THE TRUE AND ONLY WAY OF CONCORD Of all the Christian Churches: The desirableness of it, and the detection of false dividing Terms.


LONDON, Printed for John Hancock at the Three Bibles in Popes-head-alley, over against the Royal Exchange in Cornhil, 1680.

Act. 15. 28.

It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things.

Rom. 14. 17, 18.

The Kingdome of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost: for he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God and approved of men.

2 Tim. 4. 1, 2.

I charge thee before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his Kingdome, Preach the word, be instant in season and out of season.

Act. 4. 19.

Whether it be right in the sight of God, to hearken to you more than unto God, judge ye.

1 Thes. 2. 15, 16.

They please not God and are con­trary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gen­tiles that they might be saved; to fill up their sin alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the ut­termost.

Mr. Jones of the [...] Soveraign, p. 344.

Id fit quod jure fit: [...] but great Lords of Nullities, by the exemption of the Will and soul from, and the frown of Heaven upon all bruitish injustice and force.

Read him also p. 23.

THE PREFACE; To the Honourable and Reve­rend Dr. George Morley, late Lord Bishop of Worcester, and now of Winchester: and Dr. Peter Gunning, Lord Bishop of Ely.

IT is now about eighteen years since you and many others were appointed by his Majesties com­mission with divers of us who desired some Reformation of the Church Discipline and worship, to consi­der what Alterations of the Liturgy were ne­cessary [Page] and expedient for the satisfaction of ten­der consciences, and the restoring and continu­ance of peace and Vnity to the Churches under his Majesties protection and government. His Majesties Gracious Declaration about Ecclesiasti­cal Affairs, had before shewed so much of his Wisdome and care to attain this Unity, as we thought had almost done the cure; the differences about Church Government and most of the rest being thereby as we hoped fairly ended: As (with the help of the Reverend Dr. Sparrow now Bishop of Nor­wich, and Dr. Pierson now Bishop of Chester) you maintained that no Alteration was necessa­ry to these ends, so I with others endeavoured to prove the contrary: But since, the said Declaration being dead, such Alterations were made as greatly increased our Impossi­bility of Conforming: we never treated with you for Presbyterian Government, or Indepen­dent, but for Vnity and peace; Nor did we herein offer you any worse than Arch-bishop Vshers Form of the Primitive Episcopal Go­vernment, (which I had declared my judge­ment of before in print); And I never heard of the name of Episcopal Presbyterians, or Presbyterian Archbishops till of late. And we thankfully accepted much less than that Form, as granted in his Majesties foresaid Declaration. As I doubt not but you still [Page] think that your way was best for the heal­ing of the Church and Land; so I know that I have greatly incurred both your dis­pleasures for what I have said and done against your way. One of you shewed it in a Printed Letter long ago, which when I had answered I cast that aside for Peace, (believing that the opening of so many mi­stakes in matter of fact, would not be ea­sily born:) The other of you since told me, that he would Petition authority that we might be compelled to give our Reasons; as if we kept up a Schism and would not tell why! I rejoiced at the motion, and offer­ed to beg leave on my knees to do it. Since then your Mr. Walton in his Life of Bi­shop Sanderson hath called me by name to remember our debate aforesaid. I know not of any two men living, that I am now more obliged to give an account to of my continued dissent, than unto you. My judgement is not in my own pow­er nor in yours. Many are dead who were in that consultation: You and I by Gods great mercy are yet alive, and may review our actions before we come to the Bar of God, which is like to be speedily to me, and to you it cannot be far off, espe­cially to the elder of you; so that I sup­pose that all three of us are really beyond [Page] the motives of any personal worldly inte­rest: what is this world to us who are taking our farewel of it for ever? All the doubt then remaining is, whether your terms or those desired by us, are the true way of Love and Concord? and which are the true causes of Schisms, and the attendant evils.

I doubt not but you still think that the good which you have done doth far weigh down all the direct and accidental hurt. What that Good is, you know better than I: Dr. Heylin in the Life of Arch-Bishop Laud tells us what some accounted then most desirable; And how much more desirable it is to open the Church doors so wide as that moderate Loyal Romanists may come in, as they did in Queen Elizabeths first years, and to reconcile them by nearer ap­proaches or concessions, rather than to go further from them to unite with a few in­considerable Puritans, whose principles are against the Power and Wealth of the Church, we have often heard from others: As also that the ejection of the near two thousand non-conforming Ministers, was the Churches deliverance from them that would have done more hurt within, than they can do without. The converted Priest Mr. Smith, in his Narrative of the Popish Plot, dedicated [Page] to the King, nameth more reasons, which I will not name, which some were mo­ved by.

For my part, as with fear I foresaw, so with grief I see, so many hundred Mini­sters under the restraints and penalties which you know of, of whom I have better thoughts than you have: believing from my heart, by the acquaintance which I have had with very many, that notwith­standing the faulty former actions of some few of them, and the unjustifiable scruples of others, you cannot name that Nation under heaven out of our Kings Do­minions, which hath this day so many Mi­nisters, more sound in doctrine, heart and life, and liker to further mens salvation, than those that in England have been silen­ced and cast out. Name that countrey if you can! And I believe that Christ hath given us no supernumeraries of such use­ful men; but if all faithful Ministers Confor­mists and Non-conformists were employed and encouraged, they would be still too few to do the work upon the ignorant, un­godly and vicious which is to be done. And considering how many souls a faith­ful Minister may hope to edifie and save, I consider then how many thousands are like to be losers where such are lost and [Page] wanting. It grieveth my soul to see what advantage Satan hath got in England, against that Christian Love which is the life and character of Christs disciples, and to cause wrath, envy, hatred and strife, when God saith, He that hateth his brother is a murde­rer, and no murderer hath eternal life in him, 1 Joh. 3. 15. It grieveth me to see preachers against preachers, and Churches against Churches, and in Press and Pulpit, Learn­ing and Oratory imployed to render bre­thren odious, and keep up a heart war a­gainst each other, and all this (O fearful) as in the name of Christ, and as for the safe­ty of the Church and Kingdome. To see families against families, and father against son, and as Guelphes and Gibelines Cities and Countreys in their ordinary discourses (at the least) accusing, contemning, and re­proaching one another! It grieveth me to think how much first the honour, and then the success of the Ministry on both sides is hereby hindered, and what temptations some have to further injuries which I am loth to name: And how by all this the wicked and Infidels are hardened, the weak are scandalized, the Papists are encoura­ged to despise us all, and many turn to them, scandalized by our discord, sects are advan­taged, the Church and Kingdome by divi­sions [Page] weakened, and the King denyed the comfort which he might have in a loving, united and concordant people.

I believe that you dislike all this as well as I: All the question hath been and still is, which is the true way of Cure. And one would think that 1. the nature of the thing, and 2. the experience of all the Christian world, 3. and our own new experience these seventeen or eighteen years, might resolve men of lower parts than ours! Is there no better way to the Churches con­cord, than that which must cast out either such men as you or I, and that so many? Can a wise Physicion (a true Peace-ma­ker) find out no remedy which may bet­ter avoid the foresaid evils? O what a loss had England in the removal of such heal­ing men, as Bishop Vsher, Hall, Dave­nant, Brownrig, &c. Far was I and am I from liking any former injury to such men, by Covenant or abuse. But it hath been ever the just misery of the persecutors of worthy men, to have the stone fly back on their own heads, and to be themselves un­done by striving to undo others, while they first make, and then stir up a multitude of enemies for their own defence, who else would be friends and live in peace.

[Page] I am fully perswaded that in this book I have told you a righter way of Christi­an Church concord; more divine, sure, harmless, and comprehensive, fitted by Christ himself, to the interest of all good men, yea of the Church and all the world. I offer it first to you, that you and poste­rity may see what it was that I desired; and that if I here err you will faithfully detect my errour, that I may repent be­fore I die, and may leave behind me the recantation of this and all my other mi­stakes and miscarriages, as I intend to do upon just conviction. But do it quickly or else I am not like to see it: And I pur­pose not to provoke you by any confuta­tion, but to improve your evidence for my self.

And to answer the earnest demand of our Reasons by you the Lord Bishop of Eli, I have also published an Historical Narra­tive of our case and judgement in another Book called, The Non-conformists Plea for Peace.

If (much contrary to my expectation) you should be convinced that These Terms of Vnity and Concord, are righter than those which you (above all men that I know) have effectually helpt to bring us under, I humbly crave that you will use as much [Page] earnestness and diligence to procure the Churches concord by promoting them, as you did for that which you then thought righter. I have here opened those reasons which made me believe that the fourteenth and fifteenth Chapter to the Romans decideth our contro­versie; and is to be understood as I then maintained.

If it prove the necessary Truth which is here offered you, I beseech you see that pre­judice resist it not. It would be a happy work could we procure the reviving of Christian Love, Unity and Concord, that all Christs servants might strive together for the hallowing of Gods name, the promo­ting of his Kingdome and the doing of his will with Love and Concord as it is done in Hea­ven. And when instead of worldly wealth and grandure we are contented with our daily bread, and instead of cruelty to the in­nocent or weak, we bewail our own sins, and forbear and forgive one another, and instead of tempting men to the evil of wrath, and making battering Cannons and tearing engines of Schism, we cease to be over-wise in our own conceits, and to judge, despise and ruine others, then we shall be in a hope­ful way to this: we shall then receive him that is weak even in the faith, (much more about our lesser matters) even as [Page] Christ received us, and not to doubtful disputations; and he that pleaseth God by that in which his Kingdome doth consist, will be also approved by us; and we shall better learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice, and that none of our Church power is given for destruction but for edification; and so we shall not condemn the guiltless, nor smite the Shepherds and scatter the flocks, and then hunt them about as Schismaticks, and see the mote of dissent from a formality, ce­remony or word, in their eye, while we see not this great beam in our own. How joyfully should we die, might we leave be­hind us by our endeavours a healed Church and Nation, and see first this desired unity, which would be the strength, ease and joy of Ministers and people, King and Subjects, and a hopeful pattern to the divided Churches a­broad to imitate. If you will not contri­bute your help hereto, those will who shall have the honour and comfort of being the blessed instruments of our concord, if God have so much mercy for us.

I once more repeat to you the pacificators old despised words,

Si in Necessariis sit Vnitas; in non-necessariis Libertas,
In utris (que) Charitas, optimo certe loco essent res nostrae.

Pardon this freedome, and accept this Ac­count of the reasons of all his former and la­ter dissent from your judgement, words and way, to

Your unfeigned well-willer, RICHARD BAXTER.

A Premonition.


UPon the review of this book I find some things, which may be to some an occasion of offence, if this premoniti­on prevent it not.

I. Some may think when I say [Diocesan Prelacy, Arch-Bishops and Patriarchs are not to be made necessary to Universal, or subor­dinate Church Concord, as being uncapable terms or means thereof] that I speak against the Lawfulness of all Episcopacy, when I speak but against such necessity of that sort. Know there­fore 1. that I meddle not with the question, Whether every particular Church (of Pastor, and people associate for personal Church Com­munion, such as Ignatius describeth) should [Page] have a Bishop with his Presbyters and Dea­cons.

2. Nor with the question whether these should have Arch-Bishops over them, as successours to the Apostolical and other general Overseers of the first age, in the ordinary continued parts of their office.

3. Nor whether Patriarchs, Diocesans and Lay Chancellours as officers of the King, exer­cising under him such Government of the Church as belongeth to Kings (according to our Oath of Supremacy) be lawful, to which in such exercise all subjects must for Conscience sake submit.

4. Nor whether it was well done (or of Di­vine appointment) that about temporal mat­ters as well as Church Controversies, the Bi­shops were chosen arbitrators by the ancient Christians, and so did that which Christian Magistrates now must do, till upon the conver­sion of Princes and States the said Power of externals circa sacra fell into their hands.

5. Nor yet if Diocesans become the sole Bi­shops (infimi ordinis) over many hundred Parishes, all the Bishops and Parish Churches under them being put down, and turned into Curates and Chapels (partes ecclesiae infimae speciei), whether a Minister and every Sub­ject ought yet to live quietly and peaceably under them. It is none of these that are the questions which I decide.

[Page] II. In my confutation of Mr. Dodwell, some may mistake me, as if I denied that our Religion had come down to us by a continued succession from the Apostles, or that the ministe­rial office in specie, or that the Vniversal Church had ever been without a true Ministry or Religion: I have proved where our Church was in all ages before Luther, in my second book against Johnson alias Terret: Nor do I say what I do, to avoid deriving our Ministeri­al succession from Rome: For History puts me out of doubt, that the multitude of uncapable Popes and Schisms will prove a far greater in­terruption of Canonical and Legitimate succession at Rome, than can be proved of England, and perhaps than hath happened to almost any other Church in the world. And I am fully satisfied that the present Church of England as Natio­nal, deriveth its succession from the ancient Brittish and Scottish Church, and not from Rome; and that Christianity was the Religion of England long before Gregory, or Augu­stine the Monks days; and that notwithstand­ing Gildas his smart reproofs, when the Brit­tish and Scottish Clergy and people disclaimed all obedience to the Pope, and would not so much as eat or lodge in the same house with Gregory's Clergy, the persons were better, or at least their doctrine and Religion more sound, [Page] than that which Rome did afterwards obtrude. And as the blood of this nation though called English, will upon just consideration be found to be twenty, if not an hundred fold, more Bri­tish than either Roman, Saxon or Norman, so the Ordination of the Bishops is derived so much more from the Brittains and Scots than from Rome, as that Augustine the Monks succes­sours were afterward almost quite extinct, only one Wini a Simonist being left in anno 668. the rest of the Bishops being all of Brittish ordi­nation: All which with much more of great im­portance is so fully proved (after Usher) by M. T. Jones of Oswestree late Chaplain to the Duke of York, in an excellent Historical Treatise hereof, called [Of the Heart and its right Soveraign] that I am sorry that book is no more commonly bought and read.

But withal I must say that this our certain succession disproveth the Papists and Mr. Dod­wells plea, for the necessity of their sort of Episcopal Canonical uninterrupted succession: For (as the Bishops of Denmark have their succession but from Bugenhagius Pomeranus a Presbyter his ordination, so) Aidan and Fi­nan that came from Scotland out of Colum­banus Monastery, were no Bishops as Beda and others fully testifie: And after Beda and others, Mr. Jones hath cleared it, that it was not only the Northern Bishops that were ordained by Ai­dan [Page] and Finan and Dhuma, but that the Bi­shops of the whole land had their ordination de­rived from them and such as they, and those whom they ordained: so that the denying of the Validity of the Ordination by Presbyters, shaketh the succession of the Episcopal Church of England; and proveth it on that suppositi­on, interrupted: And if they derive it from Rome, it will be as much shaken.

III. In perusal I find that I have more than once mentioned some things in this treatise, and the repetition may be an offense to some. To which I say, 1. That this is usual in controver­sies, where several objections and occasions call for the same material answer. 2. But I confess it is the effect of my hast and weakness: And it is my judgement while I think that I write no needless books, that I should rather write any one that is truly useful with such imperfecti­ons of manner and style as only so far disgrace the author, than for want of time, to leave it undone, to the loss of others: But if it be need­less, it is a greater fault to write it, than to write it no more accurately.

My dear friend, and judicious brother Mr. John Corbett hath newly published a small book to the same purpose with this, of the true state of Religion and Interest of the Church, with a discourse of Schism, which I commend [Page] to the Reader as much worthy of his perusal, and which if written on the hearts of Rulers, and Teachers and people according to its certain truth and weight, would heal us all. The Lord forgive our heinous sins which deserve that he should excommunicate and forsake us; and save England from English men, and save us all from our selves, our most dangerous enemies, and Christians and Pastors and friends from one ano­ther. For as Mr. Jones his Welsh Proverb saith, Though thy dog be thy own, trust him not when he is mad.

IV. I hear some say of my book that cometh out with this (of the case of the Non-confor­mists) and may say of this, that 1. It is unsea­sonable to mention our own differences when we are called to unite against the Pa­pists: 2. And that too hard-accusations of conformity are intimated.

I answer to the first, 1. That it is never more seasonable to write for Vnity than when we are most obliged to unite: Though indeed it can ne­ver be unseasonable. And to take Non-confor­mists for heinous Schismaticks and call on Ma­gistrates to silence and imprison and ruine them, is not the way to unity; nor consisteut with it; and therefore to deprecate such unpeaceable ways, is the necessary work of a Peacemaker. 2. I have waited in vain these seventeen years [Page] for a fit season; And with me in likelyhood it must be Now or Never: for there is no doing it in the grave; and I dare not die, and leave it undone on pretence that it was not seaso­nable.

To the second I say 1. I have professed that I write not to accuse Conformists; but if men accuse us as enemies to order, obedience and peace, and as fit for silencing and utter ruine, and tell the world falsly that it is but Things Indifferent that we deny obedience to, and call on us to tell them what it is that we fear if we conform; and when we tell them, they make this also our crime because they think them­selves accused, what remedy have we against such men? 2. I love and honour all good and pious men that Conform; For I consider how variously the same thing is represented to and apprehended by men of various educations, converse, and advan­tages; so that the same sin materially heinous may formally be much less in some than in others; As was Paul's ignorant unbelief and persecution: Or else, saith the Papist Answe­rer of the three books for the Jesuites Loy­alty, Most Princes must be most heinous sin­ners that make wars against each other, in which multitudes are killed, when both sides cannot have a just cause, unless the supposition that their cause was good by mistake, excuse them.


The First Part. THe Reasons for Christian Vnity and Concord, after the nature of it descri­bed: and how much may be hoped for on earth.
  • Chap. 1. The Text opened: The Doctrines na­med: The method proposed. page 1
  • Chap. 2. The Nature of Vnity: and this Vnity of the Spirit opened. p. 10.
  • Chap. 3. The necessity and benefits of this Vnity and Peace to all men. p. 30.
  • Chap. 4. The Vnity of the Spirit is the welfare of the Church. p. 45.
  • [Page] Chap. 5. This Vnity is for the good of the World (without the Church). p. 67.
  • Chap. 6. It is due to the honour of Christ and amiable to God. p. 71.
  • Chap. 7. What obligations are on all Christi­ans to avoid sinful divisions and discord, and to promote this unity and peace. p. 75.
  • Chap. 8. What sort and measure of Vnion may or may not be hoped for on earth. p. 79.
  • Chap. 9. That Christ who commanded our Vnion hath himself prescribed the terms. p. 98.
  • Chap. 10. No humane terms not made by Christ or his Spirit extraordinarily given to the Apo­stles are necessary to the Being of particular Churches, but divers humane Acts are necessa­ry to their existence. p. 100.
  • Chap. 11. The danger of the two extremes: And first of despairing of Concord, and unjust tolerations. p. 114.
  • Chap. 12. The sin and danger of making too much necessary to Vnion and Communion. p. 119.
  • Chap. 13. To cry out of the mischiefs of Tole­ration and call for sharper execution, while dividing snares are made the terms of Vnion is the work of ignorant, proud and malignant Church destroyers. p. 125.
The Second Part. THe Terms of Concord.
  • [Page]Chap. 1. In General, what are the true and only terms of Church Concord, and what not. p. 135.
  • Chap. 2. Instances of Gods description of these terms in Scripture. p. 143.
  • Chap. 3. The true terms of Catholick Vnion and Concord more particularly described, as the chief means of hope for the Churches peace. p. 162.
  • Chap. 4. What are the terms necessary for the continuance of this Communion; and what are the causes of abscission and excommunica­tion. p. 177.
  • Chap. 5. What are the terms necessary to the of­fice and exercise of the Sacred Ministry. p. 200.
  • Chap. 6. What is necessary to the Constitution, administration and Communion of single Chur­ches. p. 228.
  • [Page] Chap. 7. What are the necessary terms of Con­cord of those single Churches with one ano­ther, in the same Kingdome, or in divers. p. 243.
  • Chap. 8. What is necessary to the Civil peace and Concord of Christians, and what is the part of the Christian Magistrate about Reli­gion, as to his promoting or tolerating mens doctrines or practices therein. p. 248.
  • Chap. 9. Objections answered about Toleration especially. p. 267.
  • Chap. 10. A draught or Specimen of such Forms as are mentioned for Approved and Tolerated Ministers. p. 279.
The Third Part. Of Schism.
  • ESpecially the false dividing Terms of Vnion, and other Causes of Schism.
  • Chap. 1. What SCHISM is: and what are its Causes and effects. p. 1.
  • [Page] Chap. 2. The true Preventions and Remedies of Schism. p. 16.
  • Chap. 3. More of the same: Twenty things ne­cessary hereunto. p. 26.
  • Chap. 4. The Catholick Church will never unite in the Papacy. p. 29.
  • 1. What the Papists opinion is of the Terms of Vnion. 2. The fifth Monarchy opinion of Campanella de Regno Dei, and some other Papists, That it is really an Vniversal King­dome which is claimed by the Pope. 3. The Christian world will never unite in one Pope.
  • Chap. 5. The Catholick Church will never unite in Patriarchs or any humane Church officers or forms of Government. p. 41.
  • Chap. 6. The Catholick Church will never unite in General Councils, as their Head, or necessary center or terms of Concord. p. 52.
  • Chap. 7. The Catholick Church will never unite in a Multitude of pretended articles of faith not proved certainly to be Divine, nor in sub­scribing to or owning any unnecessary doubtful opinions or practices. p. 60.
  • Chap. 8. The Catholick Church will never unite by receiving all that is now owned by the Greek or Latine Church, the Abassine, Ar­menian, the Lutherans, or Calvinists, or in a full Conformity to any divided party which [Page] addeth to the primitive simplicity in her terms of Concord. p. 68.
  • Chap. 9. The pretended necessity of an uninter­rupted successive ordination by Diocesan Bi­shops will never unite the Churches (but is Schismatical) Mr. Dodwells book hereof con­futed. p. 73.
  • Chap. 10. None of these terms will unite a National Church, associated Churches, nor well any single Church: Though by other means a competent Vnion may be kept in some Chur­ches, notwithstanding some such Schismatical inventions, as lesser diseases destroy not na­ture. p. 104.
  • Chap. 11. The severity and force of Magi­strates denying necessary Toleration, and pu­nishing dissenters from uncertain unnecessary things, will never procure Church Vnion and Concord, but division. p. 107.
  • Chap. 12. Excommunicating and Anathema­tizing in such cases will not do it. p. 112.
  • Chap. 13. Any one unlawful uncertain do­ctrine, oath, Covenant, profession, subscri­ption or practice so imposed, will divide. p. 116.
  • Chap. 14. Vnlimited Toleration will divide and wrong the Church. p. 118.
  • Chap. 15. The Catholick Church will never unite in a reception and subscription to every word, verse or book of the holy Scripture as in [Page] our Translations, or any particular Copy, nor otherwise known, but some will still doubt of the Divine authority of some parts. p. 134.
  • Chap. 16. The Church will never unite in any mens Commentaries on the Bible. p. 137.
  • Chap. 17. A summary recital of the true terms of Concord, and of the Causes of Schism. p. 139.
—Id quod natura remittit
Invida jura negant.


In the First and Second Parts.

Page 17. line 19. for more read as, p. 19. for af­fecteth r. asserteth, p. 26. l. 11. dele with, p. 45. l. 17. for in r. is, p. 58. l. 13. r. above, p. 96. l. 7. r. to their, p. 130. l. 2. r. Placeus, p. 225. l. 2. r. condemn.

In the Third Part.

Page 4. line 25. read sin, p. 5. l. 11. r. Ariminum, Sirmium, l. 26. for faith r. force, p. 8. l. penult. for me r. men, p. 11. l. 10. for mutual r. mental, p. 24. l. antip. r. Wotton, p. 38. l. 25. r. Councils, p. 44. l. 14. r. Saravia, Spalatto, l. 17. r. Didoclave, p. 5. l. 2. r. Pope, p. 55. l. 7. r. Persidis, p. 59. l. 8. for the r. de, p. 64. l. 2. for no r. not, p. 119. l. 30. r. Rulers, p. 132. l. 12. for that r. the, p. 143. l. 9. for it r. is.

The First Part.
The Reasons for Christian Unity and Concord: What it is: And how much may be hoped for on Earth.


The Text opened, and the Doctrines and Method proposed.

EPHES. 4. 3.


Endeavouring (or carefully or diligently studying) to keep the Vnity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace.

HAD not the distempers of the minds even of Religious persons, and the long and sad divisions and distractions of Christi­ans assured me that this Text is not commonly understood and regarded, as the Apo­stles vehement Exhortation, and the importance and reason of the matter do bespeak; yea had not the long bleeding wounds of the Church, made by its Pastors [Page 2] and most zealous members, still cryed out aloud for pity and help, I had not chosen this subject at this time. But after the complaints, and exhorta­tions and tears of the wisest and best men since the days of Christ, after the long miseries of the Church and the long and costly experience of all ages, the destroying Spirit of division still possesseth the most, and maketh some of the possessed to rage and foam & tear themselves and all that are in their power; it haunt­eth the holy assemblies and disquieteth the lovers of unity and peace, and by the scandals which it raiseth it frighteneth children and unstable persons out of their religion and their wits. And therefore af­ter the many books which I have written for Vnity, Love and Peace, and the many years preaching and praying to that end, I find it yet as necessary as ever to Preach on the same Subject, and to recite the same things, and while I am in this Taberna­cle which I must shortly put off, to stir you up, that after my decease you may have it in remem­brance (2 Pet. 1. 12, 13, 14.) And could I persuade the Churches of Christ to seek by fasting and fervent prayer, the dispossessing of this distracting Spirit, (by which only this evil kind goeth out) our languish­ing hopes might yet revive.

If Paul found it necessary to cry down division, and plead for Unity so frequently and so vehement­ly as he doth, to those new planted Churches of Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia, Philippi, Thessaloni­ca, &c. which had been founded by the means of miracles, and had so much of the spirit of Unity and Community, and had Apostles among them to preserve their peace: what wonder if we that are much ignorant of the Apostles minds, and of the Primitive pattern, and have less of the Spirit, have need to be still called upon to study to keep the [Page 3] Vnity of the Spirit in the bond of peace? They that preach Twenty or an hundred Sermons for Purity, and scarce one with equal Zeal for Vnity and Peace, do not sufficiently discern that Purity and Peace are the inseparable fruits of the wisdom from above, Jam. 3. 17. which live and die together, and with them the souls and societies of be­lievers.

This famous Church of Ephesus is it which Paul Act. 20. had so long laid out his labours in; even publickly & from house to house, night and day with tears: which was famous for its great­ness,Act. 20. 28, 29, 30, &c. and the open profession of Christ;Act. 19. 19. where even the price of the vain unlawful books which they openly burnt came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.See Beza's Con­jecture of the summe, in loc. This is the Church that first of the seven is written to by Christ, Rev. 2. Whose works, labour and patience, even without fainting, were known and praised by the LordRev. 2. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.; which proved and disproved the false Apostles; which hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans: And yet Paul saw cause, Act. 20. 30. to foretell them prophetically of their temptations to division; that they should be tryed by both extreams as other Churches were and are; that on one side grievous Wolves or Church tyrants should enter not sparing the st [...]ck, and on the other side, of themselves should men arise speaking perverse things to draw away disciples (by Schism & separation) after them. And to this excellent Church he seeth cause here to urge the Persuasives to the vigi­lant▪ preservation of Vnity, in this Chapter.

Having in the three first Chapters instructed them in the high mysteries of Election, Redemption and the fruits thereof, and magnified the riches of Grace in Christ, and the spiritual knowledge there­of, [Page 4] that we may know what Vse he principally in­tended, he here beginneth his application, 1. With a moving reason from his Person and Condition, v. 1. [I the Prisoner of the Lord] As if he should say [As ever you will regard the doctrine and counsel of your Teacher, and Christs Apostle, now I am in bonds for the doctrine which I preach] 2. With words of ear­nest request [I beseech you] 3. With the matter of his request, 1. In general, that [they walk worthy the calling wherewith they were called] Beza need not have avoided the vulgar and proper translation of [...], and put quod convenit for worthy; for worthiness can signifie nothing but moral congruity. 2. Specially this worthiness consisteth in the holy and healthful constitution of their souls and the exercise there­of: In their inward disposition, and their answer­able practice.

1. The inward qualifications are 1. [All lowliness] 2. [Meekness] 3. [Love.]

2. The fruits of these are, 1. Long-suffering: 2. For­bearing one another: 3. And Studying to keep the Vnity of the spirit in the bond of peace:] Which Vnity is particularly described in the Terms and reasons of it which are seven. 1. One Body. 2. One Spirit. 3. One hope. 4. One Lord. 5. One faith. 6. One Baptism. 7. One God and Father who is above all and through all and in them all] But negatively, not in an equality of Grace in all the members; for that is various according to the measure of the gift of Christ, the free Benefactor.

I must pass by all unnecessary explication, and the handling of the many useful Lessons which offer themselves to us in the way: such as these fol­lowing.

Doct. 1. It should not depreciate the counsels of Christs Ministers, that they are sent or written from a prison [Page 5] or bonds, but rather procure their greater acceptance: when they are not imprisoned for evil doing, but for Preaching or obeying the Gospel and Law of Christ, it is their honour, and the honour of that doctrine which they suffer for: why else keep you days of thanks­giving and Commemoration of the Martyrs? On the persecutors part Christ is evil spoken of or blas­phemed, but by the sufferers he is glorified, and therefore he will glorifie them.1 Pet. 4. I was once blamed for dating a book [out of the Common gaol or prison in London] as if it reflected on the Magistrate: But I imitated Paul, and mentioned no­thing which the Rulers took for a dishonour, as their actions shewed.

Doct. 2. Beseeching is the mode and language of wise and faithful Pastors, in pleading for Vnity and against Schism in the Church. For they are not Lords over the flocks, but helpers of their faith: They have no power of the sword, but of the word. They rule not by constraint, but willingly, nor such as are constrained by them, but Voluntiers: It is not the way to win Love to God, to Pastors or to one another, to say, Love me or I will lay thee in a gaol: stripes are useful to cause fear and timerous obedience, but not directly to cause Love. And hated Preachers seldom prosper in Converting or Edifying souls, or healing disordered, divided Churches.

Doct. 3. Though Grace find us unworthy, it mak­eth men such as walk worthy of their high and heaven­ly calling: that is, in a suitable conversation, answer­able to the principles of their faith and hope. Chri­stianity were little better than the false Religions of the world, if it made men no better. If Christ made not his disciples greatly to differ from the disciples of a meer philosopher, he would not be [Page 6] [...]hought greatly to differ from them himself: The [...]ruits of his doctrine and spirit on our hearts and lives are the proofs and witness of his truth: we wrong him heinously when we live but like other men: And we weaken our own and other mens faith, by ob­scuring a great evidence of the Christian Verity. And those that are of eminent holiness and righteous­ness of life, are the great and powerful preachers of faith, and shew men by proofs and not only by words that Christ is true.

Doct. 4. Lowliness is a great part of Christian wor­thiness, and a necessary cause of Christian Vnity and peace. This [...] is but the same thing which Paul elsewhere (Act. 20. 19.) tells this same Church, that he practised towards them exemplarily himself. Lowliness of mind contain­eth both low and humble thoughts of our selves, and low expectations as to honour and respect from others; with a submissive temper, that can stoop and yield, and a deportment liker to the lower sort of people, than to the stout and great ones of the world. As Mat. 5. to be poor in spirit is to have a spirit fit for a state of poverty, not in Love with riches, but content with little, and patient with all that poor men must endure; so Lowliness of mind, is a disposition and deportment, not like the Grandees of the world, but suited to Low persons and Low things, condescending to the lowest persons, em­ployments and indignities or contempt that shall be cast upon us, A proud high-minded person, that is looking for preferment and must be somebody in the world, is of a spirit contrary to that of Chri­stianity, and will never lie even in the sacred Edifice, nor be a healer, but a troubler of the Church of Christ, and must be converted and become as a lit­tle child, before he can enter into the Kingdom [Page 7] of heaven, Mat. 18. 3. And indeed only by selfish­ness and pride have come the divisions and con­tentions in the Church, even by those that have made it the means of their domination to cry down division, because they must have all to Unite in them, in Conformity to their opinions, Interests and wills. A humble soul that can be content to follow a Cru­cified Christ, and to be made of no reputation (Phil. 2. 7. Heb. 12. 1, 2, 3.) and to be a servant to all, and a Lord of none, and can yield and stoop and be despised, when ever the ends of his office do require it, is a Christian indeed and fit to be a healer.

Doct. 5. Meekness or Lenity is another part of Christian worthiness, and a necessary cause of Vnity and Peace.

Though in some this hath extraordinary advan­tage or disadvantage in the temperature of the bo­dy, yet it is that which persons of all tempers may be brought to by grace. A boisterous, furious or wild kind of disposition, is not the Christian healing spi­rit. If passion be apt to stir, wisdom and grace must repress it, and Lenity must be our ordinary temper: we must be like tame creatures, that fami­liarly come to a mans hand, and not like wild things that flye from us as untractable: otherwise how will such in Love and peace and sociable concord, ever carry on the work of Christ?

Doct. 6. Love to each other is a great part of Chri­stian worthiness, and a most necessary cause of Vnity and peace. Of which I hope to say so much by it self (if God will) as that I shall here pass it by. It being the very Heart and Life of Vnity.

Doct. 7. Long suffering or a patient mind not rash, or hasty, is another part of Christian worthiness, and a necessary Cause of Vnity and peace.

[Page 8] [...] hath more in it than many well con­sider of: I know it is commonly taken for restraint of anger by patient long-suffering: But I think that it chiefly signifieth here and elsewhere in Pauls Epistles, that deliberate slowness and calmness of mind which is contrary to passionate haste and rashness: When a pas­sionate man is hasty and rash and cannot stay to hear another speak for himself nor to deliberate of the matter and search out the truth, nor forbear revenge while he thinketh whether it will do good or harm, or what the case will appear in the review; this Longanimity will stay men and compose their minds, and cause them to take time before they judge of opi­nions, practices or persons, and before they venture to speak or do; lest what they do in haste, they re­pent at leisure: It appeaseth those passions which blind the judgment when wrath doth precipitate men into those conceptions, words and deeds, which they must after wish that they had never known. Hasty rashness in judging and doing, for want of the patience & lenity of a slow deliberating mind, is the cause of most errors, Heresies and divisions, and of abundance of sin and misery in the world.

Doct. 8. Bearing, supporting and forbearing one an­other in Love, is another part of Gospel worthiness, and needful means of Vnity and peace.

Doubtless to forbear each other patiently under injuries and provocations is a great part of the duty here meant; But both Beza who translated it [susti­nentes] and the Vulgar Latine which translateth it [supportantes] seemed to think that [...] signifieth something more. While we are imperfect sinful men, we shall have need of mutual support and help, yea we shall be injurious, provoking and troublesome to each other: And when Christians (yea Church Pastors) are so far from supporting [Page 9] and sustaining the weak, that they cannot so much as patiently bear their censures, neglects, or other effects of weakness, Unity and peace will hardly prosper, much less if their spiritual Nurses become their chief afflicters.

Doct. 9. Vnity of the spirit is most necessary to the Church of Christ and to its several members, though their measures of Grace be divers.

Doct. 10. The bond of Peace must preserve this Vnity.

Doct. 11. This Vnity consisteth in these seven things; 1. One body, 2. One spirit, 3. One Hope, 4. One Lord, 5. One Faith, 6. One Baptism, 7. One God.

Doct. 12. This Vnity must be studied carefully, and diligently endeavoured and preserved, by all the faith­ful members of the Church.

These last Doctrines being the subject which I design to handle, I shall speak of them together in the following Order.

I. I shall tell you, What the Vnity of the spirit is which is so necessary.

II. I shall tell you, What necessity there is of this Vni­ty, and what are its happy fruits.

III. I shall open the seven particulars in which it doth consist; and defend the sufficiency of them to the use here intended in the Text.

IV. I shall open the nature and terms of coun­terfeit Unity.

V. I shall open the Nature and mischiefs of the contrary (Division.)

VI. I shall shew you what are the enemies and impediments of this Unity.

[Page 10] VII. I shall shew you, What are the study and en­deavour, and the bond of peace, by which this Unity must be kept.

VIII. I shall conclude with some directions for Application, or Use of all.


The Nature of Vnity, and this Vnity of the spi­rit, opened.

1. WHat UNITY in General is, and what This Vnity of the spirit in special, I shall open in these following connexed propositions.

1. I must neither here confound the ordinary Reader by the many Metaphysical difficulties about UNI­TY; nor yet wholly pass them by, lest I confound him for want of necessary distinction.

2. UNITY is sometimes the attribute of an Vniversal, which is but Ens rationis, or a General Inadequate partial conception of an existent singular being: and so All men are ONE as to the species of Humanity; And all Living things are One in the Genus of Vitality: And so of Bodies, Substances, Crea­tures, &c. It is much more than this that we have be­fore us.

2. Some think that the word [ONE] or [UNITY] signi [...]ieth only Negatively an Vndi­videdness in the thing it self: But this conception is more than Negative, and taketh in first in Compounds that peculiar Connexion of parts by one form, and in simple spiritual beings, that more excellent indivisible [Page 11] essentiality and existence, whence the Being is intelligi­ble as such a subsistence as is not only undivided in it self, but divisible or differenceable from all other ex­istent or possible beings, so far as it is one.

4. Passing by the distinction of Vnum per se & per accidens, and some such other, I shall only further distinguish of Vnity according to the differences of the Entities that are called One: Where indeed the difference of Things, maketh the word ONE of very different significations.

5. GOD is Supereminently and most perfectly ONE, as he is ENS, BEING: No Creature hath Vnity in the same perfect sort and sense as GOD is One. He is so ONE as that he is perfectly simple and indivisible: and so as that he cannot be properly a Part, in any composition.

6. Therefore GOD and the World, or any Creature are not compounding parts; for a part is less than the whole: And that which is less is not Infinite.

7. Yet God is more Intimate to every creature than any of its own Parts are: no form is more inti­mate to the matter, no soul to the body, no for­mal vertue to a spirit, than God is to all and every being: But his Perfection and the Creatures Imperfection is such, as that creatures can be no addition to God, nor compounding parts, but like to Accidents.

8. The same must be said therefore of Christs Divine and humane natures. The Schoolmen there­fore say that Christs soul and body are Parts of his humane nature: but his Godhead and manhood are not to be called Parts of Christ: Because the God­head can be no Part of any thing.

9. When Paul saith that God is [...] All in All things, he meaneth not that he is for­mally all things themselves; But yet not that he is less, [Page 12] or is more distant from them than the form; but is eminently so much more, as that the title is below him: so he is said here, Eph. 4. 6. To be [...]] the Father of all, above all, and through all, and in us all: And 1 Cor. 12. 16. it is said that the same God worketh all in all, as to the diversity of operations: He is the most intimate prime Agent in all that acteth (though he hath enabled free Agents to de­termine their own acts morally to this or that, hic & nunc, &c.) For in Him we live and move and have our Being; for we are his offspring, Act. 17.

10. Somewhat like this must be said of the spe­cial Union of Christ and all true believers: As to his Divine Nature, (and so the Holy Ghost) he is as the Father, Intimately in all, but more than the form of all or any: But he is specially by Relation and Inoperation in his members, as he is not in any others: So Col. 3. 11. Christ is said to be [...] All in All, that is to the Church: And so I conceive that it is in a Passive or Receptive sense that the Church is said to be the fulness of him that filleth all in all, Eph. 1. 23. Whether it be spoken of Christs Godhead only, or of his humane soul also, as being to the Redeemed world what the Sun is to the Natural il­luminated world, I determine not: But which ever it is, Christ filling all in all, the Church is called his fulness as being eminently [...]possessed and filled by him, as the Head is by the humane soul more than the hand or other lower parts.

11. The Trinity of Persons is such, as is no way contrary to the perfect Vnity of the Divine essence; As the faculties of Motion, Light and Heat in the Sun, and of Vital Activity, Intellection and Volition in man, is not contrary to the Unity of the essence of the soul: (yet man is not so perfectly One as God is.)

[Page 13] 12. The Vnity of a spirit in it self, is a great Image or Likeness of the Divine Vnity; As having no separable Parts, as passive matter hath, but being One without divisibility; even one Essential Vertue or Vertuous substance.

13. The most large extensive Vnity (as far as spirits may be said to have extension or Degrees of Essence) is likest to God: And the Unity of a ma­terial atome is not more excellent than the Vnity of the material part of the world, made up of such Atomes. (Whether there are such Atomes physical­ly indivisible I here meddle not, but the shaping of an Atome into cornered, hollow and such other shapes, is to common reason a palpable contra­diction.)

14. Whether there be any one passive Element (Earth, Water or Air) any where existent in an Vnion of its proper Atomes, without a mixture of any other Element, is a thing unknown to mor­tals.

15. So is it whether there be any where existent a body of the united Atomes of the several passive Elements without the active.

16. The mixt Beings known to us do all consist of an union of the passive and active Elements (or of these united.)

17. We perceive by sense what Vnion and Divi­sion of Passive matter is, which hath separable parts: But how far spirits are passive (as all under God are in some degree,) and whether that Passivity signifie any kind of Materiality as well as Substantiality; and how far they are extensive, or partible, or have any Degrees analogous to Parts, and so what their Vnity is in a positive conception, and how spirits are Many, and how One, and whether there be ex­istent One Universal spirit of each kind Vegetative, [Page 14] sensitive, and Intellective, and whether they are both One, and many in several respects, with ma­ny such like questions, These are all past hu­mane certain knowledge in this life: Many it is certain that there be: But whether that Number here be Quantitas discreta, and how they are Individuate and distinguishable, and how 'tis that Many come from One or two in generation, are questions too hard for such as I.

18. But we see in Passive matter, that the parts have a natural propensity to Vnion, and the aggre­gative inclination is so strong, as that thence the Learned Dr. Glisson (Lib. de Vitâ Naturae) copiously maintaineth that all Matter hath Life or a Natural Vital self-moving Vertue, not as a compounding part, but as a formal inadequate conception: In which though I consent not, yet the Aggregative Inclination is not to be denyed▪ All heavy terrene bodies hasten to the earth by descent, and all the parts of Water would unite; and Air much more.

19. The grosser and more terrene any Body is, the easilier the parts of it continue in a local se­paration; you may keep them easily divided from one another, though they incline to the whole: But liquids more hasten to a closure; and Air yet much more.

20. Whether this their strong inclination to Vnity be a natural Principle in the passive Elements themselves, or be caused by the Igneous Active part which is ever mixed with them, and whose Vnity in it self is more perfect; or whether it principally proceed from any spiritual substance which animateth all things, and is above the Igne­ous substance, I think, is too hard for man to de­termine.

[Page 15] 21. But so great is the Union of the whole Igneous substance that is within our knowledge, that we can hardly tell whether it have divisible se­parable parts, and more hardly prove that there are any parts of it actually separated from the rest, even where by Termination and Reception in the Passive matter there is the most notable distinction. The Light of the Sun in the air is One, and that Light seemeth to be the effect of the present substance of the solar fire, and not a quality or motion locally di­stant from it: A burning-glass may by its Recep­tive aptitude occasion a combustion by the Sun-beams in one place which is not in another. But those beams that terminate on that glass are not separated from the rest. As there are in Animals fixed spirits which are constitutive parts of the solid mem­bers, and moved spirits which carry about the humours, and yet these are not separated from each other: so the Earth it self, and its grosser parts, have an Igneous principle still resident in them, as fire is in a flint, or steel, and indeed in every thing: And this seemeth to be it which many call Forma telluris: But that all these are not contigu­ous or united also to the common Solar fire, or Igneous Element, is not to be proved. The same Sun-beams may kindle many things combustible and light many Candles, which yet are all one un­divided fiery substance, though by the various Recep­tivity of matter, so variously operating, as if there were various separate substances. And as all these Candles or fires are One with the solar fire in the Air, so are they therefore One among them­selves: and yet not One Candle; because that word signifieth not only the common fire, but that fire as terminated and operative on that particular Mat­ter. The stars are many: but whether they be not [Page 14] [...] [Page 15] [...] [Page 16] also One fiery substance, diversifyed only by Contracti­on and Operation of its parts upon some suitable Receptive matter (or contracted simply in it self) without separation from all other parts, is more than we are able to determine.

22. They that hold that non datur vacuum, must hold that all things in the world are One, by most intimate conjunction or Union of all the parts of being: And yet distinguishable several ways.

23. We constantly see a numerical difference of substances made by Partible Receptive matter, when yet the informing substance in them all, is One in it self thus variously terminated and operating: so one Vine or Pear Tree hath many Grapes or Pears nu­merically different; And many leaves and branches and roots; And yet it is one vegetative substance which animateth or actuateth them all; which consisteth not of separated parts: And that Tree which is thus principled, is it self Vnited to the Earth, and ra­dicated in it is a real part of it, as a mans hair is an Accident, (or as some will call it, an Ac­cidental part) of the man, or the feathers of a bird: And consequently the forma arboris or its vegetative spirit, and the forma telluris are not separated, but One. And we have no reason to think that there is not as true an Union between that forma telluris, and the forms or spirits of the sun, stars, or other Globes of the same kind, as there is between the spirits of the Earth and plants. So that while Vege­tative Spirits are many by the diversity of Receptive or Terminative matter, (and perhaps other ways to us unknown) yet seem they to be all but One thus diversifyed, as One soul is in many mem­bers.

24. Seeing the Noblest natures are most perfect in Vnity (and the basest most divisible) we have [Page 17] no reason to think that the Vital principles of the divers sensitive Animals (meerly such) are not as much One as the divers principles of plants or ve­getables are.

25. And as little reason have we to think that there is no sort of Vnity among the divers Intel­lectual substances, seeing their nature is yet more perfect, and liker to God, who is perfectly one.

26. It is not to be doubted but the Vniverse of created being is one, consisting of parts compagi­nated and Vnited, though the bond of its Vnion be not well known to us.

27. But it is certain that they are all Vnited in God (though we know not the chief created Cause of Uni­ty;) and that though it be below him to be the Infor­ming soul of the world, yet is he more than such a soul to it: & of Him, and through Him and to Him are all things, who is All things in all things, above all and through all and in us all (as is aforesaid): and being more intimate to all things as their proper form, is the first Vniting principle of all being, as he is the first Cause and the End of all. And yet it is Above the Creatures to be accounted parts of God; for they are not his Constitutive parts (who is most simple) but slow from him by his Causal efflux, and so are by many not falsly called, Vna emanatio Divina, or a continued effect of one Divine creative or efficient Vo­lition; All One as In and Of and To One God, and as compaginated among themselves, and yet Many by wonderful incomprehensible diversities: Ab uno Omnia.

28. God is said to be More One with some Crea­tures than with others, as he operateth more excellent effects in one than in others, and as he is related to those effects: but not as his essence is Nearer to One than to another.

[Page 18] 29. Accordingly his Vnion with the Intellectual Spirits, and souls of men is said to be nearer, than with Bodies, and his Communion answerably: But that is because they are the Nobler product of his Creating or efficient Power and Will.

30. And so he is said to be more Vnited to holy souls than to the unholy, to the Glorified than to the dammed; Because he maketh them Better, and communicateth to them more of his Glory and the effects of his Power, Wisdom and Love. As the Sun is more United to a burning-glass, or to a place where it shineth brightly, or to some excellent plant which it quickneth, than to others.

31. Accordingly we must conceive of that Vnion (before mentioned Thes. 10.) of Christ with Be­lievers here, and with the glorified hereafter, as to his Divine Nature; which may well be called mystical, and is of late become the subject of some mens contentious opposition, and is matter of diffi­cult enquiry to the wisest. And yet it is hard to say that in all their hot opposition any sober men are in this disagreed: For 1. it is by such commonly con­fessed that the Spirit of Christ doth operate more excellent effects on believers than on others, and on the Blessed than on the damned; even making them liker unto God. 2. And that this Holy spirit is by Covenant related to them, to operate for the future more constantly and eminently in them than in others. 3. And that this Spirit proceedeth and is sent from the Father and the Son to do these works. 4. And that Christ is Related to each Believing and each Glorifyed soul, as one in Covenant self-ob­liged (or a Promiser) thus by his Spirit to operate on them. 5. And that he is thus Related to the whole Church or society of such persons, whereof each Individual is a part.

[Page 19] So that all this set together telleth us, that every Believing and every Glorifyed soul is said to be Uni­ted to Christ in all these several conjunct respects (as to his Godhead) 1. In that he eminently ope­rateth Grace and Glory in them, that is, Holy Life, Light and Love, by the Holy Ghost: And this he doth (as God doth all things) per essentiam, and not as distant by an intermediate Vertue which is neither Creator nor Creature: As the very Sun-beams touch the illuminated and heated object. 2. By a moral-relative Union by Covenant to that indi­vidual person, to do such things upon him. (As husband and wife are United by Covenant for certain uses.) 3. By a Political Relative Vnion, as that person is a member of the Church or Poli­tical body, to which Christ is United by Promise as aforesaid: who denieth any of this, and who af­fecteth more?

32. And then our Vnion with Christs humane na­ture (besides the General and special Logical Vnion, as he is a Creature, a Man, of the same Nature with us) can be of no Higher or Nearer a sort: But differeth from the former, so far as the Operations and Relation of a Created Medium differ from those of the Creator: That is, 1. The humane nature is honoured and used by the Divine, as a second cause of the foresaid effects of Grace and Glory on us. 2. The humane Nature (being of the same species with ours) is by a Law, obligation and consent, related to each Believer and to all the Church, as the Root, and chief Medium, Administrator and Communica­tor of this Grace and Glory; and so as our Rela­tive Head in the foresaid Moral and Political sense, communicating those Real Benefits. 3. And Christ in his Humanity is the Authorised Lord and Gover­nour of all inferiour means and causes, by which [Page 20] and Grace and Glory is conveyed to us (as of Angels, Ministers, Word, Sacraments, changing Providences, &c.) 4. But whether his own Humane Soul per essentiam & immediatam attingentiam, do ope­rate on all holy souls, and so be Physically also Vnited to them as the Sun is to the quickened plants or animals, I told you before, I know not yet, but hope ere long to know.

33. Christs Divine Nature is United to his hu­mane, in a peculiar sort, as it is not to any other creature. But it is not by any change of the Di­vine: but by that peculiar possessing operation and Relation, which no other created being doth partake of, and which no mortal can com­prehend; of which I have said more elsewhere.In Methodo Theologi [...]e, Part. 2.

34. All Creatures as such are United in God as the Root or first cause of Nature: All Believers and Saints are United in Christ as the Head of the Church, as aforesaid; and in the Holy spirit as the principle of their sanctification.

35. The Political Relative Union of such Saints among themselves, is intelligible, and sure; as hav­ing One God, one Head, one Holy spirit: But (as I said before) how and how far their very sub­stance is One, by an Unity analogous to Physical Continuity (like the solar Light, &c.) and how far and how they are substantially divers; and how and how far the spirit of Holiness doth in a pecu­liar manner Unite the substances of Holy souls among themselves, (by Analogie to the Illuminated Air, &c.) and how all souls and Angels are individuate and distinguished, I say again is past our reach.

36. Seeing Vnion is so naturally desired as Perfection by all creatures known to us, it is great mordinateness and folly to fear lest death [Page 21] will by too near an Union end our individua­tion.

37. And as things sensible are the first known by man in flesh, and we see that among them Union destroyeth no part of their substance; but a sand or Atom is the same thing in Union with others as it would be if separate, or solitary, and a drop of water hath as true and much existing substance in the Ocean, as in its separate state, and so of a particle of Air; we have reason to conclude no worse of the ingneous Element, nor yet of sen­sitive or Intellectual spirits: For 1. How far they are passive and partible (being many) we know not. Most of the old Fathers, especially the Greeks (as Faustus Regiensis cited them in the book which Mammertus answered) thought that God only was totally Immaterial or Incorporeal; And it must not be denyed that every creature doth pati à Deo, is passive as from God the first cause; and many Philosophers think that all Passivity is a consequent or proof of answerable Materiality; And many think that we have no true notion of substantia, besides Relative (as it doth subsist of it self and substare accidentibus) but what is the same with Materia purissima. 2. But supposing all this to be otherwise, spirits being true substances, of a more perfect na­ture than grosse bodies, as they are more inclined to Union inter se, so there is as little if not less dan­ger that they should be losers by that Union, than that a drop of water should be so: For the per­fection of the highest nature, must needs be more the perfection of all the Parts (Physical or intelli­gible) than the perfection of the lowest: And the noblest inclineth not to its own loss, by desiring Union which to the lowest is no loss.

[Page 22] 38. It is called in the Text [The Vnity of the spirit] 1. As it is One species of Spiritual Grace which all the members are endowed with, which is their Holiness, or Gods Image on them which is cal­led, The Spirit in us, because it is the immediate and excellent work of Gods spirit: As the Sun is said to be in the room because it shineth there. 2. As the Spirit is the efficient cause hereof. 3. And be­cause this One spirit in all the members inclineth them to Vnity; even as the soul of every animal inclin­eth it to preserve the Unity of all its parts, and to abhor wounding and separation, as that which will be its pain and tendeth to its destruction, by dissolution.

39. The Holiness, or spiritual qualification of souls, which is called The Spirit, is Holy or Divine, Life, Light and Love, or the holy disposition of the souls three natural faculties, Vital Power (or Activity) Vnderstanding and Will. As all men have One species of humanity, so all Saints have this One spirit.

40. Though Quickning (by holy Life) and Illumination be parts of sanctification (or this spirit), yet the last part [Love] is the compleating per­fective part, and therefore is oft called Sanctifica­tion specially; and by the word [Spirit] and [Love] is oft meant the same thing. And when the spirit is said to be given to Believers, the meaning is, that upon and by believing the wonderful demonstra­tions of Gods Love in Christ, the habit of holy Love is kindled in us.

41. This holy Love which is gods Image, (for God is Love) usually beginneth at things visible, as being the nearest objects to man in flesh; And as we see [...]od here as in a glass, so we first see the Glass, before we see God in it; And accordingly we first see the Goodness and Loveliness of Gods blessings [...] [Page 23] us, and of good people, and of good words and actions; But yet when we come up to the Love of God, it is H [...] that is the chiefest object, in whom all the Church by Love is centred: so that we thenceforth Love God for himself, and all his servants and word as for his sake and impress on them. And our Vnion by Love would not be perfect, if it United us toge­ther only among our selves, and did not Unite us all in God and our Redeemer. So that the Vnity of the spirit is the Love of God in Christ and of all the faithful, (yea and of all men so far as God appear­eth in them) to which Gods spirit strongly enclin­eth all true believers; including holy Life and Light, as tending to this Vnity of spiritual Love.

42. Therefore Love is not distinctly named after, among the particular terms of Vnity, as faith and hope are; because it is meant by that word [There is One spirit.]

43. The love and Vnity of Christians as in One Church, supposeth in Nature a Love to man as man, and a desire of the Vnity and concord of mankind: As Christianity supposeth humanity.

44. But Experience and Faith assure us that this humane Love and Vnity is wofully corrupted, and much lost; and that though mans soul be convinced by natural light, that it is good, and have a general lan­guid inclination to it, yet this is so weak & uneffectu­al, as that the principles of wrath and division prevail against it, and keep the world in miserable confusion.

45. It is the predominancy of the corrupt selfish inclination which is the great Enemy and destroyer of Love and Vnity.

46. Christianity is so far from confining all our Love to Christians, that it is not the least use of it to revive and recover our Love to Men as Men▪ so that no men have a full and healed Love to mankind, [Page 24] and desire of universal Vnity, but believers.

47. The purest and strongest Love and Vnity is universal. And it is not genuine Christianity if it do not incline us to Love all men as men, and all professed Christians as such, and all Saints as Saints; according to their various degrees of amiable­ness.

48. Love and Vnity which is not thus universal, partaketh of wrath and S [...]hism. For he that lov­eth but a part of men, doth not love the rest; and he that is Vnited but to a part (whether great or small) is Schismatically divided from all the rest.

49. But Love to All, must not be Equal to all, nor our Vnity with all Equal, as on the same terms, or in the same degree. As the Goodness of meer Humanity, and the meer Profession of Christianity is less, and so less amiable, than is the Goodness of true sanctification; so our Love and Vnity must be diversified. All the members of the body must be Loved, and their Unity carefully preserved: But yet not Equally; but the head as an head, and the heart as an heart, and the stomach as a stomach, and all the essential parts as Essential, without which it is not a humane body: and all the integral parts as such, but diversely according to their worth and use: The eye as an eye, and a tooth but as a tooth. Goodness being the object of Love, and Love being the life of our Vnity, it varieth in degrees as Good­ness varieth.

50. That Love and Vnity which is sincere in kind, may be mixt with lamentable wrath and Schism (as all our Graces are with the contrary sin in our imperfect state:) Not but that all Chri­stians have an habitual inclination to Vniversal Love and Vnity; but the act may be hindred, by the want of [Page 25] due information, and by false reports and misre­presentations of our brethren, which hide their amiableness, and render them to such more odious than they are.

51. Sincere and genuine Love and Vnity hath an Universal care of all mankind, and is very apt to enquire and take knowledge how it goeth with all the world, and specially with all the Churches: For none can much love and desire that which they mind not, or take no thought of. And this is the chief News which a true Christian enquireth af­ter, whether Gods name be hallowed, his Kingdom come, and his will be done on Earth, as it is done in hea­ven: And of this he is sollicitous even on his death-bed.

52. The Vnity of the spirit inclineth men to mourn much for the sects, Schisms, divisions and discords of believers; and to smart in the sense of them, as the body does by its wounds. And they that bewail them not, are so far void of the Vnity of the spirit.

53. The Vnity of the spirit helpeth a man great­ly to distinguish between wounding and healing Doctrines, wounding and healing courses of practice, and between wounding and healing persons, even as Nature teacheth us to discern and abhor that which would dismember or divide the body, as painful and destructive.

54. Therefore holy experienced Christians who have most of the Vnity of the spirit, are most against the dividing impositions of Church Tyrants, and also against the quarrelsom humour and causeless separations of self conceited Singularists whether Dogmatical or superstitious; who proudly overvalue their own con­ceptions, forms and modes of worship and doctrine, and thence aggravate all that they dislike into the [Page 26] shape of Idolatry, Antichristianism, false worship, or some such hainous sin, when the beam of self-conceit and pride in their own eye, is worse than the mo [...]e of a modall imperfection of words, me­thod or matter, in anothers eye.

55. The Vnity of the spirit inclin­eth men to hope the best of others,Rom. 14. 17. & 15. 1 Cor. 12. & 13. Gal. 6. 1, 2, 3. till we know it to be untrue: and to take more notice of mens vertues than of their faults, and love covereth such infirmities as may be covered; & beareth with one anothers bur­dens, while we consider that we also may be tempted.

56. The Vnity of the spirit teacheth and inclin­eth men to yield for peace and concord to such law­ful things (whose practice doth truly conduce to unity:) yea and to give up much of our own right for unity and peace.

57. This Love and Vnity of the spirit inclineth men to vigorours Endeavours for concord with all others; so that such will not slothfully wish it but diligently seek it: They will pursue and follow peace with all men, Heb. 12. 14. as far as is possible, and as in them lieth, Rom. 12. 18. They that are true Peace-lovers are diligent Peace-makers, if it be in their pow­er and way.

58. This Love and Vnity of the spirit, will pre­vail with the sincere, to prosecute it through diffi­culties and oppositions, and to conquer all: And it teacheth them at the first hearing to abhor back-bi­ters, and slanderous censurers, who on pretence of a (blind) zeal for Orthodoxness or Piety or Purity of worship, are ready to reproach those that are not of their mind and way in points where difference is tolerable: And when children that are tost up and down and carried to and fro, (Eph. 4. 14.) with eve­ry wind of doctrine, are presently filled with distast [Page 27] and prejudice, when they hear other mens tole­rable opinions, forms and orders aggravated, the right Christian is more affected with displeasure a­gainst the self-conceited reproacher, who is employed by Satan (though perhaps he be a child of God) against the Love and Vnity of believers.

59. The more any man hath of Love and Vnity of the Spirit, the greater matter he maketh of Vni­versal Vnity, and the more Zealous he is for it. A small fire or Candle giveth but a faint and little light and heat, and that but a little way. But the Sun [...]light and heat extendeth to all the surface of the earth, and much farther; and that so vi­gorously as to be the life of the things that live on earth: so strong love is extensive.

60. The more any man hath of Love and the Vnity of the spirit, the more resolved and patient he is, in bearing any thing for the furthering of Vnity. If he must be hated for it, or undone for it; if his friends censure and forsake him for it; If Church Tyrants will ruine him, he can joyfully be a Martyr for Love and Vnity; If Dogmatists con­demn him as an Heretick, he can joyfully bear the censure and reproach. If blind superstitious persons charge him with Luke-warmness, or sin­ful confederacies, or compliance, or corrupting Gods [...]worship, or such like as their errour leadeth them, he can bear evil report, and to be made of no reputation, and to be slandered and vilisyed by the Learned, by the Zealous, by his ancient friends, rather than forsake the principles, af­fections and practice of Universal Charity, Vnity, and peace.

61. Though Perfection must be desired, it is but a very imperfect Unity which can be reasonably hoped for on earth.

[Page 28] 62. There must go very much wisdom, goodness and careful diligence, to get and keep Vnity and Peace in our own souls, (it being that healthful equal temperature and harmony of all within us which few obtain) And most have a discord and War or disquiet in themselves. But to have a family of such is harder, and to have a Church of such yet harder; and much more to have a Kingdom of such, and a conjunction of such Churches; and most of all to bring all the world to such a state: And they that have a War in themselves, are not fit to be the Peace-making healers of the Church (in that degree).

63. Yet as every Christian hath so much con­cord and peace at home as is necessary to his sal­vation, so we may well hope that by just endea­vours, the Churches may have so much, as may preserve the essentials of Christianity and Communion, and also may fortifie the Integrals, and may much encrease the greatness and glory of the Church, and much further holiness and righteousness in its members, and remove many of the scandals and sinful con­tentions, which are the great hinderers of piety, and are Satans advantages against mans recovery and salvation: This much we may seek in hope.

64. Despair of success is a an enemy to all paci­ficatory endeavours, and low and narrow designs shew a low Spirit, and a little degree of holy love and all other uniting grace.

65. An earnest desireSuch as now worketh in Mr. Eliats in New England, and Mr. Thomas Gouge in England towards the Welsh, & in many worthy Ministers who suffer the reproach and persecutions of men because they will not consent to be as lights put under a bushel. of the worlds Con­version, and of the bringing in the barbarous, ignorant, in­fidels and impious, to the know­ledge of Christ, and a holy life, [Page 29] doth shew a large degree of charity, and of the Vnity of the spirit, which would fain bring in all men to the bond of the same Unity, and participation of the same spirit.

66. The most publick endeavours therefore of the good of many, of Churches, of Kingdoms, of mankind, are the most noble and most beseem­ing Christianity, though it's possible that an hypo­crite may attempt the like, to get a name, or for other carnal ends.

67. And it is very savoury and suitable to the Vnity of the spirit, to hear men in prayer and thanks­giving, to be much and fervent for the Churches, and for all the world, and to make it the first and heartiest of their requests, that Gods name may be hallowed, his Kingdom come, and his will be done on earth as it is done in heaven, and not to be almost all for themselves, or for a sect, or a few friends about them, as selfish persons use to be.

68. A very fervent desire of Vnion con [...]ined to some few, that are mistaken for all or the chief part of the Church, with a [...]ensorious undervalu­ing of others, and a secret desire that God would weaken and dishonour them, because they are a­gainst the opinions and the interest of that sect or party, is not only consistent with Schism, (as I said before) but is the very state of Schism (cal­led Heresie of old): And the stronger the desire of that inordinate separating Unity is, as opposite to the Common Vnity of all Christians, the greater is the Schism: Even as a bile or other aposteme or inflammation, containeth an inordinate burning col­lection or confluence of the blood to the diseased place, instead of an equal distribution.


II. The necessity and Benefits of this Unity and Peace.

II. THE Necessity and excellency of the Vnity of the spirit and peace, will appear in these respects. 1. For the good of the particular persons that possess it. 2. For the good of Christian so­cieties. 3. For the good of the uncalled world. 4. For the Glory and well-pleasing of Jesus Christ and of the Father: of these in order.

1. For the good of each particular person that possesseth it.

1. It is the very Health and Holiness of the soul, and the contrary is the very state of sin and death. What is Holiness but that Vniting Love by which the will adhereth to God and delighteth in his Goodness as it shineth to us in his works, and specially in Christ and in all his members (and in a common sort in all mankind?) And what is the unholy state of sin and death, but that Con [...]ractedness and retiring to our SELVES, by which the selfish per­son departeth from the due Love of God and others, and of that holiness which is contrary to this his selfishness? So far as any mans Love is contracted, narrowed, confined to himself, and to a few, so far his soul is indeed unsanctified and void of the Vnity of the Spirit, or the Spirit of Vnity. If a man lived in banishment or a prison uncapable of do­ing others any good, yet if he have that Love and spirit of Unity which inclineth him to do it if he could, this is his own health and rectitude, [Page 31] and acceptable unto God. Little do many Reli­gious people think how much they do mistake unholiness and sin it self, for a degree of holiness above their neighbours! When they contract and narrow their Christian Love and Communion to a party, and talk against the Churches of Christ, by disgraceful and Love-killing censures and re­proaches, as being not holy enough for their Com­munion; this want of the spirit of Love and Uni­ty, is their own want of holiness it self. It was the old deceit of the Pharisees, which Christ the messenger and mediator of love condemned, to think that holiness lay more in sacrifices and Ri­tual observances, and in a strict keeping of the Sab­baths rest and such like, than in the Love of God and all men: And the lesson that Christ twice set them to learn was, [I will have mercy and not sa­crifice.] He hath most grace and holiness who hath most of the spirit of Love and Unity.

2. It is the souls necessary qualification for that life of true Christianity which God hath command­ed us in the world. It is this inward Health which must enable us to all our duty.

1. Without this spirit of Vnity we cannot per­form the duties of the first table unto God: Our sacrifices will be as loathsome as theirs described Isa. 1. and Isa. 58. If we lift not up pure hands without wrath, and wrangling (or disputing) (for so I would rather translate [...], 1 Tim. 2. 8. than [doubting]) our prayers will not be ac­ceptable to God: Though it be Christs worthiness for which our prayers and services are accepted, yet there must be the subordinate worthiness of necessary qualification in our selves. For Christ himself hath annexed specially the express menti­on of this one qualification in the Lords prayer [Page 32] it self [Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us] and he repeateth it after, [For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will forgive you your trespasses; but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you] Mat. 6. 13, 14. Love is here included in [forgiving] as a cause in its effect: And Christ rather nameth [forgiving] than [Love], because men may pretend to that act which is secret in the heart, but if it should not work in the neces­sary fruits (of which forgiving others is one) it would be but a vain pretence.

And here I intreat the Reader to consider a while the singularities of this passage of Christ. 1. That men that must trust in Christs merits and mediati­on, must yet be told of such an absolute necessity of a Condition or qualification in themselves. 2. That Forgiving others as an Act of Love, is singled out as this qualification. 3. That this condition must be put into the very prayer it self, that our own mouths may utter it to God. 4. That it must be annexed to this one petition of [Forgiveness] ra­ther than any of the rest, where men are apt to con­fess their own necessity, and where many are readi­est to think that Gods mercy and Christs merits and mediation must do all without any condition on their part: They that know that [their daily bread] and [deliverance from temptation and evil] must have some care and endeavours of their own, are yet apt to think that the Forgiveness of sin needeth nothing on their part but [asking and receiving.] 5. That Christ should after single out this one clause to repeat to them, by urgent application. And yet how little is this laid to heart?

[Page 33] And indeed the first word in the Lords prayer [Our Father] teacheth us the same lesson, How needful a qualification Love and Vnity are to all that will come to God in prayer: He that teacheth us that to Love our neighbour as our selves is the second sum­mary Commandment, and even like to the first, which is Love to God (for it is Loving God in his Likeness on his works) doth here call us in all our prayers to express it, by Praying for our brethren as for our selves. O that men of wrath and wrangling were truly sensible what affections should be expres­sed by that word [OVR FATHER], and with what a heart men should say [GIVE US] and [FORGIVE US] and how far [VS] must extend beyond [ME] and beyond [OUR PAR­TY] or [our side] or [our Church] in the divi­ders sense. I tell you if you will be welcome to God in your prayers or any other religious services, you must come as in Vnion with Christ and with his Uni­versal Church: God will receive no one that cometh to him as alone and divided from the rest? As you must have Union with Christ the Head, so must you have with his Body: A divided member is no mem­ber, but a dead thing. Little think many ignorant persons of this, who think that the singularity and smallness of their sect or party is the necessary sign of their acceptance with God: Because they read [Fear not little flock:] As if [a little flock] must se­parate from Christs little flock, for fear of being too great? And as if his Flock which then was but a few hundreds must be no greater, when the King­doms of the world are become his Kingdoms? Yet such have there been of late among us, who first be­came (as they were called) Puritans, or Presbyteri­ans when they saw them a small and suffering party. But when they prospered and multiplyed, they [Page 34] turned Independents or Separatists, thinking that the former were too many to be the true Church. And on the same reason when the Independents prospered they turned Anabaptists; And when they prospered, they turned Quakers, thinking that unless it were a small and suffering party it could not be the Little flock of Christ. As if he that is called The Saviour of the world, would take it for his honour to be the Saviour only of a few Families or Villages, and his Kingdom must be as little as Bethlehem where he was born.

Should they take the same course about their Lan­guage, and say, that it is not the language of Canaan but of the beast, if it grow common, and so take up with a new one, that it might be a narrow one, the fol­ly of it would discover it self: And what is the excellency of a Language but significancy and ex­tensive community? and what greater plague since Adams sin hath befaln mankind, than the division of tongues? as hindering communication, and propa­gation of the Gospel? And what greater blessing as a means to universal Reformation could be given men, than an universal common language? And what is the property of Babel but division and con­fusion of tongues? And doth not all this intimate the necessity of a Union of minds?

While we keep in the Vnity of the Body and spi­rit, we may, we must strive for such a singularity, as consisteth in an excellency of degree, and endeavour to be the best and holiest persons, and the usefullest members in the body of Christ. But if once you must separate from the body as too good to be mem­bers of so great or so bad a society, you perish.

God will own no Church which is so Independent as not to be a member of the universal; not any person who is so independent, as not to come to him as [Page 35] in Communion with all the Christians in the world. We must not approve of the faults of any Church or Chri­stian, and so communicate with their sin by Volun­tary consent: But disowning their sin, we must own them as Christs members, and have communion with them in faith and Love, and holy profession of both; and while we are absent in body, must be as present in spirit with them, and still come to God as in communion with all his Church on earth, and offer up our prayers as in conjunction with them, and not as a separated independent thing.

2. And as our Vnity is part of our necessary fitness for duties of holy worship, so is it also for duties of the second table, that is; of Justice and Charity to men: And this is evident in the nature of the thing. No man will be exact in Justice till he do as he would be done by: And who can do that who Loveth not his neighbour as himself? What is our unity but our Love to others as our selves? And how can we do the works of Love without Love? It is divided SELF that is the cause of all the unmercifulness and injustice in the world. Unity maketh my neighbour to be to me as my self, and his Interest and welfare to be to me as my own, and his loss and hurt to be as mine: And were he in­deed my self, and his welfare and his hurt mine own, you may judge without many words how I should use him; whether I should shew him mercy in his wants and misery? whether I should rejoice with him in his joy, and mourn with him in his sor­rows? whether I should speak well or ill of him be­hind his back? and whether I should persecute him, and undo him? whether I should defame him and write books to render him odious, and to per­swade the rulers that he is unworthy to have the liberty of a Christian or of a man; to preach, to [Page 36] pray, to be conversed with, or to live! Would not uniting Love make a wonderful change in some mens judgements, speeches and behaviour, and make those men good Christians, or good Moralists at least, who now when they have cryed up Morality, and Cha­rity and good works, would perswade men by the Commentary of their practice, that they mean Malignity, cruelty, and the propagating of hatred and all iniquity? Where there is not a dominion of LOVE and UNITY, there is a dominion of SELFISHNESS and ENMITY; and how well these will keep the Commandments which are all fulfilled in LOVE, how well they will do good to all men, Rom. 13. 12, 13. especially to them of the houshold of faith, Gal. 6. 6, 7, 8. and pro­voke one another to Love and to good works, it is easie for any man to judge. Once alie­nate mens hearts from one another, and the Life will shew the alienation.

3. This UNITY of SPIRIT (and spirit of unity) is our necessary preservation against sins of commission (as well as of omission as aforesaid), even against the common iniquities of the world: LOVE and UNITY tyrannize not over infe­riours, contrive not to tread down others that we may rise, and to keep them down to secure our domination: They oppress not the poor, the weak, or innocent: They make not snares for other mens Consciences, nor lay stumbling-blocks before them, to occasion them to sin, nor drive men on to sin against. Conscience, and so to hell, to shew mens au­thority, in a thing of nought. Had this ruled in Ahab and his Prophets, Michaiah had not been smit­ten on the mouth, nor fed in a Prison with the bread and water of affliction; nor had Elijah been hunted after as the troubler of Israel: Had this unity of [Page 37] spirit ruled in Jeroboam, and in Rehoboam, one had not stretcht out his hand against the Prophet, nor the other despised experienced Counsellours, to make heavier the burdens of the complaining people. Had it overcome the SELFISHNESS of the Kings of Israel, their Calves and High places had not engaged them against the Prophets, and been their ruine. Had it prevailed in the Kings of Ju­dah and their people, Jeremy had not been laid in the dungeon, nor had they forbid Amos to prophesie at the Kings Chapel or his Court, nor had they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his prophets, till the wrath of the Lord arose and there was no reme­dy, 2 Chron. 26. 16.

Had this Spirit of Vnity been in the persecuting Jews, they would not have counted Paul a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among the people, nor have hunted the Apostles with implacable fury, nor have forbidden them to preach to the Gentiles that they might be saved, and have brought Gods wrath upon themselves to the uttermost, 1 Thes. 2. 15, 16.

Had this Vnity of spirit prevailed in the Nicolai­tans and other hereticks of old, they had not so early grieved the Apostles, and divided and disho­noured the primitive Church, nor raised so many Sects and parties among Christians, nor put the Apo­stles to so many vehement obtestations against them, and so many sharp objurgations and reproofs: Nor had there been down to this day a continuation for so many hundred years, of the Churches woful di­stractions and calamities by the two sorts of affli­cters, viz. the Clergie Tyrants on one side, and the swarms of restless Sectaries on the other.

And if the Spirit of Vnity ruled in the people, there would he less rebelling, repining and murmuring against Governours, but subjects would render to [Page 38] all their dues: tribute to whom tribute, custome to whom custome, fear to whom fear is due, and honour to whom honour, Rom. 13. 7. They would owe nothing to any man but to Love one another, v. 8. For he that loveth another hath fulfilled the Law: For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other Commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, Thou shalt Love thy neigh­bour as thy self. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: Therefore Love is the fulfilling of the Law, v. 9, 10. Love is long-suffering and kind; Love envyeth not: Love vaunteth not it self (or is not rash) nor is puffed up, doth not behave it self unseemly; seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked (or siercely angry), thinketh no evil, rejoyceth not in iniquity, but rejoyceth in (or with) the truth: Love beareth (or conceal­eth) all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things, 1 Cor. 13. 4, &c.

Did the Vnity of the spirit and Love prevail, it would undo most of the Lawyers, Atturneys, Soli­citors, Proctors: It would give the Judges a great deal of ease: It would be a most effectual corrector of the press, of the pulpit, of the table talk of ca­lumniators and backbiters; It would heal factious preachers and people, and many a thousand sins it would prevent. In a word, Love and Vnity are the most excellent Law. They are a Law eminenter: For it is to such that the Apostle saith, there needeth no Law: that is, no forcing constraining Law which sup­poseth an unwilling subject: For what a man Loveth, [...]e need not be constrshained to by penalties: And men need not many threats to keep them from beating or robbing or slandering themselves: And did they but Love God and the Church, and their Neighbours, and their own souls, as they do their bodies, piety and [Page 39] justice and concord and felicity would be as com­mon as humanity is.

As the best physicions are most for strengthening nature, which is the true curer of diseases, so he that could strengthen Vnity and Love, would soon cure most of the persecutions, schisms, reproa­ches, contentions, deceivings, over-reaching, rash­censuring, envy, malice, revenge, and all the inju­ries which selsishness causeth in the world.

4. The Vnity of the spirit is necessary to the ful­ness of our joy, and the true consolation of our lives: A private selfish Spirit, hath very little matter to feed his joy; even his own poor narrow and inter­rupted pleasures: And what are these to the trea­sures which feast the joy and pleasure of a publick mind? If Love Vnite me as a Christian to all Christi­ans, and as a man to all the world, the blessings of Christians and the mercies of all the world are mine. When I am poor in my own body, I am rich in milli­ons of others, and therefore rich in mind: When I am sick and pained in this narrow piece of flesh, I am well in millions whose health is mine: and there­fore I am well in mind: when I am neglected, abu­sed, slandered, persecuted in this vile and perishing body, I am honoured in the honour of all my bre­thren, and I prosper in their prosperity, I abound in their plenty, I am delivered in their deliverances; I possess the comfort of all the good which they possess.

Object. By the same reason you may say, that you are holy in their holiness, and righteous in their righteous­ness, which will be a fanatical kind of com [...]ort to un­godly persons.

Answ. He that is himself unholy and unrighteous, hath not this Vnity with holy righteous persons: He that hath not the spirit, hath not the unity of the spirit: This frivolous objection therefore goeth [Page 40] upon a mistake, as if this Vnity were common to the ungodly. But to those that have the spirit of Unity indeed, the comfort of all other mens holiness is theirs, and that in more than one respect. 1. By some degree of causal participation; As the com­mon health of the body is extended to the benefit of each particular member; And the common pro­sperity of the Kingdom, doth good to the particu­lar subjects: Goodness in all men is of a communi­cative nature; as Light and Heat are: And there­fore as a greater fire, much more the Sun, doth send forth a more extensive Light and Heat than a spark or candle; so the Grace of Life in the Vnited body of Christ, doth operate more powerfully for every member, than it would do were it confined to that member separatedly: As in the holy Assemblies we find by sweet experience, that a conjunction of many holy souls doth add alacrity to every one in particular: And it is a more lively joyful work, and liker to heaven, to pray and praise God with many hundreds or thousands of faithful Christians, than with a few. I know not how the conceit of singu­larity may work on some, but for my part Gods praises sung or said in a full assembly of zealous, sin­cere and serious persons, is so much sweeter to me than a narrower Communion (yea though many bad and ignorant persons should be present) that I must say that it is much against my will, when ever I am deprived of so excellent a help.

2. And as Efficiently, so Objectively a holy soul by this Unity of spirit hath a part in the blessings and Graces of all the world. He can know them and think of them▪ (so far as he is One with them) with such pleasure as he thinketh of his own. For what should hinder him? Do we not see that husband and wife are pleased by the Riches and honour of each [Page 41] other, because their Vnion maketh all to be common to them? Are not Parents pleased to see their chil­dren prosper, and every one delighted in the well­fare of his friend? what then if all the world were as near and dear to us as a husband, a child, or a bosome friend? would it not be our constant plea­sure to think of Gods blessings to them, as if they were our own? A narrow spot of ground doth yield but little fruit, in comparison of a whole Kingdom, or all the earth: And he that fetcheth his content and pleasure from so little a clod of earth as his own body, must have but a poor and pitiful plea­sure in comparison of him that can rejoice in the good of all the world. It is Vniting Love, which is the great enriching, contenting and felicitating art. (An Art I call it as it is a thing Learned and practi­sed by Rule, but more than an Art, even a Nature as to its fixed inclination.)

3. And Vnion maketh other mens Good to be all ours, (as efficiently and objectively, so also) finally: As all is but a means to one and the same end in which we meet: It is my ends that are attained by all the Good that is done and possessed in the world. They that have One holy spirit, have one end. The Glori­fying of God in the felicity of his Church, and the perfection of his works, and the Fulfilling and Pleasing of his blessed will in this his Glory, is the end that every true believer doth intend and live for in the world: And this One End, all Saints, all An­gels, all Creatures are carrying on as means. If I be a Christian indeed, I have nothing so dear to me, or so much desired as this Pleasing and Glorify­ing of God, in the good and perfection of his works: This is my Interest: In this he must grati [...]ie me that will be my friend: All things are as nothing to me, but for this: And in this all the world, but specially [Page 42] all Saints are continually serving me: In serving God they are serving me; while they serve my chiefest end and interest. If I have a house to build, or a field to till, or a garden to dress, do not the la­bours of all the builders and workmen serve me, and please me, while it is my work that they do. This is no fancy but the real case of every wise and holy person: He hath set his heart and hope upon that end, which all the world are joyntly carrying on, and which shall certainly be accomplished. O blessed be that Infinite Wisdom and Love, which teacheth this wisdom, and giveth this Vniting Love to every holy soul! All other wayes are dividing, narrow, poor and base: This is the true and certain way for every man to be a possessour of all mens blessings, and to be owner of the good of all the world. They are all doing our Heavenly Fathers will, and all are bringing about the common end which every true believer seeketh. It is this base and narrow SELFISHNESS and inordinate contractedness of spirit, and adhering to individual interest, which contradicteth all this, and hinder­eth us from the present joyful tast [...] of the fruits of UNITY which we now hear and read of.

