A brief DISCOVERY OF THE Corruption of the Ministrie of the Church of England: OR, Three clear and evident grounds from which it will appear that they are no Ministers of CHRIST.

I. A Parrallel between them and the Jewish Priests.

II. A Parrallel between them and Si­mon the Sorcerer.

III. A Parrallel between them and the artificiall marchandizing tradesmen,

Published for the Information of all By THOMAS COLYER.

LONDON, Printed for Giles Galvert, and are to be sold at the black spread-Eagle at the west end of Pauls.

To the Reader.

READER, the reason why I have brought forth this small Treatise to publike view, is for thy infor­mation, who hast been a long time deluded with a Ministry of Antichrist, under the name and notion of a Ministry of Christ.

2. Because the Lord hath said it, that we should shew no pitty to Babilons inhabitants, much lesse then to the ring-leaders of that mysticall confusion, that at this day the world lyeth in, under the name of Church, Ministry, Ordinances, &c. Some per­chance may suppose that the end of this discovery, is to make them contemptible in their persons, names, &c. flowing from a private spirit of revenge. But truly friends it's not so, I can say truly, the Lord hath taught me another lesson, to doe good to ene­mies, pray for them, seek their conversion; and I can say truly, that it would be a great joy to me, to see any of them enlightened, renewed, changed; but when I behold the great confusion that is among [Page] the men of the earth, principally occasioned by the Ministers of the earth; thousands, and ten thou­sands, lying not only dead in trespasses and sins, but in professions and Ordinances, &c. I say not only for Zions sake, but for the sake of the poor deluded Soul, who live below and without truth; under the profession of something like the externall part of truth. I cannot hold my peace, till all these falshoods and delusions fall to the ground, and the glory of Zion be more known and lived in: read, and judge with an impartiall spirit, and I trust you shall not finde one word of a malicious spirit; not like Mr. Edwards, reckoning up personall infirmities, for then I could say much more; but clearer and true discoveries of deceivers under the name and notion of Christ.

Thus much by way of information, as likewise by way of prevention of thy mis-understanding of that which followeth: by him who remains thy friend, and the truths servant.

Thomas Colyer.

The first Parrallel. BETWEEN The JEWISH Priests and Levites: And those of our times.

The Jewish Priests and Levites, and those of our times are as like, as if they had indeed been all the Sons of one Father, the Tribe of Levi; they say the Lot of Gods own Inheritance, although in truth, there is no such thing.

1. THe Jewish Priests were to offer Sa­crifice, to make Peace and Re­conciliation for the sinnes of the People; and herein they were a Type of Christ, Levit. 9. with Hebr. 9. This hath been one principall work of the Priests of these latter times to offer Sacrifice, to make peace and reconciliation for sinne; this hath been their end in praying, and pressing others to pray, that so they might make peace and reconciliation for transgression, although not positively, yet circumstantially, there it ends, though Christ be often mentioned, yet not [Page 2] without prayers, teares, reformation, &c. to fit the Soul for Christ.

2. Hence it is, that sinners are so often prest to weeping and mourning, that so they might weep and mourn out sinne, and never tell of believing, till sinne be wept forth, and then believe; nay, that there is no ground of believing till then: a meer delusion, a very lye. Hence it is likewise that prayers, dayes of Humiliation, have been so much exalted, as peace-ma­kers, and the glory of both of internall consolation as of externall deliverances hath been given unto it, and the Priests must have the greatest share of that ho­nour. Why? Because they pray most, and best, they doe it by office; it is their trade to offer Sa­crifices, to make peace: others may pray wel, and doe much, but they can pray better, because they doe it by office; this I have heard ascerted by them, there­fore affirme it; and thus they have not only been peace-makers themselves in their own apprehensions, but have directed others to the same work, to the same way: what is the conversion taught by them but only a legall conversion from sinne to duty. If thou canst forsake thy sinnes, pray, hear Sermons, walke holily, my soul for thine thou shalt be saved; thus setting up self-reformation, duties, &c. in the roome of Christ, making peace.

Oh wonderfull and horrible delusion! And People, look well unto your selves, if you build upon this foundation, and so live and die, you are like to be undone for ever; If the blinde lead the blinde, both are like to fall into the pit.

2. The Jewish Priests were to interpret the Law, Nehem. 8. 7, 8. Hence it is that Christ cals them Lawyers, woe be unto you Lawyers, &c. and this hath been the work of the second Tribe a long time, to in­terpret [Page 3] the Law, to set people a working for life, Preaching the Law, and threatning judgement, to drive to Christ, and not to draw with the cords of love, which is sutable unto the Gospel. True it is of late, that many of them have learned to say something of the externall part of the Gospel, because else they cannot be esteemed, neither will their wares goe off any longer, people having received some farther light; but this they doe with much confusion, some times almost loosing themselves; and some-times thwarting, and contradicting themselves often in a Sermon Al­though it be well known that not many years since, it was a matter of fact, and deserved censure, to preach Christ freely, justifying sinners without themselves, duties, prayers, tears, reformations, to fetch in love, consolation, &c. not acting to God from the enjoy­ment of life, peace, love, power, &c. so that they might enjoy Communion with God, and receive from him what is their own in him.

