Bishop Bramhall's VINDICATION OF Himself and the Episcopal Clergy, FROM THE Presbyterian Charge OF POPERY, As it is managed by Mr. Baxter in his Treatise of the Grotian Religion.

Together with a PREFACE SHEWING What Grounds there are of Fears and Jealousies of POPERY.

LONDON, Printed by A. C. for Iames Collins, at the Kings Arms in Ludgate-street. 1672.



THis ensuing Treatise being some­what superannuated, the Book­seller was very solicitous to have it set off with some Preface, that might recommend it to the present Genius of the Age, and reconcile it to the pre­sent Iuncture of Affairs. And though I am none of the most Zealous Patrons of the Press, and am at this time as busie and as much con­cerned as De-Wit, or any of the High and Mighty Burgomasters, in Matters of a closer and more comfortable importance to my self and my own Affairs: Yet I could not but yield so far to his importunity, as to improve [...] [...]y fragment of time that I could get into my own disposal, towards the Gratification of [Page] his Request. And that has brought forth this Preface, such an one as it is; for how it will prove, I my self neither am, nor (till 'tis too late) ever shall be a competent Iudge, in that it must be ravisht out of my hands before my thoughts can possibly be cool enough to review or correct the Indecencies either of its stile or con­trivance. But which way my mind will work it self and its thoughts, I am neither Prophet nor Astrologer enough certainly to foretel; though the Heads I at this moment, and under the pre­sent Schemes and Aspects of the Heavens, in­tend to treat of, are only these two: First, To say something of the Treatise it self; and then, Secondly, Something of the seasonableness of its Publication; and this (unless my humour chance to jade me) is likely enough to enter me upon a farther prosecution of the Argument it self, as far as it has a more particular refe­rence to the present state of things: And from this it is odds but I shall take occasion to bestow some Animadversions upon one J. O. the great Bell-weather of Disturbance and Sedition.

As to the first, I suppose it is not at all ma­terial to give an account either by what mis­fortunes it came to be so long hidden from pub­lick view, or by what lucky accidents it came to be so long preserved in private hands: It is enough to let thee know, that at length it hapned to fall to the possession of one that had [Page] always had a very high esteem of the Authors very great Worth and Abilities, and that therefore was very unwilling that any thing should perish that was written by so great and so accomplisht a man: A man so great and so accomplisht, that the meanest character we can give of him, is, that he was one of the greatest of the Age he lived in. For in the first place, He was by Nature furnisht with an unusual mixture of wit, sagacity, and judgment; Perfections that rarely meet in one person, but were all eminent and of equal strength in the Genius of his mind. And in the next place, his Natural Parts were admirably improved by study and industry in all the choi­cest and most useful parts of Learning. He was an excellent Divine, an accurate Lawyer, and an exact Historian, and (as far as the Preju­dices of the Age would permit him) an acute Philosopher. And then, Lastly, All these mighty Advantages both of Nature and Edu­cation, were improved to their utmost usefulness and perfection by experience and publick. Im­ployment. His Book and his Retirement did not make him lazy and unwcildy for Business; but being of a brave and enterprizing temper, of an active and spritely mind, he was al­ways busied either in contriving or performing great Designs. He was indefatigable in his Undertakings, and undaunted under his Suf­ferings; [Page] and he had not only the Art, but the Opportunity of bringing forth his Learning in­to use and practice. And as he was able to accomplish the most gallant attempts, so was he always ready not onely to justifie their In­nocence, but to make good their Bravery, in spite of all the Accusations of Envy, and all the Arts of Detraction. He neither did nor thought any thing, but what was great and extraordinary. In short, his Actions were equal to his Abilities, and his Writings equal to both.

It is true, the Church of Ireland was the largest Scene of his Actions; but yet there in a little time he wrought out such wonderful Al­terations, and so exceeding all belief, as may convince us that he had a Mind large and active enough to have managed the Roman Empire, at its greatest extent. For as he fi­nisht all the glorious Designs that he undertook, so he managed all his Affairs with that pru­dence and caution, that the malice and cun­ning of all his Enemies, though they were in­vited and encouraged by those that were to be his Iudges, could not find out matter enough to make out so much as the appearance of a plausible Aceusation: so that the infinite pains they were at to ensnare and to blast his inno­cence, became an irrefragable testimony both of his Wisdom and his Integrity. No Inju­stice [Page] was bold and hardy enough to offer vio­lence to such an exact and unblemisht Vertue; and in all his Troubles from wild and unrea­sonable men, his Reputation was still preserved as clear and as spotless as his Conscience: They were both Armour of Proof against Tories and against Presbyterians. Though at length that could not exempt him from being involved in the common ruine, and he was then forced even to put himself into Banishment, when nothing was so criminal or so unsafe at home as Loy­alty. His righteous Soul could not endure to behold the Insolence and Hypocrisie of those Goodly and Rebel Saints, whose very best pre­tences were a more desperate affront both to Go­vernment and Religion, than perhaps any Age or Historian can parallel; but whose worst pra­ctices were villanous not only beyond example, but belief.

And thus Christendom became the place of his Habitation, or rather of his Pilgrimage; and that was some considerable advantage to the largeness of his thoughts: for as he was rarely adorned in all kinds of true and useful Know­ledge, and as the main Argument of his Pains and Consultations, was the Peace and Interest of Christendom; so he was confirmed in the reasonableness of his Projects, or rather Opi­nions concerning it by his Travels and Obser­vations. He was before excellently skilled in [Page] the Customs and Constitutions of the Primi­tive and Apostolical Church; but now he had more opportunity, or at least more leisure to observe all the miscarriages of the present Churches, and particular Combinations of the Christian World, by their several deviations from their original Practice and Institution. And that was the Method he prescribed to all dissenting Parties, in order to a Catholick A­greement, and a sober Reformation to forego all their upstart and unwarrantable Innovations, and return to the ancient and Apostolical sim­plicity; a thing very easie and very practicable, were not Interest and Ignorance engaged against it. Not that he was so vain or so presuming as to hope to see it effected in his own days: He too well understood with how many invincible Prejudices it was obstructed; he therefore only designed to declare his Iudgment to the Wise and the Unprejudicate, and so to leave it to Posterity, and some happy Iuncture of Affairs to accomplish what he could only advise and wish for.

But by this plain dealing with all Parties, it is not to be doubted (because it always so happens in the like cases) but that he must displease and disoblige all; but more especially he raised the Choler, and enraged the Zeal of the Geneva Faction; that Waspish Sect be­ing according to the humour and spirit of their [Page] Founder, never able to bear the least Affron or Contradiction. And then immediately there was no gainsaying but that he must be as arrant a Papist as Antichrist himself. This (cry they) smels of a Spanish-Popish-Iesui­tical-Arminian Plot. It is a plain Prose­cution of the Cardinal of Lorrains design, that allowed annual Pensions, even to the Lu­theran Ministers themselves to revile and preach down Mr. Calvin, thereby to reduce the People to Popery. That crafty States­man knew well enough, that he was the only [...] to their Mystery of Iniquity; and were he but once removed out of the way, the Apostolical Chair would quickly be restored to its ancient Empire and Soveraignty over the Christian World. And hence the Alarm is given to the People both from the Pulpit and the Press, to stand upon their Guard against such dangerous and Babylonish At­tempts. These moderate and lukewarm men are but the Forerunners of the man of Sin, and do but prepare the ways for his Entrance by removing the strongest, and most stubborn Opposition against him.

And what though he deal as roundly, and much more severely with the Church of Rome, that is but a meer disguise for his present turn; those hard Conditions are ea­sily shaken off, when once the Protestant cause and interest is utterly expired.

[Page] And therefore he and his Partizans may publish as many Books as they please against their present abuses and corruptions; but the most charitable design they can be suppo­sed to aim at, is to bring in a more refined and a more cunning Popery. And when this sur­mise is once voted and noised abroad, and vouch'd by publick fame or their own vulgar Tales, it is in vain to remonstrate to their rudeness and disingenuity. It is not, no, it cannot be doubted of by any but such as are either privy, or, at least, well-wishers to the design; such indeed may pretend or counter­feit a Disbelief, to cover their intentions, and to escape suspicion. And by this Artifice they begin first to seize upon all men in their Wits, either for madmen or for parties in the Plot. And then the common people dare not but believe it in their own defence, lest they should be suspected to have lost their Understanding as well as their Religion. And by this rude and boiterous Confidence are they able, as oft as they please, to raise any disingenuous and spiteful surmise into popular Reputation, and by strength of face and forehead to bear out the credit of the largest and most abusive Lyes. And it is well known what strange and monstrous stories they obtruded upon the Multitude against the King, the Bishops, and the Church of England, in defyance even to [Page] common sense and the most undenyable Expe­rience.

But no man was more vehemently charged and more confidently condemned of this At­tempt than this Reverend Prelate; partly be­cause he was a zealous and resolute Assertour of the publick Rites and Solemnities of the Church against all their wild and fanatick Pranks; partly because he expunged some of their dear and darling Articles, not only from the Christian Faith, but from the Pro­testant Cause, in that they were so far from being or pretending to be of Apostolical An­tiquity, that they were much younger than the Reformation it self, or, at best, were but the Opinions of some private Doctors; and were never establish'd into Articles, by any publick Laws or Councils: or if they were voted for Orthodox Doctrines in any meeting in Germany or Geneva, they were never re­ceived for such in the Church of England; and therefore ought not to be charged upon the Protestant Cause as such, much less upon the English Reformation, when it was never any part of its design to model new Bodies of Or­thodoxy, nor to exchange the old School-Doctors for Calvinian Systems and Syntagms, but meerly to clear the Christian Faith of all Corruptions and innovations, and reform it into its primitive and uncorrupted simpli­city. [Page] And if any Errours or fond Opini­ons should have escaped her first Observati­on, she reserves a power in herself, to re­view her own Decrees; and either to rati­fie, or abolish them, as they shall, upon ma­ture deliberation, appear consonant to this Rule, and agreeable to this design. This was ever the Doctrine of the sober and intelligent men of the Church of England, as well as her own declared sense. They would never submit to any Authority of a later date, than the four first general Councils, and as for all forrain Churches of the modern stamp, they were so far from being determined by them, that they censured all their proceed­ings, and rejected all their Doctrines, that fell short of, or went beyond their own stan­dard of Prudence and Moderation.

But this was not to be endured by the fierce and fiery Calvinists, to have all their Orthodox stuff. cut off at one blow; had they spent so much pains, and gained so much reputation, by their skill in Polemick Theology, and must they now throw away all their Pro­blems, Subtilties, and Distinctions, and must all their deep and solid Learning be at last despised as a silly and impertinent piece of Duncery? This certainly must needs be very grievous, and somewhat provoking to great Clerks. Men care not to be convinced, that they have wasted so [Page] much Oyl and Sweat to no purpose. And though they are not able to justifie the Follies and Er­rors of their Education; yet being flush'd with the Glory that they have gain'd among their own party, by their skill and ability in contend­ing for their Opinion, it is easie to imagine how stubbornly they will struggle in its defence, ra­ther than quit the support of their pride and self-conceitedness. This Itch is so incident and delightful to humane Nature, that where it is not over-ruled by an habitual Integrity and Discretion, it is the most powerful (not to say the only) motive of all our Actions; and has such a strict and undiscernable Influence upon our most serious thoughts, that if well-mean­ing men are not very careful, or very curious in observing, and preventing its inward mo­tions, it will quickly prevail over their Un­derstandings, insinuate into all their designs, and poyson their best Intentions and Resoluti­ons. So that they may easily believe them­selves passionately concerned for the love of Truth and the Glory of God; whilst all their mighty zeal and passion may be nothing else than Eruptions of pride and vanity. And wherever this Delusion rules, it is the most impetuous and most importunate Principle in the world. No sort of men so boisterous and irresistible as those, whose imaginations are overcome with the vehemence of its delight. [Page] And this is the case of our peevish and Grub­street Divines; they have, when time was, been looked upon as Authors of esteem and credit in the world, and were once admired, and applauded, for the deep and the solid men of the Age; and as they have walked the Streets, have sometimes had the pleasure of a this is that Demosthenes, from the more knowing and judicious Tankard-bearers: And in all Assaults and Challenges from the Ene­mies of the precisest, and most refined sort of Orthodoxy, they have been called forth to defend the Cause, and in all Tryals of contro­versial Skill have ever come off with success and victory. Truth has always hung upon their Pens, and they have been courted, and con­sulted as the Oracles of their Age; Learned men have submitted themselves to their Iudg­ment, and their Writings have stood or fell at their Tribunal, and in all the nice and more dif­ficult Controversies their Decree has determi­ned what is Orthodox, and what Heretical. Now these men must needs lye under vehe­ment temptations of being very troublesome and pragmatical, and upon every trifling oc­casion of annoying the publick with perpetual Pamphlets and Scribles.

And I cannot divine what other provocation Mr. B. had to meddle with Grotius or Bishop Bramhall, then that they were learned enough [Page] to despise the Ignorance of the highest knowledge that he or any of his Brethren coul'd pretend to. And certainly he must have been bravely flusht and perch't in his own conceit, that could prevail with himself to venture, upon three or four days study, to bolt forth such bold and rash censures against two such great Wits and great Scholars. Had he then been furnished with Learning enough to understand the vast dis­proportion between his own and their abilities, he would rather have trembled at their Names, than have attempted their Reputations. Mr. B. must not think himself undervalued by be­ing placed so many degrees below them; for alas! it is not every Rabbi that is sufficient­ly qualified to sit at their Feet. And I doubt not but the opportunities he has since had to emprove and raise himself to an higher form of Learning, have convinced him of the confidence and unad­visedness of that undertaking; as the rudeness and extravagance of his own Party has taught him more candour and civility towards the Church of England. And therefore this Treatise was not published to impair his E steem, in the least, but for a Correction of his scribling humour, and a warning to their Rat-Divines, that are so perpetually nibling and gnawing other mens Writings; that by this example they may learn how easie a thing it is to blast such hasty Conceptions, and be a little [Page] frighted from being so very pert and forward at such uncivil Attempts. For upon Perusal of it, I cannot imagine any man either so par­tial or so ignorant, as not to grant that our Authour has with Smartness enough, and (considering all Circumstances) Modesty too much, not only answered but baffled all such Accusations of his Adversary as are at all ma­terial in themselves or pertinent to the Cause, and that without condescending to play with him at his Systematical and Push-pin Divi­nity.

But the main Reason that put me upon the Publication of it, was thereby to give some check to their present disingenuit [...]; for though Mr. B. have learnt more modesty then to be so prodigal as formerly in sending abroad his hard [...] ensures and positive Decrees against every Body and upon every Occasion; yet others that pretend to as great an Interest and Authority with the holy Brotherhood still persevere in the same rudeness and incivili­ty towards the Church of England, and upon every flight accident are beating up the Drums against the Pope and Popish Plots; they de­sery Popery in every common and usual chance, and a Chimney cannot take Fire in the City or the Suburbs, but they are im­mediately crying Iesuites and Fireballs. And as for all those that wear Canonical habits, [Page] and walk in Cassocks and Girdles, they are a [...] least Pensioners to his Holiness; and let them protest or pretend what they please, they are Popelings in their Hearts, and Worshippers of the Beast in secret, and own him too shamefully in their open and avowed Practices. In so much that the great Scribler of the Party, (J. O.) blushes not to charge them with a total Apostasie from the Reformation, and to plead this in justification of their Nonconformity. We fear not (says Shame­facedness) to own that we Discourse concerning Evangelical Love, &c. pag. 18. cannot Conform to Arminia­nism, Socinianism on the one hand, (he might as well have added all the Isms in the Old Testament, Perizzitism, Hivitism, Jebusi­tism, Hittitism, &c.) or Popery on the other, (and why not Sorcery and Extortion too?) with what new or specious Pretences soever they may be blended.

This is his old Modesty, and brawny-faced Confidence: who, beside this humble, melting, broken hearted Secret One, could have vented such lofty strains of Candour and Ingenuity? But the Viper is so swell'd with Venom, that it must either burst or spit its Poison. The Dunghil is his only Magazine? and Calumny his only Weapon; and he has no other Apology to justifie the Rudeness and Incivility of his [Page] Scriblings, but by such loud and thundering Falsifications. And though he has been so of­ten and so shamefully corrected for these base and unworthy Arts, yet 'tis not in his power to forbear them, when they are the result of his Humour and Genius. For had his Com­plexion been capable of a Blush or a modest Thought, I dare say he has not wanted for Means and Opportunities of learning better Manners. But he is so far from being re­formed by the sharpest Rebukes and Correcti­ons, that they only provoke him to greater Sullenness, and more enraged Abuses; and in stead of being brought to Tears and Repen­tance, he improves in the Boldness and Inso­lence of his Aspersions. It is not sufficient now adays to represent us Papists, Socinians, and Hereticks; that is an easie and an ordi­nary Slander; he was able to face that out when he was but a Novice, and unexperienced in the Arts of Malice and Confidence: These were his common Performances twenty or thirty years ago. But now his Mightiness scorns to stoop his Prowess to such low and creeping At­chievements; they become not the Courage and the Confidence of so Renowned a Wight; he disdains to vent a Slander that is not too big for any Mans Throat or Conscience but his own. And now things are come to that despe­rate pass in the Church of England, that they [Page] are not contented to be Jesuites and Socinians themselves, but (O Tempora! O Mores!) they will force all others that desire to be ad­mitted into her Communion, to submit to Po­pish and Heretical Subscriptions; and there is no other cause of the Independent Separation, than that they dare not in Conscience con­form to Popery and Socinianism. Dear Heart! How could I hug and kiss thee for all this love and sweetness? Well fare poor Macedo for a modest Fool! He could never have rubb'd his Forehead to such a burnisht Confidence, as to venture upon such notorious and palpable Forgeries, so contradictory both in themselves, and to every Mans own Know­ledge and Experience. For in the Name of Truth, what new Doctrines have we made ne­cessary to Conformity, over and above the old Articles, which yet he is so far from bringing under this Indictment, that he makes our de­parture from them the very Charge of our A­postasie? So that how wild and wanton so­ever we may be in our own Sentiments, there is nothing to be found in Nature of so daring and desperate a Confidence, beside the great and renowned J. O. as to belch in the face of the Sun such foul and uncleanly Railings. But he is a Man of that inveterate and in­curable Pride, that there is no rancour spiteful or disingenuous enough to be admired at in him.

[Page] But now that I have seized him, I cannot let him pass without taking notice to the World of another eminent instance of his Ravishing Candour and Ingenuity: That when he had without any Provocation, (though that he ne­ver needs) in a publick and solemn way un­dertaken the Defence of the Fanatick Cause, and when he had reason done him in a parti­cular Rejoinder to all his Pretences and Ex­ceptions, such as they were, he could think of satisfying his People, and salving his Repu­tation by Scribling over the very same stuff a­gain, and presenting it to the World in a new Pamphlet, and under another Title, without regarding how comfortably it had been exposed and baffled by a loving Friend, even for his own dear sake. For whoever will be at the idle pains to peruse his late Discourse of Evangelical Love, Church Peace and Unity, will never be able to find one syllable to the purpose, beside a perpetual Repetition of the old worn-out Story of Unscriptural Ceremo­nies, and some frequent Whinings, and some­times Ravings about his hard usage in being so severely chastised, and innumerable Sugge­stions that all that are or pretend to be Loyal to the present Setlement of the Church of Eng­land, are not so upon any Principles of Inte­grity or Conscience, but purely for their own seoular and carnal Ends: i. e. in plain Eng­lish, [Page] they are all downright Knaves. These are the most pertinent passages I can meet with in the Book, but they are not very new; some others indeed I meet with somewhat new­er, but then they are not very pertinent. It is a very new discovery to demonstrate that the Church of England is desperately Schisma­tical, because the Independents are resolved one and all to continue separate from her Communion; and though it is not as new, yet it is as odd an Observation, that all Parties in Christendom (except only the little Flock of their own Secret Ones) are profest Rebels to the most necessary and indispensable Instituti­ons of the Lord Christ, that none of them ought to be suffered to live in an open and habitual contempt of his Laws; particularly that the Church of England is as little to be endured as the Church of Rome, because they persecute those that are better than themselves; and St. John tells us, (Revel. 21. 8.) Mur­ther is as bad as Idolatry. If it will do him or his cause any kindness, we will let these pass for New Lights, and wonderful pat to the business of Toleration. Did ever Man write or speak with such a fluent Vein of loose­ness and impertinency? Is it credible that any Creatures that pretend to common sense, and the shapes of Men, could ever accept, much less admire such dull and intolerable [Page] Bungling? And yet it is rare and admira­ble to the Wits of the Congregation; and the Doctor is a wonderfully precious and convin­cing Man. But the truth is, he has an Ad­vantage above most of his Neighbours for Wri­ting Non-sense in that his common Readers de­spair beforehand to understand the Categori­calness of his Logick: Otherwise he abounds so plentifully with Absurdities and Incoherences in every Page, that there is nothing to keep him from being despicable even to the Apron-men of his own Dispensation, but a peculiar Un­couthness and Obscurity of stile; whereby as they cannot hope to carry along with them the Thread and Connexion of the Discourse, so nei­ther dare they presume to observe its Flaws and Weaknesses; but (if their Prejudices so incline them) they suppose at all adventure some extraordinary depth of Reason and Me­taphysicks, that Men of their Education are neither able to fathom, nor obliged to under­stand.

And he may take his Liberty, as much and as long as he pleases, to amuse his own ga­zing and admiring Drove with this profound and wonderful Non-sense, provided he will be advised not to lay out his Talent to the distur­bance of his Neighbours: But if he will be venting his Gall and his Ignorance against the establisht Laws and Constitutions of the Com­monwealth, [Page] he must not take it ill, if his shameful folly (not to name something worse) be discovered and laid open to the World. And therefore in my Opinion it would be very good advice, if he would be perswaded to give over this thread-bare Controversie of Church-Government, and spend the remainder of his Days in embellishing and illustrating that great and important Discovery, with which he has so lately obliged the World, viz. That the Determination of a Septimary Portion in the Hebdomadal Revolution, is, or is not, (I care not whether) an addition of the Law De­calogical to the Law Natural. Ah! What Edifying Doctrine is this to the White-Aprons? It could be no less to them than a Demonstra­tive Evidence of the Morality and Divine In­stitution of the Lords Day; and doubtless they would, with the Iews, sooner Rost them­selves than a small Ioint of Mutton upon the Day of Sacred Rest. He may (I say) tri­fle with his own Proselytes after this rate as much and as long as he pleases, and no body will be much concerned to disabuse Peo­ple so resolved to abuse themselves. But if he will not be satisfied with the Priviledge of being learnedly impertinent, unless he may make use of his Liberty to discompose the Pub­lick Peace, he may thank himself for what will follow: For he will be sure to encounter [Page] to his cost too many Persons that love their Country too well, to suffer it to be over-run and debaucht by such shallow Mountebanks and Impostors.

But my just Indignation against this Mans insolent and insufferable Behaviour, tran­sports me into too vehement and smart Re­sentments of his vile and dirty Practices; yet because he is so forward upon all occasions, and without them too, to appear in the Head of the Party, and is at present not only the chief Ringleader, but the only Champion of the Cause▪ I cannot prevail with my self to let him go yet, without remarking for the pre­vention of all their Subterfuges and Tricks of escape, one little Artifice whereby his Fol­lowers would salve and redeem his Reputa­tion, viz. That his Adversary was not so ingenu [...]us as to engage him upon equal terms, but took advantage of his old Miscarriages and Engagements in the late Rebellion, and prevailed more by personal Reflections than strength of Argument; so that though he could with case have Replied to all his pertinent Objections, yet he could not in discretion re­vive so many old and forgotten Stories.

1. Be it so. And if he stand indicted of such Enormities against his Prince and Countrey, as are neither to be exòused nor [Page] defended, yet however it is not modest for him to defie his Accusation as he has done in publick by charging it with slander and scurrility. If he be not guilty, he ought to plead his Innocence; if he be, he might have some reason to complain of want of Candour, but none at all of want of Truth. And it only becomes his Confidence, to defeat the Credibility of a plain and undeniable mat­ter of fact, by hussing and giving the lye in plain English, and that in defiance to the Convictions of his own Conscience, to the Testimony of his own Writings, and to the Notoreity of his own Practices. This is pretty well for Modesty. But if he ever were guilty, he is so still; for nothing can recover his Innocence, but a sincere and an hearty Repentance; and till he has cut off all his Ancient Crimes, by some publick ac­knowledgment and satisfaction, he cannot be supposed to have forsaken his old Dispen­sation, but still to continue as very a secret one as ever. And now had he been proceeded with, as they pretend, it would not have been, in the least, impertinent to his Adversary's Cause or Argument, whilst he was perswa­ding the Government to beware of that sort of men, to represent how those that are most forward to appear in their Defence, were never considerable for any thing but Sedition and [Page] Disloyalty: And that is a very strong Acces­sion to the direct force of his Argument, when we find none [...] [...] enervate or dis­parage its Ev [...] [...] [...] such as are known to design nothin [...] [...] [...]hief or disturbance. And there can scarce be a more effectual Proof of the Dangers, and Ill-consequences of Toleration, than that J. O. and some others of his Kidney, so much bestir themselves to obtain it: all Governments have certainly reason enough to be jealous of all such designs as are carried on by professed Enemies of the State. The only unanswerable Objection that the Nature of the Argument it self affords, is, the natural Tendency of fanatick and en­thusiastick Principles, to wild and seditious Practices; but when such right peaceable men as these are observed to come forth in its de­fiance, that farther proves the Event, that was but probable in the Nature of things, to be really laid, and intended in the minds of men; and the Result of all is, that pub­lick Broils and Tumults is not only the na­tural Effect, but the serious end of all their Pretences. And this I presume is competent­ly material to the scope of the Discourse.

And as this way of Procedure could not have been justly charged with any Imperti­nence, so much less with any Disingenuity; for in sober sence, what milder Correction [Page] could a Person so obnoxious deserve, or mo­destly expect, though it were only to take down his malepert Confidence and Presumpti­on; but when, beside that, it was so direct a Consideration to the matter in Debate, no Laws of Ingenuity could oblige, no nor scarce excuse any man, that should baulk such weighty advantages to so honest a cause, only out of re­gard and tenderness to a malefactours Repu­tation. Especially when he shall so often (as he has publickly done) proclaim open Defiance to all Accusations, boast of his own meekness and innocence, and with such an intolerable Confidence, pish at the vanity, and silliness of all such ungrounded reflections. What o­ther course can be taken with such a boisterous Huff, than to dash back his bold Affronts and Challenges into his own Teeth, and beat down such a daring Impudence with the weight of its own Guilt. And thereby let the world see how little Conscience or Mo­desty is to be expected from these demure pre­cious ones, that can bare up so bravely un­der such a sinking load of horrour and vila­ny. And though the Government has been pleased to forgive and forget all their Godly pranks, yet it is not to be endured, to see them look so big, and talk so loud upon Pre­sumption of their own Innocence; and who could believe it, that People so guilty upon [Page] all accounts, both before God and Man, (and so they are and must be, till they have dis­owned their former Practices, and renounced their former Principles by some publick Prote­stations of Repentance) should be so irrecove­rably faln from all shame and modesty, as to spit at the most modest suspicions of their Honesty, to stand on tip-toe upon their own Iustification, and in stead of being brought to any Remorse or Contrition for all their horrid and publick Crimes, to cast off all Reflections upon their Guilt, with all the stateliness of Pride, and all the assurance of a good Conscience? And therefore until they have given us some more satisfactory Symptoms and Indications of their Repentance, they have nor can have no reason to complain of our want of Charity for suppo­sing them constant to their good old Principles, and their good old Cause. If these Men com­plain of their hard usage, till they have given us some hopes of their Reformation, so may Wolves and Padders.

2. Supposing he had been bespattered with uncivil and unhandsom Reflections, yet cer­tainly a Person of his abstracting and Metaphy­sical Head, is able to separate the Argument from the Abuse; and though possibly he could not wipe them off to the satisfaction of all Readers, yet he might fairly neglect them, as of no Concernment to the matter of his En­quiry. [Page] And he is not so shamefaced as not to Huff and Out-swagger all Affronts. Nay, he has quit himself like himself of them alrea­dy; not only by holding forth that it is more Christian-like to forbear all such Provocations, because they tend to mutual Exasperations of Spirit, (for that signifies little more, than that he, Good Man! is very angry, and I think he has no very great reason to be very well pleased) but also by retorting them with all the Keenness of Revenge, whilst, poor Nothing! he protests his unfeigned Resolutions of Meek­ness and Forgiveness; as he has done a thou­sand times over in his late goodly Discourse of Evangelical Love and Unity, particularly pag. 8. he defies all the Revilings of his Adver­saries, because they are such Persons that have no regard to Truth, or Modesty, or Sobriety to­wards God or Man, and shall be sure to be accounted with at the Day of Iudgment, (to the great Relief of his tender Heart;) That are animated by their secular Interest or desire of Revenge; that are unacquainted with the Spirit of the Gospel, and the Christian Religi­on; that are incompassionate towards the Infir­mities of others, whereof yet none in the World give greater Instances than themselves; that have no thoughts but of Rage and Destruction; and that, had they Power, would render all Christians like the Moabites, Ammonites, [Page] and Edomites, that is, are for nothing less than Massacres, and cutting of Throats, &c.

