A PASTIME for Parents: OR A recreation, to passe away the time; contayning the most principall grounds of Chri­stian Religion.

By Arthur Dent preacher of the word of God at South-Shoo­bery in Essex.

LONDON, Printed by T. E. for Thomas Man. 1606.

A PASTIME for Parents to bee vsed with their children for recreation, to passe a­way the time; containing the most principall grounds of Christian religion.

Father.

VVHat is God?

Child.

An infinite perfection,Iob. 11. 7. whose being is of himselfe.

Father.

Where is God?

Child.

Alwaies euery where,Psal. 139. as the aire.

Father.

Whether is the Godhead a thing one­ly imaginarie or no?

Child.

The Godhead is not a thing which onely may bée conceiued in thought,Exod. 3. [Page] but indéed is a most pure and infinite selfebeing.

Father.

How then doe you conceiue of the essence, and being of the Godhead?

Child.

That the substance or essence of the dietie is of all things most simple and single, and is neither diuided, multiplyed, nor compact of any ele­mentarie qualitie.

Father.

Expresse your minde morefully.

Child.

This I meane, that the diuine na­ture is one, simple, vniforme, imma­teriall, impassible, immutable, illo­call, eternall, omnipotent, omniscient, infinite, void of al mixture, cōposition, combinatiō, diuision, or dissimilitude.

Father.

Which be the proper and essenti­all attributes of God?

Child.

The proper attributes of God are vbiquitie, eternitie, vnitie, simpli­citie, [Page] omnipotency: for these do spring from his essence and forme, as natu­rally, necessarily and directly, as the beames, light, & heat, issue from the Sunne, as the streames from a foun­taine of water.

Father.

Can these essentiall attributes of God increase, or decrease?

Child.

Nothing that is in GOD can bée augmented, or diminished, or anie way altered: For as hée is once at any time, so is hée alwaies at all times.

Father.

What may we learne out of this?

Child.

To feare and tremble so often as wée thinke or speake of this infinite Maiestie.

Father.

What are we especially to consider in God for our comfort and instruction?

Child.

His wisedome, prouidence, iustice, [Page] and mercie.

Father.

Are not all these in God as acci­dents, or accidentall qualities?

Child.

No: For there are no accidents, or accidentall qualities in God, that is nothing seperable or mutable: but all these are in God as essentiall, and inseperable properties, or if you will of the very essence of God.

Father.

Are not these forenamed qualities of wisedome, prouidence, iustice, and mercie, accidentall, and seperable both in men and Angels?

Child.

Yes verely: for they are no part of their nature or essence, nor yet essen­tiall properties: for they may bée re­mooued, and seperated from their subiects.

Father.

You said before that God is alwaies euery where, that is, in all places at once: but how can that bee, sith the [Page] opinion is, that God is onely in hea­uen?

Child.

God as touching his essence is no more in heauen then in this inferior world: but he is said to be in heauen, because his glory and maiestie doth there most clearely shine out.

Father.

Sith God is in all places at once: tell me also whether he doth know all things at once.

Child.

God doth know all mens thoughts, words, and déeds at once, all that e­uer haue béene, are and shall be. For there is nothing past, or to come with God, but all things are alwayes pre­sent: and it is as easie a matter for God to comprehend all things past, present, and to come at once, as it is for vs to tell, one, two, thrée.

Father.

Is it not daungerous then to haue a­ny base thoughts of God, or carnally or basely to imagine that God is like a [Page] man, or any other creature?

Child.

Yes assuredly: For it is high trea­son to haue any such thoughts or vile conceits of God: for God is like no thing:Esay. 40. Verse. 18. as the Prophet saith, to whom will ye liken God?

Father.

Is not the sinne of the Papists verie great, which make Images and simili­tudes of God, and set them vp in their Churches to breed carnall thoughts, and imaginations of God in the hearts of the people?

Child.

It is a very high degrée of blas­phemie:Esay. 40. for the Prophet saith, What similitude will you set vp vnto him? Abac. 2. 18 and another Prophet saith: that the Image is a teacher of lies.

Father.

What shall we say then to our com­mon swearers which daily blaspheme this great maiesty of God, and take his most holy and sacred name in vaine for euery trifle?

Child.
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They shall one day know and féele to their euerlasting woe, what it is to blaspheme such an infinite maie­stie.

Father.

What vse are the people of God to make of all this?

Child.

This, to haue so great a maiestie alwayes in singular admiration and reuerence. And the rather, because in these corrupt times men grow so fast towards atheisme and prophain­nesse, that there is no more any com­mon deuotion amongest them, or any Reuerence of a Godhead.

Father.

What yet further doe you consider in God?

Child.

That he is one in substance, thrée in persons. I meane that in this most simple and single essence the three seuerall persons doe sub­sist.

Father.
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Doe you meane that the Godhead is distinguished, or diuided, into three persons?

Child.

No, for the essence of the God­head is so simple, and single as I said, that it can neither bée distinguished, deuided, or multiplyed, no not when the Sonne is sayd to bée GOD of God.

Father.

Are not the persons in the Godhead distinguished?

Child.

Yes, the persons are distinguished each from other by their proper, and incommunicable proprieties, that is, their diuers manner of being which they haue in the Godhead. As the Father by creation, the Sonne by re­demption, the holy Ghost by sancti­fication.

Father.

Expresse your meaning yet more fully.

Child.
[Page]

My meaning is this, that although the substance of the deity being most simple and single cannot be deuided, or distinguished, nor the same essence seperated: yet I say the persons are so distinguished in office not in essēce as the one of them cannot possibly be the other.

Father.

What call you the persons in the tri­nitie?

Child.

I call a person a subsistence in the essence of God, which hauing relati­on to others is distinguished by his incommunicable propriety.

Father.

Is not euery person the whole and the same substance of the deitie?

Child.

Yes, for euery person is by him­selfe God.

Father.

Are there not then three Gods?

Child.
[Page]

No, for the Scripture teacheth plainely that there is but one God and thrée persons.Iohn. 1. 7. As 1. Iohn. saith, there are thrée which beare record in heauen, the father, the word, and the holy Ghost, and these thrée are one, that is one in substance, and thrée in persons, and there bée many other places of scriptures which proue the distinction of the persons. As where it is sayd, goe, and teach all nations baptising them in the name of the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost. And againe in the third chap­ter of the Gospel of Saint Mathew. ve. 16. 17. Mat. 28. ver. 19. Where first mention is made of a voice from heauen which was the voice of the Father. Where the first person in trinitie is pointed vn­to. Then it is sayd, this is my be­loued sonne. There the second per­son is at. Thirdly it is sayd, that the spirit of God descended, and lighted vpon him like a done. Which plain­lie noteth out the third person which [Page] is the holy Ghost, and thus you see, how ye scriptures doe auouch a plaine distinction of persons, as wee say a trinitie in vnitie, & a vnitie in trinitie.

Father.

Yet I cannot by any reason discerne but if euery person be God then there must needs be three Gods.

Child.

We must not in this case consult with reason, but simply beléeue the Scriptures though wee cannot com­prehend by humane reason the man­ner or rather mistery of this matter. For it far excéedeth all humane reach and capacitie.

Father.

Is not one person in trinitie greater then an other, as the Father greater then the Sonne, and the Sonne greater then the holy Ghost?

Child.

No, for the persons be coequall, coeternall, and coessentiall.

Father.

How vnderstand you that worde [Page] coessentiall, which the learned call [...]?

Child.

The persons in trinitie are called coessentiall, not because they are on­ly of like essence, as wée sée the parti­culars of the same kind to be in natu­rall things, as in thrée apples grow­ing together in one, and such like: but because they are indéede one and the selfe same simple essence; Therefore the persons of the deitie cannot with­out blasphemie be said to be onely co­herent together in substance, or onely of like substance.

Father.

Is it not necessarie that Christians should be well grounded in the know­ledge of this vnitie of the Godhead, and the distinction of the persons?

Child.

Yes verely. For many errours, and heresies haue growen in the world a­bout these points.

Father.

Doe you not beleeue that the euer­lasting [Page] God hath made heauen, and earth and the sea, & all things in them contained?

Child.

Yes,Act. 4. 24. they are all the works of his hands.

Father.

How did he make them?

Child.

By his word.Heb. 11 3. As it is written. Through faith wée vnderstand that the world was ordained by the word of God.

Father.

Whereof did hee make the world, and all things in it?

Child.

Of nothing▪ As it is written. The thinges which wée sée, are not made of things which did appeare.Heb. 11. 3.

Father.

To what end did God create hea­uen and earth?

Child.

To set forth his glorie.Psal. 19.

Father.
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Hath not God as greate a care for the conseruation of the world, and all particular creatures in it, as euer he had to create them?

Child.

Gods care is no lesse for the con­seruation of the creature then first it was for the creation.Psal. 104. ver. 27. 28. For as in great wisedome he made them all; So in as great wisedome hée doth preserue thē al He is not as a carpenter which hauing built a house, afterward ta­keth no more care of it.

Father.

Do you not thinke that God also created the Angels?

Child.

Yes,Col. 1. 16. they also are the workes of his fingers.

Father.

When did he create them?

Child.

In the beginning when he made all other creatures.

Father.
[Page]

In which of the sixe dayes were the Angels created?

Child.

That is a curious question, and I can giue you no certaine answere vnto it: but it is most likely, and pro­bable that it was in the sixt and last day when man was created after Gods owne image. For the Angels carry the greatest Image of God in them.

Father.

What is an Angell?

Child.

An inuisible spirit.Col. 1. 16

Father.

Our Lord Iesus saith that God is a spirit:Ioh. 4. 24. What difference then make you betwixt God and an Angell?

Child.

The difference is excéeding great. For God is an infinite spirit, the An­gels are but finite. GOD is the creator: the Angels be but creatures, and although they bée very glorious [Page] creatures: yet God doth infinitly ex­céede them in glory.

Father.

Do not the Angels of all other crea­tures come nearest vnto the nature of GOD, and furthest excell the na­ture of man?

Child.

