A DISSVASIVE FROM THE ERROURS Of the TIME: Wherein the Tenets of the principall Sects, especially of the Independents, are drawn to­gether in one Map, for the most part, in the words of their own Authours, and their maine principles are examined by the Touch-stone of the Holy Scriptures.

By ROBERT BAYLIE Minister at Glasgow.

JER. 9.3.

They are not valiant for the Truth upon the earth.

JUDE ver. 3.

It was needfull for me to write unto you and exhort you, that you should earnestly contend for the faith, which was once delivered unto the Saints; for there are certaine men crept in unawares, &c.

Published by Authority.

LONDON, Printed for SAMUEL GELLIBRAND at the Brasen Serpent in Pauls Church-yard, 1645.

FOR The Right Honourable the Earle of Lauderdaile Lord Metellane.

YOur Lordship, I trust, will not bee displeased that your name is set before these Truths which your heart does love, and whereunto in the best companies of the whole Isle you have given at many occasions your chearfull countenance and zealous patrociny; in the study whereof I have been oft both encouraged and assisted by your Lordships pious, wise, and learned informations.

It has been of a long time the wish of my heart to have had nothing to do with Po­lemick writings; the bodies of sojours are no more subject to wounds and manifold hardships, then the minds and names of disputant Divines do lie open to various vexa­tions. The weary, starved, bleeding sould [...]er longs no more for a safe peace, then a spirit harassed in the toylsome labyrinth of thorny debates, pants for that quietnesse which only the finall overthrow and full subjugation of errour can produce. How plea­sant will that day be to the sonnes of peace, when the Lord shall make good that word which by the mouth of two of his ancient witnesses he has established, when according to the Testimony of Isaiah, Isa. 2. [...] syllabically repeated by Michah, Mic. 4.3. we shall beat our swords into plow-sheares, and our speares into pruning hooks, that we may walk together in the light of the Lord? But so long as Divine Dispensation besets our habitations both spirituall and temporall, the Church no lesse then the State, with great numbers of daring and dangerous adversaries, we must be content, according to the call of the Prophet Ioel in another case,Ioel 3. [...] to prepare warre, to beat our plow shears into swords, and our pruning hooks into speares; in this juncture of time the faint must take courage, and the weak say I am strong.

It seems that yet for some time the servants of God must earnestly contend for many pretious truths, which erroneous spirits do mightily impugne: for the help and encouragement of others in that warfare, I, though among the weakest of Christs souldiers, doe offer these my endeavours. It was my purpose to have made a farther progresse, and to have handled all I mention in my Preface; but being cald away from my present station by these who set me therein, upon the occasion your Lordship knowes, my studies in this kinde are broken off; so that this essay in Brownisme and Independency must go forth alone, or nothing at all.

My ay [...] in these two is, and was in all the rest; First, in an historick way to set down the originall and progresse of the errour; next its compleat parts together in one ta­ble, that at one view the whole face of the way may be represented; for I conceived it many wayes advantageous and very satisfactory in debating either a truth or an error, [Page] to be brought to see the fountain and originall whence it hath sprung, the streams and issues whither the Tenet tends of it selfe, or is drawn by its followers; to behold a way not in its pieces, but the whole together from the head to the feet, the begining, midst, and end without any concealment or disguise. Thirdly, my purpose was to have examined the principall parts of every errour in a short, cleare, and popular method, considering the maine Scriptures that use to be alledged in the point either pro or contra.

I beleeve this my method will not be displeasing to any. I know it was acceptable enough to many of the Congregationall way when lately I did use it against the Can­terburian Faction; but possibly some of the matter of my historick part may fall out to be fashions to the followers of the Tenets which I labour to lay open; for it is in­avoydable to make a true and a full narration of any erroneous way, but such things must be told which will be displeasing to some; yet I hope I have given as little of­fence in this kinde, as any other could have done in such a way of [...]reatising; for all the passages that may be pungent of the tenderest skin, are such, as not only I con­ceive to bee very true, but such also which I ever make presently good by sufficient Testimonies set downe fully at the end of every Chapter in the expresse words of the Authors. Secondly, the opinions or practises I alledge, are such as the parties them­selves to this day do openly avow, or else have beene objected to them by very honest men long ago in print, and to this day, so farre as I know, are not taken off by any tolerable answer; in all that is over and above, I will undertake to give ample satis­faction wherein soever I give the least offence to any.

I date appeale to your Lordships knowledge, and to many others who have beene acquainted with all my by-gone walking, how averse I have ever been from causing griefe to any, especially good men: so farre as I am conscious to my most secret in­tentions, it is my hearts desire that all our present controversies might quickly either be ended or composed by calme, meek, and peaceable meanes, and these alone.

That lately renewed Committee for Accommodation, Oh if it might please the Lord to shine upon it, however I may not stay to see its successe; yet wherever I am, my best wishes shall be poured upon it, especially when I shall heare, as I have great rea­son to beleeve is only intended, that it abides circumscribed within the bounds of that prudent Order whereby it is renewed.

For first, that Order is so farre from holding out an Accommodation for all the sects of the Land, that it speaks only of the differences that are among the members of the Assembly. Liberty of Conscience, and Toleration of all or any Religion is so prodigious an impiety, that this religious Parliament cannot but abhorre the very nameing of it. Whatever may be the opinion of Io. Goodwin, of Mr Williams and some of their stamp, yet Mr Burrowes in his late Irenicon upon many unanswerable arguments explodes that abomination. Likewise our Brethren who seek to be ac­commodate, will be willing I hope to professe their going along with us, without any considerable d [...]ssent, as in the Directory for all the parts of divine worship, so in the confession of Faith and Catechism.

Secondly, the Order expresses only the differences in Church-government; what other opinions wee have mentioned in the following Treatise, I hope our Brethren will either disavow and passe from them, or else be content to bury them in their owne breasts, till time and better information make them die and vanish without more moyse.

[Page]Thirdly, the intent of the Order is to bring up the dissenting Brethren [...]o approve of the Government agreed upon in the Assembly and allowed by both Houses of Par­liament; or if that cannot be, to see how in some practises they may be forborn. This doth suppose that our Brethren shall not be permitted to print, preach, or publish any thing against the Goverment established by Parliament; also that in the practice of this Government they shall be obliged to joyne so farre with their Brethren as their principles may suffer. This being, I doubt not but in many things they sha [...]l be much forborn; for whatever be the unadvised rashnesse of some in their way, yet if they may be pleased, according to their frequent offers (as I remember) to be constant members of our Presbyteries and Synods, and there to give were it but their consul­tative voyce, I beleeve that few of them shall ever be pressed to much more; for if they agree among themselves, and governe well their owne Congregations, no con­troversie that concerns them will ever come before any superiour Assembly; and if any complaint of their male administration, or any matter of ordination or excommu­nication should come from them to be cognosced in a Presbytery or Synod, the result might ever be to them as a matter of advice to be executed in their owne Congrega­tions by their owne Pastors, if they did finde it right: or if it appeared wrong, the Generall Assembly, or at least the Parliament, would give them so much satisfaction, as on earth can be expected.

Albeit I am in opinion, that no case meerly Ecclesiasticall shall ever need to goe from a Generall Assembly to a Parliament; these two bodies are so friendly and neare of kin, that none who knowes their nature and constitution will ever feare their dis­cord. I dare say, that all the jealousies which are presented to the Parliament of Eng­land of a Nationall Assembly, are meere Bugbeares and childish frightments, arising alone out of mis-information and unacquaintance; for both reason and experience will demonstrate that the Parliament of England cannot have on earth so strong pillars and pregnant supporters of all their Priviledges, as free Protestant Assemblies esta­blished by Law, and kept in their full freedom from the lowest to the highest, from the Congregationall Eldership to the Generall Synod of the Nation. No such Barres as these are imaginable either against Tyranny or Anarchy; they are the mightiest impediments both to the exorbitancy of Monarchs, which has been and is our mi­sery; and to the extravagancy of the common multitude, attempting to correct and subject all Parliaments to their owne foolish desires, which is like to be the matter of our next exercise and trouble.

Protestant Assemblies examined to the bottom, will be found reall and cordiall friends to all the Iust, Legall and reasonable Prerogatives of a Monarch, to all the equitable and profitable Liberties of the meanest subject; but above all to every due priviledge of a Christian Parliament. Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we grieve to see men afraid out of meere ignorance with that which we know is their great good. I am perswaded that after a little experience, Congregationall Sessions, Cl [...]ssicall Presbyteries, Provinciall Synods, and Nationall Assemblies will be embraced and sluck to by the Parliament of England as the greatest and most usefull priviledges of their great Charter.

My fourth remarke upon the Order in hand is, that it speakes alone of the questi­ons of Government, whereby the Assemblie was retarded, but nothing of the consti­tution of Congregations which never came to any considerable debate, much lesse [Page] did ever retard the Assemblies proceedings: and albeit the words of the Order might be extended beyond the Government to the constitution, yet wee may not thinke that the House doth intend to tolerate the gathering of separate Congregations; in this point we hope that the desired accommodation shall satisfie our Brethren, and all tolerations shall be needlesse. Themselves are witnesses of our most earnest Desires, of our very reall indeavours, (and we wish, they had been much more our helper [...] and reall Assistants) for purging of all Congregations, so far as ever they have been in any time, in any place, for making them so void of ignorance and all scandalls as Scrip­ture or any reason can require: In these our earnest requests we trust the Parliament at last will shew us favour. But when the Assembly and Parliament have done their uttermost, to have the Churches purified so farre as is possible, if notwithstanding of all that can be done, our Brethren will yet separate, and peremptorily refuse to com­municate as Members, in the best ruled Congregations, either of England, or of any other reformed Church; wee confesse, that by such a Declaration, our Brethren would put us to a great deale of perplexity; for such a separation as this, were as we conceive, the most palpable and unreasonable Schisme that ever yet was heard of in the Christian World, much contrary to the word of God, and evidently destructive of the necessary peace of all these Churches wherein it should bee tolerated; beside its cleare contradiction in termes, not onely to the Order of the House, but to the solemn League and Covenant of the three Kingdomes. Notwiihstanding wee trust that the grace and mercy of God, shall be so richly powred out upon this revived Committee, as shall enable them to expedit both us and our Brethren from these o­therwise unextricable Labirynths.

Would to God that our Controversies with them were brought to a happy period, that both they and we, with all our power might concurre to reduce the rest of our poore Brethren, who this day are pitifully intangled in manifold heresies and Er­rours▪ that so all the childr [...]n of God being delivered from the snares and chaines of darknesse, might make it their great taske and only contention, who should honour most the name of their Father, by the fragrancy of their godly, charitable, humble, chaste, and sober conversation.

Your Lordship is conscious to the first designes of the Noble Patriots of that your Nation, it was never their mind to have trifled so much time in jangling with their Brethren of this Isle, about new and needlesse questions, but expecting a facility of setling truth and Peace within these S [...]as, their hearts were farther abroad, their thoughts were large for the propagation not of ther owne but of Christs Kingdome, and that not so much in the Light as in the heate and life thereof. They have the more to answer who here and elsewhere have been the unhappy instruments, not only to frustrate these great and gracious enterprises for the Weale-publick of Christen­dome, but also to bring the undertakers to so low a condition, that they be obliged this day to God alone for any tollerable subsistence and their very being: albeit we are hopefull the Lord is reserving good things for them, who had so much Faith, cha­rity, and Courage, as to venture all for the cause of God, and their Brethren, the more unkind men have proved unto them; The Lord who hath been witnesse to all their intentions, actions and sufferings, will in his owne time accordingly reward them, and will not let them be ashamed of their first hopes and constant desires, up­on the which himselfe for a long time did shine so evidently from the Heaven, as ever [Page] upon any enterprise on the Earth. Though now that brightnesse be much ecclipsed, and overclouded, yet we are expecting with passionate desires, and confident hopes, the dissolution of these clouds, and the dispelling of the present darkenesse by the strength of the Beames of his ancient and undeserved kindnesse, towards that now suffering and much distressed Nation.

But insensibly my pen hath runne beyond the bounds of a short Epistle, albeit my experience of your Lordships readinesse to dispence with your friends indiscretion, makes me secure of my pardon. I will detaine your Lordship no longer, I lay downe my Booke at your Lordships feet, to be given to the world by your Lordships hand. If it be received with so much candor and charity by every Reader, as I know it is offered, it may possibly prove serviceable. Thus wishing to your Lord­ship in these dayes of deepe and dangerous tryalls, and too great defection of many, constancy, and daily increase of affection to all truth, Piety, Iustice, and every Vertue, I remaine,

Your Lordships in all Christian duty to be commanded. R. Baylie
The Principall Authors, whose Testimonies are cited in the case of the Brownists.
  • 1 THe Brownists confession of Faith printed by themselves. 160 [...]
  • 2 The Brownists Apo [...]ogy printed. 1604
  • 3 Robert Brownes Life, and manners of true Christians printed. 1582
  • 4 Henry Barrow his briefe discovery of the false Church. 1590
  • 5 Henry Barrow his plaine refutation of Mr Gifford, 1590.
  • 6 Francis Iohnsons enquiry and answer to Thomas Whites Discovery of Brownism, 1606
  • 7 Francis Iohnsons Christian plea, 1617.
  • 8 Iohn Cann his guide to Sion, 1638
  • 9 Iohn Cann his necessity of Separation. 1638.
  • 10 Apologia Iusta quorundam Christianorum, &c. per Iohannem Robinsorum. 1619
  • 11 Robinsons justification against Bernard reprinted at London, 1640
  • 12 Syons royall prerogative, 1641.
  • 13 A Light for the Ignorant. 1638.
The Principall Authors whose Testimonies are cited in the case of the Independents.
  • 1. An Apologeticall Narration by Thomas Goodwin, &c. 1643
  • 2 Iohn Cottons Keyes published by Thom: Goodwin, and Philip Nye. 1644.
  • 3 Iohn Cottons way of the Churches in New-England. 1645.
  • 4 Iohn Cottons Sermons upon the seven Vialls. 1642.
  • 5 Iohn Cottons Catechisme, or the Doctrine of the Church. 1644.
  • 6 An Answer to thirty two Questions, by the Elders of the Churches in New-England, pub­lished by Mr. Peters. 1643.
  • 7 An Apology of the Churches in New-England for Church-Covenant, or a discourse touching Church-Covenant. 1643.
  • 8 A glimpse of Syons glory in a Sermon at a generall Fast-day in Holland, by T. G. printed at London. 1641.
  • 9 Ieremy Burrowes Sermons upon Hosea. 1644.
  • 10 The personall raigne of Christ by Io: Archer, Pastor of the Church at Arnheim. 164 [...]
  • 11 Io: Archers comfort for Beleevers. 1645.
  • 12 Mr. Burtons vindication of the Independent Churches. 1645.
  • 13 Iohn Goodwins Theo-machia. 1644.
  • 14 A short story of the rise, reigne and ruine, &c. published with Mr. Welds large Preface. 1644.
  • 15 Mr Welds answer to Rathbans narration. 1644.
  • 16 Mr Cottons Letter to Mr. Williams. 1643.
  • 17 The Anatomist anatomised by Mr Simson. 1644.
We cite also for some matters of fact, to which no satisfactory Answer hath been made hitherto by the Parties.
  • 1 Mr Edwards Antapologie. 1644.
  • 2 Mr Williams examination of Cottons Letter. 1644.
  • 3 Mr Williams bloody Tenet. 1644.
  • 4 Plaine-dealing, or Newes from New-England by Thomas Lechford. 1642.
  • 5 The Anatomy of Independency, by a Learned Minister of Holland. 1644.
  • 6 Doctor Bastwicks Postscript. 1645.
  • 7 Mr. Prinns fresh discovery. 1645.

The CONTENTS of the following Treatise.

The Preface
  • THe chiefe and first meane to extinguish the flames of our warre, is, the waters of our heart poured out in prayers to God, pag. 1
  • Reformation after mourning, is the second step to a solid peace, p. 2
  • The corruption of the Church, is the fountaine of our present mi­sery, ibid.
  • The State cannot be setled till the Church be first reformed, 3
  • Every man would help what hee can to recover the languishing Church from her desperate disease, ibid.
  • The offer of a strange and easie remedy of a Looking-glasse, 4
  • The malignity of Errour, ibid.
  • The Authors intention is to set down in a Table for the cleare view of all, the errours which trouble us, ibid.
  • And that with Iustice and Love toward all persons, 5
  • The partition of the ensuing Treatise, 6
  • Episcopacy was the mother of all our present Sects, ibid.
  • Presbytery will be their grave, 7
  • The Presbyteriall way of proceeding, ibid.
  • What England rationally may expect from Presbyteries and Sy­nods, 8
Chap. 1. The originall and progresse of the Brownists.
  • Satan is the great enemy of the Churches Reformation, 9
  • His chiefe instruments alwayes have been professed friends to Re­ligion, ibid.
  • Reformation at the begining did run with one impetuous current, ibid.
  • What was its first stop, 10
  • The fountaine of Protestant discord, ibid.
  • [Page]The unhappy principle of the Lutherans, ibid.
  • And the more unhappy principle of the Anabaptists, 11
  • Somewhat of both these wayes was entertained in England, ibid.
  • The originall of the English Bishops and Ceremonies, ibid.
  • The originall of the Separatists, 12
  • Brownism is a daughter of Anabaptism, 13
  • Bolton the first known Separatist in England hanged himselfe, ibid.
  • Brown the second leader of that way, recanted his schism, and to his death was a very scandalous person, ibid.
  • The humour of Barrow the third master of this Sect, 14
  • The strange carriage of Iohnson and Ainsworth, the next two lea­ders of the Brownists, ibid.
  • The horrible wayes of Smith their sixth master, 15
  • The fearfull end of Smith his wandrings, 16
  • Robinson the last grave and learned Doctor of the Brownists, did in the end undermine his party, 17
  • Robinson the authour of Independency, ibid.
Chap. 2. The Doctrine of the Brownists.
  • They hold that all Churches in the world, but their own, are so pol­luted, that they must be separate from, 20
  • Their injurious slanders of the Church of England, ibid.
  • Yet sometimes they say, that communion maybe kept with her both in preaching and prayer, ibid.
  • Their like dealing with all the other Reformed, 21
  • Their flattering of forraign Churches is not to be regarded, ibid.
  • The matter of a Church they make to be reall Saints only, 22
  • Their unreasonable strictnesse in this one point, is the great cause of their Schism, ibid.
  • They place the forme of their Church in an expresse Covenant, 23
  • Seven may make a perfect Church, yea two or three, ibid.
  • The erecting of a Church, requires neither the Magistrates nor Mi­nisters assistance, ibid.
  • They put all Church power in a handfull of people, without any Pastor, 24
  • The election, ordination, deposition and excommunication of the Mi­nister, belongs to his flock, and to it alone, ibid.
  • [Page]Every man of the Congragation may preach, and publikely rebuke, not only the Pastor, but the whole flock, yea and separate from it, 25
  • Some of them give the celebration of the Sacraments also to private persons, ibid.
  • The solemnizing of marriage they give to Parents, but Divorces they commit to the parties themselves, 26
  • They make every Congregation independent, and of Soveraigne Authority, ibid.
  • Their judgement of Synods, 27
  • Their high conceit of their own way, and injurious depressing of all others, ibid.
  • Churches, Bels, Tythes, Glebes, Manses, and all set maintenance of Ministers, are unlawfull; not so much as a Church, yard must be kept up for buriall, but all must bury in the fields, ibid.
  • The dayes of the week, the months, the yeare of God, they will not name, 28
  • No Pulpits, no Sand-glasses in Churches, no Gowns, ibid.
  • All set prayer, even the Lords prayer, and all Psalms in meeter, yea in prose, if used as praises, are unlawfull, 29
  • Their opinion of preaching and Sacraments, ibid.
  • Their strange way of celebrating the Lords Supper, ibid.
  • They reject Catechismes, the Apostles Creed, and all reading of Scripture without exposition, 30
  • After preaching they prophecy, ibid.
  • Then come their Questions, ibid.
  • After all, they attend a very tedious discipline, ibid.
  • Brown is for liberty of Conscience, ibid.
  • His followers are against it, 31
  • Their carriage towards the Magistrate, ibid.
  • They spoyle Kings and Parliaments of their Legislative power, ibid.
  • They oblige the Magistrate to kill all Idolaters, ibid.
  • But to spare all theeves, 32
  • They will have the Ʋniversities destroyed, ibid.
  • Secular Authors and Learning must be abolished, ibid.
  • Preachers must study no other books but the Bible, ibid.
Chap. 3. The originall and progresse of the Independents, and of their carriage in New-England.
  • Independency is the smallest of all the Sects of the time for number, but greatest for worth of its followers, 53
  • Independents are the Separatists off-spring, ibid.
  • When the spark of Brownism was dying out in Holland, a little of its ashes carried to New-England, broke out there into a lasting flame, 54
  • By what meanes these ashes were kindled, ibid.
  • Mr Cotton at first a great Opposite to that way, 55
  • Mr Cotton with little adoe, became the great Patron of that Errour, ibid:
  • Mr Cotton was the mis-leader of Mr Goodwin and others, 56
  • Mr Cotton often deceived, hath given his patrociny to divers grosse errours, ibid.
  • Why God permits great men to fall in evident errours, ibid.
  • His Prelaticall, Arminian, and Montanistick tenets, 57
  • His Antinomy and Familism, ibid.
  • Independency full as unhappy as Brownisme, 58
  • Wherefore so much of the Independent way lies yet in darknesse, 59
  • The fruits of Independency in New-England, ibid.
  • First, it hath put thousands of Christians in the condition of Pa­gans, ibid.
  • Secondly, it hath marred the conversion of Pagans to Christian Religion, 60
  • Thirdly, it did bring forth the foulest heresies that ever yet were heard of in any Protestant Church, ibid.
  • A few examples of the many abominable heresies of the New-English Independents, 61
  • The greatest part of their Churches were infected with these errours, ibid.
  • The piety of these Hereticks seemed to be singular, ibid.
  • Their malice against all who opposed them, was singular, especially against all their orthodox Ministers and Magistrates, 62
  • Their errours in opinion did draw on such seditious practises, as did well neare overturne both their Church and State, ibid.
  • [Page]Their proud obstinacy against all admonitions, was marvelous, p. 63
  • In the midst of their profession of eminent Piety, the profanenesse of many of them was great, p. 64
  • Notwithstanding of all this we desire from our heart to honour, and imitate all and every degree of truth and Piety, which did ever appeare in any New-English Christian, p. 65
Chap. 4. The carriage of the Independents in Holland at Rot [...]rdam and Arnheim, p. 75.
  • Independency was no fruitfull tree in Holland, p. 75
  • Mr Peters the first planter thereof at Roterdam, ibid.
  • Their Ministers, Mr. Bridge, Mr Simpson, and Mr Ward, re­nounced their English Ordination, and as meere private men tooke new Ordination from the people, ibid.
  • They did quickly fall into shamefull divisions and subdivisions, p. 76
  • The people without any just cause deposed their Minister, ibid.
  • The Schismes at Roterdam were more irreconcileable then those at Amsterdam, p. 77
  • Anabaptisme is like to spoile that Church, p. 78
  • These of Arnheim, admire and praise themselves above all mea­sure. ibid.
  • The easinesse of their banishment and afflictions. p. 79
  • The new Light at Arnheim, brok out in a number of strange errors. ib.
  • First, grosse Chiliasme. ibid.
  • Secondly, the grossest blasphemy of the Libertines, that God is the Author of the very sinfulnesse of sinne. p. 80
  • Thirdly, the fancy of the Euthusiasts, in contemplating God as God abstracted from Scripture, from Christ, from grace, and from all his attributes. ibid.
  • Fourthly, the old Popish Ceremonies of extreme Unction, and the holy Kisse of peace. p. 81
  • Fifthly, the discharging of the Psalmes, and the apointing of a sing­ing Prophet, to chant the Songs made by himselfe, in the silence of all others. ibid.
  • Sixthly, the mortality of the soule. ibid.
  • Seventhly, the conveniency for Ministers to preach covered, and ce­lebrate the Sacraments uncovered: but for the people to heare [Page] uncovered, and to participate the Sacraments covered. p. 82.
  • Their publick contentions were shamefull. ibid.
Cap. 5. The Carriage of the Independents at London. p. 90
  • The worke of the prime Independents of New-England, Arnheim, and Roterdam, these five yeares at London. p. 90
  • They did hinder with all their power so long as they were able, the calling of the Assembly, ibid.
  • When it was called, they retarded its proceedings, p. 91
  • That the Churches of England and Ireland lye so long in confusion, neither Papists, nor Prelates nor Malignants have been the cause, ibid.
  • But the Independents working according to their Principles, p. 92
  • The great mischiefe of that Anarchy wherein they have kept the Churches of England, and Ireland, for so long a time, ibid.
  • Independency is the mother of more Heresies and Schismes at Lon­don, then Amsterdam ever knew, ibid.
  • Independency at London doth not only bring forth, but nourish and patronize Heresies and Schismes, contrary to its custome either in New-England or Amsterdam, p. 93
  • How hazardous it may prove to the State of England, p. 94
Chap. 6. An Enumeration of the Common Tenets of the Independents. p. 101
  • Why it is hard to set downe the Independents Positions, p. 101
  • They have declined to declare their Tenets, more then hath ever been the custome of any Orthodox Divines, ibid.
  • When they shall be pleased to declare themselves to the full, their principle of change will hinder them to assure us that any thing is their setled and firme Tenet wherein they will be constant, ibid.
  • The chiefe Tenets which hitherto they have given out, and not yet recalled, p. 102
  • They reject the name of Independents unreasonably, and for their owne disadvantage: ibid.
  • When it is laid aside, the more infamous name of Brownists and Separatists will inevitably fall upon them. ibid.
  • [Page]They avow a Semi-Separation, but a Sesqui-Separation will bee proven upon them. p. 103
  • The Independents doe separate from all the reformed Churches, upon far worse grounds then the Brownists were wont, to separate of old, ibid.
  • Their acknowledgement of the reformed for true Churches, doth not diminish but increase their Schisme, ibid.
  • They refuse all Church Communion, and Membership in all the reformed Churches, ibid.
  • They preach and pray in them as they would doe among Pagans; on­ly as gifted men to gather materials for their new Churches. p. 104.
  • About the matter of the Church, and qualification of Members, they are large as strict▪ as the Brownists, admitting none but who convinces the whole Congregation of their reall regenerati­on. p. 105
  • Beside true grace, they require in the person to be admitted, a suta­blenesse of Spirit with every other Member, p. 106
  • But in this they are laxer then the Brownists, that they can take in without scruple, Anabaptists, Antinomians and others, who both in life and Doctrine have evident blots, if so they be zealous and serviceable for their way. ibid.
  • About the forme of the Church (a Church-Covenant) they are more punctuall then the Brownists. ibid.
  • They take the power of gathering and erecting of Churches, both from Magistrates and Ministers, placing it onely in the hands of a few private Christians who are willing to make among them­selves a Church-Covenant. p. 107
  • This power of erecting themselves into a compleat and perfit Church, they give to any seven persons, yea to any three; neither admitt they more into a Church then can altogether in one place com­modiously administer the Sacraments and Discipline. ibid.
  • The Independents will have all the standing Churches in England except them of the Sectaries dissolved, and all their Ministers to become meerely private men, and any three persons of their way to be a full Church. p. 108
  • Vnto this Church of seven persons, they give all and the whole Church power, and that independently. ibid.
  • Vnto this Congregationall Church alone, they give the full power [Page] of Election and Ordination, of Deposition and Excommunica­tion, even of all their Officers, and of the finall determination of all Ecclesiasticall causes, p. 109
  • The difference of Iohnson and Ainsworth, about the power of the people and Presbyterie distinct one from the other, is not yet com­posed among the Independents, ibid.
  • The common Doctrine of New-England is Ainsworths Tenet, that the people alone have all the power, and may excommunicate when there is cause, all their Officers, ibid.
  • Mr. Cotton the other yeare did fall much from them and him­selfe towards Iohnson, teaching that the whole power of Autho­rity is onely in the Officers, and the people have nothing but the power of Liberty to concurre; That the Officers can doe no­thing without the people, nor the people any thing but by the Officers. p. 110
  • Yet that both Officers and people or any of them, have power to se­parate themselves from all the rest when they finde cause, ibid.
  • The London Independants give more power of Ecclesiasticall Iuris­diction then the Brownists, unto woemen, p. 111
  • Some of them permit private men to celebrate the Sacraments, ibid▪
  • Brownists and Independents doe perfectly agree i [...] the point of In­dependency, ibid:
  • If a corrupt or negligent Congregation doe not censure the [...] owne Members, all the Assemblies in the world may not attempt to censure any of them, though most apparently they did corrupt a whole Nation with the grosseth Heresies, or most scandalous vices, p. 112
  • The point of Independency is either the root, or the fruit of many Errours, ibid.
  • To temper the crudity thereof, they adde to it three moderating Po­sitions, but for little purpose, ibid.
  • They grant the being of Synods, but not of Classicall Presbyteries. p. 113
  • Their Synods are meerely Brownisticall without all Iurisdiction, wherein every one of the people may voyce; also they are meerely Elective and only occasionall, ibid.
  • The Sentence of non-Communion is Mr. Cottons invention, to [Page] supply that defect which themselves make in the Ordinances of God, ibid.
  • It puts in the hand of every man a power to sentence all the Churches of the World, p. 114
  • It carries to the highest degree of Separation, ibid.
  • Their supply of the defects of Independency, by the power of the Magistrate, was a remedy which they learned from the Brownists; but now they have cast it aside, denying to the Magistrate all power in matter [...] of Religion, p. 115
  • The Independents doe advance their fancies, to as high a pitch of glory as the Brownists, ibid.
  • They are the Brownists Schollers in many more things, beside the constitution and government of the Church, ibid.
  • They give to the Magistrate the celebration of Marriage, ibid.
  • Mr. Milton permits any man to put away his wife upon his meere pleasure without any fault, and without the cognisance of any Iudge, p. 116
  • Mr Gorting teaches the wife to put away her Husband, if he will not follow her in any new Church-way which she is pleased to em­brace, ibid.
  • They are against all determinations of the circumstances of Wor­ship, and therefore all Church Directories are against their sto­macks, ibid.
  • The common names of the dayes of the week, of the Months of the yeare, of the yeare of God, of many Churches and Cities of the Land, are as unlawfull to them as to the Brownists, ibid.
  • All Tythes and set-mayntenance of Ministers they cry downe, but a voluntary contribution for the maintenance of all their Officers they presse to a high proportion, with the evident prejudice of the poore, p. 117
  • In their solemne Worship, oft times they make one to pray, another to preach, a third to Prophesie, a fourth to direct the Psalme, and another to blesse the people. ibid.
  • They make it a divine Institution without any word of preface, to begin the publick Worship with solemn prayer for the King and Church, p. 118
  • After the Pastors Prayer, the Doctor reads and expounds, ibid.
  • [Page]In preaching, they will be free to take a Text or not, as they find it expedient, ibid.
  • After the Sermon, any of the people whom they thinke able, are per­mitted to prophesie, ibid.
  • All are permitted to propound in the face of the Congregation, what questions upon the Sermon they thinke meet, ibid.
  • About the Psalmes they have divers strange conceits, but the speci­all is their new Ordinance of a singing Prophet, who is place of the Psalmes singeth Hymmes of his owne making in the midst of the silent Congregation, ibid.
  • They grant the lawfulnesse of read Prayers in diverse cases, p. 119
  • They will have none to be baptised but the children of their owne Members; so at one dash they put all England except a very few of their way, into the state of Pagans, turning them all out of the Christian Church, denying to them Sacraments, Discipline, Church-Officers and all that they would deny to the Pagans of America, ibid.
  • They open a doore to Anabaptisme by three farther Positions. First, they require in all to be baptised a reall holinesse above a foederall, which in no Infant with any certainty can be found, ibid.
  • Secondly, they esteeme none for their Baptisme and Christian educa­tion a Member of their Church, till they have entred them­selves in their Church Covenant, p. 120
  • Thirdly, they call none of their Members to any accompt before their Presbytery for obstinate rejecting of Paedo-baptisme, although the Brownists doe excommunicate for that sinne, ibid.
  • They participate with none of the reformed Churches in the Lords Supper, yet they scruple not to communicate with Brownists and Anabaptists, ibid.
  • Their way of celebrating the Lords Supper, is more dead and com­fortlesse then anywhere else, p. 121
  • They have no catechising, no preparation, nor thanks-giving-Ser­mons; ordinarily they speake no word of the Sacrament in their Sermons and prayers, either before or after, ibid.
  • They have onely a little discourse, and short prayer in the conse­cration of both the Elements; thereafter, in the action nothing but dumb silence, no exhortation, no reading, no Psalme, ibid.
  • They require none of their Members to come out of their Pewes to [Page] the Table, and they acknowledge no more use of a Table then the Brownists at Amsterdam, which have none at all, ibid.
  • They teach the expediency of covering the head at the Lords Ta­ble. p. 122
  • They are as much for the popular Government as the Brownists, ibid.
  • All Discipline must be executed in the presence and with the consent of the whole people, and all must passe by the expresse suffrage of every one, p. 123
  • Dissenters not onely loose their right of Suffrage for the time, but are subjected to censure if they continue in their dissent, ibid.
  • They are much for private meetings; for it is in them that they usually frame the Members of other mens Congregations into their new mould; but the Brownists, and they of New-England having felt the bitter fruits of such meetings, have relinquished if not discarged them, ibid.
  • They flatter the Magistrate, and slander the reformed Churches without cause, p. 124
  • Some of them are for the abolishing of all Magistracy, ibid.
  • All of them are for the casting out, and keeping out of the Christi­an Church all Princes; all Members of Parliament, all Magi­strates of the Counties and Burrowes that now are, and that ever have been, and are ever like to be hereafter, except a very few. p. 125
  • These few Magistrates which they would admit, have no security but by the errour or malice of a few, to be quickly cast out of the Church without any possibility of remedy, ibid.
  • When they have put all who are not of their mind out of the places of Magistracy, yea out of all Civill Courts; the greatest Ma­gistrates they admitt of, be they Kings or Parliaments, they subject them all to the free will of the promiscuous multitude, ibid.
  • When Magistrates will not follow their new errours, they have been very ready to make Insurrections to the great hazard of the whole State, p. 126
  • Many of them deny to the Magistrate any power at all in the mat­ters of Religion, ibid.
  • Their principles doe spoile Princes and Parliaments of their whole [Page] Legislative power; they abolish all humane Lawes that are made, and hinder any more to be made, p. 127
  • The Civill Lawes which Mr Cotton permits men to make, binde no man any further then his owne mind is led by the reason of the Law to Obedience. p. 128
  • They put the yoke of the Iudiciall Law of Moses on the neck of the Magistrate, ibid.
  • They give to their Ministers a power to sit in Civill Courts, and to voyce in the election of the Magistrates, and to draw from Scrip­ture civill Lawes for the Government of the State, ibid.
  • They offer to perswade the Magistrate contradictory Principles ac­cording to their owne interest; in New-England they perswade the Magistrate to kill Idolaters and Hereticks; even whole Ci­ties, men, women and children. p. 129
  • But here they deny the Magistrate all power to lay the lost restraint upon the grossest Idolaters, Apostates, blasphemers, Seducers, or the greatest Enemies of Religion, ibid.
  • No great appearance of their respect to secular Learning and Scholes, ibid.
  • Independency much more dangerous then Brownisme, ibid.
Chap. 7. It is unjust scrupulosity to require satisfaction of the true grace of every Church Member.
  • The Independents prime Principles, p. 154
  • Its unjust scrupulosity to require satisfactorie assurance of the true grace of every Church-Member, p. 154
  • Their Tenet about the qualification of Members, is the great cause of their separating from all the reformed Churches, though they doe dissemble it, p. 155
  • In this they goe beyond the Brownists, p. 156
  • The true state of the question, is, whether it be necessary to separate from a Church wherein we get no satisfaction of the true grace of every Member at their first admission? ibid.
  • For the negative, we reason first from the practice of Moses and the Prophets, who did never offer to separate for any such reason, p. 157
  • The causes of a just separation were smaller under the Law nor un­der the Gospell, ibid.
  • [Page]Our second reason is from the example of Christ and his Apostles, who did not separate for any such causes, p. 158
  • The third reason, It is impossible to finde true grace in every member of any visible Church that ever was, or shall be in the world, p. 159
  • The fourth. This satisfaction in the true grace of all to be admitted, is builded on foure errours, p. 160
  • The fifth Argument. Their Tenet is followed with diverse absur­dities, p. 161
  • Cottons reasons to the contrary answered, p. 163
  • The first reason put in forme, ibid.
  • All the parts of it are vitious, ibid
  • His second Argument, p. 168
  • His third Argument, p. 169
  • His fourth Argument, p. 170
  • His fifth, p. 171
  • His sixth, p. 172
  • His seventh, ibid.
  • His eigth, p. 173
  • His ninth; all his nine or twelve Reasons put in one, will be too weak to beare up the weight of his most heavy conclusion.
Chap. 8. Concerning the right of Prophesying.
  • The state of the Question. 174
  • The first Authors of this Question. ib.
  • The Independents difference among themselves hereabout. ib.
  • That none but Ministers may ordinarily prophesye, we prove it first, by Christs joyning together the power of Baptisme and the pow­er of preaching. 175
  • Secondly, These that preach, must be sent to that worke. ib.
  • Thirdly, every ordinary Preacher labours in the word and Do­ctrine. 176
  • Fourthly, none out of Office, have the gift of preaching; for all that have that gift, are either Apostles, Evangelists, Prophets, Pa­stors, or Doctors; and all these are Officers. ib.
  • Fifthly, no man out of Office might sacrifice. ib.
  • Sixthly, all who have from God the gift of preaching, are obliged [Page] to lay aside all other occupations, and attend that work alone, 177
  • Seventhly, the Apostles appointed none to preach but [...]ders. ibid.
  • Eigthly, the preaching of men out of office, is a meanes of confusion and errour. ibid.
  • The contrary arguments which Mr Cotton in his Catechism and Answer to the 32 Questions borrowes from Robinson, an­swered. 178
Chap. 9. Whether the power of Ecclesiastick Iurisdiction belongs to the people, or to the Presbytery?
  • What is meant by Ecclesiastick Iurisdiction, 181
  • The state of the Question, ibid.
  • For the Negative, that the people have no power of Iurisdiction, we reason, First, The Officers alone are Governours, and the people are to be governed, p. 183
  • Secondly, the people have not the Keyes of heaven to binde and loose, p. 184
  • Thirdly, the people are not the eyes and eares in Christs body, for so all the body should be eyes and eares, ibid.
  • Fourthly, the people have not any promise of gifts sufficient for go­vernment, ibid.
  • Fifthly, the popular government brings in confusion, making the feet above the head, p. 185
  • Sixthly, the people have not the power of Ordination, p. 186
  • Seventhly, this power in the people, would disable them in their Cal­lings, p. 187
  • Eigthly, this power of the people would bring in Morellius Demo­cracy and Anarchy in the Church, ibid.
  • Ninthly, this power of the people will draw upon them the power of the Word and Sacraments, p. 188
  • Mr Cottons ten contrary arguments answered, p. 189
Chap. 10. Independency is contrary to Gods Word.
  • God is the Authour of the union and dependency of particular Churches, p. 196
  • Separation and Independency were the Anabaptists inventions, ibid.
  • [Page]From them Morellius and Grotius learned the Tenet, p. 197
  • The state of the Question cleared, ibid.
  • That single Congregations are not independent, is proved, First, from 1 Tim. 4.14. p. 199
  • The second argument from the Apostolick Churches, which exer­cised full Iurisdiction; the chiefe whereof, if not all, were Pres­byteriall and not Parochiall, p. 202
  • Our third argument from the subordination of the Church of An­tioch to the Synod at Ierusalem, Acts 15. p. 205
  • Our fourth argument from the subordination of fewer to more, appointed by Christ, Matth. 8. p. 209
  • Our fifth argument from the evill consequents which reason and ex­perience demonstrate to follow Independency necessarily and na­turally, p. 212
  • Our last argument, Independency is contrary to all the Disci­pline that ever was knowne in Christendome before the Ana­baptists, p. 215
  • The first objection or argument for Independency from Matth. 18. p. 216
  • The second objection is taken from the practise of the Corinthians excommunicating the incestuous man, p. 218
  • The third objection from the example of the seven Churches of Asia, p. 220
  • Their fourth objection from the practise of the Church [...]s Thessa­lonica and Colosse, ibid.
  • The fifth, sixth, seventh, and eigth objection, p. 223
Chap. 11. The thousand yeares of Christ his visible Raigne upon Earth, is against Scripture.
  • The Originall and progresse of Chiliasme, ibid.
  • The mind of the Indep [...]ndent Chiliasts, ibid.
  • Our first reason against the Chiliasts, is, that Christ from his Ascen­tion to the last Iudgement abides in Heaven, p. 225
  • Our second reason is built on Christs sitting at the right hand of God till the day of Iudgement. p. 227
  • Our third reason is grounded on the Resurrection of the dead; the [Page] Godly and ungodly doe all rise together at the last day, p. 228
  • Our fourth reason is builded on Christs Kingdome, which is spi­rituall and not earthly, p. 229
  • Our fifth reason is taken from the nature of the Church, p. 230
  • A sixth reason from the secrecy of the time of Christs com­ming, p. 231
  • A seventh reason from the Heavenly and eternall reward of the Martyrs, p. 232
  • An eigth reason, the restoration of an Earthly Ierusalem brings backe the abolished figures of the Law, p. 233
  • A ninth, Antichrist is not abolisht till the day of Iudgement, ibid.
  • The Chiliasts first reason is from Revel: 20. 4. p. 234
  • Our new Chi [...]iasts are Inventors of a new Heaven and of a new Hell, p. 236
  • Twelve other reasons of the Chiliasts answered, p. 237


WHile the fire of War continues to scorch every one of these miserable Dominions,The first and chief Mean to extinguish the flames of our War, is the waters of the heart poured out in prayers to God. it is the duty of all com­passionate Countrey-men to contribute the uttermost of their best endeavours for the extinguishing of these unhappie Flames, before the remainder of all our Churches and States be burnt down to ashes.

Too much Oil already hath dropped from many unhallowed Pens; the times now do passionately call for Waters; and them, the more cold and clear, the better, for quenching the thirst of this devouring Beast. Vinegar and Gall, though in the largest mea­sures, whole rivers of Blood will not allay, but augment the heat of a Civil War; The most hopeful Peace-makers, from whose intermedling the greatest successe is to be expected, are they whose vessels are filled most plentifully with tears, to be poured out be­fore the Throne of God.

The fire which this day prevails against us, which burns up not the flesh onely, but the very bones of our Kingdoms, is from above: it is the Lord who burns against Iacob like a flaming fire which de­vours round about. Lam. 2.3. When the scorching heat of the Sun dries up the moisture from the grasse and corn, there is no remedy for the languishing fields, till the vapours ascend from below, and thicken in a cloud; then incontinent the burning beams are intercepted, the showres descend from above to refresh and renew the withered face of the parched ground. The most seasonable exercise of al who love the peace of Ierusalem, is to fill the air with the exhalations of their Spirits, with the perfumes arising from the kindled In­cense of their Prayers; much of these holy vapours will hardly make up one cloud; wherefore many hearts would daily be brea­thing up together some store of that heavenly smoke. However for a time all our endeavours may seem to be quite evanished, and when we have gone out to behold much ofter then seven times, there may appear to our eye not so much as the smallest beginning of the least cloud; yet when the period of Gods appointed season is come, when the three yeers and six moneths are past over and gone, there will certainly arise a cloud which, however at first ve­ry small, and no broader then a hand, yet will quickly become so big as to fill the heavens with voices, and send down to the wea­ried [Page 2] earth such plenty of rain as could be wished.

Reformation after mourn­ing, is the se­cond step to a solid peace.But to the end the waters of our Prayers may be the more acce­ptable in the sight of our Prince of Peace, who alone dispenses at his pleasure to persons and Nations that very desirable and much longed-for blessing of quietnesse, we must cleanse our hands of those crimes which have drawn down from the Throne of Justice that plague of War which so much this day doth vex and well-neer undo us: If once our ways did please the Lord, he would quick­ly make our enemies to be at peace with us. Prov. 16.7. Psal. 81.15 If Israel did walk in his ways, their enemies should soon be subdued, and the hand of God so far turned against their adversaries, that they should submit them­selves without further opposition.2 King. 9.22. But what peace can be expe­cted, so long as the Whoredom and Witchcraft, the Idolatry and Oppression of Iezebel, the crying Crimes of many in the Land, yet unrepented for, doth offend the holy eye of the great Dispen­ser of Peace and War? A Reformation after mourning, is the se­cond step to a solid Pacification. Long may we petition both God and men for peace in vain; long may we article and treat for that end without any successe, unlesse a reall Reformation re­move from the sight of God the personal abominations, the State-transgressions, and the Church-impieties of our Lands.

The corrupti­on of the Church is the fountain of our present Misery.The Crimes of persons are grievous, but those of a State are more. The corruption of a member is not so grievous as of the whole Body; and the deformity of the Body Political, is not so unpleasant to the eye of God as of the Church: this is the Body, this is the Bride of Christ; nothing so much provokes the passion of a loving Husband, as the polluting of his Spouse. Church-grievances were the first and main causes of our present Troubles; the righting of these, will open the door of our first hope of deli­verance.

Whoso will observe either the spring or progresse of our pre­sent Woes in all the three Kingdoms, will finde that the open Op­pression and secret Undermining of the Common-wealth, by the craft and tyranny of the malignant Faction, did highly provoke the wrath of God, and was a great occasion of all this D [...]scord which hath broke out among men: Yet it is evident, that the p [...]in­cipal cause which hath kindled the Jealousie of God, and enflamed the spirits of men to shake off and break in pieces those Yokes of Civil Slavery, which ingenuous necks were no more able to bear, was the constuprating of the Church, the bringing in upon [Page 3] her by violence, and daily multiplying of Errours, Superstitions, Idolatries, and other Spiritual Burdens.

The Method of our Cure, if ever it prove solid,The State can­not be [...] til the Church be s [...] refor­med. must lead our Physitians to the fountain of our Disease. All Treaties for ac­commodating State-differences, will be lost, if in the first place Religion be not provided for, according to the minde of God. If once the Temple were builded, and filled with the cloud, the Dif­ficulties would be small in making up the breaches in the house of the Kingdom, and filling it with Peace and Prosperity. So long as the Temple lies desolate, it is not possible to rear up the walls of the City. It were the wisedom of our great Builders, when they finde themselves over-toiled in the Fifth yeer of their Work, as they desire not to have all their by-past labours vain and fruitlesse, at last in good earnest to set upon the building of the Church.

Interests of private persons and particular Factions, laid over with the colour of pretended State-reasons, may procrastinate days without number, setling of Religion: yet if we trust either an­cient or late experience, these States-men provide best for the welfare of their Countrey, who give to the God of heauen, to his Worship and House, the first and most high place in all their stu­dies and cares.

If we behold either the former, or the later Reformers of the State of Israel; if we consider the practice of Moses, of Da­vid, of Hezekiah, of Zerubbabel, and others, it is evident the Ta­bernacle, the Ark, the Temple, did first and most lie at all their hearts. Our Neighbours and Brethren of Scotland, when this our Disease was upon them, and did presse them well-neer to death and ruine, by this method of Physick did in a short time regain their full health and strength, in the which they had great appearence to have continued, without any Recidive, unlesse their pious compassion and brotherly attendance upon us in our languishing, had made them partakers of these evils in our Company which they had clean escaped,

The lamentable neglect for so long a time of the Churches dis­ease, makes now the Cure, if not desperate,Every man must help what he can to reco­ver the langui­shing Church from her de­sperate Disease. yet much more diffi­cult then once it was: so much the more had every good man need to bring forth the best of his wits, at least of his wishes, for the encouragement and assistance of our great Physitians, who now, blessed be God, with all their care, are busied, above all things else, about the recovery of that languishing Patient. The voices of [Page 4] some of her more faithful servants crying aloud in the ear of all the world of their Mistris extreme danger, of her approach to the doors of death; this noise hath a wakened and given an A­larm to many, that now they run with speed to recover the ex­paring breath of their dying Mother, not without some disdain and [...]nd [...]gnation against them by whose subtil artifices, and more then ordinary industry, they have been kept off all this while from so much as approaching the sick bed of the dangerously-diseased Spouse of Christ.

And now while so many gracious hands are about this noble Patient,The offer of a strange and ea­sie remedy of a [...]ooking-glass every one out of their rich shops bringing the choicest Medicaments they can fall upon; I also, out of my poor store, rather from a desire to testifie affection then confidence of any skill in this Art, do offer unto her, as one mean of help, a Look­ing-glasse, wherein if she will be pleased but to behold the Sym­ptomes of her Disease, by this inspection alone, and clear sight of her face in this Glasse, without any further trouble whether of Po­tions within, or Applications without, I am hopeful, through the blessing of the great Master of all lawful Arts, she shall be able to shake off the principal of those evils which now do most afflict her.

That by the eye alone very noisome Diseases may be conveyed to the body, it is the ancient credulity of some. However, dayly experience puts it out of all doubt, that thorow the glasse of the eye the soul may be infected with the desperate Diseases of most pestilent passions. But that which here is offered, is much more rare and singular, by looking in a Glasse to cure the worst Diseases, and to remove from the soul the most dangerous passions by meer contemplation.

The malignity of Errour.To leave Metaphors, my meaning is, that the greatest hazard of our Church this day, comes from the evil of Errour. This, if the Apostle Paul may be trusted,2 Tim. 2.17. [...] Pet. 2.1, 2, 3, 4 doth eat up the soul no lesse then a Gangrene the body. This, if we will believe the Apostle Peter ▪ is a pernicious and damnable evil which brings on sudden destructi­on. The Authors intention is to set down in a Table for the clear view of all▪ the Errors which trouble us. It is a sin before God no lesse abominable then those which brought fire on Sodom, the flood on the first world, the chains of darknesse upon the evil Angels.

At this instant, when the evil of Errour hath spred it self over the whole Body of this distracted Church, it seems it may prove a remedy not unprofitable to draw together the chief heads of [Page 5] those errours which now are flying abroad; their faces being cleerly described in one short Table in their true lineaments and native colours, will appear so deformed, that many who now are bewitched with them, upon this sight, may be brought out of all further aff [...]ction towards them.

This is the end of my present work,And that with justice & lo [...] towards all persons. without the least inten­tion, so far as I can understand my own meaning, to create any just offence or reall hurt to any mans person. For, truely, I know not the creature breathing, to whom heartily I do not wish Grace, Mercy, and Peace; onely the opinions which for a long time, with all licence, are blown by the Spirit of errour over all the Land, to the dishonour of God and the indangering of many a mans salvation, I wish were set out in their clear and lively shap [...]s, that they may be seen, as truely they are, without any disguise, by the eyes of all, I am much deceived if their bare and unmasked face shall be found very pleasant to solid and intelligent minds.

And because it is a matter full of difficulty to set down the te­nents, especially erroneous, of any men, according to their own contentment; that herein I may do wrong to none, it shall be my care in every thing I conceive material and controverted, to speak nothing without Book, but alwayes to bring along my Warrant, to alleadge nothing doubtfull of any man, but what himself or some other, whose Faith is above just exception, hath published before me to the world.

If for all this, my Testimony be refused, I can but declare, that knowingly I do not misreport either the words or the sence of any man; for, I esteem Truth so honourable and so beautifull a creature, but falsehood so deformed and base, that no considera­tion (I know) would so far overballance my mind as wittingly, to make me entertain the one, with the prejudice of the other. Notwithstanding, if so it should fall out, which is very casuall to men, much my betters, that through inadvertence I should mis­apprehend, and accordingly misreport any mans judgement, upon the smallest conviction I purpose not onely to retract my miscon­ceptions, but, for further satisfaction, I promise to make my re­tractation no lesse publike then was my errour.

It is not my purpose to take notice of every extravagancy which hath dropped from all the distempered brains of the time;Onely forth is r [...]ga [...]n [...]ng to the Truth. the profit of such a task would not co [...]ntervaile the Labour: one­ly I will put down, as it were in one table, so many of th [...]se irre­gular [Page 6] conceits, which now are abroad, as may demonstrate to any common eye the undeniable footsteps of the Spirit of Errour and Schism walking among us, and bringing forth in great plenty the births of his darknesse, to the end that such a multitude of Sa­tans Brats, appearing openly in the arms and bosoms of other­wise (I suppose) well-meaning people, the beholders may tremble, and with all carefulnesse avoid the deep deceipt of that Angel of Light; and the deceived themselves seeing with their eyes what they hugg and dandle, to carry in the face the cleer li­neaments of a mishant Parent, for grief and shame that they have been so long Nursing-Fathers to Satans brood, may become the first to dash the brains of these cursed Brats against the stones; or if they needs must obstinately continue fond of that bastard Ge­neration, they may enjoy what they love, themselves alone; all well-advised men standing aloose from the danger of so misor­dered and irrationall affection.

The partition of the ensuing [...]reatise.The principall by-paths, wherein the most among us this day do tread, who divert from the high, open, and straight way of the Reformed Churches, may be reduced to ten generall Heads: The Brownists, or rigid Separatists, are the first who break off at a side: The Independents, their Children, go on with them for a time; but, wearied with the widenesse of their Parents wan­dring, professe to come in again towards the rode way, yet not so closely, but still they keep a path of their own. How much neerer these men professe to draw towards us then their Fathers, so much the farther their other Brethren run from us; for, the Ana­baptists go beyond the Brownists in wandring; the Antinomians are beyond the Anabaptists, and the Seekers beyond them all.

These five lead aside on our right hand: towards the left there be no fewer crooked Lanes; The Prelatical Faction; the down-right Papists; the Arminians; the Socinians; and, who now make as much trouble as any, the Erastian-Civilians.

Of all these we will thus far consider, as first, in a brief histo­rick narration, to set down their original and present condition; Secondly, to name their tenents in particular; Thirdly, to re­fute from Scripture some of their most prevalent errours:

Episcopacy was the Mother of all our present Sects.Onely in the entry, one stumbling block would be put by. It is marvailed by many whence these new Monsters of Sects have arisen: Some spare not, from this ground, liberally to blasphem the Reformation in hand, and to magnifie the Bishops as if they had [Page 7] kept down, and this did set up, the Sects which now praedomin. But, these murmurers would do well in their calm and sober times, to remember that none of the named Sects are births of one day; but all of them were bred and born under the wings of no other Dame then Episcopacy: the tyranny and superstition of this Step-mother, was the seed and spawn of Brownisme, the great root of the most of our Sects; all which were many yeers ago brought forth, however kept within doors so long as any Church-Disci­plin was on foot: Now, indeed, every Monster walks in the street without controlement, while all Ecclesiastick Govern­ment is cast asleep; this too too long inter-reign and meer Anarchy hath invited every unclean creature to creep out of its cave, and shew in publike its mishapen face to all, who like to behold.

But,Presbytery will be their Grave. if once the Government of Christ were set up amongst us, as it is in the rest of the Reformed Churches, we know not what would impede it, by the Sword of God alone, without any secular violence, to banish out of the Land these Spirits of Errour: in all meeknesse, humility, and love, by the force of Truth con­vincing and satisfying the minds of the seduced.

Episcopal Courts were never fitted for the reclaiming of minds; their prisons, their fines, their pillories, their nose-slittings, their ear-cuttings, their check-burnings, did but hold down the flame to break out in season with the greater rage.

But,The Presbyte­riall way of proceeding. the Reformed Presbytery doth proceed in a spiritual Me­thod evidently fitted for the gaining of hearts; they go on with the offending party with all respect, and at so much leasure as can be wished, appointing first the fittest Pastors and Elders in the bounds, to confer and instruct him in private: if this diligence do not prevaile, then they convent him before the Consistory of his Congregation; there by admonitions, instructions, r [...]proofs, and all the means appointed in the Gospel, they deal with him in all gentlenesse, from weeks to moneths, from moneths oftentimes to yeers, before they come neer to any censure, and if so it fall out that his insuperable obstinacy [...]orce them to draw out the terrible Sword, their proceeding here also is so exceeding leasurely, and full of sensible grief and love to the party, of fear and Religion towards God, that it is a singular ra [...]ty among them to see any heart so hard as not to be mollified, and yeeld before that stroke be given. Excommunications are so strange in all the Reformed Churches, that in a whole Province, a man in all his life will [Page 8] scarce [...]e witnesse to one, and among them who are cut off by that dreadful Sword, very few do fall in the States hand to be troubled with any civil inconvenience.

What England [...] may expect from Presbyteries and Synods.By this kinde of Government, other Reformed Churches with ease have kept themselves pure and clean of all our Heresies and Schisms, not onely Scotland, Switzerland, and divers parts of Germany, but France it self, which to this day was never blessed with any assistance from the secular Arm; by this spiritual and di­vine adminicle alone, have kept themselves safe from the irruption of all erroneous Spirits.

I confesse that Holland hath been a cage to these unclean birds; but the reason is evident, the civil State there walking in the cor­rupt principles of carnal Policy, which cannot be blessed with fi­nal successe, doth imped the exercise of Church-Discipline in its most principal parts; these last fourty yeers that Land hath not been permitted to enjoy more General Assemblies then one, and how great Service that one did towards the purging of the much corrupted Church, and calming the greatly disturbed State, all their Friends in Europe did see and congratulate while their foes did grieve and envy it.

It is not prophecy, but a rational prediction bottomed upon reasons and multiplied experience; Let England once be counte­nanced by her superior powers, to enjoy the just and necessary Li­berty of Consistories for Congregations, of Presbyteries for Counties, of Synods for larger Shires, and National Assemblies for the whole Land, as Scotland hath long possessed these by the unanimous consent of King and Parliament, without the least prejudice to the civil State, but to the evident and confessed bene­fit thereof; or as the very Protestants in France, by the conces­sion of a Popish State, and King, have enjoyed all these four spiri­tual Courts the last fourscore yeers and above; Put these holy and divine Instruments in the hand of the Church of England, by the blessing of God thereupon, the sore and great evil of so many He­resies and Schisms, shall quicly be cured, which now not onely troubles the Peace and welfare, but hazards the very subsi­stance both of Church and Kingdom: without this mean, the State will toile it self in vain about the cure of such spiritual dis­eases.

CHAP. I. The Original and Progresse of the BROWNISTS.

THe greatest without comparison,Satan is the great enemy of the Churches Reformation. and most admi­rable work which the hand of God hath brought to passe upon earth in these later Ages, is, the Reformation of Religion from Antichristian pollution and tyranny: No other could have been expected from the Prince of Darknesse, but extreme opposition to this so high a prejudice to his Kingdom: Incredible is the help which this unclean spirit hath made to An­tichrist his chief servant, for the upholding of his tottering Throne. How many Princes and States hath he stirred up to persecute with Fire and Sword, to the cruellest deaths, the innocent Wit­nesses of the Truth? How many learned Divines hath he be­witched with his Enchantments, to spend their spirits and time in maintaining by Word and Writings the grossest abominations of that Romish Idol?

But the chief Artifice whereby this crafty Serpent hath most impeded the progresse of the Gospel,His chief in­struments al­ways have been professed friends to Re­ligion. and kept the Triple-Crown upon the Popes head, is his powerful working in the midst of the Children of Light: So cunningly hath he insinuated himself into the counsels and actions not onely of the Children of this World, but of the Sons of Sion themselves, that by their hands, more then any other, he hath laid in the way of Christs running Chariot scan­dals insuperable, impediments irremovable, by any humane might, till the Lord from heaven put them out of the way.

The Light of the Gospel broke out so clear, the heat of Zeal,Reformation at the begin­ning did run with an impe­tuous current. the truely heroick and more then humane wisdom and courage of the first Reformers, were so irresistable, that all the power of Papal Princes, and all the learning of their Clergie, were not sufficient [Page 10] obstacles unto the Torrent of their spirit; all these humane Bul­warks were overflowed with the Flood of the Gifts of Gods Spi­rit in his Servants. The whole Kingdoms of England and Scot­land, Denmark and Sweden, Ireland and Navar, were subdued to the Scepter of Christ; much of France and Pole, the most of Germany both above and below, the most of Hungary and Switze were pulled out of the Popes mouth; Italy and Spain were en­tred, and fair beginnings of a gracious day did appear to both.

What was its first stop.But behold, in the midst of our Conquests and Triumphs, while all our enemies without were upon the point of fainting and despair, the Dragon and his angels got entresse in the heads of our friends, and by their hands drew us back from the pursuing of our foes, who were ready to have given over and submitted; but remarking our unexpected halt, and turning from them one upon another, they got a time to breathe, and to gather such strength, that ever since they have been the pursuers; and as long ago they have regained much of their losse, so doubtlesse, had it not been for the invincible strength of our Captain, before this day they had totally ruined us.

To passe a number of stratagems whereby Satan hath diverted Protestants from carrying on their work against the Popish party, I touch but upon two, a double erroneous Principle, whereby he hath infatuated many a thousand of men (otherwise not irrati­onal nor ungracious) and brought divers whole Churches to such perplexities and confusions, that they lie to this day entangled, un­able to disengage themselves of those snares and fetters, that (as all piety and reason do command) they may joyn cordially their whole strength with their Brethren against the common enemy.

The fountain of Protestant D [...]scord.In our flight from Rome, he got some perswaded to stand too soon, before they had past the Territories of the Whore, and the Line of her Communication: Others he wrought to the contra­ry perswasion, he made them run on too long, not onely to the utmost Line of Errour, but also far beyond all the bounds both of Charity and Truth: Hence our greatest Woes, all our Discords and mutual Wounds have sprung from these two Fountains: This is the true original of our diversion from following the enemy, to attend the worst of Wars, our Civil and Domestike Combats.

The unhappy Principle of the Lut [...]eranes.By a very evil advice, Luther and his followers stuck at the la­ter parts of Reformation; they could not down with the whole [Page 11] Body; and in this their sensible infirmity, they became utterly im­patient of all contradiction: That Calvin and his Brethren should go beyond them to cry down a corporal presence of Christ in the bread of the Sacrament, to remove Images from Churches, to put out of the Worship a world of idle Ceremonies, it was to them a matter of high disdain, and a Quarrel, which yet is not dead, but continueth transmitted from the fathers to their chil­dren of this our Generation. Who would not have thought that the rivers and seas of Germane blood which this last Age have run in a good part out of this spring, might have been more then sufficient to have drowned all such Quarrels in a much more im­placable Nation?

On the other hand, Nicholas Stock and Thomas Muncer, And the more unhappy Prin­ciple of the A­nabaptists. with their intemperate zeal, ran themselves so far out of breath, that their followers to this day could never be content to be circum­scribed within the bounds of any moderation: They and their posterity the Anabaptists, under the colour of extreme promoting even to praecipitation, have been the greatest retarders of the work of Reformation; for beside their own falling off, and sepa­rating from all the reformed Party; yea, their cruel invading by Fire and Sword, without any mercy, all their dissenting neigh­bours; their frantick extravagancies became so terrible scandals to the remnant of Papists, that no one thing did so much tie their heart to Rome, and avert them from entertaining any good thoughts of that Religion which to them appeared the root whence so cursed branches had sprung up.

Both those bitter roots were quickly transplanted from Germa­ny to England, Somewhat of both these ways was entertain­ed in England. where hitherto they have brought forth exceeding ill fruits, albeit not altogether so pernicious and plentiful as in that ground where the hand of the envious man at first did sow them.

Cranmer, Ridley, The original of the English Ceremonies and Episcopacy. and some others of the prime Confessors and Martyrs of England, receiving their first light from Wittenberg, and keeping still more correspondence with their acquaintance in higher Germany, then with Calvin, or any of the French Di­vines, did follow the Lutherane Principle, howbeit not in the Do­ctrine wherein M [...]lancthon, Bucer, Martyr, and the rest of Lu­thers best disciples did at that time leave their Master; yet so much in the Discipline, Worship and Ceremonies, as that their great [Page 12] incogitancy hath cost England very dear to this day; for this was the chief spring of all the wofull Divisions which since have rent our bowels of all the grievous persecutions which have undone many, and vexed more of the godly, and banished far from their Countrey some thousands of very precious souls; and at last, by the craft of some Sinons, this became the Trojane horse, to carry in its belly, and let down in the midst of our Citie and Temple, the whole Popery of Rome, and Tyranny of Constantinople, in a way of so deep po­licy and mighty strength, that onely the wisedom of God was able to discover, and when discovered, his Arm alone was strong enough to break that snare.

Whosoever is unwilling to give to God this glory, we must say he is unacquainted with the counsels, and unattentive to the acti­ons both of God and men, which these by-past yeers in this Isle, upon a high Stage, have been acted, albeit sometimes within, and sometimes without the Curtain.

The original of the Separa­tists.The other Root of Anabaptism hath always been sending up to us ungracious fruits, and at this hour is very instrumental to our Woes. When Cartwright, Hildersham, Travers, and many other gracious Divines, by the blessing of God upon their great diligence, had undermined and well-neer overthrown the Episcopal Seas, and all the Cathedral Ceremonies; incontinent the Generation of the Separatists did start up, and put such retardances in the way of that gracious Reformation, as yet remain, and, except by the hand of God, will not be gotten removed.

It is true, the malignancy of the Episcopal party, and emulati­on of the Separatists themselves, would make Cartwright and his friends the old Unconformists, to be the Fathers of that Sect; notwithstanding whoever is acquainted with the Times, or will be at the pains, with any consideration, to confer the Tenents of both Parties, or who will advert the issue and sequele of both ways, cannot but pronounce Cartwright and all his followers the Unconformists, very free from the unhappinesse of procrea­ting this Bastard: That ill-fac'd childe will father it self; the Li­neaments of Anabaptism are clear and distinct in the face of Brownism.

The Doctrine of the Anabaptists, who in great number fled over to England, when for their abomina [...]le and horrible Crimes, by Fire, and Water, and Sword, they were chased out of both the [Page 13] Germanies, is so like, and in many things so much the same with the Doctrine of the Brownists, that the derivation of the one from the other, seems to be very rational.

Nothing more like then that as Morellius did learn from the disciples of Muncer his Ecclesiastike Anarchy,Brownism is a daughter of Anabaptism. whereby he trou­bled the Church of France, till by Beza and Sadael, in the General Assemblies of that Kingdom, he was confounded, and his Anaba­ptistike follies exploded; so that Brown and Bolton did learn in the same School, that very ravery of Morellius, and many other the like, by the which, about the same time, and ever since, they have pitifully vexed the Church of England.

That Brownism is a native branch of Anabaptism, is also evi­denced by the frequent Transition of many from the one to the other. The dissolution of Ice, Snow, or any other vapour into water, argues strongly for their original from that Element. The ordinary running over of Separatists to the Anabaptists, demon­strates clearly enough who were their fathers of old, and who their best beloved Brethren this day.

But passing the Kinred and Pedigree,Bolton, the first known Separa­tist in Eng­land, hanged himself. let us consider the Fa­mily it self, and the persons of greatest note that yet have appeared therein. The first Separatist I read of, was one Bolton, a man by whom his followers can have small credit; for the finger of Gods Justice stirring in his conscience, made the sense of his Errours so grievous to his soul, that not onely he did publikely at Pauls Crosse recant them, but thereafter was so dogged with a desperate Re­morse, that he rested not, till by hanging of himself he had ended his miserable days. The truth of the Story is confessed by themselves: That Bolton was a Minister of an old separate Congregation before Browne: That he did recant his Separation, and hang himself, Robinson ▪ the best Advocate for that party, doth liberally acknow­ledge in his Justification, p. 50 (A)

The horrour of this remarkable Vengeance did not deter Robert Browne, first a Schoolmaster in Southwark, Brown, the se­cond L [...]ader of that way, [...]e­canted his Schism, and to his death was a very scandal­ous person. and then a Preacher at Islington [...]eer London, to take up that banner of Separation, which [...]od▪ as with a Bolt from heaven, had wrung out of the hands of miserable Bolton; albeit that cause did thrive no better with him then with his predecessor.

