[Page] AN Humble Plea FOR THE QUIET REST OF GOD'S ARK. IN A SERMON Preached before the Right Honourable Sr. John Moore, LORD MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON, At St Mildred's Church, Feb. 5. 1681/2.

By Samuel Crossman, B. D. Prebend of BRISTOLL.

Discidia nostra amicorum dispendia, hostium compendia, & pub­lica irae divinae incendia sunt. Hieronymus.

London, Printed for Henry Mortlock, at the Phoenix in St.Paul's Church-yard, and White Hart in Westminster-Hall. 1682.

THE PREFACE.

Reader,

THE insuing Discourse being in part a difficult expostulation with the renitencies of our present Age, I intend not to involve any mans name in the Patronage of it.

Let it stand or fall, as the worth of the Subject (how weakly soever prosecuted) shall plead for its due Patronage in the hearts of all that wish well to the Peace of Church and State amongst us.

[Page] May any who yet wander, be recovered from the errour of their way, and the end of this exposure is fully attain'd. I have chosen for their sakes, to men­tion several persons and passages (highly and deser­vedly) honoured by themselves: Hoping they will please to give a kind audience (if not to us yet) at least to them.

In the search of former times, both they and we may soon meet with the mournful complaints of History; while eminent Reformers in other Countries have ta­ken all faithful care to redress whatever was truly evil: The giddy multitude, Erant (a­pud nos) qui­bus nihil in reformando satis purum videbatur, unde & ab Ecclesiâ sese segregabant, & conventicula peculiaria constituebant. Quae mox Schismata & variae sectae consequebantur. Jucundum Papisticis Spectaculum. Epist. Hen. Bullingeri Episcopo Winton. Some to whom no Reformation seems pure enough, would not­withstanding separate from them, set up pri­vate Conventicles of their own, and run into endless Schisms. Such sport was made for Rome.

This hath been the Epidemick distemper of En­gland. Sad it is; but so it proves: We fastidiously refuse our own mercies, and are impetuously fond of inconsistent vanities.

So great an evil must be seriously withstood. And it may be a real kindness, though unkindly taken. 'Twas the just observation of a most worthy person; calculated indeed for another Meridian, but may as [Page] truly serve our own: Had none (faith he) been wil­ling Arch-bishop Whitgift's Answer to the Admon. In the Epi­stle. to bear the envy and censures of the com­mon people, in withstanding the enterprizes and proceedings of the Anabaptists when they began in Germany: Anabaptism had over-run those Churches, and utterly destroyed them.

What was their danger then, hath been ours since. Si suo quis­que feratur impetu, non plane unit as erit, sed con­fusio. Bern. in Cant. Serm. 49. Exod. 32. 32, 33. And there needs no more to make us miserable, than that Anarchy and Confusion which some mens excentri­cal opinions, and ways of Separation would introduce.

This necessitateth a Moses-like standing in the gap; and happy are they that can do it with his zeal, and yet with his compassion. And he said, this people have sinned agreat sin; yet now I beseech thee, O Lord! forgive their iniquity.

We owe (and that justly) the utmost tenderness to­wards the persons of all; even those who dissent fur­thest from us. There is no good Christian but wisheth we might live at circumstances of ease and comfort one by another. Every man sitting under his Vine, and un­der his Fig-tree. May the Patient be thus happily cured, and the disease only destroyed.

'Tis observ'd of Meteors, though they both blaze and frighten for a time; yet in conclusion, they spend themselves, and go out.

We will also modestly hope, that these fiery exhala­tions, these passionate divisions of ours (the Achans that have so long troubled Gods Israel) may now [Page] at length expire and die. And the desired Shechinah of a Divine Presence rest upon the land.

This seems the Princely aim of our Gracious Sove­raign, in the most admired conduct of his Government over us. This, the very summ of those Royal expressi­ons of his heart so condescensively vouchsafed to his people. As once the Eastern Constantine in his time, so our Western Constantine at this day to us. [...]. Constantini Orat. ad Concil. Nic. Sozom. lib. 1. cap. 18. My Subjects, I have one thing to ask of you, in the name of the Great God, our common Master. 'Tis that which is acceptable to him, 'tis that which is proper for me to demand, 'tis that which is bounden duty for you to yield; Lay down all your quarrelsome controversies, and live henceforth in Love and Peace.

O how undeniably must our reverence to God, and his Vice-gerent; the sacredness of the authority, and the justness of the charge, even adjure us to the most cheerful immediate comportment with our duty?

In order whereto, I cannot forbear mentioning the affectionate language of that reverend aged Bohemi­an, particularly directed by him (upon his Majesties happy Restauration) to the Church of England; as the last token of his love to us, and his own Swan-like Song before his death.

[Page] Ecclesiae Anglicanae variis ha­ctenus pro­cellis jacta­tae, jam tranquillita­tis suae por­tum prospe­ctanti—(nempe re­ditu Regis)—Fratres, vos Spiritui gratiae com­mendo & Apostolico concilio, Omnia decenter & ordine fiant. Ut sicut Britan­nia nuper triste Discidiorum theatrum orbi visa fuit: Ita jam vivum concordiae fiat exemplar. Jo. Am. Commen. Ratio Discipl. Dedicator. Alloq. Brethren, (says he) you have been toss'd hi­therto with various storms: but are now come in prospect of a quiet Harbour (upon your Sove­raigns safe return) I commend you to the Spi­rit of Grace, and that Apostolical counsel, Let all things be done decently, and in order. That as Britain appeared lately a sad spectacle to the whole World for strife and variance, so it may now shine forth as a bright lively example of Peace and Concord.

'Twas his Desire; 'tis our Concern: The God of Heaven grant it may be our happy lot. Amen.

S. C.
PSALM CXXXII. viii.‘Arise O Lord! into thy rest: thou and the Ark of thy strength.’

CHristian Religion, as it is our highest Glory; so the true re­pose, the quiet settlement, and administration of it, must needs be the fairest Heaven we have to expect here on Earth.