The angelicall nature doth exist as a meane betwixt God & mā, although far nearer the lower, then the vpper extreame. Participating somewhat of each nature, hauing had a béegin­ning as man: and yet being immor­tall with God, consisting of matter and forme as doth a man: yet voyde of all mixture as God. Subsisting in some matter subiect as a man: yet be­ing incorporeall as God. Ignorant of some things as a man: yet of won­derfull capacitie and knowledge as God, and in a word being euery way finit as a man: yet perfect in all re­spects as God.

Father.

As you haue shewed me the pro­per [Page] attributes of God so also shew the proper attributes of the Angels, that so wee may more clearely discerne their glorious nature?

Child.

The Angels haue essentiall attri­butes proportionable though not comparable to those in God. For Gods absolute vbiquitie, they haue successiue vbiquity, for the eternity of God they haue immortalitie, for his most simple nature, they haue a most thin & subtile essence, for his omnipo­tency they haue great power and might.

Father.

How proue you that the Angels haue so great power and might?

Child.

Out of the Psalme. Where it is said Praise the Lord ye his Angels which ex­cell in strength. Psal. 103. ver. 20. And againe out of the Booke of the Kings. Where wée read that one Angell in one night did destroy the whole army of Synacherib Kinge of Assiria. [Page] being an hundred fourescore and fiue thousand.

Father.

What thinke you of the agilitie and swiftnesse of Angels?

Child.

I thinke by reason of their agile and thinne substance being far more subtile and thin then the ayre it selfe, that they glide thorow the ayre with vnconcernable swiftnesse, and can bée any where in a moment as God is al­wayes euery where.

Father.

What is your reason?

Child.

My reason is this, we sée by daily experience that the sun being a visible body doth fetch the whole compas of the heauens in foure & twenty houres and it is well knowne to all ye learned that the circle or circumference of the sun doth by many degrées excéede the circle or globe of ye whole earth, néeds therefore must the Sunne bée caried in an vnspeakeable swift motion [Page] farre passing the musket shotte for else how could it goe through his whole spheare in 24. houres as we sée it doth, then consequently it follow­eth that the motion of Angels must néedes bée much swifter then that of the Sunne, because they are of a more thin, agile, aiery, and inuisible nature.

Father.

Can an Angell be in many places at once?

Child.

No but in a minute of time they can be any where as I said before.

Father.

What say you to the knowledge and vnderstanding of Angels?

Child.

I say that it is excéeding great in all things, far passing all knowledge of men though neuer so learned & skilful.

Father.

Doe the Angels know all things?

Child.

No, they are ignorant of some [Page] things, as of mēs particular thoughts of some things to come, of the last day and of the essence of God.

Father.

What reason can you yeelde that Angels know not the essence of God?

Child.

This; the essence of God is infinit therefore no Angell can know it or comprehend it. For that which is fi­nit cannot cōprehend that which is in­finit: but the Angels are finite; there­fore they cannot comprehend ye essence of God being infinit, for the essence of God is verely knowen to himselfe: he knoweth his owne essence, and there­fore hée is infinit. For whatsoeuer knoweth & comprehendeth that which is infinit, must néeds it selfe be infinit.

Father.

Where be the holy and elect Angels of God?

Child.

Then bée both in heauen,Psal. 34. 7. earth and the aire.Mat. 18. 10. And wheresoeuer any people of God bée, there be they also.

Father.
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What is the speciall office of the good Angels?

Child.

To preserue the children of God,Psa. 1. 91. 11 to gard them,Mat. 18. 10. to minister vnto them, and to kéepe them in all their wayes.

Father.

What is the reason that the Angels are discribed with six wings a peece in the Scriptures?Esay. 9. 2.

Child.

They haue two winges to couer their face, because they are not able to indure the brightnesse of Gods glory: they haue two wings to couer their féet, because man is not able to abide the brightnes yt is in them; they haue two to fly withal, to signifie their rea­dines & prompt obedience to all the commandements of God.

Father.

What vse are wee to make of all this that God is so infinite in him­selfe, and so glorious in all his crea­tures, specially in the Angels, Sunne, [Page] Moone and Starres, &c.

Child.

We are not onely to feare, dread and reuerence so great a maiestie: but also to loue him, worshippe him and obey him with all our hearts, with all our spirit, and with all our strength, and with all our thoughts.

Father.

Did not the blessed Angels fall from that excellent estate wherein they were first created?

Child.

Many of them fell from their first estate & became diuels as appeareth in the Scriptures.Iohn. 8. 44 2. Pet. 2. 4. Iud. ver. 6.

Father.

What was the cause or chiefe mo­tiue of the fall?

Child.

They fell of themselues, that is to say, through their owne motion, will & disposition without any instigation of any other or any former motiue whatsoeuer, which thing caused God to cast them downe without all hope [Page] of recouery: but man falling by the first motiue, and by instigation of o­thers hath left vnto him an assured hope of recouery.

Father.

Is not the number of the Angels that fell from their first estate, and became diuels, very great?

Child.

Yes excéeding great: for the diuell being demanded by our Lord Iesus what was his name, answered, My name is Legion: Mark. 9. for saith hée, wée are many, which plainely prooueth that there be many diuels.

Father.

What doe you call a Legion?

Child.

A Legion according to the account of the Romans was sixe thousand footmen: Our Lord Iesus said to Pe­ter: Mat. 26. 13 Put vp thy sword, for doest thou not thinke that I can now pray to my father, and he will giue me more then twelue Le­gions of Angels? So then it appeareth by the scriptures that there bée very [Page] many both good Angels and bad.

Father.

If there bee so many diuels, why doth the Scripture speake of the diuell in the singular number as if there were but one?

Child.

There bée multitudes of infernall Spirits, but yet they doe so ioyne to­gether in one, that they bée called the diuell in the singuler number, because there is a kingdome of them, and a vnited societie vnder one head, prince or principall diuell: and they doe all ioyne to vphold their societie,Mat. 12. 26 and kingdome, as Christ teacheth.

Father.

Did the diuels by their fall loose that great power and strength which they had by nature and creation?

Child.

No: They doe still retaine their first power and strength,Eph. 6. 12. as experi­ance teacheth: and the Scriptures doe call as well the Diuels, as the good angels, principalities & powers.

Father.
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Haue the diuels by their fall lost that great wisedome and vnderstanding which they had in their first estate?

Child.

No: But they haue corrupted, and depraued it, and turned it from wise­dome into déepe craft and subtiltie: the like may be sayd for their swiftnesse and agilitie.

Father.

Where are the diuels, what place do they keepe in?

Child.

Their principall aboad is in the ayre, through the which they glide too and fro with vnspeakable swiftnesse:Eph. 1. 7. and therefore the Apostle calleth the diuell the Prince of the ayre,Eph. 6. 12. and the diuels are said to be in ye high places.

Father.

The common opinion is that the diuels be shut vp in hell, as it were in a dungeon of darknesse, and that they neuer come out except they be forced, and raised vp by coniurers.

Child.
[Page]

That is an ignorant, false and fan­tasticate opinion quite contrary to the Scriptures,Iob. 1. 7. which teach that the diuels are in places héere below.1. Pet. ca. 8.

Father.

Is it not a true and warrantable speech to say that the diuels are in hell?

Child.

Yes: If you take hell metapho­rically for the torments they are in, and not for any circumscript place: for it may be very probably coniectu­red that the aboad of the diuels is in the ayre, and not in any other cir­cumscript place as yet: but after the great iudgement they shall goe to their owne place, euen that depth or gulfe mentioned, Luke. 8. vers. 3. which they doe quake and tremble to thinke off as appeareth in the Gos­pell.Mat. 8. 29.

Father.

What is the estate and condition of diuels in the meane time?

Child.
[Page]

In the meane time they are in chaines of darknesse as Saint Peter saith,2. Pet. 2. 4. that is, in a most miserable con­dition of life, full of terrible horrour, euen as grieuous malefactours ha­uing receiued the sentence of death are yet for a time retained in a stin­king prison, vntill they bée drawen out to their full and last execution: for S. Iude saith expresly that they are reserued in euerlasting chaines vnder darkenesse vnto the iudge­ment of the great day.Iud. ver. 6.

Father.

Hauing thus farre spoken of God, and of the Angels and their fall: Let vs now proceed to speake of man, and first of all tell me, In what estate man was first created?

Child.

In a most pure and excellent e­state frée from sinne and corruption, being made after the very image of God in respect of knowledge,Gen. 1. 26. wise­dome, and righteousnesse, hauing [Page] fréedome of will, and Lordship ouer the earth.

Father.

How then fell he from this so glo­rious and perfect estate?

Child.

The woman being beguiled by the suggestion of Sathan in the likenesse of a serpent,Gen. 3. did entise Adam her hus­band to eate of the forbidden fruit in the middest of the garden, and so pre­sently, both lost all their former excel­lency, and also wrapped themselues, and their whole posterity in perpetu­all thraldome and misery:Rom. 5. and thus sinne first entred into the world, and together with sin came death and the curse of God vpon all mankind.

Father.

Now since the fall of Adam where­in doth our misery especially con­sist?

Child.

In this; that wée are wholly cor­rupted both in reason, vnderstan­ding, will, and affections, which is [Page] the very cause why we are so proone to euill, and so vntoward to all goodnesse.

Father.

Doth God hate vs for this our na­turall corruption?

Child.

As an Adder, or a Toad is ha­ted of man, not so much for the e­uill it hath done, as for the poyson that is in it: and the hurt which it cannot but doe: so God hateth vs, not onely for the euill wée doe, but for the euill which wée cannot but doe, that is, for our poysoned na­ture which is borne and bred with vs.

Father.

Then you holde that our actuall transgressions doe not first make vs euill.

Child.

I hold so indéed: For as the hurt which a venemous serpent doth, ma­keth her not a serpent, but because shée is a serpent, shée poysoneth and [Page] hurteth: so our euill déedes doe not first make vs euill, but because wée are of nature euill, therefore wée thinke and doe euill.

Father.

