THE CHURCH TOLD OF Mr. ED. BAGSHAW's SCANDALS, AND Warned of the dangerous snares of Satan, now laid for them, in his LOVE-KILLING PRINCIPLES: WITH A farther proof that it is our common duty to keep up the interest of the Christian Religion, and Protestant Cause, in the Parish Churches; and not to imprison them, by a confinement to tolerated meetings alone. By RICHARD BAXTER, A Militant Servant of Christ, for Faith, Hope, and Love, Unity, Concord, and Peace, against their contraries on both extremes.

LONDON, Printed in the Year MDC LXX II.


PAge 13. l. 32. for Amareduci. r. Amazedness. p. 25. l. 6. for Care. r. Cure. & l. 13. for impertinently. r. impenitently p. 31. l. 12. for Perry. r. Peury. p. 33. l. 2. r. up by some. & l. 3. dele the. & l. 13. r. live. & l. 38. for unmeasurably. r. un­answerably.

[Page 1]THE CHURCH TOLD OF Mr. BAGSHAW's SCANDALS, And warned of his Dangerous Snares.


1 Cor. 5. 6. Your glorying is not good: Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
Rom. 3. 8. Let not us do evil that good may come: whose Damnation is just.
Jam. 1. 20. For the wrath of man worketh not the Righteousness of God.
Jam. 3. 6, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16. The tongue is a fire; a world of iniquity: So is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body: and setteth on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell—The tongue can no man tame: it is an unruly evil: full of deadly poison: Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cur­sing— Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works, with meckness of wisdome. But if ye have bitter (zeal) envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lye not against the truth. This wisdome descen­deth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devillish. For where en­vying and strife is, there is confusion, and every evil work.
Rom. 16. 17, 18. Now, I beseech you, brethren, mark them [Page 2] which cause Divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them (But not the Churches, or the in­nocent for their sake) For they that are such serve not the Lord Iesus Christ, but their own belly, and by good words and fair speeches, deceive the hearts of the simple.
Act. 20. 30. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perv [...]rse things, to draw away disciples after them.
1 Cor. 11. 19. For there must be also heresies (or sects) among you, that they which are approved, may be made manifest among you.
Matth. 22. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. Then went the Pharisees and took counsel, how they might entangle him in his talk—Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not? But Iesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? shew me the Tribute-money—Render to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are Gods.
Matth. 17. 26, 27. Then are the Children free. Notwithstand­ing lest we should offend them.
Rev. 22. 15. For without are dogs—and whosoever loveth and maketh a lye.
Psal. 15. 2, 3. Lord, who shall abide in thy Tabernacles, who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart, that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a re­proach against his neighbour.

Christs own Doctrine and Practice.

Luke 4. 16. As his custome was, he went into the Synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read—
John 18. 20. I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the Synogogue, and in the Temple, whither the Iews alwayes resort, and in secret have I said nothing.
Mark 1. 44. Shew thy self to the Priest, and offer for thy clean­sing...
Matth. 23. 2. 3. The Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, observe and do: but do not ye after their works; for they say and do not. (what they were, see in the rest of the Chapt.)
Mat. 7. 1, 2, 3, 4. [Page 3] Iudge not, that ye be not judged: For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye measure, it shall be measured to you again: And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brothers eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?—Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thy own eye.—



HAd I seen, as I have done, the spring, multi­plication, growth, and fruits of Dividing. Principles, Dispositions, and Practices in these Kingdomes, not being totally innocent therein my self, in my unexperienced youth; Had I seen so much bloud shed, so many Governments overturned, and so many Ministers openly reviled, abu­sed, ejected, silenced, and so many damnable heresies risen up; and all this done in the Name of God; Had I my self been one of them that have been cast out of my publick Ministry and maintenance, with about 1800 more at once, and seen the pitti­ful case of too many Congregations in the land; and all this as the fruit of former Church-Divisions, obstinately continued twenty years, (to look no farther) and the new effect of the [Page 4] same spirit still working in both extremes; I say, Had I seen and felt all this, and yet taken the spirit, the principles and pra­ctises of Division, in one side or other, for a virtue, or a little sin, I had been guilty of such horrid, wilful blindness, as every Christian's soul should hate: And had I seen what strong tempta­tions are lately given to propagate these evils; and what advan­tage Satan hath got by the malignity of some, to increase the bitter censoriousness of others, and to pull down the good old principles of Concord, on pretence that now the case is changed? Had I seen the fruits of Gods indignation against a self-destroy­ing people, in Londons plague, and dreadful flames, and in our present Church-convulsions? Had I seen what visible dangers are over us, of a condition yet worser than all this? Had I seen how many thousand honest Christians are in danger of being sinners or sufferers by this evil; I say, had I stood by, and seen all this, and held my tongue, and let men sight like Dog and Bear, and not interposed a word of counsel or controulment to the wasting fire? I had been guilty of an obduratious self-saving, and perfidious silence, unbeseeming the Ministry, or the Chri­stian name.

Having therefore begun long ago to publish my Testimony and Council against the Dividing-evils; in 1660 fore-seeing the critical day and danger, I took the liberty of the season once more, to discharge my Conscience, though with slender hopes, and to reason, and even beg for Peace; that had it been possible as much as in us lay, we might have lived peaceably with all. When those opportunities and hopes were gone, (and some glimmering once and again since vanished,) one side having discharged me from speaking to them any more, and God I think discharged me at present, I saw nothing more to be attempted but with the other; whose duty for Concord and Christian Love (after many years silence) I opened in a Treatise called The Cure of Church-Divisions: But yet would not publish it without an Addition of the Duty of those Pastors that most complain against separation, lest I should exasperate their minds against those that I instructed, and should tempt them to overlook their own miscarriages. But more of this then I there adjoyned, it could not be expected that the Licenser should pass.

The only man that rose up against this Writing with furious indignation, was Mr. Edw. Bagshaw, a man that had before [Page 5] written against Bishop Morley's Letter published against me, and lain in prison many years. And gave the world a notable proof of one of the chief passages displeasing to them in my Book; viz. That there is a marvellous affinity between the spirit of Persecution, and of sinful SEPARATION, though several opinions or capacities cause them to operate several wayes.