How unhappily soever we differ in these di­vided times upon other accounts (as we can­not conceal how far the * great Enemy of our Salvation hath [...]. Constantin. ad Concil. Nic. Sozomen. lib. 1. cap. 18. wrested many of our dearest comforts out of our hands) yet in this, I hope, we may all una­nimously agree; to wish we could love one another better, and that we might together see the Ark of God at rest amongst us.

[Page 2] This Psalm, whether made by David or Solomon, was certainly intended as part of the Jews Divine Service. Ut assiduè à piis decantando repeteretur. As a kind of Consecration-Anthem Mollerus. for the Temple.

Gods Publick Worship was not then left loose or arbitrary, as every wind of extemporaneous fancy should happen to blow. 'Twas more deliberately setled, being first indited by the Holy Ghost in Heaven, and after that esta­blish'd by Soveraign Authority for the use of Gods Church here on Earth.

We all know how greatly David had set his affection upon the house of God: Nor does he more signally express it in those generous pre­parations which he made for the structure of the Temple, than he did in his Pious Zeal for the Liturgy of it.

Herein he furnisht it (as Josephus attests) with those choice [...], the Treasures of Hea­ven [...]. Joseph. Ant. Jud. l. 7. c. 10., Psalms and Composures which he set in order, both for the Sabbath, and their other Festivals. That the solemness of their Ser­vice might be the more suita­ble to the Majesty of that Great God, to whom 'twas offer'd up.

This religious care succeeding Princes were [Page 3] still as zealous to preserve. 'Tis expressly said, Hezekiah the King, and the Princes command­ed 2 Chron. 29. 30. the Levites to sing praise unto the Lord, with the words of David and Asaph the Seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their Heads, and worshipped.

We read not here of any Dissenters, we meet with none complaining of the Mischief of this Imposition: We hear of none refusing their presence or reverend comportment with these solemn assemblies. The King com­mands, and all Israel obeys. They praised God with the words of David and Asaph the Seer. And the people bowed their heads and worshipped. Litur­gy and Decency were then no crimes.

The Text, with the two following Verses, contains an humble address tendered to the King of Kings Omnis religio quae sincerè ab hominibus colitur, Imperii conser­vatrix est. Blacuod. Apol. pro Regib. for the support of Church and State. Arise O Lord! into thy rest; thou and the Ark of thy strength. Let thy Priests be cloathed with righteousness; and let thy Saints shout for joy. For thy Servant Davids sake turn not away the face of thine anointed.

He that loves Gods Church truly, is likewise most highly concerned for Gods anointed. He prays not for the one, without the most affectionate remembrances of the other. For [Page 4] thy Servant Davids sake, turn not away the face of thine anointed. That is, remember O Lord! the rare pieties of the Father, and be thou pleased to be for ever propitious to the Son.

Such an Orator at the Throne of Grace says not as some in our late wretched Wars, who insolently boasted, That God had cast the King out of the Hearts and Prayers of his Saints.

So blasphemously would some men force Almighty God to patronize their highest af­fronts to his Vice-gerent. So easily can they canonize their own Partizans. And by a new kind of Popery play over the old game, of treading upon the necks of Princes, and depo­sing Majesty at their pleasure. We will chuse rather to sigh and mourn, than further ag­gravate what so openly proclaims its own shame.

'Tis too much that the whole Land saw, what our Dread Soveraign at so dear a rate personally felt, and with a bleeding Pen too truly recorded to all future ages; that The Devil of Rebellion doth commonly transform himself [...]. into an Angel of Reformation.

But we will pass by, and go on. The Address of the Text is now safely presented, and soon after as graciously answer'd. The piousness of the matter had made it dearly [Page 5] welcome. It pleased the Lord that they had asked this thing: And he replies,

Vultu quo coelum tempestate sque serenat, as once to Solomon; Be of good comfort, I have heard the Prayer and Supplication which you have made unto me for the welfare of Church and State. Mine eyes and my heart shall be on both for good. The Lord hath chosen Sion: Ver. 13, 14, &c. He hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever; here will I dwell, for I have desired it. I will cloath her Priests with Salvation, and her Saints shall shout aloud for joy. There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a Lamp for mine anointed. His Enemies will I cloath with shame, but upon himself shall the Crown flou­rish. Amen. Should our Lips be silent, our very hearts would become vocal, and readily Echo Amen, Amen.

Such Prayers on Earth, such Answers from Heaven; such Zeal in Christians toward Gods House, such Loyalty in Subjects toward their Prince; and all this crown'd with such a benign aspect; such sacred influences of tenderest love and mercy from Almighty God upon the whole: Lo here enough to render both Throne and Ark for ever happy. Lo here a salve suf­ficient for all our sores. Heal us O Lord! and we shall be healed.

[Page 6] The affairs of Israel from their first coming up out of Egypt had been both in Religion and Civil Government much unsetled. Long had they desired some quieter state of life; but in part, their continual travels in the Wilderness, in part, their frequent oppressions under Eglon, Jabin, and others, (as the Annals of those times attest) obstructed their arrival at so comfortable a condition of Repose and Peace.

In Davids, and far more in Solomons time, God gives them rest from all their Enemies round about. And now Solomon having these noble advantages before him, successfully effects what his Royal Father so earnestly de­sir'd, the fuller settlement of Religion*. A work [...]. Socrates Schol. Pro [...]m lib. 5. Serviunt reges terrae Christo, etiam leges ferendo pro Christo. Aug. Epist. 48. ad Vin [...]. meet for the care of Princes; a Province re­serv'd for their peculiar honour.

In pursuance hereof he fixeth the Officers and Offices; the Rites and Ordinances of Divine Service. He raiseth that holy and beau­tiful house (as the Prophet delighted to call it) wherein the Fathers praised God. Thither he Isa. 64. 11. bringeth up the Ark, with as high solemni­ties of joy and devotion, as any History hath [Page 7] ever yet related. And having humbly ten­dered his Dedication Prayer, closeth with these very words, Arise O Lord! into thy rest: thou 2 Chron. 6. 41. and the Ark of thy strength.