Doe you thinke that this originall contagion is wholly in euery particu­lar man: or that one man hath one part of it, and another man another: and so part it among them, part, and part like?

Child.

I thinke thus, that as euery man receiued from Adam the whole na­ture of man: so also hée receiued the whole corruption, and is cloathed with it as a beast with a skinne, his whole nature both bodie & soule being oppressed with it as a most in­fectious leprosie: and therefore eue­ry man hath in him from his pa­rents the séede of all sinne, which is a naturall disposition, & pronenesse to commit any sinne whatsoeuer. For the spawne of all the horrible sinnes that are practised in the world are [Page] in that man which is thought to bée best disposed by nature.

Father.

But experience teacheth that some euen by nature are more ciuill, gentle, and tractable then others.

Child.

This commeth to passe, not be­cause some men are by nature lesse wicked then others: but béecause God by his prouidence doth limit, and restraine mens corruptions more or lesse, which hée doth for the good of mankinde: for if men were wholly left to themselues, corruption would so excéedingly break out into all man­ner of villanies, that there should bée no liuing in the world.

Father.

It seemeth by this that man is a most contagious and vile nature.

Child.

The nature of man in regard of the corruption thereof, is the worst of all natures except the Diuell, yea worse then the nature of beasts, as [Page] Lions, Woolues, Dogs, Swine, &c. for there is in mans nature some thing of euery beasts nature. For hée is proud as the Lyon, cruell as the Woolue, greedy as the Dogge, craftie as the For, filthy as the Swine, leacherous as the Goat, &c. For looke what de­grée of goodnesse wée had in our first creation in Adam: the same degrée of euill haue wée in the corruption of our nature by his fall.

Father.

But is this naturall corruption al­waies liuely and operatiue in vs, I meane in continuall action and opera­tion, doth it not sometimes lye dead in vs, and cease to worke?

Child.

It is alwayes aliue and woor­king, except where it is kept downe by speciall grace, and there also it will not bée held downe one minute longer then speciall grace woorketh, and preuayleth in the soule. For so soone as the thought, or action of grace is out, the thought and action [Page] of sinne is in: Our concupiscence is like a crabbe trée which bringeth foorth alwayes sowre fruit: or like an vntilled field, which bringeth foorth nothing but wéedes: or a lusty strong horse pricked with prouender that carieth his rider headlong ouer hedge and ditch.

Father.

But put the case a man should haue no outward obiection to mooue him, nor externall prouocations to allure him. Doe you not then thinke that this naturall infection would lye dead in him, and cease to worke?

Child.

Concupiscence would shew it selfe, though men were shut vp alone in closets betwéene stonewals, where they could haue no externall prouo­cations, yea, though there were no Diuell, or that the Diuell were chai­ned vp.

Father.

Whether then doe you thinke that [Page] the Diuell or our corrupt nature are greater enemies to our saluation: Or whether doth more euill spring out of our currupt nature, then from the di­uels suggestion?

Child.

First, I answere that our corrup­tion is a stronger enemie against vs then Sathan, and consequently our selues greater enemies to our selues then the diuell, for wée haue no such enemy as our selues: and secondly that more & greater euill doth spring from our corrupt nature, then from Sathans instigation. And all this S. Iames doth affirme, saying: Euery man is tempted, Iam. 1. 14. when he is drawen away by his owne concupiscence, and entised: It is the concupiscence that doth first both draw away, and entice: as for the Diuell he doth but worke vpon our concupiscence, and is, as it were, the bellowes to blow it, and fire it, without the which he could not come within vs, to doe any thing against vs.

Father.
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Doe you then thinke that the diuell cannot worke immediately, or sine me­dijs, without meanes vpon the soule or heart of man?

Child.

I thinke so indéed: But that which the Diuell doth vpon the heart, is by the externall sences, and outward obiects by reason of the hypostaticall vnion betwixt the soule and the bo­die: for hée worketh, and pierceth through the body to affect the soule, by reason of the naturall sympa­thy.

Father.

But doth this birth-corruption re­maine in the very elect after their re­generation?

Child.

Yes vndoubtedly: and the chil­dren of God haue greatest féeling of it, and are most troubled with it, and grieued for it: strugling with it by all good meanes to suppresse it, and kéepe it vnder: for sure it is that [Page] euen after the people of GOD are iustified, and sanctified, and assu­red of eternall life: yet they haue their hands full, and as wée say towe inough to their Rocke to snib, and nippe of those manifolde blos­sonies and fruites of corruption, which dayly and hourely arise and spring vp in their nature. For as fast as one is pinched, and nipt in the head, an other foorthwith springeth and sprouteth out: Not vnlike the Monster Hydra with sea­uen heads, that the Heathen write of, which hauing one of them cut off, seauen others did arise in the stead of it. And thus wée sée that the very Elect of GOD haue an endlesse trouble, and as wée say worke enough cut out, for as long as they liue, to repayre this rent and torne nature. For alas, a­las, though GOD forgiue vs our sinnes, yet doth hée not, nor will hée in this life frée vs of naturall cor­ruption.

Father.
[Page]

Is not the knowledge, and fee­ling of this a great corsey, and heart smart to the most deare children of God?

Child.

Yes verely: For there is nothing that doth so sorely pinch them at the heart as the consideration of this, which indéede maketh them wearie of their life, weary of the world, and weary of all: and often wish with the Apostle to bée dissolued and to bée with Christ; for they doe con­tinually groane vnder this corrup­tion, as vnder a most heauie bur­then, and fetch many a sorrowfull sigh to thinke of it, and are euer complaining of it, as of a most dead­ly enemie of theirs. And all this wée many clearely sée, as it were, in a glasse, in the example of the A­postle Paule himselfe that most rare, and excellent Seruant of God. Who taketh vp most pittifull, and lamen­table complaintes of this poysoned [Page] and infected nature. I know (sayth hée) That in mee, that is in my flesh dwelleth no good thing. I allow not that which I doe,Rom. 7. 15 for what I would, that I doe not: but what I hate, that I doe: I doe not the good thing which I would: but the euill which I would not that doe I. Now if I doe that I would not, it is no more I that doe it, but the sinne that dwelleth in mee. I finde then that when I would doe good, I am thus yoaked that euill is present with mee. For I delite in the Law of God concerning the inner man, but I see an other Law in my mem­bers rebelling against the law of my mind, and leading me captiue vnto the Law of sinne, which is in my members. And in the end hée breaketh out into an out­cry, saying: O wretched man that I am, who shall deliuer me from the body of this death?

Father.

Doe not Vngodly, and vnrege­nerate men likewise mourne vnder this corruption, and complaine much of it?

Child.
[Page]

No: you shall seldome or neuer heare them cōplaine of it, or mourne vnder it. For they walke after the foo­lish, and fulfill the lusts thereof with all delight and gréedines, being whol­ly caried after the swing and sway of their owne corrupt affections and desires.

Father.

What is the cause hereof?

Child.

Because they are forsaken of God and giuen ouer to a great blindnesse of heart, and hardnesse of affecti­ons, so that though their miserie is excéeding great, yet they haue little sight, and lesse féeling of it.

Father.

Doe you not thinke that a man in the state of nature cannot so feele his misery?

Child.

Sure it is, that a méere naturall man can haue no true sight, or liuely [Page] féeling of his misery, or any sounde desire to come out of it: but doth greatly please himselfe in it, and is loath to come out of it; for the Apo­stle sayth plainely, that the naturall man perceiueth not the thinges of the spirit of God. For they are foolish­nesse vnto him,1. Cor. 2. 14 neither can hée know them, béecause they are spiritually discerned.

Father.

But may not a naturall, and vnre­generate man haue the knowledge of God, and the vnderstanding of his wil, and so consequently a sight of heauen­ly things?

Child.

Yes; a naturall man hath a kinde of knowledge and vnderstanding of God and of his will: but it is one­ly a confused and braine know­ledge, and a literall vnderstan­ding of the Scriptures, for hée can­not possibly haue the liuely and sa­uing knowledge, which is ioyned with quickening grace. Nor that [Page] sound vnderstanding and sight which doth lineally descend from the spirit of sanctification.

Father.

May not man in the state of nature haue feeling also of God, and of hea­uenly things?

Child.

The Scriptures doe teach that a reprobate may haue a kinde both of sight and féeling of heauenly things, for hée may bée lightened,Heb. 6. 4. and tast of the heauenly gift and of the powers of the world to come, and also tast of the good woord of God, and bée made partaker of the holy Ghost. But his sight and tast and féeling can neuer bée sound and good before regeneration. So then all the cun­ning is to know, whether the worke of grace in a mans soule bée sounde and currant or no, for vnregenerate men are much deceiued with a false light; for they doe blindly Imagine, yt because they haue some kind of sight, [Page] and féeling of heauenly things, there­fore they haue all, and the same that is in euery elect.

Father.

What difference then doe you make betwixt the knowledge of the elect & the reprobate?

Child.

The knowledge of the reprobate doth puffe vp.

The knowledge of the elect doth humble.

The knowledge of the reprobate is generall and confused.

The knowledge of the elect is par­ticular and certaine.

The knowledge of the reprobates is onely literall: and historicall.

The knowledge of the elect is spi­rituall, and experimentall.

The knowledge of the reprobate is speculatiue.

The knowledge of the elect is pra­ctiue, that is, ioyned with obedience. For howsoeuer a naturall, and vnre­generate man may know much: yet [Page] hath hée not nor can haue any power to doe, I meane, chearfully and aright till his heart bée enlarged by Christ & his will renued by grace.

The knowledge of the reprobate is like ye knowledge which a mathema­ticall geographer hath of the earth and all places in it, which is but a ge­nerall notion, and speculatiue com­prehension of them.

But the knowledge of the elect is like the knowledge of a traueller which can speake of experience, and féeling, and hath béene there and séene and knowen the particulars.

Father.

Now tell me further what difference you make betwixt the feeling of the elect, and the reprobate?

Child.

The reprobate hath a kinde of na­turall féeling of sinne but it is with­out the true hatred of it, for in his heart hée loueth it.