Yea I can dye with much the greater willingness, because (besides my hopes of heaven) I live even on earth when I am dead: I live in all that live, and shall live till the end of all. I am not of the mind of the selfish person, that saith, when I am dead, all the world is dead or at an end to me: But rather, God is my highest object: His Glo­ry and complacency is my End: These shine and are attained more in and by the whole Creation than by me: while these go on, the End is attain­ed which I was made for: And I shall never be separated living or dead from the universal Church [Page 43] or universal world: so that when I am dead, my end, my interest, my united fellow-Christians and Creatures will still live. If I loved my friend better than my self, it would be less grief to me to be ba­nished than for him to be banished: And so it would be less grief to me to dye, than for him to dye. And if I loved the Church and the world but half as much more than my self, as my reason is fully convinced there is cause, it would seem to me in­comparably a smaller evil to dye my self than that the Church or world should dye. As long as my Garden flourisheth, I can bear the death of the se­veral flowers, whose place will the next spring be succeeded by the like: And as long as my Orchard liveth I can bear the falling of a leaf or an apple, yea of all the leaves and fruit in Autumn, which the next spring will repair and restore in kind, though not those individual▪ What am I that the world should miss me, or that my death should be taken by others or by me, for a matter of any great regard? I can think so of another, and ano­ther can think so of me: But unhappy selfishness maketh it hard for every man or any man to think so of himself. Did UNITY more prevail in men, and SELFISHNESS less, it would more rejoice a dying man, that the Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God, will continue to shine forth in the Church and world, and that others shall suc­ceed him in serving God and his Church when he is dead, than it would grieve him that he must dye himself.

Yea more than all this, this Holy UNITY will make all the Joyes of Heaven to be partly ours. Even while we are here in pain and sorrows, we are members of the Body, whose Best part is above with Christ; and therefore their joyes are by par­ticipation [Page 44] ours, as the pleasure of the head and heart extendeth to the smallest members. Would it be nothing to a mother if all her children, or to a friend if all his friends, had all the prosperity and joy that he could wish them?

The nearer and stronger this holy UNITY is, the more joyfully will a believer here look up, and say, Though I am poor or sick or suffer, it is not so with any of the blessed ones above: My fellow Christians now rejoyce in Glory: The Angels with whom I shall live for ever are full of Joy in the visi­on of Jehovah: My blessed Head hath Kingdom and Power and Glory and Perfection. Though I am yet weak and must pass through the gates of death, the Glori [...]ied world are triumphing in per­petual Joyes; Their Knowledge, their Love, their Praises of God, are perfect and everlasting, be­yond all fears of death or any decay or interrupti­on. UNITY giveth us a part in all the Joyes of earth and heaven: And what then is more desire­able to a Believer?

5. And in all that is said it appeareth that UNITY is a great and necessary part of our preparation for sufferings and death: without this men want the principal comforts that should sup­port them: They that can fetch comfort neither from Earth nor from Heaven, but only from the narrow interest of themselves, are like a withering branch that's broken from the tree, or like a lake of water separated from the stream, that will soon dry up: A selfish person hath neither the motives to right suffering, nor the truest cordials for a dying man. Something or other in this sinful SELF will be still amiss; And a selfish person will be still caring, fearing or complaining: Because he can take but little pleasure, in remembring that all is [Page 45] well in Heaven, and that if he were nothing, God would be still Glorified in the world. Therefore the more selfish true Christians are, the less is their peace, and the more their hearts do sink in suffering: Their Religion reacheth little higher than to be still poring on a sinful, confused heart, and asking, How should I be assured of my own salvation? When a Christian that hath more of the Spirit of UNITY, is more taken up with sweeter things, studying how to Glorifie God in the world, and rejoycing in the assurance that his name shall be hal­lowed, his Kingdom shall come, and his Will shall be done, yea and is perfectly done in Heaven: that which is first in his desires and prayers, is ever the chiefest in his thanksgivings, and his Joyes.


The VNITY of the Spirit in the welfare of the Church.

II. AS the UNITY of the Spirit is the per­sonal welfare of every Christian, so is it the common interest of the Church, and of all Christi­an Societies, Kingdoms, Cities, Schools and Fami­lies: And that in all these respects.

I. UNITY is the very life of the Church (and of all Societies as such). The word LIFE is sometime taken for the LIVING PRINCI­PLE or FORM, and so the SOUL is the LIFE of a Man, and the SPIRIT as dwelling and working in us, is the Moral or holy-spiritual [Page 46] LIFE of the soul, and of the Church as mystical: And sometime LIFE is taken for the VNION of the said vital principle with the Organical Bo­dy, or matter duly united in it self: And so the UNION of soul and body is the Life of a man; and the Vnion of the Political Head and Body is the Life of political Societies: And so the Vnion of Christ and the Church is the Life of the Church; And the Union of the members among themselves, is (as the union of the parts of the organical body) the necessary Dispositio materiae, without which it cannot have Union with the Head; or the effect of Vnion with the Vital principle, and so the Union which is essential to the Church. As that is no Body whose parts are not united among themselves, nor no Living Body which is not united to the soul (and in it self); so that is no Church or no Socie­ty which is not Vnited in it self; and no Christian Society or Church which is not united unto Christ.

It is a gross oversight of them that look at no­thing but the Regeneration of the members, as es­sential to the Church, and take Vnity to be but a separable Accident. Yea indeed Regeneration it self consisteth in the Vniting of persons by Faith and Love to God and the Redeemer and to the body of the Church: And if Vnion be Life, then Divi­sion is no Less than Death: Not every degree of division: For some breaches among Christians are but wounds: (But to be divided or separated from Christ, or from the Universal Church which is his body, is Death it self: And even wounds must have a timely cure, or else they threaten at least the pe­rishing of the wounded part.)

[Page 47] II. UNITY is the health, ease and quiet of the Church and all Societies, as well as of each person: And Division is its smart and pain: And a divided disagreeing Society is a wounded or sick Society; in continual suffering and disease: But how easie, sweet, and pleasant is it, when brethren dwell to­gether in Unity? when they are not of many minds, and wills and wayes; when they strive not against each other, and live not in wrangling and contenti­on, when they have not their cross interests, wills and parties, and envy not or grudge not against each other: But every one taketh the common in­terest to be his own; and smarteth in all his bre­threns sufferings and hurts: when they speak the same things, and mind the same interest, and carry on the same ends and work?

O foelix hominum genus
Si vestros animos Amor
Quo coelum regitur, regat, saith Boetius.

Many contrivances good men have had, for the recovering of the peace and felicity of Societies: And they that despaired of accomplishing it, have pleased themselves with feigning such Societies as they thought most happy: whence we have Plato's Common-wealth, Moor's Vtopia, Campanella's Civi­tas solis, &c. But when all is done, he is the wisest and happiest Politician, and the best friend and be­nefactor to Societies and to mankind, who is the skilfullest contriver, and best promoter of UNI­TING LOVE. I know that this is (like Life in man) a work that requireth more than Art: But yet I will not say hoc non est artis, sed pietatis opus, as if art did nothing in it: It is Gods work [Page 48] blessing mans endeavours. Even in the propagation of natural Life, though Deus & sol vivificant, God is the Quickener, and Fountain of all life; yet man is the Generator (even if it prove true that the soul is created): And God will not do it without the act of man: So God will not bless Churches, and Kingdoms and Families, with Vniting-Love, without the subordinate endeavours of man: And the skill and honesty of the endeavourers greatly conduceth to the success of the work: Men that stand in a significant capacity (as Rulers and publick Teachers do) may do much by holy Art to promote Vniting-Love in all Societies; By contriving an Vniting of In­terests, (and not by cudgelling them all into the same Temples or Synagogues as prisoners into a Jaile); and by diligent clear teaching them the ex­cellency and necessity of Vnity and Love, and mis­chiefs of dividing selfishness: But of this more after in due place. All the devices in the world for the felicity of Societies which tend not unto Vnity, and all wayes of Vnity which promote not Love, are erroneous and meerly frivolous: And all that are Contrary to Love are pernicious, whatever the con­trivers pretend or dream.

III. UNITY is the strength and preservation of Societies, and Selfishness and Division is their weakness, their dissolution and their ruine. As in Natural, so in Political Bodies, the closest and perfectest Vnion of Parts, maketh the firmest and most durable com­position. What is the strength of an Army but their UNITY? When they obey one General Commander, and cleave inseparably together, and forsake not one another in fight, such an Army would conquer far greater multitudes of incoherent separable men: when every Souldier thinketh how [Page 49] to shift for himself, and to save his own life what­ever become of others, a few run away first, and shew the rest the way, and they are quickly all made conquered fugitives: when they that resolve [We must all stand or fall together, and we will not Live or escape alone; It is more the Army than my Life that I would preserve] these are seldom over­come by any policy or power. What is the con­quest of an Army, but the routing and scattering of them? The strength of composed bodies lyeth in the great Number of parts most inseparably conjoyned. Small Cities and Republicks are made a prey to po­tent Princes, because they are insufficient for their own defence, and are hardly Vnited with their neigh­bours for mutual preservation. An United flame of many Combustibles consumeth all without resi­stance; when divided sparks and candles have no such power: Divided drops of rain are easily born, when United streams and floods bear down all be­fore them. He can break a single thread, that can­not break a cord that is made of multitudes. And though the chief strength of the Church of Christ be not in themselves, but in their God and Head, yet God fitteth every thing to the use that he de­signeth it to, and maketh that creature, that person, that society strong, which he will have to be most safe and durable, and to do the works and bear the burdens that require strength. Though we have all one God and Christ and Spirit, yet are there great va­riety of gifts and graces; and as there are strong and weak Christians, so there are strong and weak Churches and Common-wealths.

O what great things can that Church or King­dom do, which is fully United in it self! What great assaults can they withstand and overcome! But the Devil himself knoweth that a Kingdom or a [Page 50] house divided cannot stand, Matth. 12. 25, 26. And therefore by some kind of Concord (whatever it is) even Satans King­dom is upheld:Mark 3. 24, 25. Luke 11. 17, 18. And by Discord it is that he hopeth and laboureth to destroy Christs Kingdom. And he that would have Christs Kingdom to be stronger than the Devils, must do his part that it be more United, and less divided. All living creatures perish by the dissolu­tion of parts: what Concord and Discord do in Kingdoms and all societies, he must be stupidly ig­norant that knoweth not after so long experience of the world. Therefore they who agree in errour, are hardliest convinced (which is the Roman strength) and they take their own Concord for an evidence of truth: And those that disagree and divide and wrangle, are apt to be drawn at last to suspect if not forsake that truth in which they are agreed. Con­cord corroborateth even rebels and thieves in evil, much more the ser­vants of God in good.Sicut noxium est si unitas desit bonis, ita pernici­osum est si sit in malis: Perversos quippe unitas corroborat dum concordant, & ta [...] ­to magis incorrigibiles quanto unanimes facit. Greg. Moral. l. 33.

O unhappy people of God (saith Hierome in Psal. 82.) that cannot so well agree in good as wicked men do in evil! But, by his leave, there is more Unity and Concord among all Christs true servants, than among any wicked men: else the Devils Kingdom would be stronger and perfecter than Christs.

Obj. But this of Jeromes is a common saying, and common experience seemeth to confirm it. How unanimous were the Sodomites in assaulting the house of Lot? and what multitudes every where agree in Igno­rance and enmity to the godly? and how divided and quarrelsome are the Religious sort?

[Page 51] Ans. The question whether Christs Kingdom or Sa­tans hath more Vnity and Concord, requireth a distinct­er kind of answer; which is, I. UNITY is one thing, and similitude is another. 2. Active Concord or Union of excellent coherent and cooperative na­tures, is one thing, and Negative non-repugnancy of dead or baser creatures is another.

1. As there is a great similitude between incohe­rent sands or drops of rain, so is there between un­godly men: They are very like in their privations and ungodliness: but this is no Vnity at all. But the faithful are not only Like, but Vnited, as many drops in one Ocean, or as many Candles united in one flame, or many Sun-beams in one Sun and aire. 2. All these sands, or dust or dead bodies, quarrel not among themselves, because they are unactive be­ings, whose nature is to lye still; while parents and children and brethren may have many fallings out: And yet there is that Vnity in Parents and Children, inclining them to the Loving Communion of each other, which is not in the sand or dust or dead.

And so wicked men in some cases have not those vital principles which are necessary to an active quarrel, and yet may have far less Vnion than the Godly in their scandalous discord. Swine and Dogs will not strive or fight for Gold or Lands or Lordships, as men do; nor Asses for the food or de­licates of men; nor yet for our ornaments or gay cloathes: Brutes never contend for preheminence in Learning, nor fall out in argumentation as men do; Because their faculties are as dead to all these things: And that which moveth not, doth not strive: so wicked men strive not who shall please God best, or who shall be soundest in the faith, or the great­est enemy to sin, which is the commonest cont [...]nti­on of good men, (while some of them mistake some [Page 52] sins for no sins, and some take those to be sins that are noneSee Whateley's nota­ble Di [...]course of this in his Carecloth. Doct. 1.) But Brethren that oft fall out, have yet more Vni­ty, than strangers that never think of one another, or than fellow-travellers that quietly travel in the way. Godly persons are all closely United in one God, one Christ, one faith, one hope, one bond of Love to one ano­ther, one mind, and one design and work, as to the main. There is no such Vnion as this among the un­godly. It's true, that they all Agree by way of si­militude, in being all blind, all bad, all worldly and fleshly, all void of Gods spirit, and all enemies to the godly: But so all dead Carkasses agree in being dead, and all toads agree in being toads and poyso­nous: And yet when the fable feigneth the belly and the hands and feet to fall out, because the hands and feet must labour for the belly, they had then more Vnity than several Carkasses, [...]oads or serpents that never fall out: yea if a gowty foot be a tor­ment to all the Body, it hath yet more Vnity with the body than another mans foot hath that putteth it to no pain.

But yet the perfectest Vnity hath also [...]ase and strength, and safety. Things United are durable. Death when it creepeth upon decaying age, doth it by gradual separations and dissolution: The fruit and the leaves first fall from the tree, and then one branch dyeth, and then another: The combined parts of our nutritious juices are first loosened, and then separated in our decaying bodies; and then the pained parts feel the ill effects: The hair falleth off; The teeth [...]ot and fall out: and we dye by degrees, as by a coalition of parts we lived by degrees in our generation and augmentation; saith Boetius, De consol▪ philos. l. 4. Omne quod est, tam [Page 53] diu manet & subsistit, quam diis sit unum; sed interit & dissolvitur quando unum esse desierit. We live while we are One: We dye when we cease to be One: and we decay when by separation we hasten towards it; and we grow weak when by looseness we grow more se­parable. Therefore all Loosening opinions or princi­ples, which tend to abate the Love and Vnity of Christians, are weakening principles and tend to death. Schisms in the Church, and feuds or wars in the Commonwealth, and mutinies in Armies, are the ap­proaches or threatnings of death: Or if such [...]e­vers and bloody fluxes prove not mortal, the cure must be by some excellent remedy, and Divine cle­mency and skill. Discordia Ordinum est reipublicae ve­nenum, saith Livy. For (as Salust. saith) War is easily begun (as fire in the City easily kindled,) but to end it requireth more ado. And the [...]nd is seldom in the power of the same persons that began it; much less will it end as easily as it might have been pre­vented. It's like the eruption of waters that begin at a small breach in the damm or banks, but quick­ly make themselves a wider passage. Prov. 26. 17. He that passeth by and medleth with strife which is not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears. Prov. 17▪ 14. The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention before it be medled with (or exasperated or stirred up to rage.) As passion inclineth men to strive, rail or some way hurt, so all discord and division inclineth men to a warring depressing way against others; As Gregory saithMoral. l. 9. [When perverse minds are once engaged ad studium con­trarietatis, to a study of contrariety, they arm themselves to oppugne all that is said by another, be it wrong or right; for when the person through contrariety is dis­pleasing to them, even that which is right, when spoken [Page 54] by him is displeasing. And when this is the study of each member, to prove all false or bad that another saith or doth, and to disgrace and weaken one ano­ther, what strength, what safety, what peace, what duration can be to that society?

IV. UNITY is also the BEAUTY, and Comeliness of the Church and all societies: Perfect UNITY without Diversity is proper to God. But ab Vno omnia: that all the innumerable parts of his Creation, should by Order and VNITY make ONE UNIVERSE or world; that all the members of the Church of Christ, of how great va­riety of gifts, degrees and place soever should make one Body, this is the Divine skill; and this Order and Vnity is the Beauty of his works. If the Order and Vnity of many Letters made not words, and of many words made not sentences, and of ma­ny sentences made not Books, what were their ex­cellency or use? If many Notes ordered and united made not Harmony, what were the pleasure of mu­sick or melody? And how doth this Concord make it differ from a discordant odious noise? The Unity of well-ordered Materials is the Beauty of an Edi­fice: And the Unity of well-ordered and proportioned members, is the symmetrie and Beauty of the Body▪ It delighteth mans nature more to read the history of Loves, and amiable concord (which is the charm­ing snare in tempting Lust [...]books) than to read of odious and ruinating discords: And no doubt but the many histories of sinful discord, and their effects are purposely recorded in Scripture, to make it the more hateful to all believers: This is the use of the recorded malice of Cain to Abel, of the [Page 55] effect of the Babel division of tongues;Gen. 4. 8, 9. & 13. 7. &c. 19. 4. & 26. 20. & 27. 41. & 31. 36. & 34. 25, &c. & 49. & 50. & 53. Exod. 2. 13. & 16. 2. & 17. 3. Numb. 21. 4, 5, 6. Judg. 9. & 12. & 20. 1 Sam. 18. & 2 Sam. 3. & 15. & 19. 1 King. 12. &c. of the disagreement of the servants of Abraham and Lot; of the envy of Jo­sephs brethren, and of Esau's thoughts of revenge against Jacob, and of Ja­cobs fear of him; of the discord of La­ban and Jacob; of the bloody fact of Simeon and Levi, and Jacob's dying de­testation of it and his curse; of the two Hebrews that strove with each other, and one of them with Moses; of the Israelites murmurings and mu­tinies against Moses; Abimelech's cru­elty against his brethren; of the tribe of Ephraim's quarrel with Jephta; and the Israelites with the Benjamites and their war; of the envy of Saul against David, and his pursuit; of his and Doegs cruelty against the Priests; of Absoloms rebellion against David; of Joabs murders and his death; of Solomons jealousie and execution of Adonijah; of Rehoboams foolish dif­ference with his subjects, and the loss of the ten tribes, and Jeroboam's reign; of the continual wars of Juda and Israel; of the many malicious actions of Priests and people against Jeremiah, Amos and other Prophets and Messengers of God;2 Chron. 36. 16. Mat. 2. & 3. Luke 22. Act. 15. 1, &c. & 15. 39, 40. 1 Cor. 1. & 3. &c. of the persecuting cruelty of Herod against Christ and the Infants, in his jealousies about his Crown; of the Jews malicious and foolish oppo­sition to Christ, of Christs disciples striving which should be the Greatest, and the aspiring request of James and John; of the short dissention of Paul and Barnabas, &c. Are not all these, unpleasant histories to us, and written to make dissentions odious? To this end [Page 56] it is that we have the sad history of the early con­tentions between the Jewish and the Gentile Christi­ans about Circumcision, and the Law, and the re­conciling assembly, Act. 15. To this end we have the sad history and sharp reproofs of the factions and sidings among the Corinthians; of the false Apostles envy raised against Paul among the Corin­thians and Galatians; and of those that preached Christ out of envy and in strife, to add affliction to his bonds, Phil. 1. of the many heresies that rose up even in those first Churches to trouble, desile them and disgrace them; To this end we have the abun­dance of sharp rebukes of contentious persons, and such as strove about words, and genealogies and the Law; and the reproofs of many of the Asian Chur­ches, Rev. 2. & 3. and the odious description of the hereticks, 2 Pet. 2. & Jud. &c. not only as cor­rupters of doctrine, but in a special manner as Sepa­ratists and dividers of and from the Christian Chur­ches. To this end we have the sad predictions that two sorts should arise and tear the Churches, Act. 20. Grievous wolves that should not spare the flocks, and some of themselves that should speak perverse things to draw away disciples after them. To this use we have so many vehement obtestations, and exhortati­ons against discord and divisions; even in those times of vigorous Love and Concord: such as 1 Cor. 1. 10, &c. & 3. &c. Phil. 2. 1, 2, &c. 3. 14, 15, 16. and abundance such, of which hereafter. And even those that by their Master are taught not to be too forward in seeing the mote in anothers eye, must yet be intreated to Mark them that cause Divisi­ons and offences and avoid them; and whereas they that were such, pretended to be the most excellent ser­vants of Christ, and to speak more sublimely and spi­ritually, for greater edification and advancement [Page 57] of Knowledge than the Apostles did, it was no ill censoriousness to judge, that being the Causes of Di­visions and offences, contrary to Christs doctrine of Love, Vnity and peace, they did not serve the Lord Jesus (whose great and last command was Love, which he made the Nature and character and badge of his true disciples) but by those good words and fair speeches deceived the hearts of the simple and de­ceivable. Here there are four words especially to be noted: 1. [...], which we translate good words, is commonly translated flattery; but as Beza well noteth, it signifieth a speaking of things that are plausible in themselves for some good that is in them, and that are pretended to be all spoken for the hearers good; as Satan pretended when he tempted Eve; yea, perhaps to be necessary to their salvation, or to make them the most knowing and excellent sort of Christians. 2. [...], which sig­nifieth both to Bless them as ministers do that desire their happiness, and to praise them and speak well or highly of them: And so almost all sects and di­vided bodies are gathered by flattering the hearers into a conceit that thus they shall become the surest and most excellent Christians; and all others are far inferiour to them. 3. [...], It is the Hearts of such hearers that are deceived, and not their heads or reason only or chiefly: For the good words first take with them by moving their Passions or affe­ctions; And then the Praise, fair promises and speeches kindle a kind of secret spiritual pride and ambition in the heart, as Satans words did in Eve to be as Gods in Knowledge: And the Heart thus infected and puft up promoteth the deceit of the un­derstanding. 4. And this is [...], hominum minime malorum, as Beza translates. It is not simple fools, but such simple persons as we call harmless or [Page 58] innocents, (as the Vulgar Latine translates it), well meaning men, or not ill men: People that fear God and have good desires and meanings, are for want of Judgement and watchfulness overcome by divi­ders.

And on the contrary, the amiable examples of Vnity and Concord, and their happy effects, are re­corded in Scripture, to make us in Love with them: but none so eminent as that of the first Christians. It is very remarkable, that when Christ would shew the world the work of his Mediation in its notable effects, and when he would shew them the excellency of his disciples about the common world, and of his Church under the Gospel above that under Moses Law, he doth it by shewing them in the power and exercise of Vniting Love. Love was it which he came to exercise and demonstrate (his Fathers and his own): Love was that which he came to kindle in their souls, and bring them to possess and practise: Perfect Love is the perfect felicity which he hath promised them: Love and Unity are the matter of his last and great Command: These are the Chara­cters of his genuine disciples, and of the renewed Di­vine Nature in them: It was Love and Vnity which must in them be the witness of Christs spirit and power, to convince the unbelieving world; And therefore it is Love and Vnity which is the matter of his last excellent prayer for them: John 17. 22, 23, 24, 25. & 15. 12, 17. & 13. 34. 1 John 3. 14, 23. & 4. 21. And all these his preparations, precepts, examples, and prayers, were accordingly exempli­fied in the wonderful Love and Concord of his fol­lowers. When the day of Pentecost was come, in which the Holy Ghost must be most eminently com­municated to them, they were all with One accord in one place, Acts 2. 1. The Apostles had an Vnanimity [Page 59] and Concord before, proportionable to the measure of their grace, which was preparatory to their recep­tion of the eminent gift of the Spirit, which increased their unanimity. And v. 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46. the three thousand that were suddenly added to the Church, continued stedfastly in the Apostles doctrine and fellow­ship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers: And all that believed were together, and had all things com­mon, and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men as every man had need: And they continuing daily with one accord in the Temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people.] What greater de­monstration could be given that Christ is the great Reconciler, the messenger, gift and teacher of Love, the Prince of Peace, and the great Vniter of the divided world, both with his Father and Him­self, and with one another.

In this text Acts 2. and marvellous example, you see the design and work of the great Reconciler: When men fall out with God, they fall out with one another: when they depart from the only Center of Vnity, they can have no true Unity among them­selves: when they lose the Love of God, they lose the Love of Man as for Gods sake and interest. And he that cannot see and Love God in man, can see nothing in man that is worthy of much love: As he that loveth not a man for his soul and its operati­ons, more than for his body, loveth him not as a man: And few have any great Love to a dead Corpse. Cicero could say, It is your soul that we speak to, and converse with: were that departed we should speak to you no more. God is more to every man, than his soul: If God were not their life and amiable­ness, all men would be unlovely loathsome carkasses: [Page 60] Therefore wicked men that cannot Love God and Goodness, can Love none thoroughly but themselves and for themselves, or as Bru [...]es by a low or sensitive kind of love: For it is self that they are fallen to from God and Man: And yet while self is carnally and inordinately loved instead of God and Man, it is but destroyed and undone by that inordinate ido­latrous love: And he that loveth Himself to his own destruction (with a Love more pernicious than ano­thers hatred) doth love his friends but with such a kind of killing love: (as I have seen some Brutes kill their young ones with the violence of their love, that would not suffer them to let them alone.) Thus all love to man, saving a pernicious love, doth dye, where the love of God and goodness dieth: And Cain giveth the world the first specimen or in­stance of depraved nature, in envy and wrath, and finally in the murder of his Brother, and undoing Himself, by setting up and adhering inordinately to himself.

But when Christ reconcileth God and Man, he re­concileth Men to one another: For he teacheth men to love God in Man, and Man for God, with a Ho­ly, noble, reasonable kind of Love: And so to love all men, as far as God hath an Interest in all: And to Love all Christians with an eminent Love, as God is eminently interessed in them. And this is Christs work on the souls of men; and much of his business which he came for into the world. And therefore he would have his first Disciples to give the world such a specimen of Love in this extraor­dinary way of Community: For as extraordina­ry works of Power, (that is, Miracles) must be wrought by the first Preachers of the Gospel, to shew Christs power, and convince the unbelieving world; so it was as needful that then there should be [Page 61] extraordinary works of Love, to shew Christs Love, and teach them the great work of Love which he came to call and bring men to: For the first Book that Christ wrote, was on the Hearts of Men, (which no Philosopher could do); In fleshly tables he wrote LOVE TO GOD and MAN by the finger of his Spirit, (many a year before any Book of the New Testament was written). And as his Do­ctrine was [Love one another] and [Love your ene­mies, forbear and forgive, &c.] so his first Churches must extraordinarily exemplifie and express this do­ctrine, by living in this extraordinary community, and selling all, and distributing as each had need: And afterwards their Love-feasts did long keep up some memorial of it: For they were the first sheet, as it were, of the New Book which Christ was pub­lishing: And, LOVE was the summ of all that was imprinted on them: And their Practice was to be much of the Preaching that must convert the world. Christ was not a meer Orator or teacher of Words: And, non magna loquimur, sed vivimus, was the profession of his disciples: He came not meerly to talk, and teach men to talk; but to Do, and teach men to Do; even to do that himself which none else ever did, and to teach his followers to do that which no other sort of men did in this world: But this leadeth me up to the next Use of Unity.

V. The SPIRIT of UNITY and LOVE is the Great means of the Churches increase: There is a twofold augmentation of the Church: 1. Intrinsick and Intensive; when it Increaseth in all Goodness, and hasteth to perfection: And it is this Vital principle of Vniting Love, or the Spirit of Vnity, which is the immediate cause of this. 2. Extensive, when the Church is enlarged, and more are added to it: And [Page 62] it is a Life of Vniting Love among Christians, that must do this as much or more than preaching: Or at least, if that preaching which is but the effect of Knowledge, produce Evangelical Knowledge in the hearers, yet a Life of Love and Vnity is the adapted means of breeding Love and Vnity, the Life of Re­ligion in the world: Light may cause Light; but Heat must cause Heat; and it must be a Living thing that must generate life, by ordinary causation: That which cometh from the Head, may reach the Head, and perhaps the Heart, but is not so fit to ope­rate on Hearts as that which cometh from the heart. Undoubtedly if Christians did commonly live in such Love and Vnity among themselves, and shew the fruits of common Love to all about them, as their Great master and his Religion teacheth them, they would do wonders in converting sinners, and enlarging the Church of Jesus Christ. Who could stand out against the convincing and Attractive power of Uniting Love? Who could much hate and persecute those that Love them, and shew that Love? This would heap melting coals of fire on their heads. Our Saviour knew this when he made this his great Lesson to his disciples, and when he prayed (Joh. 17. 21, 22, 23, 24.) over and over [for them which should believe on him, through the Apostles word, [that they all may be One, as thou Fa­ther art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me: And the Glory which thou gavest me I have given them▪ that they may be One even as we are One: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in One, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me]. O when will Christ revive this blessed principle in his follow­ers, and set them again on this effectual way of [Page 63] preaching, that Love may draw the world into the Churches Vnity? Some look for new miracles for the converting of the now-forsaken Nations: what God will do of that kind we know not; for he hath not told us: But Holy Vniting Vniversal Love is a thing which he hath still made our certain duty; and therefore we are all bound to seek and do it: And therefore we may both pray and labour for it in hope: And could we but come up to this known du­ty, we should have a means for the worlds conversi­on, as effectual as miracles, and more sweet and plea­sant to them and us.

Obj. But why then is the world still unconverted, when all true Christians have this love?

Ans. 1. Alas, those true Christians are so few, and the hypocrites that are selfish worldlings are so many, that the poor people that live among pro­fessed Christians, do judge of Christianity by those false professours, who are indeed no Christians: Men see not the hearts of one another. Thou­sands of ungodly persons, for interest, education and custome take on them the name of Christians, who never were such indeed by heart-consent. When these counterfeit Christians live like Infidels, men think that Christians are no better than Infidels: For they think they must judge by the greater num­ber of such as go under the Christian name. But if the world could tell who they be that are truly Christians at the heart, they would see that they have that spirit of Love, which is not in unbelievers. 2. And alas the Love and Vnity even of true Chri­stians is yet too imperfect, and is darkened and ble­mished with too much of the contrary vice: were Christians perfect Christians, they would indeed be the honour of their profession. Then Love would be the powerful principle of all their works; which would [Page 64] taste of its nature, and, as it is said of Wine, Judg. 9. 13. it cheereth God and man, so I may say, God and man would be delighted in the sweetness of these fruits: For with such Sacrifice God is well pleased, Heb. 13. 16. But alas what crabbed and contrary fruits, how soure, how bitter do many distempered Christians bring forth? If it will increase the Church, and win men to the Love of Christianity, to be re­viled or persecuted, to be contemned and neg­lected, to be separated from as persons unworthy of our-love and kindness, then Christianity will not want propagaters: The pouring out of the Spirit, was the first planting of the Christian Church: And where there is most of Love, there is most of the spirit. As there needeth no forcing penal Laws, to compel men to obey God so far as Love prevaileth in them; so if Love were more eminent in the Church Pastors and Professors, that they preached and ruled and lived towards all men in the power of sincere and fervent Love, there would be less pretence for all that violence, oppression and cru­elty, which hath been long exercised by the worldly Clergy, and so much the more odiously by how much the more the sacred name of Religion hath been used for its justification or excuse.

VI. UNITING LOVE is the GLORY and Perfection of the Church: And therefore there will be in Heaven much greater Love, and much nearer UNITY, than there is of the dearest friends on earth, yea greater and nearer than we can now distinctly understand.

And again I say, that they that in thinking of the state of separated souls, do fear lest all souls do lose their individuation, and fall into one common soul, do foolishly fear a greater Vnity than is to be [Page 65] expected. (And yet nothing else about the souls Immortality is lyable to a rational doubt: For, 1. Its substance certainly is not annihilated: 2. Nor its formal essential Virtues lost, by mutation into some other species; 3. Nor doth the Activity of such an Active nature cease, 4. Nor will there want ob­jects for it to act upon). Were it well considered that LOVE is as Natural to a soul as Heat is to the Sun, that is, an effect of that Act which its very essence doth perform; 2. And that our UNITY is an Unity of LOVE (Voluntarily performed) it would much abate such selfish fears of too much Unity: For who ever feared too much Love? too extensive, or too intensive? too large, or too near a Union of minds? And as the beloved Apostle saith, that GOD IS LOVE as a name which signifieth his essence, why may not the same be said of souls, which are his Image? that A SOUL IS LOVE? Not that this is an Adequate conception of A SOUL (much less of GOD); but of the partial or inadequate Conceptions, it seemeth to be the chiefest. The SOVL of Man is a Pure (or Spiritual) substance informed by a Virtue of Vital acti­vity, Intellection, and Volition, (which is LOVE), informing (or animating) an organical body for a time, and separable at the bodies dissolution. And as the Calefactive Virtue is the Essence of the Fire (though not an adequate Conception of its essence; For it is a pure substance formally indu [...]d with the Vir­tue Motive, Illuminative and Calefactive) and the act of Calefaction is its essence as operative on a due recipient); so LOVE is the souls essence in the faculty or Virtue, and its Essence as operative on a due object, in the Act: which Act though the soul exercise it not ad ultimum posse by such a Natu­ral necessity as the fire heateth, yet its Nature or [Page 66] Essence immediately exerciseth it, though in a fre [...]r manner: yea, some Acts of Love quoad specificatio­nem, though not quoad exercitium are exercised as necessarily as calefaction by the fire: yea more, though now in the body the exercise by cogitation and sense be not so necessary, we cannot say that in its separated state it will not be so: yea yet more, even in the body the LOVE of a Mans SELF and of felicity, or pleasure, seemeth to be a deep, con­stant or uncessant Act of the soul, though not sen­sibly observed. And if LOVE be so far essential to it, the perfection of Love is the souls perfection, and the exercises of Love are the chief operations of the soul: And consequently the perfection and glory of the Church (which is but a conjunction of holy persons) consisteth in the same Uniting Love, which perfecteth souls.

And indeed Vniformity in circumstantials, and in external Polity were but a Carkass or Image of Unity without Uniting Love which is its soul: As much external Union in good as we are capable of, doth advantage Vnity of spirit: But all Union in evil, and all in unnecessary circumstantials, which is mana­ged to the diminution of Christian Love, are to the Church, but as the glory of adorned cloathing, or monuments or pictures to a carkass: And the Church-Tyrants that would thus Unite us, and sa­crifice Love and the means of it to their sort of Vni­ty, are but like the Physician that prescribed a sic [...] ­man a draught of his own heart blood to cure him▪ The Inquisitors that torture mens bodies to save their souls, are not more unskilful in their pre­tended Charity to save men, than is he that hin­dereth or destroyeth Love, while he seeketh the Churches Unity in humane Ordinances by fraud or fear: When they have killed any Church by Love [Page 67] killing snares and practices, and glory that it is united in Papal power, splendor and decrees, it is but as if they cut all a mans nerves, or cast him into a Palsie, or killed him, and gloried that they have tyed his limbs together with strings, or bound them all up in the same Winding-sheet and Coffin. That edifieth not the Church, which tendeth not to save, but to destroy mens souls.


This Vnity conduceth to the good of the world (without the Church.)

§. 1. THe chief hopes of the Heathen and Infi­del world consist in their hopes of being brought into the faith and Church of Christians: And as God addeth to the Church such as shall be saved, so the means that our charity must use to save them, is to get them into this ark. The mea­sure of their other hopes, or what possibility there is of their salvation I have elsewhere plainly opened: It sufficeth us here to remember, that no man cometh to the Father but by the Son, and that he is the Saviour of his body, however he be called also the Saviour of the world.

§. 2. And as in nature it is the principle of life in the seed and womb, which is the Generating Cause of formation and augmentation of the soetu [...]; And it is the vital powers in Man, which maketh his daily nourishment become a living part of him­self, and causeth his growth; So is i [...] the Spirit in the Church, that is Gods appointed means to quicken [Page 68] and convert the Infidel world. And it is those Christian Countreys which are adjoyning to Maho­metans and Heathens, that should do most to their conversion: who have far easier means than others by proximity and converse to do it, and therefore are under the greatest obligations to attempt it: As also those remoter Countreys that are most in amity and traffick with them.

§. 3. And as Instruction by evidence must do much, so this Vniting Spirit of Love must do a great part of this work; and that both as it worketh inwardly on our selves in the Communion of Saints, and as it worketh outwardly by attraction and communica­tion, to draw in and assimilate others.

§. 4. I. The Churches Vnity of Spirit doth fortifie and fit it for all its own offices in order to the con­version of the world: All parts are better qualified for the work, by that Wisdom, Goodness and Life which they must work by: And each member par­taketh of the common strength which their Unity causeth. An united Army is likest to be victorious: Their routing is their flight and overthrow: And the Army or Kingdom that is Mutinous or in Civil Wars, or not unanimous, is unfit to enlarge do­minion, and conquer others: They will have wor [...] enough at home.

§. 5. Were but Christian Princes and people united, as they would be a terror to Turkish and other Infidel Oppressors (and in likelihood easily able to vanquish them) so they might easily contri­bute their endeavours to instruct and convince these Infidels with probability of greater success, than any attempts have yet had upon them. They might with greater advantage send out and maintain men of Learning and other fitness to perform it. The [Page 69] Eastern Christians by divisions were broken off from the Greeks: The Greeks by division (and wick­edness) fell into the hands of the Turks: The di­visions of the Western Nations furthered their Conquest, and hindred the Greeks recovery: The divisions of the Military forces lost Palestine and frustrated their vast labours and expences: Lost al­so Armenian aids, and destroyed the hopeful be­ginnings of the Conversion of the Tartarians. The division of Christian Princes, hath set up the Papal Kingdom as the Umpire of their feuds. That which hath done so much to destroy Churches and Kingdoms, and hath murdered many hundred thou­sand Christians, and gone far towards the extirpa­ting of true Christianity out of much of the (for­merly Christian) World, must needs unfit us all to recover the World, and convert unbelievers.

§. 6. And were but Christian Preachers and Pa­stors United, instead of their pernicious Church­destroying contentions, how great things might their united diligence have done! If all the mis­chievous unskilful proud wrangling, and worldly ambitious strife by which the Christians were divi­ded into Nestorians, Eutychians, Monothelites, Phan­tasiasts, Donatists, Novatians, and their Anathema­tizers, &c. had been turned into an united force and diligence, by Light and Love to have converted In­fidels, What a happy case had the World been in? And what blessings had that part of the Clergy been, that now have left their Names and History to reproach and shame?

§. 7. II. And as Efficiently, so Objectively and Morally the Vnion of Christians tendeth to convert the World, as it is notorious that their divisions have hindered their Conversion. Men commonly suspect [Page 70] them to be deceived or deceivers, that do not agree among themselves. They that reverence united Christians, despise them when they see them fall into divisions, and learn of themselves to condemn them all, by hearing them revile and condemn each other. Christ had never made it so great a part of his prayer to his Father, that his disciples might be One, even as the Father and he were One, to this end [that the world may know that the Father sent him] if this their Union had not been a special means of convincing unbelievers. And this was not by a Political Union of the rest of his Disciples under some One of them as the Governing Head of all the rest: For no such Head was set over them by Christ, nor ever claimed or exercised any such authority: But it was a holy Union of Minds in knowledge and faith, and of Hearts in Love, and of Life in their published Doctrine and their Com­munion and Conversation. The common Sun-light maketh all mens sight (whose Organs and Vi [...]ive faculty are sound) to agree: and though a man hath two eyes, they see unitedly as if they were one▪ The more united fuel make one fire, the more pow­erful it is to kindle on all other combustible matter near it. When many Ministers of the same or se­veral Churches agree, it much availeth to procure the belief and obedience of their flocks. And when Pastors and people agree, it strongly inviteth the reverence and consent of those without. By wil­ful dissensions we are scandals and snares to unbe­lievers, and if Christians live not in Unity, Love and Peace, they rob the world of a great appointed means of their conversion: And they who for so doing do justly exclaim against persecutors and hin­derers of the Gospel, should also remember how much they participate in that guilt, while the Love [Page 71] of Christians to one another is made almost as need­ful as preaching to the winning of mens Love to faith and holiness.

§. 8. As in the solemn singing of Psalms, the harmony of concenting well tuned voices, inviteth the hearers to joyn with them by delight, when bawling confusion and discord (one singing one tune and another another) is loathsome and tire­some and driveth men away: so would the sweet concent of Christians have won unbelievers to the Love of Christian faith and piety, when their divi­sions and wicked lives have had contrary lamenta­ble effects: wo to the world because of offences, and wo to them by whom offences come.


The Vnity of Christians is due to the Honour of Christ, and is pleasing and amiable to God.

§. 1. IT is not only Miracles that are Christs wit­ness in the world. The spirit of Prophecie also is called his witness, Rev. 19. 10. And if many Prophets should all say that they speak from Christ, and speak contrary things, and charge each other with falshood and deceit, would this be to his honour or to the credit of their testimony? It is the great Concord of the prophecies, promises and types of the Old Testament with the history and doctrine of the New, and the great concord of all the writers of the New Testament among themselves, which greatly facilitateth our belief both of the Old and [Page 72] New. And all Infidels who accuse the Scriptures of untruth, do accuse it also of contradictions: And if they could prove the later, they would prove the former.

§. 2. And the spirit of Holiness as it regenerateth and sanctifieth sinners from generation to genera­tion, is no less a witness of the Truth and Love and Glory of Christ, than prophecies and miracles: The same spirit that is the author of prophecie and sa­cred doctrine, is also the author of believers reno­vation to the image of God. And Illumination is not the least or last part of this sanctifying work: Christ is the light of the world, and his word and spirit are given to enlighten blinded minds, and to bring them out of darkness into his marvellous light, and from the power of the Prince of darkness and from doing the works of darkness, to the Father of Lights who giveth wisdom liberally to them that ask it, that they may walk as Children of the light. Light is usually called Glory: Heaven is the place of the greatest Light and greatest Glory: And heaven­ly wisdom in believers, is much of their Glory here begun, in which their Father, their Saviour and their sanctifier is glorified. Whatever therefore obscu­reth or diminisheth this sacred Light in Saints, op­poseth that Glory of God and our Redeemer which must appear and shine forth in them. The holy Learning of his disciples is the honour of the hea­venly Teacher of the Church: All true believers are taught of God: were they no wiser, nor no better than other men, where were the testimony and the honour of their Teacher? and who would believe that he were a happier Teacher than Philosophers? or that he were the true Saviour of the world that doth not save his own disciples from sin and folly▪ No wonder that God hath no pleasure in fools, and [Page 73] that the foolish shall not stand in his fight, when they are such a dishonour to Christ and him: what fellowship hath Light with darkness?

And who knoweth not that disagreement proveth ignorance and errour, in one party at least? When they hold and plead for contrary opinions, both can­not be in the right. And when this is but in dark and difficult matters, of no great influence on our hearts and lives and future hopes, it is tolerable; and no more to be wondered at, than that we are yet but imperfect men in flesh, and in this low and dark­some world: But when it amounteth to that which maketh Christians judge it necessary to anathematize one another, and to cast out each other from their communion as intolerable, and perhaps to seek one anothers destruction, do they not loudly pro­claim their shameful ignorance to the world?

§. 3. I know that discipline must be exercised and the precious separated from the vile, and this espe­cially for the honour of Christianity. For if the Church be as a Swinesty, and the clean and unclean, the sober and the drunken, the chaste and the for­nicators equally members of it, such a society and their religion will be contemned. For sin is a reproach to any people.

But casting a felon or murderer in Jaile doth much differ from a civil war.Prov. 14. 34. & 6. 33. & 19. 26. Jer. 23. 40. & 29. 18. & 42. 18. & 44. 8. Ezek. 5. 1 [...], 15. For the Church to cast out the impure that repent not, is necessary to their honour; but to divide and subdivide among themselves is their reproach, though the dividers have never so fair pretences.

§. 4. I know also what pretences against heresie, &c. & 22. 4. the dividing sects have had in all ages. They have pretended that [Page 74] they only being the true Church, the condemning and rejecting of all others was necessary to the Churches honour: But is it indeed to the honour of the Christian name, that so great bodies for so many ages have continu'd to condemn and anathema­tize each other? That the Greek Church condemn­eth the Western, and the Western them? That the Eastern and Southern are separated from both? And the Western Christians so divided among them­selves? Who that is not a stranger to man and hi­story knoweth not that it hath been to exercise a Do­minion over others, and also to extol the skill of their understandings, as speaking rightlier than others, when they strove about ambiguous words, that very much of their anathematizing hath been used? And when the Pope hath anathematized the Patriarch of Constantinople, he hath anathematized him again: yea so hath the Patriarch of Alexandria also. And when the three parties (the Orthodox, the Nestorians and the Eutychians) for so many ages have continued anathematizing each other, the dishonour falleth on them all in the eyes of beholders, and no party recovereth their honour with the rest.

§. 5. Undoubtedly it is they that God shall make the blessed instruments of restoring the necessary means of Concord, and thereby of reviving Christian Love and peace, that will be the chief and honourable agents for the repairing of the honour of the Chri­stian Church, if ever it be repaired in this world. All parties seem agreed in this, even they that most foolishly and cruelly tear and distract the Church, that it must be Love and Concord that at last must heal it, and recover its glory if ever it be healed. And how much Christ is pleased to see his servants live in Love and peace, his office, his nature, his many and vehement Commands do tell us.


III. What obligations are on all Christians to avoid sinful divisions and discord, and to pro­mote this Vnity and peace.

§. 1. FRom what is already said it is easie to ga­ther, that many and great obligations are on all Christians to be promoters of Concord and enemies of discord and divisions. I. The many and express commands of Christ in Scripture do ob­lige them. This is no dark or controverted point, written in words which are hard to be understood, but plainly uttered and often urged: Yea when se­veral of Gods commands are mentioned, this is still preferred before most others that can be imagined to stand in competition against it: As the uniting Love of God is called the first and great Command, so the uniting Love of man is called the second like to that, and the summ of the second table, and the ful­filling of the Law. It is not mentioned as an Accident of the New Creature, but as an essential part; not as the high qualification of some rare Christian, but as that which is necessary and common to all that are the living members of Christ: Not only as needful to some inferiour uses, but as necessary to all the great Ends of our Religion, preferred before sacri­fice and all the rituals, and not to be dispensed with, on any pretence.

§. 2. II. No man therefore can be an obedient servant of Christ that seeketh not to keep the Vnity [Page 76] of the spirit in the bond of peace: If he that breaketh one of the least commands and teacheth men so to do, shall be called Least in the Kingdom of God, what shall he be called, and where shall be his lot that breaketh the greatest?

§. 3. III. The Love of God our Father and of Christ our Redeemer doth oblige us: For if he that loveth not his brother whom he se [...]th daily, cannot Love God whom he never saw; how much less he that loveth not the multitude of believers, and so great an interest of God in the world, as is that unity and concord of the body of Christ? And if he that doth or doth not good to one of the least of the servants of Christ, is supposed to have done it or not done it to himself, how much more he that doth or omitteth that which Christ and his whole Church is so much concerned in?

§. 4. IV. The Love of our own souls obligeth us, considering how many and great impediments dis­cord doth raise against all grace and duty, and against our holiness, comfort and salvation: And how much Christian Love and Concord do conduce to the preservation of all grace, and to the attain­ment of Glory: All men in true Concord are our helpers, and all men in discord are our hinderers, and tempters. How fair and easie is the way to Heaven among true Loving and agreeing Christians? and how hard is it where divisions and contentions take place?

§. 5. V. The Love of our neighbours souls ob­ligeth us to this: That which is best for us is best for them. Alas, carnal minds deceived by sin need not to have the way to heaven made harder, nor to [Page 77] be tempted by the discords of Christians to despise them: Their own malignity and the devils tem­ptations, when we have done our best may suffice to deceive them and undo them: Every Christian should be a helper to the salvation of all about him, and a souldier under Christ, to fight against Satan as he is the great divider and destroyer. As ever therefore we pity the souls of sinners, and would not be guilty of their damnation, we should keep the Unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.

§. 6. VI. Our Love to the Church and Sacred Ministry doth oblige us. Our Discords unsay too powerfully what Christs Ministers say, when they set forth the power of grace, and the excellency of Christianity! All the opposition of the arguments and reproaches of Quakers or malignant prophane enemies is of far less force against the Gospel, than the discords of professed Christians. The labours of many worthy Ministers have been hindered, and their hearts even broken with such sinful and scan­dalous divisions; when the enemies hit us in the teeth with these, we are ashamed and cannot deny the fact, though we can deny their false conclusions. How much of the designs of Satan and his agents have lain in dividing the servants of Christ? Some of the moderate and peaceable Emperours in the more flourishing state of the Church and Empire, by the discords and mutinies of factious Christians were made a-weary of their Crowns: Yea some of those that the hasty hereticating Orthodox party too ha­stily pronounced hereticks and heretical (such as Theodosuis junior, Zeno, Anastasuis, Justinian, &c.) were tired out with labouring in vain to keep the Christian Bishops in Peace, and by Historians are recorded to be men of better qualities than [Page 78] the Bishops: And one of them (Anastasius) laid down his Crown and told them he would not be the Ruler of such contentious and unruly men, till the necessities of the people brought them to remorse, and to intreat him to continue Emperour, and pro­mised to cease their mutinous contentions.

And what the divisions in the Church of Rome did to shame and thus far abase the Papacy, is past all doubt: When there have been in many generations sometimes two and sometimes three called Popes at once; when some Kingdoms owned one and some another, and when they often fought it out, and (as Victor the third and many another) got their pre­tended right by Victory, not by the Word but by the Sword; When one Pope for forty years toge­ther lived in France at Avignion, and the other at Rome; When they fought it out with many Empe­rours and Kings; When Italy was kept by them many ages in divisions and bloody wars; and when the very Citizens of Rome and their Popes were put to fight it out at home in their streets; And when the Popes have excommunicated the people of Rome it self (where then was the Church of Rome?) All this Church history recordeth to their perpetual shame.

And have not the dissensions between Luther and Carolostadius, and Zuinglius, Lutherans and Calvinists, to name no more, been a reproach to the Reformati­on (as I said before). As we Love the Church then, and as we regard the honour and success of the Mi­nistry, and would not have Christs house and Kingdom fall or be shaken or disgraced by our sinful discords, Let us keep this spiritual Unity and peace.

[Page 79] §. 7. VII. And indeed Experience is not the least of our obligations: A danger never tryed, is sel­dom so cautelously avoided as those into which we have formerly fallen, and out of which we have narrowly escaped. They that have read Church-History, what the factions and heresies of the Bi­shops and people have done from the dayes even of the Apostles to this day: Yea, they that have but seen and felt what Religious discords have done in this generation, even at home in England, Scotland and Ireland, and yet do not hate such discord as death, and love peace and spiritual unity as life and health and safety, they are hardened past all excuse.


What sort and measure of Vnity may not, or may be groundedly hoped for on earth.

§. 1. THe Prognosticks in diseases are needful to direct Physicians in their attempts: He that either pretendeth to Cure incurable diseases, and thereby doth but torment the Patient and hasten death, or else will hastily prevent the Crisis, or will open inflammations before the time, may be called a Physician or Surgeon, but will prove a hurtful or pernicious enemy. Some diseases will admit of no better than palliating and delay: Some that are curable, are made mortal by temerarious haste. Who will break the Egg to get the Chicken before it is ripened by nature for exclusion? Yet hath the Church had too many such Midwives that will hasten [Page 80] abortion and untimely birth, and cannot stay till na­tures time; such mischievous Surgeons as are pre­sently lancing unripe apostemes: It is of mischiev­ous consequence to expect such Concord, and ac­cordingly set upon the hastening of it, which cer­tainly will never be: And it is of great and neces­sary Use, to know how much, and what Vnity may be expected, in the Church militant, and what not.

§. 2. I. Negatively: I. It is certain that Christi­ans will never be all of one stature or degree of grace. The Apostle hath fully opened this, 1 Cor. 12. and here Eph. 4. and Rom. 14. & 15. and elsewhere. Some will be of more blameless lives, and some more offensive: Some will be more fruit­ful and useful in the Church than others; some will have greater gifts than others for that end: some will be more patient and meek, and others more passionate and hot: some will be more considerate and prudent, and some more rash and of indecent carriage: some will be more humble, and conde­scending, and abhorr pride much more than others will do: some will be more zealous, and some more frigid or luke-warm: some will be much more heavenly, and make less of earthly things than others: some will be more self-denying and pati­ent under sufferings, and some will too much seek their own transitory things, and with greater impa­tience bear both crosses from God and injuries from man: some will be more cheerful and rejoyce in God, and the hope of Glory, and others will be more sad and timerous and heavy: Some will have a strong faith, and some a weak: Some will have assured sealed hopes, and others will be doubting of their salvation: But in nothing will there be [Page 81] more certain and notable difference, than in mens knowledge and conceptions of spiritual things. Un­doubtedly there is scarce a greater difference of Visages, than there is of Intellectual apprehensions: Nay, perhaps the likeness of all mens faces is greater than of their understandings. Some will still know little, (and none very much, but) others compa­ratively much more: Some that know much in one kind, will be ignorant in others: And as all men are not of the same Trade, nor all Scholars prosecute the same studies, but some excell in one thing, and some in another, and some in nothing, so in reli­gion such proportions and differences of understand­ing there will be.

§. 3. No observing man that converseth with man­kind one would think could be ignorant of this: And yet the talk and actions of too many Church-Leeches in most parts and ages of the Christian World, hath shewed that they did not well under­stand it. If universal, constant, undenyable expe­rience be not enough to prove that it is so, and hath been so, and therefore will be so, Let the certain Causes of it be considered.

1. Men are born of much different Intellectual com­plexions, and degrees of capacity: some are Ideots or natural fools; some are half such: some are very flegmatick and dull of wit, and must have long time and teaching to learn a little; and of memo­ries as weak to retain what they learn: some have naturally strong wits, and as strong memories. If these be bred up in the same house, will they there­fore have the same knowledge and conceptions?

§. 4. 2. And as men naturally differ in quickness and dulness of wit, so they do in the temperature of all their humours and bodies, which acciden­tally will cause great difference in their minds. A [Page 82] sanguine man hath usually other thoughts and per­ceptions than a phlegmatick man; and a phlegma­tick man hath other thoughts and sense of things, than the cholerick have: And the melancholy man differeth from them all, and often from him­self. As these tempers variously affect the phan­tasie and the passions, so consequently, they do usu­ally the Intellect and the Will.

§. 5. 3. The Countreys that men are born in, it not by the air and soil, at least by the great diver­sity of Languages, Laws, Governments and Customs, do make much difference in mens conceptions: As we see by experience in the difference of many Nations.

§. 6. 4. The very sins or merits of Parents may do much to the hurt or benefit of Children; part­ly by corrupting or bettering their bodily tempe­rature, and partly by Gods curse or blessing on their souls: As I have fully proved in my Second Disputation of Original Sin.

§. 7. 5. And were there no other cause of dif­ferent conceptions than the different education of children by their parents, it would make a very great difference in the world. When one is brought up in Learning, and another in barbarism; one in reading and hearing Gods Word, and another in contemning and deriding it: One is taught to re­verence Gods name and truth, and another to blaspheme them or despise them: One is taught one Religion and another another: One is taught to lay all his salvation on that which another is taught to abhorr. And it is not only in Divers Lands, but in the same Cities, Towns and Streets, yea, among men that publickly profess the same Religion in Name and Generals, that this difference is found.

[Page 83] §. 8. 6. And if Parents make no difference, yet Schoolmasters often will: With their Grammar lear­ning, one teacheth his Scholars to deride such or such a party of Christians as Hereticks, He­teroclites or anomalous; and others say the same of others, as they themselves do like or dislike: And Boyes usually take deeply their Masters dictates, especially if they be cunning and malignant, and such as the Devil and flesh befriend.

§. 9. 7. And it is no small difference, that Com­pany and Converse cause: Even among Children and Servants in families, and Boys at School: from whom they are as apt to receive ill impressions as from evil Teachers. And therefore variety of compa­ny in Youth, is like to breed variety of senti­ments.

§. 10. 8. And the different Books which they read, will make the like difference: while one writeth against that which another proclaimeth to be excellent, and necessary, and all set off the matter with such plausibility and confidence as young and unexercised persons are unable to see through and perceive the error.

§. 11. 9. And when they go abroad in the world, the difference among those that they converse with all their lives, may well be expected to cause much difference in their thoughts. If they be set Appren­tices, one falls into a family of one mind, and ano­ther of another: And so if they be servants: And their friends and companions will occasion as much: And if they marry, the different judgements of Husbands and Wives may do the same.

§. 12. 10. And especially when differences in Religion have already got possession of all man­kind (in some degree) and they set themselves to enquire after the nature of these differences, and [Page 84] being at first unskilful are unable to try and judge aright, they must needs fall into great variety of judgements.

§. 13. 11. And the great difference among Preachers and Pastors of the Church will be as pow­erful a cause of discord to youth and learners, as al­most any of the rest: while one Preacher condemn­eth that as a dangerous errour, and frighteneth them from it as a heinous sin, which another extolleth as necessary truth or duty. And yet thus it is in many particulars even where men profess the same Reli­gion: witness the many loads of books that are written by the Papists against each other; As the Dominicans against the Jesuites, and the Jesuites against them; The Jansenists against both, and their odious charges of highest false doctrines and crimes in their provincial Letters, and the Jesuits Mo­rals: Gulielmus de sancto Amore and his partners against the Fryars; The secular Priests against the regulars, such as Watson in his Quodlibets, and abun­dance more such like: And in what Countrey al­most or City do not preachers in some measure dif­fer, and breed diversity of senses in the people? Which Paul foretold even in the purest times and Church, that of their own selves should men arise speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them. Besides the grievous Wolves that should enter and devour the flock, Act. 20. 30. It must be that here­sies must arise, that they that are approved may be made manifest. In Corinth some were of Paul, and some of Apollo and some of Cephas, and they had such di­visions as shewed them to be much carnal; At Rome they judged and despised one another about meats and drinks and dayes: Rom. 14. & 15. And some caused divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which they had learned, Rom. 16. 16, 17. In Galati [...] [Page 85] they had Judaizing teachers that troubled them. And at Antioch some taught them that except they were circumcised and kept the Law of Moses they could not be saved, Act. 15. 1, &c. In Asia some Churches had Nicolaitans, and such as taught them to eat things offered to Idols, and to commit fornication, and the woman Jezabel that seduced them: and some had such as Diotrephes that received not the brethren and cast out those that did, and prated even against the beloved Apostle with malicious words: Divers Churches had perverse disputers, about the Law and genealogies, and such as strove about words that profited not, but to the subverting of the hearers: and some whose doctrine fretted like a Cancer, who subverted whole houses, whose mouths were to be stopped: And the Colossians had such as were for humane ordinances, touch not, taste not, handle not, and for worshipping Angels, and pry­ing into unknown things: Col. 2. And Paul telleth the Philippians that some preached Christ, not sin­cerely but in envy and strife to add affliction to his bonds, whom yet he silenced not, but rejoyced that Christ was preached even by such: And he foretelleth Timothy that in the later dayes much false doctrine should be vented, And even then he had none like minded to Timothy that naturally sought the Churches good; but all sought their own (too much) and the things of Jesus Christ too little. And the Apostle John met with such as he would not have Christians bid Good speed to, nor receive them into their houses; And James was put sharply and largely to reprove such as in conceited wisdom would needs be Masters, and had the envious wisdom which is from beneath, and is earthly, sensual and devilish, producing strife, confusion, and every evil work, Jam. 3. And could it then be expected that all Christians be of the same opinions in all things?

[Page 86] §. 14. 12. But now this temptation to differences of judgement is grown much greater, in that the Christian world is so publickly and notoriously di­vided into different parties. The Greeks are one party; the Armenians and Georgians somewhat dif­fer; The Syrians and the Abassines and Copties in Egypt and other Eastern and Southern Countreys, are of divers sentiments in many things: The Pa­pists differ from all; and the Protestants from them; and too many divisions are among themselves; which I need not name. And can it be expected that in such a world, particular Christians should be sound without their personal differences?

§. 15. 13. And the variety of Governments, an [...] Laws, will also produce the like disagreements. While one Prince or State is of one mind, and ano­ther of another; One is a Papist, another a Prote­stant, one a Lutheran and another Reformed, one a Greek and another against all sorts of Christians; And in the same Kingdom in one age the Prince is of one mind, and in the next his Successour of ano­ther. And this must needs cause disagreement in the Subjects.

§. 16. 14. And even the variety of Gods provi­dences will occasion diversity of thoughts: when some are in health and some in sickness, some in wealth and some in poverty, some high and some low, some favoured and preferred, and some per­secuted, imprisoned, slandered and distressed, whence different impressions will arise.

§. 17. 15. Yea mens different trades and callings will occasion different impressions; whilest their bu­siness leadeth them several wayes and into several companies, and altering employments.

§. 18. 16. And almost all men have some diffe­rent interests; The Teacher and the Hearer, the [Page 87] Landlord and the Tenant, the Souldier and the Countrey-man, the buyer and the seller, the master and the servant, the ruler and the subject, which will occasion different inclinations.

§. 19. 17. And men have great difference of tem­ptations, and provocations, from Satan and from men: some Satan tempteth one way, and some ano­ther; some are abused and provoked by one sort of men, and some by another; some are called out to disputes with one Sect, and some with another: And when they are engaged they usually bend all their studies one way, and little consider what may be said on the other side, or of other matters?

§. 20. 18. And when once a man hath received some one great opinion, true or false, it draweth on abundance of consequences, which those that recei­ved not that point did never think of.

§. 21. 19. And some have much more time and leisure to study, and happy counsellours to help them. And some follow hard labour and have lit­tle leisure to read, hear or think, or else live retired­ly where they have little notice of affairs, and miss the help of sound and faithful counsellours and hel­pers.

§. 22. 20. Lastly, Gods own Grace is free, and given to men in great diversity; some that have the same spirit have more illumination, and some less, as the Apostle at large declareth, 1 Cor. 12. and elsewhere. There is one Glory of the Sun, and another of the Moon saith Paul; And as one star differs in glory from another, so doth one man in gifts and understanding; And the face of the whole Creation sheweth that God delighteth to make a wonderful diversity in his works; scarce two stones in the street, two sheep, two beasts, two birds, two fishes, two trees, &c. so like, but we may know one [Page 88] from another by their differences: No nor two sons of the same parents, or two of the off-spring of any animals.

And is not all this joyned to the constant experi­ence of all ages, enough to prove, that even among Christians, and good and tolerable Christians, yea among all, there will still be differences in degrees of knowledge and virtue, and consequently dis­cords in some matters of Religion, higher or lower more or less?

§. 23. II. It is therefore certain that while there will be discord in Judgement, there will be also dis­cord in professions, and in practice. For honest mens professions and practices will agree with their judge­ments in the main. Even Paul and Barnabas will part when their judgements lead them so to do When men have not the same measure of skill and accurateness in expressing their own minds, and in speaking properly, grammatically, logically, signifi­cantly, agreeably to the thing spoken, nor the same skill in defining, or distinguishing, or sitting the true sense of words, they will really differ, and they will verbally differ, and seem to most unskilful judges, to differ really when they do not.

§. 24. It is not therefore to be expected that if some men think that long doctrinal confessions formed in mens private words, or Liturgies or other humane formes, have nothing in them untrue, or evil, or which all men may not consent to, therefore all others must think so too, and say as they: who can think that in many thousand uncertain words, all men can and must be of the same mind, and ap­prove them all alike? Or that honest men can lye, and say that they assent to what they do not?

[Page 89] §. 25. And if mens judgements differ about mat­ters of practice, in essentials, integrals or acci­dents, their practice will accordingly differ. He that judgeth a thing unlawful will not do it, if he fear God and be truly conscionable. Had Images been lawfully used in places or exercises of Gods worship, yet it was inhumane and unchristian in those Bishops and Councils who cursed from Christ all that were of the contrary mind, and pronounced it an intolerable heresie, and ejected and silenced dissenters, and raised wars and bloodshed for such a difference: Much more unchristian was it for the Roman Pope to rebel against his proper Prince, the Greek Emperour, and alienate the Western Empire from him, to the French, on that account, and to excommunicate and depose Emperours as hereticks called Iconoclasts, as if Imagery had been an Arti­cle of faith, or a necessary universal Command of God: For how can that be a heresie that is not a plain denyal or subversion of any necessary article of faith or practice? And sure no such for Images is in the Creed or Decalogue.

§. 26. The same I may say of many other Reli­gious practices: As St. Paul speaketh of meats and drinks and dayes, Rom. 14. & 15. so must we say of all things that are of no greater necessity: If men in all these must be brought to uniformity and pra­ctising in the same mode, it must be either by argu­ment and perswasion, or by force: The first we are sure will never do it, in all things, though it may in many: All the twenty reasons before mentioned prove it; and many hundred years experience much more; It is certain to all save blinded persons, that all Christians will never be in all things of a mind, about Lawful and Unlawful, Duty and Sin: And [...], that force will never do it: St. Paul [Page 90] saith of things indifferent, that he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: For whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Ungodly persons that have no true Conscience may go against their false Consciences for worldly ends, and wilfully sin for fear of men; But so will no true Christian, unless in the hour of such a temptation as Peters, by a fall from which he will rise again to a stronger resolu­tion than he had before: No sound believer will sell his soul to save his flesh, nor hazard heaven by wilful sin to save his interest on earth. So that this way of forcing men to practise contrary to their Consciences, in points in which good and tolerable Christians differ, will but make up Churches of wicked men that have no conscience, joyned with one party that is therein agreed. And I shall shew you in due place, that they will never devise what to do with the Conscionable dissenters, that shall not be far worse than a charitable and peaceable forbear­ance.

§. 27. III. It is certain that there will never be so great Concord, as that all Disputings, opposition, and passionate and injurious words and writings will cease among all sorts of Christians; No nor among all that are honest and upright in the main. For as long as one taketh that for a dangerous errour or sin which another taketh for a necessary truth or duty, men will (even on Gods account) think ill of one another, and in some measure speak ill as they think. They that know that they must not call evil good and good evil, nor put darkness for light, and light for darkness, will abuse and injure one another in things where they confidently err: A Lutheran, though pious, will speak and dispute against a Cal­vin [...], and a Cal [...]inist against a Lutheran; And so [Page 91] of many other Parties. And though it is greatly to be wished that all Christians had humble thoughts of their own understandings, and would stay till they know well what they say, before they talk much against things or persons, and though it be so with wise and eminently sober humble men, yet with too many it is far otherwise, and like so to continue. Perverse disputings and shameful back­bitings, and speaking evil of things and persons not understood, have such unhappy causes in the rem­nants of dark corrupted nature, that they seem to be like to live till a golden age or heaven do cure them. Talking and writing against one another even of the same Religion, yea praying and preach­ing against one another must be expected in some degree: I would I need not say, silencing and perse­cuting one another; yea excommunicating and anathematizing among the worser sort of men; such usage as Nazianzen had from one of the fa­mous General Councils, and such usage as Chrysostom had from such Bishops as Theophilus Alexand. and Epiphanius and a Council of other Bishops, and such as abundance of excellent men in most ages have met with in the like kind and way, may be expected again till Bishops and all Christians become more wise and resined persons.

§. 28. II. But (affirmatively) there is yet an excellent sort and degree of Unity and Concord to be sought with hope among Christians, worthy of all our utmost labour: Yea there is a true and excellent Unity and Concord which all true Christi­ans do already enjoy: consisting in the following things.

[Page 92] §. 29. I. All Christians (truly such) believe in One God; and believe the incomprehensible Trinity, and believe Gods Essential Attributes and Grand Rela­tions to man. They believe that he is Infinite in Im­mensity and Eternity and Perfection, even a most Per­fect Spirit, Life, Vnderstanding and Will, most Power­ful, Wise and Good, the Creator and preserver, the Go­vernour and the End of all, of whom and through whom and to whom are all things; in whom we Live and Move and have our being; Most Holy and True and Merciful and Just; whom we are bound to believe and trust and love and serve, and obey and praise with all our heart and mind and strength: and per­fectly and everlastingly to see, Love and Praise him, (to Please Him and be Pleased in Him) in Glory, is the end and happiness of Saints.

§. 30. II. All true Christians believe in One Me­diator between God and man, Jesus Christ, the Eter­nal Word, God, and one in Essence with the Father, Incarnate, assuming the whole Nature of man, con­ceived by the holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, and was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sin­ners, fulfilling all righteousness, and overcame the Devil and the world, and gave himself a Sacrifice for mans sin, by suffering a cursed death on the Cross, to ransome us and reconcile us unto God; and was buried and went to the departed souls in hades, and the third day rose again from the dead, having conquered death: And having declared the new Covenant or Law of Grace, and commanded his Apostles to preach the Gospel to all the world, and promised them to send the Holy Spirit, he ascended into Heaven before their faces: The said Covenant of Grace is summarily this [that where­as all have sinned and come short of the Glory of [Page 93] God; sin by one man entring into the world and death by sin, and so death and condemnation passed upon all, in that all have sinned; God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever Believeth in him should not perish, but have ever­lasting life; that is, God freely giveth to lost un­done sinners Himself to be their reconciled God and Father, Jesus Christ to be their Saviour, and the Holy Ghost to be their Sanctifier, if they will Be­lieve and Trust him and accept the gift, and will in serious Covenant (which Baptism celebrateth ac­cordingly) give up themselves to him, Repenting of their sins, and consenting to forsake the Devil, the world and the Flesh as opposite to God, and sincere­ly (though not perfectly) obey Christ and his Spi­rit to the end, according to the Law of Nature and his Gospel institutions, that so they may overcome and be Glorified for ever.]

And they believe that Christ will come at last in Glory and judge all men according to his Laws and to their works].

§. 31. III. And they all believe that the Holy Spirit, being God and one in Essence with the Fa­ther and the Son, proceeding from the Father and (or by) the Son, is the Great Witness, Agent and Advocate of Christ, before, at, and after his com­ing into the world incarnate; by his gifts of Pro­phecy, Miracles and Sanctification, convincing sin­ners and drawing them to Repent and Believe, and dwelling in Believers as an operating cause of Di­vine Life and Light and Love, thus Uniting them to God in Christ their Head, and to each other in Faith and Love, by which they are gathered to him as his Church or body, having the forgiveness of their sins, and the adoption of Sons, and right to [Page 94] the heavenly inheritance; And living in holy com­munion on earth, their souls at death are received to happiness with Christ, and their Bodies shall be raised, and soul and body Glorified at the last with Jesus Christ and all the blessed, in the perfect Vision, Love and joyful Praise of the most Glorious Je­hovah.

§. 32. And as I. All Christians agree in this Belief, so also II. They all solemnly in and by the Baptismal Covenant, and their holy Eucharistical Communion and other duties Profess the Consent of their wills to these Relations to God their Creatour, Redeemer and Sanctifier, and to his Church or body, and their thankful Acceptance of the foresaid Gifts: And they profess and express their seeking-desires hereof, according to the Contents of the Lords Prayer.

§. 33. III. And as to Practice they all agree in professing and promising obedience to Christ, ac­cording to the Law of Nature, the Decalogue and all his Written Laws, so far as they understand them, and their desire to Learn them to that end.

§. 34. All sincere Christians agree in the true and Hearty Consent to all this; And these are the true saved Church of Christ, called Invisible, because their Hearts-consent is Invisible. All other Baptized and Professing Christians with them, agree in the Profes­sion of all this; And are called The Church-visible, their Profession being visible. And all this being truly included in Baptism, which is our entrance into the Catholick (or Universal) Church, in this before described consisteth our Catholick Communion in Christs body, as spiritual or invisible and as visible.

[Page 95] §. 35. II. But besides this Universal Church-Uni­on and Communion, for ORDER and Advan­tage to our great end, God hath instituted the OR­DER of Christian Assemblies or Particular Chur­ches; which are to the Vniversal Church as Cities and Corporations to a Kingdom: Which are the noblest and most priviledged parts of the Kingdom; but yet not essential parts, but eminently Integral: For it may be a Kingdom without them, and would be if they were all disfranchised and laid common. And if Apostles and Evangelists as Itinerant Preachers, convert and baptize men, they are part of the Church Universal before they are gathered into di­stinct societies under proper Pastors of their own. The Eunuch Act. 8. was baptized into no particular Church, but into the universal only; and so were many others: And meer Baptism as such without any additional contract, doth no more. If thousands were Converted in America, or cast there without Pastors, they were parts of the Universal Church, if baptized Professing Christians. And before the Apostles ordained any fixed Bishops or Pastors of particular Churches, the Church Universal was in being though small.

§. 36. But these particular Churches being a great part of Christs Institutions, and necessary not only by Precept, but as a means to the Well-being of the Universal, and the Edification of it and the particu­lar members; It must be endeavoured, and that with good hope of success, that there may so much Parti­cular Church-Vnion be obtained and maintained as shall much conduce to its great and excellent ends. That is, 1. So much as that in them, God the Fa­ther, Son and Holy Ghost may be Publickly, so­lemnly, and constantly confessed, by sound do­ctrine, [Page 96] holy worship, and holy discipline and con­versation.

2. So much as that hearty Christian Love may be exercised and maintained, and Christians edified in Communion of Saints.

3. So much as that God shall accept them, delight in them and bless them, their converting, edifying and comforting souls, hearing their prayers and praises, and owning them by his Ministry, Cove­nants and grace, and differencing them from the people that do not thus confess and worship him, and promoting hereby their salvation.

And if this much be attained, it is not to be vilifi­ed for want of more, nor blotted with reproachful names; but acknowledged with thankfulness and praise.

§. 37. III. And yet there is a further degree of concord to be hoped for and endeavoured, and that is the concord of these particular Churches with one another: That they may all Profess, 1. The same faith, and necessary doctrine; 2. and the same Love to God and one another; 3. and the same Hope of life eternal, 4. and may offer to God the same necessary and acceptable sort of worship, viz. by preaching and applying his holy word, recorded in the holy Scri­ptures, preserving and reading them, calling upon his holy name by Confession, prayer, thanksgiving and praises, and holding respective communion in the use also of the Sacraments of his Covenant▪ and exercising in some measure such holy Govern­ment and Discipline, by Pastors overseeing their se­veral flocks, as he himself by his institution hath made universally necessary. And all this, though not in perfection, nor every where with the same degree of purity and care, yet so far, 1. as that [Page 97] Gods word and ordinances be kept up in soundness in all parts and respects necessary to salvation; 2. and as may tend to the edifying of the Churches by Love, and concord in necessary things, and their mutual help by counsel, and strength by that concord, 3. and the avoiding of pernicious feuds and divisions.

§. 38. The means by which this is to be done, 1. by communicatory Letters; 2. by Synods, 3. and by Civil Governours, is after in due place to be ex­plained.

Thus much of Christian Vnity and Concord may be well hoped for upon just endeavours here on earth: But neither Perfection in these, nor those un­necessary terms of Concord which some have long ta­ken to be necessary.

§. 39. And indeed so much as may be hoped for, is so very hardly to be obtained, that if we trusted not to Gods extraordinary Grace, more than to any natural probability that appeareth to us in man, we should be ready to despair that ever Christians should live long in so much peace and concord: And though the great difficulty must not kill our hopes, it must much quicken us to strenuous endea­vours: Of which more anon. Satan is so great an enemy to it, and every sin in man is so much against it (as every disease in the body is against its ease and peace), and the multitude and malignity of sins and sinners is so great, and the very healers so few and faulty and unskilful, and do so much against their own desired ends, that instead of accusing the providence of God, we should thankfully won­der that there is so much peace and concord as there is, and that all men live not as enemies to each others in continual war; or that the devour­ing Pikes leave so many of the lesser fish alive, and [Page 98] the weak and innocent are not wholly a prey to the oppressors.


That Christ himself who commanded the Vnity, Love and Concord of Christians, did prescribe the necessary terms.

§. 1. IF it be once proved, that Christ himself hath prescribed the conditions or terms of Christian Union and Communion, what remaineth to Christians, but to enquire What are those terms? Whereas for want of that necessary supposition, while men think it is left to them, no man knoweth who should do it, and the Pope prescribeth his terms, and others prescribe their terms, and almost each Sect hath different terms.

§. 2. That Christ did prescribe them, I shall prove I. Antecedently, à Causis, II. Consequently, ab Effectis; III. By proving the necessary exclusion of any other competent prescribers.

§. 3. I. Antecedently it is proved from 1. The universal necessity of the thing, 2. And from the office of Christ to do things of such universal neces­sity, and his faithfulness therein.

§. 4. 1. There are few Christians so ignorant or inconsiderate, but will confess that the Vnion of Christians is necessary, not only to the edification and well being, but to the very being of the Church, [Page 99] (both universal and particular.) For what is a Church, but many Christians united and associated for Church-ends? Pull all the Bricks or Timber of the house asunder, and it is no house: Pull all the Planks and parts of a Ship asunder, and it is no Ship: Pull all the leaves and sentences of a Book asunder, and it is no Book: Pull all the parts of a mans body asunder, and there remaineth no body of a man, considered formally, but only materially, and in their aptitude to re-union at the resurre­ction. An Army disbanded and dissipated, is no Army. And certainly it is no Church, that hath not Church-unity of parts.

2. And all that believe in Christ, believe that he came into the world to call and gather his Church, and to save them; and that he sent his Word, his Ministers and Spirit to this end. He is the principle of life to the Church his body; who first by aggre­gation uniteth them to himself and one another, and then is their constitutive and governing and quickning head. It is his undertaken office first to make all his own members, and then to govern, pre­serve, edifie and save them. And how can Christ make his Church, without uniting the members? Can he build his house, and never set the bricks, stones or timber together? Can you make a Clock or Watch, without adapting and uniting the parts? And can Christ gather, build, compaginate and unite his Church, and not so much as tell men (ei­ther Pastors or people) what are the Conditions and terms of union, and the cement or solder that must unite them?

§. 5. And all Christians confess Christs sufficiency for his office, and his perfect faithfulness in per­forming it. He wanted neither Power, Wisdom, nor Love (or Will) to gather his own Church or [Page 100] body: He was faithful as Moses in all Gods house. And he that fulfilled all the righteousness of the Law, and whatever was imposed on him as a hum­bled satisfier of Justice, surely no less fulfilled all that belonged to him as the grand Administrator, and Benefactor, and Executor of Gods mercy and his own will, and as Head over all things to his Church, Eph. 1. 22, 23.

§. 6. Nay, as he was the King and Law giver of the Church, who was to give them all their Vniver­sal Laws (binding all men) could he be supposed to have done this faithfully, if he had left out the very terms of Church-unity and concord, when such unity is essential to the Church? Did he send the Apostles to disciple and baptize all Nations, and be in Gods house (the Church) as Paul calleth Ti­mothy [Pillars and bases of truth] yea, foundations, and Master-builders, that must gather his Church out of all the world, and yet never tell them What a Church is? that is, how the parts must be united?

As he is the Teacher of the Church, did he never teach them so necessary a thing, as what essential Church-unity is? These are such imputations against Christ, as seem to deny him to be Christ; As he would deny God to be God, that would deny his providence and government of the world.

§. 7. Christs Law is to be both the Rule of our actions and his judgement. And if he have left out so great a point as the essentiating terms of Church Vnion, what momentous acts of our lives are left to be ungoverned and unjudged by the Laws of Christ?

§. 8. Above all men those are bound to consent to what I say, who hold that Christs Laws have not left so much as a ceremony undetermined, and that [Page 101] nothing may be added or diminished in his wor­ship. How much less then hath he left the essenti­ating terms of Church-unity unprescribed?

§. 9. II. And consequently ab effectis we find, that Christ did it.

1. He plainly declared what maketh a Christian. 2. He declared how all Christians should live in love and concord. 3. And how the coalition of these Christians maketh his Church.

§. 10. I. It had been strange, if he that came into the world to make men Christians, had never told men what a Christian is. And if he that sent his Apostles to make Christians, had set them to do they knew not what, and never told them what a Christian is, and consequently what they must perswade men to. And if he that promised Justification, Pardon, A­doption and Glory to all true believers (that is, to true Christians,) had yet never told them how they may know that they are such? And that he that commanded so much Christian duty, publick and private, and required Christians to suffer so much for his sake, and to look for a reward in Heaven, should yet never tell them what Christianity is? If Christ made Christianity, (that is, the Laws and de­scription, objects and principle) then he made a Determinate thing: If not, hath he left it to man to make Christianity (objectively)? Then how shall we know to whom he gave this power? And how many several species of Christianity (or faith) may be made in the world?

§. II. It is evident in Scripture, that Christ sent his Apostles, and that he taught them what to preach, and particularly that he Matth. 28. 19, 20. said [Go and Disciple me all Nations, baptizing them [Page 102] in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost] teaching them to observe all things whatever I com­manded you.] And it is certain, that a Baptized person was then accounted a Christian, and Baptism was their Christening; and that this was the Church entrance, and visible symbol of a Christian and Church-mem­ber: And that all Christs Church hath so accounted of baptism to this day: and true Tradition is in no one point so full and constant as in this. And more­over the very nature of the thing it self declareth it. Is not he a Christian that believeth according to the sense of the institution, in God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and by a solemn Vow and Cove­nant devoteth himself to him as his God and Father, his Redeemer and Saviour, and his Sanctifier and Comfor­ter, and the witness of Christ; and that hereupon hath right to justification, adoption, and the heavenly inheri­tance: Who is a Christian, if this be not?

§. 12. The sense of the Catholick Church is so no­torious in this, that I think there is little disagree­ment about it. The Papists confess it: The Prote­stants confess it: See but Vossii Theses de Baptismo, and Davenant de Bapt. and especially Gatakers Am­madversions on that of Davenant: All confess, that all the antient Churches held, that to the duly quali­fied receiver, all sin was pardoned in baptism, and the person put into a state of life: And therefore was a member of the Church.