3. The Jewish Priests were to purifie their wo­men, Levit. 12. They were to be accounted unclean, untill the time of their purification: this is likewise the work of the Priests of these times, to purifie the women, until which time they are accounted as for­merly, unclean. I wonder what is become of the Lamb and the Pigeon, commanded for a burnt and a sin offer­ing, vers. 6, 7. It's like, the Priests-prayer must passe in stead of it; only note, in one thing they passe the Priests then, though they come short in the Pigeon and Lamb, (that is) they provide a purifying Sacrifice, and sell it unto the women instead of a Lamb, a prai­er or two for four pence, although skarce worth it.

4. The Jewish Priests were to live by Tythes and offerings, they had no portion given them in the [Page 4] land of Canaan; and this hath the Priests of our times appropriated to themselves, they are Priests of the Tribe of Levi, as themselves say, and they doe the worke of Priests, and therefore they must have the maintenance of Priests: to wit, Tythes and Offerings, and this they plead for by Divine▪ Right, from the Old Testament, because set a part for the Priests then under the Law. It is true, some of them plead for it from humane right, because the Parliament (say they) have given it unto them: but it seems it mat­ters not much with them, whether it be of Divine, or Humane right, so they have it, they desire not much to dispute the businesse; take him Gaoler is the strongest syllogisme they desire to make use of, for confirmation of this, as of all other their Divine Humane rights.

I shall a little examine the busines about Tythes, before I passe this particular, Numb. 18. 21. You shall finde that Tythes were given to the Tribe of Levi; And behold I had given the Children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for the service which they serve, even the service of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, &c. Where you may take notice:

First, That Tythes were set a part by God, Levit. 27. 3.

Secondly, Comanded only of the Jewes, and none else.

Thirdly, To be paid in the Land of Canaan, and no other Land mentioned in Scripture; the Jewes were not commanded to pay it, till they came into that Land, where the rest of the Tribes had inheritan­ces given them, and the Tribe of Levi none, for the tenth was reserved for their Inheritance.

Fourthly, It was to be paid to that Tribe, (viz.) the Tribe of Levi and none else, if any other Tribe [Page 5] or person had appropriated it to themselves, they had been Theeves and Robbers; Mal. 3. 8.

How this illigitimate Tribe, that now appro­priates Tythes to themselves, can free themselves from the like, I leave it to all men to judge.

5. The end of the payment of Tythes, was for the livelihood of those who served at the Altar. 2 Cor. 9. They were under a Legall administration, there­fore they were to live of the Law; but those who are under the Gospels dispensations, they live of the Gospel: that is, free, for Gospel▪ people are a free people; and Ministers who live in a free Covenant of Grace, can trust God for their maintenance, and be content with a little: as Christ and his Apostles, who could say truly, that though they had nothing, yet they possessed all things.

Object. It is said, Gen. 14. That Abraham paid Tythes to Melchisedeck, which was not in the Land of Canaan, neither yet to the Tribe of Levi.

Answ. True, yet note:

First, Abraham gave the tenth voluntarily, and freely, not by compulsion, as now the Priests demand it.

Secondly, Abraham paid the tenth of the spoil which he had taken in war from the enemy, and none else, which is no warrant for the taking of the tenth of all; therefore all that can be expected thence, is but the tenth of spoil taken in war, if the Souldiers are free to give it.

Thirdly, This tenth of the spoil was given to Melchisedeck, and not to them; therefore unlesse they prove themselves to be Melchisedeck, this Scripture will doe them no good at all, which I thinke they will not assume; for he was an imediate Type of Christ: Hebr. 7. as were the Priests and [Page 6] Levites, to whom Tythes were due, and that by an Ordinance not of man, but of God.

4. The Tribe of Levi in Abraham paid Tythes to this Melchisedeck; therefore no ground for our second Tribe to demand Tythes, but rather to pay Tythes, if Melchisedeck come to demand them.

Object. If Tythes were not paid, how should Mini­sters be maintained, for it is meet that those that preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel; but we know by experience that many places would skarce maintaine their Ministers bread, if they were not compelled by a Law; therefore it is convenient that Tythes should be paid.