Sweet Sir! Enough, enough of these heal­ing Words; we are vanquisht for ever with these generous strains of Meekness and Civi­lity: Did ever Man pass by such unparal­lel'd Injuries and Provocations, with so much Gallantry and Greatness of Mind? What execrable Miscreants must they be, that could treat so brave an Adversary with Rudeness and Incivility, or assault such an Heroick Inge­nuity with ignoble and unhandsom Arts? He is too hard for us at all Weapons, there is no contending with a Person of such an Ada­mantine Honour; he rebukes us with his En­dearments, and strikes us dead with his sweet and kissing Looks. We yield, we yield; we cannot resist all this kind and melting Good­ness. He has requited our Malice with so fair and [...]ivil a Character, that it were a notorious Calumny to paint any thing but the Devil him­self in blacker Colours. And if but one half of this Enamouring Description that he has be­stowed upon his Adversaries in the very Pangs of Love and Compassion, were true or credible, no Man that is yet unhang'd (unless he had been marked thrice at least with the Honourable Brand of Authority) would ever be so mad as to change condition with such cast and irre­claimable [Page] Wretches. However, we accept his kind Offer, and his Good Meaning; and seeing he is willing to respite his Revenge to the Day of Iudgment, (Ah, sweet Day! when these People of God shall once for all, to their un­speakable comfort and support, wreak their E­ternal Revenge upon their reprobate Enemies) it is agreed upon: for we are not so fierce and fiery, but we can wait with as much patience as he for satisfaction. And therefore let us by mutual consent forbear all this unnecessary Courtship and Complement for the future, and fall on bluntly upon the Argument without hugging and kissing, before we draw Sword: It is a pretty point of Honour for young Gentle­men; but we that are a more sullen sort of Combatants, may without any great incon­venience spare the Ceremony. And now upon this Proposal, it will be found that these intem­perate Reflections (as he calls them) are so far from making the Book unanswerable, that they are the only thing to which he has ventured to make any Reply: so that it is plain this is not the Reason, but purely the Pretence of his Re­luctancy. For, alas! the Evidence of the Cause is so bright and convictive, as prevents all tolerable Mistakes or Exceptions; and as for his bold and bare-faced Falsifications, they ar [...] all spent in the former Engagement, and all his jugling shifts have been so sufficiently [Page] laid open to the World, that they can never do him or his Cause any service for the future. And setting these aside, the Argument of the Controversie is so plain and easie, that it is not capable of any farther Doubt or Dispu­tation.

For all their Exceptions (especially as they concern the Church of England) relate either to the Power it self, or to the Matters of the Command: the first are directly levell'd against the very Being of Authority; and Magistrates of what kind soever, according to their general Pretences, must not dare to put any Restraints upon their Subjects Consciences, lest they in­vade the Divine Prerogative, overthrow the Fundamental Liberties of Humane Nature, and undo honest Men only for their Loyalty to God and their Religion. Now if this Right be claimed without Restraint or Limitation, then the Consequence is unavoidable, That Subjects may, whenever they please, cross with the Authority of their Governours, upon any pretence that can wear the Name, or make a shew of Religion. But this is so grosly ab­surd, that J. O. (nor any Man else in his Wits) never had the Courage to assert it. And then the Necessity of a Sovereign Power in Matters of Religion is granted, and all Ar­guments that prove it in general necessary to Peace and Government, are allowed, or at least [Page] not contradicted: for whoever admits an Ec­clesiastical Iurisdiction, howsoever bounded and limited, admits it; and that is enough to the first Assertion of a Supreme Authority over the Conscience in Matters of Religion. But then (say they) there are some particular things exempted from all Humane Cognizance, which if the Civil Magistrate presume to im­pose upon the Consciences of his Subjects, as he ventures beyond the Warrant of his Commis­sion, so he can tie no Obligation of Obedience upon them, seeing they can be under no Sub­jection in those things where they are under no Authority. Now this pretence resolves it self thus; that they do not quarrel his Majesties Ecclesiastical Supremacy, but they acknowledge it to be the undoubted Right of all Sovereign Princes, as long as its Exercise is kept within due bounds of Modesty and Moderati [...]n. Which being granted, all their general Exceptions against the Sufficiency of the Authority it self, are quitted, and they have now nothing to ex­cept against but the excess of its Iurisdiction. So that having gained this ground, the next thing to be assigned and determined, is the just and lawful bounds of this Power, and that has been already distinctly enough described as to all the Defence of Ec­cles. Pol. from p. 232. to p. 264. most material Cases that can probably occur in Humane [Page] Life; all which may be summ'd up in this one general Rule, viz. That Governours take care not to impose things apparently evil, and that Subjects be not allowed to plead Consci­ence in any other case, this is the safest and most easie Rule to secure the Quiet of all that are upright and peaceable; and all that re­fuse Subjection to such a gentle and moderate Government, make themselves uncapable of all the Benefits of Society; in that if we stop not their Liberty of Remonstrating to the Com­mands of Authority at this Principle, we shall for ever be at an utter loss for making any cer­tain Provisions for the Peace and Security of Commonwealths. So that if they will attempt any thing here to any purpose, they must again either cancel all Ecclesiastical Power, or con­fine it within narrower bounds of Iurisdicti­on, both which are equally absurd and dange­rous; the former we have already cashiered as flat Anarchy; and the latter is no less, because there is no end of the Follies and Impostures, or at least the Pretences of Religion: so that if they may be suffered to over-rule the Power of Princes, then can Princes claim no Power over any that have no mind to obey them, i. e. they have none at all, because all that are or would be disobedient may plead dissatisfaction for their Priviledge, and that supersedes all the proceedings of Authority. And here too [Page] before they can do any good, they must justifie the reasonableness of the Pretences of Scandal, or an unsatisfied Conscience in Opposition to the Publick Laws: i. e. they must prostitute all the Wisdom and Power of Government to the Humour and Ignorance of the common Peo­ple, and that is plainly to destroy it. Nay, though we should grant them all this, and any thing else that they can with or without modesty demand; yet when all is done, the Puritan Controversie will prove the most despe­rate and indefensible Cause in the World. For that relates to the Lawfulness or Unlawfulness of the Matters of the particular Laws and Constitutions themselves; and now when the Question is cast upon this Issue, attend Hea­vens and Stars! Here are Wonders and My­steries to be discovered, that would make an Archangel stare! A flourishing Nation has been embroiled in a bloody War: As Vertuous a Prince as ever sate upon a Throne, has been Murthered and Martyred: An Establisht Church has been Plundered and Dissolved, and Fellow-Subjects have been enraged against each other with implacable Zeal and Cruelty, and we are still shatter'd into numberless Schisms and Factions, and People are seared from returning to their Obedience upon peril of their Eternal Salvation; though for what reason all this is done, Elias must tell us when [Page] he comes, for as yet it is above the reach of our Inquisition, and the comprehension of our Un­derstandings.

As for my own part, I have wasted not a little time (I fear more than I shall be able to give a good account of) to search and enquire what mighty Prize it is that they contend for in good earnest; and yet after all my pains, I must protest that I understand their meaning no more, than I do the Great Secret, or the Philosophers Stone. For the result of all their endless talk, is plainly reducible to these two Heads, Either what they plead in their own behalf, that they may have Liberty to Worship God according to that Rule that is in­stituted and prescribed to them in the Gospel: or what they object against us, which is in the last Issue of things nothing else than the hor­rible Unwarrantableness of Symbolical Cere­monies. As for the first, they still persist to urge it with their old Zeal, Clamour and Con­fidence, though it is apparently no more con­cern'd in the matter of our Controversie than the possibility of squaring the Circle. For when we descend to particulars, and proceed by Induction, there is not any thing by which they divide and distinguish themselves from the Church of England, that can so much as pre­tend to the least foot-steps in the Word of God. And though they have been so often challenged, [Page] upbraided and taunted, to shew one Divine or Apostolical Injunction that expresly requires their way of Worship, as far as it is opposed to our establisht Rites and Constitutions; yet you may sooner beat out their brains (if they have any) than make them so much as attend to your motion; or at least prevail with them to specifie this general Rule in any one parti­cular case. If they would but once undertake this, it would bring all our Differences to a very speedy and a very easie issue. For if the Scripture have determined any certain and standing Rules of outward Worship, what ean be more reasonably demanded, or easily per­formed than to assign them? It is full as ob­vious as to find out the Rules of the Liturgy by the Rubricks and Canons of the Church: If it have not, what can be more disingenuous or seditious than for men to stand upon such con­ditions of their Obedience, as they know to be impossible? They have had time enough to search the Sacred Records for particular Forms and Rituals of outward Worship; and when with all their pains they have not been able to discover so much as one express Institution, is it not prodigious beyond all Precedent that they should persevere in their old Confidence, and that in defiance to their own knowledge and experience? And they may with all their searching as soon find out the Institution of [Page] all the Laws and Ceremonies of the Order of the Garter in holy Writ, as any one Form of Worship enjoined to all Ages of the Church un­der a perpetual and unalterable Obligation, beside barely the two Sacraments. What can be imagined more peevish or humoursom, than for Men under so much demureness and seeming Sanctity, to persist so seditiously in such a baf­fled and precarious pretence? It is rank and self-convicted waywardness.

But then, Secondly, When they come to ob­ject against us, the last result of all their out­ory there, is, the sad unwarrantableness of Symbolical Ceremonies; though had they made it Syncategorematical Ceremonies, the Objection had been more terrible than it is by at least three or four Syllables. It is both an hard and a big word, and for any thing the People know, may signifie one of the bloodiest things in Popery. They will endure any Ce­remonies, provided they be well purged of all their Symbolicalness; that is the very Essence of Paganism, Superstition and Idolatry. They will, and ought sooner to broil in Smithfield, than submit to such Abominations of the Strumpet and the Beast. It is less dangerous to Worship the Host, and more easie to believe Transubstantiation, than to defile our selves with this lewd and Antichristian Trangam. The Iesuites Powder was first extracted out [Page] of it, it is worse than Witcheraft and Sorcery, the least Infusion of it immediately transforms a Man into a Papist or a Iew, or any thing else as the Enchantment is laid. 'Tis the ve­ry Potion wherewith the Scarlet Whore made Drunk the Kings of the Earth. Heliogaba­lus and Bishop Bonner loved it like Clary and Eggs, and always made it their Mornings-Draught upon Burning Days; and it is not to be doubted but that the seven Vials of Wrath, that were to be poured upon the Nations of the Earth under the Reign of Antichrist, were filled with Symbolical Extracts and Spi­rits.

And were all this dismal Story a sad and serious Truth, Men could scarce be more af­frighted than they are at two or three very inno­cent Ceremonies, only because they are called Symbolical: and yet after all this hideous noise and outery, (1.) It is very unhappy that there are no Ceremonies to be found out in the World, but what are Symbolical, in that it is the very Nature, and the only warrantable Use of Ceremonies to be Symbolical. But, (2.) Suppose there were any that are pure and Unsymbolical, yet it will be a cruel task to find out any certain Prohibition, either in the Law of Nature, or the Word of God, against all those that are Symbolical; and if it can­not be done, they will not prove so deadly dan­gerous [Page] as hath been hitherto imagined. And, (3.) It is still somewhat more difficult to find out the several sorts and species of Symbolical Ceremonies, and which are allowable and which not, by what marks we may know which are natural and which are only customary, which owe their beginning to Chance, and which to Institution, where the Scripture has allowed one to be used in the Worship of God, and where it has disavowed the other; and why the Sovereign Power may not bestow this Pri­viledge upon a Ceremony by vertue of its Prero­gative, as well as Use and Custom; what greater Immorality there is in them when they are determined by the Command and Institution of the Prince, than when by the Consent and Institution of the People; with so many more curious and profound Enquiries, that they must spend whole Waggon-Loads of Metaphysicks, to prepare their way, and make their Approa­ches to the subtilty of the Argument. Are not these Men (think you) pretty well resol­ved upon it, to be for ever peevish and trouble­som, that can raise so much dust and disorder out of such slender and beggerly Pretences? Pretences so apparently vain and frivolous, that their persisting in them so long and so stub­bornly, can prove nothing but their being ut­terly forsaken either of all Modesty or Under­standing. Had they any thing in the World [Page] material to object, they would never make so very much of such very Non-sense, that has nothing else to defend it even from the scorn of the common People, than that it is shelter'd un­der a word that they understand not. But (say some) if their scruples are so very Chil­dish, why do not you that are, or pretend to be wiser, condescend a little to their folly, ra­ther than give them opportunity of creating so much disturbance to so little purpose? In An­swer to these Men, though there were no other Reason of our firm adherence to our old Con­stitutions, yet this is a very sufficient one, That we can never satisfie their Demands, nor re­move their Grounds of dislike, by all the Alte­rations and Condescentions in the World. For let us order our external Worship with as much caution and simplicity as themselves pretend to, yet we can never prevent their Objection, unless we quite abolish it; and it dashes as much against their own way of Worship as against ours: for therein consists the very Use and Na­ture of all outward Worship, to express and represent the inward sense of our Minds by some outward Indication: so that if there be any outward Worship in the World, there is no avoiding it, but it must be significant and Symbolical.

And now, I hope, I may safely appeal to the Reader, to search the Records of all Ages [Page] and Nations in the World; and though he will meet with numberless Stories of strange and unaccountable Schisms, yet he will never find any People so ridiculously peevish, as to separate from the Church they lived under up­on such woful Scruples and Exceptions as are pleaded and insisted upon by our present Dissen­ters. They are as new as they are imperti­nent, peculiar to themselves, unheard and un­thought of to all the World beside.

3. But, Thirdly, What if his Adversary has not made any unkind Reflections upon his Person, nor tak [...]n any Advantages against himself or his Cause, from any of his former Exorbitances? I will assure thee (Reader) if he have, they are very slily and hintingly couch'd: I have search'd for them with all possible diligence and attention; and after all my Industry, am not able to furnish my Com­mon-Place-Book with any one of these Rhetori­cal Embellishments. I must confess I meet with some Passages produced against himself out of his own Writings; but then I must acknow­ledge too, (to do right to all Parties) that they are all such as were extorted by his own rash and hot headed Defiances, and such as his Adversary was forced to appeal to, (sorely against his own will) in defence of his own Honesty. And thus when J. O. so daringly boasts of his Constancy to his own Principles, and [Page] of his unalterable Zeal for Toleration under all Dispensations, and Providential Revolutions; and yet confesses at the very entrance of his Discourse, That in all Pleas for Liberty of Conscience, he and all others are forced to juggle and dissemble with the World, and to admit of such a Supposition as flatly contra­dicts their own first and Fundamental Prin­ciple, viz. That there is no Form of Wor­ship Lawful and Allowable but what is pre­scribed in the Word of God; and that is their own: Now what could be more perti­nent than to show how their Language alters, when they speak out their full meaning? and then they breathe nothing but Death and Destruction to all Dissenters; and this is large­ly enough evidenced out of the inspired Wri­tings of J. O. who in all his Pamphlets and Preachments for Indulgence, is ever careful to except all Parties from the Benefit of that fa­vour, but only the Army-Saints, that were necessary to support the Tyranny, and secure the Plunder of the Lords Anointed Ones. And this (I suppose) is farther evidenced past all contradiction, not only from number­less Passages of his own Books, but from the very Pretence upon which he founds all his Demands, in that the things they desire to be indulged in, are upon their own Supposition for ever uncapable of any such Liberty, be­cause [Page] (as they pretend) they are no less than Matters of indispensable Duty.

The second occasion that I observed of ra­king into his Scribles, was this, That when his Adversary had charged the Nonconformists with the Modesty of appropriating to themselves the Titles and Characters of Godliness, yet this charitable Man cries, Tush, to the Ca­lumny, and defies it in the name of all the Secret Ones; and especially as far as it con­cerns his own worthy individual Self: though as great and considerable a Man as he is, I have some reason to be confident be was never so much as intended or thought of in the Accusa­tion: And therefore I appeal to all the World, whether any thing could be more pertinently Replied to rebuke the boldness of this Chal­lenge, than by checking the career of his Con­fidence, even out of his own spiritual and self­abasing Writings? And if it could possibly be proved that never any Man was more mala­pert and forward to pass Reprobating Censures upon all Parties, than J. O. that alone might pass for a sufficient Correction of such rude and unadvised Challenges. Nay, had he been content barely to deny this rough Impeachment, and not upbraided his Adversary to Traverse it, as he would not forfeit his Ingenuity, he might (I verily believe) have escaped all that disgrace, that did and must unavoidably follow upon his Publick Trial.

[Page] The third main occasion that necessitated his Adversary to make use of this Weapon, was this; That when he had only charged some Men (that yet were nameless) with owning this poor innocent Principle; that to pursue Success, though in Villany and Rebellion, is to follow Providence; this Man had the face and the fully too to defie it for a monstrous Fi­ction, and a huge yelling Lye. Now it be­comes not a Gentleman, and much less a Di­vine, to put up the Lye, especially when it is dasht in his Teeth with all the Circumstances of Publick Scorn and Disdain; and therefore though probably he were provided of a thou­sand other Instances to justifie the Truth of his Accusation against some other Men, yet it was most proper to vindicate his own Integrity, by laying the whole Load upon this Mans unpa­rallel'd and intolerable Confidence. And for this reason it is (I presume) that he has given such a right godly Account of Providence out of the Writings of J. O. as only defeats all the Obligations of Religion and common Ho­nesty, and (if there be occasion for it) will at any time justifie all the Wickedness in the World. When I first perused it, I must con­fess I could not but tremble to see any man so desperately debauch'd as to disgorge such a Load of rank Blasphemy and Disloyalty, and that with the Warrant and Confidence of a Divine [Page] Authority. The Discourse is made up of such lewd and unaccountable Principles, that should all the Impostors in the World, nay all the Powers of Darkness club together to contrive a compleater Doctrine of Religious Falshood and Immorality, they could never out-do its Hor­rour and Wickedness. And now if such un­avoidable Arguments as these may be called Personal Reflections, or if such Personal Reflections may be thought disingenuous, there is then no remedy but it must be granted that J. O. has had somewhat harder measure than was necessary: if not, I hope it is no Offence against the Rules of Candour or Good Man­ners for an Honest Man to impeach a Male­factour, especially when he is forced to it in defence of his own Honour and Reputation.

If there be any other sharp words in any other Paragraphs of his Adversaries Discourse, of which he complains under his old common place of Railing; to that I can say no more, than to inform them, that there is some little difference between Railing and just Reproofs, and to challenge them to specifie on tart and severe Expression, that the Argument will not only bear, but require; otherwise I am apt to believe, by the example of all the most Classi­cal of Ancient and Modern Professours of Controversie, it is no very foul play nor Lan­guage to discover palpable Forgeries, affected [Page] Mistakes, thick Contradictions, and shameless Impertinencies. If it is, then I must be so ingenuous as to confess, that his Adversary is one of the most unmerciful and uncleanly Writers that ever pretended to Good Nature or Good Manners. But when a bold Scribler shall dare to impose upon the World with the most enormous and ungrounded Falsifications, I think it is altogether as eloquent, and as civil too, plainly to tell him, (as that Author has done) in blunt and downright English, that they are impudent and inexcusable Fals­hoods, as tamely to say, Verily, verily, for­sooth you not say Troth. And there lies the vebemence and cruelty of his Stile, in insult­ing over such notorious and unpalliable Tricks of Dishonesty. No Invectives can be sharp enough to reprove meer and affected Calumny; and had he had any appearance of pretence either to excuse or to alleviate his Mistakes, be might have called for Quarter, and challenged some Mercy: but when he shall load an Honest Man that never provoked, no, nor rival'd him, with such black and horrid Slanders, be Out­laws himself to all the Claims and Priviledges of Civility. A wilful and convicted Forger, is every where lookt upon as an open and decla­red Enemy to the common Rights of Humanity. And yet this Mans Malice is sadly aggravated by his Boldnesse for had he accused his Adver­sary [Page] of treasonable Words, or suborned a Pro­fessor of Villany, to impeach him of Popish Plots against the State, (provided he were not so unhappy as to swear he saw him take the Sacrament upon it in the Conclave at Rome, at the very same instant of time, when five hundred Persons of an unblemisht and un­suspected Reputation are able and ready to de­pose that he was engaged in publick Employ­ment at London:) I say, had he revenged himself of his Adversary thus, it would have abated of the Impudence, though not of the Malice of his Forgery. For Words once spo­ken, vanish into the empty Air, and are never after to be produced in Court to clear a Mans Reputation: but when he shall charge him (as he has often done) with nothing less or more than only Blasphemy, and then think to make good his Charge by forging Words that may be so easily confuted by legible Black and White; that, I say again, is Confidence be­yond all Example, and above all Imitation.

And then as for any other Passages that they complain of under the Title of Arrogance and Contempt; I can and will say no more to them, than that it is a sad Unhappiness to have to do with such an unreasonable sort of People, when it is impossible to make a just Represen­tation of the folly of their Pretences, without upbraiding it: No Argument in so palpable a [Page] Cause can be duly urged to its proper Head, without some Satyr and Invective; so far is it from being any excess of temper, that 'tis downright Dulness and want of Wit, not to expose their Persons whilst we confute their Principles: for how is it to be avoided, but that such Men must appear contemptible to all Mankind, that have so little Wit to believe, or so much Confidence to maintain such mon­strous and thick Absurdities? So that they plainly owe all the Disdain they complain of, to themselves, and the Nature of their Cause; and if their Talkings be so wretchedly tri­fling as they are proved to be, they can never be scorned too much for disturbing a setled Church to so little, so no purpose. So that all the severity of that Discourse, how stern soever it may appear, results purely from the Nature of the Argument, and not from any peculiar fierceness of Expression: And if that Authors Stile may to any seem more un­merciful than that of some of his Neighbours, I think he need only desire those Persons to consider, whether they can find any other Ground for their so thinking, than that he may possibly have pursued their Pretences a little more closely and severely to the last and most lamentable Issue of their Folly.

And yet after all this needless Apology, beside what that Author himself has made in [Page] his own behalf, more than became him; bad J. O. been treated as rudely and unmerci­fully as 'tis pretended, yet it can never be pretended that he was treated any worse than he deserved: for he is a Person of such a pernicious Temper, of such a swoln Inso­lence, of such a restless and implacable Spi­rit, of such a sworn and inveterate Hatred to the present Government of Church and State, that he ought, without Ceremony or fear of Incivility, to be pursued as the greatest Pest and most dangerous Enemy of the Com­monwealth; and whoever wishes well to his Country, can never do it greater service, than by beating down the Interest and Reputation of such Sons of Belial. Had he ever given us any Symptoms of Modesty or Remorse for his old Impostures; would he have been true to his own Doctrine of wheeling about with Providence; would he but deign to give any Engagements of Loyalty and Allegiance, only whilst it is in fashion and reputation, and ac­knowledge his good old Principles to have be­come wicked and abominable, because they are now, and so long have been disowned by Providential Revolutions: Nay, did he not give us manifest Tokens of Rage and Indig­nation at the disappointment of his former Designs; did he not employ all his Industry to discompose our present Setlement; did he not [Page] make it his business in private and (as far as he dares) in publick to keep up the old Schism, and to keep back the People from re­turning to Peace and Sobriety; did he not train up Nurslings of the Cause in Principles of Enthusiasm and Sedition; did he not al­ways thrust forward to appear in the Head of the Mutiny; did he not set up his Flag of Defiance against the Church of England, and bestir himself with all his Zeal and Power against all Endeavours of Peace and Reconci­liation; did he not enflame and exasperate the Minds of his Disciples, against the Establisht way of Worship and Discipline, and chuse rather than see it perfectly setled, to let loose Antichrist, and call in the Turk: in a word, did he not shew himself past all hopes of Re­formation, by his incorrigible Boldness and Confidence, he might be allowed some Grains of Mercy and Tenderness. But if he be a Per­son of such a gangren'd Temper and malig­nant Spirit, no body that is not concerned and involved in the same guilt himself, can ever be concerned to have such a Caitiff spared. Especially when by his Zeal and Pragmatical­ness he has advanced himself to some consi­derable Power and Reputation with his Party; in so much that great Numbers of silly Peo­ple run greedily into Schismatical courses for no other reason than because J. O. steers and [Page] drives them. He is (to his great content) become the Head of the Faction, and the Ora­cle of the separate Churches; and is consult­ed in all Cases of Conscience, and in all Pro­jects of Anarchy; and his bare Authority and Nod, is to the Disciples a satisfactory Deter­mination of all Enquiries. And if it be so, it is not only fit, but necessary to take down such an aspiring Mind from its heighth and loftiness, to take off all his demure and hypo­critical Disguises, and to shew him to the de­luded People in his own Colours; and if it be possible to disabuse them, by letting them see that the only thing that lies at the bottom of all his Tumultuatingness of Spirit, is Pride and Ambition. I ever had so good an Opinion of the well-meaning of the Vulgar sort, that I am confident great Multitudes would quick­ly return to themselves and to their Duty, did they but see into the Dishonesty of their Lea­ders, and into the Designs of their Practices: and I can scarce judge so severely of any Mem­ber of his own Rendevouz, as to believe he would ever have entrusted his Soul and its E­ternal Interest to his Conduct, had he but un­derstood the Rankness of his Blasphemies a­gainst the Divine Providence. And that is one of the chiefest Arts they make use of to keep their People fast to their Communion, viz. To bar up their Minds against all ways [Page] of being undeceived; if they do but light upon a Book that reflects upon their Reputation, it is immediately wrested out of their hands; and they are frighted from perusing it, be­cause (as they inform them) it is stuff't with nothing but Railing, and Wicked, and Un­godly Opinions. But were they so hardy as, notwithstanding their frightful Tales, to ex­amine and judge impartially, it is not to be doubted but that their Conventicles would quickly moulder away, if they did not sud­dainly vanish and disappear: so that at last nothing will be found more serviceable towards the cure of our Schisms and Divisions, than to deal plainly and sincerely with the Peo­ple, in acquainting them with the Blasphe­mous Doctrines and Seditious Practices of these Achitophels.

And therefore I would advise J. O. for the future, to forbear all Publick Attempts against the Church; and if he will not, he will find all the Rebuke he has hitherto suffered, to be but the beginnings of his sorrows, and will be brought to the Sledge oftner than he is aware of: for if he be not taken down with open and continual Disgraces, his Pride will quick­ly grow raging and insupportable. I know he will complain of this as the most intemperate Language that was ever poured upon him by any Adversary; but 'tis no matter for that, [Page] as long as I know them, and have proved them to be Words of Truth and Sobriety: they proceed not from Passion or Revenge, but from an upright and composed Mind, that upon mature Iudgment chuses this way of proce­dure as most proper and rational against such an enormous and irreclaimable Offendor. I have not skill enough in the Tricks of Hypo­crisie, to protest my Friendship and Charity to my Enemies in the coarsest Expressions of Ran­cour and Bitterness; as this meek-spirited Man always does, with heaping up all the Recriminations that (he tells us) he might, but will not retort; and so in one breath vents his Malice, and boasts his Charity: and were it not for this demure way of darting his Re­venge, it is manifest from the Genius of his Mind and Writings, that Death it self would scarce be more disgustful, than an hearty forgive­ness; otherwise he would not always issue out his Pardons with such spiteful and stabbing Intimations. But for my own part, I love nothing more than a frank and an open In­tegrity, and endeavour nothing more than to deal clearly and undisguisedly with all Men; and therefore having plainly enough told him his own, and nothing but his own as to his Principles, I need not to protest my unfeign­ed Love and Charity towards his Person; I am too well ass [...]red of the Uprightness of my [Page] Purposes, to condescend to such faint and mis-giving Expressions; for it is nothing else but a diffidence of their own Sincerity, that puts Men upon such needless Appeals and Protestations. And therefore in stead of that, I shall only add, That I do not in the least tax his private Conversation; and (for any thing I ever will know, for I scorn ever to enquire) he may live as becomes a good and an honest Man among his Neighbours and Acquaintance: the only thing I lay to his Charge, is his insolent and unpardonable Be­haviour towards the Publick; and 'tis purely for the sake, and in the behalf of that, that I account with him so severely for his old Ar­rears. Which yet I should willingly have spared, (so tender am I of the Laws of Good Nature and Civility, even towards all that have forfeited their Right in them) could I ever have discovered the least appearance of Integrity either in his Writings or Actions, or the least tokens of Repentance for his for­mer Crimes, or the least ground of hope for his future Reformation: but when nothing appears but reprobate Hardness and Impeni­tence, and an obstinate persisting in his old Rancour, his case is desperate; and when Men are past Grace, they are past Mercy too.

[Page] And thus having done him Right, and his Pamphlet Reason, and prevented the Design of escaping the Disgrace of his Overthrow, by sending abroad new Challenges before he had discharged himself of his old Engagements; it is high time to return to the Argument, up­on which I was entring, when he came in my way to divert me, viz.

To consider what likelihood, or how much Danger there is of the Re­turn of Popery into this Nation.