§. 13. II. And that Christ commanded all Chri­stians to take each other as brethren, and to live in Love; and that all men by this were to know them to be his disciples, is so fully revealed in Scripture, that it is needless among Christians to prove it.

[Page 103] III. As also that such Christians united to him their Head, are eo nomine his Church; and living in this Love, live as the members of his Church must do.

§. 14. And here three things are to be noted, 1. That what was done by the Holy Spirit as given extraordinarily to the Apostles as founders or Ar­chitects of the Church, to lead them into all truth, was truly done by Christ himself; the Holy Ghost so extraordinarily given being his promised Agent.

2. That yet this work of Instituting Baptism as the terms of Church-union, he would not leave to the Spi­rit in the Apostles, but was the immediate author of it himself.

3. But yet two things hereabout he left to the Apostles, 1. To explain to the baptized the true sense of the general words in the baptismal Cove­nant: 2. And to institute part of the terms of Particular Church Order and Vnity: who according­ly setled (or ordained) Elders, Bishops or Pastors, in every particular Church, which at first was for the most part in every City (or great Town) where the Gospel was received by any competent number; and after they added Deacons and Dea­conesses or Widows ad melius esse only, and they taught them by word and writing to observe all that Christ commanded.

§. 15. III. And as I have proved, 1. That it must be done, 2. And that Christ did it, so 3. It is part of our proof, that no other did it or could do it.

1. No other had authority to institute Church-Essentials, and to give such necessary universal Laws. 2. No other came early enough to do it, but as his [Page 104] Ministers after Christ had done it. 3. No other had wisdom and fitness enough for it; nor were fit to agree to make Church essentials. 4. De facto Histo­ry proves they did it not. 5. To undertake it, is to invade Christs office. The Apostles themselves found it done to their hands: Much less can any ordinary Pastors since prove any authority from God, or any true capacity in themselves for such a work.

§. 16. And if any pretend to it, they must be such as lived before Christ had any Evangelical Church (that is, of the same species as hath been since the institution of Christian baptism) or such as have lived only since. The former came not in as com­petitors: The latter were too late to be the do [...]s of that which was done before. Union is essential to the Church in general: The necessary terms of Union are essential to it in specie as the Christian Church: For necessarium est sine quo res esse non po­test: It's no Christian Church, without the necessary terms of Church union. And therefore before those terms were first made or instituted, there was no Church of that species: and after there was such a Church, and consequently such terms of its Union, none could make them, they being made before.

If any that came after did or shall hereafter at­tempt to make such terms, it must be new ones, and not the same that constituted the first Church: and then their Church will be new, and not of the same species as the first. Indeed God did make new Laws of Administration, and so may a Kingdom, without changing the constitution: but not new constituting terms: Governing Laws which follow the Constitution, are not to make the Kingdom a King­dom, or the Church a Church: but to preserve the Church and its order, and promote its wel­fare: [Page 105] and the Oath of Allegiance maketh a man a Subject, without subscribing to the Governing Laws: But as a Subject he consenteth to live under those Laws: and if he break them, he is punishable according to them, and for breaking some of them, may be cut off: and for some crimes a man may be excommunicate.

But yet excommunication must be distinguished: That which totally cuts a man off from the Church, must be but a sentence upon proof that he hath first morally cut off himself: Lesser crimes must be punished with the lesser excommunication, which is but a suspension, and that which Paul speaketh of, 2 Thess. 3. 15. Yet take him not for an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

§. 17. By all this it is most evident, that Christ himself the Institutor and maker of his Church, hath made the terms of essential Catholick Vnion; and that we have nothing to do herein, but to find out what are the terms that he hath made, and not to enquire what any men since have made or ad­ded, as being not authorized thereto.


No humane terms, not made by Christ, or his Spirit extraordinarily given to the Apostles, are Necessary to the Being of Particular Churches: But divers humane acts are ne­cessary to their existence, and administration.

§. 1. DIvers men speak diversly of this matter: 1. Some say that no form of the Polity of particular Churches is of Divine institution, but that God hath left all the forming of them to the will of man.

2. Others say, that no form of them is lawful but what is of Divine institution.

And of the first, some say that Christ instituted the Papal form, and some say General Councils, the summam Potestatem to the universal Church, and left it to them to form particular Churches. Others say that Magistrates are to do it: And others that the Diocesane Bishops of every Nation in National or Provincial Synods may do it. But all agree that the form of particular Churches must be made, by some that had authority from Christ to do it.

§. 2. Of the second sort (who hold no form of a particular Church lawful, but what is of Divine in­stitution) some hold that only a Diocesan Church (that hath many Congregations and Altars) is of Di­vine institution, and that the Parochial are not Chur­ches but Oratories or Chapels, or parts of a Church: Others ho [...]d that only Parochial Churches (of one Altar or associated for personal Communion in presence) [Page 107] are of Divine institution: some that both Dioce­sane and Parochial Churches are of Divine institu­tion; and some that these and Provincial, National, Patriarchal (and the Papal) are of Divine institu­tion: Thus do mens judgements vary.

§. 3. A third sort hold that God hath instituted some Church forms besides the Universal, and left men to make others: And here some think that God in­stituted Patriarchal, and left them to make the Dio­cesan and Parochial: some hold that God instituted only the Diocesan and left them power to make the Patriarchal and the Parochial: some hold that he made only the Parochial (I mean single societies associ­ated for present personal Communion) and left them by voluntary associations to make the greater over them.

§. 4. Among these opinions let us first try whe­ther Christ hath instituted any Church form besides the universal, and 2. what that is.

I. And 1. if Christ hath instituted a holy Chri­stian society for ordinary holy Communion and mutual help in Gods publick worship and holy living, consisting of Pastors authorized and ob­liged to Teach, and Guide, and speak for the flock in Gods publick worship and administer his Sa­craments according to Christs word, and of a flock obliged to hear them, learn, obey and follow such their conduct to the foresaid ends] then Christ hath instituted a form of a particular Church, and its policy. But the antecedent is true, as shall be proved: And the consequent or major is proved, à definito ad denominatum; This definition containeth the Essentials of a Church. No man can deny that to be a Christian Church which hath this defini­tion.

[Page 108] §. 5. Here still it is supposed that the Spirit in the Apostles, who were designed to be founders and master-builders, and to gather and order Churches, and teach them to observe all Christs commands, was Christs promised Agent (as Tertullian calls him) and that Christ did what the Spirit did by the Apostles in their proper work, to which he was promised them as their Guide; as it is afore­said.

§. 6. And that Christ and his Apostles instituted sacred ordinary Assemblies of Christians for holy worship and Communion, is so clear in the New Testament that it were vain to prove it.

§. 7. And 2. as notorious and past doubt it is that the end of these Assemblies was such as is here mentioned; 3. And as plain that such Pastors as are here described were set over all these Congre­gations, and authorized and obliged to the foresaid work, that is under Christ the great Teacher, Priest and Ruler of the Church, to Teach them Gods word, to intercede under Christ for them to God, and from Christ to them in prayer and Sacra­ments, &c. and to Guide them by that called the Keyes of the Church, discerning whom to receive by Baptism, whom to reprove, exhort, comfort or ab­solve, Act. 14. 23. Act. 20. 1 Tim. 3. Tit. 1. and many other places shew this.

§. 8. And it is no less plain that the people were bound to continue in their doctrine, communion and prayer, and to obey them in that which they were commissioned to do: Heb. 13. 7, 13, 24. & 10. 25, 26. 1 Thes. 5. 12, 13. 1 Tim. 5. 17. & 20. and many other places; so that the form of such Churches as consist of such Congregations and their Pastors is past all denyal and just doubt.

[Page 109] §. 9. And as to all other Church-forms (Classical, Diocesan, Metropolitical, Provincial, National, Pa­triarchal and Papal, it is these only that fall under reasonable doubt and controversie. And 1. for Classical Churches, I can say but this, 1. That the Ge­neral commands of holding Christian Love and Concord, and doing all to edification require such Churches as live near together to be helpers to each other, and that counsel and correspondency is ne­cessary hereto, which the Churches have still lauda­bly exercised by Synods: And if these associations for order-sake be agreed on, as to stated times and numbers and bounds, it is but the circumstantiating of a known duty: And if any will call this a distinct Policy or Church-form, I contend not against their li­berty of speech, while we agree de re: But I judge it perillous to give the same name to such an Assem­bly or. Association as to a Church of Christs institution; lest it seduce men to think that the word is not equivocally used. If the Agents of several Kingdoms met at a common Dyet, I had rather not call them a superiour Kingdom, were their meeting never so ne­cessary. An Assembly that is the Pars Imperans of one body Politick, having Legislative power, is one thing; and an Assembly of Agents or Princes for meer concord and strength and help of distinct King­doms, Schools, Armies, &c. is another thing. And I know no proof that such Councils must be ordina­ry, or at stated Times and places, but sometimes that is best, and sometime not, as the case standeth, as even the Papists confess. And when they begin to degenerate from a Council for Concord to a Majesty or highest Governing power, it's time to cross their claim and interrupt the occasions of it.

§. 10. And if men at such Classes, and Councils choose one to keep order as a moderator, yea if they [Page 110] fix him, it is but the circumstantiating of the Assem­blies work: But if he will claim hereupon a distinct order, office, and proper political Church relation, so as hence to make himself the Regent part of a spe­cies of a Church, yea and claim this as of God and unalterable, I cannot justifie such a Church-form.

§. 11. This holds as to the Presidents of all ranks of Synods, Classical, Diocesan, Metropolitical, Provin­cial, National or Patriarchal. To use them as Pre­sidents of Councils for Concord is one thing; and to use them as the Pars Imperans, or the constitutive heads of a distinct Church-species is another. Arch-Bishop Vsher told me himself his judgement, that Councils were but for Counsel and Concord, and not for the Government of each other or any of the members; and that they had no proper Govern­ing power either over their Minor part, or over any absent Bishops: Though each Bishop was still the Governour of his own flock, and their power over their flocks was exercised with the greater advan­tage by their Concord in Councils. Dyets and Councils of distinct independent Bishops are not di­stinct forms of policy or Churches.

§. 12. And if this hold true, that the Councils themselves are not thereby Rectors of a distinct poli­tical society, but for Concord of many, then it will follow that a President of such a Council, whether Diocesan, Provincial, National or more General, is not as such a Rector of the Bishops under him and their people, but only the Orderer or Guide of the Modes and Circumstances of the Council as such. And therefore could the Pope prove a right to pre­side in General Councils (orbis Romani, vel orbis ter­rarum) which he cannot, it were no proof that he is Regent Head of the Church universal. The same I may say of the other Presidents.

[Page 111] §. 13. If it hold that God instituted only Con­gregational or Parochial Churches (as for present Com­munion) then it must needs follow that none of the rest instituted by man, have power to deprive such single Churches of any of the Priviledges granted them by Christ: And therefore whereas Christ hath made the terms of Catholick Communion himself, and hath commanded all such to worship him pub­lickly in holy Communion under faithful Pastors chosen or at least consented to by themselves (which many hundred years was the judgement of the Churches), no humane order or power can deprive them of any of this benefit, nor disoblige them from any of this duty, by just authority.

§. 14. Nay seeing that the universal Church is certainly the highest species, none hath authority on pretence of narrower Communion in lower Churches, to change Christs terms of Catholick Com­munion, nor to deprive Christians of the right of being loved and received by each other, or disob­lige them from the duty of loving and receiving each other. Humane power made by their own contracts, cannot change Christs Laws, nor the Priviledges or forms of Christs own Churches.

§. 15. They that say that these several Church species are of God, must prove that God instituted them; and that can be only by Scripture: or else that he gave some power to institute them since Scripture times: which till they prove, none are bound to obey them, at least when they over rule Christs own institutions.

§. 16. To devise new species of Churches with­out Gods authority and impose them on the world (yea in his name) and call all dissenters schisma­ticks, is a far worse Usurpation than to make and impose new Ceremonies or Liturgies.

[Page 112] §. 17. Dr. Hammond (Dissert, cont. Blond. & An­not. in Act. 11. & pass.) affirmeth that it cannot be proved that the order of subject Presbyters was existent in Scripture times; and consequently hold­eth that Bishops had but single Congregations (as Ignatius speaketh with One Altar). Now if Dio­cesans, Metropolitans, Provincials, Patriarchs, or Pope as constitutive of Church-species were made after, either these new Churches were made by the Bishops of Parochial Churches, or by those that were No Bishops or Pastors of any Churches at all (For the Apostles were dead, and no institution of these but Scriptural can be truly proved. And other Churches besides the Catholick and Parochial, or single, (distinct from a compound of Churches) there were then none.) For the lower to make the higher Churches, is that which they will not grant, who grant not that Presbyters may propagate their own species; and deny that power ascendeth ab inferioribus. And that men of no Church, made all these new Church-species is no honour to them.

§. 18. Two contrary opinions herein now reign: One of the Papists that think Christ instituted the Pope with power to make inferiour Church species. That other is, that Christ or his Apostles instituted Diocesans, giving them power both as rulers to make Parish Churches (or Chapels) under them, and by Contract or Consent to make the highest species over them, (Provincial, National, Patriarchal, and say some Papal.) But as to the Papists so much is said against their supposition that it's not here to be confuted: And it's certain that sin­gle Church order was constituted by no Pope, and that all the Apostles had power thereto. And as for the latter, which affirmeth the lower de­grees to make the higher, we still want the proofs [Page 113] of their authority so to do: of which more after­wards.

§. 19. As for them that say that it is Magi­strates that have power to make new species of Churches, I grant them that whatever alterations of Church-Orders may be made, Magistrates may do much in them. The Power of Princes, and the Guidance of Pastors, and the Consent of the people have each herein their special place: But what these alterations or additions are which they may make, is the chief question: Both the Ca­tholick Church, and single Church assemblies being instituted by Christ are not left to them. The circumstantiating of other Assemblies and Associa­tions are left to them, to be done according to Gods general Law: But that making new Po­litical Societies that are properly called Chur­ches, or Religious bodies consisting of the Pars regens, & pars subdita, is left to them by Christ, I never saw proved, any more than the making of new Sacraments. But if that could be proved, yet that these humane Churches or their makers may change those that are of Divine institution or deprive them of their priviledges, or forbid them commanded duty, cannot be proved.

§. 20. And it is certain, 1. That if Princes or Bishops or the people did institute Diocesan, or Metropolitan, Provincial or Patriarchal Churches, they may yet make more and other species: And who knoweth how many new forms of Churches we may yet expect? 2. And they that made them, upon good reason may unmake them, or alter them when they please.

§. 21. But though the Legislator and not the Sub­jects be the institutor of the Vniversal and particular Church-policies, yet men are the constitutive matter, [Page 114] and mans consent and faith is the dispositio materiae without which the form is not received: and mans welfare is part of the final cause; and Ministers are the instruments (and Gods word written and preached) for the gathering of Churches by such qualification of the persons, and also of revealing the Institution of Christ, and investing of particular persons in their Church-relations.

§. 22. By all this it appeareth that as it be­longeth to Christ to institute the political species of Churches (though circumstantiating may be left to man), at least undoubtedly of the Vniversal and of the single species, so it belongeth to Christ and not to man to institute and describe their terms of Union: For this is the very institution of the species: And we are not to receive humane Church-policies without good proof of mens authority to make them, and impose them.


The danger of the two extreams: And first of despairing of any Concord, and of unjust To­lerations.

§. 1. SOme men having seen the Christian world so long in Sects and contending parties, do think that there is no hope of Vnity and Concord, and therefore that all should be left at liberty: And others think that there is no hope but on terms so wide as shall take such as Christ receiveth not, nor would have us receive. And on such accounts there were very early great contentions about the qualifications of [Page 115] the baptizers and baptized, and the validity of bap­tism, and about re-baptizing.

As to the Baptizers, some thought that only Priests should baptize (none appropriated it to Bi­shops): some thought Lay-men might baptize in case of necessity, and some thought that women also might do it: And some thought that though women or Lay-men might not do it lawfully, yet factum va­let, being done, such should not be re-baptized. And some thought that those that were baptized even by Priests that were Schismaticks, (or as they called them Hereticks when they separated from common Concord and Communion) must be re­baptized. And they thought that if they were baptized in such a Schismatical (or Heretical) so­ciety, by whomsoever, it was not into the true Church. In this case Cyprian and the African Bi­shops with Firmilian and his Collegues, were in the wrong, when the Bishop of Rome was in the right. And the Donatists thought they were but of Cyprians mind: For it seems they had there the greater num­ber of Bishops; And the greater number went for the Church, and the less for hereticks: and so they called themselves the Church (though out of Africa the number against them, or that meddled not in the quarrel was far greater.) And all this arose but by the contests of two men for the Bishoprick of Car­thage, some following one and some the other.

§. 2. This errour of Cyprian and the Donatists, arose 1. from their not sufficiently distinguishing the Church universal, from the Associated Churches of their Countrey; nor well considering that Baptism as such is but our entrance into the universal Church, and not into this or that particular Church. 2. By an abusive or equivocal use of the name [Heretick] their doctrine being true of Hereticks strictly so [Page 116] called, who deny in baptizing any essential part of Christianity, but false of Hereticks laxly so called, that are only Schismaticks, or deny only or corrupt some lower doctrines, precepts or practices of Re­ligion.

§. 3. Therefore the Council of Nice truly de­cided the case by distinction, decreeing the re-bap­tizing of some (as such as the Paulinists baptized) and not of others. That is, All that had not true Christian baptism consisting of all the true essentials, were to be re-baptized, and not others, whatever particular Church they were of.

§. 4. Hereupon also among the Roman Doctors, it hath been a great debate, whether the Priests In­tention was necessary to the validity of baptism: The true answer to which is this.

It is one question what is necessary to the justifying of the Priest, before the Church? and another before God? and another question what is necessary to the validity of baptism to the receiver before the Church? and another before God? And so I answer.

Supposing that no man shall suffer for anothers fault, but for his own: 1. If the Priest profess and In­tention to baptize in general, and express it in the true words of baptism, his act ex parte sui is valid co­ram ecclesiâ though he dissemble.

2. If the Priest dissemble, his act is a crime and shall be punished by God.

3. If he profess not to intend to baptize the person, or to intend it in general, but to corrupt it in the Essentials, it is as a Ministration invalid coram Eccle­siâ and should be done again.

4. If the adult person baptized profess baptismal Consent dissemblingly, it is valid baptism coram ecclesiâ as to what the Church must do upon it, but invalid as to what God is to do as the performer of the Co­venant.

[Page 117] 5. If the person baptized do not so much as pro­fess consent, or profess not to consent, nor to intend to be then baptized, it is no baptism before God or the Church.

6. If he profess to be baptized in general, but deny any Essential in particular, it is not the true Christian baptism, but must be better done.

§. 5. When any came in so great errour as that the Church scarce knew whether it was an Essential part of faith and baptism that was denyed, it made the Controversie hard about their re-baptizing. Ma­ny thought that the Photinians and Arians denying Christs Godhead as of the same substance with the father, denyed an essential article, and were to be re-baptized if they so entred at first: Our Socinians are much worse, that deny Christs Godhead in a ful­ler sence. And how doth he believe in Christ that believeth him not to be God, which is most emi­nently essential to him?

§. 6. They that are over-bold in altering Christs terms of Church Union and Communion, making them less or more or other, if they knew what they do, would find themselves more concerned in these con­troversies of baptizing and re-baptizing, and conse­quently greater corrupters, than they have thought.

§. 7. To think that Church Vnion is impossible is to deny that there is any Church, and consequently any Christ. To think that necessary Concord in Com­munion is impossible, is so great a disparagement to the Church, as tempteth men by vilifying it to doubt of Christianity: For if Christians cannot live in Unity of faith and love and converse, what is their Christianity? And such despair of Concord will make men suspend all endeavours to attain it: For Despair useth no means.

[Page 118] §. 8. And to take into the Church of Christ such as want the Essentials, and Christ would not have re­ceived, is to corrupt his Church, and bring in Con­fusion, and such as will dishonour him, and will be more hurtful in the Church than they would be with­out: like rebels in a Kingdom, or mutineers in an Army, or enemies in a Family: The nearer the worse.

§. 9. It is for this use especially that Christ hath committed the Church Keyes to the Pastors: And the Key of entrance is the Chief. Therefore he that judgeth who is to be Baptized, exerciseth the chief act of the Church Keyes: And he that Baptized was held to have the Power of judging whom to baptize: which was never denyed to the Presbyters, till after for order some restrained them.

§. 10. It is a strange contrariety of some Pastors to themselves, who judge that all Infants of Hea­thens, Jews, Turks or wicked men are without ex­ception to be taken into the Church, if any igno­rant Christian will but offer them, and say over a few words; and the Adult also if they can but say over the Creed by rote, and a few words more; and thus fill the Church with Enemies of Christ; and yet when they are in, deny them Communion unless they will strictly come up to many humane unnecessary impositions; as if far stricter obedience to men (perhaps in usurpations) were necessary, than to Jesus Christ.

§. 11. How far Infidels, Catechumens, or Hereti­cal or Schismatical Assemblies may be tolerated in the world about us by Magistrates, is not here to be en­quired, but hereafter: But that the Churches them­selves should not corrupt their own Communion by taking and keeping in uncapable persons, the na­ture of the Church and discipline, and its ends, and [Page 119] the reproof of the Churches, Rev. 2. & 3. and the judgement of the Universal Church do tell us.


The sin and danger of making too much necessary to Church Vnion and Communion.

§. 1. ADdition to Christs terms are very peril­lous as well as diminution: When men will deny either Church entrance or Communion to any that Christ would have received, because they come not up to certain terms which they or such as they devise. And though they think that Christ giveth them Power to do thus, or that reason or necessity justifieth them, their errour will not make them guiltless: Imputing their errour to Christ untruly, is no small aggravation of the sin.

§. 2. Nor is it a small fault to usurp a power pro­per to Christ: to make themselves Law givers to his Church without any authority given them by him: Their Ministry is another work.

§. 3. And it is dangerous Pride to think them­selves Great enough, Wise enough, and Good enough, to come after Christ and to amend his work, and do it better than he hath done.

§. 4. Much less, when they hereby imply an accu­sation against him and his institutions, as if he had not done it well, but they must amend it, or all will be intolerable.

§. 5. And indeed Mans work will be like man, weak and faulty and full of flaws, when Gods work will be like God, the effect of Alsufficience, power, wisdom and Love.

[Page 120] §. 6. And the merciful Lord and Saviour of the Church, that came to take off heavy burdens and in­tolerable yokes, will not take it well to have men come after him and as by his authority, to make his easie yoke more strait, and his light burden heavy, and to cast or keep out those that he hath Redeem­ed and doth receive, and to deal cruelly with those that he hath so dearly bought, and tenderly loveth.

§. 7. And indeed it is ofter for mens own inte­rest, and dominion, to keep up their power and ho­nour of superiority, that men thus use the servants of Christ, than truly to keep clear the Church, and to keep out the polluters.

§. 8. But when it is done by too much strictness and as for Church-purity, yet this also hath its aggrava­tions: For men so far to forget themselves, that they are servants and not Lords, sinners that have need themselves of mercy, unfit to be too forward to cast the first stone, to seem more wise and holy than Christ, is but specious offending him.

§. 9. And as spiritual priviledges excel temporal, so is it an aggravated Tyranny, to deprive Christs servants of benefits so precious, and so dearly bought. As it was not with Silver and Gold that we were Redeemed, so neither for the enjoying of Silver and Gold. Communion with Christ, his bo­dy and blood and his Saints in his Ordinances, is a blessing so great, that he that robs such of it that have right to it, may answer it dearlier than if he had rob'd them of their purses: O what then hath the Roman Usurper done that hath oft interdicted whole Kingdoms of Christians, the use of holy pri­viledges and duties!

§. 10. Little do many men, that cry up faith and Orthodoxness and Catholicism and obedience, and cry down Heresie, Schism, Errour and Disobe­dience, [Page 121] believe how much guilt lyeth on their souls, and without Repentance how terrible it will prove, to be charged with the cruelties which they have used to good Christians, in reproaching them and casting them out of the Church, and destroying them as Hereticks and Schismaticks, that should have been loved and honoured as Saints. But some men cannot see by the light of the fire, till they come so near it as to be burned.

§. 11. These self-made or over-doing terms of Church-Union and Concord, will prove the cer­tainest Engines of Schism; And none are so hei­nous Schismaticks, as they that make unnecessary terms of Union, and then call all Schismaticks that consent not to them. For 1. these are the Leaders of the disorder, when other sort of Schismaticks usually are but followers: 2. These do it by Law, which is of most extensive mischief, even to all that are subject to them, when others do it but by local practice, extending but to those that are about them, or the particular assemblies which they gather. 3. These make the Schism unavoi­dable, when private Seducers may be resisted: For it is not in the power of good men to bring their judgements to the sentiments of every or any dictator, or yet to go contrary to their judge­ments. Ilicitum stat pro impossibili. 4. These ag­gravate the crime by pretending power from God, and fathering Schism on so good a thing as Go­vernment, and causing it as for Unity it self. 5. They condemn themselves by crying down Schism, while they unavoidably cause it.

§. 12. And this over-doing and making unne­cessary termes, unavoidably involveth them in the guilt of persecution; and when they have be­gun it, they know not where to stop. Suppose [Page 122] they decree that none shall preach the Gospel, or assemble for holy Communion in publick Wor­ship, but those that subscribe or swear or promise or profess or do, somewhat accounted sinful by the persons commanded, and not necessary indeed, how­ever esteemed by the imposer (who yet perhaps calls it but Indifferent). It is certain that no ho­nest Christian will do that which he judgeth to be sin: It is certain that other mens confident talk will not make all men of their minds, to take all for law­ful which they take for such: what then will the Im­posers do? They will make strict Laws to punish severely all that disobey: For say they, Our com­mands must not be contemned, nor disobedience to­lerated: so do the Papists as to the Trent Oath, &c. so did Charles the fifth, a while about the Interim; and so many others. These Laws then must be exe­cuted: The Pastors must be cast out; the preachers silenced; They still believe as Daniel did about pray­ing, and the Apostles about preaching, that God commandeth what men forbid, and it is a damnable sin to forsake their calling and duty, no less than sa­criledge, and cruelty to souls, and deserting the Church and worship and cause of Christ; and the people will still believe that no mans prohibition can excuse them if they forsake Gods publick worship and comply with sin. The Prelates will say that all this is but errour, wilfulness, and rebellion, and they can prove the contrary. Their words will not change the judgement of dissenters. The Pastors and preachers then must be fined, imprisoned or ba­nished for preaching, and the people for publick worshipping God: when they are fined they will go on: when they are out of prison they will return to their work: nothing is left then to remedy it, but either perpetual imprisonment, banishment or death. [Page 123] When this is done, more will still rise of the same mind and continue the work that others were disa­bled to perform: And the Prelates that cause this will be taken by the suffering people for thorns and thistles, and grievous Wolves that devour the flocks, and the military Ministers of the Devil: The indifferent common people knowing their Neigh­bours to be conscionable men of upright lives, will become of the same minds, and look on the persecu­tors as the enemies of good men and of publick peace, that do all this by pride and domination. The ungodly rabble of drunkards, prophane swear­ers, adulterers, and such like, for the most part ha­ting Godliness and strict living, will cry up the Pre­lates, and triumph over the sufferers: And thus the Land will be divided; the Prelates and other pro­secutors with the dirty malignant rabble of the li­centious will make one party, and these will call themselves Orthodox and the Church; The suffer­ers and all that pity them and like them better than the Persecutors will be the other party. The con­junction of the debauched and malignant rabble with the Prelates and their party will increase sober mens disaffection to them, and make men take them for the patrons of impiety: And how sad a condi­tion must such Churches be in! To say nothing of the state concussions and diseases that usually follow. Whatever ignorant men may dream, these prog­nosticks are most certain, as any man that can discern effects in moral causes, may see, and as history and sad experience prove to all men of reading, obser­vation and understanding.

§. 13. And in Pastors of the Church, this will be a double crime and shame; because 1. It is their of­fice to gather and edifie Christs flock, and not to scat­ter and afflict them: 2. Because they should most [Page 124] imitate Christ in tender bowels, gentleness and long-suffering, bearing the Lambs in their armes, and not breaking the bruised reed, nor quenching the smoak­ing flax: Nurses or Mothers use not to kill their Children for crying, nor to turn them out of doors because they are unclean, nor to cut their throats to make them swallow bigger morsels, instead of cut­ting their meat: Much less to cast them off for obey­ing their father. 3. Because it is supposed that they best know the will of Christ, and should be best acquainted with the wayes of peace. And there­fore should understand Rom. 14. & 15. Him that is weak in the faith Receive; but not to doubtful disputati­ons. The Kingdom of God is not meats and drinks, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost: And he that in these things serveth Christ, is acceptable to God, and approved of men, that is, of wise and good men, but not of proud persecutors, Rom. 14. 17, 18. Wherefore receive ye one another as Christ also received to the Glory of God. Rom. 15. 7. If the people were Schismatical and inclined to fall in pieces, the Guides and builders should soder and cement them, and as pillars and bases in the Church which is the house of the living God (as Timothy is called) should bear them up that they fall not by division.

§. 14. In a word, whoever will impartially read Church History, especially of the Councils and Popes, shall find that the self-conceited Usurpation of proud Prelates, imposing unnecessary devices of their own (professions or practices) on the Chur­ches, and this with proud and fierce impatience to­ward dissenters, and usurping a Legislation which Christ never gave them, hath been the great cause of much of the hatred, schisms, persecutions, wars, rebellions against Emperours and Kings, false excom­munications, interdicts, and the disgrace of Christi­stianity, [Page 125] weakning of the Church, and hindering the Conversion of Jews and Infidels, and been a chief Granado, Thunderbolt or Wild-fire, by which Sa­tan much prospered in storming of the Church.


To cry out of the intolerable mischiefs of Tolera­tion, and call for sharper execution, while di­viding snares are made the terms of Vnion, is the work of ignorant, proud and malignant Church-destroyers.

§. 1. TO tolerate all evil that pretendeth Reli­gion, is to be no friend to Religion, Go­vernment or peace. To tolerate no error in Reli­gion, is for no Prince to tolerate himself, his wife, his child, or any one subject: And to pretend to this, is to crave self-destruction (neque enim lex justior ulla est, &c.) and to proclaim himself igno­rant, yea grosly ignorant, what is a Church, a Pastor, a Government, a Christian, or a Man.

§. 2. Multitudes of Books are written for and against Toleration: They that are lowest usually write for it (Even Jer. Taylor's Liberty of Prophe­cying before he was a Bishop, was thought a com­mendable or tolerable Book). But most are against it that are in power, and think they can force others to their wills. But it is wise and just and impartial men, that are here the discerners of the truth, whose judgements are not biassed by interest or passion, nor blinded by unacquaintedness with their adversaries [Page 126] or their cause, or perverted by using only one ear and one eye. He knoweth not mankind, who knoweth not how greatly (not only the common gang, but) even learned men, yea, and zealous religious men, are to be suspected in their evil characters and re­ports of those that they are speaking against as ad­versaries. It grieveth me to know and think, how little most adversaries in this case are to be be­lieved.

§. 3. To describe the due bounds of Toleration is far from being impossible, or very difficult to an understanding and impartial man: But to stop the mouth or rage of Contradicters, and to reconcile the multitude of ignorant, proud, tyrannical, un­charitable, interessed, factious, partial men to such certain measures, is next impossible, and never yet even among the Clergy was attained, since the Spirit of infallibility, simplicity and Love departed, and the Spirit of darkness, pride and malignity in most places got the upper hand.

§. 4. Many and many Books of this nature I have lately read, that cry down liberty and Toleration, and call for greater severities, and describe those whose ruine or sufferings they plead for, as ignorant­ly and falsly, as if they talkt of men at the Anti­podes, whom they had never seen, and as if they had never heard their Cause; and as cruelly, as if they had been preaching to Souldiers, and confuting John Baptist, or preaching a Visitation Sermon to Bonner or Gardiner: And yet the falshoods or inju­ries set off, with so great confidence, and well com­posed words, and zeal against schism, and error, and especially for the Church and Government, that it grieveth my soul to think, how difficult such men do make it, to strangers that must know all on trust from others, and men of other business, that [Page 127] cannot have while to search into the truth, to escape deceit and the consequent mischiefs: Zeal for piety is not more abused by Sectaries, than zeal for them­selves, and their power and wealth, called zeal for the Church and truth and order, is abused by bad domineering men. Or else the world had not been embroiled by the Clergy these twelve hundred years at least, nor Rome arrived at its pernicious Great­ness, and power to destroy.

§. 5. And let mens different Religions or Opinions be never so many and notable, yet every where the same plea against Toleration is used, and the same Arguments seem good for every party that is in power. In Japan and China, and Heathen Lands, they can copiously declaim against the mischiefs of tolerating Christianity: The Papists think torment­ing Inquisitions, and burning Christians, and mur­dering thousands and hundreds of thousands better than to tolerate Protestants. The Lutherans cry down the toleration of Calvinists: What need I name more? As the Papists say, that every Sect pleadeth the Scripture, so we may say, that every powerful party, be their cause never so false, cry out against tolerating others, though in the truth.

§. 6. And doubtless Concord even in perfection is so desirable, that it's easie for a man to set forth the beauty and excellency of it: And discord is so bad, that it's easie to declaim against it: But for him that Causeth it, to do it, is self-condemnation. And for him that falsly describeth the cause, and justifieth the Schismatick, and accuseth the innocent, to write Books and preach Sermons against Schism and To­leration, is but delusion tending to their own shame, and others deceit and ruine.

§. 7. And he never was a good Musician, Builder, Watch-maker, nor good at any Art or Science, that [Page 128] thought all diversity was discord: He that would with zeal and learning write a Book to prove that a Lute or Organs must not be tolerated, if each string and key be not of the same sound; or that all the parts in a Clock, Watch, Building, &c. must be of the same shape and magnitude, or all men of one language or complexion, &c. would scarce get so much credit as most of our Hereticaters do, when they call for fire and faggot and Jaylors, as more meet and able confuters of error than them­selves.

§. 8. The men on whom they cry for vengeance, either are really religious, or not: If not, it's a mar­vel that they are not of the accusers mind, being supposed to follow the upper side: It's possible that some advantage may turn a man that hath no reli­gion, out of the Kings high-way, into some Secta­rian cottage, especially in some storms: But it's very rarely that Gain goeth not for Godliness, and the way of reputation, ease and profit, for religion, with such as indeed have none at all. But if they are seriously religious, they take it as from the Law of the Almighty, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; to whom all men are less than the vilest worms to us: and they take it to be that which they lay their salvation and everlasting hopes on; be­lieving that God will bear them out, and if they dye for it, will reward them with the crown of Glory: They believe that they shall be damned in Hell for ever, if they break Gods Law, and obey man against him: And in this case it should not be hard to reasona­ble men, especially Bishops and Teachers, to know what means and measures are meetest to be used with such men; and when he that must suffer, hath flesh that is as unwilling to suffer as other mens, it should be considered how far Satan useth the flesh for [Page 129] his interest, and how far the Pastors of the Church should take part with it; when as St. Paul saith, He that doubeth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith.

§. 9. There is no heed to be taken by mens crying out against error or schism, to discern who is the erroneous or Schismatick. None more cry out against them than the guilty: Who condemneth er­ror and schism more than the Papists, and who are greater causes and authors of them than the Pope? As our common prophane rabble are so great hy­pocrites, that they live quite contrary to their Baptismal Vow, and the Religion which they nomi­nally profess, and yet commonly cr [...] [...]ut against hypo­crisie, and call all men hypocrites that seem to be seri­ous in living as they vowed and profess; even so the greatest Schismaticks and Hereticks, partly in blind­ness, and partly to avert both men and conscience from accusing themselves, do usually first cry down Schismaticks and Hereticks, and perhaps preach and write most vehemently against them. I take a man to be never the more Orthodox, Catholick, or of the true Church, for crying up the true Church, Ca­tholicism and Orthodoxness, and crying down the contrary, and accusing others.

§. 10. I have long observed with the best judge­ment I have, that usually those Divines that write most for Peace and Reconciliation of hot conten­ders, are men of clearer judgement than others, and usually see further into the cause, than either of the fierce contending parties: Though the Turks in po­licy give some liberty to Christians, as a necessary preservation of their Empire; and the Socinians have much pleaded for peace and concord, partly by ne­cessity for themselves, and partly from common light of reason; yet among real Reformed Christi­ans, [Page 130] the greatest judgement is found in the greatest Pacificators: such as Le Blank, Amyrald, Phaceus, Camero, Lud. Crocius, Bergius, Martinius, Calixtus, Dallaeus, Blondel, Vsher, Davenant, Hall, Morton, Chillingworth, and such others: Darkness doth best fit the Spirit of contention.

§. 11. There is nothing in humane actions that is free from inconveniences; especially actions of pub­lick consequence. And the collecting and aggrava­ting of such inconveniences, and making tragical exclamations thereupon, without looking to the mischiefs that men imagine must be the remedy, or seeing the evils on the other side, is the common practice of these Church-Mountebanks. How easie is it to say [If we be not all of one Religion, it will cherish contention, bring Ministers into con­tempt, scandalize the weak, harden the enemies, raise factions, shake the peace of Kingdoms] and more such like: How easie is it to say [If men be tolerated to break the Laws, and gather Conven­ticles, souls will be poysoned, error propagated, Christianity disgraced, &c.] When in the mean time 1. Their course tendeth not at all to make men of one Religion: 2. Nay, they plead for that which is the great divider: where do fire and banishment or prisons cause true faith, or make men think that their persecutors are in the right? Is there any thing in the nature of the thing so to perswade men? nay what more inclineth men to think that other mens opinions are false, than to feel that their practice is hurtful? All will say, Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? By their fruit they may be known. If it be forcing some to dissemble, and destroying the rest, that they mean, by [making men of one religion] thus saith Tertullian did the Heathen persecutors: Solitudinem [Page 131] faciunt & pacem vocant. But 1. This will not do: France, Ireland, Belgia, and Queen Mary in England cryed it in vain: God will still have some that shall be seriously religious, and shall fear him more than man, and not sell their souls to save their bodies: If you have no hope of making men to be of one Religion, but by making them to be of no Religion (as all are that fear not God more than man) your hopes are vain as well as wicked. There is so full testimony given to the world, that there is a God and a life to come, that still some men will believe it, and will think whither they must go next, and therefore will not forsake their religion through fear, seeing that is to forsake their God, and their salvation.

2. And if you could accomplish it, it were not worth your labour: If all the Princes on earth should force their subjects to be of One Religion, it would be their own: And then five parts of six would be Heathens and Mahometans, and of the sixth part a third or fourth would be Papists, and above two parts of the other three would have foul corruptions, for which they would be sharply censured by the rest. Is it not better that in Congo, China, &c. Christianity is tolerated, than that they had all continued of their One Religion? And so is it that the Turks do tolerate the Greeks and other Christians. And I think if Spain had both Papists and Protestants, it were better than to have but Papists only; And if the Swedes, Danes and Saxons did tolerate the more Reformed, it would do more good than harm. If Prelacy were banished out of Scotland and England, many would think it better to tolerate it.

§. 12. It is certain, that Unity and Concord is most desirable; and as certain that these over-doers [Page 132] do destroy it, while they lay it upon impossible terms. 1. The most desirable Concord is in common perfection of wisdom and holiness: But it's certain it will not be, nor are any perfect.

2. The next desirable Concord is in such high degrees of Wisdom and Goodness, as that all Chri­stians be strong and excellent, and err not notably in a word, ceremony or mode: But it is certain, this is not to be expected.

3. The next degree desirable is, that all should be so far teachable and perswadeable, as to yield to every truth▪ and lawful imposition, when reason is set before them: But it is certain this is not to be expected: And he that denyeth it, knoweth not man.

§. 13. A Peace-maker therefore must understand 1. What Concord is already among all Christians, and what is of necessity to Communion with the Church universal: 2. And what more is necessary to Com­munion in a particular Church. 3. And what more is necessary to the Association and Concord of such particular Churches: 4. And what is necessary only to eminency, praise and special encouragement: 5. And what is necessary to meer humane neighbourhood and converse.

And accordingly he should study, 1. How all men may be used like men, and all peaceable men as peaceable: 2. How all Christians may be used as Christians: 3. How all the members of particular Churches may hold such Concord as the ends of their society require: 4. How all such Churches may keep such Love and Correspondency as tendeth to the good of all. 5. And how eminent Christians may be used according to their worth: 6. And how heresie and sin may be suppressed without contra­dicting any of these ends.

[Page 133] §. 14. If once unnecessary terms of Unity and Con­cord be taken for necessary, even multitudes of ho­nest well meaning men, will hence bend all their strength to do mischief: They will think that all Peace-makers must promote these terms: and all must be used as Schismaticks that are against them: and so all the fore-mentioned accusations, cruelties and persecutions will (alas) go for the work even of Peace-makers: And so the common engine of Church-division and persecution and discord, will be preaching and writing against Schism, and crying up peace, and aggravating dissent as a heinous crime, even when it is a duty, and making all odious as far as they can that are not of their mind.

The Second Part.
The Terms of Concord.


In general, What are the true and only terms of Church-Vnion and Concord, and what not?

§. 1. THE true works of a Peace-maker consisteth, 1. In finding out the true and necessary terms of Con­cord, and discerning the evil and insufficiency of the false terms: 2. In finding out the meet and necessary Instruments and helps: 3. In discovering the Hinderances and Enemies: and 4. In faithful prosecuting his known duty. And the first is not the least.

§. 2. Having proved what Christ himself hath al­ready done in instituting the terms of Unity and Concord, I shall here further shew, I. In General what these Terms are and must be, and what not. II. What Texts of Scripture describe them. III. Particularly and distinctly what they are. IV. I shall answer some of the objections that are [Page 136] made against them. And V. The false Terms shall be detected and confuted in the third Part.

§. 3. I. In General, the terms of Catholick Unity and Concord, necessary to all Christians must be and are, I. Only things Great and needful, II. Only things True and Sure; III. Only things plain and intelligible: IV. Only things of Gods institution or authority. V. And but Few and not very many as to matter of Knowledge and belief.

§. 4. If they were not such, mans known inca­pacity would make them unfit to be any means of the intended end: And this is fully proved by all the foregoing proofs of unavoidable diversity that will be found in men: And I will here add yet more profs that Concord is so very difficult as that it will not be had on any stricter terms: and when all is done it will be very imperfect in this life.

§. 5. The great difficulty of Concord doth fur­ther thus appear.

1. It cannot be expected but that the greatest part of men will be of low capacity, and partial, and ignorant, and therefore uncapable of understanding higher terms than these.

2. The Greater number, or too many will be bad, though their profest Religion be Good: And bad men will be still self-troublers, and troublers of others: There is no Peace saith my God to the wicked: They are like the troubled Sea that casteth up mire and dirt, Isa. 46. Piety and true Concord must grow together. There will be in Christs Kingdom things that offend and men that work ini­quity: There will be Pastors and people that are Worldly, Covetous, Lovers of themselves, Lovers of pleasures more than of God, proud, boasters, haters of those that are good, striving who shall [Page 137] be greatest: And these will be unfit materials in the building, as to full unity, peace and concord.

3. Yea there will be Satans Souldiers and bitter enemies to true piety in the Ministry and all ranks of men: In the same houshold as he that was born af­ter the flesh did persecute him that was born after the Spirit, even so, saith St. Paul, is it now; and so it will be. The first born man was a murderer of his own brother, because his works were evil and his brothers good.

4. And Christ saith that the Rich shall hardly en­ter into heaven; And yet we see the Rich will be the Rulers: It hath been so and will be so, and must be so. And if they are as usually bad as Christ and his Apostles tell us, then bad men will rule: And operari sequitur esse: As men are, they will do: Great men will have worldly selfish interests clean contrary to the interest of Christ and his doctrine: And how great influence Rulers have as to concord or divisi­on is easily known.

5. And hitherto the Pastors of the Churches have been, alas, such as Gregory Nazianzen, Isidore Pelusi­ota and many others have described (to say nothing of Gildas or Salvian, or the sad Characters that most parties give of one another, and the accusations that Afflicters bring against those whom they afflict, and which the sufferers give of them.) If Paul then must say, All seek their own, and not the things that are Jesus Christs, no wonder if it be so now; and that even General Councils have sadly anathema­tized one another, and thousands of Bishops or Pa­stors have been cursed from Christ by the rest. And how much power proud turbulent ignorant and worldly Pastors have to hinder the Churches Concord, hath been found by too long and sad ex­perience.

[Page 138] 6. And mans nature is sensual and slothful, and it will cost so dear, by long and hard study to be wise indeed, and by mortification and self-denyal to be truly good, that few are likely to attain it.

7. And education, company, friends, and false writers and teachers will still cherish faction and discord in the world.

8. And distance and disacquaintance will leave open mens ears to back-biters, slanderers and false reports. Men will think it uncharitable not to be­lieve such, e. g. as Learned Historians, Doctors and their Pastors are.

9. And the wars and cross-interests of Princes and States have hitherto by jealousies fomented di­visions in the Church.

10. And the false wayes and termes of Concord will be kept up in opposition to the true, and will not be the least impediment.

11. And Lastly, Even the Wise and Good that must be the Peace-makers, are such but in part, and have in them too much of the folly, errour and sin of others, which will hinder their work, yea and make them also troublers of themselves and others.

§. 6. These being not doubtful conjectures but certain Prognosticks, the remedy must be suited to the Patients capacity.

And I. Necessary Essentials all Christians are and must be agreed in: But unnecessary things such as I have described are never like to be commonly united in, nor is it necessary that they should: It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to the Apostles to impose nothing on the Church, but Necessary things, Act. 15. It was the deceivers and false Teachers which would have done otherwise: Against whom St. Paul doth copiously and zealously dispute, in [Page 139] his Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians, &c. To pretend that as necessary which is not so, or to command that as necessary and causelesly to make it necessary which is not so in it self, and which we may easily know will never be so judged of, nor received by all, is but to rack and tear the Church, and do mischief for an unnecessary thing.

§. 7. II. As it is certain that nothing but Truth can be fit matter for the Churches Concord, so it must be certain Truth: that is, not only such as whoever believeth is not deceived, but such as may be discerned by ascertaining Evidence by all sober willing Christians; Not only such as the Learned may be sure of, but all that must take it as certain in their profession; For no man must make a false profession, and say he is certain when he is not. Not that all that may be called certainty must needs exclude all doubting; but that the Assent be pre­valent against such doubting: Nor do I mean that it must be certain by natural evidence; It is enough if it be so by Divine Revelation: And if any be so weak that they perceive not some necessary revealed truth to be certainly so revealed, they must be put on no more than to say, [I do, though not with cer­tainty, believe it.] And no probability must be im­posed on mens profession, when there is notable danger on the contrary side, if they should mistake.

§. 8. III. Therefore the terms of Union must be only things plain and intelligible to all sober wil­ling minds: For all persons of dull wits and di­verting business cannot attain such certainty or firm belief of things which they cannot under­st [...]nd: Belief without understanding is but a [Page 140] dead notion or name, or rather a contradi­ction.

§. 9. As for the Popish doctrine of Implicite faith, it is no true belief of any thing but that General ve­rity in which they say the particulars are implicitely contained. We must all believe implicitely in God, that is, That whatever God revealeth is true: But he that believeth no more but this, is falsly said to be­lieve other things; For he may believe this, who ne­ver understood that God revealed any thing in par­ticular: He that never heard of Christ or the resur­rection may believe that all Gods revelations are true: But to call this, an Implicite belief of Christ and the Resurrection, is but to equivocate, and call that be­lieving a thing, which is no believing of it: If they hold that to believe that the Church (that is, the Pope and his Councils) is infallible in acquainting us with matter of faith] is all that is necessary to salvation, though they know not what the particulars are, let them say so plainly, and not call this a believing of other things, or a believing in Jesus Christ, or his Gospel.

§. 10. IV. And it is only things of Divine Autho­rity that can be the necessary terms of universal Unity or Concord, supposing the necessary media of bringing them to mens notice: Had we lived in the time and place where Christ and his Apostles did preach and work their Miracles, it had been one thing to determine what were then preached as the necessary articles of faith, and another thing, how we come to hear, know and under­stand them: It must have been by our ears, eyes and intellects, that we knew and perceived what was said and done. And so now standing at the distance of many ages, certain history, or tradi­tion [Page 141] must bring that to our notice, which our eyes and ears would then have brought to it: But still the Law and terms of Vnion are no less Divine, whatever means do help us to understand them: And as for them that will make humane terms seem necessary to Catholick Vnion or Communion, that they deceive themselves and others and shall never attain the end, but tear the Church by such ill engines, is easily thus proved.

§. 11. The Catholick Church never did or will agree what humane power it is to whom this work belongeth: whether it be a Pope or Council, or some universal Monarch, or a Council of Princes by agreement; Never such a thing was, or will be. Popes and Councils were but in one Empire, the chief Ecclesiastical Governours under the Empe­rours Civil Government; and not over the world; nor was there ever such a thing as a General Coun­cil of all the Christian world, but only General as to one Empire: Nor did any of these Councils take on them to make Constitutive terms of the Universal Church or its Union; but only to pre­serve, declare and expound them, and to make subordinate governing Canons. And if they had undertaken more, no wise man can imagine that all Christians will therefore confess the right of such a claim, and so submit to it. The proof of their authority will be so obscure, that as such as I can­not see it, so there will be so many no wiser than I am, as that the exclusion of all Christians that are but of our size will never stand with Catholick Unity. And if it were possible to satisfie all the present age, 1. that some have such authority from God, 2. and who they are, 3. and how far it extend­eth, yet still such will succeed them in whom the un­certainty and dissent will be revived. What need­eth [Page 142] there more proof than mans incapacity and the ex­perience of so many Generations? All Christians agree in Christianity: All Christians never agreed on any hu­man [...] terms of Unity; Pope, Council, or Monarch. One Empire hath pretended to agree in Councils, but have been so far from it, as that they have been the occasion of their greatest disagreements; witness even the Great ones, Const. 1. Ephes. 1. & 2. Calce­don, which some blessed and some cursed for many generations after; and that at Constantinople that made the decree de tribus capitulis divided even the Roman Church so far as that for one hundred years a great part of it renounced the Roman Bishop, and set up another Patriarch against him. And Abassia and other extra-imperial Churches were never under the Roman or Imperial Government.

§. 12. V. And that the terms of Catholick unity must not be very many things is evident from the foresaid Incapacity of the most to comprehend ma­ny things; and also from the confession of almost all sorts of Christians: Even the Papists who have advanced the Christian Religion to the monstrous magnitude of their vast and numerous Decrees of Councils are forced yet to make them almost all unnecessary under the name of Implicite belief, and do narrow the necessary articles of the Christian faith almost to an annihilation,Of this I have written at large in my last Confuta­tion of Johnson, Which is the true Church; or for our Churches perpetual Visibility. while they agree not whether it be ne­cessary explicitely to believe the life, death, resurrection, mediation, judgement, yea or being of Christ himself, or any more than that there is a God and an Infallible Church: Of which see Francisc. de sancta Clara his Deus, Natura, Gratia, at large.

[Page 143] And those of our selves that eject Ministers and Christians for dissenting from some of their own impositions, are yet contented to admit such as sub­mit to themselves, upon very low terms of Christi­an knowledge, to the Sacraments and Communion of the Church. And indeed he knoweth not man, who knoweth not, that universal unity and concord will never be had upon the terms of Many, dark, uncertain, humane, or unnecessary things, but only on the terms of things Few, sure, plain, divine and necessary.


Some instances of Gods description of these terms in the words of the Sacred Scriptures.

§. 1. I Have before proved, that Christ instituted the terms of Catholick Unity in Scripture, and have cited some texts on the by. It will not be amiss for conviction to set divers texts together, which will fullier open the terms themselves.

§. 2. The words of the institution of Baptism before mentioned are the most convincing, Matth. 28. 19, 20. [Go ye and disciple all Nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you alway even to the end of the world.]

Here Christ himself sendeth his messengers, and prescribeth them their work, and maketh the terms of Baptism the Entering and Constitutive terms of his Church which they were to gather: But the Ad­ministring or Governing terms are larger, even [Page 144] teaching them all things which Christ hath commanded them. And this was a Law not only for that age, but to the End of the world.

§. 3. It is the same in sense which reduceth all the terms to [Believing in Jesus Christ] as including Belief in the Father and the Holy Ghost, John 1. 12. As many as received him, to them gave he power to be­come the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

John 3. 14, 15, 16, 18, 36. Whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life: He that believeth on him is not condemned—He that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life.

John 17. 3. This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.

John 14. 1. Ye believe in God, believe also in me.

John 15. 1, 2, 3. Now are ye clean through the word that I have spoken to you, abide in me and I in you, &c. See John 6.

Mark 16. 16. Preach the Gospel to every creature: He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved, and he that believeth not, shall be damned.

It will be needless to repeat all words to the same purpose, Matth. 18. 6. He that offendeth one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, &c. And yet must Bishops curse such from Christ, and excommunicate them? Mar. 1. 15. John 6. 29, 69. & 7. 39. & 4. 35, 38. & 11. 27, 42. & 12. 36. & 13. 9. & 16. 30. 31. & 17. 20, 21. & 20. 31. & 2. 11, 22. & 9. 53. & 16. 27. & 7. 31. & 8. 30. & 10. 42. & 11. 26, 27. & 5. 24. & 6. 35, 40, 47. & 7. 38. & 12. 46. Acts 10. 42. & 5. 14. & 8. 37. & 13. 39. & 16. 31. & 19. 7. & 18. 8. & 17. 4, 34. & 14. 1. & 13. 12, 48. And all these believers (no doubt [Page 145] of no hard numerous humane articles) lived in Love and Communion, Acts 2. 44. & 4. 32. so Rom. 3. 22. The Righteousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ is unto all and upon all them that do believe, for there is no difference, & 4. 11, 24. Abraham is the Father of all them that believe, and righteousness shall be imputed to them all: Rom. 10. 9, 10. If thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation, Gal. 3. 22. & 2. 16. Heb. 11. 6, &c. & 10. 39. & 4. 3. 1 John 3. 23. & 5. 1, 5, 10, 13.

§. 4. Other texts that add Repentance to Faith, speak but the same sense, adding the express menti­on of the terminus à quo, as well as of that ad quem: as Mar. 6. 12. Luke 13. 3, 5. Acts 2. 38. & 3. 19. & 8. 22. & 17. 30. & 26. 20. Matth. 9. 13. Luke 24. 47. Acts 5. 31. & 11. 18. & 20. 21. & 26. 20. 2 Tim. 2. 15. 2 Pet. 3. 9. Luke 10. 13. & 15. 7, 10. 2 Cor. 7. 10, 11.

§. 5. Christ himself the Law giver and Judge doth oft in his explications lay his acceptance of men on a few great, plain, sure necessary things: He summeth up the whole Law into the two great Commands, the first and the second like unto it, even the Love of God and Man: and when he tells one that had lived soberly and justly, that yet he lacked one thing, Luke 18. it is but this plain great necessary duty, to prefer his heavenly reward, and hopes, and Christ to bring him to it, before his wealth and prosperity on earth: This was not a great Volume of hard opi­nions, but one plain and necessary duty, not hard to know, but hard to an unbelieving worldly heart to be willing to do. So in his great Sermon on the Mount, Matth. 5. it is not many dark opinions or [Page 146] small ceremonious practices that he pronounceth blessedness on, but the pure in heart, the poor in spirit, the merciful, the peace-makers, and such as suffer for righteousness sake: And in all his most excellent Ser­mons and Prayers, John 5. & 6. & 10. & 13. & 14. & 15. & 16. & 17. what have you but our common Catechism truths? Which of the controversies of contenders, or what nice opinions are there decided or propounded?

Nay, he himself oft distinguishing tells men, that God will have mercy and not sacrifice, and reproveth the Pharisees that were strict in tything mint, annise and cummin, and neglected the great matters of the Law, Mercy, truth and justice, and that troubled the Church with their ceremonies, and worshipped God in vain with their traditions, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men, Matth. 15.

Yea, when he describeth the Judgement to come, it is not many hard opinions that he layeth life and death on, but on loving, relieving, visiting his mem­bers, yea, the least of his members, yea, himself in them: And he condemneth those that do it not even to the least: What then shall they suffer, that inter­dict and anathematize Kings and Kingdoms, and he­reticate great part of the Church of Christ; yea, the Pope and his Councils of military Bishops that have risen to their greatness, and conquered the Christian Nations by this art of Anathematizing or cursing Kings and Subjects from Christ.

§. 6. We find Christ preaching also to divers single persons, as to Nathaneal, to the Samaritan woman, John 4. to the blind man, John 9. to the Canaanitish woman and others; and he never went beyond these few, plain, divine and necessary terms.

§. 7. And he sent out his disciples to preach but the same doctrine that he had done; even to Repent [Page 147] and believe the Gospel: and Devils were subject to them that preached this short plain truth; who I fear are the Masters of many that spin a finer web. And John Baptist went but the same way: And among the counsels which he gave to the many sorts that flocked to him, see whether any of our Engines of heretication and division and silencing are to be found. All the four Gospels are strangers to such things.

§. 8. And the very Controversal Epistles of St. Paul that were written to confute Seducers, were written by the same spirit, and go the same way. The summ of all is, Repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ: The doctrine of faith in Christ, and the abrogation of the burden­some Ceremonious Jewish Law, and that the Gentiles [...]ere not bound to keep it, is the summ of his doctrine. [...] summeth up all the Law in LOVE, Rom. 13. [...]d in living soberly, righteously and godly in the [...]orld, following the spirit, and mortifying the lusts of the flesh, living a holy and heavenly life in love and unity and peace. And whereas pride and igno­rance then began the dividing way, and condem­ning Christians for tolerable differences, he oft and plainly reproveth and confuteth this: But most fully and purposely to the Romans, Chap. 14. & 15. Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations (or not to judge his doubtful thoughts) instancing in differences about meats and dayes; Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not, judge him that eateth; for God hath received him: Who art thou that judgest ano­ther mans servant? to his own master he standeth or fal­leth: Yea, he shall be holden up, for God is able to make him stand. Let every man be fully perswaded (or as­sured) in his own mind: He that regardeth a day, re­gardeth [Page 148] it to the Lord, &c. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at naught thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgement-seat of Christ. Let us not therefore judge one another any more? but judge this rather that no man put a stum­bling block in his brothers way—If thy bro­ther be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably: Destroy not him with thy meat for whom Christ dyed.—For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ, is acceptable to God and approved of men. Let us there­fore follow after the things that make for peace, and things wherewith one may edifie another. For meat de­stroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for that man that eateth with offence. I is good neither to eat flesh, or drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth or is offended or ma [...] weak—And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, be [...]cause he eateth not of faith: For whatsoever is not [...] faith is sin. Ch. 15. We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please our selves: Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself, &c. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one towards another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glori­fie God even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: where­fore receive ye one another as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

§. 9. I know not what can be spoken more plain and home to the case in hand, and the humane un­necessary impositions which have so many ages torn the Churches of Christ: And yet all this is nothing to the Imposers. The different exposition of this one part of Scripture hath had a great hand in the [Page 149] calamitous distractions, silencings, imprisonments, scatterings that have been exercised in many Nati­ons of the world. The controversie lyeth here: The One side say, that All this was spoken by St. Paul only of such things indifferent as the Church had not setled by any Law, and would not so settle; but that it's no­thing to such as the Church either hath or will so com­mand: This opinion hath carried it in England and other Nations of the world. Being once commissi­oned to plead this cause by his Majesty among others, I then presumed to say, 1. That St. Paul here writeth not only to the laity, but to all the Roman Church? That therefore he writeth (as Christ, Rev. 2. & 3. to the Angels of the seven Churches,) to the Rulers of the Church as well as to the People. 2. And therefore he forbiddeth those Rulers what he forbiddeth others; and so forbiddeth them the imposing of any thing contrary to this his full de­termination. 3. Yea himself was an Apostle and a Church-Governor of as great authority as those that he wrote to; And these his words signified his own judgement and what he would do himself. Yea they were as good a Law, as any the Romans could make that he wrote to. Therefore when an Apostle by the Spirit of God, shall write thus plain­ly and peremptorily to Priests and people thus to tolerate and receive each other, he that now ex­poundeth it with an [except the Church otherwise, de­cree] maketh this the sence [I do by all these great reasons charge and perswade you not to judge, despise or reject one another unless you decree to do it; or not to make such rejecting Laws, unless you make them.] And the Holy Ghost speaketh not in the holy Scriptures at this rate.

§. 10. Yea I prove from the arguments used by St. Paul that he extended his speech to the Clergy [Page 150] or Rulers as well as to the people, and so forbad them making such Laws: (And indeed the knack of making Church-Laws, (without the Holy Ghost in Apostolick persons) was not as then learnt and used by the Churches): 1. Because St. Paul argu­eth from Universal reasons: 2. and from Moral and necessary arguments, and 3. Speaketh by the Spirit and Apostolical Authority.

§. 11. I. His reasons touch not only some singu­lar persons and case, but the case of all Churches in all Ages: He argueth from the difference between well-meaning Christians as Weak and Strong, as doubting and as assured, as mistaken and as in the right, as in danger of being damned if they act doubtingly, and of stumbling and being offended, &c. Now such weak, mistake [...] Christians in such matters ever have been, and ever will be, and so the reason from their case and necessity will hold in all Countreys and Ages to the end.

§. 12. II. And many great and pressing Moral reasons that all Christians are bound by are here heaped up. 1. One is from Christian Love to brethren. 2. Another from humane Com­passion to the weak. 3. Another is from Gods own example, who receiveth such, whom therefore we must not reject. 4. Another is from Gods pre­rogative to judge; 5. and another from his pro­priety in his own servants. 6. Another is from our having no such judging power in such cases. 7. Another is from Gods Love and mercy that will uphold such. 8. Another is because what men do as to please God, must not be condemned without necessity, but a holy intention cherished, so it be not in forbidden things. 9. Another is that men [Page 151] must not go against Conscience in indifferent things. 10. Another is from Christs dreadful judgement which is near, and which we our selves must undergo, and must be that final decider of many things which here will not be fully decided. 11. Another is from the sin of laying stumbling-blocks and occasions of offence. 12. Another is from the danger of crossing the ends of the death of Christ, destroying souls for whom he dyed. 13. Another is that it will make our good to be ill spoken of. 14. Another is that the Kingdom of God, or the Constitution of Christianity and the Church lyeth in no such matters, but in righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. 15. And another that Christ is pleased in this without the other, and God accepteth such. 16. Another is that such are appro­ved of men, that is, This righteousness, peace and holy joy without agreement in such Ceremonies and by-matters, beareth its own testimony for appro­bation to the judgement of all impartial men; hu­manity and Christianity teach us to love and ho­nour such. 17. Another is from our common ob­ligation to live in peace with all. 18. Another is from our obligation to do all to the edifying of one another. 19. Another is because Gods work else is destroyed by us. 20. And our own lawful acts are turned into sin when they hurt another. 21. Ano­ther from the obligation that lyeth on us to deny our own liberty in meat, wine, &c. to avoid the hurt­ing of another that is weak. 22. Another is from the damnation of such as are driven or drawn to act doubtingly. 23. Another is from the special duty and mercy of the strong that should bear the infir­mities of the weak. 24. Another is from the com­mon duty of pleasing others for their good and edify­ing. 25. Another is from the example of Christ [Page 152] himself that pleased not himself. 26. Another is from Gods patience to us. 27. Another is from our great obligation to imitate Christ. 28. Ano­ther, because indeed this is the true way to Love and unity, that with one mind and one mouth we may glorifie God, while we lay not our concord on impos­sible terms. 29. Another is in the concluding pre­cept, because Christ receiveth us and it is to Gods Glory: therefore we must thus receive each other. If all these moral arguments signifie no more than this [Receive and tolerate such till you make Laws against it] I cannot understand the argumentations of God or holy men.

§. 13. III. And to conclude, Paul spake by the Holy Ghost and by Divine authority himself, and his words recorded are part of Christs Law in­dited by the Spirit; and no man that cometh after him or to whom he wrote, had power to contradict or obliterate it. All this methinks should satisfie men of the meaning of so full a decision of an easie case about things indifferent, which it's strange that so many yet for nothing do oppose: And that the authority of an Apostle in Sacred Scripture, the peace of the Church, and the souls and peace of all dissenters and doubting persons, should seem so contemptible to them, as not to weigh down their humour and domineering will, in an unnecessary and indifferent thing? But it is the nature of sin, especi­ally Pride, to be unreasonable and unpeaceable, and the troubler of the soul, the Church, the world.

§. 14. The same Apostle in the Epistles to the Co­rinthians, 1. c. 1. v. 10. &c. importuneth them to peace and unity, and sharply reprehendeth their divisions (1. c. 3.) He desireth them to be perfectly conjoyned in the same mind, and in the same judgement. But what [Page 153] are the terms and means of such a union? Is it that they all unite in Cephas (Peter) or in One Patriarch or Pope? Or that they adhere to men with greater estimation? No, but contrary. It is this that di­vided them, while one was for Paul, and another for Apollos, and another for Cephas: He calls them to unite in Christ alone, and not to think of men above that which is written, nor to be puffed up for one against another, nor to take any Pastors as the Lords of their faith, but as Ministers of Christ and stewards of his mysteries, given for their good, and helpers of their joy and edification: c. 3. & 4. He tells them that neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase: and he that planteth and he that watereth are one: c. 3. v. 7, 8, 9. And in case of eating things offered to Idols, as to so much as was lawful in it self, he chargeth them to deny their liberty when it will be a stumbling-block to the weak, and tells them that he will never eat flesh while the world standeth, if it make his brother to offend: c. 8. 13. Telling them that when they sin so against the brethren and wound their weak Conscience, they sin against Christ; v. 12. And he himself would labour for his bread, and not take a lawful and due maintenance from them, when he saw it would hin­der his success, c. 9. and would rather dye, than any should make void this his glorying, v. 15. To the Jews he became as a Jew, to gain the Jews, and to the weak he became as weak to gain them, and was made all things to all men that he might by all means save some, v. 20, 21, 22, 23. His rule is, Give no offence to Jews, or Greeks or to the Church of God: even as I please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the pro­fit of many that they may be saved, c. 10. v. 32, 33. Their divisions at the Communion he reproveth, ch. 11. not caused by ceremonious impositions, but [Page 154] their own partiality and selfishness. The great dif­ference among Christians in gifts and strength he largely openeth, c. 12. to shew them that all this must stand with unity, and that yet there must be no Schism in the body, but the members must have the same care one of another, v. 25. yea the less comely parts must have the more care, v. 23, 24.

And ch. 15. 1, 2, 3. he giveth us this sum of the Gospel which he preached [Moreover brethren I de­clare to you the Gospel which I preached, which also you have received, and wherein ye stand, by which also ye are saved if ye hold fast what I preached, to you, unless you believed in vain: (Are not here the terms of Christian unity and salvation?) For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ dyed for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried and rose again the third day ac­cording to the Scriptures, and was seen, &c. whence our resurrection is proved. Here is nothing but the common articles of the Creed; and this was the Gospel.

Indeed St. Paul is an Anathematizer too, but it is not of men that differ about words or humane forms, but of all them that love not the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. 16. 22.

§. 15. The same Apostle sharply reprehendeth the faults of the Galatians; But what is it for? not for differing about things unnecessary, but for making such necessary that were not: For which he wisheth those cut off that troubled them. And he concludeth all with this uniting true Canon, c. 6. v. 15, 16. [For in Christ Jesus neither Circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a New Creature: And as many as walk according to this Canon (or Rule), peace be on them and mercy and on the Israel of God: I Can any thing be plainer? No, say the battering [Page 155] Canoneers, [As many as walk according to this Ca­non, but conform not to all our Canons or Decretals, let them have no peace or mercy, but be cut off from the Isreal of God]; so contrary is the Papal Spirit to Christs.

And Paul there giveth also this rule and the rea­son of it: c. 6. 1, 2. [Brethren if a man be overta­ken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thy self lest thou also be tempted: bear ye one anothers burdens and so fulfil the Law of Christ: And because he knew that self-esteem and contempt of dissenters lay at the root of impatience towards others, he addeth [If a man think himself to be something (to whom all must needs consent) when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.]

§. 16. The same Apostle to the Ephesians accu­rately openeth the terms of Christian Unity and Church Concord in my Text; purposely descri­bing both the end, the instruments and the terms: so that I know not how we could have desired more. The End is [For the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. That we henceforth be no more Children tossed to and fro and carryed about with every wind of doctrine by the slight of men and cunning craftiness whereby they lye in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love may grow up in him in all things which is the head, Christ, From whom the whole body fitly joyned together and compacted by that which every joint supplyeth according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body to the edifying of it self in love.]

[Page 156] Can all the Canons in the world attain more Concord and higher ends than these exprest?

And the Instruments are the gifts which Christ gave to men, even to Apostles, Prophets, Evange­lists, Pastors and Teachers, and the loving endeavours of all believers.

§. 17. And the Terms of all this Union and Con­cord are these seven, 1. One Body, (of Christ the only Head, that is, all true Christians in the world) 2. One Spirit (given by Christ to quicken, illumi­nate and Sanctifie and confirm and comfort them.) 3. One Hope of their calling (that is, the Glorious coming of Christ and our Heavenly Glory.) 4. One Lord (the King, Head and Saviour of the Church.) 5. One Faith, (that is, Christianity, expressed in the Churches Creed or common profession.) 6. One Baptism, (that is, One solemn entrance into the Church and Covenant of God in the publick profession of this one faith.) 7. One God and father of all, who is above all, and through and in us all.] But all this consisting in various degrees of grace and gifts, ch. 4. v. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

These are Gods own terms of Christian Unity and Concord, sufficient in their kind, but judged in­sufficient by the ignorant, proud, tyrannical Church-tearing Spirit.

And to shut out false anathematizing, he con­cludeth with pronouncing [Grace to all them that Love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity] whoever con­demn them.

§. 18. The same Apostle leaveth the same Canon to the Philippians, c. 1. v. 15, 16. Though some preached Christ not sincerely but of contention, supposing to add affliction to his bonds, so far was he from silen­cing them or forbidding men to hear them, that he rejoyced that Christ was preached, though in pretence and contentiously.

[Page 157] And ch. 2. 1, 2, 3. he most vehemently impor­tuneth them to be like minded, of the same Love, of one accord, and of one mind: But how can that be, and on what terms? [Let nothing be done through strife and vain glory, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better than themselves. Not say [say as I say or be silent.] Look not every man on his own things, but every man on the things of others (And not tread down others that you may be great; nor think of your own case and reasons only.) Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus—who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, &c. This is the Pastors pattern. Let him that is Greater than Christ refuse to stoop so low.

And his Canon for the Concord is ch. 3. 13, 14, 15, 16. To confess our selves imperfect, seekers of per­fection, pressing forward for the prize. [Let as many as be perfect be thus minded (This is your mea­sure here) and if in any thing you be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you: Nevertheless where­to we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.] As if he said, while you agree in true Christianity, take it for granted that you will all have imperfection, for I have so my self, and therefore there will be different judge­ments in tolerable cases; but let this be your Ca­non; notwithstanding such difference, while you press towards perfection, walk by the Rule of Chri­stian Love, in searching after the will of God, and mind with Concord the great things which you are all agreed to pursue; And bear lovingly with each other in lesser differences, and God in this way will teach you more.

[Page 158] §. 19. The same doctrine he delivereth to the Colossians, reprehending those that would lay Christi­an faith or Concord on their will-worship, worldly ru­diments and ordinances, Touch not, taste not, handle not, after the Commandments and doctrine of men, in things which have a shew of wisdom, in voluntary humility and neglecting the body; in worshipping Angels and intruding into unseen things, vainly pufft up by fleshly minds: And instead of this he exhorteth them to hold the Head Christ, who is the true wisdom and bond of unity, and believe that in him they are complete; and to take heed lest any spoil them (of their faith love and con­cord) by Philosophy (pretending greater subtilty) and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, and after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ, in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, in whom we are compleat.] And he instances in some such snares, [Let no man judge you in meat or drink, or in respect of an holy day, or new Moon, or of the Sab­bath, which are a shadow of things to come, &c.] that is, Let no man bring you under such Laws, and lay salvation or unity and Concord on them.

And ch. 3. he largely sheweth that in the New Man there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision or un­circumcision, Barbarian or Scythian, bond or free, but Christ is all and in all: And that the true bond of perfection is charity by which the peace of God must rule in their hearts that are called into One body; And the subordinate Canons are [bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any, even as Christ forgave you, so do ye.]

§. 20. If any say, These are not precepts for Church-Governours but for subjects: I answer still, They are the precepts of the Holy Ghost by an [Page 159] Apostle that had more authority than any of our Church-Governours, and that to all the Churches about their common duty, unity and interest, bind­ing them and binding us, even all the Churches.

§. 21. It would seem tedious to recite all other texts to the same purpose: His prohibitions of vain disputes and janglings about the Law and genealo­gies, and his confining men to the common doctrine of Christianity, and his warning men to preach no new or other doctrine, may be seen in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.

§. 22. And it is much to be observed, 1. That all the hereticks of those times pretended to greater wisdom and curiosity than the Christian Churches had, and by such pretences brake their Concord, as may be seen in all the Epistles, especially Col. 2. & Jam. 3.

2. And yet that whenever the Apostles or Christ himself, Rev. 2. & 3. censure any such hereticks to be forsaken and cast out, it is never for any little mat­ter, but for denying some common article of the faith (as Christs Incarnation, the Resurrection, &c.) or for some gross wicked doctrine and practice, (as fornication and eating things offered to idols, or re­belling against Rulers, &c.) Which shews what then were the terms of Church unity, and by what Canons they were governed, by Gods appoint­ment.

§. 23. I will add that one great warning of Paul, which summeth up all, 2. Cor. 11. 3. a prophesie of the deceit and corruption of the Churches; [would to God you could bear with me a little in my folly (as proud corrupters account it) and indeed bear with me: For I am jealous over you with godly jealousie; For I have espoused you to one husband (and not to usur­pers) that I may present you as a chaste Virgin to Christ: [Page 160] But I fear lest by any means as the Serpent beguiled Eve though his subtilty (flattering her with the hopes of higher knowledge) so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.] Christianity is not a snare for mens wits, but a way to their sal­vation: It is a plain and simple thing though most mysterious: 1. It consisteth of simplicity of doctrine, a few, great plain and necessary things, and not of philosophical curious subtilties, though it forbiddeth not but encourageth the utmost improvement of reason and true learning, especially for method, elu­cidation▪ and defence.

2. It is a simple and spiritual worship that it com­mandeth, for God is a spirit and will be so worship­ped in spirit and in truth. The Schismaticks con­tended whether in this Mountain or at Jerusalem] but Christ rebuked that contention.

3. And it is a simple sort of Government or Di­scipline that Christ hath instituted; commanding him that will be Greatest to seek his preeminence in being most useful and humble, as a servant unto all, and not as the Rulers of the world to be called Benefa­ctors and gracious Lords, not as Lording it over Gods heritage but as examples to the flock: 1 Pet. 5. 2, 3. Not smiting with the sword, but leaving force to Civil Magistrates.

4. And it is a simple conversation that Christ by his Law and example hath prescribed, and his servants used: This was Paul's rejoycing, the testimony of his Conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom, he had his conversation in the world, 2 Cor. 1. 12. Wisdom must go with innocency: but it is not worldly carnal wisdom, but such as con­sisteth in knowing God in Christ; to be wise to sal­vation.

[Page 161] §. 24. Now this fourfold Christian-simplicity▪ Paul foresaw the Serpent on pretence of finer wit and subtilty would draw the Church to forsake, till (as Erasmus saith) it became a point of wit to be a Christian: and this would be (and hath been) the corruption of the Churches.

1. The simplicity of Doctrine is turned by Coun­cils and by other Dictators into multitudes of un­necessary and uncertain notions, to say nothing of the false ones. In the clear discovery of the sence and method of the sacred doctrine, we must use our greatest skill and accurateness: But salvation, peace and concord is not to be laid on the fine elucidati­ons, and numerous articles of mens wits.

2. The simplicity of Christian worship is corru­pted, and turned into such pageantry of Ceremo­nies and formalities (to pass by much worse) that spiritual worshippers find it exceeding unsuitable to them, in much of the Christian world.

3. And how far and dolefully the simplicity of Church-Government or Discipline is lost, in more places than the Papal Kingdom, needs not many words to tell him, that can compare things old and new.

4. And what wonder if the honest simplicity of Conversation perish with the rest, and carnal interest and fraud and falshood, and oppression reign by carnal wisdom? Thus hath the subtile serpent corrupted the Churches by drawing them from the simplicity that is in Christ.


III. The true terms of Catholick Vnity and Concord more particularly described, as the principal means of hope for the Churches Peace.

§. 1. THe false terms having been the engines of Schism and Church-distractions, it is the opening of the true terms that must be the cure, with which I shall begin, because Rectum est index sui & obliqui. And here are distinctly to be laid down, I. What are the terms of entering into Christian Catholick Church-Vnity and Commu­nion? II. What are the necessary terms of con­tinuing it? and what are the causes of abscission ei­ther by apostasie or excommunication? III. What are the terms necessary to the office and exercise of the sacred Ministry? IV. What are the terms necessary to the constitution, administration and Communion in single Churches. V. What are the terms necessary to the concord of such single Churches among themselves as associated or corresponding for mutual help. VI. And what is necessary to the civil peace and concord of Chri­stians, in Kingdoms, Cities and Families. Of these in order.

§. 2. I. Nothing but Baptism truly received is ne­cessary to entrance into the state of Vnion with the vi­sible Church called Catholick or Vniversal.

§. 3. I before shewed that Christ himself institu­ted the terms, in the institution of Baptism, and [Page 163] that herein all Christians are agreed. The proof of this is so full that nothing but gross ignorance or wilfulness can make it a matter of doubt. 1. In the fore-cited institution; 2. In the constant judgement and practice of the Universal Church, through all places and ages since the institution of baptism to this day.

1. That Baptism hath been still used, no one that knoweth Church history can deny.

2. That it hath been used to this end, to be the en­trance into the Church universal and visible Christian state, is an undenyable. About Infant baptism the Anabaptists doubt; But they also deny Infants to be Christians or Church-members: and we prove to them both together, by Christs command to Disciple Nations baptizing them: They confess that Baptism is the Church-entrance as well as we.

3. And all that are truly baptized persons are Chri­stians or visible Church-members, till they revolt or are cast out, all the Christian world from the dayes of the Apostles are agreed.

4. And as all visible Covenanters in baptism have been taken for visible Christians, so all sincere heart-Covenanters have ever been supposed by the Church to have by Baptism a sealed and delivered pardon of sin, and right to adoption, and everlasting life.

All this is so evident that it is labour in vain to prove it, that this hath been the constant consent of the Christian world, and so continueth to this day: And all that are Christians are still in all Countries thus baptized.

§. 4. And if Baptism be the common symbol of Christianity, and the common making of a visible Christian, then it must needs be the constitutive term or qualification sufficient to mens first Church-Vnion and Communion: which is commonly con­fessed.

[Page 164] §. 5. If there be any place for contention here, it must be only about the validity of mens Received baptism: 1. As to the Minister and his part: 2. As to the mode and Ceremonies: 3. As to the qualification of the receiver or baptized.

§. 6. I. As to the first, though all be not agreed in point of Duty who should baptize, yet so great a number of the Christian world are agreed as to the validity of baptism received de necessitate medii, that the dissenters are so few as that we need not fear any great disagreement hereabout. The very Roma­nists maintain the validity not only of the Baptism received by hereticks and wicked Priests, and silen­ced and suspended Priests, but also of Lay-men, yea of women: But de officio all are agreed that where it is possible a lawful Minister of Christ should do it. Only a few Anabaptists say that it must be only one that was baptized at age himself: And one or two Singularists (whether in ignorance or design I know not) think it the aptest medium to unchurch the Reformed Churches, that they have no true Priests for want of due succession of ordination, and conse­quently no true Sacraments, because God owneth no Acts but such as are commissioned or appointed by him; and consequently no Covenant; and conse­quently no Covenant-promise and benefits, of pardon, justification and salvation: But this is after at large to be detected and confuted.

§. 7. The great difficulty is of the necessary qua­lification of the baptized: And there 1. the Ana­baptists keep out Infants: But besides Baptism and Church-membership, they deny them no offices that their age is capable of: And they are ready to re­ceive them all by baptism as soon as they come to the use of due understanding: And these delayes are [Page 165] but few in comparison: And 1. the ancient Chur­ches compelled none to be baptized, but only recei­ved them that voluntarily came, or were duly brought. 2. And if men will stay without or keep their Children out, they wrong themselves and theirs, but this breaketh no unity of the Christian Church.

§. 8. There have been also factious persons that tye the validity of Baptism to their sects: such as were specially the Donatists, supposing that their Prelates had the truest call and power; and that all others were Sectaries or Hereticks, and therefore their baptism null and void and to be iterated: But though in other arrogancies some follow them to this day, yet few if any in the nulling of bap­tism.

§. 9. But a greater and longer stir there hath been about Creeds and professions required as Tests to excuse men from heresie. But yet it is to be noted, that few of them by these altered the form of bap­tism, but there took up with the ancient Creed, (the Apostles and the Nicene or Constantinopolitane) and required no more; but only imposed the rest on Bishops, Priests or other afterwards.