As if he had said, Thou O Lord! hast given us thy holy Ark; the pledge of thy favour, the sign of thy presence with us. Long has it wandred to and fro in the Wilderness; long has it dwelt between Cur­tains, in a mean obscure condition, such as our pre­sent circumstances were then able to bear. I have now by thy express order built this house, hither have I brought up thy Ark as to its resting place: And now I do most humbly beseech thee that this Sacred Ark may be toss'd up and down no more. O let Church and State, Religion and Government remain at rest in that happy fixation to which thou hast in so rare a conduct of Divine Providence, at length brought them.

Such was Solomons Prayer then, and such should be every good mans Prayer now. In the sequel of our discourse I shall take leave to remove the scene from Jerusalem to England; and so come nearer home.

Wherein we shall consider, 1. How far the 1. Ark hath already advanced toward its resting place amongst us.

2. I shall entreat that we would suffer it 2. now to rest.

[Page 8] As to the former. 'Tis sufficiently known how early the Gospel arriv'd here in England. Scarce was our Saviour arisen from the dead, but presently all the glad tydings of this great Salvation were brought hither.

'Twas with a most amazing success that the Apostolical Fishers became Fishers of men in this Island. Then was it [...]. Theodoret. Britannia Felix, and the whole Land, as the Prophets Beulah, a people married to the Lord.

But this Golden Age too soon decayed, our Silver by degrees became dross; and the whole face of these Western Churches (as the Field of the sluggard) overgrown with weeds and corruptions.

So far, that an eminent Writer amongst the Papists freely acknowledgeth Vix ullum peccatum (solâ hae resi exceptâ) excogitari potest, quo sedes illa non fuerit turpiter maculata. Stapleton., There was scarce any sin that could be devis'd or thought on, wherewith the See of Rome was not filthily defiled.

These pollutions were now so open, they could be no longer concealed; so odious, that they could not with any face of modesty be further excused. Whereupon Pope Adrian the Sixth instructed his Legate to the Diet at No­remberg, [Page 9] to make Promise in his name Polliceberis nos omnem operam adhibitur [...]s, ut primum curia haec, unde forte omne hoc malum processit, reformetur, &c. Ex instructionib. Papae Adr. sexti Franc. Cheregato. Vid. Spec. Eccl. Pontif., That as this whole evil had arisen from his Court, so he would use the utmost endeavours, that from whence this corruption had originally sprung, from thence likewise Reformation might for the future stream forth.

But these fair Promises being more speci­ously made, than Religiously kept; the dis­ease increasing, and the Patient still languish­ing, the concern great, and he that would needs impose himself upon us as sole Physici­an, being beyond Sea, and very far off; we did, as Quis enim membro vi­tio vertat, ss reliquo corpore laborante, & sui curam negligente, ipsum sui curam suscipiat? Non ut reliquo corpori insultet, sed ut curandi exemptum pr [...]beat, & ad sui imi­tationem invitet. Geor. Cassand. de officio pii viri, &c. we justly might, make use of lawful help nearer hand.

Our Church (without any indecent reflecti­ons upon others) proceeded to its own due Reformation; rather than incur more guilt and danger under that common infection.

The whole conduct of this good work were a voluminous History. The summ is this:

The exorbitancies of Rome were grown our heavy burdens: Our Physician little better than [Page 10] our Disease: And the casting off his usurpati­ons and evil practices upon the Patient, our only way of cure.

Hereupon the Popes Titular (I might say Chimerical) Supremacy became thrown down. His Tables of Money-changers, those sordid pecu­niary Indulgences, and other the like dehone­stations of Christian Religion, turned out of the Temple; The inherent hereditary Prerogatives re-assum'd into the Crown; and the Ancient Faith, and way of Worship so unanimously observ'd in the purer ages of the Church, freely restor'd.

Thus the Waters formerly bitter, were now healed. The Naaman before leprous, became now cleansed. And the Ark, after many high indignities put upon it, restor'd once more with much joy and comfort to a state of better rest amongst us.

I might now justly say, as once Jonathan to his Father Saul concerning David, with very little alteration; This great Salvation God wrought 1Sam. 19. 5. in Israel: Our pious fore-fathers saw it, and highly re­joyced in it. Wherefore then should we sin against such riches of Divine Goodness, and ungratefully turn our backs upon so happy a Reformation?

1. So happy, that the whole Kingdom in Parliament assembled, resented our Liturgy as [Page 11] a work done by the aid of the Holy Ghost; Giving 2, 3 Edw. 6 cap. 1. their most hearty and lowly thanks to King Edward for his godly travel therein.

Nor did they less publickly lament the want of it, (when it had been for some time inter­rupted) They thought fit to declare again in Parliament, that the taking of it away had proved to the great decay of the due honour of God, and a discomfort to the Professors of the truth of Christs Primo Eliz. Religion. So highly have our sage Governours reverenced, what our common people can now as rashly despise.

2. So happy, that experience hath been able to set a fair Seal to the good fruits of it. As a person of great Honour and Piety (upon un­deniable observation), assur'd Queen Elizabeth's Council: Certifying them, That in King Ed­ward's Arch Bi­shop Whitg. in a Letter to the Council. Fullers Church-Hist. Book 9. 146. time, and in the beginning of her Reign, while this Book of Publick Prayers was uniformly used, the Gospel mightily prevailed; but since this Schism and Division, the contrary effect hath fal­len out. Whoever are gainers, we see Reli­gion is a sufficient loser by our divisions.