When this rash young man; for old he could not be in the 1580 yeer of God, when he was the prime Leader of that [Page 14] Sect, having but lately died: when he, I say, had gathered a sepa­rate Congregation, and drawn up for the defence of his Way these Writings, whence ever since the best Arguments for that Schism are drawn; (B) they went over to enjoy their liberty to Middleburgh of Zeland: But behold the wrath of God follow­ing them at the heels; when there was no disturbance from with­out, they fell to such jarring among themselves, that soon they broke all to pieces; the most turned Anabaptists, Brown himself returned to England, recanted his Brownism, received a Parso­nage at the hand of a Bishop: The course of his life, to his deep old age, was so extremely scandalous, that more then ordinary cha­rity is needfull to perswade that ever he was led with a good spi­rit. I have heard it from reverend Ministers, that he was a com­mon beater of his poor old wife, and would not stick to defend publikely this his wicked practice; also, that he was an open pro­faner of the Sabbath; and that his injustice, in not paying the small pittance he was indebted to him whom lazinesse in his Calling made him to keep for the supply of the cure of his Parsonage, did bring him to prison, in the which, for that very cause, he continu­ed till death.

When the wickednesse of this man is objected to Robinson his Scholar, he is so far from denial, that under his hand he testifieth it abundantly. (C)

The humour of Barrow the third Master of this Sect.The third Master of this Sect was Barrow, the most bitter and clamorous Censurer of all the Reformed Churches of any that yet hath put Pen to Paper, chuse whom you will of the most de­spiteful Jesuites: let their Books which are most besprinkled with Gall, be compared with Barrows Discovery, this to my taste is nothing sweeter then the bitterest of them all: And yet there is small reason why with so great arrogance he should have taken in his hand the Censors rod, if all be true of him which his oppo­sites object. However, before he could gather any formed Con­gregation, his invectives against the Faith, Baptism and Laws of England were so excessive, that Queen Elizabeth, impatient of his Contumelies,The strange carriage of Johnson and Ainsworth, the next two Lea­ders of the Brownists. by the evil advice of the cruel Prelates about her, caused him in a morning to be hanged on the Tower-hill.

The fourth Leader of this Way was Master Johnson, who, af­fraid at Barrows execution, got over, with the Church he had ga­thered, to Amsterdam, and there for many yeers was Pastor to [Page 15] the first setled Congregation of Brownists we read of.

This man, with Ainsworth his Doctor, sent out to all the refor­med Churches the Confession of their Faith, in the yeer 1602. But long it was not till it appeared to the world that no better spirit did reign in that company then in the former Societies of this way.

For incontinent three shamefull Schisms one upon the neck of another, broke out among them: First, many of them turned Anabaptists, and were excommunicated. Secondly, Master John­son fell to so great oddes, first with his brother Master George, for small matters, and afterward with his father, that he excommuni­cated them both, and was cursed by both, when he had rejected peremptorily the mediation of the Presbytery of Amsterdam for reconciliation. Thirdly, the remnant of the company, a little after, rent in two, upon needlesle Questions: Master Ainsworth the Doctor with his half, did excommunicate Johnson and his half, who were not long behinde, for they also did quickly excom­municate Ainsworth and all his followers.

Hereupon, the War betwixt these two handfuls of people be­came so sharp, that Amsterdam could not keep them both; for Johnson, with his side of the house, got away to Emden, where, after his death, that little company, as I suppose, dissolved and va­nished. Ainsworths's company, after his death, remained long without all Officers, very like to have dissolved: yet at last, after much strife, they did chuse one Master Cann for their Pastor, but could not agree, til very lately, upon any other Officer, and even yet they live without an Eldership, as they did before without a Pa­stor. The most of these things are the confessions of the party, (D) the rest are notorious, and will not be denied.

The weight and evidence of Gods hand against Johnson and Ainsworth had so far disgraced that Sect,The horrible ways of Smi [...] their sixth Master. that in the opinion of the most no man would ever more look after it: Yet two other Di­vines of very good parts, did set under their shoulders to support it for some longer time; but so, that in the end they did undermine and undo it, though in a contrary way.

Master Smith (a man as I have heard of right eminent parts) falling to that side, and writing against the use of the Lords Pray­er, was convinced in a publike meeting by Master Hildersham, and others, (for the Unconformists alwayes had the one eye no [Page 16] lesse intent upon the Separatists, then the other upon Episcopacy) notwithstanding Master Smith (for all his conviction, and open profession upon his knees of his full satisfaction) did relapse, and by his perswasion, moved a great company to follow him out of England to Ley in Holland.

There he persevered not long in concord with his Elder Bre­thren of the Separation, but quickly accused them all of Idola­try in their worship, for looking upon their Bibles in the time of Preaching, and on their Psalters in the time of singing; (E) and of Antichristianism in their Government, because in their Pres­bytery they joyned to Pastors, other two Officers, Doctours and ruling Elders, which to him were humane inventions.

Neither here did the spirit of errour permit him long to stand: But as in the Preface of his Book of difference from the old Se­paratists, he professeth a resolution of inconstancy: (F) So ac­cordingly he did practise, falling from Brownism to Anabaptism. And as ordinary Brownism, when he was a Brownist, did not please his taste, without his own refinings; so turning Anabaptist, the common sorts of that way did not please him; (though of the Anabaptists there be more kindes then of any other Sect this day extant) yet by none of them all, would his conscience permit him to be Rebaptised; but he needs must Rebaptise himself, and so draw on the just infamy of a Sebaptist (G).

The fearful end of Smith his wandrings.For a recompence of this wantonnesse in erring, behold how the just Lord permitted Satan to lead him, yet one step further: It is not onely a common report, but I have heard it from the gravest and most approved Divines of the Kingdom, That upon his death-bed he became a Preacher of his own perfect righteous­nesse, if not a professed Arrian.

A remarkable vengeance up­on an erring spirit.An example full of horrour which God hath set forth, if men will be so wise as to be disciplined in the persons of others, to bridle the petulant wits of this age, who make it, if not their pastime, yet their exercise and glory to impugn, by their Sophisms, the setled Tenents and practices of all Christians before them. Master Smiths progresse and end ought to circumscribe their luxu­riant spirits within the circle of some moderation, lest all the glory of their new inventions be crown'd with some shameful conclu­sion. When the infamous practices of Master Smith are objected to his party, they have no leaf of excuse wherwith to cover them. (H)

[Page 17]The other supporter of languishing Brownisme, in its dying dayes, was Master Robinson, the most learned, polished, and modest spirit that ever that Sect enjoyed: it had been truely a marvel if such a man had gone on to the end a rigid Separatist.

This man having gone over from England to Leyden, Robinson the last grave and learned Doctor of the Brow­nists, did in the end under­mine his Party. with a separate Congregation, did write for a time very handsome Apo­logies and justifications of that evil way; but, Doctor Ames and Master Parker compassionating the man, and pitying that so ex­cellent parts should be so ill employed, laboured him so by Con­ferences and Letters, that there was great appearance, if his days had continued, he might have proved a happie instrument for the extinguishing and total abolition of that Schism: but God in his wisedom intending some farther use of that great evil, was pleased to take him away in the beginning of his good Work.

He came back indeed the one half of the way; he ruined the rigid Separation, and was the Author of a Semi-separatism, prin­ting in his later times against his former Books, the lawfulnesse of communicating with the Church of England in the Word and Prayer, albeit not in the Sacraments and Discipline: This was a fair Bridge, at least a fair Arch of a Bridge for union; but the man being removed by death before he could perfect what he had begun, his new Doctrine, though it was destructive to his old Sect, yet it became an occasion of a new one not very good.

It was the womb and seed of that lamentable Independency which in Old and New-England hath been the fountain of many evils already, though no more should ensue, as anon shall be declared:Robinson the author of Inde­pendency. Onely here we observe, that the last two best-gifted Leaders of the Brownists, have been the reall Overthrowers of that Way: for ever since the time of their conduct, these of England whose humour carried them out of the bosome of their Mother-Church, have turned either to Smiths Anabaptism, or to Robinsons Semi-separa­ting Independency. These kindes are multiplied exceedingly; but for the old Brownists, their number either at London or Amsterdam, is but very small; and their way is become contemptible not one­ly to all the rest of the world, but to their own children also; even they begin to heap coles of contumelies upon their parents heads, as may be seen in the Elogies which both Master Cotton (I) and the five Apologists are pleased to give them in Print: (K) Yea, so much are these children ashamed of their fathers, that they [Page 18] usually take it for a contumely to be called after their name. No Independent will take it well at any mans hand, to be called a Brownist either in whole, or in the smallest part.

The Testimonies.

(A) Robinsons Justification, p. 50. It is true that Bolton was (though not the first in this way) an Elder of a separate Church in the beginning of Queen Elizabeths days; and falling away from his holy profession, recanted the same at Pauls Crosse, and afterwards hanged himself, as Judas did.

(B) Giffard against the Donatists, about the beginning. Who­soever shall read Brown his Books, and peruse all his Scholars wri­tings, shall see that they have no sharp arrow but which is drawn out of his Quiver.

(C) Robinsons Justif. p. 50. Now touching Brown, it is true, as he forsook the Lord, so the Lord forsook him, else he had never so returned back into Egypt, as he did: And for the wicked things which Master B. affirmeth he did in this way, it may well be as he saith; and the more wicked things he committed in this course, the lesse like he was to continue long in it.

(D) Johnsons Enquiry, p. 63. About Thirteen yeers since, this Church, through persecution in England, was driven to come into these Countreys: A while after, divers of them fell into the Heresies of the Anabaptists; and so persisting, were excommunicated by the rest: Then a while after, many others, yea too many, though not the half, fell into a Schism from the rest; and so many as continued therein, were cast out. Also, Robinsons Justification, p. 51. True it is, that George Johnson, together with his father, taking his part, were excommunicated by the Church for contention arising at the first upon no great occasion; whereupon many bitter and reproachfull terms were uttered both in word and writing. It is to us a just cause of Humiliation all the days of our lives, that we have given, and do give, by our differences, such advantages.

(E) Smiths Differences, p. 4. The reading out of a Book, is no part of Spiritual Worship, but the invention of the Man of Sin. Books and Writings are in the nature of Pictures or Images, and therefore in the nature of Ceremonies, and so by consequent the reading of a Book is Ceremonial: The holy Scriptures are not to be retained [Page 19] as helps before the eyes in the time of Spiritual Worship: It is unlaw­ful to have the Book before the eyes in singing of Psalms. The Pres­bytery of the Church is uniform: the treeformed Presbytery consisting of three kindes, Pastors, Teachers, and Elders, is not Gods Ordi­nance, but Antichristian, and the image of the Beast.

(F) Bernards plain Evidences, p. 19. Smith in his Epistle before his Differences, because he is found so unconstant, to wipe away the shame thereof, and to cut off offence for afterward; he with­out shame professeth to be unconstant, and desireth that ever his last writing should be taken as his present judgement.

(G) Ibid. He hath founded a new Church; he hath, if ye will believe him, recovered the true Baptism, and the true matter and form of a true Church, which now onely is to be found pure among a company of Sebaptists. Master Smith will hold ever this word Se to himself, for going into Brownism; he was a Separatist, he held differing opinions from them; and now that he is in Anabaptism, he is a Sebaptist, he wholly goeth not with that heretical Sect.

(H) Robinsons Justif. p. 53. Master Smith his instability, and wantonnesse of wit, is his sin, and our crosse.

(I) Vide caput tertium O.

(K) Ibidem.

CHAP. II. The Doctrine of the BROWNISTS.

THe peculiar Tenents of the Brownists wherein they differ from other Protestants, are many: Those that occur to my minde from some slight and cursory reading of some of their Books, shall briefly and plainly be set down; but with this pre­monition, That every thing mentioned, be not taken for an Article of Brownism; for it is needful at some times to interlace Tenents which are common to them with others, for the clearing of those which they have peculiar.

Their differences run most upon the Constitution and Govern­ment of the Church: They have also divers Singularities about the Circumstances and Parts of the Service of God; also concer­ning the Magistrate, and Schools, and divers other things. With­out affectation, or curious search of Method, we shall propound matters as they come to hand.

They hold that all Chur­ches in the world but their own, are so polluted, that they must be separate from.Concerning the Constitution of the Church, consider their judgement, first, what they think of others, then what of them­selves. All other Churches they condemn, so far, as to professe and practise a Separation from them. The edge of their Argu­ments, is usually directed against the Church of England alone; but when their Doctrine or Practise is looked upon a little more neer, it appears they shoot their Bolts at all other Churches in the world which refuse their Way.

Their injuri­ous slanders of the Church of England.For the Church of England, they say it ought not to be called a Church; or at best, that it is a false and Antichristian Church, out of the which every one (though not persecuted) must flee, as they would avoid damnation. (A)

Sometimes, in their calm mood, they will give better words, and acknowledge it to be a true Church, That the Doctrine and Sacraments thereof are true,Yet sometimes they say that communion may be kept therewith both in preaching and prayer. That many thousands of its members are gracious and elect people. (B)

But their ordinary language is of another strain, to wit, That the Church of England is a meer Harlot, divorced from Christ, (C) That the Worship thereof is grosse Idolatry, and the Service of [Page 21] the devil, (D) That all the members thereof are unclean beasts, and the limbs of Antichrist, (E) That her best Preachers that preach most for Reformation, are but Pharisees and Deceivers, (F) That the Faith, Grace and Comfort which by their Ministery they seem to bring to the hearts of the hearers, is but meer delusi­on, (G) That their Sacraments are Seals, not of Grace, but of the wrath of God, (H) That all Communion with her, even in the Word and Prayer, is to be forsaken. (I)

The Unconformists did always zealously plead against the Cor­ruptions of that Church, but never against the truth of her being, or the comfort of her Communion: When by the force of per­secution they were driven out, then they did flee: Of their own accord they did never separate, but were ever most glad to live and die in her bosome, willing to partake of her Worship and Sacraments, whenever they were permitted to dissent in Do­ctrine, and to abstain in practice, from those things which they conceived to be corruptions. (K)

Concerning other Reformed Churches,Their like dealing with all the other reformed. though free both of Liturgies and Bishops, and many other of the English stumbling-blocks, notwithstanding all their Reformation, yet they pro­nounce their Worship to be idolatrous, (L) their Government tyrannous and Antichristian, (M) yea, their very Constitution both in matter and form to be so vitious, (N) that with a good con­science they cannot communicate with any of them, (O) that the reformed Presbyteries and Synods are no better then the English Episcopacy; (P) yea, to Episcopacy they are so favourable, that they professe their willingnesse to acknowledge all their Civil Power, and much of their Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction; (Q 1.) that the Presbyterian Divines have ever been as evil as Episcopal; (Q 2.) that the vitious constitution and government of the most reformed Churches in Europe, hath flowed from the ignorance and obstinacy of unhappie Calvin. (R 1.)

We must not be deceived with their pleasant words,Their st [...]ing of [...] Chu [...] [...] when they make fair professions of their hearty agreement in so many things with the other Reformed Churches, and of their willingnesse to communicate with them both in Word and Sacraments. (R 2.) These flatteries are contradictory both to their Doctrine and Pra­ctice; for when they had left England, they were so far from joyning with any of the Reformed, that they ever erected new [Page 22] Churches after their own way, and made it an open and avowed cause of Excommunication for any of their Members to com­municate with the Churches of Holland, among whom they did live; (R 3) also the crimes of the Church of Holland, which they cry out upon, are such which none of the Reformed Divines do condemn. (S)

On the other side, the Nonconformists whom the Episcopal per­secution did banish out of England, were ever well content without erecting of a new Church, to joyn themselves as Mem­bers to any of the forrain Churches, Scottish, Dutch, or French, according as they understood their Language, or had occasion of abode among them.

The matter of a Church they make to be real Saints onely.Thus they do judge of others. As for the form of that Taber­nacle which they professe to build for themselves, thus we may conceive it: The matter or members of that Church, they avow to be Saints; but the Members of other Churches, they pronounce them for the most part to be wicked and flagitious. (T)

Their unrea­sonable strick­nesse in this one point, is the great cause of their Schism.The Nonconformists with all the reformed, are willing to ad­mit of no others to the Lords Table but these who are Saints by calling, in whom they require three qualifications: First, That they have a good measure of knowledge, and professe to beleeve the truth. Secondly, That in their life and conversation, they be without scandal. Thirdly, That they be submissive to the Disci­pline of the Church: But the Brownists presse a fourth qualifi­cation; Were a mans profession never so fair, and his knowledge never so great: In all parts of Doctrine, let him be most Ortho­dox, and in his Conversation most harmlesse, and inoffensive; were he never so willing to joyn in all the Ordinances of God, and to be governed according to the strictest Discipline of Christ; not­withstanding all this, they count him not qualified to be a Church Member, except he declare publikely in the face of the Congregation, such clear and certain signes of his real Sanctifi­cation, and true Regeneration, as gives full satisfaction, not onely to the Minister and Elders, and many of the people, but to all and every one, or at least the major part of the Church. (V)

If any prophane person should be admitted, he should quickly so far pollute the whole Church, that every Member thereof must needs become partaker of his sins; (X) And if upon admoni­tion they did not excommunicate him, they themselves ought [Page 23] to be separated from, as an infected and leprous Society. (Y)

They tell us yet more,The least sin of any Mem­ber of a Church de­fended, is a just cause of Separation. that not onely the profanenesse of one person doth pollute the whole Church, but any one sin or errour of any one Member, though godly and regenerate, if after admoni­tion he continue therein, and be not excommunicate, doth so de­file the whole, that it must be separated from. (Z) To distinguish here betwixt sins greater and lesser, to make some errours Funda­mental, and some preter-Fundamental, it is to them a following of the Papists in their absurd distinction of mortal and venial sins; the least Errour joyned with obstinacie, to them is an He­resie, and a just cause of Separation. (AA)

They acknowledge it is the fancy of the Anabaptists to separate for every fault and errour; but that which alone displeaseth them in this fancy, is a fault whereof the Anabaptists seem not to be guilty, the not advertising of the Church of the fault and errour of the Member they complain of before they separate; If this neglect be helped, the rest of the fancy they seem to approve. (BB)

Thus much for the matter of their Church; the form of it,They place the Form of their Church in an expresse Co­venant. not Accidental, but Essential and Constitutive, they place in an explicite Covenant, (CC) wherein, all and every one of the Members, by a voluntary Association, without the Authority of either Magistrate, or Minister, do binde themselves under a so­lemn Oath to walk in the wayes of the Gospel. (DD.)

When two or three, or some very few,Seven may make a perfect Church, yea, two or three. (for they require no more then seven to a full and perfect Congregation; (EE) and they professe it unlawful to admit any more then can commodi­ously at one time in one place, partake of all the Ordinances.) (FF) If when these few, I say, have departed not onely from the English, and the rest of the Reformed, but also from every Church of their own way, wherein they finde the least errour or sin of any of the Members, whereof they have complained, not to be amended, either by the Repentance or the Excommunicati­on of the party: (GG) The Association of these men,The erecting of a Church requireth, nei­ther the Magi­strates, nor Mi­nisters assist­ance. thus sepa­rate into a Covenant, is the essential form of their Church.

But the association must be so voluntary and free, as not to wait for the countenance of any Authority, either Ecclesiastick, or Civil; to supplicate the Magistrate for his favour in the gather­ing [Page 24] of a new Church, is to them a sin; (HH) and to erect a Church by the help of any Minister, to them is a contradiction: For the Church newly erected, makes the Minister; but no Mini­ster can gather or erect a Church. (II) If a person, who else­where hath been a Minister, become the Author or Instrument of erecting a Church, he is not then a Minister, but a meer private man▪ till the Church so erected by a new call and ordination by themselves, doth make him again a Minister.

They put all Church power in a handful of people, with­out any Pastor.Unto their Church so constituted in matter and form, were their number never so small, before it attain to any Officer, either Pastor, or Doctor, or Elder, they ascribe great power and fair priviledges; not onely the power of Doctrine, but of Ordina­tion, and all Jurisdiction; even a full right to all the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and every priviledge of any visible Church, how perfect so ever. (KK)

The Election, Ordination, Deposition, and Excom­munication of the Minister, belongs to the flock, and to it alone.This their new Church, they will have to elect the Pastor, and all other Officers; if a Pastor should come to them by the pre­sentation of a Patron, or nomination of a Presbytery, however they did not oppose, yea, did consent to his admission, yet if they were not the Electors, and first Nominators, the man should be an intruder and a Woolf, whom they might not lawfully hear. (LL)

The Pastor being chosen, and that out of their own number, usually some Artificer, or Tradesman (for they do not require Let­ters in their Pastors:) and so far in their Elections, they tie them­selves to their own Members, that if any other were found meet and willing to be an Officer among them, he must first enter into their Covenant, and become a Member before he were capable of any Office. (MM) When I say they have elected him a Pastor, the same, and no other then who did elect, do give him Ordina­tion; for the right and exercise of Ordination, (NN) they a­scribe to the people, that is, according to Ainsworth, and others, (if we beleeve Johnson) every Member of the flock, even Women and Children. (OO) But according to Johnsons minde, onely the men of the flock, excluding Women and Children; yet inclu­ding the meanest and most ignorant of all the men who are Com­municants: To these they ascribe the power of Ordination, who in the exercise of it, appoint some of their number, whom they think fittest to ordain the Pastor, that is, to examine him in all the [Page 25] needful qualifications of his life and doctrine, to exhort him to all the parts of his duty, publikely to pray for him, and at last to lay hands upon his head. (PP)

The Pastor so elected and ordained, becomes a servant, not one­ly of Christ, but of that flock from whom he hath (as they speak) originally (QQ) all his power to Preach, or celebrate the Sacraments, or to do any other part of his Office: wherein if he fail, any one of the people hath power to admonish and re­prove him publikely; (RR) and the greater part of the people in any Congregation agreeing (suppose they were four, when the whole makes seven) have full power to depose and Excommuni­cate him (SS); much more have they power to cognosce, and definitively to determine upon the nature of Heresie, Superstition, Errour, or of any crime which procures these censures.

When the major part of the people have cast out the Minister,Every man of the Congrega­tion may Preach and publikely re­buke, not one­ly the Pastor, but the whole flock, yea and s [...]parate from it. and all the Officers, and so many of the flock as adhere to them, no part of their power by this ejection is lost, still they keep their full right to all the Ordinances of Christ; any of them who is thought able, may prophecy, that is, publikely expound the Word, and apply it for instruction, reproof, comfort, and all other uses: (TT) Any of them may pray in the Congregation, any may Or­dain, any may Excommunicate; they give expressely a full power to every one of admonition and rebu [...]e, yea, of censuring so far the whole, that if they refuse to follow the just admonition of any one, he ought to denounce the judgements of God publikely against them all, and separate from them as from an obstinate and cursed society. (VV)

The onely question remains about the Sacraments;Some of them give the power of the Sacra­ments also to pri [...]ate per­sons. all of them agree, that the smallest and weakest Congregation may choose and ordain one of their own number when ever they will, to be Pastor, and so to celebrate the Sacraments to the rest; (XX) [...]ut the most of them say, that unlesse they have appointed a Pastor for that end, none of the rest can lawfully celebrate a Sacrament: (YY) Yet others of them make a Quaere hereof; (ZZ) for say they, since the Church without Officers hath the free exercise of all other power, in Preaching, Prayer, and Censures; why may not the like be said of the Sacraments? These men after their scrupling for some time, as their custome is, come up at last to conclude and practise celebrating Sacraments without any Pasto­rall [Page 26] charge, of Baptism it is certain; for Master Smith professing himself a meer private man, having renounced his former Mini­stry and Baptism also, took upon him to baptise himself; and who lawfully may celebrate the one Sacrament, may as lawfully celebrate the other.

The solemni­zing of mar­riage they give to parents, but divorces they commit to the parties them­selves.When all the power is ascribed by them to their Church, yet peremptorily they deny to it the power to solemnize marriage; (AAA) for marriage to them is not onely a contract meerly civil, but such a one as concerns the Church nothing at all; so they remit it wholly to the Magistrate, or else to the Parents, (BBB) to be solemnized in private Families; and as their mar­riage is private, so likewise must their Divorces, without the cog­nizance either of Magistrate or Minister. (CCC) They were wont to teach that adultery, did so far annul marriage, that it was a sin, and the cause of excommunication for the innocent party to forgive, and cohabit any longer with the party nocent; albeit, they professe their retractation hereof, making it now fr [...]e for the innocent party, either to depart or abide with the nocent, as they finde it expedient, and all this without any legal processe. (DDD)

They make e­very Congre­gation Inde­pendent, and of soveraign Authority.The power which they grant to their smallest Congregations, is very great; but they adde one circumstance to it that makes it high above measure; All the power of their smallest Congrega­tions must be Independent and Soveraign, that is, absolutely Su­preme upon Earth, depending immediately upon Christ; and none else; for they deny all Ecclesiastick Authority above a parti­cular Congregation, which goes beyond a meer advice and coun­cell. (EEE)

So that if the most part of a people in a Congregation should turn Heretical, and extremely wicked, excommunicating their Pastor, their Doctor, their Elders, and whole Consistory, onely for truth and righteousnesse: For all this, no persons on Earth, not an Oecumenick Synod shall have any more power to controle them, then the meanest of their own servants; for to the meanest servant they give power to admonish, reprove, rebuke, and to se­parate from the whole Church, when it is obstinate in any evil, and more power then this they will not give to the greatest, and best Synods, over a Congregation of a very few, sometimes very ignorant and weak persons. (FFF)

[Page 27]They do not deny that Presbyteries and Synods are the Ordi­nances of God, which have many profitable uses;Their Judge­ment of Sy­nods. (G G G) but the Synods they allow of, must have these conditions.

First, They will have them onely occasional and elective, not set or ordinary, but as any Church shall have need to call together whom they think meet for their help and advice, in what matters they think good to propound. (H H H)

Secondly, The Members of their Synod must not be onely Mi­nisters and Elders, and men cloathed with Commissions; but all who please to come without exclusion of any. (III)

Thirdly, All who come, as well People as Officers, must have free liberty, both of debate and voting decisively. (KKK)

Fourthly, Nothing must go by number, or pluralitie of voices. (LLL)

Fifthly, In their Synods there must be no Moderator, no Pro­locutor for the ordering of the Action. (MMM)

Sixthly, They will not be content that any Synod should have the least power of jurisdiction to censure the wickedest Heretike who is infecting all about him far and neer with the vilest Errors. (NNN)

In these their fancies they please themselves so well,Their high conceit of their own way, and injuri­ous, depressing of all others. that they avow the very Crown, Scepter, and Throne of Christs King­dom to consist in them: (OOO) That the Churches so consti­tuted and governed, are nothing lesse then the new Jerusalem coming down from Heaven: (PPP) That all the Reformed Churches for their aberration from this Constitution and Govern­ment, are either no Churches at all,Churches, Bells, Pulpits, Tithes, Glebes, Man­ses, and all set maintenance of Ministers, are unlawful. Not so much as a Church­yard must be kept up for burial, but all must bury in the fields. or but Babylonish and Adulte­rous Churches, or at best, but corrupt Societies from which a Separation is necessary.

In things concerning the Worship, they have crotchets not a few upon the Maxime that all Monuments of Idolatry must be abolished precisely, according to the Laws of the old Testament; they will have all Churches that were builded in the time of Popery, made level with the ground, (QQQ) their Bells to be broken, yea, all Bells to be unlawfull, being Humane and Popish inventions. (RRR)

Not so much as a Church-yard must be kept up for Burial, but all must bury in the fields. (SSS)

What ever of old was dedicated to the maintenance of the [Page 28] Worship of God, they will have it all rejected as an Instrument of Idolatry: But herein they seem to deal scarce fairly with the Law; for howsoever they presse the casting down of the Churches, the breaking of the Bells, the abolishing of the Idols, and all that belonged thereunto; (TTT) yet they do leave to the Magistrate, or to any, who in this are serviceable to their humour, the rich rewards of the Gold, Silver, Brasse, Vestments, Timber, Stone, Lands and Rents, which belonged to these Churches, to be posses­sed by them with a very good Conscience, and without the least scruple of any Sacriledge. (VVV)

However they do maintain, that all the Officers of their Church, not onely Pastors, and Doctors, but every one of their other four sorts of Ministers, Elders, Deacons, Helpers, Widows, (XXX) ought in Conscience, and by Divine right to be (by the Congregations, which they serve) (YYY) provided for; yet they are so far from permitting any of them to enjoy the least portion of the old Rents of the Church, that they avow Parsonages and Viccarages, Glebes, and Manses, to be altogether unlawfull. (ZZZ) That for a Minister to crave any Tithes, or for any man for all that either Laws or Magistrates can command, to pay any Tithes, is a sin which abolishes from Christ. (AAAA)

They drive the abolishing of Church-rents, so high as to make all goods common.They adde further, That all set-maintenance to Church Officers, is against the Gospel; that it is the Will of Christ, that Ministers now be provided for in that same way as himself and his Apostles were of old, onely by the voluntary Contributions and meer alms of the people: They d [...]ive on this point so far, as to come up in termes to the Anabaptist [...] Tenent of making all goods com­mon. (BBBB)

The days of the we [...]k, the moneths, the yeer of God, they will not name.Their hatred of Idolatry is so great, that they professe it unlaw­full, so much as to mention in any civil way, the names of places or times that carry any footstep of any ancient Idoll, Saint An­drew, Saint John, Peter or Pauls Church: Munday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday; January, February, March; those and the like words to them are profane and unlawful (CCCC): The very yeer of God displeaseth them; they will have it called, The yeer of the Saints last patience (DDDD).

No pulpits, no hour-gl [...]sses, no Churches, no Gowns.They will have no Circumstance in the Worship determined, not so much as by custom, much lesse by Law; there must be no limitation of Preaching either to time or place. Pulpits they [Page 29] scorn, they call them Priviledged Tubs (EEEE). They laugh at preaching to an Hour-glasse (FFFF). To preach in a Gown, is to them little better then a Surplice, or a Fryars Coul. That Peni­tents in their publike confession should stand in a peculiar place, or in any habit diverse from ordinary, is to them a matter of mockery (GGGG).All set prayer, even the Lords prayer, and all Psalms in meeter, yea in prose, if used as praises, are unlawful.

As for the parts of the Worship, in all of them they have some one singularity or other: They make all set-prayer, the very Lords Prayer it self used Prayer-wise, not onely to be inconvenient and un­lawful, but to be Idolatry, and the worship of the devil HHHH; howbeit Master Robinson here corrects his companions, and pro­fesseth that set-prayer, in some cases, is very lawful worship IIII.

The singing of Psalms in meeter, not being formal Scripture, but a Paraphrase, to them is unlawful (KKKK); much more the singing of any other songs in the Church, which are not expresse Scripture. They permit to sing Psalms in Prose, not as an act of immediate praise LLLL; for set-Praise would be as idolatrous as set-Prayer; but as a matter of instruction and comfort, whereby God is glorified, as by all other actions, whether natural, moral, or spiritual, which are done in faith.

But herein Master Smith is wiser then his fellows, telling us, That all Songs in the Church out of a Book, whether in Verse or Prose, are Idolatry (MMMM); yet he admits of singing such Psalms as the Spirit dictates to any person immediately without Book (NNNN).

It seems the Brownists at Amsterdam have recanted their error in this point; for all of them sing now in strange tunes the Psalms in meeter, of Ainsworths exceeding harsh Paraphrase.

Preaching of the Word, to them is no Pastoral act,Their opinion of preaching & Sacraments. but is com­mon, not onely to all the Officers, but to every gifted Brother of the Flock (OOOO).

The word Sacrament to them is traditional, corrupt, and not to be used (PPPP).

The Baptism of the English Church they make to be vain, and nul, the seal of no grace, but onely of wrath and condemnation (QQQQ); yet they will not have it repeated.

They teach,Their stra [...]ge way of celebra­ting the Lords Supper. that the Lords Supper should be celebrated every Lords day (RRRR): So preparation-Sermons before, and Sermons for Thanksgiving after the Lords Table, to them are needlesse. They [Page 30] will have all to sit at the Lords Table with their Hats on: unco­vering of the head in the act of receiving, to them is Idolatry (SSSS). In this the present practice at Amsterdam contradicts their Doctrine; for however they sit covered in time of all the reading and discourse; yet when it comes to the participation of the elements, every man, during the time of his eating and drink­ing, sits uncovered.

They reject catechisms, the Apostles Creed, and all reading of Scripture with­out exposition.They count it lawful to joyn with the Lords Table Love-feasts (TTTT).

They reject all Catechisms, being set, and so unlawful forms of instruction (Ʋ Ʋ Ʋ Ʋ). After a member is once received amongst them, they enquire no more for his knowledge, having once got­ten satisfaction, at his admission to Membership, of his sufficient knowledge.

The Apostles Creed they detest, as an old Patchery of evil stuff (XXXX): Christs descent into hell, they count a blasphemous Article (YYYY).

They reject all publike reading of the Word which is not back­ed with present Exposition (ZZZZ): They do not any way scruple the Office of Readers and Expounders; for they give full liberty of publike and ordinary Preaching to any gifted man of the Flock, though he have no Office.

After preach­ing, they pro­phesie.When the exercise of Reading, Expounding, Singing of Psalms, Praying and Preaching by the Pastor, is ended, they will have one, two, three, or four, to prophesie in order AAAAA; and all to have a free liberty of continuing so long as they think meet.

Then comes the conference.After all this is done, they have yet another exercise, wherein, by way of conference, questioning and dispu [...]ation, every one of the Congregation may propound publikely, and presse their Scruples, Doubts and Objections against any thing which that day they have heard BBBBB.

And, as if all these Exercises were not enough to tire out a spirit of Iron, the most of them being repeated again in the after­noon, for a conclusion of all, they bring in the laborious and long work of their Discipline, for which the whole Flock must stay till they have heard, debated and discerned every cause that concerns either the Officers,Brown for li­berty of con­science. or any of the people, whether in Do­ctrine or Manners CCCCC.

Concerning the Magistrate, Master Brown teacheth, that he hath [Page 31] no right to meddle at all with any matter of Religion, but to per­mit the liberty and free choice of Religion to the conscience of every one of his Subjects DDDDD. The most of Browns fol­lowers do leave in this their Master,His followers against it making it a great part of the Christian Magistrates Office to suppresse, within their own Bounds, Idolatry and False doctrine EEEEE; To compel all their Subjects, if they will not be perswaded, to hear the Word preached, albeit no way to enter themselves members of any Church, or to hinder any to enter in any Church they will, or to erect new Churches of their own framing FFFFF. Further, if the Magistrate be a member of any Church, they will have him,Their carriage towards the Magistrate. were he the King himself, to be so far subject to their Church-Cen­sures, that a little small Congregation shall have power, upon his obstinacy in any sin or errour, to excommunicate him, and that without all delay, without any respect to his Crown, more then if he were the poorest servant of the whole Flock GGGGG; and, which is worst of all, the Prince his Excommunication by the hands of so small & weak a company, must be without all possible relief; for he hath no liberty of appeal to any upon earth HHHHH; an oecumenike Councel may not assay to loose the knot of that Censure which the hand of the Congregation hath tied.

But their great Tenent about the Magistracie, is this,They spoil Kings and Par­liaments of their Legisla­tive power. That no Prince nor State on the earth hath any Legislative power; That neither King nor Parliament can make any Law in any thing that concerns either Church or State; That God alone is the Law-giver; That the greatest Magistrate hath no other power, but to execute the Laws of God set down in Scripture IIIII; That the Judicial Law of Moses bindes at this day all the Nations of the world, as well as ever it did the Jews KKKKK: They tell us that whatever God in Scripture hath left free, it may not be bound by any humane Law, whether Civil or Ecclesiastike; and what God hath bound by any Law in Scripture, they will not have it loosed by the hand of any man.

They lay it upon the Magistrate to punish by death,They obliege the Magistrate to kill all Ido­laters. without any dispensation, every Adulterer, every Blasphemer, every Sabbath-breaker, and above all, every Idolater LLLLL. And here is the great danger, that by Idolaters they will have understood, not onely Pagans and Papists, but the far greatest part of all Prote­stants, all absolutely who are not of their way; for, the using of a [Page 32] set Prayer,But to sp [...]re all theeves. were it the Lords own Prayer, to them is clear Idola­try MMMMM 1. For all this, they will not permit any Ma­gistrate to hang any th [...]ef at all MMMMM 2.

They wil have the Universi­ties destroyed.Against the learning of the Times, they make large Invectives; the Universities, and all the Colledges in them, they will have ra­zed to the ground; they professe them to be worse then the Mona­steries that justly were abolished NNNNN: whatever Arts and Sciences are taught in the Christian Schools, they count them idle and vain: Grammar, Rhetorick, Logick, Philosophy, are all un­lawful Arts OOOOO. Secular authors and learning must be abo­lished.

The Heathen Writers which are used in any Faculty, such as Aristotle, Plato, Cicero, and the like, they would have them all burnt, as the Authors of unlawful Arts. They reject all School-Degrees, such as Batchelors, Masters of Art, Doctors of any facul­ty PPPPP. They wil have no Students of Divinity QQQQQ. They tell us that youths mis-spend their time, and exceedingly abuse themselves,Preachers must studie no book but the Scri­ptures. by studying of those things which usually are recommended unto them as preparations for the Ministery, whe­ther Common places, Commentaries upon Scripture, or Prote­stant writers of Controversies; all such Books they will have laid aside RRRRR; yea, it is their advice to reject all Books but the Bible alone SSSSS. As for Divinity-Disputations, they make large Invectives against them, as Paganish and very sinful Exer­cises TTTTT; notwithstanding all this, they proclaim them­selves great Patrons of all true Learning Ʋ Ʋ Ʋ Ʋ Ʋ; albeit, as yet they have not been pleased to let the world know what kinde of Letters and Books they will be pleased with, when all that hi­therto have been known, are laid aside by their perswasion.

The Testimonies.

A. Barrows Discovery, p. 26. In this estate, what communion is to be held with the Church of England? What fellowship may the children of God have with such Rebels and Apostates? Can the name of a Church, without blasphemy unto Christ, be given unto them in these sins? They then not being under Christs, protection, nor in the state of Grace, while they continue in their sin, I have often wondred how any man of sound judgement could give them the name of a Church.

[Page 33] Ibidem, in the Preface. Let the rest no longer tempt God, or be held under the dint of this dreadful Milstone, by any perswasion; but let them save their souls out of this accursed false Church, and joyn themselves to the faithful servants of Christ with all speed.

The Confession, Art. 31. These Assemblies standing thus in con­fusion, cannot be said truely to have Christ their King, Priest and Pro­phet, neither in this estate can be esteemed the true, visible, orderly, constitute Church of Christ, whereof the faithful may become or stand members, or have any spiritual Communion with them in their spiri­tual Worship and Administrations: Therefore are all that would be saved bound by Gods Commandment with speed to come forth out of this Antichristian estate, leaving the suppression of it to the Magi­strate, to whom it belongs.

A light for the ignorant, p. 8, 9. This Whorish Citie hath a Body of false Prophets; whosoever heareth these, or any of these, breaks the first Commandment; for in hearing and obeying these, they hear and obey the Dragon, Beast and Whore that sent them, and gave them their Authority and Office; they use some Divine Truths, to help to set a glosse on their Inventions; but both divine and invented are con­secrated and dedicated by the Beast, and administred by his Office.

(B) Robinsons Apologie, pag. 78. Convenit nobis quatenus reformatis Ecclesiis Belgicis & aliis cum Ecclesia Anglicana in Articulis fidei hujus Ecclesiae nomine scriptis; idem in his Book of the lawfulnesse of the hearing of the Ministers of the Church of England.

Barrows Refutation of Giffard, p. 21. We never doubted but the foundation of God stood firm, the Lord having many thousands of his elect among you known to himself. Idem, in his Discovery, p. 119. The errours and fauls of Baptism being purged by Repen­tance, it pleases God, in pardoning the faults, to reserve, and not to have repeated the outward action. Their Apologie, p. 93. We gladly embrace the common faith professed in this Land, as most holy and sound: We have a reverend estimation of sundry, and good hope of many hundred thousands in the Land. Their Confession, p. 8. We testifie by these presents to all men, That we have not forsaken any one point of the true, ancient, Apostolike Faith professed in our Land, but hold the same grounds of Christian Religion with them.

(C) Barrows Discovery, p. 26 There is no cause to doubt but any of Gods servants may avoid that Congregation which rejecteth Gods [Page 34] Word presumptuously, as a wicked Assembly, and an adulterous Church▪ Ibid. p. 29. I deny these assemblies to be true Churches of Christ, seeing they have broken the Covenant, and cast off the Yoke of Christ.

(D) Barrows Refutation, p 33. We further conclude from the second Commandment, That whatsoever Worship is devised by man, and whatsoever device of man is put in the Worship of God, it is Ido­latry: But a great part, if not the whole Worship of God in your Church, is devised by man. If God be not worshipped with this kinde of Worship: Then, to speak as the Prophets and Apostles do, the devil is worshipped thereby.

(E) Apologie, p. 54. None can submit unto, or have any spi­ritual Communion with the Hierarchie aforesaid, but they worship the Beast and his Image, and so make themselves subject to the wrath of God. Barrows Discovery, p. 180. Here would not be forgotten the sweet Psalmodical harmony of the Vultures, Cranes, Owls, Geese; of the Leopards, Boars, Wolves, Dogs, Swine, Foxes, Goats. Por­don me; for thus the holy Ghost termeth the profane confused multi­tudes in false Churches.

(F) Barrows Discovery, p. 52. Disguised Hypocrites, raven­ing Wolves, that come to us in sheeps clothing, under the glorious ti­tles of Pastors and Teachers, Ministers of the Gospel, men of great Learning, holy Life, sighers for Reformation; these Pharisees, these Sectaries are they that mislead the people in their crooked paths of death. Ibid. p 112. No middle course can here be taken; we must either make the Tree good or evil; These Ministers of the Church of England are true or false: if false, then deliver they no true Sacra­ments; then is all their Administration, Sacraments and Sermons accursed, how holy soever or neer the Truth in outward shew; then are they the Ministers of Satan, of Antichrist, sent by God in his wrath to deceive and destroy such as are ordained to death; then ought not the Prince to repair to their Sermons for comfort; then is all the comfort she taketh there, but delusion, even the deceit of Satan; then are they seducers who perswade her to go to them, as whereby they draw her to the wrath of God, and imminent danger and inevitable destru­ction, except she forsake them.

(G) Vide f. also Barrows Discovery, p. 154. The comfort re­ceived from their Preaching, their whole Ministery being accursed, is a fearful signe of the effectual working of their delusions: From their [Page 35] Ministery in this estate, no comfort is to be looked for, but assured de­struction; they being of God in his wrath sent to deceive the children of death, the Reprobates.

(H) Barrows Discovery, p. 29. I deny their Sacraments to be the Ordinances of God, seeing to them, in this estate, belong not the Sacraments and Ministery of Christ, but the curse and judgement of God. Ibid. p. 31. Such Sacraments can no ways be called the Or­dinances of Christ, but rather sure Seals of his wrath to as many as profane his holy Ordinances, and joyn together in that ungodly and ac­cursed action, until they repent.

(I) Vide f. also Barrows Dis. p. 43. There can be no greater allowance of joyning to them, then to make them our mouth or Mini­sters unto God, or together with such to joyn in any action concerning the Worship of God.

(K) See Master Balls Confutation of the Brownists.

(L) Barr. Dis. p. 66. This Book being a publike prescript Li­turgie, were it the best that ever was devised by mortal man; yet being brought into the Church, yea into any private house, would be an abominable sacrifice in the sight of God, even as a dead dog. Truely I am ashamed to write of so grosse and filthy abominations so generally received, even of all States of these parts of the world, who of a Po­pish Custom and Tradition have received it one of another, without any warrant from the Word. Ibid. p. 75. Other more smoothe hypo­crites, yet as grosse idolaters, use the Lords Prayer as a close of their own.

(M) Canns Necessity of Separation, p. 66. It is all one, whe­ther turning on the left hand we embrace the Idolatry of Bishops, or turning on the other hand we follow the new devices of mens foolish brains; for utter destruction certainly follows both.

(N) Robinsons Apologie, p. 89. Quae nos ad Separationem solicitant, ipsam Ecclesiae materialem & formalem constitutionem ejusdemque politeiae administrationem essentialem spectant.

(O) Johns. Enquiry, p. 25. Seeing by the mercy of God we have seen and forsaken the corruptions which remain in the French and Dutch Churches, we cannot partake with them in such case, with­out apostacie from the Truth.

(P) Johns. Plea, p. 231. Every particular Church, with their Pastors, stand immediately under Christ the Arch-Pastor, without any other strange Ecclesiastical power intervening, whether it be of [Page 36] Prelates, or other unlawful usurping Synods, or of any such like, invented by man, and brought into the Church. Barrows Dis. p. 261. If we would but lightly examine these secret Classes, these or­dinary set Synods which the Reformists would openly set up, they shall, no doubt, be found as new, strange, Antichristian, and prejudicial to the Rights of the Church, as contrary to the Gospel of Christ as the other, what shew soever of former antiquity or present necessity they can pretend. Idem Refut. of Giff [...]rd, p. 137. These are the anti­ent Sects of the Pharisees and Sadduces, the one in precisenesse, out­ward shew of holinesse, hypocrisie, vain-glory, and covetousnesse, re­sembling, or rather exceeding the Pharisees; the other, in their whole Religion, and dissolute conversation, like to the Sadduces, looking for no Resurrection, Judgement, or life to come; the one removing from place to place for their advantage and best entertainment, in the errour of Ba'aam, for wages, seduce and distract the people of the Lord from their own Churches and Pastors. Sions Royal Prerogative, in the Preface. Whereas the Papists place the power of Christ given to the Church, in the Pope, the Protestants in the Bishops, the Reformed Churches, as they are called, in the Presbytery: Neither of them hath right in this thing, but contrarywise Christ hath given the said power of his to all his Saints, and placed it in the Body of every particular Congregation.

(Q 1.) Robinsons Apol. p 83. Personas Episcoporum vel au­toritatem qua potiuntur civilem in rebus vel civilibus vel etiam Ecclesiasticis non aversamur.

(Q 2.) Vide supra F.

(R 1.) Bar. Dis. p. 33. Such like detestable stuff hath Master Calvin in his ignorance brought to defend his own rash and disorderly proceedings at Geneva, whiles he at the first dash made no scruple to receive the whole State into the bosome of the Church: yea, that which is worse, and more to be lamented, it became a miserable prece­dent and pernicious example to all Europe, to fall in the like transgres­sion, as in the confused estate of all those Regions where the Gospel is thus orderly taught, is more then plain.

(R 2.) Robins. Apol. p. 7. Profitemur coram Deo & homini­bus adeo nobis convenire cum Ecclesus reformatis Belgicis in re Religionis, ut omnibus & singulis earundem Ecclesiarum fidei Ar­ticulis prout habentur in harmonia Confessionum fidei, paratisimus subscribere. Ibid. p. 11. Ecclesias reformatas pro veris & [Page 37] genuinis habemus, cum iisdem in sacris Dei Communionem pro­fitemur, & quantum in nobis est colimus; conciones publicas ab illarum pastoribus habitas ex nostris qui norunt Linguam Belgi­cam frequentant; Sacram coenam earum membris si qua forte nostris coetibus intersint nobis cognita, participamus: Malis illa­rum serio ingemiscimus. Apol. for the Brownists, pag. 35. We are willing and ready to subscribe those Grounds of Religion published in the Confession of Faith made by the Church of Scotland, hoping in the unity of the same Faith to be saved by Jesus Christ, being also like minded in points of greatest moment with all other Reformed Churches; and on the contrary, for Anabaptists, Familists, and all other Heretikes, new, and old, we utterly reject them, and all their Errours and Heresies. Johns. plea. p. 245. I acknowledge the Re­formed Churches to be the true Churches of Christ, with whom I a­gree, both in the Faith of Christ, and in many things concerning the Order and Government of the Church.

(R 3.) Johns. Inquiry, p. 57. Having declined to divers Errors of the Dutch, the Church did excommunicate him, and so still he remains. Ibid. p. 59. Yet it is false that we have excommunicate any for the hearing onely the Word preached among the Dutch or French; for these that yet we have cast out here, it hath been partly for revolting from the truth which they professed with us, to the corruptions of those Churches, and partly for other sins. (S) The Confession, p. 26. The state of the Dutch Church at Amsterdam is so confused, that the whole Church can never come together in one; they read out of a Book cer­tain Prayers invented and imposed by man; the command of Christ Matth. 18. they neither observe, nor suffer to be observed rightly; they worship God in the Idoll-Temples of Antichrist, their Ministers have their set maintenance, their Elders change yeerly, they celebrate marriage in the Church, they use a new censure of Suspension.

(T) Robins. apol. p. 81. Ecclesiae Anglicanae constitutio mate­rialis est ex hominum flagitiosorum colluvie, paucis si cum reli­quis piis admistis conferantur.

(V) Canns necessity, p. 167. He is to come himself into the pub­like Assembly, all looking on him with love and joy, as one that comes to be married, and there he is to make publike Confession of his Faith, to answer divers questions; being found worthy by the consent of the whole, he is to be taken into the Communion.

(X) Bar. dis. p. 34. I have shewed, that the known and suffered [Page 38] sin of any Member, is contagious to all that communicate with them in that estate, and maketh them which communicate in Prayers or Sacraments with such an obstinate offender, as guilty in Gods sight as he himself is.

(Y) Bar. dis. p. 34. I have shewed that the whole Church hath no power to dispence with the breach of the least Commandment, and that such obstinate sin in the whole Church breaketh the Covenant with God, and maketh it cease to be a Church, or in Gods favour, till it repent.

(Z) Vide supra. X, Y.

(AA) Bar. dis. p. 157. They make this part of Gods Word sub­stantial, that of Form; this Fundamental, that Accidental; this necessary to Salvation, that needlesse; but if the whole Word of God be holy▪ pure, and true, then is this deep learning of theirs, devillish and blasphemous. Ibid. They thus to colour their wickednesse, make some part of Gods Word Fundamental, Substantial, necessary; other Ac­cidental, Superficial, needlesse, which makes some sins openly and mani­festly convinced, yet obstinately persisted in without any repentance in this life, not to be mortal as the Papists do.

Barrows refut. p. 24. We have learned to put difference betwixt Errour and Heresie. Obstinacy joyned to Errour after it is duely con­vinced, maketh Heresie: And further we say, that any Errour being obstinately holden and taught, after it is duely convinced and reproved, maketh an Heretike; and Heresie in that party, and in that Congre­gation that so holdeth and teacheth, doth separate from the Faith and Communion of Christ. Ibid. p. 27. It is his Scholastical, or rather Sophistical distinction of Errours Fundamental, &c. They who ob­stinately hold any Errour or Transgression, and will not by repentance be purged, there from lose Christ, and so hold not the Foundation.

(BB) Bar. dis. p. 33. Such like detestable stuff hath Master Calvin in his ignorance, partly to confute that damnable sect of Ana­baptists, which fantastically dream to themselves of a Church in this life without spot, and for every Transgression that ariseth, are ready to forsake the fellowship of the Church, without due and orderly re­proof.

(CC) Rob. Apol. p. 81. Formalis ecclesiae constitutio est ex fidei & resipiscentiae confessione orali per adultos facta consociatio in particulares coetus.

(DD) Confession of faith, p. 34. Being come forth of this Antichristi­an [Page 39] estate, to the true profession of Christ, beside the instructing of their own Families, they are willingly to come together in Christian com­munion, and orderly to Covenant and unite themselves in visible Congregations. A light for the ignorant. p. 12. This voluntary uni­ting, is the form and being of the politick and visible Ʋnion and Communion.

(EE) Robins. Just. p. 107. This we hold and affirm, that a company consisting, though but of two or three gathered by a covenant made to walk in all the ways of God, known unto them, is a Church, and so hath the whole power of Christ. Ibid. p. 111. Two or three thus gathered together, have the same right with two or three thousand; neither the smallnesse of the number, nor meanesse of the persons can prejudice their rights.

(FF) Johns. plea. p. 250. The constitution of every particular Church should be such that each of them may ordinarily come toge­ther in one place for the worship of God and all other duties belong­ing to them, by the Word of God. Rob. Apol. p. 12. Statu [...]mus non debere ecclesias particulares ambitu suo plura membra complecti quam quae in unum locum simul coire possunt.

(GG) Vide supra. X, Y.

(HH) Bar. dis. p. 190. They suite to bring Christ in by the Arm of Flesh, by suiting and supplicating to his vassals and servants▪ If so be they can imagine them Christians, that will not suffer Christ to reign over them by his Laws and Ordinances. If they judge them no Christians, then they suite and stay on his enemies, till they will suffer Christ to reign and rule over his own Church.

(II) Confession. p. 34. Beside the instruction of their Families, they are willingly to come together, and unite themselves in visible Congregations: Then such to whom God hath given gifts to interpret the Scriptures, may, and ought by the appointment of the Congrega­tion, to prophecy, and so to teach publikely the Word of God, untill such time as God manifest men with able gifts to such Offices as Christ hath appointed for the publike Ministery of the Church, but no Sa­crament to be administred untill the Pastors or Teachers be chosen, and ordained to their Office.

(KK) Barr. dis. pag. 34. Which people thus gathered are to be esteemed an holy Church, and hath power to receive into and cast out of their fellowship, although they have attained to have yet among them neither a Ministery nor Sacraments, providing it be not by any [Page 40] default in them that they be wanting. Ibid. It is manifest, that all the Members of the Church have alike interest in Christ, in his Word, in the Faith; That all the affairs of the Church belong to the Body together; That all the actions of the Church, Prayers, Sacraments, Censures, Faith, be the action of them all joyntly, and of every one severally, although the Body to divers actions uses divers Members which it knows most fit for the same; all the charged to watch, ad­monish, reprove, and hereunto have the power of the Lord, the Keyes of the Kingdom, even the Word of the most High, whereby to binde the Rulers in chains, and their Nobles in fetters, to admonish the greatest, even Archippus, to look to his Ministery, and if need be, to plead with their Mother.

(LL) Canns Necessity of Sep p. 29. None may hear, or joyn in spiritual Communion with that Ministery which hath not a true Vocation and Calling, by Election, Approbation, and Ordination of that faithful People whereto he is a Minister. Ibid. p. 46. So neces­sary is a right election, and calling, to every Ecclesiastike Office; that without the same, it cannot possibly be true or lawful. Barr. Refut. p. 30. The Minister must not onely be called to a true Office, but must have a lawful calling to that Office; otherwise he is but an in­truder, a theef, and a murderer: Every particular Congregation ought to make choice of their own Pastors.

(MM) A Light for, p. 17. In the false Church, the particular Congregations have no Authority to produce or raise Officers out of themselves; for the Clergy is a distinct Body, and sent by their Ec­clesiastical Heads, and bring their Office and Authority with them.

(NN) Bar. Refut. p. 19. This power of Ordination is not as the unruly Clergy of these dayes suppose, derived from the Apostles and Evangelists, under the permanent ministery of Pastors and Elders. Ibid. p. 130. Ordination is but a publishing of that former contract and agreement, betwixt the whole Church and these elected Officers, the Church giving, and the Elect receiving their Offices, as by the Commandment of God, with mutual vow to each other in all duties. Canns Necessity of Separ. p. 29. None may joyn with that Ministery which hath not a true calling, by Election and Ordination of that faithful people to whom he is to administer.

(OO) Johns. Plea. p. 316. It is to be understood according to Ainsworth, Robinson, and Smith, of men, women, and children, in [Page 41] their own persons, who are bo [...]d in their own persons to be present, to hear and judge controversies.

(PP) Rob. Justifi. p. 9. also p. 111.

(QQ) Light for the ignorant, p. 17. These Officers have not onely their Authority from particular Congregations, but do arise originally and naturally out of the same.

(RR) Vide supra. KK. Also Bar. Dis▪ p. 125. The least of the Church hath as much power by the Word of God, to binde the Sin of the Pastor; and upon his Repentance, to pronounce comfort and peace to him, as he hath to binde or loose the sins of the least.

(SS) Confess. p. 23. As every Congregation hath power to elect and ordain their own Ministery, so also have they power, when any such default in Life, Doctrine, or Administration breaks out, as by the rule of the Word deprives them of their Ministery, by due order to depose them; yea, if the case so require, if they remain obstinate, orderly to cut them off by Excommunication.

Canns Necessity, p. 155. If they shall sin scandalously, the Con­gregation that chose them freely, hath free power to depose them, and put another in their room.

(TT) Johns. Inquir. p. 7. We have in our Church the use of the exercise of Prophecy spoken of, 1 Cor. 14. In which, some of the Brethren, such as for Gifts are best able, though not in Office of the Ministery, deliver from some portion of Scripture, Doctrine, Ex­hortation, Comfort; sometimes two at a time, sometimes more.

(VV) Bar. Disc. p. 26. Their is no cause to doubt but any of Gods servants may censure, judge, and avoid that Congregation which rejecteth Gods Word, breaketh Gods Law, despiseth his Reproof and Mercy, as a wicked Assembly, and an Adulterous Church. Ibid. p. 38. Who can deny but that every particular Member hath power, yea and ought to examine the manner of administrating the Sacraments; as also, the Estate, Disorder, and Transgressions of the whole Church, and to call them all to Repentance; and if he finde them obstinate in their Sin, rather to leave their Fellowship, then to partake with them in wickednesse?

(XX) Vide supra. MM.

(YY) Vide supra. ll.

(ZZ) Smiths Differences, p. 56. It may be a question whe­ther the Church may not administer the Sacraments before there be any Officers among them.

[Page 42] (AAA) Bar. Disc. p. 121. I have alwayes found it the Parents office to provide marriage for their children; and that the parties them­selves should affiance and betroath one another in the fear of God, and in the presence of such witnesses as are present; and that in their Pa­rents or other private houses, without turning to the Church or to the Priest.

Confess. pag. 45. The Dutch Church at Amsterdam celebrates marriage in the Church, as if it were a part of the Ecclesiastick Ad­ministration, while as it is in the nature of it meerly Civil.

(BBB) Vide supra AAA.

(CCC) Vide supra AAA.

(DDD) Johns. Inqui. p. 33. These of our Members that you censure, they avow that they accused themselves of adultery, not for that end to be quit of their wives, but being perswaded in their minde that they ought not to continue with their wives, having by their adultery broken the bond of marriage. Ibid. This indeed we held the most of us heretofore, and some of us are so perswaded still; and while we were generally so minded, we thought it our duty to walk according­ly (he means to excommunicate even the innocent party who was pleased to dwel with her Husband after he had sinned) taking the in­nocent party that retained such offenders, though upon repentance, yet to be defiled and live in sin.

(EEE) Johns. Plea, p. 231. Every particular Church with the Pastor, doth stand immediately under Jesus Christ the Arch-Pastor, without any other strange Ecclesiastical power intervening, &c.

Vide supra P. Also Robinsons Apol. p. 17. Non magis erat Petrus & Paulus homo integer & perfectus ex partibus suis essen­tialibus & integralibus constans, sine relatione ad alios homines, quàm est [...]oetus particularis recte institutus & ordinatus tota in­tegra & perfecta ecclesia, ex suis partibus constans immediate & independenter quòad alias ecclesias sub solo Christo; non itaque movendi sub humanae prudentiae, antiquitatis, unitatis, aut alio ullo colore ecclesiae visibilis seu Ministerialis termini antiqui quos posuerunt Apostoli.

(FFF) Canns guide to Sion, about the midst. It is sure that Christ hath not subjected any Congregation of his to any superiour Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction then to that which is within it self; So that if the whole Church shall erre in a matter of Faith or Religion, no other Church or Church-Officer hath any warrant from the Word of God, or [Page 43] power to censure, punish, or controle the same, but are onely to advise them, and so to leave their souls to the immediate judgement of Christ.

Robins. Apol. p. 18. Licet imò incumbit Pastori unjus eccle­siae ut & reliquis membris quod donum accepit sive spirituale sive temporale prout datur occasio, id aliis ecclesiis & earum membris impertiri, ex charitatis vinculo quo illis adunatur, non autem exequi in iis munus publicum ex authoritatis prerogativa quam in suos solos habet.

(GGG) Johns. Plea, pag. 251. To this end, and in this manner may be had a profitable use of Synods, Classes, and Assemblies for mutual help and advice in cases of question, controversie, and difficulty about Religion, so that they do not challenge or usurpe any unlawful ju­risdiction or power over the particular Churches, and their Governours.

(HHH) Bar. Disc. p. 261. These secret Classes, these ordinary set Synods which the Reformists would set up.

(III) Bar. Refut. p. 81. In a Christian Synod no Christian ought to be shut out, but all have equal power to speak, assent or dissent, without disturbing the Order of the Holy Church, by presuming to speak before the Ancients, or against any thing said by them without just cause; who so doth, is reproved of all, judged of all as a disturber.

(KKK) Vide supra. III.

(LLL) Bar. Disc. p. 261. In their Synods the matters being de­bated, the greatest part prevaileth, and carrieth the judgement.

Ibid. p. 78. This balloting by suffrage or pluralty of voices, might well be a custom among the Heathen in their popular Govern­ment, but it is unheard of, and unsufferable in the Church of Christ.

(MMM) Ibid. p. 261. The order and manner of these Counsel [...] ▪ is, first to chuse a Prolocutor, Moderator, or Judge to govern, and or­der the action, who, and when they shall speak, and when cease.

Ibid. p. 191. Not here to speak of their solemn Order observed in these Counsels and Synods, as their choice by suffrages among themselves of their Archisynagogos or Rectorchori, their President as they call him.

(NNN) Vide supra. FFF.

(OOO) Bar. Disc. p. 38. Every Member of his Church is to pronounce upon them the judgements that are written, and to throw upon them the Stone of his judgement and consent: Therefore hath the Lord raised up the Thrones of David in his Church, and set his Saints in seats round about his Throne. A Light for the Ignorant, pag. 10. The true power which Christ our King hath received of [Page 44] the Father, and communicated to his Saints; and these onely is that do­minion which the Ancient of days hath given to his Saints, Dan. 7.19.

(PPP) Johns. Plea. p. 321. The Lord hath promised to raise up his Church again to the former integrity, and to set up the new and heavenly Jerusalem in the Ancient beauty thereof.

(QQQ) Bar. Disc. p. 139. Their Churches stand in their old Idolatrous shapes, and can never be purged till they be laid on heaps as their youngest Sisters, the Abbacies were.

Confess. p. 39. It is the Office of the Magistrate to destroy all Idol-Temples: The Dutch Church of Amsterdam worships God in the Idol-Temples of Antichrist.

(RRR) Bar. Dis. p. 133. Some of their old Relicts are yet in use, as their Bells, Surplices, &c. We may resolutely detest all such as abominable Idols, such as by the Law of God are devoted to utter destruction; the very Gold of them, Deut. 7. is to be destroyed; in such detestation ought Idolatry to be. God hath such Idol places, and all their furniture in detestation, so that he hath commanded the Ma­gistrate to raze and deface them; so that, neither they can be used to the worship of God, nor we have any civil use of them, seeing they are execrable and devoted to destruction; if the most precious matters be forbidden, how much more the baser Iron, Brasse, &c.

Canns Necessity, p. 122. He that ordained first Bells, was Sa­binian the Pope, in the yeer 603. Whatsoever cometh from Antichrist, cometh from the devil and out of the bottomlesse Pit.

(SSS) Bar. Refut. p. 38. Where learned you to buried in hal­lowed Churches and Church-yards, as though ye had no Fields to bury in. Idem. Disc. p. 126. Me thinks the Church-yards of all other places should be not the convenientest for burial; it was a thing never used till Popery began: It is neither comely, convenient, nor wholesom [...].

(TTT) Confess. p. 39. It is the Office of the Magistrate to de­stroy all Idol-Temples, and to convert to their civil Ʋses not onely the benefit of all such Idolatrous buildings and monuments, but also all the Revenues, Possessions, Glebes and Maintenance of any false Mi­nistry within their own Dominions.

(VVV) Vide supra, TTT, also Bar. Disc. p. 61. Being given to the maintenance of a Popish Ministry, they ought to be put to civil Ʋses, and not to the maintenance of Christs Ministry.

(XXX) Confess. p. 19. Christ having instituted and ratified to continue to the worlds end, the Ministery of Pastors, Teachers, Elders, [Page 45] Deacons, Helpers for Instruction and Government of his Church.

YYY. Johns. Plea, 316. Whether it be not the duty of all Churches, and of the members thereof, every one according to their abi­lity, to give maintenance unto their Ministers, and as there is occasion, to the Elders also that rule the Church, and to the Deacons and Dea­conesses that serve and minister therein.

ZZZ. Bar. Disc. p. 5. Parsonages and Vicarages, in Name and Office, are Popish and Antichristian. Ibid. p. 61. Here also by the way, the unlawfulnesse of their Glebes is well noted.

AAAA. Those men, whether Priest or People, which either pay or receive the Tythes, still keep the Levitical Laws for the maintenance of the Ministery, and thereby abolish the Gospel, and are abolished from Christ, whom we deny to be dead, risen, or ascended, while we maintain the shadow or any part of the Ceremonial Law to be revi­ved. Ibid. p. 91. The Prince demandeth my goods; I am ready and willing to depart with all to him, without all enquiry: But if he command me to give my goods to such an Idol, or after such a wicked manner as by way of Tythes to a Minister, or by way of Pension to an Antichristian Minister; I may not obey, but rather suffer his indignation, yea death.

BBBB. Bar. Disc. p. 53. This Shepherd is not limited, nor the sheep constrained to a tent or any stinted portion, but according to the present want of the one, and the state of the other, they together relie­ving him, and he together bearing the burden of their common poverty; every one that is taught, freely imparting of all his goods to the compe­tent maintenance of such as instruct them, not unto excesse, but suffi­ciency: Which contribution, as it is the duty of the Saints, so the man­ner of it, it is a free offering of their benevolence, an holy Alms unto the Lord; by contribution and alms, our Saviour Christ, and his Apostles, and all the Officers of the Church, were and are to be maintained. Ibid. p. 61. They are not by rated proportions, as Tenths or Third, but in love to make him partaker of that little or much the Lord sendeth, according to his present wants and necessary uses; who, if he have but food and raiment, ought to be therewith con­tent. Confess. p. 45. At Amsterdam their Ministers have their set-maintenance in another manner then Christ hath ordained.

BBBB 2. Rob. Ap. p. 36. Omnia etiam bona corporalia suo modo communia habenda, prout cuíque opus aequissimum vi­detur.

[Page 46] (CCCC) Bar. Disc. p. 132. The dayes of their week still are devoted to the gods of the Heathen, having utterly lost the name and order of their Creator: As the first, second, third day of such a week; the first, second, third moneth of such a yeer. Idem. Refut. p. 34. If Luke should call it Mars-street, speaking in his own name, and for him­self, he should commit idolatry by naming the creature of God after an Idol. David said he would not take the names of their Idols in his lips, but Luke recordeth onely the story, and the vulgar name of the place.

(DDDD) See the Preface of the Confession.

(EEEE) Bar. Disc. p. 180. They have a prescript place like a Tub, called the Pulpit. Ibid. p. 138. In that his priviledged Tub be may Preach what he list.

(FFFF) Ibid. p. 180. They are prescribed the time when they begin, they dispute to the Hour-Glasse. Ibid. p. 54. He must Preach a Sermon an hour long.

(GGGG) Bar. Disc. p. 232. He may peradventure do his pen­nance before all the Sodomites of the Parish in white sheets.

(HHHH) Johns. Plea, p. 245. Book-Prayer being mens in­vention, in the worship of God, is a breach of the second command. These Books and stinted Prayers, become indeed to be Idols, supplying the place of the Word and Spirit of God; in which respect such manner of worship becometh Idolatrous and Superstitious, and not to be commu­nicate with; for what agreement hath the Temple of God with Idols?

Vide supra. D. L.

(IIII) Rob. Apol. p. 20. Non dubito quin rite & pie usur­pari possit haec ipsa forma in precando Deum, modo absit opinio necessitatis & perfectionis.

(KKKK) Bar. Disc. p. 180. Here would not be forgotten the sweet Psalmodical harmony of the Vulturs, Cranes, &c. All these t [...] ­gether with one accord sing some pleasant Ballad, or else to Davids me­lodious Harp some Psalm in rythme, well concinnate to the ear, though never a whit to the sense, purpose, or true use of the Psalm. Idem. Refut. p. 254. I have not spoken against that most comfortable and heavenly harmony of singing Psalms, but against rhyming and pa­raphrasing the Psalms as in your Church, and against Apocrypha and Erroneous Ballads in rythme, sung commonly in your Church instead of the Psalms, and other Songs of holy Scripture.