By this time I discerned the guilty from the innocent, by the Cry which signified their smart. I had seen so much of the work­ings of that spirit, that I expected not to escape their sharpest censure. And verily, I expected neither preferment, nor so much as Liberty to preach, as a reward from the other side, in­stead of the favour of those that I knew I was to lose. Nor yet had I such a contempt of them, or a desire to be bitterly censu­red and reviled, as to invite men to it (as the Circumcellians im­portuned men to kill them.) I foresaw that some interessed men would be angry, as supposing that I would hinder their alienating work, though they could not deny but that I spake the truth: I foresaw that many that look but to the present day and place, would say, It was unseasonable, and served the Prelates design, not considering that their design is not to bad, but that some things which seem their design, do also seem the design of Christ, and his Churches good, and mens salvation. I foreknew those that make uncharitable Divisions their very Religion, would make it a part of their religious dutys to call me as bad as their distempers do incline them. These things I prognosticated in my Preface. As Tertullian saith of the Christians martyrdome, It is more the choice of our own will, than the effect of your power. i. e. We dye because we will dye, rather than not do our duty, by the omission of which we could escape: so I say, I could ea­sily have kept as large an interest in the favour and applause of all the parties that ever railed at me, as most men of my profes­sion, as their own words have told me. What did it gain me in the world, to do what I have done, to lose the favour of the Papists, the Ithacian Prelatists, the Anabaptists, the Separa­tists, the Quakers, the seekers, &c. But I saw whither the tem­ptations of this age did tend. And this was a work that some body must do, (or else woe to the Ministry that in their very sufferings would be so unfaithful.) And I thought my reputa­tion with the Uncurable as fit to be cast away, and my self as fit to bear their slanders, as most of my brethrens, who had more [Page 6] use for an interest in them than I had. And I remembred that ill-gotten goods must be restored; and without restitution, no remission: Though I can truly say, that I disliked and decryed this spirit from my beginnings, yet when I preached first, the favour and loud applause of some good people, tainted a little with this disease, did tempt me to please them too often, by exclaiming too smartly against the corruptions of the Church: Though I said nothing but what I was confident was true, yet I think I did not well to cherish their inor [...]inate censoriousness in such matters. And having gotten sometime a great stock of estimation with such angry persons, by means which I dare not wholly justifie, (though it made me the more capable to do them good) I did voluntarily surrender it to them again, be­fore they took it from me; and I did yield to serve God at the rate of so small a part of self-denial, rather than be silent at such a time as this. I have long ago preached to Drunkards and other ungodly people, till they openly rose against me in tumults in the streets, and sought my life. And shall I forbear to speak that truth to Ignorant-proud Dividers, which is necessary to heal the Church and them, and all for fear lest their passion and par­tiality should shew their guilt, by their calling me what they are themselves. They call out for Valiantness in suffering themselves: And shall I be so cowardly as to fear their false reports? They cry out against the fear of man: And shall I fear their impotent revi­lings? They will be my witnesses, that it is a duty to deny our selves, and to forsake all for the Cause of Christ: And I am as certain that Love and Unity are his Cause, as I am that he is the Christ: And shall I think the good thoughts and words of some of his froward Children, too great a matter to forsake and lose: They themselves think that we should rather suffer a pri­son or death, then joyn with the holiest Minister and people in the use of the Common Prayer: And should I that know the diffe­rence think, that LOVE and CONCORD are not matters more worthy to be suffered for? When first the City and Countrey had sounded with abundance of untruths about my Book, while it was yet but in the Press, at last the man that openly assaulted it when it came forth, did use the same instruments which him­self decryed, and filled his Libel with as many untruths as ever I saw heaped up in so small a room (except once in such another piece, that was about eight years elder.) And the Cause it self [Page 7] he shamefully slip'd over; as if his spirit and interest had direct­ed him to no other means, but only to attempt to asperse the per­son that was against him: I wondred that no soberer a man rose up to defend Dividing-Principles. And I was glad, that in an age of such Temptations, he had no more approvers among the Ministers. When I had answered that Libel, he sent forth another, which instead of professing repentance, did double the number of his Vntruths, and cast out more of his bilious excre­ments, but pretended also to say somewhat for his Separating. Principles and Cause. When I had replyed to that, and Ad­monished him to repent of his false Doctrines and Crimes, and above fourscore visible Vntruths, he hath vented a third Libel, of which I am now to give you a more particular ac­count.


I Must needs again remember the Readers, 1. That the de­sign of my Book was not particular, to reconcile men only to the Parish Churches; but universal, against those Principles in mens minds, which cause Divisions in all other Churches, as well as that, and will never suffer Christians to Unite and Agree where they prevail.

2. That I was so far from perswading any Minister to the present Conformity, that I perswaded not the Readers, 1. Either to use the Ceremonies; 2. or to communicate with any Perse­cutors; 3. or to own Diocesans; 4. nor to communicate with, or own a Diocesan Church; 5. nor to communicate with, or own any Parish Minister, that is intolerable, through Insufficien­cy, Heresie, or Wickedness; 6. nor to speak one false word, nor to do one sinful action, to obtain Communion with the best Church in the world; 7. nor to prefer Communion with a worse Church and Minister, before Communion with a better, where it may be had, without greater loss than benefit; 8. nor to for­bear any lawful endeavours in private for each others good; 9. nor to forsake a lawful faithful Pastor, merely because he is [Page 8] cast out of the Tythes and Temple; 10. nor to take a man for your Pastor, merely because he hath possession of the Tythes and Temple; 11. nor that a lawful faithful Minister should give over his Ministerial work, or not perform it to the best Edifica­cation of the Church, whoever is displeased by it, or whatever it cost him; which I take to be downright Perfidiousness against his Ordination, and Sacrilege, as being the alienation of a devo­ted consecrated person; (yea, greater Sacrilege than alienating Church Lands.) 12. Nor did I perswade any Minister, that instead of flying to another City (as Christ once commanded) he must needs fly from all Cities: (For the Diocesans that think Cities only were the seats of Churches and Bishops, might in­ferr, that if it be lawful to desert the souls of all in Cities and Corporations, it is but a little step farther to d [...]sert the Villages also.) 13. Nor did I ever perswade any Minister to go to a Parish Church in City or Corporation, who is by Law forbid­den to come within five miles of it; and who by appearing there, doth put himself into prison for six months in the com­mon Jayl. 14. Nor did I ever perswade any to hear the com­mon Prayer, or go to the Parish Churches, merely for fear of punishment, and to save themselves. None of all these were the matters I that medled with.

3. But the things that I perswaded men to, were these; 1. To disclaim the foresaid Love-killing and Church-dividing Princi­ples. 2. Particularly to joyn with a Parish Church, that hath a good Minister, and that ordinarily, in case you can enjoy no better, without more loss than the benefit is like to be. 3. And extraordinarily to joyn sometimes with such a Parish, even when you have a better, to shew by what Principles you walk; unless when some apparent hurt forbid it, which for that time is like to be greater than the good.

Pardon this Repetition of the state of my Case; for without it I cannot be understood, and his repeated untruths require it. And now to his third Libel, called the Review.

Sect. 1. The Title Page speaks of [All my immodest calumnies confuted] when 1. He neither proveth one Calumny in my Book; nor confuteth one detection of his Untruths.

Sect. 2. He cunningly tells you, in an Advertisement, that ten or eleven have read his present, citations of my words; As if that justified fourscore falshoods before written.

Sect. 3. Pag. 1. He confesseth it is [foolish and wicked] to publish fourscore Vntruths in five or six sheets of Paper; And yet thinks not himself obliged (it seems) any farther to vindicate himself, by one considerable word, but as it were by hoping his Readers will not believe that he was [so foolish and wicked.] Doth Church-discipline require no better defence? nor no more repentance for above fourscore published Untruths than this?

Sect. 4. Instead of Repentance, he inviteth his Readers to usurp Gods prerogative, as he doth, and to judge my Heart, that it was never truly humbled, and that my Repentance is hypo­critical.

Sect. 5. Thus lying down impenitently under all the crimes, false doctrines, and untruths which he published, he now puts them off as Bye-matters, and taketh on him to return to the Que­stion, which he saith was first designedly handled between us, which he saith is, [Whether Conformity at this day upon conscien­tious grounds, can be defended by any, or at least with any kind of honesty, be contended for by you] Thus he will play small game no more, nor write Untruths by parcels, but let you know, that it is not one untruth shall be the substance of his discourse. If tel­ling the Church be a duty, it is not Railing to name the sin. I therefore desire the Church to consider whether it be easie among the parties that he separateth from, or worse than they to meet with so great Impudency in forgeries. I know by equi­vocation almost any words may be verified; But when there is no explication adjoyned, the rule of humane speech is, that Analogum per se positum stat prosignificato famosiore: that is, Ana­logous, (or equivocal) words put alone without an ex expo­sition, are to be taken in the most common or famous sense. Now the word [Conformity] in its old and usual sense doth sig­nifie, that Conformity by Subscriptions, Oaths, and Ceremo­nies, which distinguish the people called Non-conformists from the Conformists, who yet were notoriously distinguished from the Separatists. It's true, that it may be called Conformity, if we are baptized, if we profess Christianity, if we read the Scrip­tures, if we use the common Translation, if we go to hear a Sermon in publick, if we use the Lords Prayer, &c. in all this we do as the Church of England doth. But this is not it that is notified by the common use of this name. Now do but [Page 10] note the front of the man. 1. The world knoweth that I never Conformed, as the Law obligeth Ministers to do; that I lose my whole Ministerial maintenance, (much more than ever he did, all things considered) and which is a thousand times more, the liberty of my Ministry in publick, because I do not conform. 2. He knoweth that I have professed in all the three Books, which he writeth against, that I neither am for Conformity, nor ever wrote for it. He knoweth how distinctly I excluded that from the Question, and stated the Question far otherwise, which I meddle with. Yet dare this man make this false profession of our difference. 3. Yea, when it is [separation] in plain words, and not mere Non-conformity, which he undertakes to defend on his very Title Page. 4. And that I have oft professed to plead for the same cause that Dod, Hildersham, Cartwright, Pa­get, Bradshaw, Brightman, Ball, Gifford, and the other Non­conformists defended, against the Separatists of those times. [...]d will you believe him if he say that they pleaded for [Con­f [...]rmity.]