3. So happy, that Foreign Divines have high­ly congratulated our Church herein Vehemen­ter laudo ut mature apud se religionenem Angli constituant. Ne diutius rebus incertis, suspensi haereant plebis animi. Calv. Cranmero Epistola 127., Greatly commending that timely care which Arch-Bishop Cran­mer, [Page 12] and others took for the good settlement of Re­ligion amongst us, before it grew too late. And (soon after) when we became thus setled, then as heartily Fruatur sane istâ singulari Dei beneficentiâ. Quae utinam sit illi perpetua. Beza. wishing, We might long enjoy this singular benefit of God, and that it might be continued to us for ever. God forbid we should count that a burden now, which was thought so great a blessing then.

4. So happy, that our Neighbours of Scot­land (as their own Historians attest) could then take hold of our skirt, and cheerfully resolve to go with us Scoti Anglorum auxiliis è servitute Gallic â liberati, reli­gionis cultui & ritibus cum An­glis communibus subscripserunt. Buchanan. Hist. Scot. lib. 19.. They subscrib'd and promis'd to use the same way of worship and rites there, which our Church useth here. A harmony not more comfortable, than need­ful in both Kingdomes. Oh how good and plea­sant a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

5. So happy, that our reverend and rare Jewel hath been able in words of truth and soberness to tell the whole world Accessimus (quantum maxime potuimus) ad Ecclesiam Aposto­lorum, & veterum Catholico­rum Episcoporum, & Patrum, quam scimus adhuc fuisse integram, (utque Tertullianus) incorruptam Virgi­nem.—Nec tantum doctrinam nostram, sed etiam Sacramenta, precumque publi­carum formam ad illorum ritus & instituta direximus. Jewelli Apol. Eccl. Angl., We are in this Reformation come (so far as through frailty we could at­tain) [Page 13] to the Church of the Apostles, the Church of the an­cient Catholick Bishops and Fathers, which we know to have been a pure and uncorrupt Virgin; and that not only in our Doctrine, but in our administration of Sacraments, and Publick Prayers. In the bosome of such a Church let us live; in the bosome of such a Church, O Lord! let us die.

Lastly, (Which will be yet more Sacred with us, as a Divine Sentence from the lips of a King)

6. So happy, that our late Soveraign, under the greatest violence from his Rebellious Subjects, when he apprehended he might ne­ver see his dear Childrens faces any more (as indeed he did not, but became buried in that barbarous obscurity) yet then, even then, he leaves this Royal Legacy of Divine Counsel to our present Soveraign, I require and entreat [...]. you, as your Father and King, that you never suffer your heart to receive the least disaffection from the true Religion established in the Church of England. I have tried it, and after much search, and many disputes, have concluded it to be the best in the World; not only in its Community, as Christian; but in its spe­cial notion, as Reformed.

Such is the state of the Church of God amongst us. Encompassed with so great (I might still have added a far greater) cloud [Page 14] of Witnesses, all of them bearing their several testimonies of honour to it.

And now let the whole World judge from what Spirit those men speak, who can take upon them before all Israel, and before the Sun, temerariously to revile this good order, as a meer Antichristian incroachment upon the inheri­tance of Christ: Our Liturgy and Episcopacy, as The two great So in Print from several per­sons of note, though not na­med here. Plague-sores of the Land: The Reverend guides of the Church, as The Military Instruments of the Devil: The Inferiour Clergy, as Hogs, Dogs, Wolves, Foxes, Forlorn Atheists: And the whole body of our Divine Worship, as A stinking heap of Atheistical Roman rubbish, full of all abominations.

But these calumnies (though very lewd) were thrown out generally amongst the infe­riour common people. Our accusers have ap­peared yet higher, threatning (even to asto­nishment) so august an Assembly as that of Parliament Admoniti­on to the Parliament, in the be­ginning of it., If they learn not to detest this our English Church with a perfect hatred, they shall be left without excuse before the Majesty of God.

Nor have they feared to arraign both Go­vernours and Government with this odious charge Ut supra, Soon after the former., We are so far from having a Church right­ly reformed, that as yet we are not come to the outward face of it.

[Page 15] So heavy were their censures of us; and yet the actions wherewith those censures were to be seconded, much heavier. They have else­where expresly menac'd Second Admoniti­on., That they would set themselves against us as the professed Enemies of the Church of Christ.

Lord! what strange language is here? Who can forbear trembling, to think what dange­rous issues such venemous expressions seem to drive at? Yet these are the reproaches our Church bears in its bosome. These are the Wounds she (almost daily) receives in the house of her Friends. She hath nourished, and brought up Children, and they have rebelled against her.

Such amazing virulences (we must confess) may serve to trouble the Waters, to inflame the poor unstable multitude; but alas, all so­ber persons will sigh and say, Railing is not Re­ligion.

O that men would commune a little better with their own hearts, before they speak or write such rash things. O that they could be perswaded in cool blood to reflect upon those ponderous words of our Saviour, Ye know not what manner of Spirit ye are of. It may be, the Luke 9. 55. meditation might work kindly, as in Peter's case, And when he thought thereon he wept. Mark 14. 72.

[Page 16] However our best answer to whole Vo­lumes of this intemperate Dialect, will be calmly to reply as once the Angel, The Lord rebuke thee. Or as that mild reverend man Bishop Usher, Little (says he) do these men consi­der Arch Bi­shop Ushers Sermon be­sore the H. of Com. Febr. 18. 1620. how precious the Peace of the Church ought to be in our eyes, and of what dangerous consequence the matter of Schism is to all our Souls.

And so we proceed to the Second: To in­treat, that the Ark thus setled, might be suf­fered 2. now to rest.

We read of the Philistims, how rudely they carted Gods Ark in their time. From Ashdod to Gath, from Gath to Ekron; any way whither fancy and humour had a mind to drive it. Truly, we have had too much of such carting of Religion up and down amongst us. From this Opinion to that Opinion, from this Con­venticle to that Conventicle, whithersoever giddiness inclin'd to go; till we have almost carted the Glory of Israel out of our Land.

Most men will industriously strive to excuse themselves. But to be plain with you, our posture (in this very particular) may be just matter of astonishment to all: And I presume, there are few, but sit at this day (as once Eli) our hearts trembling within us for the Ark of God. O let it rest.