§. 10. And is there now any cause of discord here? 1. All Christians have been made such by bap­tism from the Apostles dayes till now. Is there any thing in the world that ever came down to us by more certain, uniform, consenting tradition? The very same words of baptism which Christ did insti­tute are every where used to this day: And if all ages and Countreys have still baptized persons as believers, or Christians, and yet be not agreed what Christianity is, or what the faith is that baptism requireth, it will be a strange incredible shame to them. But even Hierome and Hillary that cry out [Page 166] of their new Creeds, do tell us that in Baptism the old one was still used, to which they did appeal. And though the Greeks and Latines differ about their filióque, and some small new clauses are found in the Creed that were not in the old Copies which are now found on Record, they are not so factious or vain, as to nullifie Baptism by any of those diffe­rences. For the Creed is but part of the Exposition of Baptism, and Baptism is true Baptism, if no other Creed or words were used but it self.

2. And there are few Christians yet that will re­fuse any of the truly ancient Creeds; of which more anon.

§. 11. 3. It is true that there are some humane ceremonies which some Churches adjoin to Baptism, and by others are rejected or omitted. The most of the ancient Churches used the tasting of milk and honey, the wearing of a white garment, and Chrisme: and now some use the transient Image of the Cross as a symbol of our engagement to a Crucified Christ; which others omit as taking it to be so far participant of the nature of a Sacrament of the Covenant of Grace, as that it is an usurpation of Christs prero­gative, for any men without his institution to ap­point: But yet all these Churches that differ in these Ceremonies agree that the validity of Baptism dependeth not on them. Whether they be used or omitted, the person is nevertheless baptized.

§. 12. Qu. But what is it that is necessary to the being and validity of baptism?

Answ. This was partly answered before. 1. It is necessary to the validity of it in foro Ecclesiae, that both the baptizer and the adult baptized (or the per­son that is authorized to Covenant for the infant) do Profess to intend real Baptism, and not to do it in jeast or to other ends: And it is necessary to its effi­cacy [Page 167] to pardon and salvation, that this profession of the Baptized be sincere, and that he do it from the heart: And it is necessary to free the baptizer from Gods displeasure that his intention be sin­cere.

2. It is necessary that the words of Baptism be such as express all the Essence of it; such as are those of Christ which all Christians use [I Baptize thee in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.] And that no contradictory words which nullifie these be added.

3. It is necessary to the validity of it in the judge­ment of the Church, that the adult person, (and the Parent or pro-parent for the Infant) do seem or profess to understand all the words of Baptism, so far as is essential to it: For ignorantis non est con­sensus.

4. It is necessary to the validity of it to real par­don and salvation that he not only seem to under­stand it, but really do so.

5. It is accordingly necessary that the person consent to all the essence of the Covenant, that is, seem and profess to do it, to the Church, and really do it, to satisfie God, and obtain pardon and life by it.

6. It is not absolutely necessary to the validity, that the Creed or any other profession be used, by the baptized, besides the words themselves [I be­lieve in God the Father Son and Holy Ghost, and give up my self to him in this Baptismal Covenant.] Because understanding and consent may be expressed by those words.

7. But it is usually necessary to the bene esse, or the best performance of baptism that the adult per­son (or the Parent of Infants) do in larger words profess his understanding, belief and consent to [Page 168] baptism: And it is best that these words be not too many nor too few, and that they be for the most part one unchanged form; Lest ignorance or he­resie deprave baptism by change and variety of words.

8. To this end the Churches of Christ have still used the Creed as the summary form of Profession of faith, As the Lords Prayer is a summary form of our Desires, and the Decalogue of our rule and pro­fession of practice. But because Assent is supposed to imply Consent to the particulars Assented to, though but Generally professed, therefore the Church hath more rarely omitted the Creed in the profession of Assent, when yet they have accepted of a more General profession of Consent to the Co­venant, and promise of obedience.

9. But if the adult do before-hand as a Catechu­men learn the Creed, Lords Prayer and Decalogue, and give the Pastor a satisfactory account of his competent understanding of them, then that may be supposed, and only a General profession of faith, consent and subjection, be used at the time and in the words of baptism. And so much of the con­stitutive causes of baptism.

§ 13. II. Though no more than Baptism be essentially Necessary, because so great a work should be well done; and ignorance and errour are very common, it is meet that the Church require [an understanding Assent to the com­mon Articles of the Creed, and an under­standing Consent to the Lords Prayer and De­calogue; and in general to all that he under­standeth to be Gods Word, Belief and sincere Obedience.] And therefore that the adult per­son, (and Parent of the Infant) be one that [Page 169] hath before been Catechized or examined herein.]

§. 14. Though I consent to Ger. Vossius and others that there is no proof at all that the twelve Apo­stles made the twelve Articles of the Creed respe­ctively, every one making one, as some have feign­ed; and though I deny not what he and Bishop Vsher and many others say, of the two or three Arti­cles being not found in the most ancient Copies or Records, and though I verily consent to Parker de Descensu and many others, that the words of Baptism were the first Creed, and that the Creed was brought in by degrees as the Exposition of the Baptismal profession, and that at first it had but three Articles [I believe in (and give up my self to) God the Fa­ther, Son and Holy Ghost], Yet I take the Creed in the sence at least to be of necessary use to the ends now mentioned, and I think we may say so much as is of greatest antiquity to be Divine and the word of God, and a special part of his word more necessary to be believed than many other parts.

§. 15. For, 1. Though we receive not the pre­tended Traditions of Rome or any Church that shall be obtruded on us without proof, or as accu­sing the Scripture of insufficiency; yet we never de­nyed that the Apostles preaching was Gods Word before they wrote it, and as well as their writing. It being eight years after Christs Ascension (as is commonly supposed) before the first part of the New Testament was written by St. Matthew, and near an hundred years after his incarnation that the last was written by St. John; and only four or five of the twelve Apostles having left us any of their writings, it were intolerable to deny that the con­stant preaching of them and all the rest to their [Page 170] death, was not done by the inspiration of the same infallible spirit as their writing was, and so was the Word of God.

§. 16. 2. And it is certain that Baptism was then as common as Christians, and that nothing was sooner done by the Apostles, nor more constantly, nor with greater concord and concent, than discipling per­sons and baptizing them: For this was the summ of their first appointed work, in which Christ pro­mised to be with them to the end.

§. 17. 3. It is certain that the Apostles did ad­minister Baptism as wisely and holily according to Christs will, as any that ever did come after them: And therefore that they did not take up with mens bare saying of three words [I believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost] without understand­ing what they said: All following ages Cathechi­zed or examined the adult before baptism, and to this day we would take the contrary course for an abuse: Therefore no doubt but the Apostles did it and appointed it.

§. 18. 4. And this is plainly implyed in the Scri­pture when believers are all said to be inlightned, and translated from darkness to light, and to know God and Jesus Christ as being life eternal, Eph. 1. 18. Act. 26. 18. Joh. 17. 3, &c. and to be wise to sal­vation; and indeed when they are said to Believe: For believing supposeth understanding: And when Peter saith that Baptism saveth; not the washing of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience to­wards God. And when all the Christians in the world as far as we have any notice from the Apostles dayes, have been baptized after Profession of faith, we have no reason to doubt, but that the Apostles used and appointed the requiring of it.

[Page 171] §. 19. 5. In doing this, it is no doubt but what they required of the Confessours from their mouths was short and plain, or else those multitudes of men and women who were in a short time baptized, would neither have had capacity nor time to do it: But the words of the Teachers and baptizers in explain­ing the said articles were large, and many: For we find that it was their common preaching work.

§. 20. 6. It is most probable (by the reason of the thing and the history, Act. 2. and elsewhere) that at the first no form of words was required and used besides the form in baptism, but that the people being instructed in the sense of those words, there­upon professed understanding, belief and consent. (And no more is essentially necessary) But that after a Creed in terms was the common form which was used by Professors in order to baptism: 1. Because so many thousands being baptized, the matter be­ing short, and meerly Divine, they could not be supposed to be left to much variety of expression: Divine, great, necessary things must be spoken with so much caution as may avoid errour, heresie, cor­ruption and abuse: And if every ignorant man and woman were left to use only words of their own devising to express the Christian faith, it would be of confounding and dishonourable con­sequence.

2. And the great care that then was used that all Christians might be of one faith and speak the same things, and that the heresies then arising might be suppressed, doth imply that this necessary means was then used by those that commanded that all be done to edification and unity and in order.

[Page 172] 3. And many expositors think that this Creed is it that Paul meant by the depositum and form of whol­some words to Timothy.

4. But the fullest proof is universal historical tradition and consent of the Christian Churches, who have ever used Catechizing and the Creed as the profession of faith, in order to baptism, and this as from the Apostles, without the least notice of any other original of it: There is some difference in words between that recited by Irenaeus, and two re­cited by Tertullian, and that which we now use, and some little difference between that of Marcellus in Epiphanius, and that of Aquileia in Ruffinus, and ours now used: And the forming of the Nicene Creed in other words doth shew that the Churches took not themselves to be so tyed to the same words of the former Creed as not to alter any part of them: And it is supposed that before the Nicene Creed, the Greek Church had a Creed that had as much of the words of the Nicene as of that called the Apostles. And no doubt it was the wisdom of the Apostles and the Churches, not to lay too much on particular words, and make them seem essential to baptism or more necessary than they were: And to this day if any in other words exprest the same thing, he may be baptized. But ad melius esse and for concord and safety the Churches that still agreed in words of the same sence, and mostly the same words as to all that ex­plained the essentials of Christianity, found it more and more needful to agree in every word, and leave men no room for dangerous diversity (though over and above they may explain their minds.) From whence it was that so great contentions have risen about some single word, as the Nicene [...] and the Latines Filióque, lest the Creed should be altered [Page 173] at the will of man, and the Christian faith seem to be an uncertain mutable thing.

§. 21. By all this it is evident that the Church must make Baptism the term of Christian Catholick unity and concord as necessary ad esse, and the Creed as needful and apt ad bene esse ordinarily.

§. 22. There is a controversie raised (as afore­said by Donatists and other Sectaries, so) now by the Papists, whether the person baptized must not also own, 1. the Ministry in general, 2. the parti­cular Minister that baptizeth him, 3. and the parti­cular Church into which he is received; 4. and sub­ject himself by profession to such pastoral power. To all which I shall distinctly answer.

§. 23. I. To the first, 1. what is connoted is not alwayes a necessary part of the contract: A man cannot be baptized but he must know that some one hath power to baptize him.

2. It is more needful of the two that the Aposto­lical office and power be known and believed than the successive ordinary Ministry: Because the belief of the truth of the Gospel more dependeth on their testimony, as commissioned and qualified with those extraordinary gifts of the spirit which are its seal and proof.

3. It is of great use to our faith and obedience to understand that Christ hath settled an authorized Ministry to preserve and preach his Word, and ad­minister his Sacraments, and guide his Churches to the end of the world, and he that knoweth not this wanteth an integral part of Christianity, and a great and needful help to his edification and salvation.

4. Yet none of these are absolutely necessary to the essence of Christianity: If any lived where the ministerial office were not known, or should by mis­leading [Page 174] so far err as to think that any judicious Chri­stian, or any Christian Magistrate, or master of a family, might preach and administer the Sacraments, if yet this man believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, as his Creator, Redeemer and Sancti­fier, and be accordingly devoted to him in baptism, this man shall be saved, notwithstanding his igno­rance or errour about the Ministry, yea though he knew not of the office of the Apostles, but took them for lay men. For the promise is, that whoever believeth in Christ shall not perish, but have everlasting life, Joh. 3. 16, 18. by what means soever he was converted to the faith: It is not only, [He that is converted by a Priest shall not perish] Nor is it ever said [He that believeth in the Apostles or Priests shall not perish], but he that believeth in Christ (which essentially includeth the belief in the Father and the Holy Ghost.) And therefore Paul calleth them carnal as guilty of Schism that said I am of Paul, and I of Cephas; because they were not bap­tized into the name of Paul or Cephas, but of Christ: And he thanketh God that he had baptized few of them, lest they should say that he had baptized them into his own name.

And yet are the Apostles foundations or bases and pillars in the Church, because Christ used them as the first great keepers of his word and seals, and the means of converting unbelievers, and it's hard and rare to believe in Christ without knowing and be­lieving that they were his commissioned Ministers.

§. 24. II. But, though it be a duty to choose a true Minister to be baptized by, yet it is not at all necessary to the validity of baptism to know that the baptizer is such: Indeed not one of many can be sure, as not having seen his ordination, nor [Page 175] knowing of his necessary qualifications: Many things may deceive them, and all baptism by Lay­men is not null, as the Fathers held, and the Papists now hold and confess.

§. 25. III. And as to reception into a particular Church, I have proved before that it is no work of baptism as such, but a consequent act (in order of nature alwayes, and oft of time.) The Eunuch, Act. 8. was baptized into no Church but the Uni­versal. There be some few rigid mistaken brethren called Independents in New England that think in­deed that all baptized persons must be baptized into a particular Church, but others even of that party are wiser herein. It is very fit that every one that can, be a member of some particular Church: But some cannot (as Travellers, Merchants, Ambassadors, &c. who reside among Infidels only, and those that live in Countreys where the Pastors by tyranny refuse to admit any to their communion who will not say or do some unlawful thing.) But yet Baptism as such is no such thing, nor hath such an effect. Much less is it a profession that such a particular Church is sound.

§. 26. IV. And as to subjection to the Clergie, It is true that Baptism essentially subjecteth us to Christ; and this includeth an obligation to obey him in all things which we know to be his Law; And it is true that just obedience to the Guides of the Church is his command: But it followeth not that every man knoweth this, nor that every disobedience unchurch­eth us: It is his command that we pray continually, and in all things give thanks, and that we speak not an idle word, and use not vain jeasting, &c. But it nul­lifieth not Christianity that we culpably offend in [Page 176] one of these: Nor doth our baptism contain our promise that we will never sin, nor that we will obey a command which we understand not: but that we will be Christs subjects and obey him sincerely, so as that when we fail by weakness we will renew our repentance. Christ also commandeth every child, subject, wife, servant to obey their parents, Princes and Magistrates, Husband and Master; And he that is baptized bindeth himself also to obey these Laws sincerely if he know them. But it followeth not that it is essential to Baptism to oblige us to subje­ction to parents, husbands, masters, but only to Christ who commandeth us to obey them. Even as subjects take not an Oath of Allegiance to every Justice, Constable, or Messenger, but only to the King, who yet commandeth us to obey his Judges, Justices, Constables, &c.

§. 27. To pretend that Baptism as such doth sub­ject men to the Bishop of Rome, or to the Bishop of Alexandria, Antioch, Paris, London, or to the Pastor of a single Church, is a perverting the sence of it, and to be answered as the Apostle did others, Were ye baptized into the Name of Paul?


II. What are the terms necessary for the con­tinuance of Church-Communion? and what are the lawful Causes of abscission or Excom­munication?

§. 1. IT is granted that as there is somewhat more necessary to the continuance of our par­don, justification and right to glory, than was to our first reception, so also to our continuance as members of the Catholick Church: That is, the bare profes­sion of faith and consent and subjection, or Cove­nanting with Christ for future sincere obedience, is enough to our first reception by baptism: But some performance of this Covenant is necessary to our con­tinuance.

The reasons are, 1. Because the Covenant or pro­mise is necessary, not meerly for it self, but for the performance-sake, to engage us to do what we pro­mise. 2. And as a known false Covenant is null as to the benefit of the Covenanter, though not as to his obligation, so at the entrance a mans word is his credible profession; but if he by notorious wilfulness violate this word or promise in any essential point, he then so far nullifieth his verbal profession as to his benefit, and proveth his Covenanting to be false. And therefore all disciplined Churches do cast out gross impenitent violaters of that Covenant, in such essential parts.

[Page 178] §. 2. But what is such violation, and for what fin men are to be cast out, is a difficult question in some instances.

1. I take it for a sure rule that no man is to be further cut off from the universal Church by sen­tence, than he first morally departeth or cuts off him­self. For the Pastors have not their power for de­struction but for edification: And their office is sub­servient to Christ, who came not to destroy mens lives but to save them, even to seek and to save the lost. They are not to be hurtful but helpful to mens souls.

§. 3. 2. He therefore that apostatizeth or deny­eth any one essential article of Christianity, cuts off himself first, and is to be declared by the Churches sentence to have so done, if he repent not: If he timely repent, it must prevent the sentence.

§. 4. 3. Whatever sin amounteth to an evident refusal of promised subjection to Jesus Christ, cuts off the sinner morally from Christ, and if he prevent it not by repentance, he is to be sentenced accord­ingly by the Church; who do but thus declare who depart from Christ and cut off themselves.

§. 5. 4. Every sin is not a renouncing of our alle­giance or subjection to Christ, nor to be censured by excommunication.

1. There are sins of meer infirmity or imperfection in duty; as imperfection of sincere faith, love, hope, obedience, prayer, &c. 2. There are sins of sudden passion and surprize which the will habitually abhorreth, and the sinner quickly repenteth of. 3. There are sins of ignorance which a man knew not to be sins. 4. There are sins of meer forget­fulness. 5. Yea it is not all presumptuous sin that is a renouncing of our subjection: A faithful man knoweth that the least sin should be avoided, and he may know that vain jesting or idle words are a [Page 179] sin; And he may be often guilty of these by some degree of presumption, that is, he may be tempted to think that all men being sinners, such a sin may stand with grace, and for want of due excitation not fear it or fly from it because it is a little one, as he would do from perjury, murder or some greater sin: No small evils or danger doth so much suscitate the soul to resist and avoid it as a greater doth: no man is so careful to avoid the prick of a pin as of a sword: This want of suscitation through the smallness of the thing, maketh less resistance and so some degree of presumption in all men.

§. 6. 5. No one Act of sin sufficiently repented of, is matter for a just excommunication, be the sin never so great; For the penitent are pardoned: If the Repentance be before the excommunication, it preventeth it: For the first part of discipline is to perswade the sinner to repentance, as being intend­ed for his recovery and salvation: and excommuni­cation is never just but when the sinner will not re­pent. As under the Law of Innocency death was the wages of any sin, but under the Gospel faith and repentance are the remedying conditions; so ac­cordingly though Adam was cast out of Paradise for the first sin, none are to be cast out of the Church for any sin meerly as a sin, but as not repented of by a believer. I say not that this is the Magistrates rule in punishing the body, but the Pastors in excommu­nicating.

§. 7. 6. Yea the time and means of admonition for bringing the sinner to repentance must be com­petent, and such as are suitable to a rational hope of his repenting, and not as some Lay Chancellors do, if a few rough words make them not repent, pre­sently excommunicate him; nor pro forma to say thrice I admonish you, I admonish you, I admonish you] [Page 180] and then [I excommunicate you.] It is not a jeast­ing matter, nor to be past as hastily as angry word. The sinner must be gravely and seriously told of the evil of his sin, and if it be something which he taketh for no sin, he must be convinced by Scripture proof, and must be heard speak for himself with patience; and if he hear not a more private admonition, he must be reproved before the Church, that many may consent for the more authoritative conviction, and for the warning of others, and that the Church may thereby clear them­selves as not consenting to the sin, 1 Cor. 5. And the excommunication is only to pass at last, when re­pentance justly seemeth hopeless.

§. 7. But yet there is much difference herein to be made in respect of the difference of sins and of persons: 1. A sin of errour or ignorance, or con­troverted, as also a smaller sin, requireth a longer time of patience for the sinners conviction before he be judged to be impenitent: But a notorious sin against the light of nature, or plainest proof, and of most scandalous consequence, must have shorter time of patience: yet so much as that the sinners pas­sion may be over, and he may have leisure well to consider of the evil, and of the Churches reproof.

§. 8. As gravity, convincing reason, compassion and patience are certainly necessary, so it seemeth very convenient at least that when the sinner is admonished before the Church, the Congregati­on joyn with the Pastor in earnest Prayer to God for his conviction and repentance, and if that pre­vail not at once, in tolerable cases to do it again, before the sinner be cast out: Ye ought to mourn, saith St. Paul, 1 Cor. 5. Men will not cut off a corrupt member of the body hastily, nor till flat necessity, nor without sense of pain.

[Page 181] §. 9. It is not every sin that a man repenteth not of, that is a just cause of excommunication: For there is no man living that hath not some sins which he no otherwise repenteth of, than as in ge­neral he hateth all sin so far as he knoweth it: For every man hath sins of ignorance, and every man hath some degree of errour, and some faithful men have more than others, and take some sins to be du­ties or no sins; and some have darker minds than others that are hardly convinced and cannot per­ceive the force of an argument against the preju­dice before received. And some are educated where some sins are praised, and converse with such per­sons as by their parts and interest in them harden them in their errour; How many thousand zealous Papists, Nestorians, Eutychians, Greeks take others for hereticks by mistake, and perhaps by words and actions wrong or persecute them, and never repent of it, because they err? How many Lutherans slan­der Calvinists, and they the Lutherans, and Papists and Protestants oft make each others matters seem otherwise than they are; Yea so do Conformists and Nonconformists, Anabaptists and Padobaptists and most that disagree, and yet repent not, thinking that to be true that is not, and so that they do well?

§. 10. Therefore two things must concur in the sin that deserveth an Excommunication from Catholick Communion. 1. That it be such as some call a Mortal sin, that is, Not a sin of meer infirmity and ignorance, which may consist with sincere Love to God and holiness, and subjection to the Government of Christ, but a sin which in an impenitent person pro­veth the absence of such Subjection and Love: And the mark of this is, That it be a sin which is so much in the power of the Will, that no one can keep it [Page 182] that is sincerely willing to leave it, and which must be known to be sin by all that are truly willing to know it: A sin that men may know if they are willing, and had rather keep than leave. 2. And that it be unrepented of, and such as due information and perswasion with patience, do not bring the sinner to repent of. A heinous, mortal, wilful sin unrepent­ed of.

§. 11. By this it appeareth, who is to be sen­tenced cut off from the Catholick Church, and who not. None but those that first really depart, because the sentence must be true and just: And this departure is either direct, by Apostasie, renouncing God the Father, the Son or the Holy Ghost, or some essential part of Godliness or Christianity: 2. Or indirectly, when men deny not any of these in words, but in works do that which is evidently inconsistent with them, and may be so discerned by any willing mind.

§. 12. And hence it appeareth, 1. that the num­ber of these is greater than the Pastors that cast off true discipline do acknowledge. That is, All those that are guilty of living in such sins as the common light of nature detecteth to every willing mind, (such as are fornication, adultery, drunkenness, per­jury, malignity, persecution, slanderous preaching or speech, hating others, especially for good, &c.) and are obstinate in refusing to repent and amend. And, alas, how great a number live in our Churches never excommunicated nor publickly admonished who lye in such sins and will not repent? The Pa­pists Priests themselves conform by unjust oaths and professing to assent and consent to many Decrees and Canons of Councils which are false and sinful, and by many other sinful practices. Their very persecution of men better than themselves on false pretences of [Page 183] heresie and schism, is a crime that many were they truly willing might soon know. Drunkenness, whore­dom, lying, perjury, prophane swearing, cursing and slandering, covetous and proud oppressing, and many such like, yea even professed Saduceism and in­fidelity and deriding serious Godliness, are all too common in the world; Yet few of all these are ever excommunicated.

§. 13. 2. Yet hence also it is plain that the com­monest sort of Excommunications for these thou­sand years at least have been but the acts of carnal tyrannical usurpation like a plague or publick war or fire to the Churches.

Viz. I. Anathematizing men for a dark ambigu­ous word or phrase, though inept, and though in the obvious sence by undiscerned consequence it might be inconsistent with the essentials of Religion, is tyrannical and unjust.

§. 14. 1. When the words only are bad, and the man doth not so mean them, this is no heresie in the man. If that word which signifieth God, or Hea­ven, should in another language, or by mis-informa­tion be used to signifie, Satan or Hell, and so have opprobrious epithers annexed, this were no blasphe­my or errour in the man. For he used the words as significations of his mind: And they are not Na­tural but arbitrary signs. Else all unskilful speakers would be hereticks: Yea all men would be damned; For there are few words but are ambiguous, or of many sens [...] and are good in one sence and bad in another.

§. 15. 2. And as Amesius hath well noted, there is so harmonious a connexion between all the Mo­ral parts of Religion, that if you deny any one, by consequence it will overthrow the rest: and every [Page 184] errour (though not in History, topography, Gene­alogy, Chronology, &c. yet) in morality wrongeth yea subverteth the foundation.

§. 16. 3. And (not only Davenant, Morton, Hall, but) all peace-making Divines are agreed that unseen consequences are not to be taken for a mans judgement, rather than the contrary truths which he professedly owneth.

§. 17. For instances, I will over-pass the word [...], and not resolve the Controversie whether Eusebius Caesariensis proved by D. Petavius and others to have been indeed an Arian, after all his great labours in his History, his Praeparatio & Demonstratio Evan­gelica, ought to have been cut off from the Catho­lick Church: or whether Constantine justly chid A­lexander as well as Arius for their contention? Nor whether Hilary justly blamed the making of New Creeds, beginning with the Nicene; Nor whether Justin and all the rest of the Ancient Fathers whose words Petavius citeth as speaking as the Arians, should have been Excommunicated. Doubtless the denyal of Christs Godhead is the denyal of his Essence. But there be subtile School-men that think the word [substance] is spoken of God but equivocally or metaphorically, yea some and no small men or num­ber say the same of Ens it self, which yet the Sco­tists contradict them in: And many choose rather to call God A Pure Act, than a substance: And these men think that they that know not what substance meaneth as spoken of God, should not excommunicate men for denying Christ to be [of the [...] substance] unless they better understood the subject: And they think that Damascene that subtilly calleth God [ [...]] must needs be as guilty as they that denyed Christ to be [ [...]]; and that where there is no substance, there is no [same substance] And therefore [Page 185] thinking that some men mean the same word hereti­cally, and some well, they wish that the word had ne­ver been put into a Creed, which must be the test of all Church-members: Though the word be true.

§. 18. But there are abundance of other heresies that I may safely instance in,See what I have recited out of Philastrius in my book against Johnson called [Which is the true Church] in the end. as Philastrius * yea and Epi­phanius have described them. I am ashamed to mention some ridiculous heresies in Philastri­us, (as calling the stars by the names of living Creatures, and other better.) And divers in Epiphanius are not much worse. But I will speak only of three or four that have made the greatest divisions in the Church.

§. 19. I. Cyprian with his African Councils with Firmilian judging for the re-baptization of those baptized by hereticks, was judged a heresie, which their Countreymen the Donatists followed: Yet Au­gustine saith that Cyprian was no heretick for it. And indeed, it had been but justly distinguishing of men called Hereticks, as I before said the Council of Nice did, naming the Paulinists, and all had been ended. But if not, this was no ju [...] cause of Excommunication.

§. 20. II. The same I may say of the unhappy Con­troversie of the time of Easter; about which Victor and Polycrates strove; wherein Irenaeus so much re­proveth Victor, as most wise and good men ever since have in their judgements done.

§. 21. III. And truly I think on several accounts that the Novatian heresie was not such as deserved Excommunication from the Catholick Church, though they sinfully separated from those concor­dant [Page 186] particular Churches, which by advantage got the name of the Catholick. For 1. wise men are not agreed what the heresie was: But the skilfullest agree that it was not a denyal of pardon before God in another world, to the penitent, but only of Church-pardon and admittance to Communion: And some of their accusers told them that their first founders denyed such Church-pardon only to those that deny­ed Christ or lapsed against Christianity in time of per­secution (good Christians that came out of prisons being too unwilling to receive those when the storm was over, that had saved themselves by denying the faith), and that the denyal of it to other criminals came in after by degrees on supposed parity of rea­son. 2. And I find it confessed by their adversaries that the wicked lives of the Catholicks occasioned this addition; and that the Novatians were other­wise Orthodox, and of better lives than most of the Orthodox. 3. And I find that the proudest and worst Bishops (such as Nestorius) were their sharp­est Adversaries, and that the best lived lovingly and as brethren with them: Chrysostom once threatned their Bishop in Constantinople, but went no further, and recalled it at the next word. Atticus and Proclus kindly kept peace with them. And though Socrates and Sozomen are by many accused as being Novatians, for speaking well of them, I see no rea­son to believe it; unless every man that chooseth rather to speak truly of dissenters, than maliciously and slanderously, be therefore of their opinion. But if it were so, it would be so much the greater honour to the Novatians, with them that discern, that we have no ancient Church-historians that write more credibly than Socrates and Sozomen; or in whom the footsteps of veracity may by a stranger be easilier discerned: If their historians are [Page 187] truest, it's like they were not the worst men. And to say, [Let men be never so pious, such an opinion cuts them off from Christ] deserveth indignation rather than confutation.

§. 22. IV. Nestorius himself was so turbulent an enemy to heresie and toleration, that while he would needs be an Orthodox persecutor he fell under the reputation of being a most damnable heretick: His zeal arose against the supposed heresie of calling Mary [...], the mother or parent of God; But he never denyed that she was the mother of him that is God: Hereupon Cyril (as turbulent a man and more, if Isidore Pelusiota and other good men say true) charged him with asserting two persons in Christ, as well as two Natures: which his own express words deny: And who best knew his own opinion but himself? On the other side the Nestorians accused the Cyrili­ans of heresie, as confounding the two Natures, and blasphemously making a Creature God, and saying that God was but so many months or so many years old. Though the extraordinarily Learned David Derodon have written to prove Nestorius Orthodox, and Cyril an Eutychian heretic [...] yet truly it is evident in the history and their [...] that they meant the same thing, and strove but about words, and skilful speaking, in which Cyril carryed it by his greater learning, and by Nestorius his succeeding St. Chryso­stome in the hatred of the Court.

Plainly, One spake of the concrete, and the other of the abstract: One of Him that was God, and the other of the Godhead, and both true: Nestorius spake formally (that is, strictly, for denominatio est à formâ) and Cyril Materially: Nestorius said, Mary was not the Parent of the Deity or of Christ as God, but only of the humanity and partly of the Union; and therefore [Page 188] was not aptly to be called The Mother of God, but of Christ, who is God]: Cyril said that Mary was not the Cause or Parent of the Godhead, but yet because of the Union of the two Natures was to be called The Mother of God: And is it not evident that they strove but about words? which Sophronius in Coun­cil after plainly opened, and could not be heard. O doleful! that two mens sinful striving who should be judged to speak best, while they meant the same thing and did not know it, should set most of the Christian world under Anathema's and in a flame of wrath and mutual condemnation to this very day! But suppose some difference had been in their sence, was it any renouncing of Christianity and such as cut them off from Christ?

§. 23. V. Cyril so carryed it by wit and Grandeur, and the countenance of the Court that all went for right that he had said. And he had said (as is yet visible in his writings largely cited by Derodon,) that Christs Natures were two before the Vnion (as if the humane had existed before) and afterward but one. Eutyches imitated him, and was accused for it otherwise: Dioscorus honouring his predecessour Cyril took his part, thinking [...] which carryed it then would carry it now: But the Court and stream was changed and he was deceived: and when they had fought it out and Flavian Bishop of Constantinople was mortally hurt, Eutyches went for the heretick, and yet the name of Cyril was honoured still as Orthodox. And now that Church war was revived, which drew streams of consecrated blood, and shook the Empire, and dolefully continueth to this day. The banished Eutychians prevailed in the East and South, and even beyond the Empire as far as Ethiopia; and the Abas­sines, Copties, and others are called by many Eutychi­an [Page 189] hereticks, who know not what that heresie is, but only honour the names of Cyril and Dioscorus, and condemn those that condemned them; and being now, from a later propagater of the party called Jacobites, are the greatest number of Christians in those Countreys. And thus the pride and contention of Prelates under pretence of zeal against heresie and errour, have set the meer names of differing leaders to be the means and marks of Schism to this day.

§. 24. And that still it was the same thing that they meant, will appear to a diligent reader of the history, and the contenders words: The undenya­ble truth is (as Nazianzene before lamented) few Bishops were learned understanding men, but such as the more ignorant sort of our Curates, and too many of them worldly, proud and factious, follow­ing the Court and those Patriarchs that were most able to promote or eject them, after Christian Em­perours had once made them the Rulers of the Countreys and the Judges of all Christians even in secular affairs: And when one Sophronius or few others opened the case rightly to them, they ei­ther understood it not, or bawl'd it down and set up a cry, Away with the Hereticks. The Eutychians fol­lowing Cyril spake u [...]ntly; and said [Christ had two natures before the union and but one after, because uni­ted, and union maketh one of two.] But it is appa­rent (as Derodon hath proved) that Cyril (and so his ignorant followers) did not think that Christs humane nature did exist before the union, and so that ever they were divided, but that in order of nature the existence is intelligible before the union, and so that they were but one as being undivided, not denying them to be still distinguishable, and so to be what Nestorius and the Orthodox meant by [two] as being distinct but not divided.

[Page 190] §. 25. And Derodon hath also proved that Cyril (and so the Eutychians) when they called them [One] did mean [One person] mistaking the sense of the word [Nature] and meaning by [Nature] the same that the Orthodox meant by [Person]. And so the opening of two words, would have ended all their Controversie, and proved that they meant the same thing and knew it not; that is, 1. distinguishing between [One undivided] and [One undistinguished]. 2. Opening what they meant by Nature and Person: But, alas, this was no work for those famous General Councils, but to cry out [Anathema to Nestorius, Anathema to Eutyches, Anathema to Dioscorus; Holy Leo, Holy Cyril, &c.] these were their arguments. And Dioscorus as bad as his adversaries or worse, excommunicated Leo the Bishop of Rome, and went the Anathematizing way: And so much of Religion was placed in cursing one another, that there were scarce any Bisops in the world that were not cursed by one another.

§. 26. VI. And the difference between the Greeks and Latines about the words [hypostases & Personae] had almost come to the same extremity: When Hierome himself that liked [...]ot [three hypostases] was accused of heresie, and was fain to fly to his baptismal Creed for refuge, and to prove that he was a believer because he was baptized. ButGreg. Nazianzene. one wiser than the rest had the unusual good success as to con­vince them that by the two words it was the same thing that they meant, and did not know it.

§. 27. VII. The next calamitous Anathemati­zing fell out about the owning or disowning of the Council of Chalcedon, because of the foresaid Nestorian [Page 191] and Eutychian quarrels: And so doleful was the case, that it became the test of the Orthodox in one Countrey to Curse or Anathematize that Council, and in another to Curse all that did not receive it. Espe­cially when one Emperour was for one side, and the next for another, the Cursing varyed accordingly, for the most part.

§. 28. But that which added grievously to the Calamity was, that the same Bishops that under one Emperour cursed the Council, under the next cur­sed those that owned it not, and thus most scanda­lously anathematized themselves, even one party this year, and another the next. I say nothing but what Binius and Baronius and such others say.

§. 29. VIII. The next sad Anathematizing was about the Monothelites: They that said that Christ had but One Will and One Operation were cursed as Monothelite hereticks, and they that said He had two were cursed by the Monothelites: And these were no narrow petty Sects, but Emperours and great General Councils were for them. Binius saith, that the Council of Constantinople called Quin sextum that made the Trull Canons, were Monothelites, and yet that they were the same Bishops that had constitu­ted the fifth Council, so that those also were Mono­thelites; And in the reign of Philippicus he saith a Council of the Monothelites was so great that there were besides the rest Innumerable Bishops out of the East. And these and their adversaries kept on the cursing trade of Religion, one side cursing under one Emperour, and the contrary under the next.

§. 30. And (O doleful case) even these also seem fully to me to contend about nothing but bare words, and really agreed and did not know it, partly following the stream for worldly interest, and partly [Page 192] having not skill enough to explicate ambiguous words and state the Controversie. Who knoweth not that ever read any Metaphysicks, how many senses the word [One] or [Vnity] hath? and how the same thing in several respects may be said to be One or Two? And was this discussed in any of these Councils? Which? where? and when? 1. Two things may concur to one effect, where, say the sub­tilest Philosophers, materially they are two causes, but formally and properly but one; All set together make but one cause (being ejusdem generis) and are but many parts of that one cause, though many things: And so some called Christs Wills One as being but One cause in these School-mens sense of the same effect. For the Deity operateth only per essentiam and hath no effect in God himself. 2. And as Voluntas and operatio signifie the Internal principle of the effect, no one can doubt but Christ had two; for the Divine essential Will, and the humane faculty or Act, were not the same principle or thing: But Objectively they are One; that is, The Divine Nature or prin­ciple and the humane do will the same thing, and con­tradict not one another. 3. And the Controversie is the same as the former with the Eutychians: Christ hath but One Will as opposite to Divisions; One as not divided: but Two as intellectually distinguishable. Two as denominated à principiis from two natures; one as 1. from One person, and 2. as undivided, and 3. as terminated on One object. I doubt not but had this been thus opened to them, all the sober men would have said, we are all agreed in it. And yet this wordy difference maketh the name of an Ana­thematized heresie to this day.

§. 31. IX. The next cursing difference arose about [...] question whether Christs body on earth was corruptible [Page 193] or no? O the unhappy spirit of self conceited ana­thematizing Prelates! The affirmers were called corrupticolae and reproached as blasphemers of the Christ, and the worshippers of that which was cor­ruptible. The denyers were called Phantasiasticks and made hereticks, the affirmers getting the last prevailing vote; And alas, the Emperour Justinian out of his great zeal for the honour of Christ, pro­ved one of the hereticks, and is so branded to this day; yea and persecuted the corrupticolas as here­ticks. Where will hereticating, cursing and perse­cuting stop or end? And yet one word of just di­stinction had ended all this, had it been duly used and received. Christs Body was potentially and as to the natural quality of flesh lyable to or capable of corruption: But not actually corrupted, and not corruptible in respect to Gods decree, that it should not actually corrupt. And yet even holy Hilary Pictav. held not only this errour but somewhat more; His words are so bad I am loth to cite them.

§. 32. X. The next lamentable Schism and Cursing arose from the Decree of the Constantinopo­litan Council de tribus capitulis. The Cursing one another for owning or not owning the Council of Chal­cedon still continuing; and Learned Theodoret with Theodore of Mopsuest and Ibas having been formerly by Dioscorus Ephesine Council condemned and de­posed as Nestorian hereticks, and the Council of Chalcedon having restored them upon their just sub­scriptions, a crafty Eutychian perswaded the Empe­rour, that he might reconcile all the Eutychians to the Council of Chalcedon, if he would but condemn some ill words in the writings of these three Bi­shops; which the Emperour called a General Coun­cil together presently to do. The one half the Bi­shops [Page 194] absent thought this was a condemning in part of the Chalcedon Council; And Vigilius Bishop of Rome being then at Constantinople refused to subscribe, and after excommunicated Menna the Patriarch; The Emperour caused him to be dragg'd through the streets by a rope, to reconcile him: The flames of the Church were by this Council much increased, and by condemning three dead mens writings, the living were more engaged in a doleful war. At last Pope Vigilius consented to the Council; where­upon a great part even of the Western Churches and Italy separated from and renounced the Pope, and chose them another Patriarch (at Aquileia) to be their chief Church-Ruler in his stead. And this continued about an hundred years, till Sergius reconciled them: so far was the universal Church even then from taking the Pope or Church of Rome for the Head, or any essential part of the Church-Universal. And all this was about the Exposition of some doubtful words in three mens writings: And can any sober man now think that the right or wrong Exposition of every mans, or those three mens writings, was a thing that salvation lyeth on? or that these are the terms of Christianity and Church-membership?

§. 33. It would be but matter of shame and sor­row to go on, and add the later and more shame­ful instances of Anathematizing, especially about Images, several Emperours and Councils hereticating each other. What an Engine the Pope and Prelates made Cursing men from Christ, to get dominion over Emperours and Kings, to subdue Kingdoms, and to turn Love and peace into wrath and wars and blood­shed and pernicious divisions: To recite their damn­ing of Loyalty under the name of the Henrician he­resie: their damning all that (about Transubstan­tiation) [Page 195] renounced not the belief of all their senses and rational perception of sensate things; and that renounced not also the belief of all the sound mens senses in the world, and consequently the belief of God: as he is the God of Nature, making his re­velation to our understandings by our senses; ma­king it necessary to salvation to take God for the deceiver of the senses (or apprehensions by sensa­tion) of all the world. How they have decreed the burning or exterminating of all others, that do not thus believe Transubstantiation, and deposing temporal Lords that will not exterminate them, and absolving their Subjects from their Oaths and Alle­giance, and giving their dominions to others. Did I but recite to you how ridiculously they hereticated Gilbert Porretane and some other learned men, and how such exposed the Councils of Bishops to scorn by detecting their ignorance by some questions which they could not answer; should I tell you what work their long and numerous Schisms, and two or three Popes at once made for the great Councils of Con­stance and Basil; and also what work those Coun­cils made themselves, it might melt the heart of a lover of Christianity into grief and tears.

§. 34. I conclude this, that the hereticating and Cursing men for doubtful words, or want of skill in aptness of expressions, yea or for errours which consist with saving faith in Christ, is so far from be­ing a means of the Churches good, that it hath been the grand engine of Satan to exercise Tyranny, excite hatred and Schism and Rebellions, and do most lamentable mischiefs in the world, and there­fore carefully to be avoided.

§. 35. II. And what I have said of words, I may partly say of actions: Anathematizing men for [Page 196] doubtful actions, or for such faults as consist with true Christianity, and continued subjection to Jesus Christ, is a sinful Church-dividing means.

§. 36. More particularly I shall shew after in the third part of this book, that it is not all the same things that make a man uncapable of present Commu­nion in this or that single or particular Church, or in a compound Church, Diocesane, Metropolitane, Provincial or National (or Imperial) which make him uncapable of continuing in the Universal Church. Much less doth every continued disobedi­ence to a Bishops or Councils Canons or Commands make him Excommunicable from the Church Uni­versal.

§. 37. But most abominable was it in the Ro­man Popes and Prelates, to shut up all Churches, in­terdict whole Kingdoms, and excommunicate the inno­cent people, because a King displeased them, or deny­ed them subjection or obedience. And as old Ro­bert Grosthead Bishop of Lincoln in his Epistle to Pope Innocent IV. recorded by Matth. Paris, truly tells them, It is the work of Satan, and next Anti­christianity one of the greatest sins in all the world, thus to silence Christs Ministers, and hinder the preaching of the Word of God, and the exercise of his publick Wor­ship: Which it concerneth all unjust Silencers to consider.

§. 38. But yet somewhat more tyrannical and abominable is it, for one man, the Bishop of Rome, to damn all the Church of Christ on earth that will not be his Subjects as the Vicar-General of Christ, and own his Usurpation, and so to cut off and damn the far greatest part of the Christian world. But the best is procul à Jove, procul à fulmine, the remote Churches feel it not, and do but deride it, and to the nearer parts his thunderbolt doth not [Page 197] kill all so many nor kindle so many fagots as once it did; nor is any one ever the more condemned by God for such Papal condemnations.

§. 39. But when I speak of particular Church-Communion, I shall shew, that there is some lawful suspension (called by some the Minor excommunica­tion) which cuts not a man off from Communion with any Church, much less from the universal or from Christ.

§. 40. Not approving of or practising a doubt­ful or indifferent humane form of Liturgy, or ceremony or circumstance or mode, is no just cause of cutting off a man from the Universal Church▪ Because notwithstanding that, he may be a true Christian and a member of Christ and his Church, and therefore must not falsly be declared to be none.

§. 41. Not taking this or that man to be ones Bishop or Pastor who is obtruded, yea or justly set over that Church, nor yet particular acts of diso­bedience to him meerly as such, are no good proofs that a man is no true Christian or member of Christ and his Church; and therefore are no just cause to sentence or declare him none: For the sentence must be true. Many things in such cases may cause a man to err, which do not unchristen him or cut him off from Christ.

§. 42. The disowning and refusing some humane forms of Profession of faith, called Creeds, or some doubtful (though lawful) subscriptions, promises, declarations, Covenants or oaths (much less false ones) are no just causes of Excommunicating that man who professeth all the essentials of Christia­nity, and whatever is necessary to salvation.

§. 43. The condemning of some such humane Creeds, Articles, Forms, Covenants, promises or [Page 198] oaths, though unjustly, is no just cause of such ex­communication; because all men being known to be fallible, a good Christian may mistake another mans (or many mens) words: And the misun­derstanding of a man (or many men) may stand with Christianity, piety and salvation.

§. 44. It is not all that maketh a man uncapable of local Communion with this or that particular Church which unchristeneth him, or maketh him un­capable of continuing in the Church-universal, as shall be after proved.

§. 45. Nay a man may be a Christian in the Uni­versal Church, who is a member of no particular Church, as is before shewed: As 1. some newly Baptized, as the Eunuch, Act. 8. 2. Some Christi­ans that live among Infidels, where is no Pastor or Church: As if one were now Converted in any Heathen Land, or cast there after; or called as an Embassador or Merchant to live there. 3. Some poor vagrant persons that have no dwelling; as Pedlars, Tinkers, and such others that go from place to place: and some others.

§. 46. Therefore if a man should so far err as to think that he were not bound to be a member of some particular Church, it may consist with his be­ing a member of the Universal Church.

§. 47. Some few brethren called Independents, think that none are members of the Church-Univer­sal but those that are members of some particular Church: But it is but few of them, and they are mistaken: As Corporations are the most regular parts of the Kingdom, but not the whole King­dom; so particular Churches are the most regular parts of the universal Church, but not the whole: as hath been proved by instances.

[Page 199] §. 48. Yea (though we need lay no stress on this) I doubt not but in cases of necessity an open profession of Christianity, and entring into the Co­venant of God, doth make a man a Christian even without baptism it self. As if a Bible or good book or speech convert a man among Infidels where there is no one to baptize him: St. Peter saith, It is not the outward washing that saveth, but the an­swer of a good Conscience to God (in the holy Covenant.) And it is a dishonourable doctrine against God and Christianity to say that God layeth his love and mans salvation so much on a Ceremony, as to damn or deny an upright holy soul for want of it, or to give grace to none but by that Cere­mony, though it be of Gods institution. I am sure St. Paul saith, Else were your Children unclean, but now are they holy, 1 Cor. 7. 14. And if Holy before baptism, (because the Parents are so and do devote them to God and God accepts them) then baptism doth but solemnize this dedication and invest them. It is the solemn Covenanting with God, that is the chief part of baptism, and is it which the ancient Churches meant, when they pleaded for the necessi­ty of baptism to salvation; Though it is, no doubt, a duty, where it may be had; and the thing signified is necessary to salvation.

§. 49. The Keyes of Admission and exclusion as to the Church universal, and salvation are not given absolutely to the Pastors, but only to exercise on qua­lified persons: And every man herein hath more power as to his own entrance or ejection than the Pastors have: They do but judge a man to be what he is, according to Christs Law, and not what he is not: no man can make a man a Christian without him­self, nor unchristian him without himself: nor can all men and devils do so much to it as himself: God [Page 200] hath not put our salvation or damnation so much in any ones power as our own.

§. 50. A false and unjust sentence of excommu­nication doth no more to damn a man than a false absolution doth to save him: But till the falshood is known, others for order sake must avoid the per­son, if it be done by a just power, and not notori­ously abused to the subversion of order or the Church; otherwise not. But the injured person is still a member of the Catholick Church; And is not disobliged from his Communion with it, and publick worshipping of God, because a Pastor un­justly forbiddeth him: Though he must give all due satisfaction, and seek his right in a regular way.


III. What are the terms necessary to the Office and Exercise of the Sacred Ministry?

§. 1. THe Schisms in the Church are far more among the Clergy than the people, and have been mostly exercised by Bishops militating against each other, and anathematizing each other as hereticks or as not submitting to the challengers of superiour jurisdiction: Or else in the Bishops si­lencing Christs Ministers for not obeying them as they expect: HARD WORDS for want of an equal skill in speaking, and JURISDICTION or superiority through pride and a carnal mind, contended for by the Clergy against each other, have torn the Church, and confounded States, and been the shame of Christianity in the eyes of In­fidels, [Page 201] and brought us to the low and broken state that we are in.

§. 2. The great cause of all this hath been the introduction of ignorant or bad men into the sa­cred Pastoral Office. And the remedy doth not yet seem very hopeful to us: And operari sequitur esse: As the man is so will he do. A good tree will bring forth good fruit, and è contra. An ignorant man will err: An erring man will do evil and not repent: none will do more mischief against the Churches peace, than an erring Ruler, that Can do it, and thinketh that he Ought to do it: worldly men will prefer their worldly interest, before the interest of Christianity and mens souls: The car­nal mind is not subject to the Law of God, nor (while such) can be: But the Proud while they will not obey God, will rage against the best that obey not them. Read Church-History, and you'll see it proved.

§. 3. Such as the choosers are, such ordinarily the chosen are like to be: God and the ancient Chur­ches set three locks to this door, for the safety of the Church; that so great a matter should not be disposed of without a manifold consent:

1. The person to be Ordained and the Ordainers were made the Judges who should be a Minister of Christ in the Church-Universal, as being qualified by God thereto.

II. The People and the Ordainers were to choose or consent who should be their Pastors in particular. The people and the Presbyters chose the Bishop: and the Bishop and people consenting, chose the Presby­ters.

[Page 202] III. The Magistrate was judge whom he would countenance or tolerate. But Gods Law was the Rule which all these were to observe in judging.

§. †. But all men are corrupt, and some more than others: And they like those best that are likest themselves, or at least most agreeable to their interest and desires. This chain hath been long broken: sometimes the Bishop of Rome hath claim­ed the choice of Bishops, and given the Bishops the choice of the Presbyters: sometime he hath given the people the choice of their Bishops, but claimed to himself the power of investing and insti­tuting them. Sometime Emperours and Kings have used this investing power, leaving still the people to choose. In England now the King really chooseth all Bishops, commending them to the Dean and Chapter pro formâ: And the Bishop only chooseth whom he will ordain a Minister in specie: And one called the Patron chooseth who shall be the Parish Priest, and the Bishop must institute and induct him; but according to the Law, and the choosing and consenting liberty is wholly taken from the people.

§. 5. 1. How the Popes formerly chose and yet choose where it is in their power, I need not tell them that know history and the world: nor yet what Presbyters such Bishops chose: nor is it any wonder that such choosers served their own interest, nor that the chosen serve it.

2. How Princes, and Patrons and Prelates have chosen, history tells us: And Christ who saith, How hard it is for the Rich to enter into the Kingdom of heaven, teacheth us to expect that ordinarily Rich men should not be the best (to speak softly). And the Rich will rule; and will choose according to their interests and their appetites.

[Page 203] 3. And when the people had their choice, in some places they chose hereticks or ignorant men: In other places they chose vitious men: In most places they followed the Court or Great men, when­ever they interposed: and too often divided from each other by disagreement, or caused tumults in the choice. And then what wonder if the sacred office was corrupted to the doleful detriment and danger of the Churches, when the choosers were but such as these?

§. 6. The things necessary to the sacred Ministry (Bishops or Presbyters) are I. Either to the Being, II. Or to the Well-being; III. Or to the Exercise.

§. 7. I. To the Being are Necessary, I. A true efficient cause. II. The true constitutive causes. III. A due Terminus or End.

§. 8. I. The true efficient cause here is necessary to the effect, it being the Fundamentum of the Rela­tion. And this is, 1. Primary (or Principal) which is Jesus Christ the Lord Redeemer, and the Churches King and Head: 2. Instrumental; and that is, The Law of Christ, which is as a Charter to the Church, first telling the Choosers, and receiver what to do, and then Giving the Power and Impo­sing the Obligation on the person chosen, consenting and ordained.

§ 9. II. The necessary Constitutive Causes are I. Matter (or the subject.) II. The necessary Dis­position of that Matter: III. The form; as in Phy­sical beings it is so, so Relations have somewhat answerable.

[Page 204] §. 10. I. The Subject or Matter is A Man: II. The necessary Disposition is, 1. That it be a Male and not a Woman. 2. That he have the use of Reason, or natural wit and speech. 3. That he be a Christian. 4. That he have necessary abilities for the essentials of the office-work. And those are; 1. The understanding at least of the Essen­tials of Religion and Ministry. 2. A Will to per­form the work of the Ministry. 3. Ability of ut­terance to do it, and all the necessary executive power.

§. 11. III. The Form of the Office is, 1. In general AUTHORITY and OBLIGATI­ON conjunct: 2. In special Authority to perform the Office-work, and obligation to perform it. Which work is,

1. To be a Teacher under Christ the chief Teacher.

2. To be a Priest or Intercessor, to guide the Church in worship and speak in their name and on their behalf to God, and intercede for them, and as from God to administer his Seals or Sacraments.

3. To Rule the Church and particular Believers in things spiritual, not by force or sword, but by opening and directive applying Gods Word, and exer­cising the Church Keyes, as Judges who is to be re­ceived or cast out, loosed or bound according to the Word of God. The Form consisteth of these parts.

§. 12. III. The End or Terminus of the Sacred Office; that is, of the Authority and Obligation, is, 1. Proximately, the Work to be done.

2. the necessary objects of that work; 1. Par­ticular [Page 205] persons; 1. Infidels and ungodly men to be converted, 2. Christians and godly men to be edified. 2. Societies. 1. The Church [...]Universal to be increased and edified. 2. Particular Churches to be taught, and guided and led in worship and discipline. 3. The necessary effects (here named) to be intended.

All that I have named and no more is necessary to the Being.

§. 13. About all these there are divers errours brought in by the arrogance and ignorance of men, which hinder the concord and peace of Christians: And I. About the Efficient Cause.

Too many falsly perswade the world that the ORDAINERS are the efficient Causes of the Power or Office: See Mr. D [...]dwill. yea that their Inten­tion can alter the species instituted by Christ, in the conveyance of it to this or that per­son: As if when Christ and his Apostles have de­scribed the office in its parts, and commanded that a Bishop or Presbyter be chosen and ordained to such particular work and ends, an Ordainer might now give him half this power without the rest: And when he maketh Bishops or Presbyters they shall have no more power than the Ordainer was willing, or intended, or did particularly express: Than which nothing is more false. For it is Gods Law, that is the specifier and donation, and the Ordainer doth but ministerially invest and deliver possession of what the Law gave, and commanded him to deliver.

The Kings Law or Charter giveth power to the Citizens to choose a Major, and describeth all his power and work, and ordereth the Recorder to Swear him and deliver him the insignia. Here now, 1. The Electors do but determine of the person to re­ceive the power, but do not at all give it. 2. The [Page 206] King by his Charter as the instrument giveth it: It re­sults hence as every Jus à titulo seu fundamento juris. 3. The Recorder only Ministerially delivereth pos­session by investiture. Now if the Recorder or Choosers shall say, [We choose you or deliver you power as Major according to the Kings Charter, but you shall have but so much less] than the Charter giv­eth, this diminution is a nullity? For they have no power to choose another kind of Major than that de­scribed in the Charter, nor to make his power more or less; but he may exercise what the Charter giveth.

Let them not deceive men by making a Verbal strife of it. If they will call either electing or investing [a Giving of the Power] I will not contend against their liberty of speaking as unfitly as they list, if they will but well explain it. But the thing is plain and sure, that 1. The election doth but determine of the Receiver, 2. and that the Investing act is but a ministerial publick delivery of a Right which result­eth immediately from the Charter or Law of Christ: If a Bishop say [I ordain you to the office of a Pres­byter] the Scripture must tell us what that is. If the Bishop say [Take the office of a Presbyter, but preach not, or only preach and administer the Sacra­ments, or do both, but you shall have none of the Church Keyes, or power of discipline] it is null, as to the restraint.

There is no contract freer than that between a husband and wife, as to the choice of persons. And yet when a woman chooseth a man for her husband, it is not she that (properly) giveth him the Ruling power; she did but choose the receiver; God by his Law is the Giver: If she bargain with him that he shall not be her Governour, it is null because against Gods Law: And so it is in the pre­sent case. If the power of Ordination and Church [Page 207] Government can be proved to be setled by Christ on the Presbyters either conjunct with the Bishop or alone, he that ordaineth a Presbyter by virtue of Christs institution, cannot deprive him of that pow­er by his own will and act, by saying, You shall have no such power: For God is the describer and the giver.

§. 14. Yea some would perswade men that the very office of Presbyters is of humane institution; As some Papists in the Council of Trent would have had it pass that Christ having made the Pope, the Pope maketh the office of Bishops, and they hold their power from him, so some Prelates would have it believed that Christ only instituted the Order of Bishops, and that Bishops made the Order of Sub­ject Presbyters, and that after Scripture-times; there being none till then existent, but the word [Presby­ter] in Scripture, everywhere signifying only a Bi­shop. Which those that are against the distinct order of Bishops thankfully accept, and say that in­deed Subject Presbyters having no ordaining power are a humane invention since Scripture-times, and that God instituted no such order: But the difference, is that these say man had no authority to do it, and bid the other prove by what authority it was done, and where the Bishops had such power given them to make a new species, order or office of sacred Mi­nisters; But the other say that it was well done: But proof is all.

§. 15. And here come in many other Church-di­stracting contentions: As 1. Whether any Bishops Ordination be valid that holdeth not his Power from the Pope? 2. Whether he be a true Bishop that is not Canonically ordained by three Bishops? 3. Whether he be a true Bishop that is not chosen or consented to by the people and Presbyters of his [Page 208] Church? 4. Or if he have but the minor part? the rest not being allowed or called to choose? 5. Or if the major part be against him? 6. Or if three neigh­bour Bishops be for him and ordain him Bishop, and many more be against it, or forbid it? 7. Whe­ther he be a true Presbyter that is not ordained by a Bishop of distinct and superior Order: And whe­ther an uninterrupted succession of such ordination is necessary? 8. Whether he be a true Bishop that is ordained only by Presbyters? 9. Whether he may be a true Bishop or Presbyter that hath no Ordination? 10. Or he that hath no Election but the Kings or the Patrons, nor other proved Consent of the people? 11. Whether he be a true Bishop or Presbyter that the King alloweth not or forbiddeth? 12. Whether the Ordination of hereticks be null? 13. Whether the Ordinations of prohibited, de­graded or excommunicate Bishops be null? Abun­dance of such controversies ignorance and faction have torn the Churches with.

§. 16. I. As to the first I need not answer it to any but Papists, and as to them, I and others have said enough that is unanswered.

§. 17. II. As to the second, where the Churches agree to take none for a Bishop that is not ordained by three, four or more, that person cannot be the Bishop of that particular Church which by such agreement doth refuse him: Not for want of any thing necessary to a valid ordination, but for want of the Consent of the people or subjects that are to re­ceive him: For he cannot be their Pastor against their will. But the Ordination of One may make a man a Minister in the Church-universal, unfixed; and to a particular Church, if the receivers of him do consent.

[Page 209] §. 18. III. As to the third, Election oft signifi­eth the first determining nomination distinct from after consent: This is not necessary to the office or power: But Consent is necessary at least to the exer­cise: and therefore to the office which is for that ex­ercise. If people were as much under Princes for choosing Guides for their souls, as a daughter in her fathers house is under her father for the choice of a husband (which yet I never saw proved to be so), yet as he can be no husband to her without her consent, though she culpably deny consent, so is it here: he can be no Pastor to them till they con­sent.

§. 19. IV. and V. In all Societies where consent is necessary, the consent must be either of All or of the Most, or else they will divide.

§. 20. VI. To the sixth, The question of the Va­lidity of the Ordination dependeth not on it; but on the peoples acceptance and consent: If ten Bi­shops ordain one man Bishop of a Church, and three ordain another to the same Church, and one a third (as sometimes there have been divers ordained Popes) that only is the true Bishop whom the Church which he is to be over, consenteth to. Other decisions will not serve.

§. 21. VII. I will answer this largelier by it self in the third part: Here I only say, 1. so far as any Ordination is necessary, the Ordination of a Bishop is necessary: But the question [...] what a Bishop is? If he be defined by the Power of ordaining alone, some think there is no such: because by the old Ca­nons the Presbyters were to joyn in Ordination. [Page 210] Others think that when none else are there, any one Presbyter may ordain alone. If he be defined by the Power of Ordaining simply, or of having a Nega­tive vote in ordaining, the doubt is whether every Presbyter have not Power to ordain, as in nature the Propagation of its own species is common to all living things. Either Ordination is a Governing act of superiority, or a propagation of the species. If the later, Presbyters may do it. If the former, then Bi­shops cannot ordain Bishops as such, nor Arch-bi­shops ordain Arch-bishops, nor Patriarchs ordain Patria [...]rhs, nor any one ordain a Pope: And yet of old Deacons and Presbyters were made Popes, that were not before so much as Bishops, Formosus being the first Bishop of Rome that had been a Bishop be­fore, and therefore condemned and executed dead, the Canons forbidding any to remove from one seat to another, saith Arch-bishop Vsher, [Jerome ad E­vagr. assureth us that at Alexandria from the dayes of St. Mark till Demetrius the Presbyters made their Bishop, ergo they may make Presbyters: They that can do the greater can do the less.] And Dr. Ham­mond concluding that there is no proof that in Scri­pture-times there were any subject Presbyters di­stinct from Bishops, maketh it hard to be proved that there should be any such at all; and whether the making of a rank of Presbyters that have no power of Ordination be not a changing of Scripture order and a sin? Yet even subject Presbyters (made since Scripture-time) concurred in ordinations, and do partly to this day.

2. If a Bishop be described by his actual superiority over Presbyters, then saith the foresaid Dr. Hammond, there was none in Scripture-times.

3. If a Bishop be described by being over a Church compounded of divers Parish Churches, (or [Page 211] Congregations that have Altars) there can none such be proved to be in the world for about two hundred years after Christ, (besides Apostles and Itinerants, whose Province was indefinite and not a particular Church) not of long after saving at Rome and Alexandria. There was none such when Ignatius's Epistles were written.

4. But if the chief or only Pastor of a single Church (that hath unum altare) yea of a City Church, be to be called a Bishop, then multitudes now called meer Presbyters have been such Bishops, and have ordained.

And as to a Negative Vote in ordaining, that (if it were proved it self) proveth no distinct or­der or office, but for order-sake a prerogative in the same office. The question is yet undecided even among Schoolmen and Bishops, whether a Bishop and Presbyter differ only Grad [...] (as the foreman from the rest of the Jury, or a Justice of Quorum or a chief Judge or Justice, from the rest) or also Ordine or Specie, (as a Justice and a Constable.) Saith Arch-bishop Vsher with Bishop Reignolds and many other Bishops, Ad ordinem pertinet ordinare; and they are ejusdem ordinis; which others deny.

§. 22. But not to anticipate my fuller answer to this case, I briefly answer, that Gods Law or Charter giving the Ministerial power to the duly qualified receiver, no Ordination doth more than to determine (with the peoples consent) who is the qua­lified receiver, and for the sake of Order, and the Churches notice, to declare his right and solemnly in­vest him. And God hath not appropriated this declaring and investing power, so to their Prelates distinct from Presbyters (that I ever found) as that the Church should receive none but of their ordina­tion. What men decree is one thing, and what [Page 212] God ordaineth is another. Where an order is set­led by men according to Gods allowance and gene­ral rules, there the people should caeteris paribus re­ceive him that is most regularly commended to them. But if they receive one less regularly sent them, if he want nothing necessary to the Being of the office, he is their Pastor who is so received by them. When Justices of the Peace did marry the people in England, the Marriage was valid before God, as truly as when the Clergy did it. The same is a sufficient designation of the Recipient person in some times, places and circumstances, which is not at others. And when the Person is but Deter­mined of and consented to, Gods word authorizeth him.

§. 23. VIII. The answer to the seventh questi­on serveth to the eighth: They were true Bishops whom the Presbyters made at Alexandria; and those in the North of England who (as Beda saith) were made by Scots Presbyters.

§. 24. IX. He may be a true Bishop or Presby­ter that in cases of necessity hath no Ordination at all: (much more he that is ordained but by Presby­ters) The proof lyeth in these things set toge­ther.

1. As is said, Gods Law or charter giveth the right or power to the duly qualified, determined and chosen person: But in cases of necessity a qualified person may be determined of and chosen without any Ordination: Therefore he may have the right or authority without.

2. Such necessity there may be in several cases: As 1. If by good books men be Converted among Infidels where no Bishop or Ordained Minister can [Page 213] be had: They must not therefore forbear Church-assemblies and publick worshipping God, and bap­tizing.

2. In case that many Christians be banished or cast upon forraign lands where no Minister is to be had.

3. In case that persecutors banish or destroy all ordained men, and will suffer no other to come among them, or them to fetch ordination.

4. In case that all the Bishops or Ordainers turn either hereticks or tyrants, and will ordain none but on some sinful terms.

5. In case that men living under Bishops do forge Orders and pretend that they are ordained when they are not, and the people know it not: Their acts now are of full authority or validity to the innocent people, though God will condemn the pretender for his sin. This case I have oft known my self, and in my youth lived under such as was after discovered. And the opponents themselves here confess that Presumption may serve turn to the people, when they cannot detect it. And indeed few people in England know any otherwise than by presumption that their Bishops or Pastors are or­dained. And if it were true that Presbyters Ordi­nation were null, yet when the ordained after great study believeth it valid, and the people cannot know the contrary, here is a Presumed title both to the ordained and the people; that is, valid administra­tions and receptions without ordination.

§. 25. 2. And indeed the like cases prove it by parity of reason.

Ordination to the Ministry is but like Coronation to a King, or publick marriage to Consenters, or like listing and the sacramentum militare to a Souldi­er, or like publick authorizing to a Physicion, a [Page 214] School master, &c. and not all so much as baptizing to make a Christian: But an hereditary or Elected King, is a King before his Coronation; and mar­riage privately contracted and publickly professed, is valid before God before the solemnization by a Minister, and in case of necessity without it: And a Souldier may be truly such by contract without Colours or Oaths: And a man may be a Lawful Physicion or School-master in case of necessity with­out a License or publick authorizing. Yea one may be a Christian before God, yea and before men, that openly professeth and Voweth the Baptismal Covenant, though in case of necessity (when either a Minister or Water cannot he had) the washing be wanting. And we are not to feign God to make a difference here without proof, or to lay more stress or an outward act of man and point of order than he doth.

§. 26. 3. And as to the Nature and Use of the thing, Order is for the sake of the thing ordered, and the persons for whose good it is; And therefore not to be set against them.

§. 27. 4. And Christ himself hath oft taught us this way of judging: When he bids us, Go learn what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. And when he oft reproveth Jews and Samaritans for stri­ving about circumstances, setting them against spi­ritual worshipping of God; And when he saith, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath; And Paul when he saith, All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos, and Let all be done to Edification. All which tell us that the End is a cer­tain Canon to the means, and to be preferred; and that Morals must be preferred before Rituals, and Rituals never set against them. And methinks they should be of this mind that deny the Scripture to [Page 215] have unchangeably fixed all Rituals; and yet confess that Morals are fixedly determined.

§. 28. 5. And even Popes have been taken for Popes upon Election before Consecration: And Arch-bishops with us have no superiours to Conse­crate them, but such Inferiours as promise them obedience at their own Consecration.

§. 29. X. To the tenth question, There be some called Erastians who hold the King to be so mixta persona like Melchizedeck, as that he is also the chief Priest, and hath the chief power of Ordination, and that he might administer the Sacraments if he would, and that his Appointment is an Ordination, which the people are bound by reception of the person to consent to. There are others that think that though the investing act must be performed by a Bishop, yet he is bound by the Kings choice and command to do it, as a Minister of God and the King. But as I never saw either of these well pro­ved, so very few comparatively receive them, and therefore they will never unite the Churches. And Christs giving the power of the Keys himself to the Apostles and their Successours in the Ministry, seemeth to me to contradict them. Sure I am that Christs Church hath not thus been founded or edifi­ed: And yet Magistrates have a great and honou­rable part even in the Government of the Church, I speak not for all those Popish Councils and Ca­nons which nullifie all Ordinations of Bishops either chosen or presented by Civil Rulers or Great men that are Secular; nor of those that pronounce even a Pope an Usurper that is so introduced: But of the Councils and practice of the sounder ages that were still against this.

[Page 216] 2. However if Clergy and people were proved to be bound to Consent to whomsoever the Prince shall choose, yet till they do consent, he is no Bishop to them: You may (could that be proved) prove them culpable for not consenting, but not prove him their Bishop; as the Scripture, and all Church cu­stome and Canons and Reason shew.

§. 30. XI. To the eleventh case I answer, That the Priests or people sin who disobey a lawful com­mand of the King (and not otherwise.) But sin or not sin, it nullifieth not the Ordination or Priest­hood, meerly that it is against the will of the Prince. All the Bishops and Priests in the world (or most) were made against the will of Princes for three hun­dred years: And Christ gave the Keyes to other hands.

§. 31. XII. and XIII. To the twelfth and thir­teenth cases I answer together, If a heretick whose denyal of an essential of Christianity is notorious and maketh him equal to an Apostate, ordain, his Act is null as without all authority; And the mans Priest­hood or Episcopacy is null, if he have not a suffici­ent cause and proof of it besides or without this: The same I say of one excommunicate for such a cause.

But if the Heresie be only a schism or some lower errour consistent with Christianity and Priesthood, or the excommunication only on such a cause, then the ordination (in sensu passivo) is not null, meer­ly on that account that it was done by such a here­tick or excommunicate man (As is commonly agreed on).

But yet if this Bishop or Presbyter be ordained by a heretick or excommunicate man of a lower order, [Page 217] to this or that particular Church, caeteris paribus the people may see reason to refuse him; and consent to another that hath a better ordination; (unless in a Church so corrupted that the Ordainers and Ex­communicators authority is not to be regarded and help up, (which hath too oft faln out.) But regularly none ought to ordain a man to any Church before the election or consent of the flock, though it may serve ad esse officii, if the consent come after.

But if three Bishops ordain one man to be Bishop of such a Church, and three others ordain another to the same, that is the true Bishop quoad esse, which the Church to which he is ordained doth accept, by their consent before or after. Yea though it were the worser party of Bishops that ordained that man.

§. 32. As to the point of successive-right-ordi­nation uninterrupted from the Apostles, I hope af­terward in due place to prove, that to the Church universal such there hath been de facto in all the ne­cessary parts: But that to any particular Church, or any individual persons ministry, such uninterrupted course of ordination in being, notice or proof, is utterly unnecessary: and that the Papacy hath no such to shew.

§. 33. To conclude, To the Being of the true Re­lation of a Bishop or Presbyter, is necessary only, 1. The Subject, which is a Qualified Christian man, sufficiently notified and offered. 2. The Fundamentum Relationis, Christs Law or Charter giving him his power and obliging him to his work. 3. The mu­tual consent of Pastor and flock in the Relation to a particular Church, is partly Dispositio subjecti, and partly as it is Gods means, a modus fundandi or con­ditio tituli. 4. The Terminus of one ordained to [Page 218] the gathering of Churches sine titulo or not to any particular Church, is objectively first men uncon­verted to be called, and next men converted to be edified: and as Effects, the work to be done and the good to be done by it. And in those ordained to particular Churches, it is the work and the effect on them. 5. The Correlate is, 1. Christ to whom we are related as his Ministers, as the efficient of our office; 2. The people to whom we are related as the end; and that 1. we are Ministers to the world to be converted, 2. To the Universal Church to be edified, 3. and mostly to particular Churches to be guided. 6. The Relatum then is, such a per­son Authorized and obliged to Teach, Worship and Rule under Christ the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church the foresaid flocks or Christians to the fore­said ends.

§. 34. II. So much for what is necessary to the Being of the sacred office: Now what is necessary to the well being. And indeed, though the Essential Unity of the Church lye not upon this, yet the Peace and Concord of it doth, and that so much as that no other means without this will attain it: And the want of what is necessary ad bene esse in the Mini­stry and Bishops, is it that hath caused the common calamities.

§. 35. And I. Nothing is more wanting hereto than better qualifications in the persons: 1. That there be a strong wit, and good acquired gifts of knowledge, and a strong and lively faith from Di­vine illumination, and good acquaintance with the Oracles of God: A Pastor or Teacher should not only know the essentials of Christianity, which every Christian knoweth, but also the Integrals and many [Page 219] Accidents. And both essentials and integrals should be known by him by a more clear, distinct and or­derly understanding, not only above the vulgus s [...]de­lium, (common Christians) but above the better sort of the flock. And some store of natural and common knowledge called Learning is needful here­unto: But especially more illumination, faith and holy wisdom, and skilfulness in matter, senc [...] and method of the word of God.

§. 36. Where Gods Word is not by the Teacher clearly understood and firmly believed, and he is not well acquainted with the work of his office, it is not any formalities of Ordination, consent or Ti­tles that use to make up these defects as to the suc­cess. To say what God can do, is little to this busi­ness: He can make an Ass to preach to Balaam: He can work by fools and ignorant men and here­ticks: But Scripture and all the common experience of ages assureth us that it is not his ordinary way, and that he rarely blesseth such with great success, but worketh according to the qualifications of the Instrument and the Receivers. And let a mans ti­ [...]les and ordination be what they will, weak men will do weakly, and ignorant men will do ignorantly, and erring men will do erroneously, and the Gospel will be wronged, the people will be hurt or losers, and enemies will deride and scorn.

§. 37. When Aristotle saith that Wise men are by Nature to Rule, and fools and ignorant persons to be ruled, he meant not I suppose that this gave wise men formal Power; but that this was the materiae dispositio receptiva; as Gold and Silver are to be the Kings Coyn, but are not so quâ talia: so only wise Christians are receptive matter of Ministerial power, and the wiser the better. And when one appeareth to be of eminent wisdom above all the rest, caeteris pa­ribus, [Page 220] the ordainers and people are directed and bound by God to choose that man. And what scru­ples soever rise about his Ordination, usually God worketh by excellent worthy men, and as light can­not be hid, so holy wisdom will be known and va­lued.

§. 38. 2. But LOVE or HOLINESS is ne­cessary ad bene esse as well as wisdom: Heat causeth heat: And we have need of sacred Heat as well as of Light. Love kindleth love: A Pastor should excel the Flock in Love to God, to Christ, to Holi­ness, to Gods word and work, and to all the peoples souls, and should speak all from the Zeal of Love: As the Nurses milk should have the warmth of Na­ture. Cold heartless preachers usually reach not the heart and have but cold [...] and small success. Here also God worketh usually according to the means: And how can he be taken for a sound Be­liever of so great over-whelming things, as we have to speak of, that speaketh only of them sleepily and coldly?

§. 39. 3. And as wisdom and zealous Love, so exe­cutive Activity, but especially, Taking utterance is necessary to the well-being of the sacred-office, and the success. Though it be not the tricks of vain hu­mane art and affectation which must do our work, yet is it a free and moving utterance of holy wisdom, faith and Love. And words are not all: Holy ex­ample of living in blamelesness, justice, humility, self-denyal, meekness and patience must be our work: And diligence in doing all the good we can. What examples are there this day among us of one or two holy, humble, meek and patient and unwea­ried labourers, even in a silenced, suffering and low condition, men of no extraordinary parts, but with ordinary parts of extraordinary labour and pati­ence, [Page 221] that whole Countreys have cause to bless God for: I will venture to name three such, 1. Mr. John Eliots in New England, that hath translated all the Bible into that most barbarous language, preached to the Indians about forty years, and gathered di­vers Churches among them. (And verily I would the Jesuites had never done worse work than what they did (with several Fryars) in Congo, China, Japan, &c. which is their greatest honour.) 2. Mr. John Dury, I hear yet living, who hath these fifty years or near been employed in reconciling the Lu­theran and Calvinist Protestants, not without suc­cess, as Helmstadt, Breme, Hassia and other places know; Though much more might have been ex­pected if the wars of Princes and the obstinacy of contentious Divines had not hindred. 3. Our Mr. Thomas Gouge, an ejected silenced Minister, who hath set up about fourscore Schools in Wales, for thou­sands of Scholars, given away many thousand books to them, relieved many poor honest ejected Mini­sters, got the Bible, the Practice of Piety, the Whole Duty of Man printed in Welsh, and visiteth the Coun­ties there (though aged) once a year.

Gods work must be done as our trade and business and not on the by, as taking up the place and time which mens fleshly and worldly interest and work can spare.

Had the Church such men enow as I have de­scribed, and as some have been (such as Cyprian, Na­zianzene, Basil, Chrysostom, Atticus, Proclus, Hierom, Augustine, Ambrose, Martin, Salvian, &c. and such as Melancthon, Bucholtzer, Bucer, Phagius, Musculus, Martyr, Calvin, Beza, Vrsine, Olevian, Paraeus, Ca­mero, Placeus, Molineus, Dallaeus, Blondel, Chamier, Sadeel, Le Blank, &c. and such as we have had ma­ny in England, Jewel, Grindal, Field, Reignolds, Vsher, [Page 222] Morton, Hall, Davenant, Chillingworth, Hildersham, Dod, Ball, Bradshaw, Gataker, &c. and such as yet through Gods great mercy we have many, (I say had the world enow such as these, the light would scatter the dismal darkness, and they would carry on Christs interest in the Churches, against the op­position of Usurpers, hereticks and contenders: For even a few such have broke through armies of Philistines to fetch men the sacred waters of life. And it is not scruples and quarrels about their or­dinations or such like as would frustrate their en­deavours.

§. 40. II. It is greatly needful to the well-being of the Ministry and the success, that Doctrine be kept sound: And therefore, 1. That the Christian simpli­city be retained, and many subtile and curious decisi­ons be not made necessary: A few great, necessary certain truths, are easilier preserved than multi­tudes of uncertain controverted niceties.

2. It is needful that such as are ordained Mini­sters, be tryed men, of sound understanding in that which they must teach and do, and therefore that both the ordainers and the hearers try them. This account of their understanding is better than the im­posing of humane forms upon them for subscripti­on: Not but that Teachers should know more than the flock, that is, than the essentials; nor that I presume to condemn all the Churches that impose their Confessions to be subscribed in their own and not in Scripture-words, while they keep only to ne­cessary certain things: But I shall afterward prove, that this way, though tolerable, is not best, but un­necessary and dangerous, 1. the Scripture affording us apt words enow to form our Confessions in, which are past Controversie; 2. and there being [Page 223] no probability of bounding mens Impositions of this kind, when once they set upon this way; 3. and most Confessions of that nature now extant having some needless words which other Churches or good Christians do dissent from: 4. And the ancient Creeds understood (which the ordainers must try) and the old Catechistical Verities being sufficient to this use. 5. And there being means of restraining men from preaching and vending heresies which are more safe and congruous.

3. I add therefore that a certain Confession con­taining the certainest and needfullest Integrals of Religion should or may well be drawn up as a Law, forbidding all upon meet penalties to preach or speak against them; without any subscribing, pro­mising or professing. 4. And upon proof of the violating of such a Law, and preaching against such articles it is sufficient that both the Church and the Christian Magistrate in their several ways may judge them, and by just penalties correct them (of which more after in due place.) For it is very hard so to form long Confessions (beyond the old Creeds, Lords Prayer, Decalogue, and the General belief of Scripture) and this not in Scripture-terms, which shall not have some words, which sound and honest Ministers cannot assent to, (without lying, which they will not do): But to silence many words which yet we conceive true, and forbear speaking against some things which yet he cannot profess as­sent to, there are very few sober men but will do. And an errour never spoken or written hurts not others, nor is to be judged being not known; Non apparere here is as non esse. And if it be vended, the person may be judged as well as if he had sworn, subscri­bed or promised. And they that will tell us yet what evil may befall secret whispering errours with­out [Page 224] out such oaths, subscriptions or promises, do by this over-doing dangerously undo; and lest man should be man and the Church imperfect, on pre­tence of avoiding a possible unavoidable hurt, they will set up knaves that will say any thing, shut out honest men, and necessitate divisions, confusions and persecutions, where they can never stop on this side banishing or killing, or continued impri­soning multitudes of faithful men, and never the more attain their ends. Sound doctrine may be kept up as far as is to be hoped, by the aforesaid means.

§. 41. III. It is greatly needful to the well-being of Ministry and Church that Gods publick worship and Sacraments be kept pure. Not that any thing done by man will be void of imperfection, but that it be such as is acceptable to God, honourable to Religi­on, and profitable and suitable to the flock, and to good men.

To which end, 1. Christian simplicity here also is necessary; That it be not corrupted or clogged with things uncertain, needless, curious, nor yet much defective, not confused, disorderly, much less erro­neous, superstitious, ludicrous, undecent, false or prophane.

2. It is needful that men to be ordained be tryed and known to be such as can speak to God and men without such unsufferable mis-performance.

3. And that they be responsible to the Church and Magistrate for what they say and do.

Of Liturgies I am to speak in the third Part: Only here 4. I add that fit words, and spiritual life, are the body and soul of worship, and one must not be pleaded against another, nor any by Formality morti­fie holy worship and turn it into a Carkass or a lifeless [Page 225] image; Nor yet on pretence of spirituality con­demned the frequent use of the same words (com­monly called Forms) whether prepared by the speaker who best knoweth what he needeth, or agreed on by the Churches in fit cases and measures, for greater Concord.

§. 42. IV. It is needful to the well-being of the Ministry and Churches that all Pastors in their places be not only allowed to use Christs true Discipline, but that it be expected and really done in every Church; and that this Discipline be neither cast aside, nor corrupted and turned into malignant war against the good, nor into tyranny and usurpation.

§. 43. What this Discipline is, is opened before: It is described by Christ in Matth. 18. If thy bro­ther trespass against thee, tell him his fault between thee and him, If he hear thee thou hast won thy brother. If he hear thee not, take with thee two or three: If he hear not them, tell the Church: If he hear not the Church, let him be to thee as a Heathen or a publican] Serious convincing admonition must be used (with due pa­tience) to bring a sinner to repentance. And more publick admonition after private; And the person sentenced unfit for Christian Communion, when re­fusing all he sheweth himself utterly impenitent. And he must be reconciled, absolved and received when he giveth the Church just proof of his true repentance.

§. 44. 1. It is a great corruption of this Disci­pline, when it is exercised by Lay-Chancellors or other Lay-men, to whom the Keyes of the Church-Government were never committed by Christ.

§. 45. 2. It is a great corruption when it is done only by an officer of another species than Christ ever instituted.