Sect. 6. He again repeateth his most palpable untruth, in comparing me in the warrs with [any one whomsoever] passing over my answers, [adding, that Generals or Parliament would have signified little, had they not had such Chaplains] when I had told him, (and he durst not deny it) that the Armies were raised, before I ever spake to Parliament man or Officer, or ever preached to them; yea, two years before I was in the Ar­my, whither I went with an open profession to disswade them from the changes which they made: my judgment forsaking their Cause in 1644. when their Commission at the New-mo­delling left out [For the King] which before had run [For the defence of the Kings person, &c.] and the rest of their inten­tions evidently to me appearing. Till then, in Coventry Ga­rison, I did speak all that which in the Book cited by him I ex­pressed. Nor did I ever say, I did but little, as he vainly inti­mateth.

Sect. 7. Pag. 3. By a false representation of my Repentance, (whether ignorantly or maliciously) he would insinuate, that I Repent of Good as well as of Evil; or else that such as he, and his adherents the Separatists, have none of that sort of culpabi­lity to repent of; or else that they disclaim so inglorious a thing as Repentance is, and will stand to their sins at Death and Judg­ment, [Page 11] let God say against them what he will. The first is an intimation which maketh no small part of his Book to be one continued Untruth. When one part is spent in making the ig­norant and suspicious believe that I wrote for Conformity; the next is constituted of another Untruth, in the false description of my Repentance. But I know the design of his railing, is to draw me to talk of those matters over rashly, (about Wars and Governments) (which I repent of talking of so much already) that he may catch somewhat for his Malice to make use of to a farther end: Fain he would make the world believe that I must speak Treason, or be a Coward or a Turn coat: Not with the simplicity as children dare one another into the dirt; but with the kindness that traps and snares are set for birds, to catch and kill them. And if Murderous Malice, and Lying be made by Christ the Devils sins, and the marks of his children, Ioh. 8. 48. 1 Ioh. 3. 8. I think those that are notoriously thus self­stigmatized, are fitter to be separated from, than to separate from others, as unworthy of their good company. I must profess, that as in my Answers to divers such men as this, I have as near as I could, imitated my great example, so I cannot see but this man, and others that have led him this same way, have exactly imitated the malicious Pharisees; And let him be also their imi­tator, who thinketh them wiser and more stout and valiant men than Christ; Matth. 22. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. Then went the Pharisees and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk, (that they might either accuse him of Treason, as after they did, or else make the people hate him, as a favourer of the Roman Tyranny, as they accounted it) Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth (and wilt not hide thy judgement by dark speeches, nor bauk plain truth:) neither carest thou for any man; for thou regardest not the persons of men: (O malicious commendations!) Tell us therefore what thinkest thou: Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Iesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? shew me the Tribute money: And they shewed him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this Image and Superscri­ption? They say unto him Caesars. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesars, and unto God the things that are Gods. I hope Mr. Bagshaw will neither say, that Christ here plainly decided the controversie intended by the [Page 12] questioners; nor yet deny but he seemeth to do it, so far as silen­ced his adversaries then, and as putteth Expositors hard to it now, to understand his meaning: (See Dr. Hammond on the words.) And I am in some hope yet, that as foul-mouth'd as he is, he will not call Christ a Lyar, or dissembler, or a favou­rer of Tyranny, or a Coward; that would say any thing to escape sufferings; But rather of the two think that he is not deceived, who thinketh his own way somewhat like to the Mur­derous-Tempting-Hypocrites in the Text.

As for my Repenting, which he ignorantly and maliciously talketh of, I shall now say no more to the Reader, but this: 1. That I expect that the enemies of Repentance be enemies to me. 2. That I little regard such censures as this man, who either cannot through ignorance, or will not through malice or passion, understand plain English when he readeth it; nor know the difference between the disowning of Evil, and of Good.

Sect. 8. pag. 4. He intimateth by a Question this visible falshood, that I said, [I thought nothing of Divinity in the cause,] so hard is it for Ignorance and rashness to speak truth. This is because I said that [I knew of no controversie in Divinity about it, but in Politicks and Law.] And can one that hath ever learned to read English, and ever exercised his thoughts of such matters, be possibly so ignorant, as to think this is all one as to say, that there was nothing of Divinity in the cause? Their Controversies were, whether the Parliament had Authority to raise their Arms against the Kings will, prohibition, and opposition? And, whether the King had Authority to raise his Arms against theirs? And is this a Controversie in Divinity? Poor souls! Will you be seduced to think that Christ or Paul must decide all controversies of forms and degrees of power in Republicks? Which Text is it that telleth you, that the Militia belonged to the Parliament, or what degree of power the Courts of Justice have? Did Paul, Rom. 13. tell you, whether Nero or the Senate were the higher power? Did Christ tell the tempting hypo­crites, whether Caesar justly coined money in, or for Iudaea? But what? Hath Divinity therefore nothing to do in Law con­troversies? Yes surely, both about the efficient, end, and mo­tives. Politicks and Law tell us which is the highest power; And Divinity telleth us, that we must obey it, and that for conscience-sake, as being of God. Divinity telleth you, that Religious interest [Page 13] may be the just end and motive of a War: but withall, that it must be made by those only that have just power to do it: But who hath just power, the Laws must tell us. Thus, Reader, the mans ignorance and false speaking have lengthened thy trou­ble.

Sect. 9. Ib. [That my Love of ease and fear of suffering] cause strange changes in my corrupt and carnal understanding, is at least a single untruth, and may be a double one, for ought he knows, that knoweth not the heart: I am sure it is a fault, even in Mr. Bagshaw, to make himself a Heart-searching-God, while he maketh the Prayers of his betters to be Idolatry.

Sect. 10. Ib. But he professeth, that he dealeth thus [in Zeal to the Glory of God, Love to the Cause of Christ and Non-conformi­ty, which I have deserted.] Where, 1. It is a repeated falshood that I have deserted the Cause of Non-conformity: I challenge him openly to name even one point of it, in which I have chan­ged my judgment these 31 yeares: (which I speak not as my praise, who in those things have grown no wiser, except in knowing the same things better) to this day. 2. What sin will you call it to father all these falshoods on [the Glory of God, and the Cause of Christ? Doth his Cause and Glory need mens Lies? How many hundreds thus in a few more Libels may you publish, if Satan bless them, as hitherto he hath done, with an Increase and Multiply.]

Sect. 11. pag. 5. He reciteth many words of my Disputati­ons of Church Government, and laboureth (whether by gross Ignorance or malice, I know not) to perswade the Reader that I retract or contradict them; and saith [We stand amazed you should so soon and so much forget all that you have said.]

This is not a single falshood, but maketh up no small part of his Book. Reader, do but hear, and judge whether any thing except his Amareduci can excuse such horrid deliberate un­truths? 1. I never retracted any of that book, setting aside the Dedication. 2. I do still profess that I am of the same judg­ment which that book expresseth. 3. I have in the greatest au­dience told the Bishops, that I stand to it, and provoked them to answer it. 4. There is not a word of contradiction to that Book, in my Cure of Church-Divisions, which he writes against: And am I not as like to understand my own writings as this man is? 5. That very Book pleadeth as much, and [Page 14] much more for a moderate Episcopacy, the lawfulness of a Liturgy, and those circumstances or ceremonies which I judge lawful, (as kneeling at the Sacrament) than my later Books have done. 6. It was to me a considerable Providence which drew me, when the Sectaries were at the very highest, to write that Book, which had I written since the King returned, they would have imputed to temporizing, or a change. 7. The very same men that now rail so loud against me, said nothing that ever I could hear of, against that book, that contained more than Now I have written for; But then it passed uncontradicted by them that now rail at half as much. So, Is it not a strange fate which that poor Book incurreth, that the men of both sides plead it as for them, and commend it, whilst they condemn the Author, as if he were himself against it. The Reverend Bishop whom Mr. Bagshaw wrote against, alledged it in the greatest audience (before his Majesty, Dukes, Lords, and Bishops) with no less commendation than these words, [No man hath spoken better of this than Mr. Baxter.] And now Mr. Bagshaw citeth it with applause: Reader, who is in such a case as I? The Bishop is for my Book: Mr. Bagshaw is for it: And I am the man that am against my self, whilst I openly tell them both that I still stand to it as my judgment (only not owning any words that any party shall justly find to be too sharp.) Surely, they labour to bring me to that reputation among these contenders, as Plato was among the Philosophers, whom every Sect took to be the second, or next the best.