Answ. First it is an evident ground, that they are no Ministers of Christ, that will not trust him for their maintenance, and a principall note of infidelity; a wonderfull dishonour to Jesus Christ, to pretend to be his Servants, and yet will not trust him, but will be caring and providing for themselves. It is, as if a ser­vant conditioning with his master to serve him, should not only indent with him for maintenance, but would be caring and providing for himself: nay, not only caring and providing for himself, but conditioning with another man to care for him, and to give him wages; this is the dealings of the Priests with Jesus Christ, they will not trust him: Questionlesse it is be­cause they are none of his Servants, they doe not his work, if they did, they would be content with his wages, which is free gift, as well Temporally as Spiritually.

Secondly, Those who cannot preach without Tythes, or any other stinted maintenance, it is an argument they seek more their own bellies, then the honour of Jesus Christ, like unto your day-labourers, that will be sure to know their pay, or else they will [Page 7] not work: such belly-gods are they, that if any put not into their mouthes, they even prepare war against them.

Quest. Did ever Christ and his Apostles practise the like?

Answ. They never set forth an holy Ordinance for Tythes, they never vext men at Law in all their lives; nor ever were they Wolves unto the Sheep, but rather as meek Lambs, in sufferings deep.

It is very just that they should be pined for want, and that for these Reasons:

First, Because they would not trust Jesus Christ, but forsake him, and trust to the power of Magistracy to maintaine them; the civill Sword is the funda­mentall of their livelyhood; now can they blame Christ, if he care not for those that will not trust him? Did he ever engage himself by promise to such a people, if ever their Masters that set them a work, from whence they expect power to fetch in mainte­nance, leave them? As such a time will come: Who then will care for them, when their mountaines will not cover them any longer?

2. Because they thrust such a people upon Jesus Christ as he never owned, no wonder if such a people starve their Teachers; and just it is it should be so, for they starve, delude, and undoe their Souls, telling them they are Christians, a Church, when they are not: was ever such a thing as this heard of, that a Minister of Christ should be in doubt of starving, unlesse he provide for himself by a Law? A wonder­full and horrible thing is committed in the Land, The Prophets prophesie lyes, and the Priests bear rule by that means, and the people love to have it so, and what will you doe in the end thereof?

3. Because the Lord hath said it, The Lions [Page 8] shall lacke and suffer hunger, but they that fear the Lord and wait upon him, shall want nothing that is good.

Quere. Are the Priests of England Lions?

Answ. Yea, For first, Lions get their prey by violence, so doe they; witnesse their holy Ordinance for Tythes, witnesse their taking by violence from those to whom they might better give; witnesse their greedy desire to devour with open mouth, the Lambs of Jesus Christ, would the Parliament once grant their unsatiable desire; Witnesse their Petition to the Parliament to have them burnt with the letter B. to have them prosecuted as felons for their lives: this was the good will of the Priests to the poore Lambs of Jesus Christ: but when their Lion, the Lord Jesus shall roar out of ZION, all the Beasts of the Forrest shall tremble, which will be ere long.

Thus are they like to be a Generation that must suffer want, at least in their Souls, in the time of drought, when the Towers fall. Isaiah, 65. 11, 12, 13. Yea, (to wit) The Saints shall eat, but they shall be hungry, yea, shall drinke, but they shall be thirsty, &c.

5. The Priests were the greatest enemies to Jesus Christ in those times; they it were, who hired Judas to betray him; who cryed out, crucifie him, crucifie him, a way with such a sellow from the earth; they it was who gave large monies to the Souldiers to belie him, and to say his Disciples stole him away by night, &c.

This hath been, and is the practise of the Priests in our dayes, under the notion of Hereticks and Se­ducers, to destroy the Saints: And why? Because the Saints discovering truth, will destroy their errour and falshood; we desire not the Magistrate to destroy [Page 9] them, but liberty to professe and practise truth, be­fore which they are not able to stand, no more then a morning dew before the Sun.

6. The Priests under the Law, they loved the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief places in Syna­gogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men Rabbi, Mat. 23. 6, 7.

Quaere. Were the Scribes and Pharises Priests?

Answ. Yea, See Nehem. 8. 9. Ezra the Priest, the Scribe, &c. And this is the expectation of the Priests now, there need no Scripture to prove it, they love the uppermost rooms at Feasts, and usually have it; and the Chief Seats in the Synagogues, that was in their places of meeting, now (not for want of ig­norance) commonly called Churches, who have the Chief Holy high place, where none may come but themselves, with their consent, with reverence be it spoken: and greetings in the markets, the cap and knee is much expected, and to be called of men Rab­bi, that is, Master; although there be no master in a Towne besides, yet this Priest must be a master: this is one of Solomons evils that he had seen under the Sun, Servants on Horse▪ back, and Masters walking on foot as servants, on the ground; they are the peoples Servants, they expect their wages from them. Oh horrid pride! Was ever such a thing as this heard of? What, Servants become their Masters Master. Servants on horse-back, riding, ruling, and their Masters on foot, made slaves unto them.

