dealing, then the which what can be more fond, if he spea­keth the truth in saying that these offices are limited, seuered and diuers. And lastlie, as in the description of a pastor, the scri­ptures were abused, so in this of a doctor they are not friendly handled. For these-places, 1. Tim. 3. Tit. 1. & 2. Tim. 2. 15. haue bene alleaged before for the pastor, who [Page 57] being an ouerseer of Christs flocke, hath not bene denied the vse of the Scriptures to decypher out his calling, but in bring­ing the same in again for a Doctor, it ap­peareth that the store is now spent, wher­of there was no spare in the beginning of this Treatise. Also these 1. Cor. 1. 17. & 2. 4. doe shew what Paul did in his Apo­stleship: but the office of a Doctor is a distinct matter from the office of an Apo­stle,Ephe. 4. 11 & therefore altogether impertinent vnto this matter, are these testimonies v­sed by the author.

Their Elders must be of wisdome and iudge­ment,Brownist endued with the spirite of God,Num. 11. 24 able to di­scerne betweene cause and cause,2. Chr. 19. 8 betweene plea and plea,Act. 15 and accordingly to preuent and re­dresse euils,1. Tim. 5 alwaies vigilant, and intending to see the statutes, ordinances and lawes of God kept in the church, & that not only by the peo­ple in obedience, but to see the officers do their duties. These men must be of life likewise vnre­proueable, gouerning their own families order­ly, they must be also of maners sober, gentle, mo­dest, louing, temperate, &c.


The third sorte of gouerning officers in the Church, are by our author called Elders, concerning which name, howso­euer Caluine reporteth,Cal. Inst. lib 4. cap. 4. se. 1 that in churches of former times some had this title giuen vnto them, who onely were conuersant in the censure of the church, yet is it ge­nerally in the Scriptures ascribed vnto them that laboured in the worde and sa­craments; as appeareth Tit. 1. 5. Act. 14. 12. & 20. 17. & in other places. And theru­pon Caluin saith,Cal. Inst. lib. 4. cap. 3. sect. 8. Quod Episcopos & presby­teros, & pastores, & ministros promiscue vo­caui, qui ecclesias regunt, idfeciex scripturae vsu, quae vocabulaista cōfundit. In that I haue without making difference named Bi­shops and Elders, and Pastors and Mini­sters, I haue done it according to the pra­ctise of the Scripture which confoundeth these wordes.Ier. in tit. & Euagrio. E­pist. 58 And Ierome sayth, Vete­ribus eos omnino fuisse presbyteros, quos E­piscopos. VVith those of ancient times the same men were Elders which were Bi­shops. Therfore it is not so directly from [Page 59] the word of God, (as in the title of this booke is promised) but from the practise of some churches that he hath taken this name Elder, to giue it vnto those which beare office without anie further dea­ling in the ministerie of the word. As the name Elder in this place is not vsuall in the word, so the office of an Elder, as it is here described, hath neither warrant of the worde, nor yet of any church, whe­ther ancient or of latter daies. I graunt that certain churches haue made choice of men which shoulde deale onely in the censures of the church, whom they haue called Presbyteros, Elders. But the most that they haue euer required in such an Elder was, that he should be sound in faith, in life vnreproueable, able to di­scerne of the dealings of euerie calling in the church, careful to see rightly into the same, and readie to ioyne in correcting with ecclesiastical censure, those that are vndutifull, beeing helpfull vnto the rest. But that it shoulde belong vnto them to discerne betweene cause and cause, be­tweene [Page 60] plea and plea, &c. It is a plaine pulling of the svvorde out of the magi­strates hand. They meane no such mat­ter (they saie) for they graunt the magi­strate his authoritie ouer the persons, though not ouer the causes of men. This it is, whereas her Maiesty hath appointed Iudges in the land to end causes, decide controuersies, & to giue sentence vpon malefactors, and shirifes to see the exe­cution of that vvhich the Iudges haue determined: the seat of iudgement must be brought into the consistorie of these Elders, and the office of the Shirife must be onely lefte in the hande of the magi­strate, to see the decrees of these aun­cients put in execution. Now tell mee if these men do not goe beyond Corah & his companie,Num. 26. 3. as before vvas said? yet I will leaue the further consideration of these matters vnto those whom they doe concerne, onely let vs see vvhat warrants they haue out of the worde of God for the largenesse of this their commission. Num. 11. 24. maketh men­tion [Page 61] of three score and tenne men which were chosen by the appointment of God to bee assistants vnto Moses, but these were temporall magistrates, and not ec­clesiasticall. Againe, it sayth not that Mo­ses was discharged, and the authoritie of iudging betweene plea and plea, remay­ned in the power of these men onely. As like to purpose is Act. 15. where there is neither anie such authoritie mentioned as aforesayd, nor yet such an office as an vnministering Elder spoken of. For the worde Elders in that place, doeth signifie those that labour in vvord and doctrine, as hath beene noted before. As touch­ing that of Paul, 1. Tim. 5. 17. An Elder is worthie of double honour, especially such as labour in the worde and doctrine. From whence is collected that there were some Elders, which did not labour in the word and doctrine. I answere, that there was a time (as before was saide) when such Elders were in the church, but when they had their beginning, how long they cōtinued, & how far their office extēded: [Page 62] The author hath neither in this place nor els where shewed. At the first they were not, as by that hath bene shewed may ap­peare. Afterward it should seeme that some such were appointed for the secret meetings of the faithful, whiles they were vnder persecution, but when the church increased and was dispersed into nati­ons, as now it is in England, we reade not that such were continued in the Church, nay the contrarie is flatly testified. For as Ierome sayeth, Idem est Presbyter qui est Episcopus: & antequam diaboli instinctu, studia in religione fieret, & diceretur in popu­lis, ego sum Pauli, ego Appollo, ego autem Ce­phae, communi Presbyterorum concilio, ecclesiae gubernabantur. Postquam vero vnusquis (que) eos quos baptizauerat, suos putabat esse non Christi, in toto orbe decretumest, vt vnus de Praesbyteris electus supponeretur ceteris, ad quem omnis Ecclesiae cura pertineret. An El­der is the same that a Bishoppe is, and be­fore that through the instigation of the deuill affection bare swaie in matters of religion, and that it was said amongst the [Page 63] people, I am of Paul, I am of Apollo, I am of Cephas, the churches were gouer­ned by the common councell of the el­ders, but after that euerie one thought, that those whome hee baptized were his owne, and not Christes, it was deereed throughout the world, that one of the el­ders should be set in the place of the rest, to whome might pertaine the whole state of the Church. If there be any help, it must be had from the 2. Chro. 19. 8. for there it is thus writen. Moreouer in Ieru­salem Iehosaphat did appoint of the Leuites & of the priests and of the chiefe of the families of Israel for the iudgements of the Lord, and for strifes, when they returned to Ierusalem. By the iudgementes of the Lord are vnder­stood those holy causes, the knowledge whereof was committed to the priests & Leuites; by strifes are noted ciuil conten­tions: the ending whereof pertained to the chiefe of the families of Israell. This selfe same matter is expressed also Deut. 17. 9. If there arise a matter too hard for thee in iudgement betweene blood and blood, plea [Page 64] and plea, betweene plague and plague in the matters of controuersie within thy gates, thou shalt then arise and go vp vnto the place which Iehoua thy God shall choose; and thou shalt come vnto the priestes of the Leuites, or vnto the iudge that shall be in those daies, &c. So that this disiunctiue (or) doth expresse a plaine difference betweene the office of the priest, and the matters belonging to the iudge. For althogh ve al hashpat be red in some translations & to the iudge, yet the twelft verse of this chapter doth end this controuersie, where the disiunctiue (or) is set downe by an other worde; That man that wil do presumptuously not harkning vnto the priest (that stādeth before the Lord thy God to minister there) o al hashpat, or to the iudge shall dye. For it is euident that bloud-shed pertained to the iudge, the descrying of plagues vnto the priest. Likewise conten­tions being about diuerse matters, those that concerned ciuil affaires pertained to the tēporall iudge, other matters of faith, were to be decided by the ecclesiasticall cēsure: so that althogh we shuld grant thē [Page 65] a seignorie, yet all causes are not to bee brought into their consistorie. In the meane time we see that these men being at defiance with popery, haue here shew­ed vs a reason of it, because the both of them would iudge all, and would be iud­ged by none, both wold priuiledge their owne deedes, and haue the handling of the causes of all others: and therefore as in the Papist, so in these we may see, a sot­tish ignorance with an arrogant and pre­sumptuous spirit.


Their Deacont must be men of honest re­port,Act. 6. 2̄ hauing the mysterie of the faith in a pure conscience,1. Tim. 3. 8. 9 endued with the holie Ghost, they must be graue, temperate, not giuen to excesse, nor to filthie lucre.


VVhereas the office of a Deacon is here mentioned, as distinct from the for­mer, it had beene requisite for the author more fully to haue expressed his minde: for as touching Deacons, it is generallie graunted of all writers, that they were in [Page 66] the primitiue Church, such as our author doth here speake of. One saith, that Pres­byteri, Episcopi, & Diaconi, hoc est ministri Christi, Elders, Bishops and deacons, that is to saie, the ministers of Christ: were names giuen generally to those that had to instruct the people. And for proofe thereof he alleadgeth that of Paul to Ti­mothie,Chri. hom. 2 in Philip. Ten diaconian sou plerophoreson, Fulfilling thy ministerie: & yet he was the disposer of Gods mysteries at Ephesus. Annother saith, Primum omnes docebant, & omnes baptizabant, Ambros. in Ephe. cap. 4 quibuscun (que) diebus vel temporibus fuisset occasio, nec enim Philippus tempus quaesiuit, aut diem quo Eunuchum bap­tizaret. At the first all taught and al bapti­zed, when & wheresoeuer occasion was offered, neither did Philip staie for a time nor a daie wherein to baptize the Eu­nuch.De decret. Nice. sinod. contra Eus. Athanasius expoundeth that of Paul, 1. Tim. 3. 8. where the Deacon is wil­led not to be double tongued, as if the dea­con were a teacher in the word: and he himself in describing how he fled for̄ the Arrians, sayth thus: Monui Diaconum vt [Page 67] recitaret Psalmum, populum item vt auscul­taret, &c. I willed the Deacon to reade a Psalme, and the people also to giue eare.

Therefore although master Cal­uine saieth, that Diaconi sub Episcopo pauperum essent oeconumi: Cal. Inst. lib. 4. cap. 4. sect. 5. Deacons shoulde vnder the Bishoppes be pro­uiders for the poore. Yet seeing they dealte in other matters also, and were called Diaconi, because they were ministers of the worde also; our author should haue shewed vs when it was that these Deacons ceased to deale in other matters then in prouision for the poore onely, or else hee shoulde haue tolde vs that there are two sortes of Deacons, Diaconoi tou logou, minister of the vvord, and ministers or disposers of the goods of the poore. And these thinges hee must haue prooued by Gods worde, and then in this pointe hee had per­fourmed his promise made in the Ti­tle of his booke, and shevved him­selfe to be so good as his owne worde, [Page 68] but nowe by what authoritie hee hath af­firmed, by the same authority may be de­nied such an office as is here spoken of, to be that Deacon which is mētioned in the places cited. Act. 6. For Philip who was one of the Deacons, did both teach and baptize, Act. 8. which matter although we should graunt that he did it, not as a dea­con, but being an Euangelist, as some with this distinction would shifte off the matter, yet must it bee confessed, that the Deacons mentioned in the Actes, were not discharged from dealing in the word, onely to take vpon them the care of the poore. Neither doeth Paul 1. Tit. 3. 8. speake anie thing to gainesaie this. Yet I grant that in the Church of God a care of the poore must bee had, and that there be faithfull men appointed for the same, of whom the Apostle speaketh, Rom. 12. 8. which place cannot bee referred vnto the liberalitie of al Christians in general, as some haue taught. For this is handled in the thirtenth verse of the same chapter, which shoulde haue beene done if there [Page 69] were not a difference betweene the mat­ter required in the eight verse, which spe­keth of the publike officer, and the thir­teenth verse, which extendeth it selfe to all Christians: for vaine repetitions are not vsed by the Apostle. But to go for­ward.


Their releeuers or widowes must bee wo­men of sixtie yeeres of age at the least,1. Tim. 9. 10 for auoi­ding of inconueniences; they must be wel repor­ted of for good workes: such as haue nourished their children, such as haue bene harberous to strangers, diligēt & seruiceable to the saincts, compassionate and helpfull to them in aduersi­tie, giuen to euerie good worke, continuing in praiers and supplications night and day.