Sect. 12. But pag. 6. he thinks that he talketh like a man of brains, when he inferreth, that [if they be such kind of persons as I have represented them, they ought immediately to be forsaken, and forborn, as to any acts of Church-communion] Answ. But, 1. I never said of them, that they printed, besides false Doctrines, fourscore untruths in two small Libels, as you have done, and give the world neither vindication nor repentance: And yet you, or your disciples, will not inferr thus against your self. 2. De­ceitful man! Did I ever lay the charge you mention, against all the honest conformable Pastors of the Parish Churches in the Land, who have no hand in any thing that you can call an im­position, or a persecution? Nay, that own not (as they think) the Diocesan Prelacy as such, but only Episcopacy in general, and Diocesans, as the Kings Officers? Did I ever lay that charge against all the Christians in the Parish Churches? No, [Page 15] nor against all the Bishops neither. 3. And must all the Church­es in a Kingdome be excommunicated or forsaken, for the cause of a few men, whom few of them ever knew or saw. This is like the Popes interdicting Kingdomes. 4. And if you separated but from the individual offenders, should it not be done in a regular way? Why go you about to blind the ignorant with such palpable fallacies as these. Is it truth, that men must be thus cheated into with errours?

Sect. 13. pag. 6. From what I said [the Episcopal Churches would then have been, if they had but had a meer toleration in the times that openly discountenanced them, when the counte­nanced parties should set up by themselves:] he inferreth, as if I had called them such now, when no other are tolerated, and that in all those Parishes where are good Ministers, and no other Churches. Thus palpable falshood is the very life of all his Libel.

Sect. 14. Ib. The self-contradicting man professeth, to fol­low the Light which I once had in this, and yet that my present Light is nothing else but confusion of darkness; when I said the same then in that very Book that now I do, and now own that book which I wrote then; And all to carry on a cheating falshood, as if in this I had changed my judg­ment.

Sect. 15. I had almost pass'd over a shameless falshood, pag. 4. And that you may know I do not speak at randome, par­ticularly, when at Gloucester you preached upon [Curse ye Me­roz,] and now you say you do repent: do you expect ever to be be­lieved again?] which is a mere composition of Vntruths. 1. I never preached on [Curse ye Meroz] in my life, if he mean that text, or those words: I never was at Gloucester but about one month before the Wars: in which I preached thrice or four times: of which one on a Fast, had respect to the times: which was on Ezek. 37. 3. Son of man, Can these bones live? And my business was to shew the Difficulty of the reparation and reformation of a sinful lapsed Church: In which I menti­oned many things, and sorts of people that would hinder it, but neither my Notes, (which I yet have by me) or memory, have any thing at all that tended unto War, or resistance of Authority. Yet if any other Sermon there, did touch the times, which I remember not, I am sure it was not on that Text which [Page 16] I never preached on. 2. And he as falsly insinuateth that I [say I repent] of what I preached at Gloucester; so hard is it to him to speak that which is not utterly false.

Sect. 16. pag. 7. In a parenthesis, he saith [If there be any (difference between you and us.)] The Libeller filling three Pam­phlets with heinous charges, and after (and before also) que­stioning, Whether indeed there be any difference between him and me?

Sect. 17. pag. 8, With as insolent ignorance doth he feign me to make that which he calleth [Devised Worship] viz. the Liturgy to be Idolatry in my foresaid Book, and now to repent of, and oppose what I held: And all because Disp. p. 378. I say to such as they would suspend, silence, excommunicate, punish, all such as will not pray to God in the words that they impose on them; that if Reasons will not allay their impious distemper, but will domi­neer over mens consciences, and the Church of God, we must leave them to him, that being the Lord and Law-giver of the Church, is jealous of his prerogative, and abhorreth Idols. Remember that I spake of none but the Clergy. And is there any man that ex­celleth not in ignorance and rashness, that would have thought here, that it is a Form of Prayer, or Liturgy, that I call [Idols]? or that could not see at the first reading, that I call the persons only the Idols, that usurp the prerogative of God. And will this pittiful man still falsly insinuate or suppose, that all the honest Christians or Ministers of all the Parish Churches in England are such usurping imperious Idols? yea, or all the Bishops ei­ther? Even Martyn himself as well as Ithacius? Thus are poor souls abused by deceivers. Yea, note that in the same disputa­tion cited by him, I largely prove the lawfulness of Liturgies and Forms, and the necessity of them in some cases.

Sect. 18. Ib. Yet doth he again most falsly say, that [I have unworthily receded from what I wrote, and yet addeth, that I have not, that he knoweth of, repented of it. Receded from it, and yet not repented of: What a forgetful self-contradicter is this man? And so he thanketh God that I was heretofore stirred up to write so much, which now condemneth me, even for the same that I there and then did write, and never repented of.

Sect. 19. His next subject, where he saith that [I argue against the Divine and self-evidencing authority of the holy Scrip­ture] is one of the visiblest lyes that ever I saw written by a [Page 17] man: When I had not only said the contrary, but told where I had voluminously proved it, to give me not a word of sense in answer, but write as if he had never read my reply. Being to Tell the Church, I must desire them to consider, Whether a more Impudent studied Lye, impenitently insisted in, after a double de­tection, without an answer, was ever presented to their view? And, whether they can name me a Christian Writer in the world more infamously self-stigmatized with this vice? The rest that he writeth of it, I cannot perswade my self to tire the Reader with an answer to. Only I note that he citeth Mr. Hildersham's words, with the false intimation that I contradict them, while the same worthy man is both applauded by him, and supposi­tively taken for a Patron of Idolatry, as one that perswadeth men not onely to come to Church and Common-prayer, but to come to the beginning. False speakers do thus ordinarily contra­dict themselves.

Sect. 20. When pag. 11. he saith, that a Papist is worse than of no Religion, I say no more to him, but that Overdoing is the Devils last way of undoing, and that such men be they that mul­tiply and confirm the Papists.

Sect. 21. Ibid. p. 11. he would have you know what Religion he is of, and how he meaneth to save his Disciples from Idola­try, saying, Had not I learned the truth of Christian Religion, from better arguments, and a more certain way of reasoning than any your books afford, I had still been plunged in the depths of A­theism.] Now, 1. Note that Reasoning in a certain way, pre­serveth him from Atheism. 2. That he seemeth to say, that he was an Atheist, by saying [I had still continued so.] But you must not expect such base mutability from him, as when he hath denied the Living God, to confess it plainly, and profess repentance. 3. Note that he will be an Atheist still, and it seems perswade the Separatists to be such, till he hath better Reasons than my Books afford. Now the Reasons that my Books afford are these (note them Reader.) First, from the witness of God the Crea­tor in the frame of Nature. Secondly, From the witness of God our Redeemer, in his supernatural Revelations. 3. From the witness of God the Holy Ghost, on the Scriptures, and in the Soul. First, Printing on the Scripture the Image of Gods Power, Wisdome, and Goodness (which is its self-evidence.) And next by the Scripture printing the said Image of Gods Power, Wisdom, [Page 18] and Goodness on every holy soul, (which none but God is able to do.) These three Testimonies of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is the sum of my evidence enlarged. Now Mr. Bagshaw will be an Atheist still, and it seems perswade the Separatists to be such, till he hath better reasons for his faith, than the witness of the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sanctisier; God the Fa­ther, Son, and Holy Ghost. This is his zeal for the Glory of God, and the Cause of Christ, and the good of souls.