For my own part, I know none, but the Nonconformists boisterous and unreasonable Opposition to the Church of England; for if ever that be Re-erected, it must be upon the Ruines of this; as long as this stands in Power and Reputation, it will easily beat back and baffle all the Attempts of Rome, and all its Adherents. Our Reformation is Establisht upon such unblameable Grounds and Prin­ciples, that all the Learning and Wit of our Adversaries was never able to fasten any Re­proach or Dishonour upon the Constitution it self; and next to the Puritan Cause, there was never any so unequally managed as the Controversie between us and the Romanists; their most plausible Reasonings are evidently [Page] no better than little Tricks and Sophisms, and seem intended by themselves rather to abuse the Simple, than to satisfie the Wise: in so much that it is very hardly credible that those Persons who have lately appeared in the Cause, can notwithstanding all their seeming Zeal and Earnestness, be really in good earnest in their Pretences; but 'tis somewhat more won­derful, that they should have the Confidence to suppose the World should be so simple as to think them so, when they can boast such idle talk for Demonstration, as themselves (unless their Skulls are stufft with Mud and Saw-Dust) cannot but know to be meer Trifling, and arrant Sophistry. And no wonder, for every Cause must be defended as it can; their Innovations are so undeniable, and the De­sign of our Reformation so apparently Apo­stolical, that those People must needs argue at a strangely wild rate, that will be Demonstra­ting against Experience and Ocular Inspecti­on; and nothing could preserve them from be­ing hiss'd out of the Pit, but that they are ex­treamly confident, and most Readers suffici­ently ignorant: so that the Church of Eng­land may safely defie all their Opposition, she does not stand upon such trembling Founda­tions as to be thrust down with Bullrush-spears, with sure Footings, and Oral Traditions, with Labyrinths and Castles in the Air. If there [Page] be any danger from them, it lies more remote and out of view; and if ever they get any Ground or Advantage of us, they will be bound to make their Acknowledgments to the Puritans and the strength of their Assistance. Not that these are a whit more considerable and dead-doing Enemy than the other; they are Triflers beyond contempt; and when they have in their mighty Zeal done their poor ut­most, and spent all their Ammunition, a Man must be very splenetick that can refrain from laughing at the folly and the childishness of their Attempts. No, their strength lies in other Weapons, and their danger arises from other Interests; their Faction may be made use of as Instruments to dissolve and unravel the establish'd frame of things, but they can ne­ver be able to set up any of their own Models, and crazy Fancies in lieu of it; they are too humorous and extravagant, ever to be reduced to practice; a little Experience quickly brought them all into the scorn and contempt of the common People; and it would be a pleasant speciacle to see either the Classical or the Con­gregational Discipline Establish'd by Autho­thority. But, alas! they are only excellent at their old Destruction-Work; and beside that, their Conceits are too freakish to be ever setled upon any lasting bottom; they will always be supplanting each other by their mutual Squab­bles [Page] and Animosities; so that though they can never compass their own giddy Designs, yet by their perpetual and restless Opposition to the Church, they may possibly be the occasion of its utter Ruine and Dissolution; and by that Change may probably make way for the In­troduction of Popery: And this is most likely to be effected by these Means, and upon these Accounts.

I. By creating Disorders and Disturbances in the State: For the present Fanaticks are so little Friends to the present Government, that their Enmity to that is one of the main Grounds of their Quarrel to the Church. They are generally fermented with a Republican Leven, and are faln out with Monarchy it self, as one of the greatest Instruments and Supports of Antichrist; and no Liberty with them either of the Subject o [...] of Conscience, but in a Commonwealth; and that is a mighty piece of their Zeal and their Project to reform the Government of Church and State to the Platform of the Low-Countries. Tis the Good Old Cause that is the strongest Band and Endearment of the present Schism; and the greatest Agents in and for Conventicles, are Officers and Chaplains of the old Ar­my. And the warmest and most zealous of them, such as have given the World no great [Page] ground to suspect, either from their profess'd Principles or open Practices, that they have the least Concern or Tenderness for Religion. But this is the only plausible Device that is left them, to rally and randevouz the People of God into a Body by themselves, and distinct from the rest of the Nation; and so keep up a Party al­ways ready and prepared for their Purposes; that if ever they may gain any hopes or advan­tages of recovering the Kings Power, or the Bi­shops Lands, (for confident Men despair of no­thing) they may play the holy Brotherhood upon Demands and Attempts either of the old or some other new thorough-godly Reformation, and enrage their Fiery Spirits against the Abomi­nations and Idolatries of the Whore and An­tichrist. Though the danger here is not very formidable, because Fanaticism it self is so much worn into Contempt, (unless among the meer Rabble) that 'tis never likely to gather strength enough to grapple with the Royal Power; but yet whatsoever Power it has, (if it have any) lies in the Old Army and the Old Cause. And if we observe the true Pa­triots of the Godly Party in every County, we shall find them generally such Persons as were never much concerned to give his Majesty any great assurance of their Loyalty and Allegi­ance; and there are very few (if any) of any considerable Interest or Estate among [Page] them, that was not raised by Plunder and Sequestration: so that the Chiefs of the Party are only the Remainders of the old Rebellion, and the Republican Faction, and such as pro­fess no great kindness to Monarchy or Sove­reign Princes. These that are so stein'd with Guilt and Disloyalty, are they that are every where so zealous to make their Cabals of Zeal, and their Musters of Reformation, or at least to keep up the Cause and themselves a­bove despair, by keeping up a factious and discontented Party, that, if ever opportunity should favour them, may have Strength and Interest enough to act over their old Designs of Zeal and Reformation. Now at present it is the Way and the Wisdom of these Men to bend all their Forces against the Ecclesia­stick State, not only to disguise their Inten­tions, but to remove the main hindrance of their Designs.

For 'tis the Church that is the best part of every Commonwealth; and when all Projects are tried, Religion is the best Security of Peace and Obedience: The Power of Princes would be but a very precarious thing, without the Assistance of Ecclesiasticks, and all Go­vernment does and must owe its quiet and continuance to the Churches Patronage; 'tis the Authority that has over the Consciences of Subjects, that chiefly keeps the Crown upon [Page] the Princes Head, and were it not for the Restraints of Conscience, that are tied on by the Hands of the Priest, and the Laws of Re­ligion, Man would be a monstrously wild and ungovernable Creature. For though the World be kept in some tolerable Order, notwithstand­ing there are too many Persons in it of Athe­istical and Irreligious Principles, yet of all Subjects these are the most dangerous and dis­loyal, because 'tis impossible to bring them under any effectual Engagements of Duty and Allegiance; and hence it is that all Se­ditions and Treasons are headed and ma­naged by such Leaders: At least, though they are not able to do so very much mis­chief, because their Party is not very consi­derable; yet were all Mankind of their Hu­mour and Perswasion, nothing could be more insecure and destitute of help than the Condi­tion of Princes, because no Man according to their Principles could be so foolish as to think himself any way obliged to venture Life and Fortune for the sake of their Interest; and whenever they are attempted, Subjects would be determined as to their Loyalty by the chance of Success, and not by any ante­cedent Obligations; and whenever the Princes Affairs were brought into any straight or dan­ger, they must leave him to shift for himself, and revolt to an Usurper for their own Safety [Page] and Interest. But those only are Loyal Sub­jects, and true Friends and Servants to the Establisht Government, that think it their Duty to adhere to their Prince in all Fortunes, and to assist and serve him against all Enemies; and 'tis their Numbers every where that keep the World in that little order and security that it enjoys: for beside the useful and ad­vantagious Offices that they do to the Crown by their own immediate Service, 'tis their known and sworn Fidelity that in a great mea­sure keeps back wicked and seditious Men from attempting it too lightly. Every aspiring Mind, or neglected Grandee, would be pre­sently venturing at the Throne, if it stood na­ked and unguarded of the Assistances of Loy­alty: but when they are assured, that how­soever their Designs may succeed, that there is so strong a Party unalterably resolved to make Head against them and all their Attempts, 'tis that that chiefly makes such Projects and Pra­ctices not so very frequent or easie. Now 'tis nothing but Conscience and Religion that can awe the Minds of Men to any sense of this Duty; and they ever are, and ever must be Govern'd by Ecclesiasticks; other Persons may tamper with them, and inveigle some strag­ling People, but still the main Body of a Na­tion, and especially the sober part of it, will chuse to submit themselves to their Conduct, [Page] whose Publick Profession it is to guide Souls, and instruct Consciences: so that to them, and the discharge of their Duty, do all Princes plainly owe the main Strength and Seourity of their Government. This Obligation of kind­ness to the Ecclesiastical State, is common to all Civil States; and so much as they dis­countenance the Power and Reputation of the Church, so much do they disadvantage the In­terest of their own Authority. But this reason of State is of greater force and more peculiar usefulness in reference to the present Constitu­tion of the Kingdom of England.

The Nation is manifestly divided into two opposite Parties, the Church of England, and the Body of the Nonconformists: The former whereof is the greatest Example of Loyalty, that perhaps ever appeared in the Christian World. Its Clergy are the most Zealous As­sertours of the Rights of Princes; they have all along undauntedly maintain'd their Supre­macy against all Assaults and Invasions, they have possest the Peoples Conscienecs with a re­ligious Awe and Reverence of Government; they have restrained them from all Attempts of Rebellion, or of taking up Arms upon any Pretence whatsoever, under the greatest and most dreadful Penalties, they have secured them from being abused with the Impostures of Zeal and Superstition, and have carefully [Page] prevented all the Shifts and Excuses of Diso­bedience; and after they have made Subjection a prime and indispensable Duty, they do not evacuate the Efficacy of their Doctrine by jug­gling Reserves and Limitations. And thus are the People train'd up in a Conscience of their Loyalty, and take it in together with their Re­ligion, and are as strongly principled against the hateful sin of Rebellion, as against Witch­craft or Idolatry. And of this our Princes have had sufficient proof and experience ever since the Reformation. They have ever found all their Subjects of the Communion of the Church of England modest and peaceable, and were never troubled with Disputes and Re­monstrances, Plots and Disturbances from any of her Friends. And when Rebellion broke forth, and the Royal Power was invaded and oppressed, with what Zeal and Devotion did they appear in its Defence, and for its Reco­very? and what Numbers sacrificed Lives and Fortunes out of meer sense of Duty and Alle­giance? For though it is not to be doubted, but that some might engage themselves in the Royal Cause for other ends, yet 'tis manifest from too many sad Circumstances, that the true and hearty Sons of the Church were acted by Principles of Conscience and Religion; and whilst others might be bought over by the Re­bels and Usurpers, no Temptation could pre­vail [Page] upon their Minds: but they were con­stant and impregnable in all Conditions. They forsake their Prince! You must first force them to renounce their Faith; their Loyalty stands upon their Religion, and they were Martyrs as well as Souldiers for his Cause, and in his Ser­vice. This is the peculiar Genius, and these the distinguishing Principles of the Church of England; and as far as they are admitted into the Minds of Men, so far do they work in them this religious and awful Regard toward Sovereign Princes. And though sometimes it may so fall out, that they may have other Rea­sons and Motives to determine them to their Loyalty, yet there are no Enforcements so pow­erful and irresistible as Convictions of Consci­ence: All others may and often do fail, but this never can.

But now as for the dissenting Party, their Religion spends it self another way; their Preachers fill the Peoples Heads with Wind and Phrases, possess their Fancies with Dreams and Visions, and spend most of their Pulpit­sweat in making a noise about Faith, Commu­nion with God, Attendance upon Ordinances, that (as they manage them) with some other fluttering and Romantick Stories, serve only to appease their natural sense of Religion, and to stroak them into a very civil and kind Opinion of themselves. But as for the Duty [Page] of Respect and Obedience to Superiours, (be­ing a Paultry Moral Vertue) it is a Topick that has very little or no place among their Cases of Conscience; and though the Scrip­ture be so very plain and pregnant in this Ar­ticle, and abounds with so many clear and ex­press Determinations of the indispensableness of the Duty, yet they can rarely find either a Text or an Occasion (as many as there are of both) to discourse it in their Pulpits, and re­commend it to their People: And if at any time it so falls out that they cannot avoid it, they will make hard shift but before they have done they will be too cunning for their Text; for be that never so plain and positive, they will so over-reach and draw it in with Tricks and Distinctions, that before they part, it shall be perfectly wheel'd about to the Long Parlia­ment side. They still Preach Obedience with so much Caution, and under so many Reserves, as utterly abates its Obligation; for they make the People so tender and timorous of their own Complyance, and so jealous of the Com­mands of their Superiours, that they are scarce more afraid of doing what God has expresly forbidden, than they are of what the Magi­strate expresly requires; and they are taught to dispense with their Duty and Obedience to­wards their Governours, upon no greater or wiser Pretence, than that they only fear and suspect [Page] lest possibly their Commands should cross with the Divino Laws: And they are exhorted above all things to keep their Consciences (i. e. them­selves) free from the Usurpation of all Hu­mane Powers; that is in effect, they are for­bidden to make any Conscience of Subjection to Princes; for 'tis only Conscience that is capable of the Obligation of Laws, so that if that be exempt, the whole Man is at Liberty. And how little sense they have of this Duty, or concern to discharge it, is very observable from their own most publick & solemn Devotions, where though they strain and wink hard for the largest and foulest Confessions of sins, and arreign them­selves of all the Crimes they can think of, and rake together, whether they ever did or did not commit them: And withal, though most of them be pretty well concerned in the Guilt of this Wickedness, (if a Wickedness at all) yet it has no place in their Catalogues of Vice, and they never deign so much as to take notice of it to Almighty God, or to beg his pardon for it, and could never yet be prevailed upon so much as to acknowledge it, but among the Infirmi­ties of his People; and that is a shrewd ground of suspicion, when People that are, or would seem to be, so tender in all other Cases, are so sullen and insensible in this. Nay, (what is worse than all this) they instruct the People in all the Doctrines and Pretences of [Page] Disloyalty; for Rebellion never appears bare-faced, but always comes forth mask'd with po­pular and plausible Demands; now they fur­nish them with such Principles and Maxims, as will easily excuse all Disorders and Disobe­dience, such as the Preservation o [...] the true Religion, and the Maintenance of their Fun­damental Laws and Liberties, not against the Prince (by no means!) but against his evil Council. And whenever they have a Mind to make Trial of their Princes Patience or Cou­rage, they are provided with Aphorisms of all sorts to warrant all the Pranks and Frolicks of the Experiment. This has been often enough, and from time to time represented to the Pub­lick: but if we will not attend to other Mens Information, yet it is mad and wilful sottish­ness, if we will wink against our own smarting and dear-bought Experience; and yet that we must shamefully do, if we can put any Confi­dence in the Loyalty of these holy Men. For their Practices have never shamed their Princi­ples; and though some of them are so modest as to excuse and deny their own Vertues, yet it must be confest that they have never failed to behave themselves as becomes the holy Bro­therhood. They have (like the great Her­cules) from their very Cradle laid hold upon all occasions to affront and grapple with the Royal Authority, they have always been for­ward [Page] to dispute and to abate the Sovereign Pre­rogative, and industrious to raise Iealousies a­gainst the Government and the Integrity of their Prince. And our Princes have all along complained of those Disrespects and Abuses that have been put upon them by the Puritan Party and its Abettors, and have at length to some purpose felt the Kindness and Civility of these Right-godly and Religious Rebels.

This is the true and undeniable Character of the Leading Faction; and as for all the other Clans and Sub-divisions, they were meerly spawn'd out of the Presbyterian Disorders, and bred out of the very Dregs of their Rebellion, and were never distinguished from any other Parties of Men, but by their Confederated Zeal and Fierceness for the Republican Usurpation against Monarchy and C. S. and yet since his Majesties Restauration would never be provoked to make the least Acknowledgments of their for­mer Disloyalty, or to offer any Engagements of their future Allegiance. Now let us lay all this together, (and ten times as much more that I am forced to omit in haste) and then consider how peaceable such People are likely to prove that are first poisoned with such Principles of Anarchy and Sedition, and then managed by Leaders of such bloody and ambitious Designs. The People themselves are of such a peevish and envious Humour, both from their Temper [Page] and their Principles, that no Government can ever please or oblige them; they are a sort of Creatures that love to lie at catch for Oppor­tunities of discontent, and it is a satisfaction to their proud and peevish Minds if they can but affront their Superiours. This is the na­tural Genius of the Party, and the several Bro­therhoods are made up of People of this Com­plexion, and Men List themselves into the se­parated and discontented Churches only to gra­tifie this snarling and waspish Humour.

Pride and Ill-nature are the Fundamental Principles of all their Zeal; and they are rude and restive to Authority, not always out of disaffection, but out of a wanton and sullen Humour. 'Tis a mighty Ease to their Spleens to vent their Censures and Contempts upon their Superiours; nothing so much inclines them to Good-fellowship as had News, it makes them gay and frolick, and is the only season of their Mirth and Iollity; and if it chance to prove a Story, they grow moody again, and return to their old precise and surly Humour. It is the Master-piece of their Wit to make Sa­tyrical Remarks upon the Gazets and publick Narratives; and it is the greatest concern of their Zeal and Passion, to confute and discredit all Reports allowed of by Authority. This is so notorious in common Conversation, that his Majesty has been forced to check this sawcy [Page] and undutiful Demeanour by his Royal Pro­clamation, though they have been so long accu­stomed to it, that it is to be feared they are grown too headstrong and incorrigible to be awed into a more modest behaviour by threat­nings of severity; and it will at last be found necessary to bridle their ungovern'd Tongues and Spirits with Pillories and Whipping-posts. For what can be more irksom and insufferable than to hear the Wisdom and Discretion of the State so lavishly and familiarly censured by every pert and conceited Mechanick? and yet that is their daily [...]nd perpetual Employment, to be [...]olting or hinting their Iealousies and irreverent Refl [...]ctions upon the King and his Council, and their management of Affairs, in all Places and in all Companies. And I ap­peal to every Mans Experience, whether he ever heard one kind word from the mouth of one zealous Brother, except in one case since his Majesties Return; and am sure that the Observation of all sober Men will agree with my own, that nothing comes from them with so costive a difficulty as a poor seeming appro­bation of any publick Proceedings. And they are now almost as free to bestow their good Words upon the Pope or the Prelates as upon the Civil Government. To this peevishness of their Hu [...]urs, I might add the restlesness of their Minds, that is always displeased [Page] with the setled frame of things, and that no Alterations can satisfie. If you cond [...]scend to their first Demands, you only encourage them to be making new Remonstrances; appease all their old Complaints, and they are immediate­ly picking new Faults to be redressed. Their Reformation knows no limits, but their Pro­jects grow and improve with their Success. They that at first only request Indulgence, will, when strong enough, demand it; and if they succeed, they will then dispute Equality with the present frame of Government, and then in a while Superiority, and then at last they will refuse to grant the same Indulgence that themselves at first requested. Thus to mention no body else, Knox and his Confederates first Petition'd the Queen of Scots, then Threat­ned Her, then Affronted Her, then Rebelled against Her, and then formally Deposed Her. And as Reformation always begins at the Bi­shops and Clergy, so it rarely ends but with the Civil Magistrate. Innovation never stops at its first Proposals, but new Thoughts, and Projects, and Interests, perpetually arise out of new Events and Occurrences of Affairs; and as the work succeeds, it naturally improves into new Parties and Principles, till at length it out-grows it self. And it was scarce ever known, that Fanatick Zeal began to alter the present Setlement of the Church, that it ever [Page] ceased till it had involved State and all in Ruine and Confusion.

And now 'tis easie to imagine into what Freaks and Disorders People of such a factious and hot-headed temper may be transported by the crafty Insinuations of proud or factious Male-contents: it is but whispering some con­fident Iealousie against the Government, and then upon any unlucky Conjuncture of Affairs they naturally break out into Tumult and Re­bellion; their Minds are always prepared for Disturbance, and easily take Fire upon every Opportunity, and every Invitation. So that now the state of the Question is altered; the Con­troversie between us is not about Ecclesiastical Laws and Forms of Discipline, (they have the least share in our Differences, and are rather meer Pretences than any serious Causes of Dis­content;) but the Contest now, as it relates to the real Concernments of the Nation, is, Which shall prevail, Loyalty or Faction? Whe­ther it be the Interest of the Prince that Subjects should be Educated in a religious sense of their Duty to all Superiours, or whether in a dislike and disaffection to all Royal Dignity? or, Lastly, Whether such Preachers should be per­mitted the Liberty of making Proselytes, when all that are seduced into their Communion, are at the same time alienated from the Govern­ment, and Listed into a Combination against it? [Page] And yet these Men are so very foolish and pre­sumptuous, as to flatter themselves and their Followers with hopes of his Majesties Conversion to their Party; and to suggest in their com­mon and Coffee-House Discourses, his secret Contempt of Loyalty and the Church of Eng­land; as if he laughed at the Folly and Pe­dantry of all those that ventured Lives and Fortunes in his Service and for their Allegi­ance, and look'd upon them as shallow and empty People that understand neither themselves nor their Interest; but that those are the only shrewd and notable Men, and fit for the management of his Affairs, that had so much Wisdom and Dexterity, or (as it is in another Reading) so much Knavery and Hypocrisie as by right or wrong to work their own Advantage out of all Changes, to secure their Preferments in spite of all contradictory Oaths, and always to light so luckily as to improve their fortunes by all turns, and grow great either by Rebellion or by Loy­alty, (it is all one to them) as either of them luck'd to prosper, and scrupled not to flatter an impudent Usurper, nor to betray or mur­ther their Lawful Sovereign, as Times, and Iunctures of Affairs advised them. Bold Men! that can so cheaply and so daringly under­value their Princes Honour and Ingenuity, and think him so void not only of all Princi­ples of Vertue, but of common Sense, as to [Page] despise his best (his only) Friends for being honest Men and good Subjects. But this it is to shew the least Mercy or Tenderness to such proud and incorrigible Offenders, when they have so much Vanity and Self-conceit to over­presume all things to their own favour. Let the Government but think it seasonable at any time to Reprieve them from the Severity of the Laws, and they immediately start up into that Confidence, as to imagine themselves the only Darlings and Favourites of the State: Let but the Publick Rods be a little removed from their Backs, and they are presently full of Expectations to have them put into their hands: If they are not always scourged and chastised, they will grow sawey, and must by all means become Cronies to Kings and Princes. And yet this I must say in their behalf, they serve his Majesty no worse than they served God Almighty; for neither could he a little suspend the Execution of his Iustice upon them, (though they were such scandalous and refractory De­linquents against his Laws) but that must, past all doubt and controversie, declare him of their Side, and for their Cause, and the Lord must needs walk sweetly with his own People in ways of Plunder and Sequestration. But if that were enough to make them presume his Favour and Approbation, be has (we may presume too) done enough since to clear his own [Page] Providence, and dash their Confidence; and they may assure themselves that his Majesty understands both himself and them too well to be over-fond of their Friendship, or trust too confidently to their Good-will. But if they will be making such ill use of his Mercy as to insult over, or to disrespect his Loyal Subjects, they will find to their own cost and shame, that he too can call them to their Songs upon Sigio­noth, as well as Divine Providence: so that (unless we will be guilty of a Iealousie as un­grounded and as unmannerly as their Pre­sumption) we may rest satisfied in the present Security of the Church of England, under the Protection of a Wise and a Gracious Prince; especially when beside the impregnable Con­fidence that we have from his own Inclina­tions, it is so manifest that he can never for­sake it either in Honour or Interest. But should it ever so happen hereafter that any King of England should be prevailed with to deliver up the Church, he had at the same time as good resign up his Crown; and the reason is already very plain, because there are none heartily Loyal to this, but those that are so to that; when 'tis so notorious from Experience, that the Crown of England never had any Cordial Friends but the Lovers of, and Ad­herents to the Church-Interest; and so evident from Mens Principles, that it never shall have. [Page] And then what must become of that unhappy Prince, that should deliver it up to the Rage and Rapine of its and his implacable Enemies? He is in the very same forlorn condition, as if, be were forced to flee from all his Friends to a Kirk-Army for Sanctuary and Protection: i. e. be is certainly Sold and Sacrificed.

II. The second way whereby the Fanatick Party may at last work the Ruine of the Church, is by the Assistance of Atheism and Ir­religion; Prophaness is in our days become as zealous and implacable a thing as Enthusiasin, and Men are not content barely to neglect all acknowledgment of Duty to their Creator, un­less they may have the Liberty to affront and defie him too: They scorn to be abused them­selves with the Tales and Legends of Knavish Priests, nor will they (great Heroes!) suffer the World to be imposed upon by their bold and insolent Impostures. It is not by any means to be endured to see such despicable Fellows in­sult over the free-born Minds and well-bred Understandings of Gentlemen, away with all their Superstitious Cheats and Fopperies; they will undertake to instruct Mankind in wiser and more Gentleman-like Principles. And thus are these Caitiffs become as fierce and malicious Enemies to all Setlement of the Church, as the most distempered and fiery sort [Page] of Fanaticks; and they will piece Interest with any Party to pluck down any Church-faction that is uppermost, and are as brisk and for­ward at hammering Reformation-work, as the giddy & rascal Multitude; and rather than the Cause should miscarry for want of Zeal, they themselves will not stick to turn Preachers of Sedition, nor (when the People are enraged) to lead them on to act it. The Atheists of former times, because they expected nothing in the Life to come, resolved without any far­ther trouble to enjoy all the Comforts of this; and therefore they never thrust themselves into Publick Cares and Concerns, but studied all the Arts of an idle, a jolly, and a pleasant Life; and minded nothing but Wine, and Love, and Poetry: But those of our Age are a sort of Devillish and Malicious Wretches, whose proud and arrogant Minds make them love Mischief for Mischiefs sake; they have so mean an opinion of other Men in comparison to themselves, that they treat them just after the same rate as we do Insects and Vermin; and will for the ostentation of their own Power and Greatness, sport themselves in those Mise­ries and Ruines they are able to draw upon the World, and will not stick to destroy King­doms, if it lie in their Power, only to gratifie their Insolence: And no wonder, when all the rankest Principles of Injustice and Ill-nature [Page] lie at the bottom of their Irreligion. They are, taught in the first place, that they may and ought to use all the ways of Fraud and Vio­lence for the Advancement of their own Power and Safety; that the greater and more enor­mous Injuries they do to Mankind, the more are they fear'd, and that fear is their only security; and the result of all their Principles is, That every Wise Man will by any means consult his own Interest and Security, and that his Interest and Security consists chiefly in the prebeminence of his Strength above other Men; so that the more he oppresses them, the more he acts up to the Laws of Nature, and Principles of Wisdom. And then being insolent as well as ill-natured, they care not what Mischiefs they do out of meer Humour and Wantonness; and the more extravagant they are in their In­juries and Oppressions, their Power is so much the more considerable, they scorn an ordinary Vice almost as much as to say their Prayers; but if they can invent any new and unheard­of Wickedness, that Vulgar Sinners have not the Wit to light upon, nor the Courage to ven­ture at, that is an heighth of Bravery, and only fit to be attempted by Men of their Parts and Breeding: so that they love Mischief, if not altogether as the Devils do, for its own sake, yet at least (and that is almost as bad) out of Pride and Singularity; they cannot brook it [Page] to be inferiour to any Man in any thing that they are pleased to pretend to, and yet are they pleased to pretend to every thing. And from hence it is that they can be no real Friends to any Govern­ment, only because the Supremacy of Power did not happen to fall to their share; and they can never have any hearty kindness for their Prince, though for no other reason than because he is their Superiour; a little affront or neglect from him, shall disoblige them for ever: they are implacable in their revenge, and every slight displeasure immediately puts them upon nothing less than thoughts of Treason and Rebellion.