[Page 17] 1. I entreat you by all the Religious care that has been shown in the good settlement of it amongst us.

It began (as we all know) with that pious charge of King Edward to Arch Bishop Cranmer, and others, as the Act of Parliament still openly records, That having as well an eye and re­spect 2, 3 Edw. 6. cap. 1. to the most sincere and pure Religion taught by the Scripture, as to the usage of the Primitive Church, they should draw up one meet form of Common Prayer and administration of the Sacraments to be used amongst us.

As it began with God, so it proceeded, so it ended still with God. We can scarce read words of more solemness than what we find extant from those reverend persons, whose lot it was to close this honourable work. We have endeavoured (say they) to discharge our duties in this Preface to the Litur­gy. weighty affair as in the sight of God; And to ap­prove our sincerity therein (as far as in us lay) to the Consciences of all men.

And now for which of these good deeds do we so fiercely stone the memory of these wor­thy persons? O that men would be modest and sober-minded! The search of truth is deep, and the lapse of time now very great; above sixteen hundred years since the first planting of Christian Religion.

[Page 18] What a prodigious piece of Confidence must it needs be, for every illiterate Mechanick, for every private or discontented person scorn­fully to tread under foot the most deliberate Constitutions of their lawful Governours; and audaciously to set up another Altar besides the Altar of the Lord!

It will become us to conclude and act far otherwise. Lo! here the Authority, the Wis­dome, the Learning, the Piety of the whole Kingdom, saying to us (as that voice in the Prophet) This is the way, walk ye in it.

2. I entreat you by the manifest clearness, so apparent through the body of our Reforma­tion thus established.

'Tis not possible to enumerate every parti­cular. Let it suffice to say, We have here no administration of Gods Worship in an un­known Tongue, we have here no mutilated Sacraments obtruded upon us, no Key of Knowledge taken from us; but all things so fairly ordered (as Accessimus adillam Ecclesiam, in qua ne ipsi quidem, si vere, & ex animo loqui volunt, negare possunt, omnia caste, & reve­renter ( & quantum maxime affequi potuimus) proxime ad priscorum temporum rationem ad­ministrari. Jewelli Apol. our learned Apologist avouches) that our Adversaries themselves being Judges, it must be acknowledg­ed, Our Church is very far resto­red to the chaste and reverend ad­ministrations of the Apostolical and Primitive times.

[Page 19] Lo here the words of eternal life. In Gods name what would we have, or whither would we go? 'Tis true, mens mouths are full of ob­jections. But Manna is Manna still, though we through length of time may grow weary of it. The fault is not in the Bed, 'tis the in­ward indisposition in the sick person himself, that makes him so restless upon it.

1. Is it objected that we have here set forms of Prayer? Calvin Quod ad formulam precum & rituum Ecclesiasticorum, valde probo, ut certailla extet; à quâ pastoribus discedero in functione suâ non liceat. Calvin. Epist. 87. will readily answer for us, and acknow­ledge, That he approves greatly of it, and would by all means have it so.

2. Is it urg'd, O but we retain the sign of the Cross in Baptism, and still receive the Ho­ly Communion in that offensive gesture of kneeling, both of them gross superstitions? To this we answer; That learned man Bucer will be our sufficient Advocate in the one, and the Brethren of Bohemia in the other.

The former, says he Signum hoc (nempe Crucis) usus in Eccle­siis antiquis­simi, cum sit admodum simplex, & presens orucis Christi admonitio; nec indecens, nec inutile existimo. Bucer. de signo Crucis., Being so very ancient, and a plain harmless memorial of Christs passion, and our bounden mortification; I conceive it neither un­comely, nor unprofitable.

[Page 20] The latter, say they Procumbi­mus in genua Sacram su­mendo coe­nam. Ipse in genua pro­cumbendi ritus, pic à piis usurpatus devotionem ipsam & in conspectu Dei humilita­tem, adeoque gaudium cum tremore augeat. Ratio Discipl. Ord. Eccl. Fratr. Bohem., We our selves practise it: And this rite of Kneeling (being piously used) may increase our devotion, and teach us how to rejoice even with trembling in the sight of God.

3. Is it further alledg'd, Ay, but we have Festivals and Holy-days for Christ and his Apostles? Melancthon, that modest man, will both justifie and commend us in it Se adesse velut spectatorem il­lorum eventuum cogitabit; qui­bus Deus illa tempora insignivit. Imo! cogitemus hos pulcherrimos congressus imaginem esse aeternae consuetudinis cum Deo, Christo, Patribus, Prophetis, Apostolis, aliisque Sanctis. Melanct. Loc. Com. de Ceremon.. At these Anniversary Solem­nities (says he) every good man will reckon himself an auditor of the Do­ctrine then taught, a Spectator of the Miracles then wrought; a con­temporary, as one who liv'd in those illustrious Gospel times, and still dis­cerns these Festival Assemblies a fair adumbration of our future blessed communion with God, with Christ, the Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, and Saints for ever.

4. It were needless to take any notice of that weak clamour against the use of the Sur­plice, or such vulgar murmurs: Our ancient Reformers have done it to our hand. Say [Page 21] they Ejusmodi vestuum usus ante Papam Rom. fuerit pie à sanctis­simis patri­bus usurpatus—Oportet ministros vestibus uti, quae aliquid significent, & ali­cujus admoneant.—Populus debet ex harum vestium conspectu de nullâ aliâ re cogitare, quam de coelesti puritate, at que candore. Bucer. dere Vestiaria., These innocent Vestments were piously used by the Holy Fathers long before any such thing as Popery ever was. Aaron's garments may and ought to be significant of good things to Gods Israel.

Instead of that angry captiousness (which so much disquiets the present age) we may freely say of this point, as the same Reformers have also said before us, From the consideration of these White Garments, the peoples minds should be de­voutly raised to aspire after that spotless purity in which we ought all to appear before the Holy God.

O what restless endeavours have been us'd to bring up an evil report upon a good Land! But the accusations have been observ'd unhap­pily to recoil upon the Accusers.