Sect. 22. Yet pag. 13. with much railing, he insinuateth this abominable falshood and calumny against Christs excellent Ser­vants, that Calvin, Preston, Hildersham, Perkins, &c. would have no more done in asserting a Deity and Christianity, than to tell men, [that all is true that God speaketh in his Word, and that propria luce, it is evident that the Scripture is his word, and that to all Gods elect he will give his spirit to discern it, and thus much alone is better than all these disputes and reasonings.] Whereas, 1. These same men have all of them said much more themselves in their writings. 2. And Paul preached otherwise to the Athenians, Acts 17. and to others. 3. And what kind of preaching would this man make among Turks and Heathens that deny the Scrip­tures? You see, 1. He will leave out all the Natural evidences of a Deiy, and of mans immortal state, and so all the Princi­ples in which we are agreed with them. 2. He will leave out all the Historical proofs that these Books were written by Christs Apostles and Evangelists, and are not altered since. And 3. That he will leave out the use of mans Ministry, in Translating or Preaching; And will let the illiterate Reader look on a Hebrew and Greek Bible, till propria luce, they know it is of God; or at least, that the Minister, when they say, How shall I know that this is Gods Word? shall only bid them read it, (whether they can or not) and if they be elect, the spirit will cause them to discern that propria luce it will shew it self to be Gods Word; but if they be not elect, they have no remedy. And what need Preachers to tell men this? Bibles may be sent by other hands; and will be Bibles whether we preach or not. And the elect are elect before we preach to them. And if the man know that Light here is but a Metaphor, what can he mean by it but [Objective Evidence.] And must we only tell Heathens, that the Scriptures have their proper evidence, and not tell them what that evidence is? Is this his preaching? [Page 19] Yet, that you may see what such men would bring the Church & world to, he adds, p. 13. [If understand anything of the true nature of Religion, &c. and warneth all persons most earnestly that they go his way; And most falsly addeth, that I lay my foundation in the corrupt will of man, and build my superstructure in the carnal understanding, and leave no room for true holiness and mortification, but the root of sin within remaineth untouched. And is not this, like the Pope, the most uncharitable man of Infallibility, who hath better reasonings against Atheism, and for a holy state of souls, and (unless to forbid all Reasoning be it) will not vouch­safe to open them to the Church, or bless mankind by a noble communication of them.

Sect. 23. pag. 14. Having ended, he beginneth again with his Witticismes: And 1. I speak absurdly and insignificantly, for saying of his Rash, and carelesly uttered untruth, that it's priva­tively voluntary, that is, when the Will omits its office. Where (saith this Learned man) I am much to seek what can be meant by pri­vatively voluntary; or how any action can be done where the will omits its office.

Ans. And I have no mind to take such a person for my Scho­lar; And therefore let me be excused, if I leave him (and such proud ignorant persons) in his beloved ignorance. Let him be­lieve that a man is a beast, and that his Rational faculties were not made to rule the sensitive, or that the Will either never omits its ruling office, or if it do, the sensitive cannot act; or that the Will is not the principle quoad exercitium, of humane acts, as the Intellect is quoad specificationem; or that if the Will omit this imperate act, ad exercitium, and the sense lead men never so far, that yet the Act is not Reputatively Voluntary; that is, that mans Will not guilty of any privation or omission of loving God, of feeding our children, of giving to the poor, of praying, meditating, &c. or that such omissions are not im­putable to the Will as sins: when all say that all sin is Vo­luntary. I do not wonder that this man is against Bishops tooth and nail; even as they are ordainers: For, as loose as they are said to be in their ordinations, I doubt whether they would not reject him for utter Ignorance and insu [...]i­cience, who hath no more knowledge of the nature of sin, and no more reason to cure his Atheism.

Sect. 24. His next high witticisme is, that I mention [Are­ceiving [Page 20] obediential power in a carnal Will; which receiving you call (saith he) a passive power; where the Comment is harder than the Text.

Answ. Reader, Dost thou not blush, that among men that have been at an University, there should be found a man so ignorant, (and so proud of it) as not to know what Potentia obedientialis is, in common use of Philosophers and Divines; or not to know that every creature is passive in receiving the Di­vine influx, or operation; or that Recipere est pati, unless when we take the word Recipere analogically and morally. If these things were but Hard to the man, why is he so proud as to dis­dain them?

Sect. 25. The next and last is, when he had said that [It is not corruption barely, nor imposition barely, that is a sufficient ground for any to separate; I had no rag to cover his [barely] with, but charitably to interpret him, as meaning by barely [the Quate­nus, or the Act formally as such, without taking in the greatness of the matter of that corruption or imposition: that is, That it is not Corruption formally, as Corruption, but the greatness of the matter corrupted; Nor Imposition formally, as an Act of Imposi­tion, but as an imposition of some ill or unsufferable thing: I could not have put sense on his words by any other interpreta­tion: Yet doth he so disdain my kindness, and to have so much sense imputed to him, that he pronounceth the sentence that [I and the Schools may call these distinctions, but indeed they are no­thing but Learned Nonsence. And if the Reader be not yet convinced that PRIDE is the Father, and IGNORANCE the mother of our errours, contentions, divisions, scandals and confusions, he shuts his eyes here against a most convincing in­stance.

Sect. 26. p. 15. For saying upon the invitation of his Sophi­stry, that I am perswaded if Christ came personally and visibly to demand it, the King would yield up his Crown to him; Instead of defending his errour, which this reason did detect, he only sentenceth me to be like the Mockers that deride the promise of his coming.

Sect. 27. Ib. He next compareth me to Boyes and Children, as pretending to know no difference in point of Imposition, between one that useth a form of his own, and he that is imposed on to use only the form of another, P. 119. 120. Thus the man and his ten or eleven [Page 21] friends, whom he chargeth in his premonition with attesting his Veracity, are all made falsities by him. There is not a word of my pretending to know no difference: Nor was my comparison at all [between one that useth a form of his own, and he (he meaneth him) that is imposed on, to use only the form of another, as he is himself imposed on by that other, but only as both impose upon the people. No doubt there is a difference in the Passive part, between the Minister that is imposed on, and him that is not. But I still provoke him to tell me any difference in their several impositions on the people, which at all concerneth our present controversie.

Yes, he addeth [In the one case the hearer is alwayes at perfect liberty how far and how often he will joyn: In the other he is alwayes tied up, and must either joyn in such a prescript form of words, or none at all; and this he knoweth before hand, &c.]

Answ. Here are two differences pretended. 1. Reader, Is there in the first any shadow of the truth at all? Yet are there some men that such words will take with, contrary to the com­mon sense of mankind; As if it were not the Papists only that can believe against all common sense. What reason can he give why one that is present is not as free to joyn, or not to joyn in heart, with any passage in the Common Prayer, as in a free prayer of the Minister? I do seriously wonder what made the man speak these words. When the Minister prayeth freely, I may in heart either joyn with him, neglect him, or dissent: And what hinders me from doing so at Common-Prayer? He saith, I must joyn in that form, or none at all. True; And so must I when the Minister either prayeth freely, or in a stinted form of his own. You must joyn in that or none at all for that time. I told him of old Mr. Fen, (a zealous Non-conformist at Coven­try) that would say Amen loud to every Prayer of the Liturgy, save that for the Bishops: Did he not use as much liberty here as he could have done at free prayer?

2. And for fore knowledge, he passeth by all the answer I oft gave to that objection, and singeth over the same song again. Fore-knowing what will be said, doth more enable me to know what clause to forbear my consent to, than in sudden Prayer not foreknown. And what if by his constant custome I foreknow, that Iohn Simpson, Randal, Iohn Goodwin, Saltmarsh, Dr. Crisp, Canne, Iohnson, Blackwood, or any other tolerable [Page 22] Opinionist, will put his opinion into his Prayers? Doth not that make them in this all one with an imposed prayer, as to fore-knowledge? And when I fore-know that the Matter of the Liturgy (used on the Lords dayes by the Minister and people) is sound, this fore-knowledge maketh it not evil in the use.