The elect doth so féele his sin that hée hateth it, taketh councell against [Page] it, and praieth against it.

The féeling of the reprobate is from naturall faculties, for hée is not as a blocke without all sence.

The féeling of the elect is from the spirit of sanctification.

The féeling of the reprobate ari­seth from naturall feare & diffidence: for man naturally féeleth, and feareth dangers, so the reprobates féele and feare the wrath of God, the accusati­ons of their consciences, the punish­ment of sinne, hell fire, &c. But haue no true féeling of Gods loue towardes them.

But the elect haue a liuely féeling of Gods loue towards them.

The reprobate hath sometimes at starts, a féeling of spiritual ioy: but it vanisheth incontinently.

The féeling of the ioy of the spirit in the elect, is more lasting and of­ten.

Father.

As you haue told me much of mans misery in nature? so tell mee yet [Page] one poynt further, whether a man in the state of nature can do any thing that pleaseth God?

Child.

A méere naturall man cannot please GOD in any thing he doth, but euen his best actions are turned into sinne.Rom. 8. 8. For the Apostle sayth. They which are in the flesh cannot please GOD. And againe hée saith. To them that are defiled, and vnbée­léeuing is nothing pure: but euer their mindes and consciences are de­filed.Tit. 1. 15.

Father.

How long doth a man continue in this wofull and cursed estate wherein he was borne?

Child.

Till hée bée regenerate and borne againe. For our Lord Jesus affir­meth, that except a man bée borne a­gaine hée cannot sée the kingdome of God.Iohn. 3. 3

Father.

By what meanes doth a man come to [Page] be regenerate and borne againe?

Child.

By the outward preaching of the word, and the inward worke of the spirit.

Father.

By what signes may a man knowe that hee is borne againe,Iame. 1. 18 iustified, and sanctified?Eph. 1. 13.

Child.

By the worke of grace in his heart.

By his loue to the word of God.

By his loue to the children of God.

By his hatred of sinne.

By his loue of righteousnesse.

By the change of his thoughts.

By the change of his actions.

By his mortification of the flesh.

By his sanctification of the spi­rit.

By his walking no more after the fleshe, but after the spirit, and such like.

Father.
[Page]

Sith man in himselfe is so cursed and miserable as you haue declared; shew mee what is his best course to take, and first of all tell mee which is the first steppe to eternall life?

Child.

The first steppe to eternall life, is for a man to know and féele his mi­sery, and then labour to gette out of it.

Father.

How doth a man come to know and feele his misery?

Child.

By the sound vnderstanding of the law,Rom. 3. 20. contained in the ten commande­ments.

Father.

What is the Law?

Child.

The perfect rule of righteous­nesse teaching vs what wée should doe, and forbidding the contra­rie.

Father.
[Page]

By whom was the Law giuen?

Child.

By Moyses.

Father.

To whom was it giuen?

Child.

To the children of Israell.

Father.

When was it giuen?

Child.

In mount Sinai.Exod. 19.

Father.

How was it giuen?

Child.

With great feare and terror.Exod. 19.

Father.

To what end was it giuen?

Child.

To lette vs sée our sinnes, that by the sight thereof, wée might bée constrayned to flye vnto Christ.

Father.

Is any man able to keepe the Law?

Child.
[Page]

No;Rom. 2. 2. and therefore no man can bée iustified by the law.

Father.

Sith then the law doth condemne, and not saue. Sith it sheweth our di­seases, but can giue vs noe remedie, wherefore then serueth it? or what is the vse of it both in the regenerate, and vnregenerate?

Child.

As concerning the vnregenerate.Rom. 7. First, it discouereth their sinnes.

Secondly, it stirreth vp the affecti­ons of sinne in them, not of it selfe, but through their default.

Thirdly, it worketh in them a fée­ling of the wrath of God, of death, and damnatiō, without offering any hope of pardon, and therefore to them it is the minister of death.

Lastly, it doth increase, and aug­ment sin in them accidentarily, that is, by reason of their great corrup­tion which declineth from that which is commanded: but inclineth to that [Page] which is forbidden.

Father.

Lay open this last point somewhat more fully.

Child.

Euen as a waterbrooke being stopt with a damme euerwart, it doth surg and swell the more, till it breake ouer the damme: so sinne being re­strayned by the Law doth increase, and rage more in men not regene­rate, for their will béeing not refor­med, doth euer tend to that which is forbidden.Rom. 7. Therefore the Apostle sayth, that without the Law sinne is dead, that is, though sinne bée in men before the publishing of the Law: yet it is not knowne, felt, nor perceiued; as the corrupt humours in mans bo­dies, which lye close and are not felt till the purgation come: but then they humble and stirre mightely to resist the medicine, or as vnslaked lyme, which sléepeth, as it were, qui­etly and stirreth not till the water bée throwne vpon it, but then it [Page] smooketh, burneth, and is in an extreame heate. Or as a Snake which lurketh close in her hole all winter, as if shée were deade: but when the hote Sunne shineth vpon her, then shée reuiueth, wri­theth, and stingeth, and sheweth her venemous nature. And thus you see what is the workinge of the Law in vnregenerate men: But in the regenerate, that is such as are vnder grace, it is otherwise. For they doe consent vnto the Law, and their nature doth not take occasion any more by the Law to bring foorth sinne.

Father.

What is then the speciall vse of the Law of the regenerate?

Child.

First, it is a rule for them to direct their liues by Secondly, it teacheth them not to trust in thēselues Third­ly it humbleth them continually in the sight of God Lastly, it is their schoole­master to Christ.

Father.
[Page]

Whether are the regenerate vnder the law or no?

Child.

The children of God are vnder the obedience and institution of the law,Rom. 6. 14. but not vnder the curse of it;Gal. 5. 13. for they being in Christ are fréed from that.

Father.

Whether are the vnregenerate vnder the law or no?

Child.

All wicked and vngodly men are vnder the curse of the Law, which is all one, as to bée vnder the captiuitie of Sathan and sinne. For their case is this, they must perfectly kéepe the Law, or else bée damned. For they haue no right to Christ, in whom one­ly the Law is satisfied. Wée sée there­fore what a pittiful case al men are in, till they come to Christ, and be found in him.

Father.

What difference is there betwixt the Law and the Gospell?

Child.
[Page]

The Law condemneth, but the gos­pell saueth: the law casteth down, but the Gospell raiseth vp.

Father.

What difference is there betwixt the couenant of the law, and the couenant of the Gospell?

Child.

The Legall couenant doth really differ from the Euangelicall, or new couenant of Grace. For the old co­uenant of the Lawe was conditi­onall, and did no otherwise giue life, and saluation vnto men, but if they did performe it, and therefore it was nothing else but a repetition of that, which GOD made to Adam, to wit if hée did eate of the forbidden fruite hée should dye, if not, he should liue: euen so if we kéepe the Lawe wée shall liue thereby. If not wée shall dye. But the couenant of the Gospell is frée, that is, it doth fréely giue life to those that [Page] beléeue though they faile in doing.

Father.

But what comfort then is there in the couenant of the Gospell, more then in the couenant of the Law, sith men of themselues are as vnable to beleeue the Gospell, as to keepe the Law?

Child.

God hath promised to giue power to his elect to beléeue the promises of the Gospell. But hée hath made no promise to giue power to performe the Law.

Father.

Are not the Law and the Gospell contrary?

Child.

They are not contrary in them­selues for the same God is the author of them both, the same Christ the sub­stance of them both; the same promi­ses of eternall life the end of both; but the contrarietie is in vs: for to vs the Law saith: Doe this and thou shalt liue. But the Gospell sayth, Beleeue [Page] and thou shalt be saued. These then bée contrary to bée made righteous by our selues, and to bée made righteous by another: for these cannot stand together.

Father.

What say you to the Euangelicall couenant, or new couenant of grace, was it not of two sorts?

Child.

Yes: The first was that which was made to the olde people: the o­ther was that which was made to the people of Christs newe king­dome.

Father.

What difference is here betwixt these two?

Child.

These two bée all one in substance, but differ onely in the manner of dis­pensation, that is to say, in the man­ner of vtterance, and measure of re­uelation: for otherwise in substance, Euangelicall couenant hath alwayes béene one and the same, first made to [Page] Adam in Paradise, afterward renu­ed to Abraham, & his séed, shadowed in the law, spoken of by the prophets. and preached vnto vs euer since Christ was actually exhibited to the world.

Father.

You seeme to say this, that the coue­nant of Grace with the old people of the Iewes, and vs, differeth only in ma­ner, not in matter, that is, that Christ and all the promises of remission of sinnes and eternall life, in him were dimly reuealed, and darkely vttered vnto them in Types, and shadowes: but vnto vs the same are more fully & clearely opened and reuealed.

Child.

I meane so indéed.

Father.

Expresse your meaning more at large in this point.

Child.

When a new impression of any booke commeth forth in a fayre letter, good print, distinctly versed, well [Page] bound, and guilt, which béefore was ill printed in a darke letter, ill bound, & couered, wée say it is a new booke: yet in substance it is the same with the former: the difference is onely in the forme and outward qualitie. Likewise when a Paynter draweth a darke draught of any kinde of Picture in obscure lineaments, and colours, and afterward flourisheth it ouer with more liuely, fresh, and orient colours, héere is the same thing in substance, but altered in qualitie. And thus it fareth bée­twixt the Couenant of Grace made with our forefathers and vs. For the oulde people which liued vnder the minoritie, and wardshippe of the Church, had a darke draught of Christ, and all the promises made in him. But wée haue them more clearely and liuely set out,2. Cor. 3. 8. And as the Apostle sayth, We are not as Moises which put a vaile vpon his face, &c. But wee all beehold as a mirrour the glory of the Lord with open face. &c. [Page] And againe, in diuers manners God spake in the olde time to our forefa­thers by the Prophets: but in these last dayes hée hath spoken vnto vs by his Sonne most cléerely and mani­festlyHeb. 1. 1.

Father.

You told me euen now that no man is able to keepe the Law: Now there­fore tell me what daunger lyeth vp­pon it, If a man breake the Law of God?