These must first be truelie proued, then if they be found blamelesse, administer, &c.


As concerning widowes, we grant that they may be helpfull to the sicke, but yet so burdensome vnto the rest, that the re­liefe of the poore whiles they are to bce maintained thereby, shall be diminished, [Page 70] so that they may more truly be called the relieued, then relieuers. Now for the ne­cessitie of such in the church, it is not pro­ued out of Tim. 3. 10. nor yet out of anie place of Scripture else; & why? For the L. knoweth the impossibility in hauing such in euery congregation, & in maintaining them, the most that can be granted is, that were the church possessed of such, & ther­withall able to maintaine both them and these whome they were to attend vpon, then would it be a great comfort to them all. I spare to speake further of these, only it may be obserued that the place cited to proue such an office in the church, 1. Tim. 5. maketh nothing for it. For Paule as the circumstanstances of the place doe shew speaketh of such as are to be succored by the church▪ Honor widdows, which are wid­dowes indeed, that is, which haue nede of helpe, and so procedeth in shewing what they are which especially are to haue the relief of the church, vz. such as by reson of their age and want of frends are not able to help themselues, althogh in a godly af­fection [Page 71] they hate idlenesse: but as for the yonger widdowes they are not to liue by the maintenance of the church, least that idlenesse be maintained, the mouthes of the enemies be opened against the truth & the church be abused, whiles the goods of the church be spent vppon those who make protestation, that they haue no o­ther comfort (for to such only is the relief of the church to be giuen) & yet through the lust of youth do betake themselues to mariage again; which thogh it be a matter lawfull in it self, yet is it vnlawful to those that before God & his church haue vow­ed the contrary: and thus is this place ex­pounded by Theophilact, Ambrose, Bul­linger, Claudius Guilliaud and others. Thus haue we at the last the offices & of­ficers of a reformed church described, so wel as our autor could, of whom togither with his cōplices we may truly say (as A­drianus spake on his death bed of his phi­sitions, that they brought him to his end) these reformers in their platforme here prescribed haue offred vs such a medicin [Page 72] that if the Church shoulde bee voide of sense and receiue it, shee might in short time complaine, that these her Phisitions had brought her to her end: yet we must beleeue vpon paine of damnation, that it is a good receit: wherein they deale like vnskilful and vnconscionable Phisitions, who promise a wonderfull cure, rauishing the senses to conceiue, much more to beholde, what then to inioy so blessed a comfort? and yet will minister that which will bee the bane of the patient. Christ indeede hath shewed an outwarde gouernment vnto his church, whereof although we are not capable, partly by reason of mens insuffi­ciencie to order it, & partly by meanes of the crookednes of the common sort, who will not abide to be ordered by it, but e­specially for that a whole nation cannot so easily be brought to that vniforme or­der, as some one priuate congregation, yet assuredly the neerer we come to this his ordinance, the more heauenly is that harmonie and consent of ours. And here­in I will not staie in shewing how the laws [Page 73] of our Church of Englande haue proui­ded, that in the congregations we should haue Pastors: In the Vniuersities such as execute the office of doctors in bringing vp those in the knoledge of Gods word, which may supplie the places that are void of teachers in the Churches: & in all places, some to obserue the behauiors of men, others to collect the reliefe of the poore, &c. because that I write not an A­pologie for the Church of England, one­ly I woulde haue men to see the gouern­ment of Brownisme, what it is, viz so far disagreing from the discipline of Christ, that neither the frame of their building, nor the builders themselues haue the ap­probation of Gods worde, whereof they spake; but in this their dealing are like vnto the Cuthits & the rest, who inhabi­ting Samaria, falsely bragged that they were the children of Iacob, and blindly deceiued thēselues with a false worship, as may appeare by one of them, I meane the woman of Samaria, Iohn. 4. For as the Lord had established his worship vppon [Page 74] mount Sion: so one Manasses to aduance himselfe, erected a temple vppon mount Gerazin, the Iewes according to Gods appointment worshipped at Sion, the Sa­maritans at Gerazin. A cōtrouersie rose between them which of these people did best.Iohn. 42. 2. Christ sayth to the Samaritanes, Yee worship ye wot not what; yet they had a tē ­ple, a Priesthood, and other ordinances, which were kept at Ierusalem. But who gaue Manasses authoritie to erect a tem­ple, assemble a people, ordain, &c. These men came not so neere the discipline of Christ, as the Samaritans did resemble the discipline at Ierusalem: and Manas­ses being the sonne of the high Priest had as good a warrant for his proceedings, as a priuate man might haue, and yet his dealings were accursed. Nowe when these mē faile both in this, that they haue not authoritie to erect discipline, and al­so if this were graunted, in that they haue described a false gouernement, we may not pronounce a blessing vppon them.


Now as the persons giftes,1. Co. 12. 12. 8 conditions, manners, life and proofe of these officers, is set downe by the holie Ghost, so are their offices li­mited, seuered and diuerse.


VVee haue alreadie hearde both of the giftes and of the offices also of these seuerall callings, for so our author doth confesse afterwardes. Concerning which it is apparant, that the Pastor and Doctor are so described, as if there were no difference betweene them. The Elder indeede is seuered from them both, as if gouernment were peculiar vnto him a­lone, and his commission is sette downe so large, as if it were not limited. The Deacons office may be diuerse from the rest, but as yet we cannot finde it in that which he hath hetherto set downe. VVe will therefore consider that which fol­loweth. For either to make his volume greater, or to amende that which hath bene sayde, hee fetcheth the matter a­bout againe, and notwithstanding hee [Page 76] hath told vs (as he acknowledgeth) what these offices are, yet a good lesson can­not be tolde too often, we must bee con­tent to heare it againe. Therefore it fol­loweth.


The pastors office is to feede the sheepe of Christ in greene and wholesome pastors of his word,Leu. 10. 10. 11 and leade them to the still waters, euen to the pure fountain & riuer of life,Num. 18. 2. he must guide and keepe those sheepe by that heauenly shep­hooke and pastor all staffe of the worde,Ezec. 44. 23. & 34. 33. thereby drawing them to him,Psal. 23 therby looking into their soules,Iohn. 21. 15 euen into their most secrete thoughtes, thereby discerning their diseases,Act. 20. and thereby euring them,1. Pet. 5. 12 applying to euerie disease a fit and conuenient medicine,Zach. 11. 7 according to the qualitie and maladie of the disease,Reue. 22. 2 and giue warning to the church,Luk. 12. 42 that they may orderly proccede to excommunication.2. Co. 10. 4. 5 Further, he must by this his sheephooke watch ouer & defend his flock from rauenous beasts,Heb. 8. 12 and the wolfe, and take the li­tle foxes, &c.


It belongeth to the Pastor to fede the [Page 77] shepe, to draw thē frō euil by the power of the word, both in matters of faith & man­ners of life, to preserue them frō schismes & heresies, schismatikes & heretiks, and to giue notice of the wilful and obstinate persons, that ecclesiasticall censure may proceede against them. For proofe whereof the places alleaged must haue a gentle construction before they may be accounted indifferent. For though Le­uit 10. Num. 18. and Ezech. 44. do speak of the Priest: Likewise Psalme 23. and Zach. 11. of Christ: yet can they not pro­perly be applied vnto the Pastor, except we adde this, that the Pastor must walke in the steps of the Priest, and in the mat­ters aforesayd bee a follower of Christe. And that also Reue. 22. 2. forasmuch as it speaketh of the Church triumphant (as the whole discourse doeth shewe) it can hardly be brought to pertaine vnto the Pastor, except wee saie that it is in re­gard that the ende of his ministerie is to bring the people of God vnto the as­surance of this estate. So that to fill the [Page 78] quotations vnto the matter, wee haue great need of a friendly expositor. Now in the office of a pastor heere is an addi­tion, to that which in the former place was mentioned, that hee is to looke in­to the most secret thoughtes, thereby dis­cerning the diseases of his people; which should seeme a heauy burthen, for a man woulde thinke that the heart of man is a bottomlesse deepe: and that no man could know the heart of man, but the spirite that is in man, and that God onely trieth the heart and the raines; Iere. 17. 9. yet this is not so vnpossible as it doth appeare at the first sight. For there are diuerse meanes which may bee be vsed for the readie attaining vnto the matter: as the Papists for the same pur­pose had their auricular confession. And yet there is a surer waie, namelie, to per­swade the people (as some haue beene taught it publikelie for sound doctrine) that they may not come vnto the table of the Lord, before they haue examined ned themselues of their secrete sinnes, and also doe declare the same vnto the [Page 79] church, that is, not to the Priest, as it was in poperie, but to the Elders and people also, and this is not a secrete but­cherie of mennes soules as that was, but an open tyrannising ouer the consci­ence.


The Doctors office is alreadie set downe in this description,Eze. 33. 1. his especiall care must bee to build vpon the onely true ground-worke,1. Cor. 11. 19 gold, siluer and precious stones,Ioh. 10. 11. 12 that his worke may endure the triall of the fire,Leui. 10. 10 and by the light of the same fire reueale the timber,Eze. 44. 24. haie and stub­ble of false teachers:Mal. 2. 6. hee must take diligent heede to keepe the church from errours.1. Cor. 3. 11 And further,2. Cor. 1. 7. and. 24. hee must aeliuer his doctrine so plain­ly,1. Tim. 4. 16 and 6. 20 simplie and purelie,Ephe. 2. 20 that the church may increase with the increasing of God,Heb. 6. 1 and growe vp into him which is the head Christ Iesus.1. Pet. 2. 2


Our authors meaning is, that the do­ctor do teach the truth, and conuince the gainsayer. All this we heard of before in the description of a doctor, here then is [Page 80] no addition to supplie the wants of that discourse, onely it is countenanced with a greater number of Scriptures then it had at the first, and therein bewraieth a greater folly, for the margent is pestered to no purpose: For what doe these pla­ces cited tell vs? Ezech. 33. 1. setteth out the dutie of a watchman. 1. Cor. 11. 19. sheweth the necessitie of heresies. Ioh. 10 11. speaketh of the shepheard Christ, Le­uit. 10. 11. (which also was alleadged for the pastor) was spoken of the Priest, as was Eze. 44. 24. and Mal. 2. 6. Paul. 1. Cor. 1. 7. saith that the Corinths were not de­stitute of anie giftes. Also in the 1. Cor. 2. 4. he speaketh of himselfe being an Apo­stle. The two places of his Epistle to Ti­mothie, do shew his dutie in the Church of Ephesus, where (as these men saie) hee had the function of an Euanglist. Paul E­phe. 2. 20. telleth them that they are built vppon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Heb. 6. and 1. Peter. 2. 2. doe declare howe Gods people ought to growe vp more and more in the [Page 81] knowledge of Gods mysteries. I see not how anie one of these places can direct­ly prooue the office of a Doctor in the Church: for either they do testifie the du­tie of other callinges, or else they shewe what matters are effected in the people by the ministerie of the pastor. Now that place of Paul the first Epistle to the Co­rinthians, the third Chapter and the ele­uenth vearse, I haue kepte it vntill the last place, for that I finde it most of all abused, not so much because it is re­strained here to a Doctor, and yet the A­postle spake it generally of all sortes of builders: but for that the latter part of this Scripture is here expounded of false Prophets, which is to bee vnderstoode of such teachers as alwaies keepe the foun­dation, and builde in Christ, howsoeuer thorough their frailtie and weakenesse they bee farre from that exacte puritie which is required in handling the worde of God.


The office of the ancients is expressed [Page 82] in their description:Num. 11. 16 their especiall care must be to see the ordinances of God truly taught and practised as well by the officers in doing their dutie vprightly,Deut. 16. 18 as to see that the people obey willingly and readily.Deut. 10. 16 It is their dutie to see the congregation holilie and quietlie ordered,2. Chr. 19. 8 and no man disturbed,Exod. 39. 42 by the contentious and diso­bedient,1. Tim. 3. 15 froward and obstinate,2. Tim. 1. 13. not taking a­way the libertie of the least,1. Cor. 11. 16. & 14. 33. but vpholding the right of all,Gal. 2. 4. 5. wiselie iudging of times and cir­cumstances:Col. 1. 16. they must be readie assistantes to the pastor and teachers,Act. 20. helping to beare their burthen,1. Pet. 5. 1. but not intruding into their office.Rom. 12. 8.