Sect. 28. When I gave him no less than twenty Queries con­taining plain evictions of the falseness of his Doctrine about the Scriptures, his answer is, that he will answer them, when I have satisfied him that I sinned not greatly in raising such mists and doubts: and when I give him security that I will not ask him as many more. Reader, Is not this man an easie disputant; Did you ever know any that answered all with less ado, than so silly a reason, Why he should not answer it?

Sect. 29. He concludeth, by telling us, that he [is (to say no more) your best, your equal] I know what he meaneth, though not what he saith: And really it was but need that he should tell the world how good or worthy a man he is, or else a sober person that had but read one of his three Libels, would hardly have believed it.

Sect. 30. Having ended the second time, he begins again with a Postscript, to tell us his reasons for his refusing the Oath of Allegiance, which he is imprisoned for. But I have no mind to meddle with him where I have no call. And shall only say, that had it been more, even the Oath of Supremacy it self, if he will regard either Non-conformist, Independents or Anabaptist, Mr. Bradshaw, Mr. Nie and Mr. Tombes have each written enough to teach him better to under­stand that English.

An Admonition to that part of the Church which is incli­ned to Mr. Bagshaw's Errours.

Sect. 1. VVEre it not my present Duty to Tell the Church, I should take it to be as inconve­nient as unpleasing, to open Mr. Bagshaw's sins. But as Christ did it by the Pharisees, yea, and Peter himself; and as Paul in his Epistles, did it by many; so I think it is now become my duty, though he and his believers be displeased by it. I shall but desire the impartial sober Readers, that have per­used his Writings and mine to judge.

1. Whether so great Ignorance as he discovereth in him­self, be not scandalous in a Preacher of the Gospel.

2. Whether such dangerous errours in Doctrine, against the very foundations of our faith, with many other proved against him, make him not an unsafe Guid for souls? And give not in­comparably greater occasion for renouncing him as an Here­tick, to such as are apt to take such occasion, than most cal­led Hereticks in the ancient Churches gave.

3. Whether it be not rare among the worst of men, to meet with so many evidences of Insolent Pride, above the common measure of Proud men, as his three Libels do con­tain.

4. Whether it be not a hard matter to find among the worst of men on earth, two Libels so small, containing above fourscore visible Vntruths in matter of fact; And a third to follow them, substantially constituted of the like Vntruths; scarce now to be numbred, any more than drops that are aggregate in a Pond.

5. Whether it be not rare to meet with more malicious con­trived snares, to make up his ends upon the person, instead of de­fending of his Cause.

6. Whether ever you saw a controversie so managed by any sort of men, of what heresie soever, that said so little for their [Page 24] Cause as he hath done for his Love-killing Principles. I con­fess I remember not one, no not excepting the very Quakers. Read over several debates, and see whether ever a cause so hot­ly contended for, had so little said for it?

7. Whether ever you saw Books so answered as mine are by him? In all his three Libels, not medling at all with any considerable part of my Books, as to any answer; But silent­ly passing them over, as if he had never read them. And yet going on to repeat the same things, which I had confu­ted?

8. Whether his Calumny, or false accusations of me, and of Calvin, Perkins, Hildersham, Preston, &c. be not an un­christian act?

9. Whether it be not rare among the worst to find such foot­steps of great Impenitence, as he giveth in so silent a passing over his guilt of the fore-mentioned fourscore Vntruths, without any considerable Vindication: and after Admonition, adding so many worse?

10. Whether it be not rare to meet with so much audacious impudence in sinning?

11. Whether the slandring of so many millions, yea, al­most all Christs Churches on Earth, as differ from him in point of Forms, &c. as guilty of Idolatry, be not a most heinous sin against Christ and them, as representing them as odious in the world?

12. And is it not a sin to draw so many poor souls as will be­ieve him, so far towards the hatred of Christs Churches, and [...]om Communion with them, and to confine all their Communion [...] so narrow a compass?

13. Whether Fathering all this on God and Religion, make [...]t the sin to be yet greater?

14. Whether, according to his power, he shew not as Cru­ [...] and bloudy, and silencing a disposition, as any of those that [...] he accused of it.

15. Whether he do not injuriously, to labour by his insi­ [...]tions, to bring many honest well-meaning Christians, [...] into the same guilt with himself, or into the shame­ [...] reputation of it? Insomuch that [...]lready the common [...] dishonoureth many of the Semi-separatists, saying, that they [...] rejoyce at his Writings, and so hate my Treatise [Page 25] against Church-dividing Principles, as that for the sake of it, they will read no other of my Books: (And if that hurt them no more than me, the matter is but small.)

Sect. 2. And when you have well considered of these things, I shall next desire you to consider, Whether this man hath not brought you as great a Care or Caution against un­lawful Separations and Divisions, as most men ever did in the world? For 1. Here you see how much you must bear with, unless you will separate from your own leaders: Deal but impartially: Is there one Parish Minister, yea, or one Pa­rish Church Member of many, that was ever convict of so much sin, as Mr. Bagshaw hath published, and silently, but impertinently lyeth down under? Is there many of them that ever defended half so much sin so obstinately, without confession, and yet so impotently without sence? Separate from no Ministers or people that are not proved as guilty as this man, and I will never more write against your Separa­tion. 2. And now the world and posterity shall see in this mans writings, how the cause of unlawful Separation was defended in this age. I openly profess, that this is a great reason that drew me to Defend my Cure of Church Divisions, by three following Defences; that Posterity may see what interest and passion will not now suffer some to see. I look to the times to come. And if there be any wiser men among them, that can say more for the Separating-cause, they are best set to it; For if they leave it on such hands as Mr. Bag­shaws, it is easie to foresee that it will be shamed for ever.

Yet do I solemnly profess that to my utmost remembrance, I never in my life did venture upon, or manage one dispute by word or writing, through a confidence in my own ability to make good what I undertook, but in a confidence of the goodness of my Cause, and of the great advantage which the evidence of plain truth doth give to any man of good reason to defend it, even against the cunningest Sophister that shall oppose it.

Sect. 3. And now I shall add my Admonition to you, as not being quite ignorant of Satans Wiles, to tell you what a snare is laid for you all in Mr. Bagshaw's Writings; and as one that hath no interest, but Christs and the Churches to [Page 26] move him to it, to tell you how great the danger is, if you swallow the bait.

1. If he prevail with you, he will draw you into the guilt of all those sins of his own fore-mentioned, by your approbation & consent. And how great an addition will that be to your load?

2. It would draw you to the entertainment of all those Love-killing, Malignant, and Dividing Principles, which I cast down, and he sets up. And you little know what an evil it is, to have an understanding so blinded, and a heart so de­filed.

3. By this means that true universal Love to Godly men and Christians as such will be destroyed: And when you should bear Gods Image, who is Love it self; you will be made like Satan, the enemy of God and Love: And instead of loving your neighbour as your self, you will take your neighbours, yea, Christs members, for your enemies.

4. And as Love is the fulfilling of the Law, so your death of Love will be the death of all your true obedience, and lead you to the breach of every Law. You will deny all the acts of Love in word or deed to others that you owe them to; you will censure, you will backbite freely, you will receive false reports, and vend them again to others. And Christ may say to you, Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least (mark the least) of these my brethren, you did it not to me.

5. You will be tempted into Treason against Christ, under pretence of piety, denying his interest in almost all his Churches in the world; Even as if you should say, that the King is King of one or two Towns only in all his Kingdoms, on pretence that all the rest are not good enough to be his Subjects. I profess openly, that nothing in the world more moveth me to do what I do, than this; That there is much within me that will not suffer me without abhorrence, to think of either unchurching all Churches in the world, that use a set Li­turgy (yea that use one worse than ours) or yet to hold that they should all be separated from. And had I ever Vowed and Covenanted to do this (as I did not) it had been a sinful Vow.

6. And moreover, it will possess you with a degenerate and false kind of Religion, consisting in sidings, and partial opinions, and obeying your selves instead of God.

[Page 27] 7. And it will make you Satans instruments to disturb all Churches that you joyn with, if you do not want occasion and temptation. For the Principles which I wrote against will let no Church be quiet where they prevail: And a Kingdom or house divided cannot stand.