[Page 226] §. 46. 3. It is an usurpation and corruption when it is done by the Pastor of some other Church, and not by the proper Pastor of the Church where the sinner liveth. Such is Papal Usurpation, when the Bishop of Rome will be judge in London.

§. 47. 4. Especially when such a pretender liveth far from the place, where persons and actions are not half known, and that only by great charge and travel. When the Pastor and people of the pre­sent Church may easily know all, and it belongeth to them, who are executively either to communicate with him or avoid him, which distant strangers have no opportunity or occasion to do, further than by declared consent.

§. 48. 5. It is a heinous corruption of it to Ex­communicate men in a prophane worldly manner, without wise, serious, patient endeavours to apply Gods word to the sinners case and conscience, to bring him to true repentance and amendment.

§. 49. 6. And it is yet more heinous abuse, to excommunicate the faithful, for a fearful avoiding sin in some imposed Oath, Covenant, Profession, promise, subscription, or unnecessary Ceremony or Form; and especially withal to retain in Church-Communion multitudes of Infidels, Adulterers, For­nicators, Perjured persons, drunkards, railers, slan­derers, oppressours, hereticks, scorners at piety, &c. And it's yet worse to cast out men for not sub­scribing to some lye, false doctrine or wicked thing, or for refusing down right heinous sin. And yet worse is it, to make Discipline an engine to de­throne Kings and embroile, confound or subdue Kingdoms, and enslave the earth.

§. 50. The lower first degrees of Church-Go­vernment, which is but doctrinally to teach men and reprove them, all Pastors must use, or they omit [Page 227] the essential work of their office. But the full pro­secution of it to excommunication or publick repen­tance is rather needful to the Well-being than to the Being of the Churches and Ministry: especially when the Christian-Magistrate doth his part. No doubt but the Magistrate may admonish a sinner, and command him to make publick Confession in the Church, and may shame the impenitent, and forbid familiarity with him, yea and Church-Communion when the case is notorious or judged by the Pastor: But it is the Pastors office to judge of his crime, im­penitence, and repentance, in order to excommuni­cation and absolution; and herein the Magistrate is not to take on him the Pastors work, but to com­mand the Pastor and people to do their duties.

§. 51. III. So much of the necessaries to the Being and Well being of the Ministry. As to the exercise, it may be gathered from what is said. There is further necessary to it: 1. Natural ability, possibi­lity, liberty and opportunity; and the peoples ac­ceptance, consent and reception. 2. And as to the Well-being and success, 1. The great diligence and skill of the Minister; 2. The forwardness and teachableness and zeal and concord of the flock; 3. The Concord of the Ministers and Neighbour Pastors; 4. And the countenance and encourage­ment of faithful Magistrates will much promote it.


IV. What is necessary to the Constitution, Ad­ministration and Communion of single Chur­ches?

§. 1. BY [single] and [Particular] Churches I still mean those that are compounded of many Christians, but not of many Churches.

And I take not the word [Church] in any of the la [...]e senses, (for civil, or occasional meetings, or societies, or for every religious concourse of Chri­stians, as a Synod, an accidental day of fasting and prayer, &c.) nor for a meer Community or neigh­bourhood of Christians, nor for a Christian King­dom or City, governed by the Magistrates sword: But for a proper Church as political consisting of Pa­stor and flock.

§. 2. When the Apostles ordained them Elders in every Church, Act. 14. 23. it signifieth that they set­led these Elders as the proper fixed Church-guides of those Churches; Not that they had no Ministeri­al power elsewhere, but that this was their proper special Charge or Province. As a Licensed Physi­cion that hath a particular Hospital or City, is a Physicion every where that he cometh, and not breaking order may exercise his Art, but he may not invade another mans Hospital or Province, nor is bound as the other is to medicate that Hospital, &c. So a Minister of Christ lawfully invited, may Preach and Administer Sacraments, yea and Discipline in [Page 229] any other Church pro tempore, not as a Lay-man, but as a Minister in office. But he is not bound to take the Charge of another mans flock, nor may intrude disorderly, but as a helper or on just call.

§. 3. Titus is appointed to ordain such Elders in every City, which is all one as in every Church: not that every City then had a Church; nor that he was to ordain Elders in the Cities that had no Churches: nor that he was forbidden to ordain Elders in Countrey Villages: Nor that he was tyed either to ordain many Elders in every Church or City, or yet to ordain but One in one City, or one Church. But because de facto there were few or no Villages then that had Christians enow to make a Church of de­sirable consistence, therefore they were congregate commonly in Cities and great Towns, where the Christians of the neighbour Villages joyned with them.

§. 4. Every such single Church then by the Apo­stles order had their own Pastor (one or more) and every such fixed Pastor knew his proper Charge and flock. And in the time when the Epistles of Ignati­us were written, every such Church had One Bi­shop over the other Elders, and usually some fellow Elders and Deacons, and a single undivided Church was known by these notes of Unity [ [...], &c. In every Church there is one Altar (or Al­tar place, [...]) and one Bishop with his fellow Presbyters and Deacons] Whence Mr. Mede well no­teth the certainty that then no Church of one Altar was denyed a Bishop, and no Bishop had more Churches with an Altar than one. That is, no other Assembly for stated Communion.

§. 5. Yet occasional and subordinate Communion parts of a Church may hold: Those called Indepen­dents deny not but that in persecution or for want [Page 230] of a large room, the same Church may meet by parts in several places at once: And all confess that a Parish Church may admit of Chapels and Orato­ries, where distant and weak persons may frequent­ly meet, that yet sometimes must come to the Pa­rish Church. And families that have sick persons may Communicate with neighbours joyning with them. But these are not Churches but parts of such.

§. 6. God hath not said just how many persons must make a single Church, no more and no less, determinately: but he hath given us sufficient notice to guide us by the work and end, and by his general precepts and examples.

§. 7. A single Church is a society of Christians of Divine institution, consisting of one Pastor or more as the Guiding part, and a competent number of pri­vate Christians as the Guided part, associated by Con­sent for personal presential holy Communion and mutu­al assistance, in holy Doctrine, holy worship of God, holy order, and holy Conversation, for the edification, preservation and salvation of that Church, and the welfare of the Church universal of which it is a part, and the Glorifying and Pleasing of God our Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier.

§. 8. To open the parts of this definition observe,

1. That as in defining a Sacrament, so in defining a Church, we mention the Divine Institution, because it is not human Sacraments or humanly-invented Churches that we treat of.

§. 9. 2. Note that only Christians make a Christi­an Church (as is oft said) Professed Christians the vi­sible Church, and sincere heart consenters the mysti­cal regenerated saved Church.

[Page 231] §. 10. 3. It is not any other company of Chri­stians, but a society or Governed association that we speak of as strictly called a Church.

§. 11. 4. The Pastors and flock are the essential constitutive parts: It may be a Community without a Pastor, but not a Policie, or Ecclesiastical Socie­ty. While the Pastor liveth it is such a Church in esse existente: when the Pastor is dead, it is an ex­istent Community, and virtually and morally a Poli­tical Church, because by the Law and the peoples resolution another is to be seasonably chosen. As an elective Kingdom in the interregnum is virtually and morally a Kingdom: But if the purpose of chosing a Successour be changed, the Kingdom and so the Church is dissolved, or changed into some­what else.

§. 12. 5. It is indifferent to the being (though not usually to the well-being) of a Church, whether it have one Pastor or many.

§. 13. 6. The number of the people though not precisely determined must be competent to the Ends of the Society: If it be Greater or smaller than is ne­cessary to the Ends, it is no Church of this defined species: As Logicians say of the subject of other re­lations: If a Boat or Ship be no bigger than a spoon, it is not a Boat or Ship, but equivocally: And it may be so big as to be no Boat or Ship, when it is uncapable of the Ends. A Family is too small to be a City: And a Kingdom or the world is too big. Dispositio materiae est necessaria ad recepti­onem formae.

§. 14. 7. It is impossible to be a Church without the cement of Consent, professed or cordial: If ma­ny be forced into a Temple not consenting, it is a Pri­son, and they are not a Church. If they consent on­ly to meet on other occasions, or for some occasional [Page 232] act of Religion, it is not thereby made a Church. If they be commanded to consent and do not, and if it only be their duty, it maketh them not a Church, but only proveth that they ought to be one. No Law or command maketh a Church without Con­sent. But this Consent may be divers waies expres­sed: The plainest & most obliging way is best; but is not absolutely necessary: In some times and cases it may be more needful than at others: especially at the first gathering and forming of a Church: sometime ordinary Communion or attendance spe­cially of persons born in that Church, may signifie necessary Consent. It's pity then that men should be so weak as some, to make express Covenanting of each member with the Church and Pastor necessary, and others to deride it; when it is laudable ad bene esse but not necessary ad esse. But some signification of Consent is necessary ad esse, that is, A Consent to be a member of the society, and submit to the Pastor, and hold Communion with the Church to the Ends in the de­finition. And the plainer this is exprest, it is the fit­ter to satisfie the Church and oblige the person. But whether the Consent be signified by words, writings or deeds is undetermined. No man can have the great priviledges of a member either of the universal or particular Church against or with­out his will and consent: And no Minister not consenting can be a Pastor to any. The Relation of a Church member consisteth in a Right to great benefits due to no refuser or unwilling person, and in obligation to duty contracted by Consent, besides the obligation of Gods Command. We can no further prove any Company of Christians to be a Church than we can prove that they Consent to Church relation for Church Ends.

[Page 233] §. 15. Christianity it self consisteth in a believing Consent to the Covenant of Grace; and as no man is a Christian nor hath right to Christ and his saving benefits without Consent, so no man can have right to the Sacraments that seal and deliver this Cove­nant and benefits without consent: No Christian in his wits is for the Baptizing of any adult person that consenteth not; And the Lords Supper is a seal of the same Covenant, and no more due to non-consenters than Baptism. And as it is not enough to say [I am willing to be Baptized, but not by a Minister, or not in the order appointed by Christ] so it is not enough to say [I would have the Sacra­ment and Communion with the Church, but I will not submit to the Ministry, Doctrine, Worship or Di­scipline of that Church]. For this is as great a contradiction as to say [I will be a servant to you, but I will not work or obey but only have my wa­ges] or [I will be a Soldier, but I will not fight but be paid]. He that will have Communion with the Church, must consent to the Ministry, Worship and Discipline of that Church in which Communion con­sisteth.

§. 16. And if a Minister shall be so imposed on, as that any man or woman may come when they please, and force him to give them the Sacrament of Communion, without consenting to take him for their Pastor, or to be taught or guided by him, (yea or give him satisfactory notice that they know what the Sacrament is, or who Christ is) he is a slave and not a Pastor: Baser than any School-ma­ster, Philosopher, or Physicion, that are not forced to take a Scholar, Pupil or Patient against their will, or that will not take them for their Teacher or Physicion, and obey them.

§. 17. Yet if on this pretence any Bishop or Pa­stor [Page 234] will impose unnecessary Covenants, promises or professions on the Church or any Christians, and make their wills a Law, and oblige men to give them any other Belief or Obedience than truly belong­eth to the Pastoral Office, and so will set up a tyranny instead of a Christian Ministry, they are not here­in to be obeyed, lest we be guilty of the corruption.

§. 18. Yea if every integral part of the Pastors power and the peoples duty be put into such Pro­mises or Contracts, and the people required to pro­fess their Consent, as a necessary condition of their Communion, it is sinful tyranny, contrary to Gods Law and common reason and the constant practice of the Primitive Church. Christ himself requireth unto Baptism no other Consent as necessary, save to the essentials of Religion. A thousand Integrals may be unknown to the Baptized, and are so to most Christians: It is our duty never to think, speak or do amiss; But Christ maketh not such duty ne­cessary to our Baptism, Christianity or Church Com­munion. It is the duty of every member of a sin­gle Church, to hear, believe and obey the Pastor in many things where the best may fail. To ex­communicate a man therefore for not subscribing or professing assent to some unnecessary doubtful form, for not being convinced by a Lay-Chancellours sayings in a doubted case, or for not paying the Court Fees, or for not appearing the day that one is summoned to appear at the Chancellours Court, and such like, are but tyrannical Schismatical acts.

The King himself is satisfied with the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacie, and doth not require all the subjects, no nor the wisest Lawyers or Judges, to swear, subscribe or profess, that they assent and consent to all the Laws of the land.

§. 19. 8. The great Controversie of the age [Page 235] and many ages, is about the true and formal diffe­rence between the lowest species of Churches, which is called A particular or single Church, and an asso­ciation of Churches or a compound Church: That we may not confound them, nor make a meer gradual difference in the same species to pass for a specifick difference. And there is more lyeth on this than most observe. And therefore I determine it here in the definition.

1. It is commonly granted that there must be Christian Assemblies fixed for ordinary Communion in Gods worship. 2. And it is agreed that these Assemblies cannot be held without the officiating and conduct of Ministers of Christ, authorized to teach and administer the Sacraments (Though there be also another sort of assemblies, even for some Religious exercises, which may be held by Princes, Judges and other Lay-men.) 3. And it is by Grotius and many others manifested, that Christ formed his Churches more to the similitude of the Synagogue than the Temple state of order and worship. 4. And it is agreed that though Apo­stles, Evangelists, and other itinerant Preachers might gather Sacred Assemblies where they came, and were as transient temporary Pastors to them, yet the Apostles were guided by the Spirit to settle Elders in every Church, as is proved before.

But here men make a great and distracting Con­troversie, 1. Whether this first Church-species may not consist of many Congregations, yea, many hundreds or thousands? 2. And whether every Church of the lowest species must have a Bishop?

§. 20. To decide this Controversie I do in the de­finition express the specification of this Church re­lation from the End, as all such kind of relations must be. It must be a fixed association of Christians [Page 236] [for personal presential Communion and assistance in ho­ly doctrine, worship &c.] This definition is ne­cessary and herein sufficient. 1. It is necessary that a difference be noted between a single Church and a Composition of Churches: Because, 1. Several ends shew us that they are not univocaly called Churches but are of several sorts. 2. The first is past con­troversie of Divine institution: The other are by some men taken for Divine, by some for Lawful humane, and by some for sinful inventions, and ad­ditions to Gods appointed order. Things that so much differ must be differenced.

2. It is sufficient as 1. Assigning the true speci­fying end, 2. and avoiding all extreams.

1. It assigneth the true end: For that Churches of such a sort, for that end were settled by the Apostles, none deny: 2. It justly differenceth them from all other societies: 1. There may be occasi­onal meetings of Part of a Church, for want of room, or liberty, in private houses, Chapels, or Oratories; Independents, Presbyterians and Dio­cesans grant this: But these still acknowledge them­selves to be but parts of a larger society consenting to the same specifying ends; and assembling some­times with that larger body and sometimes apart, by reason of impediments, (age, weakness, distance, weather, persecution &c): And though a Parish (as many) have far more than can meet at once together, yet, 1. Still the ends of the association is for that sort of Communion: 2. Some of a family may meet one day and some another and some a third. 3. Every error and corruption altereth not the species of the Church: The individuals that fail and ab­sent themselves make not Parochial Communion to be another thing for other ends. A Parochial Church then is the lowest and first true species of Churches.

[Page 237] 2. And this distinguisheth it from all Compound Churches, which are not for Present Ordinary Com­munion in publick worship and Discipline, but only for Distant Communion by Officers, Delegates or Let­ters.

1. A Synod is for Consultation, and not purpose­ly congregated for ordinary Communion in worship, and the Churches which send their Bishops or Pastors thither have not personal presential Com­munion one with another ever the more; but on­ly mediate by Delegates or Officers. They may dwell a thousand miles or more from one another. If all the Schoolmasters in several Kingdoms should hold Provincial, National, or much larger Synods for agreement in Teaching and Governing their Schools, this would not confound such a Synod with a School, as if they were of the same Species of so­ciety.

2. This distinguisheth a single Church from the Papal pretended universal policy; And from a Patri­archal Church, and from a Provincial, and a Dio­cesan Church in the sense now used: For these are compounded of several single Churches; and they are not a society at all associated for ordinary personal presential Communion in Gods worship and holy living: Only they are all under one General Governour, not using to meet themselves nor ever seeing one ano­ther. Now if to be under one absent General Bi­shop be that which specifyeth a single or particu­lar Church, then All that called the Roman Catholick Church is but one single Church, compounded of no Churches: Or one Patriarchal or Provincial or Na­tional Church, were the lowest species, and a single Church, and so the Diocesans were none.

But if that which maketh it a single Church of the lowest species were that no Bishop is under [Page 238] them, but that they are under one sole Bishop, then 1. If all England had but one Bishop (as many tell us all Abassia hath but one called the Abunah) or if a Patriarch put down all the Bishops under him, this Church of his would be but a single Church. 2. And then there would be no such thing as a Church asso­ciated for personal presential Communion, which I have proved that the Apostles by the spirit settled.

§. 21. Those that tell us that a Diocesan Church is the first or lowest species of Divine institution, do either mean by a Diocess such a society as we now call a Parish, associated for presential Commu­nion, or a Church made of many such associated un­der one Bishop: If the first, they differ only about the name, in which they go against our common use, and are not intelligible by the vulgar. Though in old Church writers a Diocess is sometimes taken as greater than a Province and sometime as less, and a Parish and a Diocess are sometimes used for the same, and sometime not, yet that diversity of naming hindreth us not from knowing the difference of the things, either as defined, or as commonly now denominated a Parish Church and a Diocess. And if their meaning be to prove that single Churches essentiated by their Association for Present personal Communion, are not of Gods institution, no intel­ligent impartial Christians will believe them, who understand the Scripture and the state of the pri­mitive Churches, and the reason of the thing. Did men believe this, they would believe that Christ had instituted no Church order or form at all; Much less being to be said for the rest than this. And even those few that say that no form of Church Government is settled by God, do yet grant that set­led congregations for ordinary worship and mutual help with their guiding Pastors are of Divine right; and [Page 239] so confute themselves; unless they mean only that Pastoral Government of compounded Churches is not jure Divino.

§. 22. And some called Presbyterians distin­guish between a Worshipping Church, and a Governed Church, and tell us that the lowest Governed Church should consist of divers worshipping Churches. It may sometime contein divers subordinate by­meetings as Chapels for them that must needs be oft absent from the full assembly: But that it must have many such, or that it must or may have many full settled worshipping Churches, that personally communicate still distantly only in their several Parishes, is contrary to Scripture, antiquity and reason; and denyeth the first instituted Church form.

Thorndikes first books which fetch the reason of Church Government from Assemblies, were far truer than his later, in which he seemed to dream of a humane universal Policy.

§. 23. Either a Bishop as distinct (in Order or Degree) from Presbyters is necessary to the Being of a Church of Divine institution, or not: If not, then it may be a Church without such a Bishop, and have accordingly the rights of a Church (in the proper political sense now intended by the word [Church.]) And then the old sayings would not be true, 1. Of Ignatius that [to every Church there is one Altar, and one Bishop with his fellow Presbyters and Deacons] 2. Of Cyprian, that ubi Episcopus ibi Ecclesia: 3. Of Hierome and others, Ecclesia eft pl [...]bs adunat a Episcopo.

If yea, then 1. Our Parish Priests are true Bishops, or else the Parish Churches are no true Churches, but Chapels, as wanting an essential part. 2. And then there are no Churches in England of the low­est [Page 240] species (for present Communion, &c.) 3. And then it will be hard to confute them that say, No form of Church Government is jure Divino or in­stituted of God. 4. And the form of Government being the specifying form of the policy or Church, it will follow that God hath instituted no Churches but the universal as headed by Christ. 5. And if you will confess to the Separatists that we have no Churches of Gods institution, you will never heal their separation.

§. 24. I am therefore past all doubt that if it can be proved that a Bishop is necessary to every true Church, that every Parish should have a Bishop, and if Arch-bishops be good and meet, the Diocesans should be their Arch-bishops. And that deposing the Parish Bishops and Churches is a heinous cor­rupting crime. But if Bishops be not necessary to a Church as such, the case is otherwise.

§. 25. It is therefore of great importance that single Churches be neither too great nor too small. If too small, they will want 1. the honour of ful­ness, 2. and the cheering help of praising God in great assemblies, 3. and the mutual counsel and vigilant help of many, 4. and the safe guidance of many Presbyters (or a Bishop and Presbyters) which a few people cannot expect.

And if it be too great, it will 1. hinder the com­fort of those that want room in the Church assem­bly, 2. or cause the Church to degenerate into ano­ther sort of society.

It is best therefore that it should be as Great as that all the people who are constant worshippers of God on the Lords days may meet in one place, where they have liberty, Chapels or lesser meetings being allowed to the aged, weak, sick or very distant; yet all that are able coming sometime to the common Church.

[Page 241] §. 26. The first degenerating of single Churches grew 1. out of the ambition of the Pastors to, ex­tend their power as far as they could; 2. and out of a desire in the people to see their assemblies as honourable for greatness, number, and concord as they might; 3. and out of a conceit that one City should have but one Bishop and so be one Govern­ed Church.

And hereupon at Alexandria and Rome they be­gan to have several fixed Chapels in the same City and neighbour villages, and the Bishop to send Cu­rate-Presbyters to them as he pleased, yet so that at first they communicated frequently in the Bi­shops Church. After that these Presbyters were fixed and gave them the Sacraments where they came: After that they were tyed to come to the Bishops Church for communion but at Easter, Whit­sontide, or some great and rare seasons: After that they were so many and far off, that they were no more obliged to come at all, or to hear or see the Bishop, but only to be distantly ruled by him, and their Presbyters. Then many Countrey Parishes got Bishops: But the City Bishops disagreeing with them, long after got them down.

§. 27. Were it true that every City in the old sense should have a Bishop and but one, it would follow that every Corporation or great Town or Bo­rough (called Market Towns) in England should have one; the word [ [...]] signifying such of old. And were it so, and the Countrey Parishes adjoyning made Chapels and distributed according­ly to the several Towns, it would be like the old state of the Church about three hundred and four hundred and five hundred years after Christ, and much better than it is, though not as it should be.

[Page 242] §. 28. 9. The remote ends are mentioned in the definition, viz. the right worshipping and obeying God, the welfare of the Church-uni­versal (for the parts all contribute to the per­fection of the whole); and the glory and plea­sing of God are the common ultimate end of all.

§. 29. By all this it appeareth what is necessary to make a particular Church, and to make a man a member of it: And that it is not necessary here­to that the person be a member of a Compound Church, Diocesan, Provincial, Patriarchial, Nati­onal or Papal (whatever it be to some of these on any other accounts): Nor yet that he make any unnecessary profession, promise or Cove­nant.

§. 30. But to the actual Communion with such a Church in exercise, the nature of the thing maketh it necessary that the people consent and be guided by their Pastor in the circumstances belonging to his office, which are necessary in genere (to be some way determined) but not necessary in specie vel in­dividuo (this rather than that). For instance: They that will have communion in publick worship, must meet in some capacious place, at some day, some hour: If any one will not come to that place, at that time appointed, he separateth from that Communion in that act. The Scripture must be read in some Translation, some order. If any say I will not Communicate with you unless you use another translation, another order (without verses, and Chapters) or read some other parts, he so far separateth from that Church: In singing Psalms if he will not joyn in that Version, that Psalm, that Tune which the Church useth, he so far separa­teth: If he will not hear the Preacher unless he [Page 243] change his text, his method, or use notes, or no notes, and so in such cases will not follow but lead, he separateth so far: for all cannot be leaders, and be of one mind. But if the Minister will say, [You shall not communicate with us unless you will swear, or say, or do some unnecessary thing] it is he then that is the divider, and un­justly casteth out a Christian.


What are the necessary terms of Concord of these single Churches with one another, in the same Kingdome or in divers.

§. 1. THat they be under the Government of a Christian Magistrate is necessary to the well-being or great advantage of them, though not to the being, of which more in due place.

§. 2. That they live as neighbour Churches in Unity of faith and love, and avoid all things con­trary, and to their power help each other accor­ding to need and opportunity, is their duty.

§. 3. It is necessary that they agree in all things necessary to the communion of men as members of the Church universal, mention'd before; and in all things essential to particular Churches.

§. 4. If any one excommunicated justly for he­resie, apostasie, or impenitence, in any crimes, shall offer to defile and endanger any other Church by intrusion or deceit, the Church which cast him out [Page 244] is bound by the Laws of Love and Concord, to send notice to such endangered neighbour Churches of the person and his case, to prevent their hurt: And unless the Church that cast him out have cri­minally forfeited their credit, other Churches are bound by the Law of Charity to take their sentence as probably just, and not to receive the ejected person, till he have either proved his sentence un­just, or profess repentance. Not that they are bound absolutely to exclude him and deny him au­dience (though yet they claim no superiority over the Church that excommunicated him;) but as neighbours and parts of the same Church uni­versal, they must hear both sides before they deny any Christian communion that claimeth it; at least when his allegations have great probability of truth, and seem to weigh down all that they have received against him.

And they may absolve the Criminal upon a just profession of true repentance, but such a pro­session will not stand with a refusal to confess in the same Church where the man sinned, without some special probable reason; it being that Church which is most wronged by the scandal, and hath heard the causes.

§. 5. If any Church (in the same Kingdom or another) be accused of violating the Christian faith, or of any crime which Christians are bound to disown by avoiding the criminal, it is the duty of the accused Church to be ready to satisfie the offended Churches, by answering the accusation; not as to Rulers by the reasons of obedience, but as to Christian neighbours by the rule of common equity and love, and for the preservation of unity and peace.

§. 6. If the charge be but general, (that the [Page 245] Church is guilty of heresie or unsoundness in the faith) it is the duty of the accused Church to send to the offended the Profession of their Faith and Reli­gion, which need to be no more than this, which the offended ought to take as satisfactory.

We hereby profess that we stand to our Baptismal Covenant, fiducially believing in God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, our Creator, Redeemer and San­ctifier, and give up our selves to him accordingly in these Relations, Believing the articles of all the Creeds in which the universal Church ever agreed, and desiring the things contained in the Lords Pray­er, and consenting to obey the ten Commandements as delivered to us in nature and by Christ; and we profess our obligation and Consent, to Believe, Love and obey all that we do or shall understand to be the re­vealed word of God, even the sacred Canonical books of Scripture, and in this common Belief, and Love and pra­ctice, to livein the Communion of the unniversal Church of Christ: Renouncing the Devil, the world and the flesh as they are enemies to any of this, and all do­ctrines, desires and practices, contrary hereunto, so far as unfeignedly to endeavour to res [...]t and over­come them, and when we [...] and sin, to rise by true repentance; And all this in Hope of the Love of God the Father, the Grace of the Son, in our Pardon, Justification and Adoption, and the Communion of the Holy Ghost, and of the Perfection of these and of our selves with the Church in everlasting Glory.’

This may be briefly exprest in Baptism and to present persons that may receive our explications where they doubt of our understanding or sincerity: But to distant suspecting persons or Churches, such largeness is useful; and this is enough.

[Page 246] §. 7. But if any particular heresie or crime be charged on a neighbour Church, it is not to be believed without proof, nor they to be disclaimed till the charge be sent to them, and their defence be heard; And herein they ought to offer satisfaction to the offended Church, 1. By denying the charge if false; 2. By explaining words and actions which are ambiguous and to be suspected: 3. In controverted cases, by renewing the foresaid profession of all that is necessary explicitely to be held, and promising to re­nounce any opinion or practice as soon as they perceive it contrary thereto; 4. And in all cases of words or deeds expressly contrary to Gods doctrine or Law, or which they shall be convinced to be sinfull, to confess the errour or crime, and humbly crave the prayers of the Church for pardon, and profess their purpose of future reformation.]

This is the means, and this is enough for the offenders satisfaction: And if the errour be no real and discerned denyal of any necessary article of faith, but an undiscerned remote consequential contrariety, with which the professed holding of that particular necessary article which they seem to overthrow may stand, that Church (or person) is not to be rejected from Communion, or here­ticated.

For instance, If a Church be accused to be Nesto­rians, or Eutychians, or Monothelites, their answer ought to be [Mary is the Mother of Christ who is God, and in that sense, of God, but not of the Deity, or as God]. And [Christs Na [...]ures, Wills, and operations, are two as distinct, but not two as divided.] But if they have not so much (easie) skill to explain themselves, but say rudely as Nestorius [I will not say that God was two or three months old] or as Cyril and Eutychius and Diosco­rus [Page 247] [Christs natures were two before the Union, but since One and not Two], if withal they prosess that they believe Christ to be true God and true man in one person, and do not destroy, deny or confound the Godhead and manhood or any other essential point of faith or religion, they ought not to be hereticated or rejected.

§ 8. No Church hath power or duty to deny any other Communion to another Church or per­son, but such as they had power to grant them. But to remote persons or Churches, never seen by them (as in other lands or Countries) they can grant them no Presential local Communion but only Mental: Therefore they can eject them from none but mental: They cannot take from them what they never had nor are capable of: But we in London never had local Communion with them of Vienna, Paris, Rome, &c. nor ever saw them. All therefore that they can do is to account those Here­ticks or wicked or Apostates, whom before they ac­counted good Christians, and to declare that they own them not as fellow Christians, and would not communicate with them, did they live among them; and to warn others that are in danger of them to avoid them, and this not as an act of Government over them, but of common Christi­an duty for the honour of our common religion and in charity to others. The just renouncing of men­tal or local Communion by equals, or neigh­bours, much differs from a Governing commanding excommunication, forbiding other Churches as their subjects to communicate with such on certain penal­ties; which is the usurpation of Popes, Patriarchs and some others who claim such governing power without proof.


VI. What is necessary to the Civil Peace and concord of Christians, and what is the part of the Christian Magistrate about Religion, as to his promoting or tolerating mens doctrines or practices therein.

§. 1. THe contentions of the world here call us to resolve these several doubts, 1. Who it is that should have the power of the sword or Magistracy? 2. How it is to be used towards all men as men in society? 3. How it is to be used for the service of Christ and good of the Church? in encouraging some and tolerating others, and keeping peace among them all?

§. 2. It is here supposed that the sub­ject is understood, and that we are agreed what the Magistrates power is, at least de re, though not de definitione vel de nomine: that is, it is the power of Governing by the sword, that is, of making Laws, and judging according to them, and executing them by outward force on mens bodies or estates. And so it is contradistinguished from the power called Mini­sterial, Pastoral, Priestly or Ecclesiastical; which is the gathering and guiding of Christian Churches by Gods word preached, expounded and applyed. The nature of each and their differences I have formerly opened in a small treatise written purpose­ly on that subject to end the Erastian controver­sie. (And Bishop Bilson fuily openeth them in his ex­cellent book of Christian Obedience &c.) The Ma­gistrate [Page 249] hath power forcibly to seize on offenders estates and bodies, to imprison, mutilate, scourge, strike and kill them that deserve it, and to make Laws and judge men unto such punishments. The Ministers of Christ or Pastors of the Churches have no such power but only to declare Gods Laws to the people, and convert and baptize the wicked unbelievers, and teach them the word and will of Christ, and guide them in publick worship, and Communion, and judge who is capable there­of, and to require the people in the name of Christ to love and receive the worthy, and to a­void the unworthy, and to resolve the peoples particular doubts, and by personal application to pronounce and declare Gods acceptance of pe­nitent believers, and his promise to save them, and his decree to condemn the ungodly, unbelie­vers, impenitent and Hypocrites.

§. 3. This difference is commonly acknowledg­ed by the generality of sober Christians: But one schismatical Writer against schism, will needs call this Pastoral power Coactive, coercive, or forcing also, though he confess that it is not a power to touch mens Bodies or estates; that so by casting out all differencing names, he may hide the acknowledged difference of the power, and execution. And his reason for this errour de nomine is, [because, suspension and excommunication are executed on the involunta­ry, and compel those that believe the power, and fear them, to obey.] Where, 1. The word compel containeth the confusion; compelling the mind by meer argu­ment, being not the compelling by corporal force which we are speaking of: 2. And every man that chideth, reproveth or threatneth a sinner, usually doth it to the involuntary: And if he believe him and yield, he will obey: And if you argue from [Page 250] his future danger or suffering, it is the fear of it that moveth him: But the fear of Gods declared threat­nings, is not the same as the fear of mans stripes, imprisonments, unless &c. 3. And excommunica­tion worketh on no mans body further than it work­eth on his conscience to make him a voluntary a­gent. If you denounce damnation against him, it moveth him no further than he believeth you as ap­plying to him the word of God. If you forbid him to be present or take the sacrament, and he refuse to obey, you may not forcibly thrust him out, without the Magistrates consent, but only sus­pend your own act of delivery, or depart: If you command the people to avoid him, they will no fur­ther obey you than they perceive Gods au­thority in your words, and are convinc't in Con­science of their duty: And every sermon may thus compel men: And all that judge the sentence unjust and powerless, will despise it.

§. 4. 1. There are four or five opinions about the possessors of this forcing power by the sword or violence: The first of them that say, It belongeth to all Magistrates Christian and unchristian. The second of them that say, It belongeth only to Christian Magistrates: The third of them that say, It belongeth to Orthodox Magistrates or Catholick only and not to Hereticks: The fourth of those that say, that the Judicial part in cases of Religion belongeth to the Pope, Prelats or Presbyters, and the executive only to the Magistrate. The fifth of those that say that both judicial and execu­tive belong to the Pope, Prelats and Priests: I may add a sixth of them that say, it is radically in the people.

§. 5. 1. As to the first, it is undoubtedly true, if you distinguish between the Office, Power, and [Page 251] the aptitude of the person to perform it. The Office of a Supreme Ruler is the same in all, but all are not equally capable of performing it. That is, It is the same as described by Gods command of their performance. As he commandeth infidels to believe and communicate with the Church, but not to communicate before they believe; so he com­mandeth Infidel Princes to believe and to govern the Christian affairs: but to govern them as they are capable. The common Laws of nature, justice and peace among Christian subjects, an Infidel Prince may and must see executed: The Laws of Christ revealed supernaturally, he ought to understand, believe and execute: But till he understand and believe them, he cannot execute them. And there­fore wants the disposition and ability to do what he had command and authority to do; but to do it only in the due manner, to which his sin disableth him: and so his Power is in him incomplete.

§. 6. I confess it is a very hard question, How an Atheist can be said to have any Governing right from that God whom he denyeth, any more than a Constable from the King from whom by rebellion he revolteth: And also since all power in Heaven and earth is given to Christ, how an infidel that renounceth him can be said to be authorized by him. And I can no otherwise resolve it, than by distinguishing of a King or ruler, that is such sim­pliciter, and one that is such but secundum quid: 2. One that is tolerated in the place by God the So­veraign, and one that is also approved: 3. One that the people are bound to obey only in tantum for civil order, peace and safety; and one that they must obey in matters of Religion, and whom God will not condemn as an Usurper in part. The case [Page 252] is much the same as that: How far subjects that are necessitated to live under a Foolish Prince must obey him; which is, 1. So far as it is no wrong to another: 2. So far as is necessary to the due honour of the of­fice which he possesseth: 3. So far as is needful to the common peace, order and safety, and to our own, and to the ends of Government; But so as still to desire a better, and by just means to endea­vour it, but not by sin, or that which is worse to the Common-wealth than his Foolishness is.

§. 7. II. The same answer mutatis mutandis will serve to the second: A Heretick truly so called or a wicked man, or persecutor hath radical re­mote power to all a Princes work; But he hath im­mediate full power to no more than he can do ac­cording to Gods Laws: and in so much he is to be obeyed, and in nothing that is against them.

§. 8. III. The office of Orthodox Rulers is the same fundamentally and radically: But their full nearest Power is greater because their Capa­city is greater. But yet even they are never to be obeyed against the Laws of God, which give them their power and limit it, and are theirs and their subjects highest rule.

§. 9. IV. The Papists commonly, and many Prelatists, and some Presbyterians say, that about causes of Heresie, or Church Communion, the Church is to judge and the Prince to execute the Churches judgement. But with great difference: some Presbyterians only say that the Magistrate ought upon the bare judgement of the Church to force the excommunicate person from the Assembly if he intrude: And the Independents will say as [Page 253] much as this: And indeed this is but to keep peace; it being due to a family that none intrude against their will: But yet as a Prince or Judge may right a servant, child or wife, so may they the excom­municate, when it is proved that they are wrong­ed; And therefore may to that end re-examine the cause.

But other Presbyterians and Diocesans say that when the Church hath excomunicated a man, the Magistrate is bound to force him by imprisonment, fines, or corporal penalties to repent and be re­conciled: And the Papists say that men judged He­reticks he must burn or banish: which is all false, as shall be proved in the third book.

§. 10. V. The fifth sort hold, that as Melchi­zedek and Christ were both Priests and Kings, so it should be now: And some say (before confuted) that every King is the chief Priest; and others that the chief Priest should be King; and that the Pope is the universal Monarch having both swords, Spi­ritual and Corporal: But as to the execution, Bishops are to obey him in excommunicating He­reticks (that is, his adversaries) and Kings in killing or banishing, otherwise he may depose both Kings and Bishops: But against this more in due place.

§. 11. VI. As to the Radical power of the peo­ple I have said so much against it in my Christi­an Directory in confutation of Richard Hookers Eccle­siastical Policie, that I need to add no more. In my Political Aphorismes I more fully opened this. I conclude with the common Christian judgment, that the Civil Magistrate only hath the power of Ruling by the sword.

[Page 254] §. 12. II. As to the second case, How the Ma­gistrates power is to be used towards all men in Common, I answer in short, 1. All are agreed that the good of the Commonwealth is the end of Government, as the Terminus of a Relation which essentiateth it: It is not government univocally but equivocally which is not for the common good, really or vi­sibly, intentionally, really or pretendedly.

§. 13. 2. Every true member of the Common­wealth hath a right to a part in this common good, till he forfeit it.

§. 14. 3. Every member hath not an equall right because all have not equal capacity or wor­thiness.

§. 15. 4. It is as hard a question: How far an Atheist or Infidel is a rightful member of a Common­wealth, as how far such a one may be a rightful Governour. And, 1. It is certain that as to obli­gation he is a subject of God and man, and bound to obey: as an Atheist King possessing the place is bound to rule well, and smneth by not doing it: 2. It is certain that as a man, he hath a fundamen­tal conditional right to the priviledges of a good subject, that is, if he will be such a one. 3. A Negative not-knowing God or Christ, much differeth from a positive denying him, rebelling and opposing: As Catechumens that know not God or Christ are not Anathematized as deniers and op­posers are; because they are teachable, and coming towards the Church, though not of it; so in a Christi­an Commonwealth, such are members in a large sense, secundum quid, and forfeit not their lives, liberties or estates, but are only candidates as to the rewards and preferments and special priviledges of worthy members, who either rule or have a [Page 255] voice in choosing Rulers. But being willing to learn to know God and Christ, they should with love and kindness be encouraged and drawn on. 4. But in a Kingdom of such as know not God or Christ they must have rule and priviledges because there are no fitter to have them: But such a Kingdom is to God no otherwise his subjects than such a person before described is. 5. But those that after sufficient instruction deny and oppose God as God, do forfeit the protection and com­mon liberty of subjects in a Kingdom, that confes­seth God; and those that deny Christ in a Christi­an Kingdom and oppose him as Christ, do forfeit the Common protection of Christian subjects: But wise men think that because the Deity is of Na­tural Revelation by all Gods works to all men as men, and Christ only of supernatural revelation by the Gospel and the work of faith more difficult, therefore the opposers of a Deity, forfeit their lives if they continue obstinate; but the enemies of Christ only forfeit their place in a Christian Com­monwealth and should be banished if obstinate: As the meer ignorance of him, keepeth such out of the Church till they believe: But then denying or op­posing Christ deserveth ejection with anathema.

§. 16. 5. All men then must by the Magistrate be used as men according to their natures, and not as bruits, and therefore must be instructed and ruled by laws of reason, and led towards Chri­stianity and the hopes of future felicity: And if they sin against the Laws of humanity, they so far forfeit the priviledges of humanity; or are to be punished as the ends of the society require.

§. 17. III. To the third question, how Magi­gistracie (or the sword or forcing power) is to [Page 256] be used, for Christ and for his Church, and on Chri­stians as such, who is to be rewarded, punished or tolerated for the Churches Vnity and edification and preservation. I answer, I. In general; Men should be used as men; Christians as Christians: The weak as weak; The strong as strong, and the eminently wise and good as such: The criminal as criminal. And all this with chief respect to the laws of God and the common good.

§. 18. II. More particularly, 1. Negatively: 1. The Magistrate cannot make men Believers by the sword: He cannot make the ignorant wise, nor the wicked godly at the heart.

§. 19. 2. He ought not to force men to lie, by professing themselves to be what they are not, or to know or believe or do what they do not: There­fore he may not make a Law that All men shall be compelled to profess themselves Christians, or Godly persons, or any that are not such indeed; And there­fore none must be compelled to it, because no man knoweth who are such: but every man must be the voluntary professor of his own faith and piety.

§. 20. 3. He ought not to force the weak to profess that they are strong, or know or believe more than they do: either to profess those measures of wisdom, those Articles of faith that are not es­sentials, or those measures of affection or practice which are proper to strong Christians: And for not professing such things, or Covenanting accordingly he may not deny them any priviledges belonging to Christians as such, but only such as are proper to wiser and stronger Christians.

§. 21. 4. Princes and other Magistrates may not make themselves the Lictors or executioners to the [Page 257] Clergie, to punish men with fines, imprisonment, banishment or death eo nomine because they stand excommunicate by the Clergy, without trying whe­ther it was rightly or wrongfully done, and whether the crime be such as should be so punished by them. Excommunication if just is it self a dreadful punish­ment, & no man is to be punished for being punished. If it be for not repenting, 1. He must first be sure that it was a crime: 2. And that God hath appointed this way to force men to repentance: 3. And that such forced repentance must go for true.

But when the excommunication is unjust, the Ma­gistrate must not second it with oppression: It is enough to be so much wronged by the Clergy, more should not be added for that cause, nor must the Ma­gistrate suppose the Clergy to be unerring, and so lay by the person of a Judge himself and become the blind executioner of their sentence.

§. 22. II. Affirmatively; The Christian Magi­strates Office is, [To promote the common good of the people, and their salvation, and the pleasing and glory of God, by preserving and promoting Piety, Love, Justice and peace, even mens obedience to all the Laws of God, in Nature and Scripture.

§. 23. Therefore as the means, 1. He must pro­mote to his power the due publication or preaching of the Gospel, and the subordinate means that are needful thereunto: 2. He must by just means restrain and punish the gross violators of Gods Laws; and must encourage the obedient and good.

§. 24. Therefore, III. He must deal differently with his subjects as they differ; according to this common distribution: They are

[Page]I. Not Christians who are

  • 1. Enemies of the Church, or of Christianity.
  • 2. Neglecters of Christianity.
  • 3. Candidates or Catechumens Seekers.

II. Christians who are to be considered as

  • 1. Personally qualified, and so they are
    • 1. Eminently wise, good and strong.
    • 2. Of a middle sort or degree.
    • 3. Ignorant, culpable and weak.
  • 2. Relatively as being
    • 1. Only Christians of the universal Church and no particular,
      • 1. Not yet entred into particular Churches.
      • 2. Separated from them.
      • 3. Cast out of such only.
    • 2. In particular Churches, which are either
      • 1. Consociate viz. under
        • 1. The Pope.
        • 2. Diocesans.
        • 3. Presbyteries.
      • 2. Independent, and diverse.
      • 3. Opposites and adverse.
  • 3. In their Practice, which is either
    • 1. Laudable, to be encouraged and promoted.
    • 2. Tolerable.
    • 3. Intolerable.

I shall therefore briefly shew how each of these sorts are to be used by a wise and righteous Christian Prince or other Magistrate: though somewhat is said already to the first.

[Page 259] §. 25. I. The enemies and opposers of Christiani­ty are, 1. To be wisely and soberly restrained from any effectual dangerous hindering of it: By mo­derate means if they are moderate, and by grea­ter severity if they be violent and inhumane.

2. As far as obstinacy maketh them uncapable, Light and Love should be used to win them with the example of our better lives: In meekness in­structing those that oppose themselves, if God per­adventure will give them repentance to the acknow­ledging of the truth, that they may escape out of the snare of Satan, 2 Tim. 2. 26.

§. 26. II. The Neglecters of Christianity are to be instructed and excited: And therefore, 1. By perswasion, 2. or necessary moderate penalties, constrained only to Hear what can be said for it.

§. 27. III. The seekers or willing candidates are to be clearly and skillfully and patiently taught, and encouraged by love.

§. 28. IV. Eminent Christians are to be made the Teachers and Rulers of the rest; and to have praise and best encouragement.

§. 29. V. The middle sort of Christians must be governed and instructed, with encouragement to grow, and the body of a Christian Common­wealth well ordered will be most of such.

§. 30. VI. The ignorant, faulty and weak must be pityed and gently used, but as children, under more teaching, restraint and necessary rebukes, than bet­ter men.

[Page 260] §. 31. VII. Those that are not yet entred in­to any particular Churches Communion, under any known particular Pastor, if necessarily such (as persons that have no dwelling, but wander up and down, as Pedlars &c.) are to be pityed and suf­fered, if we cannot help them to better. Those that being baptized only into the universal Church (as wanderers children &c.) and are not come to knowledge or desire, should be taught, and perswad­ed into Church order as a second sort of Catechu­mens: Those that are hindred by the disorder or persecution of the place and times, must be pityed and patiently born with.

§. 32. VIII. Those that separate from one or other particular Churches if by some great crime, and abuse must be used according to their fault as is after shewed about Practice: But if either by tolerable weakness, or outward necessity they de­part but from one Church, they must be received into others: If from all particular Churches (as some called Seekers) and not from the universal, they must be used as the seventh sort (those not yet entred.)

§. 33. IX. Those that are cast out unjustly must be pityed and allowed entrance into another Church: Those that are cast out justly must 1. remain under that penalty and shame till they repent; 2. And also be further used according, to their crime; whether murder, fornication, theft, perjury, &c. as the Law pu­nisheth such offenders: If it befor Infidelity or Apo­stasie, they must be used as the Churches deserters or adversaries, as aforesaid, and restrained from opposing it.

[Page 261] §. 34. X. The Papists should be used as men and as the faultier and weaker sort of Christians, but so as, 1. May secure Princes from being unwillingly subjected to a foreign Usurper or being abused by him or his Agents; and as may secure the people from the efficacy of their laws, for burning, killing and exterminating them: 2. And so as they may be soberly restrained from such seducing and hurt­ing the souls of others as is after proved to be Intolerable.

§. 35. XI. Diocesans that are as Arch-Bishops and destroy not Parish Churches, Episcopacy and Dis­cipline, are to be numbred either with the Promo­ted or Tolerated party as they are taken by the Rulers for the Best or second. But those that would unchurch Parish Churches and make them but Chapels, and set up only one tribunal for the Discipline of many hundred Parishes, and thereby make Discipline Im­possible, and deprive particular Churches of the Rights given them by the spirit of Christ in his Apostles, or would silence and persecute faithful Ministers, or oppress the flocks, should be restrained from such abuse and Tyranny by the Prince.

§. 36. XII. The very same I say of the Synods and Classes of Presbyters, whether provincial or national.

§. 37. XIII. Churches are not to be discounte­nanced meerly because they are so independent, as not to be over and under each other in a regimental way, no more than Scholes of Grammer or phi­losopy or other sciences or arts: But the Magi­strate must make them Dependent on him as his go­verned [Page 262] subjects; and must exhort them to that dependence on each other as is necessary to their mutual help and peace; and moderately urge them hereto for Religion sake.

§. 38. XIV. Adverse, contentious, militate Churches, must be restrained from abusing one another, and destroying Christian Love and peace: And Justices of the peace should keep peace among them and correct railers, slanderers and peace­breakers.

§. 39. XV. But the main care concerneth pra­ctice; And here the sound in faith, the Charitable, the peaceable and of good Conversation, should be pro­moted, praised and maintained, with special favour and approbation.

§. 40. XVI. The meerly Tolerable (as to Doctrine, Charity and conversation) should be de­fended and kept in peace.

§. 41. XVII. The Intolerable must be suppres­sed or restrained according to the quality of their offence.

§. 42. To these great ends (as Campanella, would have every Sovereign to have three sorts of Coun­cils under him, One for Learning and Religion, an­other for Civil affairs and another for War, so) it may be wished however that the Prince have a Council that shall specially take care of Religion and the necessary subservient learning: And that there be drawn up three several Catalogues or Laws for these various ranks of Christians: That is,

[Page 263] I. The foredescribed necessary parts of Chri­stianity and Communion, (the Baptismal Cove­nant, Creed, Lords Prayer and the Essentials of Ministry and Communion) which all Tolerated Ministers shall subscribe to or profess, having also Testimonials of their competent Abilities, Piety and peaceableness.

II. Some of the great sort of Integrals added,This second may be spar­ed, if the third be well done. And instead of both may well be a Catalogue of do­ctrines erroneous or doubt­ful which none shall preach or propagate, of which after. that are needful, plain and certain, and there­fore it is best in the very words of Scripture which all agree to, and this to be consented to by the ap­proved and preferred Ministers, who shall have the Temples and publick countenance and maintenance.

III. A Catalogue of Doctrines of so great use as that none be suffered to Preach or privately dispute against them; And a Catalogue of sins, which none may commit: And those that break either of these Laws, and subscribe not to the Essentials first mentioned to be judged Intolerable (till reformed) in the Ministry. Who shall be judged Intolerable in the Commonwealth, the first rank of enemies here considered sheweth. And what private members shall be Tolerated in the Churches may be gather­ed from what is said, viz. Those that joyn with the Tolerated Ministers, and violate not this last Prohibiting Law, by incorrigible opposition to the Truth here intimated, or by wicked or unpeace­able behaviour.

§. 43. It is here supposed that the Catalogue im­posed on the Approved maintained Ministers be not of too many things, nor of any, but great [Page 264] and sure: And they that will needs stretch it to the utmost of plain and certain truths, need no other Catalogue of the third rank: And were it not that men are very inclinable to overdo in rigor against dissenters, I should rather leave out the third Cata­logue; And that which the Tolerated be forbidden to Preach against, should be but the same Catalogue which the Approved must subscribe, and so two will be enough, so be it that all unpeaceable preaching as to the manner be restrained by the Justices of peace.

§. 44. This rule the antient Churches followed: and when they suppressed the intolerable heresies, they tolerated the Novatians even in Constantino­ple: And the worst Bishops were most against their toleration (as Nestorius and such like), and the best dealt gentliest and lovingly with them, and thereby did more for the peace of the Church than the overdoers. The Lordly turbulency of Theophilus and Cyril with Epiphanius's silly passion, set all on a flame against Chrysostome and his Joanni­tes, which the wisdom and peace of two peaceable Patriarchs soon quenched.

§. 45. That the Integrals to be subscribed by the Approved Ministers be not too many, is requi­site, 1. Because it is not many things that are neces­sary to be preached: Read the preachings or doctrine of Christ and his Apostles, and you may soon see this: And they need to subscribe no more than they need to preach. 2. Because else overdoing will be undoing; and unavoidable dissent will cause divisions and distractions.

And for the same reason it should be written if possible in the very words of Scripture, which though some deride, is of great moment: Because nothing more tendeth to avoid division by dissent: For all are agreed of the truth of the Scripture, [Page 265] and even they that understand not the words con­fess them to be true, and take not the liberty to except against them as they will against the words of fallible men. The objections against this are answered after.

§. 46. Penalties must not be equal, as offences are not equal: As the Approved are not ejected for every fault, so the Tolerated are not to be silenced for every fault. A prophane swearer payeth twelve pence an oath: And some faults of preachers are not worse: But some are so great at first, and others by the ad­dition of impenitencie and incorrigibleness, as that they forfeit their Toleration.

§. 47. Those are to be accounted Intolerable who do more hurt than good, and whose silencing and suppression will do more good than harm. All men are faulty and do some harm: And few are so bad as to do no good: But that which pre­vaileth, must prevail in the judgement of the Ma­gistrate. And yet when the suppression of a hurt­ful person will do by accident much more hurt to the Church or Commonwealth than the doth (as it may fall out) he is not to be so hurtfully suppressed.

§. 48. Those therefore are intolerable in the Mi­nistry, 1. who through ignorance or disability are utterly insufficient for the necessary acts of the of­fice; and so will marr and disgrace the work appointed them, and make Religious exercises scorned.

2. Those that are hereticks in a strict sense, that is, that deny any Article of faith or practice ne­cessary to Salvation, or preach that which plainly overthroweth it.

3. Those that are against or utterly corrupt any necessary part of Church-order, or of the publick worship of God; so as that God accepteth not worship so corrupted, or that it tendethto more hurt than good to the assembly.

[Page 266] 4. those that will not profess the Essentials of Christianity, Ministry and Church Communion.

5. Those that live such scandalous and wicked lives as disgrace the Ministry, and do more hurt than they do good.

6. Those that will not promise and perform necessary diligence in the work of the Ministry which they undertake, but idly neglect the flock.

7. Those that by malignity and misapplication of truth, turn their preaching or discourse to the reproach of serious godliness, making people think that it is needless, or hypocrisie.

8. Those that will not promise and perform sub­jection to the supream Governours of the Kingdom or Republick.

9. Those that will not forbear such reviling of Tolerable dissenters, as tendeth plainly to destroy love and peace, and to turn publick assemblies into stages of malignant strife.

10. Those whose Religion or opinion is for burn­ing, destroying or exterminating either all dis­senters, or the innocent or tolerable, while they call them Hereticks; or that are for the subjecting of Kings or States or people to foreign Usurpers, or for giving such a foreign Usurper power to ex­communicate, depose, or murther Kings or tempo­ral Lords, and absolve their sub­jects from their Oaths of allegi­ance,See more against the Magistrates o­verdoing in the third Part. or force them to destroy or exterminate their innocent or to­lerable subjects; and that exempt the Clergy from subjection to Kings.

§. 49. The Approved, Tolerable and Intolerable thus distinguished and thus used by the Magistrate, will best answer the ends and interest of Christianity, and the Laws of Christ, and will do as much to preserve [Page 267] Love, Unity and peace as is on earth to be expected which all other contrary ways will unavoidably violate.


Objections answered.

§. 1. 1. SOme object against any restraint in Re­ligion, and the countenancing and pre­ferring of one sort before others, and say that the Magistrate should equally tolerate all, or else he will discontent those that are but tolerated, and much more those whom he useth as intolerable; But this is so unchristian and unreasonable that I think it needless to say much against it. Few men that believe there is a God and a life to come, and that religion is mans duty and interest, can believe that God hath appointed Government for no higher ends than our bodily peace and safety. If men once believed what divers Popes have writ­ten, that the office of the Priest excelleth the Kings, as far as the soul excelleth the body, and as the Sun excelleth the Stars; it would cause religi­ous people to set as light by Kings, as they do by these worldly things which Kings have power over.

§. 2. 2. Obj. But each party think themselves in the right, and Kings and Parliaments are falli­ble, and if they trouble those that are in the right, they are persecutors: if others, yet they shall be accounted so.

Answ. Being is before Thinking: either the King is in the right, or the sufferers: If they are in the Right, either their cause is evident and such as a [Page 268] willing diligent person may understand, or not. If it be clear, the Prince is a persecutor that trou­bleth them. If it be too hard for him, he is unfit to be an active man against them; for he cannot do it in faith and therefore sinneth, and may be a persecutor for ought he knoweth. If he or they be ignorant through wilfulness or negligence, it will not excuse them. If their cause seem clear­ly good to them, and clearly bad to him, one of them must needs be sinfully erroneous; and it is the erring party that God is against, who will be the final judge.

§. 3. 3. Obj. But it is a thing that Princes and Statesmen are ignorant of: they are not bred up in the study of Religion: Bishops and Clergy-men are liker to understand such matters, and it is their work.

Ans. 1. God hath commanded that Kings and all Rulers study his word: As Justices should know the Kings Laws, the King and they should know Gods Laws. It is as truly their office to Rule by them, as it is the Ministers to Teach and Guide by them. Government by the Sword and Church Government by the word and Keys are to be exercised according to the same Law of God; and both have their use about causes Ecclesiastical, in which we swear the King to be supreme as to that part which is to be done by the sword or cor­poral force.

2. This objection long used by Popes and their Prelates hath been sufficiently confuted by them­selves: Church history putteth us quite past doubt that it went ill with the Church while the Clergy had all the power of Religion: It hath been Popes and Prelates and Priests that have worse corrupted Religion and disgraced the Church and embroiled the world in religious quarrels and [Page 269] Schisms, than ever Emperors and Kings have done. Thirteen hundred years lamentable expe­rience confuteth such thoughts as many have and as I have sometime been tempted to my self, how well it would go with the Church if the dispo­sal of all matters of Religion were rather in the hands of the Bishops and Clergy, than of Kings and Parlia­ments. Nay rarely are any Magistrates so hot for persecution and religious cruelty as the Bishops and Clergy or those that are stirr'd up by them, against dissenters or one another. The doleful devastations and Schisms about Nestorianism, Eu­tychinnism, and such like, were caused more by the Bishops than the Magistrates: And though Con­stantius and Valens did much against truth and peace, it was by their Clergies instigation. He that will consider the lives of Constantine M. Theo­dosius Senior, and Theodosius Junior, A [...]astasius, &c. and of Charles, Otho, the Henries and others since in the West, will see how much ado the Emperors had to keep the Prelates from Schisms, and confusions: And he that readeth but the Laws of the Spanish, French and English Kings, will see what ado Kings had to keep the Bishops and Priests from filthy fornication and utter corruption of their function.

§. 4. 4. Obj. But if Princes meddle with Pastors, Preachers and Religion, when far more of them are bad than good, and erroneous than in the right, it must follow that more good will be hindered by them than evil, and in most places the best will be persecuted by them, and the worst approved and preferred.

Answ. 1. And was it not so, and worse under the Popes and their Prelates? Let their own histo­rians judge. 2. Nay it hath been ill Clergy men that have instigated Princes to do most of the [Page 270] chief to the Church that they have done. 3. This tells us the calamitous case of mankind, but not at all how to help it. 4. This argument should urge Princes to amend, but not to neglect their duty for fear of doing it amiss. By the like argu­ment in Moscovy they have put down preaching, saying, Most will preach amiss. And others put down all praying save the reading of imposed words, saying that most else will pray amiss. And so these would restrain Princes from Governing Bishops and Preachers and matters Ecclesiastical, saying, Else they will do most amiss. 5. But it is supposed that Princes have their Councils; And as they consult with Lawyers in matters of Law, and with Souldiers in matters of War, and with Physicions in matters of that profession, so they will consult with Divines (as they are called) in matters of Divinity and Religion.

§. 5. Obj. 5. But Religion is to be perswaded and not forced, which will but make hypocrites.

Ans. We cannot force men to know or believe; and we ought not to force them to lie: But they may be restrained from doing notorious mis­chief, and constrained to hear that they may learn.

§. 6. Obj. 6. But that which you think wrong seem­eth right to them, and every mans Conscience is his Law, and he must obey it, and whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Ans. 1. None but the Atheist or irreligious take all. Religion to be uncertain: Man is naturally Ani­mal religiosum, made to serve God in order to fu­ture happiness: And Religion were no Religion if a man could have no satisfactory notice of its truth.

[Page 271] 2. No mans Conscience is his Law no more than it is the Law of the land. It is but as his eye in reading it, a discerner of the Law. And mistake is not discerning.

3. No man ought to take evil for good, nor to do evil because he thinketh it good; but first to use means for information, and then to judge bet­ter, and then to do better.

4. Though whatever is not of saith is sin, yet whatever is of errour is of sin too and not of faith. And we are not for forcing men against their con­science to any thing unnecessary, or any thing which they are uncapable of, but for restraining them from that mischief which an erring judge­ment leaveth them to, and putting them on neces­sary duty which they can do: should they not be forced to feed their children if their Consciences be against it? Or to pay their debts, or their taxes, tythes and other dues?

§. 7. Obj. 7. On the other side some (and more) will say that any toleration of diversity in Religion, es­pecially of Assemblies, is contrary to the unity and har­mony which should be among Christians, and will cherish heart-burnings, and cause differences in the State, and foment seditions and rebellious, no discord having worse effects than those about religion.

Answ. 1. To tell us that men are dark and selfish and proud and passionate, and therefore con­tentious, and that this is the calamity that sin hath brought on all the world, is but to tell us what we all must know: But what's that to the Cure? All sin, and all discord is contrary to our desired con­cord, and is our reproach: But shall no sinners therefore be endured? Ye suffer fools gladly, saith St. Paul, seeing you yourselves are wise. 2. Will your way of violence make this better or far worse?

[Page 272] Will men that really have any religion forsake it for fear of any thing that you can do against them? It is not Religion if it set not God above man. When they suffer by you, will they like you or your opinions the better for hurting them? or the worse? If ever you let them out of prison, will they not come out more alienated by exasperati­on? If you force the timerous or hypocrites to dissemble to save the flesh, will they not hate you and your doctrine the more as that which soul and body are both oppressed by? And will not their sufferings move compassion in the people, and your cruelty alienate those that else would never have forsaken you (what a shameful thing is it to hear and read mens tragical outcries against necessary toleration (which Christianity and humanity plead for) while they are the causes of that which they exclaim against, and are furiously making it ten­fold worse?) If diversity in Religion be such an evil, cause it not by your unnecessary Laws and Canons, and making engines to tear the Church in pieces, which by the ancient simplicity and commanded mutual forbearance would live in such a measure of Love and Peace, as may be here ex­pected. Are men liker to hate you, or to plot rebellions for being gently used as men, or cruelly like slaves or dogs? Nay slaves are freemen in comparison of those that are dissenters from the Pope, if he get them in his power. Though it be but for refusing to deny belief to all mens senses, and consequently to Gods natural revelation. If you can cure all mens errours, do it (but begin at home). But killing is not curing in the sense of wise Physicions or Patients. Your way cureth er­rour as the man that was angry with the Look­ing-glass for shewing him his ugly face, did cure [Page 273] it by breaking it into twenty pieces, and then it shewed him twenty ugly faces for one.

There are no tolerated sorts among us here that are more accused by all for seditiousness and rebelli­on when they once got some seeming strength, than the Anabaptists and the people called the fifth Mo­narchy men. But have they ever (even at Munster) made any such horrid slaughters in the world as the great enemies of Toleration have done? Did they ever murder 200000 people that lived peaceably at once, as the Frish Papists did? Or forty thousand if not (as some say) twice as many, as they did at the French Massacre? Or so many thousands if not millions (say some) as were kill'd of the Albigenses and Waldenses in France, Piedmont, Italy, Germany, &c. Or did they ever use Christians as the Inquisition hath done? Or did they ever use Emperors as Henry the fourth and fifth, and Fre­derick were used? Or kill two Kings successively; as Henry the third and Henry the fourth of France were killed.

Nay did ever the Novatians, yea or the furious Prelatical Donatists make such bloody work as hath been made by Bishops, Councils and Emperors for the suppressing of dissenters? What hath been done at Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Rome, I have elsewhere shewed. The late publisher of his travels in Egypt (Vaneslup a Roman, they say a Jesuite) tells us that Egypt is deprived of her ancient sort of inhabitants, de­stroyed for following Dioscorus, and that Justinian killed no less than two hundred thousand of them. I believe not his number. But if this be true, the tyrannical hereticaters are the Pikes in the pond, and a far more bloody and devouring sort of men, than most of those that they destroy as intole­rable.

[Page 274] 3. But it is not yet divers Religions that is the subject in dispute: every different opinion or pra­ctice, or diversity in some small point in Religion, is not a divers Religion. He knoweth not what Re­ligion is that thinketh that there are as many diffe­rent Religions as there are controversies among reli­gious persons. In a word, Bear a little or you must bear more.

§. 8. Obj. 8. But the tolerated will seduce the ig­norant, and poison Souls: And therefore are no more to be tolerated than murderers, souls being more pre­cious than bodies.

Answ. 1. Who have poisoned the Church and souls with more errors and more palpable, than the Pa­pists who are most against Toleration? 2. The meerly Tolerated being discountenanced by Autho­rity, have less advantage to deceive men than the Approved if as erroneous. 3. We plead for restrain­ing men from poisoning souls by dangerous do­ctrines, and not for tolerating that. But every dis­senter or mistaking person is not such a poisoner of souls. 4. The Tolerated speaking in publick are more responsible and more easily convicted of their fault, than those that do it secretly where there are no witnesses; And this your violence cannot hinder. 5. As their errors will be openly known, so you have advantage openly to confute them, and to keep the people right.

§. 9. Obj. 9. But dissenting teachers will unsay what the Approved Teachers say, and hinder their work, and steal the hearts of the people from them, and make their calling bur densome to them.

Answ. 1. They are to be restrained from preaching against any great sure necessary doctrine or practice.

2. Christ never sent out his Ministers with a supposition that none should contradict them; but [Page 752] with that light and strength which which was to overcome contradiction. Do you so debase and disgrace your selves and your religion, as to think or say that it cannot prosper if any be but suffered to speak against you?

3. Doth the work of Christ afford you no more comfort, than shall leave you thus burdened if any will but gainsay you? How unlike Christs Ministers or Christians do you speak?

4. Have not you that have sound doctrine, Gods promise, the Rulers countenance, maintenance and honour, much more to support you, than they that are supposed to have none of these?

5. If you tolerate not their open preaching, their secret endeavours, and your seeming cruel­ty together, will alienate more from you, and make you not only neglected but abhorred.

§. 10. Obj. 10. The number of the erroneous will increase by a toleration.

Answ. And the number of the ungodly that will say, swear, or do any thing for worldly respects; will increase by your mistaken way of suppressing them. 2. It is better that tolerated honest Christi­ans erring in tolerable cases do increase, than that they be banished or destroyed, and a worldly Mi­nistry thereby lift up, abhorred by the religious, and heading the malignant and prophane against all serious piety.

3. Violence and Tyranny against good men for tolerable error, hath already increased that same error more than wiser means would have done, and hath introduced worse.

4. We have found where I lived (in Worcester­shire and the neighbouring Counties, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire) in the late times of li­berty in Religion, that an unanimous, humble, [Page 276] able, diligent Ministry frequently and lovingly consulting and all agreeing, did more effectually sup­press heresie, error and schism, than violence ever did or would have done. The next Parish to me had, a grave, learned, sober Anabaptist, B. of D. that had great advantages; and yet almost all our flocks were kept from the infection: In my own Charge (a great Parish of many thousand souls) where I was above 14. years, we had no one separate as­sembly, nor one sectary that I remember, save two or three apostate Infidels (or Socinians) and two or three Papists. A faithful agreeing Ministry with the advantage of a good cause, we found sufficient to shame all the Sectaries, and frustrate most of their endeavours, and to keep the people unanimous and right.

§. 11. Obj. 11. If every one that will may set up for a preacher and gather a congregation, or if the ignorant people shall all choose their own Teachers, we shall have ignorance, error and confusion.

Answ. 1. I told you that every one that will may not turn preacher. The Tolerated are to pass their proper tryal as well as the Approved, before they receive their Toleration.

2. The Churches commonly chose their own Bishops or Pastors for near a thousand years after Christ, or had a Negative consenting voice at least: And many Canons did confirm it, yea and decrees of the Popes themselves: yea when the Popes and Emperours in Germany (the Henries &c.) strove about the investing power, it was yet granted that the people should have their electing or free con­rsenting power continued. And no man can be really their Pastor till they consent: And your contra­ry course will make worse work.

[Page 277] 3. Our way is of all other the safest: Two or three locks keep the Churches treasure safest. We say, none shall be approved but by three par­ties consent, nor Tolerated but by two or three. The Ordainers are to consent to him as a Minister, and the people as their Minister; and the Magistrate as a Tolerated Minister: or if any unordained be tolerated (which I determine not) at least the People and the Ruler must consent, and that upon a just testimonial of his ability, Piety and fitness for such toleration.

4. And yet we speak this but of Pastors; not denying but Teachers, and Catechizers may be im­posed on children, infidels, and others that are not in Communion with any particular Church.

§. 12. Obj. 12. You would have the Church Arti­cles, at least for the Tolerated, in Scripture phrase: And what's the phrase without the right sence? How easily may Hereticks creep in under such phrases as se­veral men put several sences on?

Answ. 1. Is there not Truth enough in all the Bible in intelligible words necessary to salvation and Church Communion? Is the Scripture as in­sufficient as the Papists make it, without their sup­plemental Traditions or Decrees? And had not the Holy Ghost skill to speak even things necessary in tolerable intelligible phrase? who are they that are wiser to reform it?

2. Almost all words are ambiguous and may be diversly understood: your own invented expo­sitions will be as liable to be wrested by Hereticks as the Scripture. It is ridculous presumption to talk of making any Law, profession or Articles that a false Heretick may not subscribe to. 3. But there is another remedy against them: while they con­ceal their heresie, they are no Hereticks in the judg­ment of the Church. Non apparere here is as non esse, [Page 278] when they divulge it, the judicatures must correct them. It's vanity to dream that the Law is faul­ty as long as it is but such as men can break: or that any Law can be made which none can break: But as they break them, they are to be judged. 4. And we must not rack and divide the good, for fear of such letting in the bad. The Churches Concord and peace is of more regard than the keeping out of some secret Heretick: yea of old he was not called a Heretick that did not sepa­rate from the Church. All good men agree to the word of God, but all will not agree to every word of yours.

§. 13. I conclude, In humane affairs there is nothing without imperfection, weakness and incom­modity: and to pretend the cure of these by im­possibilities, or mischiefs, is the way of such as these Thirteen hundred years have been the true schismaticks and distracters of the Church.


A draught or specimen of such Forms as are be­fore mentioned, for the Approved and the Tolerated Ministers.

§. 1. TThis Chapter should have gone before the ninth: But I thought to pass it by, lest it seem presumptuous. But the observation how ordinarily men miscarry in this work, hath perswaded me to run the hazard of mens censures.

§. 2. 1. The form to be subscribed by the Appro­ved Ministry.

I A. B. do seriously as in the sight of God profess,A. The form Common to all Christians. Mat. 28. 19. Mark 16. 16.that as I have been in Baptism devoted by the sacred▪ Covenant to God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, renouncing the Devil, the world and the flesh, so far as they are his enemies; so I do unfeignedly Believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and consent still to that Cove­nant, in hope of the grace and Glory promised, obliging my self to continue by the help of that grace, in Faith, Love and sincere obedience to the end.

[Page 280] More particularly.

§. 3. I. I do unfeignedly Believe 1.I. Assent. Heb. 11. 6. 1 Cor. 8. 4. Mat. 28. 19. Joh. 4. 24. Psal. 90. 2. Gen. 17. 1. Heb. 4. 13. Luk. 18. 19. Psal. 117. 2. Deut. 32. 4. Isa. 6. 3.That there is one Only God an infinite Spirit of Life, understand­ing and will, most perfectly power­ful, wise and good; incomprehen­sibly Three in One, and One (es­sence) in Three (called persons or subsistences by the Church), the Father, the Word and the Spirit, of whom and through whom & to whom are all things, he being the Creator, preserver, Governour, and the ulti­mate End of all: Our absolute owner, our most just Ruler, and our most gracious and amiable Father and be­nefactor.

2. I believe that this God created all the world,Ge. 1. Act. 17. 24. Gen. 1. 27. 1 Chron. 28. 9. Luk. 10. 27. Joh. 17. 3. Mat. 4. 10. & 19. 17. Gen. 3. Rom. 5. 12. & 3. 23.things invisible and visible; And made man in his own Image, forming a fit Body, and breathing into it a spirit of Life, understanding and will; fitted and obliged to know, love and serve his Creator, giving him the inferior Creatures for this use, making him their Owner, their Governour and their End, under God: But special­ly forbidding him to eat of the Tree of knowledge,Gen. 2. 17.on pain of death.

3. The woman being tempted by Satan, and the man by the woman both fell by wilful sin, from their Holiness, Innocency and Happiness, [Page 281] into a state of Pravity, Guilt and misery, under the slavery of the Devil, world and flesh, under Gods vindi­ctive Justice and the condemnation of his Law.Eph. 2. 3.Whence sinful, corrup­ted, guilty and miserable natures are propagated to all mankind: And no meer Creature is able to deliver us.

§. 4. II. I believe that God so loved the world,I Joh. 4. 14. Joh. 1. 1, 14. 1 Tim. 2. 5. Luk. 1. 35. Rom. 9. 5. Joh. 16. 33. Heb. 2. 14. Mat. 3. 15. Heb. 7. 26. 1 Joh. 2. 6. Gal. 3. 13. 1 Cor. 15. 3, 4. Act. 3. 9. & 3. 21. Eph. 5. 23. Luk. 1. 33. Act. 3. 22. Heb. 7. 25, 26. Eph. 1. 23, 24. Rom. 14. 9, 10. Joh. 5. 22. & 17. 1, 2, 3.that he gave his only Son to be their Saviour: Who being God and one with the Father, took our Nature, and became man; being con­ceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, named Jesus the Christ; who was perfectly holy, without sin, fulfilling all righteousness, and being tempted overcame the Devil and the world, and after a life of humi­liation, gave himself a sacrifice for our sins, by suffering a cursed death on the Cross, to ransome us and recon­cile us unto God, and was buryed, and descended to Hades, and con­quering death, the third day he rose again: And having sealed the New Co­venant with his blood, he command­ed his Apostles to preach the Gospel to all the world, and promised the Holy Ghost: and after forty daiesascen­ded into heaven, where he is God and man, the glorified Head, over all things to his Church, all power being given him in heaven and earth, our prevail­ing Intercessor with God the Father, [Page 282] to present us & our service acceptable to God,Luk. 24. 47. Mat. 28. 19, 20 Mark 16. 15, 16.and communicate Gods grace and mercies unto us; to Teach us, Govern, protect and judge us, and to save and bless and glorifie us.

§. 5. 2. By the new Testament, Cove­nant or Law of grace,Joh. 3. 16. 1 Joh. 5. 11, 22. Joh. 1. 10, 11, 12. Gal. 3. 27, 28. & 5. 24. 1 Pet. 5. 8, 9. Luk. 14. 33. Tit. 2. 14. 1 Pet. 3. 21. Mat. 28. 20. Heb. 5. 9. Luk. 14. 32. Rev. 22. 14.God through the aforesaid Mediation of Jesus Christ, doth freely give to fallen mankind, Himself to be their Recon­ciled God and Father, his Son to be their Saviour, and his holy Spirit to be their sanctifier and comforter, if they will accordingly believe, and accept the gift, and by faithful co­venant give up themselves to him in these Relations; Repenting of their sins, and consenting to forsake the Devil, the world and the flesh so far as they are enemies to God and their salvation, and sincerely to obey Christ, his Laws and his Spirit to the end, bearing the Cross and following him though through sufferings, that they may reign with him in Glory: All which God will faithfully perform.

§. 6. III. I Believe that God the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father,Joh. 16. 13. Eph. 2. 20. & 3. 5. 2 Tim. 3. 16, 17. Joh. 3. 5, 6. Rom. 8. 9. Gal. 4. 6.and from (or by) the son, was given to the Prophets, Apostles and Evan­gelists, to be their infallible Guide in preaching and recording the doctrine of salvation, and to be the great witness of Christ and his truth, by his manifold Divine operations. [Page 283] And that he is given to quicken,Tit. 3. 3, 5. Heb. 12. 14. Tit. 2. 11, 12. Rom. 8. 13. Heb. 5.­luminate and sanctifie all true be­lievers, and to save them from the Devil, the world and the fleshes tem­ptations, from sin, and from spiritu­al misery. And that the Holy Scrip­tures indited by this Spirit, are to be believed, loved and obeyed as the word of God.

§. 7. 2. I believe that all who by true Consent are devoted to God in the foresaid Baptismal Covenant,1 Cor. 12. Mar. 16. 16. Joh. 1. 11, 12. Eph. 4. 1. to 17. Rom. 8. 1. Act. 26. 18. Rom. 14. & 15 1 Thes. 5. 12, 13. Rom. 16. 16, 17. Joh. 15. 1. to 10. 1 Pet. 3. 21. Mat. 7. 21, 22. 1 Cor. 7. 14. Rom. 11. 17. Gal. 3. 26, 27, 28.and so continue, are one sanctified Church or Body of Christ, and have Communion in the same spirit of faith and Love, and have forgiveness of their sins; and having one God, one Christ, one spirit, one faith, one Baptism, and one Hope of Heavenly Glory, are bound to keep this unity of the spi­rit in the bond of peace, in the Do­ctrine, worship, order and conversa­tion and mutual helps, which Christ hath by himself or his Apostles com­manded, avoiding uncharitable con­tentions, divisions, injuries and offen­ces. And that the Baptized Covenan­ters and external Professors of the foresaid Covenant consent are the vi­sible Church universal, and such as we must have outward Communion with, though only the sincere belie­vers and consenters shall be saved.Joh. 12. 26. 2 Cor. 5. 1, 7, 8.

§. 8. 3. I believe that at death the spirits of the justified go to happiness with Christ,Act. 7. 59. Act. 17. 31.and the souls of the wick­ed [Page 284] to misery. And that at the end of this world,2 Thes. 1. 7, 8. Joh. 5. 28, 29. Mat. 25. 46. Matth. 13. 1 Thes. 1. 6, 10, 11. Rev. 22.Christ will come in glo­ry, and will raise the bodies of all men from death, and will judge all according to their works: And that the Righteous shall go into ever­lasting life, where being perfected themselves, they shall see God, and perfectly love and praise him in Joy, with Christ and all the Glorified Church: And that the rest shall go into everlasting punishment, where their worm never dyeth and their fire is never quenched.

§. 9. II. AS I Believe thus in God,II. Consent and Desire. Rom. 12. 1. Joh. 1. 11, 12. Deut. 10. 12. Rom. 8. 8. Heb. 11. & 12. 28, 29. Isa. 56. 4, 5. & 55. 2, 3, 4, 6. Rev. 22. 17. Luk. 14. 26, 29. 2 Cor. 5. 7, 8, 9. 2 Pet. 3. 11, 12. 1 Pet. 1. 4, 5. 2 Pet. 1. 3, 4. Tit. 1. 3, 4. Mat. 7. 7. the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, according to the Sacred Scriptures, and the Creeds and constant Profession of the universal Christian Church, so I do unfeignedly continue to give up my self presently, absolutely and resol­vedly, to this God my Creator, Re­deemer and Sanctifier, according to the Covenant of grace: that I may be resigned to the will of God my Own­er, and obey the will of God my Ru­ler, and please and rest in the Will and Love of God my Father, the Chiefest End and Infinite Good: And renoun­cing all Idols and enemies of God and this his Covenant, I consent though with the Cross to follow Christ the Captain of my Salvation to the death, desiring still more of the Love of the Father, the Grace of the Son, and the [Page 285] Communion of the Holy Spirit, and hoping for the promised Glory; All which I pray for according to that Prayer which Christ hath left to be the summary Directory of our desires: Our Father which art in heaven, &c.

§. 10. III. ACcording to the foresaid Belief and Consent,III. Practice. Act. 27. 23. Ps. 73. 25, 26. Deut. 10. 12. 2 Chron. 20. 20. 2 Cor. 5. 8, 9. Mat. 5. 17, 18, 19. Jo. 15. 10, 12, 14. Jo. 16. 7. 1 Jo. 5. 20, 21. Mat. 4. 9, 10. Psal. 1. 1, 2, 3. & 37. 4. & 104. 34. & 89. 7. 2 Tim. 3. 4. 1 Cor. 11. 23, &c. Psal. 119. 97. Jam. 4. 12. Exod. 20. 7, 8. Rev. 1. 10. As God hath obliged me, I do by Cove­nant oblige my self, by the help of his Grace, sincerely to obey this God, my Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier, according to the Law of nature, sum­med up in the two Great Commands, of Loving God with all our hearts, and our neighbours as our selves; and in the Ten Commandments as the Law of Christ explained by him, with his superadded precepts and institutions: By all which I am bound, to take God only for my God, by believing, fear­ing, trusting, loving and obeying him; To Avoid all Idolatry of mind and bo­dy: To worship God according to his Law, by learning and meditating on his word, by believing-holy-fervent-prayer, thanksgiving and praise, and the holy use of the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: I must reverently and holily use his name, and not by perjury or otherwise profane it: I must keep holy the Lords day, especially in holy Communion with the Christian Assemblies, in the publick worship of [Page 286] God,Rom. 13. Col. 3. 20. Deut. 27. 16. Rom. 12. 19, 20. 2 Sam. 23. 3. Rom. 13. 9, 10. Luk. 18. 20. Mat. 5. 44, 45. 1 Jo. 3. 15, 16. Eph. 5. 3, 4, 5. 1 Thes. 4. 6. Lev. 19. 11. Prov. 19. 5. Psal. 15. 3. Mat. 19. 19. & 7. 12. and thankful commemoration of Christs Resurrection, and our redem­ption: I must if I be a superiour, faith­fully and holily govern my Inferiours; and as an Inferiour I must honour and obey my Parents, Magistrates, and other superiours in power over me. I must not wrong my neighbour in thought, word or deed; in his Soul, his Body, his Chastity, Estate, Right or Propriety; but must do him all the good I can, and justly give to all their own, and do as I would be done by, as Loving my neighbour as my self: According to the Decalogue, God spake all these words saying, I am the Lord, &c.