It should seeme that the drawer of this gouernement would haue the ecclesiasti­cal censures onely to proceed frō the an­cients (or else he would in one place or other haue shewed that they without the rest were not to determine) and also that supreame authority should be in them to controll both teacher and people, being themselues priuiledged from the cēsures of other. The office of the Ancients (saith he) is expressed in the description: and in [Page 83] deede the matters heere spoken if, and some of the quotations, as Numb. 11. & 2. Chron. 19. are but repeated againe: I wil therefore passe them ouer now. Meat twife sodden hath little sweetenes in it. And as for the other places of Scripture I will not seuerally handle them, because they haue so small force in them to proue the matter whereunto they are applied. That in the twētith of the Acts, & 1. Pet. 5 haue serued for the pastor once or twise; wherein as I woulde haue him consider, that a man may weary his frends by vsing them too often, so he is to remember, that therein he maketh no difference be­tweene a pastor and an elder. The residue of the Scriptures are these, Deut. 16. 18. where the appointing of Iudges, Deut. 10. 16. where the circumcision of the hart is commanded. The Apostle sheweth Ti­mothie his dutie 1. Tim. 3. 15. and 2. Tim. 1. 13. he reproueth contention 1. Cor. 11. 16. & 14. 33. sheweth his affection to the Ga­lathians, Gal. 2. 4. and the creation of all things to be by Iesus Christ Colos 1. 16. [Page 84] but what are all these for an Elder? If it were not that Rom. 12. 8. were a frende at all assaies, we should haue had iust occa­sion to complaine that all these places were abused: whereas now we say, that one among a dossen is reasonably wel ap­plied, although it can not be proued that euen this place speaketh of such rulers as now are in question.


The Deacons office is faithfullie to gather and collect by the ordinance of the church,Act. 6. the goodes and boneuolence of the faithfull, and by the same direction diligentlie and trustilie to distribute them according to the necessitie of the Saincts. Further they must enquire and consider of the proportion of the wantes both of the officers,Rom. 12. 8. and other poore, and accordinglie relate vnto the church, that prouision may be made.

The releuers and widdowes office is to mi­nister vnto the sicke, [...]. Tim. 5. 9. lame, wearie and diseased such helpfull comfortes as they neede, by wat­ching,Rom. 12. 8. tending and helping them. Further, they must shew good example to the younger women [Page 85] in sober, modest & godlie cōuersation, auoiding idlenes, vaine talke and light behauiour.


These offices with their marginal quo­tations haue bene already considered of, & therefore auoiding so manie vaine re­hearsals, I referre the reader to that which had bin said of them before.


These officers though they be diuerse and seuerall,Luk. 9. 46. yet are they not seuered,Iohn. 13. 12. least there shoulde be a diuision in the bodie,1. Co. 12. 12. 25. 28. but they are as members of the bodie,Ephes. 4. 11. 12. 13. 16. hauing the same care one of an other iointly doing their seuerall du­ties to the seruice of the Saincts, and to the edi­fication of the bodie of Christ, till we all meete together in the perfect measure of the fulnesse of Christ, by whome all the bodie being in the meane while thus coupled and knit together by euerie ioint for the furniture thereof, ac­cording to the effectuall power, which is in the measure of euerie parte, receaueth in­crease of the bodie vnto the edifyinge of it selfe in loue. Neyther canne anie of these Offices bee wanting, without grieuous [Page 86] lamenesse, and apparant deformitie of the bo­die, yea violent iniurie to the heade, Christ Iesus.


In these wordes are set downe these principal points, first that in Gods church euerie member is to seeke the good one of an other, and also to further the good of the whole bodie, Secondly, that a iarre in the members, causeth a confusion of the bodie. In both these we agree and do allowe the ninth of Luke vers. 46. &c. and Ioh 13. 12. &c. as good proofs for them; although it is to be obserued that neither of these places doe speake of these offi­cers, for such there were not among the disciples. Thirdly we are told that as eue­rie member is to performe the duties of his calling, so is he not to intrude into the function of others, vnto this I also conde­scend, not for that our author saith it, in­asmuch as he will not frame his actions according vnto it;Chrysost, in Act. hom. 1. for doctore nihil frigi­dius, Rom. 12. 6. qui verbis tantum philosophatur. 1. Cor. 7. 20 He which teacheth in word onely is a simple [Page 87] instructer:1. Thes. 5. 14. but therefore we beleeue it, bicause we are willed to walke in our cal­lings, and to admonish those that are vn­ruly, such as will not abide in that place wherein the Lord hath set them.

Fourthly he saith that the necessitie of these officers is such, that whereas one of them is wāting, there is a grieuous lame­nesse, and apparant deformity of the bo­bodie, &c. and this is proued by 1. Cor. 12 and Ephesians 4. In both which places as other giftes and offices are set downe to haue bene in the church, as 1. Cor. 12. A­postles, prophets, gifts of healing, diuer­sities of tongues, &c. And Ephes. 4. Apo­stles, prophets and euangelists, so are not all these officers required by our author in those places spoken of, but in the place to the Ephesians, the pastor and doctor onely, and in the Corinthes, though hee would indeuour to wring out elders and deacons from thense, yet must hee ac­knowledge that his widdowes are not mentioned. Our author therefore may as well say that the want of the Apostles, [Page 88] Euangelists, gifts of healing and the rest doe cause deformitie of the bodie (and that by these places by himself alleaged) as doth the want of Elders, Deacons & releeuers. Nay it hath bene alreadie pro­ued that this gouernement was neuer to be imposed vppon all sortes of people a­like, and that the want of some of these offices haue neither bene deformitie in the bodie, nor iniurie vnto the head. This rather is an iniurie offered vnto Christ Iesus, if either a priuat man should thrust himselfe into a publike calling of the ma­gistracie or ministerie, without his war­rant (as these Brownists doe both) or if a publike magistrate shoulde prophane Gods ordinances, by placing insufficient men in so high a roome, as is the gouern­ment of the church; which must be done, if this bee true which these men speake. And thus much of the discipline where­by the visible Churche (as they say) shoulde bee gouerned; for we are now once againe come to the conclusion of this part.


Thus this holie armie of Saints is marshal­led here in earth by those officers,Re. 19. 11. &c vnder the conduct of their glorious Emperour Christ,Reu. 14. 12 that victorious Michael.Cant. 6. 3 Thus it marcheth in that most heauenly and gratious araie,Reue. 12. 11 a­gainst all enemies both bodilie and ghostlie.Luke. 10. 18. 19. Peaceable in it selfe as Ierusalem,Math. 16. 18 terrible vn­to them as an army with banners,Ro. 8. 38. 39 triumphing ouer their tyrannie with patience, and ouer death it selfe with dying. Thus thorough the bloud of that spotlesse lambe, and that worde of their testimonie, they are more then conque­rours, brusing the head of the serpent: yea tho­rough the power of his word, they haue power to cast downe sathan like lightning, to tread vpon serpents and scorpions, to cast downe strong holdes, and euerie thing that exalteth it selfe against God. The gates of hell and all the principalities & powers of the world shall not preuaile against it.


The muster maister hath viewed the world, chosen his soldiers, appointed the victuallers, selected out the sergeants [Page 90] of the bands, hath brought them to their captaine, and they are readie to march on vnder his conduct in the face of their enemies bodily and ghostly to the con­fusion of sathan, sinne, hell and all. VVhat wages he exspected for this his peece of seruice is best knowne vnto him selfe; but what faithfulnes he hath vsed in his dea­ling it is apparant vnto all: for in these three things his packing is notorious. First,Matt. 16. 18. that the victory of the church, which she is assured of in and through the pow­er of Christ, is here restrained & limited: for our author doeth acknowledge it so farre only as it enioyeth this foresaid go­uernement of Pastors, Doctors, Elders, &c. Secondly, that the power of the word of God,Luk. 10. 18. & the ministerie thereof (which is the sanctified meanes for sathans ouer­throw, and the building vp of Christ his church, is here granted no otherwise, then this word is preached vnder this outward gouernement.Rom. 8. 38. 39. Lastly that the certainetie of victorie which is by faith, is heere ap­plied to the whole visible church▪ as if all [Page 91] the members thereof were truly faithful. By this his practise he woulde conclude that which as yet remaineth vnproued, viz. that the necessitie of this gouernmēt is such, that the enioyning of it is suffici­ent to make the church without spot or wrinckle, and that where this is wanting there is no fight against fathan, no strife against sinne, no victorie, no church ap­parant. The testimonies of Scripture that should helpe him herein (and are for the same cause noted in the margent) do cut the throat of these his follies. For thogh he telleth vs that this armie of Sainctes is martialled here on earth by these offi­cers,Reu. 19. 11. 14. yet the holy ghost describeth the warrior and his traine, to be the warriors which were in heauen. Though this man saith that triumph is made by vertue of this gouernment, yet the holy ghost saith it is in pacience and constancie of faith,Reue. 14. 12 and obedience. And in a word though he affirmeth that discipline is all in all, yet the places noted by him speaking of the power of Christ in his sernants ouercom­ming [Page 92] satan, doe not once mention anie outward gouernment, much lesse this di­scipline here prescribed.


Further,Math. 16. 19 he hath giuen them the keies of the kingdome of heauen,Iohn. 20. 23 that whatsoeuer they binde on the earth by his word,Math. 18. 18 shall bee bound in heauen,Iohn. 20. 23 and whatsoeuer they loose on earth shall be loosed in heauen.Math. 16. 19 & 18. 18

Now this power which Christ hath gi­uen vnto his Church, and to euerie member of his church, to keepe it in order, he hath not lefte it to their discretions and lustes to bee vsed or neglected as they will, but in his last will and testament he hath set downe both an order of proceeding, and an end to which it is vsed.


God hath in deede committed au­thoritie vnto his church of binding and loosing, and hath also shewed an order of proceeding: which assertions are to be collected out of these three places of Scriptures, which are twice noted in the margent, that the number of testimonies which they vsed might seeme greater [Page 93] then it is. But here we haue to marke, that Christ is said to haue giuen this power a­foresaid to euery member of the church, so that heere is no difference made be­twene the people, & the gouernors; or at the lest, i [...] he supposeth a difference to be betweene them: he hath not set downe how farre the authoritie of the people is extended. Againe, if the people be gran­ted so greate an interest in the matters of the church, we must thinke that the offi­cers themselues, I meane the Deacons & releeuers were not to be secluded: which being graunted, and seemeth here to be concluded, not only women haue to dele in the censures of the Church, but also the description of euerie office, (the El­der onely excepted) hath ben vnperfect, seeing no such matter hath beene men­tioned in any of them. Secondly, we are to note, that he saith, that this order is not left to the descretion of the church, for if his meaning bee, that the censures of the church ought to bee vsed with all fi­delitie, wee doe not gainesaie him, [Page 94] but if hee meane that when they are not duely executed, there the church doeth cease to be the church apparant (accor­ding to that doctrine which in another place they haue set downe) then do they agree with the Anabaptists & Donatists herein,In the trea­tise of the church ap­parant. Aduersus Anabapt. lib. 6. cap. 10 Cōtra Par­menianum. lib. 3. cap. 2. who being sufficientlie answered the one by Bullinger, the other by Augu­stine, I maruell that these men shoulde not be satisfied and contented to reuoke this error. The summe of whose answers tend to this, that the end of excommuni­cation (for the question is not of the of­ficers, but of the church censures in this place) is, that the partie punished might bee amended, that the credite of the church might bee furthered, that o­thers be not offended and made worse, and that the church might be preserued in peace. Therefore edification and the welfare of the Church are especially to be regarded: for better it were that wic­ked men should goe vnpunished, if the punishing of them shoulde damnify the Church.1. Cor. 5. Againe, the church of Corinth [Page 95] was the church of God, when they neg­lected to proceede against the incestu­ous person. Also the last supper of the Lord was rightly administred, yet Iudas was not excommunicate: the Prophets complained of the sinnes of the church in their times, yet contemned they not the sacrifices, sacraments, and worship of God. Christ and his Apostles blamed the Church for grosse corruptions, yet was he circumcised therein &c. By which rea­sons as by others by thē produced, we are vrged to acknowledge that it may be the Church of God, which doth not alwaies proceede against the wicked according to their deserts. Thirdly, we are to marke that hee ascribeth the keies of the king­dom of heauen to the officers before na­med, whereas Christ committed this po­wer, not to the Elders, for none were e­stablished, but vnto the ministers of the word, for in Peter they all are represen­ted, as by considering the places alleged out of Mathew and Iohn, will plainly ap­peare.