8. You will be drawn from true spiritual worshipping of God; and your worship and Church-communion will be corrupted: Instead of holy and heavenly Sermons, Prayers, praises, &c. you will be infected with a contending and envying passion, and puf­fed up with the conceit of your own judgments, and grow zea­lous for your personal opinions, and your parties, and turn your preaching and praying into a strain that savoureth of this dis­ease, and defile them with unsounder passages for your errours or divided interests, than any can be found in the Common Prayers which you shun.

9. And if you be thus overcome, it will heinously aggravate your sin, that you will do all this as a part of your Religion, and so will father it all on God, as if such doing pleased him, and proceeded from his spirit, and were commanded by his word. And as Matth. 12. it is made the unpardonable sin to blaspheme the Holy Ghost, by ascribing his Miracles to Satan, so though it be pardonable, you should easily see that it cannot be small, to say that those things which are pleasing to the Devil, and proceed from his will, and malicious suggestions, are pleasing to God, and proceed from his spirit and word.

10. By these means Satan would make your Churches to do his work against the Lord whom they profess to worship, and and to be the very Nests where PRIDE and IGNORANCE shall breed their like, and shall cherish sinful Love killing prin­ciples and passions, and animosities against your brethren: And so your Assemblies will be acted too much by his suggestions, and become his Work-houses, while you think that they are serving God; and mens wisdom will be earthly▪ sensual, and dia­bolical, when they verily think it is from above, Iam. 3, 15, 16.

11. Thus he would fain bring an odium upon your selves, and cause you to go under such a character as the Munster Anabap­tists, and the Familists, Quakers, and such others do: That men may say of you, that while you take on you to be stricter than others, it is but in abhorring other mens Prayers, and extolling your own; And that sin is no sin when you find it in your own [Page 28] party, or your selves. And that Lyars, and most impudent Ca­lumniators and proud Revilers, &c. go among your selves for Godly persons, while the uprightest men that use the Common Prayer, do go for Idolaters and Ungodly. And if Satan can but get such an odious Character fastened on you, what mischievous advantage will he make of it?

12. For then next he will hope to bring all the Non-conformists (or the greater part while a few only are excepted) under the same Character for your sakes: That they may be all thought to be men of irrational, uncharitable, and unpeaceable principles and spirits; whose Religion consisteth but in Fanaticisme, and self-conceit, and foolish condemning the things which they under­stand not, because their party hath done so before them. And if Satan can thus far obtain his ends, he hath laid the eggs of a world of farther sin and sufferings.

13. Then all that are against them will be exceedingly confir­med in all those things and wayes, which I need not name unto you, and for which it is that you separate from them: And will think that your condemnation of them is but a commendation.

14. Yea, Ministers of loose and vicious lives will be hardened by you against repentance, and will think that they are better than you, and that though they sometimes are drunk, or idle, yet they are pardoned, because you that own such greater sins, do pass for godly, and because chiefly such as you condemn them.

15. Yea, (which will be a doleful mischief) you will afford matter for every carnal Preacher to make a Sermon of, against those that go for strict and godly, and to perswade the people that all that profess much strictness, are but such as you, and that hypocrisie is the cover for their sins, which are worse than other mens. Thus, while the word Puritan (as Fanatick now) was first taken up to signifie an errour (a conceit of self-perfection, &c.) at last it grew that which Mr. Robert Bolton hath so often told the world, a word of scorn in wicked mens mouths, against all that truly feared God. And thus while you fly from all the Parish As­semblies, as desiled, you will be the men that will make them far worse, when some Pulpits will be made Stages, on which the Actors may set forth all those Religious men, that in any thing dissent from them in a ridiculous and odious dress, to the derision and loathing of the auditors.

16. By which means thousands of ignorant people will be [Page 29] tempted into a contempt of piety it self, and their conversion wonderfully hindered: And prejudice will make them turn from that way with scorn and obloquy, which should save them. O how many thousands have in England f [...]merly been hindred from true repentance, by hearing strict Religious people both talk'd and preached against, as hypocrites, and a sort of proud self-opinioned men!

17. And the common people will learn quickly to overgo the Preachers, and will make the Godly in streets and Ale-house; their common scorn: And Satan will have almost as many Preachers to make Piety odious, and hinder mens repentance, as there be wicked men. As when the Preacher by a Puritan here­tofore meant a Non-conformist, the ignorant rabble expounded and applied it, of all that were not such as they.

18. And by this means the Devil hopeth to disaffect and ex­asperate many Learned men that differ from you, to turn the strength and reputation of their parts and learning, to make you contemptible and vile. Bishop Overall, Whitgift, Mountague, &c. were very learned men: but exasperation set their parts and pens in that military strain, as was not pleasing to their Anta­gonists: As it did Mr. Hooker's and many more, who by Love and meekness, and a peaceable familiarity (without sin) might have been disarmed. I need not go beyond Sea, to tell you how the Learned Ios. Scaliger was exasperated to revile the Puritans by Mr. Lidiates opposition (vid. Praef. ad Cam. Isagog.) nor to mention Salmatius, Grotius, or any others there; nor to look back as far as Erasmus, much less to many, (too many) of the ancient Bishops and Doctors of the Church.

19. Yea, while you fear Persecution, you will take the rea­diest way in the world to bring it on your selves, and others for your sakes: For the consciences of Rulers will (perhaps) little scruple the hurting of such men as are taken to be so bad: They being Gods Ministers to use the sword for a terrour to e­vil doers, and if you once pass for notorious evil doers, you will hardly scape. And it will be but a foolish fruitless course to do the evil your selves, and then lay the blame of all your sufferings on them that tell you of it, and that take it to be evil, and will not commend your sins as so many acts of piety: As if the assumed name of Virtue would hide the odiousness of Vice: For nature and Scripture will help men to see your nakedness through so thin a vail, and God himself will not suffer sin to [Page 30] keep up its credit by usurped names. It is not silencing the Repro­vers that will do the work of any sinners. It must be the avoiding of the sin it self.

20. And if you take this sinful dividing course, you will make more Papists, and such others as you your selves, most fly from and disclaim, than almost any other way could do. Nothing that I know of in the world, doth so strongly tempt some sober conscien­cious men, to think Poperty necessary for the Concord of the Churches, and a violent Church Government necessary to our Peace, as the woful experience of the errours and schisms, the mad and manifold Sects that arise among those that are most against them. Thousands have been made Papists in England, Scotland, and Ireland, within these twenty years, that have been driven from us by our shameful Sects; yea, many of the Sectaries themselves, when they have run themselves through as many Sects as they could try. I am perswaded that Mr. Bagshaws Libels are as powerful wri­tings to cross his own desires, and turn many from Non-conformi­ty, and others unto Popery, as most that have been published in this age. Multitudes that read them will say, Here you see the spirit of Non conformity (though I have proved it a calumny:) Others will say, You see how mad men grow when they unite not with the Cathalick Church, and live not under a strict Church Government.

21. And by all this Satan hopeth to turn the Non-conformists Sufferings to their shame: And to make the world believe that as this man suffereth for refusing the Oath of Allegiance, so do the rest for some self-conceits, and unwarrantable fancies of their own.

22. And he will put hard to bring Church diseipline it self into disgrace and scorn, by you that most desire and plead for it. For men will say, These are they that cry out for Discipline, and separate from our Church because it wanteth or corrupteth it. When in their own Churches and Leaders, such crimes (as Bagshaws Books contain) are tolerable, as consistent with religious zeal, and per­haps is all ascribed unto godliness? what more effectual way could be devised, to make Church-discipline contemptible to the world?

23. And all this will tend to disable the Ministers of Christ, both conformable and non-conformable, from doing any good, and winning any souls to true repentance. When the Conformable Preachers should do good, the people will be taught by you to shun them, or despise them as Idolaters: When the Non-conformists should do any good, they will be taught by your practice and other [Page 31] mens calumny, to turn away from them, as such as afore described. And then how much hath Satan gained? I know another sort of men are at least as deeply guilty of all these consequents, as you: But that is no excuse of yours. And though it must be that offence come, yet wo to them by whom it cometh.