But the great Object of their Hatred and In­dignation, is the Priestly Office; their proud Spi­rits cannot bear it to see such mean and contem­ptible Fellows brave it with so much Awe and Authority over the Minds of the Peoples but they are past all patience that they should dare to pretend to vie Wisdom with themselves, and undertake publickly to convict such mighty Wits of Folly and Ignorance, and prevail so far as to be able to expose them to popular Scorn and In­famy: for 'tis manifest that their Principles will never much take in the World, in that the generality of Men are not to be work't off from their natural sense of Religion; that ever did, and ever will keep the strongest Party in spite of all Opposition; and whoever attempts against it, must of necessity be run down with Reproach and [Page] Disgrace; and that transports them beyond all bounds, to be thus contemptuously kept under by ignorant and ill-bred Fops; and it becomes the great exercise of their Wit and their Drink to entertain the Company with pleasant Stories of Priests and Black-coats. This humour has pre­vail'd so far in our Age, beyond what it could ever arrive to in former times, that it is become in some degree Gentile and fashionable; every Man now has Wit and Pride enough to despise a Parson, and he is no Vertuoso, that does not in his common and Table-talk call and prove them Cheats and Impostors; and some Persons that one would think should have more Breeding or more Sobriety, affect the extravagance out of meer wantonness; and others that are no decla­red Enemies to the Cause of Religion, are yet well enough content for other reasons to have its Officers kept low and despicable; but for some reason or other they meet with disrespect enough on all hands. And now, though this ill usage signifies very little to those against whom it is intended, because it falls upon an Order of Men that are above its regard and resentment; in that the Clergy of the Church of England know themselves far enough from being obnoxious to any contempt but what Sacriledge has made unavoidable; and though we take them under all the Disadvantages that Plunder, and Rob­bery, and Reformation (as some Men have ma­naged [Page] it) has brought upon them; they are at this very time vastly the farthest off from being justly contemptible (to mention no other Order or Profession of Men) of any Clergy in the World; the preheminence is so evident, that it clears the comparison from all possible suspi­cion of its being either proud or odious: But though this unkindness be able to do them so lit­tle harm, yet it falls very heavy in its mischie­vous Consequences upon the Publick. For all wise States have hitherto always given the deep­est respect to the Presidents of the sacred Rites, and setled the greatest Priviledges and Immu­nities upon the Church, as well for Reasons of State, as for the Ends of Devotion. In that no Government can support it self without the As­sistance of Religion, and the Assistance of Reli­gion is ever proportioned to the Power and Inte­rest of the Clergy; its Esteem (as it is in all other Arts, Sciences, and Professions) depends upon the Reputation of those, whose Office it is to dispense its Mysteries and Publick Solemni­ties; they have always and every where found the same Fate, and the same Entertainment; so that to make the Priestly Order any way con­temptible, is to enervate the force of Religion upon the Consciences of Subjects, and thereby to destroy the greatest Strength and most last­ing Security of the Civil Government. So in­terwoven are the Cause of God and the Prince [Page] and the Priest, that no Man can be an Enemy to one, without proclaiming Hostility to all. Is not this wise work then, and fit to be endured in a Christian-Commonwealth, for the witty People to be so much concerned to make the Pro­fession of the Clergy vile and despicable? espe­cially when this whole Design is at last founded upon no milder Supposition, than that Iesus Christ himself is the great and leading Impo­stor: for if he were seriously vested with any Au­thority from Heaven, their Commission from him is too evident to be called into question: so that if the Power they claim by vertue of his Grant be forged and insignificant Usurpation, it is only because be abused the World with Tales and false Pretences to a Divine Autho­rity, i. e. only because he was the lewdest and most prostigate Impostor that ever appeared a­mongst Mankind. And this no doubt is a no­table piece both of Policy and Good-manners, to be own'd, yes, or endured in a Christian-Com­monwealth. But yet however passing by this horrid Blaspemy against our Blessed Saviour, and if our Religion were nothing else but (as all Religion is lately defined) the Belief of Tales publickly allowed, and the Priesthood only a Succession of Cheats and Iuglers; yet after all this, they are and must be allowed necessary In­struments in the State to awe the common Peo­ple into fear and Obedience, because nothing [Page] else can so effectually enslave them as the dread of invisible Powers, and the dismal Apprehen­sions of the World to come; and for this very reason, though there were no other, it is fit they should be allowed the same Honour and Respect as would be acknowledged their due if they were sincere and honest Men; because unless that be supposed, they can never bring that assistance that is absolutely necessary to the support of Govern­ment, and the preservation of Society. But so far are they from being allowed that Respect and Reputation that is necessary to the usefulness of their Function, that they are even Out-lawed from the common Rights of Iustice and Huma­nity. One would wonder how People should so combine in such an inhumane and imprudent baseness, but that the reason is so very plain and obvious. The old Probity and Integrity of our Nation is fled and gone, and what remains of it, has taken Sanctuary in the Church and its Friends, that are assaulted by a Fanatick Rage on one hand, and a base-natured Atheism on the other, and then no wonder if they are treat­ed accordingly, when they are faln into the hands of such Salvages and Cannibals. And in truth when I consider the temper of both these sorts of Men, that the one hates Peace, and the other hates Mankind, and withal some present and some probable Circumstances of things, it were easie to represent to view a black and gloo­my [Page] prospect of things: but it is to no purpose to affright our selves with distant Miseries, and it is better to leave the care of future Events to the Wisdom of Providence, sufficient to the day is the evil thereof; only let me desire thee, Reader, to consider whether that Nation be ac­cording to Humane Accounts likely to continue long in a firm and setled Condition of Peace, a great part of whose Inhabitants are tainted with such malignant Principles, as make them to delight in Mischief and Confusion. Atheism and Enthusiasm are apart and by themselves the most desperate and dangerous causes of Mi­sery and Calamity to Mankind; but when they combine Interests and join Forces against a com­mon Enemy, what Government can withstand their Fury, in that there is no Wickedness that is necessary to the carrying on the Cause, that one of them will not undertake, and be able to go through with? They are provided with all sorts of Pretences, and prepared for all kinds of Villanies; and if there should happen in their way any attempt so very horrid, than the Saints were for very shame obliged to boggle at it, there the bold and profest Sinners may ad­vance and lead on the Party; and if on the contrary there be need of any Hypocritical De­clarations or Remonstrances too demure for these bare-faced People to patronize, they must be sub­scribed and carried on by the zealous and san­ctified [Page] Ones: And thus when they combine to­gether, there is no kind of hindrance that they may not easily overcome, nor of advantage that they may not as easily command. Their Union is like the mixture of Nitre and Charcoal, it car­ries all before it without Mercy or Resistance.

III. Especially if in the third place, it should ever so fall out, that crafty and sacrilegious States-men should join themselves into the Con­federacy. There are several sorts of these de­vouring Vermin, but the most dangerous (be­cause the least honest) are the cowardly and self-designing Men, that in Publick Employ­ments mind nothing but purely their own pri­vate Interest, and so that thrive, care not how much the Affairs of the Commonwealth run backward. All their Counsel is nothing but Flattery, and they will not stick to exhort a Prince to undo himself, if it be in such ways as are agreeable to his Vice or Humour. They will encourage and authorize the lawfulness of all his Practices; and if he have any ill Inclinati­ons, they will recommend them for great and Princely Qualities, and assist them too by the meanest and most dishonourable Services. They will debauch his Mind with such Principles as will allow him to do the most dishonest and un­worthy things without shame or remorse of Con­science; they will set him at liberty from all the [Page] Restraints of Religion, and prepossess his Mind against all the Counsels of Priests, and not suffer him to be imposed upon with their Impostures and juggling Pretences; neither is it fit for a Sovereign Prince to think himself obliged by the Laws of good or evil; Truth, and Iustice, and Honesty, and every thing must give place to the Publick Weal; and when the Safety or the Interest of the Crown requires it, then breach of Faith is not Falshood, nor to slay the Inno­cent Murther. It is not for Kings to submit themselves to the Pedantry of the Laws, nor are States to be Govern'd by scruples of Credit or Conscience; Convenience is, and ever was the only Rule of Policy; and you may violate your Word or your Oath for Reasons of State, all the wisest and all the greatest Princes in the World have ever done it before you. None but igno­rant and unexperienced Book-men would ever go about to tie the Management of State-Affairs to the strict Rules of Morality. Alas! they understand not the nature and the difficulty of Government, they never observed the rise and decays of Empires, nor ever weighed all the Circumstances and Possibilities of things, and from hence it is that they prescribe such impra­cticable M [...]thods of Policy, and are so despe­rately silly as in many cases to require Princes rather to hazard their Crowns, than to lose their Reputations. No, it is for Subjects to do as [Page] they ought, but for Sovereigns as they please, Nay, (what is more unhappy than all this) these false Pretenders to Policy are forced in their own defence to whisper in their Princes Ear such Maxims and Propositions, as directly undermine, or at least undervalue all Princi­ples of Government. They instruct him to de­spise his own Authority, and to resolve all So­vereign Power rather into Chance and Fortune, than any Institution of the Divine Providence. And hereby they roundly cancel all Duties and Obligations of Allegiance, and allow no other Ties of Fidelity upon Subjects than present In­terest and Preferment; that are always as ef­fectual under a prosperous Usurper, as they are or can be under a Lawful Prince; and then if there either does, or ever has hapned any Com­petition of that kind, they only are to be look'd upon as the Men of Shrewdness and Under­standing, that know how to temporize, and tack about neatly with all Turns of Affairs: whilst all others that make Conscience of their Loyal­ty, and have or are ready to venture Lives and Fortunes in defence of the Rightful and Here­ditary Claim, shall be marked out as shallow Peo­ple, that understand not the true Wisdom and Interest of Humane Nature. They Govern a Nation! Poor Souls! they have not Wit enough to Govern themselves, and to manage their own little Concerns. They are likely to give their [Page] Prince wonderful Advice for the Advancement of his Prerogative, that have so little reach to consult or consider the improvement of their own private Estates. Take them to your Council, and they will be perpetually troubling your Head, and entangling your Affairs with Cases of Con­science; they shall endanger your Safety to pre­serve your Honour, and hazard your Crown for a pedantick Word; and when you might easily disengage your self from any Streights or Dif­ficulties, only by making bold with your Word, or perhaps forgetting an Oath or so, you must rather chuse by their Maxims of State to perish under them, than make (as they call it) a dishonest or dishonourable escape: and all the reward you shall have to compensate your Mis­fortune, shall be perchance that a few Church-Men and such like People shall cry you up for a Saint or a Martyr, whilst all Men that have any Brains or Breeding shall pity your Softness and Simplicity. It becomes not Men of Wit to be over-awed with these old Grandame Sto­ries of Honesty and Conscience: they are fit Tales to abuse the Rabble into Servitude, but Interest of State is the only Rule of Princes, and they are to know no other Cases of Conscience, but Maxims of Italian Policy, nor to employ any other Persons in State-Affairs, but such as are able to go thorow with all Undertakings, and such as will never scruple the Lawfulness [Page] of any Action so it be but expedient. And the last result of all their Wisdom is, that they would perswade their Prince that none are fit to be employed but only such as are not fit to be trusted, such as have set themselves at Li­berty from all Principles and Pretences of Ho­nesty, and are as ready to betray their Prince for their own Interest, as they are to oppress and abuse his Subjects for his. And by these and the like Suggestions, if they chance to take, they quickly run the Commonwealth into woful Streights and Distresses, and then there is no way to maintain their former Practices, but by proceeding on to farther Enormities, till at last they are forced to support their Government by Rapine and Sacriledge. There have been sufficient numbers of these People at all times in all Princes Courts; so that though their Doctrine does not always reign, yet it is always contending for Superiority with the Rules of Honour and Vertue.

Now 'tis none of my business, and but little to my purpose to upbraid the folly of these shuffling and half-witted Principles, and to shew that (when all tricks are tried) there is no lasting Wisdom or Policy beside true and generous Honesty: for though Falshood and Cunning may make shift to subsist awhile, yet it is soon discover'd, and then it is never af­ter trusted: Reputation is one of the greatest [Page] Strengths and best Securities of Interest; and when that is gone, suspected Power is but a la­mentable weak and tottering thing, it has no support beside it self, and all its pretended Al­lies are its real Enemies, and first or last it is entangled in such Streights and Embroil­ments, from which it can never be able to dis­engage it self but in violent and illegal ways. And then the easiest and first Attempt of Op­pression, is by Sacriledge and Church-Plunder. The Ecclesiastick Order are a tame and helpless sort of Men; and if you think good to invade their Propriety, they have no remedy to relieve themselves but Patience and a contented Pover­ty; and whenever Exigences of State require it, you may easily stop one Gap with their En­dowments. This is so common and so natural, that it is always the first Effect of ill Govern­ment, unless only in such places where Church-men have scrued up themselves to a Superio­rity or Equality of Interest with the secular Power, and are by that means able to hold their own. It is true, the small Remainders of our Church-Revenues are pretty well secured, not only by the slender Account they would amount to, (for Sacriledge has already devoured the whole Harvest, and has only scattered a few Gleanings to the Church and Church-men;) nor only by their dependance upon the Crown, whereby his Majesty keeps the most considerable [Page] Order of Men in the Commonwealth at his Service, and that at no Charge; nor only be­cause the Tribute that returns back to his Ex­chequer in First-Fruits, Tenths, &c. is so con­siderable a Proportion of the Revenue, that their Sale and Alienation would amount but to very little more; for if ever they should be brought to Market, they would go off at a very low Rate, and at a very few years Purchase. It is pos­sible they may pretty well enrich the Buyer, or rather Adventurer, but all the advantage the Seller can ever gain by it, will be to alienate his perpetual Inheritance, only to receive three or four years Rent at one Payment, which is the very same with the Providence of Fools, and the Policy of Prodigals. But beside this secu­rity which the Church has, as well as all other Beggars, that it is not worth the robbing; it has at present an impregnable Affiance in the Wis­dom, the Honour, and the Piety of a Gracious Prince, that is not capable of attending to such Counsels, should they be suggested to him; though certainly no Man, that is worthy to be admit­ted to His Majesty favour or privacy, can be supposed so fool-hardy or presumptuous as to offer such weak and dishonourable Advice to so wise and able a Prince: so that it is secure of Protection during his Life and Reign. But yet Princes are mortal, and we are sure (though we had no Text to vouch it) that they must die [Page] like Men; and then, if ever hereafter (and some time or other it must happen) the Crown should chance to settle upon a young and un­experienced Head, this is usually the first thing in which such Princes are abused by their Keepers and Guardians, and then the Church must by all means be reformed and new mo­delled, i. e. in Court-stile plundered or de­molish'd only to build great Houses for two or three Favourites or Flatterers. And now when this is done, there is nothing can bid so fair for the next turn as Popery, because (beside many other Reasons) there is nothing left to stand in Competition with it: for some publick and esta­blish'd Religion the Kingdom must and will have; but when the Church of England is de­stroyed, it must either have that or none. For Fanaticism, howsoever useful it may be to the Designs of Rebels and Usurpers, is too un­toward and intractable to be ever much doated upon by any setled Authority. And thus these extravagant People by the Assistance and under the Patronage of Rebellion, Atheism and Sa­criledge, may possibly endanger a Change of Religion; and by being employed as Iourney-men, or rather Tools to destroy the Church of England, may sooner than we are aware of, make a free and unobstructed passage for the return of Popery in Glory and Triumph. I know no other grounds of fear or danger from [Page] them, beside these already mentioned, unless this may prove one at last, that by their wan­ton and unreasonable peevishness to the inge­nuous and moderate Discipline of the Church of England, they give their Governours too much reason to suspect that they are never to be kept in order by a milder and more gentle Go­vernment than that of the Church of Rome, and force them at last to scourge them into better manners with the Briers and Thorns of their Discipline.

And thus (Reader) having sufficiently ti­red both thee and my self too, it is high time to request thy pardon for presenting thee with such a Rhapsody of hasty and hudled Thoughts: I have nothing to say in my own excuse, but that I never intended to have been so tedious; but so many warm and glowing Meditutions started up in my way, as without much musing made my Heart burn, and the fire kindle; and that has heated me into all this wild and rambling Talk, (as some will be forward enough to call it) though I hope it is not alto­gether idle; and whether it be or be not, I have now neither leisure nor patience to exa­mine; and therefore if thou meet with any passages that would have confest this for me, though I had kept my own Counsel, I can only cast my self upon thy Candour, and offer [Page] Security never to offend again in the like kind. And now after this, I have no other Favour to request, than what concerns thee as much as my self, viz. To beg thy hearty Prayers and Endeavours for the Peace and Prosperity of the Church of England; for when that is gone, it will be very hard to find out another, with which, if thou art either honest or wise, thou wilt be over-forward to join Communion.


In the Preface.

Page 13. line 4. for strict, read secret. Pag. 1 [...]. lin. 26. for his, read this. Pag. 5 [...]. lin. 8. for be­yond, read below. Pag. [...]6. l. 13. before the, read are.

In the Book.

Page 1. line [...]. for it, read he. Pag. 10. lin. 8. read annum. Pag 18. lin. 18. read Erastian. Pag. 30. lin. 21. for deserve, read desert. Pag. 34. lin. 25. before cry, read to. Pag. 38. lin. 2. for Cane, read Cave. Pag. 40. lin. 12. for too, read to.

Bishop Bramhalls Vindication of himself and the Episcopal Clergy, from the Presbyte­rian Charge of Popery, as it is managed by Mr. Baxter in his Treatise of the Grotian Religion.


Of Mr. Baxter and his Books, and Sequestrations.

BEfore I saw Mr. Baxters late Trea­tise called, The Grotian Religion, it was to me, nec beneficio nec injuria, neither known for good nor hurt. I acknowledge the very Title of his [Page 2] Book did not please me. Different Opinions do not make different Reli­gions. It is the Golden Rule of Ju­stice, not to do thus to another, which a man would not have done to himself. He would take it unkindly himself to have his own Religion contradistingui­shed into the Prelatical Religion, from which he doth not much dissent, so he might have the naming of the Prelates; and the Presbyterian Religion, which he doth profess for the present; and the Independent Religion, which he shaketh kindly by the hand; and the Anabaptistical Religion, which chal­lengeth Seniority of all Modern Sects. And then to have his Presbyterian Re­ligion subdivided either according to the number of the Churches, into the English Religion, and the Scotish Reli­gion, and the Gallician Religion, and the Belgian Religion, and the Helve­tian Religion, and the Allobrogian Re­ligion; of all the names of the Refor­mers, into the Calvinistical Religion, and Brownistical Religion, Zuinglian Religion, and Erastian Religion, &c. [Page 3] For all these have their differences. And so himself in his Preface to this very Treatise, admits those things for pious Truths, for which we have been branded with the names of Papists and Arminians, and have been plundered and spoiled of all that we had.

Let himself be judge whether this be not to have the faith of our Lord Iesus Christ with respect of persons. Iam. 2. 1. The Church of Christ is but one, one Fold and one Shepherd; Christian Religion is but one, one Lord, one Faith, one Hope. Then why doth he multiply Religions, and cut the Christian Faith into shreds, as if every Opinion were a fundamental Article of Religion? Let him re­member that of St. Hierome; If you shall hear those who are said to be Chri­stians any where, to be denominated not from the Lord Iesus Christ, but from some other person, know that this is not the Church of Christ, but the Sy­nagogue of Antichrist.

So much for the Title of Mr. Baxters Book, now for his design. His main [Page 4] scope is to shew that Grotius under a pretence of reconciling the Protestant Churches with the Roman Church, hath acted the part of a Coy-duck, willingly or unwillingly to lead Prote­stants into Popery. And therefore he held himself obliged in duty to give warning to Protestants to beware of Grotius his followers in England, who under the name of Episcopal Divines, do prosecute the design of Cassander and Grotius, to reconcile us to the Pope, Page 2. And being pressed by his ad­versary to name those Episcopal Di­vines (vir dolosus versatur in genera­libus) he gives no instance of any one man throughout his Book, but of my self. I shall borrow a word with him of himself, a word of Grotius, and a word or two concerning my self.

First for himself, he doth but wound himself through Grotius his sides, and in his censuring Grotius, teach his own Fellows to serve him with the same sawce. Grotius and Mr. Baxter both prosecute the same design of reconcilia­tion, but Mr. Baxters object is the Bri­tish [Page 5] World, and Grotius his Object is the Christian World. Mr. Baxter as well as Grotius in prosecuting his de­sign, doth admit many things which the greater part of his own Fellows do re­ject. As that Praeterition is an act of justice in God, Praef. Sect. 7. That God giveth sufficient grace (in the Je­suits sense) to those that perish, Sect. 8. That Redemption is universal, They (the Synod of Dort) give more to Christs Death for the Elect than we, but no less that he knows of to his Death for all than we, Sect. 10. He is as much for Free-will as we, They all profess that Man hath the natural faculty of Free-will, Sect. 11. He who had all his other Treatises which I did never see, in probability might find much more of the same kind. I do not dislike him for this, but rather commend him for unwrapping himself as warily as he could without any noise, out of the endless train of Error. And for other points wherein he is still at a default, I hope a little time and better informa­tion, may set him right in those as well [Page 6] as these. But others of his own Party do believe all these points which he ad­mits to be as downright Popery as any is within the Walls of Rome. And with the same freedom and reason that he censures Grotius, they may censure him for the Popes stalking Horse or Coy-duck to reconcile us to Rome. Neither can he plead any thing for him­self, which may not be pleaded as strongly, or more strongly for Gro­tius.

He may object that those things which he admitteth, are all evident Truths; but sundry of those things which are admitted by Grotius, are Po­pish Errors. This is confidently said, but how is he able to make it good to other men. Grotius took himself to have as much reason as Mr. Baxter, and much more learning and reading than Mr. Baxter. But still if his Fellows do no more approve of what he saith, than he approveth of that which Gro­tius saith, they have as good ground to censure him, as he hath to censure Gro­tius. Those very points which are ad­mitted [Page 7] by Mr. Baxter, are esteemed by his Fellows to be as gross and funda­mental Errors, as any of those other su­pernumerary points which are maintain­ed by Grotius. But to come up closer to him, What if those other points disputed between Grotius and him be meer logomachies, or contentions a­bout words, or mistaken Truths? He himself confesseth as much now of all the Arminian tenets, Pref. Sect. 15. I am grown to a very great confidence that most of our contentions about those [Arminian] points are more about words than matter. Again, in the same Section; The doctrine of the divine decrees is resolved into that of the di­vine operations. Let us agree of the last, and we agree of the former. And almost all the doctrine of the divine operations about which we differ, de­pendeth on the point of Free-will, and will be determined with that. And how far we differ (if at all) in the point of Free will, &c. I see Truth is the daughter of Time. Now our Armi­nian Controversies are avowed to have [Page 8] been but contentions about words. Now it is become a doubtful case, and deser­ving an if. whether we have any diffe­rence at all about Free-will or no. The wind is gotten into the other dore, since we were prosecuted and decried as Pe­lagians, and enemies of Grace, because we maintained some old innocent Truths which the Church of England and the Catholick Church even taught her Sons, before Arminius was born. Some of their greatest Sticklers do owe a great account to God, and a great re­paration to us, for those groundless ca­lumnies, which they cast upon us at that time. For the present I only lay down this disjunctive Conclusion; Either Mr. Baxter and his Fellows have chan­ged their judgment from what it was then, which makes the distance seem less now, or they did us abominable wrong then; or both these Propositions without any disjunction, are undoubt­edly true. Mr. Baxter, who was so much mistaken in his Arminian points then, may be as much mistaken in his Grotian points now.

[Page 9] He noteth the time when he began his Book, April 9. 1658. and when he ended it, April 14. 1658. by which ac­count it cost him but six days inclusive­ly, comprehending both the day when he began, and the day when he ended. In my judgment this circumstance might better have been omitted. Among those who seem to approve his Work, some will ascribe it to the fortune of Augustus in Suetonius in the life of Clau­dius, [...], hap­py men may have children at 3 months. Some others will take it as a symptom of vain-glory, other men must dig deep to lay a good foundation; but Mr. Bax­ters happiness is only by turning the Cock to spout out whole Pages in an instant, as if he had found them set to his hands, and his part had been only to imprint them. Here was neither multa dies, nor multa litura, neither much time lost, nor much pains taken in cor­recting. Thirdly, All men will say that he undervalues his Adversary, and makes his Victory too cheap, without ei­ther blood or sweat.

[Page 10] And on the other side, among those who dislike his Work, some will make bold to tell him, that he presumes too much upon his Readers courtesie to pub­lish such raw undigested fansies upon fewer days deliberation than the Poet requires years, nonumque prematur in armum. Others will not stick to say that they knew by the Treatise it self, though he had held his peace, that it cost him no great labour. And lastly, His saddest and most judicious Readers will suspect that he hath not weighed his Citations as he ought. Certainly all those testimonies which he produces out of Grotius in this Book, if he had ex­amined them as exactly as he ought, with their coherence with the Antecedents and Consequents; and compared them with those Authors whom Grotius doth alledge for confirming of his own judg­ment, would have taken up thrice as many days as he assigneth to this Work, yea though he had made use of Aristo­tles Ball and his Bason to keep him wa­king.

Before I leave his own part, I cannot [Page 11] choose but tell him that I do not, I can­not approve of his defence of Seque­strations. And what he believeth of idle ignorant unworthy Pastours that they are obliged to make restitution, the same do I firmly believe of his Se­questrators, that without restitution according to the extent of their power, they can have small hope of salvation. But first I must crave leave to tell him, that he doth utterly mistake the que­stion. First he doth disown the casting out of able and godly Ministers, because they are Prelatical, or supposed Armi­nians, or interested in the late civil differences. But we know that the greatest part of sequestred persons were such; and ejected for those very reasons. So he disowns the question.

And as he disowns the question, so he diverts it from sequestred Ministers, to ignorant unsufficient reading Mini­sters. There was no need why he should have put reading Ministers in­to his Apology: and yet he cannot choose but know that good use may be made of reading Ministers in a consti­tuted [Page 12] Church; and that there is much less danger of them than of ignorant or seditious Preachers. Our reading Ministers of all the Clergy were in least danger of their Sequestrators, who looked more at the value of the Benefice, than at the qualifications of those per­sons who were turned out. He who doubteth of this general Truth, upon inquiry into particular Cases, may quickly satisfie himself.

And as he disowns the question, and diverts the question, so he begs the que­stion; that those Ministers whom they put in, were incomparably better than those they turned out. No, nor yet worthy to be named the same day with them. Compare those Provosts, and Presidents, and Professors, and Fellows, and Scholars, who were turned out of our Universities, with those Bulrushes in comparison, whom for the most part they introduced, or read but the Marty­rology of the City of London alone with an impartial eye, and consider sadly how many eminent persons for Learning, Piety, and Industry, have [Page 13] been turned out of their livelihoods, meerly for those reasons which he dis­owneth, and dares not justifie. He who shall do this thing seriously, and compare them with their crawling Suc­cessors, will find cause enough to write upon the dores of their habitations, O domus antiqua quam dispari domina­ris Domino? From this Foot a man may easily conjecture the proportion of the whole Body, and what have been the sufferings of our Orthodox Clergy throughout the whole Kingdom, con­trary to the Laws of God and Man; how many of them have been beggered and necessitated to turn Mechanicks or Day-Labourers; how many imprison­ed, or forced to forsake their Native Country and seek their bread among strangers; how many have had their hearts broken, some starved, some mur­thered, and the spoyl of their houses gi­ven for a Reward to the Murtherer. But this is a sad Subject to dwell upon. God Almighty pardon them who have had any hand in these cruel courses, and give them true repentance. In the [Page 14] mean time their Sequestrators, notwith­standing their former censures against all Pluralists, and their present preten­ded self-denial, were well contented to hold Pluralities themselves with con­fidence enough.

But now I will suppose all that which he desires, and which he is never able to prove; yea which his own conscience tells him to be much otherwise, that all persons who have been sequestred or turned out of their Benefices by them, had been such undeserving persons as he feigneth: and all those who were put in their places had been such lear­ned, honest, and Orthodox Divines; such as out of conscience and a desire to do good, did seek as much after the sti­pendiary Cures of Reading Ministers, as after the larger Benefices of more eminent Scholars; yet these sequestred persons had a just title to their Benefices by the Laws of England.

That which was theirs by Law, can­not be taken from them without Law, or against Law. Dominion is founded in Nature, not in Grace. Nothing is [Page 15] more hidden than true Grace: we un­derstand it not certainly in another, hardly in our selves. Therefore if Grace should give every one that pre­tends to it, interest in that which is ano­ther mans lawful Possession, no mans title could be certain to another, scarce­ly to himself; from whence must neces­sarily follow an incredible confusion, and an inevitable perturbation of all estates.

By the Laws of England they were possessed of their Benefices, and by the Laws of England they ought to be outed of their Benefices. They who decried Arbitrary Government, should not be the only men to introduce Arbitrary Government into England. The Law of England knoweth no way to out a man of his Benefice but death, cession, or deprivation. It knoweth no depri­vation but for crimes committed against Law, and that Law more ancient than those Crimes, where there is no Law, there is no transgression, and where there is no transgression, there can be no deprivation. The Law of England [Page 16] knoweth no deprivation but by persons to whom the ancient Law of England hath committed the power of depri­ving. So every way their Sequestra­tions are unlawful, and they who hold them are like Moths which inhabit in other mens Garments. Of all the Com­mandments the eighth is most dange­rous; other Commandments oblige to Repentance, but that obligeth both to Repentance and Restitution. His in­stances of a Physitian, and a Comman­der, and a Pilot, who hold their Offices ad voluntatem Domini, so long as their Masters think fit, are not appliable to a Benefice, which is the inheritance of the present Incumbent and his Succes­sors. Sequestration may have place during the vacancie of a Benefice, or until the decision of some Process de­pending, or for the discharge of some Duty which by Law is incumbent upon the Benefice; but such lawless Arbi­trary Sequestrations as these were, are plain Robbery by all Laws of God and Man.


Of Grotius, and what Communion he was of.

NExt for Grotius and others of his charitable way, I acknowledge freely, that I preferr one page of Wice­lius, or Cassander, or Grotius, for true judgment before all the Works of Taulerus, and ten more such Au­thors. Yet I have read sundry of them, and sometimes have approved more of their piety than of their judg­ment; and at other times repented of the loss of my time. Yea, I do preferr these three before an hundred yawning wishers for Peace; whilest they do no­thing that tendeth to the procuring of Peace. Particularly, I do admire the two former for this reason, because their clearer judgments did pierce so deep into the Controversies of Religion, before they were rightly stated. And their free spirits dared to tell the World impartially what was amiss, according [Page 18] to the dictates of their Consciences, though with the hazard of their lifes, without any other motive than the discharge of their duties. And if any of them be reviled for their Charity, the greater is their Reward in Hea­ven.

Yet I cannot pin my Religion to any of their Sleeves. Plato is my friend, and Socrates is my friend, but Truth is my best friend. Perhaps I may disap­prove some things in Grotius his Works, or some parts of them, more than Mr. Baxter himself. He extol­leth his Book of the right of the Sove­raign Magistrates in sacred things: But when I did read it, he seemed to me to come too near an Evastian, and to lessen the power of the Keys too much, which Christ left as a Legacie to his Church. It may be he did write that before he was come to full maturity of judgment; and some other things, I do not say after he was superannuated, but without that due deliberation which he useth at other times, where­in a man may desire Grotius in Grotius. [Page 19] Or it may be that some things have been changed in some of his Works, as I have been told by one of his nearest friends, and that we shall shortly see a more authentick Edition of them all. This is certain, that some of those things which I dislike, were not his own judgment after he was come to ma­turity in Theological matters.

But whereas Mr. Baxter doth accuse him as a Papist, I think he doth him wrong: Nay I am confident he doth him wrong, and that he oweth a re­paration to his memory. I have read all that he alledgeth to prove him a Papist, but without any conviction or alteration in my judgment. And I believe that one who delighteth in such kind of contentions, would find it no difficult task to clear all his Objections, and demonstrate the contrary out of the Writings of Grotius himself, and others of the most learned and judicious Protestants. Sometimes he accuseth him of that which is not true at all, sub modo, as it is alledged, Nothing can be so truly said, but that it may be [Page 20] depraved by misrelation or misinter­pretation, or inconsequent inferen­ces.

At other times he accuseth him of that for Popery which is no Popery, the greater, and better, and sounder part of Protestants being Judges. Yet if Gro­tius his Genius had been somewhat less critical, and so much more Scholastical, he had not laid so open to Mr. Baxters accusations,

Unum hoc maceror & doleo sibi deesse.