§. 11. 2. ANd as the special duty of my office as in the Sacred Ministry,B. Proper to Ministers of the Gospel. Act. 20. 20, &c. Jo. 21. 15, 16, 17. 2 Tim. 4. 1, 2. 1 Tim. 4. 16. & 3. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. & 4. 1, 3, 15. & 1 Tim. 3. 4, 5, 6, 19. 2 Tim. 1. 7, 8, 9, 10, 13. 2 Tim. 2. to the end. I do Consent and Promise sin­cerely to perform that office for the flock over which I shall be placed, or whereever I am called to exercise it; Teaching them the doctrine of the Sa­cred Scriptures, especially the greatest and most necessary parts, which I have here professed, and nothing contrary thereto, so far as by diligent study I can discern it: exhorting them to live by faith in love to God and man, and in the joyful hope of heavenly Glory; in humility, self-denial, temperance, patience, justice, diligence and fruit­fulness in all good works: To be loy­al [Page 287] and obedient to their superiours,1 Tim. 6. 16, 17, 18. Tit. 1. & 2. & 3. 1 Thes. 5. 12, 13. Mat. 6. 33. Heb. 13. 17. 1 Cor. 4. 1, 2. Mat. 24. 45, 46, 47, 48, 49. 1 Cor. 9. 16, to the end. teachable to their instructors, haters of sinful divisions and contentions, and lovers and followers of peace: To seek first the Kingdom of God and its righ­teousness, to mortifie the flesh, and not to overlove this world; To repent of sin, to resist temptations, to prepare for death and judgement; most care­fully to please, and quietly trust the will of God:1 Cor. 11. 23. Mat. 5. 16, 20. Mat. 15. 8, 9. Isa. 8. 20. 1 Pet. 5. 1, 2, 3, 4. And in the publick ce­lebration of the Sacraments, and all the worship of God, and Guidance of the flock, the same word of God shall be my Rule; to which also I will sin­cerely endeavour to conform my whole Conversation; not following after vain-glory, or filthy lucre, or lording it over the heritage of God, but seek­ing to please and glorifie Christ, in my own and their salvation.

§. 12. ANd as I expect my part in the benefits of godly and peace­able Government,C. Special du­ty to Civil Rulers. Rom. 13. 1, &c. Mat. 28. 19. 1 Tim. 2. 1, 2, 3. 1 Pet. 2. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. so I do profess to believe, and promise to teach and practise accordingly, That there is no power but of God, and that Ru­lers are Gods Ministers for Good, not for destruction but edification, to be a terrour to evil doers, and a praise to them that do well: and this under Christ, to whom is given all Power in heaven and earth: That we must pray for Kings and all in authority, that [Page 288] we may live a quiet and peaceable life,2 Pet. 2. 10, 11. in all godliness and honesty:Rom. 13. 7. 5. That subjects must obey their Rulers in all things lawful belonging to their office to command;Col. 3. 12, 13, 14. and not resist,Jam. 3. 1, 14, 15, 16, 17. rebel or be seditious:Jud. 8, 9, 10. That they must give honour, reverence and tribute to whom­soever they are due: And all this not only for fear of man, but in Consci­ence as hereby obeying God.

The Renunciation.

ANd as I have thus unfeignedly professed my Belief, my Consent and promised Practice; so I heartily Renounce all Doctrines, Desires and Practices contrary to any part of this Profession: And if by errour I hold or shall hold any thing contrary thereto, as soon as I discern such contra­riety I will renounce it.

Especially I Renounce Atheism, Polytheism and Idolatry of Mind or Body: All Infidelity, Anti­christianity and false Christs: Profaneness, ungod­liness, and malignant enmity to God and Holi­ness: All contempt of Gods spirit and his word: All serving the Devil, the world or the flesh as enemies to God or Holiness: All selfishness, Pride and hypocrisie, perjury and taking Gods name in vain, superstition, profanation of Gods holy day, and contempt of his publick or private worship: All Rebellion against my parents, Prince or other Rulers; All murder, adultery and fornication, [Page 289] theft and deceit, lying and false witness bearing, and all other injury against the life, health, chasti­ty, estate, or reputation of my neighbour; All sinful discontent with my estate and coveting that which is anothers: And whatever is impious, un­charitable or unjust; From all these I desire to be free.

PArticularly to approve my fidelity to my Ru­lers, I renounce all doctrines and practices of Rebellion, sedition or Schism: I believe not that subjects may take up Arms or use any force or conspiracy, to violate the Rights, Authority or Persons of those in supreme Power over them: I believe not that by any Laws of God or Man the Bishop of Rome hath the right of Governing all the world, or all Christian Kings and King­domes, nor the King or Kingdome of England, in particular, in matters secular or religious; Nor that it is the duty of this Kingdome or the King, to subject themselves unto him and obey him: Nor that the said Bishop of Rome hath any true authority or right, to impose oaths on Kings or other temporal Lords, or otherwise oblige them to judge their subjects to be Hereticks, who deny the Popes universal Supremacy over all the Chur­ches on earth, or who deny that the universal Church hath any Visible Head but Christ; or who believe that the truly consecrated Bread and Wine in the Sacrament of the Lords Supper remain true Bread and Wine after the Consecration, or that believe they are not to be adored as their God, nor the Wine to be denyed to the Laity commu­nicating: Nor may the Pope oblige Kings or any others to exterminate, burn or kill or punish any such [Page 290] as hereticks, nor excommunicate Kings or tempo­ral Lords for not doing it; nor depose them being excommunicated, nor give their Kingdomes or Dominions to others, nor authorize any to kill them, or to raise arms against them, and to invade their Countreys by hostility: Nor hath he right or authority to forbid Kingdomes or Coun­treys the publick celebration of Gods worship, or holy Christian Communion; Nor to oblige any Rulers or others to destroy any as Hereticks or judge them such, because they are so judged by the Pope or Councils; And I believe not that the Clergy are exempted from obedience to the Secular Powers, or from being judged and punish­ed by them, by any Laws of God, or any valid Laws of man, not made or consented to by the said Powers: And I unfeignedly believe that if any Pope, or Council how great soever do de­cree, or assert any of these things which I have hereby renounced and disclaimed, or shall here­after decree or assert any of them, they err, and sin against God in so doing, and are not to be be­lieved therein, nor do oblige any thereby to obey them. And all this I profess as in the sight of God my Judge without fraud or dissimulation in the sincerity of my heart.

THe errours which men should be restrained from preaching or propagating are innume­rable, and not necessary to be all put into a sub­scribed or professed renunication, so they be actu­ally forborn. I will recite part of a Catalogue of false and doubtful dangerous points, not fit to be published by preachers.

[Page 291] I. Of the nature and acts of God.

1. The God is corporeal or material.

2. That God is essentially only in Heaven, or in some finite space.

3. That God hath parts and is divisible.

4. That God hath the parts or shape of humane bodies, head, face, eyes, hands, feet, &c. proper­ly so called.

5. That God is the Universe or whole world, or that he is meerly or properly the soul of the world, as his body; and so but a part of the world.

6. That God or any essential of God, is really new, changeable or finite.

7. The God can suffer hurt, or hath proper real grief and passion.

8. That God knoweth not all that hath been, is, or will be, and all that is intelligible.

9. That Gods own essential perfection, good­ness, and love is not the ultimate and chief object of mans love, to be loved chiefly for himself as most amiable, and above our selves and all things created, but that he is only or chiefly to be loved as our Benefactor, or as good to the creature; And so that man is Gods end, and his own chief and ultimate end, and not God mans chief and ul­timate end.

10. That God is the first and chief, or any pro­per cause of sin; or that God doth by efficient premotion as the first cause predetermine every mans mind, will, tongue and members, to every forbidden act that is done, as it is determined to and specifyed by the object with all its forbidden circumstances and modes: and so to every lie, perjury, hatred of God and goodness, murder, &c. that is committed.

[Page 292] 11. That God ruleth the world only as an en­gine by physical motion, and doth not rule any free agents by moral means as precepts, prohibiti­ons, promises, &c. in any acts, saving as these are parts of his physically necessitating motion.

12. That God may or ever doth lie; or by his inspiration, or his works of nature or providence, necessitate innocent persons de facto, or oblige any as a duty, to believe that which is false.

13. That God hath so committed the affairs of this world to Angels, or any creatures or na­tural means, as not to mind them, or particularly govern and dispose of them himself.

14. That God is essentially or virtually absent from the effects which he causeth.

15. That God hath not power to do any more or otherwise than he doth, though he would.

16. That Gods will is not the fountain, and the measure of all created good: or that things are not good because they are willed by God.

17. That Gods proper and absolute will, de­sire and decree may be disappointed and not come to pass.

18. That somewhat of or in the creature, may be a true or proper cause of somewhat (not only relative, but) real in God, or make a real change on God.

19. That God hath no vindictive, or punishing, and no rewarding justice.

20. That God may be formally conceived of and comprehended by man, and not only known ana­logically and as in a glass.

[Page 293] II. Of the Blessed Divine Trinity.

1. That there are three Gods, or three divine es­sences or substances.

2. That the Trinity are but Three Names of God, or three relations of him to the crea­ture.

3. That they are Three parts of God.

4. That the three Persons are one God only in specie, as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are One man, because they have but one humane sort of nature.

5. That one person in the Trinity is in time or dignity before or after other, or greater or less than other.

6. That in the Trinity there are three Fathers, three Sons, or three Holy Ghosts.

7. That the doctrine of the Trinity is contradi­ctory or impossible to be true.

8. That it is unnecessary to be believed or preached.

9. That there are no Impressions or notes of the Trinity on the soul of man, or any other known works of God.

10. That the works of Creation, Redemption or Sanctification are no more eminently or other­wise ascribed in Scripture to any one Person in the Trinity than to the other. That Creation is no otherwise ascribed to the Father, than to the Son and Holy Ghost, nor Redemption to the Son, than to the Father and the Holy Ghost, nor Sanctifica­tion, Consolation and Sealing to the Holy Ghost, than to the Father and the Son, and so that they are not hence relatively distinguishable to us and by us at all. [Page 292] [...] [Page 293] [...]

[Page 294] III. Of the Person of Jesus Christ.

1. That Christ is but a Creature, or not eter­nal; or not of the same Divin [...] Essence as is the Father.

2. That Christ hath no humane created soul, but the Divine nature was to his body instead of a soul.

3. Or that a superangelical created nature, uni­ted to his Divine nature was instead of a humane soul to his body.

4. That Christs body was not derived from the Virgin Mary, but only passed through her, as water through a Channel.

5. That the Mother of Christ alone was as much the cause of his soul and body, as our Fathers and Mothers both are of ours.

6. That the Virgin Mary was not the Mother of him that was God and man.

7. That she was the Mother and actual cause or procreator of the Godhead, and of Christ as God.

8. That Jesus Christ was two Persons, a Divine and Humane.

9. That he had not two distinguishable natures, viz. the Divine and Humane.

10. That he had not two distinguishable under­standings, wills, and operations.

11. That the Body of Jesus Christ was incorrup­tible in and by its own nature and constitution, and not only by its union with the Deity, and by Gods will, decree and preservation.

12. That he was begotten by Joseph or some other man.

[Page 295] 13. That Christs humane nature, soul or body, suffered no real pain, nor was capable of suffer­ing any.

14. That he was not of the line of David after the flesh.

15. That he had original sin, guilt or vi­tiosity.

16. That Christ is not now God and man in heaven.

17. That the Glorified Body of Christ is now formally flesh and blood, so called univocally as ours, having the same formal constitutive essenceSee the s [...]ond Coun­cil [...] [...] [...]citing and app [...]ing th [...] former General Council of [...]: which in other things they op­posed, yet both con­demned this opinion..

18. That every Priest maketh Bread and Wine by the Conse­cration in the Eucharist to be­come no longer Bread and Wine, but the very Body, Flesh and Blood of Christ, or that God so maketh it, or the Priests speaking those words: And so that all the consecrated Bread and Wine since Christs days till now are made Christ's flesh and blood, and yet his flesh and blood no whit increased.

19. That all believers are by union part of the Natural Person of Christ.

20. That the humane nature of Christ is now the Godhead, or is become a proper part of the second Person in the Trinity as such. (And here presumptuous men must take great heed of medling too far: some Scholastick Divines say, It is errour to say that Christs humane nature is a Part of his person; because his Person was perfect from eternity, and the Divinity cannot be a Par. of any thing: Others say that It is erro [...] to say that the Humane nature is no part of Christ [...] [Page 296] seeing it is no part of the Divine Essence, or na­ture, therefore it is a part of his person: Others say that it is only an Accident of Christ: some think that if it were not for fear of the clamours of Ignorant Hereticaters that will call it Nestori­anism, it were soundest and safest to say, that the word Person is equivocal: And that as it is taken for the second eternal person in the Trinity, the humane nature is no part of it: But as it is taken Relatively for the Person of the Mediator, the humane nature is a part. And so that Christ hath two persons, but not univocally but equivocally so called.)

IV. Of the Holy Ghost and the Holy Scri­ptures.

1. That the Holy Ghost is but a creature, or not God of the same essence with the Father and the Son.

2. That the Holy Ghost is but the Angelical na­ture or species; and as the diabolical nature and many Devils are called singularly [the Devil,] so the many Angels are called [the Holy Spirit.]

3. That the Immortal part of man called his Spirit, is the essence of the Holy Ghost.

4. That the Holy Ghost as operative on man, is not a valid witness of the truth of Christ and Chri­stianity in the world.

5. That the Holy Ghost did not impregnate the Virgin Mary, or that Christ was not conceived by him.

6. That Adam had not the Holy Ghost, or true Holiness.

7. That the Prophets spake not by the Holy Ghost; Or that their prophecies are of Private interpretation, that is, objectively to be inter­preted, [Page 297] of such private persons and things as they immediately spake of, and which were but types of Christ or grace.

8. That the Holy Ghost in the Prophets was not the Spirit of the Redeemer, and sent by him.

9. That the miracles of Christ and his Apostles were not wrought by the Holy Ghost.

10. That the Holy Ghost may set the seal of true uncontrolled miracles to a lie.

11. That the Canonical Scriptures were not in­dited by the Holy Ghost, as infallible records of the Divine will.

12. That they are but for a time, till a per­fecter Law is made, called, [The Law of the Spirit.]

13. That they are imperfect without the supple­ment of Roman Tradition, as part of the Rule of faith and life.

14. That they were but occasional writings, ne­ver intended for the universal law or rule of faith and holy living.

15. That there are in the true original, as they came from the Apostles, some errours.

16. That in the present received Originals there is any errour inconsistent with true saving faith and practice.

17. That we are not bound to believe the Holy Scriptures to be Gods word, but by the authorita­tive proposal of the Church of Rome, that is, A general Council subject to the Pope, or called or ap­proved by him as authorized thereto by Christ: or that we must believe that the Pope or Council are authorized by Christ, before we are bound to be­lieve in Christ himself.

[Page 298] 18. That the Scriptures are not intelligible in necessary things, till the Church, Council, Pope or Fathers expound them to us.

19. That the Scriptures have no such im [...]ss or excellency, by which they manifest themselves to be of God, supposing necessary conveyance and mi­nisterial explication.

20. That we must not understand any text of Scripture, but as the consent of ancient Fathers ex­poundeth it.

21. That the Spirit now given to Po [...], Coun­cils, or to individual Christians is as much the Rule of faith and life, as [...] holy Scriptures: or that the Spirit is not given now to us [...] to teach us to understand, believe, love and practise Gods word indited by the more emmen [...] inspiration of the Apostles and Prophets▪ [...]ut also to inspire us as infallibly to know more than is revealed in the Scripture, and that as needful to Salvation: Or that it is not so much the Spirit extraordinarily inspiring the Apostles, as the Spirit as inspiring ourselves, which is every mans rule of faith and life.

22. That the Light which is in Heathens, Infi­dels, and all men, is this Spirit, and sufficient Rule.

23. That men must believe the Scripture with­out reason for their believing it: or must believe it to be Gods word without seeking any proof that it is his word.

24. That it is meritorious to believe the Scri­pture to be Gods word, without knowing any proof or reason of it, this being an infused faith, and proof making it but acquired.

25. That we must believe Gods word no further than we have evidence of truth from the nature of the matter revealed.

[Page 299] 26. That Mahomet is the Paraclet promised by Christ.

V. Of the Creation.

1. That this world was from eternity, and not made in time.

2. That an evil God made this earth, or a mid­dle God between the perfect God and the evil one (As old Hereticks variously spake.)

3. Or that such an evil, or middle God made the body of man.

4. Or that such an evil, or middle agent made the woman.

5. That God made sin, and death and disorder before sin deserved them.

6. That when God had made this world, he left it to the Government of certain Angels, who fell and necessitated man to fall.

7. That the World is Gods body, and he the Soul of it, and no more.

8. That the world came by chance, or by a for­tuitous conflux of atomes, and was not made by Gods wise and powerful word or action.

9. That there is nothing in the world but mat­ter and motion, and the various shapes of matter caused by motion: or at least, nothing but God and matter and motion, and its modal ef­fects.

10. That the world is Infinite, as being made by that infinite God, who made it as great and good as he was able, and therefore infinite in his own similitude.

VI. Of Angels and Spirits, and Heaven.

1. That men can certainly tell the space, num­ber and order of all the celestial regions, orbs, or [Page 300] spaces, and the number of Angels, or when the first were made.

2. That this world or earth was made by An­gels only.

3. That the fallen Angels were necessitated by God to sin, and to tempt man.

4. That God hath so left to Angels the Govern­ment of this world, as not to govern it himself, save by such leaving all to their free contingent a­ction.

5. That all that which scripture ascribeth to the Holy Ghost is done only by Angels.

6. That we may know which are our Guardian Angels.

7. That men may choose their own guardian An­gels or spirits.

8. That we must pray to Angels though we see them not or have no special notice when they hear us.

9. That Angels lusted after women and begat Giants of them before the deluge.

10. That they fight with each other for the go­vernment of the Kingdoms of this world; (even the good Angels among themselves.)

VII. Of Man, as man, in his nature and first state.

1. That mans soul is God, or part of God.

2. Or is only a part or act of an universal soul of the world, and is no singular or individual sub­stance in each one.

3. That the soul is but a quality, motion or acti­on of a higher agent.

4. That the soul is mortal and dieth with the body; being either annihilated, or asleep, or sunk into a meer potentia; or hath no knowledge, will, [Page 301] sense or action; or is swallowed up in the univer­sal soul so as to lose its proper or numerical ex­istence.

5. That mans soul is of the same species as the bruits.

6. That mans spirit only is immortal and con­tinueth after death, but not his soul.

7. That mans soul or spirit was from eternity.

8. That it was made before this earth, and sinned in a former body, and was thrust for punishment into this body and world.

9. That the souls departed of men, are sent back into beasts, or at least into other men, and so are oft born.

10. That mens souls are fallen Angels.

11. That Adams soul was made first male and female before it was incorporate.

12. That Adams body was the cloathing that God made him after he sinned, having no body before.

13. That neither soul nor body was made af­ter Gods image (as Epiphanius ill affirmeth).

14. That mans Vital faculty, Intellect, and Will, are but accidents of his soul.

15. That the soul is moved but as an engine by an extrinsick cause, and hath not any Essential self­moving form or power.

16. That no man can do more or less or other­wise than he doth, because God as the first mover necessitateth all his actions.

17. That the will hath no habits, but a meer power and liberty.

18. That Adam and Eve had no holiness, or holy inclination to love God as God and to obey him, but a meer neutral possibility.

[Page 302] 19. That Adam had not help or strength suf­cient, or necessary power to have forborn his first sin.

20. That man was made only to be an inha­bitant of earth, as Angels are of heaven; and is not capable of an higher habitation.

VIII. Of sin, Original and subsequent.

1. That God is as much the Cause of all sin, as he is of darkness and such other privations: and that he made Adam sin; or that he irresistibly pre­determineth every ones will to every forbidden act which it doth.

2. That the Devil irresistibly necessitated Adam to sin, and so some superior cause did the Devils.

3. That sin is not only the occasion of much good, but a proper cause, and as such is decreed, willed and caused by God.

4. That God made a Covenant with Adam, that if he sinned, all that came of him should be repu­ted sinners, farther than they were really seminally in him, and by natural in-being and derivation were partakers of his guilt, and corruptions; and so that God made them sinners by his arbitrary im­putation, when naturally they were not so.

5. That Original sin necessitateth every sin of omission or act which ever after followeth in the world.

6. That sin being a meer privation, all are by nature deprived of all moral good, and so all are equally evil, and as bad as those in hell, notwithstand­ing any thing that the Redeemer hath done to pre­vent it.

7. That infants have no Original sin; no guilt of Adams sin, and no sinful pravity of nature.

[Page 303] 8. That Infants have no participation of guilt of any nearer parents sin, but Adams only, and God doth not inflict any punishment on children for their fathers sin, because of their derived guilt by nature.

9. That therefore Infants have no need of a Saviour to suffer for their sin, nor of a par­don.

10. That Infants need not the Holy Ghost to sanctifie them, by killing any sinful pravity or inclination in them.

11. That sin was not the cause of death.

12. That sin deserveth not hell, or an everlast­ing punishment.

IX. Of Redemption and the Covenant of grace made to Adam and Noah.

1. That God made no promise, Covenant or gift of grace to Adam after his fall.

2. That God made the Covenant of grace only to Adam and the elect, and not to all mankind in him, no not as it is a Conditional Covenant.

3. That all except the elect, or most or many at least are still under that first Covenant of In­nocency made with Adam, as prescribing to them and requiring of them sinless innocency or perfe­ction as the only condition of their salvation; As if God still said to sinners, I will save you if you are not sinners.

4. That the Covenant of Grace was made only to and with Christ, and no other.

5. That there was and is an eternal Covenant of Redemption made between God the Father and the Son, which is neither Gods Essence, a Divine Person or Decree, but a proper Covenant.

[Page 304] 6. That God gave no grace, pardon or salva­tion by Covenant, till Christs incarnation.

7. That the same faith objectively considered, was necessary to salvation under the first edition of the Covenant of grace as under the last, viz. to be­lieve that Jesus the son of Mary is or must be the Messiah, and that he must die for sin, and rise again and intercede in heaven, and return to raise us and judge the world.

8. That Christs Disciples were not in a state of justification till they believed all this.

9. That all men shall not be judged as they believed and kept (or brake) the condition of the Covenant in that edition which they were under, but all according to the tenor of the last edition.

10. That no faith in God as gracious and mer­ciful to sinners, and as pardoning sin, was necessary before Christs incarnation.

11. That God before did pardon sin without any respect to the future sacrifice, and merit of Christ as mans Redeemer.

12. That no souls were glorified or received to heaven and happiness, till Christ's resurrection, but reserved in some Limbus till then.

X. Of the Covenant made with Abraham, and Moses Law, and the Israelites.

1. That Abraham was the first true Believer, or the first to whom a promise or Covenant of Grace was made.

2. That the Covenant of Grace was made to no other people in the world, but the Israelites were Gods whole visible Church on earth, and did not only add to them a Covenant of peculiarity.

3. That this promise to Abraham and his seed in whom all Nations of the Earth should be blessed, [Page 305] extended no way to the believing Gentiles.

4. That all Heathens children that were circum­cised were certainly saved, if they died before actu­al sin.

5. That Moses Law bound men to no spiritual duty, nor promised any future reward or happiness after this life.

6. That Moses Law was given by an evil God or evil Angel.

7. That Moses Law was the same as the Law or Covenant of perfect innocency first made for Adam.

8. That all the world was bound to keep Mo­ses Law as such even the judicial and ritual parts of it.

9. That under that Law God gave no grace to obey him.

10. That the converted Jews are still bound to keep Moses Law.

11. Yea and all converted Gentiles now:

12. That we are bound to form our Church go­vernment according to the Mosaical or Jewish.

XI. Of Redemption by Christ incarnate; and the Gospel or last edition of the Covenant of Grace.

1. That Christ brought no more Grace than was as ordinarily given before his incarnation.

2. That he was habitually or actually a sinner, guilty of original or actual sin.

3. That Christ was properly reputed a sinner by God, or a proper sinner by imputation, in that he took our sin to be his own, or God took him to be guilty of the fault of all our sin; and not only one that undertook to bear the punishment de­served.

[Page 306] 4. That Christ was as guilty of our sin as we were of Adams.

5. That Christ was habitually or actually holy, and fulfilled all righteousness in the Legal person of every elect person, or of every true believer, so that the Law therefore judgeth them to have been what Christ was, or done what Christ did therein, they doing it in him.

6. That Christ was not a satisfying sacrifice for sin.

7. That Christs satisfaction and merit were not sufficient for their proper use and effect, without our satisfaction and merit to make up their defect.

8. That Christ was not the Saviour of the world, or that God did not so love the world as to give his only son, that who ever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. Or that God hath made no such promise or grant to all to whom the Gospel cometh, that if they repent and believe in Christ they shall be pardoned and saved: or that this conditional universal pardon was no fruit of Christs death.

9. That none but the elect have any mercy pur­chased by the death of Christ, nor are bound to be thankful to him for any such.

10. That Christ suffered the same pains of hell, hatred of God, and torment of Conscience, which all the elect should else have suffered.

11. That Christs Righteousness and sacrifice are not the true meritorious cause of our righteousness, pardon, justification and salvation.

12. That Christ must be oft really sacrificed.

13. That Christ at his last supper did make the bread and wine become his real body, then living; and that it was broken and his blood shed by him­self really before he was crucified by the Jews.

14. That Christ felt no real pain (as St. Hilary Pic [...]av. ill said).

[Page 307] 15. That Christ died not but another in his shape.

16. That Christ took not his body into Hea­ven.

17. That all power is not given to Christ, nor are Kings and Magistrates his Ministers, nor hold their power by him.

18. That Christ is no Law-giver, and made no Law.

19. That he is not our sufficient intercessor with God, by whom we may have access and accep­tance.

20. That Christ sendeth not forth his spirit to be his agent and witness to the end of the world, in sanctifying his elect.

XII. Of Faith, Repentance and sanctification.

1. That Faith, repentance, holiness and obe­dience are not necessary in us to our salvation, be­cause Christ was righteous for us, and repented and believed in our stead.

2. That believers are under no Law of God.

3. That he may be pardoned and saved who for­beareth only the outward Acts of sin through meer fear, and is absolved by a Priest, though he love sin better than holiness, and had rather keep it than leave it.

4. That loving others, and doing them good and no harm is all the Love of God and Holiness that is necessary to salvation.

5. That Faith and Repentance are of nature or by meer natural power and free-will, and not the gift of grace through Christ.

6. That God giveth grace equally to all till good improvers make a difference.

[Page 308] 7. That men may be holy in the restored Image of God without the grace of the Holy Ghost.

8. That men need not the Spirit of God to help them to pray or preach.

9. That the sins of sanctified persons, are not judged by God to be theirs; and that he seeth them not and hateth them not, nor punisheth them with any correcting punishment.

10. That they that have the spirit need not study for matter, method, words or affection.

11. That they are perfect, or their duties perfect who have the spirit, because all the spirits works are perfect.

12. That the day of grace may be so past with some, as that sincere faith, and repentance, and a changed will that loveth holiness, and consenteth to the Covenant of grace, may be rejected of God, and unavailable to salvation.

XIII. Of Justification and pardon.

1. That God forgiveth the deserved punishment of no sin, but requireth it of the sinner himself, and Remission is only the destroying of sinful dis­positions and preventing future sin, and not for­giving the punishment of what is past, or will be.

2. That Christ's sacrifice and righteousness is not the meritorious cause of our pardon, Justification, adoption and Salvation.

3. That Christ is not the Lord our righteousness, or made of God to us, wisdom, righteousness, san­ctification and redemption; nor we made the Righ­teousness of God in him: or that it is not the Righte­ousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ, which justi­fieth us.

4. That Christ suffered for his own sin, being either actually a sinner, or our sins made properly [Page 309] his own sin, (in the guilt of culpability, and not only of punishment) before he suffered for them. And so that he was by real imputation or Divine reputation, the greatest Atheist, infidel, malignant, murderer, adulterer, &c. in the world, these sins be­ing in their forms, or culpable guilt translated from all the elect on him.

5. That all the elect were justified from eterni­ty, or before they were born, or while they were no true believers, by that justification which the Scrip­ture meaneth when it saith we are justified by faith.

6. That the elect are justified by the Law of in­nocency made to Adam, or the Law of works made to and by Moses to the Jews; because they were Legally in Christ fulfilling them, and did perfectly fulfill them in him.

7. That the sense of the Law of innocency was, [Thou or Christ for thee shall be innocent and o­bey perfectly to the end, or die].

8. That the Gospel Covenant or Donation is not Gods justifying instrument, gift or Law.

9. That God reputeth us to have been perfectly innocent from our birth to our death (or at least since our believing) because we were so Legally in Christ, and yet reputeth us such sinners as need a Saviour, and Christ suffered for our sins, though we were so innocent.

10. That the elect have no need of pardon at all, because they are perfectly obedient by imputa­tion.

11. That at least we need no pardon of any sin committed since we believed, save only of tempo­ral correction.

12. That pardon and justification actually remit all sin at once that is yet to come, (and is yet no sin) as well as that which is past and present▪

[Page 310] 13. That pardon and justification are perfect as soon as we believe.

14. That therefore no true penalty, no not cor­rective is inflicted or remaineth after our first faith.

15. Therefore to such none of their wants of grace or Communion with God, nor permitted sin, nor suffering nor death, are any true punishments for sin, for the demonstration of paternal justice.

16. That therefore no believer must pray for the pardon of sin (it being perfected already) nor seek for it of Christ by faith.

17. That therefore there is no further condition or means to be used by us for pardon of new sins, or for fuller pardon.

18. Therefore there is no other or perfecter ju­stification at the last judgement.

19. That faith is not imputed to us for Righte­ousness.

20. That against the false accusations [that we were impenitent, infidels, ungodly, hypocrites] we need no personal Repentance, faith, piety or sincerity, to justifie us as the righteousness contrary to this ac­cusation, but only the imputed righteousness per­formed personally by Christ himself.

21. That we shall not be judged according to our works, nor in any respect justified before God by our works, nor is St. James so to be understood, nor Christ that saith, By thy words thou shalt be justi­fied, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Mat. 12.

22. That men are justified by the works of the Law of Moses or of innocency, or some other works, which must be joyned to the righteousness of Christ, to make it sufficient to its proper part or office; and are not only subordinate thereto.

[Page 311] 23. That we are justified by faith, only in our Consciences; as knowing that we are otherwise justified before God.

24. That we are justified only by inherent righte­ousness; and that pardon of sin and acceptance for Christs merits and mediation, is none of our justi­fication at all.

25. That a man unjustified must believe that he is justified, that thereby he may be justified (tak­ing justification in the same sense).

26. That God doth not make men just before he sentenceth them just.

27. That Christ justifieth only by his Priestly Office and not by his judicial sentence.

28. That we are justified by no act of faith, but only by the act of resting on (or also accepting) Christs imputed justifying righteousness.

29. That being perfectly justified by the first act of faith, we are never after justified as to continu­ation, by any act after that first instant.

30. That to expect justification by believing in God the Father, or the Holy Ghost, and in Christ as Christ, in his person and whole office of a saviour, and not only by the foresaid single act, is to seek justifi­cation by works, reprehended by Paul, or unlawfully.

31. That faith or repentance are not by Gods gift or promise made any conditions necessary to be done by us, through his grace, that we may have right to Christ or pardon or justification.

32. That our believing in Christ is of equal impossibility to us as our personal perfect innocency.

33. That to believe Heaven, and that God will glorifie us for the sake of Christ, and as a Reward­er of them that diligently seek him, is no act of that faith which justifieth; as a Condition of justi­fication or salvation.

[Page 312] 34. That it is all mens duty to believe that they are elect.

35. That justifying faith is only a full assurance that we are elect.

36. That true faith is inconsistent with doubting or imperfection.

37. That it is unlawful to trust to any thing in us or done by us as a means or condition of par­don or salvation, though but subordinate to Christ.

38. That no meer death-bed faith or repen­tance is accepted to salvation or pardon, because good works are part of the condition.

39. That there is no degree of pardon given by God to any but the elect that are saved.

40. That all praise that is ascribed to any thing in our selves or done by us, or to any subordinate act of man, as a means to our salvation or final ju­stification, is a dishonour to God and our Saviour, and derogateth from his glory.

XIV. Of Baptism.

1. That Baptism was instituted only for the first times, or for reception of Infidel countreys when converted, and not for to be continued in Christi­an Countreys and Churches.

2. That outward Baptism by water will save the adult that have not true Repentance, and faith and sincere consent to the baptismal Covenant.

3. That all the children of Infidels, Heathens, Hereticks or wicked men are certainly saved, if they be baptized and have Godfathers professing Christianity (though those Godfathers be wicked hypocrites, and take not the infants by adoption or otherwise as their own, nor really intend to educate them as they promise) and if they die [Page 313] before they actually sin; and that this is certain by the word of God.

4. That all the baptized are delivered from all culpable pravity of soul, or inherent sin.

5. That it is certain that all baptized Infants of what parents soever, have special grace infused into their souls by the Holy Ghost in Bap­tism.

6. That baptism entering all into the Catholick Church, obligeth all the baptized to the Bishop of Rome as the supreme head or pastor.

7. That the Infants of believers dedicated to God are holy only as legitimate and not bastards, but are not as a holy seed under promise to be en­tered into the Church and Covenant of God by baptism; but all baptized in Infancy must be taken as no visible Christians till they are rebap­tized.

8. That none that sin grosly after baptism, are upon their repentance to be received into the com­munion of the Church.

9. That it is not necessary to baptism of the adult that they make any covenant, promise or vow to God, nor to the baptism of Infants that Parents or Proparents devote them to Christ by entering them into an obliging Vow or Cove­nant.

10. That Baptism was not instituted to invest the baptized in his right to pardon and life, but only to enter him into the visible Church, where as a disciple he may learn how to come to such right and pardon hereafter.

11. That the adult duely baptized have no right to the Communion of the Church, though they profess to continue their Covenant-consent, and none disprove the truth of their profession, un­less [Page 314] they have some higher qualification and title.

XV. Of the Lords Supper.

1. That the Lords Supper is but an ordinance for young or carnal Christians; but they that have the Spirit must live without it, as being above out­ward signs and ordinances: And so of the Lords Day.

2. That the Bread broken and Wine poured out to be eaten and drunk, are not the representa­tive Sacramental body and blood of Christ delive­ring us the real benefits of his sacrifice, to be recei­ved by faith.

3. That after the words of Consecration duly uttered, there remaineth no true substance of bread or wine, but all is turned into the very body and blood of Christ.

4. That the wine may justly be denyed the Lai­ty, and they be required to communicate by recei­ving only the bread consecrated; or the body of Christ, as they call it, without the other half of the Sacrament.

5. That Christs flesh and blood is really and pro­perly sacrificed by the Priest.

6. That ordinarily the Priest is to partake alone and the people only to be Spectators.

7. That the consecrated host being Christs body is to be adored as very God.

8. That this sacrifice is to be offered by the Priest for the living and the dead, and to ease the pains of Purgatory.

9. That God himself here deceiveth the soundest senses of all men, making that to be no bread or wine which their senses and intellects of things as sensate, apprehend as such.

[Page 315] 10. That it is heresie and deserveth exterminati­on or death to deny these things of the Sacrament, and to believe our senses that there remaineth true bread and wine after Consecration.

11. That unbelievers and wicked men in the Eucharist, truly eat the real body of Christ.

12. That the bare receiving of the Sacrament, though without true faith and repentance, will procure pardon of sin from God, and Salva­tion.

XVI. Of the Church.

1. That the Church of Christ, as visible, is lost or ceased, or hath been lost since the Apo­stles days, so that there was a time when Christ had no visible subjects and disciples.

2. That the Church differeth from Heathens and Infidels only in opinion, and not in real ho­liness.

3. That only the Clergy or Rulers are the Church of Christ.

4. That Christ hath instituted a vicarious visible Head of all the world, or of all the Church on earth, under himself, to whom all Christians must be sub­ject, as their chief Pastor.

5. That this Head, or universal Church Mo­narch is the Bishop of Rome: or else a general Council.

6. That this Head or chief Ruler (Pope, Coun­cil or both) hath universal Legislative power, to make Laws obliging the whole world, or the whole Church.

7. That this Head is made the judge to all Christians, what shall be taken for articles of faith, and what for heresie; and all are bound to believe such judgement, or at least to acquiesce in submissi­on to it.

[Page 316] 8. That no one is bound to believe the Scripture or the Christian Verity, but for or upon the propo­sal of the Pope, Council or both.

9. That such judgement and proposal is certain and infallible.

10. That this Church and its authority must be be­lieved to be given by Christ, before men can believe in Christ himself.

11. That this Pope, Council or both have power from Christ to excommunicate such as deserve ex­communication throughout all the world, and to judge who deserve it.

12. That the Pope hath power to call general Councils out of all Christian Churches or nations on earth and to preside in them, and to approve or reject and invalidate their decrees.

13. That all Churches are bound to send Bishops or Delegates to [...]uch Councils, if required by the Pope.

14. That a General Council approved by the Pope is infallible in all points of faith; else not.

15. That the Pope, or Council, or both may judge all Christian Kings, and depose such as they judge deserve it, and give their Countreys to others, and disoblige their subjects from their Oaths of Allegiance.

16. That they may interdict Gods worship to whole Countreys and Kingdomes, and the Clergy must obey such interdicts.

17. That whom they or the Clergy judge here­ticks, all are bound to avoid as hereticks, be they never so falsly judged such.

18. That at least in ordine ad spiritualia the Pope hath power over Princes and their Crowns.

19. That the Clergy owe not obedience to Princes, nor may be judged by them.

[Page 317] 20. That the universal Church can have no er­rour in any point which God hath revealed in his word.

21. That the universal Church hath erred, or may err in points essential to Christianity, or ab­solutely necessary to Salvation; (and so be­come no Church, and Christ no King or Head of it.)

22. That no one is a member of the universal Church, who is not a member of some particular Church.

23. That none are in the universal Church who are not the subjects of Diocesan Bishops.

24. That a man not baptized by one that hath Ordination from a Diocesan Bishop, is no member of the universal Church.

25. That a member of the visible Church cannot be certainly known, because it cannot be known what is essential to a Christian, seeing it depends on the sufficiency of the proposal of truths, which cannot be known of many or most.

XVII. Of Gods worship, preaching and Mini­sters, and his day.

1. That there are more Gods than one, and se­veral Countreys may worship their several Gods.

2. That if we keep our hearts to God, we may bow down before Images as Idolaters do.

3. That it is not necessary that we actually love God above once a year, or once a month, or week at most.

4. That if we fear Gods wrath, and love one another, we may be saved without any other love to God.

[Page 318] 5. That no higher Love to God is necessary, than to love him for our selves and others, as a Benefactor and means to the Creatures good.

6. That Gods word is not to be trusted as infal­libly true.

7. That because God will be spiritually worship­ped, outward bodily worship is not necessary to spiritual persons.

8. That he that loveth, trusteth and serveth God so, as yet he loveth, trusteth and serveth the flesh and the world and sinful pleasure more pre­valently, may yet be saved without more.

9. That outward worship without inward love and holiness may serve to Salvation.

10. That we may give Divine worship to An­gels, or glorified souls, or to the Cross or I­mages.

11. That if prayer move not or change not Gods will, it is needless to use much prayer.

12. That it is lawful to require the people to pray and praise God in an unknown language, in­stead of words which they understand, and such prayer and worship they must preferr or use if the Pope, or Bishops command it.

13. That any man may make himself or become a Pastor or Teacher of the Church in office, who thinketh himself fit, without mans election, or or­dination.

14. That none are true Ministers of Christ who are not sent by the Bishop of Rome, or some autho­rized by him, or ordained by such.

15. That no Ministers are owned as such by Christ, nor are the Sacraments administred by them valid, that are not ordained by Diocesans, or by such as had an ordination themselves by an unin­terrupted succession from the Apostles down by [Page 319] Diocesan Bishops; (or a Canonical succes­sion.)

16. That all Ministers ought to cease preaching the Gospel, and all Churches or persons publick worshipping God, who are forbidden by the Pope (as some say) or by Bishops (as others say) or by the King or Magistrate (as others).

17. That it is sinful for Presbyters to preach (say some) or to pray (say others) publickly in any other words, save those that are written down for them or prescribed, by the authority ei­ther of Pope, Council, Bishops or Civil Magi­strates.

18. That it is sinful to instruct the people, or to pray to God or praise him, in a form of words premeditated, or prescribed by any other, or agreed on in Councils.

19. That it is sinful to joyn with any Pastor, who speaketh any unlawful words, in preaching, prayer or other ministration.

20. That it is unlawful to hold Communion with any Church, where scandalous sinners are pre­sent, or are tolerated members.

21. That men may lawfully change the essential or integral parts of Gods commanded wor­ship, by diminution, or additions of the like.

22. That spiritual men are not bound to be members of particular Churches, or put themselves under the guidance of any Pastors.

23. That all the people are bound to believe all that to be Gods word which the Bishop, or Priests tell them is so.

24. That the people are bound to do in Gods worship whatever Bishops (or other Rulers) command them, without examining and judging whether it be agreeable to the Law of God.

[Page 320] 25. That Pope, Bishops or Priests can forgive sin even as to the punishment in another life, by immediate pardoning power in themselves, and not only by preparing men for pardon, and offering and declaring it, and delivering it ministerially by application from Gods word, and in order hereto judging who are capable of Consolatory and Sacra­mental applications.

26. That God pardoneth in heaven all that the Priest pardoneth on earth, though erroneously and by mistake.

27. That God will condemn to hell, all that an erring or malicious Pope, Bishop or Priest con­demneth.

28. That it is lawful to separate from and dis­own Communion with all parties of Christians dif­fering in things not necessary to Gods acceptance, except that one party which we judge to be rightest or allowed by the higher powers.

29. That the first day of the week was not se­parated to Divine worship in commemoration of Christs resurrection, by the Spirit of Christ in his Apostles, or is not to be observed to that holy use, any more than any other day.

30. That it is lawful to swear unnecessarily, and to use Gods name lightly and vainly in our talk.

31. That perjury is lawful for our safety, or in obedience to man.

32. That Popes, Councils or Bishops can dis­solve the obligations of our Vows to God, or Oaths of fidelity to Princes, though the matter be lawful and good, and otherwise God dissolve them not.

[Page 321] 33. That all Oaths and Vows are to be inter­preted as not binding us longer than it is for our commodity or safety.

34. That we may take Oaths imposed in words whose common sense is false or sinful though not otherwise expounded by the imposer, because in charity we must suppose always that our Rulers mean nothing against Gods word, or their own, or the peoples good.

35. That it is unlawful to break any Vow or Oath which was unlawfully imposed on us by man, or unlawfully taken by our selves, though the mat­ter of it be good or lawful.

36. That no Vow bindeth us to that which we were bound to before.

That all Vowing is sinful; and all swearing when lawfully called, for the attesting truth and ending strife.

XVIII. Of our duty to our Rulers and Pastors, and their duty.

1. That Christianity so nullifieth all natural and civil relations or obligations, that Children, sub­jects and servants owe nothing to Parents, Rulers or Masters, but what they are bound to in meer justice and gratitude to them as benefactors, or by volun­tary consent and promise.

2. That Parents owe nothing for their children but bodily provision, and not to educate them in Godly and Christian doctrine and practice.

3. That Princes may seek their own pleasure and wealth against the common good, or above it.

4. That they may lawfully make war upon neigh­bour Countreys, only to enlarge their power or dominions, or satisfie their pride, passion or wills.

[Page 322] 5. That they, or Bishops, may fine, imprison, banish or put to death all Subjects that are not of their religion, or may compell all to those ways of worshipping God, which they shall judge best, be they right or wrong.

6. That Gods Laws are not obligatory to Kings and Kingdomes.

7. That Princes or people may preferr their worldly interest before the interest of Religion, Souls and God; or may set them in opposition against it.

8. That Princes must imprison, or otherwise punish such as are excommunicated and not absol­ved by the Clergy, without knowing whether the cause be just or unjust, by their own exploration.

9. That Princes may break Oaths and Cove­nants when their interest requireth it.

10. That subjects have no liberty or propriety in any thing, either life, wives, children, or estates, but what is at the meer will of Princes to dispose of as they please.

11. That it is lawful for subjects to disobey the authority and commands of the higher powers, be­cause Christ hath freed us from subjection to men.

12. That all Governing authority is originally in the people and by them given to Rulers on what terms they please.

13. That therefore the people may depose any Princes where they see cause, or may call them to their bar and judge and punish them, having them­selves the highest governing power.

14. That if Princes injure the people, the peo­ple may therefore rebel, take arms against them, and depose them.

15. Contrarily that no people may defend their lives, houses or posterity, nor the chastity of their [Page 323] wives, by resisting any Tyrants, or against the will of Rulers, that have no true authority to destroy them.

16. That subjects may break their oaths of al­legiance, whenever their own worldly ends re­quire it, or if the Pope disoblige them.

17. That if one King wrong another, the wronged King may destroy all the others innocent subjects.

18. That no war is lawful.

19. That it is lawful to defame and dishonour Princes if they are sinners, though the contempt tend to disable them from necessary government.

20. That none but sanctified persons have true Governing power or dominion.

21. That children are bound to obey their pa­rents, subjects their Princes, and servants their Masters, in nothing but what they think is wisely or justly commanded them, though it be good or lawful in it self.

22. That Parents may not teach children forms of Catechism or prayer; nor command them any duty which the child will but say is against his Con­science, nor restrain him from any sin which he plead­eth Conscience for.

23. That Christian Parents in want may [...]ell their Children for slaves to Idolaters or Infidels, for supply.

24. That Children may disobey their parents in any matters of Religion, if the Pope, Bishop or Priest so command them.

XIX. Of Duties to our equals or neighbours as such.

1. That no man is bound to love another but for his own sake, and so far as he is beneficial to him.

[Page 324] 2. That we are not bound to do another a great­er good to the least hurt to our selves.

3. That men are not bound to love and preferr the common good of multitudes, of their Coun­trey, or the world, before their own commodities or lives.

4. That no killing of malefactors is lawful by laws and judgement.

5. That it is lawful to kill our enemies, for meer private revenge, or to prevent some evil to our selves, though they are innocent.

6. That it is lawful to have many wives at once.

7. That it is lawful to put away wives, or for wives to depart, whenever their fleshly or world­ly interest seemeth to require it.

8. That it is lawful to commit adultery, at least by the husband or wives consent.

9. That fornication is no sin, or no great sin.

10. That it is lawful when our need doth urge us, to rob, steal, defraud or oppress others.

11. That restitution or reparation is no duty.

12. That it is no sin to deceive another by bor­rowing when we are unable and unlikely to repay, and do conceal this.

13. That it is not a duty for them that are able, to labour in some lawful useful calling, for their own maintenance and the common good.

14. That it is lawful to lie for our commodity when it hurts not others.

15. That it is lawful by backbiting, slandering and false witness to disgrace our enemies, or be reven­ged on them.

[Page 325] 16. That it is lawful for Judges knowingly or rashly to pass unjust judgement against the innocent or just, and for advocates or others to pro­mote it.

17. That it is lawful for the poor to covet other mens goods, and for men to desire and endeavour to draw from others whatever seemeth desirable or needful to our selves.

18. That it is no sin to love the world, flesh and life, better than God, Christ, grace and glory.

19. That it is no sin to be discontent and impati­ent in our sufferings, nor a duty to deny our flesh­ly pleasure, profit or reputation, and life, for God and for spiritual and everlasting benefits.

20. That it is no duty to love our enemies, for­give wrongs, and forbear each other in their infirmi­ties and provocations.

XX. Of Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell.

1. That the souls of believers go not to Christ and happiness, nor the souls of the wicked to mi­sery before the Resurrection of the body at the last judgement.

2. That there is no Resurrection of the body; at least of the wicked or of Infants.

3. That Christ will not come in glory to judge the world.

4. That we shall not be judged according to what we have done in the body.

5. That the faithful shall not be justified and judg­ed to life everlasting.

6. That the wicked shall not be condemned to hell, or everlasting punishment with the Devils; but without holiness men may see God and be saved.

[Page 326] 7. That no man can know that he hath certain right to Salvation.

8. That there is a fire of Purgatory where those that after shall be saved must make penal satisfaction for some of their sins, and from which the Popes pardons, and masses and other mens me­rits may deliver souls.

9. That the justified shall not live in Glory with God and Jesus Christ and the Angels and the tri­umphant Church.

10. That there is an aereal life of trial before the final judgement, where the justified and wick­ed souls shall again live under conditions of yet winning or losing their heavenly glory.

11. That the Devils and damned shall all be delivered at last, and either be saved, or have another life of tryal. And the Glory of the bles­sed also will have an end, and they must by revolu­tion be tryed in flesh here again.

12. That it is not a duty to seek first the King­dome of God and its righteousness and lay up a treasure in heaven, and there have our hearts and conversations; and thence to fetch our mo­tives and our chiefest hopes and comforts, un­der all the sufferings of this transitory life, and the expectation of our certain change.

[Page 327] THis or such a Catalogue of dangerous do­ctrines is not to be renounced by Ministers, but to lie before the Church Rulers to tell them what to forbid Ministers to preach, and moderate­ly and wisely to rebuke or restrain the offenders as wisdome shall direct them, according to the quality of the persons and the offence, and their frequency, obstinacy, or impenitency in offend­ing. Not that every one should be ejected or silenced that holdeth or preacheth any one such errour; but only those who consideratis consi­derandis, are found to do more harm than good.

The Third Part OF SCHISM: OR The False Dividing Terms and Means OF UNITY and PEACE.


What Schism is, and what are its Causes and Effects.

Sect. I. SCHISM (or Divisions among Christians) is by the Common Confession of all Christians a sin against God, and a dishonour, and hurt, and danger to the Church, but especially to the guilty: But what it is, and who are the guilty, men are not so much agreed on: Each Party laying it upon the other, and one taking that for Damnable Schism, which another taketh for his greatest Duty: And while the guilty are no better known, the Division is continued, and few repent.

Sect. II. SCHISM or Division (or Rents) among Christians is considerable.

  • [Page]I. As to the Agents, when it is by
    • 1. Many.
    • 2. Few.
      • 1. The Pastors or Rulers,
      • 2. The People; either
        • 1. The Learned.
        • 2. The Ignorant.
  • II. The Terminus; as it is dividing
    • 1. In a Church, and not from it
      • 1. From their Government
        • 1. Of one
        • 2. Of More
          • 1. Few
          • 2. Many
            • 1. Sound.
            • 2. Unsound.
          • 3. From the Universal Church.
      • 2. Communion
    • 2. From a Church
  • III. The Act: As
    • 1. In kind
    • 2. In degree, which both are either
      • 1. Inward
        • 1. Of Mind
          • 1. Dividing Opinions
            • 1. Of Doctrines
              • 1. Of Faith
              • 2. Practice
                • 1. Worship.
                • 2. Conversation.
            • 2. Of Persons, by consent.
          • 2. Ignorance of necessary means of Unity.
        • 2. Of will and passion
          • 1. Wrath and uncha­ritableness
            • 1. To things.
            • 2. Persons.
          • 2. Love to
            • 1. Division
            • 2. Dividers
      • 2. Outward, by
        • 1. Words
          • 1. Of Persons
            • 1. Single
              • 1. Rulers
              • 2. People
            • 2. Collective: the Church
          • 2. Things of
            • 1. Doctrine
            • 2. Practice
              • 1. Towards God
              • 2. Towards Men
        • 2. Deeds
          • 1. Separating
            • 1. Morally by merit
            • 2. Actually
          • 2. Promoting Schism
            • 1. Drawing Others
            • 2. Resist­ing
              • 1. Uniting Persons
              • 2. Uniting Means
                • Doctrine Acts
  • [Page] IV. The Effects
    • 1. On Christians
      • 1. Single
        • 1. The Dividers
        • 2. Others, viz.
          • 1. Pastors
          • 2. People
            • 1. Weak
            • 2. Strong
      • 2. Collective
        • 1. That Church
        • 2. Other Churches
          • 1. Church
          • 2. State
          • 3. Families
    • 2. On those without
      • 1. Unbelievers.
      • 2. Enemies.

All these things should here distinctly be considered.

A large Scheme of the Causes, Nature and Effects of Schism and Contentions, with the Remedies, &c. I have prefixed to my Book called. Catholick Theology.

[Page 4] Sect. III. Of all the sins that men charge on one another, there is none used by Accusers more partially, and less regardably, than the charge of Heresie and Schism; the words usually signifying no more but that the accused differ in judgment from the accusers, and are not so obedient to them in matters of Religion as they expect: Insomuch that whoever can but get uppermost, or get the major Vote, doth usually make it his advantage to call himself Orthodox and Catholick, and all Dissenters Hereticks and Schismaticks. By which means Heresie and Schism are greatly promoted, while many that else would hate and oppose them, are tempt­ed by this usage, to take the words to be but proud mens reproach of the innocent.

Sect. IV. The full opening of all the parts of Schism, will be a work so long as may tire the Reader: I will therefore first give some notice of them transiently and briefly, and then examine some things that are by others supposed to be the Causes, and shew how uncapable di­vers means are of being terms of real Union and Con­cord, which some men venditate as the only or neces­sary terms.

Sect. V. 1. A Schism made by Many, is in some re­pects worse than by Few, and in some not all so bad. The sins of many hath more guilt than of one: Their ill success is like to be greater: Those will fall in with the multitude, who would despise a singular tem­pter. The Donatists prevailed in Africa by their num­ber: It seemeth by their Bishops in their Councils, that they were the greater part: It is not impossible for the far greater number to be the Schismaticks. But yet the guilt of singularity is more upon a single Separatist, or few, that dare separate from the whole, or most of the Churches.

Sect. VI. 2. The Bishops and Pastors are liable to the sin of Schism, as well as the ignorant people: Yea, as Mutinies seldom happen in an Army, at least to any [Page 5] great danger, unless they be headed by some Comman­der; so seldom hath there been any Heresie or Schism in the Church, of which some Bishops have not been the Leaders, or Chief Promoters, since Bishops were great in the world at least; and before, they, or some Elders were the Chief.

To instance in Paulus Samosit. Apollinarius, Novatus and his followers, Maximinus, and the Donatists, Ne­storius, Dioscorus, Severus, and the multitudes more, which Church-History mentioneth, and which made up the Councils at Ephes. 2. Arrinene, Sinnium, Milan, divers at Constantinople, Alexandria, and multitudes more, would be but to suppose my Reader a stranger to such History, which here I must not do; for then I cannot expect that he should take my word.

Sect. VII. It is a far greater sin in Bishops and Pastors to be Schismaticks, than in the People, because they are supposed to know more the Good of Concord, and the Means, and the Mischiefs of Schism, and the Causes and Remedies: And it is their Office to be the Preachers of Unity and Peace, and to save the People from the temp­tations which would draw them into such guilt.

Sect. VIII. Bishops and Pastors have greater tempta­tions to Schism than the People, and therefore have been so frequent in the guilt: especially Pride and Covetous­ness in them hath stronger Faith. And 1. Striving who shall be Greatest, and have Rule; 2. Who shall be thought Wisest and most Orthodox, have been the cause of most of the Schisms in the world: And 3. Some­times, (especially with the Presbyters and People) it hath been who shall be thought the Best and Holiest per­sons: But the two former have done much more than this, Goodness being that which corrupt nature doth not so much contend for, or the reputation of Holiness, as for Greatness and Wisdom, the commoner baits of Pride. Therefore Controversies, and Power, and [Page 6] Riches, have been the usual matters of Dissension.

Sect. IX. 3. True Learning tendeth to prevent and end Controversies, which Ignorance cherisheth (as it did with the Egyptian Monks, that turned Anthropomor­phites.) But a smattering in Learning, which amounts not to solidity, and a settled mind, is the common cause of Heresies and Schism, while praters must needs be taken for wise, and to know more than others, while they know nothing as they ought to know.

Sect. X. 4. Yet when the very Matter of a dividing Heresie is laid upon much Learning, or subtle Notions, or any words or things very hard to be understood, it sel­dom spreadeth far, and liveth long: Because it must cost men dear to understand it; and humane nature is sloth­ful, and multitudes will not be at long and hard study to know what is right or wrong: Therefore such as the Rosie Crucians, Behmens, &c. do but little harm.

Sect. XI. 5. It is not only separating from the Church, but causing divisions and contentions in a Church, which in Scripture is reproved as sinful Schism: And indeed this is the commonest acception of the word, as may be seen, Rom. 16. 17. 1 Cor. 1. 10. & 3. 3. & 11. 18. Matth. 12. 25. Luk. 12. 52, 53. 2 Cor. 12. 25. They that by ill Doctrine, or abuse of each other; or causless quarrels, do disturb the Churches Peace, and cause dis­affection, murmurings, and unbrotherly distance, are guilty of Schism, though they separate not.

Sect. XII. 6. Separating from a Church is sometimes a greater, and sometime a less fault than dividing in a Church, and sometime no fault, but a duty: It is a grea­ter fault 1. When the Church is by the Separater falsly accused of greater crimes; 2. And when it tendeth to greater hurt. It is a less fault when a man removeth from one Church to another, though causelesly, yet with less accusation of that Church, and less detriment to the common Cause. It is no fault when there is just cause, and it is done in a just manner.

[Page 7] Sect. XIII. 7. Separating from the Universal Church (which is the Universality of Christians as Headed by Christ) is separating from Christ, and ever damnable, and is Apostasie.

Sect. XIV. But to separate from some Accident or Integral part of the Church Universal, is not to sepa­rate from the Church: To differ from Christians in any thing essential to Christianity, is to apostatize, or separate from the whole Church, and so it is (à mate­ria) to renounce the universality of Christians: But to differ from the whole Church in some accident or in­tegral, is not to separate from it.

Sect. XV. To separate from any one Church, upon a reason common to all, is so far to separate from all; And upon a reason that is against the essence of all, it is to separate from all as Churches.

Sect. XVI. To separate from any Church by denyal of some one essential part of Christianity, though all the rest be confess'd, is Heresie in the strict sense, and Apostasie in a larger sense: and to deny all Christanity, is Apostasie in the strict sense: But the ancient Chri­stians called it Heresie, when men separated into di­stinct opposing Bodies as parties, from the generality of Christians, for the cherishing of any dangerous er­rour.

Sect. XVII. It is lawful to separate from particular Churches in all the degrees and Cases following. 1. It is lawful to abate our esteem of any Church or Pastor, as they are less worthy, or more corrupt or culpable, and to value more the more worthy.

Sect. XVIII. 2. It is lawful to remove ones dwelling from one City or Parish to another, for the just reasons of our worldly Affairs, and thereby to remove from other Churches: And it is lawful to do the same for the good of our Souls, when one Minister is bad, or less fit for our Edification, and one Church more cor­rupt [Page 8] and culpable, and others more sound and pure, and their Communion more conducible to our Sal­vation.

Sect. XIX. 3. Parish bounds being but humane In­stitutions for order sake, it is lawfull to be of a Church in a neighbour Parish, instead of ones own Parish Church, in case we have the allowance of the higher Powers; or without that, in cases of true necessity, or when consideratis considerandis, the Benefit is evidently greater than any hurt that it is like to do. For no man hath power to bind me to that which is to the danger or detriment of my Soul, unless (at least) some greater notorious interest of the Community require it.

If my Parish have an ignorant, unsound Teacher, or a weak, dull, dangerous, or unprofitable, careless, or scandalous, vicious Pastor, yet tolerable rather than to have none, or judged tolerable by the Rulers; and the next Parish have an able, holy, faithful Pastor, by whom I am more abundantly edified; I am not bound by Mans Commands to trust the conduct of my Soul with the former, or to deny my self the benefit of the latter, when I cannot remove my dwelling: For mens power is not to destruction, but to edification; and Or­der is for the Thing Ordered, and not against it. My Soul is more Christs and my own, than the Rulers. And I am not unthankfully to neglect the helps of­fered me by Christ (who ascended to give gifts to men for the edifying of his Body) merely because a man com­mandeth me so to do.

Sect. XX. 4. Even Pope Nicholas and some of the Popish Councils forbad all men to hear Mass from a fornicating Priest: Protestants should not be less strict: And it is as lawfull to depart from the Parish-Priest for being a Drunkard, a Scorner at Godliness, a Persecu­tor, an insufficient Guide of Souls, as for being a For­nicator. And many Councils forbid me hearing Here­ticks.

[Page 9] Sect. XXI. 5. There is so great difference between Teachers and Teachers that are tolerable, that some by unsuitableness are to some persons almost equal to none: some that preach only in high Language fit for learned ears, and withall never speak to the people singly in any private oversight, do little or no more good to some of the ignorant, than none: And God useth to work on Souls by Means, and according to the aptitude of Means: and therefore Heathens that have no Preachers are unconverted. And men are not to forsake the ordinary helps and hopes of their Sal­vation for Parish-Order, or mens Commands: Christ twice sent the Pharisees to learn the meaning of [I will have mercy and not sacrifice.] Souls are better than Ceremonies, as the Redeemer of Souls will judge.

Sect. XXII. 6. Where we cannot joyn with any Congregation without sin, imposed on us, by Professi­on, Subscription, Covenants, Oaths, Declaration, Pra­ctice or Omission, it is a Duty not to joyn with such.

Sect. XXIII. 7. When the Pastor is an Usurper, and hath no true title to that place, it is no Schism to desert him: By many Canons of Councils, and it seemeth to me by Scripture, the Bishop is an Usurper who hath not the consent of his Flock, and of the Ordainers. Much more he that is utterly intolerable by Insufficiency, Heresie, Tyranny, wickedness or Malignancy against that Piety which he should pro­mote.

Sect. XXIV. 8. Where one Diocesan Bishop hath many hundred Parishes under him, which have no other Bishop, and so are not taken for Churches but for Chappels or parts of a Church, (by them that take a Bishop to be a constitutive part of a Church) there he that goeth from his Parish, but not out of the Diocese, nor separateth from his Diocesan, doth not separate [Page 10] from that particular Church, as they esteem it.

Sect. XXV. 9. If the Temples and Tythes be given to a Priest or Bishop not lawfully called, nor consent­ed to by the Flocks, and another be lawfully called, whom the Magistrate casteth out of the Temples and Tythes, or denyeth them to him, it is the Peoples duty to adhere to the Pastor that is justly called: And it is not alwayes a duty to adhere to him whom the Magistrate imposeth, nor a sin to withdraw from him. The Churches met against the Magistrates will above three hundred years.

Sect. XXVI. 10. If a lawfull Bishop or Pastor be set over the Flocks, and either Magistrate or Synod unjustly depose him because he refuseth some heresie or sin, and set up another in his stead, especially, one justly suspected of unsoundness, the People are not hereby disobliged from their first Pastor; nor obliged to the latter: But yet if the latter be tolerable, the Magistrates Countenance may be so great an advan­tage to the one, and disadvantage to the other, espe­cially in case of Persecution, as may make it their du­ty in point of Prudence for the first Pastor and People to consent to the Change. And the same is to be said of the abusive deposition by a Synod.

Sect. XXVII. 11. If the Parish Minister be law­fully called, and the Pishop not so, he that separateth only from the Diocesan and not from that Parish-Church, is not guilty of Schism: The same I say of separating from an unlawfull Arch-Bishop or Metro­politan.

Sect. XXVIII. 12. If the species of the Office, Church-Policie or Form be unlawfull, it is a duty to separate from that species: On which account we separate from the Papal Church, the species of an Universal Church as Headed by one Man without Christs Institution be­ing unlawfull; though we separate from no Material [Page 11] part of Christs own universal Church, as such, and so related. And as the Mass Sacrifice seemeth to be of another species than Christs Sacrament; so the Mass-Priest seemeth to be a new species of Office (and un­lawfull) The case of Patriarks and other Church-Offi­ces and Forms of mans invention, is after to be spo­ken of.

Sect. XXIX. 8. There is a great deal of difference between the several local separations of men, accord­ing to their several reasons and mutual separations: No meer local separation without the mental is Schism, or sin. A man can be but in one place at once, and is locally separate or absent from all Churches in the World save one.

Sect. XXX. He that separateth from a true Church, accusing it to be no true Church, caeteris paribus, is of the highest degree of Separation, except that which is from all, or from many. And he that separateth as falsly accusing the Doctrine, Worship, Discipline or Conversation of the Church to be such as that a good Christian may not lawfully hold Communion with them therefore, is in the next degree of Schism: But he that withdraweth from one Church only for a greater convenience or profit, or for purer Doctrine, Worship, Discipline or Practice in another, is guilty either of no Schism, if he have just cause, or of little, if he have not just cause; while he no further accuseth the Church.

Sect. XXXI. To separate unwarrantably from a pure and sound Church, is a worse Schism (caeteris pari­bus) than to separate from an impure, unsound, macu­lated and undisciplined Church. And to separate from many (caeteris paribus) is worse than from one.

Sect. XXXII. If the Magistrate cast true Pastors and Churches out of his favour, and out of the Tem­ples and Tythes, and forbid their Meetings, and per­secute [Page 12] them unjustly, it is schismatical in any to call these men Schismaticks, and to deny Communion with them, as holding and calling them unlawful Conven­ticks, as long as it is not so. To separate from a pro­hibited Church may be Schism, as well as from an al­lowed one, when it is unjust.

Sect. XXXIII. 9. To separate in mind from the Doctrine of Faith, or in heart from the Love of Truth, Worship, or Brethren, is dangerous mental Schism in those that ordinarily assemble with them.

Sect. XXXIV. And all dividing Opinions, and Do­ctrines, and Practices, tending to open Schism, are schis­matical according to their degree; such are false ac­cusing thoughts of the Churches Doctrine, the Mini­sters Preaching, the Churches Worship, Order or Go­vernment, or of the persons of the Pastors or the People.

Sect. XXXV. 10. Secret ignorance or unbelief of necessary things, is inconsistent with that internal uni­on that maketh the Church Mystical. Negatives may be Schism as well as Positives.

Sect. XXXVI. 11. It is also internal Schism, when men hate, or love not Gods Word and Worship, and the Communion of Saints, and the Servants of God, but love Pleasures, Sin, Deceivers and Dividers better.

Sect. XXXVII. 12. Censuring, reviling, slandering, defaming Rulers, Teachers or People, or other Chur­ches of Christ, by tongue or writing, in Pulpits or in common talk, especially by published false Inve­ctives, is Schismatical: Of which many Controver­tists and Disputants are guilty, and many that re­proach oppressed Churches and Persons, are schisma­tical, in calling others Schismaticks and Hereticks.

Sect. XXXVIII. 13. Printing, preaching or pu­blishing Heresies, or any false dividing doctrines, is in its degree schismatical.

[Page 13] Sect. XXXIX. 14. Making ones self uncapable of Communion, and doing that which deserveth Excom­munication, is a rending ones self morally and by merit from the Church.

Sect. XL. 15. Causeless renouncing Communion with true Churches, especially also setting up Anti-churches unwarrantably against them, is Schism, according to the degrees before described; yea to hold Churches in other Countreys uncapable of Communion, and un­justly condemn them as Hereticks, is Schism.

Sect. XLI. 16. The more men draw with them into Schism, the more caeteris paribus it is aggrava­ted: And the Leaders and zealous Promoters are most guilty.

Sect. XLII. 17. It is aggravated Schism to oppose Re­concilers, or the healing Doctrines and Practices that are the proper means of unity, and to reproach, vilifie or resist them.

Sect. XLIII. 18. The greatest and commonest Schism is by Dividing Laws and Canons, which cause­lesly silence Ministers, scatter Flocks, and Decree the unjust Excommunication of Christians, and deny Com­munion to those that yield not to sinfull or unnecessa­ry ill-made terms of Communion: And Persecution, and Excommunications in the executing of such Laws, are Schism in its virulent exercise.

Sect. XLIV. 19. It is therefore schismatical to de­ny necessary toleration of Dissenters, and Liberty for such to worship God in several places, who by una­voidable difference of judgement in things tolerable, cannot without violence to their Consciences meet in the same place.

For instance, suppose the Parish-Churches have the use of Organs, and some cannot be perswaded but it [...]s sin: As the rest will not be deprived of the Musick [...]for their sakes, so it is unjust and schismatical that [Page 14] they should be denyed leave to worship God else­where without it. So if a Church will cast men from the Sacrament, because they dare not sit, or stand, or kneel, and will not allow them otherwise elsewhere to receive it. There is no possibility of Concord without tolerating some differing persons and Assem­blies.

Sect. XLV. 20. The worst Schism being that which is a separation from the universal Church, it followeth, that the most schismatical Church-Tyranny is that which unjustly excludeth men from the universal Churches visible Communion (for from the spiritual they cannot) such are, 1. The Anabaptists, that undisciple all Infants: 2. Those that deny Christendome to such as dare not use or receive the transient Image of the Cross as the engaging dedicating Symbol of Christi­anity, or the Children of such whose Parents dare not so present them, nor yet commit the Covenanting for them to men called Godfathers instead of themselves. 3. The Seekers, that say, all the Visible Church is lost. 4. But the greatest Schismaticks are the Pope and Papists, who unchurch all the Christian World save the Sect or Subjects of the Pope. To cut off Christs members from his Body Visible, or deny men their place in the universal Church, is a far heinouser Schism than to cast them out of, or rend them from a parti­cular Church only. 5. And the same guilt is on them that by unjust Excommunications pretend to cut men off from the Church universal: especially by unjust hereticating whole Parties, Countreys or Kingdoms, or interdicting whole Kingdoms Gods publick Wor­ship, as the Pope hath often done. And especially, when on such Pretences they excommunicate Kings, and raise warres in Kingdoms, and embroil the Chri­stian World in blood.

Sect. XLVI. The greatest Causes of Schisms, I have [Page 15] opened in the foresaid Scheme, and the Preface to my Cathol. Theologie, viz.

I. For Persons, 1. A Contentious Clergy, 2. Un­wise and wicked Rulers, 3. The deceived people.

II. For Qualities, (1) Remotely, 1. Selfishness and Worldliness in Hypocrites: 2. Hasty Judging of things not well understood (the common vice of Mankind.) 3. Slothfulness in Students. (2) Neerly: 1. Pride, or want of Self-acquaintance: 2. Ignorance and Er­ror: 3. Envy, Malice and Bitterness.

III. The instrumental Engines of Schism are, 1. In General, Corrupt departing from the Christian Sim­plicity: 2. Particularly: 1. From Simplicity of Do­ctrine by Dogmatists Words and Notions: 2. From Simplicity of Practice by superstitious Additions: 3. From Simplicity of Discipline by Church-Tyranny and dividing Laws and Impositions.

Sect. XLVII. The mischievous Effects of Schism I have also there named. 1. The Corruption of Do­ctrine by Wranglings. 2. The Corruption of Worship by faction, partiality and wrath. 3. The Corrupti­on of Discipline by Tyranny or Partiality. 4. Self-deceit by false Zeal: 5. The destruction of Holiness and a heavenly Conversation. 6. The Destruction of Love, and the life of Wrath, and manifold injuries. 7. The corrupting and undoing of Civil Rulers, by oppression, partiality, injustice, persecution, and warres. 8. Exposing the innocent to slanders, hatred and per­secution. 9. Hardening the ignorant, unbelieving and ungodly to their perdition. 10. Hindering the Suc­cess of the Gospel. 11. Corrupting the Churches, weakening them, shaming them, and strengthening their enemies, and drawing down Gods Judgments on them. 12. Shaking the Civil peace, grieving good Rulers, Teachers and People. 13. Cherishing all Vice, and hindering all men of the comforts and benefits [Page 16] of peaceable Communion with God and one another. Whoever are guilty of true Schism or Divisions, are guilty of all these consequent mischiefs in a respective degree.


The true Preventions and Remedies of Schism.

Sect. I. TO tell men what should be done for Unity, and Peace, and for Salvation, is far easier than to bring men to the Practice of it. And as it is hard to prevail even with one man, for all the Re­quisites hereto, so if most of the Christian World were so happy as to be thus qualified, yet as one diseased part doth trouble and endanger the whole body, so the rest of the world by their badness would keep up common disquietments and troubles; so that it is no more a perfect Concord, than perfect Knowledge and Ho­liness, which we can hope for in this World.

Sect. II. 1. It is presupposed, that Christ the great Peace-maker hath done much (and most) to this work already. He hath reconciled us to God; he hath made himself the Center of our Unity: He hath given us sound Doctrine to lead us out of dividing Dark­ness: He hath made us such just and holy Laws, as all tend to Unity, Love and Peace: He hath left us his own perfect and imitable example: He hath pre­scribed the just terms of our Unity and Peace: He hath made Love, and Meekness, and forbearing, and forgiving, and all healing Principles and Practices, the Conditions of his Promises, and the great Duties and Marks of his Disciples: He hath disgraced and strictly forbidden all dividing qualities and actions; [Page 17] all uncharitableness, censuring, wrath, malice, envy, backbiting, evil-speaking, discord, contention, re­venge, &c. He hath threatned to shut out the guilty from his Kingdom: He hath instituted Church-disci­pline to shut them out of his Church till they re­pent: He poured out the Spirit of Love and Concord, miraculously at first on his Disciples, making them of one heart and mind, even to a voluntary Community of their goods: He prayed that they all might be One in him: He hath appointed his Ministers to preach up Love, Concord and Peace throughout the world: He hath instituted particular Churches for the exercise of Love, Concord and holy Communion: He giveth to all true Christians the Spirit of Love and Peace, and every one hath so much of these (as a new Na­ture) as they have of his Spirit and saving Grace. All this and more hath Christ done himself for his Peo­ples Unity, Love and Peace.

Sect. III. 2. Under Christ the chief Instruments of Concord must be the faithful Ministers of Christ, whose duty hereto I have before described. Particularly, 1. They must be men of more eminent knowledge and gifts than the higher sort of the Flock: or else if the People once perceive that they are equal to them, they will despise them, and turn Preachers, and set up for themselves: 2. And then such Ministers being not able to deal with Sectaries and Hereticks, will be­tray the Cause of God, and the adversaries will carry away the Hearers: And it will be easie to bring such persons into Contempt, and then the Truth will suffer with them: God fitteth men to do the work that he will bless them in: Not that every Congregation must needs have such an eminent man; for a great Light will shine to other Parishes, and an able man in one Parish may be ready to help the next, and to confute Gainsayers, and may keep up the Credit of [Page 18] the Ministry: But it is such that must preserve the Unity and Concord of Believers, and preserve the Church from Schism.

Sect. IV. 2. And if Ministers do not also live in ho­liness, justice, charity, free from fleshly lusts and plea­sures, and unspotted of the world, as freer than other men from a proud, a worldly and a covetous mind, dividers will despise them, and ignorant people will suspect the Cause for their sakes, and many unsetled well-meaning persons will fall from them, and turn to them that they think live a more strict and pious, and humble and charitable life. The Ministers Life as well as Doctrine is needful to remedy Schism. As men fly from a Carrion or a stinking place in the house, so will the people from Priests of a corrupt Conversation.

Sect. V. 3. And it is necessary, 1. That a Preach­er be skilled in the particular Controversies that the Church is in danger of: 2. And that he skilfully, zealously and frequently preach up the necessity and excellency of Unity, Love and Peace, and the sin and danger of the contraries: That men may by right Reason and the Fear of God, be taught to make as much Conscience of these as they do of other great Duties and Sins, and may not be without preserving Fear.

Sect. VI. 4. And it is specially necessary, that a Preacher know how to deal with the Persons as well as with the Cause: and that is not to rail at them, and render them shamefull and odious whom he would win, nor publickly to expose them to contempt, much less to slander, abuse or oppress them; But with Evi­dence managed with meekness, love and tenderness to convince them, and make them feel that all cometh for their own good, from unfeigned Love; as Muscu­lus won the Anabaptists by feeding and relieving them [Page 19] in Prison, till they sought to him for instruction, and were disposed to hear it. Nature flyeth from hurtful things and persons: Had the Enmity been put at first between the Woman and the Serpent, Eve had not been so easily seduced. Too many Bishops and Preachers go about to cure Schism as a man would bring Birds to the Net, or Fishes to the Bait, by shouting and throwing Stones at them; or as one would get the swarm of Bees in­to the Hive by beating them; or as one that would get a Wife by deriding and railing at her; or as a Physician that would get practice by mocking his Pa­tients instead of medicining them. Men know better than so, how to bring an Oxe to the Yoak, or a Horse or Dog to hand, or to tame any Bird or Beast that is wild and frightful. It's true, that as a Malefactor is hanged for the good of the Common-wealth rather than his own, so a desperate seducing Heretick or Divider may be justly rendered as contemptible as he deserveth, to keep others from being deceived by him: But all that we hope to win must be otherwise used. Reproach and disgrace maketh the Medicine so bitter (which should be sugared) that with one of many it will not go down. Scorn and reviling is the way to drive them further from us.

Sect. VII. 5. And Ministers Patience with tolerable Dissenters, while they worship God with some diffe­rence from them, in their own Assemblies, is a ne­cessary prevention of worser Schism. Thus some peaceable Bishops kept peace and love with the No­vatians, when others by contrary means made more Schisms; (As Epiphanius saith Audius by intemperate foolish opposition was driven from the Church:) What hurt will it do me, to let people hear another Teacher, whom they preferre before me, and can more profit by? If I am for Organs, for Images, for Crossing, &c. what hurt is it to let others meet and [Page 20] worship God without them? But when Preachers have not personal worth to keep up their Reputation, and then rail at those that do not value them, they do but make themselves more vile: And when they are so proud, that if people leave them, and preferre ano­ther, they cannot bear it, but think to remedy it by making odious or vilifying those that undervalue them, they do but as all proud men do, even cross and more debase themselves, and make that a Schism which was but a personal neglect.

Sect. VIII. 3. And the Christian Magistrate must be a principal Instrument of remedying Schism. And very much may he doe by wisdom, moderation and right means, which I have mentioned before; when wrong wayes do but increase the Schism.

Sect. IX. 4. And the ancient and wisest sort of good Christians must be great Instruments herein; They must be Examples to the Younger of Love, Peace and Concord: They must oft tell them how good and amiable a thing it is for Brethren to dwell and meet together in Unity, and open the sin and danger of Division. Age, Grace and Experience mel­low and sweeten the Spirits of ripe Christians, when the Young are green and harsh and sowre.

Sect. X. But among all these there are some men in all Ages, whom God stirreth up to a special zeal for Christian Concord; And though the state of the place and times which they live in, or their own weakness, may make some of them propose some terms which in better times would be unreasonable (as Erasmus, Cas­sander, Wicelius, and others did) yet it is that healing Spirit that must be a prime mover in all the work, if ever Concord be obtained: Such have been Mel [...]n­cton, Musculus, Bucholzer, Junius, Job. Ger. V [...]ssius, Camero, Ludovicus Capellus, Placaeus, Testardus, Am [...] ­raldus, Blondell, Dallaeus, the Breme and British Di­vines [Page 21] at Dort, and by their means, the Decrees of the Synod are Pacificatory; Calixtus and his Associates Johan. Bergius, Conrad. Bergius, Ludov. Crocius, Isel­burge, Archbishop Usher, Bishop Hall, Bishop Dave­nant, Dr. Ward, Dr. Preston, Mr. Whately, Mr. Fenner, Chillingworth, and many more: But before all, John Dury and Mr. Le Blanke. As some men that study the Revelations or Chronologie, or Genealogies, &c. are rea­dier in those particular Subjects, than other men though of greater parts; so they that study the Churches peace, and the Concord of differing Christians, usually are fitter for that work than others.

Sect. XI. There is one sort of men that have written many things excellently for Peace, even the Socinians, who being Hereticks, have thereby done much harm. Divers of them have laid down in general those Rules and Terms which might much have furthered the Churches Peace, if the same things had been written by men of Name and Reputation. What Acontius was, or what Rupertus Meldenius was, I am not sure; some say they were Socinians, and some deny it: But I am sure, if they were heretical, their excellent Pre­cepts for Love and Peace may rise up in judgment against Orthodox Persecutors, Schismaticks, and Re­vilers: Many that are known to be Socinians, have written much for peace; and Satan hath made great advantage of it, to bring all earnest motions for peace into suspicion: so that a man can now scarce write for the retreat of Church-warriours, and for the quench­ing of our consuming flames, but he is presently suspe­cted to be guilty of some Heresie, and to have spe­cially need of Charity or toleration himself; Like the Fox, that having lost his Tail, would have all Foxes tails cut off. Or if it be about any point that Papists are concerned in, that a man calleth men from erro­neous Extremes, to Truth and Peace, he is presently [Page 22] suspected to be of the mind of Cassander, Wicelius, Gro­tius, or such as they: Even Jacob Behmens writing so much for Love, and against Wrath, hath made some suspect a Treatise that is written for any extensive Christian Love: Could Satan but engage a man of ill fame to preach and write fervently for any funda­mentall point of Religion, I am afraid with many it would make it suspected.

Sect. XII. It is also of great moment for the prevent­ing or remedying of Schism, to choose a sit season to manage the remedies. Were not men very proud and selfish, the fittest season would be times of Civil peace and prosperity: And indeed a common peace of many Countreys will hardly be well prosecuted in any other times; because it needeth sedate minds, and quiet en­tercourse, and friendly communication; which warrs and exasperations are against: Nor is it a fit time to heal a particular person, when he is fined, imprisoned, persecuted, or oppressed: For his sense and passion will stop his ears, and drive him further from those that he suffers by: (so far are they mistaken who take violence and severity to be the way). But yet Pr [...] ­sperity hath greater hinderances of Love and Peace than Sufferings: for then usually the lovers of the World (called in Scripture the Enemies of God) as they strive most for wealth and power, do obtain it; and being made Lords and Prelates, they think there is no sure and honourable Peace, but by all mens sub­mission to their wills and dictates: Pride never know­eth the way of Peace, but trusteth to insulting passio­nate violence, which cureth Schism, as Brandy will do a burning Feaver: which may rarely be lodged in such frigid matter as may accidentally cure it, which ordinarily would kill: And a Schismatick may be such a timerous worldling, as that suffering may drive him into outward complyance: But Conscience so respect­eth [Page 23] God, as to count man and all that he can do as nothing. Religion is a worshipping and obeying God as God: and whoever preferreth any mans Power or Interest before him, so far hath no true Religion at all.