(LLLL) Rob. Apo [...]. p. 20. Nego eandem esse rationem pre­cationis & cantionis; ipsi Psalmi quorum materia precatione aut [Page 47] gratulatione constat, in hunc finem proprie & primo formantur a prophetis in cantiones & Psalmos spirituales, ut nos edoceant, & quae vota illi in angustiis constituti ad Deum fuderint, quasque liberati eidem Deo gratias retulerint, ut nos eosdem Psalmos sive psallentes sive legentes, institueremus nos ipsos sive publice sive privatim sive docendo sive commone faciendo sive consolando ad Dei gloriam in cordibus nostris promovendam.

(MMMM) Smiths Diff. p. 4. That the reading out of a Book is no part of spiritual worship, but the invention of the man of sin; that Books and writings are in the nature of Pictures and Images; that it is unlawful to have the Book before the eyes in singing of a Psalm.

(NNNN) Smiths differences. Vide supra, cap. 1. E.

(OOOO) Confess. p. 34. Such to whom God hath given gifts to interpret the Scriptures, ought by the appointment of the Congrega­tion to prophecy, and so to teach publikely the Word of God, until such time as God manifests men with able gifts to such Offices as Christ hath appointed to the publike Ministry.

(PPPP) Bar. Disc. p. 116. Shall I speak according to the times and say, Be no true Sacrament? or rather leave that traditional word which ingendreth strife rather then godly edifying, and say, Be no true Seal of the Covenant?

(QQQQ) Vide supra. F.

(RRRR) Johns. Plea, p. 291. Whether it be not best to cele­brate the Lords Supper where it can be every Lords day; this the A­postles used to do; by so doing we shall return to the intire practise of the Churches in former ages.

(SSSS) How corrupt is the signe of the Crosse, kneeling and un­covering of the head at the Lords Supper, and such things which Scri­pture prescribes not, but men have taken upon themselves, thus break­ing the second command, and joyning their Posts and Thresholds with the Lords. Men are thus drawn away from the simplicity of the pra­ctise used by Christ and his Apostles, who sat when they ate and drank and did no more discover then before.

(TTTT) Johns. Plea, p. 294. To have love feasts on the dayes of the Lords Supper, it is a thing indifferent to keep or leave them, as they shall be used or abused, or as every Church shall finde them to be most expedient for their estate.

(VVVV) Bar. Refut. p. 43. Not here to mention the binding of the Faith of the Church to an Apocrypha Catechism. Idem. Disc. p. 142. They are not ashamed to Preach and publikely Expound in their Church, their fond Apocrypha Catechisms.

[Page 48] XXXX. Bar. Disc. p. 76. Their forged patchery, commonly called The Apostles Creed.

YYYY. His Refut. p. 48. What Scripture can you bring for the blasphemous Article of Christs descent into hell?

ZZZZ. Cans Necessity, p. 44. Bare reading of the Word, and single Service-saying, is an English Popery; and far be it from the Lords people to hear it; for if they would do so, they would offer to the Lord a corrupt thing, and so incur that curse of Malachi.

AAAAA. Johns. Enquiry, p. 7. We have in our Church the use of the exercise of Prophecie, spoken of, 1 Cor. 14. in which some of the Brethren which are for gifts best able, though not in Office of the Ministery, deliver from some portion of Scripture, Doctrine, Ex­hortation, Comfort; sometimes Two at a time, sometimes more.

BBBBB. Johns. Enquiry, p. 7. Then, if there be occasion, upon the Scriptures treated, or questions propounded and answers made. Bar. Disc. p. 139. In that his priviledged Tub, he may speak of what be list; none of his auditory have power to call in question, correct, or refuse the same presently or publikely.

CCCCC. Rob. Apol. p. 38. Prorsus inauditum ante haec nostra saecula sive inter gentes, sive inter Judaeos, sive inter Christianos ut Judicia publica aliive actus naturae publicae privatim aut seclusa plebe exercerentur. Ibid. p. 51. Per plebem cujus Libertatem & Jus suffragandi in negotiis vere publicis asserimus, non intelligimus pueros & mulieres, sed solos viros eosque adultos.

DDDDD. Browns Life and manners of all true Christians, in the Preface, or Treatise of Reformation without tarrying for any; and of the wickednesse of those Preachers which will not reform till the Magistrate command or compel them, p. 8. Know ye not that they which have their full and sufficient authority and calling, are not to care for a further authority? And hath not every lawful Pastor his full authority? Ibid. p. 8. The Lord did not onely shew them the Tabernacle, but bade them make it: But these men will not make it at all, because they will tarry for the Magistrate. Ibid. p. 10. They could not force Religion, as you would have the Magistrate to do: And it was forbidden to the Apostles to preach to the unworthy, or to force a planting or government in the Church. The Lords King­dom is not by force, neither durst Moses nor any of the Kings of Ju­dah force the people, by Law or by power, to receive the Church-Go­vernment: But after they received it, if then they fell away, and [Page 49] sought not the Lord, they might put them to death. They do cry Dis­cipline, Discipline, that is, for a civil forcing to imprison the people, or otherwise, by violence to handle and beat them, if they would not obey them. Ibid. p. 11. The Lords people is of the willing sort, they shall come unto Sion, and inquire the way unto Jerusalem, not by force nor compulsion, but with their faces thitherward: And p. 12. Be­cause the Church is in a Common-wealth, it is of the Magistrates charge, that is, concerning the outward Provision and outward Justice they are to look; but to compel Religion, to plant Churches by power, and to force a submission to Ecclesiastical Government, by Laws and Penalties, belongeth not to them, neither yet to the Church.

EEEEE. Confess. p. 32. Leaving the suppression of this An­tichristian estate to the Magistrate, to whom it belongeth.

FFFFF. Bar. Refut. In the Preface. We acknowledge the Prince ought to compel all his Subjects to the hearing of Gods Word, in the publike exercises of the Church; yet cannot the Prince command any to be a member of the Church, or the Church to receive any without assurance by their publike Profession of their own Faith, or to retain any longer then they continue to walk orderly in the Faith.

GGGGG. Bar. Disc. p. 245. When Princes depart from the Faith, and will not be reduced by admonition or reproof, they are no longer to be held in the Faith of the Church, but are to receive the censure of Christ, as any other, and to be cut off as withred branches: The Church cannot, neither hath in her power to defer the sentence of Excommunication any longer, on hope of further tryal, because they have had already that tryal which God alloweth; it is a Leaden rule to proceed to the sentence of Excommunication with a Leaden-heel, when the sin is ripe. Ibid. p. 15. Which censures, if the Prince con­temn, he contemneth them against his own soul; and is thereupon, by the power of the Church disfranchised out of the Church, and to be de­livered over to Satan, as well as any other offender.

HHHHH. Johns. Inqui. p. 70. We hold it Antichristian to entertain or admit any appeal from one Church to another; the highest ordained by the Lord for all sinners, is that Church whereof the sinner is a member. And therefore, in urging our Church to submit to ano­ther Church, they sought to draw it to Antichristian bondage.

IIIII. Bar. Dis. p. 84. I am perswaded, that the Magistrate ought not to make permanent Laws of that the Lord hath left in our Liberty. Ibid. p. 255. We approve all the Laws of God, to be most [Page 50] holy and inviolable, and all-sufficient both for Church and Common-wealth, and the perfit instruction of every Member and Officer of the same, in their several duties, so that nothing is now left to any mortal man of what high dignitie and calling so ever, but to execute the Will of God according to his Word.

KKKKK. Bar. Disc. p. 108. God will have his Laws and Statutes kept, and not altered according to the State and Policy of times; for these Laws were made, not for the Jews estate, as Master Calvin teaches; but for all mankinde, especially for all the Israel of God, from which Laws it is not lawful in judgement to decline to the right hand, or to the left. By the neglect of these Laws, the whole world overflows with sin. Ibid. p. 212. In the Common-wealth they have abrogated all Gods Judicial Laws, and cut them off at one blow, as made for the Common-wealth of the Jews onely, as if God had no regard of the conversation of other Christians, or had left the Gentiles in greater liberty to make Laws and Customes to themselves.

LLLLL. Ibid. Hereby it cometh to passe that so many ungodly Laws are decreed, and the whole course of Justice perverted, that so many capital mischiefs as God punisheth by death, such as blaspheme the Name of the Lord, open Idolatry, Disobedience to Parents, are not by Law punished at all: Incest and Adultery, are either past over, or punished by some light or triffling punishment. Ibid. p. 155. The High-Commission punishes the most execrable Idolatries but with prisons or forfeitures, making it a pecuniary matter, contrary to Gods Word.

MMMMM. 1. Vide HHHH.

MMMMM. 2. Bar. Dis. p. 211. Theft, if above thirteen pence, is punished by death.

NNNNN. Bar. Dis. p. 55. The Ʋniversity of Oxford and Cambridge have the same Popish and Idolatrous beginning with the Colledges of Monks, Fryers and Nuns; and these Vermin had, and still do retain the same insufferable and incurable abuses; therefore Queen Elizabeth ought by good right to abolish them as her Progenitors did the Abbeys.

OOOOO. Ibid. p. 177. They repair to the Ʋniversities to be instructed in Heathen and vain Arts: The Churches of Christ have not such Heathenish and Idolatrous customes; they have no such pro­phane Arts, vain Education and Literature. Ibid. p. 56. We finde them all generally the Seed of Ʋnbeleevers, nourished in all manner of [Page 51] Prophanenesse, Heathenism, vain and ungodly Sciences; their Edu­cation from their cradle is ungodly in the common Schools, where they must learn their Greek and Latin from lascivious Poets or Heathenish Philosophers: With this Liquor are their Pitchers at first seasoned; there are they trained up in Logick, Rhetorick and Philosophy; which Learning they draw from Aristotle, Cicero, and such like; there they learn to speak by Art Syllogisms and Tropes.

Idem. Refut. p. 89. This I dare affirm, that from the Book of God, they never derived these their Colledges, Schools, Halls, Orders, and Degrees; that I may not say Arts, Authors, Exercise, use of Learn­ing, Disputations, Commencements. They fight with their School-Learning, vain Arts, Philosophy, Rhetorick, Logick, against the Truth and Servants of God.

PPPPP. Vide supra. N, O.


RRRRR 1. Bar. Dis. p. 179. In the Church of Christ, the name and offices of Chancelor, Vice-Chancelor, Dean of Faculty, Masters of Colledges, Fellows, Beadels, Bursours, and all their se­veral Statutes and Customes are strange; as also, their manner of Degrees, Disputing for their Degrees, and Order of Teaching: Nei­ther have any such Ʋniversities, Colledges, Society of Schollers, any ground of the Word of God. I see not why they should have any more toleration then their elder Brethren, the Monks, who every way had as great colour of Holinesse, and shew of Ʋtility to the Church, as they: They have all one and the same Hellish Original they had; and these still retain the same blasphemous incurable abuses, which can no ways be reformed but by their utter dissolution.

RRRRR 2. Bar. Dis. p. 177. The English of Christian Re­ligion, and Profession of the Gospel, I can well away with; but this English Romish abstract of Divinity, I am assured, came forth of this same Forge that the Title of the supreme Head of the Church; and cannot by all the glosses they can devise, be made other then most high blasphemy against the person of Christ, who is the onely Ʋniversal Doctor of all his Disciples. Ibid. p. 56. If they continue still, and give their minde to the study of Divinity as they call it, which is as much as to say, The reading of mens writings; with these Feathers they flee, with these eyes they see; which Books being taken from them, they are as mute as fish, as blinde as moles. Ibid. Their Divinity is traditional, wholly derived from other mens Books and Writings, both [Page 52] for the understanding, dividing, and interpretation of all Scripture; as also for all Questions, Doctrines, and Doubts that arise; and not springing from the Fountain of Gods Spirit in themselves, according to the measure of Knowledge, Faith and Grace given unto them.

SSSSS. Bar. Disc. p. 146. It were much better for the whole Church, that for Prophecy and Doctrine, Preachers would lay aside all Authors, and be take themselves wholly to the Book of God: So should that Book be more soundly understood, so should they see with their own eyes, and not other mens.

TTTTT. Bar. Disc. p. 56. These Questions, as also the whole Scripture, must in these their Schools and Disputations, be insuffer­ably corrupted, wrested, blasphemed, according to the lusts of these Philosophical and Heathen Disputers, which here must handle, divide, discusse according to their vain affected Arts of Logick and Rhetorick: All these prizes must be played in Latin, that the Learning may the more, and the Folly the lesse be perceived, least even the common people should hisse them off the Stage if they spoke in English. Ibid. p. 52. They give liberty to their wits in their learning to deface, strive, and dispute against the holy known Truth of God, tossing it as a Tenice Ball amongst them, both publikely in their Schools, and privately in their Colledges amongst them.

VVVVV. Bar. Refut. p. 124. I would not here that any should think we condemn any lawful Art, or any necessary Science, or any Holy Exercise, or Schools of Institution. Let their Arts and Sci­ences be necessary and Godly, not vain, curious, unlawful: Let them be taught, not in a vain-glorious or superstitious manner, but in all sobriety, and the fear of God; If their Ʋniversities were framed to these Rules, it were good.

CHAP. III. The Original and Progresse of the Independents, and of their Carriage in New-England.

THe Sect (if so without offence it may be called) which this day is the subject of the most discourse,Independency the smallest of all the Sects of the time for number, but greatest for worth of its followers. and the object of the greatest passions; some pouring out upon it more of their love and hope, others of their anger and fear, then were convenient, is that of Independency.

Of all the by-paths wherein the wanderers of our time are pleased to walk, this is the most considerable; not for the num­ber, but for the quality of the erring persons therein. There be few of the noted Sects which are not a great deal more numerous; but this Way, what it wants in number, supplies by the weight of its followers. After five yeers endeavours and great industry within the Lines of the Cities Communication, they are said as yet to consist much within One thousand persons; men, women, and all who to this day have put themselves in any known Con­gregation of that way, being reckoned. But setting aside num­ber, for other respects they are of so eminent a condition, that not any nor all the rest of the Sects are comparable to them; for they have been so wise as to engage to their party some of chief note, in both Houses of Parliament, in the Assembly of Divines, in the Army, in the City and Countrey-Committees; all whom they daily manage with such dexterity and diligence, for the benefit of their Cause, that the eyes of the world begin to fall upon them more then upon all their fellows: It will be requisite therefore that with the greater care we give an account of them.

Of this our Account there shall be three parts. The first,The division of the follow­ing matter. An History of their Original and Progresse▪ to that height wherein now they stand. The second, A Narrative of their Tenents. The third, A Con [...]tion of some of their prime Principles.

Concerning, [...]eir Original; the Separatists were their Fathers.Independents, the Separatist [...] off-spring. This is demonstrable, not onely by the Consanguinity of their Te­nents, the one having borrowed all their chief Doctrines and [Page 54] Practices from the other, but also by deduction of their Pedigree in this clear line.

Master Robinson did derive his way to his separate Congregation at Leyden; a part of them did carry it over to Plymouth in New-England; here Master Cotton did take it up, and transmit it from thence to Master Goodwin, who did help to propagate it to sundry others in Old-England first, and after, to more in Holland, till now by many hands it is sown thick in divers parts of this Kingdom. But the manner how this seed did grow, is not unworthy consi­deration.

When the fire of Brownism was dying out in Holland, a little of its ashes carried to New Eng­land, broke out there into a lasting flame.When the Separatists for whole Fifty yeers had over-toil'd themselves for little purpose, their horrible Divisions, wheresoe­ver they set up, marring their encrease; behold▪ at the very point of time when their Spunk was dying, and their little smoke, both at Amsterdam and Leyden, was well-neer vanished, God in his se­cret providence permitted the tyranny of Bishops, which first had begotten them, to put new life in their ashes, and bring them back from their grave, to that vigour wherein now they appear.

After the death of Ainsworth, the Brownists at Amsterdam came to a small unconsiderable handful, and so yet they remain. No other at that time in the whole world were known of that Religion, but a small company at Leyden, under Master Robinsons Ministery; which, partly by Divisions among themselves, and partly by their Pastors deserting many of their Principles, was well-neer brought to nought: Onely about the Twenty eighth, as I take it, or the Thirtieth yeer of this Age, some of them going over, for a more commodious habitation, to New-England, did perswade their neighbours who sate down with them there at New-Plymouth, to erect with them a Congregation after their separate way (A).

By what means these ashes were kindled.This Congregation did incontinent leaven all the vicinity. The Planters in New-England, so far as their own informations give notice, not minding Religion for many yeers after their first enterprise (B), were ready to receive, without great question, any pious form which might be presented by their neighbours, whose minde served them to be active in such [...]ers. Also that way of new Plymouth, beside the more then ordinary shew of de­votion, did hold out so much liberty and honour to the people, that [Page 55] made it very suitable and lovely to a multitude who had lately stepped out of the Episcopal thraldom in England, to the free air of a new world. However it was, without any noise in a few yeers, the most who settled their habitations in that Land, did agree to model themselves in Churches after Robinsons patern.

This for a time, was either not known, or not regarded in Eng­land. The first who appeared in any displeasure at it,Master Cotton at first a great opposite to that way. was Mr. Cot­ton; for this reverend man, howsoever he had faln off from the pra­ctise of som, & but of som of the Ceremonies, & was distasted with Episcopal Government, yet so long as he abode in England, minded no more then the old non-conformity: In all his opposition to the Episcopal corruptions, he went not beyond Cartwright, and the Presbyterians. With the way of the Separatists he was then well acquainted, but declared himself against it in print, as in his Preface to Master Hildershams Sermons upon John, may be seen to this day (C). Neither thus alone, but a very little before his voyage to New-England, so soon as he understood of the prevail­ing of Robinsons way there, such was his zeal against it, he wrote over to the Ministers who had been the chief instruments of bringing these Churches under that yoke, admonishing them free­ly of their falling from their former judgement, and that their new Reformation was no other but the old way wherein the Separatists had walked, to the grief and offence of the Anti-Epis­copal party in England, and of the whole Protestant Churches (D).

Notwithstanding this admonition,Master Cotton with little ado, became the great patron of that Errour. the Brethren there went on in their way, yet without any hazard to others, till the 1634. as I take it, or 1635. yeer of our Lord God, when the yoke of Episcopal persecution in England became so heavy on the necks of the most of the godly, that many thousands of them did flee away, and Master Cotton among the rest, to joyn themselves to these American Churches. Here it was when that new way be­gan first to be dangerous to the rest of the world.

For Master Cotton, a man of very excellent parts, contrary much to his former judgement, having faln into a liking of it, and by his great with and learning, having refined it, without the impediment of any opposition, became the great instrument of drawing to it, not onely the thousands of those who left England, but also by his Letters to his friends who abode in their Countrey, [Page 56] made it become lovely to many who never before had appeared in the least degree of affection toward it.

Master Cotton the misleader of Master Goodwin and others.Before his departure from England, by conferences in London, he had brought off Master Davenport and Master Goodwin, from some of the English Ceremonies (E); but neither of these two, nor himself at that time, did minde the least degree of Separation (F); yet so soon as he did taste of the New-English air, he fell in­to so passionate an affection with the Religion he found there, that incontinent he began to perswade it, with a great deal more zeal and successe then before he had opposed it (G): His convert Master Goodwin, a most fine and dainty Spirit, with very little ado, was brought by his Letters from New-England, to follow him un­to this step also of his progresse, and that with so high an estima­tion of his new Light, that he was bold to boast of it in termes a little beyond the lines of moderation (H).

Master Cotton often decei­ved, hath given his patrociny to divers grosse Errours. Why God per­mits great men to fall in evi­dent Errours.It had been happy for England, that Master Cotton had taken longer time for deliberation, before that change of his minde: He might have remembred his too precipitant rashnesse in former times, both to receive, and to send abroad to the world such Te­nents whereof after he had cause to repent.

God in wisedom permits his dearest children to set black marks on their own faces, not onely to keep themselves in humi­lity and suspition of their own hearts, but to divert others from idolizing their gifts, and setting up their persons as a patern for their too sudden imitation. I would not willingly detract from any mans reputation; I am oft ready enough, both to hear with con­tentment, and liberally to speak to the praises of men much in­feriour in my thoughts to Master Cotton: Yet when his gifts are turned into snares, when they become occasions of stumbling, and, contrary to the minde of the giver, are made inducements to follow him in his wanderings; I am of opinion, that neither Piety nor Charity will hinder to remark his evident and known failings: That as his eminent endowments are strong invitations to run after him; so the mixture of cleer weaknesse may be a re­tractive to every prudent man, and a caveat from God, to beware of his wayes, as well as of any other mans.

I take it for a great mercy of God to simple ones, that the most, if not all, who have offred themselves to be Ringleaders in any Here­sie or Schism, or other by-way, have ever bin permitted to fall into [Page 57] some evident folly; to the end, that they whose simplicity made them too prone to be misled by the strength of pregnant wits, and the luster of excellent gifts, which in the most of Sectaries to this day, have ever been apparent, might be held in the love of the truth, and made cautious of being led aside by them in whose footsteps a very blunt eye might perceive the print of an evil spirit.

Not to speak of Master Cottons long continuance in the Er­rours of his education,His Prelatical Arminian and Montanistick Tenents. sundry whereof stuck to him as he con­fesseth all the time of his abode in England (I): Nor of his more dangerous fall into the gulf of Pelagianism, some of the Arminian Errours, from which the writings of Dr. Twisse are said to have re­claimed him (K); However, the Doctor doth say, that he hath no assurance of his recantation to this day, and therefore was wil­ling that his Treatise against Master Cottons erroneous writings should be published to the world. To passe by also that which I have heard of some gracious Ministers of his old Montanism, wherein some think he remaineth to this day.

That which I point at, is, another more dangerous fall,His Antinomy and Familism. which as already it hath much humbled his spirit, and opened his ear to instruction, and I trust it will not leave working till it have brought him yet neerer to his Brethren: So to the worlds end, it cannot but be a matter of fear and trembling, to all who shall know it, and of aboundant caution to be very wary of receiving any singularity from his hand without due tryal. That which I speak of, is, his wandring into the horrible Errours of the Anti­nomians and Familists, with his dear friend Mistresse Hutchinson; so far, that he came to a resolution to side with her, and separate from all the Churches in New-England, as legal Synagogues.

The truth of this horrible fall, if ye will not take it from the parties themselves, the followers of Mistresse Hutchinson, who ofttimes were wont to brag of Master Cotton for their Master and Patron (L); nor from the Testimony of Master Williams (M), who had as much occasion to know it, as any man else; and if I mistake not the humor of the man, is very unwilling to report a lie of his greatest enemy. Yet we may not reject the witnesse of Master Winthrop, the wisest of all the New-English Governours hitherto, and of Master Wells, a gracious Minister of that Land, in their Printed Relations of the Schisms there, both those, albeit, [Page 58] with all care and study they endeavour to save Master Cottons cre­dit, yet let the truth of Master Cottons seduction fall from their Pens in so clear termes as cannot be avoided; for however, what they speak of the erring of the most eminent in place, might be applyed to the Governour for the time (N 1.): Yet when they tell us, that the most of the Seducers lived in the Church of Boston, and that the whole Church of Boston, except a few, were infected with that Leprosie, and that none of them were ever-called to an account by the Presbytery of that Church till after the Assembly, though the Pastor of that Church, Master Wilson, was alwayes exceedingly zealous against them; also that in face of the General Court, Mistresse Hutchinson did avow Master Cotton alone, and Master Wheelwright, to Preach the truth according to her minde; and that Master Cotton himself, before that same Court, did openly dissent, even after the Assembly, from all his Brethren about Wheelwrights Doctrine. These, and other the like informations, are so clear, that no art will get Master Cotton freed (N 2.)

I have been also informed by a gracious Preacher, who was present at the Synod of New-England; that all the Brethren there, being exceedingly scandalized with Master Cottons carriage, in Mistresse Hutchinsons processe, did so far discountenance, and so severely admonish him, that he was thereby brought to the great­est shame, confusion, and grief of minde that ever in all his life he had indured. But leaving the person of Master Cotton, if not the Author, yet the greatest promoter and patron of Independency, we will go on with the way it self.

Independency large, as un­happy as Brownism.What Master Cotton, and the Apologists, his followers, have testified of Gods displeasure and judgements upon the way of the Brownists (O), is as evidently true of the way of the Indepen­dents; not onely because, as it will appear hereafter, both wayes really are one and the same: But also, because in the comparison of the events which have befaln to both wayes, it will be seen that the miscarriages and (because of them) the marks of Gods anger have been more manifest upon this latter way then upon the former.

Independency brought to the utmost pitch of perfection which the wit and industry of its best patrons were able to attain, having the advantage of the Brownists fatal miscarriages, to be [Page 59] exemplary documents of wisedom, being also assisted and fenced with all the security that Civil Laws of its friends own framing, and gracious Magistrates at their absolute devotion, could afford; notwithstanding in a very few, lesse then one week of yeers, hath flown out in more shameful absurdities then the Brownists to this day, in all the fifty yeers of their trial, have stumbled upon.

The verity of this broad assertion shall be palpable to any who will be at the pains a little to consider their proceedings in any of the places wherever yet they had any setled abode:Wherefore so much of the Independent way lies yet in darknesse. for however much of their way be yet in the dark, and in this also their advan­tage above the Brownists is great; that in their Discords none of themselves have proclaimed their own shame; none that have fallen from them, have of purpose put pen to paper, to inform the world of their ways; neither have any of them been willing to reply to any of the Books written against them, that did put a ne­cessity upon them to speak out the truth of many heavie imputati­ons which with a loud voice by many a tongue are laid on them; chusing rather to lie under the hazard of all the reproach which their unfriendly reports could bring upon them, then to make an Apologie, wherein their denial might bring upon them the in­famy of lying, or their grant the fastening, by their own testimony, upon the back of their party the Crimes alleadged against them: Notwithstanding so much is broken out from under all their co­verings, as will make good what hath been said. Hitherto they have had but three places of abode, New-England, Holland, Lon­don. That any where else they have erected Congregations, I do not know. Of their adventures in these three places, we will speak a little.

In New-England, The fruits of Independency in New England. when Master Cotton had gotten the assistance of Master Hooker, Master Davenport, and sundry other very wor­thy Ministers, beside many thousands of people whom God in his mercy did send over to that new world, to be freed from suf­fering and danger, in the day of their Countreys most grievous calamities; being there alone, without the disturbance of any ene­my either within or without, What were the fruits of their Church-way?

First,1. It put thou­sands of Chri­stians in the condition of Pagans. it forced them to hold out of all Churches and Chri­stian Congregations, many thousands of people who in former times had been reputed in Old-England very good Christians. I [Page 60] have heard sundry esteem the number of the English in that Plan­tation to exceed Fourty thousand men and women: when Master Cotton is put to it, he dares hardly avow the one half of these to be members of any Church (P): But if we do beleeve others who were eye-witnesses also, they do avow, That of all who are there, Three parts of Four will not be in any Church (Q 1.). To us it seemeth a grievous absurdity, a great dishonour to God, and cruelty against men, to spoil so many thousand Christians, whom they dare not deny to be truely religious, of all the priviledges of the Church, of all the benefits of Discipline, of all the comfort of any Sacrament, either to themselves, or to their children; to put them in the condition of Pagans, such as some of them pro­fesse all Protestants to be who are not of their way (Q 2.).

2. It marrs the conversion of Pagans to the Christian Re­ligion.A second evil of their Way, is, That it hath exceedingly hin­dred the conversion of the poor Pagans; God in great mercy ha­ving opened a door in these last times to a new world of rea­sonable creatures for that end, above all, that the Gospel might be preached to them, for the enlargement of the Kingdom of Christ. The principles and practice of Independents, doth crosse this blessed hope. What have they to do with those that are without? Their Pastors preach not for conversion, their relation is to their Flock, who are Church-members, converted already to their hand by the labours of other men, before they can be admitted into their Church.

Of all that ever crossed the American Seas, they are noted as most neglectful of the work of Conversion. I have read of none of them that seem to have minded this matter (Q 3.): onely Ma­ster Williams in the time of his banishment from among them, did assay what could be done with those desolate souls, and by a little experience quickly did finde a wonderful great facility to gain thousands of them to so much and more Christianity, both in profession and practice, then in the most of our people doth appear (R). But the unhappinesse of these principles whereof we speak,3. It did bring forth the foul­est Heresies that ever yet were heard of in any Prote­stant Church. did keep him, as he professeth, from making use of that great opportunity and large door which the Lord there hath opened to all who will be zealous for propagating of the Go­spel (S).

Thirdly, the fruits of Independency may be seen in the profes­sion and practices of the most who have been admitted, as very [Page 61] fit, if not the fittest members of their Churches. These have much exceeded any of the Brownists that yet we have heard of; first, in the vilenesse of their Errours; secondly, in the multitude of the erring persons; thirdly, in the hypocrisie joyned with their errours; fourthly, in malice against their neighbours, and con­tempt of their Superiours, Magistrates and Ministers for their opposition to them in their evil ways; and lastly, in their singu­lar obstinacie, stiffly sticking unto their errours, in defiance of all that any upon earth could do for their reclaiming, or that God from heaven, almost miraculously, had declared against them. All this I will make good, by the unquestionable Testimonies of their loving friends.

For the vilenesse of their Errours:A few exam­ples of the ma­ny abominable Heresies of the New-English Independents. They did avow openly the personal inhabitation of the Spirit in all the godly, his imme­diate revelations without the Word; and these as infallible as Scripture it self (T): This is the vilest Montanism. They avowed further, with the grossest Antinomians, That no sin must trouble any childe of God: That all trouble of conscience for any sin, demonstrates a man subject to the Covenant of Works, but a stranger to the Covenant of Grace (Ʋ): That no Chri­stian is bound to look upon the Law as a rule of his conversati­on (X): That no Christian should be prest to any duty of holi­nesse (Y). Neither here did they stand, but went on to aver the death of the soul with the body (Z): That all the Saints upon earth have two bodies (AA): That Christ is not united to our fleshly body; but they would have him to be united to our new body (BB), with the same union where with his humanity is u­nited with his Godhead: That Christs Manhood was not now in the heavens (CC), but that his body was his Church. These abominable errours, and many more of this kinde, to the number of Fourscore and eleven (DD), the New-English Independency did produce to the world in a very short time.

For the second, The number of the erring persons;The greatest part of th [...]ir chief Churches were infected with these errours. Th [...] pi [...]ty of these Here­ticks seem [...]d to be singular. this is said to have been incredible; not onely multitudes of men and wo­men every where were infected (EE), but almost no Society, no Family of that Land was free of that Pest (BB): Boston, the best and most famous of their Churches, was so far corrupted, that few there were untainted (GG).

Concerning the Hypocrisie of these Hereticks, it was ex­ceeding [Page 62] great: None appeared so humble, so holy, so spiritual, and full of Christ, as they (HH): In their speech, nought but self-de­nial (II): In their prayers, ravishing affections, and heavenly ex­pressions (KK): All their singular opinions, were for the ad­vancing of Free-grace (LL); For the glorious light of the Gos­pel; for the setting up of naked Christ on his Throne (MM).

Their malice against all who opposed them, was singular, especially a­gainst all their Orthodox Mi­nisters,Their malice towards all that dissented from them, was so extreme, that they made the life of many, the most religious of their Neighbours, to be bitter and a wearisome burden to them (NN).

For their Ministers, some of them they adored: Master Cotton and Master Wheelwright, they set up as the onely true Preachers of the Covenant of Grace; they extolled them to the skies, avowing, that since the Apostles dayes, none had received so much Gospel-Light, as they (OO): But the rest of the Preach­ers, not onely all in Old England (PP), but also all in New-England, except a very few, and most of all the best, the most zealous and Orthodox, even the instruments of their own con­version, were to them Baals Priests, Legal Preachers, Popish Factors, Scribes and Pharisees, Enemies to the Gospel, voide of the Spirit of Grace (QQ).

and Magi­strates.Their contempt of the Magistrates was as great as of the Ministers: Their late Governour they professed was a true friend to Christ, and Free-grace (RR); but Master Winthrop their pre­sent Governour, and the most of the Magistrates, they proclaimed enemies of Grace, Persecutors, Antichrists, Ahabs, Herods, Pilates, whom God would destroy (SS). Their Preacher, Master Wheel­wright, would exhort the people in his Sermon, to deal with the Magistrates as such, remembring them how Moses had killed the Egyptian (TT).

Their Errours in opinion did draw on such seditious practises, as did well neer overturn both their Church and State.Their Heresies did bring on so dangerous seditions, as in a short time did put their Common-wealth in a clear hazard of ut­ter ruine (VV); for the Heretikes had drawn to their side, not onely multitudes of the people, but many of the ablest men for parts, in all Trades, especially the Souldiers (XX). They kept such intimate familiarity, and open correspondence with the most eminent men of the Land; Mistresse Hutchinson, and the late Go­vernour, kept almost every day so private and long discourse with Master Cotton, that made them conclude all was their own (YY), [Page 63] and forced the wise Governour, Master Winthrop, to prevent their designes, to put the former Governour, and all that followed him, from their places in the general Court, and to desire him and them to be gone, which was counted a real, though a civil banishment out of their Land (ZZ): Also to disarm the most of that faction expresly upon fear, least the Tragedy of Munster should be acted over again in New-England (AAA).

Master Williams told me, that he was imployed to buy from the Savages, for the late Governour, and Master Cotton, with their followers, a proportion of Land without the English Plantation, whither they might retire and live according to their own minde, exempt from the Jurisdiction, Civil, and Ecclesiastick, of all others. Master Williams was in so great friendship with that late Governour, when he told me so much, That I beleeve he would have been loth to have spoken any untruth of him.

Their obstinacy in all these things was truely marvellous;Their proud obstinacy a­gainst all ad­monitions was marvellous. for after all the pains which their godly Pastors took upon them, in Preaching, in Conference, in Publike Disputations: After the Ma­gistrate had executed the Law, and inflicted civil punishments up­on some of their prime Seducers; yea, when God visibly from the Heavens had declared his anger against some of their cheif Leaders, punishing Mistresse Hutchinson with a monstruous birth of more then thirty mis-shapen Creatures at one time (BBB), and Mistresse Dyer her principal assistant, with another monstrous birth (CCC) of one Creature, mixed of a Beast, of a Fish, and a Foul: Notwithstanding all these admonitions, their obstinacy was so great, that many of them continued pertinacious without any repentance (DDD).

For some of them separating of their own accord, others being banished by the Magistrate, retired into those Lands which Master Williams had bought for them; and in that their new Ha­bitation, they continued not long; till beside all the named Er­rours, they fell into many more, both Errours and Schisms (EEE).

And Mistresse Hutchinson did make a new Separation, re­tiring to a new dwelling (FFF), where after her long contempt of divine and humane patience, at last God did let loose his hand, and destroyed her, sending in upon her a company of the Savages, who burnt her self, her house, and all that she had (GGG). Not­withstanding [Page 64] all that God and man at that time and since hath done to discover the evil spirit that raged in that way, yet such is the stoutnesse of many, especially of the late Governour, whose hand in all that businesse was cheif, that to this day if you will confer with them, they will assure, That Mistresse Hutchinson was much mistaken and wronged; that she was a most pious woman, and that her Tenents if well understood, were all true, at least very tolerable. We have oft marvelled, that the Eldership of Boston did never so much as call her before them to be rebuked for any of her Errours; though their general Assembly had confuted and con­demned them, yet still she was permitted to go on, till the zeal of the new Governour, and the general Court did condemn her to perpetual banishment; then, and not till then, so far as we can perceive by the story, did the Church of Boston begin a processe against her; and when the processe was brought to an end, Master Cotton by no means would put it in execution; that burden was laid on the back of Master Wilson his Colleague, how ever not the fittest instrument, being the person to whom Mistresse Hutchinson from the beginning had professed her greatest opposition; and when the sentence was pronounced against her, they tell us, That the great cause of it was none of her Heresies or Errours, but her other practises especially, her grosse lying (HHH).

In the midst of their pro­fession of emi­nent piety, the profanity of many of them was great.The prophanenesse also of these persons is considerable, their profession of piety being so fair, that they avow their standing a­loof from all the Reformed Churches as unclean, because of their mixture with the prophane multitude. Beside all that is said of their Heresies, Schisms, Contentions, Contempt of Magistrates and Ministers, all which are the prophane works of the flesh: We read of further pollution, breaking out among them, as both Master Cotton, and Master Wells do testifie (III).

Out of the Governour, Master Winthrops Narration, I re­mark one abomination, which to me seems strange, That the Midwives, to their most zealous women, should not onely have familiarity with the divel; but also in that very service, should commit divellish Malefices, which, so far as they tell us, were not onely past over without punishment, but never so much as inqui­red after (KKK).

All this and more, we read of the Independents in New-England, in one short Narration of two or three yeers accidents [Page 65] among them; what if we had their full History from any faith­ful hand? it seems that many more mysteries would be brought to light, which now are hid in darknesse.

It is not our intention to bring any man to a prejudice,Notwith­standing all this, we desire from our heart, to honour and imitate all and every degree of Truth or Pie­ty, which did ever appear in any New-Eng­lish Christian. or the least distast of the Grace and Gifts which God hath bestowed on Master Cotton or any other in New-England would to God, that all our Questions with them, were come to that issue; they should finde us here as willing as their greatest admirers, to prize, to embrace, and as our weaknesse will permit, to imitate what ever good did shine in any of them: But we have made these Ob­servations from what themselves have written, to bring if it be possible, their own hearts; or if this be desperate, yet the mindes of others, to a suspition of that their new and singular way, which the Lord hath so manifestly cursed with bader fruits, and great­er store of them then ever yet did appear upon the Tree of Brow­nism, which they do so much disgrace as an unlucky Plant: notwithstanding, all the Gifts and Graces wherewith Ainsworth, Robinson, and some others of its Branches, have been adorned by God in as rich a measure as have been seen in any, who to this day have ingrafted themselves into their new and bitter root of Independency.

The Testimonies.

(A) Master Cottons Letter to Skelton, p. 3. Your other Errour that our Congregations in England, are none of them particular Re­formed Churches, requireth rather a Book then a Letter to answer it. You went hence of another judgement, and I am afraid, your change hath sprung from New-Plymouth men, whom though I much esteem as godly loving Christians; yet their Grounds, which for this Tenent they received from Master Robinson, do not satisfie me, though the man I reverence as godly and learned.

Rathbones Narration, p. 1. The Church at New-Plymouth was as I am informed, one of the first Churches that was settled in New-England, having been a part of Master Robinsons Church in Holland, that famous Brownist, from whence they brought with their Church Opinions and Practises; and which they there still [Page 66] hold without any alteration, so far as ever I could learn. Master W. an eminent man of the Church at Plimouth, told W. R. that the rest of the Churches of New-England came at first to them at Plimouth, to crave their direction in Church courses, and made them their patern.

(B) Vide Purchase Pilgrims in his discourses of America, in divers Letters from New-England.

(C) Cottons Letter to the Reader before Hildershams Com­mentary upon John, 1632. That one Letter of his to a Gentle­woman against the Separation, which without his consent a Separatist Printed, and Refuted, hath so strongly and cleerly con­vinced the Iniquity of that way, that I could not but acknow­ledge in it, both the wisedom of God, and the weaknesse of the Separatists: His wisedom in bringing to light such a beam of his Truth by the hand of an adversary, against the minde of the Au­thor; and the weaknesse of the other, to advance the hand of this Adversary, to give himself and his cause such a deadly wound in open view, as neither himself nor all his associates can be able to heal; in which respect, I conceive it was that the industrious Doctor Willet stileth this our Author, Schismaticorum qui vulgo Brownistae vocantur Malleus: The Hammer of Schismaticks whom they commonly call Brownists.

(D) Vide supra. A.

(E) Edwards Antapology, p. 17. Knowing something of the story of Master Goodwins first coming to fall off from the Cere­monies, having seen and perused the Arguments that past betwixt him and Master Cotton, and some others: Master Goodwin assured me some moneths after his going off, that he had nothing to say, but against the Ceremonies the Liturgy offended him not, much lesse dreamed he of this Church-way he since fell into.

(F) Cottons Letter from New-England to his friends at Bo­ston, October 5. 1635. Some other things there be, which were I again with you, I durst not take that liberty which some times I have taken: I durst not joyn in your Book-Prayers.

(G) Ibidem. I durst not now partake in the Sacraments with you, though the Ceremonies were removed. I know not how you can be excused from Fellowship of their sins, if you continue in your place. While you and some of my other friends continue with them, I fear the rest will settle upon their Lees with more security. The wise-hearted [Page 67] that left their Stations in Israel, I doubt not, were some of them, if not all, useful and serviceable men in their places; yet they did them­selves and their Brethren more good service in going before their Brethren, as the Goats before the Flocks, Jere. 50.8. then if they had tarried with them to the corrupting of their own wayes. 2 Chro. 11.14, 16.

Antap. p. 32. After his going into New-England, and falling into the Church-way there, and sending over Letters into England about the new way, presently after these Letters began the falling off and questioning Communion in our Churches.

(H) Antap. p. 32. One of you, to wit, Master Goodwin was so ingaged in his thoughts of one of the Ministers of New-England, to wit, Master Cotton, by whom I am sure, he was first taken off, that he hath said, there was not such another man in the world again.

Ibidem, p. 22. One of you told some friends, that he had found out a Form of Church-Government, as far beyond Master Cart­wrights, as his was beyond that of the Bishops.

Master Williams Examination of Master Cottons Letter, p. 47. Some of the most eminent amongst them have affirmed, that even the Apostles Churches were not so pure, as the new English Churches.

(I) Vide supra. F.

(K) Antap. p. 40. He hath had his Errours, and I refer you for proof to his discourse about cleering the Doctrine of Reprobation. See the Preface of Doctor Twisse his Answer.

(L) The short Story in the Preface, par. 10. What men they saw Eminent in the Countrey, and of most esteem in the hearts of the peo­ple, they would be sure still to father their opinions upon them, and say, I hold nothing but what I had from such and such a man.

Ibid. p. 65. She pretended she was of Master Cottons judge­ment in all things.

(M) Williams Examination, p. 12. Some few yeers since he was upon the point to separate from the Churches there, as legal.

Ibidem, p. 33. How could I possibly be ignorant as he seems to charge me, of their estate, when being from first to last in Fellow­ship with them, an Officer amongst them, had private and publike agitations concerning their estate with all or most of their Ministers.

(N) Short story, Preface, p. 7. By this time they had to patro­nise them, some of the Magistrates, and some men eminent for Religion, Parts, and Wit.

[Page 68] Ibidem, p. 25. Master Wheelwright had taught them, that the former Governour and some of the Magistrates then were friends of Christ and Free-grace, but the present were enemies. The former Governour never stirred out but attended by the Serjeants with Hal­berts or Carrabines, but the present Governour was neglected.

Ibid. p. 35. After that she had drawn some of eminent place, and parts, to her party, whereof some profited so well as in a few moneths they out-went their Teacher.

Ibidem, p. 33. Ʋpon the countenance which it took from some eminent persons, her opinions began to hold up their heads in the Court of Justice.

(N 2.) Ibidem, p. 32. It was a wonder, upon what a sudden the whole Church of Boston, some few excepted were become her new converts, and infected with her opinions.

Ibid. Preface, p. 7. In the Church of Boston most of these Seducers lived.

Ibid. p. 36. The Court laid to her charge, the reproach she had cast upon the Ministery in this Countrey, saying That none of them did preach the Covenant of Free-grace but Master Cotton. She told them that there was a wide difference between Master Cottons Ministery and theirs; and that they could not hold forth a Covenant of Free-grace, because they had not the Seal of the Spirit.

Ibidem. p. 50. All the Ministers consented to this, except their Brother the Teacher of Boston. Ibid. p. 52. Master Wheelwright being present, spoke nothing, though he well discerned that the judge­ment of the most of the Magistrates, and near all the Ministers closed with the affirmative. Ibidem, p. 21. Albeit, the Assembly of the Churches had confuted and condemned most of these new opinions, and Master Cotton had in publike view consented with the rest; yet the Leaders in these Erroneous wayes, stood still to maintain their new Light; Master Wheelwright also continued his preaching after his former manner; and Mistresse Hutchinson her wonted meetings and exercises; and much offence was still given by her, and others, in going out of the ordinary Assemblies. When (Mr. Wilson) the Pastor of Boston began any exercise, it was conceived by the Magistrate that the case was now desperate, and it was determined to suppresse them by Civil Authority.

(O) Apologetical Narration, p. 5. We had likewise the fatal miscarriages and shipwracks of the Separation, whom you call [Page 69] Brownists, as Land-marks to forewarn us of these Rocks and Shelves they run upon.

Cottons Letter to Williams, pag. 12. I said that God had not prospered the way of Separation, because he hath not blessed it either with peace among themselves or with growth of grace. The Lord Jesus never delivered that way of Separation to which they bear wit­nesse, nor any of his Apostles after him, nor of his Prophets before him. We do not come forth to help them against Jehovah; this were not to help Jehovah, but Satan against him. We cannot pray in Faith for a blessing upon their Separation, which we see not to be of God, nor to lead to him: It is little comfort to the true Servants of Christ that such inventions of men are multiplied.

(P) Answer to the thirty two Questions, p. 7. Whether is the greater number, these that are admitted to Church-Communion, or these that are not, we cannot certainly tell.

(Q 1.) Plain dealing, p. 73. Here such confessions and professi­ons are required, both in private and publike, both by men and women, before they be admitted, that three parts of the people of the Countrey remain out of the Church, so that in short time, most of the people will remain unbaptised.

(Q 2. Williams of the name Heathen, p. 6. Nations protest­ing against the Beast, no Papists, but Protestants, may we say of them that they or any of them may be called in true Scripture sence, Heathens, that is, the Nations or Gentiles, in opposition to the people of God, which is the onely Holy Nation? Such a departure from the Beast in a false constitution of National Churches, if the bodies of Protestant Nations remain in an unregenerate estate, Christ hath said they are but as Heathens and Publicans.

(Q 3.) Plain dealing, p. 21. There hath not been any sent forth by any Church, to learn the Natives language, or to instruct them in our Religion first, because they say they have not to do with them be­ing without, except they come to hear, and learn English.

(R) Williams of the name Heathen, p. 10. For our New-England parts, I can speak it confidently, I know it to have been easie for my self, long ere this, to have brought many thousands of these Natives, yea, the whole Countrey to a far greater Antichristian conversion, then ever was heard of in America. I could have brought the whole Countrey to have observed one day in seven: I adde, to have received Baptism, to have come to a stated Church meeting, to have [Page 70] maintained Priests, and Forms of Prayer, and a whole form of An­tichristian worship in life and death.

(S) Ibid. p. 11. Wo be to me, if I call that conversion to God, which is indeed the subversion of the souls of millons in Christendom, from one false worship to another.

Williams Key unto the language of America, p. 9. To which I could easily have brought the Countrey, but that I was perswaded, and am, that Gods way is first to turn a soul from its idols, both of heart, worship, and conversation, before it is capable of worship to the true God.

(T) Short story, p. 32. Many good souls were brought to waite for this immediate revelation; then sprung up also that opinion of the indwelling of the person of the Holy Ghost.

Ibidem, Preface, p. 13. That their own revelations of parti­cular events, were as infallible as the Scripture.

(V) Short story, Preface, pag. 2. Sin in a childe of God must never trouble him. Trouble in conscience for sins of Commission, or for neglect of duties, sheweth a man to be under a Covenant of Works.

(X) Short story Preface, p. 2. A Christian is not bound to the Law as the rule of his conversation.

(Y) Ibid. p. 3. No Christian must be pressed to duties of Holi­nesse.

(Z) Short story Preface, p. 13. Their Leaders fell into more hideous delusions, as that the souls of men are mortal like the Beasts.

(AA) Short story, p. 59. These who are united to Christ, have in this life new bodies, and two bodies.

(BB) Ibid. She knoweth not how Jesus Christ should be united to this our fleshly body; these who have union with Christ, shall not rise with the same fleshly body; and that the Resurrection mentioned in 1 Cor. 15.44. is not meant of the Resurrection of the body, but of our union here in this life.

(CC) Ibid. p. 60. We are united to Christ with the same union that his humanity on earth was with his Deity. That she had no Scri­pture to warrant that Christs manhood is now is Heaven; but the body of Christ is his Church.

(DD) Ibid. Preface, p. 1. You shall see a Litter of ninty one of their brats hung up against the Sun, besides many new ones of Mistresse Hutchinsons.

[Page 71] (EE) Ibid. Multitudes of men and women were infected be­fore they were aware.

(FF) Ibid. Preface, p. 7. They had some of all sorts and qua­lities in all places, to defend and patronise them: Almost in every fa­mily, some were ready to defend them as the Apple of their own eye.

(GG) Vide supra. N 2.

(HH) Short story Preface, pag. 4. They would appear very humble, holy, and spiritual Christians, and full of Christ.

(II) Ibid. They would deny themselves far, and speak excel­lently.

(KK) Ibid. They would pray with such soul ravishing affecti­ons and expressions, that a stranger could not but love and admire them.

(LL) Ibid. They lifted up their opinions by guilding them over with the specious termes of Free-grace, Glorious-Light, Gospel-Truths, holding out naked Christ.

(MM) Vide supra. LL.

(NN) Preface, p. 7. O their boldnesse, pride, insolency, the disturbances, divisions, contentions they raised among us, both in Church and State, and Families, setting division betwixt Husband and Wife!

Ibid. p. 9. And seeing a spirit of pride, subtilty, malice and con­tempt of all men that were not of their minde breathing in them, our hearts were sadded, and our spirits tyred.

(OO) Ibid. p. 4. Their followers in admiration of them, would tell others, that since the Apostles times, they were perswaded none ever received so much light from God, as such and such had done, naming their Leaders. See also before H.

(PP) Short story, pag. 39. She said it was revealed to her long since in England, That all the pack of the Ministers there were An­tichristian, so that she durst hear none of them, after Master Cotton and Master Wheelwright were once gone; for they could not preach Christ, and the new Covenant.

(QQ) Preface, pag. 8. The faithful Ministers of Christ must have dung cast in their faces, and be no better then legal Preach­ers, Baals Priests, Popish Factors, Scribes, Pharisees, and Opposers of Christ himself.

(RR) Vide supra. N 1.

(SS) Preface, p. 9. The Magistrates were Achabs, Amazia's, enemies to Christ, led by Satan.

[Page 72] (TT) Ibid. These were enemies to Christ; Herods, Pilates, Scribes and Pharisees, yea, Antichrists; and advised all under a Cove­nant of Grace, to look upon them as such: And with great zeal did stimulate them to deal with them as such, and alleadged the story of Moses that killed the Egyptian, and left it barely so.

(VV) Ibid. It was a wonder of mercy, that they had not set our Common-wealth and Churches on a fire, and consumed us all therein.

(XX) Preface, pag. 7. They had some of all quality to defend them, some of the Magistrates, some Gentlemen, some Schollers, some of our Captains and Souldiers, some in Military Trainings.

(YY) Short story, p. 33. They made full accompt the day had been theirs.

(ZZ) Master Williams in his Discourse to me, assured me hereof.

(AAA) Short story, p. 43. Ʋnder their conduct, the old Ser­pent had prepared such an Ambushment, as in all reason would soon have driven Christ and the Gospel out of New-England, (though to the ruine of the instruments themselves, as well as of others) and to the repossessing of Satan in his ancient Kingdom.

(BBB) Preface, p. 12. Mistresse Hutchinson being big with childe, and growing towards the time of her Labour, brought out not one, but thirty monstrous births or thereabouts at once, none at all of them of humane shape.

(CCC) Ibid. Mistresse Dyer brought forth her birth of a Woman childe, a Beast, a Fish, and a Foul, all woven together in one, and without an head.

(DDD) Ibid. Though he that runs may read their sin in these judgements, yet, behold the desperate hardnesse of heart in these per­sons, and all their followers; they turned all from themselves upon the faithful servants of God that laboured to reclaim them, saying, This is for you ye Legalists, that your eyes might be further blinded by Gods hand upon us in your legal wayes, that you may stumble and fall, and in the end break your necks in Hell, if ye imbrace not the Truth.

(EEE) Ibid. p. 5. These persons with many others infected by them, went altogether out of our Jurisdiction into an Iland, and there they live to this day most of them, hatching and multiplying new opinions, and cannot agree, but are miserably divided into sundry Sects and Factions.

[Page 73] (FFF) Mistresse Hutchinson being weary of the Iland, went from thence with all her family, to live under the Dutch, neer a place in the Map called Hell-gate.

(GGG) There the Indians set upon them, and slew her and all her family; her daughter, and her daughters husband; and all their children, save one that escaped. Some write that the Indians did burn her to death, withall that belonged to her. I never heard that the Indians in these parts did commit the like outrage upon any other.

(HHH) Vide KKK 1.

(III) Ibid. p. 13. They grew also many of them very loose in their practises; for these opinions will certainly produce a filthy life by degrees: As no Prayer in their Familes, no Sabbath, insufferable pride, frequent and hideous lying; and some of them became guilty of fouler sins then all these, which I here name not.

Cottons third Sermon, 6. Vial, pag. 9. The calamities of the Countrey are from God; he takes away all; whether by our pride, that we must have every new fashion, and be like the men of the world, in houses, apparel, and the like; or daintinesse, that we must have our varieties, though it cost never so much, and no matter what followeth, though it eat up our estates. The Lord hath made use of our folly, and pride, and daintinesse, our idlenesse, and covetousnesse.

Idem. 2. Vial, pag. 26. We know that in England there is no such unfaithful dealing, and hollow heartednesse? no such bitternesse between Christians. What will befal your posterity, they will degene­rate out of measure, by the unfaithfulnesse of your lives, and the un­righteousnesse of your promises.

(KKK 1.) Short story, p. 44. The Midwife, one Hawkins, was notorious for familiarity with the divel, and now a prime Familist: The most of the Women who were present at Mistresse Dyers travel, were suddenly taken with such a violent vomiting, and purging, without eating or drinking of any thing, as they were forced to go home; others had their children taken with Convulsions, which they had not before, nor since, and so were sent for home: So that none were left at the birth, but the Midwife and two other; whereof one fell asleep at such time as the childe died, which was about two hours be­fore the birth: The Bed wherein the mother lay, shook so violently, that all who were in the Room perceived it.

(KKK 2.) Ibid. p. 63, 64. Then Master Cotton told the Assem­bly, That whereas she had been formerly dealt with for matter of [Page 74] Doctrine, he had according to the duty of his place, being the Teacher of the Church, proceeded against her unto admonition: But now the case bring altered, and she being questioned for maintaining of untruth, which is matter of Manners, he must leave the businesse to the Pastor Master Wilson to go on with her; but withal declared his judgement in the case from that in the Revelation, ch. 22. That such as make and maintain a lie, ought to be cast out of the Church; and whereas two or three pleaded that she might first have a second Ad­monition, according to that in Titus 3.10. He answered, That that was onely for such as erred in point of Doctrine; but such as shall no­toriously offend in matter of conversation, ought to be presently cast out, as he proved by Ananias and Saphira, and the incestuous Corin­thian.

Ibid. p. 65. It was observed that she should now come under Admonition for many foul and fundamental Errours, and after he cast out for notorious lying.

CHAP. IV. The Carriage of the Independents in Holland, at Roterdam, and Arnhem.

THe fruits of this way in Holland, Independency no fruitful Tree in Hol­land. are not much sweeter then these we have tasted in New-England. All the time of their abode there, they were not able to conquer to their party more then two Congregations; and these but very small ones, of the English onely: For to this day, I have not heard of any one man of the Dutch, French, Scottish, or any other Reformed Church, who have become a Member of any Independent Congregation.

Their first Church in Holland was that of Roterdam, Master Peter [...] the first Plant­er of that Weed at Roterdam. which Master Peters (A) (not the most settled head in the World) did draw from its ancient Presbyterial Constitution, to that new frame which it seemeth he also learned by Master Cottons Letters from New-England.

This Church became no sooner Independent, then it run into the way of such shameful Divisions as their Mother at Amster­dam had gone before them. Their Pastor Master Peters, was soon weary of them, or they of him; for what causes themselves best know; but sure it is, he quickly left them, and went for New-England.

The Church was not long destitute of Pastors;Their Mini­sters, Master Bridge, Master Simpson and Master Ward, renounced their English Ordination, and as meer private men took new Or­dination from the people. for about that time Master Ward and Master Bridge came over to them from Norwich, where they ever had lived fully conform, without any contradiction either to Episcopacy or Ceremonies, onely they withstood Bishop Wrens last Innovations (B).

So soon as they came to Roterdam, without any long time of adveisement, they conformed themselves to the Discipline which Master Peters had planted (C); They renounced their English Ordination and Ministerial Office, joyning themselves as meer private men to that Congregation, which afterward did choose and ordain both of them to be their Ministers (D).

It was not long before Master Simpson also came hither from London, and renouncing also his Ordination (E), joyned himself as a private member with them.

[Page 76] Incontinent they did fall into shameful divisions and subdivisions.Then did the Spirit of Division begin to work among them, and so far to prevail, that Master Simpson malecontent with Master Bridge, for hindering the private members of the flock to pro­phesie after the Brownists way, did separate himself and erect a new Congregation of his own (F): Betwixt these two Churches, the contentions and slanders became no lesse grievous then those of Amsterdam betwixt Ainsworth and Johnsons followers; and in this much worse, that they of Roterdam abode not at one Schism; but after Master Simpsons separation, broke out again in­to another subdivision.

Master Bridges Congregation was so filled with strife, so shameful slanders were laid upon his own back, that displeasure did hasten the death of his wife (G), and did well neer kill him­self, making him oft professe his repentance that ever he entred into that society (H).

The people without any just cause de­posed their Minister.As for Master Ward, his Ministery became so unsavoury to that people, that they did never rest till judicially by their own Authority alone (for Presbytery they had none, and Master Bridge did dissent from that act of unjust oppression) they had deposed Master Ward from his pastoral charge (I).

The Commis­sioners from Arnhem durst not come neer the bottom of the businesse.This act was much stumbled at by divers who were fully perswaded of Master Wards integrity, and at last by the inter­cession of some from the Church of Arnhem he was restored to his place; but the ground of the controversie was no wayes touched: For when the four Commissioners from Arnhem, Ma­ster Goodwin, Master Nye, Master Laurence, and another, had met in a Chamber of a private house in Roterdam, with some Members of that faulty Congregation (K), and so made up their famous Assembly, which the Apologists are pleased to equal, if not to prefer to all the Assemblies they ever had seen (L): Whether that National Synod, wherein Master Nye had seen the flowre of the Scottish Nation enter into the Covenant with very great devoti­on: Or this great Assembly at Westminster, where he and his Bre­thren oft have seen sitting the Prince Elector, the most Noble Members of both Houses of Parliament, the prime Divines of all England, the Commissioners of the Church of Scotland.

That Assembly, I say of Roterdam, did not so much as touch the main question; they drew a thin skin over the wound, but durst not assay to lance it to the bottom. For did they ever rebuke, [Page 77] or so much as once speak to the people of that Congregation, for usurping a Tyrannicall Authority to depose their Pastor. Did they tell Master Ward of his siding with Master Simpson, against Master Bridge, in the matter of Prophesie? did they ever attempt to cognosce on the great scandal, the ground of all the rest, Master Simpsons Separation? did they make any hearty and solid recon­ciliation betwixt Master Ward and the Church? It seems the Assembly was wiser then to meddle with evils, which they found much above their strength to remedy. Master Ward found himself after his restitution in so pittiful a condition with his new friends, that he left their Company (M).

The two Churches were irreconcileable,The Schisms at Roterdam were more ir­reconcileable then those at Amsterdam. till both Master Bridge, and Mr. Simpson had removed their Stations to England; and even then the concord could not be obtained, till the Dutch Magistrate had interposed his authority (N): Neither by this means could Master Simpsons Church be perswaded to return to Master Bridges, till for their meer pleasure they got that Con­gregation to remove one of their prime members, without the alleadging of any cause but their own peremptory will and satis­faction (O). When by so much a do these two divided Churches are brought together, it may be much doubted, if their Union shall long continue. Certainly, it seems not to be so cordial, as that of the two lately divided, and now reunited Churches a [...] Amsterdam. For among these of Roterdam, not onely the grounds of the old division do evidently remain, but also the Seeds of a new breach do appear above the ground.

The liberty of Prophecying, which Master Simpsons (now Master Simons) Congregation did require, is not obtained in the way they desired it; for they are not permitted to Prophecy in the Congregation, nor upon the Sabbath day, nor in the place of publike meeting: Onely in a private place, on a week day, where some of the Church who please do meet; they have liberty to ex­ercise their gifts. On the other part, what Master Bridges (now Mr. Parks) Church did require, I mean a Presbytery for Govern­ment in the Congregation, cannot be obtained. For however, they professe the lawfulnesse and conveniency of Ruling Elders, and of a Consistory for Discipline; yet it hath so faln out that for many yeers they have had none, neither are like in haste to have, unlesse the grumbling of Master Parks and his friends [Page 78] threatning a new breach, do force them at last to the use of that Ordinance.

Anabaptism is like to spoil that Church.But that which threatneth not a Schisme alone, but a total dissolution of that Congregation, is the Pest of Anabaptism, which begins of late much to infect them (P). It is true, the Pastors do their best to reclaim all their members from that Er­rour; and when they finde themselves not able to prevail, give good words and assurances of a full and Brotherly Toleration; for as they scruple not to give the hand of Fellowship to the Brownists of Amsterdam (Q); so will they not cast out any from their Church for denying of Pedobaptism, if the dissenting and erring party be pleased to remain peaceably amongst them: But here is the pitty, when the Independents have declared their greatest readinesse to tolerate and entertain in their Churches, both the rigid Separatists, and the Anabaptists (R); yet the most of those are unwilling to stay, but are peremptory to separate from the Independent Churches as more corrupt then that they with a good conscience can abide in them, though never so much tole­rated and cherished.

As for their Church at Arnhem, howsoever their small inter­course with others, during their abode in that remote corner, and their taciturnity of their own affairs, makes their proceedings to lie under a Cover; yet so much of their wayes is come to light upon divers occasions, as will not be very inductive and alluring of indifferent spirits, to tred in their footsteps.

They of the Church of Arnhem admire and praise themselves above all mea­sure.First, We finde them greater admirers of themselves and proclaimers of their own excellency then is the custome of modest and wise, though the best and greatest men. They think it not enough to anoint their Masters and Friends of New-Eng­land with excessive praises, as men who have not been matched by any of the Saints since the dayes of Abraham (S); but they are also bold to sound out to themselves in Print in the ears of both Houses of Parliament, a commendation much above the possible merit of any so small a number of men in the whole world. The Synod of Roterdam they equal to the most solemn National Assemblies of either or both Kingdoms (T). This ex­ceeding great worth upon whose head must it fall, but either alone or far most principally upon the Members of the Church of Arnhem? For that Synod did consist of no other but the two [Page 79] Doctors of that Church, and the two Elders thereof, together with Master Bridge, and the Members of his Church. These last were present in that Synod as persons challenged, and guilty of a grievous scandal; so to them in that action, but a small praise can be due: Wherefore, the supereminent Excellency of that meet­ing, must fall upon the Commissioners of Arnhem, the onely per­sons which in that meeting were void of offence, and free from challenges. To themselves therefore it is alone, or at least above all others, that they ascribe the superlative praises of that Synod.

In that same place they stick not to take to themselves the honour of so great sincerity as any flesh in the world not onely hath at this present, but possibly can attain in any following Age (V). We wonder the lesse to hear them canonize their Colleague Master Archer after his death, among the most precious persons who ever trod upon the earth (X).

This self-overvaluing seems to be the ground why they cry out of their very moderate afflictions as of great calamities;The easinesse of their ba­nishment and afflictions. they ingeminate to the Parliament, over and over, their persecution, their poverty, their miserable exile (Y); when they who under­stand the case, give assurance, that not one of Ten of the most prosperous Ministers of the whole world, in the time of their greatest Sunshine, do live in more wealth, ease, honour, and all worldly accommodations, then these poor miserable exiles did enjoy all the time of that which they call their banishment (Z).

My next observation upon that Church, is,The new light at Arnhem broke out into a number of strange Er­rours. that an humour of innovating at least, if not a spirit of errour, did much predo­mine among them. To passe by that wantonnesse of wit, which in their Books, and Discourses doth much appear, whereby they attribute without fear, to a number of Scriptures, such new and strange senses as before them were never heard of: We finde them pleasing themselves in divers Doctrines, which no Reform­ed Church doth assert for truth, yea, their own Brethren, both of New-England, and of Roterdam, and of Amsterdam, do reject as Errours.

They are not content with some few little touches of Chiliasm,First, Grosse Chiliasm▪ which yet Master Cotton tells us are but fleshly imagi­nations (AA): But they run themselves over head and ears in the deepest gulph of that old Heresie. The glimpse of Sions glory [Page 80] Preached at a Fast in Holland by T. G. (which common report without any contradiction that I have heard declares to be Tho­mas Goodwin) averrs, That Independency is a beginning, or at least a neer antecedent of Christs Kingdom upon Earth (BB): That within five yeers Christ is to come in the flesh (CC); and by a Sword of Iron, to kill with his own hand the most of his enemies (DD); and thereafter to passe over a thousand yeers (EE) as a worldly Monarch (FF) with his Saints: Who shall live with him all that time in all sorts of fleshly delights (GG). Master Archer the onely Pastor that ever they had, whose praises they sound forth so loud in their Apologetick, would perswade us of the same, and more grosse stories (HH). Master Bur­rows in his late Sermons upon Hosea, runs in the same way (II.)

Secondly, The grossest blas­phemy of the Libertines that God is the Author of the very sinfulnesse of sin.Neither is this all the new Light that did shine forth in the Candlestick of Arnhem; but there also Master Archer giveth forth, for the comfort of his hearers, without the reproof so far as yet we have heard of any of his Colleagues, That God is not onely the Author of sin (KK), but also of the sinfulnesse, the very Formality, the Anomy, the Ataxy, the Pravity of sin (LL). A doctrine which all Protestants ever did abhor as high Blasphemy; and which, the Assembly of Divines, with both the Houses of Parliament, did condemn as such; appointing Master Archers Book for that worst Heresie of the Libertines, and grossest Blasphemy of the Antino­mians, to be solemnly burnt by the hand of the Hangman (MM).

Thirdly, the fancy of the Enthusiasts in knowing God as God, ab­stracted from Scripture, from Christ, from Grace, and from all his attributes.There was also another sparkle of new Light brake up in that Church, wherein one of their Doctors doth so much delight to this day; That not being content to have holden it out in Hol­land, he is said to have Preached it over and over in the most so­lemn Assemblies both of Scotland and England; That it is a duty incumbent to all who would be perfit, to know God as God, without Christ, without the Scripture, in notions abstracted, not onely from all Grace, but from all Scripture, and from Christ (NN). I dare not affix unto this, the late Doctrine of some Seraphick Jesuites and Monks, wherein they have extravagated in their Lent Sermons, so many absurd and Heretical senses, as some very learned and good men have done in Print without any answer (OO); yet I must professe, if it be a truth, it is a very metaphysical one and much transcending my shallow understanding.

[Page 81]In that Church also the Doctrine of extreme Unction was so far brought back,Fourthly, The old Popish Ceremonies of extreme Unction, and the holy kisse of Peace. That they began to annoint their sick with oyl (PP); taking it as an Ordinance of Christ, and a kinde of a Sacrament for the people, at least a holy Ceremony, no lesse of divine▪ Institution then Ordination and imposition of hands were for Officers (QQ.)

Also, they set on Foot another Religious ceremony in their Congregation, the holy Apostolick kisse (RR).

And as if all these innovations had not been sufficient,Fifthly, The discharging of the Psalms, the appointing of a singing Pro­phet to chant the Songs made by him­self, in the si­lence of all others. Sixthly, The mortality of the soul. they begun to put down all singing of Psalms, and to set up in their place Their singing Prophets, making one man alone to sing in the midst of the silent Congregation, the hymns which he out of his own gift had composed (SS 1). And this as I am informed by some who have been present, is now the settled practice of the remainder of the Church of Arnhem.