It shall suffice me to say, that he was a person of rare parts, of excellent Learn­ing, of great Charity, and of so Exem­plary a Life, that his fiercest Adversa­ries had nothing to object against him of moment: but were forced to rake into the faults of his Family, which whether true or false, was not so ingeniously done.

But lest any man might chance un­awares to hit his own spiritual Mother out of a mistake, I will endeavour to give some further light, what was the [Page 21] Religion of Grotius. He was in affe­ction a friend, and in desire a true Son of the Church of England. And upon his Death-bed recommended that Church, as it was legally established, to his Wife, and such other of his Fa­mily as were then about him, obliging them by his Authority to adhere firmly to it, so far as they had opportunity. And both my self, and many others have seen his Wife in obedience to her Husbands commands, which she decla­red publickly to the World, to repair often to our Prayers and Sacraments, and to bring at least one of his Grand­children to Sir Richard Browns house then Resident for the King in Paris to be baptized into the Faith and Com­munion of the Church of England, and be made a Member thereof, as it was accordingly. If any man think that he knoweth Grotius his mind better by conjectural consequences, than he did himself; or that he would dissemble with his Wife and Children upon his Death-bed, he may enjoy his own opi­ni [...]n to himself, but he will find few to joyn with him.


No Grotian Design in England.

ANother branch of his Discourse is, concerning the Grotian De­sign in England. He pretends that there was a Party of Grotius his fol­lowers in England, who prosecuted his design of reconciling us to the Pope, under the name of Episcopal Divines, Pag. 2. That Grotius had a Pacifica­tory design, all men acknowledge; and he himself extolleth it as much as any of us, Pr. S. 3. For his Pacificatory design in general, I take it to be one of the most Christian noble blessed works that any man can be imployed in. That Grotius was a Stalking-Horse for the Pope, or had any design but in order to Peace and Truth; or that he had any Party in England, who followed him further than he followed the Truth, after all Mr. Baxters preten­ces, we have no reason to believe. This is his own absurd and groundless pre­sumption. [Page 23] For certainly Grotius could have no thoughts of introducing any Popish errours into England, who loo­ked upon the Church of England, as the right medium of reconciliation. Neither were there any genuine Sons of the Church of England who thought upon any change either in Doctrine or Discipline. We may fafe­ly take our Oaths of the truth thereof. It was his own Party, only his own Par­ty, who were plotting and contriving a change underhand, and cried out against other mens feigned innovations, to conceal their own real innovations. But how doth he make it appear that Grotius had such a Party of followers in England, who sought to reconcile us to the Pope? If it be sufficient to accuse, no man can be innocent. Let him speak out distinctly, we fear not his charge; would they reconcile us to the Pope and Papacy as it is now esta­blished? Let him not say it for shame, they abhor it. Or would they reduce the Pope to what he was from the be­ginning, and so reconcile us? All good [Page 24] Christians joyn with them in so pious an Act. If his own meaning do agree with his words, he himself doth not quarrel the Pope for his just rights, but for his Innovations. If he mean it not, it is a double shame.

His first Reason to prove that there was such a Party of Grotians in Eng­land, who nourished such a Design, is taken from Grotius his own words, P. 96. Paris knows, and many through­out France, many in Poland and Ger­many, not a few in England, quiet persons and lovers of Peace, that Gro­tius his labours for Peace, have not dis­pleased many moderate persons. He addeth, that Rivet agreed better with the Brownists, than with the Bishops of England. For pity sake let him shew us wherein the strength of his Argu­ment doth lie. He may as well per­swade us that we see a Dragon flying in the air, as that there is any design of introducing the Pope couched in these words. Doth the strength of his Argument perhaps lie in this, that there were lovers of Peace in England? [Page 25] So there were all over Christendom before Grotius was born. France, Germany, Poland, all Christendom shake hands with us in this. He him­self professeth that he is resolved to speak for Peace whilest he hath a tongue to speak; and to write for Peace whilest he hath an hand to write, p. 6. Or doth the strength of his Argument lie in this, that Rivet agreed better with the Brownists than with the Bishops of England? Whether he did or did not, whether it be true or false, what doth this concern Episcopal Divines? Such are his proofs against Grotius al­ways halting on one side, most com­monly on both sides. I am afraid this great mountain-design will prove but a ridiculous Mouse in the conclu­sion.

He asketh, What if he had named Bishop Goodman, and all the rabble described in the Legenda lignea, which are more than Doctor Vane, and Doctor Goffe, and Doctor Baily, and H. P. de Cressie, &c. p. 99. I answer, First, If he had named these for Epi­scopal [Page 26] Divines of the Church of Eng­land, of whom he held it necessary to admonish his Readers, that they might beware of them as Promoters of the Grotian design, he had made himself guilty of one of the grossest and silliest calumnies that ever was. For some of these were dead, and all of them apo­stated to the Church of Rome before he gave his warning. And Bishop Good­man in particular, was branded by the Church of England for his inclination to Roman Errours.

Secondly, I answer, that if he had named these, he had wounded his own Party more than Episcopal Divines. Abate only Bishop Goodman, whom I did never know, and of the rest whom he nameth, not one was throughly a genuine Episc pal Divine. Excuse me for telling the truth plainly, many who have had their education among Sectaries, or Non-Conformists, have apostated to Rome, but few or no right Episcopal Divines. Hot water freezeth the soonest.

He addeth, That Grotius himself [Page 27] assures him (whom he hath reason to be­lieve) that there were not a few such among the Prelatical men. How! not a few such as these, who have apostated from the Church of Eng­land. For ingenuities sake, let him tell us where Grotius saith any such thing. Grotius hath not one word to his purpose, when it is duly examined. But this it is to confute Books in less time than wise or modest men would require to read them.

Hitherto he is not able to shew us any tolerable reason of his warning. But he sheweth us the occasion, p. 82. Those that unchurch either all or most of the Protestant Churches, and main­tain the Roman Church and not theirs to be true, do call us to a moderate jea­lousie of them. This is farr enough from proving his bold suggestion that they have a design to introduce the Pope into England. So though all he say were true: yet he can conclude no­thing from thence to make good his ac­cusation or insinuation. I wish he would forbear these imperfect Enthy­mematical [Page 28] forms of arguing, which serve only to cover Deceit, and set down both his Propositions expresly. His assumption is wanting, which should be this: But a considerable Par­ty of Episcopal Divines in England, do Unchurch all or most of the Prote­stant Churches, and maintain the Ro­man Church to be a true Church, and them to be no true Churches. I can assent to neither of his Propositions, nor to any part of them, as true, sub modo, as they are alledged by him.

First, I cannot assent to his major Proposition, That all those who make an ordinary personal uninterrupted suc­cession of Pastors to be of the integrity of a true Church (which is the ground of of his exception) have therefore an intention, or can be justly suspected thereupon to have any intention to in­troduce the Pope. The Eastern, Sou­thern, and Northern Churches are all of them for such a personal succession, and yet all of them utter enemies to the Pope. Secondly, I cannot assent to his minor Proposition, that either [Page 29] all or any considerable part of the Epis­pal Divines in England do Unchurch either all, or the most part of the Pro­testant Churches. No man is hurt but by himself. They Unchurch none at all, but leave them to stand or fall to their own Master. They do not Unchurch the Swedish, Danish, Bohe­mian Churches, and many other Chur­ches in Poloma, Hungaria and those parts of the World, which have an ordinary uninterrupted succession of Pastors, some by the names of Bishops, others under the name of Seniors unto this day. (I meddle not with the So­cinians) They unchurch not the Lu­theran Churches in Germany, who both assert Episcopacie in their Con­fessions, and have actual Superinten­dents in their practice, and would have Bishops name and thing if it were in their power. Let him not mistake himself, those Churches which he is so tender of, though they be better known to us by reason of their Vicini­ty, are so far from being all, or the most part of the Protestant Churches, [Page 30] that being all put together, they amount not to so great a proportion as the Bri­tannick Churches alone. And if one secluded out of them, all those who want an ordinary succession without their own faults, out of invincible igno­rance or necessity, and all those who desire to have an ordinary successi­on either explicitely or implicitely, they will be reduced to a little slock indeed.

But let him set his heart at rest, I will remove this scruple out of his mind, that he may sleep securely upon both ears. Episcopal Divines do not de­nie those Churches to be true Churches wherein salvation may be had. We advise them, as it is our duty, to be cir­cumspect for themselves, and not to put it to more question, whether they have Ordination or not or deserve the general practice of the universal Church for nothing, when they may clear it if they please. Their case is not the same with those who labour under invinci­ble necessity. What mine own sense is of it, I have declared many years [Page 31] since to the World in print; and in the same way received thanks, and a pub­lick acknowledgment of my modera­tion from a French Divine. And yet more particularly in my Reply to the Bishop of Chalcedon, Pref. p. 4. and cap. 1. p. 71. Episcopal Divines will readily subscribe to the determination of the learned Bishop of Winchester, in his Answer to the second Epistle of Molineus. Nevertheless, if our form (of Episcopacie) be of Divine Right, it doth not follow from thence that there is no salvation without it, or that a Church cannot consist without it. He is blind who does not see Churches con­sisting without it; he is hard hearted who denieth them salvation. We are none of those hard-hearted persons, we put agreat difference between these things. There may be something absent in the exteriour Regiment, which is of Divine Right, and yet salvation be to be had. This mistake proceedeth from not di­stinguishing between the true nature and essence of a Church, which we do readily grant them, and the integri­ty [Page 32] or perfection of a Church, which we cannot grant them, without swer­ving from the judgment of the Catho­lick Church.

The other part of his assumption is no truer than the former. We do ac­knowledge the Church of Rome to be Metaphysically a true Church, as a Thief is a true Man, consisting of soul and body; so did Bishop Morton, Bi­shop Hall, Bishop Davenant, old Epi­scopal Divines; so did Mr. Primrose, and other Presbyterian Divines; so doth he himself in this very Treatise. What a weakness is it to accuse Epi­scopal Divines of that which he him­self maintaineth. But we all denie that the Church of Rome is morally a true Church, because it is corrupted and erroneous: we make it to be a li­ving Body, but sick and full of ulcers. So we neither destroy the body out of hatred to the ulcers, nor yet cherish the ulcers out of a doting affection to the body. And therefore he had no reason in the world to suspect Episco­pal Divines of a plot or design to intro­duce [Page 33] Popery into England, which they look upon as the very Gangrene of the Church.

He pleadeth a reason why he doth not name those Episcopal Divines who had this design for fear of doing them hurt. Sect. 70. As if it were not less hurtful to discover the nocent, if he knew any such, than to subject the in­nocent both to suspition and censure, by his general descriptions. I cannot ex­cuse his first intimation of such a design, because he had no ground at all for it: but I can easily excuse his silence now, upon another reason, because I am con­fident there neither are, nor ever were any such designers among the Episcopal Party.

Whereas he ought to prove his in­tention that there was such a design, in the place thereof he gives us some symptomes or signs whereby to know the designers. This is one great fault in his Discourse. But the worst is, they are all accidental notes, which may either hit or miss; there is not one essential mark among them. His first [Page 34] mark is, They are those that actually were the Agents in the English illegal Innovations, which kindled all our troubles in this Land, and were con­formable to the Grotian design. Those last words [and were conformable to the Grotian design] were well added, though they be a shameful begging of the question, and signifie the same thing by it self. A strange kind of proof: for without these words all the World will take him and his Party to be the illegal Innovators, and no body but them. The Episcopal Divines hold their old Canons, their old Arti­cles, their old Liturgy their old Ordi­nal still without any change: They took the Protestation against Innova­tions without any difficulty, and are rea­dy to take it over and over again. Their fault was that they could not swallow down New Covenants to innovate. His Party have changed Canons, Ar­ticles, Liturgy, all things, and yet have the confidence cry Innovators first.

His second mark is, They bend the course of their Writings to make the [Page 35] Roman Church honourable, and to vin­dicate them from Antichristianism, and to make the reformed Churches odious. This is a poor note indeed, as if men were obliged out of hatred to the Church of Rome, to deny it that ho­nour which is justly due unto it, or out of affection to the Protestant Churches to justifie their defects. What reward did ever any English Protestant get from Rome for doing them this honour? I know no man who honours the Church of Rome more than himself. He calls Cassander, Thaulerus, Ferus, Blessed souls with Christ: He esteems the French Nation to be not only an erroneous, but an honourable part of the Church of Christ, p. 10. Episco­pal Divines have learned to distinguish between that great Antichrist and les­ser Antichrists, between the Court of Rome and the Church of Rome, which he confounds. I dare not swear that the Pope is that great Antichrist, but I dare swear that I never had any design to bring Popery into England, I hope I never shall have, and that all genuine [Page 36] Episcopal Divines may take the same Oath.

His third note of distinction, where­by to know an English Grotian is this, They labour to prove the Church of Rome a true Church, because of their succession, and the Reformed Churches to be none, for want of that succession, Sect. 71. This note is already an­swered. Elsewhere he presseth this point further thus; that he would gladly know what Church hath power to make a new Canon, the observation whereof shall be essential to a Church or Pastor. I an­swer, that he doth doubly mistake the question, which is not whether the Catholick Church can make new Es­sentials, but whether it can declare old Essentials. Not whether the Ca­nons of the Universal Church of this Age have divine Authority, but whe­ther they do oblige Christians in con­science, and whether it be not timera­rious presumption for a particular per­son or Church to slight the Belief or Practice of the Universal Church of all succeeding Ages.

[Page 37] His fourth note of Grotians is, that they are for a visible head of the Uni­versal Church, whether Pope or General Council. They who are for the Head­ship of a General Council are no fit instruments for the introduction of the Popes tyrannical power. It seemeth he rejecteth the Authority of General Councils, either past or to come, as well as Popes: so dare not we. If under the name of the Universal Church he include the Triumphant Church, we know no head of the Universal Church but Christ. If he limit it to the Mili­tant Church, we are as much against one single Monarch as he, we dislike all tyrannical power in the Church, as well as he: yet we quarrel with no man about the name of Head, or a Meta­phorical expression. But if he think that Christ left the Catholick Church as the Ostrich doth her Eggs, in the Sand, without any care or provision for the governing thereof in future Ages, he erreth grosly. So the Ca­tholick Church should be in a worse condition than any particular Church, [Page 38] yea, than any Society in the World, like the Cyclops Cane where no man heard or heeded what another said. Particular Churches have Soveraign Princes and Synods to order them, but there never was an universal Monarch. And if he take away the Authority of General Councils, he leaveth no hu­mane helps to preserve the Unity of the Universal Church: what is this but to leap over the backs of all second Cau­ses? The first Council was of another mind, It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, Act. 15. 28. And so have all the Churches of the World from Christs time until this Age.

His fifth note of Grotians, To de­ry the sufficiencie of Scripture in all things necessary to salvation, might well have been spared, for we all main­tain it as well as he; but he shuffles in­to the question such impertinent and confused generalities about the Peace of the Chur [...], and Traditions, as deserve no answer. The sufficiency of Scri­pture is not inconsistent either with pru­dential Government, or the necessary [Page 39] means of finding out the right sense of Scripture. When he expresseth him­self more distinctly, he may expect a Categorical answer.

His last mark is, that they will not be perswaded to joyn on any reasonable terms for the healing of our present di­visions. This dependeth upon his own interpretation, what he judgeth to be reasonable terms. We have seen his dexterity in making wounds, and would be glad to have experience of his skill in healing them. He com­plains only of illegal Innovations. Dare he stand to the ancient Laws? If he dare, the Controversie is ended. If he like not this, for we know their exceptions were against the Laws them­selves, not against illegal Innovations; let them name those Laws which they except against, and put it to a fair trial, whether there be any thing in any of them, which is repugnant to the Laws of God, or of right reason. If they will but do this seriously without pre­judice, the business is ended. I will make bold to go yet one step higher, [Page 40] though our Laws be unblamable, yet if the things commanded be but of a mid­dle or indifferent nature, we are ready to admit any terms of peace, which we can accept with a good conscience, so as we may neither swerve from the ana­logy of Faith, nor renounce the ne­cessary principles of Government, nor desert the communion, and ancient and undoubted customs of the Universal Church. Such an accord would be too much loss both to you and us.

He would perswade us that there are two sorts of Episcopal Divines in England, the old and the new. And that there is much more difference between the old and the new, than between the old and the Presbyterians, Sect. 67. O confidence whither wilt thou? what is the power of prejudice, and pride? The contrary is as clear as the light; we maintain their old Liturgy, their old Ordinal, their old Articles, their old Canons, their old Laws, Practi­ces, and praescriptions, their old Do­ctrine and Discipline against them. Then tell us no more of old Episcopal [Page 41] Divines, and new Episcopal Divines; we are old Episcopal Divines, one and all: out of his own words I condemn him; The old sort of Episcopal Divines that received the publick Doctrine of the Nation, contained in the 39. Ar­ticles, Homilies, &c. I wholly acquit­ted from my jealousies of this compli­ance, Sect. 12. If they be old Episco­pal Divines, who maintain the Do­ctrine of the 39. Articles and Homilies, then we are all old Episcopal Divines. In acquitting all them he acquitteth all us. If he can shew any thing that I have written contrary to these, I retract it: if he cannot, let him retract his words. He might have taken notice of my submission of whatsoever I writ to the Oecumenical essential Church, and to its Representative, a free general Council; and to the Church of England, or a National English Synod, to the de­terminations of all which, and each of them respectively, according to the di­stinct degrees of their Authority, I yield a conformity and compliance, or to the least and lowest of them an acquiescence. [Page 42] Pref. to the Reply to Bish. Chalc. So far am I, and always have been from opposing the Church of England wit­tingly.

He maketh a shew as though he could make it appear that the Grotian design was the cause of all our Wars and changes in England: but it is but a copy of his countenance. How should the Grotian design be the cause of all our Wars, when our War began be­fore Grotius himself began his design, or to write of the reconciliation of Pro­testants and Papists, which was in the years 1641, and 1642. But without all controversie, either the Grotian design was the cause of our Wars; or the de­sign, and more than the bare design of his own Party. The World knows well enough, and I leave it to his own conscience to tell him whether of the two was the right Mother of the Child.

Though he fail in his proofs against Episcopal Divines: yet he produceth sundry other reasons to prove that there was such a Plot on foot to introduce [Page 43] Popery into England, but they do not weigh so much as a Feather; nor signi­fie any thing more than this, how easily men believe those things which they wish. He saith, Franciscus à Sancta Claras design and Grotius his design seem the very same, and their Religion and Church the same, Sect. 73. Nay certainly, (that is more than seeming­ly) their Religion and Church was not the same; unless he mean the same Christian Religion, and in that sense his own Religion is the same with theirs, but in his sense they were not the same. This is begging of the que­stion which he ought to prove, Grotius was not of the French Communion. And for their designs, the World is so full of feigned Plots and designs, that I do not believe that either of them had any design, except that general and pacificatory design, which he himself professeth and extolleth every where. I wish every mans Books had as much learning and ingenuity in them as A Sancta Clara's have. Yet if he con­clude from hence, that I and he are of [Page 44] the same Communion, he doth me wrong. Judge Reader, how partial men are, to deny that liberty to ano­ther which they assume to them­selves.

He proceedeth, This A Sancta Clara is still the Queens Chaplain, &c. And we have reason to believe the Queen to be so moderate as to be of the same Re­ligion. Whether he be the Queens Chaplain or not, is more than I know. The Queen hath had many Servants of Mr. Baxters own Communion, who have had more influence upon her Counsels than ever A Sancta Clara had. He hath reason to believe that the Queen and he were of the same Reli­gion: but no reason to prove that so seriously and so weakly, which all men acknowledge, that either the Queen or he had any hand in the pretended design of Grotius and his Followers, no man can believe.

From the Queen he passeth over to the King; what to do? to accuse him of Popery. He cannot prove it, nor all the World to help him. Yea, he [Page 45] professeth openly that he believeth no such thing. Not only his Conference with the Marquess of Worcester, but his Life and Death, and that Golden Legacie which he left to his Son, do proclaim the contrary to all the World. What is his aim then? To shew how far he was inclined to a reconciliation. That is the duty of every good Chri­stian. But did he preferr peace before truth? Had he any design to introduce Papal Tyranny into England? That is the crime whereof he accuseth those whom he nick-nameth Grotians. The Devil himself cannot justly object any such thing against him.

He cites the Articles of the Spanish and French matches; but is not able to cite one word out of them which maketh for his purpose. And this alone, that there is nothing in them for his pur­pose, is a convincing proof against him, that all his pretended design is but a dream. I may well call it his design, for it is the phantasm of his own brain, and never had any existence in the nature of things.

[Page 46] He mentions the Kings Letter to the Pope, written in Spain. If he himself had been there at that time, upon the same condition the King was at that time, he would have redeemed his li­berty with writing three Letters to the Pope, such as that was, or else he had been much to be blamed. But what is there in the Letter? Is there any thing of the Grotian design? No I warrant you. Observe how all his conjectural reasons make directly a­gainst himself. Perhaps the King calls the Pope Most Holy Father; a great crime indeed, to make such a civil ad­dress, which the common use of the World hath made necessary. He who will converse with a Fryer in a Roman Catholick Country, must do little less; and he that will write to the Great Turk must do more. Such compellations do not shew always what men are, but what they ought to be, or what they are, or would be esteemed.

Next he tells us of the choice of A­gents for Church and State. Very trifles. Kings must chuse their Agents [Page 47] according to the exigence of their af­fairs. But if the qualifications of A­gents did always demonstrate the reso­lutions of Princes, I could more easily prove King Charles a Presbyterian, than he a Grotian, and bring more instances for my self. I am confident he cannot instance in any one Agent for Church or State, that ever had his Grotian design; but I can instance in many who have had contrary and worse designs. I shall not stick to tell him with grief, that which hath been in a great part the cause of all our woes. In some Courts it hath been esteemed a singular policie to nourish two Parties, upon pretence that the one might bal­lance the other, and the one watch over the other. But it proveth too often true that the one Party is disgusted, and ordinarily the weaker and worser Party doth countenance heterodox and seditious persons, to augment the num­ber of their dependents, which ever­more tendeth to manifest sedition. By this means the rents of the Church have been perpetuated and enlarged, [Page 48] and Subjects have been debauched with destructive and seditious Principles, the evil influence whereof, we have felt to our cost.

He proceedeth to the Residence of the Popes Nuncios in England. It may be during all the Kings reign there were one Nuncio and his Proctor or Deputy, or two Nuncios at the most. And if we had never had them, it had been the better, not so much for any great hurt they did, but for that oppor­tunity which his own peevish Party got from thence, to raise jealousies and Panick fears among the Rabble. Un­less he could have told something that the Popes Nuncio did in England ten­ding to that end which he pretends, he might as well have instanced in the King of Morocco's Ambassadour, and said that he came over to convert us to be Turks. I thought he would have produced the Popes Bull to his Nuncio to reconcile us to Rome; or at least have discovered some secret Cabal, or Conferences between him and those Episcopal Divines whom he accuseth. [Page 49] He knoweth well there was no such thing, and therefore it were much bet­ter to be silent, than to urge so many things, and to fail in every one of them.

His next instance is in the Jesuits Colledge, which had been much bet­ter omitted for his credit. Did the King found the Colledge? No such thing. Was he a Benefactor to it? Nor that. Did he give the Jesuits a license of Mortmain, to purchase Lands for themselves to that use? Not so much. What did he then, did he know of the Jesuits and the Colledge, and connive at them and it? O no. So soon as ever it was discovered, it was suppressed. By the same equity he might accuse an innocent Prince of all the crimes that are committed in hugger mugger throughout his King­dom, and make him Head even of the Presbyterian Rebellion.

The last of his odious instances hath less shew of truth in it than any of the rest, how vain or empty soever they have been; that is, the illegal inno­vations [Page 50] in worship so resolvedly grada­tim introduced. Perhaps he calls the execution of old Laws, Innovations, because they themselves had taken the boldness to disuse them. It were bet­ter to spare this charge, lest they get a round peal of their own Innovations rung out in their ears. Theirs are In­novations indeed.

To conclude, Doth he think that such disloyal and uncharitable insinua­tions as these, are salved by pretending that he hath not the least desire to per­swade men that he was a Papist; or that he would not have other men to believe it: As if he should say, Here are violent presumptions indeed, that the King had Popish inclinations: yet my charity will not give me leave to believe it, other men may judge as they find cause; when all he saith doth not weigh one grain in the Scale of Rea­son. Our Case-Divinity will hardly excuse this from downright Calumny. But that is their only weapon, and their only strength, and Skill hath ever laid in idle and malitious suggestions.


This Plot weakly Fathered upon Episcopal Divines.

I Mused some while why he should rather father his imaginary design of reducing the Pope into England up­on Episcopal Divines, than upon any other Divines. For in the first place this is certain, that both Presbyterian Divines, and Independent Divines, and Millenary Divines, and Anaba­ptistical Divines, and each sort of their Divines, (if any of them may be al­lowed that Title) have all of them, and every one of them contributed more to the reducing of the Pope into England, than Episcopal Divines ever did, or were likely ever to do. Men do naturally preferr Antiquity in Re­ligion before Novelty, Order and Uni­formity before Confusion, Comeliness and Decencie before sordid Unclean­liness; Reverence and Devotion before Prophaneness and over-much Sawciness [Page 52] and familiarity with God; Christian Charity before Unchristian Censures; Constancy before Fickleness and fre­quent Changes, they love Monuments of Piety, and delight not in seeing them defaced and demolished; they are for Memorials of ancient Truth, for an outward splendor of Religion, for helps of Mortification, for adjuments of De­votion; all which our late Innovators have quite taken away. Nature it self doth teach us that God is to be adored with our Bodies as well as with our Spi­rits. What comfort can men have to go to the Church, where they shall scarcely see one act of corporeal devo­tion done to God in their whole lifes? These are the true Reasons why the Roman Emissaries do gain ground daily upon them, why so many apostate from them. If the Pope have a fairer game in England, he is beholden to them for it, not to the Magistrates Sword, much less to Episcopal Di­vines.

Some may perhaps urge that this ad­vantage is accidental to Episcopal Di­vines, [Page 53] therefore I propose a second consideration; That Episcopal Di­vines cannot be the Popes Stalking Horses, nor promoters of the Papacy, without deserting their principles a­bout Episcopacy. Episcopal rights and Papal claims are inconsistent. This appeared evidently in the Council of Trent, in the debating of that great Controversie about Episcopal Right, whether it be divine or humane. Thus much the Spanish, Polonian, and Hun­garian Divines saw well enough And consulting seriously about the Refor­mation of the Church, they could find no better ground to build so noble a Fa­brick upon than the Divine Right of Bishops, as the Archbishop of Granato well observed. Hist. Conc. Trid. l. 7. p. 588.

Father Lainer the General of the Jesuits saw this well enough, and con­cluded, that it is a meer contradiction to say the Pope is head of the Church, and the Government Monarchical; and then say, that there is a power or jurisdiction in the Church not derived [Page 54] from him, but received from others, that is, from Christ. Hist. Conc. Trid. ibid.

The Popes Legats themselves found this out at last, when it was almost too late, l. 7. p. 609. Octob. 19. When the question was set on foot in the begin­ning, the Legats thought that the aim was only to make great the Authority of Bishops, and to give them more reputa­tion. But before the second Congrega­tion was ended they perceived very late by the voices given and reasons used, of what importance and conse­quence it was. For it did imply, that the Keys were not given to St. Peter only, that the Council was above the Pope, and the Bishop equal to him, who had nothing left but a prehemi­nence above others, &c. the dignity of Cardinals was quite taken away, and the Papal Court reduced to nothing

But before the Papalins discovered this, the Party bent for a serious Re­formation, was grown numerous and potent in the Council. The Divine Right of Bishops was inserted into the [Page 55] Anathematisms. Fifty nine of the prime Fathers voted for it, besides all those whom either an Epidemical or a Politick Catarrh deteined at home; notwithstanding all the disswasions and perswasions, threatnings and pro­mises, and other Artifices used by the Papalins, whereof the chiefest, and that which saved the Court of Rome from utter ruine at that time, was to represent to the Italian Bishops, whose number was double to all the rest of the Christian World in that Council, (a very unequal composition) how much they were concerned in the pre­servation of the Papacy, as being the only honour which the Italian Na­tion had above all other Nations. This I urge to shew that Episcopal Divines cannot be Papalins without betraying their own Principles. The very name of Episcopal Divines renders this de­design less probable.

Thirdly, In stiling them Episcopal Divines he doth tacitely accuse him­self to be an Anti-Episcopal, or at least no Episcopal Divine. What odious [Page 56] consequences do flow from thence, and how contrary it is to the title of Catho­lick, which he gives himself in the Frontispiece of this Treatise, I had much rather he should observe himself, than I collect. Catholick and Anti-Episcopal are contradictory terms.

From Christs time till this day there was never any one Catholick in the Ea­stern, Southern, or Northern Churches, who professed himself to be Anti-Epi­scopal, but only such as were cast out for Hereticks or Schismaticks. The same I say of the Western Church for the first 1500. years. Let him shew me but one formed Church without a Bishop, or the name of one Lay Presby­ter in all that time, who exercised or challenged Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, or the power of the Keys in the Church before Calvins return to Geneva in the year 1538. after he had subscribed the Augustine Confession and Apology for Bishops, and I will give him leave to be as Anti-Episcopal as he will. I will shew him the proper and particu­lar names of Apostles, Evangelists, Bi­shops, [Page 57] Presbyters, Deacons, in Scri­ptures, in Councils, in Fathers, in Hi­stories; if he cannot name one parti­cular Lay-Elder, it is because there ne­ver was any such thing in rerum na­tura, for 1500 years after Christ.