And if the fault be priuate,Leuit. 19 17. 18. priuat, holy & louing admonition and reproofe,Math. 18. 15 with an in­ward desire and earnest care to win their bro­ther,Deut. 19. 15 but if he wil not heare thee,Math. 18. 16. yet to take two or three other brethren with him, whome hee knoweth most meet to that purpose, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses, euerie worde may bee confirmed. And if hee refuse to heare them, then to declare the matter vnto the church, which ought seuerelie and sharplie to reprehend, grauelie to admonish, and louinglie to perswade the partie offending, shewing him the hainousnesse of his offence, and the danger of his obstinacie, and the feareful iudgements of the Lord.

If this preuaile not to drawe him to re­pentance,Matth. 18. 16 then are they in the name of the Lord Iesus, with the whole congregation, reuerentlie in praier to proceed to excommunication, ca­sting him out of their congregation and fellow­ship, that is, out of the couenant and protecti­on of the Lorde,2. The. 5. 15 for his disobedience and ob­stinacie, and committing him to sathan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirite [Page 97] may be saued in the daie of the Lorde Iesus, if such be his goodwill and pleasure.

Further,2. Cor. 10. 8 & 13. 10. they are to warne the whole con­gregation, and all other faithfull,1. Tim. 5. 20 to hold him as a heathen and a publican,Gal. 2. 14. and to abstaine them selues from his societie, as not to eate or drinke with him, &c. vnlesse it be such as of necessitie must needs, as his wife, his children and family, yet these if they be members of the church, are not to ioyne with him in anie spirituall exer­cise.

All this notwithstanding, the church is not to holde him as an enemie, but to admonish and pray for him as a brother, prouing if at any time the Lord will giue him repentance: for this power is not giuen them to the destruction of a­nie, but to the edification and preseruation of all.

If the offence bee publike, the partie is pub­likely to be reproued and admonished, if he then repent not to proceede to excommunication.Ios. 7. 19. Vt supra.2. Co. 7. 9.

The repentance of the partie must bee pro­portionable to the offence,Leuit. 19. 18. viz. if the offence be publike,Prou. 10. 12 publike,Rom. 12. 19. & 13. 10. & 14. 1. if priuate, priuate, humbled, [Page 98] submissiue, sorrowfull, vnfeined, giuing glorie to the Lord.Gal. 6. 1. 2.

There must great care be had of admoniti­ons,1. Tim. 2. 24 that they be not captious or curious,Mark. 9. 50. fin­ding fault where none is,Ephes. 4. 25 neither yet in bitter­nesse or reproch,Iam. 5. 5. 19. 20. for they were to destroy, and not to saue our brother, but they must be care­fully done, with prayer going before; they must be seasoned with truth, grauitie, loue, & peace.

Moreouer in this church is an especiall care had by euerie member thereof,Luk. 17. 1. of offences,Pro. 10. 12. the strong ought not to offend the weake,Rom. 14. 13 19. nor the weake to iudge the strong,Gal. 6. 2. but all graces here are giuen to the seruice and edification of ech other in loue, and long suffring.


I thought it conuenient to ioyne al this togither, being but one matter, viz. the proceeding of the church, and of euerie member thereof: Concerning the which I say, with them that God hath not onely giuen a charge to euerie member of the church to looke vnto his steppes, that he refraine from offending his fellow mem­bers, least thorough his owne default [Page 99] the church be prouoked to proceed a­gainst him, but also hath prescribed vnto the Church her order of proceeding; which order I grant to be here set downe in part; namely, so long as the con­uersations of men are in question; but in matters of faith these rules will faile: for although it be the nature of man to erre, & in his errors we may not depriue him of admonitions, yet if his error do proue an heresie, after once or twice admonitiō at the vtmost he is to be reiected. For a simple error may be healed, but per­uersnesse is incurable: and the manner of his reiection is not in a bare forsaking of him, but in restraining him, least that by his false doctrine the simple sort be sedu­ced. I speake not now of the Magistrates authoritie,Tit. 3. i0. who was commanded by the Lord to cut off the false prophet; but I speake of the ecclesiasticall power, which hath his warāt for the suppressing of such: the order of whose proceeding is first ad­monition, then excommunication, after­wards to make the magistrate acquainted [Page 100] both with this euill, and with his duety in proceeding against it, (for I will not vrge that of master Bullinger, who seemeth to go farther in asking this question) viz. if the church had onely authoritie to flie from, and not to chastice an heretike, how came it to passe that the Apostle Paul by the power of God depriued Elimas of his sight,Act. 13. 8. 9. bicause he did stubbernly main­taine falshood, and withstand the truth? But this point of discipline hath in wise­dome bene passed ouer, least that our au­thor shuld therin haue blamed both our teachers and our Magistrates for their to much lenitie in this schisme and here­sie. Now as touching the florish that is made with a great shew of scriptures in the margent, it is more then childish; not in regard of applying them, though one or two of them might be amended, but in respect of the vaine alledging of one scripture often, as Matth. 18. 15. 16. Leuiticus 19. 17. 18. Prou. 10. 12. &c. but he would haue vs to thinke that he is read in the scriptures, and therefore [Page 101] busieth himselfe with iterating so manie quotations.Gen. 17.

Brownist.Leui. 16▪ 11

In this church is the truth purely taught,Esa. 44. 3. & surely kept,Gal. 4. 24. & 6. 16. here is the couenant of the sacra­ments and promises,Isa. 60. 15. the graces,Deut. 4. 12. the glorie, the presence,Esa. 56. 7. the worship of God.1. Tim. 3. 15.

Into this Temple entreth no vncleane thing,Esa. 52. 8. neither whatsoeuer worketh abhominations,Esa. 52. 1. or lies,Eze. 44. 9. but they which are written in the Lambes booke of life.Esa. 35. 8.

But without this church shal be dogges and enchanters, and whoremongers,Zac. 14. 21. and murthe­rers,Reu. 21. 27. and Idolaters,Rom. 2. 9. and whosoeuer loueth and maketh lies.Reu. 22. 27.


Here we haue described vnto vs the state wherein this visible church doth stand, both in regard of the conenant be­tweene God and it; and also in respect of the sanctimonie thereof in the sight of men. As for the former of these, it is to be granted: but howsoeuer the promises are made vnto the church, and the worship approoued of God, is kept and retained [Page 102] therein, yet may it fall out that some one member thereof may haue no interest in the promises, as Matth. 22. 13. nor yet be a true worshipper of God, as Eccles. 4. 17▪ And although the church hath this digni­tie giuen vnto it thorow an especiall grace, yet some one man, who is not of the visible church may be partaker of the promises, and a true worshipper of God; as Naaman the Syrian, and Iob in the land of Hus; the visible church then being among the people of Israel. As touching the other matter; viz. that this church apparant is commended vnto vs both for the puritie thereof in it selfe, and also for the vncleannesse of all those which are not members of the same. It is a palpable grosnes to conceiue, & a sottish follie to publish such a dreame. For, are al they cleane which enter into the visible church? these men themselues haue con­fessed the contrarie.Gen. 4. 21. Are all the members of the visible church written in the lambs booke of life?Heb. 12. 16. who then blotted out Cain,Num. 16. 33▪ Esau,Rom. 9. 30. &c. Corah, yea and Israel it selfe? [Page 103] Againe, is it true that all those which are not vnder this gouernement are dogs, &c. I will not aske what shall become of these men themselues, but what is be­come of Peter and the rest that remained with Christ; and of all the churches of Ie­rusalem, Ephesus, Corinth, and the rest, which had not this gouernement and all these offices at any time among them? for some wanted Deacons, some widows, some vnministring Elders, some Doctors. To draw to an end. The scriptures that are alledged to proue these matters are either promises of that full redemption, which is obtained and shall be perfited vnto the church in the day of Christs ap­pearing, as Esa. 52. 1. and 35. 8. and Re­uelation 28. 27. or else are they types thereof, as Eze. 44. and the ninth verse, and Zacharie 14. 21. VVherefore they cannot proue the truth hereof in the vi­sible church of God. Also Reuel. 22. 15. sheweth the estate of the vngodly, which in the day of that generall search shall be thrust out of the presence of [Page 104] God. VVhich matter Paul doth plainly shew. Rom. 2. 9. for hee threatneth op­pression and anguishe vnto euerie soule that doth euill, whether Iew or Greeke, that is, whether of the visible Church or not. In this one thing these men may be commended, that seeing their assertions cannot bee warranted by the woorde of of God, they will doe the best they can to make their sayings true in themselues. For surely they coulde not possiblie giue ouer themselues vnto a doggish disposi­tion, as they do, if they were not perswa­ded, that in so dooing the conditions of men which haue cast off gouernement should in thē be made manifest vnto the world. VVee are therefore to desire for them, that discipline may be put in prac­tise, if happely they may bee brought to some good order.

Thus haue we seene how the Author of this Treatise hath failed in the perfour­mance of his promise made in the title thereof.

A MANIFESTATION OF THE INCONSTANCIE of Brownisme; grathered out of two Treatises lately dispersed through­out the land.

AThanasius speaking of the Eusebi­an hereticke saith that if once he tast the Arrian schisme, Adserap. Epist. 2. de spirit. san. he will ne­uer refraine his tongue from vngod­linesse: He noteth it also as a com­mon disease in all heretikes, that they will be constant in a peeuish wilfulnesse, least they should be condemned of those whom they haue seduced;De decretis Nic. sincci. yet in all other things inconstant. Nunc pro­bantes quod dicunt, mox vero vituperātes quod dixerunt ac rursum approbantes, quod paulo ante calumniabantur. It is no maruell therfore though the factioners of our age hauing auouched their owne dreames to be the truth of God, do now cry out, yt they are blasphemed, abused, & slādered, if the same be laid to their charge; & yet in discoursing vpon the self-same matters, they wil not stick to iustifie their first conceipts▪ al which may appeare to him that readeth the two pamphlets lately by them published; the one intituled A collecti­on of certaine slanderous Articles, and the other, A col­lection of certaine articles and conferences, &c. For in these bookes we shall finde the certaintie of doctrine what it is amongst conceited diuines. And that the truth may be more euident, I wil set downe first their Articles, which sometimes they did hold, and now are charged with. Secondly, the sore complaints that they make of being slandered with them by our Bi­shops. Thirdly, what small cause they haue to com­plaine, [Page 106] considering that they are now resolute to de­fend the same Articles vnto the death. And lastly the fondnesse of their assertions; which (for the auoiding of tediousnes) shalbe done either by referring the Reader vnto those places, where these matters are handled elsewhere, or else by plaine and euident proofes.

The Articles which are so iniuriously imputed vnto them (as they themselues haue published) are these.

1 THat it is not lavvfull to vse the Lords praier pub­likelie in the church,The Articles of Brownisme. for a set forme of praier.

2 Secondlie that all set and stinted praiers are meere babling in the sight of the Lord, not to be vsed in publike Christian assemblies.

3 Thirdly, that the publique praiers and vvorship of God in England, as it is by lavv in the church of England established, is false, superstitious, popish, and not to be vsed in anie Christian congregation.

4 That the Church of England as it is novv establi­shed is no entire member of the church of Christ.

5 That the gouernment of the church of England, as it is novv established, is no lavvfull gouernement, nor chri­stian, but antichristian and popish.

6 That the Sacraments of baptisme & the Lords sup­per, as they are administred in the church of England, be not true sacraments.

7 That infants ought not to be baptised, according to the forme of baptisme ministred novv in the church of England, but are rather to be kept vnbaptised.

8 Manie of them make scruple to affirme, that the Queenes maiestie hath supreame authoritie to gouerne the church of England in cases ecclesiasticall and to make lavves ecclesiasticall, not contrarie to Christs lavves.

9 That the lavves ecclesiasticall alreadie established by the authoritie of the queene & realme, be not lavvfull

[Page 107] 10 That if the Prince, or magistrate vnder her, do re­fuse or defer to reforme such faults as are amisse in the church, the people maie take the reforming of them into their ovvne hands, before or vvithout her authoritie.

11 That the presbiterie, or eldership, maie for some cau­ses after admonition, if there ensue not reformation ex­communicate the Queene.

12 That the Church of England, as it novv standeth by lavv established, professeth not a true Christ, nor true re­ligion, that it hath no ministers in deed, nor Sacraments in deed.Their com­plaints of be­ing slandred.