When our Dissenting Brethren had made their bitter complaints (to some beyond Sea) against us; expecting thanks and countenance from Reformers there: Instead thereof Nos certe istorum nar­ratio vehe­menter perturbavit.—Non multo post, evidentius apparuit, quid molirentur sub disciplinae Ecclesiasticae praetextu.—Ab eo tempore cum vanis istis rixatoribus nobis nihil rel fuit, Gualtheri Epist. Episcopo Eleensi. 1572., several eminent persons, upon a fuller know­ledge [Page 22] of the whole matter, openly disclaim'd their case, and as deeply condol'd with ours. Dolet nobis non medio­criter, quod tot vobis se objiciúnt ob­stacula, atque remorae, ab illis quoque exortae, qui maxime Evangelici videri vo­lunt. Hen. Bullingeri Epistola Episcopo Winton. 1572. Expressing a great sorrow of mind, that persons pro­fessing so much for Reformation, (as these zealous accusers did) should notwithstanding so apparently dis­honour and obstruct it.

And now if the sense of so many famous per­sons must be perfectly set at nought, if all those old objections (long since answered) must needs be rak'd out of their graves, and reviv'd as fresh matter of endless quarrel amongst us; God forgive them that do it. Our condition may be­come hereby joyless enough to all of us. But however the real merits of the controversie are still the same. The Church will be yet found (as Joseph in that case of his) falsly slandered, and the present Schism not at all justified.

Our severest pleaders for this uncomfortable Separation, we might fairly refer them to that grave censure of Holy Clement; a person so ve­nerable that St. Paul was pleased to call him his Fellow Labourer; [...]. Clem. Epistola ad Corin. Brethren (says he) I perceive ye Phil. 4. 3. strive about things not at all conducing to your Salva­tion. [Page 23] The truth is, men might (if they would) imploy themselves and their time far better.

3. I entreat you by all the sad History, and experience of our divisions: So sad, that 'tis now high time to recollect our selves, and say as Luther Satis jam altercatum, si quid modo altercando profici potuit. Luther. ad Helvet., We have had enough and enough of these wranglings, for any good we ever got by them.

The subject is here too joyless to be long insisted on. Such miscarriages may serve as Sea marks to warn us: (and would to God they could.) But we must by no means look upon them as pleasant Prospects to delight us.

What work and havock the old Donatists made, is not yet forgotten: Nor have the fruits of our new Donatism been much better. Here has the world sometimes heard and seen the bitterest (I might say childish) Thus between Brown and Harrison, Johnson and Ains­worth, Melvil and Buchanan, &c. quarrelings amongst them­selves; Sometimes the most exe­crable Blasphemies against God, at other times As in the cases of Hackett, Coppinger, Penry, Barrow, Wightman, Thacker, Copping, &c. Stows Annals. Treasons, and crimes of an unsufferable nature against all quiet civil Society amongst men.

What Alarms the Government receiv'd in Queen Elizabeth's Reign from seditious Secta­ries, [Page 24] appears not only by their own daring Pamphlets, and the Sword of Publick Justice drawn upon diverse of them, but by the Act 35 Eliz. cap. 1. of Parliament then made, and so much at this day discoursed of. Doubtless had not the danger been real, so strict an Act, at such a juncture, had not been made.

And how far our late horrid Rebellion was animated (if no more) from the encrease of this ill humour, may not be so meet for me here to determine. The wound still bleeds: And the arguments (if but named) would be too demonstrative and upbraiding. The good Lord forgive us all.

'Twere little better than the abandoning of In tranquillo tempestatem ad versam optare dementis est: Subvenire tempestati quâvis ra­tione, sapientis. Cicero de Of­fic. Reason as well as Religion, to run upon those dangerous Rocks again: God hath been pleased in much mercy to speak peace to us; O let not us return to those fol­lies any more. May the issue of such woful obliquities for the future, be like those last words of Mr. Cartwright; who having been so long the Chieftain to the dividing party, when he came to die (as our Author relates) He se­riously lamented the unnecessary troubles which he had Sir Henry Yelverton's Preface to Episcopacy justified. caused in the Church, by the Schism he had been the great somenter of; and wished he were to begin his [Page 25] life again; that he might testifie to the world the dis­like he had of his former ways: In which good frame of mind (saith our Author) he died. May none (who have been unhappily drawn aside) die worse.

4. I entreat you by all the critical difficulties and distresses of our present times. So great, that we are a grief to our Friends, a scorn to our Foes, and an object of deep amazement to all.

'Tis hard using a due freedome in so ten­der a point: But pray bear a little with me. The veneration and dread of Majesty is strange­ly fallen amongst us, the Reverence of Go­vernment almost lost, the mutual good of­fices of true-hearted Christian Charity gene­rally suspended, the rights of civil conversa­tion openly failing in the streets, the sweetness of life perisht, and the whole land (as once Israel) at the waters of strife, where all flesh is too prone to speak unadvisedly with our lips.

The hard question will now be, Where's the fault? Truly every where. We have all sinn'd together, pray God we may all mend together.

But still where's the fault? Our Saviour will tell us, An Enemy hath done this. Histo­ry Mat. 13. 28. [Page 26] will inform us, one of Samaria can scarce afford so much as a cup of Water to one of Judea, without some curst Sarcasm or other to imbitter it. How is it that thou being a Jew, John 4. 9. askest Water of me, who am a woman of Samaria? They were (it seems) as the Panther and Dra­gon, the fiercest opposites: No meeting with­out snarling. Summus u­trinque inde furor vulgo Juvenal. Such indecent violations of hu­manity are various opinions, and modes of Worship, prone to breed.