7. They built the Tombes of the Prophets, and garnished their Sepulchers, Matth. 23. 29. but they persecuted Christ and his Apostles: so doe our Priestly Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites, pretend to have high thoughts of Christ and his Apostles, but are as ready to persecure and kil the disciples & followers [Page 10] of Christ as ever the Priests of old; they build their Tombes, and garnish them; they spend all their time, and study to finde out the minde of Christ and his Dis­ciples in their writings, and yet come infinitely short of it: Christ a Carpenter, Paul a Tent-maker, Peter a Fisher-man, all of them poore tradesmen: yet these men of Arts and parts, spend all their time, and make use of their Authors, to understand what they write: but if God raise up any Fisher-man, Carpenter, Cob­ler, or the like, in him, and by him, to reveal his truth; O away with such a fellow from the earth! he is a Mechanick fellow, one of no breeding, he know­eth not the Originall, &c. I warrant you if Christ and his Apostles were on the earth againe, they should finde as hard measure from them, as ever from the Priests of old:

What doe these but Justisie the proceedings of all persecutors that have gone before them, and so bring upon themselves all the righteous blood-shed, even from the blood of Abel, untill this time?

8. And finally the end of all was, that they might hold up their Religion, and in that their honour and profits: they knew, if they should let Christ alone, he would destroy their religion, and so lay them open unto contempt. This is likewise the ground of our Priests opposing and persecuting the Saints, to uphold their Nationall Church, Religion, Worships, &c. And therein their Honour, viz. the Cap and Knee of the Vulgar; their profits, Tythes, their great DIANA; This they can doe, but by the exalta­tion of their humanity, Arts and parts gotten by their industry at the Universities; and this is their greatest Goddesse DIANA; by which they uphold all, and hope to keep in their credit, with the ignorant still; but this Diana learning in the things [Page 11] of God, will fall and break its neck ere long, as Dagon before the Ark, it begins to tremble already, it dares not look truth in the face, without the power of Par­liament to assist, &c.

Second Parrallel. BETWEEN Them: and Simon the Sorcerer, Acts 8.

SImon Magus his sin is looked upon by those who know not what it was, as very horrid and wicked, and it's true, Peter said that he declared himself by it, to be in the gall of bitternesse, and bond of iniquity; the Priests give a very high and learned interpretation of it, (that is,) to buy a Parsonage; and this they call Simony, who so buyes a Personage as Simon Magus: But I believe if we come to examine what was Simons sinne, we shall finde more Sir Simons, then many are aware of.

Simons sinne, it was First, to buy the gifts of the holy Spirit.

2. As it is generally understood, to that end he might sell them again, and its likely to be true, for it would have gotten him much credit as well as profit; [Page 12] he should have made a good exchange, for the losse of the spirit and power of divination and sorcery, to have gotten the Spirit of God, by which, he thought quick­ly to inrich himself.

So then, here was Simons sin, he would have bought the gifts of the Spirit, to that end he might have sold them, that so he might inrich himself by it. See then how the Priests of our time run parrallel with him.

I argue it thus, Those who buy their gifts, of pur­pose to sell them, are guilty of Simon the Sorcerers sinne. But the Priests of England buy their gifts of purpose to sell them, and get gain; Ergo, the Priests of England are guilty of Simon the Sorcerers sin. That this was Simons sin, is cleared; that who so doth the like, are guilty of Simons sin, is unquestionable; that only which remains to be proved, is, That the Priests of England, buy their gifts of purpose to sell them. First that they buy them it will appear, these things considered.

First, What gifts and abilities they have, are hu­mane, such as they have attained in the Schools, which cost them much money, as well as industry for the gaining of them.

Secondly, Their appropriating all abilities of Preaching, to themselves, accounting it altogether impossible for any other to have any gift at all, who have not bought it like themselves; so that they doe not only buy themselves, but deny any other way of attaining gifts, to any else; pretending Phylosophy to be the Mother of Theology; Ah horrible blasphemy against the Spirit, who is freely given, and freely op­perates as it pleaseth.

Thirdly, Their owne confession when they come to sell, that their gifts cost them much money; [Page 13] and therefore they sell them at the dearest rate.

2. That they buy of purpose to sell, appears:

First, It was the great end for which they were by their Parents dedicated and set a part a purpose to get a living, even as they binde their children Appren­tices, &c.