Now they complaine that they are much abused in being charged with these matters, for the title of one of the Treatises is, A collection of certaine slanderous ar­ticles giuen out by the bishops, against such faithful Chri­stians, as they now vniustly detaine in their prisons, &c. The Epistle saith, that there are spersed abroad through­out the land, certaine articles of the bishops owne deuising against these men to bring them into hatred vvith the vvhole land. The Author in answering the said Articles termeth them forged positions. Again, God forbid (saith he) that our Magistrates should be guiltie of our inno­cent blood by such slanderous reports. To be short, ma­ster Barrow (as he himselfe reporteth) complained to Doctor Androwes, that he hath bene greeuouslie slan­dred, blasphemed, and accused by spearsed articles, &c. therefore a great fault there is in those, which offer these persecuted Christians (for so they terme them­selues) this great iniurie; or else in them who, if the Black-amore could change his hue, would deny their owne opinions: but if they giue the lie vnto vs with­out iust cause, as it shall appeare that they do, by that which followeth, and maintaine these things, which thus confidētly they haue denied, in crying out, they are slandered▪ then wil it also be cōfessed, that they are not persecuted Christians, but vnbridled factioners. [Page 108] For these are no slanderous positions, as they say, for­ged against them by the bishops; but phantasticall assertions first deuised, and now againe confirmed by themselues, as by their seuerall handling of the seue­rall Articles they do shew.

To the first Article therefore they say,That they are not slandered. that neither the Lords Prayer, nor any other praier in the scrip­tures may be vsed but by explication; Also, that they serue onely for instruction. Againe, That the verie forme of words as they are in these petitions was giuen and in­stituted as a set and stinted prayer () we finde not in the scriptures. Also, to vse it for a set prayer, is (say they) a stinting of the holy Ghost. Now if these assertions do not agree with the Article, and testifie that they do hold it, they haue the greater cause to complaine; but I see no difference betwene the one & the other.

Now the folly of this Article is manifest in this; that the Lords prayer was giuen for the same end, ye other prayers were in the canonicall scripture; but other prayers were not for instruction, as hath bin shewed before, pag. 23. I need not make the conclusion.

And as touching their denying the forme of praier which Christ gaue to his disciples to be his praier, be­cause we reade not that he euer vsed it: And their ac­cusing vs to be falsifiers of the text, when we call it the Lords Prayer, If it were not a strife about words, I would say more; whereas now I wil onely put them in minde, that we haue learned this phrase of the ho­ly Ghost, who calleth the prayers which God hath taught, and doth approue his prayers, as Esa. 56. 7. I vvil make them glad (bebeth tepillati) in the house of my prayer, for there it is called the Lords prayer, not for that he vsed it, but because he prescribed it. And why then may not we in like sort cal this the Lords praier, in as much as he hath taught it:Porphirius. but of this enough, lest it be said of vs, para men gar hemin esti logoma chia, &c

[Page 109] To the 2. article they say, that the canonicall praiers commended to vs by Gods spirite, haue this onely vse, that they serue for instruction. And that our mor­ning and euening praiers are not onely a babling, but apocriphall and idolatrous, &c. So that neither cano­nicall nor other praiers that are prescribed, are dee­med lawfull to be vsed for praiers in the sight of the Lord. Whereby it is made manifest, that they are not vniustly charged with this Article. Which notwith­standing is but a false assertion, considering that sette praiers were vsed vnder the lawe, are not forbidden in the gospell, and are also vsed in all reformed chur­ches vntil this daie.

To the 3. article they saie, that our liturgie is drawen out of the Popes portuise, is not onely idolatrous, supersti­ous, and a deuised worship, but a bundle of infinite, grosse, & blasphemous errours, a Pseudodiathesis, a counterfet gospell, an idoll, and huge Chaos of long, gathered, and patched absurdities, a new gospel, a masse booke, and what not? How then are they slandered, when it is sayde that they account our worship of God, as it is now e­stablished, to be false, superstitious, and popish? But the best is, these calumniations are not greatly to be regarded: for if they need not to be ashamed of lear­ning the truth of Donatus, who was a schismatical he­retique, wee haue as small cause to cast awaie good things, though it could be proued, as it is not, that we had taken them from an heretike. And though no worke of man, and so not our booke of publike prai­er can be free from all blemishes, the Lord reseruing this glorie to himselfe, that hee will bee acknowled­ged perfectly wise, and his workes onely voide of imperfection: yet so farre is this booke from deser­uing these great reproches, that it beeing compared with the best treatise that these disturbers haue brought forth, the most grosse and blasphemous er­ror [Page 110] which they cā proue therin, may be iustified in cō ­parison of many that are deliuered for sound doctrine in their pamphlets, if both of thē be right vnderstood.

To the 4. they say, that it being subiect to the vvorship aforesaid, & cōsisting of al sorts of vnclen spirits, atheists, papists, heretikes, &c. it is not a true mēber of the bodie of Christ. It is not thē blasphemy to charge thē with this 4. article. And whether they haue cause to hold it vp­pon this ground or not, shal be euident hereafter.

To the fifth article, It is euident to al men (saie they) and confessed of our enimies, that the ministers, laws, and other ordinances, whereby the parish assemblies are gouerned, are not such as Christ appointed to his church, of pastor, &c. but by such officers, courts, and canons as are hatched from Rome. Do they not then iustifie this article, wherin, as in others, they cōplaine they are slandered? yet in as much as they are constāt in it, let thē proue by the word of God both their di­scipline to be good, & also our gouernmēt to be An­tichristian, which they will hardlie afford, considering that before the time of papacy there were these offi­ces in the church which these men terme Antichristi­stian, as M. Caluin testifieth▪ Inst. li. 5. ca. 4. se. 4. whose authoritie I vse with these men, because I finde that they themselues haue alleaged the same.

To the 6. article they saie, that vve neither hauing a lavvfull ministerie, nor faithfull holie free people, &c. the sacraments in our assemblies deliuered, are no true sacra­ments, nor seales vvith promise. How thē can these men without blushing, put this article in the nūber of for­ged positiōs, for cōsidering that they make their iudgments knowen concerning this point, I maruell more they are not ashamed to denie it, then I do that some of them Donatist like, haue desired to be baptised a­gain. The answer to this wilbe easie by that which fo­loweth in the answer to the 3 brāch of the 5. argumēt.

[Page 111] To the seauenth, they say that no godlie Christians separate from the false church, ought to bring their in­fants to these parish assemblies, to bee baptised into that fellovvship and profession, &c. These wordes do iustifie our Bishops in charging these men with this article. The substance whereof seeing it doth depend vpon the former article, the follies of it being perceaued the want of wisedom in this will soone be descried.

To the eight they say that all true christians vvith­in her maiestie dominions, acknovvledge her Maiestie to be the supreame magistrate and gouernes ouer all per­sons, within the church and without the church, yea, ouer all causes ecclesiasticall and ciuill. Which asser­tion if it had bene receiued of the whole sect, then it had bene a slander in deed, but in as much as in an assembly of aboue twentie persons, it was concluded, that her Maiestie is not supreame head of the church, neither hath authoritie to make lawes ecclesiastical in the church: they must acknowledge a dissent of iudg­ment amongst themselues, or else confesse that there was a time when they were of another opinion, but now they haue learned to be more wise, yet the ca­ueat that is giuen hath a secret meaning, viz. a gran­ting of the latter part of this article, that her maiestie hath no authoritie to make anie lawes ecclesiasticall. But this being so closely couered, I minde not to see it, I conceiue the best, namely, that as they yeelde more to her maiestie then of former times they haue done, so will they in time grant her that right which is due vnto her roiall authoritie.

Of the ninth article they saie, that the lavves eccle­siasticall vvherevvith our assemblies are guided, are not deriued from the booke of God, but culled out from that great Antichrists canons, orders, & deuillish pol­licies, &c. that they are the execrable wares of Anti­christ statuts of Omry, & not to be receiued or obeied [Page 112] of anie that loue the Lord Iesus. This article then is maintained by these men, and not vniustly imputed to them. But as touching this grieuous accusation, we are here also to call to minde, that the lawes of God are onely perfect, the decrees and statutes of men, though holy, yet haue their wants. In regard wher­of I doe acknowledge a want of perfection, but the deformitie of these laws doth seeme greater, partly by the meanes of such as shoulde dispose them more vp­rightly, and partly by reason of others, who haue a malitious eie in beholding, and an enuious tongue in reproching them.

Vnto the tenth article, they answere, that they nei­ther looke for the reformation of Babel, our false Church, for so they tearme it, nor take vpon them to intermeddle with the magistrates swoord: but all that will bee sa­ued, must forsake the false church, and by repentance come vnder Christs obedience to serue God aright in his true church, &c. Neither may they neglect the seruice of GOD, nor the practise of any parte thereof, &c. Though the Prince shoulde in­hibite, &c. So that they affirme, that of their owne au­thority they are not only to separate themselues from vs, but also to prctaise the discipline which they haue fansied, though her maiestie shoulde inhibite the one or commaunde the other: so that this article is not wrongfully fathered vpon them. But before this ar­ticle be granted vnto them as a true position, they must not onelie conuince our church, as out of the which there ought to be a departure, but also they must proue that a priuate man may attempt reforma­tion in the church, contrarie to that which hath bene spoken.

To the eleuenth article they saie, first that the pres­byterie may not excommunicate any person by their sole power, seeing Christ hath giuen this power to [Page 113] the whole church. This is made more plaine in an o­ther place, where one of them saith, that the least member of the church that is a communicant hath as much interest in all the censures of the church, as the pastor. Secondly, they affirme that the prince if he will be a member of the church, must be subiect to the censure in the church. The which two positions being considered, it shall be needlesse to open what these men would haue: but of the authoritie of a pri­uat man hath ben spoken sufficiently heretofore.

To the twelfth they answer roundly in this sort, as for your religion, church, sacramentes, &c. vve haue be­fore shevved the forgerie of them, vnto the vvhich for­mer articles I referre the reader. Euen so do I, for I pur­pose not palinodiam can [...]re: onely I say that amongst these twelue articles there is not one, wherewith they are abused or vniustly charged, and therefore are their exclamations before mentioned vaine.

There are in the ende of the foresaid pamphlet other twelue articles, not vnlike to the former, which they tearme slanderous articles also forged against them, as if they did not hold them, which are these.

1 THey hold that the Lords praier or anie set praier is blasphemie, and they neuer vse anie praier for the Queene, as supreame head vnder Christ of the church of England.

2 That all set praiers or stinted praies, or read seruice are but meere babling in Gods sight, and plaine Idolatrie.

3 They teach there is no head or supreame gouernor of the church of Christ: and that the Queene hath none au­thoritie in the church to make lavves ecclesiasticall.

[Page 114] 4 They teach that a laie man may beget faith; and that vve haue no need of publike administration.

5 They condemne all comming to Church, al preaching all institution of Sacraments, and saie that all the mini­sters vvere sent by God in his anger to deceiue the people.

6 They affirme that the people must reforme the church and not tarie for the magistrate, and that the Primitiue church sued not to courts and parliaments, nor vvaited vpon princes pleasures: but vve make Christ to attend vp­pō princes, & to be subiect to their lavvs & gouernment.

7 That the booke of common praier is a pregnant Idol & full of abhominations, a peece of svvines flesh, and abhomi­nation to the Lord.

8 They saie it is a greater sinne to go to the church to publik praiers, then for a mā to lie vvith his fathers vvife

9 Those that vvil not refrain from our churches, prea­ching or seruice, they giue vnto the deuil & excōmunicat.

10 They hold it not lavvfull to baptise children among vs: they neuer haue anie sacrament among them.

11 They refuse to take an oath to be examined.

12 They vvill not marrie amongst vs in our churches, but resort to the Fleet & to other places to bee married by one Greenwood and Barrow.