And if I may have leave to repeat the words after him, Mr. Foxe Magis me commovet publicae Ecclesiae ratio. Video enim suboriri quoddam hominum ge­nus, qui si invalescant, viresque in hoc regno colligant; piget hic referre quid futurae perturbae­tionis praesagit mihi animus.—In istis, nescia quod, novum mo­nachorum genus reviviscere vi­detur, &c. Vide Fullers Church-Hist. Book 9. 106. (that pain­ful Writer of the Book of Mar­tyrs) hath further told us, He saw a new generation of Monks springing up (for fo he calleth the Puritans of those times) who if they gathered strength; it sorely griev'd him to express how much trouble and distraction he foresaw, would ensue by them to this Church and State.

Come my Brethren, let not any of us trou­ble Gods Israel. Dissention and Religion are two different things; We may be Christians, we need not be Dissenters. The Jews (that poor unhappy people) were contrary enough 2 Thess. 2. 15. to all men, and yet they pleas'd not God nei­ther.

[Page 27] We will choose rather to weep in one ano­thers bosomes, and strive who shall exceed in love. If our Divisions have had an unhap­py hand in raising the Storm; 'tis but just, our better Consistency should now promote a Calm.

5. I entreat you by all the tender Sympathy between Church and State. So tender, that if one be wounded, both bleed. We have not yet forgotten those days wherein that mournful Elegy was heard in our Land,

Duo nunc moriuntur in uno.

Two Funerals in one. Church and State both buried together in the same grave.

These high concerns of Religion and Em­pire, were anciently vested in one and the same person.

Rex Anius, Rex idem hominum Phoebique Sacerdos.

Holy Scripture confirms it to us, both in the Type and Antitype. The same Melchizedec that was Priest of the most high God, was also King of Salem. So that we must now fear and tremble, lest our striving with the Priest, should run into Rebellion against the Prince.

[Page 28] Sure we are, Corah's invading the Priest­hood is arraign'd as an insurrection against Deut. 33. 5. him that was King in Jesurun. The conspi­racy was as truly against the Magistrate as against the Minister. The Text tells us, They gathered themselves together against Moses, and Numb. 16. 3. against Aaron.

God resents the Treason, grants a particu­lar Commission of Oyer and Terminer, finds the Bill, and passeth as severe a judgement upon it: The Earth opened her mouth, and swal­lowed them up, and they went down alive into the Numb. 16. 32, 33. pit. God is not mocked.

'Tis a remark well worthy all mens seri­ous thoughts, which a considerable Writer hath made on this account. Uno eo­demque mo­mento numi­nis, & prin­cipis jugum excusserunt. Nec justum magistra­tum agnoverunt, ex quo Sacris & Sacerdotibus bellum indixerunt. Blacuod. Apol. pro Regibus. The giddy people (saith he) in one and the same moment cast off both God and their Prince: Nor would they ever bear any just Government, after they had bidden defiance to the holy things of God, and of his Priests.

This says Zuinglius, have our Anabaptists sadly exemplified Horum fa­ctionem & dogmataEc­clesiarum unitatem scindere, rerum or dinem interturbare, & omnes Magistratus Sanctiones annihilare constat. Zuingl. Respons. ad Libell. Baltaz. in fine. Rending the Church, dis­quieting the State, and making meer Cyphers of [Page 29] all the Sanctions of Magistracy amongst us.

And thus far their Principles seem to lead them; If they own what some of the greatest Writers (in this Separation-controversie) ex­presly assert. Say they, As the Hangings are made fit to the house, so the Common-wealth must be Cartwrights Reply, Ch. 2. Divis. 17. made to agree with the Church, and the Government thereof with her Government. It seems then, it must be a Common-wealth; or at best such a Government, as must be made to agree with their Church.

From which bold Premisses, he that runs may plainly read, what a dismal conclusion is like to follow. The whole Systeme of our present Monarchy must then lie at the mercy of those who now separate from us; what they and their Church will please to have done with it.

The truth is, the Schismaticks Loyalty is a deep riddle: He must be an Oedipus indeed that understands it. 'Twas but an odd me­thod which was sometimes taken, To reform the Church by ruining the State, to inthrone Christ by dethroning Caesar.

And yet such procedures from evil to evil are plainly natural, if God doth not almost miraculously restrain us. The same evil Spi­rit which thus easily seduceth us from the Ark, [Page 30] can with the like facility absolve us from our Allegiance to the Crown.

Their eager zeal for the Holy Discipline in Queen Elizabeth's time satisfied them not. There were high words of some special ser­vice they had to do. They boasted much of a hundred thousand already of their mind.

The great distaste which stuck with them was, Spretae injuria formae; That the Queen was not for their Geneva platform: But steady in maintaining the present Government of the Church. This they were pleas'd to call the defence of abomination, and a bearing the mark of the Beast.

Disappointment in their hopes, bred rage Flectere si nequeo supe­ros, Ache­ronta move­bo. in their Councils. The next measures are plainly desperate: Because the Queen could not be perswaded, she must be compell'd. And accordingly (as appears by several Con­fessions of themselves and others) the black design was now very far laid, To remove the Lords of the Council, to secure the Queens person, as Dangerous Positions, p. 133, 166 167, &c. one whom they esteem'd worthy to be deprived, for gi­ving credit and countenance to the Bishops, and such other wicked persons. To such poysonous bitter­ness do some adust opinions of course, fer­ment.

[Page 31] The History proceeds still further; but I forbear. 'Tis well there is a God in Heaven, to defeat the Hellish Machinations of evil and unquiet men on Earth.

That poor wretch in the same Queens Hackett. Stows An­nals. 761. And the History by it self. Reign, who could by no means come to our assemblies, for fear of being defiled, staid not long there; but soon after stabb'd the Queens Picture, as an argument of his Trea­sonable intentions against her person; for which he justly suffer'd. Nor were Parlia­ments much better handled by them, being displeased at some proceedings of Parliament in that Queens Reign; what thundring Ana­thema's did they presently send forth? It shall Second Ad­monit. p. 3. be more tolerable (say they) for Sodom and Gomor­rha in the day of judgement than for such a Court. Not a man of their seed shall prosper to be a Parlia­ment man, or bear rule in England any more. Suppl. p. 43.