Master Edwards layes to their charge, not onely that their principles lead to that horrible Errour which [...] of their followers maintain, The mortality of the sou [...] [...] but also, that their cheif Doctors had Preached, both is [...] and Eng­land, without the rebuke of any of their fr [...] [...] of the Saints go not after death to the Heavens (SS [...]). [...] same place, the Pastor of Arnhem, without the reproof o [...] any of his party to this day, so far as ever I heard, doth take away, and deny, that Heaven and that Hell which all Christians before him did ever beleeve; and in the place thereof, gives us new Heavens and new Hells of his own invention: He tells us confidently, That no soul before Christs Ascension, did ever enter into that place which we com­monly call Heaven, neither ever shall enter there, if you except Christ alone, unto the last day: That all the souls of the godly remain in a place of the higher Region of the Air, or at highest in the Element of the Fire; That Enoch and Elias, that the soul of Christ, before the Resurrection, and the soul of the good Theif, went no higher (SS 4.) He tells us, That the place of the damned before the last judgement, is not any infernal fire, but some prison in the low Region of the Air, or at lowest, in some place of the Sea. After the day of judgement, he makes Hell a very large place; the whole Elements, the Heavens of the Planets and of the fixed Stars, yea, the whole Heavens, ex­cept that wherein God and the Angels do dwell, being all turned to their first matter, to him is Hell: With such fine new specu­lations [Page 82] do the Independent Pastors feed their Flocks (SS 5).

Seventhly, the conveniency for Ministers to Preach co­vered, and ce­lebrate the Sa­craments dis­covered: but for the people to hear disco­vered, and to participate the Sacraments covered. Their publike contentions were shameful.I have heard also one of their Doctors deliver it as his opini­on, That it was expedient for the Minister in Preaching to have his head covered; and the people in time of Preaching to sit un­covered: But in the holy Communion, that it was expedient the Minister should celebrate that Sacrament uncovered unto the people covered. I do not deny my suspition of the Spirit of these men, who are not affraid in so short a time, to vent such a mul­titude of strange novelties.

But the clearest memento which God hath given us to beware of the wayes of that Church, is, Their bitter and shameful con­tentions among themselves, which, if not stopped by the Churches dissolution, might long before this day have produced as foul effects as any of the former. A part of this story, and but a part of it, you may read in that unanswerable Book of Master Edwards, where at length, you will see how their new fancies brought them to so bitter publike contention, and irreconcileable strife, as made their people confesse their doubting of the truth of their way (TT); and their principal Doctor, Master Goodwin, to avow his inclination to desert their society, and leave their Church (VV).

The Testimonies.

(A) Anatomy of Independency, pag. 24. That Independent Church at Roterdam, was formerly under Presbyterial Government, and conformable to the Dutch Churches, and had onely begun to de­cline in Master Peters his time.

(B) Antap. p. 17. Master Bridge and Master Burrows were men judged conformable, till the yeer of Bishop Wrens visitation, and the sending down of his Injunctions to Norwich.

(C) Ibid. Master Bridge fell suddenly into the Church-way, as the short space between his Suspension at Norwich and his being re­ceived into a Church at Roterdam, and thereupon, his first Letter to some of his old friends in Norwich will fully shew.

(D) Anatom. pag. 23. They, all renounced their Ordination in England, and ordained one another in Holland; first Master Bridges ordained Master Ward, and then immediately Master Ward or­dained Master Bridges.

[Page 83] (E) Antap. pag. 142. Master Simpson after some time of be­holding the order and way of the Church at Roterdam, desired to be admitted a Member, and was upon his Confession received in.

(F) Ibid. Master Simpson stood for the Ordinance of prophe­cying, and that the people on the Lords day should have liberty after the Sermon to put doubts and questions to the Ministers. Mr. Bridge opposed: Yet he yeelded so far, that the Church should meet on a week day, and then they should have that liberty; but this would not satisfie Master Simpson; whereupon the difference increased, and Master Simpson would abide no longer, but quitted that Church: and with the help of a woman, whom Master Bridge called the Foundresse of Master Simpsons Church, set up a Church against a Church.

(G) Mistresse Bridge laid these bitter differences and reports so to heart, that they were a great means of her death.

(H) Ibid. Whether Master Bridges weaknesse and distempers were not occasioned by the divisions and wicked scandals raised upon him, as well as by the Air of Roterdam, himself knows best.

Ibid. p. 143. Ʋpon Master Simpsons renting from the Church, and setting up a Church against a Church, under Mr. Bridges nose; and upon wicked reports raised about Master Bridges, there grew that bitternesse, evil speakings, and deep censurings, deadly feuds amongst these Ministers and their Churches, as never was more betwixt the Jews and the Samaritans. Master Bridge confessed to me, there were not such sharp tongues, nor bitter divisions as these.

Anatom. p. 6. Of these reproachings Master Bridges hath found notable experience at Roterdam, to the tyring out of his spirit amongst them there, in so much as he hath been often heard to affirm, That if he had known at first what he met with afterward, he would never have come amongst them, nor being amongst them, have given them such liberty as he had.

(I) Antap. p. 35. Master Ward, Master Bridges colleague and old friend at Norwich, was deposed from his Ministery, and Of­fice by Master Bridges Church, for frivolous matters.

(K) Antap. p. 184. I much wonder how you can call the meet­ing of Master Goodwin and Master Nye, with two Gentlemen more, calling Master Bridge with the rest of that Church supposed to be De­linquents, such a solemn Assembly.

(L) Apol. Naration, p. 20. The Ministers of the Church of­fended, with other two Gentlemen of much worth, Members thereof, [Page 84] were sent as Messengers from that Church, and at the introduction, and entrance of that solemn Assembly; the solemnity of which, hath left as deep an impression upon our hearts of Christs dreadful presence, as ever any we have been present at.

(M) Antap. p. 141. I desire to know whether Master Ward after he was restored, did, as formerly, officiate in that Church, and how long; and whether Master Bridge and he continued as fellow [...]Mini­sters; and whether between them two, and between the Church and Master Ward, there was that mutual carriage that ought to be be­tween fellow-Ministers, and Ministers and People.

(N) Anatom. pag. 49. The way of Ʋnion of th [...]se Churches could never be found till the Magistrates Authority and Command found it.

(O) Anato. p. 6. These two Churches being of late commanded by the Magistrates of Roterdam to unite again in one, and that Church whereof Master Simpson was Minister, being unwilling to joyn to the other, unlesse some Members thereof should be cut off first, especially one; and the Church whereof that party was a Member, be­ing willing to gratifie the other in this, and yet professing and attesting as an act of the whole Church by writing, That all the time he had been a Member, his conversation had been without offence: Yet their Teacher was forced as himself confessed with grief of heart, having nothing to except against the person, to urge him to take his dismission from the Church.

(P) Ibid. Adde hereunto the defection of some of their Mem­bers to Anabaptism▪ and how apt others of them are to be made a prey therein, more then the Members of other Reformed Churches, as late instance hath manifested, some having professed Master Simpsons principles have made them Anabaptists.

(Q) Anatom. p. 24. They cannot shew us such a fraternity be­tween them and any Reformed Church, as I am (and I beleeve truely) informed, Master Simpsons Church (whether by him or after his time by Master [...]imons, I have not enquired) entered into with th [...]se of the [...]eparation at Amsterdam, by a mutual covenant and agreement to own each other. I beleeve it to be by vertue of that Covenant, that some of their Members, not Officers of the Church, do publikely Preach in Master Canns Pulpit at Amsterdam.

(R) Antap. p. 51. I can tell you how some of you who have not Churches here in London, go to separate Churches to partake of the Lords Supper.

[Page 85] Ibid. p. 56. Instance hath been given me particularly by a great friend of yours now in London; that when some of you have come to Amsterdam, you never would go to Master Herrings, a good old Non­conformist, but you have gone to Master Cann the Separatist, and to his Church.

Ibid. For their going to the Brownists, and conversing with Master Cann more then us, that is undeniable.

(S) Apol. Narration, p. 5. Whose sincerity in their way hath been testified before the world, and will be unto Generations to come, by the greatest undertaking but that of our Father Abraham out of his own Countrey, and his Seed after him.

(T) Vide supra. L.

(V) Apol. Nar. p. 3. In this inquiry we looked upon the Word of Christ as impartially and unprejudicedly, as men made of flesh and blood are like to do in any juncture of time that may fall out.

(X) Ibid. p. 22. We lost some friends and companions, our fellow-Labourers in the Gospel, as precious men as this Earth bears any.

(Y) Apol. Nar. p. 22. When it pleased God to bring us his poor exiles back again. Ibid. p. 23. Which was as great an affliction to us as our former troubles and banishment. Ibid. p. 31. Consider us as these who for many yeers suffered even to exile.

(Z) Antapol. p. 26. How dare you affirm that for your con­sciences you were deprived at once of what ever was deer to you? were not your Wives, Children, Estates, Friends, and Lives dear to you? had you not all these with you, and did you not in the Netherlands live in the best places, in much plenty, ease, and pomp? what great depri­vation is this of what ever is dear, for men to take their own times, and to go in Summer, with Knights, Ladies, and Gentlewomen, with all necessaries, into Holland, and there to take choice of all the Land, and with Wives, Children, Friends, and Acquaintance, free from the fears and possibilities of vexation from the Spiritual Courts and Prisons, to enjoy all plenty and freedom as you did? many would have been glad, and still would be, to be so exiled into Holland, and to be able to spend there two or three hundred pounds per annum.

(AA) Cottons 6. Vial, pag. 9. I dare not take up such carnal imaginations, as that Christ shall come bodily, and reign here upon Earth.

(BB) Glimpse of Sions glory, p. 33. If God have such an intention to glorifie his Church, and that in this world, what manner of [Page 86] persons ought yee to be, because ye are beginning this despised work, ga­thering a Church together, which way God will honour? certainly, the Communion of Saints, and Independency of Congregations, God will honour.

(CC) Daniel 12.11. From the time that the daily Sacrifice shall be taken away, there shall be 1290. dayes; what is the meaning of this? A day is usually taken for a yeer. This abomination of desola­tion was in Julians time in the 360. yeer; now reckon so many yeers according to the number of the dayes, it comes to 1650. and it is like to be it, as any that can be named. But it is said, Blessed is he that comes to the 1335. dayes, that is, fourty five yeers more added; it shall begin in the 1650. but it comes not to full head till fourty five yeers more.

(DD) Ibid. In the Epistle, take this rule, That all Texts of Scripture are to be understood literally, except they make against other Scriptures, or except the very coherence of the Scripture shew it otherwise.

Ibid. p. 17. Indeed, if we be put upon allegorical senses, we may put off any Scripture; but if we take them literally, why should we not?

Ibid. p. 21. Christ is described in the 19. of the Revelation, with his Garments dyed in blood, when he doth appear to come and to take the Kingdom; when he appears with many Crowns upon his head, that notes his many victories.

Ibid. p. 17. The promise that is made Revel. 12. He shall rule them with a Rod of Iron, and as the Vessels of a Potter they shall be broken to shivers: What shall we make of this?

(EE) Ibid. p. 14, 15. The raigning with Christ 1000. yeers, is not meant of raigning with him in Heaven, but it must be meant of Jesus Christs coming and raigning here gloriously for 1000▪ yeers.

(FF) Ibid. p. 17. What shall we make of this, except there be a glorious raign of Christ with the Saints? Christ is said to make them Kings, so as to have power and dominion in the world.

(GG) Ibid. p. 13. There is no reason why that of the 26. of Matth. v.29. I will drink it new with you in my Fathers King­dom, may not be taken litterally.

(HH) Archers personal raign, p. 5. I call this last state of his, Monarchical, because he will govern as earthly Monarchs have done, that is, universally over the world in these dayes, known, and [Page 87] esteemed; and in a worldly, visible, earthly glory, not by tyranny, oppression, and sensually, but with honour, peace, riches, and what­soever in and of the world, is not sinful, having all Nations and Kingdoms doing homage to him, as the great Monarchs of the World had.

(II) Burrows upon Hosea, p. 145. These are the new Hea­vens and the new Earth that are to be created; and this is meant of the Church plainly: For the Text, Verse 12. speaks of building houses, and inhabiting them, and of planting Vineyards, and eating the fruit of them upon these new Heavens, and this new Earths Creation.

Ibid. p. 191. And literally we are to understand many Scriptures that tend this way concerning the fruitfulnesse of the Earth, and the outward external glory, that then shall be in the Creatures.

(KK) Archers comfort for beleevers, p. 41. God may as true­ly and easily, have a will and hand in, and be the Author of sins, as of afflictions.

Ibid. We may safely say, that God is, and hath an hand in, and is the Author of the sinfulnesse of his people.

(LL) Ibid. p. 36. The fear of some of these inconveniences, hath made Divines not to acknowledge so much of God in sin, as is in sin: They have erred on the other hand, and made sin more of the Creature and it self and lesse from God then it is: They grant that God is willing sin should be, and that he permits it, and orders circum­stances about its production, and hath an hand in, and is the Author of the Physical or Moral act, in, and with which sin is; but the essence of sin, that is, the Pravity and Ataxy, the Anomy and Irregularity of the act, which is the sinfulnesse of it, God hath no hand, neither is he any Author at all thereof. This opinion goes wrong another way, and gives not to God enough in sin. Let us imbrace and professe the truth, and not fear to say that of God, which he in his holy Book saith of himself, namely, That of him and from his hand, is not onely the thing that is sinful, but the pravity and sinfulnesse of it.

(MM) A short Declaration of the Assembly, by way of Detestation of the abominable and blasphemous opinion. The Order of the House of Lords runs thus, Complaint being this day made to the Lords in Parliament, by the Assembly of Divines, that a certain blasphemous and heretical Book, intituled, Comfort for Beleevers, is printed and published, being written by John Archer; [Page 88] their Lordships much abhorring the said blasphemies, do award and ad­judge, that the said Book shall be burnt by the hand of the common Hangman.

(NN) Doctor Stewarts Duply to M. S. second part, pag. 128. Not long since I heard one of the Ringleaders of the Indepen­dents Sect deliver this doctrine in a Sermon at the Abbey of West­minster. viz. That to a saving knowledge of God, it sufficeth not to know him in the Book of nature; or secondly, as revealed in the holy Scriptures; but that we must also know him as abstract from his mer­cy and all his attributes.

(OO) Ibid. If I know God abstracted from his mercy, I know him out of Christ, and out of the Gospel; for God in Christ and in the Gospel, is not abstract, but concrete with mercy. If God be con­sidered as abstract from all his attributes, it is no more a knowledge of God, but some idol of the Independent brains.

(PP) Antap. p. 36. Master Good win did anoint a Gentle­woman (whose name I conceal) when she was sick, and she recovered after it, say they.

(QQ) Ibid. Anointing the sick with Oyl, was held in that Church of Arnhem as a standing Ordinance for Church-Members, as laying on of hands was a standing Ordinance for Church-Officers.

(RR) Ibid. p. 60. I propound it to you, whether a little before your coming over into England, some Members of the Church of Arnhem, did not propone the Holy Kisse, or the Kisse of Love to be practised by Church-Members? Nay, Whether by some persons in that Church was it not begun to be practised?

(SS 1.) Ibid. p. 36. A Gentleman of note in that Church did propone in the Church, that singing of Hymns was an Ordinance; which is, that any person of the Congregation exercising their own gifts, should bring an Hymn and sing it to the Congregation, all the rest being silent, and giving audience.

(SS 2.) Antap. p. 262. Some of Arnhem hold strange con­ceits: Daily the Independent Churches like Affrica, do breed and bring forth the Monsters of Anabaptism, Antinomianism, Familism, nay, That huge Monster and old fleeing Serpent of the Mortality of the soul of man.

(SS 3.) Ibid. p. 261. I have been told of some odde things preached by one of you five, both in England and Holland, and of some points Preached in the Church of Arnhem, never questioned there [Page 89] and since Printed not very Orthodox; as for instance among others, That the souls of the Saints do not go to Heaven to be with Christ.

(SS 4.) Archers personal raign, p. 23. This Objection sup­poses the souls of the dead Saints to be in the highest Heavens, which is not so: It is likely the souls of the dead Saints are not in the highest Heavens, but in a middle place, which is meant in the New Testament by paradise; into this paradise went Christs soul, and the theifs, which was not Heaven. Its most probable that Christs soul never went into the highest Heavens, till his Body went also. Ibid. None but Christ, and so none before Christ, ever entered the highest Heavens. The way to Heaven was never opened till Christ the high Priest enter­ed Body and Soul into it. The highest Heavens never had but one man into them, namely Christ, nor shall have till the worlds end.

Ibid. p. 25. If you ask where this place of Paradise is: I an­swer, It must be below the highest Heavens; therefore, surely it is in the Region or Element of fire, where the Sun and Stars are, or in the highest Region of the Ayr.

(SS 5.) Archers personal raign, p. 35. At the day of judgement the wicked shall be sent with the Devil unto Hell, which Hell shall not be that which is now called Hell, but another; for the Hell that now is, is but a prison, and not the place of execution: At the last day this Hell that now is, shall cease. This Hell which is at present, to be sure is in some of the places of the Air, or the Waters, and not in the Earth: But the Hell which shall be the everlasting torment of all the damned, shall be all this lower and visible World. All the places of the Earth, Water, Air, Sun, Moon, Stars, and the Fire, called the Heavens, and the Earth. The things which God immediately made out of nothing, shall never change: As the highest Heavens, and the Angels in them, and the souls of men, and this Chaos called the Earth; but all other things being made out of something, even out of this Earth or Chaos, they shall after a time change; and so all this World shall come to an Earth or Chaos again. God in time did make two places, Heaven and Earth, immediate­ly out of nothing, to be eternal places, the one of Joy, the other of Torment. Thus you see when Hell was made but it was quickly covered, and shall not be uncovered; till Christ do it at the last day.

(TT) Antap. p. 36. The Gentleman censured, brings an accusation against Master Nye, charging him with Pride, want of Charity, &c. And this being brought before the Church, continued in debate about half a yeer, three or four days in a week, and sometimes more, before all the Congregation; divers of the Mem­bers having callings to follow, they desired leave to be absent. Master Goodwin oft professed publikely upon these differences, If this were their Church-fellowship, he would lay down his Eldership; and nothing was more commonly spoke among the Members, then that certainly for matter of Discipline, they were not in the right way, for that there was no way to bring things to an end.

(VV) Vide supra. TT.

CHAP. V. The Carriage of the Independents at London.

The work of the prime In­dependents of New England, Arnheim, and Roterdam, these five yeers at London.YOu have gotten a taste of the Fruits of this Tree, as it grows in New-England and Holland: When it is transplanted to Old-England, consider if the Grapes of it be any thing sweeter. These Five last yeers, the chief of that party, both from Arnhem, Roterdam and New-England, have kept their residence at London, to advance, by common counsels and industry, their Way, in these days of their hopes. A full account of their courses in that place cannot be expected, so long as many passages concerning them lie in the dark, and the end is not yet come. But three things seem to be clear, which make their Way at London no more lovely then in the places mentioned. First, they have been here exceeding unhappie in retarding, and to their power crossing the blessed Reformation in hand. Secondly, they have pregnantly occasioned the multiplication of Heresies and Schisms, above all that ever was heard of in any one place in any former Age. Thirdly, they have occasioned such Divisions in the State, that, had it not been for the extraordinary mercies of God, the Parlia­ment and all that follow them, had long ago been laid under the feet of their enraged enemies, and the whole Isle, long before this, totally ruined.

They did hin­der with all their power, so long as they were able, the calling of the Assembly.As for the first, The Reformation of Religion, so much wished for by all the godly for so many yeers, all know it could never have been attained without the help of an Assembly of Divines: Who opposeth the necessary Mean, cannot be taken for a friend of the End. The Assembly, the necessary means of Reformation, was for a very long time hindred, by the diligence of the Inde­pendent party, to be called (A): and when, to their evident grief and discontent, the Parliament had voted its calling, they may remember their extraordinary industry to get▪ it modelled ac­cording to their Principles, both in its members and power (B); to have it an elective Synod onely for advice, to consist of so ma­ny of themselves and of their favourers as was possible, not any known Divine of any parts in all England of their opinion, be­ing [Page 91] omitted. How cautious they were by great slight of hand to keep off so many of the old Puritan Unconformists, and how much more enclinable towards men of Episcopal and Liturgick principles, themselves do know.

This their underhand-working before the sitting of the Assem­bly, was seen but by few: but so soon as the Synod did sit,When it was called, they re­tarded its pro­ceedings▪ it did then appear to the whole Company who were the men who made it their work and greatest studie to keep off, by their endlesse Janglings, the Assembly from concluding any thing that might settle the distracted Church (C); so that to this day, after two yeers time and above, in more frequent and learned Sessions then every we read of in any Assembly since the world began (D), There is nothing at all set up for the comfort of the afflicted Kingdom.

Their aversenesse to the Assembly doth appear, not onely in their opposition to its calling, in their retarding of its proceedings, but in their pressing of its dissolution. I do not speak of the huge Contumelies which some of their party have poured out upon the face of that most Reverend Meeting, in a number of very wicked Pamphlets, which to this day were never so much as cen­sured, though the Authors, by name and sirname, are com­plained of in Print. But that which I speak of, is the expresse Article of the Independent Petition, desiring the Parliament in formal terms, according to Master Peters dictates, to dissolve the Assembly (D 2.).

Had either the Popish faction, or the Episcopal party,That the Churches of England and Ireland lie so long in confu­on, neither Pa­pists, nor Pre­lates, nor Ma­lignants have been the cause. or the malignant Courtiers procured the continuance of our woful A­narchie, our anger would have been greater then our grief or shame. But when the mercies of God now for some yeers have removed the Papists, Prelats and Courtiers so far from us, that by word or deed they have not hindred us in the least measure to heal the diseases of our Church at our pleasure; that her wounds to this day should be multiplied, and all kept open to drop out her best blood, alone through the obstinacy of our Brethren, though we compresse our indignation, yet we cannot but be oppressed with a great measure of grief, nor can we chuse but to be covered with confusion and shame, when we are forced to taste the most bitter fruits of our Brethrens principles, though denied by them in words, yet ingenuously avowed by their friends in Amsterdam, [Page 92] and constantly practised in New-England; to the uttermost of their power (E 1.), they must oppose the building of a Church any where in the world, if it be not after their patern:

But the Inde­pendents wor­king accord­ing to their principles.That as in New-England no Presbyterial Church on any condi­tion may be tolerated, so in Old-England no Presbyterial Church must ever be erected, if all their skill and industry can hinder it. Such a Reformation, though expresly according to the National Covenant, to them is a deformation which they cannot wish, much lesse pray for or endeavour, but with all their strength must crosse it, as a corruption unsufferable, where they have power.

Its plain and demonstrable, that their Principles and Way have forced them to oppose the Reformation in hand, and will ever force them so to do, till they lay new grounds, and be changed in the sence of their erroneous minde. However, the actions of our Brethren did proclame loud enough their intentions to delay so long as they were able, the setting up of any Government; yet when this evil is become so grosse and palpable, that all in words do disclaim it, and they who most do procure it, do most in shew abominate it, it seems a little strange that some of their Divines are now begun in Print expresly to own it, and in Print to per­swade the delay of this work (E 2.).

The great mis­chief of that Anarchy wher­in they have kept the Churches of England and Ireland for so long a time. Independency is the mother of more Here­resies and Schisms at London, then Amsterdam ever knew.It must be a heavie guiltinesse to be a powerful instrument of keeping two so great Kingdoms as England and Ireland without the Fold and Hedge of all Ecclesiastike Discipline for divers yeers together, especially in the time of a devouring War. How many thousand souls have perished by this means in their ignorance and profanesse, who in a wel-governed Church might have been re­claimed?

Unto this great misery, another great unhappinesse addeth much weight. Beside their marring of the begun-Reformation, they have occasioned the perishing of some millions of poor souls, by the unheard-of multiplication of Heresies and Schisms (F). I believe no place in the world, for this mischief, is now parallel to London. Amsterdam long ago is justified; that City hath trans­mitted hither the infamy of her various Sects. Now upon whom shall this blame be fastne [...] [...]?

It is well known that the Sects, at the time of the Indepen­dents return hither, were inconsiderable, in regard of that which now they are by their means. It was their work to bring people [Page 93] into distaste with the way of all the Reformed Churches: this by their labours was made vile in the eyes of the multitude; and people once having leaped over that wall within the which all the Protestant Churches have dwelt in safety, by all the skill of their first misleaders could not be holden from running farther away; as in New-England Independency was a mother to Ana­baptism, Antinomianism, Familism, and many more Heresies, We need not wonder to see it any where bring forth the like Brood: But hereof indeed do we wonder, that in so short a time this Way should change as it were its nature so farre to the worse.

In Holland and New-England, Independency,Independency at London doth not onely bring forth, but nourish and patronize Heresies and Schisms, con­trary to its custom either in New-Eng­land or Amster­dam. so soon as it had found and discerned the young brats of Anabaptists, Antino­mians or Familists in her bosom, it was her custom incontinent­ly to fling them away as Bastards: But Independency at London hath learned not onely to beget, but to cherish such children when they are brought forth. Not onely the Churches of New-Eng­land, but the very Amsterdam-Brownists have ever been zealous to cast out of their Society the Heretikes and Schismatickes we speak of: but here in London it is far otherwise.

We have heard that many of the Independents here, so soon as they have fallen into Anabaptism or other Errours of the time, have quickly of their own accord run away and separated from the Independent Congregations, as polluted, as false, as no Chur­ches: But that ever any of the London-Independents did cast out of their Churches any man or woman for Anabaptism, Antino­mianism or any other Errour, we never heard.

By the contrary, Independency here is become an uniting Principle; it hath kept our Brethren in the midst of all their bit­ter Jarrs with the Reformed Churches abroad, and the Presbyte­rians at home, in a great entirenesse and familiarity with all the Sectaries that pleased to draw neer them. They have by their de­bates and dissents laboured to hinder the Assembly from giving the least advice to the Parliament to take any order with the most absurd of the Sectaries, when complained upon for their greatest Enormities; yea, they have preached and printed divers Tractates for a full liberty to all Sects (G). That so soon they should have run thus far out, we could never have believed, if our own eyes and ears had not been our perswaders.

[Page 94] How hazard­ous it may prove to the State of Eng­land.As for the third Apple we observed on their Tree, The endan­gering of the State, it is no lesse visible then any of the former. If there were no more but the keeping of the Church-wounds so long open, the health, yea the life of the State might justly be feared, from this ground alone, by all who know the sympathy of these Twins, and the inseparable interest of these two much-uni­ted Companions. But beside the keeping of the Church unsetled, the growth of Schisms, how pregnant a cause it is of a States ru­ine, we need no other witnesse then the declaration of their Bre­thren in New-England (H). We are made here to believe, that the Anabaptists and the Antinomians are so tame and harmlesse creatures, that there is no danger of any violence from their in­nocent hands. If it be so, the General Court at New-Boston hath been extremely unjust, who professed their wel-grounded appre­hension of a total subversion not onely of all their Churches, but of their Civil State also, from a far lesse number of these Secta­ries then are here among us; and avowed to the world their ne­cessity to banish out of that Countrey the leaders of that danger­ous Faction, whether men or women, whether Church or States-men, and to disarm many of their followers, upon much much smaller provocations and lighter grounds of suspition then by the words and deeds of their kinsfolks have been offered lately unto this State. (I)

What more might be said of the London-Independents pra­ctices upon the State, readily may come to the world ere long by a much better Pen. I for causes at this time abstain totally from writing on this subject.

The Testimonies.

(A) Antap. p. 51. I believe upon good grounds, and so do many more, you never took any great content or joy in the thoughts of the Assembly, but have done your utmost to delay it and to put it by. God knows your hearts, and men some of your speeches about the meeting of this Assembly: But seeing it could not be helped, and that you could not keep it off by all your friends, &c.

(B) Antap. p. 255 When an Assembly was first agreed upon, there were not many more Ministers and Scholars of your way in the Kingdom who were capable of such a Service, then you got in to be Members of the Assembly; so that you had as much advantage as your condition was capable of, yea, and favour too. See the Orders of the Assembly, which give no power at all of Jurisdiction to the few sele­cted Divines, but alone a power of advice.

[Page 95] (C) Antap. p. 269. I am confident had it not been for you five, and a few more, the Reformation intended had been in a far fairer way then now it is. Bre­thren, there are many complaints, and that by your dear friends, of the retarding the Work of Reformation by your means. You are the Remora to the Ship under Sails, you are the Spoaks in the Wheels of the Chariot of Reformation. Parliament com­plains, Assembly, City, Countrey, all complain of the Work retarded, and all is re­solved into you five principally. I could tell you many particular passages, but you know what I mean. In a word, all the Prelates and the Papists cannot, nor do not hinder so much the Work of Reformation, as you five Members of the Assembly.

(D 1.) The Scribes Books carry already above 500. Sessions.

(D 2.) Prynnes fresh Discovery, p. 17. They lately conspired together to exhibite a Petition to the Parliament for present dissolving the Assembly, and sending them home to Countrey cures, to prevent the setling of any Church Government, to which end they met at the Winde-Mill Tavern, where John Lillburn sat in the Chair, and Master Hugh Peters suggested the advice, which was accordingly in­serted in the Petition.

(E 1.) Answer to 32. Quest. p. 83. If that Discipline which we here practise, be the same which Christ hath appointed, and therefore unalterable: We see not how another can be lawful. So if a company of people shall come hither, and set up another, we cannot promise to approve of them in so doing.

(E 2.) Burtons Vindication, p. 2. If the better heed be not taken, there may be more haste to a Reformation then good speed; A Reformation therefore will necessarily require longer time yet, that we may not go blindfold about it. See also Saltmarsh his Queres.

(F) Bastwicks second part of Independency▪ Postscript, p 37. Before the Independents Apparition in our Horison, there were but three or four Sects known among us, and they were few in number, and well conditioned; but out of the Independents Lungs are sprung above fourty several sorts of stra [...]lers, which be­fore their coming over were never heard of among us. John Lillburn related it unto me, and that in the presence of others, that returning from the wars to London, he met fourty new Sects, and many of them dangerous ones, and some so pernicious, that howsoever, as he said, he was in his judgement for Toleration of all Religions, yet he professed he could scarce keep his hands off them, so blasphemous they were in their opinions; So that he gathered that these were now the last days, wherein so many Heresies abounded: There are innumerable diabolical Sects, and so prodigi­ously impious, that it is not for a Christian to name their opinions; and most of them, if not all, were first Independents, and such as separated from our Congrega­tions as unholy, and were of their new gathered Churches, and followers of their Ministery.

(G) A short Answer to Adam Stewarts second part, supposed to be written by John Goodwin, p. 32. and 36. Is it not an ungodly thing to suffer men to be of any Religion? Answer. No, For both our Saviour and the Apostles, and the primitive Christians did the same: Ought we not at least to keep our dif­ferent Opinions, and Religion unto our selves, in obedience to the Civil Magistrate that commands it▪ Answer. No, Because its better to obey God then man; but if [Page 96] Jesuited Papists, and other subtill Hereticks be suffered; will they not seduce many unto their erroneous By-paths? Answer. Though a Toleration of erroneous Opinions may gain some to Satan, yet Truth being therewith to be published and approved, will in all probability, not onely gain so many more to God; but any one thus wonn to the Truth, is worth thousands of these that fall from it.

(H) Cottons Model of Church and Civil power related in the Bloody Tenent, p. 120. The falls of Common-wealths are known to arise from their di­minishing the power of the Church, and the flourishing of Common-wealths is ob­served to arise from the vigilant administration of the holy Discipline of the Church.

(I) Master Prynnes fresh discovery in the Epistle. Their Libels, actions, speeches, proclaim a plotted, avowed confederacy among some furious Ringleaders of these Independent Sectaries▪ against the Parliament, Assembly, and all their resolves in matters of Religion. That which confirms me in this opinion, is, first the new se­ditious Covenants which the Members of some Independent Congregations enter in­to, to adhere, defend, maintain, to the uttermost of their power, and contend for even to blood, the establishment of that Independent Form of Church Government which themselves have set up, and to oppose the Presbyterian.

Bastwicks second part, p. 28. This that I now say, I speak upon very good ground; among these they think they may confide in, they affirm they will not be be­holding to the Parliament, nor any body else for their liberty; for they will have it, and ask them no leave. They have the Sword now in their hand, and they think their party strong enough to encounter any adverse party: And they professe they care not how soon they come to cutting of throats, and speak of nothing but the slaugh­tering and butchering of the Presbyterians: And therefore there is just cause given us to think we may expect better quarters from the very enemies, then from the In­dependents, who call us in their Pulpits Brethren, but in their hearts hate us.

Ibid. Postscript, p 6. The Presbyterian Government not suiting with their humour, they abhor it, and all such as endeavour to establish it; and wish rather that all the old Trumpery were brought in again; and professe, they had rather have the Government of the Prelates: Yea, some of them have not been ashamed to protest unto Prelatical Priests, That before the Presbyters shall rule over them, they will cut all their throats, and joyn with them for the reestablishing of the Hierarchy.

Ibid. p. 30. Professing, that all such Preachers who Preach and write the least thing in opposition to their Opinions, ought to be hanged: And had they the power in their hands, they would trusse them up, as many can testifie.

Ibid. p. 45. They boast of such a party in the Kingdom, if their own words may be credited, as they now think by the Sword to be able to make their own Laws; and have been frequently heard say, That they had many Abbettours in the Assembly and both Houses of Parliament, and in many parts through the Kingdom, besides in all the Armies: And they were all resolved to have the Liberty of their Con­sciences, or else they would make use of their Swords, which they have already in their hands.

Ibid. p. 68. I know not any Independent in England, except one man and his wife, that do not as maliciously and implacably hate the Presbyterians as the mortallest enemy they have in the world.

CHAP. VI. An Enumeration of the common Tenets of the Independents.

IT is not easie to set down with assurance the Independents po­sitions,Why it is hard to set downe the Indepen­dents positions. both because they have to this day declined to declare positively their minds; as also because of their principle of mu­tability whereby they professe their readinesse to change any of their present Tenets.

How unwilling they are to declare their mind,They have de­clined to de­clare their Te­nets, more then has ever been the cu­stome of any Orthodox Di­vines. may appeare by their obstinate silence, and refusing to answer any of these Books that put them most to it; also, by hiding of their opinions from their brethren, who most earnestly have prest their Declaration.

These divers yeares the Ministers of London have been dealing with them for satisfaction herein, and once by importunity obtai­ned a promise under their hand of a full and free Declaration, but these foure yeares they have eluded that promise (a).

Mr. Apollonius in name of all the Churches of Zealand with all earnestnesse did intreat this duty of them (b), but all in vaine. When upon any occasion they have been moved to make any kind of Narration of their way, it was ever with an ex­presse proviso of their resolution to keep up as yet from the World their positive Tenets; so they conclude their Apologetick (c), so they begin their Keyes (d).

And now when the indignation both of the Assembly and Parliament, and of many more, was likely to break out upon them for this, that after so long time no plaine dealing hath been seen in them,When they shal bee pleased to declare them­selves to the full, their prin­ciple of change will hinder thē to assure us that any thing is their set­tled, and firm Tenet wherein they will bee constant. at last they have engaged themselves to de­clare their minds; and yet since that their publike engagement there are six Months past, and the Worlds expectation of under­standing at last their mind, is still suspended.

And though that their Declaration should come out to mor­row, yet with what assurance can we take any thing therein for their constant and settled Tenet, so long as they professe it to be one of their cheife principles to be so loose and irresolute in any thing they maintaine for the time, that they are ready to leave it, and upon occasion to embrace the contrary (e)? So long as [Page 102] this skeptick irresolution is avowed, there is no hope, there is no possibility of any fixed constancy.

The chief Te­nets which hi­therto they have given out, and not yet recal [...]ed, are these fol­lowing.These things considered no man is able to set down their full mind, nor any one of their positions whereto any dare assure they will firmely stand; only the chiefe of their singularities which they have been pleased to let come abroad, and have not to our knowledge as yet revoked, we shall set down as they come to our thoughts.

It hath been hitherto their earnest desire to decline the infamy of Brownisme, They reject the name of Independents unreasonably, and for their own disadvan­tage. and it was the charity of their Brethren to distin­guish them from that Sect, under the new name of Independents: importing their chiefe difference from us to stand not in the point of separation, which is our proper quarrell with the Brow­nists, but alone in the point of Church-Government, which against all the Reformed Churches they ma [...]ntaine to be Inde­pendent, that is, not subject to the Authority and Jurisdiction of any Superiour Synod. This was thought to be their proper di­stinctive and characteristicall Tenet, till of late we finde them passionately reject the name of Independents, and tell us, that the dependency or independency of their Congregations will bee found one of their least differences and smallest controversies.

In this our long mistake, we are content to be rectified; albeit our charity should not be reproved▪ who being ignorant of their willingnesse to differ from us in any thing higher or deeper then the Dependency of Congregations upon the Authority of Su­periour Assemblies, did put upon them no other name then that which implyed this difference alone.

It seemes that this Title is not only the most reasonable, but the most innocent and inoffensive note of distinction, which them­selves could have chosen: The terme not being invented by any of their ill-willers, but by their own cheife Leaders (f), who did think that word most proper to notifie their Tenet of Govern­ment;When it is laid aside, the more infa­mous name of Brownists and Separatists wil justly fall upon them. and since some name must be given to every eminently differing party, it seemes none lesse irritative could bee fallen upon, then that which most properly did signifie the chiefe mat­ter in Controversie.

But now finding they avow their chiefe differences to lie else­where, for my part I could yeeld to them to have the name of Independents buried, did I not feare it behoved to be changed [Page 103] with another Title, which would much more displease: For since they are gone beyond the question of Independent Government, and now doe question the constitution of our Churches so farre as puts them on a necessity of Separation, and in this doe place the chiefe of their Controversies with us: If a Sect may be deno­minated either from the Author or principall matter, as they make no bones to Print us Calvinians (g) and Presbyterians (h): I cannot conceive why they ought not to take it in good part, if when the name of Independents is laid by, they have in place of it, the Title of Brownists and Separatists fastned upon them.

Of their owne accord they take upon them openly the halfe of the thing we alledge professing themselves to lie halfeway off us,They avow a Semi-Separa­tion, but a Ses­qui-Separati­on will bee proved upon them. towards Brownisme (i) avowing the truth to consist in this their middle way: But whosoever considers better of the matter, will find, that however in some things they incline to a middle way; yet in the chiefe and most, they come up close to the out­most line of Brownisme, and in many things doe expatiate so much beyond it▪ that in place of the Semi-Separation they mention, they may be justly argued to have drawn upon themselves the blot of Se [...]qui-Separation and more also: how true this is, it will ap­peare to any, who will be pleased to make a paralell of the fore­mentioned Tenets of the Brownists with these of the Independents, which here are subjoyned.

First, the worst and uttermost Tenet of the Brownists for which they cook to themselves,The Indepen­dents doe se­parate from all the Refor­med Churches upon farre worse grounds then the Brow­nists were wont to separate. and had bestowed upon them by others the stile of Separatists, was their doctrine and practise accordingly, to Separate from the Churches of England: In this the Independents goe beyond them. For beside that the practice of both is the same, both actually Separating from all the Congregations of England; the grounds of the Brownists Separation were a great deale more reasonable, then that of the Independents, albeit neither of them be good and sufficient: For the Brownists did build their Separa­tion on the Tyranny of Bishops, on the Superstition of the Cere­monies and Service-Book; on the grosse, avowed, and neglected profanenesse of the most in every Congregation: if these corrupti­ons had been removed, so farre as I have read in any of their writings, they would no more have Separated. But the Indepen­dents having no such stumbling blocks in their way, Bishops [Page 104] and Books being abolished, and a barre set up in every Congre­gation to keep off from the Sacrament, every scandalous and ignorant person, notwithstanding they will yet Separate. The more unjust and lesse cause they have so to doe, their separation must bee so much the worse, the grosser and more inexcusable Schisme.

Their acknow­ledgment of the Reformed for true Churches doth not dimi­nish, but en­crease their Shisme.What they say for the avoyding of this challenge, will not hold water; while they tell us that they are not Separatists, be­cause they avow the Church of England to be a true and gracious Church, That the Ministry of it, is true and saving. They should consider that the Brownists, when the fit of charity commeth up­on them, say large as much as all this, as before from their own words we have shown (k): also that some of the Indepen­dent Party have gone as farre as that which they confesse makes the Brownists to be justly called Schismaticks (l); but however, suppose their allegation were true, it doth not excuse and di­minish, but much encrease the fault of their separation: For it is a greater sinne to depart from a Church which I professe to bee true, and whose Ministry I acknowledge to be saving, then from a Church which I conceive to be false, and whose Ministers I take to have no calling from God, nor any blessing from his hand.

They refuse all Church com­munion and membership in all the Refor­med Churches, they preach and pray in them as they would doe a­mong P [...]gans, only as g [...]ft [...]d men to gather new Churches.Neither are they cleared from the blot of Schisme by their countenancing the English Assemblies, by their preaching and praying therein: for beside that they doe no more in this then Mr Robinson hath taught them (m); They should remember they teach their Schollars, that Preaching, Prayer, Psalmes, and all things they doe in the English Congregation, are no acts of Church Fellowship (n): that none of them doth import any Church Membership, nor any Ecclesiastick Communion: but are such which without scruple they can dispence to very Pagans.

But we would intreat them to declare if they would be willing to receive any Sacrament in the English Congregations, or if they will be content to bee under any part of their Discipline, if they will be either Members or Officers in any of our Churches.

I see indeed the Apologists professe their participation of Bap­tisme in our Congregations, but besides that, the Brownists will professe so much of themselves (o); yet how this is consistent with the constant practice and Doctrine of the Independents, I confesse my understanding is too blunt to conceive.

[Page 105]For however in New-England, they give the right hand of Fel­lowship to the Brownists Congregations (p); and at London they are said to goe to the Brownists Sacraments (q): and we did never heare that either in England or Holland, they refused any to be a Member for their beliefe of rigid separation, or Anabaptisme; nor censured any of their Members for falling into these errours: yet in formall termes, they doe deny the most gracious of their Bre­thren to live beside them in New-England in the Presbyteriall way of the old Non-conformists (r): yea, in Print they avow that whoever refuseth their Tenet of Independency, were they other­wise never so Orthodox and pious, they ought not to be admitted to the Sacraments, nor enjoy any Church Priviledge (s): as peo­ple who cannot be wholly, but at most are in part only conver­ted: Yea, as such who must be taken for Anti-christian spirits, for enemies to Christ and his Kingdome (t): Neither have I heard that any of them now for many yeares▪ have either cele­brated to others or received themselves the Sacraments in any English Church.

And when it was propounded that they might take charge in some of the best Reformed Congregations of England; with a full assurance of a personall dispensation to them for their whole life, if they would leave but that one intollerable Tenet of Separation; to this day they have disregarded that kind and brotherly Accom­modation; shewing expresly that in this point of separate Con­gregations they would be tolerated, or nothing else would satisfie their consciences; beyond this their best friends were not able by their long and earnest endeavours for divers weeks together to draw them one haires-breadth (w):About the matter of the Church and qualification of members, they are large, as strict as the Brownists, ad­mitting none but who con­vinces the whole Con­gregation of their reall re­generation. if this be not a more cleare and a more inexcusable Separation then was ever yet laid to the charge of any Brownists, I professe my utter mistake of the nature of Schisme, and desire to be rectified.

The next singularity of the Brownists, their Doctrine of the con­stitution of the Church in matter and forme, the Independents have borrowed to the full: and not only enlarged it, but when all other grounds faile, upon this alone they build the necessity of their separation.

Concerning the matter of the Church, the Independents have learned all their unjust scrupulosity from the other; as the Brow­nists require every Church member to be a Saint, really regene­rate [Page 104] [...] [Page 105] [...] [Page 106] and justified, who at their admission have publikely satisfied the whole Congregation by convincing signes of their true holi­nesse: the other requires the same (x.) What ever indulgence here the Independents professe to give, either to weak ones in whom they finde the least of Christ, or to women whom they remit from the Congregation to speak more privately in the El­dership (y [...], this is no other then the present practise of the Brow­nists at Amsterdam.

Only we observe, that the Independents here go farther from the Reformed Churches, both in the strictnesse, and in the loosnesse of their satisfactions.Besides true grace they re­quire a sutable­nesse of spirit. The Brownists are satisfied with the signes of personall grace, but the Independents require more; they pro­ceed to a triall by a long conversation of the sociable and com­plying disposition of the person to be admitted, with the spirits of the whole Church whereof he is to be a member (z); without this sutablenesse of spirit they will reject them whom otherwise they finde to be Saints (aa).But in this they are laxer then the Brow­nists, that they can take in without scru­ple Anabaptists, Antinomians, & others, who both in life & doctrine have evident blots, if so they bee zealous and serviceable for their way. But their chiefe excesse here is in loosnesse. The Brownists will not dispence with known errours and sinnes in the members; they will not admit of Anabaptists, of proud, luxurious, contentious people. If they finde any such to have crept in among them, they professe their judgement is for their casting out by censures But the Independents will here be more wise for the encrease of their party: and however they will have nothing to do with Presbyterians (bb), nor with such people who can live in their confused Congregations; yet they make it their rule to hold out none for any errour that is not fundamentall, nor for any sinne that is not continued in against conscience (cc); walking according to this rule, they swallow down without trou­ble the small gnats of Anabaptism, and all other Sects, who erre not fundamentally, and obstinately, and against conscience: how many Sectaries are thus farre guilty, who can determine? The little spot of luxury in apparell, in diet, and many fleshly delights,About the forme of the Church, a Church Cove­nant they are more punctuall then the Brow­nists. of strife, of disdainfull railing, and such other faults (as are too common in their members) are of easy disgesti­on (dd).

Concerning the other part of the Church essence, its forme, their Covenant: in this the Disciples go much above their Master. Mr Cotton hath perfected by an expresse Treatise, this part of Brownism (ee), as many others. The Covenants of New [...]ng­land [Page 107] are much straiter then any that ever we heard of at Amster­dam. It is true that of late both in Old and New England the Independents seem much to modify the rigour of their Covenant (ff); but whatever may be said of their profession, I never could learne of their practice, to admit any into their society who gave not full assurance of embracing their whole way, and all their dif­ferences from the Reformed Churches. Sure I am, they did never admit any upon easier tearms then lately I my self did hear Mr Can admit a member into his Church at Amsterdam; yet if Mr Prynnes information be well grounded, they are become at Lon­don more rigid in their Covenant then ever;They take the power of ga­thering and e­recting of Churches both from Magi­strates and Mi­nisters placing it only in the hands of a few private Chri­stians, who are willing to make among themselves a Church cove­nant. he tells us that now it is their custome to make it a part of their Oath to oppugne the Government of the Reformed Churches, and to defend Indepen­dency with armes and violence, ff. 2.

Unto the constitution we may referre the efficient of a Church, and the number of its members; in both the Schollars follow punctually their Masters. As for the efficient, it is not only the Brownists, but the Independents also who put the power of ga­thering Churches, and joyning together by Covenant in a Church way, in the hand of private Christians alone, without any Officer, or the authority of any Magistrate. It is presumption in any Mi­nister, if he assay to make up a Church, only people must associate themselves into a Church, and then create their Ministers and other Officers (gg.)

In New England at the erection of a new Church,This power of erecting them­selves into a compleat and perfect church they give to any seven persons, nei­ther admit they more into a Church then can altogether in one place commodiously administer the Sacraments & Discipline. they are con­tent with the presence both of the Magistrate and Ministers of the neighbour Churches; but they declare that neither is ne­cessary, and that the presence of either gives no authority to the action, and the absence of both detracts no authority from it (hh.) That the whole power to gather a Congregation and to erect a Church is alone in the covenanting persons (ii.)

As for the number of the members, the Independents go as low as the Brownists, avowing that seven persons make a full ministe­riall and compleatly organized Church (kk): nor do they extend the number any farther then the Brownists, avowing that no Church, except the universall, may have any more members then conveniently can meet and be accommodated in one place for the exercise of all holy duties (ll), not only preaching of the Word, whereat thousands may be present, but celebration of the Sacra­ments, [Page 108] and administring all parts of Discipline; to which acts a few hundreds cannot commodiously meet.

The Independents minde about the gathering and erecting of Congregations,The Indepen­dents will have all the stan­ding Churches in England dis­solved, and all their Ministers to become meerly private men, and any three persons of their way to bee a full Church. may be clearly perceived by their late practice in the Sommer Islands, wherein they are applauded by the Churches of New England, and defended by Master White against Master Prynnes Fresh Discovery, with a great deale of confidence and high language: there hee justifies the necessity of the disso­lution of all the Churches in the Barmudaes (which yet he pro­fesses were among the best of all the English Plantations;) there were above 3000 people in the Isle, who had lived without all controversie with any of their Ministers from their first planting till the yeare 1641, when their Ministers perswaded by some writs of the Brethren of New England, found it necessary to lay down their charges, and become meere private men, denying to admi­nister to their old flocks any Ordinance, till three of them entring in a Covenant, and thereby becomming a new Church, did per­swade of the 3000 Islanders some thirty or forty at most to joyn with them in their new Church Covenant; these covenanted persons did chuse one of their old Ministers for their Pastor, and two others of them for Ruling Elders, who as gifted men were content to joyne with the Pastor in preaching, not only to the Church members, but to the whole Isle, to fit them to be Church members; but all the three refused absolutely to celebrate any Sa­crament, or administer any Discipline, or do any act of a Pastor to any but to the forty named only. All this Mr White maintains as just and necessary, and petitions the Parliament in print for their countenance and approbation, whereby it seems it is the Inde­pendents avowed and cleare intention when they have power to dissolve and annull all the Churches of England, yea of the world, to spoile all Ministers living of their pastorall charge, and all people of all Church priviledges, and to erect new Churches of their own framing,Vnto this Church of seven persons they give all and the whole Church power and that inde­pendently. into which they are to admit at most not one of an hundred of those who now do count themselves Chri­stians: all this you may see at length in Mr Whites very peremp­tory Reply to Mr Prynnes Fresh Discovery.

Leaving the constitution, their chiefe Tenets concerne the power of the Congregation, so constitute as is said: in this they come up fully to their Masters side; for they give unto their [Page 109] Church, that is, their seven covenanted persons, the whole Eccle­siastick power, and that independently upon any person under heaven.

First, they put it in their hands to create all the Officers;Vnto this con­gregationall Church alone they give the full power of election and ordination, of deposition and excommunica­tion even of all their officers, and of the fi­nall determi­nation of all Ecclesiastick causes. they not only give them suffrages in their election, (mm) but the whole power of Ordination also (nn), the examination of their Pastor in all the abilities requisite for his charge (oo), the laying all the parts of his Office upon him, publique prayer, imposition of hands, and what other acts are requisite for a regular Ordinati­on, are all performed by one of the people whom the rest have ap­pointed for that end (pp).

As they have power to make all their Officers, so they have power to unmake them, to depose, and excommunicate all their Ministers (qq), to cognosce and finally to determine, without any appeal, in all cases, both in life and doctrine, of all Heresies and Scismes, of all Truths and Errours, to order all things be­longing to the worship of God, and to do all things else (rr), The difference of Iohnson and Ainsworth a­bout the pow­er of the peo­ple and pres­bytery distinct one from the other, is not yet composed among the In­dependents. which other Churches ascribe to the most Generall Assemblies of the most learned Divines.

Upon this passage of Power come in the differences which divided the Brownists among themselves: whilst Iohnson would give all these acts of power to the Eldership, and Ainsworth would keep them for the Congregation; these same questions vex the Independents to this day, and are likely to divide the Chil­dren as they did the Fathers.

The most of the New English Divines, with Ainsworth, at­tribute the whole Ecclesiastick power to the body of the people: unto the Eldership they give the preparation of affaires (ss), The common Doctrine of New England is Ainsworths Tenet, that the people a [...]one have all the power, & may excommuni­cate when there is cause all their offi­cers. but the judgement and determination of all doth passe by the plura­lity of the peoples voices (tt): the power of the keyes they put in the hand not of the Presbytery, but of the fraternity (ww), as they speak. And in some places upon the peoples sense of the Presbyteries encroaching and feare of their farther usurpation, they have thought it expedient to have no Eldership at all, as in Am­sterdam the Brownists, so in Rotterdam the Independents, for these many yeares have had no ruling Elders, and so no Presbytery (xx); but have governed all their affaires by the voices of the people: and why might they not as well live without ruling El­ders, [Page 110] as their Brethren at Arnem for divers yeares did live with­out a Pastor (yy) the more necessary Officer.Mr Cotton the other year did fall much from them and him­selfe towards Iohnson, that the whole power of authority is only in the Officers, and the people have no [...]hing but the power of liberty to concurre; that the Officers can doe no­thing without the people, nor the people any thing but by the Officers. Mr Cotton and some others feeling to their small contentment the great and in­tolerable power of the people over the Eldership have begun to fall from Ainsworth to Iohnson, and to plead the Authority of the Eldership above the Brotherhood, and the necessity of their sub­jection by divine right to the Elders as to their Superiours (zz); yet to salve all, and to please both parties, he maketh the concur­rence of the Eldership and Brotherhood to be both necessary, to be both sine quo non (aaa): whatever Authority he gives to the Eldership, he maketh it all vaine and frustaneous without the con­sent of the people (bbb): and notwithstanding all the obe­dience and subjection he putteth upon the people, yet he giveth to them such a power of Liberty, that their concurrence with the Eldership in every act of power is not only necessary but authori­tative (ccc).

He goeth yet one step further in case of the obstinate and in­corrigible aberration of the Presbytery; he gives power to the people, albeit not to execute any act of power, yet to separate from the obstinate Eldership (ddd),Yet that both officers & peo­ple or any one of them have power to sepa­rate themselvs from all the rest when they find cause. and out of their own number to make new Elders, who will be willing to administer cen [...]ures, and do all else that they conceive to be right.

For all this, so farre as we can learne, there is yet no full agree­ment among them, either in New or Old England, in setting the merch-stones of power betwixt the Eldership and Brotherhood: many Schoole distinctions they use, yet by them all they cannot come to concord. The Independents here confesse their agree­ment with Mr Cotton in the chiefe things wherein he differs from his Brethren in New England, and from his owne selfe in his late Book of the way of the Churches: they applaud much his new in­vented distinction of the power of Authority, and the power of Liberty (eee). Yet in other things they avow their dissent from him (fff): what these other things may be, they yet have not had leisure to informe us. I hope it be not the extent of Church power unto women, and the giving of a power to celebrate Sa­craments unto private men, which yet are said to be the Tenets of some of their friends.

It is true, the Synod of New England maketh not only the fra­ternity, [Page 111] but as they speak,The London Independents give more pow­er of Ecclesi­astick Iurisdi­ction then the Brownists un­to women. the sorority also to be the subject of the private power of the Keyes of the Kingdom of heaven (ggg); also we have shewen how they have permitted women to be Lea­ders to their whole Churches, and chiefe Pastors in Church acti­ons of the highest nature: we have good witnesses that a woman was the founder of Mr Simpsons Church at Rotterdam (hhh); that a woman, and that none of the best led away Mr Cotton, and with him great numbers of the best note in New England, towards the vilest errours, and to the brink of a new separation from all the Churches there (iii). Notwithstanding all this, none of the Independents, either in New England or Holland, neither the Brownists of Amsterdam, did ever give unto any women any pub­like Ecclesiastick power. In this, our London Independents exceed all their Brethren, who of late begin to give unto women power of debating in the face of the Congregation, and of determining Ecclesiastick causes by their suffrages, if Doctor Bastwick be rightly informed (kkk).

Concerning the power of the Sacraments,Some of them permit private men to cele­brate the Sa­craments. Mistris Chidley is per­mitted to print in defence of the Independent cause, without the reproofe of any of that party, so farre as I have heard, that not only Pastors but private men out of all office, may lawfully celebrate both the Sacraments (lll).

However,Brownists and Independents do perfectly a­gree in the point of Inde­pendency. in these and other things there may be great diffe­rence among them in the point of Church power, yet that which is the principall point in this head of power, the matter of Inde­pendency, in it there is a full and perfect agreement among them all. Whatever power, whether of Liberty or Authority, be in the Congregation, organicall, or homogeneous▪ radically or ha­bitually, in the Brothehood or Eldership, conjunctly or severally; whatever power it be, or wheresover it be, all of them place it in the Congregation, without any subjection to any other Superi­our (mmm). The word of Independency, some of them do much abominate, and yet but some; for there are of their chiefe Lea­ders this day, who do not mislike it (nnn): but what ever wee speak of the word, the matter which every man did understand by it, is stifly maintayned by them all. In nothing there is great­er concord among them then that in the smallest Congregations, even of seven persons, the whole Ecclesiastick power doth reside [Page 112] absolutely without any dependence upon or subjection to any or all the creatures on earth (ooo).If a corrupt or negligent Pres­bytery doe not censure their own members, all the Assem­blies in the world may not attempt to censure any of them, though most appa­rently they did corrupt a whole Nation with the gros­sest Heresies or most scanda­lous vices.

Whatever may be sayd of a charitable advice or friendly coun­sell, or brotherly rebuke, yet if you speak of any authoritative power to censure, all of them avow that the offer of this from all assemblies of a nation, or of the world, is Antichristian Tyran­ny (ppp): and for any person in the smallest Congregation to receive, or submit themselves to any such censure, were to betray and cast away the liberty wherewith Christ hath made them free (qqq). So that it is utterly unlawfull for all the Churches of the World to inflict the least censure, or to give the smallest ad­monition in order to any censure, not only to any Congregation, but to any one man therein, suppose he were never so erroneous, never so scandalous; although he did infect and destroy, not only all the soules of that Congregation, but as a common pest did corrupt the Churches of a whole Nation, or if it were possible, of the whole World (rrr).

The point of Independency is either the root or the fruit of many errors.This strange Tenet seemeth to be either the root or the fruit, either the mother or the daughter of all the rest of their errors: the mother and root, because a few persons having locked them­selves up within the narrow walls of one Congregation, with an Independent power, having made themselves uncontroulable by any or all upon earth; they open a wide doore to any erroneous spirit, to mislead them towards what ever fancy can enter into any cracked braine, without all possibility of any effectuall remedy; the daughter and fruit, because men who are conscious to them­selves of singularities, which they feare will not be liked nor tolera­ted by others, upon their fond love towards these errours, doe affect such a liberty which may exempt them from all danger to bee ordained by any censure to relinquish these darlings, which they have resolved to keep still in their bosome.

To temper the crudity of this Tenet, they adde to it three moderating positions, but for little pur­pose.The fatuity of this Tenet they use to season with the graines of three more sapid positions: First, they grant the being of Classi­call Psesbyteries and Synods (sss). Secondly, they ascribe to them the censure of Non-Communion (ttt). Thirdly, they allow the Magistrate to correct Hereticall and Shismaticall persons (www). But if they will consider, they shall finde that in none of those po­sitions, they goe beyond the Brownists and by them all they [Page 113] doe not any whit cure the disease of Independency.

For the first, they admit not of any Classicall Presbytery diffe­ring from a Synod;They grant the being of Sy­nods, but not of Classicall Presbyteries. for what ever they speak of their granting gladly unto us all the degrees and Subordinations of Assemblies which we could wish: yet betwixt a Congregationall Eldership and a Synod, they grant not any interposition of a Classis; or compounded Presbytery over more Congregations then one (xxx), which kinde of Presbytery the Reformed Churches make the first and ordinary subject of Ordination, and of sundry acts of Jurisdiction: esteeming it a Iudicatory specifically diffe­rent both from the inferiour Eldership of a single Congregation and the Superiour Synod, whither of a Shire or a Province, or a Nation, or of more, or of all Nations.

Besides▪ that Synod whereof they approve, is only a Brownisticall one, such as needeth not to be moderated by any Preacher (yyy);Their Synods are meerely Brownisticall without all Iurisdiction, wherein every one of the peo­ple may vote; also meerely elective and only occasio­nall. at the which any man who pleaseth may be present to debate, and vote decisively (zzz). Yea, they goe here much beyond the Brownists and their Brethren of New-England also; for they deny that the 15 of the Acts, is either a pattern or ground for any Synod (aaaa), expresly contrary to Mr Cottons latest Doctrine; neither will they have any ordinary or set Synods, but only occasio­nall, and when the occasion of a Synod commeth, they will have it to be meerely elective (bbbb 1.): consisting of such persons alone as themselves please to chuse, not only of the Churches of their own Independent way alone, but also of such only among these as themselves think meet to pitch upon (bbbb 2): if a Classis or Sy­nod bee of any other temper, they count it so corrupt and so tyrannicall a Court, that they could not countenance it with their presence; yea, not so much as they would doe an Episcopall Sea (cccc): the one being much worse then the other: that the Brownists Independency went ever thus farre I doe not know.

As for their sentence of Non-Communion,The sentence of Non-Commu­nion, is Mr Cot­tons invention to supply that defect which themselves make in the Ordinances of God. it is one of Mr Cottons new additions to old Brownisme (dddd); which it seemes rather to embitter then sweeten; for it is a meer humane invention to supply the ordinances of God, which men injuriously have cast away: when they have denied to Synods the power of these censures which God hath appointed, and finde themselves straightned by the absolute necessity of the matter, to take up a­gaine [Page 114] either them or their equivalent: they will not be so change­able as to resume the censures whereof God is the Author, ha­ving once cast them away: but in their place they are forced to finde out some of their own, these their new declarations and abstentions from fellowship and such like new censures of their owne.

It puts in the hand of every man a power to sentence all the Churches of the world.But which is worst of all, these their new censures if there be any force in them, advance their Independency to the highest degree of power: or rather lift it up highly in the aire, and by a repugnancy and contradiction, make it evaporate to nothing; for this Non-Communion giveth power to every one, even the smal­lest Congregation, over all the Churches in the World it pleaseth to deale with, so farre as to admonish, rebuke, declare against them all, and cast them all out of her Communion (eeee). The Refor­med Churches contend only for a power to a great Assembly, for censuring a faulty member of a small Congregation; but this Non-Communion gives to the smallest Congregation of any seven persons, the power of sentencing the whole Churches and all the Assemblies in the World.

Howbeit, this Non-Communion, seemes to be contradictory and destructive of that Independency which it was invented to salve: For if every Congregation bee Independent, how shall all Congregations be so dependent upon every one, that any the least may inflict this high censure upon the greatest, yea upon all.

It carries to the highest degree of Se­paration.Beside, this Non-Communion is nothing but the highest straine of separation that ever any Brownist aimed at; it giveth a power for any Church to deny Communion to all Churches, and to live separate without all Communion with any Church for ever.

This produceth an other power of a farther separation, to wit, a power to every member of that separate Church upon any grie­vance not satisfied to separate himselfe, and either live there alone as many do, or to gather a new Church, of any whom they finde willing to associate with them: these things are brought not so much for reasons to evert the positions in hand; as to shew how unfit limitations they are of the extravagancy which appeareth in Independency, and how much they runne out beyond the bounds which they pretend to hem in.

[Page 115]As for their third Tenet of the Magistrates concurrence,Their supply of the defects of Independen­cy by the pow­er o [...] the Ma­gistrate, was a remedy which they learned from the Brow­nists, but now they have cast it aside, deny­ing to the Ma­gistrate all power in mat­ters of Religi­on. to second their sentence of Non-Cummunion, besides that the Brownists goe as farre as ever any of them did in this (ffff): we see now that the chiefe of them have recalled the Tenet: though all the Protestant Churches, and none more then they of New-Eng­land, doe maintaine the Mag [...]strates power to suppresse errours; yet this unhappy love towards liberty, whereinto the Independent party here among us have lately fallen, makes them to entreat the Magistrate to let alone the affaires of Religion, though they runne into all the confusion whither Satan and his Instruments are able to carry them (gggg). If the Magistrates feare of God doth stop his eare to such impious petitions, then they flee up very high even to the deniall and decrying of all the Magistrates power in matters of Religion (hhhh); which yet the Papists in England and the Arminians in Holland, who have been the grea­test pleaders hitherto for liberty, were never bold to impugne; but of this more hereafter.

I hope I have demonstrated that in the point of Separation and of the constitution and government of the Church,The Indepen­dents doe ad­vance their fancies to as high a pitch of glory as the Brownists. the great and only intended Articles of the Brownists, our brethren the Independents come nothing behind them: Sure, in these their conceits they applaud themselves no lesse then the former; they put in these things the very Kingdome of Christ: all their oppo­sites, in these fancies, they make them enemies to Christs King­dome (iiii): they avow Independency to be a beginning,They are the Brownists scho­lars in many more things beside the Constitution and Govern­ment of the Church. and a part of that glorious Kingdome which Christ for a thousand yeares is to enjoy upon earth (kkkk).

Concerning the worship of God and other heads of Divinity, whatever crotchets the Brownists have fallen into, the Indepen­dents punctually doe follow the most and worst of them: and if in any they come short, they are sure to exceed in other things more dangerous.

First, for the marriage blessing,They give to the Magistrate the Celebrati­on of marri­age. they applaud the Brownists Doctrine, they send it from the Church to the Town-house, making its solemnization the duty of the Magistrate (llll [...]; this is the con­stant practice of all in New-England: the prime of the Independent Ministers now at London, have been married by the Magistrate, and all that can bee obtained of any of them, is to be content [Page 116] that a Minister in the name of the Magistrate and as his Commis­sioner may solemnize that holy band.

Mr Milton per­mits any man to put away his wife upon his meer pleasure, without fault and without the cognisance of any Iudge.Concerning Divorces, some of them goe farre beyond any of the Brownists, not to speak of Mr Milton, who in a large Trea­tise hath pleaded for a full liberty for any man to put away his wife, when ever hee pleaseth, without any fault in her at all, but for any dislike or dyspathy of humour (mmmm); for I doe not know certainely whither this man professeth Independency (albeit all the Hereticks here, whereof ever I heard, avow themselves Independents);Mr Gorting teaches the wife to put a­way her husband, if he will not follow her in any new Church way which she is pleased to em­brace. what ever therefore may be said of Mr Milton, yet Mr Gorting and his Company were men of renown among the New-English Independents, before Mistrisse Hutchinsons disgrace: and all of them do maintaine, that it is lawfull for every woman to desert her husband, when he is not willing to follow her in her Church way, and to take her selfe for a widow, loosed from the bond of obedience to him, only because he lives without that Church whereof she is become a member (nnnn).

Concerning the circumstances of the worship of God, they will have nothing determined, but all which Scripture hath not determined,They are a­gainst all de­terminations of the circum­stances of wor­ship, and ther­fore all church Directories are against their stomacks. to be left so free, that all Directories are much against their stomacks. How much they did crosse that gracious and ex­cellent work of the Directory for the three Kingdoms, and when it was begunne, how long they did retard it; and after it was brought to an end, through all the mountaines of impediments which they did cast up in its way; how earnest they were by slight of hand to have put in its Preface such phrases as might have alto­gether made frustrate the use of it, is well known to many: yea, when a Directory for the three Nations is established by the As­semblies and Parliaments of both Kingdoms, they are bold so farre to slight it,The common names of the dayes of the week, the months of the year, of many Churches and Cities of the Land, are as unlawfull to them as to the Brownists. as to write unto the very Parliament, that uniformity is but a matter of forme, in the which for peace sake men will come up so farre as conscience can permit, intimating that all our covenanted uniformity must be resolved into the free-will or erroneous conscience of every private man.

In the abolishing of the monuments of Idolatry, they agree so farre with the Brownists, that they will not name the dayes of the week, the months of the yeare, the places of meeting after the ordinary manner (oooo); yet they make no scruple to use [Page 117] the Churches builded in the time of Popery, nor of Bels though invented by a Pope, and baptized with all the Popish Superstiti­ons▪ how this doth stand with their principles, I doe not well know, especially with their practice about another circumstance, the Church-maintenance.