I will add one thing more for the ho­nour of Episcopal Government, that all the first Reformers did approve it, and desired it, if they could have had it. Second Reformations are commonly like Metal upon Metal, which is false Heraldry. After the Waldenses, the first Reformers, were the Bohemian Brethren: and both these were careful to retain Episcopacy. Take their own Testimony in the Preface of their Book called, Ratio, Disciplinae, Ordinisque Ecclesiastici in unitate fratrum Bohe­morum, lately translated out of Bohe­mian into Latine, and published by themselves. And whereas the said Waldenses did affirm that they had lawful Bishops, and a lawful uninter­rupted succession from the Apostles unto this day, they created three of our Mi­nisters Bishops solemnly, and conferred [Page 58] upon them power to Ordain Ministers. From that time this Order is continued in all their Churches until this day.

The next Reformers were the Lu­therans. These retained Bishops name and thing, in the Kingdoms of Sweden and Denmark, and the thing under ano­ther name of Superintendents in Ger­many. The Confession of Saxony is subscribed by seventeen Superinten­dents. Harm. Conf. Sect. 19. p. 290. The Snevick Confession complaineth of great wrong done to their Churches, as if they did seek to reduce the power of Ecclesiastical Prelates to nothing. Sect. 11. p. 65. And in Chap. 33. Of the Rights of the Civil Magistrate, they declare most plainly for the Ecclesia­stical Jurisdiction of Bishops. There cannot be a more luculent Testimony for the Lutherans approbation of Bi­shops, than the Augustine Confession it self, cap. 7. de Potest. Eccles. It is not now sought that the Government be taken away from Bishops: but this one thing is desired, that they will suffer the Gospel to be purely taught, and re­lease [Page 59] some few observances which can­not be kept without sin. And the Apo­logie for the same Confession, Cap. de numero & usu Sacrament. This our will shall excuse us both before God and all the World, that it may not be imputed to us that the Authority of Bishops was taken away by our means.

I need not say any thing of the Bri­tannick Churches. He knoweth well they never wanted Bishops from their first Conversion until these late Tu­mults, wherein our Native Country was purpled with the Blood of English Subjects, to take them away by force and Rebellion.

The next Reformation was the Zuin­glian or Helvetian in Switzerland, wherein as they erected no new Bi­shopricks, so they pulled down no old ones. There was a kind of necessity laid upon them to want Bishops in their own Territories: because the Bishop of Constance, under whose Jurisdiction they were, was of another communion, and lived out of their Territories. But they would gladly have had him to have [Page 60] continued their Bishop still. They made their addresses to him, they cour­ted him, they besought him to joyn with them, or but to tolerate them. For proof of this, I produce that fa­mous Letter written by Zuinglius him­self, and ten others of their principal Reformers, to the same Bishop of Con­stance, recorded in the Works of Zuin­glius, in all humility and observance be­seeching him to favour and help for­ward their beginnings, as an excellent work, and worthy of a Bishop. They call him Father, Renowned Prelate, Bishop. They implore his clemency, wisdom, learning, that he would be the first fruits of the German Bishops, to favour true Christianity springing up again. They beseech him by the com­mon Christ, by one Christian Liberty, by that Fatherly affection which he did owe unto them, by whatsoever was di­vine and humane, to look graciously upon them; or if he would not grant their desires, to connive at them; so he should make his Family yet more illu­strious, and have the perpetual tribute [Page 61] of their praises; so he would but shew himself a Father, and grant the requests of his obedient sons. They conclude, God Almighty long preserve your Excel­lency.

The last Reformation of those which he approveth, was that of Cal­vin. How farr Calvin and his Party were Episcopal or Anti-Episcopal in their desires, let their own testimonies bear witness. First Calvin himself acknowledgeth that he subscribed the Augustine Confession formerly mentio­ned, or the Apology for it, both which are for Bishops. And in his 190. Epi­stle to the King of Polonia, he repre­senteth Episcopal Government as fittest for Monarchies; where having shewed the regiment of the Primitive Church by Patriarchs; Primats, Bishops, in these words: Indeed the ancient Church instituted Patriarchs, and gave certain Primacies to particular Provinces, that Bishops might remain bound one to ano­ther by this bond of Concord. He pro­ceedeth thus, As if at this day one Arch-bishop should be over the illu­strious [Page 62] Kingdom of [...]olonia, &c. And farther, there should be a Bishop in each City or Province, to attend peculiarly to the preservation of Order, as nature itself doth dictate to us, that in every Colledge one ought to be chosen, upon whom the principal care of the Colledge should rest. And in his Institutions ha­ving described at large the Regiment of the Primitive Church, and shewed the end of Arch-bishops, and the con­stitution of Patriarchs, he concludeth, that some called this kind of Govern­ment an Hierarchy, by a name improper, or at least not used in the Scripture. But if we pass by the name and look upon the thing itself, we shall find that the ancient Bishops did go about to devise no other form of governing the Church, than that which God hath prescribed in his Word, lib. 4. Inst. c. 4. Sect. 4.

And in his Answer to Cardinal Sa­dolet, on the behalf of the City of Ge­neva, as it is cited by Archbishop Bancroft, for I cannot procure the first Edition at present, and in the later Edi­tions they have made a shift to purge it [Page 63] out. Talem nobis Hierarchiam, &c. If they make tender of such an Hierar­chie to us, wherein Bishops may retain their eminence, so as they refuse not to be under Christ, and have their depen­dence upon him as their only Head, and refer themselves to him, and observe such a brotherly society among them­selves, and be bound together with no other bond but the truth, then I confess that they deserve all sorts of curses or anathemas, if there be any who do not observe it with reverence and the highest obedience.

Lay all these together, If the Law of Nature, which is divine Law, writ­ten in our hearts by God himself, and needing no other promulgation, do di­ctate that in every Society there ought to be one upon whom the principal care of the Society should rest. If the an­cient Bishops devised no other form of governing the Church by Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops, than that which God had prescribed in his Word; If they deserve the severest curses and anathemas, who shall not regard such [Page 64] an Hierarchy with reverence and obe­dience, where Christ is acknowledged to be the only Head of his Church, where the Pastors are freed from all Oaths and Obligations to the Bishop of Rome, let him be his own Judge what they deserve, who have destroyed the Church of England.

Before Calvin, Farellus offered the Bishop of Geneva terms to retain his Bishoprick, if he would give way to the Reformation. Beza his Successor was not for the divine Right of Bishops in express terms by the Evangelical Law: But he was for the precedencie of one Clergy man above the rest by the Law of Nature.

From Geneva let us pass over into France, where we find Monsieur Mou­line as high or higher than any of them, in his third Epistle to the Bishop of Winchester. I am not so brazen-faced as to give sentence against those lights of the ancient Church, Ignatius, Poly­carpus, Cyprian, Augustine, Chryso­stom, Basil, the two Gregories Nissene Nazianzene Bishops, as against men [Page 65] wrongfully created, or as usurpers of an unlawful Office. The venerable an­tiquity of those Primitive Ages shall al­ways weigh more with me than any mans new-fangled Institution. And a little after, in the same Epistle, I spake with honour of the Bishops of England, I derived the Episcopal dignity from the very cradle of the Church, I condemned Aerius, I affirmed that St. James was Bishop of Hierusalem, from whom the succession of the Bishops of that City was derived by a long row of Bishops.

Mr. Blondel in his needless Apology for St. Hierome made a very necessary Apology for himself, and sent it; to Mr. Rivet to be added as an Appendix to his Book in the Impression of it, by whose neglect it was omitted. And now having mentioned Doctor Rivet, I shall make bold to add, that he him­self did intreat a Noble Earl, yet living, to procure him a dignity or Prebend in England, as his Brother Mouline and Vossius had. The Earl answered, that he could not hold any such place in England without subscribing to Epis­copacy, [Page 66] and the Doctrine and Disci­pline of the English Church. And he replied, that he was most ready to subscribe to them both with his hand and heart.

I conclude that all Divines through­out the Christian World, who main­tain a necessity of Holy Orders, ever were and still are Episcopal Divines: except some weaker and wilful Bre­thren, who for their Antiquity are but of Yesterday, and for their Universa­lity come much short of the very Do­natists in Africk, condemned by all moderate and rational persons of their own Communion. And therefore Mr. Baxter might have done better to have given his pretended Designers, a lower and more distinctive name than that of Episcopal Divines.

It will not help him at all which he saith, pag. 21. It is not all Episcopal Divines which I suspected of a compli­ance with Grotius and Cassander, no not all of the later strein, &c. I ex­tended it to none of the new Episcopal Party, but such as I there described. [Page 67] His distinction of Episcopal Divines into Old and New, is but a Chimera of his own brain, without any ground; neither doth he bring one grain of rea­son to make it good. And by his plain Confession here, it appeareth that this great design is but his own suspicion. To accuse men of a design to introduce the Pope into England, meerly upon suspicion, is a liberty, or rather license, to be abhorred of all conscionable Christians.

Yet of the old Episcopal Divines he nameth many, Bishop Jewel, Pilkinson, Hall, Carlton, Davenant, Morton, Abbot, Usher, Potter, Downham, Grin­dal, Parker, Hooper, Farrar, Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley, and forty more Bi­shops here. p. 103. as if so many names blended together confusedly in an heap as an hotchpotch, were able like a Medu­sas head to transform reasonable men into stocks and stones. If he had made his forty up an hundred, he might have found instances enough to have made it good, and sundry of them no way infe­riour to any whom he nameth, and su­periour [Page 68] to many. In commemorating some, and pretermitting others, he sheweth sometimes want of judgement, always respect of persons. What his description was of New Episcopal Di­vines, I do not know, (having never seen any Treatise of his, but this of the Grotian Religion; neither should I have meddled with that, if he had not brought me publickly upon the Stage,) neither do I much regard. But how­soever he describeth them he instanceth in no man but my self, either because he is not able to name any, or because he thinks it easiest to leap over the hedge where it is lowest. Have I not great reason to thank him for being so mindful of me in my absence.

As for my part I profess ingeniously before God and Man, I never knew of any such design, I am confident there never was any such design, and I am certain that I neither had nor could have an hand in any such design, either for Italian Popery, or French Po­pery. or any Popery, unless he call the Doctrine and Discipline of the Primi­tive [Page 69] Church Popery, unless our Holy Orders and Liturgy and Articles be Popery. Other Popery he shall never be able to prove against me, nor I hope against any true Episcopal Divines. His design, like the Phoenix, is much talked of by himself, but never was seen.

I know as little of any such distin­ction between Old and New Episcopal Divines. All the World seeth evi­dently, that all the material differences which we have with them, are about those Holy Orders, and that Liturgy, and those Articles, and those Rites, which we received from those Old Epi­scopal Divines.

Non tellus cimbam, tellurem cim [...]a reliquit.

We have not left our Predecessors, but They have left both us and our Pre­decessors, and the Church of England. And it fareth with Mr. Baxter as it doth with new Sailers, who by the de­ception of their sight, suppose that the [Page 70] Land leaveth them, terraeque, urbes­que recedunt, when in truth it is they themselves that leave the Land. In a word, his supposed design and his pre­tended distinction, are meer fansies, which never had any being in the na­ture of things. Where did these de­signers ever meet together to contrive their Plot? They are never likely to do any great actions, who want sinews to knit them together. When or where had ever any of them any intercourse or correspondence with Rome, or any that belonged to Rome, by word or writing? It was a sensless silly Plot to design the Introduction of the Pope into England without his own know­ledge or consent, upon terms never ac­corded, never so much as treated upon. Thus have we seen melancholick per­sons out of a strong fantasie, imagine that they see Ships and Minotaures in the Clouds. The proofs of such accusati­ons as this is, ought to have been clearer than the Noon-day light, not ungroun­ded or ill grounded jealousies and suspi­cions of credulous and partial persons.


This Plot was as weakly fathered upon the Bishop of Derry.

ANd as he erred in fathering his imaginary Plot upon Episcopal Divines in general, so he made an ill choice of me the meanest of those Epi­scopal Divines for his only instance, who have only read so much of Grotius, as to enable me to judge that Mr. Bax­ter doth him wrong, I hope unwittingly. If ever I should attempt the reconciling of Controversies among Christians, it must be in another way then Grotius taketh, I mean more Scholastical.

I will confess that freely which Mr. Baxter neither doth know, nor ever could know but by me, that a­bout thirty years since, when my body was stronger, and my wits fresher, when I had some Books and Notes of mine own, and could have had what supply soever I desired, and op­portunity to confer with whomsoever I pleased, I had then a design indeed [Page 72] to do my weak endeavour to disabuse the Christian World, by the right sta­ting and distinguishing of Controver­sies between the Church of Rome and us. And to shew:

First, How many of them are meer Logomachies, or contentions about words without any just ground.

Secondly, How many of them are Scholastical subtleties, whereof ordina­ry Christians are not capable, and con­sequently no points of Faith.

Thirdly, How many of them are not the Controversies of the Churches, but of particular Persons or Parties in those Churches, as well Protestants against Protestants, and Roman Catholicks a­gainst Roman Catholicks, as Protestants against Roman Catholicks. Those Con­troversies which each Church doth tole­rate within it self, ought not to be any cause of Schism between the Churches.

Fourthly, How many of our Con­troversies are about Rites and Cere­monies, and things indifferent in their own nature, in the use of which every particular Church under the Univer­sal [Page 73] Church hath free liberty in it self, and dominion over its own Sons.

When all these empty Names and Titles of Controversies are wiped out of the Roll, the true Controversies be­tween us may be quickly mustered, and will not be found, upon a serious en­quiry, to be either so exclusive of sal­vation to those who err invincibly, and hold the truth implicitely in the pre­paration of their minds, nor altoge­ther so irreconcileable as some persons have imagined. The two dangerous extremes are to clip away something from saving Truth, whereof I do not find the Church of Rome to have been guilty; and to obtrude erroneous or (at the best) probable opinions for Ar­ticles of Faith, whereof I find many in the Church of Rome to have been most guilty.

Next to these are the practical abuses of the Court of Rome. These were my thoughts in my younger days, which age and experience hath rather confirmed and radicated in me, than altered; which if they had been known, I de­served [Page 74] rather to have been cherished and encouraged, than to be branded by any man as a Factor for the Pope.

Truly Mr. Baxter could hardly have fixed upon a Subject more improper for such a charge. When I was command­ed to preach to our Northern Synod, where every one designed to discharge that duty, chuseth some controversie between the Church of Rome and us, my Subject was the Popes unlawful Usurpation of Jurisdiction over the Britannick Churches. When I dis­puted in Cambridge for the Degree of Doctor, my Thesis was taken out of Nilus, that the Papacy (as it was chal­lenged and usurped in many places, and as it had been sometimes usurped in our Native Country,) was either the pro­creant or conservant cause, or both pro­creant and conservant cause of all the greater Ecclesiastical Controversies in the Christian World. When our late King Charles (of blessed memory) was in Spain, and Religion in England seemed to our Country people (though without any ground) to be placed in [Page 75] aequilibrio, or reduced to a measuring cast; I adventured with more zeal than discretion, to give two of their Roman Champions in our Northern parts, Mr. Hungate a Jesuite, and Mr. Hough­ton a secular Priest, one after another, two meetings at North-Allerton, and came off without any dishonour to the Church of England, and stopped the Carrier of the Romish Emislaries at that time in those parts.

When I was last in Ireland and the Romanists had wrested some part of the power of the Sword into their hands, they prosecuted no English Pro­testant more than my self, and never left untill they had thrust me out of the Kingdom, as conceiving me to be a great impediment to them in their ma­king of Proselytes. It was but an ill requital, if I had been one of their Fa­ctors. Since I came into exile these sixteen years, where have my weak en­deavours ever been wanting to the Church of England? who hath had more Disputes with their Seculars and Regulars of all sorts, French, Italian, [Page 76] Dutch, English, in Word, in Writing, to maintain the honour of the English Church? And after all this am I tra­duced as a Factor for Popery, because I am not a Protestant out of my wits; or because my assertions of known Truth are not agreeable to the gust of Innovators? Blessed are we when men revile us and persecute us, and say all manner of evil against us falsly for Christs sake, for great is our reward in heaven.

But doth he think in earnest, that my way of reconciliation is the ready way to introduce the Papal tyranny in­to England? Nay, directly on the con­trary, it is the ready way to exclude the Papal tyranny out of England for ever; and to acquit us for evermore from all the Extortions and Usurpa­tions of the Roman Court, and to free us from all their Emissaries who now make a prey of such as are unsetled a­mong us; by the means of doubtful, and (give me leave to speak my mind freely) impertinent Disputations. And this I am ready to make good against [Page 77] any Innovator of either side who shall oppose it.

This is hard measure to be offered to me, from him who professeth himself to be so great a lover of the Unity of the Church, p. 6. which is but his duty if it be true, as I hope it is. But let him take heed that his love of Unity prove not to be self-love, which insi­nuateth it self strangely into the most holy actions and designs. All men could be contented to have others united to themselves, and to chop off or stretch out the Religion of their Brethren, as Procrustes did his Guests, according to the measure of his own Bed. I doubt not but he would be well plea­sed to have Independency stretched up to an ordained Ministery, (as he cal­leth it,) and Episcopacy let down to a Presbyterian parity, or rather to an empty shew of equality. For I never yet observed but one or two single po­pular Presbyters ruled the whole Con­sistory; and had more absolute Arbi­trary power than ever any Bishop pre­tended unto. If this be all his love [Page 78] and desire of Unity, to have Antiquity, Universality, and the perpetual Regi­ment of the Church to be levelled and moduled according to private fantasies, it is meer self-love, no love of Unity. But I hope better, though I sear worse.

If he dare refer all differences be­tween us to be tried by the publick Standard, we shall quickly see whether he or I follow Peace and Unity with swifter paces. I offer him two Stan­dards to be tried by.

First, the Doctrine of the Church of England, set down by those old Episco­pal Divines whom he pretendeth to be more propitious to him than to me. If he submit to this Standard, all diffe­rences between him and me are at an end. And then to what purpose hath so much plundering, and so much effu­sion of Christian blood been? unless it be to shake the dregs to the top of the Urinal.

But if he like not this Standard (as I much fear he will not) I offer him another; that is, the Pattern of the Primitive Church, both for Doctrine [Page 79] and Discipline. But it may be he will dislike this more, and when all is done admit no Standard but the Scripture. I am ready to joyn with him in this al­so. But if he and I differ about the sense of the Scripture, (all men acknow­ledge that the Scripture consisteth not in the words but in the sense,) how shall we be tried what is the sense, by the judgement of the Church of Eng­land, that is the Standard of the place, or by the pattern of the primitive Church, that is the original Standard according to which the local Standard was made? If he refuse both these, let him not say that he will be tryed by the Scripture, but he will be tryed by himself, that is to say, he himself will and can judge better what is the true sense of the Scripture, than either his na­tional Church, or the primitive and uni­versal Church. This is just as if a man who brings his commodities to a market to be sold, should refuse to have them weighed or measured by any Standard local or original, and desire to be tried by the Law of the Land, according to [Page 80] the judgement of the by-standers. Not that the Law of the Land is any thing more favourable to him than the Stan­dard, but only to decline a present sen­tence, and out of hope to advantage himself by the simplicity of his Judges.

Yet Mr. Baxter acquits me, that I am no Papist in his judgement, though he dare not follow me, pag. 22. What soever I am, this is sure enough he hath no authority to be my Judge, or to publish his ill grounded jealousies and suspicions to the world in Print to my prejudice. Although he did condemn me: yet I praise God my conscience doth acquit me, and I am able to vin­dicate my self. But if he take me to be no Papist, why doth he make me to be one of the Popes Factors or stalking horses, and to have an express design to introduce him into England. He him­self and an hundred more of his con­fraternity, are more likely to turn the Popes Factors than I am. I have giv­en good proof that I am no reed shaken with the wind. My conscience would not give me leave to serve the times as [Page 81] many others did. They have had their reward.

He bringeth four reasons in favour of me why he taketh me to be no Pa­pist. I could add fourscore reasons more if it were needful. First, because I disown the fellowship of that party more than Grotius did. pag. 23.

It is well that he will give me leave to know mine own heart better than him­self. Secondly, because I give them no more than some reconcileable mem­bers of the Greek Church would give them. And why some members? I know no members of the Greek Church that give them either more or less than I do. But my ground is not the autho­rity of the Greek Church, but the Au­thority of the Primitive Fathers and general Councils, which are the re­presentative Body of the Universal Church. Thirdly, because I disown their Council of Trent, and their last 400. years determinations. Is not this enough in his judgement to acquit me from all suspicion of Popery? Er­roneous opinions whilst they are not [Page 82] publickly determined, nor a necessity of compliance imposed upon other men, are no necessary causes of Schisme. To wane their last 400. years de­terminations is implicitely to renounce all the necessary causes of this great Schisme. And to rest satisfied with their old Patriarchal power and dig­nity and Primacy of order, (which is another part of my proposition,) is to quit the Modern Papacy both name and thing. And when that is done I do not make these the terms of Peace and Unity, as he doth tax me injuriously enough, (It is not for private Persons to prescribe terms of publick accommodations,) but on­ly an introduction and way to an accommodation. My words are expresly these in the conclusion of my answer to Monsieur Militiere, If you could be contented to wave your last 4 [...]0. years determinations, or if you liked them for your selves, yet not to obtrude them upon other Churches; If you could rest satisfied with your old Patriarchal power and your Principium unitatis, [Page 83] a primacy of order, much good might be expected from free Councils and conferences of moderate Persons. What is here more than is confessed by him­self, that if the Papists will reform what the Bishop requires them to re­form, it will undoubtely make way for nearer Concord. p. 28. I would know where my Papistry lieth in these words more than his. They may be guilty of other errours which I disown as well as their last 400. years determina­tions; and yet those errours before they were obtruded upon other Churches, be no sufficient cause of a separation. But what I own or disown, he must learn from my self, not suppose it, or suspect it upon his own head.

His last reason why he forbeareth to censure me as a Papist is my two knocking arguments as he stileth them against the Papal Church. But if he had weighed those two arguments as he ought, he should have forborn to censure me as he doth, for one that had a design to reconcile the Church of England to the Pope. But I will help [Page 84] Mr. Baxter to understand my meaning better. I meddle not with the recon­ciliation of opinions in any place by him cited, but only with the reconci­liation of Persons, that Christians might joyn together in the same pub­lick devotions and service of Christ. And the terms which I proposed were not these, nor positively defined or determined, but only represented by way of query to all moderate Christians, in the conclusion of my just Vindica­tion, in these words, I determine no­thing but only crave leave to propose a question to all moderate Christians who love the peace of the Church, and long for the reunion thereof. In the first place if the Bishop of Rome were re­duced from his universality of Sove­raign Iurisdiction jure Divino, to his principium unitatis, and his Court regulated by the Canons of the Fathers, which was the sense of the Councils of Constance and Basile, and is desired by many Roman Catholicks as well as we. Secondly if the Creed or necessary points of faith were reduced [Page 85] to what they were in the time of the four first Oecumenical Councils, accor­ding to the decree of the third general Council. (Who dare say that the faith of the primitive Fathers was insuffi­cient?) Admitting no additional Ar­ticles, but only necessary explications; And those to be made by the Authority of a general Council or one so general as can be convocated. And lastly suppo­sing that some things from whence offen­ces have either been given or taken, which whether right or wrong do not weigh half so much as the unity of Christians, were put out of the Divine offices, which would not be refused if animosities were taken away and cha­rity restored; I say in case these three things were accorded, which seem very reasonable demands, whether Chri­stians might not live in an holy Com­munion, and come in the same publick worship of God, free from all Schisma­tical separation of themselves one from another, notwithstanding diversities of opinions, which prevail even among the members of the same particular [Page 86] Churches, both with them and us.

Yet now though I cannot grant it, yet I am willing to suppose that I in­tended not only a reconciliation of mens minds, but of their opinions also; and that those conditions which he mentioned had been my only terms of peace and concord, let us see what exceptions Mr. Baxter is able to bring against them.


Mr. Baxters exceptions answered.

HE saith, he cannot consent that these which I grant should be made the terms of union. pag. 25. What then? Suppose I did name improper terms of pacification, not only in Mr. Baxters judgement, which I ought not altogether to depend upon, but in very deed. Is there no remedy but I must needs be the Popes Stalking Horse [Page 87] presently, and have a design to re­concile England to him. This is over severe. My design is rather to reconcile the Pope and his party to the Church of England, than the Church of Eng­land to the Pope. He may make use of my way if it like him. Much good may it do him. If not he ought to thank me for my good will, and propose a better expedient himself if he can. But I must tell him before hand that if it be a general one, like those which he hath hitherto proposed, it will sig­nify nothing. Observe Reader how he is every way mistaken; I make de­mands and he calls them grants or con­cessions; I propose some terms as pre­paratory to a treaty and he calls them terms of peace. He saith he cannot consent to these terms, and yet he hath consented to them already, that if they would reform what the Bishop requires them to reform, it will undoubtely make way for nearer con­cord. To make them adaequate terms, or conclusive Articles of Peace was ne­ver any part of my meaning.

[Page 88] All the exceptions which he bringeth against my way, are taken out of my answer to Monsieur Militier. I have seen some silly exceptions against it from a Jesuit, and have answered them, but he is the first Protestant that I have met with, who doth disapprove it. If the efficacy or influence of it upon him be different from what it is upon others, I cannot help it. Books have their success according to the prejudice or qualifications of their Readers. On this side the seas it hath been more happy, to confirm many, to convert some, (and particularly the Transcriber of the Copy which was brought to the Press, who was then one of their Pro­selytes,) to irritate no Man but the common Adversaries, who vented their splene against it weekly in their Pulpits, as thinking that the easiest way of confutation. Thus one sucks honey, and another poison out of the same flower. He pretendeth that the old Episcopal Divines are of his par­tie, some of them have approved it, and thanked me for it. If they be not [Page 89] of his party, I hope he will not suspect them at Geneva as Factors for Popery. They have allowed it, and translated it into French, and Printed it, with­out any fear of introducing Popery in­to their City by it. God forbid that we should esteem the practice of the Primitive times to be Popish. They who admit that for a conclusion need not wonder if the more rational per­sons turn Apostates. But it has ever been the trade of this proud and envious race of men to fasten an hated name upon every thing they understand not. And it is to be feared this great Divine may in time write a Book to prove Greek the Language of the Beast; and he may as reasonably do it, as charge me with Popery only because I pretend to more knowledge in Antiquity than he knows himself to be guilty of. His first particular Exception is this, If when he excludeth Universality of Iurisdiction by Christs institution he intend to grant them (which yet I know not) an Universality of Iurisdiction by humane institution as agreement, then [Page 90] it would be but to set up an humane Popery instead of a pretended Divine. But this I charge not on him as his judgement, though some will think it intimated. p. 25. If he do not charge it on me, then why doth he publish his own or other mens thoughts in Print to my disadvantage. I know not how to acquit the Printing of groundless jea­lousies and suspicions of innocent Per­sons from downright calumny. Espe­cially suspicions of such things which the Persons suspected had publickly dis­claimed in Print, long before any such suspicion was broached. These are my very words in my replication to the Bishop of Chalcedon, p. 249. It were a hard condition to put me to prove against my conscience, that the Univer­sal Regency of the Pope is of humane right, who do absolutely deny both his Divine right and humane right; And in my Schisme garded, p. 15 I have made it evident that the Popes Authority which he did sometime exer­cise in England before the Reformation, when they permitted him, and which [Page 91] he would have exercised always de fu­turo, if he could have had his own will, was a meer usurpation and innovation. If I deny both the Popes divine right and humane right to Soveraign Juris­diction, and regulate his powers by the Canons of the Church; If I make the Papacy a meer usurpation and in­novation, he hath no need to fear my setting up of an humane Popery: But I have just cause to require reparation of him. So his first exception is a false groundless suspicion.

But doth he make no difference in­deed between a Divine Papacy and an Humane Papacy? So it seemeth by his words. If the Pope do hold a Sove­raign power in the Church by divine institution, then whatsoever he doth though he draw millions of Souls to Hell after him, yet it is not in the power of a general council to call him to an account, or to depose him, or to re­form him. But if his right be only humane all this may justly be done and hath been done. If he have a Soveraign­ty by divine right he may give his non [Page 92] obstantes to the Canons of the Fa­thers at his pleasure; then all power in the Church is derived from him: But if he hold the Papacy not from Heaven but from men, then other Bishops do not derive their power from him singlely, but he from them jointly, then he is stinted and limitted by their Canons, and cannot dispense with them, further than the Church is plea­sed to confer a dispensative power upon him, within the bounds of his own Patriarchate. Against divine right there is no prescription, but against humane right men may lawfully chal­lenge their ancient liberties, and im­munities by prescription. A Papacy by divine right is unchangeable, but a Papacy by humane right is alterable, both for person and place and power. So an humane Papacy if it grow bur­thensom is remediable; But a pretend­ed divine Papacy when and where and whilst it is acknowledged, is irremedi­able. So much a pretended divine Papacy is worse than an humane.

[Page 93] His second exception follows, But that St. Peter hath a certain fixed Chair, to which a primacy of order is annexed, and an headship of unity, is not a truth, and therefore not a principle necessary to heal the Church. Whether it be a truth or no, is not much material. We have no Con­troversie with the Church of Rome about a Primacy of order, but about a Supremacy of Power. I shall declare my sense in four conclusions. First that St. Peter had a fixed Chair at An­tioch, and after that at Rome, is a truth which no man, who giveth any credit to the ancient Fathers and councils and Historiographers of the Church, can either deny or well doubt of.