A John of Leiden does but half his work in pulling down the Oeconomy of Religion; his next business was (as that lamentable story relates) to set up himself (according to his goodly revelation Rex fa­ctus deligit sibi proceres, coronas, torquem, sceptrum, & alia id genus ornamenta. Sleidan. Comment. lib. 10.) as King of Sion.

When the disease is thus flown up into the head: When 'tis once come to the Prophets cen­sure, [Page 32] That the Spiritual man is mad; Lord! what Hosea 9. 7. popular phrenzies must needs ensue? What firebrands and arrows are then thrown up and down; with all manner of mischief through­out the Land?

But let men take heed, If he that troubleth his own house shall inherit the Wind; that is, (as some Pro. 11. 29. read it) he shall leave his blasted family an inheritance of sighs Familiam suam cala­mitate per­cellit. Rab. Sol. Isac., the stones of emptiness, and the line of confusion stretched upon it; of how much sorer punishment shall he be thought worthy, who troubleth both the Ark of God, and the Throne of his anointed?

Here (if ever) it becomes us to stand in fear lest that severe Thunderbolt which fell so hea­vy upon the head of the offendor of old, should light on us likewise now. And Joshua said, why hast thou troubled us? The Lord shall trouble Josh. 7. 25. thee this day. And the malefactor died.

'Tis true, such is the levity of humane na­ture, that every novel mode of Religion is prone to please our fancy, and carry us captive after it. But when it comes to trial, 'tis usually found impracticable; like Sauls Armour to David, very uneasie; The Government cannot go in it.

The case is not, we want a better Govern­ment: God Almighty give us better Hearts [Page 33] and Lives to adorn and practise what we al­ready have, and we may be happy.

The Close.

And now Men, Brethren, and Fathers! Are we in earnest? Do we sincerely desire this Holy Ark of God might be at rest a­mongst us? O then let us turn every one from the evil of our ways. Let there be all due exemplariness in the Clergy, all religi­ous conformableness in the Laity; all true Piety and Loyalty in both.

Let not Eli's Sons cause the Sacrifices of God to be abhorr'd through their profaneness, lest it proves Shilo's fall, as well as their ruine. Let not Uzzah dare to touch the Ark pragma­tically with his Lay-hands; lest it pulls down another Peretz uzzah, Gods displeasure, and some fatal breach upon us.

We have no less than Life and Death this day set before us. On the left hand all the woful miseries of our Divisions, if we will needs wilfully persist in them. Then must it be Non mihi si linguae cer­tum sint ora­gue centum, Schismatis infandos valeam memorare dolores. Parei Iren. de disci­diis Evangelicorum componend. 74., Ichabod, Ichabod. Farewel thou dear Ark of God. The staves of Beauty and [Page 34] Bands are broken. And poor England left bleeding in its own Dissentions, biting and de­vouring one another, till we are consumed one of another. At so dear a rate do we buy our joyless differences.

On the right hand we have the comforta­ble fruits of Concord and Union. Our pre­sent dangerous Collisions, our sore Convulsi­sions might then be fairly cur'd. The inve­terate envy (of so long standing) between Ephraim and Judah would then cease for ever. A perfect Amnesty of all former Animosities. Our Gracious Soveraign highly pleas'd, and tru­ly great in the good harmony of his people. The Church even over-joy'd in the re-imbrace­ment of her children. The ancient honour of our English Nation safely retriev'd. And (which is yet far more) that worthy name of God, by which we are all called, would then be but one, and his praise one throughout the Land.

I must be bold to say, we have here mercies Quis non vi­tà etiam suâ redimeret submotum istud infini­tum discidii scandalum? Bucer. more worth than our very lives. Our bowels cannot but secretly yern within us. O that we might see such good days, and peace upon Israel.

You will give me leave to call to you as that man of Macedonia; Come over (O let all good men) come over, and help us. That the [Page] great things of Religion, the practick part of Piety and Vertue, so much impaired, so mani­festly obstructed by our unkind breaches, may be henceforth as effectually carried on by our better accord.

And thou London, the Imperial City of our Great King, whose Merchants are as Princes, and whose Traffickers as the honourable of the Earth; let no man take thy Crown from thee: but be thou a leading example to all En­gland herein. O let us never be, as that infa­mous Babel, a by-word of confusion: Where we may (with so much thanks and ease, with so much honour and comfort) be as Gods Jeru­salem, a people of unity and decent order.

I beseech you bear with my iterated impor­tunity. The extreme importance of the matter exacts it from us. Your selves right well see, how far the Honour of God, and of our holy Religion; the welfare of our native Countrey, and all our comforts lie at stake. Metuendum ne diuturnis hisce ac funestis contentionibus (quod Deus avertat) suum omnes acce­lerent interitum. Davenant. adhort. ad pacem. Quid nobis felicius, si positis dis­cidiis concorditer versemur in domo Domini? Erasm. de Ec­cles. Concord. Our gainsaying as Core (if not given over) will most certainly undo us. A Kingdom divided against it self cannot stand. Pray let a generous united zeal for our happy Government in Church and State preserve us.

[Page] If others could heretofore think the Pulpit a fit place, from whence to tell their hearers, They desired to be look'd upon as those who came to beat a Drum in their ears, though that Drum The per­sons name is forborn. was little less than a Drum of downright Rebellion: I hope it cannot be offensive to any, if all modest earnestness be used in the discharge of our Sacred Ministry, to re­commend (what better becomes the Gospel) the things which belong to our Peace.

That it might be no longer so wildly said, Lo here, and lo there: but rather a sober unani­mous practice of that indisputable Scripture Uniformity: Come let us go to the house of the Lord, for thither the Tribes go up, the Tribes of the Lord; Psal. 122. 4. to the testimony of Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord.

To which I hope no good man will scruple saying, Amen.

Now to him that loveth the Gates of Sion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob; to him be Glory in thé Church through all ages.
Psal. 87. 2.

AMEN.

FINIS.

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