Child.

Eternall death and damnation,Rom. 6. 23. for it is written: The wages of sinne is death.

Father.

Is eternall death and damnation due to vs for euery little sin, though it were but in thought onely?

Child.

Yea, for the least sinne of thought, If God should deale with vs accor­ding vnto Justice: for it is written: Whosoeuer keepeth the whole Law, Iam. 2. 10. and yet faileth in one point is guiltie of all.

Father.
[Page]

How then shall we escape this eter­nall death and damnation?

Child.

Onely by Christ: For hée hath re­déemed vs from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for vs. For it is written,Gal. 3. 13. Cursed is euery one that han­geth on a tree: And againe: Hee that knew no sinne, 2. Cor. 1. 21. was made sinne for vs, that wee might bee made the righteousnesse of God in him.

Father.

How, and by what meanes hath Christ redeemed vs from the curse of the Law, and death eternall?

Child.

By the shedding of his blood vpon the Crosse: for the Scripture sayth: That hee hath made vp a generall peace betwixt his father,Col. 1. 20. and all the elect by the blood of his Crosse:Col. 1. 14. And againe, Wee haue redemption throught his bloud, that is, the forgiuenesse of sinne. And in an­other place. Eph. 2. 13. Wee which vvere farre off are made neere by the bloold of Christ: [Page] And the author to the Hebrews saith, That neither by the blood of Goates,Heb. 9. 12. and calues, but by his owne blood entred he once into the holy place and obtained eter­nall redemption for vs.

Father.

Haue we no further good by Christ but onely a freedome from death, and a deliuerance from hell & damnation?

Child.

Yes:Eph. 2. 14. For through him we are re­conciled to God the Father,Col. 1. 21. as the Scripture teacheth,2. Cor 5. 19 and through him we haue remission of sinnes,Ioh. 3. 15. eternall life,Iohn. 5. 24 and all good things, for the A­postle sayth.1. Cor. 1. 30 He is made of God for vs, wisdome, righteousnes, sanctification, and redemption.

Father.

Is there no other way nor meanes, whereby we may obtaine remission of sin & eternall life, but onely by Christ?

Child.

No: For the holy Ghost saith, There is no saluation in any other,Act. 4. 12. for among men there is giuen no other name vnder [Page] heauen, whereby we must be saued. And againe, To him doe all the Prophets wit­nesse, that through his name onely, all that beleeue shall receiue remission of sinne.Act. 10. 43.

Father.

What say you then to Popes par­dons, Indulgences, Masses, Trentales, Dirges, and such like: May not a man by them obtaine remission of sinnes, and eternall life?

Child.

Nothing lesse: For the Scripture knoweth no such meanes or wayes to eternall life: but doth vitterly re­iect them as most abhominable deui­ses of them.

Father.

But may not a man be saued by his good works?

Child.

No: For the Apostle sayth, By grace are yee saued through faith,Eph. 2. 3. and that not of your selues, nor of workes, least any man should boast himselfe.

And sure it is that euen in our [Page] best actions there is some remedy of corruption as wée doe them: for the which God in iustice may condemne both vs and our actions: for the Scripture sayth:Esay. 64. 6. That our very righ­teousnesse is as a defiled cloath, or filthy cloute. If then our best workes bée stained, how can wée bée saued by works?

Father.

If wee cannot bee saued by works, then wherefore should wee doe them? as good play for naught, as worke for naught?

Child.

Not so for although wée can not bée iustified in the sight of God by our good works: yet they haue their ne­cessary vse, and serue to great pur­pose. As first to glorifie God. Se­condly, to publish our Faith to the world. Thirdly, to bring peace and comfort to our consciences in the dis­charge of our duties. And lastly, to winne others.

Father.
[Page]

What doe you call a good worke?

Child.

No worke of man is sound and currant indéede, except the same bée commaunded of God to bée done: and that of our part it bée done in such sort and manner as hée requireth, that is, from a carefull heart, and sanctified mind: otherwise, whatsoeuer wée do in the worship and seruice of God, it is abhominable.

Father.

If a man cannot bee saued by his works, but by Christ only: then tel me whether al men shalbe saued by Christ or no?

Child.

None shalbée saued by Christ, but onely such as beléeue in Christ, that is, such as doe particularly apply Christ, and all the promises made in him to themselues, beeing fully per­swaded in themselues that Christ with all his merits is theirs.

Father.

Are you fully perswaded that Christ [Page] with all his righteousnes is yours: that you haue speciall interest in him, and that he dyed for you particularly, and by name?

Child.

I am fully so perswaded indéede without all doubting.

Father.

How know you certainly that you haue speciall interest in Christ, & that you shall be saued by his merits, sith thousands shal perish which will say as much as you, and in words make great brags, that they hope to bee saued as well as the best of them all?

Child.

I doe certainely know it by the worke of grace in my soule: I doe certainely know it, because I féele it, for this I am sure of, that I féele that wrought in me from aboue, which cannot bée in any but those whom God will saue.

Father.

What is that I pray you?

Child.

A liuely féeling of his grace, a fée­ling [Page] of his loue, a féeling of his mer­cie; assured faith in the promises, a féeling of the spirit of adoption, a chaunge of my heart, an alteration of my wayes, an vnfained hatred of all euill, and a syncere loue of all righteousnesse.

Father.

May not a wicked man haue all this?

Child.

No: He may haue certaine shewes and shadowes of these things: but in déed and in truth these things can be in none but the very elect.

Father.

Cannot the wicked and vnregenerate man be fully perswaded that Christ is his, and that he shall be saued?

Child.

He cannot, whatsoeuer he saith, be­cause hée cannot possibly receiue the spirit of adoption, whereby this in­ward assurance & full perswasion is wrought, & whereby also the merits of Christs death are sealed to euery par­ticular conscience.

Father.
[Page]

What other reason haue you?

Child.

Because none of the wicked haue that liuely and iustifying faith, which maketh Christ, and all his righteous­nesse ours.

Father.

But there is none so wicked, but he will say he hath faith, and for the most part they thinke, that they haue all the faith in the world, and that there is no want in their faith.

Child.

Alas poore soules: In these mat­ters of GOD they say and thinke they know not what. For Faith is a mystrrie, and all heauenly things are such mysteries, as they, men of this world cannot vnderstand: they are hid from their eyes.

Father.

Tell me then what is the heauenly, and iustifying faith?

Child.

A full perwasion and inward [Page] assurance of Gods particular loue to vs in Christ, with a sence and féeling of the same in our hearts.

Father.

May not this be in the wicked?

Child.

No: It is not possible.

Father.

How farre then may a wicked man goe in faith?

Child.

A wicked man may goe thus farre: to haue knowledge of the truth: An assent to the same, a ioy both in hearing and speaking of it, and an outward profession of it for a time: but the inward assurance of Gods loue, and sensible féeling of it in their heart, they can neuer haue: which is indéede the very life of faith.

Father.

Is not this knowledge and assent sufficient: If a man know the word of God, and consent to the truth of it in his heart, is not this faith?

Child.
[Page]

No: For the diuels may goe so farre, and further too: For the diuels doe beléeue the Scriptures to bée true. They beléeue all the articles of the faith: They haue excéeding great knowledge of the will of God, and of the whole Scripture, they beléeue that there is a God, and that there is a re­ward for the righteous, and torments to come for the wicked, and as Saint Iames saith: The diuels beleeue & trem­ble: and yet I hope no man will say the diuels shall bée saued. Therefore wée must séeke a difference béetwixt their faith and ours, or esse our faith is no better then the faith of diuels.

Father.

If this be true then Lord haue mercy vpon vs, For out of doubt thousands are deceiued in this matter of faith, and most men content themselues with a shadow of it, stead of faith indeed. And assuredly the faith of many carnal pro­testants is little better then the faith of diuels.

Child.
[Page]

It is true the more is the pittie: for the faith that now a dayes goeth for currant in the world is but an idle, dead, barren, fruitlesse, and fantasti­call faith, or rather an opinion, con­ceit, and mathematicall Imaginati­on of the braine.

Father.

Hovv many parts be there of the true and liuely faith?

Child.

Two.

Father.

Which be they?

Child.

Iustification and sanctification.

Father.

What is iustification?

Child.

A setting of vs frée from the guilt of sinne by the blood of Christ.

Father.

What is sanctification?

Child.

A clensing & renuing of our nature [Page] by the spirit of God.

Father.

How many parts be there of iusti­fication?

Child.

Two: That is to say, remission of sinne, and the imputation of Christs righteousnesse: for when our sinnes are forgiuen, & Christs righteousnesse imputed to vs, then are wée truly and indéed iustified.

Father.

How many parts be there of sancti­fication?

Child.

Two.

Father.

Which be they?

Child.

Mortification and viuification.

Father.

What is mortification?

Child.

A dying to sinne.

Father

What is viuification?

Child.
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A liuing to righteousnesse.

Father.

How many parts be there of viuifi­cation?

Child.

Two.

Father.

Which be they?

Child.

Regeneration, and repentance.

Father.

What is regeneration?

Child.

A repairing of our nature which was corrupted by Adams fall.

Father.

What is repentance?

Child.

An inward change of the soule, and a conuersion of the whole man vnto God.

Father.

Cannot a wicked man haue this re­pentance, which is in the change of the soule, and the conuersion of the whole [Page] man vnto God?

Child.

This is neuer wrought in ye wicked.

Father.

How far then may the vvicked goe in repentance?

Child.

The wicked may goe thus farre to haue a sight of sin, and a féeling of it, a confession of it, a sorrow for it. A great pensiuenesse and terrour after some horrible fact, for feare of shame, Law, punishment, hell fire, &c. as had Iudas, Cain, Saule, Esau, Ahab, and such like. They may haue also a reso­lution for the time to sinne noe more. But that part of repentance which hath the promise of mercy annexed vn­to it, that is, the conuersation of the whole man vnto God, they can neuer haue.

Father.

How many parts be there of repen­tance?

Child.

Thrée

Father.
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Which be they?

Child.

Inward sorrow, confession, new o­bedience.