For, the ancient way of maintenance by Tythes, or Lands,All tithes and set mainte­nance of Mini­sters they cry down; but a voluntary con­tribution for the mainte­nance of all their Officers, they presse to a high propor­tion, with the evident pre­judice of the poore. or set Stipends, they do refuse, (pppp) and require here the re­duction of the Apostolique practice. They count it necessary that all the Church Officers should live upon the charge of the Congregation, the Ruling Elders and Deacons as well as the Pa­stors and Doctors (qqqq); but all they will have them to receive, is a meer Almes, a voluntary Contribution, layd down as an offring at the Deacons feet every Lords Day, and by him distri­buted to all the Officers and the poore of the Congregation ac­cording as they have need (rrrr). This is their Doctrin, but it seemes they are weary long ago of its practice. The Brownists (as I heare) are yet constant to practise what they teach, allowing their Ministers for their better supply, and that they may not be too burthensom to the Congregation, the use of handy Trades. but the Independents of New-England have a better provision, not only a proportion of Land, but a certayn Tax of money layd on by the Magistrate, both upon the members of the Congregation, and upon all the neighbours, though not received members of any Church. (ssss) These also of London, Arnheim, and Roter­dam, have been famous for a sufficient care of a set provision, above the ordinary, to the rate of two or three hundred pounds a year (tttt.) And lest their Income should decrease with too large deduction for the supply of the poore, it hath been their pro­vidence to admit none or few poore members of their Congre­gations (wwww. In their solemn worship oft times they make one to pray, another to preach, a third to pro­phesie, a fourth to direct the Psalm, and a­nother to bless the people.)

Concerning other circumstances, the form of their Church, and Pulpit, and such like, I have not observed any difference in the Mee­ting-houses of the one at Roterdam, and the other at Amsterdam.

For the parts of the worship, as I take it, there is little diffe­rence; only the Independents seem in their administration more to vary the persons; sometimes they make one to pray, and ano­ther to preach, a third to prophesie, and a fourth to dismisse with a blessing (xxxx).

[Page 118]In the ordering of the parts of their worship after Mr Cottons in­vention,They make it a divine insti­tution, without any word of preface, to be­gin the pub­like worship with solemne prayer for the King and Church. they take it for an Apostolick injunction, to begin first of all with a large solemne Prayer for the King and the Church, ap­plying the words of the Apostle against the cleare scope of the Text, and all the writers which I have consulted upon it, to this very method of the ordinances, and to this matter of the first Prayer (yyyy).

After the Pa­stors prayer the Doctor reads and expounds.After the Prayer the Doctor proceeds to read and expound: their ordinary practice here agrees with the other, but their Do­ctrine differeth; for the Independents at London grant, that rea­ding by it selfe without exposition, is a divine Ordinance, however in their practice they conjoyne both.

In preaching they will bee free to take a Text or not, as they find it ex­pedient.In preaching they differ from the Brownists and us, and joyn with the Popish Monks; they will not be tyed to a Text of Scripture, for the ground of their discourse, but will be at liberty to run out on whatsoever matter they think most fit and expe­dient for their hearers (zzzz).

After Sermon any of the people whom they think able, are permitted to prophesie.About prophesying after Sermon, they are at a full agreement, permitting to any private man of the flock, or to any stranger whom they take to be gifted, publikly to expound and apply the Scripture, to pray and to blesse the people. They permit two or three of these after the end of the Sermon to exercise their gifts (aaaaa).

All are permit­ted to pro­pound in the face of the Congregation what questions upon the Ser­mon they think meet.When the exercise of the Prophets is ended, they use another Ordinance of questioning the Preachers and Prophets by any member of the Congregation, about any point of the Doctrine (bbbbb); but this exercise, as also the former, hath proved so unhappy in New England, that gladly there they would be quit of both (ccccc).

In the Psalms the Independents wander wider then their Tea­chers; some of them will have no songs in the time of publike Iudgements (ddddd):About the Psalms they have divers strange con­ceits; but the speciall is their new Ordinance of a singing Prophet, who in place of the Psalms singeth Hymnes of his own making in the midst of the silent Congregation. others will not permit women to sing in the Church (eeeee): but the greatest difference is, that the Independents of Arnheim did stop the mouthes of all but one, who [Page 119] did sing the Hymne which himselfe had composed, in the midst of the Congregation for their edification (fffff).

In Prayer they fall short of their masters;They grant the lawfulnesse of read prayer in divers cases. for however they use no set Prayer, yet they are so farre from esteeming of it Ido­latry, that they professe both set and read Prayer to be lawfull (ggggg):They will have none to be bap­tized, but the children of their owne members; so at one dash they put all England except a very few of their way, into the state of Pagans turning them all out of the Christian Church, deny­ing to them Sacraments, Discipline, Church-Offi­cers, and all that they would deny to the Pagans of America. The Lords Prayer they commend to be said even in publike, and they permit private men to read prayer in their families (hhhhh); in this they have Mr Robinson for their guide; yet at London their pactice is constantly to forget the Lords Prayer.

In the Sacrament of Baptism the Independents lay a path-way to Anabaptism; for first they come close up to the most rigid Brownists, denying Baptism to the most part of Christian Infants; yea they will grant it to a very few; to these alone whose imme­diate parents are members of their Congregation (iiiii), who are a wonderfull poor handfull: all other Infants they will have unbaptized till they come to the yeares of understanding, and de­clare not only their actuall faith and holinesse, but their subjection to the Kingdom of Christ, that is to their Independency: they will have no stipulation made for the Infants education; they dis­pute much for dipping, though they deny not the lawfulnesse of sprinkling (kkkkk).

But that which maketh men most afraid for their Anabaptism, is their open deserting all the Reformed Churches, and the Brow­nists themselves, in three grounds.

First, they deny the federall holinesse of Christian children; a­gainst this Tho. Goodwin did preach, and deny openly that com­mon distinction of Protestants of reall and federall holinesse,They open a door to Ana­baptism by 3 farther posi­tions. re­quiring in every Infant to be baptized a reall and inherent sanctity. If this ground be maintained, I see not how Anabaptism, or else Arminianism, will be avoyded; for if this reall holinesse above foederall, be the great ground of Baptism,1. They require in all to bee baptised a real holiness above a foederall, which in no In­fant with any certainty can be found. and this cannot be as­serted in the judgement of verity of any Infant; for whatever we say of the judgement of charity, yet in the judgement of truth, and with the certainty of faith wherewith we must assent to every Scripture, who can say that any particular Infant is holy, and so that any Infant should be baptized? or if we can say in the judge­ment of truth, that every baptized Infant is really sanctified, as [Page 120] it seems Mr Robinson hath taught Mr Goodwin, if Mr Rathband understand right the 309 p. of Rob. justification (kkkkk 2), the Arminians have wonne the field; for no man doubts but many baptized Infants, even in their way, do fall away totally and fi­nally from whatsoever holinesse can be supposed to be in them. If these inextricable difficulties did move Mr Goodwin to stop the Presse that it went not on with his Sermons against the Anabap­tists,2. They esteem none for their Baptism and Christian edu­cation a mem­ber of their Church, till they have en­tred themselvs in their church covenant. himselfe doth know.

Secondly, they esteem not baptized Infants to be members of their Church before they have entred into their Covenant; till then they hold them from the Lords Table and all the acts of Discipline, as people without the Church and not members of it (lllll): If it be so, their Baptism was of so small use that well they might have wanted it to the time of their admission to be members.

3. They call none of their members to any account before their Presbytery for obstinate re­jecting of Pae­do-baptism, al­though the Brownists doe excommuni­cate for that sinne.Thirdly, they account Anabaptism a very tolerable errour; so farre as ever we heard to this day, they did never so much as re­buke any of their members for it, much contrary to the practice of the Brownists, and of their Brethren in New England, who ever have removed the Anabaptists from their Churches, as Sectaries of a speciall evill note. We have long observed the great affection of Independents here towards them who professed opposition to Paedo-Baptism, but did never expect to have heard them declare any thing towards the Arminian errours of the Anabaptists.

The Lords Supper they desire to celebrate at night after all other Ordinances are ended (mmmmm); albeit the Brownists now take it in the forenoon.

They partici­pate with none of the Refor­med Churches in the Lords Supper, yet they scruple not to commu­nicate with Brownists and Anabaptists.In the persons who do communicate, they are as strict as any of the Brownists; for notwithstanding all that their Brethren of New England, and themselves also, and their Apology do pro­fesse, of their communicating of the Sacrament with the rest of the Reformed Churches, which sometimes also is the Brownists profession; yet it is told them without reply to this day, that in London, however they have admitted Brownists and Anabaptists to their Sacrament, and they have communicated in the Brownists Congregations (nnnnn); yet that none of them have ever offered to participate of the holy Communion in any other Congregation, nor have admitted any to communicate with [Page 121] them who were not of their owne way (ooooo).

For the manner of their celebration, they who have seen it,Their way of celebrating the Lords Supper is more dead and comfort­lesse then any where else. professe it to be in a very dead and comfortlesse way: it is not as in New England, once in the month, but as at Amsterdam, once every Lords day (ppppp), which makes the action much lesse solemn then in any other of the Reformed Churches, and in this too much like the daily Masses of the Church of Rome.

They have no preparation of their flock before:They have no Catechising, no preparati­on, nor thanks­giving sermōs, ordinarily they speak no word of the Sacra­ment in their Sermons and prayers either before or after. they are so happy as to have all their members prepared alwayes sufficiently for the Lords Table, from their first entrance into their Church to their dying day; for all this time there is no catechising among them, this exercise is below their condition, & altogether needlesse in any of their Congregations. They will have no Sermon in the week before, nor so much as any warning of the Communion. This practice of New England, to give warning the Sabbath be­fore, is disliked now at London: nor must there be any Sermon of Thanksgiving after that Sacrament:They have on­ly a little dis­course & short prayer in the consecration of both the E­lements; there after in the action nothing but dumb silence▪ no exhortati­on, no reading, no Psalme. They use not so much as a little application of the Doctrine in the Sermon before it to that occasion (qqqqq).

When they come to the action, there is no more but one little discourse, and one short prayer of the Minister; all the time of the participation, there is nothing in the Congregation but a dumb silence: no reading, no exhortation, no Psalmes, their people need no such meanes to furnish them in their Sacramentall meditations; they have also learned from the Brownists, a double and distinct consecration, one for every element apart.

They have another difference from all the Reformed, and in a part also from their Brethren of New-England.

That their Conformity with the Brownists may bee full,They require none of their members. to come out of their Pewes to the Table. the New-English doe count sitting at a Table, not only to bee ne­cessary, but to be a part of our imitation of Christ, and a Rite significant of divers heavenly Priviledges and Comforts (rrrrr); but as the Brownists at Amsterdam this day have no Table at all,And they ac­knowledge no more use of a Table then the Brownists at Amsterdam who have none at all. as they send the Elements from the Pulpit (the place where the Minister preacheth, and celebrateth the Sacrament) by the hand of the Deacon to all the Congregation, where in their meeting house they sit up and down in their severall places: So the Independents at London, doe vehemently contend for the needlesnesse of any [Page 122] to come to the Table, what ever be the practice of all the rest of the Reformed Churches: But they will have the holy Seales carried from the place where the Minister preaches to the people in their Pews, or where ever else they have their ordinary places for hearing of the Word; although most easily in their small Congregations without any disturbance all might bee brought to the Table (sssss).

They teach the expediency of covering the head at the Lords Table.But their maine difference from all the Reformed, and great­est consonancy with the Brownists, is in this, that as they teach all outward signes of Worship in the time of the Celebration to be Idolatry, and hereupon declare the necessity of all men who will follow the example of the first Communicants, to keep on their Hats, all the time of this holy action; so likewise the Independents begin to teach their disciples; for however at Amsterdam this day the named Doctrine bee not fully practised, the men there covering their heads in the time of the Celebration; but every one uncovering, during the time of their own personall participation of the Elements; yet we are now taught at London that cove­ring is most requisite at the time of participation. That this act is a Rite significant to the Communicants of their Table-honor, and fellowship with Christ, also that the Minister in all his Celebrati­on must be uncovered, and that in sign of his service to the Com­municants, as the Lords much honoured children, sitting covered when they eat of their Fathers meat (ttttt).

They are as much for the popular Go­vernment as the Brownists.After all the Worship is ended, the Congregation may not yet be dismissed, but one ordinance more in the end of the day must be attended, the exercise of Discipline; in this the Independents come up fully to their masters; the whole people must be present to heare, judge, and voyce at every act of Discipline (wwwww).

In any Congregation the acts of discipline, when best managed, are very tedious and long, but with them more then anywhere else; for their contentions are more and more tough, as we may see in the best ruled Congregations that ever they had; That of Arn­heim and Roterdam: if the praise given by the Apologists to them be just; there the exercise of discipline hath bin very tedious: the whole Congregation to their extreme wearinesse and fretting, have been forced to lay aside the works of their ordinary calling for many dayes of the week, to attend the Iudging of these causes [Page 123] which on the Sabbath dayes could not be ended (xxxxx).

In the Cognition of these causes,All Discipline must be exe­cuted in the presence and with the con­sent of the whole people, & all must passe by the expresse suffrage of e­very one. every member of the Congre­gation must be satisfied in his own minde concerning every passage of every action; for they doe not proceed by the plurality of numbred voyces, but with the harmonious consent of all who have right to voyce (yyyyy).

And if it fall out that any doe dissent from the most, they appoint in that case paines to be taken for the information of the dissenters that they may consent; but if these paines prove fruitlesse, and the Dissenters refuse to joyn with their brethren,Dissenters not only lose their right of suf­frage for the time, but are subjected to censure if they continue in their dissent. they are declared obstinate, and to have lost the right of voycing for that time (zzzzz). Yea, which is worst of all, and which puts these Congregations upon the smallest occasions upon una­voydable and remedilesse divisions, they appoint all who continue in their dissent in any matter of weight, to be farther proceeded with for their contumacy (aaaaaa).

The publike meetings of the Brownists are so long and tedious, that we doe not heare of their stomack for any private;They are much for private meetings, for it is in them that they usu­ally frame the members of other mens Congregati­ons into their new mould, but the Brow­nists and they of New-Eng­land having felt the bitter fruits of such meetings, have relinquished, if not dischar­ged them. but the In­dependents are yet for private meetings; how long they will be in love with them, we cannot say; for in New-England where they were most in request, their fruits have been very bitter; these meetings of a middle sort betwixt Congregationall and Dome­stick, were the occasion very neere to ruine both that Church and State; for in these it was where under the pretence of reli­gious conference, and re-petition of Sermons, false doctrine and wicked calumnies against the most Orthodox of the Ministers and Magistrates, were spread for the renting and (had not God pre­vented it) the destroying of the State both Civill and Ecclesi­astick (bbbbbb).

For the present, where they are in gathering of their Congre­gations, these meetings in private houses (of all who will) are a very pregnant meanes to steale away men and women from their own Pastors; but if once their gathering of Churches were at an end, and their greatest care were for the keeping and edifying of what they had gotten, it is like that then they would be as cautious as now all other Churches are, even the Brownists and these of New-England, of such meetings which except well moderated and limited, under faire pretences, are exceeding fit to make new di­visions, [Page 124] and ever to frame new Societies of some, as it were, more select and eminent Christians out of the common Congre­gation.

They flatter the Magistrate and slander the Refor­med Churches without cause.Concerning the Magistrate, the Tenets of the Independents would bee well considered, because of their open proclamation of their loyalty beyond and above all which the principles of any Reformed Church will permit them (cccccc).

Had they magnified never so much their own vertues, without the expresse disparagement of others; had they put in the ballance with themselves an equall or a double number of the greatest men in any of the Reformed Churches, who yet would be very ponderous when they lie in the Scales against five particular men the Authors of that comparison, had they preferred themselves before all the Reformed Churches, in a casuall & contingent action, not in a maine duty, which their very principles are alledged to di­minish; had they whispered all this in the eares of their friends, and not made a Proclamation of it to both the Houses of Parliament, and that in print to be trumpeted out in the eares of all the world; it might have been past over with the lesse either observation or offence: But since in so publike a manner they have required the Magistrate to believe their great deferences to him and the smaller respect he can expect from any out of their way: it seemeth very necessary to produce, not these particular respects which the Re­formed Churches professe, according to their principles to give un­to the Magistrate & continually have given according to their pro­fessions (for these are well known to the world long before any of our new Censors were in being) but what these singular du­ties may be, which the Independents above all other men by their principles are forced to performe to Magistrates, while they may be at leisure to publish them to the world, I will here present unto them the materialls of some few short observations for that purpose.

Some of them are for the a­bolition of all Magistracy.First, that divers of their party, and those of very eminent note, though miscarrying in other things, yet keeping fast to the way of Independency, have denyed to the Magistrate all power over any of the Godly (dddddd).

And others of them with the grossest Anabaptists have denyed the lawfulnesse of any Magistrate at all (eeeeee).

[Page 125]Secondly, doe not their principles hold out of the Church,All of them are for casting out and keep­ing out of the Christian Church all Princes, all Members of Parliament, all Magistrates of the Counties & Burroughes that now are, and that ever have been and are ever like to be hereafter, except a very few. and deprive of all Christian consolation which flowes from any Church priviledge, the farre greater part, if not absolutely all Kings, and Princes that are this day in the Christian world, and have been since the dayes of the Gospel, or ever are likely to be upon earth to the worlds end? how exceeding few of all that are, or have been Members of Parliament of either House, of all that have been or are Magistrates in England, if their principles might be put in pra­ctice, would be admitted to the Lords Table, or yet their chil­dren be baptised, or themselves be reputed Christians and Members of any lawfull Church?

Thirdly, of these exceeding few Kings, Princes, Peeres, Com­moners and Magistrates of the Land, which they could take into their Congregations; how many could have assurance to live any long time in a Christian condition as Members of a Church ac­cording to their principles? Since they tell us that they are to Excommunicate without any delay,These few Magistrates whom they would admit, have no secu­rity, but by the errour or ma­lice of a few, to be quickly cast out of the Church with­out any possi­bility of reme­dy. the greatest Kings for any fault either in beliefe or life, which doth subject the poorest ser­vants to censure; how many and frequent these faults may be, it is hard to judge; but the worst is, when the greatest Kings and the chiefe Members of Parliament without any respect to their dig­nity, are cast out of the Church for themselves and their children, by the peevishnesse or errour, or malice of a few in a small Congre­gation, they have no meanes under heaven to redresse themselves of their injury; they and theirs must live as Pagans out of the Church, till they who did cast them out, be perswaded and become willing to take them in; should all the Divines all the Assemblies, all the Churches of their Dominions, see cleerly as the light their notorious wrong; yet there were no possibility to helpe it by any mortall hand till the injurious Congregation it selfe, of its own accord, should be pleased to repaire it.

Fourthly,When they have put all out of the places of Ma­gistracy, yea out of all civill courts who are not of their mind, the greatest Magi­strates they admit of, bee they Kings or Parliaments, they subject them all to the free-wil of the promiscuous multitude. they permit none to be Magistrates where they have power, not so much as to be a member of their smallest civill Courts, except they be fully for their way, and be admitted mem­bers of their Church, as it hath ever been their practice in New-England to this day; but the Magistrates they admit of, who are of their minde, they debase their power so low as to suspend it all on the will and pleasure of the promiscuous multitude, not [Page 126] only to limit the Soveraignty of Princes within the bounds of their just Lawes, and to confine them unto the Counsell of their Parliaments, but to bring both them and Parliaments and all Magistrates to their first originall and Makers, to the free will of these whom they use to stile the prophane multi­tude (ffffff).

Fifthly, have any of the Reformed Churches now for an h [...]n­dred yeares and above, given to Magistrates such occasion to feare an unjust insurrection,When Magi­strates wil not follow their new erro [...]s they have bin very ready to make insurre­ctions to the great hazard of the whole State. as they in the few yeares of their being have already furnished?

To passe by all their threatnings in this time of confusi­on (gggggg) (while their strength is yet inconsiderable) and their mighty endeavours to get Armes into their hand to enable themselves with the evident hazard of the whole Isle, to doe what they please by force (hhhhhh).

Let men only look over to the fruits of their principles in New-England, not many yeares agoe there, upon a very small, and so farre as I know very groundlesse suspition, to have somewhat of their Government altered by the King contrary to their Patent, they did quickly purchase and distribute Armes among all their people, and exact of every one an Oath for the defence of their Patent against all impugners whosoever; Mr Williams opposition to this Oath as he alledgeth, was the cheife cause of his banish­ment (iiiiii).

What principles could these be, that moved the same people a little after to doe and say such things for which their Magistrates did disarme so many of their Church members, not only else­where, but even at Boston, upon fear of an apparent insurrection for the killing of the principall Magistrates, and overturning the whole state of that Countrey (kkkkkk 1.)

Few Magistrates will hereafter confide in these principles which saved not the Governour and generall Court of New-England, from extreme danger by the members of Mr Cottons Congrega­tion at New Boston.

Many of them deny to the Magistrate any power at all in the matters of Religion.Sixthly, doe the Independents principles give to the Magistrate any Ecclesiastick power at all? will they submit to his civill power in any Ecclesiastick affaires? will they be hindered by the Magi­strates sentence, unlesse it be executed with violence to erect Con­gregations [Page 127] within his Dominions at their own pleasure? will their principles permit them upon the command of King and Par­liament, to refuse to take into their Congregations the members of other Parish Churches without a dismision, or take and ad­mit upon the Magistrates command within their number, any whom they account unfit for membership, or to recall for the Magistrates pleasure any of their Church censures? have they not very lately declared to the Parliament, that they esteem all mat­ters of Religion free and exempt from their sword and power? That all matters both of worship and doctrine, that all things of the mind as they speak, or matters of opinion, and all matters of out­ward forme wherein uniformity is required according to our Co­venant, are so farre to be ruled by every mans own conscience his own light and reason▪ that the Parliament is not in any such mat­ters to interpo [...]e their power? whither this bee the true sence of their openly avowed and repeated letters to the Parliament it selfe, let every intelligent man consider who reads the words (kkkkkk 2).

Seventhly,Their princi­ples do spoile Princes and Parliaments of their whole [...]egislative power; they a­bolish all hu­mane Lawes that are made, and hinder any more to be made. are any of the Reformed Churches or any Churches or persons of the whole world so injurious to Magistrates as their principles force them to be, who [...]poyl Christian Kings and Par­liaments of their whole Legislative power? they will have us to beleeve, as good Divinity, that it is not only unlawfull for Church-assemblies to make Ecclesiastick Canons, but that it is alike un­lawfull for any Prince or State to make a Civill Law, (llllll)

That the placing of a Legislative power in Kings or Parliaments, is to usurp the property and prerogative of God. (mmmmmm 1)

These Principles cannot be very favourable to the State, which at one stroke annihilate all the Acts of Parliament that now are in force, either in this or any other Kingdom, and make it impossi­ble (if they were beleeved) to have any more in any place of the earth, to the worlds end. Look back upon what I have cited from the chiefe of the Brownists writings. I grant the New English po­lishers of Brownism doe not expresse their Tenets in tearms so hugely grosse; yet see how neare they come to them in substance, when they tell us that no Magistrate may make any Lawes about the Bodies, Lands, Goods, Liberties of the Subject, which are not according to the Lawes and Rules of Scripture, Scripture being [Page 128] given to men for a perfect rule, as well in matters of Civill Iu­stice, as of devotion and holinesse (mmmmmm 2); and if so, then they must make it as unlawfull and contrary to the Scrip­tures perfection, for any man to make Lawes in matters of Righ­teousnesse and of the State, as in matters of Holinesse and of the Church.

The Civill Lawes which Mr Cotton per­mits men to make, bind, no man any further then his own minde is led by the reason of the Law to obe­dience.That beside things in themselves good or evill, which Scripture determines by its Lawes expresly, things of an indifferent na­ture, whereupon the most of civill Laws are made, must be regu­lated according to the Scripture rules of Piety, Charity, and Con­science, so farre that the expediency and reason of the Law must ever carry and convince the conscience of the Subject: that no man is obliged to the obedience of a civill Law in a thing never so indifferent by the authority of the Law-giver, but every man whose conscience is not convinced of the piety and charity of that Law, is free from all obedience and subjection thereto: Thus farre Mr Cotton (mmmmmm 3.)

They put the yoak of the ju­diciall Law of Moses on the neck of the Magistrate.Eightly, what men besides them have made so bold with Kings and Parliaments, as not only to break in pieces their old Lawes, and to divest them of all power to make new ones; but also under the pretext of a divine right, to put upon their necks that unsup­portable yoak of the Iudiciall Law of the [...]ewes, for peace and for warre, without any power to dispence either in addition or sub­straction (nnnnnn 1)? I grant this principle of Barrow is li­mited by Mr Cotton to such Iudicials as do containe in them a morall equity (nnnnnn 2); but this morall equity is exten­ded by him to so many particulars, as Williams confesses the whole Iudiciall Law to be brought back again thereby, no lesse then by the plaine simple and unlimited Tenet of the rigidest Brow­nists (nnnnnn 3.)

They give to their Ministers a power to sit in civill Courts & to voyce in the Election of the Magistrats, and to draw from Scripture Civill Lawes for the government of the State.Ninthly, doth any Reformed Church appoint their Ministers to be members of the highest civill Courts, with power of voice­ing in the election of the supream Magistrate? (oooooo.)

Do any Divines but theirs, since the Bishops were abolished, joyne themselves as companions with the Magistrates, to draw out of Scripture a body of civill Lawes for the Government of the State? (pppppp.)

[Page 129]Tenthly, did ever any Divines but theirs,They offer [...]o perswade the Magistrate contradictory principles, ac­cording to their own in­terest. In New England they perswade the Magistrats to kill all Ido­laters and He­reticks, even whole Cities, men, women, and children. so evidently mock the Magistrate, by instructing him according to their own inte­rest, as it were from heaven, to contradictory practises, in New-England where the Magistrate is in their way, to perswade him the necessity under paine of sinne and judgement, to kill all Ido­laters, and false Prophets, to destroy whole Cities; men, women, and children, who are seduced by a false Prophet (qqqqqq)?

Making a path-way by this meanes to the slaughter, not only of all Papists and Hereticall Sects, but also of many good Pro­testants, who to the Brownists are Idolaters for the reading of Prayer, and obstinate enemies of the Kingdom of Christ for their mislike of Independency, according to the open profession of the prime Independents (rrrrrr.)

Their Doctrine in Old England, where the Magistrate is out of their way, is diametrally opposite to this:But here they deny the Ma­gistrate all power to lay the least re­straint upon the g [...]ossest I­dolaters, Apo­stats, Blasphe­mers, Seducers or the greatest enemies of Re­ligion. for here they make it a Theomachy (ssssss), a fighting with God to deny a free liberty to Papists, to the worst Heresies and Schisms, to Iu­daism, Turcism, Paganism, or if any errour can be imagined to bee more pernicious. I beleeve that few prudent Magistrates, when they have well ruminated these and the like principles of the Independents, will esteem them much more conducible for their ends, then the principles of the Reformed Churches.

In the point of Schools and Learning, how farre they will follow the Brownists, I cannot say: divers of them have as good a share in learning as their neighbours; yet whatever they have of that kinde,No great ap­pearance of their respect to secular lear­ning and Schools. they got it all before they entred into their new way, and whatever learning all of them do possesse, it is no more then what was among the Brownists, when they did most cry down learning. The most of their erudition this day dwels in New-England, that any reall course hath ever there been taken for its entertainment and propagation, I have not heard much; though the Magistrate and the whole Land have beene and are at their Devotion; and till of late they had no apparant hope of supplying their way from the Schools of other parts of the world.

Were we not weary,Independency much more dangerous then Browni [...] we might go on yet farther in the para­lell, especially in the doctrinall Tenets of the Independents, where­in already they have gone farre beyond the Brownists: you had a [Page 130] touch of the Arminianism of some in the reall Sanctification of all baptised Infants; of the enthusiasms of others in their con­templations of God without Scripture; of the Libertinism of a third, blaspheming God as the Authour of the sinfulnesse of sin: of the Arminian reprobation, the Antinomian, Montanist [...]ck and Familistick Tenets of a fourth; for which I doubt if to this day they have given any satisfaction. The whole City hath been filled these many yeares with the noise of the Socinianism of the fifth; many of them are passionate for a full liberty of all Religions in every State. The Apologists declare, that they will have none cast out of the Church for any errours which are not fundamentall; and how farre they will extend this principle who can know? only it would seem that all the named errours which do lodge or have lodged, as is alledged, in their prime Leaders, without any censure to this day, must be taken within the compasse of errours tolera­ble, not only in the State, but in the purest Churches.

And if Arminian, Socinian, Anabaptistick, Antinomian, Fa­milistick, Enthusiastick errours be declared not fundamentall, and tolerable in a Church, what shall we say of Prelaticall, Cassandrian and the most of the Popish Tenets that are no wayes so grosse? Spalato and others have been at great paines to prove that none of all the Popish errours are fundamentall. The Remonstrant Apolo­gists labour to free the greatest Heresies that ever were in the Church, such as Arrianism of old, and Vorstianism of late▪ from that infamy. Certainly, though our Brethren had kept in their princi­ple of change, and not declared their full resolution to go on far­ther then themselves or others have yet thought: what already they have positively delivered, giveth to the world just reason of doubt whither they may go, and where at last they will stop their very swift and volant progresse.

The Testimonies of the sixth Chapter.

(a) ANtap. p. 243. It was agreed upon, that they out of hand should bring in a Narrative of their opinions wherein they differed from us, and then should joyne with us in preaching against the Brownists and Anabaptists; they never brought in their Nar­rative [Page 131] untill this day, and though at full meetings of the Ministers, they have been spoken unto, and some Ministers have been sent from the Company to some of them, and the Narrative was promised at such a time, and then at such a time yet it was never performed; and where­as the agreement in writing for our side, was left in Mr Calamies hand, Mr Nye comes after some time to Mr Calamy, and pretends some reasons to borrow it for awhile; but after he had it, he carries it away into Yorkshire, that so upon occasion of complaints of the breach of the agreement, when we would have consulted with that pa­per, it was gone, and Mr Nye keeps it to this day, and having been moved to restore it, His answer is, it is at Hull amongst other papers.

(b) Apollonius Letter to the 5 Apologists, the 3 of May 1644. Hasce quaestiones ad vos reverendi viri transmitto de iisdem sententias vestras quaerens & ob mutuam nostram fidem & chari­tatem serio vos oro ut non detrectetis sincere dilucide & accu­rate absque Rhetorici apparatus diverticulis declarare, quid vos & fratres illi quibuscum societatem vestram Ecclesiasticam colitis de hisce sentiant, quoniam meae fidei ab Ecclesiis Christi id com­missum est. Spero vos ex timore dei & charitate erga nos fra­tres vestros absque ullo pretextu sententias vestras hac de re de­claraturos, idque quam cito fieri potest, urgent enim Ecclesiae no­strae ut opus hoc maturem; This zealous adjuration hath not to this day drawn from any of them any declaration.

(c) Apol. Nar. p 30. A relation of our judgments in the points of difference about Church-Government, we reserve unto the more proper season.

(d) Keyes Preface, p. 6. Only we crave leave of the reverend Author to declare that we assent not to all expressions scattered up and down, or to all and every assertion interwoven in it; yea, nor to all the grounds or allegations of Scriptures, nor should we in all things perhaps have used the same termes, to expresse the same materialls by.

(e) Apol. Nar. p. 10. A second principle we carried along with us in all: our resolution was not to make our present judgement and practice a binding law unto our selves for the future; and therefore in a jealousie of our selves, wee kept this rese [...]ve to al [...]er and retract, though not lightly what ever should be discovered to be taken up out [Page 132] of a misunderstanding of the rule, which principle we wish were next to that most supreame, enacted as the most sacred Law of all o­thers.

(f) Cottons Keyes published by Goodwin and Nye, p. 49. In what sence the Church of a particular Congregation is the first subject of the power of the Keyes, in the same sence it is Independent and none other, we taking the first subject and the Independent subject to be all one. Answer to the 32 questions. p. 46. For the matter of In­dependency, we confesse the Church is not so Independent, but it ought to depend upon [...]hrist; But for Dependency upon men or other Churches, or other Subordination unto them in regard of Church-Government and power, we know not of any such appointed by Christ and his Word. The Churches were not Dependent and Subordinate to others, but all of them absolutely free and Inde­pendent. Burtons Vindication▪ p. 42. We are not so ashamed of the Title of Independency ▪ as utterly to disclame it, and that for two reasons; first, for distinction sake, between us and that which you call Presbyteriall Government; The second is, because this word Inde­pendent is to signifie that wee hold all particular Churches of Christ to be of equall authority, and none to have Iurisdiction over another, but each Church is under Christs Goverments as the sole head, King, Lord, Law-Giver thereof.

(g) Apol. Nar. p. 22. We doe professedly judge the Calvinian Reformed Churches of the first Reformation from out of Popery to stand in need of a further Reformation themselves.

(h) Ibid. p. 19. Wee think we give more to the Magistrate then the principles of the Presbyteriall Government will suffer them to yeeld.

(i) Ibid. p. 24. Wee doe here publikely professe we believe the truth to lie and consist in a middle way, betwixt that which is falsely charged on us, Brownisme, and that which is the contention of these times, the Authoritative Presbyteriall Government. Preface to the Keyes, p. 5. We are yet neither afraid, nor ashamed to make profession that the substance of this briefe extract, is that very middle way be­twixt that which is called Brownisme, and the Presbyteriall Go­vernment.

(k) Vide supra, Chap. 2. (B) and (R 2.)

(l) Prynnes Discovery, p. 29. Iohn Lilbourn in his Answer [Page 133] to 9 Arguments, p. 4. writes the Church of England is a true whoorish mother, and you are one of her base begotten and bastardly children. I say, the Church of England neither is, nor never was truly married to Christ in that espousall band which his true Churches are and ought to be, but is one of Anti-christs Nationall wh [...]orish Churches: your Church is false and Anti-christian, the Ministers of the Church of England, are not true Ministers of Christ, but false Ministers of Anti-christ, ibid. p. 31. This lan­guage and opinion of his concerning our English Church and Mi­nistry, is seconded by most Independents in their late Pam­phl [...]ts.

(m) Mr Robinson hath written a whole Treatise upon this subject.

(n) Answer to the 32 questions, p. 27. If we were in England, we should willingly joyne in some parts of Gods true worship, and namely, in hearing the Word where it is truly preached; yea, though wee doe not know them to be true Churches. For some worship, as prayer, and preaching, and hearing the Word, is not peculiar to Church-Assemblies, but may bee performed in other meetings. Cottons letter examined, p. 43. The second thing which Mr Cot­ton himselfe hath professed concerning English Preachers, is, that although the Word, yet not the Seales may be received from them, because (saith he) there is no Communion in hearing, and the Word is to be preached to all but the Seales, &c.

(o) Vide supra. Chap. 3. (G.)

(p) Cottons Letter examined, p. 37. Cotton here confesseth these two things; first, if any reproach the Church of Salem for Separation, it is a sin meet to be censured: secondly, the Churches themselves may be separated from, who tolerate their members in such causlesse reproachings, which I leave to himselfe to reconcile with his former profession against Separation.

(q) Vide supra. Chap. 4. (R)

(r) Vide supra, Chap. 5. (E 1).

(s) Burtons Vindication, p. 45. We esteeme the Government of Christs Church so holy, as we cannot think them fit to be admitted, be they never so good, that think so slightly of the way, and of them that walk in it, that they refuse to agree to walk in this way with the people of God. Ibid. p. 62. Doe you not know that no Infants have [Page 134] any title to Baptisme, but by vertue of their Parents faith out­wardly professed, and what outward profession of faith in the Pa­rents that refuse Christ for their only King? If therefore the Pa­rents refuse thus to be in visible Covenant, can the children be said to be in visible Covenant, and so to have a right to baptisme? If then the Parents by refusing Christ as their King, doe here­by cut themselves off from the Covenant, they doe therewith cut off their children to.

(z) Ibid. p. 63. We dare not baptise the children of these Pa­rents that refuse to professe the faith of Christ as their onely King as well as their only Priest and Prophet; for Christ divided, be­comes no Christ to the divider; this is to dissolve Christ, that is, to receive him onely in part and not in whole, which is the spirit of Antichrist, ibid. p. 55. Such a conversion as you speak of, comes not home to whole Christ, and such with their Converters doe deny Christs Kingly Government; what kind of Converters call you these? at best they are converted but in part, and that maine thing is wanting, to wit, Christs Kingly Office which they come not up to by the preaching thereof.

(w) Paper of Accommodation after the ninth proposition: We ha­ving weighed our Brethrens principles, doe find no probability of an Accommodation for them ordinarily to enjoy Congregations, unlesse it shall happen in a Parish that the Minister cannot administer the Sacraments to all of the Parish, whom possibly the neighbour Mini­sters or the Classis may judge fit to be admitted, such persons shall have power to procure to themselves the Sacraments by the help of a neighbour Minister, ibid. Whereunto our brethren adde as follow­eth, or otherwise if in a Parish it happen that there be a considera­ble number of such as cannot partake in the Ordinances with the Minister and people, there they shall have liberty to dispose of them­selves as a distinct Church, and to choose a Minister or Ministers, at their own charge to be maintained to be their Pastor.

(x) Thomas Goodwin to I. G. p. 1. Indeed we that are to admit doe it upon a conviction and perswasion of the parties true grace some way made forth visible to us. Welds answer, to chap. 3. Hee tells us that they must be reall Saints and syncere Believers, and that the Church in admitting of them, doth make exact tryall by exami­nation of their knowledge, and the work of grace, first in private, [Page 135] then in publike, and that they be such as can cleave together in opinion and affection, and that they be such as know what belongs to Church-Covenant, approve it and seek it; is there any thing in all this that you can blame?

(y) Ibid. In the Churches where we have lived many years, we have seen such a tender respect had to the weaker sex, that we commit their tryall to the Elders, and some few others in private, who upon their Testimony are admitted into the Church without any more adoe.

(z) Rathbones Narration, p. 11. Beside true and reall Saintship, they require that the members to be admitted, be such as can cleave together, both in opinion and in affection, and that there be sutablenesse and sweetnesse of spirit in them, apt to close one with another.

(aa) Vide supra, (Z) also Cotons Way, p. 7.

(bb) Vide supra, fifth Chap. (E 1.)

(cc) Apol. Nar. p. 9. Excommunication should be put in execu­tion for no other kind of sinnes then may be evidently presumed to be perpetrated against the parties known light, as whether it be a sinne in manners and conversation, such as is committed against the light of nature, or the common received practises of Christianity professed in all the Churches of Christ; or if in opinion, then such as are likewise contrary to the received principles of Christianity, and the power of godlinesse professed by the party himselfe, and universally acknowledged in all the rest of the Churches, and no other sinnes to be the subject of that dreadfull sentence.

(dd) Bastwicks Postscript, p. 58. also his Iust defence. p. 39.

(ee) An Apologie of the Churches in New-England, for a Church-Covenant

(ff) T.G. to I.G. p. First, it is no more with us then this, an assent and resolution professed by them that are to be admitted by us, with promise to walk in all these wayes pertaining to this Fellow­ship, so farre as they shall be revealed to them in the Gospel; thus briefly, indefinitly and implicitly, in such like words and no more or otherwise, do we apply our answers to mens consciences. Church-co­venant, p. 36. We deny not, but the Covenant in many of the English Congregations is more implicite, and not so plaine as were to bee desired; yet there wants not that reall and substantiall comming toge­ther [Page 136] or agreeing in Covenant, and that substantiall profession of faith, which thanks be to God, hath preserved the essence of vi­sible Churches in England unto this day.

(gg) Plaine dealing, p. 2. A Church is gathered after this manner; a competent number of Christians come together in some fit place in a publike manner, and there confesse their sins, and professe their faith, and enter into Church-covenant; after this, they doe at this same time or some other all being together, elect their own Officers, as Pastor, Teacher, Elders, Deacons, if they have fit men enough to supply these places; else as many of them as they can bee provided of; then they set another day for the Ordination of their said Officers.

(hh) Answer to the 32 questions, p. 36. If Church-commu­nion and the exercise of such Ordinances, as Christ hath ap­pointed for his Church, was lawfull and needfull, when Magistrates were enemies to the Gospel, and be not so when Magistrates professe the Gospel, we doe not see but Christians may sometime be losers by having Christian Magistrates, and in worse condition then if they had none but professed enemies, ibid. p. 41. It is our practise in Ordination of Ministers, as also in removing of them, to have the assistance of Ministers of other Churches; but for authority and power, we know none, that Ministers have, properly so called, in any Congregation save that one over which the holy Ghost hath made them Over-seers, and therefore we think it not lawfull when a Church is to Ordaine Officers, to call in by way of authority or power the Ministers of other Churches.

(ii) Cottons Way, p. 1. The Church to which Christ hath com­mitted the censures, is a combination of faithfull godly men, meet­ing by common consent into one Congregation, ibid. 7. Then such whose hearts God teacheth often meet together about the things of God and performe some duties of prayer and spirituall conference together, till a sufficient company of them be well satisfied in the spirituall good estate one of another, and so have approved themselves to one anothers consciences in the sight of God, as living stones fit to be laid in the Lords spiritull Temple, ibid. p. 10. The Church be­ing thus gathered as hath beene described: Our next care is, that it may be supplyed with all these Officers which Christ hath ordained.

[Page 137] (kk) Answer to the 32 Questions, p. 43. We doe not finde that God doth anywhere say they must be above forty or else they cannot be a Church: nay rather that speech of Christs, of two or three ga­thered together in his name, doth plainly imply, that if there be a greater number then two or three, whom they being not satisfied in the answer of an offender, may appeale unto, and in so doing tell the Church, such a small number may be a Church, and may have the blessing of his presence to be among them.

(ll) Ibid. p. 8, 9. When a visible Church is to be erected, it is necessary that in respect of quantity it be no more in number in the dayes of the New Testament, but so many as may meet in one Congregation.

(mm) Ibid. p. 15. The Church is before the Ministers, seeing the power of chusing Ministers is given to the Church by Christ.

(nn) Ibid. p. 68. The Church that hath no Officers, may elect Officers unto themselves; therefore it may also ordaine them: if it hath power from Christ for the one, and that the greater, it hath also for the other which is the lesser: now, Ordination is lesse then Election.

(oo) Ibid. p. 42. Ʋnto the 13 question, whether you think it convenient, that a company of private and illiterate persons should ordinarily examine, elect, ordaine, and depose their Ministers: a part of the answer to this question is, if there were none among them who had humane learning, we doe not see how this could hinder them of their Liberty to chuse Ministers, purchased to them by Christs precious blood; for they that are fit matter to be combi­ned into a Church body, have learned the Doctrine of the holy Scriptures in the fundamentall points thereof; they have learned to know the Lord in their owne hearts; therefore they may not bee reproached as illiterate or unworthy to chuse their owne Ministers; nay they have the best learning, without which all other learning is but madnesse and folly.

(pp) Plaine Dealing, p. 3. They set a day for the Ordina­tion of their Officers, and appoint some of themselves to impose hands upon them: where there are Ministers or Elders before, they impose their hands upon the new Officers; but where there is none, there some of their chiefest men two or three of good report [Page 138] amongst them, though not of the Ministry, doe by appointment of the same Church lay hands upon them. Cottons way, p. 40, 41. Towards the end of the day, one of the Elders of the Church, if they have any, if not, one of the graver Brethren of the Church, appointed by themselves to order the work of the day, standeth up and enquireth in the Church &c. he advertiseth him who is chosen, what duties the Lord requireth of him in that place towards the Church; then with the Presbytery of that Church, if they have any, or if not, with two or three others of the gravest Christians among the Brethren of that Church, being deputed by the body, he doth in the name of the Lord Jesus ordaine him to that Office, with imposition of hands, calling upon the Lord; and so turning the speech to the person on whom their hands are imposed, he as the mouth of the Presbytery, expresses their Ordination of him, and puts a solemne charge upon him to look well to himselfe and the flock. After this the Elders of other Churches present, observing the presence of God in the orderly proceeding of the Church to the Officers Election and Ordination, one of them in the name of all the rest, doth give unto him the right hand of Fellowship in the sight of all the Assembly.

(qq) Answer to the 32 questions, p. 48. If the Church hath power by election to chuse a Minister, and so power of instituting him, then of destituting also; Instituere & destituere ejusdem est potestatis.

(rr) Ibid. p. 44. We conceive that every Church properly so called, though they bee not above ten persons, or the least number that you mention, have right and power from Christ to transact all their owne Ecclesiasticall businesse, if so be they be able, and car­ry matters justly; for the power of the Keyes Matth. 16.19. is com­mitted by Christ unto the Church.

(ss) Cottons Catechism, p. 10. It is committed to the Pres­bytery to prepare matters for the Churches hearing.

(tt) Answer to the 32 quest. p. 60. In this sense matters with us are carried according to the vote of the major part, that is, with the joynt consent of the whole Church, but yet because it is the mind of Christ.

(ww) The propositions to which almost all our Elders did agree when they were assembled together: the first, the Fraternity [Page 139] is the first subject of all Presbyteriall power, radicaliter, id est cau­satim per modum collationis, non habitualiter, non actualiter, non formaliter.

(xx) Anatom. p. 26. I heare of no ruling Elders that ever Mr Simpson had in his Church. Anatomist anatomised, p. 12. It is true de facto wee had none, but were resolved to have them. Notwithstanding this answer of Mr Simpsons, that Church of Rotterdam to this day hath never had a Presbytery, after more then seven yeares delay.

(yy) Antap. p. 52. Pastors are necessary Officers in your Churches, and yet according to your practises your Churches are many yeares without them.

(zz) Keyes p. 10. Authority is a morall power, and a supe­riour Order or State, binding or releasing an inferiour in point of subjection. Christ hath given no Iurisdiction but to whom he hath given office. The Key of power in a large sense, or Liberty, is in the Church; but the Key of authority or rule, in a more strict sense, is in the Elders of the Church.

(aaa) Excommunication is one of the highest acts of Rule; and therfore cannot bee performed but by some Rulers▪ now where all the Elders are culpable, there be no Rulers left in that Church to censure them: as therefore the Presbytery cannot excommuni­cate the whole Church, though apostate, for they must tell the Church, and joyne with the Church in that censure; so neither can the Church excommunicate the whole Presbytery, because they have not received from Christ an Office of Rule without their Of­ficers. Ib. preface p. 4. He gives unto the Elders or Presbytery a binding power of Rule and Authority peculiar unto them, and to the Brethren distinct and apart an interest of power and priviledge to concurre with them, and that such affaires should not be trans­acted but with the joynt agreement of both, though out of a dif­ferent Right: so that as a Church of Brethren only could not pro­ceed to any publike censures, without they have Elders over them; so neither in the Church have the Elders power to censure, with­out the concurrence of the people: so as each alone have not power of excommunicating the whole of either, though together they have power over any particular person or persons in each.

(bbb) Ibid. also Keyes p. 13. Else the Brethren have a [Page 140] power of order, and the priviledge to expostulate with their bre­thren in case of private scandals: so in case of publike scandall, the whole Church of brethren have power and priviledge to joyne with the Elders in inquiring, hearing, judging of publike scandals, so as to bind notorius offenders and impenitents under censure, and to forgive the repentant.

(ccc) The propositions, 3. prop. The fraternity having au­thoritative concurrence with the Presbytery in Iudiciall acts.

(ddd) Keyes, p. 16. Though the Church want authority to Excommunicate their Presbytery, yet they want not liberty to withdraw from them.

(eee) Keyes Preface, p. 5. When we first read this of this lear­ned Author, knowing what hath been the more generall current both of the practice and judgement of our brethren for the Congre­gationall way; wee confesse we were filled with wonderment at that Divine hand that had thus led the judgements without the least mutuall interchange or intimation of thoughts or notions in these particticular of our brethren there and our selves here.

(fff) Ibid. Onely wee crave leave of the reverend Au­thor to declare that wee assent not to all expressions, &c. Vide supra.

(ggg) Tabula. Potestas charitativa merè est primo frat [...]um & Presbyterorum charitativè non politicè ambulantium, secun­do sororum.

(hhh) Vide supra, Chap. 4. (F).

(iii) Vide supra, Chap. 3. (M).

(kkk) Bastwicks Independency, p. 99. The fifth Quaere is whe­ther the women and people as well as the Ministers have the Keyes? and whether the women have all their votes in the Church, both for election and reprobation of Members and Officers as well as the men? and whether the consent of all the women, and the greatest part of them be requisite for the making of any one a member, or officer, so that if they gain-say it, being the greater number, or allow of it, the most voyces carry the businesse? the practice of this the brethren in some of their Congregations hold for Orthodox. Mr Prynnes Fresh Discovery, in his Dedicatory Epistle to the Parliament, p. 5. And to interest the femall Sex and draw them to their party, they allow them not only decisive votes [Page 141] but liberty of preaching, prophesying, speaking in their Congrega­titions.

(lll) Keyes p. 6. We be farre from allowing that sacrilegious usurpation of the Ministers Office, which we heare of to our griefe to be practised in some places, that private Christians ordinarily take upon them to preach the Gospel publikely, and to Minister the Sacraments. Katharine Chidleys Iustification of the Independent Churches, p. 28. Yet that the Church must want the Word preach­ed, or the Sacraments administred, till they have Pastors and Teachers in Office, is yet to be proved; but that which hath been alledged, is sufficient to prove that the family must not be unpro­vided for, either for the absence or the negligence of a Steward.

(mmm) Keyes, p. 53. A particular Congregation being the first subject of the Church power, is unavoidably Independent upon any other Church or body for the exercise thereof; for the first sub­ject of any accident or adjunct, is Independent upon any other, either for the enjoying or for the imploying, the having or using of the same.

(nnn) Vide supra (mmm).

(ooo) Answer to the 32 Questions, p. 36. For Dependency upon men or other Churches, or other Subordination unto them in regard of Church-Government or power, we know not of any such appointed by Christ in his Word.

(ppp) Welds Answer to Rathband, 14. chap. Our Churches are tender to perswade men to act without light, much more to command or to compell; both which very words though the thing required were lawfull, are odious in the Churches of Christ most fitly be­comming the Synagogues of Anti-christ.

(qqq) Vide Cottons Keyes, p. 8. & infra (zzz).

(rrr) Cottons Catechisme, p. 13. All the Churches thereabout may meet together, and by the Word of God may confute and con­demn such errours in doctrine or practice as are offensive, to prevent the spreading either of the gangrene of heresie or of the leprosie of sin; and if the Church offending, shall not yet hearken unto their brethren, though the rest of the Churches have not power to deliver them to Satan; yet they have power to draw from them the right hand of Fellowship. Vide infra, (sss).

(sss) Keyes, p. 57. In the Election and Ordination of Officers [Page 142] and censure of offenders, let it suffice the Churches consociate to assist one another with their counsel, but let them not put forth the power of their Community to take such Church Censures out of their hands; let Synods have their just authority in all Churches how pure so ever, in determining such diataxeis as are requisite for the edification of all Churches. Keyes Preface, p. 4. Hee acknowledgeth that Synods or Classes are an Ordinance of Christ, unto whom Christ hath committed a due and just measure of power, furnishing them not onely with ability to give counsell, but also a Ministeriall power and Authority, to determine, declare and enjoyne such things as may tend to the reducing of Congregations to right order and peace; but not arming them with power of Excommu­nicating either Congregations or their members; they are to leave the former act of this censure to that Authority which can only execute it, placed by Christ in these Churches themselves; which if they deny to doe or persist in their miscarriage then the Synod may determine to withdraw communion from them.

(ttt) Ibid.

(www) Keyes, p. 50.51. The Magistates addresse themselves to the establishment of Religion, and Reformation of corruptions by civill punishments upon the wilfull opposers; Iosiah put to death Idolatrous Priests; nor was that a peculiar duty of the Kings of Iuda; for of the times of the New-Testament it is Prophesied, that in some cases capitall punishment shall proceed against false prophets.

(xxx) Keyes Preface, p. 4. Hee asserteth an association of Churches, sending their Elders and Messengers into a Synod; so hee purposely chuseth to stile these Assemblies of Elders, which the Reformed Churches doe call Classes or Presbyteries.

(yyy) Cottons Catechisme, p. 3. The office or work of the ruling Elders, is to moderate the carriage of all matters of the Church Assembled, as to propound matters to the Church, and to order the season of speech and silence in the Church.

(zzz) Keyes p. 48. The pattern of Synods is set before us, Acts 15. There the Apostles assembled together with the Elders, and a multitude of brethren together with them, the whole Synod be­ing satisfied, determine of a Iudiciall sentence, and of a way to pub­lish it by Letters and Messengers; so the matter is at last judged [Page 143] in a Congregation of Churches in a Church of Churches; for what is a Synod else but a Church of Churches? ibid. p 57. All the liberties of Churches were purchased to them by the precius blood of the Lord Iesus, and therefore neither may the Churches give them away, nor many Churches take them out of the hands of one.

(aaaa) Keyes Preface, p. 6. In all humility wee yet see not that assembly of Apostles, Elders and brethren Acts 15 to have been a formall Synod.

(bbbb 1) Ibid. 4. He a [...]knowledgeth a Synod to be an Ordinance of God, in relation to the rectifying of male administrations and healing dissentions in particular Congregations and the like cases; in such cases they declare and judge the nature of the offence.

(bbbb 2) Antap. p. 146. I was desired by Mr Ward to be present at that meeting; but when the time came, neither I, nor any English Ministers, but them of Arnheim were called; whether were the other Churches of our Nation or any of them, who could not but be offended, as them of Amsterdam, Hague, Vt [...]ick, Leyden, Delph, called in by Arnheim, or by the Church at Roterdam to joyn in the hearing and trying of that businesse? or did they send Messengers, or was it onely agitate by two Ministers, and two Messengers of the Church of Arnheim, one Church only, Arnheim to Roterdam [...] one to one, both equall. The Sub-Committee for Accommodation Prop. 8. Some of them doe desire, that the effect of that which here­after followeth, may be for explanations sake inserted, viz. That the Elders and Brethren of such Congregations in case they finde any thing too hard for themselves, or have any controversie among them­selves, may have liberty to advise with any of these select Elders and others in the Province joyntly or apart, or with the Elders of any other Churches, for the determining and composing the con­troversie, or resolving that difficulty.

(cccc) Bastwicks Independency second part. Postscript, p. 6.7. They professed that they had rather have the Government of the Prelates then the Presbyteriall, and protest that before Presbyters shall rule over them, they will joyn with Prelaticall Priests, for the re-establishing of the Hierarchy.

(dddd) Vide supra (rrr).

(eeee) Apol. Nar. p. 17. What farther Authority there is of one or many sister Churches towards another whole Church or [Page 144] Churches offending, we doe not yet see; and likewise we doe yet suppose that this principle of submission of Churches that miscarry unto other Churches offended, together with this other, that it is a command from Christ injoyned to Churches that are finally offended, to denounce such a sentence of Non-Communion, and withdrawing from them whilst impenitent, as unworthy to hold forth the name of Christ; these principles are mutuall duties as strictly injoynd them by Christ as any other.

(ffff) Vide supra, Chap. 2. (EEEEE).

(gggg) Theomachia, p. 37. Concerning other civill meanes for the suppression and restraint of these spirituall evills, errours, heresies, &c. as Imprisonment, Banishment, Interdictions, Fi­nings, &c. Both reason and experience concurre in this demonstra­tion, that such fetters as these put upon the feet of errours and here­sies to secure and keep them under, still have proved wings whereby they raise themselves the higher in the thoughts and minds of men, and gaine an opportunity of further propagation.

(hhhh) Ibid. p. 49.50. To hold that the persons so elected (the members of the House of Commons, chosen by men unworthy, and strangers to the power of godlinesse) have a power by vertue of such nomination or election, to enact Lawes and Statutes in matters of Religion, and to Order under mulcts and penalties, how men shall worship and serve God, as it is a meanes to awaken the eye of jealou­sie upon them, and so is seven times more destructive unto and un­dermining, not only of their power, but of their honour peace, and safty also, then any thing that is found in the way so ill intreated; so is it the settling upon the electors of such persons, I meane upon the promiscuous multitude of the Land, a greater power then ever Iesus Christ himselfe had, at least then ever he exercised.

(iiii) Vide supra, (s).

(kkkk) Vide supra, Chap. 4. (BB).

(llll) Plaine-dealing, p. 39. Marriages are solemnized and done by the Magistrates and not by the Ministers.

(mmmm) Miltons Doctrine of divorce, p. 6. That indisposition, unfitnesse or contrariety of mind arising from a cause in nature, unchangeable, hindring and ever likely to hinder the maine benefits of conjugall society which are solace and peace, is a greater cause of divorce then naturall frigidity, especially if there be no children, [Page 145] and that there be mutuall consent. Ibid. p. 15. God himselfe com­mands in his Law more then once, and by his Prophet Malachy, as the best Translations read. That he who hates, let him divorce, that is, he who cannot love, Ibid. p. 16. He who can receive no­thing of the most important helps in marriage, being thereby disa­bled to return that duty which is his, with a cleare and hearty coun­tenance, and thus continues to grieve whom hee would not, and is no lesse grieved, that man ought even for loves sake and peace to move divorce; it is a lesse breach of wedlock to part with wise and quiet consent betimes, then still to profane that mystery of joy and union, with a polluting sadnesse and perpetuall distemper, Ibid. p. 63. Only these persons are joyned by God, whose minds are fitly disposed and enabled to mantaine a cheerfull conversation to the solace and love of each other; the rest whom either disproportion or deadnesse of spirit or something distastfull and averse in the im­mutable bent of nature renders unconjugall, errour may have joyned, but God never joyned against the meaning of his own Ordinance; and if he joyned them not, then there is no power above their own consent to hinder them from unjoyning when they cannot reap the soberest ends of being together in any tolerable sort, Ibid. p. 76. The freedome and eminence of mans creation, gives him to be a Law in this matter to himselfe, being the head of the other sex which was made for him; whom therefore though he ought not to injure, yet neither should he be forced to retaine in society to his own overthrow, nor to heare any judge therein above himselfe, it being also an unseemly affront to the modesty of that sex, to have her unpleasingnesse and other conceale­ments bandied up and down, and aggravated in open Court by these hired masters of tongue-fence.

(nnnn) Williams Paper. I thought good to let you see some particulars wherein I could not close, nor goe along with them. First, that it is lawfull for a woman who sees into the mystery of Christ, in case her husband will not goe with her, to leave her husband and follow the Lords House; for the Church of God is a Christians home where shee must dwell; and where the Saints are, there is the Lords house; and in so doing, she leaves not her husband, but her husband forsakes her: The odiousnesse of this point was further manifested unto me by the speech of Ezekiel Hollimers wife saying that she counted her selfe but a widow.

[Page 146] (oooo) Plaine-dealing, p. 21. They call the dayes of the weeke, the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh which is Saturday; also the Moneths beginning at March, by the names of the first, second, and so forth to the twelfth, which is Fe­bruary; because they would avoid all memory of Heathenish and Idols names.

(pppp) Ans. to the 32. quest. p. 77. For settled and stinted maintenance, there is nothing done that way among us except from year to year, because the conditions of Ministers may vary, and of the Church to which they do belong; neither do we know any such thing to be appointed by Christ our Lord for the maintenance of the Mi­nistry in these dayes; the bringing in of settled endowments and eminent Preferments into the Church, hath been the corruption, and to some the destruction of such as lived by them, both Church-Offi­cers and Church-members.

(qqqq) Cottons Way, p. 38. The Deacons were elected, and ordained for the serving at Tables, to wit, the serving of all these Tables which pertained to the Church to provide for, which are the Lords Table; the Tables of the Ministers or Elders of the Church, and the Tables of the poore Brethren, whither of their own body, or strangers, for the maintaining whereof we doe not appoint them to goe up and down to collect the benevolences of abler brethren; but as the Apostles received the oblations of the brethren brought and laid down at their feet, and thereby made distribution as the use of the Church required, so the Deacons re­ceive the oblations of the brethren every Lords day, brought unto them and laid down before them, and distribute the same as the need of the Church doth require.

(rrrr) Ibid.

(ssss) Plaine-dealing, p. 19. At some other places they make a rate upon every man as well within as not of the Church, residing with them, towards the Churches occasions; and others are beholding now and then to the generall Court to study wayes to enforce the mantenance of the Ministry.

(tttt) Antap. p. 276. Have you not carried a greater port then most of the godly Ministers in the City or Countrey? have not some of you the prime Lectures of the City and other good places of advantage and profit? besides, what some of you have from [Page 147] your own Churches. Vide supra Chap. 4.

(wwww) Bastwicks Independency, p. 142.143. It is well known and can sufficiently be proved that godly Christians of holy conversation, against whom they had no exception either for do­ctrine or manners, and who offered themselves to be admitted mem­bers upon their own conditions, and yet were not suffered to be joyned members, onely because they were poore; and this very reason was given them for their not-admission, that they would not have their Church over-burdened with poore, Ibid. It was replyed, that the Congregation of which he was Pastor▪ consisted of great Personages, Knights, Ladies, and rich Merchants and such people, as they being but poore, could not walk so sutably with them; wherefore he perswaded them to joyn themselves with some other Congregation among poore people, where they might better walk, and more con­fortably, in fellowship with them.

(xxxx) Plaine-dealing, p. 16. The Pastor begins with solemn prayer continu [...]ing about a quarter of an houre, the Teacher then readeth and expoundeth a Chapter, then a Psalme is sung which ever one of the ruling Elders dictates; after that the Pastor preacheth a Sermon, and sometimes ex tempore exhortes, then the Teacher concludes with prayer and a blessing.

(yyyy) Cottons Way, p. 66. First, then when we come into the Church according to the Apostles direction, 1 Tim. 1. We make prayers and intercessions, and thanksgivings for our selves and all men.

(zzzz) I have heard the chiefe of our Brethren maintaine this publikely, and I understand it is the practice of some of them in the City.

(aaaaa) Cottons Catechisme, p. 6. Where there bee more Prophets besides the Elders, they may Prophesie two or three if the time permit, the Elders calling to them, whither in the same Church or others, if they have any word of exhortation to the peo­ple to say on.

(bbbbb) Ibid. And for the bettering of a mans selfe or others, it may be lawfull for either young or old, save only for women, to aske questions from the mouth of the Prophets.

(ccccc) Answer to the 32 quest. p. 78. Some think the peo­ple have a liberty to aske their questions publikely for their better [Page 148] satisfaction upon very urgent and weighty cause, though even this is doubted of by others, and all judge the ordinary practice of it not necessary; but if it be not meekly and wisely carried, to be inconve­nient if not utterly unlawfull; and therfore such asking of questions is seldom used in any Church among us, and in most Churches never.

(ddddd) Anatom. p. 26. In the matter of singing of Psalms they differ not only from us, but are also at variance among them­selves, some thinking it unlawfull for any to sing but he who prea­cheth; and this hath been the late practice at Arnheim: others thinking it unlawfull for women to sing in the Congregation; hence some women at Rotterdam doe not sing; I heare also they think it unfit for any at all in such times of the Churches trouble as this.

(eeeee) Ibid.

(fffff) Vide supra Chap. 4. (SS 1.)

(ggggg) If the question be of joyning in some few selected prayers read by an able and faithfull Minister out of the book, as of the one side we are tender of imputing sinnes to these that so joyne. Vide infra (hhhhh).

(hhhhh) To that part of the Directory which recommends the use of the Lords Prayer they did enter no dissent: an Answer to the 32 Questions p. 55. By a Liturgie and forme of prayer, we suppose you meane not a forme of private prayer, composed for the help of the weaker: as for a forme of prayer in generall, we conceive your meaning cannot be of that; for it is evident that many Prea­chers constantly use a set forme of prayer of their owne making before their Sermons, with whom the people refuse not to joyne, ibid. p. 59. Wee acknowledge the Lords Prayer, and other formes set downe in Scripture, may be lawfully used as prayers, due cautions being observed. Cottons pouring out of the spirit p. 10. Not that I would discourage any poore soule from praying on a Book, for I think as we may sing Psalms on a Book, so we may in some cases pray on a Book.

(iiiii) Vide supra (s). Also see the Petition of the Inha­bitants of the Colony of the Sommer Islands p. 2. Our children die unbaptized, our selves are deprived of the Lords Supper, our daughters cannot be given in marriage.

(kkkkk) Plain Dealing p. 40. At New Plymouth Mr Chancey stands for dipping in Baptism only necessary.

[Page 149] (lllll) Cottons Catechism p. 4. What manner of men hath God appointed to be received as members of his Church? Answ. Such as doe willingly offer themselves first to the Lord, and then to the Church, by confessing of their sins, &c.

(mmmmm) This wee heare is their ordinary practice at London.

(nnnnn) Vide supra Chap. 4. (Q). (R).

(ooooo) Vide supra ibid.

(ppppp) This is the Apologists common profession.

(qqqqq) This also they professe as a cleare consequent of the former.

(rrrrr) Cottons way p. 68. The Lords Supper we administer for the gesture to the people sitting, according as Christ administred it to his Disciples sitting Matth. 20.26. who also made a symbolicall use of it to teach the Church their majority over their Ministers in some cases, and their Iudiciall authority, as Cosessors with him at the last Iudgement, Luk. 22.27. to 30.

(sssss) For this the Apologists did plead as much and as sharply as any.

(ttttt) I have heard some of their chiefe men discourse pub­likely enough to this purpose.

(wwwww) Cottons Catechism p. 10. The body of the Church hath power from Christ to enquire, and heare, and assist in the judge­ment of all publike scandals.

(xxxxx) Vide supra Chap. 4. (TT).

(yyyyy) Vide supra Chap. 6. (tt).

(zzzzz) Answer to the 32 Quest. p. 61. If it appeare, they who dissent from the major part, are factiously or partially carried, the rest labour to convince them of their errour by the rule; if they yeeld, the consent of all comfortably concurreth in the matter; if they still continue obstinate, they are admonished, and so standing under censure, their vote is nullified.

(aaaaaa) Ibid. If the difference still continue, the sentence is still demurred even till other Churches have beene consulted with; if the Church or the Elders should refuse the Testim [...]ny of other Churches according to God, they will deny them the right hand of Fellowship &c.

(bbbbbb) Short story p. 32. Then M [...]stris Hutchinson kept [Page 150] open house for all commers, and set up two Lecture dayes in the week; when they usually met at her house three or fourscore persons, the pretence was to repeat Sermons; but when that was done, she would comment upon the Doctrines, and interpret all passages at her plea­sure; she did lay all that opposed her, being neare all the Elders and most of the faithfull Christians in this Countrey, under a Covenant of works to advance her Master-piece of immediate revelations; wherin she had not failed of her aime to the utter subversion both of Churches and civill State, if the Lord had not prevented it. Ibid. p. 34. What say you to your weekly publike meetings? Answ. There were such meetings in use before I came; we began it with five or six, and though it grew to more in future time, yet being tolerated at the first, I knew not why it might not continue. The Courts reply, There were private meetings indeed, and are still in many places, of some few ne [...]ghbours; we allow you to teach younger women privately, and upon occasion; but that gives no warrant for such set meetings for that purpose, neither do yee teach them that which the Apostle com­mands, to keep at home.

(cccccc) Apologet. Nar. p. 19. To the Magistrate we give as much and, a [...] we think, more then the principles of the Presbyteriall Government will suffer them to yeeld.

(dddddd) Williams paper, Prop. 2. That the Saints are not to submit to the powers of the world or worldly powers, and that the powers and governments of the world have nothing to doe with them for civill misdemeanors; these Governours must keep in their owne spheare, as Whales, not to govern Whales, but other fishes; Lions not to governe Lions, but the beasts of the forrest; Eagles, not to governe Eagles, but the other foules of the ayre.

(eeeeee) Mr Williams related to me, that Mistris Hut­chinson (with whom he was familiarly acquainted, and of whom he spake much good) after she had come to Rid Island, and her husband had beene made Governour there, she perswaded him to lay downe his Office upon the opinion which newly she had taken up of the unlaw­fulnesse of Magistracy.