Secondly, It appears by their practise, which is, to sel all, and that at the dearest rate too; witnesse their looking after the greatest and fattest livings, where there are most▪Calves, Lambs, and Tyth-pigs, Corne, Hay, and Gleb-land, thither usually is their call; wit­nesse their often removing from a lesser living to a greater, ten pounds more per annum is a sufficient call from one Parsonage to another; witnesse their first quere, what it is worth per annum, and if that pleaseth them, then they go, never querying what Saints be there: nay, so far are they from that, if they hear that Christ and Saints be there, then they dare not come there, for fear that light will discover their darknesse; witnesse their indenting for thus much by the weeke, in case they supply any place that wants, which is so much clear gain unto them, for their own pay goes on neverthelesse at home; witnesse, their Petitioning the Parliament for increase of maintenance, where they judge it is too little, although some of them have 40. pound, some 80. li. some 100. li. some 140. li. and besides a great wrong to the Parliament, or at the least to the Subject; witnesse the common practise of Towns and populous places, who beholding their temper, dare not attempt the getting of a Minister, as they desire to be called, untill they first make up, ei­ther by petition to the Parliament for the states mo­ney which poor Soulders want, or some other way, a round sum of money; which being effected, puts courage into poore simple Country men to ad­venture [Page 14] into their presence with all lowly submission.

Sir, we have maintenance for an honest man, per­haps 100 li. per annum, if that be too little, wait a while, and perhaps 200. or 300. appears, which will serve to make up the bargain: just as a servant who puts forth himself for a year will make the most of his service; al­though it's true, the conditions are contrary.

Conditions.
  • INprimis, I will be your Minister (which signifies a Servant) or rather your Lord, on condition that you will engage to give me thus much by the year in money, or Tythes, as the condition is. Ergo, the Priests of England preach for hire.
  • 2. I will be your Minister in name, provided I may be your Lord; for so they are indeed, and rule over you, and you will become subjects and slaves un­to me, bow down before me, and call me your Master. Ergo, the Priests of England are the peoples Lords.
  • 3. I will be your Minister, provided you will not contradict me in what I preach and teach you, if you will believe as I believe, and teach you; or rather then this Article shall make a breach, they will get an Ordinance from the House of Lords, which will serve their turn to prevent any from objecting against their Orthodox Divinity, although never so humane: O hor­rible impiety! Men may now preach lyes by a Law.
  • 4. And finally, I will be your Minister, provided that I may have my liberty to remove again when I see a call: which is like to be the next Parsonage tendred, wherein 10. or 20 li. per annum be augmented to his [Page 15] yearly maintenance: as the hired servant keeps him­self at liberty for his own advantage, at the end of e­very year.

Thus the bargain is made, and the condition is drawn, the Priests now with much comfort and ala­crety, fals a preaching, for he knowes to a peny what he hath comming in for every Sermon he makes. One thing by the way I cannot omit, which I have known: in case any one be so simple as to limit himself for thus much by the year, while he live, unto a people, they have a way to fetch him off again with credit as thus: refer it into the hands of a Jury of Divines (as they call them) although indeed but humane, the sim­ple people agree unto it; judging these men, if any, will be honest.

This Jury of humanes quaeries into the businesse, finde that their brother hath engaged himself for life, perhaps for some 70 li. per annum, the more simple man he: Now within a year after, some 6 or 7 score is tendred, the conclusion it delivered in, he may law­fully suspend with his promise, and former engage­ment, being called unto another place.

1. There is more maintenance, the great Lord that drawes; he is by the Scripture to provide for his own, or else he is worse then an Infidell.

2. There are perhaps more Souls, and so more need of a Preaching Ministry, &c. And thus the man may lawfully remove, his brethren so determine it: And why? It possibly may be their own turn next; that this is truth: witnesse Master Swayn at Trad­brook in Suffolk, (with others) thus the minor appears, that the Priests of England buy, that they may sell for advantage; therefore guilty of the sin of Simon Ma­gus: so that the truth is, we have many Sir Simons amongst us, though under fair pretences and colours: [Page 16] only note one word by the way, wherein it will ap­pear, that they exceed Simon in wickednesse.

1. Simon would have bought the gifts of the spirit, that so he might have done something for his money: but these men buy humane gifts instead of the spirit, and set up, and sell that, as if it were spirit.

2. Simon had good thoughts of the spirit, he would have bought it: but these cry down the spirit, calling it a spirit of giddinesse, and its like they know no other spirit, but that which comes from Oxferd, or Cambridge: Horrible blasphemy against the spirit! Mat. 12.

3. Simon did only desire the spirit himself, not to limit it to himself, as those who know not what the spirit is, who would have none to have it but them­selves: no Fisher-man, as Peter; or Tent-maker, as Paul, &c.

4. And finally, Simon was made sensible of his sin, might repent for ought that any one knowes; he desired the Apostle to pray for him: but the Simo­nists of our times are so farre from repenting, that they still justifie themselves in their wicked­nesse, and I am afraid, it will be a very hard thing to recover many of them to repentance, unlesse when too late.