Father.

Whether is faith before repentance or repentance before faith?

Child.

If we respect time then they goe to­gether, for so soone as there is fire ther is heat, so soone as a man hath faith, so soone hée repents; but in the order of nature, faith goeth before repentāce & before all other graces, because it is the roote of all things that please God. But if we respect the outward mani­festation, then repentance goeth bée­fore faith and regeneration, and all other vertues. Because it first of all appeareth outwardly. For Faith is like the sappe of a trée that lyeth hid within the barke: But repentance is like the bud that spéedily sheweth it selfe, before either blossome, fruit, or leafe appeare. Faith is like the fire [Page] and repentance like the smooke: for though fire bée béefore smooke, yet the smooke sheweth it selfe before the fire.

Father.

You defined repentance to bee an inward change of the soule, how vn­derstand you that? Doth repentance change or abolish the substance of bo­dy or soule, or any of the faculties thereof?

Child.

No such matter. But true repen­tance doth rectifie and amend them by remoouing the corruption: for it tur­neth the sadnesse of malancholy into Godly sorrow, choler into good zeale, softnesse of nature, to méekenes of spi­rit, lightnesse, and wantonnes to chri­stian mirth. It reformeth euery man according to his natural constitution, not abolishing it, but redressing the faults of it.

Father.

By what meanes is repentance wrought in vs?

Child.
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Both faith and repentance are wrought in vs by yt preaching of the Gospell through the inward worke of the holy Ghost.

Father.

Is not repentance wrought in vs by the preaching of the Law?

Child.

To speake properly, it is not. For the Law is not the proper cause, but rather an occasiō of repentāce, because it representeth vnto the eye of our soule our damnable estate, and smi­teth the conscience with dolefull ter­rours and feares, which though they be no tokens of grace (for they are in their owne nature the very gates, and the downefall to the pit of hell) yet are they certaine occasions of re­ceiuing grace.

Father.

Expresse this more plainely.

Child.

Euen as a Phisition is sometimes constrained to giue that vnto his pa­tient [Page] which increaseth sicknesse & ma­keth his fits more sore and terrible, to the end he may recouer him: so man because hée is dangerously sicke of sin must bée cast into some fits of legall terrors by the ministrie of the Law, that he may be soundly and inwardly cured.

Father.

The Law is a scholemaster to bring vs vnto Christ, ergo it is the cause of repentance.

Child.

It bringeth vs to Christ but not so kindly & naturally as doth the Gospel by alluring vs, but as it were, vio­lently and forceably constraining vs; and as they say it bringeth vs not sim­ply and of it selfe: but after some sort and manner▪ For the law in it selfe is the ministry of death, & damnation, because it sheweth a man his wretch­ed estate but sheweth him no remedy, therefore it cannot properly be an in­strumentall cause of that repentance which is effectuall to saluation. But [Page] the doctrine of repentance is a part of the Gospell; and therefore the preach­ing of the Gospell, and the preaching of repentance are put one for another. Luk. 96. Mar. 6. 12. and consequently true repentance doth spring out of the gospell, as out of his naturall root and most originall cause.

Father.

As you haue told me by what meanes faith and repentance are wrought in vs: so now tell mee by what meanes they are nourished, & increased in vs?

Child.

As faith and repentance are first hatched, and bred in our harts by the ministry of the word: so also are they increased by the same, and by other good helpes appointed of God for that purpose, as prayer, sacraments▪ read­ing, meditation, conference, and such like good meanes.

Father.

First then let vs proceed to speak a little of prayer, and first of all, tell me what prayer is?

Child.
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And earnest calling vpon God ac­cording to his will; or as some say, a familiar speach betwixt God and vs, or as a secret letter wherein Gods people signifie their minde vnto him at large, crauing a spéedy answere, which hée in his time according to his will and wisedome, doth alwayes most graciously returne without fayling.

Father.

How manie partes are there of prayer?

Child.

Thrée, confession, petition, thanks giuing.

Father.

Whereof must confession bee made?

Child.

Confession must bée made both of originall sinne, and actuall trans­gressions, both commissions of euill, and omissions of good. And all this must be done, with as much particu­larising [Page] as may bée, that is, calling to minde, and reckoning vp particular offences, especially those which lie hea­uiest vpon vs: and that with as great griefe, vehemency, and aggrauation of them as is possible.

Father.

Whereof must our petitions be?

Child.

Petitions must bée for the remoo­uing of euill, & the obtayning of good; for spirituall, and earthly blessings, concerning our selues, and those that are néere vnto vs, concerning Church and commonwealth: concerning ma­gistracy, ministerie, & commonalty.

Father.

For what must our thanksgiuing be?

Child.

First, for al spiritual blessings, as e­lection, creation, redemption, iustifi­cation, sanctification, adoption, word, sacrament, good men, good bookes good societie, good conference & all furthe­rances to eternal life whatsoeuer. Se­condly, for all outward blessings, as preseruation of prince, country, peace [Page] for magistrats, soode, rayment, health, liberty, peace, and preseruation. For dayly, ordinary, and particular fa­uours, which are renued vpon vs con­tinually from day to day: euen as the eagle renueth her bill.

Father.

As you haue shewed mee the parts of prayer; so also shew mee some cir­cumstances of prayer, and first tell me to whom we must pray.

Child.

To God onely.

Father.

In whose name must we pray?

Child.

In the name of Christ onely.

Father.

How must we pray?

Child.

In the spirit that is, feruently, fée­lingly, and constantly, which cannot be without a féeling of our misery.

Father.

When must we pray?

Child.

At all times as occasion, and necessitie [Page] doth mooue:Iame. c. 13 but specially in the time of affliction, as it is written; if any be afflicted let him pray.

Father.

Where must we pray?

Child.

Euery where;1. Tim. 2. 8 but especially in the publike assembly and our priuate fa­milies.

Father.

Vpon what must our prayers bee grounded?

Child.

Vpon the word of God, and the pro­mises of the Gospell.

Father.

What must we pray for?

Child.

For those things which our Lord Iesus hath taught in his praier which is the perfect platforme of all prayer both for matter and forme.

Father.

Which bee those things which our Sauiour would haue vs alwaies to bee mindefull of, when we haue any suites vnto his father?

Child.
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First, the honoring and setting vp of his name héere amongst vs, both in regard of his Iustice, and mercie, and also in respect of his worde and wisedome, power and prouidence.

Secondly, for the aduancement and flourishing estate of his Church and kingdome, by the regiment of his word and Spirit, by the increase of good worke men in his haruest, and a blessing vpon their labour: by a re­moouing of all lets, & by a weakning & ouerthrow of all aduersary power whatsoeuer: especially that of Anti­christ, Idolatry, and Atheisme.

Thirdly, that all chéerful obedience may at all times, and of all persons in their seuerall places and callings bée yéelded vnto his most holy will, with­out grudging or hypocrisie.

Fourthly, that all things necessary for this life may bée ministred vnto vs, as food, rayment, health, libertie, peace and preseruation: and also that a blessing may bée vpon all that wée haue, as body, goods, name, wife, chil­dren, [Page] family, stocke, store, corne, cat­tell, trades, occupations yea all the works of our hands, both goings out, and commings in.

Fiftly, that a generall pardon may be graunted from the throne of grace thorow Christ, for the remission of all sin in his blood, & that therby we may be iustified, acquited, and discharged.

Sixtly, that we may not afterward be left to our selues, but sufficiently armed with spirituall strength from aboue to outstand all temptations whatsoeuer; that so all prayse may redound to him which worketh all in all.

Father.

As you haue shewed me the matter and circumstances of prayer, so shew me the effects of prayer?

Child.

It were an endlesse labour to enter into that, sith the scriptures do plenti­fully teach, that all hard & admirable things haue béene compassed & effected by prayer, both for the turning away of euill, and the purchasing of good.

Father.
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Then tell me what things are espe­cially to be obserued of vs in prayer.

Child.

There be nine speciall things to be obserued of vs in prayer.

Father.

Which be they?

Child.

Repentance, meditation humilia­tion, faith, loue, zeale, thanksgiuing, watchfulnesse, obedience. Wherof the first thrée goe before prayer: the next thrée are in the action of prayer. The last thrée follow after prayer.

Father.

Open your meaning more plainly.

Child.

My meaning is this, that our pray­ers can neuer bée currant and good in the sight of God, except before prayer first wée come with great sorrow for sin & strong purposes of amendment. Secondly except wée muse & meditate very déeply of yt great and manifolde dangers wée goe in euery day, both within vs & without vs Thirdly, ex­cept wée bée throughly humbled with [Page] the cōscience of our former transgressi­ons. Moreouer in yt actiō of praier ther is nothing sound & acceptable to god: except faith be present, yt is a full assu­rance to be heard for Christ, & for the promises made in him Secondly, ex­cept loue toward our brethrē be there also without enuy, wrath, & all vncha­ritable affectiōs. Thirdly, except zeale that is pure & earnest affectiōs, beare the chiefe sway in this action, for god abhorreth coldnes. Lastly, except there be heartie thanksgiuing for fauours obtained: watchfullnes ouer our affe­ctions afterward, and speciall care of bettering our obedience in all time to come.

Father.

Doth not our Lord Iesus in the preface of his prayer teach vs all these things concerning the manner of prayer?

Child.

Yes our Lord Iesus in his preface doth in general termes teach all these things; for hée teacheth vs to pray in faith, feare, & loue. In faith and assu­rance, because God is our Father, in feare & reuerēce, because he is in hea­uen. [Page] In loue, because hée is our father that is, a common father to vs all.

Father.

If we pray according to these rules, are we not sure to be heard?

Child.

Yes certainly:Ioh. 15. 7. As the scriptures do abundantly teach vs,1. Ioh. 3. 22 and as it may appeare by this reason,1. Ioh. 5 14. that in prayer there is the mutuall and ioynt worke of the whole trinitie: the holy Ghost moouing and quickning, the Son me­diating: the father hearing, and gra­ciously returning an answere.

Father.