(ffffff) Bloody Tenet p. 135. Williams sets down these words of Cottons modell, The proper meanes whereby the civill power may and should attaine its end, are only politicall, and principally these five: First, the erecting and establishing what forme of civill Government [Page 151] may seem in wisedome most meet according to the generall rules of the Word and state of the people: upon these words Williams com­ments thus; from this grant I inferre that the Soveraign originall and foundation of civill power lies in the people, whom they must needs meane by the civill power distinct from the Government set up: and if so that a people may erect and establish what forme of Government seems to them most meet for their civill condition, it is evident that such Governments as are by them erected and established, have no more power, nor for no longer time, then the civill power or people consenting and agreeing shall betrust them with. This is cleare, not only in reason, but in the experience of all Common-weals where the people are not deprived of their naturall freedome by the power of Tyrants. How right this Commentary is, Mr Cottons own words will declare, set downe p. 140. In a free State no Magistrate hath power over the Bodies, Goods, Lands, Liberties of a free people, but by their free consent; and because free men are not free Lords of their owne estates, but are only stewards under God; therefore they may not give their free consents to any Magistrate to dispose upon their Bodies, Lands and Liberties at large as themselves please, but as God the Soveraigne Lord of all pleases; and because the Word is a perfect rule, as well of righteousnesse as of holinesse, it will be there­fore necessary that neither the people give consent, nor that the Ma­gistrate take power, but according to the lawes of the Word.

(gggggg) Vide supra Chap. 5. E.

(hhhhhh) Bastwicks Independency second part. Postscript p. 65. It may evidently appeare, that all the projects of the Inde­pendents in getting prime places by Sea and Land, and in the Ar­mies, and in the Townes, Cities, Forts, and Castles, and all other places, and in all Committees, is only for the advancement and fo­menting of their Faction: and this I conceive to be the only cause of all the linsie-woolsie Committees through the Kingdom.

(iiiiii) Williams Examination pag. 4. After my pub­like triall, one of the most eminent Magistrates stood up and spoke; Mr Williams, said he, holds forth that it is not lawfull to call a wicked person to sweare, to pray, as being actions of Gods worship.

(kkkkkk) Vide supra Chap. 3. TT. WW. AAA.

(kkkkkk 2) Lieutenant Generall Cromwells Letter to the Parliament from Bristoll; As for being united in formes commonly [Page 152] called uniformity, every Christian for peace sake would study and doe as farre as Conscience would permit; and from Brethren, in things of the minde, we look for no compulsion but that of Light and Reason; in other things God has put the sword into the Parliaments hands for the terrour of evill doers, and the praise of them that doe well; if any plead exemption from it, he knowes not the Gospell.

(llllll) Vide supra Chap. 2. (HHHHH), (IIIII) (KKKKK.)

(mmmmmm 1) Vide supra ibid.

(mmmmmm 2) Vide infra (mmmmmm 3.)

(mmmmmm 3) Cottons Modell of power in the Bloody Tenet p. 140. The Magistrate in making Lawes about civill and indifferent things in the Common-wealth; First, he hath no power given him of God to make what Lawes he pleases, either in restrain­ing from or constraining to the use of indifferent things; because that which is indifferent in its nature, may sometimes be inexpedient in its use, and consequently unlawfull: it is a prerogative proper to God to require obedience of the sons of men, because of his Authority and Will. It is an evill speech in some, that in some things the will of the Law, not the reason of it, must be the rule of Conscience to walk by: and that Princes may forbid men to seek any other reason but their authority, yea when they command men frivola & dura; and therefore it is the duty of the Magistrate in all Lawes about indiffe­rent things, to shew the reasons, not only the will; to shew the expe­diency as well as the indifferency of things of that nature; and be­cause the judgement of expedient and inexpedient things, is often dif­ficult and diverse, it is meet that such Lawes should not proceed with­out due consideration of the rules of expediency set downe in the Word, which are these three; First, the rule of Piety, that they may make for the glory of God, 1 Cor. 10.31. Secondly, the rule of charity, that no scandall come thereby to any weak Brother. 1 Cor. 8.13. Thirdly, the rule of Charity, that no man be forced to submit against his Conscience, Rom. 14▪ 14, 23.

(nnnnnn 1) Vide supra Chap. 2. (KKKKK.)

(nnnnnn 2) Cottons Modell in the Bloody Tenet p. 140. The Magistrate hath power to publish and apply such civill Lawes in a State as either are exprest in the Word of God, in Moses Judi­cials; to wit, so farre as they are of generall and morall equity, and [Page 153] so binding all Nations in all ages; or else to be deducted by way of generall consequence and proportion from the Word of God.

(nnnnnn 3) Ibid. p. 118. A strange modell of a Church and Common-wealth after the Mosaicall and Jewish patterne, framed by many able, learned and Godly hands, which wakens Moses from his unknown grave, and denies Iesus yet to have seen the earth.

(oooooo) Plaine Dealing p. 23. The Ministers give their votes in all elections of Magistrates.

(pppppp) Ibid. p. 25. The Ministers advise in making of Laws, especially Ecclesiastick, and are present in Courts, and advise in some cases criminall, and in framing of fundamentall Lawes. Ibid. p. 27. A draught of a body of fundamentall Lawes, according to the Iudiciall lawes of the Iewes, hath been contrived by the Ministers and Magistrates, and offered to the Generall Court to be established and published to the people.

(qqqqqq) Cottons third viall p. 8. In old time, if a man playd the false Prophet, the Lord judged him to death; and so in the New Testa­ment, as in the Old he condemnes all such to death; it is a Law Deut. 13. That false Prophets who did fundamentally pervert Religion, should not live; if high Treason against Princes on earth justly be pu­nished by death, verily this is as dishonourable to the Prince of all Princes; that whole 13 of Deut. is spent about the seducing of false Prophets, and he puts a threefold gradation; if he be a Prophet; Ther­fore never so seemingly holy by his place and gifts, he shall surely be put to death: if there be never so many that shall joyne, if a whole City shall joyne together in such a course, thou shalt rise against it and de­stroy the City, and burne it with fire, and leave not a stone upon a stone. Ibid. p. 12. The third reason is taken from the just desert of soule-murther; there is none of all these Priests, or Iesuites, or Here­ticks, but they worry and devoure the soules of Gods people; and this murther of souls is justly a capitall crime, as Moses said before: if they thrust thee from thy God, let not thine eye spare such kind of corrup­ters. Ibid. p. 16. Are not Moses morall Lawes of perpetuall equity, and therfore to be observed in all ages? Is not murther of soules as damnable now as then? a wonder that such f [...]ivolous interpretations should come in the hearts of men, to hinder the free passage of the Justice of God on such notorious offenders. Cottons third viall p. 8. on the 22 of Joshua, when the two Tribes and an half set up an Altar [Page 154] by Iordan, although they thought not to bring in an other object of wor­ship▪ but another manner of worship; yet the other Tribes would have cut them off if they had found another Altar for worship: he is the same God, and h [...]s zeale is as deeply provoked against the like kinde of vitiousnesse now as ever he was then, Ibid. p. 17. A soule that sinneth of ignorance, may be pardoned; but if he shall continue obsti­nate, were it a City or a Tribe, they shall not suffer such in a Coun­trey; but you will say that the tares and wheat may grow together; grant; but it is not said that briers and thornes should grow up with them, Ibid. p. 19. You see the first use is to justifie the equity of such capitall punishments upon Priests and Iesuites, and consequently on such who bring in other Gods, or another way of worshiping the true God then that wherein we may enjoy fellowship with the true God.

Cottons third Viall, p. 19.20. For a second use, it may serve to reprove the carnall and sinfull foolish pity that is found in any estate that shall bee sparing to spill such blood of the Priests and Iesuites; the Lord loatheth this kind of lenity and indulgency; cursed is he that doth the work of the Lord negligently; and cursed is he that keepeth back his sword from blood, when the Lord calls us to sheath the sword of Authority on such kinde of Delinquents, a State shall be separate from God for these tolerations.

(rrrrrr) Vide supra, Chap. 6. (s).

(ssssss) Goodwins Theomachy; also Chap. 5 (G). (H). and Chap. 6. (kkkkkk 2). also Chap. 6. (bbbb). (hhhh).

CHAP. VII. It is unjust scrupulosity to require satisfaction of the true grace of every Church-Member.

The Indepen­dents prime principles.HAving set down the Proceedings and Tenets of the Brownists and Independents, so farre as my slender reading of some of their writings and observation of their wayes have brought to my memory at this time: Before I leave them, it will not bee unfit to examine the truth of their chiefe principles whereby they have disturb'd the Church, and will continue so to doe untill they [Page 155] have changed their minde. For shortnesse, I will pitch but upon foure grounds which the Independents have learned in the Brownists schoole: The first, concerning the members of a Congregation; The next three concerning their power. We will first consider whither the members of every particular Church bee obliged at their first admission to shew to the whole Congregation convin­cing signs of their Regeneration and true grace. Secondly, whether the people of a Congregation have a power of voycing in every Ecclesiastick affaire. Thirdly, whether the power of the Congre­gation be absolute and Independent? Fourthly, whither every man who hath a gift though not an office, hath power to preach and prophesie publickly.

The first question is of the grearest importance:Their Tenet about the qua­lification of members, is the great cause of their separa­ting from all the Refor­med Churches though they doe dessemble it. The Inde­pendents would gladly dissemble their minde therein; to this day they have declined all solemn debate upon it, they speak as if they were either fully or very neere accorded with us, professing their utter dislike of the Brownists unreasonablenesse herein; but I professe this hath alwayes seemed to me their capitall and fundamentall difference, the only cause of their separation from us, and wherein if wee could either agree or accommodate, there would be a faire possibility of accord in all things else, at least so farre as to be united in one and the same Church; but this difference is the great partition wall, which so long as it stands, will force them to continue their intolerable practice of separating from all the Reformed Churches in the world, and that for fewer and more unjust causes then any who ever did carry the name of a Separatist, to this day did pretend. This seemes to bee the reason why both Apollonius and Spanheim very excellent Di­vines, have begun their dispute with this question.

For the stating of the controversie, consider how it stands be­twixt us and the Independents at this time; the Brownists for their separation were wont to alledge the impurity of our wor­ship, the corruption of our Government, the open prophanesse of the most in our Congregations. By the mercy of God, the first is fully Reformed, at least so farre according to the minde of our brethren, that they have entred no dissenting vote to any one passage of the Directory for worship: The Government also is so farre cleared in the Assemblie, that they have entered their [Page 156] dissent from no part of it, except that alone which concerns the Iurisdiction of Presbyteries and Synods; and their dissent herein, might and still may well be so carried as not to occasion any breach.

In this they goe beyond the Brownists.But the third is the great cause of division, wherein they much out-runne the Brownists; for they did never offer to separate upon this ground alone; and the matter whereupon here they stumbled, was only open profanenesse and that incorrigible, either through want of power or want of care to remedy it. If the profane­nesse was not open and visible, or if the Church had her full power to execute discipline, and according to her power made conscience really to censure scandalls: These things as I conceive, would have abundantly satisfied the Brownists, and cured their separation.

The true state of the question is whether it be necessary to separate from a Church, wherein wee get no satisfa­ction of the true grace of every Member at their first admission.But the Independents now doe draw them up much higher then they were wont to stand; They teach them to stumble not only at open profanenesse, but at the want of true grace; yea, at the want of convincing signes of Regeneration: They teach them to require not only a power and care in the Church to censure such profanenesse, but also a power in every member of the Church to keep out all others with whom they are not satisfied in the truth of their grace; So the question is not as usually it is made, of the quality of the members of the Church, but of the necessity to sepa­rate from that Church wherein we are not satisfied by convincing signs of the true faith and grace of every member at their first ad­mission. Wee grant it is earnestly to be wished, and all lawfull meanes would diligently bee used both by Pastors and people, to have all the members of a Church most holy and gratious, and what ever lawfull overture our Brethren can invent for this end, we with all our heart will embrace it, or else be content to beare much blame; We grant also, that it is the duty of Church-Go­vernours to keep off every scandalous person from profaning to their own damnation the holy things of the Lord; and that it is the duty of these Governours not only to suspend from the holy Ta­ble all scandalous persons but farther to cast all such out of the Church without respect of persons in the case of obstinacy, when by no meanes they can bee brought to satisfactory repen­tance; we grant also, that Church-Governours deficient in these duties, ought themselves to be disciplined by the rod of Church-Censures; these things were never controverted. But the questi­on [Page 157] is, whether because of the admission of some to Church-mem­bership who have not given satisfaction to every member of the Church in the point of their reall Regeneration, a Church may lawfully be separated from, as vitiously constitute, for that essenti­all defect in its very matter?

Our Brethrens constant and resolute practice albeit gilded over with many faire words, maketh this to be the cleare state of the question, against which I reason thus:

First,For the Nega­tive, we reason first from the practice of Mo­ses & the Pro­phets, who did never offer to separate for a­ny such reason. What to Moses and the Prophets was not a sufficient cause of separation from the Churches of their time, is not a sufficent cause for us to separate from the Churches in our times. But, want of satisfaction by convincing signes of the true grace of many members of the Church, was not a sufficient cause for Mo­ses and the Prophets to separate in their times. Ergo: The mi­nor is cleare and uncontroverted; for Moses and the Prophets were so farre from separating from the Churches of their dayes for want of assurance of the true grace of every person in these Churches that they remained still to their dying day in the bosome of these Churches, comumnicating with them in the Word, Prayer, Sa­craments and Sacrifices, though they were assured of the evident wickednesse of the most of their fellow-members. Moses knew the Body of Israel to bee a crooked and perverse generation: Isaiah tells the Iewes that they were another Sodom; Ieremy sheweth that Israel in his dayes was uncircumcised in heart, no better then Moab, Ammon, or Edom; Micah, that the godly in his time were very rare as the summer fruits, as the grapes after the Vintage; of this truth all the Prophets are full; yet for all this, none of the Prophets did ever think of a separation.

All the difficulty then is in the major, which thus we prove:The causes of a just separati­on were smal­ler under the Law, nor un­der the Gos­pel. The Church in the dayes of Moses and the Prophets, was one and the same with the Church of our dayes: The House of God, the body of Christ, the Elect and redeemed people, the holy Nation, the peculiar treasure and spouse of the Lamb: The difference of the true Church in any age is at most but in accidentall circumstances, and not in any essentials: so what ever morall evill doth defile the Church now, and is a just cause of ejection or separation, that must be so at all times, especially, under the old Testament, where all the Ceremoniall differences that are alledged betwixt the [Page 158] Church then and now, make for the strengthning of the Argu­ment; for then the causes of separation were stricter and smaller; a little Ceremoniall pollution would then have kept out of the sanctuary; much more a morall uncleannesse would have made the sacrifice abominable. If therefore at that time the matter in hand was no cause of separating from the Church, much lesse can it be so now, when God hath given a greater liber­ty to the Church in her majority, and when Christians are not so easily infected by their neighbours sinnes as of old in the dayes of the Churches infancy they were; Idolatry, false doctrine, open profanenesse, were then most abominable, and more terribly puni­shed then now, by the totall destruction of whole Cities and Coun­tries wherein they were entertained; also the duty of mutuall in­spection and admonition, the contempt whereof is made the grand cause of separation, was most clearly enjoyned in the Old Testament.

The weaknesse of their Reply.What here is replyed, that all separation from the Iewish Church was simply impossible, because then there was no other Church in the whole earth to goe to: We answer, that the Re­plyers themselves will say that a separation must be where there is just cause, and where a person cannot abide without pollution and sin, although there be no other Church for him to go to; for they make it better for men to live alone separate from all, then to abide in any Church where they cannot live without the partici­pation of their neighbours sinnes. We answer further, That it was easie for the godly under the Law to have joyned together in the service of God, and to have excluded the wicked thence; and where­as it is said that this could not bee done, because the Censure of Excommunication was not then in being; We answer, the Gospel makes it cleare; That casting out of the Synagogue which was reall Excommunication,Our second reason, is from the example of Christ and his Apostles, who did not separate for any such causes. was frequent in the Old Testament; as also the keeping off from the service with a great deale of circum­spection all who were unfit by any legall pollution, much more by any known morall uncleannesse; Kings themselves when pollu­ted, were removed from the Altar and put out of the Sanctuary.

Again, I reason thus; That which moved not Christ and his Apo­stles to separate from the Church of their time, is no cause to us of separation; but, want of satisfaction by convincing signes of the [Page 159] true grace of every member of the Church, was to them no cause of separation from the Churches of their times, Ergo.

The major is cleare, except we desire a better pattern for our practices then Christ and his Apostles; what ever carrieth us be­yond their line, must be high presumption and deep hypocrisie.

The minor is cleare, by many Scriptures; the Scribes and Pha­risees were a generation of vipers; Ierusalem worse then Sodom and Gomorrah; Corasin and Bethsaida was worse then Tyrus and Sidon, and to be cast lower in Hell then these: yet the Lord did not give over to preach, to pray, to go to the Temple with them. Iudas when a declared Traytor, did not scarre him, nor any of his company from the Sacrament. After he went from the Table, when his wickednesse was revealed that a Devill was in him; yet none of the Apostles offered to cast themselves out of the body because this wicked member was not cut off. Many members of the Apostolick Churches were so farre from convincing signes of true grace, that the works of the flesh were most evident in their life. In the Corinthians, fundamentall errours, open Idolaty, grie­vous scandall, bitter contentions, profanation of the Lords Ta­ble. In the Galatians, such errours as destroyed grace, and made Christ of none effect. In the Church of Ephesus, of Laodicea, and the other golden Candlesticks, divers members were so evidently faulty, that the Candlestick is threatned to be removed; yet from none of these Churches did any of the Apostles ever separate, nor gave they the least warrant to any of their Disciples to make a se­paration from any of them.

A third Argument. The want of that which never was to bee found in any Church, is no just cause of separation:The third rea­son; it is im­possible to find true grace in every member of any visible Church that ever was or shall be in the world. But satisfa­ction by convincing Arguments of the true grace of every mem­ber, was never to be found in any Church.

The major is unquestionable for what is not, cannot have any operation; non entis nulla sunt accidentia.

The minor is demonstrable; from the nature of a visible Church, it is such a body whose members are never all gracious, if we be­lieve Scripture; It is not like the Church invisible, the Church of the Elect. It is an heterogeneous body, the parts of it are very dissimilar, some chaffe, some corne, some wheat, some tares; a net of fishes good and bad; a house wherein are vessels of honour [Page 160] and dishonour, a fold of sheep and goats, a tree of green and wi­thered branches, a table of guests, some with, some without a wedding garment; in a word, every visible Church is a society wherein many are called, few chosen; except therefore we will alter the nature of all visible Churches whereof Scripture speaks, we must grant that in every Church there are some members which have no true grace; and if so, how can they give convincing and satisfactory signes of that which is not to be found. Hypo­crites may make a shew without, of that which is not within; but shall we lay an obligation upon every hypocriticall member of a Church to be so eminently skilfull in the art of counterfeiting as to produce in the midst of his gracelesnesse, so cleare, so evident and satisfactory signes of his true grace, as may convince the hearts of every one of the Church that the thing is within the mans breast which certainly is not there?

The fourth, this satisfacti­on in the true grace of all to be admitted, is builded on foure errours, first that the power of Ec­clesiastick Iu­risdiction is in the hand of e­very one of the people.The fourth Argument, The want of that which cannot reaso­nably be supposed of every member of a Congregation, is no just cause of separation from any Church; but satisfaction &c. Ergo.

The major is cleare; for if the want of such satisfaction be a just cause of separation from the Church; Then the presence of such a satisfaction is very requisite to be in every member, as a necessary meane to keep it in union with that Church.

The minor, that such a satisfaction may not justly be supposed in every member of a Congregation; for this would import these foure things, all which are unreasonable. First, that every mem­ber of a Congregation is to have power to try all its fellow-mem­bers, to let them in or hold them out, according as in this triall he is satisfied: This is a large limb of the Brownistick Anar­chy, putting the key of Authority and Iurisdiction into the hand of every Church-member; if all the Independents will defend this, let them speak it out plainly.

Secondly, that one man may attaine to the certain know­ledge of the true grace in the heart of another.Secondly, it requires a great deale of more ability in every member of every Church, then can be found in any mortall man: for not to speak of the impossibility of a grounded and certaine perswasion of true grace in the heart of an Hypocrite, who hath no grace at all: how is it possible to attaine unto any grounded cer­tainty of true grace in the heart of any other man? for the hid man of the heart, and the new name, are not certainly known to [Page 161] any but to such as have them. The grounds of a mans own cer­tain perswasion, the act of his faith either direct or reflex, the wit­nesse of his conscience, or the seale of the spirit, cannot go with­out his own breast: all the demonstrations which can be made to another, are so oft found false, that in understanding men they can breed at most but a fallible opinion or a charitable hope, which is farre from any certainty either of sense or science, much more of faith or immediate revelation.

Thirdly, it layeth a burthen unsupportable to the strongest,Thirdly, that it is a duty of every member of a Church to seek and finde satisfaction in the true grace of all his fel­low-members. upon the conscience of every weak one; they must ever be in per­plexity and doubt what to do, whether to stay in the Church, or under the pain of sin to separate from it till they have accurately examined, and after all needfull triall attained to a full satisfacti­on and assurance of minde of the regeneration of every member, were they never so many of that Church whereunto he belongeth: The burden of such a task might break the back of the strongest Pastor, much more of a silly Lamb.

Fourthly,Fourthly, that all the Refor­med Churches must once bee dissolved and unchurched, that they may bee reformed according to the new mould of the Indepen­dents. this presupposeth that all Congregations must of new be gathered, and all their members admitted of new, which none may grant who minds not for the Independents pleasure at once to dissolve all the Reformed Churches, and to avow that every person though born in the true Church, within the Covenant of grace sealed in Baptism with the seale of God, religiously educated in the feare and knowledge of God, is notwithstanding without the Church, and no member of the body of Christ, till he be admitted to the Lords Supper. Ordinarily in all Chistendom persons are actuall members of the Church wherein they were borne of faith­full parents, baptised and Christianly educated, before they be ad­mitted to the holy Table. The case and question of admitting members by a Congregation after all are convinced of the true grace of him who craveth membership among them, is but a new, rash, unjust case of the Independents, which will inferre the gathe­ring of new Churches, the dissolution of all our old ones, and lay a high royall street for Anabaptism, excluding all our baptised chil­dren from Church-membership till they give personall satisfaction of their true grace, and enter into a formall expresse Covenant.The fifth argu­ment. Their Tenet is fol­lowed with divers absur­dities.

I adde but one other reason; No reall absurdity doth follow upon any divine truth▪ but divers reall absurdities follow necessarily upon [Page 162] the ground of Separation in hand. Ergo, the ground of Separation in hand is no divine truth, but an evill errour.

The major no man controverts; for every true consequent is a stream that flowes out of the antecedent as its fountaine; as the fountain is bitter or sweet, so are the streams; from a true antece­dent a false consequent by no force can be extorted; if the conse­quent be rotten, it is a sure sign the antecedent is not sound.

As first, it is ne­cessary to se­parate from all Churches that are this day in the world, ex­cept it be from these of the Independents.The absurd consequents I name for the proofe of the minor, are, First, That then it shall be necessary to separate from all the Chur­ches that are this day in the world, except alone from these of the Independent way; for no other Church doth so much as intend or assay to give assurance to every one of their members of the true grace of all the rest; but on the contrary they teach such an endea­vour to be both impossible and unreasonable. The absurdity of the consequent is so cleare, that I pursue it no farther then to this Di­lemma; If it be necessary to separate from all the Churches of the world but the Independents; Then, all other Churches but theirs are false, or else it is lawfull to separate from Churches that are true; but, neither of these will sound well in a Protestant eare.

Secondly, it was necessary to separate from all Chur­ches that ever have been.The second absurd consequent, That then it was necessary to se­parate from all other Churches that have been in any former time; for not one of them ever, no not the greatest Schismaticks, the Novatians, the Donatists themselves did ever minde that every one of their members should so narrowly examine all their fellows, as to come to a certain perswasion of their reall regeneration.

Thirdly, there can be no rest for any till they turne see­kers, and leave all societies that are called Churches.The third consequent, That then to the worlds end no Church anywhere can have any solid foundation; for this principle is a mountain of quick-silver that rests not till all the Churches buil­ded upon it be quite overthrown. The conviction of every mem­bers conscience of the true faith and grace of all their fellow-mem­bers, is so sandy a foundation, that nothing builded upon it can stand. What else hath broken in halfes, and quarters, and demi-quarters these separate Societies? What made them of Amster­dam first break off from England, then from Holland, and all the Reformed, then among themselves once and the second time? What made Smith at Leyden, after he had fallen off from England, next to leave the Brownists, and after the Anabaptists, till at last he broke off from all Christians to the Arrian heresie? What else [Page 163] doth drive many of Old and of New-England, when they have run about the whole circle of the Sects, at last to break out into the newest way of the Seekers, and once for all to leap out of all Churches, betaking themselves to their devotions apart: here indeed it is, and no where else, where they come to a possibility of satisfaction of the inward estate of these in their way, that is of themselves alone. This is the reward of presumptuous errour; it cannot rest when it hath led the seduced soule about the whole round of the fancies of the time, till at last it throw it out of all that is called or so much as pretended to be a Church.

The reasons alledged for the opposite Tenet,Cottons reasons to the contrary are answered. may be seen in the Brownists Apology, also in Robinsons Iustification, in Cans necessity of Separation, in Barrows Discovery; but for shortnesse we will only consider what is brought by Mr Cotton in his Way of the Chur­ches; for there, the best of the Brownists arguments are brought in the greatest lustre and strength which Mr Cotton thought meet to put upon them. Also what there is brought by Mr Cotton, is ac­knowledged by our Brethren as their judgement, without the haesitation of any marginall asterisk, which when they dissent or doubt, they professe to affix to some other passages of that book.

The best form I can set on his first argument, is this;His first reason put in form. If every member of each Church is not only in profession, but in sincerity and truth to be a Saint and faithfull; then, the Officers and body of each Church must take triall, and be satisfied of the true faith and sanctification of every person before they receive him into the Church; but, every member of each Church is not only in pro­fession, but in sincerity and truth to be a Saint and faithfull; Ergo, the Officers and body of each Church must take triall, and be sa­tisfied of the true faith and sanctification of every person before they receive him into the Church. All the proofe is bestowed upon the minor from these Scriptures which make all the members of the Church to bee Saints by calling, and faithfull Brethren: the Church it selfe to be the body of Christ, the Temple of the holy Ghost, the spouse of Christ, the sons and daughters and children of God.

We answer that no part of this argument is sound. The major,All the parts of it are vitious▪ the conclusion proves not the question. minor, and conclusion are vitious. First, the conclusion commeth not neare the question; for were it granted, it concludes no more [Page 164] but a duty of the Church-officers and members to try and be satis­fied about the state of these who are to bee received into the Church, but it hath no word of an other duty which is the point in question: It speaks nothing of a necessity to separate from a Church upon the neglect of the former duty; this alone is the state of the present controversie, which neither is expressed nor by any consequence doth follow from any thing that is expressed in this conclusion: for suppose it were a duty laid by God upon every Church-Officer and member, to enquire accurately after the Faith and Sanctification of all to be received among them, and to expect satisfaction in their tryall; yet I hope that every neglect of duty in the Church-Officers, much lesse in every Church-member, and least of all the want of successe of a duty truly per­formed, will not be found a just and necessary cause for every one to separate from a Church; if all this be not expersly concluded, this arrow misseth the marke.

It stands upon a chief ground of Anabaptism, and presuppo­ses the nullity of all the Re­formed Chur­ches.Secondly, That which is expressed in the conclusion, pitcheth on­ly upon one particular case, which the Reformed Churches neither do nor may acknowledge; for it speaks only of admission of mem­bers upon their confession of sins. This fits well the practice of the Brownists, who suppose a necessity to dissolve the Reformed Churches that now are as vitiously constituted from their first beginning. They may seeme to have reason in their gathering of new Churches, to put their members to tryall before admission; but the Reformed Churches who take themselves to be so farre true, that they need no dissolution or new erection, are not con­cerned in this case of admission; for their members were borne in the Church, and had the Covenant sealed to them in Baptisme; what tryall they take of their children when they admit them to the Lords Table, is no wayes for their admission to be mem­bers; for this practice is a maine pillar of Anabaptisme; and our brethrens engagement therein, is the ground of all their sympathy and symbolising with that Sect: So then the conclusion commeth short of the question, and toucheth not the Reformed Churches, but is builded on the pillars of rigid Separation and Anabaptisme, taking that for granted which no Reformed Church may admit, but upon hard termes; no milder then the nullity and dissolution of all their Churches: that out of the rubbish, a new building [Page 165] may bee erected after the Separatists patterne.

The major also is vitious;The major is many wayes vitious. for suppose the antecedent of it were true, yet there is no force therein to inferre the consequent; be it so, that every Church-member ought to be so holy as you will; yet, can this inferre the peoples power to try that holinesse which is the one halfe of the consequent? Such a power in the people would make every one of them a Church-Governour, which none of the Reformed Churches, nor the halfe of the Separatists them­selves will admit; and they who doe plead for it, set it upon other pillars but no man I know deduceth it from any thing in the an­tecedent now in hand.

For the rest of the consequent, the Officers satisfaction in the true and sincere grace of the members at their first admission, if it have any truth, yet it commeth too short of reason, and runnes also farre beyond the most rigid Separatists. If a tryall must be made of Church-members, why at their first admission alone and never after? Is it not an ordinary case in all Churches, and as much among the Brownists and Independents as any other, that many who at first have been taken for truly regenerate, have there­after fallen to such errours in judgement and such practices in life, as have given just ground to conclude the irregeneration of some, and to doubt the regeneration of others? Now, if the un­certainty of regeneration, be a just cause to hold a man out of all Churches, is it not as just a cause to cast a man out of a Church, when by doctrine or life, this uncertainty appears, which at first was covered? yet none of our Brethren affirm that the uncertainty of regeneration, nor the certainty of irregeneration is a just ground to cast any man out of the Church who once is come in. The con­sequent also runs wide of the rigid Separatists; for the holinesse they require, is expresly externall, which may stand with the in­ternall wickednesse of hypocrites; but the consequent speaks of inward sincerity contradistinguished from all outward professions.

The Minor is the part of the Argument which they labour to fortifie, knowing the greatest weight to lie upon it:But the minor is the most faulty part of the Argument. We do deny it as a very dangerous errour; every member of a visible Church is not in truth and sincerity a Believer and Saint: This is against Scripture and all experience in every visible Church; all who are called are not chosen: In the field of God there are tares among [Page 166] the wheat, in his fold goats amongst the sheep, in his net bad fishes among the good, in his house vessels for dishonour, not for honour only. In the best Churches of the Scripture, we have too many bad members, Iudas, Ananias and Saphira, Simon Magus, Hymeneus and Philetus, Demas and the like; They dare not deny but some gracelesse hypocrites are in their best Congregations; and if they should deny it, the frequent out-breaking of their enormities to the eyes of the world would extort their confession.

The proofes of the minor are answered.The proofes they bring, come not up to the Question; that in the first of the Corinthians, first and second, sanctified in Christ, and called to bee Saints; if yee understand it of an outward calling alone,The first. it is not pertinent; if of an inward efficacious call, it is true not of every member, but of some onely, and is attributed to the whole Church of Corinth indefinitely, because of these some, who truly were elected, justified, and sanctified; but that this was not true of all and every one of that Church, is cleare by the Apostles complaint of many among them; of some for Incest, of others for injurious defrauding of their neighbours, of some for carnall Schismes, of others for prophane drunkennesse at the Lords Table it selfe, of others for fundamentall errours.

The second.The first of the Gal. 2.v. hath nothing sounding toward the pre­sent question; but the fourth verse is brought by the Brownists to something neare it; that Christ had dyed for the Galatians sinnes and separated them from this present evill world; if this import any true grace, yet it may not bee applyed to every member of that Church; for in the words following, the Apostle beareth witnesse that sundry of them were removed to another Gospel; that they were foolish and bewitched to rebell against the truth.

The third and maine proof of the minor.The relation of the Church to the persons of the Trinity, that it is the body and Spouse of Christ, the Temple of the holy Ghost, the sonnes and daughters of the Father, must be under­stood as many such priviledges, of the universall and invisible Church; or when any of them are to be applyed to a particular vi­sible Church, they must be understood of that Church not accor­ding to every one, but only the living and gracious members there­of. That such priviledges of the Catholicke invisible Church when they are applyed to a particular visible Congregation, are to be understood according to this distinction of members, Robinson [Page 167] him selfe while yet in his rigid separation, grants it expresly.

The places thus expounded, prove not the point; for grant to every Congregation so high priviledges as you will, yet if they must be verified of that Congregation only according to some members, and not according to all; if they be to be understood on­ly of the Elect in that Congregation who have the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, not of many others who are dead in nature, and yet are such members who have right from God according to our Brethrens own Tenet, to perform Church acts, such as are the preaching of the Gospel, the celebration of the Sacraments, the ad­mission of members, the execution of censures, with such authority from Christ, as makes all these acts truly valid for the comfort and salvation of the Elect; they prove not the true grace of every per­son whom we must acknowledge to be a true member of a Church.

If you will extend these places to every singular member of particular visible Churches,This driveth to universall grace and A­postacy of the Saints. as indeed the Argument if it have any strength, doth import, the absurdity will be great; for so it will carry to the Pelagianisme of Arminius in the extent of the true grace of God beyond the Elect, to all the members of a visible Church; also to the totall and finall Apostacy of many who are the Temples of the holy Ghost, the members of Christ, the faithfull and sanctified children of God: For the Argument maketh every member of any visible Church to be such, & daily experience proves that many members of every visible Church are castawayes.

Yea,Yea, to Socini­anisme and fur­ther. the Argument drives further then any of the Arminians will follow; for however, they extend the true and saving grace of God beyond the Elect members of a Church, yet none of them ever said that this sanctifying and saving grace must be in every person before they can bee admitted members of any Church; For this is that grosse errour which the Independents have learned not so much from Arminius as Socinus, to put all men unconverted without the Church, that in this condition they may be converted by the preaching of private men, and if by Pastors, yet by their Preaching, not as Pastors, but as private men dealing with these who are none of their Flock, but without the Church.

Neither doe the Socinians, so farre as I know, extend their Te­net thus farre, as to require all before they be members of the Church, to be truly regenerate, as if the only instrument of re­generation [Page 168] and conversion, were the preaching of private men without the Church: and the preaching of Pastors within the Church, did serve only for the continuing of the sence of justifica­tion and the encrease of sanctification, as being performed of pur­pose only unto these persons who at their first entrance into the Church while yet they were without and but comming in, have demonstrate the certainty of their enjoying these graces.

His second Argument.The second Argument. God receives none to be members of the visible Church, but those who shall be saved: but the Stewards of Gods house may receive none but whom God doth receive: Ergo, the Stewards of Gods house may receive none to bee members of a visible Church but those who shall be saved.

The Conclusi­on is faulty.Answer. The Conclusion is subject to the most of the faults observed upon the conclusion of the former Argument, which I doe not repeat; only consider that this conclusion beareth ex­presly that none may be members of a visible Church but these who shall be saved, and so who are truly Elect. We would not be deceived with their distinctions of inward and outward ho­linesse, of seeming and reall grace, of charitable and veritable discer­ning; for this and the other Argument inferres flatly that no other must be received as members in a visible Church but such as first are tryed and found to bee really holy, and who shall be saved.

We Answer therefore to the Minor, That it is evidently false for the Reasons which we brought upon the Minor of the former Argument.The minor is false. The place of the Acts brought for the proofe of it is detorted;Its proofe is unsufficient. such as were to be saved were added to the Church; is this indefinite proposition to be understood universally, that all who were to be saved were added to the Church? the former Argument maketh this no necessary truth; for if men must be justified, sanctified, and put in the way of salvation be­fore they be added to the Church, then though they were never added to the Church, they may well bee saved.

They would doe well here to remember their own ordinary practice, contrary to that which here they professe to be the way of God. Why doe they not adde to their Church all that are to be saved? why exclude they many whom they grant to be truly gracious and Elect, upon this ground alone that they cannot ap­prove of their Independency or Covenant?

[Page 169]Or suppose the proposition to be universall; yet, must it be re­ciprocall and convertible? Be it so, that all who were to be saved, were added to the Church: yet, must all who are added to the Church be saved? This is an evident untruth. Will they that all the members of their Church must be saved? or doe they think that all the persons of their Churches who shall not be saved, were never true members of their visible Church? Iudas was made a member of the Apostolick society by Christ, and many men were brought into the visible Church by the Prophets and Apostles, who shall not be saved. Shall damnation and want of true grace cast them all out of the true Church, and take from them their power and right, to do the actions of a Church-member?

The third Argument. If it be put in any forme,His third Ar­gument. will readily fall under the exceptions of the first; but since the Author puts no forme upon it, I shall only consider its matter. It consists of the misapplication of three Scriptures, first of Peters Confession,P [...]eters Con­fession much mis-applyed. Mat [...]h. 8. they alledge that such a profession of Faith as the Father reveales to particular persons, is the ground of a visible Church, and so who ever is a member of that Church, must both professe Faith, and have the Spirit to indite that profession.

Answer, This is a strange Argument. For first, we may not ad­mit that the Church founded upon the Rock is every particular vi­sible Church: The priviledges of the Catholike and visible Church, which the Iesuites by all their wrestlings have never been able to extort from us for their Idoll of Rome, shall we throw them away upon every Independent Congregation? how unstable Rocks these Congregations are, and how easily by small tentations shaken in pieces, themselves may remember.

Secondly, the Rock whereupon the Church is builded, is Christ, whom Peter did confesse; we may not make any mans profession, were it never so cleere and never so zealous, the foundation of the Church in such a fashion, that the ignorance or hypocrisie of any man may remove the foundation of any Church.

Thirdly, shall no man be a member of a Church, till the holy Ghost dictate unto him such a confession of Faith as he did unto Peter? if none but the Elect and those who are filled with the ho­ly Ghost, may be members of Churches, the Anabaptists have won the field. However, what here is alledged, is not true of Peter [Page 170] himselfe who long before that confession was a member of the Church.

The guest without the wedding-gar­ment more mis-appl [...]ed.The second place mis-applied, is the reproofe of the guest for his comming to the Lords Feast without the wedding-garment; whereupon is inferrd the duty of the Church to hold out all who want the wedding-garment of true grace. Answ. This conclu­sion is not only beside, but against the Text, vers. 9.10. the ser­vants are commanded to invite as many as they could finde both good and bad; they had no commission to hold out any for want of the wedding-garment, for that garment was within upon the soule unperceptible by any but his eye who searches the heart and the reynes. The Apostles in their search went not beyond a blame­lesse profession; and experience may teach our Brethren, that themselves are able to reach no farther, finding after all their tri­all so many in their purest Congregations whom time declares to want that garment.

The parable of the Tares is thrown against its principall scope.The third place mis-applyed, is the parable of the Tares, as if the Tares came into the Church by the sleepinesse of the servants. Answ. This also is a bold addition to Scripture: it is not said, while the servants sleeped, but while men sleeped, noting no negligence in men who did sleep when it was seasonable and ne­cessary for them to sleep; but only the secret and dark time of the night, or the secret, dark, and imperceptible way of Satan his wor­king in hypocrites, and corrupting the Church. However, this part of the parable is no wayes argumentative; for Christ in his full ap­plication toucheth not at all upon this circumstance; but the maine scope of the parable declareth to us the nature of the visible Church upon earth, contrary to the argument in hand, That Christ doth not intend to have upon earth any Church wherein the Tares shall not be mixed with the wheat; for if he did not finde in his wisedome the expediency of this administration,His fourth ar­gument, that all who cannot demonstrate the truth of their regene­ration, deny the power of godlinesse, is not true. hee could in his power easily alter or prevent it.

Their fourth argument is drawn from the second to Timothy, 3.5. who have a form of Godlinesse, but deny the power of it, from such we must turne away. Ergo, who are not found to have posi­tive and satisfactory signes of regeneration, ought not to be ad­mitted members of any Church. Answ. The consequent is naught; for the strength of it will lie in this proposition, Every [Page 171] professor who bringeth not demonstrative signes of his regenera­tion and true grace, is a man who hath the forme of godlinesse and denyeth the power thereof. How false this is, both the Text and our Brethrens practice will evidence. The Text puts it out of doubt, that the men whom the Apostle calls the denyers of the power of godlinesse, are persons openly scandalous and flagitious, as the verses both before and after doe demonstrate; even such whom the Apostle describes, Tit. 1. abominable, disobedient, and to every good work reprobate. Now it is cleare that many pro­fessors who are not able to bring out any convincing signes of their regeneration, are notwithstanding free from all scandall; and however many hypocrites can goe beyond them in making faire and satisfactory shewes to men: yet sundry of them may be the elect children of God, and really most gracious in his eyes, how unable or unwilling soever they be to make this much appeare to the world.

Secondly, the men whom the Apostle speaks of, are to be cast out of the Church after their admission; but our Brethren will not cast out all of whose regeneration they are not convinced, af­ter once they are admitted; for if so, Excommunication in every Church would become too frequent.

Their fifth argument is this; No hypocrite,His fifth, that no hypocrite is to be admitted a member of a Church, is a very rash ar­gument. none who at last will leave their first Love, are to be admitted in the Church; for all such will ruine the Church, and procure the removing of the Candlestick: but all that cannot prove their regeneration con­vincingly, are such. Answ. This is a bold and rash argument, laying a necessity to exclude all hypocrites from the Church, and all such as may fall away from any degree of their first love. We answer then that the minor is very false; for many gracious per­sons farre from hypocrisie, and free from all decay of their first love, may be unable to satisfie themselves or others in the certaine truth of their regeneration. But the major is more false, against the practise of Christ and the Apostles, who did alwayes receive divers hypocrites; and our Brethren dare not deny that they do so also; for their Churches consist not all of reall Saints. However the very Text alledged proveth our Tenet; for Ephesus to Christ, there is a most true Church, notwithstanding their fall from their first Love, and his threatning of them with the removall of their Candlestick if they did not repent.

[Page 172] His sixth, from the roughnesse of the stones of Solomons Temple, is a wanton reasonUnto this fifth they subjoyne as appendices, two other argu­ments taken from the ancient types under the Law. The first, The stones in Solomons Temple were not laid rough in the building; Ergo ▪ men irregenerate must not bee admitted members of a Christian Church. Answ. This is a wanton argument; though the Temple might be a type of every Congregation: and the stones of Temple, of the members of a particular visible Church; yet that the roughnesse of the stones should be a type of irregeneration, and above all, that the place of hewing these stones should be a type, and that argumentative, to inferre that the place of our vo­cation, regeneration, justification and sanctification must be with­out the Church; and that it is necessary we be like a stone per­fectly hewen before wee be laid in the Church building: this is a kinde of Ratiocination which solid divinity will not admit.

His seventh, from the por­ters exclusion of uncleane persons from the Temple, has no strength.The other typicall argument is this; The porters excluded un­cleane persons from the Temple; therefore, the Officers ought to keep the irregenerate from the Church. Answ. There is no ar­gumenting from symbolick types, except where the spirit of God in Scripture applies a type to such a signification and use.

Where did our Brethren learne to make the porters of the Temple types of the Church-officers. Their people will not bee content to be cheated of the Keyes by such symbolizing. If they will make the Temple a type, not only of Christs body and the Church universall, but of every Congregation; yet by what Scrip­ture will they make legall uncleannesse typifie the estate of irrege­neration? And above all, how will they make the exclusion from the Temple for legall uncleanesse, a type of rejection from Church-membership for irregeneration?

Nothing more common then legall cleanesse in a person irrege­nerate, and legall uncleanesse in a person regenerate. Legall un­cleanesse did never hinder any from Church-membership under the old Testament, albeit for a time it might impede their fellow­ship in some services; but irregeneration did never hinder com­munion in any service. It is a question whether very scandalous sins did keep men ceremonially clean from the Temple and Sa­crifices; but out of all doubt irregeneration alone was never a bar to keep any from the most holy and most solemn services, whether of the Tabernacle or Temple.

[Page 173]There are two other arguments couched in the conclusion of the debate. First,His eight, that Iohn the Bap­t [...]st excluded the Pharisees and people from his Bap­tism, is expres­ly against the Text. from the 3 of Matth. Iohn the Baptist excluded the Scribes and Pharisees and the profane people from his Baptism; Ergo, the officers and body of the people should not admit irrege­nerate people to be members of the Church. Ans. The consequence is not good from Iohn the Baptist to all the officers and body of the people, nor from Baptism or any Sacrament to Church-member­ship, nor from the Scribes, Pharisees and profane people, to every irregenerate person: what loosnesse is in such reasoning? But the worst is that the antecedent is clearly against the places of Scripture alledged. Iohn the Baptist did not exclude either the Scribes or the Pharisees or the common people from his baptism, but received all that came, both the Scribes and Pharisees, and Ierusalem, and all Iudea, and all the region about Iordan, requiring no other condi­tion for their admission to his Sacrament then the confession of sinne and promising of new obedience, acts very feasable to irre­generate people.

His last argument is from Acts 8.His ninth, that Philip required the Eunuchs confession be­fore baptisme, infers not the conclusion. Philip admitted none to his baptism but upon profession of Faith. Ergo none should be admit­ted members of a Church without an evidence of their regenerati­on. For shortnesse I mark but one fault in the consequence, yet a very grosse one, That profession of faith is made a certain argument of true grace and sanctification. Will any of our Brethren be con­tent to admit their members upon so slender tearms as Philip or any of the Apostles did require of their new converts? Will the profession that Iesus is the Christ, or such a confession of faith as Simon Magus and all the people of Samaria men and women, after a little labour of Philip among them, could make, be an evident and convincing signe of regeneration?

Thus we have considered all Mr Cottons arguments:All his nine or twelve reasons p [...]t in one will be too weak to beare up the weight of his most heavy conclusion. let any man according to his conscience, pronounce what strength he findes in any of them; whether or not in them all together there be such firmnesse as to sustaine the unspeakable weight that is in the con­clusion builded upon them; I mean a necessity of separation from all the Reformed Churches except these of the Indepent way: I may adde, from them also and all else that ever have been in the world from the beginning to this houre; for in none of them these hard conditions of satisfactory evidences of regeneration before persons can be admitted members, were ever so much as required; [Page 174] and among the Independents where these conditions have been re­quired, they were never found, nor possibly can be found as they doe require them.

CHAP. VIII. Concerning the right of Prophecying.

The state of the question.THe second question I propounded, concerneth the dogmatick power, so to call it, of their Church-members. They teach that the power of prophesie or publike preaching both within and without the Congregation, belongeth to every man in their Church who hath ability to speak in publike to edification. The Reformed Churches give this power only to Pastors and Doctors who are called by God and the Church to labour in the Word. They do not deny to every Christian all true liberty in private as God gives them occasion, in an orderly way to edifie one another, nor do they deny to the sons of the Prophets who are fitting them­selves for the pastorall charge, to exercise their gifts in publike for their preparation and triall; but publike preaching they do not permit to any who are not either actually in the Ministry or in the way unto it.

The first au­thors of this question.The Socinians and Arminians, the better to advance their design of everting the publike Ministry, do put it in the hand of any able man to preach the Word and celebrate the Sacraments. The Brow­nists upon the mistake of some Scriptures, give liberty to any of their members whom their Church thinks able to preach.

The Indepen­dents diffe­rence among themselves here anent.Mr Cotton and his Brethren in New-England, did follow for a long time the Brownists in this practise; yet of late feeling as it would seem, the great inconveniency of this liberty of prophecying, they are either gone or going from it; for in their two last books, The way of their Churches, and the Keyes, they not only passe this popular Prophesying in silence, but also do evert the chiefe grounds whereupon before they did build it; our Brethren here of Holland and London, seem not yet to be accorded about it; these of Arnhem did to the last day of their Churches standing maintaine it; their gentlemen preaching ordinarily in the absence of their Ministers; but at Roterdam, Mr Bridge would never permit it; yet Mr Simp­son thought it so necessary an ordinance, that the neglect of it was [Page 175] the cheife cause of his secession from Mr Bridge, and erecting a new Church; neither ever could these two Churches be united till after both Mr Bridges and Mr Simpsons removall; their Successor did find a temper in this question, permitting the exercise of pro­phesie, not in the meeting place of the Congregation, but in a pri­vate place on a week day; our Brethren at London are for this exer­cise, not only upon the former grounds, but especially to hold a doore open for themselves to preach in the Parish-Churches where they neither are nor ever intend to be Pastors, only they preach as gifted men and Prophets, for the conversion of these who are to be made members of their new Congregations.

The reasons we bring for our tenet, are these. First, Who ever have power to preach the word ordinarily, have also power to baptise.That none but Ministers may ordinarily pro­phecy, wee prove, it first by Christs joyning toge­ther the power of baptism and the power of preaching. But only Ministers have power to baptise: Ergo, only Ministers have power to preach the Word ordinarily. The Minor how ever the Arminians and some few of the late Brownists deny, yet all the In­dependents grant it; but they deny the Major, which we prove by two Scripturall reasons; first, Christ conjoyns the power of baptism with the power of preaching; Ergo, who have the power of preaching have also the power of baptising, which Christ hath anexed to it, Matth. 28.19. Go and teach all Nations, baptising them. Their Reply that Christ speaks here of Apostles and not of ordinary Ministers, is not satisfactory; for he speaks both of Apostles and ordinary Mini­sters because of such officers who were to remain in the Church un­to the end of the world, and with whose Ministry he was alwayes and ever to be present as it followeth in verse 20. But the Church from that time to the worlds end, was not to be served by Apostles only, who soon after were removed, but by ordinary Pastors also, the Apostles Successors. Moreover, there is no reason for the connexion of baptism and Preaching in the person of the Apostles that will not hold as well if not better in the person of ordinary Ministers.

Our other proofe of the major, is this. The power of preaching is more then the power of baptisme; Ergo, who have the first, have the second also. The antecedent is manifest from 1 Cor. 1.17. Christ sent me not to baptise but to preach; to intimate the excellency of the one above the other; the Apostle declares not only his seldome pra­ctice of the one,Secondly, these that preach, must be sent to that work. but denyeth his commission for it in comparison of the other.

The second Argument; Who ever have power to preach are sent of [Page 176] God to preach. But, these who have no office in the Church are not sent of God to preach, Ergo: They that have no office in the Church have no power to preach. The major is grounded on Rom. 10.15. How shall they preach except they be sent? The minor may bee proved, not only from the nature of the thing, the calling of God to preach, and a mans ordinary preaching on Gods call importing an office and charge to do such a work: but also from the place in hand compared with its fountaine, whence it is derived Isay 52.8. Thy watchmen shall lift up the voyce, where it is cleare that these whom the Lord sends to preach are watchmen, from whose hand the blood of them, that die without warning will be required, Ezeck. 33.6. Who watch for the peoples soules as they who must give an ac­count, Heb. 12.17. which is not true of any man who hath no charge.

Thirdly, every ordinary prea­cher labo [...]rs in the Word and Doctrine.Every ordinary preacher labours in the word and doctrine; no man out of office labours in the word and doctrine; for labouring in the word and doctrine, is the character and specifick difference of the Pastor and Doctor, whereby they are distinguished from the ruling Elder, 1 Tim. 5.17. This character and form of the prime Officers cannot be given to men out of all office. The major is proved from the very terms of the proposition, for no man can acquire an ability to preach ordinarily the Word in the Congregation and to exercise that gift for the Churches edification without great and constant labouring in that Word.

Fourthly, none out of office have the gift of preaching▪ for all who have that gi [...]t are either A­postl [...]s, Evan­gel [...]sts, Pro­phets, Pastors, or Doctors, and all these are officers.Fourthly, Every Preacher of the Word hath gotten a gift from Christ for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; but, no man out of office hath gotten such a gift; Ergo. The major they do not deny, for they make the ground of their Prophets preaching to be their gift to edifie the Church. The minor thus we prove, Apostles, Evangelists, Prophets, Pastors and Doctors, are not out of office. But, all who have received such gifts, are Apostles, &c. Ergo, none who have received such gifts are out of office. The major none will deny; the minor is grounded on Ephes. 4.8. & 11. where there is a perfect enumeration of all the teaching gifts which Christ gave to the Church for edification; of these are reckoned up only five, Apostles, &c. and to Gods perfect numbers men may not adde.

Fifthly, no man out of of­fice might sa­crifice.Fifthly, It was unlawfull for men out of office to sacrifice; Ergo, it is unlawfull for men out of office to preach. The consequence lieth in the parity of preaching to sacrificing, the one being as great an [Page 177] honour if not a greater then the other; for I suppose it will be gran­ted that the Sacraments of the New Testament are in many res­pects more excellent then the Sacrifices of the old. Now preaching as we have proved before, is more excellent then baptism, a Sacra­ment of the New Testament. The antecedent is proved from Heb. chap. 5. v 3.4, 5. No man taketh this honour to himselfe, viz. to offer up Sacrifices, but he that is called of God as was Aaron; so also Christ glorified not himselfe to be made an High Priest; Here it is made unlawfull both for Aaron and Christ to offer up Sacrifices before they had a calling to be Priests.

Sixthly,Sixthly, all who have from God the gift of preaching are obliged to lay aside all o­ther occupati­ons and attend that work a­lone. Whoever have gotten of God a calling or a gift to preach the Gospel, they are obliged to keep & encrease their gift, & to im­prove that calling by giving themselves wholy to reading, by laying aside all worldly occupations, & not intangling themselves with the things of this life; but, no man out of office is thus obliged. Ergo. The minor they grant, for they will not have their Prophets to be so much in reading as may distract them from their worldly Trade and civill occupation: The major is proved from 1 Tim. cha. 4. ver. 13.14, 15. where Timothy is commanded to keep his gift of prea­ching by the meanes named. The reason is alike to all that have that gift, whether they have it by Prophesie, & laying on of the hands of the Presbytery as Timothy had it, or any otherwayes: for the gifts of God however gotten, must not bee neglected, and the meanes prescribed of God for the entertaining of these gifts may not bee slighted, least of all by them in whom the gift is but mean and small; they of all others have most need of the strongest meanes to make their smoking flax to burn: beside, publick preaching is a faculty of that nature, that all the reading and attendance which any man can bestow upon it, will have enough ado to support and enter­taine it in any usefull and edifying condition.

Seventhly,Seventhly, the Apostles ap­pointed none to preach but Elders. None may lawfully preach but such as the Apostles appointed to preach. But, the Apostles appointed no man out of office to preach. The minor alone is questionable; which thus we prove. The Apostles appointed no others to preach but Elders; Ergo, none out of office. The antecedent we have from Titus 1.5.Eighthly, the preaching of men out of office is a means of con­fusion and er­rour. That thou shouldest ordaine Elders in every City as I had appointed thee.

Eightly, the permitting of private men out of office to preach, is a great meanes of confusion in the Church and breeding of errors and strife; Ergo, its not of God. The antecedent is made too cleare [Page 178] by daily experience; the consequence is builded upon the nature of God who is a God and Author of truth and order; what is from him, is conduceable to these ends, not to the contrary.

The contra­ry Arguments which Mr Cot­ton in his Ca­techism and Answer to the 32 Questions, borrows from Robinson, are; First, in the Church of Corinth men out of office did Prophecie. Ans. these men were officers or their prea­ching was ex­traordinary.The opposite Arguments are many. Robinson while yet he was, as I suppose, in the height of his Separation, did fill a whole book with them; the best of these Arguments whereupon our Brethren are pleased to pitch, be these following. First, in the Church of Corinth, men out of office did ordinarily preach in the Congregation; Ergo, it is lawfull to doe so still. Answ. We may either deny, or distin­guish the antecedent: They that preached in the place alledged, were Prophets, and so not out of off [...]ce. Secondly, they who preached there, were men endued with extraordinary gifts, whose practice can be no pattern to the Churches now a dayes, where these gifts are ceased. That it is so, vers. 30. makes cleare, where the Prophets doe preach extemporary Revelations.

Also Mr Cotton himselfe in his last book of the Keyes, p. 20. doth grant this, and expresly recals what himselfe in his Catechism, and both he and his Brethren in their Answer to the 32 Articles, had de­livered about prophesying. This ingenuity is amiable, and if it might please God to bring our Brethren off the other points of Brownisme as fairely, there might be hope quickly of an happy Ac­commodation.

Secondly, Ie­hoshaphat and his Princes did preach; Answ. The Kings ex­horting of the Levites to doe their duty and the Princes c [...]untenancing of them there­in was not pro­perly preach­ing.Their second Argument. Iehoshaphat and his Princes did preach the word. But, Iehoshaphat & his Princes were not Church-officers; Ergo, some who are no Church-officers, may preach the Word. Ans. We deny the major; for that which is recorded of Iehoshaphat, Chro. 2.19. was nothing but the Kings exhortation to his subjects, to stirre up the Levites and Iudges to a faithfull discharge of their office; this was no exposition of the Law, nor any dispensing of that knowledge which the Priests lips were appointed by God to pre­serve; What is spoken of his Princes preaching, Chron. 2.17, 6. beside that it was but once in the time of an extraordinary Refor­mation, the way of that teaching is expounded in the following words, not to have been by themselves, but by the Levites who car­ried the Book of the Law, they only did preach; the Princes ac­companied them, and by their Civill authority countenanced and assisted them in their preaching. That thus it was, Mr Cotton con­fesseth in the above-mentioned place of his Keys, avowing that in the Church of Israel none did preach either in the Synagogue [Page 179] or Temple, but Priests and Levites, except they had an extraordi­nary call to Prophesy.

Thirdly. What we are commanded to regard is lawfull. But,Thirdly, w [...]e must not de­spise prophecy. Ans. The A­postle speaks of the preaching of men in of­fice. the preaching of men out of office we are commanded to regard 1 Thes. 5. Despise not prophecying. Answ. We deny the proofe of the mi­nor; for the prophecying spoken of by the Apostle is not the prea­ching of men out of office, but either of such extraordinary Pro­phets as were in the Church of the Corinthians and other Churches in those primitive times, or else of ordinary pastors who oft in Scrip­ture are called prophets, Mat. 11.9. He that receiveth a Prophet in the name of a Prophet, shall receive a Prophets reward; a Prophet is not without honour but in his owne Countrey. A Pagan poet by the Apostle is called a Prophet. Rev. 18.24. In her was found the blood of the Prophets and Saints; and 22.9. I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the Prophets.

Fourthly,Fourthly, the sons of the Prophets did preach. Answ. Their designa­tion to be Pro­phets gave them right to initiall and preparatory exercises to­wards that of­fice. our Brethren of New-England bring no more argu­ments. The rest of Robinsons stuffe is not so considerable: he rea­soneth thus; The sons of the Prophets did preach, 1 Sam. 15.5. 2 Kings 2.7. also 4.1. But, the sons of the Prophets were men out of office. Answ. The major is not proved by the places alledged; for the first speaks of the Prophets, but not of their sons; the other two speak of the sons of the Prophets, but nothing of their prea­ching: yet we do not deny the major; for we think it may be pro­ved from other Scriptures; but we deny the minor, That the sons of the Prophets were men altogether out of office; for their call from God, and appointment by the Prophets to wait on that ser­vice, did give them such a begining and entrance into the office of a Prophet that made them capable of an initiall exercise of their be­gun gifts: so we deny not in the New Testament, to men who are destinate to the Ministry and in their preparations for it, a power to preach for attaining an habit of that gift wherunto initiall Sermons are a necessary means, without which neither the gift nor the cal­ling can be obtained without a miracle.

Fifthly, Robinson reasons thus;Fifthly, Moses wished all the people to bee Prophets. Ans. But not with­out Gods cal­ling to that of­fi [...]e. All these whom we ought to wish to be Prophets, may lawfully preach. But, we ought to wish all the people of God to be Prophets, Num. 11.20. Would God that all the people of the Lord were Prophets, and that the Lord would put his spi­rit upon them. Ans. We deny the major, because our desire for the enlargement of Gods honour and the propagation of his truth, that [Page 180] many more then are, were sent out to preach and baptize giveth not to any man either a gift, or a power, or a calling to preach and bap­tize, till God and man give the calling. Moses wish was, not that all the people should prophecy, but that all might have the office of Prophets and the spirit of God to enable them for prophecying.

Sixthly, the A­postles before the Resurre­ction did preach. Ans. At that time they were true A­postles and did baptise.Sixthly, the Apostles before Christs resurrection did preach. But, the Apostles before Christs resurrection were not in the office of A­postleship. Answ. The minor must carry that they were men out of all Church office, which is eviden [...]ly false; for beside that Mat. 10.1. they are called expresly Apostles at their first mission; and Iudas, Acts 1.25. is said to have had the ministry and the Apostle­ship: they did celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism, which the adver­sary will grant could not lawfully be done by men out of office.

Seventhly, Paul and Barnabas were invited to exhort. Ans. they were men in office.Seventhly, Paul and Barnabas were invited to preach where they were in no office, and by those who did not know them to be in office anywhere, Acts 13.15. Men and Brethren if yee have any word of exhortation for the Brethren, say on; Ergo, men out of office may lawfully preach. Answ. The antecedent is false, for Paul and Barnabas were men in office, true Prophets and Apostles; their bounds were as large as all Nations. Beside, a Pastor in one Church, for the relation he hath to the Church universall, upon a lawfull call may preach in any Church. Also that the rulers of the Syna­gogue did not take Paul and Barnabas for Preachers, is as easily de­ny'd as affirmd: the same both of their preaching & miracles might easily have come before or with them from Cyprus into Pysidia.

Eighthly, the Scribes and Pharisees did preach. Answ. They were of­ficers and sate in Moses chaireLastly, the Scribes and Pharisees did expound and preach the law; but, the Scribes and Pharisees were in no Church office; for all the offices of the Church under the old Testament, were in the hands of Levites alone: now the Scribes and Pharisees were not Levites but of other tribes. Ans. The minor is false; for the Lord tels us that the Scribes and Pharisees were in Church office, that they sate in Moses chaire, and were doctors of the Law. The confirmation is not good; for how will they prove that in these times of great confusion, the Levites alone had all Ecclesiastick offices, not only in the Temple about the sacrifices, but in the Synagogue about the doctrine and discipline? Also though this were yeelded, yet how will they prove that the Scribes and Pharisees were of any other Tribe then of Levi?

CHAP. IX. Whether the power of Ecclesiastick Iurisdiction belongs to the People or to the Presbyterie.

THe next Question concernes the power of Ecclesiastick Ju­risdiction to whom it may be due:What is meant by Ecclesiastick Jurisdiction. by Ecclesiastick Juris­diction is understood the admission of Members into a Church, their casting out againe by Excomunication, their reconciliation after repentance, the Ordination of Officers, their deposition from their charge, the Determining of Questions,The state of the Question wont to be cleare, the Re­formed Chur­ches putting the power and exercise of Ju­risdiction in the hand of the Presbytery a­lone; the Brow­nists, & Indepen­dents in the hand of the people onely; but Mr. Cotton & his followers the other yeare have perplexed the Question with their ma­ny Schole di­stinctions. If they put the power of Juris­diction onely in a Church or­ganized and Presbyterated, they fall from much of the Brownists, and their own, both doctrine and practise. the deciding of Controversies and such other acts of Ecclesiastick authority.

Till of late the state of the Question here was very cleare and plaine: the Reformed Churches doe put both the power and the exercise of Jurisdiction into the hand of the Presbytery, that is, the company of Elders, and Colledge of Church Governours. The Brownists, and after them the Independents did ascribe all these acts to the Church, as well without, as with a Presbytery: but of late Master Cotton in his Booke of the Keyes and his Bre­thren in their Synodick meetings of New-England have so subtili­zed, and as to me it seemes, involved the Question with a multi­tude of new distinctions, that it is very hard to apprehend with any certaintie and clearenesse their meaning, and more hard to reconcile any one with himselfe, much lesse one with another.

They would seeme to differ much from the Brownists, they stand not to put them in the Category of Morellius, the first Pa­tron of Democracie and popular government in the Church: they professe a midway of government, well ballanced with a prudent mixture of the Officers power with the peoples, giving a part to both, and all to neither: They bring a multitude of distinctions rather to eschew the dint of our former arguments in the darkenesse of these Thickets, then to give any light to this very great Question. They insist most on two distinctions, where­by they thinke to answer all we bring against them.

First, they distinguish betwixt a Church Organized or Presby­terated, as they speake, and a Church inorganized and unpresbyte­rated: the one is a body Heterogeneous, a covenanted people with their Officers framed in a Presbitery; the other a body [Page 182] Homogeneous a people in a Church Covenant without Officers, at least without a Presbytery. They would seeme to plead, or else the distinction is for no purpose, for the power onely of an Orga­nized and a Presbyterated Church. If they would stand to this in earnest, and firmely, we should be glad; for so they should open­ly desert, not onely the whole race of the Brownists, but all their owne former Writings, practises, and enervate the best of these very arguments they still adhere unto: for if ye will consider what is written by Mr. Cotton either in his Catechisme, or way, or answer to the thirty two Questions, or the Arguments that still he insists upon in the Keyes, or their generall practise in Holland and New-England to this day, you will see that they maintaine the Jurisdiction of a Church, as well unpresbyterated, without a Presbytery, without Officers, as of a Church Presbiterated; for the power of Ordination of Officers, and of their deposition, the power of admitting and casting out of Members, which are the highest acts of Jurisdiction, they ascribe expressely to every Church, whether it have, or want Officers, as its proper and un­deniable priviledge.

Their last and best beloved invention of the power of Authority, and power of Li­berty, is for no purpose but to involve the Au­thors in new difficulties.Their other new distinction, wherein openly they applaud so much one another, as it were contending who should have the glory of its invention, is of a double power, one of Authority, and another of Liberty: ascribing unto a Presbyterated Church the whole power of Jurisdiction and every part of it, both to the Officers of their Presbytery, and to the people in their fraternity or brotherhood; but, so that the interest of the Officers in every act, is a power of authority which makes that their action only is valid and binding; but the interest of the people is a power of li­berty to concurre in these acts of Jurisdiction by an obedientiall, yet a necessary and authoritative concurrence.

This new distinction will not serve their turne, for first, its not applicable to the chiefe acts of Jurisdiction in question: their Ordination of Officers, their admission of Members, are done or­dinarily by their people alone, without the concurrence of any Officers, who then are not in being. Secondly, their arguments for the peoples interest in Excommunication, Absolution, and o­ther acts of Jurisdiction, inferre either nothing at all, or much more then that which they call a power of Liberty, or of an autho­ritative [Page 183] concurrence. Thirdly, this distinction involves the Authors in new unextricable difficulties, it makes the Keyes & Sword of Christ altogether inserviceable in common and ordinary cases, wherein they have most neede and occasion to be set on worke.

Not onely according to their former principles, they make e­very Congregation uncensurable for any possible crime:As they wont to make their smallest Con­gregations In­dependent & un­censurable for any crime, so now by this distinction they divide all their Congre­gations in two parts, and make every one of these parts In­dependent also, and uncensura­ble for any ima­ginable sinne. For the nega­tive, that the people have no power of Ju­risdiction, we reason: First, the Officers a­lone are Go­vernors, and the people are to be governed. But by this new Doctrine they confesse, that every Presbytery in a Con­gregation becomes uncensurable, and that every people of a Con­gregation becometh uncapable of any censure. Yea farther, if the most part of the Presbytery, suppose two ruling Elders joyne together in the greatest heresies and crimes, the whole people with the rest of the Presbitery, suppose the Pastor cannot censure these two Elders; also if the greatest part of the people should joyne in the greatest wickednesse, yet the whole Presbytery, with the rest of the people that remaine sincere and gracious, cannot censure the wicked. In all these, and divers such ordinary cases, they have no remedy but Separation, and alwayes Separation upon Separation, till their Church be dissolved into so small por­tions that it cannot by more Separations be farther divided. But let us consider the Arguments upon both sides.

First, we reason thus, The people are not the Governors of the Church, But the acts of Ecclesiastick Jurisdiction belong to the Governors of the Church; Ergo, The acts of Ecclesiastick Juris­diction belong not to the people. The Minor is cleare from the nature of the very termes; for Jurisdiction is either all one with Government, or a chiefe part of it: now Government is essen­tially relative to Governors. The Major is proved by many Scrip­tures, which make the people so farre from being Governors, that they are obliged to be subject and obedient to their Officers, as to them by whom God will have them governed, Heb. 13.17. Obey them that have the rule over you, for they watch for your soules as they who must give an account. 1 Tim. 5.17. Let the Elders who rule well, be counted worthy of double honour. 1 Thes. 5.12. Know them which are over you in the Lord, and esteeme them very highly in love for their workes sake. God hath made them Pastors, and the people their flocke; them Builders, the people the stones laid by them in the building; them Fathers, the people children begotten by their Ministry; them Stewards, the people domesticks under their conduct.