24. And indeed it would be a heinous aggravation of your sin, if you should defie Gods Providence, and the large and lamentable experience of the mischiefs of Love-killing dividing-principles and wayes. This spirit and way was of old blasted in England and Hol­land; It troubled New-England; It injured the Non conformists, and put them to write many books against it (more than the Con­formists did.) The books of Mr. Perry (Martin Mar-Prelate) full of jears and scorn, were unsavoury to all sober men; and his death the more dishonourable. Scotland kept them out thence by Disci­pline. In our late Wars, Martin-Mar-priest (Overton, as was thought, with Prince, Lilburn, &c.) quite exceeded Martin-Mar-Prelate, and the Ministers were more scorned than ever were the Bishops: Seekers, Quakers, and Ranters, have all been generated (for the most part) by the foresaid Separating Principles and Spirit. I will tell you no more now, what effects it then had on the Church­es and Kingdom, nor what it hath brought on themselves and us. But reason should tell it you; and I will tell you, that now, even now, to run violently further into the same fire which first burnt up so much of our Concord, peace, and glory, and turned us into ashes, and then burnt up the men that kindled it, and is not quenched to this day, nor like to be in haste; I say to blow this fire still, and run into it, and back-bite even Non-conformable Ministers them­selves, that would but disswade you, and desire you to quench it, will be an obdurateness so like to Pharaoh's, as may be a doleful prognostick to the guilty, if not to all the Land.

25. You little know what a pernicious design the Devil hath upon you, in perswading you to desire and endeavour to pull down the Interest of Christ and Religion, which is upheld in the Parish Churches of the Land; and to think that it is best to bring them as low in reality or reputation as you can, and to contract the Religious Interest all into private meetings: By which means, 1. The priva­cy shall keep it under obloquy, suspicion, and contempt: 2. And shall level the sound with all the rotten Sects in their reputation: 3. And shall leave them no security in Law for their continuance an hour: 4. And shall keep them still under the censures, discounte­nance [Page 32] and dangers of the Law. 5. And young rash intemperate spi­rits among your selves, will be continual endangerers of your li­berties. 6. Or a malicious enemy may at any time put on the vizor of a friend, and come among you and act a furious part, to make you odious and overthrow you: 7. And few of the young, the ig­norant or licentious sorts will be your Auditors; And how will the work of Repentance then be carried on by you? The most will go to the publick Churches, when you have done the most against it you can. 8. And when the present generation of Non-conform­ists are dead, do you think it likely that so many will survive them of their mind, as are sufficient without the publick assemblies to keep up the Christian and Protestant Religion in the Land? You are ignorant if you think it probable. I know that God can do what he will; But his Promise is the measuring object of our faith: And I think he hath promised no such thing. And I have long fear­ed lest twenty years wilful contentions, wantonness, &c. will not be punished with a short rebuke. If you know how great a number was silenced in King Iames his time, and yet that in 1640 there were not found near half so many Non conformable Ministers as are Counties in England, you may think it is possible it may be so again. And would you have but one Minister in a County or two, to keep up all the Interest of Religion? I am not without hope that God will make men so wise as to unite us, before such a day: But of that we have no certainty. 9. Yea, could you wish at this day that the Christian and Protestant Religion were kept up by none but the unconformable Ministers in private? No honest man can wish it, who considereth how many of the 1800 are dead al­ready, and how few are left in most Counties of the Land, in com­parison of the Congregations that need instruction? I know that it is commonly said, that God blesseth not their Ministry to the con­version of any souls, and therefore it is as good be without the Con­formists. But this is foolishly spoken. For, 1. Many of them are as wise and as good men as you. 2. You have no satisfactory account what hearts are secretly wrought on by their Ministry. They come not all to you to be confessed. 3. And the worser sort of them are not worse than Iudas, whom Christ sent forth. 4. And there is much done to keep up the Christian and Protestant Doctrine in soundness, against Infidelity and Popery, where few are brought to sound Conversion. And so Gods publick worship, and the hopes of our Posterity are kept up. If any of you had rather that all turned [Page 33] open Infidels or Mah [...]metans, my soul shall not enter into your Counsels. 10. And the publick Churches will be kept up some or o­ther. If you would have the Protestant Interest in them fall, the Popery will find them as a house ready swept and garnished, and will make our latter end worse than our beginning: 11. And I am perswaded few can be so sottish as to be ignorant, that it greatly pleaseth the Papists that you are forced into corners, and hold your exercises of Religion by connivance, against Law; and much more you will gratifie and rejoyce them, if you could help them to get down all the Protestant interest in the Parish Churches. And do your Leaders yet think that the Papists are pleased with that which will promote the Protestant cause? 12. Many a man as wise and good as you, whose Judgment is Non-conformable, who liveth where there are no other Churches, would take it for an unspeakable loss to be deprived of the benefit of the Parish Churches. For all these rea­sons, though I desire Reformation, and will never swear not to en­deavour it in my place and Calling; yet I will do the best I can to get the best Pastors into the Parish Churches, and to promote their reputation, and the labours of the Ministers there, and bless God for what is yet there left us; and yet will be one that shall mourn for the reproach of the solemn assemblies.

26. Moreover, it is one of Satans plots upon you, to prepare for the reproach of the Non conformists, when greater necessity shall drive them to the Parish assemblies and Communion. Do not you make any doubt of it, but that if the wrath or rigour of superiours should bring them to the same condition, as the old Non-confor­mists were, the most of the present Non-conformists would come to the Parish Churches, even in Common Prayer and Sacraments as they did. And you are preparing reproach for them, that they may then be called Changelings, who forsake their former principles and cause.

27. And verily you will keep up the Papists hope, that by an uni­versal Toleration they may at last come in on equal terms with you, or by connivance be endured as much as you. And if they be equal in England with you, their transmarine advantages will make them more than equal, notwithstanding their disadvantages in their Cause, and in their contrariety to Kingly interest (which Henry Fowlis hath in folio most fully and unanswerably laid open.)

28. And though God in mercy hath at present given us a King that owneth the Protestant Cause, so resolvedly, as to make a Law [Page 32] against any that shall report him inclined to Popery, England hath no promise that it shall be so for ever: And if we should ever have a King more indifferent in his Religion, do you know what a temptation it would be to him, to pull down the Protestant Religion, if he found it but in corners, under a connivance, and found it under the reproach of such crimes as B [...]gshaw's books contain? It were the next way to procure the fatal word, Down with them even to the ground; Though I know we have the greater security against this, because Popery is so much against Princes in­terest, and is the del [...]vering up the Kingdome in part to a foreign power.

29. In a word, Satan is playing by Mr. Bagshaw no lower a game, than by turning all the people from the Parish assemblies, (while there are not in England (had they liberty [...] Ministers enow to supply the tenth part of the Church [...]) to [...] the ge­nerality of them to live like open Atheists, that give God no pub­lick worship at all; and so to extinguish knowledge, Christiani­ty, and all Religion, in most of the Land. These things I see, and because I see them I do as I have done.

30. There is another reason that sticks much with me, as knowing what silly peevish souls are employed in against them­selves, but I will add no more.

Brethren, I have discharged my conscience; Some will hear: I will bear the censures and obloquy of the rest. Your sins are no more lovely to me, than the sins of other men; nor no more mer­ciful to England: We all suffer by and for such sins as I have re­proved. I am one of the sufferers, and therefore should have leave to speak. I am long ago engaged in the cause of Concord, Love, and Peace, and will not betray it for the shadow of Purity, nor for the pleasing of any party whatsoever; Though no duty when such is to be omitted, nor any sin committed for Peace.

And to prevent the Calumny of Papists, and the mis-informati­on of Posterity, I add, that besides one hot-headed, honest young man (Mr. Brown) I hear of no Non-conformable Minister in Eng­land that openly owneth Mr. Bagshaw's [...], or secondeth him in his defence of the Love killing Principles of unlawful Separation; Which, with the other evidences of quietness and patience in the private assemblies of these times, I take to be a marvellous thing, considering mens great and manifold temptations, which in time I hope God will abate.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.