But yet wee see by experience, that God doth not alwayes grant the petiti­ons, and requests of his owne children. Shew me therefore some reasons why God somtimes denieth the requests of those whom he loueth most dearely.

Child.

There bée foure reasons hereof:Eze. 14. 14 first, because God hath otherwise de­créed with himselfe.

Secondly,Mat. 20. 22 because they know not oftentimes what to aske.

[Page] Thirdly,2. Cor. 12. 9 because hée in his déepe wisedome séeth it not good for them.

Lastly because God will try their faith,Luk. 18. 7. loue,Lament. 3 8. patience, and constancy.

Father.

Hauing thus farre spoken of prayer, as one speciall meanes whereby our faith is increased: Let vs now further proceede to speake of the Sacraments, as of an other speciall helpe: and first of all tell me what is a Sacrament?

Child.

A Sacrament is an holy signe or seale, ordained of God to confirme our faith to testifie our obedience to his maiesty, and our loue and fellow­ship one with another.

Father.

How many Sacraments be there?

Child.

There are but two Sacraments of the new couenant, namely, baptisme and the supper of the Lord: for those onely are Sacraments of the newe testament, which are ceremonies in­stituted of Christ for the common vse of the whole Church, hauing the pro­mise [Page] of grace annexed vnto them, which excludeth fiue of the popish sa­craments.

Father.

Why are the sacraments called signes?

Child.

Because they represent to our selues spirituall things, and set forth Christ, & his benefits to the outward sences of all.

Father.

Why are they called seales?

Child.

Béecause they seale vnto our con­sciences the assurance of the forgiue­nesse of sinne, and because they doe ef­fectually apply to the faithful the truth and fruit of Christs death.

Father.

Are our sacraments but bare signes, and figures as the papists charge vs?

Child.

Oursacraments are not bare signes and figures, but figures ioyned with their truth and substance, and such as not onely represent, but exhibite vnto vs the bodie & blood of Christ.

Father
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Make this more plaine?

Child.

The Sacraments are signes to re­present, seales to confirme, and in­struments to conuey Christ and all his benefits to the beléeuers they re­present, béecause wée are dull to con­ceiue and remember: they seale be­cause wée are full of vnbeléefe: they conuey Christ vnto vs, béecause o­therwise wée doe hardly apprehend him.

Father.

The Papists charge vs that we affirme an imaginary, figuratiue and spirituall body of Christ to be present in the sa­crament, and not his essentiall body, What say you to that?

Child.

They doe falsely so charge vs, for wée hold that the Godly receiue the true and naturall body of Christ, and are partakers of his very sub­stance, to make vs grow into one life with him, for wée can haue no bene­fit by Christ vntill wée bée partakers [Page] of Christ himselfe, and that in such sort, that we become flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone, that is, one with him, and he with vs: Howbeit not corporally, but in such sort as is agrée­able to a Sacrament, that is to say, spiritually, and mistically.

Father.

Lay open this point more at large?

Child.

Our coniunction with Christ is not in imagination, & conceit onely, but is reall & substantiall, though secret and hard to be comprehended; and there­fore the Apostle calleth it a great mi­stery.Eph. 5. For we are tied to Christ by his spi­rit, as the naturall members to the head by ioynts and sinewes, in a most secret, and admirable manner. For wée may not carnally conceiue of this our coniun­ction with Christ, as though there were any mingling of his body and ours, his substance and ours, or his person & ours: for all things that are vnited one to another, are not straight wayes mingled; for although the light is ioyned with the ayre, and the [Page] Sunshine with the windowes: yet can we not therefore say they are min­gled together. The coniunction in co­uenant betwixt man & wife, maketh them two, one flesh, so néere is it: yet for all that, they cease not to be diuers persons, and sundry substance, al­though by couenāt they are one flesh. Such is the coniunction, and vnion betwixt Christ and vs: for we are in­deede vnited with the flesh of Christ, and are flesh of his flesh, and bones of his bones: yet is all this without any mingling or growing together of our persons, and substance with his: for as the vnion of the faithfull, one with another as members of one body, is not by any reall mingling, or grow­ing in theyr persons together but by the bond of the spirit: so it is in this our spirituall coniunctiō with Christ.

Father.

Sith the Sacraments are seales as you say, tell me what it is that they seale vn­to vs?

Child.

The Sacrament of Baptisme sea­leth vnto our consciences the remis­sion [Page] of sinnes, which is the first part of our iustification. The Sacrament of the Lords Supper sealeth Christs righteousnesse, which is the second part of our iustification: and to say all in a word, whatsoeuer the holy Ghost teacheth by the Gospell, the sa­craments doe confirme and seale the same vnto vs, but especially that our whole saluation standeth in the onely sacrifice of Christ offered for vs vpon the crosse.

Father.

Which be the principall vses of a sa­crament?

Child.

There be seuen principall ends, and vses of a Sacrament.

Father.

Which be they?

Child.

First to be seales of the new coue­nant betwixt God & vs. Secondly, to assure vs of ye truth of gods promises. Thirdly, to vnderprop the weaknesse of our faith. Fourthly, to seale vn­to our consciences the certaintie of the forgiuenesse of sins Fiftly, to di­stinguish [Page] the Church from Infidels & heathen, as it were, by certaine visi­ble markes, and brands. Sixtly, to witnesse our loue and fellowship one with another, and therefore they are as it were the bands of the Church. Lastly, to put vs in a fresh memory of the sufferings of Christ, and the be­nefits which we haue by his death.

Father.

Are our Sacraments of the new co­uenant, the same with those of the old.

Child.

They are the same in substance,1. Cor. 10. 2 for the same Christ, the same faith, the same promises, and the same hope of eternall life are contained vnder both the couenants: but the signes were changed according to the circūstance of time, & some other differences there be in regard of rites, clearnesse, nom­ber and time. Rites, because their out­ward forme of administration was diuers from ours: clearenesse, be­cause that which was obscurely sha­dowed, is now clearely reuealed: Nomber, béecause they had a great [Page] multitude of Sacramentall figures, wée as few in number, & as effectuall in signification as may bée: In time because there is nourished in them the faith of Christ to come, and ours confirme vnto vs the faith of Christ which is already come, and hath ac­complished all things which are ne­cessary for our redemption.

Father.

How many parts be there of a Sacra­ment?

Child.

Two, that is to say, the outward signe, & the inward thing signified.

Father.

What is the reason that God vseth outward signes?

Child.

Because of our babishnes & dulnes in conceiuing of heauenly things for if we were altogether spirituall and angelicall, wée should not néede such grosse elements: but séeing our spirit is drowned in our body, and our flesh doth make our vnderstanding dull, therefore the Lord is content to apply himselfe to our capacitie, and to teach [Page] vs by visible signes, and sensible things as sometimes he did Abraham, Gideon, Ezechiah, & other his most excellent ser­uants,Gen. 15. 9. & for this cause the sacramēts are as it were,Iud. 6. 37. mirrors, or glasses, wherin we may behold the riches of the grace of god which he bestowed vpon vs wherin also God doth more expresly,2. Reg. 20. [...] & in a more vi­sible manner testifie his loue & good will towards vs, then by his word.

Father.

Which is the outward signe in baptisme?

Child.

Water.

Father.

Which is the inward thing signified?

Child.

The washing away of sin by the blood of Christ,

Father.

Which is the proper end of Baptisme?

Child.

The proper end of baptisme is, that by this solemne, and holy action wée might be knowen by the testimony of men and angels to bée in the number of ye visible Church.

Father.

Expresse your mind more fully touching the end and vse of Baptisme.

Child.
[Page]

Baptisme is ordained of God not only to bée a sacrament of our regeneration & new birth, & of the burial of the old man, but also to bée a visible testimony of our admission into the houshold of god which is his Church; for in baptisme we do giue our names to god, put on his liuery coat & cognizance, and take the oath of allegi­ance to be true subiects to ye crown of hea­uen, & to set our selues with al might and maine against the enemies of our Lord & king; that is, the world, the flesh, & the di­uill, & to bée all for him, yt is, for his credit and honour, not regarding our selues, so we may bring glory to him whose we are & to whom wée haue sworne allegiance & giuen vp our selues wholy to serue him faithfully, as our speciall good Lord and master.

Father.

Is there not yet some further vse of bap­tisme besides this you haue spoken of?

Child.

Yes: there is yet somewhat more, for Baptisme is a seale of the couenant be­twixt God & vs; for in Baptisme a coue­nant is made betwéen the Lord, and the [Page] party baptised solemnly in the assembly of the Church. In which couenant God for his part promised Christ with al bles­sings that come by him, as that he wil be our God, forgiue vs our sins, & remēber our iniquities no more, &c. The partie baptised for his part entreth himselfe, as a couenant seruant vnto God, promiseth faithfull seruice with a renouncing of sa­than & sin, and whatsoeuer is against the honor and glory of God: and so standeth bound to these couenants and conditiōs. Then this couenant being thus solemn­ly made betwixt God & his new seruant, is forthwith sealed by the sprinkling, or dropping on of water; and thus you sée that Baptisme doth confirme, and seale the couenant betwixt God and vs.

Father.

But yet wee see there be very few that haue any care to keepe couenants, and to performe that solēne promise which they haue made in baptisme before many wit­nesses, yea before God and Angels.

Child.

The greater is their condemnation, & assuredly they shal one day know to their [Page] rost, what it is to dally with God, and to breake couenants with so great a king, as all they doe, which follow their owne wayes & their owne lusts, not regarding the commandements of God.

Father.

What is the reason that infants are bap­tised, sith they can make no profession of faith and repentance.?

Child.

There be foure reasons hereof.Gen. 17. 7.

First because they are the séed of the Church.1. Cor. 7. 14

Secondly,Act. 2. 39. because they are within the outward couenant.Luk. 18. 16.

Thirdly, because the promises belong vnto them.

Fourthly, because of such is the king­dome of heauen. For to bée borne in the wombe of the Church, is vnto infants in stead of faith and repentance; for faithfull parents do according to the condition of the couenant, apprehend the promise both to themselues & their children, though not all, for wée must leaue vnto God his se­cret iudgements.