[Page 184] 2. The people have not the Keys of Hea­ven to bind and loose.Secondly, whosoever hath the power of Ecclesiasticke Jurisdi­ction, to them the Lord hath given the Keys of Heaven for the remitting and retaining of sinnes. But to none of the people the Lord hath given these Keys. Ergo. The Major is not con­troverted. The Minor is thus proved. To whom Christ hath given the Keys of the Kingdome of Heaven to retaine and remitt sinnes, they are in some Ecclesiasticke Office, They are sent out by Christ, as Christ was by his Father, they have some part of the Apostles ordinary charge; but these things are not true of the people. Ergo. The Major is proved, John. 20.21. As my Father hath sent me, so send I you; and when he had said this, he breathed upon them, and said receive yee the Holy Ghost; whose sinnes yee remitte they are remitted, and whose sinnes yee retaine they are retained. What was promised to Peter, Mat. 16.19 is here performed to him and the rest of the Apostles, and to their Successours in their ordinary Office of Elders: for this was a power necessary for the Church to the end of the world. The Minor also is cleare; for these things were not given to all the Disciples, but to the twelve, and to their Successours. What was promised to Peter, was not promi­sed to every faithfull person, and to every Orthodoxe Confessour; for so, all and every one should be bearers of the Keys, and Eccle­siasticke Officers, which is against the Scriptures of the first Ar­gument.

3. The people are not the eyes, & eares in in Christs Bo­dy; for so, all the body should be eyes and eares.Thirdly, to whom these acts of Jurisdiction doe belong, they are the eyes, eares, hands, and principall Members of the Body of Christ: for the eminent persons and Officers of a Church, are compared to these Members, because of these actions. But the people are not the eyes, eares, hands; are not the principall Mem­bers of the Body of Christ: for if so, there should be none left in the Church to be the feete, or lesse principall Members: all should become eyes, and hands, and the Church should be made a Body Homogeneous, contrary to the doctrine of the Apostle, 1. Cor. 12 19. If they were all one Member, where were the Body? but now are they many Members, and the eye cannot say to the hand I have no neede of thee, nor the head to the feete I have no neede of you.

4. The people have not any promise of gifts sufficient for government.Fourthly, Who have a right from God to the acts of Jurisdicti­on, they have a promise of gifts needfull for the performance of these acts. For a divine right and calling to any worke is backed [Page 185] with a promise of Gods presence, gifts and assistance in doing of that worke; but, the people have no promise of any such gifts. For besides that daily experience declares numbers among the people to be altogether destitute of such knowledge, wisedome and other gifts which are necessary for the performance of these acts of Jurisdiction: The Apostle himselfe teaches that such gifts are not given to all, but to some onely.

Fifthly,5. The popu­lar government bringeth in confusion making the feete above the head. That is not to be given to the people that brings con­fusion into the Church, for the Lord is the God of Order. But the putting of the power of Jurisdiction in the peoples hand, brings confusion into the Church, for it makes the feete above the head, it puts the greatest power into the hand of the meanest, it gives power to the Flocke to depose and excommunicate their Pastour. Our Brethren were lately wont to digest with the Brownists these absurdities: but now they begin to dislike them, and rather then to stand to their Prior Tenets, they will limit the Minor, asserting that the power of Jurisdiction belongs to the people not several­ly, but joyntly with their Officers: so that neither they can ex­communicate their Officers, nor their Officers can excommu­nicate them.

But it seemes this new Subtilty will not long please the In­ventors of it, for as we have saide it makes the Keys of Heaven much more inserviceable for opening and closing then needs must; when it hath taken the keys out of the hand of all others, and put them in the little weake fist of a particular Congregati­on; it will not permitt them to open or to close the doore, nei­ther to the people, nor yet to the Eldershippe. The Eldershippe cannot remitt, nor retaine the sinnes of the Brotherhood, nor the Brotherhood, of the Eldershippe: yea none of the Eldershippe can be censured by all the people, without the consentient vote of the Presbytery, nor any of the people can either be bound or loosed without the consentient vote of the people. In these cases which may be very frequent, The Keys of Christ must be layde aside, and a new key of the Independents owne invention, their sentence of Non-Communion, or that much beloved and a little elder key of separation, forged by the Brownists, must come in the place thereof, to be used against any or all other Churches, against their owne Church or its Eldershippe, or its Brotherhood, or any Member of either.

[Page 186] 6. The people have not the power of Ordi­nation.Our sixth argument concernes Ordination, a speciall act of Ju­risdiction, which all the Independents to this day put in the hands of the people alone, when ever a new Congregation is to be ere­cted: which to them is no extraordinary nor rare case: or when in a Congregation already erected, there is no Presbytery, which among them is frequent. For a Presbytery must consist of more Governours then one, and usually their Presbiteryes exceede not the number of three or foure. At the death of their Minister, sup­pose one of their two ruling Elders be sicke, or absent, or the two differ betweene themselves: in this case they make no difficulty to cause some of the people out of all office to ordaine a new cho­sen Pastour; Against this very ordinary practice we reason.

Vnto whom the power of Ordination doth belong, they have a Commission from God authoritatively to send Pastours for preaching and celebration of the Sacraments,They have no Commission to send Pastours to themselves, to impose hands to examine their Pastours, to pray publick­ly and exhort. also to lay hands upon them for that effect; But people have no such Commission. Ergo. The Major, is the nature of Ordination; for the essence and inward forme of it is the authoritative sending named: the out­ward Forme and Signe used in Scripture, is imposition of hands. The Minor is proved from three grounds; first, that the people however they elect, yet they doe not send; for so they should send to themselves. The Senders and they to whom the Preachers are sent, should be one and the same. Secondly, an authoritative mission imports a Superiority in the Sender above the Sent; But, the Pastours are over the people not under them. Thirdly, the examples of the New Testament make it evident, that the autho­ritative sending, and imposition of hands, the signe thereof, were never used by any of the people, but by the Elders onely. 1 Tim. 4.14. With the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery: 1 Tim. 5.22. Lay hands suddenly upon no man. 2 Tim. 1.6. Stirre up the gift of God that is in thee by the putting on of my hands. So it was not onely at the first sending of men to preach, but in posterior missions to any particular Service of the Ministery. Acts. 13.1. There was in the Church certaine Prophets and Teachers, and the Holy Ghost sayd, Separate me Barnabas and Saul to the worke whereunto I have called them; and when they had fasted and prayed, and layd their hands on them, they sent them away. Fourthly, None of the people ordinarily have the gifts requisite for this action, as skill to examine the Mi­nister [Page 187] in all things he must be tried in, a gift of publicke prayer, a faculty to instruct and exhort the Pastour and people to mutuall duties.

Seventhly, That power belongeth not to the people which disa­bleth them both in their Christian and Civill duties. But,7. This power in the people would disable them in their callings. the pow­er of Ecclesiastick Jurisdiction doth so. The Major is grounded on the nature of all power and all gifts which God doth give; for all are for edification, and none for the hurt of these to whom they are given. The Minor may be demonstrated by this▪ That it layes a necessity upon all the people to attend in the Sabbath day upon the exercise of discipline, which by the very length will make the Sabbath-Service insupportably burdensome; and also will fill the mindes of the people with these purposes which naturally occurre in the agitation of Ecclesiasticke causes, and cannot but cast out of common weake mindes much of the fruite of the preceding worship.

Further, the peoples necessary attendance on all Ecclesiasticke causes, will make the processe in the most causes so prolix, as cannot but robbe the people of that time which they ought to imploy in their secular callings for getting of bread. For every one of the people being a Judge, must be so satisfyed in every cir­cumstance of every action, as to give their Suffrage upon certaine knowledge and with a good conscience: now before this can be done in a few causes of the smallest, and best ordered Con­gregations much time will be spent: as the Church of Arneim found it in one cause alone, though but a light one; and betwixt two onely, even of their cheife and best Members.

Eighthly, That power is not to be given to the people,8. This power of the people would bring in Morellius demo­cracy and anar­chy in the Church. which brings in the popular government of Morellius into the Church: but, the power in question doth so. The Major is the common assertion of all the Brethren, that they are farre from democracy, and further from Morellius anarchy, and that they are ready to forsake their Tenet, if it can be demonstrated to im­port any such thing. The Minor thus we prove, That which puts the highest acts of Government in the hands of the multitude, brings in the popular government: for in the greatest democra­cies that are or ever have beene, there were divers acts of great power in the hand of sundry Magistrates; but the highest acts of [Page 188] power being in the hands of the people alone: such as the ma­king of Lawes, the creation of Magistrates, the censure of the greatest Offendors, these were the sure signes of Supremacy, that gave the denomination to the government. Now we assure that the Tenet in hand puts the highest acts of Ecclesiastick Authority in the hands of the people. For the Ordination and Deposition of Officers, the binding and loosing of Offendours, are incompa­rably the highest acts of Ecclesiasticke Jurisdiction: These they put in the hand of the people.

That they doe conjoyne with the people the Officers to ex­pound the Law, and declare what is right, and to give out the sentence makes nothing against the peoples Supremacy: for in Rome and Athens at their most democraticke times, and this day in the States of Holland, in all the Provinces and every City, where the people are undoubted Soveraignes, they have their Magistrates and Officers in all their proceedings to goe before them, to declare the case, to take the Suffrages, and to pronounce the Sentence.

As for them who of late have begun to put the whole Autho­rity in the Officers alone, and to give the people onely a liberty of consenting to what the Officers doe decree of their owne Au­thority, wee say they are but few that doe so, and these con­tradictory to themselves. Also these same men give absolute Au­thority to the people in divers cases: further, that liberty of con­sent they come to call an authoritative concurrence. Lastly, the most of the arguments even of these men, doe conclude not onely a liberty to consent, and to concurre, but an authoritative agency in the highest acts of Jurisdiction.

9. This power of the people will draw upon them the power of the word and Sacrament.Ninthly, They who have the power of Jurisdiction, have also the power of preaching the word, and celebrating the Sa­craments, unlesse God in his word have given them a particular and expresse exemption from that imployment. But none of the people have power to preach the word, and celebrate the Sacra­ments. Ergo. The Major is built on these Scriptures which con­joyne the administration of the Word, Sacrament and Disci­pline in one and the same termes: and upon these Scriptures which lay a part of these administrations upon some men, with an expresse exception of another part of them. Math. 16.19. [Page 189] under the name of the Keys of the Kingdome of Heaven, is com­prehended the whole Ecclesiasticke power of the Word, Sacra­ments, and Discipline; what there is promised. Joh. 20. it is per­formed in these termes, as the Father hath sent me, so I send you. But, 1 Tim. 5.17. where this power is separated and distinguish­ed, the one part of Jurisdiction is ascribed to the ruling Elders, with an expresse intimation of their freedome from preaching the Word, and by consequence from celebration of the Sacra­ments. The Minor was that none of the people have power of the word and Sacraments. For the power of the Sacraments, it is confessed not to belong to the people. That the power of preach­ing the Word, belongeth no more to them, was proved in the for­mer Chapter. None of our Brethren doe ascribe the power of preaching to all the People, but onely to a few of them who are able to prophesie: so the power of Jurisdiction according to the ground in hand, could be ascribed to none of the people but these few Prophets alone.

For the other side, the Separatists and Master Parker, Mr Cottons con­trary arguments answered. in this point as farre wrong as the other, bring many arguments: but I will meddle onely with these which Master Cotton doth borrow from them in his way of the Churches, and answer to the 32. Questions.

First, from Math. 16.19 he reasons thus. The Power of the Keys is given unto Peter upon the confession of his faith. Ergo, First, Christ gave to Peter the Keys of H [...]aven as to a beleever: Ans. not so, but as to an Apostle and Elder of the Church. every Beleever hath the Power of the Keys. Answer. I deny the consequence, for however upon the occasion of his confession the Keys are promised to him: yet they are not promised to him because of his confessing, nor under the relation of a beleever; for if so, then all and onely beleevers should have the full Power of the Keys; but our Brethren will be loth to avow this direct Assertion of Smith the Sebaptist; for they doe not ascribe the Power of the Sacraments to any beleever out of Office, nor any power of the Keys to every beleever: for some beleevers are not Members of any Church, and the Keys are onely for Domesticks. Neither doe they put the Keys into the hands of beleevers alone; for so, Judas and many Pastours for want of true fayth could not validly either preach or baptize. The Keys therefore are not pro­mised to Peter under the notion of a beleever, but in the quality [Page 190] of an Apostle and Elder of the Church, as is cleared in the paral­led places of Math & John, where the gift here promised is actu­ally conferred upon all the Apostles, who all were Elders, and whose Office of opening and closing the doores of Heaven, was to remaine in the Church to the worlds end, not in the hand of every beleever, but of the Governours of the Church joyned in that Presbytery which other Scriptures doe mention.

2. Till the Church replies that the people have power of Excommuni­cation. Anser, The Church here to be told is the Presbyte­ry, and not the people, accor­ding to our Brethrens own grounds.Secondly, they reason from Ma [...]. 18. who ever is the Church to whom scandalls must be told, and which must be heard under the pain of Excommunication, they have the power of Church Cen­sures; But the people are that Church. Ergo. Ans, we deny the Mi­nor, with the good leave of our Brethren: for albeit they are wont to make the people alone without their Officers the Church in this place, proving hence the peoples power of Jurisdiction be­fore they have any Officers, also their power to cast out all their Officers when they have gotten them; yet now they have gone from the Separatists thus farre, as to say, that the people alone cannot be the Church here mentioned: but the Church must be the people with their Officers, whom now they will be loth as sometimes to make meere accidents and adjuncts of this Church: for now they hold them for integrall Members, so necessary, that without them no censure at all can be performed upon any.

They goe here a little further, telling us that the Church in this place cannot be the people, though with their Officers; but must be taken for the Officers with the people: because both the Power and the Execution of censures belongs to the Officers a­lone, though in the presence of the people, and with their con­sent, and concurrence. They tell us that the Right and Authority of censures is given onely to the Presbytery of governours, in such a manner that the Presbytery can be censured by no others, neither can any other be censured not onely without their con­sent, but not without their action.

We adde a third steppe, whether our former arguments must draw them, that the Church here meant, must be the Governours alone without the peoples concurrence: for if Excommunicati­on the great act of government, did belong to the people, either by themselves alone, or joyntly by way of concurrence with their Officers, it would follow that the people were either sole [Page 191] governours above their Officers, or joynt governours with their Officers: which albeit our Brethren did hold lately with the Se­paratists, yet now they will not assert, so much the more as they declare it to be their judgement and practice that the Elders a­lone without the People, doe meete apart in their Presbytery to heare all offences and to prepare them for publicke Judgement, whence I thus argue.

They to whom offences are to be told immediatly after the two or three witnesses are not heard, They are the Church to whom in this place the power of excommunication is given; but, the El­ders alone without the People, being set apart in their Presbyte­ry, are they to whom offences are to be told, &c. Ergo, The Major is cleare from the Text, for it speaks but of one Church which must be told, and heard under the paine of censure. The Minor is their own confession, and practice: and if that meeting of the El­ders to whom they tell the offence, for preparation of the processe to their peoples voice, be not the Church here mentioned, Then their ordinary practice of bringing scandalls first to the Presbyte­ry, before they be heard in the Congregation, shall be found not onely groundlesse beside the Scripture, but altogether contrary to the Scripture in hand: for the method here prescribed is that the Church be told when the witnesses are not heard: if therefore that company which is told after the witnesses are contemned, be not the Church: Christs order is not kept, and the Church gets wrong.

Thirdly, they reason from 1 Cor. chap. 5. ver. The people of Corinth did Judge and Ex­communicate the incestuous man▪ Answer, Tbe Text will prove no such matter. They who are gathered together with the Apostles Spirit, and the Power of Christ to deliver the incestuous man to Sathan; Who were to purge out the old Leaven, and to judge them that are within, and put away the wicked Person: they have power to excommunicate; but, the People doe all these things. Ergo. Answer, the Minor is denyed.

First, that gathering together might well be of the Presbytery alone, which our Brethren grant most meete in divers preparato­ry acts to censure.

Secondly, if it were of the whole people which can not be supposed in Corinth, where the People and Officers were so ma­ny, that the Congregations, as in Jerusalem, and else where, were [Page 192] more then one: yet, suppose that all the people did meete to the excommunication of that wicked man, this proves not that eve­ry one who did meete unto that censure, had either the power or the execution of it, more then of the Word and Sacraments to which they did more frequently meete.

Thirdly, the purging out of the old Leaven, and the putting a­way the man, is commended indefinitely to these unto whom the Apostle wrote, which our Brethren grant cannot be expounded without sundry exceptions. First, none doubt of women and children; againe in the next chapter, it is written indefinitely, you are sanctifyed, you are justifyed, your Bodyes are the Tem­ples of the Holy Ghost; this must be restricted to the elect and regenerate, except we will turne Arminians.

Everywhere in Scripture indefinite propositions must be ex­pounded according as other Scriptures declare the nature of the matter in hand; so here, the act of purging and putting away, a­scribed indefinitely to the Church, must be expounded not of all the Members, but only of the Officers of the Church. For the Brow­nists themselves make not every Member to be a ruler: nor doe our Brethren give the formall authority and power of censures to any other but Officers, ascribing to the rest of the Members one­ly a Liberty of concurrence, so that the next word of Judging is expounded by them of a Judgement of discretion, not of any ju­diciall and authoritative Judgement, which alone is in question.

4. The people of Colosse might censure Archip­pus their Mini­ster. Answer. there is no Word in this Text of the peoples cen­sure.Fourthly, from Coll. 4.17. they reason: the people of Colosse had power to admonish their Minister Archippus to fullfill his Ministery. Therefore the People of any Church have power if neede be to excommunicate their Minister. Answer. First, That however our Brethren pretend to have come off from the extre­mity of the Brownists, halfe way towards us: yet their arguments drive at the utmost of their old extremities, at no lesse then a power for the people to excommunicate their Ministers. Thus farre the most of their reasons doe carry, if they have any force at all. Secondly, the Antecedent may well be denyed, all that the Apostle speaks to the Collossians indefinitely, must not be expounded of every one of the people: This precept of speaking to Archippus, could not be better performed then by the Presbytery, whereof Archippus was a Member. Thirdly, the consequence is [Page 193] invalid, They might admonish, therefore excommunicate. Every admonition is not in order to censure; it is a morall duty incum­bent to every one to admonish lovingly and zealously his Bro­ther, when there is cause: it is a sinne and disobedience to God if we let sinne lye upon any whom we by our counsell and admo­nition can helpe; but to conclude that we have power to Ex­communicate every man, whom in duty wee ought to ad­monish, is an absurdity which none of the Separatists will well digest.

Fifthly, From Revel. The whole Church of Per­gamus is rebu­ked for not censuring the Hereticks. An­swer, The pow­er of Censure was in the An­gells, but the whole Church might be faul­ty in not in­couraging the Angels to doe their duty. The whole Churches of Perga­mus and T [...]yatira, are rebuked for suffering wicked Hereticks to live among them uncensured. Ergo, it was the duty of all the Church to censure them. Answer. First, the conclusion is for a power to the people to censure, which our Brethren now deny. Secondly, The Antecedent may be denied; for the fault of that impious Toleration is not laid upon the whole Church, but ex­presly upon the Angell. Thirdly, the consequence is not good. The whole Church might be reproved for a neglect of their duty, in not inciting and incouraging their Officers to censure these Hereticks; but a reproofe for this neglect, inferreth not that it was the peoples duty to execute these censures: Thus much our Brethren will not avow.

Sixthly, They reason from Revel. 4.4.6. The twenty foure Elders sit on Thrones with Crownes on their heads. Answer, This will not prove a regall power of judging in every one of the people. The foure and twenty Elders sate on Thrones in white Robes with Crownes on their heads. Ergo, Every one of the Church hath a power of judging, as Kings with Crownes sitting on their Thrones. Answer, First, the conclusion ever inferres the full Tenet of the Separatists. Secondly, the consequence is very weake, except many things be supposed which will not be granted without strong proofes: first, that this Type is argumentative for the matter in hand: se­condly, that this place is relative to the Church on earth, rather then to that in heaven: thirdly, that these Elders doe typifie the people rather then the Officers: fourthly, that the Thrones and Crownes import a Kingly Office in every Christian to be exercised in Church censures upon their brethren, more then the white robes doe inferre the Priestly Office of every Christian to be exercised in Preaching the Word and celebrating the Sacra­ments.

[Page 194] 7. The Galatians must stand fast to their Li­berty. Anser, By Liberty hereinothing lesse is under­stood then a power of pre­sence and concurrence in judgement without all power of Au­thority.Seventhly, They reason from Galatian 5.1.13. the Galatians were called unto Liberty, whereto they behoved to stand fast, as to a priviledge purchased by Christ his blood; Ergo, Every one of them had a power to cut off their Officers. Answer. This is the Scripture whereupon our Brethren have lately fallen, and make more of it then of any other. I confesse, their reasoning from it seemes to me the most unreasonable throwing of the ho­ly Scripture that I have readily seene in any Disputant. The whole scope of the place carrying evidentty a liberty from the burthen and servitude of the Law. Their fathering upon it a new and unheard of sense, to wit, a priviledge of Church censures, without any authority or proper power therein, is very strange: they cannot produce any Scripture where the word Liberty hath any such sense, and though they could, yet to give the word that sense in this place where so clearely it is referred to a quite di­verse matter, it seemeth extremely unreasonable.

8. The whole Congregation of Israel had power to pu­nish malefa­ctors. Answer. What the peo­ple under the Law did in the State, is not a warrant for the people under the Gospell to doe the same in the Church.Eightly, Thus they reason, The whole Congregation of Israel had power to punish Malefactors, as in the case of Gibea ▪ & in the mes­sage of Israel to the two Tribes & halfe; also the people had power to rescue from the hands of the Magistrates, as in the case of Jona­than from Saul. Answer. The consequence is null; for the practise of the Israelites in their civill state, is no sufficient rule for the proceedings of the Church of the New Testament. Our Brethren would beware of such Arguments, least by them they entertaine the jealousie which some professe they have of their way, fearing it be builded upon such principles as will set up the common people, not onely above their Officers in the Church, but also a­bove their Magistrate in the State: That it draw in a popular go­vernment and Ochlocracie both in Church and State alike.

9. The people elects their Of­ficers. Ergo. they may de­pose and Ex­communicate them. Answer. Election is no act of power, or of Jurisdiction.Ninthly, They thus reason. Who ever doe elect the Officers, they have power to ordaine them, and upon just cause to depose and excommunicate them. But the people do elect their Officers; Ergo. Answer. The major is denied; for first, election is no act of power; suppose it to be a priviledge, yet there is no Jurisdiction in it at all▪ but Ordination is an act of Jurisdiction, it is an autho­ritative mission, and putting of a man into a spirituall Office. The people, though they have the right and possession by Scripturall practise of the one, yet they never had either the right or the [Page 195] possession of the other. Secondly, suppose the Maxime were true, whereof yet I much doubt, unlesse it be well limited, Ejus est destituere cuius instituere, that they who give authority, have power to take it backe againe; yet we deny that the people who elect, give any authority or office at all, their election is at most but an Antecedent, Sine quo non; it is the Presbytery onely who by their Ordination doe conferre the Office upon the elect person.

Finally, They argue,10. The peo­ple must be present and consent to e­very act of Judgement. Answer, It is not so, and if it were, yet it in­ferres not their power of Juris­diction. No act of Jurisdiction is v [...]lid without the peoples consent; Ergo, to every act of Jurisdiction the peoples presence and concurrence is necessary: Answer. The antecedent in many cases is false; a gracious Orthodoxe Minister may be or­dained a Pastor to a Hereticall people against their consent: an Hereticall Pastor, who hath seduced all his flocke, may be remo­ved from them against their passionate desires to keepe him: but the Consequent is more vitious; where ever consent is requisite, their presence, much lesse authoritative concurrence, is not ne­cessary: all the souldiers are not present at the Counsell of War, and yet the decrees of that Counsell of War can not be executed without the consent and action of the Souldiers: every member of the Church of Antioch was not present at the Synod of Jeru­salem: diverse members of the Independent Congregations are absent from many Church determinations, to the which upon their first knowledge they doe agree.

CHAP. X. Independencie is contrary to the Word of God.

God is the Au­thor of the u­nion and de­pendencie of particular Churches.THe Divine Wisedome which found it expedient for man be­fore the Fall, not to live alone, hath made it much more needfull for man to live in Society after his weakning by sinne; Woe to him that is alone, for if he fall who shall raise him up? The best wits of themselves are prone to errors and miscarriages, and left alone, are inclined to run on in any evill way they have once be­gunne: But engagement in fellowshippe, especially with the Saints, is a preservative against the beginnings of evill, and a re­tractive therefrom when begunne. Every gratious neighbour is a Counsellour and Pedagogue, the greater the incorporation is of such, the better is every Member directed and the more streng­thened. Hence the goodnesse of God hath ordained not onely the planting of particular men into a small body of one single Congre­gation, but for the greater security both of Persons and Congre­gations, the Lord hath increased that Communion of Churches by binding neighbour Congregations in a larger and stronger Body of a Presbytery, or Classis; yea a number of Presbyteryes by the same hand of God are combined in a Synode; neither this onely, but for the strengthening of every stone and of the whole building, the Lord hath appointed the largest societies that are possible, the very Church universall and the representation there­of, an Oecumenick Assembly. This congregative way is divine; the dissolution of humane societies, especially of Ecclesiasticke As­semblyes, must be from another Spirit.

The first we know to have opposed the holy Societyes we speake of, were Anabaptists, who liking a Catholicke anarchy in all things, and pressing an universall liberty, did strive to cut in peeces all the bands, as of Politicke and Oeconomick union whereby Kingdomes and States, Cities and Familyes did stand, so also of the Ecclesiasticke conjunction, making every person at last fully free from all servitude, and simply independent, or un­controlable in any of his owne opinions or desires, by any mor­tall man.

[Page 197]Their first follower among the reformed,From them Morellius and Grotius learned the Tenet. was one John Mo­reau a Parisian, who in the French Churches did vent the Inde­pendency of Congregations from Synods, and the popular go­vernment of these Independent Congregations: But his scis­matick pamphlet came no sooner abroad then the French Divines did most unanimously trample upon it. In their generall Assem­bly at Rochell, most Reverend Beza Moderator for the time, and in their next Assembly, Learned Sadeell with others, did so fully confute these Anabaptistick follies, that thereafter in France this evill Spirit did never so much as whisper; only in Holland, in the Arminian times, it began to speake by the tongue of Grotius, and others of his fellowes, who being conscious to themselves of Te­nets whereunto they despared the assent of any Synode, yea fearing to be prejudged in the propagation of their errours by a crosse Sentence of a Nationall Assembly, did set themselves to call in question, and at last to deny the Authority and Jurisdicti­on of all Church meetings. But when the goodnesse of God in that happy Synode of Dort, did crush the other errours of that Party, this their fansie did evanish, and since in these bounds hath beene buried in Oblivion. By what meanes this Anabapti­stick roote which neither France nor Holland could beare, when Grotius and Morellius did assay to plant it, doth thrive so well in England, after Browne and Barrow with their followers did be­come its dressers, I have declared at length before.

However the Novelty of the Tenet,Laying aside all prejudice we will reason the matter. the Infamie of its Au­thours, the evill successe it hath had whereever yet it hath set up the head, doth burden it with so just contempt, that all fur­ther audience might be denyed thereto; yet in this impudent and malapertage, where the greatest absurdityes will importunately ingyre themselves, and require beleefe as unanswerable and most covincing truths, unlesse in a full hearing their naughtinesse be demonstrate, we are content without all prejudices to reason the matter it selfe from the ground, and to require no man to hate this errour for its Authours, or any externall consideration, un­lesse it be cleerely showne to be contrary to the revealed will of God.

The state of the Question hath no perplexitie,The state of the Question cleared. if its termes were cleared. The Brownists affirme that every Parish Church, that [Page 198] every single Congregation, is Independent from any Presbytery, any Synod, any Assembly: This we deny, affirming the true de­pendence and subordination of Parochiall Congregations to Presbyteries, and of these to Synods: to which we ascribe power, authority, and Jurisdisdiction.

Before wee fall to reasoning, let us understand the words, which in this debate doe frequently occurre. First, what is a Parochiall Church, or single Congregation. Secondly, What is its independence. Thirdly, What is a Presbytery, and a Presbyte­riall Church. Fourthly, What is a Synod. Fifthly. What is Authoritie and Jurisdiction Ecclesiasticall. We intend no defini­tions, but such popular descriptions as may make cleare what the parties use to understand by these words.

A particular Church, a Parish or Congregation in this Questi­on, is taken for a company of faithfull people, every one whereof in the face of the whole Congregation, hath given so cleare tokens of their true grace and regeneration, as hath satisfied the minde of all: A company, I say, incorporate by a particular Co­venant and Oath to exercise all the parts of Christian Religion, in one place under one Pastor: Our Opposits affirme, that in one Church there must be but one Pastor, assisted indeede with a Doctor, and three or foure Elders, yet no more Pastors but one. They will admit into a Church no more people then commodi­ously, and at their ease, may convene in one house; how few they be they care not; ten families, or forty persons to them are a faire Church: you have heard that some of their Churches have beene within the number of foure persons.

Independencie is the full liberty of such a Church to discharge all the parts of Religion, Doctrine, Sacraments, Discipline, and all within it selfe without all dependence, all subordination to a­ny other on earth, more or fewer, so that the smallest Congre­gation, suppose of three persons, though it fall into the grossest heresies, may not be controlled by any Orthodoxe Synod, were it Oecumenicke of all the Churches on earth.

A Presbytery, as it is called in Scotland, or a Classis, as in Hol­land, or a Collogue, as in France, is an ordinary meeting of the Pa­stors of the Churches neerly neighbouring, & of the ruling Elders deputed therefrom, for the exercise chiefely of discipline, so farre [Page 199] as concernes these neighbouring Churches in common.

A Presbyteriall Church, is a company of Professors governed by one Prysbytery, who for the exercise of Religion meete in di­verse places, or who have moe Pastors then one.

A Synod, is a convention of Pastors and Elders sent and depu­ted from diverse Presbyteries, meeting either ordinarily or upon occasion for the affaires that are common to those that sent them.

Ecclesiasticke Jurisdiction, is a right and power, not onely by advice to counsell and direct, but by authority given of God, to injoyne and to performe according to the rule of Scriptures these things which concern the Ordination of Ministers, the de­ciding of Ecclesiasticall Causes, the determination of Doctrines, the inflicting of Censures, &c. The signification of these words being presupposed, the state of the Question, or minde of the parties, can not be obscure.

The first Argumen for the truth I cast into this Forme.That single Congregations are not Inde­pendent is pro­ved; first, from the 1 Tim 4.14. because they have not the right of Ordi­nation. Every Independent Church hath alwayes, and ordinarily, the right of Or­dination, and power to lay hands on Pastors. But, no single Con­gregation, or Parochiall Church huth that right and power. Ergo ▪ No single Congregation is an Independent Church. The Major is not questioned by the adverse party, for they place the nature of their Independencie in a right and power intrinsecall and es­sentiall to every the least Congregation of Ordaining, Deposing, Excommunicating, and exercising all acts of Jurisdiction upon all their own Members, as well Pastors as others. I said alwayes, and ordinarily, for we question not now what at some times in some extraordinary cases may fall out to be lawfull and necessary, not onely to single Congregations, but even to single persons: Also the power which our adverse party disputeth for, is not Hypo­theticke, which sometimes on supposition of such and such cases belongeth to a Church, but absolute, which is inherent to every Congregation at all times.

The Minor we prove thus: What is proper to a Presbytery the right thereof belongs not to any single Congregation:Ordination be­longs to the Presbytery. But Or­dination, and imposition of hands is proper to a Presbytery, as appeareth from 1 Tim. 4, 14. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by Prophesie with the laying on of the hands of [Page 200] the Presbytery. The Apostle maketh that right proper to the Presbytery, which he will have to remaine in it, and not to be removed therefrom, notwithstanding sundry extraordinary cases which might have excused the removeall of it. For Timothy was a Pastor not altogether ordinary, and inferior, but an Evangelist; he had for the ground of his Office the extraordinary call of some Prophets when he was sent out to Preach, Paul himself laid hands upon him; notwithstanding all this, that the due and just right of the Presbytery migh be proclamed, the Apostle marketh that the gift, office, and grace of Preaching the Gospell was confer­red on Timothy by the laying on of the Presbyteries hands.

For the proof of the last Maior, we neede not much descant on the Word Presbytery, and the sense of it in the fore-named place, nor to refute the misinterpretations which some make of it, espe­cially they, who under the mis-alledged authority of Calvin, would understand not the convention of any men, but the Office of a Presbyter, as if an Office or any accident could have had hands which might have beene laid on Timothies head. Passing therefore such digressions, we prove the Maior in hand, thus: No single Congregation is a Presbytery, nor any wayes necessarily hath a Presbytery within it selfe; yea if our adverse party may be beleeved, no Congregation can have, at least should have in it selfe such a Presbytery whereof Paul speaketh. Ergo. What is proper to a Presbytery, the right thereof may not be usurped by any single Congregation. Of the consequence there is no doubt: the Antecedent hath three parts: onely the first is needefull to be proved; but for more abundant satisfaction, we shall assay to prove them all.

No Congrega­tion is a Pres­bytery.The first, thus; A Presbytery is a member and part of a Con­gregation, according to our adverse party (we love not to strive for words, be it so that the meeting of a Minister and Elders go­verning single Congregations, which we call a Session, as over-Sea it is called a Consistory, may goe under the name of a Presbytery) Ergo. No Congregation is a Presbytery. The Consequence is clear, for no member may be affirmed in the Nominative of its owne whole, especially Heterogeneous: The body is not the head, the finger is not the hand; he doore, or the Window is not the house.

Concerning the second part of the Antecedent, that no Con­gregation [Page 201] hath a Presbytery any wayes necessarily within it selfe,No Congre­tion hath with­in it selfe ne­cessarily a Pres­bytery. this is cleare from the common practise of our adverse party: very oft their Churches have neither Session, nor Pastor, nor Doctor, nor Elder at all; they make not any of the Officers ne­cessary parts of the Church either essentiall or integrall, without the which the Church may not subsist; yea, as the most learned, and most acute Mr. Rutherfoord hath well observed, pag. 272. their grounds take away the necessitie of any Ministry at all. Mr. Paget tells us that their chiefe and Mother-Church at Am­sterdame, through the mis-government of their Pastor, Mr. Can, hath wanted now for some yeares both a Doctor and Elders and a Session, or Congregationall Presbytery.

But the pith of the Argument is in the third part of the Ante­cedent, that no single Congregation can have,No single Con­gregation ought to have within it selfe Pauls Presby­tery. or (which is all one when we speake of right and wrong) ought to have within it selfe Pauls Presbytery. This we prove. No single Congregati­on may, or ought to have moe Pastors than one. Ergo. Neither Pauls Presbytery. The Antecedent is the Doctrine of our adverse party. The Consequence leaneth on this Proposition. In Pauls Presbytery are more Pastors, which thus is proved: Where there are many layers on of hands on Pastors, there are many Pa­stors: But, in Pauls Presbytery are many layers on of hands on Pastors; for in the alledged place, not one, but many lay on their hands with Paul on Timothy. The last Maior leaneth on this ground, that onely Pastors lay hands on Pastors, so that many laying hands on Pastors, must be many Pastors, and by Conse­quence, in one Congregation, where there are not many, but one onely Pastor, (yea none at all whensoever by imposition of hands a new Pastor is to be ordained to that Congregation,) the act of Ordination can not be lawfully performed by the proper members of that Congregation.

That which alone remaineth to be proved, that onely Pastors lay hands upon Pastors, is cleared by an Induction,Onely Pastors lay hands on Pastors. against which no instance can be brought. 1 Tim. 5.22. Lay hands suddenly on no man. 2 Tim. 1.6. Stirre up the gift of God that is in thee, by the putting on of my hands. Tit. 1.5. I left thee in Crete that thou should­est ordayne Elders. Acts. 13.1.3. Certaine Prophets and Teachers laide their hands upon them, and sent them away. Acts. 14.23. They [Page 202] ordained them Elders in every Church. In all these places both the first Ordination, and posterior Mission to preach the Gospell, is the Act onely of those who were Pastors, neither else-where reade we that it was otherwise.

The second Argument from the Apo­stolicke Chur­ches which exercised full ju­risdiction, the chiefe whereof, if not all, were Presbyteriall and not Paro­chiall.The second argument: Every Independent Church, exerciseth ordinarily within it selfe, by its owne members all acts of Eccle­siasticke Jurisdiction. But, this no single Congregation doth ordi­narily. Ergo, no single Congregation is an Independent Church. Onely the Minor is dubious, which we prove thus; Every Church ordinarily exercising all acts of Ecclesiastick Jurisdiction is Pres­byteriall: But, no single Congregation is a Presbyteriall Church. Ergo. No single Congregation exerciseth ordinarily all acts of Ecclesiastick Jurisdiction. The Minor is cleare from the nature of a single Congregation and Presbyteriall Church, as in the stateing of the Question both were described. The Major is proved by a full Induction of all the Churches which in the New Testament we reade to have had the full exercise of all Ecclesiastick Juris­diction▪ that all such were Presbyteriall and not Congregationall; We prove it thus: A Church which cannot all convene in one house for the publicke Service of God, a Church which hath more Pastours then one, is Presbyteriall, not Congregationall, ac­cording to the grounds of our Adversaryes. But all the Churches we reade of in the New Testament to have had the full exercise of all Ecclesiastick Jurisdiction, did meete in more places for divine worshippe, and had more Pastors then one. This we de­monstrate of the cheife, the Church at Jerusalem, Samaria, Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, Antioch, neither can a reason be given why the rest of the Scripturall Churches should not be of the same kind.

Such was the Church at Je­rusalem.Beginne with the Mother-Church of Jerusalem. A company consisting of many thousand persons, and wanting a publicke house of meeting, could not convene into one place for wor­shippe: for this very day when Christians have gotten most stately and spacious Palaces for Churches, hardly one thousand can commodiously be together for solemne worshippe; and if we looke to the practise of the Adversaries, a few scores of men will be a large Church.

As for the State of the Church at Jerusalem. First, It is granted that for many yeares after the Apostles, neither it nor any other [Page 203] company of Christians in any part of the world had a publicke place of meeting. Secondly, That this Church did consist of ma­ny thousand people, the following places prove Acts. 2.41. The same day were added unto them about three thousand. Also chap. 4.5. The number of the men were five thousand. And where there were so many men, if yee looke to the ordinary proportion, there were of women and children twice or thrice so many. Neither did that Church stand at the named thousands, for Acts. 5.14. more multitudes both of men and women were added to the Church, and the number of the Disciples was yet more multiply­ed, chap 6.1 Also that which we reade chap. 2.47. The Lord added to the Church daily, seemeth to have continued for a long time.

To that which is replyed by some, that a great part of the na­med multitudes were strangers, and not Inhabitants at Jerusalem, and so no Members of that Church; We answer, that this is said without warrant. That of the three thousand mentioned in the third chapter, some part were strangers, we will not deny to be likely; but that the most part were so, or that of all the thousands named in the fourth, fifth, and sixt, any one was a stranger, it can­not be proved from the Text.

As for that which they bring from the 2 chap. 44.How the Church com­meth together. All who beleeved were together: as if the whole Church had alwayes come to one place for the publicke worshippe. We say that it was simply impossible for three thousand people, not to speake of twenty thousand and above, to meete in one private house, for they had none publicke, neither did they in the streetes celebrate their Sacraments. So we are necessitated to take the Churches being together, one of three wayes: either for the conjunction of their minds, as the following words doe import (they continued with one accordin the Temple) or else their meeting together must be understood distributively in divers places, not collectively in one, as the words in hand will also beare where the celebration of the Lords Supper, and breaking of bread is said to be not in any one house onely but from house to house. The Church meete thin a third way together when not all the members but the Officers with a part of the people convene in a Presbytery as appeareth from the 15 and 21 chapters.

[Page 204] The Church of Samaria also was Presbyte­riall.The case is no lesse cleare of the Church of Samaria Acts verses the People of that City with one accord from the least to the greatest both men and women did beleeve, in such a number that the cheife of the Apostles Peter and John, were sent from Jerusalem to assist Philip in their instruction. Could this whole City which was amongst the greatest of Cana­an convene all to Gods worshippe in one private roome, or be served with one Pastor, who required for a time the attendance not onely of Philip but further of two prime Apostles?

So that of Rome.Come to the rest. The Roman Church was one Body. Rom. 12.6. yet so great that it could not meet in one private roome. For in the 16. chap. beside the Church which met in the house of Aquila v. 5. there are a number of houses set downe, in which, besides divers Saints named, there were many others also unnamed which worshipped with them, v. 14, 15. So great were the mul­titudes of Christians then at Rome that their fame was spread o­ver all the world. chap. 1.8. and chap. 16.19. In the City of Rome were many hundred thousand men, the halfe of which ac­cording to Tertullian, were Christians the age after the Apostles; and a little after Cornelius recordeth that more then forty prea­chers did attend the instruction of that people who yet had no publick place of meeting.

And of Corinth.The same was the case of the Church at Corinth at its very beginning, Acts. 18.8. It did consist of a multitude both Iewes and Gentiles; beside all which, God had much people in that City, v. 10. which by the continuall labours of Paul for 18 monthes were converted, v. 11, for whose instruction beside Paul, Apollos, Timotheus, a great number of other Doctors attended, 1 Cor 4.15. not to speake of a multitude of false Teachers; they had also a number of idle and vaine Teachers who kept the foundation, but builded upon it hay, stubble and timber. Could all these meete to­gether in one private place? unlesse yee would understand their meetings distributively, or for the convention of their Officers with a part of the people for discipline.

And of Ephesus.Also at Ephesus was but one Church. For Acts. 20.17. Paul called to him the Elders of that Church, in the singular; yet that in Ephesus there was so great a number of Christians as could not commodiously serve God in one private roome, it seemes most [Page 205] cleare; for in that most noble Mart Town Paul did preach whole two yeares. Acts 19.10. yea he ceased not day nor night for full three yeares, cha. 20.31. The feare of God fell on all that people both Jews and Gentiles, and the name of Jesus was magnified, cha. 19.19. So great a multitude even of Scholars was converted that the Pro­fessors of curious arts alone did make a fire of Bookes to the value of 50000 peeces of silver; so mightily grew the word of God there, v. 20. Further, in the Church of Ephesus were many Pastors; for Acts. 20.17. Paul called for the Elders, not one onely. That di­vers of these if not all, were Pastors and Doctors, it appeareth from v. 28. where they are appointed by the Holy Ghost, to be feeders of the flocke and get a Commission to oppose false Do­ctors, about the which they went faithfully, as the Lord beareth them witnesse, Revel. 2.2. Now the charge of the Doctrine to try and examine false Teachers, lieth principally on preachers.

This is alike true of the Church of Antioch:Also of Anti­och and the rest. The hand of the Lord was in the City, and a great number beleeved, Acts 11.21. Thereafter by Barnabas labour there was much people added, v. 24. yea, by the joyned paines of Barnabas and Paul for a yeare together, there was such a multitude converted, that the name of Christians was first imposed upon them. Here, as in the Metro­politane City, not onely of Syria, but all Asia, beside Barnabas, Paul and other Prophets, v. 27. Peter also, and many other Do­ctors had their residence, Gal. 2.11. It were too long to speake of the rest of the Apostolicke Churches, whose condition was not unlike the former.

Our third Argument:Our third ar­gument from the subordina­tion of the Church of Antioch to the Synod at Jerusalem, Act. 15. No Synod hath authority to impose Decrees upon an Independent Church: But some Synods have authority to impose Decrees upon particular Churches, whether Presbyteriall or Congregationall. Ergo, Particular Churches, whether Presbyteriall or Congregationall are not Independent. The Maior is not controverted; our adverse party acknowledgeth the lawfull use and manifold fruits of Synods: They grant it is the duty of every good man, and much more of every Church, and most of all of a Synod consisting of the Messengers of many Churches, to admonish, counsell, perswade, and request particu­lar Curches to doe their duty: But, that any company on earth, even an Oecumenicke Synod, should presume to injoyne with [Page 206] authority the smallest Congregation, to leave the grossest heresies under the paine of any censure, they count it absurd. Upon this ground, that every Congregation, how small soever, how cor­rupt soever, is an Independent body, and not subordinate to any society on earth, how great, how pure, how holy soever.

The Minor thus is proved: The Synod of Jerusalem imposed with Authority, her Decrees upon the Church of Antioch. Ergo, Some Synod; and if you please to make it universall, every law­full Synod may impose its Decrees upon particular Churches. The Antecedent is to be seene, Acte 15.20. It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay no further burden on you then these things necessary. The Consequence is good, for Antioch was among the chiefe of the Apostolicke Churches; in it Barnabas, Paul, and o­ther Prophets inspired of God were Preachers: If this Church was subject to the Authority of Synods, what Church may plead a freedome from the like subjection?

Answer to the Replies.Many things are here replied, as usually it hapneth when no solid answer can be brought: The chiefe heads of the Reply are three; First, that the meeting at Jerusalem was no Synod. Se­condly, What ever it was that it did injoyne nothing, authorita­tively to any other Churches. Thirdly, That other Synods may not pretend to the priviledges of that meeting since its Decrees were indited by the Holy Ghost, and stand now in the holy Ca­non as a part of Scripture.

The meeting of Jerusalem was a true Sy­nod.To the first, we say, that the meeting at Jerusalem is either a true Synod, or else there is no paterne in all Scripture for Synods, even for counsell, or advice, or any other use. But, this were in­convenient; for they acknowledge that Synods are lawfull meanes for many gracious ends in the Church: Now, to affirme that any Ecclesiasticke meeting is lawfull, necessary, or conveni­ent for gracious ends, whereof no patterne, no example can be found in Scripture, were dangerous.

But beside this argument, towards our adverse party, we reason from the nature of the thing it selfe. A meeting consisting of the Deputies of many Presbyteriall Churches, is a true Synod; but, the convention at Jerusalem, Acts 15. was such a meeting. The Maior is the essence of a Synod; there are many accidentall dif­ferences of Synods; for according to the quantity and number of [Page 207] the Churches who send their Commissioners, the Synod is smaller or greater, is Provinciall, Nationall, or Oecumenicke: according to occasion, the Churches sending Commissioners, are sometime moe, sometime fewer, sometime neerer, sometime fur­ther off: also according to the commodity of place, and necessity of affaires, they come from one Church moe, and from others fewer: all these are but accidentalls, which change not the na­ture of the thing. Unto the essence of a Synod; no more useth to be required then a meeting of Commissioners from moe Presby­teriall Churches. The Minor is cleare; That the Church of An­tioch and Jerusalem were moe Churches, no man doubts; that both were Presbyteriall, it was proved before, that from both these Presbyteriall Churches, Commissioners did sit at that meeting, it is apparent from that oft cited, Acts 15. Yea, that from the o­ther Churches of Syria and Cilicia, besides Antioch, Commissio­ners did come to Jerusalem, may appeare by conference of the 2. vers. of the 15. chap. with vers. 23. for that with Paul and Bar­nabas Commissioners for the time from the Antiochians, others also did come, it is certaine: that those others, at least some of them, were Deputed from the Churches of Syria and Cilicia, it is like, because the Synodick Epistle is directed expresly no lesse to those than to this of Antioch; also those, no lesse than this, are said to be troubled with the Questions which occasioned that meeting. But to passe this consideration, it is cleare that in the Convention at Jerusalem were present, not onely the Commissi­oners of some few Presbyteriall Churches, but also they whom God had made constant Commissioners to all the Churches of the world, to wit, the Apostles; their presence made all the Churches legally subject to the Decrees of that Synod, though they had no other but their grand and constant Commissioners to Voyce for them in that meeting.

The second Answer is clearely refuted from the 28. vers. where the Decrees are not proposed by way of meere advice,It doth not onely advise but command. The Decrees of that Synod at their first making had onely Ecclesi­astick autho­rity. but are injoyned and imposed as necessary burdens, with Authority, not onely of the Synod but of the holy Ghost.

Concerning the third, we say that the meerely Divine, and more than Ecclesiastick Authority of these Decrees in their first Formation, is not made good from this, that now they stand in [Page 208] holy Scripture, and are become a part of the Bible; for a world of Acts meerely indifferent, and which without doubt in their Originall had no more then Ecclesiasticke Authority, are Regi­stred in Scripture. Was the Presbytery of Lystraes laying on of hands on Timothy any other then an act of Ecclesiastick Ordina­tion? The Decree of the Church of Corinth for the incestuous mans Excommunication, or relaxation after Repentance, was it any more then an act of Jurisdiction meerely Ecclesiasticke? Pauls circumcision of Timothy, his Uow at Cenchrea, the cutting off his haire at Jerusalem, were free and indifferent actions: The nature of these things, and many moe of that kinde, is not chan­ged by their Registring in the Booke of God. Neither also is the meerly Divine Authority of the Decrees at Jerusalem proved by this, that in their first framing they were grounded on cleare Scripture, and after proclamed in the name of the holy Ghost; for that is the condition of the lawfull Decrees of all gracious Synods. Did not of old the Fathers of Nice, and of late the Fa­thers of Dort, through the inspiration of the holy Ghost, who re­maineth with the Church, especially with gracious Synods to the worlds end, pronounce from the holy Sctipture their Decrees of the Godhead of Christ against Arrius, and of the grace of God against Arminius: Shall we for this cause ascribe to the Canons of Nice or Dort any greater authority then Ecclesiastick and Hu­mane? Howsoever, that the Apostles in framing the Canons at Jerusalem did proceede in a way meerely Ecclesiastick, and farre different from that they used in dictating of Scripture, and pub­lishing truths meerely Divine, appeareth from this; first, that these Canons were brought forth by much Disputation and long discourse, But, Divine Oracles without the proces of humane Ratiocinations are published from the immediate inditing of the Spirit, 2 Pet. 1.21. The Prophesie in old time came not by the will of man, but the holy men of God spake as they were moved by the holy Ghost. Secondly, Oracles meerely Divine are published onely in the name of God, Thus saith the Lord; but, these Canons are pro­clamed, not onely in the name of God, but also in the name of man, It seemeth good to the holy Ghost, and to us. Thirdly, The Ora­cles of God are dictated to the Church by the Ministry only of the Prophets and Apostles, and men inspired with an infallible Spi­rit, [Page 209] Ephes. 2, 20. Being built upon the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles. But, the Canons of that Synod, Acts 15. are declared to be the worke, not onely of the holy Ghost, [...]d the Apostles, but also of the Elders, and of all who Voyced to them. So it is cleare, that in the making of these Canons, the Apostles, as else-where oft, did come downe from the eminent. Chaire of their Aposto­like, and extraordinary authority to the lower place of Ordinary Pastors, that in their owne persons they might give an example to ordinary Pastors in what manner holy Synods might be right­ly celebrated to the worlds end. Had not this been their end, how easie had it beene either for Paul or Barnabas at Antioch, without the toylesome voyage of a long journey to Jerusalem, or for Peter or John, or James, or any one of the Apostles at Jerusalem, with­out the superfluous paines of any convention or disputation, as infallible Apostles to have pronounced Divine and irrefragable Decrees of all the matters in question.

Our fourth argument. A Church subordinate is not Indepen­dent; but, a Parochial Church is subordinate to a Presbyteriall:Our fourth ar­gument from the subordina­tion of fewer to moe, appoin­ted by Christ, Matth. 18. For a lesser Church is subordinate to a greater, as a part to its whole wherein it is contained. Now a Parochiall Church is lesser and the least of all Churches; a Presbyteriall Church is greater. Of the quantity, that the one is lesser, the other greater there is no doubt; but of the matter it selfe there is question whether there be any such thing as a Presbyteriall Church. Now this was proved before and hereafter also will be more cleare; the cheife plea here is a­gainst the second major which we prove thus: A smaller number of the faithfull is subordinate by Christ to a greater number of the faithfull. But, a lesser Church is a smaller number of the faithfull, and a greater Church is a greater number of the faithfull. The Ma­jor is proved from the 18 of Math. v. If thy Brother trespasse against thee, &c. Here the Lord in admonitions and Church censures institutes a subordination, a gradation, a processe from one to two or three, from two or three to moe. Understand those moe not absolutely and at randoun but in a society bound togea­ther by the orderly ligaments of divine policy, such as we sup­pose the Churches to be from the smallest to the greatest till you come to the very Church universall.

Here they distinguish the Major, granting that in this place a [Page 210] subordination is appointed by Christ of fewer to moe within the same Church but not without it. We might oppugne the applica­tion of the distinction to the Minor, and prove that a Presbyteri­all Church is a greater number of the faithfull within not with­out the same Church; for a Congregationall Church may not un­fitly be compared with a Presbyteriall as a part with its whole; especially if you compare the meeting of the Officers which rule the Parish with the Presbytery, these two are not extrinsecall the one to the other; for the Sessions, or Consistories, or Classis, are in the Presbytery which is composed of the Commissioners from Sessions as of its owne and intrinsecall Members.

Christs subor­dination is to be extended to the utmost bounds of the Church uni­versall.But leaving this, we oppugne the ground of the distinction as it lyeth in the Major, breaking the one halfe of it upon the other. The subordination of fewer to moe in the forenamed place is e­stablished say they within the same Church. Ergo, say we, with­out the same Church, we meane with them without the same Pa­rochiall Church: the consequence we prove by three arguments. First, there is a like reason for the subordination of fewer to moe without the same Church as within the same; for the cheife rea­son why the Lord ordaines us in admonitions to proceed from one to two or three, from two or three to a number sitting as Judges in the Session of one Congregation, is, because in the admonitions of two or three, more authority, gravity and wisedome are pre­supposed to be than in the admonitions of one alone: and that a Delinquent is striken with more feare, shame, and reverence by the faces and mouthes of many who sit as Judges in the name of the whole Congregation, than he would be by the mouth of two or three onely. Doeth not this power, virtue and weight of admonition increase with the number of admonishers, as well without as within the same Congregation? For as the admonition and censure of tenne sitting in the name of one Congregation, hath greater weight then the admonition of two or three of that same Flocke who represent none but themselves; so the admonition of thirty Ministers and Elders representing in a Presbytery fifteene Congregations, whose commissioners they are, shall have more weight then the admonition of ten which represent but one flocke: for it is according to reason, that those thirty Members of the Presbytery should exceede in wisedome, [Page 211] zeale, gravity, and other qualities which adde weight to an ad­monition, these ten which in a Session represent one Congregati­on, so farre as those ten goe beyond the two or three severall per­sons of that Congregation.

Secondly, unlesse in this place be established a subordination of fewer to moe, as well without as within the same Congrega­tion, the remedy brought by Christ will be unable to cure the ill for which it was brought. The Lords meanes will be dispropor­tionable and unequall to its end; but this were absurd to say of the wisest of all Physicians. The reason of the Major is this, Christ is prescribing an helpe and cure for brotherly offences; now one may be offended by a brother as well without as within the same Congregation: and as well by many brethren as by one; yea, as well may we be offended by a whole Church as by one member thereof: Now, if after the minde of our adverse party, the subordination of fewer to moe might not be extended with­out the bounds of one Congregation, the Lords medecine were not meete to cure very many ordinary and daily scandals; for what if a man be scandalized by the neighbour Church? To whom shall he complaine? When the Church offending is both the Judge and party, it is likely she will misregard the com­plaints that are made to her of her selfe. What if a man be scan­dalized by his owne Church or by the most, or by the strongest part of it? What if that Church to whom he complaineth, take part against Justice and reason with him upon whom he com­plaines? It will be impossible to remedy innumerable offences which daily fall out among brethren, unlesse appeales be granted, and the subordination established by Christ be extended, not onely without the bounds of one Parish, but as farre and wide as the utmost limits of the Church universall: for upon this place is rightly grounded by the Ancients, the Authority of Synods even Oecumenick of all the Churches.

Thirdly, the subordination established by Christ, Matth. 18. is so farre to be extended in the Christian Church as it was ex­tended in the Church of the Jewes; for Christ there alludeth to the Jewish practise. But so it is, that in the Iewish Church there was ever a subordination of fewer to moe, not onely within the same Synagogue, but within the whole Nation, and so within the [Page 212] whole Church Universall: for all Synagogues everywhere in the world were under the great Councell at Ierusalem. No doubt of the Minor; the Major is builded upon this ground, that what e­ver Christ hath translated from the Synagogue to the Church, especially if it be of naturall equity, hath as great force now a­mongst Christians, as of old among the Iewes. Now, that the subordination of Synagogues to the great Councell is of naturall equity, it appeareth thus: A Synagogue was the lowest Eccle­siasticke Court, the Councell was the highest; but the subordina­tion of the lowest Court to the highest, is of naturall right; for Nature hath ever dictated to all Nations, as well in things civill as religious, a subordination of the lowest to the highest.

Our fifth ar­gument from the evill conse­quents, which reason and ex­perience de­monstrate to follow Inde­pendency ne­cessarily and naturally.Our fifth Argument: That which taketh away all possibility of any effectuall remedy against Heresie, Idolatry, Schisme, Ty­ranny, or any other mischiefe that wracks either one or moe Churches; is not of God: for God is the Author and conserver of truth, purity, union, order, liberty, and of all vertue; God of his goodnesse and wisedome hath provided for all and every one of his Churches meanes and remedies, which if carefully made use of, are sufficient to hinder the first arising of Heresie, Schisme, or any other evill: and when they are risen to beate them downe▪ and abolish them: so that what ever cherisheth these mischiefes, and is a powerfull instrument to preserve them safe, that none with any power, with any authority, for any purpose, may get them touched, that must be much opposite to the Spirit of God, and good of the Church: But, such is Independencie, as both reason and experience will prove. Behold first severall Churches; Suppose, which too oft hath falne out, that the Pastor become a pernicious Hereticke; let him beginne with the venome of his Doctrine to poyson the hearts of his people, what shall be the remedie? Independency bindes the hands of Presbyteries and Synods. Pastors of Neighbouring Congregations, have no pow­er to binde, or expell that ravenous wolfe: in the destroyed flock there is no Pastor, but the wolfe himselfe. Be it so that the people in their judgement of discretion perceive well enough the wickednesse of the false doctrin whereby they are corrupted; yet the office, charge, and authority to cure their Pastors disease, lyeth not on them. The Spirits of the Prophets are subject to the [Page 213] Prophets: the Pastor is not to be proceeded against with censure by the people of his flocke; for so the order which God hath established in his Church, should be inverted, if they whom hee hath commanded to obey should rule: and they whom he hath set above and over the flocke, should be under it. Further, Sup­pose the Pastor to be most gracious, what if the flocke, or the greater part of the flocke become so wicked as to abuse their Pastor, or to abuse the most godly of the Congregation? What if a wicked spirit of Heresie, Schisme, or Tyranny, set the most part of the flocke against God, against their gracious Pastor, and the godly of the flocke, what shall be done in this pitifull, and very possible, yea, oft contingent case? Ind [...]pendency closeth the doore of the troubled Congregation, that no man may goe out to cry for any powerfull helpe to neighbours, though their kindled house should burne them all to death; within there is no remedy; for all most goe there by the number of voyces, and the most part oppresseth the best, the most wicked go on against the Councells, the intreaties, the prayers of the rest, and cease not till they have either corrupted or cast out their Pastor, Elders, and all of their fellow-members who are constant in goodnesse, that so their wickednesse without controle may domineere in the whole subdued Congregation. So long as Independency standeth, no effe­ctuall authoratative or powerfull helpe can possibly be found for the preservation of any single Congregation against ruine and to­tall subversion.

Further, Independency hazards the being of all Churches as well as of every one. For who shall hinder any member of a cor­rupted Congregation to infect all the neighbour Churches with the poyson of his doctrine and manners? If a ramping Lyon, a viperous Serpent, a crafty Fox should goe and devour all the Lambs of the neighbour flocks; Independency doth hinder any order to be taken with that limbe of Sathan, no sword of censure can be drawne against him, he must be referred absolutely to his owne Congregation; other Churches may intreate, advise, and pray him not to make havoke of them: but should he trouble, infect, and destroy twenty, an hundred, a thousand neighbour Congregations, no Ecclesiastick censure may passe upon him but by his owne Church: and when complaints of him come to his [Page 214] owne Church, his misdeedes there are excused, defended, com­mended; his Heresies are proclamed sound doctrine his devouring of soules is declared to be zeale and painfulnesse to win soules to CHRIST.

Our Argument is backed by experience, as well as by reason; The first Independent Church we reade of, was that company which Mr. Browne brought over from England to Middleborough; how long did it stand before it was destroyed by Independency? when once Anabaptistick novelties, and other mischiefes fell a­mong them, there was no remedy to prevent the companies dis­solution. When Mr. Barrow and his fellowes, assaied at London to erect their Congregation, the successe was no better; their Ship scarce well set out was quickly splitupon the Rocks, was soone dissipate and vanished. When Johnstoun & Ainsworth would make the third assay, and try if that tree which neither in England nor Zealand could take roote, might thrive in Holland at Amsterdam, where plants of all sorts are so cherished, that few of the most maligne qualite doe miscarry; yet so singular a malignity is innate in that seede of Independency, that in that very ground, where all weedes grow ranke, it did wither: within a few yeares new Schismes burst that small Church asunder: Johnstoun with his halfe, and Ainsworth with his made severall Congregations, neither whereof did long continnue without further ruptures; Behold who please, with an observant Eye these Congre­gations which have embraced Independency, they shall finde that never any Churches in so short a time have beene dis­graced with so many, so unreasonable, and so irreconcileable Schismes.

Neither the duties of cha­rity, nor the authority of the Magistrate can remedy these evills.Against these inconveniences they tell us of two remedies, the duties of charity, and the authority of the Magistrate; but the one is unsufficient, and the other improper The duties of cha­ritie are but mocked by obstinate Hereticks and heady Schisma­ticks; to what purpose are counsells, rebukes, intreaties im­ployed towards him who is blowne up with the certaine per­swasion that all his errors are divine truthes, that all who deale with him to the contrary are in a cleare error, that all the advi­ces given to him are but the words of Satan from the mouthes of men tempting him to sinne against God?

[Page 215]As for the Magistrate, oft he is not a Christian, oft though a Christian, he is not Orthodoxe, and though both a Christian and Orthodoxe, yet oft either ignorant or carelesse of Ecclesiasticke af­faires; and however, his helpe is never so proper and intrinsecall to the Church, that absolutely and necessarily she must depend thereupon. Now all our Question is about the ordinary, the in­ternall, the necessary remedies which Scripture ascribes to the Church within it selfe, as it is a Church even when the outward hand of the Magistrate is deficient or opposite.

Our sixth and last Argument: That which everteth from the very foundation the most essentiall parts of discipline,Our last Argu­ment, Inde­pendency is contrary to all the discipline that ever was knowne in Christendome before the A­nabap [...]ists. not only of all the reformed, but of all the Churches knowne at any time in any part of the world, till the birth of Anabaptisme, it can not be very gracious. But, this doth Independency: The Minor is cleare by induction: That the Government of the Scottish Church by Sy­nods, Presbyteries and Sessions sworne and subscribed of old, and late by that Nation in their solemne Covenant; that the same dis­cipline of the Churches of France, Holland, Swiiz, Geneva, as also the Politie of the High Dutch and English, and all the rest who are called Reformed, is turned upside downe by Inde­pendency, no man doubts; for this is our Adversaries gloriation that they will be tied by no Oathes, Covenants, Subscripti­ons: they will be hindred by no authority of any man, no re­verence of any Churches on earth, to seperate from all the refor­med, that so alone they may injoy their divine and beloved Inde­pendency.

If you speake of more ancient times, either the purer which followed the Apostles at the backe, or the posterior impurer ages; that the Politie of these times in all Churches, Greeke and Latine, is trodden under foote by Independency, all likewise doe grant: and how well that new conceit agreeth with the discipline pra­ctised in the dayes of Christ and his Apostles, or in the dayes of Moses and the Prophets, the preceding arguments will shew. I confesse such is the boldnesse of the men, against whom we now dispute, that although they glory in their contempt of the autho­ritie of all men, dead and living: yet they offer to overwhelme us with testimonies of a number, as well ancient as late Divines: But who desire to see all that dust blowne back in their own eyes [Page 216] who raised it, and the detorted words against the knowne mind and constant practise of the Authors, clearely vindicated and re­torted, let them be pleased to take a view of Mr. Pagets Posthume Apologie, where they will finde abundant satisfaction in this kinde.

The first Ob­jection or Ar­gument for In­dependency from Matth. 18.For the other side, a great bundle of arguments are also brought; we shall consider the principall. First: To whom Christ hath gi­ven the right of excommunication the greatest of all censures, they in all other acts of Jurisdiction, and in all acts of Ecclesia­stick discipline, are Independent: But Christ hath given the right of excommunication to every Congregation, and to these alone. Ergo, &c. They prove the Minor. Unto the Church Christ hath given the right of excommunication Mat. 18. Goe tell the Church, if he heare not the Church, let him be to thee as an Ethnicke: But e­very Congregation, and it onely▪ is the Church, because in the whole Scripture the word Church where ever it is not taken for the Church universall, or invisible, is ever understood of a single Congregation, which in one place with one Pastor serveth God. Answer. Passing the Majors, we deny the Minors, and affirme that no where in Scripture the word Church may be expounded of their Independent Congregation, and least of all in the alled­ged place; If we will advise either with the old or late Interpre­ters, or with the best and most learned of the Adversaryes them­selves, who affirme with us that by the Church Math. 18. no Congregation can be understood, unlesse we would bring in a­mong Christians most grosse anarchy, except we would set down on the Judgment seates of the Church every member of the Congregation, men, women, young, old, the meanest and weakest part of the people to decide by the number, not the weight of their voyces the greatest causes of the Church, to determine fi­nally of the excommunication of Pastors, of the nature of haeresie and all doctrine, and that with a decree irrevocable from which there may be no appeal, no not to an Oecumenicke Synod. Wherfore beside the rest of the Interpreters a great part of the Adversaries by the Church in this place understand no whole Congregation, nor the most part of any Congregation, but a select number there­of, the Senate or Officers who cognose and discerne according to the Scriptures.

[Page 227]This is enough for answer to the argument: but if further it be inquired, the Senate of which Church is pointed at in this place, whether of a Parochiall Church, or Presbyteriall, or Nationall, or Oecumenicke, or of all these. Ans. It seemeth that the Senate of all the Churches must here be understood, and especially of a Presby­teriall Church, at least not of a Parochiall onely and independent­ly as our Adversaries would have it. By no meanes will we have the Session of a Parish prejudged, and are well content that the authority of Parochiall Sessions to handle their own proper af­faires should be grounded upon this place; onely we deny that from this place a Church-Session hath any warrant to take the cognition of things common to it selfe with the Neighbouring Congregations, or yet to governe her proper affaires absolutely and independently so that none may attempt to correct her when she erreth, or by censure to put her in order when she beginneth by heresie schisme and tyranny to corrupt her selfe and others.

That in this place principally the Senate of a Presbyteriall Church is understood, is cleare; for of such a Church Christ here speaketh, as were the Churches at Jerusalem, Antioch, Corinth, and others in the new Testament which we proved before to have bin presbyteriall. The Senate of such Churches attending on govern­ment, and discipline, is here called the Church, as elsewhere, Act. 5.20. It seemed good to the Apostles, Elders and whole Church: The Church met to cognosce on the questions from Antioch, cannot be understood of all the thousand Christians at Jerusalem; it must then be taken of the Presbytery to which the cognition of such questions doth belong. In the fourth verse of the same chapter, Paul is said to be received of the Church, the word may well be expounded not of the whole Body, but of a select number there­of; even the Presbytery; as in the 21 he is said to be received of the Apostles and Elders, before the multitude had met together.

Only observe that however we affirme the Senate of a Presby­teriall Church cheifely here to be established, yet we under­stand not this in a way independent from provinciall, Nationall, or Oecumenick Synods; for all these meetings in their owne place and order are also grounded on this passage, as before hath beene declared.