Secondly, that St. Peter had a Pri­macy of order among the Apostles, is the unanimous voice of the primitive Church, not to be contradicted by me, which the Church of England and those old Episcopal Divines, whom he pretendeth to honour so much, did ne­ver oppose.—The learned Bishop of Winchester acknowledgeth as much, [Page 94] not only in his own name, but in the name of the Church and King of Eng­land, both King and Church knowing it, and approving it. Resp. ad Apol. Bellar. cap. 1. Neither is it questioned among us whether St. Peter had a Pri­macy, but what that Primacy was, and and whether it were such an one as the Pope doth now challenge to himself, and you challenge to the Pope. But the King doth not deny Peter to have been the prime and Prince of the Apo­stles. He who should trouble himself and others to oppugn such a received innocent truth, seemeth to me to have more leisure than judgement. But on the other side it is as undoubtedly true, and confessed by the prime Romanists themselves, that St. Peter had no su­premacy or superiority of power and single Jurisdiction over any other Apostle. To this purpose I have laid down these four grounds in my Book of Schisme Garded, pag. 27. First, that each Apostle had the same power by virtue of Christs Commission. Secondly, that St. Peter never exer­cised [Page 95] a single Jurisdiction over the rest of the Apostles. Thirdly, that St. Peter had not his Commission granted to him and his Successours as any ordinary Pastor, and the rest of the Apostles as Delegates for term of life. Fourthly, that during the History of the Acts of the Apostles, the Soveraignty of Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction rested not in any single Apostle, but in the Aposto­lical Colledge. Hitherto there is no cause of controversie between him and me, or between any persons of judge­ment and ingenuity.

My third assertion is that some Fa­thers and Schoolmen, who were no sworn vassals to the Roman Bishop do affirm, that this Primacy of order is fix­ed to the Chair of St. Peter, and his Successours for ever. As for instance Gerson for a Schoolman that learned Chancellour of Paris, who sided with the council against the Pope, and left his enmity to the innovations of the Court of Rome as an hereditary legacy to the School of Sorbone. Auferibi­lis non est usque ad consummationem [Page 96] saeculi vicarius sponsus Ecclesiae. The vicarial Spouse of the Church (this was the language of that Age, whereby he meaneth not the person of any par­ticular Pope, but the Office of the Papacy,) ought not to be taken away untill the end of the World. And among the Fathers I instance in St. Cy­prian, whose publick opposition to Pope Stephen is well known, who seemeth not to dissent from it; In his Epistle to Antonianus he calls the See of Rome the place and Chair of Peter. Ep. 52. And in his 55. Epistle to Cor­nelius, They dare sail and carry Let­ters from Schismatical and profane persons to the Chair of Peter, and the principal Church from whence Sa­cerdotal unity did spring. And in his De unitate Ecclesiae, Although he give equal power to all his Apostles after his Resurrection, &c. Yet to manifest an unity he eonstituted one Chair, and by his own authority disposed the ori­ginal of that unity beginning from one. And a little after, The Primacy is given to Peter, to demonstrate one Church of Christ and one Chair.

[Page 97] Every one is free for me to take what exceptions he pleaseth, to the va­rious lections of any of these places, or to interpret the words as he pleaseth. Always there seemeth to be enough to me in St. Cyprian to declare his own mind, without taking any advantage from any suppositious passages. Whe­ther it be a truth or an error, it con­cerneth not me, I am sure it is none of mine error, if it be one, who nei­ther maintain nor grant such a Pri­macy of order to be due to the Chair of St. Peter and his Successours, by the institution of Christ. But only dis­pute upon suppositions, that although there were such a beginning of unity, (which Calvin and Beza require in all Societies by the Law of Nature,) And although the Bishop of Rome had such a Primacy of order either by di­vine right, or humane right, yet it would not prejudice us, nor advantage them at all. Neither in truth is it worth contending about, or to be bal­lanced with the peace of the Church, and of the Christian World. They who [Page 98] undervalue the Fathers, may stile their sayings untruths when they please. I have weighed my grounds over serious­ly to stumble at a Straw.

My fourth and last conclusion, is, that supposing still but not granting that any such Primacy of order or be­ginning of unity, (about which, we have no Controversie) was due to the Chair of St. Peter by divine right, or much rather by humane right, yet this supposed Chair of St. Peter is not fixed to Rome. As for divine right we have the plain consession of Bellarmine, it is not to be sound either in Scripture or Tradition, that the Apostolick See is so fixed to Rome, that it cannot be re­moved, Bell. de Rom. Pont. l. 4. c. 4. And for humane right there needeth no proof. For whatsoever is consti­tuted by humane right. may be repeal­ed by humane right. This is my con­stant way everywhere. I do altoge­ther deny a supremacy of Power and Jurisdiction over us in the exteriour Court, which only is in controversie between us and the Pope. And what­soever [Page 99] Jurisdiction he hath elsewhere, I regulate by the Canons of the Fathers. I suppose a Primacy of order, but grant it not farther than it hath been grant­ed by the Canons of the Catholick Church. And as it was acquired by humane right, so it may be taken away by humane right. To confound a Pri­macy of order with a Supremacy of Power, divine right with humane right, a legislative Power with an executive Power, is proper to blunderers. So in his two first Exceptions I suffer two palpable injuries. In the first Excep­tion he chargeth me upon suspicion, directly contrary to my assertion. In the second Exception he confoundeth a Primacy and a Supremacy, order and power, and maketh me to fix that to the See of Rome, which I maintain to be unfixed.

His third Exception is this, That the Pope should hold to himself and his Church his last 400. years determi­nations, and so continue, as the Bishop here concludes, to be no Apostolical, Orthodox, Catholick Church, nor to [Page 100] have true Faith, is an unlikely thing to stand with the unity and concord which he mentioneth. We shall cement but sorrily with such a body as this. It is no wonder if Grotius suffer wrong by him, when my words are (at the best) so grosly mistaken, who live to interpret my self. First I give no leave to the Pope and Church of Rome to hold to themselves their last 400. years determinations. But if they will hold them I have no power to help it, or hinder it. My words are these, If you could be contented to wave your last 400. years determinations, or if you liked them for your selves, yet not to obtrude them upon other Churches. As if one should say, If Ieroboam will forbear to commit Idolatry himself, or if he will not, yet if he will forbear to compell others to commit Idolatry, I may come to live in Israel, no mode­rate man will say, that he giveth leave to Ieroboam to commit Idolatry. Se­condly, he pretends most untruly that I make these to be the terms or [Page 101] conditions of a peace which I mention only as preparatives. My words are not then, we may unite and cement our selves together, but then much good might be expected from free Councils and conferences of moderate persons. He himself saith as much as I say. Thirdly, if they do not obtrude their last 400. years determinations upon other Churches, then they wave their ligislative power, and take away from their Canons the nature of Laws, then they make them no longer points of Faith, but probable opinions. It was not the erroneous opinions of the Church of Rome, but the obtruding them by Laws upon other Churches which warranted a separation. He who will have no communion with a Church which hath different or erro­neous opinions in it, so long as they are not obtruded must provide a ladder to climb up to Heaven by himself. And this is that which I said expresly in that very place cited by him, We might yet live in hope to see an union, if not in all opinions, yet in Charity [Page 102] and all necessary points of saving truth. Let the Church of Rome do that which I require, that is the Apo­stolical Discipline, and Apostolical Creed without addition, and it shall become an Apostolical, and Catholick Church, and have true Faith.

His fourth Exception is this, That the Pope should hold his Patriarchal power, is a meer innovation, and hu­mane institution, as is his Primacy of order and such priviledges. The Coun­cil of Chalcedon avers it. And there­fore it is no necessary thing to be con­ceded for the Churches peace. That the Patriarchal dignity is an humane institution, all men who understand themselves do acknowledge. That it is a meer innovation, all men who un­derstand themselves do deny. How should that be a meer innovation which was not first constituted, but confirm­ed as an ancient Ecclesiastical custom in the first general Council of Nice, and approved by all the general succeeding Councils of the Church, and particular­ly by the Council of Chalcedon which [Page 103] he mentioneth, which equalled the Pa­triarch of Constantinople, to the Patri­arch of Rome? This form of Govern­ment is allowed by the Canons of the Apostles, as I have shewed elsewhere. This Patriarchal Government Calvin himself did not only allow, but assert it to be such a Form as God hath pre­scribed in his Word. Cal. Iust. l. 4. c. 4. S. 4. What wonder is it if they lose ground daily to the Romanists, who have the confidence to affirm that Pa­triarchal power is an innovation, and cite the great Council of Chalcedon for it.

He proceedeth to his fifth exception, Multitudes that live in the western Na­tions of the World will still dissent both from the Popes Patriarchal power, and more from his way of exercising it. And so will be forced to fall under the reproach of Schismaticks by these t [...]rms, and that for obeying the Laws of Christ. If the Pope as Patriarch of the West should impose on us only and not on the East, the Doctrines and worship, and Ceremonies which he now imposeth on [Page 104] the Papists, (except the excepted be­fore,) doth any man of reason think that the Reformed Churches would ever yield to them, or ought to do it? We will unite on Christs terms, and that will be a more sure and general Union, and not on such humane devises as these. Let those that made the Pope our Patriarch maintain his power, for Christ did not. Still weaker and weaker. Multitudes that live in the Western parts of the World will not only dislike the Popes Patriarchal pow­er, but his Presbyterian Discipline, and his holy orders, the Creed, the Lords Prayer, the Sacraments, &c. must a man therefore quit his just right because some dislike it? Their di­slike is but scandal taken, but the quitting of that which is right for their satisfaction should be scandal given. Whether is the worse?

By the way I desire him to consider two things; First, how they are for­ced to fall under the reproach of Schis­maticks? If they be forced any way, it is by their own wilful humours or [Page 105] erroneous conscience. Other force here is none. If there be any force it is they which force themselves. Se­condly, I would have him to consider, whether is the worse and more dan­gerous condition, for Christians to fall under the reproach of Schismaticks, which hath no sin in it, but is a means many times to reduce men into the fold of the Catholick Church, or for Christians to fall into Schisme it self. Whosoever shall oppose the just power of a Lawful Patriarch, lawfully pro­ceeding, is a material Schismatick at least, and if his errour be vincible, such as he might conquer and come unto the knowledge of the truth if he did his endeavour, he is a formal Schismatick.

His reasons of their falling under the reproach of Schismaticks for obeying the Laws of Christ, I confess I do not understand. Doth he think that Pa­triachal power is contrary to the Laws of Christ, and that all the Primitive Churches and Councils and Christians did transgress the Laws of Christ in [Page 106] this particular? Surely he cannot think it. Or is it his Zeal to ad­mit nothing in the Church grounded upon prudence and experience and the Law of nature, but only that which in commanded by Christ in Holy Scri­pture? If that be it I refer him to Doctor Sanderson in his Preface be­fore his 20. Sermons, to whom he professeth very great reverence. I had rather suspect that I understand him not, than Imagine him to be guilty of such an absurd conclusion.

To his question if the Pope as Pa­triarch of the West should impose upon us which he imposeth upon the Papists, should the reformed Churches yield to them? I answer God forbid, but his whole discourse is grounded upon a Cluster of mistakes. First the Pope hath no right to the Patriarchate of all the West. Particularly he is not our Patriarch. Other Churches in the West might find out Primates or Pa­triarchs of their own as well as we, if they sought diligently for them. Se­condly a single Patriarch hath not le­gislative [Page 107] power to impose Laws in his own Partriarchate, nor power to in­novate any thing without the consent of his Bishops. Thirdly my former exceptions as he stileth them, or ra­ther my preparatory conditions, do virtually comprehend all the gross er­rours of the Roman Church, both in Discipline and Doctrine, leaving no difference in necessary points of faith, but only in opinions. So if my con­ditions be observed, there is no place left for any such supposition. Lastly, I observe what an unsound kind of ar­guing this is, to deny a man his just right, as Patriarchal power was the Bishop of Romes just right, for fear lest he may abuse it. All factions use to miscal their own terms, Christs terms; to cancel all humane right under the notion of humane devises, is both inconsistent with the Law of Christ, and the welfare of all Societies. They who made the Bishop of Rome a Patriarch were the Primitive Fa­thers, not excluding the Apostles, and Christian Emperours, and Oecu­menical [Page 108] Councils. What Laws they made in this case, we are bound to obey for conscience sake, (until they be repealed Lawfully,) by virtue of the Law of Christ. A fairer plea than I know any for their own Con­sistory, where Lay-men usurp the pow­er of the keys contrary to the Law of Christ.

His sixth exception is the same with the fifth, only there it is proposed hy­pothetically [If the Pope as Patriarch of the West should impose,] And here it is repealed categorically, ma­ny things in Doctrine and worship which on these terms would be im­posed both on East and West, and pre­vail in most of the Churches at this day, are sins against God, and there­fore how small so ever they may be, are not to be consented unto for unity. If there be any grain of truth in this proof, it is so indefinite, so conjectu­ral, and so accidental, that it re­quireth no answer. How should a man either affirm or deny or distin­guish of many things, without speci­fying [Page 109] any one thing in particular? I assent thus far in general that no man can be obliged to do a sin against God, and that whatsoever humane Ordinance doth necessarily and essentially pro­duce sin, is unlawful. But until he tell us in particular what these many things are, or at least some one of them, and prove evidently that it is a sin against God, indeed, and not in his opinion only; and that it is infallibly true that it would be imposed, which would be an hard task to undertake without the gift of Prophesy; and lastly that the imposition of some such sinful thing or things, is not an arbi­trary or accidental abuse of that Law­ful power which I admit, but floweth naturally or essentially from it; I say until he do all this, all that he doth say signifieth nothing; and so I leave his many things as just nothing,

And come unto his seventh exce­ption, The Aethiopian and other Churches that were still without the verge of the Roman Empire, will never alknowledge thus much to the Pope, [Page 110] seeing that even those humane Consti­tutions which gave him his Primacy of Order, determined of no more than the Roman World, and had nothing to do beyond Euphrates. How did the Popes lay any claim or meddle any fur­ther. And abundance among the Ea­stern Churches will deny this Primay. This exception was made in the dark, and therefore the errours that abound in it may more easily be pardoned, as proceeding from the not knowing of the true State of the Aethiopick and other Eastern Churches. Both the Aethiopick and all other Eastern Churches do unanimously admit this form of Government by Patriarchs, which I acknowledge. The Aethio­pians have a Patriarch of their own, and so have all the other Eastern Churches. And particularly the Al­buna or Patriarch of Aethiopia is under the Partriarch of Alexandria, named by him, and ordained by him from time to time. So untrue it is that the Oecumenical Constitutions of general Councils extended not beyond Euphra­tes. [Page 111] The Aethiopick and all other Eastern Churches do submit to the Council of Nice, and other Oecume­nical Councils, by which Patriarchal Government was confirmed. They all acknowledge the Patriarch of Rome to be the chief Patriarch, whilst he behaveth himself well, and to have a Primacy of order among the Patriarchs. They know no points of faith but those which are contained in the ancient Creed, as we find at large in the Histori­cal Description of Aethiopia by Francis Alvares. They all deny the Popes Supre­macy of power, as we do. And when the Pope songht to introduce it into Aethio­pia, by the mediation of the King of Portugal, Claudius then Emperour of Aethiopia returned this answer, Se qui­dem fraterna in Lusitanum Regem voluntate esse ac fore, caeterum nihil sibi minus in mentem venisse, quam ut ideirco à Majorum institutis ac tot saeculorum spatio corroborata religione deficeret, That he ought all good will to the King of Portugal as his Brother, but it was the least part of his thought [Page 112] therefore to Apostate, from the orders and Religion of his Ancestors, re­ceived and radicated in Aethiopia throughout so many ages. Pet. Maffei Hist. Jud. l. 16. p. 749.

His eighth Exception is, There is no hope of uniting the Churches on any terms but what are necessary and di­vine; for its vain to think that things humane and unnecessary, should be con­sented to by all. Much less things sinful. In the name of God, why is it not po­ssible that the Churches should be united upon some humane or pruden­tial terms? Are there not common principles of natural equity, which rea­son dictateth to all mankind? That is one mistake. Secondly, the Law of Nature is a divine Law. And though Patriarchal Regiment be no express principle of the Law of Nature, yet it is very agreeable to it, and ground­ed upon it. Thirdly, though no hu­mane ordinances be absolutely necessary to salvation, as those supernatural truths which are revealed in holy Scripture are, yet they may be respectively ne­cessary [Page 113] to the well-being of Religion. Lastly, in his conclusion much less things sinful, he disputes upon that which is not granted, nay more which is abso­lutely denyed. Mr. Baxter will never be able to prove that any thing which is sinful, is contemned in my reconci­liatory Propositions.

His ninth Exception signifieth as little as the rest, There is no union to be had but upon the terms on which the Churches have sometimes been united. For a new way of union is not to be expected attempted. But never was the Church united on such concessions as these, and therefore never will be. I Deny his assumpsion altogether. And if I were to chuse a reason, or medium whereby to demonstrate my way of reconciliation to be good, I could not fix upon a better than this. The Ca­tholick Church hath been united on these same principles which I suppose, the same Faith without any addition, the same Ecclesiastical Discipline with­out any variation, the same Form of serving God publickly; And since the [Page 114] dispersion of the Church, all over the World, it never was united upon any other principles but these, nor can be united upon any other principles but these.

I am come to his tenth and last Ex­ception, It would be an exceeding dis­honour to God, and injury to the Souls of many millions of men, if but under the Popes Patriarchal Iurisdiction in the West, the Papists way of Worship were set up, and their Government exercised as now. The good will of Rome, or the name of peace would not recompense the loss of so many thou­sand Souls, as some one of the Papal abuses might procure; for instance their driving the people from the Scri­ptures, and other means of knowledge. All along he buildeth upon a wrong Foundation. It is one thing to set up, or to approve the setting up of a false way of Worship, which I do not justif [...]e, And another thing to tolerate it when and where it is not in our pow­er to hinder it, as both he and I must do whether we will or no. I do not [Page 115] only give no consent to the setting up of any unlawful Form of Worship where it is not, but I wish it taken away where it is set up already. But if it be without the sphere of my acti­vity I must let it alone perforce. If a Shepherd when it is past his skill to cure his rotten Sheep, shall do his ut­termost to preserve that part of his Flock which is sound from infection, he deserveth to be commended for those he saved, not to be accused as the cause why so many perished, that were past his skill and power to cure. In a g [...]eat Scathfire it is wisdom not only to suffer those Houses to burn down which are past quenching, but sometimes to pull down some few Houses wherein the fire is not yet kindled, to free all the rest of the City from danger. If the Pope within his own territories, or other Christian Princes by his means within their territories, will maintain a way of Worship which I do not ap­prove, must I therefore, nay may I therefore, make War upon them to com­pell them to be of my Religion? So [Page 116] we shall never have any peace in the World whilst there are different Reli­gions in the world, for every one takes his own Religion to be best.

But what certainty hath he that so many thousands, yea millions of Souls are lost, because they live in such places as are subject to the Pope. God is a merciful God, and looks upon his poor Creatures, with all their prejudices. Or how doth this agree with what he saith elsewhere, that the French mode­ration is acceptable to all good men, And that Nation is an honourable part of the Church of Christ in his esteem. It is no very honourable part of the Church of Christ, if so many milli­ons of Souls run such extream hazard in it, p. 10. His marginal note of their streams of blood and Massacres might have been spared, for fear of putting some of them upon a parallel between theirs and ours. And for his instance of driving the people from the Scrip­tures, he escapeth fairly if none of them cast it in his teeth, that the pro­miscu [...]us licence which they give to all [Page 117] sorts of people, qualified or unqualifi­ed, not only to read, but to interpret the Scriptures according to their pri­vate spirits or particular fancies, with­out any regard either to the analogy of Faith, which they understand not, or to the interpretation of the Doctors of former Ages, is more prejudicial, I might better say pernicious, both to particular Christians, and to whole So­cities than the over rigorous restraint of the Romanists. Whereof a man need require no farther proof but only to behold the present face of the English Church. Truth commonly remaineth in the modest. And so I have shewed him how little weight there is in his ten Exceptions.

At the conclusion of his Exceptions he hath this clause, Besides most of the evils that I charged before on the Gro­tian way (as censures, persecutions &c.) would follow upon this way. It may follow in his erroneous opinion, but in truth and really no inconveniency at all doth follow upon what I say. The third cause of his dislike of the Grotian [Page 118] way was, Because it is uncharitable and censorious; cutting off from the Catholick united Society, the reform­ed Churches that yield not to his terms, and will not be reconciled to the Pope of Rome. Let them take heed that they cut not off themselves, for I neither cut them off, nor declare them to be cut off. If they will not be re­conciled to the Pope of Rome, upon warrantable and just terms, such as were approved by the Primitive Church, such as those are which I propose, for any thing he doth say, or can say to the contrary, it is his own uncha [...]itableness not mine. Some men would call it Schismatical obstinacy. But this reason hath been fully answer­ed before.

The fourth reason of his dislike of this design is, Because it is a trap to tempt and engage the Souls of milli­ons into the same uncharitable, cen­sorious, and reproachful way. When a false Center of the Churches unity is set up, and impossible, or unlawful terms of concord are pretended thus [Page 119] to be the only terms, they that believe this will uncharitably censure all those for Schismaticks, or Hereticks that close not with them on these terms. His first office should have been to have proved that my way is uncharitable, censorious, or reproachful, and that my terms are impossible and unlawful, which he neither doth, nor attempt­eth to do, nor ever will be able to do. And until he do it, or go about it, all his reasons are a pure begging of the question, and no better, and conse­quently deserve no answer.

The fifth reason of his dislike is, because it tendeth to engage the Princes of Christendom in a persecution of their Subjects, that cannot comply with these unwarrantable terms. And that is likely to be no small number, nor the worser part, but the soundest, and wisest, and holiest men. For if Princes be once perswaded that these be the only terms, and so that the dissenters are factious, Schismatical and unpeaceable men, no wonder if they silence the Ministers, and perse­cute [Page 120] the people. It is an easier thing to call them unlawful, and unwarran­table terms twenty times, than to make it good once. It is a fault in Rheto­rick, and in Logick also to use com­mon reasons, such as may be retorted against our selves by an Adversary. Such a reason is this, and may be urged with as much shew of reason against all Writers of Controversies whatsoever, and against Mr. Baxter himself in particular, with as much colour of truth as he urgeth it against Grotius or me. That if Princes be once perswaded that those terms which he proposeth be true, and the contra­ry errours, no wonder if they silence the Ministers, and persecute the Peo­ple. Or if they be once perswaded by him, that his new Discipline is the Scepter of Christ prescribed in the Gospel, then the Episcopal Divines, and the Independents are sure to suffer. This srivolous pretense will fit all causes whatsoever, though they be never so Diametrally opposite one to another.

[Page 121] Secondly, I answer that there is not one grain of clear distinct necessary truth in this whole Discourse, but uncertain suspicions, groundless per­swasions, confused generalities, and beggings of the question. That the terms are unlawful and unwarrantable, that he and his party are the soundest, and wisest, and holiest of Christians, is groundless presumption and begging of the question. That the Princes of Christendom will be perswaded them­selves, and thereupon condemn the dis­senters, and silence the Ministers, and persecute the People, are all uncertain conjectures, and accidental events. What Princes of Christendom he doth intend or can intend, who are those dissenters whom he calleth the sound­est, and wisest, and holiest of men; what Ministers he meaneth ordained or unordained, or both; And what Flocks such as they had a legal title to, or such as they have usurped, are all confused indefinite generalities, and ought to have been set forth more distinctly.

[Page 122] In a word mutato nomine de se Fa­bula narratur. Whatsoever he fain­eth of imaginary Grotians, is really true of his own Party. They have prevailed with persons of power and Authority, and perswaded them to silence and persecute, and to chase away from their Flocks the right Pa­stors, and have usurped their Benefices and Charges themselves. And all this while pretended (shameless men,) that they are doing God good service. He is not able to charge any of his imaginary Grotians with any such thing. This is to bite and whine, as the Proverb hath it, to do wrong and to complain of suffering wrong. Popular Persecutions of all others are ever most groundless, and most vio­lent.

The more moderate that mens judge­ments are, as Grotius his judgement was, and mine is, the farther off they are from engaging Princes to perse­cute their Subjects. Cowards ordina­rily are most cruel. So weak and willful persons are most apt to pro­mote [Page 123] Persecutions, knowing that to be their only defence against those whom they are unable to answer with reason. There are seditious princi­ples and practices enough in the World to irritate Princes, without any other bad offices, which have been intro­duced into the Church under a pre­text of Religion, such as no man living can justifie, such as are incon­sistent with all humane Societies. Such as if God be pleased once to restore men perfectly to their right Wits, they must be sure in the first place to cast out of the World, if they do ever mean to preserve Peace and Tranquility among themselves. It were much more politickly done of him to leave this subject, which the more it is stirred in, the worse it will smell to some body.

In the conclusion of this Objection he complaineth thus, This is the un­happy issue of the attempts of Pride. When men have such high thoughts of their own imaginations, and de­vices, &c. Which is most true in [Page 124] general if he can let it rest there. But if he proceed any farther to ex­amine on what side this Pride doth lie, whether among the Grotian Party, as Cassander, and Wicelius, and Gro­tius, or among his own Party, if it were fit to name them, he will quick­ly find who they are that do calcare fastum majore fastu, tread down Pride with greater Pride, through the holes of whose coats vain glory doth discover it self. That ever Presbyte­rians should complain of Pride!


Of Mr. Baxters one was of re­conciliation.

THus having in his own Imagina­tion battered down that frame of an Union, which he thought I had proposed, though in truth all his rea­sons have scarcely force to shake an Aspin leaf. Yet for our comfort he telleth us that he will not leave the bu­siness thus, lest whilst he pulls down all and offers nothing instead thereof, he might he thought an Enemy to peace. It is all the reason in the World that if peace be so desirable as he maketh it, and he shew his dislike of our ways to procure it, he should propose a better expedient of his own, that other men may have the liberty to try if they can say more against his way, than he hath hitherto been able to say against theirs: but I have my jealousies and fears as well as he, and better founded, [Page 126] that he will never prove a good Ar­chitect in this kind, because I never found any man yet who was given to innovation, but his genius was ten times apter for pulling down than for building up.

But let us view his own way or terms of peace without prejudice. In general therefore I say, that the terms of an Universal concord or peace must be purely Divine and not humane, necessary and not things unnecessary, ancient according to the Primitive sim­plicity; and neither new nor yet too numerous, curious, or abstruse. These are Generals indeed, and if they were all consented unto, the peace would not be much nearer than it is. I think such general terms or Articles of peace were never seen before in our days. From what hopes am I fallen? I ex­pected that having rejected our ways of reconciliatioxn, he would have chalked us a new ready way of his own, free from all exceptions. And he only telleth us that a way must be short and streight beaten and smooth, [Page 127] and so leaveth us to find out such a way for our selves where we can. This is just take nothing and hold it fast. Such general ways are commonly the ways of Bunglers or Deceivers. One of Mercuries Statues though it were dumb could have given better dire­ctions for a way than this. But he who will be a Reconciler of Controver­sies must be more particular.

Yet let us take a particular view of his general directions. The terms of an Universal peace must be purely Di­vine not humane. How purely di­vine not humane? That is impossible. That which is purely divine hath no mixture of humane in it; but these terms of peace must be made and con­trived by men, between man and man, for the use of men, and after an hu­mane manner; not by immediate in­spiration. So these terms cannot be purely divine. But perhaps his mea­ning is no more than this, that in an accommodation no humane Constitu­tions ought to be imposed upon the Churches. Then down goes his Pres­byterian [Page 128] Discipline, for that is both humane and new. When Calvin first proposed it to the Helvetian Divines for their approbation, he desired no more of them but to testify that it was not disagreeable to the word of God, or came near to the word of God. It is meet and just that no humane Consti­tutions should be imposed as Divine ordinances, but it doth not follow thence that all humane right and law must be thrust out for rotten.

Humane right is grounded upon Di­vine right, that is the Law of nature, and the positive Laws of God, and can­not be violated without the violation of the Divine Law, and ought to be observed for Conscience sake, out of a respect to the Divine Law, which commandeth every soul to be subject to the higher Powers. Is not this like to prove a fair accommodation? wherein the first Article must be to renounce the light of natural reason, and the ex­perience of so many ages since Christs time, and the prudential Constitutions of all our primitive Guides. These [Page 129] are such terms of peace as can please no body but Sequestrators, and such as live like Moths in other mens garments. Neither would his pre­tented Divine terms be more favoura­ble to innovations than humane terms, but only that this way affordeth wran­glers a longer time to prevaricate, before Controversies can be maturely determined. If ever there were an Universal reconciliation of all Chri­stians, the first act which they ought to do after their Union, is to cast out all such pernicious principles as this form among them, before they thrust out all reason and humane right out of the World.

His second rule is the terms of peace must be things necessary not unnecessa­ry. We are beholden to King Iames not to him for this prudent direction. But by setting it down so imperfectly he makes it his own. There are two sorts of necessary things. Somethings are absolutely necessary to the being of the Church. Some other things are re­spectively necessary to the well-being [Page 130] of the Church. The terms of peace ought to extend to both these, to the former ever more, to the later as far as it may be. Or yet more distinctly. Some things are necessary necessitate medii, as necessary means of salvation, without which no Church can consist. Concerning these there is little or no need of reconciliation, where there is no difference. Secondly, Some other things are necessary necessitate precepti, as commanded by God or by the Church of God. Both these are ne­cessary in their several degrees, and both of them ought to be taken in con­sideration in a reconciliation, but espe­cially the former, yet not excluding the later. Every thing ought to be loosed by the same Authority by which it was bound. Thirdly, There are other things which though they be neither necessary means of salvation, nor necessarily Comman­ded by God or man, yet they are necessary by a necessity of convenience, out of pious and prudential considera­tions, Huic, hîc, nunc, to this or that [Page 131] Church, at this or that time, in this or that place. The greatest conside­ration that ought to be had of these things, is to leave every Church free to determine their own necessities or conveniences, yet with a regard to unity and uniformity.