But if a sufferer be to be cured, it must not be by him by whom he suffereth, but by another that pi­tieth him and lamenteth his sufferings. But usually Pride and carnal Confidence in Prosperity hinder men from that condescension and moderation which is ab­solutely necessary to Love and Peace: Wantonness and Contention are the usual fruits of greatness, full­ness and worldly ease: so that Civil Peace and Re­ligious are too often strangers; and being dryed in the Sun-shine we are crumbled to dust. And it is Gods ordinary way to cast contentious Wranglers into the Furnace, and melt them till they may be cast into one mold: Ridley and Hooper were reconciled in Prison. When men that fell out are all taken Captives by a common Enemy, they are sooner reconciled. When men all suffer for the same common Cause, and are together in Gaols, or Banishment, or reproach, then go trie whether they will hearken to peace. It was the great shame of the English Fugitives in Qu. Maries dayes to fall out at Frankford in their Exile. In a word, both Prosperity and Adversity have their pro­per helps and hinderances of Concord; but usually, times of common Civil Peace, are the hopefullest times to treat for a common Religious peace; but for small­er quarrelling parties, common suffering is a better time.

Sect. XIII. Whoever will be the Instruments of heal­ing Schisms, must necessarily preserve his Reputation with those that he would heal, or at least with the com­mon sort of religious persons: For if once he be com­monly ill spoken of, the best things which he saith, [Page 24] will be despised: If he be a Prince, if he be common­ly reputed a sound and a good man, all that he doth will have a good interpretation: But if he be taken either for an enemy to Piety, or to the Doctrine which prevaileth, all that he doth will be suspected for acts of malice. Constantius is praised by Hilary himself and many others, for a man of laudable disposition and conversation; and yet his being for the Arians, made all ill taken that he did, and he did much that de­served it: Theodosius junior and Anastasius were very pious Emperours, and great lovers of Peace, and stre­nuously laboured to have kept the Bishops from Schism and Church-warrs; but being supposed to favour most that party which the others called Hereticks, all that they did was ill interpreted, and suspected to be in favour to the Hereticks. It is therefore very ne­cessary that a Peace-making Prince be down-right honest and impartial, and shew himself conscionable in all his Actions, and a lover of Mankind, and in­jurious to none, but a special favourer of the good, and an enemy to Wickedness, Debauchery and Ma­lignity in all. For this will make people love and trust him, without which nothing will be done.

And what I say of Princes, I must say of Pastors and Preachers: If a man be never so zealous for Con­cord, if he be commonly supposed to be an ignorant man, or a wicked man, or an unconscionable crafty Po­litician, or a Heretick, or dangerously erroneous, or one that is partial, or hath any ill Principles or De­signs, or a Persecutor, or whimsical Fanatick, all his Endeavours are like to do but little good: The gene­ral love and honour that Arch-bishop Usher, Bishop Davenant, Dr. Preston, Mr. Gataker, Mr. Fenner, Mr. Watton, Dr. Stoughton, &c. had with all sorts of sober men in England, made those conciliatory, moderating Principles to be regarded, which from other men [Page 25] have been received with suspicion, if not contempt and scorn.

Sect. XIV. Were there no more said of all this sub­ject but that of Rupertus Meldenius cited by Conra­dus Bergius, it might end all Schisms if well under­stood and used, viz. Si in NECESSARIIS sit UNITAS, in NON-NECESSARIIS LI­BERTAS, in UTRISQUE CHARITAS, optimo certe loco essent res nostrae. Unity in things ne­cessary, Liberty in things unnecessary, and Charity in both, would do all our work.

Sect. XV. Or briefly, all must be done, 1. By the LIGHT of Reason and Sacred Truth adapted to the Understandings of the people, and seasonably pro­posed with good advantage to convince them. 2. By the LOVE of Pastors, Rulers and Dissenters, heap­ing coals of Fire on their heads. 3. By the POWER of Magistrates, encouraging men of Truth, Piety and peace, and restraining men from propagating in­tolerable Errors, and all sorts from violating the Laws of Humanity, Christian Sobriety and Charity, and the publick peace, and not permitting them on pre­tence of Religion openly to revile and abuse each other, so as to keep up mutual hatred and diabolical Calumny, and by licentious tongues to wrong each other.

These few things would better heal the Churches, than all the violent and compound Medicines which worldly Jug [...]ers and unskilful Mountebanks have long tryed in vain.


More of the same subject; Twenty things ne­cessary in all that will deliver the Church from Schism.

Sect. I. BEcause this dividing Spirit goeth not easily out, I shall repeat and summe up the com­mon Duties of all men that will herein successefully serve the Church: for it is not every man that is fit for so excellent a work, though every man be bound to it in his place: The sad Experience of the World assureth us, that hitherto few skilful and effectual Phy­sicians have been found.

Sect. II. In short, all men that will promote the Churches concord, whether Magistrates, Pastors or Peo­ple, must observe all these following things, as the ne­cessary means, which if they be wanting, yea but one of them, the Churches will be so far disquieted, and dis­eased.

1. The foresaid simple Terms of Union must be understood and received, and false and ensnaring terms must be avoided.

2. Magistrates must preferre Christs interest before their own, and see that their own lyeth in preferring his: and must value conscionable upright men, though dissenters in tolerable cases, and not encourage their unconscionable enemies. And must keep peace among the Clergy and among all.

3. Men must be taught to place their Religion in worshipping God in Spirit and Truth; and to study the power and practice of Godliness, Sobriety, Justice and Charity, more than Opinions, self-exalting or Will-worship: [Page 27] and to love their Neighbours as themselves, and do as they would be done by.

4. Men must learn of Christ to see the amiableness of Sincerity and Holiness under many differences and weaknesses, and so love what is amiable, and bear with what is tolerable, and pardon what is pardonable in all: and to receive the weak, even in the Faith, but not to doubtfull Disputations: and to speak more of the Good that is in upright men than of the Evil: yea never speak evil of any man till they be certain of the truth: nor then till they be well satisfied, that it is like to do more good than harm.

5. Men must labour to know themselves, and be acquianted with their own fallibility and defectibility, mutability and insufficiency, and to remember how much they have to be pardoned and tolerated, and so to cast the first stone at themselves; to fly from Pride, and know how unmeet they are to be the Rule of all mens Judgments and Practices, or to seem so wise, as that none shall be tolerated that differ from them, nor speak publickly to God, but in the words which they prescribe.

6. Men must not be too strange to one another, nor keep too distant; for neerness and acquaintance re­concileth, and distance cherisheth false reports and suspicions, and men take liberty to hear, think and speak ill of strangers behind their backs, which fami­liarity would cure.

7. None but Volunteers must be taken for true Christians, nor admitted to holy Communion, to re­ceive the Seals of Pardon and Life.

8. To use more a friendly discoursing way for con­vincing Dissenters, than disgracefull, passionate, mili­tant disputations, (Though dangerous seducers must be confuted by necessary disputation.)

9. To abhorre Envy and Emulation (the Off-spring [Page 26] [...] [Page 27] [...] [Page 28] of Selfishness and Pride) and not to grudge at other mens esteem, that are preferred before us; espe­cially that Preachers and Pastors envy not the prefe­rence of other Teachers, nor murmur at their liberty, honour or success; but rejoyce with Paul, Phil. 1. that Christ is preached, though it be by Contentious men, that do it in Envy and Strife, to adde affliction to the afflicted.

10. To dread Persecution and unjust violence to men of Conscience, and not to force them to sin and damnation, by bearing down Conscience in unnecessa­ry things.

11. To be well furnished with holy Reason and Love, and for Ministers to be confined to the use of these, from all use of Violence by the Sword; and kept to their proper work and Government by the Word and Church-keyes.

12. To rebuke and frown away malignant and Re­ligious Calumniators, Whisperers, Censurers and Back­biters.

13. To teach the People wherein the uniting Sub­stance of Religion doth consist, and what a sin it is to be censorious and separate causelesly from others, and represent their different Opinions, Modes and Circumstances of Worship unjustly odious, to stirre up other mens hatred and separating distastes: and how great a sin and danger Schism or Division is.

14. To avoid all needless novelties and singulari­ties, and to keep to Vincent. Lerinensis's Measure, of holding to that which hath ever been received as ne­cessary by the whole Church, and was the primitive Faith and Religion.

15. To avoid contending about meer ambiguous words, and ever to agree of the sence of all the terms before you enter on further disputation: and to suspect such ambiguity in all debates.

[Page 29] 16. As Magistrates must be just and impartial, so people must be taught to obey them under Christ, in all lawfull things belonging to their Office, and that as a part of their Obedience to God.

17. Peace-makers must be men of Piety and blame­less Lives, that may honour their works, and not by scandal harden adversaries, nor lay Stumbling-blocks before the weak: and such as study to do good to all.

18. They must submit to men of the lowest and weakest ranks, and not despise them, and the strong must bear the Infirmities of the weak, restoring the fallen with the spirit of meekness, remembring that they also may be tempted.

19. They must not expect such a degree of Con­cord on Earth as is not to be expected, lest for want of it they be tempted to murmur at God, doubt of Religion, and make the breach wider by unjust se­verities against the weak.

20. When any are accused of Heresie or Scandal, they must be ready with patience to give satisfaction to others, to the Churches, to Rulers, to Equals, or Inferiors, Referring them to their Profession of Faith, and answering what is charged on them, and willingly amending what they are convinced is amiss.

But all this and much more I have formerly written in a Book called, The Cure of Church-divisions.


Popery (or the Papacie) will never unite the Church.

Sect. I. I Come now to prove the insufficiency and ineptness of the terms of Union which many men have devised, and obtruded on the Churches: [Page 30] Repeating, that few things more divide, than false Means of uniting, while these engage men to set against all that cannot yield to them. And I shall begin with the terms of the Papal party, as being the chief Pretenders.

Sect. II. The Papists think, that the way of Union and avoiding Schism is, for one Man, the Pope of Rome, to be taken for the Universal Vicar of Christ on Earth, even the governing Head under Christ of all the Christians on Earth, yea, and of all the World, in order to make them Christians; and that the Church on Earth is one such politick Body, of which Christ is the invisible Head of influence, and the Pope is the visible Head as to Government: And that none are of the visible Church that are not the Popes Subjects, and that they that refuse such Subjection are Schismaticks or Here­ticks or Infidels: And that all that own Christ, should be compelled by Sword or torment to own the Pope as his Vicar General.

Sect. III. Campanella, de Regno Dei, openeth the My­stery of the Fifth Monarchy, and alledgeth the texts that are brought for it, as intending Christs Reign on Earth by the Pope as his Viceroy: And indeed it is an Uni­versal Kingdom or Monarchy which they plead and strive for, under the name of the Universal Church: But in this they greatly differ, whether the Pope have the universal Power of both Swords, or but of one, that is, both Civil and Ecclesiastical, and be really the King of all the World: And herein they are of three Opinions as to the Subject of this Power, and of three Opinions as to the degree.

Sect. IV. As to the Possessor of this Authority, 1. One party say that the summa Potestas is in th [...] Pope; 2. Another saith, it is in the Pope presiding in a General Council, or in the Pope and Council agreeing; 3. And another party hold that it is in a General Council alone, yet so as that the Pope is the Head of [Page 31] the Universal Church, as the chief Prelate, and Ordi­dinary Governour, though subject to the Legisla­tive and Judicial Power of the Council.

Sect. V. And as to the Degree of Power, 1. Some hold that the Pope is the Monarch of all the Earth, having the chief Power of both Swords, and that the World is his Kingdom, as Gods Vicegerent.

2. Others hold, that he hath directly only the Eccle­siastical Power, but indirectly and in order to Spirituals he hath also the Temporal power (of the Sword): Or, as the most hold, that in his own Territories he hath both Powers as to Personal exercise; but in other King­doms, he can himself only execute the Church-power, but he may command Kings to execute the power of the Sword for Religion, according to his and his Bi­shops decrees: and may force them to it by Ana­thema's, and releasing their Subjects from the Bonds of Fidelity, and giving their Kingdoms to others: As some say, that the King may not be personally Judge in the Courts of Justice, but he may make Judges, and force them to their duty, and depose them if un­worthy. This differeth little from the former: The Monarchy is nevertheless absolute, though Kings be the Popes Officers or Lictors.

3. But some few hold that the Pope and Bishops have no Power of the Sword at all, nor of forcing Kings to use it; The Controversie was hotly handled when Popes and Emperors were in Warrs: The Vo­lumes written on both sides are published by Goldastus, to which William Barkley and some others in France have added more.

Sect. VI. Rightly therefore doth the Geograph. Nu­biensis call the Pope A King; The Name of a Church maketh not a difference in the thing: There be some that think that all Kings should be also Priests, and the Popes will grant it so far as to hold, that all Bi­shops [Page 32] should be Magistrates, and the Chief Priest be Univer [...]al King [...] Cardinal Bertram in Biblioth. Patr. saith, God had not been wise, if he had not set up such a Monarch under him over the World. And in [...] seu Bulla Sixti quarti Philippo Palatino Rh [...]ni in [...]re­hero, Vol. 2. pag. 162. you may see their Claim in these words: [Universos Christianos Principes ac [...]omnes Christi fideles requirere eisque mandare vice Dei, cuius locum quamvis immeriti tenemus in terris.] To require all Christian Princes, and all faithful Christians, and to command them in Gods stead, whose place on earth we hold, though unworthy.]

The Twelfth General Council, viz. at the Late­rane, sub Innoc. 3. and some at Rome under Greg. 7. and many others, put this Claim of theirs past doubt.

Sect. VII. Now that the Universal Church will ne­ver unite in the Roman Papacy, I prove undeniably as followeth:

1. Because Christians will never unite in an Agree­ment to forsake the Scriptures as Gods Word and Law: where they will still find that he never instituted such a Roman Monarch. The Papists contrary Assertion will never convince the World, when the Book it self is open before them. They will there find no one man that ruled all the rest; no one to whom Appeals were made: no one that ever claimed such a power; much less that settled any such at Rome; or that ever a word was left by Christ to direct the Church to center in the Bishop of Rome: Nor that ever the Apostles preached this to the Churches, which they must needs have done, had it been essential to the Church Catholick, or half as necessary as the Papists make it.

Sect. VIII. 2. Because in Scripture, Christians will (not only find nothing for it, but) much against it: which many Volumes having largely proved, (Chamier, [Page 33] Whitakers, White, and abundance more) it would be vain here to repeat. I commend to the English Reader now but Dr. Challoners small Book, of the Catholick Church.

Sect. IX. 3. Because, were it but as dark and doubt­ful and uncertain as common Reason and Disputers experience proveth it, the universal Church can never unite in a thing which so few can see any certainty in, or evident proof of.

Sect. X. 4. Because the greatlyest reverenced Gene­ral Councils are against it, limiting the Popes power to his Diocese, as Nice first doth; and declaring him to be National, and of humane Institution as being Bishop of the Imperial City, and advancing Constan­tinople, from the same Reason as doth the Council of Chalcedon: Of which I have largely written against Terret.

Sect. XI. 5. Because the Greek Church hath ever held the Papacy to be of humane Institution: Proved briefly; 1. Because they ever held the Popes power to stand on the same Foundation with the other Pa­triarchs: But they ever held the other Patriarchs to be of Humane Institution; which needs no proofs to men of Reading. 2. Because they set up Constantinople first next him, and then equal to him, and then above him: which they had never done, had they taken the Papacy to be of Divine Institution: For they never pretended any such foundation for the Bishop of Con­stantinoples power; and they were never so desperate as to set up Mans Ordination above Gods. 3. Be­cause they took his Power to be limited by the Laws of the Empire, and him to be subject to the Empe­rours: All which is known to men that know Church-History.

Sect. XII. 6. Because the common Reason of Man­kind will still discern that a humane Monarchy of [Page 34] all the Earth, is a dream and Impossibility; and that no man is naturally capable of exercising such a power.

Sect. XIII. 7. Because while Baronius, Binius, Crab, Surius, and other Histories of the Councils are extant, and Platina, Anastasius, and other Histories of the Popes, and while all the old Church-History is extant, and all the German, French, Italian, Belgick, English, and other later Histories, the horrid wickedness of Popes, and the Mischiefs they have brought upon the World, and the blood they have shed to settle their Kingdoms, will be known to Mankind, and will not suffer men universally to believe that God ever made such Governours essential to his Church, or necessary to its Unity.

Sect. XIV. 8. Because Kings and States will never become all so tame and servile, as to resign their King­doms so far to an universal Monarch, and to become his Subjects, especially after the sad experience of his Government.

Sect. XV. 9. Because if the people were never [...]o blind, there will in all generations arise wise and Learn­ed persons, who will know all these things, and never consent to Popery.

Sect. XVI. 10. Lastly from Experience: The Uni­versal Church now doth not, nor ever did unite in the Roman Papacy, and therefore never will do. That now they do not, is past doubt with those that know the Papists are but the third or fourth part of the Christian World. Bishop Bramhall saith they are but a fifth part. The great Empire of Ethiopia, the Christians in Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, that are falsly called by them Nestorians and Eutychians or Jacobites, who parted from the Greeks upon the ejection of Diosec­rus by the Council of Chalcedon, the Armenians, Circassi­ans, Mengrelians, Georgians, those scattered in the Per­sian [Page 35] Empire, the Greeks scattered throughout the Turkish Empire, the Empire of Moscovie, the King­doms of Sueden, Denmark, England, Scotland and Ire­land, the Subjects of the Dukes of Saxony, Branden­burgh, Lunenburgh, Hanover, Osnaburgh, Holstein, the Prince of Hassia, the Palsgrave of the Rhine, Ducal Prussia, Curland, Transilvania, all the Protestant free Cities in Germany, Dantzick, and others tolerated in Poland, those in Hungary, some in Walachia and Mol­dovia; Belgia, called the Low-Countreys, with Friesland, Embden, Geneva, &c. the Protestant Cantons of Hel­vetia; those in Rhoetia, in Piedmont, &c. and those to­lerated in France: Our Plantations in the West-Indies or America, viz. New-England, Virginia, Barbados, Bermudas, Jamaica, and the rest; All these are Chri­stians that unite not in the Pope, nor are subject to him.

I know they say that these are Hereticks and Schis­maticks, and no parts of the Church: But that is too easie a way of arguing, and no Cure at all for Chri­stians discord. By this way of reasoning they may prove that all the Christian Church or World is uni­ted in the Pope, if he had but ten Subjects, because all the rest are no part of the Christian Church or World: as a mad man proved that all the World was his, because he thought his House and Land was all the World. But Christ will not so easily lose his Church, nor be disputed out of his Inheritance by so gross a fallacy: If you argue [None are parts of the Christian Church but the Popes Subjects: All the Popes Subjects unite in the Pope: Ergo, all parts of the Christian Church are united in the Pope,] You must prove your Major to Christ better than ever you did, before he will be so deposed from his Kingdom, and lose those whom he so dearly bought. The Bishop of Constantinople, Alexandria, Ephesus, Canterbury, may [Page 36] say the like, that none are Christians but their Subjects, but this is it that I say the World of Christians are not united in.

Sect. XVII. And as it is so now, it was so in the last Age: And though some of them cheat Women by telling them that all the Christian world before Lu­ther were united in subjection to their Popes, they must burn all their own Church History and Coun­cils, and make men ignorant of what is past in for­mer ages, before this will be believed by men that can read Latin and Greek; certainly they do not be­lieve it themselves: They cannot though they would: Was all the West subject to the Pope, when so many hundred thousand were murdered for being against him? When the Bohemians were so persecuted by warrs? when Spain it self hath been accused of such Heresie? when most of Germany stuck to the Empe­rours, and despised the Popes? when France and Eng­land have been censured and Interdicted by him, and obeyed not his Interdicts? when for many Ages most of Italy hath been a Field of warr, and fought against him? when Rome it self hath so oft driven him away? But especially when upon the Constantinopolitane De­cree de tribus Capitulis, Pope Vigilius was forsaken by much of Italy and the West, and all his Successors for about an hundred years, and the Patriarch of Aqui­leia set up as their Head instead of Rome, till Sergius after reconciled them? And all this while were not the Greeks, Moscovites, Armenians, Syrians, Abassines, and all the rest before mentioned in Asia and Africa, &c. from under the Pope?

I have oft asked, and ask again, was all Christen­dome subject to the Pope, of whom their Melchior Ca­nus saith (Lecd Com. cap. 7. fol. 201.) That not only the Greeks, but almost all the rest of the Bishops of the whole World have fought to destroy the Priviledges of [Page 37] the Church of Rome; and indeed they had on their side the Arms of Emperours, and the Greater number of Churches: and yet they could never prevail to ab [...]gate the Power of the One Pope of Rome?]

Was all the Christian World under him, when their Raynerius saith, (cont. Wald. catal. in Bibl. Patr. To. 4. p. 773.) [The Church of the Armenians, and Ethiopians, and Indians, and the rest which the Apostles converted, are not under the Church of Rome?]

Was all the Church under him before the Turks conquered the Greeks? when the Greek Church alone, and the rest in the Eastern Empire, were twice as many as all the Western Churches: and Abassia, and all in the East and South without the Empire, were also from under him?

Yea and when their own Jacobus de Vitriaco wri­teth (Histor. Orient. c. 77.) who dwelt at Jerusalem, [That the Churches of the Easterly parts of Asia, alone, exceeded in number the Christians either of the Greek or Latine Church.] And their Brochardus, that lived also there, saith, that [Those called Schismaticks by us, are far better men than those of the Roman Church.

Sect. XVIII. If they say, that at least for the first six hundred years all the Church was governed by the Pope? I answer, It is more probable which Marnixi­us and many Protestants affirm, that for the first six hundred years there was not one Pa­pist in the world,See all this fally proved in my Books against J [...]hnson, of the Visibility of our Church, espe­cially in my last called [W [...]ich is the true Church. that is, One that took the Pope to have the Govern­ing power over all the Church on Earth. The oft cited words of Gre­gory the first and Pelagius plainly shew, that they abhorred the Claim: The Pope was from the year 300. till 600. and after the first Bishop in the Roman Empire, 1. Under Councils and Emperours; [Page 38] 2. Not Ruling the other Patriarchates, but sitting before them in Councils; 3. And this by M [...]ns Ordination, only in one Empire; 4. And had no Rule in any of the extraimperial Churches in the World: even here with us the Britains rejected them, and the Scots would not eat or converse with them. The Abas­sine Empire was never under them, nor those of India and Persia: And the Councils in which they had the first seat were but of one Empire, as is after proved.

And as for the first three hundred years under Pa­gan Emperours, their own Writers confess the Church of Rome was little set by; that is, it had no govern­ing power over the rest, nor is there any pretence to think they had.

The first that talk'd very high, was Leo the first, who called himself the Head of the Catholick Church: But by [Catholick] was then meant usually the Churches in the Empire only, and by Head he meant the prime Bishop in order, but not the Governour of all: Nor was his claim, if he meant any, more ap­proved, by the Churches in that Age. Though the Council of Chalcedon highly applauded him and his Epistle, as an advantage to carry their Cause against Dioscorus (who had excommunicated the Pope) and took him for the prime member of their Council, yet they thought meet in their Canons to declare, that it was but by humane, mutable right in the Roman Empire.

Let them shew us if they can, when and where the universal Church on Earth ever subjected themselves at all to the Pope. Much less can they bring any pretense of it for the first three hundred yeas: Had they any Meeting in which they agreed for it? Did they all receive Laws, Ordination or Officers from Rome, or from its Emissaries? If we were so foolish as to be­lieve that his precedence in General Councils was a [Page 39] proof of the Popes Monarchy; yet it's easie to prove 1. That for 300 years there was no General Coun­cil; 2. And that it was not the Pope that presided at Nice; 3. And that those Councils were but Imperial, and not truly Universal.

But if all the Church ever had been subject to the Pope, as being at first (except Abassia) almost con­fined to the Roman Empire, it doth not follow, that it will ever be so again when it is dispersed into so many Kingdoms of the World: The Jesuites at first were all under the King of Spain, and the Mahome­tans at first all under one Prince, but they are not so now: Is it likely that ever all Christian, Mahome­tan and Heathen Kings will suffer all their Christian Subjects to be under the Government of a Foreign Priest?

But their own Writers agree, that the Apostles at first were dispersed into many Countreys besides the Roman Empire, and that Ethiopia was converted by the Eunuch mentioned Acts 8. initially (its like before Rome,) and fullyer by St. Matthew: And you may see in Godignus, Alvarez, Damianus a Goez, and others, full evidence that they were never Subjects to the Pope of Rome.

I conclude then, 1. That Rome is not owned this day as the head of Unity by all Christians: 2. That it never was so taken for the Governing and Uniting Head; 3. And that the reason of the thing fully proveth that it never will be so.

I may adde, that indeed it is not known among themselves who are the consenting Subjects of the Pope, or Members of their Church: It is indeed In­visible, or a Church not knowable. For, 1. They are not agreed, nor ever like to be, what is the essen­tial qualification of a Member of the Church: Or what that Faith is that must make a Member: Some [Page 40] say, it must be the Belief of all the Creed explicitely; others, of some few Articles; others, that no more is necessary ad esse than to believe explicitly that God is, and that he is a Rewarder of good works, and to be­lieve that the Church is to be believed: Of which see Fr. a Sanct. Clara in his Deus, Natura, Gratia.

2. And their forcing men into their Church with Tortures, Fire and Sword, leaveth it utterly uncer­tain who are Consenters, and who are in the Church as Prisoners, to save Limbs and Life.

And if they ever recover England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, and the other Reformed Churches, it must be by the Sword, and Warrs, and Violence, and ne­ver by force of Argument: And if they should con­quer us all (which is their hope and trust) it will not follow, that men are of their minds, because they can­not or dare not contradict them, no more than because they are dead.

Experience, Reason and Scripture then do fully prove to men that are willing to know the truth, that the Universality of Christians will never be united to the Roman Papacy: Yea, that this Papacy is the greatest of all Schisms, 1. By setting up a false Head of Union; and 2. By cutting off or renouncing three parts of the Christian World, even all Christians ex­cept the Subjects of the Pope.


The Vniversal Church will never unite in Pa­triarchs, or any other humane Form of Church-Government.

Sect. I. WHether or how far such Forms may consist with Union, is a Question that I am not now debating, any further than shall be anon intimated by the way. But that they will never become the Bond of Union, or be received by all, and that to make any such thought Necessary to universal Unity, is Schism, I am easily able to prove.

Sect. II. And this needeth no other proofs than what are given against uniting in the Papacy, in the former Chapter. As, 1. Patriarchs and other humane Institutions being not of God but Man, the whole Church can never unite in them, 1. Because they will never all agree that any men have true Authority given them by God, to make new Church-Officers and Forms that shall be necessary to the Unity or Concord of the Church Universal.

2. They will never agree who those men are that God hath given such power to, if they did suspect that such there are. A Prince hath no Power out of his Dominions.

3. They will never agree, that if man made such Forms or Offices, they may not unmake them again if they see cause; or that their Acts bind all their Po­sterity never to rescind or change them.

4. They will never find that all the Christian World ever agreed herein, and so in all Posterity is obliged by their Ancestors.

5. Much less will any ever prove that the Institu­tion was Divine.

[Page 42] Sect. III. If any say, that the Apostles settled this Form by the Spirit, the Universal Church will never believe it: For, 1. No Scripture saith so: 2. No true credible History saith so: 3. If the Apostles settled Patriarchs, it was either as their own Successors, or as a new Office: And it was either by joynt consent, or man by man, each one apart: But 1. Had they settled them as their Successours, they would have settled twelve or thirteen; But there were but five settled at all, besides some new petty Patriarchs (as at Aquileia when they cast off Rome.) 2. No Writer tells us of any meeting of the Apostles to agree of such a Form. 3. No nor that ever they settled them. 4. History assureth us that they were settled only in One Empire, and not in the rest of the World. 5. And that the Emperour and Councils of that Empire made them. 6. And therefore when they were at first but three they added at their pleasure two more, Constantinople and Jerusalem. 7. And none of all these pretend to Apostolical Institution and Succession but Antioch, that claimeth to be St. Peters first Seat, and Rome to be his second, and that but as Bishops, (when that also is a frivolous pretense.) Alexandria claimeth succession but from St. Mark, and Jerusalem from that St. James who (saith Dr. Hammond and others) was none of the Apostles, and Constantinople from none at all, though above the rest. Councils (as Constant. and Chalced.) professing that the Fathers and Princes made them what they were.

Sect. IV. It is certain, that the Christian World is not now united in Patriarchs, nor ever was, nor ever will be. The Patriarchs of the rest of the Empire are all now broken off from the Church of Rome: Con­stantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, are all against him: The East had four, and the West but one, and are now at odds condemning each other. [Page 43] The rest of the world have none, and had none. And it is commonly confessed, that as men set them up, so men may pull them down again. Yea, even in the old Empire many Churches were from under all the Patriarchs, as is commonly known.

Sect. V. And how should these Patriarchs unite all the Church? It must be either by meeting or at di­stance. As for their meeting, Princes that are some Mahometans, and some Christians, of divers Interests and Minds, will not suffer it: And neither by meet­ing or distance can we be secured that they will agree, when even under one Emperour that laboured to unite them, they were among their Clergy like the Gene­rals of so many Armies, distracting (and at last de­stroying) the Empire by hereticating and persecuting one another. Those that have divided and undone that Empire, are never like to unite the Christian World.

Sect. VI. And what I say of Patriarchs, I say of all humane Forms of Churches or Church-government; and so of such an Episcopacy as is not necessary to the being of the Church. There are here three distinct questions before us: 1. Whether the Pastoral Office be necessary to Church-unity? 2. Whether Paro­chial Episcopacy be necessary to it? 3. Whether Diocesan Bishops distinct from Archbishops be necessa­ry to it? And you may adde a fourth, Whether Arch­bishops be necessary to it, (not disputing now the lawfulness of any of all these?)

Sect. VII. 1. Of the first I have spoken before: No doubt but Christs universal Church hath ever had Teachers and Pastors as the most noble organical part; And a Body may as well be without a Stomack, Liver or Lungs, as the Church be without them. And to a particular Church as political, organized, or Governed, they are a constitutive part. But I have [Page 44] before shewed reasons to doubt whether yet it be ne­cessary to salvation to every individual Christian to know that the Ministry is an instituted Office, and to own such: But this little concerneth our Cause.

Sect. VIII. 2. Parochial Episcopacy, that is, the preeminence and government of one Presbyter called a Bishop over the rest in every single Church, was early introduced to avoid the discord of the Presbyters and the Flock: In the time when Ignatius's Epistles were written, he tells us, That every Church had One Altar, and one Bishop with his fellow-Presbyters and Deacons. Whether this was of Apostolical Institution, or a hu­mane Corruption, is disputed in so many Volumes (by Petavius, Sancta Clara, Faravia, Whitenitto, Downham, Hammond, Hooker, Bilson, &c. on one side: And Gersom, Bucer, Beza, Cartwright, Salmasius, Didoclane, Jacob, Blondel, Parker, Paul Baine, &c. on the other,) that I think it not meet here to inter­pose my thoughts. But that it is not essential to a Church, and that all the Church will not unite in it, appeareth as followeth.

Sect. IX. 1. They are not united in it now: The Reformed Churches in France, Belgia, Helvetia, and many other parts, are against such Bishops as necessa­ry, and a distinct Order. And in England, Scotland, and Ireland, New-England, &c. they are by some ap­proved, and by others not.

2. Former Ages have had many pious Christians against them, especially in Scotland, and among the Waldenses.

3. The School-men and other Papists are not themselves agreed, whether Bishops and Presbyters are distinct Orders.

4. The Church of England even while Popish de­nyed it, and said they were but one Order, as you may see in Spelman Aelfreds Laws or Canons.

[Page 45] 5. Hierome and Eutychius Alexandrinus tell us how and why Episcopacy was introduced at Alexandria, and that the Presbyters made them there.

6. The Scots were long governed without them, (as Major and Beda tell us.) And their Presbyters made the first Bishops in Northumberland; as Pomera­nus a Presbyter made those in Denmark.

7. Almost all the Churches in East and West as far as I can learn, have cast off Parochial Bishops (of single Churches) and in their stead set up Diocesans over multitudes of Parishes without any Bishops un­der them, but Curats only.

8. While there is no hope of all agreeing whether it be a Divine Institution, and that of essential necessi­ty) there is no probability that ever the Universal Church will unite in them.

9. The Diocesans we find will never yield to them.

10. The reception of them will not unite the Church were it agreed on, it being more and greater matters that they differ about.

I confess that the ancient reception of them was so general, and the reason of the thing so fair, that I am none of those that accuse such Episcopacy as un­lawfull or Schismatical, but rather think it conduceth to prevent Schisms: But, 1. I am satisfied that it will not be agreed to by all, 2. Nor serve for universal Concord were it agreed on; 3. And that it is Schis­matical to make them more necessary than God hath made them, and to cut off Christians or Churches that cannot receive them.

Sect. IX. Diocesan Episcopacy (by which I mean a single Bishop over many hundred or score Parishes and sacred Assemblies that have Altars, and are large enough to be single Churches, or at least Many such, without any Bishops under him of those Churches) will [Page 46] much less ever unite the Universal Church, however it hath obtained over very much of the Christian world. For first more Churches by far at this day are against it, than against Parochial Episcopacy, and more Volumes are written against it; and Men have a far greater aversness to it, as more dangerous to the Church.

Sect. X. 2. It is contrary to the Scripture Institu­tion, which set up Bishops in all single Churches, (whether the same with Presbyters I now dispute not, but they were such as then were received;) And those that think such Single, or Parish, or City Bishops neces­sary, will never agree to put them all down.

Sect. XI. 3. They turn all the Parish-Churches into Chappels, or meer parts of one Church, and Un­church them all, in the judgment of those that take a Bishop to be essential to a Church: And all will not agree to Unchurch all such Parishes.

Sect. XII. 4. It maketh true Discipline as im­possible, as is the Government of so many score o [...] hundred Schools by one Schoolmaster, or Hospitals by one Physician, without any other Schoolmaster or Phy­sician under him, (but Ushers and Apothecaries; which all Christians will not agree to.

Sect. XIII. 5. It is contrary to the Practice of the Primitive Churches, and casteth out their sort o [...] Parochial Bishops, as I have elsewhere fully pro­ved.

1. From the Testimonies of many, such as that o [...] Ignatius before cited.

2. From the custom of choosing Bishops by all the People.

3. And of managing Discipline before all the Church.

4. By the custom mentioned by Tertulli [...] and Justin Martyr, of receiving the Sacrament onely from the hand of the Bishop, or when he Consecrated it.

[Page 47] 5. By the custom of the Bishops onely Preaching, except in case of his special appointment.

6. In every Church the Bishop sate on a high Seat with the Presbyters about him.

7. The Bishop onely pronounced the Blessing.

8. Many Canons after, when the Churches grew greater, command all the People to be present, and communicate with the Bishop on the great Festivals. These and many more Evidences prove, That in the Primitive Times the Bishops had but single Churches, and every Altar and Church had a Bishop.

Sect. XIV. 6. The very Species of the old Churches is thus overthrown, and the old office of Presbyters therewith, which was to be assistant Governors with the Bishop, and not meer Preachers or Readers. And all these Changes all Christians will not agree to.

Sect. XV. 7. Especially the sad History of Councils and Prelacy will deter them from such Con­cord; when they find that their Aspiring, Ambition and Contention, hath been the grand Cause of Schisms and Rebellions, and kept the Church in confusion, and brought it to the lamentable state in East and West that it is in.

Sect. XVI. 8. And constant Experience will be the greatest hinderance: As in our own Age many good Men, that had favourable thoughts of Dioce­sans, are quite turned from them, since they saw Two thousand faithful Ministers silenced by them; and that it is the work of too many of them to cast out such, and set up such as I am not willing to describe: And such Experience After-Ages are like to have, which will produce the same effects. When Expe­rience persuadeth Men, That under the name of Bishops, they are Troublers, Persecutors and Destroy­ers, they will account them Wolves, and not agree to take them for their Shepherds.

[Page 48] It will be said, That Good Bishops are not such: It's true, and that there are Good Ones no sober Man doubteth: But when 1300 years Experience hath told Men, That the Good Ones are few, in comparison of the Bad Ones, ever since they had large Dominions and Jurisdictions: And when Reason tells Men, That the worst, and most worldly Men, will be the most diligent seekers of such Power and Wealth; and that he that seeketh them, is liker to find them, than he that doth not; and so that Bad men are still likest to be Di [...]cesans: And when the divided, scattered, persecuted Flocks, find that the work of such Men, is to silence the most conscionable Ministers, and to be Thorns and Thist [...]es to the People, though they wear Sheeps cloathing, Men will judge of the [...] by their fruits, and the Churches will never be united in them.

Sect. XVII. 9. The greatest Defenders of Episcopacy say so much to make Men against them, as will hinder this from being an uniting course. I wi [...]l instance now but in Petavius, and Doctor Ham [...]d who followeth him, and Scolus, who saith, [...] Clara led them the way: These hold, That the Ap [...]st [...]s setled a Bishop without any subject sort of Presbyters in every City and single Congregational Church: And Doctor Hammond (Annot. in Act. 11. & Dissertat. adversus Blondel) saith, That it cannot be proved that there were any subject Presbyters in Scripture-times; but that the word Presbyter every where in Scripture signi­fieth a Bishop: And if so,

1. Men will know that the Apostolical Form was for every Congregational Church to have a Bishop of its own.

2. That no Bishop had more setled Congregations than one: For no such Congregation could worship God, and celebrate the Sacrament of Communion, as then they constantly did, without a Minister; And one [Page 49] Bishop could be but in one place at once, and so without Curates, could have but one Assembly.

3. And Men will be inquisitive, By what Authority Subject Presbyters, and Diocesan Bishops and Churches were introduced after Scripture-times? in which they will never receive universal satisfaction. If it be said that the Apostles gave Bishops Power to make a sub­ject order of Presbyters, and to turn Parish or Congre­gational Churches into Diocesan, and so to alter the first Forms of Government, when they were dead; this will not be received without proofs, which never will be given to satisfie all: Nay, it will seem utterly im­probable, and Men will ask,

1. Why did not the Apostles do it themselves, if they would have it done? Was not their Authority more unquestionable than theirs that should come af­ter? If it be said that there were not qualified Men enow, it will,

2. Be asked, Were there not like to be then greatest Choice upon the extraordinary pouring out of the Spirit?

3. Do we not find in Corinth so many inspired gift­ed persons in one Assembly, that Paul was put to limit them in their Prophecying, yet allowing many to do it one by one? And Acts 13. there were many Prophets and Teachers in Antioch: And at Jerusalem more, and at Ephesus, Acts 20. and at Philippi, Phil. 1. 1, 2. there were many Bishops or Elders; And such Deacons as Stephen and Philip, &c. would have served for El­ders, rather than to have none.

4. Doth not this imply, that after-times that might make so great a change, may also do the like in other things?

5. And that Diocesans and subject Presbyters be but humane Institutions, and therefore Men may again change them?

[Page 50] 6. Doth it not dishonour the Apostles, to say that they setled one Form of Government for their own Age, which should so quickly be changed by their Fol­lowers into another species? All these things, and much more, will hinder Universal Concord in Diocesans.

Sect. XIX. Yet I must add, that there is great difference between Diocesans both as to their Govern­ment, and their Persons, whence some Churches may comfortably live in Concord under them, though [...] be divided and afflicted under them.

1. Some Diocesans have Diocesses so small, that Dis­cipline is there a possible thing: Others (as ours in England) have some above a thousand, some many hun­dred, or score Parishes, which maketh true Discip [...] impossible.

2. Some Diocesans exercise the Church Keys of Ex­communication and Absolution only themselves. Othe [...] delegate them to Presbyters, (and thereby tell the Peo­ple that Presbyters are capable of them.) Others (which is the Case with us in England) do commit them to Lay-Chancellors, who Excommunicate and Absolve by Sentence, commanding a Priest to publish it.

3. Some Diocesans may, if they please, allow the Parish-Priest to be Episcopus Gregis, and to exercise so much of his true office in his Parish, as shall keep up some tolerable Purity, Order and Discipline, themselves receiving Appeals, and being Episcopi Pastorum. [...] this is rare, I know none such: But they leave the Parish-Priest no power so much as to suspend his own Act in administring Baptism, or the Eucharist, or pro­nouncing decreed Excommunications or Absolution [...] when it is against his Knowledge and Conscience, no though the People profess that they take him not for their Pastor or Guide at all, or refuse to speak with him in case of Ignorance, suspected Heresie or Scan­dal.

[Page 51] 4. Some Diocesans are learned, good and holy Men, and set themselves to promote Godliness, and encourage the best Ministers: such we have had in England, (as Grindall, Jewel, Usher, and many more excellent Men.) But others, in jealousie of their places, power and in­terest, suspect and set themselves against painful Preach­ers, and strict Men, especially if they dissent from them, and take them for dangerous Enemies, and persecute them, and countenance the ignorant Rabble, to strengthen themselves against them: So that particular Concord will be promoted by some Diocesans, but Uni­versal Concord will never be so attained by them.

Sect. XX. There are many Learned Divines, who think that Forms of Church-Government are mutable, and not necessary to all times and places: and that as Prudence may change other Rites, Circumstances and Orders, so it may do this: And some Papists are of this mind; Read Card. Cusanus de Concordia, and Gorson de Auferibilitate Papae; And the Italian Bishops at Trent, were for the dependance of Bishops on the Pope, as the Maker of their Order, or Giver of their Power. And if so, it is not capable of being necessary to Catholick Unity, which may it self be changed. And most Pro­testants and Papists hold, that Men may turn Diocesan Bishops again into Parochial, if they saw cause. And all confess, that Man may set up Bishops [...], in every City, which in the old sense was in every great Town, like our Corporations, or Market-Towns, which is greatly different from the Roman, or the English, or the French, or the Italian Diocesses.

Sect. XXI. Yea, there are very Learned Divines, that think no Form of Church-Government is Jure Divino, or of Divine determinate Institution; so though Doctor Edward Reynolds, late Bishop of N [...]r­wich; and Doctor Stillingfleet doth not only think so himself, but hath cited great and many Patrons of that [Page 52] opinion, and brought a great many of Arguments for it in his Irenicon: Be these in the right or wrong, no Man of this opinion can believe any one Form of Go­vernment necessary to the Unity of the Church, or fit to be the terms of Universal Concord. And it is cer­tain that some will still be of their opinion (besides those that account Diocesans unlawful.)


The Vniversal Church will never unite in General Councils as their Head, or as neces­sary to Vnion.

Sect. I. THose that are not for the Absolute So­vereignty of the Bishop of Rome over all the World, do yet many of them think that they are very moderate Men, if they hold but the Supe­riority of Councils above the Pope, or limit the Popes power to the advice and consent of Councils; taking them to be necessary to Unity: But the con­trary is very easily proved; much more their insuf­ficiency.

Sect. II. 1. It is certain, that the Church had Union before there was any General Council: The first at Nice was 310 years at least, if not more after the Birth of Christ. There is none pretended to be before that, by any judicious men. They that instance in the Consultation of the Apostles, Elders and Bre­thren at Jerusalem, Acts 2. may easily see reason to convince them, that those were but the Apostles, Elders and Brethren, that were ordinarily then resident at one City and Church: And such as pretended not to be Governours of all the Apostles, Elders and [Page 53] Brethren who then were absent, about the world. The Popes and his Cardinals may say they are a Gene­ral Council; but who will believe them? These at Jerusalem were not sent from all the Churches, but one of the Churches sent to them, as fittest to advise them, and as being men most certainly, and eminent­ly inspired by the Holy Ghost.

It's true that Christ and his Apostles had a Govern­ing power over all the Church: And if they will im­pose on us no other sort of General Councils as so ne­cessary, but such as have such office, power and infal­libility, and dwell together in one house or place, and are not sent from other Churches as their Representa­tives, and can prove such a Power, we shall submit to such a Council. Pighius hath said enough of that Novelty, and against the Governing power of General Councils: That which was not essential to the Church 310 years, is not so now.

Sect. III. 2. If General Councils be the necessa­ry means of Union, it is either for their Laws, or their Judgment; and it is either past Councils, or present ones, or both.

1. If it be the Laws of past Councils, then one Council that can make Laws enough at first, may serve without any After-Councils: And if it be enough that there have been General Councils, why is not the Church united by them? Then it is no matter if there never be any more. And why may not Christs own Laws serve for Church Union?

2. But if it be present Councils that are necessary for Laws or Judgment, then the Church is now no Church without them.

Sect. IV. 3. There is now no General Council in the world, and yet the Church hath essential Union. Nay, as it is long since there was one (in their own account) so we know not whether ever there will be [Page 54] more: the Interest of the Pope being against it.

Sect. V. 4. The great disagreement that is about Councils in the Christian World, proveth that they can never be the terms of Universal Agreement.

1. It is not agreed who must call them.

2. Nor out of what Christian Countries they must come; whether all, or but some; and which; the Papists saying that three parts of Christians may be absent, or have no right to send, being Hereticks or Schismaticks; and others think Papists to be Hereticks, Schismaticks, and Antichristian.

3. Nor what Number are necessary to make a Council.

4. Nor in what Countrey they must meet.

5. Nor what their work is.

6. Nor what Power they have.

7. Nor how far they are to be believed.

8. Nor which are to be taken for approved Coun­cils, and which not.

9. Nor what to do if they contradict each other, or the Pope, or the Scriptures.

10. Nor whether any more Councils be necessary, than what are past already. But the Papists themselves hold, That they are not the stated Head, or Govern­ing Power of the Church, (else there were now no Church, because there is no General Council; but as a Consultation of Physicians in extraordinary [...] of the Churches maladies.

Sect. VI. 5. It is certain, That the Univer [...] Church was never united in their subjection to Coun­cils; yea, that even at the greatest Councils called Gene­ral, at Nice, Constantinople, Ephesus and Chalcedon, and the rest, there were not Delegates from all the Churches without the Empire; nor did they all subject them­selves unto them: yea, it is certain, That there never [Page 55] was an Universal Council of the Church through­out the World: but that they were onely called General, as to one Empire, and so were but as National Councils; This I have elsewhere proved at large, in my Answer and Reply to Johnson for the Churches Visibility.

1. By the names that did subscribe the Councils: One Johan: Presidis at Nice, is an Exception there easi­ly answered.

2. Because the Roman Emperor called them (what­ever Papists say against it to the Ignorant) who had no power but of the Empire.

3. Because no Summons was sent to any (much less to all) out of the Empire, as History acquainteth us.

4. They were all under the five Patriarchs, and the Metropolitanes of the Empire: The Abassines sub­jection to Alexandria, was since the revolt of Diosco­rus.

5. We read of no Execution of their Canons out of the Empire, by either casting out Bishops, or putting them in.

6. Theodoret giveth it as the reason, why James Bishop of Nisibis was at the Council of Nice, because Nisibis then obeyed the Roman Emperor, and not the Persian, Hist. Sanct. Pat. cap. 1.

7. The Emperors oft decided their differences, and set Civil Judges among them, to keep order and deter­mine, and corrected them, and received Appeals, and cognisance of their proceedings; All which, and more, prove evidently, that they were but Universal as to that one Empire, ( [...]ay rarely, or never so much) and not as to the world.

Sect. VII. It is probable, if not certain, that there never will be an Universal Council; unless (which God forbid) the Christian Society should be reduced to a small and narrow compass, when we are hoping its increase: For,

[Page 56] 1. The differences who shall call them, and the rest before named, are never like to be agreed.

2. Turks, Heathen and Nations in War against other, or hating Christians, will never all consent and suffer it.

3. The jealousie that Christian Princes have of Pa­pal Tyranny, will never let them agree, to send their Subjects to it: The Case of the Abassines, Greeks, Ar­menians, Moscovites, Protestants, &c. proveth this.

4. The distance is so vast, that the East and West Indians, and Ethiopians, cannot come so far to answer the Ends of a General Council.

5. Should they attempt it, their Number must be so unproportionable to the nearer parts, that it would be no true General Council, to signifie by Votes the Churches sense.

6. They could not all meet and consult in one room, if they were truly Universal.

7. They could not all understand each other, through diversity of Language.

8. Their present difference, and old experience, assu­reth us, that they would fall altogether by the ears, and increase the Schism.

9. They would not live to get home again so far, to bring and prosecute the Concord.

10. The People and Priests at home would not agree to receive them.

Sect. VIII. Yea, it is certain, that it would be a most heinous sin to call a true Universal Council, worse than an hundred Murders. For,

1. If young Men came in no just proportion, it would but mock the world, and prepare for Heresie, or Tyranny. If experienced aged Men came from America, Ethiopia, Armenia, &c. and the Antipodes, the Voyage and Labour would murder them.

2. Their Losses would be unspeakable to their Churches.

[Page 57] 3. Yea, their absence so many years, would be to their Churches an unsufferable loss.

4. The benefits were not like to countervail the loss: (if they did not hurt by differences, or error, or ty­ranny, it will be a wonder.)

Sect. IX. The sad History of Councils too fully proveth, that they have been so far from being the causes of Concord, and Preventers or Healers of Schisms, that they have been one of the most notori­ous causes of division and distraction. Having proved this in a peculiar Treatise, (A Breviate of the History of Bishops and Councils,) I must not here repeat it. The Council of Nice did best: But as Constantine was fain to keep Peace among the Bishops in person, and burnt their numerous Libels against each other, so wise men think he might another way have better suppressed Arianism, and prevented the many contrary and divi­ded Councils, which this one did by one word occa­sion, and have prevented the Persecutions which Va­lens and Constantius exercised: And had the time of Easter been left at liberty, perhaps it had as much made for Peace.

What the first Council at Constantinople did, the sad Case, and sadder description of Gregory Nazianzene tell us, whose character of the Bishops (not Arians as some talk) should not be read without tears by any, whence he learned the danger of Councils, and resolved never to come to more.

What all the Bastard Councils did at Ariminum, Sirinium, Alexandria, Milan, &c. I need not tell.

And what Schism and Bloodshed was occasioned by the first and second Council at Ephesus: yea, what streams of Blood, Desolation, Schism, and many Ages deplo­rable enmity and confusion were caused by the Coun­cil of Calcedon, I need tell no one that hath read [Page 58] Church History. It is true indeed, that the Nestorians and Eutychians were condemned in these, and the M [...] ­nothelites in many following: But whether mutual un­derstanding might not have made a better end, I ap­peal to a Thousand years experience, and to the nature of the Heresies there condemned, which seem to be much formed in and by ambiguous words, which a good Explication might have better healed, than Ana­thema's and Bloodshed. Of this I spake before (and often.) The Nestorians said, that Mary was not to be cal­led the Mother of God, but of Christ. The Ortho­dox said the contrary: when the Or­thodox never meant that she begat the Godhead, Of this more before. and the Nestorians never de­nied that she begate him that is God. Where then is the difference but in words, one speaking of the Abstract (Deity) which the other never meant?

The Nestorians were charged with holding two Per­sons in Christ, instead of two Natures: which yet Nestorius plainly denieth, but Cyril charged it on him by consequence, because he refused the name [...] on the foresaid account; thinking that denomination a ratione formali, is most apt. And it seems one took Nature in the same sense, as others took Person, meaning the same thing.

The Eutychians asserted one Nature only, but they meant that Christ had but one Nature, as undivided, (which the Orthodox granted) but denied not that the Godhead and Manhood were distinct. And what was the difference then, but whether the undivided God­head and Manhood should be called one Nature, or two; which truly in one sense was two, and in another one. The like was the Monothelites Heresie (for and against which were many Councils) about one or two Wills [Page 59] and Operations, no more disagreeing than as aforesaid, about the sense of [One] and [Two.] And had not a wise Explication, and patient Reconciliation, done better service, than Cursing did, whose doleful effects (Hatred, Hereticating and Schism) continue to this day.

Should I come to the Councils about Images, and that at Constantine, that decreed the Tribus Capitulis, and the multitudes since that have deposed Emperors and Kings, raised Wars, set up Popes, and Anti-Popes, &c. Alas how sad a History would it be, to convince us that Councils of Bishops have caused most of the Schisms, Church-Tyranny, Rebellions and Confusions in the Christian world. And if the Popes have been restrain­ed, or deposed, or Schisms at Rome partly stopt by any, the flame hath quickly more broke out; and condemned Popes have oft got the better of them: And if one Council hath said, That the Pope is responsible, another hath determined the contrary: If Basil and Constance decreed, That a Council be called every ten years, it was not done, but was a mockery in the event. In a word, Councils of Bishops have been but Church-Armies, of which at first the Patriarchs were Generals, and afterwards Popes and Emperors, and came to fight it out for Victory, the sequel being usually Schism and Calamity. And must this be the only way of Univer­sal Peace?


The Vniversal Church will never unite in many pretended Articles of Faith, not proved to be Divine: nor in owning unnecessary doubt­ful Opinions or Practices as Religious, or Worship of God; notwithstanding the pretense of Tradition.

Sect. I. I Need say no more for proof of this than is said in the first Part. If Preachers say that this or that is an Article of Faith; If Popes say it; If Councils say it, this saying will never unite all Chri­stians in the belief of it. It is no belief of God whose object is not revealed by God, and perceived so to be, and received as such. That the sacred Scriptures are written by Divine Inspiration, Christians are com­monly agreed; But that Popes, Prelates or Councils speak by Divine Inspiration, even when they expound the Scriptures, all Christians neither are agreed, nor ever will be; And till a man perceiveth that it is God that speaketh, or that the word spoken is Gods Word, he cannot believe it with a Divine Faith, which is nothing but believing it to be Gods Word, and trust­ing it accordingly. God is true, but men are Lyers, Rom. 3.

Sect. II. Before we can receive any thing as Truth from Man, we must have evidence that it is true in­deed: And that must be, 1. Either from the nature of the thing, and its causes; 2. Or from some testi­mony of God either concomitant (as Miracles were) or subsequent, (in the Effects;) 3. Or from our knowledge of the Veracity, Authority, Inspi­ration and Infallibility of the Instrument or Speaker. [Page 61] If therefore any Church or company of men shall tell us, that this is a Divine Truth or Article of Faith, no more of the World can be expected to believe them, than are convinced of it by one of these three proofs: The first is the case of natural Revelation, and not now questioned: The Second none but the Church of Rome do plead for their own belief, viz. that they work Miracles, and therefore are to be believed in whatever they affirm to be the Word of God. Knot against Chillingworth, and others of them do ultimately resolve their Faith, or their proof of the truth of their Religion into the Miracles wrought in the Church of Rome, by which God testifieth his approbation of their Assertions: Other Christians that may have more miracles than Papists, yet resolve not their proof of Christianity into them, but lay more stress on other Evidence, and particularly on Christs and his Mini­sters miracles attesting the holy Scriptures and Gospel to be of God. And when we can find just proof of the Papists Miracles, we shall be willing to study the meaning of them: But hitherto we have not found such proof. If any Council in Rome, France, Ger­many or England shall say, These are Divine revealed Truths, and as such, you must believe, subscribe or swear to them, the world will never agree in believing them, when no sober man is bound to believe them, but as humane, uncertain and fallible witnesses, according to the measure of their Credibility.

Sect. III. Long experience fully proveth this: No Age of the Church did ever agree in Articles of meer humane Assertion; (for that had been but a humane Faith.) That which the Council of Nice said, was denyed by the Councils at Sirmium, Ariminum, &c. That which the Council at Ephesus the first, and at Chalcedon affirmed, they at the Council of Ephesus the second denyed: That which the Monotholites under [Page 62] Philippicus (innumerable Bishops saith Binius) affirmed many other Councils condemned: That which the Council at Nice the second decreed for Images, was condemned by many other Councils: That which the Councils at [...]isa, Constance and Basil decreed to be Articles of Faith, the Council at Florence and others abhorre. Much less will a Provincial Synod, or a Con­vocation, or a Parliament be taken by all the Christi­an world to be infallible.

Sect. IV. And indeed the obtruding of [...]alshoods, or Uncertainties on the Churches, is a notorious cause of Schism: For what can you expect that men of Sobriety and Conscience should do in such a case? Discern the certainty of the thing they cannot; nor can they believe that all must needs be true, that is said by a Synod, a Convocation or a Parliament: And they dare not lie, in saying they believe that which they do not: And to take all for Schismaticks that dare not deliberately lie, or that set not up [...] men as Lords of their Conscience instead of God, is Schismatical, unchristian and inhumane.

And as mens mere wills ought not to rule their understandings, nor the will of Synods, of Bishops, or others, to be the rule and measure of our wills, so though we were never so willing to believe all to be true that Councils of Bishops or Princes say, [...] are not our understandings in the power of our [...]. We cannot believe what we list. To know or believe without evidence of truth, is to see without light. False Hypocrites may force their tongues to say that they believe this or that at the Command of man; but they cannot force themselves indeed to believe [...]. How then can a book of Articles or the Decrees of a Council, or the Laws of a Prince, bring the World to any unity of Belief, in things not evidently of God?

[Page 63] Sect. V. What I say of Divine Faith, I say of Points of Religious Practice: For though all things be­lieved be not to be done, yet all things to be done as commanded by God, must first be believed to be com­manded by him: And to believe and do, is somewhat more than only to believe.

Sect. VI. But it's one thing to say, This is Gods Command; and another to say, This is our Command. The first none will agree to, that see not evidence to believe it. The second is, 1. Either according to Gods Command (to drive Men to obey it.) 2. Or beside his Command. 3. Or against his Command.

1. Those Laws of Men which are according to Gods Laws, those only will obey who discern them so to be, on that account: Therefore it must be in evi­dent Cases, or they will be no measure of Concord as such.

2. Those that are but besides Gods Laws, Men should obey, so far as they can find that the Comman­ders have power from God to make them; And how few such will be matter of Universal Concord?

3. Those that are against Gods Laws, no good Christians will knowingly consent to.

Sect. VII. And I have before truly told them, what great diversity of capacities and understandings there be in the world, so that even in common matters that are still before our eyes, at least in many or most, few persons long agree: In matters of Fact at any distance, or matters of Prudence, Husband and Wife, Parents and Children, Master and Servants, daily differ: Mens faces scarce differ more than their understand­ings: It is only in few, plain, easie things, that all Men are agreed: And are ever all Christians like to agree in many humane, dark opinions? Or will it be taken for certain to all Men, because it is so to some of clearer understandings? or because a self-confident Imposer ve­vehemently [Page 64] asserteth it? They know not themselves, they know no Man, that presume to unite the Church this way.

Sect. VIII. Therefore the Popish numerous De­crees de Fide, are but so many Engines of Schism made on the pretence of declaring Points of Faith. If they were Articles of Faith before, they may be mani [...]est to be so in the Divine Revelation, that is, the Holy Scri­ptures: But for the Council to tell a Man, [This or That is in the Bible, but we cannot shew you it there, nor can you find it if you search, but you must take our words as infallible:] This is not a center that the Christian world will ever unite in.

And if it be an Article of Faith, either the Church held it before the Council declared it, or not: If they did, then it was known without a Councils Declaration. And what need a Council to declare that which all the Church did hold before, and was in possession of? But if not, then either it was an Article of Faith before, or not. If it was, then the Church before held not that Faith, and so was Heretical, Corrupt, or wanted Faith, and so by their own reckoning (who will not endure the distinction of essentials from the rest) was no Church. If not, then the Council declared that to be an Article of Faith, which was none: It must be such, before it can be truly declared such; else a false Decla­ration that it was such, did now make it such: But if they had openly professed, That by Declaring it an Ar­ticle, they meant the Making one, they must prove,

1. That they are Prophets, and have new Revelati­ons even of Faith.

2. And that the Scriptures were not sufficient mea­sures of the Churches Faith to the end of the world.

3. And that the Churches Faith is alterable and crescent, and the old Church had not the same Faith [Page 65] which the present Church hath. And will the Chri­stian world any more agree in such absurdities, than in a Quakers of Familists professing, that he speaketh by Inspiration? If the Members of the Council before they came thither, were no wiser nor honester than other Men, nor their words more credible, how shall we know that when they are there, they are become inspired, and their words are Gods own words?

But if it be said, That they neither make new Ar­ticles of Faith, nor declare what is in Scripture by Expo­sition, but declare the Verbal Tradition of the Apostles; I ask,

1. If so big a Book as the Bible, contain not so much as all the Churches Creed;

2. Where hath this Traditional Faith been kept till now? If by all the Church, then it was held, possessed and known before that Declaration: If but by part of the Church, then it was but part of the Church that had the true Faith, and one part was of one Religion, and another part of another.

And which part was it that kept this Tradition? And how come we to know that they were righter than the rest, that had it not? If it was Rome only, then they had a Faith different from the rest of the Churches; And how shall we know that they are not as true and sound as Rome?

But how hath this Tradition been carried on, and kept right? Was it by Writing, or by Word? If by Writings, why are they not cited, seen and tryed? Other men can read as well as Popes and Councils: If unwritten, was it by publick Preaching, or private Talk? If the former, then it was commonly known and declared, before the Council declared it. If by private Talk, how shall we be sure,

1. That they were honest men that would keep [Page 66] private the Publick Faith, especially being Preachers that by office were to publish it.

2. And that it hath been well remembred and carried on without alteration. And were it preached or whis­pered, mans memory is so frail, and words so uncertain, that for the Church, or a piece of the Church to carry down from the Apostles from Fathers to Children so many Articles, (more than are in all the Bible) and so hard and mysterious, and by many now controvert­ed, and this not by writing, and to be sure that no mistake hath been made by oblivion, or misexpression, this is a thing that the Church will never unite in the belief of.

And was it in a set form of unchangeable words, that all these Articles (or Expositions) were carried down till now, or not? If yea, we should have had that Form deliver'd us, as we have other Forms (the Creed, Lords Prayer, &c.) If not, how shall we know that the Fa­thers and Children had the same understanding of the matter, and changed not the Faith by change of words? And it's like that all the Churches, since the Apostles, delivered not these Articles down in the same words, when in several Countries and Ages they spake not the same language. And it is a wonder that they would never write their Faith, for their Children to learn, when the Jews, Deut. 6. and 11. were commanded to teach their Children, by writing the Law upon the very Posts of their Houses, and their Gates: And it is a greater wonder, that Parents and Children should through so many Generations and Countries have so unerring sur [...] a memory.

And it is strange how their own Commentators come to differ about the sense of Thousands of Texts of Scripture, if the Churches Tradition have publickly and notoriously delivered down the meaning of them. [Page 67] If not, how Councils come to be the infallible Commentators, and Declarers of the Sense of Scri­ptures.

But if really such men believe themselves, it will be long before either by fraud or force, they can make all others believe such things.

Sect. IX. Gods wisdom appointed a few great and necessary things to be the terms of the Churches Unity and Love; but Ignorance and Pride, by pretences of Enmity to Error and Heresie, have plagued and torn the Churches by Decrees and Canons, and led us into a Labyrinth, so that men know not where they are, nor what to hold, nor what the Christian Religion is, nor who are Orthodox, and who are not; so great a work it is to understand such Voluminous Councils, and then to be sure that they are all right, even when they con­demn and damn each other. That which hath been the chief Cause and Engine of Division, will never be­come the means or terms of the Unity or Concord of all the Churches: But such are the multitude of un­necessary, uncertain humane Decrees, Laws and Canons of Faith and Religion, whatever the proud and igno­rant say to the contrary.


The Vniversal Church will never Vnite, by receiving all that is now received by Greeks, Latines, Armenians, Abassines, Lutherans, Calvinists, Diocesane, Presby­terians, Independants, Erastians, Anabap­tists, or in full Conformity to any of the present Parties, which addeth to the Pri­mitive Simplicity in her terms of Commu­nion or Concord.

Sect. I. I Must expect that the Evil Spirit which hath long torn the Church, and made multi­tudes tear themselves, and foam out Reproach, yea, and Blood against each other, will presently meet the very Title of this Chapter, with a charge of Pride against the Writer, and say, What are you, that you should know more than all the Churches in the World? And pre [...]ume to charge them all with so great Error, as not to know the terms of Christian Concord, nor the way of Univer­sal Peace?

But I answer, 1. Is the Church now United in any of these terms or ways? Are they all Papists? Are they all of the Greek Church, or Armenian, Abassine, &c? Are they all Lutherans, or Calvinists, &c? If not, why should you conclude that ever they will be? Or that any of these are congruous terms of Concord, and that the same that doth not heal, will heal them? Will not Christians be the same as now?

Sect. II. They never were United on any of these terms. I have proved that they were never all Papists. [Page 69] And it will be easily granted of the rest (that they were never all Greeks, Lutherans, &c.) And that which never did unite the Church, never will do.

Sect. III. If you think all must be united in any of these wayes, which of them is it? And why that, rather than any of the rest?

1. Must they all be of the Greek opinions? You see that the Papists condemn them for Schismaticks: And other Churches lament their manifold Corruptions: And the Eastern Countries long since divided from them. We have here in London a Greek Church new built, and Tolerated; and their work is done so igno­rantly and unreverently, that they have usually not twice the number of the officiating or present Priests who join with them.

2. Must they all be Papists? Never was more Poli­cy and Cruelty used to propagate and prop up any Church under Heaven; and yet they cannot prevail for Universal Subjection. Nay, many Kingdoms and Countries are fallen from them, while they used such means to keep them, insomuch that by many of the soundest Churches, they are taken for no better than Antichristian Hereticks. And even the Greek Church separateth from them, and pronounceth them Schijma­ticks, and Excommunicates them every year; And they can never obliterate the History of their horrid Schisms and Usurpations, and inhumane Butcheries, which will a­lienate many from them. Will all the world ever agree to the Dominion of one Usurper? Will they all believe the Monster of Transubstantiation? Will they all agree, That all the Senses of all men are deceived, who think that they see and taste Bread and Wine, and there is none? And that it is necessary to Salvation, to re­nounce all our Senses, and the Scripture, that oft calls it Bread after the Consecration, 1 Cor. 11. Will all agree, That God, who cannot lie by Supernatural [Page 70] Revelation, is the Father of all the lies to Sense, that perceive real Bread and Wine, and deceiveth them all by his Natural Revelation? Will all men believe. That every lying, fornicating, proud and covetous Priest, even many Thousands of them, can work Miracles at their pleasures every day in the week, by making Bread no Bread, and turning it into Flesh and [...]. And that there are visible Accidents without a Subject, even, a round nothing, a white nothing, a sweet no­thing, &c. And that there are no substantial s [...]ns in that Sacrament of the thing signified? And that Christs true Flesh was broken, and his Blood shed by himself in the Sacrament, before it was broken and shed on the Cross? And that two General Councils, who decree as de Fide, that Christ hath not now Flesh in Heaven, hath yet heavenly Flesh in the Sacrament. I know that Augustine retracted somewhat as an over­sight that looked that way: But two General Coun­cils (that at Constantinople, called the 7th General by some, and that at Nice 2d) which damned one an­other about Images, yet agreed in this, That Christ hath not Flesh in Heaven.

The words are, (Bin. p. 378. defin. 7.) [Siauis non confessus fuerit Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum post Assumptionem animatae, rationalis & intelle [...] carnis simul sedere cum Deo & [...]atre, atque ita quique rursus venturum cum Paternâ Majestate, judicaturum v [...] ­vos & mortuos, non amplius quidem Carnem, neque in­corporeum tamen, ut videatur ab i [...]s a quibus conpunctus est, & maneat Deus extra crassitudinem Carnis, Ana­thema.

And in this they say, that the Constantin. Council which they are condemning, was in the right; so that they anathematize the Church of Rome, which think that Christ hath Flesh in Heaven, and in the Eucharist, which they deny, yet saying that he hath a Body. And [Page 71] let those that would pervert the word [Crassitudinem] note, that he doth not distinguish of Christs flesh and ours as two sorts, and say, extra carnem Crassam, but, deny him to have flesh, and say, extra crassitudinem carnis, as an essential property of flesh: And one of these Councils the Papists own.

Will all Christians agree that every Priest must first make his God, and then eat him? or that he must communicate alone without communion with the People? or that he must worship Bread and Wine as his God? or that he may give a half-Sacrament of Bread without Wine, contrary to Christs Institution, the Apostles Doctrine, 1 Cor. 11. and all the Churches constant practice till of late. And that instead of a Commemoration he offereth a real present Sacrifice for the quick and dead? Will all agree to their Image­worship? Why then did so many Councils condemn it? Will all agree that the Assemblies pray in an unknown tongue? He is mad with errour who be­lieveth that ever the Church Universal will receive all these and the rest, which pretended Infallibility maketh to be uncurable Errours in the impenitent Roman Sect.

3. And briefly as to the rest, there is no Calvi­nist believeth that ever all the Churches will receive the Lutherane Consubstantiation or Church-Images? Nor any Lutherane that believeth that ever all the Church will be of the way called Calvinism; a Name even here in England honoured by many (that yet disown it as a note of Schism,) and reproached with the bitterest scorn and accusations by others.

Indeed the Behmenists, the Quakers and some Ana­baptists have said, that all the Churches would at last (and shortly) be of their mind; But few others believe them, nor have cause.

Sect. IV. That which hath divided the Churches [Page 72] will never be the cement of their Concord: But eve­ry one of these parties as Sects, by that whence others denominate and oppose them, have done something to divide the Churches: what the Greeks, Arm [...] ­ans, Nestorians, Eutychians or Jacobites have done, the Papists and others tell you at large: what the Abassines do, by their Baptizings, and other Fopperies, I need not declare. What the Papists do above all o [...]ers, I have opened before. What the Anabaptists do, by differing from almost all other Christians, is known. What the Diocesans have done in Councils, and by silencing others, &c. enow have shewed. What In­dependents and their way have done towards Divi­sions and Separations, it is in vain in this Age in England to recite: And many wise men think, that the Presbyterians over violent rejecting of all Episco­pacy, setting up unordained Elders, and National Churches as headed by National Assemblies, &c. are divisive and unwarrantable; As the same men think their making by the Scots Covenant the renouncing of the Prelacy to be the test of National Concord, also was.

And who can think that Erastianism, deposing the true use of Church-Government, as it hath begun, will not still more divide than heal?

Sect. V. I deny not but Universal Concord may take in almost all such parties: but not as such, by receiving any of their Errours, but as Christians, who agree in the common Essentials of Faith and Piety. We can unite with sober Anabaptists, but not by be­coming Anabaptists. Christïanity is our Religion, and with all that hold the Essentials of Christianity, we can hold essential Unity: And with those that hold the Integrals most purely, we have more and neerer Concord than with the rest, that have more errours: And if any of these parties be sounder than the rest, [Page 73] we love and honour them above the rest, and pre­ferre their Assemblies for our local Communion. But though my Parlour or Bed-chamber be a cleaner part of my house than my Kitchin, or my Co [...]-house, I will not say therefore that the whole house must be a Parlour or Bed-chamber; or that the hand and the foot are no parts of the body because they are not the head or heart; or that all the body must be an Eye or one of the Noblest parts: St. Paul hath taught me better than so, 1 Cor. 12: We must expect that each party should labour to propagate that which they take to be the truth: But to force all to their sayings, or persecute or cast off all Dissenters, is schis­matical, whatever be pretended.


The pretended Necessity of an uninterrupted Canonical or Episcopal Ordination will ne­ver unite the Church, but is Schismatical: Mr. Henry Dodwells S [...]hismatical Treatise against Schism considered and confuted.

§. 1. BEcause the City of Rome hath not been conquered and kept by Infidels, nor Chri­stianity thence ejected, the Papists think that they ex­cell other Churches in an uninterrupted Succession of ordained Pastors; and therefore they bend their wits to prove this necessary to every true Church, and then to prove others to be no true Churches or Ministers of Christ that want it.

And because they think that our Pastors can prove no such continued Succession, unless as derived to us [Page 74] from Rome, and that to acknowledge such a deriva­tion, is to acknowledge them a true Church, on which we have and must depend, therefore they most ear­nestly manage this Argument against us as their strength.

Sect. II. And there is lately a young unordained Student of Trinity-Colledge neer Dublin, come out of Ireland, to propagate this and such like Doctrines in London; to which end he hath lately written a large and wordy Volume, as if it were only against the Non-conformists: Which being new, and the most audacious and confident attempt that ever I knew made against the reformed Churches, by one that saith himself he is no Papist, and being the mo [...]t elaborate enforcement of the Papists grand Argu­ment on which of late they build their cause, I think it needful to the Readers satisfaction not to pass it by, though it will not stand with the order of this undertaken work, nor with my want of leisure, to write a particular Answer to all the words of so ex­ceeding prolix and tedious a discourse.

Sect. III. I have oft handled this case already, espe­cially in my Disput. of Church-Government, Disp. of Ordination; and in my Ecclesiastical Cases in my Chri­stian Directory, and that more largely than I must here doe: And the Reader that would see more, may read the Protestants Cause fully vindicated against Cornelius Jansenius (a stronger adversary) by Gisb. Voetius in a full Volume de desperata causa Papatus. But I shall here first briefly assert the Truth.

Sect. IV. 1. Christ and his Spirit in his Apostles have already instituted and described the Office of the sacred Ministry, and determined what Power and what Obligations to the work it doth contain; and what the work is to which they are designed: so that it is not left to any Church now to make or [Page 75] amend, or change the O [...]ce: what it is I have descri­bed in the Second [...]art.

Sect. V. 2. Christ also, and his Spirit in his Apo­stles, have told us what are the necessary qualifications of such as shall receive this Office, and be received into it: viz. what is necessary to the Being, and what to the Well-being of a Minister of Christ. And conse­quently who are utterly uncapable; so that Men may by Canons enforce the Execution of these Canons of Christ, and may instruct each other how to understand them; but they cannot make a Pastor of an uncapable unqualified person, no more than they can make currant Coin of forbidden Mettal, or Meat of Stones, or a Wife of a Male; [...]orma non recipitur nisi in materia disposita; As he that must profess Physick, or Philoso­phy, or Law, or Grammar, or Musick, must be tole­rably qualified to do what he professeth, or else he is but equivocally called a Physician, Philosopher, Lawyer, Musician, &c. whatever Title, Licence, or Commis­sion he hath: so is it here.

Sect. VI. 3. God hath told us in Scripture, that these special qualifications are Christs own Gifts, con­ferred on Men for the work of the Ministery, Ephes. 4. 8, 9, 10, &c. 1 Cor. 12. And that the qualifying Men thus, is Gods calling them to the Office, and the Holy Ghost is said to set them over the Church by his special Gifts.

Sect. VII. 4. But for preserving Order, and avoiding Usurpation, God hath described how these Qualifications shall be discerned and judged of, which is called the External Call; which is,

1. That the Person shall discern them in himself, viz. competent Faith and Knowledge, Willingness and Desire, and Ability for utterance and practice: For he that thinketh not himself capable, cannot consent; and he that consenteth not, is no Minister. But no [Page 76] Man is to be the sole Judge of his own fitness; else the most self-conceited would be the Invaders of the Office.

2. Therefore the Senior Pastors are ordinarily to try them, and judge of their fitness, and by Ordination in­vest them, by delivery, with the power.

3. The Peoples need of them, must make them ca­pable of the Correlation, and their consent is necessary to their Reception: For no Man can be a Teacher to those that will not hear, nor a Pastor to those that con­sent not to take him for their Pastor.

Sect. VIII. 5. The Person r [...]c [...]ipient being truly found and determined of, Gods own Law doth of a self give him his Power, and Oblige him to his work. As it is not left to the Ordainers, to judge whether the Churches shall have Pastors or nene, or what the Power and Works of the Office shall be, nor what Qualifica [...] ­ons shall be necessary to reception; but only to discern who are the Men that God chooseth, and maketh most receptive, and so to discern Gods Will, which is the Person, and declare it and invest him; so it is not the Ordainer nor People that have the Office or Power to give to him that they ordain and choose, but it resist­eth directly from Christs concession in his Law: As a Woman chooseth her Husband, and the Minister celebra­teth Marriage for Order sake, but Gods Law giveth the Husband his power over the Wife. And as in a Cor­poration or City, the King by his Charter saith, [Eve­ry Year on such a day, such Persons shall Choose a Man thus qualified, to be their Mayor, and the Recorder shall swear him and invest him, and I hereby grant him, thus Chosen and Sworn, such and such Power, and Command him to do thus and thus.] Here the Electors do but determine of the qualified recipient Person, and the Re­corder invest him, but his Power ariseth immediately from the Kings Char [...]er: And if the Choosers or In­vester [Page 77] say it shall be more, or less, or other, it is null that they say, and shall not infringe or change his Office.

Sect. IX. Now it is supposed, that if a point of Order be omitted; If the Election day by Fire or Plague, or War, be overpast; If the Recorder be dead, or refuse his Office, that this doth not totally Null the Charter: One chosen a week after, in case of necessi­ty, may have the Power: Or if that Years Election should hereby be made void, the Charter is not void, but will the next Year authorize the Person chosen. Interruption will not hinder this. And if one that had not a just Election, or Investiture, should intrude this Year, the Charter will authorize the next notwithstand­ing: Or if the Recorder that invested the last was an Intruder, the next may yet be truly authorized: Or if the Charter were, that every former Mayor shall in­vest the next, it would not hinder a Succession, if a former had usurped: For the Charter still reviveth it, and is supposed to appoint such means as are sufficient, if a circumstance fail.

So is it in the present Case: If a Bishop were an Usurper, conterfeiting his own Ordination; or if a Presbyter pretend himself a Bishop, or to have Or­daining Power when he hath not, or if an unjust Choice be made, the next Man hath still a due way of entrance; yea, and want of such a point of Order, when it is not fraudulently contemned or refused, Nul­leth not the Office Power. Order is for the thing ordered, and for the common good, and not to be pre­tended against it. If the Pharisees that sate in Moses Chair were to be heard, and the High-Priests that were then unlawfully called (out of the true line, and buy­ing the Office of the Romans for money) were to be submitted to in their Office, much more a Christian Pastor truly qualified by God, and chosen by the [Page 78] Flock, and approved by Senior Pastors, though there were some point of Order wanting.

Sect. X. Yea, in case of necessity were there no Ordination, but just Qualification and Election, it wou [...]d not nullifie the Office; nor hath God promised that no place shall fall under such necessity: For Christ hath taught us, That He will have mercy, and not sacrifice; and that the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath; and Paul and Apollo are for the Church. And as in Physick, or Soldiery, or Re [...] of the Poor, that must be done by the Law of Nature, which cannot be done according to all the Points of an Ordering Law of Man; so is it here: It is meet for the safety of Mens Health, that none practise Phy­sick but a Licensed Physician; But in Cases of Necessi­ty, (when Physicians are wanting) every one that hath skill may use it, and an able Man may be a Phy­sician unlicensed, rather than see Men perish whom he may help. It hath been my own Case: In a great and poor Town where was no Physician, came an Epidemi­cal Plurisie; had they been neglected, most had dyed; Necessity constrained me to advise them, and they all recovered: Thereupon their Poverty and Importunity constrain'd me to practise Physick many Years (only gratis) and God by it saved the lives of multitudes; should I think, in this case of Necessity, that I sinned, because I took not a Licence, (which resolving not to continue the Practice, I could not do:) So I have known some skill'd in Law, that have help'd many by Council, though they were no Lawyers.

So none may take up Arms as a Soldier without the King's Commission: But in case Traytors and Rebels suddenly endanger King and Kingdoms, or Enemies invade the Land, every Man is a Soldier by the Law of Nature; which also enableth every Man to defend his Life, Purse, House, Parents, Neighbors, against Thieves and Murderers.

[Page 79] The Law of the Land ordereth, That the Poor be kept by the Parishes from Begging, and that we relieve not Beggars otherwise. But if the Parishes through Poverty or Uncharitableness neglect them, the Law of Nature bindeth us to relieve them, rather than see them perish.

All Laws, for the meer Ordering of any Duty, sup­pose that the Duty must be done, and that as tendeth to its proper end, and not that on pretence of Order it be undone. If the Coronation of a King be not perform­ed regularly, he is King nevertheless by Inheritance, or Election; and he is King before his Coronation. Mar­riage is valid before God, by mutual consent, before the Matrimonial Solemnization; and where this cannot be had, it is no Duty. If a Priest would not marry Per­sons, unless they will make some unlawful Promise, or do some unlawful thing, it is lawful (and may be a Duty) to marry themselves, declaring it publickly to avoid Scandal, unless the severity of the Law of the Land do accidentally make it unlawful: And in some Coun­tries the sinful course of Priests may make this an ordi­nary Case. And no reason can be given, but that here it may be so.

Sect. XI. Many Cases may fall out in which no Ordination, by Imposition of Hands, or present Solem­nity, may be necessary to this Office.

1. In Case a Company of Christians be Cast upon a remote Island, where no Ordainer can be had, and yet some of them are qualified Persons: It is sinful for them to forbear Gods Publick Worship, therefore they must choose the fittest person to perform it, viz. Preaching, Prayer, Praise, Baptizing, and the Lords Supper: And that Election sufficiently designeth the person, that from Christs Charter shall receive the Ministerial Power, and be obliged to the Duty (if he con­sent.)

[Page 80] 2. In Case the Person be remote, and the Ordainers and he cannot meet, or Persecutors, or Tyrants, or other Accidents, hinder their Meeting, he may be Au­thorized by Letters, without any other Ordination: It is well known that this hath of old been practised, and Bishops have sent such Letters of Ordination, to those absent Persons that have fled from Ordination, and so made them Bishops. And it being but the designation of the recipient Person on whom Christs Law shall confer the Office, that they have to do, there is no rea­son to be given why they may not do it effectually by writing.

3. In Case that Death or Persecution hath left none to Ordain, that are within reach of the Person to be Ordained: If Ordination by Diocesanes were ordinari­ly necessary, yet in those Kingdoms or Countries where there is none, it cannot be had; as in New-England, and lately in Britain, in Belgia, Helvetia, and other Coun­tries.