All which, whether these men are vniustly blamed with them, or do hold them as firme as they do the former Articles, I leaue vnto the consideration of all men. Their iudgemēt cōcerning the two first articles hath bene set downe alredie; for they do little differ from those two positions set downe in the former place: Likewise concerning the third article, we haue had their minde in the eight article, so that it shall be needlesse either to shew again that those are by their desert imputed vnto them, or that in maintaining thē their warrants be of smal force. And the fourth article is so far from being an vngodly calumniation against thē, yt they hold it not only a possible thing for a pri­uate [Page 115] man to beget faith, but also lawfull for him to preach the word & interpret the scriptures in publike assemblies. Wherin a question might be moued, what is the differēce betwene him yt is Leitourgos, a mini­ster of Christ in their publike functiō; & euery priuate man in the congregation, both hauing equall autho­ritie, as well in preaching, as in the censures of the church? Also, what these priuate men are to be estee­med in preaching, whether ministers, or no mini­sters vnto the people whom they teach? mutuall ex­hortations I grant to be necessarie amongst the peo­ple of God, wherby the faith of the godly may be en­creased; whereof is mention made, Act. 18. 26. 1. Pet. 4. 10. 1. Thess. 5. 11. And the euils in others might be restrained; wherof Iames speaketh, Cap. 5. 19. 20. And Paul 1. Cor. 7. 16. For as I yeeld vnto the author of this discourse, that these fiue places of scripture do proue one and the same matter, so I hope he will call home his wits, & grant vnto me that they proue not a prea­ching in the publike assemblie, considering that the woman, of whom this dutie of exhorting is required, 1. Cor. 7. 16. is not allowed to speake in the congrega­tion. The other places of scriptures alledged, viz. Luk. 10. and 1. Cor. 14. do mention a publike dealing with the word, but neither were the 70. (when Christ sent forth priuate men) nor yet the others spoken of in the Corinthes, where he speaketh not of all the faithfull, but of all the Prophets; as master Caluin al­so noteth vpon that place, that in Luk. 8. 39. Act. 8. 4. and 11. 19. can make nothing for this matter vntill it be proued that the men there mentioned, first were priuate men, 2. executed a ministery in the publike as­semblie, and lastly had no extraordinarie sending forth. The place of Paul Philip. 2. verse 15. and 16. speaketh not of preaching, but of the conuersation which should be such in the middest of a froward [Page 116] people, as might be a meanes to winne them without the word, who had no care of the word. The other place, 1. Pet. 3. 2. pertaineth nothing to the matter in question; so that as yet it remaineth vnprooued, that a priuate man may preach in the congregation. Of which matter Master Caluin speaketh, Instit. lib. 4. cap. 3. sect. 10. and if they may not preach, then can they not beget faith; for none can be called to the true faith without the preaching of the gospel, as they themselues haue affirmed in their last conference with Doctor Andrewes. Therefore this is not a slan­derous article to bring them into hatred vniustlie, but a blind deuise to bring confusion into the church.

The fift article here set downe and the seuenth, are the same with that, which was set in the third place in the beginning.

The sixt article, being all one with the tenth of the former sort, hath also bene considered of.

To the 8. article they saie, that to go to the church to publike praiers, is a high sinne against the first ta­ble; which being but a begging of the question, they must first proue our worship to be idolatrie, before their calumniation is to be harkened vnto.

To the ninth they say, that they iudge not them that are without, but those that hauing left all false assemblies, &c. haue ioyned with them, &c. And if among them any fall into error, them do they excom­municate. As here is no slander, so may we see the confusion of their doctrine, and their practises to be accordingly. First, the priuate man hath as much au­thoritie in the censures of their church, as Pastor, El­der, or any other. Secondly, that their church hath au­thoritie ouer those that haue ioyned with them: from these sweete positions haue sprong this excellent har­monie, that euerie man presumeth amongst them to excommunicate one another, as hath bin seene, and is [Page 117] dayly manifest, both in the Clinke and other prisons; for as Theodoret saith▪ De fide. ex ipsa ignorātiam pestem superbie contraxerunt. Ignorance hath brought them to pride: which he compareth vnto the plague, because as it infecteth the bodie, so pride peruerteth the mind; for from it do spring a stubborne disobedience towards others, hypocrisie seeking glorie in outward appa­rance, wilfulnesse in defending the euill, least their er­ror should appeare, discord, ech man labouring to be singular, deuise of nouelties, &c. And therefore it is no wonder, to behold the readinesse of euerie of them in casting off submission; boasting of godlines, and maintaining falshood: yet whiles euerie man af­fecteth glorie by new deuises; the dissention is such, that one sort excommunicateth another, and the ex­communicated do the like for the other, that euen the Papists who behold the same in their prisons, laugh at such confusion.

The tenth article is all one with the sixt in the for­mer number.

To the 11▪ they say, that they refuse not an oath by the holy name of God, 2. before a lawful Magistrate, 3. vpon iust occasion, according to the word: but our oathes they say, are rash and vngodly. First, by or with a booke. Secondly offred & enforced by the Bishops. Thirdly at their pleasure vpon euery occasion, contra­ry to the word of God, the lawes of the land, & dero­gatorie to her Maiesties prerogatiue royall: so that if we say that these men refuse to take an oath accor­ding to the laws of our land, it wil appere no slander.

Now cōcerning their iudgmēt, we agree with them that the Lord condemneth all false, rash, and vngod­ly oathes: that is, such oathes as are in matters of vn­truth, in things of small importance; and by ta­king any other to witnesse, but God onely: for the which may be alledged, Deut. 6. 13. Ierem. 4. 2. [Page 118] Heb. 6. 16. and many others. Herein we dissent, first that they seeme to allow an oath before a magistrate onely, wherein they condemne the deede of Iacob and Laban, Gen. 31. 53. and of [...]oos to Ruth, Ruth. 3. 13. and of Obadia to Eliah, 1. Reg. 18. 10. who being all but priuat persons, yet doe confirme with an oath the matters in question betwene them. Secondly, that they will not acknowledge those to haue authoritie to take an oath, to whom her maiestie hath commit­ted the same. Thirdly, that they condemne the forme of swearing before the magistrate, which by the laws of Englang is vsed; for as Abraham in vrging his ser­uant Eleazar to sweare Gen. 24. 2. and Iacob taking an oath of Ioseph Gen. 47. 29. said. Put thine hand vn­der my thigh (a ceremonie vsed among the Ethiopians and Indians vntill this day) can not be charged to haue vsed an idolatrous rite, inasmuch as the oath was not taken by the thigh, but by the God of hea­uen and the creator of the earth: so likewise the hand is laid vpon the booke, the oath is not vrged to be ta­ken by the booke, but by him, whom the doctrine of that booke maketh knowne vnto vs; of both which rites we neede not feare to say: Prophanos ritus non esse, qui Dei gloriae quicquam detraherent; quia interpo­nitur Dei nomen, &c. Neither do the places of Scrip­ture cited infringe this: for Amo. 5. 4. is not at all spo­ken of an oath, but generally that men shoulde seeke out that which is good and not euill. The other three places, viz. Zoph. 1. 5. Matth. 5. 34. and 23. 16. disproue not an outward ceremony in an oath; onely Zephanie telleth that God condemneth those which doe out­wardly worshippe Idols though they keepe the heart vnto God; and Christ sheweth that God is onely to be our witnes in al our asseuerations: our maner of ta­king an oth is not against it. The other calumniations are not worth the answering.

[Page 119] To the twelfth they say, that the action of matrimo­nie is [...]erely ciuill, therefore lawfull in all places and at all times to marrie in the Lorde by the consent of parents; denying that they haue married anie, but together with other faithfull, haue beene witnesses of the same. It is plaine therefore that some haue bene contracted in the prison, and married, and they haue had their part in the action. But I woulde haue these men to consider: First, that euerie soule inciuill and indifferent matters is to submit himselfe vnto the higher powers; for this lesson we learne of Sainct Paule vnto the Romanes the thirteenth chapter and the first verse. Secondly, that marriage is a matter al­together ciuill: for this these men acknowledge. Thirdly, that her maiestie for the auoiding of incon­ueniences, hath commanded that matrimonie should not be celebrated but in the publike assemblies; as by the lawes of our lande is manifest.

And then let them speake, and shewe vs what warrant they haue from God, or comforte to their consciences in these vngodlie and disordered mar­riages.

Nowe therefore we may conclude that neither the twelue positions in the beginning, nor the twelue ar­ticles in the ende of this first treatise, are forged posi­tions, slanderous articles and vngodly calumniations considering that these men do maintaine them: but so wicked assertions, that it may bee truely said of the teachers of them. Thou doest loue euill more then good, lies more then to speake the trueth, &c. the two and fif­tith Psalme and the third verse.

There is a thirteenth article, whereof they greatly glorie, that it hath bene passed ouer with silence, that neither tithes, nor set liuings are a matter warrantable in the word of God; the one being Leuiticall & ther­fore abrogated, the other without stay to leane vpon [Page 120] in the Scriptures, and therefore to be taken away, and that Christ and his apostles perswaded [...] [...]ffici­encie, but did not condition for anie certaintie. To whom I answere, that if a sufficient maintenance is to be had for the ministerie, it is requisite some order be taken for them how they may come by it: for if it be left to the discretion of men, it will be short enough, in regard whereof the Lorde ordained a set liuing for the Leuites, not in the example of Michah his Leuit, with whom these men do sport themselues, but in his ordinance of tithes, &c. which as they were ceremo­niall to them that paid them, being instructed therby that the increase of al thing is of God to whom praise is due for the same: so to them that receaued the same it was a meanes, wherby the certainty of their main­tenance might be had. And this was not left to the discretion of the people, but euery man was appoin­ted what to pay.1. Cor. 9. 13. Do ye not know (saith Paule) that they which minister about the holie things, eat of the things of the temple, & they which waite at the altar are partakers of the altar? He proceedeth in applying this vnto the ministerie of the Gospell:ver. 14. So also hath the Lord ordei­ned, that they vvhich preach the Gospell should liue of the Gospell. Therefore as vnder the law there was a sette maintenance for the priest: so vnder the Gospel there may be the like for the ministers thereof, except we coulde finde the people better affected nowe, then they were at that time vnto the ministerie. They are to rest vpon the good vvill of the breethren, say they. But how is this proued? For to speake without war­rant of the worde in teaching innouation is fond­nesse. But I know that it will be sooner granted to the minister to haue a certaine stay of liuing, then that he shoulde haue the same in tithes, for that was cere­moniall, and therefore to continue it, is to deny Christ to be come in the flesh. I answer that the paying of tiths [Page 121] was ceremoniall, but there was an other vse of them also: so was the temple ceremoniall, wherein the peo­ple assembled together vnto the worshippe of God. Now if any man should vse the temples (I meane the places of praier) or the paying of tithes as ceremoni­all, it were a deniall of the abrogation of the cere­moniall lawe, but the temple hauing an other vse, namely, that it might be a conuenient place for the people to meete in for the exercise of the worde, &c. which is not ceremoniall, it is no denying that Christ is come in the flesh, though in this respect we do con­tinue this vse of them, so the tithes being not onely ceremoniall, but hauing this vse also that the ministe­rie might be maintained, no such iniurie is offred vn­to Christ in the retaining of them for this ende onely. And thus this glorious article may goe together with his fellowes, all of them deseruing glorie alike.

A SHORT ANSVVERE VNTO CERTAINE ARGVMENTS WHICH are vsed by the Brownists, to proue the Church of England not to be the true Church of God.

IN the end of the second booke of their conferen­ces, there is added a short treatise, as the summe of those matters, which in the conferences are said to haue bene handled: the manner of which discourse is this. In the toppe of the page this scripture is pre­fixed.


The righteous men they shall iudge thē after the maner of harlots, & after the maner of murtherers, for that they are harlots, and blood is in their hands. Ezec. 23. 45.


For as much as it not expressed wherfore this place [Page 122] of Scripture is heere placed, I will adde this vnto it: leauing the application of it vnto them, that vnder­stande the meaning of the former.

Thus saith the Lorde God, because that Moab and Seir doe say, beholde the house of Iuda is like vnto all the heathen, therefore beholde I will open the side of Mo­ab, euen of the cities of his cities; I say, in his fron­tiers, with the pleasaunt countrie Beth-ieshimoth Baal­meòn and Kariathaim. I will call the men of the East a­gainst the Ammonites, and will giue them in possession, so that the Ammonites shall no more bee remembred a­mong the nations, and vvill execute iudgementes vpon Moab, and they shall knovv that I am the Lorde. Ezech. 25. vers. 8. 9. 10. 11.


Before we can iudge of the false church, it is expedient, that we discerne the true church, &c.


Here is confirmed that which was spoken pag. 11. viz. that the matters mentioned in that treatise are so necessarily required, that the want of anie of them taketh away the esse of the church: for here in a fewe lines is knit vp, that which more at large was then de­liuered: yet some things at the first not thought vp­pon, are here added. And both the old and new mat­ters iointly and seuerally are propounded, as hauing strength sufficient to ouerthrow not our church on­ly, but all others also that are not framed, according to their rule. I will answere them therefore in that order, which the author hath vsed in drawing these matters into arguments. The first argument of theirs is this.


Their church consisteth not of a companie of faithfull people,Ier. 31. 34. but of multitude of prophane people,Act. 10 43. & 15. 9. therefore they are not the true church.


Seeing the propositions both of this and the argu­ments following are set downe before it should seme that of purpose they are nowe omitted; yet to make the matter plaine, the argument is after this manner.