A Third Parrallel. BETWEEN Them, and the Artificiall Merchan­dizing Tradesman.

THe onenesse between the Artificiall Tradesman and the Priests, will appear, these few things con­sidered.

The tradesman, before he attains his craft, or cal­ling, must first be an Apprentice seven years, that so he may get understanding and art in his calling, for there is some mystery in every calling; therefore time is required for the understanding of it, which by the Law is not judged lesse than seven years.

So it is with the Priest; he must, before he can be his crafts-master, spend many years in the Schools, perhaps twice seven before he comes to maturity, at least, he had need be one seven years in the Universi­ty, commonly called the schools of the Prophets, the nursery of piety, or rather of impiety and wickednesse, the well-head of Divinity, or rather humanity; and then by this time he hath gotten a pretty good head and hand, he is, its likely, able to make a sermon now and then, or else he must needs be a very dunce, for he hath a very dull head that cannot learn his trade in seven years; yet so it comes to passe among these men very often, as well as other tradesmen▪ some are more ready and handy in it then others, one can make two Sermons perhaps, while another can scarce make one: [Page 18] so it is with your Shoomakers, Taylers, or any other handicrafts-man: and so like other tradesmen, they prove differently; some prety honest in their way, o­thers knaves, some drunkards, others sober, some whore-masters, others chaste, some more wise and crafty, others simple and foolish, and thus now their Apprentiship being expired, they are become Masters of Art. The second thing to be expected, is their freedome to set up their trade: so it is with the handi­crafts-man especially in the City of London, or other priviledge places, for a small matter they are declared free-men of London. So it is with the priests, after they have served their Apprentiships, gained the Art of making a Sermon, and before two, some of them; they now must get their freedom, which is the appro­bation and ordination of some principle men of the same Art; thus it is with the tradesman, and thus it is with the Priests, that is, either the hands of the Pre­lat, or some other Prelaticall, Episcopall creatures, newly Anabaptizeed into the name of Presbyters, or CL Asses.

3. The tradesman having obtained his freedome, he now opens shop-windows, and sets himself to work: so likewise those Priests, they have their shops, (viz.) their studies full of good old books, Authors, Fathers, all expositures of Scripture, and they set themselves to work, search one Author, and another Author, and for the most part these are the fountains from whence they draw all: come to ask their judgement upon a­ny text of Scripture, you must tarry till they have looked their expositers, and then they will tell you what their expositers say, whether it be true or false; for you must note, they are not infalliable, nor Apo­stolicall. 4. The tradesmen must have a time to make their wares, he cannot make them with his [Page 19] word, nor blow them together with the winde: the shoomaker must have his time to make his shooes, the Tayler to make a garment, &c. and when its made, its made, & not before. So must these tradsmen of another nature have their times to make a Sermon, some a moneth, some two weeks, some one, some two or three in a week, when like to have good sale, but a time they must have to make it up, they cannot preach by the spirit, alas! they know not what it is, they are strangers unto it, they oppose it, this is that will throw down these Sermon-makers in conclusion; when poor tradesmen, Coblers, Taylers, Tinkers, Plow men Car­penters, all sorts of men shall preach the everlasting Gospel, with so much light, life, and power, that will darken all the light of these Sermon-makers; and then none will buy their wares any more.

5. When the tradesmans ware is made, it is then fit for sale, and he hath his free market in his owne town, he steps forth sometimes into other markets, that so he may vend his wares at the dearest rates, it is his liberty, and doubtlesse he may lawfully doe it; and sometimes when he wants ware, he buies of another to fit his customers, that so he may keep his calling go­ing: so it is likewise with our spirituall merchandi­zers when their Sermons are made, they have their market daies to set them at sale, their Sunday or their Sabbath, the first day of the week: well might they, as I have heard them formerly, stir up people to come to their spirituall markets; for they sell all, and that at an excessive, excised rate too, and they have their change of markets, if it make for their advantage; they can sell one year perhaps for twenty shillings a Ser­mon, the next they have found a new market place, where they can sell it may be for 40 shillings or three pound a Sermon, then Sermon-making is worth som­thing, [Page 20] a goodly trade: many Gentlemen of note and quality bring up their children to this craft; and they can besides this, break forth now and then a day into a new market, which ads unto the old store, for this they are sure, their own goes on at home, although themselves keep market in another place; and some­times when necessity, or idlenesse drives them to it, they buy of other men, viz. Preach a Sermon of ano­ther mans, if the people know it not, it goes for cur­rant, though sometimes they can read along with them as they preach, but I must confesse this is something base. Thus it appears, that our spirituall Merchants run parrallel with the temporall, and that Preaching is become a meer art amongst men; and truly they have their shops full of godly wares; by which they delude and deceive souls, John in Revel. 18. 11, 12. Opens their shops, or rather their pack, where he gives them the tearm of Merchants; and abundance of good ware there is, and they sell all, and the souls of men too.