His Third rule is, the terms of peace must be ancient according to the pri­mitive simplicity, and neither new nor yet too numerous, curious, or abstruse. His first rule doth virtually comprehend both his later rules, and renders them superfluous. For if no­thing be admitted into the terms of peace but Divine truths, they can neither be unnecessary, nor new, nor too numerous, curious, or abstruse. And this way of his rightly expressed and understood is the same in effect with my way which he pretendeth to impugn. He admitteth no truths but Divine, and excludeth all humane rights which is more than he ought to do. I distinguish divine right from humane right, and give unto the Law of God both written and unwritten, [Page 132] and to the Laws of the Church, and to the Laws of Caesar, their respective dues. He admitteth none but necessa­ry truths; I admit no truths in point of Faith, but these which the blessed Apostles judged to be necessary and comprehended in the Creed. I reject all new coined Articles of saith, all usurpations in point of Discipline, all innorations in point of worship. He proposeth for a Pattern of union the simplicity of the ancient and primitive Church; So do I, before the faith was adulterated by the addition of new Ar­ticles, or the Discipline translated into a new Monarchical way, or the publick worship of God was corrupted by the injunction of sinful or supernumerary rites

I wish he had expressed himself more clearly what he means by the pri­mitive simplicity. I hope it is not his intention that either the house of God or the publick service of God should be fordid and contemptible. He can­not be ignorant, that so far as the per­sent condition of times, and places, and [Page 133] Persons and affairs will bear it there ought to be some porportion between that great God whom we serve, and that service which we perform unto him. God was acceptably served by the Pri­mitive Christians both in their Cells, & Vaults, & homely Oratories in times of persecution, and likewise in stately and magnificent Temples and Cathe­drals when God had given peace and plenty to his Church. Wisdom is ju­stified of her Children. Yet even in those times of persecutions a man would wonder at that external splendour wherewith those devouter souls served God, where they had means and op­portunity.

Neither do I perfectly understand what his aim is, where he would not have the terms of peace to be curious or abstruse. I conjecture it reflecteth upon the School-men. And if his meaning only be, that he would not have our Catechisms or accommodations to be pestered and perplexed with the obscure terms and endless disputations of the Schools, I do readily assent. But [Page 134] if he think that in the work of recon­ciliation there is no need of a Scho­lastick Plain to take away the crabbed knots, and to smooth the present Controversies of the Christian World, I must dissent from him. We find by daily experience that the greatest diffe­rences and such as made the most Noise, and the deepest breach in the Chri­stian World, being rightly and Scho­lastically stated do both become easy and intelligible, and now appear to have been meer mistakes one of ano­ther. And when many other questions are rightly handled after the same man­ner, I presume they will find the like end. When I was a young Student in Theology Doctor Ward declared his mind to me, to this purpose, that it was impossible that the present Controver­sies of the Church should be rightly de­termined or reconciled without a deep insight into the Doctrine of the Pri­mitive Fathers, and a competent skill in School Theology. The former affor­deth us a right pattern, and the second smootheth it over and plaineth away the knots.

[Page 135] Though he himself do deal only in Generals: yet he telleth us that Mr. Chillingworth hath already particular­ly told the World a way of unity. It is well if he have, but if it prove as general as his own way, it will not conduce much to the Peace of Chri­stendom. What hath Mr. Chilling­worth told us, or where hath he told it? Had it not been worthy of his la­bour to have repeated the words, or cited the place? What a deal of va­nity is it to write whole Treatises in confutation of others, to no purpose, and when he comes to the main busi­ness, or to the only necessary and sa­tisfactory point to be mute. It is long since I read over Mr. Chillingworth, but I remember no such particular re­conciliatory way told by him to all the World, but only some general inti­mations or directions. All that I do remember or meet with I shall pro­duce.

The first place is in the Frontispiece of his Book. Neither is that his own judgement, but the judgement of King [Page 136] Iames, related by Mr. Casaubon in his Epistle to Cardinal Peron, in these words, The King judgeth that the num­ber of things absolutely necessary to salvation is not great. Wherefore his Majesty thinks there is no more com­pendious way to Peace, than to distin­guish diligently, things necessary, from things not necessary, and to endeavour to procure an agreement about necessa­ry things, and that place may be given to Christian liberty in things not ne­cessary. The King calleth those things simply necessary, which either the Word of God commmandeth expresly to be beloved or done, or which the anci­ent Church did draw out of the Word of God by necessary consequence. If this distinction were used to decide the present Controversies, and divine right were ingeniously distinguished from positive or Ecclesiastical right, it seemeth not that the contention would be long, or sharp between pious and moderate men, about things absolutely necessary. For they are both f [...] as we said even now, and are for the [Page 137] most part approved by all, who desire to be called Christians. And his most renowned Majesty thinketh this di­stinction to be of so great moment, to diminish the Controversies which trouble the Church so much at this day, that he judgeth it the duty of all who are studious of Peace, to ex­plain it diligently, and teach it, and urge it. This is an excellent way in­deed, but it is a general way, not a particular way; It was King Iames his way, not Mr. Chillingworths. What King Iames pointed at in general, I pursue in particular. But that prudent Prince was far enough from dreaming, that there could be no reconciliation of Christendom, except all humane right were destroyed or taken away. This is Mr. Baxters own unbeaten way.

I find a second passage to this purpose in Mr. Chillingworths answer to the Preface nu. 23. Notwithstanding all your errours, we do not renounce your communion totally, and absolute­ly, but only leave communicating with you in the practice and profession of [Page 138] your errours. The trial whereof will be to propose some Form of Worship­ping God, taken wholly out of Scripture. And herein if we refuse to join with you, then and not till then, may you justly say we have utterly and abso­lutely abandoned your communion. This might serve for a coverfew to hide the flame of our contentions from breaking out whilst we are at out de­votions. But it hath nothing of re­conciliation in it, and hath as little probability of a pacification. We de­sire not half so much as this of them to change their whole Liturgy, but only to leave out some of their own latter additions, which never were in any of the Primitive Liturgies. By being taken wholly out of the Scripture, ei­ther it is intended that it shall be all in the words and phrase of Scripture, That will weigh little. I have never observed any thing more repugnant to the true sense of Scripture, than some things which have been expressed alto­gether in the phrase of Scripture. Or it is intended that the matter of the Li­turgy [Page 139] shall be taken wholly out of the Scripture. But this hath so little of an expedient in it, that it will leave the Controversie where it is. Both Parties do already contend that their respective Forms are taken out of the Scriptures.

He hath another passage much to the same purpose in his answer to the third Chapter, part 1. n. 11. If you would at this time propose a Form of Litur­gy, which both sides hold Lawful, and then they [Protestants] would not join with you in this Liturgy, you might have some colour to say that they renounced your communion ab­solutely. First, remedy regardeth only a communion in Publick Worship, without any respect to an union in Faith and Discipline. Secondly, even in the point of Publick Worship it leaves the difference where it was, what is a Law­ful Form. Those things which the Romanists hold to be necessary the Pro­testants shun as superstitious excesses. And that Form which the Protestants would allow, the Romanists cry out on as defective in necessary dutys, and [Page 140] particularly wanting five of their Sa­craments. Nay certainly to call the whole frame of the Liturgy into dis­pute, offers too large a field for con­tention. And is nothing so likely a way of Peace as either for us to accept of their Form, abating some such parts of it as are confessed, to have been added since the Primitive times, and are acknowledged not to be simply necessary, but such as charitable Chri­stians ought to give up and Sacrifice to an Universal Peace, and would do it readily enough, if it were not for mu­tual animosities of both Parties, and the particular Interests of some persons. Or if they should say to us as Father Paul Harvis (a Romanist violent enough) hath often said to me, that if we had retained the Liturgy used in Edward the sixths time, he would not have forborn to come to our communi­on. To procure peace, there must be condescension on both sides.

I find a third place, part 1. cap. 4. n. [...]9. To reduce Christians to unity of Communion, there are but two ways [Page 141] that may be conceived probable. The one by taking away diversity of opi­nions touching matters of Religion. The other by shewing that the diver­sity of opinions, which is among the several Sects of Christians, ought to be no hinderance to their unity in com­munion. The former of these is not to be hoped for without a Miracle. Then what remains but that Christi­ans be taught that their agreement in the high points of Faith and obedi­ence, ought to be more effectual to win them in one communion, than their difference in things of less moment to divide them. I must crave leave to dissent from Mr. Chillingworth in his former conclusion, That diversity of opinions among Christians touching matters of Religion cannot be taken away without a Miracle. A great ma­ny of those Controversies which raised the highest animosities among Christi­ans at the first Reformation, are laid aside already by moderate and judicious persons of both Partys, without any Miracle, and are only kept on foot [Page 142] by some blunderers, who follow the old Mode when the Fashion is grown out of date, either out of prejudice, or pride, or want of judgement, or altogether.

And as many Controversies of the greatest magnitude are already as good as reconciled, So more may be. There is no opposition to be made against evident truth. I hope Mr. Bax­ter will be of my mind, who confesseth that He is grown to a great deal of con­fidence, that most of our contentions about [Arminian] Points, are more about Words than Matter. And doubteth whether there be any difference at all in the point of Free-will. praef. sect. 5. And affirmeth that the diffe­rence between Protestants and many Pa­pists about certainty of Salvation, (ex­cept the point of perseverance) is next to none. And with some Papists in the point of perseverance also, Sect. 64.

The second conclusion was borrow­ed by Mr. Chillingworth from my Lord Primate. That our agreement in the high and necessary Points of Faith and [Page 141] obedience, ought to be more effectual to unite us than one difference in opinions to divide us. Concerning which there is no need of my suff­rage, for it is just mine own way. My second demand in my proposition of Peace was this. That the Creed or necessary points of Faith might be re­duced to what they were in the time of the four first Oecumenical Concils, according to the decree of the third General Council. (Who dare say that the faith of the Primitive Fathers was insufficient, &c.) I do profess to all the World that the transforming of indiffe­rent opinions into necessary Articles of Faith, hath been that insana laurus, or cursed Bay-tree, the cause of all our brawling and contention. Judge, Reader, indifferently, what reason Mr. Baxter had to disallow my terms of Peace, (as he is pleased to call them) and allow Mr. Chillingworths, when my terms are the very same which Mr. Chillingworth pro­poseth, and my Lord Primate before him, and King Iames before them both.


The true reasons of the Bishops abate­ment of the last 400. years Deter­minations.

IN his one and fortieth Section; he hath these words, He will not with Bishop Bramhall abate us the determi­nations of the last 400. years, though if he did, it would prove but a pitiful patch for the torn condition of the Church. When I made that proposi­tion that the Papists would wave their last 400. years determinations, I did it with more serious deliberation, than he bestowed upon his whole Grotian Religion. Begun April 9. 1658. And finished April 14. 1658. My reason was to controul a common er­rour received by many, that those er­rours and usurpations of the Church of Rome, which made the breach be­tween them and us, were much more ancient than in truth they were. What [Page 145] those errours and usurpations were can­not be judged better than by our Laws and Statutes, which were made and pro­vided as remedies for them. I know they had begun some of their gross errours and usurpations long before that time, and some others not long before, but the most of them, and especially those which necessitated a separation, after that time.

Those errours and usurpations which were begun before that time, if they be rightly considered, were but the sinful and unjust actions of particular Popes and Persons, and could not warrant a publick separation from the Church of Rome. I deny not but that erroneous opinions in inferiour points, rather concerning faith than of faith, and some sinful and unwarrantable practices, both in point of Discipline and devotion, had crept into the Church of Rome before that time. But erroneous opinions may be, and must be tolerated among Christians, so they be not opposite to the ancient Creed of the Church, nor [Page 146] obtruded upon others as necessary points of saving faith.

Neither is any man bound or ne­cessitated to join with other men in sinful and unwarrantable opinions or practices, until they be established and imposed necessarily upon all others by Law. Whilst it was free for any man to give a fair interpretation of an harsh expression or action without incurring any danger, there was no necessity of separation. But when these tyranni­cal usurpations were justified by the decrees of Councils, and imposed up­on Christians under pain of Excom­munication, when these erroneous opinions were made necessary Articles of saving faith, extra quam non est salus, without which there is no sal­vation, when these sinful and unwar­rantable practices were injoined to all Christians, and when all these unjust usurpations, erroneous opinions, and sinful and unwarrantable practices, were made necessary conditions of Commu­nion with the Church of Rome, so that no man could Communicate with the [Page 147] Roman Church but he that would sub­mit to all these usurpations, believe all these erroneous opinions, and obey all their sinful injunctions, then there was an absolute necessity of separation.

Then if any man inquire when and how this necessity was imposed upon Christians, I answer, all this was rati­fied and done altogether, or in a manner altogether, by these last 400. years De­terminations, beginning with the Council of Lateran in the days of Innocent the third, after the twelve hundreth year of Christ, when Tran­substantiation was first defined, and ending with the Council of Trent. So though these were not my terms of peace, but preparatory demands, yet if these demands be granted our con­cord would not only be nearer, (which he acknowledgeth) but the peace all­most as good as made, and Christians were freed from their unjust Canons, and left to their former liberty. When they had granted so much, it were a shame for them to stick at a small re­mainder.


An Answer to sundry aspersions east by Mr. Baxter upon the Church of England.

I Have done with all that concer­neth my self in Mr. Baxters Gro­tian Religion. But I find a bitter and groundless invective in him to­wards the conclusion of his treatise, wherein he laboureth to cast dirt upon his spiritual Mother the Church of England, which out of my just and common duty I cannot pass over in silence. He saith, p. 75. That this Grotian design in England was de­structive to Godliness and the prospe­rity of the Churches. What Churches doth he mean? By the Laws of England Civil and Ecclesiastical we ought to have but one Church. It was never well with England since we had so many Churches and so many Faiths. I am afraid those which he calls Churches were Conventicles.

[Page 149] He proceedeth, that it animated the impious haters of piety and com­mon civility. First he ought to have proved that there was such a design in England which he neither hath done nor ever will be able to do. That which never had any being but in his Imagination, never had any efficacy but in his Imagination. He addeth that men were hated for Godliness sake. That is (to exprest his sense truly) were restrained in their seditious and Schismatical courses, which he stileth Godliness.

Fallit enim vitium specie virtutis & umbra.

And troubled and suspended and driven out of the Land, though most of them twenty for one were conformists. How, Conformist and yet persecuted? If this be not a contradiction yet it is incredible, that so many men should be silenced and suspended every where without Law. Certainly there was a Law pretended. Certainly there was [Page 150] a Law indeed, and that Law made be­fore they were either punished or or­dained. I will put the right case fairly to Mr. Baxter, if he have any mind to determine it. Let him tell us who is to be blamed, he that undertaketh an office of his own accord, which he can­not or will not discharge as the Law injoineth, or he that executeth the Law upon such as had voluntarily con­firmed it by their own oaths or sub­scriptions, or both.

He proceedeth, that it was safer in all places that ever he knew, for men to live in swearing, cursing, drunkenness, than to have instructed a Mans family, and restrained Children and Servants from dancing on the Lords-day, and to have gone to the next Parish to hear a Sermon, when there was none at home.

Quicquid ostendat mihi sic incre­dulus odi.

I am sory to find so much gall where so much piety is professed. Who did [Page 151] ever forbid a man to instruct his own family? Let him bu [...] name one instance for his credits sake, or command any Person to dance [...]p [...]n the Lords day, or restrain a man fr om going to the next Parish to hear a Sermon, if there was no more in it then he pretendeth? Here are I know not how many fallacies heaped together. No cause is put for a cause, and that which is respectively true for that which is absolutely true. No man was ever punished for instru­cting his own family, but it may be for holding unlawful Conventicles, or for instructing them in seditious schis­matical or heretical principles. Nor for going to the next Parish to hear a Sermon. Thousands did it daily and never suffered for it. But it may be for neglecting or deserting his own Parish Church, and gadding up and down after non-conformists, or after Persons justly suspended or deprived for heterodox Doctrine, or labouring to introduce foraign Discipline, without Law against Law, and strange un­known forms of serving God, and ad­ministering [Page 152] his holy Sacraments accor­ding to their own private phantasies. Nor for restraining their Children or Servants from dancing on the Lords day, but it may be for taking upon them as busy Bodies, and pragmatically con­trolling the Acts of their Soveraign Prince and lawful superiours; which the Laws of God and Man, nature and nations, Church and Kingdom did allow, and for restraining the liberty of their fellow subjects, and seeking to introduce new Law without a calling or beyond their calling, which the Church of God, and Kingdom of England never knew. If Mr. Baxter think that no recreations of the body at all are lawful or may be permitted upon the Lords day, he may call him­self a Catholick if he please, but he will find very few Churches of any Communion whatsoever, old or new, reformed or unreformed to bear him company.

No no, even among the Churches of his own Communion which he call­eth the holiest Parts of the Church upon [Page 153] Earth, he will find none at all to join with him, except the Churches of New England, and Old England, and Scotland, whereinto this opinion hath been creeping by degrees, this last half Century of years or somewhat more. Before that time even our greatest Dis­ciplinarians in England abhorred not private recreations, so they could practise them without scandal. And Calvin himself disdained not to coun­tenance and encourage the Burgers of Geneva, by his own presence and ex­ample at their publick recreations, as Bowling and Shooting upon the Lords Day, after their devotions at Church were ended. In Germany, Switzer­land, France, and the Low Countrys, all the Churches of his own Commu­nion, do enjoy their recreations. And in sundry of them their Prayers and Sermons on the afternoon of the Lords Day, are but lately introduced, where­as formerly not the vulgar only, but the most eminent persons did use to be­stow the whole afternoon upon their recreations.

[Page 154] But it may be his pick is not against recreations in general, but against danc­ing in particular. Indeed dancing was disliked at Geneva, not only upon the Lords Days, but upon the other days of the week. And if their man­ner of Dancing there, or any where else was so obscene, as hath been in use in former Ages, in some places, not undeservedly. No man can be so ab­surd as to affirm all sorts of Dancing to be unlawful, as Miriams Dance, and that of the Virgins of Shilo, and Iephtha's Daughter, and David. There is no time for any thing that is absolute­ly unlawful; But there is a time to Dance, Eccles. 3. 4. On the other side it is as great an extream to affirm that all sorts of Dances are unlawful. Not only consciencious Christians, but even modest Heathens have disliked some sorts of Dances. And as there are some sorts of Dances unlawful, so there may be great danger of abuse in the use of Lawful Dances. But where there is no lawful, or direct prohibition ther of God or man, we may advise a [Page 155] Brother or a Friend to beware of dan­ger, but we have no Authority to re­strain him except he will of his own accord. As for the publick Dances of our Youth on Country Greens, up­on Sundays after the Dutys of the Day were done, I see nothing in them but innocent, and agreeable to that under sort of people. But if any man out of prudence, or conscience, or scrupulosi­ty, do disaffect them, either because they were sometimes used promiscu­ously, or for any other reasons, I think it easier to regulate those recreations which should be allowed, than to brawl about them perpetually until the end of the World.

Among all the imputations and as­persions, which were cast upon the Go­vernmentt of our late dread Soveraign King Iames, and King Charles, there was none that had more colour of truth, or found more applause among some sorts of persons, whose Zeal exceeded their discretion, than their Proclama­tions to tolerate publick recreations up­on the Lords Day, though there was [Page 156] no Law of God or man to prohibit them. The very truth is this, King Iames making his Progress through Lancashire, about forty years since or more, (a Country at that time abound­ing with Papists, and Non-Conformists,) the Country People preferred a Petition to his Majesty, that whereas after their hard weekly labours ended, they had evermore for time immemorial injoyed the liberty to recreat themselves upon Sundays, of late some scrupulous Mi­nisters upon their own heads, without any Law or Lawful Authority did re­strain them; Therefore they humbly besought his Majesty to restore them to their ancient Liberty. His Majesty prudently weighing what advantage might be raised to the Protestant Reli­gion in those superstitious parts, by his favourable condescension, Granted their request upon two conditions. First, That no such recreations should be used in time of Divine Service or Sermon, either forenoon or afternoon,. Second­ly, That none should enjoy that liberty but those that had been actually twice [Page 157] at the Church that Day, both at morn­ing and evening Prayers. And by this prudent condescension he gained the People from Popery, to the Protestant Religion. The very making this Objection the principal accusation against those two pious Princes, is an evident proof of the innocency of their Reigns

He proceedeth, In some places it was much more dangerous for a Minister to Preach a Lecture once or twice on the Lords Day, or to expound the Ca­techism, than never to Preach at all. He must excuse us if we can not give credit to what he saith. Never any man suffered any where in the Church of England simply for Preaching, but it may be for Preaching seditious Ser­mons, or Schismatical Sermons, or Heretical Sermons, or for intruding him­self into the Sacred Office of a Preach­er without Lawful calling, or for some Abuse of his function. Even so the Buyers and Sellers might have pleaded that they (innocent People) were whipped by Christ, for furnishing [Page 158] Gods People with Sacrifices. And Uzza might have pleaded much better, that he lost his life for seeking to sup­port the Ark of God from falling. Doth he think that we are such silly Birds to be catched with such empty chaff as this is? Or not to be able to distinguish between an action, and the the obliquity of it? The Pharisees Prayer,, the Harlots Vow, the Trai­tors Kiss, were commendable actions in general as well as his Preaching of Lectures. But either the incapacity of the person, or a sinister intention, or a defective manner, or a contempt of lawful authority, might render, and did render all these actions sinful and punishable. Apollos watering is ne­cessary, as well as Pauls planting, espe­cially until the plants have taken good root. But after whole Nations have been long radicated in Christianity, and have framed to themselves Liturgies, and other Books of devotion for the publick and private Worship of God, And Catechisms which comprehend all necessary and essential points of Faith, [Page 159] and all the parts of new obedience, to phantasie that without weekly Sermons all Religion is extinct, is as much as to perswade us that no man can possi­bly write, except he have his Master perpetually by him to hold his hand, or that a Field cannot yield a good crop, except it be sowen over and over again every month: of the two, a private guide seemeth to be more ne­cessary to a grounded Christian, than a publick Preacher.

But if Preachers shall not content themselves to sow the Wheat over again, but shall sow Tares above the Wheat, If they shall seek to introduce new Do­ctrines, new Disciplines, and new Forms of Worship, by popular Ser­mons, different from and destructive to those which are established by Law, who can blame the Magistrates Politi­cal, and Ecclesiastical if they begin to look about them. A seditious Oratour is dangerous every where, but no where more than in the Pulpit. Then blame not Magistrates if they punish seditious or Schismatical Preachers, more than [Page 160] one who is no Preacher. All Laws, and all prudent Magistrates regard pub­lick dangers, more than particular de­fects. Yet farther, supposing them to be both faulty, the fault of a Reader is purae negationis, a meer omission of duty, extenuated many times by invin­cible necessity, but the fault of a sedi­tious Preacher is purae dispositionis, a fault of a perverse disposition. Then he may cease to wonder why Preachers are sometimes punished more for Preaching ill, than for being silent, and recall to his mind the practice of that prudent Schoolmaster, who exact­ed but a single salary from such of his Scholars as had never been taught, but a double salary from those who had been mistaught, because he must use double diligence with them, first to unteach them what they had learned amiss, and then to teach them.

I have much more respect for those poor Readers whom he mentioneth eve­ry where with contempt. I hope they may do, and many of them do God good and acceptable service in his [Page 159] Church, and co-operate to the Salva­tion of many Christian Souls, by read­ing the Holy Scriptures, and the Li­turgy and Homilies of the Church, and administring the Holy Sacraments. And I have heard wise men acknow­ledge, that if it had not been for these very Readers, in the beginning of Queen Elizabeths Reign, when Preach­ing was very rare, England had hard­ly been preserved, as it was, both from Popery, and from Atheism. Their very Reading is a kind of Preaching, Act. 15. 21. Moses of old time hath in every City them that Preach him, being read in the Synagogues every Sabbath day. And their reading of Homilies doth yet approach nearer to formal Preaching. Or if it come short of Preaching in point of efficacy, it hath the advantage of Preaching in point of security. The private conceits of new fangled Preachers, by being vented publickly as the Word of God, have done much hurt, which the reading of publick Homiles never did. Let not this Apology for Readers occasion him [Page 162] or any other man presently to condemn me for a Loiterer in my calling; Those who have known me will acquit me. Let this be considered and acknow­ledged that as Readers Talents are mean, so are their Benefices. And this is the great comfort that they have, that they are below a Sequestration. The fire of Zeal which driveth able Scholars out of their great Churches, never lights upon their little Chappels. So the great Flyes are catched in their publick Nets, whilst the lesser pass through and through them without any danger or fear of being entangled.

Nondum sinitus orestes. His in­vective is not yet done. Hundreds of Congregations had Ministers that never Preached, and such as were common Drunkards, and openly ungodly, &c. I know not how it comes to pass that in this last Age the Pastors of Churches have got the name of Ministers, that is Servants or Deacons, and they that are Ministers or Deacons indeed have got the name of ruling Elders. Those whom he accounteth for no Freachers, [Page 163] were Preachers in an inferiour degree. And our Canons provideth that the meanest Churches or Chappels throughout England, which had cure of Souls should have formal Sermons at least four times in every year. If some common Drunkards or ungodly persons were crept into the English Church it is no wonder. Among the twelve Apostles there was one Iudas. What may be expected among twelve thousand? This is just the manner of Flies to leave the whole Body which is sound, and dwell continually upon one little sore. I have seldom observed that ever any man who had a good cause, which would bear out it self, did make such impertinent objections as this, or sling dirt in the face of an Ad­versary in the stead of weapons. He saith no more of the English Church, than God by his holy Prophets hath said of his own Church, no more than may be justly retorted and said of any Church in the world, even upon his Presbyterian Churches in particular, with as much and much more truth as [Page 166] it could ever be objected against the Church of England.

He addeth, when yet the most learned, Godly, powerful, painful, peaceable men, that durst not use the old Ceremonies or the new, must be cast aside or driven way, &c. Com­parisons are odious. But such su­perlatives are incredible, and argue nothing but the Writers pride and partiality, and little regard to what he writeth. Let Mr. Baxter sum up into one Catalogue all the non-con­formists throughout the Kingdom of England, ever since the beginning of the resormation, who have been cast aside or driven away at any time, be­cause they durst not use the old Cere­monies or the new, or rather be­cause they found it advantagious to them to disuse them, (I dare abate him all the rest of the Kingdom,) and only exhibite the martyrologies of London and the two Universities, or a list of those who in these late in­testine Wars have been haled away to prisons, or chased away into ba­nishment [Page 167] by his own party, in these three places alone, or left to the mer­ciless world to beg their bread, for no other crime then loyalty, and be­cause they stood affected to the an­cient rites and ceremonies of the Church of England, and they shall double them for number, and for learning, piety, industry, and the love of peace, exceed them incompara­bly. So as his party which he glorieth so much in will scarcely deserve to be named the same day. And if he com­pare their persecutions, the sufferings of his supposed Confessors will appear to be but flea bitings in comparison of theirs.

But after all this the greatest dispa­rity remaineth yet untouched, that is in the cause of their sufferings. The one suffered for saith and the other for faction. If he had contented himself to have rested in positive expressions, of learned and pious and peaceable, &c. he had had no answer to this particu­lar from me but silence. It is the duty of a Controvertist to examine the [Page 170] merits of the cause, not of the persons. But his superlative expressions did draw me unwillingly to do this right to the Orthodox and Genuine Sons of the Church of England. I will add but one word more, that we have seen but little fruits of their peaceable disposi­tions hitherto, but the contrary that they have made all places to become shambles of Christians. God grant that we may find them more peaceable for the future.


Some Books Printed for and sold by Iames Collins, at the Kings-Arms in Ludgate­street, 1672.

OBservations upon Military and Political Affairs, by the most Ho­nourable George Duke of Albemarle: Folio. Price 6. s.

A Sermon preached by Seth Lord Bishop of Sarum at the Funeral of the Most Honourable George Duke of Albe­marle: Quarto. Price 6. d.

Philosophia Pia, or, A Discourse of the Religious tendences of the Experi­mental Philosophy, to which is added a Recommendation and Defence of Rea­son in the affairs of Religion, by Joseph Glanvil, Rector of Bath: Octavo. Price 2. s.

The Way to Happiness represented in its Difficulties and Encouragements; and cleared from many popular and dangerous mistakes, by J. Glanvil.

A Praefatory Answer to Mr. Henry Stubbe the Doctor of Warwick, by [Page] Jos. Glanvil: Octavo. Price 1. s. 6. d.

The Life and Death of Mr. George Herbert the excellent Author of the Divine Poems. Written by Iz. Walton: Octavo. Price 1. s.

A Discourse of the forbearance or pe­nalties, which a due Reformation re­quires by Herbert Thorndike one of the Prebendaries of Westminister. Octavo.

A Private Conference between a rich Alderman, and a poor Country Vicar made Publick, wherein is discoursed the Obligation of Oaths, which have been imposed on the Subjects of England: Octavo 2. s.

The Episcopacy of the Church of Eng­land justified to be Apostolical from the Authority of the Primitive Church: and from the confessions of the most famous Divines beyond the Seas, by the Right Reverend the late Lord Bishop of Du­resm, with a Preface written by Sir Henry Yelverton Baronet: Octavo.

A Collection of Sermons preached be­fore the King at White-hall by the Right Reverend Father in God, Seth L. Bishop of Sarum, now in the Press.


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