Their second Objection: The practise of the Church of [Page 218] Corinth, The second Objection is taken from the practise of the Corinthians, ex­communica­ting the ince­stuous man. approved by the Apostles is the due right of every Paro­chiall Church and single Congregation: But, the censure of Ex­communication was the practise of the Church of Corinth ap­proved by the Apostle, 1 Cor. 5.12, 13. Do we not judge them that are within? therefore put away from you that wicked person. This judgement is authoritative, and this putting away is the censure of Excommunication, cutting off from the body of Christ, which censure is here committed unto the Corinthians, being gathered together in one, vers. 4. and so to them all, and every one of them: for to them all the Epistle is written, and not to the Presbytery onely. Answ. The Maior must be denied for two causes; First, The practise of the Corinthians was grounded not onely upon the expresse command of the Apostle, but also on the singular presence of the Apostles Spirit and authority with them in pro­nouncing the sentence of Excommunication against that incestu­ous person, v. 3. I as present in Spirit have judged already. This singu­lar priviledge of the Corinthians is not a ground of common right to every Church who wants the authority of the Apostles ex­presse command, and singular presence. Secondly, we may not argue from the Church of Corinth to every Congregation; for it is proved before, that the Church of Corinth was not Congrega­tionall, but Presbyteriall, consisting of so many as could not meete commodiously in one private roome; also it had within it selfe a Colledge or Senate of many Pastors, Elders, and Prophets; to such a Church we grant willingly the exercise of all acts, both of Ordination and Jurisdiction.

The Minor also cannot be admitted but with a double di­stinction; the act of Excommunication is given to the Church of Corinth, not according to its whole, but acording to the select part, to wit the Presbytery thereof. It maketh nothing against this, that the Epistle is written to the whole Church; for what is written to the whole Church indefinitely, must be applied accor­ding to the matter and purpose, sometime onely to the Pastors excluding the people: sometime onely to the people, excluding the Pastors: sometimes to both together, to Pastors, and Flock. The first Epistle, Chap. 1. vers. 12. Every one of you saith, I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, and I of Cephas; this cannot be taken of the Pa­stors, but of the people following Schismatically some one, some [Page 219] another of the Pastors. Likewise, Chap. 4. vers. 1. Let a man so count of us as of the Ministers of Christ, must be taken of the peo­ple, as Chap. 3. vers. 12. (Now if any man build on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones) is to be understood of the Pastors, as Chap. 4. vers. 2. Also it is required in Stewards that a man be found faithfull; but the most of the other places are to be expoun­ded of both. Now that the preceding passages concerning the Church-censures, are not true of the whole Congregation, it ap­peares; for beside the absurdity of confusion & Anarchy, it would follow that very women have right judicially to Depose, and Excommunicate by their voyces their Pastors, which the very Adversaries professe to reject as absurd, albeit not congruously to their Tenets; for it is not reasonable that the right which from these places they ascribe to every member of the Church, should be taken away from women, upon this onely reason that in 1 Tim. 2.11. a commandement is given to the women not to teach, but in silence to learne; for as the brethren of our Adversaries, the Anabaptists have marked, that place taketh away from women the publicke charge of Preaching, but not of speaking in judge­ment or giving their voyce in Church-judicatories. Surely, no­where absolute silence in Church-judicatories is injoyned to women, we truly give the power of witnessing, and of selfe-defence as well to women as to men in all Church-judicatories. However that the censure of the incestuous man was not inflicted by the whole Church, it appeares from the 2 Epist. Chap 2. vers. 6. Sufficient to such a man was the punishment which was inflicted of many. Who were these many but the Officers who were set o­ver the Church in the Lord?

Another distinction also would be marked, that whatsoever right we ascribe to the Church of Corinth, whether according to its whole, or according to any of its parts, whether we take it for a Presbyteriall or a Parochiall Church, all that right is to be under­stood not absolutely, nor independently, which here is the onely question. For the Church at Corinth had no greater priviledges then the Church of Antioch. Now that in a dubious and contro­verted case, and in a common cause the Church of Antioch was subordinate unto a Synod, it was before proved.

Their third objection. That which the Holy Ghost gives unto [Page 220] the seven Churches of Asia, The third Ob­jection from the example of the seven Chur­ches of Asia. must be the right of every single Con­gregation. But, the Holy Ghost gives unto the seven Churches of Asia all Ecclesiasticke Jurisdiction within themselves. Revel. 2.2. Thou canst not beare with them which are evill, and thou hast tryed them which say they are Apostles, and hast found them lyars. And ver. 14. I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam. And ver. 20. I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest the woman Jezabell to teach. Here the Churches of Ephesus, Pergamus, and Thyatira, are praysed, when they proceeded with censure against those who deserved it: and are dispraysed when they held in the sword of excommu­nication, and did not cast out Hereticks and prophane Persons.

Answ. Both the Propositions are vitious: The Major because the Churches in Asia were Presbyteriall, not Congregationall. This we proved of Ephesus, and we know no reason why the rest should not be of that same condition. Secondly, Albeit the Chur­ches of Asia at that time in the first preaching of the Gospell, and so in the great paucity of Churches should have had no Neighbours with whom commodiously and ordinarily they could keepe society: what is that unto the Churches of our dayes who live in the midst of many Sisters? The Minor also may not be granted; for that which the Text ascribeth to the Angell, may not by and by be applyed to every Member of the Church. We grant that great reason and many authorities doe prove and e­vince that the Angells in those places cannot be expounded of the single persons of Bishops, but of the whole Body of the Presbyte­ry in the which there was one man chosen by the Suffrages of the rest President for a time; but that by the name of Angell should be understood every Member of the Church, no reason will carry it. Beside, there is no consequence from one act of re­proofe to the whole right of Ecclesiasticke government even in every case; for a common cause and an appearance of errour and many other things, will inforce a necessity of subordination.

Their fourth Objection from the pra­ctise of the Church of Thes­salonica and Colosse.Their fourth argument: The right of the Church of Thessaloni­ca and Colosse belongs to every Church: But, the Church of Thes­salonica and Colosse had right to exercise every part of Ecclesia­sticke discipline within their owne bounds. Of the first, see 2 Thessalonians 3.6. Withdraw your selves from every Brother [Page 221] which walketh disorderly, and ver. 24. Note that man, and have no company with him that he may be ashamed. Of the second, see Col. 2.5. Joying and beholding your Order. Ans. Let the Maior be true of all the Churches of the same Species and Nature with these of Thessalonica and Colosse, that is, of all Presbyteriall. That the Church of Thessalonica was such, that it had moe Pastors, it is proved from the 1 to the Thessalonians 5.12. Know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you: that these were Pastors, it is the minde of the best Interpreters.

Also that in Colosse, beside others, Epaphras and Archippus did labour in the word and doctrine, is manifest from chap. 1. ver. 7. and chap. 4.17. Further, let the Maior be true of all Churches of that same state and condition with those named, to wit, when it falls out that few or no Neighbour Churches can be had with which such a society may be kept. Concerning the Minor, sup­pose that both the right and the exercise of all Ecclesiasticke acts were granted to the foresaid Churches, yet the question is not touched except you adde independently and in every cause and case even of aberration, and that without all remedy of appeale to any Synode; Vpon this hinge the Question depends, and of this the argument hath nothing.

Their fifth argument:Their fifth ob­jection from the Episcopall tyranny of the Presbyterie. That which abolishes our liberty pur­chased by Christs blood, and puts upon out necke a yoke equall to the Antichristian tyranny of Bishops, is intolerable: But, the de­pendence of Congregations upon Presbyteries and Synods doth so. Ans. The Minor is false; for the subordination of Churches im­ports no slavery & taketh away no liberty which God hath gran­ted; it is Gods Discipline and Order, it is the easie yoake of Christ not to be compared with the cruell bands of Bishops, since the one is humane, the other divine: by the meanes of the one, one man commandeth, either according to his free will, or according to the Canon-Law of the Pope; but by the meanes of the other, moe men advise in common according to the acts of the Refor­med Churches grounded upon the Word of God: The judge­ment seates of Bishops are meerely externall to the Church which they governe: But, Presbyteries and Synods are Courts internall, for the onely members whereof they consist, are the Comissioners of the Churches which they govern; these Churches [Page 222] they represent, the minde and desire of these Churches they doe propose, unto these Churches they give account of all their ad­ministration, they confirme and establish the rights of Congre­gations, they doe not abolish nor labefactate any of them.

Their sixt Ob­jection from the Congre­gations right to elect their Pastor.Sixthly, These who have power to chuse the Pastor, have also the right of the whole Ecclesiastick Discipline. But every Parish hath that power. Answ. The Major is not necessary; for there is a great difference betwixt the Election of Ministers, and Mini­sters Ordination, Deposition, Excommunication, and many o­ther acts of Discipline: Election is no act of Authority or Ju­risdiction. The Minor also is not true, if you understand it of all the members of the Congregation; for it is not needfull that Ministers should be chosen by the expresse voyce of every man, muchlesse of every woman of the flocke: Yea, that E­lection doth not alwayes belong to the whole flocke, except yee take election as many seeme to doe, for a consent with reason, to the which is opposed, not every, but a rationall dissent grounded upon cleare equity and justice: certainely it is needfull at some­times to misregard the peoples consent in chusing of a Pastor, for why should not a flocke infected with heresie be set under an wholesome and Orthodox Shepheard whether it will or not, and be rent from under the Ministrie of an hereticall Shepheard, how much soever against its owne minde?

Their seventh Objection from plurali­tie of cures cast upon one Pa­stor.Their seventh argument: That is not of God which maketh Pastors Bishops of other mens Diocesses, and layes upon them the care of other Congregations then those to which the holy Ghost hath made them Overseers: But, the subordination of Parishes to Presbyteries and Synods doth this. Answ. The Minor is false, for neither doth every member of a Presbytery become a Pastor to every Congregation subordinate to that Presbytery, neither are Congregations consociated and conjoyned in a Presbytery altogether, without the reach of the care and inspection of neigh­bour Pastors. This is cleare, not onely by the arguments former­ly deduced from Scripture, but by the daily practice of the Ad­versaries; for themselves professe their care to oversee, and admo­nish, and rebuke, and to use many other gracious actions as they have occasion, towards neighbouring Churches, without any blame of busie Bishops, There is almost no difference at all of [Page 223] their acts and ours toward neighbouring Churches, so farre as concernes the matter; the onely question is concerning the foun­taines and grounds of these acts, they ascribing their actions one­ly to charity, we not to charity alone, but to authority grounded upon the former reasons: This difference belongs not to the pre­sent plea.

Their eight argument.Their eight Objection from Christs imme­diate govern­ment of his Church. Onely Christ hath authority over the Kingdome of God, the House of God, the holy Jerusalem, his owne Spouse, his owne Body. But, every single Congregation is the Kingdome of God, &c. Answ. Passing by the Minor. The Major is false and Anabaptisticke: for by the same reason the Anabaptists exempt from all authority both Ecclesiasticke and Civill, not onely every Congregation, but every single person who are the members of Christ and his Spouse, and in whom the Kingdome of God doth dwell. The high and excellent stiles of honour which the Scripture gives not onely to whole Churches but to every particular Saint, exempts neither the one nor the o­ther because of their immediate subjection to God and Christ, from the bonds and yoake of any authority, either Ecclesiasticke or Civill, which the Lord hath appointed in holy Scripture. Christs internall government of soules by his Spirit albeit never so im­mediate, taketh not away the externall administration of men either in the Church or Common wealth.

Who please to see much more upon this Question, let them consult with Mr. Rutherfoord his Peaceable Plea, with Appolonius and Spanheim, with the Author of Vindiciae Clavium, especially with the Divines of the Assembly, their Answers to the Reasons of the dissenting brethren; of purpose I have abstained from making use of any of these Writings at this time, waiting for the Independents last Reply for their Reasons, and the Modell of their positive Doctrin which they have made the world to waite for too too long a time.

CHAP. XI. The thousand yeares of Christ his visible Raigne upon earth, is against Scripture.

The Originall and progresse of Chiliasme.AMong all the Sparckles of new light wherewith our Bre­thren doe intertaine their owne and the peoples fancie, there is none more pleasant then that of the thousand yeares; a conceit of the most Ancient and grosse Hereticke Cerinthus, a little purged by Papias, and by him transmitted to some of the Greeke and Latine Fathers, but quickly declared, both by the Greek and Latine Church to be a great error, if not an heresie. Since the dayes of Augustine unto our time, it went under no o­ther notion, and was imbraced by no Christian we heare of, till some of the Anabaptists did draw it out of its grave: for a long time after its resurrection, it was by all Protestants contemned; onely Alstedius, after his long abode in Transilvania, began in his last times to fall into likeing with some parts thereof, preten­ding some passages of Piscator for his incouragement. Alstedius Heterodox Writings were not long abroad when Mr. Meade at Cambridge was gained to follow him: yet both these Divines were farre from dreaming of any personall raigne of Christ upon earth: onely Mr. Archer, and his Colleague, T. G. at Arnheim, were bold to set up the whole Fabricke of Chiliasme, which Mr. Burrowes in his London Lectures upon Hosea doth presse as a necessary and most comfortabe ground of Christian Religion, to be infused into the hearts of all children by the care of every pa­rent at the Catechising of their family.

The minde of the Indepen­dent Chiliasts.Our Brethrens mind in this point, as I conceive, they have Printed; is this, That in the yeare 1650. or at furthest, 1695. Christ in his humane nature and present glory is to come from heaven unto Jerusalem where he was crucified; at that time the heaven and earth, and all the workes therein, are to be burnt and purged by that fire of conflagration, mentioned by Pe­ter, 2 Epist. Chap. 3. At the same time all the Martys, and many of the Saints both of the Old and New Testament are to rise in their bodies; The Jewes from all the places where now they are [Page 225] scattered shall returne to Canaan and build Jerusalem: in that City Christ is to raigne for a full thousand yeares; from thence he is to goe out in person to subdue with great bloodshed by his owne hand all the disobedient Nations; when all are conquered, except some few lurking in corners, then the Church of Jewes and Gentiles shall live without any disturbance from any enemy, either without or within; all Christians then shall live without sinne, without the Word and Sacraments or any Ordinance: they shall passe these thousand yeares in great worldly delights, beget­ting many children, eating and drinking and injoying all the lawfull pleasures which all the creatures then redeemed from their ancient slavery can afford. In this Earthly happinesse shall the Church continue till the end of the thousand yeares when the relicks of the Turkish and Heathenish Nations shall besiege the new Jerusalem, and Christ with fire from heaven shall destroy them: afterwards followeth the second resurrection of all the dead good and bad for the last judgement. Thus farre the Inde­pendent Preach and Print: further Cerinthus himselfe went not, if you will except the Polygamy and sacrifices of the old Israelits. What truth may be in these things, let the arguments which are usually brought▪ either pro or contra, declare.

Against the mentioned Tenet I reason, first,Our first rea­son against the Chiliasts is, that Christ from his ascen­tion to the last judgement a­bides in the heaven. He that remaines in the heaven unto the last Judgement comes not downe to the earth a thousand yeare before the last Judgement. But, Christ remaines in the heaven unto the last Judgement. Ergo. The Ma­ior is unquestionable; the Minor is proved from the Article of our Creede. From that place he shall come to judge the quicke and the dead, importing that Christ from the time of his ascention doth abide in the heaven at the right hand of the Father, and commeth not downe from that place to the earth till he descend in the last day to judge the quicke and the dead.

I know they are not moved with the authority of any humane Creed, yet they would doe well to speake out their minde of this Article, as they doe of some others. Surely to say that Christ shall come from heaven in his humane nature, to abide a thousand yeares on the earth, and then to returne againe to the heaven, that he may discend the third time from the heaven in the last day to judge the quicke and the dead, is so evident a perverting of that [Page 226] Article that Mr. Mead their great Doctor and leader in this Te­net, to eschew it, falleth into a very strange and singular conceit, wherein I doubt whether any of the Independents will be plea­sed to follow him; with all other Orthodox Divines he makes but two commings of Christ from the heaven to the earth; the first at the Incarnation, the second at the day of Judgement: but this day of Judgement he extends to a round thousand yeares, and this day to him is the onely time of the Millenary raigne. We neede not refute this fancie; for the best arguments which are brought for it, are some testimonies from the Talmudicke Rab­bins, and these, as I conceive, understood against the true sence of the Authors. The streame of Scripture and Reason runne more against this conceit then any other part of Chiliasme, as the most of the Chiliasts themselves will confesse.

However, what I brought from the Apostolick Creed of Christ his aboade in the heaven till the last day, I prove it from Scrip­ture, Acts. 3 21. Whom the heavens must receive till the time of the restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began. This place proveth clearely the aboade of Christs body in the heaven till the time of the restituti­on of all things. So much our Brethren grant, but they deny our assumption that the time of the restitution of all things is the last day; this therefore we prove not by the Testimony of all the re­formed, who unanimously bring this place as a maine ground a­gainst the Papists and Lutherans in the questions of Transubstan­tiation and Ubiquity, but by three reasons from the Text it selfe. First, that time here is understood when all things that are spoken of by all the Prophets, are performed: But, all things spoken of by all the Prophets, are not performed till the last day. Master Burrowes alleadgeance that all the Prophets are frequent and large upon the Raigne of the 1000 yeares, but rare and sparing upon the doctrine of the last Judgement and life eternall, might well have beene spared for the one halfe of it, and left to the Socino-Remonstrants; but suppose it were all true, yet if any of the Pro­phets have spoken any thing at all of the last Judgement, as the Apostle Jude puts it out of question even of Enoch it is cleare that the time of the performing of all things, which any of the Pro­phets have spoken, cannot possibly exist before the last Judgement, [Page 227] as we may see Rom. 8. ver. 21. compared ver. 18.23. where the re­stitution of the creatures to their desired liberty comes not before the redemption of our bodyes, and the glory to be revealed upon the whole Church at the last day.

Secondly, the time here spoken of is when the Jewes to whom Peter did speake, were to be refreshed, by the Lords presence; but this shall not be before the Generall resurrection; for the Chili­asts doe maintaine that all the Jewes shall not rise, neither that a­ny of them to whom the Apostle did then speake, shall be parta­kers of the first resurrection, unlesse some of them who were Mar­tyres; for the honour and Glory of this first resurrection, the most of them make it so rare and singular a priviledge, that Da­niel himselfe does not obtaine it but by a speciall promise.

Thirdly, The time when God doth solemly before Men and Angels declare the absolution and blotting out of the sinnes of all his people, is not before the last day. But this is the time whereof the Apostle Peter speakes in the present place, as appeares by the 19 verse; That your sinnes may be blotted out, when the times of re­freshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

Take but one other place for Christs aboade in the heaven till the last day. John 14.2.3. I goe to prepare a place for you, I will come againe and receive you to my selfe, that where I am there you may be. Behold Christ goes to the heaven and comes backe againe but once, for this very end, to take his Disciples with him, not to abide with them upon the earth, but to place them in the Mansi­ons of his Fathers House in the Heavens, which he went to pre­pare for them, wherein all the time of his absence he himselfe was to remaine.

A Second argument we take from Christs sitting at the right hand of God.Our second reason is buil­ded on Christs sitting at the right hand of God till the day of judge­ment. This errour how innocent soever it seeme to some, yet it perverts the true sence of sundry articles of our Creed, and forceth its followers to coyne new and false senses to a great many Scriptures whereupon these articles were builded. This was the reason why neither Piscator nor Alstedius nor Mead when they laide too fast hold upon some of the branches of Chi­liasme, yet the bulke and roote of that Tree, Christs comming downe to the earth in his humane nature a thousand yeares before the last day, they durst never touch: but our Brethren have more venturous Spirits, they see much further then their Masters, [Page 228] they scruple nothing to make all these things popular and Cate­cheticke doctrine. The reason I spoke of, is this, Christ sits at the right hand of God till the last day. Ergo, he comes not to reigne on earth a thousand yeares before the last day. The consequence is builded upon this Proposition, Christs sitting at the right hand of the Father is not in earth but in heaven, which many Scriptures prove. Ephes. 1.20. He set him at his own right hand in heavenly pla­ces. Heb. 1.3. He sat downe at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Heb. 8.1. He is set on the right hand of the Throne of the Maiesty in the heavens. The antecedent I prove thus, He sits at the right hand of God till all his enemies be made his footstoole. So speakes the Psal­mist, Psal. 110.1. But all his enemies are not made his footstoole till the last day: for till then, Satan, Sinne, Death, and all wicked men are not fully destroyed.

Our third rea­son is groun­ded on the re­surrection of the dead; the godly and un­godly doe all rise together at the last day.Our third argument we take from the resurrection of the dead. All the Godly at Christs comming from heaven doe rise immedi­ately to a Heavenly Glory. Ergo, none of them doe arise to a Temporall glory of a thousand yeares upon earth. The antece­dent see in Heb. 9.28. Ʋnto them that looke for him shall he appeare the second time without sin unto salvation. Christ hath but two times of comming to the earth, first in weakenes to die upon the Crosse; The second time in glory to give eternall Salvation without di­stinction to all beleevers who looke for his comming.

Also 1 Thes. 4.14. Them which sleepe in Jesus, will he bring with him. The Lord himselfe shall discend from heaven with a shout, and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meete the Lord in the ayre, and so shall we be ever with the Lord. The ground of comfort which the Apostle propounds to the Thessalonians for all their dead, as well Martyrs as others, was their resurrection, not before the Lords comming with the voice of the Archangell, but at that time when all the dead in Christ without exception do arise, and non of them abide on the earth, but all are caught up in the ayre to meete the Lord, and all remaine with him eternally thereafter without any separation.

See also, 1 Cor. 15.22. In Christ shall all be made alive, but e­very man in his owne order; Christ the first fruits, afterward they that are Christs at his comming; then commeth the end when he shall have delivered up the Kingdome to God. The Apostle here speakes [Page 229] of the Resurrection of all, and particularly of the Martyrs such as with the Apostle dyed daily and every houre were in jepoardy and fought with Beasts; although he professes to distinguish the diver­sity of order that might be in this great worke of the Resurrecti­on: yet he affirmes that these who are Christs, do not arise till his comming; and his comming he makes not to be till the last day when Christ renders up his Oeconomicke Kingdome, having de­stroyed all his enemies, especially death, & fully perfected the work of his mediation. This Resurrection is after the sound of the last Trumpet, when all the godly rise, and are changed, and put on incorruption and immortallity, when death is swallowed up into victory, and the godly inherit the Kingdome of God; these things are done at the last day, not a thousand yeares before it, as John 6. Christ avoweth thrice, in the end, ver. 39.40.44. I will raise him up at the last day. At that time the judgement is universall, both of the godly and wicked; and the execution of both their sentences is immediately by the present glorification of the one and the de­struction, of the other as we have it Math. 25.31. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, before him shall be gathered all Nati­ons; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepheard divi­deth his sheepe from the Goats.

Fourthly, we reason from the nature of Christs Kingdome.Our fourth rea­son is builded on Christs Kingdome which is Spi­rituall and not earthly. The conceit of the thousand yeares makes Christs Kingdome to be earthly, and most observeable for all worldly glory; but the Scripture makes it to be Spirituall without all wordly pompe; neither doth the Word of God make the Kingdome of the Me­diator of two kindes, and of a different nature, but one, uniforme from the beginning to the end, Luke 1.32. The Lord shall give him the throne of his Father David, and he shall raigne over the house of Jacob for ever. 1 Cor. 15.25. He must raigne till he have put all things under his feete; here there is but one Kingdome, and one way of ruling, a Kingdome meerely Spirituall, and nowise world­ly. Luke 17.20. The Kingdome of God commeth not with observa­tion, neither shall they say loe here, or loe there, but the Kingdome of God is within you. John 18.36. My Kingdome is not of this world; if my Kingdome were of this world, then would my servants fight; but now is my Kingdome not from hence. Rom. 14 17. The Kingdome of God is not meate and drinke, but righteousnesse, peace, and joy of the [Page 230] holy Ghost. Ephes. 1.20. He raised him from the dead and set him at his right hand in heavenly places, and hath put all things under his feete, and gave him to be head over all to the Church. The Millenaries make his Kingdome to appeare in Armies and Battells, in feasts and pleasures, in worldly pompe and power, and will not have his Kingdome to stand in any of that spirituall power which since his ascention he hath executed on principalities and powers, or shall performe upon the soules of men, till these thousand yeares of worldly power and earthly glory visible to the eyes of men shall begin.

Our fift reason is taken from the nature of the Church.We take our fifth argument from the nature of the Church; Scripture makes the Church of God so long as it is upon the earth to be a mixed multitude, of Elect and Reprobate, good and bad, a company of people under the crosse and subject to vari­ous temptations, a company that hath neede of the Word and Sacraments, of Prayer and Ordinances, that hath Christ a High Priest within the vaile of heaven interceding for them. But, the Doctrine in hand changes the nature of the Church, and makes it for a thousand yeares together to consist onely of good and gracious persons, without all trouble, without all Ordinan­ces, without any neede of Christs intercession.

Which ever on earth is mixt of good and evill.For the first, That Scripture makes the Church alwayes to be a mixed company, See Matth. 13.40. As the tares are gathered and burnt in the fire, so shall it be in the end of the world. The Sonne of man shall send forth his Angels, and they shall gather out of his King­dome all things that offend and that doe iniquity: and vers. 49. So shall it be in the end of the world, the Angels shall come forth and se­ver the wicked from among the just. Also, Chap. 24.11. Many false Prophets shall arise and deceive many, & because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall waxe cold. Luke 18.8. When the Sonne of man commeth, shall he finde faith upon the earth? These places declare the mixture of the wicked with the godly in the Church to the worlds end, and most about the end.

And subject to crosses.As for Crosses, See Psal. 34.20. Many are the afflictions of the righteous. Mat 5 4. Blessed are they that mourne and that are persecu­ted for righteousnesse. Acts 14.23. By many tribulations we must enter into the Kingdome of heaven. Rom. 8.17. If so we suffer with him, that we may be glorified together. 2 Tim. 3.12. All that will live [Page 231] godly in Christ Jesus, must suffer persecution. Heb. 12.6. Whom the Lord loves, he correcteth, and he scourgeth every child that he receives. Many such places shew the condition of the Church in this life that she is ever subject to tribulation.

Concerning Ordinances, that they must continue to the last day,Having neede of Ordinances See Ephes. 4.11. He gave some Pastors and Teachers for the perfe­cting of the Saints for the worke of the Ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ till we all come to a perfect man. And for the con­tinuance of the Sacraments, 1 Cor. 11.26. As often as you eate this bread and drinke this cup, yee doe shew the Lords death till hee come.

That in the most godly while they live on earth,Because of her sinfull infir­mities. sinne doth re­maine, and that alwayes we have neede of Christs intercession in the heaven with the Father, it is cleare from 1 John 1.8. If wee say we have no sinne, the truth of God is not in us. And Chap. 2. ver. 1. But if any man sinne, we have an Advocate with the Father. Heb. 9.24. Christ is entred into the heaven it selfe now to appeare in the pre­sence of God for us.

Thus the Scripture describes the condition of the Church on earth; but the Doctrine in hand alters much the nature of it for a great part of its time here: for of the 2650 yeares which they give to the Church from the comming of Christ to the last judge­ment, they make her to consist for a whole thousand yeares only of godly persons, without the mixture of any one wicked; and all the millions who are borne in the Church in that large time, they are free from their birth to their death of all crosses, of all sorrowes, of all temptations, and as it seemes of all sinne also; for that is the time of the restitution of all things when old things are past and all things become new: They make them to have neede neither of Word nor Sacraments, or any Church-Ordi­nance, neither of Christs Intercession in the heavens with the Father; for they have him among them in the earth, and they are freed from all sinne; and all misery.

A sixth Argument.A Sixt reason from the secre­sie of the time of Christs com­ming. Scripture makes the time of Christs second comming to be secret and hid, not onely to men, but to the very Angels, and to Christ himselfe as he is man, Marke 13.32. But of that day and that houre knoweth no man, no not the Angels which are in heaven, neither the Sonne, but the Father. But this Doctrine makes [Page 232] that day open, and tells the time of it punctually; for they make the thousand yeares to begin with the 1650 yeare, or else with the 1695. and the day of Judgement to be at the end of the thou­sand yeares; so if their count doe hold, every child in the Church might tell us that Christ will come to Judgement in the begin­ning of the 2651 yeare, or at farthest in the beginning of the 2696.

A seventh Argument. The reward of the Martyrs is eternall life in the heavens,A Seventh, from the hea­venly and e­ternall reward of the Martyrs. promised to them at Christs comming to judge the just and the unjust. Ergo, It is not temporall in an earthly Kingdome of a thousand yeares. The Antecedent is pro­ved from Matth. 5.10. Blessed are they that are persecuted for righ­teousnesse, for theirs is the Kingdome of heaven. 2 Tim 4.6. I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is neare; I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; henceforth is laid up for me a crowne of righteousnesse, which the Lord the righteous Judge shall give at that day, &c. The reward that Paul expects after his Martyrdome, is the Crowne which Christ at the last day gives to all that waite for his comming at that time when he takes ven-geance on the wicked, as we have it 2 Thes. 1.6, 7, 8, 9.10. where the rest and retribution of the Martyrs, of Paul himselfe and those who at that time were troubled for the Gospell, is said to be at Christs coming to take vengeance in flaming fire on all the wicked, and to be glorified in all the Saints, and admired in all them that beleeve which without all doubt is not before the last Judge­ment; and if it were otherwise, the Martyres would be at a losse; for instead of a reward, a punishment should be put upon them, their condition should be made worse then that of the common Saints, who during the time of the thousand yeares remaine in the heavens among the Angels, beholding and injoying the Trini­ty, while the soules of the Martyrs are brought downe to the earth, and returne to a body, not like to the glorious body of Christ, nor unto these incorruptible, immortall, Spirituall bodies, which yet are promised to the least of the faithfull at their re­surrection, 1 Cor. 15. but unto such a body that eates, drinkes, sleepes, fights, delights in fleshly pleasures, and converses with beasts and earthly creatures, in such a Paradise whereof the Turkish Alcorane and the Jewish Talmud doth speake much; but to a godly soule is very tasteles, and to a soule that hath beene in [Page 233] heaven, or to one that injoyes the presence of Christ, is exceeding burthensome and bitter.

An eight reason. The opinion of the Millenaries supposeth the restauration of Jerusalem and of the Jewish Kingdome after their destruction by the Romans. But, Scripture denies this,An eight rea­son, the resto­ration of an earthly Jeru­salem brings backe the a­bolisht figures of the Lgw. Ezek. 16.53, 55. When I shall bring againe the captivity of Sodome and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring againe the captivity of thy daughters in the midst of them. When thy Sister Sodome and her daughters shall returne to their former estates, and Samaria and her daughters shall returne to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall returne to your former estate. The Jewes are never to be restored to their ancient outward estate, much lesse to a greater and more glorious Kingdome. Ierusalem was to be rebuilded, and the spirituall glory of the second Temple was to be greater then the first; and in the end of this same chap­ter, the restitution of the Iewes after the Babylonish captivity, by the vertue of the new covenant is promised; but the outward estate of that people was never to be restored to its ancient lustre more then Samaria, or Sodome, as Amos speakes of Samaria, chap. 5.2. The Virgine of Israel is fallen, she shall no more rise. And Isaiah of Jerusalem, The transgression thereof shall be heavy, and it shall fall and not rise againe, according to the Prophesie of Iacob, Gen. 49.10. The Scepter shall not depart from Iudah till Shiloh come. Importing that the Tribe of Iudah should ever have some outward visible rule till the comming of Christ in the flesh; but thereafter the Scepter and power of the Church should be onely spirituall in the hand of Shiloh the Messias; he was the substance and the body of all these Types, the restauration of Ierusalem and the erecting of a new Monarchy in Iudah, for the Iewes, were to bring backe the old evanished shadowes contrary to the doctrine and nature of the Gospell.

One other reason. The Millenaries lay it for a ground,A ninth, Anti­christ is not abolisht till the day of Judge­ment. that Anti­christ shall be destroyed and fully abolished before their thousand yeares beginne; but Scripture makes Antichrist to continue to the day of Judgement. 2 Thes. 2.8. Then shall that wicked man be re­vealed whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightnesse of his comming. The brightnesse of Christs comming is not before the last day, as before is proved. [Page 234] See also, Revel. 19.20. The beast was taken, and with him the false Prophet; these both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with Brimstone. Compare it with vers. 7. Let us be glad and rejoyce, for the Marriage of the Lambe is come. Antichrist is cast alive into the lake at the Marriage of the Lambe; no living men are cast into hell before the last day; and Christs Marriage with his Church is not solemnized with a part of the Elect, but with the whole bo­die at the generall resurrection.

The Chiliasts first reason is from Re [...]l. 20.4For the opposite Tenet divers Scriptures are brought; above all, Rev. 29 4, 5, 6. And I saw the soules of them that were beheaded for the witnesse of Jesus, and they lived and raigned with Christ a thousand yeares; but the rest of the dead lived not againe till the thousand yeares were finished; this is the first resurrection. Hence they do infer Christs personall reigne upon earth for a thousand yeares; also the resur­rection of the Martyrs, and of some others a thousand yeares be­fore the generall resurrection: Divers such conclusions doe they draw from this place.Answer We Answer, First, that the resurrection 1 here is mentioned onely occasionally; also this place, as the most of this Booke, is Mysticall and Allegoricall; besides, it is without all controversie, the words cited are among the most obscure and difficult places of the whole Scripture; the most of the places al­leadged in the former arguments did speake of the resurrection purposely and at large; also in proper termes, without any Tropes or Figures, and were all cleare without obscurity; it is not reason­able to bring an Argument from one place where a point is handled onely by the way and that in Mysticall and exceeding obscure termes, against a multitude of places wherein the matter is handled of purpose largely and clearely.

2 Secondly, they who from this place reason against the com­mon Tenet, doe differ all of them among themselves in sundry materiall conclusions, the old Chiliasts from the late, and the late one from another Alstedius, Mead, Archer, Goodwin, Burrowes, Matton; every one of them have their proper conceits wherein they differ from the rest, as will be found by any who compare their Writings.

Thirdly, In all this Chapter there is not one syllable to prove 3 Christs being upon the earth, but that one word of the Saints reig­ning with Christ. Suppose the Text had expressed that they who [Page 235] did reigne with Christ, had beene upon earth themselves; this would not prove that Christ (because they are said to raigne with him) was upon earth with them; for Rom. 8.17. If children, then joynt-heires with Christ, if so be [...] that we suffer with him that we may be also glorified together. There is here in one verse three paralell phrases with that in hand, Heires with Christ, Suf­fering with Christ, Glorified with Christ; and a fourth, Ephes. 1.3. Who hath blessed us with all Spirituall blessings in heavenly places in Christ; Will it hence follow that Christs humane nature was then upon earth with them who suffered with him, were heires with him, were blessed in him in heavenly places with all spirituall graces, and were to be glorified with him? if none of these foure phrases imply a personall presence of Christ upon earth with men, much lesse will the place controverted doe it; for they speak expresly of men living upon the earth, but it speakes as expresly of the soules of men that were in the heaven; the same that are mentioned, Revel. 6.9. I saw under the Altar the soules of them that were slaine for the Word of God. This place then is so farre from proving Christs personall presence upon earth, that it imports the contrary, both because they that are said to reigne with him, were not upon the earth, but under the Altar in heaven; and also because in vers. 11. Christs Throne whereupon he judges the quicke and the dead, is mentioned after the raigne of these thousand yeares. Now we have proved from many Scriptures that Christ remaines in the heavens till he come downe in the last day to sit upon that Throne.

Fourthly, We deny that there is any thing in this place which 4 imports a bodily resurrection. They can produce no scripture where the first resurrection is ever applyed to the body; there be sundry places to prove a spirituall resurrection of the soule, from the death and grave of sinne, of errors and corruptions, before the last resurrection of the body, Coll. 2.12. You are risen with him through fayth: also 3.1. If then ye be risen with Christ &c. But a first resurrection of the body no scripture intimates; for so there should be not onely a first and second, but a third resurrection, as they tell us of a first, second, and third comming of Christ to the earth. Further, the resurrection here spoken of is attributed to the Soules of them that were beheaded; these are not capable [Page 236] of a bodily resurrection, in propriety of speech; and if to these soules, men at their owne pleasure without any warrant from scripture, will ascribe a body, they fall into a great inconveni­ence: for their love to this imagined first resurrection of the body, they overthrow both the heaven and the hell which hi­therto have beene beleeved; and make no scruple to create a new heaven and a new hell of their owne invention, to the dangerous scandall of all Christians.

Our new Chi­liasts are in­ventors of a new heaven and of a new h [...]ll.Master Archer seeing well the absurdity to bring a soule from heaven backe again to an earthly condition, tells us plainely That no soule at all went ever to that which we call heaven; That the Soule of Christ at his death, and of the good theife went onely to an Elementary Paradise, a place below the Moone, in the region of the ayre, or at highest in the Element of the fire; That Enoch and Elias are gone no higher; That no soule of any of the Saints goes to the third heavens where Christ is, unto the last day. As for hell, he tells us that all Christians but the Independent his fol­lowers, have beene in an error about it; he teaches that the hell whether the wicked now goes, is not that fire prepared for the Divell and his Angells, whether at the last Judgement they shall be sent; but onely a place of prison in the Low region of the aire, or in some part of the Sea, where the soules of the wicked are kept till the day of Judgement; but at the day of Judgement, he tells us of a second hell, very large, and farre higher then the pre­sent heaven of the Saints, the whole body of the foure Elements, all the heavens of the Planets and fixed Starres, and what ever else is below the third heavens the habitation of God; he turnes it all into the first Chaos, and makes all that confused body without any distinction, to be hell. In all this, the man is so confident, as if there were nothing in these strange novelties to be called in question.

5 Fifthly, We deny that in this place there is one syllable for any earthly Kingdome. They shall reigne with Christ, therefore they shall reigne with him upon earth: this is an addition to the Text. For, suppose the words did import a reigning upon earth, yet this would not inferre an earthly reigne, for the Kingdome of Christ is spirituall; like his Preisthood, and these two are here conjoyn­ed, ver. 6. They shall be Preists of God and of Christ, and shall reigne [Page 237] with him. Christians on earth are Preists, but not to offer bodily sacrifice; and while they are upon earth they are Kings, but not to rule mens outward estates: for if so, then there should be all these thousand yeares many more Kings then Subjects. Master Archer tells us confidently without any scruple, that not the Martyres alone, and some few priviledged Saints, as his Colleague T. G. would have it, but that all the godly without any exception, shall rise and be Kings to rule and judge the Saints, who shall be borne in the thousand yeares, Suppose it should be no disparage­ment for all these who then shall be borne, to be excluded, while they live from all places of authority and power: yet would it not be some piece of disorder to have more Kings to command then Subjects to obey, for I suppose that the godly of all by-gone ages arising together will be many more then the Saints in any one age of these thousand yeares.

Sixthly, we deny that a thousand yeares in any propriety of 6 speech, can be applyed to Christs Personall reigne; for if we speak of his reigne either in his nature or Person, it is eternall, and not to be measured by any yeares or time; and if we speake of his re­gall office as Mediatour, it must be much longer then a thousand yeares; for although we should cut off from his Monarchy all the yeares that are past since his birth to this day, which were much against the currant of scripture, since all this while he hath beene sitting upon the Throne of his Father David, and ruling his Church as King and Monarch thereof; yet it were uncomely to confine the time of his reigne to come to a thousand yeares; this were too small an endurance for his Monarchy. Many humane Principalities, sundry States and Empires which have beene and this day are in the world, might contend for a longer continu­ance, for this cause it seemes to be that Master Archer the most resolute Doctor in this question that I have met with, makes the thousand yeares we debate of, to be onely the evening of Christs Personall reigne; but to the morning therof wherein at leisure all the processes of the Last Judgement are gone through, he ascribes a great many more yeares, readily another thousand; and why not two or three or more thousands? It is good to be wise to sobri­ety; arrogant curiosity and presumptuous wantonnesse of wit [...]s detestable, though in the best men.

Seventhly, the place makes Satan to be bound up onely from [Page 238] seducing the Nations, that he should not be able as before the comming of Christ he was, to misleade the Nations of the whole world to Idolatry, a free doore then being opened to the Gospell in every Nation, for their conversion to the truth; but our new Doctors extend the place much further; they will have Satan bound up for a 1000 yeares, not onely from seducing Nations to Idolatry, but from tempting any person to any sin; this is contra­ry to these Scriptures which makes every Saint in all ages, to fight not onely with flesh and bloud, but with Principalities and Powers: which makes Satan always to goe about like a roaring Lion seeking whom he may devoure; and that so boldly that in the very presence of Christ, he doth seeke to winnow the best of his Disciples: yea, the place in hand gives to Satan in the very time of the thousand yeares, so great power upon multitudes of men who never were sanctified, but ever his vassalls, led by him at his will, that he makes them compasse the holy City, and the Campe of the Saints to fight against God, till fire from heaven did destroy them.

Their second reason from Daniel 12.Beside this famous place, Master Archer, Master Mattoun and T. G. in his glimps, bring a number of other scriptures for their Tenet, wherewith we neede not meddle: for Master Petree, and Master Hayne in peculiar treatises have answered them all; onely the cheife of them, which Master Burrows in his treatise upon Hos. 1. is pleased to chuse out, we will consider. He builds much upon Daniel. 12. as if it did prove the resurrection of some of the godly to an earthly glory a thousand yeares before the last Judgement; he borroweth from the glimpse foure arguments, word by word; there is a fifth also in the glimpse, which the most of that party doe much insist upon; the first is taken from the second verse of that 12 chap. At the last Judgement say they, all shall rise; but, in that place, many doe rise, not all.

We AnswerAnswer. We prove that the Prophet speakes here of the last 1 resurrection, by two grounds which our Brethren will not deny. First, the resurrection unto life eternall is onely at the last day; but the resurrection whereof Daniel speakes, is expresly to life eternall; not that prior resurrection which out Brethren aime at, to a temporall Kingdome of a thousand yeares. Secondly, the resurrection of the wicked to eternall shame, is onely at the last day; for according to our Brethrens Doctrine, the wicked have no part of the first resurrection, and rise not till the thousand [Page 239] yeares be ended; now, the resurrection whereof Daniel speakes in verse 2. is expressely of the wicked to shame and death, as well as of the godly to life and glory. As for their Argument from the word Many, it proves not that all did not rise, but onely that these that did rise, were many and a great multitude. Therefore Deodate Translates the words well according to the sence of the Originall, The multitude of these that sleepe in the dust. The Colle­ctives, omnes & multi, are sometimes Synonemy's, according to the matter in hand; as omnes must sometimes be taken for multi; so multi must sometimes be taken for omnes.

Secondly, They reason from the third verse, that in the last re­surrection 2 the bodies of all the Saints shall shine as the Sunne: But, in the resurrection whereof the Prophet speakes, no body shines as the Sunne, but some as the Starres, others as the Firma­ment. Answ. The preceding verse evinces unanswerably, that the Prophet here is speaking of the last resurrection to life ever­lasting; as for the argument, it doth not follow that they who here are said to have so much glory, may not elsewhere be said to have more; for that which here the Prophet intends to expresse is not the absolute but the comparative glory of the Saints; however the least disciple should shine as the Sunne, yet if ye compare his glory with the greater light of an other, you may expresse the glory of both in the similitude of lightsome bodies lesse glori­ous then the Sunne, if so these bodies differ one from another in degrees of glory; for all that the Prophet here aimes at, is onely this difference of glory. Christ in the Gospell makes all the Saints to shine as the Sunne, yet the Apostle 1 Cor. 15.45. di­stinguishing the different degrees of glory that is among the Saints, scruples not to expresse the glory of the most of them in the similitude of bodies lesse glorious then the Sunne; There is one glory of the Sunne, another glory of the Moone, another of the Starres; for one Starre differeth from another Starre in glory; so al­so is the resurrection from the dead. Further, will our Brethren af­firme that the bodies of the Saints on earth during the time of those thousand yeares, shall be so farre changed, as to shine like the Starres, and yet to eate, drinke, and sleepe? so much glory can hardly stand with so much basenesse.

Thirdly, They reason from the fourth verse; The last resurre­ction 3 [Page 240] is no mystery nor any secret to be sealed up to the end of the vision. But, the resurrection here spoken of, is such a mystery as must be sealed up.

Answer, First, according to Mr. Burrowes expresse profession in the same place, the Argument may be inverted; for the first resurrection to the thousand yeares of glory, he makes a Doctrine very well knowne and much insisted upon by all the Prophets before Christ; but the Generall resurrection and life everlasting he makes to be a hid and secret Doctrine which the Prophets in the old Testament doe scarcely touch. Secondly, Life eternall and death eternall, heaven and hell, are to this day very great Myste­ries to the most of the world; and Scriptures concerning these, are hid and closed above any other. Thirdly, The words speake not onely of the resurrection, but of the whole preceding Pro­phecie, especially of the peoples deliverance by Michael the Prince from the oppression of Antiochus, which was not much to be understood till it came to passe.

4 Fourthly, They reason from the last verse; Life eternall is com­mon to all the Saints, and no singular priviledge of Daniels. But, the resurrection here spoken of, is promised to Daniel as a singu­lar favour.

Answer, Mr. Archer who is deepest learned in these Mysteries, affirmes. That all the goldly as well as Daniel, had their part in the first resurrection; and indeede, if once you begin to distinguish, it will be hard to finde satisfactory grounds to give this glory to Daniel, and to deny it to David, to Moses, to Abraham and many others. Secondly, We may well say that life eternall albeit common to all the Saints, yet is so divine, so rare and singular a mercy to every one that gets it, that it may be propounded to Daniel and every Saint as a soveraigne comfort against the bit­ternesse of all their troubles. Thirdly, The place according to the best Interpreters, speakes nothing at all of any resurrection; onely it imports a promise to Daniel to live in peace all his dayes, that notwithstanding all the troubles, of the Church which he saw in these visions (as Diodate Translates it) yet so farre as concerned himself he should goe on to his end, and rest, stand, or continue in his present honours and prosperous condition to his death, and [...] of his dayes.

[Page 241]Fifthly, from the 11. and 12. verse they conclude peremptorily 5 the beginning of these thousand yeares to be in the yeare 1650; or at furthest 1695 for they make the 1290 dayes to be so many yeares, and the 1335 dayes to be 45 yeares more; these they make to beginne in the raigne of Julian the Apostate who after Constantine's death, did re-establish Paganisme in the Empire, and encouraged the Jewes to build the Temple of Jerusalem, till God hindred them by an Earthquake which did cast up the foundation-stones of the old Temple. Beginning their account at this time, the end of their first number falls on the yeere 1650, and of the second on the yeare 1695. This is Archers calculation, which T. G. and others follow precisely.

Answer, We marvell at the rashnesse of men who by the ex­ample of many before them, will not learne greater wisedome; if they needes must determine peremptorily of times and seasons, That they doe not extend their period beyond their owne dayes, That they be not, as some before them, laughed at before their owne Eyes, when they have lived to set the vanity of their too confident Predictions; however, in this calculation, there seemes nothing to be sound; neither the beginning, nor the middle, nor the later end. If the thousand yeares begin in the 1650 yeare, if Christ then come in person to the earth, what will keepe him from perfecting his Kingdome to the 1695 yeare thereafter; will he spend whole 45 yeares in warres against the Nations, be­fore they be subdued to his Scepter? Secondly, What warrant have they to begin their account with the Empire of Julian? Did he set up any abomination at all in the Church of God? He ope­ned againe in the Territories of his Empire the Pagan Temples, which by Constantine had been closed; by counsell and example he allured men to idolatry; but he troubled not any Christians in the liberty of their profession, he did not set up idolatry in any Chri­stian Congregation; The Lord did quickly kill him and so pre­vented his intended persecution of Christians. But although it could be verified of him, that he did set up the abomination of de­solation in the Temple; yet how made he the daily Sacrifice to cease? he was so far from this, that to t [...] uttermost of his power he la­boured to set up againe the daily Sacrifice which some hundred yeares ceased. Scripture speakes onely of two times wherein the [Page 242] solemne sacrifice was made to cease, and the abomination of de­solation was set up. First, by Antiochus Epiphanes, and then by Titus Vespasian; but of Julian his making the sacrifice to cease, Scripture speakes nothing. That Story of the Earthquake where­upon Mr Archer builds, albeit reported by some of the Ancients, seemes to be a great fable; Certainely, the application of it to Christs Prophesie of the Gospel, A stone shall not be left upon a stone, as if this had not been fulfilled till that Earthquake had cast up all the foundation-stones of the ancient Temple, is very temerarious. As The beginning and end of their calculation is groundlesse, so also the midst and the whole body of it is frivolous. What neces­sity is there to expound dayes by yeares especially in that place, where yeares are divided into dayes? In the very preceding words, vers. 7. the dayes here mentioned, are expressed by a time, times, and halfe a time: can they shew in any place of Scripture that e­ver a day is put for a yeare, where yeares, and dayes are conjoyned, and a few yeares are extended in the enumeration of all the dayes that are in these yeares?

The words of the Prophet Daniel are cleare, if they be taken as they lie; but if they be strained to a Mysticall sense, they become inexplicable. The Lord is comforting the Prophet and the whole Church by the short indurance of the desolations which Antio­chus was to bring upon them; for from the time of his scattering of the Jewes, and discharging of the solemne sacrifice, unto the breaking of the yoake of his Tyranny, it should be but three yeares and a halfe with a few more dayes: yea, unto that happy time when the plague of God should fall on his person, it should be but 45 dayes more. The History of Josephus and the Maccabees, makes the event accord with this prediction. Why then should we straine the Text any further to a new sence which neither a­grees with the event nor with the words?

Their third ar­gument.Another place alleadged by Mr. Burrowes, is Psalme 102.16. When the Lord shall build up Sion, he shall appeare in his glory; As if this did import both the building againe of Sion and also Christs glorious appearance upon the earth.

Answer.Answer. This place speaks of no such things; the ordinary Ex­position of late and old Interpreters, agrees so well with the con­texture of the whole Psalme, that to drive it farther, were need­lesse, [Page 243] the place speakes of the Babylonish Captivity, and of the earnest desire of the godly at that time to have Jerusalem and Sion then in the dust, againe restored. This desire of the Saints is gran­ted, and a promise is made to them that Sion should be againe builded, and that the Lord by this act of mercy should get great glory. But for any third building of Sion after the dayes of the Messias, or for any personall raigne of Christ upon earth, no syllable in this place doth appeare.

His next place is Rom. 11.12.Their fourth place. If the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them be the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullnesse?

Ans. There is nothing here for the point in hand:Answer. we grant willingly that the Nation of the Jewes shall be converted to the fayth of Christ; and that the fullnesse of the Gentiles is to come in with them to the Christian Church; also that the quickning of that dead and rotten member, shall be a matter of exceeding joy to the whole Church. But That the converted Jewes shall returne to Canaan to build Jerusalem; That Christ shall come from the heaven to reigne among them for a thousand yeares, there is no such thing intimated in the scriptures in hand.

Master Burrous fifth place, is Acts 3.20, 21.Their fifth place. He shall send Iesus Christ whom the heavens must receive unto the times of the re­stitution of all things.

Ans. That these words are to be understood of Christs com­ming to the last Judgement,Answer. and not of his comming to any Temporall Kingdome on earth, we did before prove.

His sixth place, is 2 Pet. 3.10.13.Their sixth place. But the day of the Lord will come as a Theife in the night, in the which the heavens shall passe away with a great noyse, and the Elements shall melt with fervent heate; the earth also and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up: never­thelesse we according to his promise, looke for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousnesse.

Ans. First it would be remembred that our Brethren do adde a­mong many other things,Answer. this also unto the Tenet of the old Chi­liasts, That before their golden age the earth and all things there­in must be destroyed; That the earth wherein they are to reigne, that the Beasts, Foules, Fishes, Trees and all other creatures they are to make use of in their thousand yeares, are to be of new cre­ated, [Page 244] all the old creatures in their whole kindes being burnt to ashes, and destroyed.

2 We say secondly, That this place is miserably misinterpreted; for all that the Apostle is saying, is in answer to the scoffers cavill verse 4. requiring in scorne the performance of the promise of Christs comming, not unto this thousand yeares raigne, but to the day of Judgement and perdition of ungodly men, as the Apostle speaks expressely vers. 7. Now, all the Chiliasts confesse that this Judge­ment and that perdition, is not till after the thousand yeares; so the burning of necessity according to their owne grounds, cannot precede, but must follow them.

Thirdly, the time whereof the Apostle speakes, is called the day of the Lord, the usuall discription of Christs comming to Judge­ment; also the day that comes on the world as a theefe in the night, which phrase oftentimes in scripture is attributed unto Christs comming unto Judgement, but is not true of his comming to the Millenary reigne: for the calculation of that time is so well knowne, that it is preached and printed to be at such a yeare, if not such a mounth or day. Also, this dissolving of the heavens and Elements with fire, is a concomitant of Christ his comming to the last Judgement, as is expressely intimated. 2 Thes. 1.8.9.

As for the words whereupon alone they ground their argu­ment, the new Earth wherein dwells righteousnesse. As if these words could not be true after the last Judgement: no righteous man then dwelling upon the earth. If they had looked upon the origi­nall, they would have seene the weakenesse of their collection; for the words runne thus, We in whom righteousnesse dwells, looke for new Heavens and a new Earth; The habitation of righte­ousnesse referring neither to the heavens not to the earth, but to the godly and righteous persons who did waite for the perfor­mance of the promise of new heavens and a new earth, as our late annotations doe observe; And though you would reade them according to our English Translation, yet that inhabitation needes not referre to the earth, but to the heavens onely, as Junius well observes. For it is not in qua terra, but in quibus coelis; and our Brethren if they beleeve Mr. Archer, must referre the Pronoune not to both the Substantives, but onely to the one; for he teaches That during the thousand yeares no righteous soule inhabites the [Page 245] heaven: and thereafter, that no righteous soule does inhabit ei­ther the earth or the heavens wherein now the soules of the god­ly are, all these being turned into hell, the habitation of unrighte­ous men and divells.

Mr. Burrows seventh place, Isa. 65.21.Their seventh place. And they shall build houses and inhabit them, and they shall plant Vinyeards and eate the fruit of them. and ver. 17. Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, &c. Hence concluding not onely a new heaven and a new earth for the Millenary reigne, but a planting of Vinyeards, a building of houses; which cannot be after the day of Judgement.

Ans. First,Answer. Master Burrowes referres this place to the former passage of Peter; if therefore Peters new heavens and new earth 1 must be understood of the life to come; Isaiahs new heavens and new earth must be understood of the same.

Secondly, Its very new and harsh divinity to say that after the 2 heavens have passed away with a noyse, and the earth with all the workes thereof are burnt up, that men shall plant Vineyards, and build houses upon the new earth; Therefore Master Burrows notwithstanding his argument and reference of Isaiah to Peter, seemes in that same place to retract and acknowledge that the new heavens and the new earth must be expounded by a Metaphor, and import no more then the doing of so glorious things by God for the Church, in the latter days, as shall manifest his glorious and creating power, as if he did make new heavens and a new earth. This is farre from the burning of the heavens and earth that now are. It is no more then what the Apostle Peter brings from the Prophet Joel: Acts. 2.19. And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signes in the earth beneath, bloud and fi [...], and va­pour of smoake; the Sunne shall be turned into darknesse and the Moone into bloud. All which Peter makes to be performed upon the day of the Pentecost. It is no more then that of Haggay 2.6. Yet once it is a little while and I will shake the heavens and the earth, and the sea, and all the dry land; which the Apostle Heb. 12.26, 27. makes to be performed at the first comming of Christ.

Thirdly, That the matter of this 65. chap. of Isai. v. 16. is to be 3 referred to Christs first comming, and the Apostles first pr [...]ching unto the Gentiles, is cleare by comparing the first verse of this chap. I am found of them that sought me not, with the 20 verse of the [Page 246] tenth to the Romanes; But Isaiah was very bold, and sayth, I was found &c.

4 Fourthly, to expound the Prophets in this fashion▪ were to stumble the Jewes, and to give them too great an excuse for their long misbeliefe, and too pregnant arguments for to delay their fayth while the Messias come to performe these promises upon earth, till their Ierusalem were againe builded, and they put in possession of the holy land, to build their houses and plant their Uineyeards therein; till they saw themselves put in possession of their present carnall & legall hopes. Yea, T. G. his literall exposition of this and the like places goes beyond the most of the Iewish ap­prehensions. For that any of the Talmudists do dreame that at the comming of the Messias, the Lyon shall eate straw, that the Leo­parde and the Lambe, the Serpent and the sucking childe shall be brought to such a sympathy of natures, as not to have the least disposition to doe harme the one to the other; That the life of men shall be so much at that time prolonged, as one of an hun­dred yeares must be taken but for an Infant and a childe; that the most fabulous of the Rabbins have gone thus farre in a lit­terall beleefe, I doe not know.

Their eight place.His eight place, is Heb. 2.5, 8. For unto the Angells he hath not put in subjection the world to come; but now we see not yet all things put under him; whence he inferres that Christ in the world to come, is to reigne and to have all things put under his feet, which is not now performed, the Apostle saying expressely that now all things are not put under him; neither is this true in the life to come; for then the Kingdome of Christ is rendred up to the Father.

Ans. The world to come is not that imaginary world of the 1000 yeares,Answer. whereof the Scripture speaks no thing; but the dayes of the Gospell of which the Apostle is there speaking, and shewing that the Gospell was administred not by Angells as the Law had beene upon Mount Sinai, but by the Sonne of God himselfe: This new world under the Gospell did differ more from the old world under the Law, then the earth in the dayes of Noah and the Patriarchs after the floud, from the earth in the dayes of Noah before the floud. This new world of the Gospell began with Christs first comming in the flesh; it was demonstrated in his Re­surrection, When all power in heaven and in earth was given to him. [Page 247] Math. 28.18. When all the Angells of God did worshippe him. Heb. 1, 6. When he was set farre above all Principalities and Powers. Ephes. 1.21. The accomplishment of this world is not till the Last day, when Death, Hell, and Satan, which yet are not made Christs footstoole, shall fully be conquered. These things cannot be verified of the thousand yeares. For according to Mr. Burrowes grounds, before they begin, many things are annihilated, and so not made subject; The heavens and elements are melted with fer­vent heate; The earth and the workes thereof are burnt up with fire; Also, during these thousand yeares, Christs chiefe enemies are not fully subdued; death still hath dominion over men; the devill is onely bound, but yet alive, and not cast into the lake.

His ninth place, is Ier. 3.16.17.The ninth place. They shall say no more the Arke of the Covenant of the Lord, neither shall it come to minde, neither shall they remember it; at that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord, and all the Nations shall be gathered unto it, neither shall they walke any more after the imagination of their evill heart. Hence, he inferres, A state of the Church in the Last dayes so glorious, that all things by-past shall be forgot; That Judah and Israel shall returne from their captivity to Jerusalem; That all Nations shall joyne with them; That they shall no more walke after their old sinnes; That Jerusalem which before times was at best but the footstoole of God, shall then become a throne of glory.

Answer.Answer. There is no word here of Christs abode upon earth for a thousand yeares. Secondly, the old things that are to be for­gotten, are expressed to be the Ceremonies of the Law, but no Or­dinance of the Gospell. The Prophet names the Arke and the Temple which by Christs first comming were removed. Thirdly, The walking of Iudah and Israel together, and the Nations joy­ning with them, Imports no more but the calling of Iewes and Gentiles by the Gospell to the Christian Church the heavenly Ierusalem: The same which the Prophet Esay hath in his second Chap. vers. 5. The establishing (in the Last dayes) of the House of God on the top of the mountaines; the flowing of all Nations thereto; for out of Sion shall goe forth a Law, and the Word of the Lord from Ierusalem; These Last dayes, were the dayes of the Apostles, when they from Sion and Ierusalem did blow the Trumpet of the Gospell to all the Nations▪ These were the times whereof Ieremy [Page 248] in the 15 verse of the Chapter in hand doth speake. I will give you Pastors according to my heart, which shall feede you with knowledge and understanding. The Pastors there promised, were Christ and his Apostles; better Pastors then these God never sent, neither e­ver shall send to his Church. Fourthly, Walking after Gods owne heart, doth not import a freedome from all sinne; but onely a state of grace, wherein according to the new Covenant, God gives his people a newheart, and writes his Lawes upon the same. Fifthly, That whereupon the greatest weight of the argument is laid, seemes to be a very groundlesse conceit, That Ierusalem, when it is a throne of glory, must be the old Ierusalem builded a­gaine; as if Ierusalem under the Law, and Ierusalem in the dayes of the Gospell (the Church in the new Testament, the mother of us all) were but the footestoole of God. This is a doctrine ex­presly against Scripture; for in divers places, Ierusalem, Sion, and the Arke, even in the old Testament, are called not onely the footstoole, but the throne of God Ier. 14.21. Doe not abhorre us for thy names sake; doe not disgrace the throne of thy glory. Also Chap. 17.12. A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our Sanctuary. The Lord did as it were sit upon the Mercy Seate as upon a chaire of State, under the Canopy of the wings of the Cherubins within the Sanctuary the chamber of his most Maje­stuous presence. Ierusalem under the new Testament, is called not onely the throne of God, but his footstoole, Esay 40.13. To beautifie the place of my Sanctuary, and I will make the place of my feete glorious. This place our Brethren expound of the Sanctuary during the time of the thousand yeares. However, it is cleare it must be expounded of the Church in the same times whereof Ie­remiah speakes in his third Chapter whence the Argument in hand is brought.

Their tenth place.The tenth place is Dan. 2 44. And in the dayes of these Kings shall the God of heaven set up a Kingdome which shall never be destroyed, and it shall stand for ever. Whence, is inferred an everlasting King­dome of Christ, & a joy of Ierusalem unchangeable to any sorrow.

Answer.Answer. Christs Everlasting Kingdome, is meerely spirituall and heavenly. That dominion which the Father gave to the Son at his Incarnation, Luke. 1.32, 33. The Lord shall give unto him the throne of his Father David, and he shall raigne over the House of [Page 249] Iacob for ever. This Kingdome for the matter of it, is truely ever­lasting, being the glory which Christ and his Saints injoy for e­ver in the heavens; albeit for the manner of the administration thereof it be rendred up by the Sonne to the Father, when the worke of mediation is perfected, and all enemies are fully de­stroyed. To deny the beginning of Christs Kingdome over his Church, unto the thousand yeares, is many wayes absurd; And, because of the eternall indurance of his dominion and glory in the heavens, to make the Church on earth in which he raignes, to be voide of all tribulation, of all changes, to have a perpetuall day without any darkenesse, is contrary to the Scriptures al­leadged in the former arguments.

In the eleventh place, he alledgeth Revel. 19.13.Their eleventh place. And he was cloathed with a vesture dipped in blood. And Ezek. 21 28. And there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grie­ving them of all that are round about them. Whence, they inferre That in the beginning of the thousand yeares, Christ with his owne hands shall kill so many of the wicked, that his garments shall be dipped in blood, and not one of them left to trouble the Church.

Answer.Answer. It is a very strange conception to make the Lord Je­sus embrue his holy hands in the blood of so many men. That these battells are not fought with the hands of Christ, in a literall way, will appeare by a paralell place, Isay 63.1. Who is this that commeth from Edom, with died garments from Bozra? Unto Christ here are ascribed garments died in blood, because of the slaughter of the Edomites, a little after the Babylonish captivity, at which time Christ had neither a body nor a garment in propriety of speech. As these battells were fought by Christ, not in his owne person nor upon the earth; so neither these battells of the Revel-which so much the lesse can be literally expounded, as in the 14 and 15 verses of that 19 Chapter, the instrument where­by Christ is said to fight these battells, is not any Sword in his hand, but the two-edged Sword of his mouth; and the Souldiers whom he leads out to these battells are not armed with Sword and Speare, but ride upon white Horses, cloathed in fine linnen white and cleane.

As for that of Ezechiel, if you consult either with the origi­nall, or the best Interpreters, it must be expounded first and prin­cipally, if not solely of the Towne of Sidon which the Lord was [Page 250] to destroy, that it might no more be a thorne in the side of Israel.

From this, to inferre the purging of the Christian Church of all other enemies in this life, and that by killing of them all as cursed Canaanites: were a dangerous conclusion, farre from the justice and innocence of Christians in all by-gone times, the beleefe whereof would quickly renew unto us the horrible tragedies of the Anabaptists.

The twelfth place.In the twelfth place, he cites Rev. 21.23, 24. And the City had no need of the Sun, neither of the Moone to shine in it; and the Kings of the earth doe bring their glory and honour unto it. also chap. 22. ver. 1, 2, 3. and he shewed me a pure river of the water of life, &c.

Answer.Ans. The Divines who apply these two chapters to the condi­tion of the Church upon earth after the calling of the Jewes, take the most of the passages in a figurative and allegoricall sence. To expound them literally and properly, of any Church on earth, the Text will not permit. Shall ever the Church on earth be so free of sorrow and death, as not to sorrow for sinne, or to have none of its members mortall? Shall they so immediately see the face of God, as the use of Temples, Tabernacles, or any ordinance, shall be needelesse? shall ever man upon earth, be without the Sunne and the Moone? These things are true in a proper sence, onely of the Saints of heaven. What is here alleadged to the contrary, That the Kings of the earth bring not their riches and honours to the Heavens; we say, it is but a part of the Allegorie, to expresse un­der that similitude the glory & wealth of the life to come; as in the same place, the Spirit of God expresses the happinesse of heaven by the Metaphors of gold and pretious stones, of rivers and foun­taines, of trees and fruits. To expound all these in a literall sence, of any Church either in earth or heaven, were incommodious; except our Brethren would put us upon more fancies then any of them yet have spoke of.

Their last place.In the last place, they cite for the gifts of the Saints, Zach. 12.8. He that is feeble among them, in that day, shall be like David; and the house of David shall be as God: and for the honour of the Saints that in the thousand yeares they shall be taken into private fami­liarity by Princes and great men, Rev. 11.12. And they heard a great voyce from heaven saying unto them, come up hither; and they ascended up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies beheld them.

[Page 251]Ans. The gifts meant by Zachary, Answer. are such as are powred upon all the Saints of the New Testament with the spirit of grace and supplication, which makes the least of the Kingdome of Heaven to be like unto David, to Elijah, and greater then John the Bap­tist, as Christ speakes. But what is this unto the imaginary glory of the Chiliasticke Kingdome? The honour they speake of, can­not be fetched out of that eleventh of the Revel. For who but themselves will expound heaven in that place, of the Thrones of Kings, of the Privie Chambers of Princes and great men? The calling up of the two witnesses to heaven, by none else but them, will be taken for the Saints familiarity with great States-men: And according to their own Tenets, in the Chiliasticke Kingdome there is no such degrees of honour, as in this world. For there Christ in his owne Person is King, and all the Saints doe shine at least as the firmament; and the glory of these Saints is greatest whose grace is most eminent. Familiarity with Princes and worldly States-men, is then for no purpose. Beside, the ascention of the two witnesses to the heavens, is before the fall of the tenth part of Rome, and so before the thousand yeares beginne.

There be yet some more places cited by Master Burrowes and others for their Tenet; but these which we have answered, are the principall: and if they be cleared, there is no difficulty in the rest.

Besides Scriptures, Master Burrowes takes from the Glimpse of T. G. sundry testimonies of antiquity; all which, T. G. does borrow from Alstedius. To the which I answer, That no Prote­stants build their fayth upon humane testimonies; and, no men in the world make so small account of antiquity as our Brethren. It is marvellous if in earnest they should encourage themselves in their Tenet by such testimonies of the Fathers, as by the Catho­lick consent of all posterior antiquity and the unanimous profession both of Protestants and Papists this day, are censured of error.

Who pleases to know the minde of antiquity in this subject, Let him consult especially with Augustin de civitate dei. Booke 20. almost through the whole; and the Commentaries of Vives, and Coqueus thereupon. If humane authorities either ancient or mo­derne, could give our Brethren any satisfaction in this question, it were easie to present them with great store thereof.

[Page 252]Thus farre had I proceeded when by my Superiours I was called away from these Studies to an other imployment, so what I intended to have spoken to the Anabaptists, the Antinomi­ans, the Erastians, and especially to the remainder of the Popish and Prelaticall Malignants I must remit it to another Season.


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