Quere. How may they be said to sell the souls of men?

Answ. In that they own those to be Christians, which are no Christians, and those to be Churches, which are no Churches, for this very end, that they may inrich themselves; thus they sell souls, that is, de­lude and undoe souls under the name of Christians for money; witnesse their readinesse to sprinkle and co­zen Infants, if their parents pay them Tythes, else not: they sell the souls of men, for five or ten pound, they will forsake their cure of souls, as they call it, sel them for gain, be a shepherd to them this year, sell his Inte­rest in them the next, go whither they will, he cares not, if he can get advantage: a very hireling, that doe not only fly from his flock when danger comes, but sels his interest in them for gain, come what wil come of them, he cares not; although it's confest, it's better [Page 21] where they are not, then where they are, for there is some hopes of undeluding poor souls.

Thus it evidently appears, that the artificial trades­man, and the Masters of Arts the Priests, run parrallel together, as much spiritualnesse in the one as in the other; I mean in relation to their calling; although its confest that the first is lawfull, the second, altogether earthly, sensuall and devilish; only take notice of a word by the way, wherein it will appear, that the Art and trade of making and selling of Sermons, far ex­ceeds all other arts and trades besides, and that in these following particulars.

1. In their Gentility, they are masters before e­ver they open their shops, or set up their trades.

2. In their sale, they usually have the highest mar­kets, they often sell their Sermons (when cheapest) for an Angel; when one might buy as good in a book­sellers shop, and it may be a better for three pence, so that their ware comes usually to a good market, espe­cially of late, except some poor ones, or Cavaliers, they its like would be content with a reasonable mar­ket sometimes, but its like ere long that this trade of Sermon-selling will be very dead and low, so low; that they will stand weeping and crying alas! alas! for no man buies their wares any more; and how will their honour, house-keeping and hospitality go forwards then?

3. They have one great advantage more, they doe not only meet with the dearest markets, but they can sell one Sermon diverse times, they can sell a Sermon, and yet keep him to make and sell twenty paire of ser­mons, and yet have never the lesse. Let any handi­crafts man come forth and doe the like, if they could, they might well inrich themselves: but was ever such a thing as this heard of? What, sell a thing, and keep a [Page 22] thing, and sell it again? Yea, and again too perhaps. Should I know a shoomaker sell shooes, and yet keep them, and sell them again, I would brand him for an arch cozoner, or the like of any other calling.

4. Advantage, They can sell that which is not money nor ware, as the proverb is; so it be some­thing it passes: a tradesman must sell that which is good, or else he shall be counted dishonest, and the buyer hath so much liberty as to try it, to look into the goodnesse of it, if he like it, he buyes it, if not, he leaves it; but these Merchants have gotten an Ordi­nance to compell men to receive what they bring them, be it good or bad: Oh horrid wickednesse! What, must we have it whether we will or no? You Merchants of London, stir up your selves, get you such an Ordinance if you can, it must needs inrich you: What, sell all manner of stinking wares by a Law? And none durst question it?

5. They are Monopolizers too, they have gotten their Pattentees to Monopolize all to themselves, none must sell, nay, none may give, when they sell; a wonderfull way to inrich themselves, Was there ever such a thing as this heard of? What, to Monopolize the gift of Preaching!

Quere. Is not this against the liberty of the Subject?

Answ. Yea, questionlesse.

Quere. Have not the Parliament declared against it?

Answ. Yea.

Quere. Was it not one end of the Parliaments war to free the Subject from it?

Answ. Yea, it was so pretended, and I suppose it was really intended.

Quere. Are not Monopolizes and Monopolizers much more dangerous and dishonourable, in spirituall things then in temporall?

[Page 23] Answ. Yea, For first, Herein the free operation of the spirit is as much as lyeth in man prevented by it.

Secondly, Poor ignorant English men are much a­abused by it, who know not their liberty.

Thirdly, the spirituall Merchants of the man of sin, the kingdome of Anti-christ, are inriched by it.

Quere. Did the Parliament thinke they had made a Patentee, and the Priests Monopolizers, when they gave them that Ordinance, that none should preach but them­selves?

Answ. I suppose they did not, if they had, they could not have walked in a way so directly against their own principles, their own Declarations, and the Subjects liberty.

Quere. May we not expect that the Parliament will call in this Patentee again?

Answ. Yea, questionlesse, when they see the evil of it, and it is the subjects liberty to expect it; it is that for which they have adventured their lives, suffer­ed the losse of their estates; and therefore it cannot but be a great bondage and burthen unto the subjects, to see and feel the heavy yoak and bondage of Mono­polizers yet remaining.