Some may say, You ought to go for it, though as far as from America hither, and to seek it Beyond the Seas, and in other Lands, or stay till it may be had. But I answer,

1. In some Countries the Governors will not suffer Diocesane Ordination.

2. Words are soon spoken, but to sail from America hither, and that for every Man that is to be Ordained, is not soon done; some have not health to bear it at Sea; some have not money to pay for the Voyage charge.

3. It is a sinful loss of a Years time, in which they might do God much service.

4. A Years Voyage by Sea to and fro, may hazard their Lives, and so frustrate all their end.

5. Some Princes and States forbid their Subjects to be Ordained in Foreign Lands, as we forbid Romish [Page 81] Ordination, lest it draw a Foreign Power on them.

6. It is not lawful to deny God his Publick Wor­ship, and our selves the benefit, by so long de­lay.

7. It is contrary to the temper of the Gospel, which ever subjecteth Ceremony, Rites and External Orders, to Morals, and to Mans good, and the great Ends.

8. And it is a wrong to the honour of the Divine Nature, for Men to feign, that the Great, Wise, and Merciful God, layeth so great a stress upon a Ceremony, or Rite, or outward Order, as to damn Souls, and deny his own Worship, where it cannot be had.

4. And this Ordination is not necessary, in Case the Ordainers be grown so wicked, or heretical, as that they will ordain no good and orthodox Men, but only such as are of their own sinful way.

5. And in Case the Ordainers require, as necessary, any one unlawful thing, Subscriptions, Profession, Vow, or Practice.

If any say, That God will never permit us to fall under such Necessities, they must prove it; and Expe­rience disproveth it.

Sect. XII. And if in all such Cases no Ordination be necessary, much less is Diocesane Ordination necessa­ry in all Cases and Places: As,

1. In Countries where no Diocesanes are, or are near.

2. In Countries where they or their Ordination is not endured by the Governors.

3. In Countries where the People being in judgment against it, will have no Pastor so Ordained: It is not better to have none at all.

4. In Countries where Wars do hinder it.

[Page 82] 5. When the Diocesanes themselves will not venture to Ordain, for fear of suffering for it.

6. In Countries where the Bishops are so corrupted, that they refuse all that are truly fit.

7. Or where they refuse all whom the People either choose, or will consent to; and the Bishops and People cannot agree on the same Man.

8. Or wherever the Diocesanes impose unlawful Co­venants, Promises, Professions, Subscriptions, Vows, Oaths, or Practices, without which they will not Or­dain.

On some or other of these accounts, a Romanist would not be Ordained by a Greek, or Protestant, or Armenian, &c. and a Greek, or Protestant, would not be Ordained by a Papist; supposing something to be unlawful.

9. But when a Parochial Bishop may be the Or­dainer, in such Cases, the Validity will not be denied by most Episcopal Divines.

10. And it is truly as valid in such Cases, when, 1. Senior Presbyters, 2. that are authorized by the Ma­gistrate, 3. especially that are chief Pastors in Cities, and have Curates under them, do Ordain, though some deny to call them Bishops.

11. As the Erastians think that the Christian Magi­strate may design the person, by the Peoples consent, without any other Ordination; so Musculus and some other Protestants think, that a fit person designed by the Magistrate, and accepted by the People, need not question his Call to the Office; And it's hard to dis­prove them.

12. If the Opinion of many Papists, and Prote­stants hold true, That a Bishop differeth not from a Presbyter in Order (or Office) but in Degree, as the Foreman of a Jury, or the President of a Synod [...] [Page 83] Colledge, or Council of State, &c. then I see no rea­son but the Magistrate may make a Bishop of a Pres­byter, as he may make a President of a Colledge, or a Mayor of a Corporation: For then the difference be­ing but in the Accidents of the Office, and the King be­ing Governor of the Church, as far as the Sword is to govern, and specially the determiner of meer Accidents and Circumstances, circa sacra, why may he not set one Presbyter in degree above the rest? Did not all the strife of Emperors for the power of investing Bishops, signifie this much against the Popes opposition? Both sides granted that the People and Clergy were to be the Choosers of a Bishop. And it was the old Canon, that no Bishop should remove from Seat to Seat; so that only Presbyters, and no former Bishops, were made Bishops of any particular City, (or Deacons, or Sub­deacons sometime at Rome.) By which it appeareth, that the Emperors power of Investiture amounted to a Negative voice, in the making of a Bishop. The Kings of Israel sent Levites to teach the People, and Solomon chose who should be the High-Priest: And when the Romans after sold the Office, Christ bids the cleansed Lepers, Go and shew themselves to the High-Priest, and offer, &c.

Sect. XIII. The Case of the Reformed Chur­ches nullified by the Papists, and whose Ministers Of­fice and Authority is denied by them, is as follow­eth.

I. The old Bohemians and Waldenses had different degrees of Pastors, of which the Superior were called Conseniors and Seniors of one Order, who presided among the Elders, but took not the Government of the Flocks out of their hands, nor ruled without them, and were chiefly above others in judging what Elders (or Ministers) were to be removed from lesser places to greater: whose Form of Government, most like the [Page 84] Ancients, you may see at large in the Descriptions of Lascitius and Commenius.

II. The Churches called Lutherane, (Denmark, Sueden, Saxony, &c.) have for the most part some Episcopacy called Superintendency; but their Bishops take not the power of the Keys from the Pastors of the several Parishes. And they take not the power of Ordaining to be proper to the Bishops: For the Bishops of Denmark were made such by Bugenhagius Pomera­nus a Presbyter; which they suppose doth null their Successive Power.

And the English have Diocesane Bishops and Ordi­nation by them, and as good a Succession, at least of Regular Ordination, as Rome hath had.

III. The Churches called Presbyterian in Holland, France, Scotland, and other Countries, have Ordination by a Synod of the Pastors of particular Churches, of which some are the chief Pastors of Cities, and have Curates, or assisting Presbyters, and therefore are such Bishops as the Scripture, Ignatius, Tertullian, yea, and Cyprian describe: so that,

1. They think that as in Generation a Man beget­teth not an Ape, or Dog, but a Man, and an Hors [...] begetteth an Horse, and every thing propagateth its own species; And as Physicians make Physicians, and Lawyers make Lawyers, &c. So Pastors make Pastor [...] as far as belongeth to an Ordainer; that is, preparing and determining the Receiver whom God shall give the Power to, and oblige to the duty of that Of­fice.

2. But yet in the same Order they think they have a true Episcopacy as to degree, first, in the foresaid City Pastors that have Curates; secondly, in the Presi­dent of the Synod.

3. And they think that those Writers, Papists and Protestants, are in the right, who expound the word [Page 85] [Presbytery] which laid hands on Timothy, of a Ses­sion of Presbyters, and therefore that such have power to Ordain.

4. And they think that if after their faithfullest search, they should in this be mistaken against their wills, God will not therefore disown their Churches, Ministry and Worship, no more than he will reject the Prayers of private Christians for their Errors and Im­perfections.

IV. Those that at present are called Nonconformists in England, who were (about 2000 Ejected and Si­lenced, Anno 1662. Aug. 24.)

1. Many of them, (yea, most that were above 44 years old) were Ordained by Bishops, (of whom I am one.)

2. The Generality of the rest lived, when by the Rulers that had such possession as they could not resist, Diocesane Ordination was forbidden, and another set up, and we heard not of five Bishops in England that did Ordain, and hardly knew how to procure it of these. And the Oath of Allegiance might have cost both the Bishop and the Ordained their Lives, or Liber­ties at least, in the Times of Usurpation.

3. They were Ordained by a Classis, or Synod of Ministers, of whom some were chief City Pa­stors that had Curates, (which saith Grotius, de Imper. Sum. Pol. were a sort of Bishops) and they had a President.

4. Some were not satisfied with this, and were se­cretly Ordained by the deposed Bishops.

5. Some desired Confirmation of their Ordination aforesaid by the Synods, from such Bishops as owned it, and had it (from Bishop Usher at least, of others I am uncertain.)

6. The Generality of them that had any Parsonages [Page 86] or Vicarages, or any endowed Cures in England, from the Year 1646, till the time that the Westminster As­sembly was Dissolved, had a formal authorizing Instru­ment of Approbation from the said Assembly, or Na­tional Synod (chosen by the Parliament;) of which the Catalogue in their Ordinance sheweth us, that di­vers Bishops were, by the Parliament, chosen Mem­bers. If any or all refused to be there, the Countrey Ministers knew not that, but justly took them to be parts of the Synod: And though this was not an Ordi­nation by Imposition of Hands, they supposed that it was as valid to authorize them, as the Acts before-men­tioned of some ancient Bishops, who ordained absent Men. And the main Body of the late Ejected Mini­sters (very few excepted) were thus called, confirmed, approved, and put in, having also the Consent or Election usually of the Patron, and the People, and the then Rulers.

Sect. XIV. And there were many that in those Times were only Ordained Deacons, and took the Synods Letters of Approbation, for the substance of an Ordination to be Presbyters, but wanting the Formali­ty, submitted to Diocesane Ordination, when the Dio­cesanes returned (of whom Dr. Manton was one.) Yea, divers submitted to be Re-ordained by the Diocesanes that had been Ordained Presbyters before. This is the Nonconformists Case, except some few Independents, that were not for formal Ordination, at least so much as the rest: yet even of them, such as had Benefices in Anno 1646, 1647, 1648, had the Synods Appro­bation.

Sect. XV. To all this I must add, That by the Diocesanes Silencing multitudes of those Ministers, whom the most Religious accounted the most able, ho­ly, powerful Preachers (in the days of Queen Eliza­beth, King James, King Charles I. besides the 2000 [Page 87] Silenced in the beginning of King Charles II.) the People that were most serious in matters of Religion, were (except a few) so alienated from the Dioce­sanes, that most of the stricter Religious Sort, would not choose a Minister that was for them and their Or­dination, and so it would have made a more dangerous Schism than was made.

Sect. XVI. And as to the present state and practice of the Nonconformists, (premising that I speak only of meer Nonconformists as such, and not Men of other Principles and Parties that Conform not, as Jews, Turks, Socinians, Papists, Familists, Quakers, &c.) let it be understood,

1. That they take all the Parishes and Congregations of true Christians that have true Pastors to be true Churches of Christ: And they take such Ministers as Conform, to be notwithstanding that true Ministers, though culpable; and therefore they separate not from any such Churches as no Churches, or from such Mini­sters as none.

2. They take particular Churches associated under Diocesanes, Archbishops, and Nationally under one King, and represented in one Convocation or Synod, to be still true Churches, and such as may be lawfully communicated with; and these Diocesane, Provincial and National Associations to be laudable as they are meer Associations for Concord, and though culpable in some other respects, yet such as good Christians may lawfully live under submissively, and in peace.

3. They think it lawful to preach and administer the Sacraments in the Parish Churches, and have these 17 years been cast out, and kept out much against their wills, and laboured, and hoped, though in vain, for Restoration.

4. It is not Communion with any Christian Church in Faith, Love, or Holy Worship, or any thing of [Page 88] Gods Institution, no nor any thing of Mans command­ing, but what they believe God hath forbidden them, which they deny. To deny to take many Covenants, Oaths, Professions, or to do some Practices which upon their best enquiry they verily believe to be great Sins, this is not separating from any thing of God.

5. They do not depart from the Churches, but are cast out. The Ministers are Silenced and [...]cted, as they verily believe, for not sinning and hazarding their Souls. Ministers and People are expresly by the Ca­non of the Church, Excommunicated ipso facto, (which is sine sententia judicis) if they but say that there is any thing in the Conformity, which a good Christian may not with a good Conscience do: The Canon is visible and plain; so that they cannot possibly avoid being cast out, and think that the Ejecters are the Schismaticks.

6. When they are thus cast out, or driven away, they yet hold distant Christian Communion with all Christians in one universal Church, one Spirit, one Lord, one God, one Faith, one Baptismal Covenant, and one Hope, Ephes. 4. But local Communion they can have but in one place at once; and none are said to separate from all the Churches, where they are not present.

7. The King by his Licence allowed them for a time to hold their own Assemblies; and the Confor­mists themselves swear the Oath of Supremacy, and take the King to be Supreme Governor in all Causes, and over all Persons Ecclesiastical and Civil: And yet then accused the Licensed of Schism.

8. Though there be some things in the Liturgy which the Nonconformists dare not Declare Assent and Consent to, (and therefore suffer,) yet they hold it lawful both to join in Hearing, Prayer and Sacra­ments with the Parish Churches and Conformists, in the [Page 89] Lords days Worship and use of that Liturgy; and many of them do so ordinarily: And others do not hold it unlawful, but are hindered by Preaching them­selves where they can, which they dare not forbear: And the People that hold it lawful, yet hold that better is to be preferred when they can have it. And he that preferreth a Minister which he findeth most Edification by, doth not therefore separate from all others, because he is absent from them.

9. The Nonconformists have in their appointed Treaties for Concord, offered to use the Liturgy with some Emendations, and to submit even to the present Archbishops, Bishops, and other parts of the Church-Government, as is expressed in the Kings Declaration about Ecclesiastical Affairs. By which (visible in Print) it may be seen how far they were from separa­ting inclinations, but it could not by the Bishops, be ac­cepted.

10. But it is true withall, that many of the Com­mon People having constantly preferred that which they thought they were bound to prefer, and seeing their former Pastors cast out and silenced, thought they ought notwithstanding to adhere to them, and grew into so hard thoughts of the Bishops that silenced them, (about 2000 at once) that they are more alienated than before from them and their Assemblies; as Chry­sostoms Joannites were at Constantinople, till the kind­ness of Atticus and Pr [...]lus brought them back to the old publick Church.

Sect. XVII. It is commonly confessed by their sharpest Accusers, that the Nonconformists do well to forbear all that can be proved to be sinful: And if they prove not Conformity sinful, they are content to suffer as real Schismaticks.

Sect. XVIII. We all agree of the necessity of a continued Succession in the Universal Church, of the [Page 90] same Faith, Religion, and Ministerial Office which we profess and possess: We have no one new Article of Faith or Religion, nor any that have not continued in the Church; we have no new Office: But that the Of­fice and Administrations cannot pass as valid, unless the particular Minister can prove, that he had Canonical Ordination from one that had the like, and he from one that had the like, and he from another that had the like, and so up to the Apostles; this we suppose irratio­nal, schismatical, false, and of malignant tendency against the Church and Interest of Christ.

Sect. XIX. Mr. Henry Dodwell is the Man that hath newly and copiously promoted this Schismatical Error, in a Book pretended to be against the Noncon­formists Schism, but disowned by the Conformable Doctors themselves, (many of them.) And indeed, notwithstanding the tedious wordiness of it, it hath lit­tle in it, in comparison of Jansenius long ago, fully an­swered by Voetius. And though I told him over and over first, that if he did not answer Voetius, and my dispute of Ordination, we should take him but to labor in vain, as to our use, yet hath he taken no notice of either of them at all. If he intend it in any following Book, it is but fraudulent to send out this great Volume first, to do his work before he gave any notice of what is al­ready said against him. Must we write the same things as oft as Men arise that will repeat the Arguments so oft confuted?

Sect. XX, His Design and Schismatical Doctrine is thus laid.

1. That the ordinary means of Salvation, are, in respect of every particular person, confined to the Episco­pal Communion to the place he lives in, as long as he lives in it.

2. That we cannot be assured that God will do for [Page 91] us what is necessary for Salvation on his part, other­wise than by his express promises that he will do it.

3. Therefore we must have interest in his Cove­nant.

4. Therefore we must have the Sacrament by which the Covenant is transacted.

5. These as Legally valid, are to be had only in the external Communion of the Visible Church.

6. This is only the Episcopal Communion of the place we live in.

7. The Validity of the Sacraments, depends on the Authority of the persons by whom they are admini­stred.

8. No Ministers have Authority of administring Sa­craments, but only they that have their Orders in the Episcopal Communion.

9. This cannot be from God, but by a continued Succession of persons orderly receiving Authority from those who had Authority to give it them, (viz. Bishops) from those first times of the Apostles, to ours at present.

10. That the Holy Ghost is the Instituter of this Order, and to violate it, by administring without such Ordination, is to sin against the Holy Ghost, the Sin that hath no other sacrifice, and promise of pardon.

11. That the Ordained have no more or other power, than the Ordainers intend or profess to give them.

12. That it is certain, that the Bishops of all former Ages intended not to give Presbyters power of Ordain­ing or Administring out of their Subjection: Ergo they have it not.

Sect. XXI. This, and a great deal more to this purpose, is his matter.

[Page 92] To gather all the Confusions, Contradictions and Absurdities of that wordy Volume, would be tedious, and little profitable to the Reader; only these three things in general I tell such as may be in danger of in­fection by it.

1. That he never agreeth with his Adversaries of the state of the question, nor so much as explicateth the terms, nor doth any thing beseeming a Disputant, to make himself understood.

2. That not only by denied (false) Suppositions, he maketh all his Discourse useless to the Nonconfor­mists, but also at the first giveth them their Cause, and confirmeth them.

3. That while in his Preface he disowneth Popery, it is the very sting of their Argumentation which he useth: And that which yet by consequence overthrow­eth not only the Churches, Ministery, Sacraments and Salvation of the Protestants, but of all Christians on Earth, and of none more certainly, than of the Papists: All which I undertake, when called, to prove.

Sect. XXII. It were tedious to mention all his ambiguous confounding terms: For a few;

1. He that layeth so great a stress on Episcopacy, never tells us what he meaneth by a Bishop; when he ought to know, that with the chief of his Adversaries the Controversie is very much in that: For (as Grotius de Imper. Summ. Pol. and many others) they take the chief Pastor of every Parish-Church (especially that hath Curates under him) for a Bishop;See my Last Book against Johnson of this. at least if he be Pastor of a City, or Town so called of old ( [...]) when others deny him to be a Bishop that hath not many Altars or Parishes under him.

2, Some take him for a Bishop that is but the prime Presbyter, or different from the rest but Gradu, non or­dine, call'd Episcopus Praeses: And others deny him to [Page 93] be one, unless he differ Gradu, as another Officer in specie.

3. Some take him to be a Bishop, that hath no Pres­byter, but Deacons under him, and that in a single As­sembly (as Doctor Hammond on Act. 11. & Dissertat.) Others deny him to be one, that is not over Presby­ters.

4. Some take him to be no Bishop, that is not elected or consented to by the people, (and the Clergy, if there be any;) Others hold him to be one, that hath the consent of neither, but only the Pope, or the Archbi­shop, or the King electing and imposing him, and some Bishops consecrating him.

5. Some hold him to be no Bishop, unless three Bishops Consecrate him; Others say, one may make him Bishop.

6. If three Bishops Consecrate one, and [...] ano­ther, he tell [...] [...] that Church▪ [...] see examine [...] [...] Church, against [...]

Sect. XXIII. [...] repeateth the necessity of being in, an [...] by it; when he must need [...] [...] that th [...] [...] or definition of it, is the very first point of [...] between us and the Pa­pists. By the tenor of his discourse, the Reader may suspect that he meaneth some Universal Society of Men on Earth, under some one visible humane Head, either Monarchical, or Aristocratical, or Democratical, a So­vereign who is [...]ersona Civilis, and Pars Imp [...]rans Con­stitutiva. But, if so, Protestants (we at least) deny any such, thinking this the prime essential difference be­tween us and the Papists, (the second being whether the Pope or his Council be this Head;) and he never tells who this supposed Head is.

[Page 94] So he frequently talketh of necessary Communion with a particular Church, and never tells us what he meaneth by it: Nor can I gather often, whether he means a Diocesane Church, or a Provincial, or a Natio­nal. But I perceive that he meaneth not a Parochial; when yet he knew that the Adversaries take those for particular Churches.

Sect. XXIV. 1. So he oft talks of the necessity of Successive Canonical Ordination, and never defineth either Ordination, or Canonical Ordination; when he must know that some take Imposition of Hands to be essential to Ordination, and some deny it, and hold that Letters may do it on the absent, besides other differen­ces.

2. And some take those to be obligatory Canons, which others contemn as of no authority. The Pa­pists are not agreed what Canons are valid: And the Dissenters and this Disputer are not agreed in England: Many, besides Dr. Heylin, say, That the Popes Canon Law is yet in force in England, except some Particulars that were cast out: Others believe not this; what is said against the Authority of the English Canons, I will not recite.

3. And some take it for Canonical Ordination, if it be done by one Bishop and Presbyters; Others say No, unless by three Bishops.

4. Some say it is not Canonical, without the Clergies and Peoples Election or Consent, (as aforesaid) and others find it necessary to their Cause to deny this.

Sect. XXV. He calls Men oft to Catholick Unity, and never tells us what it is, or how it may be known Abundance more such Ambiguities make his Disputes to me unintelligible.

Sect. XXVI. Or if he be to be understood in these and such like, then he goeth all along by a beg­ging of the questions, which are denied.

[Page 95] 1. He should have rather proved, than taken it as granted, that those are not Bishops, whom we hold to be such.

2. And that it is not the Visible Church, which we take for such.

3. And that it is not a Particular Church, which we take for such.

4. And that it is no Regular Ordi [...]tion, which we take for such.

5. And that it is no Catholick Unity, which we take for such: And so of the rest.

Sect. XXVII. 2. He supposeth that there is but one Episcopal Communion in the places where Men live; or never tells us, if there be divers Bishops, which it is whose Communion is so necessary: when he knoweth that Grotius thought that of old Churches were formed in imitation of the Synagogues, and that one City had divers Churches and Bishops, as well as divers Synagogues. And Dr. Hammond thought that Rome, Antioch, and other Cities, had two Churches and Bishops, one of Jews, and another of Gentiles; and that Peter and Paul had two Churches at Rome: And he knoweth, I suppose, not only that there were Novatian Bishops in the same Cities with the Ortho­dox, but that oft and long, Constantinople, Anti [...]ch. Alexandria, and many other places, had two at once by their Divisions, but none of them so long as Rome.

But perhaps he taketh it to be enough to Catholi­cism, or the Validity of Ordinances, if we be subject to the species of Bishops, and so to any one that is Con­secrated rightly or wrongly; and so that in Schisms both are true Bishops. But lest he deny this, I will spare to recite its Consequents.

Sect. XXVIII. 3. He in his Preface, and all along, supposeth, That no unlawful thing is [...] [Page 96] the Nonconformists, as necessary to their Ministry or Com­munion; which will as much satisfie them, as if he had told them, That Lying, Perjury, Covenanting deliberate­ly against Gods Precepts, and for the corrupting his sacred Doctrine, Worship, Order, and Discipline, are lawful things. Did he ever hear them, and confute their Rea­sons?

Sect. XXIX. 4. In short, he never proveth, but beggeth,

1. That when Gods Word describeth the Sacred Ministerial Office, yet the Ordainers will and words can alter it.

2. That the chief Pastors of particular Churches, (even Cities that had all of old their several Bishops) are not true Bishops, unless Men purpose them to be so in Ordination.

3. That Presbyters who ordain with Bishops, may not in cases of necessity ordain without them; or if they do, it is a nullity.

4. That in Cases of Necessity, Ability, Consent, Election and Opportunity may not design the person that shall receive authority and obligation directly from Gods Law, without other Ordination.

5. That any Church on Earth can prove an unin­terrupted Succession of Canonical Ordination, by Bi­shops themselves so ordained.

6. That such a Succession is necessary ad esse Officii.

7. That the Covenant of Grace secureth not true penitent Believers of Pardon and Salvation, where they cannot have the Sacrament.

8. That the Sacrament is null as to Mens Pardon and Salvation, if the Priest be not truly called, or have not successive Episcopal Ordination.

9. That if a presumptuous Title (as [...]e saith may yet make all valid when Men seem Episcopall [...] [Page 97] dained, and are not; Whether able godly Men ordain­ed by such like City Pastors or Presbyters in a Synod, and chosen by Religious People, and solemnly dedica­ted to Gods Ministery in the face of the Congregation, have not a better presumptuous Title, than notorious ignorant and vicious Men, that say they were ordained by a Bishop, when their Orders were forged, (of which sort there have been many?)

10. Whether he can prove that it is not Anabap­tistry, to baptize all again that are baptized in the Re­formed Churches, that have no Diocesanes?

11. Whether he abuse not Gods Word and Chur­ches, in feigning all such Reformed Churches, to live in the Sin against the Holy Ghost, for serving God with­out a Succession of Episcopal Ordination?

12. Why is it that I cannot intreat him to answer Voetius, de desperata Causa Papatus, that hath long ago confuted Jansenius, a far stronger Adversary than he? Nor my Dispute of Ordination Twenty Years ago written, and yet unanswered? when▪ I tell him we have not leisure to write over the same things, as oft as Men provoke us to it.

Sect. XXX. I will now cast before him these following Notes.

1. What proof hath he of Sacraments (besides Sacrifices) before Abraham's days? And was there then no pardon of sin?

2. Were Women damned that were not circumci­sed? Or were the uncircumcised Children in the Wil­derness none of the Church?

3. Were not Infants in the Covenant of Grace, be­fore Circumcision entered them, into the Covenant of Israels peculiarity?

4. Why did Abraham think there had been Fifty righteous persons in Sodom? And in every Nation he that feareth God, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of him, Acts 10.

[Page 98] 5. Though Sacraments under the Gospel convey greater benefits, can he prove that it placeth greater necessity of them, than the Law did?

6. Seeing Christ was not baptized till about thirty years old, was he not Holy, and the Churches Head before?

7. Can he prove that the Apostles were ever bapti­zed? Or were they not before true Christians?

8. The Apostles had not the Lords Supper till near Christs death, and yet had part in him before.

9. Was Paul of this Mans mind, that said, He was not sent to baptize, but preach, and thanked God that he had baptized so few.

10. Is not that Promise true, That whoever believeth, shall not perish, but have everlasting life; and that the pure in heart shall see God, &c? And will want of a Sacrament then frustrate all?

11. He presumeth to say, That God is obliged to make good the Sacraments of those that have but a presumptu­ous Ministery, seeming to have Episcopal Ordination, when they have not. And is not the reason as strong from the Peoples impossibility of avoiding the danger, when they can have no Sacraments, or none but from Mini­sters that had not Episcopal Ordination?

12. What if the Succession have been interrupted long ago in Armenia, Egypt, Syria, or elsewhere? Are all damned that were born since? Or which way shall particular persons there remedy it, they cannot send to Europe for Ordainers?

13. If Laymen (as Frumentius and Edesius) con­vert persons in India, are they all damned that dye after Conversion, for want of an ordained Priest, and Sacra­ments?

14. If Baptism give the first sanctifying Grace, then none but unholy persons are to be baptized; and that is impenitent, unconverted Infidels, or wicked men.

[Page 99] 15. It is confessed that the Lords Supper is for Con­firming Men in the Faith they had before: And are not both the Sacraments of the same general nature? one to declare and confirm our initial Faith, and the other our progressive.

16. The Sacraments are to Christianity, what So­lemn Matrimony is to Marriage; which is valid before God upon private consent, but is necessary for order, and preventing Fornication, to satisfie Men: ou [...] Church Title ordinarily depends on Baptism, but God knoweth and accepteth heart consent.

17. God saith, Else were your Children unclean, but now are they holy, 1 Cor. 7. 14. Therefore it is not the Sacrament that first maketh them holy. And the seed of the Faithful have such Promises as we make good against the Anabaptists.

18. Children may dye before they can be baptized, and are they by that natural necessity damned?

19. If a Man live where the Priests will not bap­tize, or give the Lords Supper, but on condition that we profess some falshood, or commit some sin, (as in the Church of Rome,) Must we commit that sin, or be damned, for want of the Sacrament?

20. Doth not this lay a necessity upon all the Pro­testants in Italy, Spain, France, Austria, Batavia, Por­tugal, yea, Mexico, Peru, &c. to leave their Countries, and travel to some Land where they may have Sacra­ments without sinful Conditions, and may have it from Men of right successive Ordination? And how shall all these be able so to travel? And where will they find that Land on Earth that will answer their expectation, and can and will receive them all?

21. What if a thousand honest weak Men mistake, and think, that the things imposed as necessary to their Sacramental Communion, are great Sins, and it be not so, (as our Doubts against Conformity are thought [Page 100] to be Mistakes, yea, the Anabaptists Error:) Can he prove that all such are damning Errors, for want of Sacraments?

22. Gods Oath is also to confirm our Faith: And if a Man may be saved that be [...]ieveth Gods [...], and knoweth not of his Oath, why not he that believeth it, and knoweth not of the Sacrament?

23. Doth not his Doctrine make the Priests the ab­solute Lords of all Mens Souls, that can deny Salvation to any, or all Men, by denying them the Sacrament? Is this the sense of their having the Power of the Keys?

24. Is not this abuse of Tibi dabo Claves, and the office of Key-bearing, the knack by which Popes have subdued Kings and Kingdoms.

25. Is not the Argument which this Man manageth against the Reformed Churches, to prove them [...]o Churches, and to have no Ministery and Sacrament the Achilles of the Papists, in which is their chief co [...]fi­dence, but often baffled (as by Voetius against Jar [...] ­nius aforesaid.)

26. Nay, the Papists themselves are far more mo­derate than this Man; for they take a Laymans Bap­tism, yea, a Womans to be sufficient to salvation, when this Man denieth it of all the most learned and holy Pastors, that have not uninterrupted Episcopal Ordina­tion.

27. Bishops have too oft conspired to corrupt Gods Sacraments, (witness the Lateran Council sub Innc. 3.) and to interdict Kingdoms, and oppress Princes and People, and may do so again: And have the People no remedy against them?

28. A Minister justly ordained, and unjustly sus­pended, or silenced by a Bishop, hath more authority than Laymen, and their Sacraments are not Nullities by the Romanists Confession.

[Page 101] 29. Is not this Mans Doctrine far grosser than Cy­prians, and the Africans, (yea, the D [...]natists) that denied the validity of Heretick Baptism.

30. A Lay-Chancellor, in these mens judgments, useth the Keys of Excommunication and Absolution validly, and yet are not the Sacraments or Ordination of the Reformed Churches aforesaid valid?

31. Surrogate Priests, by the Bishops consent, va­lidly Excommunicate, that are no Bishops.

32. No People can be sure by this Mans Rule, that they have Sacraments, or shall be saved, (except by fa [...]lible presumption) not knowing that their Priest hath uninterrupted successive Ordination.

33. When your presumptuous Ordination is discover­ed to be Null, must all the People be Re-bapti­zed?

34. The Church of England giveth none the Lords Supper till 16 years old. Doth it become absolutely necessary to Salvation, just at that Age, and not be­fore?

35. The Burial Office pronounceth all saved that never Communicated, so they be Baptized, and not Excommunicate, nor kill themselves.

36. What work would this Man make for Re­baptizers, if all the Protestan [...]s of all Nations must be Re-baptized, that have not the foresaid Ordina­tion?

37. Is it suitable to the description of God and his grace in Scripture, to believe that he layeth all mens Salvation upon Sacraments performed by men Ordain­ed, as he describeth?

38. Are not we Reproached Silenced Ministers, as like to be good Protestants as such men as this, that say, that,

1. The Reformed Churches that have not Episco­pal Ordination from uninterrupted Succession, are no true Churches.

[Page 102] 2. Have no true Ministers.

3. Nor true Sacraments.

4. Nor part in the Covenant of Grace.

5. Nor hope of Salvation by promise from God.

6. That their Ministery and Sacraments is the Sin against the Holy Ghost.

7. That the Church of Rome hath this uninter rupted Succession (as he tells me.)

8. That, as will hence follow, the French Protestant: were better turn Papists, than be as they are.

Sect. XXXI. There are as many and greater Objections that I should lay before him, about his Do­ctrine of an Universal Church-Policy, and that sort of Episcopacy which he rather supposeth, than proveth necessary, and such other Points: But I will no more tire the Reader herein.

Sect. XXXII. All the definition of the Protestant Religion that I can extort from him, is, Communicating with the Church of England, and those that it holds communion with.

1. And so did the Papists, saith Dr. Heylin, in the be­ginning of Queen Elizabeths Reign, till the Pope for­bad them.

2. The Church of England never renounced Com­munion with the Reformed Churches, which he re­nounceth.

3. A particular Church is no Standard of Religi­on: Nor England more than the rest.

Sect. XXXIII. If he renounce Communion with all these Reformed Churches, and with the Ro­mans also, what a Separatist is this Man, and how nar­row is his Communion, and into how small a number hath he reduced the Universal Church? If neither Pa­pists, nor any Churches that have not Ordina­tion from uninterrupted Succession, be parts of the [Page 103] Catholick Church, it is very little, if not invi­sible.

Sect. XXXIV. He thus teacheth almost all the Christian world, instead of Love and Concord, to Un­church, Unchristen, and Condemn each other: The Romans, on such accounts, already Unchurch all the rest. The rest will far more easily prove, that Simony, Heresie, uncalled Popes, uncapable ones, and manifold Schisms have oft interrupted his described Succession at Rome: And so Turks and Heathens have matter given them against us all. Already by such kind of Schis­matical Principles, there are few parts of the Church on Earth, that are not by others Unchurched, and Un­church not others: But yet it is but few of them that have proceeded to that Anabaptistical height, as to nul­lifie all their Sacraments, and to expect that almost all the Christian world should be again baptized. Yea, this is far more Schismatical than common Anabap­tism: For the Anabaptists with us Re-baptize not them that were baptized at age by such Ministers as this Writer, and such others degrade; much less do they damn almost all the Christian world, or other Reform­ed Churches, and say, They have no part in Gods Covenant of Grace, and Promise of Salvation, and that they sin against the Holy Ghost, as this Man doth.


None of these terms will unite a National Church, or any Associated Churches, nor well any single Church: Though by other means, a competent Vnion may be kept in some Churches, notwithstanding such Schis­matical Courses.

§ I. THE same Reasons which prove that none of these terms will ever unite the Universal Church, but that all are fitted to promote Divisions, will prove also, that they tend of themselves to the di­viding and distracting of all lesser Church Societies and Communions: Though yet we do not deny, but de facto, a particular Church may easilier agree in an Error, or be kept in some Concord under the same Pastor, where a Sin or Error prevaileth, than the Uni­versal Church on Earth can. As the Church of Rome may agree in Popery, but all the Christian world will not: And as a great part hath agreed in Arianism, (called Christians,) and a great part in Nestorianism, and to this day in Eutychianism, and in the M [...]n [...]the­lites Error, and a great part for Image-worship; and as now many Churches of the Protestants agree in Consubstantiation and Church-Images, and many in re­jecting Prelacy, and many in asserting it; but all agree not in any of these (though the eldest sort of Episco­pacy, for ought appeareth, almost all in many ages did acknowledge and agree in:) But yet that which never united the Universal Church, but tended to discord, will have everywhere usually no better a tendency.

[Page 105] § II. Yet I have before enumerated divers Parti­culars, which are needful and useful to the Concord of a particular Church, which are not so to the Uni­versal: As that all the Members have the same Nu­merical Pastors, the same Translation of the Scriptures read to them, the same Versions and Tunes of Psalms, when they meet together, the same place and day, and hour of meeting: Because these in the nature of the thing are necessary to Concord, and avoid Discord and Confusion. And if divers Churches associated, or all in a Kingdom, or divers Kingdoms, can agree in the same convenient modes and circumstances (as the same Translation of the Bible so far as they have one language, the same day of Easter, Anniversarily to Commemorate Christs Resurrection, as they do weekly on the same first day, and some such like) it will be laudable, so it be done by voluntary consent, as a thing of convenience, and not of necessity, and without ty­rannizing over one another, or persecuting or despising those that differ, or turn it into an Engine of Rents and Schism, by making it necessary to their commu­nion, which is the unhappy end of most humane im­positions of indifferent unnecessary things. He that thinketh he hath hit on the fittest Ceremonies, [...]ites or Modes, is seldom ever content with liberty to use them, but he must force all others if he can to his way, and take away the liberty of all that differ from him: We see it by sad experience, that men think their Forms and Ceremonies cast out, if all may not be compelled to use them, though many think them sinful; and they had rather have none of them, than have them upon terms of meer liberty; lest they be disgraced by the disuse or contradiction of those that do forbear the [...]. And such men are never content with Union and Con­cord in Gods own Institutions, and in circumstances that are in genere necessary.

[Page 106] § III. But some men are stiff in the Schismatical Opinion, that though Churches of many Kingdoms may charitably differ in Ceremonies, and indifferent things, yet none in the same Kingdoms should be suf­fered so to differ (of which I spake before.) But,

1. Christ hath given us no such different measures of our Charity, Forbearance or Communion.

2. The old Churches were quite of another mind, as Socrates and Sozomen shew in several instances. And it is known that in the same Empire, every Bishop had power to use his own Liturgy, and other Modes, (as I instanced in the Canon that requireth every man to bring his Form first to the Synod to be tryed, and in the contention between Basil and the Church of Neoce­sarea, and the strife about Gregories and Ambrose's Liturgy, and such like.)

3. It was the Pastors and People of the same Church of Rome, that St. Paul giveth the Precepts of Forbear­ing and Receiving Dissenters in things indifferent to. And still mark, that he wrote not only to the Laity, but to the Rulers, (as is evident,) and therefore forbiddeth them such narrowing impositions; being himself also a chief Pastor, (an Apostle) and so declareth his own judgment, as one that would himself make no such un­charitable impositions.

§ IV. We deny not but some Churches have a while continued in laudable Concord, notwithstanding such ensnaring Impositions. But,

1. It hath been but for a time, and this Worm hath fretted them, and it hath ended in their great detriment at least.

2. And it was not by these means, but by better causes, notwithstanding these diseases: so that as we answer the Question, Whether a Papist may be saved? so do we answer the Question, Whether such Churches may have prosperous Concord? viz. 1. If the Essen­tials [Page 107] of Christianity in Papists, and of Communion in such Churches, be practically held, so as to be more powerful than their Contraries. 2. But not by their Contraries, but by overcoming them, one may be sa­ved, and the other have peace; even as we answer the Question, Whether a Man may live that taketh Poy­son, or hath the Leprosie? 1. Not if it be prevalent according to its malignant nature. 2. But yea, if it be overcome by natural strength or medicine.

§ V. Chillingworth (our powerfullest Disputant against the Papists) hath fully laid down the true Principles of Christian Concord) and the Causes of Schism, even the making more necessary to Salvation or Communion, than is necessary indeed. And the fa­mous Hales, though too bold, and sometime going a step too far, hath said more against these true Causes of Schism, with great Truth and Reason, than the Au­thors of it can well bear. But wisdom is justified of all her children.


The Severity and Force of Magistrates, de­nying necessary Toleration, and punishing the Refusers of unnecessary uncertain sus­pected things, will never procure Church Vnity and Concord, but in time increase Divisions.

§ I. HAles of Schism, speaking of having two Bi­shops in a Diocess, saith (pag. 223.) Nei­ther doth it any way savor of Vice or Misdemeanor (in­stancing in Austin's doing it ignorantly;) their punish­ment [Page 108] sleeps not, who unnecessarily and wantonly go about to infringe it.

The most pious and wise Church Historians extoll the two peaceable Bishops of Constantinople, that qui­etly bore the Novatian Bishops by them, and ge [...]t [...]y reduced Chrysostom's Followers the Joannites; and d [...]s­praise Nestorius, and such other turbulent Prelates that persecuted them, on pretence of zeal against Error, and some of them proved more erroneous themselves.

§ II. This crying out for the drawing of the Sword against those that differ in unnecessary things [...] a great dishonour to the persons that tell men how con­scious they are of their own insufficiency for their proper work; and a reproach to the power of the Keys, as if it signified nothing without the Sword: And in all Ages, Men of Ambition, and Insufficien [...]y and Uncharitableness, have been thus calling to the Magi­strate to do all, when yet in general claim they have set themselves far above him, as being for the Soul, when he is but for the Body.

§ III. But Experience hath still confuted them, and that which one Age (or year) thus built, the next hath ordinarily pull'd down. Not but that orthodox pious Princes are an unspeakable blessing to the Church, and the want of such are ordinary causes of sin, distraction, and misery: But such must know and do their proper work, and not serve the pride and humor of ambitious ignorant Clergymen, nor be their Lictors or Executioners, nor lend them the Sword to execute their wills.

§ IV. Constantine defended the Orthodox (yet of­fended greatly at their unpeaceableness, and at last tempted to favor some Arians, meerly because being suppressed, they were the greater pretenders to Peace;) but his Son pull'd down what the Father had set up. One Emperor suppressed the Eutychians, another set [Page 109] them up, and others proclaimed and endeavoured pa­cification. One Emperor pull'd down the Mon [...]the­lites, and another set them up. One Emperor pull'd down Church-Images, and another set them up, and General Councils changed with them. And so on in many other instances. If this forcing course were now generally taken, how many Kingdoms would fare the better for it? or now do? not four sixth parts of the world that are Heathens: nor above the fifth part of six that are Mahometans: not most of the other sixth part that are Papists: The Presbyterians like it not in England: The Prelatists are not for it where the Presbyterians rule. How few Countries are just of our mind? and therefore in how few would it please us, or accommodate us.

§ V. And those that are of the same mind in the main, yet rarely long agree in all things. I have before proved, and the notorious state of Mankind proveth, That there is such a wonderful diversity of mental capacities and apprehensions, that the best will never all agree in any, but few plain certain things. To endea­vor by right means to bring all men to be wise, and to agree in all right Thoughts, Affections and Practices, is very good: But he that will resolve to tolerate no Er­rors, (much more dissent about suspected unnecessary things) shall be a heinous oppressor of mankind, even of Christians for being but men. How few Subjects must such a Prince expect to have, that will cut off all that are not of one intellectual complexion?

§ VI. And, as is aforesaid, when men think that God obligeth them to dissent, the more honest and con­scionable they are, the more resolutely they will bear all sufferings, and never yield to man, against the Con­science of their Duty to God; so that if you begin to punish such, there is no ending, till you have killed them, banished them, or kept them close Prisoners. And [Page 110] let all sober Magistrates think, what Counsellors such Clergymen are to them, that would have them,

1. Choose out the most Conscionable and Religious for their Punishments.

2. And not cease till they have destroyed them.

§ VII. And doth not this tend to drive out true Con­science and Religion from the Land, when men that have no Conscience, shall pass for the obedient lau­dable Subjects? And such being capable still of Pre­ferment, shall possess the Churches, and be Rulers of the rest; and then what can we expect, but that such will use Religious Dissenters as their Enemies, and reproach them with all malicious names? And O what a state is such a Land in!

§ VIII. And (you are not infallible, Councils have erred) what if it should prove, That these you destroy are in the right, and you must be judged of God as Persecutors? Let not Spleen or Pride make you fearless of such a sin and judgment.

§ IX. Yea, if they should prove in the wrong, yet you may be Persecutors, if the Error be such that good men should bear with in each other; and God is the Avenger of all the wronged and oppressed. And it is not disregardable that they do and suffer all for him, though they mistake, as Paul saith, Rom. 14. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not: It is God that he intended to obey and please. And one hath need to look well about him, before he destroy such. I dare say, That that man hath truly no Religion, that preferreth it not before the pleasing of men, and all worldly interest; for Re­ligion is our devotedness to serve and please God: And God is not taken for that mans God, that preferreth any thing before him, (as I said before.)

§ X. However it is certain, That thus to set Princes in a constant Conflict against Conscionable [Page 111] godly men, is liker a War against God and Conscience, than any way to Peace and Concord. The Law will not yield, and Conscience will not yield; and God will keep up a Succession of Conscionable men in the world, when Popes and Persecutors have done their worst: And humane frailty and sin will keep up a Succession of so much weakness, as that the best, much more the weakest, will have vain Scruples, Ignorance and Errors, which Prisons or Penalties will not cure; yea, usually greatly increase the malady by Exasperation; and wise men will foresee a probability of the end, before they begin. Hypocrites may yield to save their skins, but the truly Conscionable will not: For to yield to what they think to be sin, is, in their judgment, wilfully to choose damnation.

§ XI. Let not the Clergy Tyrants still cant their vain Objection, [Then Conscience will be a pretence for any Villany, which was not made to be a cloak for sin.] For it is not liberty for any Villany that we are pleading for: who knoweth not that abused Reason is the pre­tence and plea for almost all Villany in the world? What then? Must not Reason be regarded? The use and honor of it kept up, while man is man? And all men have leave to plead Reason in their Cause: And yet not all tolerated that Reason is pretended or abused for. And what Reason is to Man, that Conscience is to Religious Men. Some Evils are so great and inconsistent with the publick good, that it is better all those were banished or destroyed, who pretend either Conscience or Reason for them, than that they should be Tolerated; and these are intolerable Evils. But what man thinks that it is so with all Error or Faults? much less with all things indifferent, which some men have a mind to exercise their mastership in commanding. Put first the question to sober Conscionable men; Is it more to common good, and interest of Honesty and Conscience, [Page 112] that all the Persons in a Nation be imprisoned, banished or killed, that dare not swear, say and practise all that is imposed on them, than that the Impositions be altered or they forborn?

§ XII. And I must again say; That this Church-Tyranny, as most other sin, is most against the Own [...]rs of it: For if the faults of godly men that scruple to subscribe to Popes, Patriarchs, Diocesanes, Synods, Li­turgies, or Ceremonies, are not to be Tolerated, how much less a proud and persecuting Clergy, or such as abuse or exclude Church-Discipline, or by sloth, or un­godly carnal Lives, do wrong their Office, and betray the Flock?

§ XIII. And again I remember them, That Pa­stors must govern the Flock, much like as men do their Wives: And let men but try how far weak and passio­nate Wives must be Tolerated by them that will not do or suffer worse, and here practise accordingly.


Excommunicating and Anathematizing in any of the foresaid Cases, is Schismatical, and not the way to Peace.

§ I. THere need not much more be said of this; it is already proved, That Christ himself hath in his Law, made the terms of the Union and Communion of his Members: As the same Nature that formeth all our members in the womb, is also the placer and uniter of them: Therefore that which is contrary to Christs terms, yea, which is none of them, cannot prove the true terms and means of Concord.

§ II. Indeed no man ought to be Excommunicated [Page 113] otherwise than by Ministerial Declaration and Judg­ment, how far he hath first departed from Union, and cut off or Excommunicated himself. An impenitent Fornicator, Drunkard, Persecutor, doth cut off him­self from the favor of God, and his part in Christ, and the rights of his true Church: Therefore the Pastors may declare that he doth so. And if it become a Con­troversie either de facto, whether he be such an one; or de jure, whether this be true; the Pastors are the proper Judges, so far as to resolve the Consciences of the Flock, whether they must avoid that man, or com­municate with him. And this I think the Rational Mr. Hales would not have denied, though in his Trea­tise of the Keyes, he asserteth only a Declarative, and de­nieth a Judicial Power: For his Reasons shew that he only meant, that the Church hath no efficient Judg­ment to cut off any man from Christ or his Body, fur­ther than he first cuts off himself. And far be it from any Friend of the Church to say, That it is the Bishops Office to undo Souls, and to separate any from Christ, save only by declaring and judging that they wilfully separate themselves; and therefore requiring the People to avoid them, and binding them over to answer their sin at the Bar of God: The rest is the Devils work, and the impenitent Sinners, and not the Pastors of the Church.

§ III. And what is said against the Magistrates unseasonable force, will mostly hold against such undue Excommunication. 1. If the person believe that he is cast out for not forsaking his duty to God, he will re­joyce that he is counted worthy to suffer for righteous­ness sake, remembring that Christ said, They shall cast you out of their Synagogues: And this will bring no man to Repentance.

§ IV. And, 2. Then the Pastors will fall under the imputation of Tyranny and Persecution, and be taken [Page 114] to be Haters and Hinderers of Conscionable men, and grievous Wolves that devour the Flock.

§ V. And, 3. The Parties Excommunicate, will think that this doth not excuse them from the duty of worshipping God; and therefore they will assemble by themselves for such worship; and there they will think, That they are a better Church than those that cast them out; and perhaps may Excommunicate their Excom­municaters, as the Bishop of Alexandria and Constanti­nople have done by the Bishop of Rome: Or, more likely, despise their Censure, and go on, unless the Sword be drawn to suppress them, (to which only such Excommunicaters use finally to trust:) And then what will follow, I have shewed before.

§ VI. And indeed we need no greater proof of the ineffectualness of Excommunication in such cases, than the open confession of the Users of it; who, if they have not an Act for Horning (as they call it in Scotland) or to imprison the Excommunicate, or punish him by the Sword, confess that their Sentence will be contemned: which is most true.

§ VII. Yet sad Experience further assureth us, That Papal Anathematizings, yea, and those of Gene­ral Councils, have been no small cause of Schism, Con­fusions and Rebellions: The History of this would fill a Volume. Alas! what did the Councils of Ephesus, Constantinople, Chalcedon, and many others, by their Anathemas? The state of Syria, Egypt, and Abassia, &c. of those called Jacobites and Nestorians, tells us to this day: And these Thunderbolts have been the Popes great Engines, to beat down Kings, and batter Kingdoms. It is the admiration of the world, next to the success of ignorant Mahomet, That a company of old Usurpers (many of them successively being noto­riously wicked men, and so judged by Councils, and their most flattering Historians) should conquer Chri­stian [Page 115] Kingdoms and Empires, by sitting at home, and [...]ursing men, and telling them, [St. Peter is angry with them, and will keep them out of Heaven, if they be not obedient to the Pope.] But men that will be the Slaves of Sin, deserve to have their Reason so forsaken, to make themselves the Slaves of Subjects.

§ VIII. Yet we are far from thinking, That just Excommunication is of no use; God would not have the Church of Christ to seem no better than the world; it is a Society gathered out of the world by the sanctifying Word and Spirit, and as holy devoted to the most holy God. And he would have the Church Visible, to be visibly the womb of the Triumphant Church, or the Sheepfold of Christ, containing such as have a seeming or visible right to salvation, however Hypocrites do intrude: And therefore the Keys of the Church should be much of Kin to the Keys of Hea­ven, so that he that is taken in or shut out, may seem to the Christian judgment of probability to be taken in­to, or shut out of a right to salvation. And therefore as impenitent wicked men should not be deluded in vain hopes, by being received to Church Communion; so neither should godly men, for pardoned or tole­rable infirmities, be shut out of the Church, while God continueth their visible Title to salvation; much less a Lay-Chancellor, or a Bishop, Excommunicate Christs Members, for not paying their Fees, or for not kneel­ing at the Sacraments, or for not submitting to unne­cessary Impositions, or for holding such Things unlaw­ful, or such like. This way will never heal our breaches, or unite the Churches.


Any One Vnlawful, Vncertain Doctrine, Oath, Covenant, Profession, Subscription, or Practice, so imposed as necessary to Com­munion, will be a dividing Engine.

§ I. THis is proved in what is said before: For a Conscionable Man will not wilfully and deliberately commit One Sin, to save his Liberty, Estate or Life; though many Sins be worse: For he that wilfully commits one, virtually committeth many: And, as St. James saith, Breaketh the whole Law.

§ II. Yea, though the matter of the Sin seem little, a Believer will not think it a little Sin, to do it deliberately, and stand to it by Covenant consent. The high places among the Jews seemed no great matter; but a good man would not have Covenanted never to endeavor any Reformation of them.

§ III. A peaceable Man will live quietly in a Church that hath many Sins and Errors; but he dare not deliberately own or justifie the least. I should com­municate with no Church on earth, if I thought all the Ministers or Peoples Sins, yea, all the Faults in their Prayers, or Doctrine, or Discipline, were made mine by it; I will live peaceably with a Church that hath a faulty Doctrine, Liturgy and Discipline in Things Tolerable; as if it were Lay-Chancellors power of the Keys, or Diocesanes too large Churches (infi [...] speciei:) But I will not profess, That I Assent, Consent to, and Approve all these Faults, or any One of them; nor will I Covenant never to endeavor in any place and calling to reform them, nor justifie all that are guilty of them.

[Page 117] § IV. If one sin of Davids in numbring the People, was so sorely punished; and one sin of Achans, of the Bethshemites, of Uzzahs, of Uzziahs, of Jo­siahs, of Ananias, and Saphiras, yea, at first of Adam and Eve; if one false Article of the Arians so troubled the Church of Christ; and one Error about Images in Churches, so corrupted the Church, and made such sad work in Councils and Kingdoms, a wise Man will not wilfully own one sin.

§ V. And indeed Christ hath determined, That he that breaketh one of the least of his Commandments, and teacheth men so, shall be called the least in the Kingdom of God, Matth. 5. As he that truly believeth God in one thing, will believe him in all which he knoweth to be his word; so he that obeyeth him truly in one thing, will obey all that he knoweth to be his Command, whoever be against it.

§ VI. And it is dangerous for a mortal Worm to set his law or will against his Makers, and destroy or punish a Man for obeying God; sufficient means should be used first to convince all Men, that the thing is evil, and that it is not God that doth command it; else it is a setting up ones self above God, and against him, and saying, You shall not obey God, but me: But when death cometh, can you save either your self, or him, from the justice of that God, whom both you should have obeyed?


Vnlimited Toleration will wrong and divide the Church.

§ I. ALL sober Men are so far agreed in this, that I need not say much of it; no doubt there are intolerable Errors and Sins. And though Mr. Hales and others say,See Sir Thomas Overbury's late Plea for Toleration, in An­swer to Atax­iae Obstaculum, Renouncing Unlimited To­leration. It is not Heresie, unless it be wilful, and we seldom know the wilfulness of another; Yet in truth, 1. It is not only formal subjective Heresie, which maketh the Man an Heretick, which we must resist and re­strain, but also material objective Here­sie; whatever be the Divulgers mind. 2. And also there is a wilfulness which is Privative, when the Will doth not its duty to dis­cover Truth and Error, as well as a positive willing­ness to err (which Augustine saith, That few or none can have:) And no mans will is wholly innocent in any culpable Sin or Error.

§ II. Doubtless mans Conscience is not properly his Lawmaker, nor his Law, (though some unaptly say so) but only his discerning of that which is his Law; no more than the Lawyers eye, or reason, or skill, is the Law of the Land. And therefore to have an erring Conscience, taking that for Gods Law which is not, is a Sin (where it was possible to know it.)

§ III. And therefore Gods Law is not suspended, but violated by mans Error; God hath not as many sorts of Law as men have Opinions of it, or Con­sciences in Error. If a man should think that God [Page 119] bindeth him to kill, steal, slander, &c. this would not make any of these no sin, but it would be no small sin in him, that would father such wickedness on the most holy God, and on his Law. If an erring Conscience think that God forbiddeth our duty to Princes, Parents, Children, Neighbors, Justice, Charity, &c. This would not dissolve any of his Obligations, but be an added sin in slandering God: Far be it from any sober man to think, That the Magistrate must let all men do all the Evil which they will but pretend God and Conscience for.

§ IV. Nor is the Papal Doctrine true or tole­rable, That Priests onely are for mens Souls, and Prin­ces but for their Bodies, and Temporal Concerns; and so that the Priest is as much higher than the Prince, as the Soul is than the Body. Indeed the Minister of Christ is to manage only the Word, which worketh on the Soul by the way of Sense, and not of the Sword; but yet it is to be finally for the good of Souls, that the Magistrate useth the Sword: As the voice toucheth the Ear, so doth the Sword the Flesh for the benefit of Souls, either the sinners, or other mens. And verily he that saith otherwise, and placeth the bonum publi­cum, which is the end of Government, meerly in the bodies prosperity, dishonoureth and debaseth Magistra­cy, and setteth Princes lower than Priests, Parents or Friends. Godly men that believe the vanity of things Transitory and Corporeal, would have as low an esteem of the Means, as of the End, and so of all Civil Rules, if they believed this. But he that is the King, as well as the great High-Priest of the Church, for holy Ends, and for mens Salvation, hath made Princes his Officers subordinate to him for those Ends, as well as Pastors. I will not stand here to confute one or two Scotish Divines that have written against me, for saying, That Princes and Magistrates are now the Me­diators [Page 120] Officers, and have their Power from Him, into whose Hands all Power in Heaven and Earth is given. Sober Thoughts in wise Christians will save me that labour.

§ V. And he that saith, By me Kings reign, and will have Kings to be the Churches Nursing-Fathers, will not take it for an excuse of their neglect, to say, We were authorized onely for mens Bodies: It is not equally for all that have Bodies, nor for bodily Ends, but to see to the execution of Gods Law, by their Bie Subordinate Laws; and Gods Laws all look to higher Ends.

§ VI. And he that said, They are the Ministers of God to us for good, meant true and durable good, no doubt: And when he saith, That they are a Terror to evil doers, he meaneth such as is contrary to the well-doing which they must encourage. And is Piety and Christianity none of that? He doth not except Blas­phemy, Idolatry, Opposition to God, Christ, Holiness, Heaven, Justice or Charity, from the number of Evil Works, which are the worst of them. It is therefore certain, That Princes may and must punish many sins against the First Table, and such against the Second as would shelter themselves under pretence of Con­science.

§ VII. But all the doubt is, What bounds here to set, where it is so dangerous to go too far. And it is one of the most necessary Cases of Conscience, which a Christian Prince hath to study and resolve; in which he must neither hearken to a proud, envious, idle, worldly Clergy, nor to injudicious Zealots, nor to li­centious Hereticks, but avoid Extreams.

§ VIII. In short, what I have before said, deci­deth the Case.

1. He must Tolerate no one Sin how small soever, which is within his Cognizance and Jurisdiction, which [Page 121] he can indeed cure by righteous means, which will do more good than hurt.

2. Thoughts, Heart Sins and Secret Sins are not within his Cognizance.

3. To do the work of Parents, Pastors, Tutors, or Physicians, is no part of the Office to which he is ap­pointed and authorized.

4. But he may drive on all these to do their duties by due means.

5. It is unlawful to seek to cure a lesser Evil, with a greater: That is to be numbred with the things which the Prince cannot do, which he cannot do by lawful means, or such as do more hurt than good.

6. The Mischiefs before enumerated against the Princes Safety and Honour, and against Love, and Justice, and Conscience, and Religion, are so great, as that no Severity must be used which procureth them, and doth not a greater good.

7. The punishing of small Faults by great Punish­ments, is Injustice, and Unlawful.

8. Abundance of Infirmities, and humane Frailties and Errors, are such as must be endured, so they be but by Doctrine, Love and gentle Reproofs, rebuked and dis­owned, without Punishments Ecclesiastical or Corporal; else there will be no Love or Peace.

9. Preachers must not be suffered to persuade Men from the Faith, Love or Obedience of God in Christ, against any Article of the Creed, or Petition of the Lords Prayer, or Precept of the Decalogue, or any es­sential part of the Christian Religion.

10. If such speak a damnable Error or Heresie by Ignorance or Heedlesness, they must have a first and second Admonition, and they [...] repent. But if they forbear not upon. Admonition, they do it studiously and wilfully; and such are to be Silenced till they Reform, because the Preaching of one that opposeth an essen­tial [Page 122] Point of Religion, will do more harm than good, except among Heathens, or where no better Preachers can be had.

11. It will not be unmeet for the Rulers to draw up either a Catalogue of integral Points of Religion of great moment, which all shall be forbidden to Preach or Dispute against; or else a Catalogue of Errors con­trary to such, which none shall have leave to propa­gate: But it is not every one that violateth the Law, that is to be forbidden to preach Christs Gospel; but lesser pecuniary Mulcts, may be sufficient punishment to many; and the bare denying them preferment or maintenance, and casting them among the disowned that are but tolerated, may be better punishment, and more effectual in case of tolerable Faults, than the more severe.

12. Rulers should do much more to restrain from Evils, than to constrain to Religious Duties: And those Evils are of these sorts.

First, Such as blaspheme God.

Secondly, Such as draw the Hearers Souls into dam­nable Error or Sin.

Thirdly, Such as tend to overthrow the Honour and Safety of the Governors.

Fourthly, Such as tend directly to breed Hatred in men against each other, and kindle the fire of Conten­tion and Enmity.

Fifthly, Such as draw men from the common duties of Justice towards Neighbors, or Relations, into Fraud and Injury.

13. It is the greatest part of the Magistrates duty about Religion,

First, To see Gods own Laws kept in Honour.

Secondly, And to keep Peace by Church Justices among Clergymen and People, that are apt to take oc­casion from Religion, to abuse and calumniate one ano­ther.

[Page 123] 14. Yet Rulers may and must compel Persons that are grosly ignorant or erroneous, to hear what can be said against their Error, and for their Instruction: As Parents (so Magistrates) may compel Children (and Subjects) to be Catechized, and to hear Gods Word; and may compel them to hear such Teachers as have the Rulers Licence, either as Approved, or Tolerated to Teach.

15. Men ought not to be compelled to receive the Sacraments of Baptism or the Lords Supper, by the Sword or Force; because it is to receive a sealed Par­don of Sin, and Donation of Christ and Life; which no unwilling person hath right to, or doth receive: For to say I am unwilling, is to say I receive not; and so the reception of the outward sign is Hypocrisie, Prophana­tion, and taking the Name of God in vain.

16. Yet those that being Baptized, and at Age, avoid Communion, are, after Admonition, to be taken for Re­volters so far, and to be declared such as so far cast themselves from the Communion of the Church: And the Christian Magistrate may well deny them many Priviledges in the Commonwealth, which he should appropriate to sound persevering Christians.

17. Places in Government, Trust, Burgess-ship, and Votes in Elections of Governors, and such like, are best appropriated to the Approved part of Christians, and some the Tolerated; but never granted to Apostates, proper Hereticks, or any that are intolerable.

18. Pastors of the Churches should not be constrain­ed to give the Sacrament of Baptism, or the Lords Sup­per, to any one against their Consciences; because,

First, It is their Office to be Judges, who is to be Baptized, and to Communicate. This is the power of the Keys.

Secondly, If they may not judge of the very Act which they are to perform, they have not so much as [Page 124] that judicium discretionis, which belongeth to every man as a man, and so must act brutishly.

Thirdly, If they may administer against Conscience when they think it Sin, the same reason would hold for all men to sin, whenever a Ruler commandeth them that judgeth it no Sin: what Bounds shall be set against absolute blind Obedience?

Fourthly, Whereas the Objection is from Inconve­niences, As, [Then every Pastor may deny Men Sacra­ments.]

I answer, 1. So every Tutor, Physician, &c. may abuse his Trust.

2. Therefore men must have care whom they choose and trust.

3. There are better Remedies than sinful slavery in the Minister, even consulting with Synods of Mini­sters, or where Bishops rule, appealing to them.

4. The persons that expect the Sacrament, may have it from some other Pastor that is willing. It is a less inconvenience that a single person remove, or else communicate in another Assembly, than that the Pastor, whose Office is to use the Church Keys, be enslaved to sin against his Conscience.

5. We suppose that of ancient right, the Church is not to have a Pastor over them, whom they consent not to: Therefore if the Church find themselves wronged by the Pastors Fact, they have their Remedy. They may admonish the Pastor, and if he hear not, tell the Bishop, Synod or Magistrate (for I am not now determining the case of superior Bishops, but tell what is the actual Remedy where such bear Rule:) And if he hear not the Church, Synod, Bishop or Magistrate, they may desert him, and choose a fitter Pastor, and yet nei­ther Excommunicate nor Silence him, but the same man may be more sutable to another Flock which will desire him.

[Page 125] They that object Inconveniences in this motion, should consider,

First, That a Mischief and Sin is worse than an Inconvenience.

Secondly, That there is nothing desirable here without Inconveniences, which may furnish an unwise Contender with Objections.

Thirdly, That they that cry up the Canons and Traditions, Custom or judgment of Antiquity, Bishops, Councils, Fathers, and the Catholick Church, should not hastily set their own Wit or Authority against them all, who for 600, if not nearer 1000 years after Christ, did not only judge that Bishops must come in by the Peoples Election and Consent, but that he was to be accounted an Usurper, and no Bishop of theirs, that had it not.

Fourthly, And we have reason to think St. Cyprian, and the Carthage Council of Bishops, as wise as the Ob­jectors, who, in the Case of Martial and Basilides be­fore described judged, that the People ought to forsake an uncapable scandalous Pastor, though other Bishops (even he of Rome) absolved him: And that the chief power of choosing or forsaking was in them, and if they did otherwise, it was not the contrary Sentence of Bishops that would excuse them before God. It is easie to say [St. Cy­prian erred, and we are in the right and this would over­throw all Government:] But neither the persons that object, nor their Reasons, have ever yet seemed to me sufficient, to make me prefer their judgment even in this before Cyprian, and the African Fathers.

XI. In all probability FREE SACRAMENTS administred by such Ministers of Christ as by the Chri­stian Magistrates Licence are either Approved or Tole­rated, would heal most of all the Discords about Reli­gion in England, I mean, Sacraments not constrainedly, but freely given and received.

[Page 126] I shall tell you why I think so, by instan­ces.

1. The Thing call'd Strict Presbytery, [with a power of Classes and National Assemblies, composed of Ordained and Unordained Elders, as a Judicature, whose Excommunication is to be enforced by the Magistrates Sword] is approved by few of my acquaintance in England: But those that Prelatists cal [...] Presbyterians here, commonly are Ministers that desire but the exer­cise of so much of their proper Office, and the free­dom of a Christian and a Man, as not to be forced to administer Sacraments against their knowledge and conscience to the uncapable, because a Lay-Chancelor or a Diocesane that knoweth not his Neighbours and Flocks so well as he, shall say that they are worthy, and command him to renounce his knowledge in obeying them. And if God had made all such Ministers to be only the Lay-Chancellors, or the Diocesanes Agents or Servants, to Baptize, and give the Lords Supper only in the Chancellors or Bishops name as a Messenger, and if it be done amiss, that not we, but the Chancellor or Bishop should answer it to God, then we could joyfully thus obey them. But while we believe, That we must answer our selves for our own actions, and that we must Baptize, and give the Lords Body and Blood, in Christs Name, and not the Bishops, we dare not obey Men before God, nor renounce our own judgment in the matters of our own Office and Trust: Therefore it would satisfie us, had we but freedom in our Ministe­rial action, not to go against our Conscience, however blind malice would make the world believe, that it is some Papal Empire, even over Princes, that we desire. Nay, we desire, That if the Magistrate will allow us Parish-Churches, and Maintenance, and Countenance in our work, that any person that cannot remove his dwelling without great detriment, and cannot be satis­fied [Page 127] in our Order of Worship and Communion, but can receive more Edification from another Minister, may have leave to join in Communion with any other Ap­proved or Tolerated Church, keeping the Laws of Loy­alty and Peace: Why should I envy anothers desires or benefits? Or think it hard, that any can profit more by another, than by me? Or why should I be against it?

And we desire (not that the People may be Or­dainers, or Church-Governors, or have the power of the Keys, but) that if any Flock cannot be satisfied, af­ter full hearing, to rest under the conduct of our Mini­stery, they may freely choo [...]e another, and remove us. And for my own part, as I never did, so I wonder how any ingenious Minister can obtrude himself on any People, and pretend to be their Pastor against their wills. As my Conscience condemneth it as against God and them, so I confess my Prudence is against it for my self, and I am not so base as to endure such a life.

2. And as for the Party called Independant, I have reason to think that it is the main of that Toleration which they desire. For Mr. Philip Nye, who led them more than any one man known to me, did purposely write to prove, That the Christian Magistrate may set up Teachers, all over his Dominions, whom the People, upon his Command, are bound to hear: But that to take any for their Pastors, he thought they might not be com­pelled.

3. And even the Anabaptists would be contented with the same liberty, if they be but near as peaceable as Mr. Tombes was, who wrote for even Par [...]chial Com­munion, and persuaded the Anabaptists to it: Though few so far followed him, most, I think, would be con­tented with Free Sacraments, in which I include the Eucharistical Lords-day worship.

§ X. And what harm will this do, where Love [Page 128] prevaileth, and where Pride and Envy make not [...] Priests to think all wrong them, that do not Adore or Idolize them, or give them more than is their due? What harm will it do me, if an hundred of my Pa­rish hear and prefer another man, by whom they can profit more than by me? What if they worship God in other (sound) words, or in Cloaths of another make or colour, as long as they are restrained from re­viling, and the breach of Peace? Are they any better in my Auditory with censuring or dissenting [...]dg­ments, hearing me against their wills, than where they can freely join in Love and Peace? If a bad or weak Minister grudge at all that go to an able Conformist in the next Parish, few wise men will think that he doth it more for God, or for his Brothers Soul, than for himself: and yet that person breaketh the Canon that goeth to the next Parish, as well as he that goeth to a Nonconformist. And why should we be more impa­tient with this man, than with that?

§ XXI. The Pamphlets that are spread abroad for Rigor and Severity of late, under the pretence of Conformity, do many of them savor so rankly of Church-Tyranny, and a bloody Mind and Principles, and are made up of such Reasons, as give us just cause to suspect, that more of them are written by Papists, than some think. I instance in one called, [‘A Repre­sentation of the State of Christianity in England, and of its decay and danger from Sectaries, as well as Pa­pists. Printed 1674, for Benjamin Tooke.’] in which the Sta [...]e of Religion here is unworthily slandered, and the Follies of some few, such as the Quakers, pretended to be the State of our Religion, and words beseeming Mad-men, (which we never hear) fathered on those that he please [...] to call Sectaries; and they are repre­sented as [...] of the Creed, Lords Prayer, and Commandments, and what not, that is reverend, good [Page 129] and holy, and the Papists much preferred before them saying, [‘That for one infallible old Gentleman at Rome we have Thousands of Hot Spirits in England, that pretend to more of the Divine Perfections than ever he did: For if the Holy Ghost doth personally in­dwell in Sectaries, then they are personally possessed with all the glorious Attributes of the Godhead, pag. 26. And 28. The Idolatry of the Papists will be as excu­sable at the great day of Accounts, as the unreverent Rudeness, and superstitious Sowreness of the Sectary. And p. 29. The gross Usurpation and Invasion of the Priestly Office by Sectaries, to erect Churches, &c. throws more dirt upon the Christian Religion, than the grossest Errors in the Roman Church, &c.

Answ. 1. I know none so worthy of the Name of Sectaries as the Papists, that damn all Christians save themselves, and feign themselves onely to be all the Church.

2. It's like by these Sectaries, he meaneth those that are not Re-ordained, or have not (uninterrupted) Epis­copal Ordination. And if all such Reformed Churches are so much more dirty and injurious to Christianity, than the grossest Errors of the Papists, it's better be of the Papal Church, than of them.

3. Doth pretending to the help of Gods Spirit in Praying, and Preaching, and Living, arrogate more than pretending to Papal Infallibility in the Office of an Universal Monarch, and Judge of the sense of all Gods Word? The word [Personal] I have heard used by none but this, and such Accusers: But what he meaneth by it, who can tell?

First, If it refer to the Person of the Receiver, how can the Holy Ghost dwell in any man, and not dwell in his person?

Secondly, If it refer to the Person of the Holy Ghost, what Christian, before this man, did ever doubt, (that [Page 130] took the Holy Ghost to be God) whether the Person as well as the Essence of the Holy Ghost, be every where? Doth not the Scripture say, That the Holy Spi­rit dwelleth in Believers? Rom. 8. 11. 1 Cor. 3. 16. 2 Tim. 1. 14. &c. and God dwelleth in us, 1 Joh. 4. 12. 15, 16. And that we are an habitation of God by the Spirit, Ephes. 2. 22. Is Gods Word worse than Popery? Or is not this to reproach God and his Word, and Spirit, more than the Reformed Churches do by not having Bishops, who are accused by Mr. Dodwell, to sin against the Holy Ghost?

Thirdly, But if [Personal] should mean the mode and title of Union, as if by Hypostatical Union like Christs, the Holy Ghost and Believers be made one Per­son, who are those Sectaries that hold such a thing, who shew the state of the English Religion? And this is one of the men that cry out against Toleration, and tells us, that [There can be no stability of Government in England, till there be a settlement in Religion; No settlement of Religion, but by uniting Affections; No uniting Affections, but by unity of Religion.] And so on: Therefore Rulers must force all to be of one Re­ligion.

Next to the thought of the Heathen and Apostate Nations case, it is one of the saddest to me, that Ru­lers and People that have too little studied such mat­ters, should lie under the temptation and horrid abuse of Clergymen, that write and talk at such a rate as this man doth.

1. Will he maintain, That there is no Union of Re­ligion, wherever men are not of one opinion, form or mode, in every Circumstance, Rite or Ceremony, or every accident or integral of Faith? Are any two men in the world then of one Religion, any more than of one visage or slature, &c?

2. If this man had Rulers that differed from him, as [Page 131] much as he doth from the Nonconformists, would he, and could he, presently change his judgment? or would he falsly profess a change, lest he should not be of one Religion with his Prince? or rather must it not be he, or such as he, that must be the standard of that one Re­ligion to all?

3. Doth he believe, That Prisons or Flames will make men of one Affection? Would such usage win himself to love the judgment and way of those that he suffered by?

4. Or if men of many Opinions and Affections be forced into the same Temple as a Prison, doth their corporal presence make them of one Religion and Af­fection? It is a doleful thing to hear Preachers of the Gospel cry out for Blood, Flames, or Prisons, to make whole Kingdoms of one Religion, confessing how unfit they are to do it themselves, who have undertaken the Office that should do it: Woe to the Princes, Church and People, that have not wit and grace to escape the snares of such ignorant Tyrannical Counsel­lors.

Abundance more such Pamphlets have lately endea­voured to destroy Love and Peace, and infect the Land with Malice and Cruelty.

§ XII. The Roman Doctrine and Laws for ex­terminating, and burning Hereticks, is the top and per­fection of this hypocritical wickedness, which murder­eth Gods Servants, and depopulateth Countries, on pre­tence of Charity, Unity and Government. And when so many Princes became guilty of serving this bloody Clergy, (that never knew what manner of spirit they were of) it was Gods wisdom and justice to permit the same Councils of Bishops, and the same Popes, to de­cree their Deposition, which decreed their Subjects ex­termination (Lateran. sub Innoc. 3.) what can be more contrary to Nature? to Humane Interest? or to [Page 132] the Doctrine, Example, and Spirit of Christ? And whose blood is safe, while such blood-sucking Leeches are taken for the Rulers of the world, and the Physici­ans of Souls?

§ XIII. All this, I perceive, is on occasion of Objections, but superadded to what I fullier said before, Part II. Chap. 8. But I still say, That Toleration must have its due bounds, and not extend to intolerable Doctrines, Practices or Persons.

To proceed then, Every one that will, must not be Tolerated to be a publick Pastor and Preacher, no not of the Truth. For some insufficient men may by that manner bring a scandal or scorn on the sacred Doctrine and Worship of God; and taking Gods Name pro­fanely and in vain, is worse than silence: much less should men be suffered to preach or dispute down anys Point of Christian Faith or Duty.

§ XIV. In a word, The Prince that will escape the dangerous Extreams of Licentiousness, and oppressing Persecution, must.

1. Have an eye to the Holy Scripture, and Apostoli­cal Institution, and to the Law of Nature together, as his Rule.

2. He must make the true publick Good, which lieth in mens spiritual welfare, his end.

3. He must make the promoting of Obedience to God and his Laws, the chief work of his Office and of his own Laws.

4. He must abhor and avoid all carnal Interests, contrary to the Interest of Christ, and mens Souls.

5. He must do all with Caution from a Spirit of Love, and a Care to preserve mens fear of God.

6. He must take heed of Partiality, or hearkning to the counsel either of Atheists, prophane men, or of an ignorant, proud, and cruel Clergy: And must [Page 133] hearken to wise, pious, considerate, peaceable and ex­perienced Counsellors, and avoid the examples both of Rehoboam, and of Jeroboam, and be neither an Op­pressor nor a Corrupter.

§ XV. And to conclude, good and wise men may well know their duty, whom to silence and eject, and whom to tolerate, if they are but true to God, by this one Rule: They may, by hearing all the case and knowledge of the Persons, discern whether that mans Preaching, consideratis considerandis, is clearly like to do more good or harm: and do accordingly.

But then they must not judge of good and harm, by carnal sinful lusts and interests, and by the counsels of selfish partial men, but by wise and just reason, guided by the Word of God.

§ XVI. And in all doubtful Cases, choose the sa­fer side; and when the danger of overdoing is the greater (as in case of Persecution) rather do too little, than too much: And prefer not Ceremonies before Substance, nor tything Mint, Annise and Cummin, be­fore Love, Truth and Judgment, and the great things of the Law: And be sure that you learn what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice,] that you may not condemn or accuse the Guiltless.


The Catholick Church will never unite in a Reception and Subscription to every Word, Verse, or Book of the Holy Scripture, as it is in any one Translation, or any one Copy in the Original now known.

§ I. THis needeth no other proof than the reason of the thing, and common experience.

1. All Translations are the work of imperfect fal­lible men; we have none made by the Spirit as work­ing infallibly in the Apostles, (unless, as some think, the Greek of St. Matthews Gospel be a Translation.) The pretences of Inspiration of the Seventy two that are said to be the Authors of that Greek Translation of the Old Testament, is not yet agreed on in the Church; nor whether it was more than the Pentateuch which they Translated. The Authority and Reasons of Hierome still much prevail.

Sect. II. And the Vulgar Latine, most valued by the Papists, is yet so much matter of Controversie be­tween them, that when Sixtus Quintus had stablished a corrected Edition, Clement the 8th altered it in many hundred places after.

Sect. III. And all Protestants acknowledge the imperfection of all their own Translations, English, Dutch, French, &c.

And in the same Church of England, we have the publick prescribed Use of two different Translations of the Psalms, one sometime directly contrary to the other, [Page 135] as Yea and Nay, and one leaving a whole Verse which the other hath.

Sect. IV. And we know of no man that pretend­eth to be sure that he hath a Copy of the Hebrew and Greek Text, which he is certain is perfectly agreeable to the autography or first draught: And the multitude of various Readings put us out of all hope of ever ha­ving certainly so perfect a Copy: All therefore have the marks of humane frailty, which cannot be de­nied.

Sect. V. And no wise and good man should de­liberately deny this, and so justifie falsly every humane slip. But yet there is no such difference among Copies or Translations, as should any way shake our foundati­ons, or any point necessary to salvation doth depend up­on: For in all such points they all agree.

Sect. VI. Object. But if Copies and Translations differ and err, how can we make them our rule of judg­ment?

Answ. I say again, They agree in as many things as we need them for, as a Rule of Judgment: And where they differ, it being in words of no such use, and moment, that hindereth not our being Ruled by them where they agree. The Kings Laws may be written in divers Languages for divers Countries of his Sub­jects: And verbal differences may be no hinderance to their regulating use; no more than the King himself doth lose his authority, if his hair turn white.

Sect. VIII. Object. 2. But what then, must all sub­scribe to, if not to all the Bible? Have you any other measure or test?

Answ. We must subscribe, That we believe all Gods Word to be true, and all the true Canon of Scripture to be his Word, and that we will faithfully endeavor to discern all the Canon: And we must expresly sub­scribe to the Essentials of Christianity, of which before and after.

[Page 136] Sect. VIII. It was a considerable time before ma­ny Churches received the Epistle of James, the 2d of Peter, that to the Hebrews, the Revelation, &c. And no doubt they were nevertheless true Christians: And if now any believe all the Essentials of Religion, and should doubt only whether the Canticles, or the Epistle to [...]i [...]mon, or the two last of John, or that of Jude, were Canonical, he might for all that be a true Chri­stian, and more meet to be a Bishop, than Synesius was before he believed the Resurrection, or Neclar [...]us be­fore he was baptized, &c.

Sect. IX. The Churches are not fully agreed to this day about the Canonical Books of Scripture; more than the Papists call some Books Canonical, which we call Apocryphal. And it is said that the Abassines, and Syrians have divers not only as Ecclesiastical, but as Canonical, which we have not, nor know not of: Though we have good cause to judge best of our own received number, (by the proof well produced by Bishop Consins, and many others) yet have we no cause to unchurch all Churches that differ from us.

Sect. X. No Church therefore ought to cast out all Ministers that doubt of some words in any Translation, or Copy, or of some Verse, Chapter, or Book, who hold the main, and all the necessary Doctrines. No such Test was imposed on the primitive Christians: And it's sad to hear the report that even the sound and humble Churches of Helvetia, should lately make it necessary to the Ministery, to subscribe to the antiquity of the Hebrew points; though it may be a true and useful As­sertion.


The Catholick Church will never unite in the subscribing to any mens whole Commenta­ries on the Bible.

§. I. THis is yet more evident than the former. 1. They do not at this day, nor ever did agree in any mens Commentary: They have great respect to the Commentaries of some of the Ancients, and others, but subscribe them not as infallible: Though the Trent Oath of Pope Pius, swear men not to expound the Scriptures otherwise than according to the agreeing Exposition of the Fathers; it is well known,

1. That they never told and proved to us, who are to be taken for Fathers, and who not.

2. It's known that few of them have written large Commentaries, and fewer on all the Bible, if any.

3. That they oft differ among themselves.

4. And the best have confessed their own Errors.

5. And more have been found erroneous by others, and are by us at this day.

6. Yea, they have cast out, and condemned one an­other; as the Case of Nazianzene, Epiphanius, Chry­sostom, Theophilus Alexand. Cyril, and Theodoret, and many more besides Origen sheweth.

6. The Papists ordinarily take liberty to differ from the Commentaries of divers of the most Renowned of the Fathers.

7. And the learnedst men of the Papists themselves do differ from one another.

8. And no General Council that pretend to be the Judge of thesense of the Scripture, durst ever yet ven­ture to write a Commentary on it.

[Page 138] 9. No nor any Pope; nor any by his appointment, or a Councils, is written by any other, and by them ap­proved as infallible. By all which, and much more, it is evident, That subscribing wholly to any Commenta­ry, will never unite the Churches of Christ.

Sect. II. And no wonder, when that, 1. God hath