Father.

Hauing thus far spoken of the Sacra­ment [Page] of Baptisme, let vs now proceede to speak of the sacramēt of the lords supper, & first tell me what is the special vse of it?

Child.

First, it serueth to seale vnto our con­sciences all the promises made in Christ, and all the benefits of his death whatsoe­uer; & therfore there is the same vse of it, that is of a seale, which is to cōfirme and ratifie a writing. For in outward things men like wel of a promise, but better of a writing, & best of all of a seale. Now ther­fore the sacrament is, as it were ye kings broad seale set to his generall & frée par­don▪ For all the doctrine of the Gospel, is as it were an open proclamation of par­don to all penitent sinners, & this sacra­ment is the seale of the kings pardon to ratifie & confirme all the promises of the Gospell, for a word or promise must ne­cessarily go before the sacrament, which it doth seale & confirme vnto vs, & there­fore the sacraments without the word of promise going before, are as it were a seale to a blanke.

Secondly, the sacrament of ye Lords sup­per is as it were a second seale set by the [Page] Lords owne hand vnto the former coue­nant made in baptisme which is renued in the Lords supper betwixt ye Lord him­selfe, & the faithfull receiuer, and that by the outward actions of eating bread, drin­king wine, &c.

Thirdly, the Lords supper serueth to represent vnto vs our continuall féeding in the house of God. For as by baptisme we are once admitted into the houshold of God: so by the Lords supper is signifi­ed a daily féeding in the same vpō Christ and all the promises made in him, & also vpon the word which is our most swéet & heauenly manna.

Father.

Which bee the outward signes in the Lords supper?

Child.

Bread and wine.

Father.

Which be the inward things signified?

Child.

The body and blood of Christ.

Father.

How receiue you the outward signes?

Child.

I receiue them with my hands, eate them with my mouth, & digest them with [Page] my stomack.

Father.

How do you receiue the inward things signified?

Child.

Onely by faith, and féede of it as of a foode giuen me to life euerlasting.

Father.

Is the bread, and wine then changed into the substance of the body and bloud of Christ?

Child.

No; for that were to destroy ye nature of a sacrament, which must consist both of heauenly, & earthly matter. Therefore the bread and wine remaine still in their own forme, nature, & substāce, but Christs naturall body is in heauen. Therfore the papists would make vs beléeue the moone is made of a gréen théese, whē they beare vs in hand that bread is changed into flesh, and wine into bloud, and Christs naturall body is really present in the sa­crament, and yet we sée it quite contrary with our eyes, and a child may discerne that it is neither so nor so.

Father.

Is there then no difference beetwixt bread and wine in the sacrament, & com­mon bread and wine?

Child.
[Page]

There is no difference eyther in sub­stance or forme, but only in the vse & end whereunto they are applyed, which is to represent & signifie holy things: for wher­as before they were common meat, now they are holy signes, and beare the name of that thing which they signifie: other­wise out of this action they are the same with common bread.

Father.

You said euen now that Christs bodie and blood and all the benefits of his death are receiued of vs by faith▪ tell me there­fore whether a wicked & vnfaithfull man can receiue them.

Child.

He cannot: for if they be receiued onely by faith, how shall hée receiue them that hath no faith? the vnbeléeuers therefore may receiue the outward signes, that is, the bread and wine as wel as others, as did Iudas: but the inward thing sig­nified, which is the body and blood of Christ, and all the benefits of his pas­sion, none can receiue, but onely the elect.

Father.
[Page]

If this be true that all that receiue the shell doe not receiue the kernell: then it followeth that grace is not necessarily ty­ed to the outward signe or sacrament.

Child.

True indéed: for otherwise the faith­lesse should gaine as much by the sacra­ment as the faithfull, which were most absurd, but most certaine it is that sal­uation is not tyed, nor shut vp within the Sacraments, neither doe they giue grace, but onely testifie and assure, that grace is giuen: as sealed euidences doe giue no lands which are otherwise at­tayned, as by inheritance, friendship, and money: but onely testifie that they are giuen, and assure the quiet possession and enioying thereof.

Father.

Why did God choose these creatures of bread and wine to represent vnto vs the body and blood of Christ, rather then any other earthly creature?

Child.

Because there are none other earthly creatures that can so fitly represent vn­to [Page] our outward senses, those things which God would haue vs learne by this sacrament.

Father.

What be those things that God would haue vs learne by this Sacrament?

Child.

By the breaking of the bread we haue to learne, the breaking of the bodie of Christ vpon the crosse, and by powring forth of the wine, the shedding of his blood: and by the distributing to all that are present, Christs communicating himselfe to all that will faithfully re­ceiue him. By eating and drinking wée learne, that as bread & wine do nourish our bodies in this life: so Christs body and blood do nourish our soules to life e­uerlasting: and as the substance of bread and wine by digestion passeth into the substance of our bodies: euen so by faith, Christ and wée are vnited with an vn­speakable vnion, and wée made flesh of his flesh, and bones of his bones: and this is the proportion, and analogie be­twixt the signe & the thing signified. For if the sacraments had not a certaine like­nesse [Page] of those things wherof they are sa­craments, then were they no sacra­ments at all.

Father.

What more is to be learned hereby?

Child.

That wée being many are one in Christ, as of many graines is made one loafe, and of many grapes one wine.

Father.

For as much as the vnworthy receiuer is dāned as the Apostle saith,1. Cor. 11. how wilt thou know, whether thou art a worthie recei­uer or no?

Child.

If I examine my selfe, and find that I humbly acknowledge mine owne vn­worthines, that is to say, my sins, and be heartely sorry for them, and fully purpose amendment of life, assuredly resting vp­on ye promises of pardon made in Christ, then am I worthy, because mine vnwor­thines is forgiuen, & put out of remem­brance.

Father.

For whom are the Sacraments ordained?

Child.

The sacraments are specially ordained for those which beleeue in Christ, and do séeke for remission of sins, & eternall life [Page] onely through his sacrifice: for how can the forgiuenes of sin bée sealed vnto the vnbeléeuers whose sin is not forgiuen?

Father.

Who ought to approach vnto the Lords supper?

Child.

None but such as haue the knowledge of God in some measure, or at least, that haue knowledge in this present action, and such as haue faith, repentance and loue.

Father.

How shall a man know that hee hath these things?

Child.

Thrée wayes: First by his setled pur­pose, & desire to obey God according to al the commandements of the law Second­ly, by his loue to the word of god Third­ly, by his daily fruits towards God and men.

Father.

Who are to be reiected and put back from the communion?

Child.

Thrée sorts of men.

Father.

Which be they?

Child.
[Page]

First, strangers, that is, such as are vnknowen to the Pastor, are not to bée admitted, as it is written:Exo. 12. 45. A stranger shall not eate thereof.

Secondly,1. Cor. 11. 28 Ideots, children, mad men, and fooles are not to be admitted; for they cannot examine themselues according to the Apostles rules.

Thirdly, notorious euill liuers by whom the congregation is offended; for it is written: Giue not that which is holy vnto dogs.Mat. 7. 6. Againe, It is forbidden in the law, that any man being circūcised should be admitted to the communicating of the passo­uer,Exo. 12. 41. because they were polluted by touching a dead corps,Num. 9. 6. and being at a buriall.Leuit. 13. God gaue often charges,Leuit. 14. and commaundements in the law, that if any man had vnwittingly defiled himselfe by any legall pollution,Leuit. 15. he might not enter into his owne house, much lesse approch vnto the Passouer till he was purified, and cleansed by offring vp a Sacrifice. Now all these Scriptures do plainely prooue that no prophane, or filthy persons: as whooremongers, drunkards; blasphe­mers, riotters, and scoffers at religion, [Page] and such like may be admitted to the ho­ly communion.

Father.

What say you to such as shew no loue nor desire to this holy ordinance of God, nor once so much as offer themselues vn­to it, except sometimes at Easter a little for fashion and law sake?

Child.

Such do shew themselues to bée little better then miscreants, and atheists: for they do contemptuously refuse the grace of God which hée offreth in this supper, and doubtlesse to abstaine of set purpose is no lesse sinne then to receiue vnwor­thily. For that patient which is daunge­rously sicke, and yet maketh no account of the Phisitions receit and order, deser­ueth no lesse blame, then hée which abu­seth the same receit, that is, doth not vse it according to that diet and order that was prescribed him.

Father.

If some very bad persons chaunce to creepe in, or thrust in themselues to bee partakers of this holy institution, is ther­fore the whole action defiled?

Child.
[Page]

God forbid: for wée read throughout the scriptures that good & bad haue béene mingled together in matters of Gods worship and seruice, both word, prayer, sacraments and sacifices: and sure it is, that the wickednes of the wicked cannot defile or pollute either the Sacrament it selfe, or any of the godly communicants, but onely themselues.

Father.

Are all to be admited to the sacrament of the Lords supper, which professe saith and repentance either in truth or in shew?

Child.

Yes▪ Vnlesse there bée some speciall ex­ceptions taken against them.Exo. 12. 47. For it is written, al the cōgregation of Israel shal obserue it through their generations, that is to say, all the members of the vi­sible Church which are within the out­ward couenant.

Father.

How ought ministers to deale with ma­ny ignorant & simple men, & seely soules which are able to yeeld small reason of their faith: are they all to be admitted to [Page] the communion, or all to be reiected?

Child.

As ministers ought not rashly to ac­cept of all that offer themselues without examination and conference: so ought they not lightly to shut out any from that which should seale vp their remis­sion of sinnes▪ For albeit they be some­what ignorant and simple, yet finding in them any séeds of religion, and sparks of the feare of God, shewing it selfe in some tractablenesse to know God, and in loue to the word, they are to admit them with encouraging and exhorting them to go forward. But if with ignorance and blindnesse, be ioyned either froward contempt of meanes, or méere careles­nesse, or open wicked behauiour, or pro­fane dissolutenes without remorse when they be dealt withall; Then they are with all mildnesse to be shut out.

All glory be giuen to God.

FINIS.

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