The true planted and right established church of Christ is a company of faithful people, but the church of Englande is not a companie of faithfull people. Therefore not a true planted and rightly established church.

Whereunto I answere, that the assumption is with great insolency set downe, as if magistrates, ministers & people were without exception of any, a flocke of goates, a companie of hell hounds. Likewise the pro­position sauoreth of Anabaptistry, whiles it admitteth none to be members of the visible church, but faith­full people onely. But concerning the assumption, I grant, that some of Cain his brood, of Cham his con­ditions and of Esau his qualities, are in our church, e­uen as there are amongst these persecuted Christians some of the schollers of Shimei, some of Corah his company, some Ismaels, &c. Herein is the difference betweene their church and ours, that we account of such beastes as they are, though wee labour by the worde and other meanes to bring them vnto repen­tance; but if their Atheists can but say that discipline is good (though they knowe not what it meaneth) if they wil heaue at magistracy, & raile vpō the establi­shed gouernement, they must be presently canonized & registred in the booke of the faithfull, whatsoeuer their conditions are otherwise. In the proposition I see nothing which hath not beene answered pag. 12. &c. only here are certaine scriptures cited in the mar­gent, so farre from proouing the matter in question, that if they be vnderstoode of euery member of the visible church, to prooue them faithfull, we may with as good reason from the same places conclude, [Page 124] that neither the publike ministerie, nor priuat admo­nitions are to be vsed in the visible church, for these are the wordes of Ieremie: And they shall teach no more euerie man his neighbour, and euerie man his brother say­ing, knowe the Lorde, for they shall all knowe me from the least of them to the greatest of them, saith the Lord, for I vvill forgiue their iniquitie, &c.


They haue made no separation from the heathen of the lande, but all are receaued and retained in the bosome of their churches, therefore, &c.


This is the argument. The true church is a compa­ny of people separated from the vnbeleeuers, & hea­then of the lande, but the church of Englande hath made no separatlon, &c. therefore, &c.

The proposition is denied, if such a separation be vnderstoode as is spoken of Matth. 25. 32. as hath bin proued pag. 11. 12. &c. but if they take it, as it is in the place by them selues alleaged, Leuit. 20. 24. we do grant it: for Israell is there said to be separated from that heathen, yet was it not separated from all vnbe­leeuers, onely it was in respect of their outward pro­fession. The assumption in the former sence is gran­ted, but otherwise it is euident to be a meere slander, for neither are any receaued into our church, ex­cept they ioyne with vs in outward profession, nei­ther are their children baptized, except the parents, or some for the parents do promise to see thē brought vppe in the knowledge of God, and faith in Christ Iesus.

But they proue this assumption after this sort: They vvere all (say they) by the blovving of her maiesties trum­pet at her coronation,In their first & third confe­rence with M. Hutchinson. in one day receiued vvithout con­uersion of life by faith and repentance, and they and their seede euer since generallie receaued to your sacramentes, [Page 125] without any separation from the world.

Before I make answere vnto this assertion, I would learne (if I might) how these men would haue the people to come vnto an established church at the first. For they tel vs, 1. That there can be no true church, vntill euerie member therof hath by faith and repentance separated himselfe from the vnbeleeuers.In their first conference with master Hutchinson. But how shall they come vnto this faith? for they tell vs also, 2. That none can haue true faith and repentance, but such as are called thereunto by the preaching of the gospel. And how shall they haue this Gospel preached vnto them? 3. There must be sheepe before there can be a flocke; there must be a flocke before there can be a shepheard, because the people must choose their Pastor:Ibidem. so that they affirme that the people must be brought to the faith, before they can haue a Pastor, and yet they cannot haue faith vvith­out preaching. Which way then shall this preaching be had, for the attaining vnto faith?

The Magistrate (say they) ought to compel the Infidels to heare the doctrine of the church, Conference with master Cooper. pa. 59. and also vvith the ap­probation of the church to send forth meete men, vvith gifts and graces to instruct the Infidels, being yet no mini­sters, or officers vnto them: but in the time of Poperie, they affirme that the people could not be the church; & therefore I would be resolued in these two points: First where the magistrate in such a case shuld haue a church to giue consent vnto his sending forth of such teachers to instruct infidels? And thus haue they led vs about, & haue brought vs to the same place where we were at the first. And secondly what they are, which thus are sent by the magistrate and the church, if not ministers of the word vnto those infidels whom they teach? and herein we require an answere by the word.

Now to our assertion, concerning our turning from Poperie at the blowing of her maiesties trumpet. I [Page 126] doubt not but this will be graunted, that some of Q. Maries subiects beleeued, and made a bold confessi­on of their faith, who to the ioye of all christian hearts in the lande, remaine in our church vntill this daie. Others there were like vnto Nichodemus in his comming to Christ by night, and in his faint defen­ding of the truth (who if the Lord should for our vn­thankfulnes send a scourge) wold with Nichodemus make a bolde confession of their loue to Christ Iesus. So that all were not Pagans that embraced the Go­spell at the sounding of her maiesties trumpet,Ioh. 32. & 7. 50. & bee­ing faithfull,Ioh. 19. 39. the seales of the couenant did pertaine vnto their seed. But some (it may be) ioyned for feare in the outward profession (who these were, the sear­cher of mans heart doth know:)Ios. 5. 3. So did Ismael in A­brahams house, Caine in Adams house, and these vn­faithfull Israelites vnder Iosua, when at his only com­mandement they were all circumcised. There was therefore such a separation at her maiesties entrance vnto the Crowne, as the visible Church in all ages from the beginning hath afforded.


They are not gathered in the name of Christ, but in the name of Antichrist vvhom they obey, as shall aftervvard appeare, Therefore, &c.


The Argument is this.

The true church is gathered in the name of Christ, but the church of England is not, &c.

Therefore not the true church.

The proposition is granted; the Assumption is de­nied, in asmuch as we do renounce the doctrine, go­uernment, & worship of Antichrist; as shalbe shewed in the places where they labor to proue the contrary.


They vvorship not God truely, but after a false and [Page 127] idolatrus manner, as vvitnesseth their Popish liturgie, their stinted booke of common praiers, Therefore, &c.

The Argument standeth this.

The true church worshipeth God truely,Ansvvere. but the church of England doth not,

Therefore it is no true church.

I grant the proposition, & yet with this caueat, that not euery mēber of the visible church performeth this dutie, and that the true worship of God, offered vnto him by man, thorough the frailtie of man is not with­out great wants. The matter of the assumption hath bene dealt in,Brownist. pag. 21.

And they receiue not, nor obey not Christ as their king, priest, and prophet, Therefore, &c.

This argument is diuided into three seuerall parts in this manner.

Not as their king, reiecting his gouernement, and recei­uing and standing vnder the antichristian yoke of their Popish gruernment, Therefore, &c.

The force of the reason is this.Ansvvere.

The true church obeyeth Christ as her king, and reteineth his gouernement; but the church of England doth not, Therefore no true church.

We are to remember that the question is of outward gouernment, which hath bene shewed pag. 25. not to be the life of the church, but the word onely: Here­vnto we ad their own confession, that the true church may be vvithout sacraments, which we hold as necessa­rie as outward gouernment. But we are here charged with a double crime, viz. with the casting of Christs gouernment, and with the receiuing the yoke of An­tichrist. To the first whereof, I answere, that if pastors, Doctors and Elders, and Deacons be the gouerne­ment of Christ, we haue it; in as much as the mat­ter required in all these offices is retained with vs; if these be abused by men, it is not sufficient to [Page 128] proue that we haue them not at all, if strife be about the changing of the names, wise men will condemne it for follie. To the second I answere, that her maiestie is supreame gouernesse ouer vs in all causes both ecclesiasticall and ciuill; and therefore hath authoritie to appoint such gouernors, to confirme that gouern­ment, which (being not contrarie vnto Gods word) shall seeme meete vnto hir. Nowe this gouernement which we haue, else where is shewed to haue bene for the preseruation of discipline and auoiding con­fusion, before the time that Antichrist bare sway in the church. I grant that afterward he abused it, so did he many other matters: and yet they are not to be counted Antichristian (hauing not their beginning of him) when they are restored vnto their first vse. But this one calumniation bringeth foorth these fruites: First, in teaching that euery priuat man hath autho­rity in the election of ecclesiasticall gouernors, or else the gouernement is Antichristian, the priuat man is taught to intrude into her highnesse right, to whome this matter was granted by Act of Parlement, 1. Eliz. 1. Againe, in disswading from the obedience of this authority, the cōmandement of God is made no com­mandement. Ro. 13. 1. which willeth that euery soule be subiect vnto the higher powers. And as Absolon with Dauid, so do these men deale with her maiesty, in seeking to alienate the harts of good subiects from her, by crying out against her gouernment, promising better things if they be harkned vnto, that mē might be brought to ioyne in their rebellions. We shun the Iesuites, who from house to house do labour to draw the people into a loathing of their present estate, this natiue schisme is so muche the more to bee loo­ked vnto, as it commeth with a greater shew of god­linesse, and yet indeuoreth to worke confusion, by these Iesuiticall proceedings.


Not as their Priest, sacrilegiously prophaning his name vvith their idolatrie, prostituting his blood, and making him a Priest and sacrifice to infidels, and the most vvicked offenders.


The Argument is thus.

The true church receiueth Christ as their Priest, but the church of England doth not, because it pro­phaneth his name, &c. Therefore no true church.

The assumtion is false, for the doctrin of our church is, that Christ is the onely Priest, who by his owne blood entred in once into the holy place, and obtai­ned eternall redemption for vs? and therefore that men should walke worthy of so holy a calling as Christ hath vouchsafed to set them in; neither in their worshipping of God, prophaning his name; not by their vngodlinesse abusing his sacraments, wherein the practise by our church commanded is, that pro­phane & vngodly men be repelled from the same. It is not therfore a matter to be generally laid vnto the charge of the whole church, that they prophane his name, &c. I grant indeed that the Pastor may thorow ignorance, negligence, or some other euill occasion deliuer the sactament to an vnworthy man, which as it is a sinne in the receiuer, so may it be as great a sinne in the deliuerer, yet will this be a weake reason to conuince the whole church of prostituting the blood of Christ, denying his priesthood, prophaning his name, &c. seing that Iudas was partaker of the supper of the Lord, and yet the whole companie were not polluted thereby.


Not as their prophet, giuing no obedience to his vvord, vsing it as a mantell to couer their sinne, rather then as a rule vvherby to direct their liues, not seeking a true mini­sterie, [Page 132] but maintaining a false; of vvhich sort the vvhole ministererie of the land is, vvhich are permitted to teach in their publike places, to vvhom they giue eare.


The Argument is this.

The true church receiueth Christ as her prophet, but the church of England doth not, &c.

Therefore, &c.

The assumption of which argument they proue thus. First, because the church of England giueth no obedience to his word. Secondly, because they vse it as a mantle to couer their sinne: and thirdlie because they seeke not a true ministerie but maintaine a false.

It hath heretofore bene granted, that the best chur­ches haue had some bad members in them, whereof some in Athiesme despised the word, & others in hi­pocrisie made it a cloake to couer their vngodlinesse, wherein the church of England goeth not scotfree; but for the wickednes of some to condeme the whole were verie hard; and so sharpely to censure all, were intollerable. Yet these men do it, when they affirme that no obedience is giuen to the word: as if all from the highest to the lowest were infidels and pagans, without God, without the knowledge of his word, without conscience in any thing, without the feare of God. This is the meeknesse of an arrogant spirit. The bull sent by Pope Pius the fift to cursse her Maie­iestie & the land, was not vnlike vnto it; the calumni­ation is the same in both, and therefore master Iewell hath framed an answere meete for both.

Now as touching our ministery which is set as the third argument of our disobedience; the defects ther­of are noted to be either in their election, or in their subiection to a false gouernement. Their election and ordination (say they) are not by the Lords holy and free [Page 131] people. This hath bene answered pag. 45. Also they are made in nubibus (say they) but if these factioners had not made their owne ministers in tenebris, they might with lesse impudencie haue blamed the making of ours.Confer. with Spering. Besides they say, that at her maiesties entrance vnto the crowne our ministers were set ouer the people without an outvvard calling. Wherein I will not op­pose the ministerie of Luther and Caluin, whose mi­nisterie they cannot deny to be warrantable, pag. 53. of their booke, and yet they had not a better calling then our men had; but I dare auouch the calling of our men vnto the ministerie at the entring in of her maiestie vnto the crowne, to be the selfe same that euen our aduersaries haue warranted, pag. 59. of the aforesaid treatise, viz. the magistrate did send them to instruct the vnbeleeuers: but (say they) they vvere no ministers vnto them. Then let them tell vs what other ministerie this might be, and what warrant they haue for it in the word, or else they giue vs iust cause to complaine that they are filled with con­ceites.