However, God will take their Patentee from them, for the Saints must speak those things they have seen and heard; notwithstanding their engrossing all into their own hands: Thus have I briefly, and plainly discovered the carelesnes and corruption of the Priests of England, notwithstanding their fair pretences, not scandalizing their persons, but discovering their evil conditions, to that end that Englishmen might not be enslaved, especially in their spirits, unto such a gene­ration, who alone seek themselves.

Three Quaeries Answered.

QUaere 1. Was not the Jewish Priests and Levites typicall: And did not they type forth the Ministry of the Gospel?

Answ. Its true, they were typical, but they typed forth Christ, the great high-Priest of Saints, Hebr. 9. Not the Priests of these times.

2. They were a type of all the Saints in Christ, for Christ and the Saints are one, and all the Saints are the Lords portion, an holy Priest-hood unto the Lord, 1 Pet. 2. no Priest-hood by office, but all the Saints are Priests.

Quere. 2.

Is it not necessary, seeing the gifts of the Spirit are lost, that there should be a getting of those gifts again by hu­mane industry, as Tongues, Arts, &c.

Answ. 1. It is all one, as if a man should be so sim­ple, as having lost a pearl, should instead thereof, buy a clod of dirt, a good satisfaction for such a losse; the gift of the Spirit being lost, get a little of the wisdome of man, which is but as dung, and drosse in compari­son of it; the wisdome of the flesh is death, Rom. 1. 6.

2. Its the Anointings of Anti-christ, the Spirit [Page 25] being lost, Antichrist sets up the wisdome of the flesh in room of it, for in all things Antichrist seeks to imi­tate Christ, as well in the flesh, as in the spirit.

3. The Saints are made pertakers of the same Spirit the Apostles were; for if the spirit of Christ be not in you, yee are none of his; Christ is in you, else you are reprobates, if so, then no need of all this Humanity.

4. This Spirit of God manifest in the Saints, will discover and destroy this Humane spirit of Anti-christ; by things that are not in the worlds eyes, wil he bring to nought things that are.

Quere. 3.

If Ministers of the Gospel may not lawfully indent for maintenance for their Preaching, seeing the labourer is worthy of his hire, and he that provides not for his own is worse then an Infidel?

Answ.

1. If Christ and his Apostles, or either of them did so, then they may, else not, Gal. 6.

2. If it stands with the fidelity of a servant to his master, else not: freely ye have received, freely give.

3. Christ hath undertaken to care for those that trust him, Luke 10. Matth. 6.

Sixteen Queries of concernment, Propounded, with a desire of an Answer from those who can, or please.

1. IF ever the Lord made use of any as Ministers of his minde, unto the people, that were bread idle at Schools and Universities all the daies of their lives, without a calling, as the Priests of England, but rather the contrary, as Moses a shepherd, Elisha a Plough­man, David a shepherd, Amos a Herds-man; Christ himself a Carpenter, Paul a Tent-maker, Peter a fish­erman? &c.

2. If ever Christ and his Apostles did get a Paten­tee, viz. an Ordinance from man to Monopolize the gift of Preaching to themselves?

3. If ever Universities and Schools of humane learning were in Scripture, called the fountains, or well-heads of Divinity?

4. Whether ever Christ and his Apostles did In­dent with their hearers, what to have for preaching before they preached unto them?

5. Whether ever Christ and his Apostles built their Churches by humane Authority?

6. Whether Christ and his Apostles did at any time gather the prophane carnal men of the world in­to [Page 27] the Church, excluding the Saints, who out of ten­dernesse and light, follow him?

7. Whether ever Christ and his Apostles deterred any from Preaching the Gospel, by the powers of the earth?

8. Whether ever Christ and his Apostles made use of these two great bug-bears, so common in use with the Priests of England, to prevent the Saints from preaching the Gospel, and the world from hearing them, viz. 1. The approbation and ordination of the men of the earth. 2. Humane learning, the language of the Beast, without which men are in their account altogether unmeet to medle in the things of God?

9. Whether ever Christ and his Apostles first bap­tized, and then twenty or fourty yeares after taught them faith?

10. Whether ever Christ and his Apostles deluded the World, viz. the ignorant and prophane, with the name of Christians; when there was no such thing ap­peared?

11. If ever Christ or his Apostles had a hundred or two hundred pounds per annum for Preaching?

12. If ever Christ and his Apostles appropriated Tythes to themselves for preaching?

13. If ever Christ and his Apostles did remove from one Parsonage to another?

14. If ever Christ and his Apostles did confirm the truth they delivered by the power of the Magistracy, Authors, Fathers, &c.

15. Whether the Spirit teaching be not sufficient in the things of God?

16. Whether it be not the work of Christ, and that which is to be expected in these later daies, to overturn, overturn, overturn, all these things acted by men, contrary to his own minde?

FINIS.

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