Now the gouernement vnder the which they exe­cute their ministerie is such,Instit. lib. 4. sect. 4. that master Caluin ac­knowledgeth the antiquitie thereof to be great, and saith that it was in vse before the time of Papacie, and the vse thereof to be good, viz. ad disciplinae con­seruationem, for the vpholding of discipline, and for the auoyding of confusion.Conf. with Sper. pag. 10. But master Barrow saith, that the Queene and Parliament do vvickedly in giuing this authoritie vnto the Bishops, vvhich they haue committed vnto them: the same is published by his owne procurement vnto the view of all men, who reading it, and considering of it, may see the dea­lings of master Barrow, I say no more. But to make an end with this Argument, notwithstanding all the exceptions afore said, the Church of England [Page 132] acknowledgeth Christ as their Prophet, and for con­science sake doth reuerence gods word taught by the ministerie thereof, from the which who so turneth a­way his eare, euen his prayers are abhominable, Pro. 28. 9. And also the sacraments deliuered by them, considering that God hath ioyned them as seales vn­to his word; whereof hath bene spoken, pag. 27.


Their people are not knit togither as members ech of other in one congregation, but both roue, and goe, assemble & depart at their pleasure when they will, vvhether they vvill, and as they vvil themselues, as also liue in continual disorder.


The Argument is this.

The true church is ioyned togither as members of one bodie, but the church of England is not, but doth roue and go, &c. Therefore, &c.

In the proposition I finde these absurdlties, first that the visible church is tyed to be all of one assem­blie or congregation, in which respect the diuision of our church into seuerall parishes, is an eye-sore vnto them. Secondly, that the inordinate proceedings of some in the church, should proue a nullitie of the church; as if the losse or vnsoundnesse of a member could take away the esse from the bodie. Thirdly, that the spiritual vnion of the mēber in the whole church is so required in euerie seuerall assemblie, as if it were as great a sin for a man to depart from one assemblie vnto another, as to dismember himselfe altogither from the whole bodie, which is the church. Al which are so grosse, that a censurer doth better become them, then a confuter.

As for our church the disorders therein are too ma­ny, yet were they exceeding and intollerable if they were so generall, as this accuser thereof hath auou­ched, [Page 133] viz. amongst all men, at all times and in all their actions: but an Orator can doe much in per­swading, and a slanderer will do more in abusing.


Their parishes are not ordered & gouerned by such of­ficers as Christ hath appointed to his church, haue no true pastors, teachers, elders, deacons, releeuers, but in stead of these they remaine most seruilely subiect to the Antichri­stian gouernement of their Popishe Archbishops, Bishops, Chancellors, Archdeacons, Deacons, Commissaries, Doc­tors, proctors, aduocats, notaries, registers, pursuiuants, cursitors, summoners, &c. and from the Apostolicall seat of the Bishops, they receaue an Antichristian and a false ministery, as their parsons, vicars, curats, hirelings, lectu­rers, mercenary preachers, &c. vvhich together vvith this people stande bounde and subiect to these bishops, and their popish courtes, of high commission, of faculties, of arches, of prerogatiue, of delegates, of their commissaries, &c. Therefore &c.


The argument is this.

The true church is ordered by such officers and and lawes, as Christ in his last wil and testament hath thereunto ordained. But the church of England is not ordered thus, Therefore &c.

The first argument hath beene infringed pag. 25. where it was proued that outwarde discipline is not the life of the church, also pag. 26. & 70. where it was shewed that doctors & widdows were not necessarie in euery congregation. Wherunto I adde this, that al­though a gouernement by elders, &c. was established in some churches in the Apostles times, yet as pag. 62. hath beene said, it remaineth as yet vnproued, that this gouernement is to remaine vnchangeable in all ages: they tell vs that Christ was as faithfull in his house as Moses was, I grant it, yea and more faithfull. [Page 134] Therfore (say they) he hath set downe an outward go­uernement as well as Moses did. This also will I grant thē, yet remaineth a third matter, viz. that the Brow­nistes cast their heades together againe, and describe this gouernement better then as yet they haue done, and proue out of Gods word not onely what it is, but that it is necessarily to be had in al ages alike, yea and that the want of it doth conuince a people to be no true church vnto God. All which being once perfor­med, their proposition shall be granted.

The second part of this argument is confirmed by these foure circumstances that wee haue no true pa­stors, whereof hath bene spoken very oft.

Secondly, that the gouernement by Archbishops &c. is antichristian. A matter answered pag. 110. but in affirming our gouernement to be in the power of proctors, aduocates, notaries, registers, pursuiuants, summoners, &c. whom these euill tongued men, doe know to haue no authority in hearing of causes & gi­uing sentence, bewraieth the corruptiō of their harts.

Thirdly, that our ministery is antichristian a matter handled, pag. 125. the scurrilitie in calling them hire­lings, mercenary preachers, &c. deserueth no answer; the names of parson, vicar, &c. doth not make a dif­ference in the ministery, but in their maintenance.

Fourthly, we are subiect to the popish courtes, as high commission &c. wherunto I answer that al these courts haue their authority from her maiesty, though some of thē more directly then the other. In conside­ration wherof, to call the lest antichristian is arrogant, but to ioine thē all in one sentence, & to disswade her maiesties subiects frō yeelding obedience vnto any of thē, it will be found an act of no good subiect: yet for mine owne parte I purpose not to giue iudgement in the matter, I leaue it to such as are acquainted with the law, onely I will propound the case, which is this.

[Page 135] The high court of Parlement hath agreed that the queene, her hignes & successors, kings & queenes of this realme, shall haue full power by letters pattents vnder the great seale, to name and authorise when, as often, and for so long time as her highnes, her heires or successors shall thinke meete such person or per­sons as she or they shal thinke meet to execute vnder her, &c. all manner iurisdictions, priuileges, and pre­heminences in any wise concerning any spirituall iu­risdiction within England and Ireland, &c. 1. Eliz. 1.

Now her maiestie by the authoritie aforesaid hath graunted her letters pattentes vnder the great seale for the two courts of high commission and dele­gates. And by the said authority first from the Parle­ment, and then from her maiestie these two courtes doe stande, and not by any other right or authoritie whatsoeuer: yet these two courts of high commission and of delegates are here tearmed popishe and anti­christian courts, and the people are condemned to be antichristian, which yeelde obedience vnto them. This therefore is the case.

Whether it toucheth her maiesty or not, that li­bels railing vpon, and calling her highnes authority (which is warranted by her broad seale) popish, an­tichristian, &c.


These assemblies are not ruled by the old and new testa­ment, but by the canons, iniunctions and decrees of those antichristian and popish courts: therefore &c.


The Argument is this.

The true church is ruled by the old and new testa­ment, but the church of Englande is not &c. There­fore &c.

If Christ hath in his last will set down a perfect go­uernment for his church (as they say he hath) there is [Page 136] little vse of the olde Testament for direction of disci­pline vnder the Gospell. But this Argument being in effect the same with the former, needeth no other an­swere then it had.


These people stand not in & for their Christian libertie, but all of them remaine in bondage to these Aegyptian and Babylonishe yoakes, yeelding obedience vnto these courts, and their canons. Therefore, &c.


The Argument is this.

All and euerie of the true Church stand in and for their christian libertie, to practise whatsoeuer God hath commanded them, &c. But in the church of England they stande not for their christian libertie, Therefore, &c.


We haue seene pag. 49. & 50. that the priuate man doth passe the bondes of his calling in presuming to deale with publike reformation. Againe, it was sayde pag. 45. that in the visible church it doth not alwaies fall out, that euerie member hath that freedom which is requisite in the performance of their christian due­ties, of his calling. The proposition therefore is false. As for the assumption in differing nothing from the three former, it doth commend the greate facilitie of the author, who in resoning in so smal varietie of mat­ter is able to frame so greate a change of argumentes which yet being considered of, doe appeare all one in effect.


These assemblies haue not the povver vvhich Christ hath giuen vnto his church vnto the vvorlds end, & al the povvers of earth and hell cannot take from them, viz. to binde and loose, and to reforme things that are amisse, but are driuen to the Commissarie courtes, Therefore, &c.


The Argument is this.

The true church hath power to execute the cen­sures of the church, but the church of Englande hath not, Therefore &c.

The proposition faileth, for the true church is sometimes without outward gouernement, whereof read pag. 25. and so consequently without the power which this man speaketh off, for I know he will not restraine this power of binding and loosing though he might, vnto the ministerie of the word, whereof notwithstanding Christ speaketh, Ioh. 20. 23. saying Whose sinnes soeuer ye remit, they are remitted, and whose sinnes ye retaine they are retained.

As for the assumption it is most vntrue; for we haue not onely the power of Gods word, which he hath giuen vnto his ministerie to bind and to loose therby, but also the censures of the church in respect of outward gouernement. I grant that euerie seuerall congregation hath not this power: and I dare af­firme that in no age it can be proued that euery seue­rall congregation had this authoritie, but euen in those churches which had an Eldership, the same was not in euery assemblie, but diuerse congregations were ordered by one senyorie, therefore to say that because euerie priuate congregation hath not this power, therefore it is not at all in the church, is a chil­dish kind of reasoning.


These assemblies cast out sathan by the power of sathan, namely, by these Imps of Antichrist the Bishops, commis­saries and priests: Therfore they are not, and for all their reasons seuerall and ioyned, cannot be held in any Christi­an iudgement the true church of Christ.


In this last Argument is granted vnto vs that which [Page 128] before was denied, viz. that our church hath power of casting out; but it faileth in the manner; for (if they say true) this power is not from Christ, but from the imps of Antichrist, &c. vnto which accusation I an­swere: the end wherefore men are cast out from a­mongst vs by the doctrine of our church should be, that the offender by being depriued of the seales of the couenant, might be brought vnto repentance. Now for the ordering hereof, the people are not in the weightie matters of the church to haue their voice, pag. 47. &c.

And a presbyterie in euery congregation cannot be had, pag. [...]8. therfore neither election, ordination, ex­communication nor other censures of the Church are to be committed to euerie particular congregation. As for this vnchristian dealing in condemning for Antichristian whatsoeuer is not according to their humour, it hath bene often answered. Some defectes there are in our gouernment, we challenge no perfe­ction; some corruption there is oftentimes in such as haue the ordering of it, I defend not all. But in this I would be resolued, if wee by the power of Satan cast out Satan, by what power do they cast out Satan, that are themselues by your children committed to Satan? For the most corrupt excommunicatiō in our church shuld be wronged, if it should be compared with the excommunications that come from thē, who by their fellowes were before excommunicated in their per­sons. Nay, they are to bee iustified in comparison of the best proceedings that haue beene amongst these rash censurers.


Infinite vvere the reasons which from these seuerall heads, as likevise from these particular transgressions and defaults might be dravven: but the best argument to com­fort and cut vp this trumperie at once, is according to the [Page 129] commandements of God, to preserue our bodies and soules free from these abhominations, by a speedie separation & wvithdravving our selues from amongest them, and to confute their last and onely argument vvhereby they vp­holde their ruinous kingdome, namelie, their penall lavve, by Christian patience, and an vpright and godly life.

The conclusion is, that much more might bee sayde against our Church: and I beleeue it if the matter had not failed, for the author was willing vnto it, as may appere by his making many arguments of that which with as great credit might haue bene knit vp in one: and also by his bitternesse from the first to the last. Well, his modestie is great in that he staieth here, and his dealing is as commendable in arming himself with patience against the penall law, which he calleth our onely argument. But what is the reason that hee so speaketh? It should seeme, it is because hee had sent these foresayd arguments to some learned men, who would not vouchsafe to ansvvere them; but his chal­lenging of the learned is ridiculous, they are ashamed to deale with so sottish a schisme as this is. In deede the ciuill lawe is the fittest argument to be vsed with these vnreasonable men. Yet other argumentes are vsed both against the treatise of their Church, and a­gainst their other follies, if they wil perseuer, lest their disciples do condemne them for seducers, I wish them to laie aside their former bitternes, & to deal strictlie with the matter in question. Many that are far inferi­our to those who haue ben challenged, will be found able (I doubt not) to ouerthrow their buildings, and to proue them deceitfull workmen.


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